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    There is a third assumption not discussed in this article - that contributions to private repositories are always for employer repositories.

    There is no way of discovering whether a private contribution is for an employer, for an employee’s closed-source side project, or for a freelancing project for a third party. I think this is a serious limitation that significantly limits the usefulness of this research method.

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      It is actually mentioned:

      This is not a perfect process, since users can disable showing private repository contributions, or it’s possible the developer has personal private repositories. This is why you want to check as many profiles as possible.

      (Bold not in original)

      This is why I suggested checking multiple people’s profiles, not just one.

      Also you can correlate weekend work dates across people to spot crunch time (I added this bit as additional suggestion to the article after it was published, it’ll show up when CDN cache resets. But private personal repos was in original post.)

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        I also feel contributions to private repositories are not a strong indicator of work/life balance. Employees could be working long hours, often go through crunch time, be expected to reply to emails and phone calls during weekends…

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          It’s just an initial filter, to remove companies that are obviously not a place to work for. Even if the company passes this filter you still need to e.g. ask about work/life balance during the interview (I updated the post to note that.)

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            So a company should have to prevent employees from working outside of what the query defines as “work hours”, in order to avoid this type of bad annotation?

            There are so many variables here at play (what are work hours, asserting companies using github’s (not any other/internal repo) private repos, the reason of pushing things to a git remote (personal wiki, dotfiles, personal projects)). Just as hard to prove false would be: “how many employees are pushing to their private dotfiles during evenings?”

            Do you have any evidence for supporting this claim, or is it just pure guesswork? You say “empirically”, but I question that phrasing is applicable. I’m using a bit strong words here, sorry, but I think companies should not be dragged in dirt without evidence.

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        I think that a solution would be to

        1. reduce active member count (in reverse chronological order) until a consensus can be found, and then
        2. gradually increase while maintaining the obtained consensus as an invariant

        That is, temporarily disable accounts with age <= 2y and, if the problem persists, continue with <= 3y, etc., and then re-enable in reverse order.

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          I think disabling accounts based on a metric possibly correlated with aberrant behavior (account age) as opposed to the actual behavior (violating the norms of the site) would have negative effects on community health.

          If someone’s account is suspended, are they likely to continue contributing to the site after their account is reactivated?

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            Disabling accounts based on a metric possibly correlated with aberrant behavior

            Oh, “finding the bad apples” is not the idea at all! The idea is to revert to a known-to-be-functional state, then work out a consensus on culture in that (smaller, more effective) group, and finally grow back in a controlled manner.

            If someone’s account is suspended, are they likely to continue contributing to the site after their account is reactivated?

            I can only speak for myself (I’d fall in the first batch, <1y), but yeah, I would.

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            I don’t think this is a good idea, but to be honest I prefer lobste.rs form time when I didn’t have an account. In fact I would happily delete it if I could get back that calmer and more focused site. One of the reasons I asked for invitation was to be able to use ‘hide’ and start voting to stop HNification.

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            @friendlysock, the post in question was going to be problematic regardless of our community health at the moment it was posted. Just look at the vote counts you highlighted. Crustaceans clearly have strong feelings about that company.

            That being said… yes, this would be a good time to inoculate new comers, re-inoculate old-timers, and push out those that resist.

            …I don’t know how to reply or otherwise respond to the chronologically first comment on your post. I have many skills, but not-making-it-worse is not one of them. Help? I want to say something like “No, just no. We’re doing a thing here. Watch us and do like us, or leave.”

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              @friendlysock, the post in question was going to be problematic regardless of our community health at the moment it was posted. Just look at the vote counts you highlighted. Crustaceans clearly have strong feelings about that company.

              Having strong feeling is one thing, knowing which places are good to discuss them is another. It seems to me that with each passing month more and more people think that lobste.rs is good place to discuss anything they find interesting/important.

              Part of the problem, is that there are no explicit content rules - it’s hard to ask others to stop posting any kind of content if there are no guidelines what is and isn’t accepted here.

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                One part of @friendlysock’s post struck me:

                This site is for practicing technologists and for people trying to learn about technology and better themselves as engineers and developers.

                I think it would be helpful if this or something similar was added to the story submitting guidelines on the Submit Story page. It would be more explicit than the current “if no tags apply, your story is off-topic” suggestion.

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                  Keep in mind, that is @friendlysock’s line, not an “official” Lobsters policy. I happen to agree with them, but I think that the truth is closer to @tt’s remark that this has always been a “place to discuss anything [the users] find interesting/important. Unspoken rules have but little force.

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                    It’s his view, not Lobsters’. I think, could be misremembering, there used to be more people agreeing with his view. The submissions were consistent with it when I came in. The votes went the other way in a later meta after they did for representative threads and comments. I’m guessing most people doing mass invite brought in people like them. Most of people that came in have the newer leanings about political posts. There were many before, though.

                    Now, the majority opposes friendlysock’s position in day-to-day use of the site, votes, and comments. It’s why my welcomes that use the What Lobsters Is and Isn’t write-up don’t say it’s our rules or official policy: I just encourage them to focus on What Lobsters Is for high-quality, technical submissions that will be well-received by people focused on that.

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                    This only makes sense if that actually is the sole purpose of the site, but I don’t believe there’s agreement on that point, despite @friendlysock continually speaking as if there is, and as if he speaks for the community as a whole.

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                      for people trying to learn about technology and better themselves as engineers and developers.

                      In particular, the implication that bettering yourself as an engineer is unrelated to understanding the ethical implication of your work is deeply disturbing to me.

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                        Do you believe that the posts in question actually furthered our understanding of the ethical implications of the work? To me, it read more like low effort shaming, or an attempt to stroke a sense of moral superiority.

                        Out of all ethical discussions on this site, what portion do you think further our understandings of ethical implications?

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                          That is not the implication I get at all. What I read is that “understanding the ethical implication of our work” is something we could agree to do elsewhere.

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                            I don’t see how what you said can be true without what I said.

                            If understanding ethical implication of your work is part of being a better engineer, then it’s a suitable topic for a site whose purpose is “trying to […] better themselves as engineers”.

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                    One thing i worry about with DIY VPNs is that my traffic will always originate from the same IP. Is there a way to make a vpn inside aws rotate up addresses for every new connection.

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                      AWS EC2 IP addresses are ephemeral by default - they get reallocated every time the instance is stopped or terminated. If you’re following the instructions in the article (stopping the instance when you are not using a VPN), your IP address should be changing periodically.

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                        Indeed. So in the article I use an Elastic IP so that the VPN has the same IP each time the EC2 instance is started. However, you could use the dynamic public IP that EC2 allocates by default instead of the Elastic IP. As @martey pointed out the dynamic IP changes each time you stop and start the instance. The only thing with a dynamic IP is that you need to either change your client config each time to the new IP address or switch to using a hostname and some sort of Dynamic DNS provider and hook from the instance.

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                      Kind of funny to see this coming from Gruber, who has been a consistent defender of keeping systems closed in the name of user experience. Facebook used to have RSS feeds, too, and Google Chat used to support XMPP; the writing’s been on the wall for a while. I am surprised that he (and the third-party app maintainers) are really naïve enough to imagine that Twitter can be talked into maintaining these APIs (which allow people to use their service without being advertised to) in the long term.

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                        Indeed. The problem (for both Twitter and Gruber) is that Twitter started out as a classic Web 2.0 play with open APIs, and only later realized that can be a money drain. Later services like Instagram only offer API access for the real customers - the advertisers.

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                          Yup. This alone makes Mastodon a superior alternative. Now the trick is getting the masses to move over :) (Though, I’m not REALLY sure I want that :)

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                            Yeah, or Twitter could have a paid tier that allowed 3rd party apps, better privacy tools, etc. But that’s not the way they want to roll, apparently.

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                              (Though, I’m not REALLY sure I want that :)

                              I know the feeling! I kinda liked Twitter better when my acquaintances weren’t in it, and we had actual meetups of Twitter users

                            2. 3

                              Later services like Instagram only offer API access for the real customers - the advertisers.

                              Instagram is an even worse example of API bait-and-switch than Twitter - they offered API access to developers (in 2014), deprecated it this January ¹, and then completely removed access this spring, months before the deprecation deadline ².

                            3. 2

                              I honestly never understood why anyone cares what Gruber has to say. I give him credit for inventing markdown. Really great idea!

                              All the rest he produces seems to be some variation of “apples is so amazing” and “google is so awful”. Most probably that is confirmation bias on my end, but really: Why does anyone care what Gruber has to say?