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Meet Watsi, Y Combinator's First Nonprofit ycombinator.com
680 points by pg  1 day ago   167 comments top 57
kevinalexbrown 1 day ago 2 replies      
Aside from the human connection mentioned in the post, by far the most compelling aspect to me is the "fixed" attribute. There's something so satisfying about isolating a problem, then fixing it.

Many charities feel like an investment. This feels like a transaction.

Edit: Here by transaction, I mean it's something that has a very high chance that it's working out. When I order a shirt online, there's a high probability it will get to me. When I fund a new t-shirt company on Kickstarter, it's less certain.

tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great. I did what you asked and used the site and it is indeed extraordinarily compelling. I might suggest a move away from Paypal (only because the Paypal checkout experience is more intrusive and annoying than the state of the art).

Our annual all-hands summit is next week, and we'll look for ways to work this into our charity match programs. Many people on HN have companies with employees; we were told about running charity matches by other friends who have companies and let me pass the message along: they work really well. Match programs have generated more goodwill for us than bonus programs. Start a match program!

I have a question:

The big charity in this space is Partners In Health, which has an extremely positive reputation (their cofounder is also now the President of the World Bank), spends 94% of their funding on program expenses, and has a CEO who makes less than 6 figures. (PIH is apparently a medical partner for Watsi).

Is the advantage of Watsi over PIH that 100% of funds go to program expenses, rather than 94%? Or is it that fine-grained funding is more compelling and will thus elicit more donations?

glimcat 1 day ago 2 replies      
So, the really cool part is this:

"At Watsi, 100% of your donations directly fund medical treatments. Watsi.org is separately funded. They pay all their operational costs from their own funding, and none from your donations. They even eat the credit card processing fees."

This works great with Watsi's crowdfunding-style model. It probably wouldn't help with things which need legs on the ground full-time, but it would be interesting to see more nonprofits looking at an "out of channel" donor model.

P.S. If you haven't clicked through to read PG's announcement and check out Watsi, go do so. Really. This is something YC is going to look back on and be proud of being part of 20 years from now.


eranation 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm so glad this was funded, I remember when it was initially posted, and the simple, brave solution, and I salute to YC for funding and mentoring this.

One small thing, although I just donated 50$ for two people, I found myself to be a bit uncomfortable with my actions,

I didn't really pay attention much to who I'm donating to, just clicked on the first picture that caught my eye without thinking, and donated 25$. Then I noticed, I'm donating to a 1 year old baby, with a cute photo.
I really want to think of myself as someone who pays more attention, reads and makes a decision based on facts, medical condition, urgency, and likelihood to succeed, but no, I just clicked based on prejudice, 1 second first impression, biased decision, without noticing I did so.

Then I saw a 37 years old woman and noticed she got much less donations although her total needed amount is higher, perhaps her medical situation is less severe, but I would be naive to think that that's the only reason. So I asked myself, am I doing some sort of unconscious decision that is not really fair and unbiased? I would lie if I say I didn't.

So I donated 25$ to her as well, just so I feel a little better with myself, and then I thought, well, this is a feature request.

So to avoid the "cute baby gets more donations" bias, what would make it a little nicer to me is to donate without knowing who it goes to, I'd like a button that says - "donate to most medically severe case", or "donate to most time sensitive case" and have someone else make the decision. This will make me feel a little more in peace with myself, and actually might make such biases less common.
Right now it might not have affect, but as it will hopefully grow to help more people, having such "donate to who needs it most medically" option will help prevent such gaps.

Also moving to a better payment system, Stripe or even Google checkout will make it a much nicer experience.

EDIT: the baby's profile was on the home page, where as the woman's profile was one click deeper, so this could be another reason, but this brings another enhancement, please automatically promote / rotate profiles that have less donations / most urgent medical conditions to the front page

Another feature I'm missing is to allow subscription, I would think many would be happy to donate 5$-20$ a month and automatically give it to those who have the least donations, or must urgent medical condition. Getting traffic is hard and critical for making this work, and not every day you get to HN front page, I would take advantage of it and offer a recurring donation as soon as possible.

PabloOsinaga 1 day ago 2 replies      
We (masporloschicos.com) have been doing roughly the same since 2005. (instead of health we focus on malnutrition)

Note- site is in spanish - targeted to the Argentine audience

We are a bit less granular though - instead of matching against an individual, we match a specific soup kitchen. But we keep donors updated with newsletters, pictures, letters from the kids and so on.

edit: this level of udpates keeps donors engaged. we dont allow one time donations - instead we require you to subscribe.

When we built masporloschicos.com I wanted to do it more granular (individual level), but we ended up doing it a bit more aggregate because it was really hard / expensive to get to that granular level.

I wonder how is watsi tackling this problem - because ultimately you don't want to spend a lot of funds (regardless of where they come from) on the administration/bureaucracy required to provide quality 1:1 matching.

So I just wonder how are they doing it?

corin_ 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm personally not a fan of the concept of donating to help a specific person, rather than a cause, but am unsure whether I'm a rare exception or whether many people have the same view as me - hopefully a few replies could help answer this?

When I say not a fan of the concept, I absolutely don't mean I disapprove. I don't have any problem with organisations raising money this way, nor with people choosing to donate money this way - I simply don't like donating myself.

Trying to chose between fighting HIV or starvation, cancer or... etc. etc. is hard enough. Looking at Watsi's homepage, does Chimwemwe from Malawi deserve my money more than Kirshan from Nepal? What about Lidiya from Malawi? I can see the point of view that it's nice to know your money has definitely made an impact on somebody's life, but personally I don't enjoy the burden of making that decision. I'd far rather be 0.0000000001% of a big solution than 100% of a small one when it comes to charitable donations.

All that said, the fact that I dislike it doesn't take anything away from my thinking that Watsi looks like a great site, my opinion doesn't change the fact that anyone raising money for good causes is great and if the method used here helps that then no complaints from me.

SoftwareMaven 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is really cool, but I'm curious how an investment in this is different than a charitable contribution. The contribution is awesome for the network it introduces Watsi to, but I can't imagine there will ever be a return on this kind of investment.

(This is not meant to sound negative. I am truly excited to see it, interested to see what the YC network can bring to it, and very curious about the investment thinking behind it.)

kalvin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Watsi is awesome. Kiva and donorschoose made "direct" p2p lending/giving popular long ago, but Watsi is the first that feels like, well, a YC startup (just from the site-- product, team, mentality).

Also be sure to check out givewell.org for very HN-friendly (rational/research-driven) tips on how you might think about giving in general.

sethbannon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very happy to see this. At the very least, it's great news for the nonprofit world, which needs desperately to learn some of the basic the lessons of the startup world: fail fast, iterate, focus on your users, and more.
jkuria 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is really great to see. I am just curious, how do they ensure that the funds are actually used for the intended person's health issues? How do you prevent scammers and posers who just want to get money? I have a bit of experience here and would say it is a non trivial problem if you do not have an operation on the ground. You could donate to organizations that you trust but then you get back to the same old problem: Distance from the human face and actual life you are impacting.

For those of you who want to donate to non health related issues there is also SeeYourImpact.org founded by Scott Oki, one of Microsoft's early execs. They also ensure 100% of the donation goes to the person and absorb all the overhead expenses.

Shameless plug: For our Hacker News Clone for African startus, business and technology we will be running ads for SeeYourImpact.org but strictly for educational needs. Check out the site here: http://AfriTech.org/about.htm
Actual news stories on front page: http://AfriTech.org

eduardordm 1 day ago 1 reply      

I wrote this minutes ago in a thread about the 3rd world. If you ever come across a startup that solves this please fund them:

"The biggest problems right now involve education and health. Example: 60-80% health problems follow the same pattern: you see a doctor, he asks for blood/urine tests, you get the results, go back to the doctor for a prescription. Build something that the poor can explain their symptoms and do those tests without going physically to a doctor and become a semi-god here. That would involve a website (or phone call) and portable blood testers. (Specially for things like malaria, E. coli, colera, dengue fever, typhoid fever, etc)"

justjimmy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Previous discussions about Watsi. Good to see they're getting more exposure.

"Thank You HN: From 30 people whose lives you saved"

"Show HN - We just built a site that saves lives"

tsycho 1 day ago 1 reply      
On one hand, I love it that I was able to donate to a person, and Watsi didn't require a login, email etc. (though I guess they have my email from the Paypal payment).

But this is one of the sites where a login would probably be a good idea, so that I can keep track of my donations and particularly the status/health updates of those whom I am helping, and also potentially for tax purposes.

Another site on these lines which I like a lot is Kiva.org (no affiliation, just a user). It's micro-finance, not donations, but all 3 people whom I lent to on Kiva, have paid me back so their enterprise has presumably succeeded. It feels great to be able to help some poor villager in Africa buy some fertilizers or a cow, and I like how Kiva makes it easy to keep track of them :)

Update: Watsi just emailed me a receipt that I can use for tax purposes, and promised to send me a email when the person I donated to receives treatment. So I take back my minor complaint above!

rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please figure out a way to take equity eventually (there are organizations which help non profits do this).

I, and a lot of other startup founders, have limited income to donate, but potentially have equity which could be worth a lot of money someday. It is a lot easier to donate equity than current income.

It adds overhead and complicates your "transactional" model, but it might be a good way to fund your overhead, or to fund longer term projects, and could eventually be a recurring income stream to pay for some number of treatments.

Mizza 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used Watsi when it was first announced here. It's a truly amazing offering, a great product with great customer support and outreach, and, as a user, it truly makes you feel like you're doing something good for the world.

A few weeks after donating, I later got an email from them letting me know that the boy whose heart transplant I had funded had died. It kind of wrecked my whole day, but I was still glad I got the notification. I didn't expect to have such an emotional connection to a person I have never even interacted with before. Godspeed, Watsi.

dasht 1 day ago 1 reply      
Paul Graham, or anyone "in the know", may we please hear a bit about what the equivalent of a term sheet looks like for a Y Combinator non-profit investment? Is Y Combinator giving a grant? Is Watsi issuing debt to Y Combinator? What's the financing model here?
jtchang 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. I love how they are moving so fast they simply publish results to a Google Doc spreadsheet.

This foreshadows an era where non-profits must aggressively publish their spending and compete on how lean they become. My guess is there are going to be a lot of niche sites that perform exactly like Watsi.

fghh45sdfhr3 1 day ago 1 reply      
How about a kick starter like nonprofit for social funding of scientific and medical research?
wave 1 day ago 1 reply      
The only suggestion I have is that it would be nice to see the patient's profiles get updated after being funded and treatment was given. We all like to see how our donations are making noticeable difference in people's lives.

I really like what Watsi is doing. They even "eat the credit card processing fees"

maxharris 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is there any chance of expanding this to include Americans? Or even better - people that live near me, such as my zip code + the surrounding zip codes.

That way, there's at least a chance that I'd see the person that I helped someday.

jango 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Slovakia (a small EU country) we have a non-profit called "Dobry anjel" (Good angel) which helps families of children sick with cancer and other serious diseases. It is also collects donations, is separately funded and distributes all the donations "up to the last cent". Two possibly interesting tidbits: 1) The organization has re-distributed almost 17 million euros since its inception in 2006 (this is 23 mil. USD, over half a million USD in the last month alone -- our population is about the same as Minnesota), 2) Its co-founder Andrej Kiska is planning to run for president of Slovakia next year.

EDIT: Note on transparency: all the donors have their own website login information ("angel ID") to track every donation and see exactly how much was sent to whom. The stories of recipient families are provided, along with their address + telephone number. The donors have an option to remain anonymous or reveal their contact information. I never contacted any recipients or revealed my name to them but I have heard stories where the donors and families in distress got in touch and supported each other with prayers, encouragements, etc.. "Good angel" also makes it possible to keep sending donations to the same families if you choose to (otherwise the families will be chosen at random, which is the default choice -- or at least was the default for me when I signed up in 2007).

suchow 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is a neat idea.

I have an unimportant question. PG's post says "They even eat the credit card processing fees", but Watsi's FAQ says, "As part of the cost of the treatment, we have included PayPal credit card processing fees (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction). These PayPal fees are unavoidable, and no portion of the fees go to Watsi."

Who is right?

aidos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just love this. It was featured a few months back and by the time I got to it everyone had already been sponsored [0]. It's brilliant to see the real stories of people who's lives you can have a positive effect on right now.

I also use Kiva [1] which is brilliant in a different way. You can loan money to people so they can fund their businesses etc.

I'm off to donate to Watsi now.

[0] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081
[1] http://www.kiva.org/

jmcgough 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really like the transparency - with a lot of nonprofits, I feel like I need to look into their expenditures to see where my donation is really going and to figure out if it's worthwhile. Watsi feels a lot more like kickstarter but directly targeted at helping individual people. Very cool idea.

How do they pay for operations costs - is there a separate donations channel?

febeling 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go and fund someone, and observe how a couple of minutes later you get the notification email that the funding is complete. This is a very powerful new thing.
brezina 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats @pg and team! I love seeing YC used for so much good. The impact continues
ryanmolden 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats, this is awesome news! I contributed to a couple of patients when I first saw you announce this on HN because I like the 'direct to patient, 100% utilization' nature of it. This is a reminder for me to go back.

I see from your website you are a 501(c)(3) charity. I will submit your organization for approval for the matching program at my employer, which I like because it allows me to 'stick it to the man' by donating to all kinds of things my employer might or might not support (this doesn't fall into that category though). They also match volunteer hours by employees at $17 bucks an hour (after the first 10 hours), which can be a great way to get free work and free money.

seeingfurther 1 day ago 0 replies      
One could think of this non-profit funding as YC's own charity donation. I like this type of donation much more than just hard cash. YC is committing what it does best, building great organizations around amazing teams. I wish more people, companies and orgs took this approach to donations.
kanamekun 1 day ago 2 replies      
Congrats on a great site, and the exciting news around joining YC! One quick question:

<< If Watsi didn't exist, many of the patients on our site would have likely died. >>

If a surgery isn't funding in time to save a patient's life, would you fund the remaining amount of the loan out of your own funds?

xfax 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really cool concept, makes donating very compelling. In fact, I just donated to help fund Esther's treatment.

An idea to get more people to give more - make it competitive. For example, it'll be cool if I could create a group for my school and then get people to 'tag' their donations with the group ID. Would love to see which school can get the most donations!

chamboo 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how all charities should be done. I will be supporting this charity, and I furthermore think it should be illegal to run a charity in any other manner than pure transparency. My hat is off to Watsi, and I feel this is a bigger deal than most people may realize. These are the types of startups we need to change the world. Not only do they do something good and useful for people, they also show the rest of the charities that operating with transparency is the only way to go. Thanks guys, this made my day.
orionblastar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well it is good for people in Nepal.

But what about the USA, especially disabled veterans, people on disability, people on no or low income, homeless people, and others who cannot afford their healthcare and got shafted by the federal government?

There are some charities, but they collect funds with Quadriga Art, that keeps the lion's share of the donations and little to no money goes to the charity or people in need. CNN has investigated this company http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/26/us/senate-charities-investigat... http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/24/fund-raising-company-f... http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/25/charities-in-debt-to-f...

This is the reason why so many charities are broke in the USA and the money never goes to the people it is supposed to help. We can reform this problem by starting up a non-profit web company to keep the costs low for raising money for these charities and making sure the people in need get the money and life saving medical treatments and surgeries that they need.

DannyBee 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really glad this is happening. A lot of the traditional funding mechanisms for non-profits seem badly broken, incentive wise. Then again, i've been in DC, where I guess almost everything is badly broken.
callmeed 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm curious if there's a reason Watsi couldn't or shouldn't be a for-profit company?

I like the fact they're not taking a transaction fee. But, it seems to me that they're also a benefit to healthcare providers, insurance companies, and big pharma (after all, the money raised is going to end up in their pockets). Aren't there ways Watsi could make money from these companies?

st0p 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just donated some euro's, and I truely believe those euro's will be well spend. But it feels wierd (and somehow wrong) to crowdfund someone's health. I'm not questioning watsi, they are in it for the right reasons. But is crowdfunding something important as health for poor people the solution?

I think everyone is trying to do good here, but nobody is solving the real problems.

zhyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
"I've never been so excited about anything we've funded."

That's great! I'm excited that you're excited. I imagine we'll see a lot more non-profits in YC shortly. Will 2013 be the year of many such non-profits, like 2012 was for hardware startups?

woodhull 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty sure that GiveWell (whom I adore) wouldn't like Watsi very much.

It doesn't maximize the utility of donations to spend lots of money saving the lives of a handful of people vs. other interventions that can save the lives of many more people suffering from diseases like malaria at a much lower cost per patient than the interventions that Watsi is promoting.

I think Watsi donors will feel good about helping specific people, but I'm personally interested in my donations actually being maximally impactful. If you want to save the most lives per dollar, the sort of extraordinary treatments that Watsi funds are not a great way to do it.

toddnessa 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A really great idea. I have been befriended by a native pastor in Kenya. His son came down with something unexpected and had to go to the hospital. The hospital did not want to let the kid out until he was fully paid up and he couldn't pay it all . This escalated the bill even further. Something like this could have really helped.
alpb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kiva is a similar organization http://kiva.org where people can lend money to people in poor countries for their needs. I wish the same help for Kiva.
josh2600 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome.

I think this model of achieving more direct distribution through technology could profitably be applied to a number of for-profit and non-profit endeavors.

This seems like it could also be a better way of addressing hunger, contributing food to individuals but using a managed distribution system.

What a cool idea :).

got2surf 1 day ago 0 replies      
After spending the past week thinking about monetizing ads, the next social/local/mobile app, etc... that all seems so minor compared to Watsi. It's awesome to see people doing so much social good - best of luck and amazing job!
nsomniact 1 day ago 0 replies      
I lost a bet to a friend. I just used Watsi to fulfill it.
benrmatthews 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Amaingly transparent organisation too. You can see every patient they've ever funded and the outcome of their treatment in a Google spreadsheet, here:


namank 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm glad.

Not because of the non-profit nature of this startup but the endorsement YC has now given to non-traditional and perhaps massively big ideas.

white_devil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why would a venture capitalist invest in a non-profit? Does YC not want a return on their investment?
abraininavat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really great project. Some thoughts:
1. In the interest of 100% transparency, what do you think about being 100% transparent with your tech? Would it make sense to open-source your technology stack?

2. I really wish you had the ability to donate on behalf of someone else, either to fund Watsi or to fund medical treatment. On Amazon I set up a wishlist that people can easily access for ideas of what to buy me on Christmas or my birthday. If I could set up something like that on Watsi instead, I probably would. And if your tech was open source, I might even implement the feature myself!

raheemm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to be cynical but how do they ensure the veracity of the patients?
pratikjhaveri 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just donated. What an awesome cause and an amazing effort by the team. I'm asking other organizations that I donate to, to follow Watsi's example in transparency.
vegasje 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really glad to see that Watsi got some more attention after their original HN debut (here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081). These guys are making it so easy to help people in need.
batemanesque 20 hours ago 0 replies      
this could channel money away from preventative care, which is far more cost-effective than funding later-stage individual treatments. $50 given for the purchase of malaria nets would save a lot more lives than a single operation.
tadruj 1 day ago 0 replies      
A great site for millionaires to visit when they're bored or have lost their purpose.
chunsaker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Way to go, Chase and team. This has tremendous vision and I hope you come out of YC with a ton of velocity.
Golobulus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Will there be some kind of illness directory? Or a way I could keep track of or sign up for notices of new listings? What about a widget that I could embed on my site for specific kinds of illnesses that readers/users might be interested in donating to? Congratulations on all of this, really great idea/implementation.
theklub 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow this is a great idea.
rosstamicah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next up, a YC L3C (a hybrid for and non profit)
zopticity 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow, I'm really taken away the fact that you're using PayPal. First of all, you're in YC, where's the brotherly support of using other YC companies? You got WePay and Stripe, and you're not using either.
macorama 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great Job!
Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday in the U.S. mashable.com
522 points by bluetidepro  3 days ago   352 comments top 61
kevinalexbrown 2 days ago 13 replies      
I'm wondering if anyone could help me explain why this is a bad idea to others who might be sympathetic but don't really think about unlocking iphones. Like most people, I don't care about unlocked cell phones per se, it's just a consequence of a principle I very roughly characterize as "I want to do what I want with the things I own so long as there's no detrimental social effect."

I've thought of the gas station metaphor: "Imagine owning a car and legally not being able to fill your tank with gasoline from any vendor you chose." But I'm not sure what works best.

Please: I'm not characterizing the people I mean as dumb. On the contrary, they're smart people, who would otherwise see this as an obscure decision (indeed, how many people in the US actually unlock a phone?). I'm not asking how to dumb things down, I'm asking how to convey why decisions like this matter.

pg 3 days ago 9 replies      
Does it strike anyone as odd the the Librarian of Congress is deciding critical technology policy? How did that happen? Is this just a random anomaly, or a sign of some sort of sneakiness?
jdietrich 2 days ago 1 reply      
In most of the developed world, it's either illegal to sell a network-locked phone, or there's a legal requirement for networks to provide an unlock code at the end of your contract. Locking is generally seen as fundamentally anti-competitive and permissible only under strict restrictions, in order to maintain the economic viability of handset subsidies.

It's entirely reasonable that if your phone is discounted as part of a contract, you should be obliged to complete the contracted term or pay an early termination fee in order to keep the handset. What's not reasonable is the idea that the subsidy arrangement gives a network complete control over your device in perpetuity. Either the device is rented to you by the network, in which case they are responsible for it, or it's sold to you at a discounted price and is yours so long as you finish paying for it.

tokenadult 3 days ago 4 replies      
As phones become[1] no longer subsidized by network operators in the United States, this will become a non-issue.

[1] EDIT: I changed the former word "are" to "become" for clarity. What I mean, as some readers picked up and some did not, is that I expect United States mobile phone networks to get out of the business of selling mobile handsets at a heavily subsidized price (as is current practice in the United States), and thus get out of the business of needing to lock in contracts to gain revenue to cover the up-front cost of the subsidy. When handsets are sold at near full list price, the networks can charge just their network costs to customers who are free to shop with unlocked phones. The United States market is confusing in having different technical standards for basic voice phone service on different networks, but the networks are converging on similar technical standards for their data networks, so eventually most smart phone users will be able to shop for networks here.

Irregardless 2 days ago 5 replies      
If I remember correctly, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T have all settled class-action lawsuits regarding their locked down handsets after consumers claimed it was anti-competitive.

1 step forward, 10 steps backwards. How is this happening?

> Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on June 1, 1929, Dr. Billington was. . .

Oh, the guy who just decided unlocking smartphones should be illegal was born in 1929? Cool. That's how rotary phones used to work, right?

Claudus 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm an even tempered person, but seeing a law like this passed really makes me angry.

Dear government, how about passing a law that benefits me for a change? It's been a while.

dmix 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
Diamons 3 days ago 4 replies      
DMCA, as in the Digital Millenium COPYRIGHT Act? I can't believe what the fuck I'm reading here. I paid for the phone. I own it. I can do whatever I bloody please with it.

I'm furious right now.

grandpa 2 days ago 1 reply      
I couldn't figure out from the article what exactly it is that's illegal. Which of these situations cause me to break the law as an American?

1. I travel to Canada, unlock my cellphone there where it is legal, and bring it back to the U.S.

2. My Canadian nephew unlocks my phone while I am not looking.

3. I unlock my phone, but then never turn it on so it never connects to a carrier.

4. I buy a phone in New York, then move to Canada never to return. On arrival in Canada, I unlock my phone.

If it's really true that "unlocking cellphones is illegal in the U.S.", then only 3 should be illegal.

tburch 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you need to unlock your GSM Samsung Galaxy S3 or Note 2, here's how:

Dial the following keys #197328640#

Main Menu > [1] UMTS > [1] Debug Screen > [8] Phone Control > [6] Network Lock > Options [3]Perso SHA256 OFF > (after choosing this option, wait about 30 seconds, then go back one step by pressing the Menu button then select Back, now you are in [6] Network Lock then choose [4] NW Lock NV Data INITIALLIZ ..... wait for a minute then reboot your phone... enjoy!!!

This is a PERMANENT UNLOCK, and does NOT trigger anything for warranty

/standard disclaimer: I am not responsible if you don't follow directions and what you do with your phone. Credit goes to http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=34661189&...

pharrington 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently I'm totally confused and don't understand this at all.

"III. The Designated Classes
Upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian has determined that the following classes of works shall be exempt from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures set forth in Section 1201(a)(1)(A):


C. Wireless telephone handsets " interoperability with alternative networks Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable a wireless telephone handset originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, if the operator of the wireless communications network to which the handset is locked has failed to unlock it within a reasonable period of time following a request by the owner of the wireless telephone handset, and when circumvention is initiated by the owner, an individual consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of the computer program in such wireless telephone handset, solely in order to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network,and such access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network."[1]

As far as I can tell, software unlocking your cell phone was already illegal under the DMCA; in October this exemption was enacted, saying that software unlocking old phones will no longer be illegal; new phones purchased between then and this upcoming Saturday are also legally software unlockable; it's only new phones purchased after the 90 day period that don't fall under the exemption."

Is this interpretation accurate?

e: And of course there's the whole issue that software unlocks are primarily illegal because of their use to circumvent contracts after buying subsidized phones, but I don't have a well-reasoned opinion about that :\

[1]http://www.scribd.com/doc/111227035/DMCA-Rules-2012 https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/10/26/2012-263...

arbuge 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hear that Carmen Ortiz is already gearing up her office to enforce this. Unlock your phone, get charged with 13 felonies and up to 50 years in jail. But you'll be able to plead guilty and get away with just 6 months or so.
kunai 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't give a rat's arse if it becomes illegal, I'm going to do it anyway.

Even so, the government has no right to declare what users can or cannot do with their mobile phones. Another "victimless crime" on the books. How has the war on drugs been working out for you, Congress? So much money and so many resources wasted on a crime that has no direct victims.

Seriously, someone needs to keep these loonies that run our country in check, because our masses are so stupid that they keep electing the idiots back into office. Ridiculous.

programminggeek 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's ironic that unlocked phones benefit carriers arguably as much as locked phones do. An unlocked phone makes it easier to switch carriers, thus cheaper for carriers to acquire customers, but maybe they'd all rather have it be expensive to acquire customers so that it's harder for smaller providers to compete.

Either way, I don't think that the DMCA was designed to ensure a telecom oligopoly.

eliben 2 days ago 1 reply      
It may be marginally off topic, but this is exactly why it makes me sad seeing people claiming that monopolies are why capitalism doesn't work. The only reason monopolies really succeed is because of government regulations like this one. Without government regulations, all monopolies would crash very quickly.
Xuzz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Removal of a specific exemption from a law is not the same as "becomes illegal". Do we have any clear reasons that this becomes illegal, or is it now just more of an unexplored gray area of the law?
redwood 2 days ago 3 replies      
We really need to reflect on the slippery slope, America.

I recommend checking out this TED talk because it's very inspirational: http://on.ted.com/Stevenson The focus of the talk is a bit more on inequality in the justice system than tech laws, say. But it's relevant since a) we need to be mindful of the "other" who's persecuted, as we're reminded by some of our own who are persecuted.
and b) this talk highlights how we accept the moment as normal even when the moment is unjust. The talk reminds us to stand up and fight for what's right, rather than accept the new normal.

Finally, I'm reminded of the Martin Niemöller quote that we should always remember:

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."

EDIT: I do apologize for the hyperbole folks... it was more inspired by the TED talk I linked to than the article above and the feelings caused by the Schwartz case and others. I went off topic, sorry!

diminoten 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Christopher S. Reed from the U.S. Copyright Office noted in an email to TechNewsDaily that "only a consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of software on the handset under the law, may unlock the handset."

So if I flash the firmware with a copy of software I own, am I then free to perform the unlocking action?

darkstalker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Totally the opposite on how is my country (Chile). Here it's illegal to sell locked phones.
SageRaven 2 days ago 1 reply      
From TFA: "The DMCA only permits you to unlock your phone yourself once you've asked your carrier first."

This struck me as odd. Not having read it myself, I didn't realize the DMCA was that particular.

So, is this "illegal" in the sense that ripping your own DVDs is "illegal"? Will we have "cellphone johns" under fire from phone maker and phone-unlocking code on t-shirts in a few weeks/months?

I've never owned a phone fancy enough to warrant unlocking, but this news irks me nonetheless. Seems plain as day that once you buy hardware, you have the right to modify it and use it as you see fit, so long as you own it outright.

Let the game of whack-a-mole begin...

pla3rhat3r 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the part where the article says, "this wasn't what the DCMA was supposed to do." Is anyone else shocked that intention and expectations change when someone is given enormous power to change the rules? Come on guys! Stop being so gullible!
wwwtyro 3 days ago 1 reply      
What is the name of the person ultimately responsible for this decision?
drucken 2 days ago 0 replies      
Original ruling (Section III.C of 77 FR 65260) from Copyright Office, Library of Congress available at, https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/10/26/2012-263...
chintan 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you do the math, unlocked phones turn out to be cheaper over 2 years.


I hope people start avoiding the contracts because of this stupid law.

drucken 2 days ago 0 replies      
Long term, the locked business model due to smartphone subsidies will die anyway since it largely benefits the manufacturers and app developers. Carriers are the ones currently taking the considerable risks facing consumers.

So, it is really a question whether it is appropriate to have semi-random administrative laws being applied by a "Librarian" at any time being good for society or progress.

The EFF and others who argued for how these exemptions to draconian laws are applied may yet rue the day the asked for this opening on their effective rights. At least the passed law was a static target that could be outpaced by technology.

felipeko 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is sad.

In Brazil, my home country, is illegal for a carrier to not unlock your phone if you ask.

jawngee 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't work for them, or am associated with them in anyway other than being a customer, but I did get an unlock through them: http://applenberry.com/

Was flawless, though I did have to buy a nano sim from T-Mobile to make it all happen.

I spend about half the year in Vietnam. My first trip there, I had a locked iPhone and had to use a Gevey Ultra-Sim to get my phone to work on Viettel. It worked OK, but just OK. Had to fiddle with it a lot.

I've unlocked an iPhone 4s and an iPhone 5 with them.

vy8vWJlco 2 days ago 0 replies      
The petition:

The HN discussion of the petition (in short, it's not nearly enough, but it's a start): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5112020

I'm at a loss for words over this one. All I can think to say is: money talks ladies and gentlemen. Freedom is the only thing that's ever been worth paying for.

bluetidepro 3 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe this is just my ignorance on Unlocking vs Jailbreaking, but will you still be able to Jailbreak your iPhone (legally) to get access to things like Cydia?
meaty 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't see this being a major problem. It's technically been illegal in the UK for years as you don't own the handset until your contract has paid up.

However, every handset I've ever had is either "SIM-free" or has been unlocked.

I now however only buy SIM-free unlocked handsets so I can give my telco the finger or throw another SIM in if they go down.

joejohnson 2 days ago 1 reply      
>>For example, Verizon's iPhone 5 comes out of the box already unlocked, and AT&T will unlock a phone once it is out of contract.

Can someone explain to me why AT&T is allowed to unlock phones if unlocking phones is illegal?

tvladeck 2 days ago 1 reply      
My view is that requiring the user _not_ to unlock the phone is a perfectly reasonable element of the agreement between the user and the phone provider. It's all about what both sides are getting -- and it's certainly true that you are not getting an unrestricted device. But, I would dare say that everyone has a certain price at which they would find a restricted device to be worthwhile. So, the qualitative aspects of such a transaction are absolutely fine and it's perfectly reasonable for the law to uphold that.
ratherbefuddled 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can think of no good reason to enter into a contract for cell phone use.

It always seems to me to be at least as cheap to buy the phone outright and use a prepaid sim. You pay more up front but less monthly.

You have more freedom, you can still buy on credit with a credit card if you wish to (and benefit from additional protections by doing so usually). You can change networks if you relocate or have signal problems, you can keep your number and you can sell your phone and buy a new one if you fancy it.

I use a prepay in the UK, I bought my own Note 2 which was expensive (~£400), but now I pay £12 a month for unlimited data and text and more minutes than I'll use by an order of magnitude.

Even in the US, where airtime charges are comparatively high, it seems to be cheaper to do this overall. Why save $400 on the phone by agreeing to pay $20-30 a month more than you need to for two years?

Am I missing something? Why do people get sucked in?

jemeshsu 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is illegal for telcos to sell locked phones in countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and I believe some more Asian countries. I take it as a pro-consumer or a pro-business decision by a government.
berlinbrown 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is this like Aaron Swartz illegal or something else? Is it a felony?
cupcake-unicorn 2 days ago 0 replies      
This article is frustrating, it doesn't really explain the implications.

In what sense is this "illegal"? Could I be jailed or fined for doing this? I doubt it's going to be enforceable, unless somehow the carriers care enough to keep a database of phone ids and actually go after people? If a friend unlocks a phone for me, or I buy an unlocked phone unknowingly, am I now implicated?

It just seems to me that this is going to effect businesses that repair phones and phone companies with bring your own phone plans, not individuals, because people will go on modding regardless. Or is it somehow going to be "illegal" to the extent that roms will be modified and forum posts referring to "illegal" activities like unlocking the phone will be blocked?

nichochar 2 days ago 0 replies      
The problem here is way deeper than just the possibility to unlock a phone (which obviously is already quite a big practical problem, you just have to read a couple of comments above who explain why very well).
The problem is the culture in which we live in, and the transition that we are experiencing, going from `free culture`(read more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_culture_movement) towards a 'permission culture`, in which big companies basically control assets which should be creative commons.

This transition will not pull through, it will most probably lead to a revolution of some kind (this is a pattern seen throughout history).

ck2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just another way to make sure your are felon.

Unless you knowingly launder drug money in a major bank chain, then you are fine and no-one will go to prison, you'll only lost a month of profit and everyone is fine.

jimktrains2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why would they just switch their stance? https://www.eff.org/press/archives/2010/07/26 Something's rotten in the state of Denmark^H^H^H^H^H^HC

(Yes, I know DC isn't a "state")

DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why is locking a phone to a particular carrier covered by the DMCA? What part of the DMCA covers it, and why?
jakeonthemove 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, damn... No worries, it will just make these things: http://www.gsmserver.com/shop/gsm/sigma_key.php cheaper, more popular and reliable...
eriksank 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since the politicians and their servants invented these new regulations to please their friends and intend to enforce it at gunpoint, my question is now: what respect-instilling reprisals should be inflicted -- thoroughly -- to discourage them from trying this again? It is not possible to make an omelet without breaking eggs. So what's next?
GigabyteCoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
New Title: Unlocking Cellphones Becomes a Much More Lucrative Endeavor Saturday in the U.S.
Sami_Lehtinen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't ever had locked phone, and I won't have one in future either. What's the problem. If you don't want locked phone, don't buy one.
ceesiren 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, let's say you are with AT&T and your phone breaks or you lose it a few months before you qualify for a new phone. You are forced to pay for a new one at full price even though you've already decided you are going to switch to T-Mobile or a prepaid service when your contract is up.

If you can unlock it and the new carrier is also GSM, you can take the phone with you. Or, if you want a new phone with your new carrier, you can sell your existing phone that you just paid full price for. If it's unlocked (or unlockable) you can sell it to ANYONE if it's unlocked and might get a better price since the potential customer pool is larger than if you HAVE to find someone on the AT&T network to buy it.

I just bought a currently locked AT&T phone because I was told I can unlock it for use with T-Mobile. Then I discovered that when it arrives tomorrow I have EXACTLY ONE DAY to unlock it before that becomes illegal. In my case, the scenario described above is exactly what happened to the guy I bought the phone from. Only he wanted to stay with AT&T but when his contract renewed (3 months after buying the phone I just bought from him) he was eligible for a new higher end phone (actually an iPhone 5).

I just can't get over how freaking BIG BROTHER-ESQUE this new law is. I HAS to be unconstitutional, right???

zceid06 2 days ago 0 replies      
Carriers must have lobbied for that in order to kill the second hand market. Locked phones have very little resell value so it makes their bundles much more attractive. Needless to say, telecom operators had to innovate to continue growing !
cafard 3 days ago 1 reply      
Eh? The WMATA buses in Washington, DC, have advertisements on the side from one carrier (Verizon?) offering deals for users bringing in unlocked phones from another carrier (AT&T)?
cicloid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny story. Since october, If you own your cellphone on Mexico (not subsidized or contract has ended), according to the NOM-184-SCFI-2012 you can ask your carrier to unlock it for you, free of charge.
mikebracco 2 days ago 0 replies      
B2C businesses (like mobile carriers) that require customer contracts and/or other "lock in" tactics are destined to die through market disruption. "Lock in" is an artificial way to increase LTV of a customer. Market innovations that reduce cost of customer acquisition will displace these archaic business models.
darasen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I still want to know why a completely unelected government official gets to decide what is and isn't illegal.
shaydoc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Prohibition on unlocking cellphones, unreal, who lobbied for that,
When I hear stories like this, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations", springs into mind!
fnl 2 days ago 0 replies      
My condolences to all US travelers who now will have to either pay outrageous roaming bills, be criminalized, or buy a second (unlocked) phone...
scottbartell 2 days ago 0 replies      
The power of lobbying. The legislation that can bring candidates the most money always seems to take priority. This goes to show that the common man has far less power then is ideal.
ommunist 2 days ago 0 replies      
OMG> Should I open "mail me your phone to unlock" e-store?
thisismyname 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, who got paid to make this law?
shaaaaawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is little or no way for this to be actually be regulated.
enemtin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another big step backwards for the U.S.
spiritplumber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dear law,


Signed, Users

transfire 2 days ago 0 replies      
ForFreedom 2 days ago 0 replies      
That is plain stupid and only supports Apple
acuity12 2 days ago 2 replies      
"I couldn't really learn Erlang, 'cos it didn't exist, so I invented it" erlang.org
488 points by chops  3 days ago   174 comments top 28
ghc 3 days ago 11 replies      
Just for a moment, consider who this man is and what he has done. We would all do well to take a step back and consider his manner of response. Notice that he continued learning new languages after creating Erlang (instead of just evangelizing it at the one true language). He did not immediately say "choose these three languages" as if they were the only ones you could possibly learn.

Does it really help our profession/hobby at all if we engage in language-elitism and snark? Even on Hacker News I've seen vitriol directed at Ruby, Python, Javascript, Haskell, to name a few recent targets. All languages have their place, even if that place is only as a lesson for future language designers.

Encouraging people to build stuff, whatever the language, whatever the library, whatever the framework; that is what we should be doing. IF someone wants suggestions, or help deciding what to use, that is fine, but criticizing someone for the language or framework they use has become all too common and a stain on the character of our community.

That's not to say honest criticism is unwelcome: All languages/libraries/frameworks/software can improve. But to belittle people for the choices they make, or to segregate ourselves into voluntary language-ghettos we are compelled to stay in by the force of public opinion...that goes against the spirit of what people like Armstrong worked hard to build. Maybe it started with "Worse is Better", maybe it started with alt.religion.emacs being taken a little too seriously, but it has been perpetuated by all of us, even Paul Graham (in Beating the Averages).

At some point, this has to stop. We, as a community, must grow to support the betterment of hacking by creating and encouraging creation; not by petty vitriol and conformism based on fashion.

Now, I've strayed pretty far from the point of the post itself, but Armstrong closed with such a salient point: If we stopped bickering so much about what is the "right language", "right framework", "right library" and instead encouraged particular protocols and documentation standards we'd all be better off for it.

h2s 3 days ago 2 replies      
For when the moderators inevitably change this post to reflect the page's actual title, here's the title under which it was originally submitted:

    I couldn't really learn Erlang, 'cos it didn't exist, so I invented it

sambeau 3 days ago 1 reply      
I spat my coffee out at this bit:

    if you want a quick fix go buy 
"learn PHP in ten minutes" and spend
the next twenty years googling for
"how do I compute the length of a string"

DigitalJack 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have to say this made me feel better that I'm not a wizard in Clojure. If one could be said to be "in love" with a programming language, that would be where I am at with clojure in terms of feelings.

But I've only scratched the surface. I sometimes sit and watch the #clojure channel on freenode, and I find it inspiring, interesting, entertaining, and disheartening all at once.

Inspiring because I get to see the people who write the awesome software and write the terrific books interacting, and I'll be danged, they are kind and good people!

Interesting because of the problems they are working on and discuss, asking each other for advice or just plain help.

Entertaining because they aren't just kind and good, they are also lighthearted sometimes very funny.

Disheartening because sometimes I look at the pastebin code, or the code they message to the clojurebots, and I am left scratching my head.

However, having read this "oldtimer's" post, I'm inspired to know that it's OK to not become a master in programming in 24 hours.

krenoten 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here's an interesting lecture (sorry, I couldn't find a non-split version) he gave at a university in Sweden (where Erlang has a much greater influence, ahhh the sanity of Northern Europe ;P)
note - the sound is dim for the first few moments

He goes into some of the choices that went into Erlang, and some interesting experiences he had as the project went forward. He gives a different list that he feels the students in attendance should learn:
C, JS, LLVM Assembler, one of ruby or python, and one of Erlang or Haskell.

Irregardless 2 days ago 1 reply      

  What would I recommend learning? 
- C
- Prolog
- Erlang (I'm biased)
- Smalltalk
- Javascript
- Hakell / ML /OCaml
- LISP/Scheme/Clojure
A couple of years should be enough (PER LANGUAGE).

A 'beginner' should start by spending 14 years (minimum) learning 7 languages? I was starting to agree with him when he mentioned the paradox of choice that programming beginners face today, but that recommendation is beyond ignorant.

Becoming a veteran polyglot is not the only way to break into the programming field. This is exactly the type of elitist BS that we don't need -- scaring beginners away by giving the impression that they face an insurmountable cliff from the start.

Should we also mention that they need a minimum of 3 master's and 2 doctorate degrees? I don't think I've heard of a single successful programmer with anything less. Surely no one has ever dropped out of college and acquired vast amounts of wealth at an early age by programming.

programminggeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is most interesting here is the ideas about protocols and communication. To me, that's what much of software development is getting wrong both on the small and on the big.

In a single app, objects should talk to each other and databases and queues and junk via protocols, not by being glued to an ORM or a particular implementation of a queue or whatever. Most devs don't do this because it's more work, but you end up with a much cleaner/more testable structure to work with.

On a higher level, many/most programs aren't made to communicate with each other at all. Look at web software, it's all about communicating with a browser and that's it. The API driven movement is helping things along, but it's still a HTTP Browser driven mindset complete with holy wars about REST/Hypermedia.

Unix pipes are a great example of what is possible with standard communication protocols, but it seems like it could be taken further. What if you could pipe a stream of API's together? Yahoo's YQL and Pipes plays in this realm, but you still have to kind of glue pieces together yourself.

Imagine if you could say...

fb search --name 'John Doe' --location 'Chicago, IL' | linkedin --filter 'Ruby Programmer' | twitter tweet 'Hey check out our ruby meetup next week'

That's a somewhat contrived example, but it would be great if we could do something that simple and not just via a command line, but from any language in a similar amount of code. That would be a step forward I think.

lucian1900 3 days ago 0 replies      
Proper schemas (based on an algebraic type system) with a simple serialisation would indeed go a long way.

Sadly, there's still too much choice there as well. Even worse, many would reject the very idea.

politician 3 days ago 2 replies      
Navel-gazing aside, Armstrong suggested that a good language would consist of closed forms interacting over formal protocols. What languages fit that description?
_nato_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Joe is fearless and an inspiration. For those with 25~ dollars to spare, pick up Joe's 'Programming Erlang' and never regret it. I _think_ differently after reading that book. I am mainly a musician, but what he uncovered for me regarding our brains and how we think blew me away.
S4M 3 days ago 2 replies      
>> Notice there is no quick fix here - if you want a quick fix go buy "learn PHP in ten minutes" and spend the next twenty years googling for "how do I compute the length of a string"

I couldn't agree more on that one.

guard-of-terra 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Things improved - I went to CERN and used the CRAY1 this could compile 100K lines of FORTRAN in 1 picosecond (ie about a zillion times slower than my mobile phone today)"

I don't like how he mixes together some precise numbers (, RAM size) with completely unrealistic (you can't do anyting in a picosecond, you can't compile 100k likes of code without noticing the time it takes the even today on any hardware.

hellerbarde 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is very well written. A very interesting and verbose (not in a bad way) way of answering the everpresent question "What language should I learn?"

PS: Yes, I know that not the whole discussion was about this question. Still.

sgt 3 days ago 3 replies      
>> Things improved - I went to CERN and used the CRAY1 this could compile 100K lines of FORTRAN in 1 picosecond (ie about a zillion times slower than my mobile phone today)

Sarcasm doesn't translate well in a thread like this, so just in case someone really thought it could compile 100K lines in a picosecond, dream on. :-)

ricardobeat 3 days ago 0 replies      

    if you want a quick fix go buy "learn PHP in ten
minutes" and spend the next twenty years googling for
"how do I compute the length of a string"

pretty much summed up the PHP experience :)

    If ALL applications in the world were interfaced by 
(say) sockets + lisp S expressions and had the
semantics of the protocol written down in a formal
notation - then we could reuse things (more) easily.

nodejs apps are usually very close to that: small modular services interacting via sockets + events using json, protocol buffers, etc. Much like the unix pipe philosophy applied to servers.

If you didn't study CS and want to improve your knowledge of algorithms, I found Coursera classes to be very good.

jeffdavis 2 days ago 2 replies      
In many ways, SQL is the protocol by which we combine programs together.
dysoco 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm interested in Erlang, have read a lot of good things about it lately.

However I've not tried it yet because I don't see how it is going to help me... I already know some functional programming (Scala, Haskell) and I don't work with large, distributed software or databases.

I'm afraid I'm going to learn it, not finding something useful to do with it, and then "forget" it.

s_husso 3 days ago 2 replies      
>> The crazy think is we still are extremely bad at fitting things together - still the best way of fitting things together is the unix pipe

Is that sad or pure genius?

melvinmt 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm curious to see what Joe thinks about Go.
JBiserkov 3 days ago 0 replies      
> A couple of years should be enough (PER LANGUAGE).

Reminded me of http://norvig.com/21-days.html

blumentopf 2 days ago 0 replies      
"In the beginning I looked around and couldn't find the car I dreamed of. So I decided to build it myself."

("Am Anfang schaute ich mich um, konnte den Wagen von dem ich träumte, nicht finden. Also beschloss ich ihn mir selbst zu bauen.")

-- Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche on inventing the 356

AlexDanger 2 days ago 0 replies      
The crazy think is we still are extremely bad at fitting things together - still the best way of fitting things together is the unix pipe

This is something that resonates with me. I'm never been a 'nix person but this is a very attractive pitch for getting stuff done. It is, after all, how we build things with LEGO.

I went to a Java school so my OO indoctrination was strong by the time I graduated. Now I'm really starting to crave a development paradigm by composition rather than inheritance. My job title is no longer that of a programmer but I write utilities and library daily to help me with my 'real' job. It helps me get stuff done.

So my question - since I primarily work in the MS world, does PowerShell offer the same flexibility and utility of the Unix pipe? I'd never thought of taking the time to learn it until reading this post.

ericbb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not big on IDEs either but how can you dislike revision control?
gobengo 3 days ago 0 replies      
What a great writeup by an experience programmer.
nanoscopic 2 days ago 0 replies      
This person may be "important", but a lot of the comments about languages seem to be borderline flamebait. Also, the mention of -many- languages, but the deliberate lack of any mention of Perl seems odd to me. I really dislike PHP myself, but there is no need to bash it.
dexcs 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish i had the time to learn that much languages and spend couple of years per language... I think the problem today is that we try to learn 3 or more at the same time what often results in bad code....
3pt14159 3 days ago 10 replies      
To me, this list is great except for one small thing.

    - C
- Prolog
- Erlang
- Smalltalk
- Javascript
- Hakell / ML /OCaml
- LISP/Scheme/Clojure

Javascript?! Over Ruby or Python or Lua? What is it with people liking Javascript. I really don't get it. What can I do that is so beautiful or mindbending that I can't do in python?

From my experience there is only two reasons to learn Javascript: to be able to build web applications, or to write document store queries (MongoDB or Riak, although in Riak you can also use Erlang). Otherwise I just don't see what the big deal is.

Aaron's Army resource.org
428 points by mikeleeorg  2 days ago   38 comments top 10
thinkcomp 2 days ago 4 replies      
Carl really is an amazing person.

If you haven't seen it already, please participate in Operation Asymptote, and tell others to as well:


I'd like to have every U.S. Attorney's full case history on PlainSite by March 31, 2013. I paid for Ortiz [1] and Heymann [2]. There are a lot more.

[1] http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/attorney.html?id=69049&#...

[2] http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/attorney.html?id=73864&#...

Also, help us with extending RECAP:


rsingel 2 days ago 1 reply      
For those unfamiliar with Carl Malamud, he's a national treasure cataloging and open-sourcing the nation's legal codes, government videos, legal filings and other public documents.

He had Aaron's back many times, including when the FBI was investigating the Pacer liberation. If you want to support the kind of work that Aaron believed in, resource.org takes donations in many denominations.

will_brown 2 days ago 0 replies      
In all humility I did not know who Carl Malamud was before reading this post and the comments, and still I had to look him up. As a former corporate attorney I used the SEC's EDGAR database regularly never realizing that if it were not for one persons efforts that system would not exist. But what speaks to me even more is his current effort with law.gov to bring online all primary legal materials (including legal codes and case law) for open public access.

It is eye opening to someone whose reality was subscriptions to westlaw and lexisnexis, that could be in the thousands of dollars, for access to case law, codes, statutes, rules and regulations (or in other words, public material). I am going to see if I can find some of his talks on YouTube, but it would be awesome to be able to interact with someone like this.

digitalengineer 2 days ago 5 replies      
A good talk, but I feel it's not smart to use the 'Army' definition, espacially because you're non-violent. You're definitely not an army, see Wikipedia: An army (from Latin "arma" “arms, weapons”) in the broadest sense is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state.

The way this 'game' is played it's not even possible to defend yourselves (by design). And with regards to you're rights, I'm reminded of George Calin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgj4ARfAqI0 from 4:23).

ebcase 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope they post the video of Carl's memorial speech somewhere online, it was passionate and inspiring! Text on a webpage conveys his message, but everyone jumped up applauding when he finished speaking tonight in SF.
javajosh 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems strange to me that Google, Amazon, or any other cloud provider hasn't partnered with a non-profit organization to secure grants for a modern, comprehensive public data repository. You might call it something like "gov.org". One requirement, of course, is to have an open process for modifying data representation. Crowd-sourced data formats, heh.

(Out of curiosity, why can't we consider the content of .gov websites to constitute this archive and simply a) petition that all public datasets be available on a .gov domain (format to be sorted later) and b) that all future datasets start out life open on .gov.)

SageRaven 2 days ago 0 replies      
From these past couple of weeks, I have picked up on the basics of the PACER incident. Is the archive out there anywhere to be found? Maybe at Wikileaks or an onion address?

How about the mass of data Aaron got from JSTOR? Surely someone else must have a copy for safe keeping.

Seems this particular subset of data deserves to be liberated. Not that the archives in their entirety do not, but since a subset is already out there, why hasn't some group released it yet?

As someone who's had to pay PACER fees for their own court concerns, I find this entire paywall mentality offensive.

wjs9889 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a wonderful tribute, I was there just now and felt so inspired.
etherealG 2 days ago 0 replies      
please can anyone upload a video stream of this?
sonergonul 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just wait us Aaron!..
Triumphant motel owner slams Carmen Ortiz bostonherald.com
404 points by hudibras  1 day ago   140 comments top 15
tokenadult 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to see the Institute for Justice,


"the nation's only libertarian, civil liberties, public interest law firm," mentioned in this story. The involvement of specialist lawyers with knowledge of civil forfeiture law probably helped the motel owner win the ruling reported in this news story.

nirvana 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've just been made aware that there is evidence that someone has been trying to steal property worth more than $1M!

We need a prosecutor to draw up charges...oh, wait.

Who prosecutes the prosecutors?

xanados 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is pure evil, and morally worse in my opinion than going after Swartz. At least he almost certainly actually violated a law. Trying to fill government coffers by seizing the assets of innocent bystanders is ridiculous.
arbuge 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great to see Ortiz's office crash and burn, but innocent taxpayers are also losers here. They now have to refund the defendant's legal bills - around $600k in total.
md224 1 day ago 5 replies      
Relevant comments posted by tptacek in a previous thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5084996

Leads me to question whether this case is as black-and-white as it would seem.

jonathlee 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Institute for Justice has been fighting this one for a while. I'm glad they were finally able to get the judge to see what was going on.

(Full disclosure: I am a supporter of IJ.)

rshm 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Caswell estimates the U.S. government will have to pay at least $600,000 toward his defense fees.". What a waste of taxpayer's money.
scoot 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Caswell estimates the U.S. government will have to pay at least $600,000 toward his defense fees."

I can't help but think that whoever made the decision to bring this frivolous case to trial should pay the fees.

pakitan 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can anyone clarify why is he expecting to be paid $600K for his legal fees? I thought that in US the party which lost the case is not obligated to cover the legal fees of the winner. Which is one of the things that makes patent trolls thrive.
zafka 1 day ago 0 replies      
This brings a smile to my face.
EvanAnderson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anybody else find the photo of the motel owner a little jarring? It's something about the lens distortion, I think, that makes me see him as a cardboard stand-up when I just glance at the picture.
youngerdryas 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope she still runs for office so we can have protests at every event.
zachinglis 1 day ago 0 replies      
So my question… with all these posts we're seeing and complains, is there an official investigation that we know of? I know there's a petition and it seems to have passed but I was curious as to what was going on.
robot 1 day ago 2 replies      
A ton of writing that fails to clearly describe what the conflict is all about.
alpb 1 day ago 1 reply      
The story writes as "The innkeeper's complaint follows the suicide of hacker Aaron Swartz" and it is inevitable that average Joe will think that aaronsw hacked people's bank accounts &c.
OXO, Crooks and Robbers? oxo.com
366 points by mikeleeorg  1 day ago   76 comments top 19
danielamitay 1 day ago 2 replies      
Aside from the "Some important lessons" section (which seemed very patronizing, although OXO seems to be in the right here considering the expired patent aspect), it seems that OXO handled themselves pretty well. It pointed out Quirky's side of things, and then presented their own side. With quite a bit of citation where appropriate.

Quirky[1] went straight for the "justice" aspect in their post without presenting much info or even a cursory discussion of related patents.

[1] http://www.quirky.com/blog/post/2013/01/rise-up-quirky-seeks...

MartinCron 1 day ago 6 replies      
Digging deeper into the "protest" linked from the OXO site:

And the whole thing feels cheap and desperate. I like the idea of being scrappy and unorthodox, but one corporate entity protesting another? It just smells terrible.

krschultz 16 hours ago 2 replies      
OXO has ~100 people. The parent company has a market cap of 1.6B (including Pur water filters and a few other brands). Quirky has ~80 people and $91 million in VC funding. Assuming Quirky is operating under the normal VC rules, they want to soon be a billion dollar company - larger than OXO.

I find it strange that Quirky is playing up the "david vs goliath" angle. If you've been in both of their offices, Quirky actually feels like they have more money.

More importantly, if Quirky wants to be a billion dollar company, they are going to have to do something a whole lot more innovative than a better dust pan.

mikegirouard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't care about the rivalry between two companies producing similar products... but this line really hit me hard:

> Ideas are limitless and patents expire for a reason: to encourage competition, innovation, and the evolution of new ideas that ultimately benefit the end user. If patents never expired, we would have only one car company, and the cars they develop would likely not be readily available and affordable to so many people all over the world. Imagine that.

Good show.

jrockway 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been in the tech industry for too long. The first few times, I read "Quirky" as "Quirk.ly".

That said, this sounds insane to me. Why would you spend money going to war with a competitor over such a trivial matter? ("OXO copied a patent that we also copied. Help, help, I'm being repressed.") Only to lose in the end? I don't get it.

One other observation: excellent application of Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

philwelch 1 day ago 3 replies      
OXO is one of my favorite companies. They seem to have the same quirky creative culture as much of the tech industry, except maybe even friendlier, plus a great design philosophy.



rickdale 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had the pleasure of meeting the father son team that started OXO a few years back. Their story is very interesting, they started out redesigning the carrot peeler, and look where they are today.

Side note: I ordered a bunch of stuff from quirky the first time I saw the site and almost all the the stuff I got is really complete crap.

MartinCron 1 day ago 0 replies      
This makes me adore OXO even more than I did before. Very human response.
fruchtose 1 day ago 1 reply      
I found the Broom Groomer on Quirky's site [1], and what do you know?--the product description says, Patent pending. Well, that must mean there's a patent application in the USPTO system! Sure enough, Quirky's patent application, dated September 7, 2011 (provisionally filed April 18), titled Waste receptacle [2]. Bill Ward is one of the inventors. I am not qualified to judge this patent against the one mentioned by OXO, so I invite others to compare the two.

[1] http://www.quirky.com/products/36-Broom-Groomer-Broom-Cleani...

[2] http://www.google.com/patents/US20120260453

jtchang 1 day ago 2 replies      
I freaking love OXO products. Why? When you browse the kitchen utensil aisle at target you have a choice:

Do you go for the cheap ass $1 dishbrush or do you splurge and get the awesome OXO brush? Time and again I think OXO does a great job at delivering a quality product that puts up to all the crappy abuse I dish out.

Most large corporations wouldn't even bother with an article like this. OXO is simply trying to stay true to their roots. I respect that.

kemiller 23 hours ago 1 reply      
This seems pretty obviously a calculated publicity stunt. And it worked. I'd certainly never heard of Quirky before. Now I know not only who they are but that they stake their brand on protecting small inventors. That message will probably outlast any remembrance that they essentially smeared a beloved company. From that point of view, I say congratulations.

But OXO handled it brilliantly and turned it into a PR coup of their own.

misleading_name 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love that fact that the other company was actually recycling an idea from 1919 and thinking they were onto something new.
tomerv 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's impossible for us to know all the facts of this dispute, but from the outside it looks like a childish move on Quirky's part, and a mature response from OXO.
onemorepassword 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems to be the both OXO and Quirky are acting in good faith here, and Quirky just went completely of the reservation instead of even considering they may be wrong. I can understand how this could happen, for instance if OXO's initially didn't take Quirky's case seriously enough to give it a decent response like they're doing now.

The ball is in Quirky's court now. If they have any shred of decency they will at the very least admit that they completely overreacted and that the case is more complicated than they claimed.

I don't expect that though. There is something horribly "off" about the lame way Quirky dressed up a PR stunt like genuine protest, the kind of people that do that are not the kind that are likely to admit mistakes.

JohnBooty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. A direct response with just the right amount of "snark" that's backed up by generous citation.

It's slightly juvenile, but you know what? Quirky swung first; they don't get to complain when somebody swings back.

Kudos to Oxo.

cedricd 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's a shame that Quirky would take to the streets like that. It comes off as childish and combative rather than as scrappy and willing to go to bat for their inventors.
eagsalazar2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quirky got served. Must be shameful to work there this morning.
nnnnni 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The Quirky CEO was on Jay Leno's show last night. Interesting.
jfarmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good marketing by everyone involved, honestly. Everyone wins!
An Amaz-ing Resume phildub.com
315 points by Gmo  3 days ago   110 comments top 44
zacharyvoase 3 days ago 11 replies      
One concern is this, in the footer:

> This website was made in Jan 2013 by Philippe Dubost for the sole purpose of a playful and creative job search. No copyright infrigement intended.

"No copyright infringement intended" is not a thing. Also, right below that it then says:

> © 2013, Philippe Dubost

Seems a bit strange to me.

ghc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hey, wait a minute! Where's the "Customers who viewed this also viewed" section? I want to know what my options are.
quarterto 3 days ago 2 replies      
My first thought was he'd managed to somehow list himself on Amazon. Now that would be impressive.
viraptor 3 days ago 2 replies      
As much as I like the new idea, I find it really hard to read. It's not that this page itself is bad - I have problems to find reasonable information on a typical Amazon page and his resume just reflects the same: lots of referals to other products and lots of noise. The typography is also very poor / hard to read unfortunately.

So - great idea... but I don't think it's going to be a success apart from creating a lot of social noise at the beginning.

carlob 3 days ago 0 replies      
Neat! However, here is some (hopefully helpful) criticism:

The stars bar chart bothers me because of its inconsistency, first it says 5 previous positions, and then you have 233 reviews, but the average is not quite 5/5.

You need to proofread this better. I have found a 'resent' in place of 'recent' and in the same section I'm not sure that 'Main Skills Rank' is the right title.

Other than that, very very nice idea and good luck!

wldlyinaccurate 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's certainly an original and clever idea, but I don't think it makes the resume any more effective. In fact, I think being designed like an Amazon product page makes the resume less effective simply because most people have trained themselves to ignore much of what is displayed on an Amazon product page.
scrumper 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent piece of whimsy. Good luck with it. I particularly enjoyed the rather brutal alert box when I clicked on "Add to wedding registry" :
GotAnyMegadeth 3 days ago 4 replies      
"16% of reviews have 1 stars" ...
jmspring 2 days ago 2 replies      
So, Phil uses Amazon's design as a spoof for a resume. Aside from the is it copyright or not discussion, I am curios how this differs greatly from people leveraging the svbtle theme?

Every time someone does that, multiple people pop their heads up and talk about blatant ripoff (even when credit is given).

Sure, we have Amazon as e-commerce and this is a resume, where the other case are both essentially blogs. But, you have two cases of people using the design of someone (or something) else for their own purposes.

And, the argument that "people using the svbtle theme are trying to leverage the popularity of svbtle.com to gain legitimacy" is likely the minority. Most people like it for it's cleanliness/simplicity.

epsylon 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lucky you, you met Jamy Gourmaud ! My passion for science is largely due to C'est pas sorcier...
jblock 3 days ago 0 replies      
It can't be cool to be hotlinking these resources straight from Amazon.
kentwistle 3 days ago 1 reply      
The 5 out of 5 stars (233) link sends you to Amazon "Mr. Coffee ECMP50" page. This is very confusing.

I think the idea is novel.

mathattack 3 days ago 2 replies      
I have to say, this shows a lot of skills in web development. It's creative, even if the look and feel were borrowed from Amazon. This shows someone who can make something that "Looks like this..."

If only I was hiring...

hartator 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't like that. I don't want to be the asshole, but here it is :

1- No direct mention to Amazon, Really man? Not even a thanks? Not event saying if you are a fan boy (I am!)?

2- Spelling isn't a big deal, but in a resume, seriously?

3- Not humble at all, ie "...and maybe some creativity, who knows... ;-)" I don't want to hire or to work with someone who likes the smell of his own farts.

4- Finally, an Add on your resume... And no amazon doesn't put adsense on their pages... If you want to make some money that's okay, but just say it! Why lying? ... Epic Fail.

TomGullen 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love it, but there's a good chance Amazon will be contacting you to take this down at some point.
esharef 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hmm, as a recruiter who looks at hundreds of resumes a day, this kind of non-standard resume really annoys me. Just tell me who you are and what you do. Do so clearly and succinctly.
davidradcliffe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very clever. Had to check the URL after I arrived to see what was going on.

Doesn't have to be the most readable format since he has the same information in other places.

eksith 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't trust products that don't show the negative reviews :/
jonemo 3 days ago 0 replies      
For a second I thought someone had posted their resume as an eBook on Amazon.com and then used the product description options Amazon gives "publishers" very creatively.

Since it turns out that this is not what this is, I might do it, post a link on Hackernews, get lots of eyeballs that way, and subsequently receive a super-awesome job offer. Assuming the latter is also phildub's intention: Good luck!

tudorizer 3 days ago 0 replies      
He got me. I had to double-check the URL
simba-hiiipower 3 days ago 0 replies      
pretty cool. took me a second of trying to click around, and a look at the url, to realize it was fake.

somewhat disapointed; was much more impressed when i thought it was an actual amazon product listing..

khangtoh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wonder if amazon prime works here.
gluemonkey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Indeed Amaz-ing work here Philippe; I'm impressed. I don't understand all of this copyright negativity. Perhaps I'm just naive in these matters, but so what if Amazon shoots you a cease and desist - BONUS! How great would that be for a follow-up blog post?
dcuthbertson 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is really fun. I'm smiling and it made my morning. Well done! :)
davedx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Long trail -> long tail, I think?
so898 3 days ago 0 replies      
I do not think HR will like this resume... However, if bosses find this, they will be absolutely interesting in this resume. Whatever, good luck mate.
khangtoh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wonder if amazon prime works with here.
jeffmess 3 days ago 1 reply      
Where is the painful Amazon checkout process?
efdee 3 days ago 0 replies      
37 people only gave you one star? Why? ;-)
suyash 2 days ago 0 replies      
@phildub You should take it down, before Amazon sue your ass! IMO Unoriginal but creative
sonabinu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great work ! Enjoy the fresh approach.
varunkho 3 days ago 0 replies      
does somebody have a coupon to avail the discount. I'd need 99.9 percent discount :-).
mattdennewitz 2 days ago 0 replies      
this is great, but the arrow points from "p" to "u". that stinks.
mxuribe 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is such a clever resume! Great job! Cheers phildub!!
justplay 2 days ago 0 replies      
first i though it was Amazon website , after clicking i saw url which is different .
Really seeing 294+ upvotes in hackernews i can phished .
pknerd 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can't AMazon grab his neck?
ssha 3 days ago 0 replies      
"SEO > Most resent best practices"? Is that new?
dragos2 3 days ago 0 replies      
The only thing I get from this resume is that Philippe Dubost (the author) is selling himself like a product.
Why would you want that?
shaaaaawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazon should hire this guy
rschmitty 3 days ago 0 replies      
Taxes kill the deal
anujmehta 3 days ago 0 replies      
ozirus 3 days ago 0 replies      
I choose simplicity, thank you.
antoniuschan99 3 days ago 0 replies      
oh this is cool!
JosephRedfern 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seriously, you'd rather go shopping? Ouch.
Valve Pushes Out Half-Life For Linux phoronix.com
314 points by pook1e  2 days ago   155 comments top 15
Breakthrough 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is so amazing, but I'm really hoping that they release a way for mod developers to recompile their mods to work... Do they have the multiplayer aspects working?

Obligatory plug for my favourite HL1 mod:

Edit: Yep, sure enough HL1 shows up in the Steam Linux CDR (http://cdr.xpaw.ru/linux/), and interestingly enough, so does Counter-Strike - albeit with the message "Not Marked for Linux"...

Camillo 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nowadays, you might want to play Black Mesa instead: http://www.blackmesasource.com

It's officially just for Windows, but it runs fine in Wine.

daenz 2 days ago 5 replies      
I read this as a hint/signal that Half-Life 3 may be available on Linux as well.
failrate 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would tickle me if they released HL3 on Linux first. That might drive quite a bit of Linux adoption.
bitwize 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's great but... where were you 15 years ago, Valve? I was trying to keep Windows 98 taped together to run HL...
shmerl 2 days ago 2 replies      
Where can one buy the DRM free version?
wylie 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does this mean anything for Half-Life on a Mac?
rangibaby 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes! Counter-Strike next please.
ysangkok 2 days ago 1 reply      
A couple of problems/solutions for problems I encountered using Ubuntu 12.04:

* It will crash right after start using NVIDIA drivers 310.19. Upgrade to the latest, I used 310.32.

* It does not work with plain ALSA, I only get sound after starting PulseAudio.

ekianjo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now I hope they release HL2 and Portal next :)
taitems 2 days ago 2 replies      
So, stating the obvious, this was only done because the Steam Box will run on a Linux variant, right?
kunai 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, this is great, especially since I'm a Linux user. Now if only Adobe would port CS6 over to Linux...
jiggy2011 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shame that HL1 looks like absolute ass @ 16:9
thefreeman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Please dota 2 next!
nib952051 2 days ago 0 replies      
They made my weekend
A note from Keith keithrabois.tumblr.com
307 points by kevingibbon  1 day ago   155 comments top 24
danilocampos 1 day ago 6 replies      
What an impossible position.

On the one hand " work has become such a big part of our lives. If we make it impossible for romance and work to co-exist, that reduces a lot of surface area for finding long-term romantic partners.

On the other " at a certain level of authority and prominence, you just shouldn't have sex with someone you're working with. There's too much that can go wrong. This is the nightmare scenario for at least one of the parties, though we don't know for sure yet who it is.

But even if things don't shit the bed quite this bad, you're just asking for awkwardness and trouble in most cases.


run4yourlives 1 day ago 3 replies      
Several months after our relationship began, I recommended that he interview at Square.

I don't know Keith, anyone at his company, this story or have any opinion on who did or didn't do what to whom.

I will just say this: The quote above, regardless of who says it when, is perhaps the worst business decision a person could ever make. Full Stop.

Please, don't do this. Especially if you are the boss.

jjb123 1 day ago 6 replies      
Am I the only one that was confused about that last line of "already working on something new and hope to announce that in February"...

He's gone through something as traumatic as a lawsuit, a resignation, potential for trial, potential embarrassment of family, friends, colleagues all in the last two weeks... And his sign-off is that he has, in the midst of it all, already begun to work on a new startup?

jacalata 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's interesting that he says Square had no knowledge of the relationship until the lawsuit. I've heard of companies requiring that you tell HR if you are in a relationship with another employee- seems that level of disclosure would be very smart for someone at the top of the company, at least.
abraininavat 1 day ago 6 replies      
To those of you who immediately believe the tumblr and therefore condemn the accuser as a liar: On what basis do you make your judgment? Do you:

1. Know Keith or the accuser personally, and therefore have the capacity to make an educated guess as to the veracity of the claims?

2. Believe that rich people, well known people, or people with blogs don't have the capacity to do what Keith is accused of doing?

3. Believe the first side of the story you hear in any given situation?

If neither 1, 2, nor 3 is the case, I urge you to not jump to conclusions. There's a human being on the other side of the story.

ucpete 1 day ago 6 replies      
Interesting to read his note after this infamous story:


kogir 1 day ago 2 replies      
Proof of authenticity?

Anyone could have registered that tumblr, and it has no other content.

Please leave tabloid gossip to the tabloids until real information is available - and then leave it off HN.

zaidf 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the general accepted idea that the victim of said offenses should remain anonymous while the accused is outed is very sad and makes little sense. It makes the whole "innocent until proven guilty" idea a joke given the ample data that show permanent damage that mere accusation can cause even if you are proven innocent later.
SeoxyS 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been refusing to recommend my otherwise perfect-fit girlfriend for a position at my company for precisely this reason. You never know what might happen; and while I love her, I know it's best to keep professional and personal lives apart. You don't shit where you eat. It might sound cliché, but there's truth to it.
Benoit_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand your reactions. Maybe because I am not from the US.

People say: you should NOT hire your partner.

So, you should NOT hire friends?
So, you should NOT hire people you like?
So, you should NOT hire people for who you have any opinion?
So, you should NOT have any hobbies other employees can have?

Our decisions are obviously biased by our feelings, and it's normal, we want people reliable, people we can trust! What's wrong with that?

In some cases, we want objective decisions. In these cases, you should just recognize your incapacity to be unbiased and let other people take the decision.

When I read the blog post, Keith didn't seem to have faced a such case, so non-disclosed his relationship seemed to have been the best decision to avoid to influence other people decisions.

It's common to meet the "love of our life" where we work, I don't understand why it should be forbidden to those who have a management role.

jmcgough 1 day ago 0 replies      
from Square:

“The first we heard of any of these allegations was when we received the threat of a lawsuit two weeks ago. We took these allegations very seriously and we immediately launched a full investigation to ascertain the facts. While we have not found evidence to support any claims, Keith exercised poor judgment that ultimately undermined his ability to remain an effective leader at Square. We accepted his resignation.”

VMG 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good PR move to write a preemptive blog post.

Everybody seems to be on his side without having the details.

rdl 1 day ago 0 replies      
OMG, that is so fucked up. I can't imagine what Keith is feeling right now. I am sure this will get resolved as well as possible, but even if everything is dropped, it's a huge distraction for him.

Keith is an excellent human being and I am confident he acted appropriately (with the exception of being too trusting of this guy, and recommending him for Square, which was probably a mistake, but not a malicious act, rather an overly-generous act).

I am confident I would react much more poorly in this situation.

jusben1369 1 day ago 0 replies      
It feels like there are several more shoes to drop still so probably best to hold off too many conclusive judgement calls.
someoneannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was in my very early 20s I had a very bad false accusation made against me. It was the most awful time of my life, an ex who had issues and needed better support than I was able to give made the decision to go to the police with a made up story. I was interviewed and spent the next two weeks on a knife edge but ultimately everything was okay. I was very angry with her for such a long time but now now realise that it wasn't her falt and that the illness she suffered from was to blame.

If he is in the same situation that I was in, I can only feel sorry for both parties as it is such a terrible thing to happen.

(posting annonamusly for obvious reasons)

d0m 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it considered illegal to have a relationship with someone working at the same company?
mbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am wildly confused.

Who is bringing this lawsuit?

The person he had the relationship with?

If not, who else and why/how would they have any grounds to do so?

EDIT: It appears the relationship ended in December (http://allthingsd.com/20130125/exclusive-interview-keith-rab...).

I guess that that opens up the options for who was possibly behind it and what the possible motivation was.

kiskis 1 day ago 1 reply      
offtopic, and i'm not a native english speaker, but he refers to his partner as "he and his". does this mean that it's a gay relationship?
mwetzler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone explain why Keith leaving the company absolves Square of a potential lawsuit? If the company actually did something illegal, isn't the damage already done and still punishable? Seems there are quite a few missing pieces to this story. In any case it's a shame for all involved.
selectout 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad to see things like this happen, but I can't wait to see what he is able to come up with and bring to the world next. He has done amazing jobs in his previous roles and I am excited to see what he brings next from the PayPal Mafia.
AlexeyBrin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've learned a similar lesson the hard way ten years ago. However, in my case there was no lawsuit involved.
late2part 1 day ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one that think Square sucks for not standing by their COO against this action that looks like blackmail?

His judgement was bad? Enough to fire him over?

Or this another case of a corporation putting overly politically correct perception and avoidance of risk beyond taking care of their own?

If you believe Mr. Rabois' story, he did nothing wrong, and the allegations are baseless.

So, why is Square peeved enough to let him go? I don't believe for an instance that Mr. Rabois is leaving out of altruistic ideals for Square.

buf 1 day ago 2 replies      
Saddest news I've read all day. Sex happens. Why ruin someone for this?
j98h 1 day ago 1 reply      
what this mean "user like this"?? reading the dramatic situation and then view a lots of "user like this". They make me have a little smile, sorry.
Show HN: Vinepeek - watch the world in realtime in 6 second snippets vinepeek.com
269 points by jalada  1 day ago   118 comments top 63
citricsquid 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is seriously fantastic. I saw Vine yesterday and thought it was a cool concept but didn't try it, after watching this I've downloaded the app and shared it with a bunch of friends and they're now downloading the app too! Such a simple and brilliant idea, Vine should add this to their homepage.

edit: I've now been watching this for 40 minutes... why are the banal acts of ordinary people so interesting?! Maybe it's the promise of a brand new thing in 6 seconds that keeps me watching.

danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
One suggestion: below the fold, show a list of the last 5 vines, just in case I want to rewatch or bookmark them, because I envision myself just sitting back and occasionally jumping to the keyboard/mouse when something really interesting comes up and then disappears
will_brown 22 hours ago 11 replies      
Ah...the results of the race to be the "Instagram of Video".

Vine is no different than any number of recent video sharing apps. Vine does nothing new but sets new arbitrary time limits on the videos they support. Just like the others Vine will try to convince you that through focus groups they have found "3 second" videos will revolutionize video sharing and discovery, but this is nothing new.


Threadlife: Supports 3 second videos
Viddy: Supports 15 second videos
Animoto: Supports 30 second videos
Klip: Supports 60 second videos

now Vine and its 6 second videos.

I am left wondering, what problem do all these video sharing apps think they are solving by setting arbitrary video time limits? Short videos might increase likelihood a user will sit through a whole video, but contrary to what these apps want you to believe they are not improving content quality through these arbitrary time limits. Further, time limits do not help users discovery quality content, so what problem have any of these apps solved?

The company that is dubbed the "Instagram of video" in the media is going to do the same thing Instagram did, improve content sharing and discovery. Of course, I hope my start up is that company, but even if not I think it is safe to say the company who deserves this title will not get it for setting video time limits as a result of focus groups.

Disclosure: I founded my own video sharing website with the goal to address the current problems with video sharing and discovery. I have done this by making Google Earth the UI for discovery of video content.

damncabbage 1 day ago 1 reply      
YouTube for the Attention-Deficit Generation?

I unfortunately find watching these jumpy snippets jarring. I can see the appeal for getting tiny slices of someone's day, but I'm finding it hard to enjoy it.

muratmutlu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Left this on my second monitor while I work, so mesmerising . I didn't think Vine would be this interesting when I first heard about it.

Maybe they've found mobile videos sweet spot?

ahoyhere 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Such fun to watch these lil videos go by. I love seeing people doing creative stuff with it "- so many fun stop motion dealies, like this one: http://vine.co/v/b5lTOtK3ELU

Before this, my basic reaction to vine was: "Oh great, another social network." But… now I can see why it's exciting.

The potential here for the cross-section of tiny slices o' life reminds me of the potential that amazed me about Twitter, which led to me designing Twistori:


waxjar 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty awesome and I can't quite explain why. It seems to have a similar quality to the things the people in /r/asmr like.

The only thing I miss is the ability to view more if I find something interesting. Perhaps this restriction is exactly why its so effective, though.

tomasien 1 day ago 0 replies      
PG has talked about how "real real life" aka Justincam type things were coming for TV. This is literally a video based channel that I'm going to come back to and watch pretty consistently if it stays active and this interesting.

Vine is clearly a big idea and vinepeek is awesome.

steveplace 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe a ranking mechanism? That way you can knock out a "bestof" section for the day, week, month and so on.

Amazing idea.

huhtenberg 1 day ago 2 replies      
There appears to be no way to enable the Flash applet when viewing the site with FlashBlock turned on. Is it under some sort of transparent overlay that doesn't pass the right clicks to the applet container?
waterlesscloud 1 day ago 1 reply      
First interesting thing I've seen in a while. It works.

Reminds me vaguely of the videos in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition.

geori 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is going to blow up. Coolest thing I've seen in quite some time. I love how there's no wait and it jumps from clip to clip.
wavesounds 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Fans of this will probably also like the movie Life in a Day (full thing available on youtube) http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeinaday
khet 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it weird that I am fascinated by the fact that people are experiencing completely different realities in different parts of the world while I am experiencing mine?
utopkara 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fantastic idea!

Broadcast TV distorts our model of the world by showing us only the extremes. Vinepeek puts normality in its proper place.

andreipop 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I find the "shift" from traditional "scripted" TV to more home made videos vert interesting. I must say that the appeal escapes me.

I don't watch a lot of TV, but personally when I do I do it because it's a way to either:
1. escape
2. become informed

I can't imagine turning this on while I have breakfast, or "for fun" on a bus commute. I see the appeal in sharing snippets of my live in video format with people that may care about the banal day-to-day things (I think this is why I like Path so much - those closest to me may actually be interested in where I went for lunch today), but I don't understand the "hours" of "brilliant entertainment" that some people seem to get out of this.

I think many people watch TV because they need to unplug from their "normal" existence. Or because they seek to see something interesting, funny, or learn something new. I watch The Daily Show because it's funny, I watch BBC because it informs me, I watch Bloomberg because I learn something new. I don't see these need being replaced by vine.

Maybe I don't get it.

wavesounds 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you add a thumbs up/down button? And show the thumbs up videos more then the thumbs down? Some videos are really cool and deserve to be seen more, while others are literally a video of someones feet. I think this is the killer feature this app needs!
speik 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is beautiful. It fulfills the promise of worldwide webcams (being able to easily peer into different parts of the world) with better quality, better interface, and mobile.

I tend to get overly moony about things like this, but I think this is one of the things that makes the Internet really great. It's a window to the world, the world seen by people not sitting at their computers but walking, talking, participating.

I really really like this, great job.

digisth 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you think the sociology of today's "visual social media" is interesting (whether or not you find it useful), I recommend watching "We Live In Public":


The art project it documents turned out to be quite prescient.

rlu 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool! I think you should include the title of this post ("watch the world in real time") somewhere in the actual webpage. That's really what got me to click.
jpxxx 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I completely adored this! Furthermore, I can't come up with any reason why the Vine datatype won't be huge. It's Motion Tumblr... it's an alloy of video and anigif... it's silent... it auto-loops... it's extraordinarily boredom resistant.
tferris 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't it be possible to always preload the following video in order to have seamless play of all videos? Now there's always a little gap.
personlurking 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm wondering if there will ever be a way to categorize it by country or subject (/wtf, /aww). Also suppose some people will do vines stringed together where they'll tell a story via several vines. Surely some art will come of this.
shawn-butler 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool minimalism. I wouldn't advise dedicating any time other than as a hobby on any twitter API though. I think we all should remember how Twitter treats independent developers who get in the way of "their" revenue.

The grammarian in me would change the statement at the bottom to "vinepeek is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by VineLabs, Inc"

lucb1e 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is this so addicting to watch? I just watched random videos for at least 20 minutes and I don't know why I like watching them. Most aren't special in any way :S
ballard 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're into new ways of watching the same minutia people post on facebook and twitter: people feeding their babies and making breakfast. Sorry, but that doesn't qualify as earth-shattering.
radicaledward 1 day ago 0 replies      
This project has really shown me what Vine is all about! Good stuff!

A "pause" button would really improve this project. Not for the video but for the transition between videos. A 5 Tweet buffer and a back button would be even better. That way, if I see a Tweet that I want to look at more closely, I can go back to it.

eflowers 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Having to constantly remind yourself that, more or less, "this is happening right now" is a surreal experience. It feels like the cheesy curated montage at the beginning of a smarmy independent film - but it's not. It's just random, unfiltered views into things people are filming all over the world.

I had no idea how many of us could connect over our love of filming coffee preparation, or cats, or traffic, or terrible attempts at stop motion. Hey look another magic trick!

Seriously though. Fascinating and, for now, quite engaging. I vote against re-wind or links to previous clips though. Keep it ephemeral and impermanent. Like real life - a moment is here, then it is gone.

10098 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Watching these made me feel disgusting. Like I'm some creep going trough other people's laundry. Closed the tab and still can't shake off this feeling.
thoughtcriminal 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You're on to something here. Leave it. I wouldn't even tweak it. Just let it go and get the word out. I honestly believe this will be huge.

Man, I love this.

thesorrow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like youtube finally have something to worry about...
bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
It reminds me of memories. Whenever I try and remember something from years ago, it comes back in snippets like this.

Sarcastically, "from the makers of twitter, information free video!"

brador 1 day ago 2 replies      
A little help please! so I have a vine link, say http://vine.co/v/b53lmWrxtQr.

How do I get the .mp4 link to the vine video itself? is there a vine api or do I hard scrape?

fascinated 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want the timeline, just https://api.vineapp.com/timelines/global you must have an authenticated vine-session-id cookie, of course
harryf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps skip videos by users who just posted one? Saw "duplicates" a few times where someone uploaded the same video more than once
eurodance 1 day ago 0 replies      
So what is it? I don't understand what making vines or a scene are, and don't want to download an app to find out.
tazzy531 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is incredibly addicting. I can sit here and watch this for hours.
matt2000 1 day ago 0 replies      
I also didn't realize that vine was making real movies with sound, thought it was just animated gifs then someone turned on a blender in a clip and I freaked out, hah.
nuttendorfer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Clicking the link I thought it would be a website covered in video tiles showing everything going on at once. That would be cool, maybe add a second page for this?
trhaynes 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great.

Quick suggestions: Put the video completely above the fold. Load in the next one (video and description) behind, then fade between them. The transition is a little jerky right now.

jwarren 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lovely. I installed Vine and created one (http://vine.co/v/b5LHKjOEbX2) simply to see it on there. It didn't disappoint.
tferris 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Vinepeek makes Vine just perfect. I see thousands of great shortmovies coming.

Vine is the first who does the 'Instagram for video' right.

jyothi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Supporting a retweet or reply would be fantastic. Gives some kind of virality and sense of community for the vine yard :)
CamperBob2 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Transcode it out of Flash on the fly and you'll really have something!
looki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just like watching TV, except you don't even have to press to see the next channel. Also, no ads, no reruns. Great.
matt2000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Vine is great, and this is a really cool look into it. Mesmerizing.
lukethomas 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I downloaded Vine a few hours ago - it's addicting. My personal favorite is viewing the #howto section.
loceng 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow. I didn't think 6 seconds would really be long enough but this is definitely forcing people to curate and be creative.

And cats.

nbashaw 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This should totally be named "Grapevine"
dimensionmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Generally speaking, how was this done? Backend scripting or javascript? Not asking for code, but in plain-talk i would love duplicate the concept for a conference site i'm building.
seferphier 1 day ago 0 replies      
pretty fun to watch. it takes a while to load the videos on my iphone even though i had wifi connection. Lightt delivers a much smoother experience and has a much more interesting interface since other videos load right away. The sound and the video recording experience really separate Vine from Lightt.

I would recommend telling the user to enable sounds their phones to use Vine. I keep my iPhone on vibration all the time, did not realize Vine videos had sound to it until I saw this link.

jeffehobbs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very cool! Nice use of the Twitter API for sure.

So many cats.

gailees 8 hours ago 0 replies      
this shit is wayyy too fucking cool....next snapchat!
fractalsea 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Needs a loading image/animation between videos.

Pretty addictive though.

projecteternity 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Try putting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvGRi_7DCiA on in the background while you watch.
brotchie 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow, surreal. Vine = immediately broadcast 6 second .gifs?

My brain doesn't really want to accept that these snippets are live.

jcomis 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Great work. Honestly didn't think much of vine until viewing them this way.
alperakgun 18 hours ago 0 replies      
can't see any video, on firefox/linux - no flash.
hnriot 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's good to see yet another outlet for cat videos. Just what the world needs.
oliao 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's take the level of nonsense on the internet to a new level!
jpsierens 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any plans for an Android version?
sever 1 day ago 0 replies      
wildranter 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The best answer to this is... Who cares anyway?

PS: In the end if this proves to be something user FB will buy it and then we'll have a change in the user terms, and... You get e idea.

Alan Cox leaves Linux and Intel plus.google.com
239 points by aurelianito  3 days ago   33 comments top 14
antirez 3 days ago 0 replies      
No one inspired me to learn to code more than AC, have a good time with your family and thanks for everything.
necrodome 3 days ago 2 replies      
I liked it how his profile image[1] is a QR code for his site[2] and also resembles him.[3]

[1] https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DGzr5UFEIXM/AAAAAAAAAAI/A...

[2] http://goo.gl/BhXmc

[3] http://goo.gl/w5HNx

ditoa 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thank you for all your time and hard work Alan. I hope we see you back some time in the future. Enjoy your extra family time :)
mcmatterson 3 days ago 2 replies      
Back in the (2.1.x) day it seemed like I was running ac kernels more often than not. Nowadays though, I've been away from the kernel world for so long that I don't even know how big of a deal this is. Anyone care to chime in?
4ad 3 days ago 1 reply      
"for a bit" lacking in the title makes all the difference.
pflats 3 days ago 0 replies      
In case anyone gets confused between the two like I sometimes do, Alan Cox (Linux Kernel hacker) is not Russ Cox (Go language & Plan 9 from User Space hacker).
nathanstitt 3 days ago 0 replies      
A huge thank you to Alan for all his work over the years. Like quite a few others who ran linux back in the old 2.2/2.4 days, the -ac kernels where the place to be.

I'm reminded of the Derek Silvers article (http://sivers.org/ff) on the importance of the second guy to a movement.

While I know that Alan wasn't the actual second developer to participate in Linux, he sure seemed that way to me and quite a few others. His work was as the "gatherer of patches" in the pre-bitkeeper days was unparalleled. I don't think Linux could have prospered without his assistance.

kylemaxwell 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very sorry to hear this and I genuinely hope that the canonical neckbeard's family situation improves.
mahmud 2 days ago 0 replies      
Alan left Linux for a few years before, to do his MBA, and he came back :-)


erre 3 days ago 3 replies      
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5103271 :)

edit: I didn't mean to post this for karma or hard feelings; see my reply to daeken at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5109903 :)

mtdewcmu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Linus's asshole-ness is probably key to Linux's success. He ought to be considered the world's leading expert on running an open source project, after all.

I remember running your patched kernels circa 2000. Thanks for your hard work.

sandeepshetty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why do people direct comments at AC assuming he will read them here? Isn't that a little self-centered? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to leave such comments at the original post?
known 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant guy.
linpythio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for your great work for linux and open source software,Alan Cox.
Google has indexed thousands of publicly accessible HP printers port3000.co.uk
231 points by skattyadz  1 day ago   140 comments top 35
cs702 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've written about this before.[1] Many network-connected printers simply assume that the local network they connect to will be securely protected from external threats, so they're not configured to withstand even the simplest of attacks. This is exactly the opposite of what many security experts recommend: devices should be secure regardless of whether the network they're on is secure or not.

Bruce Schneier's personal WiFi network at home is fully open, because -- in his own words: "If I configure my computer to be secure regardless of the network it's on, then it simply doesn't matter. And if my computer isn't secure on a public network, securing my own network isn't going to reduce my risk very much."[2]

I'm waiting for the great network printer security apocalypse...


I ran a quick nmap command (nmap -T4 -A -v -PE [IP address]) on a few of the many printers indexed by Google, and here's a typical result, showing tons of open ports and passwordless login options (I've deleted the hostname and IP address to protect the innocent):

  Starting Nmap 5.21 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2013-01-25 12:15 EST
NSE: Loaded 36 scripts for scanning.
Initiating Ping Scan at 12:15
Scanning XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX [1 port]
Completed Ping Scan at 12:15, 0.10s elapsed (1 total hosts)
Initiating Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 12:15
Completed Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 12:15, 0.14s elapsed
Initiating Connect Scan at 12:15
Scanning [HOSTNAME] (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX) [1000 ports]
Discovered open port 23/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Discovered open port 21/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Discovered open port 443/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Discovered open port 80/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Increasing send delay for XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX from 0 to 5 due to max_successful_tryno increase to 5
Increasing send delay for XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX from 5 to 10 due to max_successful_tryno increase to 6
Warning: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX giving up on port because retransmission cap hit (6).
Discovered open port 14000/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Discovered open port 631/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Discovered open port 280/tcp on XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Completed Connect Scan at 12:15, 37.26s elapsed (1000 total ports)
Initiating Service scan at 12:15
Scanning 7 services on [HOSTNAME] (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX)
Completed Service scan at 12:16, 13.09s elapsed (7 services on 1 host)
NSE: Script scanning XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.
NSE: Starting runlevel 1 (of 1) scan.
Initiating NSE at 12:16
Completed NSE at 12:16, 3.57s elapsed
NSE: Script Scanning completed.
Nmap scan report for [HOSTNAME] (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX)
Host is up (0.11s latency).
Not shown: 978 closed ports
21/tcp open ftp HP LaserJet P4014 printer ftpd
|_ftp-anon: Anonymous FTP login allowed
23/tcp open telnet HP JetDirect telnetd
25/tcp filtered smtp
80/tcp open http HP-ChaiSOE 1.0 (HP LaserJet http config)
| html-title: hp LaserJet 9050
|_Requested resource was http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/hp/device/this.LCDispatcher
111/tcp filtered rpcbind
135/tcp filtered msrpc
139/tcp filtered netbios-ssn
280/tcp open http HP-ChaiSOE 1.0 (HP LaserJet http config)
| html-title: hp LaserJet 9050
|_Requested resource was http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/hp/device/this.LCDispatcher
443/tcp open ssl/http HP-ChaiSOE 1.0 (HP LaserJet http config)
| html-title: hp LaserJet 9050
|_Requested resource was http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/hp/device/this.LCDispatcher
445/tcp filtered microsoft-ds
515/tcp filtered printer
631/tcp open http HP-ChaiSOE 1.0 (HP LaserJet http config)
| html-title: hp LaserJet 9050
|_Requested resource was http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/hp/device/this.LCDispatcher
1433/tcp filtered ms-sql-s
1720/tcp filtered H.323/Q.931
3168/tcp filtered unknown
4550/tcp filtered unknown
6000/tcp filtered X11
6112/tcp filtered dtspc
8654/tcp filtered unknown
9100/tcp filtered jetdirect
14000/tcp open tcpwrapped
19315/tcp filtered unknown
Service Info: Device: printer


[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4412714

[2] http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/01/my_open_wirele...

joering2 1 day ago 5 replies      
Idea for startup.

1. write a script to scrap google links to HP admin panel

2. filter out the IPs that are from US (given you want to work on US market)

3. assemble the list of printer types and current toner levels.

4. write a script that will print to each of those printers a one single page, stating your company "Cheapo Suppliers Inc" was notified that "your printer is low on toner. Call xxxxxx to re-fill. Lowest prices quaranteed within one day delivery!". You can add link to your shop page that already redirects user to specific type of printer they have, some type of one-click order (based on which toners are low).

5. daily rinse repeat.

6. sell your business to HP (at least try to).

modernerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some of the IPs are registered to large US universities, who list abuse/tech support email addresses in their records. I've already emailed several with a headsup and had a couple of "thank you!"s in reply.
mrj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Worse than printing somewhere remote, many of those are probably also scanners. If the original is left on the glass (I forget it all the time), an attacker could scan it remotely.
kabdib 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wrote a scriptable "chooser" when I was at Apple -- it let you programmatically find and select a printer to print to.

I enumerated every printer on campus (about 900 of them at the time, I think), and came /this close/ to printing a snarky page -- a fake version of the "Five Star News" internal company news -- on each one of them. Decided not to; probably a good career move that I resisted that urge.

josh2600 1 day ago 1 reply      
So... Where's Ang Cui at?

In case you guys haven't seen it, Ang Cui is the guy who did the Cisco hack last month and he's also the guy with the coolest resume on the planet.

He actually found a way to compromise printers during the print process, so by printing his resume, he pwns your printer. This seems like a bull in the china shop situation for that code.

VMG 1 day ago 1 reply      
So is the secret service going to knock on my door if I click a link? I can't tell anymore.
achillean 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is actually one of the earliest searches that was used on the Shodan search engine! Shodan specializes in finding all devices connected to the Internet (including Telnet, SSH, FTP, SNMP etc.):


bintery 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's really nothing compared to searching for Canon ImageRunner admin pages (google lets you search for a URL by content/markers/text in the page info/name) - over on those imagerunner tech forums, people were able to bring up previous scans going back however far, and in minutes be looking at passports, medical records, college information, etc...

Maybe more disturbing is that as these things are decommissioned they are just 'junked'. Meaning sent over seas as is to be 'disposed' - anything ever copied, scanned, or sent on that thing is in there somewhere and some foreign nation is in control of MFDs that were in hospitals, law firms, architect/contractor office, police stations, and on and on and on.

The holes have been largely fixed through encryption and other techniques but only very recently - which I've been able to work around myself with forensic tools. I won't provide the link here, but if you google around you can find discussion on this topic pretty easily.

meaty 1 day ago 1 reply      
So within 24 hours, lots of people are going to find out what a goatse is I reckon.

Even better, a lot of people in the UK have Thomson routers which have an easily calculable WPA default password. Most of these also have smart tvs these days too which will allow anything to be pushed to them.

mentat 1 day ago 2 replies      
A friendly thing to do would be develop a script that took the google results, checked with whois for abuse address and sent emails. Of course that could also end up with one being sent to jail for a long time.
feefie 1 day ago 1 reply      
How can I tell if my home printer is securely protected? Is there a good web page or text book anyone can recommend that will teach me more details about this? Thanks.
bitwize 1 day ago 0 replies      
You did this from your house?

What are you, stoned or stupid?

smallegan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Those poor IT Support guys that get a call because their small business clients network is going down due to everyone hitting their printer(s) at once because they show up on the first page :-\
GBond 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you recall from the early days of google, there are plenty of indexed dark data that Google actively scrubs out of the public results. For example it was trivial at one point to find credit card numbers and social security numbers.
KwanEsq 1 day ago 3 replies      
Interestingly, if you try to browse far into the results, Google decided it actually only has 73 to display (after telling it to include ommitted similar results).
fnordfnordfnord 1 day ago 0 replies      
Time for fun. Insert Coin, PC Load Letter, etc. Good times.
jhdevos 1 day ago 3 replies      
Should we now all print documents to those printers with warnings saying that they are publicly accessible?
penguat 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, next question is how much malware is hanging around for those printers? Are all / mostly / some / none compromised?
daralthus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make sure to watch Ang Cui's demonstration on printer malware at 28c3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njVv7J2azY8
hn-miw-i 1 day ago 0 replies      
One million trees just died. The problem with some of the earlier HP printers was that they would accept unsigned firmware updates, you could literally reflash the thing with an update instruction in postscript.

Some work was done at Columbia University with developing trojanised firmware, i recall a firmware that could transmit CC# over tcp when it saw then in the print stream.

Extreme care must be taken if connecting printers to the Internet. It's at best a horrible idea and I'd say that most of these are unknown to their owners.
Hopefully this gets some MSM coverage and people address the connected printer problem forever. (not likely)

kunai 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did the Google search, and while the first page does indeed show 86K results, as soon as I navigate to the second, the number drops to 13...

Am I the only one with this problem, or did Google really not index "thousands of publicly accessible HP printers"?

tmosleyIII 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can find a lot of open machines and sensitive information using Google, this one for the HP printers was submitted to the Google Hacking Database[1] in 2004.

[1] http://www.exploit-db.com/google-dorks/

jagermo 1 day ago 0 replies      
As far as I know this problem has been around for years. If you want to dive deeper into this, i recommend you visit Shodan (http://www.shodanhq.com/)
rbchv 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use this only to test your own printers.
humanspecies 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is truly an old hack, from the days of Altavista, you can find all sorts of open devices and even file folders(I think they've censored those results now) on the internet.
FollowSteph3 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd hate to be at the top of that google search result!!
kristopolous 1 day ago 1 reply      
And bam, junk fax companies are back in business.
sandycheeks 1 day ago 0 replies      
The first thing I thought of was a course that I took decades ago that discussed using printers for covert channels to get data out of secure networks.

I wonder if any of those are honeypots. It may be interesting to see if any visitors do something clever or unexpected.

deadairspace 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. There is at least one printer on there in a US governmental department, and on one of the settings pages is a huge list of emails of employees. And now I'm probably on some kind of list.
afita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised nobody mentioned PrintFS in this thread: http://www.remote-exploit.org/articles/printfs/index.html
hippich 1 day ago 1 reply      
And again - so many wasted IPv4s...
TranceMan 1 day ago 0 replies      
>What happened to you today?

My printer got slashdotted :(

> Eh?

The Bicycle Barometer oftcc.net
229 points by gmac  2 days ago   39 comments top 11
ghc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I often feel like this is where web analytics needs to go. Ultimately, no matter how many pretty charts your product displays and fancy map reduce jobs transform the data into "intelligence", unless someone can immediately take action based on what decision the analytics tells them they need to make, it's not really "intelligence" in the thinking sense, but "intelligence" in the military sense.

In my day job, I develop software to fit a big data + intelligence niche market. No matter how many pretty charts I've been forced to make (to better sell the software to CEOs), the people who make the decisions based on the data we provide don't care about visualizations AT ALL. They want our software to tell them what to do. Period. And if the software tells them to make a bad decision that costs them money it's our fault (unless they can't execute the decision due to safety laws, which happens), no matter how many charts they could have double checked to see if the decision was sane.

Dashboards and charts are all well and good, but ultimately a simple display that unambiguously tells you what to do (like the bicycle barometer) is much more powerful.

taeric 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oddly, I feel this needs some basic machine learning thrown in. If every day you rated how good commute (and what type) was for you, it could start making the prediction based on your preferences. Possibly even with more information such as when you are looking. (e.g. Some people are ok with colder weather, or if you are running late, the option that is consistently faster will be the better choice.)
Swizec 1 day ago 4 replies      
I did something similar for my money a while ago. Takes all the data and simply tells me "You will have X amount of money in 2 weeks."

Can't live without it anymore. Just wish there was a practical way to give something like this to everyone.

lloeki 2 days ago 1 reply      
Every odd day I redesign my car's "automatic" aircon logic (i.e feedback loop on a cabin temp sensor, and a user set reference temperature) to behave in some smarter manner, based on the following premises:

- if it's 35°C outside, I sure as hell don't want a/c to loop on 20°C

- if it's -15°C outside, I sure as hell don't want a/c to loop on 20°C

So basically what I want is:

- 16°C minimum (below produces too much condensation on the windshield, and is not comfortable on long-ish commutes
- from 16°C at -10°C to 20°C at 20°C, maybe linear, maybe log, I don't know.

- and cap at 20°C max inside...

- ...but have a maximum negative delta of -5°C with the outside temperature (i.e 29°C outside means 24°C inside)

- yet with a true absolute maximum of 28°C inside

It's really not that hard and I could probably come up with a hack (has anyone plugged an Arduino into a CAN bus?) reading the inside and outside sensors, and controlling the temperature knob while reading its current setting from what the display shows, but damn, where is my car's SDK! Oh, the first world problems I have.

URSpider94 2 days ago 2 replies      
Ambient Devices, an MIT Media Lab start-up, had a beautiful product concept built around analogue gauges like this, with replaceable backplanes to show different information. Their original business model was all around representing complex information in an unobtrusive way -- an umbrella with a pommel that flashes if its going to rain today, so you notice it on the way out of the house. Sadly, they pivoted into making ugly weather boards for Brookstone ...
swanson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love, love, love this.

I've been quite interested in figuring out how to turn multiple/complex input into a single, actionable value (it is pretty damn hard!) - and this project is a great example.

jonknee 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want one of these sort of things for my bathroom mirror. I stayed in a hotel once which was close, it had a small LCD screen behind the glass that showed the current forecast (this was the elevator lobby mirror though, not in every room). Very handy.
Sumaso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome idea to aggregate information. I wonder how many daily activities could be automated in a similar fashion?

Perhaps a calorie counter suggesting meals for dinner (keeping a balanced diet and all that jazz)? Outfit suggestions based upon the weather?

maxerickson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how an actual barometer does in comparison.
josscrowcroft 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want one of these telling me when to check my email, with a heavy bias for checking as rarely as possible...
vincefutr23 1 day ago 0 replies      
thought you were talking about the tubes in the tires
Antigua Government Set to Launch “Pirate” Website To Punish United States torrentfreak.com
219 points by fraqed  2 days ago   97 comments top 16
DigitalSea 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm heating up my popcorn kernels in a large pot of oil as we speak, things are about to get very entertaining. If Antigua start a piracy website selling US copyrighted material, won't the US just ban access to the site and other countries (definitely the UK and Australia) will follow suit? Potentially resulting in free-speech and Internet rights advocacy groups (and the likes of anonymous) kicking up a massive storm of trouble?

It's obvious the bans on Internet gambling is due to the fact it's hard to regulate and it's even harder to tax and when it comes down to it, it's all about money. The US only has themselves to blame, this isn't about protecting people from addictions because lets face it if you want to gamble legally you can go to a casino and if you want drugs you can walk down to the corner and if you want booze you can go to a bottle shop or bar. What's the difference between Internet gambling and going to a casino? The government can tax non-Internet based casinos...

If it gets that far and something isn't worked out prior, this will be an interesting test of Obama's merits as a president and where he stands on things like unrestricted and free Internet access. Given the US's harsh words against China's censorship over the years, it would be pretty ironic if the US were to block such a site.

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is a great development.

Sometime, maybe 20 years from now, you are going to be able to say "I was there when everyone was figuring out copyrights and patents and stuff."

That said, its an interesting maneuver on Antigua's part. Using the WTO rules to push the conversation along. The article on Ars Technica about the Dutch not liking the attention they are getting for facilitating tax avoidance is another interesting piece of this puzzle. I could imagine a number of ways this might branch, from a 'economic zone' which is "the internet" to a outright revolt by the people and the creation of multiple 'shadow' internets.

These are the 'conversations' that I find very interesting:

"Where" is the Internet with respect to taxation and commercial commerce doctrine?

"What" is role of the economic powers in shaping that doctrine, and "who" is the economic power with the most influence? (Currently its the US but it will be China in 5 years if the trend continues)

What is the role of the nation-state in person-to-person interstate commerce? What "should" it be?

All very very interesting questions and discussions that drive a lot of action from pornography, to gambling, to software sales, to chat rooms.

tzs 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a bit confused by this. Antigua is a party to the Berne Convention, which requires them to recognize the copyright of works by authors of other Berne countries the same way it recognizes those of its own authors.

Can the WTO override this? I'd expect that all the WTO could say is that it is not a violation of treaties and agreements that the WTO oversees for Antigua to pursue this remedy for the WTO violation, but that wouldn't relieve Antigua of obligations under non-WTO treaties.

It's been a long time since I've read the relevant treaties and agreements, so maybe I've forgotten or overlooked something.

arbuge 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's about time internet gambling became available in the USA and this prohibition-type nonsense ended once and for all. I don't see why doing it on the casino floor in Vegas is fine but doing it at home isn't. Sure it's addictive but so is alcohol, and you don't have to step outside your home to drink that. The nanny state must go.
sergiotapia 2 days ago 0 replies      
>One option would be to ask users for $5 a month in return for unlimited access to U.S. media.

Day 1 customer if this is true. I live in Bolivia and will pirate it anyway, the US media corporations refuse to price things according to my location, so screw em.

RexRollman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really think this is interesting for a couple of reasons:

1. The US, who is a member of the WTO, thinks it doesn't need to comply with its ruling.

2. If this does happen, it will be interesting to see if the US tries to interfere with it. For example, would the US try to prevent people from reaching the site and would they pressure finance companies to keep people from buying from it?

I can't wait to see what happens.

aphexairlines 2 days ago 2 replies      
How would Antigua measure $21 million of copyright? For music and movies, would it be the publisher-suggested retail price of albums and blu-ray discs?

If they want to sell the content online, how do they even find out content pricing when publishers don't sell direct and give different prices to different retailers?

If they want to sell content subscriptions, how can they guess how much content they could stream for $21 million?

naner 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know why the US govt is so vigorously against Internet gambling? Is it propping up some other illegal activity?

What is the deal?

gesman 2 days ago 0 replies      
News flash: Anyone who comes to Antigua with 10TB of High Definition movies is eligible for Antiguan Citizenship with no extradition guarantees.
logn 2 days ago 0 replies      
The US will eventually legalize online gambling and capture their market. Then the WTO will end the suspension of copyright and then the US wins.

For good gambling discussion: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/57/poker-legislation/

Jagat 2 days ago 5 replies      
How is this going to make any difference?

Pirated content is already available in US and other countries via thepiratebay and other torrents sites. Pirating copyrighted content is already considered illegal in the US, and is being actively monitored by media companies.
If this Antiguan website indeed becomes accessible to Americans, or say other country, how will downloading from this site differ from downloading via torrents. Since torrent usage is already being monitored in US, there's a high likelihood that American ISPs would monitor the usage of this site as well.

Edit: Downloading copyrighted content -> Pirating copyrighted content.

No1 2 days ago 0 replies      
ur tl;dr summary:

The WTO granted Antigua the right to suspend US copyright to the tune of $21 million annually in 2007 because the US ignored the WTO's earlier (2005) ruling that the US violated international free-trade laws by barring Antiguan gambling companies from the US market. Antigua now plans to actually use that ruling to legally sell US copyrighted material over the Internet without paying copyright holders.

imglorp 2 days ago 1 reply      
In chess, they call this a fork.
smelendez 2 days ago 0 replies      
How much bandwidth does Antigua have? Depending on whether they can delegate their "piracy" privilege to companies in other countries, that might be the limiting factor.
eriksank 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder why Antigua picked that particular industry, actually? There is simply no god-given right to profit from organized gambling. Why don't they organize an alternative banking system instead? That should be much more profitable, and nobody would object to getting rid of the current politician-controlled banking industry, unless they engage in charging usurious interests or in similar abuse.
drunkenmasta 2 days ago 4 replies      
so they are going to open a site to sell that which pirates pirate for free?
I don't see the economic sense of it.
Swartz didn't face prison until feds took over case, report says cnet.com
217 points by danilocampos  1 day ago   76 comments top 9
erichocean 1 day ago 5 replies      

    If Swartz had stolen a $100 hard drive with the JSTOR articles,
it would have been a misdemeanor offense that would have
yielded probation or community service.

If this doesn't illustrate how messed up the system is, I don't know what will.

lancewiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder about the reverse problem. Are there any worthy yet unpopular cases that Ortiz not take up while she was pursuing these ones?
ytadesse 1 day ago 5 replies      
Unfortunately, this comment will probably get filtered to the bottom but this has to be said:

Since the story of Aaron's passing, this site has been home to a lynch-mob asking for Ortiz's head on a plate. I wish I knew enough about federal prosecutions to say whether or not this one was far different from the norm - hell, I wish I knew enough about depression and suicide to say whether or not the prosecution was the primary reason for this sad turn of events - but, regardless, the users HN have been relentless ... almost as if they wished harm on Carmen Ortiz.

I'm pointing that out for a reason. Bullying and outright harassment come in many forms. The end result of these actions are at times not the result that anyone truly intended even if they imply it with their words/actions. You can't on one hand accuse the feds of being overly aggressive while simultaneously doing the same to Ortiz and her family.

Let the law and the current investigations run their course before there are more unwanted consequences of this tragedy.

josephlord 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article linked from the parent actually seems a better explanation.


mikec3k 1 day ago 1 reply      
Carmen Ortiz needs to go. She's a publicity hound just trying to make a name for herself rather than someone who actually respects the law.
arbuge 1 day ago 0 replies      
One only hopes that this will lead to wholesale reform of the US attorney office in Boston in particular, and the plea bargaining process in general. It is unfortunate that it took Aaron's sacrifice to make this happen if it does, but it would at least be something positive coming out of his tragedy.
RockyMcNuts 1 day ago 1 reply      
can't help wondering to what extent the government's war on Manning, Wikileaks, Anonymous was related to Swartz's harsh treatment, whether he was perceived as working with groups actively opposing government policies, and therefore as a hacktivist in the same category as enemies of the state.
berlinbrown 1 day ago 2 replies      
How did it go from state/civil to a federal case?
baritalia 1 day ago 1 reply      
Swartz was a crackhead and a criminal. It's a good thing he's no longer with us.
Fuck it, I'll Do This Alone bucketlistly.com
212 points by peachananr  2 days ago   108 comments top 36
simonsarris 1 day ago 9 replies      
I too used to be plagued by wishy-washy friends, and since waiting on finalization of plans can be a real pain, I decided to find some ways to deal with them.

The first thing I did was set up a google group for my friends. There are about 20 memebers in it and we share stuff between each other by email occasionally but also make plans.

The second thing I learned was never to entice people or make plans, but simply to announce plans. I'd email the group:

"I'm going hiking at Franconia Notch this weekend if anyone is interested. Leaving from my house around 10AM Saturday."

That's it. No waiting for replys, no waiting on people at all. If you want to come with me you'll be around at 10AM Saturday or you won't.

There's no frustration if its only me going, as I intended to go alone, and if anyone wants to come along then that's a pleasant surprise. But I won't base my activity schedule around waiting for them.

Surprisingly, since I started doing this, more people seem to come along. Motivation is contagious, I think, and it seems the thought of someone else already 100% committed to doing something makes it easier in the minds of others to commit themselves.

So make it easy for your friends. This way they don't feel guilty or obligated one way or the other, which is a huge relief for some personality types.

Later, I made a second google group for announcing house dinners, and now regularly 5-15 people show up every wednesday and we cook and eat together.

ghc 1 day ago 12 replies      
I don't know about anyone else, but I feel extremely awkward going to nice restaurants alone even if I bring something to do. I don't experience this feeling anywhere else...just restaurants. I think I'd be more likely to travel alone than to go out to a nice restaurant down the street alone.
bbx 1 day ago 0 replies      
When living in Paris, I wanted to attend many concerts but oftentimes I ended up not going because I couldn't find anyone to come with me.

Looking at the many concerts I missed because of that, I decided to automatically buy 2 tickets for each event and ask my friends afterwards, stating that I had an extra ticket. I ended up attending many concerts with one of my friends, and rarely had to sell my extra ticket.

On a side note, two years ago, a group of friends invited me to join them for a 10-days trip in Turkey. They would fly directly from Paris to Istanbul. I lived in Bordeaux then and figured: why don't I go to Istanbul by train on my own? It took me 2 weeks to get there, and along the road I stopped at Milan, Florence, Venice, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade (plus Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Berlin on my way back).

I knew that noone would have agreed to come with me and I immediately felt that I had taken the right decision. It was a sudden one but I don't regret it. I met wonderful people and visited beautiful places, and I realize that depending on someone else's decision would have prevented me from doing these things.

njharman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I'm kind of a loner. I have zero problems doing things alone.

Most things (esp trips, hiking, biking) I want to do alone. I need alone time. Time away from all the hassles and pressures of "socialness". Time to be selfish. To pause when others might want to go, to go when others might want to pause.

Also, early in life I got real tired of being let down / of the unreliability of people. So, instead of repeating the same activity and expecting a different outcome I quit trying or wanting to participate in planned group activities.

tmh88j 2 days ago 3 replies      
To each his own. Half the fun of traveling is the friends you're with, for me at least. The first time I went to NYC and SF I spent ~8 hours wandering around by myself (friends were still working) and I didn't get much enjoyment out of it. Sure I talked to some random people, but honestly I was bored after about 2 hours. The moments I remember and enjoyed were spent with friends, regardless of the location.
grecy 1 day ago 1 reply      
My Friends all thought I was crazy when I invited them to drive from Alaska -> Argentina with me.

The choice was clear, go alone, or don't go at all.

I had a life changing two year adventure.


B-Con 1 day ago 0 replies      
It just depends on your goals. For a lot of people, these kinds of activities are, on some level, a social catalyst. For those, it doesn't make sense to do many of them without the social part. But if you're simply interested in the event itself, you shouldn't feel any need to wait for others to participate.

I golf by myself routinely, and back when I went to the movies I would go by myself if it made sense. I wanted to do those things, regardless of who participated. I know many others, though, who would not say the same thing.

rwhitman 1 day ago 0 replies      
This happened to me the exact same way. Couldn't get anyone on board so I bought a plane ticket to Hong Kong by myself randomly one night and it was one of the best trips I've ever taken. I've done a few other solo trips since.

I think the thing I like the most is the sense of ultimate freedom - no arguments or drama, disasters out of your control etc. Everything you do is because you chose to do it. If you make a mistake and screw something up, nobody is going to complain. After being in a relationship for 7 years I really long to get those moments back...

jwmoz 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the first 10 months of 2012 I planned a trip to Thailand, taking time off contracting. I too became fed up of mates not being able to come with me so in the end thought fuck it, I'll go on my own. The day I posted my plans my mate got in touch and said he'd come with me for 3 weeks.

Those 3 weeks we basically argued like a married couple, there were good times, obviously, but we are both very different people. Anyway, as soon as he left me in Cambodia, the trip turned into one of the best experiences of my life.

I went where I wanted, I did what I wanted. I had crazy nights out and the trip was an adventure. I went to see my friend in Koh Phangan and stayed at his dive shop for a few weeks for free. I made friends with the locals and regularly got invited out with everyone. I had 2 of the most unbelievable experiences of my life partying in Haad Riin. I ended up with a girlfriend for 3 months whilst I was there. I met up with an old friend in Malaysia and stayed with her for free in a 5 star hotel for a week - she was on business and got a twin room for me. I met a girl in Bangkok who ended up driving me around the city in her Range Rover and taking me out to clubs. One day I decided to rent a motocross bike and rode it 35km up to the top of Bokor mountain in Cambodia - an amazing experience, more so on the way back down.

All of these things happened when I was on my own. Once I left my friend, I could do exactly what I wanted. There were times when it was hard, e.g. going to clubs on your own, or places where everybody is in a group, but in the end it paid off. Now I'm the guy who just does what he wants. This year I'll go away again to maybe South Korea or the Philippines; I haven't even considered asking someone to go with me.

So yeh, don't be that guy stressing about not having anyone to go places with, fuck it, go on your own.

david927 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want to do something, and you make that contingent upon another person, you've introduced fragility to your goal.

I've heard that a popular reason startups fail is co-founder disagreement, but that is just another way of saying there was a failure in leadership.

DigitalTurk 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a rule, I prefer traveling on my own. That way I can take my time to walk wherever I want and get a better 'feel' for the city. For instance, I love to go out into the city without a map sometimes. I often even go out of my way to eat in cheap, dirty places because I want to know what the locals eat. Sometimes I even go out of my way to explore the boring and the ugly parts of town.

It's difficult to find travel partners that share these interests. :)

Additionally, when I'm traveling with someone else I get distracted by conversations. That means I fail to notice tons of things. Also, I have experienced that my travel companion(s) would take me to all sorts of interesting places and then afterwards I'm unable to pinpoint on a map where I've been. That kind of sucks.

It's also much easier to start interesting conversations with locals or other travelers when you're not in a group.

I'm never lonely. I often stay in hostels so I can usually talk to other solo travelers. And sometimes I hit couchsurfing.org and meet up with individuals or groups.

roflc0ptic 1 day ago 2 replies      
There seems to be a strain of thought, especially prevelant in the programming community, that really romanticizes acting alone. I really wonder if we should romanticize it.

I used to live like this - I would go to shows alone, eat out alone, go to movies alone. I'd go hiking by myself, I'd go on long bike rides by myself. At the time I didn't have the resources to go on trips by myself, but I would've done that, too.

And it wasn't like I was a pariah. I've always had friends and family around. I've never needed to be single. I just felt like I required this constant solitude, and because of that, enforced a certain distance in my relationships.

As I've gotten older and learned more of how to need other people, I'm kind of horrified at all of the lost opportunities. The friendships I didn't form.

I would really hate for young guys [who I assume comprise much of HN's readership] to read this and say "Yeah, I should go this world alone!" Sometimes this attitude may be called for, but more often than not it will not serve you well.

phatbyte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Except if you want to apply for YC... unfortunately
davidwparker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned traveling with your significant other / spouse / girlfriend / wife / boyfriend / husband.

I've made quite a few trips and it's generally not hard to plan something together with my wife, so long as we do it early enough so she can get off work.

She loves eating out, so it's never hard to ask her to eat out with me.

In general, she'll do most things with me, so long as they're not hardcore physical activities (mountain climbing, long distance runs, etc)- but even those she'll go watch if she's able.

phatbyte 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think most people actually understood what the author meant. He said that nothing should hold you back even if you are alone to do it.

He never said he doesn't like to go out with friends. He said we need to learn to do things on our own sometimes.

mixmastamyk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember coming to grips with this myself. Turns out most people have different priorities than I, such as buying a new car rather than say... diving in Australia for a few months?

A few things I've learned: The true test comes when it is time to pay. If you can move that part up, then you will save a lot of time. Don't sweat it if the couch potatoes at home don't make it. You'll make friends at the destination, people who actually do things rather than talk about them.

Also, agree with simonsarris' comment that announcing plans takes the uncertainty out of the exchange.

grabeh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't think there's much to be gained from stating either way whether you prefer solo or group travel.

I have personally enjoyed travelling solo and with friends. They both have positives and negatives. As people have said at least you are guaranteed company with friends around, and there's much to be said for sharing experiences with someone who you know inside-out or at least well.

Having said that, travelling solo has always pushed me out of my comfort zone into seeking out company (if I was in the mood for conversing). Meeting like-minded people in new countries has always for me been a very enjoyable experience.

It's fair to say also that even being in close proximity with a good friend can lead to friction on occasion because that close proximity can be a very different experience to your usual relationship away from travelling. Perhaps I should select my friends better though!

davycro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that friends always bailing on you is a sign that you are boring. Reading this article reminded me of this quote from Anne Lamott:

"There are certain people whose company you love, whose mind you love to pick, whose running commentary totally holds your attention, who makes you laugh out loud.
When you have a friend like this, she can say: “Hey, I've got to drive up to the dump in Petaluma"wanna come along?” and you honestly can't think of anything in the world you'd rather do. By the same token, a boring or annoying person can offer to buy you an expensive dinner, followed by tickets to a great show, and in all honesty you'd rather stay home and watch the Jello harden."

jere 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sure, you shouldn't let your friends hold you back. But I wouldn't underestimate the value of spending time with friends/family. One quote from Robb Wolf has always stuck with me: "It's understood that people who don't have enough social connections, they have as high a rate of mortality and morbidity as a pack a day smoker." http://youtu.be/Tvh23EnFDio

Maybe if your friends are holding you back then you should find new friends? The thought of going to restaurants alone isn't particularly inspiring to me. If you'll indulge me, here's a song about it: http://youtu.be/MnqdNErdVcU

javert 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article is good in concept, but has too much emotion-laden hyperbole for my taste.
nlavezzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I came to this conclusion between the sophomore and junior years of college when I had the money to take a trip to Italy but none of my friends did. I'd never been further than Mexico, but I did it.

Being there alone was exhilarating - almost like the feeling of being hiking in the wilderness far enough away from people that if you broke a leg, you'd be in serious trouble. There is something wonderful about being far away from everything you know is safe and comfortable. I think there's a part of you that you can only find doing things like that.

pfortuny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, great idea: enjoying good things alone. I do it a lot of times). There is no special need for friends in order to enjoy a good meal, a good concert or a good film or a good sightseeing.

There is a time to enjoy alone and a time to gather together.

Glad you have discovered this.

Edit: and there is no need to 'fuck it', one should do these things by himself from time to time. There is no obligation to enjoy with others.

Irregardless 1 day ago 1 reply      
After reading the first paragraph, I thought he was about to announce a new startup that helps individual travelers find each other to plan group excursions around the world.

I left disappointed :/

stevewilhelm 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a solo runner who trained for and completed the Dipsea and US Half marathon last year, I say go it alone but let someone know where you are going and when you plan on getting back.

And carry a rock solid cell phone. I have a Verizon pay as you go basic phone http://s831.us/Pn4ZDD. It's always charged and can pick up cell coverage where my smartphone can't.

misiti3780 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just booked a trip to Vietnam/Cambodia alone with the same thought in mind - no one was willing to commit, and I still wanted to go
golgo13 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like the lunch time running club at work. It's just me, now. And I'm not even the organizer...
mberning 1 day ago 0 replies      
This breaks down when it comes time to make reservations and other arrangements where money becomes involved. I've found that asking for a deposit on things like lodging and tickets really weeds out who is serious and who is not.
solox3 2 days ago 4 replies      
Travelling? Two is always better than one.

If you break a leg in Thailand, someone can help you to the hospital. If you have a friend who lives in Korea, he can be your Seoul mate. Going on a roller coaster? You can sit beside someone you know. Ordered some weird food that you don't like? Just swap with the friend next to you.

Two is better than one.

baby 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want people to follow you, you must have the balls to lead alone first.
baby 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks [1] :

Should we do things alone, so as not to be contaminated by our friends/entourage.


Should we get surrounded by the most people.

Also, doing things alone FIRST allows you to get surrounded by those interesting people that will follow wherever you will go and whatever you will do

[1] http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_christakis_the_hidden_infl...

mercuryrising 1 day ago 0 replies      
So my goal is to be a "Millionaire by May". I have 0 dollars right now (living in my parent's basement), and am close to an MVP. I'm going to start a company by myself, do everything myself, rake in the profits by myself. It'll be hard as hell, but by doing it myself I get to learn all the facets, and don't have to communicate my half assed desires (make it more blue-green!). I have a fluorescent dollar sign on my desk, whenever the going gets rough (or I don't want to do it anymore), the dollar sign goes on. Reminds me of my goal.

I've been pumping myself up recently with two things - excuses are just fear, and shoot for simplicity, not efficiency (if it's simple, it's likely pretty damn efficient). Unless there is a ridiculous technical problem, there is generally a way around a problem with a little bit of creativity and elbow grease. Excuses are just lack of desire to find those routes.

bluekite2000 1 day ago 1 reply      
This boils down to your personality, not on external factors like who you are with, where you go or what you do. Are you an extrovert, introvert or ambivert? Figure out who you are then everything will make sense
EGreg 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are building an app to solve this exact problem. It's called Groups and has almost a million downloads by now. This is a common problem for a lot of people. Will let you guys know when we launch the features to solve it, later this year.
zx2c4 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zarathust 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul
antoaravinth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I felt that I wrote this article. This is my exact though process too.
How an unsigned rapper changed music silentattraction.wordpress.com
204 points by loso  3 days ago   166 comments top 35
ISL 2 days ago 1 reply      
Macklemore/Ryan Lewis have a lot in common with modern startups. If you know Seattle, they have a small studio on Aurora. Software and shrewd attention to quality put them where they are today. It's been fun to watch their rise; I hope it continues to go so well.

(And, if Macklemore becomes mayor of Seattle in 2025, it'll be funny as hell.)

Pitch for their first album:

Giving away tickets on Craigslist:

Kickstarteresqe promo video:

Jumping on the Tiny Desk at NPR:

josefresco 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm sorry to bring this into the discussion (ducks), but does it really matter that this guy is white? Is he the first white, unsigned musician to hit #1?

I get that "white" rappers for the hip-hop ignorant are somewhat of a novelty but come on ... linkbait headline at it's worst IMHO.

loso 2 days ago 3 replies      
In the past few years this has been happening a lot when it comes to rap. A lot of artist have been powered by the internet, gain a big following, but then they end up signing up to a major label. Drake, Soulja Boy, ASAP Rocky, Odd Future, etc. So far this guy has signed to no one and was able to break out the internet only sphere and get to the top of the charts.

I hope this happens more often. I am not anti corporate by a long shot but the labels have gotten worse not better since the days of Napster. Doing it this way an artist is able to make money but still avoid the dreaded 360 deal.

startupfounder 3 days ago 1 reply      
TRUE FANS! [http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fan...]

This song in really interesting in two ways.

It was most likely made for close to nothing with a laptop, Protools/Logic and a mic. And secondly and more important the song is all about going thrift shopping and being thrifty!

    I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a come-up
This is f[*]cking awesome

He can record a song for close to $0, he can connect with his 1,000+ true fans directly for $0 and when someone torrents his songs he doesn't care because he is so thrifty that an extra $20 when 1 out of 10,000 who listen to his song go to his show he is syked.

nchlswu 2 days ago 1 reply      
No. The rap industry especially especially embraced blogs long before Macklemore got his number 1 hit. In fact, now it's become routine for major labels and artists to seed music and do releases through blogs. These same blogs push unsigned hype and labels respond by signing these artists for a major debut.

Drake is probably made the best use of the internet and blog to grow his stock and ignite a bidding war among majors. Many people speculated that he could remain independent and still be successful. He opted to sign to a major and he's now a superstar. The relationship between artists and labels has shifted for a long time.

From what I know, Macklemore made use of the internet in a way that's more or less routine nowadays. I'm not going to take away from him hitting #1, but the dynamics between a label and artists have been different for a long time

jmduke 2 days ago 4 replies      
This isn't new. This has been happening for a while.

Whether or not you love or hate the music, hip hop is one of the most meritocratic facets of the music industry. Look at Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye West -- all people who got their starts on the blogosphere.

prof_hobart 2 days ago 1 reply      
IMO, this is the real threat that the record labels/RIAA etc have been worrying about when they go on about piracy.

They've realised for some time that they have little to offer to artists these days as far as promotion or distribution are concerned. So the only way that they can attempt to stay relevant is to create a big bad guy (in the shape of piracy) that can only be stopped by huge organisations with huge banks of lawyers. Their repeated suing of fans has not really been to send a message to the pirates - it's been to send a message to the artists - "Get rid of us, and piracy will destroy you".

dailo10 2 days ago 0 replies      
Music video for Thrift Shop. Enjoy. :)


qeorge 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure of the exact timing, but I thought Crank That (Soulja Boy) was #1 before he got signed (after getting popular on YouTube/MySpace).


Drake comes to mind as well.

dominicmauro 3 days ago 2 replies      
Lisa Loeb also did it. http://www.merrimackhall.com/lisaloeb.html

I winced when the guy hedged by saying "in modern history" " remembering this doesn't make me that old.

jhowell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too Short is the original hustler. Like his music or not, 50,000 records and tapes SOLD (literally, not digital, send a link to a friend). That's not counting copying, which a lot of people I knew did from the record or a friends cassette tape. Takes guts to hop out on the block and get people to listen to your music.
rwhitman 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are a LOT of artists these days who are not on labels and doing quite well. This guy may be the first to reach #1 on the charts but I think its a stretch to suggest he single handedly changed the record industry
shaaaaawn 2 days ago 7 replies      
This guy is incredible! Actually rapping about things that matter. Seems trivial but it's a huge undertaking. Applaud and support the effort. Will keep buying
duggieawesome 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's a great example of a community's positive impact on an individual, in this case, Seattle's hiphop collective and Macklemore.

A lot of great artists are coming out the Northwest and I hope they'll earn recognition they deserve.

gallamine 3 days ago 3 replies      
As a white middle-class male who never listens to rap (I was a classical nerd in HS), I find _The Heist_ an enjoyable album. Go figure. It's available for streaming on Spotify. I'd recommend a listen.
thedangler 3 days ago 1 reply      
With a beat like that, any song would be #1.
nate 3 days ago 0 replies      
Love this guy. He's even got a song about Malcolm Gladwell and the 10,000 hours stuff (that I wrote about a bit ago.)
bigdubs 2 days ago 4 replies      
what's facscinating, and this isn't really proof of anything, but has "Thrift Shop" been getting terrestrial radio airplay?

I can't find it on http://www.z100.com/iplaylist/playlist.html?net=1 my local pop radio station's playlist)

finkin1 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm curious how he was able to become so popular so quickly. What music blogs promoted his album? Did he already have relationships with the blogs or did he just submit his album like everyone else and the quality spoke for itself?
shaurz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I heard he's never negative.
tiredoffps 2 days ago 0 replies      
What I love about Macklemore is that he puts a lot of heart and soul into his lyrics. It's something you see with Peyton Manning in football, Kobe Bryant in BBall. You can just tell he loves what he does.

For example, in Make the Money is about following your passion, not for the money but because you love what you do. With this mindset, the money will come.

A lot of us in the tech/startup industry can relate to this. Follow the money and most startups fail.

leepowers 2 days ago 1 reply      
My ignorance may be showing, but this article seems a tad hyperbolic. As mentioned by others Lisa Loeb also had a #1 (nearly 20 years ago!) while she was unsigned. Is Macklemore really a harbinger of things to come? Or an outlier, an aberration that appears once in a generation? I suppose time will tell. But the article builds a mountain of expectations from the success of a single artist.
dougk16 2 days ago 1 reply      
Without "knowing" rap, and only listening to _The Heist_, he seems to border more on a satirical Weird Al type of line, rather than being someone that true rap fans would necessarily enjoy.

Regardless, it had a good message, delivered in a funny way, and I enjoyed it. Happy to see this guy succeeding without help from the man.

afandian 2 days ago 0 replies      
This should really say "mainstream American commercial music".
skylan_q 2 days ago 0 replies      
The beginning of the end of copyright. :
martswite 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like him, his style (to me) is very similar to that of recent music by British artist Plan B, who I also happen to find brilliant.
benhebert 2 days ago 0 replies      
How he changed music? Hardly. Maybe if they follow this up with something substantial but as we've seen in electronic music... you can make hit music and then the labels will sign you.
abraininavat 2 days ago 1 reply      
From "Same Love"

"And God loves all his children it's somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago"

The Bible doesn't really need paraphrasing or eye-squinting to be interpreted as anti-gay, it's pretty clear in that point. I admire Mackelmore's overall sentiment and courage, and I'm not saying it doesn't make sense for a Christian to be anti-gay, but you can't make an uncomfortable part of the legacy of your beliefs go away by pretending it's not there.

"Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one"

Tolerance and unity doesn't often quite extend to atheists, does it?

BeJoKo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like to believe that there's always room at the top of any industry for people who really have a superior talent. I have to say, their boot-strapped scrappiness does give them a little special cred for me, but mostly, I just love their music. Their song, "Thrift Shop" is a trifecta, great tune, great lyrics, great social commentary.

Also, bonus points for their ability to describe odors. "Smells like R-Kelly's Sheets."

guitarhacks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Down-vote me but his music is commercial. I am saying this as a professional musician. Even the pompous title says it all.. "unsigned white rapper changed music industry". I do not understand how this post gets so many up-votes.
Listen to Damu the Fudgemunk for example, a young bright kid who does his thing with Y Society.
thomasfrank09 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it bad if I thought this article was going to be about Froggy Fresh?
heshamfahim 2 days ago 0 replies      
he knew how to be different, he subconsciously used the lean methodology

Build, test and measure and maneuvered his way to climb the ladder to be #1

thebiglebrewski 2 days ago 0 replies      
United Music Group?! How about Universal Music Group.
trentlott 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not Li'l B?

Terrible article.

neya 2 days ago 3 replies      
>How an unsigned white rapper changed music

This is fucking racism. Why does it matter to you if the guy is white/black/tall/short/smart/stupid/dick?

Well, fuck you linkbaits.

Easy way to build product tours with Bootstrap github.com
199 points by vineet  2 days ago   44 comments top 18
dclaysmith 2 days ago 5 replies      
I used this library to build the product tour for my app (
http://www.thetaboard.com). Was really easy to customize the color scheme and behavior--I think it took 2 hours to integrate it.

Adding a product tour really improved my "demo" to "sign up" conversion rate. Probably the single biggest conversion rate "win" I've had.

waxjar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can imagine this being useful to explain how a "difficult" UI element works. It seems easy to set up, I like that.

The way it's used in this demo, though, I found it's very distracting from the actual content. All my attention went to the little popover, which resulted in not reading any text on the page itself. I think this is partially because the popovers didn't point at anything directly.

decadentcactus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also https://github.com/jeff-optimizely/Guiders-JS which I've had starred in Github for a while but not used
neonkiwi 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks useful, but I've got a suggestion from a cognitive ergonomics standpoint: smooth scrolling.

If a user clicks 'next' and the next step is not on the current screen, pretty much the best cue you can provide to build a contextual understanding of where this next step is on the page is easing into motion, then out of motion.

sequoia 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems like the tooltips are pointing at nonrelevant locations. http://screencast.com/t/oCGgYh9ytwMx

Is this a flaw in the tool or this implementation? It doesn't seem to work well with different viewport sizes.

taigeair 1 day ago 1 reply      
How do you guys compare this solution with walkme or kera? Interested in your thoughts.


coreymaass 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love the idea and functionality, but I think the design could be clearer. I'm all for a simple, minimalistic style when it's meant to get out of the way. I find these popovers just too subtle. Jumping from one to the other, it doesn't catch my eye enough, and I have to actively search for the arrow. Maybe offer a theme that really pops, with some variation of the Yellow Fade Technique [http://37signals.com/svn/archives/000558.php]?
radagaisus 2 days ago 3 replies      
Please don't use this. Tooltip Tutorials are a user experience disaster. If you feel the urge to add this to your site - don't. Close your eyes and imagine Clippy. Breathe deeply and create a user interface that won't need this.
vineet 2 days ago 0 replies      
There have been other tools that do this, but I like the simplicity and cleanliness of settings this one up.

I remember some of the other tools required a server access, which was great in that they allows us to do a lot of things, but as a potential user I needed to make sure that they have a business and would be around for when I needed it.

The problem that I have had with some of the jquery plugins that do similar is that I had to worry about customizing the plugins with my site's theme. With bootstrap plugins I hope that the plugins just look good with the bootstrap customizations that I have done.

spyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Foundation framework comes with a similar UI tour component. It does smooth scrolling when tour steps are off-screen and doesn't loose its position when resizing the window. http://foundation.zurb.com/docs/joyride.php
Bjoern 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicely done. Seems to be doing exactly the same as this one. Good for choice :).


mfonda 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found this tour a bit difficult to navigate. The tooltip moves to a different spot each time you click prev/next, making it hard to follow the whole tour. Perhaps navigation that stays in a fixed spot could make this easier to use.
booruguru 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool. I'm going try this out on a web app I'm currently developing (which happens to use Bootstrap). I would definitely prefer to implement popovers as opposed to a tutorial with lots of screenshots and whatnot.
casenelson 2 days ago 0 replies      
If people are interested, my product http://overlay101.com provides hosted product tours that requires far less Dev work than these js libraries.
dlf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always just rip through these things and then try to figure out how things work later. The trouble I've had with these is that it lacks context when I'm not actually trying to do the action it's calling for. I may not be the average user though.
dergachev 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're building a product tour, consider making an animated GIF screencast to demo your use case.

Yesterday I wrote a tutorial on how to easily create one on OS X using just free tools: Quicktime Player, ffmpeg, and gifsicle.


(Animated GIFs might also be useful for bug reports).

mariocesar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome tool. I remember seeing jquery plugins doing this. Would like to see a list of extensions like this.
helloamar 1 day ago 0 replies      
lovely tool, i was about to subscribe to some tour generating app :)
Aleksey Vayner Has Died at 29 vice.com
189 points by ColinWright  2 days ago   78 comments top 17
_djo_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
I met Aleksey at Yale a few months after the video had gone viral and found him to be a nice enough guy who was intelligent and interesting to talk to, though it was clear that he had serious emotional issues as even then after all the ridicule he felt compelled to boast of unlikely achievements almost as a reflex. He was not the arsehole the internet had prepared me for but a decent and troubled person and I felt desperately sorry for him.

The communities and networks we have built online have proven to be fantastically capable to creating and organising for good, whether it be raising funds for disaster relief or catapulting some deserving person to stardom, but we've all too often decided to ignore our power to tear down and destroy with frightening speed. Aleksey Vayner's video may have been silly and weird but it did not merit the public humiliation he received.

It would be too much to expect that large scale ridicule of an individual like this will never happen again, human nature is what it is and cruelty and anonymity go hand in hand. But as individuals we can at least prevent ourselves from being a part of it by pausing before we forward, retweet or share the next picture, video or meme and considering whether the person being laughed at deserves to be destroyed for our amusement.

danabramov 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm so glad none of the bad judgements I made ever came back to haunt me. I'm sure we all sometimes make bad judgements. I distinctly remember doing very stupid things when I was a teenager.

When I was 14 years old, my mom took my iPod to a repair shop because it refused to turn on. In a week, when they said they fixed it, I went to this shop with my friend. Although I had the address, I couldn't locate the building, and we spent an hour searching for it in the cold. We passed an internet café and a wonderful idea popped into my head. I sent them this email:

    My fingers are freezing.
Been looking for your motherfucking shop for an hour.
Barely writing. Wait for me, assholes.

Of course actually meeting the guys who fixed my iPod wasn't exactly fun"I'm glad they had some sense of humor. But they also called my mom and advised her to teach me some manners.

What came as a surprise to me is that the same minute I walked into the store I realized that sending this email"heck, even stopping to write it"was a grand silly idea. Self-WTF. I couldn't remember just why I did this. It was like I had this silly little brother who did it, but it was me who had to face the consequences. But then, just five minutes ago this seemed like a really clever and fun thing to do!

In such moments I did not just embarrass myself (and my mom) in front of people I don't know, but I also made my family extremely puzzled because I was the “smart” kid who has been learning programming by books since twelve, knew OOP and stuff, moderated a large internet forum dedicated to programming, and this kind of behavior just didn't fit together with what they knew about me.

Sometimes people do very silly things they later regret. And usually they do them because they try their best at a given moment, with all the knowledge and context they are given, and make a wrong decision. Such decisions I never regret.

But sometimes people do their worst for no apparent reason, and then they WTF at themselves. Their judgement fails them, something blinds them and they do unimaginably stupid stuff, and later they feel even more embarrassed because they don't just see how misguided they were"but that it was so painfully obvious from the start.

I think it's important to understand this distinction this before judging people in any way.

anateus 2 days ago 3 replies      
The translation of the Facebook wall post seems incorrect. It's also in Russian and not Ukrainian. Here's my go at it:

You damn egoist, pick up the phone. Who will take care of [your?] mother?! At least sell your source code and fuck off to Costa Rica. The very same paypal will give you 200-300 pieces [I think these might be pills rather than dollars]. Pick up the phone bitch!

Edit: thanks for the corrections, indeed, that would most likely be $200,000-$300,000. Although I'm a native speaker I didn't grow up in Russia so my slang and colloquial language is pretty weak :>

guylhem 2 days ago 3 replies      
I read the article, didn't know the details, but what I now see is :

- somebody who has proofs of great achievements he did

- a backstory showing how these achievements are compatible, possible and repeatable for this young immigrant who is decided to succeess

- during the vice.com video, apparently a self-reflective decent dude, whose only mistake may have been to send a self promotion video to get the job he really really wanted.

He didn't hate. He worked on himself and was pushed my a great internal drive. He was trying to get the right to pursuit happiness applied to his situation.

I call that a success.

Then the haters showed up and hated him, for daring to pursuit dreams, his dreams, thinks that they would certainly never get to do themselves, even in their wildest dreams

These haters may have seen him as a show-off - and that's sad.

I call someone like this a beacon of hope on what we humans can achieve if we really put ourselves to work.

Pay attention - these persons are quite infrequent, sometimes fragile (Aaron). Help them if you can. But they're here on a mission to change the world.

If you are one, I advise you to HIDE the good things you do.

Poeple are jealous. Any good dead you do, any investment on yourself you make, any skill you have (breaking bricks for ex) - whatever. Consider that a dark secret of yours and wait for the day when usual humans will no longer hate, but welcome instead, humans with 'better' capacities.

RIP Aleksey, you seemed like a great man. The word unfortunately was not ready to allow access to people like you... yet.

hkmurakami 2 days ago 3 replies      
I am looking at his wikipedia page (in particular the "other details section [1]) and see a prolific amount and variety of "accomplishments". Coupled with HNers in this thread suggesting that many of these claims by Aleksey have been proven false, I am wondering if he suffered from Pseudologia fantastica (pathological lying) [2].

I once worked with someone in his 50's who was undoubtedly a highly intelligent with an intense attention to detail -- super productive. However, he was known for claiming, among other outrageous things, that he was (1) a former Army Ranger, (2) a former Navy Seal, (3) a former Marine, (4) former Secret Service tasked with protecting Ronald Reagan, (5) Grandson of a 4 star general, (6) Leg press 800 lbs, (7) broken 3 aluminum "forks" on bikes (the part connecting your front wheel to the frame). This really is only a tip of the iceberg of the things he claimed. After several months, I found out that "pathological lying" is an actual psychological condition. The moment I found out, I was convinced that this coworker suffered from this condition.

I wonder if Aleksey was the same. My coworker was unusually bright, physically strong, and was good soul. I couldn't understand why he would need to inflate himself through lies, given such obvious strengths of his -- until I found out about this psychological condition. Aleksey seems to have been the same way.



charlieok 2 days ago 0 replies      
Long before the name change reported in the article to Alex Stone, and long before the video resume, there was an earlier name change to Aleksey Vayner from Aleksey Garber.

Before the spike in notoriety from the video resume, there was a much smaller burst of unflattering notoriety for Aleksey in the May 2002 edition of Yale's Rumpus magazine [1] by one Jordan Bass titled “Craaazy Prefrosh Lies, Is Just Weird”.

It starts out like this:

“Maybe, once, you lied about your age, or your weight, or your location the night your unfaithful boyfriend was stabbed to death. Maybe you lied about your criminal record when applying for a job, or your sexual history when donating blood. Little things. Everybody does it, right? What's the harm? Maybe your slight deviations from the truth even give you a little thrill, a mild buzz gained from subverting the truth and risking discovery. You're a badass, right?

Aleksey Garber, who has been accepted to the Yale class of '06, is not impressed. When you're a guy who tells the truth about as often, and with the same reluctance, as the average person goes to the dentist, you've got no regard for those who dabble in tall tales.”

It ends like this:

“What can you say to that, really? This is the man's life, as he tells it. Is any of it true? Well, what is truth? [...] In the end, all we can really say is that “Truth” is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements, and if you look at it that way, then it's all true. We who have encountered him should feel privileged that Aleksey Garber has deigned to include us in the epic adventure that is his life. I know I certainly do.”

[1] http://www.yale.edu/rumpus/archives/pdf/rumpus_02may.pdf

BornInTheUSSR 2 days ago 3 replies      
What an unkind title. Rest in peace Aleksey and thank you for the countless hours of entertainment you gave the internet. Impossible is nothing, sometimes we just need to be reminded.

Edit: looks like the title has been updated

look_lookatme 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is definitely worth watching the video in the OP. He has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about what happened to him and placing it in a framework that has helped him understand it and cope with the aftermath. It seems clinical at times but also healthy (which aren't exclusive of course). It would be sad if it wasn't enough for him in the end.

It makes me wonder if there are counselors specializing in this domain and sociological research into how this kind of stuff happens and how it affects all people involved. These events are quite sad but also a bit fascinating and novel.

michaelochurch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like Aleksey Vayner got hit by a confluence of factors.

Most of us do stupid things in our early 20s to establish ourselves. The problem for him is that he applied to jobs in investment banking. In 2006, IBD analyst programs were the destination career for 25th-percentile graduates of elite colleges. So there was this huge crowd of douchebags that wanted to be bankers and were falling over themselves to get in the door.

So when Aleksey Vayner's video resume was leaked, he was immediately typecast as a douchebag and ridiculed. People no longer saw him as a person, but just as some pathetic, arrogant pre-banker. In retrospect, it's evident that he didn't deserve that.

I have the sense that being ridiculed on the Internet is becoming "just a thing" that almost everyone goes through on the way to accomplishment. It's like being heckled for stand-up comedians. The first time it happens, it's extremely unsettling. Then you figure out a way to deal with it-- there are the Jimmy Carr, George Carlin, Louis CK, and Steve Hofstetter approaches-- but it takes some time to get good at that.

DigitalJack 2 days ago 2 replies      
The article implies suicide, but doesn't actually say that explicitly. Does anyone know what the case is?
bitwize 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me strangely of L. Ron Hubbard, who claimed similar superhuman achievements throughout his life that he couldn't live up to. Hubbard desperately wanted to be seen as awesome, and that alone may have contributed the larger part of the motivation for the founding of Dianetics and Scientology.

My current guess is that Vayner killed himself but not in a Swartz-like way: he simply OD'd on recreational drugs (something a lot of egoists, including Hubbard to say nothing of HN's friend John McAfee, make a hobby of).

bcx 2 days ago 0 replies      
You guys should watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P-NMygTekQ

It really doesn't paint him in that bad of light. (I know nothing of the rest of his history, but I find the video pretty motivating)

mblake 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's pretty sad, but not because I knew him in any capacity, or actually have heard of him until now.

It's sad because he clearly had a psychiatric issue and only if people were more educated on this matter, they could've reached out to him and offered him help to get his problem under control, instead of just laughing at him.

To an uninformed, uneducated person, it's likely that this is all he was: a pathetic, over the top compulsive liar.

I presume he died because he killed himself, which is something someone would do after at least temporarily snapping out of the psychosis that made them do all of those things and realizing it wasn't something they would ever be able to take back or sweep under the rug, thanks to the 'wonders' of the internet.

uladzislau 2 days ago 0 replies      
Probable cause of death - drug induced heart attack, according to this http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1247410
octonion 2 days ago 0 replies      
There appears to be a culture of bullying among a certain segment of the Ivy League. See, for example, this piece on Evan O'Dorney: http://verynoice.com/2011/09/the-fresh-five-part-two/
odRvb 2 days ago 1 reply      
4:08 "He passed away from cervical cancer..."
pms 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why on earth this is the first news on the front page? In the end this article is rumor-like and just speculating on the cause of his death...
Introducing Drake, a kind of ‘make for data' factual.com
182 points by dirtyvagabond  2 days ago   108 comments top 18
madhadron 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wrote a workflow processing system (http://github.com/madhadron/bein) that's still running around the bioinformatics community in southern Switzerland, and came to the conclusion that something like make isn't actually what you want. Unfortunately, what you want varies with the task at hand. The relevant parameters are:

- The complexity of your analysis.
- How fixed your pipeline is over time.
- The size of a data set.
- How many data sets you are running the analysis on.
- How long the analysis takes to run.

If you are only doing one or two tasks, then you barely need a management tool, though if your data is huge, you probably want memoization of those steps. If your pipeline changes continuously, as it does for a scientist mucking around with new data, then you need executions of code to be objects in their own right, just like code.

Make-like systems are ideal when:

- Your analysis consists of tens of steps.
- You have only a couple of data sets that you're running a given analysis on.
- The analysis takes minutes to hours, so you need memoization.

Another Swiss project, openBIS, is ideal for big analyses that are very fixed, but will be run on large numbers of data sets. It's very regimented and provides lots of tools for curating data inputs and outputs. The system I wrote was meant for day to day analysis where the analysis would change with every run, was only being run on a few data sets, and the analysis tool minutes to hours to run. Having written it and had a few years to think about it, there are things I would do very differently today (notably, make executions much more first class than they are, starting with an omniscient debugger integrated with memoization, which is effectively an execution browser).

So bravo for this project for making a tool that fits their needs beautifully. More people need to do this. Tools to handle the logistics of data analysis are not one size fits all, and the habits we have inherited are often not what we really want.

jboggan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really wish that I had a tool like this back in grad school. I was doing bioinformatics work and merging, chopping, and processing various datasets over many months. When a new version of the underlying data came out it was not an easy task to go back and re-process it through dozens of steps in Perl and R. Having a tool like this would have made it a single command to do so and also ensured repeatability and transparency in my data, something which is often sorely lacking in an academic setting.

I am one of the data engineers at Factual and though I didn't have a role in creating it I definitely enjoy using it on a day to day basis. You begin to see the utility of it when you have a dozen people working up and down a data pipeline and need to coordinate as product specs evolve or schemas change.

I also really like the tagging features - you can add specific tags to different steps in the build and run different "flavors" of your workflow depending upon what is needed. For example, you might build a workflow that collects, cleans, filters, and performs calculations on data from all over the world - but you might also want alternative versions of the build that only work on specific regions or smaller debug datasets. Tags make that really simple to do, even when many steps are shared by the different versions or the dependencies are complicated.

ori_b 2 days ago 4 replies      
It looks like all of the drakefiles could be replaced pretty trivially with Makefiles. Replacing '<-' with ':', ';' with '#', and '$INPUT', '$OUTPUT' with '$<' and '$@', and inserting shell invocations of the Python interpreter looks like it would do the job.

The major differences I see are:

    - Inline support for Python et al.
- Confirming the steps that will be taken.
- HDFS support.

Are there any other big differences?

aaronjg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've spent a lot of time working with pipelining software, first for my last job doing bioinformatics research, and now for handling analytics workflows at Custora. We ultimately decided to write our own (which we are considering open sourcing, email me if you are interested in learning more).

The initial system that I used was pretty similar to Paul Butler's technique, with a whole bunch of hacks to inform Make as to the status of various MySQL tables, and to allow jobs to be parallelized across the cluster.

At Custora, we needed a system specifically designed for running our various machine learning algorithms. We are always making improvements to our models, and we need to be able to do versioning to see how the improvements change our final predictions about customer behavior, and how these stack up to reality. So in addition to versioning code, and rerunning analysis when the code is out of date we also need to keep track of different major versions of the code, and figure out exactly what needs to be recomputed.

We did a survey of a number of different workflow management systems such as JUG, Taverna, and Kepler. We ended up finding a reasonable model in an old configuration management program called VESTA. We took the concepts from VESTA and wrote a system in Ruby and R to handle all of our workflow needs. The general concepts are pretty similar to to Drake, but it is specialized for our ruby and R modeling.

Some more useful links for those interested:

JUG https://github.com/luispedro/jug

Taverna http://www.taverna.org.uk/

Kepler https://kepler-project.org/

VESTA http://vesta.sourceforge.net/

gojomo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I could imagine a bash shell that helps create drake files, by remembering in a richer history structure all files read/modified by subprocesses.

(A degenerate drake file, one line per 'step', would almost be a 1:1 representation of this richer history... though you then might want to coalesce and reorder atomic steps to represent the real shape of your workflow and dependencies.)

danpalmer 2 days ago 1 reply      
With an empty workflow, this is the result of `drake --version`.

  $ time drake --version
Drake Version 0.1.0
Target not found: ...
drake --version 5.42s user 0.18s system 188% cpu 2.969 total

For short scripts that you should be running in the shell, this is really bad. I expect basic make commands on small projects to be effectively instant. Compilation might take a bit longer, but 5.4s to print the version points to a 5s overhead on all executions.

I'm guessing this is due to the JVM overhead, so that pretty much says this project isn't suited to the JVM. The JVM is great for long running processes, and applications where the overhead is a very small percentage of the total running time, but if it takes 5s longer than `make` to print it's version, that's really not a good sign.

This is a fantastic idea, and I will definitely be using it. But this overhead needs fixing.

moonboots 2 days ago 5 replies      
Djb redo[1], a make alternative, feels like a good fit for these type of data manipulation and dependency representations. Below is a port of the first example. The build script is just shell, so you can do stuff like embed python with a heredoc. One bit of syntactic sugar is that redo assumes stdout is the desired contents of the generated file, so you don't need to explicitly pipe to an OUTPUT variable.

case $1 in
curl http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/eqr/soft-tools/sample-csv/contract.txt
redo-ifchange contracts.csv
grep Evergreen contracts.csv
redo-ifchange $input
python2 <<-EOF
linecount = len(file("$input").readlines())
print("File $input has {0} lines.\n".format(linecount))

[1] https://github.com/apenwarr/redo

swalsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whoa, this is the first time i'm hearing of "Factual" but playing around i'm impressed! There was a side project I had a while ago, which i eventually gave up because I couldn't source some data. These guys found it!
jeffdavis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Cool project. I expected to be underwhelmed, but when I saw the dependency stuff, I was impressed. Maybe it should include a hook so that it can detect dataset changes automatically by running a separate command (or did I miss it?).

With a bit of creativity, I think there may be a lot of applications here.

jcromartie 2 days ago 2 replies      
I like the idea that the tasks can be implemented in any language, but I feel like this has limitations compared to something like Rake, where the step definition is code, too. What this means is that in Rake I am not just limited to defining new task bodies, but new ways of defining tasks themselves.

I see that Drake is implemented in Clojure, so I'd imagine you understand the value of homoiconicity and extensible languages. So I wonder why you didn't just use Clojure all the way through?

daemon13 2 days ago 1 reply      
Artem, the approach you guys are using is really EXCELLENT!

I think that a bit of a disconnect here may be because some OPs might be used to 'compiling' code versus 'compiling' data angle that you are using.

This is especially evident by make dependencies discussion with lars512.

To give a simple specific example: I have a dataset of say 5000-50000 SKUs that are aggregated across 9-12 dimensions. My final report/analysis uses 3 scenarios. Now one sub-set of one scenario has changed [that's the raw input] - of course running 'data compilation' by using data that changed and ONLY what depends on it is the most effective&efficient approach.

Just my 2 financial cents...

Xion 2 days ago 1 reply      
There seems to be few differences between Drake and just rolling out Makefiles for data processing, but I definitely see this project has potential. Distributed processing over AWS/Compute Engine/etc. clusters would be one nice thing to have, as a kind of simpler alternative to Hadoop.

I really like the inline, multi-language scripting though.

madMilo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of Makeflow: A Portable Abstraction for Data Intensive Computing on Clusters, Clouds, and Grids,
Workshop on Scalable Workflow Enactment Engines and Technologies (SWEET) at ACM SIGMOD, May, 2012.


fnbr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps I am the only one having issues here, but I cannot seem to get drake to run. Is there anything that is supposed to be done after building the uberjar?

Further, I don't understand how I'm supposed to alter my path to be able to run drake by simply entering 'drake'- would it be possible to get some help?

(I'm sorry if this is really obvious)

jonathanjaeger 2 days ago 3 replies      
Am I the only one who immediately thought of Drake the rapper? He's pretty famous, not sure if this was considered during the naming process. Even if it's not a legal problem, it's an SEO/social media problem.
circa 2 days ago 0 replies      
When you run it. It tells you, "you're the fuckin' best, you da fuckin' best."
roolio_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kudos for your work! Do you plan to integrate Amazon S3 the same way you did for hdfs?
abraininavat 2 days ago 3 replies      
Why Clojure?
Color Photography of Early 1900s Paris curiouseggs.com
177 points by caublestone  1 day ago   58 comments top 23
diego_moita 1 day ago 1 reply      
These pictures are part of a huge collection assembled by the banker Albert Kahn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Kahn_(banker)

Other pictures (about 1200) from the Albert Kahn collection, from other parts of the world: http://albert-kahn.hauts-de-seine.net/archives-de-la-planete...

There are some wonderful pictures in that collection. My preferred are the ones with people living in a way that doesn't exist anymore like the ones from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Ireland, Benin and South East Asia.

micampe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Russian version: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/russia_in_color_a_c...

The photographs were taken on three black and white plates with RGB filters in front of them, and could only be seen projected on a screen.

This is an article describing how the original images were composed to create the color version http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html this is about the russian guy, Prokudin-Gorskii, but the process he used to take the pictures was the same.

On the LOC website you can see the originals and composite http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000000200/

te_platt 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm amazed at how the color changes the emotional response I have for these kinds of pictures. My mental image of 100 years ago seems very abstract, as if events and people from that time have the same reality of Sherlock Holmes. Somehow the color drives home the reality of where and who these people were. It makes me wonder what effect color pictures, or even better - color movies, from hundreds or thousands of years would have.
tokenadult 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool photos. Thanks for the comments pointing to the set of photos of Russia in the Library of Congress collection posted a while ago here on Hacker News.

For this set of photos of Paris, especially cool is to post a link to


(a multilingual website) on the basis of the Hacker News guideline

"Please submit the original source. If a blog post reports on something they found on another site, submit the latter."


RyanMcGreal 1 day ago 5 replies      
Other than the number of cars (more), balloons (fewer) and soldiers (fewer), Paris looks pretty similar today.
bcoates 1 day ago 0 replies      
Beautiful. Similarly, Prokudin-Gorskii travelled Tsarist Russia in the decade before the revolution, taking fantastic color photographs with three plates and color filters: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/
lunaru 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everytime I look at historical photography my first thought is "All of those people are dead." And yet, here we are with as many humans as ever and the world is still alive and ticking.

Startup/business takeaway: don't underestimate humankind's ability to transition into and out of roles while keeping the machinery moving.

lancewiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wonderful. But the site's zoom setting don't allow for expanding the post/photos to the width of an iPad. Very frustrating.
eCa 1 day ago 0 replies      

Original source: http://www.paris1914.com/

justincormack 1 day ago 0 replies      
The comment "It is extremely astonishing to look at the world now long gone, the world which you are used to see in black & white images and often with poor quality." is a bit off the mark. Black and white pictures, by and large, were excellent quality. eg look at Atget's pictures of Paris from the same date (although done on much older equipment) http://www.googleartproject.com/en-gb/artist/eug%C3%A8ne-atg... or https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Photographs_by_E...
rayiner 1 day ago 0 replies      
TIL that neon lights were invented in the early 1900's.

Also: that first picture is a subway station.

huhtenberg 1 day ago 2 replies      
This one [1] is hard to believe as it's a low-exposure night shot. I was under the impression they lacked the technology to do that even in B/W back then, no?

[1] http://i.imgur.com/IHt7ypS.jpg

contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else collect early European postcards? I have a good few hundred of them and am interested in collaborating to start an online museum.
babesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. Paris hasn't changed that much other than the cars.
edouard1234567 1 day ago 1 reply      
My favorite : The one with the Michelin balloon which I think was taken at Le Palais de la Decouverte (not 100% sure)
davidroberts 1 day ago 1 reply      
This was right on the Eve of World War I. Sad to think that many of the young men in uniform probably died in the trenches at Marne or Verdun over the next several years.
jcoder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Beautiful, but it's too bad that the digital reproductions are so noisy.
joshuaheard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where are all the people? Paris today has the same buildings, but is overrun by people and cars!
hayksaakian 1 day ago 1 reply      
Black and white photos make the past seem so much further away. The colors truly make them feel real. Its hard to believe it was so long ago with such vividness.
pbhjpbhj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mieux Que Nue [better than nude] at the Moulin Rouge.
babesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. Paris doesn't look like its changed much.
Tekker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow - those are great.
billforsternz 1 day ago 4 replies      
Paris (France). If I could snap my fingers and change one thing about how Americans communicate, it would surely be to stop them saying Paris, France. Or London, England. Or Moscow, Russia. Or ... many similar examples. Please abandon this whole meme. Normal people know where the great cities of the world are.
Google has also indexed thousands of publicly accessible Panasonic webcams tlrobinson.net
175 points by tlrobinson  1 day ago   58 comments top 15
franze 1 day ago 2 replies      
ok, i just googled


10 600 results

when you click on one result


then you see in the head of the frameset (and similar in every framed html document)

  <META NAME="robots" CONTENT="none">
<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="noindex,nofollow">
<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="noarchive">

so basically, these HTML abominations should not get indexed if google would follow these indexing directives (basically google invented these meta tags themselves)

google is evil? nope - they really follow these directives.

so why is this indexed?

take a look at

  User-Agent: * 
Disallow: /

the robots.txt is a crawling directive, google can't crawl the (current) version of these pages, so google doesn't see the indexing directive. but as crawling is optional for indexing URLs, this gets indexed.

how could this be solved, well: either get rid of the robots.txt or

  User-Agent: * 
Disallow: /
Noindex: /

the noindex robots.txt directive is specified nowhere, but it works nonetheless.

tlrobinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I haven't updated the list of cameras in a few years, and seem to have lost my script to do it. I'll see what I can do later.
uptown 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like Heisenberg is ready to cook:

brd 1 day ago 1 reply      
In school I had done a little research project to see if there were opportunities to map out these cameras and use them for disaster response scenarios. It seemed like a promising approach but I don't believe my prof ever took it past my proof of concept.

We were even able to track down some cameras located on campus which made for some hilarious phone calls.

davidtyleryork 1 day ago 3 replies      
So this has actually been a pretty common 4chan prank for a while now. People give you instructions for Googling webcam IP addresses (very typically just an IP string or something similar) and then try to find something worth sharing. Just like the printer post above, it's incredible how many webcams are left completely unsecured.
NathanKP 1 day ago 1 reply      
While we are on the topic of Google indexing things and revealing security holes I think that VoIP devices should also be mentioned.

I remember when I was taking a network security class in college the professor was guiding us through the steps required to scan a network for vulnerabilities, specifically detecting services and control panels which are left open and vulnerable. Naturally we were using the college network for this, and in addition to the expected control panels of printers in different professors' offices I accidentally found the control panel for the school VoIP system, and it was not properly secured. I believe it was a Cisco system. Anyway the control panel seemed to offer access to modify various settings of the college VoIP phone system, with no password protection.

Now granted it could be that I only had access to this because I was doing the scan from "inside the system" instead of outside via the web, but I'm sure there are vulnerable VoIP systems which have accidentally exposed their control panels to the internet.

schabernakk 1 day ago 4 replies      
if you can find those cams via a google search, doesn't that mean they are linked from some other public site (which has also been indexed) which would indicate they were left public intentionally (at least most of them)?

If I would set up a web-accessible cam without password protection, how would google find it? Its a crawler right? It doesnt just searches for random IPs and tries to connect to them.

I always was under the assumption that there is a pretty big part of the internet which is just not indexed by the major search engines (thus more or less private).

wyck 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was news about 6 years ago.
smallegan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Clearly wasn't made for the frontpage of HN, it'd be nicer if it polled them server side, cached them and then reserved it up refreshing it every so often for the previews.
achillean 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a similar website that gathered webcam data using Shodan (http://www.shodanhq.com):


bane 1 day ago 1 reply      
For fun, I used to troll open webcams in Japan. The best were the ones you can pan around and zoom in and out of. Lots of nice vistas, sea ports, city scenes. I'd put them on in the background and provide some visual "noise" during the day.
hippich 1 day ago 0 replies      
So many wasted IPv4s...
kvasan 1 day ago 0 replies      
So anyone want to take on the challenge of building a "Person of Interest" like system and hook it up to these publicly accessible cams, it would obviously be less early-warning as its fictionally one. Maybe I would try it but I assume the computing resources needed would be large, but wouldn't a bot-net solve that. Or maybe my first brush of ML experience has left me naive of its capability's.

Of course a 'Global Citizen Operative' would have to take action also, it is not like I proposed a "Global responsive network of autonomous drone to enforce peace and harmony" to would do that instead.

Sorry for the up in the clouds comment but the merciless hand of insomnia grabbed me and prompted my mind to wander.

stickydink 1 day ago 0 replies      
This might raise a few eyebrows...


dfamorato 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is actually a crawler for "Machines and Devices", such as routers, IP Phones, WebCams, Dell Dracs, HP ILO , VMWARE ESX and so on.


Also, check your server ip on Shodan to see if your firewall rules are not exposing a little to much

Amazon, Apple, and the beauty of low margins eugenewei.com
175 points by tortilla  2 days ago   109 comments top 18
fleitz 2 days ago 4 replies      
BMW could launch a bargain basement 0 series, or Wal-mart could start selling quality products.

Fundamentally there isn't much point for either because it's not the right customer base. This is what branding is about, if Apple acquires a whole bunch of customers that don't care about quality and then complain that their devices don't have half-baked features it doesn't do the brand any good. These customers will destroy the brand.

I don't want to have to walk into an Apple store and wonder which is the low margin device that will fall apart / fail to perform, if I wanted to ask those questions I'd go to Best Buy.

The low margin Apple market is craigslist, if you want a 3 year old Apple device that's where you can get it.

The most confusing thing about AMZN and APPL are their respective PEs. They are priced as if each are going to adopt the other's business model.

mjfern 2 days ago 1 reply      
Low margins, per se, isn't a strategy. Amazon is pursuing a cost advantage [1], and it's choosing to keep its prices very low, hence the low margins. With a cost advantage and low prices, Amazon gives away a lot of value to customers (instead of capturing a lot of value for itself in the form of profits). Its primary objective is to gain market share (i.e., both new customers and a greater portion of existing customers' everyday shopping). With an increase in market share, Amazon can further reduce its costs through economies of scale (i.e., spreading its fixed costs, such as infrastructure and R&D, over a greater number of customers served and products sold).

Amazon's cost advantage and low prices explains why most other online retailers have been unable to gain significant market share and why Amazon is posing an increasing threat to companies like Wal-mart, Target, and Costco.


[1] I'd argue that Amazon is actually pursuing a dual advantage, both a cost and value advantage (at least for customers that favor convenience over impulse buying). The value advantage stems from the ability to shop at home, its product reviews, its excellent customer service, extensive selection, etc.

LnxPrgr3 2 days ago 5 replies      
Interesting thoughts, but I'm confused: how exactly is Apple going wrong here? Despite their sky-high margins, they're finding enough customers to rake in record-breaking earnings. New products are often hard to find in stock: even iMac demand still outstrips supply. Samsung actually ran commercials mocking supposedly stereotypical Apple customer loyalty.

How is Apple hurting exactly? What are the symptoms of their failure to go after the low end market? From here, it looks like their big ailment is not making money as much faster than everyone else as some people would like.

kyllo 2 days ago 4 replies      
So what does Amazon do when it has finished using loss-leader pricing to drive its competitors out of business in every retail market where it wants to play? Clearly market share at any cost is the name of the game for Amazon. It is a well-oiled, market-share-taking machine. But when it has swallowed up so much of the retail market that it becomes a monopoly? Then what?
OGinparadise 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand Amazon investors. They own a piece of of a $100+ billion company that makes virtually no profit (relatively speaking) for a decade plus. To make money they'd have to increase prices drastically but that's Amazon's selling point (along with customer service,) their competition isn't going away any time soon.
jusben1369 2 days ago 1 reply      
I enjoyed this article. I was a little confused though by the final conclusion. Amazon shouldn't do a nice, high end tablet as that's not its competitive strength while also being Apple's strength. So don't play on their turf - I get that. But then Apple should do a lower margin mass market iPad for example? The author appears to argue that Apple has done this with iPod's - I guess it would be great if he fleshed that out further because the general consensus is Apple doesn't care for/get the lower margin/high volume play. If they did they might have maintained an early PC lead.
hkmurakami 2 days ago 3 replies      
> Attacking the market with a low margin strategy has other benefits, though, ones often overlooked or undervalued. For one thing, it strongly deters others from entering your market...

Not having to sweat a constant onslaught of new competitors is really underrated. You can allocate your best employees to explore new lines of business, you can count on a consistent flow of cash from your more mature product or service lines...

Isn't this contradictory? Having a low margin business by definition should mean that you have a smaller cash flow available to fund your R&D?

Also, somewhat unrelated, but I think one needs to draw a distinction between a low margin consumer staple style business (like cosmetics, food, or Amazon) and a low margin discretionary style business (luxury goods or consumer tech).

bobbles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah I'm sure Apple is just SOOO frustrated at Amazons low margins. It's not like Apple is generating record profits or anything now is it?
hef19898 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sums up the major differences between companies like Apple and Amazon in really good way.

I for myself thought about this a couple of days back. It was more like brain training in Supply Chain Management (the execution of the mentioned low and high margin strategies if you want). Now, Low vs. High margins looks more than just obvious.

What I came up with, and please feel free to give feed-back, as one big difference between Amazon and Apple is the product range. Amazon has orders of magnitude more products and commodities than Apple. What makes it eassier (not easy, mind you, just easier) for Apple to manage their supply chain. You can see this in their release schedule, everthing is planned according to that. Hard to do with thousands of product lines. In this area, Apple is really doing great in the planning part of supply chain management, from my outside perspective they are a benchmark here for everybody else. Plus, one could argue their supply chain strategy matches perfectl their business strategy.

Amazon on the other excels at the logistics part of supply chain management. As mentioned in the article, they have to in order to get their low margins and high customer satisfaction. Currently, I'd say Amazon is doing to logistics what Toyota did up to the lets say 80s and Wal-Mart did up to the early 2000s (no coincidence that Amazon hired Wal-Mart people back then).

What both companies have in comon is really good view of Point-of-Sales data. Big difference here to most other companies around.

How does all that match with high and low margins? In the place of Apple excellence in supply chain planning is used in combination with a narrow product range to allow for high margins and high inventory turn rates (again, a narrow product range is helping a lot here). Supplier management is critical point here, too.

In the place of Amazon logistic excellence is used to run an very efficient ditribution network. This efficiency allows them things like next-day delivery and their low margins. Think Toyota Production System and Lean and all the businesses that tried to copy that since the late ninties.

So, as long as both companies can keep their respective levels of operational performance up I don't think they are in trouble.

Back on the OP, the low margin-attack was what the whole Android industry did on Apple, Samsung in particular. But Samsung is different story all together.

ethyreal 2 days ago 3 replies      
"A lot of folks, especially Apple supporters, like to characterize Amazon as irrational, even crazy, for its willingness to live with low margins. It must be frustrating to compete with a company like that."

This assumes that Apple is actually competing with amazon. Does BMW compete with say Ford.... maybe but really they are after different markets. Apple has said numerous times they are not interested in going after the low end market.

ActVen 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Your margin is my opportunity" -Jeff Bezos
anactofgod 2 days ago 1 reply      
It would make sense for Apple to lower its prices to capture and lock in a bigger market share, but only if they were able to meet the resulting demand.

But, if they are constrained by supply chain and manufacturing capacity, then maintaining the highest prices the market will bear makes the most sense.

monochromatic 2 days ago 1 reply      
Amazon could have had a margin of zero and still made money.


rayiner 2 days ago 2 replies      
Didn't Amazon post a loss last quarter?
Andy_Troutman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Andy Jassy's keynote from this year's AWS conference (amazon's web service business) talks about running AWS as a high-volume, low margin business and why that's so different from high-margin businesses. The whole keynote is interesting, but here is the part that's pertinent to this discussion:
tyang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazon has a defensible moat for physical products. Apple has Samsung.
atechie 2 days ago 0 replies      
It should be titled " Amazon, Apple and the beauty of high volumes"
kbar13 2 days ago 1 reply      
what's that crazy data-block-json? SEO stuff?
MySQL - Do Not Pass This Way Again grimoire.ca
176 points by craigkerstiens  16 hours ago   130 comments top 22
viraptor 15 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm really not sure what to think of that article. On one hand side, I definitely agree with it and I've experienced many issues with MySQL.

On the other, there are so many... strange points, it's hard for me to trust the author about the parts that are new to me. Things I've found weird so far are:

- "my favourite example being a fat-fingered UPDATE query where a mistyped = (as -, off by a single key) caused 90% of the rows in the table to be affected," - if I ever run "rm -rf . /" fat-fingering the space, I'm going to blame myself only - not fileutils or bash - this has nothing to do with the database

- (about backups) "Unless you meticulously lock tables or make the database read-only for the duration," - this is not trivial, but logging onto slave and doing "FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK, sync, snapshot, UNLOCK TABLES" is not rocket science either. And it's well documented on their "backup methods" page.

- "It's unrealistic to expect every single user to run SHOW CREATE TABLE before every single query, or to memorize the types of every column in your schema, though." - ... yeah... we shouldn't ask them to remember the syntax either - just keep guessing until you get everything right ;)

- "Foreign keys are ignored if you spell them certain, common, ways" - another case of "I want to use the wrong syntax, but still get the right answer"

I really wish he limited himself to hard facts - the main idea of the article wouldn't suffer at all. There are enough things to hate in MySQL without going into the subjective and "inconvenient, but still ok" parts.

dangrossman 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I appreciate this well-argued piece of persuasive writing for not choosing MySQL, but the premise is surprising -- I don't recall seeing, on Hacker News or elsewhere, any writeups from companies that chose MySQL then ran into significant problems they had to architect around, nor writeups from companies that chose MySQL then had to rip everything out to switch to something in the same family of solutions (Postgres, Oracle, etc).
dendory 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I started 7 years ago with SQLite and still have all my sites and webapps running on that. Works wonderfully for me. Meanwhile I must have seen close to a dozen data storage systems become popular then be replaced by the next big thing, from MySQL to NoSQL and everything in between.
zzzeek 13 hours ago 2 replies      
this is my favorite MySQL "decision", that the GROUP BY keyword by default (that is, unless you turn it off with the late-added magic flag ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY) will gladly select an essentially "random" (well, the first row based on INSERT order, which in SQL is as good as random) row for you:

    mysql: create table data (token_a varchar(10), token_b varchar(10));
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.05 sec)

mysql: insert into data (token_a, token_b) values ('A', 'A');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.01 sec)

mysql: insert into data (token_a, token_b) values ('A', 'B');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql: insert into data (token_a, token_b) values ('B', 'B');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql: insert into data (token_a, token_b) values ('B', 'A');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql: select * from data group by token_a;
| token_a | token_b |
| A | A |
| B | B |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Note here the value we get for "token_b" is based on whether or not "A" or "B" were inserted first. The second "token_b" for each "token_a" (as well as any number of other rows that might follow it for that "token_a") is just discarded.

The scary thing is that I semi-regularly come across applications in Very Important Industries that have large amounts of SQL that rely upon this behavior of "picking any old row" for you, rather than selecting a MAX() or MIN() of some column and then joining to a subquery of the GROUP BY + aggregate....because joining to a subquery in MySQL also performs like crap.

danso 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Ugh, maybe my Internet is slow, but I can't seem to get the page to load. Maybe there should be an unofficial rule that if you're going to write a worthwhile article about database and, I assume since I can't yet read it, performance, you should enable caching on your blog

Edit: here's the raw text version stored on github

16s 15 hours ago 3 replies      
MySQL is the visual basic of SQL databases. Anyone can set one up and use it.

The problem is that many non-technical people use MySQL and then think they know all about DBs. Ask them what ACID is, or about foreign key constraints. You'll get blank stares. If you know what those things are and value them, you probably don't use MySQL.

mscarborough 13 hours ago 6 replies      
This person doesn't even offer a solution?

How is it that people who have blogs that take 30 seconds to load continue to give performance advice that gets upvoted?

The funny thing is that this blog's performance is based on some cookie. If I reload in Chrome? 2 sec. If I reload in "Incognito Chrome", it's again really slow.

So seriously, just stop with these authoritative blog posts when you don't even know what you're talking about.

Happymrdave 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked at one data-heavy startup where things were on MySQL and even with a lot of consulting by Percona, eventually it just couldn't keep up with our needs, and the project was ported to PostgreSQL. I've worked on other projects that were less data intensive and MySQL worked fine though.

If given a choice, I'll take PostgreSQL any day, but I do understand that people are hesitant to change database whey they don't need to. If you are encountering trouble though, by all means, move on.

matt2000 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd be very interested to hear from people using other databases on whether their DB of choice is much better. I've been using MySQL for a while, have been burned by a few things, but figured it was mainly my fault. If indeed there are better options I'd love to hear the details.

(Just to be clear, I know about other databases, just aren't sure if any are that much better in real world use).

billrobertson42 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article lost me at this.

> Already on MySQL? Migrate.

Got a silly little thing in the corner running just fine on MySQL. Go spend time on it? No.

pippy 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been hearing bad things about MySQL, so I've been avoiding it as of late.

So far my experience has been subpar.

PostgreSQL is pedantic with data insertion, almost to a fault. This costs me development time. (Also I have no idea what my users will do, and I'd rather have faulty data inserted than none at all. If it's for a client asking about a product, this could cost money). Yet purists claim this is a great feature. It's also about twice as slow as MySQL (admittedly this is likely due to the maturity of the environment I'm working in).

I personally like PostgreSQL. However I see it more as a guilty nerd pleasure rather than a development time effective solution.

MSSQL is very nice, and my experience has been the best. Microsoft's tools are top quality. You'll find yourself very productive; creating advanced SQL views, mirroring, and snapshots. However MSSQL reeks of vender lockin, I had to virtualise the MSSQL tools, and getting the drivers to work on Linux took almsot two days of googling. Despite ease of use, the vendor lockin doesn't make MSSQL worth it.

paul_f 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is a bit of an elitist attitude in this point of view. Of course MySQL is not perfect. That's a strawman argument, nobody is claiming it is.

For 99+% of all applications that need a simple database, it is more than "good enough".

contingencies 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Used MySQL for 10+ years. I found it great for most purposes. I don't feel I left MySQL because of MySQL's failings, but that of all monolithic RDBMS.
jacques_chester 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great article.

But I really wish it had sources for each of the claims. I would be interested to read the relevant documentation, because some of these directly describe problems I've had with running a Wordpress installation.

And I've been blaming Wordpress for it. There's possibly a big mea culpa brewing; but I'd really like to look at the specifics.

exabrial 1 hour ago 2 replies      
>>It's good enough. No it ain't. There are plenty of other equally-capable data storage systems that don't come with MySQL's huge raft of edge cases and quirks.

Actually, it is good enough. Good enough to powere billions of websites. Good enough not to pay for Oracle, DB2, or trying to cram some half-finished nosql mess in where a relational database works better.

MySQL isn't an end all, but please, don't pretend that NoSQL holds all the answers.

sadmysqluser 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ronald Bradford's http://www.slideshare.net/ronaldbradford/my-sql-idiosyncrasi...
is worth reviewing for anyone who runs MySQL.

I especially like how he explains SQL_MODE bit by bit and ends up recommending

        SQL_MODE =

I also recommend "MySQL 5.1 vs. MySQL 5.5: Floats, Doubles, and Scientific Notation" http://blog.mozilla.org/it/2013/01/17/mysql-5-1-vs-mysql-5-5... for anyone who working with non-integer numerics.

ybrs 13 hours ago 1 reply      
i read until the backup process and gave up reading through, for cold backups of online databases, you should use percona's extrabackup, its open source and free and works perfectly. http://www.percona.com/doc/percona-xtrabackup/
if you are using mysql a simple googling "hot backup mysql" will lead to that, i guess author didn't even bother to search.

besides, you need to use replication and connect a couple of slaves if you care about being online and backup from one of the slaves - which is a common practice for all databases not for mysql. if you are trying to dump from the master without slaves good luck with any database.

redegg 15 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks similar to the MongoDB FUD from a year or two ago. Nevertheless, I don't like MySQL and prefer PostgreSQL for all my projects.
hpaavola 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead of writing these rants go and build a WAMP like package with PostgreSQL or other alternatives. That might actually do some good.
wereHamster 15 hours ago 2 replies      
If you must use MySQL, at least switch to MariaDB. Those Oracle folks can not be trusted anymore, not even with a toaster.
apapli 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I originally was using MySQL to learn with rails because it was so simple to set up on my Mac.

The only reason I migrated (quite early I may add) is that at the time Heroku pretty much mandated I move to postgres.

I'm glad I made the move, but I'd say awareness of the alternatives is the limiting factor. The brand awareness MySQL has is pretty big compared with many others. I wonder how much impact Heroku's decision to support postgres has helped those similar to myself drop mysql.

nnnnni 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm going to rant against MySQL, but I'm not going to suggest a better alternative."
       cached 27 January 2013 16:11:01 GMT