Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Using a Reputation Engine To Rate Information?

GrantRobertson writes: For my graduate project, I am considering developing a web engine designed around sharing and organizing actual information in a way that people would actually like to and easily be able to use it. Unlike a wiki, the information will be much more granular with lots more metadata and organization. Unlike a web forum, the information will be be organized rather than dispersed throughout thousands of random posts, with little room for dominant personalities to take over. While I like Stack Overflow, I am planning far more structure. While I enjoy the entertaining tangents on Slashdot, I don’t want those to take over sites created using my engine. Naturally, there must be some way to prevent armies of bots or just legions of jerks from derailing web sites created using this engine. Given that, what would you say are some good rules to include in the reputation engine for such a site. What kinds of algorithms have you found to be most beneficial to the propagation and spread of actual knowledge. What would you like to see and what have you found to be dismal failures?

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Law Professor: Tech Companies Are Our Best Hope At Resisting Surveillance

An anonymous reader writes: Fusion has an op-ed where Ryan Calo, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Washington, argues Google, Apple, and Microsoft pushing back against government surveillance may be our only real hope for privacy. He writes: “Both Google and Yahoo have announced that they are working on end-to-end encryption in email. Facebook established its service on a Tor hidden services site, so that users can access the social network without being monitored by those with access to network traffic. Outside of product design, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft have sent their formidable legal teams to court to block or narrow requests for user information. Encryption tools have traditionally been unwieldy and difficult to use; massive companies turning their attention to better and simpler design, and use by default, could be a game changer. Privacy will no longer be accessible only to tech-savvy users, and it will mean that those who do use encryption will no longer stick out like sore thumbs, their rare use of hard-to-use tools making them a target.”

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Ask Slashdot: Best Tablet In 2015?

An anonymous reader writes: My 2012 Nexus 7 tablet is showing its age. The battery drains quickly, the storage problem that plagued all the Nexus 7s persists even after rooting and re-imaging, and the CPU/RAM can’t keep up with the later Android versions. When it came out, it was fantastic — good specs, solid build quality, Nexus line, and a good size. Is there anything on the market today that stands out as much as the Nexus 7 did? I tend to prefer the smaller tablets over the bigger ones, but I’m not entirely averse to an 8″ or 9″ device. There seem to be some really nice devices in the $ 3-400 range, but I’m not sure if there’s a huge benefit to those over the ~$ 200 models. I don’t do any serious gaming on my tablet, but I also want the apps I do use to be snappy. Those of you who have bought or used tablets made in the past year or so, what has your experience been? Any brands or models that stand out from the crowd? Any to avoid?

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Ask Slashdot: Best Data Provider When Traveling In the US?

An anonymous reader writes: I am visiting USA 3-4 times a year and I need a data service. I also need to keep my cell phone number, so swapping the SIM card in my phone is not an option. I have bought those 19.95$ phones in Best-Buy to get a local number, but those were voice only. So I have been thinking about getting a MiFi hotspot. I have been looking at pre-paid plans from Verizon(only 700 LTE band for their pre-paid hotspot), AT&T, T-Mobile etc. perhaps to put in a MiFi hotspot or buy a hotspot from a provider, but have no idea which one to use, their reputation, real life coverage etc. It is clear that all data plans in the USA are really expensive, I get 100GB monthly traffic with my Scandinavian provider for the same price as 6-8 GB montly in the US, which I guess could be a problem with our Apple phones as they do not recognize a metered WiFi hotspot. But that is another issue. I travel all over but most of the time outside the big cities — and my experience from roaming with my own phone and the cheap local phone so far tells me that coverage fluctuates wildly depending on the operator.

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Arro Taxi App Arrives In NYC As ‘Best Hope’ Against Uber

An anonymous reader writes with a report at The Stack that “New York City cabs have begun testing a new app-based taxi system in an attempt to win back customers lost to Uber and Lyft.” The app is called Arro, and is being trialled in about 7,000 New York cabs. It sticks with metered prices, rather than the demand-based price increases that Uber institutes for times of peak demand. With so many cabs on the road already, the makers boast that Arro will outpace Uber soon. At least based on my limited experience with each, real competition with Uber or Lyft would require some seminars on good customer service.

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