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Paul Graham: SOPA Supporting Companies No Longer Allowed At YC Demo Day techcrunch.com
1713 points by ericflo  5 days ago   268 comments top 44
chernevik 5 days ago 4 replies      
The House Judiciary supporters list is chock-full of lawyers -- one-seventh of the list has the string 'LLP' -- and therein lies a major target of opportunity for the technology industry. I doubt anyone will change their counsel over this, but they can make them explain their position.

Let every tech industry CEO, CFO and board member call their most senior contact at a supporting firm. Ask them to explain their position, ask them to explain how this _won't_ break DNS, how the precedents set here won't spread to other policy questions or countries. Don't get into balancing one industry or another -- just make them demonstrate a reasonable layperson understanding of how the internet works. The last thing a partner wants is to sound less than informed on the core technologies in their industry of expertise. If nothing else they'll have to go to school on the question.

No doubt many such partners will say they get it but the firm is larger than they are. And that's the point of a law firm, isn't it, you hire one because it provides quick access to expertise on a wide variety of subjects. But if that larger firm doesn't understand the tech business, just how prepared are they to handle technology problems in various corners of the law? Ask the M&A guy, the financing guy, the tax guy, to explain how SOPA won't break DNS.

I don't know where tech billings compare with movie and recording industry. But they aren't small: M&A, financings, patent, etc etc ad nauseum. Beyond that, the network and technology are the core of how business and industry are changing. Maybe these firms stand to gain from SOPA over the next five years. But can they, can the individual partners, afford to misunderstand the technologies that will be driving more and more clients over time? Get on the phone, not to argue, but to make them understand that they are showing an ignorance that could leave them behind.

burgerbrain 5 days ago  replies      
""If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?""

That is a brilliant point.

nextparadigms 5 days ago  replies      
PG, if you're reading this, I don't know which list you saw, but here's one with SOPA supporters that is probably the most comprehensive:


Joakal 5 days ago 0 replies      
PG, a request; demand INTERNET FREEDOM bills support from SOPA turncoats?

Otherwise, we'll go through this shit again [0][1][2][3] until compromises are made. Which I'm sure is from quite an effective tactic [4]. At the moment, it seems to be a lot of 'pacifist' movements to STOP SOPA when they can go to war against the anti-INTERNET FREEDOM supporters by demanding INTERNET FREEDOM bills.

After all, if they change the bill to be about stopping rogue sites selling child pornography with same wording except replacing piracy words; are you going to publicly say STOP CHILD PORN act supporting companies are no longer allowed at YC Demo Day?

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_S.978

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

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agre...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_A...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door-in-the-face_technique

kbutler 5 days ago 0 replies      
So, who is the congressional staffer who can't spell rogue?


Steko 5 days ago 0 replies      
200+: content creation, distribution, etc. Approximately 1/4 seems to be small photography studios.

100+ commonly pirated physical products - pharma, shoes, fashion, guitars, spirits, golf clubs, etc.

50+ general manufac/retail industry concerns.

15+ law enforcement/local government trade orgs

15+ law offices

There's a number of testing and credentialing organizations, I'd guess they might be part of content but I'm really not sure.

samstave 5 days ago 1 reply      
PG, thank you - this is one of the best stances against SOPA yet.

Frankly, this is a badass stance.

And this line, as also mentioned by others, is fantastic:

"If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?"

dantheman 5 days ago 1 reply      
We need try and start to route around companies that are damaging the internet; and start figuring out who their collaborators are and route around them. This is a great first start, but we need to get companies like google to refuse to allow the MPAA & RIAA to use any of their value add products (gmail/calendar/etc).
DavidSJ 5 days ago 6 replies      
I'm virulently anti-SOPA myself, have signed all the petitions, etc. But am I the only one made uncomfortable by a blacklist of people who have expressed certain opinions?
mahmoudimus 5 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, surprising to see Visa on that list. Here's a direct link to the list on the techcrunch article.


rjurney 5 days ago 4 replies      
Maybe all us angry nerds should OCCUPY something. Something big, related to SOPA. It would be cool to see EFF type concerns channeled into that movement.
vijayr 5 days ago 0 replies      
may be we should stop watching the movies of the supporting studios (and giving them money directly or indirectly) - much harder to do, but would be quite effective
AdamFernandez 5 days ago 1 reply      
Gauntlet officially thrown down. I respect PG even more for taking a stand on this. Now we need to figure out the best way to get people opposed to SOPA on a grand scale. No disrespect to the HN community, but I wonder how much of an impact we really have had thus far. Tumblr, Reddit, and Mozilla have done a fairly good job of this, but they are not large enough to do it on their own. Next we need Google and Facebook to get more involved as I think that would make awareness of this issue skyrocket. Any thoughts on pragmatic approaches to getting the public more involved?
malandrew 5 days ago 0 replies      
Which companies on the list send people to Demo Day?
geebee 5 days ago 0 replies      
I just saw that the USTA (United States Tennis Association) supports SOPA. What a disappointment. This is the organization that manages the US Open and other pro tennis tournaments, but it's also the group that manages amateur leagues and tournaments.

I've been thinking about just playing ultimatetennis instead, maybe this is the time.

rbanffy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for standing up for us all, pg.
Bud 5 days ago 0 replies      
Paul Graham: Thank you for this incredibly forceful and ballsy move. I almost applauded out loud after reading this.
jerfelix 5 days ago 0 replies      
Amazingly, nine out of the top ten articles on the front page are SOPA related (if you count Louis CK's personal distribution, which seems to me to be an experiment in fighting the xIAA organizations.)
mverwijs 5 days ago 0 replies      
PG: How did you arrive at this action when concerning Monsanto I understood your comments as something along the lines of "that's just the way of things work in the world of corporations"?
johnrob 5 days ago 1 reply      
As much as I support the anti SOPA cause, is this more of a hunger strike than a consequential action? The startups presenting at demo day need those dollars a whole lot more than the corporate venture arms need the investments. Money is money, no matter how stupid it may be.
aestetix_ 5 days ago 0 replies      
pg, thank you so much for doing this. You rock.
webinsiders 5 days ago 0 replies      
GODADDY is acting like we're bluffing and basically challenging us to try and make a dent in their business. Read this!

Update (6:18 PM): GoDaddy seems unimpressed by the boycott so far. They made the following statement to Ars Technica: "Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business. We understand there are many differing opinions on the SOPA regulations."

robomc 5 days ago 1 reply      
> and many startups, such as Reddit

Can you call a 6 year old site, sold to a major media conglomerate, with some of the highest traffic on the net a startup?

mostlyListening 5 days ago 1 reply      
So if SOPA fails to pass and stops being an issue, will that boycott end or will it continue?

Going by PG's reasoning (If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?") then it should continue until there are major changes the leaderships of those companies. Right?

bokchoi 4 days ago 0 replies      
austenallred 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's not only about Congressmen and Congresswomen being in the back pockets of big corporations. If you watch the hearings you realize that 90% of them don't understand enough technology to know what DNS is. They are persuaded by the people that are bought, and it goes from there.
satyajit 4 days ago 0 replies      
Found this link from a comment thread on TechCrunch: commenter (Nick Such) said, jhalf of the YC companies may be affected: http://jpf.github.com/domain-profiler/ycombinator.html.
But this graph is (I think) earlier on Dec 22nd. Will be interesting to see how the graph looks like after that day's mayhem!
pan69 5 days ago 0 replies      
I sincerely hope that many Internet companies such as Facebook and Google will follow this initiative by removing all these companies from their databases.
dickbasedregex 5 days ago 1 reply      
My company has about 35 domains and SSL certs through GoDaddy. I've always loathed them but I can't justify the cost of transferring over. Is anyone offering a discounted option to jump ship?
readme 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the link to the Sopa Supporters.pdf file was taken down, so here's a backup, courtesy of google docs:


rbanffy 5 days ago 0 replies      
In case someone takes the list down,



kposehn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Smart move. This is a clear way to send a signal to SOPA supporting companies: supporting this bill may cut you out of some of the best investment opportunities in the world.
jwblackwell 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is great news, but I still feel that more leading industry figures need to step forward the same way PG has and make clear their stance on SOPA.

Hopefully PGs move will encourage others to follow suit.

briankim 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is pretty awesome indeed.
dontbelame 5 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent! Props to PG for standing up against SOPA. Media company wants to take the free internet away from us. We cannot afford to have SOPA passed!!
andrewhillman 5 days ago 0 replies      
A bomb was just dropped! This is a badass stand that sends a strong and direct message to anyone tied to a SOPA supporter. It will be interesting to see if venture funds start to cut ties w/ SOPA supporters.
moses1400 5 days ago 0 replies      
anyone have a list of the companies that were part of SOPA that attended either of the last two demo days?
cechmaster 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just gained a ton of respect for you YC
joezhou 4 days ago 0 replies      
balls, PG has them.
inaworldofideas 5 days ago 1 reply      
Paul Graham. Hero.
Patrick_Bateman 5 days ago 0 replies      
Boom, headshot.

Mmmmmaybe these companies are all so clueless that they think it's a good idea. Far more likely, they know what they're doing is bad, but choose to do it anyway because there's no downside for them.

It's like people who are deliberate assholes in public because they (correctly) gamble that no one will risk punching them in the face.

Well I for one fully support punching SOPA supporters in the face. This is as good a start as any.

d0vs 5 days ago 7 replies      
Am I the only one thinking that this is censorship too?

edit: censorship

_THE_PLAGUE 5 days ago 0 replies      
This controversy to me seems eerily similar to the so-called "SCO Wars" when the SCO Group defended her intellectual property rights against looters like IBM and Novell. This act will help to prevent tragedies such as what happened to SCO from occuring in the future, by making it more difficult to pirate other people's code. I do not see why some people think that is a bad thing. Darl McBride was right. He might have lost the suit, but I think history will vindicate him, and SOPA is part of that vindication.
bambax 5 days ago 1 reply      
PG is quoted in the article as saying ”I don't know exactly which companies had people on the list. But I know which will now: none of them.”

That's fine and admirable, but on the practical side, if he doesn't know who's who, how is he going to enforce this rule?

GoDaddy supports SOPA, redditor proposes "Move your Domain Day" reddit.com
1103 points by duiker101  6 days ago   244 comments top 41
pg 5 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 5 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 6 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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?

lambda 5 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 5 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...
danso 5 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.
lincolnwebs 5 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.
richtaur 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a helpful article I used to move my domains off of GoDaddy:


dmerfield 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Any recommendations on alternative services?
MattBearman 5 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 5 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.



maeon3 6 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?

stanmancan 5 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.
gravitronic 6 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another reason to move away from GoDaddy. They're making it way too easy now!
bronson 5 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 5 days ago 3 replies      
I have a few go daddy domains. Where should I move my .it domains to?
mrcalzone 5 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 5 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!
tuananh 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hover offers promo code for transferring too. 10% off
clark-kent 5 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.
krogsgard 6 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Move your Domain Day?

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

kevinburke 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've transferred about 10 domains from GoDaddy now, thanks for the step-by-step guide.
frabcus 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Doesn't Google have a partnership with GoDaddy for registering Google Apps domains? Conflict of interests?
flatline 5 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 5 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 5 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.

A Step By Step Guide to Transfer Domains Out Of GoDaddy jeffepstein.me
1063 points by jeffepp  5 days ago   102 comments top 45
jbail 5 days ago 4 replies      
I just transferred my 47 domains out of GoDaddy. I've been meaning to do it for awhile --- primarily because the price keeps inching up and because I find their advertising and use of spokeswomen sort of distasteful.

Seeing Jillian Michael's face when I'm buying a domain or setting up DNS records for a client is pretty much the last thing I want to see.

I guess you could say SOPA was the last straw. Transferring 47 domains cost a pretty penny, but it feels really good to leave that circus behind.

I went with Namecheap, primarily because I've heard good things about them and this blog post made it easy. I like how simple and snappy their web site is. Much quicker and easier to use than Godaddy...and no Jillian Michaels staring me down.

CWuestefeld 5 days ago 4 replies      
As noted elsewhere, it's the hosting plans that they make their money from, and so that's what I'd aim to transfer. So I've got a two-part question:

1) How does one transfer all the DNS information, including the A and MX records (anything else I need?)? Is this all provider-specific? Or can they just port in the existing data?

2) When I'm ready, I'd want to set up a web site, and especially a mail server. Any recommendations? (I know this has been asked plenty in the past, but this seems a good time to make a list excluding GoDaddy)

jameskilton 5 days ago 1 reply      
https://dnsimple.com/ has a 50% off special for transferring domains off of GoDaddy. They may not be the cheapest (it's $3 a month to host 10 domains + yearly cost for the domain registration), but they have fantastic support and are super simple to use.
yurisagalov 5 days ago 1 reply      
The site seems down for me, but Google has a cache:


RexM 5 days ago 1 reply      
After you get your EPP codes entered and GoDaddy is notified that you intend to transfer the domain, you can either wait 5 days for GoDaddy to release the domain, or you can go in and immediately accept the transfer by following these instructions: http://support.godaddy.com/help/6040?locale=en

Then it's just a matter of waiting for everything to finalize. I started the process this morning and it still isn't finalized.

_delirium 5 days ago 2 replies      
Note that you also have to disable domains-by-proxy (domain privacy) if you have it on any domains before they can be transferred.
re_todd 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome, everyone says to transfer, but most people won't because it's too much of a hassle. This helps alleviate that barrier. I've just tweeted this and will email my friends too. We nerds are a kind of multiplier effect. GoDaddy, you're days are numbered.
j79 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is a great step by step guide for transferring domains. Exactly what I needed (I tried earlier and quickly got lost!)

I do have a question for anyone who could help: Can I transfer a domain which is set to expire in 2019? And, are there typically fees for transferring a domain?

dazbradbury 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure whether it was the HN posting, but it seems Tumblr is not coping with the amount of traffic. Whilst that isn't all that interesting, I just wanted to say kudos for having a link to charity on the error page:

  We're very sorry
Our servers are over capacity and certain pages may be temporarily unavailable.
We're working quickly to resolve the issue.

In the meantime, please consider donating to the Red Cross
to help those in Japan who are in need of support.

Unfortunately, the link provided is broken:


Anyone from Tumblr watching?

btilly 5 days ago 0 replies      
For those looking for alternatives, it is worth noting MediaTemple's unofficial position on this topic: http://twitter.com/#!/demian_sellfors/status/149950134556426...

(Demian Sellfors is the CEO.)

poutine 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just transferred 40 domains off of GoDaddy using this. Thanks.
ck2 5 days ago 0 replies      
The irony is that godaddy has the fastest transfer out I've ever experienced with almost realtime acks if your receiving registrar supports it.

(and I've used nearly a dozen registrars, not just resellers)

You can be out in under 4 hours, all depends on how fast the registry responds.

lukeholder 5 days ago 2 replies      
namecheap adds 1 year to your existing expiration date when you switch. Nothing to do on your part. No need to contact support with the question like I did.
jiggy2011 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great and all but I don't really see a boycott as being such an effective solution.

The problem with boycotts is they are based on the following things:

1) The spending power of the boycotter.
2) The potential spend of the boycotter on the relevant service/product.
3) The amount of influence you have over others to boycott.

So whilst you can move your handful of personal domains that you were using for your hobby website or small startup elsewhere, the biggest spenders on domains I would imagine are going to be medium-large businesses.

These are much more cautious to join a boycott unless there is obvious PR benefit (e.g fairtrade or animal testing free products spring to mind) because they are beholden to shareholders and are generally conservative when it comes to changing suppliers unless there is a clear cost-benefit. The only people in the organization that are likely to care about this will be the techies who unless they are the CIO/CTO do not have the influence to affect domain purchasing decisions.

The conversation probably goes approximately like this:

Boss: Good day underling! Please secure us the following list of 100 domain names from the great godaddy, lord of the DNS!

Techie: But sir , we shouldn't use godaddy. There is an active boycott because of SOPA, how about company X instead?

Boss: What is this SOPA of which you speak?

Techie: explains SOPA

Boss: Damn hippies! I neither understand nor care for their plight, godaddy is cheaper and we already have an account with them. I know not of this company X, do they advertise at the superbowl?

Techie: but...

Boss: Please do as I command and grace godaddy with our pieces of silver.

Techie: enters company credit card details at godaddy.com

Shpigford 5 days ago 2 replies      
If you're transferring to Namecheap, you can combine both the domain name and the EPP code on the same line (comma separated). That'll save you a step of having to re-submit it for each domain.
fersho311 5 days ago 2 replies      
This review is really preventing me from going with namecheap...

can someone advise?

jneal 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've been wanting to move away from GoDaddy for awhile now. I only went to GoDaddy in the first place over 10 years ago because they were the cheapest place. Since then, their prices have risen, their interface has become horrible, their up-selling has become unbearable, and their TV advertisements annoy me.

I believe that their support of the SOPA could be looked at as their last straw for me. I'm planning on moving all of my domains on Dec 29 unless they change their stance on SOPA. However, even if they did change their stance I don't think it could really save me as a customer considering all of the other aforementioned issues.

olifante 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is the straw that broke the camel's back. I just migrated my 44 domains to NameCheap.

Use the "sopasucks" discount code, it takes $1.99 off each .com domain. For some reason, .me transfers are much more expensive than .com transfers: $19.99 vs $8.98

PhrosTT 5 days ago 0 replies      
Count me in for about 14 or so plus SSL certs and other fun.

What a windfall for Namecheap.

nxn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone familiar with any good registrars that support both .me and .it domains?

EDIT: gandi.net looks like the best bet if anyone else needs both .me and .it.

jwn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the guide! I've got 21 domains at Godaddy and I've started transferring the inactive ones as a test. Once I've got a feel for the process I'll start moving the ones that have DNS entries with GoDaddy as well.
chaselee 5 days ago 0 replies      
Our domain was registered through Google and they stuck it on GoDaddy. Working on getting it transferred safely. Nice post Jeff!
elmcitylabs 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great post. We're in the process of transferring 50+ domains from GoDaddy.
bigohms 5 days ago 1 reply      
Huge believer of voting with your pocket. We have just submitted to have the last 247 GoDaddy domains transferred.
noinput 5 days ago 0 replies      
I just setup a tumblr for anyone interested, i'll keep count for those that want to submit: goodbyegodaddy.tumblr.com


marquis 5 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy will stay in business while ad syndicates continue to accept their money. Is there an ad syndicate that allows you to specifically black-list companies? Some kind of 'ethical ad' startup?
gluejar 4 days ago 0 replies      
Don't for get to ask your credit card provider to reverse your GoDaddy Payment- the SOPA-enabled chargeback is the real nightmare for internet companies.
PakG1 5 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone please provide advice for SSL? I don't think it's as easy? Am I stuck for SSL?
underworld12 5 days ago 2 replies      
How long does the transfer process take? Also, what about DNS configurations?
epynonymous 5 days ago 0 replies      
couldn't access the link, but i noticed that godaddy puts a lock on domain transfers by default, after removing the lock, my current registrar, iwantmyname.com, asked for a $10 transfer fee. i'll probably wait until they catch onto the fact that there's a mass exodus from godaddy and give free transfers :)
DannyDover 5 days ago 0 replies      
Quick tip, you can use the promo code 'switch2nc' to save a dollar off each transfer.

(I am not affiliated with namecheap, the promo code or anything related. I am just cheap :-p)

laironald 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm so confused. How does GoDaddy dominate the domain market? I guess those Superbowl Dollars are in proper use...?
jsnrkd 5 days ago 0 replies      
The tutorial took about 10 minutes to complete for my domains. I've been on the look out for an easy way to leave GoDaddy for a while now. Thank you!
satyajit 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just transferred (recovered/save/gavelife) (well, just) 3 domains out of GoDaddy. Rest of my domains are gathering dust elsewhere, but I am happy that this marks the end of my relationship with the nasty GoDaddy. Best wishes to them with their skimpy dress ads on SupBowl!
cemregr 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've been having trouble accessing this page for the last hour. Oh, tumblr.
halfbrown 5 days ago 0 replies      
So much good info here in the comments and in Jeff's post. I'll be moving my domains ASAP!
nivertech 5 days ago 0 replies      
I need a similar guide for register.com
I have one very old domain stuck there because I lost access to email address with which I registered there.
obituary_latte 5 days ago 1 reply      
I really wish I had a spare $754 ($681 with code) to transfer all my dumb domain names.
chrislaco 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just transfered out 34 domains. Thanks for the export instructions!
joell 5 days ago 0 replies      
We'll be transferring ~30 domains later today.
chrislaco 5 days ago 0 replies      
Also, item of note for these instructions. GoDaddy auth codes sometimes contain commas, so they'll export as quoted values.

The domain,authcode trick in the bulk form doesn't work. Make sure to enter the unquoted auth codes for those domains in the cart during transfer.

laserDinosaur 4 days ago 0 replies      
I only have one domain =(

Transferring anyway :)

benawabe896 4 days ago 0 replies      
6 domains for me.
cefarix 4 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you!
wangjing16899 5 days ago 0 replies      
Time to end the war on drugs virgin.com
869 points by DanielRibeiro  2 days ago   202 comments top 30
DanielBMarkham 2 days ago  replies      
Great article. I would like to further suggest we end the use of the word "war" in contexts that do not involve mandatory conscription and the deaths of large numbers of combatants until one side totally surrenders. (This implies there is a "side" to be able to surrender.) Politicians have so destroyed the word "war" that it's impossible to have a reasonable discussion about any use of violence by the state. Perhaps that was the goal. Don't know.

Drug use is a health-related issue, whether it is a doctor prescribing medications, a patient taking meds off-label, a person self-medicating, an addict, or some kind experimentation. All of these situations are much more personal health concerns than public safety concerns. Yes, addiction is a terrible tragedy and sometimes danger for the rest of us -- but it's a personal disaster a long time before it affects any of us. I'd argue that in the aggregate most addicts suffer a lot more personally than any damage they inflict on society.

We have a caricatured view of the drug addict -- the unwashed, illiterate, toothless junkie hiding out in a crack house. Yes, addiction ends up that way for some, but by and large addicts are middle-class, educated, and live in houses with their friends or families. Hollywood and moralists have done us a great disservice by putting these horrible outlier pictures in people's heads when they think of drug use. Take for instance the word "addict", which like the word "war" is such a broad term that it doesn't have much meaning on it's own without further clarification. One side wants you to believe that all drug use consists of PhDs smoking pot while talking astronomy. The other side wants you to believe that all drug use ends in addiction and death. People need to stop with the histrionics.

I support legalization, although I am extremely cautious personally when it comes to drug use. I might support criminalization of dealing hard drugs. I'd have to think about it a bit. But declaring "war" on our own population is a pretty idiotic way to spend our social resources if you ask me. Just like the "war on poverty," the "war on illiteracy," the "war on obesity," and the "culture war," enough with the wars already.

subwindow 2 days ago 3 replies      
There seems to be a lot of confusion on this thread about exactly what Portugal did, and the ramifications for the U.S. in terms of time-frame and difficulty.

What Portugal did was decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs. They did not legalize them. There is a huge difference. Decriminalization essentially means that possession of small amounts of drugs is no longer an offense that warrants an arrest and jail time. In a decriminalized system an officer can still stop someone for drugs, but they can only write them a ticket- similar to speeding, jaywalking or illegal parking.

This makes a huge difference for a number of reasons. First, it's easier to implement politically because the substances are still illegal. Second, it's less costly because people caught with small amounts are not caught up in the justice system for years, and only pay a small fine. Third, it decreases the adversarial nature of the "war on drugs" because being caught with drugs is no longer a life-changing event.

Marijuana possession is already decriminalized in many states in the U.S. (California, Colorado, New York and Oregon off the top of my head). It is clearly not an impossibility to implement politically, and in fact the trend in the U.S. is already on its way. An important hurdle is that we do not have any states that have yet decriminalized "harder" drugs like heroin and cocaine, but it is simply a matter of time. Pressure on lawmakers in the form of education, money and votes will in fact work. It just takes time.

TheAmazingIdiot 2 days ago  replies      
One has to remember that Portugal did not completely legalize drugs. Possession of small amounts and usage were legalized.

Dealing is still a big crime there, due to the citizens of Portugal not wanting to be akin the worlds drug den. The different viewpoint of legalizing usage was that it is a medical problem, and not a evil crime. Even that said, Portugal also made their problems less severe by bringing them out in the open instead of draconian punishments forcing users to hide.

The biggest hurdle for Portugal's idea to work in the USA is that we do not have any sort of socialized or national healthcare in which to attach a "fund substance abuse as medical problem" freely as Portugal does already. I can imagine that issue alone taking 10+ years in Congress, if any action is done at all.

Note: iPod farted earlier leading only posting the first character of this post: "O".

torrenegra 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos (also an entrepreneur), recently called for the legalization of many drugs, including cocaine: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/13/colombia-juan-sa...

I'm a NYC-based, Colombian entrepreneur. My step-brother died piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in Colombia that crashed while executing an anti-narcotics operation. The helicopter was "donated" by the US as part of "Plan Colombia" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Colombia ). Plan Colombia is a periodic subsidy sent by the US to Colombia to help with the war on drugs. The program is lobbied in part by Sikorsky and Monsanto. The subsidy includes some cash, but it also comes in the form of helicopters (built by Sikorsky), glyphosate (banned in the US but used in Colombia to destroy coca plantations), and weapons.

You can say that the "war on drugs" allowed my brother to realize his dream (flying a helicopter), but it also killed him.

I may be emotionally charged with the topic and may not exercise good reason about it, but I've seen enough to realize that the "war on drugs" is just a big mess that won't be won, no matter what.

tomwalker 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am a doctor in a Scottish hospital.

For every productive member of society using drugs there must be at least 2 -3 that drain from society

I rarely see anyone use methadone long term and rehabilitate themselves back to productive members of society. They end up being permanently high. My opinion is not isolated amongst my colleagues.

Spend a couple of hours in a hospital that provides free health care and see the devastation caused by all drugs.

Alcohol and smoking cause the largest volume of problems but many of the users have jobs.

Heroin produces real life zombies!

swombat 2 days ago 5 replies      
Even coming from a respectable industry leader like Richard Branson, this will almost certainly be ignored.

Here's an interesting question: what would end the war on drugs? Is it something that can be made to happen by sane, enterprising individuals?

davidw 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have the karma to burn to come out and say this should be on another site. Not only has it already been discussed all over the internet, it's been discussed here to death, and in any event, yet another drugs debate here isn't going to accomplish anything.
ilitirit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My previous comment the last time this was posted:

Anyone have any more info?

tokenadult 2 days ago 3 replies      
A friend shared this link on Facebook, and I read through the article. I was very interested to note that Richard Branson bases much of his argument on the reduction in drug use in Portugal since the policy change decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use and referring users to medical treatment. Is this the societal consensus in other countries? Are most advocates of ending "the war on drugs" trying to achieve reduced use? Is the worldwide experience (Branson also refers to the Netherlands and to the European Union generally) that fewer criminal penalties for drug use results in consistently lower overall use in the general population? How many drug legalization campaigns around the world make this the major point of the campaign, to reduce use of the drugs that are now illegal?
davidmathers 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Cato paper that Branson references was written by salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald and is available to read online at Cato's website: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080
felipe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso made this issue his "post-presidency" flag. There's an excellent documentary called "Breaking the Taboo" [1] that follows him examining successful efforts around the world (including Portugal)

[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951090/

gerggerg 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is always a fun page to look at when pondering The Land of the Free™


And keep in mind, much of the prison system is privatized, many of those inmates work hard labor for far less than minimum wage, they have access to almost no real rehabilitation programs, and can't vote once they serve their time.

linuxhansl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never going to happen. The "war on drugs" has not been about drugs for a long time.

Large parts of law enforcement funding are due to this "war", and whole prison industry sprung up around this.

Everybody knows that the "war on drugs" is ineffective and will never reach its stated goal!

Conversely by creating artificial scarcity, the price for drugs are driven up (because demand is more or less constant) and this guarantees huge profits for illegal activities providing these drugs.

powertower 1 day ago 2 replies      
Without the war on drugs this would happen:

1. Half the law enforcement, out of the job.

2. Half the lawyers and the judges, out of the job.

3. Half the privatized prison system, out of the job.

4. A few million other jobs that support and/or depend on the above, done away with.

It's pointless to even try this in the USA... No one is going to be willing to give up the ongoing and ever-giving spoils of the war on drugs.

TobiasCassell 2 days ago 1 reply      
If drugs are legalized the United States will be forced to dream up and create other reasons to keep its military outposts in hundreds of countries. This is why we maintain a war on drugs. A war that is impossible to win. The United States will never legalize drugs.

PS I'm with richard Branson, but he is being naive or he is not mentioning these elements on purpose as a strategy.

Edit; Forgot to mention the United States Prison-Industrial Complex- that is even more anti-legalize momentum that would have to be addressed.

tete 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another thing that will at least take a very long time to finally happen. I don't take drugs, not even legal ones, but it's logical.

Most people seem to start taking drugs, because others do it and simply because it's cool or rebellious (in fact I smoked for a while in my childhood because of that). I think most people wouldn't start and get hooked, if it was legal. To most people it's ugly the first time anyways.

Hmm, when making things illegal leads to consumption then we should maybe make vegetables and stuff illegal. :D

bitops 1 day ago 1 reply      
For an excellent perspective on the damage the drug war causes internationally, read "The Politics of Heroin" by Alfred McCoy. It's dense but illuminating.
jcfrei 2 days ago 1 reply      
the fact that the US (and many other countries) still pursue a war on drugs is to me a display of a fundamental flaw in politics. even though every sane person has to acknowledge that legalizing drugs in part is more effective than enforcing more rigid controls, only very few politicians would support such a motion. mostly because they become victim to a more conservative rhetoric and thus will be less likely reelected.
praptak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe that the dominant policy is based on the "it is immoral, so it should be punished severely and to heck with the collateral damage" reasoning. It's irrational. Arguments based on reason will not work here. Yes, I'm a pessimist.
Zakharov 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I agree with Branson's arguments in general, the statistics he uses to support them seem very suspicious to me. He appears to be picking and choosing particular statistics that support his claims while ignoring others. For example, he talks about low marijuana use after saying that Portugal had a relatively high rate of use of hard drugs, which to some extent compete with marijuana for use.
asdkl234890 1 day ago 2 replies      
How many people under the age of baby boomers are for the war on drugs?

Do any of you think we can end the war on drugs before enough of the baby boomers are... pardon me... dead?

chris123 1 day ago 0 replies      
The "war" on "anything" is a sign that people (usually politicians and the business interests that support them) are using propaganda techniques to "shape" (they love that word) public opinion and legislation that will defend their status quo cash-cow and/or or channel new dollars their way. The "War on Terror" and "War on Drugs" are the biggies that come to mind.
crozo 2 days ago 0 replies      
The parallels between the current war on drugs and the prohibition in the early XX century are staggering. Can we learn from that experience? The cost in USD and lives ruined that the war itself creates is greater than the cost of taking the profits a way from a few and running educational campaigns so people can take responsibility of what they do.
For those of us living in countries where the front line of this war is being fought, is clear we are loosing a war that is not ours, neither worth fighting. But we keep on doing it because the US "pays" for it.
Someday a future generation will look back and ask themselves how come they didn't realize it was a stupid war? were they less intelligent in those simpler times? And they will probably be right.
dawkins 2 days ago 0 replies      
I live in Spain and I think in Portugal is the same as here. Drug use is not a crime but it is still an "Administrative Offense". If the police caught's you with a small amount of drugs, they will confiscate them and usually impose a fine, about 300€.
johntyree 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is literally copy-paste from Time magazine 2009.


Excellent work, Dick.

Serentiynow 1 day ago 0 replies      
To whose benefit?
People who benefit from the war on drugs:
-The military complex, weapon producers. Terrorist need drug money to fight wars. Weapon producers need wars to make money.
-Pharmaceutical companies.
-Alcohol producers.
-Anti drug agency personnel, cops.
-For profit jails.
The list goes on...
mixmastamyk 1 day ago 0 replies      
The time was twenty years ago!
valuegram 2 days ago 0 replies      
Couldn't agree more. The only way to "win" the war on drugs is to legalize, commercialize, and tax the production. It's a simple matter of economics that as long as demand for these substances is present, there will be producers.
swah 2 days ago 6 replies      
I don't understand how a world where making/selling something is a crime but consuming is not could work.
opendomain 1 day ago 5 replies      
I have a feeling that the people that are promoting the end of the "war" are casual users or would like to be. Has any REAL experience with Drugs? I have - my family was ripped apart by drug abuse.
Drugs alter your brain - addiction is VERY powerful. If some drugs were legal, MORE people would become addicted and crime will go up for people to feed their habits.
GoDaddy has not withdrawn its official congressional support for SOPA reddit.com
812 points by ParkerK  3 days ago   57 comments top 13
mattdeboard 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
When they've spent $500k lobbying against, that is when they should be considered forgiven.
hadronzoo 2 days 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 2 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.
badragon 3 days 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?
Blunt 2 days 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.
Sami_Lehtinen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well. I didn't like GoDaddy in first place anyway. I moved personal and other domains I administer out.
NARKOZ 3 days ago 0 replies      
>You can lie on the internet, but you don't lie to the internet.
dagda1 3 days 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?

rhizome 3 days 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.
GoDaddy: A glimpse of the Internet under SOPA david.weebly.com
680 points by drusenko  1 day ago   37 comments top 10
JeremyBanks 1 day ago 1 reply      
A similar story is when GoDaddy shut down seclists.org at the request of MySpace because of a single post out of hundreds of thousands: http://seclists.org/nmap-hackers/2007/0
suhail 1 day ago 7 replies      
Out of curiosity, what made many of you even use GoDaddy? I've always felt it was a bit sketch due to its:

- Commercials

- And it's shady ability to add $60 worth of crap to your cart when you want to buy a $9 domain.

I found Namecheap and never found anything simpler and less sketch. Even looking for domains on Namecheap 3-4 years ago was much simpler.

Was it just the registrar you had heard of first?

forgotAgain 1 day ago 1 reply      
Gives a glimmer of why GoDaddy would want to support SOPA. It would instantly create a market for premium DNS services where you are protected from this sort of thing.
charlieok 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's ironic that Go Daddy started off their super bowl ad campaign a few years ago by thumbing their nose at mock “censorship hearings”


ohashi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sadly, I know this story isn't an isolated incident. It's also why I don't believe their 'change of heart' in the slightest. This type of behavior and belief is ingrained into the company's culture. On top of that, the whois issues, GoDaddy is also known for messing with their whois (forcing you to go to their site and fill out a captcha instead of giving full info from the whois server directly).
ericgearhart 1 day ago 0 replies      
SOPA is but a battle in a war. The "war" is the corruption in the US Congress. Go check out what Larry Lessig is doing nowadays... he's trying to fight the war, not the battle.

His comments on why he's "MIA" in the SOPA battle (despite being an open source software and copyleft activist) shed light on this. I'm with Larry... SOPA, the USA PATRIOT Act, DMCA, all that BS are just symptoms of a disease. I'm not saying we "netizens" shouldn't fight SOPA tooth and nail, but some effort should be put into the 'war' as well, to avoid only seeing one or two trees and not the forest.


gregable 1 day ago 0 replies      
FWIW, this was the post that made me move my domains out from godaddy. Seems like it shows clearly that Godaddy's product is not high quality rather than just their company's stand on SOPA.

I don't generally feel that I can sanely make all of my product decisions based on the political/moral/etc positions of the companies involved. Not that I wouldn't love to, but it just doesn't seem manageable.

Gigablah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a similar experience when Dyn.com suspended my DNS hosting after a complaint from Amazon about a "phishing" link on my site (it was actually a legitimate Amazon affiliate link). My site was inaccessible while I scrambled to move my DNS entries elsewhere. Even though I have a premium account with Dyn, I was never given any sort of notification beforehand, and it took 5 days of pestering for them to finally reinstate it. Meanwhile, all I got from Amazon was a half-hearted apology from their affiliate customer service rep.

Really, who needs SOPA when companies can shut down websites just like that?

GigabyteCoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was perhaps a bit too liberal with my SEO ventures once... I received one single complaint to GoDaddy about a domain name that I owned with them (and admittedly was doing a bit of backlinking with)... One email and a ~$75 "fine" later I was back in business. But this is absurd.

The complaint was along the lines of "Somebody posted a link to this website X and I think it's spam."

GoDaddy immediately placed my domain on hold (same abuse department call that weebly received) and was told I would have to pay the fine to proceed or I could just forfeit the domain to them.

It seemed incredibly heavy handed for a stray blog comment.

maeon3 1 day ago 2 replies      
If sopa passes maybe there is a way we can get all .gov sites blacklisted with everyone scrambling and wondering why nobody in the world can reach these sites. we need to start programming some weapons into the internet so the people can fight censorship after it becomes law. In the land of spear and sword, the rifleman makes policy.
Go Daddy No Longer Supports SOPA godaddy.com
641 points by johnnytee  4 days ago   226 comments top 96
markbao 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
More like "GoDaddy no longer publicly supports SOPA".

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

RyanMcGreal 4 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).
ghshephard 4 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.

bradleyland 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Next step: GoDaddy's General Counsel, Christine Jones, who is an architect of SOPA, needs to resign.
pokoleo 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
Too late. Their petulant and dickish responses from the last few days show their true feelings on the issue.
chuinard 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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]

timjahn 4 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.

schrototo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bunch of weasels.
EGreg 4 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.

noduerme 4 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.

ChuckMcM 4 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)

meanJim 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 2 replies      
I cannot trust a company who changes their philosophy based on how well it impacts their business.
dollar 4 days ago 0 replies      
Until GoDaddy makes an official public statement to Congress, the transfers are still on.
digitalboss 4 days ago 1 reply      
andrewingram 4 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 4 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 4 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.

hrabago 4 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.
bradleyland 4 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.

invisible 4 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 4 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.
cheald 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Reddit. Boycotts do work!
wan23 4 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.
antirez 4 days ago 0 replies      
I guess we can say that godaddy is eventually consistent.
Shenglong 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well that was a quick turn around.
vaksel 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great, kid. Don't get cocky.
superchink 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Too late. The damage is done, in my opinion.
x3c 4 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.

Supermighty 4 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?
Gobitron 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I call BS. Sorry Parsons the boycott is still on.
joshuahedlund 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Boing Boing is claiming this was just a PR stunt. Thoughts?
anrope 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
GD's response should lie in the positive feedback loop for the boycott. Press on.
walru 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't believe GoDaddy on this, and I certainly wouldn't trust them.
thomasgerbe 4 days ago 0 replies      
Next up: AT&T and Net Neutrality?!
masmullin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Now can we focus on the United States Tennis Association next?
spencerfry 4 days ago 0 replies      
Too little. Too late.
gdw2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ok everybody, transfer all your domains back... :-P
pknerd 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I actually think the reversal shows a complete lack of spine and only steers me away from GoDaddy even further.
7654321 4 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."

davidcollantes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Too little, too late.
ricardobeat 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can only laugh at this...
tulsidas 4 days ago 0 replies      
a little too late now, I guess
Cl4rity 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone actually trust GoDaddy's word? I didn't think so.
hdt 4 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.
NARKOZ 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think they're lying and still support it just don't want to lose the money.
shomyo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Too late
j45 4 days ago 0 replies      
Geeks of the world unite! :)
xxiao 4 days ago 0 replies      
too late, in fact will never use godaddy.
ed2417 4 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  5 days ago   45 comments top 10
brandnewlow 5 days ago 3 replies      
What's the best way to see what my local rep has said about SOPA?
gambler 5 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.
DilipJ 5 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 5 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.

holychiz 5 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.
prudhvis 4 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
codesuela 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am not using GoDaddy again and will encourage my friends and family to stay away as well.
slyspyderspy07 5 days ago 0 replies      
Transfer complete.
jamesbritt 5 days ago 0 replies      
They provide other services besides domain hosting.

For example, domain registration.

StackOverflow also planning to switch from GoDaddy due to SOPA concerns. stackoverflow.com
590 points by AgentConundrum  5 days ago   78 comments top 16
d_r 5 days ago 5 replies      
Perhaps off-topic, but after reading GoDaddy's letter, I am surprised that our discussions against SOPA don't focus on the root -- the fact that the legislation is presented in an incredibly misleading and vague manner.

At face value, its purpose is to stop the foreign counterfeit drug/goods sellers -- you know, the same guys who spam us with "enlarge your..." and such offers. The same guys who pollute Google search results with "buy handbags" trash. Now suppose someone had asked you: "do you want legislation against these foreign illegal drug sellers?" Surely you'd say yes. Heck, I'd say yes. What reasonable person would oppose this?

But the problem is that the legislation is presented as this, but is actually likely going to be used for other things (censoring online content, special interests of the movie industry, etc.)

So when we write to our congresspeople and explain our concerns with SOPA, I wonder: do they think "Hmm, I am just protecting the internet from so-and-so baddies selling drugs. Why are all these tech people suddenly up in arms about this? Do they somehow not want to stop those baddies?"

When we write, we say that we oppose SOPA. Would we be more effective if we asserted that we do hate those sellers and oppose SOPA because of its specific implications? Unless of course, the bad "side effects" are actually the main purpose and the "good" cause is just a very clever gimmick.

markbao 5 days ago 5 replies      
I cannot believe how many people are using the worst domain registrar in existence, even if you don't consider SOPA support. Out of all of the domain registrars, why GoDaddy?
mekoka 5 days ago 1 reply      
Actually, what surprises me is that SO would be registered with them in the first place.
foobarbazetc 5 days ago 3 replies      
Why did anyone ever use GoDaddy in the first place?

There are much better options out there. Dynadot, Moniker, Gandi, ... the list is endless.

k-mcgrady 5 days ago 0 replies      
I started moving away from GoDaddy recently. I'm sick of the up-selling when buying domains. I know it's how they make their money but I now use Hover and it is much quicker and simpler to purchase domains.

I was also getting tired of GoDaddy's constant domain management changes. Every time I go there they have a new UI. Again Hover is A LOT simpler.

I still haven't moved everything off but I am gradually doing it. And all my new domains are with Hover.

moonlighter 5 days ago 0 replies      
I recently started to point all name servers to Amazon Route 53. Clean and super easy to use now that it's available in the AWS Management Console. GoDaddy has been reduced to a registrar only, all DNS is managed from AWS now.
And good riddance of GoDaddy's crappy Domain Manager UI.
vertr 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am not a fan of Godaddy.

However, it is clear that Godaddy thrives on being controversial. We are giving them their greatest wish.

sgaither 5 days ago 2 replies      
Wow...this is like hearing that Github plans to quit Dreamweaver because it was feuding with Adobe.
kuahyeow 5 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy just upped the publicity of SOPA a whole lot. I wonder will this shine a light on SOPA within the mainstream.
zdgman 5 days ago 1 reply      
Did StackOverflow actually comment on when the switch would occur? I am sure they will post about it but I see a bunch of large companies saying "we will switch". I don't see a lot of companies saying "we have switched".

Proof or it didn't happen.

sidcool 4 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy changes their stance on SOPA.
wangjing16899 5 days ago 0 replies      
wangjing16899 5 days ago 0 replies      
wangjing16899 5 days ago 0 replies      


ajays 5 days ago 2 replies      
Wow... SO is still with GoDaddy? GoDaddy's position on SOPA has been clear since October; what took them so long?
maeon3 5 days ago 0 replies      
Stackoverflow for president... Woah there is an idea.
Namecheap to Donate $1 to EFF for Every Domain Transfer on December 29th namecheap.com
532 points by flueedo  23 hours ago   87 comments top 19
nextparadigms 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Namecheap is really taking advantage of Godaddy's misstep. I say good for them! Godaddy deserves whatever is coming at them right now.
dmarble 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been with Namecheap for most of my domains for a couple years now. One of the surprisingly awesome extras:

Dynamic DNS

No more need for DynDNS or another third-party DNS service for this simple but useful feature! Once enabled for a domain, you can simply use an update client to regularly update the IP Namecheap servers point to.

See Namecheap's knowledgebase articles to enable and use it: http://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/category.aspx...

Update clients:

ddclient (unixy) - http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/ddclient

inadyn (unixy) - http://www.inatech.eu/inadyn/

Namecheap's DNS update client (Windows) - http://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/...

danieldk 22 hours ago 3 replies      
That's nice, but it remains to be seen if this is not just cheap (no pun intended) exploitation of sentiments. Some registrars, such as Gandi have always supported various causes (such as EFF, Creative Commons, Debian, etc.). How much does Namecheap donate of regular domain registrations, etc.? What have they done in the past for digital rights?

Also, as some people said before. This attack on Godaddy maybe a godsent diversion for SOPA supporters.

nickpinkston 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used NameCheap ever since I found out how horrid GoDaddy's service and slimy policies were. NameCheap has always answered my noob questions with haste, and I've never had any issues with them. I have no connections with them other than being a happy customer. If I didn't already have all my domains through them, I'd switch them over.
juddlyon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This incident will in a public relations textbook as a case study in ten years.
jamesbritt 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I couldn't be bothered waiting. I've some domains due for renewal at the end of the year and decided to beat the holiday rush and just move then all over to namecheap.com.

I started the process yesterday afternoon. Still haven't seen anything on the GoDaddy side indicating any pending transfers. I imagine this sort of delay will only be worse come the 29th.

Update: just got a slew of form mail from namecheap. Apparently every EPP/authorization key code I entered, taken from the list generated by GoDaddy, is wrong. Now I have to re-do every transfer.

jeff18 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish you could just give namecheap your GoDaddy credentials and have them move your domains properly for you. I am definitely not looking forward to figuring out GoDaddy's UI for all my domains.
abcd_f 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anyone explain why would one want to transfer a domain from one US-based registrar to another given that all recent domain-related issues are US-centered?
ck2 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Just keep in mind if you transfer to NameCheap - make sure you are happy with their full price for renewals - because you will NEVER get a discount for renewing. They only give new transfers in special pricing.

Ironically you'll be able to transfer back to GoDaddy in a year when they make some kind of "come back to us" offer for a few dollars to transfer in.

dspillett 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no other registrars seem to have jumped on this in quite the way NameCheap have. Is it that they feel too small to take the risk of rocking the boat?
jgeralnik 23 hours ago 0 replies      
They are being very careful not to mention any specific domain registrars. I wonder who they are talking about...
aiurtourist 23 hours ago 9 replies      
I'd like to switch to !GoDaddy, and Namecheap seems popular. Are there any useful pro/cons I should know about Namecheap before switching?
arthurgibson 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Why doesn't NameCheap donate a $1 for every domain moved since 12/22 or last week when all the SOPA issues with Godaddy were presented?
Tloewald 22 hours ago 0 replies      
And as a bonus they get to stress test their servers ;-)
akuchlous 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Shorel 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I transfered from Namecheap to SpeedySparrow a couple of months ago.

Just consolidating vendors (domain and hosting) to simplify management.

shawnz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to point out that name.com (my current registrar) has been an EFF donor for some time already -- but I don't know to what extent.
gospelwut 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I recall reading that namecheap stores passwords in plaintext? I'd be interested if this was refuted. In any case, I'd be a bit wary to go along with the bandwagon to this particular registrar without further investigation.
openmosix 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A similar initiative: fightsopa.org will donate 5$ to EFF for each developer solving one coding puzzle
Namecheap.com: We say no to SOPA namecheap.com
516 points by mannymanifesto  5 days ago   85 comments top 21
seldo 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just adding a shout for Hover. They've been opposing SOPA for a while now:


sontek 5 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 5 days ago 2 replies      
Namecheap.com: We say no to SOPA but only accept Visa and Mastercard, both of whom support SOPA.
tsycho 5 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.

mvanveen 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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.
ballstothewalls 4 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 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do any non godaddy registrars offer bulk discounts?
ilanrabinovitch 3 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately you do not have DNSSEC or IPv6 glue record support though.
chjj 5 days ago 0 replies      
Happy to say I've been using namecheap for a little while now. Never had a problem with them.
iSloth 5 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...

GoDaddy is scrambling to do damage control google.com
438 points by cheald  4 days ago   71 comments top 20
dorkitude 4 days ago 4 replies      
(copied from my response at http://dorkitude.com/post/14691558851/the-godaddy-victory-is...)

The GoDaddy victory is a red herring.

That GoDaddy reversed its SOPA stance (or at least its PR stance) about SOPA in the wake of our boycott is good news, but it's also distracting news. While it does demonstrate that we, the citizens of the righteous internet, can have P&L impact as consumers in the B2B world, the real and massive culprits have been B2C companies.

A very small proportion of a normal B2C company's revenues come from policy-aware internet citizens. Tactics like the GoDaddy boycott simply will not have an impact (any more than the ongoing boycott of Wal-Mart among the idealistic).

_I don't want us to get distracted from that fact._

_Here are the questions we should be considering._

What can we do to flex our muscles before the many (far more evil) consumer-facing companies out there? How do we legally channel our energy into harming their P&L statements in an unequivocally attributable manner? What about the B2B companies over whose procurement processes we regular citizens have no control?

The companies of greatest concern should be those with contractual and/or infrastructural lock-in:

    * telecoms like AT&T and Verizon

* ISPs/media pipes like Comcast and Dish Network

* top-down sales companies like Microsoft and Symantec

* conglomerate-monopolies like Adobe and Autodesk

Unless and until we find a way to hamstring those attacking monsters, the internet will always be in peril -- even if we somehow win this battle like we _barely_ won the Net Neutrality battle a few short years ago.

acabal 4 days ago 2 replies      
Too little, too late. I'm still moving my ~20 domains away. Their initial stance, plus their ridiculous initial response ("We heard some people were mad, but we're not changing our tune until we start losing money") indicates that they don't actually care about dropping SOPA support.

I wouldn't be surprised in the least if behind this "we're so sorry" facade, Bob Parsons and Lamar Smith are having dinner and a laugh.

sage_joch 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I had to actually look up the name of SOPA's founder (Lamar Smith). He should be facing heavy criticism right now, at least to the extent that SOPA-supporting companies are. It's as if his career isn't in any jeopardy at all over this.
blhack 4 days ago 0 replies      
"The true measure of a person is what they do when nobody is watching. You lose, Godaddy."
fletchowns 4 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy needs to become a very loud opponent of SOPA if they want to retain any customers that have a clue.
kermitthehermit 4 days ago 0 replies      
Migrate away from GoDaddy.

I couldn't care less that they have changed their position when they started seeing people are migrating their domains from their services.

After all, let's not forget other "great" news about GoDaddy we've seen in the past.

Migrate, migrate and don't look back. Any company which supported SOPA doesn't deserve my money (or yours) in the future.

Who can say they will not be using that money to try to subvert the rights of the people in the future or that they deserve to be trusted now?

chrislaco 4 days ago 1 reply      
I can confirm damage control. I'm just your average nerd. 34 domains. Had some of them for over a decade. Transfered to NameCheap last night.

Just got a call/voicemail from Mandy from the Office of the [GoDaddy] President (480-505-8828) wanting to talk about my account.

I haven't returned the call yet. I bet others are getting this call.

amanuel 4 days ago 0 replies      
I got the same "yeah lol, whatever" email last night after I emailed them my concerns regarding their support of SOPA.

Knowing they helped create SOPA is the most damaging fact in my opinion which is why I'm still heading for the door.

I admired Bob back in the day but it seems things have changed over the years.

apechai 4 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy is owned by private equity firms KKR and Silverlake. These firms aim for short term profits at the expense of creating long term value.

Silverlake was the firm behind the whole Skype compensation fiasco, which was basically a quick flip. KKR does dividend recaps where it issues debt and funnels money out of the company. The company, such as HCA or Dollar General, then has to fire people and raise prices on customers.

Do you think they'll do what's right for customers over the long term or try to extract every penny? That's why they'll flip flop on an issue like SOPA - no long term values. I moved my domains to namecheap a long time ago.

lancefisher 4 days ago 0 replies      
It would be really interesting to know how many domains were transferred yesterday. I moved 6 of my 9. On the other 3, I turned off auto-renewal so they'll just expire.
MrJagil 4 days ago 1 reply      
So, who's next?

It's going to be immensely tougher to demonstrate power against the media moguls as directly.

F_J_H 4 days ago 1 reply      
Thinking about moving my domains - any suggestions on the best alternative?

Update: For what it's worth, here's a reddit link that lists a number of alternatives:


hop 4 days ago 2 replies      
I would pay $100 to anyone that made a one-click (or close) auto transfer of domains from GoDaddy.
MrJagil 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was thinking, we can safely assume theres a lot of start-up CEOs/founders/whatevers around here. What if all of these companies prominently displayed dissatisfaction with SOPA. Wouldn't this be an immediate, effective way to reach the uninformed masses?

If PG can involve politics in his company, why can't you?

ck2 4 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't it counterproductive to keep punishing a company where you've already successfully affected their actions?

But I secretly wish PayPal had been dumb enough to sponsor SOPA.

opreal 4 days ago 0 replies      
Stop being opportunist flip floppers bent on the bottom line Go Daddy (worse name you could ever come up with for a company). Go Daddy deserves to go extinct their time has come. You have shown your true face (forget the damage control). You've only gotten by up until now because of people not willing to their research and mass marketing, and now it's plainly obvious you are a shill of a company, money can't buy everything. Go form yourselves a new company under a different name. No knowledgeable person on Hacker News would ever choose Go Daddy for anything so go do your online marketing somewhere else.
dlitz 4 days ago 0 replies      
GoDaddy needs to be boycotted anyway. We're talking about a law that would create a national Internet censorship infrastructure in the United States. This is serious stuff.

We need to send the message that when you pull crap like this, it might really hurt your bottom line. Permanently.

popsift 4 days ago 0 replies      
ah s hit.. what's going on?
klausjensen 4 days ago 0 replies      
In the words of Bloodhound Gang:

"The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn, Burn motherfucker burn"

timr 4 days ago 1 reply      
Urgh. I can't be the only person who is getting exceptionally tired of seeing self-congratulatory blog posts about GoDaddy rise to the top of HN.

Dear interwebnerds: the point has been made. Stop obsessing. Every time you get your knickers in a knot and write a crowing blog post about how you just put it to The Domain Provider Who Shall Not Be Named, you give them more name recognition, free press and SEO. So stop it. Transfer your domains, make your point to customer service if/when they call, then stop talking about their service.

Maybe you folks can spread a little more of your furor around to the other companies on the list...a list that includes most of the major providers of media in our culture.

Cheezburger Dumping GoDaddy over SOPA techcrunch.com
418 points by edomain  5 days ago   39 comments top 8
noonespecial 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
They are threatening to dump them, they haven't officially done it yet.
powerfulninja 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this relevant?
vaksel 5 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?

GoDaddy is default registrar for Google Apps Domains google.com
397 points by jwildeboer  5 days ago   70 comments top 13
SandB0x 5 days ago 2 replies      
Let's not pollute this place with hashtags.
superasn 5 days ago 6 replies      
Is it just me or has the focus shifting from SOPA to GoDaddy (reddit too has the same trend). I'm as anti-GoDaddy as the next person but let's remember that calling your representative will help the cause more than punishing a domain registrar. Maybe if you run a popular website then informing your site visitors about the evil of the bill (like tumblr) can do much more to help the cause than moving your domain name to namecheap.
citricsquid 5 days ago 1 reply      
"benhuh @mattcutts indeed... now, ask Google to pressure GD. GD is Google's third-party registrar."

"mattcutts @benhuh I think we use eNom too. But safe to assume people has passed this feedback on."


uptown 5 days ago 0 replies      
In a recent SOPA-like proceeding, a judge ordered GoDaddy to facilitate the seizure.


RexRollman 5 days ago 1 reply      
Personally, I am amazed that anyone stayed with GoDaddy after the Seclists.org debacle. I switched to Gandi at that point and I have been really happy with them so far.
VMG 5 days ago 6 replies      
What I don't get about it - what does GoDaddy realistically have to gain from supporting SOPA?
davidw 5 days ago 0 replies      
I long ago got rid of my directly registered GoDaddy domains, but the Google Apps registered ones... can you switch to eNom?

New domains I get through name.com and they offer you the option to set up Google Apps for your domain.

loso 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think Google will be changing their business dealings with Godaddy anytime soon. Google has a business relationship with KKR (the new owners of GoDaddy). They are investing 94 million on a KKR solar farm project. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/google-kkr-invest...
DiabloD3 5 days ago 3 replies      
Given the number of Google people who regularly read HN, I suspect this is already in the process of being fixed.
irunbackwards 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's also the default registrar for SSL certificates on Windows Server 2011. :/
stuartmemo 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is there any reason for Google not to become a registrar themselves?
Tallguy181 4 days ago 0 replies      
I was going to switch to Google Chrome. Just changed my mind. Please try not to do business with companies that support SOPA
and their affiliates.
ctman 5 days ago 2 replies      
deleted my G+ account. Will not be buying another Android phone.
John Carmack on the importance of Static Code Analysis altdevblogaday.com
392 points by plinkplonk  4 days ago   124 comments top 22
DanielBMarkham 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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).
sriramk 3 days 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.
ScottBurson 4 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 4 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 4 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.]

apu 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 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  4 days ago   46 comments top 12
richardburton 4 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 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any good estimates on how much GoDaddy has lost because of their support for SOPA?
ellie42 4 days ago 1 reply      
Will GitHub boycott GoDaddy because of their support for SOPA?
robomc 4 days ago 2 replies      
Why is domain name supplier a community matter... does the community vet decisions on data-centres or server software?
bradfeld 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just donated $10 to Wikipedia in support of @jimmy_wales stand against SOPA and keeping the Internet free.
GigabyteCoin 4 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 4 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  5 days ago   89 comments top 19
maeon3 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 1 reply      
Article says - Stop online Privacy???? I suppose Google, Facebook and others would love that
chalst 5 days ago 1 reply      
I still don't get it. What's in it for them? Have they got connections to big media?
jebblue 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a feeling Namcheap are going to do pretty well if Go Daddy carries on like this.
olegious 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Reddit has been throwing around the idea of making December 29th pull your domains day.
maeon3 5 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.
The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value forbes.com
360 points by DanielRibeiro  2 days ago   133 comments top 26
mhartl 2 days ago  replies      

  There is only one valid definition of a business purpose:
to create a customer.

No. The one valid definition of a business purpose is this: A business should do what the owners want it to do. Otherwise, the notion of ownership loses meaning.

If the owners want to create lots of customers, they do that. If they would rather have a smaller number of highly profitable customers, they do that. If they want to create a nice side business so that they can surf in the summer and snowboard in the winter, they do that.

Scottish philosopher David Hume drew an essential distinction between factual matters"is"and moral matters"ought. Asking "What should a business do?" looks like a Humean ought, but it's actually a Humean is. A business is a vehicle for achieving the ends of its owners. How then can we make sense of the maxim "a business should maximize shareholder value"? In certain kinds of businesses"especialy those owned by a large number of shareholders"the interests of the owners may generally conflict, but they can usually agree on one thing: maximize the value of the company. This describes virtually all publicly traded companies and many family businesses as well. It doesn't describe, e.g., my present business (the Ruby on Rails Tutorial), which I created as a 4-Hour Work Week"style product company to let me relax for a while, travel the world in style, and have the financial freedom to develop longer-range plans for world domination. Its purpose is definitely not to maximize shareholder value; I'm the only shareholder, so it does whatever I damn well tell it to do.

Let the owners worry about what a company ought to do. Unless you're an owner, it's none of your business.

1gor 2 days ago 3 replies      
The statement 'maximizing shareholders value' is meaningless without the timeframe. The correct phrasing is to 'maximize shareholders value in the long term'. The 'long term' bit is crucial, and it is not reflected in today's management incentives.

The choice that managers of public companies are facing is the well known "Consume vs. Invest". Or, in the terms of an evolutionary fitness landscape, "Exploit vs. explore".

If a manager wants to maximize his next quarter's earnings, he could stop new product development, shut down customer service and equipment maintenance departments and sell, sell, sell. He could have a short short-term spike in profitability, but in the long term the company won't survive. He has exploited his current position but has failed to explore, to look to the new opportunities and threats, and to provide for the future.

(Note: the manager could also buy a portfolio of high-yielding/high risk securities hoping that the crash will not happen before his next bonus is due. This is the same thing -- maximising short-term gains at the expense of the long-term prospects of the company).

The manager could also overexplore, that is to overinvest in customer and product development, purchase the newest equipment and end up with a croud of excited customers and an exciting new technology/product, but no liquidity left in the bank to live to see it taking over the market.

"Maximizing shareholders value" idea got a bad press, because it has become associated with the 'exploit' approach. Managers endanger the long-term prospects of the company because they can be paid well for achiving relatively short-term goals.

But the working definition should be "Maximizing shareholders value in the long term"

Let's make the law that the managers' options can only be excersized after 10 years. That'll do the trick.

forensic 2 days ago  replies      
Shareholder value is just the latest politically correct justification.

Our society used to be based on concepts like honor.

Honor was something you had to earn and something you could lose. To maintain your honor you had to demonstrate certain qualities: truthfulness, earnestness, fairness, politeness, genuine service toward shared superordinate goals (e.g. the country, humanity, the community).

At some point, our society decided that lying is no longer dihonorable as long as you are doing it to maximize shareholder value or to sell your product. We no longer publically shame and dishonor those caught in bald-faced lies.

Inordinately selfish people always justify their behaviour using socially acceptable statements. What has changed is that our society now lets them get away with it.

ANY lies are now OK as long as they say "I was maximizing shareholder value." They will not be socially ostracized, will not be publicly shamed, and often will not even be criticized. People will, in fact, apologize for them.

People see Wall Street crash-creators testifying at Congress answering "I do not recall" to 100% of the questions. Instead of dishonoring those liars as the liars that they obviously are... our society just does nothing. It's okay that they lied. It's just business you know. We expect our business leaders to be dishonorable.

"It's not the CEOs fault that he knowingly polluted the entire river for 20 years. He was just maximizing shareholder value, discharging his fiduciary duty, we can't hold him personally responsible. It is wrong to shame him and his family, it is wrong to ostracize him from decent company, it is wrong to even criticize him publicly in the newspapers."

Either this mentality changes in a hurry, or the entire country is going to go the way of Detroit.

acslater00 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Meanwhile real performance was declining. From 1933 to 1976, real compound annual return on the S&P 500 was 7.5 percent. Since 1976, Martin writes, the total real return on the S&P 500 was 6.5 percent (compound annual)."

Hmm...where have I seen those numbers before. Oh right! He's measuring his control period from the bottom of the great depression. Sounds legitimate to me!

This is so hacky it makes me laugh. You can argue that a focus on short-term shareholder value is bad for various reasons, but a focus on long-term shareholder value is incontrovertibly good for shareholders, long-term. In practice, it is also basically equivalent to the author's other view of focusing on "customers", whatever the hell that means. Or focusing on "real performance" metrics like profit, as though you can do one without doing the other.

If CEO pay is tied to long-term stock performance, the problem of gaming the short term earning expectations goes away. Full stop.

My new years resolution is to not click on link-bait anymore.

chrismealy 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's called Enronitis. If you expect managers to be ruthless about shareholder value you'll wind up with managers who are ruthless about benefitting themselves.

The Enron problem is ... the predictable result of too strong of a share-centered view of the public corporation... Corporate law demands that managers simultaneously be selfless servants and selfish masters. On the one hand, it directs managers to be faithful agents, setting aside their own interests entirely in order to act only on behalf of their principals, the shares. On the other hand, in the service of this extreme altruism, they must ruthlessly exploit everyone around them, projecting on to the shares an extreme selfishness that takes no account of any interests but the shares themselves. Having maximally exploited their fellow human corporate participants, managers are then expected to selflessly hand over their gains...

Altruism and rationally self-interested exploitation are extreme and radically opposed positions, psychologically and politically. ... For managers, one easy resolution of these tensions is a simple, cynical selfishness in which managers see themselves as entitled, and perhaps even required, to exploit shareholders as ruthlessly as they understand the law to require them to exploit everyone else. ...

Internally, the share-centered paradigm is just as self-destructive. Corporations succeed because they are not markets and do not follow market norms of behavior. Rather, they operate under fiduciary norms as a matter of law and team norms as a matter of sociology. However, the share-centered paradigm of corporate law teaches managers to treat employees as outsiders and tools to corporate ends with no intrinsic value. Just as managers are unlikely to learn simultaneously to be selfish maximizers and selfless altruists, they are unlikely to be simultaneously cooperative team players and self-interested defectors. Thus, the share-centered view undermines the prerequisite to operating the firm in the interests of shareholders. ...

Managers constructing the firm as a tool to the end of share value maximization treat the people with whom they work as means, not ends. ...they learn as part of their ordinary life to break ordinary social solidarity. Learning to exploit ruthlessly is surprisingly difficult. ... But cynicism can be learned, and managers subjected to the powerful incentives of the share value maximization principle do eventually learn it. ... This training, however, surely creates cynics, not faithful agents. ... A manager whose lived experience is a pretense of selflessness (with respect to employees, customers and business partners) covering real disinterested exploitation (on behalf of shares) is unlikely to suddenly see himself as “in a position in which thought of self was to be renounced, however hard the abnegation” and voluntarily hand over these hard-won gains of competitive practice to his principal. If you can properly lie to your subordinates, why not lie to your superior as well? ... In the end, the cynicism of the share value maximization view must eat itself alive.

-- http://slackwire.blogspot.com/2011/04/selfish-masters-selfle...

mixmax 2 days ago 1 reply      
"In today's paradoxical world of maximizing shareholder value, which Jack Welch himself has called the dumbest idea in the world, the situation is the reverse. CEOs and their top managers have massive incentives to focus most of their attentions on the expectations market, rather than the real job of running the company producing real products and services."

Maybe the real genius of Steve Jobs was to actually spend his time running Apple, creating real products and services instead of playing the expectations game with investors and shareholders.

mmaunder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Another example of a company in addition to J&J and P&G that the article mentions who focuses on customers is Amazon. Bezos recently was punished via a 30% drop in Amazon stock price because he is ploughing all his net income into the Kindle Fire, even though Amazon's revenue growth is exponential and has been for a decade.

Shareholders in the public market right now are focused on "value stocks" in the Buffet and Ben Graham sense and if you don't match value stock heuristics with a dividend and growing net income, you will be punished even if you're 100% focused on creating new customers.

tokenadult 2 days ago 0 replies      
First I slogged through the submitted article. It had some interesting anecdotes about betting on professional football in the early 1960s in the United States, which the author takes as an analogy to the current stock market. I searched back through the list of earlier Steve Denning articles on Forbes to try to find one previously posted to HN that I remember for its silliness and lack of connection with reality. On my part, I can't see I disagree a lot with the idea that publicly traded joint-stock companies do well to attend to the needs of customers, to build long-term value, but the author seems to embroider that claim with a lot of hysteria about the future of capitalism. Precisely because he can point to successful examples (Johnson and Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Apple), it seems to me that what he identifies as an idea that leads companies astray can be responded to as a market opportunity for other companies to achieve the goal of maximizing shareholder value (over the long term) by the instrumental means of attending to customer needs. I'm not sure that the author has added any new insight here that isn't well known to owners and operators of businesses. (Has the author ever owned any business in the real economy besides promoting his own writing?)
Hominem 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yep, it is easier to increase profit by cutting costs, so that is what people will do to hit their numbers.In the long term, it is akin to burning your clothes to stay warm.
Sniffnoy 2 days ago 1 reply      
This wouldn't be so much a problem if "shareholder value" were taken to mean "the value one can get by holding a share" (i.e. profits) rather than "the value one can get by selling a share"...
cbr 2 days ago 1 reply      
This argues against maximizing the stock price in the short term. Nothing about shareholder value beimg the wrong metric.
nonsequ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Roger L. Martin, the author of the book hawked in this article, is also a director at RIM. Maximizing shareholder value indeed!

That said, Roger is correct (incidentally or not) in my book to criticize the short-term casino nature of the public equity market buyers and sellers. Too often they forget that as shareholders of a stock they are part-owners in the enterprise; rather they only desire to see the price tag on their stock certificate go up in the next minute so they can sell for a profit. That kind of thinking can poison a company.

The lesson I draw from this is that it matters who your investors are. Once you've sold part of the company, you must take into account the desires of your new partners, even if they are a teeming mass of the investing public. After all, you make the choice of whom you sell to. Some corporate leaders attempt to 'manage' their way out of this by massaging earnings the way Jack Welch did. I personally think the best way to handle this is by open education. Warren Buffett writes an elegant and informative letter each year and answers questions alongside Charlie Munger for four or five hours straight at the Berkshire meeting. If your business is too volatile, too secretive, or too sensitive to be explained to the public, you probably shouldn't be doing an IPO in the first place.

It occurs to me that Roger's best hope is to change the minds of RIM shareholders declaring open season on the board. It is naive of Roger Martin to think that his book and Denning's sensationalist hawking of it will do anything to soften the ire of RIM's shareholders. By the same token, it was naive of RIM's leaders not to take into account the fact that once they sold shares to the public, it became the public's company.

dhx 2 days ago 0 replies      

  The actions flowed from the company credo which is engraved in granite
at the entry to company headquarters, which makes crystal clear that
customers are first, then employees, and shareholders absolutely last.

Why do businesses attempt to create hierarchical order where order doesn't exist? A business with extremely happy customers, happy employees and low return on investment (including other non-monetary value) for shareholders is a failed venture. Ranking stakeholders by their importance makes it easy to create harmful (and often implicit) rules and practices that fail to address the needs of all stakeholders.

Companies should instead encourage employees to think about decisions from a wide range of perspectives including customer satisfaction, employee morale and business profitability. Creating a new procedure or rule that employees must adhere to could greatly please customers. However it may create extra menial and unappealing work for employees, lowering morale to harmful levels. It could cost the company a lot of resources that would be better spent elsewhere.

prewett 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of what the author complains about has been around for years. Short term gains at the expense of long term growth? Yup. Executives manipulating something to make their company look good? Yup.

Read "The Intelligent Investor" or "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits", which give examples of things companies did 50 and 30 years ago.

fmkamchatka 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not familiar with football betting but it seems to me that the initial example is not a very good analogy. In the case of shareholders, someone initially lent money to the company in exchange for shares (owning part of the company) from which the company benefits. On the other hand, betting on a football team's success doesn't increase its odds of winning, hence it wouldn't make sense for the team to comment or apologize on the outcome of the bet.
Vitaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
He misses the point. Focusing on the customer IS maximizing shareholder value. Its just its focusing on a much longer timeframe. If you want the most money this year - you play the stock market or accounting games. If you want the most money the company will earn this century... well, you focus on very very different things. And customer's loyalty is one of the top.
pge 1 day ago 2 replies      
I agree with the overall viewpoint of the article, so just adding an observation on how we got here. Tying management compensation to shareholder value is a good idea; the problem is in the measurement of shareholder value. If the public markets were efficient, and market cap was an accurate reflection of value, the system would not be as broken as it is.
The public markets have become a casino, where investors are often playing a game, not investing in companies they truly understand, and whose value they have analyzed. Market cap is no longer strongly correlated with company performance (revenue, net income, cash flow, customers, etc).

A return to a rational market would realign incentives, and stock-based compensation would work, but that's a lot to ask...

josh33 2 days ago 0 replies      
Each of the following words opens up the door for semantic debate:
"Maximizing" - when? In the short term or long term?
"Shareholder" - who? People who own actual shares or the broader definition of stakeholders who have a vested interest in the company (employees, the community around the business, owners, etc.)?
"Value" - what? Dollar value? Happiness? Customer satisfaction? Employee satisfaction?
rayiner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Coincidentally, I just read about this in "Animal Spirits" a recent book on behavioral economics and the market. It mentions Welch's view and analyzes a lot of similar situations.
valuegram 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I understand the idea behind this article, it was hard to get beyond the initial metaphor, which I find highly misplaced.

In sports, for the most part, the only fact that matters is a win. with the exception of rare subjective ranking systems (such as coaches polls in college football), the quality of a win doesn't matter. Of course if a coach is playing in these systems, and not doing enough to meet the expectations of the fan base, there will definitely be repercussions.

In the business world, a profit of $0.01 is very different from a profit of $1.00. Of course there are numerous valuation models, but the amount of profit/revenue/etc almost always matters, as opposed to sports which use a binary valuation system (win or loss).

I appreciate the overall message, and believe that the market is willing to embrace this sort of logic. Jeff Bezos is a great example of a leader focusing on long term performance and being rewarded for it.

TheFuture 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another egghead uni prof who's spent his life getting a paycheck from the gov telling us what's wrong with capitalism that he's never participated in.

If shareholders (ie owners) want short term leadership, that's what they get. No one is forcing you to sell your shares every time the stock price moves. Buy and hold.

scotty79 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is a write-down that is being referred to in this article?
pmuhar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even though I know exactly what the article is about, I wish it wasnt written in relation to football/gambling terms as a lot of people are not football fans or avid gamblers, myself included.
xianshou 2 days ago 2 replies      
I notice Steve Jobs is consistently mentioned in the present tense...did the author write this a while ago and forget to run it by his editor, or did he simply miss all of October?
anantzoid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I could understand this.
GrowMap 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a marvelous discussion because it encourages the inherently self-absorbed to reveal their belief systems which nearly always include the worship of self, money, and power as their only true gods.

I highly recommend they all watch the Canadian Documentary 'The Corporation' which clearly illustrates why corporations ARE like psychopaths - and generally run by people who also meet the definition. The movie is available free online.

Corporations as they currently exist are inherently unethical and unsustainable because by focusing on short term gain and stock values they are destroying the real value they once had.

Either social responsibility and long term goals must be injected back into corporations or they need to be boycotted by everyone with a conscience or ideally have their corporate charters revoked.

Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No nytimes.com
349 points by ddlatham  6 days ago   133 comments top 20
cynicalkane 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
Qo 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
This article makes me want to take a trip to Kinkos.
wkral 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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.
Louis CK's self distributed special up to 1MM revenue in 12 days louisck.net
321 points by thesash  5 days ago   108 comments top 21
georgemcbay 5 days ago 5 replies      
Given various horror stories regarding paypal account freezes, seeing that much money in a paypal account (even when it isn't mine), gives me the cold sweats.

Of course, in his case the backlash to an account freeze would probably kill paypal (would be so widely reported that the feds would have to get involved, I'd guess), but still...

jpdoctor 5 days ago 1 reply      
The part that spoke the loudest to me: I never viewed money as being "my money" I always saw it as "The money" It's a resource. if it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.

Many of you know exactly what he means by that, and also subscribe to the same philosophy. I just thought it was a very apt way of putting it into words.

mcobrien 5 days ago 2 replies      
A million dollars and a public paypal email address (check the screenshot). I really hope he has a secure password.
jerfelix 5 days ago 5 replies      
I had a spirited debate yesterday with my 22 year old son about "Occupy" and increasing taxes on the 1%. Since this puts Louis CK firmly in the 1% (if he wasn't there already), it will be interesting to look at him as a case study.

At the risk of down votes, and converting this to a political argument...

According to my son, in order for the 1% to "win", many of the 99% had to "lose". This seems like a clear case where we (collectively, mostly 99%-ers) decided to "reward" Louis CK with a million dollars, and none of us "lost" in the transaction. We decided willingly to fork over $5 for great comedy (arguably worth more!). The only potential losers are the traditional distribution outlets - which got zero from the transaction (so neutral, not a loss).

So, Son, what do you think of that? Explain again why you think we should penalize Louis CK for this?

Don't vote me down, kid. (My son will probably read this. I suspect there are probably few father-son combos on HN.)

Edit: My son said he's not going to answer me publicly. However, he says "I reserve the right to vote on the comment".

weaksauce 5 days ago 0 replies      
I like it. Taking care of the people who helped you make it super seamless to buy, quick to download, advised you on drm issues. Donating to charity is an excellent way to gain real life karma. That man is a real class act(well not on stage).
jessedhillon 5 days ago 1 reply      
It's funny that one of his segments in this special is about how he's a bad person -- he has charitable thoughts toward others, only so he can use them feel good about himself without having actually acted on those thoughts.

In reality, he is probably in the top 10% of best humans ever.

thesash 5 days ago 0 replies      
The most inspiring thing about the whole story to me is how he was able to generate a massively successful marketing campaign simply by being authentic, and engaging his fans directly. I think this follows a lot of the "Thank You Economy" concepts that Gary Vaynerchuck promotes to a T, and I hope that other artists, companies, and brands take note of how powerful that strategy can be after seeing this success.
mkramlich 5 days ago 1 reply      
So the lesson reinforced here, again, is that once you're already famous for something, the Internet makes it easy to sell things to fans directly. We already knew this. But it's great to see it happen.
niravshah 5 days ago 0 replies      
What a great contrast to anyone defending SOPA.
TheBiv 5 days ago 3 replies      
What about taxes? I see that he broke that money into 4 parts, but none of those parts contained taxes.
LukeHoersten 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I love stuff like this. Wasteful distribution companies being cut out and still hitting a wider audience for less money.
mhd 5 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone got a better idea of what he would get for a HBO special (including DVD rights), just for contrast?
mml 5 days ago 1 reply      
I hope he merely forgot to mention the 300k for uncle sam & co. presumably he has accountants. i hope, for his sake.
vermontdevil 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is the video subtitled or captioned? The website says nothing and I did not want to spend $5 without knowing in advance. I've emailed to the support email account listed on the website. But I'm sure it'll take time for someone to give me an answer through the email.

Am hoping someone here could chime in and give me a quick answer.


kin 5 days ago 0 replies      
among all the SOPA news today, seeing this is refreshing. I'm so glad this model worked for him, and I hope others follow in his foot steps. Distribution is over valued.
mattberg 5 days ago 1 reply      
a little off topic, but ... all that money on his website and you can't get a permalink to a news article? what the?
malkia 5 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome dude!
zaroth 5 days ago 1 reply      
But... What's an "MM"?
tpowell 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just wow.
cottonseed 5 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if he's charging too much, given that he's giving away 1/3 of his profit.
swombat 5 days ago 12 replies      
I'm not sure I actually feel good about paying those $5 knowing that most of it won't end up in Louis's pocket, actually.

If I wanted to donate to charities, I'd do it myself. I don't want to, I believe there are better ways to use money - so I feel that money is kind of wasted.

More importantly, I felt good about paying $5 because I felt I was giving $5 to Louis CK to support a great effort and an awesome artist. The fact that he's keeping only 22% of it makes me feel like 78% of it was rejected. If so, I might as well have kept my $5.

Honestly, right now what I'm thinking is that I'll probably get the next version off BitTorrent. I'm not happy paying for a download with 80% of overhead, especially if that overhead is voluntary. Most of the $5 should end up in Louis' pocket, and if it doesn't, I don't feel like throwing it down the drain, I have better uses for my money.

List of YC companies that use GoDaddy github.com
312 points by jf  5 days ago   79 comments top 24
yurisagalov 4 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 4 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 5 days ago 7 replies      
I hope moving away from GoDaddy, rather than stopping SOPA/etc, does not become the focus.
PStamatiou 5 days ago 1 reply      
As soon as I arrive home for the holidays tomorrow, I will have two tabs open. GoDaddy and Namecheap...
billpatrianakos 5 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.

nodesocket 5 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?
arthurgibson 5 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
dedicated 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 3 replies      
This is a borderline witch hunt.
robterrell 5 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 5 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 5 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.

throwaway88 4 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.

nhangen 5 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.
pingswept 5 days ago 0 replies      
The change history for this list will appear here: https://github.com/jpf/domain-profiler/commits/master/ycombi...
meterplech 5 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?

aestetix_ 4 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.
jqueryin 5 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 5 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 5 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 4 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
What are some similar services to move to from GoDaddy?
eriongaetus 4 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.
Killing the Internet to save Hollywood nypost.com
302 points by daspion  5 days ago   30 comments top 11
jjcm 5 days ago 2 replies      
A better title might be, "Killing the internet to preserve the old methods of distribution so segments of the movie industry dont have to adapt."

Hollywood is trying to fight against an enemy that they don't understand. They think censoring piracy will stop it, when it's obvious that it wont. Gabe Newell said it best - “In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem".

Osiris 5 days ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure that Hollywood is, in fact, dying. The evidence[1][2] suggests that Hollywood has been making more money in the 2000's than ever before.

1. http://the-numbers.com/movies/records/
2. http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/2010-box-office-more-r...

They are having record breaking revenue years in 2009 and 2010. It's not like they are suffering the downtown that the newspaper industry has and they don't have nearly the legal protections that Hollywood has and while they are struggling, they are adapting.

If Hollywood were to take a new approach to entertainment, who's to say they wouldn't be having even higher revenue than they are having now? It just seems like a fix for a problem that doesn't exist.

sbov 5 days ago 0 replies      
Title aside, I thought it was a good article that summarized the problems with SOPA, from multiple angles, for the largely disinterested populace out there.
imgabe 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wish journalists would stop referring to SOPA as the "bill to stop piracy" or the "bill to save Hollywood". Even this article admits that SOPA is not going to do a thing to stop piracy. It's easily circumvented. The only thing it's going to accomplish is killing the Internet. There's no upside to it.
SnowLprd 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Save Hollywood," eh? As if SOPA will actually achieve any of its purported goals? As if there's any saving Hollywood needs except from itself?

I'm all for encouraging folks to fight SOPA, but perhaps we could save our up-votes for articles with more accurate titles.

dhughes 5 days ago 0 replies      
As a Canadian I worry more about US media corporations influencing Canadian politicians which leads to laws being passed. Bev Oda being the the example of an MP that money can buy.

It's bad enough to have DMCA, HDCP, copy protection up the yin yang but when some suit in LA influences what laws are passed in a foreign land I say that's grounds for extradition of the executive and treason charges (or whatever the term would be) for the Canadian politician.

If the situation was reversed I'm sure people in the US would freak out if a music executive from Canada bribed a US congressman to help get laws passed.

code_duck 5 days ago 0 replies      
Good article. When I'm agreeing with someone from the Cato institute, you know things are serious.
bigohms 5 days ago 2 replies      
NyPost is killing content delivery and monetization by not making that article accessible through Safari on iOS.
athompson 5 days ago 1 reply      
The title suggests that Hollywood is in trouble which isn't the case at all.
thisismyname 5 days ago 0 replies      
This isn't about saving Hollywood... Its about stopping the 99.99%'s of the populations first amendment platform - the internet. Its about stopping sites like Wikileaks and blogs that speak their opinions about the gov and politicians. thats my $.02
Tripatimishra 5 days ago 0 replies      
Actually everywhere in the world the big problem is the law makers of every country does not fully understand what law they are going to make. They just follow their party stand to save their political position.
What future space combat would really look like spacebattles.com
301 points by dikarel  22 hours ago   203 comments top 29
ohyes 18 hours ago  replies      
Space combat seems pointless to me.

What exactly would they be fighting over?

Presumably you want to reach space for resources, so asteroids, planets and moons with minerals, stuff like that. You might also want planets/asteroids/moons that are 'good' for colonization (easily terra formed or already life sustaining).

You probably wouldn't see many fights where you are firing at the resource itself. No one with the money to fire at earth, will actually fire at earth, because it is more valuable as an inhabitable planet. If each side can obliterate whatever is being fought over, you basically have an instant MAD scenario.

Similar with moons/asteroids. I'm not going to fire a massive kinetic weapon at a moon or asteroid (and blow it to pieces) if my objective is obtain that object to profit from it. More likely I'll pay people very well to infiltrate and sabotage it, repeatedly. I wouldn't even bother trying to invade.

Why not an invasion force?
Well, you could send an invasion force, but that would be fairly pointless. It is easy to defend an entrenched position that your enemy does not want to shoot at (sabotaging just the defenses might be too obvious, and i think would have too high a possibility of failure). On top of this they can use massive force to repel you, and you cannot (you don't want to obliterate your objective). So an invasion fleet is probably not likely.

A far more likely scenario would be to simply drive your competitor out of business. If they keep getting sabotaged, it becomes unprofitable for them to operate (it becomes a 'cursed' outpost, wages go up, you have to make repairs). Then you can easily take their stuff (or buy it on the cheap when they are going out of business).

This gets you into interesting things, you would end up with extensive background and history checks, genetic tests to prove that you really are who you say you are, mental/psychological screening, mind-reading, brainwashing, complex hacking of the computers that do background checks, genetic 'doping' to make a person pass as someone else, brainwashing.

Your competitors will also likely try to assassinate you if they every figure out that you are the one ordering the destruction of their outposts (it should be easy to figure out, as there will be few entities with resources to profit from this).

jasonkester 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I think Banks' The Algabraist got it about right.

In fact, that whole book is crammed full of good "things we currently believe to be true about physics extrapolated as far as theoretically possible" ideas:

  "How do you navigate this thing?"
"Yes, point. It's all about having enough power.
Fiddling around with calculations about DeltaV is really
just a sign that you don't have enough power."

amalcon 19 hours ago  replies      
There are three fundamental problems I see here:

1) Why put humans on warships at all? Algorithms are probably better at it. Computers would obviously do the heavy lifting anyway (calculating burn times). An algorithm knows no fear, shows no mercy, and does not flee or surrender unless programmed to do so. The only thing left is target selection, and it doesn't seem worth bringing a human along just for that.

2) If you don't need to put humans on warships, then you quickly realize you don't need a warship at all. Just send a bunch of missiles from wherever the warship would have launched. It's harder to take them all out at once with a "mine" or something. You also get to build more missiles if you don't need to build the warship. Sure, you might attach a collective nuclear rocket "booster" to many missiles to build that initial velocity. There's no need for that rocket to be anything more than an engine temporarily attached to the missiles. It's also not really required to begin with.

3) If you're sending lots of missiles, there's no reason for them to be any larger than the smallest size permitted by design and manufacturing practicalities. For something that amounts to a liquid-fueled rocket, that smallest size is preposterously small. A liquid-fueled rocket can be fit into an object the size of a soda can with current technology. This makes the notion of point defense completely laughable: divert ten thousand missiles out of one hundred thousand, and you've reduced the incoming energy by 10%.

majmun 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I imagine, that this space warfare as described in article will only be preceding the real war. once this unmanned missiles are exhausted . if invading force has won. it will try to land on the resource that it is fought for, (planet, moon, asteroid, space station). and once they are landed it will be more classical warfare. (so don't worry there will still be blood)

All this is valid for current technology . and same species war (humans vs humans) , but war between aliens and humans will most likely be war between Von Neumann probes. if you lose you got terraformed or planetXformed.

cletus 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're interested in "realistic" (meaning: no FTL) space battles read Alastair Reynolds' Redemption Ark (and read Revelation Space and Chasm City before that).

It includes a chase between star systems that goes on for years and "close" (ie within a few light-seconds) combat that involves a lot of interpolation of enemy position, movement and actions.

Personally I still have serious doubts about the viability of any kind of prolonged manned presence in space. Its simply too expensive and the distances involved in interstellar travel are so vast that even perfect mass to energy transformation would make the process prohibitive in terms of cost and time.

But it's fun to muse about.

electromagnetic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The OPs problem here is that in the attempt to change the analogy from naval combat to aerial warfare is that he fails to grasp the medium again.

Space is big, space is empty. FTA this means everything is easily trackable, not only are thrusters visible from across the solar system (except perhaps if you're headed directly for someone, but the thrust required there would be insane), but even every object in the solar system is glowing in infrared energy and thats background objects, not to mention you've strapped nuclear power plants, life support and whatever other heat producing apparatus onto your ship to make it glow even brighter.

The problem with being visible from a distance means it favours those who can hide. Basically, it favours mines. It's simple strap a laser onto a small rock, bury capacitors inside it and have them charged by solar panels. Why? Because the aim is to one-shot your target somewhere important. The mine is disposable, if it one shots the target you might get lucky enough to use it twice. If not you'll have dozens of others waiting. You've got 3 targets: Power supply (nuclear reactor/capacitor bank/whatever), main engine (you cripple their thrust and they're a sitting duck) and control centre (heck, you're likely able to nail all habitable space in one shot as a space ship is more likely to have a vastly expanded cockpit rather than a whole ship of habitable space)

The other problem with space combat is heat. Before you'd even fire a missile or a bullet, you're going to be aiming infrared lasers on your targets from light minutes away. If a ship is habitated then you only need to get it to the point where the life support can't shift enough heat to keep the air temperature below 40C. In uncrewed ships you're talking hot enough to make processors malfunction, which isn't considerably hotter than people can tolerate. These might cope better as cooling can be dedicated to very small areas.

The problem with space is that objects can get very hot, very fast and unless you bring a lot of material to heat sink and dump, you've got problems.

Space will be a war predominated with mines and heat. There are currently about 25,000 objects in space. If only 1% of these are ship-killer mines, would you attack Earth? Well, you'd need more than 250 ships, assuming you're able to kill all the mines in a very short time before they can refire.

Want to attack a mining base in the asteroid field? Find the rock without the massive laser hiding in it! Furthermore, try to wage an effective assault when you're pulverizing everything within a million kilometers of you, and still have the weapons/energy/heat sink capability to fight your target that has a massive rock of shielding and heat sinking, versus your ship.

What about launching asteroids or comets at your target? Well 1 if it's viable to nudge an asteroid from hitting earth, then it's viable to nudge the asteroid your in so that it's missed.

quanticle 21 hours ago  replies      
This essay isn't all that realistic. I found this one [1] to have a far more realistic view of what space war would look like.

Tl;dr: it's much cheaper and much more effective to lob comets at your enemy's homeworld than it is to fight with ships.

[1] http://www.gwern.net/Colder%20Wars

johngalt 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The author underestimates guns while overestimating "kinetic missiles". Speed imparts a lot of energy, but it wont transmit all of that energy to the target. You'll have a <missile diameter> hole in the ship.

Your ships are closing at 1000km/s and your cloud of missiles have a 10km/s Delta? A cloud of slugs would be almost the same, and you could put up a lot more of them. Of course a hybrid approach is likely, with shrapnel filled missiles. Better to impact like a shotgun than a needle.

Edit: Also gets it wrong on point defense. If you have enough energy weapons to mount an effective defense you'd make yourself such a large/vulnerable target that you'd be impossible to miss. Once again putting a cloud of slugs in the path of an inbound missile would be easier and more effective. With the speeds/distances involved all of the missiles would be approaching from a very narrow cone, and a small deflection would mean a miss.

stcredzero 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Against space piracy:

First, it requires that FTL ships be cheap enough that criminals can acquire them. This is another area in which the analogy between the age of sail and the space age breaks down. Sailing ships were skill-intensive but materially cheap. You had to have people with the right skills, but once you did all you needed was wood, rope, and cloth. But spacecraft are going to follow a post-industrial revolution paradigm of being materially expensive as well as skill-intensive. They are likely to require sophisticated, precision-manufactured components and expensive fuels like helium 3, fissionables, or antimatter. Imagine Captain Jack Sparrow commanding a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and you'll get an idea of the kind of difference we're talking about.

If technological trends continue, the degree of technology available to the average citizen and the average criminal will continue to increase. As an individual, I have access to more media distribution than Queen Elizabeth could even imagine. As an individual, I can build a device like a CNC machine or a 3D printer from off the shelf parts.

Skillfully crafted wood, rope, and cloth would seem like miracle items to someone from the stone age. A CNC laser cutter would represent miraculous technological savvy and princely embodied wealth to someone from the 1400's. The equivalent to an Orion ship might well be within the rech of rogue elements of the late 21st century.

That said, space piracy probably won't happen, or at least won't resemble piracy from old movies in the least, but the technology being out of reach won't be the reason why.

Tloewald 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's an interesting topic for discussion, but the writer makes lots of "realistic" assumptions whil ignoring many others. Assuming this level of "realism" -- I.e. no unforeseen technologies -- we basically don't get enormously high delta-v for most kinds of useful ship, so the very high sustained accelerations (e.g. 4G) aren't going to happen. The discussion of perfect intelligence is good but fails to mention that most plausible spacecraft would be detectable at enormous ranges even with their engines OFF. Clearly almost everything will be automated and networked.

I think the writer starts out with the a priori assumption that there will be spaceships with a crew at one end and an engine at the other and works from there. I suspect you'll just have a swarm of networked drones. Why put so many eggs in one basket?

(We're already seeing this approach being experimented with on nuclear hunter killer subs, where firing at an enemy gives away your position, and giving your position away gets you killed -- the US Navy has been working on submarines tha launch drone firing platforms.)

dustingetz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
my takeaway: there will be no space battles, because whichever side has more money will always have vastly superior weapons, and they will take what they want. violence will happen in key strategic plays, like political assassinations. it's not like today's earth-combat where we're all mostly equal and everyone has time to launch their nukes and we all die. this is all assuming that one side doesn't simply exterminate the other like a termite infestation.
51Cards 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Still only part way through and though I don't entirely agree with all the conclusions the thought experiment is proving to be fun.

This however is my favourite point so far as I had never really thought about it this way when watching popularized SciFi.

Another thing about motion in space is that changing your ship's orientation does nothing to your speed and vector unless it is accompanied by firing your main engine, because there is no friction. This means that all those space dogfights where one fighter gets behind the other and the other one has to try and shake it like in air combat are very unrealistic. There's no comprehensible reason why the pursued pilot can't just turn his fighter around and blast the bugger.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV series has just been ruined for me. Wait, no, it still had Wilma Deering, so all is not lost.

j_baker 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I admit to skimming this, but there are a couple of things I see wrong with this.

1. You can see a spaceship from the next solar system for sure. But it would take years for you to see it.

2. I doubt the future of combat will involve humans. I envision giant fleets of spaceships that are too big for humans to control. Thus, I forsee space combat as being driven by complex algorithms.

ew 19 hours ago 3 replies      
It was definitely an interesting read, however, I feel that fundamentally, for humans to reach the point where space combat is even feasible we will have solved so many more important problems that there won't be a need for fighting in the cosmos. Earth, in general, is at peace. We are largely struggling against terrorism, radical groups, and internal genocide rather than full scale, nation-on-nation wars.

No two democracies have gone to war, ever, and that's an important indicator of our future. Don't get me wrong, we have A TON of human rights, poverty, and equality problems, but things are rapidly improving directly proportional to our technical capabilities.

By the time we can even construct two ships capable of having a realistic fight in space we're more likely to send them exploring rather than duke it out. All current governments even capable of dreaming of getting in to space work together on the problem, sharing resources and knowledge.

To recap, we'll never go to war in space. I also doubt any other intelligent life with the capabilities to do so will need to attack us because they've solved any problems requiring them to do so.

gerggerg 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would space war ships be manned when we're already flying unmanned vehicles on earth? I think we've touched on a reality of intelligent species coexisting in the universe. Space war would consist of staying hidden and probably nothing else.

Plus, certainly people would be fighting over the planets or the technology (or maybe the amulet of Endor) so simply throwing comets and obliterating things wouldn't make much sense except maybe defensively or to help with a gennocide.

Terrestrial battles to take over usable land would probably continue to be the name of the game. Followed with setting up tonnes of drones and sensors for defense.

philwelch 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think space combat is even going to happen. Any combatant with the necessary wealth and technology to develop any space-combat capability is going to have significant terrestrial interests and nuclear weapons already, at which point they're already subject to MAD and won't engage in direct combat anyway. At the very minimum, you would need economically and politically independent Moon/Mars colonies, and even they would be so dependent upon Earth trade that they would either not want to start a war or, even if they did, would have Earthbound allies who are significantly more vulnerable than they are, and no less essential to their survival.

The closest we'll ever get is probably the development of ASAT weapons, and even those aren't likely to see much use.

brmj 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a thought I've had in the past after encountering a document of this type: Stealth in space is trivial is what you are trying to keep hidden doesn't need to accelerate, support human life or do anything much that generates significant heat, especially if it can stay far away from what it is hiding from. Space is big and hard to hide things in, but it is full of all kinds of smallish debris in the vicinity of a solar system. If you have something of about the right size, orbit, albedo, radar reflectivity and temperature, it ought to be hard to distinguish it from a stray bit of rock or ice too small for anyone to have paid attention to it in the past.

Bearing this in mind, suppose that you built a small, camouflaged satellite which would just sit there at ambient temperature until it received instructions, upon which it would point itself at a given patch of sky, do the finest bits of the aiming using its own passive sensors and then fire a nuclear bomb-pumped x-ray laser at whatever has the misfortune to be there. With something like this, one could probably swat any reasonable craft out of the sky before it had time to respond. You could perhaps also use such things offensively by putting them on orbits that will take them within their effective range of whatever you want them to shoot, though they would stand out a bit more that way.

The only real countermeasure to these I can think of would be to move your spacecraft rapidly back and forth at all times, which is probably infeasible given the amount of reaction mass it would take.

I'm not sure what the implications of all of this are, but I suspect they would be interesting.

yock 21 hours ago 2 replies      
On the subject of privateers, why is the author so insistent on the danger of crashing ships into planets? What does the math look like when space craft like he describes hits the upper reaches of our atmosphere? At those speeds, could a space craft really penetrate far enough to cause terrestrial damage?
Splines 19 hours ago 1 reply      
As mentioned in the post, David Weber's Honor Harrington series operates very much like this. I've read a few of them and enjoyed it. Nuances in space combat in his stories tend to be important.


Also, it's worth watching this scene from Mass Effect 2. It's amusing :)


Avshalom 21 hours ago 1 reply      
for all your back of the envelope needs.
elmindreda 22 hours ago 1 reply      
My favourite space combat scene is the one on the way to Home in Protector.
berntb 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Would it be feasible to use a nuclear device as a shotgun?

That is, most of the kinetic energy of the bomb is directed (like discussions for the bombs in the Orion project). The bomb would be optimised to send tungsten bullets off at X km/s.

Then put that as the payload of a missile.

Edit: Fragmentation bombs was discussed in the second page of the article. Hmm... this would need a very tight spread of the heavy pellets, which is probably not possible with a nuclear weapon?

Edit 2: Add a 2nd level of explosive drive to the fragments? They disperse a bit (to make them hard targets) but know where the target will be and when. More like submunitions, I guess.

Edit 3: Rail guns to send (small) kinetic missiles at a high initial speed? These could potentially run in stealth mode for quite some time, before doing final course corrections.

meric 21 hours ago 1 reply      
"there's no stealth in space, but there most certainly is stealth in an atmosphere."

It would allow for ambushes, and fake-ambushes.

A lone-ship running from a fleet, carrying a local governor, running past an uninhabited planet, away from a chasing enemy fleet. The lone-ship passes right next to the planet and keeps going. The enemy fleet follows. When the fleet is passing next to the planet, will there be an ambush waiting? Will missiles hidden in the moon orbiting the planet emerge and fire in a cloud of <"thunder" replacement>?

The algorithm deems the chance of an ambush springing from the planet atmosphere as "possible", and the fleet retreats.

JDulin 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A fascinating read and good outline for what space battles require, but not a predication of what future space combat will look like. By limiting the discussion to only technology that we could build today, the exact scenarios in here will never play out.

Large scale space combat will play out only when humans can build these weapons cheaply, and have an incentive to build them at all. That is decades from now. By the time a human society decides to construct the ridiculously expensive space warships and defenses the author talks about, we will have much more advanced technology (that is probably a lot cheaper to.)

orenmazor 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I think Hamilton nailed it when he talked about kinetic weapons and 'wasps' (aka small bots that can move in ways a human occupied ship can't)
learc83 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Do any other hacker news readers check out spacebattles.com? I'm glad to see it on the front page, I've been a member there since '01
kevinalexbrown 19 hours ago 1 reply      
What if you launch a surprise attack by launching a missile at relativistic speeds?
zmj 21 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the difference between a spaceship and a missile once you remove the human passengers and pilots?
maeon3 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Information and stealth are the biggest assets in space war so maybe that is why we dont see aliens chit chatting all over.  A species wins a war by making the enemy think it has won, while hiding out at a new home base to build up weapons.I see earth as an extension and continuation of that war.  We don't know where our allies are, So that when they discover our position and interrogate us they won't find the rest of the hive.  the winners of war will be the species that hides the best.
John Resig: JavaScript as a First Language ejohn.org
300 points by fogus  6 days ago   216 comments top 40
jashkenas 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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...


olivier1664 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've learn programming to create small 2D games: Turtle at 8, TI-82 at 16, Pascal at 18, C with Allegro at 22, android-java at 30. It was some "Snake" or "Tron" or "Bomberman" kind of games.

Seems obvious for me that children motivation can be creating game.

So, in my opinion, an ideal first language should be a sandbox language that have C syntax style without pointer stuff and can easily:
- Read keyboard()
- DrawPixel()
- DrawImage()
- PlaySound()

Bonus if there is no install.
Bonus if created games can be send by email to friends.

IanMechura 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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???)

malandrew 6 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

tantalor 6 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.

njonsson 6 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() { };

olov 6 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.
j45 6 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

Stormbringer 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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!
its_so_on 6 days ago 1 reply      
wat. This is like teaching postscript as a first language.

almost literally.

jaequery 6 days ago 0 replies      
john, just teach them jQuery!
more_original 6 days ago 0 replies      
Christmas tree made out of form elements (webkit) hakim.se
294 points by hakim  2 days ago   33 comments top 18
saurik 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 2 replies      
Impressive. I wonder when Firefox will get the transformation support - not that it's very practical for anything right now.
joelackner 2 days ago 0 replies      
more clever working coming from you, hakim. love that the elements are still usable.
joejohnson 2 days ago 0 replies      
That looks pretty nice on an iPad :)
gary4gar 2 days ago 2 replies      
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 :)

tambourine_man 2 days ago 0 replies      
Runs fine on iPhone 3G. Impressive.
iamandrus 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's awesome! Keep up the great work. :D
magoon 2 days 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.
pkulak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, that completely destroyed my iPad 1.
jakubw 2 days 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.
seanp2k2 2 days ago 0 replies      
hahahahaha, I approve of this DOM debauchery.
badclient 2 days ago 4 replies      
Freezes my iPhone.
orofino 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool. Merry Christmas.
eternalmatt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was watching memory usage rapidly climb. Pretty fun though!
jasondrowley 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's marvelous. Good work. And Merry Christmas!
zobzu 2 days ago 0 replies      
works fine on (Gecko/FF10).
evertonfuller 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Merry Christmas!
Smoke Screening: Journalist tests TSA vanityfair.com
290 points by Umalu  6 days ago   95 comments top 17
nathanb 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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?
pppp 6 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.
ck2 6 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.

mgkimsal 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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?

       cached 28 December 2011 16:11:01 GMT