Remember the above the next time someone claims that a rogue contingent must be flagging stories on a particular topic because it is further down the page than other stories submitted at a similar time and with a similar number of points.
Maybe what HN needs, could be some way of giving people who want the heated discussion, a way to express these seperate from rest. Maybe a tab that shows controversial comments, so you can switch between the "calm" and the "heated" discussions.
Most of these problems aren't a big deal on a case by case basis because, really, what's the harm of one more google vs microsoft flamewar in the scheme of things. But they're a problem in the example they set to other users, especially newer users who are still malleable. They'll write better comments if they think that this is a forum for good comments. At least that's the philosophy.
I like this idea. I'd say all who are hellbanned should see other hellbanned users' and they can nuke each other from the orbit in their own little sandbox.
It's so low-tech that HN runs a log tailer that bans your IP if it sees a "suspicious" number of requests, the threshold being something like 4-5 reqs within 1-2 seconds. Personally I don't do anything weird (I just browse in Chrome on my Mac and on my iPad), but still I manage to get my IP banned frequently. Instead of fixing the algorithm, Graham added a way to unban your IP .
A hypothesis was put forward recently that Graham has intentionally designed HN to be technologically backward to attract serious hackers and repel everyone else. In that light, everything -- the "unknown or expired URL" errors, the impossible-to-hit-without-zooming-on-a-mobile-device up/down arrows, the IP banning, the awful UI, etc. -- makes perfect sense. I am not convinced that it's all intentional, though.
It's funny how the stability of modern computers and operating systems has allowed my reading and research habits to evolve toward the representation of state in the form of open browser windows and the groupings of tabs therein.
One unfortunate effect of these is that I tend to ignore the single downvotes, and rationalise those away as accidental clicks.
Really, I need to train myself out of that. When I get a downvote I should re-read my post to see if I've been clear, and to see if I said what I meant, and if I still mean it.
These days, out of fear of clicking the wrong arrow, and because zooming in and out is a chore, I up/downvote sparingly when I am on a mobile device.
Me too, with s/Chrome/Opera/ and such. I avoided it by setting the maximum number of connections to news.ycombinator.com to 1 rather than the usual 128 in Opera, which seems to avoid this problem for me.
In addition to because presumably the logic is that the article content is flame-bait.