Joking aside, I predict disappointment. Reddit users will want hard-hitting answers, Obama will definitely not give them (already the internet freedom question has been fluffy-answered). In all honestly, no-one should expect anything else- the POTUS is not going to unveil new thoughts and strategies through Reddit.
That said, it shows how far they've come from the "jailbait" scandal a few months ago, but I strongly suspect Republicans will refer back to it in good time.
EDIT: Hey, at least PresidentObama bought Reddit Gold. Somehow I doubt it'll be enough to cover the bandwidth, though.
I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 4 points5 points6 points 2 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 4 points5 points6 points 2 minutes ago
It's hard - truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store - so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I'm in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm - even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 21 points22 points23 points 10 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 21 points22 points23 points 10 minutes ago
I understand how tough it is out there for recent grads. You're right - your long term prospects are great, but that doesn't help in the short term. Obviously some of the steps we have taken already help young people at the start of their careers. Because of the health care bill, you can stay on your parent's plan until you're twenty six. Because of our student loan bill, we are lowering the debt burdens that young people have to carry. But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs - and that's why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth - more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we've put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse. I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year. I don't promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don't be discouraged - we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 631 points632 points633 points 24 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 631 points632 points633 points 24 minutes ago
It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 242 points243 points244 points 25 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 242 points243 points244 points 25 minutes ago
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 557 points558 points559 points 31 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 557 points558 points559 points 31 minutes ago
The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 809 points810 points811 points 35 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 809 points810 points811 points 35 minutes ago
Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 199 points200 points201 points 36 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 199 points200 points201 points 36 minutes ago
We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 765 points766 points767 points 39 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 765 points766 points767 points 39 minutes ago
Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 1527 points1528 points1529 points 40 minutes ago* (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 1527 points1528 points1529 points 40 minutes ago*
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.permalinkcontextfull commentsI am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[+]PresidentObama[S] 1810 points1811 points1812 points 43 minutes ago (0 children)[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 1810 points1811 points1812 points 43 minutes ago
Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.
I would've thought that they'd have brought in some additional computing power for such an event, should've been easy for them considering they have a cloud deployment. Maybe this gives them greater reason to hire more engineers. I found it impressive that they served billions of impressions with just 2 engineers a short while ago..
Also, it says a lot about the "Come Cloud with us, we'll help you scale" marketing bandwagon. We've seen time and again issues with EC2s infrastructure and if EC2 doesn't have issues right now (http://status.aws.amazon.com/) then it's just sad that they can't order a gazillion instances for this event and have it scale easily.
Definitely makes me think that we still have a long way to go to compute in a truly 'elastic' way.
reddit definitely does have some crazy infrastructure in place but this would've been one of the most important moments in reddit history (so far..) and I'm sad to see that their engineers are probably going to get blamed for this..
EDIT: Okay, they're back in read only mode.. I wonder how they'll hack in some write access for the AMA while keeping everything else read only. Time for some app server redeployments! Funsies!
EDIT2: And they're gone again sigh
- This is so cool, the President of the United States is going to use our website to answer questions!
- OMG, the site is down and the President wants to use our site, fix this now!
[â€"]SharkGirl 1504 points 51 minutes agoWe know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 1185 points 29 minutes ago*Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
[â€"]ormirian 2350 points 51 minutes ago*Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 1471 points 31 minutes agoMaking sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.
[â€"]FifthSurprise 762 points 50 minutes agoWhat was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 158 points 20 minutes agoThe decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.
[â€"]daveforamerica 319 points 51 minutes agoWhat is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 482 points 24 minutes agoWin or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.
[â€"]silent1mezzo 415 points 47 minutes agoWhat's the recipe for the White House's beer?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 158 points 13 minutes agoIt will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.
[â€"]karlfranks 93 points 51 minutes agoWho's your favourite Basketball player?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 433 points 28 minutes agoJordan - I'm a Bulls guy.
[â€"]suzmerk 321 points 55 minutes agoWhat are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 106 points 21 minutes agoMoney has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
demaney 69 points 28 minutes ago
For proof, did he send you a picture of him holding a dated index card? Or did the Secret Service land a helicopter on your house?
yishan 183 points 25 minutes ago
He faxed a copy of his birth certificate.
Connect with the people more often and more directly. Eventually those politicians who made genuine connections would perform better on AMAs than those that simply regurgitated the usual talking points.
That kind of thing could make a real difference.
I think the odds are against it since it would remove some of the buffer that the current style of message-controlled, divide-and-conquer, us-v-them politics absolutely depends on.
But we can dream.
Not the future we were expecting, but I'll take it.
REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com.
It's hard - truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls. ...
I understand how tough it is out there for recent grads....
Money has always been a factor in politics....
The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. ...
Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.
We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 ......
Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. ......
Seriously. He won't answer anything in a _meanful_ way.... and only safe questions will get answered. Next?
I was wondering why Reddit was having load trouble. This explains it.
log out your profile and you will get served the cache for the 99%, at least thats why theory why it works for me
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
Edited: for relevance ;)
Edit2: SIC WTF? - per comments below
Edit3: Downvotes? Wow. POTUS commenting on IP Law, Privacy, Internet Freedom. etc. PLS Read the context. It was included. Tks.
[â€"]SharkGirl 812 points 32 minutes ago
We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?
[â€"]PresidentObama[S] 130 points 10 minutes ago
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
load more comments (25 replies)
[â€"]davidjoho 104 points 29 minutes ago
And when you say "Internet Freedom" do you mean the Republican version ("Freedom for the access provider monopoly") or the version in which the Internet is free to anyone with an idea or an expression?
He only posted it on the @BarackObama twitter. Not any of the other ones related to his campaing. Reddit didn't advertise this AT ALL. Most big celebrity AMAs are known for days. The photo of him is just him sitting in front of a laptop. There's no proof at all that he's doing an AMA.
Reddit is going down HARD. I doubt the Obama campaign spontaneously decided to do this. Anyone savvy enough to suggest an AMA should know that it would likely take down the site and they'd probably talk to Reddit first.
His answers seem like answers the president would give though (but he did reference his NOT BAD meme, which seems too cool to be true). If you were impersonating the president, it would seem like you would try to wreak some havoc.
Anyone else feel like this?
Do reddit moderators step in during these situations to supervote questions?
2. Why has this had such low rank on HN given the number of votes? It had 200+ in the first hour and never seemed to get in the top 3.
This aside and I'm not starting an argument here, but this very AMA bringing down Reddit pretty badly goes to show that even EC2 isn't the answer to life's scaling problems nor are other cloud services like Heorku.
Of course it entirely depends on where the problem was, but this kind of thing tends to work in a lot of cases.
Either that or every moderator on all of Reddit was called to the thread.
Is it true the load took down Reddit for a little while?
I can't log in though, which is slightly annoying. Would be interesting to see the traffic stats for this once it's done.
Shame on all of us!
...by making one thread very, very popular.
No matter how much of a publicity stunt this was, though, I registered to vote today. Obama was pretty persuasive.
Never change Reddit, never change.
I'd like to see him do Fear Factor.
If you want my vote Barack, you have to go on Fear Factor. Those are my terms. Non-negotiable.
I love this quote. It reflects my sentiments to a T.
There's something a bit... I don't know quite how to put it. Let's just say that I bet she'd willingly trade places with him, cash out, and go enjoy herself instead of cleaning up after other people day in and day out. (Edit to change the wording just a bit)
> The other interesting thing about restaurants is you could have a dozen Italian restaurants in the city and they can all be successful. It's not like in the tech world, where everyone wants to beat each other up, and there's one winner.
That's because the economics of a highly local business are very different from one that can have customers all over the world.
Also: restaurants fail all the time - it's a stressful business to be in, and not generally the sort of relaxed, easy-going picture he makes it sound like. You can bet that most restaurants do not have the option of doing 4 days a week, unless they have big margins the other days, which means they probably have something very special about them.
I admire and respect those guys, but there's something too glib about some of their communications that turns my cynic sense on.
Edit: furthermore... live and let live, no? I'm more interested in a 37 signals style business myself, but let the people in Silicon Valley do their thing even if it doesn't float your boat. It'll all work out. As one example, I think the world is better off with PG running Y Combinator instead of having slogged on with Viaweb.
The part of the rhetoric I'm not as fond of is this false dichotomy that he often raises of "either small business is right or big-startups are right". Both can be right--they just have different goals. And there are strong relationships and dependencies between each type that make it particularly disingenuous to slander each other.
It reminds me a bit of the "you didn't build that" hubbub happening in American politics lately. There seems to be a "I did this" hubris, as you create high-quality web services catering to small teams.
Let's get real: you are building web services consumed by a browser (Netscape) on someone's Macbook Pro (Apple); your data found its way there over some serious switching infrastructure (Cisco); you stock your offices with goods from the best online retailers--oh yeah, and they host a bunch of your bulk data too (Amazon); your site is indexed by the major search engines and you expose your brand to potential customers via sophisticated advertising networks (Google); your keep your friends and fans in the loop on what your business is up to via massive social networks (Twitter).
Many of these companies were ambitious, they had low probabilities of success, they had much higher capital needs and a tighter window to hit the market.. than a slightly better product management system for small teams. But these VC-powered longshots--the lucky few winners--now form the beating heart of our industry. They provide good jobs to hundreds of thousands of people. And.. would 37 signals even exist without them?
Jason wants to make great money and have a good business and take Friday off. That is fine, that is seriously great. I'm not sure why the tone is so defensive, b/c, really, who's attacking that? That's a damn good way to go.
But some people want to "make a dent in the world". They need some money to do that! And they might fail! And rich guys are willing to gamble on the outcome! Who cares? It's audacious fucking fun to try to change the world, and sometimes it works. Afterwards, we can take a shower and feel clean and wholesome about the birth of 38 signals.
Hilarious given that Jason Fried was on the board of directors of Groupon (his comments on this "disgusting scenario" here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2617160).
The result is 70 or 80 hour work weeks and burnout. The VC don't care because they will be done in the short-term anyway.
It's the reason why I refuse to work for startups.
When anyone starts a business you can shoot for living a nice comfortable life (and lets be honest if you're running a business making millions per year, you've nailed it), or you can push and push to become the business. Both have chance of failure, both require devotion. I'd take the same route as 37signals. Having enough money to live comfortably and enjoy life sound much better than the constant grind to get to the next boss level.
EDIT: I downloaded it, and the app bundle doesn't seem to have an X11, so that's nice. However, upon firing it up, it throws up a splash screen in front of all other applications. Who still thinks that's acceptable behavior on a multitasking operating system? Also, the app quits when the last window is closed, which isn't how OS X apps are supposed to behave.
EDIT: I thought I'd add this since there seems to be a large discussion below as to the type of user for which GIMP is applicable. I'm a software dev, in the past couple of years though mainly web apps where I've had to at times do graphics, for this GIMP worked fine for me (that's my pitch in the discussion). I think GIMP shines (as well as the traditional imagemagick) for batch processing, the scripting is easy, clean, fast - and lispy :)Some links for those interested: http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Basic_Batch/http://www.squidoo.com/gimp-how-to-write-a-script-fu-macro
Serious question: how did this not happen 5 years ago? Is there some technical reason? It's so hard for me to understand why the creators wouldn't have always had this as the #1 feature improvement to make ASAP.
What are open source/free projects supposed to do about gatekeeper?
This version in comparison feels a lot better, though there are still a few annoying things about it, such as the image editing itself seems a bit laggy.
Still, a good step in the right direction IMO!
I've been a long time GIMP for Mac OS X user (being a former laptop Linux users).
New GIMP crashed in me on the first run. It then hung on start up on the 2nd run.
I just deleted my old GIMP configuration directories and it started up fine:
rm -fr ~/Library/Application\ Support/Gimp/
I hope that is getting resolved, it's always painful to see large projects like GIMP suffer from "people problems" and developers become disgruntled as a result.
$ file GIMP.app/Contents/MacOS/GIMP-bin GIMP.app/Contents/MacOS/GIMP-bin: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
I don't mind paying <$100 for a decent graphics editor. My primary use case is tweaking screenshots, app icons, buttons, and the like for my iOS apps and the web site. I want to get in and out as quick as possible, so I can get back to my other work.
Anyone knows where I could find a JPEG-2000 plug-in for GIMP that works on this Mac version, along with instructions on how to install it?
It's frustrating how long it is taken Adobe to update their software for Hi-DPI.
> The second dimension to the problem is that no two Linux distributions agreed on which core components the system should use.
Linux on the desktop suffered from a lack of coherent, strategic vision, consistency and philosophy. Every engineer I know likes to do things a particular way. They also have a distorted view on the level of customization that people want and need.
I like OSX. Out of the box it's fine. That's what I want. I don't want to dick around with Windows managers or the like. Some do and that's fine but almost no one really does.
Whereas Windows and OSX can (and do) dictate a topdown vision for the desktop experience, Linux can't do this. Or maybe there's been no one with the drive, conviction and gravitas to pull it off? Who knows? Whatever the case, this really matters for a desktop experience.
I have two monitors on my Linux desktop. A month ago full screen on video stopped working. Or I guess I should say it moved to the center of the two screens so is unusable. I have no idea why. It could be an update gone awry. It could be corp-specific modifications. It could be anything. But the point is: I don't care what the problem is, I just want it to work. In this regard, both Windows and OSX just work. In many others too.
I can't describe to you how much torture it always seems to be to get anything desktop-related to work on Linux. I loathe it with a passion. I've long since given up any idea that Linux will ever get anywhere on the desktop. It won't. That takes a topdown approach, the kind that anarchies can't solve.
And clearly OS X is an extremely polished Unix and is going to appeal to the more UI-focused of the hacker set. And Miquel is definitely among the most UI-focused of the hacker set. He's also an inconsolate "platform fan". Much of his early work was chasing Microsoft products and technologies, of course; now he's an iPhone nut apparently, and that doesn't really surprise me.
But at the same time the Linux desktop was never really in the game. I use it (Gnome 3 currently) and prefer it. Lots of others do. For many, it really does just work better. But in a world where super-polished products are the norm, a hacker-focused suite of software isn't ever going to amount to more than a curiosity. (And again, I say this as someone who will likely never work in a Windows or OS X desktop.)
So in that light, I think the idea that the Linux desktop got "killed" is sort of missing the point. It's no more moribund now than it was before. It's more fractured in a sense, as the "Gnome" side of the previous desktop war has split into 3+ camps (Unity, Gnome 3 and Gnome2/Xfce, though there are other spliter camps like Mint/Cinnamon too). But it's here and it works, and it's not going anywhere. Try it!
Design. Design is what killed the linux desktop. It never had it. OS X has it. Even windows, crappy as it may be, has it.
Before I go on, let me say that Design is NOT "making it look pretty". In fact, thinking that this is what design is, is what leads many linux advocates to reject the needs of design.
Apple's work looks pretty-- because it is designed to function well.
Design is about usability and understanding the user and making an interface for the user that works well according to the users understanding, perspective and needs.
Design is an engineering discipline.
The Linux community hasn't had that, and I've seen many of them reject it. In fact, you can see it in the rejection of apple's patents. This is why they think that apple patents are not original is because they reject that any engineering went into them. But that's just one example. You see it all the time in lots of contexts. Look at the UIs of Linux... they didn't design one, they just copied windows.
Literal copying is about as far from design as you can get.
Sure, over the years, designers have taken cracks at bringing design to linux, including the work of Ubuntu, but it is rejected by the community.
Rejection of design is a cultural trait of the linux community. They reject it as a discipline, doesn't even see that it exists. (broadly speaking, of course.)
But as users, they have been influenced by it and many of them have switched to OS X because it is the best designed operating system.
And then they write long blog posts about how its wrong that OS X does things a certain way ... based on their lack of design perspective that would let them see why things should work that way.
But its fine- if you want to run a linux desktop and don't value or care about design, more power to you. Won't ever fault someone for making that decision. We should all use the systems that we prefer.
But the culture that doesn't value design, and can't even see it as an engineering discipline, is going to have a great deal of trouble making something usable by the mainstream.
(And, there are of course Linux-based systems that were built by someone controlling the whole experience, and those work really well. Android and ChromeOS come to mind, though those aren't really desktops per se.)
The other day, someone here was complaining about udev. It has ruined Linux forever, or something. I have a different experience: udev has made my life very easy. I have a rule for each device I care about, and that device is automatically made available at a fixed location when it is plugged in. For example, I have a rule that detects a microcontroller that is waiting to be programmed with avrdude in avr109 mode that symlinks the raw device (/dev/ttyUSB<whatever>) to /dev/avr109. I then have a script that waits for inotify to detect the symlink, and then call avrdude to program the microcontroller. A few lines of shell scripting (actually, it's in my Makefile), and I can just plug in a microcontroller, press the programming button on it, and everything just works. No screwing around with figuring out which device address it's assigned to. How do you do that in Windows?
Also, part of what killed the Linux desktop was Miguel and his total lack of understanding of the unix philosophy which drove him to create abominations like BONOBO. D-Bus is not much better either.
That he fell in love with an iPhone goes to show he didn't fully appreciate the value of open source either.
We were just yesterday commenting with some friends in #cat-v how Evolution is one of the worst pieces of software ever created, and Evolution is supposedly considered by Miguel and co to be the epitome of the Linux desktop.
One of the big thrusts of the Linux desktop wasn't simply dominance itself, but for it to simply not matter what you were using on the desktop. The Linux desktop fought to produce the first cracks in Windows hegemony a decade ago, but the final push came from the rebirth of Apple and the rise of the smartphone.
Today people happily do their normal productive or recreational tasks from a variety of computing environments: Windows, GNOME, Unity, KDE, OS X, iOS, Android, et al. Probably the majority of (Western) web users use at least one non-Windows internet device.
During the golden age of the Linux desktop everything seemed predicated on reaching exactly this point -- that you wouldn't need Windows, and then, by virtue of competing on a leveler playing field, the Linux desktop would ascend.
But the Linux desktops didn't "scate where the puck is going" -- or their attempts at such missed the mark. By the time we reached the era post-Windows dominance, the Linux desktops weren't positioned to take advantage of the new playing field dynamics. The rest of the industry isn't even all that concerned with the desktop wars anymore. It stopped mattering very much -- and ironically, that came around to bite the projects in the ass that first got the ball rolling.
Let me give an example: a few months ago, a new version of Skype was announced for Linux. I was excited, since I used Skype 2 for Linux but then it stopped working for me and I couldn't be bothered to fix it. But if you go to the Skype for Linux download page, you will find a few downloads for specific distros, then some tar files which are, statistically speaking, guaranteed not to work.
Long story short(er), I still don't have Skype working on my desktop, because my distro isn't in the list, I can't get one of the other distro packages to work on my system, and of course none of the statically-linked binaries work.
(I could almost certainly get it to work if I was willing to install 32-bit binary support. But it's 2012. If your app requires me to install 32-bit binary support, I don't need your app that badly.)
Steam for Linux, recently announced by Valve, will run into the same problem. I suspect it will actually be Steam for Ubuntu and Debian, possibly with a version for Fedora, assuming you have the proper libraries installed and are using the right sound daemon and graphical environment.
But if big-name software comes out for Linux, hopefully distros will get in line. Do you want to be that distro which can't run Steam? Doesn't really matter if you think that OSSv4 is superior to ALSA and PulseAudio...if Steam requires the latter, you will toe the freaking line, or disappear into obsolescence.
When i'm not on Linux I run OSX everywhere else (and IOS) because its unix-like (is) and because it works so well. I am sure Windows 7 and 8 are great, but I doubt they have gotten rid of c: or \ as path delimiter or any of the other nonsense that DOS introduced (copied from PIP) back in the dark ages. why should they, MSFT still runs DOS apps so they aren't going to change and choosing between OSX and Linux on a non-work desktop is a no-brainer, Netflix, Photoshop etc etc etc...
A lot of applications break on newer versions of Mac OS X. That's why there are websites like http://roaringapps.com/apps:table
Also, there are a lot of "transitions" that Apple loves doing: PowerPC -> Intel. Java -> Objective-C. Carbon -> Cocoa. 32-bit > 64-bit. Access everything -> Sandbox.
See also Cocoa docs: "method X introduced in 10.5. Deprecated in 10.6".
I have a few devices that don't work in 10.8.
Basically, what I'm saying is that OS X is a bad example for backward compatibility. Windows is much better at this. Open source software is much better at this.
I don't really see how the Linux desktop is dead. I've been running the same OS on this same laptop since 2007. The only upgrade I've added is an SSD and an extra gig of memory. It's still pretty speedy and I've never had any problems.
I use a Macbook Pro with OS X at work because that's just what I was issued by default. I hate it. I hate the over-reliance on the mouse, on gestures, the abundant and tedious animations; I hate the crappy ecosystem of package repositories and how most of the packages are broken or completely mess with the system; I hate never being able to find where any of the configuration files are or where something is installed; I hate the plethora of ways you can start and stop services; the confusing GUI; the masochistic meta-key layout; the awful full-screen support; and the complete lack of customization options.
I've had much better experiences with the Linux desktop for 95% of the things I do.
Now before some OS X fan-person decides to point out how woefully misguided and ignorant I am, my point is that there are different folks out there who want different things from their desktop experience. Apple gets to decide top-down what that experience is all the way down to the hardware. I prefer a little more flexibility. I like being able to swap out my own battery or adding a new memory module when I need one. I like being able to switch from a GUI desktop to a tiled window manager. Some folks don't -- there are Linux distros that hide as much of that as possible. Either way there are plenty of options and I think that's a good thing. Competition breeds innovation and even though I don't particularly like Unity I am glad to see people trying new things.
The Linux desktop isn't dead. It may just smell funny. You may switch to OS X and wonder why anyone could possibly want anything else. I just gave you a bunch of answers.
When I go home, I'll be using my personal laptop running linux. My wife and kids run a netbook with a linux desktop.
The linux desktop may be dead to Miguel, but it works just fine for me, a lot of other people in my life, and a lot of people in the world.
Now take the mobile world for example, Linux on mobile had been around for a decade but it never really took off until a huge company like Google decided to throw its billions of dollars and its great ingenuity at the task. Getting an OS to be popular is just incredibly difficult and it needs way more than just good driver support and/or good software. It needs marketing, talking to manufacturers, dedicated and well payed devs, designers, UI and UX professionals, sales, R&D and so on and so forth.
Focusing on the technicality of drivers and API is typical of us devs, but it has nothing to do with why Linux didn't take off on the desktop, sure Linux did fail because it couldn't do any or some of that well, but why couldn't it do any or some of that? Because it didn't have a huge and focused company pushing for it. How many popular desktop OS are there? Only 2, I think that's enough to show that it's incredibly hard to get into that market and that only a huge company can make it. Also, let's not forget that Windows was good enough and there was not much Linux could do to attract users, in fact this is still true and probably why even OS X is still at 5%: Windows is good enough and it's the de facto standard used by +90%. Having the best UI and UX in the world like OS X doesn't help that much either.
This is completely missing the point - a statically compiled end-user binary should be compatible across all distributions of Linux, using the same version of the kernel or any newer version.
The only caveats to that are (a) hardware and (b) poorly-packaged software.
(A) is the fault of hardware manufacturers and is increasingly not an issue these days anyway; driver issues are becoming increasingly rare.
(B) is easy to solve for any open-source software, as it is the responsibility of the community for that distribution to provide the appropriate packaging. They prefer to do it themselves. And they're good at it - it gets done!
If you want to ship a closed-source binary on Linux, just make sure you don't dynamically link it against any libraries that you don't also ship with the binary. Problem solved.
Honestly, I can't remember one single instance ever where I have run into end-user software that will run on one distribution of Linux and not another, as long as that principle was followed.
I'm on Linux now (GNU/Linux, maybe lump BSD in there too, I'm using "Linux"). I know plenty of users on Linux. I know plenty of users of Windows and OS X who run virtual Linux Desktop distributions for testing/development/security. I'm sure some of HN are running Linux.
Does Linux have the potential to enter the market as a third core option for desktop usage - not really. But why does it matter?
The problem with Linux is that there are too many choices. People who like technical choices and options trend toward Linux (needs citation).
John Q. ComputerUser isn't going to use Linux unless his geeky son or nephew installs it for him AND provides support. He can't get support anywhere else - because there are too many possibilities for it to be fiscally effective.
If/When something gets confusing or broken on Windows/OS X, you call JoeBob's SuperDuperPuter, and say it's broken. JoeBob asks, "What Windows version?" While he might need to poke and pry a bit to get the user to tell him he's running Millenium edition, once he gets that data, it's a pretty straightforward troubleshooting effort and fix.
If you call some mythical Computer Service group that actually supports Linux, and say your machine is broken, they would need to know a LOT more about your system just to figure what they need to do to start.
Distribution? Parent Distribution? Shell? Window Manager? Hardware? ...
I find generic computer service companies to be extremely expensive. To be able to provide even basic service for Linux in general, your techs need to be very familiar with more operating systems (emerge, apt, yum, zypper, pacman), and more core applications. Each service effort inherently takes longer. These factors pile up and everything becomes necessarily more expensive. It's downright impractical to support Linux generically. The support costs for one or two issues on Linux would far outweigh the cost of an upfront OS license and cheaper support for the end user.
Linux has (and will likely continue to have) a comfortable hold on the technically-capable DIY market. It may not be on track to step beyond that market in the desktop arena - but that certainly doesn't indicate it's time for a toe tag.
However, no way in hell anyone will get me to switch to Mac OS. I am simply too enamored with having an environment that I can hack on if it strikes my fancy, as well as an environment that I can customize how I want it. Despite all its flaws, it still does focus follows mouse pretty well, and not having that would drive me batty.
Also, Apple is an 800 pound gorilla that has always been about Being In Control. The Samsung lawsuit wasn't anything new:
I just don't want to be part of that kind of walled garden.
What killed the linux desktop? Drivers. Mostly graphics drivers but some others as well. Who cares if the UI isn't ideal if the damn thing can't sleep and wake up properly, or if it spazs out every time I plug in an external monitor.
ADDED: jrockaway's comment, added while I was writing this, hits it just right: "I think the issue is that getting everything working requires a deep understanding of each component and the system as a whole." Which is what makes it so frustrating, even to very intelligent people who have other interests than computers in and of themselves.
All of the article's criticism of mainstream workstation distributions is accurate, of course. But it's important to note that those represent nowhere near the sum total of the linux user experience these days.
Having been a small-scale Mac developer for many years, that really made me chuckle. Not since OS X 10.2 did Apple release a major upgrade that didn't break my apps and make me struggle to push an update out as quickly as possible to fix all the things that Apple broke. Apple has heard of deprecation, but they don't seem to really grok the concept.
If I had been developing for Linux, I could have simply tested on pre-release versions of the distros I wanted to support and would have been ready when the new versions were released. On OS X I would have had to have paid a prohibitive fee for that privilege.
In any case, this article made me happy. You see, for so many years, I used a Mac, and everybody said "Apple is on its last legs; the Mac will be dead in a few years". Apple had to scramble to compete, and that drove them to provide such a good product. But I knew that situation might not last forever, and I was right. After seeing the turn that Apple had taken over the last few years, I switched to an Ubuntu laptop six months ago.
It's refreshing, once again, to be using an OS that people are calling "dead".
Linux has been for those that like to get dirty and it is doing that job quite well. Canonical came a bit late to the party and wasn't large enough to matter. RHEL just went after the servers. To make a fair comparison, Linux should have had a big player backing it strongly on the Desktops / laptops 10-15 years ago (like Google is doing now with Android). HP and IBM did their half assed attempts, but they were never really behind it completely.
As I wrote on my blog recently:
"In the [past three years], Linux has grown â€" albeit slowly â€" in desktop usage. After nearly 2 years of no growth (2008-2010, lingering around 1% of market), in 2011 Linux saw a significant uptick in desktop adoption (+64% from May 2011 to January 2012). However, Linux's desktop share still about 1/5 of the share of Apple OS X and 1/50 the share of Microsoft Windows. This despite the fact that Linux continues to dominate Microsoft in the server market."
It may be in third place in a desktop market with primarily three OSes, but usage has never been higher.
As I discussed in this article, most of the original reasons that stopped Windows / Mac users from using Linux years ago are no longer valid. However, the irony is that it's easier than ever to get by with a Free Software desktop, but harder than ever to avoid proprietary software and lock-in, thanks to the rise of SaaS and the personal data cloud.
Modern SaaS applications accessible through the web browsers using open web standards are the modern equivalent of an open source Perl script wrapping calls to a closed-source, statically-compiled binary.
You can read more about my thoughts on this in "Cloud GNU: where are you?" http://www.pixelmonkey.org/2012/08/18/cloud-gnu
Additionally, OSX is no linux replacement. Bash is completely different except for cd, rm, and ls.
As well as Linux's presence in the data centre, witness the success of 'embedded' Linux: many TVs, routers, set top boxes and other bits of sealed-box electronics all run on it. It's broad in its scope because of the large team of divergent interests working on it, and it's able to support those systems because it's been well made as a direct result of that team's philosophy. Is it really so bad that the average Facebooker does't want to use it?
It really is very, very hard indeed to be all things to all men and no single system around today can make that claim. Linux has its place in the world of computing, just like Android, Windows, OSX and everything else.
Now if I need to fire up Linux for a project, (usually for a microcontoller or such hardware that needs C), a virtual machine or appliance that I can launch from Windows 7 does the job. This is also how I keep Windows 8 contained, safely in a virtualized box that I don't have to deal with it, unless I need too... ;)
I had run a Linux desktop (a Debian build mostly w/ KDE) for a while and kept getting hammered with random stuff breaking for random, and often poorly considered, reasons. I gave up and went back to running a Windows deskop with a X-server to pull up windows on my Linux box.
Then I went to work for Google and they did a really good job of running Ubuntu as an engineering desktop (calling their distro Gubuntu of course) and I thought "Wow, this has come quite a ways, perhaps Linux has matured to the point where there is at least one way to run it reliably. And so I installed Ubuntu on my desktop and tried that for a while.
For "using" it, it was for the most part ok if once every few days I did an apt-get update/upgrade cycle. For developing it was a real challenge. Pull in the latest gstreamer? Blam blam blam things fall over dead, update their packages (sometimes pulling git repos and rebuilding from source) to get back working, and now apt-get update/upgrade falls over the next time because you've got a package conflict. It is enough to drive you insane.
This is compounded by most distributions having a lack of centralized vision on how everything fits together. They are merely a collections of individual parts rather than a collection of parts that are designed to work well together and they lack the polish as a result. While the lack of centralized vision was fine for SunOS circa 1992, it simply doesn't cut the mustard in 2012.
Ubuntu seems to be trying to push such a centralized vision with Unity, but I fear they lack the clinical editorial willpower to make the hard decisions required to see it through to its ultimate conclusion.
the whole talk by itself is very recommendable: http://youtu.be/MShbP3OpASA?t=23m45s
Personally, I've been primarily a Mac user since the Mississippian superperiod, but I used an X-11 Windows(â„˘) environment (on top of FreeBSD) for years at work. I don't miss it, even one iota, but I know plenty of smart people who prefer that sort of thing. De gustibus non disputandum est and all that.
By the way, in my oppinion only a small fraction is buying Macs because of OS X, it's the Hardware. Design and Usability of Ubuntu is a lot better than OS X at the moment.
This whole thing about backward compatibility and the discussion that surrounds it is just vague. Here's a practical "true story" for you: I'm using GNU/Linux for more than 10 years now, and it is still alive.
Never had any vague binary compatibility problems either, because I'm not strangely expecting to use an ancient binary version of Gimp on my current system. That's because FOSS is source oriented, not binary.I'm not suddenly trying to use a 15 years old graphics card whose driver is longer in the kernel either, because I don't use a 15 years old graphics card.
This developer culture DEFINES Linux. A fruit is either an apple or an orange. I couldn't have an OS with wonderful package management, developer tools, endless configurability AND a desktop Miguel de Icaza dreams of.
It's getting really irritating when someone who's jumped ship to OSX declares it "dead" because they have a shiny iDevice and an expensive laptop.
Could the UIs and third party application situation be better? Of course. But considering all the garden variety crash bugs, power management bugs, lockup bugs, video driver misbehavior, hit and miss peripheral support, and in general just analysis paralysis about what hardware I should buy, and even then there is a less-certain future with regard to regressions.
Even given Windows's monopoly power in the commodity desktop and laptop markets, its reputation for dealing with sleep and drivers is only so-so compared to Apple Hardware and Software. If Window's monopoly power -- which buys you full attention from hardware manufacturers and their driver divisions -- only gives you mediocre results, what are the odds that a bunch of kernel hackers who receive almost no continual consideration from hardware vendors have a chance? To me, it looks like absolutely not a chance of becoming stable over time. I have completely given up on Linux laptops for this reason: by using desktops with Linux only I have cut out a lot of the problems, but not all of them. It's a kind of medicore that I can bear.
I want someone to sell me Linux distribution on a laptop that simply will not break over in its kernel-oriented features in five years of upgrades. I want that distribution to stop-ship if it a new version introduces a power management bug to an old laptop, and do whatever it takes to work around some lousy hardware bug or whatever. I want them to do whatever to work with Skype (such as statically linking whatever libraries, etc) and test Google Hangouts to make sure the webcam and microphone works. And it they don't work, they absolutely cannot ship. Until that day, I use Linux -- and I do mean the kernel in most of these cases -- as my personal operating system most of the time in spite of these problems because of my professional and philosophical needs, and not out of preference in any other dimension.
This pretty much describes the root cause of nearly all the impediments to the adoption of FOSS in general and GNU/Linux in particular by the general public. It touches everything from backwards compatibility to documentation.
I've been using Linux for the last decade and every year it gets better, more polished, more integrated, featuring a better design; I hear more & more people talking about it and using it. Linux is more alive than ever on the desktop!
Depending on your needs, Linux can make an exceptional desktop. Yes, true, it is not for _everyone_, but then again neither are Windows or MacosX.
I have Windows 7 on the other partition mainly to play games.
There was a minor issue with Ubuntu trying to melt the CPU in my laptop the other day, but its not so bad since I upgraded, and I found this powertop thing that also helps.
What? How? I've got an iPhone and have never felt like having a Mac was a must. Am I missing some major parts of the system that don't work if you don't have a Mac?
What to do about it? Couple golang's preference for large statically-linked binaries with a one-folder, one-executable install convention and Linux may become more inviting for non-nix apps.
For example, imagine "/outside/myapp/myapp" is a large, unix-unfriendly, statically-compiled binary placed in it's folder by a OS-provided install utility. "Myapp" was probably developed for Mac or Windows and by design does not give a damn about /etc, /lib, /var, etc. These app should just be allowed to crap their configuration files into the home directory into which it has been placed ("/outside/myapp"). If one no longer needs the app, the folder is deleted along with everything else the app created while it was being used. Tidy. Behind the scenes such an app would be compiled to call the standard Linux APIs, yet it would probably avoid any dynamic dependencies. Disk space is cheap. Just bundle it all together and throw it somewhere where it can run in peace.
Amiga's icon files are another approach. Rather than a large, monolithic registry tracking everything in the system, executables exist in tandem with an "icon" (.info) file. This file is generated by the OS and tracks the executable's location and other settings in the workbench (desktop). A modern reincarnation could potentially track anything. Instead of accumulating registry filth with every uninstall one can simply remove an executable and its associated .info file. Instead of adhering to the heir convention, the app plays nicely in its own folder with it's own registry. By using an ".info" file, portable non-nix installs could reside anywhere, and not in a prefabbed "/outside" folder.
The smartphone penchant for portable installation should come to nix, particularly with non-unix software. It should be encouraged, and that's coming from an OpenBSD user. Unix needs a playground for non-unix apps.
I have a Mac, and use it for some things, at times. It's nice, for sure, but I love the openness of Linux, even though, of course, there can be many very painful hardware issues (video, sound, etc), all of which I have experienced at one time or another.
I am wondering - I hear Google is working on a "Android desktop". Would that perhaps maybe change things regarding the "Linux desktop" a bit?
I switched to OSX for exactly the reasons the author mentioned. The fact that I have an awesome UI + ability to use the shell all day is a huge win for me.
Did you know that X11 is why we have shared libs (the UNIX version of "dll hell")? If not for having to run X11, shared libs really would not have been needed.
There are many window managers. Maybe too many. Too much choice for a noob. That selection or the pre-selections Linux distribution people make does not equate to "the" Linux Desktop. It equates someone else's configurations and choice of applications. It equates to having to fiddle with X11, whether you are just configuring it or developing programs to run in it. And that has always been extremely frustrating for too many people- constant tweaking; it never ends. This is like a brick wall to people who might want to try Linux, coming from Windows. You are inheriting a system that's been configured to someone else's preferences. (Same is true with Apple, but they have a knack for making things easy.)
I skipped Linux altogther and went from using Windows to using BSD. I've also been a Mac user. And BSD is way better than OSX, or any of the previous MacOS's for doing most everyday things: email, internet and secure web (ramdisk). Moreover it's flexible - you can shape into what you want - without this being an overwhelming task of undoing someone else's settings.
If you want a citation for the shared libs thing I will track it down, but honestly anyone can do it on their own. The historical research will do you good. Educate yourself.
Not to mention the problems we had with our streaming servers and ffmpeg. It turns out that there was a big flame war on libav vs ffmpeg, and someone from the libav camp managed to get the ffmpeg package marked as deprecated (it's not) and redirected to the libav package on Ubuntu's apt repo. So we're stuck either compiling from source or running our own repo. Seriously? (fwiw, the rationale is that libav pushes new versions more frequently)
But the GNU/Linux project had a very different objective. Fighting for freedom. If it is still freedom the driving force, then we should encourage the enthusiasts and get back to work on improve Linux, as it has been done for the past years. By doing so Linux already reached the excellence in some fields.
If you're just competing on features, you'll be missing some great benefits and enjoyment. And to be honest, in terms of features OSX isn't that good either as Windows is still used by the majority for one reason or another.
That aside, what we have here is a thread apparently devoted to shitting on the work of people who built something for fun and gave it away for free.
Good job folks!
I think the Linux desktop simply has more options for experienced users. I simply see no way how I could be more productive with a GUI designed to cater to lusers.
The first attempts were Mandrake and Conectiva. Canonical has been doing a good job lately, the problem is that the platform is now beyond hope on the desktop, it simply doesn't gather traction from 3rd party developers - the most important thing for a desktop OS. You're pretty much limited to the FOSS utilities that exist on the repositories.
"I mean, look at OS X itself. Sure it's doing fine, but powered by iPhone and iPad, not by people wanting a new desktop. And it still has minority marketshare despite being from one of the most profitable companies on earth and despite Microsoft's repeated weird Windows-rethinks."
Basically, path-dependant lock-in means we're lucky not to be using x86-based wPhones that don't even have web browsers. The linux and open web communities have achieved amazing things, enabling Apple's comeback along the way.
I like OS X too and had a Powerbook for years but all other things being equal I'd prefer to develop and deploy on same OS and Linux is just fine for development so far.
But anyway, a more interesting question could be: What does it take to bring an ex-linux user and now happy OSX user back to linux?
I used Windows for 3 years, then linux for 2 years. During that time I did a lot of installations (mostly ubuntu and debian) on a lot of different devices. During this time, while fighting with drivers, minor display problems, and spoiled windows users I lost my faith in linux as a desktop os and switched to OSX.
I can just speak for myself, but this few points would bring me back to linux in no time.
Presenting Distribution "Utopia"
1. No X11 based display stack, it is replaced with something conceptually simpler (like cocoa).
2. (Multiple) monitor recognition 100% accurate. (Probably connected to Pt. 1)
3. The audio setup is not much worse then the one of OSX.
4. Throwing Gnome and everything that is based on Glib out. It's 2012 there alternatives to faking oo with C. Qt isn't allowed either.
5. Throwing APT out. No more dependency management for a desktop OS please. Then kill Perl as requirement for running an os.
Ahhhhh, I feel better now :-).This is the opposite of what Miguel demanded, he cares for backward compatibility.
When I think about it. "Utopia" would be similar to Android. No fear to throw old stuff out.
Android as a foundation for a new desktop linux?
Now, with all the mentioned above I do wish there was a better ecosystem for app development. I mean something like xcode 3 not 4. Yes we have QT, yes we have glade, but build an app with the interface designer and bindings, mvc concepts and it just helps a lot.
You can do most of it with Vala, granted, it's just shittier documented and not as "round", there are no standard concepts to follow, etc. And yes, I do like my linux customizability, but we have stuff like CERT best practices for secure C coding. Why can we not get something like that for linux gui programming.
ps. gnome3 can go right where it came from
Unsanity ShapeShifter hasn't worked since OS 10.4
and I know about
http://magnifique.en.softonic.com/mac - 10.5 only
http://www.marsthemes.com/crystalclear/ 10.7 support claimed, but it's not very radical. I'd love xfce's window look controls or a Stardock windowblinds.
I know Apple don't want anybody to do this. I know they will deliberately introduce changes that break hacks. But as I said, how can it be more effort than Linux?
2. To try to prevent OSx86 hacks, DSMOS.kext uses crypto to prevent the system running essential UI elements like Finder, SystemUIServer, etc. Can't we build our own versions of those parts?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple%E2%80%93Intel_architectur...
3. Is this true?:
Linux desktop - dying, dead
Windows 8 - trying so hard to copy OSX/iPad/Springboard/Launchpad that everybody is gonna hate its TWO UI's! (dying?)
Mac - winning, won (by default?)
Anyway, my bet on what "killed" the Linux desktop would be the Windows OEM licensing terms. Nothing really killed it because it was always a very specialized product.
Do we always have to see a problem when someone doesn't make the same choices we do?
And also the horrible aping of other environments and stupid UI eyecandy. Given that the majority of linux users and developers are technical, that's surprising.
I was kind of hoping those two things would each help drive the other forward.
Because the developers have moved on to greener pastures.
Of course, it all boils down to green at the end of the day.
Note that just because there aren't that many planes over Africa or other places doesn't mean there aren't planes there. From their site: "Today about 60% (about 30% in USA and about 70% in Europe) of the passenger aircraft and only a small amount of military and private aircraft have an ADS-B transponder."
(here links to https://developers.google.com/maps/)
The cockpit view is very cool. Reminds me: You can climb Mt everest also now on Google Earth.
South Col etc. At 8000m, somewhat crazy but similar views =D
It was created by students of a Swiss college of applied science in 2007. The test site is focus on Zurich International Airport but they have completed other projects based an their research. A spectacular example is a globe showing air traffic world wide created for a science museum:
There is also a Google Earth extension for private use:
Idea: people give their location & the app says when to expect noise from airplanes and when it will be away=)
I live in south-eastern Canada and I can confirm it's very accurate, big jets to and from Europe constantly rumble overhead.
Very saddened to hear this news :(
(Just donated. I'd urge anyone who has benefited from John's amazing Matplotlib project to considering donating to help his family).
Edit:At the end, he discusses the challenge of client-side rendering to make visualizations like the New York Times.
John's contribution to the Python community was extensive (I don't know of any comparable plotting tools) and won't be forgotten.
Having a daughter in December and all I want to do now is call my doctor for a checkup.
Thank you John.
Donating to help. His work helps me so much, this is the least I can do.
I didn't know about this man until today but I still feel a loss.
.. and connect with your Facebook account, grant extended permissions, signup for a Wolfram account, go to your mail inbox, validate your Wolfram ID, hit a dead end, sign into Wolfram with your Wolfram account, type "facebook report" in the searchbox again, wait 10 minutes for the page to load and finally.. get to see the report (which is nice by the way).
Well I do now. I'm not sure if I should be excited, or listen to the sick feeling in my stomach.
Edit: Thanks for the positive support! I'll keep working on the project.
I could only imagine what they could do with celebrity gossip. Or product comparisons.
I can see this extending to Twitter, Linked in and so on, combining everything into a dynamic scorecard. This is what Klout should have been.
(Personal blog post showing clustering: http://lancewiggs.com/2012/08/31/mapping-your-social-network...)
The concept reminds me a bit of this chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nangghhladpnhlllol...
As someone with a long history of incomplete self-tracking projects, this kind of automated collection and analysis is great. (If only I could get the rest of my data in the same place!) What I'd really like to see is a tool like IFTTT for self-trackers.
I love what Wolfram Alpha is doing with data-based search results. So innovative and a natural search space that Google is only dipping their toes into.
On the whole, it is more user-friendly than Facebook itself for telling me about my activity and connections on Facebook, so I'm glad I signed up for the Facebook report on Wolfram Alpha.
Strangely, it gets my place of residence wrong.
Put aside for a moment the fact that you're giving your personal data to (yet another) third party. Imagine you tie all your social online stuff to a service that's good at aggregating/displaying the data from each one. Now I could have a 'dashboard' of my online life as well as being able to query it (e.g when/how did I last interact with Alice or Bob?).
I don't know how good Alpha actually is but if I take the visualisations on faith, then I'm interested to know where they're headed. If I were a startup in the personal data/aggregation space, I'd be paying very close attention.
(At least they deal with the "hide my birth year" people correctly instead of saying they are 1-year-old.)
At first it's dis-believable and impossible, and you think the person is crazy, but after "troubleshooting" something rational pops up.
I can't tell you how many times this has happened. But it really doesn't help having a product/service that manages (on Windows) an underlining system of Virtual Hosts, dozens of configuration files, Apache, PHP, and MySQL, and a bunch of other software and tools (http://www.devside.net/server/webdeveloper).
You can make money by being the intermediary to find subjects for experiments, e.g. "For a study we are looking for identical twins who cannot see from birth but now one has restored vision where the other does not".
Does something that looks remotely similar exist?
Granted, once I knew she was on pacemaker, I figured that this has something to do with electrical connectivity. But then again, may be this is consequence of my poor soldering skills and watching too much of House MD.
"Dr, Dr! Every time I drink a cup of coffee, I get a stabbing pain in my right eye..."
(google it if you don't remember)
Exhibits, the same kind of ability to see the whole situation and make a diagnosis
From what I learned during my medical training, this king of issue is not so uncommon, but it is usually diagnosed very easily. Her peacemaker can be disabled using a simple magnet. This is a common test in nearly all protocol to check how the heart is working without the help of the device. Doing this simple test while upside-down would have shown that the paecemaker was effectively working in that position. That should have be enough to ring a bell to most of the cardiologists.
Since in there they say patient has "Nephroptosis, also known as 'Floating Kidney'", which is a listed medical condition, conditions like OP should not be uncommon.
When asked about surprising things about Go, its creators have said that they expected to recruit people from c++ communities, instead it seems to be more ruby/python people.
Is that still the case with the latest version 1.0.2 ?
Also, is there any chance for a precise generational garbage collector to get implemented for Go? As far as I know, pointers make the implementation of precise garbage collectors difficult.
So... 95% of their production system is running Go.
I'm curious what the 5% is that they didn't convert to go.
Really? in 2012?
We search with Google, run our phones with Google, run Google's browser, now they want us to write all our code in Google's language. Why Google? What's wrong with Java? Other than the fact that Oracle owns it, I miss Sun. Scott McNealy tried to make the technology world better. Scott, Gosling. Google...why should everything we do all day and night be about Google?
>> The syntax of Go is broadly similar to that of C
C, seriously? C??!? Why? Why would I want to go back to ... C?
>> Of features found in C++ or Java, Go does not include type inheritance, generic programming, assertions, method overloading, or pointer arithmetic.
And that is a good thing or a bad thing or what?
>> Go allows a programmer to write functions that can operate on inputs of arbitrary type, provided that the type implements the functions defined by a given interface.
Huh? Oh I can pass interface references, ok.
>> A Go interface is best described as a set of methods, each identified by a name and signature.
That sounds like Microsoft's crappy COM from the 1990's.
The code sample on that page shows there are no braces in the if evaluation statements. A wise man, Peter Van Der Linden formerly of Sun's Compiler Group and author of Deep C Secrets wrote about using more braces if needed as explicitness is always better. I agree with that.
Oh...the language name sux.
Tip, buy Oracle and fix Java or by Java rights from them and fix it, then programming in a language owned by Google when you own so much of our lives now wouldn't be so bad.
PS How does Guido Van Rossom feel about Go?
(Good luck to lobste.rs, but I'll probably be staying right here on hn.)
Usenet had immense value in well defined subgroups prior to the Eternal September (and for some time after, regardless of what people may say). IRC ha(s|d) similar values, and remains a force within niche communities on the tech side. Slashdot was an early mover in the moderated community space which had to arise from the newfound populist web.
I still think /.'s comment moderation was superior to the HN system (pre and post-visible comment scores), but the firehose was too late and too poorly implemented to solve editorial issues.
In the middle of this, Kuro5hin rose and fell, metafilter grabbed some component of the serious moderated discussion which it still retains. Fark came and went. Boingboing, SA, b3ta. All significant for a time but not names on people's lips today.
HN cannibalised a significant portion of /., but failed to convert the greybeards - the discussion here is noticeably different because of it (and lacking the perspective sometimes).
Digg suffered greatly from demagogues (as does HN to an extent), descended too rapidly into linkbait and celebpop trash, and fell to Reddit. The redesign was just the nail in the coffin of an already dead community.
Reddit became a very granular experience from its initial tech focus, with a current frontpage of dubious intellectual interest, but their popularity speaks wonders for the ad-hoc community created by diverse interest groups with a common central park. They struggle with discovery for new members, and an apparently descending base age group.
Communities come and go. Small herds migrate towards the latest point of interest and some stick. Groupthink is a large driver of community malaise, certainly within the tech discussion arena. Individuals dominate submissions and discussions and evolve to minor demagogue status. Some communities evolve to tackle a smaller arena than just the general topical discussion field, but topicality remains critical.
Quora has tackled 'big answers'. StackOverflow 'correct answers'. These are some minor elements of the value of the larger communities, much in the same way that Hipmunk, AirBnb etc have abstracted value away from Craigslist. Hyperlocal is the next big thing with FrontPorchForum and NextDoor tacking non-technical local discussion.
I still view the approaches to these problems as relatively unsolved and ripe for disruption, in particular the algorithms related to subject and comment popularity, user 'karma' (for better or worse), and approachable comment threading when a userbase grows beyond the 'scan a single page' scale. I'm not convinced that a one-size-fits-all approach will ever work, but even within niche tribes there remains a problem with staying 'current' while avoiding alienating the 1-2% who drive much of the discussion.
I fully expect a new dominant discussion forum to arise in the tech scene in the next couple of years, but Lobsters seems to be a kneejerk reimplementation of HN that even if it claws some traction would have to evolve rapidly to solve problems rather than dangling the 2013 model of a 2012 carrot.
There are four main camps here at HN:
- "Software Entrepreneurs", building Big Important Startups or quaint little "lifestyle businesses" that let them drive their cute little "italian supercars" around their quaint little midwestern town.
- "Computer Programmers", talking about languages, deployment strategies, open source stuff and how to configure their dotfiles to automatically convert tabs to spaces.
- "Tech Gossip Afficianodos", excited about what Techcrunch has to say about who got funded, and taking sides in fights between giant corporations.
- And the guy who just wants to point out that pirating movies off the internet is technically just "copyright infringement" and therefore not bad at all (and really HBO's fault anyway.)
These guys grabbed just their team, and now they're free to talk shop without any of the myriad distractions they'd get trying to do it here.
It's a little selfish to note that I actually see this as a good thing for a slightly different reason: If Camp 2 leaves, that's more HackerNews for those of us in Camp 1, which is the reason I'm here. We'll still have to flag stuff from the other two distracting groups, but it just might make this place a little nicer as well. Everybody wins.
"Not for exclusivity, but rather, invitations will be used as a spam-control mechanism. New users must be invited by a current member and invitations will be unlimited (unless scaling problems temporarily prevent new accounts). If spammers are invited to the site and banned, the user that invited them may also be banned, going up the chain of invitations as needed."
Seems basically sane, though I imagine the site would be pretty cliquish at first. You do have a pretty strong disincentive for inviting people you don't know.
Any member want to break up the cliquishness by inviting me? If you trust metrics, my high average karma means I'm probably less of a risk. Probably.
edit: Apparently, the site was launched by Joshua Stein (after getting hellbanned from HN), not Yehuda Katz. https://jcs.org/notaweblog/2012/06/13/hellbanned_from_hacker...
After hearing the JCS story and remembering my own experience of PG manipulating headlines + killing my own frontpage submission, I'm all for this.
I'm also tried of the YC job listings from companies that launched 4yrs ago flooding the homepage.
I honestly believe that at least a few of these users are secretly employed by the companies that they promote and defend daily. I don't know if they're paid to post here or that they're simply blind loyalists. Either way, they deserve to be plonked.
Below are two examples (posted by a prolific user) of the type of messages I would like to see less of, which could be filtered by a kill file feature:
"HN is going to hell because its overrun with people who practice an ideology of socialism -- pro-google because its "Free" and anti-Apple because they actually innovate and have the audacity to charge for their products."
"Apple has done far more to make the world a better place than any corporation I've ever heard of. Far more than any government in history ever has. Far more than any charity every has or ever could."
The most any normal user can say for certain about jcs gettinghellbanned is, he did something annoying enough that someone didsomething about it!!! --Unfortunately, if you believed the previoussentence, you are mistaken.
The reality is, a lot of stuff on HN is automated. If you do bad stuff,bad things happen to you (your account) automatically. For example, ifyou get into a flame war and pass the "posting too fast" threshold,you could get warnings initially, and if you still don't stop, you couldhellban yourself. In other words, you simply never know if a human beingwith moderator privileges did something, or if you did it to yourself.Also, you don't know if it's permanent or temporary.
The most I can say with real certainty is, pg is smart enough to designa system which merely gives users enough rope to hang themselves. Iwould do the same, and if you've studied the problem in depth, you wouldtoo. Eliminating human moderation through computerized automation is theonly sane way to design a discussion forum.
Now if you were a long time, active contributor like jcs, and youensnared yourself in the sites protective automation, and you thoughtsomeone was doing it to you, then ya, you might be miffed. You wouldprobably react harshly, and by doing so, make matters even worse foryourself and give yourself even more "reason" to be upset.
Have you ever watched someone get absolutely livid at a chat bot?
It's hilarious. It may be a wee bit sadistic to let them keep tradingincreasingly heated insults with a machine, but it's still fun to watch.At the end, they might learn a valuable lesson.
With pg, there's one thing I've come to rely on; he means well. There isno requirement to agree with him on everything, but if over many yearsyou've watched him carefully, studied the things he's said and done, orbetter, interacted with him, then you can be reasonably certain that hemeans well.
If you know anything at all about Y-Combinator, then you already knowthat Paul has far more important things to do than mess around with HN.If you don't know the history of HN, you're at a disadvantage; it wasstarted as a for-fun side project to test out the ARC programminglanguage, and HN was originally called "Startup News" for a very goodreason -- to attract people with an interest in startups. The name waseventually changed to "Hacker News" due to the retrospectively obviousoversight; a lot of the best coders haven't really thought about doing astartup, and the people interested in startups are often already doingone. Broadening the scope of appeal with the name change makes sense.
If you haven't read everything Paul has written, then you don't aboutthe massive amount of time and effort he's put into thinking about theinteractions between people on (open) forums, and how to encouragebeneficial exchanges between (potentially conflicting) people. HN isnow, and always has been, an ongoing experiment to improve the ratio ofbeneficial exchanges in discussions, as well as reduce human moderationoverhead. It's fun watching it evolve.
And lastly no, of the small bits of HN secret sauce I've discovered overthe years, I absolutely refuse to give you the details. If the detailswere public, then some people would use them to game the system.
Long ago, circa the year 2000, I was a member of the very first niche social network, makeoutclub.com (MOC), a site originally about indie rock music. One day, a group of members got tired of gibby's (the owner) benign dictatorship and mutinied. The group started lipstickandcigarettes.com (L&C), which is now a parked domain. At the time, L&C targeted the same demographic, but was very restrictive on which hipsters could join and had a more savvy GUI than MOC. It had great early success in attracting members interested in indie rock from MOC. Eventually, though, the proprietors of L&C lost interest and let the community there dissolve in order to pursue other interests (there were rumors of drug addiction at the time, IIRC). MOC, on the other hand, is still going strong and presumably making money for gibby.
I suppose the moral to my story is this: unless your social network fiefdom actively feeds your pocketbook (as MOC does for gibby and HN does for pg), expect to lose interest in maintaining it once the novelty of protest has worn off.
- no comment collapsing, long comment threads will become a problem just like they are here which ends up sucking, I'd love to see something like reddit's threading / collapsing and I'd really love to a see a whole other forum-ish way to browse stories as well so discussion is even more emphasized
- no registration sucks, there are easier ways to identify spammers such as their obvious affiliation with particular website(s), auto-submission honey pots, even a manual glance at submission and other stats can be pretty revealing
The biggest concern though is the site's own affiliations ... digg needed their widget everywhere which ensured the quality was locked into a downward spiral. HN gives TC traffic in exchange for publicity, and of course all the preferential treatment and posts by YC startups is less interesting now that their batches are so large. What happens when it's time for lobste.rs to pay for itself?
I really do think it's time to replace HN though, it's mainstream and it's targeted by rubbish publications and it's full of users who are here to exploit it or to be exploited by rubbish sites who manipulate them with stunning precision.
I'd love an invite if someone's giving them out.
So basically there are three things that are flat-out wrong with this headline.
EDIT - also found https://lobste.rs/s/bkeYe9/about_lobsters which explains some features
So if you want an invitation, you should see if you know anyone on that lists.
[edit: "If spammers are invited to the site and banned, the user that invited them may also be banned, going up the chain of invitations as needed." If your parent gets banned, do all children get banned?]
More than giving why you're downvoting, I wish HN didn't ban/banish-to-purgatory people for low karma, but for upheld flagged posts. Someone can be horribly wrong, often, and still learn, and become worthwhile to the group. At least in theory.
I don't know the reasoning of Paul Graham hell-banning people on this site for merely questioning the way it's moderated or for whatever reason, but the lack of transparency on HN is a big issue that needs to be fixed.
As much as I love HN, I think it's time for a change and whether it be Lobsters or another site, I am really hoping a successor breaks the ranks and perhaps PG and the moderator team will then make an effort to fix this place.
According to https://lobste.rs/s/bkeYe9/about_lobsters, the only reason Lobsters is invite-only is to prevent spammers from signing up. So if you want to check that I'm not a spammer, just glance at my past comments (http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=roryokane) and submissions (http://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=roryokane).
If you still want another reason to send me an invite, I support the idea of an improved Hacker News â€" pg seems to barely care about improving HN. I might contribute to the Lobsters code at https://github.com/jcs/lobsters.
- invite only to prevent spam and increase accountability
- tags are ideal for the problem where not everyone cares about everything - getting to be a major gripe you see a lot ("oh my god, do we have to have another discussion about X")
- HN needs significantly better transparency in bans, title rewrites, etc. I don't believe that PG has an agenda or needs to protect YC companies, but the issue comes up so much that it needs to be addressed
- reasons for downvotes are genius
- private messages are worthwhile IMO
- the domain indicator is actually useful (sick of seeing co.uk or github.com instead of myblog.github.com)
Other things HN needs:
- to work: the fact that "more" barely works is astonishing
- an API for all the apps that want to provide a better or different experience
- comment collapsing - an essential feature for actually reading past the first comment thread
- a meta site where we can actually discuss this stuff without violating guidelines (meta.stackoverflow.com is one of the most innovative and important community tools ever, IMO)
I've heard "there are no technical solutions to social problems" as reasons not to do a lot of these, but the same argument could apply to the downvote. HN needs to innovate to keep its community, and I hope it does.
In practice it worked very well. The overwhelming majority of blended threads were from new users who were still getting a hang of the quality standards for posting in the forum.
This isn't linked anywhere obvious on the site itself.
It would be sad to see HN die, but if you don't water your plants...
The name has to be in Lobster (http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Lobster). This is not an optional thing. Come on.
Spammers, I can understand....but users you disagree with.
Somewhat off putting, elitist first impression.
* put a link to it at the top of HN
* expect something different to HN?
- Joshua Stein developed Lobsters by himself. Yahuda Katz was, to my knowledge, uninvolved.
- The site is invite only because, and I'm speaking for Josh here and mostly guessing (he'd be a better person to ask), it's still trying to identify itself. Communities are grown organically and I gather Josh is letting Lobsters grow slowly, intentionally. I don't think he has "launched" it, per se.
- I emailed Josh to support him when he was hellbanned (as my HN story parallels his), and a couple months after that exchange he invited me to the site. I don't participate much at all -- heads down on a product -- but I think it has potential.
- I have 5:1 odds the headline will not be fixed, even though there are three factual errors in that tiny bit of text (Katz, HN Competitor, Launched).
Just look at this example side by side and tell me which one you prefer: http://i.imgur.com/tKr87.png
The pagemod and inspect commands seem super useful. I hate having to click around an inspector to find the thing I want -- "inspect #foo > h3" just seems so much easier.
Is this thing going to need 1000 plugins installed within the plugin just to offer the same functionality as firebug?
I didn't understand the 3d view of web pages either and their GUI for their version of firebug is completely inferior (even though it looks fancier).
Looks are not everything.
Why has any of this stuff even been allowed to be prioritised over core browser performance and functionality.
It is a sad state of affairs to see what Firefox has devolved into compared to how it was in its glory days.
I am on Aurora/Ubuntu. The binding for the Debugger (Ctrl-Shft-S) doesn't seem to work for me and the Dev toolbar has no way to open the debugger view.
(Edit: I have several Ffx addons running and no Chromium addons, so the comparison was unfair. Maybe I'll just ditch some of those addons...)
You can't just go and load a thousand divs and not expect a wide variety of performance issues across all the different platforms.
You need to have a tile manager or something behind the scenes the same way that Google maps does, especially when targetting smaller consumer devices with limited hardware specs like tablets and phones.
* iOS5 - with an iphone 3gs (laggy to the point of being unusable)
* iOS5 - with an iphone 4 (laggy to be the point of being unusable, unless your patient). I don't have an iphone 4gs to test on, but I suspect it might be more on par with ipad 2 performance. The differences could be to do with retina display vs non retina display as well I suppose.
* iOS5 - with an iPad 1 - roughly same performance as an iphone 3gs - crappy
* iOS5 - with an iPad 2 - not too bad (but thats because of the gpu tile rendering in safari going on behind the scenes i suspect.
* Firefox 15 on a quad core i7 imac - massive ram spike, and crazy lag with the scrolling
* Chrome on a quad core i7 imac - no problem.
I'm not even going to bother trying this out in IE!
edit: Latest version of Opera has provided the poorest results yet, it keeps lagging and pausing and reloading the images after they have already been loaded (didn't check to see if it was actually downloading them again though)
Edit: pls, though. not in the wrong hands.
Rather scarily, it also works fine on a Lumia 710 as well!
I don't care what anyone says - IE is not a stinking heap of poop.
Cool to look at? You betcha
Not everything needs to be a technological marvel
If you could interact with the elements and there was more than 1 dimension of scroll.. then that'd be going beyond.
edit: Uniqlo, that was it. not on their Pinterest anymore. Video for same effect - http://youtu.be/e5FM-VcE7UA
If I remember right, some apparel company used Pinterest's "revolutionary" display (Masonry right?) to a similar effect. Perhaps a HN Search is in order! :)
Memory issues apart,This is pretty cool!
One current roadblock is the price of the system: the LIDAR (the thing on the top of the car in the picture) retails for ~$75K currently. There should be significant volume to drive the price down. But a lot of people would buy them for prestige, too (e.g. many early Prius adopters), so if the cost of the system can be reduced to perhaps $4K-$5K levels people will seriously think about this.
"California Senate passes bill for self-driving cars"
1. A traffic light being out and cop is directing traffic? (Would it have to learn hand gestures?)
2. Stopping at a guard booth.
3. Crossing a solid yellow line to pass a stopped car or a garbage truck?
Current bill text: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_1251-1300/sb_129...
What seems to have changed since May:
- The California DMV will set safety rules before 2015 instead of waiting for NHTSA to allow production use,
- The manufacturer must apply to the DMV before production use.
- Cars must record sensor data for 30s before every collision.
What I don't like about the bill is that it requires an operator to be able to take manual control of the vehicle at any time. I'd imagine that as autonomous vehicles develop in the coming years, this restriction will have to be removed.
(My GF says I drive too fast and stop too quickly. She's probably right, although 3 of those times I was moving at less than walking speed.)
It also doesn't help that traffic seems to be getting worse in the bay area.
It also underscores my loathing for cutesy, irreverent naming conventions.
UIApplication.sharedApplication.delegate.navigationController.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.redColor;
and the app's navbar changed color. Is this still possible with this release? I haven't been able to try it out at work yet. Thanks for this awesome tool.
Personally, I can't wait for a Firebug-like tool for live debugging and tweaking of UIView hierarchies.
Impressive to say the least.
I've done something like this in the past using Charles or Fiddler and the proxy settings on my iOS device.
But I find it impossible to justify what is quite obviously a politically motivated rejection.
I still believe this is Apple's store, and they can admit and reject what they like. But if politics comes into it, than that changes my personal perspective on buying Apple products.
Just imagine if the subject would be "places that legalize gay marriage" instead of drone strikes. The only "objectionable" part of the drone strike app is that it may have a political agenda. That should never be grounds for rejection.
Why does Apple think it is suitable to make these decisions on your behalf, iDevice users? Are you happy with this?
Personally, I'll be sticking with my HTC device running Cyanogenmod.
> Mobile app developer here... It was probably rejected because all it is is a web page wrapped in an app.
> > 2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
> Which this app clearly is. It's not even using the mapkit API. It's just a link to a web page.
But the free flow of honest information is fundamental to democracy. This is stupid and gutless editorial censorship on Apple's part (unless there's some detail about this story that I'm missing). I hope someone higher up sees this, reverses the decision, and clarifies their internal standards on this.
Fucking lame Apple! Shape the fuck up!
Apple is merely interested in the fall from grace, not the accounting.
In other news: just make stuff like this as a mobile site.
It's obvious from the article graphic that the app is using Google Maps to display its data, so hosting it in a Web page would produce the same outcome, even the same appearance.
Indeed, given the move to so-called cloud computing and the public nature of the data being displayed, that's a more obvious way to accomplish the program's role -- put it on the Web and publish the page's address.
"We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write F-U-C-K on their airplanes... because...? it's obscene!"
-- Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
If we aren't civilized enough to distinguish between combatants and foreigners (is has been clearly shown that we are not), we could at least have the decency to give the spectators to our fireworks shows a warning.
What is this supposed to say?
Bitdefender says that Apple removed the application, which previously was a paid product, from the iOS App Store in June, but hasn't given it a reason for doing so. A potential cause could have been that Clueful tried to auto-detect a user's installed iOS apps so it could then display information about them.
A company which is not a cultural good fit for you, and the employees thereof, can still be very valuable allies. I would not act to antagonize them absent substantial provocation. Not being like you is not a substantial provocation. Most people in the world will, after all, not be like you, and you'll end up not working for approximately all companies in the industry. That's OK.
You've already got the day blocked off in your calendar. Smile. Firm handshakes. Thank them for taking the time to interview you. Heck, they're giving you free live-fire practice for your next interview, make the most out of it. You should never say a word of criticism about the company to anyone but your primary point of contact and you should be darn circumspect with how you word it to him. (I like something along the general lines of "Thanks for your time and allowing me to get to know $FOO_CORP better. We're really in the same boat: I only want to work at employers where I'd do my best work, and you only want to hire people who'd do great things at $FOO_CORP. Having had the opportunity to hear you guys out a bit more, I don't think we're a great mutual fit. I will keep my ears open for you in case any of my friends would be a good fit for your position.")
Afterwards I realized that its entirely a subconscious alpha dominance thing. There's this unsaid very primal, tribal power trip that goes along with the interviewee vs employer relationship.
As the interviewer you want to be holding the power card - you sit in a position of power and have other people dance around and do what you say in order for you to be able to judge them and make them prove their worth to you in order to join your tribe.
Its really one of the few times we get to break down our democratic social structure and revert back to this primitive social order in adulthood, so its a pretty important ritual for alpha-types.
When someone comes in and disrupts that natural boundary it becomes offensive as they've unconsciously told you "I don't respect you as a leader" in front of your staff and team. The interviewer then needs to re-affirm their ego and dominance over the tribal unit in a public display.
If you look at all these articles floating around about judging candidates and "top grading" and you look at it from this tribal alpha-dominance perspective it really breaks down some of what we assume is necessary in hiring. I think the whole system is based around some silly ancient ritual that we haven't been able to shake from our culture.
The strange thing was that after I explained what had happened (after 15 or so minutes of initial interview fun) and said something like "Thanks for taking the time to see me, and sorry it couldn't be more productive," the interviewers were suddenly really keen on me; I was standing halfway through the door, answering questions for a good few minutes until I worked out how to leave, much to the interviewers' reluctance.
Had I more sense at the time (I was 18 or 19 then), I would've sat down the extra ten minutes and tried to work out if we could've done business together one way or another. So whilst there are definitely times to leave early, nowadays I wouldn't be too hasty in doing so.
Announcing any kind of surprise or unwelcome news can be problematic in a group situation. When people have an emotional response, they want to express it, and in a group situation the mutual reinforcement can quickly scale up the emotion.
This is why it's generally not a good idea to quit by standing up in a staff meeting and announcing it to everyone at once (unless you're trying to make a scene :-)). It's much smoother to tell your boss first, so that they can help manage the emotion of the team.
The guy (technical person) was shocked, as if this was impossible. He also insisted more than 5 times to continue with the process, which, I refused.
Later on, they contacted me, telling me that they marked me as "failed interview process" (ie: do not hire in the future).
That told only one thing, that indeed, I wasn't a fit for that culture - probably at any position then.
A lot of this probably has to do with your experience. I once had an interview for a position that was right up my alley. I have an MS in Industrial Engineering and I've worked at large manufacturing companies as a developer, as well as smaller startups that create optimization software for manufacturing, shipping, and production systems.
I went to an interview for a company almost precisely in this business area. They asked me to code a singleton, traverse a binary tree, then do it without recursion, add a leaf to a binary tree, prove that the dual of the primal is the primal of the dual, prove various long term outcomes from markov chains, swap two integers without creating a third integer, write various outer joins, convert a sql table to a binary set of indicators (is this a common thing?), and print all possible permutation of string using recursion.
At no point did anyone ask about, or even show the vaguest interest, in my background or experience. It wasn't super well coordinated, they pretty much just kept moving me from one developer to the other - so of course I was much more exhausted and drained than perhaps my interviewer of the hour realized.
My interviewers were younger, and generally looked fresh out of their CS degrees, so I'd guess that they were quite a bit sharper where it came to markov chains, hessian matrices, and b-trees. I didn't look like I was clueless, but I came off as rusty, and I did stumble with things that I would have done much more easily with an hour hitting my old text books.
It was eye-opening, and frustrating. I was polite and stuck with it, and I kept trying, because I actually wanted the job, and I thought that they could use someone like me, because while they were very talented, my few questions to them suggested that there were areas where I could bring some experience that they didn't have in house.
I didn't get an offer, but I am glad I stuck through it. The one thing I wish I'd done is politely explain to the hiring manager what I just wrote here - that I think their hiring process might be filtering out an area of talent that could be valuable to the company.
Actually, that's probably the advice I'd give the dude who terminated the interview. Rather than ending it abruptly, ask the hiring manager if he'd be willing to confer for 15 minutes or so. Explain why you think it's going badly, and what your concerns are. If you disagree, that's fine - then you can end it on better terms without appearing to leave in a huff.
And while this is off topic, I would like to point out one more thing - this is the sort of experience that often comes to my mind when I hear about companies complaining about a lack of available talent, and it's one of the reasons I'm skeptical (though this interview was years ago, when hiring wasn't on fire the way it is now).
It was also not surprising they were shocked and upset, but that in itself doesn't mean he should have refrained from ending the interview, or that he was unprofessional.
I have thought of walking out myself, I think most have.
For example one interview the manager presented a long monologue about how stupid he felt people from a certain well known outsourcing country were. It wasn't even so much that he was racist, it was that that his stories showed he was closed minded, judgmental and reactionary. I doubt these personality factors were limited to his opinions about national origin. I continued the interview and declined the subsequent offer, citing another better offer. The other offer was for less money but was a project I wanted to work on more, the diatribe wasn't really relevant and only would have been if the offers were similar or his was for more interesting work. I chose not to give him feedback about his rants because I wanted him to keep doing it so other candidates would have the same warning. Him not saying what he really thinks certainly isn't going to change his actual personality.
In other cases I see the interview to the end out of curiosity and to have a good story to tell, but also because you never really know what is going to happen without seeing it all the way through. I may find out more about their business, I may make some contacts talking to people there. Or maybe it is a wash out, but having flown across the country I am going to make it to the end of the day's interviews.
I see this type of interview a typical "alpha male hehaviour competition" where existing employees are trying to assert in advance their worth to a potential future colleague (to put it nicely).
I arrived at the place and was told to go into a large conference room. In the room were about 30 other people all staring at each other wondering what just happened. We were all given a coding test in Java (Java was no where on my resume and I had zero experience with it). After answering what I could with C we were broken up into teams and started a Jeopardy style game on Java and XML. I can't imagine they gained any insight into any candidate with this game since so many different people were answering questions.
Once the game was finished we were then kept in our teams and given engineering problems to work out as a group and then had to present the solutions to the "judges". Every team was pretty much told their answers sucked, I can only compare the feedback to something out of the TV show "Apprentice."
I left the interview completely dumbfounded as to what just happened. People had flown in from out of state to be there for the interview and were blind sided by this horrendous group interview that felt like it took place solely to stroke the ego of the guy leading the whole charade. I also remember the head guy preaching to us that Java was the future and if we didn't learn it we'd be left behind.
Sounds like he made a good call here. With a professional interviewer, the worst you might get is "perhaps you could help us by explaining why you feel that way?" Who would seriously want to bully someone into staying to be interviewed for a job they didn't feel they could do? Personally I would thank him for his honesty.
I'm guessing some of you would be pissed because you took the whole day off for the interview only to be kicked out early.
On the other hand, if I was on an interview loop, and the person left before it was my turn, I'd be grateful ... now I have extra time to do meaningful work.
From that I'd suggest an interview should be a meeting of equals - they want the right person, you want the right company, both sides have an interest in figuring this out. Companies have no hesitation cutting short a day long interview process if by mid-morning the feedback to HR is that this is going to be a no-hire. Nor should candidates feel bad about cutting short an interview if it's clear early it'll be a no-accept to any prospective offer.
Honesty helps all parties. Analogy by anecdote:
I have always felt that an interview is a fair dialogue. Back in 1997 (yes I am THAT old) I was interviewed for a tech support position near London, for a massive multinational which had a completely failing tech service desk catering to tens of thousands of desktops. At the end of the interview the interviewer - who'd be my prospective boss - asked the question "does that sound like something that appeals to you" after describing the job.
My answer was honest: "no not really, but I wish you all the best in the search."
"Well, I might have interest in leading a team like that because it sounds like there's a real problem to be solved in servicing your internal customers, but it doesn't sound like it's a process I'd enjoy working in, as it is".
This being London in the late 90s where there was a massive IT shortage (a bit like Silicon Valley and engineers today) I got a call back from my agent (fancy name for recruiter) who asked what I'd done. Apparently they'd called him back and offered me the job of running the Service Desk and fixing the problems that made me not interested in working on it.
I ended up with a much higher paying job offer, my first management experience (eventually building the team to over 40 people from the 6 I started with) and they ended up with someone who finally solved their problems, turning first line fix around from 17% to 70% in about six months.
Interviews aren't there for you to say yessir nosir. They're a back and forth between equals trying to find the best for both parties. This guy is absolutely right to call it a day early, if he feels it's not the right fit.
Companies regularly cut short interviews (speaking from personal experience). They've all been polite about it and explain why, usually saying "it's not the right fit". There are some companies that ask between multiple interviews if the candidate is still interested in talking to the next person.
A candidate should be allowed the same ability to "walk out". From the OPs story I got that he cut his interview not during a round but before the next one was to begin (the reason for moving him into another room). Thats the perfect time to do it. The reason the candidate gave is sufficient, he doesn't wish to waste anyone's time. The response of the company in this case is actually arrogant and unprofessional.
In this case it sounds like a fairly conventional "business" type guy didn't like the idea of working in a open environment with a bunch of kids wearing jeans. But that kind of basic "what's your work environment like" information should have been known or ascertained by him before accepting an invite for an all-day on-site interview.
In rare cases you may realize during the final screening that there's some fundamental incompatibilty, but if you do your due diligence in the preliminaries this really shouldn't happen.
Having to walk out of a final interview means that both sides executed the initial screening poorly.
This is exactly why we do phone screenings and brief initial interviews. If something like location, development technique, interior design or dress code isn't going to work out for someone, you should be able to flush some of that out in a 15-minute phone screen, and the rest in a 30-60 minute initial interview.
By the time you're bringing someone in for a full day, the interviewer should be at well over 75% sure the person is a do-hire. Don't waste your team's time or effort on someone you're not going to go with (unless you're stress-testing your interview process...).
As far as walking out: there's so much data here. For the company, they've either got a dysfunctional interview process or some seriously difficult fellow developers. Both those problems need to be addressed.
For the interviewee, there's the information on how the team responds. If there's a problem, and they want to solve it, they need to be more pro-active about it. "Can we break now and continue later?" Also, "Can we get a post-mortem from you?" At the very least, it's a good time to break for coffee or beers around the corner.
The fact that the interviewers acted rudely is a great sign that it's an awful place to work. Would be nice if the company were named so others can avoid interviewing there.
From the brief description, it sounds like the guy was showing a bit too much emotion in leaving. Also - just because an interview process seems harsh doesn't mean the company is harsh - the interview is one thing, the job is often quite another - results tend to speak for themselves regardless of culture (and as long as you aren't a snob or jerk to your co-workers)If a seasoned, experienced professional doesn't get that, maybe they aren't a good fit...
What HR meant by RF engineer was by RF they wanted a call center guy to handle dropped call issues and by engineer they wanted to never pay overtime. Um, sorry HR lady, thats not really what I went to school for, nor is it anything like what I was doing at that time for about five times the annual salary, admittedly with a very similar job title.
Sounds like the guy just spoke directly. Some people can't take that; I don't know how much more neutrally you can give the message "I'm done with the interview" than saying pretty much just that. If you want to sugarcoat it then doing so still won't change the message: it just makes it a slightly more difficult for others to express how badly they take it.
I don't know the exact words used in the situation but he seemed polite yet firm. I would expect such language from anyone who's used to not waste people's time, including his own. While he doesn't want to be rude, he also can't control what can be considered rude by others.
There's no question whether such behaviour is allowed: of course the guy can just go and decide to abort the day. Nobody lost anything there: no money, no time. If he has seen life at all, he must have already learned that no matter what you do you will piss off somebody anyway so it's best to not anticipate too much what others will think of you.
After successfully navigating a few rounds of technical interviewing they gave him one of those famous brain teaser type questions. He responded by asking the interviewer to explain how the question would be relevant to his work with the company.
The interviewer immediately explained that he clearly "wasn't a good fit" and ended the interview.
I tend to feel they were both "right".
However, the way the room reacted doesn't surprise me. Companies like to create loyalty which can occasionally turn a bit wolf-pack. Still, a shake of the hand and a 'thanks for coming, sorry it didn't work' is always classy and always a good idea.
Is it rude? Yes.
2) Explain your concerns and be prepared to listen.
3) If you still want to leave, thank them, and leave.
What's wrong with meeting the guy, talking to him and then inviting to work one day at the company? Just give him some tasks, see how he manages it. If it doesn't work out, you got 8 man-hours for free.
They wanna judge people based on how they dress, what they do on their free time, etc. Not everyone is on their 20's, or wanna be a geek all day. Some software companies act like model agencies thinking they are the coolest the place in the world. It's embarrassing.
Half the time, the reaction is that I've lost 'face'.The other half of the time, I'm praised for my efficiency or speaking up.
You broadcast what you what want. If you want to work with no-nonsense cuts through the bull and tackles real problems directly people, than keep doing what your doing.
If he was certain that leaving early was the right thing to do, it would have been better to choose a moment when he could tell one of the interviewers quietly, and exit without causing a noticeable scene.
Leaving without a word is in fact rude (â€śI'm done, show me the elevatorâ€ť doesn't count, especially if lead developer had to jump the elevator to ask what's wrong and why he's leaving).
Thus, I start the interview process out by saying that I value and appreciate directness and honesty in all of my dealings. In keeping with that, if at any time I feel I have enough information to know that this will not be a good fit, that I will be honest about that and we can part on good terms and not waste each other's time. I also ask in return that they be up-front and honest with me (don't bring me in for interview after interview just as a charade when they know they're giving the job to Fred anyway).
I've used this tactic a handful of times and it has never failed to get a positive response. On a negotiation level, it may also give me a slight edge because I broached the topic first and raised the possibility of not seeing the process through to the end, something many interviewers forget is a possibility.
Maybe person should ask to talk to lead dev or whoever, explain him that he doesn't believe he would fit, thank him for opportunity and leave. In other words say, it's not you, it's me ;) and still leave and enjoy rest of the day.
I generally don't believe in daylong interviews, I don't see the point in multiple rounds, everyone on the team talking to you endlessly. It is a waste of everyone's time and energy, to me personally it shows how people are uncertain in their decisions and need support.
One more thing, this is opportunity for company to leave a good impression on you as well as you to them, them being disorganized (often the case) doesn't really help much.
It would be better for all involved to have a more casual meet-and-greet, tour of the office, initial conversation beforehand.
The question could be evaluated more objectively if it were just left to the headline: "Is it rude to leave an interview early if you have already made your decision?". The answer is no, of course not, as long as you're don't do it rudely.
What does this even mean?? He didn't respond correctly with their secret handshake? He didn't drink his cup of coffee with exactly 2 creams?
Is this a social thing, or a programmer thing? Did he use an unconventional coding style?
This line really sticks in my craw, confuses and somehow bothers me... I would love an extrapolation.
The fact that someone followed him to ask questions tells me company seemed interested in him despite his opinion of how the interview was going.
What exactly is the upside of staying longer in this case?
You never know who you will meet again in your future, or who your interviewer knows that you will meet in your future. It's a small world.
You want to be well-remembered. Walking out goes against that goal. Anything short of direct hostility, I suggest sucking it up and going through it to the end.
I've walked out of interviews after finding the usual bait-n-switch techniques regarding position description, expectations, travel requirements, compensation, work conditions, .. just to name a few.
Do I expect HR/management to get a clue - not really, it's not my job to further their problem solving ability.
The moment you understand your situation, it is fair game to treat them in equal manner.
When you receive an invitation to dinner, is it polite to save your host money by leaving before dessert? No. By default it will be rude and it would be up to you to find a nice way to do so.
Likewise I feel if an interview is scheduled for all day and you accept the invitation, then it's up to you to apologise if you want to leave early. So long as you explain that you don't want to waste their time, then no one should be narkey about it. But if you make it sound like you don't want to waste your time, then I think they have a right to be a little miffed at you.
I think interviewers purposefully don't tell you how you've done in your interviews because it avoids any bad feelings/burnt bridges, and having to explain why they've done poorly. IMO this goes both ways, if you walk out of an interview, you better be okay with burning that bridge and explaining to a heated person on the spot why you're walking out.
I wish I left some interviews early :)
In the end it's important to leave on a good impression for future connections but probably those people (in your friends company) were arrogant immature kids in the first place and they don't care about good future connections anyways. In this case don't waste your time.Same for the interviewers - please let the people know early on and save their time instead of being "polite" and dragging them into meetings multiple people (usually with the same dumb questions) or even stretching interview process into multiple days!
This could be handled much better by somebody with even a shred of social skills. If he didn't think it was a good fit he could have requested to talk to the lead or hiring manager and expressed his concerns. They may mutually agree to end the interview. Perhaps if the company really wanted this guy they would start figuring out ways to possibly make it work. Or they may have ended with a handshake and parted ways on good terms. Just declaring "I'm done" like this brainiac and asking for the door shows that, though he may be a smart programmer, he has zero social skills.
Tamil Nadu politicians are not any less corrupt than other states. However the PDS has some notable features:
1. It is universal - not restricted to only people below the "poverty line". Thus many people are incentivized to have it work.
2. The PDS "ration" shops are run cooperatively by localities and villages, not private dealers.
3. Simple schemes make it transparent like an SMS that will reply telling you the current stock of a given shop, when new stocks will arrive and so on so that the shop keeper cannot simply cheat you out of your ration.
Free food subsidies are really doomed for failure. This is in part a lack of long term solutions to these problems. Around 12-15 years back in India everybody had something called 'Ration card'. Its there today too, but back then you were eligible for rations at subsidized prices, I remember standing in long queues outside ration shops for wheat, rice, oil, sugar and kerosene. Needless to say these schemes were a legacy of the communist set up that India had for a long time. Realizing that this is not likely to scale. The government now issued new cards called 'BPL cards'(BPL- Below poverty line). That means this wasn't even for the poor, this was for the poorest among the poor. This is failing too. There are also other food schemes, in my state Karnataka, kids in government schools get mid day meals called 'Akshaya Patra'. Which is largely bad food served. Often contracted to some guy who pays the highest bribe. The food is generally unhygienic and lacks nutrition. I think by now everybody must know these free food schemes are a big failure.
The problem is India has huge inefficiencies in agriculture. The farming framework is massively unproductive. There are many reasons for this. Firstly the methods themselves belong to old stone age. Many farmers in villages farm with cows and bulls. Fertilizers/insecticides/pesticides are abused to the core to boost production. Irrigation isn't figured out yet. There are some major dams, but irrigation infrastructure is just totally absent. Droughts and floods are common. We either don't have water when we need it or there is simply too much water and we don't what to do about it. Farming land is subject to division through inheritance.
Apart from this the distribution is broken. Tons of grain rots because its not shipped and transported. Middle men act as a parasites in entire food-supply chain and add no value driving the end consumer prices high.
There are various experiments carried out especially forming communities in villages to encourage building local reservoirs and other efficient farming methods. But this will take a long time.
The political parties are dead opposed to FDI's in retail and farming. There by technology inflow from outside is limited. All this for vote bank politics.
Basically India is reeling under effects of its communist past and is held back because of inefficiencies of its political system combined sum total ignorance among the farmers.
So its not just corruption there are train of issues that result in these sort of problems.
This is a quote for the ages.
Stories like this come out of India fairly often.
How come the government hasn't been overthrown yet?
Or severe riots, insurrections, etc?
Seems like that would happen elsewhere, no?
Are there any good examples of a really corrupt society successfully making the transition to an relatively uncorrupted state?
I think this article follows a pattern of op-eds in India: the private sector eyes a plump public-sector undertaking. Suddenly there is a series of articles often pointing at the weakest link in the chain - Uttar Pradesh or Bihar is always there to be poster boys of decay, the articles never focus on functional systems in the south, like Kerala or TamilNadu - and then libertarians chime in on how any kind of sharing/caring/government is bad. Lo and behold, due to the weight of public opinion, the sector is sold off - classic crony capitalism.
All we can do is help it decide how many.
another major disadvantage of democracy.
What are the benefits and costs of discussing these issues here on HN?
Some benefits:1. It gives rise to a discussion which hopefully translates to solutions and actions for future2. It is a nice break from discussing technology ( ?? )Some costs:1. HN being an international forum, it gives an idea that India is choke full of problems that nothing good will come out of India .No wonder latest discussion on India's Mars vision was derided along the lines of "Get food to your people first"2. It is not of interest to a large number of hackers3. It is a fertile ground for armchair theorizing.
I am of the opinion these stories should be flagged.
I absolutely do not want the ability to read new email during that time. In fact, I would really like to set up GMail so email only arrives on a fixed schedule, say 2-4 times a day.
You did it by intent, while I only did it by circumstance. As such,we've probably learned different lessons from the experience.
For me it was my health. Those little things like walking and typing areoften taken for granted until you can no longer do them. Not feelingwell enough to accept invitations to go have fun with friends can wearon you. The same is true for not feeling well enough to answer emails orphone calls.
Could you leave your voicemail full for six months so no one else canleave messages?
With your YC involvement, probably not, but I had to do it, and ittaught me a lot about interaction and contribution. Interacting withothers is a choice. Similarly, making a contribution of your time andeffort is also a choice. When you know you'll be in more pain aftertyping an email, or driving to see friends, your perspective changessince you finally realize there will be consequences, or better said,there's always a cost to the choice of interacting and contributing.
Making a conscious decision on your own needs and opinions of whether ornot interacting is worthwhile is far better than merely reacting out ofimpulsive habits and social pressures to be polite. When you know itwill cost you something and you still feel it's worthwhile, then you areconsciously investing your time rather than mindlessly spending it.
I know I've posted this before, but...
Treebeard: "You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time tosay anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worthtaking a long time to say." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
Should the need arise, I generally carry my netbook with me everywhere I go - and it only comes out if there is an emergency. At least then I have internet access and all the tools to actually make a difference as opposed to just being able to respond to an email. If it isn't an emergency, then it can wait.
The app scans your inbox(es) for ~200 domain names from services such as Github, Basecamp etc and groups all emails in boxes (pigeonholes), depicted by the service's icon.
You can tap each pigeonhole, scan the subjects and decide to 'archive all' or tap individual emails and mark them for 'follow up'.
That's all you can do. I'm personally not much distracted by reading emails, it's the writing part which pulls me out of my concentration and Pigeonal just about offers enough functionality to create follow-up tasks. Moreover, since the app only shows emails from a small list of domains the number of emails I have to process is relatively low.
The app is an experiment, your mileage may vary. We've developed it to see whether there is an alternative to the email inbox archetype. So far it's working for us, but it's far from perfect and I'm not as brave as the OP to completely ditch email from my iPhone.
1) Separation of work and personal e-mail into two accounts (which is good for a whole number of reasons).
2) Work e-mail is configured on my phone but disabled. It means that if I have to access it it's relatively painless but there's no notifications and not even any ability to manually check without re-enabling it (which is a mental barrier which I know I shouldn't be crossing - like the HN noprocrast thing - you can override it easily but you know you shouldn't so you don't).
3) Personal e-mail isn't set to notify in any way except through the badge (I find personal e-mail is rarely urgent enough for me to feel any strong compulsion).
I find that the barriers you have to put up are actually very small, just enough to stop the habitual, quick checking. As soon as it takes more than a second or two to do, you stop doing it pretty quickly.
Now if only I could find similarly successful mechanisms for Twitter, RSS and the news.
> If I happen to be away from my computer for a few hours it's likely someone else will see the email and reply. If it's something truly urgent that only I can help with, the other partners have my cell number and can call/text me.
It sounds like you've simply offloaded your compulsive email checking to other people. This system wouldn't work if everyone else at YC also stopped checking their email regularly, because then the urgent things wouldn't be caught in time and you wouldn't be pinged on your cell.
My Bold is still my daily device. Sure, the other two phones are better in almost all ways, but e-mail and unified messaging is one thing RIM knows how to do. At a quick glance, I can see incoming e-mails, SMS, twitter or Facebook, and know if I need to respond. I can set up different audible alerts for each and/or different coloured LEDs.
I rarely have my desktop e-mail client open, since my BlackBerry helps me filter out messages as needed while I work.
You can rally against me if you like, but I like my BlackBerry better than my other devices. It simply works for me. And I think this aversion to e-mail/distractions is a by-product of the devices being used.
And no, I do own a smartphone, I just have to be very bored (or anticipating something, preferably romantic) to be checking email with it. The constant blackberry-like push email thing always seemed a bit odd to me (and I do have a biff running on my desktops), especially when it's exacerbated by a whole boatload of additional bleeps and bloops (twitter mentions, SMS, whatsapp, etc.). Recently I didn't have access to my iPhone for two weeks (left it in a friend's car) and "had to cope" with my old 6310i. I did feel a bit liberated, but mostly because it freed me from charging that device all the timeâ€¦
Is it my "forever alone" nature and everyone else is getting that many apparently immediately actionable emails all the time? Or is it an age thing, as I'm not quite old enough for constant SMS-ing at a formative age, but do remember FIDOnet/UUCP access to news/email in once-daily batched form?
Every day a cronjob starts up the client at 4pm, which starts minimized (thank you, KDE), proceeds to fetch new mail, apply various filters (e.g. CCs marked read and archived), and maximizes the window 2 minutes later.
Half an hour later another cronjob does a 'killall' on it - that way if I wasn't at my desk at 4, I wouldn't have to come back to be greeted by unanswered e-mails.
And, as the article says, there is always a mobile phone for anything truly urgent.
The pendulum seems to have shifted in recent times and I think we're all going through something analogous to the drinkers/smokers in the 60's/70's. Those were feel-good times of indulgence and merriness. We realized the consequences though and learned moderation as a society. I have a feeling we're about 10-20 years from coming to terms with a healthy technology lifestyle.
Perhaps these mostly behavioral based solutions feel good (they make us feel as if we taking back control) but are they really the we can do at solving the problem of out of control email? Or are we just shifting the problem into text messages & calls or onto other people?
I'm working with a team now on re-architecting email to give us control over our email. We've started on a related but simpler problem - when I give a website my email I give them control. You can check it out at https://leemail.me
Soon we will be expanding this control to all email communications. If this sounds interesting, get in touch.
Not everyone needs to completely remove email from their phones, but doing simple things like turning off push notifications and trying to push one's self to only check at certain intervals has been shown by research (and substantiated by experiences like this) to have huge upsides to productivity, lower stress levels, and creativity.
I'm learning a huge amount in this arena, it's a fascinating topic. If anyone wants to see a very cursory summary of what I've assembled so far, check out a small deck at http://www.slideshare.net/jlyman/email-overload-13506201
Going well so far. It's so much more productive to only do email on a desktop, and it definitely frees up my thoughts.
For my sanity, I have email notifications turned off on my phone, so I only get new messages when I explicitly open the app (which I still find I do much too often). Definitely helps.
Well it kind of started that way and after a few months of agony (unable to connect smoothly) and joy (better concentration) I am now with something interesting that you should see: http://bubbleideas.com
I just ignore them all now; pretty similar to ads on web. And I have them available everywhere if I actually need them.
It pains me to see friends receiving emails on their BB whilst at the pub after work and fretting over the email they've just been 'pushed'.
We'll increasingly be defined by what we say no to
A lot of the problems discussed in the article and the thread here were solved many many years ago.
But yes, as a friend of mine put it: "The interesting thing about email is that it gives us the impression that we're actually working, while we really are not."
I would like a client that allows me to read in a browsey (flipboard?) way - no replies or forwarding allowed.
Separately I want the client to semi-automatically create emails from my to-do list - I get to edit and send.
This way I am able to understand what other's want me to know but I remain productive by focussing on my own agenda.
It might not work if the internet is way fast like it is in the US. I am in the DR which might make a difference...
That's the problem.
In my head I try to keep it as "If it is an email, it can wait until tomorrow".
The author un-synced his email from the phone? Big deal. It is not that smartphones do not let you think (which is also true), but that they are just yet another consumer good made to keep you disconnected from reality.
As usual, it just depends how you use them. Think of it as a laptop, do you program on it or just surf facebook?
Smartphones could be the ultimate hacker device, if used properly.
Will check out the updates shortly.
Gratz on the release
Also: I'm on Opera and get a lot of CSS errors. Some are strange: "-o-opacity is an unknown property".
The fact that she allegedly has gotten away with the simplest of social engineering tactics against a group that most likely thinks of themselves as at least smarter than average, was fairly interesting to me. It shows how easy and effective social engineering can be, even by someone as young as Shirley Hofnstein.
All the author appears to write is that they don't like the fact that Techcrunch wrote an article about their friend. It appears that the author of the above article doesn't even defend Shirley Hornstein, which leads me to believe that she was in fact guilty of these acts of social engineering.
If that's the case, then it seems like a decent bit of journalism to me. Do I think it's a huge crime? No, it's not like she pulled off a Madoff scam. But was it an interesting article? Yes, and it really points to the fact that we all need to keep on our toes.
What I find interesting about this exchange (the original TC article and Lanewood's response) is the message "don't do this because it hurts."
Yes, it does. But my experience is that pain is a signal you listen to, it's one of those things that says "stop doing what you are doing." It is a corrective force.
Making exaggerated claims about your influence or connections or importance to folks is wrong. It is wrong because it abuses the trust the other person put into the person lying, which then causes great hurt and shame when they realize they have been "duped" or "fooled" or "lied to". Calling someone on it, is hurtful too, but its important to do as well. That pain going the other way is a signal to moderate behavior, or change it.
So this conversation is "Shirley is a liar" / "You shouldn't do that because it hurts her feelings" seems to want to shut down a force working for good, which is better behavior.
I know I would love it if people were more honest about themselves, but I also know that some folks have convinced themselves that their own self worth is tied up in how influential they perceive themselves to be. Thus exaggerating that influence is like make-up, or fancy bling, its a crutch to prop up their self image.
I think there is pain on both sides of this conversation, at least a couple of kilo-snarks. If it helps someone to become a better person, its beneficial. But if they don't have the mental tools to process it they can (and sometimes do) become simply depressed by it. I don't think either party in this conversation represented themselves particularly well. If Shirley is young now would be a good time to come to grips with the way she presents herself. TC should work at doing better at informing rather than blaming (it did read like it came right out of Valleywag). Continuing acting this way on both parties will only hurt them going forward.
"she has the top media company in the tech industry trying to take her down."
Oh please, she blatantly lied many times about many things to high profile people. That is a story and its going to get written about by someone whether its Techcrunch or someone else.
Let's stipulate to the fact that it's not okay to lie about yourself to get a gig, even if you think it's harmless and you'll make up for it in work. I thought it was right that the Yahoo! CEO was fired for that stuff. I've never lied on a resume, never would.
But what we have here is a nobody, who's probably got a bit of a problem. That problem is exacerbated by the bullshit celebrity culture TechCrunch tries to build around our industry. It's the bullshit attitude displayed by a ton of the current incubator ducklings, who follow their angels around in awe like momma duck, while convincing themselves they're starring the fantasy version of Silicon Valley they saw in the Social Network. TechCrunch is among the worst offenders creating this problem.
If we're going to be honest about it, there are plenty of folks - and we don't need to get ugly and name names but if you're around the industry you bump into these people - who call themselves Tech Journalists who are little more than exaggerators, fabricators and bullshit artists who have NEVER CREATED ANYTHING OF VALUE themselves, never created a job, never taken the risk. Just the role of the critic. Never the man in the arena. So it's a bit rich them all ganging up on this unfortunate person who tied herself up in knots and exaggerations leading to great embarrassment.
(Try going to any event full of tech journalists from these blogs and wait till they get a bit drunk and listen to the boasts and stories and thoroughly inappropriate behavior.)
But I have NO sympathy for any startup that works with someone without doing the most basic of background checks which would immediately expose lies and exaggerations. The valley is full of people who overstate things and word gets around pretty quickly. You can often see the smoke and smell the charcoal from burning bridges from a long distance, and way after the fact. No public interest is served by tarring and feathering a nobody for entertainment purposes under the guise of investigative journalism.
The way this story is written you'd think they'd uncovered Carlos the Jackal, cracked a terrorist ring, discovered the whereabouts of Nazi war criminals. It is pathetic and mean spirited.
I keep hoping TechCrunch will recapture what once made it a must-read, but I'm increasingly saddened by the reality that it won't happen. As I've posted elsewhere, it's a serious thing that we do here in Silicon Valley, building companies, taking risks. We often spend large sums of other people's money. We commit our lives and those of our loved ones to the endeavor. Sure we can have fun. But we cannot run the industry like a school yard and we deserve more from our media outlets than mean-spirited gossip.
I appreciated the article as an interesting case study.
That such deceptive operators can show up anywhere (and especially in a young/dynamic community) is important to know, and it can only be vividly demonstrated with tangible and current examples.
And specifically, enough people were affected by this person's claims, leaving enough of a reportable trail, that a story warning others and documenting the modus operandi could be true, well-sourced, interesting, and useful for TC's readership.
> This is the story that no one was writing. Amazing work Anthony Ha.
is his life in danger? is she some high power person that can destroy Anthony Ha's career? No... she's a person that lies...
Bullfuckingshit. Speak for yourself. Thou protests too much.
Again, fuck you speak for yourself. A bit self-serving, aren't we? And I can't stand TechCrunch.
Exactly this. There was no point to the story. Sure, I'll buy that the lady is a headcase/creeper or whatever. But that's it? No real crimes detailed or list of people screwed over? It was just a finger-pointing "hate this person right here" piece.
Cyberbullying doesn't just happen to kids.
This is the sad side of the products we are helping to create as engineers at Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc...
The people she was claiming to know are big boys/girls. This should have been handled socially in the valley.
In fact, I'd bet very few inside the valley care.
TechCrunch is TMZ for Silicon Valley.
I actively avoid visiting links to TechCrunch. Because the people who work there are a poor excuses for journalists - which is why it will forever be to my mind 'just a blog'.
It really seems like a bunch of people got together one night and came to the conclusion that they don't like this woman and one those people said "Hey, I'm a TC writer. I can write an article about all this Silicon Valley phoney and we can all have a laugh about it tomorrow!" Do I agree Shirley Hornstein told some blatant lies? Yes. Do I think that these falsehoods deserve a front page article? No.
Besides, "Everyone lies" -House
She's apparently the bane (or Bain) of the Republicans now
So I'm supposed to somehow trust someone's company that's trying to be some fake Silicon Valley star effer? I dunno man. Maybe she has the best social kitten mashup ever but I can't imagine if I had a million dollars to invest that I'd let this one anywhere near it.
The advantage of her outing herself would be that it would be far less damaging and considering people love those that seek a sort of penance, something positive would have come out of her outing post.
It is not too late though. She should write, ask for forgiveness, NOT blame TechCrunch for her woes and move on. Everyone loves a comeback stor so this might end up having a positive outcome if told well.
Ironically, I did not read the post the first time I came across it. This post brought far more attention than the original one.
I would never go there outside of HN posts, but it's really amusing to see how self-important a bunch of hipster bloggers can be when writing about people doing actual work.
The puff pieces that they run as the majority of what is published, those are pretty funny. It's the slag pieces that are most entertaining.
So, I might be a little prejudiced against TC right now, but even with that, I think the original article about Shirley Hofnstein was really mean spirited.
In any case, I usually do my web browsing on my iPad so I am not reading TechCrunch anymore anyway.
TechCrunch isn't anything close to a "top media company." TC is a shitty blog run by a bunch of amateurs who should be lucky enough to be referred to as "wannabe journalists." TC exists to whore for page impressions and ad clicks, nothing more. The best thing to do is pretend they don't exist... quit reading TC, quit sending them "news", quit responding to their bullshit, etc.
It's one thing to have people skills, and use it as a lever to add benefit and value to this world. The Shirley's of this world deserve zero sympathy.
That being said, the TechCrunch article wasn't as articulate as it should have been. At the very least, context should have been provided for these pictures.
If only more con artists got destroyed like this in public, the world would be a better place for sure.
TechCrunch essentially is TMZ.
Why would it benefit Samsung to have random Indians bloggers demoing devices in Berlin?
Something about this story doesn't make any sense.
Clearly this is not remotely as horrific as the usual connotations, but the structure of bait-and-switch coercion is very similar.
I've never experienced as much pressure as described here, but i guess the Indian Samsung subsidiary is managed by different minded people.
It was clearly just a communication problem. Samsung expects you to do things at these events and you get your trip and stay for free in return, sometimes a little cash on top.
Noone wants to use the word work, for all the red tape this would create...
I like The Verge's ethics statement, which they post publicly, for this reason.
"We do not allow trips or any portions of trips (including but not limited to airfare, hotel, or car rentals) to be paid for by third parties (these are known in the industry as 'junkets')."
They make expectations for readers and device-makers crystal clear.
It seems it would be much easier to find people who are willing to be brand ambassadors and be up front about it if that's what you are looking for.
Officially they were invited to live the games from the inside but in the end they worked as Samsung publicist for free.
That said, this is exactly what happens when, as a journalist, you start to blur the lines. As a reader it's hard to feel any sympathy when reading paragraphs that try just a bit too hard to rationalize the behavior:
Again, a reminder â€" Behavior such as Samsung's is not uncommon in the world of tech coverage. It's perhaps considered more normal in some parts of the world
This is true, in that very few best practices are universally applicable and you should never stop thinking. The author is also totally right about people jumping on bandwagons and being cargo cult members.
So I'm not really disagreeing with him, but just adding that a lot of best practices actually aid your ability to reason through code. They can help to push repetitive things off to the automatic portions of your brain. They can help to make patterns in your code that are visible and familiar, so you can spend less time thinking about how to implement (or read) some simple thing and more time thinking about how the simple pieces fit together.
Which is not to say all "best practices" are great. But even the questionable ones usually have some interesting problem they are trying to solve that explains why they sprung into being. If a "best practice" is popular enough that it gets called a best practice, it's probably worth paying attention to and thinking about even if you ultimately decide not to use it.
- 1: I'd modify "Programmers who don't code in their spare time for fun will never become as good as those that do", to be "Programmers who don't code in their spare time for fun will never be as good as they would if they did". I definitely believe coding for fun helps your skills, but I've seen too many "just-a-job" programmers code circles around others on the same teams who had side projects and kept up with the trendy languages. It's not a clear differentiator, just a data point.
- 2: Unit tests don't help you code in the same way that a safety net doesn't help you walk a tightrope: this is technically true, but not a helpful statement in reality.
- 10: Print statements are "valid" in that they often work, but when a debugger is available it's almost always the right way to go.
I disagree with one of the points supporting "Unit testing won't help you write good code.", though, where he implies that writing the code reveals the edge cases. Surely the edge cases are something you should have carefully considered before starting to code? I've found that crystallising the edge cases as a test before writing the function can be really helpful.
Being put on the spot is a different kind of stress that can take many people out of their game. Some managers may argue that they want to weed out people who cannot act under pressure but once a "team" is formed, the pressure of having to act quickly doesn't involve some of the socialization that is required in a job interview.
If you really want to know if someone knows how to code, have them write something for you. If you are afraid that they would cheat, look at their git hub account. Ask to see a portfolio if possible. If none of that is possible, make the hiring process take long enough that a level of rapport can be developed between the team and the candidate.
I know the current trend in startups is all about "show me your github", and I admit that it has some value as a filter, but I feel like I'm seeing people writing fairly uninteresting code snippets and blogs just to put it on their resume, in the same way that high schoolers join a bunch of student groups to beef up college applications. There are plenty of programming jobs that require writing complex code and having deep domain knowledge, and to discard those candidates because they can't show you their code and have other hobbies outside of work is just not smart.
I think developers are putting themselves at a severe disadvantage and are being taken advantage of because of this whole 'hacker culture' or 'startup life' ideas.
We are making it the norm, and raising everyone's expectations of us which end up hurting us in the long run.
Stop for a second, and consider other professions and industries. Do you see lawyers or financial analysts play with side-projects in the weekend, and running all-nighters and hackathons? Or working on open-source-like-equivalents of their professions?
Sure they are different industries, but there are similar things they could do if they really wanted to, but they don't.
When we talk about 'hacking for fun' etc... we are sending a message to other people which changes their attitude to "hey i only pay you this much because you'd be doing similar stuff in your spare time anyways..."
People value your time based on things like this. Lawyers play this game very well, they pretend like they don't have a single extra second to spare, and hey they don't talk about law being fun either, and hence they can charge $200/hour fees and others will happily pay for it.
I think we need to be smarter and adjust our attitude to account for the economic goals and political games of the rest of the society.
Topic 18: His questions are not about writing code, they are about writing algorithms. The kind of code I write on a day-to-day basis does not require working with math equations of this type. I could eventually do it but I would probably have to research and test before I would be happy with it. Most definitely not something I could do on the spot during an interview, but I guess that means I can't write code.
I don't think I have much of a problem with the rest of them and agree with most of them.
I prefer to have about 15-20 index cards with problems that have open ended solutions ("Build a RPG combat system using 4,6,8,10, 12 or 20 sided dice", "Create a system to store Books and allow people to search by author/title or genre")
- "Programmers who don't code in their spare time for fun [frequently won't be] as good as those that do.
- "Unit testing [may not] help you write good code [in many situations I have encountered]."
- "[Possibly the most useful] â€śbest practiceâ€ť you should be using all the time is â€śUse Your Brainâ€ť [though for some teams in some circumstances there may be more useful best practices]."
- "If you only know one language, no matter how well you know it, you're [almost certainly] not a great programmer."
- "Readability is the most important aspect of your code, [depending on your company's goals and method of achieving those goals at this point in time]"
Of course, these are [mostly] opinions, and adding all sorts of disclaimers is [almost] never fun, but opinions stated as absolutes are [almost] always wrong.
For all intents and purposes this man is a glorified text editor.
He doesn't know the smallest bit of PHP (the stack with which he claims to work), CSS or HTMl - in which world is he a web developer?
Readability is the most important aspect of your code.Even more so than correctness. If it's readable, it's easy to fix. It's also easy to optimize, easy to change, easy to understand. And hopefully other developers can learn something from it too.
However, out of curiosity, how many people actually work on side-projects?
Because, after ten years, I have only worked with a couple of people who actively work on side-projects. And I know that some people treat programming as "only a job" and they're done at 5:00 PM, which is fine. But is it really uncommon that programmers work on side-projects?
[Shameless plug: I have a few small projects on GitHub (https://github.com/mattchoinski) and I also work on freelance projects for various clients.]
"XML is highly overrated"
Whoa. Steady on there, tiger. My brain can only handle so much controversy in one day.
"I'm not smart enough to understand this really complicated code, so I decided to write something smaller and simpler."
This is something a co-worker of mine said once.
It's worth having getters and setters for variables that need to be publicly accessible, even if there's no logic in them, because it gives you the option to change how that data is stored in the future and not break all the code that uses it. You want to be able to change the implementation without breaking all your clients' code!
I started using Ruby this summer and it was fun turning 10 lines of code into 1 or 2. But it was a big pain deciphering it weeks later =(
I couldn't have said that better myself.
I wonder if we can classify programmers depending on whether they are agreed with this or not. Something like a PQ (Programming Quotient)
Welcome to the club.
We'll see how long it takes to bring it to the US though. I'd guess that their cable co ties are too strong here to do it anytime soon.
HBO GO is very good, surprisingly so. The quality of that effort in combination with moves like this suggest some very smart, visionary folks are at work there.
Anecdotally, I'm seeing rapidly growing interest in cord-cutting among non-technical folks.
As tablets and 4G phones proliferate I see people in general becoming increasingly frustrated with cable and desirous of having content when and where they want it.
When you have, to steal some words from Pink Floyd, "500 channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from." Then the next channel of crap will always capture marginally more money, and will be profitable if costs are low enough. So what you get is in-your face lowest common denominator crap designed to draw the attention of bored channel surfers.
On the other hand, if shows need to generate buzz around the water cooler, such that people are proud to have discovered the show and announce to the world they're paying for it, the focus needs to be on quality.
The NBA and others have started online subscriptions for their content. For people in places like Australia where cable subscriptions with good sport cost $100 / month it's well worth it.
Setanta, an Irish concern, has a streaming service that allows you to pay $17 a month or $100 a year for live sport much of which is soccer. I watch the Bundesliga using this service and it is excellent.
It's a shame that you can't get Ligue 1, Serie A, La Liga and the EPL this way. Yet.
Oh well, back to Pirate Bay.
I'm currently building a quadcopter from parts and I'm writing my own control software.
I wasn't really familiar with RC components before starting this project, but I must say I'm impressed with the performance and reliability you get from very low cost motors, ESCs, propellers, gyroscopes and accelerometers.
However, I think Li-Po batteries are a huge safety issue. There are multiple factors:
* The battery chemistry is very unforgiving. You overcharge, it gets damaged, you over-discharge, it gets damaged. Same for charge and discharge current. The failure mode? Flammable gasses are released and eventually the whole thing sets itself on fire. And that's a fire you can't extinguish using typical means like water or regular fire extinguishers.
* All RC Li-Po batteries use a soft shell. If your model crashes the batteries can and will get crushed, which leads to an internal short-circuit, which eventually starts a fire.
* No RC Li-Po batteries incorporate Smart Battery controllers (like in laptop batteries) which could prevent overcharge/over-discharge and over-current conditions.
There have been plenty of incidents involving Li-Po fires, including whole houses burning down.
And still, the batteries don't change. Li-Po makes perfect sense for RC applications because it has great energy density and allows high discharge current. But to me it looks like some simple safety features could make this technology safe enough that you wouldn't have to treat your batteries like small bombs.
As a side-note, I've initially tried to use laptop Li-Ion batteries for my quadcopter. Each motor + propeller unit requires almost 12A @ 11V when at maximum speed - quite typical power requirements for a medium-sized quadcopter. I couldn't get more than 16A out of an older 6 cell battery (voltage was abruptly dropping if trying to draw more, so I guess this was the limit of the cells). I've then tried a new 9 cell battery (which was too heavy anyway). The controller on this battery considers 20A discharge an over-current condition and shuts off the output. So I'm stuck with Li-Po batteries and hoping that they won't set anything on fire.
I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable with current-technology Li-Po powered vehicles flying around a city without being watched.
This would cause a Cambrian explosion in development. It would be wild.
* Little helicopters can now lift a substantial weight.
* They aren't very expensive.
* They're easily controlled, more so than a full-sized helicopter (primarily because of computer-aided controls and GPS guidance). So you don't have to be Chuck Yeager to fly one.
* All you need to do is mate the helicopter with a decent camera that can simultaneously beam a picture to the ground for guidance and preview, and take high-resolution pictures on command by way of the radio link.
* Uses: real estate (who desperately need a way to take high-quality pictures of houses from above), surveillance, art, video productions, etc..
This is an opportunity waiting for someone willing to take it on.
- no noise- no accidents involving people- less energy needed- much simpler / robust construction
- pizzacopter.com- burgercopter.com- foodcopter.com
Incidentally, I'd really like to be able to use those rotors to recycle things - literally to shred, perhaps, my plastic trash - such that the remaining processed materials can be used in .. say .. a 3d printer.
Also, lets get the 3d printer and quadrocopters pretty much working smoothly together so that one provides resources to the other. Oh, no wait, lets just make the 3d printer print quadrocopters, and the quadro's feed the 3dprinters .. and .. well now lets just make a flying recycling 3d printer robot, and be done with it.
On Mars. Because if we do it here, the damn thing will take over our planet.
Of course there may be a much simpler problem: hungry seagulls.