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.
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?
"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.
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.
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?
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.
(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.)
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.
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
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)"
"Thank You HN: From 30 people whose lives you saved"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4815006
"Show HN - We just built a site that saves lives"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081
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!
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.
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.
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.
I really like what Watsi is doing. They even "eat the credit card processing fees"
That way, there's at least a chance that I'd see the person that I helped someday.
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).
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?
I also use Kiva  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.
 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081 http://www.kiva.org/
How do they pay for operations costs - is there a separate donations channel?
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.
<< 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?
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!
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.
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?
I think everyone is trying to do good here, but nobody is solving the real problems.
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?
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.
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 :).
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.
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!
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.
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.
 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.
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?
Dear government, how about passing a law that benefits me for a change? It's been a while.
I'm furious right now.
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.
Dial the following keys #197328640#
Main Menu >  UMTS >  Debug Screen >  Phone Control >  Network Lock > Options 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  Network Lock then choose  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&...
"III. The Designated ClassesUpon 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 â" 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."
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 :\
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.
Either way, I don't think that the DMCA was designed to ensure a telecom oligopoly.
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 NiemĂ¶ller 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!
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...
I hope people start avoiding the contracts because of this stupid law.
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.
In Brazil, my home country, is illegal for a carrier to not unlock your phone if you ask.
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.
So if I flash the firmware with a copy of software I own, am I then free to perform the unlocking action?
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.
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.
Can someone explain to me why AT&T is allowed to unlock phones if unlocking phones is illegal?
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 (~ÂŁ400), but now I pay ÂŁ12 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?
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?
This transition will not pull through, it will most probably lead to a revolution of some kind (this is a pattern seen throughout history).
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.
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???
(Yes, I know DC isn't a "state")
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.
I couldn't really learn Erlang, 'cos it didn't exist, so I invented it
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sadly, there's still too much choice there as well. Even worse, many would reject the very idea.
I couldn't agree more on that one.
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.
PS: Yes, I know that not the whole discussion was about this question. Still.
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"
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.
If you didn't study CS and want to improve your knowledge of algorithms, I found Coursera classes to be very good.
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. :-)
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.
Is that sad or pure genius?
Reminded me of http://norvig.com/21-days.html
("Am Anfang schaute ich mich um, konnte den Wagen von dem ich trĂ€umte, nicht finden. Also beschloss ich ihn mir selbst zu bauen.")
-- Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche on inventing the 356
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.
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  and Heymann . There are a lot more.
Also, help us with extending RECAP:
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.
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.
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).
(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.)
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.
"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.
We need a prosecutor to draw up charges...oh, wait.
Who prosecutes the prosecutors?
Leads me to question whether this case is as black-and-white as it would seem.
(Full disclosure: I am a supporter of IJ.)
I can't help but think that whoever made the decision to bring this frivolous case to trial should pay the fees.
Points of interest to me:
Lee Cheng: And we'll take a case through trial as a matter of principle because we want to accomplish the purpose of making good law. Like eBay did, like Quanta did when they challenged LG. It's part of our duty as a good corporate citizen to try to accelerate the rationalization of patent law.
This guy talks like a crusader for just law instead of an executive or business owner. You'd pretty never hear this from anyone in a public company, it just wouldn't be possible. More's the pity that most people can't really achieve big results like this; we have to retain ownership of our businesses in order to really live out our principles.
A commenter on Ars, on why no one else fought Soverain to the end:
I think the problem from most defendants' perspective is that they can just pass the costs along to their customers without facing any strategic disadvantage. Compared to its competitors, does Newegg winning this lawsuit give them any competitive advantage? After all, their competitors are no longer subject to paying for the invalidated settlements either.
By paying the settlements, the companies reinforce an awful system, but they also don't need to face the volatility and potential cost of a jury-trial in districts cherry-picked by the trolls. By going to trial, the defendant only stands to maintain patent troll cost parity with their competitors (if they win and invalidate their competitors' settlements)- or they lose and get hit with a judgment that could be extremely costly.
Further, in most organizations, management risks the ire of their shareholders should they elect to go to trial and lose. They're again put in a situation where their personal risks outweigh any benefits they stand to gain. Even for executives that consider themselves ethical, they can still rationalize that minimizing risk to the shareholders is the ethical decision.
This seems true enough - from a (rational) game-theoretic perspective, why should any victim really fight hard to overcome a troll, if in doing so they risk big losses, and don't gain any advantage over their competition even if they win? The main potential upside is that consumers and potential partners will view them more favorably and give them more business (as is happening now), but this is a very unreliable bet to make. The downsides of "doing the right thing" are very likely greater than the upsides.
The main motivator to fight the trolls has to be personal principle, and even then the principled person has to balance it against the real risks to his company and lifestyle. Newegg had the gumption and muscle to see the case to its end, but it was the lucky one, the one-in-a-hundred with the right attributes (principled owners, private ownership, deep pockets). We're not likely to see this kind of thing happen very often, with the odds stacked against what should be the right outcome.
And that's all the more reason to salute Lee Cheng, Fred Chang, and James Wu and their victory against profiteers in a flawed system. CEO Fred Chang probably deserves as many, if not more, accolades as Lee Cheng, for deciding as the major shareholder to take this battle to its end.
Looking at the companies who got sued by these trolls one can only wonder why it is that these companies don't unite to create a legal and financial firewall of sorts to go against trolls each and every time they stick their heads out of the slime they live in. All you really need is for trolls to be summarily destroyed for a few years to create the conditions for change.
I have not bought anything from Newegg in a long, long time. Sometimes I almost instinctively just buy through Amazon. Now it will be different. Because I admire, respect and appreciate what Newegg did here I will do my small part and move whatever business I can their way. It's my own little way of saying "thank you" to a company that didn't just stand-up for themselves but rather for all of us.
Maybe if enough of us chose to vote with our cash more companies might be convinced to fight trolls rather than cave in.
Continuing the thought experiment, what if companies continued to do business but added a surcharge to products shipped to troll-favorable districts? It seems that the jurors in those areas would be more intimately aware of patent trolls if they had to pay a 1% extra fee when they ordered Avon products.
I'm sure some companies do such a thing and just bundle it up with the cost of the product itself, but I'm curious if any companies took a more forceful stance.
My congratulations to Newegg for their courage and resolve in standing up to Soverain. At NetMarket, we were proud of ourselves for figuring out after a few days that we couldn't put the state of the shopping cart items in the URL, since you lost it with the back button, and so we needed to use a state ID in the URL as a key to the database. The idea that this was patentable was and is absurd.
Whenever exec's talk about needing to file patents for "self defense" I always think of cases like this. I don't know anything about OpenMarket, but I'm guessing they had similar logic. Then they go belly-up and these toxic patents make their way into a trolls portfolio.
No matter the company, IMHO, it's generally best to abstain from any patent fishing expeditions.
Is there a site somewhere listing which firms represent patent trolls?
We need to see alot more of this happening - hopefully this will show people there is another way to go, i.e. never ever settle with a patent troll, no matter how scary the alternative may seem to be. 3 patents invalidated but thousands to go. It is disgusting that these trolls managed to collect so much money before their garbage patents were ruled as such.
I read that the judge said jurors would be confused... is this normal in any other type of case? Not a satisfying explanation.
Large established and heavily profitable organizations like Newegg might be able to pull this off, but what about all the small startups that are forced into bankruptcy by settling when the trolls come knocking? They don't have the resources to put up a fight. If larger companies tend to fight the tedious and expensive legal battles or avoid getting harassed by other companies by building up their own stash of patents that they can use to retaliate, in the long term what it really does is incentivize companies to go after larger numbers of smaller fish that can't put up a fight.
Is there a legal way to make them pay for their prior litigation? Or to force them to pay Neweggs legal fees?
I mean, what?
How else are you supposed to do it?
I mean.. seriously? They patented the concept of keeping track of things a customer intends to buy?
If no one had ever done this before, how many people would arrive a this solution tomorrow?
It's not hard to implement and absurdly obvious to even think of.
Not quite as good as Amazon but way up there.
And it's a shame there isn't much cooperation between people attacked by patent trolls. It feels like there could be benefits of scale if you have 5 firms cooperating against a troll.
Good job, Newegg!
Could it gain traction?
Quirky went straight for the "justice" aspect in their post without presenting much info or even a cursory discussion of related patents.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
But OXO handled it brilliantly and turned it into a PR coup of their own.
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.
It's slightly juvenile, but you know what? Quirky swung first; they don't get to complain when somebody swings back.
Kudos to Oxo.
> 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:
> Â© 2013, Philippe Dubost
Seems a bit strange to me.
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.
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!
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.
I think the idea is novel.
If only I was hiring...
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.
Doesn't have to be the most readable format since he has the same information in other places.
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!
somewhat disapointed; was much more impressed when i thought it was an actual amazon product listing..
Obligatory plug for my favourite HL1 mod:http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns/
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"...
It's officially just for Windows, but it runs fine in Wine.
* 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.
On the one hand â" 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 â" 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Everybody seems to be on his side without having the details.
âThe 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.â
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
When someone finds fault with the way a field conducts itself, I would implore them to constructively influence that field. You might be surprised how many are actually sympathetic to your concerns.
I'm not dismissing this author's concerns: to do that would really require knowing the molecular biology field (which is more than sequencing, it turns out). I do neuroscience right now, and programming can be a problem for some. But a constructive suggestion to change can have much more impact than a long rant.
The tools are written by (in my experience) very smart bioinformaticians who aren't taught much computer science in school (you get a smattering, but mostly it's biology, math, chemistry, etc.). Ex:
The tools themselves are written by smart non-programmers (a very dangerous combination) and so you get all sorts of unusual conventions that make sense only to the author or organization that wrote it, anti-patterns that would make a career programmer cringe, and a design that looks good to no one and is barely useable.
Then, as he said, they get grants to spend millions of dollars on giant clusters of computers to manage the data that is stored and queried in a really inefficient way.
There's really no incentive to make better software because that's not how the industry gets paid. You get a grant to sequence genome "X". After it's done? You publish your results and move on. Sure, you carve out a bit for overhead but most of it goes to new hardware (disk arrays, grid computing, oh my).
I often remarked that if I had enough money, there would be a killing to be made writing genome software with a proper visual and user experience design, combined with a deep computer science background. My perfect team would be a CS person, a geneticist, a UX designer, and a visual designer. Could crank out a really brilliant full-stack product that would blow away anything else out there (from sequencing to assembly to annotation and then cataloging/subsequent search and comparison).
Except, I realized that most folks using this software are in non-profits, research labs, and universities, so - no, there in fact is not a killing to be made. No one would buy it.
I spent five years working in bioinformatics, and this is exactly the attitude of both the researchers and the other developers on the projects I worked on. It was very frustrating.
- This guy clearly has a limited understanding of the field. This quote is laughable: "There are only two computationally difficult problems in bioinformatics, sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree construction."
- As a bioinformatician, I feel sorry for this guy. Just like any other field, there are shitty places to work. If I was stuck in a lab where a demanding PI with no computer skills kept throwing the results of poorly designed experiments at me and asking for miracles, I'd be a little bitter too.
- Just like any other field, there are also lots of places that are great places to work and are churning out some pretty goddamn amazing code and science. I'm working in cancer genomics, and we've already done work where the results of our bioinformatic analyses have saved people's lives. Here's one high-profile example that got a lot of good press. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/health/in-gene-sequencing-...)
- I'm in the field of bioinformatics to improve human health and understand deep biological questions. I care about reproducibility and accuracy in my code, but 90% of the time, I could give a rat's ass about performance. I'm trying to find the answer to a question, and if I can get that answer in a reasonable amount of time, then the code is good enough. This is especially true when you consider that 3/4 of the things I do are one-off analyses with code that will never be used again. (largely because 3/4 of experiments fail - science is messy and hard like that). If given a choice between dicking around for two weeks to make my code perfect, or cranking out something that works in 2 hours, I'll pretty much always choose the latter. ("Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming." --Donald Knuth)
- That said, when we do come up with some useful and widely applicable code, we do our best to optimize it, put it into pipelines with robust testing, and open-source it, so that the community can use it. If his lab never did that, they're rapidly falling behind the rest of the field.
- As for his assertion that bad code and obscure file formats are job security through obscurity, I'm going to call bullshit. For many years, the field lacked people with real CS training, so you got a lot of biologists reading a perl book in their spare time and hacking together some ugly, but functional solutions. Sure, in some ways that was less than optimal, but hell, it got us the human genome. The field is beginning to mature, and you're starting to see better code and standard formats as more computationally-savvy people move in. No one will argue that things couldn't be improved, but attributing it to unethical behavior or malice is just ridiculous.
tl;dr: Bitter guy with some kind of bone to pick doesn't really understand or accurately depict the state of the field.
For example, it isn't true at all that microarray data is worthless. The early data was bad, and it was very over-hyped, but with a decade of optimization of the measurement technologies, better experimental designs, and better statistical methods, genome-wide expression analysis became a routine and ubiquitous tool.
The claim that sequencing isn't important is ridiculous. It's the scaffold to which all of biological research can be attached.
There is a great deal of obfuscation, and reinventing well-known algorithms under different names (perhaps often inadvertently). There's also a lot of low-quality drivel on tool implementations or complete nonsense. This is driven largely by the need in academia to publish.
The other side of this problem is that in general, CS and computer scientists don't get much respect in biology. People care about Nature/Science/Cell papers, not about CS conference abstracts. Despite bioinformatics/computational biology not really being a new field anymore, the cultures are still very different.
Academia rewards journal publication and does not adequately reward programming and data collection and analysis, although these are indispensable activities that can be as difficult and profound as crafting a research paper. At least the National Science Foundation has done researchers a small favor by changing the NSF biosketch format in mid-January to better accommodate the contributions of programmers and "data scientists": the old category Publications has been replaced with Products.
Naming is important to administrators and bureaucrats. It can be easy to underestimate the extent to which names matter to them. Now there is a category under which the contribution of a programmer can be recognized for the purpose of academic advancement. Previously one had to force-fit programming under Synergistic Activities or otherwise stretch or violate the NSF biosketch format. This is a small step, but it does show some understanding that the increasingly necessary contributions of scientific programmers ought to be recognized. The alternative is attrition. Like the author of the article, programmers will go where their accomplishments are recognized.
Still, reforming old attitudes is like retraining Pavlov's dogs. Scientific programmers are lumped in with "IT guys." IT as in ITIL: the platitudinous, highly non-mathematical service as a service as a service Information Technocracy Indoctrination Library. There is little comprehension that computer science has specialized. For many academics, scientific programmers are interchangeable IT guys who do help desk work, system and network administration, build websites, run GIS analyses, write scientific software and get Gmail and Google Calendar synchronization running on Blackberries. It is as if scientists themselves could be satisfied if their colleagues were hired as "scientists" or "natural philosophers" with no further qualification, as opposed to "vulcanologist" or "meteorologist" (to a first order of approximation).
"Must be an expert in 18 technologies""Must have a PHD in Computer Science or Molecular Biology""Must have 12 years experience and post doctoral training""Pay: $30,000"
It's delusional because they apply the requirements it took for themselves to get a job in Molecular Biology (long PHD, post doc, very low pay for first jobs) and just apply it carte blanche to all fields that may be able to aid in their pursuits. Especially when it comes to software engineering where it can often be extremely difficult to explain why you did not pursue a PHD.
Yes, industry typically pays more than academia. Yes, most molecular biologists cannot code and rely on bioinformatics support. Yes, biological data is often noisy. Yes, code in bionformatics is often research grade (poorly implemented, poorly documented, often not available). These are all good points that have been made many times more potently by others in the field like C. Titus Brown (http://ivory.idyll.org/blog/category/science.html). But they are not universal truths and exceptions to these trends abound. Show me an academic research software system in any field outside of biology that is functional and robust as the UCSC genome browser (serving >500,000 requests a day) or the NCBI's pubmed (serving ~200,000 requests a day). To conclude from common shortcomings of academic research programming that bioinformatics is "computational shit heap" is unjustified and far from an accurate assessment of the reality of the field.
From looking into this guy a bit (who I've never heard of before today in my 10+ years in the field), my take on what is going is here is that this is the rant of a disgruntled physicist/mathematician is a self-proclaimed perfectionist (https://documents.epfl.ch/users/r/ro/ross/www/values.html), who moved into biology but did not establish himself in the field. From what I can tell contrasting his CV (https://documents.epfl.ch/users/r/ro/ross/www/cv.pdf) to his linkedin profile (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/frederick-ross/13/81a/47), it does not appear that he completed his PhD after several years of work, which is always a sign of something something going awry and that someone has had a bad personal experience in academic research. I think this is most important light to interpret this blog post in, rather than an indictment of the field.
That said, I would also like to see bioinformatics die (or at least whither) and be replaced by computational biology (see differences in the two fields here: http://rbaltman.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/bioinformatics-comp...). Many of the problems that apparently Ross has experienced come from the fact that most biologists cannot code, and therefore two brains (the biologist's and the programmer's) are required to solve problems that require computing in biology. This leads to an abundance of technical and social problems, which as someone who can speak fluently to both communities pains me to see happen on a regular basis. Once the culture of biology shifts to see programming as an essential skill (like using a microscope or a pipette), biological problems can be solved by one brain and the problems that are created by miscommunication, differences in expectations, differences in background, etc. will be minimized and situations like this will become less common.
I for one am very bullish that bioinformatics/computational biology is still the biggest growth area in biology, which is the biggest domain of academic research, and highly recommend students to move into this area (http://caseybergman.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/top-n-reasons-t...). Clearly, academic research is not for everyone. If you are unlucky, can't hack it, or greener pastures come your way, so be it. Such is life. But programming in biology ain't going away anytime soon, and with one less body taking up a job in this domain, it looks like prospects have just gotten that little bit better for the rest of us.
Minor quibble: genome assembly is definitely still an open problem that's computationally difficult. So is robust high dimension inference, but that falls more under statistics.
I've wanted to leave at least a dozen times too, for the better pay, for working with programmers that can teach me something, and to not have my work be interrupted by academic politics. But the people pissed at the status quo are the ones that are smart enough to see it's broken and try to fix it, and if we all leave, science is really fucked.
"[bioinformatics] software is written to be inefficient, to use memory poorly, and the cry goes up for bigger, faster machines! [...]"
Well, the author is heading for a very bitter surprise...
If you really feel strongly about something, write it dispassionately (normally some time after the event) and treat it like a dissertation, backed with case studies and citations.
I find it curious that he stops to salute ecologists, since I was in an ecology lab. I liked my labmates and our perspective, but we didn't have any magical ability to avoid the problems he aludes to here.
I think a lot of his frustration comes down to not being more involved in the planning process. That's not a new problem. R.A. Fisher put it this way in 1938: âTo consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what the experiment died of.â
Perhaps the idea that we can have bioinformatics specialists who wait for data is just wrong. Should we blame PIs who don't want to give up control to their specialists, or the specialists who don't push harder, earlier? Ultimately the problem will only be solved as more people with these skills move up the ranks. But the whole idea that we need more specialists working on smaller chunks of the problem may be broken from the start (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1183512/).
Sh*tty data? Comes from the community. If the data and algorithms are so poor, and the author so superior, he should have been able to improve the circumstances.
This whole screed reads like an entitled individual who entered a profession, didn't get the glory, oh and yeah, academia doesn't pay well.
In the realm of bioinformatics, lets ignore the work done on the human genome and the like.
Surely this means there's a goldmine waiting there for someone to produce a non-broken toolchain for bioinformatics?
Or is it even possible to produce standard tools? Maybe all the labs are too bespoke?
Any solid factual resources besides the references mentioned in this justified rant?
The fact of the matter is that through high-throughput sequencing, microarrays, what have you, generation of biologically-meaningful results is possible.
There are a lot of problems in bioinformatics that need to be solved. Github has helped. More of bioinformaticians are learning about good software development practices, and journal reviewers are becoming more enlightened of the merits of sharing source code.
Surely they can't get that far without having some kind of sensible method?
"Ept" means effective. As in "inept"
I don't understand this part:
> No one seems to have pointed out that this makes your database a reflection of your database, not a reflection of reality. Pull out an annotation in GenBank today and it's not very long odds that it's completely wrong.
In fact this entire article seems to be a rant on why bioinformatics as a field is rotting. But instead of ranting, surely something can be done about it?
Shouldn't we as hackers see this as an opportunity to revolutionize the field?
1. I agree that SE standards and good coding practice are completely absent in the bioinformatics world. I remember being asked to improved the speed of some sequence alignment tools and realized that the source code was originally Delphi that had been run through a C++ converter. No comments, single monolithic file. The vast majority of the bioinformatics code I worked with was poorly written/documented Perl.In addition a lot of bioinformatics guys don't understand SE process and so rather than having a coordinated engineering effort, you end up with a lot of "coyboy coding" with guys writing the same thing over and over.
2. I agree that productivity is very slow. This is a side product of research itself though. In the "real world" (quoted) where people need to sell software, time is the enemy. It's important to work together quickly to get a good product to market. In the research world, you get a 2/5 year grants and no one seems have much of a fire under them to get anything done (Hey we're good for 5 years!). You would think that the people would be motivated to cure caner quickly (etc), but it's not really the case. Research moves at a snail's pace - and consequently the productivity expectations of the bioinformatics group.
3. I disagree that research results from the scientists are garbage. Yes it's true that some experiments get screwed up. However, if you having a lot of people running those experiments over and over, the bad experiments clearly become outliers. Replication in the scientific community is good because it protects against bad data this way. Somehow the author must have had a particularly bad experience.
4. Something the author didn't mention that I think is important to understand: most scientists have no idea how to utilize software engineering resources. The pure biologists, many times are the boss, and don't really understand how to run a software division like bioinformatics. Many times PHD's in CS run a bioinformatics group, who have never worked in industry and don't know anything about good SE practice or how to run a software project. A lot of the problems in the bioinformatics industry is directly related to poor management. Wherever you go you're going to have team members that have trouble programming, trouble with their work ethic, trouble with following direction. However, in a bioinformatics environment where these individuals are given free reign and are not working as a cohesive unit, you can see why there is so much terrible code and duplication.
Just another data point for someone contemplating a career in BINF, although some purists might say that my work did not really fall under the same category.
More money, good on you. Starting off your critique of your former colleagues with "technically ept people'...not going to get a lot of sympathy for the correctness of your work.
Biologists are almost never good coders, if they can code at all. But thats not what they do, they signed up for pipettes, not python.
Its the programmers who wrote said shitty code that are to be blamed, but you can't hate under-paid and over-worked phd students who write this code even though it usually has nothing to do with their thesis (the math/algorithm is the main part, the deployable implementation is usually not the most important).
If you want good code and organized/accountable databases, go to industry. Theres nothing new about this transition. The IMPORTANT part, is that industry gives back to academia. So when you get an office with windows and a working coffee machine, remember to help make some phd student's life a little easier by making part of your code open source.
have you checked out synthetic biology? will it be easy to understand when you have a degree in bioinformatics?
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.
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 :)
I remember running your patched kernels circa 2000. Thanks for your hard work.
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."
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 PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 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. 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
What are you, stoned or stupid?
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)
Am I the only one with this problem, or did Google really not index "thousands of publicly accessible HP printers"?
I wonder if any of those are honeypots. It may be interesting to see if any visitors do something clever or unexpected.
My printer got slashdotted :(
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.
Can't live without it anymore. Just wish there was a practical way to give something like this to everyone.
- if it's 35Â°C outside, I sure as hell don't want a/c to loop on 20Â°C
- if it's -15Â°C outside, I sure as hell don't want a/c to loop on 20Â°C
So basically what I want is:
- 16Â°C minimum (below produces too much condensation on the windshield, and is not comfortable on long-ish commutes)- from 16Â°C at -10Â°C to 20Â°C at 20Â°C, maybe linear, maybe log, I don't know.
- and cap at 20Â°C max inside...
- ...but have a maximum negative delta of -5Â°C with the outside temperature (i.e 29Â°C outside means 24Â°C inside)
- yet with a true absolute maximum of 28Â°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.
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.
Perhaps a calorie counter suggesting meals for dinner (keeping a balanced diet and all that jazz)? Outfit suggestions based upon the weather?
I don't agree with every stylistic choice, but that's some of the best professional writing in the fling-a-firecracker-outside-of-your-silo circumstance that I've ever seen. ("I do not believe our company has recognized the material financial losses inevitably associated with the above Citi liability." is accountant-speak for "THE WORLD IS ON FIRE!")
After reading the whole thing, I was a little shocked to realize the answer is "No, there was no one important who would listen." The accountant who essentially documented the impending collapse of Citigroup in less than 2 pages was interviewed by the SEC and then never heard from them again. Then there's this guy:
> The congressional responses were, âThank you for your letter, and thank you for your interest.â And, âWe'll look into this,â basically.
> I also wrote letters to just about every television journalist, and network journalist that I could get my hands on. Sent as e-mail with attachments and never received any response. [I wrote to] CNN and Fox News. ABC News, NBC News, CBS. My daughter was working at that time with one of the network affiliates in Phoenix, and she knew how upset I was about this whole thing. So she put me in contact with their consumer reporter, who does the consumer complaints and that sort of thing. He came out to my house and interviewed me for about 45 minutes. And I gave him documentation, and tried to as best I could to explain the situation to someone that was basically ignorant of the mortgage industry. Never heard another word. âŠ
> During the mortgage meltdown, [Fox News host] Bill O'Reilly was having a temper tantrum on his show where he was going off about, âWhy didn't I hear about this? Why didn't somebody tell me about all this that was going on?â And I almost threw my shoe through the television set. Ask my wife â" I was screaming and yelling, âI did try to let you know.â âCause he had been one of the ones that I had sent e-mails and attachments with all of this stuff. âŠ
What the hell are these people supposed to do? Start posting their warnings all over the internet and hope it goes viral? What are the chances that would work vs. the chances they'd all be dismissed as conspiracy theorist crackpots?
It's easy to think "If I were in any of their positions, I would've gotten the entire country's attention", but it seems people at every level are determined to be ignorant as long as it's profitable.
To a close approximation, no one wanted to hear the warnings.
To find culprits, most Americans need only look in the mirror.
Only penalty was a month's worth of profit. Not one person will serve a day in prison.
But hey, don't unlock your phone, it's a felony. Or download and free journal articles.
This was a lesson we needed to learn as a nation, not one we just need to blame on bankers. Many people participated in the fraud, many banks were complicit with the fraud. That means we should be locking up home buyers right along with the bankers. In fact many of the people interviewed here as whistle-blowers went on being complicit with fraud. None (except the one executive) quit their jobs or even protested in a significant fashion. They all just kept doing work they knew was wrong.
Disclosure: Im an ex-Journalist and an ex-Banker.
Just as today many economists are ringing the alarm bells: the governments public debt issues (both in U.S., Japan and many countries in the Eurozone) are going to end up very badly.
Many central banks (including in the U.S.) have basically become bad banks. Anyone holding medium and long-term public government debt (like many insurance products) are basically bankrupt because governments are going to default.
If you think 2008 was bad, wait until the house of cards collapse. It shall make 1929 look like a cute event.
Some economists are predicting a worlwide GDP drop of as much as 25%.
Of course economists that you see on Fox news and CNN like Krugman (sure, lets create a one trillion $ coin, it's a good idea: why not then create 16 of these and be done with our public debt?) either totally lost it or are playing the game that the state asked them to play: propaganda.
Capitalism cannot work if the cost of printing money is zero (quantitative easing).
Actually I don't think we're living in a capitalistic world. I think we live in a socialist world bent on confiscating savings (at the benefit of the state) using inflation. But the system has its limit.
And who are you going to prosecute and hold responsible once everything collapses? The states are basically forcing everyone into buying their junk bonds.
Do you really think anyone would buy government bonds seen the current situation?
The people responsible for this are very very high up the chain. They're desperately trying to prevent the house of socialist cards from falling apart.
"The problem of socialism is that at one point you run out of other people's money". And that's where we're arriving now.
Of course they're going to pretend that it's not the states that created the state debt but "evil" capitalists. What a joke : (
That's the duty of the Executive branch.
"we have a responsibility in the person of our President; he cannot act improperly, and hide either his negligence or inattention; [...] far from being above the laws, he is amenable to them in his private character as a citizen, and in his public character by impeachment." -James Wilson (a Founding Father of the US)
"Not but that crimes of a strictly legal character fall within the scope of the power [of impeachment]; but that it has a more enlarged operation, and reaches, what are aptly termed political offenses, growing out of personal misconduct or gross neglect, or usurpation, or habitual disregard of the public interests, various in their character, and so indefinable in their actual involutions, that it is almost impossible to provide systematically for them by positive law." -Joseph Story (Supreme Court Justice, 1811-1845)
The most outrageous part in my mind was where Assistant AG Lanny Breuer (who just resigned) gave a speech in which he talked about how he loses sleep at night over concerns about what bringing a lawsuit against a big Wall Street corporation could do.
Imagine if you applied that argument to prosecuting drug cartels! "Just think of all the poor footmen and couriers who might lose their jobs if we prosecute their ringleader"
I found the programme to be very interesting and raise important points but as always, it IS very hard to prove criminal actions in cases like these and while some might be greedy they might not actually be criminal.
That said; it seems that some knew about these unsavory dealings and hopefully they will face justice.
The Frontline episode 'The Warning' is related and also good:
what I came away with was how durable secrets are
here was this billion dollar opportunity that a bunch of people became insanely rich exploiting
and it wasn't a secret at all
a bunch of people where doing everything they could to tell people how overpriced the housing market was, and the opportunity still persisted
it seems like there is so much noise in the world, that signal becomes indistuinghable
If you apply for a loan and misrepresent your financial situation, this is not fraud (which is a crime) it's a lie, and lying is NOT a crime. You can say you're a teacher making a million a year and what's supposed to happen is the application should be denied (and may be your credit score might suffer).
It is the responsibility of the bank, not the applicant, to make sure that the applicant can repay the loan. Issuing a loan to someone who you know is misrepresenting one's financial situation is fraud and a crime. When such a loan is issued, it is the bank defrauding the applicant (not the other way around). It's essentially loan sharking or extortion, which is a felony. In doing so the bank is also failing in its fiduciary responsibility to the depositors, which is a (separate) crime as well.
EDIT for a typo.
more tragicomedy, with some great work by NYT euphemism writer "suggests bad behavior"
It's disgusting because we don't get to say Aaron Swartz lived in a "freedom of information bubble".
Aaron Swartz downloaded some documents â" was to be thrown in jail and eventually died by his own hand, perceivably because of the weight of the hammer being dropped down on him.
BUT...wreck the entire economy, cause thousands to lose their home, their job, their careers? NOTHING. What the fuck is going on?
Ask a basic question on physics, biology, or engineering and only an actual scientist will pipe up. I blame science fiction novels.
I mean we don't actually know why anything really works, but we have some models which fit the observations at the moment. This is just a very shallow model i.e. "we poked it and it worked".
This is something that often bothers me about the r/atheism crowd.
A young person encountering an idea like evolution for the first time should be extremely skeptical and require much convincing, because it is not an intuitive idea at all. Believing in it just because the teacher says you will get a bad grade on the test if you don't does nothing to inculcate scientific thinking in young people.
Now, students unwilling to engage with physical evidence obviously have a different problem. But with the level of discourse I see coming out of many proponents of atheism on the Internet, I often feel many of them are proud of their "command of abstract dogmas" and are not particularly people demonstrating the "ability to generate knowledge."
I read this an immediately saw a parallel with computer science. To quote from CLRS:  "Computer scientists are intrigued by how a small change to the problem statement can cause a big change in the efficiency of the best known algorithm". It strikes me as incredible how seemingly simple concepts can be the tip of a much bigger iceberg of complexity. Another example of this would be the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem  . A proposition one can understand with primary school mathematics, whose proof eluded mathematicians for centuries and required the invention of new mathematics. Sir Andrew Wiles, the person who proved the proposition, had to see deep symmetries between a plethora of domains in mathematics. The main idea that I find remarkable is the incredible complexity of the world in which we live - even the smallest of changes to a concept we think we understand (Electrochemistry, Algorithms, Mathematics), can redirect the trajectory of our understanding completely. To me, this seems as if we have only the most superficial understanding of the myriad structures and substructures of the universe. New developments in all areas of science excite me greatly purely because our understanding has been advanced that infinitesimally bit more.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Algorithms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat%27s_Last_Theorem
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
What is the deal?
For good gambling discussion: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/57/poker-legislation/
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.
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.
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.
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.
But what's up with travel startups not allowing remote workers? I'm looking for work right now, including at a travel startup, and that's just baffling to me.
Some of them offer an enhanced vacation "perk", but that sort of misses the point â" I (and probably a lot of people who are passionate about travel) am more put off by having to be in the same place 48-52 weeks out of the year than I would be having to carry a laptop to wheverer it is I feel like being in the world.
This could be a great tool that allows people to do powerful, meaningful searches that have been limited to more technical folk. The business model is there, the big question is whether the queries are allowed to run long enough to find the best results.
"anywhere" appears to search a list of cities in sequence, not in parallel.
The top city on the list is Beijing (I doubt Tallinn-Beijing has ever existed or ever will); Dubai, Shanghai and Incheon are also in the first ten. Combine this with the server speed, and you have me staring at a throbber for far, far too long for searches that I know won't succeed and should have been trivially filtered out.
If I repeat the search, the same 48 cities are shown in the same order. Please stop trying to get me to go to Beijing. Consider a longer list, randomising the order and searching in parallel.
Your search results show no direct flights from Tallinn to London or Paris next month. This appears to miss results from RyanAir, EasyJet and Estonian Air. (Of these, your coverage page only claims to support EasyJet.)
I always felt that travel search was a big pain point that I was invested in solving. It also has some very obnoxious data lockdowns after scale. Anyone here have a ready blueprint for some great resources to test and hack around different travel search and booking engines with helpful APIs? I know some offer odds and ends...
Everything is running extremely sluggishly for me right now - including the wingtip time reported on the page? - dunno if HN is a contributor but FYI! Totally unusable even vs. doing month-wide ITA Matrix searches.
This type of search is really what I'm looking for. I love that you can type in "somewhere warm" and give general time frames. I don't know if something this flexible has been implemented elsewhere (maybe without the natural language search) but I haven't seen something this flexible before.
I'll have to try this out a few times along with my standard travel search to see how the results quality compares but I'm hoping this provides insights into deals and locations that were previously much harder to find.
I'm currently searching for the cheapest way, I dont care how long it takes, to get from Guatemala City to as close as I can get to Santiago, Chile.
After a number of Adioso searches I found that it would be much cheaper for me to fly - Guatemala - Miami - Lima, saving me around $400 per person (flying with my gf).
A feature I would love would be a reverse search. Searching by destination with an open ended departure location. I'd love to put in Departure: North America Destination:Santiago, Chile and find the cheapest option.
I think it will take some time for people to realise that the geography of their real world travel conversations ("ever done South-East Asia?", "I'd love to see Eastern Europe!") can be used in travel searches where traditionally we've had to restrict ourselves to countries, or even cities.
As that transition is made, it will open up a whole wonderful world of experiences for people - and hopefully with the corresponding business success for Adioso.
Seems like adioso is trying to do something similar. Really well designed, but it seems like your servers are stressed with the load right now. I'm looking forward to trying it for my next trip :)
What is so impressive about that? It's not even multilingual. Does it do typo detection? Does it do non-airline routes? Does it do passport/visa law interpretation? Embassy/agent/border point locations, open times and fees/currencies for visa acquisition? Black market vs. theoretical currency conversions? Credit card acceptance? Processing times? Time-of-day detection and night-time travel warnings?
You could hire me as a once off or occasional consultant for some more cheap ideas and reality-checks (full stack engineer from AU, previously lived US, so not ignorant of performance issues or your team cultures, either) or you could continue retreading old ground. Either way, there's a lot of the latter left to do before impressive happens.
Oh yeah... and the slow thing really is a problem. All I can think is that you are scraping data from many sources, because for the query I ran, there is exactly 1 (one) carrier, and a fixed schedule, with exactly 1 (one) price per standard, linear fare-period. There is no excuse for a non-instant response, unless your architecture is somehow borked.
can we search something like this?
Leaving in 3 days to a coastal city speaking English with hotel room prices from x to y with a beach window and a swimming pool.
I LOVE your product but I consistently get way-slower-than-it-should-be load times on all your pages and searches. Just now I got a 502 Bad Gateway. Looks like you have some growing pains, which is great, but I highly recommend investing in a cloud server :)
I have a lot of praise. Only negative is the site is really slow (at least right now).
"We've had an an error.Struggled to complete search: Couldn't find a place called "bali some time in the next 3 months"
For instance, this spring I am going to India with work, after which I want to travel to somewhere in southeast asia, probably with one or two stops, and then home to copenhagen.
It should be possible to have an overview over my entire travel, not just the one leg or a simple return trip as my travels are rarely just that.
(looks good though, I am definitely going to try it)
Also, your filters should be smart enough to enforce their own constraints. I should never have to wait until the results page to get this:
"Please reduce the range of trip lengths you are searching for, and we'll be able to find you results."
I like the ideas you guys are bringing to the table (and the personality of your announcement). Not only are the searches you've demoed here clever, but the filters (afternoon flights shorter than N hours) are nicely integrated. Scrolling feels a bit janky though.
Nice stuff though! I look forward to using it when the load isn't so heavy as it seems to be right now. And please don't sell out to someone (cough, Yahoo!) who has a history of cutting the features that users love.
Ebookers / Expedia search is pretty easy - pick the dates, pick the location, compare prices.
I just don't see the need for these kind of searches
Similarly for "Auckland NZ to Christchurch UK" - people might be getting more than they bargained for there. :)
Blame the US Department of Transportation for flexible date searches going away; DOT was requiring headline prices to include all taxes and fees included, but you need to know the full route details to calculate those; and flexible date search was based on fare rules. I hope these guys don't get caught up in that, because flexible searches are awesome.
When I found it and clicked on Gdansk, Kiev started loading but then hung.
at 50 seconds worth of search time you've lost me.
The inspiration came from sites like SkyScanner
I also think Skyscanner (also mentioned in this discussion) is very good.
Seeing what Adioso has done, and also that there is a good deal of overlap. Could not resist, telling about our Startup.
We do what we call as 'free text search'. Its customized for searches in India, like you can do something like: 'Bangalore to Kanpur by train via Delhi'.
Or you can just search by a train name, or number, or flight number or by Airline name and many other things.
Some more examples of free text searches possible are at:
If you are interested, please do try out 90di.com, and any feedback is welcome.
* Sorry for using a throwaway. I do maintain another account here, and contribute positively, I promise :-)
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.
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.
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.
The choice was clear, go alone, or don't go at all.
I had a life changing two year adventure.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
"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: âHey, I've got to drive up to the dump in Petalumaâ"wanna come along?â 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."
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
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.
I left disappointed :/
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.
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.
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
(And, if Macklemore becomes mayor of Seattle in 2025, it'll be funny as hell.)
Pitch for their first album:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNXWOl81mBE
Giving away tickets on Craigslist:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG30mzdOzoc
Kickstarteresqe promo video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGcm4lOr9CQ
Jumping on the Tiny Desk at NPR:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrEJmvuKSwo
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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".
Drake comes to mind as well.
I winced when the guy hedged by saying "in modern history" â" remembering this doesn't make me that old.
A lot of great artists are coming out the Northwest and I hope they'll earn recognition they deserve.
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.
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.
"And God loves all his children it's somehow forgottenBut 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 inWe come from the same one"
Tolerance and unity doesn't often quite extend to atheists, does it?
Also, bonus points for their ability to describe odors. "Smells like R-Kelly's Sheets."
I can't find it on http://www.z100.com/iplaylist/playlist.html?net=1 my local pop radio station's playlist)
Build, test and measure and maneuvered his way to climb the ladder to be #1
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.
If you really want to learn about effective popular action to bring about more freedom, point your Web browser to the Albert Einstein Institute publications
and choose your language for titles like From Dictatorship to Democracy and The Role of Power in Nonviolent Struggle and others. Note that the main author of these publications has consulted with freedom movements all over the world and has had notable success in the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, and other countries, and is credited with much of the mobilization of the two-year-old Arab Spring movement.
Going after the United States Sentencing Commission website is beyond stupid. The federal sentencing guidelines were a helpful reform. Before they were adopted, on the example of Minnesota's sentencing guidelines, federal sentences were just about wholly indeterminate, making each judge could make up his or her own law of sentencing at trial. The Minnesota reform, which was the example for the federal reform, set up guidelines based on a "severity score" of the offense--so that for the first time legislative statutes from many different decades were compared as to the actual social harm resulting from each offense, based on community standards as of the time of the reform--and on a "criminal history score" of the offender, so that prison time was reserved only for the most dangerous repeat offenders. (Minnesota imprisons fewer convicted criminals than most states of the United States, being much like Scandinavia in this regard. Minnesota spends more dollars per prisoner but fewer dollars per taxpayer on its prison system than almost any other state.)
I know actual freedom fighters, that is publishers of opposition magazines and organizers of nonviolent protests, from Taiwan. Some of them experienced hard prison time while in the struggle for freedom, with family break up and ill health and the other consequences of imprisonment. But today they can look at a much freer country in their homeland than they grew up in. The biggest problem with website-defacing movements is their cowardice (no one in Anonymous seems courageous enough to go to prison) and lack of perspective (they complain about first world problems that they mischaracterize as important problems for the common people). It's time for the discussion on Hacker News to grow up and make more room for the real freedom fighters.
Putting a press release on a website where it doesn't belong has been done; it's old news. We know you can hack a drupal site owned by the .gov, we get it. Don't blow your wad on something obvious, get documentation that would make Woodward and Bernstein cream their pants over how many pageviews it'd get and publish that.
Hack the FBI and find out who was talking about killing protestors at Occupy Houston; hack Corrections Corporation of America and find out what they talk about during their board meetings; get their financials and spill them to the foreign press. Any or all of those would change things, possibly for the better. But this, this is a waste of your time and ours.
The files are intended to be concatenated into a single file named: Warhead-US-DOJ-LEA-2013.aes256
(US-DOJ-LEA = United States - Department of Justice - Law Enforcement Agency)
aes256 is apparently the encryption scheme used to encrypt the files.
File names (and sizes): 1115 MB total
Scalia.Warhead1 (150 MB) Kennedy.Warhead1 (108 MB) Thomas.Warhead1 (150 MB) Ginsburg.Warhead1 (150 MB) Breyer.Warhead1 (150 MB) Roberts.Warhead1 (23 MB) Alito.Warhead1 (150 MB) Sotomayor.Warhead1 (101 MB) Kagan.Warhead1 (133 MB)
The contents are various and we won't ruin the speculation by revealing them. Suffice it to say, everyone has secrets, and some things are not meant to be public. At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file.
Should we be forced to reveal the trigger-key to this warhead, we understand that there will be collateral damage.
It is our hope that this warhead need never be detonated.
Summary: the file contains "various secret contents", the file has one encryption key to reveal all data, they intend to release previews of the data, they may not release the encryption key (although chances of this seem unlikely).
The encrypted data is almost certainly larger than the unencrypted data, my guess is the unencrypted data is closer to 600MB to 900MB (In the ballpark of the size of a standard 700MB data CD).
Initially I thought the 9 files may contain data about each of the SC Justices, or perhaps information intended for each of them. However, I think their names on files were simply chosen for effect.
Although you would think a more aerodynamic shape would reduce the drag and therefore heat of reentry, the reality is not quite so simple. In fact, the opposite is actually true. As you make the reentry shield blunter (increasing the drag coefficient as you do so) the heat load the shield needs to take actually drops. The reason for this apparently is that blunt reentry bodies form a sort of cushion of air around themselves that separates the shockwave caused by reentry from the reentry vehicle itself, insulating it.
I suppose sharp pointy warheads are more theatrical though.
about the role of aaron swartz in all this... initially I read he was facing "up to 35 years" in prison. After his death people started speaking of "up to 50 years". In relation to the USSC hack I have started seeing 50+ years pop up.
I feel like these exaggerations do not do anyone any good. The actual facts are horrible enough - bloating them up like that does not support his cause, rather, imo might undermine it, as it reduces the credibility of anyone arguing his case.
*1. Welcome to #OpLastResort-TwitterStorm!
You have been selected to assist this important Operation because we're pretty sure you know how to cut and paste. #OpLastResort is a long-term Op devoted to honoring the memory of Aaron Swartz and continuing his important work. Anonymous has prepared content that they would like shared with the world, and it's up to us to make sure it goes everywhere. Other Operatives will be spreading the news to major MSM outlets, YouTube, Facebook, and other websites while you participate in the push to bypass the bias and get the word out directly to the people via Twitter."
(Further details: http://pastebin.com/d2nvt263)
I wonder how this played into the hack...
Tricky, but not a lot of people know how/where to use that command line in the first place.
By all means, though, let's see what's in those files.
Adding a product tour really improved my "demo" to "sign up" conversion rate. Probably the single biggest conversion rate "win" I've had.
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.
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.
Is this a flaw in the tool or this implementation? It doesn't seem to work well with different viewport sizes.
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.
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).
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 cafĂ© 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.
What came as a surprise to me is that the same minute I walked into the store I realized that sending this emailâ"heck, even stopping to write itâ"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 âsmartâ 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 wereâ"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.
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 :>
- 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.
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.
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.
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  by one Jordan Bass titled âCraaazy Prefrosh Lies, Is Just Weirdâ.
It starts out like this:
âMaybe, 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.â
It ends like this:
âWhat 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 âTruthâ 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.â
Edit: looks like the title has been updated
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.
Coulton notes that he has bought a license from the Harry Fox Agency giving him the right to perform and distribute his original arrangement of Sir Mix a Lot's work, so that is all proper and legal.
There is no doubt legally that Coulton holds a copyright to his arrangement and that Fox is engaging in copyright violation since it is obvious the Fox piece is a cover of the Coulton arrangement, given there are almost no differences between their cover and his original arrangement.
The opinions of the Fox lawyers who contacted him are predictable, but incorrect regarding law.
Fox/Glee finds a popular song. Fox/Glee wants to do a cover. Fox/Glee searches the internet to find a popular cover of the song. Fox/Glee does their cover in the same style, by having musicians play/record a note-for-note re-creation of that popular cover. Fox/Glee pays mechanical royalties to the original songwriter/publishing-company, pays absolutely nothing to the arranger that came up with the stylized cover version, and refuses to acknowledge them.
This is 100% legal, no matter how creative the arranger was in coming up with their cover. If the cover artist was granted a mechanical license, the only copyright protection they were granted was to their sound recording.
This is also not the first time it has happened. In episode 1, Glee's cover of Don't Stop Believing was practically identical to a famous a cappella arrangement (from a college a cappella group that released a cd and won some awards from it). There was another "regionals" number that was largely identical to another similarly famous a cappella arrangement.
It's lousy behavior and I think they deserve every bit of blowback for being poor citizens, but it is technically legal.
(Big asterisk: There is reason to believe that Fox actually took Coulston's karaoke version of BGB and recorded vocals over it. This, in contrast, would be a copyright infringement.)
Edit: after taking the 30 seconds to find and listen to an excerpt of Coulton's song, I can reasonably weigh in on the debate: Fuck Glee
Several months later, DJ Hero 2 (same family as Guitar Hero) took the same two tracks and made one of their game songs the exact same remix . Players have to mix both tracks together and if they successfully do it, it plays the arrangement that Ludachrist had come up with.
Activision had permission from both Diplo (Major Lazer) and Harold Faltermeyer (composer of the BHC song), and therefore had legal clearance from it. At no point did they acknowledge the arrangement as coming from Ludachrist and legally didn't have to.
It's really scummy but that's how the outdated copyright laws work. It's just another argument for large-scale copyright reform.
: NWS remove the space if you want to view it: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9TYEgFfFdUY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M93Aji4MJBk
Someone should make the "Low Rent Glee Ripoff Band" and do this.
I'm not saying it's a good thing they did this - it's not. But hey, he did a great arrangement here, and i'm happy to have heard it now.
It would be beautiful if the above were true and the creative team did it on purpose, for example by intentionally preserving the duck sound after being told to swipe and wipe and the song.