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I don't care about ratings/votes, modding up or down, threads, XHTML/CSS or any of that stuff. There is only one reason why I signed up for an account and that was so I no longer had to look at the anonymous posts. I hoped that people with accounts would have better posts. The quality of posts at OSNews has gone down quite a bit in the last 18 months...
Eugina had it right: no linked reply per say and no threading, no score - just a way to flag a message as needing review.
The idea of banning accounts and reviewing scores and looking for cheaters - its all a waste of time. Its some sort of silly game. All that I want is to read news and review some intelligent replies - all the system needs to be able to do is hide/remove poor messages as soon as possible. Get a pool of 16 or so trustworthy 'sub administrators' who are able to scratch bad posts and who, among them, are likely to be on at any time of the day. Then just let them clean up those posts and forget about all this other stuff. Really, sometime computer programmers come up with difficult solutions to simple problems.