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    a chipmonger kills its webshit propogands after some employees complain

    If you can easily n-gate a submission, maybe it shouldn’t be here.

    Spam about ad campaigns and counterreactions is not a core value prop of lobsters. :(

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      on the other hand, this story is currently on the front page with an above-median vote score, and the other riscv-basics story is the highest voted story currently on the front page, so evidently the users of lobsters found both relevant to their interests.

      Yours is some low-quality gatekeeping.

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        News is the mindkiller. Humans are hardwired to be really interested in new things regardless of their utility, usefulness, or healthiness–you need look no further than the 24 hour news cycle or tabloids or HN front page to observe this phenomena.

        If you look at any given submission, it has a bunch of different things it’s “good” at: good in terms of educating about hardware, good in terms of talking about the math behind some compiler optimization, good in whatever. Submissions that are news are good primarily in terms of how new they are, and have other goodness that tangential if it exists at all. The articles may even have a significant off-topic component, such as politics or gossip or advertising.

        This results in the following pathologies:

        • Over time, if a community optimizes for news, they start to normalize those other components, until the scope of the submissions expands to encompass the formerly off-topic material…and that material is usually something that is at best duplicated elsewhere and at worst pure flamebait.
        • The industry we’re in specializes in spending loads of money on attractive clickbait and advertising presenting as news, and so soon the submissions become flooded with low-quality crap or advertising that takes up community cycles to process without ever giving anything substantial in return.
        • The perceived quality of the site goes down for everybody and the community fragments, because news is available elsewhere (thus, the utility of the site is diminished) and because the valuable discussion is taken up with nitpicking news stories. This is why, say, c2 wiki is still around and useful and a lot of news sites…aren’t.

        What you dismiss as gatekeeping is an attempt to combat this.


        A brief note–your example of the two ARM articles being on the front page illustrate the issue. Otherwise intelligent lobsters will upvote that sort of stuff because it’s “neat”, without noting that with everybody behaving that way we’ve temporarily lost two good spots for technical content–instead, we have more free advertising for ARM (all press is good press) and now slightly more precedent for garbage submissions and call-response (news thing, rebuttal to news thing, criticism/analysis of rebuttal). It’s all so tiresome.

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          ugggh, you leveled up my brain regarding what belongs on lobste.rs. “I like this!” is not only not necessarily an argument ‘for’, it is sometimes an argument ‘against’. Mind-blown.

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            I bookmarked and often shared this post since it seemed like a nice set of guidelines. Had a lot of votes in favor, too.

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              I thought we concluded that votes in favour represent anti-signal.

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                Haha. Depends on the context. They’re important for meta threads since it can determine site’s future.

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            This is interesting news, it’s not just drama or clickbait. The big chip makers have maintained an oligopoly through patents on abstract math: an ISA. It’s insane that innovation can only come from a few big players because of their lawyers. RISC-V is the first serious dent that the open source movement has been able to make in this market because (unlike ARM, OpenPOWER, and OpenSPARC) it has a serious commitment to open source and it is technologically superior.

            ARM will be the first player to fall to RISC-V because they have a monopoly on lower end chips. Samsung, Qualcomm, NVidia, Apple, Google, etc. are all perfectly capable of making a competitive chips without having to pay a 1% tax to ARM. We are already seeing this with Western Digital’s switch to RISC-V, there is no advantage to paying ARM for simple micro-controllers … which is a huge portion of ARM’s business.

            That they are resorting to FUD tactics shows that ARM execs know this. People interested in the larger strategic moves, like myself, find this article about how their FUD tactics backfired very interesting. I would appreciate it if you didn’t characterize this sort of news as spam and the people who follow how big industry players are behaving as just being into drama.

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              With respect, a good deal of your post is kremlinology.

              That they are resorting to FUD tactics shows that ARM execs know this.

              The ARM execs cannot be guaranteed to “know” anything of the sort–it’s more likely that there is a standard playbook to be run to talk about any competing technology, RISC-V, OSS, or otherwise. Claiming that “oh ho obviously they feel the heat!” is speculation, and without links and evidence, baseless speculation at that.

              the people who follow how big industry players are behaving as just being into drama.

              The people who “follow” big industry players are quite usually just people that want to feel informed, and are quite unlikely to be anybody with any actual actions available given this information. Thus, just because something is interesting to them doesn’t make it necessarily useful or actionable.

              characterize this sort of news as spam

              Again, all news is spam on a site with historically more of a bend towards information and non-news submissions. Further, it’s not like this hasn’t been covered extensively elsewhere, on Slashdot and HN and Gizmodo and elsewhere. It’s not like it isn’t being shown on many fronts.

              Please understand that while in this specific case, you might have an interest–but if all lobsters follow this idea, it trashes the site.

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                ARM will be the first player to fall to RISC-V because they have a monopoly on lower end chips.

                They actually don’t. A good chunk of the chip market is 8-16 bitters. Billions of dollars worth. In the 32-bit category, there’s a lot of players licensing IP and selling chips. ARM has stuff from low end all the way up to smartphones with piles of proven I.P. plus great brand, ecosystem, and market share. They’re not going anywhere any time soon. MIPS is still selling lots of stuff in low-end devices including 32-bit versions of MCU’s. Cavium used them for Octeon I-III’s for high-performance networking with offload engines.

                With most of these, you’d get working hardware, all the peripherals you need, toolchain, books/training on it, lots of existing libraries/code, big company to support you, and maybe someone to sue if the I.P. didn’t work. RISC-V doesn’t have all that yet. Most big companies who aren’t backers… which are most big companies in this space… won’t use it without a larger subset of that or all of that depending on company. I’m keeping hopes up for SiFi’s new I.P. but even it probably has to be licensed for big money. If paying an arm and a leg, many will choose to pay the company known to deliver.

                From what I see, ARM’s marketing people or whatever are just reacting to a new development that’s in the news a lot. There some threat to their revenues given some big companies are showing interest in RISC-V. So, they’re slamming the competition and protecting their own brand. Just business news or ops as usual.

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                  The 16 bit category has been almost totally annihilated by small 32-bit designs. The 8-bit category will stands.

                  (I’m also deeply doubtful of RISC-V while hardware beyond SiFive suffers critical existence failure, but that remains to be seen…)

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                I upvoted both submissions. I consciously bought Lobsters frontpage spot for RISC-V advertising and paid loss of technical content in exchange. I acknowlege other negative externalities but I think they are small. Sorry about that.

                I think RISC-V advertising is as legitimate as BSD advertising, Rust advertising, etc. here. Yes, technical advertising would have been better. I have a small suspicion of gatekeeping RISC-V (or hardware) against established topics, which you can dismiss by simply stating so in the reply.

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                  Thanks for keeping up the effort to steer the submissions in a more cerebral direction, away from news. I totally agree with you and appreciate it.

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                    I almost never upvote these kind of submissions, but seeing as it can be hard to get these off the main page, maybe it could be interesting for lobsters to have some kind of merging feature that could group stories that are simply different stages of the same news into the same story, thus only blocking one spot.

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                      Now that is interesting. It could be some sort of chaining or hyperlinks that goes in the text field. If not done manually, the system could add it automatically in a way that was clearly attributed to the system. I say the text field so the actions next to stories or comments stay uncluttered.

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                        It’s been done before for huge and nasty submissions; usually done to hot takes.

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                          It would also allow it to act as a timeline of sorts. Done correctly I could even apply quasi automatically to tech release posts as well, making it easier to read prior discussions.

                          The main question right now would be how to handle the comments ui for those grouped stories.

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                        All publicity is good publicity is actually totally false.The actual saying should be something like “Not all bad publicity is bad for you if it aligns with your identity.”. Fighting OSS definitely doesn’t align with the ARM identity/ethos.

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                        It’s so easy to just react and click that upvote button without thinking; the score is a reflection of emotional appeal, not of this submission’s relevance. “But it’s on the front page” is also a tired argument that comes up in every discussion like this one. @friendlysock makes excellent points in his reply to you, I totally agree with him and appreciate that he takes the time to try to steer the submissions away from news. There are plenty of news sites, I don’t want another one.

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                        or maybe n-gate is a worthless sneer masquerading as a website that doesn’t need to be used as a referent on topical material? Especially given that literally anything posted to HN is going to be skewered there? I’m not the go-to guy on HN cheerleading (at all, in any way) but n-gate is smirky petulant crap and doesn’t exactly contribute to enlightenment on tech topics.

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                          worthless sneer masquerading as a website that doesn’t need to be used as a referent on topical material

                          El Reg could be described the exact same way!

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                            thats…..actually a good point.

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                        that the pushback from open source supporters was strong enough to get ARM to take their site down in embarrassment is the really interesting part here. one wonders what could be done if those people were organized, and not just reacting to PR blunders.