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Journal sm62704's Journal: Inside the mind of a Slashdot Meta Moderator

Almost daily I'm asked to metamoderate. It's probably got to do with my karma; I get complaints all the time from guys complaining about being sick of seeing my comments. One poor youngster keeps repeating "wank wank wank" in reply to my comments, especially comments where I reference one of these journals.

Thinking perhaps that some of you folks might have never moderated, let alone metamoderated, I thought you might want a peek into the brain of a frequent metamoderator.

I copied and pasted the metamoderation page here, sans formatting. There are radio boxes for "fair" and "unfair" with a default center box that says nothing. My moderation of the moderators is bolded. Italic text is what I added.

Those of you who post to other messageboards with "I have slashdot mod points! What will you give me to rate your comments up?" might want to take heed, if you ever want mod points again.

What follows are random moderations performed on comments in the last few weeks on Slashdot. You are asked to honestly evaluate the actions of the moderator of each comment. Moderators who are ranked poorly will cease to be eligible for moderator access in the future.

If you are confused about the context of a particular comment, just link back to the comment page through the parent link, or the #XXX cid link.
If you are unsure, feel free to leave it unchanged.
Please read the Moderator Guidelines and try to be impartial and fair. You are not moderating to make your opinions heard, you are trying to help promote a rational discussion. Play fairly and help make Slashdot a little better for everyone.
Scores and information identifying the posters of these comments have been removed to help prevent bias in meta moderation. If you really need to know, you can click through and see the original message, but we encourage you not to do this unless you need more context to fairly meta moderate.

Today, you have 10 moderations to meta-moderate.
by - on Monday February 04, @10:54AM (#22290830)

so you are pretty much completely pissing into the wind
This great little phrase is best enjoyed when you take the time to actually envision it.
"A lot of people are like rabbits in the headlights: They're terrified they're going to lose their jobs."
Original Discussion: Best Presidential Candidate, Republicans
Rating: Funny.
This comment is Unfunny Funny | See Context

Left unmoderated; if I was stoned I might think it was funny. "Funny" gains no karma.

Oh noes!!!
by - on Thursday February 07, @09:49AM (#22332628)
Please, please, tell me they are not getting their batteries from Sony!

"50 cars caught fire on I-4 today."
"Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare. Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth." -- St
Original Discussion: Li-Ion Batteries Hit Final R&D Phase for Plug-in Cars
Rating: Funny.
This comment is Unfunny Funny | See Context

Ok, it's not Monty Python and I didn't ROTFL but it was humorous.

Lamplighters, Mantles, and the Grand Scheme
by - on Thursday March 20, @08:05PM (#22813824)
Back in the long ago, streetlamps were powered by gas. Every evening, a person called a lamplighter would come and light the streetlight. (The bars sticking sideways out of lampposts were not decorative. They were there so a lamplighter could lean his ladder against them so he could climb the pole.) Every morning he would go around and extinguish the streetlights.

Gas lights did not use an open flame for lighting (well, they did, but not for long). They used a special cloth "wick" called a mantle. This mantle glowed brightly when heated by the gas flame. Over time, the mantles would disintegrate, and new ones would have to be installed.

Now there were two once vibrant sectors of the lighting industry that have been virtually eliminated by progress. Sure, a few thousand people lost jobs. There were better, cheaper, safer alternatives, so people used them. The same thing will happen with the incandescent bulb makers, and the fluorescent bulb makers. LEDs are a better, cheaper, safer alternative. A few thousand people will be put out of work, and once vibrant sectors of the lighting industry will fade away. Sure, a few companies will hang on, doing specialty work, but count on GE, Sylvania, Philips, and their ilk closing a lot of bulb factories in the future.
Eyes sore and red from reading Slashdot long into the night?
There's a Visine for that.
Original Discussion: Questions Arising On Mercury In Compact Fluorescents
Rating: Insightful.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

The context showed that he was responding to someone who in essense said (and this is not a direct quote by any means) "Oh noes! Peoples is gonna loose they're jobs!"

Adobe Online Productivity Office
by - on Thursday March 27, @05:51PM (#22886958)
Adobe's Online Office Productivity Suite:

Photoshop Express (Photo Editor)

Buzzword (Word Processor)

Sliderocket (Presentation Software)

Blist (Spreadsheet)


Did you buy stock? I did a while ago... :)
Original Discussion: Adobe Puts Free Photoshop Online
Rating: Informative.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

I almost modded this "unfair", since it wasn't in fact, informative. The first link was the same as the link in the summary (redundant) and the rest also not only linked to Adobe, but to login pages. Apparently the moderators (multiple since it garnered a +5) didn't bother to click the links, relying instead on slashdot's very good habit of listing the domain name after the link. Honest mistake I didn't want to penalize.

by - on Sunday March 30, @01:11AM (#22909640)
You'd have to have a very cheap and very power inefficient server to come even remotely close to their claims of half of the cost of the server on power. An elbaso HP Dl360G5 costs $1600. It will use about 300W at typical load, but lets call it 250W to make the numbers easier. Double this for inefficient cooling and power conversion in the UPS (this is overly costly but makes up for underestimating power usage) so 500W. There are 8,760 hours in a year so 4,380 KwH, you'd have to pay $.20 per KwH to reach their figure, this is over twice the US national average. Prices where you'd want to put a datacenter are closer to $.06-$.08 per KwH. My average server cost closer to $7,000 with battery backed RAID card, dual fast drives, dual CPU's, 4GB memory, 3 year 6 hour repair contract, etc. Even powering that kind of servers off diesel generators fulltime it would have to draw ridiculous amounts of power to cost half it's purchase price in electricity every year.
There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.
Original Discussion: Iceland Woos Data Centers As Power Costs Soar
Rating: Insightful.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

Re:nVidia next?
by - on Tuesday April 08, @06:23PM (#23006216)

then ATI announced they were going strong on releasing their hardware specs and stuff like that opening the door for completely OSS drivers for ATI hardware. (I haven't seen anything yet, but I haven't been watching since I switched to nVidia.)
2D specs for R300-R500, R600
3D specs for R300-R500
Not released:
3D specs for R600
TCore (graphics card simulation)
Might be released:
Low-end code from the fglrx driver

In short, they still haven't released the specs on their latest generation and R700 is expected sometime this year. Yes, it's a promising development but if you want the latest and greatest, it's closed source whether you go with ATI or nVidia...
1. Create Paranoia on Slashdot
2. Make and Sell Tinfoil Hats
3. Profit
Original Discussion: VIA Announces Open Source Driver Initiative
Rating: Informative.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

by - on Friday April 18, @10:55AM (#23117400)
"Conspiracy to Stop China From Being Successful."

It struck me as I read that that I've heard this line before in another sphere.

It's exactly what (some, mainly republican) Americans say about the rest of the world's concerns about pollution and global warming.
It's a conspiracy to stop the US being succesful, driven by jealousy of what they are achieving.

In both cases it's ludicrous.
Original Discussion: Chinese Blogs, Netizens React To the Tibet Issue
Rating: Insightful.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

No moderation; I'm not well informed enough to judge the submitter's insight. I hadn't heard the ""Conspiracy to Stop [country] From Being Successful" before.

Google is your friend
by - on Thursday May 08, @02:30PM (#23341002)
Using Google, I fouund the solution. It appears that this guy can do the conversion for you and return your data in hours. Cost would not be prohibitive and would support the Amstrad addiction.

He seems to have a pretty good handle on all the conversion problems, too. His page is a fun read just for that.
Original Discussion: Retrieving Data From Old Amstrad Floppies?
Rating: Informative.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

I went to the supplied link and it did indeed answer the GP's question, even if the page itself and its all-centered text was butt-ugly.

Algorithm training
by - on Thursday May 08, @09:47PM (#23345510)
Hank showed me MATRIX just a few short weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Using law enforcement data and commercial data, all of the commercial data available in the public domain, Asher's query produced Atta's photo -- and about 80 others, many of them fellow 9/11 hijackers, many of them associates of the 9/11 hijackers.

Without additional information it's impossible to say if this is impressive, or just a stupid algorithm trick. With many mining algos, you can easily train them pull certain needles out of the haystack. The question is, will your training situation look anything like the future situations? Training the algo only with the 9/11 terrorists, would it pull out the trade center bombers, or Timothy McVeigh? Will future predictions be right or will it pull out groups of Arabic student pilots who had the misfortune of buying the same shampoo most preferred by 9 out of 10 terrorists. Especially with rare events, I think you mostly get into a hyper complicated version of correlation != causation.

Original Discussion: Data Mining In Law Enforcement
Rating: Informative.
This rating is Unfair Fair | See Context

I would have modded it "interesting" or "insightful", but it was indeed informative.

the three stooges?
by - on Monday May 19, @01:04PM (#23464212)
"I dunno, I could think of a few people who I wouldn't have issue hearing were being beaten, jailed, etc."

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld?

Original Discussion: Google Assists In Arrest Of Indian Man
Rating: Funny.
This comment is Unfunny Funny | See Context

This was posted the day before yesterday, I laughed out loud (but not rolling on the floor). Your mileage may very

well be less than mine.

Google Search "At least they're ___________EXPERIENCED incompetents"

I wish I could have moderated the wisdom at the bottom of every slashdot page.

If you mod someone "troll" you might want to look up the Wikipedia definition: "An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.[2]"

If it doesn't fit this definition of "troll" and is marked "troll", I mod the mod down. If someone responds to a troll in anger and is modded "flamebait", I mod the moderator down regardless of name calling or vulgarity of the so-called "flamebait". Flames are not necessarily flamebait. If you mod a comment "offtopic" there had damned well not be anything in the entire comment that is on topic for either the comment it is responding to, the slashdot summary, or TFA or again, your mod will be downmodded.

If you moderate a comment by mistake (say, call it a troll and then realise it was funny), just comment in the thread anywhere and your moderation will be undone.

After clicking the "metamoderate" button at the bottom of the metamoderation page, you are presented with

Thanks for meta-moderating some of Slashdot's many moderations. This gives our moderators feedback and helps the whole system work!
You probably want to go home now, or maybe to your user page.

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