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Victory Lap for Ask Patents joelonsoftware.com
773 points by jaydles  11 hours ago   121 comments top 36
Stratoscope 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an awesome project. I've signed up and will see what I can do to help shoot down patents!

There is one true and important point in the article that isn't supported by the example given:

> This patent was, typically, obfuscated, and it used terms like pixel density for something that every other programmer in the world would call resolution, either accidentally (because Microsofts lawyers were not programmers), or, more likely, because the obfuscation makes it that much harder to search.

The patent uses "pixel density" to refer to the physical size of the pixels on a display. This is a fairly common term, with over five million results in a Google search. I've used the same phrase myself for over 10 years with the same meaning.


"Pixels per centimeter (ppcm), Pixels per inch (PPI) or pixel density is a measurement of the resolution of devices in various contexts: typically computer displays, image scanners, and digital camera image sensors."

Of course here we can see where the terms get a bit confusing: "...pixel density is a measurement of the resolution..."

But display resolution these days usually refers to the number of pixels, not their physical size:


"The display resolution of a digital television, computer monitor or display device is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed."

Advertisements and spec sheets almost always use "resolution" this way, for example the MacBook Pro specs on Apple's site:

"Supported resolutions: 1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, ..."

Forgive me if this seems like nitpicking, and I completely agree with Joel's point here: patents often do use unusual terminology to obfuscate what they're talking about.

This just isn't a case of that. The patent is using the correct term, and it even does a very good job of explaining what it means:

> A particular characteristic of display components that may affect presentations rendered thereupon is the pixel density of the display component, such as a pixels-per-centimeter measurement. It may be appreciated that such characteristics may be independent of the size of the display component (e.g., two display components of the same size may present different pixel densities; conversely, two display components of different sizes may present the same pixel density) and/or the pixel dimensions of the display component (e.g., two display components displaying a presentation with a particular pixel dimensions may do so with different physical sizes).

jasonkester 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Pure Awesome. Shame there's not a way to do the same thing to existing software patents. There are plenty (~40k/year according to the article) of bad, obvious nonsense patents already out there. It'd be nice if there were a simple process to appeal and invalidate them with similar demonstrations of prior art and obviousness.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing some Wikipedia-level-OCD focused on this site to stop the roughly 100% of bad applications for new software patents dead in their tracks. Imagine a 2014 where zero new software patents were issued.

EDIT: Incidentally, patentlyobvious.com is just a parked domain at the moment. It seems like the obvious choice for a place to host a site like this.

zmmmmm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There was an extremely depressing AMA on reddit a while ago where a patent examiner explained that what all of us consider "prior art" will be completely ignored by a patent examiner:


The bar for prior art is very high - it has to be published in a recognized medium. Most specifically, unless it has a date that the patent officer can verify and cite (and a self stated date on a web site is not "verifiable"), it can't be considered because it is not possible say for sure it came earlier than the patent filing. So - some random thing on the internet - not published. Even an actual real product made and sold by a company - not published. Even standard industry practise, established for years, if not written up and "published" somewhere, may not qualify as prior art. In one comment he says:

"You may be right, that is how everyone does it. But if there is no documented prior art for us to search, we are out of luck rejecting it."

This explains why so many things that software developers routinely do end up in patents. Some of them are just so obvious that publishing it in a formal way is redundant. Yet that is the same bar that the USPTO is applying for rejecting patents. So the patent system itself is enriching the pool of obvious patents that get through.

Anyone using this Ask Patents site really needs to sit through a mini-tutorial explaining these things before they start, or they will waste more time than they save.

mixmax 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations to the stack exchange team for getting this going. It's an incredibly good idea, maybe you could patent it?
throwawaykf 6 hours ago 4 replies      
somewhat active on Ask Patents. In fact, I've submitted an answer that is pretty sure to kill at least one Google patent application, and possibly another from Uniloc.

A few comments on this article:

1) This is a very unusual case; most answers (and almost all questions) from "lay engineers" completely misunderstand the scope of the patent, since they don't even know what claims are. And even if they do, they are very lax at interpreting claims. And even then, most posters frequently misunderstand the terms used (case in point, Spolsky's very post! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6084884). All this leads them to post irrelevant prior art.

That does not mean there are no useful answers at all; there are, but they mostly come from people who are somewhat versed in patent law (such as agents, lawyers and examiners). Some re-wording of claims, such as what Micah Seigel does in his posts, helps, but for the proportion of useful answers to go up, we need more education about how patents work for this to be useful. It's really not that hard; heck I did it!

2) It's wayyy too soon for a victory lap because that was only the first non-final rejection, for which a response has already been filed. Statistically, this application will undergo 2.5 more rejections [1] and (based on my guestimate) at least one Request for Continued Examination (RCE) before being abandoned or (more likely considering the applicant) issued with much narrower claims.

3) Patents are worded so not (primarily) to be obfuscating, but rather because of legal, technical and some silly historical reasons. For instance, pronouns are very rarely used because any indefiniteness can be cause for invalidation. Obfuscation will not help much, because you are not trying to get it past lay engineers, but patent examiners, who have a technical background and are (usually) adept at reading patentese. Complaining about how hard it is to read patents is like a Blub programmer complaining about Lisp. You simply need to learn the language to appreciate what you are reading.

4) Most "software" patents (which can't even be cleanly categorized as such) are not crappy, at least with respect to all other patents. There are studies presenting this view [2, 3], but it's also based on my experience having read hundreds of patents. Almost none are revolutionary, but just as few are really as bad as the media portrays. The PTO has gotten pretty good at finding prior art (interestingly around the same time Google came around), and the really broad patents are dying out.

The "crappy software patents" view is common mostly because tech media routinely publishes uninformed (or disinformed? [4]) rhetoric, mostly because they garner some easy rageviews, and audiences accept it without critical thought. I do think the bar for non-obviousness should be different, but solving that is a difficult, almost-philosophical problem.

5) In response to various comments on this thread regarding pay-for-prior art schemes, initiatives such as Article One Partners already exist.

I am not a patent lawyer or an agent, but I believe in the patent system, as I have actually worked for the mythical small-guy firm that was ripped off by the big guys and almost died, but eventually prevailed with patents. You don't hear these stories much because typically the small guys don't have the PR budget for it [4]. (And also because many of those with patents turn to trolls, who like to keep a low profile.)

I have only recently become personally invested in the patent system, but I want all inventions, including mine, to be truly novel and worthwhile. And I want people to get off their butts and do something rather than complain about patents on HN. This is why I support Ask Patents.

[1] http://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/patents/main.dashxml[2] http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=650921[3] http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=970083[4] http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html

creamyhorror 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Good lord, it's actually working! Full steam ahead, boys!

If only we'd done this a decade or two ago. How about some reevaluation of granted patents?

edit: The original title, "Joel Spolsky, patent killer", was better :/

rayiner 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> Sometimes you have a picture that you want to scale to different resolutions. When this happens, you might want to have multiple versions of the image available at different resolutions, so you can pick the one thats closest and scale that.

This is basically mip-mapping, and was described in a 1983 paper: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=801126.

skore 10 hours ago 1 reply      
> Since patent examiners rely so much on keyword searches, when you submit your application, if you can change some of the keywords in your patent to be different than the words used everywhere else, you might get your patent through even when theres blatant prior art, because by using weird, made-up words for things, you've made that prior art harder to find.

Wouldn't it also make sense to build up, maybe at the same time, a sort of "counter-thesaurus"?

As in: If you find prior art where the thesaurus method has been used to obscure terms in the patent, enter those as an example into a database. When another patent is looked up, individual terms that show up in the database have a "there are alternative terms for this" marker applied to them.

This might also make it a lot easier to make automatic search for prior art feasible again.

jacques_chester 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In another patent thread some time ago I identified what I think is the core problem with software patents, which is abstractability. I used the example of a tractor being generalised into transportation, so I was nodding along with Joel's example.

This is because that's how software development often proceeds. We start with the concrete problem, then notice a pattern that encompasses a class of concrete problems, then a pattern that describes a group of classes of problems and so on. Building abstractions is literally what we do as a profession.

Now, as Joel points out, the rational strategy is to take the highest-level, most abstract version of your invention to the patent office to see what will get passed in. So patent applications are written like matrioshka dolls, with a super general case on the outside, and progressively more concrete descriptions as you go deeper. Somewhere near the bottom is the original thing that started the ball rolling.

eliasmacpherson 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a bad attitude dealing with patents in my last job, refusing to take part on the basis that I hadn't come up with anything novel. I noticed a member of staff with views on patents in line with mine taking a more active role. He took part in the patent meetings, but instead of merely offering nothing up, took active part in finding prior art, thus preventing time wasting patents going to the office. He took special pleasure in finding prior art by current employees at the same company, preferably in the same arm.

I am impressed by Spolsky's positive attitude to do something about the problem, I bid ask patents continued good fortune!

shabble 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know whether participating in a public forum like this could used in future proceedings against the user or their employer as evidence of 'willful infringement'?

I vaguely recall something about large corporations discouraging engineers from reading potentially relevant patents due to the possibility of greater damages if they were later proved infringing, since demonstrating that they didn't take any inspiration or details from the patent is quite difficult.

Not wanting to spread FUD or anything, but it strikes me as a potential exploit for patent trolls to discourage participation if it's a significant risk.

maximilianburke 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the concept of Ask Patents but at the same time I wonder if it is possible that participation on Ask Patents could be leveraged by malicious litigants to seek treble damages.

For example, if the company I work for is being sued by a troll for infringement, could the troll see that employees have been participating on Ask Patents and therefore a reasonable assumption could be made that they're reading/reviewing/participating in discussions on patents, and therefore they knowingly are infringing? Would this something that either I or my employer should be worried about?

DannyBee 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So, this sounds great and all, but I don't see any proof that it was ask patents that caused the examiner to find this, rather than the examiner's standard search?

In fact, the search history, on PAIR (look for 4-11-2013 SRFWSearch information including classification, databases and other search related notes) does not say ask patents was used, nor does the search strategy (document code SRNT).

It could be the USPTO has not gotten around to noting this yet, but the only entry I see that could be related is the NPL entry, which of course, has no image available (god i love PAIR), and does not say it came from outside the search.

Don't get me wrong, I think askpatents is great, but i'm skeptical considering how examiners actually work.

ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent result. I worried when the idea of helping the PTO uncover prior art would be controlled by the attorneys filing the patent (which is to say they would be a filter between the examiner and the external sources) but if the examiners are going directly to the source then this will really put a crimp in bad patents being issued.
yummyfajitas 9 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing I don't understand. Suppose a patent examiner does not ask on Ask Patents about a patent application, but I would nevertheless like to submit prior art.

How do I do so?

ISL 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Trouble is, what killed the patent was prior disclosure from the researchers.

The same thing has happened to friends of mine; an undergraduate's summer research presentation may have betrayed patentable inventions. An effect of the 1-year prior art rule is to force researchers to keep mum about what they're doing and to generate greater numbers of incremental patents.

If you're interested in the free flow of information, using a researcher's own publications to kill patents may not help the cause.

Prior art from other work in the past? Bring it on!

praptak 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be cool if there was a way to penalize high number and high ratio of rejected patents from a single company. OTOH I don't see a way that allows genuine mistakes from small shops while being immune from big bad corps acting via shell companies.
joshuak 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great! I don't truly believe that no software patent should ever be granted, but we should definitely weed out the bullshit ones.

I would think mipmapping would be the core prior art, and that's from 1983. But I suppose anything over a year older then the application is good enough.

Also note there is another technique for patent manipulation which is to provide a provisional patent application (to start the clock) which can't be granted, then continually refine and the application as time goes by. In a worse case scenario you could taller a general patent into a specific patent based on someone else work, and have a patent already in place that will predate the new invention.

gbog 9 hours ago 2 replies      
An idea that might help in killing patents: Have one daily sticky post on HN (ala job post) with a short description of a pending patent and a link on where to post prior art. It is very likely some reader will be able to provide this prior art.
mathattack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow - crowdsourcing the removal of ludicrous patents. This could be the killer app of StackExchange. Well done!
vishaldpatel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Idea: Make reading patents a mandatory exercise for students. Assignment: squash a patent application.
neilk 8 hours ago 2 replies      
It would be great if others could attach bounties to certain patents. Of course then the patent examiner would have to pick "winners", answers that helped the most.

Also, like Quora, does the StackExchange system allow one to register one's fields of expertise, to have questions suggested to you? (I'm not a big participant on SE but I know it may be hiding that feature from me, because it slowly reveals features based on karma).

Anyway I'm sure this has been thought of before, just curious if it's on the todo list.

chrisb808 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> How cool would it be if Apple, Samsung, Oracle and Google got into a Mexican Standoff on Ask Patents? If each of those companies had three or four engineers dedicating a few hours every day to picking off their competitors applications, the number of granted patents to those companies would grind to a halt.

I'm kind of surprised this isn't happening already.

flaktrak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice win but I have to say the bit that really got me excited was this

"My dream is that when big companies hear about how friggin easy it is to block a patent application, theyll use Ask Patents to start messing with their competitors. How cool would it be if Apple, Samsung, Oracle and Google got into a Mexican Standoff on Ask Patents?"

How great would that be?

Nux 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Brilliant! Too bad however that so much energy needs to be wasted on SHIT like patents.
netcan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really, really cool.

Its actually some part of governing delegated to the public. A part they can be good at. I wonder if the crowd can be authoritative, rather than just helpful. That would let them tackle obviousness, not just prior art I could see a stackexchange-like. It might be that they can tackle it now, if good methods/guidelines exist for objectively determining obviousness.

maqr 9 hours ago 4 replies      
> The number of actually novel, non-obvious inventions in the software industry that maybe, in some universe, deserve a government-granted monopoly is, perhaps, two.

Any idea to which two he might be referring?

ThomPete 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to get an insight into that world I can really recommend when Patents attack Part Two.


drpgq 9 hours ago 2 replies      
How about just increasing the costs for filing and maintaining a patent as a quick way of getting rid of some of the really weak ones? Say double the fees and see what happens.
nixarn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Would a reward system make sense? Money to the one who gets a patent rejected?
jackschultz 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> How cool would it be if Apple, Samsung, Oracle and Google got into a Mexican Standoff on Ask Patents? If each of those companies had three or four engineers dedicating a few hours every day to picking off their competitors applications, the number of granted patents to those companies would grind to a halt.

Wouldn't the result of this be that the company who finds out that they have the earliest implementation of the code in question be able to get the patent for it?

milkmiruku 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Like http://www.peertopatent.org/ but with the momentum of the SE platform/network. Good stuff.
strudelfish 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The "How to Read a Patent in 60 Seconds" article mentioned seems to be down (danshapiro.com). Does anybody have a copy or a alternative link for it?
mcantrell 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great first step, but can we sustain this and keep more patents from being granted. Everything hinges on community involvement, so hopefully we can build and sustain a community that does this every day.
seeingfurther 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this the job of the patent examiner?
snowwrestler 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> An example might help. Imagine a simple application with these three claims:

> 1. A method of transportation

> 2. The method of transportation in claim 1, wherein there is an engine connected to wheels

> 3. The method of transportation in claim 2, wherein the engine runs on water

> Notice that claim 2 mentions claim 1, and narrows it... in other words, it claims a strict subset of things from claim 1.

> Now, suppose you invented the water-powered car. When you submit your patent, you might submit it this way even knowing that theres prior art for methods of transportation and you cant really claim all of them as your invention. The theory is that (a) hey, you might get lucky! and (b) even if you dont get lucky and the first claim is rejected, the narrower claims will still stand.

I'm pretty sure this is not accurate. To my knowledge, the claims of a patent are considered only as a whole, not individually, so there should be no fear that this is somehow trying to patent "methods of transportation" broadly.

To make a broad patent claim, you can't have any narrowing claims on the same patent. Put another way, the maximum scope of claim by a particular patent is defined by the narrowest claim in the list.

Lawyers--correct me if I'm wrong.

Ubuntu Edge indiegogo.com
737 points by ergo14  11 hours ago   267 comments top 74
cs702 10 hours ago 4 replies      
The $32 million fundraising goal might seem overly ambitious, but it's actually more realistic than it appears at first glance, because at $600+ per unit the campaign needs only around 50,000 buyers worldwide to be successful -- or a bit over 2% of Ubuntu's enthusiastic user base, which was estimated to be greater than 20 million in 2011.[1]

PS. I just ordered one, as I LOVE the idea of an unlocked phone designed and built from the ground up by Canonical specifically for Ubuntu users, with minimal interference from wireless carriers.


Update: When I posted this comment, the total raised was under $50,000. Less than an hour later, it had risen to over half a million dollars.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(operating_system)#Inst...

ealexhudson 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I upvoted this because I think it's an interesting experiment. Attempting to raise $1M+ every day for a month, though, I think is insanely ambitious. Asking people for $830 for a device that they won't get for a year is asking a lot, particularly since the specs aren't worlds away from current phones (two years time, and probably $500 would get you a device with those specs, unlocked).

Worse, I just don't even get the use case. If I have to dock it with stuff to make it work, that means I need some kind of installation. Spending more money just so I can carry my PC around instead of having at home on a desk - hm, really not sure about that. People who use their mobile as a primary device tend not to have any sort of desktop, and I don't really get the impression they miss it that much.

fingerprinter 9 hours ago 2 replies      
From nearly every perspective, this seems like a no brainer.

1. The hardware they talked about would be better than anything out there now, most likely better than anything in 2014.

2. They mentioned dual boot. If you don't like Ubuntu, you can put on Android and have a better phone than anything out in the next year.

3. You'll get the first Ubuntu production phone.

For $600 (today) or $830 (not today?) this is a freakin' no brainer.

ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty ambitious. Presumably they are not going to build the phone, they will do like Google and Apple and Microsoft did and find someone who is already building phones, to build them a bespoke phone. One then wonders how many units you have to commit to buying for LG to spin a variant of the Nexus 4 for you. Certainly its more than 100K phones, which gets you into the 'best' price for components (some vendors of phone parts (like some of the flash chips) won't talk to you unless you order 100K pieces).

Clearly there is a value proposition to having knowledge about all the bits in the phone, but as I discovered with the Android phones, working at Google, there are some bits which are protected in a variety of ways (basically most of the radios in phones these days are all software and that blob (the stuff that makes the radio 'work') is strictly licensed. It was, for me at least, an unexpected additional cost for the radio stuff. (I imagine that business model started with soft modems where the line access chips were $1 and the code to turn them into a 56Kbit modem was another $9 each).

Regardless of outcome, this will join a number of attempts at making a Linux phone. I wonder if anyone has collected all of the attempts into a single space.

falcolas 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I love crowd funding, and this seems like a great project. But please, before you pledge money, remember one thing:

This is not a pre-order: nothing guarantees that you will ever get anything for the money you've put in.

By pledging money, you become an underprivileged investor. Sometimes, you'll get your money's worth. Sometimes, you'll loose that money. If that's OK by you, then great. If you want a stronger guarantee of getting what you pay for, then this is not the platform to use.

cupcake-unicorn 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of torn about this. While I would like to see more diversity in the phone world, I wish that the focus this time was more on the open hardware and specifications. If Ubuntu is pushing this phone tied to the Ubuntu OS, they're really not that much different than what Apple and MS are doing with their mobile devices.

I'm assuming and hoping that if this launches, the hardware and software will be open enough for people to start making their own OSes. It's just unfortunate, and I feel in a way backwards thinking, to make this Kickstarter with such a huge funding goal and not have the focus be on why it's important and why it stands apart - which is I believe the open standards for hardware and software.

I'm just not a big fan of Ubuntu as an OS, and I'd love to have a phone that was so open that I had as many options in distros as I do on the desktop. I'd much rather see a Kickstarter for a completely open hardware phone that encouraged people to be creative with both the hardware and the software, which I don't think this project is going to promote other than an afterthought.

drcode 10 hours ago 11 replies      
Does anyone really still want a phone you can plug into a monitor? This would have been a dream product back before broadband and wifi became ubiquitous, and before extra PCs became so cheap.

Nowadays, it seems like a much better design is to have multiple devices with different form factors that can access shared data via a cloud.

(unless this product is meant as an NSA-proof system, but I don't see that it makes a very convincing product for that use case either...)

javis 9 hours ago 2 replies      
If the Ubuntu Edge reaches its goal of $32,000,000, Indiegogo makes $1,280,000 off it.
aroman 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I really really hope I'm wrong (because I really believe in Ubuntu's vision), but what I'm gathering from this is that Canonical really has no idea how to make money.
oscilloscope 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I want this. I already pay an Ubuntu premium for System76 computers. Anyone who has the Dell dev edition does the same.

But, Canonical, can you please extend the $600 price point for at least a month? This sudden 24 hour sale is too much of an impulse buy.

ohaal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This has been a dream of mine for several years now, and I believe Ubuntu (with Touch coming around) is currently the OS best suited for this task. However I do have some concerns which still go unanswered. Until then, I'm holding back my pledge.

1: I realize this is their first attempt at this, but if this phone doesn't support 2+ monitors, then this simply won't work as a desktop replacement. HDMI-output is nothing new. Who still uses a single monitor on their desktop?

2: I didn't find any mention of docks. I'd be interested to see if there would be any future plans to create different types of docks. I.e. tablet dock with extended battery life (like the Asus PadFone), desktop dock with 2+ 1080p+ monitor output. Preferably with the docks allowing USB connections, so that we are not stuck with buying new gear all around. Maybe even a laptop style dock?

3: Context awareness. Not sure if this is already addressed, but it'd be nice if when I docked it at work, I'd have the option of continuing where I left off yesterday. Achievable through profiles combined with some NFC cleverness? Personally, I can think of a few contexts I'd set up myself: desktop@work, desktop@home, laptop, tablet, HTPC, nightstand, car... and of course, phone.

4: Waterproof. If I'm going to walk around with my personal computer in my pocket, it'd be nice if a splash of water didn't kill it.

ericfranklin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"We'll replace glass with sapphire crystal. A material so hard, you'll need diamonds in your pocket to leave a scratch"

I got a laugh from this because the back of my iPhone 4 had a few big scratches in it literally from carrying diamonds in my pocket (My company sells lab-grown diamonds).

rsynnott 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> at least 4GB of RAM

This seems... odd, or the 'at least' bit does. The first 64bit ARM chips are due late next year, and will be very much server-targeted.

runn1ng 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not the right person for this, I guess.

I constantly break my phones by smashing them (by mistake) into various solid things or water, so I never buy any phone more expensive than 200 dollars. I really won't buy a phone for 830 dollars.

davidbanham 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
I want to hook this up to an Oculus Rift.
sciurus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"If we dont reach our target then we will focus only on commercially available handsets and there will not be an Ubuntu Edge."

That makes so much more sense to me that I'm having a hard time understanding why Canonical would even attempt to design and manufacture their own handset.

pavs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is excellent marketing, if they get funded, they will prove that there is a market for this and it will make news for being the biggest crowd funded campaign ever. It will be all over the news and even people who have never heard of ubuntu will take a notice.
lettergram 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The price for one of the phones doesn't seem all that outrageous, I know if you wanted to buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 it's like $700 without a contract.

Being a college student I currently can't afford it, but I up voted and hope it works out. In the future I would love to buy a phone like this, it looks awesome.

sz4kerto 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, lot of marketing speech from a platform targeted for geeks.

BTW: sapphire crystal is extremely heavy and shatter-prone compared to GG3, for example. There's a reason Corning makes so much money.

Zigurd 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I would like to like this, but there are some red flags: It seems like they are engineering their own high-end hardware. Are there really no off-the-shelf platforms for this? No ODMs from which they could order 10k units, including the GPU driver license?

Supposing they could get 10k units for $500 each, that means they could ask for $1M or $2m and be far more certain of hitting their goal. Why not do that?

It seems as if they are trying to fund development of Ubuntu for phones on the back of this hardware project. Or, unlike Jolla and Tizen and Firefox OS they lack launch partners, so they are doing a "Microsoft Surface." Maybe the $900M write-down of Surface hardware made them think $32M is a doddle.

Ubuntu should run nicely on Surface RT hardware... They could make an offer.

primelens 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Canonical really seems to believe in the convergence of multiple computing platforms. They've staked a lot on it and ticked off a lot of people in the process. I don't know if it'll succeed, but I sure love seeing them try with such gusto. Succeed or fail, this sort of choice and innovation (not to mention debate)is what makes the FOSS community so interesting.
girvo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
To start with, I was skeptical. 32mil? But, I watched the video, and realised that Ubuntu are trying to achieve what I've always dreamed of and asked for: an enthusiasts phone at the cutting edge.

I've backed it. I hope that this is the future of mass produced electronics.

dangoor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting that 27 people have opted to pay the $830 today, rather than the $600 that they could have paid.
fdm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>We also believe the race for ever higher resolution has become a distraction. Beyond 300ppi youre adding overhead rather than improving display clarity.

This isn't completely true, higher PPI improves readability (and looks) of the text that's written using more complex characters like Chinese Hanzi or Japanese Kanji even beyond that line at smaller distances. Here's an image that illustrates this:


Not to mention it's useful for displaying 1080p without losing information.

mwcampbell 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought about backing this myself, but then I remembered that it's our propensity as developers to get the best hardware for ourselves that leads to resource-hungry software, which means a poor experience for the less fortunate of our users. In that light, it seems to me that a super-high-end phone like this, particularly one aimed at developers, is obscene. So I won't be buying one of these. Indeed, I'm thinking of deliberately buying a low-end Android phone whenever I eventually decide to switch from my iPhone 4.
quackerhacker 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so happy Canonical is pushing this innovation. As soon as I heard about their initial attempt in mobile OS on a Atrix, I knew this is where computing had to be going.

That phone's design looks so slick too!

buro9 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This is the opposite of what I want.

What I want is a hub device along the lines of a Huawei Mifi device that will share a 4g connection with numerous other devices using a low power hardware and software stack, perhaps the latest Bluetooth.

Then I want my phone to be less powerful, to run most apps on the cloud and generally do little more than render things prettily.

I want camera lenses, display surfaces, input devices (keyboard, pen/stylus, augmented reality glasses, headsets, etc) to all mesh together, sharing bandwidth for intra-device communication... and ultimately all using the hub for communication.

I no longer want large and ever more powerful and feature rich phones or computers, I want to smash things up and have a choice of small bits that each do one thing very well.

Basically Star Trek communication device and then a lot of peripherals.

sneak 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, that guy needs to spend some of his money on a body language coach.
narzac 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I admire this effort. However what we need is a fully free phone (Hardware schematics, source code). I am really disturbed about all that network connection, GPS yet so little transparency.

Have you ever seen a movie, where the rogue agent does not take out and destroy the phone, like it is a devil work :P

Any knowledge on hardware schematics, source code, license issues?

kenferry 9 hours ago 2 replies      
"Although our core business is software for PCs and the cloud, we know the phone industry pretty well too."

"Weve scoured the research labs of the biggest companies and most exciting startups for the latest and greatest mobile technologies to specify the first-generation Edge."

Do the people involved actually have hardware experience? That's not clear to me, and the second passage gives the impression of treating a phone as a collection of parts.

32 mil is a pretty risky first project

pieterhg 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have not been this enthusiastic about a product since the introduction of the iPhone, iPad or Google Maps and I'm not even a Linux-fanboy.

I love how they are pursuing convergence of desktop and mobile, I haven't seen anyone try this successfully yet.

gummydude 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
God's phone
gcr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to Mozilla's Firefox OS? Are both phones similarly "open source" in terms of hardware and software?
reactor 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Reached 100+ K in an hour!!!
shmerl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it going to use normal glibc EGL drivers for GPU, or it will use bionic ones with libhybris?
umsm 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I love this concept, but I can't help but think:

If apple releases the next iphone with an hdmi compatible connection, that would eliminate the benefit of this, no?

mbesto 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I only have one question - battery life? This is the only thing that matters if it becomes a hinderance, and the only thing that doesn't matter if it's not.
lelf 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is all cool of course. But will it last more than 2 hours on one charge?
ender89 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like it will only be available to people who support the crowdfunding. I'd love to buy one, but I'm on CDMA at the moment and committing to buying a phone 9 months out seems a bit idiotic, especially when you consider that I'd have to switch service providers before I can even use it. I think I would buy the phone (I love the concept) but its not something I can commit to so far in advance, even if it means missing out entirely.
shmerl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Using crowdfunding wastes a huge part of the raised money on taxes. It looks like a sign of Canonical not being able to find investors. Jolla for example did, and I take it as a sign of maturity and expertise in the field.
mariusmg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Regarding the desktop side....hardware wise we're not there yet but personally i'm convinced that this is the future (maybe in 5-10 years if Intel and AMD keep it up ? ). Single device which will be desktop, phone, game console, ebook reader etc.
tomphoolery 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Well that's fucking awesome.

But uhh...doesn't Canonical already have money? :P

mindprince 7 hours ago 0 replies      
In just 4 hours, it is at $703,945. Already the 9th most funded project on Indiegogo.


ubersync 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I missing something? How is this phone any different from say Google Nexus 4, or Samsung Galaxy S4? E.g. Google Nexus 4 has almost the same specs other than RAM, Storage and Dual LTE. But it is only for $300.

More specifically, how does the Formula 1 analogy fit in? This phone is priced about the same as iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and has almost the same specs.

hayksaakian 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Can I assume this won't work on Verizon?
laxatives 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one not using paypal for large purchases? I came home just to verify my paypal account (required for purchases over $500 and needs a check to get the routing info), but it takes 2-3 days to complete the process. I would love to support this project, but it doesn't look the logistics of it are going to work out for me.edit: Just got off the phone and my account was actually restricted for some reason. I'm in for one at the $600 rate.
Jhsto 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Any idea does this also ship from UK? That's a big difference for Europeans since else we have to pay for the high import taxes (24% here).
harel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just talking about me wanting a mobile device I can call my phone and my laptop at the same breath. Something I can take in my pocket and hook up to a keyboard/monitor setup when needed.
AndrewGaspar 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Is it just me, or does it seem like Canonical is taking all of their design cues from Microsoft at this point? Ubuntu's mobile OS uses all the same kind of edge swipes that Windows 8 uses and this phone looks like a small Surface.
jonrx 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know how viable a crowd-funding campain can be for a smartphone.

1 year until delivery seems fair for the makers, but unfortunately the competition will during this time release new devices with better specs.

Looks cool though. Reminds me physically of the Motorola DROID RAZR.

jwarkentin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the convergence thing. I've been predicting and hoping that things would get to a point where I could just have one device that I use for home, work, and everything. Canonical is making it happen and I will do anything I can to support it and be a part of it!
nnash 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I really think they're overestimating who they perceive their target audience to be. 830USD is more than an unlocked iPhone 5...
mromanuk 9 hours ago 3 replies      
"For a phone to run a full desktop OS, it must have the raw power of a PC. Well choose the fastest available multi-core processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of storage"

I would love to be wrong but I'm not buying the promise of a (real world functioning) PC on a phone. ARM based chips are 1 order of magnitude slower than a desktop x86 counterpart, currently there is no such processor to perform as desktop. Maybe they are going the intel road, anyway the indiegogo pitch sounds more like wishful thinking than a real plan.

tcoppi 10 hours ago 1 reply      
They don't even have final specs nailed down, and they're trying to raise $32 million for a production run?
boothead 10 hours ago 0 replies      
$32 million? Well they mention formula 1, are they bootstrapping a new team maybe?
ludoo 10 hours ago 1 reply      
32 million dollars? 830$ for a device, when high end MTK based phones cost max 300 (Zopo, THL, etc.) on the European market, and less than that in China?

They haven't got a clue... Why don't they start making working ROMs for existing phones. If they targeted a few existing high end phones and the ubiquitous and cheap MT6589 models (quad core, many with full HD screens) they might have a better chance of starting to spread their OS and intriguing users and developers.

greganon 8 hours ago 0 replies      
As a successful crowdfunder myself, I almost cringed when I saw how many "rules" this campaign was breaking. Extremely high fundraising goal, long video, and almost no compelling reward options for people who love the idea but don't have $600 to spend. However, I think they've done at excellent job of understanding their target market. They know that early adopter/open source community relishes cutting edge hardware and a chance at becoming a consumer test group for the next step in mobile computing.

Additionally, they explain their thought processes around how they will choose the display and camera specs, which is much more powerful than explaining what the specs will be. I truly feel like I am funding an intelligent group of decision makers rather than a large scale manufacturing process.

I can't wait to see the results of the campaign and to hopefully have one of these phones in my hand!

codezero 8 hours ago 0 replies      
$600 is a lot to go all-in on a phone that won't hit the market until May 2014. The specs look great, but who knows what will happen in 6-8 months.
legierski 8 hours ago 2 replies      
is it possible to download this "Ubuntu for Android" application that they are showcasing in the Software video, running on Nexus 4? Can't find anything about it...
kub 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The 4.5" 1280x720 screen kills it.

It needs to have at least 5" 1920x1080 to display 1080p content without destroying information and to match or exceed the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 (and S5 since they ship in 2014).

And preferably non-Pentile AMOLED.

And also removable battery and one or more SD/micro-SD slots.

It's a pity since everything else seems great.

ldng 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait a second ... 32 millions ...rings a bell. Isn't that current Canonical debt ?
jamesbrennan 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what 'Fastest multi-core CPU' actually equates to. Has anyone found technical specifications that include a more specific value than 'fastest'?
lucb1e 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> Forget gorilla glass, we have crystal!

I liked that part

skizm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Can I hook this up to my Verizon account (which I currently still have unlimited data on)?
aram 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Dummy question:

"Dual LTE antennas"

Does this also mean double the radiation?

bshanks 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have preordered it if it had a physical QWERTY keyboard.
rikacomet 9 hours ago 0 replies      
32,000,000... I missed a zero, first few times I read it.

If they make it, I will give a damn about Death Star not getting funded :P

tele_throwaway 4 hours ago 0 replies      
More importantly: 37 people decided they wanted to pay $230 extra?
alexose 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I ordered one, but there's absolutely no way this is going to crack 10 million, let alone 32.
mtgx 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be great if it came straight with the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture (a quad core Cortex A57 chip, I suppose), although that would mean being released in 2nd half of 2014, but they should probably wait until they can put Ubuntu 14.10 (Mir-only) or at least Ubuntu 14.04 LTS anyway. Coming with stock Android 5.0 or 5.1 would be great, too.

Why no 802.11ac Wi-Fi though? By then pretty much all high-end devices should have it (HTC One and Galaxy S4 already have it).

dakimov 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What a talentless useless bullshit.
izietto 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not 1920x1080??? WHYYYYYYYY?????
txutxu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So how this works... ?

I fund, then Amazon tracks what I search by default on my machine ?

Or I fund and you FIGHT AGAINST a project maintained by voluntary people ?

OK, I 'll NOT fund you.

sublimit 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Haha oh wow. They're charging hundreds of dollars to add a free OS into a smartphone. And they expect to get 32 million just for the promise. Someone lock these people up before they do some real damage.
The Drone that Killed my Grandson nytimes.com
683 points by dr_  4 days ago   352 comments top 40
downandout 4 days ago 14 replies      
The American citizenry tends to be OK with this kind of thing as long as it happens far away from us. But imagine the reaction if the cafe where this occurred were in the US, and the drone was controlled by a foreign government. That singular event would ignite a US invasion or possibly nuclear assault against the country responsible.

People in other countries are also people. They have the same reactions and emotions that we would when a foreign entity blows up their businesses, families, and friends. We have so far been lucky that none of our victims have had the military power and political will to retaliate in the vicious and violent manner that we would. That will not always be the case, and I do not look forward to the day when our own brutality is visited upon us.

flexie 4 days ago 6 replies      
The sad and dangerous thing that has happened is that a new category of criminals has been made: Terrorists. Once someone is put in that category all his rights cease to exist. It's sort of like the outlaws of medieval Europe.

The only right thing to do is to start treating terrorist suspects exactly like those suspected of any other crimes, be it murder, theft, rape etc.

vacri 4 days ago 4 replies      
It should be noted that some people believe that governments should also be held accountable for killing innocents that are foreign citizens. I realise that "but he was a citizen" holds some cachet with the American national story, but really it shouldn't. An innocent is an innocent, and the concept of 'collateral damage' has no place outside total war.
neya 4 days ago 1 reply      
My first reaction was "What the fuck?" (Sorry for the profanity)

Imagine an alternative scenario wherein the grandfather had created his own drone that killed some random government agency dude (by mistake). He'd been labelled a terrorist. But, now the government officials that killed his grandson aren't terrorists because they work for the government.

What a skewed definition we (and the media) have set for terrorism! Sigh!!

cinquemb 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is what amazes me about our country:

We can get riled up over being told by mainstream media that we are being watched despite whistle blowers telling us so for years, incited by the same media to riot over an incident that happens every day untelevised, and not bat an eyelash when our own citizens are assassinated for the world to see by our government.

"Today, nobody cares but tomorrow, they will"

runn1ng 4 days ago 3 replies      
An important note (that doesn't justify US government in any way, just completes the picture)

The father of the boy was Anwar al-Awlakihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlakifrom wikipedia:U.S. government officials said that he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda.

With a blog, a Facebook page, the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, and many YouTube videos, the Saudi news station Al Arabiya described him as the "bin Laden of the Internet."

U.S. officials say that as imam at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia (200102), which had 3,000 members, al-Awlaki spoke with and preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, who were al-Qaeda members. In 2001, he presided at the funeral of the father of Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who later e-mailed him extensively in 200809 before the Fort Hood shootings. During Al-Awlaki's later radical period after 200607, when he went into hiding, he was associated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who attempted the 2009 Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner. Al-Awlaki was allegedly involved in planning the latter's attack.

According to the original article though:

The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar who was also an American citizen but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the governments claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.

NoPiece 4 days ago 4 replies      
This is the wiki page for Anwar al-Awlaki, the son of the author who was the target of the drone strikes. It is worth reading for some context on the family.


girvo 4 days ago 1 reply      
I do not understand how these extra-judicial killings cannot be challenged in a US court of law, in a democratic republic like the USA that attempts to "promote" "democracy" around the world.

Checks and balances... and yet, in this case, there aren't any. How the hell is that supposed to work, and what can be done about it? That's not rhetorical, what can a US citizen do about this?

victorhooi 4 days ago 2 replies      
Ok, I love how this page seems to have been swarmed with DOWN WITH THE US IMPERIALISTS, and AMERICA == TYRANNY style comments.

The parent article is incredibly slanted - the author ever so conveniently forgets to mention that his son was a senior Al-Qaeda recruiter, who was "advisor" to the 9/11 bombers, the Fort Hood shooter, the underwear bomber and a whole host of others.

Even his own Yemeni government tried him in absentia, and ordered him captured "Dead or Alive".

You can argue that the death penalty is wrong, and he should have faced a US court (although I somehow down he or say Osama Bin Laden was likely to actually show up in a US court, even if given half the chance).

However, please don't be another ignorant reader who doesn't know where Yemen is, or any of the context here.

semiprivate 4 days ago 0 replies      
How are we still allowed to be a member of the UN? If these aren't war crimes then they're surely still crimes, just you know, not-war crimes.

What boggles my mind is how these countries allow the US to run drone strikes on their citizens. I mean, Yemen has a government and they're like, "Yeah sure, target and kill innocent people and blow cafes and shit up in our country. Cos you know, terrorism and all that."

jurassic 4 days ago 0 replies      
The author's son, Anwar al-Alwaki, on why the world hates the US: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-jf462h_Is
grey-area 4 days ago 0 replies      
This raises some questions which I think it's important to answer if you support this sort of drone strike, or even if you are just sympathetic to the concept of targeted assassination of suspects.

Is it legal to kill people on secret suspicion, rather than after conviction in a public court of law?

Is it legal to kill families and associates as well as the suspects themselves?

If this is legal for the US in Yemen, why is it not legal on US soil?

Is it legal and permissible for other nations to drone people in the US?

omarali 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Our position needs to be reiterated, and needs to be very clear. The fact that the U.S. has administered the death and homicide of over 1 million civilians in Iraq; the fact that the U.S. is supporting the deaths and killing of thousands of Palestinians, does not justify the killing of 1 U.S. civilian in New York City or Washington D.C. And the deaths of 6,000 civilians in New York and Washington D.C. does not justify the death of 1 civilian in Afghanistan." ~ Anwar Al-awlaki; October 2001


Roboprog 4 days ago 0 replies      


...For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offencesFor abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:...

I suppose this is next:

...He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:...

I don't know whose name to throw on this, though. King George, King Barack, ??? I suppose we need some kind of voting system overhaul (runoff, proportional, ???) to end the rule of the corporate sponsored 2 parties.

alan_cx 4 days ago 0 replies      
Truth justice and the American way: Judge and jury for Americans, cowardly drone strike murder for sub-humans.
Qantourisc 4 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't this a war crime because they are not at war with ?Telling you the rest of the world hates America land is the enslaved.

Ps.: I tend to avoid products made in any crappy country, this includes the US.

TallGuyShort 4 days ago 0 replies      
Part of the related legal battle happens tomorrow:

"Oral argument on Defendants Motion to Dismiss will be heard by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on July 19, 2013, at 10:00 am. "

Source: http://www.ccrjustice.org/targetedkillings

faceplanter 4 days ago 0 replies      
The first comment (as of right now) makes me sick to my stomach:

"Why are we providing a platform for families of terrorists to advocate against American national interests? They should have considered the consequences of targeting the United States and its citizens with violence before they walked down that path.

Our intelligence services and armed forces have done a commendable job keeping Americans safe. I thank them for their service, and for keeping my family safe.

I have no time or desire to listen to this sorry speech about human and civil rights from someone who did not stop his son from advocating violence."

InclinedPlane 4 days ago 0 replies      
ChikkaChiChi 4 days ago 0 replies      
I guess I fail to see the point why a Drone is somehow less appropriate than killing with a rifle or dropping a bomb from a manned cockpit? Is there anyone in the world that actually thinks one is somehow worse than the other?

"To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder." - Albert Einstein

Agreed, Albert. Drones included.

Buzaga 4 days ago 0 replies      
So, with the kill lists, it's 'one hop' that's 'allowed'...
gadders 4 days ago 2 replies      
Very sad that people die, but the father has blood on his hands and was a justified target. I also doubt that the son was just hanging out with his mates playing Chess. He was probably with his Dad's lieutenants.
j2d3 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have no words. There is just nothing
joering2 4 days ago 0 replies      
Personal POV: if we have Democracy in US and its fine to drone other countries' people in the name of fight with terrorism, then I am looking forward to the day of Iraq being a full blown Democracy, which is the day that the former President George W. Bush (as seen by many Iraqs as a hard-core terrorist) will be droned down on US soil for a war crimes he committed in Iraq.
tome 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't get it. Isn't Yemen friendly to the US? That's why they allow these drone strikes, right? So why not just go and arrest the guy?
Fuxy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Drones will get cheaper to manufacture and then America will have a problem again. As they had with the nuclear arms race.

They could send drones to a foreign country but that would just make that country send their drones to America.

Until that happens America has got the upper hand but boy will any one appreciate the irony when Americans get killed by foreign drones.

Don't make everybody out to look like a terrorist and expect them to not get pissed off and become what you made them look like.

Hell this guy might not have been a terrorist before but now that he lost his entire family terrorism might not sound that bad.

I'm waiting for the day they mess with the wrong family.

username42 4 days ago 0 replies      
If we surrender all our civilization progress just because of a "war against terrorism", then the terrorism has won and we are not better than our opponents.
rfctr 4 days ago 0 replies      
Suppose the US government is right, and it is totally OK to indiscriminately kill a bunch of bystanders and innocents to get to a single target who allegedly is an enemy.

Isn't it OK then to selectively, cleanly, kill one alleged enemy with Polonium tea?

Why these two cases get so different coverage?

twoodfin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Who would have guessed that this submission's comments would be dominated by 9/11 truthers? Fascinating.

Keep these great posts coming!

jheriko 4 days ago 0 replies      
its a shame there is not such outcry about the many pakistani and other nationality civilians who have been and continue to be killed regularly by drone attacks... they far outnumber all of the american military personnel who have died in service over the last 10 years, except we have indiscriminate proportions of women and children and not people who chose to become tools of perhaps the most evil regime in the world today (at least when viewed from the outside objectively) :/

can we start trying us government officials as war criminals as if they came from any other country on the planet please?

wehadfun 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is terrible but honestly the majority of Americans will not know much less care that this happened. Most could not even name their mayor. If you asked most American's what Yemen was they would probably think it was some sort of fish or something.

We need a leader. Like a MLK that can rally us to fight for stuff like this. Though I appreciate all the efforts that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rest of the black leaders do. If stuff like this continue we will all have bigger problems then overzealous neighborhood wanabe cops

ttt_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Colateral damage aside, doesn't bombing rescuers and funerals classify as terrorism?


kumarski 4 days ago 0 replies      
One of my questions is, what can I do?

Which politicians have power/control over this situation and who are their funding sources?

Which of these funding sources can be pressured based on SEO/growth hacking/bad press?

rooob 4 days ago 0 replies      
Anwar al-Awlaki was a bad man, who lured a lot of young men to their deaths by his toxic propaganda. He exchanged emails with the Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, the Times Square Bomber, and who knows how many others. Wikipedia has a long, long list. I feel bad for his son, but not as bad I feel for his victims.

I notice one thing that is missing in Anwar's father's article is any sense of remorse-- any sense that Anwar's actions were wrong.

Bad things happen during war. Sometimes people are killed who shouldn't be. But when the instigators of said conflict refuse to take responsibility, I have no sympathy. Save your tears for someone who deserves them-- like the women who are killed in "honor killings" by assholes like this, the countries that are third world shitholes because of theocracies, or maybe the prostitutes Anwar apparently favored. But not for people who start a war, and then whine about the casualties to their side.

dil8 4 days ago 0 replies      
An absolute disgrace that a so called democracy can have a list of people its going to kill...
kkouddous 4 days ago 0 replies      
For a deep dive into this watch/read http://dirtywars.org.
salaami 4 days ago 0 replies      
are we the new, improved version of hitler's nazis? or is it the corporate greed looking to maintain the military-industrial complex that is looking for targets?
snambi 4 days ago 0 replies      
whats the point of killing random people?
decryptthis_NSA 4 days ago 0 replies      
The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar who was also an American citizen but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the governments claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.

Surprised he wasn't charged, just as a formality. At least then they would have said he "refused to answer to an arrest warrant...blah blah...plan to kill Americans." Unless the matrix is playing tricks on me, he did admit to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki a lot of stuff that we call terrorism. Generally speaking, if you refuse to surrender, they can't take you in and are plotting to kill someone, the police can kill you.

But to throw a freaking bomb from 10000 feet in a cafe just to kill a person...that's a huge no-no. It just doesn't win you any friends. If it was his car, I could see it, traveling with dangerous people, is dangerous.

badmadrad 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sorry but I find it hard to empathize with a man who himself and his son Anwar have taken so much from this country in terms of education and opportunity and returned nothing but religious vitriol, anti-american rhetoric, and bloodshed.
The Forbidden Island neatorama.com
578 points by VexXtreme  3 days ago   274 comments top 48
geuis 3 days ago 10 replies      
I'm pretty late to leaving a comment, so it won't get a lot of exposure.

Let's just leave these people the fuck alone.

What threat are they under? Curious assholes like us. There are probably less than 1000 people on that island, all descended from people tens of thousands of years ago. There are more people than that that visit an Apple store on a Tuesday before 2pm.

Leave them alone.

We don't need to assuage our 10 second collective attention span by ruining their lives, destroying their history, and effectively ending a lineage thousands of years old.

These people probably have their own ideas about the weird shit washing up on their beaches and the crazy stuff in the sky that drops outsiders and food from time to time. Leave them to it. It doesn't matter what they think, no matter how curious you think you are.

Leave them alone.

For the physics-minded, think of them as a sample of humanity in Schrdinger's box. It's not a cat, but people. Except in this experiment, any direct observation will absolutely kill the people. Any exposure to disease, customs, or technology without their explicit choice will kill them. Maybe they don't physically die, but their lineage will end.

gokhan 3 days ago 2 replies      
On leaving / not leaving them alone:

"... They make it clear they want to be left alone."

"But could this be because they dont see the benefits of our way of life? If they knew, might they want to join us?"

"They wont get the chance. In reality, the future offered by the settler society is to join at the lowest possible level often as beggars and prostitutes. History proves that tribal peoples end up in a far worse state after contact, often dead."


dirktheman 3 days ago 3 replies      
Lets suppose our earth is visited by aliens. Giant extraterrestial spaceships appear. They make contact, abduct a couple of humans, some of which return with strange diseases. Oh yeah, and heaps of iPads as gifts. The people that make it back speak of a strange society, where everybody is essentially a mindless part of a big mainframe, not unlike the Borg in Star Trek.

One day, the aliens make contact. We try to fend them off, but our weapons dont seem to harm them. They explain that their intentions are good, and that by assimilating mankind, we no longer have to deal with hunger, poverty, crime, fear or even death.

You like?

Absurd, right? Yet this is probably not far from how the Sentinelese see us. They have heard from diseases they cannot fight from other tribes, they have witnessed the abductions. Why should things be different all of the sudden?

My point is: we have to stop seeing our culture or civilization as superior. In the alien analogy, becoming a Borg-like drone is probably far better in the eyes of the aliens. Why would these savage humans would want to deal with the perils of life? Why cant they see that were just here to help them?

Their culture, their world view is so far apart from ours. Do we really think that, when we show them a modern hospital, theyll think its a good idea? Do we really believe that these people would somehow benefit from things like cell phones, cars, education, healthcare? Besides, we cant show them just the good stuff. We cant NOT show them pollution, taxes, budget crises, alcoholism, child pornography or facebook.

Im sure the ones that genuinly want to help these people have good intentions. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No matter how good our intentions are, making contact is not in the best interest of these people. They dont need our view of what is civilized, and they dont need our vices and virtues. And they make it pretty clear, too.

Leave them alone.

derleth 3 days ago 8 replies      
Just think: A life without the damage wrought by modern antibiotics, dentistry, surgery, and preventative medicine! Where if you get sick with something that a week's worth of pills would clear right up, you're gonna die in pain! Paradise!

Yep, nothing quite like the Noble Savage, who has the dignity to die of something you've only heard about in old novels.

julianpye 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well, ever since the Intergalactic foundation created a no-fly zone around our solar-system in order to let us remain uncontacted, we are in a similar boat. People outside there look fondly at our antiquated technology as the good old days.
dirktheman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fascinating story, as well as the wikipedia article about uncontacted peoples. I really appreciate the Indian government for the exclusion zone, as contact with the rest of the world will probably wipe them away.

From a anthropological standpoint, this is a nice paradox. I'm sure anthropologists would LOVE to study an uncontacted tribe. Particularly this tribe, as they appear to be of African descent yet are living in the middle of the Indian ocean. Unfortunately, there is no way of studying these people without, well, 'contaminating' them.

conductr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Makes me wonder what they think of us.

Who are we? Aliens?Where are we coming from? Space?What is all this weird technology? UFOs?

They must have a story of "visitors" they tell to each generation. It started a long time ago. They came in weird boats and wore weird cloths. Over time, they would appear again and again. Different weird boats and different weird clothes every time. Sometimes they had white skin, sometimes they had brown skin, sometimes maybe even with pale skin with slanted eyes. They always looked different and weird. They always carry different weird looking weapons. Recently, they come a lot. They fly in weird boats with wings. They fly in weird boats with spinning blades.

damian2000 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read about it earlier here via this wikipedia entry ...


batbomb 3 days ago 2 replies      
Sterilize some drones and send them on in.
ColinWright 3 days ago 0 replies      
In case you're interested, here's the shipwreck:


ddeck 3 days ago 0 replies      
>It's estimated the the 28-square-mile island (slightly larger than Manhattan) is capable of supporting as many as 400 hunter-gatherers

Assuming this is accurate, I'm amazed that so much land is required to support a single individual. More so given it's an island with access to marine food sources.

snambi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, this is true. I have seen this on indian TV channels. Even indian govt doesn't go there. Somehow indian politicians are not able to bribe and corrupt the tribes. Well done tribes.
javert 2 days ago 0 replies      
A bunch of strangers all over the world conversing on the Internet about whether a primitive tribe ought to be contacted.

This really does seem like science fiction.

In comparison to them, we are like godly beings, communicating in some unfathomably high-tech way to discuss their fate.

yread 3 days ago 3 replies      
> They've never invented oars, without which they cannot leave the island.

Hmm so how did they get there?

ambuj 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is interesting too - "An expedition led by Maurice Vidal Portman, a government administrator who hoped to research the natives and their customs, accomplished a successful landing on North Sentinel Island in January 1880. The group found a network of pathways and several small, abandoned villages. After several days, six Sentinelese were captured and taken to Port Blair. They soon became sick, and two of them died. The other four were returned to the island." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sentinel_Island
__voidcast__ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow.Here is the account of one of the helicopter pilots(Captain Robert Fore) who rescued the Primrose crew...http://www.eternalidol.com/?p=8593
huherto 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is fascinating.

What about genetic diversity? With only 1000 people can they keep reproducing without long term effects? I can't believe they have been isolated for over 60,000 years.

JonSkeptic 3 days ago 0 replies      
>members of a hunter-gatherer tribe that has lived on the island for 65,000 years.

>It's estimated the the 28-square-mile island (slightly larger than Manhattan) is capable of supporting as many as 400 hunter-gatherers, but no one knows how many people live there.

Did anyone else read that and think "That is a lot of inbreeding."?

JoshGlazebrook 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely one of the most interesting things I've read in months. Had me thinking of LOST at first heh heh.
iskander 3 days ago 0 replies      
>last 65,000 years...62,000 years before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza.

A very minor nitpick, but the Giza pyramids were built around 2500BC, not 1000BC.

bevan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ironically, they could be the last ones standing if a disease sweeps the rest of the world.

On another note, it would be interesting to know what they eat, and to know the incidence of chronic disease in their culture. The results would likely be surprising: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston_Price

zenocon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Discovered this guy's flickr photostream via article, and it is amazing: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/christiancaron2000/page1/
canvia 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would there be any chance that in their isolation that different diseases evolved that the rest of the world doesn't have immunity to? It would seem to me that us wiping them out with one of our diseases isn't the only thing we should be worried about.
restlessmedia 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm thinking of the 'mind blown' meme when wondering how they would react if they knew I was sitting here, using my fingers to display a language that could be instantly available across the world.

Oh, the power.

b0rsuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder, has anyone tried visiting them naked ? At the very least, what would their reaction be ? Also, maybe sending a party of black-skinned people would accomplish something ?

As for my personal opinion, I would be most pleased if we could make enough contact to talk with them for at least 1 day, then leave them alone. To learn their beliefs and outlook of life.

billiam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stick to the comments about node and ember, guys. Your views about humanity, civilization, and anthropology make me embarrassed for you.
thecosas 3 days ago 0 replies      
Leave them alone.

They've somehow managed to stay alive through tens of thousands of years and limited interaction with us. People have approached them over decades and they have made the choice numerous times to push out the outsiders.

Despite this, I went down a rat-hole of trying to find out more about them... and then decided thats where it should end. I don't need any more information than what's already out there. Anthropologists need not find out more while risking their own safety and the survival of these people.

snake_plissken 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am curious, what methods are anthropologists using to try to date how long they have live on the island?
bedhead 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fun tidbit I read while searching for more info about these people. Evidently, some explorers sat in their boat just offshore in 1970 as some of the male warriors were on the beach. The explorers threw the men some gifts but refused to leave. How did the natives respond? Why, the women emerged from the jungle and immediately engaged in a giant orgy with the warriors, of course.

Dont mess with a good thing.

aet 3 days ago 2 replies      
If you find this interesting, you may also like:


sjay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Question: if we investigated these people, and found out that they had some 'bad' ritual practice like female circumcision or human sacrifice -- would we have a moral obligation to intervene and stop them? Or would we have a moral obligation to leave them the fuck alone?
gngeal 3 days ago 0 replies      
This was the best part:

"when an Indian Navy helicopter tried to recover them from the beach, the Sentinelese fought it off with bows and arrows"

Indian Navy should feel ashamed! :D

scdoshi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile, on other Andaman islands, there were human safaris happening. Most likely still are, but you probably have to grease some palms.


smountcastle 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is anyone able to find the wreck of the Primrose on Google Maps satellite image? I've looked around the perimeter of the island but cannot see it -- did the Indian government clean it up?
alexvr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they have evolved differently. Is 65,000 years enough time for any significant change given their circumstances?
peterclary 3 days ago 0 replies      
I knew there had to be a Control Group somewhere...
Friedduck 3 days ago 0 replies      
The naivete of anyone who thinks introducing a 65k year-old culture to modern society is truly, truly impressive. Imagine what it would take to achieve a perfect (as evidenced by the span of time) equilibrium with your environment.

We through around the word sustainable pretty readily these days, but this is the real thing. These people have achieved a sustainable existence unlike any other.

mariuolo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Leave them alone, or find a way to study them without their knowledge.
ExpiredLink 3 days ago 0 replies      
Site was ycombinatored. Down now.
lechevalierd3on 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can't find anything on the inbreeding.From what I've read somewhere an animal species need at very least 200, or so, specimen to survive.There are guessed to be between 40 and 400.
tiatia 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would be a nice idea to just get rid of the few bozos there and open your own nice little kingdom. Maybe develop a tax heaven and vacation destination.
maerek 3 days ago 0 replies      
Prime Directive.
ZanyProgrammer 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see some actual evidence for that 65,000 year old claim. It doesn't pass the paleoanthropological smell test.
adamwong246 3 days ago 0 replies      
Prime Directive, folks. Respect it!
malkia 3 days ago 1 reply      
"62,000 years before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza" - this is probably mistake.
adriancooney 3 days ago 0 replies      
Project Loon's target audience.
joering2 3 days ago 3 replies      
as one of the comments from the article points out to google map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=North+Sentinel+Island&ll=11.5...

looking at this island (looks huge!), am I the only one who feel so sick and tired of what the US government does to its people and our land, that I want to fill up my jetski and just head that way? Only if the tank was large enough...

Edit: zoom out on the island.. and think about this: somewhere under the green down there there are living people like me and you that do not know what internet is... or cell phones.. or ipads.. cable TV... anything..

dgbsco 3 days ago 0 replies      
Send in the robots.
Hacker News Folks Get Long Overdue Thanks linuxlock.blogspot.sg
539 points by reactor  2 days ago   137 comments top 18
mixmax 2 days ago 4 replies      
While this is a great and heartbreaking story that makes me proud to be an active member of HN it's also a symptom of the totally broken US healthcare system.

From wikipedia:

The United States life expectancy of 78.4 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990, ranks it 50th among 221 nations, and 27th out of the 34 industrialized OECD countries, down from 20th in 1990. Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest or near-highest prevalence of infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and disability. Together, such issues place the U.S. at the bottom of the list for life expectancy. On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.9%), than any other nation in 2011. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among similar countries, and notes U.S. care costs the most.


nwenzel 2 days ago 5 replies      
Great story of compassion and triumph. So... How do we make it scale?

Is it mandatory insurance? Insurance doesn't make everything affordable, but it probably wild have been helpful. Though maybe the co-pay would have been $50k.

Universal tax-payer funded insurance? The term "tax payer" is interesting because politicians and pundits forget that we're all tax payers in one form or another. Granted some pay more, some are net consumers of govt services. But tax payers mean us, and those with more earned income more than those with less. I think the main difference between taxes and donation is choice.

Single-payer or government provided healthcare? Pretty sure that no one would identify the government as the picture perfect example of efficiency. Plus, putting elected officials or their appointees in charge of handing out goods and services doesnt seem to be sustainable. Not that putting profit seeking entities in charge has yielded the ideal result.

Making drug providers, healthcare providers and everyone else in that supply chain non-profit? Profit has enormous motivational powers. Not always for good. But it is pretty amazing what can be accomplished by organizations setup to create wealth.

Big Data? Sorry, I couldn't resist. Well, lets use that as a proxy for innovation. It would seem that greater opportunity for innovation would help. Lower barriers to trying new drugs, procedures, diet, treatments would allow for potentially lower cost solutions to be created.

Separating health care from your job? Of your insurer only needs you to be healthy until you find a new job, there's not much in incentive for long-term healthcare and preventative screenings to identify tumors and other problems before they become an expensive problem. Though that would seem to be an arguement in favor of a single payer system.

Sorry, I don't have an answer. Hopefully, great stories like the OP continue. But if we don't make it scale then we haven't really done all we possibly can do.

jaggederest 2 days ago 1 reply      
The real thanks goes to the oncologists. I'm pretty sure they would have shrugged off the monetary losses to save a life.
twstws 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is truly a wonderful story. But it makes you wonder how many others in a similar situation weren't so fortunate.

I lived in the US for two years, and I never understood the aversion to government healthcare. The Canadian system is far from perfect, and I know there are failures. But it's still a lot better than soliciting for online charity on a case by case basis.

I'm impressed and humbled that it worked in this case. Just a little disturbed that it was necessary at all.

shinratdr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nobody is turning this into a political issue. This IS a political issue. The only people who argue otherwise are Americans that selfishly support the current system in their country.

Well bully for them. If they want people to stop "politicizing" issues that are entirely the result of the political game they play, then maybe they should stop being so selfish when a story like this comes up and some poor American has to pass around a hat so he can continue to live.

The minor inconvenience of ruining some feel-good story for you is nothing compared to the blind eye you choose to turn in regards to everyone out there who has the exact same problems but doesn't have HN to turn to to fund their treatment. One is barely an issue, the other is a travesty that you can help to change.

Expect this to come up every time until it's no longer needed.

foobarbazqux 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's great that people here helped him out and that a life was saved, but it's also sad that some US citizens - in this case a veteran - have to beg for healthcare.
p4bl0 2 days ago 1 reply      
This story makes me glad to live in France and have such a good healthcare system.
relaunched 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember when this story was first posted. It's not often in life that someone gets a happy ending. It's a moment we can all revel in.
mathattack 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow - that a tear jerker that's hard to respond to. Glad to hear he is well!
barking 2 days ago 0 replies      
HN : 1 USA health system : 0
dmak 2 days ago 0 replies      
I honestly thought this was going to be a SEO success story when I saw the white hat vs black hat picture.
zhemao 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's with all the extra periods in the title?
sgt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done to HN. You cared.
gojomo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any link to the original thread?
kenshiro_o 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am very happy for you! It's amazing what a community can do when its focus is directed towards a single goal.
WasimBhai 2 days ago 6 replies      
I have often wondered given the kind of cost involved in good health care in USA, along with college fees, why don't more Americans move to Europe for health care and education where it is probably free most of the time?

P.S.: I am from Pakistan.

denzil_correa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Feels good to be part of such a community.
wozniacki 2 days ago 0 replies      
Often the least mentioned and discussed approach to solving the healthcare morass is the customer driver model of healthcare.

David Goldhill is the author of Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father--and How We Can Fix It

He advocates restricting the insurance system gradually and phasing out eventually, to increase accountability and vastly improve delivery standards.

His father was afflicted by a series of hospital infections that compounded his condition and eventually killed him.

When admitted in hospitals, he was thrice subjected to medical procedures that were meant for other people.

This Atlantic article is eminently readable.

How American Health Care Killed My Father





Riding the New Silk Road nytimes.com
461 points by pak  1 day ago   149 comments top 32
btilly 1 day ago 9 replies      
Time to trot out trivia. As the article points out, the Silk Road faded in importance in the 1400s. But it doesn't say why.

There were three major reasons why it faded.

The first was the final fall of Constantinople in 1453, ending the last remnant of the original Roman Empire. This made trade with Europe harder.

The second was the development, initially by the Portuguese but followed by others, of direct sea routes to India, and then China, which bypassed the much more expensive land routes.

The third was the opening up of the Americas as potential sources of commodities.

The result was a long-term economic and military decline of areas like the Middle East. The extent of which was not realized by the West until Napoleon conquered Egypt.

haberman 1 day ago 6 replies      
Wow, the presentation of the photos really made an impression on me -- it's just like Harry Potter. It's amazing that even after almost 10 years of YouTube, having video presented to you in a slightly different way can give you a feeling that you're experiencing the future.
kiba 1 day ago 5 replies      
Did anybody thought of the black market site "silk road" rather than the actual Silk Road before clicking on the link?
jowiar 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a pretty sweet/different use of D3. If you poke through the source, you end up with this file:


In addition, d3's scales are used to set up the variable-rate scrolling (see kazak.interaction.scroll function).

dclusin 1 day ago 6 replies      
It seems to me like we're finally witnessing the birth of a 21st century news paper. The New York times has always been well regarded for it's journalism. Now we're starting to see what can be accomplished when a credible journalism outfit is complemented by equally credible digital designers.
xal 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, the new york times is doing some incredible work. They are really moving the web forward.
cm2012 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wow, I really wanted that to continue the path all the way to Europe. Really just a treat to use. The smoothness of the "gif-like" images just smashes typical video in my mind.
cocoflunchy 1 day ago 8 replies      
It's great to try new formats, but the experience is completely broken on my now-slightly-aging Windows laptop. I wish web developer/designers would test their pages on regular hardware instead of 27" iMacs or rMPB...

The scrolling is horribly lagging, and the gifs/videos are all black:



adamnemecek 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is the first time I've seen gif-like videos used in a news article.
pcl 22 hours ago 1 reply      
7000 miles in 18 days is 16 miles per hour on average. The article mentions that the trains move at 50mph, but doesn't say if that's the max speed. But regardless, even if we assume 40mph average, that's a lot of time sitting around not moving at all. I wonder where that time is spent, and how much more of it can be removed from the process. It's presumably largely customs checks, which seems like a straightforward problem to optimize.
rlt3 1 day ago 2 replies      
The presentation for this was incredible.
Ellipsis753 1 day ago 3 replies      
I actually disliked this page design.The image and text always faded to black before it went off the top of the screen. I am in the habit of moving text to the top of the screen to read it. It kept vanishing as I did so meaning I'd have to move the text I wanted to read down to the middle of the screen.

Did this not happen to anyone else?

dmazin 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is pretty much how the future of photojournalism was imagined. The only difference is that it's not on magical video paper, which isn't that far away anyway.
zrail 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want more! Why is it just one section!?
pmorici 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's a nice design but the article seems like a puff piece to me. Is this really the future of newspapers? Nice graphics combined with a folksy story about transportation trends in the shipping industry?
guard-of-terra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought this route was financially impossible. Looks like I'm proven wrong.
ww520 17 hours ago 0 replies      
OT: Nice article and nice pictures, but hijacking the up/down arrow keys is a really bad UI design. You don't know what are all the screen sizes out there and changing the behavior of the up/down arrow keys make viewing the pictures very frustrating on a smaller screen computers.
Fice 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great use of HTML5 video! These clips are in WebM, what is shown in browsers that don't support it?
WasimBhai 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pakistan and China are also planning a railway network between China's eastern provinces and sea port in Karachi. Coupled with the above, this can create rail routes between the Europe, east and the far east, i.e., India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore. Amazing.
NKCSS 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad the video's are very glitchy here on Chrome; black screens, having to scroll up and down various times before something loads; the snow article a while back was a lot better technically.
EGreg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought they were writing an article on the Tor-hidden network that is home to tons of black market transactions
runn1ng 1 day ago 0 replies      
...and I was expecting an article about buying drugs through BitCoins. Oh well.
lnanek2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good job NYTimes designing another high quality story site. This is what the coder community should have made instead of an exact clone of the last one that caused so much trouble.
cclogg 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting seeing all of the random things that North American companies do around the world that we (in general) have no idea about.
hippich 1 day ago 2 replies      
I see mentions of security, but from pictures it is just few men without any (visible) weapon most of the time. Even given these men, i believe on a so long distance, there are many desert places, where nobody is present.

Question - how such a valuable shipments protected against someone, who will try to disconnect few cars, crack open 'em and steal all these laptops on trucks?

dirktheman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was suspecting a story, well, the other Silk Road. I was pleasantly surprised by both the journalistic value of the piece and the excellent presentation. I'm on an iPad, and the images and scrolling map worked flawlessly. Superb!
jamesdelaneyie 1 day ago 1 reply      
That soviet train tracking system looks beautiful. Wouldn't mind that on the wall of my office.
D9u 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the book "Danziger's Travels."


joshfraser 1 day ago 0 replies      
I appreciated the keyboard shortcuts to jump through the pictures. Loved the attention to detail here.
josephpmay 1 day ago 5 replies      
This may look great on the desktop, but its pretty horrible on mobile.
niico 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, now thats taking journalism to a whole other level.
DaniFong 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fuck Off As A Service (FOAAS) foaas.com
458 points by choult  3 days ago   105 comments top 42
binarymax 3 days ago 3 replies      
Feature request:

returns ':name, Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch! - :from'

e.g. /shakespeare/Falstaff/Prince%20Henry returns 'Falstaff, Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch! - Prince Henry'

16s 3 days ago 2 replies      
Telnet is simpler... I call this my random insult service and it can run on any TCP port. It's not as rude as saying "Fuck Off" as it is meant to be humorous and is intended for all the script-kiddie port scanners out there:


dasil003 3 days ago 3 replies      
Cute. But now you're on the hook to maintain it, and I can already see the abuse you'll have to take from your target demographic whenever this goes down.
maaaats 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Not Written in Mozart.

I thought they were talking about this mozart programming system: http://www.mozart-oz.org/And thought to myself "who would ever write anything big in that"?

JonSkeptic 3 days ago 0 replies      
Name collision!

I've been telling people to do me a service and fuck off for years!

lotsofcows 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think there's an extraneous parameter in /this/:from Oh, and minor niggle, you haven't replaced :from in the final three examples.

Also, please can you add localisation? The word "donut" makes me feel physically sick. http://foaas.com/you/%22donuts%22/lotsofcows

akadien 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic. It's the best thing since StarLogs (http://starlogs.net/#johnzachary/libcork)
toyg 3 days ago 1 reply      
Italians (well, many of them) can use this localised version, "SAAS: Soccmel As A Service": http://soccmel.taldeg.me/
ianstallings 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm too old for this shit.
MattBearman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Legendary! Always good to have an early afternoon laugh :) I shall be spreading this forthwith!
wilhil 3 days ago 0 replies      
And this has much better documentation than many APIs I have to use!
nicholassmith 3 days ago 0 replies      
They should put the source up somewhere, I'd love to see what the filthy minds of the hacker community could add on.
squid_ca 3 days ago 1 reply      
For the ultimate "fuck you", this should be written to use SOAP.
Jd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Didn't zedshaw already design something like this? Where is he when you need him?
Torn 3 days ago 0 replies      
So you're ignoring customers in other countries because you can't communicate with them? Why are you not immediately hiring a native speaker/coder to expand your market there?

Or is it an IP protection issue in that you've found that certain countries (China?) will steal your evaluation code and run with it?

jedahan 3 days ago 1 reply      
I made a few cruder services like this at my old job:


They are both running on heroku and slow as hell. Pull requests (http://github.com/jedahan) or better free hosts are welcome, but I get like 50 visits a year so whatevers.

We used in in chat rooms when management was being dumb, mostly.

devgutt 3 days ago 2 replies      
This should use POST instead of GET, because you are proposing an action.
tehwebguy 3 days ago 1 reply      
License? Can't use this without one.
jjsz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I thought this was going to be a list of all the services who can fuck off, like AT&T and Time Warner Cable, with an API to either: launch a DDoS attack at them, formally fuck them off by sending them a letter or a proper complaint to the correct address, while connecting your social media accounts with the correct hashtags- updating your status. Telling actual _people_ to fuck off caught me off guard...then I got the joke of applying an API to everything, especially if it's easier to do it in person...You should add mailing real letters if enough people request the service.
hk__2 3 days ago 0 replies      
They published the code : https://github.com/xenph/foaas
peterkelly 3 days ago 0 replies      
Man, I'd love to see what would happen if you submitted this as a student project for a class on web services
dcuthbertson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nicely done. It needs:

returns 'Fuck you very much. - :from.'

zipppy 3 days ago 1 reply      
My one feature request would be to have the word proceeding 'fuck' as an argument:

/:thing/:fromWill return content of the form 'Fuck :thing. -:from' e.g. /SaaS/Foaas will return 'Fuck SaaS. -Foaas'

hughdbrown 3 days ago 1 reply      
Feature request

returns 'F*ck me gently with a chainsaw, :name. Do I look like Mother Teresa?' - :from

kfk 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think you should include hashed urls. You can guess the content of the link from the url.
gadders 3 days ago 0 replies      
Feature request:


"Fuck this for a game of soldiers" - :from

kiplinger 3 days ago 0 replies      
How usefully useless
andyidsinga 3 days ago 0 replies      

returns fo text overlaid on image

leviself 3 days ago 0 replies      
Really like the site.

Feature request: Shortened URL so the surprise isn't given away.

rullopat 3 days ago 0 replies      
So, GMail filters other people spam and put their own paid spam directly on inbox. Brilliant!
uKV6kWT3 3 days ago 0 replies      
Are code contributions welcome? If so, is there a repository I can send a patch to?
joeblau 3 days ago 0 replies      
LMAO. I just burst out laughing so hard. Why is this platform not open source :)?
jhh 3 days ago 0 replies      
when I need to be told to fuck off I just read the AGPL.
ruttiger 3 days ago 0 replies      
This was inevitable.
abdel 3 days ago 0 replies      
i like the roadmap
sushaantmujoo 3 days ago 0 replies      
new http 403 msg
MrBra 3 days ago 0 replies      
way to go :)
piqufoh 3 days ago 0 replies      
I fucking love this.
3pt14159 3 days ago 6 replies      
This isn't Hacker News material.
Effeckt.css h5bp.github.io
452 points by apunic  4 days ago   94 comments top 41
paulirish 4 days ago 0 replies      
A little bit of background on Effeckt: The idea is we need reusable transitions and animations [0], all classy but most importantly they must perform well on mobile. The project is still very much a WIP, and as some comments below indicate, there are still janky interactions that are unacceptable. We're looking at integrating something like Topcoat's Benchmark server [1] to have CI setup for CSS performance regression testing. Identify and improve (or cull) any effects that are inappropriately slow.

The project started over on lazyweb-requests [2] and Chris Coyier has led development of the project from early on. It's a very open and community-driven project, so there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved and move things. Lastly, the readme [3] helps explain a lot of the goals and ideas of the project.

[0] http://youtu.be/Qc40YDFA4Bg

[1] http://bench.topcoat.io/

[2] https://github.com/h5bp/lazyweb-requests/issues/122

[3] https://github.com/h5bp/Effeckt.css#readme

dclowd9901 4 days ago 1 reply      
Since none of the comments here are outright positive, let me be the first to say 'holy shit, dat Make Way! modal transition!'

I love open source.

ChikkaChiChi 4 days ago 0 replies      
I understand that this sort of thing isn't for everyone, but the level of trolling negativity in this thread is on par with Slashdot.

If you are somehow disappointed that clicking on a link to something that defines itself as CSS Effects (it's there in the name) and you ended up on a page with CSS animations...you are a clod.

gtaylor 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks neat, but some of these animations run pretty slow on my i7 running Chromium on Linux. I've got an Radeon 5870 with proprietary drivers, and I understand that Chromium's acceleration situation is weird, but I guess I was discouraged to see it struggle.
tnash 4 days ago 4 replies      
Is the modal text really blurry for anyone else, or am I going insane?
dhotson 4 days ago 6 replies      
Very cool!

I've been playing around with an animation concept for submitting a note: http://dhotson.github.io/envelope/ .. is it too much? :-)

egonschiele 4 days ago 0 replies      
The placeholder images you use for captions are getting scaled up so they look very blurry for me. Might be better to get bigger images and have them scale down? placehold.it also allows you to specify your own text there by passing in the `text` parameter.

This library looks great!

Kiro 4 days ago 1 reply      
It says it's performant but for me it's laggy compared to http://tympanus.net/Development/ModalWindowEffects/

Why is that?

jarek 4 days ago 1 reply      
And here I just want stuff to happen fast
eob 4 days ago 2 replies      
Very cool!

Side comment: one problem with modern web apps is JavaScript bloat. And one pressure on libraries is to keep growing. These two things seem to be at odds. It would be nice if someone created some kind of { CSS, js, HTML } build system that allows components to be built and packages separately.

eterpstra 4 days ago 1 reply      
From the site:

"Ever notice how small flourishes and subtle transitions dramatically increases the value of the experience you enjoy with an app or site?"

I agree that a very slight fade or slide can help reduce the jarring effect of a contextual transition (such as the appearance of a modal, or a menu), but what value is added by the not-so-subtle effects like the 3D transforms (that incidentally cripple mobile devices and older browsers)?

bsaul 4 days ago 1 reply      
I love the blur behind modal. On my Chrome the blur effect starts after the modal is displayed. I suggest that you make it progressive, inside the same animation as the background turning to gray (not sure it's possible though).
mrinterweb 4 days ago 0 replies      
Performance was not quite on par with other CSS3 animations I have seen on my Nexus 4. I think part of the perceived performance issue may have been the artificial 300ms delay android adds after press/click.
drawkbox 4 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder if this is part of stroll.js or inspired by or vice versa: https://github.com/hakimel/stroll.js demo page: http://lab.hakim.se/scroll-effects/ hakim.se has lots of cool stuff like that.
tehwebguy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Navigation: Left Push is the best CSS "drawer" I've seen on iOS so far. It's choppy coming in but perfect going back out on this page.

Do you think it has to do with the number of elements on the content page? I'll make another demo to test it out later, just on my phone now.

RodericDay 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Ever notice how small flourishes and subtle transitions dramatically increases the value of the experience you enjoy with an app or site?"


lifeformed 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Scroll effects were a little too distracting for me, but the rest were pretty cool!
emehrkay 4 days ago 1 reply      
The modals barely work in chrome on this HTC one. However, everything works beautifullyon an iPhone 4s. When will mobile chrome catch up?
kbrackbill 4 days ago 3 replies      
Everything is smooth and looks great in Chromium, but the whole page is sluggish in Firefox (on linux at least, and usually firefox on windows is worse).

This has been generally true in my experience playing with CSS animations. Are there any tricks to optimize stuff like this in Firefox, or is it just an area where Chromium is still way far ahead in performance?

ArekDymalski 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. As a form of thank you let me share a glitch which I noticed on latest Chrome in Windows 8 http://i.imgur.com/bRHRBK6.jpg As you can see there are no scrollbars for the lists and weird artifact is visible on the middle list. This doesn't happen on IE 10. Also,some of the effects start with a noticeable delay (but work smoothly).
kaushikt 4 days ago 1 reply      
The scroll effects reminds me of Stroll.js http://lab.hakim.se/scroll-effects/

Amazing work you guys. Fork - Contribute

kayoone 4 days ago 1 reply      
great stuff, sadly its almost unusable on mobile (tested with a quadcore HTC One).
PhilipA 4 days ago 4 replies      
It runs a bit slow on my iPhone 4S, especially the list effects. Are anyone else experiencing lag on their mobile phones as well?
arms 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice. I was looking for something similar to this a couple of days ago. This will fit the bill nicely :)
jv22222 3 days ago 0 replies      
animate.css has been around for quite some time and is also very impressive: http://daneden.me/animate/
tsenkov 4 days ago 1 reply      
Great job. What is the licensing on Effekt.css? (I couldn't find it in the repo or the demo page)
hardwaresofton 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is the most awesome thing I have seen today. Instantly shared with some of my comrades in web arms.

Keep up the awesome work

fmax30 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Library seems awesome , but the off screen navigation bar feels a little jerky when turned on.
GoldfishCRM 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hakim you the man. An other great swedish developer delivers.
airencracken 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ugh. It's like people decided the solution to crappy flash, was to make stupid flash stuff native in the browser.
shaydoc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Really well done on this, the power of open source is unreal.....
spinachthrow 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or is this kinda blurry?

Pretty dope though, that from top=>tilt fall was pretty exciting

novaleaf 3 days ago 0 replies      
doesn't work with ie8 or below,

looks like it could with some tweaking though.

anuragramdasan 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool. Makes the prototype web page design easier for the back-end developer.
cdhack 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks great, smooth to use, attractive 3D view. Can't wait to try it out!
be5invis 4 days ago 0 replies      
Tested on IEXWorks well

(unlike zepto, which uses the evil __proto__)

RoryH 4 days ago 1 reply      
for ROFL's and LOL's open the page in IE8
BaconJuice 4 days ago 1 reply      
no love for IE8? :( Saved anyways, Thanks for the great share!
it_learnses 4 days ago 1 reply      
sorry if this sounds stupid, but are all the effects done using only CSS?
joelle 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is so dang cool! I love it :-)
ronaldsvilcins 4 days ago 0 replies      
Love it!
Trinity College experiment succeeds after 69 years rte.ie
377 points by duggieawesome  4 days ago   115 comments top 32
robomartin 4 days ago 4 replies      
The first thought that popped into my punny little brain was: Why didn't they use a centrifuge to accelerate results?

The one variable that could be controlled is the gravitational force on the substance. If we were on the moon the experiment, as designed, would take far longer to produce a drop. By using a centrifuge they could have easily simulated significantly greater gravitational forces and arrived at a result much sooner.


The Queensland experiment data says that it takes about 13 years for a drop to form and fall [1]. You'd need less than 5,000 g's to make it happen within a day or about 160 g's to get results in 30 days.

[1] http://www.nature.com/news/world-s-slowest-moving-drop-caugh...

peterkelly 4 days ago 3 replies      
I bet the grad student involved is celebrating now that they can finally submit their thesis
chm 4 days ago 2 replies      
"The experiment was begun by a colleague of Nobel Prize winner Ernest Walton in the physics department of Trinity in 1944."

Am I the only one who finds this insulting? They could at least name the guy!!!

kfury 4 days ago 0 replies      
People have waited through so many failed attempts to record the drop that nobody wants to mention that they didn't 'really' record an unassisted drop. The bead is still connected when it hits bottom, and the tail doesn't break until they raised up the suspended platform.

Check the video and notice that the suspended vessel jumps about 2 inches higher just after the drop.

It's a good recording, but I'm looking forward to a better one in 2026.

throwit1979 4 days ago 3 replies      
Um, not to take away from the achievement of the result, but couldn't this result have been obtained in much less time with higher force than 1G in, say, a centrifuge?
duggieawesome 4 days ago 1 reply      
It should be noted that this experiment is different than the Queensland experiment, which is still going on.


jkn 4 days ago 2 replies      
While I'm fond of this type of down-to-earth experiments, I'm curious about the scientific value of waiting for decades to observe the drop falling due to Earth's gravity, versus placing the apparatus in a centrifuge, which I imagine would dramatically accelerate the process. Maybe the higher forces would affect the way the drop is formed, in a way that was deemed undesirable?
elmuchoprez 4 days ago 2 replies      
"Over several decades a number of drips did form in the funnel and fall into the jar, giving credence to the hypothesis that pitch is indeed viscous."

It sounds like the experiment, as designed, reached a conclusion in far less time than 69 years. It just took 69 years for someone to think about video taping it.

finnh 4 days ago 1 reply      
I call shenanigans. In the time-lapse, the funnel "jumps" upward right when the drop falls (0:56). Unless the funnel's mounted on a spring (?), this is a clear indication that somebody interfered with the drip. I declare this video null and void!

...or maybe the video camera just got jostled when all scientists started dancing around in their glee =)

Peroni 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think (hope) it's worth noting the location of this experiment. Trinity College, and the Irish in general, tend to gravitate towards romanticised notions. Even our scientists.

It honestly wouldn't surprise me in the least if the experiment was initiated knowing full well it would take decades to complete but they went ahead anyway 'for the craic'.

tragomaskhalos 4 days ago 0 replies      
My favourite thing about this story is the various times that this and similar experiments around the world missed capturing the actual drip due to various glitches and snafus; imagine the howl of anguish of the researcher coming in one morning to find that yes something has finally happened after all these years, only to discover that some doofus had left the lens cap on ....
shabble 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Beal seed viability experiment[1] has been running for 120+ years, and iirc they keep increasing the interval between trials because there are only so many seeds stored, and so far they haven't had a significant failure in germinating and growing them.

[1] http://www.amjbot.org/content/89/8/1285.full

ryen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Have they analyzed the dripped substance? My first thought is that it could be from condensation formed on the pitch over a large amount of time due to temperature gradients.
matt1 4 days ago 1 reply      
For a bit more background on the history of this experiment and why the previous drips were missed, check out this recent Radiolab podcast:


morb 4 days ago 0 replies      
Radiolab had an interesting segment about the Pitch Drop Experiment, interesting to listen: http://www.radiolab.org/2013/feb/05/never-quite-now/
wooptoo 4 days ago 1 reply      
The title is misleading. The experiment did succeed before, it just hasn't been captured on camera.
ISL 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you wanted to do this experiment with reasonable statistics, it's quite amenable to parallelization. Pitch is cheap, funnels are cheap, dusty basement shelves are (potentially) cheap, and webcams are inexpensive. Doing ~300 of these in parallel wouldn't be hard, and would allow considerable investigation of systematic effects.

Decade-scale experiments aren't hard, but they do require planning.

carlsednaoui 4 days ago 0 replies      
Heard about this the Pitch Drop Experiment on Radiolab couple weeks ago. Very interesting episode: http://www.radiolab.org/2013/feb/05/never-quite-now/

"...the Pitch Drop Experiment is so slow, you can watch it for hours (check out the live cam) and not detect the slightest movement. But that doesn't mean nothing's happening. Professor John Mainstone tells us about his desperate attempts to catch the flashes of action hiding inside this decades-long experiment."

user24 4 days ago 5 replies      
I sort of take issue with "experiment succeeds". You don't (shouldn't) set up an experiment to prove or disprove something, merely to discover.

I'm sure the issue, if indeed there is one, is with the reporting not the scientists though.

defective 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think, after a few missed drops, that I might have added a backup camera.
adjustafresh 4 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone else reminded of those old Heinz Ketchup ads...Anticipation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoLoyg3JKRQ
codezero 4 days ago 0 replies      
Science has been confirming results for a long time without the aide of video proof. This sounds like fluff. It's cool fluff, but it's pretty ridiculous to assert that the theory couldn't be proven without video proof.
aarondf 4 days ago 0 replies      
That pitch was a little thick and quite slow. 6/10.
dokem 4 days ago 1 reply      
why did the pitch have to drip? Isn't the fact that a drip was forming proof that the pitch was flowing?
thehme 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is really cool. I only wish we knew the name of the "colleague of Nobel Prize winner Ernest Walton", so he can get credit for this.
mathattack 4 days ago 0 replies      
There couldn't have been an easier way to test this?
juice13 4 days ago 0 replies      
What's up with one sentance per paragraph? Feels like reading the simple wikipedia.
adamrneary 4 days ago 0 replies      
"...the scientific value was questionable..."
marco-fiset 4 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one to think that this is pretty boring?
cupofjoakim 4 days ago 3 replies      
Dude, I'm finding this hilarious. 69 years to prove that something is a fluid? I picture two really old scientists watching the tape, only to have one of the old geezers turning to the other to spill the sacred words: "Told you so".
Show HN: Floobits Remote pair programming done right floobits.com
356 points by ggreer  4 days ago   134 comments top 51
ggreer 4 days ago 3 replies      
If anyone's curious, a long time ago I wrote about why I chose to make this: http://geoff.greer.fm/2012/10/19/cross-editor-real-time-coll...

I didn't realize it would be as hard as it's been. Operational transformation is hard. Persistent network connections in editor plugins are hard. OT + network connections in editor plugins is comically hard.

yesimahuman 4 days ago 2 replies      
Looks great, going to try it out. Some feedback: it seems I was able to do a private session on the free plan, but the error message indicates I've used 1 out of 0 private sessions.

I think it's important to be able to trial the private session. As I am doing work for my company, I don't want anyone else looking at the work, but I want to try out the product on something real.

danso 4 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool idea, trying it out right now. I have one caveat though...I get that there's a distinction of "public" and "private", with the latter being reserved for free accounts. But I don't know what "public" actually means...I'm assuming that at minimum, it means that anyone who guesses a URL of my workspace can join in on the fun. But how do other users discover new workspaces? Is there an "Explore" endpoint similar to Github's, where people can just see what others are doing in public?
sgrove 4 days ago 1 reply      
Been watching this for awhile, it's what we've wanted for years now (we thought about building this as dev offering for Bushido's platform).

Finally giving it a go in emacs, I just get a Floobits buffer that continually spits out "floobits agent says: ... select(): No socket." non-stop.

Edit: Trying it again a second time seems to have worked. Temporary bug, or pebkac perhaps?

gleb 4 days ago 2 replies      
Very neat. Quick patch to make (require 'floobits) work:

  diff --git a/floobits.el b/floobits.el  index 5f05d33..029e6bd 100644  --- a/floobits.el  +++ b/floobits.el  @@ -451,3 +451,5 @@ See floobits-share-dir to create one or visit floobits.com."           (cons 'added added-text)           (cons 'deleted deleted))))           (floobits-send-to-agent req 'buffer_list_change)))))  +  +(provide 'floobits)

plg 4 days ago 3 replies      
Why does it have to be organized around a centralized server requiring user accounts? Why not make it peer to peer instead? Haven't we learned our lesson?
thom 4 days ago 1 reply      
So does this support emacs on one side, vim on the other? If so, thank you, you're awesome.
agentultra 4 days ago 0 replies      
Glad to see more people experimenting in this space!

Currently I'm using sqwiggle + screenhero and it'd be killer if they could somehow have a baby together.

Screenhero allows me to share my emacs (or any window). Works like a charm.

MichaelGG 4 days ago 1 reply      
When joining the hn_feedback, the edit button seems to fail:

  discarding because event origin is   Object ?follow=1:62  Connecting to https://floobits.com:8448/ ...   b8cb474e2761.js:427  Joining workspace Floobits / hn_feedback   b8cb474e2761.js:445  room_info   Object   b8cb474e2761.js:4535  Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property 'path' of null   b8cb474e2761.js:205  (anonymous function) b8cb474e2761.js:205  x.event.dispatch jquery-2.0.3.min.js:3  y.handle jquery-2.0.3.min.js:3
Chrome on Windows 7. Seems like none of the buttons (like delete) work, either. I don't see any activity other than people in the chatroom. Just a black center screen.

jalopy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Holy cow this is an awesome concept. Haven't tried it yet, but if it works it's completely transformative. Can be used as a teaching tool for anything - not just for pair programming.

Very, very cool! Thank you for charging money so you can build a real business and keep improving on it.

Please, please work with the JetBrains folks to integrate w/their suite of products? Please?!

lsiebert 4 days ago 2 replies      
I like that you have free organization plans, but I think you need some sort of intermediate option for a classroom type environment and student groups. The ability to a teacher or TA pair program, or set up students to work in small groups on a semester long project would be awesome.

However A 12 week class with 30 students is 1.5k, if I am understanding how your plans work correctly, and I don't see that happening. Given that it's less likely to be always on programming when it's students and teachers, I think a significant deduction would be reasonable.

Alternatively, you could spin off a classroom focused version.

Maybe something that will need to wait for when you are more profitable, but if you get people used to your service as a student, they will carry it with them.

swalsh 4 days ago 1 reply      
I had this idea a while ago, Notch was having one of his programming live streams. I thought, man what if instead of us just watching this guy write code we could all be working on it at the same time.

I don't know how well it would work, but it would be cool to use a platform like this to try it. Maybe some open source app. It would be like an Amish barn raisin'

kansface 4 days ago 2 replies      
As an experiment, this room is publicly writable- let us know what you think.

edit: I'm taking down this link as we are completely crushed- I suppose getting DOSed by our own users is the best way to go down.

daurnimator 4 days ago 2 replies      
Trying to install in sublime I see:

Package Control: Error downloading package. URL error unknown url type: https downloading http://github.com/Floobits/floobits-sublime/archive/0.17.5.z....

meowface 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is surprisingly cool.

With some more polish, this could become a real wave-maker.

You could consider making it a bit more of a "freemium" model. Something like allowing users to set up 1-2 private coding collaborations for free, but without any version control, terminal-sharing, or the other bells and whistles.

garlandbinns 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Geoff and Matt! Geoff, I randomly bumped into you on Freenode a couple of months back and chatted w/ you briefly and you were telling me about this. So happy for you all to see this on HN getting such great feedback. Nice job working hard and making it happen! :)
parennoob 4 days ago 1 reply      
I went to 'Sign in with Github', and got:

"Sorry, but an error made this operation impossible."

Is this feature not enabled here, or is the site slashdotted?

StavrosK 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hey, this is pretty interesting. One feature request: Do you think you could add Mozilla Persona for authentication? I don't like yet another u/p, and that Github permissions screen left me a bit uneasy (although I didn't see anything untoward).
jivid 4 days ago 1 reply      
This looks great, good job! A couple of things:

1. I renamed the default FLOOBITS_README.md to teach.py, but the path at the top of the page still showed the README filename. teach.py showed up in the left nav, so I don't really know what was going on there.

2. When I was loading one of the workspaces under https://floobits.com/u/ggreer, clicking on the files in the left nav took really long to load, about 8-10 seconds. I almost thought that all the files were blank at first and were there just to show the nested directory structure.

Apart from that, I think this is really cool! I'm definitely going to be using it over the next few days.

cheesylard 4 days ago 5 replies      
So um..... call me ignorant, but how is this any different from:

person 1:

    screen -t "foo"
person 2:

    ssh person1@blahblah.com    screen -x "foo"

aantix 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hopefully they will create a plugin for RubyMine. Not sure, but maybe if they create a plugin for IntelliJ, they'd cover the entire family of Jetbrains editors? (IntelliJ, Rubymine PyCharm, PhpStorm)?
tommoor 4 days ago 0 replies      
Really interesting idea guys, looking forward to giving it a try. If you're in San Francisco i'd love to hook up and talk remote collaboration :-)
cpolis 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is a fantastic idea and I'm really excited to start using this - I wanted to develop this kind of program for a while.

This is my use case:I work with designers who are hesitant to use git and make changes really quick and test them on a live WP or similar site. Often times we have two or three people needing to edit a single css file and everyone has to open/close the file often to not overwrite the changes of others. Maybe there is a better workflow, but a collaborative editing tool like this will go a long way in streamlining this process.

jhartikainen 4 days ago 2 replies      
Looks interesting, but I get the feeling using something like ScreenHero would work better. I've used ScreenHero for sort-of pair programming and it works extremely well + it's not limited to editors.
ThomPete 4 days ago 0 replies      
So this could potentially become a pair programming tool that would allow a single person to oversee the work of several people too.

Could be good for remote education. In fact I would be willing to pay someone to teach me objective-c this way.

mustardhamsters 4 days ago 1 reply      
This still had a bunch of issues when I tried it: The user I connected with saw many instances of my user because I was trying to connect with Sublime Text, and couldn't give permission to all of them. The system didn't sync well from ST to the browser, but it worked the other way around. At some point we began typing over each other entirely. Screenshot here: http://grab.by/oAgS

Really want to see this working well!

arikrak 4 days ago 1 reply      
Douglas Engelbart would be proud.

I wonder which will be more common in a few years - something like this, or collaboration fully in the cloud, like c9.io.

nwenzel 4 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty sure this could be part of the answer to the pros/cons debate of working remotely... productivity vs collaboration.
t4nkd 4 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'd know the answer faster if I just tried, but, does this let people pair from, lets say, SublimeText to Vim? From the screenshots it seems to be one-way(sharing from a native editor to Floobits web editor).
efm 4 days ago 1 reply      
New ways to collaborate remotely and easily are valuable. Travel time is a waste.

David Socha from the University of Washington is looking for teams to video for his research into collaboration.


RobotCaleb 4 days ago 1 reply      
Any support for private networks or networks not on the internet? Not everyone wants/can send their code through a third party.
geekbri 4 days ago 1 reply      
Gave this thing a whirl. The terminal sharing is nice, however the person I paired with had a real hard time seeing any of the commands I was typing. The PS1 modification flootty makes pushes almost everything right out of their window and they claimed they were unable to scroll vertically
lince 4 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome tool.

I don't know why, but I was expecting a place to get in touch to other programmers to do Pair Programming (i.e. for small katas or side projects). Does it exists?

If it doesn't, does anyone wants to have a bit of fun doing Pair Programming to create it together? :)

kapad 4 days ago 0 replies      
Getting an errorUnable to create workspace: <urlopen error unknown url type: https>

Have tried both the master branch and teh 0.17.5 tag. Same issue.

The package control install was not working so just copy pasted the directory into sublime packages. Could this be the issue?

stevenklein 4 days ago 0 replies      
We use Floobits a few times a week to pair and it's incredible.
johnnyg 4 days ago 0 replies      
TextMate? Guess I'm going extinct. :-)
oceanician 3 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really good. Just need another Ruby programmer to try it out with now :) Anyone free a week today - next Friday, 26th July?
njoubert 4 days ago 1 reply      
From Sublime: Unable to create workspace, maximum recursion depth exceeded.
dannyolinsky 4 days ago 0 replies      
We're big floobits fans. Using it to pair remotely with Sublime.
kaushikt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great job. I just signed up. I think you should have requested my email address from github as well. So that, i would have my gravatar on Floobits.

I am not missing anything, am i ?

KurtMueller 4 days ago 0 replies      
Madeye.io is fun and allows "swarm programming".
bagels 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why does the demo have ascii art penises? I think it detracts from the otherwise quality presentation.
cmrx64 4 days ago 0 replies      
Been watching floobits since you announced it. Very excited to see it launch with bunches of new features!
kansface 4 days ago 0 replies      
Floobits is down...

and back up.

ctb_mg 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can you comment on the technical details on how this works at the network level? How secure is this?
JeroenRansijn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice release guys! Good to see you on the front page on HN. Keep going.
GrinningFool 4 days ago 1 reply      
Looks great - any plans to offer self-hosted for those who want behind-the-firewall solutions?
ggchappell 3 days ago 0 replies      
Figlet sighting. :-)
contingencies 4 days ago 2 replies      
What's the point of video when programming? That's just a distraction.
coldman333 3 days ago 0 replies      
hi all , i have some error in msgs.floobits.log , on Windows 7 / Sublime 3

"Error handling room_info event with data {... }: path is on mount 'd:', start on mount 'c:' "

have fix this?

shaunol 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is quite awesome - Visual Studio support would rock!
Ads in Gmail displayed as normal emails? twitter.com
341 points by ot  3 days ago   261 comments top 45
OoTheNigerian 3 days ago 5 replies      
So this is why they wanted to "help us" sort out our inbox? I feel defrauded into believing their motivation.

Like suddenly realizing I was given a lift solely because my presence in the car allowed the driver to enter my estate or place of work.

This is wrong.

dendory 3 days ago 5 replies      
Email used to be fun, then spammers came, then good email providers added spam filters and made email fun again, now email providers are sending us spam. The circle is almost complete.
alan_cx 3 days ago 1 reply      
While Im not sure my Karma would withstand a defense of this, if one must have adverts, isn't sliding them in to the email list a better use of screen real estate, compared to big blocks of in your face adverts? Assuming these advmails are clearly marked as such.

I dont like it, and I'm not really a gmail user (I have an account as a sort of throw away),but this does seem better than yahoo's big blocks of ads. Although, I do block those.

On the other hand, is this not just way that gmail can defeat traditional ad-blocking? Easier to block some nasty flash ad than it is to filter email?

skc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Horace Dediu's (asymco) graph of Googles rapidly declining margins probably illustrates why Google is now resorting to this sort of thing.


And related post.


AndrewDucker 3 days ago 10 replies      
I'd love for Google to work out how much money they make from me in a year, and then to offer to go ad-free for 50% more than that.

At least then I could make an informed decision.

Tyrannosaurs 3 days ago 1 reply      
So to all intents and purposes this is targeted, Google endorsed spam delivered directly to my inbox?

If that's the case then it could be time to start looking for a replacement for the last Google product I use.

jstalin 3 days ago 2 replies      
Having used Adblock (currently Adblock Edge) and Ghostery/Disconnect for so long, I haven't seen ads in ages. It's actually a bit jarring when I use a computer that doesn't have ad blocking enabled... everything suddenly gets so cluttered.
martin-adams 3 days ago 4 replies      
Yes, I saw this, but seems to be limited to the Promotions filtered tab which, well, an advert next to an advert. I'm kind of okay with that. But it does make you wonder if this is the start of a slippery slope.
dm8 3 days ago 1 reply      
Okay. So this style of advertising is known as "native/integrated advertising". As someone who runs a startup doing the same, I have few things:

1. Google has been doing this for years. It was known as "adwords". It's multi-billion dollars tool that gave birth to SEM.

2. It is limited to promotions tab. Promotions tab is where users go to check their promotional emails. I doubt Gmail will move them to real inbox. In fact, they will be foolish to do so. It's pretty smart move.

3. It is clearly marked as an ad with yellow background. So user is clearly informed about advertisement.

It's understandable that users are freaking out a little. But c'mon gmail has been doing ads in their inbox for a while. Email is extremely personal medium and they will be foolish to move ads from promotions tab to inbox tab. Google has lot of smart folks on their teams so we can trust them for the same.

Nux 3 days ago 2 replies      
Given that this is avoidable by using any POP or IMAP client, I wonder how soon they'll close them down. I'm pretty sure it's a matter of "when".
mseebach 3 days ago 0 replies      
There have always been ads in GMail, and they have always been clearly marked as ads. These new ads are still clearly marked as ads, and clearly distinct from emails, they are just placed slightly differently in the UI.
adamnemecek 3 days ago 3 replies      
If this becomes a thing, I might actually switch to something else.
toble 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be anti-competitive to block spam, yet let your own spam through? The ads in that screenshot look like they are effectively imitating spam.
supercoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder, will this be how they start to push ads into IMAP clients ?
tszming 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be more easy for you to switch to other providers if you own your domain - now you know why Google removed the free Google app for custom domain last year...Don't forget the story of XMPP, who know they will not remove pop3/imap access in the future because these standards are not able to catch up the Gmail's upcoming revolutionary features?

After all, all these moves are understandable - they now have nearly 50K employees, shareholders have high expectation on the "growth" and they need to invest on projects like glasses, self driving car and maybe mars exploration! Where does the money come from? I would expect Google will receive less criticism if they simply remove the "Don't be evil" from their company motto - then we can say Microsoft/Yahoo! is doing the same thing, why complain?

Joeboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
There needs to be a docker.io image with a (mostly) preconfigured mailserver, roundcube and PGP. Maybe it exists already? If not I might make one.
tnkd 3 days ago 4 replies      
Registered specifically to post this.

Today seems to be an interesting day on HN.

First, Google's ad revenue's are down ~5%, every jumps up and down saying the end is near and they need to shape up before they fade into irrelevance.

Now a hint of a forthcoming feature where they are doing just that, making a change to increase revenue and people lose their minds.

Lets think about this. The feature is under Promotions, a section already laden with junk for most people. Are we all saying that John from "matresses online" can send me news about this weeks greatest sleep position and special offers like 5% off pillow fluffing, but Google couldn't input it's own ad, which would likely be tailored to your interests in any case? If you signup to promotions for numerous sources (enough to warrant the promotions tab) you might appreciate the ad, no? If you don't, well you'll never be in the Promoted tab in most cases anyway, so it likely wont affect you all that much (assuming they wouldn't inject ad's into main inbox stream).

thejosh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Who would have that that a major change would be used to provide advertisements from the biggest online advertising company?
workbench 3 days ago 1 reply      
Feeling pretty smug about never jumping on the gmail bandwagon right now
6ren 3 days ago 1 reply      
Cue: If you're not the customer, you're the product.

For balance: linux and open source in general.

superuser2 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is an awful lot of righteous indignation here over Google placing ads where you'll only see them if you're looking for ads.
netcan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised ads is what gets people up in arms.

Google knowitall overlords logging your whole digital and physical life. Media bubble. Emails shared with spooks.

Ads are annoying. I get that. This is less annoying than youtube ads. Less annoying than TV ads (even if you can fastforward them). Anyway, annoying is not the same as evil. Gmail is convenient. Ads are annoying. If (annoying > convenient), use something else.

kaeluka 3 days ago 1 reply      
ok, now I'm officially on the market for alternatives.

Maybe I should go back to good old mutt..

dalore 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to play devil's advocate for a little bit and say that the email-like-ads are in your promotions tab. A tab that is meant for ads. I turned off the tabs and I don't get the email ads.
NirDremer 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've tried outlook.com and it was OK. I wonder if this can help make hotmail relevant again.
plg 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder at what point the ads appear to have come from one of your legitimate contacts.

PS isn't faceboob already doing this?

dannyr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. A lot of discussion from a single tweet. Do we have all the information?

It's very likely a test. Google does a lot of testing that ultimately is not publicly released.

Filecloud 3 days ago 0 replies      
It is wrong in so many levels. Couple of years back we were talking google may send you an email advertising cremation services based on your email history. It is becoming a reality. The worrying part is upright, honest googlers are supporting it whole heartedly.
moskie 3 days ago 0 replies      
Switch back to Priority Inbox while you can!

(until, of course, they sunset it.)

dannyr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seriously, it's in the PROMOTIONS tab which you can TURN OFF.

Why the rage here?

dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, when users developed a habit of ignoring ads they must push it the other way, like FB did with placing ads in a news feed as stories. The same premise, the same response.

Just think of Promotions tab as a new SPAM folder.)

antihero 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a good way to sync contacts to my (Android, but possibly soon FirefoxOS) phone with FastMail?
cenhyperion 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using an email client and slowly migrating to a @mydomain email for personal contacts.
akadien 3 days ago 0 replies      
Gmail gets creepier and creepier. I'm not there yet, but I'm close to looking for alternatives.
leke 2 days ago 0 replies      
After reading this, I really should donate to AdBlockPlus.
DanielBMarkham 3 days ago 0 replies      
So no matter how many times I click on the "spam" button on these things, I'm always going to be getting them. Great.
cwdutch 3 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't this old news? It's very interesting, because on top of the ad placement, the binning of promotions may radically reduce the efficacy of email-based sales. Fab, Groupon, Grand St., etc, are probably not too happy about this.
dokem 3 days ago 0 replies      
Oh no, a company that gives me everything for free is displaying non intrusive ads in the wrong part of the screen and even tells me that they are ads! I'm too entitled for this!
markshepard 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just use the Mail client in my mac. so I dont even see any change so far.
wjk 3 days ago 2 replies      
The tabs are nice and all. But is there a way to have both the tabs and a button so i can see all emails at once in 1 tab? Been clicking around with no success.
hafichuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
So they kill Reader and "socialize" email. What's next google, and what are you going to do to keep us techies folded in?
nikbackm 3 days ago 0 replies      
No problem for me, I just turned the feature off.

But maybe it will become mandatory in due time?

mtgx 3 days ago 1 reply      
If only this meant they're now more likely to implement PGP in Gmail.
ing33k 3 days ago 0 replies      
was getting this since almost a month..
Wine 1.6 Released With 10,000 Changes winehq.org
331 points by conductor  4 days ago   237 comments top 17
nemesisj 4 days ago 5 replies      
Is there any more impressive open source project than Wine? I mean, yes, the Linux kernel itself and maybe GCC, but Wine just blows me away. The sheer audacity of sitting down and deciding to reimplement the entire Win32 stack including bugs to the point where DirectX is reimplemented in OpenGL and everything runs natively is just unbelievable. It's truly a testament to open source. No business would initially fund a project like this, it's nuts. And yet it exists, and continues to improve, and now companies like Codeweavers are built upon it. Congrats!
ZeroMinx 4 days ago 19 replies      
Why the fsck are all of you people commenting running OSX? We were fighting for a free, open OS, remember?

I really can't understand why hackers, coders, etc are happy to sign up to the shit Apple are doing. I do understand that "normal" people love Apple, but I just can not understand why coder people, who grew up learning to code in a GNU world (like me) can succumb to go Apple.

sciurus 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wine 1.6 has major improvements for OS X.

"- A native Mac OS X driver is implemented, for better integration with the Mac desktop environment. The full range of driver features are supported, including OpenGL, window management, clipboard, drag & drop, system tray, etc.

- X11 is no longer needed on Mac OS X, but the X11 driver is still supported, e.g. when running remotely."

DigitalSea 4 days ago 2 replies      
The Wine project has always impressed me and seeing all of these wonderful changes just keeps impressing me more. Take a look at that list of graphical and audio changes? Whoa. VMR-9 video rendering support, the slew of Direct3D additions and strengthening of the implementations of some of the features, better networking support including NTLM and negotiate authentication protocol support.

Refraining from going into full fanboy mode, but I hope the Wine project gets to the point where one day any Windows app can run with an almost guaranteed inside of the Linux operating system. The day I can run Adobe Creative Suite 6 from within Ubuntu basically bug free is the day I ditch Windows completely for Linux.

csense 4 days ago 2 replies      
> Internationalized domain names [1]

Does anyone know how this works in general?

It seems like an invitation to severe cybersquatting to allow someone to register e.g. gogle.com. I know those marks mean something in non-English languages, but for me (and I suspect most English speakers) it's very easy to mistake for dust on the monitor those symbols that Europeans insist on putting over their letters, like "`" or "'" or [[cos(90), sin(90)], [-sin(90), cos(90)]] * ":" [2] or other weird symbols that I don't even know how to type because they aren't linear transformations of ASCII characters.

[1] http://www.winehq.org/announce/1.6

[2] http://xkcd.com/184/

angersock 4 days ago 0 replies      
FooBarWidget 4 days ago 2 replies      
Now that Apple has abandoned Carbon and Rosetta, I can use Wine to play Starcraft 1 on my Mac.
outworlder 4 days ago 6 replies      
Now that I've switched mostly to OSX, and with many apps moved to "the cloud" and virtual machines, Wine is getting rapidly irrelevant (to me!).

However, I wonder if a project similar to Wine will be needed in a few years, to run OSX applications.

unsignedint 4 days ago 0 replies      
I use wine with PlayOnLiunx http://www.playonlinux.com/en/ and I find it's quite usable. (PlayOnLinux makes it easy to setup different wine environment each with different parameters.)
cpeterso 4 days ago 2 replies      
16 months is a long development cycle for an open source project. Has the Wine project considered smaller, faster releases? I imagine they need a lot of test time to find subtle compatibility regressions because there are so many crappy Windows applications that depend on Windows quirks and misfeatures.
dmix 4 days ago 2 replies      
I just moved to (arch) linux from OSX, whats it like running photoshop via wine? Is it usable? I've yet to try it.
b0rsuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
My long-time observation is that compatibility is one of areas where open source really shines. Wine is a highly successful project, and so is Dosbox. OpenOffice, LibreOffice go to great lengths to achieve .doc compatibility. While OSS tends to suffer in creativity department (you mostly get free X - free photoshop-like program, free Word, FreeCiv, countless Quake1 clones, and heaps of "clone" games), compatibility of OSS is unmatched.
jmgrosen 4 days ago 5 replies      
What's the best way to use Wine on OS X?
smortaz 4 days ago 1 reply      
Question for Wine aficionados: has anyone tried using Visual Studio on Wine? Thanks.
voltagex_ 4 days ago 1 reply      
So how do you actually get a bug fixed in Wine? There's a whole lot of blockers for anything based on the Wix installer.
sergimansilla 3 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if they moved development to Github. Easier to take a first glance and contribute to the code.
rossy 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's great to see so many improvements in the DIB engine. I had to run Electronics Workbench through Wine a couple of years ago, and while it was definitely usable, it occasionally got messy corrupted graphics.
What Is That Box? When The NSA Shows Up At Your Internet Company readability.com
312 points by wikiburner  3 days ago   93 comments top 22
beloch 3 days ago 8 replies      
Maybe I just don't pay enough attention to this, but this is the first place where I've read that Google and other large companies are being paid for monitoring their customers. This is making my sleaze-o-meter spike. What are the rates like? Is it per user? Per message? Per kilobyte? It certainly couldn't be per arrest...

Sometimes it seems like the rabbit hole just keeps going deeper, but then you realize it's a damned sewer!

Terretta 3 days ago 0 replies      
We had to facilitate them to set up a duplicate port to tap in to monitor that customers traffic. It was a 2U (two-unit) PC that we ran a mirrored ethernet port to.

[What we ended up with was] a little box in our systems room that was capturing all the traffic to this customer. Everything they were sending and receiving.

And yet his lawyer could have written a truthful denial that they'd given the govt "direct access to the server". See how that works?

kabdib 3 days ago 2 replies      
So, mount webcams in the datacenter. Point them at your racks (front and back, to show cables). This isn't a bad idea in any event, because sometimes it's good to know what Figby Tenthumbs recabled on Monday morning when he was hung-over.

Now make access to the cameras public.

"What's that new box?"

"We can't say."

"Ooohh, I see. Noted."

Watch the watchers watching.

Sanddancer 3 days ago 2 replies      
I used to work for a webhosting company, and had similar experiences. We'd get requests for Men In Nice Suits to come in, rack up a nice non-descript 3u box -- this was a few years prior to this experience, so I'm certain that the tech's improved since then. As was described, the box just sat there, eating power, under orders Not To Touch Under Any Circumstances, until the federales came back in to take their box back.

Thinking back about it, again, this seems a lot of how the feds can keep things like this from getting out. The people that know are given the gag orders, the sysadmins racking and unracking know it's better for their careers, and their not staying out of jail, not to say that they have weird boxes on their network which have mirrored ports going to them. It's there, it's suspect, but the consequences for discussing a suspect box make it difficult to really discuss things.

rachelbythebay 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not always the NSA. Some of my datacenter friends told me stories about times when "a box" would appear and they were officially to not go within 6 feet of it. Of course, actually working on neighboring customer boxes meant sometimes violating that (without telling anyone), but for the most part they would stay away.

I seem to recall they were chasing down online pill vendors this way. One little box with power and two Ethernet ports can collect a whole bunch of evidence, after all. They get what they need, and then they remove it.

This was 10 years ago... or more. I can only imagine what happens now.

phaer 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the this excerpt is a fine description of the problem with secret courts and so on:

"These programs that violate the Bill of Rights can continue because people cant go out and say, this is my experience, this is what happened to me, and I dont think it is right."

Sukotto 2 days ago 3 replies      
Wait. They show you the warrant requiring your compliance. But you don't get to keep a copy of that paper?

How do you later prove that you were required by law to make the actions that you did? How do you ensure that you comply completely with the instruction if you can't compare your action to the original warrant?

That seems strange.

j_baker 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is likely the reason why lots of tech firms give the NSA access to their servers. It's better than having a box installed on your network.


coldcode 3 days ago 0 replies      
If everyone said go stuff yourself and published it on the internet, eventually they might get the message. But no one wants to be force-fed in Cuba.
LekkoscPiwa 2 days ago 0 replies      
The whole American society is gagged and that's the problem. If you don't like unconstitutional actions of the US Government then you are called:1. Traitor2. 9/11 Truther3. Terrorist

That's where the apathy originates from.

I strongly believe that in the USA of today saying out loudly that a radical change is needed to get the country back on its Constitutional track could make one a terrorism suspect. If they can label 82-year old nun a terrorist and try her in court on this nonsense, then why not me or others who speak out loud ?

femto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Under such circumstances, why not extract as much monetary compensation as possible from the government and donate it to the EFF, ACLU, or similar?
thingummywut 3 days ago 2 replies      
"A number of [larger] companies are getting paid for the information. If you go establish a tap on Googles network, they will charge X amount per month. Usually the government pays it."

This is directly contrary to what every "larger" company has repeatedly stated in response to Prism. People actually think that the companies are not only forced to keep silent, but release public statements lying?

aspensmonster 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm very curious to know if these little black boxes could function as a MITM. I mean, if you're already there mirroring everything that's going across...
jimwise 2 days ago 4 replies      
Dumb question, but the author kept running a TOR node at a site he knew was under NSA surveillance? That doesn't strike me as very responsible...
kephra 2 days ago 1 reply      
/me wonders: why a link to readability who is just framing buzzfeed.com and not a link to the original site?

And why do 245 people upvote it without noticing this link bait?

D9u 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for speaking of your experiences with the rogue spy apparatchik which has recently reared its ugly head and I'd also like to thank you for running a Tor node.

Together we stand, for freedom. For America.

exit 2 days ago 2 replies      
could someone run an isp with a completely public inbox, so that they couldn't receive a FISA without it becoming public?

are companies obligated to have a private means of contacting them?

relaxitup 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder what the website was... The only one I can think of that might possibly get this treatment might be Maddox, but thats total speculation of course.
vaadu 2 days ago 0 replies      
What if this ISP instead cancelled the service of the business to be tapped?
tlongren 3 days ago 1 reply      
So do these companies approach the government and say "Hey, give us $1000000 per month and we'll just give you full access."?
captainmuon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would be tempted to quit my job on the spot if I'd receive one of those orders... (Not earning that much anyway so I could deal with it.)
Existential Depression in Gifted Children davidsongifted.org
310 points by JacksonGariety  1 day ago   171 comments top 50
simonsarris 1 day ago 15 replies      
While I've read a fair bit of existentialist works I've never seen this term, but I think I know what it means. I also think the article would be improved by just titling itself "Existential Depression". The narrow focus is odd, even if true, and might serve better as a footnote.

There's the strangest feeling I come across from time to time, and I think "come across" is the only good way to describe it. Everyone has bouts of doubt and melancholy, I think or would like to think, but there's something much larger that creeps up that becomes harder to relate. In spite of the difficulty to describe, I could imagine anyone might feel this way, not just gifted children.

I always called it "The Cosmic Sadness", which is a name that I came up with after experiencing the feelings while I was reading about heat death of the universe (and associated articles) on Wikipedia[1]. This feeling ends up upsetting (not quite right, maybe disquieting) me much more than things like the death of a pet or a family member.

It doesn't only have to do with cosmological things, but I think it addresses the scope of the feeling, where you get this sensation of being so zoomed out, so encompassed by (perhaps) all that might be, that you have a hard time coming back down to being you.

It's like when you ponder the plight of some character in a novel you're reading, and you empathize enough to get a little upset, then you remember that none of that is real and its OK you've gone one level up now back to real life, no one is suffering like the character in the novel. You "snap out of it" - There's de-escalation, and some relief. But with the cosmic sadness there is no going up one level, it's all there to ponder and still real. No snapping out of it.

I was shocked by how this article ended because the only way of coping I have (other than mere time), to de-escalate this feeling, is literature and poetry. I tend to read several poems a day[2] as a kind of cathartic ritual, and poetry brings a comfortable way to remember (or re-realize) the very meaningful and concrete parts of experience, so I end up surrounding myself with it, finding the most comfort in it.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

[2] For example Where to Live, by Du Fu: https://gist.github.com/simonsarris/5472121

Du Fu is a favorite of mine because he lived during a time that experienced one of the largest losses of human life on the planet (an lushan rebellion), so a lot of his poetry dithers between bleakness and hope. Somehow this makes it easy for me to reflect (perspective) and draw some inner sympathy for everything.

tokenadult 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the article, which is about a topic I discuss frequently in other online communities (including online communities hosted by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates the website hosting the submitted article):

"In essence, then, we can help many persons with existential depressions if we can get them to realize that they are not so alone"

And this is why I strenuously oppose the term "existential depression" as a supposed designation of something that is rare in most people and more common among people who are "gifted." There is no evidence of such a thing. Rather, treating giftedness as a condition of life different from what most of our fellow human beings experience magnifies the sense of aloneness that too much of the gifted education literature promotes among people identified as gifted.

When I was young, I read a science fiction story by author Philip K. Dick in which he made a statement I have seen made in much the same form by many of the lousier authors on gifted education: that if your IQ is high, you are as different from above-average people as retarded persons are from normal people. That's baloney. The social distance hypothesis of IQ has little empirical support, and seems mostly to be a cultural hang-up of twentieth century America. When I lived in east Asia (after majoring in Chinese language at university) as a young adult, I discovered a new cultural perspective, the cultural perspective that if a person is smart, there is hardly anything better to do with the smarts than to learn how to get along with other people. As Confucius said, ("wherever three persons are walking, my teacher is surely among them"). Whatever my IQ score, I have plenty to learn from essentially everyone, and plenty of reason to feel kinship with my fellow human beings.

There is, however, a kind of isolation of the gifted that must be specifically counteracted. And that is the isolation of the gifted education literature, like the article kindly submitted here (by an author I have met at several conferences on gifted education) from the mainstream literature of psychology. Most gifted education gurus, and the author of this article is a salient example, have their highest formal degrees in education, from schools of education (such as from a "directional state university" that historically was a "normal school" for training teachers). The most rigorous research on human psychology--and psychologists have recently been painfully aware that all too little research on psychology is rigorous at all--



is gained by persons whose highest formal degree is in psychology, from a major research university. Very little of the best insights gained from recent decades of psychological research seeps into schools of education, especially those schools of education that have programs in gifted education.

The late author Dabrowski mentioned promptly in the article kindly submitted here and in much gifted education literature is an admittedly obscure writer (as acknowledged in the only book that collects commentary on his ideas,


which I read part of recently) who produced essentially no testable hypotheses. Dabrowski's ideas are vague and open-ended enough to allow making up dozens of anecdotes when speaking at conferences on gifted education, but provide no guidance whatsoever to help young people face tough issues in personal development.

The bottom line: the term "existential depression" is a euphemism used in the gifted education community for the same depression experienced by many people of varied IQ levels. The correct statement in the article submitted here is the statement that you help people experiencing depression by encouraging them to feel less isolated from the rest of humankind. And one of the best ways to do that for gifted people is to emphasize their commonality with the rest of humankind, rather than their IQ scores or poor fit age-graded school programs.


Arun2009 1 day ago 0 replies      
I googled Dabrowski and Positive Disintegration Experience and was led to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Disintegration

I found the following especially interesting:

Dbrowski also described a group of people who display a different course: an individualized developmental pathway. These people break away from an automatic, rote, socialized view of life (which Dbrowski called negative adjustment) and move into and through a series of personal disintegrations. Dbrowski saw these disintegrations as a key element in the overall developmental process. Crises challenge our status quo and cause us to review our self, ideas, values, thoughts, ideals, etc. If development continues, one goes on to develop an individualized, conscious and critically evaluated hierarchical value structure (called positive adjustment). This hierarchy of values acts as a benchmark by which all things are now seen, and the higher values in our internal hierarchy come to direct our behavior (no longer based on external social mores). These higher, individual values characterize an eventual second integration reflecting individual autonomy and for Dbrowski, mark the arrival of true human personality. At this level, each person develops his or her own vision of how life ought to be and lives it. This higher level is associated with strong individual approaches to problem solving and creativity. One's talents and creativity are applied in the service of these higher individual values and visions of how life could be - how the world ought to be. The person expresses his or her "new" autonomous personality energetically through action, art, social change and so on.

angersock 1 day ago 2 replies      
The only two real issues I've got with this article are that it limits itself in scope to the "gifted" and that it limits itself to children.

As for the latter issue, I suspect that this may fit into a broader work or area that the author presumes readers are familiar with--these issues are certainly seen in teenagers and afterwards.

As for the first point, a bit of a cliche but still accurate is the saying "The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike"; at some level, everyone I've met sharp or dull, gifted or not has run up against some version of the four issues (death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness). It may take until middle age and a house and a picket fence and seventy grand in debt, but it hits eventually.

One of the best realizations I've come to is that everyone, at some level or another, faces these problems in their own way and that I should try and respect their experience--because for them, their existential conflict is at least as severe as my own, their circumstances and stakes at least as dire.

What struck me as interesting was the author's specifically calling out touch as a mechanism for grounding and comfort--this struck a chord with me when I read it. It's part of the reason I have dogs: there is a very real touchable physical presence of pet, something to hold and hug and pet when you're mulling over some of the day's shittiness.

tl,dr; life's a bitch, get a dog.

asolove 1 day ago 1 reply      
A somewhat different response is found in "The drama of the gifted child," which argues that gifted children, having been singled out for attention because of their impressive abilities, become dependent on validation from authority figures and then have trouble adapting to self-directed life as an adult: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465016901
MichaelAza 1 day ago 3 replies      
I cried a little.

I'm 18 and since 3rd grade I was in a special class for gifted children. I know this feeling so well, from my experience and from those of my classmates and friends, it literally hurts.

I'm no psychiatrist but from my nonobjective personal experience depression in gifted children and your regular "normal" teenage depression are completely different, in symptoms as well as in cause, which I think the article illustrates nicely.

I think the people criticizing the article for focusing on children and on gifted children specifically don't understand it's a whole different world. There are whole fields of study in psychology, psychiatry, education studies and other fields that focus on gifted children because they need a completely different system to thrive. People, especially family and educators, need to know about this.

narrator 1 day ago 1 reply      
The book that taught me to spiritually make sense of a world that is a constant let down was "The Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov. The author wrote it in secret while living with totalitarianism and meaninglessness in Stalinist Russia.

If you're not in the mood for a book, there's a great mini-series adaptation that was produced in Russia in the 2000s that takes about a week to watch. It does an almost perfect job of reproducing the book. I don't think it's available online.

Vivtek 1 day ago 2 replies      
Gifted children are intense? Has the author ever actually been around children? They're all intense. That's the nature of children!

Of course, they may simply all be gifted until they're hammered into their little social boxes; I've often thought that. Some of us weirdos just can't be hammered as efficiently, or break before bending or something.

kapv89 1 day ago 1 reply      
I faced this "existential" crisis of a pretty severe nature in my college years. I kept reading stuff about psychology, philosophy, and physics in the hopes of an answer. The first breakthrough against this existential demon came in the form of a course "non-linear dynamics and chaos", the ability of chaotic equations to exhibit life and nature like behaviour, and understanding that life is chaotic, and so is nature. The second one came when I realized that philosophy and reason itself are handicapped, insufficient, powerless against this existential dilemma. The third one came while reading Carl Jung and his work, the fact that consciousness is a very small produce of the biological system that is human body. Fourth when I read Nietzsche's "On Truth and Untruth", which again showed how our speech has taken the form of animal's claws, we fight, threaten etc mostly by what we say, that's like a higher level of abstraction over the physical equivalent. Then there was Tolstoy, who pointed out that its logical that we humans, if we really want to stay true to ourselves, need a god, or something higher than ourselves to believe in, because logically, if you are going to die, there is no reason to live, yet every human and animal does. Then there was "Black Swan" by Taleb, which drilled the idea into my head that we humans don't know even a tenth as much as we think we do. And then there was programming, actually building systems that exist outside of you and do something.

Over the years, I developed the worldview that as human body is formed by numerous of organisms working together, and how futile would it be for a "red blood cell", in all its consciousness, to ask "what is my purpose ?", the same way its futile for human to ask about his/her place in the universe. I started trying to live more like animals do (or rather, how a human animal would live if it only had nature imposing rules on it), copying nature for decision-making, and general wisdom (it even helps me with my work). We humans are basically nature forming a greater system , the human society, which then again competes with many other greater systems formed by other organisms, and till now, has been doing pretty well.

I also have given up trying to control my conscious thought and efforts too much. I trust the biological system that this consciousness came out of to provide me with a better judgement than I can come up with consciously.

Its been around 2.5 years since i cleared up the existential crisis in my head, and my growth since then has even astounded me. I have become better, much better in all spheres of life, and I can't remember a time I was more happier than these 2.5 years

molbioguy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Giftedness is misunderstood. That even highly educated audiences don't get this is evident in some of the comments here. Giftedness is terribly named. It is more affliction than blessing. Giftedness is rare. Gifted kids are not the same as brilliant high achievers. They have high IQ's but are also underachievers (by regular standards, not some elevated bar) and often dropouts. They should be highly successful but are not and often commit suicide. Gifted children are routinely dismissed as overly privileged or advantaged kids, and usually do not get any special needs attention in schools. People see their intellectual side and ignore their emotional needs and problems. I can say from personal experience that while gifted kids are exceptional in many ways, they also tend to lead difficult lives with many challenges because they are so deeply misunderstood. Even by their own parents.
6ren 1 day ago 1 reply      
"As intelligence goes up, happiness goes down. See, I made a graph. I make lots of graphs." - Lisa Simpson
asveikau 1 day ago 4 replies      
Not sure why the emphasis is on children especially. This seems to affect thoughtful people of all ages.

Or maybe, in that thoughtful, existentially-depressed way, the author is just understatedly asserting that adults are just big children. That would probably be overthinking it.

sidcool 1 day ago 3 replies      
I faced some of these issues during my early teens. It went away after that. Now I am 29 and facing the mid life crisis that the author has mentioned. It's a confused state of big dreams and crushing reality.
nate_martin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Site is giving a 500 error, here is the gcached version: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:piXqTtN...
meric 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have felt those things before but then one day I had an epiphany. Everything in this universe, living or dead, are all made of the same universe, like gems cut from the same rock. So that even when I find myself having difficulties with someone, something or even idea, I remind myself that we're all in this together. The universe is us, its what we choose to make of it. The universe isn't just one state of the universe but rather the transitions between one state after another, just like how a movie isn't just the current frame I see, but rather all the frames put together, and although the movie is going to end, we don't know how the story is going to go. That part, is up to us, so let's create something beautiful.
danbmil99 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have to point out that a good percentage of people seem to gravitate towards religious, spiritual, mystical, or other basically non-reason-based thought patterns, I suspect to help alleviate this sense of existential hopelessness. Perhaps these "gifted children" find it harder to go down that particular route, for obvious reasons.
jwheeler79 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was in the third or fourth grade, I had an extreme form of this type of depression that lasted for maybe a year or longer. Instead of just reflecting on the meaning of life, I worried reality might not be real and understood even then at my young age there's no way to prove the people around me weren't constructs of my imagination. I came to these conclusions independently without ever hearing of Brain in a Vat, Evil Genius, or watching The Matrix, and it was very terrifying back then.

As I've grown up, I still realize there's no way to prove the world around me is real, but I'm glad I encountered this theory so young because I've had a good while to be motivated by the fact that it doesn't matter if it isn't real. What matters is what I do with this experience and how much joy I get out of it.

AYBABTME 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's all get in a circle and talk about our experience as gifted children.
csense 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think there are two separate issues here:

(1) Existential depression, and

(2) Gifted kids have difficulties because adults don't talk to them as equals, and their concerns and thought processes are difficult for their peers to comprehend.

zachlatta 1 day ago 1 reply      
A well written piece. The excessive use of "gifted" works against its intentions though. By referring exclusively to "gifted" children the author is throwing up a wall. Everyone has different levels of care and thought when it comes to the world around us.
hayksaakian 1 day ago 2 replies      
"The average person believes themselves to be above average"


JacksonGariety 1 day ago 0 replies      
If a mod sees this, they should change the URL to this:


The link I posted was a re-blog on a website with a nicer reading experience.

alexvr 1 day ago 5 replies      
I think this is a really pathetic reason to be depressed. And these "gifted" people have it all wrong. No, the laws of physics don't directly dictate that all governments be democratic, or that people drive on the right side of the road. But if they thought about the world on a deeper level, they would realize that there is structure, and that it's breathtakingly-beautiful (albeit subtle and not always easy to pick up on when you don't explicitly seek it). No, you don't get to be a teacher's pet for your whole life, and you don't get paid for doing well on IQ tests. But one person can have an impact on the world: sometimes, a very pervasive, meaningful one. I fail to see why some gifted children can't appreciate the world and their existence enough to at least have a good time and explore it a bit. You only get to do it once, and you won't get the chance to do everything the world has to offer, but you should consider yourself lucky to be conscious in the first place. My theory is that kids labeled "gifted" end up dwelling on their "ability" to the point where they actually think they are entitled to something outside educational institutions. Or maybe they fail to realize, to their chagrin, that IQ grossly belies proportional intelligence, especially after a certain point, and that IQ tests don't measure what it takes to make a meaningful difference in the world. People like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are unequivocally gifted, but they don't dwell on it; they don't statistically determine the probability that they will make a difference; they don't spend their time researching IQ tests or bragging about their intellect; they go out and do their best to change the world. And they do.
ausjke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have two kids both starting at age4 questioned me about death. I don't believe in God so it's hard to calm them, but there is no better way to comfort them, so I say we will all go to heaven when we die.

One day we visited my grandparents cemetery,my boy started crying, and asked me why my grandparents are buried here while I said people went to heaven when they are dead. I had to say that our body remains here, but our soul/spirit go to heaven and we live there.

Then one night he tears again, then cry, when I ask, he said if it's just spirits/souls go to heaven, we won't even have a face there, our family will never be able to recognize each other, and we won't be able to re-unite in heaven.

I almost cried myself.

amerika_blog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having some experience in this area:

Gifted children are aware just how dysfunctional this society is.

They aren't fooled by shiny things. They look at the structure of things and analyze them.

Thus they're a high-risk group because while most people see a few scattered small problems, gifted kids see one big problem.

Naturally, there are solutions to that including contexting and acceptance therapy, but those are never provided.

I bet they'll find gifted kids have a higher suicide rate, too, especially as an empire nears its collapse.

themodelplumber 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed reading that--especially the poem at the end (I remember mentally rolling my eyes the first time I read it, thinking the message was self-evident. But in this context it's just wonderful).

I do wish this sort of message could be part of an effective, formulaic prescription that could be doled out to web surfers who are suffering. "Depressed about things? Just keep scrolling down...watch this TED talk, heed this advice, read this article..." My friend who surfs the web all day and who tells me he has his suicide all planned out--I wish he could stumble on these things more often. Maybe instead of a "CSS Site of the Day Award" badge there could be a "Contemplating Suicide?" badge...

Another example, I wish I had learned before I became a film major that imagery is powerful, and that our brains can confuse on-screen trauma with real trauma. I suffered needlessly--and that sounds ridiculous and maybe funny, thinking about a film major with wide eyes wondering just what he signed up for--but I watched things that I will never forget, and that have become part of a mental burden I work to release now that I'm a bit more experienced in discerning what I can and can't handle.

I guess it pains me to think that while there are things we can do to ease others' pain, there are many extremely simple, almost thoughtless ways by which that existential depression worsens. Watch the wrong film. Read the wrong book. Make the wrong song lyric your mantra. (Wrong...well, maybe inappropriate is a better term; something that takes into account one's personal state) Traditions, cultures, microcultures...transcending that sort of thing is harder than most people realize, and certainly doesn't happen on autopilot.

INTPenis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not saying I was ever overly gifted, I was just a very introvert child who spent a lot of time thinking and through that became depressed about my seemingly pointless existence.

Well I just wanted to say that what helped later in adult years was discovering true love. I know it sounds corny but once you realize that life on this earth is short, and that short time can be used to experience great feelings of love and togetherness with other humans, you do feel less depressed about it.

e12e 1 day ago 0 replies      
"In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion." -- Douglas Adams
return0 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the end all psychology boils down to our brain circuits. It is interesting that nature has shaped us so that we have a constant existential anxiety, maybe it even served some evolutionary purpose (or maybe not, and it's just a side effect that becomes more evident to the few gifted children)
davidxc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think almost everyone struggles with this type of depression at some point in life.

I'm not sure how much being gifted has to do with it. Strangely, one of the things that has helped develop my framework for life is a fanfiction (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality) [1], written by Eliezer Yudkowsky.

I think it's been recommended several times before on Hacker News, but it really is a great fanfiction. The protagonist is an atheist and transhumanist who wants to defeat death.

The author has also written many other essays that I find interesting and sane. I'm an atheist who has occasionally struggled with the idea of death and meaninglessness, and his essays were the first viewpoints that seemed to make sense. [2] [3]

[1] http://hpmor.com/

[2] http://yudkowsky.net/other/yehuda

[3] http://lesswrong.com/lw/sc/existential_angst_factory/

I really recommend that anyone here who has struggled with existential depression to read the above three writings. Of course, it's very possible that you'll still be depressed, in which case you'll need to look for other solutions.

But Eliezer's writing helped significantly in cleaning up my life views.

dsugarman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
parts don't make a lot of sense, not every gifted child is trying to spend every waking hour on improving their talents. I don't know a child that doesn't enjoy play..

I find that a lot of gifted children are opposed to authority, which causes frustration with non-stimulating class work assigned by poor teachers.

andrewcooke 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression.

is there any evidence (beyond the author's "experience") that this is true?

oneiros 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me a bit of the short film "Kid's Story" from The Animatrix. It revolves around a teenager who is waking up to the possibility of the matrix who finds himself alone in a world full of people unaware of its existence. He seeks the help of those who are woken up, specifically, Neo. In a way he is like these children, aware of the fleeting nature of life, waking up to these issues.

I recently had a psilocybin mushroom trip that resulted in a bit of temporary derealization during which I needed one of my friends to hold me just so that I knew I was real. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life, but through it I learned that our existence in this world is entirely a perception of the mind, and that we create our reality through each and every action we take and each thought that we make. Particularly one of my most profound insights was that the concept of time is irrelevant, for there is only the now, and when one is able to perceive the now, then one can be free from the grasps of what if and can one see what is.

I find it difficult to convey these feelings with other people, as I often find them saying things like "yeah, that's interesting", but I can see that they do not truly understand. There are some that do however and for those who do I am grateful. For the children and those of you who find yourself in this "existential depression", I can only offer this...

Create. Create art, create music, create life. If you can leave something behind for the rest of the universe, then your life was not for nothing, for you created something, were a part of something. This at the very least is all that we can do, and that is okay, for even if all you can do is make someone smile, you have created a ripple in the world that will manifest itself as a wave in the lives of those who carry on.

hypertexthero 1 day ago 1 reply      
Another literary cure for the Great Sadness is Isaac Asimov's [The Last Question](http://filer.case.edu/dts8/thelastq.htm).
j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is a unique experience at a young age when one especially feels that there is not a soul they can truly speak to, almost to the extreme that it is a luxury to feel understood.

Since this isn't your usual teenage angst, making friends who are older than you can help a great deal.

Realizing man has pondered the same things, for hundreds and thousands of years gives you a chance, to access their thoughts in the form of books, literature, poetry.

peter303 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've only experienced this right after high school, college and PhD graduations. These were long term goals that dominated my life. There was bit of emptiness once these goals were achieved. Plus there was a dispersion of the social communities I had lived in for long time. This emptiness did not last long as there were always new projects around the corner afterwords.

I expect the same feeling after job "retirement" and expect it to last as long.

smegel 1 day ago 1 reply      
> it is because substantial thought and reflection must occur to even consider such notions, rather than simply focusing on superficial day-to-day aspects of life.

What elitist garbage.

amasad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how the "gifted children" whom were raised on religious believes react to the same sort of "ultimate concerns"
mumbi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I remember thinking these 'existential' thoughts that cause depression my first day of pre-school. I am not as intelligent as a lot of people, but I know that I'm not unintelligent. I began failing my classes in school when I was 9, and my depression was beginning to really develop. I would walk around the playground, by myself, thinking. By 15, I had renounced my belief in God and refused to be brainwashed by anyone who wanted to tell me otherwise.

I'm 25 now and after a lot of drugs and alcohol, I believe in God, again. I read the Bible, not as often as I should, but at least I read it. It makes me feel better.

For those of you who are 'former Christians', I recommend you try to bring it back into your life. It does help, I promise.

pallandt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very thoughtfully written piece. One would wonder what this has to do with HN, but the content is universally applicable, therefore not only in regards to children. Plus, we could suppose that the majority of HN's users consider themselves gifted :) Anyway, read the article folks, you won't regret your spent minutes.
dschiptsov 1 day ago 0 replies      
The French philosophy of the last century said nothing about children.) In some sense a realization of absurd and meaninglessness require some experiences of ageing adult which children simply cannot have. They cannot realize the attractiveness of youth and meaninglessness of that attraction. Time to reread Age of reason or something.
CurtMonash 1 day ago 0 replies      
Woody Allen already covered this in a scene in Take The Money And Run.
miga 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd encourage statistics check.

It is common that many of the "containment regimes" that are supposed to motivate children are more ruthlessly enforced on gifted children to "help them reach potential". And it is known that overly harsh rules induce depression too.

pteredactyl 1 day ago 0 replies      
The fact there's something rather than nothing. 'Nothing' - like absolute zero - is only a referential concept. Beware of introspective traps. Light, breezy and not trying too hard.
future_grad 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great article. Sadly, I wish it wasn't focused on the gifted. I bet a lot of children suffer with existential depression and I also can imagine how hard it is to have to listen to the bullshit answers they will inevitably receive to their deep questions.
JacksonGariety 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aaaaaand it's down.
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a gifted child, I had a lot of this. It was finally in my 30s when I realized that existentialism for me was really the only way forward. I really wish I had been exposed to these ideas earlier (However I'm not sure I could have absorbed them as a young adult)

Over the years I've become somewhat of a shill for the Teaching Company, which offers college-level courses on CD and DVD. Robert Soloman's "No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life" is an excellent introduction to existentialism. Highly recommended. http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.asp...

In my mind, if we are going to encourage and nurture kids at both ends of the spectrum -- highly functioning and less functioning -- we should provide some kind of intellectual bedrock to allow the gifted an anchor to succeed.

jokoon 1 day ago 0 replies      
ok, I'm gifted and depressed, how can I get a job ?
paranoiacblack 1 day ago 0 replies      
TIL: Children can be Nihlists too? Does it really take a gifted child to see the futility in the majority of life or to understand our insignificance? This is something that should be fairly obvious to anyone without privilege, not only children.
Ideas for Computing github.com
308 points by samsquire  1 day ago   97 comments top 31
Erwin 1 day ago 4 replies      
This reminds of this: http://www.squidi.net/three/ which attempts to define a large number of computer game gameplay mechanics.

Maybe we need more forwarding-reaching fiction in our world. More essays on computing futurology, grand envisioning of what we can achieve with software. Even ambitious prototypes of a new way to do something (like Lighttable)

A lot of what I see are tooling details, lot of boring effort duplication on mostly-identical languages and lot of nitpicking/bikeshedding comments like: well, you may have a good idea for solving world cancer, but your article does not work in my weird mobile browser, so your credibility is shot.

Where's our version of "The Mother of all Demos" ?

unimpressive 1 day ago 6 replies      
I've thought of some of these independently. (It's good to see somebody else did too.) We could probably make more progress if we all kept a list like this publicly. Or even privately, with snippets shared where appropriate. I know if I went through some old journals I could scrounge up a decent list myself.

One I had:

Bash scripting in the style of hypercard.

Hypercard was described to me as a system that had a set of functions and let the user make programs out of them. Bash syntax is simple enough that making an interface that gives you the power of shell without degenerating from the original should be possible. The output should be a regular text based bash script, allowing others to edit without the program and the user to see what's going on underneath.

EDIT: A second idea to go with the first:

A utility that allows you to create a GUI window from the command line. This could be used in conjunction with the Bash script editor to make graphical programs that the user can easily incorporate into their (presumably window based) workflow.

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
One I keep noodling on is the one 'Ethical Me' which, on its face works well for ethics but it works for other things as well. Like documenting things you bought because they were 'more secure' or 'higher quality' etc. Understanding the meta-data of what is security 'worth' or quality 'worth' would really help inform product managers about whether or not investing resources there makes sense from a product desirability standpoint.
igravious 1 day ago 1 reply      
This a well of useful and thought-provoking ideas.

I would like to point out a general theme though. A lot of these ideas seem most relevant to technical savvy people and I think why a lot of them (especially UI stuff) have not been implemented is because interfaces must cater to everybody.

Perhaps what we need more of is a dev mode switch (s/w or h/w) like the Chromebook has which enables a lot of these ideas so that the ordinary user is not overwhelmed.

Some of the ideas in the list are aimed at a general audience though. So perhaps each entry in the list needs to make a note of who the target audience is.

jfb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing I've wanted for years is a small, pocket-sized and battery operated blob of storage with a well-defined API, where all of my data lives. Not the cloud, because no, thank you; and not an external drive. I want something that my phone, my laptop, my TV, my workstation can use as a canonical data storage location for everything in my life.

Ideally this would have a fast radio, so I could just leave it in my bag while I'm walking around listening to music on my phone; and a high-speed physical connection so I can plug it in if necessary.

microcolonel 1 day ago 1 reply      
A lot of these are already done, like command autocomplete.

Many show a lack of vision, why are we thinking about putting buttons and windows all over the place, adding complex nonstandard headers willy-nilly to our emails when we could be thinking about important things like indexing the vast power of existing UNIX tools in a voice-controlled environment?

aroman 1 day ago 1 reply      
#87 "Interface Coalescing" is precisely implemented across OS X, notably the Finder for file I/O.

Also, you spelled "Coalescing" wrong :)

salgernon 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm waiting for the sparrowOS guy to comment on this thread. Despite his hell-banned status, I've been impressed with what he as an individual has come up with. He seems likely to have implemented many of these features for his edification.
Mindless2112 1 day ago 0 replies      
#64 Peer to Peer Backup is almost met by DataHaven.NET [1], the drawback being that it uses a central server to keep track of virtual credits.

[1] http://datahaven.net/

yannis 1 day ago 0 replies      
No. 36 Reminds me of Knuth's literate programming, which I attribute as the major reason for the continuing success of TeX/LaTeX. It needs a major rethink/revamp to move it on to the full spectrum of computer languages (what is available in python or haskell) is not fully satisfactory and has not really caught on.
quasque 1 day ago 0 replies      
The email metadata idea reminds me of EDIFACT, or at least what it was intended for - a standard electronic format for commercial transactions. It predates the WWW though, so looks quite 'ugly' by today's standard of using markup language to describe data. However I think it would be a good starting point for coming up with a broadly applicable data schema.

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

dsego 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, number 9 already exists in some form on OS X. You can't drag because it drags the window, but if you click on the file name in the title you get a dialog with some file options (rename, move, duplicate, ...).
markm208 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working with some students of mine on something like 89, 'Code Journeys'. We call it Storyteller.


It allows one to comment on the evolution of code rather than on individual sections of it. Currently, there is not a good place to write down why things have evolved the way they did. There is a search/filtering interface to find only the interesting bits of history.

nathanathan 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's an idea I've been thinking about in the vein of the "create this" and api competition ideas (and the repo itself I suppose). I've found that on Stack Overflow questions of the form "Is there software that does x, y and x?" will often get locked. However, I think a site like SO for finding software could be really useful. And when you don't find it you've just identified a niche that hasn't been filled that someone could come along and make software for. It would be possible for developers to gauge demand by the number of up-votes/bounties a post gets. It could use many of the same mechanisms from SO like voting/comments/reputation/merging related posts, but perhaps adding some structured ways to describe ideas would facilitate better searching.
freework 1 day ago 0 replies      
The email metadata idea looks a little like this: https://github.com/priestc/LibraryDSS
txutxu 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've like many of the ideas. Inspiring. +1

I don't understand very well how would you like to implement the "93 Shell Output Pinning". Usually I do that with an array variable.

miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      
I came up with most of these ideas independently. If you look at them, you'll realize that most share the same patterns, and actually are similar ideas.

I'm currently working on something that superficially looks like #4, but includes at least 20% (potentially more) of these ideas (or make them obsolete).

Most of them are trivial, and I'm sure much of us didn't get anything new from this list. Heck, I could come up with 50 more just like that (but maybe not that related to programming).

thisisrobv 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had high hopes for this and was immediately turned off by #3. I still can't believe that their are developers who believe that design is just the pretty layer on top of their functioning infrastructure. It's not.

That said, I wish there was a site that connected people with complementary skill sets around similar product ideas.

alexjeffrey 1 day ago 1 reply      
some of these are really interesting ideas. I have one to add to the mix: go implement them! As technologists we all have unprecedented power to create change at our fingertips and I'd love it if you could come back with a list of great ideas, _with some of them implemented already_.

[note] the biggest one for me is the "life engine" - I would happily pay you 50/month for this!

jnazario 1 day ago 1 reply      
on the Package Manager-Package Manager front (idea 12), i bet you could bastardize chef to do this. it already has the translation layer for multiple package managers (yum, apt, pkg-add, etc).
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like #4 - life dashboard.

I don't quite know how but these will have to go on the occasional tinkering list.

maged 1 day ago 3 replies      
The added features of email metadata can be achieved without the added complexities of adding metadata to all email, with a simple NLP solution. Gmail already does this with date recognition and google calendar integration, as well as the new email 'categories.' It'll be cool to see it expand so any application can take advantage of it (i.e. key management software and joining a new website).
pietro 1 day ago 1 reply      
Number 22 is more or less how Windows PowerShell works.
14113 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find 54 particularly interesting, a site with detailed overviews of different stacks, along with instructions, or links to instructions on how to get started would be very valuable.
beech 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on something similar to #73. Web Of Trust Recommendations at http://reqqi.com/

I also keep a spreadsheet of ideas that I'm probably never going to work on, this might have inspired me to publish my own list.

Also, if anyone is interested, Reqqi is hiring

jitnut 1 day ago 1 reply      
Loved the idea of EmailMetaData. I was thinking on similar lines on creating a smarter email system for businesses.
pknerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
#54 sounds cool. How about doing something similar for comparing Enterprise Systems/Applications?

Anyone to join hands with me?

jlgarhdez 1 day ago 2 replies      
Number 8 already exists with fish shell. It indexes the man pages as you have suggested.
oliver_FF 1 day ago 3 replies      
"8. Command Auto-complete" This would be awesome.
achille 1 day ago 0 replies      
lambda 1 day ago 1 reply      
Meh. A lot of these sound like those ideas that any programmer comes up with, about what would be great, without ever actually putting the sweat in to turn a vague idea into something that actually works.

I have probably as many half-baked schemes in the back of my mind. We probably all do. Why is this list particularly interesting?

Heck, lots of these ideas sound downright bad. Adding operations for "put in new folder" and "pull out of folder"? Don't we already have plenty of ways to do this? A basic set of primitives (create new folder, move files to folder, whether done through the UI or on the command line), allows you to compose those simple actions into the more complex ones, rather than having some giant menu of everything you could ever possibly want to do with files that you need to navigate through.

I'm just not sure what the value of long lists of vague, half-baked features ideas for random software is. Why not actually build one or two of these? That would be far more interesting.

Canada's Start-up Visa gc.ca
299 points by tsenkov  11 hours ago   206 comments top 35
mjn 11 hours ago 8 replies      
Summary of the conditions:

- Secure $75k in angel funding or $200k in venture funding, from a list of designated Canadian funders.

- Score relatively highly on a language test in either English or French, for both verbal and written ability (note that everyone must take this test, even those coming from English- or French-speaking countries).

- Have satisfactorily completed at least one year of higher education (no degree required).

- Depending on family size, have a minimum of $11k-$30k in the bank initially to support yourself.

jacquesm 7 hours ago 8 replies      
Some bits and pieces of info for those considering this:

- remember to sign up for OHIP (or the local equivalent) as soon as you arrive, there is a time limit on how long you can wait before signing up after arriving in Canada. If you don't do this in time you will not be covered.

- Canada has some pretty severe weather in the winter, everywhere except for the area around Niagara falls and Vancouver. The latter is the better spot all year round. Big cities are your only chance to mitigate the worst of this, rural life is brutal.

- Don't make any irreversible moves (giving away stuff, actually moving) until all the paper work is done. I made the mistake of believing a bunch of government officials during my own move to Canada on an entrepreneurship visa and it cost me dearly.

- Elsewhere in this thread someone asks why not go to the US, well, (1) free (and good) healthcare, (2) a bit more laid back business climate. That said, the laid back atmosphere and the different venture capital climate make it a lot harder to get off the ground in Canada. Cost of living is slightly lower than in the US for most parts of Canada.

- Outside of Waterloo, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and maybe Quebec City it's going to be hard to find qualified employees. In Ottawa you'll be bidding against the government.

- No matter where you want to go in Canada you'll have to score reasonably well on the French language test. Even if that's the only time in Canada you'll ever use your French. (imho this is a ridiculous requirement, and that's with 5 years of French under my belt and a ton of exposure, you simply don't need it unless you plan on living in Quebec).

- Paperwork processing in Canada can be terribly slow, it is basically the luck of the draw whether your paperwork will be processed in weeks, months, years or even decades! (no kidding...).

I could go on like this for a while, if you have any specific questions about moving to Canada (but not about this program) feel free to ask.

ramanujam 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The bad part: The investment has to come from a canadian VC or angel firm. It doesn't clearly state if it is a requirement though [1].

The good part: As many have already mentioned, it is a permanent residency status and not just a temporary visa. It comes along with all the health care benefits and social benefits as what Canadian citizens get [2]. So even if your first business fails, you will have the opportunity to start another one or find a job.

[1] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=653&t=6

[2] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/about-pr.asp

frankcaron 10 hours ago 3 replies      
While this is great in theory, it's likely not going to lead to anything other than one marquee Toronto Star story about the foreign entrepreneur who found success in Canada.

Canadian VCs are far too risk averse and conservative; that's why the uptick of start-ups in all areas of the country, even Toronto's own would-be "Valley" of Liberty Village and the Junction, hasn't fielded much in the ways of success.

Until Toronto VCs start taking more risks and going down the road of helping people experiment (much like YComb itself), I don't see this doing much other than acting as a talking point for why Canada is a good place to live.

(I say this as a Torontonian who has worked almost exclusively for start-ups in the GTA and is now moving to San Fran to work for another one).

bishnu 10 hours ago 3 replies      
The conditional on Canadian funding thing is killer. There is so little VC in Canada.
galactus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The canadian "citizen and immigration" service is seriously understaffed (thanks, Mr. Harper!). Some consequences of this:

* It currently takes more than two years in average to process a citizenship request.

* The CIC stopped accepting any new application from canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residency.

So, this all sounds good in paper, but Im skeptical about how well it will work in reality.

untog 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Theoretically this is fantastic. I'm in the US on an H1B visa and there's no clear path for me to be able to start my own company. My visa still has a couple of years left on it, but this is something I will be watching closely.

Of course, the US could implement a similar program in a heartbeat. And by "in a heartbeat", I mean "never, because the government in this country is utterly dysfunctional".

3pt14159 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone is doing a story on this I have photos from the announcement that are CC released :)


petercooper 11 hours ago 5 replies      
proof of having completed at least one year of post-secondary education

Seems oddly arbitrary. Most visas with educational requirements go for the complete degree, not just one year of education. All the tales of "drop outs" who make it big force their hand? :-)

hbharadwaj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the impact would be across the different types of startups. I see this as a boon for foreign entrepreneurs but there are associated downsides as well. For one as an example, if you are planning to start a service based start-up, you may have to manually grab users until your start-up picks up steam.

Based on the numbers from International Telecommunications Union, US has 10 times more online users. I am pretty sure online services and in general start-up success is also tied to your market size. Heck, the first thing they taught me in Management Consulting is to size up the market. I am sure you can get a Temporary Business Visitor visa to the US but as always, this complicates the story.

All in all, as someone from India, looking to start something, I am thrilled by the news but I am not going to apply until I run out of all options in the US. Just my $0.02.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_...

jrn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop complaining about vc, or culture; Canadians regularly blow billions on prospective mining companies on tsx-v. which never report any revenue.

Alberta spearheaded a funding model in the oil patch in the 90s, which is now accessible to the other provinces, which I believe could be useful in the tech sector. The capital pool company, http://www.tmx.com/en/listings/listing_with_us/ways/capital_...

We get a bunch of proven tech execs together, they issue shares, then they have 24 months to go find something worth buying and growing.

So instead of serial entrepreneurs, I believe we could also foster midlevel serial ceo's for instance I would buy stock in a jaquesm, pg or whoever, headed shell company to go and buy out some up and coming tech.

At least I think you could kickstart building a company out of aquihiring zombie startups. I would do this but I'm a no-name.

joshaidan 6 hours ago 2 replies      
There are a lot of smaller cities in Canada, i.e. cities that are not Vancouver, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, etc. that are trying very hard to build their own start-up communities. You may want to consider these places if it suits your idea.

For example, I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and there are a lot of grants specific to our region because we're considered a northern community. Since we're smaller, there's less competition, and more people will be willing to help you and promote your startup.

Also, if you're startup is involved in medical research, definitely consider Thunder Bay because there is a big medical research community and it's one of the areas the city is trying really hard to build up.

Take a look at these websites for more information:http://www.nwoinnovation.ca/http://www.tbrri.com/ for medical related startups)

Lastly, the cost of living in places like Thunder Bay (in particular housing) is much more affordable.

jdangu 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a designated list of VC/angel group investors:http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/eli...
mathattack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a shot across the bow of their Southern neighbors. The US needs to get our act in gear. Vancouver and Toronto are already world class cities.
neilrahilly 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The best thing the Canadian government could do for Canadian tech entrepreneurship would be to work with the US government to make it easier for Canadians to work in the States and Americans to work in Canada. That, more than anything, would help the skills, knowledge and resources required to build good software companies flow between Toronto and SV.
ronilan 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Had I been younger, and had no permanant status in North America, I would have followed this with whole my heart.

File the paper work, pay the fees and when the visa is stamped, just pack a small car and drive north.

Too bad I'm too old...

... and that I already did just that a decade ago... :D

danielsiders 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What's the possible reason for the education requirements? Shouldn't VC support and sufficient financing be enough?
joshsharp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Surprised nobody has mentioned http://startupvisa.ca/ which has a list of investors and a lot of help on the whole process.
k-mcgrady 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The education requirements are strange especially considering they only require one year. e.g. I started my business in the final year of high school and although I got accepted, decided not to attend University. I would be denied a visa. However someone who decided to drop out at the end of their first year of University would be accepted for a visa.

Doesn't seem to make much sense. Does anyone know how strict these requirements are yet?

icco 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Pretty interesting. Is there an equivalent to 500 or YC in Canada? What are the best tech cities in Canada? I know Vancouver and Quebec have universities with good CS programs, but that's about it.
rogerchucker 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Let's say an average person has a great idea but to come up with that idea she had to go through a lot of schooling and industry experience. Also she needed to earn enough to have a solid 11-13K bank balance. I have a feeling to attain these objectives that person would have to be in her mid-30s. How does a person at that age naturally adapt to a new country, when all she has experienced and adapted to so far is another culture in another country?
danielsiders 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I would rather have temporary worker visas for startup employees. Our biggest labor problem has been the difficulty of getting programmers who didn't go to college into the US. We'd move to Canada in a heartbeat if we could get the developers we wanted colocated with us.

How about N temporary worker visas/amount of VC funding?

sim0n 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine that the one year of required secondary education will prevent a lot of founders from applying for this visa (I would be one of them) but I can understand why it's required.
vijucat 8 hours ago 5 replies      
This might seem a bit superficial, but one of the reasons I fear a move to Canada is the weather; not the weather per se, but whether someone like me born in a tropical country would adjust well to the cold? I'm concerned that I would relapse into a depression ushered in by the winter blues (used to be depressed in my 20s, not sure why, it went away after 30, not sure why either), and lose my productivity. As a separate topic, it's slightly unsettling how much the ability to work hard defines many of us.

For context, I was born in South India and currently live + work in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, the temperature is around the same number as you see for, say, Victoria, BC, except for that the former is in Celsius while the latter is in Fahrenheit! :-)

jhull 10 hours ago 1 reply      
If an American VC firm opens an office in Toronto, does that count as Canadian VC money?

Seems like a good idea for American VCs to open incubators in Canada. Would allow them to global deal flow while only worrying about the regulations of Canada. Plus its quicker to fly there.

euphemize 11 hours ago 6 replies      
Went through the different links - does anyone know how long this Visa is valid for? If it's on that page, it seems to be hidden somewhere...
mjhea0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
i'd like to hear more about the startups that have made the move from the us to canada. from my perspective, this seems great for startups looking to get into the us market by making a stop in canada, growing, and then attracting us investors.

it will be interesting to see the long-term affects this has. will startups stay?

also, i would love to see an article about the canada startup community in general. canada's economy is well-balanced and from what i can tell pretty risk-adverse. how well people respond to the influx of startups that must take risks, gamble, and move quickly in order to survive?

tomjen3 9 hours ago 2 replies      
There is only one problem with this: it is Canada, not the US.

Why would I want to do a start-up in Canada, rather than say the UK or Germany or Chile?

kamakazizuru 10 hours ago 0 replies      
looks great - does any one here have any experience with any of the listed VCs/Angels? I can only spot 1-2 familiar names..
raverbashing 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks interesting.

You can apply as soon as the PAFSO strike ends...

devb0x 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't have that kind of money.

Is it easy to get a VISA as a developer?

thehme 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really interesting. I wonder why the US has not encouraged this more.
mjhea0 10 hours ago 2 replies      
i know that business taxes are relatively low, but what about personal incomes taxes? how will this affect having to pay double taxes (both us and canada). i believe you can write off the taxes you pay overseas, but you have to pay the difference in us taxes.
jathu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
YES! FUCK YES! Go Canada!
sneak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ha, low taxes.

They forgot the big one:


David Cameron cracks down on online pornography guardian.co.uk
297 points by mariorz  21 hours ago   340 comments top 79
conroy 21 hours ago 14 replies      
> Every household in Britain connected to the internet will be obliged to declare whether they want to maintain access to online pornography

These declarations will only be used to shame public figures once the list is leaked.

> The possession of "extreme pornography", which includes scenes of simulated rape, is to be outlawed.

Video footage of two consenting adults, acting out a scene, will be illegal to own. With this on the books, it seems a short hop to outlaw videos of simulated murder.

> The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is to draw up a blacklist of "abhorrent" internet search terms to identify and prevent paedophiles searching for illegal material.

A single search can now land you on a government list of accused pedophiles.


bhickey 21 hours ago 4 replies      

I doubt the Tories have a clean house in this regard. Every time some politician or other 'moral leader' starts pontificating about moral panic, I get suspicious that they're just trying to ban their vice. Clearly if they're so vocally opposed to it, they mustn't be partaking, right?

  Glenn Loury and cocaine.  Mark Foley and the exploitation of children.  Eliot Spitzer and prostitution.  John Ensign and 'family values'.  Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, countless others and homosexuality.  The Conservative Party and Back to Basics.
The list of hypocrites goes on and on and on.

fauigerzigerk 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It's amazing how politicians keep conflating these 4 things:

(a) Voluntary acts between adults

(b) Fantasy

(c) Preventing the use of porn by adolescents

(d) Protecting children (and others) from horrific crimes

In my view, the reason for that "mix up" is simply old fashioned prudery and religious fanaticism. (d) is the only thing that governments should care about.

Everlag 21 hours ago 2 replies      
`The government today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimise and strategise their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls`

What? In what world would 90% of ANY porn be legitimate?! I want rapists using strategies found in the fake garbage you can find online, at least then they will be less effective than they could be.

`And, in a really big step forward, all the ISPs have rewired their technology so that once your filters are installed, they will cover any device connected to your home internet account. No more hassle of downloading filters for every device, just one-click protection. One click to protect your whole home and keep your children safe.`

That's fucking censorship and I THOUGHT WE ALL AGREED THAT IS A SIGN OF FASCISM. Seriously, how many bloody times can someone use `FOR THE CHILDREN` as an a valid excuse? I hope this fellow gets put out of office with no pension. He is committing widespread censorship of an entire nation. And the people appreciate that. People also appreciated that Hitler brought Austria and Germany together in anschluss as well as the fact that he returned them from 40% unemployment. Funny how short sighted the people are.

`You're the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it`

I see, you want the people who have been working for their entire lives to better the human race to take their valued time and put that towards your endeavors of censoring anything that could potentially offend the parents of children? I'm sorry, you are what's wrong with the world.

I say we should build systems designed specifically to undermine these authoritarian measures.

JDDunn9 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Are there any real studies on the "corrosive influence" of porn on children? I'm pretty sure every young teen boy has seen porn these days. The only actual studies I'm aware of say that porn reduces actually violent sex crimes. It acts as a substitute.
harrytuttle 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Considering my mobile ISP (GiffGaff) thinks that the ThinkPad wiki is pornographic, I genuinely can say all this is going to do is break the internet.

The last thing we need is a broken Internet here. The economy is fucked enough already.

Add to that the whole is censorship right debate (it's not unless it's opt-in), the pre-crime list this generates and we're right into blatant fascism.

Where do we even start at fixing all this? I think we're helpless.

adamnemecek 21 hours ago 3 replies      

can't believe that people still fall for this shtick

bulatb 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> The possession of "extreme pornography", which includes scenes of simulated rape, is to be outlawed.

Certain scenes in Game of Thrones might trip this rule. More interestingly, the show is partly filmed in the UK.

I guess Martin, Benioff, and Weiss are all a bunch of criminals. But all those scenes of people stabbing, slashing, and killing each other with all kinds of blades are not a major THREAT TO CHILDREN in a country with a knife-crime problem.

hoggle 20 hours ago 1 reply      
There is an awful lot of populist policies coming out of the UK for the last couple of years. Is the current state of the economy really that bad?

Usually that's when politicians concentrate on less demanding, more emotional issues.

Also, nice power-grab right there - cause you never know!

"Sorry Angela, I can't open that WikiLeaks link you told me about." "Nigel, could it be that you forgot to let your porn filter be lifted?"

This is bad and as always not only for UK citizens because politicians like to look at other countries for inspiration and validation. Clearly in Austria some pundits will applaud this.

shanelja 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a move to shame those who watch pornography, that you have to ring someone up and say "Yeah, I'm trying to jack off here but for some reason pornhub won't load... Yeah... Uh... I'd like you to remove the porn filter please?"
fsniper 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Same tactics everywhere,

Mandatory internet Filters on every ISP as a precaution against pornography or child pornography. Same crippled laws as Turkey. Nobody is prevented reaching porn. But most of the time filters are used against so called "piracy", "extremist" political or "regional" views and these kinds of political agendas. Currently websites pro-evolution are struggling censorship.

iuguy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to try and do something about this, donate to the UK equivalent to the EFF, the Open Rights Group[1]. See their rather sane and well thought out views on this here[2]

[1] - http://www.openrightsgroup.org/

[2] - https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/cameron-demands-ac...

andyhmltn 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Why are people so afraid of pornography? A healthy society is one that promotes sex. Not one that censors its citizens for 'the children.'

Don't get me wrong: People that look at children and the like should be caught and prosecuted. But really, the way to go about that isn't to ban ALL of pornography. Are we to ban butter knifes incase someone goes on a rampage with one? No, we identify the issues that cause someone to do that and go after them.

I don't see the point in spending millions of pounds blocking search engines when those millions could be spent on the core issue. If someone wants to look at illegal illicit images, I can guarantee you the majority aren't going to search for it on google using their home internet connection.

netcan 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The news here is not the moral sentiments of the legislators. Porn (and sex generally) has been banned or restricted in pretty much every time and place. Think of TV. Different countries have different standards of what is allowable but the internet's median porn sites' contents would not be allowed anywhere near television.

The news here is more subtle. What the internet is, was, how it works and how its changing. It no longer feels like an anarchy that no one can control. We can argue about the why and how but I don't think we can dispute that the internet is no longer unregulatable, anonymous anarchy. That is the news here.

Governments, large corporations and other traditional power sources feel they can exercise influence and control over the internet. It's within their jurisdiction and physical capabilities.

astrange 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls

I wonder what the legal tests for that are here? Non-consensual fantasies are very popular among women who don't actually want to be victims of crimes. Will they ban romance novels?

Then next they could go after the female fandoms for Loki from the Avengers movie, yandere characters, and those girls who write love letters to serial killers. Okay, maybe the last ones could use some help.

foobarbazqux 21 hours ago 6 replies      
Personally speaking I would be glad to have this filter, but I wouldn't want to force it on other people. So if people got a choice about enabling the filter I would be okay with it, i.e. if it was opt-in. In that case it's providing a service to people who need a human barrier to help them stop looking at porn if they have a problem. Any preventative mechanism that you set up for your own sake is pointless when you have root.

Are there any arguments against an opt-in filter? The legislation is for an opt-out filter.

mariorz 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Submited title was: "Every household in England obliged to declare whether they want to access porn".
will_asouka 19 hours ago 3 replies      
> "I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don't just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.

>"You're the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it."

Yeah, come on clever technical people. Get it sorted. We've decided you need to uninvent nuclear weapons as well please. Immediately.

What embarrassing ignorance from a major public figure.

toyg 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The fact that they're bringing it up now, while half the country is on holiday and the land is in the grips of the best weather for almost a decade, is worrying. It means they might actually be serious about it.

And serious they might be indeed, considering they need some cheap win after years of economic mismanagement. The economy keeps stalling and the 2015 General Election is getting closer; considering bureaucratic timescales, if you want anything to actually be done by then, you need to start now.

Sigh. I guess it'll be a win for Swedish VPN providers.

muyuu 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This stinks. I don't want a great firewall of Britain filtering my access to the net China-style, site by site. We let this trend advance and they'll be whitelisting in no time. And when you complain about the extreme surveillance you will be branded a paedophile and a rapist.
shimfish 19 hours ago 1 reply      
My Israeli ISP has a default porn filter. I had to call and cancel it because the proxy broke svn. No, honestly, it did.
cinquemb 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> All police forces will work with a single secure database of illegal images of children to help "close the net on paedophiles".

Let me guess, David Cameron is going to appoint himself to head some special committee to dole out who gets to access to said database

This is going go down well in history

jackschultz 21 hours ago 3 replies      
First off, I hate it how they always try to frame new laws as trying to "protect" people. The same with airline searches and the whole PRISM deal.

Also, I read somewhere on the subject of child pornography that allowing those people to look at images cuts down on the act because they seem to "get their fix." I can't remember where I read this so I can't provide a source, but it seems to make sense.

eksith 16 hours ago 0 replies      
We should all applaud David Cameron for supporting small businesses. Escort services have been in the dump lately due to the proliferation of free/cheap filth; this will finally give much needed boost to the local economy.


I'm wondering if a sizable number of the public is brave enough to get their names into the opt-in as a virtual "I am Spartacus" and two fingers to Cameron.

MarkMc 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this policy electoral suicide? Sure, there's a vocal minority who want to 'think of the children' and are backing Cameron's plan. But I'd imagine the vast majority of the population want to view pornography without putting their name on a smut-list. These people aren't going to form campaign groups but will be happy to express their view in the anonymous confines of a polling booth.
yenoham 20 hours ago 3 replies      
TL;DR - "Yea I guess, but..."

Personally I don't have huge a problem with the default filtering; most households (with or without kids) don't have the knowledge to effectively enable filtering for all their devices - giving them 'protection' by default, and allowing the option to have full access is currently what most - maybe all - mobile phone operators do in the UK anyway in 3G/GSM connections.

However, its important that the opt-out is incredibly straight forward - an online form for example (ideally during signup with a new provider) - no need for 'humiliating' phone calls where you have to explain why you want to see Super Army of Boob 2, for example.

I do wonder what this will mean when accessing sites like The Pirate Bay - which often have boobs-a-plenty in the sidebar ads. Does it mean that people who visit sites that happen to have 'pornographic' ads ALSO need the filtering off.

My bigger concern here is that these measures will very likely do nothing to stem child pornography (and I would hazard a guess sexual abuse in general); my reasoning is that I don't imagine your average paedophile just opens their vanilla browser in the morning and Googles for '[child related sex terms]' - surely this kind of activity hides behind systems such as Tor?

One other thing that springs to mind; presumably, unless there is explicit legislation against this, ISPs can now sell your filter preferences for marketing purposes; perhaps putting you in some 'boxes' you wouldn't want to be in.

mtp0101 17 hours ago 0 replies      
As a kid, my parents tried using parental control software on my computer to block porn and other inappropriate content. This turned out to be helpful because it motivated me to learn how to exploit the software.I applaud Mr. Cameron's inadvertent efforts to enhance the computer skills of his nation's youth.
jpswade 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is because it's very difficult to argue with "think of the children".

However, when we were kids, we traded pornography on floppy disks, so this solves nothing.

beedogs 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's almost as if the US and the UK are trying to one-up each other in the race to fully implement a fascist police-state.

Seems like the UK has just taken the lead.

DoubleMalt 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually that would make Zeffirelli's production of "The Taming of the Shrew" borderline illegal.

Along with many other respected works of art and culture.

The Anglo Saxon penchant for pruderish grandstanding combined with the British desire for an overbearing nanny state is a truly disturbing combination.

Unfortunately there are a lot of sheep on the British isles (as everywhere)

aspensmonster 17 hours ago 0 replies      
>Once those filters are installed, it should not be the case that technically literate children can just flick the filters off at the click of a mouse without anyone knowing.


Ouch. My sides.

hkmurakami 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This honestly makes more sense as an opt out for parents to utilize for their children...
summerdown2 16 hours ago 0 replies      
> The possession of "extreme pornography", which includes scenes of simulated rape, is to be outlawed.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?

Once Upon a Time in the West?

A Clockwork Orange?

Titus Andronicus?

Remember when RIPA was only supposed to be for terrorism?


joshuak 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is, stupidly, in direct opposition to the trend towards a popular understanding of "power exchange" relationships.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/books/fifty-shades-of-grey... (not even a new idea)


Dear Mr. Cameron, you just saw how the gay marriage issue went and you where quick to jump on board. You really want to be on the wrong side of this issue?

Beware the Red Menace--er I mean child pornography (insert fear of the moment mongering here).

bollockitis 21 hours ago 1 reply      
In other news, VPN usage in the UK skyrockets. Strict measures to be taken to reduce sexcrime.
ollysb 17 hours ago 1 reply      
According to the guardian's article at [1] it appears the system will actually be opt-in. From a leaked letter sent from the Department of Education to the ISPs:

"Without changing what you will be offering (ie active-choice +), the prime minister would like to be able to refer to your solutions [as] 'default-on'"

active-choice+ is a set of filters that may be enabled on request.

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/21/david-ca...

Fuxy 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Great another excuse to ban millions of sites under the disguise of protecting children from porn or catching child rapists.

Let's talk about what this really is. It's just the governments way of telling us what porn we should watch and banning anything they think is "not normal".

And if some legitimate sites get mixed up in this this filter we're suppose to believe it's an honest mistake right?

Stay away from my porn Cameron or I'll fuck you up.

lazyjones 15 hours ago 0 replies      
We've had similar attempts in several countries before, mostly argued for with the fight against child pornography. This has nothing to do with pornography, Cameron wants a censorship infrastructure so he can prevent access to sensitive "leaks" and other content that his regime might find dangerous.

Just don't get dragged into a for/against pornography discussion, it's pointless in this context. Even if you're naive enough to believe Cameron is actually trying to censor pornography, ask yourself whether such an infrastructure can and consequently will be abused.

philip1209 20 hours ago 0 replies      
How are they enacting the filter? Would switching DNS from the cable company bypass it?
mcintyre1994 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mr Cameron tells us that he's terrified of what his children can access online. You'd think with access to some of the UK's most intelligent brains he'd be able to master parental guidance of internet usage without legislating it.

Isn't this just telling parents that the internet will suddenly be safe, a government sanctioned message to that effect is quite a bit stronger than your ISPs salesperson. Of course, the filter will either resemble China or have holes so assuming the latter any responsible parent will still want to monitor their children's usage.

The effect of this law seems to be constrained to making David Cameron (and other not-very-technically-knowledgeable parents) feel that he's a responsible parent, but to be honest I'd rather taxpayers pay for a nanny for him than for this ridiculous law - cheaper and much more effective.

conradfr 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess we would live in a wonderful world if there was no children and terrorists.
frozenport 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I doubt this will have much effect on English youth as they also have the earliest self reported loss of virginity in the civilized world!

See http://www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc/documents/godeau_2008_contracep...

ciderpunx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Its going to be against the rules to look up offensive terms like, say, "child abuse imagery".

Which presumably means that the legislation will have to use the term "child abuse imagery". Which means that it will be impossible to look up the legislation using a search engine. One has to wonder how we are expected to know whether or not we are complying with it given that we shan't be legally allowed to search for it.

moocowduckquack 20 hours ago 1 reply      
How is this going to work if people https to sites outside the UK?
JanneVee 16 hours ago 0 replies      
>> If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don't just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.

>> "You're the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it."

Do I read this right? So they don't care how expensive or hard the problem is to solve they just demand it to be solved. And even if the solution is bad or expensive, both customers and taxpayers must still pay to have it implemented. Got it.

TomGullen 16 hours ago 0 replies      
He does this for "moral" reasons yet recently vetoed the minimum alcohol price proposal:

> We do not yet have enough concrete evidence that its introduction would be effective in reducing harms associated with problem drinking, without penalising people who drink responsibly.

Where's the "concrete evidence" for this new stuff?

Not something anyone can challenge either without putting their reputation on the line.

summerdown2 16 hours ago 1 reply      
A comment today on Nicky Cambell's bbc phone in:

> I'm a social worker, and once this goes into force, I will know that any household where the kids have access to porn has come from a parent making a conscious choice to let it happen.

bruceboughton 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The one hope in all of this is the inability of ISPs to filter accurately, especially with innocuous false positives. A lot of mobile providers in the UK already have opt-out adult filters on their 3G services. They frequently block things such as websites about bars & pubs.

If the filters are this poor and the blocked page banner tells you how to, a large percentage of people will opt out making this an ineffective "watches porn list".

goggles99 18 hours ago 5 replies      
Yeah, porn should be at the fingertips of every man woman and child. Porn leads to healthy lifestyles and healthy sex lives, cultures and communities.

Just look at life before porn existed. Never any healthy societies or sexual relationships then - they did not even exist. What harm could porn possibly cause anyone? Putting into someones mind a fantasy of how sex really can and should be? How could that ever cause any future sexual relationship to suffer in any way?

How could putting sexual assault video or images into any 10 year old's mind - images that they will never come out, how could that ever cause any potential problems with their natural sexual development? Inconceivable.

People in a truly free country should be able to get their free porn on YouTube whilst buying their methamphetamine (legally) outside (or even inside) of the local welfare office. Now that it the country that I want to live in...

marshray 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I commend David Cameron and his party for doing more than anyone else this week in promoting privacy-preserving technologies such as Tor, VPNs, HTTPS, etc.
vincie 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Should crack down on Facebook instead. Here in Australia at least, I have read of more people being murdered by someone they met via Facebook that through a pornography site.
confluence 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm consistently astounded at England's ability in the last couple of decades to move towards the fictional UK societies we see in 1984 and V for Vendetta. It's almost like the people have come to the exact opposite conclusion that the authors were trying to impress upon their audiences.

> "Wow, censorship, totalitarianism and mass surveillance are great ideas. We really should implement them."

Secondly, it is impossible to filter information within a society that doesn't have North Korea like tendencies. As soon as this filter goes up, people will just rent servers overseas, and get their internet via encrypted lines that aren't subject to censorship.

Banning porn is like trying ban alcohol. Everyone knows that it's a vice, everyone still does it (isn't 20% of global internet bandwidth porn?), and banning it just puts money into the hands of organized crime.

Thirdly, won't a bunch of mainstream award-winning films that come out every single year become illegal under this act? Games too for that matter. Say good bye to crime shows and violent film in the UK.

Finally, this is just one step away the Great Firewall of China. The argument that we need to protect children from the "corrosive" aspects of society might expand to other political parties, or ideas that aren't in the interests of those already in power.

The thing with censorship is that as soon as a you do a little, it's funny how quickly that becomes a lot. You just have to think of the children now then don't you?

bittired 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it is great that David Cameron is trying to protect his country.

But, I think the implementation of anything that restricts the internet before content gets to the client will take things down a bad road, which is why similar efforts keep getting struck down in the U.S. When you give the power of restricting communication to the government or even to a contractor for the government, how will that not be abused? You may as well let them open every bit of mail and every parcel and check to see what you are wearing each morning to ensure it is appropriate.

rayj 20 hours ago 0 replies      
How about he does something productive and bans 50 shades of grey.
SG- 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems it would be better to have an opt-in list instead of forcing everyone into it by default and making a list of those that didn't want it.
goggles99 17 hours ago 1 reply      
OK, here is the difference. I know, I know - censorship generally is bad. What will they (the government) consider "harmful" next? information right? political opinion, it's book burning, this is a slippery slope ETC.

The aforementioned things do not have the consensus of psychologists and other professionals in the world agreeing that the content in question can cause psychological harm to a certain percent of society (particularly children).

That is the difference. The legal guardians of those who know that the potential is higher that their children may be affected negatively by pornography should be able to have the ability to make it harder for them to access it.

I see a lot of posts here talking about parents putting filtering software on their computer. Well, there is always easy ways around those. How many kids have iPhones today with unfettered internet access? how many kids use a public library? how many kids know computers better than their parents or grandparents and can get around any filtering software that may be installed on their home computer?

I remember the uproar at the proposition that porn content be delivered over an .xxx domain. Why was there such an uproar? How was it censorship to classify content that could be dangerous to some? Are movie ratings censorship? Are 8 year old kids legally allowed to buy tickets to NC-17 movies? It seems like the precedent had already been set.

It was all about money of course. The porn industry knows that the younger a person watches porn for the first time, the more likely they are to continue watching/purchasing porn indefinitely. The porn industry WANTS minors to view the porn. They do everything they possibly can to entice them at the earliest age possible. Does anyone think that the porn industry is high on the ethical and moral hill and would never take advantage of children to make more money?

Why should anyone outside the home have the power to do this? Why do parents have such little power and so little and ineffective tools to limit their child's exposure to pornographic material?

This is no more censorship than current laws requiring that porn mags be put on shelves a certain distance from the ground in retail stores so that 8 year old kids generally cannot reach them.

DanBC 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's scary just how idiotic he sounds when talking about this.

He did an interview with the BBC Radio Four programme "Woman's Hour". He sounds computer illiterate.

Gonzih 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Sweet, list of people interested in pornography. And that information will be stored inside government infrastructure. Leaks are coming, public shaming is coming.
hide_nowhere 15 hours ago 0 replies      
And like usual, we'll find the public figures responsible for pushing such regulations on morality will be those most likely to be the biggest offenders.

But this isn't about "protecting the children" from porn, is it?

I'm on the wrong side of 40, and I've been online for 28 years. Professionally involved in the software and bitplumbing of "the web" for all of my adult life. I saw jwz's camo cube and montulli's fish tank with my own eyes, and years before that, wrote software alongside visionaries guided by the promise of building online communities and the freedom of information.

It wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

The people making these rules are incapable of building the surveillance apparatus without our involvement. Take this opportunity to look hard at what you're creating, and examine the motives of the people you're building it for.

mcantelon 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Good way to be able to implement "D-notices" on the web. Sigh.
vjvj 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Trying to garner popularity because:a) This is something most people hate, and he is taking a stance they will sympathize with

b) He singles out Google as needing to do more. Google has received a lot of bad press recently due to tax avoidance. Therefore, criticizing Google will go down well with a lot of people.

gordaco 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's baffling how many times the "think of the children" excuse gets used to, actually, treat everyone as children. Won't somebody please think of the adults?
merlincorey 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Just curious... So depictions of violence against men are still going to be okay?

And we think we've come so far with gender equality...

noptic 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Best get one of those:http://www.streetshirts.co.uk/sites/streetshirts.co.uk/conte...

Disclaimer: No I do not get money for this.

rythie 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this will actually be able filter SSL sites. Even if it can, it's not going protect from people using Tor or VPNs.
alexchamberlain 17 hours ago 2 replies      
So, what stops a technically literate teenage boy from opening an encrypted VPN connection to a VM and tunneling traffic through that?
ogwyther 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a more fundamental problem here than the law itself. People who fail to understand any aspect of the internet, should not be allowed to legislate against it in any way. It's madness.
loceng 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Wrong for too many reasons - especially linking child pornography with pornography - the former actually being child abuse, and later being consenting adults.
vfclists 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This law only shows the kind of filthy, dirty, sleazebags our politicians have become.The whole idea is to create a database of people who are happy to view porn on their internet connections. The concept is so outrageous that it simple boggles the mind. What kind grubby vote seeking laws are politicians going to come up with next?
FellowTraveler 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This has nothing to do with porn.

Porn is just a good justification for getting a "Great Firewall of China" system implemented in the UK.

Mordor 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You know it's time for an election when politicians start talking about morals. When will they ever learn?
tragomaskhalos 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything done in response to a campaign by the Daily Mail can only be a bad idea ...
lotsofcows 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Weasel generates easy headlines without doing anything useful. FTFY.
ulrikrasmussen 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait, this just went through parliament without any problems? I may have lived under a rock, but this is the first time I ever hear about this. Is this just a proposition from the English government, or is the new legislation already accepted?
aunty_helen 19 hours ago 1 reply      
This would be a good segue into blocking anonymising proxies as well. For the kids of course.
bjoyx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Translation:"Im not making this speech because I want to moralise or scaremonger"->"Im making this speech because I want to moralise and scaremonger"
lobe44 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think society as a whole is a bit too hard on pedophiles. Even rapists have an outlet to relieve their sexual frustration and can go to counseling without still being called a monster.

Pedophilia is just like any other sexual orientation. It is not something you just turn off, pedophiles need counseling and ways to relieve their sexual frustration. Things like CG porn and Lolicon for example should be legal. It is just not realistic to tell pedophiles to just stop and then put them in prison for the rest of their lives when they act on their desires, they will most likely be stabbed because even among criminals pedophilia is the worst of the worst and you are more likely to be stabbed if you raped a 15 year old than a 16 year old.

And this whole argument that watching fake rape porn will turn you into a rapist is bullshit. It is just like the argument that violent video games turn you into a violent person.

waqasx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
upvote if you think this is just a cover story to increase internet surveillance and put internet in government control. USA does it to protect itself from 'terroeists' we all know how well that turned out. but since theres going to be no public outrage over freedom to watch porn, this trickster will fool his public this way.
mixxer 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't wait until David Cameron learns that you can anonymously buy drugs on the Internet and have them shipped directly to your house.
MIT Moves to Intervene in Release of Aaron Swartzs Secret Service File wired.com
281 points by hermanywong  4 days ago   67 comments top 14
akg_67 3 days ago 2 replies      
MIT is no exception when it comes to the current class of inverse heroes. Recent events have shown that every person or organization will stoop as low as they can go to protect self-interest while preaching ethics and accountability to others and expecting them to follow in any condition.

"While in the past people of rank or status were those and only those who took risks, who had the downside for their actions, and heroes were those who did so for the sake of others, today the exact reverse is taking place. We are witnessing the rise of a new class of inverse heroes, that is, bureaucrats, bankers, Davos-attending members of the I.A.N.D. (International Association of Name Droppers), and academics with too much power and no real downside and/or accountability. They game the system while citizens pay the price.

Excerpt From: Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

cowsandmilk 4 days ago 5 replies      
(Note, this is purely informational, I completely disagree with what MIT is doing in this case)

It is interesting that they have never heard of third party's intervening in FOIA cases because it actually is a common occurrence in academia.

Many times, a professor at another university will file a FOIA request for your grant application. If you feel your research plans are threatened by having the details of your grant passed along to this other professor, your university will intervene on your behalf in the FOIA request. This is especially true if there is patentable material in the grant that they fear will be threatened by wide dissemination of the contents of the grant. Even if they fail in blocking the FOIA request, they usually can at least delay the release long enough to file a preliminary patent on the material described in the grant application.

I can understand reporters not having heard of this tactic, but I'm surprised an expert FOIA litigator would be unfamiliar with these cases.

afarrell 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'll wait to see the actual motion, but it seems reasonable that they would want the names of staff redacted to prevent them from getting death threats from people that equate them to leaders of the hitler youth.


beedogs 3 days ago 1 reply      
MIT must've done something really embarrassingly awful to want to suppress this.
mullingitover 4 days ago 0 replies      
I recall a wise man once said, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
mythz 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Streisand effect will come into play here. If they fail in their bid, everyone's going to pay extra attention to look for what they were trying to hide.
davidxc 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm wondering why MIT still hasn't released its report on how Aaron Swartz's situation was handled.

I think the report was supposed to have been released months ago.

JumpCrisscross 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have the breakdown of MIT's total funding from: (i) tuition, (ii) alumni donations, (iii) endowment distributions, (iv) government contracts, grants, etc., and, (v) non-alumni non-governmental sources (other)?
jlgreco 4 days ago 3 replies      
Do they really think that this is making them look any better in this situation?
thinkcomp 4 days ago 0 replies      
MWil 4 days ago 2 replies      
Can anyone answer this: wouldn't this information have been forced to be public as part of any successful criminal trial?

Wasn't MIT's network setup directly at issue?

venomsnake 3 days ago 0 replies      
Are all organisations lately competing in some limbo tournament? How low can you set the bar and still move below it?

There is no point of saving the face if it makes you look like an ass ...

locusm 4 days ago 0 replies      
If the NSA cant keep a secret...This case is so profoundly sad.
BrokenPipe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very sad.
Obama wins back the right to indefinitely detain under NDAA rt.com
272 points by areski  4 days ago   145 comments top 22
spodek 4 days ago 10 replies      
"Congress granted the president the authority to arrest and hold individuals accused of terrorism without due process under the NDAA, but Mr. Obama said in an accompanying signing statement that he will not abuse these privileges to keep American citizens imprisoned indefinitely"

If you want to influence someone, it helps to understand their motivations. I can't conceive of what Obama has in mind with pursuing this law against resistance.

Is it not obvious to everyone the unwanted side-effects of this kind of power? Is it not obvious how much this flies in the face of the intent of the people who wrote the Constitution. Or more relevantly the Declaration of Independence? Obama is a lawyer! He's intelligent. What can he be thinking? Did he forget the purpose and spirit of the Bill of Rights as he and advisors schemed to get around its letters?

Those revolutionaries would have all been labeled terrorists today. With the King in England, any colonist would have been an enemy combatant, stripped of rights, jailed or worse arbitrarily, and who knows what else.

Whether the United States has become what we rebelled against is not the question. If nothing changes, it's only a matter of time. This country has gotten rid of slavery and overcome major hurdles of sexual and racial inequality. Let's hope we have what it takes to overcome this centralization of power and unaccountability. And that we act on it.

junto 4 days ago 3 replies      
This disgusts me.

Sooner or later, my public announcement of this disgust is going to place me on a list of people that are seen as dissenters, since all of our electronic communication is now being logged for posterity. That list will at some point be renamed "terrorists".

At some point in the future (as a non-American), the United States would find it legally acceptable that I can be targeted by a drone and blown up into little pieces. Should wife, my children (one a toddler and the other a baby) happen to be present, then they will be considered "collateral damage".

I love the idea of the American dream and the spirit of free speech and the glorious constitution that you have / had in America, but I'm sorry, you've just lost me. I'm like a lover you just beat up for the first time. I've lost that sparkle of first love. I'm crying inside. I'm scared to show you that emotion, because I'm afraid you'll use it against me.

You're a bully and there is no teacher to get you back in line. You scare me.

I know this will get downvoted to hell, but I just had to splurge my mind.

eksith 4 days ago 6 replies      
Why is it that every leader in power seems to forget that they won't stay in that position forever? Let's take his word for it and say the power won't be abused. What of his successors?

If a power exists, it will be abused. Period. It's only a matter of time. That's the whole premise behind checks and balances and due process. You don't leave power in the hands of a few, but the many.

birchtree 4 days ago 1 reply      
One important aspect of "without due process" is that it means that they don't have to prove anyone is a terrorist. They don't even have to believe someone is a terrorist, they only need to pretend that they do.

I'm not sure whether this applies much in the kinds of situations where this in particular is used, but in this country people have rights such as silence that can be circumvented because suspected terrorists are treated differently and have fewer rights - those who don't cooperate will continue to be treated as terrorists.

Mordor 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Mr. Obama said in an accompanying signing statement that he will not abuse these privileges"

Sure, he'll just ask someone else to do it...

kaustubh 4 days ago 3 replies      
So Obama has right to detain Americans and, please note, foreigners indefinitely, but he says he will not use these privileges to keep Americans (only?) imprisoned indefinitely.So does it mean foreigners have no rights in America? I guess its time governments all over the world start adding US to the list of rogue countries.
mercurial 4 days ago 1 reply      
So, if I understand US politics right, you have the choice between the side who will lie to you about going to war and curtail your civil liberties, and the side who will lie to you about curtailing your civil liberties and do it anyway? Tough choice between plague and cholera.
confluence 4 days ago 1 reply      
This "I won't abuse my extraordinary privilege" mindset that people in power appear to have is naive beyond all comprehension. It reminds me of an exchange that occurred during a Clinton administration meeting on the legality of extraordinary rendition back in 1993:

> 'extraordinary renditions', were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgment of the host government.... The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: "Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'"

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition


> Congress granted the president the authority to arrest and hold individuals accused of terrorism without due process under the NDAA, but Mr. Obama said in an accompanying signing statement that he will not abuse these privileges to keep American citizens imprisoned indefinitely

How could this possibly not end up with someone abusing it? Without due process, the executive branch basically has carte blanche to do whatever the hell it wants. Political opponents. People you don't like. People in the media. Whistleblowers. No one has any rights any more. All it would take is for a covert agent or hacker to plant bomb making material on your computer to detain (and torture) you until you die.

Everyone knows that this is illegal. Everyone knows that this is insanely stupid. Everyone knows that this will be abused. Everyone knows that this is against the constitution.

Shit still happens anyway.

The terrorists fucking won. They've destroyed America, and they didn't even have to lift a finger to do it. We did it all on our very own.

I'm tired. So very tired.

adamc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Obama has demonstrated, with this and other acts, that he does not hold civil liberties in high regard. I'm disappointed in him, but the pattern has been consistent enough that I am no longer surprised.
jneal 4 days ago 0 replies      
More proof that the United States government is no longer considering itself under jurisdiction of the constitution.
tete 4 days ago 1 reply      
One of the first things we learned in history and politics in school is that the worst thing you can do is the separation of power and NEVER EVER combining any of Executive, Legislature or Judiciary, because that's what distinguishes authoritarian from democratic systems.

It is something so basic and fundamental that every person here has to learn it and what it means as a child. Every politician hast to have a deep understanding of why that is so fundamentally important, else he really shouldn't be entrusted with any kind of political position in any kind of republic.

It's something that is known since the antique and has been strengthened by any bad government that appeared throughout history, so how is it that such a law (or actually anti-law) is possible and not uniformly rejected in first place?

bobwaycott 3 days ago 0 replies      
Legal standing strikes again.

While on the whole, legal standing is a good doctrine and litmus test, when it comes to laws and practices such as these, I cannot help but think we need to advocate for change to interpreting the validity of the case and the need to adjudicate on constitutional questions through legal standing alone.

This is off the cuff, but I find it very unhelpful when the Congress and President can enact and execute laws that cannot be questioned in the courts by concerned citizens unless they have been or can arguably prove legal standing. Challenging the constitutionality of laws should not require that one's rights and liberty be violated beforehand.

mercurial 4 days ago 1 reply      
Land of the free, eh?
drraoulduke 4 days ago 0 replies      
From the President that brought you "if there is a step we can take that will save even one child.... we should take that step."
cpursley 4 days ago 1 reply      
But he speaks so well....

I wonder how many people would support another Obama term, despite existing term limits and his actions. My guess is a lot.

pivnicek 4 days ago 1 reply      
Please also notice that this "news" is reported on Russia Today. Where is the American Reporting? They are too concerned with royal babies, ironically.
fatjokes 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing his Nobel Peace Prize medal is being used as a coaster in the White House right now.
ekianjo 4 days ago 0 replies      
I guess that's what Snowden will get if he ever lands in the US again. No trial, just indefinitely roting in jail.
mtgx 4 days ago 2 replies      
Hasn't that NY Court heard of the Constitution? Human rights? Or do American Courts usually not take into account international laws for human rights?

Either way, what's scary about this it's that it's happening under normal conditions. At least if they could declare an emergency state, or officially declare the war against those "enemy combatants", because then you'd know that they may get some extra-judicial powers, but only temporary.

But you can imagine this will last forever, because US will never be at "more peace" than they are right now, and it's all because how they are acting abroad. So don't think these laws will ever change unless more people speak out against them and hold their Congress accountable for it.

quattrofan 4 days ago 1 reply      
So Obama says he wont "abuse" it, but what about his successor, and the successor after that? I assume this law does not expire once he leaves office...
pivnicek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Welcome to extra-legal-land. There are no rights here except for those of the accuser. No burden of proof or evidence required! Do you hold executive privilege? Imprison and murder as you wish.
tankbot 4 days ago 0 replies      
cough Snowden cough
Apple Developer Website Update
270 points by danielsiders  1 day ago   209 comments top 51
Lightbody 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Here's my semi-educated guess for how the attack started: from casual observation (view source, URLs ending with .action, etc) a good chunk of the ADC is written in Java and uses WebWork/Struts2, a framework I helped create years ago.

Late last week a security advisory came out that allows for executing malicious code[1]. Atlassian, which uses similar technology, also issued announcements around the same time[2]. My wild speculation is this was the attack vector.

Sadly, I feel some responsibility for this pretty major security hole. There have been a few like this and they are all rooted in the fact that almost 9 years ago I made the (bad) decision to use OGNL as WebWork's expression language. I did so because it was "powerful" but it opened up all sorts of extra binding trickery I never intended. I haven't been contributing to the project in 5+ years, but this is a good reminder how technology choices tend to stick around a lot longer than you ever imagine :)

[1] http://struts.apache.org/release/2.3.x/docs/s2-016.html[2] https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/BAMBOO/Bamboo+Secur...

jpdoctor 1 day ago 6 replies      
> Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed.

So they can't rule out the possibility that sensitive personal information, which cannot be accessed, has been accessed. Got it.

Apparently our intelligence, which cannot be insulted, has been insulted.

tcas 1 day ago 1 reply      
I downloaded the CRL for developer certificates [1] and quickly looked at it using grep:

  grep -E "Revocation Date: Jul 17 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt | wc -l      3065  grep -E "Revocation Date: Jul 18 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt | wc -l      2289  grep -E "Revocation Date: Jul 19 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt | wc -l         2  grep -E "Revocation Date: Jul 20 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt | wc -l         0  grep -E "Revocation Date: Jul 21 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt | wc -l         0
These are the two certificates that were revoked on the 19th

  grep -A 3 -B 1 -E "Revocation Date: Jul 19 .{8} 2013" wwdrccrl.txt      Serial Number: 2628C7F90970D227          Revocation Date: Jul 19 03:14:04 2013 GMT          CRL entry extensions:              X509v3 CRL Reason Code:                   Key Compromise  --      Serial Number: 1A51ABFA4844BD45          Revocation Date: Jul 19 03:24:03 2013 GMT          CRL entry extensions:              X509v3 CRL Reason Code:                   Key Compromise
To generate the wwdrccrl.txt file I used:

  openssl crl -inform DER -text -noout -in wwdrca.crl > wwdrccrl.txt
Just to be clear -- every entry there I see lists the reason as Key Compromise, just interesting that they usually seem to revoke at least 2000 certificates a day but suddenly stopped on the 19th with just revoking 2.


dakrisht 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database."

That does not sound like an intruder "attempt" by any means.

They got hacked, and they got hacked bad if they're rebuilding databases and overhauling entire enterprise-class systems over there.

Transparent my ass. They're deep in the gutter, 3-days and counting no fix, engineers are probably working 24 hours a day and the entire site is still down. This isn't a small time breach folks. They had to go public considering it will probably be down for a few more days...

kyro 1 day ago 2 replies      
No reason to be up in arms, folks. They've got the marketing team working on this too.
tsm 1 day ago 3 replies      
These details are befuddling. "Personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed". It can't be accessed because it's somehow stored elsewhere, or it can't be accessed because of the encryption? That is, does the intruder currently own my encrypted data?

I'm also disappointed that it took them 72 hours to tell us anything, and that the update doesn't even have a timeline for when the site may be back. "Soon" is meaningless.

johansch 23 hours ago 1 reply      
There is an interesting comment at techcrunch:


"[...] One of those bugs have provided me access to users details etc. I immediately reported this to Apple. I have taken 73 users details (all apple inc workers only) and prove them as an example.

4 hours later from my final report Apple developer portal gas closed down and you know it still is. I have emailed and asked if I am putting them in any difficulty so that I can give a break to my research. I have not gotten any respond to this.. [...] "

peterkelly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand everyone's frustrations with this, and the fact that Apple haven't been immediately clear on exactly what happened. As a developer, I too am alarmed by what has happened.

But these things are complex, and it takes time (i.e. a few days) to fully and properly evaluate what has happened and what information leaks/security breaches have occurred.

Let's give this a reasonable amount of time, and only then pass judgement on their handling of the case.

I don't want to appear like an Apple apologist - and maybe it is a serious fault on their side. But in fairness I do think it's reasonable we give them time to evaluate & respond appropriately.

pdknsk 1 day ago 3 replies      
Hmm so it only takes a few days to "completely overhaul" their developer systems? Not sure I believe this is what they're actually doing. And why haven't they updated their server software before? I know mistakes can never be completely avoided, but this seems slightly amateurish for a company with so much cash.
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got this email about an hour ago. I feel sorry for the folks who are "updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database". Songs will be sung in the opsen bars about about this battle.

From the sound of the email it suggests they have records of some data (perhaps not sensitive data :-) being compromised but no root cause on how it was compromised, so they are re-building systems from the ground up validating, configuring, and then moving to the next step.There are times where this is faster than spending time trying to root cause the exploit.

That said, this is where privacy and security collide. Since logs going back months of what everyone has done on every system really helps reconstruct things, but of course if you have those logs it means that someone else can abuse them.

sarreph 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little more info from TC:http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/21/apple-confirms-that-the-dev...

Update Just got off the phone with an Apple rep, who confirmed a bit more:

- The hack only affected developer accounts; standard iTunes accounts were not compromised

- Credit card data was not compromised

- They waited three days to alert developers because they were trying to figure out exactly what data was exposed

- There is no time table yet for when the Dev Center will return

nwh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Uh, how does this "encryption" work?

For the website to show these details (and it does, in part, use these details in the interface) it must be able to decrypt these on the web applications side. Ergo the keys for decryption must also be on the server or derived from the users passwords, both of which make the use of encryption a fairly worthless venture.

ED: As another commenter mentioned in an earlier thread, lots of other AppleID facing applications are gone as well ( https://ecommerce.apple.com/ ), so it would be interesting to find out how far this all goes. The websites don't seem that far disconnected from the information in iCloud.

peterkelly 1 day ago 3 replies      
Good to see some transparency on Apple's part here.

I understand this must be a very challenging situation for them to deal with, and I appreciate the notification. As I'm sure many developers feel, I'd like to know more details, but I'm sure these will come in due course.

jchimney 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read the comments dismissing apples handling of this. What would you have expected them to do? There is a LOT of forensics going on probably even now trying to get a handle on this. A massive corp isn't going to make an announcement until they have some idea what they're talking about. In my books 4 days is a very quick first announcement from a company of this size.
jhspaybar 22 hours ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, Wednesday morning at 4am I had an email account associated with my developer account compromised(they both stupidly used the same password). This account was used for almost nothing but accessing my developer accounts at Apple. At the time, I thought my Apple accounts might be in trouble and I immediately changed all my Apple related passwords as well as regained control of my email account. I'm now wondering if the breach might have gone the other direction...
yapcguy 1 day ago 1 reply      
> "In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue."

Ha, what a joke, I can't help laughing at that.

With so many third-party Apple developers drinking the kool-aid, and dreaming of becoming rich, I'm not surprised Apple treat them like fools.

Just yesterday on Twitter, some developers were speculating that the site was taken down to be updated with new SDKs for exciting new features and product lines.

kalleboo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any idea what "rebuilding our database" means? Reticulating the splines? I hear those go out of alignment sometimes.
blinkingled 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> In order to prevent a security threat like this from happening again, were completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database.

I am wondering what was the thought process behind this gem. I think this looks like a knee jerk reaction and it's particularly lacking polish coming from Apple. I mean clearly Apple knows that "overhauling" systems and updating software is no guarantee for future security. It's not a one time fix - it's an ongoing process. And rebuilding entire database - that's just crazy talk! This is especially inexcusable because the target of this update are developers!

Security is hard - you've got legacy crap, 3rd party/unsupported code, you've got open source code and then you have your own code that has evolved to be a Frankenstein. I don't have a problem with Apple getting it wrong once - but the statement does nothing to make developers confident that Apple will finally get web services right.

thepumpkin1979 1 day ago 1 reply      
`rebuilding our entire database`. So the database was... destroyed...?
coldcode 1 day ago 1 reply      
Jeez people, a company identifies a hack attempt, stops it, and makes sure it never happens again. How often do you hear that one? Most companies don't even tell you anything happened and if they are forced to, they don't even admit anything bad happened (we only exposed 80,000,000 credit cards, no biggie).

If my employer suffered this I doubt they'd even tell the employees.

What do all of us do when we find a security issue?

tater 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Theres a security researcher commenting on techcrunch claiming he's responsible for the breach here http://fyre.it/tjlVmC.4

His proof uploaded to youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q000_EOWy80

tlongren 1 day ago 1 reply      
"In the spirit of transparency". Right, Apple.
0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the hackers managed to get code signing keys out? Ultimate jailbreak?
sampk 1 day ago 1 reply      
> intruder attempted to secure personal information

haha "secure". Am so using that word next time my site gets hacked.

GR8K 1 day ago 0 replies      
0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Imagine what you could do here:- break into facebook or twitter or any other high profile dev account- reissue new code signing keys- crack the latest public app and patch in a backdoor- code sign with new keys and submit as an app update
jamesjyu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yep, I can confirm I just got this as well.
0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well at least it was "only" the dev center, and not iCloud and iMessage!
plasma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is the encryption not good enough (and I mean in general when sites get bcrypt'd passwords stolen, etc) when owners are worried the encrypted data is in the hands of intruders?

As a developer I'd still be concerned if I lost such data when encrypted - so I understand - but what measures can be put in place so that as a developer/site owner you're without uncertainty that the encrypted data will never be encrypted by the attacker (eg, would take trillions of years).

djvu9 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Could it be related to CVE-2013-2251 which was released on 07/20? The URL developer.apple.com/devcenter/ios/index.action seems struts alike..
michaelxia 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks Apple! This email was super helpful, now I know exactly whats going on.
general_failure 1 day ago 1 reply      
If anyone thinks this is the complete truth, well be prepared to be fooled many times more. I mean the thing is down for 3 days now. This must be a huge breach.
dphase 1 day ago 1 reply      
This may explain some strange occurrences I had yesterday.

Starting at 7am, I received an Apple ID password reset request every 4 hours and 19 minutes, ending last night at midnight.

This Apple ID is also the login for my personal developer account (several years old). My developers IDs used for work never received a password reset request.

rimantas 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I got a feeling that the most outraged never used Apple developer portal in their life.
tszming 1 day ago 0 replies      
>> and rebuilding our entire database.

maybe someone dropped or polluted the database after hacking it, so they need to rebuild the entire database from other sources?

GR8K 1 day ago 1 reply      
Manage your Apple ID/password/security questions here: https://appleid.apple.com
yulaow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can it be related to the similar attack on the ubuntu forum? Maybe it was a single group of hackers targeting the servers in which they know a lot of developers have an account
tater 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bet Forstall did it.
noja 14 hours ago 0 replies      
> Sensitive personal information was encrypted

sigh Tell us exactly what was and what wasn't encrypted.

diminoten 1 day ago 4 replies      
Is there any other source that this actually happened besides from a guy posting some text on HN?
rogerchucker 1 day ago 0 replies      
How is a developer's mailing address not a sensitive information for that developer? How does a tech company get away making a blanket assumption like that?
stephen_gareth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm more interested in the identity of the intruder for some reason. Who/what are they? Presumably there are easier targets to steal credit card numbers from, for example.
zztop 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't feel too bad for Apple. They use WW/Struts but when was the last time they contributed to the project? They never have. Open source volunteers do their best but unless big corporations want to spend their own money, and do their own security assessments, and contribute back anything they find, what do you expect? It's great when you get things for free, but when you're sitting on billions, send some back to the community you're using code from.
rogerchucker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a database of intrusion attempts (and successful ones too) made at tech companies?
jamin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks Apple. Now what really happened?
soheil 1 day ago 0 replies      
wow if they're "overhauling" everything that means Apple knows that hackers got some or all developers' info so it's not just that they can't "rule it out" they just don't want to publicly announce it.
vmarsy 1 day ago 2 replies      
If the intruder is a patent troll-er, getting developers names and mailing addresses can be pretty harmful.
jlebrech 16 hours ago 0 replies      
glad that i use a password manager and disable no-paste from firebug in order to login.
foobarme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple jargon for "oh "
smallsharptools 1 day ago 5 replies      
Until I see an email from Apple myself I will not see this info as credible.
dano414 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got kicked out of an Apple store. I questioned a Managersmanagatorial expertise. I took his angry picture at the door(Eric in Corte Madera). I am tempted to post it on youtube, but feel punishment enough is working there?Oh yea, the reason he was furious at me, is because I didn't like the way he was treating my salesman. I've never understood people who let a title go to their head?Off topic, just venting.
The 2005 screenwriting book thats taken over Hollywood slate.com
262 points by markcmyers  3 days ago   167 comments top 42
joshuak 3 days ago 4 replies      
As others have pointed out the concept of a more detailed screenplay structure has been around for a very long time, and typically pretty well understood by working screenwritters.

I remember reading about the 9 act structure in the 90s (can't remember if this is the guy who started it, but I think so):Edit corrected link (thanks to hncommenter13 below): http://web.archive.org/web/19961103105817/http://dsiegel.com

The problem with modern blockbuster films as described in the article is for the most part not because of a better understanding of structure but because of less understanding. Perhaps poor writers are using tools like Save the Cat to believe they understand writing better then they do. Or perhaps studio executives (who are notoriously near pathologically risk averse to new ideas) reading new screenplays use a poor understanding of Save the Cat to validate perspective scripts.

I can say for sure that many modern movies, particularly summer movies, are absolutely not following these structures, good or bad. Mainstream narrative filmmaking always follows the hero's journey, whether your hero is a neurotic writer in new york, a young black girl in New Orleans, or a genetically modified super hero.

Summer blockbusters these days are focused on something different. Visceral response. Well structured storytelling (whether you think that's "Save the Cat" or something else), is about stories and human relatable emotions and characters. Recent films have started focusing more on the roller coster ride of the visuals, and will do any distortion of the story necessary to motivate a visceral impact on the audience. Good storytelling takes a second seat to putting the audience into the most intense situations possible.

This has been helping get people into the theaters because the trailers for these types of films make them seam very exciting. But I would argue that Hollywood is struggling right now - the visual effects industry in particular - due to the audience getting wise to these ploys. A bad film is still a bad film, formalized story telling structure won't save you. Even less so if you ignore it so that you can have a bigger explosion.

Want to be a good screenwriter? First learn how to write a story. And then guess what? You can still have explosions too.

georgemcbay 3 days ago 9 replies      
I haven't read "Save the Cat" so I can't speak to it specifically, but the article doesn't do a great job of selling me on the idea that the book is responsible for the sameness of movie plots considering that for all the examples of "beats" given in the article, I can think of dozens and dozens of movies that hit those beats well before 2005 (when the supposedly ruinous screenplay manual was published).

If anything, it seems like the book was just clearly documenting what nearly every writer was already doing anyway, in some cases basically as far back as three act storytelling has existed (even prior to movies existing at all).

dugmartin 3 days ago 6 replies      
Some friends and I made a simple hot-or-not style site using the "Save the Cat" formula as a way to kill time on a 6 hour drive:


__david__ 3 days ago 3 replies      
This reminds me of pop music. At some point you realize most of the songs on the radio are "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus" with only subtle variations in structure.

But in the end, I don't actually think that's a bad thing. There is a lot of variations you can do, even within such a limiting structure. Summer blockbusters are the pop music of movies. And just like pop songs, even if you know the overall structure you can still be surprised and entertained throughout.

And, just like music, it doesn't mean that there can't be things that break the mold entirely, even if they aren't quite as popular. There's always going to be someone out there pushing the boundaries, and there's always going to be someone really skilled who makes something really popular that doesn't conform to the formula at all.

davidgerard 3 days ago 0 replies      
See KLF's "The Manual", which did the same thing for pop music.


Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle-eight, chorus, chorus. Verse sixteen bars, others eight or sixteen bars.

This didn't ruin pop music at the time (1988) because it was describing what was already happening. But the Manual damage over the next couple of decades is another question.

thenomad 3 days ago 2 replies      
I may be somewhat odd for a professional filmmaker in this, but my reaction is less "aargh, no, my pure pure art!" and more "Hmm, interesting, I wonder if I have time to try that out?"

Frameworks work well for visual design, adverts, web design, music (to a certain extent), so I can't see a problem with them for films.

Of course, if one framework becomes the One Possible Framework, that's more of an issue. But there are enough filmmakers out there willing to try seriously wierd shit that I don't think that's a problem yet.

For example, David Lynch is working on a new feature film right now. Call me crazy, but I don't think he'll be sticking to Save The Cat's formula.

gandalfgeek 3 days ago 3 replies      
There's a sidebar that has the detailed outline, also called a "beat sheet".


If you read that, you will notice that the arc of the hero almost exactly matches the one of the prototypical hero from many cultures and mythologies, as explained by John Campbell in "The Hero with a Thousand Faces."


There are just so many elements one can make a compelling story out of.

gojomo 3 days ago 1 reply      
In the mid 90s, writer David Siegel argued (in his writing and consulting) that a very, very similar "9 act" structure was the key to Hollywood screenplay success, based on his study of hundreds of blockbusters. See:


So I agree with others that the 2005 book is more descriptive of long-existing patterns (and requirements of the movie format), than prescriptive and culpable for recent practice.

Zimahl 3 days ago 1 reply      
All I have to say about this is maybe. I mean, tropes are used, overused, and come and go - that's how the industry works. Writers are who they are just like directors. You aren't all of a sudden going to turn Zack Snyder into Scorsese or Abrams into Tarantino.

But then again, Scorsese and Tarantino aren't making movies like 'Pirates of the Caribbean 7: Wet, Hot Caribbean Summer' that can be absolute shit, but as long a Johnny Depp is playing Jack Sparrow it's a billion dollars globally.

adamnemecek 3 days ago 1 reply      
Monomyth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth) slightly adjusted for the 21st century? Sounds a lot like it.
jemfinch 3 days ago 0 replies      
What I'm more interested in, but the author (unfortunately) didn't expound upon: tell me what movies don't follow the expected "beats". Those are the ones I want to see.
hristov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember an old Vladimir Nabokov quote that is very apropos to this. I do not remember the quote exactly and i do not have the book with me, so I cannot look it up, but it went something like this:

"The play was in perfect harmony with the modern rules of drama and storytelling or, in other words, it was perfectly idiotic."

I read this quote about 10 years ago in a Nabokov short story but I keep getting reminded of it whenever I see a modern movie. And they are getting very idiotic. The strict plot structure is making characters say or do stupid things just so the action can follow the predefined plot lines. This really prevents one from creating believable characters. All the reverses (the false victories and false losses) often make characters reverse themselves until they become mostly unbelievable to anyone that tries to remember the entire movie from beginning to end.

petegrif 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was a pro screenwriter for 20 years and am intimately familiar with a great deal of 'prior art' in thinking about screenplays. There is nothing new in 'Save the Cat.'
stfu 3 days ago 2 replies      
No way! I am pretty sure big data strongly indicated that based on the past performance of similar movie structures these are going to perform strongly in the future. And I am quite confident that the studios are already implementing a data driven decision making process. At least since Google went around pretending being able to predict the box office numbers/success of a movie [1]...

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/07/googles-s...

zhemao 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you look at the actual beat sheet.


They all seem pretty general. I'm pretty sure you could stick to the structure without being very formulaic.

And yes, I'm pretty sure most movies had a structure very similar to this one even before the book came along.

6ren 3 days ago 0 replies      
It makes sense we'd refine our theory of story telling. It is modelling an aspect of humanity, analogous to how lossy image compression models human visual perception.

Along the way, we might have a spuriously precise theory, that excludes perfectly good stories that would resonate with us.

But ultimately, when the theory is as accurate as it can be, it does not mean that stories become formulaic. I don't just mean that some variation is still possible. I mean that the theory is merely a way to communicate effectively - like spelling and grammar, like public speaking techniques, and the fundamental ancient story rules, like having a narrative, having characters, having a problem to solve, having help from outside. Is having a narrative - a sequence of events - really that limiting? Yes, it is. But you can still work within that structure. There are infinite possibilities within it, the same for any other framework for communication.

However, a more serious problem is that the "theory" of summer blockbusters is not modelling the human story perception at all - it is modelling the particular demographic of male-adolescent story perception. Who knew? I think it's perfectly fine that some particular demographic is being served - like bubble gum pop music. Other movies are still being made, with the long tail, as are books and blogs etc.

And, really, male adolescents are not completely divorced from the rest of humanity. We can still enjoy their films.

anigbrowl 3 days ago 0 replies      
When Snyder published his book in 2005, it was as if an explosion ripped through Hollywood.

Yes, like The Writer's Journey was an explosion that ripped through hollywood, and Story and a bunch of other books. It's amusing and instructive to look at classics like the Iliad or Macbeth through this structural formule. Clearly, this nefarious writer also owns a time machine!

Hey, I think that story could sell...

snikolic 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would argue that this trend stretches back well before "Save the Cat" or even Syd Field or Joseph Campbell, all the way to Aristotle. This isn't really new stuff.

A few years ago I was backpacking through the Gobi desert and stayed with a Mongolian family. On the floor next to my bed I found a copy of Syd Field's famous guide to screenwriting. Until that moment, I hadn't realized just how widespread this philosophy of storytelling had become.

cafard 3 days ago 0 replies      
After seeing "Top Gun" ca. 1986, I said to those I went with that Hollywood had forgotten how to make movies. It knew how to make commercials (TG is full of sequences that would fit right into a Navy recruiting commercial) and music videos ("You've lost that loving feeling"), but that was about it. The rest of the movie was negligible, though perhaps I should have added in video games to allow for the fighter-jet stuff.

But was it ever that different? The stuff we still watch is the exception. Hollywood cranked out a hell of a lot of stuff 80 and 70 years ago that nobody but a film studies graduate student could bring himself to sit through. Read for example S.J. Perelman on how the studios worked.

As for "adolescent men coming to grips with who they are", arrested development is one of Hollywood's favorite subjects. I noticed this in watching "Sideways", but would Dean and Brando have ever made their names without it?


On consideration, isn't "adolescent men coming to grips with who they are" a large theme in Western literature? (And I suppose, but can't cite, other literatures also.) The Odyssey kicks off with Athena inspiring Telemachus to independence. Shakespeare's Henry IV plays are all about Prince Hal becoming Henry V. War and Peace follows three men from adolescence to maturity, and one of them, Prince Andrei, to a couple of levels. And I think one could find examples of literature following adolescent women through.

lukifer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Stories have always made use of templates and archetypes. However, I vastly prefer Dan Harmon's story circle: http://media.screened.com/uploads/0/4570/673288-danharmonsto...
yurylifshits 3 days ago 1 reply      
Notes on screenplay structures by Reddit's CEO Yishan Wong


Vladimir Propp was the original pioneer of narrative structures, published the foundational research on fairytale sequences in 1928 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Propp

gohrt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh boy, I can't wait to see the article Peter Suderman writes when he discovers tvtropes.com.
gohrt 2 days ago 0 replies      
See also Dan Harmon's story circle, a less detailed version of this: http://channel101.wikia.com/wiki/Story_Structure_101:_Super_...
guard-of-terra 3 days ago 1 reply      
These days I try to avoid going to movie unless it promises something genuinely new and interesting.

All kinds of comic-inspired movies are hard no.

And when you spend less time on crap you actually begin to explore the good parts!

ricardobeat 2 days ago 0 replies      
For anyone still doubtful of how much structure and intent there is in a screenplay, this deconstruction of Jurassic Park is an amazing read: http://www.blakesnyder.com/2013/04/05/the-jurassic-park-beat...

While not exactly following the 'save the cat' formula, and probably being a much better movie for that, it clearly rests on the same principles.

callmeed 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have read this book 3x and it has always been a favorite.

The thing is, as soon as you read this book, you'll recognize the formula in most movies you watch, including movies that came out before the book and especially family + rom-com movies.

Personally, I doubt the book is responsible. It just heightened awareness. After all, Hollywood rarely likes to take risks. If a formula works, they're going to green light such projects.

Semiapies 3 days ago 0 replies      
Structure is important to storytelling, or else you end up with something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xslyoK9uobE

On the other hand, dang, you need more than going beat-by-beat with nothing else to say.

chocolateboy 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's odd that the article fails to mention the most high-profile film to follow Snyder's template, How To Train Your Dragon. Unlike the speculative examples in the article, the creators of that film have explicitly acknowledged Snyder's role in the development of their story (he's thanked in the credits). [1] I guess the fact that it was a huge commercial and critical hit (98% on Rotten Tomatoes) doesn't fit the simplistic, tabloid template that's taking over serious journalism.

[1] http://www.blakesnyder.com/2010/03/26/how-the-dragon-really-...

linuxhansl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not surprised. It's not about making a good movie, but about making money. Specifically making money safely, with low risk.Making a different movie is risky, and thus producers prefer tried formulas, no rough edges, no thinking really.


philmcc 3 days ago 0 replies      
You don't actually have a problem with movies using formulas, you have a problem with them feeling formulaic. (Chances are.)

Formulas exist because, when followed properly, they work. For the casual movie viewer, I'm sure that 90% of your favorite movies adhere to this structure, more or less. That, alone, won't cause your movie to feel bad.

There are countless other variables that affect whether or not a movie feels formulaic but, very roughly, I'd suggest that it's when a writer/production team feels like the formula -alone- is enough, that it should work. The beats are just there, but there's still no pulse.

IMHO, this summer, Fast Six nailed the beats perfectly, and people walked away mostly satisfied. Man Of Steel didn't, people were unhappy. Most Pixar movies are lockstep with this structure. Few people gripe about the formulaic pixar movies.

You could probably convince me that movies, as an artform, are more or less built for this structure in the same way that sonnets have a particular rhyme scheme. Sure you can make other kinds of poems, but if the audience really likes sonnets, what's the point? I think the average movie-goer really likes Sonnets, so to speak. And there's nothing wrong with that. Not everyone has seen enough movies to develop an appetite for The Tree of Life.

Note: I've read Save the Cat, have studied screenwriting at a graduate level, and have a (very humble) IMDB listing. So consider this my 2.1 cents worth.

6ren 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's a refinement of the Hero's Journey (see Vogler's memo; Joseph Campbell).

The formula itself: http://www.slate.com/content/slate/sidebars/2013/07/the_save...

6ren 3 days ago 0 replies      
About 2/3...3/4 the way through, the mood felt a bit forced, and it occurred to me that he was applying the formula to the piece itself.

This may be a taste of the problem... but I think it's more imperfect application than damning the formula itself.

Like grammar, it constrains but doesn't limit.

x0054 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not that they are so formulaic, it's that they are so identical. It's as if every one who used bootstrap for web design also used identical color schemes and layouts.

Take a look at the upcoming "RIP Department." It's like someone just took the Men in Black script and replaced all references to aliens with references to the undead. It's the same movie!

biot 3 days ago 2 replies      
It sounds like a good way to bootstrap a movie script. If someone came up with the same type of framework but for web development, would we end up with a lot of formulaic startups?
icesoldier 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds to me like someone just packaged up the Monomyth[0] in a version that makes more sense for movies. Formula in fiction is not necessarily new, as the article points out at the end. The trick is to dress it up, change it around, or throw it out if necessary.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth

vampirechicken 3 days ago 0 replies      
The write lost me completely when he complained about the main character of the Oz movie being the main character of the book on which it's based.

That's just stupid. I want my three minutes back.

foobarqux 3 days ago 2 replies      
For anyone else who doesn't like Hollywood here are some recent film recommendations:

New World (South Korea)

Le Capital (France)

The Berlin File (South Korea) (although the end is disappointingly formulaic)

After Fall, Winter

steve19 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is there an equivalent popular/influential book for modern fiction?
VladRussian2 3 days ago 0 replies      
couple notes:

- did author himself followed some formula (essay, etc..)writing this article?

- after watching many Hollywood movies during last decade, i recently re-watched (as i had almost forgot the content of the movie, it was almost like watching for the first time) "For a fistful of dollars" - about half the movie in i was ready and felt like it was the climactic end with the showdown (bank robbery) and was genuinely surprised that it continues well beyond it

TrevorJ 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's like anything else - to create, it is first helpful to be able to deconstruct examples first and understand how they work.
lazyeye 3 days ago 1 reply      
Globalization is a significant influence on screenwriting big films. Because blockbuster are now being produced for a global market they turn up the special effects and visual action and turn down the plot subtlety and complexity which might otherwise be confusing to a non-English speaking audience.
'Crack baby' study ends with unexpected but clear result philly.com
260 points by unfasten  1 day ago   245 comments top 22
calibraxis 1 day ago 8 replies      
Science vs. hysterical racism, yet again. There's a reason it's "crack baby", and not "cocaine baby". Helps imprison the right sort of person. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Sentencing_Act)

There's a much more dangerous drug than cocaine, for babies. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_cocaine_exposure) It's alcohol, a legal drug. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_syndrome)

VLM 1 day ago 3 replies      
Bad story design... trying to talk about the typical result, then late in the article drop the bombshell "The team considers Jaimee and her mother, Karen, among their best success stories.". If they "have to" go anecdotal, they could have at least picked the median subject. Like doing a report on the health effects of smoking, and intentionally selecting the healthiest 99 year old smoker in the world rather than the most likely outcome.

The most interesting part of the whole situation can be summed up by one of the lines describing the babies, "nearly all were African Americans." Even since the first days, It never was about medical issues or science, just a sorta-stealthy way to bash black folks. You'll note there was carefully no outage at the time, or long term medical study, at white coke snorting suburban women, although the blood levels of coke the babies experienced probably were about the same in the end. By analogy it would be like creating a social meme and scientific study of the negative pregnancy impact of malt liquor consumption (by urban black women), carefully ignoring the consumption of fruity margaritas (by suburban white women). Because you can't bash black people unless you can "other" them first.

I guess the two startup lessons are if you're trying to make median situation analysis, policy, and decisions, and you must use an anecdote, don't chose an extreme outlier, use a median... unless you've got an axe to grind and you're trying to mislead people, in which case unusual sample selection can be a powerful tool to mislead people. Startup lesson two is one popular way to scam people is to play word definition games as a strategy for divide and conqueror, so look out for that gameplay technique, and/or use word redefinition as a weapon of your own.

jdmitch 1 day ago 6 replies      
Hurt's study enrolled only full-term babies so the possible effects of prematurity did not skew the results.

Doesn't this mean that their selection sample effectively excluded any babies that had a noticeable physical reaction (other than having cocaine in their system) to the effect of their mothers' cocaine use?

KMag 1 day ago 0 replies      
My old room mate did cocaine studies with pregnant mice. He'd inject pregnant mice with cocaine and then raise the mouse pups and place electrodes in on of the "pleasure centers" of their brains. He would then measure the curve of how hard the mice were willing to spin a wheel for a given amount of current into their brains.

The model was that mice willing to beat their bodies more for the same amount of stimulation were more susceptible to a wide range of addictions. He found that pups exposed to cocaine in utero did in fact as adults spin the wheel harder for a given amount of stimulation, indicating higher susceptibility to a wide range of addictions.

My old room mate would have really liked to perform the same study with nicotine, since many many more human mothers dose their fetuses with nicotine as compared to cocaine. For what the wild speculations of an experienced researcher are worth, he suspected that mouse pups exposed to nicotine would also be more susceptible to addiction (supposing he was actually measuring susceptibility to addiction).

However, politicians and lobbyists have made it much easier to get federal grant money for cocaine studies vs. nicotine studies, despite nicotine having a much larger impact on society.

On a side note: in 1999, 4.7% of US 8th graders were willing to admit to having used cocaine, so the test group appears to be below US averages for cocaine use, despite their mothers using cocaine. I imagine that being predicated upon having mothers caring enough to place their children in these studies, and mothers responsible enough to stay in contact with researchers, and the subjects knowing they were being studied, skewed the drug usage portion of the study. Nationally, (for those outside of medical trials) I can't imagine the cocaine use rate for those whose mothers used cocaine to be below the rate for those whose mothers did not use cocaine.

ctdonath 1 day ago 8 replies      
tl;dr - "Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine."
Almaviva 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is getting into questions you can't ask, and IQ is a severely flawed metric, but I wonder what the IQs are of the parents, and if the children's scores are higher or lower, and if we can rule out heredity.
Alex3917 1 day ago 3 replies      
"They found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside - and the kids were only 7 years old at the time."

That's not really much different than the national average for kids whose parents aren't crackheads. E.g. 1 in 20 kids see someone get shot every year, so you would expect that by age seven that 7 in 20 would have, which is in fact exactly 35%. C.f. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227744.pdf

N.b. that some of these statistics are pretty wonky, e.g. they count getting beat up for your siblings as assault, or getting flashed as being a victim of sexual assault.

chrischen 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's more likely, that seeing dead people and being poor lowers your IQ, or that having a low IQ means you'll end up poor?

They preselected a bunch of poor people, which means the low IQ could be explained by the fact that their existing IQ put them in this place in society along with the predisposition to cheap drug addiction.

JulianMorrison 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Crack baby" ALWAYS was simply a synonym for "poor and black".

It turns out that racism harms its victims. Who knew?

jrochkind1 1 day ago 0 replies      
This isn't in fact news, it has long been known that there is no scentific/medical 'crack baby' phenomenon, as documented in the wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_cocaine_exposure

What's perhaps more important to talk about is the demonstrated harm of poverty and violence on children.

brownbat 1 day ago 0 replies      
The lede is buried a bit:

"Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine," Hurt said at her May lecture.

raldi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've read that it's notoriously difficult to measure the impact of crack on prenatal development because so many crack-smoking pregnant women also smoke cigarettes, and the latter is so harmful already that it's hard to isolate the effects of the former.
callmeed 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, vitamins are actually bad for you and there's really no such thing as a 'crack baby'.

It's a bad week for things I learned growing up in the 80s/90s ...

lotsofcows 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Jaimee Drakewood hurried in from the rain" What? This is supposed to be a scientific report? A lay science report? A newspaper? Why does the very first sentence read like a badly written paperback?
undoware 1 day ago 0 replies      
TL;DR "White folks attack wrong devil, again. Lots of black folks dead or suffering, again."

It isn't science that's racist. What's racist is the thousands of brilliant minds that took THIS LONG to look in the right direction. Each one of them minutely racist on its own -- it was just one tiny blind spot. One tiny speck on the lens. On every lens.

That's all it takes to destroy a community. That and some SWAT boots.

guard-of-terra 1 day ago 1 reply      
I guess it's time for a War on Poverty.

Make poverty illegal@Jail anybody caught poor.

kingkawn 1 day ago 0 replies      

Great video from the nytimes on this story from may

_m_a_u_r_i_c_e_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
The study outcome is poverty has the bigger impact. Yet there is a lot of discussion about anything else like Alcohol etc. But think about the uncomfortable issue: What to do against poverty? Isn't it a hint that our concern should be "a human right to access minimum wealth" and how to enable it?
twohey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of the 110, two are dead - one shot in a bar and another in a drive-by shooting - three are in prison, six graduated from college, and six more are on track to graduate.

It seems rather depressing to me that the college graduation rate by 23 is under 10%. Talk about different worlds

Brock_Lee 1 day ago 0 replies      
FYI, the information starts at paragraph 18.
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 2 replies      
I got the part about not seeing a relationship between crack usage and mental functioning. It's a very interesting result. What I don't understand is "Hurt and her team began to think the "something else" was poverty."

Is there any data referenced in the article to actually support that claim? It's the central thesis here, and I don't see any supporting argument. I see some text around seeing people arrested, dead bodies, and so on, but there are lots of poor rural kids who never see that. This is much more a function of urban poverty.

Maybe I missed it.

denysonique 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whats the TLDR of the article?
SIM Cards Have Finally Been Hacked, and the Flaw Could Affect Millions of Phones forbes.com
246 points by mdewinter  1 day ago   93 comments top 11
tptacek 1 day ago 4 replies      
Karsten Nohl: also the real deal.

Here, for us, are the nut grafs:

In early 2011, Nohls team started toying with the OTA protocol and noticed that when they used it to send commands to several SIM cards, some would refuse the command due to an incorrect cryptographic signature, while a few of those would also put a cryptographic signature on this error message.

With that signature and using a well known cryptographic method called rainbow tables, Nohl was able to crack the encryption key on the SIM card in about one minute. Carriers use this key to remotely program a SIM, and it is unique to each card.

This is a little vague and I don't understand the OTA protocol like, at all, but what it sounds like is that there is a case in some implementations of SIM OTA where (a) errors for improperly signed messages are noisy, (b) those errors include some of the plaintext of the improperly signed message, and (c) the error message itself has a signature that is intended to be valid only for the error.

Possible next steps: (i) you can table-solve for the signature (presumably this is a MAC, not a signature) for your intended message due to the way plaintext hits the error message, or (ii) you can table-solve for the plaintext of a previously unknown ciphertext by taking that ciphertext, flipping a bit to invalidate the signature, and collecting the error signature.

nicolas314 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have been working on OTA platforms for years with Mobile Network Operators worldwide, and I have yet to meet one that is only using DES for OTA keys. All the ones I know are using 3DES. Not sure where Nohl is getting his estimations from. Half a billion SIMs? Show me the data.

For this attack to work remotely you need to send a binary SMS and be able to read the SIM answer, which probably requires some privileged access to an operator's SS7 network. Far from obvious. Since Network Operators are in complete control of SMS traffic, blocking anything that has not been issued by their own OTA platform is just a matter of configuring a filter on an SMS-C -- if not already done.

sentenza 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's a "known plaintext" attack on DES. Via google translate, here is an article from Heise with more details:


jingo 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hurray for Java applets.

But seriously, there is a sunny side to this story: a user could load her own programs onto her SIM. She could gretaly extend the functionality of her phone... with programs that she trusts. Maybe even ones she wrote herself.

Imagine... an open platform. Oh gosh, that would be terrible, wouldn't it?

Otherwise this story highlights the concept of "minimum viable product" not in the startup world, but as it exists among major industry manufacturers. For example, if SIM manufacturers can get away with using DES, then why invest their time and money in using stronger crypto? There are so many examples of this type of thinking... it's certainly not limited to imlementations of cryptography or SIM cards. No doubt, some would say this is simply Business 101... ask any used car salesman. But it's particularly acute in hardware and software.

Do hardware and software worlds makers need higher standards and more serious "quality control"? Beyond the cosmetic appearance of their work, no. Because users are generally indifferent to all else. What they don't know won't hurt them.

Did you know you can type encrypted messages directly with a text editor called ed(1)? How cool is that? It's so easy. Who needs PGP?

It uses DES, but hey, DES is good enough for SIM cards, so...

aroman 1 day ago 1 reply      
What I'm curious about is what Nohl meant when he said that it would take six months from the time of his presentation at Black Hat for crackers to develop working exploits based on his findings. And if he is (as the article suggests) working with the phone companies, why not simply wait until they've implemented their patches (if they in fact need them)?

If indeed it is as simple to force a sim to run these malicious applets as using some sort of rainbow-table-powered replay attack, what would be the challenge? Or perhaps he was referring to the more lucrative aspect of breaking out of the sim sandbox...

Zoepfli 1 day ago 2 replies      
Article mentions "credit card java applets on SIM cards". I've never used one of those, and I know nobody in the western world who does.

I always presumed that these sim java applets are crapware that is mercifully hidden on todays smartphones.

It's also my impression that Mastercard and Visa paid a hefty stupidity tax by thinking in the 2000s that it would be important to have their software on SIM cards, not foreseeing that smartphone apps would just bypass that whole layer.

Anybody know of an application in the western world, on smart phones, where these java applets are really used?

nqzero 1 day ago 3 replies      
vaguely related question ... is it safe to insert an arbitrary sim card in a phone ?

i want to try out some of the gsm mvnos in the states (eg airvoice, ptel and h2o). an at&t or comcast or microsoft has a reputation that's worth billions, so i "trust" them to only be semi-evil and at least semi-responsible. i don't know much of these mvno companies, but assume they're living on the margins and don't have too much to risk. could they, or an enterprising engineer working for them, mess with the sim card to take something of value from me ?

D9u 1 day ago 3 replies      

     *Verizon did not specify why its SIMs were not vulnerable*
I was under the impression that Verizon phones don't use SIM cards because their network is CDMA instead of GSM.

bcl 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't understand the article's description of the sandbox vulnerability. On the iPhone app sandboxing is done by iOS, not in the SIM. Does the reporter just not understand, or is there another layer I'm not aware of?
gioele 1 day ago 0 replies      
A beautiful, although not really accurate, explanation of a buffer overflow:

> The way this works is somewhat complex, but Nohls virus essentially gave the infected Java software a command it could not understand or complete eg. asking for the 12th item in a 10-item list, leading the software to forgo basic security checks and granting the virus full memory access, or root, in cyber security parlance.

muyuu 1 day ago 2 replies      
What are the implications?

Can't stand Forbes and their over the top ads, tldr would be appreciated.

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements theatlantic.com
244 points by swombat  2 days ago   172 comments top 36
droithomme 2 days ago 6 replies      
The cited article contains phrasing that is designed to be misleading. It says for example, "Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. " This makes a direct comparison between people taking any vitamins at all to studies showing that very specific vitamins, under very specific and unusual circumstances such as megadosing and certain preexisting conditions, can cause problems. Well even water can cause problems when megadosed, and yet the fact that most people drink water daily is not relevant to that.

Also, the author of this article, Paul Offit, is has serious credibility and corruption problems beyond writing articles designed to mislead people.

He has previously claimed that it is perfectly safe for children to take "10,000 vaccines at once" (and originally he claimed 100,000 but reduced it when it was questioned). Even understanding the benefits of vaccines, there are trade offs with them and it is certainly not safe to take 10,000 at once. Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair which is funded by Merck. He also sold the right to his future royalties of a vaccine he developed for $182 million, of which he received around $46 million for a rotavirus vaccine. This was interesting since he had previously pushed this vaccine during his job at the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which was a serious conflict of interest that ended up making him quite rich.

Here is an interesting investigative report into Offit's conflicts of interest and hiding of financial relationships.


MikeCapone 2 days ago 4 replies      
The article at first seems to be talking abou "vitamins" in general but then goes into great detail about megadosing on vitamin C and trials with vitamin E.

Doesn't seem like that's quite the same thing.

Personally, I take omega 3, vitamin D (gelcaps, it's fat-soluble), and kelp (for iodine) daily. That article doesn't say much about those.

dkarl 2 days ago 2 replies      
The article treats the belief in supplements entirely as a case of well-nourished people pursuing quack fixes, ignoring scientifically credible practices such as food fortification using iodine and folic acid, the widely-known connection between vitamin C and scurvy, the use of iron supplements to treat anemia, and the historical experience with real malnutrition. The article makes it sound like a ludicrous idea that snuck into the public consciousness via the senility of Linus Pauling in the late 1960s, but vitamin supplementation makes much more sense as an attempt to continue applying a historically successful formula of improving human health by identifying previously unrecognized dietary deficiencies and correcting them.

Also, the ending of the article destroys its credibility. The author is no less an intellectual hack than the people he writes about.

mistercow 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article seems relevant: http://lesswrong.com/lw/20i/even_if_you_have_a_nail_not_all_...

In summary, many of the studies that have shown scary correlations like "multivitamins increase mortality" are (according to the author) based on inappropriate (but easy to apply) statistical models. Scientists are too-often not trained well enough in how to evaluate the model they are using to see if it is appropriate for the task, and peer review boards often do not include statisticians.

A simple summary of how this can apply to vitamin supplements: suppose you do a trial where you give different groups different doses of a vitamins and then monitor their health. Most vitamins are detrimental to have too little of, helpful to have the right amount of, and then increasingly detrimental to have too much of. The graph of their benefit/harm would be a curve starting at a low number, curving up to a high peak, and then dropping down to lower and lower numbers off to infinity. If you fit this graph to a line, you'll see a downward slope, giving an indication like "multivitamins increase mortality rates".

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 2 replies      
And this is why science sucks. And I mean that in a supportive way. It can tell us that the answer we want to believe is not the correct answer. Unfortunately it takes a very strong individual to accept that when what they want to believe is the belief that is wrong.

My personal experience is that older folks (>65) get stuck more firmly than younger folks. It is especially sad when someone you care about deeply believes so strongly in a reality that exists only for them.

ck2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Used to get bad headaches almost daily.

One crazy week I forgot to take my daily multivitamin a couple times - then I realized that the week was more headache-free.

So I stopped taking it entirely and now I very rarely get headaches.

As a control I tried taking it again and even another brand and headaches came back.

michaelfeathers 2 days ago 1 reply      
I remember seeing a doctor speaking in a news story about how we overuse vitamins and supplements, most of which simply pass through our bodies.

He said "Americans have the most expensive urine in the world."

oblique63 2 days ago 3 replies      
Not directly about the article, but for anyone interested in finding out what actual research has to say about any supplement you might be interested in, http://examine.com/ is a great resource to explore for that.
Bjoern 2 days ago 8 replies      
I don't get this.

Focus on a healthy, balanced diet and make sure you include enough variety focusing on plenty of colorful vegetables, fruits and nuts. Exercise regularly and take good care of your body getting enough sleep and enough sunshine.

Is that not enough?

ValentineC 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how Ray Kurzweil is faring with his 150 supplements a day?


continuations 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's also study showing vitamin supplementation reduces cancer risks:


vermontdevil 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's amazing that vitamin supplement market is not regulated at all thanks to Orrin Hatch. So many unsupportable claims out there among the products for sale that it makes me dizzy.

This market is truly caveat emptor.

roin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Benefits or risks of vitamins is one of the most confusing medical topics to assess for an average consumer. After hearing about benefits of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, etc., only to later read that some doctors say it's going to kill you, I had decided to ditch them altogether.

But a year ago there was a large, randomized, double-blind study (not something most of these studies can claim) that measured a regular dose multivitamin, not huge megadose supplements that tend to focus on one or two compounds. The result showed 8% fewer cancers. The subjects were all men and were all doctors, so one could infer that they were much healthier than average. I've been taking a simple multivitamin since. I wouldn't be shocked to learn in ten years that I'm doing the wrong thing, but this is the most convincing study I've seen in any direction.


jotm 2 days ago 2 replies      
OK, let's get one thing straight: vitamins and supplements ARE USEFUL.

The article seems to focus on them as cures - which they are not. Saying that a vitamin is a cure for anything is like saying a loaf of bread is a cure.

Vitamins are fuel - the more intense activities you do, the more you use them.

IF you have a good diet, you don't need multivitamins/supplements. But if you have a homogenous diet (eat the same thing every day and nothing else), then vitamins and supplements are much more useful than harmful.

Moreover, no matter what diet you have, if you do bodybuilding or intensive physical or mental exertion, vitamins and minerals from supplements are almost a must.

It's like using normal fuel vs jet fuel - no matter how good your bioreactor (stomach) is, it just cannot extract all the vitamins and minerals you need for that kind of exertion.

Most bodybuilders know that a dose of pure protein powder is much more effective for muscle building than any amount of meat or cheese. Same goes for glutamine and other supplements, and of course vitamins.

The article also focuses on megadoses - well, no s#@t, a megadose of anything is bad for you. 3 grams of vitamin C per day is batshit insane in my book - 500-1000mg is more than enough.

But don't just take what I said at face value. Like Einstein said, don't trust everything you read on the Internet - check with several different sources, read some research abstracts before making up your mind and storing ANY information as true in your brain.

codyb 2 days ago 2 replies      
The imbalance makes sense (too many antioxidants, or too much of a vitamin, etc). I also always wondered if people who took vitamins were less likely to eat healthy as well. Or perhaps even if they do eat healthy then by eating healthy they're creating an imbalance. I wonder if you could take very small doses and eat poor;y and do okay? It seems not.
terhechte 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder if you get the same kind of negative effects when you eat too many fruits. I tend to eat a lot of fruits throughout the day.
rsync 2 days ago 0 replies      
No mention yet of Nick Lane and his (wonderful) books:

- Oxygen- Power, Sex, Suicide

If you want a fascinating, very readable, well laid out argument against the entire notion of antioxidant supplementation (as well as a fascinating, technical but not too technical, pop-sci read) these are it.

tl;dr: Ingested antioxidants have no way to target the specific area in mitochondria where the damage would take place, and even if they did, it would probably be negative because free radicals are an essential cell signaling mechanism that aids in weeding out damaged cells.

a8da6b0c91d 2 days ago 2 replies      
Magnesium and iodine deficiencies are probably widespread and it's not really possible to address these through modern food. Well over half the population is measurably magnesium deficient. The problem is soil depletion and modern water purification. The case for a lot of vitamins is weak, but I think it's pretty strong for various minerals. I add mineral drops to my drinking water, just in case.
sandGorgon 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is an even more interesting (damning?) article - "Dont Take Your Vitamins".http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/dont-take-y...

Two years later the same journal published another study on vitamin supplements. In it, 18,000 people who were at an increased risk of lung cancer because of asbestos exposure or smoking received a combination of vitamin A and beta carotene, or a placebo. Investigators stopped the study when they found that the risk of death from lung cancer for those who took the vitamins was 46 percent higher.

shirro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sales of unnecessary products is simply a consequence of capitalism working properly. People create needs that didn't exist previously through marketing which is all most "health" advice on television (eg Dr Oz) or other media is. Legitimate nutritional deficiencies and cherry picked studies help fuel the marketing strategy. They get fantastic viral social media support from all the hypochondriacs, paranoid conspiracists and other health nuts who can't think critically and lack the scientific education to assess the marketing.

Some vitamins and vitamin analoques do have legitimate benefits as medication but best leave the dosing to a qualified health professional. Much better to eat a balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and some whole protein. And get some sun in moderation if the climate supports it.

jjindev 2 days ago 0 replies      
My gut feel, based on a BS Chem and then casual reading, has been that the occasional vitamin is best. Keep a bottle in the cupboard, take a one when you feel like it (no more than once a week). Replace the bottle when it expires.

Chances are you don't need it, and I think the body is really good at snatching up things it needs when that pill rolls by.

(I worried about the kidney/etc burden of daily excess, but the idea that daily excess could spur excess in the form of cancer does not surprise.)

zw123456 2 days ago 0 replies      
I realize that a personal testament is anecdotal, but about 10 years ago I stopped taking vitamins and instead just focused on a balanced diet. I feel better and it costs less. There are legitimate reasons for some people to take vitamins, but if you can do it with a better diet, I think you are better off. If you are taking vitamins, try not taking them and instead work on your diet and see what you think. I think somethings are difficult to prove scientifically and instead you have to do what works for you.
cko 2 days ago 0 replies      
What surprises me is my fairly recent discovery that larger-than-life people like Pauling could be "gullible." (Though I'm sure there's a better word for it.) As I'm reading about Pauling and the common cold and cancer and then "every disease known to man", I realized that intelligence alone does not make one immune to self-delusion. I started reading Walter Isaacson's biography on Jobs a few days ago and it's the same realization.

I guess I myself was deluded to think that these "titans" are some how superior in every way to "the rest of us."

Osmium 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember reading somewhere that due to how the vitamins are compressed into tablet form, you actually absorb very little of them anyway. But I can't verify this, because I can't find a citation right now...
lingben 2 days ago 0 replies      
the only supplement which has been shown to have a net positive impact on health in long term studies is vitamin D3 - and its not even a 'vitamin' but a secosteroidal hormone
ladzoppelin 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you take any kind of daily drug for anything then you will probably need some sort of supplement to counteract the deficiencies the drug is creating. If you have electronic devices , like a smartphone, then a melatonin deficiency is created and supplementation of melatonin can be a great benefit.
lightyrs 2 days ago 0 replies      
This guy is a pharmaceuticals shill of course he denounces his competitors.
kolev 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most people buy crappy vitamins and supplements at Target, Costco, etc. There are many forms of Vitamin E, for example, and 99.9% of people just take one of the 8. This is just an example. It's a similar situation with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid vs Folate, etc. I usually ignore those as it's similar to read studies about beef when those are done with antibiotic and hormone rich meats and if you eat pasture-raised, organic beef - it has a different quality and nutritional profile. All these studies aim to scare people away from preventive medicine and send you back into the drug-dispensing MDs. Yes, you don't need supplements if you eat a healthy, traditional diet, but even organic foods don't have the same quality and properties as those freshly grown, picked, etc. Supplements are an insurance and people need to very, very carefully select theirs as there are tons of scammers in the field! Just got a mailer from Walmart and it's 2/3rds ads of supplements! Same with Costco!
pallandt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Misleading title. Sometimes it would do you really good to take certain kind of vitamin(s). However, the 'supplement' class doesn't include just vitamins. It seems articles that attempt to debunk 'myths' are getting quite popular, in disfavor of real science/research. This one is mostly one-sided and doesn't show much effort at all in at least gathering some counter-arguments. Also, metastudies such as the ones enumerated in this piece can sometimes be flawed by the very methodology they were constructed. Journalistic sensationalism.
FrankenPC 2 days ago 3 replies      
If supplementation did nothing, we wouldn't be dosing up with tons of anti-depressants (neuro-transmitter modulation supplements). I agree about isolates, or what people traditionally call vitamins. But for genetic deficiencies for neurological problems, supplements can be awesome. Personally, I take 5-HTP, GABA and NAC daily and really feel the difference. See for yourself. Keep in mind therapeutic doses of supplements can be rather large. You need Dr. supervision to make sure you aren't damaging your liver/kidneys.
known 1 day ago 0 replies      
Vitamin deficiency could be a side effect of medication you take. For e.g B1 deficiency due to metformin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidiabetic_drugs#Comparison
dschiptsov 1 day ago 0 replies      
99% of world's population live happily without supplements.

And, of course, natural vitamins are necessity. Children die from malnutrition without them.

spydum 2 days ago 1 reply      
Could the higher incidence of cancers be that the supplements were actually helping the cancer cells grow and be healthier than they otherwise would be?
adventured 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm amazed at the confusion in regards to what's deduced from the consumption of vegetables and similarly healthy foods (and using that to push vitamins).

It's every bit as important, in my opinion, to not eat killer foods, as it is to eat vegetables. That is, a neutral effect alone would be enough to show dramatic health improvements. This is where the pro vitamin arguments went wrong from day one.

Water isn't a miracle elixir that cures cancer. Strip out all high fructose corn syrup and sugar from all American beverages, and the equivalent conclusion would be to suggest that water cures obesity, diabetes and cancer (when in fact the absence of sugar and HFCS is what's doing the trick).

Also, telling me that people took vitamins without showing me their specific day to day diets and exercise routines, is absurdity to put it very mildly. Dietary input and exercise is radically more important than the vitamins in the health outcomes.

martingoodson 1 day ago 0 replies      
We cannot trust Paul Offit. See my comment on his previous article:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5848390
America has no functioning democracy at this moment Jimmy Carter on NSA rt.com
240 points by sanbor  4 days ago   125 comments top 18
nostromo 4 days ago 4 replies      
I always liked this quote from Carter on his legacy:

"We kept our country at peace. We never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. But still we achieved our international goals. We brought peace to other people, including Egypt and Israel. We normalised relations with China, which had been non-existent for 30-something years. We brought peace between US and most of the countries in Latin America because of the Panama Canal Treaty. We formed a working relationship with the Soviet Union."

tptacek 4 days ago 8 replies      
But it totally had a functioning democracy when the President had a team of henchmen breaking into the offices of his political opponents, during an era where the Joint Chiefs had a plan to depose the President if he was unwilling to abide by impeachment.

Certainly, democracy must have flourished during the time where the administration waged an undeclared war in Central America that sponsored death squads and brokered arms deals with the Iranians, in part as an effort to undermine the campaign of the preceding incumbent President.

And democracy was no doubt stronger during the era of the Vietnam Draft.

And it absolutely had a functioning democracy during a time when the House had a committee on "Un-American Activities" that subpoena'd citizens and had them testify under penalty of perjury --- a penalty that actually imprisoned Americans --- for merely sympathizing with the aims of Communism.

And surely we had a functioning democracy during the times where voting was controlled by literacy tests --- "Question 13: Spell Backwards, Forwards" and dogs and firehoses greeted people who dared challenge enforced, legal segregation.

The idea that it's never been worse in American, because some government agency might be reading your Facebook posts, is lunacy; an insult to people who actually stood up to real malignant government power. It's an easy mistake to make: it's the availability heuristic. You understand the implications of worldwide Internet surveillance, but barely remember (if you even knew about in the first place) HUAC.

I don't know what Carter's excuse is, though; he surely knows about Watergate, Iran-Contra, HUAC, Tuskegee, COINTELPRO, and the Hoover FBI. Carter is just being a coot.

sehugg 4 days ago 2 replies      
The former POTUS's quote "America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time" was covered in few U.S. outlets, and initially reported in the German paper Der Spiegel in the German language.

Perhaps the most visible outlet to include the quote was The Huffington Post, but they can't be bothered to do their own translation. So they cover it via a link to The Inquisitr, which can't bring itself to validate the source, questioning the accuracy of the German newspaper Der Spiegel (which it calls "Die Spiegel").

Note: Carter made this statement in Atlanta, Georgia, not Germany.

Maybe Carter should have also said "America does not have a functioning news media at this point in time."

rayiner 4 days ago 1 reply      
Carter is a nice guy. My dad really likes him. His political views are actually quite consistent with the prevailing attitudes among my liberal friends and a lot of what I read on HN. So it's extremely telling that America dislikes him. The right has an intense hatred for him, and the left is at best ashamed of him. It's also extremely telling that America, on both sides of the aisle, loves Reagan, quite the opposite of Carter, someone who espoused a militarily powerful America that wasn't afraid to get its hands dirty abroad.

Obama seems, to me, to be a democrat for "Reagan's America." Socially liberal, but as willing to blow up random people in the Middle East as anyone who has come before him. When Obama killed Bin Laden and ran with that during the 2008 campaign, I could distinctly perceive democrats thinking: "we found our Reagan." It's no surprise then, that Obama's approval ratings on his handling of the war on terror are still in the black, and are surprisingly good overall for someone whose entire presidency has been mired in a terrible economy.

That doesn't seem to me to be a democracy that isn't functioning. It seems to me to be giving people what they want.

sage_joch 4 days ago 3 replies      
Fun fact: if you start typing "Edward Sn..." into Google News, it will not auto-complete it. I don't know if there is an innocuous explanation, but it is consistent with a media that is trying to downplay stories like this.
hga 4 days ago 1 reply      
Carter was the first Democratic President after the Church Commission, and his CIA director (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Director_of_Central_Intelligenc...) was infamous for his scorn of HUMIT and e.g. firing of 800 in operational positions in a "Halloween Massacre". I've read that today the CIA has 90% of its personal stationed in the US, and their loss of fieldcraft skills is infamous (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Chapman_attack).

So you might say that his actions in the long term pushed us towards a dependence on what the NSA does, especially in a "War on Terror" where image reconnaissance is of limited utility.

Roboprog 4 days ago 0 replies      
Carter told the truth (probably due to his background as an engineer and an actual family-business size businessman). Many people didn't like that.

Carter wanted to do something about the energy crisis and peak oil. Reagan tore down the solar panels (it's symbolic, OK?). Now we have massive debt and an attempt at empire to capture remaining fossil fuel resources, as well as a blossoming police state to wrap a bow around the package.

StefanKarpinski 4 days ago 2 replies      
Jimmy Carter just gets more and more awesome.
rangibaby 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Carter ran on a platform of "honesty" and was apparently the only president in American history to actually mean it. See where it got him..."


jliechti1 4 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder if Jimmy Carter realized it would come to this when he signed the FISA into law back in 1978.
diminoten 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is the stance you must take if you believe Snowden was in the right.

You must believe there is no recourse from within the system for which to correct it if you believe that acting outside of the system is a valid strategy.

I applaud Jimmy Carter for being consistent, at least.

dllthomas 4 days ago 2 replies      
He should run for President or something.
fnordfnordfnord 4 days ago 0 replies      
Makes the "USS Jimmy Carter" a rather ironic name for the submarine, given its mission.


shank8 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love Jimmy Carter
jingo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Who cares? Life in America is great at the moment. It was great yesterday and it'll be great tomorrow. Carter is living a nice comfortable life. So can you.

How is life outside America? It's either the same or not as good. Count your blessings. Americans have it good. Land of milk and honey. Take a deep breath and breathe that glorious American air. Freedom! Love it, live it!

rogerthis 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't trust this Castro brother's friend.
swombat 4 days ago 3 replies      
Quick! Throw Jimmy Carter in jail! He's a terrorist sympathiser!
Questions about Camerons new porn-blocking paulbernal.wordpress.com
235 points by justincormack  17 hours ago   199 comments top 47
venomsnake 16 hours ago 2 replies      
1 Who will decide what counts as pornography, and how?

Pornography is everything that gives a politician, cleric or judge a boner.

2 Do you understand and acknowledge the difference between pornography, child abuse images and images depicting rape?

See number one.

3 Are you planning to make all pornography illegal?

Only until people find joy in it. When the junior anti sex league is ready we will unban it.

4 What about Page 3?

Don't mess with the freedom of the press to make and break politicians. Yet.

5 What else do you want to censor?

Everything but the truth. There will be special government agency to decide what the truth is today.

6 What happens when people opt-in?

I will ask daily mail to kindly label them child rapists. Also will suspend the UK libel law for the Daily mail. Then I will offer a ritual sacrifice to the daily mail shrine in my office so the deity will bring more votes to me.

7 What was that letter to the ISPs about?

[Redacted for national security concerns]

8 Are you going to get the ISPs to block Facebook?

Facebook? Book with faces. We hadn't had such things in 1695, haven't kept up with the recent trends.

9 How do you think your plans will go down with US internet companies?

I will delay the tax pressure and they will cave. Too much PITA to chase the money to fund health and education anyway.

10 Do you really think these plans will stop the corrosion of childhood?

No but it will give is critical tools in being able to delay or outright prevent developing of critical thinking and free thoughts.

On a serious note - if the kid is able to learn about the Holocaust, WW2, Gulag,Wikipedia pages on torture or Greek mythology with pictures at age of 8 (they won't be censored) and not be scarred for ever, his/her mind is probably strong enough to bear the sight of a consenting women and men having sex few years later. Even if it is in a bit weirder ways.

Camillo 13 hours ago 6 replies      
> Some of this is welcome the statement about making it a criminal offence to possess images depicting rape sounds a good idea on the face of it, for example, for such material is deeply offensive

Are you fucking kidding me? What's with this pseudo-shamanistic idea that viewing a picture of an act makes you a participant in it? Has everybody lost their mind?

A criminal offence. Stop making up thought crimes, you authoritarian zealots!

Aqueous 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Scene opens in PM David Cameron's 10 Downing St. office.

PM: Shall we have tea first, or shall we look at the list? Have you fetched me the list?

Aide: What list?

PM: You know, the list. The list of people that was created when we made pornography filtering opt-out instead of opt-in, and those who opted in to pornography automatically registered themselves in our database in the act of doing so.

Aide: Oh, yes, sir, I have it right, here. It's this volume right here. It is, ahem, quite long.

PM: How long?

Aide: Quite.

PM: (more sternly) How long?

Aide: It is several thousand pages, sir.

PM: Ah. Ok. How very disappointing. Have you scanned the list?

Aide: I have.

PM: And who, might I ask, is it comprised of? Degenerates, criminals, ne'er-do-wells, perverts, thugs, know-nothings, liberals?

Aide: Sir, well...sir....

PM: Spit it out.

Aide: It seems everyone is on the list, sir.

PM: Everyone?

Aide: Yes. Everyone.

PM: Do you mean everyone in Liverpool?

Aide: I'm afraid I mean everyone in the UK, sir.

PM: That's 60 million people.

Aide: Indeed.

PM: That's nonsense. The Britons are more decent than that! Next you'll be telling me that the Queen herself is on the list!

Aide looks down at his feet.

Aide: Um.

PM: Oh for God's sake, sir. Don't tell me that the Queen is on the list!

Aide: I'm afraid she is.

PM: Wait. So you're telling me that, when I turned pornography filtering on by default nation-wide, that every single natural born citizen of the UK, including the Queen, chose to get to their computers, logged into the filtering system, and opted in to pornography?

Aide: That's what it seems like, sir. Er, well...there is one who is not on the list. UK tennis player and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is not on the list. He is as pure as new-fallen snow.

PM: National treasure, that chap.

Aide. Indeed. But everyone else is on the list.

PM: Ballocks. Ah well, I tried. It was for the children, you see. Now if you'll excuse me I have some porn I mean, er, ahem, important reading I have to get to, privately.

josteink 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Step 1: Introduce a system and infrastucture for handling online censorship. In the name of "think of the children".

Step 2: Promise with your hand on your heart that this new censorship-machine will never be used for antidemocratic or subsidiary reasons, like saving the governments ass next time we have some of those pesky leaks showing massive government violations going on.

There is no step 3.

DanBC 16 hours ago 3 replies      
He gave an interview on Woman's Hour where he sounded functionally illiterate. He sounded really confused about the idea of "where the filtering actually occurs", saying that all new computers (by the end of the year) would have to have this filter on, "ticked off by default" (meaning, I think, 'on' by default).

It's just bafflingly bad. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03757cr)

beaker52 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Through one method or another, sex is still taboo. We can't talk openly about it. It's something that generally happens behind closed doors.

Making this filtering opt-out is a "soft ban". People will have to take that "uncomfortable", "shameful" step of "unbanning" it. If someone watches porn, they've gone to the trouble of getting it unbanned to feed their "filthy" minds.

That's the narrative behind the psychology of this ban being enforced.

The govt. will have a big list of people they can spy on to make sure they're not looking at anything they shouldn't be, and I hazard a guess that the govt. will change their mind on what's acceptable more rapidly now they have a handle on it.

People may find these links interesting:




"It is this need to conform to society and control the libido that leads to tension and disturbance in the individual, prompting the use of ego defenses to dissipate the psychic energy of these unmet and mostly unconscious needs into other forms."

Say... consuming material goods?

spdy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It will be interesting to observe if this gets into law without being challenged.

UK public did not really care about "Tempora" etc. as far as i could see it. (i hope i am wrong) And systems like these are just the front door approval to cover the other systems.

They tried to implement a system like this in Germany and failed miserable but every society acts differently we are still up in arms against the spying programs. But in most countries this topic already vanished from mainstream media.

singular 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I want to see the detailed metastudies that clearly suggest exposure to internet porn does significant damage to kids.

I also want to know why this has to be enforced by the nanny state, rather than provided for by already available software? Do the parents have no responsibility?

Actually, since this government likes to full-on lie about evidence [0] let's just wait until we have a chance to throw these demagogue idiots out.

[0]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/15/conserva...

alan_cx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the biggest abuses of children is the use of them to enforce a judgmental sense of morality on adults.
drostie 11 hours ago 1 reply      
11. Did you know that there's this thing called HTTPS?

Blocking pornography can only be haphazardly done at the ISP level, because porn sites like most sites do not encrypt traffic by default. (I'm still not sure why this is, but it makes it much easier to find out if people are browsing porn at work.) When you make this decision, some porn sites will use HTTPS and the ISP won't know what content is being transmitted. Are you planning on creating a database of IP addresses which will be censored? What will you do about the likely false positives, or the generous number of IPv6 addresses now available?

moocowduckquack 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Is probably just an attempt to get back some of his core voters that he managed to annoy with the whole gay marriage thing.

If/when it fails he can then point fingers at the ISPs and say that it is their fault it didn't happen, which is probably why he is claiming that he is fighting them from the outset as it fits the later narrative better and means he can scapegoat them when the time comes to minimise the splashback.

rorrr2 16 hours ago 2 replies      
You forgot the most important question

0) How will you do it?

The internet is HUGE. Detecting porn is a non-trivial task, but even if you solve it, you will still need insane infrastructure to crawl the internet and apply your magical algorithm to every image on every website.

Nursie 16 hours ago 0 replies      
He's not the only politician to have spouted off loudly about this stuff lately.

Each one of them seems to think that Google is the internet, and that if they don/t index something it doesn't exist. Each one of them also (intentionally?) conflates images of child abuse with images of consenting adults.

They come across as extremely ignorant. Unfortunately this isn't confined to a single party.

jwatte 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
If pictures of bad crime and abuse are undesirable, then shouldn't we start with the worst crimes, like murder? And thus ban every depiction of murder?
Dogamondo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Where I'm more concerned on this topic is the inevitable presence of a non-curated list of those who voluntarily 'opted in' to having the porn faucet unplumbed.

The character assassinations and prospective employment undoings we've all read about over the past few years, due to (reasonably) tame publicly available information now may pale in comparison to the damage that could ensue if one were to be labelled a 'voluntary pornographer'.

I fear that what has historically been a 'right of passage' may in future be used to retrospectively punish those that can be traced back to such a compelling opt-in.

For those of us that can remember when porn wasn't a series of 0's and 1's, we took great delight in sneaking a peak at the 'forbidden' shows on pay-TV after Mom and Dad had gone to bed. We willingly exchanged a tasty sandwich during recess for a roughly torn page from the Hustler mag that little Johnny had smuggled from his older brother. And later, (0's and 1's) delighted in seeing that lush SERP, born from a 4 letter search phrase and the final 14.4k nod of KRSSHHHHHHH, Go for it, You're in!"

My right of passage was in the school music room, after hours with Drew Barrymore in 1994 - Lusciously posing for me on the cover December's Penthouse.

If Cameron had his way, that memory may now be a piece of data, just waiting to be exploited by a "hacker" collective who do it "for the lulz", or worse, a 1984 style release of public disclosure outing those who were once impure.

Who knows what may come now. (pun intended)

xedarius 15 hours ago 2 replies      
'Family filter', what a crock of shit, similar to the crock of shit verdict that GCHQ's use of PRISM was deemed legal (by whom exactly?). We know you want to spy on us, don't use the bleeding hearts at mum's net to get your agenda passed.
speeder 14 hours ago 1 reply      
So, Cameron decided to block something that about 60% of women like?

He forgot to research about it or something?


(I know psychology today has some issues... but the article cite its sources)

tn13 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
I thought it was only beggars who used little kids as a means to optimize their goals. Politicians seem to be doing much better.
mikemoka 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This totally looks like a way to justify government snooping and limit any protests in case they get discovered again.
smegel 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What's next, Empire reborn?

Seriously, a pubic morals campaign under the banner of "think of the children" looks antiquated in the 21st century.

And if anything it will make abuse harder to identify and track down - instead of sharing online it will be shady deals out of the boot of a car. The NSA can't intercept that (or can they??).

Only in Great Britain. A stuffy, red faced PM whipping up a righteous moral panic because images of this awfully taboo and horrendous thing called human sexuality are freely available to all.

Is this the beginning of a return to the Victorian era, with it's forceful sexual repression and the insidious forms of abuse that came with it?

Sad. Not the actions of an enlightened, open society.

drblast 14 hours ago 0 replies      
You'll be able to trivially circumvent this, and the first people to figure that out will be teenage boys.

And then what? Well hey, we can try to block the encryption and tunneling protocols they use and make those opt-in too.

Inevitably someone who "opts in to use encryption" will have to answer for it in a criminal trial.

dclowd9901 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If ISPs in the UK have a shred of decency, I'm hoping they phrase the opt-in as "would you like the internet you pay good money for to be unfiltered?" as opposed to "would you like to be able to access pornography?". It gives the subscriber plausible deniability, and changes the conversation to being an empowerment versus a shame.
acd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is going the slippery slope rabbit hole of censorship. They start with this "noble cause", then other things will also be censored that the politicians consider bad.

Why doesn't the ex politicians explain why they are on consultant payroll salaries from the big banks, why are they going to undemocratic Bilderberg group meetings with no public meeting agenda notes, why is CFR setting the agenda. What is the Trilateral commission planning, why are the members hand picked. Is it democratic? Why are new political leaders flown there on private jets? Why do we have central banks that central plan interest rates and ever increasing debts that make the bank owners richer for every round that goes around?

Why are we ordinary people being mass surveillanced in Stasi 2.0 fashion in the name of terror hunting?

vog 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This debate strongly reminds me of the "Zensursula" debate we had in Germany some time ago:


The result was one of the biggest protests in Germany and a huge anti-censorship petition (signed by about 130,000 people). The law passed legislation nevertheless, but remained in a strange state between legislative and executive, because nobody dared to enforce this crappy law anymore. Some months later, the law was repealed - mostly unnoticed by press:


infinita740 16 hours ago 2 replies      
> 10 Do you really think these plans will stop the corrosion of childhood?

question 10 is indeed the most important one, IMHO blocking porn on the internet is not going to stop kids to have access to adult content so it's really pointless unless you want to have a start point for something bigger (censorship)

nottrobin 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This article doesn't make the distinction between "porn" and "illegal content" half clear enough. Porn is not illegal (and in my view not necessarily immoral) to make or to watch. Using child abuse arguments to legitimise legislation about porn is just disgusting.
awjr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
So I'm guessing Twitter will be blocked. You won't believe the amount of porn on there.
toyg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd support this two-tier scheme if, on the clean feed, we could do away with the semi-secret blacklist and the stupid anti-p2p blocks. By all means help to keep schools and libraries away from pr0n, but leave competent people alone.
SolarUpNote 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My sister's family computer has a porn filter on it. Seems like a great idea because they have small children. But here are some of the sites it blocked:

* Amazon* YouTube* Reddit* GitHub!

bane 13 hours ago 1 reply      
gravedave 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I find this article overly critical. Leaving the feasibility issues aside, I don't think most parents will just rely on this measure and totally forget about their own responsibilities. What, do people not teach their kids against taking drugs, just because they're illegal?Also, assuming that the NSA will use the list to find terrorists or child pornographers is also ridiculous. If there's a porn site the ISP's keep track of (so they can "opt" it in the program), chances are that the site does not have illegal porn on it, so why the fuck would they care? Even if it could be used for public shaming, who the hell still cares about who watches and who doesn't watch porn?

The only legitimate complaints are those regarding feasibility, like what counts as porn (do sites that allow it, but are not really about it, count, like reddit? or to a lesser extent, as already mentioned in the article, facebook) but hell, might as well just ask why all politicians make promises they can't keep. The article would have been way more credible if it kept to sane arguments, rather than trying to throw around random criticisms like #2, which makes references to porn that is already illegal, or #3 and #4, which would obviously never come to fruition.As for #10, which is a legitimate question, definitely not, but it's an aid towards it, with a significance in the long term that is yet to be discovered.

SideburnsOfDoom 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There are another 20 good technical and legal questions on the issues here:https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/isp-filtering-qs
bifrost 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I think another question that we should be asking -> "When will the US administration try this?"
area51org 12 hours ago 0 replies      

I'd love to be able to say that we'd never see this in the U.S., but there are certain former presidential candidates (mostly Republican) who I can easily imagine trying to implement something similar.

gadders 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It is worth mentioning that the ban on images of rape is to bring the rest of the UK in line with an existing Scottish law.

Therefore anyone who sees this as a right-wing thing is clearly wrong as (people are frequently fond of saying) there are actually more Pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs. The Scottish Parliament is currently dominated by a left-wing nationalist party that wants to remove Scotland from the UK.

rwmj 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The big question is does this require primary legislation. And how's he going to get that through?
n0mad01 16 hours ago 0 replies      
everybody knows that this is just a first step toward filtering and censoring the net, blocking whatever benefits someone powerful ...
neeee 16 hours ago 0 replies      
>the statement about making it a criminal offence to possess images depicting rape sounds a good idea on the face of itHow does making images of consenting adults doing something completely legal sound like a good idea in any way?
Torkild 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"My position has always been that there's two types of people opposed to pornography: those who don't know what they're talking about, and those who don't know what they're missing."- Larry Flynt
yawniek 15 hours ago 0 replies      
absolutely retarded idea, but if they do it:

make it IPv4 only, that would finally speed up IPv6 adoption.

pbowyer 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read from a youthworker re Paul Bernal's point #10: http://youthwork-magazine.co.uk/main/blogs/internetporn
maerF0x0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
In the end they wont be able to block TOR Browser/Vidalia . It will stop amateurs, but I doubt you can stop (computer) pros.
oleganza 14 hours ago 1 reply      
As I always note in threads like this, this is not a problem of censorship or defining what is "pornography". These are all distractions from the real problem: a legalized violence employed by people calling themselves "government" to achieve their ends.

"Anti-porn law" in plain words means this: if you happen to provide an internet connection to some people, you will have to do what we say, or we will bring people with guns to make you to or give up your property (and maybe put you in jail too). We may ask for suggestions in form of "petitions" and "voting", but only within the imposed framework which you are not allowed to bypass. E.g. you are not allowed to vote for not sponsoring this whole mess by not paying your taxes. And even if you can, there's a mob rule: 50%+1 will overrule you.

When Apple censors porn on App Store, no one really cares because Apple does not point guns at people. You may use any other device, any other distribution platform. You can build one on your own. Apple only tries to be nice to people and attract customers voluntarily. This 180 opposite from how government operates. Government does not really try to please people, that's only for decoration. Underlying principle is to force everyone to obey.

eunice 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Cam just wants to distract people from the Lynton Crosby scandal with this silliness
ultim8k 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that Cameron supports the idea of asexual reproduction :DOr maybe that's another way to end internet freedom forever.
Stubbs 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't Google's "Safe Search already do this?
xupybd 15 hours ago 4 replies      
There are some of us the would love an ability to opt-out of certain parts of the internet. I understand the problem with censorship. But I would love the option to opt-out. Especially when children are involved.

The internet is an amazing source of information. But currently it is not safe to leave a child alone on the internet. Is there a way to keep every one happy?

iPhone 6: An edgy concept behance.net
234 points by jason_shah  2 days ago   132 comments top 42
geuis 2 days ago 8 replies      
Folks, stop bitching and complaining about this or that idea being good/bad/impractical etc, etc. It's a designer's demo portfolio work.


Designers do this stuff because they have ideas about how devices and interfaces can change and they explore those ideas. It doesn't seem to me that Johnny is making claims about inside information. He's using his visual talents to create mockups of what might be possible in the future.

The medium is different, but the process isn't any different than sci-fi writers setting stories in the future or me making UI wireframes for an application. It's just ways of exploring what could be done.

The last point is to realize that this is most likely just personal portfolio work. Some of us have github profiles and others have PSD's. Just think about the exposure Johnny is getting out of this and how it might get him more work in the future. That's the best reason for him to make this.

kyro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would highly recommend the majority of you here to stay away from fashion shows and car conventions if this is your reaction to this concept.
rayiner 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand the point of these mockups unless they have an actual prototype. It's easy to hand-wave about how great a product will be that can't be built. The borderless glass is probably a non-starter because of chipping. And why would you make an aluminum/carbon fiber composite? Aluminum and carbon fiber both serve the same purpose in a composite structure. You'd use something like a metal-matrix aluminum composite instead, set in resin.
jasonwatkinspdx 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why so many designers attempt to push the limits of material science while clearly being almost entirely ignorant of it. For example, carbon fiber composites do bend. You can make springs out of them. Also, if you could figure out how to manufacture graphene at a scale large enough to use them on iphone screens you'd probably win the Nobel.

You can't push the boundary of what's possible without already understanding the physics and engineering of the existing boundary. Otherwise you're just another kid with a pretend jetpack made out of 2 liter soda bottles. It's fun, and perhaps praiseworthy for a kid... but as an adult you look a bit silly claiming the design is something real.

shinratdr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Someone said on Twitter the other day, I wonder what UI designers could come up with if they weren't hamstrung by the fact that it needs to be built by a developer? I can't help but think of exactly that whenever I see one of these hardware mockups. This is what designers can do when they aren't hamstrung by the need to actually have it built by hardware engineers.

An interesting intellectual exercise and a beautiful design, but that only applies if you think it could be real, or else it's the hardware equivalent of a Minority Report interface. I just don't see this in my hand within the next 20 years. That makes it easy to be pessimistic.

In reference to the top comment, that's why good Sci Fi tends to focus on how the technology affects the future society and interpersonal relationships, not simply marvelling at the technology itself. Calling this the "iPhone 6" mockup and not simply a future phone or even iPhone puts a certain expectation on it, as does the mention of specs that would only be impressive for a year or two.

You can't have it both ways. Either it's an entirely theoretical mockup that can't be criticized and it's simply design work or I'm supposed to imagine it as the iPhone that's on the market two years from now with the specs listed on that page.

jrockway 2 days ago 4 replies      
I love the idea of wrapping the display around the side of the phone and having touch sensors to detect when you're holding your phone. I have this problem where I'm holding the phone with one hand and trying to press something with my thumb. It doesn't register as a touch because part of my hand is contacting the front of the screen, causing my action to be interpreted as some sort of two-finger gesture. With accurate information about where my hand is, this would be easy to fix.

One question: why not a 1920x1080 screen? The Galaxy S4 already has that resolution.

mynameisvlad 2 days ago 6 replies      
That Magsafe Lightning concept would never work. Not only is there not enough space to fit powerful enough magnets, not only is the Lightning connector 8-pin, but one of the only reasons MagSafe even works is that laptops are strong enough to still be in the same place if tugged slightly. Your phone will now not only be tugged along with the cord, but will then disconnect more easily and fly across the room.
AndrewDucker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm reminded of the Samsung prototype on the left here:http://www.mobilephones.com/news/samsung-reveal-flexible-pho...

where the screen comes round the edge of the surface. Pretty, and a lot more likely to be in production this decade.

gaze 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why do designers pull numbers out of their ass to make a concept sound more appealing? "Dual quad core processor!" yeah, well my concept has dual octocore processors and my concept will be liquid cooled! I mean phase change cooled!
kenkam 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is obvious that this is not an attempt at trying to design a plausible iPhone. It is an attempt to show case his design chops. Unfortunately, I can't give him full marks on his design, I was put off by his "Accidental Gesture Recognition" paragraph. It is a short paragraph of 7 lines, 3 of which are hyphenated.

Pedantry aside, I think the mockups look great.

MrFoof 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would the aluminum + carbon fiber be a weave of aluminum mixed in with the carbon weave (similar to Pagani's carbotanium for the Huayra's body panels), or an aluminum galvanization process on the surface of the carbon fiber (similar to the galvanized carbon fiber in the Porsche 918 Spyder)?
b1daly 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's an idea. Make a phone with a case that is strong enough to withstand the drops that inevitably happen! Putting so much effort into cool looking things that have to be covered by dorky cases is an illustration of the irrational at the heart of tech fetishes.
stfsbrb 2 days ago 2 replies      
The icons in those home screen mockups look a heck of a lot better than the real ones:


ricardobeat 2 days ago 0 replies      
The icons! Those icons look great, for the most part. Still 'flat' while keeping the iOS personality.
OrsenPike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not gonna lie, I would buy that in a heartbeat.
joeblau 2 days ago 4 replies      
The design looks amazing, even though most people will probably have the device covered up with a phone cover. Also retina 2 sounds like i would need 3 versions of every image in my app which is getting to be a bit much.
LaSombra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I fail to comprehend this kind of fetish
mkr-hn 1 day ago 0 replies      
The iPhone, as boring as it is, at least has a distinct look. This is a rectangle with beveled corners.
arms 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very impressive - I'd love to have something that looked that damn cool. The wrap around screen kept making me think of infinity pools.
tomphoolery 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! Very well made, I hope someone from Apple HR is watching...
cldr 2 days ago 2 replies      
> The only way to create a true edge-to-edge display is to remove the edge all together.

And moisture is the essence of wetness.

conradfr 2 days ago 0 replies      
And then you put a cover / bumper ...
alan_cx 1 day ago 0 replies      
It does look great, but Im not sure my hands and fingers would fare well if the edges got chipped. A chipped edge would not be enough to pay lots to get it fixed, where as a shattered screen is. As a result, I see minor injury being a bit of a problem.
mtgx 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Not very original

2) Not going to happen

jodrellblank 2 days ago 0 replies      
With that design of touch sensors on the edge, it would open it up to support being used as a chording keyboard in the style of the classic DataEgg - http://xaphoon.com/dataegg/DataEggNewShape.jpg
Tloewald 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's where the guy loses me: the sample movie on the phone is Lone Ranger.
TallboyOne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this a joke? Lol, how are you supposed to use this with one hand. The design (from a presentation perspective) is beautiful, the idea from a practicality standpoint is 100% useless. I couldn't tell if this was serious until I was like 75% of the way through.
bittired 1 day ago 0 replies      
A neat design here, but I'd rather see designs that are more creative. What about an iShirt whose color could change via bluetooth from your phone, depending on how many unread emails you have?

And the quote about graphene was distracting to me because I know for certain that Apple would not have a layer of graphene that would be as thick as Saran Wrap. That's crazy talk- too expensive. I know he wasn't saying it would be that thick, but that was the first thing that came to mind: "no way they would do that".

ksec 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the Calculation for Screen Size were off. ( Unless I am Wrong )Assuming no changes in Resolution Scale to iPhone 5, a Display that is 5.86cm Width would be 4.7" Diagonal.

Which incidentally fits in with the latest rumours on 4.7" display. Um....

joesb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like pure design concept, without regarding to technical limitation.

I like pure technology design concept without regarding to economical consideration.

This design is just plain form design plus some wanna-be technical terms.

lumens 2 days ago 1 reply      
Everything about this design, from the edge to edge glass, to the Lightening + Magsafe connector is super appealing, but it's too much of a jump for Apple. Their design style is much slower and more iterative than this.

Arguably the biggest hardware leap so far was the 3gs -> 4, and that was limited to an aesthetic re-envisioning, a camera improvement, screen resolution upgrade, and processor bump.

This design showcases improvements that Apple would likely spread out over 3 generations: everything listed for their biggest leap above, plus new input mechanisms, new connector, significantly less heft, and waterproofing (!!).

Don't get me wrong -- I'd buy this in an instant, but it looks more like iPhone 8, than 6.

cseelus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, some of the reactions here are really petty-minded to me.

This guy just made mockups of a future iteration he imagined, of a product he probably uses and likes. Something designers have published to the interwebs for years. It can be fun and a nice way to improve on your skills.

It don't get what justifies the hate some people here show up with. If you don't like it, just skip it and enjoy something else.

JohnDotAwesome 1 day ago 0 replies      
This would be the coolest god damn phone. If Apple made the smaller form factor again with a slightly bigger screen, I'd be on that. I hate the wonky rectangle of the 5.

Thanks, Johnny. This stuff is fun to think about.

brentm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think that design looks amazing. I like the concept of MagSafe connector but the world would shit a brick if they changed it again that quickly.
synor 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is not even a good portfolio piece. The typography is really bad.
dlsym 2 days ago 0 replies      
Won't happen.
coin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yet his site doesn't allow pinchzoom on mobile devices
scep12 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some nice ideas in there, but I have a few objections: On a practical level, this would be more better described as a prototype for the iPhone 8 + iOS X ... or something a bit further out than next year. Is that too nit-picky? Probably. As far as the aesthetics go - it looks almost exactly like the HTC One, albeit without a bezel. For a product designer with imaginative ideas about nearly everything else, I would have hoped for a more interesting enclosure design.
jl6 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dishonest linkbait headline.
sadrobot 2 days ago 0 replies      
How long until apple's lawyers shut this down for using their trademarks all over the place without permission?
scoyote 1 day ago 0 replies      
. It's cool! Do same OS cool concept and I am ready to buy.
jamesmccann 2 days ago 2 replies      
96GB drive? Seems fishy to me.
NSA Phone Snooping Cannot Be Challenged in Court, Feds Say wired.com
234 points by rb2e  3 days ago   137 comments top 23
btilly 3 days ago 13 replies      
It should be noted that their position on standing comes straight from Clapper v. Amnesty International, No. 11-1025 which the Supreme Court decided in the government's favor this year.

The decision is that likely targets of surveillance who cannot prove that they were ACTUALLY surveilled have no standing to file a court case where they could issue subpoenas to the government which could prove whether they were. In short it is a catch-22. You can't sue about being unconstitutionally searched unless you can prove it happened. But you can't prove it happened without suing.

And the Supreme Court thinks that this is acceptable.

sage_joch 3 days ago 1 reply      
Note this story was also near the top of /r/news on Reddit, but has since been removed.


cheald 3 days ago 3 replies      
> The Obama administration for the first time responded to a Spygate lawsuit, telling a federal judge the wholesale vacuuming up of all phone-call metadata in the United States is in the public interest, does not breach the constitutional rights of Americans and cannot be challenged in a court of law.

Oh, this changes everything. It's in our public interest, so we have nothing to worry about, guys. We can all go back to arguing vim vs emacs now.

throwit1979 3 days ago 1 reply      

1. The surveillance occurs in secret

2. Due to #1, you can't possibly prove that you, specifically, are a target of surveillance

3. Due to #2, you have no standing with the court

QED. I am speechless.

brymaster 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another infuriating and disappointing move by the Obama administration. On the contrary, this will be challenged in the courts by groups like the EFF and ACLU until they've won.

Let's make Feds remember that they work for us instead of special interests, corporations and the military/surveillance-industrial complex.

agl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Orin Kerr (law professor at George Washington University) has written on the subject of whether the collection of phone metadata violates the 4th Amendment, given the history of Supreme Court opinions on the matter:


In short, these legal actions have a hard journey ahead of them.

lukifer 3 days ago 0 replies      
"When the President does it, that means that it's not illegal."
msandford 3 days ago 0 replies      
So along these lines the government should have no problem supplying me with the names and home addresses of all of the government officials, provided that I really, REALLY promise (seriously!) to not look at it unless I'm authorized to. Because I don't actually HAVE it until I LOOK at it.

Cool, where do I find this data? I promise not to look until I'm authorized!

rfctr 3 days ago 0 replies      
> one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government.

Common, don't be shy! Don't pretend there are some "non-democratic" governments somewhere that do even more surveillance!

Largest ever launched by any government, by far.

dmix 3 days ago 1 reply      
The government deciding what is and what is not constitutional?

What could go wrong.

ethomson 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not a lawyer, but to say that this "cannot be challenged in court" is a pretty terrible interpretation. The government asks the court system (where this is, in fact, already being challenged) to deny an injunction stopping the metadata collection before this is fully heard in court.
philip1209 3 days ago 4 replies      
I was raised to believe that a core tenet of the government was checks and balances.
aray 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why not intentionally put someone in the "surveillance spotlight"? Have them checkout on the wrong books from the library, join the wrong forums, frequently make phone calls to foreign malign actors overseas. Then lay all of this information bare to the public and say "Either I am being surveilled by the NSA or they are utterly incompetent to the point of not being effective in their charge". If then you still don't have standing, at least sue them for not doing their jobs. (Disclaimer: IANAL
speeder 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why a blowjob get more outcry than.ignoring the constitution repeatedly in US? As non US person I don't get it.
cmsimike 3 days ago 3 replies      
I look forward to the day where the American public realizes its government thinks its citizens are no better than enemies.
callmeed 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm confused: why does the executive branch ("Obama's administration" in paragraph 1) get to tell a judge this or submit a "filing"?

Is this just them stating their position? At what point can/will SCOTUS get involved?

(pardon my ignorance if I incorrectly assumed the president doesn't get to decide what's constitutional)

malandrew 3 days ago 0 replies      
How can enough people add their name to the the suit that it becomes a statistical likelihood to meet the criteria for standing? I would imagine that if you get as many people on the no-fly list as possible to be party to the suit then it is almost a certainty that at least one of the plaintiffs have had their information monitored and the suit can move forward.
lazyjones 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice dictatorship with a faux democracy attached you have got there, people ... I take it that since the president set up FISA and the NSA spying, which cannot be unrooted by a court, he considers himself completely immune and above the law also.
ctdonath 2 days ago 0 replies      
You (and I mean you, Ameican reader) put up with full scale systemic 4th Amendment violations by TSA searching every bag at airports on grounds of public safety and non-targeted searches.

NSA now does the same, just with phones. Precedent matters.

eyeareque 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, I didn't see that one coming </sarcasm>. I just hope the patriot act gets killed or significantly rewritten for the better in 2015 when it is up for renewal.
future_grad 3 days ago 0 replies      
We are currently unable to confirm or deny there is a flaw in the legal system at this time.
mtgx 2 days ago 0 replies      
So much for that "debate" we were supposed to have. There's also the "balance" thing that apparently only Obama administration gets to decide on.
trackztar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Time for a revolution!
Apple Dev Center outage apple.com
217 points by gurgeous  3 days ago   137 comments top 34
gurgeous 3 days ago 2 replies      
The entire Apple dev center is down. That makes it impossible to download the iOS or Mac SDKs, including the iOS 7 beta. It's also not possible to provision new devices or update expired certificates. The developer forums are down too, which is somewhat frustrating since that's the only place we can discuss the still-under-NDA iOS 7.

iTunes connect appears to be up.

Apologies for those who posted this earlier. The headline gets more interesting as the outage continues.

danilocampos 3 days ago 4 replies      
I've had an active developer program account since 2008. While various tools have gone offline now and then, and there are planned shutdowns around the holidays and during keynotes, this incident seems unique.

Wonder what's going on over there. This outage makes the provisioning portal inaccessible. That could mean very real work disruptions, since no new code signing credentials can be made.

tritchey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Craig Hockenberry: "Just talked to WWDR on the phone: no ETA."


aroman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Amusingly (or perhaps frustratingly) their status site is showing all-systems-go: http://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/
warcher 3 days ago 2 replies      
Something real, real bad happened down Apple way. The only explanation that passes the sniff test for me is a security breach. A big one. Playstation store big. I mean, it's a huge outage in the middle of the week. Nobody does that if something hasn't gone disastrously wrong. And iffy as Apple's web infrastructure historically has been, it's hard to imagine a system malfunction that they couldn't route around in some kind of reduced capacity in this amount of time.

So. Is Apple gonna drop trou and own up to what the hell happened, or are they gonna get the servers back up and pretend that we saw all this smoke and no fire?

davidedicillo 3 days ago 4 replies      
Right in the middle or renewing the our account. I need to activate the new license and, since I can't, people can't download our app from the store. Talking about fail...
skyebook 3 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting, it looks like the WebObjects application(s) has actually been undeployed.

I poked around the main developer.apple.com for a bit until I got here: https://developer.apple.com/programs/start/safari/enroll.php...

Clicking the "Individual" button on the bottom throws up a WebObjects error: http://i.imgur.com/xcfZ5ip.png (Yes, that's probably the smallest I've ever made my Safari window. You're welcome, mobile readers)

martin_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Apple has just updated the page stating that memberships due to expire today have been extended and apps will not be removed from the App Store. They have also apologized for it taking "longer than expected"
amccloud 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm grasping at straws here, but maybe it was a security breach?
k-mcgrady 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is it still possible to provision devices through Xcode while it's down?

The message they've went with is very strange:

"This site is undergoing maintenance for an extended period today."

Normally they give a few weeks warning for maintenance.

j45 3 days ago 1 reply      
I predict the entry of a new phrase into our lexicon

Bad antenna = "You're holding it wrong"

Outage = "Extended Maintenance"


millerm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope it's something good. But, my guess is it won't be anything noticeable. Replacing that horrible Jive forum software would rock as it's awful.
RealCasually 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing like discovering your recently released app crashes on iOS 7 and being unable to download the SDK to find out why, or fix it.
whiddershins 3 days ago 4 replies      
I find it curious no apple rep is here, commenting on this post.
ksec 3 days ago 4 replies      
Outage? Or Maintenance? These are two different things.
yanghan 3 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone else getting strange emails to Reset Apple ID Password? I received two today
unixroot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apples Developer Center Offline for 32 Hours; Compromised ? Details : http://thehackernews.com/2013/07/apples-developer-center-off...
joeblau 3 days ago 0 replies      
Finally someone has chimed in on this. I've been trying to update my provisioning profile since yesterday.
dennycd 3 days ago 0 replies      
the maintenance page has a new update just now saying this

We'll be back soon.We apologize that maintenance is taking longer than expected.If your program membership was set to expire during this period, it has been extended and your app will remain on the App Store. If you have any other concerns about your account, please contact us.

iNeal 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure where you got 28 hours (35 mins ago) from when it hasn't been even 27 hours yet (at this moment).
hamxiaoz 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting I was trying to download xcode commandline tools for setting up my new mac, the website was down but you can still download it in xcode download panel. (assuming you already have xcode installed).
josephwegner 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's been down at least since yesterday afternoon:


perlpimp 3 days ago 1 reply      
anonymous has been hitting targets listed in Prism presentation of late - could be one of the anonymous' casualties?
eskimoroll 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a major bummer. I wanted to push out some more TestFlight builds yesterday and have been in limbo ever since.
jbermudez5 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just when you need to send an adhoc build.....
mhteas 2 days ago 0 replies      
The WWDC vids are in an app this year, not on iTunesU. Te an phones home to validate that you are a developer. It too is inaccessible now since dev center is down is down.
ValG 3 days ago 1 reply      
Forums are now down as well.
stokedmartin 3 days ago 1 reply      
this is screwed up too http://devimages.apple.com/
esamek 3 days ago 0 replies      
its back for me

[edit] nvm, that was the marketing developer site.

zainali 3 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone have an Xcode 5 dmg?
suyash 3 days ago 1 reply      
schrodinger 3 days ago 0 replies      
That comment wasn't constructive the first 2 times.
peterkelly 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wait, does this mean the entire Cloud is down? I can still access Google and Amazon.
CSS Zen Garden relaunched csszengarden.com
208 points by jmduke  2 days ago   46 comments top 23
danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome...I can't remember the last time I've visited this site...but I can't remember a resource on CSS that I ever read before this one...

Even though it's "just CSS"...I think CSS Zen Garden, and other sites like it, were absolutely critical to my web development career. Not because I specialized in web design, but because it demonstrated that CSS was cool...and not just some other syntax to learn (which, when you're new to web development, can be quite intimidating).

Zen Garden inspired me to learn CSS...and it wasn't the CSS itself that was important, but the concept that CSS is based on: separation of presentation and content...something that is very hard to grok until you just do it...Zen Garden's fantastic demos encouraged me to try it out, even if I could never match the site's artistry.

And if I had never gotten the concept of separation down...I don't think I would be a web developer today. I think the maintenance of even a simple personal website built on inline HTML would've driven me to quit web development long ago...

That said, in my career (which admittedly hasn't been focused on design), I've never been in a situation where a client has wanted to redesign the site and to do so was just a task of rewriting the CSS sheets, no matter how well-written the HTML templates were. Redesigns almost always go hand-in-hand with addition of new features, technology, and content...the architectural ideal that CSS Zen Garden strives for is a great one, but it doesn't seem to occur often in professional work.

MattJ100 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sure I'm not alone - this site really inspired me to first get into web design and development. Great to see it alive and contributions as imaginative as ever.
adrianhoward 2 days ago 1 reply      
Kind of odd to remember era when CSS Zen Garden launched - when you had to convince people that CSS was a good idea, and when IE leading the way
lucisferre 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good thing Dave never got that Pizza he asked for: https://twitter.com/mezzoblue/status/210779736652251138
Tycho 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that some of the designs look very contemporary but only use CSS 1 and 2. Suggests the change in web design is driven more by fashion (or maybe hardware) than by rendering technology.

On the subject of CSS, I've often thought it would be great if somebody made a sort of 'CSS koans.' Like each koan would be a little puzzle where you manipulate the box model etc. to get the desired physical layout.

omegote 2 days ago 0 replies      
So nice, some weeks ago there were some news about CSS Zen Garden's birthday. Now knowing it's been relaunched is great.

BTW, here's the design I sent... 8 years ago o_O


ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome, that site has launched a lot of careers and made the web a better place overall I think.
teeja 1 day ago 0 replies      
How to put this? Most CSS proponents seem to focus on "beauty" for individual elements and fairly simple data representation. It'd be useful to see more design aimed at representing LOTS of data in a way which retains uncluttered "good looks" without throwing away multiple navigation options.

People with large, rich databases -especially- need ideas on how to represent that data from many potential angles-of-view while maintaining clarity. 4 or 5 pretty boxes on a page with minimal text just don't suffice. Such ideas are vanishingly rare on most sites dedicated to CSS.

Myrmornis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why is all the content squashed into the middle of the page when I view on a laptop? Am I supposed to think it looks good like that or is it designed for a phone/tablet? Shouldn't the site be showcasing technology that allows pages to look good on desktop and mobile? (Honest, and probably stupid question -- I would like to understand.)

e.g. http://www.csszengarden.com/?cssfile=/211/211.css

mahmud 1 day ago 0 replies      
That site pretty much put me on the open-standards side of web development. I was a huge Flash nut.
conroy 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a young web developer, I had been using tables and frames to organize my layout. CSS Zen Garden taught me to separate style and content. I credit this site for making me a better web developer.
Brajeshwar 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the old days, this was one of my task to ask candidates that I interview, "Can you show-n-tell a CSS Zen Garden Design."
hawkharris 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love CSS Zen Garden, but it seems like no new content has been added with this "relaunch." Maybe one or two designs at most.
sanbor 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one that finds the site slow in the scrolling and effects? I'm using Firefox 22 on a Macbook Air from 2012.
pacomerh 2 days ago 0 replies      
CSS Zen Garden was so useful when I started. It was the first time I saw that you could separate markup and style. I impressed my boss by telling him that we could just build one functional site and have different skins and we could save money.
vfl0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Currently used to designing websites, when I found out about this in class I was so excited. The only problem I found was that I wasn't sure what theme to make it as most of them follow a certain style but I guess that's down to myself.

Some fantastic designs produced by it though.

Jitle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am so happy CZG has been relaunched and updated.

This site was my inspiration for a senior project in an independent study class on web design where I surprised and completely redesigned my teacher's website while only changing the CSS file, and the original site was not designed well - at all.

stigi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh wow. Good to have CSSZG back. How could I forget about you... \o/
tzury 1 day ago 0 replies      
CSS Zen Garden was the site caused me writing my first CSS file.
mmgutz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Heading fonts not so pretty on Windows + Chrome.
_greim_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yay! Zen Garden. 059 reporting in.
beauxespirits 2 days ago 0 replies      
this is the site that inspired me to get into code~! love this site and glad they revamped it.
plg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe I'm a curmudgeon but to me the vast majority of these examples are outright painful to the eye, they remind me of myspace pages and the like. Can anyone really imagine spending any significant amount of time reading / exploring a website that is based on one of these designs? The exception is the main landing page, I like that one.
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