hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    21 Sep 2017 News
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1
Google signs agreement with HTC blog.google
129 points by maguay  1 hour ago   39 comments top 11
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bcatanzaro 36 minutes ago 4 replies      
"Its still early days for Googles hardware business."

Why no mention of Motorola in 2011? Google bought it for $12.5B, and sold it 2014 for $3B.

I think it would have made the blog post better to give some explanation for why Things Are Different This Time.

2
maguay 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Random things that strike me about this deal:

- HTC's stock price has been going down for the past 5 years, and EPS was down sharply recently. Does this make HTC more or less viable on its own going forward?

- Apple finally made a VR push with the upcoming macOS High Sierra and iMac Proalong with the HTC Vive. Google didn't fully acquire HTC here, and HTC's trajectory was already tied to Android, but still seems an interesting wrinkle there.

- Samsung continues to hedge their bets, most recently with Bixby. Really wonder if Google's continued hardware investment will make them seek more of their own path.

- Why would Google acquire just a team from HTC? Seems like the oddest of acquihires yet.

3
EddieRingle 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Important bit:

> Thats why weve signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead. With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization. These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks weve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we're excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

4
spacehunt 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
HTC's press release raises even more questions -- they claim they will continue to develop the next flagship phone?

> HTC will continue to have best-in-class engineering talent, which is currently working on the next flagship phone, following the successful launch of the HTC U11 earlier this year. HTC will also continue to build the virtual reality ecosystem to grow its VIVE business, while investing in other next-generation technologies, including the Internet of Things, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

http://www.htc.com/us/about/newsroom/2017/2017-09-21-htc-goo...

5
tanilama 1 hour ago 0 replies      
TL;DR, Google doesn't acquire HTC, they bought a team.
6
maruhan2 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So confused. So in essence, Google bought a team from HTC?
7
jimjimjim 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
more acquisitions

another nexus 7

god, i hope so.

8
sidcool 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So is this an acquisition or a recruitment drive?
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AbeEstrada 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I think Google wants the VR (HTV Vive) team.
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Abishek_Muthian 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good win-win.
11
thrillgore 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I did a literal spit take when I saw this. Are they doing this for phone production or for the Vive/VR?
2
How to hack a turned-off computer, or running unsigned code in Intel ME blackhat.com
385 points by edejong  5 hours ago   103 comments top 25
1
sounds 5 hours ago 4 replies      
In case you haven't already used the following, please note that the NSA had an undocumented "backdoor" included which "disables" the ME. (Man, oh man, I wish I was making this stuff up.)

http://blog.ptsecurity.com/2017/08/disabling-intel-me.html

I put quotes around "disables" because the ME is not fully disabled. The blog's analysis does show how it is in a "safe" state, i.e. forced to ignore the outside world very early in its code path. Also, not likely to brick your computer, assuming unscrewing your case and using a SPI flash programmer hasn't already bricked your computer.

Edit: "backdoor" in quotes too.

2
m1el 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I would be glad if this made Intel reconsider their stance on enforcing untrustable CPU features onto users.

CPUs aren't cheap! Just give your customers full control over the product!

3
Keyframe 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I hate to be a Debbie Downer / conspiracy borderline, but nothing will change if all of this is true. Some apologies, "it's an oversight, we'll do better", "we take security seriously"... and nada. Maybe some provisional solutions which seem good, but in the back - things will remain status quo.
4
breatheoften 4 hours ago 5 replies      
This is the kind of thing that will cause Apple to switch to internally designed arm chips for their Mac line with great alacrity.

One could argue that its surprising they havent already.

5
bluesroo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow this sounds huge. I remember people speculating about this since it came to light... But people always talked about it like it was a vague hypothetical that only scary 3-letter agencies would figure out. I'm curious to see what kind of access they need in order to actually make use of this. If they somehow don't need physical access this is going to be nuts.
6
CookieMon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Joke's on them, my computer's never turned-off.

But seriously, I take it we won't know the attack vector until December, however if remotely exploitable they would surely have used the word "remote"? Is any mundane malware with admin rights able to update Intel ME?

7
ysleepy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Wouldn't it be kind of great if millions of people were secretly running minix, it would finally go mainstream!"

The engineers probably thought something like this when deciding to use minix.

Now it might achieve the opposite result by associating it with a worst-case scenario of computing freedom and security.

8
na85 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I actually really hope that this is exploitable remotely and causes a massive global problem.

Maybe then we'll see companies that take security seriously, thinking twice before they include things like ME in their products.

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davidw 5 hours ago 2 replies      
> modified MINIX as an operating system

Say what?! Anyone know more about this? MINIX is neat in some ways, but I never thought of it as a production ready OS.

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zzzcpan 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone repost the content into a comment? I cannot solve cloudflare's captcha.
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et-al 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Are the specifics of this published anywhere else, or does the public have to wait until Dec 4, 2017?
12
Animats 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is very bad. A strong attack based on this could run through entire data centers.
13
sillysaurus3 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally, some hard evidence that BadBIOS was possible.

(BadBIOS was lax on details, but people were remarkably resistant to the idea that it was even possible in theory.)

14
LeoPanthera 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is Intel ME functional on Macs?
15
trizic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe this could be used disable Intel ME when other methods do not work?
16
0x0 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Everything is terrible and everything is going to crash and burn. :-/
17
e12e 4 hours ago 1 reply      
OT: Sweet Jesus! 1 319 gbp for early registration? It's not exactly accessible to students and amateur Hackers, is it? :-(
18
Fej 4 hours ago 0 replies      
They don't mention how easy or difficult this exploit is to carry out... so I'm betting that it's extremely difficult and will affect practically no one.

That's not to say that Intel ME isn't an awful idea, just that we shouldn't necessarily panic yet.

19
jorvi 4 hours ago 3 replies      
What I don't understand is why AMD doesn't jump into this niche market: just include a switch on their version of the ME (forgot name) that turns it off. Corporate clients still get their ME if they need it and AMD catches the security-focussed market. This would also mean lucrative orders from non-US governments.
20
bri3d 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time - now hopefully we can see some change.
21
yellowapple 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"One of the reasons is the transition of this subsystem to a new hardware (x86) and software (modified MINIX as an operating system)"

Whoa! So wait, every recent desktop and laptop is actually running a tiny MINIX in it? Or am I reading that wrong?

If I'm reading it right, then it means that we've totally leapfrogged Linux to usher in the Year of the MINIX Desktop.

22
exikyut 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> In a subsystem change that will be detailed in the talk of Intel ME version 11+, a vulnerability was found.

Okay, so this effects 11.x, but I wanted to clarify that there seem to always have been circumventions floating around out there.

I stumbled on https://www.reddit.com/r/onions/comments/5i6qa3/can_the_nsaf... (mirror: http://archive.is/T8yVz) some months ago. It reads a little like a skiddie (a well-connected one) strutting a bit, and I think some of this person's views on ME as a viable attack vector are slightly careless and un-thought-through, but whoever this person is, they seem to be very confident about some of the things they said, particularly the following quotes (to be completely clear, I've removed first-person references):

> [This person] know[s] that at least up to firmware version 8 is traded underground, and version 11 (the latest) is available without difficulty to people who know how to find it. [This person has] access to version 8's signing keys [themselves] ...

> It's certainly not common but it is absolutely something that FVEY and related contractors (Raytheon, Leidos, half the people you'll see at ISS, etc) will be able to get their hands on, if they haven't already.

> [This person has] an enterprise ThinkPad that proudly boasts having WiMax support, requiring extensive configuration. It was expensive. If you don't have a BMC card (and you do not), then it is not possible to remotely control your system. Even if you did have a BMC, simply having the signing keys and toolchain for the ME would not be sufficient to get in. An attacker would need either a 0day, or your credentials.

.....Well then. Oops.

> Having the signing key allows nothing more than writing malicious firmware over SPI and allowing it to persist. It's just a little more powerful than the UEFI kits cr4sh can write, and just as easily detectable by reading your flash chip.

That's still bad! (And I have no idea who cr4sh is.)

> But it's not like you're analyzing your microcode (of which there are likely signing keys being traded as well), which can also be installed on a large number of systems, considering the BIOS functions to load the latest microcode it has into the CPU.

The above bit is unrelated, but I couldn't leave it out, because that's worth filing away too (...ouch).

--

Sources/past comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15187540

23
SomeStupidPoint 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This sounds like an announcement of an announcement, which generally is frowned upon on HN -- though this might merit alerting people.
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nol13 5 hours ago 0 replies      
uh oh
25
JBReefer 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy shit
3
Snowflake macro photography chaoticmind75.blogspot.com
281 points by runesoerensen  7 hours ago   42 comments top 13
1
stephen82 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Feel free to see all of his photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexey_kljatov

I'm more than mesmerized by his work; just stunning, I'm in complete awe!

2
Nition 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It's nice when people get simple tools to do great work. The PowerShot A650 is a decade old point-and-shoot. He's installed a custom OS to get RAW support, and averaged several photos together to reduce noise, and what a great result. An EOS 5D wouldn't do much better.
3
amigoingtodie 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have achieved similar results photographing snowflakes w/ an iPhone 4S and a macro lense I bought for $5 at the Walmart checkout isle.
4
javiramos 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow! These images are perfect for a coffee table book. The thin film interference colors are amazing!
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noisy_boy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I most impressed by the "less is more" category of photos he took. The clean lines, simplicity of shapes while maintaining enough contrast to be beautiful is just astounding. Had no idea that these kind of shapes happened with snowflakes.
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Mitchhhs 6 hours ago 6 replies      
Question: What makes snowflakes symmetrical?
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nayuki 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Kenneth G. Libbrecht snowflake photo collection is another good one: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/photos3/phot... ; http://snowcrystals.com/
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joshvm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if you could improve the pollen image using super-resolution techniques Shouldn't be too difficult, just requires a several images (stacks in this case) from slightly shifted viewpoints.
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metaphorical 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Beautiful.

Reminds me of Wilson Bentley's old photos: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Bentley

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divbit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
These are just the most beautiful pictures.
11
jbeales 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Needs a (2013)
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knolan 6 hours ago 1 reply      
That is a horrific site to navigate on mobile.
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failrate 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I just see a bunch of images of Alex Jones.
4
Solve large jigsaw puzzles using genetic algorithms and OpenCV github.com
20 points by nemanja-m  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
1
Jun8 1 hour ago 1 reply      
To be pedantic, this is not really a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces are squares, I'm guessing the technique may be applicable to real jigsaw puzzles, too.

I'd like to see this applied to puzzles with unique pieces like the ones here (https://libertypuzzles.com/about)

2
VirtualAirwaves 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wonder if a technique like this will work for unshredding documents.
5
A new kind of map: its about time mapbox.com
740 points by uptown  13 hours ago   168 comments top 69
1
shurcooL 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I think this is great, but I can see it being potentially improved further if there was a temporary overlay of the physical map whenever you hover over a destination.

Basically, I feel that completely removing the physical map is okay until you've picked a target. Then, having to click on it to be able to see what the route looks like (which streets to take, etc.) is higher friction than I'd like. Instead, imagine if hovering would give you a route overlay, and as you hover your mouse over multiple places you're considering, you're already aware of the physical directions as well.

Having to click back and forth feels quite constraining.

This is simply feedback on a way I think it could be improved further, not to take away from how good it already is.

2
nerdponx 8 hours ago 2 replies      
By removing literal geography, we now have a map that more closely reflects the way we think about our environment: a cluster of restaurants five minutes that way versus ten minutes the other.

Speak for yourself! I feel way more confident getting around when I know the actual geography.

3
xahrepap 3 hours ago 1 reply      
A bit off topic. What I really want in map software (specifically for finding my way): know that I know my way around certain areas. The beginning of my commute no matter where I go is full of turns every minute or two. It makes listening to audio books impossible because interrupted with "in 100 feet..." Constant.

Just day "go to $MAJORPOINT" then start giving me step by step directions.

4
arafalov 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I would love a distance map that includes public transport travel time. For example, if I live close to metro/subway/train and I want to do really big grocery shopping. It would be interesting to see the nearest grocery that includes those I could reach by jumping on the metro and with minimal total walking.

It may be more effective to catch the train to a grocery in a completely different part of town than to walk 30 minutes to the one in your own neighborhood.

5
Paradox0 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The location of the isochrones themselves are a function of time, depending on current traffic levels, when the next bus is scheduled to arrive, etc. Hence, this map can't be static. To really be accurate, it needs to collect that data and auto-refresh itself in short intervals.
6
sulam 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Isochronic maps are pretty awesome. However, an isochrone-only projection that ignores geography is prone to the same sort of errors that the alternative creates. One simple example that is personal to me -- when I moved from SF to the East Bay, my commute into the city shortened by ~10 minutes because of where I'd been living (out by Ocean Beach) vs where I moved to and the nature of driving and public transit in the SF Bay Area. And yet as far as my friends who lived and worked in SF were concerned, I was now in this mystical place that they didn't really spend any time in or know much about (the perception of Oakland is also contributing here).

It'd be interesting to take travel data and cluster it such that you end up with an isopsychochronic projection. Commute visualizations I've seen end up feeling kind of close.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/us-commutes-revea...

7
TheCoreh 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Really interesting that the "time distance" is more or less linear with walking/biking, but in a car it has a non linear relationship: For further places you take a highway, which requires some extra distance but adds a significant speed boost. Having the dots shift in position when changing modes of transportation was really insightful.
8
hnnsj 11 hours ago 4 replies      
How is this more useful than an ordered list of search results, exactly? Once you've picked your destination, based on travel time, you still want figure out how to get there.
9
alanbernstein 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've had a similar concept rattling around in my head for a while. Rather than basing the time on travel distance from a point, you can base it on travel distance from a route. Then results can be ranked by "on my home commute, how far out of my way is this place?"
10
microcolonel 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how it would look if you directly distorted the map by travel time.
11
_h_o_d_ 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this idea, and also its acknowledgement of prior time maps for rail and other psychogeographic forebears. Its ability to put in relevant data in rational time-based space stops some of those issues that make us take a longer or particular direction because of habit, fear, or misunderstanding of the timespace about us. Nonetheless as a map-lover, I'd love to see how more contextual information could be added for serendipitous and geographical observation.
12
npolet 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty neat idea, and I could see myself using this in day to day life.

It's nice to see real thought, study and execution into new ways of portraying things that have the possibility of becoming stale. While maps and their functionalities are very much "still in development" with many developers adding new features to them... most of these "new features" don't try to rethink how we see and use them. They just extend the feature set instead of stopping and trying to re-think what a map is and what it is supposed to do.

13
piinbinary 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
For food, I'd like a map that allows me to minimize the sum of time spent traveling and time spent waiting in line.
14
tobib 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems like the rate limit of api.foursquare.com has been exceeded.
15
opportune 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As a user, I would find an isochronic map much more useful than the weird radial design they want to provide. To provide the level of precision that the radial map does without destroying our eyes with colors, they could substitute a color gradient with some sort of border around "reference times" such as 5 minutes.

The author thinks that the time-only maps address the root concern, which is "how fast can I get somewhere." But that's not entirely true: there are areas where I live that I would rather go to than others. If I search for sushi and I see one place in a crime-ridden neighborhood, a second place in the middle of nowhere, and a third place in the "trendy" section of my city where most of the rest of the food is good, I'm going to the third place if they're all the same distance (and probably even if the third place is farther than the first two, to an extent).

16
sixdimensional 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this kind of thinking.

I've always wondered even further about this - how you take this and extend it to 3 dimensions + time. In terms of maps, that would also help you with elevation or other obstacles that might slow you down from a straight line path.

Certainly, with the processing power and capacity today, we have the capability of knowing not only the two dimensional direction and the time it takes, but even the three dimensional position plus time.

I like to think of this crazy idea like a 3-D video recorder (maybe)... something that records positions of all objects in the specified space in slices of time, and can reconstruct any such slice and analyze the relative position of objects in space over time to each other.

I am not sure how such a technology would be made... capturing all the positions of everything in slices of time. I think we can do it with 3-D simulations, but not sure how we could record such data for the real world without modeling it in the virtual.

Still, this is such a cool direction and I for one like seeing people experimenting with something that we take for granted so easily, the map. I feel like everything that is amazing about time and space is somehow embodied by maps - astronomy, time, geography, relativity, etc.

17
bradknowles 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Not too bad, but the search needs to be less literal.

When I search for "sandwich", my neighborhood Subway should show up, even though the word doesn't appear in the name.

When I search for "convenience" or "store", my neighborhood convenience store should show up, even though those words do not appear in the name.

But I did discover a Whole Foods location that is even closer to my house than the three others in town that I knew of. Cool!

18
sinaa 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is both clever and useful!

Is it possible to present a resized version of the route to each path underneath each target? (or perhaps show that on hover)

I understand that this would mean having overlapping map snippets of different sizes (with different centres), but some visual representation of the route to take could be nice.

Currently, the UX of having to click each target to see the path reduces the usability (having to go back and forth between the suggestions is tedious).

19
dlandis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It kind of reminds me of what Uber decided to do in their UberEats app, which is organize restaurants by how long delivery will take and not say anything about how many miles away the restaurant is or what its address is. You can't sort by distance or display a map. So it ends up being really annoying if you would rather deal with nearby restaurants you end up doing a lot of flipping back and forth from google.
20
Mz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it and this is cool to see. I have a Certificate in GIS and did some reading at one time about the inherent challenges involved in dealing with time in data visualization. This seems to be a fairly elegant solution.

In city centers with a lot of walking traffic, you may see maps overlaid with progressively larger circles, to estimate travel time based on simple physical distance. But this assumes that people move like crows fly: that theres a straight-line road for anywhere we want to go, through concrete walls and over lakes, without traffic ever to slow us down. In an urban setting, none of these are practical assumptions to make.

That isn't limited to urban settings. They are not practical assumptions to make in any setting.

21
crooked-v 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a cool idea, but what about combining it with public transit? In my city, the bus and light rail lines affect my decision-making in all kinds of weird ways. For example:

- Going a few miles east (on the light rail line) is much, much faster than the same distance plus a mile north or south.

- Some places on the inner east side of the river take me longer to get to than places further out that are on a bus line.

- Going to the northwest part downtown takes me longer than going to the north part, even though they're both the same distance from home, because the transit lines run in an shape.

22
wyatte 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"By removing literal geography, we now have a map that more closely reflects the way we think about our environment: a cluster of restaurants five minutes that way versus ten minutes the other.

Oh my.... They just invented the 'list'. Or better yet a list that drives map interactions....oh my and an ordered list too! I could swear I did that like 10 years ago on google maps, but I guess it must have just been a dream.

Seriously, adding a fancy radius dial overlay doesn't really improve much over a plain old ordered list.

23
iamben 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is absolutely amazing. If I could use this with a more intelligent search (pub / bar return different things, for instance - whereas I want to search for "places I can get a beer"), this would be fantastic.
24
OlympusMonds 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I vaguely built something similar for Sydney, but in showing how good/bad public transport is than driving (hint: it's way worse to catch PT): http://www.publictransport-or-drive.com/

It pretty much makes a isochrone maps all over the city, and gets google public transport and driving times and creates a ratio.I've started to work on a better version 2, but so far not much work.

25
sytelus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is good idea but could be done differently. One major issue is that time is not only the optimization criteria. For example, if there are two places both 30 minutes away but one requires me to take tons of turns through narrow streets while other is straight forward highway driving then I would chose the later. Hack I would later even if cost was 25% more. Others may have some other criteria, for example, eating near river shore instead of in dirty back alley.

The bottom line is that you can't just throwaway physical maps. One way to marry your idea in physical may might be to color code places according to how far they are.

26
danso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty neat. I frequently use the example of Yelp's list and map views as an example of how maps aren't always better, even as they are more appealing compared to a text list. But I frequently use the list view because I can sort by distance, while still seeing the other important info (such as star rating, cost, food type).

But distance isn't the only important geospatial factor. Frequently I want to find a place to eat/drink that's on the way to another destination (such as a movie theater). This kind of chrono map would be more useful in a new city in which I don't know that a place 0.2 mi away to the west involves crossing an interstate. In a setting I'm familiar with, it's probably not particularly useful on mobile (given the limited dimensions for showing points and text labels), but could be great on print displays. It'd allow designers to show geospatial/time info without also having to render a full map.

On the topic of Yelp and other listing services, maybe some refinements could be made to make lists more geospatially useful. No reason why the list view has to show just distance, rather than time traveled. Or to include a filter option for direction, so that I can just see things west or south of me. It's pretty frustrating sometimes having to switch back and forth between list and map.

27
zeppelin101 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Truly an impressive concept, but I didn't find it to be particularly accurate in Los Angeles. I searched for Mexican food near me and nearly all it could find were Chipotle locations. While I like Chipotle, this isn't quite ready for primetime. Not sure where they're pulling the restaurant data from, but it definitely isn't Google Maps, nor Yelp.
28
reaperducer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for initial decision making, but worthless for actually helping someone get somewhere, which is the function of a map. Perhaps this needs a different name.
29
pinot 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Searching for pho gets you photography... kind of annoying :)
30
erikb 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I've met with people from the Berlin mapbox team and feel they are a nice bunch.

However this map idea also reflects my core impression. Really smart people that provide constant high quality content (just look at the blog itself, how it's designed, and the other posts), but not really a disruptive spirit.

Sie sind nicht der Elefant im Porzelanladen, you could say. That is their strength and their weakness.

31
npsimons 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Something similar, but simpler: https://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-can-i-travel.htm

Very useful in constraining a search area based on how far you're willing to commute when looking for a home.

32
sirmike_ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally this is not how I think about this kind of concept divorced from the geography. But am glad there are tools to help express how I want to use GIS info! https://boundlessgeo.com/ is a highly customizable open source suite for GIS data as well.
33
padobson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see a version of this where you can input a list of errands - work, groceries, daycare, gas, gym - and it distills all the travel into a single dot. You pick the dot with the least amount of time and it gives you a list of locations in the order you should travel.
34
justifier 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I worked in a hostel for years and Europeans often noted how funny it was that people from the states referred to distance in regards to time

ie, an 8 hour drive, or 20 minute walk

It was always fun to sit around and speculate as to why

35
rodolphoarruda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Refreshed my memory about when I was calling this "mobility circles" back in 2011. http://blog.rodolphoarruda.pro.br/2011/05/os-tres-circulos-d... (portuguese)
36
Sniffnoy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course, distance on this map corresponds to travel time only so long as one of the points is the center; for a multi-leg trip, it still essentially requires manual inquiry and comparison.
37
quickthrower2 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you only care about time then direction is irrelevant. In which case just listing the restaurants in order of travel time would be better.

What would be cool is instead of time you have a score that takes into account time, cost (do I need an uber or will a bus do?) and variance (traffic delay probability)

38
cprayingmantis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I like your idea but as vizs go it's a bit misguided. Something 4 rings out in one direction and 5 rings out in another would be hard to compare at a glance. Instead you could make a directionless viz that's basically a bar graph that's just as useful if your primary concern is distance in minutes.
39
rkuykendall-com 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is going to be fantastic for upper Manhattan. Google Maps / Yelp don't understand that going north-south in Manhattan is so much easier than going east/west. A place can be 10x further away in miles, but still be easier and faster to get to.
40
Sir_Cmpwn 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It'd be cool to see a similar map at relativistic scales that shows the relationship between travel time for different speeds and the elapsed time at the origin and destination.
41
StringyBob 9 hours ago 3 replies      
A pet project I've wanted to do for ages is to hack up a very high-detail (factoring in every road/footpath) isochrone map centred around my home, using openstreetmap data and render the result for a printshop at e.g. 600dpi to create a high quality map/poster

Any suggestions for the best (open) software to achieve this?

42
TearsInTheRain 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been waiting for something like this for housing searches. Suprisingly hard to search within a specific commute time rather than search by neighborhood
43
graphememes 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks like a step backward from it's "prior art" that was installed in Oakland.
44
dgyes 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I am finding it useful in realizing that some restaurants, stores are actually closer than assumed. This visual removing roads, hills is useful. It would be helpful to be able to toggle a normal map with all points, not just the selected on.
45
sengork 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting to see Melbourne Australia in some of the maps.
46
amai 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I want to see such a map around every apartment for rent.
47
munro 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if it would be readable to overlay the distance map with the street map, and connect the two with a line.
48
wutbrodo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a really cool idea but the live demo won't load for me when I put an address in. Anyone else getting this to work on Chrome (61.0)/Linux?
49
PascLeRasc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is wonderful. I remember when people said talking about how far something is in time units was a "Pittsburgh thing" ;)
50
VintageCool 10 hours ago 2 replies      
My searches for food in Bellevue, WA found a Thai restaurant that closed 6 years ago (Tewada Thai), and a Mexican restaurant that left 2 years ago (Tres Hermanos).
51
iamleppert 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be cool if the directionality of the unit circle (northing/heading) changed based upon gyro orientation, when viewed on a mobile device.
52
brosky117 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never seen an isochronic map before. Those are legit!
53
udfalkso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Very neat idea!

I can't seem to run a search in my location in NY. "Find Me" changes the address but the results are stuck in Seattle. I can't seem to change the query term either.

54
panic 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really cool! I wonder what the other boundaries on the map (road, neighborhood, city, etc.) would look like when projected onto the time view.
55
goodoldboys 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic - both in usefulness and in design. Very well done!
56
redthrowaway 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually think this is a step too far, conceptually. The isochrone map actually maps better to how I think about travel, and I would find it much more useful.
57
alphaalpha101 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this would be far more useful as an overlay over a physical map than just entirely replacing one.

By that, I mean.. think of isobars.

58
amelius 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Come on, this is just a simple idea with lots of prior art. Nothing to brag about (as the title does) or to build a business around, as anybody can make such maps.
59
dcgoss 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Clever title!
60
pfarnsworth 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I had this idea 15 years ago, although I was thinking you could manipulate the visual distance on the map to make it look physically closer, kind of like a topological map. It would take the current traffic, etc to take into account how close things were in time vs distance.

But I was never smart enough to implement it. This goes a bit along the way but hopefully someone comes along and implements that, I think I would find it very useful.

61
rmdundon 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting concept. I like the overlay idea, but I think simply having that as a standalone map would not be useful in other areas where distance as the crow flies time traveled. Areas with large bodies of water (like adjacent peninsulas), mountainous areas or areas with strange road infrastructure (Some parts of Virginia).

Nonetheless, an interesting concept!

62
DonHopkins 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Chris Lightfoot's beautiful interactive time travel maps that he did with MySociety and Stamen Design:

http://v1.stamen.com/clients/mysociety.html

MySociety Travel Time Maps

Interactive maps of travel time and housing prices in London

MySociety, an NGO which builds websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives, came to Stamen with a remit to explore two fascinating datasets: median prices of homes throughout London, and the time it takes to travel from one place to another throughout the city.

https://www.mysociety.org/2007/03/05/more-travel-time-maps-a...

https://www.mysociety.org/2007/03/05/real-time-travel-maps/

Chris Lightfoot (4 August 1978 11 February 2007) was an English scientist and political activist. He was the first developer, with Tom Steinberg, at e-democracy charity mySociety.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Lightfoot

Sometimes, its more useful to know a journey time than it is to know the distance.

Thats why people often refer to an hours commute rather than 40 miles.

Mapumental is a beautiful tool to show public transport travel times, from or to a chosen postcode, on a timebanded map. These can be embedded in websites, apps or online tools, or used for internal research purposes.

Transit-time maps, also known as isochrone maps, are not a new idea: there are examples dating back hundreds of years. But the online technologies behind Mapumental are new and have unleashed a great many possibilities for all kinds of users.

https://www.mysociety.org/better-cities/mapumental/

Mapumental developed the project (site currently down for maintainance):

http://www.mapumental.com/

Stamen Design has done lots of really cool stuff with maps:

http://v1.stamen.com/

63
EGreg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not just have a list sorted by distance or that same travel time? The concentric circles seem to make it more difficult to browse.

For an example, go to https://groups.do , create an account (can be fake) and then click New Group, select some Dining activity and see the restaurants pop up sorted by distance. Done.

64
k2xl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm getting 403 responses, hence the map isn't loading for me, anyone have some interesting screenshots of it working?
65
dionidium 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's also kind of interesting that you can draw some pretty strong inferences about neighborhoods once all the geographic cruft is wiped away. For example, from where I'm sitting in Midtown, Manhattan's east-side retail development bias is clearly revealed by a search for "Starbucks:"

https://imgur.com/0jXYeRW

If you center on the Central West End in St. Louis, you can clearly see that development has mostly happened in the western suburbs:

https://imgur.com/yxnVkiK

66
johansch 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A de-cluttered version of this would work great in a car/auto context. "Show me nearby supermarkets"
67
aaroninsf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As a user, I would prefer two options: an isochrone preserving relevant geometry geography and transit a relative time ordering like this, but with the X and Y dimensions subject to change based on my current interests.

I.e. I appreciate radius from center as a very useful representation of travel time.

But I would liberate X and Y to be things such as rating and cost (to give two likely examples).

Once you distort space so you might as well go all-in (in this view) and let it pack in two more dimensions.

The resulting clusterings would be very interesting and useful I imagine.

68
wavefunction 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Removing the geography seems great until you are trying to cross rivers or highways.
69
t_serpico 9 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for title
6
Apple: Heap Overflow in AppleBCMWLANCore Driver chromium.org
68 points by 0x0  4 hours ago   35 comments top 4
1
0x0 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Interestingly this was not part of the original iOS11 security announcement: http://web.archive.org/web/20170919182359/https://support.ap... and (a mail to apple-security which is no longer archived at https://lists.apple.com/archives/security-announce/2017/Sep/... )

But instead published after the fact as an additional update:https://lists.apple.com/archives/security-announce/2017/Sep/... and https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208112

Why delay the announcement? And why remove the original "APPLE-SA-2017-09-19-1 iOS 11" with "Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 -0700" from the apple-security email archive?

Also, are Macbooks vulnerable to the same bug until next monday when macOS 10.13 drops?

Also, there are about 6 other similar issues recently posted to Google Project Zero: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/list?can=1&q...

2
walterbell 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this going to be fixed in iOS 10? Some users have apps which will not work with iOS 11, so cannot immediately upgrade.
3
mangix 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Wonder what this means in the grand scheme of things. Will Apple dump Broadcom and go with Qualcomm or attempt to fix Broadcom's broken driver.

I say broken as I've yet to see good code come from Broadcom.

4
sigjuice 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is every buffer overflow important enough to need detailed discussion and commentary?
7
Bootstrapping Urbit from Ethereum urbit.org
101 points by zwtaylor  4 hours ago   56 comments top 9
1
aeontech 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Every time I read something about Urbit I am reminded of the Lewis Padgett short sci-fi story, "Mimsy Were The Borogroves" [0], [1] describing children discovering alien future toys, and subsequently via use of those toys learning to manipulate reality in incomprehensible ways.

I still have not been able to figure out if there's actually something that amazing about Urbit, or if behind the obfuscated terminology there's nothing, and I am reluctant to commit to the time required to find out for myself. It doesn't help that people who spend time in that land seem to all forget how to speak about it except in the terms of Urbit, unable to translate it for laypeople. I suppose that's true about any highly technical subject though.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimsy_Were_the_Borogoves

[1]: https://books.google.com/books?id=yPVbDv5DqkoC&lpg=PA181&dq=...

2
noncoml 8 minutes ago 1 reply      
Urbit likes like an awesome idea. Are they shipping a product? Or its just theory for the moment? If its the second, Amy idea when we can expect to see the first products?
3
StavrosK 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this meant to be understandable by people? Am I missing some context?
4
azeirah 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm still very confused about urbit, but think it's quite interesting to follow. I found that this video explains it reasonably well. Watch it from 6:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md4boH1eZvc

This snippet also helps:

> Making the web programmable

> The first thing your Urbit can do is act as a transparent layer to your existing services. Wed like urbit to be usable as a self-hosted IFTTT for geeks. Your urbit can hold your keys, store data, run programs and seamlessly connect to your existing services. Plus, with a global revision controlled filesystem its easy to share API connectors and keep them up to date.

> With an Urbit running on your machine you can ls your Gmail from Unix. Write a short script to poll Twitter on a keyword and deliver the results to your email or into a Slack channel. Send an SMS when an HTTP request doesnt resolve. These are just a few examples. Your Urbit is designed to make data trapped in your existing services feel like an extension of your local programming environment.

https://urbit.org/posts/vision/

5
equalunique 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that the modified Etherium browser they propose will help a great deal towards visualizing / seeing the Urbit network "in action."
6
gcb0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
To everyone either 1) comparing it to some sci-fi text or 2) saying it is unparsable: It is no accident. This is written like a religious text.

I am not kidding. It might have came out like this by accident, but i could spend days mapping the semiotics of this to, say, scientology "books".

The most blatant technique there is the slightly out of place technical terms and insertion of sci-fi elements. Here is a paper on christian texts and the use of metaphor on the willingness of the audience http://cogprints.org/4863/1/Cognitive_Semiotics_and_On-Line_...

7
natural219 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
For those confused about Urbit's value proposition, I recommend Isaac Simpson's briefish explanation here. Funny enough, the original version was posted behind Medium's membership paywall, and the public link was just recently distributed:

https://storage.googleapis.com/urbit-extra/etc/the%20not%20s...

Edit: Apparently the original article has been un-paywalled. Perhaps you can access it here:

https://medium.com/@IsaacSimpson/urbit-and-the-not-so-dark-f...

8
fra 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It's not clear to me what this means for folks who bought urbit stars earlier.
9
oh_sigh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How does Urbit team feel about Richard from Silicon Valley(the show) seemingly getting his idea to "invent a new internet" from Urbit?
8
Ethereum Adoption of Zk-SNARK Technology z.cash
19 points by ianopolous  2 hours ago   1 comment top
1
coolspot 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Metropolis release adds ADD and MUL operations on elliptic curve, which makes it possible to implement ring signatures.That opens up use cases like anonymous funds transfer similar to Monero and zCash.
9
How Booking.com manipulates users ro-che.info
191 points by bogomipz  7 hours ago   98 comments top 26
1
djsumdog 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
I thought about interviewing for them in Amsterdam. The recruiter put me in touch with one of their people and she explained to me everything was in Perl, there were little to no automated tests and developers often pushed straight to production. I said I had only worked in perl shops that were migrating from it to Scala or Python. She said, "Well we have no intention of moving."

Like I say with all recruiters, I said I was interested. I thought about it and everything was a red flag. Sure I'd get to live in Amsterdam and stay in Europe with my girlfriend, but ... that sounds like the ultimate shit job. I'd have to endure that until I worked out whatever visa contract they'd have or find someone else to sponsor me with a non-shit job.

So I just ignore the recruiter when he calls .. and ignore him .. and ignore him. Dude calls every fucking day for like four weeks straight; after I had already moved back to America. Most recruiters would take the hint after three failed calls. I can't imagine how desperate they must be. Then I heard from a former co-worker one of our other buddies, a Kiwi, had taken a job with them .. leaving NZ to go work there. He's still there ... hope it's not shit.

2
Osmium 4 hours ago 6 replies      
To anyone from Booking.com reading this: I'll go elsewhere next time I need to book a room.

Dark patterns may help profits in the short-term, but they're terrible for your brand. Just ask TicketMaster.

It isn't just tech-savvy users that will catch on to this either. If an everyday user uses Booking.com, reads reviews and thinks their room will be great, but then has a bad experience, they're going to stop trusting Booking.com's reviews, and stop trusting their brand. It will only take a few bad experiences to go elsewhere.

3
smtpserver 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Review scores are also a bit offset. I have tried to give the absolute lowest to every metric booking.com gave me to rate and the resulting score was 2.5-ish.I was thinking about making a browser extension that rescales the values accordingly but I just made a mental note that a score 7 hotel is in fact a score 6.With this scaling the scores on the lower end gain more as a 3.3 score becomes a 5.Take this into account if you opt for the lower-middle end.
4
edejong 5 hours ago 2 replies      
This is what A/B testing does to a popular site. You test for immediate customer engagement but cannot (easily) test long-term customer loyalty. This is why booking.com has become the largest online hotel booking site in several continents. Nevertheless, I think it will eventually be their downfall.
5
colmvp 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I noticed Udemy also manipulates users by saying that x course is 80-90% off but only for one more day!!!!... until you realize it's been that exact same price for weeks/months.

I understand it's not new to have the retail price be higher than the 'sale' price (for example, clothes and furniture), but even at clearance outlets, the price difference while large is rarely as dramatic nor as prolonged.

6
feelin_googley 3 hours ago 3 replies      
What if the manpulation was easily avoidable?

The last time this website came up on HN (same issue), I conducted an experiment. The annoyances and manipulation described by the blogger sounded like it relied on Javascript and graphics. I wanted to see how far I could get without using a graphical browser.

I was able to

1. search hotels,

2. return a list of properties in CSV/JSON/TXT,

3. return prices and

4. book.

It required only a shell script of 107 lines, 308 characters, 2934 bytes. This could be further reduced.

I used only a command line http client, sed and tmux send-key (optional). Further optional: Fully customized HTTP headers, including randomized User-Agent if desired.

I had to store a session cookie for getting price or booking but no cookies were required for searching.

I used no Javascript.

I was able to eliminate all the annoyances and manipulation cited by the blogger.

Conclusion: At least for booking.com all these annoyances can easily be avoided by choosing the right browser.

(I did occasionally see the "Only ___ rooms left" message as this is returned in plain text. I did not however see the number change over repeated searches for the same hotel. In any event, I just deleted that line in the output, assuming it is untruthful.)

7
kristianc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow - the New Union. I live in Manchester and the place is literally right at the top end of one of Manchester's main clubbing districts (the gay village). "Lively and central" is an understatement. It has a ropey reputation locally as a pub, but you couldn't pay me to stay there. I can see why he's pissed.

I will caveat that I've had some excellent experiences with Booking, but always with very careful cross-referencing with other sites.

8
superasn 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
They similarly totally lie about matching the lowest price. Had the misfortune of booking through them once, then I found the same hotel for a much lower price on another site (makemytrip) so I sent a screenshot to the support.

After a day they outright DENIED to honor this "Lowest Price Guarantee" with some lame excuse. When I told them that I'll go to the small claims court I never heard back from them. Don't believe a word on this site.

9
drstewart 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Airbnb does this too. No matter where or when you search for, you'll see a notification saying something like:

"Only 13% of listings are left for these dates. We recommend booking a place soon."

As a random example, apparently Kamloops, BC is filling up fast for Dec 3-6 (midweek in the middle of winter). And so is Flint, MI on Feb 19th, a Tuesday.

10
rgrieselhuber 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
This post has some decent points about reviews and the fine print, but the rest comes off as a bit precious.

I travel a lot and have used Booking.com to save myself quite a bit of money over the years. I still regularly compare their prices with other sites and they are pretty consistently cheaper than competing sites.

The "hurry" parts of their site do induce a little anxiety but I tend to also appreciate the real time information so I know I get the room I want.

11
methodin 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I thought the service was great at first - no hassle reservations with easy cancellation. That is until they billed for me a hotel I never stayed at. Ended up having to go through Amex and chargeback the charge since I had clearly cancelled it months before. It's a shame.
12
myoffe 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I absolutely loath Booking.com's UX.

Whenever it's possible, I use something else, like HostelWorld.Their interface is clean, to the point, and the reviews and ratings can actually be trusted.

I'm happy someone did this website. I just came back from a long trip and every time somebody asked me why I hate Booking.com, I pointed exactly to some of the points that were made there. The fake sense of urgency, the cluttered UI.And the cherry on top: The fact they display the "total cost of all nights" in the results, instead of the per-night cost. That's not a misleading UX, it's just a bad UX decision.

But because of it's popularity amongst accommodation owners and travelers, its fall is unlikely.

13
jen729w 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
I just spent 3 weeks travelling the USA and we used Booking.com to see what was around. But then we went directly to the hotel's site to make the booking and you know what? Same price, if not slightly cheaper in some (not all) instances.
14
bkohlmann 4 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the most useful business school classes I took was entitled "Consumer Behavior" which was a deep dive into behavioral psychology and all the techniques used by marketers / websites to grab our attention. Booking.com rather overtly hits on all the techniques we discussed in detail.

I used to think these techniques were "dirty." But humanity evolved to be responsive to this type of manipulation. It seems the web has accelerated this process with the ability to A/B test on a massive scale. All the big websites exploit cognitive biases to drive engagement - facebook, google, twitter, instagram, netflix, youtube.

This is one of the reasons I'm convinced knowledge of behavioral economics is one of the most critical pieces of knowledge to have in the early 21st century - not only can you use it to drive engagement on your own platforms, but you can learn what tell-tales you are biased to react to, and resist accordingly.

15
wyck 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
The downsides of A/B testing. Unless of course you have confidence in your brand and decision making to not always trust users and the short term bottom line.
16
beefsack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Some airline ticket booking sites still track you and increase the ticket price on return visits, optimised to certain intervals. Many in the industry call it "dynamic pricing."

It made the news a few years back[1] but you can still see it sometimes in a few different industries. You can get into arguments with people about whether marketing as a whole is an enterprise built on manipulation, but this is quite clearly manipulative.

[1]: https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2010/aug/07/computer-...

17
dawnerd 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I've just been booking directly from hotels I trust because of this. Used to use hotels.com but they've gotten really bad recently. Can costs a bit more from the hotel but most of the time price is on par. End up getting more room upgrades when booking directly anyways - at least with hilton.
18
TheAceOfHearts 3 hours ago 2 replies      
On the subject of fake reviews, I've recently started using Fakespot [0] with Amazon and Yelp. Sometimes making a decision for which goods to buy can be tricky, so it's really helpful to filter out a few shady options. Although, honestly, I don't think it makes much difference in most cases.

Are there any trusted review services for travel locations? Something like Consumer Report, but for travel. Although I don't know where their quality levels stand nowadays, I know my parents used to swear by em 10 to 20 years ago.

[0] https://www.fakespot.com

19
warrenm 7 hours ago 2 replies      
IOW - how more or less every e-commerce (especially aggregation services) site tries to get you to spend your money there
20
hw 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I've always wondered if some of these tactics are kosher and legal. Especially the ones that say 'someone just booked this' or the notifications on ecommerce sites that say 'X bought this in the last hour'. Most of the ecommerce ones are just fake data meant to entice the shopper into buying into urgency.
21
aembleton 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I just block a lot of this booking.com noise with uBlock. These are my filters so far:

 www.booking.com##.sr_rooms_left_wrap.only_x_left www.booking.com##.sr-booked-x-times.clearfix.lbsr www.booking.com##.soldout_property

22
toomanybeersies 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Briscoes (a homeware shop in New Zealand http://www.briscoes.co.nz/), does this. Just looking at their website today, everything in store is 30-60% off sticker price.

Seems great, until you realise that literally almost every day, they have a similar sale. There's always massive discounts for something in store. I have literally never paid full price, or anything close to it.

23
SOLAR_FIELDS 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This and the recent Ticketmaster expose make me wonder: is it possible to objectively identify dark UI patterns like this via a browser extension? Usually I can try to see through them, but something that flags stuff like this with a non-obtrusive warning would be nice to add to the list of extensions I automatically throw on new installs for family members (that list currently includes PrivacyBadger and uBlock Origin)
24
jasonrhaas 4 hours ago 0 replies      
viagogo.com is a great example of user manipulation. They take what booking.com has done and 10x it. I've bought tickets on there (and got ripped off because they told me the wrong pickup location), and its a total shit show. They make it seem like there are all these real time updates going on, and really pushing you to BUY NOW, but I'm pretty sure its all a scam to urge you to buy as quickly as possible.
25
tmulc18 5 hours ago 2 replies      
That's why you gotta use Expedia or Google
26
quickben 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, things got shady at booking.com since I last visited the site last year.
10
FedEx vs. UPS: two opposing models in the delivery business raise questions braunconsulting.com
57 points by dluan  5 hours ago   46 comments top 17
1
katastic 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but the article seems to slant in favor of FedEx using contractors. And then you look at the pros and cons.

 FedEx Ground Cons: - No benefits, no overtime pay, no sick time, no insurance - Drivers pay for vehicle, gas, supplies, insurance, and everything else - No company retirement, seemingly less stable environment - No Teamsters contract or collective bargaining - Drivers have only one client: FedEx
That's one step above glorified pizza delivery driver for a career. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. My wife has extended family, on the other hand, that have worked 40+ years at UPS and retired with benefits. Now, I'm not saying, "UPS rules, and FedEx sucks." But I'm hesitant to throw my support behind any business model that treats people like temporary commodities instead of long-term resources.

2
coopernewby 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This article was written in 2004. Starting In 2005 FedEx got in a bunch of misclassification lawsuits over using 1099 contractors, today they have lost over $453 Million to these settlements. http://www.talentwave.com/fedex-worker-misclassification-cas...
3
kylec 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I know it's anecdata, but in my experience UPS is way better about actually delivering packages to me than FedEx is. I live in a building with a call box, to which both FedEx and UPS were given their own codes, but most of the time FedEx "attempts" a delivery they mark it as undeliverable. It's gotten to the point where I'm now preemptively requesting my FedEx-shipped packages to be held at a local FedEx ship & print center rather than even waiting for the first attempted delivery. UPS, on the other hand, delivers packages without a hitch nearly every single time.

I don't know whether this has anything to do with the contractor vs employee nature of these companies, but I do know that UPS is way better at actually doing their job.

4
untangle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh, so FedEx and Uber are aligned in labor policies, at least in a macro sense. Both achieve cost benefits, and the two face many of the same legal risks around job classification (and potential exploitation and tax evasion).

In theory, both are therefore one major legal decision away from a very bad set of financials. In practice, hoards of lawyers and lobbyists undoubtedly man the wall (and keep winter at bay).

5
lathiat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I always feel like this contractor vs larger employee situation is weighted for early and late game.

As a contractor style, at the start it seems fun there are potential rewards, etc.. but you need to manage yourself a lot more, and there is less of a safety net or any kind of belonging.

As an employee style you are more of a robot at the start and have to submit to the company as it were, but later on you are looked after much better and there are teams within the company that can focus on efficiency and making life better, etc.

As someone who has a fairly split career in doing both I can fully understand the merits of both but I worry about the long term trajectory of the majority of people becoming independent as it were.

6
jacob019 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My company has had a much better experience with FedEx than UPS. FedEx employees seem happier. Our driver owns his route and treats us like his personal customer. The UPS guys are nice too but tend to have that postal worker attitude and don't seem as happy. UPS loses more packages, though that seems to have improved. UPS support sucks and their API is even worse. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to pull my hair out while in a UPS call queue being transferred around between clueless front line reps. Their automatic billing has broken on us over the years to the point where we would have to call in to pay each invoice manually or start getting collections notices. They couldn't fix it and we had to just open a new account. This happened twice! FedEx support OTOH is excellent. While I'm greatful for the support of my friends at UPS, I greatly prefer to do business with FedEx.
7
SomeHacker44 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have a few vendors that use FedEx Ground. Absolute worst. They almost never deliver on time. One sick driver means days of delays. You cannot pick up the package at the local FedEx depot that evening if you miss it; it goes to some central place miles away with no pick up policy. I have banned my vendors from using this, and dropped vendors who won't ship by "real" FedEx, UPS or heck even USPS.
8
cypherpunks01 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone know if the employment situation with Fedex or UPS is different now, 13 years after this was written?
9
jschwartzi 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There's some incorrect information in the article regarding UPS driver salaries. Drivers can make more than $100k/year if they work overtime. Some drivers make more than managers for similar amounts of work due to their being hourly.

This is all hearsay from the UPS driver that worked the route while I was clerking in a warehouse. He also seemed much happier than the FedEx drivers, both of which were pretty grumpy. He was also a lot more helpful and we often asked him to delay our pickup for last minute orders, which was something the FedEx drivers would never do.

10
mockindignant 3 hours ago 0 replies      
2004 should probably be in the title.
11
ribs 3 hours ago 1 reply      
UPS has spent significant effort trying to put the Federal screws to FedEx in the past.[1]

[1] http://reason.com/reasontv/2010/10/22/whiteboardhttp://reason.com/archives/2009/09/28/using-unions-as-weapon...

12
tyingq 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting business space. Both UPS and FedEx manage to raise rates at a clip that is higher than inflation, every single year. Even when their costs decline, like when fuel prices dropped.

I guess there is technically no collusion, but it doesn't seem like there is much competition either.

It makes it difficult for smaller companies to do well because only the biggest companies get reasonable shipping rates.

This is one space where I won't shed any tears if Amazon hands them their ass.

13
jccalhoun 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
This explains why the last time I had a package delivered by "fedex" it was delivered by a guy in a Budget rental truck.
14
merpnderp 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I know most of my UPS drivers by name, and always have great service. Ive never had anything wrong from Fedex, but Id pay a bit extra to use UPS, as they seem less hurried, friendlier and never dont ring the bell (Fedex never does)
15
exabrial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
UPS: smash it to bits, hold it in the warehouse as long as possible, fake delivery attempts, all for higher prices
16
costcopizza 3 hours ago 2 replies      
A somewhat tangential thought...

-I feel like I used to see DHL trucks and ads much more often. Did they abandon some of the residential delivery market?

17
pktgen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
FedEx Ground "contractors" are actually employees, just misclassified.
11
YC wants to let people invest in its startups through the blockchain techcrunch.com
33 points by rmason  4 hours ago   12 comments top 8
1
pscsbs 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Surprised CoinList isn't mentioned here, as they did a successful ICO for FileCoin and serve as a platform for pretty much this exact use-case.
2
pfraze 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> Do I think ICOs are silly, bordering on scams? Yes, they are, he continued. But, there are a few that are important, and the blockchain is more important than not ICOs need to be regulated.

> At the same time, it could mean working, for the first time, with investors who are not accredited, meaning high-net-worth investors an idea that appeals to Altman.

I guess he sees blockchains as a vehicle to getting the regulatory framework he wants for securities, and (I assume) doesn't feel he can get for traditional stock.

> Added Altman of the appeal of ICOs in particular, People are watching their friends get really rich and its making them [frustrated and wanting to get rich, too].

> One of the trends that bothers me about Silicon Valley, he continued, is that more and more of the wealth creation here is not available to most people, and I think thats very bad in a society with already so much wealth inequality. If theres a way that new technology can make it practical and possible to democratize this, I think thatd be great.

I mean, he just said he recognizes it's a bubble. Doesn't a bubble usually suggest wealth transfer instead of creation? Of course it's frustrating to not get in on that money. It's even more frustrating when you see the situation as ethically gray, and here's Sam signaling that YC should jump on board.

3
tommynicholas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Every headline from Techcrunch disrupt that I have seen has been directly contradicted in some way in the video. For example, Vitalik Buterin spends about 10% of his talk explaining why not everything will be or should be decentralized. The title of his video? "Decentralize Everything with Vitalik Buterin"
4
sulam 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
YC isnt even reaching most accredited investors and it wants to go to unaccredited? Sounds like they want liquidity.
5
jaunkst 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes, I would invest.
6
vbuterin1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
7
crispytx 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I bought some Bitcoin for a family member as a gag gift recently thinking we could have some fun paying each other with Bitcoin for little things like household chores and whatnot. This was my first time using Bitcoin, and I was shocked to learn that it costs roughly $5 worth of Bitcoin to make a single transaction using Bitcoin! The fee is known as a "Bitcoin mining fee." I'm an open minded person and honestly believe d that Bitcoin might work prior to actually using it. However, after discovering the actual cost of using Bitcoin, it is clearly inferior to US Dollars in every way. Bitcoin is a scam, block chain is all hype, and everyone involved with Cryptomania is going to look silly when the music stops and someone has to eat the soggy biscuit.
8
contingencies 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is clearly a good idea. The whole broker/exchange/regulator triumvirate is a massive overhead for everyone.

Uptime: Trading hours are a 19th century anachronism. Distributed infrastructure is more reliable.

Management incentive: By removing annual and quarterly investor relations milestones businesses are incentivized to move more quickly by creating a more fluid and transparent management and investor relations style.

National access: Being 'listed' on a 'market' is a huge hassle and comes with fiscal protection mechanisms such as requisite auditing which essentially (not completely) amounts to a mafia-esque pay to play fee. Why not just go international and skip the hassle?

Regulation: Of course, the financial services establishment will cry "Regulators! Consumers need protection! Only we, the few, the humble, the experienced, can save their financial souls!" but alas their track record is pretty shocking and regulators with any guts should encourage innovation with some oversight and involvement. The thing is, since blockchains are international regulators are nominally sidelined in a default approach. There should be a middle ground where they can perform basic services such as corporate registration, legal good standing, fair taxation and IP asset attestation, for example, without becoming intimately involved in day to day business.

Transparency: Instead of occasional, high level audits, if transparency is required why not require that in order to be blockchain listed, companies must either use a public blockchain or otherwise effectively real time (eg. daily batched reporting) to transparently manage their financial assets? This would provide superior transparency than the establishment, potentially with crypto levels of trust (thus auditors cannot be bought/make mistakes).

Fiscal restructuring: Being able to do stock splits and so forth could work very well on chains.

Conventional asset financial connectivity: Sooner or later you have to interact with the off-blockchain world. Gatekeeper financial institutions need to validate inbound capital by showing things like source of funds. This is nontrivial with anonymous blockchain inflows, and requires setting up a significant KYC process as per larger crypto exchanges.

Of course there are issues. If there is a gatekeeper to enforce due diligence then is it truly blockchain anymore or are you just doing rebranded ICO 2.0 and issuing your own tokens? I fear the latter. We must find a middle ground. The devil is in the details.

12
Solve sudoku like with the power of ARKit magicsudoku.com
21 points by mikerg87  2 hours ago   6 comments top 2
1
yeldarb 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Hi, thanks for submitting. I'm the developer of the app! Happy to answer any questions

(I was going to write up a medium post about the technical side of building the app but haven't gotten a chance yet)

2
rawnlq 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I remember using Google Goggles for this back in 2011 or so.

The cool new thing is projecting the solution onto the paper and having it track correctly!

13
MindWeb A Computer Science Bachelor Curriculum mindweb.network
265 points by foob  12 hours ago   52 comments top 10
1
opportune 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The problem with a website such as this one is that they just compile a list of content, each of which is quite large/involved, and throw it at you. Not only is this kind of overwhelming, but I wonder how many people actually use a page like this to construct a curriculum for themselves. I doubt it's very many at all. There's too much friction: you have to continue revisiting the page after you complete all of these multi-week courses. And each course will probably have its own suggested next steps, which might be different from those in the original resource, which you might have already forgotten about by now.

I've had a different idea for a while. What I've always wanted to do, and would do if I had unlimited time, is create a kind of tech-tree of various computer science concepts, organized into subjects/tracks/courses, with each vertex in the tree being a clear and concise 4-7 minute youtube video (with accompanying downloadable code if applicable). Note this wouldn't necessarily need to be a real tree as things such as e.g. machine learning would need backgrounds in both linear algebra and statistics.

Then you could learn from scratch by simply traversing down the tree. If you wanted to learn something, you could search it and determine where in the tree to start watching about it by where you feel like your knowledge ends. So if you're looking up np-completeness, but feel you don't understand the concepts of p and np, you can watch those videos first.

It would take a long time, though.

2
znpy 10 hours ago 5 replies      
As a cs-savvy person, I'd really love to see similar pages but for other fields.

Computer science is probably one of the most over-documented fields. Everyone seems to have compiled a list of resources at least once in their life, like a rite of passage.

I'd love to see open source curricula for Economics/Business, Physics, Music, Literature and other stuff.

3
Thrasolt 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi guys. MindWeb is the project of a friend and me. I just wanted to apologize for the loading time. We just launched our beta and we were not prepared for this much traffic!
4
little_data 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty poor platform to point you to edx/coursera courses.

Try this one...much better.

https://github.com/ossu/computer-science

5
Blackthorn 11 hours ago 2 replies      
These are the sort of resources I wish I had available when I was in high school. What a tremendous bounty we now have.

Has anyone put together a list like this for a subject like chemistry?

6
coygui 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Then my favorite essay of programming is this ;)http://norvig.com/21-days.html

A list of courses is not enough, haha

7
trucktires 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Speaking of CS, apparently now it's important to know something about high dimensional spaces and their volumes. I have linked a PDF below. What part of math does it belong to? I am not sure pure Linear Algebra and Real Analysis deal with such problems? Could it be Measure Theory or Convex Geometry? I am looking for literature or at least the names of subsets of math that deal with such problems starting from the very beginning.

https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~venkatg/teaching/CStheory-infoage/ch...

8
kbutler 7 hours ago 0 replies      
They seem to be missing a UI design/Human Factors/Usability course.

(I had closed the page because of the UI, but opened it again to do some keyword searches. I was glad to close it again. My stomach is still somewhat nauseated.)

9
rehemiau 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The page doesn't load for me
10
binarytransform 12 hours ago 3 replies      
What...is with that UI? Between the cut-off titles and the mouseover image spinning, I left in less than 10 seconds. Here's a better, non-seizure inducing list: https://github.com/mvillaloboz/open-source-cs-degree
14
Non-determinism: a sublanguage rather than a monad okmij.org
58 points by panic  7 hours ago   26 comments top 4
1
worldsayshi 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Somewhat off topic: I'm very interested but as so often before with these kind of texts I'm at least somewhat stumped by the terminology. I can almost read this and I've done two and a half ish courses of Haskell.

I've wasted so much energy feeling stupid when reading texts that I don't understand. But most of the time not understanding is not about "intelligence" but simply not having the right meaning assigned to the right amount of words.

You're not stupid, you just don't have enough structured data yet. I wish I had that kind of insight and believed in it when I started out in university. Not that I'm completely convinced even now.

2
panic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you like this article, the rest of Oleg's stuff on this style of embedded DSLs is also worth reading: http://okmij.org/ftp/tagless-final/index.html

One particularly cool (and surprising, to me at least) trick is defining interpreters that carry out composable optimization passes on a DSL without needing an intermediate representation: http://okmij.org/ftp/tagless-final/course/optimizations.html

3
graphememes 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Honestly I feel like Haskell and OCaml are severely over-engineered and overly focus on nuance far too much these concepts and ideas can be expressed in a more concise and legible manner in mathematical notation than the programming languages used as examples here.
4
alphaalpha101 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Thank god. I've felt like we've been getting closer to breaching the peak of the hype curve for what I'd probably call 'monadic pure functional programming' i.e. Haskell, Scalaz, etc. It'll have its hardcore advocates forever, of course, but I think we might be finally getting to the point where people realise 'wait this sure is an absurd amount of complexity to represent some fairly simple functions, surely there must be a better way?'.
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