OSNews Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't want to share my email address?
In order to register, you must have a valid email address. In order to prevent abuse, you must have a valid, unique email address. OSNews will not use your email address for any reason without your authorization.
What if I don't accept your cookie?
The OSNews login system uses a cookie for authentication. This cookie does not contain any identifiable information or any form of your username or password. Currently, if your browser cannot accept cookies or you are not willing to accept our cookie, you cannot login to our website.
What are the benefits of registering?
OSNews highly recommends you register for an account with us. Registered users are awarded "comment votes" which may be used to reward or report other rule infriging comments on our site. In addition, users have the ability to filter out anonymous comments and to set a default "score threshold" which will remove some comments from your view. In the future, users may be eligible for exclusive offers and contests.
Are there any known bugs with the site?
Maybe. We have gone to great lengths to test the site on as many browsers as possible, however, to maximize compatibility, we had to make some tough decisions. We've had some issues making sure the login cookie works perfectly in some older and more obscure browsers. We will be working with the developers of these browsers to try to get the site working on all of them.
How secure is the OSNews cookie?
The OSNews cookie does not contain any identifiable information or any form of your username or password.
How come I can't login on the mobile/text version?
The mobile version of OSNews version 3 does not currently support logins. All mobile users will browse and post to the site as an anonymous user. In addition, text mode browsers (lynx, elinks, links & w3m) aren't able to login or create accounts. These browsers will function as "anonymous" because of limitations posed either by their capabilities or screen resolution.
What are "comment votes?"
Registered users of OSNews.com are awarded "comment votes" which can be used to vote comments up or down. Subsequently, each comment has a score. Each user can set their score threshold in their preferences, and adjust the signal to noise ratio in the forums. All comments begin with a score of 1 and are either rated up or down by other OSNews readers.
Can I change my username once I register?
No, you can't currently change your username. We will allow you to change the case of your username, but not the actual username. If you really need your username changed, contact us, and if we're feeling kind, we'll probably oblige.
What are bookmarks?
From time to time, you may find a particularly useful or insightful comment that you want to refer back to. It might include a useful link, or some commands you might want to use later. In such a case, by clicking the heart in the lower corner of the comment, you can "bookmark" it. Your bookmarks are visible in your user page.
What are friends?
With the new version 3 user accounts, you may find that there are some users who contribute consistently high quality comments. Or you may have developed a relationship with someone, or perhaps you simply want to add some credibility to a new user by association. In this case, you can make somebody your "friend." A friend is indicated by a blue star following their username. In addition, you can also view your friends in your user page. We chose "friend" because, in the words of our publisher, "We don't really have a word yet for 'friends from the internet that we don't really know and will probably never meet but communicate with more than our real life friends'." You will be able to add friends shortly.
What are fans?
A fan is someone who has added you as a friend. A fan is indicated by a purple star following their name. In addition, you can also view your fans in your user page. It's not necessary to add a fan as a friend, but if you reciprocate, the notification will change. This feature will be available shortly.
Who wrote this site?
The original OSNews codebase was written by Eugenia Loli-Queru, our ex-editor in chief. It is now at version 3.3, written and maintained by Adam Scheinberg, published by David Adams. Because the codebase is very portable, there are several other sites that use portions of the same code, such as gnomefiles.org. If you are interested in licensing the code that runs osnews.com, please contact David Adams.
What are the numbers after users' names?
The number that follows a username in the forums is that user's comment average. This is the average score of all of his/her posts. Generally, the higher the number, the better quality the posts that that person has posted as judged by the readers of the site. The average post score plays heavily into the calculation of "trust."
What is "trust?"
Each user has a rating called "trust" that is calculated by evaluating your posting history and the associated moderations. Currently, trust doesn't gain you anything and isn't publically visible, however, trust is a valid way for the site administrators to determine the "value" of an account.