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We Found Our Son in the Subway opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
817 points by mccolin  4 days ago   175 comments top 27
tptacek 4 days ago 4 replies      
Sound reasonable to me. That judge is probably a parent. I suspect most parents understand: if we waited to be "ready", nobody would ever be a parent. Conventional parents get months and months of notice. If they're like me, they're still nowhere close to "ready". It's terrifying. But you, and these guys, and everyone else just do what we've been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.
jpdoctor 4 days ago 2 replies      
Good god this has nothing to do with HN.

Good god am I glad that it got to the front page so I read it.

kirinan 4 days ago 1 reply      
Renews faith in humanity. This belongs on HN, because it really does point out the humanity that we all want to touch with our development. These are real people, with real issues, with real emotions, and each one of them may be a user of our products, using them to improve their lives, their sons lives, or whatever. Its very important to be able to empathize with people, and be able to know their stories, this is the only way to build great things that people love. You can say that this isn't "technical" or "business" related, it is however very related to human beings and ultimately these "humans" are your business, your source of profitability. If anything, more articles like these should be on HN.
knodi 4 days ago 0 replies      
My grand-father when he was a young 15 years old farmer found a lost kid on an Indian train. After search for his parents for years with no luck. He adopted the lost kid, at the age of 18 he became a father of a 7 year old. Today the little kid is a retried doctor that resides in New Jersey.
twstws 4 days ago 4 replies      
This was hard for me to read. I spent four years waiting to adopt a child.Did almost a year of training and home visits, then waited. And waited. Why does it take so long? Because we selfishly insisted that we'd only take one ortwo children. The social workers were not subtle in letting us know that we were selfish to not want a sibling group of 4 or 5(?!) kids all at once. They made it absolutely clear that we could not expect to have a newborn, and a child under 8 was unlikely.

So to hear that, on a hunch, a judge can give a newborn to a couple that had expressed no previous interest in having kids, wtf. It's a nice story, and I'm glad that it worked out so well for everyone. But for me it really underlines how fucked up the system really is.

Geekette 4 days ago 7 replies      
Ugh. This yanked a couple of thug tears outta me.

And for those wondering what place this has on HN, I actually read HN for interesting, often-not-technically-related news.

siscia 4 days ago 9 replies      
Love the story.

When we talk about gay marriage and adoption I always need to query a little more, especially about the kids.

What's about Kevin ? His life is "perfectly normal" (how stupid is this expression) ? He is happy ? Does he have problem with his sexuality ?

Do anybody have any experience to share ?
Please to be obvious, in neither way...

(Why this is on HN ? Well, because I believe that HN is one of the best community on the internet, it is normal that people want to share stories and ask opinion to other they respect/admire)

RyanMcGreal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well damn. Now I have to wipe these tears off my keyboard.
ck2 3 days ago 2 replies      
Lovely story but what kind of husband offers to adopt a child without even previously discussing it his wife?

Great relationship there. This story turned out well only because of her.

BTW this is why many cities now have a law there is no penalty to leave a newborn at a firestation, yet some cities still resist it.

gruseom 4 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty hard not to find that touching.
ritchiea 4 days ago 0 replies      
Really heart warming. Also makes me wonder how they handled the financial challenges of raising a child as a young social worker and playwright couple in new york.
iaw 4 days ago 0 replies      
That is an amazing story.
bobwaycott 4 days ago 0 replies      
What an absolutely beautiful story.
muriithi 3 days ago 0 replies      
This would never have happened in Kenya where the Children's Act expressly forbids homosexuals from adopting. Sad.
mynameishere 4 days ago 0 replies      
Foundlings are actually fairly common. The only novelty here is that the adoptive individuals are nontraditional.
balabaster 4 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly if there was more of a proliferation of this kind of news instead of the constant barrage of negativity and fear that is pushed upon us through mainstream propaganda er... media channels then perhaps we wouldn't need the TSA with their hands up our butts feeling around for shit that isn't there... pun intended.
paulnechifor 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm wondering how many upvoted because they found the article worthwhile versus upvoting because they noticed the author is not a women and that's what's expected. I say this because to me it looks like it's something that's off-topic judging by the guidelines.
stretchwithme 4 days ago 0 replies      
My theory is that one of the reasons nature makes gay people is so that there are extra parents.
Taylorious 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good story. Am I the only one who read the title as "We Found Our Son in Subway?" As in the restaurant.
lysium 3 days ago 0 replies      
Touching story!
conroe64 3 days ago 1 reply      
What a corny story
chris_mahan 4 days ago 0 replies      
mtinkerhess 4 days ago 13 replies      
Great story. Can someone explain why this belongs on HN?
Mz 4 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know why people would say this does not belong here. Social hacking gets so little respect.

Two thumbs up.

mrb 4 days ago 3 replies      
It seems to be a fictional story. The author is a playwright and a screenwriter. No last names are given (except the author), and the desire for anonymity is not explicitly stated.

I am surprised the NYT Editor did not ask the author to make it clear if it is a fictional or real story.

Andrew Mason's statement about being fired as Groupon CEO jottit.com
626 points by robbiet480  4 days ago   186 comments top 39
sethbannon 4 days ago 12 replies      
Full text of his statement:

(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding " I was fired today. If you're wondering why… you haven't been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we've shared over the last few months, and I've never seen you working together more effectively as a global company " it's time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don't be " I love Groupon, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created. I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I'll now take some time to decompress (FYI I'm looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I'll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there's one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what's best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness " don't waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.



sethbannon 4 days ago 3 replies      
I've had little respect for the way Mason ran Groupon, but I have immense respect for the way he's handling his dismissal.
kurtvarner 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a copy of his statement.


(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding " I was fired today. If you're wondering why… you haven't been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we've shared over the last few months, and I've never seen you working together more effectively as a global company " it's time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don't be " I love Groupon, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created. I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I'll now take some time to decompress (FYI I'm looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I'll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there's one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what's best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness " don't waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.



jedwhite 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it."

King Duncan:
Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
Those in commission yet return'd?

My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die; who did report
That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
Implor'd your Highness' pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it.

Macbeth Act 1, scene 4, 1"8

NZ_Matt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Andrew Warner of Mixergy interviewed Andrew Mason in 2010 while Groupon was at its peak. I haven't had a chance to re-watch it yet but I imagine it'll be a very interesting watch given recent events.

Here's the video: http://blip.tv/mixergy/mixergy-groupon-andrew-mason-3852853

And transcript: http://mixergy.com/andrew-mason-groupon-interview/

choxi 4 days ago 0 replies      
I used to work at Groupon, and for all the shit it gets there are a lot of good people working on ambitious problems there and this letter is exemplary of the kind of character that inspired people to work there.

Best of luck to them as they try to turn things around.

goronbjorn 4 days ago 0 replies      
I saw Andrew Mason speak at Startup School in 2010; the headline of his talk was 'Polishing your turds and GETTING SUPER RICH.'


sfink 3 days ago 1 reply      
Errrr... I'm not really getting the tenor of many of the comments here.

For one, look at what he isn't saying. But start with what we know.

He is being fired. That means he isn't leaving by choice, and most likely doesn't want to be leaving at all.

He is the CEO, and the CEO takes responsibility for the company's failures. Them's the rules of the game, for any leadership role. He is saying no more than that.

In particular, he never says he was wrong. He says he failed to continue being the successful CEO of this particular company. In fact, he somewhat obscurely implied that his intuition was right when what the company did turned out to be wrong. Why do you think the company did those things then? Did he tell it to, or did he lose the battle?

This letter was not written to us. It was written to the people at his company. People who are important to him. Which means it probably wasn't written for us either. The speculation that this is wholly a calculated move seem BS to me.

All that is just pointing out the known facts and suggesting likely deductions. More speculatively, I'd like to share my interpretation of the tone of the letter:

He's pissed. He's pissed but doesn't want to show it. He is staying well in control, writing a decent letter that puts something of himself into it but not too much, not enough to lose face or stir up conflict that could only harm the ones left behind. He's trying to bow out gracefully without capitulating, and I think he did a decent job of it. But this is no "wow, this guy is awesome, I bet he's learned some great lessons and I'd be stoked at the chance to work with him" letter. It's adequate, mainly admirable for hitting just the right level of adequacy when you know the guy probably wants to scream and rip someone or something's head off. He just got fired, dammit!

unreal37 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that there's not more comment that they guy taking over, Eric Lefkofsky, is the "slimy one" that made Groupon such as sleazy IPO, not Mason, for cashing out $1BB+ pre-IPO.
rayiner 4 days ago 2 replies      
As a fellow Northwestern grad it disappointing to see him go, but as a lover of Chicago its probably for the best. I'd really love to see GroupOn succeed and help anchor a diversified tech presence in the city. We have some great startups, but you need big public companies in the same way a mall needs a Macys, Nordstrom, etc.
Volscio 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check out Andrew Mason's bio blurb at WSJ. Weird. http://topics.wsj.com/person/M/Andrew-Mason/6435
nhangen 4 days ago 0 replies      
How fitting for a man that built a predatory company to be ousted by predatory executives.
octatone2 4 days ago 2 replies      
Chrome throws a security error up for this site:

The site's security certificate is not trusted!
You attempted to reach www.jottit.com, but the server presented a certificate issued by an entity that is not trusted by your computer's operating system. This may mean that the server has generated its own security credentials, which Google Chrome cannot rely on for identity information, or an attacker may be trying to intercept your communications.
You cannot proceed because the website operator has requested heightened security for this domain.

millerc 4 days ago 1 reply      
Dear Andrew,

One bad year and a couple missed objectives, and your boss fires you? Looks like you were dealing with somebody who doesn't invest in training his employees... you'll be much happier working for somebody else.


an observer

Cherian 4 days ago 1 reply      
My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what's best for our customers.

Are there more insights in this? What do you think are the intuition decisions Groupon took (that's public) that probably wasn't against data?

It might seem obvious in retrospect, but as a startup founder I'd love to learn in context.

kamaal 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is classy, glorious and full of honor.

Me personally, I would love to fail like this someday.

The most big wins in my life have come after big failures. This guy is set for something big in life.

brunorsini 4 days ago 0 replies      
Battletoads is definitely one of the best platform games ever created, kudos for the reference. It's playable on online NES emulators such as http://www.playnes.net/play/107/Battletoads.html
photorized 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sorry, I am not buying this.

He knows what he is doing.

kgosser 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's shocking to me how bad the HN community is getting when I check out of a comment thread every couple weeks or so.
wilfra 4 days ago 1 reply      
Your app crashed from the traffic
redact207 4 days ago 1 reply      
The problem isn't the CEO, it's the business model.
michaelwolfe 4 days ago 0 replies      
Andrew took Groupon further than 99.99% of all startups will ever go, then went out with a funny, accountable, and humble goodbye note.

If you honestly embrace startup risk and failure, you simply cannot bash this guy.

dylangs1030 4 days ago 1 reply      
Heads up, as of this writing, the website is down. I think we accidentally slashdotted the page.

Anyone confirm it's not just me?

sk2code 4 days ago 3 replies      
Another Steve Jobs in the making. This has happened with Steve as he was fired after founding Apple.
joonix 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious why he was "fired" rather than given the "opportunity to resign."
droithomme 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's a great letter.
beedogs 3 days ago 0 replies      
$25 IPO stock about to become an OTC stock.
camkego 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well done.

"I let a lack of data override my intuition on what's best for our customers."
Isn't it intuition that becomes the problem when faced with a lack of data?

mmuro 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was okay with this until the third paragraph.
alxbrun 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't like Mason, but I like this smart, classy, honest message. And he has a great sense of humour.
sideproject 4 days ago 0 replies      
an honest post. I haven't really followed what's going on with Groupon or the whole daily deal space, but good on him for driving the whole world insane with the daily deal craze. Seriously, two years ago, finding daily deals online was EVERYWHERE - it's not easy to start something like that.

It's like... Gangnam style for startups!!!

donflamenco 4 days ago 0 replies      
Groupon has Jeff Holden, who was an extraordinary exec at Amazon in the earlier days.

He might be a good fit for CEO.

kvirani 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a true testament to the difference between startup and cube culture.
skulquake 4 days ago 0 replies      
Overall Andrew has done a awesome job, from just being a guy with a great idea and taking it to be the fastest growing company in history while inventing a new space is quite remarkable. I think everyone on this board would have liked to hit a homerun like this after only a couple hits at the plate.
codeme 3 days ago 0 replies      
He has made his money. Enough to do another startup.
aaronbird 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love how candid he is in this letter. Good stuff.
redment 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know how many employees Groupon has?
just2n 3 days ago 1 reply      
Groupon fires an excellent CEO while Yahoo's new CEO is utterly impervious (for whatever reason) and is getting away with waging a holy war against engineers? What is going on?

Can I expect the laws of physics suddenly to invert tomorrow?

White House Response to “Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal” whitehouse.gov
537 points by sinak  8 hours ago   232 comments top 27
sinak 8 hours ago 10 replies      
Hey guys, petition starter here. Just wanted to thank anyone who signed for their support. I just got off the phone with the White House and they're really enthusiastic about getting this fixed. We also discussed fixing Section 1201 of the DMCA permanently, and they've agreed to continue the conversation on that.

When I originally posted this to HN at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5112020 there were a lot of very skeptical responses to the effect of "petitions don't have any effect". The optimist in me is glad they were wrong. The White House seem to be genuinely committed to helping push through a piece of legislation to fix this. If there's something about government that bugs you, it's worth trying to do something about it.

Also, we're launching a campaign to ask Congress to change Section 1201 of the DMCA, with backing from the EFF, Reddit and others.

Sign up at http://fixthedmca.org - should be launching the site tomorrow.

uvdiv 7 hours ago 5 replies      
The White House answered an entirely different question from the one asked!

Emphasis mine:

* "And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network."

* "...neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation."

The White House response doesn't support unlocking phones, only unlocking phones after contracts are expired. Which isn't at all what the petition complains about. They evaded it entirely.

No, it's lower than that. They're pretending to agree with the petition, in the tone of their writing; but when you read the fine print, they don't. It's fucking doublespeak.

JagMicker 8 hours ago 8 replies      
For those TL;DR'ers out there, here's a summary:

The White House understands the petition and claims to agree. However, they aren't going to do anything about it other than wait for the "legislature" to address the issue.

You might as well petition the corporate owners of the major cell. carriers, as they are probably the only ones who will do anything about this.

gmisra 7 hours ago 0 replies      

1. The White House thinks this is a good idea, but it is not within their powers to implement change under the current law.

2. These rules (DMCA exceptions) fall under the Library of Congress, and the White House has recommended a review of said rules.

3. The LoC has also responded and agreed to re-review these exceptions: "We also agree with the administration that the question of locked cell phones has implications for telecommunications policy and that it would benefit from review and resolution in that context." [2]

4. In an amicus-like capacity, the FCC has also responded and commented on the current regulatory regime: "From a communications policy perspective, this raises serious competition and innovation concerns, and
for wireless consumers, it doesn't pass the common sense test. The FCC is examining this issue, looking
into whether the agency, wireless providers, or others should take action to preserve consumers' ability to
unlock their mobile phones." [3]

(end summary)

The Library of Congress could choose to reinstate the unlocking exception, which they at least purport to be reviewing. Or, the FCC could step in and claim regulatory oversight and create new regulations. Neither of those actions require direct congressional intervention, and both appear to have much higher visibility as a consequence of this petition.


[1] https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cel...

[2] http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2013/13-041.html

[3] http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013...

JamesCRR 8 hours ago 4 replies      
As a Brit, I'm pretty stunned by the efficacy of the We The People Platform here. Good work democracy.
HarryHirsch 8 hours ago 2 replies      
What's this fuss about petitions? Last time I checked, the form of government in the US was a republic, that is the offices of government are appointed by and derive their legitimacy from the people as a whole.

We as a people should not have to petition the White House to grow sense and pass sensible laws, in the way one petitions a monarch. This is the wrong way of combating the laws that come out of Congress thanks to lobbyist influence. It encourages the wrong mindset.

tunesmith 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with the skeptics that the petition was not a sufficient condition to affect change. However, I do not believe the petition starter ever claimed that the petition would be sufficient.

I also agree with the petition starter that the petition might prove to be a necessary condition to affect the change. It is too early to tell, but this is a good start.

I don't agree with anyone that claims that since a petition is not sufficient, it's a waste of time. That's just lazy fatalism.

Heck, even lobbyists start with conversations that don't go anywhere. The trick is what happens next, that might not have happened if not for the initial conversation.

The other day I downloaded a new programming framework and spent 30 minutes learning it, but it didn't turn into an award-winning website product. So clearly those 30 minutes were a waste of time I guess.

timtadh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
my response to their response (sent via the "what did you think form")

I don't think you adequately addressed the larger issues raised by DMCA. Cell phones and tablet carrier locking is only one of the anti-consumer anti-user results of the law.

Not being able to install a different OS without illegal procedures such as "rooting" and "cracking" the device remain an outstanding issue for all ARM based devices. This limits competition and unfairly privledges the position of the device manufacturer over the user.

A device is a physical item. It is not rented it is sold. One should have full control over their own devices. Today, sadly, we (the people of the USA) are subject to an over-reaching law which prevents us from legally using our devices to their fullest potential.

As witnessed in the recent volatility of the tablet and smart phone market, commericial players come and go frequently. When they leave, they leave their customers stranded. With out a legal means to change the OS of their devices they are left with insecure outdated software which puts them, their employers and their family at risk.

Please consider expanding your approach to include a full range of consumer protections.

ibejoeb 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"...neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation."

Right. This is a solved problem. We have contracts for a reason: to establish and enforce obligations. Get rid of these ridiculous locks. Either that or harden them and get rid of contracts.

coffeemug 5 hours ago 1 reply      
When I train our employees to respond to customer support issues, I always make sure that in every response they do as much as possible to "drive an issue to a close". Not every issue can be fixed, but at the very least we can give the user a clear understanding of a) precisely what the state of affairs is and why, b) whether or not we can fix it and why, c) if we can fix it, who's responsible for the fix and when it's likely to make it into mainline and d) if we can't fix it, what the workaround is.

We never ever just say "we agree with you". It's always "we agree with you, and here's how Bob is going to fix this by March". I know that the political machine is much more complicated then a startup of 12, but they don't even try. After having read the whole thing, I'm left with no more understanding of where things are going than I did before I read it.

knodi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So the white house is saying they're going to do nothing...
jsilence 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Cute how so many of you still believe you are living in a democracy.
logn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the wireless and mobile phone industries, and most importantly you"

Right, this should go well for us then.

zaidf 7 hours ago 0 replies      
All this is good, but what happens to the next guy who gets arrested for this and has his life wrecked?

Sometimes I think there should be a penalty against lawmakers for passing reckless laws which could be convincingly argued against in a few paragraphs, as is the case here.

Scramblejams 6 hours ago 0 replies      
WH: This step is "important for ensuring we continue to have [a] vibrant, competitive wireless market"[1]

Vibrant, competitive wireless market? Coulda fooled me.

[1] https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cel...

csense 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the first White House petition I've ever seen that actually got a response that wasn't just some vapid equivocation.

I'm impressed.

rallison 8 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a promising response, although one part is of (possibly unfounded) concern:

"And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network."

This makes it sound like unlocking a phone while you are still on contract would not be excepted.

stcredzero 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The Obama administration isn't perfect. (What administration is?) However they do seem to understand society's generational lag in understanding technology. They understand that the generation in charge is out of touch and so will unknowingly perpetrate heinous rules interfering with the way the society of people in their 20's actually use and understand technology.

Then again, maybe it's just because Obama is a smartphone user. (Is he still using a Blackberry?)

ericjeepn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
On a different note... After reading the library of Congress response to the White House response here http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2013/13-041.html I'm not sure what their actual response is.
dreamdu5t 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I disagree. If you made an agreement not to unlock the phone as a condition of purchasing it, then people should honor their agreements!

Buy from a carrier that lets you unlock the phone. If that carrier does not exist, and there truly is a market demand for this, then start a cell phone carrier.

kirillzubovsky 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It is sad how irrelevant "We the people" really is. It gives people an illusion that the government actually cares. The response to this petition is essentially "we agree with you and we will work towards ... {bullshit here}." I signed a few of the petitions to see what would happen, but I think I am going to stop now as it's just a waste of time; a trap, nicely put in place by the administration. The only way petitions would matter if they led to real actions, but it would be suicidal on the part of the government to try and intervene with telecom companies; wouldn't be very helpful for the next election, that's all. Oh... sigh.
gesman 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Why the *uck Librarian [of Congress or anything else] should be empowered to make the federal laws that can put people in jail?
Aren't librarians are supposed to manage books?
smackfu 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one surprised that the Library of Congress has rule-making abilities?
argumentum 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As the DMCA is a federal statute, what the White House should have said at the end, is, quite simply .. we will not be enforcing any related complaints. Unlock away.
nraynaud 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Off-topic, but how come they answer so quickly to this one, and not yet to the Aaron Swartz one ?
Pro_bity 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand nothing really happened.
paulhauggis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Where were they when it passed? sleeping?
Why was my email leaked? dropbox.com
501 points by chmars  4 days ago   257 comments top 41
inovica 4 days ago 7 replies      
Unfortunately I have seen their customer service go downhill recently. Not sure if they are having capacity problems or something. 2 weeks ago I signed up for a trial of Dropbox Teams and it said that after the trial I would be dropped back to my Pro account. I cancelled the trial as had made my mind up not to do it and it dropped me to a free account. Several emails to support, the account manager I'd been provided as part of the Teams setup and I still don't have my Pro account back and have had zero feedback from the. The only email I got was this one which is ridiculous:


Thank you for your support request. Recently, we have been receiving a high volume of support requests and haven't been able to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time.

The volume of inquiries we receive on a daily basis prevents us from responding to all requests. Although requests from Pro and Teams users will be given priority assistance, we will do our best to get back to other inquiries when possible. If you are not a Pro or Teams user and you're looking to resolve your issue before we can respond, you may want to check out:


If you need to restore a large number of files and are unable to do so, please visit the following instructions to help us speed up the restoration for you:


If you are still experiencing problems, please reply to this message. We will try our best to get back to you, however we cannot guarantee a response. We're very sorry for the inconvenience.

The Dropbox Support Team

markdown 4 days ago 3 replies      
While I can't speak for Dropbox and this specific case, we had angry customers like this two or three years ago.

Obviously we were very concerned, and spent days poring over server logs and trying to figure out where the breach was.

Turns out the service we used for newsletters (icontact) had been hacked. They never emailed to let us know. (They had a blog post up for a few days, then removed it, the slimy bastards!)

Since then we've used MailChimp, and had no problems.

Khao 4 days ago 4 replies      
The way the moderators handled this was pretty damn bad. Two different users tell the moderator they use UNIQUE e-mail addresses for dropbox only, and they received spam roughly at the same time and yet the moderator answers by assuming the users are idiots.
chmars 4 days ago 3 replies      
Sean B.:

Hi there,

We've been looking into these spam reports and take them seriously. Back in July we reported that certain user email addresses had leaked and some users had received spam as a result. At this time, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a new issue, but remain vigilant given the recent wave of security incidents at other tech companies. If you've received spam to an email account you only use for Dropbox, please send the message (including full headers) to support-security@dropbox.com to help our ongoing investigation.

Separately, we want to apologize for some of the dismissive responses from our volunteer moderators - since they aren't employed by Dropbox, they don't have visibility into issues like this. We want you to know that we've taken these reports seriously and began our investigation immediately.


WestCoastJustin 4 days ago 1 reply      
Brutal customer service! Especially since a user is giving you a heads up about a possible breach and leakage of their personal information. I can fathom these types of replies if this was behind closed doors, but when you have an open forum like this, you are asking for trouble with snotty replies.

This forum should be a PR beacon for awesome customer support!

Mahn 4 days ago 3 replies      
I just checked the spam folder of a gmail account I used for dropbox. Throughout the years I'd ocasionally (maybe once every two months or so) check the spam folder merely out of curiosity, but it was practically always empty.

Perhaps this is just a huge coincidence but I see three spam emails sent today plus another two sent this week. Some of them have cc recipients which seem legit addresses of other people, but I can't identify them. I never used Zendesk by the way.

Edit: here are the senders, in case it helps: no-reply@adsl.hu, no-reply@velkommenhit.no, no-reply@wdl.fr, no-reply@tataidc.co.in, no-reply@variationfm.com. Though it looks like these addresses may have been spoofed... the sender name is "{%FROM_NAME%}" in all of them.

Edit 2: It turns out Groupon Germany (former citydeal.de), which I checked out once with the same address, is responsible from what I can gather (link in german, but everything matches, company has yet to say anything): http://hukd.mydealz.de/diverses/groupon-verkauft-kundendaten...

jewel 4 days ago 4 replies      
I also give out a separate email address to every service I sign up for. So far geico, mint, and dyndns have lost or sold my email address. I haven't gotten any spam on my dropbox account, but I've only had an account since 2012-10-02.

I don't run any spam filtering, at all, and my email box is the catchall for my domain. These aren't just lucky guesses.

xer0x 4 days ago 4 replies      
Holy crap Dropbox's moderators make me want to terminate my account with them.
nathanb 4 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone who created a Dropbox account AFTER July of 2012 noticed this spam increase?

If not, it may be that the compromised list of addresses from summer of last year has finally reached evil hands.

Havoc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Damn thats weak. Moderator "Andy Y." doesn't seem to grasp wth is going on at all and the rest of the moderators blatantly ignore ~5 people reporting unique email addresses being leaked.

So much for Dropbox...

lucb1e 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sean, who also posted in the forums on page two and apologised for the moderator's behavior, contacted me by e-mail to send him the spam e-mails that I received. It looks like they're taking it seriously now :) Needless to say, I provided all details that I have (connection log, full mail source).

For those who are curious, this is what I received:

Hi Luc,

My name is Sean, I work on the User Security team at Dropbox. We'd like to look into the issue you repoted on the forums. If possible can you forward the emails in question directly to me (xxxx@dropbox.com).


driverdan 4 days ago 1 reply      
I suspect this is a MUCH larger problem than people realize and not Dropbox's fault.

I've noticed in the past few months I've been getting spam to a lot of site specific emails I've used under my Gmail catch all. It's as if a spammer had access to all email addresses I've used for incoming mail. I've talked with friends and found some have had the same problem.

So where are spammers getting the email addresses we've received email from?

1. There's a vulnerability in Gmail / Google Contacts.

2. Some widely used app I've allowed to access my email has been hacked or has been selling email addresses.

3. An Android app that requires access to my email is compromised, either intentionally or unintentionally.

The least likely one I haven't mentioned is that many independent companies have sold my emails which I find very unlikely.

So what's causing this to happen?

lucb1e 4 days ago 1 reply      
Aha, that explains it! I've been contacting school about my e-mail address being spammed; I was certain I never publicly posted it. I used my school's e-mail address for the Dropbox Space Race a while ago.
dimadima 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm all for busting some balls, especially if we're talking Dropbox. But shit like this happens all the time, and it's not like by busting some balls here we're going to improve the situation broadly speaking.

It's really absurd to expect that your information will actually be safeguarded by some entity that isn't you. As soon as you give any data to anyone, it's gone. You should pretty much assume it's public and get on with your life. Did ya'll catch that blog post up yesterday from the kid who deleted the USERS table at his job, because he was developing against a production database and running queries against it by hand? Experience has led me to believe that's the situation at like all things, everywhere, all the time. Ass clowns emailing around spreadsheets with user data; people getting malware installed on their Windows shit and entire infrastructure's data being compromised. It's a joke. Let's just always remember that while we're busting balls. But if you value your data, don't give it to anybody, ever.

robk 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just checked my spam folder and sure enough 5 spam emails to my unique dropbox address.
ph33r 4 days ago 1 reply      
Why do people continue to upload and trust their data to this company? I closed my Dropbox account back in 2011 when they had that 'bug' that made passwords for any account optional for four hours.

Since then they have had more security problems/breaches, and admitted to user info being stolen.

Today's news isn't anything concrete... but their moderators were jerks, which makes the company look bad whether they are employees or not.

DigitalSea 4 days ago 0 replies      
The part that made me laugh about all of this is the fact the moderators are saying that spammers most likely guessed all of the unique email addresses people are complaining have been spammed that are only used for Dropbox. That doesn't sound plausible at all, especially considering it's multiple people complaining of being spammed here.

Dropbox's customer service has really gone downhill, what happened?

kiwim 4 days ago 0 replies      
> Just the fact that you listed your emails says it all.

Wow, that moderator is really professional.

TorKlingberg 3 days ago 0 replies      
This post in the forum thread may be on to something:

"I also have a unique dropbox email address, it was compromised on 2/6, but I tracked it down to a friends system that was hacked. I had shared a dropbox folder with them, they got the email from my dropbox address. Virus on their system collected my dropbox email from their system."

FuzzyDunlop 4 days ago 0 replies      
This makes me think about why I've been receiving spam at my professional email, which I tend to use quite sparingly.
gottagetmac 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was skeptical at first, but the rest of the evidence makes it look like it's not a coincidence.
Foomandoonian 4 days ago 0 replies      
Dropbox should rename mods 'Support Volunteers' or something, just so users know what kind of help they're getting.

I don't understand why the mods were so quick to defend DB, especially since they don't appear to have access to any privileged info. Dropbox has over 200 employees now and whatever precautions they take an occasional slip-up seems entirely possible.

adders 4 days ago 0 replies      
I use a catchall and give different email addresses to everyone. I've received 3 spam emails in the past month to my dropbox account, but they aren't the only ones with problems, for example the following are the number of spams for various sites:
* 2 emails Foursquare
* 6 emails Groupon
* 6 emails Rackspace
* 25+ emails Ticketmaster
* 50+ Absolute Radio (UK Radio station)

Absolute Radio was hacked, not sure about the others.

techpeace 4 days ago 0 replies      
They aren't letting me post to the forums, but I can also report receiving spam, but only on an address I formerly used with this account, not my latest address.
AbhishekBiswal 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Moderator thinks that the user who created that post and his supporters are idiots. How would someone get to know that a user has an email lala.dropbox@xyz.com, if the user hasn't used it anywhere else?

What happened to you Dropbox?

johngalt 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is that dropbox@domain.com email listed on any of your phone contacts? Ever had a virus on a machine that has sent or received an email from that account? How many people know that account exists? Only one of them needs to have a careless attitude about permissions.
lawnchair_larry 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have a unique email address for dropbox that has not received any spam. I created it a couple years ago but only used it once briefly.
codyko 4 days ago 0 replies      
That Chris guy should be fired. A laughable excuse for customer service.

EDIT: Looks like they're volunteers. But still.

hakaaaaak 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fortunately, GMail handles almost all of my spam, so this stuff is a non-event for me. But I don't like that they may have been a security breach. Thanks to whomever HN'd this so it would get attention.
tlrobinson 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why is Dropbox letting volunteer moderators represent them so poorly? Dropbox is a grown up company now, train and pay a couple people to moderate, or at least make it more clear they're volunteers not employees of the company.
uptown 4 days ago 0 replies      
What about a possible leak from a 3rd party? Did you, by chance, use Mailbox? Do third-party apps (1Password, etc.) that sync using Dropbox get access to your email address?
pyvek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Everyone who received the spam should pastebin the emails along with the header and share them for comparison. If those spam messages are found to be similar then it can be pinpointed that they all have originated from the same person/group and it was no usual hit & miss technique by the spammers which the moderator is contemplating about.
alan_cx 4 days ago 2 replies      
I have to say, accusing Dropbox of leaking in the title of the thread, with out any actual basis, since it is possible that the user cocked up somewhere, is not the best way to get polite support. Yes the mods could have been a lot more professional, but I can see why their backs were up and why they would be defensive.

On the other hand, too often as a user I feel I have to walk on egg shells to avoid upsetting some over sensitive petal of a forum mod. One misunderstood word and you are banned for life, with no appeal what so ever.

All of which leads me to think there should be some third party arbitration for this sort of thing.

unreal37 4 days ago 2 replies      
This dropbox forum is exploding. Fascinating to watch.

As an aside, who knew so many people had "dropbox only" email accounts. One guy with 10 random letters/numbers he uses only for dropbox. Wow. Is this a thing?

deeqkah 4 days ago 0 replies      
You know, it's funny because i got a very clever Pay Pal phishing e-mail this morning, linking to a PHP script hosted on renault-astrakhan.ru

What's worse is that i sent invitations to dropbox time ago to people that i have to now contact and say "Please be aware of this phishing e-mail disguised as a Pay Pal e-mail."

+1 for an alternative service, to be honest. Dropbox is very well done, but this is a good reason to stop using their service if they can't secure their clients' information.

It would greatly benefit them if they found the root of the problem, and reported if it were indeed an issue with them or one of the clients for dropbox.

ddrager 4 days ago 2 replies      
What about the possibility that end-users' computers are breached?

- User/pass is saved in the 'Remembered password' area of browser (this is decodable by malware)
- Email is screen-scraped by malware
- Email is sniffed during login at a wifi hotspot (Password is encrypted, user/email may not be)
- 3rd party apps that are linked to your dropbox account

I'm not saying that this wasn't caused by the database breach, but there are a TON of reasons that this could have happened. Some on Dropbox, some on the end users.

Don't expect your email address to stay private. That's what passwords are for.

trekkin 4 days ago 0 replies      
That's why client-side encryption is useful - even with the company (Dropbox) not leaking/selling their users' data on purpose, it is easy to inadvertently leak it.

Proper client-side encryption, while often not appropriate in critical environments, is useful to protect against this type of situations.

Disclosure: I run AES.io

reader_1000 4 days ago 0 replies      
I checked my e-mail accout that I used for dropbox and There is a spam mail coming from ...@direct.nacha.org which is the same domain which one of the customer in forum received. So it seems they are right, this is not a random guess.
bshanks 3 days ago 0 replies      
Slightly off-topic, but what kind of forum software does Dropbox use? I like the clean look and the use of the blue background for the Dropbox employee.
weix 4 days ago 0 replies      
why? welcome to the cloud world!
The Coolest Experience I Had as an Apple Store Employee unretrofied.com
478 points by Gromble  3 days ago   158 comments top 30
pud 3 days ago 15 replies      
The kids knew sign language?

The kids went and bought stuff (incl laptops) at multiple stores?

And wasn't there a long line at Apple? How'd they make it to so many other stores?

The kids physically go to the store to buy school computers?

The kids are such good actors that they fooled the author & all other salespeople?

A teacher would actually allow kids to pretend that they're disabled?

No bulk discount or pre-arranged deal?

All other employees in the mall were mean to deaf kids?

Author doesn't remember which Apple product was debuting?

I hate to be "that guy" -- but this story is most likely fiction.

jballanc 3 days ago 1 reply      
The coolest experience I had as an Apple Store Employee was saving Christmas...no really, we literally saved Christmas. It was about 1:30 AM on Dec. 25th, and a man comes in to the store out of breath. He needs two iPod nanos. "My wife thought I was getting them, and I thought she was getting them..." he explained. Not a problem. We got the nanos, and sent him on his way.

That was fun...

joejohnson 3 days ago 1 reply      
That was a sweet story. Now let's turn to the comments and hear all of the cynical reasons I should be mad.
jurassic 3 days ago 4 replies      
Please don't do this. While this author seems to have enjoyed the experience, many retail workers have enough to do without being jerked around by those pretending to care about the experience of people with disabilities. It seems ridiculous to me that the teacher thought it was a good idea to lead these children in an extended "lie" in order to teach them about tolerance and empathy.

Once when I worked in bookstore a man came into the store and faked being deaf. My coworkers and I jumped through all kinds of hoops to accommodate him and spent a lot of time writing notes back and forth to help this customer find a particular type of book he said he was looking for. After half an hour of scribbled notes, fetching books from the stacks, and iterating towards what he was describing the man bust out laughing and declared "Hahaha! I'm not actually deaf!!" and walked out without buying anything.

I felt stupid and annoyed that he had wasted so much of our time. Not only did that man's behavior distract us from other legitimate customers, the experience left me feeling guarded about whether to accept people at face value. I never encountered any other customers with hearing disability while I was at that job, but I'm sure I would have had skepticism from this hoax experience in the back of my mind as I tried to help them.

You are not helping anyone by pretending to have a disability.

typpo 3 days ago 5 replies      
Perhaps the students were treated better at the Apple store because they were buying 15 macbooks. Surely they didn't spend that much money at all the other mall stores.
jyap 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's a nice story but the MSRP of that 160GB MacBook was $1,499.00. So the kids paid $22,485.

So it's comparing Apples with common everyday oranges. (Pun indended)

davidedicillo 3 days ago 1 reply      
At the Apple Store in Santa Monica there's a deaf employee and he talks to you typing on an iPad. It was actually a pretty cool experience and I particularly appreciated it since both my dad's parents were deaf (but I do not know the sign language, they were extremely good at lips reading)
jmomo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some time in 2007 I went to an Apple event in Scottsdale Arizona. I am a network engineer/system administrator, and my organization was about 50/50 Mac/Windows. We spend somewhere between $200-600K a year on Apple products for employees. I seem to remember that this was shortly before Apple killed off their XServe products, but I could be mistaken about the timing.

There was a break in the presentation, after which I decided I was going to bail. I took my phone, a Blackberry at the time, out of my pocket as I exited the door so that I could check if anything was going on at work.

As I took those first few steps outside, I accidentally dropped my phone.

It wasn't one of those gentle drops. In the process of trying to catch it before it hit the ground, I ended up pushing it with even greater velocity downwards. It hit the concrete pretty hard and a mix of phone, battery cover, and battery went skittering across the concrete walkway.

Three Apple Store employees were sitting outside, also on break. My phone had gone flying right past their feet.

"Oooh!" they said with a wince.

Then one of them said, "Don't worry everyone! It wasn't a IPhone!"

And they laughed.

And that was it. I picked up the parts of my phone, took at a look at the damage, put it back together, and walked away.

There was no offer of help or concern, but they thought it was pretty funny.

Fortunately, the phone survived pretty well off. There really wasn't anything more than minor scratches, despite how I had practically thrown the phone against the concrete.

Ironically, had it been an IPhone (or any modern touchscreen phone), it would have probably been destroyed. I ended up destroying the screen on my Nexus One a year or two later with a much less violent drop.

And, I'm afraid to say, most of my other experiences with Apple store employees here in Arizona has been pretty similar. We regularly have our helpdesk staff go in to pick up parts and do repair runs and I've had to call up our regular Apple rep and comment on bad attitudes, poor service, and outright rejection of service on in-warranty breakages for whatever reason-of-the-day they could make up.

The story linked to is important: You really can make a lasting impression on a customer that they will never forget, positive or negative.

I will never forget the way three Apple Store employees laughed at me as I dropped my phone.

thejsjunky 3 days ago 0 replies      
A little tangential to the story but a good thing to be aware of is that the barrier of communicating between deaf people and hearing people is not always that they simply can't hear the sounds you are making. Many deaf people (especially those who are born deaf) are illiterate or have low literacy in written language; so you can't expect to always be able to just pop out a pencil/paper and write back and forth normally as you would with a hearing friend while playing "the silent game".
lizzard 3 days ago 0 replies      
What is heartwarming about this other than this person patting themself on the back for being a decent human being?

While it's nice when someone is reasonable and polite but it doesn't magically make up for the other 100 people who acted like I don't have the right to get on the bus.

CallingIit 3 days ago 7 replies      
Calling it. They went store to store buying Macbooks. Multiple sets of laptops just for a social experiement?
What kind of IT department would allow the KIDS to get the computers they need. And with no bulk discount, what school would allow that?
This happened in his dreams.
joeguilmette 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work as a skydiving instructors and had a similar experience. A group of deaf college age students came in to skydive and I was paired with one of them on a tandem skydive. Generally we have about five minutes to gear up and train our students when it is busy (as it was that day).

During a lull I wrote up a quick briefing of everything I would usually say and go over on my laptop. When it came time to jump I greeted the student, smiled and then had them read the text while I geared them up. Them I made a big show of pantomiming everything we'd be doing while we laughed and conversed on the laptop.

It was a lot of fun :)

PakG1 3 days ago 1 reply      
When I was a kid, there was a girl I knew who was deaf and mute. But we always had great fun talking with each other using pen and paper. I don't know why, but it was so much easier to talk with her than it was a lot of other kids. Obviously, some types of people are easier to talk with, but I think something actually switches on in my mind that makes it easier for me to communicate when I'm writing, rather than speaking.


m_d 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had a similar experience while working at a big-box retailer in high school. You don't get to have many "feel-good" experiences in retail, but using MS Word to sell a deaf woman a computer was one of those rare occasions.
mistercow 3 days ago 1 reply      
That school really should have dealt with the Apple store directly. I'm guessing they would have gotten better than the standard educational discount that way.

Also, wow, please don't map "escape" to cause navigation on your website. That's super annoying.

cafard 3 days ago 1 reply      
Weird. I worked for a couple of department stores before I was 20, not as a sales clerk, but stocking shelves. I don't remember the sales staff as the sorts who would snub customers. Of course, I wasn't treating them as lab rats in a high school psych course.

I will also point out that retail sales staff get a lot more exposure to anyone and everyone than your average hacker does. One can become jaded and perhaps impatient fairly quickly. Should you? No, maybe not. But it's Friday, your feet hurt, and some kid is social engineering you. Do you feel as if you need that?

gyom 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems to me like almost nobody in the comments on HN believes his story to be genuine. And yet, this guy updated his blog to add :

"Wow, I really didn't expect this story to blow up the way it has. I've never had anything voted up on Hacker News before, much less gain the top spot. I'm still not convinced it hasn't all been a fever-dream."

which just supports the hypothesis that he's just bullshitting everybody.

yarou 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seemed to me that this fellow felt the same way colonizers feel about natives of the lands they conquer. How noble of them to spare the natives any thought! They are clearly the better person than the average person that pays no attention.
charlieok 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised that a whole class of kids who were not deaf knew enough sign language to convince the author that they were deaf.
shellehs 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first, I thought why not take two colors, than make the kids who preferred black stood left and the others on right side. There should be many simple ways to deal with that situation quickly and easily. I

The story looks a little weird, even not true, like I don't quite remember which product had just released that morning,, is it true?

But at the end, I found I was misunderstood and also was touched.

jayzalowitz 3 days ago 0 replies      
The coolest experience I ever had at an apple store involved stephen colbert, steve corell, anne hathatway and one particularly dirty joke.

You clearly win.

NicoJuicy 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, the went on an experiment to the mall to check how employees responded to deaf people.

All the students received a MAC from the school.

The author doesn't have any comments on his blog.

It's fiction, this dude is lying like hell :-s

meerita 3 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed this story. So human. I experienced some of this in the past and acted the same.
nikolakirev 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I was reading the story, I kept thinking that the kids will start using the "say" command in the Terminal to start talking. That would have been a great story.
vonskippy 3 days ago 0 replies      
So you got pawned by some warped social experiment - yeah, that sounds about right for the "best" that working at an apple store has to offer.
JeremyMorgan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not what I expected, and a really good read. Hope it's true.
inaflashlaser 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would guess this (if true) was from 2008 on the release of the iPhone 3G - based on the fact that the Black MacBook was discontinued in October 2008 (per wikipedia). It could have been 2007 for the original iPhone, but the lines for the 3G were more prevalent.
JacobIrwin 2 days ago 0 replies      
you should add commenting capability to the page.. how neat would it be if someone from the not-actually-deaf group were to share a self-confirming anecdote (and possibly, an update on how they're doing now)!
darrenraj86 2 days ago 0 replies      
ok...if the story is true or not..I believe the message there trying to get across is more important. For example who questioning the whole deal must treat people as bad as the other stores treated the "deaf" kids...
swartz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Unique experience..
Heroku Fucking Console github.com
457 points by eik3_de  3 days ago   280 comments top 33
sneak 3 days ago 16 replies      
Nothing in computing is worse than software that knows exactly what you want it to do, then gives some shitdick excuse as to why it's not going to do it in an effort to get you to jump through meaningless hoops.
eik3_de 3 days ago 8 replies      
HN question: I submitted this story with the title "Heroku f.cking console" and the title was changed to "Heroku console".

Is the string "f.cking" considered unappropriate on HN? What about "f.,.ing" or "f'ing"?

Edit: replaced the asterisks with "." and "," for formatdoc

Edit: has been changed to "Heroku Fucking Console" at 19:02Z. I approve!

nswanberg 3 days ago 3 replies      
Swearing is like typing in all-caps or using an exclamation point. It's usually not necessary but when it fits it really fits. (Hedberg only swears a few times here but it sounds exactly right http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5-46bj8b4w).

Used incorrectly swearing suggests someone who doesn't have much control over their emotions or vocabulary and lacks range of expression.

Yet this Heroku library, presumably created by someone who, stubbing their toe on that same problem over and over, is one big exclamation point all-caps rant, with all possible lines of code and input fields in Github (even the license!) filled with rage and satisfaction, and the nice thing is that the library ultimately fixes a problem and makes the solution available to all.

Separately, to anyone thinking this "unprofessional", take a look at Philip Greenspun's definition of a software professional: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsPFdVrbGeE#t=41m20s incidentally, this entire lecture deserves to be bookmarked and watched).

By the standards of Greenspun's definition the author of the library would be considered a consummate professional.

For those without time to watch, here is the link for the presentation he used (though he's an excellent speaker and the presentation adds much more):


GhotiFish 3 days ago 2 replies      

    Provide a fucking help topic
210bbc9498 Browse code
tpope authored 16 hours ago

Initial fucking commit
a1b87e8b4b Browse code
tpope authored a day ago

I like how he has total commitment to his commits.

also. WTFPL!

egonschiele 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another example: finding help on hadoop:

    [vagrant@localhost conf]$ hadoop --help
Error: No command named `--help' was found. Perhaps you meant `hadoop -help'
[vagrant@localhost conf]$ hadoop -help
Error: No command named `-help' was found. Perhaps you meant `hadoop help'
[vagrant@localhost conf]$ hadoop help
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: help
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: help
at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:217)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:205)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:321)
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Launcher.java:294)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:266)
Could not find the main class: help. Program will exit.

xauronx 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't use Heroku, so I have no use for this but I love this guy's enthusiasm.
johnnyg 3 days ago 0 replies      
This has bugged me too. Thank you.

Also, watch your language young man!

dysoco 3 days ago 1 reply      
And guys... this is what happens when you use Vim too much.
RyanMcGreal 3 days ago 0 replies      
+1 for releasing it under the WTFPL.
dreamdu5t 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm amazed people put up with this crap just to host a rails app.
derleth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else's page massively wider than it should be?

(Firefox 19.0, 32-bit build on x86_64 Linux.)

sheraz 3 days ago 3 replies      
This lacks class regardless of how useful the software may be. And yes, it does matter.

What is with all the crass language that has become so pervasive in this industry in recent years?

Why the need to express yourself so poorly?

rahilsondhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
This plugin is hilarious but very unnecessary.

I solved this a long time ago with a simple `alias hrc-='heroku run console --remote'`. That way I can type in console `hrc- production` or `hrc- staging`

antipax 3 days ago 2 replies      
What? `heroku run bash` also works and is shorter.
auggierose 3 days ago 1 reply      
Programming, motherfucker!
christopheraden 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hah! Tim Pope is a pretty funny guy. His Vim plugins are fantastic as well (Pathogen and Surround are indispensable).
andymoe 3 days ago 0 replies      
You know this is one of those times where editing the title is not helpful! The title of the project is actually "Heroku Fucking Console." The edit makes me think it's pointing to something official and it's not!
endgame 3 days ago 1 reply      
There are a lot of people in this thread who are complaining that "$some_program won't Do What I Mean".

Sounds familiar: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/D/DWIM.html

slajax 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love it when software is written out of hatred for other software that "f*cking sucks".
tomhallett 2 days ago 0 replies      
One non-obvious landmine with the heroku console, it attaches to a running web process. One day I had a typo in one of my console commands:

Post = Post.count
# instead of "post = Post.count"

Which re-assigned the Post class to a number. Then we started getting production airbrake errors where the Post class was now a FixNum, /facepalm.

It was an easy fix, just restart all of the servers, but I was very surprised to say the least.

Note: I believe this was with the Bamboo stack. I'm not sure if this is still true with the Cedar stack.

binarycrusader 2 days ago 0 replies      
You haven't used software until you've used it in anger.
scottbartell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because things should just fucking work.
mcnemesis 3 days ago 0 replies      
To hell with all yo other stale licensing- other than have none, the Fcking License included in this project just makes me want to frk this project!

The attitude is ill ;-)

jbaudanza 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love this. I also miss how the bamboo console would let me enter a ruby command locally and then execute it remotely when I hit enter. I've been meaning to make a gem to replicate this behavior.
squid_ca 2 days ago 0 replies      
"This is a long distance call. You must dial a 'one' plus the ten-digit number to complete your call."
hiddenfeatures 3 days ago 0 replies      
The true meaning of "opinionated software"...
vampirechicken 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tim Pope has a potty mouth.
whbk 3 days ago 0 replies      
This. Is. Awesome. Had to be done.
skhamkar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you!
Cigano 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice one, dude. Congratulations!
dholowiski 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very mature.
huhsamovar 3 days ago 3 replies      
I would be interested in this if it weren't for the foul language. This speaks volumes about the author's attitude.

If you're annoyed with something, have they even tried bringing it up with Heroku's support team? If so, have they tried shipping this tool that doesn't make the maintainer look like an arrogant troglodite?

nacker 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can tongue punch my fart box, Heroku fucking console!
Establishing secure connection wellsfargo.com
448 points by eloisius  3 days ago   141 comments top 35
ben1040 3 days ago 6 replies      
This reminds me of something we had at my office about 15 years ago because people were complaining their workstations were slow. In reality, their workstations were just slow machines; standard issue box for most people was a 70MHz Sun SS-5.

So we wrote a perl script that printed out a bunch of platitudes like these, while printing out an ASCII "progress bar." It had some randomly determined sleep() calls in there to make it seem like it was doing something.

  Optimizing priority queues...
Recalculating scheduler lookup tables...
Terminating unused system processes...
Recovering memory leaks...
Flushing network buffers...

Then it'd randomly pick a number X and report to the user "System reports X% faster."

We called it "speed" and deployed it to the app server. Some folks started getting into the habit of running it every morning and swore by it.

MattRogish 3 days ago 11 replies      
This is one of those things that is done by people going "We need our customers to 'feel secure'". I get the rationale, but is there actually any data that suggests this gives that actual feeling? That users "feel" more secure? Or are more trusting of the site? Or is this just cargo-cult UX?

I've seen this on too many financial apps to think it's an isolated incident. It's clearly a "thing" in financial apps (TurboTax.com does it all the time; I see it on my Bank app, lots of mobile apps, etc.)

There's gotta be a reason, even if it's wrong.

seldo 3 days ago 2 replies      
This sort of fake-loader animated GIF is pretty common; it's just a slightly more advanced version of a spinner GIF. I don't think it's really that bad.

What would be bad is if this page would accept a parameter to redirect you to somewhere, but it appears it doesn't do that -- it just closes itself. Presumably this page appears in an overlay that then closes itself.

rgbrenner 3 days ago 1 reply      
this page doesn't actually do anything. It loads two animated gifs from Akamai (one for the text, and one for the bar), and then uses some javascript to close the window.

If I had to guess, there's a login page. When you submit your login, this page pops up and displays while the login is processed.


  <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">






<p align="center">

<img src="https://a248.e.akamai.net/6/248/3583/000/wellsoffice.wellsfargo.com/ceoportal/DocumentumRepository/content/images/signon/messaging.gif" width="300" height="30" border="0" alt="Loading Status" /><br />

<img src="https://a248.e.akamai.net/6/248/3583/000/wellsoffice.wellsfargo.com/ceoportal/DocumentumRepository/content/images/signon/statusbar.gif" width="300" height="30" border="0" alt="Loading Status Bar" />


<script type="text/javascript">

var selfClose = function() {



window.onload = function() {

setTimeout(selfClose, 10000);


window.onblur = function() {






tptacek 3 days ago 2 replies      
Exactly the security I'd expect from a "CEO Portal". :
jmandzik 3 days ago 2 replies      
Somewhere, deep within Wells Fargo HQ, there was a depressed developer in a windowless office that died a little inside when asked to make this.
aqme28 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you were going to inspect to see if it was actually doing anything, let me save you the trouble. It just plays these two gifs ontop of eachother.


mattdeboard 3 days ago 2 replies      
TurboTax has something that struck me today as similar (in spirit) to this, though TurboTax's is a skeuomorphic thing.

It's the "Save & Exit" button TurboTax has. I'm sure that they are saving all info as it is entered, but users of QuickBooks, Excel, etc., I'm sure are used to having to save their data manually then exit.

I think all the guffawing at this progress bar is a little overblown. If a question or concern comes up in user testing multiple times -- "How do I know my connection is secure?" -- then why not put something in there that makes the user feel safer? What's the problem with that? Sure maybe it's a little overblown graphically but, c'mon, when you're a bank you need your customers to feel secure, in addition to actually being secure.

joshwayne 3 days ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of comments condemning this feature and saying it's ridiculous. However, you have to understand that people outside of the tech industry have a very different mental model of how computers work than the rest of us.

One example of this is shown in a usability study by the Baymard Institute on top ecommerce checkout processes [1]. The goal of the study was to determine best practices for checkout usability by testing the top 15 ecommerce sites. One of the more fascinating finds they made was that during the checkout process, users perceived certain fields as being more secure than others. Even though the fields were all part of the same form and on the same page, users still believed fields with a little lock icon were more secure than the rest of the fields! It didn't matter if the entire page was encrypted. Users would abandon the checkout process because the credit card fields didn't "feel secure" compared to the rest of the page.

To most of us, this looks like a frivolous feature suggested by a "UX monkey" (as one commenter put it) but don't underestimate the power of making users feel safe. For all we know, this stupid gif could have cut support calls 20%.

[1] http://baymard.com/checkout-usability

ripberge 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use this tool everyday and it has always made me laugh. The security of the CEO portal is actually legit though. In order to do anything you must login with: company name, username & password. Once inside in order to do anything important you must use your pin number + a random number from a security dongle like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_token

Then someone else from within your company must repeat a similar process to approve your action. So you always need at least two people within your company to perform any action.

Typically the CEO portal is used for wire transfers where security is pretty damn important--once the money is gone--its really, really gone.

jlarocco 3 days ago 1 reply      
That's kind of silly.

But as a Wells Fargo customer, I've never seen it while using their website, and I use the site to check my accounts and transfer money between accounts once or twice a week.

unsignedint 3 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of a story I heard about those ATMs. What I heard is that there are technologies out there that can make a machine to count/validate cash almost instantaneous while not sacrificing accuracy. But apparently, that makes some customers worry that their money is not being processed right, and thus, every time you deposit money to those ATMs, they make that grinding noise, appears to be doing something useful.
salman89 3 days ago 0 replies      
Likely is security theater, but in all fairness they might actually be doing all those things and wanted a UI element to let users know what is taking so long.
daigoba66 3 days ago 0 replies      
"reticulating splines"
ante_annum 3 days ago 2 replies      
So, it's actually possible to update a dynamically served gif to provide real progress updates. If that's what they were doing, I'd wonder why they did that rather than use js hooks.

But this is just a silly static image. What if the server takes longer than the image to load?

manaskarekar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this interesting reddit discussion:

And the corresponding HN discussion that followed:

(Apple's iOS is "deceptively fast") http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4047032

In this case, we have security instead of speed. That's not to say it isn't secure anyway.

hy3lxs 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Locksmith gets less tips and more price complaints for being faster"

(807 days ago)

obilgic 3 days ago 1 reply      
It closes the tab when I click "inspect element". How does it detect that?
gesman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I envy consulting company that was tasked $100k to build such a "secure solution" :)
eclipticplane 2 days ago 0 replies      
We added progress bars and silly status messages to our 500 error pages in our web app. Things like a 15 second count down to "recalibrate" or "attempting automatic system correction". It, at minimum, stopped users from constantly clicking a button or link that was having server issues (and thus spamming our error queue). Instead, they'd wait the 15 seconds and then go try again.

If the issue was transient, like a dropped connection to the database or memcached or some obscure deadlock, the "automatic" fixes worked as expected from the user's perspective. We, of course, still got the full error report to diagnose the issue.

I even have a few gems in our user feedback system where the users outright praise the "automatic error fixer" and they wish every website/app had a tool like ours.

dumyCredentials 3 days ago 1 reply      
You can see this in action by trying to login using dummy credentials here: https://wellsoffice.wellsfargo.com/ceoportal/


JadeNB 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Mac OS X.4 PBE would display the estimated boot time on startup; I thought it was using sophisticated logic, but was later told that it just averaged the last, say, 10 boot times (which is probably at least as reliable). I seem to remember that you could even execute `/usr/bin/loginwindow` (or some such path) from the command line and watch it pretend to boot at any time. I forget when this 'feature' went"maybe as early as Leopard?"but it's not in Mountain Lion.
phpnode 3 days ago 0 replies      
hfs - your account has been dead for > 200 days
noblethrasher 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don Norman discusses why you would want to do something like that here http://businessofsoftware.org/video_09_dnorman.aspx (50:30).
arjn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! I can't decide if this is hilarious or scandalous.
mikegirouard 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a fan of UX patterns I'm curious: what would this one be called?
bmle 3 days ago 1 reply      
I used to work for a major online tax software provider. I won't name them but I'm sure you can guess. Not sure if it's still there but right after you log in, there are some redirects that take you to the app servers hosting the product and you get the same type of loading image though no secure connections were being established.
DrewHintz 3 days ago 1 reply      
> ceoportal

Sounds about right.

maxhe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I noticed something similar on TurboTax: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tto/alias/dncanimation
bbq123 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a customer of Wells Fargo CEO Portal I no longer feel safe using it.

Fun aside this portal uses two factor authentication with RSA tokens (that were promptly replaced after RSA token vulnerability was found).

bestest 3 days ago 0 replies      
This felt uncanny. Like I was violated in some strangely wonderful peculiar way.
gfalcao 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is ridiculous
jseip 3 days ago 1 reply      
We need a progress bar!
~Brilliant MBA
adev 3 days ago 0 replies      
Been there done that. Software development is sometimes Social development as well.
borgchick 3 days ago 0 replies      
security theatre much? face palm
A new Light Table experience chris-granger.com
365 points by falava  4 days ago   143 comments top 48
pixelbath 4 days ago 6 replies      
This is a very pretty editor. That said, I have no freaking idea what I'm supposed to do. I've been messing around with it for around 15 minutes now, and I still don't understand it.

I added a PHP website folder and got no code hinting or anything else beyond "here is the match for your parenthesis" for either PHP or Javascript. This also resulted in my "navigate" tab being filled with SVN meta-files. I am quite confused.

Looking around on the site and some of the comments here, it appears you're using Clojure. Does this IDE only support Clojure?

manaskarekar 4 days ago 1 reply      
Apart from the other obvious praises, I just want to thank you for making something so beautiful with Clojure as a first class citizen.
Raphael_Amiard 4 days ago 1 reply      
It is absolutely gorgeous, but it is also looking a lot more like a traditional text editor from what i can gather.

I'll download and play with it a bit anyway, to see what i get from it.

Sandman 4 days ago 1 reply      
Every time a new version of LT playground gets released I feel like a kid in a candy store, looking for all the cool new stuff Chris and the rest of the team put in :). Awesome work, and it just keeps getting better. To be honest, since there weren't any updates in a while, I started having doubts about whether they'll be able to deliver, but I'm glad to see that the project is alive and well.

Judging by the comments I see that there's a lot of people who haven't yet heard of Light Table, which surprised me a bit because posts about LT frequently hit the front page of HN. If you're one of those people, you should take a look at their kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/306316578/light-table

Finally, while there's a lot of people bemoaning the fact that some more popular languages (than Clojure) aren't supported out of the box, I, for one, am glad that somebody's developing such an awesome tool with Clojure in mind.

ollysb 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'd absolutely love to see ruby in Light Table, how are plans looking for this? If there was a kickstarter for adding ruby I'd pony up in a flash. I realise manpower is probably going to be the main issue though...
scottjad 4 days ago 3 replies      
How are you highlighting the matching characters in the fuzzy search results?


It looks like the same method I'm using in emacs/ido, which is to turn "la/clj" into


I've found this technique gives inferior results to whatever SublimeText is doing. For example, in your hits with "langs", such as "lt/objs/langs/js.cljs" I think "lt/objs/langs/js.cljs" is more intuitive than the result you give of "lt/objs/langs/js.cljs". (Sorry for the hard to read italics)

For another example, on a search of "completions" I think your technique will highlight "hacks-completions" as "hacks-completions" instead of "hacks-completions".

Does anyone know if there's an easy way to modify the regex (not LightTable) and get the user-friendly results of Sublime Text?

podperson 4 days ago 2 replies      
What going back over the old demo and looking at this post did was remind me of how nice jsfiddle is when it isn't insanely slow, which then led me to wonder how hard it would be to create something like jsfiddle that lived on top of github would be, or something like jsfiddle that lived inside my favorite editor, or just in a static html page on my desktop.
sudowork 4 days ago 2 replies      
Small bug I found: When I change the editor theme to something other than `default`, the next time I start up the editor, the theme isn't loaded. Instead, I just get some light grey text on a dark grey background.

UX Annoyance: When clicking on an exception, there's no visual indication that it's been clicked on. I found that Shift+Tabbing brings you back to the editor pane (other than using the mouse).

A couple more things that could just be me being stupid. When I try to eval using Ctrl+Shift+Enter, nothing happens. Instead, I have to eval each line one-by-one. I tried creating a new key binding, but couldn't figure out how to delimit my keys to allow modifiers. I also can't figure out how to pop up documentation or data flow as demo'd in the original light table (this is my first time using any version of light table). I tried `(doc <foo>)`, but it just evaluates to `nil`.

Anyways, hope these comments might be useful in terms of my user experience as a first time user.

pjbrunet 4 days ago 0 replies      
Would be nice if font size changed by control+scrolling mouse wheel, most code editors do that. I can't imagine really needing (or wanting) to evaluate things in realtime (like the videos demonstrate) unless I was writing cryptic, mind-numbing algorithms all day every day. I like the idea in one of your videos, every function can have its own little window, but I wouldn't want that to create new files for me automatically in the background and it would have to be more useful than a straightforward "split window" editor function, which is already something I rarely use. The colors are cool but not as cool as my hacked Crunchbang+Geany colors. Maybe one day Light Table will be like a more graphical, user-friendly Emacs? I don't know. The videos are really eye-catching but realistically I can't imagine why I'd use Light Table. I realize there's already a lot of interest in this, but I would like to see more videos showing how this is actually more useful than Gedit or whatever.
abecedarius 4 days ago 1 reply      
So how do you see these inline results? I'm told cmd-enter or cmd-shift-enter will evaluate code; on Windows 7, for me, none of ctrl-enter, alt-enter, or windows-enter seem to do anything. ctrl-shift-enter in a .js file creates a checkmark next to my first line, 2+3; (though not the lines I'd written after it). Trying to create a .clj or .cljs file, by 'Create a new file' and then 'Save file', it remains as 'untitled', and ctrl-shift-enter doesn't seem to do anything.

Anyone else on Windows at the moment with tips?

(The 'bindings' command lists things like Cmd Enter; since it lists Ctrl for other keybindings, I'm guessing that's meant to mean Alt.)

paulhodge 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love these updates, the tool is looking more awesome every day.

I'm wondering if there's a roadmap for Light Table's release, specifically if there's a point where the code will be available? I have a programming language in progress and I'm interested in potentially hacking LT to support the language. It seems like it would be a good fit.

andreyf 4 days ago 1 reply      
Noooo! So many wasted pixels at the top! Why!? It was so much better before!

Aside from that: neat! :)

amckenna 4 days ago 1 reply      
I know python support is planned, but will it be integrated alpha/beta or will we have to wait until after the 1.0 release?
DigitalTurk 4 days ago 1 reply      
It just so happens that I started playing with Clojure yesterday! I didn't quite manage to get anything to work in LT, however.

E.g. if I do Cmd+Enter on a definition, I get this:

  clojure.lang.Compiler$CompilerException: java.lang.RuntimeException: Unable to
resolve symbol: defn in this context, compiling:…

If I click 'Make current editor and instarepl' I get errors like this:

  clojure.lang.Compiler$CompilerException: java.lang.RuntimeException: Unable to
resolve symbol: subs in this context, compiling:(NO_SOURCE_PATH:9)

It's all rather confusing. Maybe there's a manual somewhere I should read, but I couldn't find it.

Macsenour 4 days ago 1 reply      
As a game dev guy, I'm looking at the two new Open game platforms, Ouya and GameStick, and thinking that LT might be a great way to get kids into coding.

Getting kids to code games is so much easier than any other project, even if the game is extremely simple.

Anyone care to comment?

fnordfnordfnord 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you're going to make it vi-like, please put some effort into introducing the modal-concept, and lots of help for new users. There are reasons that many people avoid vi. You may not think that you need to make it a teaching tool, but everything else about lighttable makes it well-suited as a teaching tool.
btipling 4 days ago 3 replies      
You gotta be kidding on the sideways text as an important part of the UI. Also adding the vim integration is a waste of time as long as you don't have buffers, registers, ranges and can't parse my .vimrc nor use my modules you might as well not do it.
eaxbin 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm getting Access Denied when trying to download the OS X version. Other versions are working fine.
bbq 4 days ago 0 replies      
This looks great! It's getting more and more usable.

It would be nice if, when a computation is running in the instarepl, the computation indicator would display inline e.g. with the previous result - perhaps graying the result out?

How would I go about implementing this myself? Or is LightTable reflection not yet publicly available?

edoloughlin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Currently downloading at 9-10KB/s. Anyone seeding a torrent?
fdb 4 days ago 1 reply      
There's something weird going on when using the trackpad on OS X. My trackpad is set to "natural scrolling", but if I scroll really fast the editor seems to scroll in the other direction.
glesperance 4 days ago 0 replies      
What is the project direction in relation to complex JS apps?

i.e.: How do you guys expect the instarepl idea to be used in apps made of serveral node.js modules/libs or several files meant to be loaded together via RequireJS ?

sc0rb 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for this to support Java so I can at least have some beautiful tools to get me through the soul sucking days of Spring development :-)
cheald 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've tried to add a workspace directory from a Samba mount, and it's been stuck for about 10 minutes now.
auggierose 4 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know what Light Table is programmed in? It seems to be cross platform, how does it achieve that? I assume some kind of mix between Clojure and using browser technology as a UI, but does anyone know specifics?
programnature 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats, the improvements are quality.

Would love to switch to light table, but I need paredit. Can't switch without paredit.

Meai 4 days ago 2 replies      
You should add mousewheel scrolling of tabs, I'd like that. Also a white theme, because black themes look sort of sketchy at work.
agentultra 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work.

Seems to me like it's becoming emacs (which is a good thing, you should poach more ideas from it).

marizmelo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Small drag and drop problem.... On OSX I can drag the divisor for files/texteditor OVER the option of tabs (left options)... if I drop the editor there I cannot resize the view anymore and have to restart the program.
pjmlp 4 days ago 1 reply      
Eventually the editors of Smalltalk and Lisp environments of the early days will be rediscovered by youth generations it seems.
truncate 4 days ago 0 replies      
It still depends upon on libudev.so.0. Hence can't use it on ArchLinux (unless I fool it by linking it with latest so). :(
companyhen 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a web designer (PSD -> WordPress) and I started learning programming around the time Light Table was funded on KickStarter. It's been nice to see the project grow with my programming skills. Although I still don't feel like a decent programmer, it's nice to see what my small $15 investment has helped create. :)
octix 4 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone started using LT? Is it productive? Should java devs even bother with this? Thank you.
rsamvit 4 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful Editor.
I'd switch to it completely if it supported a more complete vim emulation -- for now I use it as a repl
karlokeeffe 4 days ago 3 replies      
I get the error:

"LightTable.app" is damaged and can't be opened.

I'm running OSX 10.8.2.

Anyone else having the same problem?

Are there any dependancies I need to have installed before running the app?

pjbrunet 4 days ago 1 reply      
I downloaded Linux 64 and it doesn't work in Debian. No readme either?
devy 4 days ago 0 replies      
How do I open a new client like what Chris demo'd in the video to eval JavaScript & CSS?
dpick 4 days ago 1 reply      
Stack Size Exceeded when trying to open a ~3500 line clojure app :(.
almost_usual 4 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome, really nice to have such great Clojure support
dimitris99 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks really nice. I want to use it. I also like vim.

BUT could do with some more documentation.

null_pointer 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've been playing with this editor, except it seems Syntax Highlighting doesn't work (Linux x64). Which is kind of a killing point for me. Does anybody know of a forum / mailing list I can get on to figure out configuration and such? I have heard so much about this IDE, but it kills me that it doesn't seem to be working properly.

EDIT: Restarting twice seemed to fix the problem.

shuma 4 days ago 1 reply      
Which languages does it support?
baby 4 days ago 0 replies      
More than 300k raised? Isn't that way too much? How much is a developer getting paid in the valley?
billyvg 4 days ago 1 reply      
How do I go into vim mode?
arrakeen 4 days ago 0 replies      
any reason in particular that this doesn't support osx10.6?
ttty 4 days ago 0 replies      
how to open those cells like they do in the video?
zenbowman 4 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful stuff
tapichu 4 days ago 0 replies      
great, happy to see the vim mode!
Why Python, Ruby, and Javascript are Slow speakerdeck.com
352 points by jasonostrander  3 days ago   196 comments top 35
DannyBee 3 days ago 6 replies      
Speaking as a compiler guy, and having a hand in a few successful commercial JITs: The only reason he thinks they aren't slow is because they haven't yet reached the limits of making the JIT faster vs the program faster.
Yes, it's true that the languages are not slow in the sense of being able to take care of most situations through better optimization strategies.
As a compiler author, one can do things like profile types/trace/whatever, and deoptimize if you get it wrong. You can do a lot. You can recognize idioms, use different representations behind people's back, etc.

But all those things take time that is not spent running your program. On average, you can do pretty well. But it's still overhead. As you get farther along in your JIT, optimization algorithms get trickier and trickier, your heuristics, more complex.
You will eventually hit the wall, and need to spend more time doing JIT'ing than doing real work to make optimizations to some code.
This happens to every single JIT, of course.
This is why they try to figure out which code to optimize.
But even then, you may find there is too much of it.

Because of this, the languages are slower, it's just the overhead of better JIT algorithms, not slower code. In practice, you hope that you can optimize enough code well enough that nobody cares, because the ruby code takes 8ms, and the C code takes 5ms.

For example: Almost all of the allocations and copying can be optimized, but depending on the language, the algorithms to figure out what you can do safely may be N^3.

Also, PyPy is still pretty young in its life cycle (in this iteration of PyPy:P) for folks to say that they can make stuff much faster if they only had a few things.
It really needs a very large set of production apps being rin by a very large set of folks for quite a while to see where the real bottlenecks still are.
Past a certain point, you run out of optimization algorithm bullets. The way compilers get the last 20% is by tuning the algorithms for 10 years.

Of course, i'm not trying to slag on PyPy, I think they've done an amazing job of persevering through multiple rewrites to get somewhere that seems to be quite good now. I just am a little wary of a fairly young JIT saying that all big performance problems fall into a few categories.

pcwalton 3 days ago 3 replies      
Related to this is the importance of deforestation. Some good links:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_%28computer_scien...

* http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Short_cut_fusion

Deforestation is basically eliminating intermediate data structures, which is similar to what the "int(s.split("-", 1)[1])" versus "atoi(strchr(s, '-') + 1)" slides are about. If you consider strings as just lists of characters, then it's basically a deforestation problem: the goal is to eliminate all the intermediate lists of lists that are constructed. (It's something of a peculiar case though, because in order to transform into the C code you need to not only observe that indexing an rvalue via [1] and throwing the rest away means that the list doesn't have to be constructed at all, but you also need to allow strings to share underlying buffer space"the latter optimization isn't deforestation per se.)

I don't know if there's been much effort into deforestation optimizations for dynamic languages, but perhaps this is an area that compilers and research should be focusing on more.

On another minor note, I do think that the deck is a little too quick to dismiss garbage collection as an irrelevant problem. For most server apps I'm totally willing to believe that GC doesn't matter, but for interactive apps on the client (think touch-sensitive mobile apps and games) where you have to render each frame in under 16 ms, unpredictable latency starts to matter a lot.

irahul 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mike Pall of luajit fame has an interesting take on it.



While I agree with the first part ("excuses"), the "hard" things mentioned in the second part are a) not that hard and b) solved issues (just not in PyPy).

Hash tables: Both v8 and LuaJIT manage to specialize hash table lookups and bring them to similar performance as C structs (1). Interestingly, with very different approaches. So there's little reason NOT to use objects, dictionaries, tables, maps or whatever it's called in your favorite language.

(1) If you really, really care about the last 10% or direct interoperability with C, LuaJIT offers native C structs via its FFI. And PyPy has inherited the FFI design, so they should be able to get the same performance someday. I'm sure v8 has something to offer for that, too.

Allocations: LuaJIT has allocation sinking, which is able to eliminate the mentioned temporary allocations. Incidentally, the link shows how that's done for a x,y,z point class! And it works the same for ALL cases: arrays {1,2,3} (on top of a generic table), hash tables {x=1,y=2,z=3} or FFI C structs.

String handling: Same as above -- a buffer is just a temporary allocation and can be sunk, too. Provided the stores (copies) are eliminated first. The extracted parts can be forwarded to the integer conversion from the original string. Then all copies and references are dead and the allocation itself can be eliminated. LuaJIT will get all of that string handling extravaganza with the v2.1 branch -- parts of the new buffer handling are already in the git repo. I'm sure the v8 guys have something up their sleeves, too.

I/O read buffer: Same reasoning. The read creates a temporary buffer which is lazily interned to a string, ditto for the lstrip. The interning is sunk, the copies are sunk, the buffer is sunk (the innermost buffer is reused). This turns it into something very similar to the C code.

Pre-sizing aggregates: The size info can be backpropagated to the aggreagate creation from scalar evolution analysis. SCEV is already in LuaJIT (for ABC elimination). I ditched the experimental backprop algorithm for 2.0, since I had to get the release out. Will be resurrected in 2.1.

Missing APIs: All of the above examples show you don't really need to define new APIs to get the desired performance. Yes, there's a case for when you need low-level data structures -- and that's why higher-level languages should have a good FFI. I don't think you need to burden the language itself with these issues.

Heuristics: Well, that's what those compiler textbooks don't tell you: VMs and compilers are 90% heuristics. Better deal with it rather than fight it.

tl;dr: The reason why X is slow, is because X's implementation is slow, unoptimized or untuned. Language design just influences how hard it is to make up for it. There are no excuses.


Also interesting is his research on allocation sinking:


cschmidt 3 days ago 1 reply      
A nice talk. The punchline for me was:

    Things that take time
•Hash table lookups

Interestingly, that's exactly how you write fast C++ code. His point is that languages like Python lack good API's for preallocating memory.

kingkilr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Author/speaker here:

I don't have time to read all the comments now (thanks for all the interest though!). I just want to say I think when the video comes out it'll answer a lot of questions people are having.

njharman 3 days ago 5 replies      
Meh, MEH.

I'm almost never waiting on my python code. I'm waiting on network or disk or database or joe to check in his changes or etc.

I'm sure there are people who do wait. But that's why numpy, c extensions, all the pypy, psycho, and similar things exist.

Python and more broadly "scripting" languages are for speed of development. Something else can take on speed of execution faster than 90% of people need it to be.

defen 3 days ago 1 reply      
Back when I wanted to investigate the numeric performance of v8 I wrote a Runge-Kutta integrator + Lorenz attractor in C and in JavaScript as a simple-but-not-entirely-trivial benchmark. I was actually pretty impressed with how fast the v8 version was. On the downside, it's fairly non-idiomatic js and not that much nicer to look at than the C. Doing a million steps on my machine takes 0.65 seconds in node.js v0.8.4, 0.41 seconds in C compiled with gcc -O0, and 0.13 seconds with gcc -O3. Here is the code if anyone is interested. Note that it's not commented, not thread-safe, and doesn't free memory, so use at your own risk :)


    gcc strange.c rk4.c; ./a.out

node strange.js

moreati 3 days ago 1 reply      
Great presentation, thank you for making me aware of an aspect of Python performance. One slide struck me as odd - the "basically pythonic" squares() function. I understand it's a chosen example to illustrate a point, I just hope people aren't writing loops like that. You inspired me to measure it

    $ cat squares.py
def squares_append(n):
sq = []
for i in xrange(n):
return sq

def squares_comprehension(n):
return [i*i for i in xrange(n)]
$ PYTHONPATH=. python -m timeit -s "from squares import squares_append" "squares_append(1000)"
10000 loops, best of 3: 148 usec per loop
$ PYTHONPATH=. python -m timeit -s "from squares import squares_comprehension" "squares_comprehension(1000)"
10000 loops, best of 3: 74.1 usec per loop
$ PYTHONPATH=. pypy -m timeit -s "from squares import squares_append" "squares_append(1000)"
10000 loops, best of 3: 46.9 usec per loop
$ PYTHONPATH=. pypy -m timeit -s "from squares import squares_comprehension" "squares_comprehension(1000)"
100000 loops, best of 3: 8.67 usec per loop

I'm curious to know how many allocations/copies a list comprehension saves in CPython/PyPy. However I wouldn't begin to know how to measure it.

wheaties 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great bit of slides. Straight and to the point. If you've ever ventured under the hood of Python you'd see this in the code. If you've ever had to optimize the bejeesus out of code in C++ or C, you'd know exactly the kinds of things he's talking about.
Zak 3 days ago 1 reply      
The creators of Common Lisp knew what Alex is talking about. Lisp is, of course just as dynamic as Ruby, Python or Javascript, but it exposes lower-level details about data structures and memory allocation iff the programmer wants them.

Features that come to mind include preallocated vectors (fixed-size or growable), non-consing versions of the standard list functions and the ability to bang on most any piece of data in place. There are fairly few situations in which a CL program can't come within a factor of 2 or 3 of the performance of C.

riobard 3 days ago 0 replies      
Completely agree. APIs are so important for many optimizations to pull off.

I'd really like to use a lot more buffer()/memoryview() objects in Python. Unfortunately many APIs (e.g. sockets) won't work well with them (at least in Python 2.x. Not sure about 3.x).

So we ended up with tons of unnecessary allocation and copying all over the place. So sad.

CJefferson 3 days ago 2 replies      
One main thought on this topic -- languages like Haskell and lisp also have very poor support for direct memory control, but tend to be viewed (perhaps untruthfully?) as much closer in performance to C than Python/Ruby.
revelation 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at CPython and the bytecode it uses, it's not very hard to see why it would be slow. It's basically designed as a reference implementation, with only very tame optimizations.
meunier 3 days ago 1 reply      
Someone actually posting notes with slides! It's a miracle!
dicroce 3 days ago 3 replies      
As a C/C++ programmer I find these slides kind of amusing... These languages are popular because they make things simpler, and his suggestions may very well get a nicely jit'd language on par with C, but I suspect you'll then have the same problems C does (complexity).
estavaro 3 days ago 0 replies      
My own piece of feedback based on my experience. The slides were good. But like others, JIT is not all rosy. In V8 and Dart and .NET, code gets compiled to native code as soon as possible. I think that's the best case scenario in general. You then don't have to guess as much.

The author didn't mention method dispatching. I think it's an issue for many languages. In Dart, they tried to optimize it by the specification by mostly eliminating the need to change methods at runtime. In Ruby I watched a video by one of the core Ruby developers and he said that in Ruby method dispatching can be very complicated requiring up to 20 steps to resolve them.

As important as getting the best performance out of programs is to get the programs created in the first place. That's why I'm against shying away from larger codebases. I'm in favor of OO programming exactly because I think getting things done comes first, even if that could complicate the implementation of the toolset. And OO is all about layers of abstractions that bring more performance costs with them.

That said, I absolutely abhor type annotations. They make code hideous and decrease the opportunities for experimentations. Instead of reading a + b = c algorithms, you may need to parse A a + B b = C c source code.

In Dart we have Optional Types. But the core developers are fond of type annotations, so most samples they post come with them. I take relief in being able to omit type annotations while experimenting, researching and ultimately prototyping. Although in a way I feel like a rebel in the community for this disregard. Thankfully there is this chance to share a community with them.

Reading the part that you don't like adding heuristics to help programs to go faster reminded of adding types to them even if they are mostly disregarded as in Dart.

Then again, not all "dynamic languages" are the same. Some are truly dynamic with eval and runtime method changes. Others, not so much. Sometimes the tradeoffs allow for other kinds of gains that could come into play like when deploying. So there is a lot more to it than just getting the algorithms correct.

wting 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a few comments about some of the slides, feel free to correct any misunderstandings.

Dictionary vs Object:

Lookups in both data structures is O(1), the difference being the hashing cost (and an additional memory lookup for heap) vs a single memory lookup on the stack (1 line of assembly).

Squares list:

> ... so every iteration through the list we have the potential need to size the list and copy all the data.

This is no different than stl::vector which has an amortized cost of O(1) for a push_back().

It's not going to be as fast as C, but I'd also argue for a generator version instead:

    def squares(n):
return (i*i for i in xrange(n))

One of the main reasons people choose Python is for expressiveness and not manually managing memory, although pre-allocation does seem like a good idea.

cheald 3 days ago 4 replies      
Kind of a poorly-named deck. It's really about why programs use features of these languages that end up causing poor performance relative to C, rather than why the individual VMs themselves are slow. It's no surprise that trading the byte-precision of C for the convenience of a garbage collector and heap-allocated data structures results in a performance decrease.

Dynamically-typed languages are often easier to program in, but require more copying (and memory allocation) as a result. Hash tables are heap-allocated and have to be garbage collected, but they're flexible - something you don't get with structs. Allocating and freeing memory has a cost, and that can add up quickly. Your primary line of optimization in most of these languages is "avoid the GC", which really boils down to "don't allocate more than you need to", which is sound advice in every language, scripting or otherwise.

csense 3 days ago 0 replies      
The example he gives for strings could be optimized to near the efficiency of the C version by a sufficiently smart compiler:

    int(s.split("-", 1)[1])

If the JIT knows that s is the builtin string type and the split() method has not been overridden [1], it can speed this up by using "pseudo-strings," where a pseudo-string is an index and length into another string. This would require only O(1) time and space.

Garbage-collecting pseudo-strings would be an interesting exercise, but I'm sure it's a solvable problem [2] [3].

[1] If the preconditions for your optimization don't hold, you can always fall back to interpreting it. As noted by the speaker, this sort of logic is already a critical part of many JIT's including Pypy.

[2] The problem is actually GC'ing the parent. When the parent string is gc'ed, you have to compact the orphan strings to reclaim the remaining space; otherwise it'll be possible to write user code that uses a small finite amount of memory in CPython but has an unbounded memory leak in your compiler.

[3] You can avoid the trickiness in [2] if the parent string can be proven to outlive its children, which is the case in this example. You could probably optimize a lot of real-world code, and have an easier time implementing the compiler, if you only used pseudo-strings when they could be proven to be shorter-lived than the parent. As a bonus, this partial GC would build some infrastructure that could be recycled in a general implementation.

bithive123 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you want to learn more about what the Ruby VM has to do in order to execute your code, and some of the performance challenges for Ruby implementors (such as it's extremely flexible parameter parsing) I suggest this talk by Koichi Sasada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWIP4nsKIMU
gingerlime 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting slides, and good point about having better APIs.

Perhaps I'm nitpicking, but with a function called `newlist_hint`, I struggle to see how anybody would adopt it. I had to go back to the slides maybe 3 times, and I still don't remember the name of this function... Those APIs must have the most obvious, logical and simple names.

edanm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting talk

Leads me to wonder - has anyone done a study of any large-scale program to check where the slow spots are? It's not that I don't trust the speaker, he makes excellent points and is obviously a great memeber of the community.

But it would be very interesting if he were able to say: "Using PyPy's secret 'hint' API, only in drop-dead obvious places, improved performance by a factor of 5".

coldtea 2 days ago 0 replies      
Speak about Python and Ruby.

Javascript is insanely fast, with V8 and its ilk.

And I'm not talking about "toy benchmarks" either, I'm talking about envolved stuff written in plain JS (no C extensions), from the QT port to JS/Canvas, to the h264 encoder and such. Try doing those on Python and you'll see what you get. And of course all the toy benchmarks also agree.

Javascript with v8 is like a faster PyPy (with less performance deviation): 10 to 20 times faster than plain Python code.

Sure, you can extend Python with fast C code. But as the core languages are concerned, JS beats CPython hands down. (Oh, and you can also extend JS with fast C/C++ code if you need that. Node modules do it all the time).

arocks 3 days ago 5 replies      
It is almost time that people stop referring to Languages as Fast or Slow. It is an implementation that is fast or slow, not a language.
d0mine 3 days ago 1 reply      

    atoi(strchr(s, '-') + 1)

What does this do? Finds the first instance of a -, and converts the remainder of a string to an int. 0 allocations, 0 copies. Doing this with 0 copies is pretty much impossible in Python, and probably in ruby and Javascript too. </quote>

The copying could be avoided in non-idiomatic Python:

    int(buffer(s, s.find("-") + 1))

oscargrouch 2 days ago 1 reply      
Its time to face it:

People start to create computer languages without carrying too much about the target processor opcodes (because in that time processor were just getting faster with time) and focus more on programmer convenience, and wild beasts like python and ruby were born..

C is fast because it was created with processor awareness in mind.. pretty simple...

these days kids are all about trying to create more and more crappy convenient sintax languages.. and they get worry when the languages dont scale? for what computer they design the language? from venus ?

nobody should be doing any serious software in python or ruby.. is such a waste of talent .. use it for education.. for fun.. or for the things they are best.. wich is not in the system/plumbing side of things

mixmastamyk 3 days ago 3 replies      

    def squares(n):
sq = []
for i in xrange(n):
return sq

A basically idiomatic version of the same in Python. No list
pre-allocation, so every iteration through the list we have the
potential to need to resize the list and copy all the data. That's

Is that true? I'd expect .append() to change a pointer or two, not "resize and copy" the list. Even an .insert() should just move pointers at the C-level... no need to "defrag" it. I guess the key word is potential.

kristianp 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a ruby lover, I'm interested in the ruby implementation the Author wrote and mentioned, topaz [1]. Has anyone here tried it?

"Topaz is a high performance implementation of the Ruby programming language, written in Python on top of RPython (the toolchain that powers PyPy)."

[1] http://docs.topazruby.com/en/latest/

lsiebert 20 hours ago 0 replies      
As a programmer that first learned c and still thinks like a C programmer in a lot of ways, this actually explains a lot to me.
Nate75Sanders 3 days ago 2 replies      
He mentions that he couldn't find a pure C hash table.


jdhuang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting presentation, but it can't be the whole story. Even projects like SciPy which use the most rudimentary data structures (basically just a large array of floats) and algorithms (sometimes just looping through the elements in order a few times) see a considerable advantage when rewritten in C.


jderick 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the preallocate APIs sound like a cool idea. Perhaps there could also be some kind of 'my hashtable is an object' hint that could let the compiler do the same kind of optimizations on hashtables that it does on objects (assuming that your hash keys don't change much).
ippa 3 days ago 0 replies      
His suggestion for better preallocate APIs made me think of this ruby patch from Charles Nutter: http://www.ruby-forum.com/topic/173802

4 years later and they still discuss it, heh.

rjzzleep 3 days ago 1 reply      
i'm actually surprised noone ever talks about perl. isn't perl crazy fast compared to the other interpreted languages?
rasmusfabbe 3 days ago 6 replies      
This is misleading and contains errors like calling C++ "C". Unless you have a great deal of knowledge about these things already, I urge you not to learn from this but read the slides purely for entertainment.

Question: The author claims to be a compiler author. After some digging I haven't found any information on what compilers he has written or are part of writing. Could someone point me to the compiler(s) Alex is involved with? Thanks.

The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (2006) teslamotors.com
346 points by mactitan  2 days ago   184 comments top 23
spullara 2 days ago 8 replies      
When I ordered my Tesla S I also needed to get a 240V charger installed in my garage. Tesla sends you over to SolarCity for that and they can install it for you. This also gives them the perfect opportunity to offer you solar panels as well since they can show you, based on your electricity bill and the number of miles you are going to drive, how much it is going to save you.

Long story short, bought a Tesla S from Tesla, a outlet installation from SolarCity and now have also signed up for 8.8Kw solar panel system for my house.

The vertical integration of his investments is awesome. I just hope he somehow integrates in SpaceX ... maybe solar microwave power from orbit?

angstrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
They've followed the plan well. I'd also like to point out a lesser known article from 7 years ago: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2...

The New Power Play

The Investor: Elon Musk, co-founder, PayPal

What he's backed: SpaceX, Tesla Motors

What he wants now: As Musk's two most recent investments - in a space rocket and an all-electric sports car - suggest, the 35-year-old entrepreneur likes to think big. So he's intrigued by the promise of a next-generation battery called an ultracapacitor, capable of powering everything from cars to tractors. Unlike chemical batteries, ultracapacitors store energy as an electrical field between a pair of conducting plates. Theoretically, they can be charged in less than a second rather than hours, be recharged repeatedly without sacrificing performance, and far outlast anything now on the market.

"I am convinced that the long-term solution to our energy needs lies with capacitors," Musk says. "You can't beat them for power, and they kick ass on any chemical battery."

Musk would know: He was doing Ph.D. work at Stanford on high-energy capacitors before he helped get PayPal off the ground. At least one startup, EEStor in Texas, and a larger company, Maxwell Technologies in California, are working on ultracapacitors. Yet Musk believes a university-based research group has an equal shot at a commercial breakthrough, since universities are where the most promising research is bubbling up. "The challenge is one of materials science, not money," Musk says.

The team to pull this off, he says, would need expertise in materials science, applied physics, and manufacturing. Musk wants to see a prototype that can power something small, like a boom box. "Make one and show me that it works," Musk says. "Then tell me what's wrong with it and how it can be fixed."

What he'll invest: $4 million over two years for a working prototype

Send your pitch to: mbb@spacex.com. -- M.V.C.

wamatt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Musk's plan in a way serves as a reminder for those of us that tend to overestimate the role luck plays in the personal journey towards entrepreneurial success.

While generally HN users are open minded, no small number have derided the notion that others (perhaps far less capable than Musk), are capable of having a meaningful vision.

Of course having a justified belief and plan is a different approach to the lean startup philosophy. Lean effectively aligns more with the randomness worldview and iteration with an impartiality (or even celebration in some cases) of failure. Whereas OTOH, the visionary approach usually has more confidence in a self-directed path.

Those with this visionary quality (in varying levels of ability), can arrogantly dismiss others too, with behavior that is equally cringe worthy. Moreover, it would be hard to objectively and meaningfully argue either approach is universally "better".

However, perhaps the most significant indiscretion, is not in picking a side that works for you, but rather failing to see that two sides exist at all.

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
August 2, 2006

The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)

From 2006. Nice to know they are still sticking with it :-)

surrealize 2 days ago 3 replies      
> the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable

Tesla cars so far have definitely been luxury cars. If they keep going downmarket into the mainstream, I wonder if they'll want to create a separate brand for their mainstream stuff, a la acura/honda, toyota/lexus, and infiniti/nissan.

If they do, the low-end brand should be "Edison".

codex 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster."

A Model S for $45K? Where do I sign? The average selling price of a Model S is probably more like $90K.

jessriedel 2 days ago 6 replies      
Can anyone point me toward Musk's reasoning about why solar will beat out wind power in the long term? I know he owns a solar company, but why did he choose that over wind?

(I'm aware of the basic pros and cons of both. I'm really just looking for Musk's thinking.)

jasonshen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing builds credibility like doing what you said you would. =)
NoPiece 2 days ago 8 replies      
I am rooting for Tesla, but if they are counting on a "solar electric economy," that makes me worry. Let's target something practical, like a nuclear/natural gas/solar electric economy.
zacharycohn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am a huge fan of Elon and have a lot of faith in anything he's involve in.

I am interested, however, in how this reconciles with the Innovator's Dilemma. He's starting at the top of the market and working his way down.

My possible explanation (assuming he will be successful) is:

There isn't enough of an existing market to be disrupted for the Innovator's Dilemma to apply. What I would be worried about here is the other electric cars that ARE on the market are on the lower end (comparatively. The Leaf is $23,000 vs Tesla @ $52,000).

Nissan is working on using cheaper tech, and then will find ways to improve that cheaper tech versus Tesla using expensive tech and finding ways to make it cheaper.


uptown 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not that he's presumably anywhere near the end of his life - but does Tesla or SpaceX have a contingency plan should something happen to Elon Musk? Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love everything they're doing. It just scares the crap out of me that such a grand movement opposing very powerful forces is led by a single individual. Please tell me there's more brilliant leaders with the same mindset involved in his mission, ready to take the reins should the need ever arise.
btipling 2 days ago 0 replies      
(2006) on the title please.
chenster 2 days ago 3 replies      
> However, let's assume for the moment that the electricity is generated from a hydrocarbon source like natural gas, the most popular fuel for new US power plants in recent years.

Above statement is mostly true in state of California where natural gas generates one third of its total power (source: http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.h...)

Not so true national wide. According to US Energy Administration, the energy sources and percent share of total for electricity generation in 2011. Note the the combined renewable energy sources is below 10% still in 2011.

• Coal 42%

• Natural Gas 25%

• Nuclear 19%

• Hydropower 8%

• Other Renewable 5%

• Biomass 1.38%

• Geothermal 0.41%

• Solar 0.04%

• Wind 2.92%

• Petroleum 1%

• Other Gases < 1%

(source: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3)

Coal is still the king.

HyprMusic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find it incredible how one many seems to be driving such a change in the future of our planet. Considering people have apparently been putting time and money in to this for decades, why are we not seeing more attempts like this? Is it because it's not considered lucrative enough for the capitalist market? Or is Elon just a very good at convincing us (me) he's breaking new ground?
TechNewb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Secret: One of the reasons I want to get a good job is so I can afford a Tesla... Don't tell anyone.
mactitan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hybrid vs EV: .56 vs 1.14 km/mj.

Xprise 100 mpg winner seriously considered EV but won with
Gas engine. Where's the discrepancy?
At least Germany is a good case study in the feasibility
Of a solar electric infrastructure. I thought diesel/ hybrid is best bet but it's good musk is here pushing the envelope.

DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
How rare is lithium for lithium ion batteries? And how recyclable is it?

Should I be buying lithium now to sell it later?

vignesh_vs_in 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is a video documentary by Nat Geo on Tesla, Model S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvPosSzUGVI

Elon explains the master plan himself.

AlexeiSadeski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assuming all observed warming is anthropogenic, the amount of global warming caused by the cumulatie emissions of all of America's cars ever: 1/40th of 1 degree Centigrade.
chenster 2 days ago 3 replies      
Richard A. Muller, Nobel Prize in Physics, posted an short article on energy efficiency and pollution in gasoline, hybrid, and pure battery powered cars. Gasoline vs best battery powered car is a factor of 40.The only car has zero pollution is the hydrogen powered.


zaidrahman 2 days ago 0 replies      
A CEO who sticks by the grand plan. This is refreshing.
slevcom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Total man crush on Elon here. He's like a science fiction author except he makes the spaceships for reals instead of writing about them. Meanwhile a large chunk of the entrepreneurs continue to optimize ad delivery and photo sharing (myself included), just sayin.
mynameishere 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah, right. He just wants pollution moved from rich areas, where traffic density is located, to poor areas, where power generating stations are located.
Evernote hacked evernote.com
329 points by tlogan  2 days ago   208 comments top 36
UnoriginalGuy 2 days ago 10 replies      
The following blog post is also being sent to all Evernote users as an email communication.

Evernote's Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service.

As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset. Please read below for details and instructions.

In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.

The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(cryptography) ))

While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking additional steps to ensure that your personal data remains secure. This means that, in an abundance of caution, we are requiring all users to reset their Evernote account passwords. Please create a new password by signing into your account on evernote.com(https://www.evernote.com/Login.action).

After signing in, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Once you have reset your password on evernote.com, you will need to enter this new password in other Evernote apps that you use. We are also releasing updates to several of our apps to make the password change process easier, so please check for updates over the next several hours.

As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common. We take our responsibility to keep your data safe very seriously, and we're constantly enhancing the security of our service infrastructure to protect Evernote and your content.

There are also several important steps that you can take to ensure that your data on any site, including Evernote, is secure:

Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words
Never use the same password on multiple sites or services
Never click on ‘reset password' requests in emails " instead go directly to the service
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We apologize for the annoyance of having to change your password, but, ultimately, we believe this simple step will result in a more secure Evernote experience. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Evernote Support(http://evernote.com/support).

The Evernote team

Ensorceled 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm kind of annoyed they didn't send an email, just flagged my password. So I couldn't use the iphone/mac apps and had to login via the web interface to reset. Which I didn't know because they didn't send an email, just got an invalid password error.

Their lack of encryption and lack of 2 factor auth just became a much bigger issue for me...

rdl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've never really understood the security model for Evernote. It's "an exocortex" -- your personal notes, which are likely to be more security sensitive than general documents, email, etc. And yet they have even less security than Dropbox, themselves not exactly an exemplar of robust security.

They've got competent people operating the service; it's just not well designed for security.

melvinmt 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's why I don't use any fancy services for my notes, which usually contains sensitive data. I simply use Notational Velocity which encrypts my notes and stores it locally. It does provide a synchronization option with SimpleNote but they can't even be bothered with using SSL.
makeramen 2 days ago 1 reply      
I managed to reset my password to the same that it was before. I changed it again right away of course, but there should definitely be some protection against that.

(FWIW I didn't get the email so I was simply locked out and used their "forget password" form instead of trying to log in, which may have a different reset process).

seldo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I note that when Twitter released their breach notice on a Friday afternoon there were comments accusing them of trying to "bury" the news:


While there are (so far) no such comments about Evernote releasing this stuff on a Saturday morning. I think security breaches are just discovered at inconvenient times.

ams6110 2 days ago 2 replies      
we have found no evidence == "we really don't know"

Sorry, I'm sure the Evernote tech team is competent, but clearly some marketing spin has been put on this announcement.

kmfrk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Service currently unavailable. Here is their latest tweet:

    Important: Evernote just implemented a service-wide
password reset. Please read our post for details and

Said post is unavailable by the look of it.

Can someone post a paste of the blog post in here?

jerrya 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find evernote tremendously helpful and I pay the $5 per month for a premium service, REGARDLESS, a google of https://www.google.com/search?q=evernote+two+step+authentica... says little good about how Evernote respects me or their many many other customers whom have repeatedly asked for two factor authentication.
moe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Let me be the first to say: HA-HA! </nelson>

Over the past few years I've told everyone to refrain from using Evernote. I told them that Evernote doesn't use end-to-end encryption and that eventually this would happen.

Hardly anyone would listen ("You're just paranoid", "I don't store anything private in there anyway, except.. oh").

For once I take cruel pleasure in being "that guy". The general public needs to learn this lesson.

bthomas 2 days ago 0 replies      
> we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed

This depends on how hard they looked - do people believe content wasn't accessed?

Is it fair to ask them for a technical post about why they don't think content was hacked? I'd love to know how they separate auth from content, and how they ensure that a hacked auth node can't view notes

tlrobinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any suggestions of migration paths to more security conscious alternatives?

I'd even be happy with an encrypted disk image on Dropbox if there's a good way to OCR scanned docs, then be able to search them.

mieubrisse 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the post, they say:

"The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)

While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking additional steps to ensure that your personal data remains secure. This means that, in an abundance of caution, we are requiring all users to reset their Evernote account passwords. Please create a new password by signing into your account on evernote.com."

What it doesn't say is how the passwords were dumped in the first place, or what they're going to do to ensure it doesn't happen again (outside of taking "additional steps"). I understand that not all users of Evernote are technical, but I'd like some peace of mind that a similar thing is less likely to happen in the future.

Stratoscope 2 days ago 1 reply      
For anyone who is as puzzled as I was about how to change the password in the Android app, the answer is you can't change it in the app. (!)

Instead, you have to tap the "authentication failed" notification. Then you can change the password.

jrockway 2 days ago 0 replies      
I finally made the switch to randomly-generated passwords for everything, so for once I can finally not care at all that this happened. It's just a reminder that I need to close my Evernote account.
marcuspovey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good they're being proactive here, but two things:

1) I'm sick of going through this password reset crap every month or so. Please lets get rid of passwords.

2) Could Evernote please look at some sort of oauth based signin for mobile devices? I have to enter this unique and very long password multiple times on every device I own.

It'd be nice if my linked phone and tablet didn't need me to use the same login system as a human.

lysium 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm wondering how they perform the password reset.

Surely, you must know more than the username. But they cannot rely on the old password either, because the whole thing was set off by assuming that the old password is hacked. And they advise their user to ignore instructions per email.

So how do / could they do it?

SonicSoul 2 days ago 1 reply      
i didn't get the email, and my original password still works, it just took me directly to change password screen.

i guess they're counting on compromised passwords not being used individually to create new ones?

rburhum 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny enough, logging in to Evernote was the first thing I did after laying in bed spending 1hr+ watching this amazing video about http/https man-in-the-middle attacks using sslstrip http://www.thoughtcrime.org/software/sslstrip/ . Not a good way to start my morning.
eliot_sykes 2 days ago 0 replies      
colinmegill 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Please create a new password by signing into your account on evernote.com(https://www.evernote.com/Login.action).
After signing in, you will be prompted to enter your new password."

Why couldn't an attacker do that at this point?

apapli 2 days ago 2 replies      
Frustrating, I thought they would have done security better than most given the type of information stored here.

Does anyone know a decent password keeper? I have a list of logins/passwords for my key sites in a word .doc file stored locally, but given I have a work mac, home mac, tablet and iPhone it really is a pain to access the locally stored file.

I thought about saving this file on google drive, but their 2-factor auth doesn't seem to apply for drive (only gmail).

How do others do this - is there a way to store an encrypted file somewhere online, then typing in a known password to unencrypt / open it when I need to access it?

freewizard 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not share more about the hack detail? Is it another attack from China? As a (paid) user, I'm a bit concerned about my data security.
ga0bi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I filed a ticket this morning after I was unable to login to the Mac client. Here's their response:

"Dear Valued Customer,

We're truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you this morning. We are attempting to contact our entire userbase about this matter, but we feel that immediate action in these cases is the most prudent course."

The rest of the email contained the contents of their blog post.

mmagin 2 days ago 0 replies      
And another example of how badly Wordpress scales.
hgezim 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just got an email from "Evernote" with links pointing to http://links.evernote.mkt5371.com/

Please, be very careful, people. Of course, this won't reach the people who need to hear it :(

mourique 2 days ago 1 reply      
whew, i was shocked when my evernote client asked me to enter my password because i did not recieve the e-mail. It seems like this was a precautious step as nothing was 'really' hacked, or was it?
senthilnayagam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anybody considered the zendesk link http://m.techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/zendesk-evernote-25k/

Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest hacks are all having zendesk connection

People on Dropbox have issues too

mdp 2 days ago 0 replies      
They've never really been focused on security in the past. Honestly, I love the service, but their lack of concern about keeping it secure has never sat well with me.

I wrote up a post with some of my security concerns. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5311010

santiagoIT 2 days ago 1 reply      
I got the email and reset my password (web browser on desktop). I then launched the MaxOs client app and it asked me to enter the new password, however the iOS app shows its initial loading screen but then just crashes. It never gets around to asking me for the new password. Anyone know a solution to this?
lucb1e 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am impressed by how well this is handled. Much better than I've seen from other companies!
yabatopia 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't get an email (yet) so I visited the Evernote Forum. I was a bit surprised to see that I had to sign in with the same username and password of my Evernote account. It's convenient, but I prefer seperate accounts, especially since they're using third-party forum software.
Nyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
And following the announcement, the blog it's down and emails didn't arrived yet. Well done, Evernote.
DocG 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not cool. I use evernote for throwaway email passwords.
And storing some usernames, without passwords. Just to remember usernames.

I wouldn't lose anything, it would be just inconvenient for me.

xutopia 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone know a good Skitch replacement?
jms703 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't understand why they don't offer encryption.
Show HN: Tiled Text " a Different Approach to Editing Text tiledtext.com
326 points by westoncb  3 days ago   89 comments top 28
jerf 3 days ago 2 replies      
"I have just moved to Boston and will have to find (real) work soon (been working in a grocery store part-time while building this)."

Someone get this man a job, even if it has nothing to do with this code.

lobster_johnson 3 days ago 3 replies      
I like the way people are starting to look at alternative approaches to text editing. Light Table has some good ideas, for example. For me, multiple cursors and fast symbol navigation in Sublime Text has been a huge time saver.

Personally, I have never needed code folding (I prefer to have my own map of the code in my head, and anything that obscures that map just gets in the way), or Sublime Text's minimap, nor have I ever needed the symbol sidebar that is found in some IDEs (Eclipse, Netbeans). What I really want is more efficient editing.

For example, text editors like Sublime have zero language-sensitive refactoring support. I can't rename (variables, methods etc.) or extract methods, for example. Even some really simple operations like "select entire current nesting level" are unavailable. I remember using Eclipse 7 years ago and really liking the intelligence of the incremental compiler backend, even though I hated Java; it seems that with backends such as Clang, those tools can once again be applied outside big, annoying IDEs like Eclipse and Xcode.

Not sure if this particular approach is useful except to a small niche, but it looks pretty slick. Good luck with the effort!

ebbv 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is a cool toy but it doesn't really seem to address the main issue of writing code on a touch device; typing on a touch device sucks.

Moving code around is not a difficult problem to solve. Drag to highlight, grab it and move it somewhere else. You've done that elegantly.

But writing massive amounts of code on a device without a traditional keyboard is awful and that's the difficult problem to solve. Until that's solved I don't think anyone can claim to have made real progress enabling development on keyboardless devices.

pak 3 days ago 2 replies      
Could doctors use a gestural interface like this to write templated notes in an EMR on touch devices? Most of the notes that doctors write have repetitive structures. Hence, EMRs like Epic have come up with features like Smart Text, which expand special phrases into large templated sentences with certain bits of data prepopulated and keywords that can be toggled between values (present/absent, etc.) with the keyboard.

But the key complaint with these EMRs is that you need to type to use them, which is awkward and breaks the flow of conversation with a patient. Eye contact is important during patient interviews. Therefore, most doctors use paper and type them into the EMR later (waste of time).

A lot of people (and companies like drchrono) think that the way forward is to use tablets like the iPad mini or the Galaxy Tab, which balance the intrusiveness of the computer form factor against the ability to enter data. A pain point of tablet EMRs is text entry--but like I said, a lot of notes that doctors write have predefined structures, like code.

I think there is potentially a lot of money in elegantly solving this UI problem with a new interface like Tiled Text.

shabble 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see more editors/IDEs that operate at a higher semantic level than plain text. The biggest problem is of course interoperating with existing language/development ecosystems. I have pondered in the past about a language or platform where everything is stored internally as some form of AST, and text is just one of the possible representations. It would at least solve the coding-style (well, the formatting part at anyway) issue for once and for all; everyone just maintains their own CSS/XSLT-alike transforms with tabs or spaces and brackets and semicolons wherever they like.

I've come across occasional research projects in 'structural editors' which only allow semantically correct input (and, depending on the size of the input alphabet, can function through almost 100% autocomplete menu input)

Anastasia[1] is one that I know of, and this Modeless Structure Editing by Sufrin et al.[2] looks interesting.

The main issue I can see, apart from the effort involved, is how to deal with incomplete documents, since almost by creation or editing process will have interim invalid structures. Emacs paredit can be pretty infuriating if you don't use its specialised operations and try to edit your code in a way that malforms the structure.

[1] http://dream.inf.ed.ac.uk/projects/anastasia/

[2] http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/bernard.sufrin/edit.pdf

zrail 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very cool project, nice work. It seems to be very similar to an older project for Emacs named Versor[1]. There's an interesting document out there talking about how to operate Emacs and Versor using a gamepad[2], similar to how you're doing here. It seems that Versor eventually compromised on entering necessary text with a real keyboard and using the gamepad for all navigation and other editing purposes. I actually had a weeks-long thought experiment involving Versor and a 3d-printed gamepad with a chording keyboard on the back. It never went anywhere, but it was fun to think about.

[1]: http://emacs-versor.sourceforge.net/

[2]: http://www.cb1.com/~john/computing/emacs/emacs-gamepad.html

pshc 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is really nice.

I'm working on a non-plaintext programming language that just needs a structural editor like this. I'll drop you a line.

ibdknox 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is really neat, great work! I wonder, do people perform the kind of edits that this makes efficient very often?

For example, in the video it was predetermined exactly what was going to be moving and where it was going to go to. From my observations, these sorts of large scale changes are rarely handled so easily. Context helps people map things cleanly, and the contextual change of zooming in and out forces you to constantly rebuild that map. It's an issue I've seen over and over again with any zoom-oriented interface.

Regardless, this is cool work. We need new and interesting interfaces for code - I'm hoping to show some fun things myself at the Live Programming Workshop [1] at ICSE[2].

[1]: http://liveprogramming.github.com/2013/
[2]: http://2013.icse-conferences.org/

hpcorona 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't get it... He's trying to solve the problem of typing text in a touch device... with an XBox controller? why not better carry a small keyboard?

The program looks awesome, but i believe it would be more productive to have this features on a regular IDE where you can actually use the keyboard... All the movement between nodes looks terrific.

But anyway...

VeejayRampay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Blocks in 3D would be neat. Gives you an instant representation of the depth of inner loops/blocks/closures/function bodies.

I wonder if we'll have that at some point.

lifeformed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool. Have you considered also tokenizing camelCase text into separate words?
eaurouge 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats on building this! I wonder, have you considered speech recognition as an alternative source for text generation? You could build some powerful voice commands this way, possibly rivaling Vim, TextMate etc.

We will eventually see some growth in demand for text editing on tablets and phones. With some further research and innovation, you may be able to turn this into a tool (possibly commercial) that is useful for a larger audience.

frou_dh 3 days ago 3 replies      
> ... the Tiled Text engine will narrow down the possibilities of what can be inserted at any given point so that the user can select textual constructs from a grid of options, rather than inserting everything one character at a time ...

The recently revamped PSN Store on PS3 has what I thought was quite a usable implementation of text entry. When searching the store, you select characters one at a time from a (vertical) strip, but that dynamic strip only contains characters for which there will continue to be search results after it's appended to your string. The current search results are shown as a live preview, so you need enter just enough to filter out the noise.

resu_nimda 3 days ago 1 reply      
The image at the top of the page almost made me close the tab instantly. It's the polar opposite of slick and intuitive.

I did stick around though and the video does look very nice, but I would recommend a more inviting first impression (I realize this is a library for developers, but still).

ww520 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is very innovative. Constraint does force invention.

Often time I wish I can write some code on my phone but gave up after a while due to the painful editing process. It looks like it can help a lot. Looking forward to further development.

hangtwenty 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be really cool to see an integration of this with the Leap Motion controller (http://leapmotion.com/). I can't imagine writing code exclusively with Tiled Text gestures, but the idea of moving around, navigating, and manipulating text with gestures when it make sense, then typing when that's the most effective - and going fluidly between the two - that sounds really incredible.
yefim323 3 days ago 4 replies      
I've just download Vim Touch (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.momodalo.a...) and have been playing around with it for a bit. And I can attest to the fact that editing on a phone is incredibly painful. Once I realized that, though, I also realized that there is very little need for me to ever need to edit code on my phone. So, I see and acknowledge the conceptual problem that Tiled Text is trying to solve but I fear that the audience is far too small for it to be of much use.
yarone 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats. A very interesting an innovative approach.
arithma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Although our company is from Lebanon, so we'd basically be pulling ourselves to compete with your groceries job, I believe I can convince our company to offer you a job.
You can thank the sheer chutzpah of your person, that allowed you to create this editor.
Let me know if you're interested, so that we can discuss the details :)
stormbrew 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice. Was vi-style modal editing a significant inspiration? It seems like it must have been. Definitely neat to see an approach to the same kind of limited-terminal constraints brought to modern devices. I don't know if I'd use it as a primary interface, but as a high level tool for code organization it could potentially justify having a touch screen on a code editing machine.
wildgift 2 days ago 1 reply      
oh wow. I was watching the video and thought, "oh whatever, it's just like a visualization of some vim style editing". Then I realized that you really did something amazing. "oh daaaaaamn, he just made a visual editor that could become the next vim."
saadazzz 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to have sound effects like that in Sublime Text.
If anyone is interested, I'd be glad to write a plugin together.
catshirt 3 days ago 0 replies      
i like the debug mode. being able to manipulate the tree directly seems like it could be more efficient than a cursor.
potomushto 2 days ago 0 replies      
I definitely want to try it with MYO wireless control, mostly for WOW effect.
dakimov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not really innovative, but it has some sci-fi feeling in it due to the animations and sounds. He works in a grocery store?! I would hire him in no time.
aaronsnoswell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I watched the video and still have no idea what this is about - someone explain it in english?
kpierre 3 days ago 2 replies      
have you considered using APL and its derivatives ? it's about 100x less typing than java.
fishcakes 2 days ago 0 replies      
using the syntax tree for navigation was a brilliant insight. really nicely done.
How Search Works google.com
308 points by vijaydev  3 days ago   101 comments top 28
philsnow 3 days ago 3 replies      
I missed most of the content on this ... page ? Exhibit ? Installation ? whatever it's called, because it told me to scroll, I did, and I scrolled through a bunch of what looks like empty space and arrived at the end ("and that's how search works"). The user is apparently supposed to stop and watch some animation at certain places, but it's not clear where to stop scrolling.

Perfect example, near the top there's some text about "It's made up of over[........] 30 TRILLION[.........] INDIVIDUAL PAGES[........] and it's constantly growing." But there's nothing to indicate that I should stop somewhere and wait for some more text to show up.

Maybe they should limit how far down you can scroll by setting the height of some element, and only increase it when the animation is finished.

Edit: the key problem here isn't the "scrolling makes things happen" gimmick that's popular lately. the problem is that it starts certain animations or fade-ins some time after I've already skipped past an apparently blank space.

dangrossman 3 days ago 2 replies      
The most interesting thing there is the live view of the most recently deleted webspam. I wonder what blackhat SEO firms can learn from that to better avoid the filters.
franze 3 days ago 2 replies      
thx matt and the google search team for doing this. it's nothing new for technically inclined people, but every little bit helps. helps for what? teaching people to worry about the right aspects of search and the impact on their business, instead of worrying about bullshitphrases that were planted in their head by a SEO agency key account or a blogpost from 2008. so well yes, thx for doing this. i will send it to my clients (and tell them to click on the bubbles, even though they don't look clickable)

now an anecdote (because i feel like telling one): this week started for me with an interview that finally got published http://werbeplanung.at/news/marketing/2013/02/interview-mit-... it's german) in that interview i claimed that

* 80% of everything written about SEO and Google is bullshit

* that all the rumors, tipps and trends are actually hurting business

* that we should treat SEO as a numbers based craft of constant optimizations

* instead of the esoteric bullshit art it is currently

* and, if search traffic is important for the success of a business, they must rid themselves of external (agency) dependencies and develop internal structures

nothing to far fetched i think. everybody knows the SEO vertical is full of bullshit, i just took some time to estimate a number (based on a random sample of collected blogposts (that at least one person tweeted about))

yeah, i got a lot of angry emails, skype messages, linkedin messages, xing messages after the interview was published.

most of them mentioned at least one of these words

  * pagerank
* whitehat
* blackhat
* grayhat
* linkjuice
* panda
* pinguin ...

so yeah, thx google for educating people about search. keep up the good work.

tmoertel 3 days ago 4 replies      
Has anyone deciphered the fat-mustache diagram in the "Query Understanding" circle? It's in the Algorithms section.

At first I thought it was supposed to represent a Gaussian-like probability distribution. But when I clicked on it, the resulting animation showed a series of such distributions getting flattened by some kind of distribution-flattening hydraulic press. The accompanying caption: "Gets to the deeper meaning of the words you type."

If I was confused before, now I was completely lost.

How is deeper meaning represented by distribution flattening? I'd think it would be just the opposite, raising probability mass around the likely meanings, not spreading it out into a uniform distribution over all meanings.


If anyone has figured it out, please do share.

(Maybe I'm taking the diagrams too seriously.)

EDITED TO ADD: New option: If you don't have any clue what it means either, come up with an entertaining yet plausible story that fits the hydraulic-press-vs-mustaches animation and share that story instead.

EDITED TO ADD: Example: At Google's new eco-friendly data centers, NLP computations are performed by genetically enhanced inchworms. Difficult queries, however, can cause the inchworms to get cricks in their backs. In such cases, Google's innovative back-massager descends and restores the inchworms to their preferred position (prone), from which they can return to their computations with renewed vigor.

dylangs1030 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know what to take from this.

That search is very complex (I knew that, but not with this technical detail).

Or...that Google is trying very hard to maintain user interest with gimmicky shows of why it's cool and cutting edge and necessary.

Not that Google isn't those things...this just seems like an unnecessary expenditure of time. We know it's complex Google. Improve some other features and stop shutting others down instead of making these web 2.0 animations.

eykanal 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was halfway through before I realized that some of the content was clickable.

Very nice page, though.

jojopotato 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting that they show the approximate number of searches / second at the bottom. Is that an otherwise publicly available number?
area51mafia 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's nice overall, but the timing for making items appear is a little slow. I was past most headers by the time they appeared, and I don't think I scroll too incredibly fast.
aviswanathan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Scrolling is really becoming the new thing in UX design. It's an interesting contrast to the 'movie-like' flash animations of a few years ago that required no interaction on behalf of the user.
prezjordan 3 days ago 2 replies      
They left out the part where they index your emails and choose items you agree with over items you don't :
JDDunn9 3 days ago 1 reply      
Their characterization of their spam procedures is grossly misleading. They do not send emails to most people that have been penalized, nor do they give clear instructions on how people can fix their sites.

Thousands of small sites were killed by Panda for no good reason, and have little hope of getting their traffic/incomes back. Google's spam policy is skewed heavily in favor of large sites and their own properties.

ywyrd 3 days ago 3 replies      
I keep checking every so often, but searching for "this phrase" or +absolute +requirement is still broken. Even "Verbatim", isn't. If they can't even get simple search right, who would trust them with anything more?
johnmurch 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is this just PR for Google? Would rather see a more technical approach - although great for forwarding to clients when asked :)
sytelus 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are some good facts and numbers hidden in rather toy explanation:

1. Spam detection is automatic

2. There 6 types of spam

-Unnatural outbound links (link selling)

-Content copy/manufactering

-Keyword stuffing

-Forums/user generated spam

-Parked domains

-Sites hosted on spammy DNS

-Different content humans and bots

-Hacked sites

3. Google is removing as many as 50K spam sites per month, they get 8K reconsideration requests

4. Google's machine learned relevance model may be using about 200 features

Xorlev 3 days ago 1 reply      
38,800 requests/second according to their estimation.
manojlds 3 days ago 4 replies      
> By the way, in the 47 seconds you've been on this page, approximately 1,813,260 searches were performed.

Aren't these just some random numbers that they pull out of the air?

cryowaffle 3 days ago 1 reply      
Whoa... really, 100 MILLION gigabytes to store "The Index"? Wow. That's big.
joshhart 3 days ago 0 replies      
Answer: It uses a bunch of skip lists.

Source: I do hacking on top of lucene.

lysium 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice scroll-UI! Took some time to see the clickable items. Interesting bits about spam pages.
state 3 days ago 0 replies      
The better people understand their tools, the more effectively they can use them.
OGinparadise 3 days ago 3 replies      
"We write programs & formulas to deliver the best results possible"

There's a slight oversight, it should be: "We write programs & formulas to deliver the most profitable results possible for this quarter"

denysonique 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of the live listed 'spam' pages appear to be genuine to me.
aeon10 3 days ago 0 replies      
A beautifully designed page more than anything else
moeedm 3 days ago 0 replies      
An awful way to learn anything.
wfunction 3 days ago 0 replies      
"We write programs & formulas to deliver the best results possible."

No kidding.

yarou 2 days ago 0 replies      
vijay: very interesting link. thought it was interesting, despite the obvious slant.
moha24 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is not how search works!!
asawant 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is brilliant !!!
WebKit for Developers paulirish.com
305 points by paulirish  4 days ago   36 comments top 14
maerek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting article. I never really understood the nuances of the different WebKit ports (and once naively assumed that WebKit === WebKit). I also didn't have an appreciation for the amount of work going in behind the scenes. The link referenced in the article (http://trac.webkit.org/browser/trunk/LayoutTests) is a fascinating line of sight into the testing that goes on for the core.
kybernetikos 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is why the webkit- prefix is nearly worthless. I've had a lot of problems where chrome and safari were rendering prefixed things differently and I couldn't target them individually, because they both use the same prefix. This is the whole point of having the prefixes!
eridius 4 days ago 2 replies      
> So first, WebKit parses HTML the same way. Well, except Chromium is the only port so far to enable threaded HTML parsing support.

Nope. Recent WebKit Nightlies have threaded HTML parsing as well.


taeric 4 days ago 1 reply      
I don't really get the initial point. The browser is, for most developers, a black box. And it should probably stay that way. Ideally, it is an exchangable black box.

Still a neat article. I just find that point odd.

petepete 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm interested to see whether Opera's move to WebKit means the end of the Dragonfly suite of tools (which are fantastic, by the way).
WayneDB 4 days ago 0 replies      
Just curious - How close is WebKit in terms of complexity, to the Linux Kernel?
cpleppert 4 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know why there are two different font paths and how WebCore chooses which one to use? I assume the difference between fast and complex would be very platform dependent.
daredevildave 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a little surprised by this line, in reference to Chrome on iOS:

    "Also, for what it's worth, JavaScript is so rarely the
bottleneck on mobile that the lack of JITting compiler
has minimal impact."

But then I'm making HTML5 games so JavaScript performance is pretty much the only thing I care about.

leeoniya 4 days ago 1 reply      
in FF, on every page load the page scroll jumps to around the "Opera just moved to WebKit. How does that play out?" section. is this intentional?
zenocon 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a project to embed WebKit in vehicles. One of the things I'm interested in doing is running a suite of tests to ascertain things like compliance with various specs and performance. I see the 28k layout tests in the WebKit repo, but would be interested in any other tests -- especially those that can be easily loaded into an iframe.
zobzu 4 days ago 1 reply      
Reading the article, it sounds like "its cool because now you only have to 'dev for webkit' and forget the rest".

Makes me uncomfortable.

ireadzalot 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is anyone aware of any resources that shows you how to setup your machine to see how an HTML page is rendered in Webkit, step by step, like remote debugging?
buildnship 4 days ago 0 replies      
Levi Weintraub has a really great tech talk hosted at airbnb, where he talks abouts all the different aspects of WebKit and it's components: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGzmST5nNSM&playnext=1...

Some more really good tech talks @ https://www.airbnb.com/techtalks

autoreverse 3 days ago 0 replies      
@paulirish FYI the link to CoreFoundation is invalid


What Coke Contains medium.com
280 points by rchaudhary  2 days ago   133 comments top 32
jscheel 2 days ago 5 replies      
Ok, bit of a bragging moment here: my grandpa, with two other gentlemen, created the process for machining seamless cans that is described here. Before them, cans had a lead seam in them. They discovered that you could draw down the aluminum and stretch it to form cans in one piece. He also invented the process for creating the bottom of soda cans, and his friend invented the modern tab on the top of soda cans.
frozenport 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am a lead pencil"the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.
aneth4 1 day ago 3 replies      
The most interesting part of the story lies here:

"coca-leaf which comes from South America and is processed in a unique US government authorized factory in New Jersey to remove its addictive stimulant cocaine"

Consider the implications of one of the largest American companies being singularly authorized to buy and import hundreds of tons of coca leaf, which is banned in nearly every country and produced primarily by illegal drug manufacturers. Does anyone believe there's no funny business going on here?

(For the record, I think coca and cocaine should be legal.)


venus 2 days ago 3 replies      
> The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero

While I understand what the author is trying to say, I don't think that is true at all. I'm pretty sure that if they had a good reason, any number of advanced economies could get it together enough to produce the cans themselves. Seems like the main hard part is the aluminium.

While I'm nit-picking, I believe natural cryolite has not been used in aluminium processing for decades.

Thought-provoking article, though; I typed this with a can of Diet Coke on my desk.

danem 2 days ago 0 replies      
A more famous, and perhaps more interesting version of this observation can be found here: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html
meaty 2 days ago 0 replies      
This instantly reminded me of:


(The Industrial Cup Of Tea)

lostlogin 2 days ago 6 replies      
>>The top of the can is then added. This is carefully engineered: it is made from aluminum, but it has to be thicker and stronger to withstand the pressure of the carbon dioxide gas.<<

Eh? The pressure is greater at the top of the can?

jechen 2 days ago 4 replies      
Curious as to why there's no mention of the secret formula, since the author is wrong about kola nut being an ingredient of the syrup: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/pr2001447 from the Coca-Cola wiki page), which interestingly is a component in many purported recipes.

It's also interesting to see a picture of a glass bottle coke when the American product rarely exists in such form. I've sworn off the HFCS version after discovering the Mexican recipe with cane sugar - it tastes so much better and comes in a glass bottle. When I was in Tijuana for a Startup Weekend, that's all they served.

bdc 2 days ago 0 replies      
An interesting derivative of "I, Pencil":


erickhill 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's incredible to me that an essay as detailed as this one had not one single citation. Regardless, it was a fascinating read.
RexRollman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I didn't realize that they were adding caffeine; I was under the impression it was a natural by-product of the ingredients.
fernly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Mr. Ashton is trying to illustrate Sagan's dictum, "If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." Except it's coke, and he doesn't go past bauxite.
largesse 2 days ago 3 replies      
I read it and then thought "Why Coke?" That's the story of every manufactured product assembled from multi-sourced vendors. It's not news, and it's not unique to Coke. If you think it is you'll probably have an orgasm when you learn how pencils are made.
chimpinee 2 days ago 1 reply      
An enormous and sophisticated 'tool chain'. Surely it could never be implemented in a one-day-to-be-invented universal fabricator? One is reminded of those 19th C ppl who thought recorded music was impossible since any player would have to contain miniature versions of all the orchestral instruments (or things that resembled them: "humanity's choir") together with a horrendously large paper roll punched full of holes
benmaraschino 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who might be interested, here's a fantastic Scientific American (back when it was still good) article about the aluminum can and how it's made: http://www.chymist.com/Aluminum%20can.pdf
webwielder 2 days ago 0 replies      
triplesec 1 day ago 1 reply      
This sounds something like an astroturf for a brown chemical drink which sure as eggs is eggs will rot your teeth and kill you sooner than if you drink clean water (or moderate amounts of wine for that matter).
We can make the globalisation and connectedness point a lot more clearly and ideologically neutrally without promoting useless Lowest Common Denominator products that merely waste our resources and do not add to the total sum of human happiness.
rdl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious if coca cola contains real vanilla extract vs. synthetic; seems implausible for them to use the real plant product.
Tloewald 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a passage from Richard Powers's novel "Gain" where the process by which a disposable camera is manufactured, packaged, distributed, ad sold serves to explain everything that is at once miraculous and broken about our world.
dimitar 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds a lot of Milton Friedman's pencil story (http://youtu.be/R5Gppi-O3a8?t=15s
blaze33 1 day ago 0 replies      
And what Coke no longer contains: alcohol, cocaine. Also without sugar and caffeine if you want, sometimes I wonder what's the point of drinking it.

I remember reading it would be more interesting to use steel cans because it's easier to catch them using magnets. Are we now able to sort and recycle aluminum cans better ?

s0rce 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe most of the cryolite used now is synthetic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hexafluoroaluminate).
k33 2 days ago 8 replies      
eh, I just don't feel like the writer understands or cares to explain how that whole process is actually detrimental to the world despite the fact that it "unites" it. Coke is just addictive sugar water that does nothing for anyone. When has coke given you something other than diabetes?

Kevin Ashton fails at pointing out the impact of this collaboration. Couldn't all of these talented people that made such a sophisticated product put their energy towards something.. I dunno, useful?

mynameishere 2 days ago 4 replies      
By contrast, you can make wine from a single ingredient. And it's an awful lot better than coke.
pohl 2 days ago 1 reply      
An obvious omission: salt.
Mamady 2 days ago 0 replies      
First it was an interesting article, but the last paragraph made it an amazing article.
Uncompetative 1 day ago 1 reply      
"The second ingredient, caramel coloring, gives the drink its distinctive dark brown color. There are four types of caramel coloring " Coca Cola uses type E150d, which is made by heating sugars with sulfite and ammonia to create bitter brown liquid. The syrup's other principal ingredient is phosphoric acid, which adds acidity and is made by diluting burnt phosphorus (made by heating phosphate rock in an arc-furnace) and processing it to remove arsenic."

Hmmm... arsenic

I'd rather there were no lethal poisons at any point in the production process.

I'm never drinking another glass of Coca-Cola. I'm not touching PEPSI either.

likethateh 1 day ago 2 replies      
> on the Murray River in Western Australia called Pinjarra

always jarring to read something you know to be so obviously false so early in a piece. *waves to fellow Sandgropers

gnnr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Further reminds me that if you love something, even an everyday item, researching it's origin can be rewarding.
Amanda_Panda 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love these kinds of threads, where software engineers pretend they are experts in economics, etc.
kolev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, this article gives yet another reason to stay away from sodas.
gunt69 2 days ago 1 reply      
a great example of capitalism. think about
that the next time you have a knee
jerk reaction towards business.
The Story of Bageshwori, Watsi's First Patient watsi.org
271 points by pg  4 days ago   63 comments top 36
pg 4 days ago 2 replies      
I keep a tab open with this image


because I know I'll click on it accidentally a few times a day.

I do it to remind me that there are more important things than whatever fire I'm currently fighting, and also simply because it makes me happy.

mherdeg 4 days ago 2 replies      
In case anyone is wondering, if I am reading their FAQ correctly, they don't actually wait until the crowdsourced treatment is 100% funded before they provide medical care -- per https://watsi.org/faq#am-i-really-funding-medical-care-for-t... .

"Am I really funding medical care for the patient?
Yes. Your donation directly covers the cost of care for the patient you choose. Medical Partners provide care to patients accepted by Watsi operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors. In this sense, Watsi operates much like a traditional health insurance company. When you go to the doctor, your doctor calls your health insurance provider to ensure they'll cover the cost of care. Your doctor then provides care operating under the guarantee that it will be paid for by the insurance company."

(And thank goodness they don't wait! That would be pretty scary.)

This is a bit different, I think, from the thing people found confusing about Kiva ( http://blogs.cgdev.org/open_book/2009/10/kiva-is-not-quite-w... ) which was that they were inviting investments in microloans which had already been disbursed. But it may be similar enough that you find it interesting if you like to "follow the money".

danielpal 4 days ago 2 replies      
With Watsi's 100% of funds going to patients and the fact that they make it so easy to donate, I decided last month to start donating 2% of my monthly income through Watsi. Basically at the start of each month I choose 2 campaigns and donate $50 on each. Is very easy, you should try it.

Whats I find even more interesting is that by end of year I'll donate $1,200. Which turns out to be roughly the amount of 1 life saving surgery in Nepal. So basically I'll save 1 life by the end of the year.

liber8 4 days ago 2 replies      
I mentioned this before (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4816337), but I haven't seen it implemented and think it's worth repeating:

I love what you guys are doing and hope you can fund hundreds of these at a time. But, right now there's only six people who I can donate to. I want to support the organization as well, to make sure you guys can keep helping people.

How about a "fund our operations" button, or at least some pool that I can donate to if there aren't any people left who need a treatment right this second (as occurred the last time I left this comment).

Otherwise, cheers. I just made another donation. I think what you're doing is spectacular.

trhtrsh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Does Watsi do analysis/testing of the blurbs on each patient's solicitations. I notice two distinct themes in the front-page text (before the jump):

* X is sweet, smart, precious, etc

* X has Y condition, that means Z

IMO, stuff like this is unhelpful:

* "The doctor who submitted X case to Watsi describes her as “"

* "X's parents adore her. "

* "to loving parents "

(but tests are better than MO)

TomGullen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Incredible, and saddening to think if Watsi was any later this young human being probably wouldn't be around today.

Watsi seems to personalise charity to a level I have never seen before. It's very exciting!

Watsi looks absolutely amazing and I want them to succeed more than any other startup.

smoyer 4 days ago 1 reply      
Everyone wants to change the world, but Watsi changed "her world" and gave her the opportunity to pass it on. If Watsi never makes a dollar ... or even if they never help another soul, it would be sad, but they've left a legacy that few companies can claim regardless of their size.

Well done!

picklefish 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see them add a "monthly donation" where someone can just set their cc / bank account up to fund $50 a month. They'd allocate the money to specific cases and send you an email to the one(s) they used your money to fund.
trhtrsh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting: CURE International, a major Watsi Medical Partner, is an evangelical missionary organization, delivering sermons alongside care:
lanstein 4 days ago 0 replies      
noonespecial 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's something I always wondered about 3rd world medicine. If her surgery was $1125 and the average person makes $0.90/day (less than $1) that means her surgery cost 3.42ish year's wages.

Could I get the same surgery here in the USA for $171233 (median income in the US assumed about $50,000)?

Is there some sort of balancing feedback function thats stretching the cost of a certain level of medical care to a certain predictable multiple of a local year's median wage?

It would at least be an interesting rabbit hole to descend.

joezydeco 4 days ago 1 reply      
Beautiful site and a great way to introduce the concept via Bageshwori. Maybe it's because I'm a parent myself, but I'm still tearing up at these pictures.

I'm donating today, and saving the link for the next person that bitches to me about another Kickstarter delay.

kayoone 3 days ago 1 reply      
I dont know, but somewhere i think it has an unethical side to it, and i mean donating money for charity as a whole.

Basically people buy themselves peace of conscience by donating a small amount of money that doesnt hurt them to feel good about helping somebody (yay, 2% of my yearly income saved a life!). Then go back to surfing the web on their made-in-china-under-miserable-working-conditions macbook pro. You get the idea, i am guilty of this myself.

I mean of course its a wonderful thing that somehow we can help these people and it has to be done (i do too), but we shouldnt forget that many of these sufferings are symptoms of our excessive lifestyle in the western world.

Anil-Shrestha 4 days ago 0 replies      
Born and raised in Nepal,I ,am so sad and happy at the same time. And thanks 100000x to watsi.org. I know there are many such cases in Nepal and just a little help could save so many human lives in countries like ours. I am a computer science student myself at Silicon Valley, and if there is any technical help necessary for Watsi.org or any such organizations, I am more than ready to volunteer. In the mean time, Thanks again for saving Bageshwori's life.
soneca 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great work! I've been working on the philanthropy sector for a few years now. This P2P donation system is very powerful and this particular model can scale very fast. But there are a few traps on the way, I hope I can help you see some of them.

The first trap is the self-sustainability one. See the comments, everyone loves that their money is going 100% to the patient, they are glad they can be 100% sure you are not frauds. But no one cares about how are you going to survive or how much money will you need to be active in 10 years, reaching hundreds times more patients. This, as I see it, is a problem of anchoring. If you are a non-profit, they anchor you on Mother Teresa, you should be a volunteer, have a vow of poverty, be a saint. Anything less than that, you are a simply a fraud, no middle ground, you only deserve the rocks. On the other side, if you a regular startup, aiming for profit, they anchor you on Gordon Gekko, so you just try to be cool and "do no evil" and that's it, they love you. That is the trap also of personalizing the donation. People donate more when they see a face, but then they only care about that face. If you go bankrupt in about a year, they don't care. They only care that THEY saved a life (they did, writing a check, painless, easy, they saved a life with a few clicks, not your hard work, they did) and blame you for not being competent enough. So, the trick is to keep the donation personal and transparent, while raising awareness in donors that your work is relevant (and tough, and expensive).

The other trap, is more a conceptual one. IMO P2P donations are a great tool to connect very different words. When you put a face on it, third world health problems are not just statitics from Gates Foundation reports, they are real problem for real people. This is a great change of empathy level for donors. The trap here is to let that be enough, and fade. As behavioral economics shows, a good action give ones self-indulgence enough to neglect further involvement. It is important to educate people about why this donation is necessary. Explain how big are the health system problems in the country of the patient, explain more about the local conditions of the patient's family, neighborhood, hospital and doctors. Explain why a "cheap" surgery is not already covered. Explain how things might be better in the future, explain how they might be worse. Educate donors so they understand the world we live in. It would be a great service and potentialize the social impact of Watsi.

raheemm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Watsi, you could probably help some folks here in Bangladesh. Let me know if you need any on-the-ground assistance here.
matznerd 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is awesome to be able to actually see the people you are helping. This literally puts a face on "giving." I like it.
fiatpandas 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is truly outstanding that 100% of the donations reach the medical partners. Watsi is doing it right. Their level of transparency is also admirable.

Nyaya Health, the partner this blog post is about, uses the same funding model, where all donations made are 100% used for patient care in Nepal (unless you explicitly want your donation to be used for US staff/operations)

Bravo to both.

codegeek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos to Watsi for doing this. The transparency is the key which is differentiating it from other non-profits and wish them all the best. Even though we know, but it is sometimes hard to keep in mind that for a mere $1200 , you could save someone's life and what it could mean for them. Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to have sound health, great family and a roof over my head. We take it for granted while millions of people in this world fight every day just to get some of it.
elliottcarlson 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love the idea of Watsi, and finally got to donate this time, as the last time I was at the site, every single cause had been fully funded.

My only request of the site would be to make it easier to see the outcome of the patients even for those who haven't funded the procedure for that person. Currently it requires finding the transparency document, and checking the link there for each patient - it might be useful to show more info for the ones that have been fully funded so people know how many people have been treated - that their money is going to make a difference.

ajtaylor 4 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I had a hundred up votes to give! Sitting at my desk at $work, I'm struggling to keep back the tears. You guys are awesome! This is a startup that truly makes a difference. :)

One feature I'd love to see is the ability to setup a regular donation. Doing it via credit card is fine. You can give it to a random person as it makes no difference to me. The option to donate to the operating costs would also be great and then I could do both. The key feature is to make it regular and automatic. In my case, I get paid fortnightly so you could take $25 every two weeks and split it between patients and operating expenses. Will the upcoming Stripe integration allow this?

PaperclipTaken 4 days ago 3 replies      
I normally hold the philosophy that a person should not recieve health care unless there is money to pay for them, and I woudn't ever advocate that someone donate to a charity like that. Life is hard and not everybody can make it.

But the smile on her face, especially in that last photo, is really something. And especially at $1125, the chance that she'll contribute more than that back to the global GPD some day is good.

And it might even be enough for me that she might live a normal life.

josefswann 3 days ago 2 replies      
Did anyone else notice that most of the organizations that are facilitating these treatments seem to be Watsi clones, or at least very similar in spirit?


This makes me worry that this is not direct donation, but through one or more layers of brokering.

[Links taken from the transparency document,

togasystems 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just donated and was quite impressed with the process. It was painless, no sign up, just direct to Pay Pal. Good job.
malandrew 3 days ago 0 replies      
You guys should try getting ads with patient profiles in public places with a short URL to that profile where someone can donate. It'd be great to see this in places that those TV ad displays that constantly change. I reckon these TV ad spcae providers would be more than happy to donate space. I'm curious how well they would perform to help raise money.
trhtrsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any plans to support EBT, to avoid exorbitant credit card fees?
ishansharma 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. One good way Internet is changing lives! Before this, I didn't know about Watsi. But now that I know about difference they make to people's lives, I'll definitely contribute.
trhtrsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
How does Watsi prevent fraud on the part of Medical Partners (misdiagnosis, not providing treatment, etc), and how can donors feel confident that Watsi's controls are effective?
namank 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you, Watsi founders, thank you.

rock on

tsotha 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great program.

I wouldn't want to be the one sorting through the cases deciding who gets treatment and who doesn't.

tunnuz 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great story. That's what you can do with computer science.
withinthreshold 4 days ago 0 replies      
Just donated and it feels so great.
papaver 4 days ago 0 replies      
wow, totally awesome. the scene needs more startups like this. congrats guys. this is one of the coolest startups ive seen in a long time.
royalghost 4 days ago 0 replies      
A great story on how internet and technology can make a real impact on human lives. Good Luck to Watsi Team.
nchase 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ever since I donated to Watsi I've been getting paper mail from other charity organizations making pleas for me to donate money to them.

Has anyone else had this experience?

petegrif 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wonderful story.
Bradley Manning's Statement bradleymanning.org
261 points by ivancdg  2 days ago   116 comments top 13
jacquesm 1 day ago 3 replies      
Just by how Bradley Manning was treated and by the continued existence of Guantanamo bay's facility the United States has lost a large chunk of its voice the world over when they start talking about human rights.

How far the US Government will sink before they realize that every time they do something like this they are hurting their own interests is anybody's guess. Be it drone attacks that kill children as collateral damage (Oh, but we apologized) or torture dressed up as self protection it hardly matters.

If you want to criticize the world then you need to set an example, not by taking out your rage on others but by wondering what it is that you are doing wrong and then correcting that.

Slowly but surely every 'own goal' is reducing the United States' importance on the world stage. And that's a real pity because we really do need an entity that is a little larger than most that can serve as a role model for the rest. As it is the role model seems to be that might makes right and that if you deny your problems and your mistakes that you can get away with it. The rules apply to everybody but you.

mpyne 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think the thing I was most surprised about is that the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs were the very first thing Manning had uploaded to WikiLeaks, and this happened far before Manning had been given the order to determine what other anti-Maliki literature was being drummed up by the FP 15.

I had always had the impression that Manning had been generally dissatisfied by American geopolitics but that the FP 15 order had been the last straw for him and that he'd started divulging information to WikiLeaks all at once.

It wasn't like that at all. He released the Iraq/Afghanistan actions database way before any of that. Before he saw the "Collateral Murder" video. Before the FP 15. Even before he punched a soldier in the face (around 8 May 2010, which was his "altercation").

WTF. He was essentially a WikiLeaks mole working on the inside... even though he made clear that no one from WikiLeaks pressured him into divulging information he also freely admits that some of the information he went out of the way to find, was simply because it was a matter of discussion in the WikiLeaks IRC/Jabber chat.

He freely admits releasing documents that he felt could possibly harm the U.S. as well: "Of the documents release[d], the cables were the only one I was not absolutely certain couldn't harm the United States."

And why did he release these cables if they were the only documents that were risky? "I believed exposing this information might make some within the Department of State and other government entities unhappy."

He also talked about reading quotes after WWI, about how "the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other." Certainly true! However he seemed to have missed the history lesson from WWII, where the U.K. and the U.S. both enjoyed significant military advantages thanks to their signals intelligence and codebreaking feats.

If Manning were as smart an intelligence analyst as he claims to be then he should know full well that information which is unclassified individually may still be a risk to national security (and therefore classified) if released as an aggregate.

The U.S. did this to the Japanese several before the Battle of Midway; for instance an increase in message traffic from the Japanese Naval base at Truk was a clue to the intelligence analysts at Station Hypo at Pearl Harbor that the Japanese fleet was prepping for a major operation, even though they couldn't break the code. (A good book to read regarding this is Ian Toll's "Pacific Crucible").

I suppose at least I can't say he was doing this to get back at the Army per se, since he'd done everything before they reduced him in rate. But conversely, much of what he leaked was not "war crimes" at all, but merely stuff to "start a debate".

I'm not really sure what to think about all of it. It seems to me that based on his very half-hearted attempts to go to the media that he was intending all along to go to WikiLeaks (whether consciously or not), and that the reasoning for it was not about specific things at all (at least the initial leaks).

I wish he would have talked about why he felt the need to brag to Lamo about it. Maybe that (talking to Lamo) was brought on by his stress from his punishment from the Army, it would almost be doubly ironic if the way he unmasked himself ultimately came about from his own fist hitting the face of another soldier.

ck2 1 day ago 3 replies      
You cannot look at any statement from him without realizing he's been kept in extremely hostile conditions, just this side of torture, WITHOUT TRIAL for over 1000 days (nearly three years!) being told he's facing execution or life imprisonment.

Any of us would say ANYTHING facing that. Anything.

They are roasting him alive now, government has over 140 "witnesses" to put on the stand.

They are going to make an example out of him, it's going to be horrible.

smutticus 1 day ago 0 replies      
50 years from now everyone involved in these proceedings still alive will be ashamed of what transpired. We'll be issuing apologies and talking about 'how this never should have happened.' Then it will happen again in slightly different circumstances and the people alive then will find slightly different justifications for their actions.
codemac 2 days ago 1 reply      
Website is offline, here is the google cache:


ok_craig 2 days ago 1 reply      
The third from last section, titled "Facts regarding the unauthorized disclosure of Other Government Documents" is very vague. While all other sections detail the information released, this one does not. Possibly, I suppose, because it never made it to the public. Does anyone have any idea what it could be referring to?
throwaway125 2 days ago 1 reply      
A lot has been written and said about Bradley Manning but it always seemed such a distant thing. Reading this statement made me realize how he's a real person that I can identify with rather than just some guy in a news article.
breakall 2 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting that Manning tried to contact the Washington Post, but got blown off... Tried the NYTimes, and they didn't return his call. That may say something about the media, but I'm more curious if the reaction by the US government and other officials to the leaks would have been the same if those papers had published the material, instead of Wikileaks?
grecy 2 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting there was no mention from him about how he was treated while incarcerated, or about being held for so long without charge/trial.
cake 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's funny to see how common the tools he uses are :

Dell laptops, WinRAR, wget...

You would think the army has some fancy tech, apparently not.

Buzaga 1 day ago 0 replies      
>> The dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring
>> to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in
>> large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl
>> to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the
>> location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick
>> up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing
>> ants with a magnifying glass.

>> Shortly after the second engagement, a mechanized infantry unit arrives at the scene. Within
>> minutes, the aerial weapons team crew learns that children were in the van and despite the
>> injuries the crew exhibits no remorse. Instead, they downplay the significance of their actions,
>> saying quote ‘Well, it's their fault for bringing their kid's into a battle' unquote.

>> The aerial weapons team crew members sound like they lack sympathy for the children or the
>> parents. Later in a particularly disturbing manner, the aerial weapons team verbalizes enjoyment
>> at the sight of one of the ground vehicles driving over a body" or one of the bodies. As I
>> continued my research, I found an article discussing the book, The Good Soldiers, written by
>> Washington Post writer David Finkel.

>> He writes that the soldier finds him and sees him gesture with his two forefingers together, a
>> common method in the Middle East to communicate that they are friendly. However, instead of
>> assisting him, the soldier makes an obscene gesture extending his middle finger.

>> The individual apparently dies shortly thereafter. Reading this, I can only think of how this
>> person was simply trying to help others, and then he quickly finds he needs help as well. To make >> matter worse, in the last moments of his life, he continues to express his friendly gesture" only
>> to find himself receiving this well known gesture of unfriendliness. For me it's all a big mess,
>> and I am left wondering what these things mean, and how it all fits together. It burdens me
>> emotionally.

This is all that matters... the discussion on Bradley is valid but why isn't US/these soldiers on a court to answer this sort of shit? You should be ashamed of your country and try to do something about it

So many lies, fuck the power.

porsupah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am terribly, interminably indebted to Bradley Manning. I cannot possibly repay the debt of conscience he managed to summon up.
marze 2 days ago 0 replies      
About time.
Ubuntu will switch from X window server to Mir ubuntu.com
256 points by dz0ny  9 hours ago   258 comments top 41
acabal 8 hours ago 12 replies      
Maybe this is a good idea, I don't know about X/Wayland enough to say. But it worries me that Ubuntu is increasingly striking out on its own. What I like about the GNU/Linux ecosystem is that a lot of distros share a lot of common underpinnings, and everyone benefits from a large community fixing bugs and improving those underpinnings. It's also less knowledge to have to keep in your head for system administration stuff. (Which is still necessary in Ubuntu, regardless of what the "it just works for me" people say.)

Maybe this is the kick in the pants Linux needs to increase adoption. But I would much rather know GNU/Linux, not Ubuntu. Now Ubuntu is standing alone with Compiz, Unity, Upstart, Launchpad, and Mir, all pretty fundamental pieces of the core system. In a decade, will switching from Ubuntu to Debian be as big of a culture shock as switching from Windows to Linux?

pilgrim689 8 hours ago 10 replies      
I don't understand all the negative reactions. Canonical is recognizing various problems in making GNU/Linux mainstream. They are then innovating at a deeper level (fixing root causes rather than duct-taping) to ultimately attempt to really attract the layman to a mobile or desktop GNU/Linux distro. Devs don't need to target Mir if they don't want to, Linux users can switch to another Debian if they don't like it, and the Layman discovers that Linux can possibly be just as shiny as Mac OS.
Can someone explain to me why this is all so horrible?
tiles 8 hours ago 0 replies      
From the MirSpec at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MirSpec:

"Why Not Wayland / Weston?

An obvious clarification first: Wayland is a protocol definition that defines how a client application should talk to a compositor component. It touches areas like surface creation/destruction, graphics buffer allocation/management, input event handling and a rough prototype for the integration of shell components. However, our evaluation of the protocol definition revealed that the Wayland protocol suffers from multiple problems, including:

The input event handling partly recreates the X semantics and is thus likely to expose similar problems to the ones we described in the introductory section.
The shell integration parts of the protocol are considered privileged from our perspective and we'd rather avoid having any sort of shell behavior defined in the protocol.
However, we still think that Wayland's attempt at standardizing the communication between clients and the display server component is very sensible and useful, but it didn't fit our requirements and we decided to go for the following architecture w.r.t. to protocol-integration:

* A protocol-agnostic inner core that is extremely well-defined, well-tested and portable.
* An outer-shell together with a frontend-firewall that allow us to port our display server to arbitrary graphics stacks and bind it to multiple protocols.

In summary, we have not chosen Wayland/Weston as our basis for delivering a next-generation user experience as it does not fulfill our requirements completely. More to this, with our protocol- and platform-agnostic approach, we can make sure that we reach our goal of a consistent and beautiful user experience across platforms and device form factors. However, Wayland support could be added either by providing a Wayland-specific frontend implementation for our display server or by providing a client-side implementation of libwayland that ultimately talks to Mir."

ChuckMcM 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! I really can't wait. Having been dealing with the drm/kms stuff to try to build applications "near the metal" on small devices has been painful painful painful. Just too many pots, each with their own sous chef. Someone to put some structure around that and get the GPU folks in line makes so much sense.
munchor 8 hours ago 1 reply      
>This is the worst path Canonical could have possibly chosen. Now developers across all different toolkits and applications, from Gtk+ to Wine, will need to maintain massive patchsets to integrate with Ubuntu. Either that or run in a rootless X window in "legacy" mode.

>This will not end well for interoperability, for developers, or for the wider Linux ecosystem. Bad times.

That comment on OMG! Ubuntu! is making me uncomfortable with the consequences this might have for the GNU/Linux ecosystem. I am not sure about how far I can trust that comment, but the Phoronix article[1] explains it better:

>Canonical developers will make to see that applications relying upon Qt/QML, GTK3, XUL, etc will be able to use Mir in an "out of the box" manner. The legacy X support will come from an in-session root-less X Server.

I would, though, like to know more about the consequences for this. First of all, we know that Unity will be much faster, since this thing needs to run on phones too and Unity will actually be a "real thing" instead of just a Window Manager (Compiz) plugin.

>Isn't a point of FOSS that people can all contribute to one major project instead of reinventing the wheel?

That is another comment on OMG! Ubuntu! and I completely agree with it. Sure, freedom of choice is great, but why not use Wayland, really? It was designed from scratch to work for everybody.

[1]: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMxN...

ElliotH 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Competition is good.

Ubuntu seems to have their reasons not to want to use Wayland. Maybe Mir is awesome. Then I can move to it. If it's not so awesome then like Unity and Upstart I can ignore it.

Seems to me the enemy here is the old fashioned clunky X server. Good. Two armies fighting the same target at least eliminates that target before they start fighting each other.

Besides, if they both end up having support in all the major toolkits and they both have an X server fallback, then we should be able to meet in the middle somewhere eventually.

hazov 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For those that are curious this is a good diagram by Alison Chaiken about the two major ways of the architecture of Linux graphics:


I believe Mir will just be a custom tailored SurfaceFlinger, I just do not understand why Canonical will not use SurfaceFlinger.

EDIT: Maybe because SurfaceFlinger is built with OpenGLES in mind? I don't really know.

binarycrusader 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If this is going to have any real hope of replacing X it also needs to be licensed as liberally as X is, otherwise, it's doomed in many commercial sectors. (Current mir license appears to be GPLv3.)
otterley 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I notice that rasterization to non-display devices (e.g. printers) isn't mentioned in the proposal at all. This was a serious weakness of X11 and I'm surprised it's not discussed. In mainstream consumer OSes, such capability is part of the basic graphics toolkits (GDI, Carbon).

If Canonical is serious about attracting mainstream Linux adoption, this is going to have to be addressed from the start.

prodigal_erik 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Remoting over a network with latency is not even an afterthought; none of those words appear in this spec at all. I'm worried that a new display system might start getting traction in the industry while assuming there's only one computer in the world I care about and that I'm sitting in front of it, because that would be a huge step backwards.
lucian1900 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Wtf? "We don't like Wayland because of ... reasons, let's build our own stack from scratch!"
BruceIV 8 hours ago 1 reply      
On the one hand, this looks like one good way to get rid of the massive bag of hurt that is X; on the other, seriously Canonical? Re-inventing another huge chunk of the stack just because? NIH syndrome much?
mhw 5 hours ago 0 replies      
More interesting stuff from one of the developers here: http://samohtv.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/mir-an-outpost-envis...
morsch 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They also announced the successor to Unity will be based on Qt/QML...


VLM 4 hours ago 1 reply      
No one has made the obvious comparison in the comments to ipv4 vs ipv6? The main issue with "yet another graphics protocol" is islanding. Right now all my "linux" boxes are more or less intercompatible. I can ssh -X whatever mythtv-setup and get the config GUI from a server that doesn't even have a monitor (not even sure if it has a graphics card?)

Now I / we will inevitably have three little not too compatible islands of X, wayland, mir, who knows.

My primary interest as an end user, because the machines "I do stuff on" are multiple huge headless servers and virtual images running on them, is network transparency. As long as a Mir keyboard/mouse/monitor can connect to a "real" system and give my my X when necessary, in a VNC like window or whatever if necessary, I'll be OK.

Connectivity demands go both ways. If my refrigerator ends up running Ubuntu for its user interface, I'd really like to be able to remotely connect to it to mess with it.

qznc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
So, Wayland vs Mir will be the next Gnome3 vs Unity?
gvalkov 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to mention that the news of Mir has hit wayland's mailing list[1]. I'm very curious to see what the wayland developers think of all this.

A lot of work has already went into wayland and in making things work with it (gtk3, qt5, clutter etc). This is truly an ambitious project and I doubt that ubuntu engineers would needlessly want to write all of this from scratch if there weren't legitimate shortcomings in wayland's architecture.

Personally, I'm looking forward to my wayland powered, fedora 20 desktop running the yet to be invented WMonad tiling window compositor.

[1]: http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/wayland-devel/2013-Mar...

AnthonBerg 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Given my bad experience during the past years of Ubuntu breaking things in Debian and inventing poor software by themselves, my estimation is that they're not smart enough to pull this off.
desireco42 6 hours ago 1 reply      
While I agree with most of you who says they are worried by this development, I understand and welcome this direction Ubuntu is taking, almost making their own, not flavor but unique OS. Which is what people said HP should have done.

It is frustrating being open source advocate, if software you use is somewhat inferior to what is available on other platforms, just try to use firefox on ubuntu and compare that to osx or windows. If Ubuntu manage to pull this off, and I think they deserve all our support in that, we will get inspiration for all the open source projects as well as good codebase they can fork and work with. I am not expert in licencing, but anything they accomplish can't be bad for the open source movement.

My 2c.

trotsky 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Did I read that correctly, there is no plan to build GTK+ bindings - they are going to qt based dekstop applications?

Or do they expect gnome to port to mir? Unless they already worked that out it doesn't seem too likely as this amounts to a direct shot at them.

If Ubuntu is suddenly not going to have any gtk applications available it is going to be a very foreign environment to lots of its current users.

doublextremevil 6 hours ago 0 replies      
from Wayland creator Kristian Høgsberg:

" things they claim wayland/weston input can't be extended to support:

"... adjusting and extending X's input model is difficult and supporting features like input event batching and compression, motion event prediction together with associated power-saving strategies or flexible synchronization schemes for aligning input event delivery and rendering operations is (too) complex."

is already implemented and working in weston today..."


scolex 5 hours ago 0 replies      
in the past when ubuntu was still "linux for human beings" they did great job polishing the linux and providing good linux experience. They were very good improvers.

but then they decided to became inventors. But they don't have strong engineering background and their products were trash.

upstart never provided advanced parallelism and was surpassed by systemd

Top menu and indicators rely on d-bus -- really stupid idea and misuse of technology

they abandon mutter+clutter for closed gl-canvas rendering library + compiz to be used in unity. Now is mutter+clutter far more advanced.

Now they want to change wayland for mir? are they serious? They are not good at inventing things. They will just make linux fragmentation much worst. It's really problematic to make good drivers and gpu companies can't spend money and people on different linux platforms.

ubuntu became from "linux for human beings" to "crappy mac-os like for poor"

Someone 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Anybody know what this will be licensed under? I would think (L)GPL, but https://launchpad.net/mir isn't clear:

GNU GPL v3, GNU LGPL v3, MIT / X / Expat Licence, Other/Open Source
(Boost Software License - Version 1.0)
Commercial subscription expires 2022-09-24
This project's licence has not been reviewed."

hamax 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't hate this decision. I probably won't upgrade as soon as it comes out, but in my opinion linux ecosystem needs competition in the display server segment.

If they screw it up there are plenty distros to choose from.

caycep 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Also - kind of a noob question but: my assumption is all the recent ubuntu controversy is over ubuntu desktop. Does this affect the ubuntu server distro at all? Especially since I am trying to learn how to create a well provisioned ubuntu server vm for use with linode deployments...
JoachimSchipper 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Relevant: https://lwn.net/Articles/524606/, OpenBSD complaining about modern X becoming less and less portable. Ubuntu, of course, is always willing to turn the incompatibility to 11.
kunai 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I suppose it's time to switch to Fedora, now, even though I've been holding out for as long as humanly possible.

This just pushes me over the edge.

mixedbit 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It it going to be compatible with existing window managers for X or does the change mean that Ubuntu will work only with Gnome or window managers developed from scratch for Mir?
csense 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What does this mean for Ubuntu-based distributions that offer a more traditional look and feel, like Linux Mint? I jumped ship for Linux Mint when Ubuntu shoved Unity down everyone's throats.

I like the balance Ubuntu strikes between good hardware support, recent packages, proprietary graphics support, and the "it just works" factor.

I just want all of that without the Unity mess. Unity might be good on a cell phone, but it was really crashy and impossible to do any work, because every time I've attempted to use Unity, I couldn't figure out how to do the simplest things with the GUI, and ended up switching within days.

It sounds like the new window manager will only support Unity.

sneak 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> X has a long and successful history and it has served the purposes of both system level and application level UI well for more than 3 decades.


yk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears that any sufficiently widely adopted Unix becomes a OS of its own. Examples include OSX, Android and increasingly Ubuntu.

( I have a wonderful proof for this, unfortunately HN does not allow to write into the margins.)

caycep 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The other possibility - I just saw an article on phoronix noting the adoption of the Android window server layer (SurfaceFlinger or something like that) on ubuntu mobile. Not familiar at all with android underpinnings, but would that be another alternative to Mir? i.e. more modern window server, actively developed by Google dollars, etc?
mtgx 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems they are rewriting Unity, which I think is great. Unity is too slow. It should never be used for mobile devices as it is.


st3fan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Tailored towards an EGL/GL(ES) world" - this is obviously to make it easier for Canonical to run on (mobile) devices.
debian69 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Ubuntu is like an aneoba they cant stop splitting.
elteto 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. The sheer level of FUD and negativity that you can find on these comments is just mind blowing. It seems that most of it (with a few knowledgeable exceptions) is coming from folks who don't know what they are talking about and have never probably developed graphical applications for Linux. They can't elaborate a single technical reason as to why they dislike whatever it is they dislike, yet they still jump on the bashing theme du jour (which nowadays seems to be Canonical).
X4 4 hours ago 0 replies      
######### We need Borg efficiency!!

SAR - We need fast driver development using safe and automatic "Template-Based" build systems.
There is a lot GNU/Linux can learn from Embedded Systems development.

dakimov 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The worst thing is using C++ for a GUI engine. Don't do that mistake again!

The code looks quite weak at the first glance, but at least not so ugly as average open-source code.

The architecture solutions seem a bit weak too, even weaker than a GUI engine I have written being a junior developer.

Overall, their code seems to be written by a junior developer.

Seems to be too ambitious so far.

The problem is that it is actually really hard to make a proper GUI engine. It requires enormous experience and amount of expertise, like you can come up with something decent after building a few your own engines and closely analyzing existing solutions.

ac 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Does it mean we won't be able to use "ssh -X" on Ubuntu in future?
vsync 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> "beautiful"... "beautiful"... "beautiful".


popee 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Or just install mint ;-)
Resurgence of Neural Networks github.com
252 points by marmalade  4 days ago   57 comments top 19
moron4hire 4 days ago 5 replies      
Really interesting stuff.

I had once attempted to build a genetic algorithm for manipulating the synapse weights, specifically because of the problems of traditional back-propagation falling into local minima (unfortunately, some serious shit at work made it drop by the wayside). This RBM approach sounds better than back-propagation, but it also sounds like it would be prone to runaway feedback.

One of the performance problems with neural networks is that the number of cores on a typical machine are far less than the number of input and intermediate nodes in the network. The output nodes are less of a concern as you're trying to distill a lot of data down to a little data, but there is no reason to treat them differently. There are (very few) examples of NNs on GPUs, so that helps, but I've recently been curious to try a different, more hardware-driven approach, just because one could.

Texas Instruments has a cheap DSP chip that you'ns are probably familiar with called the MSP430. It's pretty easy to use, the tool chain is free and fairly easy to setup (especially for a bunch of professional software devs like us, right? right? Well, there's an Arduino-like tool now, too, if not), costs around 10 cents in bulk for the simplest version, requires very few external parts to run (something like a power source, 1 cap, and two resistors), and it has a couple of serial communication protocols built in. I'm quite fond of the chip; I've used it to build a number of digital synthesizers and toys.

For about $50 and quite a bit of soldering time, you could build a grid of 100 of these, each running at 16Mhz, and I bet with a clever design you could make them self programmable, i.e. propagate the program EEPROM over the grid. Load up a simple neural network program, maybe even having each chip simulating more than one node, and interface it with a PC to pump data in one end and draw it out the other. It might not be more useful than the GPGPU approach, but having physical hardware to play with and visualize node activity through other hardware would be a lot of fun.

maaku 4 days ago 2 replies      
Great post, and thank you for the link to Hinton's coursera page - I didn't know about that. I also hope to learn a thing or two from your github code. But it was so depressing to read this:

> Now, when I say Artificial Intelligence I'm really only referring to Neural Networks. There are many other kinds of A.I. out there (e.g. Expert Systems, Classifiers and the like) but none of those store information like our brain does (between connections across billions of neurons).

This is a middle-brow dismissal of almost the entire field of A.I. because it does not meet an unnecessarily narrow restriction. (Which, by the way, neural nets don't either. Real neurons are analog-in, digital-out, stochastic processes with behavior influenced by neural chemistry and with physical interconnectivity and timing among other things not accurately modeled at all by any neural net. It's closer modeling to the mechanisms of the brain, but far from equivalent and as a CogSci student you should know that.)

A.I. is the science of building artifacts exhibiting intelligent behavior, intelligence being loosely defined as what human minds do. But in theory and in practice, what human minds do is not the same thing as how they do it.

The human mind does appear to be a pattern matching engine, with components that might indeed be well described as a hidden Markov model or restricted Boltzmann machine. It may be that our brains are nothing more than an amalgamation of some 300 million or so interconnected hidden Markov models. That's Ray Kurzweil's view in How to Create a Mind, at any rate.

However it is a logical fallacy to infer that neural nets are the only or even the best mechanism for implementing all aspects of human-level intelligence. It's merely the first thing evolution was able to come up with through trial and error.

Take the classical opposite of neural nets, for example: symbolic logic. If given a suitable base of facts to work from and appropriate goals, a theorem prover on your cell phone could derive all mathematics known up to the early 20th century (and perhaps beyond), without the possibility of making a single mistake. And do it on a fraction of the energy you spend splitting a bill and calculating tip. A theorem prover alone does not solve the problem of initial learning of ontologies or reasoning about uncertainty in a partially observable and even sometimes inconsistent world. But analyzing memories and perception for new knowledge is a large part of what human minds do (consciously, at least), and if you have a better tool, why not use it?

Now I myself am enamored by Hilton-like RBM nets. This sort of unassisted deep-learning is probably a cornerstone in creating a general process for extracting any information from any environment, a central task of artificial general intelligence. However compared with specialized alternatives, neural nets are hideously inefficient for many things. Doesn't it make sense then to use an amalgam of specialized techniques when applicable, and fall back on neural nets for unstructured learning and other non-specialized tasks? Indeed this integrative approach is taken by OpenCog, although they plan to use DeSTIN deep-learning instead of Hilton-esque RBM's, in part because the output of DeSTIN is supposedly more easily stored in their knowledge base and parsed by their symbolic logic engine.

bsenftner 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've been working for several years as the "applications developer" for a neural net lab. The neural lab has spent 11 years developing and refining a neural net pipeline - a series of neural nets which given one or more photos of a person's face, the pipeline performs forensically accurate 3D Reconstructions of the person's face and head. The system is used by government & police agencies the world over when trying to determine what a "person of interest" looks like given random photos of their subject. I've additionally exposed an "entertainment" version of the technology which can be seen at www.3d-avatar-store.com. There one can create a 3D avatar, get a Maya rigged version for professional quality animation, as well as license my WebAPI to embed avatar creation into your own software. And the best part is the avatars look just like the person in the source photo.
tansey 4 days ago 1 reply      
Nice write up. I gave a presentation on DBNs for my Neural Networks class in Fall 2011. If you'd like references to the relevant papers and some more details on the algorithms and applications, here are the slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/18vJ2mOmb-Cbqsk0aNoUM...
dave_sullivan 4 days ago 2 replies      
Oh, backprop isn't so bad...

After all, a deep belief network starts with an RBM for unsupervised pre-training, but the finetuning stage that follows just treats the network as a standard MLP using backprop.

Also, you can use an autoencoder instead of an RBM, which I think are getting better results these days? And there are better regularization techniques for backprop now--weight decay, momentum, L1/L2 regularization, dropout, probably more that I'm leaving out.

The pre-training (RBM or autoencoder) helps to not get stuck in local minimas, but there's also interesting research that suggests you're not even getting stuck in local minima so much as you're getting stuck in these low slope, high curvature corridors that gradient descent is blind to, so people are looking into second order methods that can take curvature into account so you can take big steps through these canyons and smaller steps when things are a bit steeper. Or something like that :-)

All that being said, anyone care to weigh in on the pros/cons of RBMs vs something like a contractive autoencoder? No such thing as a free lunch, so what are the key selling points of RBMs at this point? I keep seeing them pop up, but afaik, they don't provide a particular advantage over autoencoder variants.

Great article though, I'm really glad to see more and more people getting interested in neural networks, they've come a long way and people are just starting to wake up to that.

return0 4 days ago 2 replies      
First, it's Geoffrey, not Gregory Hinton.

Here's a very good tech talk from him about RBMs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyzOUbkUf3M

That said, both approaches loosely mirror the function of the brain, as neurons are not simple threshold devices, and both backpropagation and the RBMs training algorithms do not have a biophysical equivalent.

jph00 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm the President and Chief Scientist of Kaggle, which ran the drug discovery project mentioned in the article. As it happens, I did my Strata talk on Tuesday about just this topic. I will be repeating the talk in webcast form (for free) in a few weeks: http://oreillynet.com/pub/e/2538 . I'll be focussing more on the data science implications, rather than implementation details.
leot 4 days ago 0 replies      
I remember running into Hinton one afternoon back in 2005 while on St. George. He was walking home, and especially cheerful from having just figured out how to do learning efficiently on deep belief nets. It's amazing to see the influence this work has had.
boothead 4 days ago 1 reply      
As mentioned in this thread by nicholasjarnold, Jeff Hawkins work on HTM (detailed in his excellent book "On Intelligence") seems superficially similar to this. Has anyone had experience of both approaches. HTM seems to have much more structure in the network, but I know next to nothing about AI and would love to hear from those who know a bit more.
nicholasjarnold 4 days ago 2 replies      
If you're really interested in understanding more about he "hierarchy of filters" quote, and much more related to that theory of how our brains operate, I strongly suggest the book On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. Super interesting stuff!
scottmp10 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is great to see more interest in neural networks, but the types of neural networks the author describes are missing some key aspects of what the brain is doing. I work with Jeff Hawkins at Numenta, and while our product is based on a type of neural network, it is quite different from the class of NN described in this post. For background:

A recent blog post by Jeff:

And more detailed information on the technology (I would recommend the CLA white paper):

theschwa 4 days ago 1 reply      
That Coursera class has been showing a start date of "Oct 1st 2012" for a while. Does anyone know when the next class might be?
sherjilozair 3 days ago 1 reply      
MNIST is not a good dataset to show any artificial intelligence on. The dataset is so simple, a good programmer can probably write 100 lines of python to write a classifier for it, based on no machine learning.

Neural Network techniques which work so well in small, easy and trivial datasets like MNIST do not generalize to more serious datasets, and that's where the "and this is where the magic happens" component is needed.

smalieslami 4 days ago 0 replies      
In fact we're only scratching the surface when it comes to the generative capabilities of deep models. See e.g. our recent work on using Deep Boltzmann Machines to learn how to draw object silhouettes: http://arkitus.com/ShapeBM/
Rnnguy 4 days ago 2 replies      
Sitting in a class right now reading this while Hinton is teaching neural nets.
m12k 3 days ago 0 replies      
I looked at Restricted Boltzmann Machines for a while when searching for a topic for my master's thesis. One very interesting use is to train an RBM with animations, and then use it generatively to create new animations - Hinton and one of his students, Graham Taylor, wrote a paper about it (http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~hinton/csc2515/readings/nipsmocap... PDF)). Imagine if it was expanded, so animators could train an RBM with a body of animation from a character, then simply specify "go from here to here" and the RBM would create an interstitial animation. Afaik a lot of animation work is just boilerplate like "line the character up so we can fire the sit down animation".
mhluongo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check out the rest of Geoffrey Hinton's work as well- http://scholr.ly/person/3595934/geoffrey-e-hinton
frooxie 4 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have a link to a web page (or to a book) that would be useful if you want to learn to program a Deep Belief Network?
spin 4 days ago 0 replies      
You can play with a Python version of this same algorithm (cd for rbm) here: https://github.com/Wizcorp/Eruditio

(I wrote it... :-)

Scientists Uncover Invisible Motion in Video bits.blogs.nytimes.com
249 points by Libertatea  4 days ago   54 comments top 20
reginaldo 4 days ago 2 replies      
Last June, when this first came up, I commented:

I was thinking about the implications of using this technique to analyze e.g. political speeches and try to catch people lying on the act. Your application (winning on card games) seems very interesting too

Now, with the Google glass getting closer to being a real thing in the market, the possibilities are endless (for the good and for the bad). Unfortunately, my mind is kind of twisted and I think about the bad first. Must be a side effect of all the security issues I'm researching.

For instance:

# Google glass + Eulerian magnification + facial expression recognition = Instant "Lie to Me"-like[1] microexpressions expert.

# Google glass + Eulerian magnification + TSA agent: "picking" suspects by the way their pulse react as they get closer to the agent using the "apparatus". Of course, the real criminals would just take some kind of drug to avoid being detected...


antirez 4 days ago 2 replies      
I bet the iPhone app will be great. A few months ago I had some weekend fun implementing this algorithm in a trow-away iPhone application, and indeed I was able to observe the color change in my skin, and when watching to the veins of my arm the movement was greatly amplified.

I was missing a lot of the filtering required in order to amplify more and performance was a bit poor (frame rate) since it was just an hack. Something like that done in the proper way will be cool.

timthorn 4 days ago 1 reply      
Philips launched an iPad app to do this over a year ago: http://innovation.philips.com/pressreleases/nurturing-bg_vit...
archivator 4 days ago 1 reply      
The paper from last year's SIGGRAPH - http://people.csail.mit.edu/mrub/papers/vidmag.pdf
0x09 4 days ago 0 replies      
mistercow 4 days ago 0 replies      
What I find neatest about this (if I recall the paper correctly), is that it's essentially the same concept as an unsharp mask filter, only taken over time instead of over space.
31reasons 4 days ago 2 replies      
How are they able to change the video frame to show the motion amplification. In the last example, they are amplifying baby's breathing and showing it using some changes into the video frame itself. How are they able to stretch baby's cloths and body without knowing its 3D geometry, even wrinkles on the baby's cloths seems to shift. I am puzzled.
bluetidepro 4 days ago 1 reply      
They mention that they posted the code last year, in August. Does anyone have a link to that code? This is so incredible to me!
mattvot 4 days ago 1 reply      
Someone should take the code and make a site/app that can take YouTube videos in and enhance. I would try, but video processing goes way over my head.
speeder 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone posted this same link yesterday, but I think I am with a ban that make my upvotes don't count, since the arrow go away and the vote count don't change. Goad that someone tried again and made this go to front page, I think it is vert amazing and awesome, maybe animators will be able to use this tech to learn how to avoid uncanny valley
peripetylabs 4 days ago 1 reply      
Computer science that can improve people's wellbeing -- in this case, medical diagnostics -- is particularly amazing. I can see this being used by emergency workers to take pulse quickly without having to fumble with electrical leads. The algorithm is also very simple and elegant.
Geee 4 days ago 1 reply      
hmsimha 4 days ago 1 reply      
My first thought when watching the segment where a clip from Batman is shown is, if this can be applied to movies, it may ruin some of the magic when the video picks up the microscopic motions of supposedly 'dead' characters (as the actors are still breathing and pulsing).

I think this is groundbreaking technology though -- I've read that there are subconscious responses to seeing things we like, such as a delicious food or an attractive individual of the preferred gender; a widening of the pupil or an increase in heart rate and body temperature. Devices that capture these changes can have applications in everything from marketing to security to courting.

konstruktors 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone should port it over to HTML using canvas, native video and lots of javascript.
addandsubtract 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain how they are amplifying the video of the eye moving and the baby in the crib breathing? If they are only analyzing the changes in color, how are they amplifying movement of shapes with that information?
hartator 4 days ago 0 replies      
Waho, I think this project is fascinating. Anyone wants to work with me something like 2/3 days to release a web app, that transpose their code in a more "webby" way?

(We have their own solution: http://videoscope.qrclab.com/ but with all the respect this guys deserve! It's unfortunately far from perfect.)

I am based in Austin, my email is hartator_AT_gmail.com

pla3rhat3r 4 days ago 0 replies      
I find this fascinating especially that the code is open source. Makes me wonder what kind of applications can be built. Maybe even using some sort of Leap Motion application in conjunction with the amplification algorithm.
jbrooksuk 4 days ago 1 reply      
I imagine that the only real problem is it'll never be able to be 100% real time as you need to sources of colour. I guess you could get pretty close though.
31reasons 4 days ago 2 replies      
Can blood pressure be monitored in realtime with this technique ?
laurencei 4 days ago 3 replies      
"The system works by homing in on specific pixels in a video over the course of time. Frame-by-frame, the program identifies minute changes in color and then amplifies them up to 100 times, turning, say, a subtle shift toward pink to a bright crimson"

So really the title should be "Scientist amplify motion in video" - because that is what is occurring. There is nothing "invisible" being discovered - it still needs a visual change.

Stripe launches beta in the UK techcrunch.com
247 points by whyleyc  3 days ago   104 comments top 22
whyleyc 3 days ago 4 replies      
Have been waiting a long time for this :)

When announcing it onstage Patrick said anyone interested in participating in the beta should email him:

  patrick [at] stripe [dot] com

I hope he's ready for the email deluge !

pc86 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm starting to hate Stripe threads because all it becomes is people complaining it's not available in their country.

And of course people complaining about people complaining about it not being available in their country.

Geee 3 days ago 3 replies      
"Article 49 of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU (the freedom of establishment principle) allows entrepreneurs to set up a company in any EU country."


Also, "Any business legally established in an EU country may open a secondary establishment (office, agency, branch or subsidiary) in another EU country."


Now, someone should set up a web service which makes it easy for EU citizens to incorporate in the UK.

RobAley 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does it support Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode? Not that I like them much, but they provide some protection for merchants against chargebacks.
TomGullen 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was wondering why Paypal were phoning me up a lot recently to see how I was doing and if I needed any help with anything!

We're lucky enough to be on the Beta, can't wait to dig in and start the transition.

tomelders 3 days ago 1 reply      
Today is a watershed moment for UK developers. I don't think it's hyperbole to say that. In a few years, we will look back on our lives before this day and wonder

a) Why the hell we put up with all that crap for so long.
b) Why didn't we build Stripe ourselves.

jbrooksuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of the best things that's happened to the UK in the payment industry in years.
nulluk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Really good news. Can't wait to start taking payments by stripe for our "Stripe for Magento" extension, how about that for meta?
jonascopenhagen 3 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome. Here's hoping Denmark/Scandinavia is next.
rikacomet 3 days ago 1 reply      
stripe should launch in India, I'm more than ready to help out with that. The market here, for stripe is huge! A lot of alternatives exist, but all of them frankly su%k!
sschueller 3 days ago 3 replies      
Cool, I hope Switzerland won't be last. 7m people isn't interesting enough for many companies. :(
10dpd 3 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome news!

Is it possible to use Stripe to handle third party payments? E.g. A site owner (A) creates a website. A user (B) of that site wants to sell a product. (B) creates a product page and accept payments from their own customers (C). Ideally (C) would pay (B) using Stripe, and (A) would receive a percentage of the revenue received from (C).

konradb 3 days ago 1 reply      
Out of interest what makes Stripe compelling over other alternatives such as Sagepay?

This seemed to be an already solved problem ([company like sagepay] -> merchant account -> bank account) but there's a lot of fanfair here so I must not be understanding what makes Stripe different.

nicholassmith 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is great news for UK businesses, welcome to our wonderfully miserably cold shores Stripe.

Although, you know it's much nicer up North outside London. Much nicer.

TomAnthony 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is great.. but when is it coming to the UK!?!?



egze 3 days ago 2 replies      
Any plans for Germany?
NuZZ 3 days ago 4 replies      
Australia is pretty much dominated by Paypal. Was excited to get to use Stripe for a new project but got sad when I realized it wasn't available here.
chaghalibaghali 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to give a shout out to the guys from Paymill (www.paymill.com) - they sponsor the HNLondon events and when Patrick from Stripe turned up a few nights ago they were the ones that asked him to get on stage and give a quick talk, despite the obvious overlap of their products.
lotsofcows 3 days ago 1 reply      
How does Stripe mitigate PCIDSS requirements?
cohort 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a sign up form for beta?
kevbam 3 days ago 0 replies      
thomseddon 3 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know why the link has changed from TNW (http://thenextweb.com/uk/2013/03/01/stripe-uk-europe-launch/) to TechCrunch?

It's not really important, just curious if this is some kind of mod preference for TC? :)

Clojure 1.5 groups.google.com
240 points by llambda  3 days ago   46 comments top 9
JeanPierre 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's a lot of new small improvements in this update which are great for Clojure users, but the fundamental difference between 1.4 and 1.5 is the reducer library which was implemented. It's added mostly for performance reasons: By using this library, you will utilize Fork/Join in Java, but with a functional interface instead of the "gory" one. Very interesting, because the complexity of a typical `(reduce (map ...))` won't change, and you're suddenly utilizing all the cores on your computer. Rich Hickey had a talk about the new Reducers library[1], and I'd recommend you to see it, as it gives you a good understanding of how it works (and why it was implemented that way).

Another slightly interesting thing is the sudden enhancement to read-eval and EDN[2]. That's mainly because of the rough weather Ruby/Rubygems was in with the YAML-exploits, which caused a heated discussion on how the Clojure reader should act by default[3][4].

[1]: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Clojure-Reducers

[2]: https://github.com/clojure/clojure/blob/master/changes.md#21...

[3]: http://dev.clojure.org/jira/browse/CLJ-1153

[4]: https://groups.google.com/d/topic/clojure-dev/zG90eRnbbJQ/di...

jashmenn 3 days ago 2 replies      
Shameless self plug:

If you're interested in keeping up with clojure news,
I recently started a clojure newsletter where we cover this sort of thing: http://defnewsletter.com

manaskarekar 3 days ago 2 replies      
Reducers look interesting! The linked blog post by Rich hickey is an interesting read: http://clojure.com/blog/2012/05/08/reducers-a-library-and-mo...
nivertech 3 days ago 1 reply      
How do I upgrade just 'lein repl' to use Clojure 1.5?

    [bin]$ lein version
Leiningen 2.0.0 on Java 1.7.0_15 Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM
[bin]$ lein repl
nREPL server started on port 41384
REPL-y 0.1.9
Clojure 1.4.0

I understand that Clojure is just a jar dependency, just need to find where lein's dependencies specified...

For a new project I would have specified Clojure 1.5 in defproject, but for REPL?

pbiggar 3 days ago 3 replies      
The conditional threading macros are nice. I've been using them from clojure.core.incubator for a while as -?> and -?>>. Anyone know why the name change?
jballanc 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've seen many, many attempts at "automatic parallelization" over the years. Clojure 1.5's reducers are the first approach I've seen that I think might actually work!
douglasisshiny 3 days ago 5 replies      
Perhaps this isn't the best place:

I eventually want to move on beyond ruby and java and try out a functional language. Clojure, Scala and Haskell all seem interesting. Haskell because it's pure functional. Scala and Clojure because they're functional and on the JVM, and out of the two, Clojure.

So it's between clojure and haskell in my mind. Haskell has a great tutorial book/website (http://learnyouahaskell.com/). Is there a great resource like this for clojure? (obviously there are many books, but what's the best, and ideally, does it have a free online version that I can try out before buying)

adestefan 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's it I really need to buckle down and learn clojure. I just got the perfect project today since I have to use a certain Java only library and then do some text processing on the copious results of that library's processing.
jsilva 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to to know if clojure has big memory footprint. Since is doing dynamic class generation and so on. I did find something[1] on stackoverflow but i would like some more info from real production usage.

Thank you all.


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