hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    24 Oct 2016 News
home   ask   best   1h 0m ago   
We Got Phished exploratorium.edu
42 points by juanplusjuan  21 minutes ago   17 comments top 10
nmc 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
The beginning of the story is missing. PZ clicked on the link in the email because it was "received [...] from a familiar mailing list".

Did PZ trust a mailing list where anyone could post? Or did the attackers spoof the "from" field? The former may have been prevented by employee training, the latter by SPF or similar technologies.

BoysenberryPi 10 minutes ago 2 replies      
Many people won't check the url when signing in if everything looks to be on the up and up. This is why I really liked one of the things Yahoo did which was create a sign-in seal. Every time you signed in Yahoo would display a custom image that you set and if that image wasn't there then something was probably wrong.
tikhonj 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
This article seems great at describing how phishing actually works in practice, especially to people without much exposure to technology. I've gone through at least a couple of training emails from IT departments about phishing, and this was way more effective. A realistic case-study with a really clear description is valuable!

This article could definitely augment the anti-phishing education at your organizationthe only downside is that it's a bit long, so busy people probably won't want to read it :/.

the_watcher 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Kudos to Exploratorium for sharing. Hopefully they're able to find a way to use it in their educational exhibits.
space99 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have seen the infosec future and the future is going to be domain whitelisting. Banks are already doing it.
Raphmedia 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
We also got hit by this a few months back. It also got send to all of your company's contact. We had to mail all of them back and lost face.

One hour in or so Google made it so that the emails (even those already received and opened) were blocked. It helped to mitigate the issue. Most of the outside contact that would have received the mail received it in their spam.

We learned from it and have better security now.

misiti3780 10 minutes ago 3 replies      
2-factor would have prevented this - no ?
minimaxir 17 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's worth nothing the new user-image-before-password-input for Google is an anti-phishing feature. Of course, most people won't think that deeply when prompted with a password request and a similar UI.
cloudjacker 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I haven't read anything this interesting since the Milw0rm days, post more from that perspective
cft 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I personally know some people who work for Exploratorium. Not the sharpest tools in the shed.. ;)
Introducing Initialized Capital initialized.com
193 points by ernestipark  3 hours ago   53 comments top 22
sandslash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For full transparency: I was Garry's Chief of Staff for 2 years before joining YC.

Garry and Alexis are the most founder friendly investors I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Late nights and early mornings in every time zone were normal for them. When I managed Garry's schedule, he held 3-5 hour blocks every single day to talk to founders. Then, in addition, we'd squeeze in as many calls and meetings the schedule would allow to speak with founders who reached out cold asking for general advice. A nightmare logistically sometimes, but a true testament to just how much they care about helping others.

When stereotypes of fund investors are that they are sluggish to make investments, quick and impatient when it comes to vetting teams and products, it is refreshing to see that Garry and co consistently break that view with their founder-first approach.

It might be an understatement for me to say that I'd recommend Initialized to any founder!

garry 3 hours ago 7 replies      
Hi HN! Happy to answer questions here, which is funny because this is where it all really started for me back in 2007 when I was first thinking of starting my first company. I started as an HN reader working at a friend's startup, applied to YC and got in, became a YC partner, and then an early stage investor.

We're engineers and designers and product folks, and most investors aren't still (which is crazy, right?) so we figure if we can do what we're doing while being the investors we wanted when we were founders, that's about as good as it gets.

tyre 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We met Garry, Alina, and Alexis at YC16 investor day. After talking for twenty minutes, they said "we're going to go talk about you behind your back, then give you an answer."

They made a decision in 2 minutes.

That's what it's like working with other founders. There's no bullshit. They proactively ask how they can be helpful, are empathetic and understanding when we go through tough times, and push us in a great way.

I'm pretty critical of a lot of Silicon Valley, but we are big fans of Initialized.

apoorvamehta 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
hey - this is apoorva from instacart s12. we'd not have been in YC had it not been for Garry Tan! full story here: https://techcrunch.com/2012/08/18/how-instacart-hacked-yc/

really happy to see this happen. i think this will be great for the community.

michaeldwan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I met Garry while he was a part-time YC partner during S11. Office hours with him were always helpful and productive. He gave thoughtful product feedback, facilitated countless fruitful introductions, and helped us navigate fundraising and an acquisition. Hes laid back, easy to talk to, and doesnt bullshit or play games. After YC Initialized invested a small amount in us and he continued to be one of the most value-add investors we had. I cant stress enough how much value these guys bring to the table. Id be honored to work with them again.
hackerews 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I met Garry in 2014 during YC. After our first office hours with him, I knew Garry would be a valuable go-to. He's a legit advisor because he can dig in at any level with you - founder stuff, company, go to market, users, working with big companies, design/code, hiring, raising money, prioritization, etc, etc. Part of that comes from being a YC partner and seeing that large sample size of startup problems. But he has also built inspiring products, led teams at large companies, is a brilliant developer and designer, and flat out an all around great guy.

So for me, this announcement is bittersweet. Initialized will be great for so many early stage founders, but now I don't have a simple way to book office hours with Garry. Well actually, I bet if I shoot him a message, he'd still be glad to help anytime.

guiseppecalzone 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Ive known Garry since 2010. Even though he didn't know us at the time - he met up with us to help us hone our YC pitch. He later became our adviser. Awhile after, when I showed him our growth numbers, he offered to invest, which then triggered a round. He didn't need to follow anyone else to decide. When we had an announcement, Alexis helped get us press. There are tons of helpful moments like this.

When I talk to other founders, I keep hearing how helpful they are. This is one of the most talented and genuine groups of people in the valley.

Congrats on the raise!

OoTheNigerian 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations Garry!

A few questions.

1. An obvious question is: Why start out on your own rather than via YC as you've done for a while and seems to have succeeded for you.

2. Would you actively seek investments from outside the United States? As you may well know, emerging markets are gaining a load of attention. In 3 months Nigeria would have hosted Zuckerberg, YCombinator and 500 Startups. (You're always welcome :D)

3. What's the investment thesis of Initialized. Didn't see an Investment Thesis on the website.

Congratulations and all the best!

PS: Not sure if you remember me but you were in the panel that interviewed me for YC in Summer 2014

bedros 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Hi Garry, and congrats on your new firm.

the age old question comes to mind; how do you value startups with a prototype with little traction. assuming the target market is the size of markets for airbnb,facebook,dropbox, etc.

do you guys follow YC with a fixed rate, (7% for 120K) like 10% for 1M; do you have a min and max for equity and valuation?


PStamatiou 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
Congrats Garry!! Curious who else is on the investment team?

"Were founders who are engineers, designers, and product people. "

nickadam 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
This site needs to be recategorized https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/initialized.com
vskr 31 minutes ago 1 reply      
What percent of company do you expect in return. YC has a pretty deterministic formula. Do you have a similar formula? Or do you decide (or negotiate) on a case-by-case basis
technofiend 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
Did you guys recycle a domain name? Blocked due to security concerns. You may need to work with the big vendors to get yourselves off the naughty list for actions taken by prior domain owners.
yc-kraln 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm curious to know if there is a specific market you are focusing on (in terms of target market, such as IoT, Security as well as regionally).

How would someone make the determination that you are the right firm to pitch to? How would they bend your ear? What's the best way to get your attention? I'm missing a lot of this from your site.

dbburton 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to Garry and the Team. Garry was one of our partners during YC W15 - he was incredibly insightful on product and design, generous with his time, and just plain nice throughout.
stonlyb 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Congrats Gary! Will you be sharing your deal flow or syndicating any of your deals?
foobarqux 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Has one of the GPs directly invested in each of the startups listed on the "About Us" page or are some of those startups listed because of an advisory relationship or indirect investment (e.g. carried interest)?
volkk 1 hour ago 2 replies      
very cool. i know you guys mention startups, and IMO thats a pretty generally encompassing term. would that include game development?
wasd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hey Init! Congrats on the launch.

Curious, have you funded any startups under Init? If I had to guess, "Our Startups" are startups you (Garry / Alexis /et al) personally invested in.

alibaba2020 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Salute Garry and team.. congrats Q:how founders will get in touch with you? Via referral like the rest?
jasonwilk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats guys!
pdog 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! However, other seed funds have rejected potential investors because of their refusal to disavow and sever ties with Peter Thiel[1].

Will members of the Initialized Capital team publicly disavow and refuse to do business with Thiel?

[1]: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-24/peter-thi...

Ask HN: What is your favorite internet rabbit hole?
331 points by karim  4 hours ago   159 comments top 94
r0m4n0 59 minutes ago 4 replies      
Browsing medical diagnosis codes... https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/2016-ICD-10-CM-and...

Some of the most mildly interesting:

V9543XD Spacecraft collision injuring occupant, subsequent encounter

W5602XD Struck by dolphin, subsequent encounter

X35XXXD Volcanic eruption, subsequent encounter

X52XXXD Prolonged stay in weightless environment, subsequent encounter

Y0881XD Assault by crashing of aircraft, subsequent encounter

IsaacL 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I posted a list of them a while ago. For several years I was interested in alternative worldviews -- grand sweeping theories of reality. Here's my list:








Enjoy :)

brightball 54 minutes ago 2 replies      
The US Civil War has been mine for the last couple of years. The sheer volume of history and contributing factors, decades of build up, aftermath, affects on the US today, etc. My goodness, the economics of the whole thing are just fascinating.

All the internet debates I saw when the confederate flag came down got me really interested in how so many people could know TOTALLY different things about the most historically significant event in the country.

Now I've got about 12 books covering things in different ways (and there are so many more). Thanks to the Library of Congress and Google's efforts to scan books it's really easy to check citations as you read when you're having those "There is no way that's real" moments followed by "Holy crap! That's real?!?!"

The whole thing has sparked an overzealous interest in history, which is the subject that interested me the least when I was younger. Now I give serious consideration to pursuing a doctorate one day with the aim of being a History professor when I get closer to 50 (which is still a decade or so off).

analogwzrd 4 hours ago 3 replies      
For me, it's definitely Ribbonfarm:http://www.ribbonfarm.com/

I stumbled into Venkat's blog about two and half years ago and I'm still trying to find my way out. The rabbit hole gets even deeper when you look at his list of recommended reading. The material on John Boyd and OODA loops in particular has been bouncing around my head for about a year. Ribbonfarm quickly turns into a choose-your-own-adventure type of experience as it's very easy to bounce between articles and start looking everything that you don't know.

If you're interested in getting below the surface level of how organizations, teams, and business cultures work Ribbonfarm is the best place I know of that really digs into the details. If you're expecting the typical "be a leader, not a manager" platitudes, then you'll be disappointed.

octo_t 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My current rabbit hole has been the world building stack exchange (http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/) which is (ostensibly) for writers working out scientific or historical justifications for the worlds they invent.

Some of the thought that goes into answers is really cool. Good ones from recently are:

- http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/59175/what-...

- http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/59171/is-th...

- http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/58745/stand...

msluyter 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Slate Star Codex: http://slatestarcodex.com/, for a lot of interesting socio-philosophical discussion on a variety of topics.

Meditations on Moloch is one of my favorites:


lexhaynes 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm very interested in health and fitness and often lose hours at Mark's Daily Apple (primal lifestyle and health blog): http://www.marksdailyapple.com/tag/dear-mark/

The Getting Stronger blog is another wonderful health and fitness blog which focuses on training the mind to thrive in difficult conditions, though it has really amazing insights on diet and training as well: http://gettingstronger.org/about-this-blog/

tartuffe78 4 hours ago 4 replies      
TV Tropes is always good: http://tvtropes.org/
jttam 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/) is just fascinating enough and just badly organized enough that I never seem to be able to get to the same useful piece of information twice. And thus I constantly find myself looking at other interesting facts about the US labor force.
rdtsc 35 minutes ago 0 replies      

Discover new command line utilities or combinations of them to solve various things. Learned all kinds of useful stuff. Things like I know but always forget about:

 python -m SimpleHTTPServer
To server the current directory on port :8000

Then there is silly stuff like:

 dd if=/dev/dsp | ssh -c arcfour -C username@host dd of=/dev/dsp
To output your microphone to a remote computer's speaker [note: you probably shouldn't be using arcfour in general for ssh, and it might be disabled on your site].

subjectsigma 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Something in a much different vein than other sites posted:

http://drtenge.com (NSFW)

This is a Tumblr blog going back years of extremely disturbing medical imagery and art of the same style. Oftentimes there's almost no context given to the pictures other than a name of the author or a title which makes them that much weirder. The images also tend to be associated with fascism or BSDM. I've spent at least a few hours trying to find more about some of the pictures because they were just too weird to go without explanation. The guy has one post about how he really values quality and obscurity in his images and nothing else; no explanation as to who he is or why he collects such horrible and terrifying art. I've always wanted to email him and ask what the hell is going on but I'm kind of scared to know.

Obviously don't click on the link if you do not like gore.

hexane360 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Things I won't work with: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2011/11/11/thi...

Accident reconstruction/investigation videos. NTSB, CSB, and OSHA have some really in-depth ones:https://youtu.be/tMsjJWJFBbAhttps://youtu.be/gDTqrRpa_ac?list=PLUXYDid45duP-lg8Kh_hSw841...

Also, +1 for TV Tropes

Edit: Also, http://www.scp-wiki.net/ has some classics.

bsandert 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Which contains (apart from the obvious Murphy's law and Occam's razor) such pearls as the Peter Principle, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and Hofstadter's Law. 20+ tabs guaranteed!

adrianN 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Secure Contain Protecthttp://www.scp-wiki.net/
qwertyuiop924 2 hours ago 1 reply      
TVTropes is the big one, the vortex from which all other rabbit holes stem.

The SCP foundation is also excellent, and The Digital Antiquarian is my new favorite.

Fallen London is a browser MMOCYOA on steroids, and it's glorious.

The Jargon File (before ESR ruined it with the latest round of updates) was amazing, and still is great fun.

Bash.org is another classic rabbit hole, although far from the best for that purpose.

And Youtube contains many rabbit holes, but my favorite by far is Tom Scott's youtube channel. Also of note is Tom & Matt's Park Bench, where he vlogs with Matt Grey on a semi-regular basis, Yahtzee Crowshaw's channel, where he used to play games with Gabriel Morton in his "Let's Drown Out" series, and Channel Awesome. Just, all of Channel Awesome.

VLM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoy watching conference videos.


Also search youtube for conference video playlists.

I have my mythtv set up so downloaded conference videos show up as a channel just like a recording on my mythtv system, so I can just sit on the couch and watch a clojure conf or whatever just as if it were a recorded PBS program. Very convenient.

As a side issue I raided archive.org for hilarious black and white silent films of Buster Keaton who was quite a comedian about a century ago.

yoloswagins 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm partial to everything2.com. Back in the early 00's, everything2 tried to be a Wikipeida, where people could post multiple entries on a topic. The best part is reading 16 year old, long form essays about places. The recent stuff is short stories, but the essays of the bay area from the peak of the bubble are fascinating.


* http://everything2.com/title/The+NoCal+Super+Layoff+Unemploy...

* http://everything2.com/title/San+Mateo+bridge

hawski 3 hours ago 1 reply      
List of unusual articles on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Unusual_articles
sidthekidder 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Always good to keep the endgame of humanity in mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
agentgt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
* Unusual religions on wikipedia particularly Scientology.

* Rogue waves (it is not that deep of a hole but for some reason I find it interesting).

* Knot theory and category theory (again not sure why).

* Social Psychology on wikipedia

* Ben Thompson's Badass blog (more for humor and a little old now. not sure if it is updated) [1]

* If you are an older mid to late 30 something like me X-Entertainment [2] used to be an awesome rabbit hole (no it is not a porn site). Sadly it is very very broken rabbit hole with collapsed tunnels all over. The author's penchant (Matt) for 80's crap ultimately succumbed to complete utter disorganization and proper backups. It is a 404 wasteland. I recommend googling "x-entertainment and he-man" (yes it is scary to google such terms but trust me)

[1]: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/list.html

[2]: http://www.x-entertainment.com/index1.html

ashmud 2 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the earliest www rabbit holes I remember visiting:https://www.chroniclesofgeorge.com/

Surprised MF has not been mentioned, yet.http://www.metafilter.com/

tjbarbour 17 minutes ago 0 replies      

The most remote inhabited island with a strange history with a few founding families, an exodus because of a volcano, an isolated economy/society and research into asthma as a genetic condition

jackhack 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Atlas Obscura - a collection of the world's most interesting/peculiar, and downright strange places. It's like a marriage of a world map + Ripley's Believe it Or Not.


wbhart 13 minutes ago 0 replies      

It's a puzzle solving website. It isn't updated very regularly nowadays, but all the old "Theorems" are still there.

heleph 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a little bit dated now, but the C2 wiki is a fun place to read about software development. There are quite a lot of patterns, anti-patterns, practices, rambling debates and just generally interesting ideas:http://wiki.c2.com/?DesignByCommittee
trelliscoded 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Orion's Arm is a collaborative world building project for the far future. The articles on monopole physics and wormholes are quite detailed, and the implications of higher levels of sentience are very interesting. http://www.orionsarm.com

The SCP foundation has been mentioned, but a lot of people don't know they have a sister site. http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com

The wikipedia articles about unsolved problems in physics and emerging technologies are huge click holes for most nerds:



Reading about neolithic archaeology is way more fun than you might think. 10,000 years ago people built these huge sites with literally stone age technology, and the nature of their rituals and beliefs are mostly unknown.


Shodan is a search engine for devices on the Internet. Looking at other people's queries is a good way to get started. Every time you think, there's no way someone would connect one of those to the Internet, you find out that at least 10 people have gone and done just that. https://www.shodan.io/explore

Running an NTP server in the public pool gives you the IPv6 addresses of all kinds of whacko IoT stuff. Every once in a while p0f can't figure out a TCP/IP stack that's connecting to my server, so I connect back and there's sometimes a really weird device with an open telnet or HTTP port or something. About once a month I have to call someone to tell them that they misconfigured their firewall when they turned on NTP and I'm logged into an air conditioner on a cruise ship or another bizarre combination of thing and place that I never thought I'd ever say out loud. Browsing the logs is a never-ending source of amazement.

PSA: connecting to public NTP servers exposes you to people like me, don't do it unless you have to.

hkt 1 hour ago 0 replies      

There is always something stimulating and new in the archives, which go back years for some programmes.

Also, every episode of "Short Cuts" (available above) is usually something amazing that you've never heard of. "Resistance" and "Rivals" are both great starts.

pinewurst 4 hours ago 0 replies      

The Digital Antiquarian - a very well written running history of computer games, especially adventure-y ones from the beginning to about 1989 now.

luos 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Currently my favourite time wasters are learning channels on youtube. Especially not the "weird" ones like VSauce because I think those are pretty unwatchable. I like SciShow / SciShow space even though that's borderline weird :)

My current fav is Sixty Symbols, endless very interesting videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvBqzzvUBLCs8Y7Axb-jZew

Also PBS Space Time, MinutePhysics, MinuteEarth.

mpeg 3 hours ago 1 reply      
http://everything2.com is (kinda) still going strong.
jclem 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ulillillia: http://www.ulillillia.us/sitemap.shtml

Useful sections include the one on tips to speed up mowing the lawn. Less useful ones focus on things like how to open soda bottles.

b3b0p 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Giant Bomb [0] and if you are a premium member [1] it's even better. There are hours of timeless premium only videos and podcasts. If you like video games at all or have any interest in video games it's worth every penny and second invested.

[0] http://www.giantbomb.com

[1] http://www.giantbomb.com/upgrade/

zerognowl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Permanently opened: https://pinboard.in/recent/
yoodenvranx 2 hours ago 2 replies      
1) There is a Wiki for almost everything you can imagine. I am pretty sure you can spend whole weekens just clicking around in some random GoT, LotR or Harry Potter wiki

1.1) My current favorite is reading about the Warhammer 40k universe: (http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Warhammer_40k_Wiki and http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Main_Page)

2) reddit.com is a never ending source of entertainment if you know how to use it:

2.1) Go to any sub which kind of interests you and sort either by "top" or "controversial" for "all time". "controversial of all time" is especially interesting if you apply it to subs like /r/relationships (if you are into that kind of thing).

2.2) Start with this post on interesting subs: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/28il5s/what_is_a...

/r/UnsolvedMysteries and /r/AskHistorians are by far my favorite subs at the moment

2.3) /r/ThreadKillers/, /r/DepthHub/, /r/goodlongposts/ are also a good sources of interesting posts

3) If you are into DIY, building boats, woodworking, metal lathes, surface grinding, scraping, and stuff like that, then you will and endless supply of videos on YouTube.

/r/ArtisanVideos is a good source for interesting videos. If you want to find your own content you should have a look at this list: https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtisanVideos/comments/3v264a/meta_...

My favorite channels are This Old Tony (his newer videos are incredibly well made and very funny if you like dry humor. Check out his video on how to cut threads on a lathe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb_BURLuI70), Abom79, Clickspring, Keith Rucker, Keith Fenner, Stefan Gotteswinter, Walter Sorrells, ...

4) Reading trip reports on https://www.erowid.org/ is also a good way to waste a lot of time

pault 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Atomic Rockets by a wide margin: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/
o0-0o 4 hours ago 0 replies      
WOW: http://drunkmenworkhere.org/archive

This is the rabbit hole you've been waiting for. Be warned!

anigbrowl 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
livatlantis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Great question! YouTube.

I don't use YouTube at all for music recommendations/discovery but every once in a while, I'll chance upon something amazing.

A comment on an upload of Seventh Wonder's The Great Escape[0] led me my discovering Shadow Gallery's First Light[1], which I enjoyed almost as much. (Almost. SW's track, based on Henry Martinson's 'Aniara' poetic cycle is, in my opinion, at another level. Martison was awarded a Nobel prize for his work but unfortuntely commited suicide as a result of fierce criticism against this decision).

0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMjO7y-98Ak

1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-Qt1eqJ26s

backtoyoujim 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
do not venture into the contemporary board game landscape without several rooms to dedicated to humidity controlled shelf-space.
zichy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
* C3TV, the Chaos Computer Club media library with hundreds of conference talks: https://media.ccc.de

* Art of the Title, in-depth analyses of movie title sequences: http://www.artofthetitle.com

* Damn Interesting, it's damn interesting: https://www.damninteresting.com

* LEGO subreddit, do I need to say more? https://www.reddit.com/r/lego/

tsunamifury 41 minutes ago 0 replies      

This is a very under-the-radar organization funded by the whos-who of Silicon Valley. See the "Billionares Dinner" they host yearly in Napa.

They have great resources such as Philip Tetlock x Daniel Khanmen Superforcasting mini-course and thorough discussions by great thinkings around tech and ethics.

runj__ 4 hours ago 2 replies      

It has links to architects and those pages in turn have links to beautiful buildings. Also the wikipedia pages of art museums tend to be awesome timesinks as well, you can click through every artist and all of their famous artworks.

agumonkey 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Used to be c2.com. Oh it's been back up, a bit different though.


easymuffin 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
mcfrankline 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
All of this http://www.bofh.net/

Bastard Operator from Hell

DanBC 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here's a database of children's books that have won awards. http://www.dawcl.com/

It's an amazing compilation.

Gmo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I lost countless hours reading the archives of The Internet Oracle : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Oracle

I'm actually wary of woodchucks because of that now :D

hazeii 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The one I'm currently in.
mindcrime 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very recently I've spent a lot of time on ai.stackexchange.com and electronics.stackexchange.com, so I guess both of those are in contention.

Even more recently, I've been indulging some nostalgia related to my time as a firefighter by spending a lot of time on Youtube looking at videos of structure fires from around the world. It's kind of addictive to play "arm chair incident commander" and sit there going "why'd they stretch a 1-3/4" line instead of a 2-1/2?" or "why didn't the first in engine lay their own supply line" or "why aren't they using elevated master streams here", etc., etc., etc.

azaydak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I spent lots of time reading this and following the linked pages while in graduate school. I learned a lot but it didn't help graduation to come any quicker. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes
tunap 4 hours ago 1 reply      
damninteresting.com is where I 1st read about the Great Molasses Flood, amongst a slew of other bizarre non-fictional events & people. The wordsmiths make the bizarre accounts even more damn intetesting.

edit: link


paradite 1 hour ago 0 replies      
sahoo 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Youtube, till I end in the weird side of youtube.
niftich 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Scrolling to random places on Google Earth


seizethecheese 1 hour ago 0 replies      
AskReddit's top all time threads. Less intellectual, but very entertaining. Some of these have incredible human stories.


fosco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Did not want to duplicate others but here is one I did not see on anyones list.

https://mindhacks.com/ -- Neuroscience and psychology news and views.

bluebeard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Speaking of alternative world views and world building... I recently fell into a Wikipedia hole reading about the Islamic view of Angels, King Solomon and how he bent 72 demons to his will, Renaissance magic, and Hoodoo.

It gets weird.

donretag 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Russian dash cams on Youtube.

Simple. Effective.

alyandon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, it's any page related to astronomy on Wikipedia.
unoti 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite from an information perspective is The Great Leap Forward (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward).

Another honorable mention is that I've been having a great time learning about AI techniques competing at codingame.com. It's something that's easy to get into, and hard to leave, for me.

manoj_venkat92 3 hours ago 1 reply      

The title truly says "A meaningful inventory of Life".

I get lost in the labryinths in that blog covering science, philosophy, literature & art.

shp0ngle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
genjipress 4 hours ago 0 replies      
zby 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have a feeling that it will be this thread!
acdanger 1 hour ago 0 replies      
https://gcaptain.com/ A maritime news site. Fascinating subject matter and the occasional naval disaster video.
zgniatacz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
minimaxir 2 hours ago 0 replies      
failrate 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pagat.com: someone attempting an exhaustive list of card game rules and variants (typically played with traditional decks, so no Magic the Gathering).
stinkytaco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
http://www.edge.org is up and down, but mostly up.

Reddit can be, depending on your community.

But I miss Kuro5hin.

carole1 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What is a rabbit hole? Is it just an interesting site to waste time on?
jimmaswell 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Some games have a ton of unused content left in them

larvaetron 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Cutting Room Floor: http://tcrf.net
draw_down 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Last Psychiatrist, http://thelastpsychiatrist.com . Excellent insights into the ways we lie to ourselves, how we react to the media, and how society operates.

I also love ribbonfarm, previously mentioned in the thread.

gprasanth 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
jturolla 2 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.yhchang.com/ I recommend "Subject Hello" and "AH"
personlurking 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have a favorite rabbit hole but rather I've developed a link-hopping habit that pretty consistently leads down the rabbit hole. Basically, while looking at a site/article that interests me, I usually end up doing a separate search for any concepts or organizations mentioned, then seeing what they have to offer. Rinse and repeat.
vincentbarr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
erickhill 3 hours ago 0 replies      

It's not high-brow by any stretch, but is's a great time waster.

danharaj 3 hours ago 0 replies      

The nlab is a remarkable mathematical resource open to everyone. I've been using it to contextualize my mathematical learning since I was an undergraduate.

ap22213 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For me, it's the History of Mathematics archive:


mathw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
TV Tropes.

Just don't go there.

exolymph 4 hours ago 0 replies      
slatestarcodex.com, I haven't nearly read all the archives and I'm always running into links to Scott's work
cooper12 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd add https://publicdomainreview.org/ which I've found to have a large variety of topics covered. I could also spend ages looking through http://www.textfiles.com. Lastly, https://monoskop.org/Monoskop, "a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities."
Kenji 3 hours ago 1 reply      
a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour)

Now, you wouldn't call that slow as molasses.

The 432 Hz vs. 440 Hz conspiracy theory jakubmarian.com
160 points by mweibel  3 hours ago   103 comments top 37
anigbrowl 59 minutes ago 6 replies      
I have been following this for years, being both a sound engineer and a bit of a hippie who knows a lot of other hippies. The basic issue is that 432 is a numerologically interesting number compared to 440. So if it's more interesting it should be better for artistic purposes, goes the argument. However this falls flat as soon as you consider that the 432 is only interesting relative to the completely arbirtrary duration of a second. There is nothing special about the second from a human psychoacoustic point of view. We could have standardized on a longer or shorter time interval, but since we'd been using the Babylonian-originated divisions for centuries in the west the second is what we ended up with.

But unless the music also contains some 1Hz modulation (or a power-of-two multiple thereof) then the 432 base frequency isn't related to anything fundamental in musical terms. Speaking as a DJ, if you take a track and play it a little bit faster or slower it still sounds great or awful as at the default speed in most cases. 432Hz vs 440Hz is a ~2% difference, while DJ equipment commonly allows for +/-10% pitch variation so you can match the pace of different tracks smoothly while people are dancing. Only the very tiny number of people with perfect pitch find this disorienting to listen to. If there were really something special about the duration of the second and the base pitch relative to that, you'd have expected it to emerge from dancefloors years ago. In reality 432Hz is basically cargo cult numerology, something fun to think about when you are not having any success coming up with a kickass tune. And kickass tunes derive their quality from the relative rations of the note pitches, not from some absolute Magic Frequency.

Trust me on this. I really love numerology, sacred geometry and so on, and I try to integrate this into my artistic work regardless of medium. I would love for there to be some special key that would unlock the gate to cosmic/ biological/ quantum harmony and allow my artistic work to automatically echo the heartbeat of the universe. I'm a mystic by temperament and have been looking for such things my whole life. I would go so far as to say I have some religious faith in the significance of such things. But this ain't it.

haberman 1 hour ago 2 replies      
> orchestras specializing in older music may sometimes tune in the tuning close to the one for which the piece was originally written, which may range from 415 Hz to 470 Hz).

I can say as someone who performs a lot of Baroque music (c. 1600 - 1750) that there is a relatively common standard of A=415 for music of this period. A=415 is often referred to as "Baroque pitch."

This mainly applies to ensembles that specialize in Baroque music, and use historical instruments. If you see your local symphony orchestra play Bach on modern instruments, they will probably play at A=440.

I have never performed at a pitch higher than 440. I'm sure it happens sometimes, but I think it's more of a niche thing.

dmix 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Decided to try searching this and found this lovely site:

> A=432 Hz, known as Verdis A is an alternative tuning that is mathematically consistent with the universe. Music based on 432Hz transmits beneficial healing energy, because it is a pure tone of math fundamental to nature https://attunedvibrations.com/432hz/

Oh new age pseudo science. My mom loves this stuff and I never fully understood why. My sister gets angry at me when I point things out or level any criticism because "it makes her happy". This apathy to the issue from people who should know better is likely why nonsense like this keeps spreading in an age of Snopes and Google.

VeejayRampay 2 hours ago 6 replies      
As a Frenchman, I chuckled at "In Britain, however, the French standard was interpreted in an erroneous way, due to which British orchestras commonly tuned to A = 439 Hz."

NOTE: I hope the word chuckle isn't interpreted as condescending, I only meant that this story is almost a perfect parable for our relationship with Great Britain throughout history, one of mutual defiance and refusal to acknowledge the other party as an equal even though I've always felt that there is some hidden love and respect going on at a deeper level on both sides.

zefhous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On the subject, here's an interesting song that starts out at A432hz and makes its way up to A440hz by the end.

Hideaway Jacob Collierhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v3zyPEy-Po

I did not explicitly notice this the first time hearing it, but I certainly felt it. When I discovered the change it made sense to me. The mood is lifted over the course of the song as the tuning is also lifted.

There are so many elements of music that are routinely varied within a song dynamics, texture, timbre, rhythm, key, and tempo (though less frequently during this age of the click track). I don't think I'd noticed tuning used prior to this.

a3n 1 hour ago 8 replies      
> the BBC required their orchestras to tune to 440 Hz instead of 439 Hz because 439 is a prime number, and the corresponding frequency is hard to generate electronically.

I followed, until this. Earlier he debunks the significance of 432 per second (including that it's a sum of four consecutive primes), because a second is an arbitrary length of time. But now he says that 439 per second is difficult to generate electronically, because it's prime.

I'm not an EE. I'm willing to believe, but could a knowledgeable someone help us out here?

dragonshine 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I have met some very competent musicians who have found 432 tuning to be powerfully effective. When I dug into this, I discovered they were tuning the other notes in the scal to frequencies in whole numbered cycles per second, using tables being passed around. So the real change was in the qualities of intervals; many of these became far more resonant than the compromised resonant qualities we get with equal tempered tuning. This trade-off was once well known in the musical world, but it is now long forgotten. I consider "432" to be a symbol that suggests the restoration of forgotten methods for tuning scales, rather than a literal value to be used to proportionally change the frequency of every note.
cageek 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
[Posted on my blog](http://www.krisconstable.com/432-hz-vs-440-hz-conspiracy-the...)

While I appreciate Jakubs breakdown for the reader to get to explaining why the 432 number itself is effectively fabricated for convenience, he eventually states: _The 432 Hz tuning, the divine tuning of nature itself, is ultimately defined as one vibration per 21279240.2083 periods of radiation of an uncommon chemical element_ however hes missing the critical argument.

What is missing from the argument is the irrelevance of the number. For example, if 432 Hz resonates with I dont know, the neocortex, there is no relevance what the number is or that weve associated with what we humans currently call a time second thats just a standard way of identifying the number.

What needs to be done is validation or invalidation of this frequency in terms of healing and soothing properties. Its also important to not do so defensively, otherwise youre arguing against organized religion or Santa Claus or Unicorns its a useless effort to argue against something that has no scientific evidence. If someone is making a claim without evidence in the first place, youre arguing irrationally already and youve already lost. Reason requires logic.

Here is my repeatable scientific evidence why I feel the world is flat is different than I have a feeling the reason the sky is blue is from unicorn tears prove to me its not.

It is my suggestion that if someone feels that 432 Hz has healing and soothing properties, they take this hypothesis and run it through the scientific method. It will be these published results that can be responded to, directly. A quick search on plosone doesnt show that theres any documented research in this area currently, a new opportunity for those interested.

joeberon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Moral of the story is that numbers with dimensions totally arbitrary. In theoretical physics you often want to find a small parameter to do a Taylor expansion and make some mathematical expression simpler. A small parameter is a number much less than one, but if we have a quantity with the units of metres for example, we cannot say "r is much less than 1" because you can't compare a number with dimensions to one. You could always pick your units such that the number is much less than 1. What you instead do is find some _ratio_ of quantities that is much less than one, because then the units cancel and you have a dimensionless quantity that you can then compare to 1.
umanwizard 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, his argument for dismissing the conspiracy theory basically boils down to type theory.

It's not legal to "convert" Hertz to other units willy-nilly, especially because Hertz is tagged with an attribute that says "this relies on arbitrary constants", meaning you would have to multiply 432 by some conversion factor before you can compare it to pure numbers.

Thinking about things in terms of types (in a fuzzy, intuitive way) like this is a very powerful mental shortcut that is useful surprisingly often.

code_duck 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use all different sizes of strings and tensions and tunings for my basses and guitars. ALL of the Western 12 note musical system is a social construct, not something innate to music, and other than what audiences and musicians are accustomed to, it makes no difference what tuning you use. Just like bands can play songs slightly faster or slower live, they can also transpose the pitch a half step or two, or a semitone in whatever direction, without most people consciously noticing. And it could have a beneficial effect on a song, or not. Exact tuning just doesn't matter to people without perfect pitch - relative pitch matters.
cbr 39 minutes ago 0 replies      

 An equilateral triangle whose area and perimeter are equal has the area of exactly the square root of 432.
Let's say we have an equilateral triangle with a perimeter of 3x units. Then each side is x units, and the area is sqrt(3) * x^2 / 4 square units. So we set:

 3x = sqrt(3) * x^2 / 4 3 = sqrt(3) * x / 4 3*4/sqrt(3) = x 12/sqrt(3) = x
Then the area is:

 sqrt(3) * (12/sqrt(3))^2 / 4 sqrt(3) * 144 / 12 sqrt(3) * 12 sqrt(3) * sqrt(144) sqrt(432)

analog31 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
An amusing aside: As I understand it, a lot of rock bands use "drop" tuning, in which the guitars and electric bass are tuned down by a semitone or more. Explanations on web forums vary, but tend to revolve around the range of the typical male singer, as well as a preference for a more "heavy" sound.
esaym 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A cool video on "music temperament" as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRlp-OH0OEA
6stringmerc 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Prince was also big into the 432 Hz thing vs. 440. 432 on guitar feels a little nicer overall but I like to play along to radio / DJ mixes for fun & practice and being at 432 feels off to me, so I stick with 440. 432 is good on acoustic, but then again open tuning sounds good on acoustic no matter if using 432 or 440.
hammock 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For those wondering, 432 Hz is about 32 cents below 440 Hz, or nearly a quartertone flat.
misingnoglic 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Just wait until the conspiracy nuts learn about the tunings that affect the distance between notes, not just the shift!(I'm surprised my double music major is useful somewhere).
cjbenedikt 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
Orchestras in Europe mostly use 442 pitch. This was really started because the recording industry liked a more "brilliant" sound. It also lead to some disastrous destruction of old string instruments which couldn't withstand the high pressure of steel strings being tuned to 442 to and broke.
PaulHoule 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wasn't the 432 Hz thing started by Lyndon Larouche?


analog31 2 hours ago 0 replies      
However, in the 19th century, obtaining thicker strings was not that easy. Manufacturing of strings was a complicated procedure, so rather than changing the manufacturing process, it was much easier to tune the same strings to a higher pitch to increase tension and thus improve the sound.

Worth noting that today's strings are made from steel and nylon, as opposed to gut.

TylerE 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There has been considerable pitch inflation over time... Back in the 1700's tunings as low as A400 weren't unusual, and even lower wasn't unheard of.
patwolf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I always liked the idea of standardizing on notes with the formula Cx = 2^(x+4)Hz. In reality it's fairly arbitrary, but in this method the frequency would follow numbers familiar to programmers, e.g.

C5 = 512HzC6 = 1024HzC7 = 2048Hz

In such a method, 'A' would be closer to 431Hz, so slightly flatter than the 440 we use now.

acqq 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you lived in Europe, most of the films you've watched on TV were in the wrong pitch: recorded with A = 440 Hz, but played at A = 458 Hz. Have you ever noticed?


elihu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One proposed pitch standard that was never widely used set C at 256 hz just to make the math slightly easier.


chrislgrigg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For any Pantera fans here, Dimebag is said to have tuned somewhere between 425-435 Hz for all of their albums after Cowboys From Hell.
sgwealti 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
A guy I met at a party this weekend was explaining this to me (as something he believed) and I was trying to keep the "WTF" off my face. Thanks for posting this.
djtriptych 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A second is also pretty close to the time between adult heartbeats at rest. There is some evidence that the human heart rate can quicken or slow in accordance with rhythm in music. Wonder if that changes anyone's argument in here.
alexk7 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Another source of information about this subject (PDF): http://www.wam.hr/sadrzaj/us/Cavanagh_440Hz.pdf
d--b 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've heard that in some caribbean islands, they tune at 420.
mediaserf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
440 Hz is also the standard telephone dial tone in the US.
hussong 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There's also the argument that 432 Hz is more in tune with our planet, see "Cosmic Octave" by Hans Cousto.
ap22213 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Fascinating stuff. I have never pondered the arbitrariness of musical tunings (probably because I am not a musician).

However, if these tunings and notes vary so much, what does it mean when one claims that they have 'perfect pitch'? Is it an ability that uses the relative distance between notes? That is, given an A they can identify the C?

hprotagonist 2 hours ago 1 reply      
True Qwghlmanian tuning is far superior.
mutagen 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Here's the rant I posted to Facebook when someone posted about this a couple of years ago. The site that was on Facebook 404s, including the Wayback Machine, so I can't share all the craziness:

The simplest argument against this is the casual way your typical garage bands tune. Not everyone is busting out the tuners and dialing up 440 Hz, when the guitar player figures out they're out of tune with the bass they just tune up to wherever they're at. With strings strething, drop D tuning, and tuning down a half step, most bands would have hit the 'magic' 432 Hz every other practice and would have stayed there if it had any special properties. And this isn't just me and my buddies in the garage but musicians of nearly every style, genre, and background around the world. We'd revolt if we found our magic 432 Hz and then some clown brought a keyboard in that was at 440 Hz. This simply doesn't happen.

The 'cymatics' demonstrations are great, even the professors I work for get excited about how these demonstrate standing waves in materials. Unfortunately for the 432 Hz people the wave patterns depend on the vibrating materials. I make music out of vibrating strings, resonating wood and digital beeps and boops instead of square plates of metal (nothing against square plates of metal, I'd use those too). So maybe they should start by making pretty pictures of sand on top of a guitar to have a point with the cymatics. Also, the tuner they keep showing for the notes in their video shows their frequencies sharp or flat. They should at least get their notes right. They're also using a modulated tone with harmonics which introduces all kinds of questions about whether they're trying to prove a point or just make cool patterns with the sand. But really, who cares if it sounds good, right? Seriously, if you like your music 'detuned' to 432, go for it.

I've got a theory that altering familiar music is a great way to get us in different moods. We like remixes, right? So a 432 Hz retune might be just the thing to mellow out to. Likewise, a 448 Hz retune might be just the kick in the ass I need in the morning to get going. So retune all you like.

I do have a technical quibble with the suggested method in Audacity, the resample will do bad things to the high end of the music, all those harmonics and partials and stuff (of course, some feel all that is lost in digital music anyway so YMMV). The Audacity wiki talks about better ways to do frequency shifts. I definitely wouldn't do this to anything that has been digitally compressed at any point, your mp3 folders and itunes collection will lose even more when you start pitch shifting them. Rip the original CDs and mess with the .wav files or get the FLAC files if you're serious about retuning your music collection.

The real way to test their idea would be to blind test a bunch of music you've never heard before, some that has been pitch shifted to a variety of frequencies including 432 Hz and some that is unaltered. Score the music and your emotions after each song and see if there is a pattern to the pitch shifting. Now do this to a bunch of people and see if there are patterns in cultures, age groups, musical preferences, etc.

gkya 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Well all that is is a myth about a certain frequency of A4, not really a conspiracy theory.
loop-programmer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza is tuned to 440 Hz, so I'm going to go ahead and say 440 Hz is correct.
fabiofzero 1 hour ago 1 reply      
So. Much. Bullshit.
To influence people don't try to persuade them, use pre-suasion instead latimes.com
112 points by jrs235  4 hours ago   55 comments top 18
hammock 3 hours ago 2 replies      
"Pre-suasion" is another word for priming.[1] Incidentally, priming is one of the most prominent areas of social science that was once considered solid, but has now become under increased scrutiny due to failed replications.[2][3]


jwtadvice 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
I am reminded of the DoD funded paper out of UCLA on using MRIs to aide in the production of Middle Eastern focused, Pentagon directed social media propaganda using "pre-suasion" [1].

The paper states that three general categories of tactic are used to "pre-suade" civilians that may be otherwise on the lookout because they think someone may be trying to influence them (in which case cognitive defense mechanisms come into play).

The paper summarizes that a few techniques can be used in an attempt to circumvent active and alert defenses:

1. "affirmation" - attaching your message to something that the target wants to affirm or reaffirm and including your new information along with old information.

2. "resource depletion" - providing so much information or stimulation or messaging that the target is 'exhausted' of trying to resist the message and relaxes into coping with it.

3. "narrative persuasion" - masking the message or information in a story with which the target self-identifies, therein allowing the message to seem like legitimate material to the target.

[1] http://minerva.dtic.mil/doc/samplewp-Lieberman.pdf

kbenson 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think an important offshoot of this is to use specific language and ideas prior to your argument not to necessarily influence someone to the coming argument against their better judgement, but to actually free them to use accurate judgement.

I have no idea if it works, but I often try to lead gently into my arguments here. I try not to make too many assumptions about what the reader will think about the prerequisites for my argument, and so go through my assumptions about them and why I believe them, and then present my actual argument. It's my hope this somewhat softens the natural tendency to ignore evidence and claims counter to their own beliefs by presenting supporting evidence they might agree with first. This is a simple concept and one I'm sure many people use, whether they are specifically working around what they see as a deficit of human rationality like me, or just because they think it's effective (if it is!).

What I think is important about this is that it's an example of how we can use our cognitive biases for good. We can pit them against each other to open ourselves up to the more rational sides of our minds. It's important we don't associate all forms of manipulating our minds through presentation negatively through labeling. It's easy to say it's manipulation, and manipulation is bad, but that's just falling prey to another one of our cognitive biases, where we group similar things, and transfer attributes between them, whether they apply or not. It's very important we as a specifies learn from our weaknesses, and try to mitigate them, not just paper over them like they aren't there. I think the future is bleak if we don't.

wppick 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
What I'm about to say is pretty hand-wavy (pre-suasion), but this concept of pre-suasion is important for when you are interviewing, or being interviewed for a job. Let's say you are interviewing someone for a position in your company, and you don't have an exact job description and set of requirements for that role; you are just looking to hire someone "good". That person can actually pre-suade you into overvaluing some skill, or aspect of their skill set that they want you to focus on. They can frame the argument in your mind as to whether you want to hire them on not based on an argument of their choosing. For example, they can make the argument in your mind that they are a fast developer, then the internal argument in your mind becomes whether they are truly fast or not, and if you are convinced that they are fast, then they become much more likely to be hired by you. This is not the best example, but it's a common sales tactic called "framing" the argument.
jonathanstrange 3 hours ago 4 replies      
The problem with all this nudging and using of biases to influence people is that it is hardly better than spicing their drinks with drugs to make them more complacent and willing to agree.

In my personal experience, being honest and reasonable, sticking to the facts and presenting good arguments have worked better in the long run than any eristic tricks. It depends, though, there are some fields where arguments do not really count and people are fairly irrational anyway, so I don't want to condemn these methods in general. Just as a tendency, it seems better to take other people seriously rather than only as allies or antagonists and as mere means to an end.

davemabe 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This is also referred to as "priming" which researchers have repeatedly failed to replicate.


iainmerrick 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow", which is terrific but probably oversells some of the research results.

Anyone know how well this new psychology stuff is surviving the replication crisis in the humanities?

Edit to add: less charitably, it also reminds me of Scott Adams' rambling blog posts about Donald Trump. Adams has persuaded himself that this persuasion stuff is like magic, and applies it to everything he sees. It's the new astrology.

elitro 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I haven't read his book, but if anyone is curious on these experiments, you can read more on the following books (In fact, the article seems a mash of both of them):

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - The author mentions experiments where people exposed to more agressive or relaxed interactions can react differently and many other situations (similar to the money/cloud backgrounds examples).

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Describes interaction strategies to avoid conflicts and create trust (such as the letter example).

csallen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're at all interested in psychology and the human mind, I highly recommend Cialdini's earlier book, Influence. It has some absolutely amazing insights into how people persuade and influence each other, and is one of the few non-fiction books I've read several times.
JoeAltmaier 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Odd thesis. Whatever comes before will influence how people perceive what comes after. Uses example of seeing clouds or coins; then buying a sofa. Those that saw soft things, bought softer sofas. Hm. I'm having trouble imagining how they measured that.

Then the opposite example is used - a queen says "I have a weak body but" and then excites the troops to battle. How is that similar? Its the opposite. They 'explain' it by suggesting the truthfulness of the initial statement establishes the truthfulness of the following statements. Very meta.

This sounds weak. Either 'pre-suasion' works one way or it doesn't? Which is it? I don't think the OP understood what they were saying. In fact, I think they made the whole thing up.

ph0rque 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm about 2/3 of the way through "Pre-suasion". It's a bit of a chore; you can definitely tell the author is an academic. But the content is a treasure trove. I have a feeling I'll be referring to it again and again.
MarkMc 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Those who saw the soft clouds were more likely to prefer soft, comfortable sofas for purchase

Oh yeah? How much more likely? And with what confidence interval?

vsloo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The practice of influencing people can easily be misinterpreted with negativity. Pre-suasion or priming are both about understanding and reading people better, anticipating what they need/want before they want so you can plant a seed. We work with tons of customers and our customer service team is trained to influence them just so they can have a more positive experience. We wrote about it here too: http://bit.ly/2eykG3f
munificent 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I like to know about these kinds of tricks so that it is harder for people to use them against me. But I would hate to find myself using them against another person. It's dishonest and disrespectful.

My guideline is pretty simple: Would I be upset if someone used this tactic on me? If so, I shouldn't use it either.

paulpauper 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm skeptical this persuasion stuff works http://greyenlightenment.com/behavioral-psychology-and-influ...

people are always looking for shortcuts and life hacks to get what they want, and I wish it were that easy

Xeiliex 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thus I have practiced learning if our inaction is genuine and how to spin you off if it isn't.
gdulli 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The thing is, you never know when someone is going to see through it and lose respect for you for using a tactic that's more transparent than you think.
Webcams used to attack Reddit and Twitter recalled bbc.com
300 points by rietta  4 hours ago   165 comments top 39
piker 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Forgive me if I overlooked it in the article, but if this recall is being conducted at Hangzhou Xiongmai's own initiative, it should be applauded. No doubt it'll be expensive to fix these up, and it's not clear that the organization has any real liability for the security faults. People are suggesting that we should "name and shame", and I somewhat agree, but I think we should also applaud efforts of those who are taking the expensive steps of fixing the problem with no direct incentive to do so.

Because the DDOS's costs are borne externally to the consumer, consumers can't really be counted on to mandate security fixes. On the other hand, establishing liability for a company adding to a preexisting botnet through security faults seems tenuous.

One solution seems to be regulation (self or third-party), and it's exciting to see a manufacturer take this issue seriously and start us down the path of self-policing.

[edit: for clarity]

alex1 3 hours ago 2 replies      
There should be recalls from more manufacturers. Someone I know purchased a surveillance camera with a major brand name (Samsung) from Costco [0] just a few weeks ago that gave me a root shell by simply telneting in as root with no password and no way to reliably set a root password or disable telnet. It was returned the following day. Last I checked, Costco is still selling it. This problem isn't confined to cheap Chinese cameras you can buy online. Vulnerable devices are being sold at major American retailers and they are still on the shelves.

[0] http://www.costco.com/Samsung-SmartCam-HD-Plus-1080p-Wi-Fi-I...

socmag 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
You guys are crazy. A probably small creative team simply made an error while building a camera in good faith that was abused by criminals. Who is the victim here?

What's all this crap about simple fun web cameras as "Bad Actors"... In fact the use of the term "Actor" as applied to a pretty dumb piece of electronics is pretty creepy in itself. What are we trying to do here?

The term "State Actor" is fairly new in terms of popular usage. Thanks to CNN and media, we are being trained to know this word in a particular context.

Now, we are being trained to place dumb pieces of electronics in the same bucket as Russia and China. LOL

I'm sure there wasn't a meeting where the camera manufacturer execs set around a table and said let's make these things blow up the world.

And you know, even if there was, the shame lies on the fact that we don't have better edge level security that can detect and shut down abnormal traffic patterns close to source.

There is some fairly low hanging fruit here. Routers and gateways with pretty damn simple algorithms could detect and prevent these types of attacks if they were available.

The network should protect itself against "Bad Actors", because... trillions of devices are a coming, and we can't expect them all to be certified to protect the network. The concept itself is completely absurd.

Fat better to improve the infrastructure than to impose per device level policies. It's the IETF that needs to step up. Not the guys in a garage who couldn't code.

Sure maybe they could have done a better job, but from the level of programming we are currently at it is an absolute certainty that this will happen again whether we like it or not.

glennos 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's disappointing the article doesn't give any actionable detail of the recall. From what I can see, Hangzhou Xiongmai is a components manufacturer, not a retail brand, so there's no practical way to identify an affected device with the information here.
rietta 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this recall of IoT devices the first of a kind? While it is but a drop in the bucket of IoT insecurity, it has to be an expensive way for the Chinese firm Hangzhou Xiongmai to learn that having the same password on all devices is a security bad idea. Other manufacturers should take note.
0xmohit 4 hours ago 6 replies      
It's common to see people frown upon seeing

 curl ... | sh
Sad that we happily allow a black box to connect to our internet without any inkling of the fact that it might be used to attack someone, spy upon someone (ourselves?), ...

bitmage 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Has anyone seen an explanation of how the telnet port on these devices is getting exposed to the internet to be exploited? I would think that most home users are behind a NAT device. Even with UPnP, why would the manufacturer have that port set to be forwarded?
vanderZwan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> The web attack enrolled thousands of devices that make up the internet of things - smart devices used to oversee homes and which can be controlled remotely.

It's almost poetic that the IoT devices in question are remote-controllable webcams, since constant surveillance is the other symbol of a dystopian Big Brother society.

DenisM 1 hour ago 1 reply      
One down, one million to go.

Thee is no way these horses can be put back into the barn, there are too many of them. As long as consumers make their decision based on price there is every incentive for the manufacturers to continue cutting corners - the ones that put extra work into security will be at disadvantage compared to those playing fast and lose.

Can we talk about BGP flowspec instead? Filtering offensive traffic early and often can end DDoS once and for all.

zitterbewegung 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this the first time that this has happened? A severely insecure device leading to a recall.
brk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And at the same time, the company recalling those products is issuing threats against anyone who is defaming their "goodwill":https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12778954
phonon 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Underwriter's Laboratories should start including basic security hardening in their tests.
abc_lisper 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
I think I see a opportunity for something new here.

Why isn't there a uber secure OS written in a high level language that would prevent easy privilege escalations, vulnerabilities caused by buffer overruns etc?

It would be nice to have a standard security approving body (like FCC) that gives out graded standards.

It is like every generation forgets the mistakes of the past and repeats them. When $5 Raspberry Pi is powerful enough to run desktop OS, I see no reason to not adopt a high-level language that prevents basic security violations at the roots.

beamatronic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Was it possible to take control of these cameras even if they were behind a consumer firewall? Is the issue that consumers were connecting them directly to the Internet, not behind a firewall?
creeble 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This article doesn't mention the brand names of cameras manufactures by Hangzhou Xiongmai. Anyone know any?
davidf18 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who was a VLSI design engineer for 4 years, as well has extensive software experience, much of the disruption happened because of poor engineering. There should always be redundancies in critical systems. The groups such as Twitter, Reddit and Spotify did not use redundant DNS providers relying only on Dyn. Moreover, DNS should be designed so that the systems are more resilient to attacks. The initial design of the internet was meant to withstand nuclear attacks after all.

There is absolutely no way that we can protect all devices on the internet from being bots, etc. Just as it is almost pointless blaming hackers when in most cases the hacks were because breeches from failure to update software, to put in proper security software, and to hire top level consultants to implement secure systems.

Put another way, we can't possibly jail everyone who would want to steal money. That is why we use safes.

perch56 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A significant number of these cameras were bought on Aliexpress and EBay. How are they going to do the recall when they don't even know the end customer?
Too 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, with more and more crap entering the market and more and more people connecting things, it seems like in the future it would be nearly impossible to prevent these types of attacks.

Who could you hold responsible? The user for not setting a password or the manufacturer for accidentally creating a backdoor? Neither is really reasonable nor feasible. Filtering the attack is also extremely hard due to the scale of distribution.

Will this lead to a more locked down internet?

Alex3917 4 hours ago 6 replies      
So by subsidizing each webcam by a dollar or two, China is able to deploy millions of pieces of hardware to the U.S. that can be used to map and destroy our infrastructure for a total cost of a few hundred thousand dollars. If done purposefully, this has to be one of the most efficient military spends in history.
scottmf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Apple made a good call with its "strict" requirements for HomeKit devices.


martin-adams 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been concerned about the security of IoT devices for a while as the low cost devices generally do have security as an after-thought.

However, these being used for a DDoS attack puts a spotlight on the issue. While I don't know the solution, I feel it will become harder for manufacturers to shrug this off.

dmix 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If they are connected to the internet, why not push out an update to fix the default password issue?

A hardware recall seems silly when it's clearly a software issue. Unless they didn't include any firmware updating system... which is likely the elephant in the room not being addressed with most insecure IoT devices. Android faced this problem as well and has recently made progress addressing it. Although a lot of phone companies get in the way and manufacturers have very short support lifespans.

fryan 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is the denial of service attack on DNS servers still going on? Major sites are still much slower than last week.
dammitcoetzee 3 hours ago 1 reply      
So... if a company does all due diligence to perform a recall, but very few people actually send back their five dollar web camera. Is the company pretty much off-the-hook then if that customer's kept webcam gets hacked and is used to brick a nun's IoT pacemaker?
keysersosa 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Though I'm happy we got top billing in the headline, Reddit wasn't actually impacted directly (though of course many of the sites we linked to were).
cbr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for them! A recall is the responsible option at this point, and I hope other manufacturers do the same.
donatj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if Foscam's were affected at all? I unplugged mine to be safe.
user5994461 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How many devices are recalled? What percentage of the DDoS were they responsible for? Not enough information.
harrisonmalone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is extremely disconcerting
dghughes 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm designing a weapon on mass disruption IoT confetti. Bow to my demands or I will send you an exploding yey tasteful confetti card with 50,000 confetti all trying to access your wifi network.
lgleason 4 hours ago 0 replies      
what about the routers and other cheap devices. This is a drop in the bucket. Until regulations (and strong enforcement) of devices requiring device security to sell them in countries like the US, UK, EU etc. happen this will continue to be a problem.
Lagged2Death 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Webcams used to attack Reddit and Twitter recalled

I think it's kind of troubling that "the vast variety of information services that comprise the internet" apparently means "Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook" to laymen now.

dimino 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Laws won't fix this, recalls won't fix this, what we need to do is find a technical solution to the DDoS problem.

You can't un-ring this bell, and it might actually be harmful to try. A free and open Internet is more important than DDoS attacks.

jordache 3 hours ago 1 reply      
there needs to be a regulation body, similar to NHTSA that regulates security of digital products.
Thaxll 4 hours ago 2 replies      
A recall where you could just upgrade the firmware?
cabalamat 4 hours ago 1 reply      
We need a new acronym: IoCT = the Internet of Crap Things.
cwilkes 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> "Security issues are a problem facing all mankind," it said. "Since industry giants have experienced them, Xiongmai is not afraid to experience them once, too."

The courage to try something new. Oh wait it isn't new, this is being a copycat.

dalore 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> If your webcam is hijacked you have effectively let an intruder enter your home

Except it's not. They can't touch me, hurt me physically, take things away. All they can do is see me.

So what they see some guy in front of a computer. I'm more worried about the hacks that can take over my keyboard, and can access financial data. But even then it's the banks problem and insurance that will take care of it.

arzeth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So there must be a law:

1. Any device with internet access must be able to automatically update all its software.

2. Because a manufacturer can either go out of business (some devices are used for >10 years) or not care about its users, all its software must be open source. A code, which needs to be secret, can be stored on a hardware level.

3. But if a software is open source, it doesn't mean there would be people who'll fix the bugs, therefore there should be the list of OSes approved (by a regulator and EFF?) to be used on IoT-devices. The development of these OSes should be public (on GitHub, etc.). By having ~10 different OSes instead of a million, solving bugs would be possible and much easier.

4. By having such list of approved OSes, we also solve the problem of having a vulnerabilities in the updating process, e.g. missing signatures, using RSA-1024 or even RSA-512 for signatures.

5. By having such list of approved OSes, it'll be easy to maintain the live kernel patching service (in the future it'll be hard to imagine an OS without it).

6. By having such list of approved OSes, community would quickly fix the problem of using default passwords.

Without such law, expect 10 Tbit/s attacks in a year, and >500 Tbit/s attack in 2022 (if popularity of IoT would increase as fast as mobile phones did).

Now go promote what I've written (after fixing the flaws in my ideas), otherwise we'll live in the security hell (dystopian world!) where billions of devices would DDoS.

Font Awesome 5 fontawesome.io
148 points by kauegimenes  2 hours ago   66 comments top 16
StavrosK 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I quite like Font Awesome, but it strikes me as a bit bloaty to include 200 KB (best case) of files (i.e. all the icons) just to add a few icons.

Would the old method of a bunch of small png files in a directory work much better, now that HTTP/2 is here?

jashmenn 10 minutes ago 1 reply      
The commercial is great! Who helped produce the video? I'd love to hire them for something like this.
matthoiland 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This video alone merits my support. Well done. Well done.
gokaygurcan 9 minutes ago 2 replies      
Still no Node.js or npm icons after almost 3 years? Thanks but no thanks.


hacksonx 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I work for a corporate. A South African based company with inroads' in England and the USA. Should I donate in my personal capacity or ask the company to contribute?Yes, we use fa on our front-end projects.
tga 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I like FA because

1) it's FA and looks alright as it is

2) can't beat free, so I don't need to worry about licenses for every single web project

A completely redesigned, larger, commercial library might be interesting, but it is a new project and has practically nothing to do with FA 4.

boubiyeah 22 minutes ago 1 reply      
Using plain svgs nowadays, never looked back.
paublyrne 27 minutes ago 2 replies      
Even pledgers to the $5,000 tier have to choose between mug and t-shirt! Throw in a mug, will you? :p
arikfr 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
I just wonder how licensing for the pro version works in regards to open source projects? If I buy the license, can I use it for my open source project?

Also the option to commission your own icon is really exciting! :-)

mgkimsal 44 minutes ago 1 reply      
Any idea why there's no FA icon(s) to represent police, sirens, badges? Anything relating to civil authorities? (well, I guess there's some fire stuff).
spdustin 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I had submitted an issue about the removal of the non-identifying direct CDN link to FontAwesome in favor of a user-identifying JavaScript embed, and it was closed. I tagged in to another issue to make the same point,


Still no answer. Am I the only one that cares that the current state of FontAwesome encourages tying your email address (via a unique token) to your site's specific FontAwesome usage?

dwynings 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Any ETA on when backers will get private repo access? Super excited for this!
serg_chernata 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I love fa, I don't see an explanation as to why it's necessary to redesign the set though. Does anyone know?
chmln 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I feel the free version has been neglected ever since the commercial versions were born.

Also, there are too many unnecessary brand icons (e.g. skyatlas? houzz? most people aren't gonna use those).

Donated $5 anyways.

baldfat 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Font Awesome PRO????? No thank you. This makes Font Awesome less Awesome and divides the ecosystem.
VectorVictor 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this is utterly irresponsible and disrespectful to charge for the SVG icon set like this since it only harms usability and disabled users, which is the main reason people are migrating away from icon fonts in the first place.
Sputtering Startups Weigh on U.S. Economic Growth wsj.com
83 points by spuiszis  5 hours ago   134 comments top 16
cylinder 5 hours ago 10 replies      
Go on your state's Obamacare exchange. Hypothetically you are a mid 30s individual with a spouse and two young children. Look up 2017 numbers. You are looking at $12,000 - $24,000 per year in premiums alone and then massive deductibles and coinsurance of 30% to actually access services.

Who can bootstrap a business like this? So people are staying with their powerful big corporations if they can't get millions in funding for a startup (and outside of tech this is simply not even a consideration).

Edit: and if at some point you hire an employee, you will need / want to provide them with health insurance, and it will cost just as much. Large corporations have an advantage in that they negotiate lower premiums in bulk. Add this as yet another barrier to entry, along with their lobbying for protectionism, tax loopholes, their ability to hire huge teams of tax lawyers and accountants, and if you really start to get their attention, they can sue you baselessly by throwing lawyers at you to keep you in court. Merely defending yourself and getting to the point of dismissal is unaffordable for a budding small business.

Take a look at S&P500's profit margins. They are at record highs and not coming down as economics teaches us, meaning new entrants are not coming into the market.

FilterSweep 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> One key factor intertwined with this loss of dynamism: The U.S. is creating startup businesses at historically low rates.

This is one of the outcomes of oligopoly, and a system that encourages oligopoly (see: "legal" tax evasion[0]).

Google and Amazon, in particular, have their tendrils extended to many more areas in tech than Search, Affiliate Marketing, good Hardware, and selling products at cheap prices and highly developed operation systems.

In fact, one of this year's most successful tech IPO, Twilio, put the disclosure on their filing that their entire business is toast if AWS begins offering a VoIP / SMS delivery service and start undercutting their costs.

[0] https://thestack.com/world/2016/05/03/the-tech-giants-invent...

johan_larson 5 hours ago 3 replies      
> Goldman Sachs economists in part blame the cumulative effect of regulations enacted since the Great Recession for reducing the availability of credit and raising the cost of doing business for small firms.

Huh? Haven't small firms pretty much always been funded by personal saving of the founders, sweetheart loans from friends and family, and perhaps the odd bank loan secured by the personal assets (read: homes) of the founders?

Banks aren't interested in lending directly to businesses until they are large enough to have concrete assets to secure the loans. And they never were.

anton_tarasenko 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Walmart and Amazon alone sell $600bn worth of goods. That's 4% of US GDP. These two pushed thousands of independent retailers out of business due to lower prices (and smaller profit margins relative to revenue).

The same happens in transportation, restaurant business, hotel industry. Firms get bigger since 1800. Naturally, the number of new firms decline. In govt stats, it appears as "fewer startups."

Meanwhile, the economy grows thanks to productivity gains in big companies. So what do we want: productivity or new small businesses?

forgotpwtomain 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's just an editorialized presentation of the following:


Spooky23 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Health insurance and direct regulation is a distraction.

The macroeconomic environment where everything relentlessly consolidates is the problem. For software, entire categories are either dependent in advertising and not long term viable or are scoped from a revenue point of view from bundled offerings by Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Salesforce, etc.

Every other business is the same way. My neighbors dry cleaning business was forced to use a centralized plant because they just couldn't compete with the scale of the local big consolidated industrial cleaners.

threepipeproblm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So while startup hype is at an all time high, the actual level of startups is at an all time low in the US.

Reminds me of something Terry Gilliam said... "Usually you spot how societies work by what they glorify: it's usually the thing they're deficient in."

itissid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So many tech firms these days seem to satisfy some tiny facet of a group's demands to have/do stuff. The bigger the group's economic footprint the more the opportunity for business. But it seems to rely on "hierarchies" of social, economic status. But, basically if you have money you can avail a vast majority of today's tech firm's "products".

Sad part is that as far as I could read economies promoting this kind of behavior are the only ones doing well, yet even here(in the US) it seems things have worked out at best "average" for a vast majority of people. The ones that actually tried to do better for everyone failed spectacularly(read collectivism and socialism).

I always wondered why truly bettering ones self in every way(health, furthering ones own knowledge, exploration, helping others) are goals available only to the select few and not made available to more people more easily? Why are economic efforts geared towards these dwarf in front of more consumerist ones? Why do economics and behavior align in a way that makes it impossible to do better than a narrow predefined narrative someone set for me(or go through immense pain to achieve the one I want)?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilY4hRgfC2QFor example, I was looking at the simple task of affording a house with wife and kids and the only narrative available to have all this are "Zipcode", "School Districts" and "Zoning laws" which puts me in debt for life to get a decent thing choice for those options.

Why do smaller economies seem to do better than larger ones(like in europe). It always seems to me that the bigger the group of people that try to align towards a common goal(be it insurance premiums or world peace)the harder it becomes. Why is this so?

And yet, in the end, by and far large my experience of living in 3 vastly varied countries in the last 20 or so years still makes US a better place to be. But things could be a bit easier/simple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJRcDHKrSqw

jonbarker 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The percent of the US economy invested in startups is very low, so I disagree with the premise of this headline. If every startup went bankrupt tomorrow, what would that represent in GDP decline? If the US GDP is 18 trillion and the total VC investment in 2015 was around 58 billion, then if only last year's investments all went to zero, it would represent a decline in .3% of US GDP. Of course there is more capital at risk than just last year's investment so let's say last year's 58 billion is only 10% of total capital deployed. OK still just a 3% decline. I think what the article should highlight is how few high growth and cash flow positive startups there are, which I agree is a real problem. Maybe completely eliminate all fees and taxes for LLC formation?
jordache 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This article was written under the assumption that startups in general = innovation.
madengr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Did anyone else read "sputtering startups" and think physical vapour deposition?
costcopizza 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how much (if any) the lax enforcement of anti-trust law has played into this.
denim_chicken 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Collapse is near.
daodedickinson 1 hour ago 1 reply      
A coworker at one of my jobs (I work 4 menial job / gigs, make 17k a year, live in parents basement, have no friends or lover, was top of my class in CS but left after a professor openly helped a student cheat to no consequences and another prof revealed CS grads from my school had less than a 50% postgraduation employment rate for ANY job, much less a CS one) had an idea she wanted to patent that would be helpful but would essentially be a metal pole in a specific shape. I had to be a downer and tell her of this story:http://qz.com/771727/chinas-factories-in-shenzhen-can-copy-p...

You're damned if you put your idea on the net and damned if you don't and it's all getting disheartening. I just want to find a career so I can go out and court someone but even the people with CS jobs that I know are constantly complaining of work / life imbalance and not getting to see their loved ones in person enough. Everytime I try to start studying some topic in the hopes of pursuing a living the shellshock of robophobia and the likelihood I will be too late overwhelms me. I can only cry at that leaked Clinton speech where she says we know what to do with the 120 IQ kids, but not the 100 or 80 kids. Well here I am at 145 mopping floors and literally shoveling shit despite only ever being excellent in school I guess it's just bad genes because my uncle could solve a Rubik's cube blind and built all sorts of electrical contraptions and has been a homeless drunk for decades. Here I am, another sandwich eater in front of thw trash pile as in Godard's weekend.

marcamillion 3 hours ago 1 reply      
So I think this the article perfectly sums up a thesis I have developed about these economics indicators and the way Economic Growth & Productivity is measured.

All of this is intuitive, and I have no hard data to back up my theory, so I would love for someone with much more econometric experience than I to prove/disprove this thesis.

Thesis: The global economy and US economy in particular is going through a radical productivity growth spurt and shift that is not currently being measured properly.

This article is the perfect example of this. You mean to tell me that during a period where there has been an explosion of independent contractors of many different types, we have seen "Startups Weighing on US Economic Growth"? Surely that can't be true and fully reflective of the reality.

There are two aspects to this. There is direct job growth within startups (so Employee headcount) and there is the issue of what is a 'new company'.

Direct Job Growth.

It is hard to argue that the average startup isn't much more productive today than it was 10 years ago, much less 20 years ago. Particularly tech startups. For tech startups it's most glaring, because you have things like AWS, Heroku & the App Stores that allow you to deploy a relatively easily scalable, product that can reach hundreds of thousands/millions of users/customers as a team of 1 - 5.

No longer do you NEED someone just to manage 1 server, or even add additional server capacity and deal with Colocation-related issues and all of that stuff.

You also no longer need to pay huge licensing fees for development software platforms and developer tools. So the barrier to entry to shipping has dropped to 0, basically.

So whenever a startup raises a nominal amount of money, it can go into much more high-value jobs (like customer acquisition and customer support) for which there isn't always a direct correlation between each incremental dollar in revenue earned with the number of people you hire to support that revenue. In some cases there is, but in many cases there isn't. Or rather, the up scale hiring process is horizontal rather than vertical. Each customer support specialist can handle more support tickets today than they used to 20 years ago, for much cheaper. Aka, the support systems that multi-national companies have always used are now available for much cheaper and often much better to startups at $50/employee in many cases.

When you think about the various aspects within a growing tech startup, you can see this same principle across all disciplines (even including HR and Employee benefits via services like Zenefits and its competitors). So the productivity that can be bought with each marginal dollar invested in a nascent startup is so much greater as a result of these highly, specialized and in many cases very economical services that can be leveraged from third-party providers, than had been the case 20 years ago....yet these articles and current econometric models would have us believe that productivity growth has flatlined. Really?

What is a 'new company'?

While there may be significantly less direct job-growth (as a result of the issues I highlighted above), there has been an explosion in the number (and types) of marketplaces that have sprung up that allow customers/users to be independent contractors. Not just typical web dev/writing/etc. But your excess space (AirBnB and all its clones), your excess vehicle (Uber, Lyft and all clones and derivatives), your excess time (Instacart, TaskRabbit, Mechanical Turk, etc.), and any other service that has sprung up that allows random people to do random gigs from a marketplace of gigs of different kinds.

So yes, the Ubers of the world no longer add significant employees to their payroll to service increasing revenue as a part of operations, but by creating marketplaces where random people can earn a living, doing things they previously never did (or even considered doing), surely has contributed significantly to economic growth in ways that aren't currently being measured properly.

Those people likely haven't registered legal entities, they probably just have a bank account, so they won't show up in "new company" data. But I bet if there was a way to measure those non-registered, independent contractors across all of these problems and you contrast that figure with the same category 20 years ago, you would get a much different picture of the US economy and productivity growth.

I could be wrong with all of this, but every time I read one of these articles....that's what jumps out at me. The disconnect between what is being measured and reported in articles like these, and all the products/services we see being launched on TechCrunch, Product Hunt and HN that significantly improve the average person's earning power by both being able to sell said product/service or sign up to be a participant in that marketplace, has always been jarring.

Let me know if this makes sense to anyone and if I am missing anything.

I would love to crystalize this thesis and ideas some more, to do a full write-up in a blog post so please poke as many holes in this as you can.


simongray 5 hours ago 5 replies      
Overview of JavaScript ES6 features adrianmejia.com
205 points by adriansky  5 hours ago   141 comments top 21
ggregoire 3 hours ago 9 replies      
I'm surprised by the state of const/let nowadays.

The well-known good practice: use const by default; use let when it's needed. At the release of ES6, it was the way to go. But everyday I notice librariesand some really famous that use let everywhere in their docs, or some really influent developers from Google or Facebook who share samples of code on Twitter using let when it's not needed [1]. I don't know why. Seems like most people now think that const is for declaring constants (in the traditional meaning, like const API_URL) when it's just the normal way to declare variables that don't need to be reassigned (so basically most variables).

Dan Abramov said: "some people say const is ugly" [2]. Well, if it's a matter of appearance...

[1] https://twitter.com/addyosmani/status/789126892402204673

[2] https://twitter.com/dan_abramov/status/783708858803978240

AgentME 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The most interesting part about template strings was skipped over: tagged template literals. You can prefix a template string with a function which will get called with the list of string parts and the values passed in ${...} parts, and then it's up to the function to choose how to join the values up into the resulting string (or hell, you could make it return something besides a string if you want). The function can even access the raw version of the string containing any backslash escapes in it as-is. The default `String.raw` function is handy if you're writing something like an SQL query with a few \ characters that need to be in the final query. Both of these strings are the same here:

 const a = "SELECT id FROM foo WHERE name CONTAINS r'\\n'"; const b = String.raw `SELECT id FROM foo WHERE name CONTAINS r'\n'`;
You could even assign `String.raw` to a variable first, and then make strings look like raw string literals of other languages:

 const r = String.raw; const s = r`SELECT id FROM foo WHERE name CONTAINS r'\n'`;
Another good use of template strings is automatic HTML encoding (with a small module of mine on npm): https://www.npmjs.com/package/auto-html

zelias 3 hours ago 5 replies      
While I'm a big believer in most of the ES6 changes (arrow functions! let/const! classes! generators!), I am not a big fan of many of the new destructuring features. They can actually make your code less approachable if you don't already know what's going on.
my123 5 hours ago 6 replies      
On the web browser side, I don't recommend using ES6 yet, without any kind of fallback. Internet Explorer 11 is still used, as are devices on older iOS versions.(without counting people using the default browser on pre-Lollipop Android)
bpicolo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> Because even though the if-block is not executed, the line 4 still redefines var x as undefined.

This is because of hoisting. Not quite right as described.

kin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Appreciate the article, but this is relatively dated information. While I can see that many enjoyed the article, many have also been working in ES6 for over a year now. If you're ready to join, I highly suggest everyone make their way to https://babeljs.io/ and everything it has to offer resource-wise or tooling-wise.
qaq 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You might as well use babel and then you can use async/await which makes code way more readable.
VeejayRampay 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a question:

What does `for element of arr` buy me over `arr.forEach(element => ...)`

I don't find the for...of syntax particularly appealing or useful, but I might be missing something. Is it a matter of preference?

Roboprog 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Ugh. All this "make Javascript like Java" stuff needs to stop.

Cool stuff: Tail call elimination. Arrow functions. Assignment spread for multiple return values and "rest" / default parameters. Proxying (combined with computed get/set on properties) for easy decoration.

Classes and let: meh.

z3t4 4 hours ago 7 replies      
var's function scope is a feature! You don't have to place variable declarations in the header! (they are hoisted) Placing the var declarations where they are used makes the code easier to understand.

The point of constructor functions is not having to write new. So classes does nothing besides syntactic sugars over the prototype system, witch actually makes it more complicated and the code harder to maintain.

Async programming is hard, but not because of callbacks. Promises is just a wrap around callbacks, witch just adds complexity and more boilerplate. It will get better with async/await but I will still prefer simple callbacks.

Arrow functions are very nice for one liners, but will ruin your code if you use them everywhere instead of named functions. You should always name your closures, then it's easier to debug and lift them out.

mooveprince 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If someone wants to dig more on ES5 vs ES6 , check this presentation (use side arrow for navigation) http://coenraets.org/present/es6/#1
goatlover 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of these features are really nice, but JS is on a path to become as complex as C++.
ciju 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably add pointers to where the images were taken from.



jnasc 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What about import from? (modules)
pwython 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone recommend books or online courses that teach ES6 for someone just starting out with JS?
lacostenycoder 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Helpful article. Small typo on section 3.5. shouldn't 'construtor' == 'constructor' ?
drivingmenuts 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Can someone smarter than me (not a high bar) explain why they didn't just fix var, rather than introducing let?
Mchl 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What's interesting is that the author apparently has a QUERTY keyboard layout...
mattmanser 5 hours ago 3 replies      
destructing is very useful and encourage good coding styles

Is it? Personally I'd say that was bad code. What so wrong with using the original objects?

Putting aside the need to variable swap once a year or so, all the other examples look really confusing to me and unclear what they're doing. The `Deep Matching` especially.

albertTJames 2 hours ago 0 replies      
[a, b] = [b, a];

Great !

neximo64 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Using const and `splice` breaks the rules:

const info = [1,2,3,4]

const newInfo = info.splice(2);

'info' has changed

What it means when a huge Antarctic glacier is unstable washingtonpost.com
79 points by Jaruzel  5 hours ago   19 comments top 5
hammock 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Was hoping there would be visual of an unstable glacier, not just text about sea level rise.

If you have never seen a glacier calve before, check out these videos:




DavidWanjiru 53 minutes ago 3 replies      
I've never understood, is an Antarctica glacier (or polar ice caps) melting akin to adding ice cubes to a glass of water, or is it akin to ice cubes already in the glass melting? Ice caps on mountain tops melting are clearly akin to the former, but what about ice that's in the water anyway?
irrational 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Let's say both of these glaciers let loose tomorrow. If I was at the beach on the Oregon or Washington coast, how long would it take before I noticed the three foot rise they are predicting? Days, weeks, years?
mturmon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
More on the NSF/UK Antarctic field campaign this press release is tied to: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/10/us-and-uk-plan-thwait...
odammit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Very uncool.
How Snowden's Disclosures Made All Our Data Safer pardonsnowden.org
175 points by zerognowl  3 hours ago   51 comments top 10
readhn 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
On a personal level the disclosure was that "little additional push" (a wake up call) that made me abandon use of main Google services (email and voice). I advocated my close friends and associates to do the same and some of them are following the lead.
HugoDaniel 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be nice to see how companies like google/twitter/facebook/apple/microsoft/etc got negatively affected by these disclosures. Probably by checking usage drop or some other relevant metrics.

I know a few people (non it related) that dropped gmail.

sickbeard 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is nothing but a propaganda piece with some nice graphics. How exactly has it made all our data safer?
readhn 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
It has not made our data safer - rather it confirmed that our data "is not safe" anymore!!

Snowden confirmed that we have 0 (zero) privacy and that government has unrestricted access to all of your personal data, and if needed that data could be "pulled" and used against you.

jamisteven 2 hours ago 4 replies      
The reality is even if they pardon him, the guy will never be safe in his home country. Thousands of so called "patriots" believe this man is a traitor. Very sad especially considering what little has changed since the leak.
vaadu 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Snowden's revelations about domestic spying made the US safer. Snowden's revelations about non-domestic spying made the US weaker.

If all he'd done was the first he should be pardoned. Because he did the second he should get life without parole.

api 3 hours ago 6 replies      
In my experience they caused people to get slightly more serious about security, but the effect was minimal beyond crypto heads and maybe enterprise users.

UX continues to dominate all other market factors in computing by a huge margin.

Zigurd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The most important impact will be difficult to gauge: The US and Five Eyes have built a world-spanning interlocking hierarchy of lords and vassals of surveillance. This means none of the important governments in the world has true autonomy in decision-making, without their decisions being anticipated and influenced by the US and its closest allies.

Security efforts will get serious if state actors decide to try to escape this web.

oconnore 2 hours ago 1 reply      
[quickly] Reading through: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_surveillance_disclosure...

If you say that disclosing surveillance on US citizens was ok, how do you explain these leaks:

* """The Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS), which cooperates with the NSA, has gained access to Russian targets in the Kola Peninsula and other civilian targets. In general, the NIS provides information to the NSA about "Politicians", "Energy" and "Armament"."""

* """In France, the NSA targeted people belonging to the worlds of business, politics or French state administration."""

* """the NSA had been monitoring telephone conversations of 35 world leaders"""

* """In an effort codenamed GENIE, computer specialists can control foreign computer networks using "covert implants," a form of remotely transmitted malware on tens of thousands of devices annually."""

* """According to Edward Snowden, the NSA has established secret intelligence partnerships with many Western governments."""

* """revealed NSA spying on multiple diplomatic missions of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Headquarters in New York."""

How are these matters relevant to the citizens of the United States? Aren't these things exactly what spy agencies are supposed to do? Why should Snowden get a pardon for disrupting normal intelligence work?

djyaz1200 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone else think this Snowden as a hero stuff is a bit much? The guy revealed government programs that ANYONE who cared to look knew existed decades before (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON). I'll grant he sure raised awareness but does that make him a hero? ...and the recent increased attention to security seems to be heavily influenced by commercial hacking concerns rather than a response to government surveillance? Also... does anyone seriously think the government can't decrypt your data? Do we want every soldier, employee and contractor working in our government to use giant data dumps as a legit way to lodge their objections? Convince me why this guy shouldn't be in prison?
Can you hurt yourself eating chilli peppers? bbc.com
12 points by thetopher  1 hour ago   12 comments top 8
huherto 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Mexican here. I find it amusing that people focus on how spicy their peppers are. They are missing the point. There are many pepper varieties and each has a different flavor. That is the interesting part and how it mixes with different foods in a variety of recipes. Focus on the flavor, not the burn.
alyandon 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ghost peppers are the hottest peppers I've ever dared to eat directly. They are so far beyond hot that I don't even feel a burning sensation - more like pure, unadulterated pain like you'd expect from having a nail driven through your tongue. I really don't like the flavor of them either so there isn't really much motivation for me to ever eat one again. They are really great in small quantities for spicing up dishes without altering the flavor of the dish in question though.

Habanero peppers on the other hand - have a wonderfully fruity flavor. I wish I had a bit more stamina with regards to eating them. :(

SEJeff 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Short answer: yesLonger answer: yes, and it can wreck you


johnbrodie 39 minutes ago 3 replies      
As someone who enjoys a good hot sauce or pepper, I was interested in this article. Have I done damage to myself by eating 5 million+ scoville sauces?

Unfortunately, this article is almost completely devoid of real information, and doesn't answer the question at all.

JonnieCache 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
The resturant they're talking about is Burger Off, in Hove. They famously make you sign a disclaimer before you eat the burger. I've seen several people attempt it, and they've all regretted the decision.

Brighton also has an annual chilli festival. There's a chilli eating competition, and paramedics are often needed by the losers, sometimes the winners.

It's a bit stupid really, a bit like the teenage-boyish pursuit of unnecessarily strong marijuana, but whatever floats your boat I suppose.

anc84 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: Nothing long-term, but pain neurons might die off by prolonged/repeated exposure based on animal tests.
pcunite 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
When I was a kid, I sat across from a guy eating chips and salsa with sweat pouring down his face. I asked him if it was hot (pointing to the sause) and he snapped back, "No!".

To my surprise, I read about him in a local newspaper a few years ago. He apparently died from actually swallowing a lit charcoal covered in Pace Picante sauce.

not a true story

Building your bot's brain with Node.js and spaCy explosion.ai
29 points by syllogism  2 hours ago   2 comments top
amirouche 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Direct link to documentation: http://kengz.me/aiva/#aiva
OpenSSL SSL3_AL_WARNING undefined alert remote DoS seclists.org
59 points by attilagyorffy  4 hours ago   14 comments top 4
user5994461 3 hours ago 2 replies      
> An attacker could repeat the undefined plaintext warning packets of "SSL3_AL_WARNING" during the handshake, which will easily make to consume 100% CPU on the server.

> It is an implementation problem in OpenSSL that OpenSSL would ignore undefined warning, and continue dealing with the remaining data(if exist). So the attacker could pack multiple alerts inside a single record and send a large number of there large records. Then the server will be fallen in a meaningless cycle, and not available to any others.

SSL3 is vulnerable and should be banned in the webserver's configuration. It stopped being supported by major browsers years ago.

The article doesn't say if webservers are vulnerable when they block SSL3 entirely. If so, it's the hell of a critical vulnerability! Otherwise, http://disablessl3.com/

kfreds 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"All versions (SSL3.0, TLS1.0, TLS1.1, TLS1.2) are affected." according to http://security.360.cn/cve/CVE-2016-8610/

It would be helpful if the researchers clarified how potent this DoS attack vector is. Is sending "a large number of these large records" more efficient at denying availability than a naive flood using e.g. SYNs or UDP?

duskwuff 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems like a pretty... weak vulnerability.

Sure -- you can send an SSL server a bunch of junk data, and it'll try to process that data. But from what I gather, it's not as though it takes an unusually long time for it to process these warnings either. Any attacker with the resources to perform this attack could probably just as easily saturate the host's network connection without involving SSL at all.

attilagyorffy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
there's currently no post on openssl.org but i expect them to publish one soon. Also, now with all the OpenSSL sh*tstorm this year, I really wonder if LibreSSL is vulnerable to this security problem...
The worlds knowledge is being buried in a salt mine bbc.com
20 points by smacktoward  2 hours ago   12 comments top 7
makomk 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just so long as distant future generations don't confuse this with the salt mine containing America's nuclear waste...
pmoriarty 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It would be great if similar archives were distributed in salt mines around the world. Having a single point of failure in Austria does not sound very robust.

They should also sell those tokens as a means of generating revenue. I'd buy some and hand them down.

The article also talks about the possibility of civilizations losing the ability to read in three generations, but there's no mention of a plan to deal with that. These archives would be mostly useless to an illiterate society, except maybe as objects of wonder or worship.

That would be an interesting challenge, actually -- how could you teach an illiterate, collapsed civilization to read if they don't have access to electronic gadgets like audio players, computers, monitors, or projectors?

My first thought is to have some audio on wax cylinders with hand-cranked players or something. But then there's no guarantee that the hearers will even speak the language. Assuming the language is similar enough, though, it would still be challenging to teach someone to read merely by such primitive audio recordings. They'd have to be paired with some visual aids, and the people listening would have to be really motivated to learn.

sosuke 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you like this I'd recommend checking out the "The Invisible Photograph" series, part 1 features the underground Corbis Image Vault. http://www.nowseethis.org/invisiblephoto/posts/2
Cozumel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Now 'what if' the worlds knowledge had already been buried ages ago by a long gone civilisation, they had the same idea as us to use 'ceramic microfilm'. For your consideration I present the Dropa Stones ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropa_stones )

Maybe fake but still food for thought.

agentgt 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm sure it is massively more expensive but why not put some probes on the moon and have those probes syndicate.

Maybe have a couple of those probes become read only after a couple of centuries (to avoid a hack/attack of overwriting and blowing away all data).

The moon has very few impacts with asteroids and very little geo activity.

nindalf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'd be very interested to know what the impact of a severe solar storm would be. The article appeared a little vague on this point.
AdamN 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is anybody selling those tokens?
How to Write a Lisp Interpreter in Python (2010) norvig.com
95 points by xorbox  7 hours ago   20 comments top 9
marcpaq 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm always impressed how the magic of interpreters and compilers can be explained so succinctly.

Inspired by Jonesforth, I wrote a complete Lisp interpreter in a single ARM assembly file: https://github.com/marcpaq/arpilisp

rcarmo 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Obligatory link to today's best solution, using the Python AST and running straight off bytecode: http://hylang.org
rosstex 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is currently the final project of CS61A, the introductory CS course taught at UC Berkeley.

https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61a/fa14/proj/scheme/(no link for the current semester is up yet)

keithgabryelski 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here is my version of a lisp interpreter in python:


it's not meant to be pythonic -- it's meant to readable and organized

my inspiration was Interpreting LISP by Gary D. Knott written in 1997 (the pdf of it is included in the repository)

jacquesm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Original HN Submission + discussion here:


(and many re-submissions after that)

Follow up:


whistlerbrk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Along the same lines may I say buildyourownlisp.com somehow manages to be a great intro text to C as well as lisp. Highly recommended
krylon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
He he, I wrote a (primitive) Lisp interpreter in Python once. It was crappy and really slow, but it had lexical scoping and a (naive) macro system. Fun times... ;-)
ojno 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Surely something more like

(how (in 'python (write (interpreter 'lisp))


erikb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is from 2010. Please mark in the title.
Why Tim Cook Is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple steveblank.com
306 points by ahuja_s  5 hours ago   228 comments top 36
bad_user 4 hours ago 14 replies      
The article is short on details why he thinks Tim Cook is like Steve Ballmer, except for saying that Apple is slowly missing the boat on AI.

I don't know what Amazon does for AI, I haven't seen anything convincing from them, but I'll trust the author that they are working on it.

However it's tough to beat Google in this space, because AI and machine learning is what Google has focused on since their beginnings. Google's own Search has always been a limited form of AI on which most humans with access to the Internet have come to depend upon. And it is tough to beat them because they not only have 20 years of accumulated knowledge and talent, but they also have a lot of data on users and haven't been afraid to break users' privacy in order to get that data.

Now say what you will of Tim Cook, but he's nothing like Steve Ballmer, with one big difference being that Tim Cook's Apple is making a stand for privacy and security, which is actually quite rare to witness in this day and age. He's a man with principles and for this I appreciate him a lot, maybe more than I ever appreciated Steve Jobs.

It would also be stupid to try and beat Google on their own turf. It would be like trying to beat Microsoft at Windows or Office, or Amazon at AWS. And for important markets, Apple's secret is that they never had to beat anyone in market share, all they had to do was to take over an important slice of the high-end market, which is something they are really good at.

zekevermillion 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Even if I generally agree with disappointment at the apparent "maintenance mode" of Apple's product line, I am not sure Ballmer is the best analogy. My understanding is that Tim Cook actually is responsible for many of the supply chain innovations behind Apple's dominant product lines. This is an incredibly hard technical feat, not just blustery MBA crap. I suppose it remains to be seen whether Apple can put its enormous cash hoard to work in R&D and new product development. It could be possible for Apple to go the way of RIM but I think it would be very hard to kill them given their unique supply chain efficiencies (not to mention brand and balance sheet).
throwaway420 3 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a little weird for me that a company supposedly in "maintenance mode" has been ignoring the Mac for so long. Even a 5th rate computer company can manage to come out with a new model once in a while. How did Apple get to the point where a company in "maintenance mode" ignores a big product line like this for so long? Is Apple not capable of executing on more than 1 project at once?
cm2187 3 hours ago 3 replies      
My opinion is that the failure of Microsoft has less to do with Ballmer than with the absence of a Steve Jobs.

My experience with large corporations is that they naturally produce mediocrity. The ownership of the final product or service is too diluted, with too many people involved, pulling in too many conflicting directions. They employ people who individually know what "good" means and what should be done in an ideal world. But that knowledge and common sense gets lost with the bureaucracy and the scale of the organisation.

So unless you get someone at the top who will force the company to still achieve something great for their customers, you will end up with an MBA style manager who will make decisions based on options provided by his teams and get products designed based on specs from the top rather than trying to make something great.

A great example is Windows 8. I heard Sinofsky had already been sacked by the time he walked on stage to introduce Windows 8. Microsoft knew it was a shit OS, and decided to push it nevertheless. I have seen this happening so many times in other contexts.

But tablets are another example. Microsoft knew that tablets would be a big thing well before the introduction of the ipad. In fact I remember a pre-ipad interview of Ballmer where he was deploring that the Windows tablets never took off. The problem was that windows-based tablets were too mediocre to create a market.

But Apple is moving in that direction too now. The user experience is deteriorating with every iteration of iOS. I can't think that someone at Apple thinks it's a good user experience to nag their users with all of their services (Apply Pay, iCloud, Apple Music, etc) over and over, with multiple buttons to click to opt out. That will ultimately bite them too. Not overnight, but over 10 years like with Microsoft. Not Tim Cook's fault. That's what large corporations do.

jasonsync 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Apple does appear to be losing focus.

For example:

Apple has devalued the PRO moniker under Tim Cook's guidance.

By trying to ram it's Mobile OS into a PRO product (iPad PRO). I mean the UI grid is still 4 x 5 on a massive 12 inch display. Nobody noticed it feels more like Fisher Price? And the iPad "PRO" apps are all dumbed down, feature limited versions of actual pro desktop apps.

Then, by stagnating a once well regarded PRO product, the Macbook PRO, they further eroded the PRO moniker. Did they delay significant updates to the Macbook PRO to see if existing users would eventually give the iPad PRO a try first? Or did they simply want to drive Desktop OS marketshare back to Windows?

And what about the slim Macbook with a fancy new port (USB-C) that's still not available on any other Macbook, even 1.5+ years later!!!? Yes, that's exactly how you devalue the PRO moniker. By releasing new, cutting edge tech on your consumer products first. And then wait years before adding that tech to your PRO line (I know, the new Macbook PRO is rumoured to ONLY have USB-C ... sigh).

Don't even get started on the Mac PRO. Ya, that ridiculously underpowered, overpriced PRO computer that you forgot about, that looks like a NYC subway trash can. https://www.google.com/search?q=nyc+subway+trash+can&tbm=isc... Talk about an awesome PRO design.

Talk about losing focus.

Eerily similar to later stage Ballmer Microsoft.

bischofs 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Tim Cook is a "Bozo" - He has moved the focus away from computers and the companies core professional users and turned Apple into a fashionable health services company. They will coast for a while on their dominant mobile market share but eventually the stagnation and lack of new products will catch up to them.

He built a watch, which was a "me too" product and answered a question that no one asked. Jobs would never have done this because of the marginal increase in utility that smart watches provides users.

He also wasted company time and resources on trying to build a car, which is completely outside Apple's skill sets (the supply chains and profit margins are radically different). It seemed like he was just trying to do something innovative instead of actually looking at the needs and demands of users inside the computing industry where apple should be focused.

Its unfortunate that Jobs didn't see his lack of product development skills when he made him CEO - Jobs always talked about how product companies falter when marketing/sales/supply chain guys run the company and not product guys.

spectrum1234 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is one of the best articles I've read in awhile.
rackforms 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are clearly many holes in Apple's armor these days, but the one that irks me the most is how Apple's literally handing the Education market to Google. I swear if Apple's hardware announcements this week don't include a Chromebook competitor I'm going to figuratively scream.

Chromebooks are fantastic products but I grew up in the Microsoft dominated 90's and hated it. It feels like Apple's almost trying to make itself obsolete in markets it once owned. Competition please!

bnegreve 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Luck is generally involved in success.

So maybe this is just regression toward the mean and hasn't that much to do with whoever is the CEO.

In other words, every very successful company is bound to be less successful later. Nothing really exciting about this.

dmix 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really like the dichotomy Steve Blank uses between "process" people and "creative" people. I've only been working in tech companies for ~10yrs but all my experience working in companies have shown me that the more a person is obsessed with processes and structure, the less they contribute to the real business value (product, design, marketing, etc). Not only in their own time investment in the company but in their influence on others around them, which tends to be high because they usual get managerial roles somehow.

These are the people who obsess over flaws in how work is done rather than the work itself. Which has it's place in larger companies but even there it really needs to be balanced, much more in favour of outward work.

Being a front-end dev I've had to work with many 'product managers' who spent a big chunk of their time on the process stuff and most of the product ideas were just shots in the dark without backing it up with data or experience, or otherwise entirely reactionary to local customer issues or the bosses moods, rather than with a strong vision or focusing on high level trends in customer behaviour. Largely, I believe, because they spent a lot of their finite resources focusing on the wrong things (internal optimization rather than external, ie talking to customers, value prop).

There are many many traps that startups can fall into and this is a big one. Especially when companies get VC and start adding non-core team members, then feel the need to bring in managers.

usaphp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I noticed that Apple lost track of usability since Cook came after their release of a new keyboard at first, new arrows buttons on it are completely unusable, on older keyboards they had spacing between the left/right and buttons on top, now they extended left/right buttons and it makes it incredibly hard to "feel" where they are, and the fact that MacBooks pros still have an old layout makes it a night mare to switch between desktop and laptop programming.

Another one is a new lock screen on iOS 10, sometimes the fingerprint does not work or the finger is dirty and i know I want to unlock it with a pin, before I used to be able to just swipe right away and type the pin, now it won't let me and I have to repeatatly press the home button until it figures out that the fingerprint won't work and it has to show me the pin enter screen.

Might be little things but it's what used to separate Apple from the crowd, I don't want them to lose focus on those. And don't get me started on the new OS X, which makes my maxed out 2014 rMBP look like slow PC from 2000.

fatbird 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The single useful thing the article could have presented was how or why Cook's/Apple's efforts at AI products will fail while Google's will succeed; how Apple's AI products will be the Windows Phone of Cook's tenure (or, for that matter, how Windows Phone failed or could have been done differently). Without explaining how apparently similar efforts will yield different outcomes, this is all jazz-hands about CEO personalities and Fortune buzzwords.
heisenbit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It is worth noting that the author has a background in startups and entrepreneurship. Apple however is several magnitudes larger and running new initiatives on startup level requires isolation from the main business and a portfolio approach. Some companies show their their cards, some hint they have a list and Apple is traditionally very secretive.

The question is not whether Tim is the right guy for innovation but whether he has put the right guy into the place. John Ivy certainly continues to play a big role but has/is/will there be another internal leader emerging?

> About Steve (Blank)

> After 21 years in 8 high technology companies, I retired in 1999. I co-founded my last company, E.piphany, in my living room in 1996. My other startups include two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers, a workstation company Convergent Technologies, a consulting stint for a graphics hardware/software spinout Pixar, a supercomputer firm, Ardent, a computer peripheral supplier, SuperMac, a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL and a video game company, Rocket Science Games.

> Total score: two large craters (Rocket Science and Ardent), one dot.com bubble home run (E.piphany) and several base hits.

adekok 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Apple bought Siri, and then largely did nothing with it. The founders left, and started another AI startup: Viv.


That AI capability could have been Apples.

Instead of concentrating on user experience as a whole, they concentrated on "look and feel" of devices, along with UI.

Those are all good things. But having an iPhone with a useful AI would be a killer.

Instead, Google is pushing hard in this area. And will likely do well. Because they're a data analysis company. Not a "pretty picture" company.

bshimmin 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Apologies for this most gratuitous of bikeshedding, but if you're going to use proper superscripts, please sort out the line-heights.
robg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
He's underestimating their push into medical research and apps. It's $3 Trillion in the U.S. every year and they are further along than any other of the Big Techs.


Is not about selling more watches and phones. And Aetna alone has 23 million members.

erikb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's also a power game, who gets the next number one spot. People want to have their shot at giving direction to such a big ship. So they make friends with the current boss, ensure loyalty by key employees to themselves, gain authority over important projects. Then you cannot just fire them or put someone else in front of them. I think it's also okay, that companies come and go. If you look at it more closely each company is simply a paper and a bank account. The ideas and people who made the disruptions possible will move on to other paper-account combinations and innovate there.
pducks32 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hey I may be wrong one day and this comment might not age well but I believe what Apple _is_ doing with AI is crucial. Baking privacy into AI and ML is really necessary and I'm happy someone is thinking about it. I think Apple has a lot of AI stuff going on behind closed doors.
alex- 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Their is a feeling that CEOs of these large companies are completely responsible for the direction a company takes. I have never served as a CEO, but I can't help but imagine that large share holders are also very dominant figures.

One of the attributes that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appeared to share (I have never met either) was a massive amount of trust/faith to run their respective companies (eventually).

I imagine that this must translate to the board room where they were provided the freedom to pursue avenues that a newly promoted CEO would just not be allowed to do.

The author praises Steve Ballmer and Tim Cook for their ability to drive short term growth, but had they failed to do so they may have been replaced by someone more willing to focus on these returns. Eventually as disruption occurs the share holders start to prioritize facing these new challenges.

maxxxxx 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ballmer led Microsoft through years of sales and profits increases. Maybe MS isn't "cool" but he certainly left a very solid and profitable company.

Being compared to Ballmer is a compliment in my view.

erikb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"got a major release of Windows out without the usual trauma"? Did he already release Windows8? If Steve Blank talks about Windows 10 he must have missed something, or the usual trauma he experiences is way worse than what I would even think possible as an extreme case.
kimar 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Funny that the article fails to mention Jony Ive as the obvious successor to Cook. Doesn't it look like Apple has its next "creative CEO" all prepped up?
coldcode 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a dreadful comparison and makes no sense.
ahuja_s 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Now that we have Nadella, it's kind of scary for Tim Cook to be compared to Ballmer...
DubiousPusher 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read.

Though, there's something fabulously pretentious about writing an opinion piece and then concluding it with a "Lessons Learned" section.

oldmanjay 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm never impressed with the opinions of people who insist that Microsoft is some sort of failure. The utter lack of incorporating basic observation of reality into these theories is good for people who hate Microsoft, but little else.
sven-51 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Applies to Pichai at Google too. Google was a search company that put the browser/mobile guy in charge. You are not going to see stuff like this


come out of Google for the simple reason they are busy playing empire defense all the while the need for a centralized search engine reduces.

ungzd 4 hours ago 1 reply      
These hyped "conversational interfaces" and augmented reality remind me of Clippy and Microsoft Bob. And IoT is real disaster, not innovation. So good that they're not jumping onto these bandwagons.
angularly 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, it seems Apple are actually increasing R&D in AI:


youdontknowtho 2 hours ago 0 replies      

Ballmer and Cook have made extreme amounts of money for their shareholders. Major super truckloads of money. That's what businesses do.

The meta narrative of disruption is marketing, but somehow everyone keeps talking about it like its real.

Even weirder is the emotional responses from some of the other commenters about cloud providers? It's like they are sports teams or something. Just like sports teams they have nothing to do with you, really. It's just a brand that somehow you identify with.

(You could carry the sports team metaphor a lot further...tax abatements to build datacenters/arenas...but let's leave it there...)

scrrr 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Website-idea: Make a list of previous articles that predict the future of Apple. ;)
ksec 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are two kinds of people, those who dont understand Apple, and those who Thinks they understand Apple but they dont.
programminggeek 3 hours ago 1 reply      
One important thing that visionaries get credit for, but perhaps shouldn't...

Being in the right place at the right time.

It is a delightful bit of luck that Steve Jobs made it back to Apple. That scenario could have been way different where Apple bought BeOS, and Steve Jobs didn't return to Apple.

If Jobs isn't at Apple, he doesn't have the opportunity or resources to make his vision for the iMac, iBook, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, or iPad a real thing. In fact, he probably wouldn't have had the reason to envision any of the things at NEXT.

Also, you could argue that Jobs being at Apple when ARM got good enough for mass market smart gadgets at scale played into it too. If the tech isn't quite there, it doesn't look as interesting at all.

Without the right tech being available, Apple stalls out at the iMac and Power Mac and so on and is a profitable computer vendor, but not the most valuable company in the world.

So, Tim Cook might not be as visionary, but it might also be a poor time for anyone to be CEO as the opportunities shifted.

alanh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This title really rubs me the wrong way. To say one person is someone quite different seems like a reductive and clickbaity way to say that they are alike in one or two small ways. Better title: Cook, Ballmer, and the Problem with Naming Successors Who Are Good at Execution
vi4m 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Zigurd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I can sort of see the analogy but it does disservice to the way Ballmer led Microsoft to become anti-customer in their promotion of DRM technologies, among other strategic errors. Tim Cook seems genuinely pro-user in his emphasis on privacy.
Red Gate Woods: The final resting place of the world's first nuclear reactor atlasobscura.com
55 points by Cozumel  7 hours ago   20 comments top 9
klodolph 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Technically, the world's first artificial nuclear reactor. Some eyebrows were raised (and some alarmswas someone stealing enriched uranium?) when they found the resting place of a natural nuclear reactor in 1972.


friendly_chap 6 hours ago 1 reply      
That sign is a bit weakly designed compared to this: http://www.wipp.energy.gov/picsprog/articles/wipp%20exhibit%...
Animats 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here's the remains of the SL-1 nuclear reactor, an experimental unit which had a steam explosion and meltdown in 1961, with its marker.[1] It was at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, located in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest other building, just in case. The SL-1 story is in Wikipedia.

The marker is probably from 2000, when large rocks were placed over the entire site. It already looks dated.

[1] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/SL-1Buri...

chiph 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Back in high school, we took a tour of the Savannah River Site (this was allowed in the late 70's). We saw things mostly by driving by in a tour bus, but we did get to go into a few buildings, and try out a remote manipulator system (harder than it looks to get good with it).

The relevant part was the waste processing area, which had a smokestack (presumably for power). Painted eighty or a hundred feet up was a large stripe. The guide said that that was how deep they were going to bury the building once it had reached end of life.

Having just watched "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" I could imagine a future where explorers go down the stack because they were attracted by the 50+ feet that would remain above ground. Curiosity is hard to fight.

brian__c 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks to this, we have some great, legal mountain bike trails in the Chicagoland area. If it wasn't for these reactors being buried there, it would be full of McMansions and strip malls.
kodt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone wants to visit, you can find Site A pretty easily via Google Maps, as someone has added a Historical Place marker for it (41.702199, -87.912165). It's about a 15 minute walk from the nearest parking lot (41.709995, -87.914131).

Plot M is about half a mile away from Site A, and is easily missed. If you look on Google Maps for a small clearing just northeast of Site A, that is where Plot M is. (41.707279, -87.910550)

The Forest Preserves of Cook County website has some good information about the history of the site: http://fpdcc.com/site-a/

thexcguy 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is not far from where I grew up, and I've been there a few times. It's an interesting site that's easy to miss if you're not looking for it.

Also, the trails around that part of the FPDCC system are amazing. They might be the one thing I miss about suburban life.

erentz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Nuclear history buffs should definitely check out the Manhatten Project B Reactor if ever heading to Washington. Great tour.
ams6110 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Used to take my dogs there to run around. Nice natural area.
The New York Times is buying the Wirecutter for more than $30M recode.net
113 points by uptown  3 hours ago   39 comments top 16
et-al 2 hours ago 2 replies      
The Wirecutter worked because a reader could understand that its source of income was affiliate links for quality consumer goods. And we trusted that it'd be critical and honest.

On the other hand, a media company that relies on advertising for a significant chunk of its revenue naturally seems like it will have a conflict of interest between its advertisers and the products it may be reviewing.

Anyways, congrats to Brian Lam and co., but I'm curious how this would benefit the Times in the long run.

Terribledactyl 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Except for an extremely minor purchase (can opener, never again oxo), I've been extremely happy with the recommendations from Wirecutter/Sweethome. Even if you don't end up buying the recommended item (or anything related), you get very detailed article about the pros/cons, manufacturing decisions, etc of a particular product and can apply those in your other searches.
sadjuniordev 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it written in React?
uptown 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just a reminder ... your MVP can be crude:


notlisted 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Love both sites. Fear the worst. Hope I'm wrong. They've influenced many purchasing-decisions. Happy with 95% of 'em.

PS Wirecutter/sweethome replaced consumersearch.com for me. ConsumerSearch summarized meta-analysis of reviews. After they were sold to about.com (NYT) it became 'stale' so I stopped using them. Just checked, it's still a decent site.

Bud 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Extremely smart purchase by the Grey Lady, if you ask me. And a good deal for the price. Feeds naturally into their slick online presence, adds content in very popular topic areasareas that people with disposable income like to read about.
Max_Mustermann 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know a way to see an overview of past wirecutter recommendations for each segment? I'd like to know which used/refurbished products could be the best option.
arielweisberg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Really useful content that frames not just what but why they came to their conclusion and how you can adapt their evaluation to your own needs.

I can see how it could work because I have spent several thousand based on their advice. Several times through the Amazon link.

the_watcher 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used The Wirecutter and the Sweethome to guide most of the major home purchases I've made over the past 3 years. So far, their advice has been spot on.
uptown 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From self-funding to a $30M acquisition. Well done.
danso 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow, I'm assuming that the creators might not leave with fuck-you-money, but assuming they were relatively profitable or at least break-even, that seems like a great exit for a small-scale-content-company in today's environment.

Wirecutter, like Macrumor's buyers guide, have my admiration for building a vital content service out of a pretty simple idea. Gives hope that content-creators don't have to go the viral-spam-crap route to be a success. Or, at least worthwhile.

joshdance 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. 5 years of work. 30 million. That is like 6 million a year.
dbg31415 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was just about the only site I trusted to be as critical of goods and services as I am. Not really sure where all those BS 5-star reviews come from on Amazon but these guys were sufficiently critical and it made for good content.

Hope being bought doesn't screw the quality, but if it does seems like a good business model for someone else to fire up. "We only give As to people who deserve As..."

draw_down 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I like the idea for the site and I like the actual site too, but I find it somewhat frustrating how often their recommendations are no longer available for purchase, or their articles say "hang on, this will be updated soon!" and you never know when "soon" is.
gxs 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What a shame. Happy for the founders as it is a great site, but hopefully the quality doesn't take too deep of a dive.

Right now they make all their money off of affiliate links, so let's see what happens when the parent company depends on advertisement.

NN88 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope the quality is maintained
Living in Chinas Expanding Deserts nytimes.com
61 points by bananaoomarang  8 hours ago   11 comments top 3
M_Grey 3 hours ago 2 replies      
But farming is also becoming more difficult. Huang Chunmei, who grew up in the town of Tonggunaoer and now farms there, said the water table was two meters, or about six feet, below ground during her childhood, and now, you have to dig four or five meters.

This is the bottom line; you can plant trees all you like, but this is not a matter of simple erosion due to overuse or clear-cutting. Rather, the climate systems of the region are changing, and presumably they suffer from the same overuse of subterranean water that everyone else does in the developed/developing world.

I feel terribly for these people, desperately slapping band-aids on a sucking chest wound, especially since the story of this century seems to be that the people on the front lines of climate change are the people who contributed least to the creation of the problem in the first place. It's also hard to see a happy outcome for them, since they're first on the metaphorical chopping block; even if the world suddenly woke up and took notice, it would be too late for them.

donpdonp 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The background video clips were done incredibly well in the post. The clips added to the setting of what was going on in the text without being distracting. Kudos to the NYTimes for that.
doorty 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Guess climate change isn't a Chinese conspiracy after all*


Most Germans dont buy their homes, they rent qz.com
85 points by allerhellsten  10 hours ago   191 comments top 19
cm2187 6 hours ago 7 replies      
So in Germany, the interest on a mortgage is non tax deductible. The article doesn't mention it but I understand that property owners are also liable for capital gain tax if they hold the property less than 10 years.

I think that makes sense. There is no reason to favor individuals investing into an unproductive investment (property) over productive investments (stocks and bonds, which enable companies to raise money to start new projects, create jobs, etc). Over-borrowing to bid the maximum amount one can to buy a nineteenth century house doesn't create any job for anyone, it just transfers wealth to the hands of the seller.

DocTomoe 6 hours ago 9 replies      
Being German I want to pPoint out that the article leaves out one cruicial detail: Building your own home puts you into debt for quite literally the rest of your life. We do not like debt.
LeanderK 5 hours ago 8 replies      
I am a German CS-Student and currently renting in a shared flat with 4 other students. We call it WG (living-community) and its really popular not only with students, but i know a lot of young professionals and even middle aged ones that share an apartment (it gained popularity in the 60s, so i think its more of an culture thing that older do not share a flat). If you are in a partnership, you can move out and share a smaller one with your partner, but if your not in a partnership (or not that close yet) i wouldn't want to miss living in a shared apartment. You come home, talk about your day, cook together and on the weekend you can go out together. There is always something going on. I can't imagine living in my own apartment all by myself. Working long and then coming home into an empty, dead, dark apartment with no one to talk to.

Serious question: Why is it not very popular in other countries?

adrianlmm 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
The culture is so much different in Mxico, the first thing you do when you start working is to buy a house even if rents are cheap.
whack 5 hours ago 4 replies      
The Germans seem to be far ahead of the curve here. From a financial planning perspective, buying a home results in:

1) The vast majority of your assets becoming concentrated in a single plot of land, in a single neighborhood, in a single city

2) Your future mobility to pursue jobs in other cities, becoming significantly constrained

If you want to invest your savings, then invest them in the stock/bond markets. If you really love real estate investments for some reason, invest in a REIT fund where your assets will be diversified across thousands of properties, and fully managed by others on your behalf. Pursuing a national policy of home-ownership makes little sense.

Normal_gaussian 5 hours ago 3 replies      
The only liberty that renting provides is the protection from the whims of the housing market.

Aside from that it takes liberties right left and centre. I cannot structure my house and life as I want from painting and shelving through pets and kitchen appliances.

I cannot fix something without causing a hassle and days off work.

I cannot register a business here.

I am at the whim of my landlord.

Renting in the UK is a pain in the arse. I do to see renting as particularly positive for the individual.

wineisfine 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
It seems to me a huge problem when they retire?
WA 5 hours ago 3 replies      
On the other hand, many Germans believe: renting is paying someone else, buying is paying yourself (which is nonsense). Especially in more rural areas, buying/building a house is considered a big achievement in life. People are even willing to move from a smaller city to little towns just to be home-owners.

Buying a house can be a net loss over the years, if you're not located in a major city. Especially in East Germany, house prices are declining. See this graphic [1]. Everything yellow basically doesn't yield any returns. Housing prices in orange and red areas decline over the years.

But even in green areas, there are so many knobs you can turn to make buying or renting more feasible than the other. It boils down to lifestyle decision: Do you want to live in your own house or not? If you prefer to rent: Are you willing to save money by other means? Because buying a house works for many people simply because they're forced to "save" a certain percentage of their income every month.

I prefer renting, because of the flexibility. I put quite a bit of money in stocks instead.

[1]: http://cdn3.spiegel.de/images/image-726182-galleryV9-uttw-72...

mrottenkolber 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Germany is a two-class society divided into landlords and renters. A landlord will usually not own only one but ~3-20 houses that total to ~15-100 flats. The landlords often are renters themselves.

When compared with big housing companies, private landlords require bigger profit margins, leading to low quality maintenance of existing houses and ex-orbital rents. Especially in crowded cities, rent regulation is non existent and its a sellers market, inflated by wealthy students that rent expensive micro-flats during university.

You or your parents dont own houses, and are self sufficient on a regular job? Well, you are shit out of luck then. As much as 70% of your income will go towards your rent, effectively financing the better-off and the further expansion of their inefficient renting businesses.

vslira 6 hours ago 1 reply      
According to the article, mainly:1 - Government doesn't subsidize homeowners;2 - Renting rules are reasonable for renters, increasing supply which makes renting affordable.

There, saved you a click.

standel 5 hours ago 4 replies      
It's an interesting article.I'm from Belgium, one of the highest house owners countries. Even though it's true it's a life-long debt and it might be risky (in case of crisis), housing is still considered as a Long Term Investment so that you can pass that investment to your children (after heavy tax deduction :)). I find interesting the article does not mention who actually owns all these houses and who benefits in the long term. After all, renting has a guaranteed zero ROI.

Also, recently, I've been looking at housing market in Munich and it's very very expensive. Renting is ~20% more expensive than in Brussels and acquisition is +100% more expensive. So, although I admit I do not know rest of Germany housing market, I have some troubles thinking why Munich would be more expensive than Brussels. And I certainly miss, from that perspective, why German system would be more interesting.

adrianratnapala 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree it is a good thing for Germany to have so much renting. Indeed I think home-ownership will be the #1 driver of inequality in other contries over the next generation or two.

Those countries will have policies that lcaim help poor people buy houses, but the effect is to just inflate prices and increase financial risk -- as the world has already seen. The one thing that would really help -- increased supply is blocked by a powerful home-owners lobby damanding zoning rules and other restrictions.

In Germany the bloc is powerful, and probably gets more goodies than it should. But at least here they are constant building new housing.

VLM 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Article misses the hyperinflation of the 20s and the capital markets in the 50s.

By the time the cold war made it apparent that 20s style economy destroying reparations would not be paid, renting was already baked into the cake.

Residential real estate is non-productive and post WW2 Germany had not use for a capital drain if anything they needed capital along the lines of the Marshall Plan so its not like anyone was interested in wasting capital in a modern USA style housing bubble.

merb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> more than 93% of German respondents tell pollsters theyre satisfied

You only trust the statistic you created yourself.That is not a true statement.

adrianratnapala 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Can somone explain what the article means by:

> Germany also loosened regulation of rental caps sooner than many other countries,

Does that mean the amount of rent control was deregulated? I thought the rent control here in Germany was pretty strict -- at least in the sense that the landlord can't increase the rent during an existing tenancy.

josefresco 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How does Germany handle retirement? In the US, your home is seen as an investment, one that can partially fun retirement or depending on the market, pre-retirement income.
pyb 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Who owns most of the homes then ? Institutional investors ?
bogomipz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be curious to know or hear if anyone thinks this trend has been altered since 2008. For close to a decade now we have had extremely low or in some case negative(in Europe) interest rates. Thats a lot of cheap financing. As the article points out the data is from 2004.
bogomipz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I realize that Berlin is nothing like the rest of Germany but I noticed that the rental housing stock there seems to be pretty tight. There's a fair amount of construction going on but it looked like a premium housing stock that was going up. I assumed these were probably for sale but maybe they are high end rentals?
Show HN: Mediachain Attribution Engine mediachain.io
27 points by denisnazarov  2 hours ago   5 comments top 3
denisnazarov 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey HN!

I'm Denis, one of the people working on Mediachain! We're really excited to launch Mediachain Attribution Engine today!

We think it's the best image search engine for creators. You can find free, high quality images that you can share and re-use, with attribution automatically baked in.

Mediachain Attribution Engine makes it easy to find a great image that you can feel good about sharing or using in your blog post, presentation, website, etc.

You can upload any image from the web to find out who made it and where it came from. If Attribution Engine doesnt know the creator, itll suggest visually similar images that are licensed for re-use and give credit to the author.

Attribution Engine is the first application powered by decentralized, open data in Mediachain and is built on top of the newly launched protocol architecture (v1.0).

Creators can sign up to register works and developers can use the data in their own apps, or contribute directly to Attribution Engine by following our quick start guide.

Learn more on our blog!



Kalium 55 minutes ago 0 replies      

How do you guard against people fraudulently claiming they own images?

matiasb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Impossible Coin in Super Mario 64 youtube.com
114 points by highwind  4 hours ago   20 comments top 9
kentf 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I respect the amount of effort and time that goes into videos like these. It's the best part of internet.
no_protocol 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The exploration and reasoning here is like a detailed report on a science experiment. I liked the layout of the presentation from noticing an incongruity to explaining exactly what was happening. Then the video surprised me by putting forth a hypothesis on why the 'world' was the way it was.

It has benefits over real-world experimentation because the fundamentals of the system are known and everything can be observed. No messy approximations are needed. Most guesses can be confirmed. But then we still end up with an unconfirmed hypothesis about how the situation came up in the first place. Reasoning is presented but there's no way to confirm it beyond asking...the creators.

The tooling used to recreate certain game situations is like a magical testing apparatus that doesn't really exist in the real world.

corysama 1 hour ago 0 replies      
saarons 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I love these types of videos that dive into the nitty-gritty of how certain games work. I wish the author would have explained more why there is no position that the coin spawner works correctly in. Are they saying that while playing the game there's no way to move it, or that even if the coin spawner were placed correctly (on the ground) it would still not work?
0x0 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Awh I wish he'd shown a hacked implementation of slope X and how the bowling balls would have rolled the other way :)
cazum 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Didn't even have to click the link to know it was Pannen. The guy truly embodies the concept of Virtual Exploration.

If you haven't done so already, go ahead and watch his Watch For Rolling Rocks .5 A Press commentary.

raldi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see a video of someone playing a modified version of this level, with the original slope restored.
wnevets 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love development postmortems of games from my childhood.
paulpauper 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I know it's a little late but I'n entitled to a refund. or Nintendo should release a patch. lol
Anti-patterns and Malpractices in Modern Software Development medium.com
141 points by mirceasoaica  5 hours ago   81 comments top 18
mi100hael 3 hours ago 9 replies      
I generally agree with the author, but as a software developer, I try to stay much less emotionally attached to the end-result. If I have concerns about the long-term stability and viability of a code base, I'll raise my concerns with the project manager or whomever's making the decisions on what to prioritize. But if they don't want to, that's their prerogative. They're higher on the chain of command than I am. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over it. When the house of cards does come crashing down and it takes two weeks to add a simple feature due to tech debt, or worse, some bug surfaces that takes down a production deployment and takes more than an hour to fix, my ass is covered. I have an email trail raising concerns that went ignored.
eugenejen 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Several of my previous team members compiled a list of satire principles for application developments.

Need to flesh them out..


mkozlows 53 minutes ago 3 replies      
I cannot disagree more strongly with this article and the attitude behind it. I mean, look at each of his points in turn:

1. His first two points, stripped of the irrelevant polemic, are the complaint that software is meant to help the business meet its goals. Well, obviously it is. Very few people are paid to build software as artistic expression; that's for personal projects. Software that doesn't meet a business goal is bad software, no matter how elegantly designed.

2. His third point is that when you're in an organization staffed by people with their own personalities and goals, you need to be able to communicate and negotiate and engage in all kinds of human interactions. People who call this "politics" dismissively, as the author does, and think that it is intrinsically bad should never have a job where they have to interact with people; stay a low-level code-wrangler.

3. His fourth point is... well, honestly, it's that he hates his job. Sorry. Most people don't, though. If I were him, I'd look for a different role.

4. His fifth and sixth points are that if you work on a team, you also have to work with teammates, who will have their own personalities and goals and interests, and you'll need to be able to communicate and negotiate and engage with them. Um, yeah. If you aren't willing to do this, you're going to be a terrible teammate, and this guy sounds like he would be one, with all the griping he does about the coworkers he hates.

5. His seventh point is about collective code ownership, which is about treating developers as collaborating equals rather than letting one person on a power trip control everything. This upsets him, because he's the guy on a power trip and he wants to control everything.

6. His eighth point is that management methodologies exist. He seems to think this is self-evidently terrible, rather than considering that changing management methodologies can make a huge difference to the success and happiness of a team, and that agile methodologies are much better than old-school command-and-control waterfall stuff in a ton of ways.

7. His ninth point is that you're not cynical enough, because you don't hate everything already, and he does, and that makes him a better person, and you should also join him in hating everything and everyone.

This is literally toxic advice. Do not take it, and if it sounds reasonable to you, it's time for some soul-searching.

jondubois 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Software development is hard. The first few years out of uni as a software dev can be awesome (if you're lucky enough to land a decent job)... Fast forward 10 years and you will be mentally exhausted.

If you were hard working, ambitious and curious, there is a point (for me it took about 12 years after I started programming) when you realize that you know pretty much everything that there is to know about software. Anything that you don't already know is just tedium.

Being a software developer is tough, but then again, most jobs are. I do think that among the jobs that require advanced education, software engineering is definitely one of the toughest psychologically.

Software engineering damages you psychologically. The best software engineers that I know are also the most cynical people I know - All atheists, nihilists and pessimists (and sometimes downright depressed).

Being a software engineer can subject you to the full, ugly complexity of life.

blowski 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> The longer-term you can think about your software, the more robust and less costly and painful its development will be.

That's true only if you have experienced engineers from a range of backgrounds. Put a bunch of junior devs on the project, and they'll prevaricate about issues such as "tabs vs spaces".

The whole article sounded too much like a rant. The problem is not "how do you build good software" but "how do you build software that's good enough to generate value, manage technical debt, and still make money?".

quantumhobbit 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The part abou collective code ownership hits way too close to home. I've probably spent more time fixing existing functionality broken by others recklessly implementing new functionality than implementing anything new myself. Guess what looks better to management though?
vesak 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
The writer has obviously suffered unfortunate environments. Not all environments are this toxic though, but the ones that are eat through your soul in incredibly painful ways.

The privileged few who have not been forced into these situations should take a silent moment, and be thankful of their own luck.

For the rest of us, we'll just have to try to distance ourselves from our jobs, and let our wounds teach us.

clifanatic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As much as I love and identify with these rants (keep 'em coming!), I think as much damage is done by trying to think long term (and guessing wrong) as by focusing on short term. In the abstract, I agree with the author in general that there's too much short-term thinking in software development, but in my experience, the cure is usually worse than the disease.
omouse 1 hour ago 0 replies      
this is my favourite part:

>let us consider that being blocked from making changes can actually be a very good and necessary thing. Its something that the senior engineers of yesteryear once had the power to do. They sometimes did it out of spite, yes, but more often to keep code over which they had stewardship from being compromised by short-term thinking. Blockers were put up to ensure that software could be developed at a sustainable pace with the minimum of human suffering involved, and to be used as a check and balance against a management team not in a position to understand or learn about engineering trade-offs at stake.

Every time I've been blocked from immediately merging in my changes I've learned how to be a better developer. Yes there's a few times where it's been out of spite but the majority of the time it's led to conversations that have significantly improved my understanding of the code base and how to approach it and the culture of development at the company.

Have a spine and be willing to say no to plain old bad code.

platz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> leave as soon as your bank account is ready for your next 3 month vacation. I personally consider myself semi-retired since the age of 30. Though it is a life of seeming instability, theyve done all they can to make long-term engagement unsustainable.

Does not seem like good advice, or taking enough responsibility ("it's their fault I am semi-retired").

In fact, the whole article is a manifesto on how to shift blame onto external sources from oneselfprojecting blame onto others and taking as little responsibility as possible.

usgroup 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Eerily accurate stuff ...

Particularly with regard to how DEV is commoditised by management and the inevitable downfall should you choose to fight the good fight.

The money pressure from top simply engulfs technical rationale and makes priorities seem extremely short sighted. And should you want to make technical progress, by all means do by stuffing estimates, but it will be thankless.

wcummings 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Surprised he didn't mention unions or professional organizations in "What is to be done?". I don't like the authors tone, but it is refreshing to see someone saying "we're not special and this sucks".
Roboprog 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Aww. Somebody changed the title on the link. :-(

Yeah, it was rude. But it does some up the end of some weeks.

JumpCrisscross 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> low-interest rates make it economically nonviable for a company to act in its longer-term interests.

Lower interest rates express a smaller time preference. Ceteris paribus, lower rates encourage risk taking. Longer-term bets are higher in risk, particularly when one considers principal-agent aspects.

tempodox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Finally someone who speaks the whole ugly truth, and publicly to boot. There is literally nothing in this article that differs from my experience (on the contrary, there are details in its exquisite pessimism I was surprised to find).

Portraying the situation as it is may at least give us a better chance of coping with it. I doubt we can effect more than cosmetic changes.

frozenport 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Another reason is the use of dynamically typed languages. In Java/C++ many categories of bugs would not compile, but for today's JS/python you need an order of magnitude more unit tests. Now you got a pike of crap that's even harder to refactor.
SFJulie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem of sotware is the fact it is roughly an artisitc work (hence the IP crap laws) and that there is no obligation of results, hence no warranty to protect the customers.

It is pretty much the wild west of the economy that is fueled on lack of fair law to balance private interests vs public/consumers interests.

0xdeadbeefbabe 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
> with Ron Paul or Ralph Naders talking points? LOL, right? Well, were living out their nightmare, one software fuckery at a time.

Just because you know something doesn't mean you know everything. I doubt any top down approach can save you from all the negatives listed in this article, but I believe it could cause them. I believe it more after reading the article too. It's a strange conclusion to draw anyway.

State-Driven Routing with React, Redux, Selectors thinkloop.com
8 points by thinkloop  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
carsongross 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Routing is complex. There are a lot of disparate pieces that come together to give users the ability to navigate a site. There is the address bar ui element which displays a url string on screen. There is back/forward functionality accessible through buttons, keyboard shortcuts or other input methods. There are <a> links which navigate to new content in various ways. There is url input through the address bar.

I appreciate a look into this world, but routing on the web isn't supposed to be very complex. One of the big simplicity wins of the web network architecture was that it was stateless almost everywhere, with hypertext as the engine of application state[1].

Anybody can write some HTML with some anchor tags and tie it to some routes declared in a server-side routing file. The back button will work. History will work. Refresh will work. Copy-and-pasting the URL into an email will work. It's so easy that even I can do it.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HATEOAS

jshmrsn 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I copy and re-enter a URL generated by pressing buttons in the demo app, I get a page that just says "BAZ".

E.g., the URL to the demo's about page: http://www.thinkloop.com/article/state-driven-routing-react-...

       cached 24 October 2016 19:02:02 GMT  :  recaching 1h 59m