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CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-wish-you-great-success dept.
jigamo writes "The Verge reports on a new app from Slashdot co-founder Rob Malda, a.k.a. CmdrTaco, which aims to provide a user-powered and -curated stream of news. It's called Trove, and it's currently available on the web as well as iPhones and iPads. From the article: 'Trove basically lets users opt in to feeds of stories that align with their interests. Users are encouraged to curate "troves," collections of stories that relate to a particular theme.' You can also read CmdrTaco's announcement post." Rob says, "At its simplest, Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting to cover the 'News for Nerds' space. Trove uses automated harvesting and machine learning to simplify a workflow for curators interested in ANY topic. The idea is that this opens up non-nerdy subjects. This will let us maintain a strong signal/noise ratio for casual users less interested in expending effort to get their news across diverse subject matter."
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CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup

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  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:02PM (#46038761) Homepage Journal

    It's nice looking, laid out a little different, and puts slightly different rules down, but fundamentally, it's a reddit clone. I don't like reddit, and I can't imagine this doing much better for me.

    • by Jeff Flanagan (2981883) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:22PM (#46038997)
      That sounds like a personal issue that doesn't impact the usefulness of the application in any way.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @12:04AM (#46042911) Homepage Journal

        Well, that's not completely true. I imagine if it's a clone of Reddit and the commenter hates Reddit, then it would absolutely impact it's usefulness to him.

        We are approaching the news singularity, where everyone curates news for everyone else and it all comes down to a bunch of press releases.

        Not that Malda has a bad idea, but the Internet is on the verge (get it?) of moving beyond news. It is quickly becoming just another mechanism of control and marketing. People want to read about stuff they already know about, and products they already like and things which reinforce their already-existing world-view. And "curated" news sites are just a way to get to that reinforcement faster.

        Anything to avoid something that challenges our preconceptions. "User-created" and "curated" are a nicer way to say, "group-think".

        • by Mushdot (943219)
          Well said. It'll not be long before there are sponsored articles polluting your trove and scandal about top curator's pushing their own news agenda.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't Reddit a Digg clone? And wasn't Digg was a response to Slashdot to "give the power back to the people"?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How about just a website? iOS is nice and all, but why should I bother with a site that requires a specific app for it to function?

      Sorry, no sale. If the apps were iOS, Android, and I could access it via a PC and a Web browser, I'd pay a subscription fee. Otherwise, it has no use to me.

      • by Algae_94 (2017070) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:38PM (#46039173) Journal
        Try again, dude. I know they are really pushing the iOS app, but at the bottom of the page is a sign in to the web site link. It does look like you need to set up an account and can't browse anonymously, so sorry AC.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It does look like you need to set up an account and can't browse anonymously, so sorry AC.

          I signed up and it did not require an email confirmation. You can use any name & email account. Anonymity is alive and well on Trove.

      • by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:43PM (#46039221) Homepage
        it's web-based [trove.com] too
    • I agree that the notion of news feeds filtered by interest is essentially the same as reddit. But I'll take this opportunity to bicker with you about /. vs reddit.

      What annoys me most about /. is the poor quality of many of the submissions that make it through, despite (or because of) the fact that it's curated. Sure, there's the almost mandatory trope of closing a summary with a rhetorical question. But often the whole summary, or even the news story, is crap -- FUD, nonsense, or obviously loaded rhetoric t

      • What annoys me most about /. is the poor quality of many of the submissions that make it through, despite (or because of) the fact that it's curated. Sure, there's the almost mandatory trope of closing a summary with a rhetorical question. But often the whole summary, or even the news story, is crap -- FUD, nonsense, or obviously loaded rhetoric that wouldn't even make it over the radar on reddit.

        But . . . but . . . . but . . . . but . . . . Cmdr Taco says "Slashdot combines editor quality control and insi

        • But . . . but . . . . but . . . . but . . . . Cmdr Taco says "Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight"

          It must be true!!!

          I definitely gain insight into the control of quality editors on /. -- but I'm not sure I'd want to brag about it.

          Emacs!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rudy_wayne (414635)

      Rob says, "At its simplest, Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight"

      I wonder how many times he gagged and choked while writing that line?

    • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:41PM (#46039785) Homepage Journal

      It's nice looking

      Wait a while, I'm sure beta.trove will be along shortly.

  • by stewsters (1406737) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:03PM (#46038779)
    So, he forked reddit?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:16PM (#46038911)

    No inline summaries. Less linkability than pinterest. Lame.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      No inline summaries. Less linkability than pinterest. Lame.

      After reading about a "taco trove" I'm left disappointed. And hungry.

  • by foobar bazbot (3352433) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:18PM (#46038943)

    It sounds like this may be summed up as "news for everyone, stuff that may or may not matter."

    In other words, pretty much the same as modern /., amirite?

    In seriousness, though, it seems like the big difference is a "filtering system" (even though it works not by computerized filter, but by a thousand foo-obsessed types manually sorting new stories into foo and non-foo, the net effect for the "normal" user is that they can pick any of those human filters) so that nerds could filter it down to classic /. type stuff, arts guys can filter it to their stuff, etc..

    That's great and all, but the big reason I started spending time on /. back in the day, and the only reason I eventually registered a nick instead of leaving when I got fed up with the AJAXy mess that is unregistered users' only option, is the discussion system. For all its problems (groupthink etc.), it's still way better than most of the net.

    So I guess whether I end up spending much time on Trove will depend immensely on how the discussion system works in practice. Of course that's a function of both the discussion system itself, and what sort of user base it attracts -- after all, a high enough concentration of trolls and assholes can overwhelm any technical measures.

    • by Idou (572394)
      "a thousand foo-obsessed types"

      Sounds like a place for you, foobar bazbot . . .
    • Agreed that /. is better then digg, 4chan, reddit, or any of those other emo-news sites. /. could be great if they actually fixed their broken 'ecode' tag, their lame lameness filter, and ,b>if the editors actually did their freakin job. When I think how bad /. is I always go visit another site only to find out it is even worse! Such as no user comments, you can only log in with fazebook of twitter, no moderation, group-think, excessive ad hominem, etc.

      --
      Redditard: your typical whiny emo reddit teen who

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:19PM (#46038953)

    Okay, so say I want to 'follow' a 'channel' on Trove.. but I have no interest in using the website. I know, I know.. using the website is what's actually desired - the same applies to Twitter and facebook and google+ and etc. - but nonetheless I set things up so that I can 'follow' people on them anyway by using either...

    1. The feed provided for me, which means I can just get posts in any feed reader, including my custom one.
    2. The API they make available - even if they do make me jump through hoops with OAuth and a ton of other things that have everything to do with 'posing on behalf of a user' crap when really all I want is read-only access to already public things - so that I can include it in my custom one.
    3. Yoink whatever data source they're using, sometimes having to impersonate the site or prior access because they got wise to people using that data source, didn't want them to, and put up artificial roadblocks.
    4. Scrape. Yeah, that's right, Google. You don't provide a feed, you make the API limited to just a few dozen queries per day, while serving the desired content to a bajillion people every day? I'll just waste bandwidth and scrape.

    So, where does Trove fit in? I'm not seeing a feed anywhere in the page source, I'm not seeing anything about an API (read-only or otherwise), I see I can grab the datasource through e.g. http://trove.com/me/channels/C... [trove.com] and get a tidy little json packet - but maybe Trove frowns upon doing so, or I could scrape (but would have to use the js-enabled scraper and boy do I ever not want to do that).

    Please tell me the Trove developers know better.. or at least plan to know better with an announcement of API/feeds 'coming soon' .. or an official "developers: grab the json datasources if you just want read-only access of public data, that's cool with us - peace out."

  • No Sign-in (Score:5, Informative)

    by clinko (232501) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:19PM (#46038957) Homepage Journal

    Here's example links to the "actual site" that doesn't require you to sign in:
    Tech News: http://trove.com/me/channels/1... [trove.com]
    U.S. News: http://trove.com/me/channels/1... [trove.com]

    • Re:No Sign-in (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Workaphobia (931620) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:49PM (#46039283) Journal

      That layout looks like the stuff I skip over when I go to any news linked news site. If it had an unscrollable fixed background it would be twitter.

    • Re:No Sign-in (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nemyst (1383049) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @06:30PM (#46040349) Homepage
      Still not as bad as SlashBI, so there's that at least.
    • by s.petry (762400)
      Noscript makes this site unusable, unless I also enable a random looking cloudfront server scripts as well. Yeah, I did that to peek and no I refuse to enable google-analytics. Not as bad as slashdot with scripts, but still.
      • Re:No Sign-in (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ash Vince (602485) * on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:45AM (#46044843) Journal

        Noscript makes this site unusable, unless I also enable a random looking cloudfront server scripts as well. Yeah, I did that to peek and no I refuse to enable google-analytics. Not as bad as slashdot with scripts, but still.

        Lol, Sooner or later you guys who obsess about disabling scripts are going to realise the part of the web you are still able to use has shrunk to the size of compuserve.

        Javascript and AJAX drive the modern web and I really don't see that changing any time soon so if you want to post here every time there is an announcement about some great new thing that you guys can't use because you choose to run NoScript then you might want to get a stock post done so you can just copy and paste it :)

        • by s.petry (762400)

          I do allow scripts, as is true with most people that use NoScript. The reason to use something like NoScript is to control where you allow scripts to run from. If there was no desire to run any scripts I'd use a browser without JS support.

          If you blindly trust everything on the web, that's your issue.

  • News to me (Score:5, Funny)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:33PM (#46039119) Homepage

    Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight

    Well that's news to me. We have quality control here?

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Yes, but the "high quality" button is back-order. And every button but the "don't even bother copying it right" button too.
    • by sootman (158191)

      Don't be hard on this "Taco" guy... I think he's new here.

  • Overdesigned (Score:5, Informative)

    by vanyel (28049) * on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:41PM (#46039201) Journal

    Any site that comes up with a list of a dozen or more sites that I have to permit requests (RequestPolicy) and scripts (NoScript) to function screams we're more interested in tracking you than providing a usable site. Next.

    • by game kid (805301)

      I thought the interest in tracking was obvious when the giant Connect With (Facebook|Twitter) buttons got plastered on my face in the login page*. The logo-riffic Partners page [trove.com] does not help. It's clear that Trove is already in Slashdot's current milking-it stage, as a marketing tool for themselves and the logo'd companies. Taco's lost what's left of his way.

      *and again, when I looked the create-account page**.

      **which makes you have to click again to sign in with an email address if you're a normal non-

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      I like how what's effectively a blog site layout cannot work without Javascript. Like, they won't even let you load the site.
    • by weilawei (897823)
      The design is hideous, and that stupid font everyone uses for their icons now doesn't work for me. Not quite sure why, it just doesn't seem to render happily on Iceweasel (Debian Testing). I get W's for + signs, and various other garbage. Happens on other websites too. Anyone got a clue what's up?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:55PM (#46039327)

    Who the fuck reads /. for the articles?

    We read for the comments and the community.

    We may not be as homogenous a community as we were 10 years ago, but we're still nerds. And the comment system here is the best that anyone's come up with yet. Reading at +5 threshold is always insightful. Reading at -1 is often inciteful.

    • The people who comment obviously come here for the comments. But is that even a significant fraction of the people who see the front page and read TFA's?
  • You're launching iOS first, rather then Android. What is this, 2012?
  • No Android client. Less editors than Reddit. Lame.

  • LMFTFY (Score:5, Funny)

    by csumpi (2258986) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:04PM (#46039403)
    Let me fix that for you:

    "Slashdot used to combine editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting to cover the 'News for Nerds' space."

    .
    • by Valdrax (32670)

      "Slashdot used to combine editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting to cover the 'News for Nerds' space."

      No it didn't. My sig for years was a protest at the idea of paying for Slashdot when the editors couldn't go a month without a dupe.

  • by Khopesh (112447) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:05PM (#46039413) Homepage Journal

    ML is the way to go, the trouble is that it's really really hard to do. I like the idea of having users categorize items so that you can use the hand-classified data to train on and then scale up with machine learning, but that's only a part of the puzzle. It's more difficult to properly curate what is and is not headline-worthy without catering to a basic popularity contest. Good luck with that, and may you continue to be optimistic!

    I've always hoped that Slashdot itself could use ML to extend comment moderation: allow five points for human moderation, two for meta-moderation (given enough reinforcement), and three for a third system based on ML (trained by meta-moderation-confirmed moderation). Average the direct moderation (-1 to 5) and the indirect moderation (meta+ML, -1 to 5), adjust by +1/-1/-2 for AC/karma/user-conf, and round up or down based on achievements. Alternatively, make it a ten point system and add them rather than averaging them (fold achievements into karma). I'd start with the ML system as a moderator within the current system, then once it's proven, migrate to the averaging system, then migrate to the ten point scale.

  • If Trove killed Slashdot.

  • "Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting"

    but... there is little to no editor quality control on Slashdot. At least Rob got the advertorial feature of Slashdot used to his personal benefit.

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:13PM (#46039487)

    Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting to cover the 'News for Nerds' space.

    God, I wish the editors were like that here ;)

  • by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:26PM (#46039629) Homepage

    I was expecting to see perhaps a news aggregator. Instead I was directed to some flash-based advertisement for Apple devices. What gives?

  • At its simplest, Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight with crowd-sourced harvesting to cover the 'News for Nerds' space.

    BWA HA HA HA HA! Apparently CmdrTaco's new career is in comedy.

  • I only want stories about ponies!

    But on a more serious note... wtf? get money from Apple much? no android? And web sign on is spacebook or twitter only? Not.

  • by rootrot (103518) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:36PM (#46039739)

    If you are not managing an archival collection, you are not a curator. Get over yourself and find an appropriate descriptive term. meh

  • Very unhappy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davebarnes (158106) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:37PM (#46039749) Homepage

    As someone who was using Trove.
    As someone who visited Trove every morning to find articles about topics of interest (channels).
    I am really unhappy.
    They broke everything.

  • by mrbene (1380531) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @05:41PM (#46039783)

    Was the new game coming from Trion Worlds...

    Yeah, like Trove [trovegame.com].

  • So I created an account using an email address (which is very well hidden compared to the big twit and FB buttons).

    It's interesting, but it has a ways to go.

    I selected a few "troves" to follow but I still received things from troves I am not following in my home page feed. (with gray trove name instead of green) Could not figure out how to get rid of those, nothing in the preferences that I can find. You do need to manually refresh after you add or remove troves it seems, to update your home page.

    Will ke

    • by Dan East (318230)

      This could possibly replace Google News for me, we'll see. One thing I don't like right off the bat is a lot of the fonts don't render correctly on Chrome. Like lowercase "e" doesn't have the horizontal bar and looks more like a "c".

  • I'm not going to bother unless his site lists a UID so I can be some of the hipster first then complain about all the 7-digit young-ins and reminisce about the days before it got popular.

  • This sounded interesting, until I went to the site. I don't own any apple devices and I don't use facebook or twitter. I see a small link to create an account with an email address...but I get the sneaky suspicion that this site is less about news and more about harvesting user data to sell.
    Oh well. I might be wrong.
  • No, I'm not talking about Slashdot and Trove. I'm actually referring to this part in the summary:

    Users are encouraged to curate "troves," collections of stories that relate to a particular theme.

    And this Technology News [trove.com] channel as an example.

    It looks like Trove has the potential for dozens or even hundreds of channels with the same overall theme. As a non-curator, it looks like you'll have to browse through these channels and decide which ones are worth following. And I already see about a half dozen tech-related channels just attached to the stories listed on the above channel, which means there's goin

  • I've signed up and selected two "troves" to follow (Technology News and Science News). But, on the home page (which I'm assuming is your personal feed when logged in), I'm seeing stories that aren't tagged as being in either channel. I'm also seeing stories on my feed that are tagged as being in that channel, but which do not appear on the page for that channel.

  • by Tom (822)

    I'm not a big fan of those auto-selecting-stories-we-think-you-will-like services. There's too much danger of them making a bubble around you, only showing you the news you agree with anyways, and shielding you from the different and strange and sometimes disagreeable reality.

  • At least, I think I did. Where is the UID listed on this new version of Slashdot? :)
  • I'm sure it's great and all but in Australia, you might as well mail the data to me in individual bits per envelope, for the speed that Vimeo buffers down here...So pretty much at that point, I lost interest and decided this is basically Pulse or Flipboard.
  • http://trove.nla.gov.au/ [nla.gov.au]

    Find and get over 385,550,734 Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more

  • I thought it was Dice's job to introduce me to non-nerdy news?

  • It's called Trove, and it's currently available on the web as well as iPhones and iPads.

    If only the rest of the web was also available on iPhones and iPads... oh well.

  • Rob says, "At its simplest, Slashdot combines editor quality control and insight

    Really? When was the last time you saw evidence of either of those two things from an editor?

  • a learning computer.

    "...automated harvesting and machine learning..."

    Not sure what is being harvested and learned by machines, but I bet it isn't good. At best it will be picking biased news stories about the abused downtrodden computer masses, at worst some sort of arrangement using humans as batteries...

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Working...