For quite a long time, slashdot has been outplayed by digg and even reditt as a social tech news site. Slashdot made their site too difficult for a story to make it to their homepage and thrived on insulting any story submissions that weren't by their own "club" of long-time users. To save themselves from falling further behind digg and reditt, they have developed Firehose which looks pretty much like - well it looks a lot like digg! They’re It looks a little different as stories are assigned a color from red hot stories all the way to to violet or cold stories. Cold stories are like the buried comments/stories on Digg. As before, the really hot stories get chosen to make it to the front page by the Slashdot editors. Think of it as a Digg without the democracy. Firehose has been available in beta for logged-in members for a while, but now is open to all visitors of slashdot.
I'll give it some more time before totally writing them off, but count me as less then impressed so far. It will take more than a "firehose" to beat out digg.com - the king of social news. Slashdot has to do more than imitate its more-successful competitor and call it a hose.