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GoDaddy supports SOPA, redditor proposes "Move your Domain Day" reddit.com
1101 points by duiker101  4 days ago   244 comments top 41
pg 3 days ago  replies      
Even if domains are just a loss leader for GoDaddy, they surely look at their numbers, so this is a way to send them a message they'll hear.

Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but no one who still has a domain at GoDaddy will be entitled to complain about SOPA if it passes.

freejack 3 days ago  replies      
This blog post from their lead lobbyist defending their support is absolutely grating.


"Most of what we are seeing is either 1) rhetoric, 2) regurgitated lobbying spin, 3) criticism of language we have already fixed, or 4) retweets by people who like to steal music and buy fake, but cheap, goods."


(oBDisclaimer: I work for a registrar that unequivocally supports the Open Internet."

citricsquid 4 days ago 5 replies      
To put it frankly, godaddy don't give a shit. Their domain business exists as a way to get people into their other products, hosting, whois privacy etc. the ones that actually make money (nobody makes money on domains nowadays, savvy customers use coupons which godaddy provides a lot of). This won't do anything to Godaddy as a business, they'll be losing customers they don't care about -- unless people shutting off their other services too -- but if it makes people feel good then yay! This would be like walmart losing customers who do extreme couponing and only buy the products that serve as loss leaders.

You could go as far as suggesting these people are helping godaddy. If you take away 120 domains (as one redditor is doing) that godaddy are losing money on and you're only using them because they're cheap... that's a win for godaddy surely, unless the scale at which people do this makes a dent in godaddy's total customer/domain figures, which are a marketing point, but that would require millions to leave.

seles 3 days ago 2 replies      
I have been using GoDaddy for years. I'm just using it for a simple webpage+domain hosting and email. It works but I'm probably being overcharged since I don't bother with coupons. I have always been annoyed about the privacy complaints I've seen about them, but never cared enough to switch. Now I do care enough to switch, thanks.
nextparadigms 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think going after the supporters of SOPA one by one is a pretty effective method, if enough time. First let's go after the representatives who support it, and then after all the companies, and either terminate your account with them if applicable or at least e-mail them to express your feelings about them supporting SOPA.
RexRollman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Godaddy has to be one of the least trustworthy domain registrars I have heard of and I am surprised that people still use them. I guess their crass commercials must be drawing in the customers.
bad_user 3 days ago 3 replies      
On one cheap Linode VPS instance I already have 5 websites hosted, plus a personal email server, plus several private git repositories, all for ~ $20 per month. I get my domains from other services, like namecheap.com; and good/cheap hosting for PHP stuff (and even Rails) can be found on DreamHost.com.

There really isn't any reason for anybody to use GoDaddy anymore, unless you're hunting for their coupons, but in this instance you really get what you pay for.

X-Istence 3 days ago 1 reply      
I moved my personal 25+ domains away from GoDaddy to name.com and gandi.net. Best move I have ever done. I don't get shitty advertisements emailed to me anymore, I don't have to jump through hundreds of hoops to purchase renewals where I get bombarded with advertisements for various other services.

And name.com is a small company here in Colorado, so I am supporting local while I am at it.

moocow01 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would expect that SOPA on the whole would discourage domain registration and the general development of web properties amongst the masses so I'm a bit surprised GoDaddy supports it just from a business perspective.

Anyone care to enlighten me about what I'm missing here?

danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
I try to avoid helping anyone who needs help with their GoDaddy-hosted website. Not only is the interface atrocious (at least compared to DreamHost), I hate logging in and seeing Dana Patrick splayed out...if I want people around me thinking that I'm browsing Maxim magazine, I'll buy a Maxim magazine.
lambda 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is anyone who pays any attention still on GoDaddy anyhow?

They're a scummy company that have no respect for their customers, obnoxious advertising, and a clunky, annoying web interface. Why would you use them when you could use any of hundreds of other name registrars and web hosts?

pardner 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you decide to move your domains from Godaddy, and if your DNS is hosted there too, and if you have enough DNS records to not want to recreate them, there's an undocumented way to export the nameserver records from Godaddy to another DNS provider such as Zerigo. In a nutshell (1) upgrade to Godaddy Premium DNS ($35 but refundable within 5 days) (2) Export each domain's DNS settings (3) Cancel Godaddy Premium DNS. Now you can quickly import your DNS settings at your new registrar or DNS host if they handle importing of bind files. Not everyone imports nicely, but Zerigo worked for me. Details here http://pardner.com/2011/11/how-to-switch-dns-painlessly-from...
richtaur 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a helpful article I used to move my domains off of GoDaddy:


lincolnwebs 3 days ago 0 replies      
I already moved all my domains after their CEO's elephant hunting earlier this year. That company is a pit of depravity.
dmerfield 3 days ago 8 replies      
Serious question: Has anyone in the HN community actually bought anything from GoDaddy?

I find it difficult to imagine that any HN reader would. Was there ever an era when GoDaddy's reputation and service were respectable?

wes-exp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Any recommendations on alternative services?
MattBearman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I thought it would be interesting to see how many domains are moved away because of this, so I just knocked together this quick site - http://stopsopa.mattbearman.co.uk/

It would be awesome if anyone who is transferring domains away from go daddy could add their to the list

zbuc 3 days ago 0 replies      
I sent an email:


I am writing to you to inform you that because of GoDaddy's continued support of SOPA I am transferring my domains to a different registrar as soon as I can(they were renewed recently so I have to wait).

I read your press release today and I felt that you didn't actually respond to a bulk of the criticism of SOPA, that is that takedown requests can be filed by private parties and the respondent is legally required to remove the content before even considering challenging the takedown request. This obviously presents a large challenge to sites based on user-created content.

A world with SOPA is one in which businesses can't run websites with user-generated content without having a legal team on hand.

SOPA is bad for the open internet and if GoDaddy refuses to look into the issue and actually give a reasoned, intelligent response(as opposed to the "well, we have to stop piracy!" argument your press release made -- yes, something should be done about piracy but SOPA is NOT the answer) then GoDaddy, too, must be considered bad for the open internet and I will stop hosting my domains with you and stop recommending my clients host domains with you.



stanmancan 3 days ago 0 replies      
So... I know spams bad and all. But what about writing a crawler that sends a single email to the owner of every domain it finds hosted on GoDaddy? Just something that says "Incase you haven't heard, this is SOPA, this is what it means, GoDaddy supports it, this is how to switch if you decide to" type of thing. Sure, it's certainly in a grey area, but even if you could send out 10 million emails and 0.2% actually took action as a result, thats another 20,000 customers.
maeon3 4 days ago 3 replies      
Ive been using bluehost.com for 3 years to host 3 websites. I could list them but I dont want to spam. They have everything I need and I have seen no significant outages or price increases.

Anyone here use Godaddy? How are their prices and service?

gravitronic 4 days ago 3 replies      
alternate: use godaddy, but only their loss-leading coupons when they appear.

For example, I registered a domain last week using a code that got me $1.00 domain registration.

The code expired last week unfortunately so posting it would be irrelevant.

sixQuarks 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been preaching about the evils of GoDaddy for many years now. The founder is a war-mongering, ultra right-wing POS.
l0c0b0x 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another reason to move away from GoDaddy. They're making it way too easy now!
bronson 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's no need to move all your domains today (that can be a HUGE job). Just pledge to not give GoDaddy another cent and move your domains as they expire. In five years, problem solved.
emehrkay 3 days ago 3 replies      
I have a few go daddy domains. Where should I move my .it domains to?
mrcalzone 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been thinking of moving away from GoDaddy for a long time, and this was the last drop. It is crazy how they design the webpages to make it as hard as possible to cancel anything. In the email I got, there were two (identical) links telling me how I could cancel the transfer-request, but no link to accept it. It took me a couple of minutes of poking around in my account before I figured it out.
tyrelb 3 days ago 0 replies      
Transferring my domains to https://dnsimple.com/ :) A little more expensive than the cheap registrars... but Anthony who runs the company is amazing! Shameless plug: he did some development work from the back in the day, and is one of the best RoR programmers in the world!
clark-kent 3 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy always rubbed me the wrong way. Their support of SOPA is about the 50th reason to stay away of GoDaddy.
tuananh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hover offers promo code for transferring too. 10% off
krogsgard 4 days ago 3 replies      
I don't like GoDaddy any more than most others here, I'm sure. And I certainly hate the idea of SOPA. But don't a lot of big companies support it?

In a quick Google search, I found this post referencing support by the Business Software Alliance, which includes Microsoft, Apple, and many others:

noomerikal 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I could participate but I moved my domains to namecheap and pledged not to use gd when Parsons went on that elephant hunt.
iamdave 3 days ago 0 replies      
Move your Domain Day?

Something tells me the affiliates are about to have a very wonderful christmas.

kevinburke 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just trasferred all of my domains out of Godaddy a few days ago into Namecheap. The timing couldn't have been better.
kenamarit 3 days ago 0 replies      
Embarrassed to still be on Godaddy when I vowed to move away a few years ago. And timing is unfortunate. I just paid them lots of $$ to renew everything.

Still, biting the bullet and (finally) transferring everything over now.

plasma 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've transferred about 10 domains from GoDaddy now, thanks for the step-by-step guide.
frabcus 3 days ago 0 replies      
This doesn't feel aggressive enough.

How about blocking any domain registered with GoDaddy from a certain date? Do it on DNS servers Hacker News techies control.

Extreme I know, but less extreme than what SOPA will do!

intenex 3 days ago 0 replies      
And let's not forget: GoDaddy is evil to begin with. You're not just fighting SOPA, you're fighting the very forces of evil themselves.
mindprince 3 days ago 0 replies      
Doesn't Google have a partnership with GoDaddy for registering Google Apps domains? Conflict of interests?
flatline 3 days ago 0 replies      
I know, there is already an entire site for discussing reddit posts, it's called reddit. Why not just repost the source article here? I don't think that a bunch of redditors moving their domain names is particularly newsworthy, but the Godaddy issue is.
spenvo 3 days ago 0 replies      
For those interested in switching, Dreamhost offers an affiliate program, and I have created a discount code with the maximum discount of 5 free domain registrations (a 75$ value). Simply use the discount code REDDIT5FREE when joining!

"SCREW GODADDY" is on a loop in my head right now.

maximusprime 3 days ago 6 replies      
Please can we at least try to ensure HN doesn't go the way of Reddit?

I'm against SOPA as much as the next guy, but it's a moot issue. Browsers will just release new versions that use alternate DNS systems or get past any 'blocks'.

There's nothing uglier than an internet hate/protest mob.

GoDaddy has not withdrawn its official congressional support for SOPA reddit.com
800 points by ParkerK  1 day ago   56 comments top 13
mattdeboard 1 day ago 11 replies      
Ok, seriously, enough. SOPA isn't going to collapse in on itself if GoDaddy comes out swinging against it. This reminds me of the phrase "security theater" as applied to the TSA. This is "activism theater" -- it accomplishes nothing but it puts on a show and makes people feel better.

Applying this pressure to your congressmen is the only real way to affect change. I've called each of mine and have the vapid "We're studying this closely" response letters to prove it. I agree that action against individual companies can be effective, but there is an extreme focus on GoDaddy like they're the linchpin of this whole thing, some kind of mob boss when they're just another company who has lent their weight to this legislation.

marze 1 day ago 0 replies      
When they've spent $500k lobbying against, that is when they should be considered forgiven.
hadronzoo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
According to Namecheap customer service, GoDaddy is blocking whois requests, forcing whois information to be entered manually. Due to the large number of recent domain transfers, this is slowing down the transfer rate.

.com domains appear to be blocked, but not .me domains.

georgemcbay 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately I don't think the Godaddy situation proves much of anything to other companies because Godaddy is so easy to boycott. Transferring a domain will cost you some fees, but it is relatively painless, you can get the same exact service from someone else with ease.

Are the people who turned their back on Godaddy as likely to not buy the next big Nintendo game if they are Nintendo fans?

I'm pretty skeptical that a godaddy style boycott will work on a company whose good/service is not so easily replaceable.



sidww2 1 day ago 8 replies      
While boycotting companies supporting SOPA is important, I feel the excessive focus on GoDaddy is distracting the community from the important issue of actually defeating SOPA/PIPA. The tech community really does not have the size and influence to be able to force even a fifth of the companies to withdraw their support of SOPA.

The overwhelming majority of the effort should be going to calling/sending (physical) letters to one's respective representatives, maybe setting up some sort of a fund to oppose SOPA/PIPA, urging tech companies like Google to spend more on lobbying (They can and should be spending more to lobby against the act), etc.

Edit: I was under the incorrect impression that OPEN act would end nonsense like SOPA/PIPA. Edited comment to reflect that.

saurik 1 day ago 0 replies      
(Asking some random questions into the aether in the hope that someone knowledgeable might answer ;P.) So, how does one register "official congressional support" for something? (As in: how did companies get on this list in the first place? Is that just a list of entities who have contributed money to the committee somehow?) Is there a way to register congressional "dissupport"? (Why is there no equivalent list of "dissupporters" for this bill? Is it common practice to only list supporters?)
dagda1 1 day ago 1 reply      
What can we do against ADOBE, Apple, Microsoft and Visa who are also pro SOPA. When companies start feeling the pain, they will soon withdraw their support.
Blunt 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing speakers louder than the dollar. Bitching and moaning really does nothing compared to the mighty dollar. Fortunately for me I own a small hosting company with roughly 1500 or so domain names that I will do a bulk transfer too after the xmas holiday. These are domain names I mainly control as a consultant for other companies (my clients)... This ought to get interesting when I begin pulling the trigger. About 6 years ago I did something similar to move away from NetSol and they attempted to block this; making it very difficult to close my accounts.
badragon 1 day ago 2 replies      
We should go after Lamar Smith. How do I donate to an opponent or action committee that will run embarrassing ads questioning his intelligence?
Sami_Lehtinen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well. I didn't like GoDaddy in first place anyway. I moved personal and other domains I administer out.
NARKOZ 1 day ago 0 replies      
>You can lie on the internet, but you don't lie to the internet.
rhizome 1 day ago 1 reply      
SOPA is dead, this story will continue by itself. People who want to move domains certainly should, but I think it behooves freedom to focus on PIPA now.
dagda1 1 day ago 3 replies      
Microsoft and Apple are harder to boycott sadly and both are in favour of SOPA.

We still need a victory and Godaddy will do for me. Signing petitions is a useless act.

Can anybody recommend a SOPA safe registrar that I can transfer my domains to?

Go Daddy No Longer Supports SOPA godaddy.com
641 points by johnnytee  2 days ago   226 comments top 96
markbao 2 days ago  replies      
The only thing this means is that community action actually made a difference. That's immensely reassuring.

Can we keep doing this, but for SOPA itself?

drx 2 days ago 5 replies      
> In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.

> "Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future," Jones said.

Translation: we got caught this time, but will not hesitate to do it again.

bgentry 2 days ago 3 replies      
No matter what they say, GoDaddy hasn't reversed their position until they do so in front of Congress and publicly withdraw their letter of support from the judiciary committee hearings.
api 2 days ago 2 replies      
Too little, too late. Fuck them.

Of course, I would have said that before they stopped supporting SOPA. They've always been a sleazy spammy company whose advertising is full of blatant sexism. We should not have been surprise by their support of SOPA. Sleaze will do as sleaze does.

ajays 2 days ago 1 reply      
Don't be fooled, people. I will believe GoDaddy when they provide proof that they have indeed stopped supporting SOPA. They claim that they've been working with lawmakers for months; what is to stop them from publicly "withdrawing" support for SOPA, while they continue to support it behind the scenes?

Until SOPA and its offsprings are dead, keep the pressure on GoDaddy and other supporters of SOPA! Don't let these weak public statements distract you; there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes.

wastedbrains 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reversing a decision only after costumers leave you in droves doesn't show your trust worthy. They either didn't understand the bill (in which case they shouldn't write a letter supporting it), or they are only changing now waiting for the bad PR to die down. If you have domains with them it is still worth switching to a company that will always publicly support freedom over oppressing peoples views to attempt to prevent some IP infringement. The rights to freedoms are more important than the rights to absolute control over corporations IP.
rkon 2 days ago 1 reply      
More like "GoDaddy no longer publicly supports SOPA".

Just looking out for their bottom line, I'm sure.

ghshephard 2 days ago 0 replies      
My lord - I'm reading the response - and it gets worse:

"Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago. "

Go Daddy wasn't simply _supporting_ SOPA - they were involved in creating it. They used their expert knowledge of DNS and DNS systems to create a system, which, I'm sure, would have provided them some competitive advantages.

If anything, this makes them even less trustworthy as an registrar than they were previously.

RyanMcGreal 2 days ago 1 reply      
Realistically, the best way to stop systemically bad legislation like SOPA is just to keep delaying and delaying it until it loses momentum and peters out (at which time another systemically bad piece of legislation will arrive to take its place, starting the cycle over again).
bradleyland 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know when Bob Parsons stepped down as CEO? I realize he's still the Executive Chairman, but the "About GoDaddy" section at the bottom of the page still refers to him as CEO. The article also refers to Warren Adelman as "Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO."
mwsherman 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is the right outcome, and they should be commended. I think SOPA is awful, and they were on the wrong side of the argument. Subsequently, they listened to customers and changed their position. (Yes, it's self-interest, just like you and I engage in.)

One should resist the urge to say “yeah but they're still awful people” unless one is willing to bring the same passion to everyone else on the list of supporters.

Again: correct outcome and for the right reasons.

OstiaAntica 2 days ago 0 replies      
Next step: GoDaddy's General Counsel, Christine Jones, who is an architect of SOPA, needs to resign.
pokoleo 2 days ago 0 replies      
> In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.

Translation: Go Daddy removed all incriminating evidence of it's past.

cabalamat 2 days ago 1 reply      
> "Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future"

Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but this reads to me like: we still support SOPA, but we're going to pretend we don't, because we realise our customers are against it, but feel we can fool them by making a pro forma denunciation of SOPA.

I'm not a customer of Go Daddy, but if I was I would still transfer my domains. This declaration isn't good enough for me.

int3rnaut 2 days ago 3 replies      
I can't believe all the hate going on. They publicly admitted they were wrong and changed their stance. I don't care if you are a gigantic corporation or not, that takes guts and I can at least respect that.

There's no doubt they did it to stop the bleeding, but they still did it. And that's what we want right? For SOPA to lose traction, and for it not to pass. Yet it seems like this has almost become a dump on godaddy festival. Please don't lose sight of the reasons as to why we as rational internet using human beings did this in the first place.

rumblestrut 2 days ago 1 reply      
I set up a Namecheap account and purchased a domain yesterday. No terrible upselling, pretty straightforward shopping cart (not a fan that it didn't take Discover, but no biggie). Overall, it was a pleasant experience.

I'm a longtime Go Daddy customer and have several domains with them.

I've thought about moving from GoDaddy, but never made it a priority. But I finally got motivated enough to see the process of switching might not be as painful as I thought. Now that I've seen what else is out there, it's go time. As my domains expire in the next few months, I'll switch them over to Namecheap.

At least for me, it's too little, too late this time for Go Daddy.

singer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am still going to transfer all of my domains anyhow. They should not have supported it from the start.
balloot 2 days ago 1 reply      
Too late. Their petulant and dickish responses from the last few days show their true feelings on the issue.
chuinard 2 days ago 1 reply      
GoDaddy has been under fire for years for various reasons. While the SOPA boycott was definitely worthwhile and effective, we should really understand the power that the community has to influence a company's practices, and maybe shouldn't wait until it gets as bad as SOPA support to do this again in the future?
jaysonelliot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't care what GoDaddy says to try and prevent a boycott.

They already did the damage, and they've showed many, many, many times over that they do not deserve to have anyone's business.

The boycott should remain.

johnnytee 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've noticed they are directly tweeting to people like @aplusk and @photomatt, trying to get the word out. Obviously the community has made a dent in their bottom line.
pasbesoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Crocodile tears

At this point, perhaps I'm biased and this is not the most productive response, by my personal opinion is still to "nuke 'em".

Far too little and way too late -- they were part of getting this monstrosity rolling, and their current action does little to stop it.

Put it in the entertainment industry's own lingo: The world needs an "example". And I think we'd have a hard time finding a better candidate (though there may be a some yet more deserving).

plainOldText 2 days ago 0 replies      
Boycotting is one of the most effective strategies to use when dealing with a company whose actions or stance you don't like. I'd wish more people started doing this when dealing with insurance companies,ISPs, record labels, facebook, heck even the government. After all, they are nothing without their customers.
danberger 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with a lot of people here. This is clearly a direct result of the harsh public backlash they've faced from the community. This statement can only be taken at face value until they do much more than post a public statement rescinding their support. We should continue pushing them and they should publicly speak against SOPA to its supporters and in Congress. They need to walk the walk not just talk the talk.

I am, however, a little confused.

Wasn't the goal of the campaign against GoDaddy to convince them to no longer support SOPA? Isn't this a small victory? If people in the community are not going to support them no matter what they do, where is their incentive to change behavior? I understand the cynicism but we need to also reward companies doing the right thing, even if they took some wrong turns along the way.

[edit: formatting]

schrototo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bunch of weasels.
timjahn 2 days ago 1 reply      
They look so desperate right now on their Twitter feed, furiously tweeting everybody to let them know they're once again a "cool kid".

I wouldn't put it past them to support SOPA once enough people transfer back/keep their business with them.

EGreg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Someone posted this in a comment section and I had to say it, it's clever.

If neither side strongly supports or opposes something but lobbyists strongly support it then expect it to pass John Doe.

The best way to stop SOPA would ironically be the democrats strongly coming out in support of the bill, which would make the house suddenly refuse to even vote on SOPA, and would cause the bill to be filibustered in the senate. Why, because republicans have to oppose anything Obama/democrats are for.

Republicans strongly supporting SOPA would also likely kill it. The house would pass it, and Reid would refuse to even bring it to a vote in the Senate, or would bring it to a vote knowing that it'll lose just to show republicans that it can't pass the senate.

If you doubt me then look at the payroll taxcut fight going on right now. Republicans always support tax cuts, except when Obama & democrats support it, like the payroll tax cut being discussed.

The pharmacy lobbyists know this as well, there was part of Obama's healthcare law (I forget what part) that big pharma wanted removed from the bill that a lot of democrats had opposed when the healthcare law was written. Big pharma lobbyists told Republicans not to go on a public rampage demonizing that provision and blaming it on Obama, republicans demonized it and Obama for signing it into law anyway, and dozens of democrats who had previously voiced opposition to the provision voted against repealing the provision when the House voted on it months ago, and Reid refused to even hold a vote on it.

So the moral of the story? If we want to kill SOPA we just need to convince one political party to strongly support SOPA. The other party will reflexively strongly oppose SOPA and block it from ever becoming law.

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the positive outcome here is that Go Daddy publicly responded to customer pressure over what was no doubt a lot of 'insider' pressure from the folks at the RIAA/MPAA etc.

Getting the public and Congress educated on the realities of information value is a painfully slow process. However, as the wave finally crests I think our grandchildren will look back on this and say "Wow, you all really thought some weird things." (of course they will likely think that anyway but still)

noduerme 2 days ago 7 replies      
Hah. I just reloaded HN and clicked the comments here -- I've had a few drinks -- I thought this was the same article along the lines of "Go Daddy Supports SOPA", until I read through the responses.

This just shows what a couple thousand mobilized, highly motivated geeks can do in six hours. HN is solely responsible for this. Imagine if the top-ten stories for the day on this board were about the conditions at Apple's factories in China. Or the massacres going on in Syria, for that matter. Something more important than whether that elephant-murdering bastard is a 99%, or a 100% asshole.

But, credit where it's due, this isn't the first time I've noticed a shift in public perception within 24-48 hours of a major HN freakout. I won't say how much money I've made buying or selling based on watching this phenomenon -- not a ton -- but it's recently been more than I make at my day job. It's a shame Godaddy's not publicly traded, or we could've all had some fun with it.

This is the place where the people who man the engines spend their time. And when the engineers are pissed, shit breaks. Never mind that engineers are just as often wrong as everybody else, just think of HN articles as events that bubble, and figure out if they're going to be ignored or not by the larger program.

meanJim 2 days ago 1 reply      
I could've sworn I read a post from them yesterday saying they didn't care and it wasn't affecting business.
digitalboss 2 days ago 0 replies      
The power of reality and real feedback from technology leaders - and not just a suit in an office checking the [yes] box on a document.

Amazing discussions on Reddit and Hacker News - it'll be till Sept 2012 that this goes to vote again, let's make sure the SOPA discussion doesn't die during this time.

Nice job keeping the fire on this.

vinhboy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why is everyone so scornful? I am not suggesting we forgive and forget, but shouldn't we be a little more understanding? What's with the "no flip-flop" culture we have nowadays?
atarian 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been reading over GoDaddy's blog posting from yesterday, and I just can't dismiss the feeling that GoDaddy's position as one of the largest domain registrars has given them a different view of American businesses facing difficulty with these so-called "foreign-based websites."

The blog posting emphasizes several times the importance and need to protect American businesses, which to me seems patriotic and sympathetic to promoting a good intention. I'm sure they didn't realize they would be "villanized" as a result of their actions.

Disclaimer: I don't support SOPA.

RexRollman 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties."

Doesn't that kind of imply that GoDaddy is less than concerned about the rights of domain owners? Guilty until proven innocent, I guess.

a_a_r_o_n 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great, and obviously from pressure. I suspect thought that it wasn't the hundreds of relatively unknown sites that turned it around. I'd bet it was Wikipedia. At some point even GoDaddy had to realize that this looks really, really bad.

Thanks Wikipedia. (and I hope they continue the switch anyway)



bborud 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I applaud GoDaddy for having reversed their position on SOPA, I believe they did so not because it was the right thing to do but because they feared for their bottom line.

I still think people should stay away from GoDaddy. You should not do business with anyone whose first instinct is to support defective legislation when they so clearly should know better. GoDaddy have shown what their values are. It is going to take a lot more than a press release to convince me that they are deserving of my business in the future.

Canada 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read their press release. They still basically support it, they're just temporarily pausing public support because we're all upset about it.

Action speaks louder than words. Let GoDaddy know they actually have to _do_ something that is in the interests of a free and open internet. Taking action that is harmful and then giving lip service to freedom and spewing platitudes is not enough. Let them know it:

Stephanie Bracken, PR Specialist
480.505.8800 ext.4451

jamesflorentino 2 days ago 2 replies      
I cannot trust a company who changes their philosophy based on how well it impacts their business.
dollar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Until GoDaddy makes an official public statement to Congress, the transfers are still on.
digitalboss 2 days ago 1 reply      
andrewingram 2 days ago 0 replies      
The cynic in me is wondering whether this was a strategic move by SOPA supporters to remove a very easy source of negative press. I suspect the other pro-SOPA organisations are going to be a lot harder to boycott effectively.

The anti-SOPA movement is going to view this as a major win, which may distract from the bigger issue.

iamandrus 2 days ago 0 replies      
But now the question is whether this is just damage control or if they really support anti-SOPA efforts now. Either way, they learned not to fuck with the Internet (their customers).
amirhhz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just tried to follow this link on my phone and it redirects to godaddymobile.com to show me some spam and no article. And they're in the Internet business...?

This company just reeks of clunkiness and tackiness. As keeps being mentioned, I can't believe tech-savvy, well-informed, well-educated people (e.g. YC founders) could go on godaddy.com, see their marketing material ("Go Daddy Girl (R)" ... what?!), their interface etc., and still go ahead and give them money.

invisible 2 days ago 0 replies      
Christine Jones needs to encourage Congress not to pass this on behalf of Godaddy for this to be more than just a PR move. If they don't reverse their support in Congress, this is nothing more than a copout.
lancefisher 2 days ago 0 replies      
I commend them for changing their stance, but I've already transferred my domains, and it's not like I'm going to transfer them back now.
bradleyland 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great news. Now for the relevant question: How does it impact the passage of SOPA?

GoDaddy doesn't vote on legislation. I'm sending letters to my representatives right now pointing out the backlash and about face that GoDaddy has done.

hrabago 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is good for multiple reasons. One, it shows people that their voices do matter. They can contact their vendors and express opposition and if there are plenty enough of them, they can exert influence. Two, it shows other companies that there are enough people out there who are against SOPA that a big vendor like GoDaddy has had to flipflop its support for it because it threatened their bottom line. It will at least force them to have another conversation about withdrawing SOPA support.
cheald 2 days ago 0 replies      
This doesn't mean it's okay to use them. Even if they're sincere in this turnaround (and I highly doubt they are), the fact that they lent support to this legislation at all shows that they are at best clueless, and at worst evil. In either case, they aren't going to be getting my business anymore.
samstave 2 days ago 1 reply      
The question is now, if they do not "support" SOPA, willthey comply with any SOPA related domain takedowns should SOPA pass?

Sure, they don't overtly claim to support this law - but their actions after the fact shall really show whats going on inside.

Anyone recall when Earthlink was the only company to refuse to comply with allowing Carnivore boxes in its network?

Even though Earthlink, as a Scientologist founded provider, already had an internal policy of scanning all the traffic on their network to begin with.)

When the government shows up and wants something, very few companies refuse to comply. Even when they do not support the actions of the government.

We should be standing up to those companies as well - but we tend to forget quickly.

Nobody stood up to AT&T when they spied on EVERYONE for the crooks in DHS/NSA/CIA.

savetz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I read their statement, and it seems like lip service. The culture of a company/philosophy of the CEO doesn't turn on a dime.
poutine 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Reddit. Boycotts do work!
antirez 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess we can say that godaddy is eventually consistent.
wan23 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great! We should do this to every company on the list until there's no one willing to publicly support this nonsense.
Shenglong 2 days ago 0 replies      
This isn't even close to enough. I want to see GoDaddy actively take a stand against SOPA, much like (other) tech companies have done.

If they do that, perhaps I'll consider staying with them.

rokhayakebe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Again, the people have won. I am truly looking to see someone productize the power of the people on internet, and urging us to vote for and against a company with our dollars. A place where we can see what each company is up to (socially, and in other ways), and encouraging or discouraging consumers to work with them.
Ataraxy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well that was a quick turn around.
vaksel 2 days ago 0 replies      
if they really cared about the internet community, they wouldn't have been defending this stuff tooth and nail...mocking people saying that their transfers don't matter to them.
sixQuarks 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's too late GoDaddy! You're an evil company and have been so for years. Now the internet community has finally seen your true colors. Take your war-mongering, right-wing founder and go to hell for all I care. I hope everyone continues the backlash against you.
bborud 2 days ago 0 replies      
This line from techcrunch sums it up nicely:

"While it's nice that they changed their stance (publicly, at least), you've got to ask yourself: do you want to continue throwing money at a company blind enough to support SOPA in the first place?"

gojomo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great, kid. Don't get cocky.
superchink 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, who's next on the list of SOPA supporters to boycott? Let's do it again until we actually make a difference.

It needs to be someone visible to whom we can send a very clear message, quite quickly.

Canada 2 days ago 0 replies      
To those of you who are able to vote in any of the Republican primaries: Ron Paul has always opposed SOPA.



sirwanqutbi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I say still boycott godaddy, just for having supported SOPA in the first place. The problem is Godaddy still does support and only pulled out, since threats of boycotts were made by there customers. LEAVE GO DADDY
danoc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too late. The damage is done, in my opinion.
Supermighty 2 days ago 0 replies      
I still want to move my domains away. Has anyone had any experience with gandi.net or namecheap.com any interesting experiences with either one?
x3c 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that GoDaddy recanted is significant because any other internet companies will think twice before supporting SOPA, atleast publicly but that matters a lot. Maybe if US citizens could get more aware of the situation, they can make a dent in Media moguls' purses as well.

PR matters a lot to companies, if general population shows this kind of activism, SOPA can be defeated. Good luck US, the rest of the world is waiting for you to nip this censorship in the bud before it spreads like the virus in Resident Evil movies.

Gobitron 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think a lot of people here are missing the point. It's not about GoDaddy. It's about results. This is a very public about-face, and regardless of their actual intent shows that these types of campaigns can be successful.

May I suggest the next target? Comcast and the other cable providers. We should threaten to cancel our cable service unless they stop supporting SOPA. Obviously they will not do this, so we should actually cancel our cable subscriptions!

erlis 2 days ago 0 replies      
This has just proved that we need to redesign the society, we are living with an obsolete model pre-internet. Who need their interest represented by one individual when everyone can have his voice now!? It's really evident that SOPA is an example of antidemoCrazy.

I'm glad Go-Daddy changed his mind. Now, this was just one battle, the war is not over! Let's stop when SOPA is no more, let's stop when we can decide what's best for all of us!

acak 2 days ago 0 replies      
"When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."
- All the President's Men (1976)
erlis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Go Daddy is knowing how it feels to be blocked, internet reaction against Go Daddy was a reflex of what SOPA want to do. How does that feels Daddy?
rbrady 2 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy previously invested time and money into supporting this legislation: "have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago."

Let's see them invest some time and money into stopping SOPA. Making a statement is one thing, but money is speech these days and they can afford better lobbyists than we can.

54mf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic. I guess now we only have shady business practices, misogyny, and animal cruelty as reasons to not do business with GoDaddy.
MrBlue 2 days ago 0 replies      
I call BS. Sorry Parsons the boycott is still on.
joshuahedlund 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they still support the Senate version (PROTECT-IP / PIPA) this means little. I'm ecstatic that the anti-SOPA crowd is advancing by leaps and bounds on an almost daily basis here, but in the next month we need to up the pressure on PIPA too - especially because it's farther along (full Senate set to discuss it January 24)
freejack 2 days ago 0 replies      
Boing Boing is claiming this was just a PR stunt. Thoughts?
anrope 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation

Go Daddy wouldn't be my first choice for who I want representing the internet to the government.

ascentofstan 2 days ago 0 replies      
GD's response should lie in the positive feedback loop for the boycott. Press on.
walru 2 days ago 0 replies      
At this point the damage has been done.

Backing down from a position they had such strong convictions in only makes them look like more of a rat.

They have no honor and now they no longer have my business.

presidentx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't believe GoDaddy on this, and I certainly wouldn't trust them.
thomasgerbe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Next up: AT&T and Net Neutrality?!
masmullin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now can we focus on the United States Tennis Association next?
spencerfry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too little. Too late.
gdw2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ok everybody, transfer all your domains back... :-P
pknerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
The power of Internet community. I hope we could use same force and enthusiasm to eliminate poverty from the world.
jwblackwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I actually think the reversal shows a complete lack of spine and only steers me away from GoDaddy even further.
davidcollantes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Too little, too late.
7654321 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Boycotts do not work."

Yeah right.

Maybe if we focusing on Congress.

Maybe if we stop focusing on SOPA supporters.

Maybe if we focus on the media industries that are pushing SOPA through.

Maybe if we boycott them and their entertainment products.

Maybe they will recoil, just like GoDaddy.


"Boycotts do not work."

Cl4rity 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone actually trust GoDaddy's word? I didn't think so.
ricardobeat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can only laugh at this...
tulsidas 2 days ago 0 replies      
a little too late now, I guess
hdt 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of behind the scenes action was probably going on here. Lots of negative scenarios could have played out for GoDaddy. Bob will do as he pleases, but other executives and board members could have pushed back to save key relationships.
j45 2 days ago 0 replies      
Geeks of the world unite! :)
NARKOZ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think they're lying and still support it just don't want to lose the money.
shomyo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too late
xxiao 2 days ago 0 replies      
too late, in fact will never use godaddy.
ed2417 2 days ago 0 replies      
Go Daddy does Netflix.
GoDaddy's SOPA Support Sparks Calls for Boycotts and Domain Transfers readwriteweb.com
619 points by johnpaultitlow  3 days ago   45 comments top 10
gambler 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm bemused as to why it took this long for people to realize what kind of company GoDaddy is. They actively supported censorship for quite a while. Heck, simply looking at any of their ads or their website should draw a good picture of what kind of people run the show there. Besides, they are disproportionately big. The is nothing in what they do to warrant the size (and thus influence) they have.
brandnewlow 3 days ago 3 replies      
What's the best way to see what my local rep has said about SOPA?
DilipJ 3 days ago 4 replies      
it's weird that it's because of SOPA that people want to transfer away from GoDaddy. Their incredibly misogynistic ads should have been enough...
bradleyland 3 days ago  replies      
This is a company that runs Super Bowl advertisements. Your mom's uncle's, half-brother's, cousin uses them to register domains, and she's never heard of ReadWriteWeb, HackerNews, or Reddit.

Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but effort is a finite resource, and it seems to me that the anti-GoDaddy folks just hooked their cart up to the anti-SOPA horse. I don't have any domains with GoDaddy because they suck. I'd venture that anyone who is capable enough to move their domains on their own has already moved away from GoDaddy. Anyone not capable would have to pay someone else to do it for them. That's the fight the GoDaddy boycott folks are picking.

And so the question must be asked, will this effort have a good return on investment? Will GoDaddy be swayed? If they are, what will the impact be?

When I ask myself these questions, I come away with the impression that GoDaddy is the last thing anyone should be focused on. Congressmen need to feel the pressure from their constituents. Talk to your friends, and don't couch your language with domain registrar topics. It'll get you nowhere fast.

prudhvis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Accorting to http://latersgd.com/ there are about 93,000 domains transfered from GoDaddy to other registrars. Boycotts and Transfers seem to be catching up. For instance a few hours ago there were about 18,000 domains transfered off GoDaddy
holychiz 3 days ago 0 replies      
i wish my domains were still w/ GoDaddy just so i can transfer them out to protest. Arvixe hosting provides better services and didn't have to objectify women to advertise.
codesuela 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've just realized that this is a great way for us non-US citizens to show that we care about SOPA too. I have just a single domain with GoDaddy which I got through an auction (who in their right mind chooses GoDaddy as registrar anyway?). It's not much but better then nothing I guess.
arriu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am not using GoDaddy again and will encourage my friends and family to stay away as well.
slyspyderspy07 3 days ago 0 replies      
Transfer complete.
jamesbritt 3 days ago 0 replies      
They provide other services besides domain hosting.

For example, domain registration.

Namecheap.com: We say no to SOPA namecheap.com
516 points by mannymanifesto  3 days ago   85 comments top 21
seldo 3 days ago 6 replies      
Totally independently of their SOPA stance, I would recommend Namecheap over GoDaddy. I've been using Namecheap for years; they are reliable and have a sane (if not terribly pretty) user interface.
Legion 3 days ago 4 replies      
That's nice. But I prefer my registrar have freedom and anti-censorship be a core everyday value, like NearlyFreeSpeech, rather than something to embrace as a marketing opportunity.

Maybe that's unfair to Namecheap, but at any rate, all these issues with GoDaddy that people seem to suddenly care about just now are the reasons I have given NFS all my domain registration business for years now.

Just being anti-SOPA isn't good enough.

Lazare 3 days ago 4 replies      
I moved all my domains from GoDaddy to Namecheap a while ago. The experience was really smooth, and Namecheap's interface is a TON easier to work with.

Although I support the idea of switching domains from GoDaddy to protest their support of SOPA, I sort have to wonder why anyone technically oriented hasn't done so already. Is there ANYTHING to recommend them other than name recognition?

cdr 3 days ago 3 replies      
Note that while Namecheap doesn't support SOPA, they clearly do support some form of new IP legislation: "not in favor of SOPA as it has been proposed", "... only a surgical strike is necessary." Whatever comes after SOPA/PROTECT IP - assuming they're defeated - Namecheap may well endorse.
Rhapso 3 days ago 2 replies      
maybe I have this wrong, but it sounds like they heard the rabble rousing and made a well timed good marketing move. No surprise. But it does make me sad when a political stance is a marketing move.
akadien 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been a very happy Namecheap customer for years, and I have steered everyone I know looking for a registrar to them. I moved from EasyDNS and never regretted it. Now, I'm glad to see they are politically enlightened.
8ig8 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just adding a shout for Hover. They've been opposing SOPA for a while now:


tsycho 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to transfer domains from Godaddy to Namecheap:


PS> I didn't write the guide. I am not affiliated to Namecheap. I just found it useful.

sontek 3 days ago 5 replies      
Does namecheap have free DNS? I have 25 domains on godaddy and thinking about moving them, but I will need to be able to manage nameservers through whoever I switch to since right now thats all done through godaddy.

Also, whats the cost of transfering?

cowkingdeluxe 3 days ago 2 replies      
Namecheap.com: We say no to SOPA but only accept Visa and Mastercard, both of whom support SOPA.
mvanveen 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I was growing up and learning about DNS, HTTP, protocols, and packets I really wanted to get my own domain, but being under 18, I had no easy way to pay a registar without a credit card.

Namecheap was one of the first registrars to accept Paypal, and this helped me get started when I was first developing my passion for web development.

I've been using them for years and plan to continue using them for a long time.

jqueryin 3 days ago 2 replies      
If anyone here works at NameCheap, can I catch a break somehow if I try to transfer all of my domains over? I've got 20+ and hate spending extra money if they aren't up for renewal anytime soon.
firefoxman1 3 days ago 0 replies      
Now there is a perfect marketing opportunity seized by Namecheap. Reminds me of when LaLa was acquired and Pandora offered a month free of Pandora One to "LaLa refugees."
l0c0b0x 3 days ago 0 replies      
Namecheap was the most referenced domain registrar when I was planning on moving away from GoDaddy. They really have their act together and I've been happy with them ever since. Way to go on your SOPA stance.
radicalcakes 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm glad I started using Namecheap instead of Godaddy. I was inexperienced about registrars at that time...it was Russian Roulette choosing the right registrar. Thank goodness Namecheap's interface wooed me over GoDaddy's. I beat the bullet.
zdgman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just moved my two domains over to Namecheap from Godaddy. I then went and purchase a third domain directly from Namecheap that I want to use for a side project. Not a crazy amount of money by any means but ever little bit counts.
ilanrabinovitch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately you do not have DNSSEC or IPv6 glue record support though.
ballstothewalls 2 days ago 0 replies      
namecheap isnt saying "no" to SOPA; they are saying "yes" to all the transfers from godaddy.

P.S. I <3 namcheap

brianbreslin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Do any non godaddy registrars offer bulk discounts?
chjj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Happy to say I've been using namecheap for a little while now. Never had a problem with them.
iSloth 3 days ago 0 replies      
Quote "Let us be clear: Namecheap is not in favor of SOPA as it has been proposed."

Yes that's very clear, the agree is some kind of SOPA...

Cheezburger Dumping GoDaddy over SOPA techcrunch.com
417 points by edomain  3 days ago   39 comments top 8
noonespecial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cheezburger is a perfect example of a company that has a lot to lose from SOPA. Its a site full of parodies and humor often directed against large brands. I expect that there are many people who would jump the the chance to make Cheezburger vanish from the web.
jaysonelliot 3 days ago 2 replies      
The fact that Cheezburger didn't dump GoDaddy over any of the scandals in the past, from their rampant sexism to elephant slaughter, bothers me.

I'm glad to see them taking this sort-of-a-stand right now, but they're not actually dumping GoDaddy over SOPA, they're only threatening to unless GoDaddy recants their support.

GoDaddy has already done the damage. If they were to recant their support now, the Congressmen in favor of SOPA could just dismiss it as folding under economic pressure, and still cite GoDaddy's original support as relevant.

I'd much rather see Cheezburger just dump them and be done with it.

Bud 3 days ago 3 replies      
To me, it is embarrassing that techies did not dump GoDaddy LONG ago, for their sophomoric and incredibly sexist advertising.

This backlash is long overdue.

smokeyj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Money: the only vote that matters!

We're not consumers, we're investors. Investing in socially irresponsible corporations such as GoDaddy is no longer acceptable, and as a community we need to perfect the art of boycotting.

I would love to see a corporate "social-responsibility" wiki that let's people track corporate behavior. If we can make it easy to see what causes we support as consumers, the quicker we can rid the market of these parasites.

tansey 3 days ago 0 replies      
They are threatening to dump them, they haven't officially done it yet.
powerfulninja 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just xfered all 12 of my domains I had with godaddy. I know 12 isn't a lot but every little bit helps.
smokeyj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this relevant?
vaksel 3 days ago 3 replies      
with 1000 domains, it has to be an empty threat, it's a pain in the ass to move one domain at a time, I can just imagine doing that 1000 times.

I know some vendors offer bulk domain transfer, but I'd imagine the complicated bit would still be there(i.e. confirming the authorization code and confirming domain ownership with the confirmation codes)

Or is that wrong and there is a way to move domains without confirming?

John Carmack on the importance of Static Code Analysis altdevblogaday.com
379 points by plinkplonk  2 days ago   122 comments top 22
DanielBMarkham 2 days ago 3 replies      
Great article full of lots of insights. Here's some of the ones I got.

- People are generally happy with what they have: digging around is not a fun thing to do.

- It is very easy for the maintenance programmer to make assumptions about the preconditions for a piece of code that is not valid.

- Size of code is a critical metric for quality.

And most importantly (and probably overlooked), quality is just but one metric of software. The name of the game here is providing value to the customer, not about writing perfect code. John kind of throws that out there in a pro forma way, then goes ahead without digging any deeper. Oddly enough, I can't really draw any conclusions about static code analysis, the topic of the essay, without a clear definition from the author about what the trade-offs are. We're left with "just use it" as a conclusion.

After reading this, I wonder if programmers don't get stuck on the same general level of abstraction and this staying-in-the-same-level thinking introduces unnecessary code complexity. To illustrate, let's try a thought experiment.

Suppose there was no modern OS -- just a x86 compatible CPU and BIOS -- and you were supposed to put an image on the screen stored on a USB drive.

It would involve huge amounts of work -- code to get information from the drive, code to understand images, code to respond to the keyboard, etc.

The reason we can do this so easily today is that whatever we write is basically in a DSL that sits on top of other DSL/APIs. We are working at a higher level of abstraction.

I wonder if putting programming projects on a "code diet" isn't something we should try more often. Announce that whatever our solution is, it's not going to be more than 10KLOC. If we have to split into teams to provide layers, we will. Each team has 10KLOC and should create a DSL at their particular level of abstraction.

This forces us to keep project codebases very small, yet should provide just as much freedom to create very powerful software as we have today. I understand that many will say "but there's no way you're going to make any kind of useful layer of abstraction in 10K of code!" I disagree, but that a big can of worms to open up in a HN thread. The important question is this: should we create arbitrary limits on our abstraction layers as a way to enforce higher code quality?

Just thinking aloud.

evmar 2 days ago 3 replies      
Having done similar work for Chrome, I can attest to the fact that large code bases are full of errors.

If you're not on Windows, using both gcc's -Wall and -Wextra along with Clang in the same way is a good start. (Here's a post with more details: http://neugierig.org/software/chromium/notes/2011/01/clang.h... .) The Clang static analyzer wasn't very useful at the time I tried it because it didn't analyze C++ code. Valgrind also finds a lot but it is harder to be diligent about fixing.

The PVS Studio guy (mentioned in Carmack's post) ran our code through it as well and also found a number of bugs, as described in a few posts: http://www.viva64.com/en/a/0074/ http://www.viva64.com/en/b/0113/ . (As Carmack supposed, they also claimed the Chrome code was some of the best they'd seen. But it's more likely they were being truthful in both cases.)

They've also ran the Chrome code through Coverity, but I haven't been involved in fixing those bugs so I don't know how useful it was. Searching the bug tracker for [coverity] turns up a handful of bugs, but it's possible more are hidden for security reasons.

kaffeinecoma 2 days ago 4 replies      
I once caused a serious, halt-the-enterprise production bug by "fixing" a problem found by FindBugs. This was Java code, something along the lines of:

  Boolean b = new Boolean(true);

The static analyzer correctly identified this as an unnecessary new object creation (style guides and good sense recommend you simply use Boolean.TRUE). I "fixed" it, and went on my way.

Little did I realize that this variable was actually a lock, and there was a synchronized(b) block later (and much deeper) in the code, which I effectively eliminated by removing the new.

In my defense I feel that the real bug here was that of documentation- had the variable been named something like "lock" I'd have understood immediately what was going on. But that doesn't make you feel much better when your team's been up all night fixing your bug!

Moral of the story: your codebase (especially if it's an older one) might actually be depending on its "bugs" for proper behavior. Think (and test) hard before applying suggested changes from static analysis.

tikhonj 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is exactly the sort of thing Haskell is great at. First, the type system catches all sorts of errors at compile time (both null-pointer and printf issues cannot come up in Haskell).

However, more fundamentally, Haskell code just naturally provides much more information to static analysis tools than any other language I've worked with. Even if the level of tooling is not there yet (I haven't worked on any large projects, so I am not entirely familiar with it) the potential for these tools is much greater in Haskell. I think programs like HLint are already very thorough. I've just been using Haskell as more of a hacker language than a "bondage and discipline" language and haven't bothered with these tools :)

asb 2 days ago 3 replies      
D. Richard Hipp and the SQLite project have not had such a positive experience with static code analysis. They already use a massive amount of testing though. There's also no mention of commercial tools like Coverity.

See the "Static Analysis" section:

latchkey 2 days ago 2 replies      
Doing analysis like this also has a huge impact on broken window theory. If engineers see a whole bunch of compiler warnings, then they don't think twice when they see just one more and it could be a really valid warning. It also gives a good sense of ownership and commitment to the codebase if everyone agrees to not check in code with warnings. Also, when you have new engineers copying and pasting code to get stuff working quickly, you certainly don't want them doing that with buggy code.
erichocean 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not mentioned in the article are two nice static analysis tools: the Clang Static Analyzer (http://clang-analyzer.llvm.org/) and Klee (http://klee.llvm.org/).

Both are LLVM-related projects (and there's a few others as well, but these are the two "big" ones).

aycangulez 2 days ago 2 replies      
My favorite quote from the article: "Shrink your important code."

and he explains why:

"There was a paper recently that noted that all of the various code quality metrics correlated at least as strongly with code size as error rate, making code size alone give essentially the same error predicting ability. Shrink your important code."

6ren 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised he didn't give an economic evaluation, i.e. debugging time saved - checking time spent. He mentioned a few man-days worth of debugging that would have been prevented, but it sounds like he spent more time than that in checking. As he noted at the beginning, other factors (like features) are more important than quality (productivity is an argument for dynamically typed languages). Of course, quality is also its own reward.

BTW: dated today, but I'm sure I've read it before. Maybe a write up of the earlier episodes (e.g. /Analyze in 360 SDK).

georgieporgie 2 days ago 2 replies      
In my experience, Coverity catches a couple of terrible bugs, and about ten thousand stylistic things like, "if (dwResult >= 0 && dwResult <= WHATEVER)" (i.e. it complains that a DWORD value will always be >= 0, but I don't care, because I'm explicitly expressing a range to whoever maintains my code).
ScottBurson 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice to see my field get some press.

I will say, though, that static analysis is still very much an immature technology. Look for it to be much, much better in a decade or so.

johno215 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is an accompanying segment from QuakeCon 2011 in August where static code analysis is discussed. This topic must really be on his mind.


CoffeeDregs 2 days ago 4 replies      
Question: can we use Carmack's post to say anything about statically typed languages versus dynamically typed languages? I'm versed in both and like both, so wanted others' opinions. I love(d) Haskell because it pretty much worked if it compiled (but monads are too restrictive); I work in Python because it's what most clients are using. But I read Carmack's post and think that I should be coding in a statically typed language again... No?

[PyCharm is great, but IDEs just don't do dynamic code like they can static code and it hurts.]

sriramk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Happy that all the static code analysis tools from MSR ( which form the basis of /analyze) are getting good PR. Microsoft is great with code analysis tools but rarely gets recognized for it.
apu 2 days ago 5 replies      
I know that "more lax" languages like python make static code analysis much tougher, but does anyone have any experience with good tools for it?
pnathan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really look forward to seeing what Haskell (& friends) will be getting us in the coming years with its static analysis suite and all-errors-checked mentality. I am hopeful that the static analysis toolsets developed in pure languages will be making their way down to the dynamic languages, leading to an overall code improvement for new code.
GlennS 2 days ago 1 reply      
This was really interesting, but a little C/C++ specific. I avoid C++ where possible because I can't be fussed with segmentation faults, so I was curious about what might be available for managed languages and what sort of things it would pick up.

I found this, which looks like an interesting start: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/38635/what-static-analysi...

I particularly like the idea of automated security analysis. I'm pretty sure some past codebases I've worked on have had seriously low-hanging fruit in that regard.

lemming 2 days ago 1 reply      
This for me is the single biggest reason for using IntelliJ in my day to day work, and one of the things that makes it hard for me to switch to something other that java. Having real time static analysis while editing is truly awesome (and very humbling, as he states). It's an order of magnitude more useful than having it as compile warnings, not least because the editor can more often than not help you fix them.
victorbstan 1 day ago 0 replies      
And the lesson to be learned is that no matter how much static code analysis you do, nothing beats actually installing and using your application on different hardware to test out common real world use-case scenarios (think Rage + AMD/ATI)
8ig8 1 day ago 0 replies      

> It is important to say right up front that quality isn't everything, and acknowledging it isn't some sort of moral failing.  Value is what you are trying to produce, and quality is only one aspect of it, intermixed with cost, features, and other factors.

WildUtah 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article was nice but it could have been great with some code exaples illustrating the benefits of static analyzers. It would have been realy great with examples of what one tool could help with that another would miss.
AndreyKarpov 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Compared to /analyze, PVS-Studio is painfully slow, but...

Tips on speeding up PVS-Studio - http://www.viva64.com/en/b/0126/

Wikipedia will be leaving GoDaddy wikipedia.org
376 points by shahed  2 days ago   46 comments top 12
richardburton 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the great thing about an organisation as large and as important as Wikipedia taking a stance on this is that it makes for great copy. Journalists will love it. I hope this GoDaddy story takes on a new life and makes the transition from the blogosphere to the newspapers and therefore the general public's consciousness. Keep on fighting my US friends. Keep on fighting.
chuinard 2 days ago 8 replies      
It's interesting that they're being criticized. One of the three responses on the page (the other two being positive) is: "This is an overtly political decision. Poor form."
Canada 2 days ago 1 reply      
I donated to Wikipedia as a direct result of their decision to dump GoDaddy. I spent a good chunk of my day lobbying those I know with tons of domanis at GoDaddy to dump them immediately.
phil 1 day ago 0 replies      
OMG, Wikipedia talk pages are freaking impossible to read!

Surely there are some serious Wikipedians floating around here. Hasn't anyone thought about adding a little bit of threaded conversation support to mediawiki so these back and forth discussions aren't such a mess?

bborud 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any good estimates on how much GoDaddy has lost because of their support for SOPA?
ellie42 2 days ago 1 reply      
Will GitHub boycott GoDaddy because of their support for SOPA?
robomc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why is domain name supplier a community matter... does the community vet decisions on data-centres or server software?
bradfeld 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this is a very powerful move by Wikipedia against SOPA.

I hope they do something creative - such as take the entire site down for a few days in protest with a message that says something like "this is what your favorite websites could look like post-SOPA. Call your congressman now and tell him / her that SOPA should not be passed."

gnurag 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just donated $10 to Wikipedia in support of @jimmy_wales stand against SOPA and keeping the Internet free.
GigabyteCoin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wikipedia used GoDaddy, period? I'm surprised they were able to function as they do, seriously. Not poking fun at anybody here.
WeWin 2 days ago 4 replies      
In a longer run this may not look as good for Wikipedia as it does now. It shows that they are willing to sacrifice their cultural values, particularly neutrality, for other impromptu values that Jimmy sees fit to promote. It also shows that they are willing to turn on their business partners and screw them.

This is the logical next step part of a much longer trend on Wikipedia, that of the solidification of power in the hands of a few, which has been happening with the editing for some time.

Here is Godaddy's statement in support of SOPA thedomains.com
361 points by joeyespo  3 days ago   89 comments top 19
maeon3 3 days ago 2 replies      
from the article:
I'm finding that most of the concerns on the substance out there are unfounded.  The notion that the solutions that have been put forth will break the Internet, or that certain legal businesses will go off-line because of new mandates is utterly unconvincing to me.

Good men had to die to give me the freedom this man is trying to take away. This man made his fortune in a country founded on what he is actively destroying. Lets take away some of godaddy's freedom. Lets make this an unprofitable year for them.

malandrew 3 days ago 1 reply      
Godaddy, with all its built up infrastructure around policing the domains registered with them, has a major financial self-interest in supporting this bill. While it may or may not increase costs for GoDaddy given all the stuff their already do, SOPA would reduce competition and increase the barriers to entry. I'm sure GoDaddy sees SOPA as a way to further consolidate market share.
mwsherman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Can someone cite a source either on the GoDaddy site or a .gov site? I don't doubt it personally, but I'd like to see an official source for the statement. This being the Internet and all.
brndnhy 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a high school student in 1988, I interviewed with Bob's previous company, Parsons Technology, for an after-school customer support position.

At that time Parsons Technology was known primarily as the publisher of a personal finance program called MoneyCounts, but they also released a formidable catalog of Bible-related software.

Much to my dismay, the interview process was heavily skewed toward determining how much of a believer I was and ran into all manner of private territory.

I did briefly meet Bob -- just a handshake and he was gone.

Very little of my computer experience was discussed and by the end of the rushed interview I was given complimentary copies of Parsons Technology Bible-related software.

I drove away from that interview disappointed and tricked.

Obviously you can't jump to conclusions from anecdotal data, but I wanted to share this experience and my personal opinion that Bob Parsons is an intensely self-righteous and dogmatic fellow.

Anyway, from my early experience with his first company, to his bizarre and narcissistic elephant hunt, GoDaddy's obnoxious objectification of women, and now SOPA... I've always felt the guy is just sort of twisted and unsavory.

One man's view only.

ryandvm 3 days ago 5 replies      
Looking for a good, cheap GoDaddy alternative that also has an API for scripting host name changes (yes, I host a server on my cable modem).
mindcrime 3 days ago 8 replies      
Well, looks like I'll be moving all of my domains to a different registrar. Anybody have any suggestions for a good one?
JamisonM 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if GoDaddy supports this because it gives them a clearer legal framework for dealing with complaints of piracy problems on domains they have under management. If I were them I would be concerned about my legal responsibilities to the parties whose domains I manage and to the complainants and would want specific legislation that can allow my business to address complaints in a standardized manner that is unlikely to make me look worse than the other guy down the block.

If this is the case then as a business they pretty much have to support it -- it would be their obligation to shareholders to do so.

ryan_s 3 days ago 0 replies      
From the post: "protecting American consumers from the dangers that they face on-line"

Seriously? I dont need someone to protect me online. It's. It the Wild West. Who will protect me from the crap they sell on late night TV? Maybe we should put a stop to infomercials next.

I thought the supporters of this were supposed to be anti "big government". Seems like this bill is just imposing more government regulations.

manojlds 3 days ago 1 reply      
Article says - Stop online Privacy???? I suppose Google, Facebook and others would love that
chalst 3 days ago 1 reply      
I still don't get it. What's in it for them? Have they got connections to big media?
jebblue 3 days ago 1 reply      
So far, there is a very clear picture emerging to me of who the anti-SOPA people are. It looks a lot like the Occupy Wall Street images. I'm not for or against SOPA so far, still making up my mind but the people who are against it so far aren't helping their case much with all the arm waving and now veteran hating that I see in the comments on this page.
linuxhansl 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is the best line:
The U.S. military has unintentionally procured counterfeit products that could easily have put our troops in grave danger had they gone undetected.

The military gets conned into buying counterfeit products, but somehow it is the fault of the inter-tubes that that occurred.

Good buy reason and common sense.

billpatrianakos 3 days ago 0 replies      
They seem to want to dumb down the Internet. Their reasons for support, with all the "safety online" rhetoric made me want to vomit. The number one registrar obviously doesn't get the Internet. The Internet isn't about safety and we don't need anyone to protect us online. That responsibility should fall upon each of us. They're playing off people's ignorance to try to make us all believe that they support SOPA for out own good.

I don't want to be protected online. I'll take my chances in exchange for being able to decide for myself what is safe and how I behave even if I decide wrong.

gasull 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've used http://www.name.com/ in the past. It's cheap and with very good usability, unlike the clunky GoDaddy's UI.
jwblackwell 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a feeling Namcheap are going to do pretty well if Go Daddy carries on like this.
olegious 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I had some domains to remove from Godaddy- but I got rid of my Godaddy account after that elephant killing story.
patja 3 days ago 0 replies      
Actual article title is "Here Is Godaddy's Statement In Support Of The Stop Online Privacy Act House Hearing Tomorrow"

Maybe Godaddy thought they were throwing their weight behind an effort to stop online Privacy, not Piracy? :)

swalsh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reddit has been throwing around the idea of making December 29th pull your domains day.
maeon3 3 days ago 4 replies      
Can we get the word "Godaddy" to link to homosexual images on google images for that keyword? make it a meme like pedobear. Make them change their brand name.
Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No nytimes.com
349 points by ddlatham  4 days ago   133 comments top 20
cynicalkane 4 days ago 5 replies      
Jury nullification is typically portrayed as a defense against unjust laws, and some judicial thinkers see it that way.

But it's important to point out the dominant view and the current view of jurisprudence views jury nullification as kind of an unfortunate edge case. Here's the Fourth Circuit from 1969:

"We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision."

In other words, jury nullification is not a defense against injustice, but a side effect of having trials by an independent jury of ordinary citizens.

tzs 4 days ago  replies      
Suppose just 5% of the potential jurors believe, say, that it should not be illegal to kill an abortion doctor, or to beat up someone who dares to be homosexual in public, or to beat up someone who dares to flirt with a white woman while being black, and so on.

If you have a jury of 12 and require a unanimous verdict for conviction, then 46% of randomly chosen juries will not convict people for the aforementioned crimes no matter what the evidence, because they will include at least one person who believes those acts should not be criminal.

That spits in the face of the notion of equal justice for all. You and I commit a crime together, but have separate trials. The evidence is the same for both of us, but one of us is convicted and one not, because one of us happened to get one of those 5% who thinks stomping blacks or gays who get out line is OK.


Another big problem is that once you tell jurors they can ignore the law in order to acquit, they will figure out they can also ignore the law in order to convict. Bogus convictions won't be as frequent as bogus acquittals, but there will be some. (And you can't count on the judge throwing out the conviction in those cases, because the judge won't be able to distinguish those convictions from those where the jury simply believed the prosecution's evidence and witnesses over the defendant's evidence and witnesses).

Our system is designed around checks and balances. How do you provide checks and balances for the nullification power? The only one that anyone has been able to come up with is to not tell the jury about it. That way, it only gets used in cases where some juror recognizes that not only would there be an injustice in applying the law to the case at hand, but that there has been a breakdown of the system making it so that this injustice will not be addressed elsewhere, so that the juror decides that even though he has sworn to uphold the law, he must break that oath.

Nullification is almost never appropriate for a marijuana case. Even though I think marijuana should be legal, and I know all about nullification, I would never use it there at this time, simply because the system has NOT broken down in this area. Want to stop people from getting convicted of marijuana crimes? Then elect legislators who will decriminalize marijuana.

unoti 4 days ago 3 replies      
When the shabby old man is put on trial for jury tampering, shouldn't a jury of his peers find him not guilty? The deliberation on that trial could be very interesting. Or very difficult because the judge won't let the defendant's counsel say anything. Or both.
dreeves 4 days ago 2 replies      
Ooh, I got kicked off a grand jury a couple years ago for telling my fellow jurors about jury nullification. I pointed them to this etherpad -- http://padm.us/jury -- where I was researching the question. I wasn't even sure at the time what the right answer was.

I'm now very much pro-nullification.

impendia 4 days ago 2 replies      
I served as a juror on a ten week murder trial, and one thing I learned (to my extreme exasperation) is that you can't ask questions. I mean, you can ask, but every time I asked anything the judge gave some roundabout non-answer, and it was obvious that she was required to do so.

In particular, the verdict hinged on some technicalities, and we got about 40 pages explaining the law. I attempted to clarify the exact meaning, but in the end eleven others and I were forced to decide for ourselves.

colanderman 4 days ago  replies      
"Last year, Montana prosecutors were forced to offer a defendant in a marijuana case a favorable plea bargain after so many potential jurors said they would nullify that the judge didn't think he could find enough jurors to hear the case."

I don't get it; jurors are selected based on how they claim will decide? That's all kinds of messed up.

tvon 4 days ago 0 replies      
> But nullification is like any other democratic power; some people may try to misuse it, but that does not mean it should be taken away from everyone else.

It has been my impression that we increasingly live in a world where rights can be taken away from the many to deter abuse by the few.

patrickgzill 4 days ago 0 replies      
Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: "The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both the law and the facts."

John Jay (first Chief Justice): "The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."

Justice Byron White: "Those who wrote our constitutions knew from history and experience that it was necessary to protect against unfounded criminal charges brought to eliminate enemies and against judges too responsive to the voice of higher authority."

Thought these quotes should be in here ...

squozzer 4 days ago 1 reply      
I would suggest to anyone interested in the topic to read The Trial of John Peter Zenger. It represents an extreme case of judicial process manipulation that would have been very difficult to defeat without the help of a sympathetic jury.

As the Joe Fridays of the world are very eager to point out, nullification DOES subvert the rule of law. So I don't support its' use for every situation. But bad laws and rigged justice also undermine the rule of law -- we still have bad laws (drug offenses, generally) and rigged justice (the Duke lacrosse team case, more of an attempt at rigged justice) even today.

That said, nullification is not that powerful of a threat to the system, because the system has ways of dealing with partiality such as voir dire, change of venue, rules of evidence.

The lengths NY state is going to silence free speech and enforce the "blinders of fact" principle seem a little extreme.

Just remember -- the law is meant to serve the people, not the other way around.

nottwo 4 days ago 0 replies      
I kept waiting for the author to mention the Fully Informed Jury Association. I somehow stumbled upon their website over ten years ago and first heard of jury nullification. It's awesome they're still at it.


ChuckMcM 4 days ago 0 replies      
Qo 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm a little disappointed that the article doesn't mention a serious practical impediment to nullification - the "voir dire" process of juror selection. They ask you a series of questions, one of them usually being "Will you apply the law as I explain it to you?" You are 100% within your rights to answer no - they'll excuse you from the jury. If you say "yes", however, but you mean "no", then you have committed perjury. You won't get caught if you're crafty about it, but it's still a relevant detail. A more accurate title might have been: "People can do whatever they want as long as they're OK going to jail if they get caught"
_corbett 4 days ago 0 replies      
my high school american studies teacher would recommend stating "I firmly believe in the right of jury nullification" to get out of jury duty"he was of the opinion that jurors who voiced their awareness of this right were almost never selected. I'd be curious to know if this was actually true
coolestuk 4 days ago 0 replies      
In Britain jurors can ask questions of witnesses and the accused. At the end of a trial day, the judge will ask if the jury has any questions. When I was on a 3 week trial, I had a page-full of questions every day. I identified issues that both the judge and prosecuting counsel missed.
brohee 4 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/11/fr... on the same subject. I did post it here at the time but it didn't pick up steam...
estevez 4 days ago 0 replies      
This article makes me want to take a trip to Kinkos.
wkral 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if there is a similar law about jury nullification in Canada?

I hear about a lot of these little known facts about the law but they're usually US centric.

anamax 3 days ago 0 replies      
Every objection to jury nullification also applies to prosecutorial discretion yet none of the folks objecting to JN object to PD.
tsotha 4 days ago 3 replies      
I understand why people wouldn't want to be part of the system that punishes people for something the juror doesn't think should be illegal. But it isn't your job, as a juror, to write the laws. The honorable thing to do is to answer truthfully when they ask you if you can apply the law in the case you've been assigned.

Having said that, let me say I think prosecuting a guy for handing out nullification leaflets is a gross abuse of power.

healsdata 4 days ago 3 replies      
I mean this in the nicest way possible, but did you read the article before commenting? Your exact example is mentioned in the article and the author gives their opinion; they would rather we have jury nullification with the potential downfalls than not have it.
List of YC companies that use GoDaddy github.com
312 points by jf  3 days ago   79 comments top 24
yurisagalov 2 days ago 0 replies      
We started our migration process for AeroFS yesterday (I actually looked through email chats with Weihan, my co-founder, and every few months we've been talking about moving away from GoDaddy; yesterday was the final straw)

Still, I'm wary of moving the domains until we're all back at the office (many of us are taking time off for holidays for the next few days).

vertr 2 days ago 2 replies      
This post is really starting to make anti-SOPA look like a witch hunt. Why point the finger at startups who use Godaddy's services?

Godaddy itself is just one company on a long list. This attack against Godaddy is nothing but a big distraction from the real issue: fighting SOPA.

plasma 3 days ago 7 replies      
I hope moving away from GoDaddy, rather than stopping SOPA/etc, does not become the focus.
PStamatiou 3 days ago 1 reply      
As soon as I arrive home for the holidays tomorrow, I will have two tabs open. GoDaddy and Namecheap...
billpatrianakos 3 days ago 2 replies      
Let's not get hung up on who uses GoDaddy now. These companies have actual work to do rather than play around with making smooth transitions between registrars. If some of them don't move let's not piss our pants over it.

I think this list being on the front page says we all just lost our focus. So what happens if they don't switch registrars and how long is our arbitrary deadline for it? This seems like some attempt to make these companies look bad rather than do something helpful.

arthurgibson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ha this is great, over at Embedly we plan to move away from Godaddy, our domains are not on godaddy, just the ssl cert (for the short term). I started moving some one-off domains we own last night to namecheap, http://twitter.com/#!/artgibby/status/149995036677910528
nodesocket 3 days ago 6 replies      
Why any startup would use GoDaddy for DNS is baffling. Route 53 is amazing. However, must confess we currently use GoDaddy for domains (switching) and SSL certificates. Can anybody recommend some good alternatives for SSL certs that are about the same cost as GoDaddy?
dedicated 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, nice work. I wonder how difficult it would be for Dropbox to switch out their SSL certs and reinstall on their servers.

One problem I ran into was having Go Daddy when I registered my domain via Google Apps. Even though I unlocked the domain and got the auth code, because the way Google uses privacy, the transfer was rejected. Any advice there would be much appreciated.

sim0n 3 days ago 0 replies      
Our DNS is in the process of being moved to Route53 (as it has been for a short while) and we're planning to move our domains to Namecheap or another reputable registrar shortly (which we have actually also been thinking of doing for a short while as well).
rglover 3 days ago 3 replies      
This is a borderline witch hunt.
robterrell 3 days ago 5 replies      
I don't have any domains at GoDaddy, but this has been a reminder that US-based registrars can be forced to pull domains by the DOJ (http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/November/11-ag-1540.html) -- and the potential for that only gets worse under SOPA.

So I was thinking of switching all of my domains to a non-US registrar. I see lots of recommendations for NameCheap, but they appear to be US-based. Any recommendations for registrar (+ DNS) that aren't under the jurisdiction of the US DOJ?

ivankirigin 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm honestly not interested in spending hundreds on moving domains. I stopped using godaddy for registration after that big game hunter bs a while back.

Comcast supports SOPA right? Is there a place to find alternative phone landline and Internet providers?

paul9290 3 days ago 1 reply      
Has one of it's competitors whipped up and a SOPA easy/quick transfer service? Seems like a great opportunity for one of it's competitors to jump on!

On a different note I have everything on GoDaddy; all my domains and hosting. In the past 4 months my sites have been hacked and I've been thinking about moving away from them. Yet I have so much there, SO PLEASE TO ANY of it's competitors whip up a SOPA easy/painless transfer your Web businesses to us page.

nhangen 3 days ago 0 replies      
I honestly cannot understand why, in this day and age, smart people still buy domains via GoDaddy. There are so many options, all of which are more simplistic and just as inexpensive.
throwaway88 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is getting ridiculous. What next? List of users of companies that use GoDaddy? Shall we hassle those people as well?

If only people put a little more thought into their internet mob protests.

aestetix_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
To be fair, there are a bunch of people who have been considering migrating from Godaddy for any number of reasons anyways. The SOPA stuff is just the icing on the cake that's pushed them over the edge. This migration has been coming for a long time.
pingswept 3 days ago 0 replies      
The change history for this list will appear here: https://github.com/jpf/domain-profiler/commits/master/ycombi...
meterplech 3 days ago 2 replies      
Not to personally attack at all. Honestly. But, JF- your profile says you are a developer evangelist for Microsoft. Which is one of the biggest supporters of SOPA.

Do you think it's a little unfair to provide an opportunity to pressure YC companies that use GoDaddy for their domains because of their SOPA stance while evangelizing for a company that has the same stance?

jqueryin 3 days ago 1 reply      
In the case of SSL, I had believed it also implied GoDaddy was their registrar as GoDaddy forcibly required me to use a purchased SSL cert against a domain already in my account. Boy was that a bad experience when I found out post-purchase.

How are the top few companies getting around this?

AdamN 3 days ago 0 replies      
These companies should NOT switch from GoDaddy. Let's just make sure that everybody starts using Namecheap or Gandi (or something else) and if they have the resources available do the move only then.
preinheimer 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure that people just with SSL certificates should be the easiest to move.

Depending on what type of SSL you've got, it could be a huge pain, or just a lot of money.

We've got an EV SSL Certificate, moving that would take some money, a big chunk of time, and more money to pay our lawyer to write the fancy letters they require. The process is several days long (likely longer now, our lawyer is on a beach somewhere I'm sure), and will require us to restart all our webservers.

andrewhillman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like the focus is shifting in the wrong direction. Hackers, put your energy into SOPA not Godaddy.

This kind of "link bait" or "HN point bait" is not helping the situation.

grigy 3 days ago 0 replies      
What are some similar services to move to from GoDaddy?
eriongaetus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to particularly draw attention to hellochair.com, just sitting there soaking up the fat of the godaddy land, while the world burns in SOPA's furnace. Hope these guys get the message.
John Resig: JavaScript as a First Language ejohn.org
300 points by fogus  4 days ago   214 comments top 39
jashkenas 4 days ago  replies      
For the interested (and with the caveat that I definitely would not suggest it for the Khan Academy's purposes), CoffeeScript does try to address all of the issues that John raises in his post.

Type Coercion: There is no `==` in CoffeeScript. You usually write `if x is y` in order to be particularly clear, but if you're in the mode of most other scripting languages, and you write `if x == y`, it will compile to `if (x === y) {` in JavaScript.

John's note about `x == null` being the only useful application of double equals is quite true, and something that CoffeeScript provides in the existential operator: `if x?`

Falsy Values: The existential operator helps you ask the question "Does this value exist?" (Is this value not either null of undefined?) ... which covers many of the use cases for having saner falsy values in JavaScript. For example, instead of JS' `if (string) {` ... where the string may be the empty string, you have `if string?`

Function Declarations: JavaScript having function declarations, function expressions, and named function expressions as three functionally different things is indeed a wart on the language. Especially so because JavaScript having a single type of function is one of the beautiful aspects that shines in comparison to languages like Ruby, where you have methods, blocks, procs, lamdas, and unbound methods -- all of which behave in slightly different ways. CoffeeScript only provides JS's function expressions.

Block Scope: This is a tricky one, because unfortunately it can't be emulated in a performant way in JavaScript. So all that CoffeeScript can provide is the "do" keyword, which immediately invokes the following function, forwarding arguments. So, if a regular "for" loop looks like this:

    for item, index in list

A faux-block-scoped "for" loop would look like this:

    for item, index in list
do (item, index) ->

absconditus 4 days ago  replies      
Javascript is an absolutely horrible language to use for such purposes. There are far too many gotchas. See the following for numerous examples:


laconian 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a fairly experienced programmer and JS still drives me up the wall. The implicit casting and inconsistent operator overloads have led to many unhappy visits to Stack Overflow to see just WTF my browser is doing. I can't imagine the experience being any better for newbie programmers! Even simple things, like bitwise operators, are basically broken unless you take care to ensure that your variables are coerced to whole numbers, because all numerics are f%!#^&ing floating point numbers...

Given that the language is such a mess, I think it would induce a new programmer to compartmentalize their JS learnings as a bunch of special case hacks instead of discovering broad language principles that are applied consistently across the language.

extension 4 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, JavaScript will break their impressionable young minds. But you know what? Programming in general will break their minds. Programming is fucked up from any perspective. If they learn a good language first, they will go crazy trying to figure out why nobody is using it. Might as well teach them a language that lets them get stuff done in the real world, while preparing them for the ugliness ahead. They can learn the good language later.
yuvadam 4 days ago 7 replies      
tl;dr - they picked JS due to its "ubiquity, desirability in the larger workforce, lack of prior installation requirements, and ability to create something that's easy to share with friends"

I find that explanation disturbing. Why not start from a language that teaches the basics of the common programming paradigms, such as OOP (Java) or FP (Scheme)?

noelwelsh 4 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this I reminded of the saying "when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail". It's not surprising to see John Resig leaning towards using Javascript. There is a lot of research into teaching introductory programming. It would be nice to see some of that referenced in making the decision. You know, base it at least in part on science rather than just opinion.
angelbob 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am so looking forward to a huge army of newly-trained programmers who view prototype-based inheritance as the default and classical inheritance as weird.

Similarly, I look forward to a whole set of various modules and libraries to graft prototype-based inheritance onto existing languages like Ruby...


IanMechura 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have argued JS as an intro language for years. My main argument has been not based on language features which I feel are unimportant in forming a young programmers mind but rather in the complete lack of barriers to getting started.

Take for instance python( my personal language). At a minimum you need python installed on the computer. Then you need to deal with issues such as the PATH and PYTHON_PATH. Also you have to understand package naming and import scheme.

With JS you only need a .html text file on the desktop.

Write code, save, double click, results. It is something that anyone who has even seen a computer can understand.

Particularly if the student has not had much experience in computers in general, things like paths, imports, file system knowledge and command line interfaces can be a barrier to learning code. You will eventually need to learn all of the things above to be a programmer but why bore a child or teenager with the details of a file system or command line when you could be showing them how to code animations on a web page.

I will admit, that struggling with run time environment, compilers and class path issues made me into better engineer sooner, but I already had a passion for what I was doing.

agentultra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think it'd be more apt to choose something like Racket. It has all the desirable characteristics the author finds attractive in Javascript. It is an integrated environment and includes libraries and extensions for teaching basic programming. Unlike Javascript it isn't married to the browser (and by extension, the DOM) and doesn't suffer from a variety of syntactical discrepancies. It even comes with a free book for teaching the fundamentals of computer programming and computation.


Update: All of the desire-able characteristics except for being a resume-search keyword with a high hit frequency. IMO, learning how to program and getting a job are orthogonal.

_THE_PLAGUE 4 days ago 1 reply      
Here is my blog article I wrote on this travesty. (Available here: http://blogkinnetic.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-civic-decay-of-u...) I am not a pugilist for the sake of it, but when I see abominations like this, well, somebody has to take a stand for whatever real programmers are actually left out there. :-)
When I saw the above article I could only be reminded of H.P. Lovecraft's description of the Massachusetts seaport town of Innsmouth, a great fishing community before the American Revolution, but which by the early 1900's had become a classic case of civic decay, with bootleg liquor becoming its primary occupation, and the general cultural or educational status descending to the level of the primitive. This is because the approach the article advocates for teaching computer science can only end in one place: the primitive, and by that I do not mean the C primitive variable types of char, float, double, and int, but I mean primitive as in stone-age. :-)

I learned programming a bit ass-backwards. I got a "teach yourself Java" kind of book, went through that, and generally learned things "on the fly" as it were, and, in so doing, in time, eventually was comfortable with the "Java world" of Java SDK (basic Java), XML, XSLT, and some DOS / UNIX scripting skills as well. Still to this day, Java is a language I feel very "at home" in, and would choose if I had to build something up really fast. It is my "GOTO" or "default" language if you will.

Later, though, I started to study C++ and C, first for a job that required me to write unit tests using CPPUnit (the C++ port of Java's JUnit) and just sort of "learning on the fly" began to be able to understand and edit C++ code, though I was not then (or now) as proficient there as in Java. Still later, I studied C proper and read Kernighan and Richie's classic book, "The C programming Language". I think it was then, and only then, that I really understood the fundamentals of programming, by which I mean the principles of it, not just memorizing syntax to get stuff done, but rather having a deep understanding of things like memory allocation, processes, stacks, etc.

The thrill of creating dynamic (re-sizable) arrays using C-style pointers is something that still gives me a bit of a high, because there are many situations in which resizable arrays are needed or desirable, and doing this via C-style pointers is the most efficient way of doing it.

I can say that while today I still would choose Java if I were doing a personal project of some size or complexity just for expediancy's sake, I love C the most, for it is the most efficient (fast, using less memory, etc.).

To make a comparison to poetry: Java is Ginsberg and C is Eliot. Both of whom I love, but they are different styles. Ginsberg is the Jazz musician of poetry - creating crazy yet haunting melodies by going "off the map" if one wills in terms of traditional styles. Eliot is the baroque musician of poetry - using the fewest notes to create the greatest effect - precision is the key word here - no room for an off-note here or there but every note having a purpose. Both have their place. I love Jazz. But in terms of aesthetic efficiency, baroque has something to be said for it. Ginsberg is poetry's Jazz - wild, haunting, all over-the-place in a good way. Eliot is poetry's baroque - precise, haunting as well if more in a subtle way, and always having a precise direction or purpose.

Well, Java is the Ginsberg / Jazz of this analogy. It is easier / quicker to mess around and improvise and come up with a Jazz tune. It takes longer and it is more painstaking to come up with a baroque melody. Both are great and have their place. However, while I would use the quicker thing to come up with something on a deadline (Java / Jazz) there is a certain satisfaction to be had with taking longer and having to put more effort in order to produce precise, efficient, parsimonious code, and by parsimonious I mean not wasting any memory or CPU cycles, but having each bit of memory serve a purpose, just like each note of a baroque piece or each line of an Eliot poem has a precise purpose and taking one line out or one note out would ruin the whole thing.

So, while I still would use Java probably the most, I find a certain nobility in C, much as while I might probably listen to Jazz (or its descendants) the most, I find a certain nobility in baroque, and whereas I love and relate very much to Ginsberg, there is a certain appeal in Eliot's ability to say so much with so little that will always hold an attraction for me.

This is why the above article I came across, in which a computer science professor is talking about using, not even Java, but JavaScript for goodness sake, as the first language to teach students, is so tragic. Like I intimated before, if I had to do it all over again, I would have studied C before I even got into Java. That would have taught me correct principles and just a better "philosophy" of programming. As it was though, I was lucky. I worked with a math PhD who was a C++ whiz, a guy named Dr. Mark T. Lane, Chief Scientist at what is now mobi (mobicorp.com) who imparted to me the basic concepts of efficiency and attention to detail that I could never have gotten from the Java world, so, although it was later that I seriously began to study C, even early on I had some of those benefits, for which I will always count myself lucky and grateful.

But not everyone is going to luck out like me and get to work with such brilliant folks. I can only feel sorry for those aspiring computer scientists who go to a computer science program and get freaking JavaScript as the opening silo in their introduction to the world of programming, and I can only feel contempt for those professors who would advocate such a fool's errand.

When I was a kid, I loved this old 1950's teen sci-fi novel called "The Forgotten Star" featuring a character named Digby Allen who travels to the 50's version of a moon base and a Mars base, and eventually lands on Eros, an asteroid. Turns out in the book the asteroid is a space ship and inside are people from another planet (from a "forgotten star") who long ago have forgotten the knowledge that propelled them into space in the first place. The interior of the ship has a simulated earth-like environment, with a sky, fields, etc., and these people live like primitive savages, in huts, etc. not knowing there is a world outside the interior of their space ship, not even knowing, for that matter, what a space ship even is. They have a cool contraption which can convert atoms into anything asked for, so they get their food from that. The contraption (as near as I can recall) would basically take atoms from space and convert them into the molecules for whatever the user requested, so I could say ask it for bread and it would give me bread. To these inhabitants it was like a magic thing, for they had lost the knowledge that went into producing that contraption to begin with. And I suppose the young space adventurer Digby Allen saves the day and brings them into the modern age, though now I forget just how that ended. But I will never forget the impression which the book had upon me - the concept, the very sad concept, of a people once-advanced who through laziness had allowed themselves to descend into ignorance and dependency upon technologies they could no longer understand.

I was reminded of this tragedy when I saw the above article. Already I had read essays about computer science professors lamenting that C / C++ is no longer at some schools taught, Java being the preferred language. And now, it seems we are descending yet another rung, with JavaScript now being the preferred language. What is next? HTML? How about just forget about teaching kids how to write code and teach them how to use point-and-click tools like say WordPress which does not require any code skills at all to at least be able to use the basics thereof.

If we go down this road enough, we will be in the "Forgotten Star" situation - able to use tools built in the past but not having the knowledge anymore to build those tools again. Because you can only create great Jazz if you also know how to play baroque. You can create mediocre jazz I am sure - hell, a chimpanzee, given enough time, also could. But you cannot play great jazz without the underlying principles that led to it. Neither can we expect great code to be developed without the understanding of the underlying principles which led to our current languages (like JavaScript) in the first place.

Oh, and one more thing, subverting a function into an "object" has its purposes in terms of being able to code things up faster, more easily understanding the architecture, etc., but here is a dirty secret that apparently contemporary self-styled computer science professors won't tell you: a mathematical function is not an "object", sweetheart. Because "objects" belong to "sets" which may describe computational functions, but are not the functions themselves.

Deal with it, Java cultists. :-)

sirchristian 4 days ago 0 replies      
I support using JavaScript as a first language. If for nothing else there are millions of code snippets just a short "right click -> view source" away. Granted these may not be the most ideal examples, but it enables tinkering. One thing that always frustrated me about the "easy" languages to learn (Python, Ruby, etc) is you still have to figure out how to download something and then the first programs just write out text to a console window. It's hard to see at first how learning one of the "easy" languages translates into building cool stuff.

Having access to such a vast array of samples, plus something like Khan Acadamy teaching the "right way" is just awesome to me.

edtechdev 4 days ago 1 reply      
The language picked doesn't matter as much as what you can (quickly) do with it.

But personally, for high schoolers, I would start with Scratch ( http://scratch.mit.edu - scratch 2 will work in the browser) and then perhaps Processing.js or a game development site/tool like http://html5.yoyogames.com/

There is actual research on how to teach kids programming and computer science concepts. http://csunplugged.org/ doesn't use any software at all to teach concepts like binary numbers, sorting, etc.

arctangent 4 days ago 1 reply      
If you want to teach computer science to people then a good first language for them to learn is C, because it will help them think about and understand what the computer is actually doing.
glenjamin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks that lack of block scope is only confusing for people who are used to it?

I don't think it'll affect JS-as-a-first-language people.

city41 4 days ago 0 replies      
On a similar note, I've been in the process of creating a JavaScript library[0] that is strongly inspired by _why's Shoes. My intent for doing this was to create a DSL where one can whip up webapps very quickly. But I'm also now looking into essentially recreating Hackety Hack on the web, and maybe having a simple way for very young people to get a taste of programming. Sadly JS isn't as DSL friendly as Ruby.

[0] https://github.com/city41/Joeys

firefoxman1 4 days ago 0 replies      
Before I even read the article, I was pretty sure that with a title like that there is going to be lots of debate from the CS people. They do raise some good points, but here's my 2 cents.

Besides a little bit of VB in highschool, JavaScript was my first language. I mainly learned through two books: "The Good Parts" which was a nice overview, and "Object-Oriented JavaScript" a really underrated book that covered every little piece of the language, even those weird parts like block scoping and falsy types.

Having never learned anything about classes or inheritance, prototypal inheritance was kinda hard to grasp, but I eventually found it pretty amazing. I think a loosely typed language is much better to learn on too. That way you can learn the big pieces of the language then later get into the little things like typing. That's just my experience, but I'm really glad JS was my first language.

kls 4 days ago 0 replies      
One thing that I have not seen covered that is worth mentioning, is that JavaScript for the most part embraces an event based development model. While it is not unique to JavaScript it certainly is heavily reinforced by JavaScript and JavaScript developers. In other languages it can be fairly underrepresented, that being said, it is worth learning JavaScript due to the fact that it helps developers think of execution as events. One can go their whole life in other language and not deal with events, with JavaScript you will be hard pressed to get to intermediate tutorials without fairly good coverage of events and event syndication.
tolmasky 4 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone else taught Karel++? In high school they taught us: Pascal -> Karel++ -> C++

Then the new AP tests came in and the switched to C++ -> Java, which seemed very silly to me (C++ as a first language???)

tantalor 4 days ago 2 replies      
I once considered teaching JavaScript as a first language, but the absence of synchronous user input made me reconsider.

For example, there is no way to do this in JavaScript,

> var line = read_line();

Of course you could use the prompt() function, but that only works in the browser, and it's an ugly hack.

malandrew 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a full-time javascript developer and entrepreneur myself, but I'm wondering why you don't consider Scheme instead, basing the course on the How to Design Programs v2 curriculum?

The people behind that book have spent a lot of time thinking about how you teach programs to people.

More importantly, they focus on problem decomposition and concepts that provide a great foundation for growing.

The reasons I can see for using Javascript first is because everyone has a runtime available at their fingertips (M. Haverbeke's approach of including the console was great.) and because people can immediately see the utility of the language to real world needs.

But does Javascript provide the best foundation for future concepts? Does it teach good habits both mental and in practice?

The Structure and Interpretation of the Computer Science Curriculum

njonsson 4 days ago 3 replies      
All decent suggestions. I quibble with this, though:

  // Don't do this:
function getData() { }
// Do this instead:
var getData = function() { };

The assignment is righteous, but by omitting the function's name, you make stack traces more difficult to follow. Better this instead:

  var getData = function getData() { };

j45 4 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting Idea.

I know for me the way I learnt programming made me quite flexible and happy.

Working the entire scale from functional to OO languages gave me a really good perspective for anything I face.

I've learnt all the web stuff I use today completely on my own, but I use the foundation I learnt below. The "classic" academic programming languages I've learnt happened in this order.

Basic -> VB -> Pascal (High school/first year Uni) --> C --> C++ --> Java

Too much code out there rarely exists entirely on the OO or functional end and projects are often heading towards one or the other.

Once I had traversed this, I was easily able to pick up .NET, whether any one of the .NET languages was OO or functionally based (Foxpro, or whatever). Javascript was interesting because it extended from Java for me.

I really do feel that programming needs to be learnt at the mathematical/computational level of functions for clear process/analytics and then learn the benefits of using functions in an OO world.

Be interested to hear what order others learnt

olov 4 days ago 1 reply      
I want to take this further still. Most JavaScript programmers already use a subset of the language and I believe that there is quite a broad union of those subsets that should resonate with the majority of us. Excluding certain parts of the language will lead to more robust code that is easier to reason about (and more fun to write), I claim. My attempt to formalize it is called "restrict mode for JavaScript" http://restrictmode.org and I laid my case here: http://blog.lassus.se/2011/03/case-for-restrict-mode.html . Would be curious to hear other thoughts about it.
Stormbringer 4 days ago 0 replies      
I loved this comment:

"The policy when I went to school was to start everyone with LISP. That way, if they never got past CompSci 101, they wouldn't be capable of impersonating a real programmer.
-- Dave Edelhart

captainaj 4 days ago 0 replies      
I parted away with CS to major in biochem thinking it wasn't as fascinating (first course was in C++). This is definitely not a bad idea and also already implemented. Stanford has CS101 in entirely Javascript: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs101/
jhuni 4 days ago 0 replies      
Its pretty easy to criticise, so instead I will discuss the steps I would take to a student CS principles from my own experiences. I find graphs to be fundamental, so I would start the student out with them.

1. Teach the student basic concepts in graph theory such as nodes, edges, walks, paths, cycles, and structures such as trees, and linked lists.

2. Introduce the student to syntax trees as a means of representing mathematical equations, and the representation of them used in Lisp: (+ (* a x x) (* b x) c).

3. Describe dataflow graphs to the student. For example, loops are cycles in the dataflow graph, and infinite loops occur when the cycle is endless.

mycodebreaks 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well, I would like to teach kids assembly language first. That's how my generation did it. Second language should be C. That's how you know how your program actually runs on a computer. You know what memory is, and how it is used.
potch 4 days ago 0 replies      
The hopeful part of me loves this because I truly believe the web stack is a truly democratizing technology, and has tremendous accessibility.

The cynical side of me also loves this because I like watching PL bikeshedders rage.

tingletech 4 days ago 0 replies      
JavaScript was my first language. I made web applications using Netscape Enterprise Server which had server side javascript, and I worked on a signed javascript kiosk application that ran in Netscape and had javascript menus that would side off the screen.
jebblue 4 days ago 0 replies      
>> a function is actually an object and can be manipulated as such

A function is an object? I also read down the comments and saw something like '1' + 2 prints '12'. ROFL

_THE_PLAGUE 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have commented (at length) on this earlier, so don't have much to add. But a further thought did occur to me: JavaScript has "loose typing", that is, one is not taught the difference between say, an int, and a double, or even a char, and the fact that there is no such thing (really) as a string - "strings" are just a lazy shorthand for a char array. Loose typing is not just incorrect - on some level, it is immoral, IMO.
neduma 4 days ago 0 replies      
Io will do.

I do not think this would be optimum for new comers even thought i'm a die hard fan of JavaScript. You can teach ‘Io' language instead of JavaScript which has all kind advantages you have mentioned and which has few set of parser rules that would be easier for new comers.

JavaScript can be a icing on the cake.

bdfh42 4 days ago 3 replies      
Only thing I am not sure about is the focus on "===" - I think it is a pain and fails in too many instances to do what the programmer would expect.
capex 4 days ago 0 replies      
To introduce kids to programming, there is nothing better than Javascript. Instant gratification & no installations. It'll be an easy entry into harder concepts. But the way you enter does matter.
ZenPsycho 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone is teaching JavaScript to other people? This is nothing less than /The Downfall of Civilisation As We Know It!/.
Quick everyone, get your pitchforks!
jaequery 4 days ago 0 replies      
john, just teach them jQuery!
its_so_on 4 days ago 1 reply      
wat. This is like teaching postscript as a first language.

almost literally.

more_original 4 days ago 0 replies      
Smoke Screening: Journalist tests TSA vanityfair.com
289 points by Umalu  4 days ago   94 comments top 17
nathanb 4 days ago 4 replies      
I'm a little disappointed with the article when compared to my expectations given the title.

Besides using a fraudulent boarding pass, the journo didn't "test" the TSA in any meaningful way. This wasn't like the experiment where a guy got a gun on a plane using his wheelchair, for example. While the article has great information and I agree with almost all of it, I would like to see people demonstrating the uselessness of the TSA rather than just talking about it.

Osiris 4 days ago 1 reply      
You don't even need photoshop to modify your boarding pass.

(These steps work with Opera, I'm not sure about other browsers)
1. Go to print your boarding pass
2. View source
3. Modify any information (such as adding something to show First Class/A-List/etc)
4. Click Apply Changes to make the changes to the HTML show up in the page
5. Click Print

A perfect boarding pass with any information you want.

What could someone do that's on the watch list? By a ticket under an assumed name, then print out two boarding passes, one with their real name that matches their ID, then another with the assumed name.

Since the no-fly list check is only done when the ticket is purchased, use the real ID with real name boarding pass at security to get through (they won't check you against the list). At the gate, go ahead and give them the real boarding pass with the fake name (they won't check your ID at that point).

* I am in no way advocating that you do this, just that it's possible and demonstrates a weakness in security

ims 4 days ago 3 replies      
This article makes some big leaps. It says in the fourth paragraph: "Since 9/11, the U.S. has spent more than $1.1 trillion on homeland security." It seems to imply that this is mostly because of wasteful TSA-like spending.

The Department of Homeland Security's FY11 budget authority was around $56 bil. The TSA only accounted for 14% of that money. [1]

Just for perspective -- top 5 slices of DHS's FY11 pie: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (20%), U.S. Coast Guard (18%), Transportation Security Administration (14%), Federal Emergency Management Agency (12%), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (10%).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of the TSA... I think we all feel a little silly as grownups waiting around in a security line in our socks. But I don't think all the hand waving about "security theater" is really justified. And there are probably quite a few things that fall under "homeland security" that aren't so controversial. Disaster response? Maritime search and rescue? Enforcement of fisheries conservation regulations? Border protection?

[1] All numbers from DHS's "FY 2011 Budget in Brief"

mootothemax 4 days ago 1 reply      
Fantastic article!

One point I've read elsewhere is that successful Islamic terrorists are a single-use resource, what with their habit of killing themselves during the attack. This means all their terrorism skills are lost with the successful attack, and the pool of competent terrorists shrinks. Not to mention, the wealth of experience and on-the-ground information is lost as well.

redthrowaway 4 days ago 1 reply      
The submission might attract more attention if the headline made mention of the fact that Schneier is the person doing the testing.
DrJ 4 days ago 5 replies      
I wish we could get rid of the TSA and spend that resources somewhere else, CIA, FBI, NSA, hell send it to DoE, NSF, maybe fund (more) research in practical(?) renewable energy.

But killing the TSA is never going to happen. No career politician is going to commit political harikiri to shut it down.

- I do not mind the free hand rubs at the airports though.

pdubs 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very similar to "The Things He Carried" by The Atlantic back in 2008. Bruce Schneier shows how worthless the TSA is.


robobenjie 4 days ago 3 replies      
I agree with most of the points in this article, but saying that all people who forge boarding passes will use latex gloves seems false.

From my point of view the point of multiple screenings is to increase the difficulty and complexity of pulling off a particular attack. Sure, individually you can think of a way to counter each one, but as you add constraints you reduce the pool of people willing and able to pull it off. (So now you need a person who wants to cause terror, who is willing to blow themselves up, who can forge simple documents, who remembered to wear latex gloves, who can act cool enough to avoid extra screenings when walking past guards with machine guns, etc, etc, etc). Sure some eliminate more than others, but you multiply enough .95s together and you get a small number.

DevMonkey 4 days ago 1 reply      
The last time I went through the airport they did the hand wipe thing. I said "You think terrorist are smart enough to wear gloves when working with chemical explosives?" She shrugged and said "All Clear!"
yread 4 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand. The agents at the gate always check the boarding pass validity (with the code scanner) and check the name on it against my ID. I haven't tried it but i can imagine that the system wouldn't allow two boarding passes with the same code. Is it that here in Europe we do things properly or did I misunderstood the faking of the boarding pass?
ck2 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why wouldn't terrorists hijack private planes now? Some of them are quite large.

If we want to see the TSA go away, start hassling the billionaires.

But airports are so passe anyway, TSA has moved onto buses, trains and now car searches, journalists are way behind.

pppp 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm afraid most of what the government does is theater - meant to distract us while they line their own pockets.
mgkimsal 4 days ago 1 reply      
And yeah... the next wave of 'terrorist' attacks won't be airports, but probably consumer-level areas or something that directly affects a large number of every day people (or, just, threatens to): malls, restaurant chains, etc.

I posited this idea to friends/family back in 2002: have a large number of geographically distributed attacks on salt/pepper/condiments at chain and independent restaurants around the country at the same time. Dozens/hundreds would get sick or die, and confidence in the food supply would be disrupted for weeks at minimum. "terror-proof" condiment dispensers would be developed, and required on flights (cause our anti-terrorists will still be focused on flying), and it would cost probably $500 in drugs to spike salt/pepper shakers around the country.

People thought I was crazy (or a terrorist), but I could swear I read of this being reported on (on a small scale) in 2005 or 2007 - Miami perhaps?

I found this: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/20/eveningnews/main71... but it's from 2010 and it's not what I was thinking about.

tlrobinson 4 days ago 0 replies      
I like to think the TSA and their ridiculous measures actually are there purely for the "security theater"... both to reassure the ignorant public, and to misdirect potential terrorists.

Of course, I also hope the TSA, DHS, etc have more effective measures in place behind the scenes. I don't know if that's the case, but it would make sense to keep them secret.

mgkimsal 4 days ago 0 replies      
When will we get congressional and presidential candidates vowing to shut down the TSA? "I'll shut down the Dept of Education!" was a bit rallying cry for Bachmann a couple months ago, partially with the justification that "It was only started in 1979!". Well, the TSA was started less than 10 years ago, so let's shut that down first.
gerggerg 4 days ago 0 replies      
The 3 oz liquid rule was always a bit laughable to me too. Print 6 fake boarding passes, bring 6 friends, give them 3 ounces of whatever, take 21 ounces on the plane. Makes no sense to me.

And still I have to buy a special tiny tube of toothpaste for the safety of the nation.

miles_matthias 4 days ago 1 reply      
The article didn't mention what happened when they tried to use the photoshopped boarding pass to board. Maybe they had another real boarding pass somewhere else? Maybe they didn't actually board a plane?

Their system makes sure you're supposed to be on the plane when they scan your boarding pass to get on the plane right?

Official list of SOPA supporters venturebeat.com
287 points by superchink  3 days ago   30 comments top 14
armandososa 3 days ago 1 reply      
And there's the Gospel Music Association. Could there be anything more opposite to the concept of gospel than the concept of copyright?.


runjake 3 days ago 0 replies      
At least one company that was apparently on the list strongly denies they support or ever supported SOPA and PROTECT IP:


I wonder how many others are puppet entries. They'd better speak up fast before their reputation is ruined.

amalcon 3 days ago 1 reply      
The major U.S. cable companies seem to be on that list. The major U.S. phone companies do not.

Many of us are in a situation where our ISP choices consist of the cable company and the phone company. One might consider this a point in the phone company's favor.

masmullin 3 days ago 1 reply      
I was initially against SOPA, but seeing as the United States Tennis Association supports SOPA, I've decided that it's obviously in the best interests of the Internets.

If there is one truth to this world, its that the United States Tennis Association knows Internets.

va_coder 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is simply old and big media desperately trying to hold on to power.
lukeqsee 3 days ago 0 replies      
And here is your list of companies to boycott.

We can talk all we want, but until our money matches our mouths nothing will happen. (GoDaddy is just the start.)

jaysonelliot 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is there an official list of SOPA opponents?
topherjaynes 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why so many cosmetic companies? And Tiffany and Co? Actually kind of curious do they have parent companies on the list?t
wakoumel 3 days ago 2 replies      
So how do we hurt these company's pockets? Anything besides not buying their products?
premchai21 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm guessing that Flash being embedded from scribdassets.com is the list? I don't suppose there's a way to get access to this in plain text, or even a raster image?
zbowling 3 days ago 1 reply      
who makes it "official".
gws 3 days ago 0 replies      
Both MasterCard and Visa are in the list (while I read somewhere else Amex is against SOPA), why would they support SOPA?
rolando 3 days ago 0 replies      
notice how many law firms are on this list
thisismyname 3 days ago 0 replies      
This isn't about Hollywood... Its about Wikileaks and everyone else who wants to use their first ammendment right. thats my $.02
Christmas tree made out of form elements (webkit) hakim.se
280 points by hakim  20 hours ago   31 comments top 18
saurik 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Totally reminded me of: http://unicodexmas.com/ <- Christmas tree made out of "valid, semantic, and imageless HTML and CSS", ornamented with Unicode characters.
bradleyland 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I love that you can still click on the dropdowns and they work. You can also type in the text entry fields.
ck2 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Impressive. I wonder when Firefox will get the transformation support - not that it's very practical for anything right now.
gary4gar 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Caused Chrome on my Linux machine to crawl, CPU usage of my dual core CPU is about 100%!!

But its pretty cool as an experiment :)

joelackner 20 hours ago 0 replies      
more clever working coming from you, hakim. love that the elements are still usable.
tambourine_man 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Runs fine on iPhone 3G. Impressive.
jakubw 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool. Christmas trees aren't flat though, you could have made it use the whole space rather than one plane. Merry Christmas.
joejohnson 17 hours ago 0 replies      
That looks pretty nice on an iPad :)
pkulak 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, that completely destroyed my iPad 1.
magoon 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This was a trap for my iPhone 4 - I couldn't navigate away because it was so graphics intensive. I had to force quit then quickly load another page on startup.
iamandrus 20 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awesome! Keep up the great work. :D
eternalmatt 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I was watching memory usage rapidly climb. Pretty fun though!
seanp2k2 19 hours ago 0 replies      
hahahahaha, I approve of this DOM debauchery.
badclient 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Freezes my iPhone.
orofino 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool. Merry Christmas.
zobzu 18 hours ago 0 replies      
works fine on (Gecko/FF10).
jasondrowley 19 hours ago 0 replies      
That's marvelous. Good work. And Merry Christmas!
evertonfuller 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Merry Christmas!
Backbone.js Fundamentals github.com
278 points by bmaeser  4 days ago   39 comments top 10
micheljansen 4 days ago 5 replies      
This comes at the perfect time. I have just started a project where I am using Backbone for the first time and I have found the documentation to be lacking at best.

I think one of the things that Backbone really needs is some opinions on how to organise projects. Coming from Ruby on Rails, I really appreciate how that framework recommends (or forces) you to structure your stuff in a certain way (they even structure how to use Backbone inside a Rails project). Backbone feels more like a loosely connected set of tools (View, Router and Models), without a clearly expressed vision of how to use them together.

devmach 4 days ago 5 replies      
What bugs me about backbone.js :

* Lack of documentation. Every time, when i want to do something more than "todo app", i have to read the source code. Well, it's OK and a programmer has to read the source code to understand whats going on under the hood, but a little bit more good documentation can be really helpful.

* Examples are so simple. In a read world app it's more complicated. I have model ( persons ) and this model has collections ( contact datas, invoices etc. ) to find a way to handle all the mess i spend a weekend and read useless tutorials. In the end i gave up, read source code and my builded app on events. A better example could save my time and if there was a "best practices" guide, i could be sure that i'm on the right track.

aymeric 3 days ago 2 replies      
I think someone should make a website that takes the Knockout.js interactive tutorials and use Backbone.js instead.


micheljansen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Some words of caution: it seems like not all the information in this guide is equally recent. For example, it references Controller.saveLocation(), which has been replaced by route.navigate() etc.
AbyCodes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Getting started with Backbone - How to bring model-view-controller structure to Ajax web applications: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/wa-backbonejs/inde...
overshard 4 days ago 0 replies      
Now this is released... after I spend hours and hours figuring out undocumented stuff myself. Great stuff.
wodow 3 days ago 0 replies      
I also liked the tutorial http://arturadib.com/hello-backbonejs/ - very quick to skim through.
thelicx 4 days ago 2 replies      
What is the difference between this documentation and http://documentcloud.github.com/backbone ?

At first sight they look the same.

thomasdavis 4 days ago 0 replies      
More documentation can be found at


ColdAsIce 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow this is great.

Finally I understand what the whoile point of Backbone.js and client-side mvc frameworks is! Thanks!

We and Mozilla are working together to make the web awesome google.com
270 points by nr0mx  1 day ago   84 comments top 11
nextparadigms 1 day ago 3 replies      
I would've thought this was obvious. Google didn't just pay $300 to stop Firefox from using Bing, although I'm sure that played a big role, too, but I believe the reason Mozilla got $300 million was because they knew how to negotiate the price up. I don't think Mozilla really wanted to change to Bing.

Also, Google is a lot better off having an ally in Mozilla. Not so much because they don't want Bing to get a lot of users, but because together with Mozilla they have over 50% of the browser market share, and since the whole total of that market share includes very modern browser versions(Chrome always on latest version, Firefox not too far behind with the old ones), Google and Mozilla can pretty much dictate where the web is going now. I wouldn't be surprised if for those $300 million they also got Mozilla to accept using Native Client in Firefox later on. I think this part of the partnership matters more than just stopping Bing from becoming the default search on Firefox.

potch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work at Mozilla, and the atmosphere between us and Chrome is not the high-stakes cage match people would have it be. At a fundamental level there's only so much market share, but at an engineer-level, we're insulated from such corporate politics. It's a cooperative atmosphere, and we both succeed with each others' help and knowledge.
davidu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Peter's drinking a bit too much of the Kool-Aid.

Chrome advances the web. It does this because it's damn good. It's forced others to be good. None of this has anything to do with the point being made in the OP he's responding to.

Everything between the user and the monetization mechanism (advertisement) is strategic to Google. To believe otherwise is to be delusional. It's like the people who thought they could partner with Microsoft in the 90s and it'd be good for them.

nikcub 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google's browser efforts started with Gears. At the time browser development was stagnant an Google needed the technology to advance in order to improve their web applications and compete with the old desktop software model.

Chrome is an extension of that effort and has played a large part in driving adoption of new web technology.

But I don't buy the part about Google not being as interested in having users. Chrome is the operating system that runs the Google applications. They have increased their marketing spend this year by 69% to $4.9 billion dollars.

Google, marketing, something they never used to do and were known for not spending on. A lot of that marketing is for the chrome brand. The reason so many average PC users know about chrome is because of the market. They even hired Lady Gaga to do a Chrome ad, and I don't think they would go to the trouble of doing that if they were not interested in attracting users.

It is ok that Google want users for Chrome - nothing wrong with it. They have done so much to help users and the web with their investment in browser technology that there is no shame in marketing the product and wanting the world to use it.

powertower 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some people would have a hard time surviving in the real world outside of Google's walls.

I can see why a guy on the Chrome UI team would dismiss a valid business strategy of hedging against the IE + Firefox user-base that uses the search bar and address bar for 100% of their searches (vs. going to http://www.google.com directly) ... having their default search engine switched on them.

To him, owning a share of the browser market is not really important to Google, in that way, because he has this image of himself and Google being the good guys and doing to no evil.

Someone drank the kool-aid.

DanBC 1 day ago 1 reply      
> * "It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible."*

This is actually a bit frustrating. There's a bunch of people writing sub-optimal web-pages; not understanding the features or the security; and then there's a bunch of browser engineers trying to keep up.

Security still needs huge amounts of research and energy to progress beyond the broken model (username and pass everywhere / single weak social media login for everything) to something that most users can cope with.

I sound like a luddite, but I miss the days when you could do a Google search for something and the first page would be people who knew a lot about that subject, and who'd written some great text about it, and given it a bit of markup.

Honestly, ideal web pages for me are those but with CSS.

A lot of the web now feels like it's been designed by people who grew up with Geocities and <blink> and <marquee>.

hendrix 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article is BS. Google is a for-profit public company, hence google wants to make more money for google's shareholders. If they can do that by pushing chrome (advertizing platform) or firefox (OSS platform that they want to control) then that's what they will do. It doesn't matter what browser you use, so long as you look at their ads. Never mind their horrible privacy practices (2038 cookie) and associated shenanigans.
drhowarddrfine 1 day ago 2 replies      
Google has said from the beginning that the purpose of Chrome was to move the web forward, not compete with other browsers, and I had forgotten that.
MatthewPhillips 1 day ago 3 replies      
Mozilla is putting a lot of resources; including some of their best coders, into advancing mobile. I don't see the same on Google's side. Am I wrong?
photon_off 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please make the Chrome address bar awesome.
zobzu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Q: does google win billions from this deal?


Q: does google donatethis money?

A: no.

Q: what is TFA worth then?

A: oh, wait.

so.yeah. right.

Death to .DS_Store aorensoftware.com
270 points by snielsen  1 day ago   117 comments top 22
templaedhel 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have not encountered .DS_Store files enough for them to annoy me, but the same design flaw works itself into my life almost every day, in the form of zip files.

When zipping files on OSX, the common way is to right click on your directory of choice in Finder and select “Archive as…”. This creates a Zip file, with the unwanted addition of a _macosx folder. According to this [1] article, the folder is used for thumbnails, cache data, and other meta data. I have seen these folders work their way into github repos, and I am reminded of their uselessness almost every time I open a zip archive. In the past it may have been justified (to reduce cpu load generating thumbnails and cache files while unzipping), but just like .DS_Store, the time has come to abolish these folders from zip archives.

[1] http://floatingsun.net/2007/02/07/whats-with-__macosx-in-zip...

gregschlom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Related: The former lead of the OS X Finder explains the origins of .DS_Store:


MattBearman 1 day ago 4 replies      
Why did they change they article to a link to the google cache? Google has since re-cached the page, and the cache now links to itself.

I was clicking on that link for hours before I realised, what a way to spend christmas.

sjs 1 day ago 2 replies      
For git users:

    echo ".DS_Store" >> ~/.gitignore
git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore

If you spend many man hours dealing w/ .DS_Store files in source code repos you're doing something wrong.

stickfigure 1 day ago 4 replies      
WOW - the best feature here is that Total Finder enables cut-and-paste to move files!

This is the one thing I have missed terribly from Windows. It boggles my mind that Apple thinks all that clicking, rearranging windows, dragging, shifting, and dropping is a sane way to move files. Intuitive yes, but more painful than typing it out at a command line. Sometimes Apple gets stuck in "make it pretty" and forgets "make it useful".

philwelch 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's indicative of the bikeshedding tendency of HN that we've spent this whole thread bitching about the hidden .DS_Store file and none of it admiring his work hacking the Finder.
funkah 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yeah, this is one of those annoying little dinguses that just makes OS X look crappy. In any file share or similar shared space, only one person has to browse it with a Mac to drop these little turds all over the place.
falava 1 day ago 0 replies      
Disable .DS_Store for network drives:

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true


joelackner 1 day ago 1 reply      
blueharvest is a pay mac os app that does this: http://www.zeroonetwenty.com/blueharvest4/

don't get me wrong, i think this needs to be fixed at a higher level to really squash the trails mac leaves on other servers (just browsing a network share leaves these behinds).

overshard 1 day ago 1 reply      
As someone who has to deal with coworkers who keeps sending me .DS_Store files in every compressed archive, folder, and new project commit. I agree, this must die.

I even have a script built around just cleaning .DS_Store from these items. This should not be something that I need...

alexhawket 1 day ago 4 replies      
I use TotalFinder as a finder replacement.

It has a feature called "The Asepsis feature" which will redirect .DS_Store files to /usr/local/.dscache. Quite handy.

frou_dh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a LaunchAgent (~cron job) that zaps all .DS_Store files on the entire partition on a timer. I mainly did this so that Finder windows always use my default view settings.

I used to be similarly annoyed by Windows Explorer taking it upon itself to use weird custom views depending on directory contents.

eslachance 1 day ago 6 replies      
That's interesting... The PC equivalent is thumbs.db, which can be disabled through a simple OS option. One of those rare occasions where a PC is actually more user-friendly than a Mac. Oh wait, did I just open Pandora's box?
seanp2k2 1 day ago 1 reply      
While definitely a fun read, this problem has already been solved by BlueHarvest and TinkerTool http://www.zeroonetwenty.com/blueharvest4/

The first important step of developing a tool is to look around to see if there is something that you can just use or modify slightly to fit your needs.

gcv 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Path Finder is a fantastic Finder replacement, far more powerful, and does not create .DS_Store files. Highly recommended.
esonderegger 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised no one's chimed in to complain about AppleDouble files. I recently updated a machine that writes a lot of files to network shares to 10.7. Since 10.7 no longer supports older versions of AFP, this meant mounting those shares using smb://. All of a sudden, instead of just .DS_Store, I had a dot file for every new regular file to ignore.

It's definitely time for these to go.

svisstack 1 day ago 0 replies      
what a stupid move with this link.....
i dont belive someone could do that
he pastes link to google cache because of what?
pay less of traffic some amount of text?
google recached this page and article can't be viewed
conradev 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a dirty hack indeed. Mac OS X really needs a stable, feature-rich code injection platform. CydiaSubstrate, where are you?
tszming 1 day ago 1 reply      
To prevent .DS_Store file creation over `network connections`, there is a simple method: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1629
balloot 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I am a software engineer who works mainly on a Mac. I am fully aware of the existence of .DS_Store files, but it has never bothered me nearly as much as it bothers this guy.

IMHO, this falls into the category of "it's much easier to criticize someone else's design decisions than to make your own." How about you build an OS over the course of 15 years and then I can pick it apart and write hyperbolic rants about all the design details that annoy me?

wavephorm 1 day ago 3 replies      
Junk files like this being littered across filesystems just wreak of extremely poor software engineering. I would love to see Apple stop writing software and operating systems and just stick to hardware.
GoDaddy Faces boycott over SOPA support arstechnica.com
261 points by evo_9  3 days ago   14 comments top 5
fletchowns 3 days ago 4 replies      
I wish it wasn't so expensive to transfer domains! Why don't registrars woo me in with a free transfer, and then just make money off my renewals?
prudhvis 3 days ago 1 reply      
I transfered all of my domains from Godaddy to Namecheap.com I couldn't transfer my country specific domains like .de and .in and they seem to have only a sub-set of TLD's godaddy supports.
erikb 3 days ago 0 replies      
How they probably don't care. If they didn't get a big pile of cash for supporting SOPA, I don't know why GoDaddy does that anyway.
wesley 3 days ago 0 replies      
If only namecheap had automatic renewals without having to first put in funds (via paypal). That's the one thing I like about godaddy.. (they charge your cc)
rbanffy 3 days ago 2 replies      
Godaddy already has my money and moving off them would only reduce their load in an insignificant way. More important, I won't create any new domains there and will move the ones still with them to a competitor as the contracts expire.
Why We Haven't Met Any Aliens seedmagazine.com
245 points by mindmirror  4 days ago   220 comments top 58
ekidd 4 days ago 4 replies      
This essay is analogous to a mathematical proof that begins "Assume A and not A" and concludes: "and therefore P≠NP." It's not that I disagree with Miller's conclusion, it's just his premise is a contradiction, and thus capable of proving anything.

First, the contradiction: Fermi's paradox says that intelligent species are common, and that some fraction of intelligent species will engage in interstellar colonization. By some simple reasoning, this implies that the galaxy filled up with intelligent life a billion years ago. But the skies look empty.

Using Fermi's paradox, we could "prove" that the universe is filled with hostile, silent aliens that exterminate any species that discovers radio (as in Saberhagen's "Berserker" novels), or that interstellar colonization is impossible, or that intelligence is a self-defeating adaptation and we're doomed to wipe ourselves out. This makes for fun science fiction, but you can't use it to prove anything.

The conclusion is a fun bit of Puritan moralizing (entertainment bad, real life good). And because we want to agree with the conclusion, we're tempted to overlook the sloppy reasoning.

(And I'd love to say something about Miller's use of evolutionary psychology to present plausible hypotheses without supporting evidence, but that's a whole other can of worms.)

freshhawk 4 days ago  replies      
I really did not expect this much resistance on HN to a fairly classical solution to the fermi paradox. Mostly it's spun in a more positive "retreat into virtual reality" type situation but it's the same thing.

We have no idea how humans will react to the ability to sate every desire and wish artifically. It's not just hyper-porn and the xbox 720, this would apply to the desire for exploration, solving hard problems, building well functioning societies, raising successful offspring, etc.

There also has to be something hilariously ironic about all of us on hacker news insisting that people in the future will reject fulfilling technological wastes of time in favour of productive activities that benefit themselves and humanity. At this very moment a large percentage of the brightest minds in the world are working on getting people to click on internet ads and building products that monetize well but are honestly a net loss to humankind.

jerf 3 days ago 1 reply      
There are so, so many things wrong with this line of arguing presented as The Solution that I'll just present my two biggest. First, as a solution to the Fermi paradox this must mean that ALL the millions of species with quintillions of individuals MUST always prefer to retreat into virtual reality AND completely forget about reality.

Most putative solutions to the Fermi paradox have this problem. It isn't enough to create a way to eliminate 99.999% of millions of civilizations, because the result is still that the galaxy would have been colonized before we achieved sentience. Self-loathing arguments are a particularly popular one, but even striking a fashionable "humans suck" pose (and make no mistake that this is a fashionable signal to send) proves nothing else about the other beings that could exist.

Secondly, it must mean that all species that so retreat must so thoroughly retreat that they completely forget about the outside universe and have no desires to increase their computational power for any reason, ever. This is a much higher level of tech than we have now, and none of the quintillions-is-probably-a-conservative-estimate must ever decide that hey, that juicy looking star system over there could be converted to another hunk of VR simulation and if I send over the hardware to do it, I can completely own the resulting VR installation.

(Personally I favor the other end of the argument; life evolves easily, assuming Earth-like conditions, and the Rare Earth hypothesis doesn't require very much hoop-jumping, new physics, or bizarre probability arguments, it just requires serious consideration of the possibility that organic life-as-we-more-or-less know it may really be the only solution, and may really not be able to arise in very many places. If you dig into the prevailing wisdom against that idea, you'll find it's more philosophically sourced than scientifically sourced, there really are a lot of good reasons to think there aren't that many available chemical regimes life could work in, and in general it's probably the most scientifically-sound Fermi paradox answer. It's just not philosophically fashionable.)

DanielBMarkham 4 days ago 1 reply      
Everybody talks about bandwidth as if that's some terribly important metric, but the real metric is brainwidth. Vendors are fighting tooth and nail for time on your brain.

And they're doing very well. It's very rare to pick up a device that does just one thing -- the days of the wristwatch and one-function cell-phone are gone. Now everything you touch is competing to take up all your braindwidth. Information is not passive any more; it's sticky. As a consumer you are not a entity who receives services from a webapp. You are a target for absorption by way of total immersion. Potential vendors can either get on board with your addiction or lose out to others who will. This is why we buy Facebook, Google, and game ads. Your brainwidth is already being sucked up. As vendors we have to go where our potential markets already are.

If you want to talk about extrapolating history, our books are full of useful examples. Time and time again people could not make the changes necessary for society to evolve so they packed up their bags and moved. You can't move any more, and lots of immersive content providers want to take your frustration and turn it into your being plugged in all day.

Who wants to go live on the moon? We can do a lot more exciting things in our own custom-designed universe. A couple hundred more years of this and we won't be going anywhere besides LEO or doing much of anything except patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves how many important things we have right here.

azernik 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm kind of peeved at how (in talking about how the human economy has become so focused on entertainment as opposed to "real" economic activity) the author cites "IBM, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Matsushita, Samsung, Micron Technology, Intel, Hitachi, Toshiba and Fujitsu" as companies that are pushing out "fake", "virtual" goods that do not contribute to human material success, and then lists Victoria's Secret as a company that makes "real things". (Victoria's Secret being, by the way a prime example of a company that bases its success on manipulating evolved behavioral mechanisms. I don't think this is wrong in the way the author does, but this does betray a certain internal inconsistency.)

The antipathy to computing is incomprehensible - I would say that the ability to have fast and high-bandwidth communications, computerized organization (calendaring, e-mail storage, etc.) and the like is more likely to contribute to human growth to the stars than (in the author's example) zippers.

exratione 4 days ago  replies      
A terrible article. So let's say something more interesting. There are several important ideas intertwined together around the Fermi Paradox:

1) Fermi Paradox

Why haven't we seen any evidence in the observable universe of megascale activities and exponential growth comparable to those that we know that our descendants will be capable of, and fairly soon?


2) The Outer Bounds of the Possible

Can we convert our entire future light cone into computronium? There seems to be no physical laws to prevent that outcome, and absent being stopped soon, the tiny fraction of our machine descendants to go all out for self-replication and expansion will set this program in motion.

3) The Great Filter

Assuming we're in base reality and everything out there is running much as our present physics understands it to run, are we past the barrier that stops intelligences from converting the observable universe into computronium? Or not?


4) The Simulation Argument

Or are we simulations, alone in our virtual machine?



All these are linked via this rather depressing line of thought:

"A technologically mature “posthuman” civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true:

- The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero;

- The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;

- The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.

If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one's credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).

Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation."


The bottom line is that there appears to be a large gap in our understanding of the evolution of intelligence in the universe. By all counts, our galaxy should have many civilizations across its span, and by all counts if they're anything like us, their most aggressive descendant factions will turn the whole galaxy into computronium in a few tens of millions of years. But we don't see even the first glimmers of any such thing.

georgieporgie 4 days ago 1 reply      
Old (2006), Luddite-licious, and awfully full of presumed universality.

Of course we've transitioned into a virtual economy (though we haven't): the virtual economy didn't exist, and neither did the ability to provide intangible services to the degree that is possible now.

And of course an MIT engineer goes into video games, how many can NASA possibly employ? How many engineers were designing boring old toasters and dishwashers during the space race? Did we lament that?

brandall10 4 days ago 3 replies      
Let's imagine there are billions of planets out there (a true Sagan-esque billions) which have spawned intelligences that have achieved interstellar travel - ie. they have the ability to actively seek out and communicate with others of similar ability. Perhaps like the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek, except many, many of these, separated from others by various degrees of intelligence or ability.

Let's imagine there are far more planets like ours that have life - let's throw intelligence out, because that is defined by some relative standard - which has not yet reached that capability. Why would we be interesting in the scope of these far more advanced extraterrestrial societies?

Perhaps they don't reach out because it would be as fruitless as us trying to communicate with ants. Perhaps they don't care to study us because we seem about as interesting as primordial soup (ie. a nuclear holocaust might be a trait of that). Perhaps intelligences like ours are well understood, well classified in the genus of the universe, and we are about as ordinary as a barnacle on the hull of a tug boat.

ccc3 4 days ago 1 reply      
At some point in the article he states:

Evolution simply could never have anticipated...

Evolution, by definition, doesn't anticipate anything. It's disappointing to see a university professor writing on evolution who seemingly doesn't even understand the evolutionary process.

aamar 4 days ago 3 replies      
The physicist David Deutsch makes the point that there is no real way to distinguish a consistent, convincing virtual reality from reality itself.

Therefore, there is no real moral difference between richly populating such virtual worlds (once we can construct them--we can't quite, yet) and populating actual other planets. Nick Bostrom would say that even using the word "actual" is probably wrong, since we're likely living in a simulation already.

There's a simpler (maybe too obvious) answer to the Fermi Paradox: the window of time in which it seems worthwhile to communicate with aliens or to settle the galaxy is exceedingly brief.

luser001 4 days ago 3 replies      
Almost everything good and bad that humans have done is due to the drive of a SMALL number of (or single) individuals (American Decl. of Independence, Soviet revolution, Indian freedom struggle, race to colonize the world, WW2, 9/11, Iraq invasion).

That is why it doesn't matter if 99.999% of the world is pre-occupied with one mindvirus or other. It's the 1-in-100k person who really takes humanity to the next level of greatness/depravity.

There will always be ambitious people for whom this world will be too small: they will colonize the next planet.

PaulHoule 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's a fair guess that humanity will become extinct because of problems in the narcissistic sector. It comes down to Baudrillard's "classical analysis of Disneyland" and the fact that Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck are more emotionally satisfying than actual political commentators. Put the postmodern factors together and it gets hard to believe that humans will find political solutions to the problems of the 21st century.

As for why we haven't met aliens, I think there are two more fundamental causes.

(1) In 2011 we know that many stars have planets. This should be no big surprise based on considerations of angular momentum. The trouble is that Jupiter-sized planets tend to get sucked into the accretion disks of their stars, and in the process they tend to destroy Earth-sized planets that exist in the habitable zone. Planetary systems are common, but habitable terrestrial planets are rare.

(2) Interstellar travel and communication is highly difficult. It's possible that some civilization will manage an interstellar travel event among billions of civilizations and billions of years. However, the percolation threshold for a self-sustaining and growing interstellar civilization will never be reached. (Civilizations won't establish an outpost around a secondary star and create additional colonies)

A few years ago I did an analysis of interstellar war. The obvious mode of attack is to launch a deadly bombardment against a planet before any possible counterattack. One clear conclusion was that if you launched a missile that traveled at 10% of the speed of light, it wouldn't matter much if that missile were tipped with a hydrogen bomb or not -- you just can't get enough energy from either nuclear fusion or fission to propel a starship at a reasonable speed. (If you go slow, a 1000-year generation starship would need tons of antimatter simply to keep warm.) Note that interstellar hydrogen would impact such a starship at high velocities harder than radiation from a nuclear reactor.

The corollary is that neither fusion energy nor fission energy is sufficient for interstellar propulsion

ck2 4 days ago 2 replies      
Finding earth (or another earth-like planet with people) would be like finding a particular particle of sand on a beach.

The universe is mind numbingly big - try to imagine how big and then quadruple that size and you are still wrong.

Just the observable universe is nearly 50 BILLION lightyears in each direction (there could be more and it's expanding).

(remember the deficit/debt demonstrations of "million" vs "billion")

We are trying to observe the equal of the other side of the world with optical and radio telescopes but essentially the best observations we can make out are just at the range of the doorframe to our home.

What if there is other human-like life but it's a million lightyears away - it's all but useless to us to even find out, they are long gone by the time their light and radiowaves ever get to us (and visa-versa). Now realize the nearest other galaxies are SEVERAL million lightyears away.

Try this on for size http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BjHvwSvpOw

narrator 4 days ago 4 replies      
My theory is that we haven't met aliens yet because the aliens have been to earth sereptitiously, have taken some DNA samples, and have decided there's nothing to be gained from making contact with us. They've told everyone else in the universe that the planet is hostile and not particularly technologically developed. They have also noted that it is not a threat just as long as they don't get advanced space travel technology. The best way to keep them from getting advanced space travel technology is to not communicate with them and thus leave them to their own devices. Additionally, based on the alien's models of planetary development, they have come to the conclusion that our civilization will not develop decent space travel before it collapses due to natural resource depletion.

The universe is a big place. There are probably trillions of habitable planets. We're just not that special. Maybe one day, if we somehow become "worth it", they'll stop by.

moocow01 4 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly if the human race discovered a less evolved colony on the moon, I wouldn't want to know what we would end up doing to them. Most likely Nike would figure out a way to put them in cages and force them to make shoes every day. I think the reason why we fear aliens is because its a reflection of what we know we would likely end up doing to a lesser lifeform.

Oddly enough, I think its an optimistic outcome if we play video games and never meet aliens in that if they function like us, it will be either us exploiting them or them exploiting us unless we amazingly are right on par with each other. Sorry to be so pessimistic, its just that we have consistently failed pretty hard as a race in how we treat other creatures and the environment.

nikcub 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think it is because the Drake equation[1] over-estimates the chances of intelligent life forming.

A common average result for the Drake equation is 10,000 habitable planets capable of sending signals in our universe. But if you look at the equation and estimates they are a bit optimistic.

If you take f" from the equation, I don't think simply being of the right composition in the habitable zone is enough. The Earth formed life because of the moon, because we had been shiften off our axis which formed seasons, because we were made of enough iron to form a magnetic field, and we just happen to form a moon which protected the Earth from space debris and gave us tides (in short, the moon and magnetic field are essential to life on Earth, as well as the composition of the planet).

That is a lot of 'ifs' to add to the equation, which brings the chances of a planet even in the habitable zone having the same life-bearing characteristics as earth much, much lower. Even with thousands of planets in the habitable zone the chances of finding one that has a magnetic field, the right temperature, a moon, etc. are very very slim and when multiplied back into the Drake equation brings the result back to lower than 1 - meaning we are a complete fluke.

There is also the time portion of the equation. The Earth is 4.6B years old, and we have been capable of sending signals for only 100 years of that time. Even if our civilization survives for another 10,000 years it is still 10,000 years divided into 4.6B years - so even with the complete fluke of an Earth-like planet being created in a habitable zone takes place, we are still 1 in 460,000 chance of being around at the same time. If Drake gives us 10,000 possible habitable planets with life, the 1 in 460,000 factor of time brings it back to a lot less than 1 again.

I believe that Keppler will continue finding planets in the habitable zone, but they will look more like Mars and Venus than anything like Earth.

I find it interesting that the Drake equation, created to show that there must be other intelligent life, can today be used to show that we are very unique when it is adapted with what we know today.
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation#The_equation

gerggerg 4 days ago 1 reply      
Kind of a bummer. I was expecting the article to be about the density of the universe and the speed of light and whatnot. Instead we've got alien porn to blame. Which, if I know anything about aliens, should be reaching us in the next decade or so.


oooo, and I just thought of somethng. Or, they got so advanced that they realized they probably shouldn't alert the rest of the damn galaxy to their presence. Given how the human mind seems to be so accepting of things it doesn't understand.

firefoxman1 4 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone thought about this...astronauts release their waste into space. There's bacteria that gets frozen almost as soon as it leaves the ship/space station right? Couldn't it stay preserved until it lands on a distant planet that hasn't formed an atmosphere and be the seeds for life on infant planets? I'm no physicist (or scientist, period), but it's just a question that's been bugging me for a while.
bluekeybox 4 days ago 1 reply      
The most useful hypothesis: we are the first, and the galaxy is ours for taking. Now let's get back to work.
zalthor 4 days ago 0 replies      
Half way through the article I was in a bit of agreement with the writer about how our need for immediate gratification is so easily satisfied by the virtual supplements we get everyday and how it weighs us down overall as a society of humans; but all of a sudden he moves to assumes that people who are classified as religious fundamentalists, for some reason, seem to have figured it all out! Clearly the author is contradicting himself here. It is very unlikely (I would say impossible, but there's always an outlier somewhere) that someone who happens to be a religious fundamentalist would also not have delusions of "fitness-faking". What a terrible end to an article that could have been such an awesome topic of discussion.
rsheridan6 4 days ago 1 reply      
Not credible, because if even a few people stay away from futuristic, all consuming super-porn, and can convince their kids to do the same, then those people will come to predominate, and the super-porn becomes irrelevant. There are already people who would consciously eschew any form of entertainment that would prevent reproduction - the Amish would ban it within their communities for sure.

On the other hand, if just one person with control of an adequate supply of nuclear weapons (or other super-weapons, possibly including ones that haven't been imagined yet) decides to wipe out humanity, he stands a good chance of succeeding. This seems much more plausible than mass suicide via entertainment.

itmag 4 days ago 0 replies      
Some more options:

-Life is around but it's nowhere near our way of thinking and functioning. Maybe it's a gas cloud which takes a billion years to "think" a single thought. Who's to say that an alien lifeform's "neocortex" and utility function is going to be anything but incomprehensible to us? (Counter-argument: certain patterns repeat independently in nature, for instance I read somewhere that the design pattern for the eye has been created independently by evolution like 40 times).

-Life is around and we've already made contact with it (ie UFOs).

-Life is out there but it's consciously avoiding us (Prime Directive-style).

redwood 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's also possible that we were one of the first to develop intelligence, within our light-sphere, that is since the minimum time needed from the big bang to develop intelligence (whatever that is). E.g. let's say you need 12 billion years just to get to the point where you might be able have the environment needed to make planets. Then in our 2-billion year light sphere we may be one of the first to develop intelligence. That is, if it's very rare to develop intelligence.
RyanMcGreal 4 days ago 1 reply      
> Given simple life forms, evolution shows progressive trends toward larger bodies, brains, and social complexity.

Evolution does not progress toward increased complexity. We have increased complexity mainly due to the Drunkard's Walk effect of random mutation in a space with a hard lower limit to complexity.

extension 4 days ago 1 reply      
There is this assumption that the ambition of humanity should be to physically expand far into space. But why exactly? Spanning large distances isn't a very interesting goal per se. We will learn a lot of cosmology and physics in the process, but I would imagine that once you've seen a few thousand stars, nebulae, and black holes up close, you've pretty much seen them all.

The idea of building a giant computer (or turning into one) seems a lot more interesting. If that's what we're doing, then those people making social networks and video games are on the right track. In this case, we probably wouldn't expand physically until we run out of energy for computation, and our own sun has enough of that to last us a long time.

nohat 4 days ago 0 replies      
He rather defeats his point at the last by pointing out that subcultures that specifically deny artificial or damaging fitness indicators would then take over. It seems unlikely that some few out of billions wouldn't make a different choice, and pass that choice on to their children.
dlikhten 3 days ago 0 replies      
The answer is much more simple. Let us assume that every 1000 solar systems has one system with intelligent life on it.

#1 given normal known methods of space travel, it would take generations to reach the nearest planet possibly containing life.

#2 given time, there is a VERY small possibility that when we arrive at that planet it has intelligent life. Intelligent life may have died out, or it may be currently evolving. Or by the time we reach it they may have up-and-left.

#3 The chances of crashing into another alien vessel in space is almost 0. Infinitely improbable. Therefore to actually meet another alien vessel, aliens must have traveled to the same planet at the same time as us. Given the vast distances this is highly unlikely.

#4 We don't have "lifesign" scanners like in star trek. Determining that a planet has advanced technology would mean going to the dark side and looking for lights. If the culture is not yet advanced enough, then we won't find enough of it to be visible from space.

#5 while talking about #4, atmospheric conditions may make it very difficult to see anything on the surface.

#6 given all above, what is the probability that a race of aliens got to earth (within the last 300 years)? Otherwise earth would look like a habitable planet, but no sign of advanced intelligent life. I'd say I have a higher chance of winning every lottery in the world on the same day.

sandee 4 days ago 1 reply      
"We have already shifted .., from physics to psychology as the value-driver and resource-allocator. "

While not agreeing to the article broadly, i agree to the statement above. Infact, i believe this is a desirable thing and we should see more of this in future. Past 200 years were about discovering the physics of things. The next 200 years would be about the discovering the working of "mind" which makes physics discoveries possible. Basically about neurological sciences , thought process , perception and more. This trend has barely started and we have a long way to go.

themgt 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think the most likely answer is either:
a) Same reason we don't SMS other species on earth - we're first, and if anyone else catches up it'll be a long time from now

b) We can't begin to conceive of the sort of technological advances achieved by other lifeforms. The fermi paradox rests on probabilities accumulated over billions of years, but ignores how briefly human intelligence has existed - the written word is only a few thousand years old. If your species advances to the point of being able comprehend and control all of reality, is there much point in having endlessly bigger LCDs powered by your awesome discworld, built by your giant starfleet? Is our faith in the inevitability of endless growth and expansion not itself a sort of primitive cargo cult?

If the entire process of going from advanced social being with primitive tools and language to a post-physical singularity takes on average 50,000 years, the drake equation need changing

c3d 4 days ago 0 replies      
Detection at a distance is not that easy. The primitive analog radio signals we used until about 1995 are easy to recognize, because they are so simple. The digital, encoded, encrypted signals we use today are much more difficult to distinguish from naturally occurring signals. They tend to be more efficient and to vanish into noise much more quickly. So in our case, the time window during which we were visible in space was about 25 to 30 years. We only recently became capable of detecting the light of entire planets, what makes us think we can detect their radio signals?

Regarding the more general problem: what about economics? Even if it is technologically viable for us to go into space, it is remarkably expensive. We couldn't sustain a Moon program, for all its scientific interest. So we need a pretty big return on investment to do further space exploration.

To me, there are really only two options:

1) Speed of light can't be broken, and colonization only happens by losing any practical contact with your descendants (a ping time of 1s is bad enough, think about 100 years). This reduces its economic appeal to practically zero. No return on investment at all. Not even intellectual satisfaction: you will not even know in your lifetime if your expedition was a success. So why bother?

2) Faster-than-light travel is possible, and relativity tells us it's basically equivalent to time travel. Now, just try to imagine how well our own economy would survive the availability of time travel... This is one thing that Star Trek or Star Wars or Galactica never get right, it's a problem they never consider because it's too hard to think about it. If you can jump or warp or whatever, then to the best of our knowledge, you can travel back and forth in time. How does a civilization survive this? I have no idea. A good example of singularity.

One final thought: the Fermi paradox always start with the premise that we don't see aliens. But most serious work on UFOs claims that a fraction of UFOs can't be explained away. In short, some UFOs appear to be artificial, to exhibit intelligent behavior, and to show technological capabilities well beyond our own. I'm quite surprised to write this comment at a point where there are 86 comments, and I'm the first one writing UFO. Taboo?

pwim 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is very similar to the idea Charles Stross presents in his 2005 novel Accelerando which in turn used the idea of a Matrioshka Brain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrioshka_brain).
peterwwillis 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think we haven't met any Aliens because we're selfish, paranoid, violent, irrational, un-evolved monkeys with baseball caps and video games and nobody wants to make friends people who happily destroy their environment [and therefore themselves] because it's easier than cleaning up their mess. Our major societies are full of petty, self-serving, closed-minded assholes and i'm a perfect example of that.

The technology-enslavement theory is bunk because humans pretty much tend to self-correct over time. We start destroying the environment, somebody notices, we start pulling back on our rampant destruction enough to keep things operating. An epidemic of fat kids goes on, people start complaining, and schools begin the process of sort-of making their lunches healthier. If it got so bad that we almost destroy ourselves from too much internet use somebody would start complaining and we'd reign back on that too.

Probably the real reason we haven't met any is that they probably have agreements that they don't come down and show themselves to new planets until the new planet's peoples advance their space technology to an appropriate level; ours is still kind of dark-ages technology. Maybe after the military invests we can have a nice big boom in space travel.

breathesalt 4 days ago 0 replies      
I thought Max Tegmark's commentary on why we haven't discovered extraterrestrial life yet was reasonable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GctnYAYcMhI

Basically he purposes that there is either a barrier somewhere before our point of biological progress or after; as he explains in the video, the desired reality is that we have already surpassed that barrier. He reasons that space travel is a simple engineering challenge compared to evolving intelligent life on the cosmological scale, so there's less reason to believe the barrier lies after our point of progress.

doktrin 4 days ago 0 replies      
This article struck me as a bit of shoddy reasoning together with odd conjecture strung together for the purpose of moralistic finger-wagging.

On a purely subjective note, I don't see how escaping into virtual reality is a "darker" fate than nuclear self-annihilation.

existence > non-existence

ctdonath 4 days ago 0 replies      
We haven't been around long enough.
Consider that a healthy 100 year lifespan now constitutes about a full 1% of recorded human history.
Humanity is about at the stage of a toddler saying "I can do that" with nary a clue as to what that means.
dbreunig 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Given simple life forms, evolution shows progressive trends toward larger bodies, brains, and social complexity."

He's drawing conclusions with a sample size of 1.

masmullin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Article assumes that humans aren't reproducing, when in-fact, there are more humans today then yesterday, and will be more in the future than there are today.

To advance as a species, we don't need everyone in the species to advance, just a select few who take everyone with them as they discover new things.

TDL 3 days ago 0 replies      
The answer to this question is probably simpler than author's argument. We haven't met any aliens because there aren't any out there.
icegreentea 4 days ago 0 replies      
My friends and I sometimes joke around about a similar 'solution' to the Fermi Paradox, where a civilization will advance until they figure out how to simulate sex in the mind of an individual.

Though somewhat, if the conclusions of the article are correct (I don't think they are), then those who will inherit the earth will be the ones least likely to venture out and make contact.

vonskippy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why would intelligent life that can expand and conquer their part of the universe use clunky ancient inefficient technology like radio waves.

We humans have had radio for about 100 years and already we're moving on. Digital satellite radio, wired and fiber internet, cable tv, faxes (just kidding), etc.

Imagine if we could travel from our star to another on a routine basis, would we be using radio for anything?

The Universe could be teaming with life, but with our current planet bound technology and meager 200-300 years of industrial/technological innovation, how would we know?

Articles like this is why psychology is called a SOFT science.

Sandman 4 days ago 0 replies      
The article's last point strikes me as a bit odd. The religious fundamentalists will be the ones who make scientific advances that are necessary to travel across the universe and meet alien species? Judging from the fundamentalists' past actions, allow me to stay sceptical about that.
AznHisoka 4 days ago 0 replies      
As the populations keeps growing, we will keep moving away the lifestyle our minds and bodies are evolutionary suited for, causing more depression/discontent. So, we're going to have no choice but create stronger drugs, and ways to drown our discontent. That's why the entertainment industry will always be recession-free. Without iPhone games, movies, video games, etc, we'd all go crazy. We either need pointless distractions, or we need to fight to survive.
tewolde 4 days ago 0 replies      
This article is not about the fermi paradox, it is just a soap box to warn against the misapplication of technology.

But back to the subject, I'm not sure if we are even smart enough to recognize any intelligence that does not resemble our own.

So far our solution to the fermi paradox may be summarized as:
"We must stick them with quills! It's the only way!!"

blueprint 4 days ago 1 reply      
If alien species limited themselves to entertainment for such a long time, then where are the broadcasts from other solar systems?

On the other hand, recent studies apparently hint that things like electrical and gravitational constants may not be the same everywhere, so maybe they don't transmit their signals with light.

One more thing is that the argument that the age of the universe combined with its propensity to make life means there must be some intelligent life can also be applied to the probability that some intelligent life will wake up and save themselves from such a bad fate, as the author hints in the last paragraph. It doesn't mean all species get caught in that trap and never escape, it just means it's harder to become a species that saved itself from the perils of materialism, loss of social justice, and falsehood.

evo_9 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's more likely we are already in a our own virtual reality in the form of a history simulation (see: Holographic Universe Principle). To me this explains why we haven't detected any other life-forms; after-all it's a living history of our species.
calydon 4 days ago 2 replies      
I thought the argument was brilliant and scary. A lot of you are getting distracted by the headline. This article isn't really about aliens or the search for ET life. It's about social decay - entertaining ourselves to death AND virtual hedonistic narcissism resulting in extinction.

HOWEVER, the author, in his own narcissist fog, forgets to mention that this is a fate that will befall only the wealthiest, the whitest (admit it) and the wittiest (educated). This is not the future of the species, although leaving the planet will not get any easier in time.

So really, why haven't we heard from the aliens? The answers are simple but boring so we search for more interesting ones, interminably.

a) They are too far away

b) Life is extremely rare

balsam 3 days ago 0 replies      
I always felt that the Dafoe vehicle "The Last Temptation of Christ" was scifi-ish in some obscure way. Thank you, the thing to do was to replace "Heaven" with "Outer Space". Everything goes back into its skin.
loceng 4 days ago 0 replies      
This stage in behaviour will eventually subside as we discover and experience the negative side-effects of such a facade of quality of life. Lack of activity and obesity, lack of education for allowing socializing and deep bonding, lack of real socializing and bonding / relationships with people; It keeps us in our heads, and not grounded - not connected. As Carlota Per sees it, we are heading towards a shift to wellness, and quality; Eliminating planned obsolescence, etc., and this will include more time for and with eachother.
methodin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Seems pretty egotistical to believe our concepts of communication are the only and/or best in existence.
phil 4 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: They're too busy playing World of Warcraft to fart around with spaceships.
EGreg 4 days ago 0 replies      
What are you talking about?

How about this ... the aliens reached the height of their civilization 3758435 years ago and since then they don't care about people like us. We are too different from them and insignificant to communicate in ways we can recognize.

majmun 4 days ago 0 replies      
two other possible solution:

- there are many advanced civilizations in our galaxy, and each tries to colonize whole galaxy, but it takes much longer than 100 million years. because of competition and other unknown reasons.

- colonization is not done as we taught, we are not experienced in planetary colonization.

kyebosh 4 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe I missed the point of the article, but I thought it was a wonderful gedanken on social psychology - technological veracity aside. Valid or not, it illustrates (IMHO) some very interesting elements of our "advanced" civilisations :)
chris_gogreen 4 days ago 0 replies      
"...an intelligent, exponentially-reproducing species could colonize the galaxy in just a few million years. " They could not be stuck in a self created virtual reality, an exponentially-reproducing society of aliens would be forced to move out from their home planet, and forced to send radio signals or communications. They could not have forgotten. Most likely they are just too far from us.
biggfoot 4 days ago 0 replies      
Inter-planetary travel is probably to big a problem to say that if not for our consumerism habits getting in the way we would have colonized some other planet already.
iso8859-1 4 days ago 0 replies      
Immensely disappointing how he (professor of psychology) dismisses MDMA as entertainment when it is shown to help treating PTSD.
_THE_PLAGUE 4 days ago 0 replies      
What a horrible article. Whoever wrote that was some sort of Amish anti-technology fruitcake. Fuck him.
itmag 4 days ago 0 replies      
If we are in the Matrix, then it would not be strange if we could change our physical reality with thought alone. There is no spoon, and all that.

Napoleon Hill talked about this in "Think and grow rich".


Of course, such effects can always be explained by rational means...

All Hacker Monthly issues free for next ~24 hours hn.my
244 points by yanowitz  2 days ago   98 comments top 31
kinkora 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hope this takes some load off his servers:

Edit - changed links to the s3 servers

Issue 1 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 2 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 3 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 4 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 5 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 6 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 7 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 8 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 9 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 10 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 11 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 12 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 13 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 14 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 15 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 16 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 17 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 18 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Issue 19 - http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Thedebate - http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?644hhgmk7ao8qgj

Startupstories - http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?vfhm4a6iqs2fj5j

tghw 2 days ago 2 replies      
He posted a snap of his server logs:



_ques 2 days ago 4 replies      

  for i in `seq -w 19`; do 
echo "http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue0"$i".zip";
done | xargs wget

MikeCapone 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe there's a way to put the archive in a file locker (like Megaupload) and delete it after 24 hours.. It's pointless to make the files free if /everybody/ tries to download them but /nobody/ actually gets to read the zine because the files time out..
BlackJack 2 days ago 6 replies      
He put some of them up on aws, probably more on the way. I was able to download 1,4,5,7,10,13, and 18. Just replace the "004" at the end with "001", or "010", etc.


Or in terminal just enter:

wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/bearwithclaws.baconfile.com/hackermo...

Legion 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised to discover Hacker Monthly still exists, after the iPad app simply stopped serving up new issues 7 months ago. What's that about?
hmottestad 2 days ago 3 replies      
On a mac (without wget) paste this into the terminal and it'll open up every download in a tab in your default web browser.

  open http://hackermonthly.com/hackermonthly-startupstories.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/hackermonthly-thedebate.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue019.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue018.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue017.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue016.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue015.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue014.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue013.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue012.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue011.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue010.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue009.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue008.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue007.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue006.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue005.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue004.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue003.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue002.zip;
open http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue001.zip;

blinkingled 2 days ago 0 replies      
Downloads seem to have slowed to the point where one 27.9 Mb issue is taking 1hr and 7 min to download. Looks like all of HN is taking advantage of this promo!

BTW, the magazines are beautifully done, kudos!

sublimepua 2 days ago 1 reply      
The servers are getting slashdotted. Anyone who has gotten all of them downloaded feel like making a torrent? Not for the purposes of piracy, of course, but just to spare this poor guy's bandwidth.
modoc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to mirror if anyone actually has the files.... I have tons of bw on a ton of big servers. devon@sparkred.com
kinkora 2 days ago 1 reply      
...and his server has officially crashed. I recommend not running anymore automated scripts directed towards his server.

I'll try to chuck it onto mediafire once I get all the issues. Just missing 9 at this point.

dmn001 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another download link with everything: http://www.filesonic.com/file/e9tf5hs

Will be removed when free period ends on the website.

pbiggar 2 days ago 1 reply      
I just bought the print subscription, after forgetting to the last few times I thought about it. Great marketing!
duck 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is Christmas early... thanks Lim! Hacker Monthly is a great resource for the HN community, keep up the great work with it.
dylanvee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you, Lim Cheng Soon! As a student I really appreciate the free year-long subscription you offer.
user24 2 days ago 0 replies      
hacker monthly is a very nicely put together magazine, I've read a few issues on the kindle, it's well worth checking out.
zfran 2 days ago 0 replies      
Put a torrent up before your server melts down.
beagledude 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the early Christmas present! I've been wanting to check out a subscription, being able to see the current content will push me over the edge.
hkadejo 1 day ago 0 replies      
while [ $X -le 19 ]
if [ $X -lt 10 ]; then
wget "http://hackermonthly.com/xmas/hackermonthly-issue$n.zip
X=$(( $X + 1 ))
p0larboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks Lim~! You just made my iBooks library look 10x more awesome http://imgur.com/0HM5p
alexholehouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had never read Hacker Monthly. I will now probably subscribe.
jQueryIsAwesome 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to download them all with one click (works in Chrome): http://jsfiddle.net/nGatG/
evertonfuller 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not to plug, but welcome to upload mirrors (depending on the redist. rights of course) to http://Castle.so/ :)
wattjustin 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a monthly subscriber, this is great to see! Hopefully this will lead some other subscribing as I think the price is well worth it. Wow, I sound like a salesman, but genuinely just a fan of well done work for our community. Thanks!
desireco42 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think they have a sweet problem of being waaay to popular. And everybody likes free stuff.

I meant to say they should use nginx, but apparently they are already using it, I guess that is why our connections are not getting dropped.

Anyway, nice gesture, thank you HN!

jessepollak 2 days ago 2 replies      
awesome! any chance there's an easy way to bulk download all of them?
gilligan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hm yeah..cool offer. But we need one of two things..

1. server/bandwidth upgrade
2. time extension of the offer beyond 24h

Or actually.. ideally both :)

desireco42 2 days ago 0 replies      
I could make a torrent but it is not mine to make it, I think HM owners should do this if they feel like it. I don't want to abuse their good will.
funkah 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you manage to connect to the site, that is.
nysv 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's down.
Anyone have a mirror?
andreiursan 2 days ago 0 replies      
interesting that nobody posted Dropbox public URLs to the downloaded magazines.
       cached 26 December 2011 16:11:01 GMT