Digg does pretty well in this regard. If enough people bury the story as inaccurate, you see a big "Warning! The contents of this article may be inaccurate!". That plus scanning a few comments are helpful for deciding not to waste my time on an article.
Suggested flags include: 'inaccurate', 'nsfw', 'not suitable for HN', etc.
For your argument to be sound, it has to apply equally to upmodding as to downmodding. So might as well get rid of modding entirely and just have all the crap come in unfiltered?
It is true that if a lot of people downmod something, this does not necessarily mean that thing sucks.
But it is also true that A LOT OF THE TIME when a lot of people downmods something, that thing does in fact suck.
Hows about we add downmodding and also tags and a way for each user to specify his/her own set of filter parameters?
It's about memory allocated for the hash table. If they add some RAM and change the timeout to 12 hours you won't even notice what's going on under the hood.
And closures are nice from programming perspective. Should I say it's almost definitely the future of server-side development... ;)
Surely they could come up with some way to store trivial state in the URL's GET params, without making life too miserable for the programmers.
Nearly 10 years ago, Nielsen wrote about "URL as UI" <http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990321.html>. URLs that break after an indeterminate time are not good UI.
HN is using URLs for passing those hash keys (if they are hash keys of course), but they need to store them on the server as well. So URLs themselves don't solve the problem in this case.
It's actually that HN doesn't use databases, where they could keep session-specific data much longer.
Have continuations just moved the the complexity -- making some aspects more elegant, while resulting in undesired side effects like expiring reply links?
I find that often happens when I'm designing abstractions - complexity moves somewhere else, and I later get unexpectedly bitten.
All HN posts show up in Google unbelievably, even suspiciously quickly. Not sure if it's a hack on Google's side or it's popularity, but a link to Google with "site:news.ycombinator.com" in the request would do perfectly.
Edit: Notice what Google's cache says: "Poll: petition for HN improvements. 4 points by cstejerean 32 minutes ago"