1. 3

    Slashes aren’t a problem. Browsers don’t display them, and in common use “www.” works well enough as a recognizable web URL prefix.

    What has been a bigger mistake, and is probably going to lead to URLs’ demise, is inconsistency whether hierarchy goes right-to-left (host) or left-to-right (path), which results in the most important part to sitting in the middle, where it’s hard to parse for an average person.

    1. 4

      I love a good demise! URLs seem pretty entrenched, though. What could possibly replace them?

      1. 1

        Browsers don’t display them

        They don’t?

        1. 1

          Browsers can help with that though, so it shouldn’t be the job of the average joe to skim through the path to figure out where they are.

          1. 1

            That’s what I mean by URL demise, e.g. Safari doesn’t display URLs any more, only the domain name.

            OTOH if URLs were in the form com/example/yada/yada average joe could parse them, they could be truncated in a straightforward way if they didn’t fit, so browser vendors wouldn’t have a good reason to stop displaying URLs.

        1. 4

          One just discovered volume vs weight units.

          That’s why when I read “cups” I simply assume the recipe doesn’t require precision.

          1. 4

            The point about ‘disturbing activities’ becoming impossible to monitor is very valid. Remote access software companies like Teamviewer removed the ability to turn the users screen black from the free edition after scammers abused it. Encryption is a slightly different matter however.

            Equally, encrypted free video conferencing tools exist, take Jitsi Meet for example. By disabling encryption for free users, they will force those with wrong intent on to other platforms, only delegating the problem.

            1. 2

              By disabling encryption for free users, they will force those with wrong intent on to other platforms, only delegating the problem.

              Which is an understandable stance for them to take. They had enough bad press at the beginning of the COVID lockdowns with regards to lax security. They don’t want the future bad press about whatever abuse is happening with them not doing anything (because they can’t).

              Let other providers deal with that kind of bad press.

              It’s up to zoom to decide what type of customers they want and what type they don’t want.

              1. 2

                What was the TeamViewer thing about turning the user screen black?

                1. 1

                  Tech Support Scammers used to used to turn their victims screens black to ‘fix their computers’ when in fact they would be trying to steal bank details etc… The black screen was also used by refund scammers to use inspect element to make it seem as if the victims bank balance had increased. This was only possible because the ‘black screen’ function came with the free version. After TeamViewer was alerted about this, they moved the feature to the paid version. Sadly, not all companies followed suit, Zoho assist still has this feature in the free version.

                  By removing desired features from the free version, you push ‘bad actors’ onto over platforms. In Zooms case this will be Jitsi Meet.

              1. 0

                Interesting topic but it reads so emotionally charged that it’s hard to believe there are no further personal reasons for the author to write this.

                Also it’s often stated that IP addresses are an extremely poor way to identify someone reliably, so why would it not be the case now?

                That’s especially true when most people are going to be using mobile data and not their home WiFi, so an attacker would need to do so much work just to get some even more unreliable data on whether someone has contracted covid or not. For what purpose anyway? It’s not like it’s the bubonic plague after all.

                The Bluetooth part I agree is a bit poor, especially the precision, but I guess if it is presented as not a perfect and final metric for social distancing then I don’t see the problem with it.

                Valie points but the tone is completely off in my opinion.

                1. 1

                  While I agree this is emotionally charged, there are good points in there about bluetooth and privacy design in general.

                  Why do you say that “it’s often stated that IP addresses are an extremely poor way to identify someone reliably”? If anything this proved to be reliable enough (TM).

                  1. 2

                    Why do you say that “it’s often stated that IP addresses are an extremely poor way to identify someone reliably”?

                    Because that has been tested in court on multiple occasions.

                    1. 1

                      True that they can fail to work as proof in court. And depending or your ISP (mobile or not) they may rotate frequently leading to the wrong mobile (or not).

                      They can still be used as correlation together with other data though. The concern here is not court use, but rather privacy disclosure. In court they are discarded because they are not enough to identify one single person, at least not without other proof. The article also suggests this by combining IP with user agent.

                      Any service that can tie that ip/timeframe to user identity could collude with this Covid tracking service to reveal that information - this could be your ISP, or any other service that you used in a time window and can identify you.

                      I think his point stands - compromising that service risks exposing the identity, even if not directly. It is not like there are no alternative designs to avoid this either.

                    2. 1

                      Exactly what @colonelpanic said.

                      Anyway IP are quite precise indicators when you can go and talk privately with the ISP of that IP with a datestamp in hand.

                      But only IP address means absolutely nothing: VPNs, restarting your router, changing cellular station and restarting your mobile data, all that usually changes your IP address, making it not a 1 to 1 match.

                      That’s why browser fingerprinting is much worse as normally nobody changes that often enough (unless you use extensions to prevent some of that).

                    3. 0

                      Also it’s often stated that IP addresses are an extremely poor way to identify someone reliably, so why would it not be the case now?

                      The IP address is now tied to a mobile phone and not a family home computer.

                      1. 1

                        Mobile IP addresses get reused very often by the ISP so, as I said, unless you are in touch with people there you won’t get anything out of IP addresses nowadays.

                    1. 3

                      I wonder how LWN feels about folks posting subscriber links here. Almost every one posted is a subscriber link…

                      1. 26

                        (LWN editor here)

                        The short answer is that the occasional posting of subscriber links to sites like this is, as far as we can tell, beneficial to LWN. It exposes our work to a wider audience, lets us pitch the occasional trial subscription offer, and leads to higher subscription numbers overall. It’s some of the best word-of-mouth advertising we can get.

                        That said, posting such links could clearly turn into a problem if it causes the LWN paywall to entirely disappear. So we ask people to restrain themselves and not post too many of them to public sites.

                        For those who don’t understand our model, LWN is almost entirely subscription-supported at this point. We think it is a great model; it aligns our interests with those of our readers, doesn’t require us to sell readers out to the surveillance capitalism machine, and has let us watch the collapse of the advertising market without distress. It has kept us going (more comfortably some times than others) since we adopted it in 2002.

                        If you find articles like this one worthwhile, please consider supporting the creation of more of them with a subscription of your own; we would love to see you around more often!

                        1. 3

                          Often, for topics I’m investigating, I notice that the definitive online resources are links to LWN articles. I started my LWN subscription to support the creation of more articles like that.

                          As I mentioned above, for a few years I simply read the articles that were freely available on LWN. After some introspection, I realized that for more or less the same reasons that I make my contributions to free/open software, I could and should also support reporting and writing about that software, even if I didn’t absolutely need access to those articles during the one-week subscriber-only period. In other words, my supporting LWN was one way for me to give back to the wider community that’s given me so much.

                          Finally, I’m also very happy with the absence of intrusive advertising and tracking on LWN site.

                          1. 1

                            There was a collapse of advertising market?

                            Anyway, I do believe it’s a better model in the end and I’m happy to see you sticking with it.

                              1. 1

                                I’m not keeping track of the advertising market, but my impression is that adblock users are still a tiny minority. Is there data on adblock user stats and ad market revenues? This is getting offtopic of course…

                          2. 3

                            From the page when you attempt to create a subscriber link:

                            The “subscriber link” mechanism allows an LWN.net subscriber to generate a special URL for a subscription-only article. That URL can then be given to others, who will be able to access the article regardless of whether they are subscribed. This feature is made available as a service to LWN subscribers, and in the hope that they will use it to spread the word about their favorite LWN articles.

                            If this feature is abused, it will hurt LWN’s subscription revenues and defeat the whole point. Subscriber links may go away if that comes about.

                            I interpret that as they are okay with it as as long as it’s not abused.

                            1. 3

                              I don’t think it matters to them if everyone reads a story for free, it matters to them if all stories can be read for free. People who click on the link here are either:

                              • People already subscribed to LWN. This is only a problem if they see all of the stories that they read here (and elsewhere) and drop their subscriptions.
                              • People who can’t afford to subscribe to LWN or won’t ever subscribe for other reasons. It costs a small amount for LWN to serve web pages to these people, but it’s likely to be in the noise.
                              • People who hadn’t considered subscribing to LWN before. For these people, there’s a balancing act. If they see all of the stories that they’re interested in without subscribing, then they’re a small cost. If they see some of the stories they’re interested in without subscribing then this is a small cost (and a lost potential customer) but if they only see some of them then this makes them more likely to subscribe.

                              LWN posts subscriber-only stories almost every few days and lobste.rs posts one every week or two. I expect that this ratio is pretty good for advertising. That said, they could probably do a lot better if they did a little bit of in-site advertising. They’d probably see a much higher conversion if every article visited via a subscriber link contained normal links to 2-3 other relevant subscriber-only stories so that people get an immediate view of what they’re missing by not subscribing (I didn’t even realise LWN has subscriber-only stories until I saw these comments because I completely blank out boxes like the one at the top and I’d therefore never considered subscribing, though they do run a lot of things I’m interested in). It would also be nice if they put a small text banner on the top saying something like

                              1. 2

                                “subscriber only” is bit misleading: LWN stories are subscriber only for one week, after that they are public. So everyone can access all the stories, but most people probably wouldn’t remember to share something interesting to others after waiting for week.

                                1. 1

                                  Correct. They’re “subscriber only” in the sense that only a subscriber can create them. I lurked on LWN or a few years and read only 1-week old articles before I decided that I wanted to spend my hard-earned cash to support them. Not to read the articles fresh off the press.

                              2. 0

                                Well, that’s the question. Is it abuse (almost exclusively) posting subscriber links to a site like lobste.rs, which has many active users?

                                1. 2

                                  If this feature is abused, it will hurt LWN’s subscription revenues…

                                  I don’t think these links would hurt their subscription revenues. Instead, high-quality content can be great advertisements on Lobsters. I assume by “abuse” they mean using a bot to generate subscription URLs for every single article and resell them, etc.

                                  1. 0

                                    The same link was posted to Hacker News and Proggit:

                                    http://gerikson.com/hnlo/#gmy7ub_23240800

                                    1. 0

                                      As the note states, let them worry about it. If you feel bad and are not subscribed to LWN then subscribe or buy it for a friend!

                                  2. 2

                                    Limiting the number of people who can access a subscriber link would be easy (almost trivial), and I think it’s safe to say that LWN is aware that these links frequently get shared on HN, Reddit, Lobsters, etc. So it seems that LWN is okay with this.

                                  1. 1

                                    For future readers: please note that this article is from 2015 and it’s pretty much outdated when it comes to C#.

                                    I understood it first hand when, after lots ot digging, testing and all, realised that the tooling has been open-sourced and rapidly forgotten. Even in recent discussions with the C# devs, the feature is not deemed a priority.

                                    So, in recent C#, Code Contracts are pretty much dead.

                                    As an alternative, triggered by reading this article, I’m starting to use simpler Guards with a Conditional Debug , to ensure certain constraints at runtime. It’s not a static checker but better than nothing I guess.

                                    1. 2

                                      This article is from this year and doesn’t really have anything to do with C#. I think you’ve responded to the wrong submission.

                                      1. 1

                                        You are indeed right, I messed up, sorry!

                                    1. 1

                                      I love this kind of work. Well done!

                                      I guess it’s a remnant, like many others, of old practices which made sense with older hardware but that now it’s less useful.

                                      Even today I try to turn divisions into multiplications, even if that probably has a very tiny effect on most modern machines.

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                                        I feel that I’m finger-pointing, but it seems that the submitter of the first one has actually mostly posted those over the last few days: https://lobste.rs/newest/mraza007

                                        1. 19

                                          imho, getting rid of (public?) karma would go a long way to avoid these “ask” posts. I usually hide these threads anyway because, they tend to be of very little interest (low signal/noise), but ymmv.

                                          1. 4

                                            I have a user style to hide karma, which I think is beneficial to me, but to have it hidden globally for everyone I agree would be a good step. It seems that cargo-culting still takes place here, albeit to a lesser extent, even with downvote justifications.

                                            1. 1

                                              Could you share it?

                                              I’m not using userstyles but I could start to make lobste.rs better for myself :)

                                              1. 3

                                                Sure, although it’s about as simple as you’d imagine:

                                                .score { display: none; }
                                                

                                                It works fine for me without !important but if you get into user styles it’s worth remembering that a lot of them don’t. Enjoy :)

                                                1. 1

                                                  What do you use for userstyles?

                                                  I am on Firefox mobile and stylus isn’t available here.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Oh, I use stylus (I don’t use my mobile for the web). I’m not sure what else is available, but if you really want to overengineer it might Greasemonkey be available?

                                          2. 4

                                            That’s pretty damning. @pushcx or @alynpost, see that?

                                            1. 24

                                              Yeah, I’ve had an eye on @mraza007, submitting “ask” stories nearly exclusively is unusual. But they’ve all been topical and well-received, so I haven’t seen a reason to step in, besides removing a dupe for blog themes.

                                              I’m curious to see where this discussion goes. It’s already gotten a lot more upvotes than I expected. If folks want to see a rule, we can create one, but preferably one that’s not mods acting on gut feelings that a post is low-effort.

                                              1. 22

                                                Sorry man I guess i have been submitting unusual ask stories for more than once but i got to learn a lot from them. I was surprised to see how so many things I didn’t knew. I can limit my self from posting ask stories

                                                1. 16

                                                  Thanks for responding. We’re glad to have you here, don’t worry! It’s a good thing when people help each other learn. I also don’t personally think it’s bad to have questions that start people talking to each other. Icebreakers are important for community-building.

                                                  It’s clear though that people do have feelings about it when the questions are stuff that doesn’t need much thought to answer. As others are saying, it’s not really obvious where the blame lies for that, and it’s clear that your stuff is in good faith. I don’t think you necessarily have to stop entirely, just try to be mindful about whether it makes an interesting thread for others to read through. Also, if your angle is more about wanting to learn from what others do, consider making that explicit.

                                                  1. 11

                                                    Thank you for this. I realized i was posting too often honestly i have discovered a lot from these threads. Next time I will be try to post once every week not too often so people don’t consider it as a spam. Honestly this community has taught me a lot and i really appreciate and on the other hand I’m really happy due to these posts people were able to talk to each other or maybe learn/discover something new from this. I really appreciate your reply !!

                                                2. 2

                                                  I hope the implication from your ‘It’s already gotten a lot more upvotes than I expected.’ comment isn’t that we should just downvote if we don’t agree.

                                                  To be honest I think this latest post from him is pushing it too, but I don’t believe in silence by downvote if he’s doing nothing against the rules. I’m a big fan of most ‘ask’ topics; when I’m not the hide button is in reach.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    No, I was saying it’s gotten significantly more attention, and positive attention than I guessed. There is no story downvoting, and people flagging stories they want to punish just clogs up the mod dashboard.

                                                3. 6

                                                  I don’t think it is. I’ll note that many of those threads have more upvotes than any comment here complaining about them at this point.

                                                  On top of it, I’ve gotten more useful information… like software to try out… out of a few OP is complaining about than anything this thread has. I’m not saying that to cut down any comment in this thread. I’m just illustrating we have a thread whose contents don’t help people out (that I’m aware) asking to remove many that did or block future threads that do. Something about that seems wrong.

                                                4. 0

                                                  That’s pretty weird.

                                                1. 13

                                                  Filtering tags (ask included) is the way to go.

                                                  If they ever add the infamous domain filtering, lobster would become perfect for me. I would start filtering the few domains that I 100% hide and be done with it.

                                                  Perhaps stick to other less abused tags or keep clicking hide.

                                                  1. 15

                                                    I disagree. Filtering on tags means you miss out entirely…better for the community to just take responsibility for weeding out garbage and maintaining standards.

                                                    1. 7

                                                      Sure, you can rely on the community to weed out “garbage”, but how exactly do you plan on reaching a consensus about what qualifies as “garbage”?

                                                      Because I’ll tell you right now, none of these “low effort” posts that have been made over the past few days are what I would call “garbage”. I think that kind of content has a place on a website like this (or any site with a specialized focus).

                                                      And that seems to be the big issue here: “low effort” posts like these receive community engagement, and a lot of people like them, but then there seems to be a lot of other users who do not.

                                                      Which is exactly the kind of situation that filtering tools are great for.

                                                      Either way, I think the best solution here would not be to phase out these kinds of posts, but instead establish a recurring schedule that they can be posted on.

                                                      For instance, just like the week/weekend posts recur weekly, posts asking about tools or other “low effort” content could happen semi-annually, on different dates, so that you could regularly have one of these kinds of posts for people to engage with, but not all at the same time.

                                                      Something like “What tools do you use?” every January and June, “Share your blog” every April and October, etc.

                                                      Then, just create a recurring tag that can be applied to these kinds of posts so that users can filter them out if they want (though their frequency should be much reduced at that point, so I doubt many will want to).

                                                      That is exactly what is done over at Tildes. We have a bunch of topics that get posted (automatically by the website even) and they all recur on a schedule. Users can hide those topics by filtering out the recurring tag.

                                                      You can see all the recurring topics on the site:

                                                      https://tildes.net/?tag=recurring

                                                      There are even, for the moment, daily recurring topics about the coronavirus. These recurring topics have worked out wonderfully for the community so far.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Then, just create a recurring tag that can be applied to these kinds of posts so that users can filter them out if they want (though their frequency should be much reduced at that point, so I doubt many will want to).

                                                        This is an excellent idea. I have had the desire to hide the “What are you doing this week/end?” threads for a long time now, but didn’t want to filter the “ask” tag as I still sometimes find value in them. I thought I needed a way to filter based on titles, but a recurring tag would work even better.

                                                      2. 2

                                                        What about implementing a recommendation system like “People who have hidden the same stories you have also hidden in the past, have also hidden this subset of stories currently in the frontpage; so we have visually de-emphasized it”?

                                                        1. 1

                                                          So just add support for filtering out people, the person who posted this complaint could have just filtered out stories by mraza instead of making another thread where people can post low effort comments.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I don’t believe filters build good communities, least of all because they break the ability to form community norms and standards. If two members have a vastly different experience of what a community is about, they will only diverge over time.

                                                            Plus, filtering tends to mean that the average unfiltered experience for new users regresses to the mean.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Filters are the only way to build communities, because each person has limited bandwidth and different opinions.

                                                              Saying “I don’t believe in filters for good communities” is like saying “the utopian community is an echo chamber has consensus on signal/noise evaluations” and I won’t disagree with you on that. However I will contest the viability of this “perfect consensus model” as a desirable engineering goal for building a good lobste.rs scale community. In my experience limiting features doesn’t change usage, it just pushes more of the filtering into the wetware (e.g. clicking ‘next page’ a bunch of times and scanning headlines).

                                                              To make a contrived example: I subscribe to some RSS feeds and mailing lists, this is my personal feed and although it is constructed explicitly (cherry-picking) using the basis of a vector space we call “the internet” rather than implicitly by taking the negation of some content-set in some subspace, like for example lobste.rs, it is in fact very much the same idea, the social contract is: I give up some of my control and in exchange I save some amount of work. Now our mission is to give back control (or rather the perception, via aligning opinions) but still make it cost minimal work.

                                                              So, here on lobste.rs we are sharing a single feed together and one way to give control is to allow people to “slice the feed” or “tune in to a certain frequency” (e.g. filtering out the tags they think are noisy or see all the posts of a tag you think is signaly). This means that in theory we allow for more technical higher quality discussion since in the ideal version of this model there will be an expert community at the heart of each tag and these communities compose to form the lobste.rs community. Best of all, each expert community (or “opinion population”) has roughly the “perfect consensus model”.

                                                              Regarding the unfiltered experience regressing to the mean (a la reddit’s “front page of the internet”) this is totally true IF the join of all these expert communities has no discernible qualities. So long as most of us can all tolerate the Top of our space (i.e. unfiltered front page) things will be fine. Once we reach the scale that we are pushing the foundation of the community into more and more heavily filtered sections of the space then we have failed to preserve this identity but maybe that wasn’t a good goal to begin with?

                                                              Preserving the identity means maintaining a Goldilocks zone where the conflicts can still be managed using filtering without ruining the unfiltered experience. The next level of scaling becomes a model like ActivityPub where each pub is a lobste.rs equivalent and the unity is lost but each subspace is deeper than before (but this is hard to do, for example ActivityPub does not have particularly “deep” pubs afaict).

                                                              So the central thesis is: “giving people more axis to slice along (without giving too many!) is a black magic that if done correctly should improve our community”

                                                              Okay, so lets say we know where in the hierarchy we want to place the lobste.rs identity and we leave aside any compositions that reach ActivityPub scale. Then we will never have a unfiltered experience that regresses to the mean since we will actually be filtering at the community level (banning users and flagging stories). This may create some level of spite in the surrounding ecosystem so even this is not side-effect free.

                                                              As a random anecdote; I have seen the same phenomena happen in group chats often, you have a small group of friends / acquintances, they make a group chat without any particular investment and so at the beginning people just add new people randomly and the group becomes lots of fun. Then people become afraid that they will lose the group and start making restrictions or somehow try to preserve the optimal state, this leads to stagnation and eventually the chat becomes a relic, too sacred to have fun.

                                                              Bringing it back to the ground: I’m saying you misidentify the problem as filtering, I think the problem is consensus on identity. If we allow filtering within the community to silence people that you don’t think produce valuable output then that is the internet equivalent of “agree to disagree” which is an important tool for being able to live with other people in a small space. Eventually some disagreements may grow into faction-splitting situations and in those cases we will be forced to invent the ActivityPub analogue. But hopefully the act of coexisting in a similar environment will actually resolve these conflicts as people learn how to communicate in a shorthand that others can appreciate.

                                                              The concrete example is @mraza007 and @zge, it looks like the former derives high signal from getting to know in broad-strokes what the lobste.rs community is about while the latter feels he already has a pretty good idea about this (or doesn’t care about it and just wants IT), either way, @zge seems to think @mraza007 is noise.

                                                              Now we can resolve this by taking a hard stance on not allowing one opinion in the community (consensus through violence) or we can take a softer approach like allowing to filter out people. Then the “black magic” is which part of the feature-fractal should we implement, do we want to give an option to set an upvote threshold for unfiltering a piece of information or maybe a dual construct like “trusting users” and if someone you trust upvotes someone you filter then that message gets unfiltered, giving you a chance to re-evaluate the filtered user.

                                                              Of course maybe these tools will lead to the community segmenting i.e. we implement the trust idea above and then everyone @zge trusts also filter similarly as him and the ones they filter are filtering back. This is pretty much equivalent to having subreddits and the problem you describe regarding the unfiltered experience suffering is a foregone conclusion in that case.

                                                              So the result is that you end up in feature creep as you attempt to maintain balance. Lets say you want to maybe give new users access to the different filter-perspectives but then you’ve just invented subreddits (albeit emergent subreddits rather than predefined ones, so it’s bottom up organization rather than top down, which is always good) and we’ve lost our soul…

                                                              So basically, I agree, ideally we all can coexist without losing our identity, but this is a very delicate engineering problem and while we can maybe find some nice local-optima that isn’t too violent I fear that “all good things must come to an end” is always the truth with these things.

                                                              In the end, a “chose your own delusion realiity” model is probably the best we can do.

                                                              Sorry for how long this became, I didn’t anticipate it when I started and while I would like to edit it down I need to get back to work..

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I think the problem is consensus on identity. If we allow filtering within the community to silence people that you don’t think produce valuable output then that is the internet equivalent of “agree to disagree” which is an important tool for being able to live with other people in a small space.

                                                                I like this framing of the problem, but disagree heavily on the “agree to disagree” bit.

                                                                The lowest effort solution, and one that appeals to techies because it’s an engineering solution to a people problem and one that doesn’t require scary topics like taste and judgement, is the filtering solution you advocate.

                                                                Filters don’t prevent an accumulation of garbage, which tends to leak when it isn’t labeled properly. It also tends to lead to fractured communities (see also: /pol/ or even the culture tag here). It also means that people that see Lobsters fresh are going to be more lost, with people saying “oh no osdev is a garbage fire, but the plt tags are worth following” (or whatever).

                                                                I’d rather just pull on our big kid pants and try to solve the conflict and settle on norms instead of being conflict avoidant.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  I don’t think the level of filtering that we have now is too bad and being able to filter users wouldn’t be a big change but I also see the slippery slope so I understand your hesitation.

                                                                  Really what I want to point out is that the problem is hard and any “solution” is a tradeoff. Which tradeoffs we choose will define our collective identity, so for example; I am okay with the feed becoming too fast for me to keep up with - so long as I can just go in, find what I want, and then leave. Granted, this means I am okay with the degradation of the community which is the whole point for many of us (rather than just another faceless content source).

                                                                  In general I agree that ‘agree to disagree’ is not the best way to act in your relationships… a step up from that is ‘suspending disbelief’ and then re-evaluating periodically to see if the disagreement can be resolved. However the problem stems from the need for eventual consistency and currently I don’t see a way to keep consistency without an ever increasing supply of violence (as the user base grows so does the amount of conflicting views).

                                                                  There’s conflict avoidance but the conflict intolerance is what I worry about, like when two engineers have different ideas on a detail in a system so the manager steps in and forces a worst-of-all-worlds solution just to avoid having the conflict end with a “winner” and because there is no obvious best-of-all-worlds solution (or the conflict wouldn’t have existed in the first place).

                                                                  Conflict intolerance is like the chat group that became a relic, it’s the solution that has become politically correct (in the groups collective ethos) but makes everyone unhappy (most of the time because the group is unwilling to drop a false assumption).

                                                                  Conflict avoidance means you just have some meekness and people who will suffer rather than rocking the boat. This brings down morale but often this can be managed (I think good management is all about standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves).

                                                                  Anyway, this exact problem is why I am trying to design a forum system organized around different primitives. The users should be able to express political consensus around a certain type of collective identity in the semantics of the system and shared views between different identities should be truely shared, collapsing duplicates into canons and making the space of collective identities continuous rather than discrete.

                                                        2. 13

                                                          Bingo.

                                                          Different people enjoy different things. I happen to think that this community contains a bevvy of super interesting people, so I quite enjoy the ‘low effort’ posts you’re harping on.

                                                          So I’d much rather give you the tools to ignore it than try to remove them by mandate.

                                                          1. 5

                                                            Totally agree. A diverse group of interesting people scattered across the world, too. Threads that bring out the activities and lifestyles of these interesting people just make it more fun for me.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              Agreed that’s one the reason why i posted these questions. Honestly seeing this post today really surprised me

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                                                                I think I agree.

                                                                There was a promising site, lamernews or some other really weird name, - just like hn and llbsters ;-)

                                                                AFAIK and IIRC some early users killed it by overpolicing it and scaring away everyone.

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                                                                Filtering works to a point, but I think a whitelist would also be a good idea.

                                                                For example, I have web blocked because most of the posts don’t interest me. Occasionally however there is a post on how someone used Lisp to write a web application or something to that effect, which gets filtered from my frontpage because it’s tagged with web as well as lisp. If there was a way for me to say I always want to see lisp posts regardless of what other tags they have, I’d be very happy. Unfortunately I don’t have enough Ruby skills to implement this.

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                                                                  Add a userscript to set display:none for li.story > div.h-entry > div.details > span.link > a[href=https://somedomain.com/*] on lobste.rs.

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                                                                    Filtering would be the solution, if you are never interested in ask posts, but I do enjoy reading and sometimes contributing to “what are you doing this week/-end” posts. I don’t have an issue with annual or semi-annual “share you’re site” threads. I started this thread to discuss the frequency and kind of questions that are being asked, and filtering would just be overkill.

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                                                                    As someone that did programmed in RMCobol in UNIX I don’t agree with “to truly develop COBOL, you need a mainframe.” But if you want a mainframe, download Hercules

                                                                    Also, Grace Cooper did not create Cobol… but anyway.

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                                                                      What makes you say she didn’t create cobol I would love to know your viewpoint on this

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                                                                        She was a pioneer in language development, and thanks to her effort in FLOW-MATIC we have Cobol (and high level languages), but we have to realise Cobol was a multi team, multi company effort. Cobol, by the way, is a good example of a successful language designed by a committee.

                                                                        Also, she was not part of Codasyl exec. committee, but an advisor to it. Also, she was not part of the six main designers, two of them women: Jean Sammet and Gertrude Tierney.

                                                                        So, was she influential? Yes, incredibly so… not only in Cobol but in the development of high level programming languages. But did she create Cobol? Saying that is not only inaccurate, but a disservice to multiple teams that worked to create Cobol.

                                                                        There’s a wonderful paper on this matter by Jean Sammet: The early story of Cobol that I highly recommend.

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                                                                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBOL

                                                                          I guess it’s because COBOL is based on a language designed by Grace Hopper?

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                                                                        How are these low effort posts getting so many upvotes, it surprises me.

                                                                        I guess it’s some sort of bikeshedding effect…

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                                                                          I upvoted it because I think OP is right.

                                                                          The number of comments vehemently disagreeing tells me somehing though.

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                                                                          it suggests that NASA employees and contractors are clicking on malicious links sent in email and text messages at twice the rate as normal.

                                                                          I would be curious to see any behavioral studies that explore people’s reasoning behind clicking those links. By now, I accept that maybe we, who spent years in the IT industry, know enough about the techniques of the phishers to spot most phishing emails from a safe distance without thinking.

                                                                          Maybe we even need to study ourselves to see what’s out reasoning for not clicking those links. As in, show a person a bunch of phishing messages and have them tell in detail what they looked at and how they made the judement.

                                                                          Then and amplify those warnings in the client software and run a study with casual users. Like, does making invalid DKIM warning 10x more prominent help? Does injecting the real URL next to the link text help?

                                                                          If anyone is willing to run such a study, I’m happy to join.

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                                                                            I think it would be easier to list all most common types of phishing and list them from easy to hard to spot.

                                                                            Then you throw in false positives and make a website where people can be directed to and where they can quickly have a taste of these emails.

                                                                            One sees an email and has to pick “Good” or “Evil”. At the end you get points depending on your result.

                                                                            Easy and fun way to teach the different types without boring people.

                                                                            Can be done with something like typekit and a bunch of screenshots.

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                                                                              My last employer had such a quiz. It was basically impossible to tell what was phishing and what was not. In particular, there was a site which did not use its own domain name to send mail, and re-directed to a shady looking site. The answer was something like: “No, somesite.com uses somesuspiciousdomain.com for their mail and longsubdomainwhichmakesmesuspicious.shady-looking-domain.org for their payments, which are trusted sites.”.

                                                                              Then there was another mail which was from Iegitdomain.com with a link to Iegitdomain.com, but this was a phishing mail since the l was actually capital i (and email addresses can be spoofed).

                                                                              I found it hard to take the test seriously. “Educating” people this way just confuses them. Edit: Such a test is actually a great idea, I just meant that this particular execution was bad.

                                                                              For me, a good tip was to never use the link in an e-mail or text message but always go the site by manually entering the URL in the browser.

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                                                                              I’m following a few infosec people on Twitter, so my view is limited - but there seem to be quite some discussions if it’s ethical to use covid-related stuff for phishing training, most say it’s not.

                                                                              But let’s just say that it seems to be very effective in making people click links.

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                                                                              It looks like the bug is an out-of-bounds write to an array that was subsequently fixed.

                                                                              But:

                                                                              a lot of people liked the custom maps that utilized this mechanism to create some fun games, called “EUD Maps”, so much that a tool called EUDEnable was created to patch the game in memory and re-introduce the bug.

                                                                              …what crazy custom maps were people making that depended on writing to arbitrary addresses in memory?

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                                                                                https://youtu.be/JhPdfz-IglQ Starts with some good examples.

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                                                                                  I’m mesmerised😲

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                                                                                    …that’s about as glorious and horrifying as I could imagine

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                                                                                  Great article, I both love and hate these articles: it shows people doing some really cool stuff while being pretty scary at the same time!

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                                                                                    I personally like typing the types like that :)

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                                                                                      Did exactly the same for the RGB keyboard on my laptop, I posted it here some time ago: https://github.com/Nesh108/MyAorusKeyboardSDK

                                                                                      A bit more work but I also added some logic to go automatically into “Movie Mode” (when VLC or other specific applications are full-screen) and to show the current battery.

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                                                                                        I liked this article because it showed a real world example without being an advertisement for the product in question.

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                                                                                          Did we read the same article?

                                                                                          The author couldn’t refrain from mentioning and linking their company every other paragraph…

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                                                                                            It helps that the product is no longer available ;-)

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                                                                                              This insight into their dev practices might explain why:

                                                                                              We were about to start building our bar charts when we explored yet another alternative: the horizontal bar chart.

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                                                                                                Not sure what you’re getting at. They were acquired.

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                                                                                                  Oh I see. I’m not up to date with ancient 4 year old mobile app startups 😉

                                                                                                  More to the point, I realize this blog post was written in a conversational style, but I reacted to the (in my mind) naive way “discovered” horizontal bar charts. I mean, they’re right there in Excel too!

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                                                                                            The creator of Ogg responded to this post.

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                                                                                              That was a much better read than the objections, thanks for posting it!

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                                                                                              To me thesarticle simple shows how being an engineer made the author better at tackling problems, not the other way around. That’s the beauty of problem solving, once you learn it for IT, you can use it in anything: cooking, event planning, travelling and even art-making.

                                                                                              And please, if you ever go around “shotgunning” do that sporadically, otherwise you’ll become one of those photographers who take 500 pictures and then spend the week going through the photos to see what is worth keeping, while that can be ok for some, it can totally put off many other beginner photographer.

                                                                                              My suggestion is to actually strive for very few photos but planned and wanted. In that way you remember why you took that particular photo and then understand what’s wrong with it during the editing session. If you just take hundreds of photos, are you even going to remember why you took that photo part of other pretty similar ones?

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                                                                                                And please, if you ever go around “shotgunning” do that sporadically, otherwise you’ll become one of those photographers who take 500 pictures and then spend the week going through the photos to see what is worth keeping, while that can be ok for some, it can totally put off many other beginner photographer.

                                                                                                I suspect there are two different ways of thought going on here, both useful as techniques.

                                                                                                1. The “shotgun” mode mentioned. This is useful to try out a bunch of things you don’t know will work, to see what happens. I suspect this will open up new techniques. A realization I had from a photo I took at a concert just before self isolation: “This photo is annoyingly out of focus, but it’s interesting how the lead singer is framed by someone in the audience clapping. I could try to capture more like this”.
                                                                                                2. The “sniper” method you suggest – planning each photo. This is where you’re focusing on a single thing and trying to get it right. You’re not trying to find new things, but trying to refine your existing techniques.

                                                                                                These two methods map to John Cleese’s two modes of creativity. The shotgun method is Cleese’s “open” mode, where, as he puts it, “we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor (which always accompanies a wider perspective) and, consequently, more playful”. The sniper, on the other hand, is his “closed” mode, which is “a mode in which we’re very purposeful, and it’s a mode in which we can get very stressed and even a bit manic, but not creative.”

                                                                                                I think both of these are valuable; staying only in one gets you not as much as using both.

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                                                                                                  Interesting link to comedy, I will look into it!

                                                                                                  Btw, it seems I was having a minor stroke when I wrote that comment…

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                                                                                                In New Zealand we are being asked to leave online order/delivery slots for people who can’t get to the supermarket (eg because of a disability) or who shouldn’t go (eg because of their age or health conditions). Other people should go to the supermarket if they can, while respecting the new rules to minimise transmission.

                                                                                                Anyone thinking about this kind of hack should first consider whether they’re depriving someone more in-need (and likely less technologically savvy) of an important service, and potentially forcing them to risk their health by having to go the supermarket in person.

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                                                                                                  In Luxembourg, the state created a delivery website run by associations and communities, on which you have to prove that you’re a person at risk to order.

                                                                                                  The catalog is smaller and quantity is limited, but it’s indeed a great initiative that helps people that are the most at risk.

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                                                                                                    I lived in Luxembourg. Easily one of my favorite places on the planet. Moien!

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                                                                                                      Moien! I have to admit that I thought moving out more than once… but quality of living is pretty good here.

                                                                                                      Any reason for moving out (if not too personal)?

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                                                                                                        I moved back to the United States for my girlfriend at the time, who backed out of moving to Europe with me. For future reference, that was not a good reason to move across an ocean. :)

                                                                                                        That being said, this was 20 years ago. I’m back in the US, married (to someone else), kids, etc. It’s just a lovely memory now.

                                                                                                        I had to go to Amsterdam for work about 10 years ago, and my wife came with me. After I finished with my work, we took an extra couple of weeks and went to Brussels, Luxembourg, and Geneva. She, too, loved Luxembourg. When our kids are old enough we’re going to take them and do a similar tour again.

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                                                                                                          Seems like a good life :) I’ve asked because so many people here mention that it doesn’t have night life, art exhibitions, etc… like you can find in other European capitals like Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, … Although, I find it hard to compete with all the other advantages like the healthcare system, the security in the country, the job market, …

                                                                                                          Thanks for your honest feedback :)

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                                                                                                    Thanks for this comment. I’ve long been a consumer of my grocer’s online ordering service because of its convenience and had not stopped to consider the negative consequences that I – a healthy younger person who has a family that isn’t at significant risk – have externalized to others by continuing to use it.

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                                                                                                      Exactly this.

                                                                                                      Initially I thought other people were abusing the system but it turned out that either he could get over the fact that “he doesn’t like doing groceries” or just wait like literally everyone else seems to be doing.

                                                                                                      And now having shared the code while the situation is the same, he just increased the chances of people following the same path and spreading the “method”, while the most vulnerable people who don’t have the skills are left behind.