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July 30, 2016

The Public Access Weekly: Mistaken for strangers

by John_A

Although I’m still two full seasons behind on Game of Thrones (and Orange is the New Black), I just got entirely distracted by Netflix’s Stranger Things. Which is what I will be binge-watching this weekend, because the only thing I love more than a crime procedural is a mystery with monsters and a killer soundtrack. And speaking of Netflix, has anyone tried out that new Flixtape feature yet? It’s similar to a feature that I would like to have, which is to build a playlist of favorite episodes and then have the ability to shuffle through them (a la Spotify). I’m keen to try out Flixtape too, which is more like a curated mixed tape of episodes.

Over in community news, a few quick things: For commenters, please be aware that there is, in fact, a filter that will automatically pull any comment that contains an f-bomb (or any spelling of that particular word including “f*ck”, etc.). If you’ve noticed that your comment has been removed, and it had an f-word in it, then that is why. This isn’t, unfortunately, the same as the bug that has been removing legitimate comments. We’re still looking into that.

In Public Access news, we are on track to have our best month ever (again!) so keep up the good work, contributors! We’re also working on an update to Public Access that will give members more features, better resources and more perks so if there’s something you’re really dying to have, then let us know either in the comments here or in an email. As we roll out these updates, we will be cracking down on spam, SEO linking and content marketing posts so consider this a heads up. We will have a new set of guidelines and policies in place to deal with these types of violations.

Lastly, hey, did you know that today is “Don’t be a dick” day? It’s true! This geek holiday was created by Wil Wheaton on his birthday to encourage folks to be classy and compassionate to each other online. So, go compliment someone in the comment section! Send someone* a bunch of cat GIFs! Offer helpful resources to a n00b who doesn’t know what they’re doing! Go out of your way to be so nice that people suspect you’re being sarcastic! It’s fun to confuse people.

*By “someone” I clearly mean me. I will happily take all of the cat GIFs, and any other GIFs that involve adorable animals.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update rolls out August 2nd, and Devindra gave us a run through of the changes to expect for the OS that earned an Engadget score of 91. Commenters have some mixed feelings overall, from arguing that there is still plenty that needs to be fixed and updated to discussing which features they’re most enthused to try out.

Over on the hardware side, Richard Lai got some hands-on time with Xiaomi’s recently launched Mi Notebook Air (which will also be available starting August 2nd, in China). Thinner and lighter than the Macbook Air, the Mi Notebook Air will run Windows 10, has a 1080p display, and boasts an Intel i5 processor (for the 13.3″ version). Some are eager to put it through its paces, others are just wondering how fast Apple will sue over the name.

Oops. Daniel Cooper just accidentally got himself addicted to Pokémon Go. Resistance is futile, apparently.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

In honor of the aforementioned “Don’t Be a Dick” day, tell us where you go for nice things on the internet (“nice things” here being anything that makes you smile and is not NSFW). Do you stop by the Nicest Place on the Internet for a virtual hug? Spend your lunch breaks watching dog videos on Mr. DOGnut? Tell us about your internet happy place.

Our own Andrew Tarantola tried out ‘the Station’, a desk that reclines to allow you to work from a horizontal, resting position… and oddly terrifies me with its resemblance to a dentist chair. However, plenty of people will likely find it a better way to work. As I’m trying to upgrade to a standing desk, I wonder: What is your work set up? Share your desk or work surface, complete with pictures of course, or alternatively, tell us what your ideal work set up would be if there were no restrictions on space or funds.

As your Community Editor, I admittedly have a vested interest in the reaction to stories like Yahoo Labs’ abuse detector and the Reddit moderator bans after the recent AMA. Both of those stories provoked some really interesting statements, suggestions and thoughts in the comments. How should AMAs, forums and comment sections be moderated? What does and does not deserve a ban? How can moderators maintain transparency with users and avoid bias? Where do you feel free speech comes into play? Is there even such a thing as online abuse? Are websites responsible for what happens in user forums and comment sections?

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