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The original WebLog running the ScoopEngine, with an "open" system of article selection and moderation. (Submissions go into an open queue to be voted on by site members, all members can vote on articles, etc.)
A much more detailed description of its history can be found on its one year anniversary celebratory [post], which happened to be on December 21, 2000.
For what it's worth, the name is pronounced "corrosion" (according to RustyFoster, the founder), and is a weak pun on his nickname. The 5 was inspired by Da5id in SnowCrash. [The wiki page is KuroShin because the 5 doesn't work as a wiki link.] See [below] for a discussion of this weirdness.
Kuro5hin's style differs from SlashDot in an important way: readers vote on which stories make it to the front page instead of an editorial board deciding. Most of a story's discussion is hashed out in the story queue, however, with most of the valuable comments being justifications for the +1 (good), 0 (don't care) or -1 (bad) vote.
One interesting benefit of this is that badly written copy will be rejected by the readers until it is resubmitted better. Another interesting point raised recently was that voting is significantly affected by the most recent lobbying.
Kuro5hin tries to be a discussion site rather than just a news site. The software, the community standards, and the community itself all lean towards in-depth discourse over simple announcements. Many WebLog sites will just post a link to an outside article; on kuro5hin this is called MLP (MindlessLinkPropagation?), and many readers dislike it, some strongly. In general, successful authors on K5 post original material, or attach their own analysis to outside links.
Another thing that distinguishes kuro5hin from other sites is KuroshinMojo.
On or about July 26, 2000, KuroShin (http://www.kuro5hin.org/) was attacked by one or more persons in what appeared to be a scripted delivery of garbage content to the site. The perpetrators of the attack have never been positively identified, though suspicion is that it was a frustrated user.
Following the attacks, RustyFoster, K5's creator, posted the following [notice]:
They promised to seek out the culprit, and to eventually bring the site back online. The following pages have more info and discussion about the attacks:
Other ScoopEngine sites were attacked, and some were temporarily shut down. Scoop developers improved defenses against such attacks. One kuro5hin admin described the attacks as "like smashing a window to prove it's made out of glass."
After being offline for the month of August, a hardened ScoopEngine was used to bring the site online at a new hosting site (vhosting.com) on VaLinux? hardware. The original target deadline was September 15, the actual relaunch date was (FactCheck? required) September 18. The biggest visible change on the new site was KuroshinMojo and sponsorship links.
22 November 2001 -- kuro5hin has been mostly down for the past couple of days. The machines ping, and going to http://bubba.kuro5hin.org yielded some success yesterday even though it has the same IP as http://www.kuro5hin.org. No stories had been submitted all day (unusual), and after attempting a blank search (which lists all recent comments), I noted that no comments had been made that day either (really unusual). http://images.kuro5hin.org is really dead, even though it theoretically resides on a separate machine than bubba. Bubba has always had hardware problems, but images and www should be functioning, which means it's likely a bandwidth problem. -- SunirShah
23 November 2001 -- Apparently, the fault lies with their colocation host (vhosting, I believe). I'm told they are moving to Telehouse soon. -- SunirShah
23 November 2001 Later... -- Inoshiro has placed a notice on http://www.kuro5hin.org. It's pretty slow. I've [mirrored] it. -- SunirShah
2 December 2001 -- There's been a lot of big buzz about the U.S. Secret Service visiting one of k5's more popular trolls, Lee Malatesta, after he posted some comments about infecting the Vice President of the United States with smallpox. While speculation is probably not a good idea, I'll bet the Komrades just found the comment through Google. Once again, I've [mirrored] it. -- SunirShah
"Da5id" -- I always supposed the "5" was pronounced like "v", it being the roman numeral and all. Kinda the inverse of the TV series "Ultraviolet" about daylight-shunning blood suckers, called "code fives" in case people get the wrong idea.
In "Da5id", the '5' == 'v'. In "kuro5hin", the '5' == 's'.
If 5 stands for the Roman numeral V, why should it be "Da5id" and not "Da6d"?
Speaking of 'leet, when I was in high school, I wrote an English to lame translator and a series of DESQview lamification macroes. A friend of mine did even better and wrote a lame to English translator. --ss