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1
Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O. nytimes.com
2116 points by java_script  5 days ago   1289 comments top 112
1
Animats 5 days ago  replies      
This may kill Uber. Kalanick is a jerk, but he created that insane valuation. Uber has less than a year of runway left at their current burn rate. Unless they can find a bigger sucker than the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia,[1] they're going broke in 2018. (That "undisclosed amount" in 2017 isn't a significant investment on Uber's scale.)

IPO? No way. They'd have to publish audited numbers. What's leaked out is bad enough. The real numbers have to be worse. Notice that leveraged loan in 2016.[2] All the details of that have to be disclosed in the prospectus for an IPO.

[1] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/uber/funding-rounds[2] https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/07/new-reports-confirm-1-15b-...

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davidf18 5 days ago 28 replies      
Much of the resistance to Uber (such as laws that were broken, protests) were from entrenched interests. At least where I live in NYC, Uber was dramatically improving customer value while providing innovations that reduced greenhouse gas. It provided completion for the entrenched Yellow Cab monopoly with its very high rates. Sometimes Uber would have higher rates but then you could take a Yellow Cab instead.

The Yellow Cab special interests paid off politicians so that there was a limit of 13,000 Yellow Cab medallions for 8.5 million people. The price of the taxi medallion was $1.2 million. While people in Manhattan could get a taxi, there were no taxis in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, ... Because of the artificial limit on medallions which only benefited medallion owner but not New Yorkers, a driver leasing a cab for a 12 hour shift could pay $125 just to lease the car.

When Uber and Lyft came, the rates were lower, one could use Uber Pool to have even lower rates and save on greenhouse gas. Now taxi services have some availability outside of Manhattan. Now many Yellow Cabs are idle and the value of the medallions went for $1.2 million to about $700,000 or less.

In NYC, the Yellow Cab medallion owners tried to get the mayor to put restrictions on the growth of Uber/Lyft, but New Yorkers protested.

Uber/Lyft have increased customer value, lowered greenhouse gasses while not forcing drivers to pay excessing leasing fees for vehicles.

3
naskwo 5 days ago 11 replies      
A few weeks ago, I posted on HN about my experience in Hamburg (no Uber in Germany. The local taxi authority has its own app which works equally well, if not better).

Last weekend, I was in Budapest. There is no Uber in Hungary (anymore), but the main taxi company (Ftaxi) has its own app which works brilliantly.

I honestly see no "moat" around Uber in markets where (large) taxi dispatchers have the insight to build a ride-hailing app.

It's only a matter of time before we are back to square 1, or rather, square 2.0:

* licensed, regulated taxis, either independent or through dispatcher* all connected to an (api-)interconnected ecosystem of ride hailing apps* payment to driver directly (cash or card), tipping discretionary* receipts emailed to rider afterwards, with annotated map and start- and end time

This will weed out dishonest drivers, and will benefit honest drivers.

Uber's only differentiator in well-organised urban markets is its app.

The turning point for Uber's decline will be when NY and London mirror Uber's functionality in their own apps, with the benefit (in London) of cabs being allowed to use the cab lanes (or, in Amsterdam, the bus lanes).

4
kevinburke 5 days ago 10 replies      
According to the article 5 different VC firms representing 40% of the voting shares asked him to resign today. Kalanick still controls the majority of voting shares and a board seat.

Most of Kalanick's trouble started with Susan Fowler speaking out. Please believe women when they report harassment in the workplace. Many of their reports may not be as clear cut as Mrs. Fowler's.

5
rmason 5 days ago 17 replies      
Hope everyone's paying attention to the identity of these investors behind this horrid behavior. Travis is not without his flaws but he created an awful lot of value for them.

They pressure him into taking a sabbatical, then two days in they pull this cowardly act of firing him remotely. Not only was it a cowardly act, but it was the wrong thing to do for the business. It will lead to an epic destruction of value.

Worst business move since Apple's board (with John Sculley's behind the scenes string pulling) fired Steve Jobs. How well did that work out for Apple's shareholders at the time?

Travis Kalanick needed to change but do you really think that running Uber by committee is going to work? Guess it's time to try Lyft.

6
goseeastarwar 5 days ago 3 replies      
Founder CEO's do not resign, they are fired.

The article skips over the board entirely, but Travis must have been blindsided by his co-founder Garret Camp and early CEO Ryan Graves for this to have transpired. The board likely threatened to fire him unless he resigned, because there's no way Travis walks away because of this investor letter. It's more than likely the letter just provided the air cover his old friends needed to send him packing.

edit: For those replying that Travis has control of the board, please cite your sources. Being the majority shareholder using dual-class stock is a much different thing. Shareholders elect board members, but you can't remove investors' board seats, that language is boilerplate in financing documents.

Uber does not need the backing of the investors from the letter to remain solvent. With the exception of Fidelity, these aren't big players. Hundreds would take their place immediately given the chance.

7
flyosity 5 days ago 12 replies      
If Uber ends up going down in flames, unable to recover from the scandals and lawsuits, and Lyft prevails, it will be the most incredible change of fate in the business world this century or perhaps longer.

The future of automobiles and transportation is still being swirled about, and it feels like Uber's downfall has blown the game WIDE open, ready for anyone (maybe Uber, maybe Lyft, maybe Tesla, Google, Apple, an automaker) to just step in and take all the riches.

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acjohnson55 5 days ago 1 reply      
I, for one, will consider using Uber again. It is very important to me to see a change in leadership. I simply couldn't square my use of the app with the sense that Uber was deeply unethical, starting from the top.

Also, it's so disappointing to see so many people buy into the cult of personality of the Startup Founder. There's a lot of half-baked reasoning going on on why Uber's fate should be inexorable tied to Travis. So far, the two main arguments I've seen are "because Steve Jobs" and "he raised so much money for them". Neither one of these are compelling in explaining why Uber's survival prospects should be further damaged by a change at the top.

The only argument that's compelling to me is the concept that they've built their whole business on unethical assholery and it's going to take a lot of time and energy to reorient a big company around a different M.O. But even that's not very compelling, because it presumes that there aren't a whole lot of people already there who would flourish in a healthy, ethical work environment. I know a number of people there who feel that way.

9
fnovd 5 days ago 1 reply      
>Mr. Kalanick last week said he would take an indefinite leave of absence from Uber, partly to work on himself and to grieve for his mother, who died last month in a boating accident. He said Ubers day-to-day management would fall to a committee of more than 10 executives.

>In the letter, titled Moving Uber Forward and obtained by The New York Times, the investors wrote to Mr. Kalanick that he must immediately leave and that the company needed a change in leadership.

>In the letter, in addition to Mr. Kalanicks immediate resignation, the five shareholders asked for improved oversight of the companys board by filling two of three empty board seats with truly independent directors. They also demanded that Mr. Kalanick support a board-led search committee for a new chief executive, and that Uber immediately hire an experienced chief financial officer.

>"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight, Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.

Apparently a 10-executive committee of indeterminate duration wasn't going to suit the board's needs. Taken along with the immediate CFO search, it sounds like Uber simply does not have the time to let Travis sort out both Uber's culture issue and his own personal issues before things start to go sour. Unfortunate timing as I think that, had the accident not happened, Travis would have been able to turn things around. When it rains, it pours.

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muglug 5 days ago 1 reply      
This proves that speaking out makes a difference.

Edit: HN discussion of Susan J. Fowler's original blog post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13682022

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slice_of_life 5 days ago 3 replies      
Pushing a founder out is often a bad idea. This might very well be the beginning of Uber's demise. This won't be good for the company.

All CEOs make mistakes even great ones like Gates with antitrust or Zuck calling users dumb-fucks. They weren't kicked out, they instead were allowed to come into their own.

There's a distinct fire that a founder has for the company they founded. You can't hire that. Without this fire at the early stages of a company, the company will likely lose out to competitors like Lyft.

A hiatus is one thing but kicking a founder out is simply bad.

Mark my word and take that to the bank. This was a bad move.

12
ChuckMcM 5 days ago 0 replies      
Think about this the next time you're putting up with bad behavior at work. Susan Fowler ultimately lost her job and went through painful criticisms for speaking out, but she did kick off a lot of change at the company.

Think about this the next time you're tolerating bad behavior on the part of your employees. A number of people lost their jobs in the resulting firestorm but that fire reached right up to the top.

Think about this the next time you're considering investing in a company where the leadership team plays fast and loose with law. Disruption is important, but principles are just as important. If the leadership team gets their advantage by not following the rules that others do, watch for them to not follow the rules that they should as well.

13
pshin45 5 days ago 3 replies      
Travis Kalanick's words to that Uber driver back in Feb 2017 are very ironic now in retrospect:

"Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else."

14
pavlakoos 5 days ago 0 replies      
This looks good for Uber. Right now Uber needs operational and financial stability. Something Kalanick apparently didn't know how to provide. So moving him aside is good.

Also, I think investors forced him out by saying they will finance next round only if Kalanick is gone. And they need more investment, because losing $2bn a year makes them run out of cash soon and inevitably.

Still - Kalanick and his co-founder friends have a control over a board, so theoretically Kalanick can get his ass back as CEO as soon as he wants. If he wants...

The Kalanick-VCs deal might have another background. To cut those $2bn annual losses, Uber needs to change financially. Those changes will hit customers (prices will increase) and drivers (their pay and benefits decrease). So Uber needs an interim manager to introduce them - a "bad guy", who can take the "blame" for it. A change, that will not hit Kalanick's reputation.

But it's all good. Uber will continue to grow. The service is just too good.

15
khazhoux 5 days ago 3 replies      
As the adage goes, sometimes the startup CEO for the first $70 billion, is not the same as for the next $70 billion.
16
sidcool 5 days ago 3 replies      
Did Susan Fowler's article start this fire? If so, it's an incredible and inspiring story every victim of harrassment should follow. Thanks Susan.
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mattlondon 5 days ago 1 reply      
All this talk about Lyft becoming the new Uber is perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Apart from in SF, I've never found Lyft available anywhere I've been (although I understand it is operating on other parts of the US).

To momentarily sing-praises of Uber: the same app, the same login, the same card just works internationally pretty much where ever I have gone on work and vacations regardless of currencies etc - morals aside it is a slick service - but so far I've not been able to use a single Lyft ride because they dont seem to be available apart from the US.

Please come to London & the EU Lyft! I dont want to use Uber due to their well-publicised issues but there is no alternative apart from "old world" solutions.

18
treebeard901 5 days ago 1 reply      
One thing that strikes me as strange is how we have had a persistent release of negative information about Uber through many different kinds of media outlets for the past few months.

This is not meant to cast doubt on the problems at Uber highlighted in these reports.

However, It seems like the drip of negative information was intentional, perhaps with the goal of having him resign.

Uber was guilty in the public eye almost immediately.

Even today the media narrative is that this is good for Silicon Valley culture as a whole. Implicit in this line of thinking is that most SV companies have the same culture problems. I find that to be troubling and largely incorrect.

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HappyTypist 5 days ago 1 reply      
Susan J. Fowler's blog post started the snowball that led to the firing of a $70 billion startup's CEO.

I hope this encourages more people to publicly report systematic cultures of sexual harassment.

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TheRealmccoy 5 days ago 3 replies      
Susan Fowler is the giant killer of this century.

Salutation!

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schlumpf 5 days ago 0 replies      
How could the board kick out a CEO founder given the vertiginous increase in equity valuations said founder presided over? Because those valuations are only meaningful to end investors (i.e. the LPs) when shareholders experience positive cash flow. At Uber the opposite is happening. Why shouldn't we assume, then, that the board realizes Uber is headed for a fatal pinch[0] and has acted accordingly?

Bloomberg in April reported[1] Uber's cumulative cash burn at US$8 bn since its founding in 2009. You can argue that Travis Kalanick presided over rising valuations but so far there is no evidence of an increase in book value per share. Conversely that cash burn risks being crystallized as "value destruction" if revenue growth stalls.

The alleged personnel issues, the lawsuit, the bad press -- they are history and the firm has no choice but to cope with them. But failing to improve net margin can be quickly fatal and if that is happening then the other issues remain relevant. TK, who also presided over those, becomes part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

[0] http://paulgraham.com/pinch.html[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-14/embattled...

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shubhamjain 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do VCs care more about public perception than long-term health of the company? Uber has been in the news for all the wrong reasons but thinking from the VCs POV, I doubt there is a better person to run Uber than TK. The company's monopoly is still precarious and I have a feeling that without a CEO like TK, the fate looks like a combination of retreating from markets, heavy losses, and a huge drop in valuation.
23
throwaway5752 5 days ago 1 reply      
I have no idea why everyone is going on about Fowler/harassment scandals.

He should have been fired by the board for the results of the Otto acquisition and the handling of Waymo lawsuit, and that was probably a much larger factor.

24
dvt 5 days ago 1 reply      
Not unsurprising, as Uber really is trying to grow up, and Travis Kalanik has been the silicon valley poster boy for a bit too long. I still think he did a phenomenal job, not only launching a successful startup, but creating an international cultural movement.

I wonder who will take his place, and, more importantly, I wonder if Uber will continue winning.

25
pishpash 5 days ago 0 replies      
Uber is just shooting itself in the foot at this point. The few things it did get right, no tipping and market-driven pricing, are being rolled away. Then it would truly have no advantage.
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rahimnathwani 5 days ago 1 reply      
"investors could lose billions of dollars if the company were to be marked down in valuation."

The writer has it backwards. Investors would mark down an asset because it's worth less. The asset doesn't lose value by virtue of being marked down.

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ebola1717 5 days ago 0 replies      
Kara Swisher's podcast had an excellent episode on Uber that did a great job surveying this firestorm, and defending Travis' business direction, without exonerating his leadership's many flaws. Definitely worth a listen.
28
danso 5 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, makes me want to skim over the original Susan Fowler thread to see if anyone predicted this happening [0]. Her allegations of course weren't the only problem Uber faced but it sure seemed to cause other previously overlooked issues and complaints to gain real resonance.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13682022

29
dawhizkid 5 days ago 1 reply      
As a former Uber employee (left 6 mo ago) this is shocking. Can't imagine who will step in...
30
openmosix 5 days ago 1 reply      
Just a few years ago, Uber was the place to be, the startup to imitate. How many Uber for X pitches did we see? The entire story makes me sad (not the resignation, that was kind of expected) - Uber was an icon of "disruption" and of challenging the status quo. Now, it's just a sad story and people prefer to not be associated with it.
31
jaypaulynice 5 days ago 1 reply      
Wow...Travis Kalanick has his flaws, but come on, he will come back bigger just like Steve Jobs. That hurts! A company like Uber needs an aggressive CEO, not a pushover CEO...this is one reason why investors kill companies.

I see this happen so many times, a company takes too much investment, the CEO is replaced, then the company dies within a year...

32
cgeier 5 days ago 3 replies      
Somewhat off-topic:

Why is something like Uber called ride-sharing to begin with? I'm not sharing my ride with anyone that coincidentally wants to travel (more or less) the same route as me. I pay somebody to drive their car first to me, and then some other place.

This is called a taxi or cab [1], there Uber is a taxi company.

At least in Germany, there used to be actual ride-sharing systems, of which the best one used to be mitfahrzentrale.de, where people would advertise what route they were planing to drive (and when) and other people could "book" a seat on that route. I don't know if some others still exist, I haven't used them in years.

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

33
curiousDog 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! Looks like the investors really want their money back now and are pushing hard for an IPO.
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erikb 5 days ago 1 reply      
I am really disappointed that another article discusses a power struggle without mentioning the power struggle.

Something like this is nearly always a power struggle. That the accusations may be valid is just showing that the people attaining power have a higher chance in this situation. It doesn't change the fact that it is a power struggle.

So who are the people taking over? For an news paper that shouldn't be hard to figure out. Who are the three new guys? They are 100% sure linked to the group taking over. They are certainly not "neutral". Who is likely to become the new CEO? This guy is certainly the leader of the coup or a puppet.

35
bobbles 5 days ago 0 replies      
When any story about your company needs a tagline like 'embattled CEO blah blah blah' it might be time to step back
36
Pandabob 5 days ago 4 replies      
Would Marissa Mayer be a good fit for Uber CEO? Given that she just resigned from Yahoo, one would think the board would at least consider her. Unless they're going to choose the next CEO from within the company.
37
consultSKI 5 days ago 1 reply      
People make a difference. Uber has a lot of execution left to master and without Kalanick and the other key players that have left the company, the odds are now definitely not in its favor. And yes, the self-driving car play was a brilliant fund raising play (leveraging the news of the amazing advances by Tesla) but a terrible waste of limited resources. It is acceptable to outsource such projects. Or to make strategic alliances. Business is most often a series of trade-offs. Startups more so.
38
innopreneur 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if it would have been difficult to get his (or convince him for) resignation if he wouldn't have been in grieving phase, considering his history of retaliation ?
39
korzun 5 days ago 0 replies      
Like it or not, the liability of diversifying just went up.

It's clear that the lynch mob of armchair activists will no longer be satisfied when action is taken against the individuals who are directly at fault; they tend to drag everybody they can into this mess and attempt to hold them accountable.

Travis aside, you can't expect engineering managers to ignore what happened and risk their career because somebody in H.R might screw up.

1. You must get involved if you hear anything that could be remotely questionable. Otherwise, you will be the guy who ignored all of the signs and enabled the culture.2. If you get involved, and it turns out to be nothing, you are now harassing a co-worker. It was just an office relationship, and things went sour? It's your fault now.3. Don't get involved? You are an enabler and must be punished.

I was reading a thread on Reddit last week (Things you can no longer do at work, or something like that) and apparently some men are scared to close the meeting room door if they are left alone with a woman these days.

Amazing world we live in today.

40
paul7986 5 days ago 0 replies      
Happy to see this as Uber allowed and per their PR laughed at it's users' back accounts getting hacked/losing money.

I had 1k stolen from my bank account via Uber and after my research showed...

- THey knew about these hacks happening ...about ten or more people a day

- Their PR was it's the users fault for choosing a weak password vs. doing a press release letting users know they need to change their passwords and offering 2 way verification

- You could not and probably still can not outright and quickly cancel your UBer account. No you have to send a message and I waited days to severe all any ties with them.

This happened to me and 1000s of others in 2015 per my search on Twitter then. Then in 2017 you see just how horrible this organization is ... it does not give at ratz ass about anyone who is not a KalaNick bro including employees, customers, drivers.. basically all groups it needs to operate and succeed.

Still wanting it to go down in flames and my 1k back into my bank account!!!

41
forgottenacc57 5 days ago 3 replies      
He should've stayed. I don't recall bill gates being a good guy.

Being a good guy as requirement for being CEO is a 21st century thing.

42
rock57 5 days ago 0 replies      
Travis Kalanick might be upset... All the way to the bank, as a holder of huge equity and majority voting power (so he seems to have the capacity to reinstall himself as a CEO when/if he finds it fit) who surely has negotiated nice conditions for himself in any liquidity event.
43
alexandersingh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know Kalanick, though I've read about how his brashness and "win at all costs" attitude was forged through his past startup failures[1]

If this is true then he is his own worst enemy, and I find it very sad when anyone - no matter how big a jerk you think they are - is trapped in a repeating pattern of negative and destructive behavior.

To be clear: I am not absolving him of his behavior, I'm just observing that the culture comes from the founder and his wounds run deep.

[1] Scour filed for bankruptcy, Red Swoosh was acquired after enormous struggles to keep the company afloat.

44
thedevil 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to go against the crowd and say that Uber survives as a business for now. They may scale back expansion and they might raise prices. They may even get acquired at a lower valuation. But I bet they'll still be operating.

I think their burn rate is almost surely the result of subsidizing expanding markets. I can't imagine established markets being anything but ludicrously profitable.

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily like Uber, I've never even used them and I know almost nothing about their (former) CEO outside of headlines.

45
bobjordan 5 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of lessons to be learned here but I think one of the biggest to remember is - don't send any emails to anyone (even Mom) that you wouldn't want to be published on the front page of the NYT. Let alone to thousands of employees. For example, the yearly event emails that Travis sent from the frat-boy CEO frame of view. The employees probably received it well ahead of the event and likely even an uptick in morale, but in the long term, it is not an email he is proud of sending.
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michalu 5 days ago 0 replies      
In the letter, in addition to Mr. Kalanicks immediate resignation, the five shareholders asked for improved oversight of the companys board by filling two of three empty board seats with truly independent directors.

This seems like a narrative to cover their attempt to get more power in the company... Clearly Kalanick has appointed directors on board that are on his side, which is exactly what he should do and the point of shareholder's appointing directors... Of course, investors want their people

47
andreasgonewild 5 days ago 0 replies      
A-holes take notice, the times are changing. The only name here that deserves to be in history books is Susan J. Fowler's for having the courage to speak up.
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ogezi 5 days ago 1 reply      
Well this comes as a big surprise. I just thought that he'd be taking a break. I also think that he wasn't forced to resign as much as he thought it'd be the best choice for the company (he probably has majority voter control). Kalanick - because of his super competitive nature - was probably the best person to be CEO during the time he was but maybe its now time for a more matured and seasoned executive to take over. Just my thoughts.
49
jorblumesea 5 days ago 0 replies      
No fan of Kalanick, but letting leadership fall to a 10 executive committee at such a critical moment in Uber's history sounds like a complete disaster. Uber needs to make serious bold moves and I don't think anyone is lined up to make them. My guess is they'll try another funding round, fail at that, then attempt to IPO at an uncertain share price.
50
postITcareer 5 days ago 0 replies      
This guy may be a huge asshole.. but he is not anywhere close to why Uber has been having problems.. though I hope his resignation helps the company. Obviously his resignation followed immediately by their "180 days of change" campaign, in app tipping etc.. was a well planned move to get some heat off them
51
dirtylowprofile 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here in Asia, Uber pricing is too much and our most popular rival is Grab. Now that Jack Ma is planning on investing.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-15/jack-ma-s...

52
grappler 5 days ago 0 replies      
This story made me think "Maybe I want to finally sign up for an Uber account, after years of avoiding them and using Lyft?"

But then I thought, well, Travis still controls a majority of the votes and he's still on the board.

Others out there who have also been avoiding Uber because of all the bad press, I'm curious how you are thinking about this.

53
joshmn 5 days ago 1 reply      
Is there an available API/service that does the trip tracking part of Uber? Of any technical challenge that would present a bunch of clones popping up, I can see that being one of them. The rest is just generating an invoice and accepting a credit card payment. Obviously, not to scale, but for small-medium-sized locales, it could suffice.
54
jchien17 5 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, I thought he was just going to step away and take a break. Do we know who might replace him?

It's also interesting that the five shareholders mentioned in the NYTimes article want 2 "truly independent directors". What does that mean? Depending on how many board seats there are, maybe two votes aren't enough?

55
postITcareer 5 days ago 0 replies      
Travis was not anywhere close to being responsible for the amount of heat he has taken lately... but this + their 180 days of change, in app tipping and things is good for the company and hopefully will make the drivers a little happier..
56
notadoc 5 days ago 0 replies      
If this had happened two years ago, would Uber have avoided any of the later negative press?
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chatmasta 5 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait to see the next company Travis builds. A few months from now I'm sure he will be feeling the hunger again. And man, talk about carrying a chip on your shoulder. I hope he finds further success in life and learns from his mistakes.
58
jaydub 5 days ago 0 replies      
Even if he's out as CEO he still will likely wield outsize influence due to his 1) board seat 2) equity stake 3) majority of leadership are presumably his people.

Will be interesting to see who replaces him and whether the company actually changes.

59
tmcpro 5 days ago 0 replies      
If they were smart they would hire a diplomat like Condoleezza Rice (Dropbox). They have a ton of experience dealing with crisis, external perceptions, government relations, and lobbying on an international level.
60
webwanderings 5 days ago 0 replies      
So your business depends on me not uninstalling your app by a single click of a button, while you don't even offer anything unique?

And you have crazy valuation which is threatened by your company's culture?

Ah, the modern times!

61
nodesocket 5 days ago 1 reply      
"The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago..."

So brutal to be fired from the company you founded and built via a FedEx.

62
jamisteven 5 days ago 2 replies      
UBER: Crowdfunding the development of autonomous vehicles by temporarily giving people jobs and keeping all the data collected by the thousands of drivers using its app.
63
postITcareer 5 days ago 0 replies      
PS I am an Uber/Lyft driver.. never thought I would be but an experiment in hustling up a little extra cash ended up working out great for me
64
jonwachob91 5 days ago 0 replies      
Does Uber buy lyft just to acquire a relevant management team?
65
pishpash 5 days ago 1 reply      
The fact that Uber brought in tipping the day it got rid of Kalanick makes me believe it is a money issue. Basically Uber raised prices by 10-20% to match Lyft.
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peter_retief 5 days ago 0 replies      
For me its just really sad, I wish him well with new ventures
67
jonthepirate 5 days ago 0 replies      
For my own selfish interests, I was hoping they would keep him in there for as long as possible. I exercised my Lyft shares and the value is shooting up the moon.
68
booleanbetrayal 5 days ago 0 replies      
I called a board ousting of Kalanick some 6 months ago. This move is just too late to pull up from the current nosedive. RIP Uber.
69
dreamdu5t 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wow turns if you give me a billion dollars and I burn it that's considered business and entrepreneurship in 2017 America.
70
CodeWriter23 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've not been a fan of Kalanick. But I do think he is going to do something really great in the future. Much greater than Uber.
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anigbrowl 5 days ago 0 replies      
This seemed inevitable. If the firm is stronger in 24 months then it will lead to a substantial cultural change in the tech industry.
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petraeus 5 days ago 1 reply      
Uber is dead in 18 months. I was just in vegas last week and its still filled with taxis, never saw a uber the whole week.
73
omarforgotpwd 5 days ago 1 reply      
Starting to look like Uber might not be worth $69B. (Tesla is valued at just under $61B today). I wonder who the new CEO will be...
74
Fricken 5 days ago 0 replies      
Would filling Kalanick's shoes be regarded as the best, or the worst job opening in Silicon Valley?
75
tareqak 5 days ago 0 replies      
hnrankings graph of this story: http://hnrankings.info/14600873/ (I'm not affiliated with them, but I think this ranking information is important).
76
danm07 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not to be wry but how often has kicking out the founder been the solution to VC's problems?
77
innopreneur 5 days ago 0 replies      
seems like this became the highest rated and commented story in the history of Hacker News...
78
nether 5 days ago 0 replies      
I hope this means the downfall of (fundamentally misogynist) brogrammer culture.
79
Whatarethese 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is it really that hard to not sexually harass workers at your place of business?
80
thrillgore 5 days ago 0 replies      
I can't say i'm not surprised, but nothing good will come of this.
81
eliangidoni 5 days ago 0 replies      
A good CEO knows when to resign ! cheers for him, very humble!
82
TheRealmccoy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Things in life needs to be taken in totality and not in silos. Whatever Uber has managed to do is creditable, but at what cost?

Being a jerk company?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather ride a bullock cart, than avail services of such a company.

83
forgottenacc57 5 days ago 2 replies      
Finally John Scully will steer the ship in the right direction.

Wait, what?

84
ungerik 5 days ago 0 replies      
Resigned, or rather has been fired by his investors?
85
DelTaco 5 days ago 0 replies      
Action Jack Barker to step in? I think the only thing that can save Uber now is the conjoined triangles of success.
86
futhey 5 days ago 0 replies      
There is another option: Perhaps Travis is just going away for a while, to return when things have quieted down.
87
bsvalley 5 days ago 0 replies      
Travis, if you're looking for a new adventure - I'm looking for a co-founder. Ping me ;)
88
jayess 5 days ago 0 replies      
You live by the sword, you die by the sword. But we still need people who live by the sword.
89
nodesocket 5 days ago 0 replies      
Same day they fire Travis, they add tipping. No coincidence there.
90
cdevs 5 days ago 0 replies      
Like watching Silicon Valley
91
kaushalc 5 days ago 0 replies      
lets say this entire harassment thing hadnt blown up , then would Travis still have been fired may be a few months from now?
92
iii_3candles 5 days ago 0 replies      
Crowdsourced shaming works.
93
kulu2002 5 days ago 1 reply      
What if Daimler thinks of buying Uber...
94
pdog 5 days ago 0 replies      
RIP Uber, 20092017. It's been a good run.
95
myblake 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hell, its about time.
96
whytaka 5 days ago 1 reply      
What a useless website https://istravisstillceo.com turned out to be.
97
camelite 5 days ago 7 replies      
Should we believe men too when they're victimised by women, or is this a one way deal? What if it's a man and a woman accusing each other, or two men or two women. What if the dude is a historically oppressed minority?
98
NumberCruncher 5 days ago 2 replies      
print "%s may or may not take over the world at some point, but it needs another round of investment in the next 18 months just to survive." % ('any Ponzi scheme')
99
good_vibes 5 days ago 3 replies      
.
100
rtx 5 days ago 2 replies      
This shows how important virtue signalling is today's America. We have well loved CEO's of billion dollar companies using actual slave Labour. No one write a about them. But here we have journalists like Sarah Lacy going on a crusade against him. Though she always forgot to mention that she has taken funding from VC supporting Uber's rival.
101
pfarnsworth 5 days ago 0 replies      
lol what the fuck is going on with this company? Unbelievable amount of drama, I don't know how any employees can do any work at this point.
102
ktamiola 5 days ago 0 replies      
Karma is a bitch.
103
m0sa 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Uberraschung"
104
halite 5 days ago 0 replies      
Good.
105
throwawaymanbot 5 days ago 1 reply      
He can now spend his time Masturbating over Ayn Rand books.
106
sidcool 5 days ago 1 reply      
Should Google acquire Uber?
107
amaks 5 days ago 2 replies      
Somebody in Lyft must be opening a champaigne right now.
108
jbb67 5 days ago 1 reply      
I never understood why the tech press and sites like this one are obsessed with Uber.

It's a taxi company with an app. That's it.

109
anothercomment 5 days ago 3 replies      
Did he sexual harass anybody, or what is the point of his resignation? Another case of scapegoating?
110
ganfortran 5 days ago 1 reply      
Amazing the internet can empower an individual blog post to force the previously most formidable startup's CEO to resign.

Fear this inter connected world. Fear the power of language.

111
balladeer 5 days ago 1 reply      
Let's assume Uber dies. One bad outcome from this could be that Lyft gets a monopoly. I hope that doesn't happen.

Also, it will be awesome if instead of another Uber created there will be an open pool of ridess/seats available and people can use the platform of their choice. A la airline ticket booking model (of course the exact same approach will/may not work) or the bus ticket booking approach. Also, airline industry isn't hyperlocal.

112
samstave 5 days ago 1 reply      
It will be interesting to see Uber's HQ corporate culture shift from the wild-westworld crazy co to one who's cash cow is closely managed by the monied interests who will surely own the company from this point forward to ensure all future scandals are either quashed or kept under wraps...

With that said, who should lead Uber?

2
Google Will Stop Reading Your Emails for Gmail Ads bloomberg.com
892 points by ahiknsr  3 days ago   432 comments top 61
1
jikeo 3 days ago 3 replies      
I know I shouldn't be surprised, but it seems weird that the reporter nor any of the 140+ comments so far seemingly don't mention the recently published proposal for a new ePrivacy directive in the EU that will make it a lot harder for Google to scan e-mails in the first place.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-privacy-idUSKBN14U1FLhttps://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/10/whatsapp-...http://www.kemplittle.com/site/articles/kl_bytes/the-draft-e...

2
skrause 3 days ago 12 replies      
I never understood the argument that some automatic scanning for keywords is like "reading" your mail. By that same logic isn't Gmail's spam filter still "reading" your mail? It is classifying your mail based on content after all...
3
vaishaksuresh 3 days ago 11 replies      
I very recently switched to fastmail and couldn't be happier. For $90 a year, I don't have to deal with people snooping and tracking me around for ads. I know google is trying to give me value with all their facial recognition and recommendations, but I don't think it is going to end well. When it does end badly, it will be too late for the user because we would've given up all the data. I don't want Google to build models to track my toddler's face when he isn't even capable of consenting to such tracking.
4
myrandomcomment 3 days ago 1 reply      
So this never really bugged me. It is a damn good free service. I also love how it picks up on plane tickets, hotel reservations, etc and puts them in the calendar. Makes life simpler.

If ad companies fix something please fix the I searched for something and bought it but I get adds for it for the next 4 weeks. That bugs me.

5
kentosi 3 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why there isn't an option for me to pay for Google to remove ads from gmail.

I've already paid for Youtube Red and couldn't be happier.

6
newscracker 2 days ago 0 replies      
<rant>Slightly off topic: I was very annoyed that this article didn't provide any links to Google's official statement/declaration about this change and when it's coming. Even if Bloomberg interviewed Diane Green for this article or asked questions and got official statements, it could've still provided an official link for the change.</rant>

I found the link [1] here on HN.

[1]: https://blog.google/products/gmail/g-suite-gains-traction-in...

7
jmull 3 days ago 11 replies      
I should probably get fitted for a tinfoil hat because my immediate reaction was, "Oh shit! They must've developed something now that tracks you better and is less obvious."
8
drusepth 3 days ago 1 reply      
Will there still be a way to opt-in?

This seems like one of those decisions that is a net negative for functionality in favor of quelling some misguided privacy concerns. Hopefully this doesn't lessen the quality of ads by much.

9
WisNorCan 3 days ago 2 replies      
This most likely is a pragmatic financial decision. Contextual advertising is generating a lower CPM than data/person based advertising.

Said differently the relevance that can be extracted from your specific email is less than the cumulative knowledge that Google has about you from other sources.

10
stubish 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Not scanning emails for ads? Corporate business?

I wonder if Google will be pushing end-to-end email encryption? They have already had some experiments on it.

They have the majority browser, they have the lions share of email hosting. It they played their cards right, they could claim the entire email ecosystem, except for the small portion who won't use Google products on principle. The questions would be would 3rd party clients be allowed, and how would Apple fight it.

Or maybe this is all just a smoke screen to sucker dumb corps. In the existing architecture, your emails still need to be scanned so they can be indexed for search. You could get the same result scanning these indexes as scanning the emails themselves, so from a privacy perspective it could be a non-event.

11
VMG 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hope this increases the chance of E2E encryption
12
robbart90 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The decision didnt come from Googles ad team, but from its cloud unit, which is angling to sign up more corporate customers."

Interesting timing with the story earlier this week about Wal-Mart telling vendors to stop using AWS

13
cm2012 3 days ago 4 replies      
That sucks for me as an advertiser. Gmail ads were great for B2B marketing.
14
sidcool 3 days ago 0 replies      
Google will still show ads in Gmail, just not based on email contents.
15
neves 2 days ago 0 replies      
It basically means that they already track so much information about you that they don't need to monitor the contents of your email anymore.

Now Google knows:- all your searches (know your interests), - a great percentage of the pages you visit (ads and analytics)- all your contacts and how frequently you connect to them (metadata in gmail)- the places you visit (geolocation in Android)- Google logins (know the sites that interest you the most)

Your email contents is completely unecessary.

16
kolemcrae 3 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting - as an advertiser I generally recommend using the email address "sent from" as your main source of targeting but combining that with specific keywords within the gmail campaign can be super helpful at finding people at the exact right time.
17
hilyen 3 days ago 1 reply      
Good for them. Though it goes without saying email is insecure. If enterprise clients dislike an algorithm scanning their email contents, maybe they should also consider that email generally has unencrypted transit and storage.
18
aaln 3 days ago 0 replies      
Title should be: Google Will Stop Using Your Email Data for Gmail Ads.
19
jshelly 3 days ago 1 reply      
And I am in the middle of migrating to icloud from google. Not going to stop at this point.
20
Lambent 2 days ago 0 replies      
To be clear, Google is not saying they'll stop reading your emails, only that your emails' contents won't be used to generate ad content.
21
geekme 2 days ago 1 reply      
I will never use a enterprise google product unless they have customer support. The customer support team should have humans and not robots.
22
davb 3 days ago 0 replies      
But will they stop using Hangouts IM content for customer segmentation? I probably say much more relevant things in Hangouts (from a marketing perspective) than in email.
23
TheChosen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quite obviously Google feels their profiling of users from other sources is good enough that they can afford to throw them a bone - not to mention save themselves a bit of effort since they will no longer need to maintain two systems for GMail.
24
prirun 3 days ago 0 replies      
My guess is that with Google Drive, they are getting way more information on individuals and companies than they ever got via email.
25
chenster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even though it never really bothered me because Apple Mail does not pull anything but the actual email message from Gmail, so I never see them, I still would like G to stop scanning anything personal. Period.
26
Overtonwindow 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think I've become jaded because I just don't believe it. It's like Google Home. A wonderful device but when I heard it may start listening to everything I say... I just figured yeah, that should be expected. So now I just expect Google to read, listen, and analyze everything I do with their products.
27
Manager 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well this is an interesting turn of events.

I wasn't expecting this from a company that makes most of it's revenue through advertising. Sets a cautiously positive precedent.

28
chaitime 3 days ago 0 replies      
What happens to the data that was already collected. Legally they can still use that data right?
29
mozzarella 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the conversion rates on these within-client ads are. I know I've never opened any no matter how well-targeted or 'interesting' the ads were, because the immediate response is to just want to sweep the inbox clean.
30
m-p-3 3 days ago 0 replies      
But they'll most likely read them for another purpose, for example training their AI.
31
ziikutv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of my emails are "read" (as in shown as I have read them) when I have literally just received them. Is this referring to the same thing?
32
megamindbrian 3 days ago 0 replies      
Their AI knows what you are thinking anyways. The singularity is here!!
33
daveheq 3 days ago 0 replies      
Actually I'd prefer they did so they can optimize their cash flow and my targeted ads so I can continue using their free product and all it's nice features without any compromise.
34
MarkMc 3 days ago 1 reply      
OK but will Google stop reading my email for other types of ads?

For example, if I write "I love coffee" in an email, am I more likely to see a Starbucks ad when I visit watch a YouTube video?

35
nerdiiee 2 days ago 0 replies      
How many of you have successfully prevented Google and Facebook for tracking your web habits ? What all steps do you take to prevent the tracking ?
36
RichLewis007 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's about time! I wonder if this is due to the fact that if email encryption becomes common, the content will be inaccessible to Google anyway.
37
rzr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Title is misleading, it should be G will keep reading your emails except for G Ads.
38
tkubacki 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is free Outlook account scanning me email or for building ads profile or for any other purpose ?
39
redthrowaway 3 days ago 0 replies      
I suspect that means they no longer need to, and have better ways of targeting ads at you.
40
nachtigall 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seriously, there's private, ad-free mail for 1$ a months: https://posteo.de/en/ or https://mailbox.org/en/
41
mavhc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wonder if it's also a move that will help encrypted email become supported
42
hkmurakami 3 days ago 0 replies      
Won't people keep assuming gmail reads their emails at this point though?
43
ForFreedom 2 days ago 1 reply      
So what method have they adopted to display adverts in emails?
44
andrepd 3 days ago 7 replies      
How do you know? That's the problem with closed source software, and software that runs in someone else's computer. You have no idea what it does. You aren't in control. Someone else is deciding what code runs on your computer. That's a problem.
45
ChuckMcM 3 days ago 0 replies      
It was interesting (but I suppose a random bit) that after reading this article a new email showed up in my gmail inbox that was spam. I wonder if this isn't the first move in a plan to create a 'pay' gmail service for individuals.
46
LeoNatan25 2 days ago 0 replies      
Almost as if they want to do no evil. Almost.
47
rasz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Will they also stop tracking clicked links in gmail?
48
mrmondo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too little, too late IMO
49
itiman 3 days ago 1 reply      
The fact of reading emails for ads is disputable even if it's used for a new purpose, YT.
50
Markoff 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you EU.
51
Kluny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gosh, thanks.
52
nether 3 days ago 0 replies      
Switch to Protonmail.
53
fernyherrera 3 days ago 0 replies      
word
54
rootsudo 3 days ago 0 replies      
How nice of Google.
55
flavor8 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fine. Can they please make Google Apps users first class users in the google ecosystem?
56
funnyfacts365 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh, the doublespeak... They will read your emails for everything else, like Google Now, just not to show you ads. ahahahahahahahah
57
ethanpil 3 days ago 2 replies      
Does that mean that Google now has no more use for Gmail, and soon millions of people will be scrambling to cover yet another product sunset?

That would certainly cause an enormous loss of goodwill, but.... imagine this scenario:

Google has some slow growth quarters, they need to keep the numbers up for shareholders. They start to examine what they can squeeze. Gmail costs them X (hundreds?) millions per year, but doesn't gain much from it...

Certainly its unlikely, as it is also a SSO tool, etc. Still....

58
mtgx 3 days ago 2 replies      
So much for the argument "how else is Google going to make money if it isn't reading your emails?!"

Companies can make money without tracking you 24/7 and reading all of your private content. They just choose not to, because it's easier, and then spread the propaganda that those things are "needed" to stay in business.

59
patkai 3 days ago 1 reply      
Google will stop reading my emails for Gmail ads because I will stop using Gmail. It's kind of a sad story, because they are the good guys, but once they built a huge company they started to focus on maintaining it, possibly at any cost. This is a cautionary tale: power corrupts. You, me, everyone. And yes, the web will produce dictators we never imagined possible, because the Internet is so powerful it will enable them.
60
siliconc0w 3 days ago 4 replies      
I think there is some interesting middle ground where you could use machine learning to go from 'show only relevant ads' to 'show only ads you might actually click on with greater than .001 probability'. I guess this is like 'extreme' outlier detection but it'd be interesting to see what revenue the ads at the 'long tail' of likelihood generate anyway. My guess the bulk of it is from the standard high CPC stuff like Mortages and Insurance. Google says it does this but i'm not too sure - I've never intentionally clicked an adword and yet they're still shown to me.

Anyway this may solve the tragedy of the commons situation we're in now and allow us to move away from the technology war of ad blockers, ad blocker blockers, ad blocker blocker blockers, etc.

edit: removed comment on clarity of Gsuite vs Free due to downvote brigade.

61
4684499 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm fine to let them scan my emails for spam filter, yet they use it as an excuse to justify their data collection and other things they do with my data, which is unacceptable for me. How would I know if they are going to do things against my interests one day? Ads targeting is already against mine.

I used to see Google as a stalker. How naive I was. There are billions of people being stalked, exploited, and the whole process is automated. It comes to me that users are not victims of stalking, they are lab rats.

Now Google stopped reading emails for ads, but they'll still read for other purposes, which still makes me as a user feel insecure. I value my privacy, I have my dignity, I shouldn't be a lab rat that they can just observe however they want only because they provide free cheese.

Even if I start using a paid account to stop them from reading my emails (assume paid account with better privacy protection is possible), I couldn't stop them from reading others'. Stopping the data collection of one user won't change the situation, they still have other lab rats' data they could collect and analyze, which enables them to learn or predict other rats' behaviors.

The worst thing is, Google is not the only company doing this right now. Surveillance technologies are developing, it's like every data company has grown their teeth and become more thirsty for blood.

Edit: words.

3
Intel Skylake/Kaby Lake processors: broken hyper-threading debian.org
1048 points by vbernat  1 day ago   257 comments top 41
1
userbinator 1 day ago 7 replies      
The problem description is short and scary:

Problem: Under complex micro-architectural conditions, short loops of less than 64 instructions that use AH, BH, CH or DH registers as well as their corresponding wider register (e.g. RAX, EAX or AX for AH) may cause unpredictable system behavior. This can only happen when both logical processors on the same physical processor are active.

I wonder how many users have experienced intermittent crashes etc. and just nonchalantly attributed it to something else like "buggy software" or even "cosmic ray", when it was actually a defect in the hardware. Or more importantly, how many engineers at Intel, working on these processors, saw this happen a few times and did the same.

More interestingly, I would love to read an actual detailed analysis of the problem. Was it a software-like bug in microcode e.g. neglecting some edge-case, or a hardware-level race condition related to marginal timing (that could be worked around by e.g. delaying one operation by a cycle or two)? It reminds me of bugs like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11845770

This and the other rather scary post at http://danluu.com/cpu-bugs/ suggests to me that CPU manufacturers should do more regression testing, and far more of it. I would recommend demoscene productions, cracktros, and even certain malware, since they tend to exercise the hardware in ways that more "mainstream" software wouldn't come close to. ;-)

(To those wondering about ARM and other "simpler" SoCs in embedded systems etc.: They have just as much if not more hardware bugs than PCs. We don't hear about them often, since they are usually worked around in the software which is usually customised exactly for the application and doesn't change much.)

2
theGimp 1 day ago 4 replies      

 The issue was being investigated by the OCaml community since 2017-01-06, with reports of malfunctions going at least as far back as Q2 2016. It was narrowed down to Skylake with hyper-threading, which is a strong indicative of a processor defect. Intel was contacted about it, but did not provide further feedback as far as we know. Fast-forward a few months, and Mark Shinwell noticed the mention of a possible fix for a microcode defect with unknown hit-ratio in the intel-microcode package changelog. He matched it to the issues the OCaml community were observing, verified that the microcode fix indeed solved the OCaml issue, and contacted the Debian maintainer about it. Apparently, Intel had indeed found the issue, *documented it* (see below) and *fixed it*. There was no direct feedback to the OCaml people, so they only found about it later.
Inexcusable.

3
fotcorn 1 day ago 4 replies      
The latest intel-microcode package from Ubuntu 16.04 does not fix the problem. I installed the same package from Ubuntu 17.10 [0] which fixes the problem. You can check your system with the script linked in the mailing list thread [1].

[0] https://packages.ubuntu.com/en/artful/amd64/intel-microcode/...

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/06/msg00309.html

4
pedrocr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's how to fix it on a Thinkpad on Linux. I've got a T460s and checked with the script[1] that it was indeed affected. The Debian instructions said to update your BIOS before updating the microcode package so I went to the model support page[2] to the BIOS/UEFI section and downloaded the "BIOS Update (Bootable CD)" one. The changelog included microcode updates so it looked promising[3]. To get the ISO onto a usb drive I did the following:

 $ geteltorito n1cur14w.iso > eltorito-bios.iso # provided by the genisoimage package on Ubuntu $ sudo dd if=eltorito-bios.iso of=/dev/sdXXX # replace with your usb drive with care to not write over your disk
I then had a bootable USB drive that I ran by rebooting the computer, pressing Enter and then F12 to get to the boot drive selection and selecting the USB. From then it's just following the options it gives you. It's basically pressing 2 to go into the update and then pressing Y and Enter a few times to tell it you really want to do it. After that just let it reboot a few times and the update is done. After booting again the same test script[1] now said I had an affected CPU but new enough microcode.

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2017/06/msg01011.html

[2] http://pcsupport.lenovo.com/pt/en/products/laptops-and-netbo...

[3] https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/n1cur14w.txt

5
tyingq 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a perl script on the debian mailing list that digs a bit deeper and tells you if you're affected in the first place, if you're affected but patched already, affected but have HT disabled, etc.

https://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2017/06/msg01011.html

6
Syzygies 1 day ago 3 replies      
In my experience with parallel code written in Haskell, hyper-threading offers only a very mild speedup, perhaps 10%. It is essentially an illusion, a logical convenience. (How long does it take to complete a parallel task on a dedicated machine? Four cores with hyper-threading off has nearly the performance of eight virtual cores with hyper-threading on.)

Many people have neither the interest nor the hardware access to overclock, and these processors have less overclocking headroom than earlier designs. Nevertheless, the hyper-threading hardware itself generates heat, restricting the overclocking range for given cpu cooling hardware. In this case, turning off hyper-threading pays for itself, because one can then overclock further, overtaking any advantage to hyper-threading.

7
mjw1007 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's painful to have to read text like select Intel Pentium processor models .

If Intel used marketing names that were more closely related to technical reality, then when something like this happens they wouldn't have so many customers finding themselves in the "maybe I'm affected by this horrid bug" box.

8
ourcat 1 day ago 4 replies      
So will this be affecting most Macbook Pros of the past few years?

If so, there's a way to disable hyper-threading, but you need Xcode (Instruments).

Open Instruments. Go to Preferences. Choose 'CPU'. Uncheck "Hardware Multi-Threading". Rebooting will reset it.

9
onli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Rule of thumb: On a desktop, if you have an i5 you do not have Hyperthreading. All i3s and i7s do have Hyperthreading, as do new Kaby Lake Pentiums (G4560, 4600, 4620).

On laptops, some i5s are not real quad cores but dual cores with Hyperthreading.

10
herpderperator 18 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone on Windows wishes to update their CPU microcode without waiting for Microsoft to push it out via Windows Update, you can use this tool from VMware https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-cpu-microcode-update-d... which can update microcode as well.

Windows stores its microcode in C:\Windows\System32\mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll which is a proprietary binary file and you can't simply replace it with Intel's microcode.dat file (which is ASCII text), so you have to use a third-party tool such as VMware's one.

Simply:1. Download and extract the zip file in the first paragraph2. Modify the install.bat file so that the line which reads `for %%i IN (microcode.dat microcode_amd.bin microcode_amd_fam15h.bin) DO (` only contains the microcode.dat parameter (since you obviously don't have an AMD CPU, and the tool is made for both)3. Download and extract microcode.dat from Intel's website (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26798/Linux-Proces...) and place it into the same directory as the VMware tool4. Run install.bat with admin privileges5. Hit cancel when it tells you that the AMD microcode files are missing, and you're done

The CPU microcode will be updated immediately (yes, while Windows is running.) The service will also run on each boot and update your CPU microcode, since microcode updates are only temporary and are lost each time you restart. You can check Event Viewer for entries from `cpumcupdate` to see what it has done. It's advised to run a tool to view the microcode version before installing (such as HWiINFO64) so you can re-run the tool after installing and confirming that the version has changed.

I have done this and it works as described. I went from 0x74 to 0xba as shown by the CU field in HWiNFO64, and I have an i7-6700k.

11
age_bronze 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would've expected at least an example assembly code reproducing the bug? How was it not discovered before, but only with the OCaml compiler? They say "unexpected behavior", does this mean that code compiled with this can give incorrect results? Can this have any security implication? How much code was compiled with similar patterns? Can the problem reproduced with any JIT compiler? We need to know what can cause this, maybe compiled and working code already contains such patterns waiting to be abused...
12
wscott 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone benchmarked one of these machines before and after applying this microcode update? The options in microcode are rather limited and all are likely to have performance impacts. This is likely disabling functionally to avoid this case. I would hope the patch is smart enough to not apply if threading is not enabled, but who knows.
13
luckydude 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's a really nicely done announcement. Simple, to the point, no drama, all the info you could want, scripts to figure out your processor, etc.

Well done Debian folks!

14
ComputerGuru 1 day ago 2 replies      
So, serious question: If the microcode "fix" for this ends up disabling HT, how does one get a refund not just for the CPU but for the $3k laptop I spec'd around it? Without needing to sue?

This isn't a hypothetical; what did Intel do when the only fix for broken functionality was to disable TSX entirely?

15
zzalpha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Charming. I picked up a 5th Gen X1 Carbon configured with a Kaby Lake processor, and apparently there's no way to disable hyperthreading in the BIOS, and according to Intel's errata, no fix available yet.

Oh well... so far the machine (running Windows 10) has been stable minus one or two random lockups in 2 months of heavy usage which could be attributed to this. Guess I wait...

16
ManyEthers 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Intel's communication is incredibly poor. Errata exist for all CPUs but this one is quite important and resulted in no proper public communication it seems.
17
ncrmro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just got the 2017 no touchbar 13 macbook pro with the kaby lake i7. Should I be worried, can I even disable HT with mac. And presumably the update will be provided so the whole laptop is still ok?

I've been using the thunderbolt 3 dock with two external monitors and occasionally get a little glitch prolly loose cable I think.

I've downloaded the bitcoin blockchain, done quite a bit of work in pycharm + chrome, multiple projects, flow and webpack in the background and haven't had any sort of crashes tho.

18
Magnificents 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The poor guys from OCaml who found the bug. Imagine how much debugging it takes to find such an issue and narrow it down to the precise register sequence. I guess since its a hyper threading bug it even depends on multiple threads doing certain things at the same time. Usually you trust your CPU to execute code properly.
19
rwmj 1 day ago 4 replies      
So if I understand correctly, some affected processors can be fixed by a microcode update, but there are some which cannot be fixed at all?

Also the advisory seems to imply that the OCaml compiler uses gcc for code generation, which it does not -- it generates assembly directly, only using gcc as a front end to the linker.

20
isaac_is_goat 1 day ago 2 replies      
Holy cow. Definitely feel like I dodged a bullet by building an AMD/Ryzen system this time around - which had it's own set of issues (but seem to be more or less ironed out now).
21
convefefe 7 hours ago 0 replies      
One of many typical erratum... nothing to see here, been patched months ago. Most people are unlikely to ever encounter it even if unpatched.
22
joshschreuder 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does one get new microcode on Windows? Is that what the Intel Chipset drivers are?

And is the microcode fix available for non-Linux systems yet?

23
msimpson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The late 2016 Razer Blade uses the i7-6700HQ which is specifically a Family 6, Model 94, Stepping 3 processor.

I wonder if a microcode update would solve some of the various issues I have in Windows.

24
karussell 11 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the probability for this to happen? Or how could I estimate the time it takes for random code to hit this bug at least once with a probability of over 90%?
25
paines 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Skylake mobile CPU (i7-6700hq) and it pretty much rocks with Ubuntu 17. Also the system is stable and fast. Under heavy load, e.g. games the system is stable. Compiling a big(>10000 modules) C++ project via ninja/cmake under Qt Creator hangs the system resporducibly after ~15 minutes. I wonder now if this broken hyperthreading could be such sideffect.
26
spektom 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this issue affects cloud providers?
27
jwildeboer 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I do wonder though, why didn't Debian maintainers pick up the microcode updates when they were made available by Intel? Why did it need a wink from the Ocaml people for them to note? Or am I missing something?
28
bleair 1 day ago 1 reply      
When intel had the floating point division hardware bug they recalled chips.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_FDIV_bug

I wonder if intel will do something like that again or if the industry as a whole is more tolerant of unreliable / buggy behavior and will just live with it. Examples of Apple just telling people that the poor reception strength was their own fault / changing software to hide problems / etc.

29
riledhel 1 day ago 4 replies      
Does Windows have a patch for this too? Or just disabling HT is the safest option?
30
Traubenfuchs 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Are those microcode updates deployed via windows (10) update?
31
itsoggy 1 day ago 0 replies      
When HT first started appearing on P4 chips I was looking after NetWare, 2K and XP boxes, they would freak out with HT enabled all kinds of oddities, I suspect most because of the OS's not fully supporting it.

To this day I disable it by reflex on everything!

32
wfunction 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little off-topic, but does anybody know of any hacky ways to disable hyper-threading (on Haswell if it matters) if the firmware doesn't provide the option?
33
elnik 1 day ago 1 reply      
My CPU (6th generation i5) died last week. RIP.

I installed debian 9, installed virtualbox, vagrant, setup a clean development machine for myself, everything took 4 hours to finish.

I reboot the virtual machine, and boom, there was a kernel panic which I sadly don't remember exactly / didn't take a picture of. After I rebooted the machine, and opened terminal, the system froze. The cursor wouldn't move. Reboot again, motherboard has a CPU fail/undetected light on. Couldn't get it to boot after that.

I am both sad and relieved that bad stuff exists, but it's being patched to prevent proliferating.

I sincerely hope I'll get a replacement from Intel.

34
cJ0th 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is just great! Just yesterday I got a new laptop with a skylake processor. Now I wonder whether I experienced that bug today as I got kicked out of dosbox (on debian) for no apparent reason. In the config file I had to change the value of 'core' in the cpu-section from 'automatic' to 'normal'. Could be something entirely different but it is a funny timing.
35
octoploid 1 day ago 3 replies      
Well, at least Intel acknowledges, documents and finally fixes these CPU bugs (via microcode updates).

AMD on the other hand doesn't even acknowledge an issuewhen multiple customers report problems. See this Ryzen bug:https://community.amd.com/thread/215773

36
walterbell 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does this affect execution of Ocaml runtime, or only the Ocaml compiler?
37
geogriffin 1 day ago 0 replies      
has anyone affected by this bug tried using a kernel configured with hyperthreading support disabled? would that work?
38
asow92 1 day ago 1 reply      
So what does this mean for the thousands of new MacBook Pro 2016/2017 owners out there?
39
angry_octet 1 day ago 2 replies      
Am I hellbanned?
40
natehouk 1 day ago 0 replies      
So if I understand correctly, this was known all along?
41
salex89 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great, pay a premium for the top of the line CPU to get anything more than 4 threads, that disable it...
4
Luna Visual and textual functional programming language luna-lang.org
930 points by interpol_p  4 days ago   306 comments top 48
1
wdanilo 4 days ago 28 replies      
Hi guys! My name is Wojciech Danilo and I'm one of the founders of Luna. The timing for this news is a little unfortunate, because we are just before releasing Luna as an Open Source project! However, it's great time to answer some questions and give you a short update what has happened for the last couple months:

1. We've raised a seed round of $1M, so we can safely focus on product development and shortly on community building! 2. We've improved our core technologies to be much more robust, open and extensible, including:

- We've re-written our graphical interface to be much more open and extensible (it was previously running on WebGL and now we base just on HTML, so it will be possible to attach any HTML-compatible controls / visualisations directly to nodes)- We've implemented new, better type inferencer and updated Luna compiler in many ways.- And much much more, but I don't want to uncover everything before the release, especially when it's around the corner :)

I would love to answer your questions, so If you've got any, just post it here and I'll do my best to cover it. Don't forget to singup for the list at http://luna-lang.org. We'd love to collaborate with you during the upcoming release! :)

Cheers,Wojciech

2
Skunkleton 4 days ago 4 replies      
Here is the snapshot from when this was submitted to HN about a year and a half ago: http://archive.is/V2VwE

My question: what has changed? Has anyone addressed any of the fundamental questions that were posed last time this was submitted? Are there any concrete examples of how you might use this for general purpose programming?

3
TFortunato 4 days ago 2 replies      
Super super cool project! As someone who does robotics, I'm super eager to try this, and to hopefully contribute to some open-source libraries for this.

A lot of work in robotics involves software that maps to this style well (functional-ish, where data is being pushed through computational pipelines / graphs), and I think this could be a killer development environment for things like control systems, sensor fusion software, image processing / computer vision, etc.

The fact that it is going to be open source, and already seems to have some nice support for things foreign libraries, profiling support, and well as visualizing of your data visually (that image processing graph example!) makes me think you are going to get a good response to this. I also think there are a lot of hobbyist type projects (RasPi level 'smart home' stuff, algorithmic art / music, SDR, anything you see on Make / Hack-A-Day) who would love a tool like this!

I'm very interested in checking this out, and in contributing packages / libraries if that will be supported. Hoping to get access to the alpha!

4
svtiger 4 days ago 1 reply      
May want to remove from your "About Us" bio: "hates Java Script" -- can't say I disagree, but you might alienate potential converts -- really should inject as much positivity as possible. Any negative messaging will do nothing but harm.
5
mastazi 4 days ago 2 replies      
So in the past I have used two self-proclaimed "visual programming languages", Blueprints[1] and Max[2] and in both cases I found that it is actually harder to be productive while dealing with UI elements than it is to simply write code (as long as you have at least some rudimentary form of autocomplete I guess).

However I have to say that, based on the little I've seen, Luna's UI seems to be actually developer-friendly i.e. the UI elements go hand-in-hand with code rather than getting in the way, I think it's brilliant, sort of Jupyter Notebooks on steroids.

[1] https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Blueprints/

[2] https://cycling74.com/products/max

6
athenot 4 days ago 2 replies      
Very nice! I feel this space is under-developped. Luna reminds me a lot of Apple's Quartz Composer.

Visually representing anything complex is an immense challenge, but just like code is broken down into units (files/functions/whatever), a visual tool that can provide a fractal-like representation of a system would be awesome.

(I'm looking to dig deeper in this space for some pet projects.)

7
ajarmst 3 days ago 0 replies      
Given the name, I would expect this to be related to or built on Lua. That doesn't appear to be the case. Is this echo accidental?

"Traditional software development is broken by design" is a pretty strong claim, but the only support is a bunch of over-broad anecdotal claims about what "always" happens. That's a bit offputting for some of us.

The phrase "Category Oriented Programming" is used like it's common vernacular, which I don't think it is. Is it related to Category Theory? The text seems to imply that the idea of mixing functional programming with message-sending objects is novel. It really isn't.

"Unmatched performance and safety". Yeah. You want to be careful about that claim. Going to need to see the independent evaluation results.

That said, for those who value diagrams highly, this looks interesting. I wonder at what level of complexity the abstractions start to leak.

8
daxfohl 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd productize this more as the next level of "spreadsheet" than of "programming language". These kinds of visual programming things always seem to come out with lots of fanfare but then never get used for real work. The spreadsheet, however, is by nature reactive, relational, visual, impromptu, yada yada. But even though spreadsheet tech has added lots of functionality over the years, it's still essentially based on an old paper grid.

I could see a product like this challenging that old basis with something more modern. But it still has to do all the stuff regular spreadsheets can do too. And ensuring that it can, and in an intuitive fashion, should probably be the first priority.

9
indigo0086 4 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting. I wonder if this is the future of not only reducing the barrier to entry to software engineering, but setting up a new tier of software engineer for the unskilled. Rather, would software have lower barrier to entry positions that are driven by piecing together software components like they would a factory job. I'm sure for most software a team is only necessary,but as software dominates our future, perhaps this is the bridge to unlocking more opportunities outside of a higher skilled tier of manual coding. I'm just talking off the top of my head, so I may be totally off base. Either way looks interesting, and that futuristic interface is sweet.
10
halflings 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is similar to Knime [0], which lets you build "workflows" visually, and allow you to write custom blocks with Python or Java. The main difference seems that you can represent the whole workflow in a human-readable (and writable) format.

https://www.knime.org/example-workflows

11
agentultra 4 days ago 2 replies      
I find thinking visually to be quite limiting.

Although having a mixed textual representation is interesting. I sort of get this with the Moose platform in Pharo which I use for analysis based work. The most painful part of that though is interfacing with foreign systems. And maybe Smalltalk... not a bad language but I've been bitten by the Haskell/Lean/Idris bug. A seamless FFI experience as promised with this language coupled with a toolbox rivalling Moose would be interesting!

12
mixedbit 4 days ago 1 reply      
How do you envision version control/code reviews with Luna projects? Can diffs be explored at visual level or only source code level? If one developer moves nodes around without altering any logic are such changes tracked in the code repository?
13
kazinator 4 days ago 0 replies      
> Traditional software development is broken by design

Which is why Luna is entirely hosted within itself and needs a Luna implementation to bootstrap.

We wouldn't want to ask investors to believe in any traditional development after telling them it's broken.

14
a-nikolaev 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like a lazy functional Python ) Very nice aesthetics of presentation.

There are a few things I am concerned, if you don't mind: I think that actually visualizing lazy computation can be quite a challenge, because of its on-demand nature. One might say that a lazily defined expression is computed (and should be visualized) where it's used, rather than where it's defined. There is a lot of substitutions going on under the hood, and computation is not as clearly localized as it would be in eager evaluation. Also, the tight binding between the code and the visualizations may limit your ability to optimize code for efficiency.

The True / False switch looks cool, but it feels like you are cheating here a little bit by using a boolean literal. Would it look equally nice if it's a function call or some complex expression that is possibly not known yet (as in a function definition)? I have a feeling that at the end of the day Luna may require a very complex visual language that is not easier than the textual alternatives.

But this is more like arbitrary concerns that will be hopefully clarified once you release the whole system. Thank you for your work.

Thumbs up for exploring these new alternative for writing code. I think, it may help us write better and safer programs in the future.

15
ruffrey 4 days ago 2 replies      
Is this related to the luna programming language experiment by TJ Holowaychuk?

https://github.com/tj/luna

16
adgasf 4 days ago 2 replies      
Why implement a new language rather than a GUI on top of Idris, PureScript or similar?

(That aside, very excited!)

17
thecity2 4 days ago 2 replies      
I like the idea of category-oriented programming. Would be interested to see a white paper on what that means.
18
agentgt 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just some minor critiques.

What is confusing to me is if the visualization actually running the code or is just static analysis of the code?

The reason I ask is if its running then what you have built is a language with an absolutely awesome visual REPL. If it is please say its a language with awesome visual REPL! A potential Excel for programmers killer. There are languages that tried to do this (Squeak, and Racket come to mind) but they were generally academic and more often for students/young adults (and not for businesses).

However you say whiteboard through out your marketing which makes me think brainstorming tools ala evernote, orgmode etc. I realize for VC they might prefer whiteboard.

Whiteboard to me is sharing and not really a tool. It means I have to register and create a profile when all I really want is a language with a powerful visual REPL. (again just my point of view on marketing).

19
zimablue 4 days ago 1 reply      
This idea will eventually work and be huge I think (I know visual programming languages already exist but a commonly used one to emerge). As someone who believes in metaprogramming and flexibility though I'm hoping for something dynamic, not a heavy mandatory type system that compiles to Haskell.
20
danyeaw 4 days ago 0 replies      
One of the examples I saw you guys give on YouTube is how complex things are becoming, and you talked about the LOC of a modern car and this is a reason we need visual programming. On your website you also discuss the limitations of UML.

To design complex systems like a car, you really need to know not just the functionality and the type of information, but also the structure of the system. How do all of those systems on the car physically connect to result in the behavior.

It seems like your approach would be really powerful for data processing, since in that case I don't think the structure matters much. Have you thought about how this could be applied to a complex system where structure is extremely important?

21
msd81257 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to hear how this might be applied as a general debugger concept for CUDA and the likes. To a layman like me, CUDA's GDB debugging interface has always left a sour taste in my mouth due to the high amount of parallelism that simply can't be displayed through a debugger entailed to be used only on a single thread. I'd love to see someone working on (and I'm probably going to take a crack at it myself ;) ) not just using this interface as a language, but also as a debugging tool for other languages. Decomposition of CUDA (and other -- thinking Erlang right now especially) programs into bite-sized visualizations in order to program and debug would be invaluable for the space.
22
FridgeSeal 4 days ago 1 reply      
This. Looks. Awesome!

I literally cannot wait to try this out on some data processing/number crunching stuff!

The integrations with the likes of Python are super exciting as well - any plans (even remote ones) to do the same with Julia?

23
be5invis 3 days ago 0 replies      
You say you have dependent types

OK, could you define this?

 data Eq : {a : Type} -> a -> a -> Type where Refl : Eq x x sym : {x : a} -> {y : a} -> Eq x y -> Eq y x sym Refl = Refl replace : {a : Type} -> {x : a} -> {y : a} -> {f : a -> Type} -> Eq x y -> f x -> f y replace Refl p = p

24
murukesh_s 4 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome, we need more visual programming languages coming out now. it's so impossible to convince a programmer who never experienced visual programming how useful/practical it can be.

I understand you are from a video processing background where visual programming is widely employed.. We are also building a visual programming platform, inspired from enterprise tools. Really interesting to see this domain evolve.

25
mrkgnao 4 days ago 1 reply      
This looks really beautiful: what's it written in?

Also, "Num in IO", nice. Now we wait for someone to write a "(Num in IO) in IO" action.

26
bussiere 4 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't tested it yet but i mind if this is possible to make microservice with this ?

Like defining an port (like 80) an input (a json like {"example":0} make an operation an return a value by the same port and json.

It could be an nice way to include micro service into a larger eco system or make people collaborate using luna in larger project.

For python you may use hug or flask

That s an interesting idea btw

good job and good luck

27
pikachuaintcool 4 days ago 2 replies      
Pretty bad name, I thought it was a typo for Lua.
28
shalabhc 4 days ago 2 replies      
Examples on the home page have broken indentation, or just a multi-level indentation that is confusing?

 class Point: x y z :: Int origin = Point 0 0 0 Point x y _ = origin print 'Origin XY coords are ($x,$y)'
(Why is `origin =` indented at all?)

29
pekr 3 days ago 2 replies      
Isn't it similar to what Eve tries to achieve? Well, what I like in overal, is an attitude and courage to introduce new technologies! I come from the Red language camp, which if I am not mistaken, is also being funded. So - good luck, guys :-)
30
gfaure 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wojciech, this is incredible! The combination of expressiveness, type safety, visual programming and API focus are pretty unique right now.

By the way, "Aggresive compile-time optimization" should be "Aggressive compile-time optimization".

31
jtha 3 days ago 0 replies      
I truly hope you will succeed in your mission. It looks like it could solve so many problems that I've come across as a result of confusion and miscommunication when people with a common understanding step away from the whiteboard and start coding. It can be so hard to align the implementation with the visual abstractions we so desperately need to communicate as humans.
32
jancsika 4 days ago 1 reply      
Where are the node positions stored?
33
fareesh 4 days ago 1 reply      
Cool concept - is there an open source repo of some kind which shows how a complex application (kitchen sink kind of app) is made?
34
adamgravitis 4 days ago 1 reply      
Are you guys going to release something describing your concept of "category oriented programming" any time soon?
35
pjdorrell 4 days ago 0 replies      
If Luna is dependently typed, can it be used to do theorem proving, eg like Idris?
36
danem 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm struck by the similarity to grasshopper. This seems to share many of the same features such as visual profiling, visual / textual representation, live previews etc... Has it inspired the design at all?
37
pekr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't it similar to what Eve is trying to achieve?
38
polskibus 4 days ago 2 replies      
What is it compiled to? Does it target JVM, CLR, native code (if so what platforms?)What is it compiled with? LLVM ? GCC ? Custom compiler?What is the standard library like?
39
jlebrech 4 days ago 1 reply      
I like to see a language that's a simple subset of ruby for example but the OO is delegated to a graphical representation (boxes for classes, arrows for methods etc..)
40
dlitvakb 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm super interested in this project! I'd like to see how interop really works and how to get multiple data sources interconnected to produce amazing datasets.
41
_RPM 4 days ago 1 reply      
Any relationship to TJ H's repo, http://github.com/tj/luna ?
42
cdevs 4 days ago 0 replies      
What beautiful black magic programming even despite the fact that I hate flow chart programming like unreal and other game engines do.
43
hustlechris 4 days ago 0 replies      
so when's the ICO?
44
toisanji 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see how the visual representation of larger non toy examples look. Looks like a very cool project !
45
sullyj3 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks cool! Is the editing environment extensible enough to support an embedded neovim instance?
46
Meai 4 days ago 1 reply      
It sounds like it wont compile to C or use LLVM, you have some kind of custom VM?
47
247yak 4 days ago 0 replies      
anyone try bubble.is? Love to get a comparison on how this is better / different.
48
the_cat_kittles 4 days ago 3 replies      
5
After 3072 hours of manipulating BGP, a Nyancat was drawn on this RIPE interface ripe.net
770 points by job  3 days ago   105 comments top 19
1
rcarmo 3 days ago 4 replies      
OMG. The ingenuity (and geek level) of achieving this with something that is essentially invisible to 99.99999% of the human race (even most network admins) and planning ahead to do this is... indescribable.

(the AS holder is http://instituut.net/~job/, to those uninitiated - I had to double check my comment)

Sir, I take my many virtual hats off to you.

2
garaetjjte 3 days ago 4 replies      
In similar category of doing fun things with internet tools, you can play tetris on IPv6 traceroute:

 traceroute -I -q 1 trh.milek7.pl
Game is controlled by appending chars into subdomain: w rotate, s drop, a move left, d move right. Example: tracerouting wwddds.trh.milek7.pl rotates 2x, moves right 3x and drops piece. After dropping to request new piece it is required to traceroute trh.milek7.pl without commands.

4
zkms 3 days ago 4 replies      
This sort of endearing Internet-scale thing reminds me of how NTT changes their reverse DNS's (https://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nanog/2016-February/0841...). There's other vanity reverse-DNS tricks that you can see in traceroutes, but this is done with a global-scale IPv4/IPv6 network that actually is carrying a lot of customer traffic. Try "traceroute ntt.net" now, you'll see hops like:

9 ae-19.sayonara-todd.r04.sttlwa01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.66.57) 17.225 ms 17.166 ms 17.171 ms

10 ae-5.sayonara-todd.r21.sttlwa01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.7) 16.257 ms 16.156 ms 16.101 ms

11 ae-3.sayonara-todd.r23.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.3.124) 33.097 ms 33.125 ms 31.566 ms

12 ae-7.sayonara-todd.r23.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.155) 69.840 ms 69.764 ms 69.763 ms

13 ae-6.sayonara-todd.r10.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.4) 69.634 ms 74.424 ms 72.319 ms

14 ae-0.sayonara-todd.a01.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.3.244) 74.050 ms 74.046 ms 74.035 ms

or

3 ae-13.sayonara-todd.r05.plalca01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:5000::bae) 1.324 ms 1.307 ms 1.205 ms

4 ae-15.sayonara-todd.r02.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:2000::172) 2.505 ms

5 ae-10.sayonara-todd.r23.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:2000::cd) 2.091 ms 2.067 ms

6 ae-7.sayonara-todd.r23.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:2000::1fa) 38.386 ms 39.757 ms 38.312 ms

7 ae-6.sayonara-todd.r10.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:2000::1c1) 41.586 ms

8 ae-1.sayonara-todd.a02.dllstx09.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (2001:418:0:2000::135) 51.986 ms

5
mateus1 3 days ago 3 replies      
I am as curious as the next guy but just a link to a random graph and no explanation... Uninteresting
6
Lanzaa 3 days ago 12 replies      
That is amazing. Does anyone have similar examples of weird technological art?
7
memetomancer 3 days ago 1 reply      
pretty effin' great... this strikes me as a new variation of the Hellschreiber technique:

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

8
0xADADA 3 days ago 4 replies      
whats a RIPE interface?
9
NTripleOne 18 hours ago 0 replies      
But 2011 was 52560 hours ago!

Still, pretty neat. :)

10
0xADADA 3 days ago 3 replies      
Whats BGP?
11
wruza 2 days ago 0 replies      
Were 128 days an additional target or simply a consequence of manipulation routine?
12
kiallmacinnes 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is pretty cool, and took months, nice! :)
13
camiller 3 days ago 1 reply      
Did anyone grab a screencap? Following the link does nothing for me.

Or is it because I'm behind a corporate firewall....

14
delegate 3 days ago 0 replies      
job, How did you come up with this idea ? I'm just curious what inspired you to work on it ?
15
arrty88 2 days ago 1 reply      
What do these charts usually look like?
16
jsmith_2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool!
17
madflo 2 days ago 0 replies      
18
feld 3 days ago 3 replies      
19
zmix 3 days ago 0 replies      
Upvote! 'nuff said.
6
Texas Is Too Windy and Sunny for Old Energy Companies to Make Money bloomberg.com
538 points by JumpCrisscross  1 day ago   256 comments top 15
1
toomuchtodo 1 day ago 4 replies      
It appears we're at the inflection point where even natural gas (in addition to coal) is getting pushed out of the generation mix. Good! About time.

This may require paying natural gas generators for their ability to quickly throttle to back renewables, but only as a temporary measure until utility scale batteries fall in cost.

2
davidf18 1 day ago 7 replies      
I wonder what the economics would be without the federal tax incentives for wind and solar. Does anyone know?

EDIT: Someone above provided a link that provides the figure I was looking for:

"Between 2010 and 2016, subsidies for solar were between 10 and 88 per kWh and subsidies for wind were between 1.3 and 5.7 per kWh. Subsidies for coal, natural gas and nuclear are all between 0.05 and 0.2 per kWh over all years." [1]

I wonder how much of a subsidy there is for LED lighting. A lot of energy goes for incandescent lighting.

Also, there should be a lot of subsidies to replace heaters in building burning #6 and #4 fuel oil which is very, very dirty and pollution (NYC where I live banned #6 a few years ago but #4 is allowed to persist until 2030 I think).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/05/30/why-do-fe...

3
fencepost 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very amusing that the article ends with

 Its pretty slim pickings right now, Ferguson said. God is not manufacturing more coastal property.
Part of the concern for renewable energy folks is that you could argue that God is arranging for more coastal property, though not perhaps in ways useful to wind farmers on the Texas coast.

4
shepardrtc 15 hours ago 0 replies      
After driving through Texas last year, I really can't overstate just how many wind turbines there are, and how windy it is. I stopped at a little rest stop right in the middle of the state - in the middle of the day - and I was nearly blown over getting out of the car. And the number of turbines... Just amazing. Miles and miles and miles. It really looked like an endless landscape of turbines.
5
1024core 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> It blows the most in the dead of night, precisely when theres the least demand for electricity. Thats true for just about every wind-blown spot across the U.S., from the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in California to the coastal plains of North Carolina.

I live in Northern California (SF). Winds don't start until about 1pm or so. And it's almost never windy after 8pm.

I think this pattern holds for most coastal places, because as the sun reaches the peak, it heats up land, forcing the air over the land to rise; but the water doesn't heat up as much, and hence winds come in from offshore, to replace the air rising above the land.

6
SOLAR_FIELDS 1 day ago 1 reply      
The last lines of the article elicited a bit of cynicism:

"Thats because the market is so oversupplied that its even difficult for the wind guys to make money at these electricity rates. And besides, its hard to acquire land by the water at reasonable prices."

Its pretty slim pickings right now, Ferguson said. God is not manufacturing more coastal property".

In 70 years it will be nice and cheap at this rate, which is ironically and sadly just the sort of problem cheap wind power would help alleviate.

7
agentgt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
They didn't really go into the wind surfing enough to point out why Texas is actually damn good for water sailing sports.

One of the non obvious reasons is the inner gulf coast has very little chop. Chop (which is basically little waves of water turbulence at the surface as well as constant little swells) massively decreases boat/board speed even for planing boats/boards.

Of course large swells are generally worse (with some exceptions... like wanting to do tricks and if your going downwind).

8
9
jostmey 1 day ago 3 replies      
I live in Dallas Texas and buy renewable (wind or solar) electricity from the grid. It cost only marginally more
10
rbanffy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I assume the natural gas people are fighting against shallow-water coastal wind generation. That would add a lot of surface area to build and could probably supply more than 50% of the energy mix.
11
notadoc 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure the politicians will solve that problem.
12
london888 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is such good news.
13
api 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think we're in the early stages of a genuine disruptive event.

"They were actually worried about an 'energy crisis' back then. Didn't they realize free energy falls from the sky all day long?"

14
sizzzzlerz 1 day ago 4 replies      
15
Katastrophial 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Texas is right now the 5th ring of hell in the summer
7
Teller API for your bank account teller.io
605 points by ldn_tech_exec1  5 days ago   268 comments top 56
1
alexbilbie 5 days ago 3 replies      
UK banks don't accept any liability if you give your online banking credentials to a third party.

If some fraud was to come about as a result of someone using Teller then they would be out of pocket or has Teller got agreements with the compatible banks to overcome this situation (either by Teller reimbursing the customer or the bank)?

2
mirekrusin 5 days ago 2 replies      
Somebody told me that 2018 is the deadline for EU banks to provide API access. If that's the case then going through any server side layer managed by somebody is unnecessary and people in general should think twice about every single bank transaction being stored somewhere "there". It gives out a lot of information from your internet provider to your child's creche, holidays habits, income (duh), loan repayments and whether you like on mondays this new sandwich at pret a manger with a coffee for take-away or eat-in - can be inferred as well.

So be careful and if you want to have more insight into your finance maybe it's better to digest those apis yourself, libraries should pop out soon if they are not yet available for your bank (in europe anyway).

3
foxylion 5 days ago 3 replies      
As a German it is hard to believe that such things do not exist yet in other countries. We have a standardized protocol called FinTS which is implemented by most banks. This results in a huge amount of desktop and mobile applications for banking.
4
skirsch 4 days ago 2 replies      
Early on at Token, we looked Teller as a possible solution to getting to market quickly. We found two things: 1) the lawyers told us to stay clear (huge greyzone) and 2) the banks themselves didn't want to engage with us using teller even if it sped up development time. We even brought stevie in talk to our lawyers to make his case. He failed to convince them. Finally, we inquired about the price. Stevie was elusive on pricing. I finally asked, "Look, if we paid you $1M, how many banks could we get?" He said one. So at that point, we were so far apart on all issues, so we pulled out. Token will be doing something similar to teller in terms of "one API for all banks" (aggregating banks' PSD2 interface with Token acting as a PISP/AISP). But we are also providing the PSD2 interface for other banks. We have raised plenty of money to do it right ($18.5M Series A to start with), but our pricing to developers will be ridiculously inexpensive. Also, we need to hire developers very quickly, so if you are interested in helping us do it right (no shared secrets, all end-to-end secure protocols, secure central PII storage (where the decryption keys are only available at endpoints), please let us know. We don't have a lot of time left to do this right. We are located in London and San Francisco.
5
Animats 5 days ago 1 reply      
Not seeing terms of service or a privacy policy. Who's responsible when there's an error, or a transaction is processed twice or zero times? Is this really a scheme to obtain user data and sell it to advertisers?
6
eriknstr 5 days ago 0 replies      
There already exists a company called Teller in Europe which is dealing with payment solutions.

> Nets is split up in two divisions: Nets, which manages the Danish market, and Teller, which handles all international markets. This means that Nets processes all Dankort transactions, while Teller processes all transactions by international cards.

http://www.epay.eu/acquirer-internet/nets-teller.asp

https://www.nets.eu/en/payments/

http://netseu.23video.com/secret/12342399/64f0568391b3ebaa58...

https://my.teller.com/login

7
whockey 5 days ago 2 replies      
Hey all - co-founder of Plaid[0]. Congrats to Steve - great to see some innovation across the pond!

There were a bunch of questions about Plaid and the difference. The obvious one is that Teller is UK only and supports the top couple banks, Plaid is US only and supports thousands of financial institutions. If you need both UK and US coverage - since we both have pretty developer friendly APIs - it seems like a nice combo! Steve/Teller have also taken a bit of an antagonistic approach and has not worked with the banks - time will see if this proves successful, but we've taken the approach to work directly with the banks (as investors, clients, data-partners etc.).

Hope that helps and if you have any other questions/comments feel free to shoot me an email at william [at] plaid.com

[0] https://plaid.com

8
cikey 5 days ago 1 reply      
Am i the only one that would never trust a completely unknown third party with my bank account?

I like the idea, but i would never use this as a service on the internet.

9
foodstances 5 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different than something like https://plaid.com/ ?
10
smaili 5 days ago 2 replies      
How many times have you thought to yourself Damn, I really wish my bank account had an API?

Now that's an intro!

11
heneryville 5 days ago 2 replies      
"We realise that our revenue will most likely be a very long tail with a small number of customers bringing in most of the cash."

Either they or I don't understand what long tail means.

12
skrebbel 5 days ago 2 replies      
Dutch mobile-only bank Bunq also published their API pretty recently: https://www.bunq.com/en/api

Things are starting to not-entirely-suck in retail banking land. (in Europe, at least - not sure about elsewhere)

13
Scottymeuk 5 days ago 0 replies      
I built a little script to export my accounts to CSV/QIF. Super easy to use API! https://github.com/scottrobertson/teller-export
14
insomniacity 5 days ago 1 reply      
I emailed a bit with sjtgraham on this a while back.

It was my understanding back then that even when Teller does more advanced authentication with the bank, eg EMV CAP, that that does still grant them the rights to move money, even though Teller doesn't yet support it.

To me that paints a big target on Teller's back - all those juicy downstream credentials.

sjtgraham's point was that setting up new payees typically (always?) requires additional authentication. But I can think of a number of scenarios where a hacker might send all my money to all my existing payees just to mess with me/Teller/my bank... causing fees and stress.

Obviously it's going down the route that Teller won't need your full credentials, you will grant them access via something like EMV CAP, which I applaud.

But I would call on Teller to publicly commit to not integrate more 'advanced' auth methods if they don't include the ability to grant read-only access, if the user wishes!

15
IshKebab 4 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah no thanks. I want a banking API but I want a first party API. No way I'm trusting some random guy on the internet with my banking password.
16
lookingfj 5 days ago 4 replies      
How does it work if not by screen scraping?
17
jsk2600 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is interesting and has great potential to grow when PSD2 goes live in EU (early 2018). I wonder what authors plans are regarding this.
18
jimmcslim 5 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how many of the use cases for a retail banking API would be simply satisfied by just allowing customers to request a weekly email with a CSV transaction file attached in a sensible format?
19
johnlbevan2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a test / mock instance, allowing you to call services connecting to dummy bank accounts? i.e. Some people may be concerned about trying out the API on their own accounts during the early stages, or if any update services are added in future. Also it enables those not banking with a supported bank to develop against the service.
20
pjwal 5 days ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me this dichotomy I see with the almost thermo-nuclear war when it comes to copyright protection of total drivel, but when it comes to fin-tech there is literally a flourishing industry of screen scraping typing companies and well-publicized plays like Mint and it's just like a big shrug? How are these companies able to mitigate through the banking companies TOU and such?
21
sigi45 5 days ago 0 replies      
People: Only do it with an extra bankaccount. Without any credit functionality and without your primary money.

Everything else would be very naiv.

22
_pdp_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Once you have access to someones banking account you can typically make small transfers (up to ~200) without second-factor authentication. So if your service get's breached attackers will have potentially the means to extract real cash through mules or wreck havoc.

Asking for credentials is no go whatever the bank is. There are ways to get some feeds even now but that requires signing some papers. Besides, I don't want to shoot down the service because this is genuinely a useful service (if it wasn't for the scrapping) but the best way to solve this problem is for banks to implement their own APIs with proper access controls that make sense in the context of the bank and the account.

23
sleepyhead 4 days ago 0 replies      
Teller is already an established brand name in the payment industry in Norway (Scandinavia?). https://www.nets.eu/en/payments/
24
teekert 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bunq already has a native api [0], only if you pay sadly, many other functions are free. I like Bunq but their app devellopment is slow, I still can't share iDeal (is iDeal only Dutch? I wonder...) requests through anything other than email and sms. Everybody is waiting for general sharing on Android/iOS.

[0] https://doc.bunq.com/

25
jimmcslim 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have any insight into a PSD2-style effort in Australia?

I notice that National Australia Bank is experimenting with APIs, they have a developer portal [1], with FX rates and branch location APIs currently available. Authentication, customer details and accounts APIs are 'coming soon'.

[1] https://developer.nab.com.au/ourapis

26
guelo 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is annoying, I got all excited and then realising this is for a handful of UK banks. Would be great if it were tagged as a UK thing more prominently.
27
runeks 4 days ago 1 reply      
> Transfer money between accounts, make external payments using Faster Payments, and manage your payees, standing orders, and Direct Debits all through the Teller API.

What will the fees be on sending/receiving money?

Scraping data from your own bank account seems rather uninteresting to me. I assume sending/transferring is limited to domestic banks. Is this the case?

28
megamindbrian 4 days ago 0 replies      
How is this differently than Yodlee?
29
bruno2223 5 days ago 1 reply      
Cool project,

You should make it open source (to grow your bank catalog by the community) with some premium Plan (to earn money of it)

That's the only way to get it worldwide, otherwise, you will have to do MITM attack every single Bank App in order to get their APIs, with is painful and most of the times impossible without valid credentials.

Opensource + Premium is the way to go!

30
film42 5 days ago 1 reply      
Engineer at MX here! We have a similar product for US and Canadian banks called Atrium.

More info here: https://atrium.mx.com/home

NOTE: I saw a few people mentioning Plaid and Quovo so I thought it would be appropriate to mention our product.

31
SamyGe 4 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe every Bank should provide its own, well documented API. Third Party is not an option imho. Also this reminds me of that root Bank i saw here in HN some time ago... https://root.co.za/
32
orliesaurus 5 days ago 0 replies      
Knowing the founder personally and his level of competency writing code gets me very warm down below. If I still lived in the UK, I would build something around Teller trying to give users a feeling close to what Monzo-bank is/does. Some kind of a hybrid zombie child, but beautiful!
33
BigChiefSmokem 5 days ago 1 reply      
A bank account is usually only part of the financial equation. What would really be useful is an API for a service like Mint. I'd even be willing to pay a low fee for someone to make available all the aggregate data from all the financial institutions via API for me.
34
7ewis 5 days ago 1 reply      
This looks really cool, but I'm nervous about trying it. Can they provide any guarantees?
35
retrac98 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to say well done. Lots of people here throwing up problems, complaints, reasons why this won't work etc. I think this is great.
36
benoror 3 days ago 0 replies      
Paybook (https://www.paybook.com/) is doing the same in Mexico
37
wbronchart 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have a UK bank account but no UK phone number, can't sign up.
38
_cairn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry for the newb question but a quick google didn't yield the results I was looking for. What is the attack vector here that "screen scraping" would exploit?
39
apeace 5 days ago 1 reply      
Which countries are supported? Not seeing that info anywhere. I only saw in a comment here that Teller has relationships with "every major UK bank".
40
hendry 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think I noticed a similar venture in Indonesia: https://brank.as/
41
sgt 5 days ago 0 replies      
Seems similar to https://root.co.za/ - which is focused on South Africa.
42
elliott2020 3 days ago 0 replies      
OMG finally! So does this mean we can skip all the credit card and ACH fees?
43
billconan 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is this only for UK? which banks are supported?
44
mossid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any plan to support south korea?
45
Doctor_Fegg 5 days ago 1 reply      
Superb. Any chance of supporting Lloyds?
46
empath75 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'd much prefer that this were just open source so I don't have to share my bank credentials.
47
kennedy 5 days ago 2 replies      
When will this be available in the US?
48
lamby 5 days ago 0 replies      
Would love HSBC support :)
49
donatj 5 days ago 0 replies      
Any plans on support for more American Banks, such as Wells Fargo?
50
petraeus 5 days ago 0 replies      
There are many many problems besides the technological hurtles.
51
adambowles 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is it gated behind SMS?
52
jamesrom 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is the fact you don't talk at all about security in this blog post or on your home page deliberate?
53
AJRF 5 days ago 0 replies      
I cant wait for PSD2.
54
lngnmn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another man-in-the-middle collecting a fee from each transaction?
55
beaconstudios 5 days ago 0 replies      
cool - what makes your service different from Yodlee?
56
kkotak 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry but your solution is not my problem.
8
I decided to disable AMP on my site alexkras.com
641 points by akras14  19 hours ago   327 comments top 48
1
sturmen 13 hours ago 12 replies      
There's a lot of backlash against AMP on principle, which I agree with and support. However, as a non-principled web consumer, I think AMP pages are 10x better than the ad-filled, slow as molasses, jump-around-as-JavaSript-loads, video autoplaying, 'stories you might like' suggested bullshit, auto-loading 20MB heaps of steaming garbage that current news sites are. I think that AMP is a stepping stone that shows the user experience that people want but lights a fire under web developers to give them that experience without relying on Google's walled garden. How many stories of "Company X made a great product Y, but Company X is anti-consumer/evil/eats puppies, so the OSS made their own and it has grown into something great" have you heard? I think AMP is another one.

The web has become bloated, where people use heavy JS frameworks like React to make their blog and then load 5MB of ad JS to load 10MB autoplaying videos. I dream of a day when static site generators like Hugo and Jekyll are the norm. Let's flex our muscles and make that happen and show the world that AMP is good but openness is better.

2
boramalper 18 hours ago 7 replies      
The author has some very valid points against AMP from a technical standpoint, but for me there is a single reason that is sufficient: the Web is, and should stay, free and open. Indeed, I'm having really hard time trying to understand how people can be fine with AMP while fighting for the net neutrality and so on.
3
gizmo 18 hours ago 0 replies      
AMP is bad and should be resisted. It is an attack on the distributed nature of the web.

The web is slow because every page of text comes with megabytes of javascript cruft to spy on users and serve ads. The solution is to make web pages that don't suck.

AMP puts even more power in the hands of Google. Just say no.

4
apeace 13 hours ago 4 replies      
> It traps users on Google. If user were to click x in the screenshot above, they will be taken back to Google search results. A normal redirect would have landed users on actual BBC site, maximizing their chances of staying on that site. Instead, AMP makes it easier for users to return to Google.

As a user, this is what I want. I don't care about the BBC's site, I care about what I searched for. If I want to see their front page, I'll go to bbc.com.

I think this article (and most AMP-bashing articles) are mostly fluff about how Google is "taking over" and "forcing" people down a certain path. When in reality everybody knows this is helping users.

As I've said many times: propose a better solution for users to be able to load article content very quickly.

The real, valid issues I'm seeing mentioned in this article are:

* Links are to google.com, which really screws up sharing.

* Apparently images and scrolling can be wonky, though I have never noticed this myself (and sounds like it could be easily solved[0] if it's true).

So again, if you can solve this problem for users in a free, publisher-opt-in, global way without the links pointing to a third party, please share your solution.

By the way, if you use CloudFlare, you can enable AMP without breaking normal links[1]. It is only the Google search engine that breaks links for AMP, not AMP itself.

I do hope that Google adds an option in your account settings to opt-out of AMP results. That way the detractors can turn it off, and everyone else can be happy that pages load in < 1 second instead of 4-5 seconds.

[0] https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml

[1] https://blog.cloudflare.com/accelerated-mobile/

5
TekMol 17 hours ago 4 replies      
To me, AMP is the same wallet garden that Facebook is.

Google and Facebook both say: "Give us your content. But without the crap. Just the content. Since we don't allow crap, users prefer the experience over here. So your content will have more readers then on your own domain.".

And for some reason publishers are crazy enough to do that. Instead of removing the crap on their own domains in the first place.

6
madeofpalk 17 hours ago 4 replies      
> On iPhone, AMP seems to override the default browser scrolling. As a result scrolling of AMP pages feels off.

Good news! iOS 11 fixes this. Safari actually has an inconsistent scrolling speed compared to the rest of the OS. iOS 11 makes all Safari pages scroll at the same speed as AMP sites (-webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch)

Also important distinction for people to remember - AMP is two products:

- CDN with preloading pages in Google Search results

- Framework/guidelines for building performant results

The 'morals' and impacts to the 'free and open web' of these two are completely different.

7
javindo 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a visual impairment and one of the things I love about Chrome on Android is the ability to override sites blocking pinch to zoom (i.e. "force enable pinch to zoom").

AMP, also made by Google, seems to somehow get around this browser setting, making AMP sites unreadable and therefore completely useless to me.

Why does Google have these obvious discrepancies between their own products?

8
runn1ng 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny thing is - I, as a reader, love AMP sites. If a website offers AMP, I will prefer it from normal thing.

It has less ads, less bloat, better signal/noise ratio, and the AMP websites look pleasant to eye. So I prefer them even on desktop, ironically.

I still have the issues with Google's AMP caching. But AMP itself is great.

9
jacquesm 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would anybody enable it to begin with?

There is absolutely no reason for sites such as the one linked here to have AMP enabled. It's a pox on the web and Google has enough power as it is. The sooner AMP dies the better. If you want your site to load faster get rid of the cruft.

10
omnifischer 16 hours ago 3 replies      
@alexkras Sorry this comes from me in Nigeria using a second-hand MotoG (1.Gen). May be your website is not loading 23 trackers + unnecessary js. But many websites, load such crap. Please especially in third-world, we have so poor phones. Only google-CDN avoids all these. (yes, google does track me but we do not all have unlimited bandwidth).
11
dayjah 16 hours ago 2 replies      
There's a deep irony in AMP also, purely anecdotally it doesn't seem to help with slow connections. I'm traveling and as such my US carrier restricts me to 2G speeds while roaming somehow, which is resulting in me seeing a lot of butchered pages. As the author mentions:

> AMP tries to load an image only when it becomes visible to the user, rendering a white square instead of the image. In my experience Ive seen it fail fairly regularly, leaving the article with an empty white square instead of the image.

Text content is very fast, but images either don't load or partially load making the reading experience pretty poor.

12
pokermike 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The author is dead-on. I wish more publishers would resist and stop supporting AMP. As an end-user I dislike its UX and how it obfuscates the actual source in links I send and receive. Its man-in-the-middle approach is also highly undesirable.

I've found one way to mostly work around it while still using Google as my default search engine and that is to use encrypted.google.com. Obviously this doesn't remove AMP from links sent to me but it's something.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Google closes that loophole.

13
cdnsteve 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Since your site is actually going through Google's cache, they could add any additional tracking, etc they like, I'm sure they're already doing this. If you don't run Adsense or Google Analytics or anything else Google JS already on your site this gives them a new opportunity to further track users behaviour with a seemingly "friendly" mobile method. It's all about tracking users and selling more ads while keeping eyeballs on Google. You're giving up control of your own site and brand, at a great expense, for their benefit.

No thanks.

14
ilmiont 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Good! I stand firmly against AMP and the centralisation of the web, it's a predatory move to increase Google's prevalence online, and one I will not be supporting with any of my upcoming projects.
15
athenot 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Maybe I don't understand AMP, but what value does it bring over having a very lean CSS and keep JS to the strict minimum? Last time I checked, a plain vanilla HTML page with a bit of embedded CSS (and perhaps a few async JS functions for stats) is lightning fast even on mobile.
16
xbmcuser 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Amp was the reply to Facebook articles the problem was because Facebook pages loaded faster more people were posting and sharing Facebook pages which is worse than Google Amp.
17
edent 15 hours ago 2 replies      
> Do you own a WordPress site? Turn AMP off or dont enable it in the first place.

A warning - I turned off the AMP plug in and it effectively removed my site from Google for a week or so.

https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2016/11/removing-your-site-from-amp...

The Google cache takes ages to clear away all the now-dead links and will serve 404s to your users. A nice incentive to stay trapped in their monoculture.

18
torrent-of-ions 17 hours ago 2 replies      
In the 90s web pages loaded instantly. Now we have faster computers and faster networks, but apparently we need something like AMP to make the web fast. We have regressed.
19
romanovcode 18 hours ago 4 replies      
The fact that website content is stored on Google servers and being served from Google is just disgusting.
20
RKearney 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> On iPhone, AMP seems to override the default browser scrolling. As a result scrolling of AMP pages feels off.

Oddly enough Apple is changing the scrolling behavior in Safari for iOS 11 to scroll how the amp pages do.

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/05/22/scrolling-changes-comin...

21
Radio_Killer 8 hours ago 1 reply      
AMP also sucks for accessibility. Try this on Android's Chrome:

* Do a Google query containing an AMP result

* Zoom in the Google search (since it's not very accessible either)

* Open an AMP page

Result: You can't zoom out anymore and left-to-right scrolling is unavailable in this state. So you have to go back, zoom out and click the link again. After which you can sometimes zoom back in again.

This makes browsing a real hassle. I know Google doesn't care that much about accessibility, but boy this drives me crazy almost every day of the week.

22
ENGNR 14 hours ago 1 reply      
AMP is coming for ecommerce next. Will there be checkout options other than Google? What's going to happen when voice interfaces take over. Amazon Echo already prioritises its own products.

I've switched to Firefox and DuckDuckGo and started moving non-tech people over (and they seem happy enough too). It's not in our interest to let the whole tech market consolidate into 5 walled gardens

23
superasn 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I think every site should get an amp logo in Google search results and preference (same as an amp site) if the load time of the page is under 100ms. So now you have a choice, either DIY or use Google's tech to get it.

This way will create dozens of tech companies competing with AMP focused on making the web faster - the end result that Google supposedly wants and everyone wins!

24
aeromusek 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> I am really surprised that big publishers are not bothered by this fact as much as I am.

I suspect they are just as bothered, but don't really have a choice about this either. Placement on the search results page is so valuable that Google holds a really big stick when introducing new 'standards' like this.

Just look how little of a typical mobile SERP is real 'organic' content now: http://imgur.com/UhNZvL2

25
pavement 17 hours ago 0 replies      
AMP has all the charisma of Silverlight. When I see it, I am impelled away from it, and toward anything closer to normal, no matter how ugly or slow.
26
k__ 17 hours ago 1 reply      
AMP somehow doesn't work right on my smartphone.

When I go to news.google.com an click of any of the AMP links on the front page, I always get thrown back to news.google.com when I scroll on the AMP page.

27
vorpalhex 14 hours ago 1 reply      
"I would use a browser with javascript disabled".

See, this is the point where AMP provides actual benefit. Many sites don't function at all without JS. AMP gives me a site that actually works without the extra crap.

28
valladanger 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with most of the article, but I think that my browsing experience with news (and similar) websites has been improved overall by AMP in a way that I almost regret visiting websites that offer no support for it. On the other hand, I also think that publishers need more control over their content and how they serve it to their users. Having said that, if AMP were to be integrated with GCP it could improve the service for everyone involved, not only publishers and consumers (yes, even for Google itself); for example, a publisher could have an AMP Cloud Storage bucket configured under the domain of the publisher in order to use the its identity and not google's one. On the consumer's end it could be as simple as a switch to turn off amp results for a single session or for every single one. At the end of the day, lets not forget that it is a fairly new approach to improve the web experience (and not a bad one at all) and there are options and many paths that AMP could follow in order to become a better experience for everyone.
29
nobleach 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me stress this major point. Google is NOT the web. They are but one major player. Yet when we speak of "SEO" we mean "pleasing Google". I find that reprehensible. Google is NOT fighting for a better web experience. They are trying desperately to achieve what Facebook has done... keeping users engaged. While I appreciate what Google has done to encourage web standards, they are totally screwing up with their attempt at recreating AOL. AMP is simply the latest example of keeping users on a Google site.
30
landave 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I've read quite a lot about AMP, but I still don't really understand for what technical reason a new markup language (AMP HTML) and an additional javascript library is required to achieve the (claimed) effect.

More specifically: Is there any evidence that AMP is able to provide a better result (at least in terms of performance) than just using a small subset of standard HTML, a little bit of CSS, getting rid of any javascript, and ensuring that the total page size is less than 100KB? If yes, I would be interested in the technical reasons.

31
spiderfarmer 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If everyone creates fast websites that don't suck, Google will consider AMP a success and kill the format.
32
amatecha 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I was about to post that AMP breaks scrolling on my iPhone (thus rendering all AMP-intercepted websites unusable), but it looks like they finally realized it and stopped showing AMP results to my version of iOS. :thumbsup:
33
zeep 10 hours ago 0 replies      
People should also stop making Android apps whenever a website is perfectly suited, but of course that won't happen.

A webview is a bit like AMP but it is still better then a true native Android app (when it is easily avoidable).

34
notadoc 10 hours ago 0 replies      
From a user perspective, the speed of AMP is nice but I absolutely hate not being able to see the original URL of a site.

I want to see the original URL, certainly not a CDN mirror URL that could obfuscate or muddy the source.

35
balls187 9 hours ago 1 reply      
On one hand google's AMP is ruining the open web.

On the other hand, mobile pages suck. Too many ads, annoying popups and interstitials, and tracking scripts.

36
callumlocke 11 hours ago 0 replies      
AMP is bad for publishers, but even worse for publishers who don't get on board.

It's similar to Yelp's strategy: create a new problem for businesses, then sell them a (partial) solution to it.

37
davotoula 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it frustrating bookmarking and/or sharing the AMP url with others.

Ideally it would save / share the original URL, not the AMP url.

38
falcolas 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have enjoyed this AMP saga, and really look forward to the finale: how turning off AMP impacted SEO. Since the author has the "before" picture with AMP enabled, I'm really curious what the "after" will look like.

EDIT: I'm curious about the downvotes - care to elaborate what you disagree with? The author indicated that SEO was a driving force for using AMP, so I think that being curious about the outcome would be acceptable...

39
obilgic 11 hours ago 0 replies      
AMP is the perfect way to punish big publishers for their slow websites. Google can't punish them by simply lowering their rankings, people want to see those big publishers.
40
bushin 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The only good thing that came out of AMP is that Apple finally fixing scrolling in overflows.
41
gnu8 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't even know what AMP is for, but I know if I click an AMP result on my phone, it won't load anything but a white screen. So one of my content blockers must be working...
42
notfitforwrk 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't be evil. Just a little is fine. No one will notice. Go on then!
43
RoryH 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the most Microsoft-esque thing Google has done IIRC!
44
c8g 12 hours ago 1 reply      
45
kennydude 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> On iPhone, AMP seems to override the default browser scrolling. As a result scrolling of AMP pages feels off.

Thought it felt wrong. Makes me want to use Google less and less

46
zeveb 13 hours ago 0 replies      
> Of course, the reason we have AMP is because Google wants users to see ads, something that is mostly missing with JavaScript disabled.

Ding ding ding this is IMHO the real reason for both AMP and the downvoting (and down-moderation) of anti-JavaScript comments on online forums (to include HN). It's all about money. Google aren't evil; neither are publishers, startups or venture capitalists. But it's hard to make money from a web in which end users are in control, and easy to make money if they are relatively powerless. Google, publishers, startups & venture capitalists alike all want to make money, and thus it's in their interest to encourage technical measures which decrease end-user power. It's also in their interest to discourage social discussions which support technical measures which increase end-user power. They don't consciously think in this terms, of course (in the words of Upton Sinclair, 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it'), but that is why they act as they do.

The thing is, every one of is an end-user at some point. Every Google employee, every CNN investor, every startup founder, every venture capitalist uses technology constantly.

It's vitally important to the freedom of the web that we resist the temptation to require JavaScript, that we resist the lure of AMP, that we resist the siren song of further net centralisation. We have nothing to lose but our chains!

47
Chris2048 15 hours ago 2 replies      
AMP news articles lack comments. This is often were most of my interest lies. I want to see if anything in the article is called out in the comments.
48
aub3bhat 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Having suffered through unbelievably atrocious mobile news sites, I now refuse to open any news website that's NOT AMP.

Those criticizing AMP have it wrong, Google could have very well just bypassed AMP for "instant publisher app" (something that if Apple did the same people (Gruber etc.) would wax poetic about how it was stroke of genius), instead you at least get to keep HTML/JS/CSS stack, without any "gatekeepers" like the Apple App Store.

So yeah unless you are a mobile App developer, AMP is great for both developers and readers!

9
D Language accepted for inclusion in GCC gnu.org
526 points by deng  5 days ago   231 comments top 21
1
eco 5 days ago 4 replies      
This is basically the work of one tireless man; Iain Buclaw. Many thanks to him for putting in so much time and energy into this. It took 6 years from first submission to get it in. Here are the slides from his 2017 DConf talk about the work that went into making this happen: http://dconf.org/2017/talks/buclaw.pdf
2
krylon 5 days ago 2 replies      
Silly me, I was under the impression that gdc was already part of gcc...

Well, so at least now I am no longer mistaken. ;-)

I have tried to learn D repeatedly over the last couple of years, but I was usually scared off by how complex this language is. Even so, the syntax is far cleaner than C++[1].

Also, the last time I gave it a try, something finally clicked. I am not all there yet, but I am beginning to like it. The community is very friendly and helpful. Being able to ask stupid questions without being shouted at makes learning a language a lot easier.

[1] To be fair, C++ has carried the baggage of backwards compatibility around since its birth, while D did not and could learn from what C++ got right and wrong.

3
castratikron 5 days ago 1 reply      
I remember trying out D a few years ago. One of the things that threw me off was the bare-bones compiler. I think I was using the reference compiler at the time. The language itself I thought was pretty cool, slices are neat.

I could really see D take off now that it's getting gcc support.

4
kronos29296 5 days ago 2 replies      
I have read many posts saying D was better than C++ as a language but there were no libraries for use case X. Now this may help popularise the language.
5
LukeShu 5 days ago 5 replies      
There has been out-of-tree GCC support for D for several years. I wonder what has changed that they're letting it in to the official repository.
6
hellbanner 5 days ago 1 reply      
I learned about D through Torus Trooper - a highspeed vector graphics game written in D

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/tt_e.html

7
pjmlp 5 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations, it will be nice to have D as well as part of a GCC default install.
8
Keyframe 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is great and might interest me back to D, after many years of absence! When is inclusion expected, at which version / snapshot?
9
jjnoakes 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does this mean D-via-GCC will be supported on more platforms going forward than what is supported today?
10
fithisux 5 days ago 2 replies      
While I like D and use it for scientific work, wwo "omissions" leave me a bitter taste. Nothrow and Pure are not part of the type signature of functions and consequently the compiler has limited inference about these. However I will keep using it unless something better comes up. C++/C# are not an option for me since I found D.
11
int_19h 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a D IDE with good code completion and refactoring support? Last time I tried it, all that I've seen were pretty bad at it - handling the simple stuff fine, but breaking down on more complicated stuff, metaprogramming especially (kinda like most C++ IDEs did 8 years ago or so).
12
jeffdavis 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am learning rust now, but D seems quite promising.

Rust guides you more toward certain approaches. That makes rust easier to learn, but it makes it harder to integrate with existing projects. On paper, rust could work great in a lot of environments, but I'm finding that it takes a bit more work to integrate with a real codebase. It can be done, and I feel like that's well supported, but it takes some real work to port the concepts of a C API into a good and safe rust API.

D might make that easier because it's an "everything" language, so there is likely a corresponding D equivalent of almost any existing API. Of course, you won't get the same level of safety or other benefits, but it could be a smoother path.

13
systems 5 days ago 0 replies      
it seemed like facebook was interested in d for a while, but then it also seems they dropped it in favour of ocaml

i think so, because i believe ocaml and d do compete, and it is clear facebook stopped using d and now used ocaml in several project, they even created reason

any idea why facebook dropped d

14
jacquesm 5 days ago 1 reply      
That's really great news and ensures long term viability of the D language and associated eco system.
15
roryrjb 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wow I literally just installed GDC today (as opposed to DMD which I've tried in the past) in order to support ARM as well as x86. Congrats on the inclusion!
16
joelthelion 5 days ago 4 replies      
What does it bring over modern C++? Why would you want to use it?
17
eggy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I just started looking into D, and I was wondering about its future as part of my evaluation. Now, I feel it will benefit from being part of the GCC 'canon', and gain more of a user-base, and contributors.
18
tejasmanohar 5 days ago 1 reply      
What's the main draw towards D? Who's using it in production?
19
srcmap 5 days ago 2 replies      
Human societies seem to evolve to fewer languages.

Fewer languages help everyone communicate easier/better.

Programming languages seem to go the opposite direction.

Any speculation on why?

20
mahdix 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! Congrats!
21
lasermike026 5 days ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't gcc be working to catch up to llvm?
10
Sega releasing every console game for free with ads on mobile sega.com
592 points by yincrash  1 day ago   249 comments top 32
1
apapli 22 hours ago 27 replies      
Having a 4 year old son I am the first person to put my hand up and say I absolutely HATE ads and general in-app purchases for games that he likes to play on my iPhone. In some cases the way these are implemented it is almost akin to being in a casino which is not a skill I really want my son picking up (watch this ad to see what prize you can WIN etc).

I welcome Sega's announcement and will be delighted to hand over $1.99 to disable all ads - I know their games are of a known quality, and will come without suprise violence included etc.

By way of example I have one simple game he loves to play that randomly brings up images of a guy holding a girl in a headlock with a gun pointed at her head.... and the same ad comes up repeatedly. I can't even disable it via an in-app purchase (trust me, I tried).

As an aside, I'd welcome some suggestions of games he can play, and if anyone reading this is a game developer I'll be happy to provide any imnput to something you are dreaming up.

EDITS: just for clarity of reading

2
monster2control 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I think this is awesome, and I wish Nintendo would do it too, but I was hoping for an Emulator style application, a single app, where new games can be added as they come out. Being separate apps, it's fine, but it's going to make it a PITA when you have over 100 games you'd love to play. Thank god for iOS searching.
3
system16 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this is great, but 121 MB download for a game whose ROM file is 316 KB? I mean, of course I expect overhead but the cynic in me suspects most of that is analytics, tracking, and advertising libraries.
4
phjesusthatguy3 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm holding out for Dreamcast games, since it's one of the few Sega systems I didn't own (and at one point I did own the Master System, Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear, Nomad, Saturn) and there are games for the DC I would really like to play. Too bad Sega can't/won't get their third-party licensees to release stuff through this program.
5
minimaxir 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Sega games with poorly-coded emulators/ads aside, the Sonic 1 fully-native port is still incredible from a gameplay standpoint, and contains a few surprises even for those very familiar with the game. It's worth it to pay for ad-free. (and it also works on the new Apple TV too, but I recommend having a MFi controller if you want to play it like that)
6
tdiggity 23 hours ago 11 replies      
The Sonic game uses the most vile type of in-app ad. The ad requires you to play Game of War for some indeterminate amount of time. You are made to play it after every stage. I hope Sega changes this, it basically makes their game unplayable.
7
codezero 23 hours ago 4 replies      
8
yincrash 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Details:

SEGA Forever is a free and growing classic games collection of nearly every SEGA game ever released from every console era Master System, Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and more. Available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

-Play free

-Save your game progress

-Leaderboard -- compete with the world for high scores

-Controller support -- fully integrated wireless Bluetooth controller support

-Offline play

-Games released every month; download them all!

9
cdevs 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Was excited until I download comix zone and heard the choppy audio and the game was lagging out - worked fine over 20 years ago. Just read a article and they ported these games into unity blah blah blah that doesn't excuse that you should test your product to see the final quality before porting everything over. This is unplayable garbage guys...
10
iaskwhy 18 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing missing from this discussion: people who in the past bought the game are now required to pay for it again in order to have it ad-free! That's the reason for the big influx of 1 star ratings in the AppStore.
11
djhworld 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone verify how "good" it feels to play these games?I can't fathom the idea of playing Mega Drive games without a physical controller, my experiences of touchscreen controls for games designed for a controller are not good.
12
chenster 23 hours ago 3 replies      
It's not free. Every game has "in-app purchase".
13
makecheck 23 hours ago 0 replies      
* With an in-App purchase of $1.99 to remove non-SEGA ads, at least in the ones so far (like Altered Beast).

Also, at the current rate of release, it will take years to reach nearly all titles so I would take this with cautious optimism. Your favorite games may show up tomorrow or 3 years from now.

14
clubm8 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So there's no option to pay a small fee and get an ad free experience? :(
15
jypepin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
this is actually awesome. Altered Beast is one of my favorite game of all time. Really looking forward to see Aladin and Jurassic Park becoming available.

It would be cool if they could release those on a more portable format so it could get put inside a raspberry pie or something!

16
CurrencyDigest 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Dear Sega, you won't probably read this comment. If you do this for saturn Dragon Force.... I... I don't even know how to express the feelings if this happens. I know it won't be a reality but I guy can dream. My favorite game growing up. (only finished it through an emulator because I didn't understand english when I was a kid. The memories of non sleep till I finally finished the game.
17
jancsika 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In other news, Hasbro is releasing Monopoly for free in exchange for listening to a timeshare pitch on every 10th roll.
18
yincrash 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if VMU minigames will be ported with the associated Dreamcast games.
19
DonHopkins 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I sure hope that includes Seaman!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaman_(video_game)

20
akhilcacharya 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The possibility of playing Shenmue on an iPhone is interesting..
21
helpmate 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of them are in the Dutch store. Not Sonic though. I did see the Dreamcast version of crazy taxi!
22
trimbo 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I look forward to Herzog Zwei being available!
23
jackvalentine 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Very slow ports, pay money and still get advertised to, launch titles are a yawnfest.

It's time to forget about the company that Sega once was and ignore anything that comes from the company it has become.

24
nihonde 13 hours ago 0 replies      
They didn't make these available in the Japan iOS App Store. It sounds like we're not missing much, though.
25
lpa22 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't fathom free ads from Sega, I will gladly pay the handful of George Washingtons to keep my kids away from the onslaught of unregulated ads that this storied franchise is about to endure
26
adamas 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, I don't get it, it's "every console game" or juste those 5 ? Where is my Street of Rage ? :(
27
iamflimflam1 20 hours ago 0 replies      
They only seem to be available on the US App Store.
28
INTPenis 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen so much malware spread through ads on Android that I'm more than willing to pay the 1.99 charge.
29
nerflad 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing and unexpected. I hope this sets a precedent for other developers to follow with their old titles.
30
Overtonwindow 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Sort of on topic: Check out the book "Console Wars" by Blake Harris, about the battle between Nintendo and Sega. A really awesome book, in my humble opinion.
31
imron 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is incredible. Please let me pay to remove ads though.
32
kakarot 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Serious kudos to Sega.

This is how old games should be handled throughout the industry when possible. The likelihood of someone not already familiar with a title or franchise to play it is a function of A) its cost and B) how dated it is. Once a game is seeing marginal returns, it's kind of a very corporate mindset to try and suck it dry of every last penny. Especially when you view games as a form of art.

I fear for so many incredible titles, especially as we possibly enter a real VR age.

Unless I force it on them (I probably will), my children may never give a second glance to the titles I grew up with and consider masterpieces, when they could sensually immerse themselves in a modern AAA or VR title.

So many great soundtracks, assets, feats of code, all deserving to be in a museum somewhere, lost in the ever-growing sea of content. Eventually only treasure-hunters like myself seek to experience and appreciate them.

Not only that, Sega can much more accurately determine what franchises might see profitable continuations, given a large enough sample size.

Having not played any of these titles on mobile myself, I can only imagine that Sega has ruined this very noble idea with intrusive ads and a payment scheme for removing them.

11
Sci-Hub as Necessary, Effective Civil Disobedience brembs.net
487 points by dredmorbius  1 day ago   127 comments top 18
1
tacomonstrous 1 day ago 2 replies      
In my experience as a mathematician, most for profit journal publishing companies are essentially rentiers making money off a captive clientele, who don't even get much utility any more from them, except for access to some older articles. Moreover, the services they provide to authors are also usually worse than the non-profit journals: no copy editing, crappy editorial tools, just a complete disregard for the actual producers of the (free) content they make money off. It's a complete and unmitigated scam.
2
jpalomaki 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Playing devil's advocate: Sci-Hub is good thing for the publishers. Instead of revolting, those who can't afford (or don't want) to pay the high subscription fees for journals will just quietly use Sci-Hub. People can still continue publishing their papers via the same high profile journals and achieve a wide distribution without moving to open access scheme. Publishers may loose some money, but high profile institutions probably don't see Sci-hub as real alternative and continue paying.

In a similar fashion software piracy can actually help large, established players. Take for example Photoshop, which back in the days was quite pirated piece of software. Adobe certainly lost some money, but I think the main losers were cheaper alternatives. Young and poor pirated Photoshop, learned to use it and when they got employed wanted to continue using Photoshop since that was the only package they really knew. If piracy had not been an option, many would probably have gone for other, more affordable alternatives.

3
quickben 21 hours ago 4 replies      
This round is going to be fun.

See, I'm old enough to remember this battle starting for music and movies. We know how that ended.

But now, it's for the very knowledge that drives our civilization.

"Stallman was right", oh how that statement is going to get tested.

4
kronos29296 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a person who has been benefited by Sci-Hub immensely and hope that it continues to stay just like the Libgen project.Journal publishers need to wake up and get their wits together and do something.

It used to be proprietary Software everywhere before GNU and Linux. Nowadays FSF has made FLOSS a good thing. Today we have FOSS everywhere. Even Microsoft which used to be a bastion of proprietary software now has Open Source projects.

Something similar to that needs to sweep the Academic publishing world otherwise progress will only slow down due to closed nature of existing literature.

5
nsaslideface 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is rare that true heroism can be framed as a catchy story. Those working for campaign finance reform is another example. People who fight "David-like" against these Goliaths are doing extremely radical work, and they will be canonized in the coming centuries. They don't get the semi-celebrity of Snowden or Ellsberg in the present day because they lack the whistleblower story of one person verses the full power of the federal government - the only sort of punishments they face are an unsexy sinking into obscurity, or a quiet snuffing-out such as with Aaron Swartz.
6
jccalhoun 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm an academic and I have access to most journals through my college's library. I still use sci-hub all the time simply because it is much easier than the legal method where I have to go to my university's library page, log in, search for the article that I already found, struggle with the shitty search to find the article that I already found through google, then click the link to the database, then I get to download the article I already found 10 minutes ago.

Or I could just click the bookmarlet to search scihub...

7
Toast_ 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master." - Pravin Lal, Alpha Centauri.
8
jancsika 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Would it be illegal for a person to publicly claim that they would mirror content from sci-hub if N other scientists also made the same public claim?

Further, suppose a person anonymously made a copy of a partial snapshot of sci-hub content. Would it be illegal for that person to post a public search engine that responds to requests for articles from the collection with a only the hash of that document?

Finally, suppose N scientists have the above public hash engines and claim they will mirror a randomly chosen part of sci-hub content when N+1 scientists make the same claim. For what value of N would you be willing to mirror sci-hub content?

9
mmmnn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how Elbakyan was 'outed' as the creator of Sci-Hub? When I first started using it, it all seemed quite secretive as to the creator's identity. Was this something uncovered during the lawsuit?
10
_lm_ 22 hours ago 6 replies      
I wonder if closed-access publishing is part of why academia seems so insluated from the "real world". People write for their audience, and if the general public can't read academic papers, then academics are going to write as if only other academics are reading.

Likewise, if research output is difficult to access, the feedback loop between ideas and implementation is broken; folks outside academia can't easily comment on the cutting edge work in a field, and academics only have to worry about what other academics think of their work.

11
onikolas 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Worth noting: Many authors will be happy to email you a copy of their paper. People understand that not everyone's library can pay the hundreds of thousands needed for subscription fees. Research Gate has this functionality built in. Also, everyone likes to be cited :)

Being easy to circumvent is a big reason why these for profit journals still exist.

12
nyolfen 1 day ago 1 reply      
elbakyan surely belongs to the category of contemporary outlaw-/folk-heroes. at least she is in my personal pantheon.
13
pawadu 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Slightly off-topic:

I downloaded the same file both directly from IEEE and sci-hub and the checksum did not match. I am a bit worried that sci-hub is/will be used to spread malware.

14
dredmorbius 1 day ago 3 replies      
So long as we're looking at intellectual property, and arguments against it:

An online book by UCLA economics professors Michele Boldrin and Mark Levine, making the case against intellectual property -- patents, and copyright most especially.

The opening chapter leads off with the patent battles of James Watt, which are credited by some authors with setting back the start date of the Industrial Revolution from 1769, when the patent was issued, to 1800, when it (after parliamentary extension) finally expired.

http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/againstne...

Joseph Stiglitz, "Knowledge as a Global Public Good," in Global Public Goods: International Cooperation in the 21st Century, Inge Kaul, Isabelle Grunberg, Marc A. Stern (eds.), United Nations Development Programme, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 308-325.

http://s1.downloadmienphi.net/file/downloadfile6/151/1384343...

15
pks016 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Related to this, I have one question.

Suppose one is going to write a paper and he need to add a reference of another paper which he has got from Sci-hub. So is there any check or any sorts of things of originality of reference paper ?

(I don't know exactly how publishing works)

16
mtgx 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Why isn't Google allowing the Sci-Hub extension in its Chrome store?

This is why it sucks to have app stores and walled gardens. The vendors effectively become censorship agents for states. And Microsoft wants to take us in the same direction with Windows 10 S.

17
Grue3 21 hours ago 5 replies      
18
aaron-lebo 1 day ago 2 replies      
This means it is our duty to the citizens to reduce our publishing expenses to no more than currently ~US$200m per year (and we would even increase the value of the literature by making it open to boot!). If we were to do that, wed have US$9.8b every single year to buy all the different infrastructure solutions that already exist to support all our intellectual outputs, be that text, data or code.

Is is also our duty as the people to reduce all expenditures on software? Is piracy justifiable especially within government institutions?

I guess my point is that necessary is a really strong claim and you can justify a lot of crazy stuff with that. Scientific progress has continued on just fine despite these cartels. With no supporting evidence I'd argue that today's scholars have hundreds of times the free information available than they did a century ago and that ramps up the further you go back. It's easy to imagine that Elsevier's lockdown of a paper is the difference between an academic breakthrough or not, but in reality that's probably not the case, even if it's a noble cause.

12
Comcast accused of cutting competitors wires to put it out of business arstechnica.com
497 points by coloneltcb  4 days ago   183 comments top 24
1
kodt 4 days ago 20 replies      
This does not surprise me, in fact a Comcast technician told me they do this (on a much smaller scale) by disconnecting or cutting competitors' cable runs to buildings they are working on (and also sometimes their own).

I lived in a multi-unit apartment building and one day noticed my internet was down (I was a Comcast subscriber). I was suspicious because a Comcast technician was just out earlier in the day installing internet for a new tenant in the building. After going through the phone support steps they scheduled a technician to come out and check the line.

A couple days later, when the technician arrives, he checks the line only to confirm no signal. Then he goes out back to the cable box outside. I was unable to check this myself since it was mounted high on the building and required a ladder to access. Within a few minutes it was working again.

The Comcast technician then told me my line was just disconnected. I asked him if the previous technician made a mistake during the install. He said something along the lines of: "No, often in these multi-unit buildings we will disconnect people at random in case they are trying to steal cable. If they are a paying customer they will call and get it turned back on". He then went on about how they would have fun disconnecting competitors, and that competitors did it back to them etc.. all very nonchalantly and candidly.

I then called Comcast and got a 3 day credit for the outage they created "intentionally" to prove I am a customer.

2
noonespecial 4 days ago 2 replies      
Even if this was accidental and overblown (as lawsuits often are: one side of the story etc...), Comcast has a steep hill to climb because of their terrible reputation.

I think they're going to get completely hosed in court over this. Being assholes to everyone you deal with can have surprising hidden costs.

3
distantsounds 4 days ago 2 replies      
In a shared-housing unit, a Comcast tech once cut the coax wires going to my FiOS box when installing internet for new tenants. Why he felt the need to touch my wiring is beyond me. The tech had to come back (albeit hours later) to undo the damage he did. A minor annoyance, but just adds onto the anecdotes of stories about the techs not knowing what they are doing.
4
DamnInteresting 4 days ago 2 replies      
When we purchased a house a few years back, Comcast was our only broadband option, so we reluctantly called them. The previous owners had a Dish Network receiver on the roof, and the when the Comcast technician arrived he enthusiastically offered to remove it and haul it away for us at no charge, even though it was in no way interfering with Comcast's cabling.

I doubt I will ever have interest in subscribing to Dish Network, but I declined, not wanting to be party to such anti-competitive behavior. I can't imagine the tech would offer to remove it unless such is standard practice. He'd be doing extra work for no extra pay (unless Comcast offers a head hunting bounty).

5
jamroom 4 days ago 2 replies      
Wow - if true I really hope Comcast gets taken to the cleaners over this. We REALLY need more ISP competition in the US- this is just ridiculous.
6
5ilv3r 4 days ago 0 replies      
Mom and pop shops have so little recourse against this kind of abuse. I grew up in one that was killed by verizon, and this stuff still stings.
7
bitlax 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've had Comcast employees call me posing as my current cable provider in order to verify my monthly payment.
8
Paul-ish 4 days ago 0 replies      
The cable operator should have been able to seek an injunction after they cut his cable the second time. Clearly Comcast didn't know what they were doing, and were just barreling forward. That behavior should not be rewarded.
9
dangjc 4 days ago 1 reply      
The regulators need to crack down on this. If Comcast controls the regulators, they need to be broken up. No one company should have that much political power.
10
lfnoise 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Comcast installer ripped out the AT&T lines and the lines to my aerial antenna along the side of my house when he installed cable. At a previous house I rented, the Comcast guy cut the AT&T line from the pole and left it hanging two feet off the ground from a branch in a tree. Comcast didn't want to come out to fix it because it wasn't their wire.
11
pwerner2 4 days ago 12 replies      
Former Comcast cable technician here. I was an in-house tech, and corporate has ludicrous quality standards and nitpicky, white-glove QC's after an in-house tech leaves a job. However, the company obviously employs a TON of _independent contractors_. Some of these contractors are excellent at their jobs, but a lot of them aren't, and as they're not subject to any real oversight by the corporation, you really don't know what you're going to get. At least, this was the case at the office I worked out of. Based on my experience (and I worked at the company for a while), this is almost definitely 100% true, but it's probably a contractor or an individual corporate tech being lazy, instead of malicious action on the part of Comcast.
12
ndespres 4 days ago 1 reply      
I don't doubt that the linked story is true, but I know that individually this can happen all the time inadvertently. I worked for an ISP which provided "dry loop DSL" (DSL without dialtone service on the phone line) in the mid-2000s and as a consequence of having internet service from a 3rd party over telco pairs with no phone numbers attached, the local phone companies would regularly re-use our customers' lines for new phone installations. Since they were not tagged with phone numbers in the exchange building, and had no dialtone, the phone company techs had no way to tell the lines were in use.
13
paul7986 4 days ago 1 reply      
Comcast customer service is terrible and will always remain terrible until they bring ALL of their customer service and technicians in house and pay them handsomely.

Until then they will always remain at the bottom of the barrel and as the most hated company in the country due to horrid customer service.

I worked at Comcast for too many years answering their phones and getting yelled out because 80% of the time due to the contracted technicians and the companies they work for.

14
omdeezy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Same thing happened to our apartment last summer. Technician came in to install a neighbor's internet and disconnected ours during the process. Shit is unbelievable.
15
kevin_thibedeau 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Verizon FiOS installer did this in my apartment when I wanted to get cable IP service set up. What should have been a simple self install required a service call to have a tech come out and crawl through the attic to splice the cable back together.
16
madcaptenor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Comcast once cut the wire that led to my apartment because someone else in my building didn't pay their bill, and their records were poor enough (I blame this on the fact that they had grown by acquisition of a company that I know didn't have it together) that they didn't know which wire went where. And then it took multiple technicians coming out to get it set back up. I work for a competitor now and I tell this story to illustrate How Things Can Go Wrong.
17
eriknstr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cutting competitor's wires feels like mafia tactics.
18
tolien 4 days ago 0 replies      
Similar things have happened in the UK, with BT contractors plugging phones in and calling the speaking clock [1] to work out if a copper pair is free for them to use for a new customer, or just unplugging them and hoping for the best.

[1] http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/11/phantom-calls-t...

19
dabber 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've never heard a good thing said about Comcast. It's a shame they are the only option in so many places.
20
CKMo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not surprised Comcast did this.

Also wouldn't be surprised if Comcast got off scott-free.

21
equalarrow 4 days ago 0 replies      
Oh we can dream..
22
LoonyBalloony 4 days ago 0 replies      
Competitors? tisk tisk Comcast... you've been slacking.
23
pishpash 4 days ago 0 replies      
So is this more or less evil than Uber's various unethical actions? Comcast CEO sure won't be stepping down. Corporations gonna corp.
24
droopybuns 4 days ago 0 replies      
Have to wonder if this is union related & that tiny ISP hired non-union workers.
13
My Uber driver robbed me, so I took Uber to court and won fymhotsauce.rocks
586 points by fischerq  5 days ago   269 comments top 38
1
ivraatiems 5 days ago 5 replies      
I'm glad this worked out for the OP. However, I think he may have made a couple mistakes that could have been avoided for a smoother process.

The big one is not retaining an attorney. No, he doesn't have to for small claims court, but Uber clearly had its legal team looking at this. Now, I understand that lawyers are expensive and carry their own issues - but if he'd won the case with an attorney, he could potentially have secured attorney's fees as well. Plus, a good way to make a company cave on an issue like this is to say "direct all requests to my attorney; I'm not speaking to you on this matter."

I realize getting a lawyer isn't always feasible, though, especially in small claims, so I'll assume it just wasn't possible for this case (also, I'm not a lawyer, this is just based on my understanding of the small claims process). Still, giving Uber all the evidence in the case after a suit had been filed but before any discovery had been ordered was a misstep. Small claims court rarely has formal discovery - the process by which each side finds and turns over evidence to the other side. The OP was - as far as I can tell - under no obligation to give evidence to the Uber rep of any kind. He should not have; they used it against him. What he should have done was say "we can discuss this in court, or you can make me whole now and avoid that," and NOTHING else.

Edit: A line I really enjoyed from the piece: "They were a company that shows blatant disrespect to authority, operating illegally in cities and using technology to intentionally avoid law enforcement." Yep. That's Uber in a nutshell. Well played.

2
qb45 5 days ago 1 reply      
The detective in charge of my case sent me the police report. She had contacted the official law enforcement department of Uber to get more information. She gave Uber the date and time of the ride, as well as the license plate of the vehicle and name of the driver.

The Uber department responded that they had no record of a trip from the vehicle with that license plate on December 5th, 2016, just after 11 PM, and the driver had not driven with them for 2 years.

Funny, I came here to rant that Uber shouldn't really be responsible for that and the OP should have sued the driver instead, but if this is their response then they totally deserved everything they got and more.

How is it even possible to get away with lying to the police like that? They should be in serious trouble for this alone.

3
baby 5 days ago 2 replies      
Damn, one of my driver drove with my girlfriend's phone, we were waving to him but he didn't stop. We managed to call him via the app and he said he would send it back to us but never did. After that it was impossible to do anything/contact him via Uber :/
4
skinnymuch 5 days ago 1 reply      
Wow what a crazy story. The twist half way through after the first court case was cool.

Trying not to spoil anything for someone who hasn't read or finished reading the article.

But first it sucks how much time was spent by everyone in the story especially the victim. It also sucks that if you have to go to court again because something comes up that shows the defense, Uber, in this case, did something clearly wrong that wasn't known the first time, you seemingly can't increase the amount you're suing for. So all the expenses of going back to court again, etc, come out of your pocket. That's lame.

But at least you won in the end^. I'll be weary of Uber from now on and my belongings. I can't completly stop using Uber because of friends who don't care. Finally, who knows how other companies would handle this. Probably better, but, I don't know.

^ not a spoiler like a commentor noted because the title and URL both say he won

5
tbrake 5 days ago 2 replies      
I don't get the "should have heard the car drive away and chased him" angle they twice tried.

He should be at fault for not being as fast as a car? Most people aren't going to be able to run at >10mph for very long, forget about anything more.

And even then, suppose he had caught up to the car and the driver didn't want to stop.

Just slimy.

6
module0000 5 days ago 1 reply      
This guy took the high road - once he had the license plate and an address, this could have taken a very different turn. If you're into someone for $4,000, it's a coin flip whether they invest effort into getting it back, or invest another $4,000 for someone else to get you back. If you are going to steal from someone, always keep that in the back of your mind... you don't know what type of person you're stealing from. Maybe it's an easy mark, or maybe it's a vindictive psychopath that would love an excuse to pull your teeth out in his basement over the next 30 days. "Risk vs Reward" and all that...
7
codedokode 5 days ago 1 reply      
So in the end Uber got away with obstructing justice and the driver got away with theft. It is surprising that police cannot find the thief even knowing his identity.
8
startupdiscuss 5 days ago 5 replies      
For me, the most heartbreaking aspect of this story is the sheer amount of time and effort that had to be squandered.

You could probably have designed an app, coded a site, or written a small novel with that time.

9
Bahamut 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is sad to hear, and while I don't use Uber anymore, I did have one great experience - my phone slipped out of my pocket into the car as I was getting out, and the car drove off as I got out and did not carry anything there. I was able to contact the last driver by logging into the app from a hotel employee's phone and arrange a pickup not too long later.

I gave her a generous cash tip and many thanks for doing the right thing, as I was far away from my home in the Bay Area (was in Savannah for a race).

10
iplaw 5 days ago 1 reply      
Ultimately, Uber did not want to establish a precedent for liability. What they should have done is settled for $4,000 and forced the victim to sign an NDA, ensuring that this little conflict remained private.

Instead, in usual Uber fashion, the legal and HR team worked their magic and created a lose-lose-lose situation for themselves:

1. They established precedent for liability;

2. They obstructed justice, which could be used as fodder in subsequent lawsuits; and

3. They did nothing to prevent this story from being broadcasted far and wide.

11
frostymarvelous 4 days ago 1 reply      
On a night out drinking, a friend invited their uber driver to join them as they had a great connection (this is Africa so its not really strange). At the end of the night, said friend forgot all his devices in the ride and after trying to reach the driver for days and failing, we reported the issue to uber. Uber called the driver and he denied he'd seen the devices. Uber basically gave us the finger and told us they could do nothing.
12
dmitrygr 5 days ago 1 reply      
A fun read. Glad the author prevailed. Not surprised at uber's action, sadly. Claiming they do not control the drivers' actions is their norm.
13
water42 5 days ago 3 replies      
before uber, I don't think I've ever rooted for a company to fail
14
hosh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder -- with a company culture on the lookout for loopholes and exploits in order to enter markets, do they tend to see that by default in the behavior of others? This guy got accused of deliberately leaving his bag in the car. There was also that incident with the rape, and the executive who brought back confidential files to discuss whether that was a fraud.

It is as if, "I think you are trying to commit fraud here ... because that is what I can imagine trying to pull off myself."

15
gravypod 5 days ago 7 replies      
"I just didnt buy that a company could just get away with that business model. Hire anyone with a car, facilitate everything, and have no responsibility for what happens in the cars."

If I got food sick from something I ordered off GrubHub could I sue them?

16
dba7dba 5 days ago 3 replies      
Note to self, "leave doors/trunks open UNTIL I am positive all my luggages are out of the car."
17
theprop 5 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome work!! Great story about how awful the legal system is given the amount of effort and work you had to go through. You deserved a lot more than just that $4k.

I personally feel bad that it's only after reading this that I'm going to stop using Uber as well...despite all of the terrible stuff that's going on over there, I was willing to strike up to "growing pains" or "bad apples", since I wrongly believed they were 100% committed to their users. That's clearly not the case so there's no more Uber for me.

18
sivex 5 days ago 3 replies      
Not a single comment on here about using insurance. I know that a backpack with a laptop can be stolen out of someone else's car and cut-rate renters insurance will cover it. I don't really think Uber was the correct person to foot this bill, I think this is the same as someone grabbing your purse from you when walking down the street. You either have decent insurance or you're SOL
19
jellicle 5 days ago 0 replies      
You know, if Uber employees started going to jail when they lied to the government, the culture would probably change pretty fast.
20
hoodoof 5 days ago 1 reply      
Can I say that I had the inverse experience where an Uber driver drove off with something that I left in the trunk of the car.

He went to considerable effort over multiple calls over a few days of coordinating and attempts for me to get it back, until eventually I got it back intact.

It was a first class customer service experience.

21
cakedoggie 5 days ago 0 replies      
I tried reading this, when does the guy get to the point? I am not sure what Dota, or his dad, or his hot sauce or his awesome flight has to do with any of this?

Ok, go about 2 pages down, and you can skip the incredibly detailed discussion of his exiting the car.

This seems more like the driver thought he had all his bags, the door was closed, a simple mistake. But no, the driver was a master thief, spying him using stuff in his bag and racing off (at an incredibly slow pace according to the video).

Good on the guy for following up with this, and it is an interesting story.

> They were a company that shows blatant disrespect to authority, operating illegally in cities and using technology to intentionally avoid law enforcement.

This is true, and well known. And if you knowingly use Uber, you understand this.

22
linkmotif 5 days ago 0 replies      
What I dont understand about Uber after all these months/years of them being horrible to customers is: Why?

#1 rule of capitalism is to coddle your customers as much as possible at every possible expense while still remaining profitable. Why does Uber act so 2nd World?

23
hsod 5 days ago 10 replies      
Interesting story, but I think it was a bit unfair to Uber. I'm glad this guy was made whole, but I'm not sure Uber's reluctance to paying you 4000 dollars because a driver stole your backpack qualifies as corruption.

From what I can tell, the worst thing Uber did was not be sufficiently cooperative with the police investigation. This part of the narrative is extremely muddled and unclear, so it's hard to take a strong position on their behavior here.

24
Pxtl 5 days ago 2 replies      
11 paragraphs of self-promotion before getting to the meat.
25
jszymborski 5 days ago 1 reply      
Any anecdotal stories about losing items in traditional Taxis? The first clerk didn't think that ever worked out, wondering about that claim...
26
olegkikin 5 days ago 0 replies      
You should've added like $50K of punitive damages. The fact that they lied to the police and got away with it is crazy. You didn't even break even, considering how much time and research you spent.
27
AngeloAnolin 4 days ago 0 replies      
This.

"Ultimately I am sad that the company that is trying to reform the taxi industry is so corrupt."

28
dsfyu404ed 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't fault the driver. He's just following the normal standards of conduct for business transactions in Massachusetts.

I say this as someone who had the misfortune of growing up there.

I'm only being sarcastic about not faulting the driver. Unless you're trying to grow your customer base or know the person you screw them. It's just how things are done.

29
sjg007 5 days ago 0 replies      
Uber and Lyft are here to stay and if not them then someone else. Cabs suck.
30
king_panic 5 days ago 2 replies      
did anyone else notice this blog post is on site that sells hot sauce?
31
ElijahLynn 5 days ago 0 replies      
This reads a lot like The Rosie Project, which is a great read!
32
uptown 5 days ago 0 replies      
What kind of snacks did you eat on the plane?
33
redwyvern 5 days ago 0 replies      
Deleting Uber
34
paulcole 5 days ago 1 reply      
>Before my hot sauce set a record on Kickstarter

I would've liked to know more about this relevant detail.

35
freeplatform 5 days ago 1 reply      
I get that the court process is the main part of the story, but I still can't believe that you left $4k worth of equipment in the car with a stranger. I guess I'm just much more paranoid. Also, that's how I view taxi drivers as well as Uber/Lyft drivers. Sure there are some protections like background checks and tracking, but at the end of the day it is a stranger we don't know, and anything could happen, so we probably should at least be a bit hesitant.
36
valuearb 5 days ago 2 replies      
Really poorly written. Spends far too long in getting to the event, and really confusing about the court proceedings.
37
mrob 5 days ago 1 reply      
Misleading title. Robbery is theft by force or threat of force. Although the author says he was "robbed", he alleges theft by driving off with his bag, no violence involved.
38
pilsetnieks 5 days ago 2 replies      
> I ended up going to an Apple store as they had just made everything in their laptops Type-C, but in typical Apple fashion they were $90 and that just seemed outrageous. Not too far away a Microsoft store had a charger for only $30, so I bought that instead.

Was this nugget really necessary? And, by the way, a laptop charger for $90 is a reasonable price; if anything, I'd be more outraged about a $30 phone charger.

14
Tesla hires Andrej Karpathy techcrunch.com
535 points by janober  6 days ago   313 comments top 17
1
Animats 5 days ago 15 replies      
What this really reflects is that Tesla has painted itself into a corner. They've shipped vehicles with a weak sensor suite that's claimed to be sufficient to support self-driving, leaving the software for later. Tesla, unlike everybody else who's serious, doesn't have a LIDAR.

Now, it's "later", their software demos are about where Google was in 2010, and Tesla has a big problem. This is a really hard problem to do with cameras alone. Deep learning is useful, but it's not magic, and it's not strong AI. No wonder their head of automatic driving quit. Karpathy may bail in a few months, once he realizes he's joined a death march.

If anything, Tesla should have learned by now that you don't want to need to recognize objects to avoid them. The Mobileye system works that way, being very focused on identifying moving cars, pedestrians, and bicycles. It's led to at least four high speed crashes with stationary objects it didn't identify as obstacles. This is pathetic. We had avoidance of big stationary objects working in the DARPA Grand Challenge back in 2005.

With a good LIDAR, you get a point cloud. This tells you where there's something. Maybe you can identify some of the "somethings", but if there's an unidentified object out there, you know it's there. The planner can plot a course that stays on the road surface and doesn't hit anything. Object recognition is mostly for identifying other road users and trying to predict their behavior.

Compare Chris Urmson's talk and videos at SXSW 2016 [1] with Tesla's demo videos from last month.[2]Notice how aware the Google/Waymo vehicle is of what other road users are doing, and how it has a comprehensive overview of the situation. See Urmson show how it handled encountering unusual situations such as someone in a powered wheelchair chasing a duck with a broom. Note Urmson's detailed analysis of how a Google car scraped the side of a bus at 2MPH while maneuvering around sandbags placed in the parking lane.

Now watch Tesla's sped-up video, slowed down to normal speed. (1/4 speed is about right for viewing.)Tesla wouldn't even detect small sandbags; they don't even see traffic cones. Note how few roadside objects they mark. If it's outside the lines, they just don't care. There's not enough info to take evasive action in an emergency. Or even avoid a pothole.

Prediction: 2020 will be the year the big players have self-driving. It will use LIDAR, cameras, and radars. Continental will have a good low-cost LIDAR using the technology from Advanced Scientific Concepts at an affordable price point.

Tesla will try to ship a self-driving system before that while trying to avoid financial responsibility for crashes. People will die because of this.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj-rK8V-rik[2] https://player.vimeo.com/video/192179727

2
timemachiner 6 days ago 7 replies      
Since it seems to be a thing to report that X person specializing in machine learning has moved from Y company to Z, it makes me wonder if other areas of computer science is seen as relevant by the general public.

One rarely hears Dr. John Doe from Florida State University (or insert non-Standford university here) in Distributed systems has moved from Microsoft Research to NetApp. These are arbitrary names. The point is you rarely hear about people from other areas of CS outside of machine learning/universities outside of Stanford moving from one company to another. The field of CS is vast and there are multitude of practical and theoretical problems outside of machine learning that are worth looking into (ones that aren't currently considered hip or cool by the public).

3
ccorda 6 days ago 4 replies      
Seems to be taking Chris Lattner's place:

https://twitter.com/clattner_llvm/status/877341760812232704

4
nojvek 6 days ago 1 reply      
I follow Karpathy on Twitter and really enjoy his blog. I do fear that his impact in Tesla could be less than his impact at openai. Openai had some fundamentally great research and ideas.

I wish him that best though. Hopefully some of Tesla algorithms will be open source someday and those of us who can't afford a Tesla will be able to use it as well.

5
komaromy 6 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting, to move from an Elon-Musk-chaired non-profit to an Elon-Musk-owned for-profit.
6
cityhall 6 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone have any insight into what the top ML people are being paid right now?
7
terrble 6 days ago 1 reply      
Karpathy. Car pathy.

* I hate myself for this.

8
nodesocket 5 days ago 0 replies      
Andrej paired with chip guru Jim Keller [1] (vice president of autopilot hardware engineering) should be an amazing combo.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Keller_(engineer)

9
foobarqux 6 days ago 1 reply      
I think he'll regret accepting the position. Impossible deadlines are going to force him out in under 12 months.
10
sjg007 6 days ago 6 replies      
So where does this leave openAi?
11
colmvp 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is great to hear. Andrej has contributed a lot to DL students worldwide, what with his lectures online and his writeups, that I'm glad he's continuing his upward trajectory. A very inspiring person.
12
wideem 5 days ago 0 replies      
Haven't thought that Andrej is such a big star in tech and deep learning communities. Which him all the best, his deep learning course was amazing
13
smithsmith 5 days ago 2 replies      
How old is Andrej Karpathy ? Unable to find on google.
14
manishmarahatta 6 days ago 0 replies      
so it's done for other car industries :/
15
du_bing 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wonderful news!
16
xyzzy4 6 days ago 4 replies      
If A.I. can't fold my laundry, I wouldn't trust it with my car.
17
throw2bit 5 days ago 0 replies      
What is so hackerynews about this ? Hackernews is turning facebooky with low quality content.
15
SpaceX successfully launches and recovers second Falcon 9 in 48 hours techcrunch.com
493 points by janober  1 day ago   194 comments top 18
1
schiffern 1 day ago 3 replies      
Incredible time-lapse of the landing, from Elon Musk's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVxysOlA04j/

The yawing motion at the beginning of the video is because they moved the drone ship to avoid stormy seas, so the stage had to thrust sideways to retarget. In calm weather SpaceX positions the ship right along the ballistic path, so the stage only needs to pitch up and "flip."

You can also see the grid fins "pulling up" through the atmosphere to bleed off as much speed as possible. I described the optimization a while back. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14288431

Fantastic job to everyone at SpaceX!

2
TheAlchemist 1 day ago 5 replies      
This is becoming really astonishing. It's more and more fitting the quote They did not know it was impossible so they did it

I mean, the company was founded only 15 years ago, they started (with success) launching stuff into space only 10 years ago and now it feels like they are able to launch rockets into space every week. Reusable rockets should we add.

Musk very often sets impossible deadlines, but in this case, even if you take a step back, it's scary to make 10 years predictions based on this company track record !

3
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 1 reply      
Per Elon's tweet those grid fins were much better behaved than previous versions. Nothing got hot enough to start showing up in the visible spectrum (good). And what was interesting for me was the lack of gunk landing on the camera. (presumably from the fact that the covering of the fins wasn't burning off like it had in previous flights). What is particularly impressive for me is the slow and steady progress on the 'landed' F9's. The first one successfully landed looked really beat up, and the next couple marginally less so, Friday's went through a part of flight regime that SpaceX had deemed "un-recoverable" and an this one came through looking quite good. Still feels like science fiction to me ...
4
zer00eyz 1 day ago 3 replies      
Those fins are awesome:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/878821062326198272

Cast and cut titanium. They are about 4x5 feet and some of the largest (if not the largest) titanium castings in the world.

Titanium is an amazing material that is super hard to work with (special furnaces), and has its own sets of risks (titanium fire any one). I would love to see what goes into making those things because it simply has to be impressive.

5
Animats 1 day ago 2 replies      
Nice. SpaceX is finally getting their launch rate up.

As a business, that's been SpaceX's biggest problem. Customers like the pricing but not the long delays. Finally, SpaceX seems to be getting past that.

Getting pad time at Canaveral is a bottleneck. SpaceX is still building their own launch site at Brownsville,, TX, but that's going slowly.[1] All SpaceX has there right now is some fill that's settling (the location is on sand maybe 2m above sea level) and a dish antenna. Next to be built, the fire station. First launch is now supposed to be no earlier than 2018.

[1] http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-...

6
Tade0 1 day ago 3 replies      
I like how SpaceX has a "pricing" section on its webpage as if space flight was something mundane and pedestrian like an oil change in your car or something.
7
app4soft 1 day ago 1 reply      
Take TLE of all Irridium-NEXT satelites...http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/iridium-NEXT.txt

... and import it to Stellariumhttp://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Satellites_plugin

P.S.: Stellarium 0.16.0 released few days ago!https://sourceforge.net/p/stellarium/news/2017/06/stellarium...

8
snovv_crash 1 day ago 4 replies      
Did anyone else notice that the engines shut off while the rocket was still a small ways up, after which it fell quite heavily onto the landing legs?
9
vermontdevil 1 day ago 2 replies      
And the second launch with the updated grid fins made out of titanium alloy. Elon Musk said it went well and they want to reuse them indefinitely.
10
lostdog 1 day ago 3 replies      
To deploy 10 satellites, does the rocket do a series of burns, or do the satellites have enough propulsion to deploy themselves to separate orbits?
11
chaosbutters314 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I had always hoped that they would use giant versions of these pin toys to land rockets.

https://www.amazon.com/Toysmith-Classic-Pin-Art-Black/dp/B00...

12
deegles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to articles complaining about SpaceX launching too often. :)
13
sidcool 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Some mornings when I am unable to get out of bed, such news act as an Adrenaline shot for me. I kick myself out of the black hole and go ahead to launch my rockets (metaphorical).

If Elon can, I need to, as his protege (again metaphorical)

14
ttandon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know why a side-view of the actual touchdown (like they usually release after) hasn't been posted by SpaceX yet?
15
agumonkey 1 day ago 3 replies      
The frequency is quite staggering. Will Musks replace Hertz?
16
esseti 16 hours ago 1 reply      
wondering if all this tech is only for rockets or he has a plan to build the next generation of "airplanes" for traveling.
17
gsmethells 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm reading his autobiography right now. Fascinating life of both the man and his companies if you are interested: https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Fantastic-Future/dp/...
18
babyrainbow 1 day ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a reason that more companies are not attempting to reuse rockets [1]

So considering that, SpaceX has not proved anything, yet. Because the impossible or hard part is not launching and landing rockets. Hard part is to do it..

1. With same or more reliability than using completely new rockets.

2. Launch with enough frequency to justify the reusing procedure..

So yea. A couple of launches and reuses does not prove anything. It is a start, sure. But they have not yet proved others who didn't attempt this yet..

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14626183

16
Zillow forces McMansion Hell to delete posts mcmansionhell.com
518 points by afreak  8 hours ago   277 comments top 48
1
uses 7 hours ago 19 replies      
I totally understand the whole "McMansions are bad architecture" thing...

However, something about it really bothers me. There was an episode of 99% Invisible where the guest was talking about their McMansions blog and how it makes fun of these Horrid dwellings. The whole thing stank of classist elitism. The Wrong Type of people were getting the chance to design and build large houses, and of course they're applying their Bad Taste that's neither Genuine nor Authentic. They don't know about the traditions of Fine Architecture so of course they were doing it all wrong...how embarrassing for them!

Edit: It sounds like a lot of the way I interpreted this could come from my background as someone who's transitioned from lower working class to solidly middle class, and so I'm applying that defensively even though (thank God!) I don't live in an Embarassing McMansion. In fact I'm now considering the blog as more of an educational campaign where an expert in the field is railing against problematic and widespread trends in that field. It has less to do with transitions between class and more to do with the decline of an important field of engineering and design as something that people value. I think the word McMansions itself is a bit of a disservice to the purpose of the blog, with its "slobs vs snobs" / Beverly Hillbillies connotations.

2
Amorymeltzer 7 hours ago 3 replies      
The Washington Post ran an article/video combo today[1] about Kate and McMansion Hell, and while Kate herself didn't mention Zillow the article itself did a few times. I imagine this is what prompted the legal threat. It's an entertaining video if you have five minutes.

Also of note: Kate's twitter posts from this morning also indicate she has received threatening emails following the video[2], which is sadly not surprising.

1: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/26/the-u...

2: https://twitter.com/mcmansionhell/status/879422526698532865

3
jasode 7 hours ago 1 reply      
IANAL but we can do some harmless armchair lawyering...

The 4 Factors of "fair use"[1]:

>1. the purpose and character of your use.

Criticism, critique.

>2. the nature of the copyrighted work.

Published photos used in website blog without ads. Also, the photos were not put into a compilation book to be sold at Amazon. However, Kate Wagner does say in twitter that "this blog is my entire livelihood" so it seems that some commercial activity is happening.

>3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken

Kate Wagner took a tiny percentage in proportion to Zillow's entire photo database. If the proportion measurement is a particular photographer's portfolio, she may have taken most or 100%.

>4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Does KW's usage of the photos cause economic harm to the photographers of real estate? Do the McHell photos reduce the value of photographers' other photos in their portfolio?

Doesn't seem so but there may be some additional cause & effect that damages photographers' works.

Seems like (3) and (4) would be Zillow's strongest arguments.

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=4+factors+of+fair+use

4
matttproud 7 hours ago 2 replies      
McMansion Hell is exactly the shock therapy the United States needs. Someone lend this blogger a hand!
5
strictnein 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Funny. One of the homes they showed is in my area, and I had driven by it recently (since we're thinking about moving). And they're definitely right. It's a weird mix of horribleness. Especially the kitchen with its "update", aka let's throw in a couple of premium appliances and $2k worth of marble and call it a day.

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/162143229176/50-states-of-...

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/19735-Chartwell-Hl-Excels...

6
imkevinxu 7 hours ago 8 replies      
On what grounds can they sue? Isn't this pure free speech?

It looks like the only references to Zillow ever are citations that the photos come from their website http://www.mcmansionhell.com/search/zillow

7
ben174 7 hours ago 1 reply      
For those who had never heard of it before, the Google cached copy is still up:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zFONMls...

8
SnowingXIV 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So this made things even more difficult for me. I'm looking to buy a new house for around 300-500K. And I'd hate for it to be one of these, I don't need it to be some unique hipster snowflake because I need it to be marketable and sell well in the Midwest so most families are buying pretty standard craftsman style houses. Not the Silicon Valley entire house is a massive window. Main concern is getting money back or more and not doing some massive risk which is what this blog might be advocating.
9
xer0x 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Zillow may be being feeling pressure to enforce photograph copyright because of this lawsuit: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/02/13/zillow-o...
11
maaarghk 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're looking to read the article you can go to http://mcmansionhell.tumblr.com/ - it has been unlinked from the domain name.
12
imroot 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I would expect nothing short of this from Zillow.

I'm also not really certain that Zillow has the copyright: those are usually property of the RETS/MLS of that specific area, if not the agent taking the pictures.

13
noobilicious 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Welp, you guys know what to do.

http://archive.is/

https://web.archive.org/

https://www.webcitation.org/archive

Edit: the blog just disappeared for me. I managed to archive the last 13 pages of it in archive.is.

14
bobbybob232 7 hours ago 1 reply      
She might want to double check with Zillow. The Cease and Desist is signed 'Christopher Poole', which happens to be the real name of Moot of 4chan fame?
15
vermontdevil 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone should reach out to Popehat for a PSA to see if there are lawyers in Minnesota willing to consult.
16
codingdave 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know the full context of what is going on legally, but I do know that being threatened is not the same thing as getting sued. And getting sued is not the same thing as them having a case. And them having a case is not the same thing as you not having a defense.

Lawyers exist for a reason. Don't let other lawyers bully you with threats. Get your own lawyer to look into things. Back down if it makes sense. Sometimes it does. But don't back down just because you get threatened.

17
tnt128 7 hours ago 0 replies      
To be fair, zillow itself was sued(and lost) recently for its user base uploading images they have no copyright to. I know the case is different here, but it's very likely Zillow is just being overly cautious here.
18
aezell 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems like a subscription to a national MLS service would allow her access to all the same images with none of the copyright claims Zillow wants to make.
19
corpMaverick 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I really enjoy using Zillow. But this is wrong. Not happy.
20
covercash 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if she could use this momentum to crowdsource an initiative to send locals out to retake the photos for her...
21
robbiemitchell 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cargo cult architecture?
22
pwthornton 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I may be mistaken, but doesn't Zillow itself scrape a lot of its info, including photos?
23
slaymaker1907 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I really don't understand how this doesn't fall under fair use. The images are quite clearly being used for criticism and satire which is protected speech.

Is this just a case of the power of the almighty $$$ or is there something I'm missing?

24
hesdeadjim 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I swear, if I were part of the three comma club I would have a very well-funded non-profit legal firm that would jump at the opportunity to take on cases like this.
26
tareqak 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be nice to see what communication Zillow sent to McMansion Hell in order to both corroborate the claim and to see what law Zillow is invoking that Zillow would use in a potential lawsuit [0].

[0] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/corroborate

27
wmoser 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For those of you that enjoyed the site, you might enjoy this one as well. It was the first thing I thought of when reading the description of the McMansion Hell website:

http://blog.buildllc.com/2010/04/couch-cushion-architecture-...

28
francisofascii 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is a podcast she did in 2016 with James Howard Kunstler. http://kunstler.com/podcast/chatting-kate-wagner-mcmansion-h...
29
glup 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow Zillow, way to protect that valuable IP! If I were an employee there I would wonder why legal wasn't working on something more useful.

Is there any open repository of house images (OpenStreetMaps, etc.) that could be used as a substitute in the interim?

30
jasallen 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I like both mcmansionhell.com AND my mcMansion. Weirdly, she calls out fake shutters that won't actually close over the windows, but my 1954 built, 1300sq ft previous house had those as well!
32
noonespecial 3 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Aren't the images used as part of a critique? Isn't that classic fair use?

2) I was under the impression nearly all of the photos on Zillow come from MLS anyway.

33
woodruffw 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a real shame. McMansion Hell was one of my favorite sites, and one of the few that I would repeatedly check for updates.

IANAL, but her case seems cut-and-dry by fair use standards. I hope that she fights it and seeks the help of her (very appreciative) readers in fighting it.

34
nadim 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Switch all Zillow pics to Google Streetview. I doubt they will sue because Google doesn't care if you criticize random houses that they aren't selling. TOS:https://www.google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.html#street...
35
afinlayson 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Loser pays laws would help this kind of bullying.
36
slantedview 2 hours ago 0 replies      
37
iosDrone 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm never in favor of any speech being censored (especially fair use speech), including in this case.

But as someone who wants to one day buy a huge McMansion in Vegas just for personal gratification, fuck all of these self-righteous snobs.

38
Analemma_ 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I kinda figured this was coming sooner or later. McMansion Hell is using unquestionably copyrighted photos, but claims that they fall under Fair Use. I think that's true (but IANAL), but fair use is an affirmative defense that has to hold up in court.
39
breatheoften 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How did zillow force the removal of the posts??
40
khazhou 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I also don't like some things online. I should probably sue.
41
dintech 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What a crime. This was an always educational, usually funny blog.
42
notadoc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The whole site appears to be missing. What happened?
43
the_cat_kittles 7 hours ago 1 reply      
is there a kickstarter type platform for legal fees? id be willing to donate some money... (im sure there is)...?
44
droithomme 7 hours ago 1 reply      
mcmansionhell's use is clearly fair use as it falls under both the criticism and parody exceptions. This might be why the Zillow SLAPP letter mainly focuses on supposed TOS violations. Whether unsigned web site TOS off on a page most visitors never see are enforceable at all is highly questionable.
45
cookiecaper 7 hours ago 2 replies      
IANAL.

We give large companies far too much lenience to bully in this country.

The legal system is fundamentally broken in this type of matchup, a small player pitted against a public company with billions of dollars floating around. Her only hope to win the fight is to be picked up by a nonprofit like the EFF, but my experience is that they're very restrained about where they'll lend assistance (that is, they're useless to most people).

Her only hope to get through the next five years without having her life substantially wrecked by a totally unnecessary lawsuit (which she will likely lose if it goes to court) is to comply with the C&D and hope that Zillow calls off the dogs.

Her brief plea for help at the end of this post could be construed as an attempt to conspire to continue to harm Zillow while avoiding legal accountability for doing so, and Zillow's attorneys will no doubt seize upon that construction to make things as bad for her as possible.

The thing to understand is that once lawyers are contacted, the time for friendly discussion or rational pleading is over. The lawyer is paid to get the court to believe that their client is being seriously harmed so that they are granted maximal damages. Conciliatory tones and forgone possibilities to highlight damage would only hurt Zillow in an eventual court case, so the lawyers must seize upon such communications aggressively. Their sole job is to make the case that Zillow is being victimized as credible as possible, which means making the defendant look as bad as possible.

We seriously need to get the legal system under control. An individual is lucky if they can afford 10 hours of time from a competent attorney. Large companies intentionally prolong their cases to try and starve less-wealthy opponents out by exhausting their legal funds. I am familiar with small companies who were forced to settle, even after spending $3M on legal services.

It takes up to a decade and millions of dollars to even have such a case seen through in the US.

IANAL.

Source: I've had a giant law firm sicked on me by a Fortune 100. I complied with their C&D (by shutting down my business) and they went away.

46
supergirl 7 hours ago 2 replies      
land of the free. also, guy, why you don't just replace all photos with street view photos of the same houses?
47
Overtonwindow 6 hours ago 5 replies      
So I don't get it. This girl sounds really, really petty, and the 99pi episode is probably their worst. So what if someone wants to build a huge house? How is that harming anyone else? If I were wealthy I would totally build a McMansion because I want it, I like it, and I would love to live in it. Who cares?
48
peacetreefrog 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Never heard of McMansion Hell before, but went back and checked it out on Google Cache and it just seems mean spirited. Why should anyone care what sort of house people choose to build, buy or live in? Reminds me of the people that couldn't handle an old lady's earnest Olive Garden review a few years back.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-brenoff/olive-garden-revie...

17
The Presence of Ones Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity uchicago.edu
376 points by cronjobber  7 hours ago   214 comments top 34
1
nwatson 6 hours ago 22 replies      
Bards pre-literate-times in Greece purportedly could recite Homer's Odyssey themselves after one hearing. Writing destroyed that all. (Maybe I don't have a citation right off, but I've read that on the web or heard it in some college class years ago ... in any case, ability to retain heard information has likely declined since then). But ... few people complain about how books corrupt our memory.

So we're the first generation shifting cognitive burden of some kinds of memory (all those phone numbers) elsewhere. I welcome it. My wife hates it, but she likes the books. In a couple of generations it all will be irrelevant.

2
buf 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I want to learn Japanese.

3 months ago I changed my phone's language to Japanese. Everything is Japanese - maps, services, apps that read from the default phone language.

Oddly enough, instead of learning Japanese, I just use my phone less.

3
thesagan 6 hours ago 4 replies      
I lost mine about six months ago and I haven't replaced it. First couple months I noticed I got VERY irritable when I got a momentary flash of boredom, especially waiting in line in stores, etc. Figured that might've been a budding mental issue, and decided to work on my patience and expectation-setting as a result.

This has been part of a larger life exercise in practicing general moment-to-moment mindfullness, and I think I'm going to keep this up for a while and see how long I can go without a smartphone before people start asking me questions at work. So far, so good.

It's like I've withdrawn from a drug and some of my attention is back under my control, where my mind can better keep its peace. I guess I didn't exercise proper discipline when I had the phone.

4
dvcrn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there is a effective way to counter this without giving up on the phone completely. Discipline is of course the main thing but let's be honest, that's like telling an opiod addict to 'just use it less'.

I tried meditating in the train instead of fiddling with my phone. I can definitely feel the urge to read up on something despite knowing that there's not really anything that currently needs my attention on the phone anyway.

Also I replaced my digital calendar and task list with a bullet journal that I'm carrying around. I was surprisingly more successful with keeping task load under control. As a test, I bought the new Things 3 and used it with Fantastical for a month instead of my journal. I was able to add things faster but actually getting things done has become slower. Though the Calendar reminders are definitely super helpful.

Maybe a detox in a country where you don't have mobile data or wifi might be nice.

5
schnevets 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I know that I'm guilty of this - just voluntarily putting my phone in the other room causes withdrawal-like anxiety, followed by a greater sense of awareness.

Maybe future generations will see our management of information devices as backwards and unhealthy once we learn more about the human brain, the same way we treat smoking, child-rearing, and daily routines of yesterday as horrifyingly detrimental.

6
jonbarker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A simple demonstration of the inefficiency of task switching. Time yourself writing the letters of the alphabet in order from a to z followed by the numbers 1-26. Then try the same task only instead switching from numbers to letters, like this a,1,b,2,c,3, etc. Compare the two times. They should be the same, but the second version takes much more time for most people. It seems that whether you sit next to a giant bookshelf or put your phone in your pocket and occasionally think of the information either contains the effect on the efficiency of whatever you were trying to process would be the same.
7
TheRealmccoy 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Perhaps the most conclusive study to prove that mobile learning (on a smartphone) is a myth and at most a vanity.
8
mysterypie 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone here tried asking everyone to not look at or fiddle with their phones at a meeting they've called or a social event they've organized? How did it work out?

What about going the extra step of collecting the phones to be returned when the meeting or event is over?

Is there any way to do either of these without coming off as a jerk?

9
daxfohl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Mine broke last week. I haven't replaced it and almost don't intend to because I do feel more alert now. Though the feeling is subsiding, so perhaps it's a temporary thing.

I wonder in the study, is the control group smartphone users temporarily deprived of the phones, or non-smartphone users. Could make a big difference.

10
abandonliberty 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Mental exercise:

Does smartphone deprivation return cognitive capacity to baseline or cause people to exceed it? Phone deprivation may induce a higher state of attention than before a person had a phone if they associate phone deprivation with focus situations such as exams or crises.

Having a phone around may train the brain to relax and offload tasks, leaving it more fresh to focus when required.

11
jshelly 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The proliferation of video currently gets my goat. I like to read news, not watch it.
12
amorphid 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I predict someone will invent a smart utensil. It will be a smartphone-like device that has a curated app store which only includes utilitarian apps. It'll contain all of the apps people think "I'd love to ditch my smart phone, but I'd really miss <utility apps>".

Apps I really want AND never waste time on:

- ride sharing (Lyft, Uber)

- calendar

- calculator

- mobile banking

- movie times & reviews

- booking a place to stay (CounchSurfing, Airbnb)

- public transit schedules

- camera (only pictures, not picture sharing)

- identity verification (RSA, Okta Verify)

- alarm clock

13
holografix 2 hours ago 1 reply      
How does one manage a strong appetite to learn new things and the compulsion to look at their smartphone all the time?

I recently started getting into photography and I'm finding it very hard not to look at different lenses and Lightroom tips etc etc on my phone.

Combine that with a desire to learn about new tech and program and I end up spending a lot of time looking at it.

14
stretchwithme 6 hours ago 3 replies      
So true. And in-car GPS keeps your sense of direction from developing.

I've seen people stymied as to how they could possibly make a phone call without their phones. Payphone. Borrow someone else's. Not that hard.

I used to think this would only ever happen to geeks like me. Boy, was I wrong.

15
zachd1_618 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Like most commenters here, I've found a happy medium (when I activate it). I'm no good at cold turkey and being without this amazing device is just impractical, but airplaning the phone routinely throughout the day really helps to cut down on "notification checking" and that constant background mental polling that this article talks about. I still like to have music (audiobooks actually) and navigation on hand, but knowing I have no notifications and knowing that there is just a tiny bit of effort involved in getting them seems to be my effective compromise.
16
tristanho 6 hours ago 3 replies      
An effortless hack which I've gotten a lot of utility out of: put your phone behind your laptop.

Out of sight, out of mind (and you can't feel it in your pocket either!)

17
imron 1 hour ago 0 replies      
20 years ago I knew all the phone numbers of all my friends.

Today I barely remember my own phone number.

I have outsourced the cognitive load to my phone.

I'm still not sure if that's better or worse.

18
notadoc 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I've come to hate notifications, alerts, and digital nags of all kinds. I disable practically all of them on every device I own, the only unsolicited notifications I want are from rare legitimate emergencies.

But yea, simply having a smartphone around makes you want to fiddle with it. I would guess there is some addictive component there, as it impacts nearly everyone.

19
jutanium 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm an observant Jew, so I keep Shabbat every Saturday. Among our creative restrictions is the prohibition of using electronic devices. I've always had this feeling of mindfulness and focus on Shabbat that ends when I'm free to pick up my phone. Against my will, pretty much, I'm drawn to it, and like the authors say, I check it randomly at inopportune times.

These authors expressed scientifically what I've been feeling for years.

20
mezuzi 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I deleted reddit, instagram and quora and have deactivated facebook for over a year now!! I only have HN and the NYtimes and I get sparse notifications from the latter. I don't care much about my phone as I spend most of my day glued to my laptop.
21
clw8 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny timing, I almost got hit yesterday (at a speed that could have been fatal) by a driver who most likely was either checking notifications or actively texting, while I was biking right on the UC campus. Immediately jerked my handlebar to the right and dumped myself into the grass and escaped with a huge gash above my left eye. Our self-driving overlords can't take over soon enough.
22
OJFord 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Why do I need to enable cookies to see any content here?

I'm genuinely asking, because there's an informative error message, so it's clearly deliberate; I just can't understand the motivation.

Edit: the only human-readable cookie is 'machine_last_seen', perhaps that's just considered a really important statistic...

23
quickben 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This worked for me:

DND on for priority only, forever.Star my wife.

Then I can check my phone at my leisure time for everything else.

24
gdubs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Just finished reading "The Distracted Mind". Highly recommend it if you're interested in a broad summary of all the research out there on the effects of technology on our cognitive control - executive function, attention, working memory, ability to get things done, etc.
25
laretluval 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Wake me up after the registered replication.
26
slowmovintarget 6 hours ago 1 reply      
We just need better integration with our exocortex.
27
whitepoplar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What I really want: an ultra high-end cell phone that has a camera built in. Phone calls, SMS, photos, and that's it. Differentiate on build quality, great design, and minimal features.
28
cdkee 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't gone quite so far as to ditch my smartphone yet, but I now leave it on silent, no vibrations or LED notifications or anything. Whenever I check my phone maybe once an hour at work I see anything that requires my attention, otherwise I put it away. It's made me more sane, but I've often thought about ditching it entirely. It's sad that I feel like I might not be able to function entirely without it.
29
dmurawsky 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for all the rationalization I could ever want for keeping my phone on DND 24/7
30
m3kw9 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't profound because a phone is made to distract you, or from a business view, get your attention
31
shakil 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks like nothing to me
32
outworlder 4 hours ago 2 replies      
All of those "ditch the smartphone" comments are so cute.

I'm on devops. Can't ditch the smartphone.

33
isaaaaah 6 hours ago 1 reply      
it is rather that wikipedia and google, parts of my weltbild (brain), get totally damaged in the wake of the adpocalypse
34
basicplus2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Now I know why I had trouble reading the heading...
18
On Starting a Software Business stephaniehurlburt.com
510 points by ingve  1 day ago   137 comments top 17
1
siliconc0w 1 day ago 7 replies      
Consulting doesn't scale, software does.

One pragmatic strategy to find product/customers:

 1) Pick an industry 2) Ask someone in that industry what they use spreadsheets for 3) Build something better
There is a lot of 'cybernetic' processes that are a mix of humans with domain knowledge and machines with spreadsheets for schemaless storage and querying. Generally the move is to encode the domain knowledge into code and standardize the storage (i.e excel -> RDMS) to make it more useful.

2
walkingolof 1 day ago 1 reply      
- "We can make a decent salary out of this" - 36 months - 48 months

I started and 10 years later made a successfully exit from my company, we never raised any money, the above figure is what it took us to go from financing our development our self (by having two jobs), to having enough customers to break even.

I think everyone should, bootstrap one company to get a feel for how it is, will make you a better entrepreneur.

3
shubhamjain 1 day ago 5 replies      
There is a bit of detail missing that I would like to understand. How to just 'talk' and give help? Do you approach people/businesses and ask if they are having any problems? Or, your aim is to just get the conversation ball rolling, hoping that it leads to the problem part without deliberation?
4
scandox 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is a person who obviously has a lot of talent and a lot of specialised knowledge. I doubt most people can get properly paid consulting work or get to product stage as fast as she clearly could.
5
skybrian 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm wondering about how they draw the line between "give first, take later" and "don't do work unless you're getting paid for it."
6
ivanbakel 1 day ago 3 replies      
OT, but referring to the article: why are so many websites allergic to serving basic HTML these days? You get a lovely white page with a Javascript blocker if you try to open this article. What's particularly offensive about this one is that all the raw data is loaded in correctly anyways - the JS appears to just fiddle with making it look right, and there's no default style for if that doesn't happen.
7
mobitar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Related piece: Starting a Business as a Developer in 2017 https://journal.standardnotes.org/starting-a-business-as-a-d...
8
k__ 1 day ago 2 replies      
So basically she got much skills and happened to meet someone who was a well known player in the game industry.

Most people have neither or just the first one.

9
westoque 1 day ago 6 replies      
Interesting about the 50-50 split. If you talk to most people in the valley, they would probably tell you this is the worst thing you can do. That is, if you're looking from the perspective of a VC.
10
quadcore 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have a question regarding startup growth so I apologise in advance if its irrelevant here (haven't read the article to be honest).

1) I get that to get the first users, you have to go out and recruit them. That's the advertisement part. So yeah, I get how you get users by advertising.

2) I get that when you have a million customers, they become the advertisement and they are the ones who are bringing you new customers. Your product "ad surface" is way bigger than simple banners through them.

Now what I have a hard time to understand is how 300 users procures the same effect as 2) (or even 3000). I get that they gonna get you 30 more customers by talking about your product to their "friends" who, if everything goes fine, at their turn gonna bring you 3 more customers who gonna bring you 1 more customers, for a grand total of 34 more customers. And that's the end of it. That wont grow much bigger. So basically, you would have to go back to 1) to get new users.

What am I missing? Does a user have to bring you n more new customers, n > 1? How many customers do you need via advertising so that the compound growth effect kicks in?

edit: I can see actually 2 types of compound growth effects: a) a user explicitly recruit another user (ex: "hey my friend, come play to this game"), b) a non user "see" other people using the product and he tells himself that might be a good idea to try it.Anyway, so basically, what I see is that, early on, you can rely only on a) so, in average, your customers have to get you n more new customers, n > 1, by explicitly recruiting them for you. Which, if Im correct here, would give an idea how badass the product must be.

11
gt2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this for the company Binomial, mentioned on the author's home page?
12
jbchoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could totally relate to author's personal experience because this is what my biz partner and I are going through right now. Great article by the author.
13
jmnicolas 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one getting a blank page on Firefox, Chromium and Opera included the google cache and archive.org versions ?
14
EGreg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Observe what people are doing inefficiently that you can fix.

Test whether they'd buy it with google adwords or facebook ads and conversion rate to filling out the form and putting in credit card. Refund everyone.

Imagine how it would be viral and test your hypothesis as well. So your customer acquisitin cost goes down exponentially!

15
draw_down 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was fortunate to see the author speak at a conference not too long ago, I really enjoyed it. Like her, I have had several bad experiences at tech companies and would just like to not ever work in one again. So I am very envious of her story and it's really cool to see how it has worked out for her and partner. (Unlike her, I don't really have contacts and I don't think I would be very good at the sales side of being a contractor.) Anyway, very inspiring stuff!
16
Kiro 1 day ago 3 replies      
> legal fees

What is this referring to exactly? Administration fees for starting a company?

17
goingbananas 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I stopped reading after the "lol". I tend to do not get advice from lols lmaos & company...
19
6 Women Accuse Tech VC Justin Caldbeck of Sexual Assault and Harassment observer.com
461 points by philip1209  3 days ago   426 comments top 28
1
jmcgough 3 days ago 6 replies      
Really glad to see people like this getting called out. Dealing with sexual harassment/assault from someone in power is the last thing you want as a female founder - you have a million other things you need to do to keep your startup afloat, and you don't want to rock the boat if it affects your likelihood of being funded. Feels like the valley is slowly but surely changing.

And yes, I recognize that this hasn't been "proven", but really what's the chance than there's a shadowy cabal of women who start companies in order to target individual VCs. These women have little to gain from this and everything to lose. Occams razor is that he's at the very least doing something that's inappropriate.

2
reducesuffering 3 days ago 3 replies      
What follows is a statement that Caldbeck provided to Axios this afternoon.

"The past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life. I have made many mistakes over the course of my career, some of which were brought to light this week. To say I'm sorry about my behavior is a categorical understatement. Still, I need to say it: I am so, so sorry.

I direct my apology first to those women who I've made feel uncomfortable in any way, at any time - but also to the greater tech ecosystem, a community that I have utterly failed.

The power dynamic that exists in venture capital is despicably unfair. The gap of influence between male venture capitalists and female entrepreneurs is frightening and I hate that my behavior played a role in perpetrating a gender-hostile environment. It is outrageous and unethical for any person to leverage a position of power in exchange for sexual gain, it is clear to me now that that is exactly what I've done.

I am deeply ashamed of my lack of self-awareness. I am grateful to Niniane, Susan, Leiti, and the other women who spoke up for providing me with a sobering look into my own character and behavior that I can no longer ignore. The dynamic of this industry makes it hard to speak up, but this is the type of action that leads to progress and change, starting with me.

I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from Binary Capital, the firm I co-founded in 2014. I will be seeking professional counseling as I take steps to reflect on my behavior with and attitude towards women. I will find ways to learn from this difficult experience - and to help drive necessary changes in the broader venture community.

The Binary team will also be taking measures to ensure that the firm is a safe place for founders of all backgrounds to find the support and resources they need to change the world, without abuse of power or mistreatment of any person.

I owe a heartfelt apology to my family, my investors, my portfolio, and the team at Binary, who have been completely blindsided and in no way deserve the pain I've caused. But most of all I apologize again to those who I've hurt during the course of my career - and for the damage I've done to the industry I care so deeply about."

https://www.axios.com/justin-caldbeck-takes-indefinite-leave...

3
ryguytilidie 2 days ago 1 reply      
This guy had to do SO MUCH bad shit before he was finally called out and I think it speaks to a major problem with Silicon Valley.

I've been working with startups since 2011 and in that time I've seen:

-A Head of HR who gave promotions to his employees based on sexual favors given. This person happened to be friends with the CEO and employees got in trouble for reporting him.

-A founder and dealing with the above situation and doing an "investigation" that ended with nothing.

-The same founder referring the employees who were fired to their friends dumpster fire of a company so they could get a referral bonus.

-A founder I worked with belittled women, all of their female developers left after a few months. I wrote a glassdoor review and was repeatedly threatened by said founder.

-Worked with a founder who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment to the point where there are multiple articles about it. Same founder hooked up with multiple younger female employees while on coke in another country on a company trip. During a round of layoffs, the women saved were the women sleeping with executives (there were 4!!!). Still CEO obv.

-Finally, at larger companies with multiple younger founders I've seen wayyyy too many situations where male boss puts female employee in awkward situations, whether its an arm around them in the hot tub or extreme extra attention over male employees.

Each time I thought about pointing out this behavior, there was some sort of threat/warning about shutting up and letting it happen, often followed by actual legal threats. Watch who you work with...

4
zabana 3 days ago 2 replies      
At the risk of sounding like I'm defending the guy (which I'm not), do we have a comprehensive definition of "Sexual Assault and Harassement" ? Because in some places (northern europe for example) these terms have very volatile definitions which allows pretty much anything to fall under the "rape" category. I totally understand that repeatedly violating somebody's physical safe space is a form a sexual assault (grabbing someone's butt etc) but I'm not sure if bad jokes and misplaced remarks (however annoying) qualify as such.(Not trying to start a war here, I'm geniunly asking).
5
go42 3 days ago 0 replies      
If someone is accused of sexual assault, a police report should be filed. If he's hitting on women in inappropriate and aggressive ways, then he deserves to be villified but without details it's hard to understand what he did.

I lost my job and got involved in a complex legal matter trying to defend girls from a predatory person. Most people simply do not care, and will avoid getting involved at all costs.

6
philip1209 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reid Hoffman wrote an essay prompted by this, calling for building an "industry-wide HR function" for VC:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/human-rights-women-entreprene...

7
monicaxie 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I met Justin Calback one week before the news exploded. I was so shocked, even though I have not (yet?) had awkward experience with Justin (he has actually has been pretty helpful).

Throughout my work on both sides of the table, Ive been lucky to have met many very helpful and respected mentors/peers, however, this risk of networking for female has never been strange. It started with this: I reached out to someone for advice/business, meetings went great and constructive, a couple of emails and coffee, before I got excited about having a great connection, they may ask for a drink. At first, I was confused but agreed, wondering if this is the valley/American culture that I should get used to, then things unexpectedly turned awkward even if I tried to keep the conversations professional. Eventually, I dont know how to maintain this connection.

Now that Ive learned to keep things professional, but compared to my male friends networking experience, I still havent figured out the best boundary to set. Does being professional mean that I cant have personal talks with male professionals? If a guy can be both professional connection and personal friend with another guy, why cant I? I thought that only Asian people mix business and personal connections (given how popular wechat has been used as a virtual business card in China), turns out that in US, its not that different: you see male investors get drinks to catch up or meet new friends, afterwards they become good business partners.

I believe this is not the first time a female talk about this. Many peoples reaction may be: oh she must have given some hint that caused misunderstanding, or, when a guy does that, just stay away from him.

Hey, what if an attractive lady got into this uncomfortable situation from 1/3 of her networking?

Im not here to complain. Im sincerely hoping to hear some advice on how to best handle this networking difficulty, because as far as I know, Im not alone.

8
jondubois 2 days ago 1 reply      
The apology is well crafted - Pulitzer Prize material but it doesn't seem connected to reality. Maybe it's even a little over the top; it's hard to believe that someone who could behave like this could experience such profound feelings of remorse. It sounds like he is sorry for being caught.
9
tabeth 3 days ago 5 replies      
In these situations how are things actually proved? Is it just a "he said, she said" situation? In any case, it's a bold move to go on record, though I'm curious what difference it actually makes.

EDIT: Ah, it seems going on record is necessary to actually bring charges to someone.

10
vonnik 3 days ago 0 replies      
This article is a bit outdated. Caldbeck has since published a second statement and stepped down from the firm:

https://www.recode.net/2017/6/23/15865422/justin-caldbeck-le...

11
davidu 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is disgusting, pathetic, and predatory.

It also has a long-term chilling effect on women in technology and entrepreneurship.

I am surprised by the lack of outrage over this behavior.

12
anotherfounder 3 days ago 2 replies      
I really wish other founders would name and shame more, even if anonymously, but with examples. For most of the female founders who face these, there is no resource to turn to, to know who to avoid.
13
idibidiart 3 days ago 1 reply      
Silicon Valley is toxic until sexism, agism, racism, and homophobia are largely eliminated. Only then will it be a model for the world tech hubs to follow.
14
khazhou 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Prominent" seems like a stretch. Never heard of him.
15
sqldba 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's so hard to imagine how this kind of thing goes on. I've worked in small and large companies in Australia and (in those places) nobody could get away with messing with female staff.

So it drives me crazy to hear people getting away with it. It makes the world look majority bad - instead of minority bad.

16
limeblack 3 days ago 2 replies      
As someone who had 3 male teachers in middle and high school fired because of sexual commments I'm still not sure how to respond to stuff like this. I'm always concerned how someones carrier might be altered considering someone could be lying.
17
hellofunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
The show Halt and Catch Fire dealt with this problem in the VC industry. It's been going on awhile and is certainly not limited to Caldbeck.
18
Svexar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Binary Capital: You either get it or you don't
19
Anonymous888 3 days ago 3 replies      
Binary Capital is a sleazy VC, no ifs ands or buts about it.

The valley is really small, and I've heard horrific stories of what this firm has done to their employees and founders. This includes Jonathon Teo as well.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg for Binary Capital. I wouldn't take any investments from them ever.

20
V-eHGsd_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
from the pando article this references:

> We are now in a post-Susan Fowler world,

I think I know what the author was trying to say, but that's a really weird way to say it. Susan is most definitely still alive and well. Susan wasn't an event, like 9/11. she is a woman with a lot of courage who wrote about a series of terrible things that happened to her.

21
radicalbyte 3 days ago 3 replies      
One of the girls interviewed on Startup Podcast mentioned that a VC propositioned her; like these girls she was Asian. I wonder if this guy is the same alleged pervert?
22
ganoushoreilly 3 days ago 2 replies      
is the last thing you want as a founder
23
itsucks 3 days ago 1 reply      
24
Stenzel 2 days ago 3 replies      
25
anonak 2 days ago 1 reply      
26
randyrand 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish we treated all people that harass others and make other people feel uncomfortable or unsafe this way.

Sexual harassment is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of behaviors that need correcting. Especially in men.

27
gorbachev 3 days ago 1 reply      
"While significant context is missing from the incidents reported by The Information, I deeply regret ever causing anyone to feel uncomfortable."

I wonder what kind of significant context was missing? They asked for it?

/sarcasm

28
solotronics 3 days ago 11 replies      
Serious question, does free speech apply in these situations? You have the unalienable right to speak your mind and some people may be offended but that is not illegal. I totally understand if you are employed by someone you can't easily get away if you are made uncomfortable but this is entirely a voluntary situation.

Also, if you really think about it making something that makes someone uncomfortable illegal is weird. So by the same logic I should be able to sue my employer if he farts too much or is annoying in general?

20
How to use BeyondCorp to ditch VPN, improve security and go to the cloud blog.google
439 points by fhoffa  6 days ago   155 comments top 29
1
fortyfivan 6 days ago 3 replies      
Great to see them continue this series, and glad that this one touches on what it takes for other companies to achieve something similar. I talk about BeyondCorp a lot as evidence that the Zero Trust model works, and that employees will love it.

The most common feedback I get is that it seems like too much of a stretch for companies that dont operate at Google scale. That may be true if looking at the system as a whole, but the principles behind the architecture should attract anyones attention - remove trust from the network by authenticating and authorizing every request based on whats known about the user and connecting device at the time of the request.

Disclaimer: I work for ScaleFT, a provider of Zero Trust access management solutions.

Edit: If folks are interested in hearing more about how other companies can achieve something similar, here's video of a talk I gave at Heavybit a few months ago on the subject: https://www.heavybit.com/library/blog/beyondcorp-meetup-goog...

2
jgsec 6 days ago 0 replies      
I commend the Google team for not only deploying an effective and innovative security solution, but also for contributing to security community through this series of informative articles.

Enterprises need to know that while BeyondCorp is Google-specific, there are similar types of open architectures that they can deploy today, most notably the Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP).

SDP is an open architecture from the Cloud Security Alliance, and with it security teams can ensure that:

. All users are authenticated and authorized BEFORE they can access network resources

. Network resources are inaccessible to unauthorized users, dramatically reducing the attack surface

. Fine-grained policies control access for all users remote and on-premises to all resources , whether physical, virtual, or cloud

. All network traffic is encrypted, even if the underlying protocol is insecure

Heres a video of me presenting on Software-Defined Perimeter at the CSA Summit at the 2017 RSA Conferencehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysi_9c5fmBg and a brief overview from our corporate site https://www.cryptzone.com/products/appgate/why-a-software-de...

Disclaimer: I led the CSAs Software-Defined Perimeter working group publication of SDP-for-IaaS, and am leading the current effort to create an SDP Architecture Guide. I also work at Cryptzone, an SDP platform vendor.

3
yegle 6 days ago 2 replies      
My ex-manager who left Google to another well established company once said the most missed thing from Google was the ability to work remotely right away on corp laptop with BeyondCorp.

Disclaimer I work for Google not related to BeyondCorp.

4
johnmaguire2013 6 days ago 2 replies      
I work for Duo Security, which this year launched the first major commercial implementation of BeyondCorp as a part of our product offering. Using it to jump on to the wiki, for diff reviews, and other internal resources has been excellent.

In addition to simple primary and second factor, you can design policies for MDM-controlled devices only (i.e. designing endpoints that are trusted for remote access), geolocation, and software versions on a per-application basis, for example.

I think save for a few use cases (SSH into your datacenter, e.g.), VPNs will be dead before we know it.

5
api 6 days ago 2 replies      
This is really awesome. My own venture ZeroTier (www.zerotier.com) was strongly influenced by the original BeyondCorp paper. Our vision is a little different in that we do network virtualization that treats the whole world like one data center. Instead of eliminating the LAN you make it fully virtual and mobile and replace the physical perimeter with a cryptographic one.

Here's a somewhat over-simplified TL;DR on Google's approach:

Make everything in your company a SaaS app that lives on the Internet via cloud hosting or a proxy.

Nice but not always readily do-able.

6
JoshMnem 6 days ago 5 replies      
Yesterday, I saw an article[1] about Amazon's plans to block websites in their stores (a very bad thing) and was wondering when a company like Google was going to launch a VPN service. I wonder if these things will meet in the long term. If companies that control the network try to limit access to information about their competitors, then their competitors might try to liberate that information.

[1] http://gizmodo.com/just-in-time-amazon-patents-method-to-pre...

7
manigandham 6 days ago 0 replies      
This seems so completely obvious that it's surprising how common intranets and internal services locked only by network rules are.

Also highly recommend https://www.scaleft.com/ for anyone who wants beyondcorp-style access to infrastructure.

8
madjam002 6 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different or more secure than let's say TLS client authentication with the private key on a smart card / Yubikey?
9
rayvd 6 days ago 1 reply      
Dumb question - is the 4th article in the series only available via ;login;[1]?

The other articles in the series have PDF links, but not the latest one. I'm assuming it will eventually...

[1] https://www.usenix.org/publications/login/summer2017/peck

10
com2kid 6 days ago 2 replies      
With productivity apps being cloud hosted (Office 365, Google Docs, Tableau, PowerBI, etc) and with source code and team management services being hosted (Github, Visual Studio Online, Gitlab, etc) huge percent of people's day to day work can seemingly happens without a VPN.

The largest notable exceptions seem to be internal file shares, and remote connections to machines that need to be behind a firewall.

I guess the overall point I have is that with the data files for both productivity and source code being stored cloud side, that VPNs become less and less necessary for a large % of workers.

11
zxv 6 days ago 3 replies      
Part 3 [0] discusses "Wrapping SSH traffic in HTTP over TLS." Can one comfortably do coding over a good cellular (LTE) connection over this?

I ask because, I find it relatively comfortable to do coding on a chromebook over a 'mosh' session over LTE.

[0] https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.c...

12
angry_octet 5 days ago 0 replies      
It almost seems like this could be described as dynamically building a per-user VPN, via inbound proxies for admission control and traffic src/dst filtering, and services hosted behind multiprotocol terminating proxies. Some extra client analysis (practically effective, even if no theoretically valid remote attestation), tedious but necessary work to understand the access patterns for all the internal services, etc.

It seems there can still be lateral re-infection via difficult to patch shared services (finance/procurement/obscure wikis). The examples in one of the papers (delivery people not needing access to financial systems) is completely bogus -- sometimes the worst engineered, most xss-y, mission critical apps have to be accessed by everyone, have insanely hand coded 'business logic', and no docs. Content aware behavioral profiling would seem to have a role in managing that risk.

13
ransom1538 6 days ago 4 replies      
Sorry this will come off as a super dumb question. I use ssh. I can login, edit, develop, run, basically anything. What am I missing? I thought VPNs are for 'admin' types that need access to a MS Excel file.
14
troymc 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Over the course of the migration weve discovered [Google] services that we thought were long dead..."

Maybe some Google employees were still using Google Reader?

15
pamatthe 6 days ago 0 replies      
Stumbled across beyondcorp.com a few months ago. Great to see google, scaleft, and others pushing the envelope here.
16
mtgx 6 days ago 0 replies      
Duo Security seems to be offering a BeyondCorp-like third-party solution for client companies:

https://duo.com/pricing/duo-beyond

17
brianhama 6 days ago 1 reply      
This sounds a lot like Microsoft's DirectAccess which has been in the Enterprise version of Windows since Windows 8. Please correct me if I'm wrong though.
18
metalliqaz 6 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting. This will never happen at my big company, though. Seems hard to imagine most companies being able to manage the complexity.
19
VectorLock 5 days ago 0 replies      
Anywhere we can read the publication without being a subscriber to LOGIN?
20
maxsaltonstall 6 days ago 1 reply      
Link the blog post now points to a downloadable PDF thanks to Google Drive.
21
macawfish 5 days ago 0 replies      
"We discovered services we thought were long dead..."
22
coverband 6 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a link to the actual (fourth) paper? I only see the abstract.
23
libeclipse 5 days ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with VPN?
24
talles 5 days ago 0 replies      
off topic: I never noticed that there's a .google TLD...
25
tempodox 5 days ago 0 replies      
Google wants my traffic for themselves and calls it more secure. Ha ha, nice try.
26
ddalex 5 days ago 0 replies      
I n k
27
ddalex 5 days ago 0 replies      
Llllklklll
28
cosarara97 6 days ago 2 replies      
So google bought the .google TLD!
29
devoply 6 days ago 2 replies      
Yes turn keys over to Google. I am sure if you are an American Fortune 500 company you have no problem with this. Not so if you are a non-American company. Though a lot of people will jump on board despite the huge security implications of doing something like this and turning over all your security over to Google. Meanwhile nation states are exploring how to use quantum encryption to prevent eaves dropping others are being coerced to simply hand over security to a third party that you hardly trust with any sense of privacy.
21
Masahiro Kikuno, Japanese Independent Watchmaker watchesbysjx.com
435 points by Whitespace  4 days ago   106 comments top 16
1
robert_tweed 4 days ago 5 replies      
I see he has a copy of "Watchmaking" by George Daniels. That is the "Knuth" of watchmaking.

Here in Britain, we have Roger W Smith, the only watchmaker in the world who makes everything by hand. He was the principal disciple of George Daniels, a truly legendary watchmaker, who sadly died a few years ago.

Daniels famously taught himself watchmaking by taking apart old clocks, putting them back together and repairing them when he was young. If he had been born in the digital age, he'd have been a hacker comparable to Woz.

He didn't just make his own watches, he also made all the specialised tools needed. These days he is perhaps best known for the Daniels Co-Axial Escapement found in some Omega watches, which for many years was believed to be impossible to make.

If you google Roger Smith, he has lots of interesting videos on Youtube showing various parts of the watchmaking process from raw materials.

There are a few interviews with George Daniels too. Here's one talking about his first complete, from scratch watch:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=CSeTi93f2eU

2
mc32 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's great to see people like him and others like messersmiths such as Cut Brooklyn, swordsmakers, etc. continue the tradition of hand-made precision[1] products and doing it themselves rather than designing and then farming out the work to others or automating the process.

It is, though, a kind of double edged sword. On the one hand they continue centuries-long traditions, on the other hand they get copted by hipsterish connoisseurs who work for companies feverishly contributing to the demise of traditional craft in the name of efficiency and doing things better.

In addition, many of these products are not unnecessarily anachronistic (like say making an electronic device with discrete components and hand made pcbs).

Bravo to these people.

[1] By precision I mean they must follow a meticulous process to achieve near-perfection of result.

3
coolswan 4 days ago 4 replies      
This reminds me actually a lot of Jiro Ono (famed sushi-maker).

"Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That's the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably."

4
zer00eyz 4 days ago 2 replies      
I love watchmakers, it is such a blend of skills that I don't even know where to begin with my praise or interest in the field.

I just want to throw out there that Dan Spitz, of Anthrax fame makes watches as well, and has an interesting story too.

https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/interview-meet-dan-spitz-a...

5
monk_e_boy 4 days ago 2 replies      
Well... that's the first I've every heard of seasonal time. That's amazing.

http://museum.seiko.co.jp/en/knowledge/wadokei/huteijihou/in...

6
thjan 4 days ago 14 replies      
Since so many knowledgeable people interested in watches are around here ... What are some affordable, good quality watch brands? Somewhere around 100 to 300 Euro maybe? I like those beautiful, elegant designed watches but 10k EUR upwards is way out of my league.
7
BatFastard 4 days ago 3 replies      
Permanence - One of the beautiful things about these watches is they will be treasures for hundreds of years.

I serious doubt anyone will look back at my code in one hundred years and be amazed by the beauty. Not that it is not beautiful, software just doesn't feel like it has any lasting permanence.

You can create amazing things with software but does any implementation actually have permanence?

8
syntaxing 4 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what milling machine he has? It has such a weird collet holder and spindle.
9
soapdog 3 days ago 0 replies      
So, how do one goes to learn watchmaking? I know there are some really impressive and traditional schools and that apprenticeship still going on but besides the George Daniels book, is there a friendlier and more approachable book for hobbyists? Can someone recommend some pointers?
10
sshanky 4 days ago 2 replies      
I can't discern from the article whether or not he actually makes movements. It says that "The hairspring, mainspring, jewels, crystal and leather strap are bought from suppliers, primarily Seiko subsidiaries." However, I imagine he buys entire movements and concentrates on the case, face, hands, and other aesthetic elements.
11
sapphire_tomb 4 days ago 4 replies      
Anyone know if there's a mirror somewhere?

Hackernews' "Eye of Sauron" affect seems to have nobbled the site.

12
Bakary 3 days ago 0 replies      
What a fascinating man.

I'm slowly starting to fantasize about having a job where I can create actual objects myself and my work has a tangible effect rather than some zero-sum value shuffling.

13
Strategizer 4 days ago 0 replies      
Crazy, cool and complex stuff. Those pieces belong in a museum...or on my wrist.

Double kudos for the Pentax and the truly amazing 100mm f2.8 macro lens he uses. I have it and it's fantastic.

14
somecallitblues 4 days ago 0 replies      
Although they're quite kitsch and not something I'd wear, good on him for taking on something not many people would dare these days.
15
ValleyOfTheMtns 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does he have an Etsy shop?
16
fake-name 4 days ago 1 reply      
22
Verizon is killing Tumblrs fight for net neutrality theverge.com
352 points by allthebest  5 days ago   170 comments top 7
1
waterphone 5 days ago 3 replies      
They're also forcing all adult-oriented content on Tumblr (which isn't limited to porn, although porn makes up the majority of their userbase) behind a logged-in-users-only wall, blocking it from non-Tumblr users and in turn, external search engine results.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/20/tumblr-rolls-out-new-conte...

2
RangerScience 5 days ago 7 replies      
If you're a founder and looking to sell your company, is there anything you can do to guard yourself against these kinds of situations?

I imagine it might be some particular part of a golden handcuff / golden parachute deal, but making it work for everyone involved sounds super hard...

3
pasbesoin 4 days ago 0 replies      
I realize that Verizon and Verizon Wireless are now separate businesses. Nonetheless -- and also because of increasing suckage at Verizon Wireless -- once T-Mobile deploys on its newly acquired lower frequency spectrum and fills in some rural holes I need, I'm going to drop Verizon Wireless like a hot potato.

I wonder how much PR and good will damage/loss Verizon's behavior is generating.

4
jp_sc 5 days ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: Verizon owns Yahoo now, so it owns Tumblr too.
5
boogiepoppu 5 days ago 2 replies      
Net neutrality? Don't make me laugh. Yahoo was one of the biggest PRISM benefactors.
6
yuhong 5 days ago 0 replies      
I strongly suspect that an economic collapse is going to come less than a year after these sales (not just talking about Yahoo). That would be a good time for Verizon to begin selling off its utilities. AOL and Time Warner was another example that happened just before the bubble burst: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warner#Merger_with_AOL I think this is partly because of how the economy is based on consumption and debt.
7
fiatjaf 5 days ago 8 replies      
Net neutrality makes internet more expensive for everybody so Torrent and Netflix users can be subsidized.

It looks right, but it is WRONG to "defend" it using law and force.

23
What works in e-commerce A meta-analysis of online experiments [pdf] qubit.com
422 points by sweezyjeezy  5 days ago   85 comments top 19
1
tomarr 5 days ago 2 replies      
If you want to see pretty much all the most effective measures in action, go to a ticket reseller like Viagogo and follow something through to the basket. It is both impressive and amazing the amount of psychological steers there are on the site.
2
bartkappenburg 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great research with lots of data and tangible results.

I'm missing 'authority' as way to improve conversion. Funny that they use it themselves in two ways: letting PWC check the results and, in a milder form, using a scientific way of communicating the results (LaTeX, article layout etc). The impact would have been less if it was just a blog post :-). I'm curious about results on authority, maybe someone from qubit can give us some insights on that?

At my company[0] we offer a solution to sites to implement these strategies through notifications/nudges. Having said that: we firmly believe in A/B testing but we believe even more in recognizing (we do that through machine learning) what technique works best on a personal level. This means that a site can have, for example, two strategies and that we apply none, either one or both on the visitor. That way you can reach higher uplifts.

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

3
joe-stanton 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is a really useful article. It's a shame that so much development time is wasted on large numbers of fruitless optimisations just because they are "easy" (eg. tweaking the colour of a CTA).

That being said, I'm surprised many of the results are so negative. It would be great to also see the max uplift achieved for each category. A number of retailers I've worked with have been able to beat these uplifts by quite a bit. I wonder if it might be significantly skewed by the kind of clients Qubit has?

4
cylinder 5 days ago 4 replies      
Well, running a rudimentary eBay store you realize these things help pretty quickly, but it's good to have data.

However... Starting a new e-commerce property? Good luck finding traffic in anything profitable. Amazon and other Giants dominate search rankings so I'm not sure how you will find your traffic unless you create a new niche. Maybe you're a thought leader in a hobbyist space, that can work... But you're not going to be succeeding because of these tricks

5
inopinatus 5 days ago 1 reply      
Inconsistencies to report.

Page 2:

 scarcity (stock pointers) +2.9% uplift urgency (countdown timers) +2.3% uplift social proof (informing users of others behaviour) +1.5% uplift
Page 6 table 2.2:

 scarcity 2.9% social proof 2.3% urgency 1.5%

6
1k 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised free shipping has a negative impact on revenue. Worst case I imagine would be that revenue would increase but with less or negative profit.

Likewise most GUI-related tweaks seem to have a negative effect (mobile friendliness, search, navigation). Assuming it gives a better mobile experience, why would anyone spend less - unless the goal is to get them off mobile and onto the desktop.

7
Silhouette 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing some real data. It's always interesting to see.

I too am surprised to see the conclusions come out as negative as this over such a large overall data set. Just from our own experience, even making quite modest changes to small web sites, it's not that unusual to see the kinds of change that came out with a negative mean in this report actually making a very noticeable positive difference.

I wonder whether this is partly a matter of interpretation and presentation. A lot of the treatments that had a slightly negative mean also had a lot of variance, which suggests that quite often those treatments do work but it's not reliable and requires experimentation to make sure you only keep the genuinely beneficial cases. It seems plausible that there were a few of the "75% improvement in our case study!" kinds of results lost in the long tails, but that what the data is telling us is that those really are outliers and don't happen nearly as often as we might wish.

8
ifcologne 5 days ago 0 replies      
Lot's of interesting data and some findings I didn't expected. Thanks.

What I have missed in this paper is the impact of customer reviews (a 4.5 ranking has a higher uplift potential than a 5.0 star ranking - according to some studies). And the number of reviews has impact as well.Not enough studies around for a meta analysis?

9
geetfun 5 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone who hangs out on Facebook group e-commerce forums basically have seen the outrageous claims the authors of this paper alludes to.

Nice to see an analysis like this for a change.

10
JorgeGT 5 days ago 1 reply      
The PwC assurance report URL gives a 404: http://www.qubit.com/sites/default/files/pdf/pwc-qubit-assur...
11
ssharp 5 days ago 0 replies      
In my experience, the A/B tests that are most likely to win are the ones where you make UX changes designed to make it easier for visitors to do what you want them to do. These not only improve your conversion rates, they are also less spammy and intrusive as things like exit-intent modals. They are also the types of gains that do compound.

Want an easy win? Make mobile checkout better. It's generally the worst. I was on a fairly large, publicly traded, retailer's site over the weekend and had a goofy error that was extremely easy to make on their mobile checkout page. While I was alerted to the error, it also emptied my shopping cart and erased all the address and payment info I spent time typing in.

12
nocoder 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting thanks for sharing. As someone working in e-commerce, I was smiling when I saw some of them but it is frustrating on how often these ineffective experiments are repeated.

I would have loved to see the cut of performance by industry/sector. My hunch is some of the things would work really well in travel but not as well in others especially low involvement categories and categories with lower average selling price. It would also be interesting to know the average duration of these A/B tests, I think some of things like scarcity and urgency will have larger effect in the shorter time duration vs others like UI changes which will take a while to produce substantial results, mostly because customers will have to learn new behaviours. Product recommendations is interesting because it is notoriously difficult to get them right and feel they tend to work better in long tail categories like media vs. head heavy categories like mobiles or laptops. They may also not work well in categories where brand influence is high and are generally high involvement and high cost.

13
jameslk 5 days ago 2 replies      
I wish they would have evaluated the effect of dynamic pricing. That is, showing different prices to different visitors for the same product. Perhaps not enough online retailers employ the practice, although it seems to be an important tool for retailers like Amazon[0].

0. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/how-onl...

14
iagovar 5 days ago 2 replies      
It's good to see an analysis, albeit most of this info was common knowledge, maybe except call to action buttons causing a decrease. I thought it was the opposite.

Sometimes factoring all variables when doing testing becomes impossible.

15
Systemic33 5 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of these are brilliantly displayed with varying degrees of integration and success on airline pages. [1],[2]

[1] http://sas.dk (Search for e.g. Copenhagen -> London)

[2] http://lufthansa.com (Search for e.g. Frankfurt -> Copenhagen)

16
hahamrfunnyguy 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've done the countdown timer thing before, but not in a sleazy way like Viagogo. I've done limited-time sales where the item starts at a percentage off and gradually increases to full price. It seems to work well.
17
ronack 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is interesting but I definitely question some of the results, for instance reporting a negative impact for changing search results. Many businesses have been built on improving conversion through search result optimization.
18
lostphilosopher 5 days ago 2 replies      
This was really interesting. Thanks for posting it. Does anyone know of a place to find similar content? (Analysis of web trends and practices from a data driven perspective.)
19
Iv 5 days ago 7 replies      
tl;dr: The 3 items possibly statistically significant are:

- Saying there are just a handful items left in stock (+2.9% revenue per client)- Saying other people are watching this product (+2.3%)- Time limited offer (+1.5%)

I did not see mention of combining these factors. I doubt the gains are cumulative.

My main takeaway is that most optimizations are not worthy if you have the opportunity to spend your time/money on something else to bring value to the consumer.

Also, I think #1 and #3 are dick moves and #2 needs some good crafting to not be. I doubt the cost in reputation is worth the increase in revenue.

24
32TB of Windows 10 internal builds, core source code leak online theregister.co.uk
367 points by manirelli  3 days ago   91 comments top 22
1
driverdan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Looks like there's some debate as to whether or not this has been exaggerated: https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37282

So far I haven't seen any links to source code.

Quote from one of the admins:

> Yes I have no idea where they got the 32TB stuff. We had a big leak of Win10 builds yes, but these were all Windows Insider stuff that were collected over time available to all Windows Insider members at one time or another.

Edit: BA's official statement: https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37283

2
80211 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a gross exaggeration. As far as I can see, what "leaked" was the "shared driver source kit" that nearly any hardware vendor (like chipset manufacturer) can get; basically anyone who puts up a few thousand bucks and signs an NDA.
3
joe_the_user 3 days ago 0 replies      
If nothing else, it would be interesting to compare code quality of this with leaks of much earlier Windows source files.
4
15charlimit 3 days ago 2 replies      
Does this mean an individual could actually get their hands on the fabled Enterprise LTSB edition and thus actually have control over updates?
5
nikanj 3 days ago 1 reply      
The unstripped binaries are a huge benefit for non-black-hat developers too.
6
phaed 3 days ago 2 replies      
This will make Windows less secure in the short term, but as good and bad actors find bugs and Microsoft patches them, they will end up with a hardened product. Their OS is now effectively open-source.
7
ryanlol 3 days ago 0 replies      
8
jaimex2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess Microsoft really were serious about going open source.
9
blunte 3 days ago 1 reply      
Given the other article I read today about US companies bowing to Russian requirements to review source code, I wonder if MS has also already given away code that can be studied for security gaps.
10
drenvuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the page where the source kit was listed was altered since the screenshot that's in the article was taken. I hope the files surface somewhere.
11
palakchokshi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can't imagine this was due to a hack of their systems. Seems more like an (ex)employee took a data dump and released it. Or it could be spear fishing.
12
chris_wot 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you develop WINE or ReactOS do NOT look at any of this code.
13
kristofferR 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can someone with access take a more comprehensive screenshot of the contests?
14
throwaway201706 3 days ago 2 replies      
Throwaway account for obvious reasons. Does anyone have a link to the leaked data?

At this point avoiding links is pointless as the source code will be essentially public knowledge in matter of days/weeks. Damage control is the only strategy left. The sooner security researchers outside Microsoft can start analyzing and reporting vulnerabilities, the better.

15
Animats 3 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that the "leak" was what you need to develop a driver. You can sign up for MSDN and get that, right? Does that come with the $3000/year it now costs to subscribe to MSDN?
16
xefer 3 days ago 0 replies      
I must be possible to determine when this code was collected by matching the files to version control time stamps.

I wonder if that could be used to narrow down who pulled the code during that window.

17
tzakrajs 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just imagine if the source code for SMB was let loose.
18
whatnotests 3 days ago 0 replies      
Links or it didn't happen.
19
westmeal 3 days ago 4 replies      
Looks like the WINE developers are going to have the time of their lives.
20
justforFranz 3 days ago 1 reply      
America better get its act together about computer security.
21
dep_b 3 days ago 0 replies      
A new bold step in Microsoft's Open Source endeavors!
22
jdubs 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess windows 10 is now open source!
25
Twice as happy customers means half the marketing spend candyjapan.com
339 points by bemmu  3 days ago   102 comments top 20
1
icc97 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love this post - it gets across a fundamental concept that pretty much anyone can understand, which is non-obvious.

What I love, that other's here seem to grumble about, is that he's not using any specific terminolgy. He doesn't mention 'churn', he doesn't mention 'geometric' series, he only has one '=' in the whole text.

You can print out this article (ignoring the python bit) take this down to your local baker/cafe/<insert non-tech business owner> that's full of stupid marketing billboards but sucks at customer service and show it to them. There's a good chance they'll understand.

Frankly I liked it because I could easily follow his logic without slowing my reading. There was parity between my understanding speed vs my reading speed.

Plus no-one here seems to be grumbling that he's wrong, just that they can say it in a different way.

2
patio11 3 days ago 2 replies      
The falls out of the fundamental equation for SaaS and other subscription business models:

LTV = prospects * (conversion rate to paying) * (average price point) / churn

This makes a 5% increase in prospects, conversion rate, or price cause a 5% increase to LTV (and, eventually, to the enterprise value of the company). A 5% decrease in churn (measured against one's current churn rate, e.g., 5% -> 4.75%) has a slightly more than 5% impact to LTV / enterprise value.

So many decisions about running a SaaS company fall directly out of this equation. Competent SaaS operators memorize it or, for less mathematically oriented operators, can at least summarize the relationships implied.

3
jasonkester 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, that's the Churn Equation. The thing us SaaS folks spend most of our time worrying about (whether we know it or not).

Given a constant influx of potential customers at a known conversion rate, along with a known churn rate of existing customers, you can find an exact dollar figure that you will eventually plateau at.

It sucks. Especially when you're starting out because the "In" side of the equation is small and there's not much you can do about it.

Fortunately, as the article points out, there are a few knobs you can tweak. Churn is a nice one, since all it takes is a good product. Conversion is harder, because it involves dark magic like sales and psychology and web design skills.

Once you get it figured out, though, there's another formula you can use to determine how much you're allowed to spend to pour one new user into the top of your Trial funnel. If you can get that up to a level that justifies advertising, you can open the valve as far as your budget allows and start moving that plateau point upwards.

EDIT: I've been writing about this stuff lately, if anybody else likes geeking out on it:

http://www.expatsoftware.com/Articles/things-worth-knowing-a...

4
mosselman 3 days ago 4 replies      
I was a customer of Candy Japan for a while (3 months) and I really liked it. The candy selection was very interesting and fun. A while back I tried a competitor and their selection was very boring and the candy they sent didn't feel very special.

The reason I cancelled with Candy Japan was that I found it a lot of money for candy. Not so much a lot of money for the service. Also, candy is just unhealthy, so I am probably better of spending that amount on fruit and vegetables.

Overall the candy selection is what would make me choose Candy Japan over a competitor if I would ever choose a candy service again or recommend one to friends.

5
mherrmann 3 days ago 7 replies      
I think this is highly relevant for the early stages of a product: Do you focus on retention or marketing? I'm developing a cross-platform file manager [1]. My current problem is that even tough 20 people download it every day, only 2 use it more than once in the first week. Existing users ask me for 1000s of features. But the real problem I need to overcome for growth is that I lose so many first-time users. That's a problem with onboarding, not with features. I blogged about this [2].

[1]: https://fman.io

[2]: https://fman.io/blog/desktop-app-funnel-optimization/

6
eterm 3 days ago 4 replies      
This really overcomplicates the mathematics.

Steady state implies Leavers = Joiners.

If 100 people join each month then you'll have steady state when there are 100 leavers, i.e. when 50% of N is 100. N * 50% = 100 solves to N = 200.

In general with X% attrition and Y people joining you'll have a steady number of subscribers N using the formula

N * (1 - X) + Y = N

Which can be rearranged to N * X = Y.

7
wjnc 3 days ago 1 reply      
A practical application of a geometric series [1].

Before my study of statistical distributions I once re-invented the Poisson distribution. It took one look of my physicist colleague to give everyone a good laugh. That was the moment I decided an economists needs more than linear models, the normal distribution and some non-parametric tests.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_series

8
laumars 3 days ago 0 replies      
> For simplicity suppose 50% of people cancel every month. That means that if I do some clever marketing and manage to get 100 new people to join, then after a month 50 of those would be left. After another month, 25 of those would be left and so on.

> Because of this fall-off, even if you run a subscription business forever, you will not have infinite customers. Instead you reach a steady-state number.

You should also factor in returning business as well as new business. eg I'm a very happy customer but since this is a luxury it is often the first thing I cancel whenever money gets tighter. For example when moving house or, most recently, when my wife gives birth to our new baby girl. However when finances stabilize again Candy Japan is often one of the first luxuries I re-subscribe to again.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for providing such a great service. The extra effort you put in with regards to the emailed descriptions of the candy as well as the mixture of normal and alternative snacks make it an absolute delight receiving the box.

9
eddz 3 days ago 2 replies      
Good post, but it does not consider conversion of former customers.

I develop a subscription service which launched in January and now has ~9,000 MAUs. This above metric accounts for ~10% of "new" subscribers each month, despite not yet making an effort (such as by sending reminder or "sorry" emails) to re-capture them.

The post does make a good point about retaining existing users, though.

I would like to add that we saw MAUs spike when redesigning the cancellation process to be more thankful and apologetic than spiteful. (Being a service for Japanese users, we included a little "thank you bow" animated character at the end of the process.)

One more point our cancellations for the first days of the month often come close to outnumbering new users. We have concluded that the reason for this is that users 1. perform their financial housekeeping around this time, and 2. find a low-numbered charge date easier to remember.

10
cbhl 3 days ago 0 replies      
What are your thoughts about Amazon moving into the subscription box business?

https://www.amazon.com/b?node=14809330011

11
no_gravity 3 days ago 0 replies      

 Even if you run the business for a million years, you will still only have 200 members.
If the churn rate is steady. It usually goes down over time though. Because long time customers have a lower likelihood of canceling.

In other words: The past does not equal the future. If you look back on your business and see a churn rate of X%, you can expect a lower churn rate in the future. Because the "survivors" will have a lower churn rate then new customers.

In e-commerce, this effect often is pretty significant. I know multiple online-shops that make the majority of their business with long time customers. Even though over 50% of new customers drop out after the first month.

12
koliber 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's an old saying: It's a lot more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one from leaving.
13
exabrial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most annoying thing ever: instead of "Disable this feature", you get "No not now".

Stop forcing things down peoples throats. If you are making a great feature or product, it wil sell itself without a heavy hand. I've determined this is a way to tell who is struggling with innovation and who is leading the way.

14
maweki 3 days ago 0 replies      
Main takeaway:The function f(x) = 0.5*x + 100 has a fixed point at x = 200.
15
cluoma 3 days ago 3 replies      
Implicit here is an assumption that the lifetime of subscribers is exponentially distributed. Which may or may not be the case.
16
cdevs 3 days ago 0 replies      
My companies current scenario is about 64% renewal rate from all years before but a 50% of that is from the year before current and 25% percent of that is from 2 years before current and so on and so on..

So how does all this differ if you're looking at renewal from year before and renewals from all time ?

17
vmp 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't suppose CandyJapan has something for the lactose intolerant? :)
18
petraeus 3 days ago 0 replies      
The reason developers don't use math is because it never fits the real world models.
19
majortennis 3 days ago 1 reply      
100+50+25= 175
20
JoelEmbiid 3 days ago 0 replies      
Python and first checked the previous result
26
Netflix Originals: Production and Post-Production Requirements v2.1 netflix.com
397 points by Vagantem  4 days ago   238 comments top 24
1
Animats 4 days ago 3 replies      
James Cameron ("Avatar", "Titanic", etc.) used to argue that high frame rate was more important than higher resolution. If you're not in the first few rows of the theater, he once pointed out, you can't tell if it's 4K anyway. Everyone in the theater benefits from high frame rate. This may be less of an issue now that more people are watching on high-resolution screens at short range.

Cameron likes long pans over beautifully detailed backgrounds. Those will produce annoying strobing at 24FPS if the pan rate is faster than about 7 seconds for a frame width. Staying down to that rate makes a scene drag.

Now, Cameron wants to go to 4K resolution and 120FPS.[1] Cameron can probably handle that well; he's produced most of the 3D films that don't suck. He's going to give us a really nice visual tour of the Avatar world. For other films, that may not help. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" was recorded in 3D, 4K resolution and 120FPS. Reviews were terrible, because it's 1) far too much resolution for close-ups, and 2) too much realism for war scenes. Close-ups are a problem - do you really want to see people's faces at a level of detail useful only to a dermatologist? It also means prop and costume quality has to improve.

The other issue with all this resolution is that it's incompatible with the trend towards shorter shot lengths. There are action films with an average shot length below 1 second. For music videos, that's considered slow; many of those are around 600ms per shot.[2] They're just trying to leave an impression, not show details.

[1] https://www.polygon.com/2016/10/31/13479322/james-cameron-av...[2] http://www.cinemetrics.lv/database.php?sort=asl

2
mmastrac 4 days ago 6 replies      
This likely gives them confidence that if they were to remaster for a different color-space or higher resolution, that they could. For a 4K original shot in 8K, Netflix could send it back through the production process for a more reasonable cost and be able to launch the title quickly.

I'm surprised they don't ask for VFX sources to be archived though. ST:TNG and Babylon 5 both suffered badly from loss of the original VFX.

3
eponeponepon 4 days ago 4 replies      
That's beautifully clear - I wish I worked with specifications so lucid. I've got almost no real knowledge of the field it's governing, but I believe I would know how to successfully shoot some footage that Netflix would accept off the back of reading it.

One thing intrigues me though - albeit likely a function of my lack of knowledge on the matter - do these requirements implicitly rule out shooting on film for Netflix?

(I mean, I'm sure that ${hollywood-bigshot} could negotiate, but for Joe Public..?)

4
coldtea 4 days ago 7 replies      
To paraphrase Bill Gates (who never actually said the original, but anyway) 4K should be enough for everybody.

Having seen 1080p stretch and play nicely on a 30 feet cinema screen, and not being much worse looking from regular Hollywood titles even for front seat viewing, I don't see the allure of 8K even for "future-proofing".

Sure, monitors and tvs might improve their resolution in the future. But I don't se human eyes improving much (regarding angular resolution vs distance) or houses getting any bigger to fit a 30ft tv.

4K is good for reframing (cropping) and higher detail, but after some point enough is enough.

5
robodale 4 days ago 2 replies      
...And that my friends, is how you layout specs. Simple enough for anyone to read and understand, yet concrete enough to minimize interpretation variances. Love that change log.
6
indescions_2017 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ah, that Canon EOS C700 is a symphony of light capturing technology, though.

Here's a sample "A Day in Kyoto" shot at 4K 120fps raw:

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

7
code4tee 4 days ago 2 replies      
I always find the idea of future proofing interesting here. Like the way Seinfeld reruns are in HD even though the technology didn't really exist at the time--because they shot a TV show in actual film and then could re-scan it later to keep up with modern tech.

Crazy expensive but obviously given the value of those reruns the cost made sense.

8
ldite 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, this is pretty scanty. For comparison, the BBC's technical requirements:

http://dpp-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/specs/...

9
devmunchies 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like another post going into more depth on audio (sound design, mixing, mastering...). I've seen a few things on Netflix where the bad audio engineering totally ruined the experience.
10
samstave 4 days ago 3 replies      
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11
Justin_K 4 days ago 2 replies      
I wish they'd push for 4K 60FPS so they could upgrade their releases to this in the future.
12
olegkikin 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm surprised they don't allow UHD resolution (38402160). There are probably a few people in the world who can reliably tell the difference with true 4K.

An average person can't even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

13
Havoc 4 days ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain the 24fps to me? It seems out of place old-school in light of the 4K & 240Mbps etc.
14
joshuak 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is really tragic to watch. I like Netflix in many respects but this is just incompetent. Not one Academy Award Winning film for best picture would qualify for these specs. Not one. I expect very few if any nominees either.

The Arri Alexa is eliminated by these specs, for crying out loud. The single most popular camera amongst high end feature cinematographers.

This is driven by some misguided belief that input resolution == output resolution AND that resolution is the measure of quality.

I really hope they get their head out of their asses on this at some point.

It's good to have quality standards, and thank god they aren't Turner Classic Movies (the fuck was that all about??). But these specs are as arbitrary as saying all of your food must be cooked in copper cookware.

We tell stories, not pixels.

15
gwbas1c 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if Netflix is experiencing quality problems? Sometimes the lower-budget content that's a few years old looks pixelated or over-compressed. In these cases, it's somewhat obvious that whoever produced it just didn't know better.
16
Kaedon 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm so, so glad I don't have to care about deliverables requirements anymore. Every studio has totally different set of requirements that are as complex as this and it's a real bear to make sure you're fully in compliance with them.
17
misticdeveloper 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess this is old news, but apparently if you get hired by Netflix to shoot anything and you want to use an Alexa.. good luck. You should get in line and wait for an Alexa65 when it's available.
18
Coffee_lover 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone break this down a bit for the lamen. What's the ACEs pipeline? Frame chart, power windows... And more?
19
yodon 4 days ago 0 replies      
Do they have a similar Pre-Production requirements doc?
20
tomc1985 4 days ago 0 replies      
These are the kinds of high-quality production standards that all companies should employ. Technical excellence above all else
21
Glyptodon 4 days ago 2 replies      
I assume this doesn't particularly apply to documentaries and such?
22
exabrial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Only 24fps? Wow
23
ryaneager 4 days ago 1 reply      
Now if they would stream UHD content at 240 Mbps, they would almost double the quality of UHD Blu-ray (144 Mbps). Or any increase of the 15.6 Mbps they are using now.
24
Dpackers 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is Netflix setting the standard for the whole industry.
27
Algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3D structure mit.edu
366 points by edwinksl  4 days ago   47 comments top 19
1
cr0sh 4 days ago 3 replies      
I hope the algorithm becomes published and unencumbered by any onerous restrictions. I understand that this is a unique system, though - and likely one where patents and other "protections" could be taken out for the method and implementations.

But right now, all we have to "play with" is a window binary. I understand that there is supposed to be a paper published in the future; I would love to see this algorithm implemented into something more "universal", if nothing else.

Again, though, I can also see why such an algorithm could be protected - I am certain there are more than a few commercial applications for it, and perhaps in areas that have little to nothing to do with origami (for instance - and I am probably completely off base here - could this be applied in some manner to understanding protein folding?).

2
greydius 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check out [1] for videos of Erik Demaine's lectures on folding. Also, I highly recommend the videos for the algorithms and data structures courses he's taught/co-taught ([2] for example)

[1] https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-compu...

[2] https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-compu...

4
specialist 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ages ago...

I wrote print production (prepress) software. One of my inventions was an algorithm that converted book binding steps into impositions, as needed. (All previous solutions relied on catalogs of manually created "templates", for reuse, customization, etc.)

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

I'm now very curious if this general purpose origami algorithm can be used for the same purpose.

5
lovelettr 4 days ago 2 replies      
There was a really great NOVA episode, "The Origami Revolution" [1][2], that I believe covered this exact same algorithm. As I recall at the time of the recording for the NOVA episode it was still under development.

[1] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/origami-revolution.html

[2] http://www.pbs.org/video/2365955827/

6
jcl 4 days ago 2 replies      
A video of one of the authors folding a bunny model like the one in the article:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAnW-KU2yn4

7
zitterbewegung 4 days ago 0 replies      
So this is a computer that is a 3D Paper Printer?

Jokes aside [1] the mathematics of paper folding is extremely interesting. The most interesting thing is that you can solve fourth degree equations with origami [2] .

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_of_paper_folding[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huzita%E2%80%93Hatori_axioms

8
pavel_lishin 4 days ago 1 reply      
The science-fiction fan in me is now imagining a robot whose structure is a flat sheet of material, that can reconfigure itself into any form it needs.
9
sohkamyung 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was wondering what Robert Lang [1] makes of this. Looks like he approves of it. Its very impressive stuff, says Robert Lang, one of the pioneers of computational origami and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, who in 2001 abandoned a successful career in optical engineering to become a full-time origamist. It completes what I would characterize as a quest that began some 20-plus years ago: a computational method for efficiently folding any specified shape from a sheet of paper. Along the way, there have been several nice demonstrations of pieces of the puzzle: an algorithm to fold any shape, but not very efficiently; an algorithm to efficiently fold particular families of tree-like shapes, but not surfaces; an algorithm to fold trees and surfaces, but not every shape. This one covers it all! The algorithm is surprisingly complex, but that arises because it is comprehensive. It truly covers every possibility. And it is not just an abstract proof; it is readily computationally implementable.

[1] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Lang ]

10
kadavero 4 days ago 0 replies      
Solving origami (2d) was the task of 2017 ICFP programming contest.I wonder how this MIT approach would work for that task.

http://icfpc2016.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/task-description.ht...

11
GregBuchholz 4 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone have recommendations on: "How to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami, and Polyhedra" by Joseph O'Rourke?

http://howtofoldit.org/

12
mmjaa 4 days ago 0 replies      
I would love to use this to build airfoils and flying devices .. anyone had a chance to play with it? Is it feasible to import a plane model, and end up with a 3D paper airplane like never seen before?
13
MikeTLive 4 days ago 0 replies      
would be amazing to see the Rubic'sCube and Chess speed solvers burn this algorithm into their heads and start a competition to replicate a provided item.
14
sdwisely 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing the difference between this and something like pepakura (http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/) is it doesn't use cuts?
15
Trickilozis 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing this article. It was an interesting read about the progression of the idea into the tool available. I'm going to try out the software when I get a chance.
16
Kequc 4 days ago 1 reply      
It looks like it just goes low-poly, all triangles as is pretty normal. Then maybe links some of the triangles together, ultimately telling you how many paper triangles how many different sizes to make.
17
mendeza 4 days ago 1 reply      
Could this be applied to UV/texture mapping? I can see reversing the folding would be really helpful to texture map more easily.
18
rocky1138 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can we build homes of sheet metal with this?
19
hyfgfh 4 days ago 1 reply      
Even Wams?
28
Wal-Mart is telling some vendors they cant run applications on AWS foxbusiness.com
370 points by JakeWesorick  5 days ago   389 comments top 39
1
__d__ 5 days ago 10 replies      
I sold to Walmart for 4 years. In the beginning we believed we were lucky to become vendors. Then we realized how much stress they created. Every single year they would short pay our invoices. We would have to submit a claim with Walmart accounting. This process was completely and utterly time consuming. But the worst of it, they wouldn't pay the invoices owed until a year later. It's hard to float a $100,000 short pay as a small business.

They did much more and I was surprised that they existed this way in business

2
KirinDave 5 days ago 18 replies      
This is... Not the best? That Wal-Mart is powerful enough to dictate the internal business practice and tech decisions of it's vendor.

On the other hand, Amazon is a massive immoral monster devouring the US economy and replacing it with something vaguely worse, year by year. It's rapidly approaching a "too big to be allowed to fail" status, and that's awful for Americans. Since anti-trust laws weren't written by a generation able to envison entities like this and the current political climate is that they'd rather die than appear anti-business... I guess the only entities with the power to push back against Amazon are in fact the other major corporate vendors.

3
gregatragenet3 5 days ago 1 reply      
Seems as if this is a reasonable request, which is being framed as an unreasonable one.

WalMart has asked a Data-Warehousing service (via its customer) to please not do what it does - data-warehouse internal information about sales, revenue, etc - on their retail-competitor's servers. Data which could give Amazon sensitive inside information on WalMart's operations and financials..

I dono if they've made other less-reasonable requests, but the example provided in the article is completely reasonable.

I always find it a ironic when I've interacted with startups which have a plan to bring some disruptive thing to market that potentially competes with Amazon or Google, and yet route all their data and communication through these platforms. :)

4
snowwolf 5 days ago 14 replies      
Is this because they actively want to discourage any revenue going Amazon's way from Wal-Mart related business activities, or because they don't trust Amazon not to look at the data hosted on their platform?

If the latter, then I think that's just extreme paranoia. If there was ANY evidence of Amazon doing that it would destroy everyones trust in AWS and I suspect people wouldn't be able to move away fast enough (Which actually long term would be good for Wal-Mart).

5
throwawaymanbot 5 days ago 3 replies      
If Wal-Mart decrees this, put up or shut up. Welcome to business.

CEO Diktats about using not using competitor services for anything whatsoever, are as old as Microsoft. Wal-mart is not in the cloud business, so I can only wonder if, as others have commented, it is about data security in AWS domain, since Wal-Mart's main competitor is Amazon.

We know what Google and Facebook get up to with peoples data, why would Amazon not analyze or try similar to their customers? To have all that technical capability and not be curious about stuff would be a waste.

Finally, I think it would be great for everyone (except Amazon), if wal-mart got in to the cloud. Using their leverage to create cheaper cloud would benefit us all.

6
ilamont 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wal-mart has expected vendors to bow to its methods and policies for years, no matter how unreasonable or inconvenient. The carrot dangled in front of vendors: The possibility of massive nationwide sales.

Now they are dealing with a much more nimble and capable competitor. Yes, Amazon has its own unreasonable policies that squeeze vendors, but at least they have reasonable tech in place and they move fast when it comes to support and service. Case in point: Applying to be a third-party seller on Amazon takes days, Wal-mart Marketplace takes 6 weeks.

I am not sure if this latest Walmart policy reflects incompetence, misguided policy, dirty tricks, or a combination of the three, but it serves to push vendors away from Walmart and into Amazon's tight embrace.

7
nargella 5 days ago 1 reply      
Years ago I read The Wal-Mart Effect. Basically it was a whole slew of industries that Walmart had dramatically affected. Things like forcing vendors to manufacture in China and building a crazy infrastructure to get 'fresh' Salmon imported from Chile.

I got the impression they would turn the screws on industries to get cost savings via scale. This move seems odd.

8
ajarmst 5 days ago 2 replies      
I know there's some complexity here, but let's just take a minute to marvel at the phenomena of Walmart complaining about another company's excessive dominance and potential to apply monopolistic power.
9
tdburn 5 days ago 1 reply      
Amazon does similar practises, like not selling Chromecast/apple TV etc on their site. Is this instance of AWS blockage a big deal? probably not. I wonder if it just slows down Walmarts efforts
10
djhworld 5 days ago 3 replies      
> It shouldnt be a big surprise that there are cases in which wed prefer our most sensitive data isnt sitting on a competitors platform,

Ok sounds reasonable from an information security standpoint

> Snowflake Computing Inc., a data-warehousing service, was approached by a Wal-Mart client about handling its business from the retailer, Chief Executive Bob Muglia said. The catch: Snowflake had to run those services on Azure.

\_()_/

11
michaelbuckbee 5 days ago 4 replies      
Interesting that Netflix (biggest competitor to Amazon Prime Video) still is on AWS. Not sure who is being savvy and who is being short sighted.
12
retailtech 5 days ago 1 reply      
I work in retailtech and this feeling is very common across retailers. Everyone feels like amazon is their biggest competitor and they don't want any of their money going (even indirectly) to amazon. Especially when the technology in question is supposed to help them compete better against amazon.
13
coldcode 5 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder if this is restraint of trade and illegal. It's as if they are telling retailers they can't sell to Walmart and Target.
14
raverbashing 5 days ago 0 replies      
Walmart is notorious for wanting their suppliers to run the way they want it

Might be cheaper to not sell to them (though revenue might suffer)

15
kennydude 5 days ago 2 replies      
> Tactics like this are bad for business and customers,

Because Amazon's tactics aren't bad for business or consumers?

16
droithomme 5 days ago 0 replies      
Is the use of "vendors" in the title misleading? The title suggests it refers to people who are supplying WalMart with pickles and paper towels to sell.

But it seems to refer to tech contracting firms who are implementing software services for WalMart. WalMart is saying they do not want their proprietary algorithms and information running on servers owned by their main competitor. That is very reasonable and sensible.

17
opensourcenews 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wal-mart, with a large IT cost center, benefits from a diverse and competitive cloud infrastructure ecosystem. More at 11.
18
EternalData 5 days ago 0 replies      
This seems more petty than anything. Though it's strange to see just how complex Amazon has become as a company.
19
Cofike 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't go to Walmart because of how they treat their employees, the nonsense they pull with their vendors, and now this.

The thing is that I'm not actually sure if any of the alternatives engage in this kind of practice as well.

20
Animats 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not product vendors. Vendors offering a service which handles Wal-Mart data.
21
zghst 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is a really bad tactic, even if it's just a rumor, it'd devastating. Exerting a level of control only breeds contempt, Amazon now has free leeway to gain more partners and give more AWS credits.

Not to mention Walmart already has a reputation for being the bottom barrel brand, they can't compete with Amazon on price, Amazon even has leeway to increase the value of its products and services and say "we're not Walmart".

22
dkarapetyan 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is how you know you've lost. When you are more obsessed with what your competition is doing than worrying about what you're doing.
23
amatecha 5 days ago 0 replies      
Huh, I feel like this story (and even moreso the comments on this post) are good reminders not to shop at Wal-Mart, at least for me.
24
petraeus 5 days ago 0 replies      
Americans lol, want a $29 lawnmower and then turn a blind eye to the supply side of said economics.
25
laurentoget 4 days ago 0 replies      
Being aws only is probably a risky strategy for any Saas vendor anyway so at least this requirement is forcing vendors to make an investment (porting their app to gcp or azure) which would make sense anyway.
26
mdasen 5 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like Morningstar has the same article, non-paywalled: https://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/retail/TDJNDN_201...
27
losteverything 5 days ago 0 replies      
Walmart finds ways for vendors, suppliers, etc to cut their costs so they can pass savings on.

Maybe an AWS price increase potential is a risk they dont want to take

28
sharemywin 5 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of when pepsi bought (Pizza hut, taco bell, KFC). Still hard to find pepsi at pizza places and they spun it off in 97'.
29
mml 5 days ago 0 replies      
strange, but true: bought a tv on amazon, came delivered in a giant sam's club box. walmart/sam's club are current amazon merchants.
31
anonacct37 5 days ago 1 reply      
Everyone seems overlook one sentence:

> they can't run applications for the retailer

Wal-mart doesn't really want it's data on Amazon servers. Amazon is pretty aggressive about mining any available data on competitors.

32
iii_3candles 5 days ago 0 replies      
So the world's biggest capitalist economy is being reduced to two giants battling each other, after they swallow everyone else.

Amazon buys Comcast. The End.

33
throwitlong 5 days ago 0 replies      
eBay owning Paypal.

Paypal owning lots and lots of revenue data of eBay competitors.

34
nebabyte 5 days ago 0 replies      
Whoever wins (spoilers: Amazon), big business wins! Story of America.
35
snarfy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I can't read the article.
36
empath75 5 days ago 5 replies      
If libertarians don't realize that the system they're advocating for is essentially corporate feudalism, they're suckers. I'd rather have a powerful government accountable to voters than a powerful corporate oligarchy that is only accountable to shareholders.
37
pen2l 5 days ago 4 replies      
> Amazon's rise as the dominant player in renting on-demand, web-based computing power and storage has put some competitors, such as Netflix Inc., in the unlikely position of relying on a corporate rival as they move to the cloud.

Oh yeah, Netflix is on AWS. Amazon is doing pretty much everything, I expect/predict in another two years they will launch a music streaming site a la Google Music/Spotify.

38
013a 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm ok with this. I think the fear of important BI data entering a competitor's platform is real. Yes, its a bit of a tinfoil hat, but if the cost of using a different platform like Azure or GCP is roughly the same... I'm fine with it.

Here's an analogy. Let's say Walmart rented out space on their trucks to any company that needed it. Would Amazon be crazy to tell retailers on their platform that they can't use Walmart trucks, or they don't want Walmart trucks driving up to their loading bays? I don't think so. Corporate espionage is a real thing.

Its just a bonus that Amazon is a garbage company who deserves as little business as possible.

39
perseusprime11 5 days ago 4 replies      
This is stupid! Walmart is loosing it. Generally happens when you are getting ready to lose, you start becoming erratic. Everybody forgets how WalMart single handedly destroyed the mom and pop shops of America putting them out of jobs.
29
Firefox 56 supports headless mode on Windows mozilla.org
345 points by sohkamyung  4 days ago   85 comments top 17
1
celerity 4 days ago 1 reply      
I just finished writing an article that explains how to connect WebDriver to Firefox running in the new headless mode on Windows if anybody's interested: https://intoli.com/blog/running-selenium-with-headless-firef...

It should be pretty similar on Linux, and probably macOS when it comes around.

2
scardine 4 days ago 3 replies      
Is there a linux headless mode already? Selenium chrome driver headless is pretty much useless in linux because important methods like `send_keys` need X anyway for keyboard mappings or something like that.
3
robk 4 days ago 4 replies      
It's not very clear how to actually use this in a test environment like Selenium etc. At least with headless Chrome there are libraries now to drive it via the remote debug protocol like https://github.com/LucianoGanga/simple-headless-chrome

This feels a little nicer than Selenium as it's one less layer of abstraction.

EDIT: guess from other comments WebDriver is the right method to access.

4
zlagen 4 days ago 3 replies      
Do you need to use selenium to control Firefox in headless mode or does it have something lower level like Chrome's devtools protocol?
5
arunitc 4 days ago 7 replies      
I was wondering if I could use this (using a plugin) or Chrome to generate PDF files on the web server. Most of the PDF generation software out there are quite expensive.
6
whysohard 4 days ago 4 replies      
What are the biggest challenges when implementing headless mode? I'm asking cause this feature took some time to be delivered both in Firefox and Chrome and I always assumed that it should be 'pretty' straightforward to implement.Is it that both engines were coupled with GUI libs?
7
jalfresi 4 days ago 1 reply      
How is it controlled when in headless mode? Still via Webdriver or does Firefox support Chrome Debugger Protocol?
8
anotheryou 4 days ago 3 replies      
So I can navigate by cardinal directions now (like scrolling south a bit)?

Joke aside: can somone explain "headless" to me here?

9
jscholes 4 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone know if this supports audio playback?
10
heisenbit 4 days ago 0 replies      
Firefox 55 introduced major changes in the process model. My scrolling on the Mac is slow and not smooth. Others have reported the same. Maybe focusing on stabilizing this big change over one or two releases would be a good thing?

Of course headless is also needed as the PhantomJS solution is not maintained anymore since April. See discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14105489

11
eberkund 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is good to see some competition, I would hate to see automated tests being done purely in Chrome simply because it is the simplest browser to setup in headless mode.
12
oneplane 4 days ago 1 reply      
But can you really run windows headless? I thought even the Server Core and IoT versions wanted some sort of GPU even just to display a blue/blank screen.
13
ttoinou 4 days ago 3 replies      
Does that mean we'll soon have an alternative to ElectronJS / NWJS based on Firefox ? (Positron :p ?)
14
tmaly 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are there some examples available for this? I would love to replace some of my PhantomJS stuff
15
CloudQA 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great! This will help us run selenium tests much faster.
16
goferito 3 days ago 0 replies      
Please don't forget about Linux
17
pmlnr 4 days ago 5 replies      
"headless"

Poke me when there are no X11/Qt/GTK/whatever dependencies at all - that is headless.

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/firefox-esr

30
AMD's Future in Servers: New 7000-Series CPUs Launched and EPYC Analysis anandtech.com
363 points by satai  6 days ago   144 comments top 16
1
DuskStar 6 days ago 7 replies      
4 dies per package is a pretty interesting way of doing things - probably helps yields immensely, but I can't imagine it does anything good for intra-processor latency. 142 ns to ping a thread on a different CCX within a die isn't too horrible, but I really want to know what sort of penalty you'll have from going to a different die within a package.
2
mastazi 6 days ago 1 reply      
For anyone looking for info about the socket:

* Epyc uses socket SP3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_SP3

* Threadripper uses socket TR4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_TR4

* Sockets SP3 and TR4 have the same number of pins (4094 pins) and they have the same cooler bracket mount (see https://www.overclock3d.net/news/cases_cooling/noctua_showca... )

* However they are still two separate sockets so you shouldn't expect to be able to use Epyc on TR4 or Threadripper on SP3

3
myrandomcomment 6 days ago 2 replies      
I would really love it if there was a benchmark around running VMs and containers for something like this. Our dev/test system is all docker containers so that is what we would care about.

I guess it would be hard as there are to many ways to scale out what you run - how many VMs, how many containers, what are you running in them? It would be an interesting benchmark matrix to sort for.

It would be interesting just to see how many containers you could start, run lighttpd and each server a static web page? Maybe 1/2 with the page and 1/2 with an application that builds the page? Who knows...to many variables.

I think we will just by a system when we can and try our workload on it. Oh, well.

4
hyperbovine 6 days ago 5 replies      
Soooo the Linux kernel now compiles in 15.6 seconds. Jeebus I feel old...
5
dbcooper 5 days ago 1 reply      
6
satai 6 days ago 2 replies      
1 socket 16 / 32 @ 2.9GHz max for $700+... it looks like 16 core Threadripper with reasonable frequencies for less then $999 looks in reach...
7
girst 6 days ago 0 replies      
intel had a monopoly on high-end chipsets for _far_ too long. I'm glad, there is some competition.
8
gbrown_ 6 days ago 5 replies      
Those TDPs look pretty high, what are vendors willing to put into 1U high 0.5U wide style servers with 2 sockets these days? Last I looked I seem to recall it was around up to 145W.
9
bsaul 6 days ago 6 replies      
A bit off topic, but does anyone knows if AI ( aka modern neural networks) plays a role in cpu design nowadays ?
10
nik736 6 days ago 4 replies      
Why does AMD compare their single socket CPUs to Intels E5-2XXX line? Intel has E5-1XXX single socket CPUs.
11
jnordwick 6 days ago 2 replies      
I didn't see any info on the cpu cache architecture which governs performance for many applications now.

Anybody have any info on things like L0 to L2 size, type, latencies, etc?

13
Keyframe 6 days ago 1 reply      
What's the SSEs and AVXs performance like on Ryzen/EPYC compared to intel?
14
greptomania 5 days ago 2 replies      
While I'm excited to see AMD's offering, as a scientific-HPC user I can't help but wonder how much marketshare AMD will be able to gain without more information on supporting software - specifically good compilers + math libraries (cf. Intel compilers + MKL).

Strangely, I've not seen much on HN, or elsewhere, make mention of AMD's software support. Is this because it doesn't exist, or because compilers are less "sexy" than shiny new hardware?

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irishjohnnie 6 days ago 1 reply      
Wow! AMD EPYC + Xilinx FPGA!
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garaetjjte 6 days ago 2 replies      
>In this case, an EPYC 7281 in single socket mode is listed as having +63% performance (in SPECint) over a dual socket E5-2609v4 system.

So, quad-CPU is faster than dual-CPU? Not surprising.

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