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D2 Updates, Text Message Notifcation 164

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-play-with dept.
A few quick notes on some recent code updates. The smaller function is that we've added text messaging stuff for phones. If you visit the messages page (you must be logged in) you can define your cell phone's email address, and get notifications sent to it. The more interesting update is for Discussion2 users (turn it on on any article page). There is an option now to restrict page sizes and you will retrieve comments by score. This means you can configure your Slashdot to return smaller, more bandwidth friendly pages that you can expand without loading fresh pages. Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.
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D2 Updates, Text Message Notifcation

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  • by DrunkenTerror (561616) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:05AM (#20292485) Homepage Journal
    The other day my wireless provider sent me a text message saying "It currently costs $0.10 to receive text messages. Would you like to upgrade?" I mean, damn guys, thanks for the message, ya know?
    • by ZombieWomble (893157) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:27AM (#20292645)
      This was something that intrigued me when I was talking with an American who was visitng - do you have some way to regulate how you receive texts/who you receive texts from? I can understand the rationale behind paying to receive a phone call (obviously, you can choose to reject the call if you don't want to pay the price). But over here at least, texts just arrive - doesn't this (theoretically) make it possible to bomb someone with vast amounts of texts and drive up their bills without them having a meaningful way to protect themselves?

      I'm sure there's a simple solution to this somewhere which I'm overlooking, but having an aspect of a person's billing completely outside their control seems rather bizarre.

      • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:43AM (#20292801) Homepage
        With all carriers that I know of, there is no way to stop unwanted text messages, and yes, we have to pay for each one.

        AFAIK, if there is a consistent pattern of abuse, you can call your carrier and they might make concessions. Similarly, the FCC and your state attorney general will be interested in text message spamming. I don't see how this would stop someone from outside the US from simply spamming the crap out of us. Similarly, I can just use the SMS option on most modern IM clients these days.

        Yeah, the state of cell phone usage in general in the US is shit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Skater (41976)
          You can get them to put a block on (at least with Verizon). The only problem is that the sender never knows that you didn't receive the message.
        • I'm with AT&T (formerly Cingular) and I've never, ever paid for an incoming message. Ever. The lady uses Verizon and she too never, ever has paid for an incoming text message.

          Really? What carrier does this?
          • Verizon has unlimited 'in' messaging - but otherwise inbound and outbound count towards your limit and once you pass the limit you will be charged for text messages sent and received.
          • Verizon charges to send or receive text messages. The charges seem to be variable as well. I keep text messages blocked, however, before I did, I saw charges range from 10 - 17 cents. Not sure if the difference is peak/offpeak, data transfer fees, phase of the moon, or what.

            Verizon has text messaging plans that give you a couple hundred messages in or out a month for a few dollars (varies greatly depending on when you signed up for it), but without those plans, they definitely charge you for incoming.
      • The carrier I use, Rogers in Canada, works thusly -- each text I send to another phone user is $0.10. Receiving a text from another human costs me nothing, but costs them. However, if I receive an automatic text from a web site or some other non-human, then I pay the $0.10. I have chosen to pay an additional few bucks for essentially unlimited outgoing texts (thus negating the sending cost), but it still costs me to receive Google calendar SMS reminders, etc (the non-human automated stuff).

        So, in other w
        • by DJStealth (103231)
          I'm also on Rogers, I don't think I ever payed to receive computer texts, but now I have it just sending to my 416XXXXXXX@pcs.rogers.com address (which used to be free until 2 years ago, Rogers decided to put a 'spam filter' feature on it, that I needed to pay-per-message [by replying via text] or $5/month to bypass)
      • by BMonger (68213)
        I've only ever been billed for outgoing text messages, never for incoming.
      • by brian0918 (638904)
        I believe with Sprint they let you know that you got a message, but you have to accept payment before you can view it. I haven't used it enough to know for sure.
      • by Speare (84249) on Monday August 20, 2007 @12:50PM (#20294169) Homepage Journal

        Just for mentioning the phrases "American", "phone call", "pay the price", "bomb someone", "protect themselves", and "outside their control", you have been added to the Department of Fatherland Security watchlists. All of your finances, foreign or otherwise, will be monitored closely (in San Francisco) for any corroborating tendrils of threatening intent on your part.

      • by IronChef (164482)
        I'm not entirely sure, because I am too cheap to use SMS. But when I looked in to it a couple of years ago, you could have the phone company either block ALL SMS or NO SMS. I am also surprised this hasn't widely been used for griefing.

        Hopefully, things are better today. But I'm still cheap, and I don't use SMS. My carrier actually increased prices recently.

        The future is now... in Korea anyway.
      • by horatio (127595)
        If you call Sprint customer service, they told me and will likely tell you there is no way to block SMS except all incoming or all outgoing or all of both, and offer you a texting "plan" for some monthly cost.

        However, if you (customer) log into their website and go the area that lets you /send/ a text message (My online tools->SMS Messaging->Settings & Preferences), there is an option to block (up to 50?) numbers from sending you text messages. How well it works I really don't know.
      • Actually, yes.

        I used to work for a company in Redmond *cough* that provides instant messaging and alerts via SMS, siphoning some of the carrier revenue that this generates.

        To avoid large amounts of *unexpected* SPAM over a newly created gateway from their IM clients or alert triggers to a cell phone subscriber, they require a new customer to accept (by responding to an initial SMS message) that they are willing to receive them.
  • "Sucker!" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson.gmail@com> on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:05AM (#20292491) Homepage Journal
    Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.

    Ah yes, insulting your readership. I see that Slashdot's grasp of the finer points of customer relations remains as firm as ever...

    • Re:"Sucker!" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:10AM (#20292531) Homepage
      I just tried it again after finding it lacking a couple of months ago, and no, still no way to sort by score. So I guess I'll keep sucking the traditional interface for now.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rufo (126104) *

        I just tried it again after finding it lacking a couple of months ago, and no, still no way to sort by score. So I guess I'll keep sucking the traditional interface for now.
        Huh? I just hit Prefs and there's an option for Highest Score First...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jrumney (197329)

          I have that ticked, it works on the traditional interface, and now that I've posted that complaint it seems to be working on this discussion. But on other discussions I see things like:

          Score 3
          Score 2
          Score 4
          Score 3
          Score 4

          So I'd assumed that it didn't apply to the new discussion system. Maybe what I'm seeing is a bug, but still, am I a "sucker" for not using an obviously buggy new comment system that is clearly marked as a test?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zerocool^ (112121)

            Yeah, I agree with you. I have my display set to show comments +3 and above; because with karma bonuses and bad moderation, comments 2 and below are often a waste of breath. I want to read *all* the comments that have actually been moderated at least once upwards.

            Can't do that with the new system. You can say "highest ranked comments get priority showing up on my screen", but that's not what I want. if a story has 40 +5 comments, I don't want to set it to only show me +5's inadvertently by switching to
            • by jb.hl.com (782137)
              You can have the system ignore karma bonuses, if you're worried about them. Check your user preferences.
              • by zerocool^ (112121)

                I actually just saw that today. Might fiddle with it. But, still, if I set karmabonus:off and show me +2 and above comments, I'm going to get a lot of crap that's posted at +1 and moderated up once.

                  I dunno, it's worth playing with.
        • Re:"Sucker!" (Score:5, Informative)

          by GeckoX (259575) on Monday August 20, 2007 @11:20AM (#20293143)
          Pref is there, but it does nothing for me with D2, never has. Under d2, threads are always ordered by oldest first. Very annoying. This is the only thing that keeps me from using D2.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)
      It only took a few minutes for you to lose 3 point (counting your karma bonus) to moderators misusing the flamebait and troll mods. You were expecting courtesy on Slashdot?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mwvdlee (775178)
      So now I'm a sucker because I can't use D2 at work?
    • by bentcd (690786)

      Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.
      Ah yes, insulting your readership. I see that Slashdot's grasp of the finer points of customer relations remains as firm as ever...
      Slashdot is based on ad revenue. We, the readers, are the product(*) and the ad servers are the customers.

      * - With the notable exception of subscribers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fm6 (162816)
        If we're a product, we should be productive. But we're not, because we waste too much time on Slashdot!
    • by crymeph0 (682581)
      My /. gets 50 comments to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      If you are a subscriber then you are a customer. If you are not then you are just a user.
    • by nobodyman (90587) on Monday August 20, 2007 @12:39PM (#20294057) Homepage
      Jeez, man, lighten up. I think he was just kidding around. Anyone thinking otherwise is a sucker.
    • by hublan (197388)

      Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.


      Ah yes, insulting your readership. I see that Slashdot's grasp of the finer points of customer relations remains as firm as ever...

      You'll get over it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ozbird (127571)
      How about some consistent naming standards? There's no "Discussion2" or "D2" option in preferences - it's "Slashdot's New Discussion System Testing".
  • sucker? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:06AM (#20292493) Homepage Journal

    Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.
    or is stuck running IE. (Remember us, that lonely lost majority of the internet?)
    • Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.

      or is stuck running IE. (Remember us, that lonely lost majority of the internet?)
      Obviously, that's not an exclusive or you're using there. One could argue that it's redundant. After all if B implies A, then asserting A is the same as asserting A or B. (Do not mod his post redundant, however. That's not what I mean. I'm just making a joke.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fm6 (162816)
      Or use the Slashdotter Firefox Plugin [mozilla.org], which isn't compatible with D2. It's ability to hide threads I'm not interested in far outweighs any advantages of the new layout. I also like the reply (no more typing in <blockquote>) feature, and various AJAX features.
      • by cp.tar (871488)

        Or use the Slashdotter Firefox Plugin [mozilla.org], which isn't compatible with D2. It's ability to hide threads I'm not interested in far outweighs any advantages of the new layout. I also like the reply (no more typing in <blockquote>) feature, and various AJAX features.

        What do you mean, incompatible?

        I seem to be running D2, and I have Slashdotter enabled...

        • by fm6 (162816)
          Enabling it is one thing, actually working is another. It doesn't take a lot of change to the Slashdot HTML to break Slashdotter.
      • Re:sucker? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by internewt (640704) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:48AM (#20292865) Journal

        The ability to colapse a whole thread appeared on this slashdot 2.0 ajax interface thing for a while. It didn't seem to be the best implementation (IIRC), but it kinda worked.

        Did you used to be a usenetter by any chance? Thats where I picked up a desire to be able to kill a whole thread. Laugh all you like, but I used to like Netscape 4's news reader, and like a lot of usenet clients it could ignore threads. If a thread turned into a flame fest (that you've seen before), or just wasn't interesting, OT etc., you could just ignore the whole thread, and new messages in that thread would be marked as read.

        The ability to ignore a whole thread, or from a point downwards would be nice on slashdot. Once you've been here for a while you start to notice that a lot of discussions are very similar: they follow the same patterns of posts and ideas that have been talked about a million times. If whole threads could be ignored more easily by /. users, it might mean that mod points get used more towards the end of discussions (which often have insightful gems of comments that get overlooked because either a mod has run out of points by the time they get to the end of the page, or they've moved on to a newer article).

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Did you used to be a usenetter by any chance? Thats where I picked up a desire to be able to kill a whole thread.
          Indeed I was. Though my wanting to be able to collapse the parts of an info tree that I'm not interested in goes back to my using ThinkTank [outliners.com].
        • by nuzak (959558)

          The ability to ignore a whole thread, or from a point downwards would be nice on slashdot.
          An NNTP interface would be nice on slashdot. But I guess we're stuck with whatever scraps they throw us now and then.
    • by eclectro (227083)

      or is stuck running IE. (Remember us, that lonely lost majority of the internet?)
      Don't worry, I won't forget any zombie in my bot army.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:14AM (#20292559)
    Things I don't like:
    - the floating widget floats over other things. I want to put it in the left margin and it must not float up above the menu, but stay below the Services entries.
    - there still is no way to "close" a thread or to easily skip to the next top-level thread. when someone (usually an early poster) posts some flamebait comment it is very difficult to find the next top-level comment. There should be a [+] entry in the title bar of each comment where one can close all replies to that comment.
    • Closing a thread (Score:5, Informative)

      by benhocking (724439) <benjaminhocking@ ... m minus caffeine> on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:25AM (#20292621) Homepage Journal

      there still is no way to "close" a thread or to easily skip to the next top-level thread. when someone (usually an early poster) posts some flamebait comment it is very difficult to find the next top-level comment. There should be a [+] entry in the title bar of each comment where one can close all replies to that comment.
      There is a way: click on the title to close it and all replies to that comment. Click on it again to open it back up.
    • by coaxial (28297)
      Thresholds. In D1 I don't have to think about at what level replies get hidden. The just do. Now I have to constantly work the slider because its a number rather than a rule based approach.

      D2 is teh suck.
  • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:16AM (#20292571) Homepage
    Is there a URL other than slashdot.org to use when browsing on a phone or handheld device? My phone doesn't seem to handle slashdot very well.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:27AM (#20292651)
    I await the day soon when slashcode becomes sentient, and the first words out of its mouth will be

    "Hallo Wurld"

    as it still won't have spellcheck.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      I hate server-side spell check. If you want spellcheck it should be the client that does it. That allows customization and control.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by deniable (76198)
      I thought it would be "First Post." I'm getting a disturbing image of a child raised by trolls.
  • by Control Group (105494) * on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:30AM (#20292677) Homepage

    Anyone still running D1 is a sucker

    Sure am. Only a sucker would give in to the man, and not replace IE with Firefox on his company laptop. What a sucker.

    I haven't complained about D2's not working in IE, because I recognize that it's IE's fault. I also recognize that IE will never change as long as everyone panders to its broken-ness, so I can even respect Slashdot's decision to not do so. I'll even continue to subscribe, despite not being able to use the New Shiny most of the time, because I think Slashdot's worth supporting.

    But some of us aren't in a position where it's feasible to change our client, and cheap shots at our expense aren't particularly appreciated. If you don't want to put in the time and effort to make D2 work in IE because you don't want to perpetuate the use of broken standards on the client, that's great. But I'd really appreciate not being mocked in the process.

    Thanks.
    • I don't know if this is possible with Vista, but on WinXP I just unzip the Firefox application to a folder on my desktop and run a link from there. Certainly better (and less painful) than running IE.
    • It was just a joke, akin to Homer's, "And here I am using my own lungs like a sucker."
    • I think that "voluntarily" is implied in "Anyone still running D1 is a sucker", since one can not be forced to be a sucker. Since you are not running IE6/7 voluntarily, you are not a sucker according to this statement

      However, more generally, I would agree with the admins that anyone in the /. audience who chooses to run IE knowing the problems is (if not necessarily a sucker) certainly being silly.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        This needs to stop. You're making an assumption about what the editor meant, a foolish thing to do. How about we do this in America from now on: let's take people for what they say, and stop going on and saying "well they implied so and so!!!" Its really irritating, and its destoryed our ability to debate.
        • by Xtravar (725372)

          Its really irritating, and its destoryed our ability to debate.
          But he did it for the children.
  • D2?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    Uhhhggh!! This thing is horrible! What's with the emboldened headings? Comment previews gobbling up space. Re:? The entire page juddering about with every click.

    No thanks. Call me a luddite, but I like my pages nice and static if you please. If I need to read a subcomment, I open it in a new tab.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by porkThreeWays (895269)
      I think D2 has really encouraged reading of subcomments. When I'm not logged in and defaulted to D1 I almost never read deep into a discussion because it's a pain and I lose my spot. I suspect mods on D1 do the same. So comments that make it to +3 will probably make it to +5 and those not visible will be stuck. D2 has reeeeeally helped the moderation system and I find comments more appropriately rated in general.
  • Well, I reverted to D1 when you changed the thumb from vertical to horizontal. It took some time fiddling around until I realilzed what had happened.
  • "flat" d2? (Score:2, Informative)

    by syrinx (106469)
    Last I checked, D2 did not have the "flat" display mode. I want to load up all replies to an article and be able to read them without doing anything else. (I am still annoyed at the change several years ago when the maximum number of replies on a page was limited.)
  • Unless it's gotten less buggy or somehow better in other ways, I wasn't impressed with D2 at all. Maybe I'll give it another try. Then again my smartphone handles regular old slashdot fairly well via Opera.
  • D2 is great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rufo (126104) * <rufo@@@rufosanchez...com> on Monday August 20, 2007 @10:38AM (#20292755)
    It's not perfect (as evidenced by much of the biatching around here), but at least for the way I like to read /., it's a huge improvement over the old system.

    Just wanted to be the odd person who actually comments when they like something, instead of only posting when it's broken.
  • Once all the bugs are worked out in this, the next cool thing would be a nifty ajaxish front page so that nobody ever has to hit "Refresh" anymore. Someone should code up some sort of ajax front page that gets the new stories as they're published. It would be cool if it also had the ability to expand the headline view into stories or collapse some stories that the user doesn't find interesting.
  • by RyoShin (610051) <[tukaro] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday August 20, 2007 @12:35PM (#20294009) Homepage Journal
    I know you've said that IE is low priority [slashdot.org] for D2. I don't neccessarily agree, but I know as a web developer that making something cross-browser compatible can be a large pain.

    Even so, I ask that a bone be thrown to us IE users- give an option so that our use of D1/D2 is based on our browser. At home I am strictly FireFox except for the smallest subset of sites, so D2 works fine and I use it all the time. At work I am forced into a vanilla IE6 install[1]; reading comments is fine, but if I want to make a comment myself or mod a post I have to log in and deal with the IE-broken D2. I have three options:

    1) Log in, do what I want, log out to continue reading (like I'm doing now)
    2) Set my profile to not use D2 when at work and turn it on again at home
    3) Create an alternate log in to use only while at work (this would require syncing with this account)

    All of these are rather annoying and I'd prefer not to deal with them. I imagine I'm not the only one with this problem. The idea I have is that you have three options in your account: no D2, always D2, and D2 based on Browser. For the final option, a quick check is done prior to loading to see if the browser is IE or not, then choose which discussion method to use based on that.

    I'm not familiar with Slashcode, so I don't know how trivial it would be to implement, but it's a feature I could really use. It would also be a benefit for those who use other legacy browsers for whatever reason.

    [1] Yes, I've tried stuff like Portable Firefox. I made the mistake of showing a page to supervisor while using it, and now they're constantly checking to see if I'm using it. Policies are very strict around here.
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Monday August 20, 2007 @01:01PM (#20294317) Homepage
    Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.

    To paraphrase: "D1. No chat. Uses more bandwidth than D2. Lame."

  • Looks like shit (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by KlomDark (6370)
    Well, that's about enough D2 for me. Half-completed floaty thing in the left side, WTF is that?

    Sorry, I write web code all day long, requirements are that it has to support IE6, IE7, and Firefox. It's a pain, but it's not actually hard. D2 is a piece of crap still.

    And Slashcode is still written in PERL? RUfuckingKiddingMe?

    D2.Visible=false; // Yuck!
    • And Slashcode is still written in PERL? RUfuckingKiddingMe?

      I can't believe it either. Perl is 20 years old! Sheesh, that's like letting your Grandma plan your birthday party. Let's get some of these young, hip, languages in on things. According to this list [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, F# is the youngest, hippest language. It's already 2 years old, so we've got to work fast. Hurry before the next language shows up.
  • Anyone still running D1 is a sucker

    Or they like their sort pref to be respected? I must be missing the obvious. D2 ignores my preference to have highest rated comments first. How do I get D2 to change the sort order?
    • by strredwolf (532)
      That's my problem too. I get a Score:2 post first that's rolled up, then a Score:3 post, before hitting the first Score:5! Sorry, D2 is buggy. Therefore...

      Hi. I'm strredwolf, and I'm a D1 user.
      Hi RedWolf!
      I'm still with D1, because D2 hasn't sucked less yet.
      A-men!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        That's my problem too. I get a Score:2 post first that's rolled up, then a Score:3 post, before hitting the first Score:5!
        Correct.

        Sorry, D2 is buggy.
        Incorrect.
  • When leaving a browser open on a particular story for a long time (say, overnight), then returning to it, comments will no longer expand. Clicking a comment header will cause the first few sentences to appear, "loading, please wait" will show in the left panel, but the comment will never load. A quick Wireshark analysis shows that instead of the comment text, the only thing the server seems to give is the character '0'. The only workaround is to refresh the page.

    Oh, and I like the x-Bender quotes... too bad

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