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Why can a scam company raise $40 Million Series C + $76 Million Series B?
1017 points by wenxun  2 days ago   456 comments top 61
abalone 2 days ago 4 replies      
Every single person who has been misled into signing up for a recurring charge should do this one thing:

Dispute the charge with their credit card company.

You'll get your money back and it will issue a bunch of chargebacks to JustFab, which will penalize them financially. If enough people complain their penalties will escalate and their credit card processing rates will go through the roof. This is how the credit card system weeds out crappy businesses like this.

Unfortunately the very people who this model is designed to exploit are the least likely to know about their consumer protections.

cs702 2 days ago 10 replies      
JustFab is not a 'scam company' (in the sense that they may not be doing anything technically illegal), but they are using DARK DESIGN PATTERNS[1] to trick at least some people into doing things they don't want to do.

The checkout page[2], in particular, seems designed specifically to trick people into signing up for recurring monthly charges. Any person who adds merchandise to the cart and then clicks the big 'Continue Checkout' button -- without stopping to read all the surrounding text -- will unintentionally sign up for the $39.95/month "VIP" plan.

My mom, who is trusting by nature, would never stop to read all that surrounding text, because she has been conditioned by years of online ordering to add items to a cart and then find and click the big checkout button. She would be tricked into signing up for recurring charges.


[1] See http://darkpatterns.org/

[2] http://imagesup.net/?di=15138026329215 -- this was posted by one of the company's investors elsewhere on this thread. It's a canonical example of a dark design pattern.

jdh 2 days ago 104 replies      
I'm the Series A investor in this company.

We in fact have done plenty of due diligence, and you will be pleased to know it is not a scam company. In fact, the company has very high customer satisfaction ratings, including an NPS that is in the ballpark of Amazon, and a very high customer retention rate. More than half of the people who subscribe to the service are still subscribers after two years, which is unusually high for a subscription service.

I obviously cannot speak to your girlfriend's experience. With nearly a million subscribers, there are certainly people with bad experiences -- same is true with any service. Netflix is great but I am sure there are a number of people who have had a bad experience.

I would encourage the HackerNews community to consider the opposite: if we assume the investors in this business do perform due diligence, is there another possible explanation? Is it possible that this case is not representative of the average case?

But hey, we don't have to be he-said-she-said here, anyone can just go to the site and verify if this claim is true. In essence, the claim is: "The site tricked me. I went to buy a single pair of shoes, and in doing so, they actually started taxing my credit card every month, and no one warned me."

Folks are right to be skeptical -- a lot of businesses have done this, tried to hide the fact there would be future charges. Does JustFab?

I just went to the site -- you can do this -- picked a random pair of boots and put them in my shopping cart. I then clicked checkout, and here is what that page looked like:


"I wonder how much of this $100 million are from people like my girlfriend who simply didn't read their entire 2,500 words Terms of Service and were unaware that they were charged $39.95 a month for nothing" -- Seriously, please look at the link above to the checkout flow and tell me that's how you see it, that you have to read the 2,500 word TOS to figure out that this is the case.

Seems pretty clear to me. You can get the boots for $39 if you join the VIP program. "With this purchase, you will be activating your VIP membership"

Under "How VIP Membership Works", it explains:" If you do not take action between the 1st and the 5th of the month, you will be charged $39.95 for a member credit on the 6th. Each credit can be redeemed for 1 JustFab item, so use it to shop later!"

It's in plain English, and in the same font size as everything else on the page. Over 800,000 people can manage their subscription account every month without racking up credits. I'm sorry it didn't work for your girlfriend, and I recognize she is not the only one who has not grokked the subscription element and been surprised -- but it's a tiny minority, and the information is quite clear on the site.

Finally, one may ask: why subscription at all? Well, $39 for a high quality pair of boots is a really, really good deal. Most e-commerce merchants have to reacquire their customers for every transaction. By asking members to commit to come back to the site once a month, the company doesn't have to constantly pay google or other traffic sources to acquire members, and to have prices like this you have to keep costs low. That's the deal. There are plenty of higher priced places to buy shoes if you don't want to subscribe.

Double finally: credits never expire. If you have 8 credits in your account, you can go get 8 pairs of shoes.

Justfab is an awesome company and is creating and H&M or Zara experience online: fast fashion at great prices. I'm not sure HN is the target demographic, but it's a great service and customers love it, and VCs have poured money into because of that.

tonywebster 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sort of thing is infuriating. Nowhere on this page does it say "we will charge you every month." http://i.imgur.com/ctMDiCJ.png

I just went through the whole checkout process to see how bad it really is. There were upsell interstitials at least four times, they did the 20-minute countdown clock thing to add a little pressure, and the checkout page looked like I was getting boots for $19.95. If you look on the right side in pretty small grey text it says that you're activating your VIP membership. You have to read down several paragraphs to figure out what they're trying to get away with, and nowhere does it actually say in clear terms "we will charge you every month." Entering in your shipping and payment information and it again completely fails to indicate there's a monthly fee just a little checkbox "I accept the terms..."

All the state attorney generals should join together to sue them and get their victims' money back. At least we know they have the cash to pay the settlement now thanks to RHO, Matrix, and TCV.

tzs 2 days ago 4 replies      
Interesting that I don't see these kind of complaints at this level about book clubs.

The most popular book clubs all use a negative response model, where when you sign up you get a certain number of books at a great price, and agree to buy a certain number of additional books at the regular club price.

They send you a monthly list of books available that month, with one marked as that month's featured selection.

If you do nothing, you automatically receive the featured selection and are charged for it at the regular club price. If you do not want the featured selection, you tell them via a return card or their website.

An example is the Science Fiction Book Club [1]. The front page has a link to a "how it works" page [2]. Note that the "how it works" page doesn't actually tell you about the negative response aspect. It tells you to read the membership agreement for complete details and links to the agreement [3]. It is in there that you get the details of automatically receiving the featured selection.

(Things are similar for the Book of the Month Club, the Scientific American Book Club, and a whole bunch of others--because they are all actually run by the same company, and are using the same template for their web sites. The Columbia House DVD Club too).

Compare this to the JustFab page. That too has a "how it works" page [4], which is linked to from the front page. That page tells you about the negative response part.

The front page of the book club does say, when touting the initial book offer, that it is "with membership", so it is clear on the front page that you are going to probably have to sign up for some kind of membership to get that deal. The JustFab page does not make it clear that you must become a member to purchase.

With the book club, if you fail to make your negative response, you get a book not of your choosing. With JustFab, you get a credit that you can use on an item of your choosing. My guess is that the vast majority of JustFab's customers buy several times a year, and so they are able to fairly quickly put the credit to use.

So why does JustFab draw so much more fire, when the seem ostensibly quite similar to the book club? I wonder if the fact that their subscription if for credits makes a big difference? The book club pushes a featured selection each month, presumably something they have made a volume deal for in order to get a good price. For this to work, they really need their featured selections to sell well. With JustFab, the credit is generic. If they need to push some specific item in order to support a good price for it, selling credits does not help. Would people find JustFab more acceptable if instead of a credit, they actually sent you an item once a month?

[1] http://www.sfbc.com

[2] http://www.sfbc.com/howitworks

[3] http://www.sfbc.com/membership-agreement

[4] http://www.justfab.com/how-justfab-works.htm

wenxun 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some people asked why it took her 8 months to find out [3]: she was studying for her Master degree in the US, didn't have a SSN, was using a credit card issued by a bank in her home country, her father paid the bill for her at home and didn't notice anything unusual until she finished her study and came home to look at the credit card bills.

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4592778

bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the post. My wife shops online a lot and has a new sites checkout process almost in muscle memory. After looking at the site and the screenshots here I can say that she would absolutely fall for this scam and we'd end up dealing with the hassle of cancelling things and reversing charges and all that.

Total and outright scam. I bet in a class action, the plaintiff could even make a decent RICO case out of it and triple the damages.

Erwin 2 days ago 1 reply      
In DK (possibly EU) we have laws that mandate the actual total minimum cost to be prominently shown when you buy something and companies are regularly fined by the marketing board for misleading information there.

So if you buy a $1 cell phone, but it requires you to sign up for a 12-month $50/plan and oh, there's also several $5/month fees in small print -- then that's the total minimum cost you pay must be shown

For loan type products, the effective yearly percentage cost for the loan must be shown. So if you look at one of those typical "quick loans" like https://folkia.dk/ where everybody can get a loan..., well you an see that borrowing 3000 DKK for 30 days is going to cost you a yearly effective interest of 987% if you asked a bank for it.

kokey 2 days ago 2 replies      
What worries me is that the what is probably one of the major credit check agencies in the UK and some other countries is also running business the same way. Experian offers a service where you can check your own credit score online for around 6, but actually also signs you up for a 13/month service after that which is also easy to miss in the small print. You also can't cancel this online, you have to phone them. The whole phone call covers two things, one is that it's another method to retain you by letting you update your personal information and then letting you check within a day or two if the updates brought you more information about your credit score. The other is that the personal information helps them have better information about you to give to their customers who use them for credit checks.
cortfm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Heh, yeah. There's a class action against them filed in 2011, though not being a part of it I haven't heard anything since.

I wonder sometimes if the corporate shield isn't too strong -- that is, if someone (say, Adam Goldenberg or Don Ressler, the co-CEOs (that always goes well) of Justfab)) is executive of a company which conducts deceptive practices, why shouldn't they be personally responsible? Where, exactly, do we draw the line? I would argue that once the Notional Reasonable People learn about the fraud, we have not only a responsibility but a duty to admit justice. More specifically -- if you know about this deception, but you do nothing, you are complicit. You are now responsible. It's not a matter of choosing to ignore it -- as a participant in the venture economy, you have an obligation. And it would be entirely legitimate to punish you for failing to live up to it.

Specifically, the executives and funders of the VC companies that invested in JustFab should be held personally accountable. The people who reveal the names and home addresses of the executives of those companies will be fulfilling their obligation and doing the world a service -- permitting these individuals to hide behind layer after layer of legal protection is tantamount to personally committing that fraud. Individuals must fear the punishment for them and their families that comes after the commission or effective endorsement of fraud; they must know that we, the technical community, will not protect their abandonment of ethics.

mrtron 2 days ago 2 replies      
Clearly indicated on:


Obviously the VCs did diligence - however they must have considered the shady business as an acceptable risk factor.

I think the answer to what you are asking is many businesses start in the grey zone. Recently many folks made huge bank with recurring billing with no notice. Ring tones and internet games both went that path. Justfab seems to be breaking into a new industry with that same business model.

You should consider that most people consider this nonsense the fault of the purchaser, 'buyer beware'. Gym memberships are a classic example of this.

farrel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because VCs aren't interested in building a sustainable business, only something they can dump on a greater fool in 3 - 5 years for 10x return.
stickydink 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just checked out their UK fan page for Facebook, 20k likes.

Of the most recent 15 "posts by others", all in the past week, 5 of them are people that appear to be furious about being tricked into subscribing.


unclebucknasty 2 days ago 1 reply      
The company's tactics have been thoroughly eviscerated here, as they should be. This is clearly misleading and I don't think I can add much there.

But, here's something else that I find funny: the membership fee is $39.95/month, which then entitles you to buy a pair of shoes for an additional $39.95/month. They state that this price is "up to 50% off". So, if you only buy one pair of shoes in a month, and the discount is anything less than 50% off, then you actually lose by being a VIP member.

And, even given the maximum discount of 50% off, you would have to buy at least two pairs of shoes each month to come out ahead vs. just breaking even.

I am sure that there are people who buy shoes at this rate, but I am willing to bet that many do not consider this in their calculus, and the company knows it. I would guess that many assume they are getting a deal, as long as they "use their memberships" and buy at least one pair of shoes each month. And, almost certainly, none of them think think they could actually lose as a VIP, so long as they make one purchase.

This is not as overtly deceptive as their site design, but it underscores that their primary business model relies upon their customers' lack of understanding in one way or another.

mehwoot 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because it's not technically illegal what they are doing and they're doing it successfully. If there are people who think it's ethically ok to run a website that way, then there are probably people who will invest in it.

To me, it seems borderline.

shiven 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is because of websites like these, I love my credit card's Virtual Account Number generator. It gives me a new CC number every time, with 'Dollar amount' and 'Valid until' limits. I always use a new number to sign up for all sorts of 'trials' etc. Never ran into problems with zombie billing.

That said, scammy company is very scammy!

pbreit 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's not quite that bad. The 39.95 ends up being a credit that can be applied to a future purpose. And they are pretty upfront about how it works without one needing to "read the entire 2,500 word" TOS.

I don't love the model but I don't think "scam" or "fraud" is accurate.

tuananh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ah, I still remembered your old post.

To me, trying to mislead people (on purpose) is equivalent to scamming. the purpose is the same, just a different method of doing thing.

akrymski 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just Wow, what a clever scam. Hardest thing must have been getting a merchant account for this - does anyone know who provides them with a merchant account / credit card processing? And how do they manage to tolerate the chargeback rate without being shut down by Visa etc?

Lots of these operations around, but usually remain small due to credit card companies shutting them down quickly. JustFab has been around for a couple of years. How did they manage to stay under the radar of credit card companies? And/or keep their chargebacks under the limit?

sgustard 2 days ago 5 replies      
Their "how it works" page explains this, with far fewer than "2500 words", though it could be clearer.


They have 2 million likes on Facebook. Were all these users scammed?

The "monthly subscription" has recently been a hot e-commerce category. Other sites with a similar model are shoedazzle.com, fabkids.com, musthave.popsugar.com and so on. See: http://www.quora.com/E-Commerce/What-are-the-most-interestin...

So a question is, what's the tradeoff between transparency & making it easy for the customer to cancel at any time, versus locking them in? Lots of businesses make money off of customer inertia where the easy path is to keep paying. Netflix, Tivo, your cable service, phone service, could all plausibly have much worse retention rates if they actively asked you each month if you want to continue paying. Additionally, my cable company certainly isn't going to tell me when my one-year promotional rate is expired and my rate suddenly doubles. Does that make cable service a scam?

Beyond that, you are labeling the business a "scam" because you assert they are hiding the recurring payments from their users. Maybe so, but it would help to have data, rather than "wondering" how many users were unaware of the payments. When they become aware, does the company refund their money? Do they a/b test their signup process to optimize signups versus the later cancellation rate? I would certainly expect they do, and that they have a pretty specific idea of what their dissatistfied customer rate is, what the acceptable (non-zero) rate is for them, and how to avoid skyrocketing it while increasing their signups.

It's not a pretty business on those terms, but it's real, and plays on human behavior, both positive -- people like to receive new stuff in the mail every month, it's an addictive cycle for many -- and negative -- people sign up for stuff online without reading the fine print, or bothering to check their credit card statements.

gozmike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Frank and Oak (frankandoak.com) does something similar to JustFab. They just raised a large Series A.

I've been burned by this personally, but ultimately it's really a case of buyer beware so I can't really hold a grudge - even if the tactic is sleazy imo.

bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of speculation about how hard this is for people to navigate, here's some examples of people bitten by this


and the text of the class action filed in 2011


priley 2 days ago 0 replies      
This website should definitely be part of the Dark Patterns UX Library. It's sad how people compose UX (and investors invest in) shady user experiences designed to trick people.


ttt_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Business such as this is what makes us have to raise our consumer shields up 100% of the time.

I'm so very fucking tired of this.

seferphier 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, they have a lot of negative reviews.


rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd expect Amex to charge back the full amount (including the cost of the shoes, actually). If it didn't, I'd be inclined to go for small claims court action against the company, as it's unlikely they'd send an employee to defend $39.95.
ericd 2 days ago 2 replies      
Huh, sounds like a rebill scam with the lent legitimacy of VC funding.
twistedpair 2 days ago 0 replies      
RoadRunnerSports has the same model. I got VIP on checkout (actually the agent on the phone gave it to me) four years ago for free shipping. It them autorenewed for $25/year the last three years, despite no interaction on my part with the company.

The reason it annoyed me is there was no billy email telling you you'd been renewed, no disclosure that this would happen, and even your billing and purchase history when you logged into the site had no mention at all of the charges. Clearly an effort to prevent you from noticing. Also a reason they've got a heap of BBB complaints. Quite sad that this remains a business model.

jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
This thread and it's companion thread about the class action suit against justfab have just been pushed right off the homepage. Too bad, it seems like it is a thing that can't be spread far and wide enough.
limejuice 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've never heard of this site before, but looking at their page 'How it works', it seems clear it me it's a shoe-of-the-month club, and works similar to things like Disney Movie club, Harry and David Fruit of the month club, or one of various Book Clubs.

The only scummy part would be if they still charge $39.99/month if you don't cancel / skip / select a shoe, without sending you anything. Compare to Disney Movie of the month club where if you don't make a selection or skip that month, you get sent the "Featured" title for that month. Maybe justfab should send you the shoe of the month if you don't make a selection, or maybe they should send a "beauty gift basket".

Otherwise, it looks legit, if you like this sort of thing.

nutanc 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the reason in India the central bank does not allow companies to store credit card information. In such a case, the consumer has to authorize every transaction, so scammers cannot get away by taking the credit card details once.
Nitramp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never invest in a company that doesn't provide a genuine profit to its customers (and other stakeholders). Businesses are cooperative relationships between stakeholders, if a business just exploits its customers, it won't be a business very long.

Whether the checkout page is deceptive or not (and it is!): does anyone actually want to get a 40$/month minimum 1 year membership? Who would want to buy all their shoes on this one particular website, an willingly enter a contract where they have to click a button once per month or get a 40$ penalty? That's just bogus, all of the conditions are so strongly in favour of the vendor that it's clearly not a business - it's just exploitation/a scam.

You might be able to make a quick win and run away with something like this before the business falters, but more likely you won't be that lucky.

benologist 2 days ago 1 reply      
Leeching money off people this way is a time honored tradition - record, cassette, cd and book clubs etc, arguably AOL dialup, any "free trial" that discretely rolls over into indefinitely charged accounts till you realize and go back and cancel that service you barely tried once.

They can raise money because it works, it's legal if not ethical or tasteful, and in their particular case ... they've figured out how to scale enormously.

drakaal 2 days ago 7 replies      
Most of you are too young to remember, "Buy now and we'll send you CD's each month for just $9.95 per month, keep only the ones you want, cancel anytime"

This is the same thing. It may feel scuzzy, but they do tell you this up front, and while they hope you forget, it isn't a scam, it is just preying on the uninformed.

mktgtheweb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey HN- I am an insider to this business and in the subscription commerce space and know these companies well. Here are a couple high level insights about this business:

Dark Pattern: of course, but we call this conversion optimization. We try to make the checkout process as easy as possible to minimize friction. Give customers a great offer, get the credit card, and they will opt-in to the subscription and forget tomorrow.

Negative Option: The billing model is one in where you purchase, or get a free trial, and you are automatically enrolled until you cancel. Think about the old Columbia House DVD club or BMG (if you are old enough to remember). We call this "breakage". This is what makes the model work. If every customer picked out shoes every month, or they automatically shipped every month, they would lose money. This is because the cost of the shoes + shipping doesn't leave to much room for margin. This also allows them to front load their marketing dollars and scale - spending $50+ to acquire customers, which eventually become profitable as customers continue to get billed month over month.

Tricks & FTC Compliance: I do notice on the billing screenshot that they have an opt-in checkbox to the VIP club (subscription terms). However, these are behind a link, which is against the FTC guidance on negative option marketing. The FTC and Visa & MasterCard require any subscription to have an opt-in box which the customer agrees to the amount, billing frequency, and customer support info to cancel. They clearly are not doing this, and apparently haven't been caught since it "looks" like just typical ecommmerce.

eCommerce vs. Subscription: Interestingly, JustFab recently acquired ShoeDazzle, who was their primary competitor for years. That was, until ShoeDazzle decided to move away from the subscription model, and go to a retail model. Pando Daily did a whole series about this, and the CEO they brought in to lead it. Guess what? The pure e-commerce model didn't work, ShoeDazzle struggled, returned to subscription, but eventually sold the company for a deep discount of the valuation to JustFab.

Bottom line, they shoes they sell are cheap and fashionable. In fact, they lose money on a unit basis. Yes, there is a small percentage of the revenue from customers that love the service, pick out shoes and pay monthly, but a a majority of the revenue is coming from consumers who just wanted a deal on one pair of shoes.

Pxtl 2 days ago 0 replies      
See, this is why PayPal manages to skim off the top of everybody's purchases and make bank - I no longer trust any online purchase company with my credit card information, because credit card companies don't do a great job at preventing this stuff except for after-the-fact chargeback mess (which is bad for both consumers and vendors).

Paypal et al force this kind of agreement to be properly explained up-front. Paypal's monthly recurring thing is clumsy and half-broken, but it's not unclear and can't trick you.

rms 2 days ago 0 replies      
They must have unusually low chargeback rates. It doesn't seem like they are that bad of a deal in the scheme of purchasing clubs like this, right?
alain94040 2 days ago 0 replies      
Taken straight from Matrix Partners's website (investor in JustFab): "Don and I are aggressive guys, and Matrix approaches our business the same way.- Adam Goldenberg, JustFab"

Choose investors that match your ethics I guess.

stef25 2 days ago 0 replies      
She didn't check her credit card statements in 8 months?
yashg 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think it is definitely fraudulent on the website's part, but I am intrigued by the fact that you girlfriend did not notice the charge on her card for 8 months? May be she was away from her home and busy with her studies but didn't keep a tab on her finances? Where the money is coming and where it is going? Didn't she get her credit card statement in email or she can't see it online on her card issuer's website?

I really don't understand how can one fail to notice a monthly charge, month after month after month. I think this kind of gross financial negligence on part of the customers is what bolsters these fraudsters and their business model of charging a monthly subscription.

goshx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Funny thing... this post just disappeared from the home page.
brianmcconnell 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is why I have my credit/debit cards cancelled and re-issued once or twice a year. I can't be bothered to spend several hours on the phone trying to cancel scumbag/parasite operators like this (AOL was notorious for this back in the day).
Tichy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think it's a scam, however I'd like to point out that by virtue of being honest, it could be avoided. If you are honest, you'll think "this is too good to be true", and rather than thinking "ha ha, fools, they'll make a minus on this and I get cheap shoes" you'll look closely for a catch.

That's not an excuse for the company at all, of course.

useflyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I will never accept venture funding from anyone who has invested in JustFab. Investors are the gatekeepers, and in this case have failed their moral obligation.


protez 2 days ago 0 replies      
What an innovative company that wraps up a questionable practice into an yet another good looking shop with "amazing growth." The VCs might have taken that as an innovation.
zby 2 days ago 0 replies      
How can I short this stock?
calimac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pay attention. There is no solution to this dark design short of caveat emptor. I agree, justfab.com are using deceptive design practices; dark design frustrates me as well as many who understand that it is designed to take advantage of the less sophisticated consumers.

Why did your girlfriend not look at her credit card bill for 8 months?

Godaddy.com was one of the first to cross the line to unethical dark shopping cart design. what about their domain registration privacy product. It is free for the first year but impossible to cancel.

javert 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The company's business model and credit card practices have been criticized as deceptive. In October 2011 a national class action lawsuit was filed against Just Fabulous, Inc."

- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JustFab

mkr-hn 2 days ago 0 replies      
This will be a great sample for the study a few years from now that tries to identify the source of the next boom and bust. I hear the real estate market is heating up globally.
dleskov 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is why I keep the balance on the debit card I use online at $1.xx, trading the inconvenience of having to transfer funds to it before each transaction for peace of mind.
contextual 2 days ago 0 replies      
Let's face it, the owners and investors of this scam are likely engaging in criminal behaviour and should be charged. Have the police been notified?
purpleD 2 days ago 0 replies      
While it seems to me like this is a scam, the bottom line is that everyone's interpretation of the communication of the terms of service is subjective.

The site could stay exactly as is and not be a scam if they let you at any time "return" your $39.95 shoe credits for a full refund, no questions asked.

cicloon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see this different from what MS used to do with Xbox Live subscriptions in summer... at first the charged $1 for one month, but you have to cancel the subscription before the month ends in order to not being charged again.
mattsfrey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nobody seems to have mentioned the fact that a well known celebrity, Kimora Lee Simmons, is the president and creative director of this company, no doubt a huge factor in attracting VC attention.
batemanesque 2 days ago 0 replies      
guess it's time for HN to wise up to the fact that investors aren't just benevolent gods handing out opportunities from above
fartface 2 days ago 0 replies      
this has the potential to be much worse than a shady checkout screen. for every vip charge they aren't even shipping a real product. they give credits. if a company files bankruptcy those credits and gift cards will be worthless because it is considered a liability. so they don't even have to keep a real inventory (which would be an asset with real value).

(1) get funding(2) ?(3) bankruptcy(4) profit

thenewone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's the Form D for the latest JustFab raise: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1531017/0001531017130...

Confirms JH (see above..) sits on the Board and represents Matrix

ethanazir 2 days ago 0 replies      
meetup.com misled me into a recurring charge. i thought I would need renew the next month. guess i didnt read the fine print right.
guilloche 2 days ago 0 replies      
voted up the topic and let more people be aware of it to avoid traps.
onurozkan 2 days ago 0 replies      
launder all the moneys!

just kiddin.

ds_ 2 days ago 6 replies      
Amazon do basically the same thing with their prime membership, although they do refund if you notice and complain early enough (offer a free month and then start charging unless you opt out, whilst making it far from obvious that you have to do so).
Steam Controller steampowered.com
746 points by cocoflunchy  2 days ago   356 comments top 67
paulgerhardt 2 days ago 5 replies      
I got to hold one of these a few months ago. It's solid. The ergonomics are there. The same designer[1] was previously at {one of the other three very large gaming console manufacturers} and knows a thing or two about controllers. My understanding is it will be significantly more accurate than traditional joysticks and competitive with a mouse (with a mouse you have a single 'large' plane of motion, with this, you have two smaller independent planes for each thumb). For FPS's it will really shine, but keep in mind that Valve also makes DOTA2 so I'm sure they're more than aware of the need to make this work across genres.

For Valve to bring PC gaming to your TV/Couch, they really needed to nail the interface. I imagine they have spent many iterations on the problem, and I am very excited to see the fruits of their labor.

[1] Full disclosure, by some odd coincidence she happens to be my sister and also did the industrial design for Lockitron so I am wayy biased here.

Arjuna 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller's resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse."


"The Steam Controller is built around a new generation of super-precise haptic feedback, employing dual linear resonant actuators. These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads."


It sounds as though they have managed to combine mouse-like precision with the simulated, tactile feel of a physical, analog stick. I suspect that there will be user-defined settings, so that you can set the precision of the tracking, allowing you to achieve the perfect "free look" (a.k.a. mouse look) and standard character movement, based on how much pressure you tend to personally (and independently) apply to each surface.

That is very compelling.

cheald 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm actually pretty optimistic about this. It's a big divergence from current couch input schemes, and the open nature of it might mean that it'll be improved for ergonomics and whatnot. It's got some interesting promise.

Best of all, worst case, I can fall back to my trusty 360 controllers and use those without a hitch, so even if this is a disaster, it doesn't sink the platform (as can be the case with other platforms)

breckinloggins 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm skeptical that the trackpads will provide the same precision feel that a good analog stick can do, even with the haptics.

But I'm not going to count it out. I'll reserve all judgement until I get to try it. And that's the only real sticking point for me on this announcement; everything else about this controller I love.

beloch 1 day ago 1 reply      
"...gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controllers resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse."

Initially, I scoffed at this design ("Of course it's not as good as a mouse for FPS games!), but then I thought about it. Traditional gamepads aren't just a little bit worse than mice for FPS's. They're utter shit. You have to completely rebalance a FPS for gamepad users because they're so clumsy compared to a mouse&keyboard user. Still, gamepads are ergonomically fantastic for what they're designed for. Sitting on a couch, surrounded by buddies, they can't be beat for comfort and compactness.

Trackpads are a lot better than gamepads for precision control, but they're still inferior to mice. This is no surprise. A mouse is centered around a single (okay, sometimes two) point(s) of laser-powered high-precision optical sensing. A trackpad is a giant array of sensors that are trying to approximate your intent from where the center of a mushy blob of flesh is mashed up against it applying pressure. Multi-touch gesture commands can help compensate for this in many applications, but a FPS really demands a single, focused, high-quality stream of user input, and the mouse is still god, emperor, and king when it comes to that!

This steam controller is intermediate between a joystick and a mouse, and Valve is being honest about it. It's not going to be as precise as a mouse, but it promises to be better than a joystick. Yeah, that sounds wishy-washy, but only until you consider just how long the joystick has been with us. We're talking about a method of input that hearkens back to the first automobiles ever built. It's a big honking lever for applying force to a mechanical steering apparatus! The joystick was not birthed out of the need for precision input, but rather, out of the necessity to amplify human strength. This controller, albeit an obvious evolution once you've seen it, is genius. If Valve succeeds in delivering it, all existing gamepads will be rendered obsolete. I don't know if the steambox will succeed because of this, but I know I'd rather use one of these than the XBox360 controller I (very) occasionally dust off to play console titles that have been (incompetently) ported to the PC!

Even if the steambox is an utter failure, I think this controller will be a runaway success. I know Gabe has a huge grudge against Microsoft over their app store, but both MS and Valve could benefit if steambox controller support was baked into the Xbox One. Ditto for Sony and the PS4. This controller could change the course of the console wars.

redthrowaway 2 days ago 3 replies      
The bigger story for me is that Valve has managed to once again troll its fans with a "3" announcement. This is starting to have flavours of Stockholm Syndrome.
mortenjorck 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting years for someone to build a controller like this.

Somehow, I never actually imagined two trackpads my concept had always been a D-pad on the left and a trackpad on the right, mimicking the traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup of the PC first-person shooter, but this makes far more sense and allows for much more flexible repurposing of controls to different games (as well as letting left-handed gamers flip their controls).

This is, at last, the controller for FPS games, and more importantly, for the next generation of non-shooter first-person games. It's amazing to see the horrified backlash in the comments sections on gaming sites right now: People just don't get that this isn't for the button-heavy games they already play; it enables new interactions with new kinds of environment-based experiences.

I wasn't particularly interested in any of Valve's announcements earlier this week, but they certainly have my attention now.

pak 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've played some FPS games with a trackpad for lack of having a mouse available, and on a larger, higher precision one (e.g., Macbook size) it was not a bad experience at all. You can move a finger a lot faster than a whole arm. Reflex high-res motion at the pro Counter-Strike level isn't likely, but for the casual gamer, trackpad FPS control absolutely seemed plausible. So I believe this kind of input will work for many games that need pointing, and I also believe it will solidly outpace analog sticks for FPS games.

The Halo two-analog-stick model that has taken over the genre was always awkward and imprecise compared to keyboard/mouse (probably most of the skill in Halo was simply getting used to the stick dead zones and the acceleration/deceleration of the look field). I will be happy to see it fade away.

kibwen 2 days ago 5 replies      
Are those buttons on the back of the controller? I'd be ecstatic if that's the case. I've always suspected that having buttons on the back would allow for a more natural grip than shunting buttons onto the shoulders. It may have made sense for the SNES' flat bone controller, but not in the age of controllers with thick, ergonomic palm grips.
Pxtl 2 days ago 3 replies      
... HN ate my post, I think.

I am super-excited for this. Finally a way to bring FPS (without aim-assist) and RTS games into the living room. I don't even care about the OS and the box itself, I crave this device. Even if it doesn't measure up to a mouse, it will still be a massive improvement over the traditional thumbstick for pointing-device-oriented games.

My only disappointment is that I wish they'd added a scrollwheel to the right shoulder. Then we'd have a full mouse control-set in your right hand. The scrollwheel is nice for zooming and panning in RTS games.

chasing 2 days ago 5 replies      
Interesting. Game controllers are a fascinating user experience design challenge. While Playstation and Xbox controllers are fairly well-polished functional workhorses, I appreciate companies (like Nintendo and, now, Valve) pushing the envelope.

More than even the games (which, I suspect, will also mostly be available on other consoles or PCs), this intrigues me enough to want to get a Steam Machine. (Still, though -- that's a bit of a cumbersome name.)

purplelobster 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, that's it, if this controller works then I'm in. I played Portal with my wife, and she loved it, but she's too afraid of the whole mouse+keyboard control system so in the end she let me play while she just watched. I think she can more easily learn a controller like this.

Also, I frickin' hate analog sticks for controlling shooters. After having been a semi-serious CS player, I just can't bring my self to enjoying my severely crippled aiming on consoles, it just takes 50% of the fun out.

shurcooL 2 days ago 0 replies      

    > The Steam Community can use the configuration tool to create and share bindings    > for their favorite games. Players can choose from a list of the most popular    > configurations.
Finally, some real innovation for the "default controls" experience in games after 10+ years. Very nice. Instead of hard-coded controls that the devs put in, you'll start with a community-upvoted scheme that can evolve and get better over time.

mikelat 2 days ago 2 replies      
Call me impressed. I never thought that the biggest innovator and risk taker in the console market would be valve. All the other manufacturers have basically made their platforms "safe" and they're pretty much like the last generation, but this is pretty ballsy from valve.
9999 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks absolutely fantastic, but it's a bit of a shame that they will only be distributing them with the 300 beta kits. It would be nice if they could get more of them out into the wild so people can actually hold one and see how it feels. The only thing I cared about at E3 this year was seeing how the PS4 and Xbox One controllers actually felt in use.

It's interesting that they seem to have designed it largely to be used with existing game designs and input requirements in mind, but they've also made something that can create totally new input patterns and uses. The clickable joysticks on the playstation and xbox controllers were sadly never fully usable by designers because they don't work in a scenario where you want the player to click and hold but still be able to navigate with the stick. Obviously the haptic trackpad solves the click and drag to select mechanism that an RTS demands, but think of all of the other things that a click, hold and drag might be able to do in something like a boxing game, an FPS, a shmup (dual stick ikaruga on one pad with a game designed for it?) or even something like QWOP.

I really hope they make this available to more people.

Fuzzwah 2 days ago 4 replies      
I think that it is obvious that this dual track pad solution could be a good move for any game style which currently uses dual analog sticks (FPS and 3rd person, etc).

As others have already mentioned, it is less obvious whether this will be a good solution for platformers and fighting games. But with a bit of quick pondering I suspect it could open up a huge range of options for any developer who wants to try and step outside the normal "the player will use combinations of button presses to trigger actions".

For example, a platformer which rather than using a "tap button to trigger a small jump" and "long press button for a larger jump" we could not only see a "small up scroll = small jump" and "long up scroll = large jump" input method, but also a "slow up scroll = slower jump" and "fast up scroll = faster, more explosive jump".

Fighting games could also open up a lot of depth based on the length and speed of right hand strokes, not to mention the variety of angles and rotations which could be made.

The more I ponder it, the more I'm hopeful.

acgourley 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is huge. Consider that first person shooters are the largest genre in the livingroom gaming space, and then consider this controller may change how these games are made and played. Other consoles are locked into a thumbstick system for the next 10 years. How big this is will come down to how the controller works and feels, obviously, but it could be just massive.
stelonix 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have to say, the biggest letdown for the next-gen consoles was the complete lack of haptic feedback. It's 2013, and while I welcome better graphics, they won't be enough to give immersion (still not even close to real life-like). Haptic feedback can be, in my opinion, a huge factor both in immersion and gameplay mechanics.
Pxtl 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Including two on the back"

Holy crap wait what? Not highlighted in any of the diagrams but visible in the teardown graphic, there's an extra pair of buttons on the back in ring-finger position too. They said 16 buttons, so it's two front touchpad/buttons, 1 front screen/button, 3 nav-buttons (the bars along the bottom) 4 face-buttons (a/b/x/y) 4 shoulder-buttons and 2 hidden back-side buttons.

pdknsk 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I applaud Valve for marching in a new direction, I'll remain very skeptical until I've tried the controller myself. I doubt that the immediate feedback and precision of a traditional console controller can be emulated using trackpads, as advanced and "haptic" as they may be.
smrtinsert 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love how Valve is making me say "I want a Steam machine!" in 2013.
mistercow 2 days ago 0 replies      
>n order to avoid forcing players to divide their attention between screens, a critical feature of the Steam Controller comes from its deep integration with Steam. When a player touches the controller screen, its display is overlayed on top of the game theyre playing, allowing the player to leave their attention squarely on the action, where it belongs.

OK, that solves that problem, so I agree with the decision, but why even have a screen on the controller then? Seems like an unnecessary added cost, when most players will never actually look at it.

gfodor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Jesus. So I might finally end up playing the ridiculously huge Steam library I've accumulated over the years. Rad.
ChikkaChiChi 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first I thought Gabe should have said something earlier in the week stating "hardware announcements"

Then I realized how much mindshare the gaming community is giving a game that doesn't even exist a week after a game launches to the tune of a billion dollars.

The man is smart.

rthomas6 2 days ago 1 reply      
The big star picture at http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/ has gotten larger and brighter after every announcement. Some people on reddit are speculating that there will be a fourth announcement that comes out of the star.
romaniv 2 days ago 2 replies      
While this might be a good replacement for console controllers, I seriously doubt that it will be successful in replacing keyboard and mouse for FPSes, RTSes, point-and-click adventures and other genres that currently make PC game market interesting. Which makes me sad. Valve is effectively turning its back on the games (and gamers) that allowed it succeed despite competition from consoles.

Personally, I am keenly interested in a better, more standardized and streamlined gaming PC, but I'm not at all interested in yet another game console with limited controls, centralized publisher model and locked down OS. (And please, don't insult your intelligence by saying something along the lines of "but you can always plug keyboard in". It's not a matter of what you plug into the system, it's a matter of what UI design the system encourages.)

lnanek2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Multiple dual axis haptics is interesting. Also an absolute position touchpad for looking around could actually be the fastest way to look at a particular position. Plus an LCD. Very interesting. Definitely not just an also ran.
muraiki 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have some RSI problems in my left hand that prevent me from holding down WASD for movement in games. For the most part now I just play controller-based games, but there's plenty of PC games that don't support (or don't work well with) controllers.

I had thought for a long time that it'd be nice to have a one-handed analog stick controller for my left hand, covered in buttons on the back, coupled with a mouse. It would actually give me finer control over movement than a keyboard, but with the aiming capability of a mouse.

This device isn't exactly that, but I'm really interested in this device to see how it helps with my RSI when gaming. I'm also curious as to how the haptic feedback will work. Maybe I should sign up for that beta after all!

theschwa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have further information on the "dual linear resonant actuators"?
gfodor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Imagine this sucker paired with the Oculus. Interesting times.
earlz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Suddenly, I see absolutely no reason to buy an XBox One (and I'm a traditional XBox fan boy)
avolcano 2 days ago 0 replies      
The key to this is the haptic feedback technology that makes it more than two weird touch surfaces. Sounds awesome.
kevinh 2 days ago 1 reply      
It looks like yet another controller with some special, device-specific features (advanced haptic feedback) that will only be supported by their first-party games and a few novelty ones.

I wouldn't buy one before trying it.

michniewski 2 days ago 0 replies      
The trackpads look great. Hopefully they can deliver on the promise of making mouse and keyboard games more accessible on the tv console.

The Y and B buttons look difficult to press. Given the arc that your thumb travels on pivoting from the base of the controller handles, it may make sense to shift the buttons down and towards the center.

I would also consider removing the on-controller screen. It adds a big per-controller cost. Also, when have these been successful? Neither the Wii U nor the Dreamcast did this idea justice. Was it just bad implementation? I think its just a bad idea.

pmelendez 2 days ago 0 replies      
I need to use it to have a better opinion but the lack of joysticks is not looking good to me.
gpmcadam 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a bit miffed regarding all of the hype for what is essentially, at this point, vapour-ware.

Also, why have Valve bothered to spread the announcement over 5 days? Surely this whole deal would've been more beneficial to be a keynote style announcement with some actual demos of the tech in question?

As great a product as it may be, in my opinion there's an awful lot of excitement surrounding the announcement that Valve will eventually announce something ... next year ... probably.

I think I'll reserve my judgement on all of this until I can actually use it, or at least see it in use.

ambirex 2 days ago 1 reply      
Did I miss any sort of guidance for the cost?
Siecje 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems like it would be hard to play fighting games where you have to hit combinations of buttons quickly.
prawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given that it's pretty much symmetrical, I wonder if it would've been possible to split it into two parts (each the same) and move the touchscreen elsewhere. The future, if you believe Sixense/etc is in controllers held by each hand with each arm free to move independently. Allows for less space for electronics and duplication I guess.

Just find it funny that the future in late 2013 is still something requiring that our hands are held so closely together.

nzonbi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just wow. Awesome controller. count me in.

Compared with the traditional mouse-keyboard controller for FPS games, it easily surpasses the keyboard part as the movement controller. It may or may not have the precision of a mouse as pointing device. But with the haptics feedback, and the comfort of playing from the couch, I can see myself preferring it over a mouse.

The most interesting part, is that with this fresh, even innovative design, it looks capable of opening new gameplay styles. I can't wait to try it, and even design software for it.

wmf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Plus, it looks like an owl.
trippy_biscuits 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks like it could work. I think I'd accidentally press the buttons on the back, though. Does anyone remember the SpaceOrb 360 [1]? I had one for a little while but returned it because it just didn't work as well for me as did a keyb/mouse combo. If microsoft won't match console gamers against PC gamers [2], how will steam pull it off?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceOrb_360[2] http://www.rahulsood.com/2010/07/console-gamers-get-killed-a...

thenonsequitur 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think it's great that Valve is innovating on controllers.

Personally, I won't buy one -- I don't intend on getting a steam machine so I'd only be using it with my computer anyway, and I don't think this will ever beat a keyboard/mouse in terms of practicality and ease of use.

But that aside, I'm glad they are at least trying to make a next-generation controller -- gives me hope there might one day be a controller I actually like. Though I'm not particularly hyped about the controller-specific features via API. For a game system that usually ranks accessibility very highly, the idea of device-tied game features strikes me as a somewhat regressive move, even if the features themselves are progressive.

ivarious 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know, this controller doesn't look like very comfortable for platforming/fighting/action games.
saejox 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love it already. Just look at those face buttons.
ClarkAulden 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is very encouraging. There appears to be non-trivial innovation here and that has me excited. I too am interested in how the controller will handle fighting games. The haptic feedback seems particularly interesting because It seems possible that just maybe there could be an effect similar to the one described here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-05/27/disney-tactil...that might allow fingers to "feel" as though there were buttons or edges or some similar effect. That might allow for a precise and traditionally intuitive fighting game experience as well as interesting new applications.
tuananh 1 day ago 0 replies      
IMHO, controllers will not work well enough for FPS for a foreseeable future.

Trying to play sniper with a controller is just hopeless.

mikevm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ay dios mio, this is going to rock!

Heck, as someone who doesn't own a console, this might finally get me to play games on my TV.

NDizzle 2 days ago 0 replies      
How long before the Thinkpad Nub/pointing stick guys are demanding a nub version rather than a trackpad version? Think of the size reduction!
EFruit 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for it.Oddly enough, it seems like valve used the earlier patent as flak.

I just hope the Linux drivers are open source, if they're not piggybacking off bluetooth or something.

alexeisadeski3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why not just use a mouse+kb?

I've been living room gaming w/wireless mouse+kb for years and years now. No problems at all doing this from the couch. Kb in your lap, mouse by your side with a hard metal mousepad.

fosk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Steam is a company that should be feared by the big players.
fournm 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm skeptical and I'm going to stay that way until I actually get to try it because of the haptic feedback, but..

The face button layout also gets to me. That's going to require some serious mental gymnastics to re-wire 20+ years of face button layout muscle memory to use this in some games (edit: especially platformers).

wnevets 2 days ago 2 replies      
mouse > track pad > analog stick
coryfklein 2 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest concern is the possibility of touching the screen in the middle while trying to hit the A,B,X,Y buttons. I know it specifically says you have to physically press the screen down to confirm your choice, but it would be distracting to be inadvertently interacting with the screen.
mkaziz 2 days ago 1 reply      
"You cant make a sentence into a question by just putting a question-mark at the end."

err "You cant make a sentence into a question by just putting a question-mark at the end?" <--- it's a question now.

gosukiwi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I highly doubt you can play dota without a keyboard and mouse, but it surely can work for other games :)
QuiteMouse 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still have doubts about this controller being worthwhile but Valve has never led me astray before. I am willing to reserve judgement. Steam needs to release Source Engine 2 with multi-platform support baked in before they can ever hope to make a dent in the console market with living room gaming though.
agumonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very impressive train of release and innovation from Valve. Joy inducing.
danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, the announcements are coming at a fast clip and each more impressive than the last. I wonder if the final announcement in this round will be that Half Life 3 is a launch title?
shire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice concept! would be interesting to play this with 0 A.D or Age of Empires.
journeeman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is that an Xfce panel on the top, in the image? Looks like Steam on Xubuntu.
machbio 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just want to say ^:)^ to steam
X4 2 days ago 0 replies      
Eat that SONY!

This is how you really make a Game Controller.

fartface 2 days ago 0 replies      
i'm rooting for this thing so hard. i have hundreds of games sans controller support that i never play because i run big picture mode in the living room with an xbox controller for the few games that do have controller support.
eddielee6 2 days ago 0 replies      
Switch to HTTPS Now, For Free konklone.com
604 points by rodrigocoelho  4 days ago   248 comments top 39
jakobe 4 days ago 6 replies      
I just recently enabled SSL on my business website. It was anything but simple.

First of all, I had to get a dedicated server, because a bunch of other sites were running on the same server, and the hosting company doesn't offer additional IP addresses.

Then I wanted to get an SSL certificate. I picked Comodo, because they seemed to offer the cheapest full business validation certificate, but then accidentally bought a domain only certificate because their marketing was so confusing. Their friendly customer service walked me through a complicated process for changing my order.

To get the certificate issued, it took me a week to collect the documents they requested. I had to make sure my business was listed in the yellow pages, so they could send me an automatic phone call for verifying my number.

After every step in the process, they told me to log into their online management area, which was offline from time to time.

I had to confirm my email address by clicking a link about a dozen times. Half of the emails were missing the confirmation link.

Twice I got an email telling me my order will soon be processed, and nothing happened for two days. I had to open tickets in some online support area or send them emails to get them to continue processing.

All in all it took me a month to get SSL working. Now I understand why so many sites do not use HTTPS.

espeed 4 days ago 4 replies      
Make sure you do not use compression with SSL.

Using compression with SSL could make your site vulnerable to the CRIME and BREACH attacks. See...

SSL Gone in 30 Seconds - A BREACH Beyond CRIME [video]:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIKIXQNFplY&hd=1

BREACH Attack (HTTP Compression):http://breachattack.com, http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/39925/breach-a-n...

CRIME Attack (SSL/TLS/SPDY Compression): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRIME_(security_exploit), http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/19911/crime-how-...

huhtenberg 4 days ago 3 replies      
Oh, the sweet irony -

> SSLs not perfect, but we need to make surveillance as expensive as possible

immediately followed by -

> And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics

Make up your mind already. Are you against the surveillance or for it? You can't really sit with one ass on two chairs.

(edit) Point being is that if you are pulling the anti-surveillance card, then you shouldn't really be siphoning off your visitors data to Google.

jlongster 4 days ago 0 replies      
One gotcha that these kinds of tutorials don't mention is that if your site might be blacklisted if google doesn't say it's been 100% clear of trojans for the past 90 days. I hit this on my domain when I accidentally had an .exe file in my static files. I've had to wait 3 months until I can get the certificate.


mrb 4 days ago 1 reply      
Summary: obtain a certificate from StartSSL. They provide free certificates as long as it is for an individual, not a company's website. Their process to get a cert is a little more difficult that the competition, but konklone.com provides a nice step-by-step guide.
kemayo 4 days ago 2 replies      
It is sort of worth noting that it's only free if you have a dedicated IP address. If you just have a cheap hosting plan somewhere, you'll need to pay them for said dedicated IP before you can set up SSL, generally.

I mean, we're not talking a huge amount of money. Webfaction is $5/month [1]. Still!

[1]: https://www.webfaction.com/features

kijin 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you don't have a dedicated IP for each domain, and if you need to support clients who can't use SNI (IE on Windows XP, Android 2.x, etc.), here's a simple solution:

Use a different port number.

https://example-domain.com:12345/ is a completely different website from https://another-domain-on-same-ip:32412/.

No need for a dedicated IP address. No need for wildcard certs, SNI, or any of that fancy stuff. Sure, it's ugly. But it works with every browser (even IE6), and it's not like anybody is actually going to type that into an address bar. You'll be redirecting your HTTP website to your HTTPS website anyway, aren't you?

You can only have two of the following three: (1) shared IP, (2) pretty URLs, and (3) legacy client support. Choose which two you want to have.

ewolf 4 days ago 7 replies      
Are there any downsides to these free certs? Do they work in all browsers; is there anything that could be better security-wise?

If not, than this is exactly what we need to establish HTTPS as the new standard.

handsomeransoms 4 days ago 1 reply      
Fun fact about Startcom (providers of StartSSL): they were the only certificate authority that the "Comodohacker" responsible for breaching Comodo, Diginotar, and others, was unable to hack. [1]

[1] http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/how-startcom...

zmmmmm 4 days ago 6 replies      
Do people trust StartCom? Just curious ... I always wondered why you have all these very expensive cert providers who charge a lot for SSL certs, and then this mysterious company with ties to Israel is handing them out for free?

I know it's pure paranoia, but this would seem to be an excellent way to compromise a lot of SSL traffic if you were into that, and the Israelis are pretty famous for all kinds of spying activity that makes PRISM look tame. Just curious what others think about this?

dimension7 4 days ago 3 replies      
Excellent guide but unfortunately StartSSL does not support all top-level domains. I went through the trouble of registering with StartSSL, they even issued a client certificate for my email account at .tk domain, but they refuse to issue SSL server certificates for any .tk domain.

Even though this is a perfectly legitimate top-level domain (yes I paid for a real .tk domain, and I fully control the DNS settings just as any other domain it is not a free web-based redirect domain, which the Tokelau NIC also offers), StartSSL does not let you choose it when requesting a certificate. They have a drop-down of supported TLDs, but .tk is nowhere to be found (and you cannot edit the HTML to submit this domain anyways, it will be rejected by the server). Initially this appeared to be a simple omission, but investigating further revealed it was an intentional decision to not allow issuance of SSL certs to .tk due to "abuse".

Quite annoying to have purchased an apparently legitimate domain, only to discover it is considered "second-class" by certain online services. Now I am faced with a decision to buy another new domain at a more reputable TLD, switch all my servers and services over, or find another SSL issuer which supports .tk. CACert appears promising, also issuing certs for free, but sadly they are not widely accepted by browser vendors. A paid SSL authority would likely issue a cert for .tk, but at this point I'm inclined to not use SSL at all, or stick with my own self-signed certs (I mainly use my server for personal services, so wide accessibility is not a major concern, but having a "real" trusted cert would be nice).

Does anyone else have any experience with acquiring SSL certs for less popular TLDs? I picked .tk because a short and easily recognizable domain was available, got in before many of the better names were snatched up as in .com, etc, but perhaps giving in and buying a longer domain name at a popular TLD is worth it if it means StartSSL and other services will consider it more trustworthy.

IgorPartola 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is where domain registrars should give you a basic wildcard SSL cert for free when you register the domain. There is no reason why you should get that separately. The first registrar to realize that it is basically free to them to provide you the SSL cert and bundle the two things together wins.

I also wonder if advances in DNSSEC will help eliminate various SSL cert dealers: if you have a secure way to prove that example.com translates to a given IP, and DNSSEC could distribute the public cert for HTTPS in some standard manner, then CA's have no reason to exist anymore. See http://blog.huque.com/2012/10/dnssec-and-certificates.html for a decent discussion of this.

Edit: even better, if I could provide a secure way for you to communicate with my site over HTTPS without relying on a CA, I could also provide you my public GPG key securely. That way you know that me@example.com really has the certificate with ID DEADBEEF. Of course you don't know that I am Igor Partola is who claims to own igorpartola.com, but at least you can securely associate the email address with the GPG key, which is good enough if you, let's say, only know me as my online identity and only care to communicate with me about things related to that identity.

For example, if you found a project of mine on GitHub, and found a huge security flaw in it, you might want to securely email me an exploit and a patch without advertising the vulnerability to the world. It's good enough to have the email/GPG key association without needing to authenticate my real-life identity.

yeukhon 4 days ago 0 replies      
StartSSL has some complains in the past. See this (paid user, but why would they provide a free SSL ...?)http://danconnor.com/post/50f65364a0fd5fd1f7000001/avoid_sta...
wtn 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was under the impression the private key for authentication to the StartSSL site was generated in the browser with the keygen tag, not on the server
Zoepfli 4 days ago 5 replies      
In the switch to https everywhere, we have barely started. For every HN and wikipedia with https there are 20 websites without (and whether the ones that do https do really secure https is yet another question).

Somebody should go through the top 10k websites and make a list, then repeat every few months.

grinnick 4 days ago 1 reply      
I used this guide to help switch a site to HTTPS just last week. Very useful and super simple.

On issue I did run into (not relevant to the article but anyway) was that Heroku charges $20/month to use SSL on a custom domain.

dendory 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is kind of glossing over the point. We all know SSL is good and should be used everywhere. But the simple fact is that to have a fully capable SSL server you need two things: A certificate and a unique IP. There are firms now offering free certificates, but not everyone has the choice to select them. And IP certainly aren't free on most hosts. Sure there are always solutions, like moving to a self hosted model and so on, but it is a significant inconvenience for most.
AhtiK 4 days ago 2 replies      
> And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics

It's interesting, I did switch to HTTPS for all my sites but Google Search still did not reveal search keywords to Google Analytics from users logged in at Google. If that's what was referred as "referrer information".

Did anyone get lucky with getting 100% of google search keywords after switching to SSL?

jlgaddis 3 days ago 0 replies      
Note that in addition to using it for your web site, you can also use this same certificate for e-mail, assuming you run your own mail server.

Long story short: I recently moved my e-mail from Google Apps to a machine under my control. As part of that project, I "redeemed" an unused SSL certificate I had purchased a while back for Postfix and Dovecot.

(While I paid for mine, you can use a self-signed one and most MTAs won't complain or refuse to deliver mail, if memory serves.)

chc 4 days ago 2 replies      
Just going to throw out that if you use a Cloudflare business plan, you can just tick a couple of boxes and get SSL for free.
derstang 4 days ago 1 reply      
For another point of view...free is what you get http://danconnor.com/post/50f65364a0fd5fd1f7000001/avoid_sta...
tootie 4 days ago 2 replies      
Using HTTPS everywhere doesn't really help much. It doesn't help at all if the surveillers either have your cert or access to decrypted traffic inside the firewall. Any PII being sent over the wire should most definitely be encrypted, but encrypting my access to a news site isn't really hiding anything. The requested URL still need to be unencrypted, you'd just be encrypting content that is already availble unencrypted.
conductor 4 days ago 2 replies      
> As you can see, StartSSL will believe you own the domain if you control webmaster@, postmaster@, or hostmaster@ with the domain name

I see a potential vuln here for free e-mail services. If one manages to register one of those addresses he can create a trusted certificate and use it for MITM.

valtron 4 days ago 2 replies      
As I understand it, (correct me if I'm wrong), https has two parts:

1. Encryption: protects from eavesdropping (e.g. your internet provider can't see what you're communicating)

2. Authentication: protects from MITM (e.g. someone changing the data en-route)

For full security you need both; but #2 is much more complicated than #1 because it needs a trusted third party, certificates, etc. It's effectively a barrier to having everyone use encryption.

Why isn't it possible to opt for only #1? It should be as simple as adding "Encrypt +All" to your apache settings.

imaginator 4 days ago 0 replies      
StartSSL offer a great service.

If you'd rather use the Java Keytool to manage your certs, I wrote up this guide on making it work with StartSSL. https://buddycloud.org/wiki/buddycloud_SSL_setup

Should just be a copy paste, wait, paste, export job.

Abundnce10 3 days ago 0 replies      
And hey, bonus: more complete referrer information in Google Analytics for people visiting from sites already using HTTPS (like Hacker News)

If I enable SSL on my website do you think I will be able to get the referring keyword from Google? Now that Google is making all searches secure about 80% of the searches show up as 'Keyword Unavailable'. http://searchengineland.com/post-prism-google-secure-searche...

cpeterso 4 days ago 1 reply      
You can also get free SSL certificates from LOLroot CA!


nasalgoat 3 days ago 0 replies      
On a side note, which cert provider you go with can dramatically effect your latency times.

In testing, we found that DigiCert was 50-100ms faster on queries than our existing GoDaddy certificate, based on the location of their CA hosts.

The improved response time resulted in a 15% increase in traffic on our API.

ck2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Don't forget to enable ssl stapling which is now available in both nginx and apache and supported in firefox 25 and newest Chrome.
megaframe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Been wanting this for a long time but didn't know of a free vendor and didn't seem worth paying for (just for my personal use)... now I got it working on everything but OSX, it just does not seem to want to accept the cert.
nilved 4 days ago 1 reply      
This isn't strictly related to this post, but I've always thought that the idea of paying a fee for SSL certificates was a bad one. Time spent buying and setting up an SSL certificate would be better spent making your site available as a Tor hidden service.
chris_mahan 4 days ago 1 reply      
When it's harder to get SSL working than to install debian stable on a machine, I'd say SSL is too hard.
autoreverse 4 days ago 0 replies      
Globe SSL https://globessl.com/ has domain validated certs at $24 per 3 years.

I've been using these since 2011 (starting with one year certs before switching to 3 years later) with no problems.

Sami_Lehtinen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Because certs are so easy to get, it's better to use fingerprint identification for sites, to make sure it's right one. That's what I've been doing for ages, with https, and smtps. I'll be blogging about it soon.
hcarvalhoalves 4 days ago 3 replies      
If browsers got fixed to not freak out on self-signed certificates, this wouldn't even be an issue, HTTPS could be a default.
mcv 4 days ago 2 replies      
Is it irony that Safari considers his $0 certificate unsafe, or did he simply get what he paid for?
iancarroll 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you host with SingleHop, they allow generation of unlimited SSL certificates. [1]

[1] Ex: https://ianthedeveloper.com

waaatwaaat 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why r u decrypting your private encrypted key? To use for csr request? Can't u do car request with private encrypted key? And why point nginx/apache/watevr at the decrypted private key? Sounds unsecure?
jbarrec 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you so much for sharing this!!
JetBrains releases open-source Python IDE jetbrains.com
542 points by ternaryoperator  5 days ago   211 comments top 39
fletchowns 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm fairly new to the Python world but I've been using PyCharm for a couple months now and it is absolutely amazing. JetBrains makes really great products, I've been a huge fan of IntelliJ IDEA (Java) for a few years now - converted many die hard Eclipse users over to it, and they never looked back.
_stephan 5 days ago 2 replies      
JetBrains has actually open sourced the complete IntelliJ Community Edition IDE/platform:

see http://www.jetbrains.org/display/IJOS/Home and https://github.com/JetBrains/intellij-community


CraigJPerry 5 days ago 4 replies      
I've been using the Anki[1] spaced repetition system to quickly get up to speed with the PyCharm key bindings.

I've been using the JetBrains screencasts[2] to get up to speed with the IDEs features. Although these are too thin on the ground currently and i confess that i keep getting distracted by the JavaScript / AngularJS videos! The presenter on those i find draws me in more. Some of the PyCharm videos don't even have narration.

I have explored the Flask integration which was better than i expected but not life changing for me.

VirtualEnv integration is well enough, but PyCharm <--> command line <--> virtualenv integration is not ideal yet. Getting virtualenvwrapper and PyCharm playing nicely together was more work than i anticipated. PyCharm doesn't make it easy to be notified about newly created virtualenvs.

I feel all the default templates for modules and test files are not ideal for me, i ended up replacing them with my own templates. The only reason this even registers with me is because some less experienced Python developers persevere with the default PyCharm templates and end up with __author__ and other cruft in their modules.

The internal jetbrains supplied static validation (Pep8 / PyLint) functionality doesn't appear to be vanilla pep8 / pylint. This is only a minor issue but i don't like that there are potential violations i don't see until i've pushed to Jenkins and viewed the reports there.

I intend to push further with PyCharm, i'm open to the idea that there's productivity benefits to be had with python from an IDE that are not available to me in vim - although i strongly advocate the JEDI plugin with VIM, it's leaps and bounds over the old ROPE system IMO!

JimmyL 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'll happily continue to pay for PyCharm even now that it's open-sourced (I re-upped for another year last week, and don't feel like I missed anything by not waiting for this). Aside from the fact that the Pro version has some killer features - Django support, remote interpreters, diagramming, and a .less editor - these guys deserve to be paid for an outstanding product.

I'm sure I could assemble a tool chain that does 90% of what I love about PyCharm in vi, but I'm a-OK with having my company pay $200 to have someone assemble that for me (or $100, if they didn't pay for it). In the same way that some people - but not me and my Lenovo - will pay extra for a shiny metal computer that just works, I'll pay extra for an IDE that gets out of the way when it should, and gets in the way it needs to.

programminggeek 5 days ago 3 replies      
Does this mean that the PHP, Ruby, and Obj-C versions will be seeing community editions soon as well?
pdknsk 5 days ago 4 replies      
Does it support multi-selection, Sublime style? I just can't use an editor without it anymore.

This is a bit OT, but Komodo got an update some days ago with multi-selection support, which I was quite excited to try. Only to find out their implementation is quite frankly useless.


'Right-click in the editor and choose "Select --> Multiple Selection --> Add", then use Ctrl+Click (Cmd+Click on Mac) to quickly make additional selections.'

hayksaakian 5 days ago 8 replies      
Excuse me if I'm being naive, but does Python development need an IDE? In what ways could it be helpful? I'm under the impression that Python is not compiled generally.

I'm coming from the Ruby point of view

bsaul 5 days ago 1 reply      
I've bought the 2.7 version a couple of months ago and I don't regret it, but does anyone know if the 3 (pro edition) will be available as a free update for people like me ?

I've read on the site that people like me are supposed to receive a free update by email, but i didn't see anything... Anyone in my case ?

nether 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is this preferable over ipython/pylab notebooks for math/scientific python programming?
creat3account 5 days ago 1 reply      
Download link for linux version is busted. Here is the correct one (from trial and error):


camus 5 days ago 0 replies      
now that's pretty AWESOME ! while eclipse supports python, it feels like a dinosaur. Jetbrains ide is the sh|t ! Thanks guys.
mladenkovacevic 4 days ago 1 reply      
So if you're using Django or Flask and need Javascript and HTML/CSS you still need the professional version?

Also is the professional version any of the paid licenses on this page http://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/buy/index.jsp?

It's just that the term "Professional Version" is used to differentiate it from the "Community Edition" on all the informational pages and then the terms are not used anywhere on the Buy page.

d0m 5 days ago 3 replies      
Is it a multi-language editor? I.e. can I switch between html, javascript and python and expect to have a similar interface, commands, API, etc. ? If so, it looks like a strong contender against Sublime IMHO.
mark_l_watson 5 days ago 1 reply      
I own personal licenses for Idea, RubyMine, and PyCharm - all amazing good products.

Where I am working now, Eclipse is the supported environment so I am using it. OK, but not as good...

BTW, when they open sourced Idea for Java, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to build. Nicely packaged.

Demiurge 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hm, so I just tried it. I have the latest Mac mini (i5 8GB RAM), and it was slow. Switching between files, highlighting lagged. Typing was stuttery. Next, I couldn't change the font, it was just not selecting. So, looks like cool software, but I went back to Sublime Text 3 with lint extension.
mixmastamyk 5 days ago 3 replies      

    bin/pycharm.sh     ERROR: Cannot start PyCharm    No JDK found. Please validate either PYCHARM_JDK, JDK_HOME or JAVA_HOME environment variable points to valid JDK installation.
I wish this had been mentioned up front, before I spent all that time watching videos and such. :/ Nothing against java per se, just that it's a giant runtime/security-surface that has no bearing on my Python work.

I'm still happy with Geany, gvfs, meld, and terminal, etc... though they might not be as flashy. :)

vertis 4 days ago 0 replies      
Adding PyCharm to the collection of products is awesome. I do wish JetBrains would offer some combined licensing. Since I have a tendency to use quite a few of their products.
galapago 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's already available in the AUR:


Someone is working on Debian packages for it?

codexon 5 days ago 1 reply      
How does this compare with pydev? http://pydev.org/
tharshan09 4 days ago 1 reply      
PyCharm is amazing, and it can only get better with this announcement. The only issue I have with it is the huge amount of memory it uses. It uses >1GB of ram on my macbook air, and using pycharm for extended amount of time makes it sluggish.
zarify 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'd love to know why the OSX version is bugging me to install X11 all the time. /peeve
chris_mahan 5 days ago 2 replies      
The .exe download is blocked at the office.

Is there a .zip version available?

I also assume the installer doesn't require administrative privileges... Am I right?

riquito 5 days ago 1 reply      
Where are the sources? I can't find a link to them
julikt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only person thinking that any Java-based IDE demos have been sped up by the magic of editing by at least 200% and all the SBBOD-ing has been trimmed out?
orenbarzilai 4 days ago 0 replies      
Read some comments here and feeling bad that I spent the past ~6 years using eclipse.
shire 5 days ago 0 replies      
Python in general is an awesome fun language to work in this just makes the language even more better and fun to work with. Thanks JetBrains!
systems 4 days ago 0 replies      
pascal is making a comeback with free-pascal and lazarusi wonder if it will catch their attention

all free-pascal need now is a decent web-framework, but for desktop apps, i think its one the best options at the moment

mutor 4 days ago 0 replies      
What an amazing coincidence, I started learning Python last week and was trying my hands on PyDev. Yesterday when I saw this news, I immediately downloaded PyCharm and now I am loving it.
qwerta 5 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! JetBrains did it again!
swah 5 days ago 0 replies      
Still waiting for Grok. This should really be done once for all editors.
koudi 5 days ago 2 replies      
The title seems misleading - the IDE is not opensource, but they offer free license for opensource projects.
neokya 4 days ago 2 replies      
Just tried Professional one on OSX, CPU goes above 100%.

Anyone having same issue?

Walkman 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great... Now I really can't choose between PyCharm vs Sublime+iTerm2+SourceTree...
daureg 5 days ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or the font selection option under Windows is rather convoluted?
usav 4 days ago 0 replies      
Considering the growing number of coders out there that usually start with a language like python or js, this is kind of an obvious thing to do. (more so than trying to compete with netbeans/eclipse)
inovator 4 days ago 1 reply      
Webstorm will be open-source any minute now...
eric_cc 5 days ago 3 replies      
First of all, the team being young could refer to the age of the team and not the employees' ages. Either way, are you seriously that uncomfortable about your current age that this stands out to you?

Have we become so PC that noticing that your company is young and then saying your observation out loud or typing it with your keyboard is now discrimination?

qacker 4 days ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, PyCharm's pyconsole is a copy-and-paste job of Eclipse PyDev's pyconsole, and it is quite buggy and lacking in features. This is quite disappointing since I have high expectations for any JetBrains product. I was hoping that JetBrains had the effort to properly implement REPL work flow in their IDE instead of copying the code from its competitor (heck, I just took a look at PyCharm's pyconsole code, and the code still mentions Eclipse)

The above probably is not a deal breaker for many people, but just as many people indeed use Python as REPL, so I would like to see more improvement.

Otherwise, no problem with the software so far that I have tried. Thanks, JetBrains.

davexunit 5 days ago 1 reply      
Oh look, another community edition program. "Open core is the new shareware."


NASA paywalls first papers arising from Curiosity rover I am setting them free michaeleisen.org
538 points by rflrob  3 days ago   121 comments top 19
javajosh 3 days ago 10 replies      
Actually, the real question is why the raw data isn't free.

Note: I worked briefly as a contractor at JPL in 2011 on a project related to Curiosity image-processing and distribution (among other things).

I argued at the time (fairly strenuously) that the raw data (the data that was used by the scientists in this paper) should be public.

The reason the data is not released immediately to the public is both understandable and frustrating: scientists around the world compete for control of Curiosity's precious mission time. The mission is refreshed every day, each move is voted on and the results uploaded to the rover. The data is not released to give the "winning" scientists first crack at interpreting the data. It's about prestige - if you released the data and get "scooped" by Joe Public it's embarrassing but it's also a lost opportunity for scientific prestige.

The same basic reasoning is why so many JPL-produced datasets (particularly astronomical but also terrestrial - JPL does a lot of weather research) are not public.

Personally, I'd like to see this change. I want all publicly-funded non-military research projects have an open data policy. Clearly this would not apply to research with straight-up defense applications. But Mars rover data? I suspect that scientists will be incentivized without being granted artificial monopolies on that data.

tzs 3 days ago 6 replies      
His assumption that these works must be public domain is questionable. It is true that US government works are generally not subject to copyright in the US, but that is when they are works of government employees producing the works within the scope of their employment.

There are two big limitations on this. First, if the government work incorporates outside copyrighted work, only the parts authored by the government employee operating within the scope of his employment are public domain.

Second, this only applies to government employees. It does NOT apply to contractors. What happens with copyright of works produced by contractors under a government contract is determined by the terms of the contract.

The Curiosity project is largely run at JPL. JPL is managed for NASA by Caltech. Almost all JPL employees are neither government employees nor government contractors. They are Caltech employees.

To figure out the copyright status of works authored by JPL employees, we'd need to look at their employment contract with Caltech, and with Caltech's contract with NASA.

unreal37 2 days ago 3 replies      
The problem with vigilante justice is, the vigilante usually gets the wrong person.

These scientists don't work for NASA, most of them work for private institutes and some are based in Europe, the work is entitled to be copyrighted, and basically you're stealing it and giving it away for free.

I love science, I love space, I think Nasa's budget should be tripled (at the expense of a few less fighter jets). But these scientists didn't do anything wrong by publishing THEIR works (not Public Domain works) behind a pay wall.

Let's get the facts straight at least.

lelandbatey 3 days ago 2 replies      
Well, I hope this doesn't come back and bite me too badly :l

I've mirrored the files here in case the original author decides to take them down:


eliteraspberrie 3 days ago 3 replies      
Not everything remotely related to the MSL mission is performed by NASA or US government employees. Non-US scientists cannot be employed directly by NASA due to citizenship requirements. NASA avoids cutting itself off from the world scientific community as a result by granting contract work to, or simply cooperating with, non-US scientists.

Indeed, some of the work "freed" here was performed by European scientists, using NASA data -- which is available to the public in the US and out -- but without a penny of US government funding. These works are certainly not in the public domain.

Most scientists would be happy to share their research. Just ask.

dmlorenzetti 3 days ago 1 reply      
I work at a National Lab, and all my publications are available for free. However, that's not done through the website of the publishing journal, it's done through my Lab's portal.

The main requirement journals have is that we don't distribute the journal's marked-up final version. So we make them available as "Lab Reports" with our own typesetting, front cover, and so on.

coldcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
The American taxpayer paid for the freaking rover without which no one can generate any research whatsoever. Thus we should be able to read the results without a paywall in the way.
kartikkumar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am pursuing a PhD in the field of planetary sciences at the moment, and I can definitely vouch for the fact that there is a lot of discussion amongst the "younger folks" about the elistism of science, particularly for missions like Curiosity. The last few conferences I've been to (Division on Planetary Sciences, European Planetary Science Congress, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting) have highlighted how worried publishers like Elsevier are about the changing attitudes in the field. I've been to a number of dedicated PR seminars at these conferences, where it is clear that the pitch is that publishers that require payment for the publication of scientific papers are not preventing taxpayers from gaining access to results, but are rather simply seeking appropriate compensation for their efforts in coordinating peer-review processes and bringing the results to the attention of the wider community.

I very openly tell my colleagues that change is necessary to make it clear that investment in missions like MSL, MESSENGER, JUICE etc. is for the mutual benefit of everyone. I think as a scientist, I have an OBLIGATION to communicate my results to those that make my work possible.

Open access journals are making some headway, but unfortunately, until the bigwigs in the field really make a clear statement of intent to shift from the traditional publishing houses to these new publishers, the status quo will be maintained.

I applaud the OP's efforts to make these results accessible to to everyone, and sincerely hope that there are no legal repercussions.

benwerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
NASA is not a government agency as such, and its work is not required to be released as public domain. Instead, it falls under the Federal Acquisition Regulations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Acquisition_Regulations

Which isn't to say that I disagree with making its findings available publicly. But the facts are worth noting.

aheilbut 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, Science is run by, um, the AAAS, which is "an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association"

Couldn't the membership just have a vote to make Science go open access already?

gph 3 days ago 5 replies      
To be fair, it is the norm in the scientific community to publish research in Journals... and while the Journals make money off it they do provide some level of editorial standards.

What would have been the alternative here, self-publishing? I suppose that would be possible for NASA, but it would be highly unprecedented. And besides, like the top comment says, some of these papers aren't actually done by NASA scientists, but others using NASA's data.

badave 3 days ago 0 replies      
Aaron Swartz would be proud of you.
dnautics 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The only ambiguity in the case of these Curiosity papers is that not all of the authors are US Government employees, and thus the work is, I am told co-owned by the authors.

Amazingly, this is an almost exact re-hashing of the debates on IP that occurred between Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker in the 19th century. Tucker presented Spooner with a thought experiment: If two people should co-invent, how should the property be allocated. Spooner, of course, said 50-50. Then Tucker rejoined - what if one of the co-inventors should choose to give the patent freely, does that impinge on the property rights of the one who does not so choose (if you choose to disallow the scenario, does the holding of the patent impinge on the property right of the one who would choose to give it away)?

rd108 3 days ago 0 replies      
God bless you, Michael Eisen. May the force be with you
godber 1 day ago 0 replies      
Links to the PDF documents have been made available by the MSL mission.


These are published in a manner that is consistent with Science's publication rules.

akjj 2 days ago 0 replies      
In case you are not aware, the author's father committed suicide: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1282

I have no particular point here, but I just feel that any discussion of your comment should take place with an awareness of this fact.

MrBra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
way to go
contingencies 3 days ago 0 replies      
As an emerging space power, I believe this campaign needs to get some media coverage in China.
wheelerwj 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fuck man, let NASA have the $20. I understand the consternation but of all the agencies who need money... just let people pay for it.

We aren't talking about pirating lil'wayne's next album or someone who has too much money.

SteamMachines steampowered.com
489 points by cheald  4 days ago   286 comments top 41
breckinloggins 4 days ago 17 replies      
I'm excited about where Valve is going with this, of course, but to be honest I'm concerned about controllers the most. Buying a good controller for a PC is not hard, but it's not simple either. Picture yourself as a "living room console guy" getting into PC gaming. You'd like to use a controller for a certain game.


- You can use your XBox360, PS3 controller, or WiiMote, but that's not obvious. You'll need to do some research to figure out that you CAN do it as well as HOW to do it. Again, the steps aren't particularly complicated (especially for the XBox wired controller), but remember who we're targeting, here. If you don't know much about this stuff, you might be worried you'll break something or won't be able to hook your controller back to your console.

- If this doesn't occur to you or you'd rather not use your console controllers, you might be tempted to buy one of those gaming controllers you see at Radio Shack, Best Buy, or somewhere online. Chances are high that the controller you bought will be quite shitty in comparison to your console controllers. You'll notice everything from drifting inputs to cheap buttons to just plain uncomfortable hand feel. You'll convince yourself that you just picked wrongly, so you do some more research. You eventually come upon something pretty good, but it's expensive and it's STILL not your XBox 360 controller.

- If you get past all this (whether that's finding a good 3rd party controller or reusing your console controller), you're still not QUITE sure how each new PC game will react with a controller. Sure, maybe the mappings make sense, but you worry that you'll come upon something that requires an action the developers forgot to map to a controller button. Or maybe it'll just feel wrong because the controls for your particular game were clearly designed to work best for the physical characteristics of a mouse and keyboard. You know with enough tweaking this won't be a problem, but it still bothers you that you have to tweak anything in the first place.

Nothing I've outlined above is a problem for advanced gamers, but if something like a Steam Machine is ever going to take over the living room, it has to be a natural plug n' play experience with respect to input devices. And I mean natural for your mom or uncle, not for you.

Luckily it sounds like Valve will be addressing this head-on; I am more excited about what they have to say about this than about what the specs of any particular Steam Machine might be or what the beta might look like.

simias 4 days ago 6 replies      
Sooo, it's what everybody's expected, except we don't know anything more about it. Frustrating.

Also, only 300 boxes for beta? That seems a little small.

EDIT: actually the latest answer in the FAQ is interesting:

"Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?"

"If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."

Something new on the input device front? Oculus Rift?

Valve sure is good at hyping things.

programminggeek 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is almost a non-annoucement. They've basically said they were doing this for the last year. The only news is a sign up process for early steam boxes.
snotrockets 4 days ago 2 replies      
Look at the beta eligibility list: they require the would be participants to get a leg in the steam community facilities, and try playing in living room mode.

That would give a huge crowd an incentive to try Steam the way Valve is hoping it'd be used in the future. So they give 300 boxes, but get thousands of people trying their console-like services.

Evil geniuses, those Valvers are.

Florin_Andrei 4 days ago 4 replies      
As a parent, if these things don't come with time-based parental controls, that would reduce their appeal A LOT. Windows, for all its warts, is great this way. The Windows-based PC in the living room, running Steam, has time-based parental controls configured at the OS level. This works great for everyone involved, reduces effort and contention. Also, kids do really well on fixed timetables.

I've opened a discussion thread in the Steam Universe forum, on this very topic.


Pxtl 4 days ago 3 replies      
> Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?

> If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.

This excites me. Valve's bread-and-butter, as a gamedev company and not a game reseller, uses a pointing device. FPS games and Dota are both genres that do far better with a mouse.

Obviously, supporting gamepads will get the vast ocean of console-like games into the living room just fine. But for games originally designed for a mouse, a gamepad is a pretty sub-par experience. Do they have some new control device planned? Please? Pretty-please?

julius 4 days ago 3 replies      
They want SteamOS to restructure the console market like Android did with the mobile market.

They give PC makers a great new customizable way to enter the livingroom-computer market. With their gaming shop built in.

This is great for gamers. In a few years any SteamMachine for 300$ will easily outperform PS4/XBone. And have way way more games. And all AAA games (all PC releases).

cptno 4 days ago 1 reply      
The two real revelations here are:

>Can I download the OS to try it out?

>>You will be able to download it (including the source code,[...]) but not yet.


>Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?

>>If you want. [...] Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.

venomsnake 4 days ago 0 replies      
If there was ever a good case for eyebrow dismissal it is that.

This is non announcement. They didn't tell anything. Except some weird beta test on unspecified hardware.

shadowmint 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a tiny bit concerned.

    Can I download the OS to try it out?    You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.
Open source os. Hardware partners for devices. Sound familiar? >_> android.

So, when I buy a samsung steambox it's going to come with its own BallsWiz UI customization as they try to differentiate isnt it?

wcchandler 4 days ago 0 replies      
It'll be interesting to hear if AMD's announcement today has anything to do with this.


devindotcom 4 days ago 3 replies      
Why on earth have they not called the hardware "Steam Engine" instead of these strange other names?
usearegex 4 days ago 1 reply      
"Can I download the OS to try it out?You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that)"

So it will be open source...

4lun 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."

Sounds like the next announcement is likely to be a controller then

pearjuice 3 days ago 0 replies      
Right now when it comes to computers, there is an implicit monopoly. There is only 1 company on the planet that supplies both their own hardware and an operating system of their own bundled with it. This company is Apple. Because they supply both hardware and software, they can sell a "complete experience" to customers who, quite frankly, will lap up anything they hear about computers and their 'black magic'.

But Valve are about to change this.

The so called Steambox announced a day or so ago is now going to be in direct competition with Apple's own devices as Valve can now offer this "complete experience" package too. If you want to know why this is so important you only need to realise that the term "Mac" for most people refers not only to the computer itself, but to the operating system also. No other company has anything that comes close to this, but soon Valve will, and the more time passes and the more people get accustomed to the range of available Steamboxes, the most ground Valve will gain, and the more Apple will lose.

djhworld 4 days ago 0 replies      
From the sounds of it they're producing multiple different machines.

I can imagine it being like this

1) Top of the range high spec machine running SteamOS (500-600)2) Medium spec machine running SteamOS (250-400)3) Basic machine running SteamOS that's designed for people who just want to stream games from their Desktop PC into their living room (60-120)

dombili 4 days ago 1 reply      
So, according to the last answer, the 3rd announcement will probably be about a gamepad or an input device of sorts. That's a bummer. I know it was very unlikely, but HL3 announcement would have made me so happy. I'm still hopeful though, since it's been confirmed that Source 2 is in the works. Valve usually shows off their new engine with a new HL game.
incision 4 days ago 0 replies      
Marketing in the guise of a beta/prototype program. Google seems to have been pretty successful doing with Glass and I'm sure there were prior examples.

In any case, I'm pretty much guaranteed to buy the finished product. What little gaming I've done for the past 4 years or so has been almost exclusively via Steam.

arianvanp 4 days ago 2 replies      
This cought my eye:> Can I download the OS to try it out?You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.

Wondering if that'd include their entire product in source code? probably not, aye?

CraigJPerry 4 days ago 2 replies      
>> Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven't already)

Are there any HN groups on Steam? If I try to create a group named Hacker News, it's already in use. If I try to find it, no results found :-)

mikevm 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm rather skeptical about their in-home streaming option. In a world where games are buying LCDs to minimize input lag, what kind of a performance are they expecting from streaming a game over LAN?

I'm interested in knowing how this streaming is going to work. Is this similar to VNC?

Fuzzwah 4 days ago 1 reply      
So the only thing I learned from this is that its not a SteamBox, it is a SteamMachine.
msie 4 days ago 3 replies      
I wish they would follow Apple's lead and tightly control the hardware. It would make it easier for devs to test and consumers to make a choice. Apple's wildly successful with their iPhone business model. Please try to avoid the fragmentation issues with Android. Windows already owns the home PC market, why go after it?
dkhenry 4 days ago 0 replies      
glazskunrukitis 4 days ago 0 replies      
At first I thought this will have to do something with steam powered machines[1]

[1] http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/steam_washingto...

Touche 4 days ago 0 replies      
Lessons learned:

1) Hardware is hard.

2) Apparently deadlines are important above all else, even if you have nothing to announce/release.

shurcooL 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am most curious about "Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."
z3phyr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Android chose Java as its programming language of choice. What kind of APIs and programming language will SteamBox use? What is the probability that it will be C++ (C++11)?
acd 3 days ago 0 replies      
This means we can finally ditch Windows for Linux.It also means it will be really important for video graphics cards makers to have fast Linux drivers.
TullamoreDude 4 days ago 3 replies      
Now they need a pusher, to get SteamMachines and SteamOs on the market. Half Life 3 confirmed?
ludoo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bah, I thought the link was about real steam machines, who cares about a game platform...
Tichy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great picture, those machines remind me of the turrets from portal 2
bwilliams 4 days ago 5 replies      
That doesn't seem like a large enough beta and it really only targets PC gamers. I would think that they would want to be trying to capture console gamer share rather than existing PC gamers.
ivarious 4 days ago 2 replies      
I want to praise the name choice. "Machine" is very catchy.
Dirlewanger 4 days ago 1 reply      
Que numerous random friend requests for the next couple days from a lot of people...
piinbinary 4 days ago 1 reply      
> The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming

Does that mean streaming from another computer (presumably running Windows) in your house?

sodafountan 4 days ago 0 replies      
what MS-Dos was to PCs in the 80's or what Android was to Smartphones more recently is exactly what Steam OS will be to home consoles in the present. I have faith that Valve will dominate the next generation of interactive entertainment, if of course they don't mess anything up.
nej 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm very excited about this. Go Valve!
oddshocks 4 days ago 0 replies      
GG Windows
bastards 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am not trying to be a downer, but I think this is going to be a huge flop.

Gaming appliances need to be focused at the gaming market, which Sony and MS own like the U.S. and USSR in the mid to late 20th century. Nintendo messed up with the Wii U and probably won't recover, and everything else is secondary, for now. I even think Apple's move into the TV gaming market will be mostly a bust, but I could be wrong, because the casual game market is strong.

I've personally not bought a single game from Steam. I know they are big, but I just don't have time for it. I'm not the target market though.

Steko 4 days ago 1 reply      
2014 Oculus Rift expected to ship widely demoed and lauded next generation experience.

Nov 2013 Sony and MS start shipping new consoles.

Oct 2013 Apple likely to announce and immediately ship $129=$199 A7X based console killer.

Sep 2013 Valve announces beta opt in for SteamMachine with zero details on product.

The shittiest project I ever worked on plover.com
485 points by m0nastic  4 days ago   181 comments top 37
redact207 4 days ago 7 replies      
Although it's a fun read, it's a classic example of diving into coding without giving a project it's due diligence. There's nothing that's derailed my projects more consistently when I started out as not understanding the user's needs. They'll never tell you what they want, only what they don't want after you deliver something.

I think that's the key difference to an experienced dev/BA. One who can actually sit with the stakeholders and build the system on paper and go through each of the problems as the diagrams connect. What you end up with is the stated requirements (tip) and the unstated assumptions (iceberg).

These types of projects are easily spotted as they're often called "quick" or "easy", which in layman's means no one's really thought about it yet.

kamaal 4 days ago 1 reply      
For those who don't know about the author of this post. His name is Mark Jason Dominus, the author of one the most awesome programming book that one can ever read.

Higher Order Perl, is available for free download. If you read it you will see some amazing insights into programming techniques most people would have never heard of encountered in MegaCorp jobs. You will also grow a great appreciation for Perl in general and understand how it can be an amazing language of choice for a wide variety of problems.

fusiongyro 4 days ago 5 replies      
> In 1995 I quit my regular job as senior web engineer

You had the job title "senior web engineer" when the web was 4 years old. That's pretty cool.

angrow 4 days ago 0 replies      
>Prudential didn't need an affiliate locator application. They needed a static HTML page that told people to call the number.

They needed a competitor.

paulhauggis 4 days ago 3 replies      
The shittiest project I ever worked on was a php project that was converted from another language (I don't remember which one). This doesn't sound bad, except they used software to automatically convert it. The PHP code had no comments, minimal white space, and the variables were all hex. My job was to fix bugs.

I worked there for about a week before I quit in frustration.

LargeWu 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds about right.

I worked at Prudential about 10 years ago, as a FTE. Our small division mainly ran on a bunch of custom Access reporting applications. It wasn't quite cutting it, because Access, so it was decided that we would build a portal on the company's intranet. The only problem was that we, as accidental web developers, were not allowed to run development web servers on our dev machines, because they were locked down by corporate. We had to use an extra PC that, by some miracle, had IIS, and develop against that remotely. Good times.

narag 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised nobody, not even the author, has said that the program was useful anyway. But instead of publishing it in the web, it should have been used by the toll-free number operators.
nekopa 4 days ago 4 replies      
I never cease to be amazed that the more things change, the more they stay the same. If you removed the dates from this story, you'd be hard pressed to fix when this happened.

(Except the static HTML idea is a bit of a give away, no web developer would ever dare suggest a static page in our brave new world of Web X.0)

the_cat_kittles 4 days ago 1 reply      
The title reminds me of the shittiest software job/project I ever worked on- short and sweet: Got hired off craigslist. It was all php. Their main competitor was "the spreadsheet". Worked directly next to a cold caller that repeated the same phrase over and over again, fake laugh and all. They were all from the same church group and tried to convert me multiple times. Paid minimum wage.

In addition to being funny in retrospect, it was a good lesson to me to learn that no matter how shitty your current situation, you can always improve it.

kabisote 4 days ago 2 replies      
> These days I would handle this easily; after the first or second iteration I would explain the situation: I had based my estimate on certain expectations of how much work would be required; I had not expected to clean up dirty data in eight different formats; they had the choice of delivering clean data in the same format as before, renegotiating the fee, or finding someone else to do the project.

Great advice for dealing with issues we did not consider in our estimate.

Had he charged hourly instead of a fixed price, would this project have been less shitty?

Edit: Fixed grammar. Thanks b0z0. :)

Sami_Lehtinen 4 days ago 0 replies      
That's not bad at all, it's sounds more like business as usual. I think it's my regular workday. Btw. Did the customer require extensive documentation, escrow, you to fix their data when they can't get it done (like invalid post area codes linked to wrong addresses, fixing post number / city information based on post area code) etc or looking it up based on street adress or so. Been there, done that. Did you spend several weeks in meetings where they can't decide how their stuff works, and you'll just keep wondering if they'll ever decide what they actually want etc. Of course they're going to completely change that week later etc. They don't have a clue how things should technically work, or even what the actuall business process is. Because they have bought an integration, everything must just automatically work, right? We need to know what females in age range 20-25 have bought during last month. Err, but we don't record customer age or sex? Well, but our management team needs that information. It's sure alarm sign, that they want to know how much "this" project will cost, but nobody really knows what "this" is. Also it's needs to be completed by end of the month. I have declined so many projects, and clearly told customers why I'm not going to do anything for them at all. Unless they accept it as "agile" project, with unlimited budget. Then I'll promise them that I'll personally see that it gets done, but it's going to be expensive. - 15 years of ERP/POS/BI/CRM integration programming & consulting.
dsugarman 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure this is the very tough first lesson any new consultant with limited experience would learn. The summary is that the specs are incredibly important, they should be expensive to produce and they should protect you and your client.
ibudiallo 4 days ago 0 replies      
This gave me a good laugh, i didn't know what to expect. Just today i had to deal with something at a similar level.
tobiasbischoff 4 days ago 1 reply      
One of the best examples of consultant failure i've ever seen. Clearly an example for

- not enough questions asked- not listened to the customer

Do not ever start building something or proposing a solution if you don't understand the customers problem deeply enough.

wil421 4 days ago 1 reply      
"In 1995 I quit my regular job as senior web engineer for Time-Warner and became a consultant developing interactive content for the World-Wide Web, which was still a pretty new thing at the time."

I am confused the person stated that they were a senior web engineer but quit to work on a new thing the WWW. How can you be a senior web engineer for something brand new?

Just nitpicking...

n00b101 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is how life insurance companies operate on a daily basis. OP had a pretty shitty deal but he should count his lucky stars that he didn't have to interact with actuaries, who would have multiplied the same problems ten-fold.
jetti 4 days ago 1 reply      
Fascinating! As somebody who is starting to do freelance work a story like this is not only an interesting read but provides insight on what to avoid and when to speak up as I start freelancing.
seivan 4 days ago 0 replies      
Most shitty software is not because of the engineers, but management. Not putting value on good coded and tests.
taude 4 days ago 0 replies      
The shittiest project? Hmm...if he got paid, not sure I'd classify it as such. A waste of time because of business getting in the way of potential efficiency that they perceived they wanted? Yes.

Also, let's not forget that this was 1995 and most big businesses weren't really fully aware of the potential of the internet and the disruption on standard business models that was going to ensue...

donquichotte 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am working on quite a tedious project right now. It involves 10 years old, quite extensive, Visual Basic 6 programs. No source control was used. In our company it is practice to hire interns for 3-month periods to work on production software. A mix of programming styles can be found in this project. Some functions return 0 when they fail. Others return 1. Or -1. Or False. Or "False". I love it!
epa 4 days ago 0 replies      
Consider the price you paid to learn a key life lesson which will pay for itself multiple times over. If you learn from the situation, you have not failed.
mjd 4 days ago 5 replies      
scriptstar 4 days ago 0 replies      
The shittiest project that I worked is just finished where we are not allowed to write any test cases cause we don't have time. I just can't believe that I finished fairly big project without writing a single test case. I hate my company, my role and managers, sales people who negotiate tight deadlines. Over all don't work for any consulting companies out there. They care less of the code quality. They just want money and no ethics.

My next job will be a product based company.

adamconroy 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like poor contract negotiation more than anything. Fixed quotes are very tricky things to navigate. I simply don't go there. If the client insists then I try to negotiate a fixed budget, then when the budget us running dry they can extend the budget or reduce scope. If they don't agree to that I walk.
gcb0 4 days ago 2 replies      
The reason the fee was there was to pay for the 0800 thing.

Some executive rightly saw that paying you to render that useless would free them of that service and the need for the fee (which i bet was not turning a profit)

But, since big companies run on cargo cult... that happened.

sfbsfbsfb 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can highly recommend Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.He covers all these issues and many others. Self awareness is critical to success. If you are inexperienced you need to be able to recognize/acknowledge your inexperience. Then read everything available on the subject and interview every expert you can identify. Clint Eastwood said it best, "A man's got to know his limitations". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrFV5r8cs0
cbp 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is why:

1. You should spend more time designing (away from the computer) so that you find a _problem_ and then come up with a reasonable solution. Instead of putting together a list of features. (see Rich Hickey's talk "Hammock-driven development").

2. Think of the sum you're going to charge for your consulting and then multiply it by 4 and charge that because you have to take risk and other factors into account.

yitchelle 4 days ago 1 reply      
Great http://thedailywtf.com/ material.
danso 4 days ago 0 replies      
The punch line here is great, but even if the specs necessitated something more than a static page, then it'd still be a hard job.

If the most critical part of a data heavy project is speccing it out, I'd say the next most important part is the data munging process...and sadly, both of these things are the most overlooked.

misterdai 4 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting read. However, I helped build a web based system for the management of a bowel cancer screening programme. Considering what would be sent back on the testkits and processed into the system... it's the shittiest project I've ever worked on, but not for the same reasons :P
kemofo 4 days ago 0 replies      
If that's the shittiest project you ever worked on then you're a lucky guy. User's will use a software project for all sorts of political purposes that have nothing to do with you and it does nothing but f up the process.
etherael 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ask them what they're praying for, not how to pronounce the Latin.
cheshire137 4 days ago 0 replies      
This got infinitely more readable when I loaded it into Pocket and let Pocket do its formatting on it. Adjustable font size and a more reasonable line width...
elwinmurton 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone once told me: The client know what he wants, but not what he needs. Success is discovering that before the project ends.

Great post!

hclee 4 days ago 0 replies      
I could see why development service team always want to get more and more information about a project. Open it more, then you get better return. Fun reading.
digitalmaster 4 days ago 0 replies      
Without a pollyfill to support older browsers this is merely a peak into the future.
iamjealous 4 days ago 0 replies      
wow! I am jealous. If that is the shittiest project he ever worked on, he really has not too much to complain about.

Add to this that this was back in 1995. Companies had no clue what the internet was nor what they wanted to do with it, so this kind of clueless behaviour what the customer wanted was pretty much standard for most companies up to at least 1998 - 1999.

The guy has either been tremendously lucky, or he has not worked in too many different projects / companies for the last 18 years....

JustFab.com JustFabulous Class Action Lawsuit (2011) scambook.com
386 points by jacquesm  2 days ago   72 comments top 20
jacquesm 2 days ago 2 replies      
Justfab makes the most scammy pornsite look good.

Not only do they scam you on the way in, they also scam you on the way out, canceling with them is just about impossible.

Credit card companies have pretty strict rules about this sort of thing and I would really like to know if they are burning through merchant accounts, are labeled high risk (with associated fees) or if they are around the industry norm for e-commerce when it comes to chargebacks, refunds and customer satisfaction within the cohort that does not get something delivered to their door each month.

I suspect (but don't have proof) that if the 200K or so silent subscribers (those who don't opt out but also don't get anything delivered) were attended to the fact that there is a silent charge every month that they would cancel en masse and do approximately 1.2 million chargebacks (the costs of those chargebacks alone would take out justfab.com like a pin takes out a balloon).

The bottom comment in that thread about the class action is a nice sample of what this company stands for:

"I have been repeatedly trying to cancel my membership with JustFab.com for 5 months. Every time I call the customer service rep continues to try and diswade my request to the point of 10 full minutes at which point I always tell them JUST CANCEL MY MEMBERSHIP and hang up. I believe they are paid commission on every call they take that results in a hang up.Ive emailed repeatedly and they just wont cancel and continue to bill me.I am putting a complaint through my credit card and I am hoping this will stop these illegal business practices."

If you're a victim of this scam please realize that:

1) you have consumer protection agencies where you can file complaints

2) you can charge back up to 6 months and every chargeback will cost justfab an additional $25 to $35 per charge on top of the refunded money. In case of 3D secure transactions the initial charge was equivalent to a 'card present' transaction but subsequent rebills are not and you should be able to get those back anyway.

3) if the number of chargebacks goes over certain absolute numbers there will be an investigation and if it goes higher still there might be a cancellation of the merchant account

4) that you can help by telling your friends about the scam, making sure not to turn it into accidental advertising for them

And even if you're not a victim of this scam:

5) you can probably save yourself money if you go over your credit card statement to look for charges like these.

I'm working on a blog post about the venture capital world as seen from the other side to cure some common misconceptions about the type of people that are active in venture capital, this whole story has me wondering if there wouldn't be more good in doing a 'VC's I won't work for' post instead. Yuck.

nakedrobot2 2 days ago 5 replies      
It sets such a terrible precedent that a company like this can raise so much money. And that the VC's involved can't admit that there is, at the very least, a "dark pattern" involved in luring unsuspecting people to pay what they do to justfab.com.

On the other hand, the Series B is closed, and no one involved really gives a damn what we think about these dark patterns and scammy activities. However, we CAN publicize it, and expose the investors involved for the unscrupulous and amoral people they apparently are.

thegna 2 days ago 1 reply      
JustFab was founded by Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg in March 2010. (0, 1)

Series A round of $33 Million was raised in September 2011 (2), led by Matrix Partners' Josh Hannah @jdh (3), Technology Crossover Ventures participated.

A national class action lawsuit was filed against Just Fabulous, Inc. in October 2011 (4).

Series B round of $76 Million was raised in July 2012, investors included Rho Capital Partners, Matrix Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, Intelligent Beauty (2)

Series C round of $40 Million was raised in September 2013, investors included Shining Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures, Rho Ventures, Matrix Partners, Intelligent Beauty (2)

(0) http://www.matrixpartners.com/entrepreneur-stories/adam_gold...

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JustFab

(2) http://www.crunchbase.com/company/justfabulous

(3) http://www.matrixpartners.com/team/josh-hannah/

(4) http://www.scambook.com/blog/2011/10/justfab-com-justfabulou...

pyalot2 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hmyeah, so Josh Hannah @jdh (A series investor in JustFab) was defending JustFab in this other thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6455575 how it's totally not a scam, backed up with a screenshot, clearly showing it to be scammish.

I'd be delighted if we could hear his take on the class action lawsuit.

crag 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best (and it really is the best) is to get the word about. Drive this "website" into the ground. The VC's will lose money. And maybe, just maybe in the future they'll think twice about investing in questionable companies.
jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
This thread and the companion thread about justfab.com have just been flagged straight from the homepage. Too bad, this sort of thing is well worth discussing. Being successful should not translate into 'get money from the customer at any cost'.
dools 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is analogous to a premium SMS subscription, and free2play mobile games. It took 10 - 12 years for regulation to kill premium SMS scams. I guess the next decade will be spent stamping out these scum.
mcantelon 2 days ago 0 replies      
According to WikiPedia, they reached 10 million members this year. If it's true (I have my doubts) that'd be $400M/month membership revenue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JustFab#History

This could be a huge story for some journalist, finding out how they're not getting cut off by the credit card companies, etc. The fact the president is a quasi-celeb (Kimora Simmons) would help sell the story.

karterk 2 days ago 0 replies      
October 2011 is some time back. Anyone knows what's the status of this lawsuit?
nakedrobot2 2 days ago 1 reply      
With all that money raised I guess the founders have taken enough money off the table that they couldn't care less about what might happen now ...
andrewaylett 2 days ago 1 reply      
Note that this was filed in October 2011.
theklub 2 days ago 2 replies      
Beyond everything else it always shocks me as to how many people buy shoes online. I mean I can never find ones that fit well in the store never mind taking a shot in the dark with some no brand cheapa shoe.
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone run text analysis on the comments of this kind of site? Astro-turfing detection would seem like a fun blog for someone to run.
dreamdu5t 2 days ago 0 replies      
...just take it to 4chan and the news media. Courts in the US are useless to regulate businesses now... just look at check cashing fee class action lawsuits.
scrrr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why enter a subscription to buy clothes? There's thousands of websites to buy clothes from. Without a subscription. Amazing.
onebaddude 2 days ago 1 reply      
A good example of this "membership" model done right is Audible.


How it Works and About Membership featured prominently at the top of the page. When you're signed in, your membership status is front and centre.

This isn't even difficult.

3am 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any YC companies that compete with JustFab?
grzaks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dark patterns are everywhere and a lot of huge companies are using them without any shame. Take ryanair reservation funnel for example.
carsonreinke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of BMG Music Club
jdalgetty 2 days ago 1 reply      
This link is from the end of 2011. Why is it at the top of the front page?
Why Your Startup Cant Find Developers fastcolabs.com
385 points by lowglow  3 days ago   348 comments top 40
PhasmaFelis 3 days ago 9 replies      
"I know one well-known startup who has been trying to fill a role for over four months, and has gone through two dozen candidates, simply because the founder mandates 80-hour workweeks.

I'm rather surprised that this wasn't a heading topic on its own: Don't Expect People To Work 80-Hour Workweeks. Bleary, burned-out, sleep-deprived, stimulant-addled engineers do not produce decent code no matter how many hours you make them stay at their desks. Obviously. You bloody idiot.

(...The startup founder, I mean, not the article writer.)

Although really this folds into "Youve Got To Pay If You Want To Play" to make a larger point: If You Want Good Employees, Don't Treat Them Like Shit. Another of those blindingly obvious things that employers all over the world just can't seem to wrap their little heads around.

wyclif 2 days ago 7 replies      
Why can't your startup find developers?

1. You want to be stingy on salary and benefits, and avoid paying above market rates. You quibble over meeting trivial salary requests. Your company doesn't have proper review processes and doesn't give raises frequently enough. You don't provide equity in your company to your most valued employees

2. Your interview process sucks. You hand off the candidate to 5 different people, the interview lasts all day, you require too many interviews before making an offer, you have puzzle questions, your interviewer is non-technical and has never used the technologies you're hiring for, you rely on agency recruiters, you and your co-founders aren't involved in hiring, you don't spend enough time on hiring, it takes weeks for you to get back to candidates, it takes days for you to make an offer, you forget about scheduled interviews, your people doing the interviews aren't at work the day candidates have scheduled to come in, you ask inappropriate questions during interviews, you lie to candidates during interviews, interviewing is combat and not collaborative

3. You hire for "culture fit" which means you only hire people that fit whatever your version of the status quo is. You signal that older people or non-hipsters need not apply. You discriminate against people old enough to have spouses and children. Your office has a culture offensive to women and/or minorities. You have the words "rock star" or "ninja" in your description. You prefer "yes men" over free thinkers. You hire only people who are like you

4. You demand that every employee commute to your offices because you have an antiquated "asses in seats" busywork mentality or a "no remote work" policy. You treat remote employees as if they are second-class employees. You demand relocation to the Bay area or it's a 'no hire'. You don't provide relocation assistance. You don't help with visas

5. You require educational credentials for jobs that don't and shouldn't require them. You set up qualification barriers for great candidates. You don't respect candidates who have experience outside of your specific technology stack

6. You have a toxic office environment. Your offices are shabby and "Class B." You make people work in grey cubicles, Office Space-style. You don't provide catered lunch. You pay no attention to, and invest nothing in, office equipment. You don't provide up-to-date equipment and developer hardware

7. You require ridiculous hours that make work/life balance out of the question. You don't offer generous holiday time. You tell people they cannot take holiday time because it's "crunch time." You resent employees who take holiday time they are entitled to

toddmorey 3 days ago 8 replies      
Developersthe good onesdon't want to work for you. They want to work for a cause. They want believe that their work will have real meaning; real impact. This is not instead of a good salary, this is in addition to.

But it's an important addition and often overlooked. It's why among all of the food delivery service startups recently, I have my eye on SpoonRocket. They are on a passionate mission to provide healthy meals at the same price and speed of fast food. That is something to get fired up about. That could have a huge impact. That could change the diet of millions of people.

Please, don't settle for a mission statement. Please don't stop at the point of a good idea and early revenue. Have a missiona real one. It's not just to romance investors or customers. The biggest impact you'll see is in your people.

Cookingboy 3 days ago 1 reply      
The author raised the point that very often young founders only want to hire someone in their own image. I believe it's more of a problem of those young founders have never worked with anyone who are NOT of similar backgrounds than they are. In some cases just spending a couple years at a bigger company with a more diverse workforce would completely shatter the "most productive engineers are 20 something CS grads who can code 80 hours a week on Red Bull" stereotype. Sure those people may be motivated by different things in life at that point, but one quality of being a good leader is the ability to gather different people with different backgrounds and motivations and still utilize them to the max and achieve the common goal. A company that's run purely on Kool-aid may have the short-term "enthusiasm" but is not going to survive the ups and downs of a long journey.
pastProlog 3 days ago 3 replies      
Companies put up barriers for applicants, then wonder why they can't find anyone.

A big thing for me is references. I have good references but I don't like to bother people. These are often from bosses who I worked with four years before and have only had sporadic contact with since, I don't want to be asking for favors every other contact.

Some companies, in e-mails before I even talk to anyone want me to send them references. I mean it's not like people ask for references as the last step before making an offer.

So what I have to do is when I'm looking for work, contact all my references, make sure my phone # etc. for them is current, and ask if they'll give me a reference - they always say yes. I figure I'm then good for the next few weeks/months in terms of that.

But it also means I basically have to make the major commitment of saying I want another job. Then I go looking and look until I find one.

If people were not so free with asking for references before I even talk to someone on the phone even, I could look for work at my leisure. If a headhunter contacted me, even if I wasn't looking, I could talk to the company. If they said they were almost set with the decision and just wanted some references, then I could do that as a last step.

Really it limits when I am available to hear offers. I am only open for offers every 2-3 years, in the weeks and months I am looking for a new job. I'm not open 18 months into a job, because I'm not going to hassle 3 old bosses for one company which hasn't even decided if they want to do a phone interview with me yet.

Of course I can always say I don't give references until later in the process, but usually it's some HR drone handing me a sheet and telling me to fill it out. If I don't put contact for references they tell me I should fill that in. It's like I'm sloppy for not bringing contact information, or have something to hide in not wanting to hand out reference information freely. People can say "tell 'them' so-and-so" but there's no them, there's an HR information sheet and some HR drone only peripherally connected with the hiring process.

It's not a big deal for me, it just limits my availability for talking to a 4-6 week cycle out of every 100-150 weeks. Companies throw up these barriers against themselves, then wonder why they can't find people.

There's other things as well. I work from 9 to 5. But companies want me to come in at 10 AM, I wait around 30 minutes for the first person to talk to me, then they want me to talk to someone else etc. Then two people who I have to talk to before getting hired are busy or not there. Also, if I schedule one a vacation day during the week, my current company might wonder what I'm doing. How am I supposed to make time for these long, drawn out interviews during the work week?

Then of course there is specialization. Wanting someone who knows a language like C++ is fine. Even wanting someone who knows OpenGL is fine. Or even more specifically, OpenGL ES if OpenGL is too general. But then they want people who know who Objective C for Apple hooks into C++ with OpenGL ES, as opposed to someone who has maybe been doing Java and JNI hooks into C++ with OpenGL ES. Or if that is not specific enough, then something even more specific.

Or it might say BSCS required. So if you're a few classes short - tough luck.

The entire interview process is geared towards company's establishing their dominance in the relationship from the get-go. You go hassle your old bosses, asking them to put in a good word for you. You come here when you're supposed to be working. And so on. Companies throw up these barriers as if there is a huge excess of good programmers they can pick and choose from. When that pool dries up, do they think, gee, maybe we should change how we interview? Of course not, they just complain how they can't find talented developers, and lobby Washington so that foreign programmers don't have to hop through the immigration hoops everyone else has to.

They don't see a lack of talented programmers, they see a lack of a large pool of talented programmers they can put over a barrel. Because otherwise they would have changed how they do interviewing.

While they only have the option of griping about lack of talent, we have options beyond griping about interviews. With the cloud, growth of mobile and app stores etc., as everyone says, now it's easier than ever to get your own personal (or partnered) income stream going. Hopefully mine grows to the point where the spectre about potentially having to go on a job interview ever again diminishes to nothing. I dislike enough the more easy interviews about whether I will consult on a project for a few months.

greenyoda 3 days ago 2 replies      
"New graduates can command $100,000 a year in Silicon Valley. Hired has found that bumping the offer up to $120,000 gives you access to 30% more candidates."

This is something many people on HN have been saying for a long time in response to the question of whether the US needs to create more H-1B visas: companies have a hard time finding qualified employees because they don't want to pay enough. It's nice to see the numbers quantified in this way (even though this is only anecdotal evidence from a single recruiting firm).

sedev 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Too many twentysomething founders look for employees just like themselves. So you discriminate against anyone who is in their 30s or 40s or has a family, says Mickiewicz. But the most talented and experienced people will be in their 30s and 40s."

It's always a relief to see an article like this not just calling out age bias, but putting it at the top. There are other good points in the article too, but it's important to note that Bay Area tech culture skews heavily towards white dudes in their 20s. There are plenty of people pushing back against the "white dudes" part, but we could use a little more pushing back against the "in their 20s." Especially since someone who's 35 today was born in 1978 and was turning 12 in 1990, right around the elbow of the explosive growth curve of home-available computing. You could have maybe made an argument that someone who was 35 in 1995, born in 1960, was a bit late to the game to profoundly grok the web then (I think that argument's wrong, but you could make it without being laughed out of the room). But in 2013, a 35-year-old engineer is someone you want to look for because that's probably going to be someone with perspective and a mature skill set. There are plenty of smart 20-year-olds out there, yet there is no substitute good for experience.

7Figures2Commas 3 days ago 6 replies      
I'll add a reason: you're looking for someone you don't need.

Not every startup is Google. A lot of companies have CRUD applications of minimal to modest complexity which, even if actively used, are nowhere close to facing performance and scalability barriers that would require deep technical expertise.

These startups don't necessarily need "engineers" with computer science backgrounds, but that's what many of them are searching for.

vosper 3 days ago 2 replies      
> On the other hand startup CEOs tends to be prejudiced against developers who work for less cutting-edge large companies like Dell, Accenture, or Salesforce. Mickiewicz points out that Ubers CTO was hired from VMware.

In what world is VMWare not cutting edge? Sure, they're a big successful company, but that's because they solve a complex problem.

Also, hiring a CTO from a large tech company is nothing like hiring an ground-level engineer - there's no way VMware's CTO spent his days coding before he went to Uber.

BrainScraps 2 days ago 3 replies      
You can't find developers because everyone in the Greater SF Bay Area is looking for the perfectly seasoned developer that has deep experience in their given stack.

It reminds me of a grownup having Play-Doh time with toddlers. The grownup takes the time to make some recognizable object (a dog, a human figure, an ice cream cone) and then the toddler starts grabbing for it. This is how many young companies act with talent. They don't want to invest in people, they don't want to bring on interns or junior folks. They want high-output plug-and-play rockstar senior devs. And they want them on their terms.

Some of you might see things differently, but that's the impression I'm getting from all of the listings I'm seeing in my job search (for a junior dev role.) There are some companies that are making the long-term investment in finding the less refined talent and developing it, but they are hard to find.

I hope other people see this trend and that I'm not just entirely saturated in the pungent juice of sour grapes.

RougeFemme 3 days ago 0 replies      
<<Hiring in your own image

For most/many founders this is closely related to "hire people you would want to hang out with on Sundays", another common hiring "mistake/tip".

The hiring pool shrinks considerably and diversity of perspective/ideas and any other attribute you value likely goes out the window.

snorkel 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another disconnect is start ups tend to advertise "team lead" roles where you have the responsibilities of a manager, developer, and operations all at once while paid entry level salary. No thanks, but nice try.
teddyh 2 days ago 0 replies      
As is common, Joel said it all back in 2000:

Whaddaya Mean, You Can't Find Programmers?http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000050.html

lzecon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hiring people that come from a similar background as founders is the biggest problem on that list. It's part of the reason there's a serious lack of diversity in tech and startups today. Truly recognizing that people unsimilar to you are capable, smart, and successful is a learned view. One that founders may not have had time to develop because they have to be so focused on themselves to start a company.

Once you develop bad hiring habits they become part of a start-up's culture, making a lot of people very resistant to doing something differently. For instance, if all you're doing is interviewing and not looking at the bigger picture, you may not even realize you're doing something wrong.

rosspanda 2 days ago 1 reply      
I verbally accepted a job at a UK based start-up once, it was 3 days per week as that was all they could afford at the time.

It was not until i got the contract that it stated a minimum of 40 hours in the 3 Days, so they wanted me to work full time hours in the 3 days for 3 days pay.

I turned it down. I still see the founder around and he is still looking for dev's.

tunesmith 3 days ago 3 replies      
Is that really the salary structure in the bay area these days? It used to be that a senior developer's salary was easily 2x a junior developer's salary, but I thought senior and lead developer salaries were in the $130-$150k range in the bay area, at least for java developers.
bithive123 3 days ago 1 reply      
While I was reading this I kept thinking that although the points are sound it fails to point out the upside -- that making these kinds of mistakes also effectively signals the presence of undesirable traits in the leadership.
dobbsbob 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just go through an open source mailing list and find people who seem to know what they are doing. Somewhere they probably have a consultant page, or git profile of work. Done, hire them remotely. If they need extra people tell them to find somebody they know who's competent and hire them too. No office, no recruiters, no insurance/rent to pay and no investment needed to buy hardware.
edwinnathaniel 3 days ago 9 replies      
$100k-$120k for undergrad? that's crazy. I guess this is one of the reasons why Facebook and Twitter decided to open offices in Vancouver _specifically_ to hire undergrad. Undergrad salary here can be half of that.
buckbova 3 days ago 3 replies      
> Why Your Startup Cant Find Developers

Relying on recruiters.

Recruiters are notorious for buzzword searching and resume stacking. And Googler's probably don't respond to interview requests because they don't trust or respect recruiters (just a hunch).

Find other ways to advertise your jobs, like old fashoined networking, message boards, social media, etc.

taude 2 days ago 0 replies      
Back in the mid-90s when just out of school, working at MSFT, a buddy and I calculated that we were making about $15/hour after calculating all the long hours we worked (it wasn't 80 hours, but 60 was quite common).

...then the dot-com boom came and we all went and worked elsewhere. Which was good because our stock options never went up much after 1999 (to justify the salary anyway).

BTW, it was still one of the best jobs I've ever had working for someone else.

jtbigwoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
>> Founders typically look for candidates who have a similar educational background to themselves and live within 25 miles of their office.

I go back to the stories of google rejecting mid-level management applicants because their college GPA's were 3.0 instead of 4.0 or they went to Georgia Tech instead of M.I.T. Seems like everybody makes these same mistakes.


BigChiefSmokem 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've given up on salary.

I work as a W2 contractor (and 1099 at very high rates) and I always let my bosses know if they want me here after 5pm then they better be ready for me to charge it.

I might have to pay for my own benefits but I have full control over my hours this way. It's a nice compromise between salary and freelance, even if I do have to deal with a recruiting agency (just don't work with mom-n-pop recruiters and you'll be okay).

grantlmiller 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would add that the low barriers to entry to become a startup founder (and to raise several hundred thousand dollars) leaves us with few great people to be employees (this goes for engineers & business folks alike).
michaelochurch 3 days ago 2 replies      
Find, or entice to join after an offer is made? Two different processes.

The first can be solved by getting one's name out there: writing a tech blog, hosting meetups, coming up with novel perks. The second is harder and more objective.

Most startups give mediocre salaries, but people know that. There are two things about startups that damage them, though.

1. Low equity. Once the VCs get involved, equity allotments become so low that their motivational effect is pretty much nil. I feel like the current culture of startup mediocrity has a lot to do with the fact that seriously skilled people aren't interested in the laughable equity amounts they get in post-A startups, unless they can treat it as a 9-to-5 day job and have almost unlimited autonomy.

2. Low autonomy, which surprises people. You're more able to have a global effect on the company in a startup-- that's pretty much impossible for a big corporation-- but the amount of day-to-day personal autonomy people have over their own work and careers is often less in the startups. Big companies can't compete on options and usually pay market (because they set the market rate) so the good ones give their good people decent projects. A lot of startups have micromanagement and, worse yet, an increasing number that have that MBA douchebag culture are popping up (and if you work for a startup with MBA douchebag culture, you get the worst of both worlds between big and small companies; the risk and division-of-labor uncertainty of a small company, usually run by someone too unstable and arrogant to last more than 6 months-- which isn't even that hard to do-- in a large one). New York is full of startups run by MBA types who couldn't hack it in real finance but made enough contacts to raise VC.

I'm pretty sure I'd have no trouble hiring good developers. I'd run open allocation as far as possible, and I wouldn't give out any equity, but replace that with a far more generous profit-sharing program. There wouldn't be far-off payouts with messy tax implications as with options, but bonuses would be 200-500% in good years.

nasalgoat 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's nice to see the fallacy of options is finally sinking in, and people are refusing to take a pay cut for the mystical unicorn of a fast exit.
danso 3 days ago 2 replies      
> Hiring Google engineers is generally a really bad idea. If you work at Google you have access to an entire set of tools and technologies that you won't have in a smaller startup environment.

This seems like a sensible and underrated assertion. I have no idea if it's more true for Google than other large startups...but yeah, great companies have great toolsets...that's in part why they're great. But that infrastructure isn't available elsewhere and an engineer's reliance on that isn't easily tested. It seems akin to my experience in journalism, that some very accomplished reporters have had very accomplished support staff (researchers, fact-checkers, handlers), but may flounder when forced to do that work themselves.

gboudrias 2 days ago 0 replies      
Startups can't find (good) developers because they don't understand how high the demand is. Unless you're in the big league with the big money, you will have to settle.
avty 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know recent grads making close to $200k (everything included) simply by working at Google...
consultant23522 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a local startup here that I would absolutely love to work for, except for one thing. I have a lot of experience in their technology stack and some domain knowledge. They won't hire be because I'm not willing/interested in churning out 60 hour work weeks every single week. So.. alas, double-lose.
snowwrestler 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's trivially easy to find developers. It's very difficult to find developers who are competent and responsible, let alone rock stars.
robomartin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll tell you how to find the best people. It's not easy, but it works.

For a while I tried a very simple policy:

You come in when you want and go home when you want. Take as long as you want for lunch. Got errands to run that are important to you? Don't ask me, go do it. Need to go out of town to see a concert in the middle of the week? Have a good time. Bring pictures. In general, everyone in this group was allowed to be an adult and manage their time as they wished. There was no such thing as vacation time or sick time accounting. If you need time off, take it.

The only requirement was that the work get done, get done well and on time (within a schedule that was discussed by all and agreed-upon).

That's it.

What happened? Well, a few people abused it. They tended to be in the younger end of the spectrum and perhaps thought this was a license to fuck off and get paid. They didn't last long. The rest of this small group was great. They got their work done without a lot of supervision, were happy and actually went out of their way to push the project forward. It was an excellent experience and a great way, as far as I am concerned, to filter the idiots from the professionals.

This isn't easy to manage. That seems like an oxymoron. You are not actively managing people yet you say that it is hard to manage? Well, the problem is it takes a little bit of time to settle into a stable state. Every addition or change to the team creates a step change that needs to be allowed to settle. Once you have a stable team it pretty much runs itself and it runs well. Until then it can be a little chaotic.

I've done this once and was happy with the results. When you are under the gun and trying to put together a new team it is easier to go with a more conventional top-down approach and pretty much dictate what each person needs to do, when, how, etc. Not the best environment but sometimes you have no choice.

That said, in general terms I firmly believe in making people responsible for an area or reaching a certain milestone and pretty much leaving them alone. They should come to you if they need help or guidance. Other than that, if you are working with professionals there should not be any need to hover over them every day to see how they are doing.

NadaAldahleh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google stopped asking questions like "how many golf balls fit into a plane", but they didn't stop asking puzzles and programming trivia questions.

If you know how to ask these questions, and what insight you're looking for from them, they can be very insightful. Here's the different types of questions and puzzles you should ask, how, and what insight to get from them: https://www.sandglaz.com/blog_posts/104-How-to-interview-and...

logical42 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great analogy!
drakaal 3 days ago 3 replies      
Here I thought the problem was we were in Phoenix, and we had hired all the Python Developers in the area. (with a few exceptions for those who work at NASA)
marincounty 3 days ago 0 replies      
When In was younger I didn't trust people older than I.As, I got older I became one of those people. In my twenties, I had absolutely so patience for computers.I felt like I was wasting my time looking into a computerterminal. To be absolutely honest--all I cared about was getting laid--oh, and a little bit of beer money. As I got older, my physicality changed. I now cherish the time I can spend in front of a terminal. I still believe the best minds are kids in their twenties, but don't rule out 40, and 50 year olds. Their is a few exceptions though; I would never hire a 'know it all'--young, or old. Eighty hour weeks? Fine, but let them work from home.
orenbarzilai 2 days ago 1 reply      
another interesting question is how to find the good candidates. We use the usual ways: personal connections, head hunting agencies etc.we have also started to target top talents on meetup groups, hackathons & local technical bloggers.

If you have another creative & efficient way to find candidates please share.

kps 3 days ago 0 replies      
The photo is certainly appropriate.
dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because bright people will never end up in a sweatshop?)
kumarski 3 days ago 0 replies      
well done.
New UNIX implementation (1983) groups.google.com
355 points by liotier  2 days ago   152 comments top 20
samatman 2 days ago 8 replies      
A fascinating contrast to the announcment of Linux:


RMS starts with a grandiose vision, which (at the time of writing) he hadn't even begun. He then asks for time, money, and equipment, before the end of the first paragraph. The very first thing promised, a kernel, has never been effectively delivered.

Linus starts with a modest disclaimer, then asks for feedback as to what other potential users might want most.

Night and day. Yet, could we have had one without the other?

fsck--off 2 days ago 5 replies      

  "I am Richard Stallman, inventor of the original   much-imitated EMACS editor."
Stallman may have significantly improved Emacs, but he isn't the inventor. Guy Steele and David Moon are. Stallman only took over development after it had become the standard AI text editor. Stallman wasn't even the first one to implement Emacs in Lisp; Dan Weinreb did it first. "Inventor of the original" makes it sound like Emacs was his original idea.


davexunit 2 days ago 0 replies      
You can also read it here, complete with an old-school font: article.olduse.net/771@mit-eddie.UUCP

This site replays old usenet posts. It was cool to wait for the announcement to pop up on net.unix-wizards.

Happy 30th birthday, GNU!

There is a GNU hackathon at MIT this weekend, for those that don't know already and might be interested: https://gnu.org/gnu30/

randomknowledge 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Individual programmers can contribute by writing a compatible duplicate of some Unix utility and giving it to me. For most projects, such part-time distributed work would be very hard to coordinate; the independently-written parts would not work together. But for the particular task of replacing Unix, this problem is absent. Most interface specifications are fixed by Unix compatibility. If each contribution works with the rest of Unix, it will probably work with the rest of GNU."

This stood out to me. Back in 1983 online collaboration was unheard of, and it was only the incredibly modular nature of Unix which made the project seem at all plausible.

segmondy 2 days ago 3 replies      
Both C and Lisp will be available as system programming languages.

How I wish this became true, it's not too late right?

dpweb 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can't believe "on-line" and "snail mail" were terms being used in 1983!
dllthomas 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hm, this may be a bit of history I'm missing: what was meant, in 1983, by "an Empire game"?

Edit: Apparently this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_Classic_%28video_game%29

TallGuyShort 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those interested in the history of open-source "UNIX" clones but who weren't in the industry at the time, I stumbled across this last night and thought it worth sharing: http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/brown/. Read the "original comment", "follow up", "code comparison", and "rebuttal".
specialp 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hopefully in 30 years people will be able to read such seminal messages. Now that a lot of discussion is happening on proprietary platforms without a standard it may not be the case.
mratzloff 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now, imagine if Oracle had its way and APIs were copyrightable.
crncosta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks Stallman for never give up of his dreams.
eltondegeneres 2 days ago 0 replies      
The GNU system announcement is also on gnu.org, if you're not too kean on Google Groups.


ctdonath 2 days ago 8 replies      
Innocent question: what happened to GNU? Lotsa good tools available, but as Minix spawned Linux which has a good chunk of the world, GNU as an OS seems but a legend.
codegeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Arpanet mail: RMS@MIT-MC.ARPA

Usenet: ...!mit-eddie!RMS@OZ ...!mit-vax!RMS@OZ

US Snail: Richard Stallman 166 Prospect St Cambridge, MA 02139"

Amazing. The use of words like "US-Snail" and all. Looks far cooler and geekier than what we have now usually:

    xyz    xyz@whateveremail.com    @xyztwitterhandle

vorbote 2 days ago 2 replies      
"GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identicalto Unix. We will make all improvements that are convenient, basedon our experience with other operating systems. In particular,we plan to have longer filenames, file version numbers, a crashprooffile system, filename completion perhaps, terminal-independentdisplay support, [...]

Linux has, eventually, started to fulfil the promise: technologies like cgroups, dm, uevents, kdbus, alsa..., and the respective userspace: systemd, dmraid, lvm, udev, pulseaudio, show that GNU/Linux is not UNIX but better in some respects.

therealunreal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you, Mr. Stallman.
alkonaut 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps a novice question coming from a mostly Windows user: an OS I thought handled processes, hardware, etc. It can of course be handy to have a linker/editor/compiler shipped with it too, but why is it considered part of the OS? Is gcc/vi/emacs more a "part" of GNU/Linux than notepad is a part of windows; i.e. just a convenience? Or is linux unusable without a complete c-based tool chain? I know the term "OS" is a fuzzy one, which is probably what causes my confusion.
mozboz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:


dorfsmay 2 days ago 0 replies      
Weird coincidence as how Google use Sept. 27th as their birthdate...
enupten 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd assumed from reading the UNIX haters' handbook, that everyone who had used a Lisp machine would automatically hate UNIX :)
The Banality of Systemic Evil opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
349 points by Maakuth  5 days ago   169 comments top 15
kijin 5 days ago 15 replies      
> David Brooks made a case for why he thought Snowden was wrong to leak information about the Prism surveillance program ... For society to function well, he wrote, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures. By deciding to unilaterally leak secret N.S.A. documents, Snowden has betrayed all of these things. The complaint is eerily parallel to one from a case discussed in Moral Mazes, where ... the complaint against the accountant by the other managers of his company was that by insisting on his own moral purity he eroded the fundamental trust and understanding that makes cooperative managerial work possible.

Welcome to the hyper-individualistic, hyper-critical, post-communitarian world, where neither tradition nor any existing social institution is taken for granted. Everything is now open to critical scrutiny, and nothing that fails such scrutiny will receive anyone's respect. Gone are the days when "institutions", "common procedures" and "cooperative managerial work", for example, were universally agreed to be valuable things in themselves. Now they need to prove their own worth, or else. Because if they have no intrinsic moral worth, you can't blame others for eroding them.

I don't know whether there really is such a thing as Generation W, but if Snowden and Swartz are its holotypes, then I have rather high hopes for it. Not because I expect a whole lot of whistleblowing in the foreseeable future, nor because I think they're particularly interested in politics (they probably aren't), but because they're probably the first generation to ascribe absolutely no intrinsic moral worth to the "System" in "Systemic Evil".

The System, whether it's a corrupt industry, a corrupt three-letter agency, or your country, has finally lost the romantic halo ascribed to it by traditional assumptions. It has revealed itself to be just another social convention with some (in fact, lots of) instrumental value but zero intrinsic value. The baby boomers, of course, also had their moment of subversiveness in the form of the civil rights movement. But the U.S. in the 60s and 70s was affluent and egalitarian enough to leave them with lifetime jobs, nice suburban homes, and enough money to watch Fox News on their four-foot TVs for the remainder of their retirement. Those perks are now gone, and with it the last traces of the System's romantic halo. All that is left is a rotting social infrastructure with questionable instrumental value at best.

So perhaps for the first time in human history, a large number of people are now mentally prepared to judge the "System" solely on its instrumental value. Instead of asking whether or not their actions will help preserve the System, people can now honestly ask whether certain portions of the System are worth preserving in the first place. Gen W is like the theoretical physicist in that famous story who, when asked how his research contributes to national defense, replies that his research makes the nation worth defending. Only sometimes, it might not be worth defending. Or perhaps even worth destroying.

It is no surprise that the Obama administration has a reputation for prosecuting more whistleblowers than (nearly?) every other administration before it. Previous administrations had no need for massive prosecutions, the population behaved itself. But the population won't behave anymore. The only psychological bias that kept them at bay has dissolved away, and I suspect that it's gone for good.

And like a lot of people who have warm fuzzy feelings about Snowden, I think that this quiet but irreversible change in humanity's sociopolitical lookout will turn out to be a Very Good Thing (tm) in the long term. Another superstition trampled under the relentless feet of reason.

tptacek 5 days ago 3 replies      
Manipulative. For instance:

* The article's entire coverage of Manning revolves around a single incident involving the detention of 15 Iraqis. But that's not all Manning did, despite the wording of the article. Manning fell afoul of the law by haphazardly collecting and releasing to a stranger on the Internet far more documents than any person could possibly have reviewed, many of which had no public interest implications.

* The article cites the case of Jeremy Hammond, convicted for hacking and dumping Stratfor. Ludlow famously supports Hammond's actions. But Hammond didn't leak secrets he knew were in the public interest. He picked an organization whose politics he disagreed with, attacked them, and helped circulate the credit card numbers of its subscribers to the Internet. The clear message being sent by Hammond's inclusion in the article is that he is of a kind with Manning, Snowden, and Swartz. The only thing his case has in common with the others is that they they share some of the same political motivations.

* The article does the same thing with John Kiriakou, asserting as axiomatic the idea that Kiriakou was motivated by the public interest. But Kiriakou didn't become a "whistleblower" until that label became convenient to his defense, after it became apparent that his conversations with journalists, which related to a book he was selling, had outed an agent who had been in deep cover for over 20 years.

I'm left with a disquieting conclusions about the way proponents of Ludlow think: so long as the accused share your politics, it's more important for society to empathize with their motivations than with their decisions and actions. That's what people who blow up abortion clinics think.

I'm also a little worried about the phenomenon of generating public support for any mass leak by working with the media to promote those leaked documents that are most interesting/entertaining/important, while working to thwart any effort to evaluate the impact of the leak as a whole. Call it "Greenwaldism", which feeds a careful drip of calculated outrage and then harnesses it to attack anyone who points out any accompanying documents that might have caused harm by their disclosure.

tokenizer 5 days ago 6 replies      
How about we try to get to the core issues of this systemic risk of authoritarianism and repression, and look at:

Ageism: Why can't younger people vote? Because they don't have valid opinions? Some adults don't have valid opinions. This seems to affect our dramatically in our modern era, as many of our older folks are still around and skewing the generational differences towards conservatism.

Classism: Why do we feel it necessary to have a political class at all? Bush Sr., Mr. Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, (Ms. Clinton?). To me, it feels weird even asking these people to have differing views. They're all apart of the council on foreign relations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Members_of_the_Council_on_Fore...). Control+F either Clinton or Bush. This in my opinion, is why we won't change any neo-con/neo-lib policies anytime soon. Expect less worker rights, more outsourcing, more free trade, more deficits, and more protection of institutions deemed too big to fail (impossible in classical capitalism but not the crony kind).

Apathy: The US has killed many people in Iraq since 2003. If you crunch one version of account, it works out to 16 people every day, for 20 years. Yet most Americans are more concerned with their own internal matters. This seems like it could be extended to anything being committed outside of the US to other humans, including torture, enslavement, anything. The American people have already shown that if their bellies are full, then it doesn't matter how many people their government kills. How can anyone fix this?

Anyway, this to me seems like the major hurdles we all need to get over...

detcader 5 days ago 0 replies      
Skimming the article I see no mention of COINTELPRO, of which these programs are no doubt a continuation of at least spiritually. This would make sense given that this is the NY Times, and bringing up COINTELPRO would perhaps force them to admit racial/xenophobic dimensions and roots to these recent revelations (e.g. the USG's history of targeting civil rights and anti-war activism), instead of white guys fighting for other white guys' iPad Privacy..

>Swartz argued that it was sometimes necessary to break the rules that required obedience to the system in order to avoid systemic evil.

That paragraph would have been a perfect place in which to touch on the Church Committee and its origins. Does the author even know about it?

Honestly, most people with social power and influence don't seem to care about the revelations because they don't. They have nothing on the line -- their rights will never be threatened, nor will government programs like the endless War on Terror ever affect them (in ways that they will understand; "blowback" is evidently too intricate of a concept for most). Could that be because they're white men? Perish the thought

ck2 5 days ago 2 replies      
I was reading up on Jeremy Hammond as I knew less about him and this caught my eye:

The judge's husband has an email address released in the Stratfor disclosure and works with Stratfor clients, but the judge refuses to recuse herself (while threatening Hammond that he faces a life sentence).

Unmitigated gall.

washedup 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Systems are optimized for their own survival and preventing the system from doing evil may well require breaking with organizational niceties, protocols or laws. It requires stepping outside of ones assigned organizational role. The chief executive is not in a better position to recognize systemic evil than is a middle level manager or, for that matter, an IT contractor. Recognizing systemic evil does not require rank or intelligence, just honesty of vision."

It is natural for ALL systems, whether a political organization, company, terrorist organization, and even biological entities, to fight change and keep the system in tact. We are now at a point where we can critically assess our social organizations from a humanistic perspective and ask if they are really adding value or not.

It is very, very exciting. Also scary.

nl 5 days ago 1 reply      
I think this is a very powerful & well reasoned piece.

I have a feeling that many of those who should read it will be unduly distracted by the gender issues around Manning.

anandabits 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's nice to see discussion in mainstream media applying Arendt to the policies and practices of the United States. I've been talking about this for some time now.

Spreading awareness of how institutional behavior can lead to evil actions is extremely important. We have learned a lot about power, evil, oppression, etc since the structure of the modern democratic state was created. We can and need to do much better.

coldcode 5 days ago 1 reply      
Plato said "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
jonmrodriguez 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think this otherwise-great article is weakened by its praise of Manning. Unlike the heroic Snowden, Manning leaked an enormous bulk of documents that she didn't actually review in detail, which showed little to no wrongdoing relative to the bulk of the texts leaked. This seems useless, reckless, and spiteful. http://www.quora.com/Chelsea-formerly-PFC-Bradley-Manning/Is...
EGreg 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is why we have checks and balances between three branches of government -- to make sure no one branch gets too much leeway to get disconnected from what everyone else thinks is ok.

Similarly, people set up governments for societies but they also have a culture, and an idea of what is "beyond the pale". An insular culture can slowly become disconnected from the rest of the people, even in government which gets feedback through voting and other limited means. Thus, individuals possessing a "moral sense" who are hired to work in the government may in fact engage in whistleblowing. Governments recognize this and many offer limited protections to this activity. Of course, if they are too far gone in how much they disconnect from the people's preferences, then they might seek to screen heavily when hiring new people, to make sure they don't have this "liability". And thus make themselves even more insular.

At the end of the day, SECRECY is the source of many of the problems. Secret laws and secret courts like FISA which sometimes complain that they are being lied to by the executive branch -- but only during fortuitous court case does it even come to light. Or this: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/10/the-secr... ... nothing changed in the last two years. I am a liberal and I really liked Obama, but I despise his administration's stance on secrecy, and foreign policy, because it sets a terrible precedent.

Compare: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOp...

DanielBMarkham 5 days ago 6 replies      
You have to be very careful here about the argument that you're making.

If you're effectively saying that any individual has free reign to do whatever they desire with trade secrets, sensitive diplomatic information, and whatnot because of a moral injury they may feel the system is giving them, then you've effectively destroyed any form of organized human activity that involves trust or secrets.

Here's why: people get morally offended at all kinds of bullshit. It's totally dependent on the individual as to what pushes their buttons.

So yes, good people in bad systems do really bad things. Lots of Nazis were working boring jobs as part of the system that exterminated millions of people. But as a society we generally do not hold these people accountable for such actions. After WWII most of those folks kept right on working boring jobs, this time rebuilding the country instead of operating concentration camps.

Whether or not those people are supposed to feel guilt or revulsion at their own actions is a moral question -- a question between each of them and their own standard of what the universe expects of them. Confusing personal decisions with public ones is a good way to muddle your thinking.

cappsjulian 5 days ago 0 replies      
"a statement about what happens when people play their 'proper' roles within a system, following prescribed conduct with respect to that system, while remaining blind to the moral consequences of what the system was doing or at least compartmentalizing and ignoring those consequences."

Like Todd in Breaking Bad, who is in fact a neo-nazi.

mark212 5 days ago 0 replies      
You'll forgive me if I don't put reading someone's email on the same moral plane as the premeditated murder of 12 million people during the Holocaust.
twoodfin 5 days ago 4 replies      
Notably missing from this piece: An argument that valid responses to perceived abuses include massive, indiscriminate data dumps, repeatedly bypassing MIT's network access controls and/or taking laptops full of classified information to Moscow.
The new Galaxy Note 3 is region-locked gigaom.com
345 points by pjmlp  3 days ago   222 comments top 37
nailer 3 days ago 9 replies      
Disappointing, but not a surprise:

1. Galaxy S 3 includes undeletable Pizza Hut bookmark http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1707047

2. Galaxy custom web browser allows random web sites to make links that wipe and reset the phone: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/117422-samsung-galaxy-s-3-re...

edward 3 days ago 7 replies      
My HP printer is region-locked. When I moved from Europe to the US it refused to accept ink cartridges bought in the US.
casca 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think that this is a great opportunity to clarify laws. There are a few EU countries that require phones to be SIM-unlocked at the end of contracts. The question is - will this fall foul of those laws, as people can use the device with other carriers in Europe but not outside? There will presumably be a court case around this (as it's the first one) and the result will probably force even more openness for EU citizens based on Neelie Kroes' previous successes.
parennoob 3 days ago 1 reply      
Buy something else. Stat. It doesn't matter even if this is just a sticker put up by some product marketing idiot, it shows that they feel good about imposing these region-specific restrictions in a phone that operates according to a global standard.

The nexus devices are generally good about this sort of thing. Most of Samsung's other carrier-partnered phones are loaded with absolute crap anyway, this is another good reason not to buy them.

davidw 3 days ago 2 replies      
I recently went to the US for a few weeks. My Nexus 4 worked just fine with a US SIM from T-Mobile. $70 for a month for voice and data was worth it, and everything worked quite nicely. Big +1 for unlocked products!
nicpottier 3 days ago 3 replies      
Pure speculation here, but my guess is that this has to do with different models being certified by different bodies. IE, perhaps the model sold in Europe is subtly different and hasn't passed FCC or some other certification for use in the states, ergo, they lock them to where they HAVE been certified.

Doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't buy it, but I don't think it is something that is done for some evil reason as some will jump to.

incongruity 3 days ago 3 replies      
If this is driven by carrier request, as the article speculates, then it is yet another example of how the mobile market is broken... Are phone manufacturers selling to consumers/end-users or are they selling to networks/providers? You can't do both, equally -- at least not at the moment -- because the carrier's interests and profit models generally directly conflict with the interests of consumers. Until the wireless industry works a bit harder to align themselves to the needs of their consumers, stuff like this is going to happen. The exception are models like Apple's where they've figured out how to consistently drive profits by focusing on the consumer and using the phone as a platform for selling other things (i.e.: apps and content like movies and music) -- the carriers are almost incidental in Apple's model. Almost.
DominikR 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has the same sticker and works with every SIM.

It's just that Samsung lacks focus and is incompetent at communicating with its customers and non Korean employees.

Probably some idiot manager in Europe decided to put this sticker on the case and they don't know about it (or didn't understand this) in their headquarter.

biafra 3 days ago 0 replies      
This (german) source says that the free of charge unlock by a Samsung service partner will make the device accept any SIM-Card. So it is not locked to the new region:http://allaboutsamsung.de/2013/09/samsung-gibt-statement-gal...

But why Samsung? Why?

da_n 3 days ago 0 replies      
I own a Galaxy Note 2 and decided quite soon after I would never buy Samsung again even though I think it is a great piece of hardware. The issue is they promised to release sources for certain drivers and never actually did, CyanogenMod said they would not officially support the device[1]. Samsung feel like an anti-consumer company, them pulling a stunt like this would not surprise me[2].

[1] Thankfully they did just recently release a stable version.

[2] I also made the same decision about Sony years ago when they released rootkits on their CD's.

sami36 3 days ago 0 replies      
if true, unconscionable. The FCC should get on this immediately. I, for one, would never ever buy a Samsung product again.if true
oliverw 3 days ago 1 reply      
I own a Samsung Galaxy S4 - and had a similar message on my box - "This product is only compatible with a SIM-card issue from a mobile operator within the Americas (The North, South and Central Americas and the Caribbean)". However it works perfectly well with European SIM Cards (tested with both Spanish and UK SIMs).
guard-of-terra 3 days ago 0 replies      
It makes precisely zero sense in today's intreconnected world. If this is true they're going to fail hard.
Mikeb85 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yet another reason to only buy unlocked, developer friendly phones.
kevinpet 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is probably about pricing in different markets. They can't sell cheaply in China if those devices end up on ebay being shipped to the US.
liquidcool 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a Note II and if you look on Wikipedia[1] you'll see there are 16 different models. Mine is one of the two designated as "International" and it was factory unlocked.

I think we need to hold judgement until all the facts are in. It's very possible that they will create an unlocked international version of the Note III as well. From the outcry, it sounds like it would sell well. Only question is if it will have the same limitation as the international Note II: no LTE.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_Note_II

Fando 3 days ago 1 reply      
Time for someone to create the most advance and far reaching global communication network using satellites, towers and other methods and charge everyone a small base fee for unlimited, global use. No contracts, no need for text, data etc packages, no need for roaming fees. Just one simple payment a month. Unlimited roaming, calling, data, texts, multimedia messages, voicemail, call forwarding, etc. Big communication companies of the day will die, as they should. Easy communication for all, no bs.
jsz0 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's probably to stop people from importing cheaper devices from other regions. Samsung wants the flexibility to price devices differently by region/market and that doesn't work if the consumer can import the cheapest one instead. This will probably continue to escalate because the way the market is heading prices have to get lower in expanding/poorer markets while customers in established/wealthier markets are willing to pay more. This is a side effect of trying to win the race to the bottom on price.
Fuxy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Guess I won't be buying a Note 3. Sorry Samsung I use my money to vote and I vote not to accept your terms.
th0br0 3 days ago 1 reply      
My SGS4 actually had a similar sticker ..."European model - this product is only compatible with a SIM-card from one of the following countries..."
csense 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is a great business model from the standpoint of making profits (less so from the standpoint of ethics or consumer satisfaction).

Most people don't travel internationally very frequently, and region locking is not something that's marketed, so they only discover it when they actually travel, and then they're forced to buy another phone!

Forget region locking, can't they inflate their profits further at their customers' expense if they just use GPS or tower location to deactivate the phone when the user gets 200 miles from home? That would increase your market from international travelers to domestic travelers...

cbhl 3 days ago 2 replies      
Different regions have different frequencies, so this might just be a warning that the Note 3 isn't penta-band.
grannyg00se 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm eagerly awaiting some clarification on this. I was going to buy a note 3 the day it becomes available through my carrier. If there is no workaround to the region locking I'll stick with my blackberry 9900 until a better option comes along (perhaps the HTC One Max).
rapht 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at Twitter and at Google's first 50 results on Note 3, I can't help but wonder : is the marginal profit they expect from region-locking so high that it will pay for all the bad buzz?

At first sight, even though pricing differences exist between regions around the world, on this kind of products they are not that big, not to mention that that part of these price differences come from retailing alone...

So these differences must be big enough to justify alienating your early adopter userbase, thus endangering the whole adoption process, not to mention bad PR that will stick. When you try too hard to get every cent out of people and they start seeing it - and any locking of that kind screams "I'm going to get more juice out of this" - they generally don't like it.

mercurial 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a happy Galaxy Note 2 user, that's extremely disappointing. Unless they do an about-face shortly, they've just lost a customer.
rythie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing this an attempt at Price Discrimination:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination
eitland 3 days ago 3 replies      
Last time I asked a Canadian shop (staples and one other I think) for local sim card I had to explain the concept of a separate sim card in detail.

Are sim cards more common now (or is this the one place where Americans has an edge on Canadians? ;-)

livejamie 3 days ago 0 replies      
Samsung Germany issued a statement on the issue. Apparently, more flagships will be regionally locked, but users will get to unlock the phones at Samsungs service centers.


lurkinggrue 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm still getting one but since I'm on sprint I never expected to use the phone outside my region.

Can't want to have it rooted and remove as much of touchwiz as I can while I wait for cyanogen to get ported.

antihero 3 days ago 0 replies      
What possible reason have they got to do this? Do they really think that customers buying multiple phones will make up from the lost sales from people who wont?
FridayWithJohn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank goodness I went for the HTC One instead then. I've personally bought local SIM cards in Germany, Sweden, Spain, UK (where I got it from) and South Africa.
WaterSponge 3 days ago 0 replies      
Haven't seen this mentioned. The phones are region locked only until activated with a SIM from that Region. This way phones have to be used in there home market. I suppose this is for controlling exports from UK or South America to US.

A side... Sprint Iphones SIM SLOT are technically unlockable by Sprint but only to regions/carriers not the US.

gesman 3 days ago 1 reply      
I bet Samsung was hoping to "quietly" trick customers and keep kickbacks from carriers.

Welcome to the real world!

hornetblack 3 days ago 0 replies      
So Australian's won't be able to import them for the ~$100 saving.

(US price ~$740 in AUD, Aus ~$880)

taigeair 3 days ago 0 replies      
Samsung has really bad support for their phones. Not a fan.
whydo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Some unlocked and more open alternatives: Nexus, Firefox OS
devx 3 days ago 0 replies      
This just goes to show that companies will put as many DRM restrictions as possible on their devices and content, if there's no backlash, just because they "think" it would be a good idea to do it. I wish the general public would fight more against DRM, instead of simply accepting it by saying stuff like "but that's the only way I can use X". It sends companies the wrong message.
Why Free Software Is More Important Now Than Ever Before wired.com
325 points by hexis  1 day ago   251 comments top 18
memset 1 day ago 8 replies      
I (like many of us) have been reading and following RMS for many years now. It is fascinating how things that I used to feel were impractical about his ideas ("if proprietary software gets the job done, then why shun it? We live in a world where we must be practical, etc.") now seem imperative.

This point struck home with his mention of education: how frustrating it is that so much of it lives in, say, Matlab, as compared to any other numerical package!

How frustrating that we all depend on Microsoft Excel (or Google Docs) to do pivot tables!

How frustrating that we depend on github to store our code.

How frustrating that we depend on AWS for our servers.

I spend a lot of my professional life migrating from one closed system (eg, deployments on Rackspace to AWS; cc processing from PayPal to Braintree; accounting from Quickbooks to Netsuite) to another.

I wonder if, in practice, so many of these frustrations would have been alleviated if we, as an industry, had adopted the "impractical" view of insisting on using only free software.

rmrfrmrf 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would highly encourage anyone who hasn't heard Richard Stallman speak before to look up a few interviews with him before reading this article. This article is written exactly how he speaks, so the tone and cadence are much more dynamic if you have the proper background.

I have to say that Stallman very recently inspired me to start contributing to open source projects. A few weeks ago, I made my first (one word, lol) contribution to an open source project on Github. As minor of a fix as my code was, it felt really great to be part of something like that. It also caused me to do a lot of introspection: I found myself, up until that point, becoming flat-out bored with "consuming" content. I now find myself, rather than frequenting (ok, I still frequent) HN, looking for open questions on StackOverflow to answer or finding open source projects to contribute to. I wonder if that's a sign that, eventually, communities like Reddit and HN will be usurped by social media sites that focus less on consumption and more on contribution. Based on my recent experiences with contribution, I strongly encourage everyone else to do the same; it's really a much more rewarding way to procrastinate!

ginko 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Non-free software still makes the users surrender control over their computing to someone else, but now there is another way to lose it: Service as a Software Substitute, or SaaSS, which means letting someone elses server do your own computing activities.

I have lots of respect for RMS and I very much agree with his stance against SaaS, but I feel creating FSF versions of terms is only harming the message he is trying to tell. It reminds me of 1984's newspeak in a way.

chernevik 23 hours ago 6 replies      
I am constantly amazed by and grateful for free software. I write with vi, code in python, work with data in MySQL and Postgres, grapple with text with sed and awk and a host of utilities. I teach courses on MySQL, I think the Windows / closed approach has unnecessarily deadened the average user's ability to appreciate and explore and use their computers. Open source, as idea and software, is great.


"When you use proprietary programs or SaaSS, first of all you do wrong to yourself, because it gives some entity unjust power over you. . . . It also wrongs others if you make a promise not to share."

Yeah, why? Because RMS says so? There is NO possibility of a closed source usage that is "just"? Is there anything like an argument for this, outside of some Marxist-derivative account of the inevitability of economic structures? That closed source might be bad is possible -- that it is so bad that no reasonable person of good will can possibly hold some other opinion really isn't.

Freedom is the right to make decisions, and some times bad decisions. Claiming authority to judge the bad, and thus invalid, decisions, really lays the foundations for some serious power moves. Maybe RMS thinks corporations and free contract and market forces are some kind of sham, and maybe he's right, but it isn't as if there isn't another point of view. Why do I have to sign up with a core ideology to be supportive of open source? Actually, why do I have to sign up with an ideology that sounds positively hostile to a lot of what I think and believe?

The technical arguments for open source are tremendous. The ethical arguments for it aren't bad. But setting the whole debate in terms agreement with one man's morality is a non-starter for me.

Now I can use and support open software without signing up for the whole ideology. And I do. But the two are so associated that I often feel my own integrity requires using some bandwidth expressing disagreement with large chunks of the "open source philosophy". That's a poor use of time, and it diffuses the best arguments. Insisting on open source as some moral imperative is poor philosphy, and poor rhetoric.

w1ntermute 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love how rms has been preaching for decades, while most of the tech community snidely ignored him. And yet, in the end, everything he warned about turned out to be right.
bluecalm 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I am for one ok with propriety software. A lot of people want to make money by writing closed binaries and a lot of people want to buy them. Arguable a lot of cool things came out of this model.In ideal world you could write your software, make it open source so advanced users could hack/verify security of it and still don't lose any (or many) customers, unfortunately it doesn't work that way in our world.

What I am not ok with though are monopolies, lock-ins and influencing education. There is no excuse to teach/use/promote any of the propriety software in schools. There is no reason to use any of that in government institutions. If one vendor has so prevalent position that there is no (or almost none) alternative then it's a monopoly and it's time to deal with it using antitrust laws (which by the way aren't nearly strong enough these days). If there is no free alternative developing it is great project for government to sponsor.

If people not force-feed Excel, Word, Photoshop, Matlab etc. during their education days still want to use that for convenience later in their career - let them. Just give them real choice by educating them with open tools.

b1daly 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I know I'm not unique in being bugged by RMS's ideas but I do feel the need to attempt to articulate why. There has been, in the rarified world of tech commenters, an increasing number of people claiming Stallman has been proven correct by recent events. This seem to converge around the rise of iOS propriety "walled garden" (and similar systems) and the Snowden leaks.

I don't see it. The argument shouldn't be that systems have come to dominate that are closed.Stallman is making a moral argument, as such there need to be proportional harms being enabled by such closed systems.

Potential harms are not the same as actual and his arguments seem to focus on those. In the mean time the world goes about its business and people are happily using all sorts of software. Along with free (as in beer) software like that of Google, and relatively secure systems like those of the big tech companies, many are also use various flavors of "libre" and open source software.

An accounting of harms, potential or otherwise, needs to have benefits included, otherwise it remains an exercise in ideology.

This nags at me as well in hysterical discussions of NSA spying, which sometimes strike me as a sophisticated form of chicken littleism.

If one stubbornly sticks to an absolutist form of ideology for many years, eventually some of the predicted harms, or at least similar ones, might come to pass. But this didn't mean the ideology is correct. Without a more complete and balanced analysis it's hard to say.

I feel similarly about the absolute conviction displayed by some that NSA spying is an absolute wrong. While it does seem badIn some ways, it is not a slam dunk in my view. I can see some value in spying if it substitutes for more violent methods of control, and if it does actually lessen crime/terrorism.

chestnut-tree 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I am fine with closed-source applications. For me, the most important thing is open file formats, protocols and codecs. Open formats, protocols and codecs should not be owned by any company.

Most programs manipulate data in some way. Open formats let you switch from one program to another without losing your data. It opens up opportunities for paid, free or SaaS solutions and users can choose whatever suits them best. For most people, their concern is about their data: what happens if they stop using program x which manipulates their data in a proprietary file format.

PDF is a good example of this - once a proprietary file format, it is now an open standard. There are dozens, if not hundreds of free and paid-for programs that let you create, edit, view or save PDF files. (Some of the Free Software viewers are better than Adobe's bloated Reader software.)

Just imagine what the state of graphics programs might be if Photoshop PSD files or Illustrator ai files were open formats? Or if everyone used a common word-processing or spreadsheet format?

jamesaguilar 1 day ago 6 replies      
Admire him for his dedication, and for his sacrifice, but his message is not getting through, and it's getting through less each day. Freedom is not an end to most people, it is a means (source: I'm one of those people). I'm not sure what tack he needs to take, but the current one is not going to suddenly start working after so many years of not.
pekk 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You give inspiration, but what are your sources? Are you a personal witness?
comex 1 day ago 1 reply      
As much as his core message is debatable, it's usually pretty coherent and logical. However, I'd like to criticize one specific part of this essay: the claim that Chrome auto-updates are a "universal backdoor". Although silent updates tend to viscerally feel a bit creepy, they differ little in practical consequence from regular click-through ones: it's not like most users verify the binaries of every package update on their system, so having the user click through just makes an attacker with a fake update wait a little longer. Note that Chrome auto-updates can be turned off, and both the updater and the updated software are (mostly) open source and you are free to compile your own version, so it's hard for me to see the problem.

(for the record - it would be nice to have a system to prevent one server from distributing malicious updates to one user, perhaps by verifying with multiple independently owned servers. However, I do not know of any mainstream software that does that, including free Linux distributions, so it's unfair to criticize Chrome for the lack.)

dcre 1 day ago 2 replies      
I feel similarly about this to the way I feel about vegetarianism: doesn't eating 95% less meat have virtually the same effect as eating 100% less? (Not that I've reduced my meat intake by that much.) I don't really believe that consequences are the only thing that matters (and RMS seems like someone who would agree with that). I guess I'm weak-willed.

How many people read his perspective, agree with it (or at least have it resonate deeply with them), and yet still use plenty of non-free software? Google Search, Gmail, virtually any iOS or Android app, .NET, Windows, Adobe, etc. I know I do.

keithpeter 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice article to point students at: software has less 'valence' for them than, say, clothing (c.f. No Logo, Naomi Klien) and so we might get a discussion going.

I'm surprised that noone has mentioned the recent restarting of the gNewSense project, version 3.0 is Debian Squeeze with blobs removed. I'm posting this using the live ISO from a USB stick with a USB wifi adaptor (Thinkpads have wifi cards that need closed firmware). Everything else works. The release announcement was posted on HN but only gathered 3 points...

GeneralMayhem 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm still not sure, after all these years of almost identical rants and writings, that I fully understand RMS's views. I don't see why freedoms 2 and 3 (distribution) have anything to do with freedoms 0 and 1 (control). If you want to know what's happening to your data, all you need to know is what's happening on your computer, which means you need to see the source. That's a cause I agree with 100%. I don't understand why you also need to be able to give a copy to your friend.
auggierose 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I respect RMS and his point of view. But I don't believe in any religion, not even the RMS variety.
itchitawa 1 day ago 6 replies      
Sadly, the word "free" always has strings attached. For GNU, the GPL license disallows "The freedom to make and distribute copies of your modified versions, when you wish." You're not allowed to attach non-free code or remove the over-complex license agreement, which can make the whole software useless for many purposes. It's not right to call GPL software free, it should rather be "no cost and slightly restricted use".
EGreg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
RMS pretty much saying the same thing he always says, but this time in Wired.
wslh 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am waiting for the GNU mea culpa.

While I strongly support free software movements, they are not up to the height of the current circumstances. How can I replace my mobile phone OS (and hardware) with a free and completely open source? I am waiting for that. It seems the new mobile trend (iOS/Android) caught them off guard.

Mozilla's New Fira Typeface github.com
313 points by potch  5 days ago   128 comments top 30
crazygringo 5 days ago 3 replies      
Very nice. It's awfully similar to Droid Sans, but the slightly lower x-height, and more more "playful" elements (like the gap in the lowercase 'g', the curve at the bottom of the lowercase 'l') make it bit more playful and legible. Above all, it feels more balanced, and accomplished, than Droid Sans.

Excellent work.

fdb 5 days ago 3 replies      
zanny 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hey look, its already in the AUR:




Who needs firefox OS (I do have the in-browser emulator running, though), I just changed my system font to this. I'll have opinions after a days usage.

andmarios 5 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting. The character for greek k (kappa - ) is wrong though. The vertical line of the greek k doesn't rise above the rest of the character. It might seem small but it really strikes as ugly and wrong for anyone used to the language.
potch 5 days ago 2 replies      
Direct link to the specimen page: http://mozilla.github.io/Fira/
TheSwordsman 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is a beautiful looking font and I could definitely see myself adopting it when typing papers.

I'd love to use it in my terminal, but my only problem is the zero isn't dotted or slashed. My terminal font is stupid-small (I think 10pt), and the 0 and O looking similar has bitten me in code a few times.

Well, shit...

Samuel_Michon 5 days ago 2 replies      
Hmm. Looks like FF Meta optimized for screens. Odd that Mozilla and Erik Spiekermann felt this justified having its own name.

I made a quick side by side comparison between Fira and Meta Pro: http://i.imgur.com/Oo3yeYx.png

VeejayRampay 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to the next version of the typeface, Firaga.
jammmuel 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not a fan. I just don't get why they adapted FF Meta. It's overly complex (the 'g' for example), and not a great display font. They should strive for simplicity, rather than individuality.Android's Roboto and iOS's Helvetica Neue achieve this, my personal preference being for for latter.
wernah 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm really curious as to why they would use images over font-face in the style guide examples http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/styleguide/products/firefox-os/.... As a designer you want to see how the typeface performs in the wild, not snaps of it with some arbitrary aliasing.

It's not a bad typeface, although the kerning on the light weight needs a lot of work. If you're wondering what I mean, look at the word 'quick'.

sillysaurus2 5 days ago 5 replies      
Does anyone know how/why Helvetica wound up the most appealing font?

Publishing content with Helvetica font seems to give the content an automatic, unconscious boost in credibility. Why is that?

It seems to be a primal reaction rather than a learned behavior. Helvetica looks the best to me because it looks the best, not because someone else said so.

ChikkaChiChi 5 days ago 0 replies      
I like it but I tried it on two different monitors and it looks reddish?

I'm guessing that's something to do with anti-aliasing but I haven't noticed it before...

cypher543 5 days ago 4 replies      
I'm not a typography expert, so this looks like a hundred other fonts I've seen. Why does every OS need its own custom font?
stevewillows 5 days ago 2 replies      
The dot on the lower case 'i' is so high! Outside of that, it looks alright, but still needs some work.
nwienert 5 days ago 1 reply      
Letter spacing seems wide and overall kerning seems messy, but I don't know much about fonts.

Here's a link with some actual screenshot examples:


cpeterso 4 days ago 0 replies      
The typeface's original name was Feura: https://twitter.com/espiekermann/status/359353798663221248

  Why change from Feura to Fira? English-speakers pronounce it as Fjura, not Foyra. And  Fjura sounds like Fhrer. Not good.

quarterto 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice! I wonder if they deliberately made it close enough to FF Meta that the Firefox wordmark is recognisable?
nwh 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not a fan of it all, but massive congratulations for them including the different weights properly.
caiob 5 days ago 4 replies      
Fira mono looks good.
dsego 5 days ago 1 reply      
I love the small g. Notice the differences between normal and italics (especially a, e, f, g, k). It's not just slanted, but curvier as well. Really makes it stand out.
tommmmmm 5 days ago 0 replies      
Overall I like it a lot, but I don't like that the sides of the capital M are so slanted. It sticks out a lot in the third screenshot: http://mozorg.cdn.mozilla.net/media/img/styleguide/products/...
Eduard 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hm, currently no capital letters ''XYZ'' on the demo page.
thomasjonas 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure about the hinting on the font, or maybe it's the rendering in the browser. It just doesn't seem that smooth.
digitalzombie 4 days ago 0 replies      
The zero and O is similar aw. Other wise it's pretty nice.
ksikka 5 days ago 0 replies      
Nice font! The demo site could use taller lines. (increase line-height)
dutchbrit 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice font face, just a shame that Mozilla spends time making web fonts while their actual browser is crap at rendering them. Sa-a-aaad....
MushCraze 4 days ago 0 replies      
I like it!

Clarity, share, curve. Bold, italicize.

antonpug 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ugly as fuck. Can anyone make something that actually beats Helvetica Neue?
magg 5 days ago 0 replies      
is this gonna be the default font on firefox desktop and mobile?
gprasanth 4 days ago 1 reply      
Obligatory link to xkcd - http://xkcd.com/927/
Thoreau 2.0 static.pinboard.in
308 points by anu_gupta  1 day ago   51 comments top 14
sdevlin 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Is the Thoreau in the Thoreau 2.0 picture wearing Google Glass glasses? As I understand Thoreau, he would today look exactly as he looked then. He surrounded himself with vegetables, beans, trees, critters, and such. Maybe a t-shirt or other more casual clothing than the high-collared stuff in his photograph, but I don't see him using any latest technology. Rather I see him shunning it. I would expect Thoreau would look and act the same if her lived a thousand years from now or a thousand years ago -- connecting with and valuing bean fields, ponds, winter animals, farms, and other parts of nature where people live harmoniously with it.

I'm fairly confident that was a joke.

tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
He's got something interesting to say about the event itself, too:


pixelmonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought this section was particularly good:

"""He was obsessed with how complexity can creep into unexpected corners of your life, disguised as necessity. He gives the example of a farmer who convinces himself he must eat meat in order to stay strong. Since meat is expensive, the farmer tills more land in order to afford it. And the harder he works, the hungrier he gets, in a vicious spiral.

[...] What I had thought was a convenience had actually been the foundation for a little pyramid of anxieties.

[...] I'm intrigued by this idea of complexity being something adversarial, that sneaks into your life, like a cockroach, and you have to fight to eradicate."""

Doesn't just apply to life, but also to software and startups.

I've been running a tech startup about as long as Maciej (though with a very different path / business), and I sometimes wonder about the complexities we now take for granted, 4 years in.

Not just complexities of our business, but also the infrastructure we've re-built, re-factored, re-architected, etc. over the years and our own understanding of the problem space we've "mastered".

We've assembled this tapestry of tools, technologies, processes, cultural practices, customers, partners, etc. And as software engineers, we have "simply accepted" a certain level of complexity.

When the company first started in 2009, it was just two guys sending keystrokes into a fresh vim buffer. No "funding", no "process", no "brand" -- just creation. I think this is what creates nostalgia for the early days of a company's life -- it's the purity and simplicity of it.

I wish I had gotten Maciej's advice earlier and kept a journal.

justinator 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not trying to be snarky, but, "Being an Entrepreneur", and, "Be very much like Thoreau"are two very disparate goals.

I would very much like everyone to read Walden - it's a wonderful, incredible, life-changing book. But the feeling I get at the end is not, "Man, I should start a business, where people can post up images of things they want! And then other people can see if they want them! And then, then! We can advertise!"

The feeling you get, after reading the book - well, the feeling I got was more, "I'm still in this system, I want out, I can't, the world is truly monstrous". We can all live in our own little cabins in the woods for a little while, we can all do our own little civil disobedience - but like young adults, most of us grow out of it, because to hold this course is very hard and greed is a very easy trap to fall into.

If you like Thoreau, one of the most obvious path to take would then be Emerson and his essays. They're all wonderful, but I don't know what lessons you learn from them can be applied to "start a business with someone elses money that hopefully goes public", except that that itself is a fool's errand. I don't know what either would say about social media or whatever it's called know, execept that it's simply abstracts the real nature of actual interaction, into something that's lost the important parts of it. What would Thoreau say about working so long hours typing away at a keyboard? He would say that's the worst thing at all: work only as much as you want, and no more. That's a whole chapter in Walden. How many people here, truly do that?

Things to think about.

and also, what a lame title for a talk - there already WAS a Walden Two, and, for a sci-fi book, it's not half bad. Kinda weak, but worth a read [0]


And it itself was a take on how to bring Thoreau idea into a community setting. It's a little more than, "Write journals!", and "Know Yourself!". This talk - trying to take a masterpiece book, and apply it to your life, and trying to talk about it in bite-sized chunks.... it's not working for me. Show me, don't tell me.

kennon42 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you liked Maciej's talk, you should definitely check out his blog: http://idlewords.com

Warning: kiss the next several hours goodbye because he's simply an outstandingly interesting and funny writer - imagine something like a cross between Bill Bryson and Douglas Adams and you wouldn't be too far off the mark.

jamesbritt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some info about Henry David Thoreau, including how to correctly pronounce his last name.


graeme 1 day ago 5 replies      
For those who do journaling: how do you do it?

Paper? Software? Either way, what kind of system do you have for organizing your notes?

dot 1 day ago 0 replies      
if you're inspired by Thoreau, I recommend you check out Dick Proenneke's little film "Alone in the Wilderness".

First 10 minutes here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss

alexpopescu 1 day ago 2 replies      
> This is a picture of me in 2009, right around when I started Pinboard. I'm standing on a balcony in Botosani county, Romania, in the poorest county in the European Union.

I had no idea (based on his name) that Maciej started Pinboard in Romania.

gavinpc 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the spirit of the OP's message, I am bookmarking this page, with Ctrl+D.
ansimionescu 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a Romanian I feel compelled to say that we're far from the poorest economy in EU/Europe. Romania is still a standard Eastern European/post-communist hellhole (although slowly improving), but not _that_ poor.
dominotw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now I have portlandia song stuck in my head. Dream of the 90's is alive in portland...portland.
throwawaw 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow, he's a really good writer. I didn't expect that to be such a pleasure to read.
bbg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Day 180: Finished jenniferdewalt.com
307 points by wallflower  23 hours ago   79 comments top 32
chestnut-tree 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Very inspiring. I think this reinforces the idea that regular practice every day (even if it's short practice) is often better than longer sessions done intermittently or spaced apart more widely (like once a week).

Here's another example of the "daily practice" approach from a different domain. A self-taught designer callled Mike Winkelmann has been posting his "everydays" on his website. From his site's description:

"Originally I started out drawing and did that everyday for a year. Then I decided I'd like to learn a 3D animation package so I did a render using Cinema 4D every day for two years. Then I did some photography and also Adobe Illustrator for a bit..."


Edit: Just to add, another great post on the idea of practicing everyday from a motion graphics designer. I think it's applicable to any field:


obilgic 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Now the next challenge 1 website in 180 days.
ufmace 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Cool project, and really cool on her actually sticking it out and producing a site a day for 180 days straight.

I am curious about her status/background. Is she in high school, college, out of school? Working a basic or full-time professional job? If she has a full-time job doing something else, it's a hell of a commitment to do something like this on an ongoing basis. I'm not sure how you could work 8+ hours a day, then come home and work on a project like this every day for 6 months straight. Even giving up more sleep than you should and any attempt to have a social life, it'd be tough to pull off.

It's a little different if this is the only thing she has going on right now. Not that it isn't still a great achievement - if I was in a position to do so, I'd be interested in hiring somebody with the intelligence, independence, and drive to complete a project like this with no definite payoff at the end. It may even be better that she can maintain a reasonable work-life balance on a long-term project and not burn out.

I'm working on my own project outside of work, but I sure couldn't spend 8-ish hours on it every day over the course of 6 months while still working at my normal job.

bobbles 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Full list of the 180 websites on the main page: http://jenniferdewalt.com/
ryan-allen 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool experiment, lots of discipline and lots of creativity. I poo-pooed the experiment in the past as the author described no programming experience prior, which I disputed. But irregardless, this is pretty awesome in my opinion, especially because the project was continued to completion, and that in itself is a 0.5% thing.

Inspiring effort.

thenomad 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Massive congratulations to her.

I'm about to start on a similar project myself, and seeing Jennifer complete her 6-month journey is both encouraging and quite a high bar to beat!

enry_straker 21 hours ago 3 replies      
This is awe inspiring.

Programming is a hand-on activity, and the best way to learn programming is by doing it every day, in every way, till you can do it in your sleep.

Pent 22 hours ago 2 replies      
The entire journey is very inspiring. I wonder what she will do now that it's done? You could take this idea and run with it into other niches, like music or photography projects.
faddotio 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Lesson from Day 180: 99% of user generated content sucks.
mattholtom 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations! This must have taken an incredible amount of personal discipline to accomplish. I can't even bring myself to floss for 180 consecutive days!
ValentineC 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats, Jennifer! Now that you're done with 180 websites in 180 days, what's next in life?
mjhea0 3 hours ago 0 replies      
great job, jennifer. you basically put yourself through an intense bootcamp. the amount of technologies you had to learn is inspiring and you've really taught yourself how to learn a new concept/technology quickly.

did you track your hours?

what's next? build a course. get it on kickstarter. start freelancing. contact me. i'll hire you. :)

on a side note, i cannot believe some of things others have said. it's sad. what's worse, is the lack of moderation. don't let a few naysayers ruin what you've accomplished.

congrats again. cheers!

shiftpgdn 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The lack of rate limiting on the chat box didn't take long to cause things to descend into chaos:http://i.imgur.com/IhaqMR3.png
damncabbage 22 hours ago 2 replies      
... "Paul Graham is gay"? http://i.imgur.com/UTk9DlM.png
mmanfrin 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Falling words are user-generated.
BWStearns 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats Jennifer! I am quite impressed by the dedication you showed. Good luck in your future efforts!
hawkharris 22 hours ago 6 replies      
I was really taken aback by the "Paul Graham is Gay" in the background. Seems like that line is in poor taste unless there's some inside joke, which is not mean-spirited, that I don't know about.

Other than that, great work. I admire the author's dedication and her ability to create so many great apps on such a tight deadline.

kyro 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Coulda probably done all that in a weekend.

Just kidding, great job! What's next? I'm sure you've already received a handful of job offers.

SlowButEffectiv 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, actually, the quotes are whatever the public keys in the field on the page.
jbenn 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing and inspiring... how did you find the time to do this? Were you employed?
ateevchopra 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hope more newcomers will learn from you and make such goals. Not just in the field of Web Development, but also other fields. Thanks for always sticking to your goal. Good Luck !
ratsimihah 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Why the heck is it raining bacon?
kevonc 22 hours ago 0 replies      
that's pretty impressive. usually a web idea takes more than a day to execute, not including the learning part.
zemo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
stop flooding her server you assholes.
holyZoso 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool! Where does the "Say something! > Send" field go when I click send?

EDIT: Nevermind, it looks like the confetti dots were previously words, and displayed unfiltered user input from the form. Always hilarious, always dangerous, this thing with the unmoderated user input.

npras87 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, Jennifer. You inspire me!
epic9x 20 hours ago 0 replies      
congrats! I remember seeing your first post and sticking with it. start day 181 by rewarding yourself - you earned it!
dmak 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the site down?
kirklove 10 hours ago 0 replies      
fedepyt 22 hours ago 1 reply      
type this into the browsers console: setInterval(function () { $.post('/node/hello_world/message', { message: 'lol' }); }, 1);
andyl 22 hours ago 2 replies      
A web page with photo of bacon and sushi? Congrats I guess.
PayPal Acquires Braintree for $800M techcrunch.com
307 points by paraschopra  3 days ago   175 comments top 51
Ixiaus 3 days ago 8 replies      
Boy, everyone is so negative about the purchase on here! Braintree's customer base is far too large at this point for PayPal to just shut it down; that would be terrible PR because Braintree is critical to many businesses at this point. It's also not that easy to just go rip out one processor for another on a huge legacy code base.

PayPal would be making things worse for themselves if they did that and this purchase, is IMHO, an attempt to make things better for them and to bring them into the modern software world. I'm sure they also acquired Braintree for their engineers!

tmuir 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm always amused when I read the statements from newly acquired companies. They refuse to call it what it is, a purchase, and instead frame it as an alignment, a partnership, anything that allows them to distract from the fact that they are no longer autonomous.
jacquesm 3 days ago 3 replies      
The big winner here is not Braintree (though all the founders and current investors are to be congratulated) but Stripe. PC & Co, keep at it :)
manishsharan 3 days ago 2 replies      
What is the rational behind this move?

From my perspective, Braintree had a good brand ( compared to paypal), locked-in customer base and sizeable cashflow (my conjecture based on their fees). Incumbents and first movers in this industry have a huge advantage over newcomers - so they were not as much at risk from newer start-ups. They were also risk averse in how they accepted new customers .

Could they not have restructured, focused on serving their existing customers rather than chasing growth, maybe downsized a bit, and gone for the long run viability with an IPO in about 5 years?

hpvic03 3 days ago 1 reply      
In the long run I suspect that this will be a huge win for Stripe.
shrikant 3 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like Braintree will have to change all their "we're not PayPal!" marketing now.
madaxe 3 days ago 2 replies      
Imagine how upset they'll be when they thought they were buying Braintree, but got some guy called Brian's tree.
chuckd1356 3 days ago 5 replies      
Congrats to Stripe for all the new users!
chromaton 3 days ago 2 replies      
This has put me off of Braintree and on to Stripe, but not for the reasons you might suspect. You see, I still want to take PayPal payments from my customers who prefer it. But it doesn't seem like a good business to have all my eggs in one basket, and using a competing payment system gives me the ability to switch PayPal off if they try any shenanigans.
rafski 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Speaking to RT News in Dublin, Stripe chief executive Patrick Collison said he and brother John have no plans to sell the company. He said they already have experience of selling a company early in their careers and saw what that involves."

http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2013/0903/471900-stripe-laun... The video interviews with Patrick are worth a look too.

Patrick is 24, his brother is even younger. I am with Stripe from the day they launched in Ireland, it was easy to choose them over the likes of Braintree and Paymill who aimed for simplicity but still required quite some formalities. Also, Paymill is Samwer brothers, a turn-off for some entrepreneurs and developers.

joshuak 3 days ago 1 reply      
We were just about to add payments to our site, and Braintree was high on the list to checkout. Any other suggestions in addition to Stripe?

-edit-This seems like a good list:http://gatewayindex.spreedly.com

billclerico 3 days ago 0 replies      
congrats to the team. building payments is hard (braintree has been at it since 2007) and it's great to see a successful exit for a solid team & company
nhangen 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's disappointing, because among that market segment, Braintree is the only one that offers phone support, and for that, I fancy them over Stripe, Balanced, and others.

That said, maybe now with Paypal support, they will reverse their stance on crowdfunding. If not, I'm desperate for a professional payment processor that doesn't ask me to send an email if I have an issue.

Judson 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Venmo, which was acquired by Braintree. Its no secret that PayPal wants to dominate mobile payments - yet, most people don't even know that you can send money to other people for free using PayPal (an essential component to mobile person to person payments).
jpswade 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you remember Google Checkout has been scrapped and merchants wont be able to accept payments after the 20th of November 2013. One of the three companies Google recommended as a replacement payment gateway was in fact Braintree.


bdcravens 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm amused that photo-sharing companies are more valuable than CC payment processing companies that actually generate revenue.
AhtiK 3 days ago 1 reply      
Title is a bit misleading, Braintree is not acquired by Paypal.

1. The transaction is planned between eBay and Braintree.

2. At this point eBay has plans to acquire Braintree (agreed to acquire).

m4tthumphrey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ouch. I feel for Braintree customers. I expect many of them chose them primarily because they were not PayPal.
jwblackwell 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well this has put me off ever using them.
harel 3 days ago 2 replies      
We are just about to start using BrainTree, for the only reason that they are not PayPal...
richardlblair 3 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of haters.

They had a successful exit, and for a good chunk of cash. This is a big win for the Braintree team. It's always good when people can cash out their shares.

hayksaakian 3 days ago 0 replies      
EBay recognized there are two types of people who pay online, those that like PayPal and those that don't. Now they can serve both.
dcc1 3 days ago 2 replies      
Paypal will kill it, PAYPAL are the absolute worst company in the world and terrible to for any new businesses who endup having their money "held" for ridiculous amounts of time, and no customer support.
Osiris 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious if PayPal will begin to shift to make accepting PayPal requests as simple as credit card. I suppose the problem with that is the need to supply a password, but they could change things in PayPal to use something like Google Authenticator to use a 6-digit pin, or perhaps a separate purchase-only password that cannot log into the account.

It would be great to be able to use the same API to accept credit card and PayPal payments. I currently use Braintree for CC payments but I have to have a completely separate workflow for PayPal payments.

sergiotapia 3 days ago 1 reply      
Boo! Paypal sucks and is a terrible company. I only use it when I'm forced to because I do not have access to international credit cards here in South America (where I live).

Too bad.

confluence 3 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone got stats on the acquisition split between owning parties (founders/investors/employees)?
misiti3780 3 days ago 0 replies      
Im happy for them, but you have to admit a lot has changed since this one was published:


artursapek 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how much Paypal has badgered Stripe for an acquisition.
fideloper 3 days ago 0 replies      
Did they want Venmo for it's ability to make payments online, or to kill competition that lets people give/receive payments "for free".
jval 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, if Braintree is worth $800M.. what must Stripe be worth?
bonemachine 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'd be curious as to what this would likely mean for an employee of Braintree (or Venmo) holding, say, a 0.25 to 1.5 precent equity slice (or option).

Note that I'm not asking anyone from either of those companies to leak, here. Just that I'd be curious what the payout (if any) would likely be in this scenario, drawing on past models.

Vvector 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Braintree" not "Briantree"
cvburgess 3 days ago 0 replies      
Although I am sticking with Stripe, I hope that they leverage features like Venmo with PayPal's (rather large) user base - mobile payments are terrible as it stands.

It'll be interesting to see if large partners (GitHub, AirBnB, etc) stay onboard through the transition or if they are coerced by competitors.

ahallock 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope Paypal handles this better than PayflowPro, which is a seriously neglected product acquired from Verisign . No support on the weekends, even if your account is having technical issues that disrupt customer payments.
prezjordan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just cashed out all my money on Venmo.
sailfast 3 days ago 0 replies      
While I like to see more competition in the marketplace, I think this is a smart move for Paypal and also a big milestone for a Chicago startup exit. Congratulations are in order to the Braintree team.
TomGullen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats to Braintree! My only concern is this is reducing competition in a market that desperately needs more competition.
janlukacs 3 days ago 0 replies      
We've just signed up with braintree the other day trying to flee PayPal (somehow i thought the deal won't go through). Let's hope for the best :)
Demiurge 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sight, will there ever be a PayPal alternative?
sweeps 3 days ago 2 replies      
We were in the middle of migrating from PayPal to Braintree for a marketplace solution. Anyone have documentation or comments on Stripe vs. Balancedpayments.com vs. Braintree for marketplaces?
JohnGB 3 days ago 0 replies      
Time to look for a new payment provider. Braintree stood out with their amazing service and support. Paypal stand out for their complete lack of competent service and support.
geori 3 days ago 0 replies      
WOW! Didn't see that one coming.
itchitawa 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's a pity all these "better-than-Paypal" companies only serve US/Canada/sometimes Europe. Paypal owns the whole rest of the world! Maybe they can now help internationalize Braintree instead of imposing their badness onto it. Also sad that you can't sell hair extensions with Braintree :?(
nakedrobot2 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess that's what Paypal used my "rolling reserve" for.
methodin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Let's hope Paypal adopts more of Braintree's practices than vice-versa.
pyfish 3 days ago 2 replies      
Wasn't Braintree owned by Wells Fargo, the worst bank ever? Yet Braintree itself was still awesome during that time. Let's hope that awesomeness continues under Paypal.
dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now it runs so smoothly..)

Btw, I think YC already peaked, isn't it?)

vladmk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Damn I just read about Braintree in Choose Yourself...now its being acquired for 800 Million...
saneshark 3 days ago 1 reply      
Rather than bickering about how this is bad for the market, why don't you folks write to the DOJ or your congressmen and voice your opposition?

The DOJ rightfully stopped the AT&T / T-Mobile merger in its tracks, who is to say that they wouldn't do something similar in this case?

CptCodeMonkey 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's too bad.
digerata 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who gives a shit as long as Stripe is still around.
Lanyrd: From idea to exit the story of our startup natbat.net
301 points by simonw  4 days ago   32 comments top 15
simonw 4 days ago 5 replies      
Natalie put a lot of work in to this (and we're suposed to be on holiday!). There's lots of great stuff in here - not just about the overall startup experience, but also advice on talking to press, raising money and building out the company.
javajosh 4 days ago 2 replies      
>Over time he completely re-architected the app to have a UI that is driven entirely from the server and doesnt need to go through the various app stores to release changes.

So I'm reading this and wondering: this differs from a webapp how exactly?

jcampbell1 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, thanks for putting this together. I really liked seeing the image of the press pack. It seems like a excellent example of what to do.
nswanberg 4 days ago 0 replies      
"An immensely useful lesson to learn is how to correlate all the conflicting advice and apply it to your own situation."

This appears to be the single most important way to get use from YCombinator (or from reading Hacker News). Even if it seems obvious, keeping this advice in mind also helps to avoid posting indignant comments on other startup advice threads.

Toenex 4 days ago 0 replies      
As a Brit working in a UK start-up it really is great to hear fellow Brits making it happen. Well done, you are spreading a little hope.
Samuel_Michon 4 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this brought back a memory for me too, even if just as a bystander. I was lucky to be able to attend dConstruct 2010, it was the most wonderful design conference Ive been to so far. All the presentations, by the likes of Merlin Mann, John Gruber, and David McCandless, were very inspiring.

It was a one day event and all the talks were held in the same space. At one point, the guys from Lanyrd came on stage and explained how the site worked. They asked all the attendees to tweet to @lanyrd and write that they are attending dConstruct. That way, everyone got automatically added on the Lanyrd site as attendees, with profile and everything. It was an impressive demo.

Until now, I didnt know that was the event when Lanyrd officially launched, it come across to me like theyd been polishing the app for ages.

govind201 4 days ago 1 reply      
That was refreshing. Congratulations on the journey and the exit Lanyrd!
julianpye 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a wonderful and inspiring story. Congrats to you both!
johns 4 days ago 1 reply      
Great post, thanks for taking the time to write it up.

I'm curious how the discussions got started with Eventbrite. Were you discussing another kind of partnership first? How close were your existing contacts?

danvoell 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good Story! Your next startup should be one in which someone can easily add text on top of photos in their blog, and then allow readers to easily share those (nuggets of wisdom) photos on Social Media with the click of a button.
jjoe 4 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations! Has the sum been disclosed?


ludicast 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats, a very sweet story. My wife is not interested in tech (though she has a very strong science background...) but working together would be a lot of fun (and stress).
reillyse 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can't help but notice from the "one click deploy" part that you are still using Jenkins!

Check out circleci.com you can do some really neat stuff around testing and deploying and it's a whole lot less painful.

Kiro 4 days ago 0 replies      
> One-click deploys

How is this typically achieved?

daker 3 days ago 0 replies      
Greeting from Morocco :)
Starting an Airline boeing.com
300 points by amerf1  5 days ago   222 comments top 20
Shenglong 5 days ago 10 replies      
Here's an investment banker joke I've been hearing oddly often recently: "How do you get a million dollars?" -> "Invest a billion dollars in the airline industry".

On a more serious note: there's a lot of talk on this page about the finance and logistics of starting a company like this - but I think the human factor is also worth mentioning. I fly a moderate amount, and whenever I have an hour or so to spare on a layover, I try to find interesting people to talk at the bar. While I've had varying levels of success, last layover at O'Hare, I spoke to a pilot who had been with a major airline for about a decade.

Having seen "Catch Me If You Can" and surmising that the situation must have changed, I asked him about his job. That was the most dismal response I've received from that question. We talked for about half an hour about how terribly pilots are treated, and how (maybe a bit of an exaggeration) a good number of beginner pilots for airlines are on food stamps because they're paid so poorly. I asked about benefits, and his response was, "just about every benefit you can think of is basically unusable." I asked him why he did it, and he told me that flying was like a drug.

Pilots are responsible for lives, and I'd feel a lot safer if my pilot was paid enough to survive. Yet, with dwindling margins and a thriftier consumer base, it's going to take a lot to disrupt this industry. In reality, I don't see anything major happening without some drastic innovation that cuts associated costs significantly in order to build up that margin.

pkorzeniewski 5 days ago 14 replies      
It blows my mind how people start such big businesses. You must build an airport, hire stuff, buy planes, meet many legal requirements and so on, all costing tens of millions of dollars, and on top of that, it must be profitable. This gives some insight, but still it's terryfing. I feel so small.
squidi 5 days ago 4 replies      
The airline industry has the lowest return on invested capital of any industry: http://centreforaviation.com/images/stories/2013/jul/05/ROIC...

This analysis from McKinsey is worth a read: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/Profitabili...

peckrob 5 days ago 7 replies      
There's a saying in the airline industry that goes something like this: "What's the fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline industry? Start with a billion dollars."

I don't work in the airlines, but I'm a private pilot with lots of friends and family who do work or have worked in the airlines (and in the aviation industry in general).

Expenses are high and often unpredictable, and profits are low. A lot of airlines operate on incredibly thin margins, where only one problem could push them into bankruptcy. Back in 2008, Frontier Airlines had to go into bankruptcy (and was ultimately acquired by Republic) due to a dispute with its credit card processor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_Airlines#Bankruptcy_an...

Competition is also fierce and is almost entirely price-based. While there have been a few attempts at competing on other metrics (there were several attempts to start business-class only airlines in the late 90s and early 2000s) have almost universally failed. In fact, the only one I can think of currently is OpenSkies, and it is backed by a major airline (British Airways).

It's also (as you would expect) a very complex regulatory and legal environment. Simply getting off the ground can take years of work.

I have idly thought about a small airline that would connect a handful of smaller towns across the Southeast that lack affordable or convenient air service to larger airports, where they could interconnect with the majors. But when I even begin to look at the numbers, despite what an exciting idea I think it could be, I know there is no way it would be successful.

acomjean 5 days ago 4 replies      
Will there be airplane purchases involved?

at least they give a handy price list.


These planes aren't cheap. More than a AWS, digital ocean and a linnode combined!

jonnathanson 5 days ago 0 replies      
There's been a big boom in small, regional jet airlines over the last few decades (Low Cost Carriers, or LCCs, sometimes known as Low Cost Regional Carriers). A lot of companies saw what Southwest and JetBlue were doing and figured they could do the same on a smaller scale: control costs by flying limited routes and serving smaller markets, where they could outcompete the bigger carriers on price [1]. Then, if things went well, maybe expand from there.

It's an incredibly crowded field now, and even many of the LCCs themselves collapsed.

[1] It seems a little counterintuitive, but in the airline business, there is almost a reverse economies-of-scale effect. This is because routes can't be flown on demand, but must be scheduled, and so you're maintaining a fixed supply while dealing with variable demand. You don't have a lot of fantastic levers to pull to deal with fluctuations in real time, because you can't redirect inventory (planes, crews, etc.) on demand, and canceling flights causes chain reactions across hubs and spokes.

This is why a lot of the big carriers have been cutting flights and routes like crazy in recent years. Faced with undersupplying or oversupplying the market -- and faced with all their other enormous costs -- they'd rather bet on undersupply. Passengers these days aren't incredibly loyal to any given airline, and they're very price conscious. They won't give you credit for having a bigger network; all they care about is getting from A to B right now, and finding the best price in so doing. So having a bigger network can often be a liability.

ewood 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is very cool. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has fantasized about starting an airline and doing it 'right' after an annoying flight. Probably not going to happen but at least I can read about it now.
johnmurch 5 days ago 0 replies      
Although going big is interesting, I am surprised no one has brought up http://www.surfair.com when thinking about starting an airlines. They seem to be doing well and although i do not have a membership (live on the east cost) I think it would be interesting to do the same thing from DC to NYC to Boston as I would be down for that!
pbj 5 days ago 0 replies      
There was a fascinating article on HN a few months ago (don't have the link handy at the moment) about how most major airlines make less than 25 cents profit on each ticket sold. It's pretty mind blowing when you consider the entire industry operates on such margins.
rivo 4 days ago 0 replies      
My co-founder and I have a combined 20+ years of experience in the airline software industry. When we set out to start our own business, it was clear that we were not going to sell to airlines. Too many legacy systems, too much historically grown cruft, needless complexity, too many individual requirements but no money to pay for it. Plus they're distributed all over the world so selling to them is very costly. It's a shame because we would have had a big head start in terms of domain knowledge.
heatherph 5 days ago 2 replies      
This seems like a potentially clever way to grow their customer base.
cbr 5 days ago 0 replies      
The problem with starting an airline is that the pilot's union has the leverage to capture all profits: http://philip.greenspun.com/flying/unions-and-airlines

The key issue is that you don't just need to be certified to fly a 737, you need to be certified to fly a 737 for a specific airline. This makes strikes extremely powerful because you can't easily hire replacements.

bencollier49 5 days ago 4 replies      
As a study in starting an airline, Richard Branson's biography is well worth a read.
Goosey 5 days ago 1 reply      
One of my favorite childhood games was Aerobiz [1]. Probably not an accurate simulation of starting an airline, but that is what this submission made me think of.

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

blackaspen 5 days ago 0 replies      
Anything that encourages people to pursue different airline models intrigues me. Air travel is still the fastest for anything over 500 miles.
Aloha 5 days ago 1 reply      
I've thought about starting an airline - an all inclusive fare type deal - also no carry on bags.
ballard 4 days ago 0 replies      
Virgin started with one plane. 1. Uno.

In fact, starting with a fraction of a plane / plane-on-demand would be even less risk.

lamby 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Make something people want", they said.
loceng 5 days ago 0 replies      
Smart. Facilitating the process of creating new customers for you.
cfesta9 5 days ago 0 replies      
Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
UTF-8 "The most elegant hack" hackaday.com
295 points by raldu  1 day ago   165 comments top 17
sytelus 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I continue to be amazed by Ken Thompson's name popup in unexpected places even after all these decades. When I first learned that co-creator of Unix also invented Regular Expressions I was surprised. Then I came to know about that elegant hack of inserting malware in compiler that's practically invisible. And then Ed... Then Chess... And then UTF... And then Go... It feels like Ken Thompson is Newton of Computer Science. If you randomly open up a section of physics book 3-4 times, you are very likely to read something about Newton's contribution. Even what's more cool about him is this humble down-to-earth line from his Turing award lecture:

I am a programmer. On my 1040 form, that is what I put down as my occupation. As a programmer, I write programs.

It would be great to create a website that showcases all of his contributions in detail.

mojuba 1 day ago 8 replies      
We should be grateful to UTF-8 for saving us from fixed multibyte Internet (so persistently pushed by MS, IBM and others), which would have made little sense in this predominantly 8-bit world. I remember someone saying at the time: the future is 16-bit modems and floppy disks anyway, so why not switch to Unicode now? Somehow that sounded absurd to me.

Anyway, 20 years later, hardware is still mostly 8-bit, and basically nobody cares about Unicode apart from font designers and the Unicode Consortium.

(On a side note, UTF-8 as a hack is a distant relative to Huffman encoding, itself a beautiful thing.)

nilsbunger 1 day ago 1 reply      
One really cool property of UTF-8 I never realized before is that a decoder can easily align to the start of a code word: every byte that has '10' in bits7,6 is not the beginning of a code. That's really useful if you want to randomly seek in a text without decoding everything in between.

Between that and backwards compatibility with ASCII, I'd say it's a pretty neat hack.

jacquesm 18 hours ago 1 reply      
UTF-8 is a beautiful hack but the way applications handle UTF-8 text and deal with corruption ranges from excellent to horrible. I've had a text editor balk at me after an hour of work and trying to save with a 'xx character can not be encoded' and simply refusing to save without any hint as to where this character was. Playing manual divide and conquer without being able to save (just undo the changes) is pretty scary. Finally it turned out to be a quote that looked just like every other quote.
jcampbell1 23 hours ago 3 replies      
As a self-taught newbie programmer, one of my early question was, "How do letters get drawn on the screen?"

My limited understanding is that it works like:

bits (0's and 1's) -> encoding (e.g. UTF-8) -> glyphs (e.g. Unicode) -> Some insanely complicated black box. This black box knows how to do all sorts of things like kerning, combining chracters, bizarre punctuationand other magic.

I understand UTF-8 and Unicode, but I have no idea how all the other magic works. Why is AV nicely kerned, and . nicely spaced? Apparenty this is a really hard problem because my trusty old code editor Textmate didn't get it right. Unicode to screen is a terribly hard problem.

sambeau 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I once wrote a programming language that used UTF-8. I was rather proud of this hack that succinctly allowed UTF-8 variable / function names. I went searching for it and, sure enough, I still like it.

  BAD_UTF8 = [\xC0\xC1\xF5-\xFF];  UTF8_CB  = [\x80-\xBF];  UTF8_2B  = [\xC2-\xDF];  UTF8_3B  = [\xE0-\xEF];  UTF82    = UTF8_2B UTF8_CB;  UTF83    = UTF8_3B UTF8_CB UTF8_CB;  UTF8     = UTF82 | UTF83 ;    ATOM     = ([_a-zA-Z]|UTF8)([_a-zA-Z0-9]|UTF8)*;

bbq 1 day ago 3 replies      
I wonder how computers would process text if societies with more complex alphabets had been at the foundation of the industry instead of English-speaking societies. What if Intel, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple were all Japanese companies and grew in a global market where English were not dominant? A big if, sure. Certainly, there must be glimpses at this in history of computing.
cma 1 day ago 3 replies      
I thought 7 bits were used in ASCII because terminals needed the 8th as a parity bit, not because machines dealt much in 7bit entities.
purpleturtle 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a Computerphile video. You can find the rest here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Computerphile/videos

Really fascinating interviews with luminaries.

ppierald 1 day ago 0 replies      
UTF-8 wins for the internet because most of the payload of an HTTP request/response is 7-bit ascii characters, so it is the most efficient even in languages where UTF-16 may be more efficient because of the complexity of their character set.
symisc_devel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Note that the UTF-8 encoding mechanism has inspired the variable length integers encoding (http://sqlite.org/src4/doc/trunk/www/varint.wiki) introduced by the SQLite author (DRH) which I hope will be popular among programmers.
chris_wot 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I once wrote a potted history to the precursors of Unicode, starting from the telegraph codes:


anonymouz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't really call it a "hack", rather an instance of a standard way of producing variable length codes, namely a prefix code [1]. That it was also made to be self-synchronizing is of course neat, but again, as a hack I would rather describe some one-off thing rather than applications of well known concepts to solve a problem they were designed to solve.

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

smagch 1 day ago 0 replies      
You may also want to see UTF-8 Everywhere manifesto.https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3906253
t_hozumi 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that there is still a fundamental problem of string encoding.

The problem is that decoders cannot know what encoding a byte stream was encoded in without additional information.Such information are often lost or omitted as you can see in web world.

In such a situation, what decoders can do is just guessing. This is the reason why we still suffer Mojibake.

A possible solution was to attach encoding information to a head of bytes as one or two byte.

For example:

UTF-8 = 0b00000001

UTF-16 = 0b00000002

Shift_JIS = 0b00000003

EUC-JP = 0b00000004

and so on.

Of course this is not actual and reasonable solution because everyone must switch decoder/encoder to this protocol at once.

omn1 1 day ago 1 reply      
This always reminds me of the Microsoft long filename support for Windows NT. They basically use the unused bits of the old DOS 8.3 file entry (8 characters for the filename, 3 characters for the extension) to signal a long file name. Then they allocate enough space to store the file name depending on its length. The genius part is, that older systems only see the shorter filenames and keep on working.

The specification of the format is at [1], although I would love to see a nice drawing of the hack.

[1]: http://www.cocoadev.com/index.pl?MSDOSFileSystem

elwell 1 day ago 7 replies      
Describing a hack that uses a varying number of bytes for different characters as elegant makes me cringe. However, I have no better proposition.
Scaling Django to 8 Billion Page Views disqus.com
294 points by mattrobenolt  5 days ago   130 comments top 16
bhauer 5 days ago 8 replies      
I applaud Disqus for scaling Django to this tier of sustained load. I applaud them for sharing a clearly-written and approachable explanation of how that was achieved. I also applaud them for their product in general. I think Disqus is a quite excellent embeddable comment tool.

I do have some reservations with a few points made by this article. (Below I am speaking generally, and not about Disqus in particular. I don't mean anything below to imply they are doing it wrong. On the contrary, I think they're doing it very right given their circumstances.)

Repeated is the conventional wisdom that the performance of your application logic is negligible versus external systems such as your database server or your back-end cache. For low-performance frameworks and platforms that is indeed commonly the case, hence the conventional wisdom. However, there are important caveats: first, do not confuse time spent in your database driver and ORM as waiting for your database server. Your database server vendor will find that hurtful and offensive. Most database servers will be able to retrieve rows from well-indexed tables at far greater rates than low-performance application platforms' ORMs can translate those rows into usable objects. Modern database servers fetching rows from well-indexed tables can keep up with the query demands of the very highest-performance frameworks without saturating a database server's CPUs (with throughput measured in the tens to hundreds of thousands of queries per second per server). Yes, at scale your database server may need attention. But it's not necessarily the pain point you might think it is. Bottom line: profile your application and watch your database server's performance metrics. You may not be waiting on your database despite conventional wisdom. The same is true for other third-party systems such as a back-end cache.

Coupling the above with application logic and in-application composition of content into client-digestable markup ("server side templates") will compound the impact of a low-performance platform. While high-performance platforms can execute application logic and compose a server-side template tens of thousands of times per second on modest hardware, low-performance platforms may suffer a ten-times or greater performance penalty by comparison.

It is not necessarily true that high-performance frameworks and platforms are lower-productivity if you are starting with a green-field scenario where your development team is free of incumbent preferences. That last bit is crucial, of course. Most teams do have preferences, past experience that can be leveraged, and "know-how" with legacy frameworks. Do not confuse this institutional knowledge with an objective measure of developer efficiency. Developers who are unfamiliar with both Django and a modern high-performance framework may see roughly equal productivity. Measuring your Django-experienced teams' productivity versus their productivity with (for the sake of argument) a Go framework or a modern JVM framework is a biased assessment because of the alternative's learning curve. If we continue to judge net productivity as a combination of learning curve and the resulting and ongoing effort level past the learning curve, little with a learning curve will be honestly evaluated.

Yes, reverse proxy caching such as that provided by Varnish is an excellent idea when your application is a public-facing system without a great deal of personalization. But not all systems are public-facing embeddable comments or blogs or news sites (I don't mean this to be critical!). In many systems, a majority of responses are tailored to the specific user and other entities making them unavailable for caching (as the article mentions these requests will typically use a cookie to identify the session and are therefore not cached by Varnish). In these cases, if it weren't already clear from the above, I recommend seriously considering a higher-performance platform and framework that gives you the headroom to deliver responses under high load without necessarily resorting to crutches like a reverse proxy. Yes, leverage caching where-ever and when-ever possible. But when you cannot cache, respond as quickly as possible.

Performance is actually an important concern. It's not the concern, but don't keep throwing it under the bus.

Further, performance is not only a scale and concurrency concern. It's also a user-experience matter. In addition to reducing the system complexity for high-load and high-concurrency, a high-performance platform means that even without load and concurrency, you are able to respond to user requests more quickly (reduced latency). This leads to user happiness, and in some circumstances better search engine positioning and similar fringe benefits.

Again, I want to be clear that I think Disqus is great and this article is a valuable contribution, especially for those who are invested in a similar technology stack with similar usage characteristics.

gojomo 5 days ago 2 replies      
Front-side HTTP caches can be essential at giant scale. First they help with naturally-static content, then you can design to maximize the amount that can be HTTP-cached.

I would like to see this better recognized as a usual and desirable production setup in the Django community, so as to eventually change the traditional doctrine around static resources.

Currently, there's the assumption that every serious production deployment moves static file-serving out of python/Django, to a dedicated side server. So, the interaction of the 'staticfiles' component changes awkwardly around the DEBUG setting, and the docs contain hand-wavey warnings about how using Django to serve static resources is "grossly inefficient and probably insecure".

Well, once you've committed to having a front-side HTTP cache, it's pretty damn efficient - one request per resource for an arbitrarily long cache-lifetime period. It requires fewer deployment steps and standalone processes than the assumed ('collectstatic'-and-upload-elsewhere) model. And if the staticfiles app is truly "insecure", that needs fixing: many people run their dev/prototype code in an internet-accessible way, so any known security risks here should get the same attention they get elsewhere. (Disabling the code entirely when DEBUG is true is a dodge.)

I'd love a future version of Django to embrace the idea: "staticfiles is a wonderful way to serve static resources, if you run a front-side HTTP cache, which most large projects will".

hardwaresofton 5 days ago 5 replies      
"Slowness is likely a result of the fact that your request is communicating with other services across your network. In our case, these other services are PostgreSQL, Redis, Cassandra, and Memcached, just to name a few. Slow database queries and network latency generally outweigh the performance overhead of a robust framework such as Django."

This seems to fly in the face of everything I've experienced with frameworks... Is this true? The bottleneck for me is usually never the database backend, unless you've written horrible queries... Maybe it's just because I'm not doing queries complex enough on the scale that disqus is?

jjoe 4 days ago 0 replies      
Deploying Varnish is like cheating but in a good way. Varnish isn't a set-and-forget cache proxy. It requires a well thought out VCL and a good deal of attention and maintenance. So the saying not all VCLs are created equal applies in this case.

I challenged myself to build the most generic VCL in the sense that I want it to work with the majority of "scripts" in a semi "shared" server deployment. I also wanted to make it as easy to deploy as possible while exposing some of its advanced features.

The end result is an array of software "plugin" products that one can download and deploy on cPanel and DirectAdmin (two leading control panels).

Shameful plug (wait for it...):



There's a free 14-day trial (no payment or CC required) for those who want to give it a spin.

gojomo 5 days ago 1 reply      
If you want highly-tuned geo-distributed Varnish-as-a-service, check out Fastly.com:


(Disqus is actually listed as a Fastly client.)

byroot 5 days ago 1 reply      

> The common pattern for application level caching

  data = cache.get('stuff')  if data is None:      data = list(Stuff.objects.all())      cache.set('stuff', data)  return data
I'm wondering if you simplified the example or if you are just not preventing cache regen race conditions ?

Some other frameworks just put back the expired data for a few seconds while the new one is being regenerated to avoid having multiple workers building the same thing.

e.g. rails: https://github.com/rails/rails/blob/3182295ce2fa01b02cb9af0b...

stefantalpalaru 5 days ago 2 replies      
Scaling Django by using it less... It's Varnish that deserves the spotlight, not Django.
ddorian43 5 days ago 3 replies      
Scaling varnish to 30K/sec. Scaling Django to 10K-15K/sec.

I remember long time ago:"How i scaled drupal(large number of queries/page) to 3K/pages/sec". It was really Varnish that scaled.

bliti 5 days ago 1 reply      
15K requests with Django is a nice number to hit. What are you using as a server? Gunicorn?

Not a bad setup.

    load balancers --> Vanquish:        if !cache:            --> Django
Still makes me wonder how faster this would be in Go or Java. I've never been able to get Python to be very efficient over 5K requests.

tomlu 5 days ago 2 replies      
Front-side HTTP caching is all well and good, but what do you guys do in the case when the returned content is (at least partially) user-contextual? Caching isn't really going to help you in these cases.
Trezoid 5 days ago 3 replies      
One thing I'd also recommend for speeding up django is swapping in djinja. Straight drop in replacement for almost the entire template engine, but much faster.
ksec 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, Varnish 4.0 were mentioned, by I dont find anything concrete of specific with Google Search. When will that be coming?

And I would love if High Scalability do an Interview with Disqus. 8 Billion PV, would love to see their Stack, Backend, and Machines that handles it.

iknight 5 days ago 0 replies      
so going to this link with ghostery enabled is a bad idea. the constant attempts to load resources that are blocked will crash chrome
csense 4 days ago 0 replies      
What does Varnish do that nginx doesn't?
mburst 5 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome post Matt. I've been meaning to check out Varnish. I'm sad I missed your talk at Djangocon but hopefully it'll make it's way to the web soon.
callesgg 4 days ago 2 replies      
I dont get why varnish should be any faster than any other raw static http server.Ok a bit faster i can understand. But like 300 times faster than without it that i don't get.
iMessage for Android play.google.com
290 points by robbiet480  5 days ago   221 comments top 51
saurik 5 days ago 6 replies      
I believe that this application actually does connect to Apple's servers from the phone, but it doesn't then interpret the protocol on the device. Instead, it ferries the data to the third-party developer's server, parses everything remotely, figures out what to do with the data, and sends everything back to the client decoded along with responses to send back to Apple.

Doing it this way means that Apple can't just block them by IP address, it avoids them having to distribute their "secret sauce" (understanding the iMessage protocol is clearly very valuable), and it potentially allows them to use actual Apple code on their servers (in case they haven't spent the time to fully break the fairplay obfuscation that Apple is using for some of their keys).

Here's what I'm seeing: every time I send it a message, I get a packet from Apple, and then immediately the app sends a packet of almost exactly the same size to (which is listed in this application's APK as "ServerIp"). It then gets back two packets from the Chinese server, the first of which I'm presuming is the decoded result and the second packet being a response to send Apple (as immediately a packet is sent back to Apple with about the same size).

Additionally, if you read the reviews of this application, the author is making some very weird responses to people with login issues: he's asking for their Apple ID, as apparently that's enough for him to debug their issue. That shouldn't be possible if the application is just directly talking to Apple the entire time.

[edit: The more I stare at this, the more confident I am in this analysis; specifically, the packets that are "about" and "almost exactly" the same size are very deterministic: the packets to/from Apple are precisely 7 bytes larger than the corresponding packets to/from the Chinese server.]

[edit: It also occurred to me to verify the other direction: in fact, if you go to send a message, first the client sends something to the developer's server, which then returns a packet which, along with again the exactly 7 extra bytes, is sent to Apple's server.]

antirez 5 days ago 7 replies      
This remembers me how an interoperability fiasco iMessage is. Just for the interoperability issue many iOS users are slowly switching to Whatsapp: you start using it to message your Android buddies at first, then eventually you want to just use a single app... the limiting factor for iMessage to be dismissed completely by some user is the fact that there is no way to message iPad users from Whatsapp, something they should fix IMHO.
dcope 5 days ago 7 replies      
This is actually talking directly to the iMessage service. It's hitting https://service.ess.apple.com:443 and https://service2.ess.apple.com:443 when authenticating) and not being proxied through any third-party servers. That being said, it does look like the app reports basic analytics but nothing sensitive.

This is truly impressive!

lawnchair_larry 5 days ago 2 replies      
The prejudice here is amazing. Has no one here ever made a free app? Has anyone heard of Linux? Is it possible that out of all the people in China, at least one talented developer just thought that this would be a fun project that they could contribute?

I still don't recommend allowing your conversation to be MITM'd, but the assertions that China = steal your password and charge your CC are a bit crazy. Propaganda works I see!

aaronpk 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is going to get shut down so fast from Apple, which is kind of sad given the amount of work that must have gone into this!
jessedhillon 5 days ago 1 reply      
Somewhat unrelated -- SMS seriously needs to die.

Any phone carrier call center employee can check your inbox, supposedly that's an audited procedure but having worked in a call center I would tell you that I'd believe that nobody's watching anything. Just like email, SMS is a poor protocol/medium that has been contorted to doing way more than anyone ever intended originally.

But there is definitely a need for a commodity, cross-platform secure messaging protocol that can be implemented by anyone. It hardly seems like there's anyone incentivized to do that though -- why would Apple, for example, want to ferry traffic to/from non Apple phones. And why would they want to step aside and let someone else replace their seamless, secure-ish messaging experience with something else? None of the other messaging apps can achieve the level of integration with the rest of the phone that iMessage can.

The mere facts that iMessage is a) so good (integrated so well into the OS by way of unfair advantage) and b) closed, are probably sufficient to make sure that there won't ever be a common, secure messaging platform. It couldn't penetrate far enough into the iOS user base even if every Android user installed it.

matthew-wegner 5 days ago 0 replies      
As a hackintosh user, I hope the blast radius on Apple's response doesn't kill iMessage here too...
aufreak3 5 days ago 0 replies      
At first, when I read the post's title, I thought Apple had created iMessage for Android and put it up on the Play store. Now, that would be a really big deal because that would mean that Apple finally gets that communication is between people and not one family of computers. The current Apple attitude to communication and sharing (like PhotoStream) is akin to a telco saying you can only call other users on their network, or Google saying you can only send and receive emails from other gmail users. Apple finally getting communication would be a really big deal.

I saw, to my great disappointment, that the program was not Apple's.

anologwintermut 5 days ago 2 replies      
Does this mean someone actually RE'd the entire iMessage cryptographic protocol. I know of several people who have wanted to analyze it.

If so, if they or someone could put up the source or even a protocol spec, that would be amazing.

37prime 5 days ago 2 replies      
Sounds great, but Im still worried because this App might hijack the Apple ID and password. If I remember it correctly, Apple does not publish their Apple ID API outside of iOS SDK.
nl 5 days ago 1 reply      
Funny how a small app like that can destroy all the hopes a multi-billion dollar company like Blackberry put in their stay relevant by rolling out BB Messenger to iOS and Android plan.

Assuming Apple doesn't kill it of course... There are some good reasons why Apple shouldn't kill it (network effect work both ways) but who knows what they will do.

NamTaf 5 days ago 2 replies      
Is this actually running on Apple's iMessage protocol or is it just duplicating/imitating it? That is to say, if you 'iMessage' to an Apple device, does it come up as an iMessage on that device?
ChikkaChiChi 5 days ago 0 replies      
Fellow Americans, take your snakeskin boots off your redwood desk, adjust the brim of your stetson hat, and shift the piece of grass you are chewing to the other side of your mouth; what I'm about to say is important:

Classifying and stereotyping (even in a passive-agressive sense) is a relic of the past you need to get over.

tuananh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't dare to try an app like this!

Good work on reverse engineering the protocol though.

kapitalx 5 days ago 1 reply      
Direct link to the APK since it was taken down from play store:http://www.huluwa.org/imessage/download/platfrom/android/iMe...
habosa 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is really awesome. They should release the method, although obviously there is some value in their not doing so. I'm sure Apple will change the iMessage endpoint to kill this, but that's a cat-and-mouse game they'll lose with the dev community in the long run. If this is a true reverse engineering of the iMessage protocol, this will be very hard to shut down.
buzzedword 5 days ago 0 replies      
Has anybody else here forgotten you're passing on your Apple ID and password here in cleartext? There's a lot of information you can grab with that, and let's just assume that this guy also puts an app out for IOS-- and buys it with your account.

Seriously? Not to mention all the data that can be mined from your associated messages. And for argument's sake, since, again the passwords are in cleartext, let's just say that a small percentage of users also use the same email and password for their Facebook or their Gmail (or whatever else email they have) -- let's just brute force some bank accounts, send a forgot password request, then scour their facebook for the security question. Nightmare scenario, but considering you're passing some random guy in china all this information, not entirely infeasible.

unknownian 5 days ago 0 replies      
It would definitely seem less shady if the dev didn't copy iOS UI and icons. Still I downloaded it and hope to test it.
zarify 5 days ago 0 replies      
Regardless of whether it'll disappear from the Play store quickly or not this is kinda cool. Hopefully it means there'll be a FOSS implementation of this at some point and we can get other Linuxy stuff talking to iDevices.

(If there already is one I'd love to be pointed at it, I've done some searching previously trying to get a nice solution for getting scripts at home communicating with me - I eventually settled on using push notifications with Prowl http://www.prowlapp.com/)

consultutah 5 days ago 2 replies      
Sadly this will probably be shut down by morning since it didn't come from Apple. What Apple should, but won't do, is buy it and release it for free themselves. But then Apple would have to admit that there just might be another AppStore in the universe and their reality distortion field might show a small dent.
ajays 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a tin-foil-hat needing random theory of the day: Apple gave keys (and protocol) to decode iMessages to PRC Government, in return for being allowed to sell iPhones in China. Somehow they leaked, and now someone in China is offering this service.

(adjusts tin-foil lined colander on head)

huluwateam 5 days ago 4 replies      
hi everybody,i am android message developer.
eonil 5 days ago 0 replies      
Before of all, using of the trademark iMessage is enough to get lawsuit from Apple lawyers.

Also, it's sure that they are intentionally copying Apple's copyrighted material.

k-mcgrady 5 days ago 0 replies      
This will surely be pulled very quickly. For a start it's using the name iMessage. Secondly this is a big selling point for iDevices. Apple gets no benefit from it being available on other platforms.
cupcake-unicorn 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not familiar enough with Apple products, iOS, iMessage, etc. to understand why this is such an impressive feat. Can someone fill me in on why this is so amazing? It's a closed protocol I guess, but if this guy could pull this together under the radar like this how hasn't it been done before?
moystard 5 days ago 0 replies      
Even though the technical achievement is really impressive, the iOS6 design just looks out of place. It simply does not look right, it's a shame that implementing an iOS service led them to implement an iOS design, I would rather prefer a well integrated Android experience.
jjcall 5 days ago 1 reply      
I would love to know how they pulled this off.
dariusm5 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm afraid to install this. Does it actually work or is it another common fake app found on the Play store?
ddon 5 days ago 0 replies      
just tested it with my account, and it works! even sending and receiving images works... very impressive :) let's see how long will it work :
jasonlotito 5 days ago 0 replies      
Does this screw up the ordering of messages just like iMessages? Does it make you apart of the same conversation multiple times, so that when you send a message, you get your own reply?
riobard 5 days ago 0 replies      
This explained all the iMessage spam
munimkazia 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is blowing up all over the internet right now.. It is pretty amazing that there is an app like this which works, but it is even more surprising that this has been around for a bit, and it flew relatively under the radar.

I just tried it out myself, and my boss who uses an iPhone is in total shock.

so898 5 days ago 0 replies      
So, the magic of some Chinese companies which been used to send advertisement finally be public. Will there be more iMessage advertisements after this? Maybe it is time for Apple to change their iMessage protocol.
NKCSS 5 days ago 0 replies      
I hope the protocol specs leak soon... would be nice to write a Windows Phone client that can do iMessage; kik messenger sucks and whatsapp is buggy :-/
pouzy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Has Apple already striked ? "We're sorry, the requested URL was not found on this server."
Sektor 5 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone manage to sign into the app?I just get 'Password or Apple ID error' with a Chinese 'OK' button
mmvvaa 5 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like someone inside the Blackberry deal, trying to demonstrate how irrelevant BBM is.
ozh 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm on Android and I think the last thing I want to install is an iSomething.
dubrocks 5 days ago 0 replies      
Insane. They even have a way to create an Apple ID in the app!
plg 5 days ago 0 replies      
at what point does Apple deploy their lawyers
mrmondo 5 days ago 0 replies      
Now all they have to do to get people to use it is create a QR code for it ;)
BigBalli 5 days ago 0 replies      
already got pulled.
hamdullahshah 5 days ago 0 replies      
Noooo, what if the Chinese server is hacked by someone.
asenna 5 days ago 0 replies      
How has this been up for 10 days?
l33tfr4gg3r 5 days ago 0 replies      
One less reason to buy an iDevice, at least until Apple issues the inevitable takedown, Cease-and-Desist, iSueYou, etc.
eugeneross 5 days ago 0 replies      
Look at them one star ratings.
jthomp 5 days ago 0 replies      
Can confirm that it works here.
pocketstar 5 days ago 1 reply      
can someone post a mirror, looks like it has already been taken down.
zane03 5 days ago 0 replies      
They're dev website is unavailable which makes me question the stability of this... HA
Xelom 5 days ago 0 replies      
First screenshot. Cancle.
supadupafly 5 days ago 1 reply      
It is such a shame and pity that it comes from China. It killed all of the buzz for me in an instant. I have nothing against Chinese people, but an app that has done something never done before with Chinglish in it - nope.
Mars water surprise in Curiosity rover soil samples bbc.co.uk
288 points by doublerebel  3 days ago   44 comments top 8
startupfounder 3 days ago 11 replies      
"If you think about a cubic foot of this dirt and you just heat it a little bit - a few hundred degrees - you'll actually get off about two pints of water - like two water bottles you'd take to the gym," Dr Leshin explained.

This is huge for Mars exploration by humans.

1. We can send unmanned expeditions to stockpile large tanks of water.

2. This would allow us to literally 3D print structures on the surface and allow us to significantly decrease the amount of materials we need to transport to the surface in order to build a habitat.

Edit: 3. And ALICE rocket fuel could be created using this water and the aluminum found in the Martian soil.

bfe 3 days ago 0 replies      
The primary reference behind this is the new Special Issue of the journal Science with several research papers on Curiosity data:

Curiosity at Gale Craterhttp://www.sciencemag.org/site/extra/curiosity/index.xhtml

INTRODUCTION: Analysis of Surface Materials by the Curiosity Mars Roverhttp://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6153/1475

abduhl 3 days ago 1 reply      
For a comparison, typical values for water content on Earth are in the 15 to 50% range for the inhabited world.

This is kind of an awkward way to present this data. They are talking about water content (which is by weight) and then translating to volumes which is not straight-forward in all cases.

I don't know how revolutionary this is. A cubic foot of soil is, in my experience, quite a bit larger than most laymen think and heating something a "couple hundred degrees" on a world with no established infrastructure (e.g. - there are no large scale solar panels or nuclear reactors set up on Mars) seems like quite a problem.

tocomment 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have questions about this. Can anyone help?

How do they know the water is everywhere? How do they know it's not just in the one place they dug and nowhere else?

Why hasn't the water evaporated? Isn't Mars almost a vacuum?

Why didn't the water evaporate from the soil after being dug up but before being put in the oven?

Could there be large underground frozen aquifers?

5avage 3 days ago 2 replies      
Where do you get the energy to heat the soil?
gexla 2 days ago 2 replies      
> . This striking block was dubbed Jake Matijevic, in honour of a recently deceased Nasa engineer.

They are naming rocks. They haven't even stepped foot on Mars yet and they are already going space mad.

And what's so special about getting a rock named after you? I'm sure there are enough rocks out there that everyone can have their own rock. Why not name a canyon or mountain after him?

ChikkaChiChi 3 days ago 2 replies      
Every time I read Curiosity stories, David Bowie starts playing in my head.
methodin 3 days ago 0 replies      
The irony - water everywhere yet the inhalation (or ingestion?) of space dust proves detrimental to the thyroid system. Wonder what else is in that crazy dust?
Free HTML Starter Templates for Bootstrap startbootstrap.com
281 points by jalan  8 hours ago   52 comments top 23
adamt 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Personally I think the Bootstrap templates at wrapboostrap (http://wrapboostrap.com/) look far better and give you a much better starting point. Sure these are not free, but for a one-off website typically cost about $20 which is peanuts.
peter_l_downs 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really awesome, thank you for sharing this! In particular it's great to see the "Simple Sidebar" [0] example I was just about to have to build one of these, so having a complete reference to work from is really helpful.

[0]: http://startbootstrap.com/templates/simple-sidebar#

alok-g 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Some newbie questions:

Why do responsive themes/websites often collapse the top navigation bar into a menu button a lot before the space available becomes too short to hold it?

It sounds to me that the default action with both Bootstrap and Zurb is to stack the columns when the width is smaller, or possibly make them disappear completely. Is my understanding correct? If so, is this behavior customizable? Could one for example make a right column come on top instead of the bottom when the columns are stacked?

at-fates-hands 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I always find it interesting when there is a TON of articles on HN about building things from scratch, doing things yourself and essentially taking the slightly longer road for a better product.

I see a lot of these "starter templates" coming out almost as fast as new Javascript libraries. While I can see a benefit for some developers, I often wonder if the art of building a fast, responsive website from scratch has been lost in the sea of mass production website building.

Or is this just the wave of the future that I need to just deal with??

*EDIT: thanks for the advice from everyone. It does makes sense to have these ready made solutions so you can focus on what you really want to make great about the site or app you're building.

michaelbuckbee 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great, I'd recommend pairing it with Bootsnipp [1]. It seems pretty feasible to almost create your own custom theme out of StartBootstrap, BootSnipp and a few other items from the Big Badass List [2] by just cut-n-paste - but I wish there were a "real" cross project build system.

1 - http://www.bootsnipp.com/2 - http://www.bootstraphero.com/the-big-badass-list-of-twitter-...

scottydelta 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no sense in using these templates when you can make a template as per your requirement using template builder like http://www.layoutit.com/build which lets you build your template using drag and drop.
typicalrunt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks great. One issue popped up: a 403 on http://startbootstrap.com/templates/business-frontpage.html
sgdesign 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Question for people using this: why use something like this rather than a ready-made professional template from something like Themeforest?
ktusznio 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Does something like this exist for Zurb Foundation?
GBiT 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats! It really good idea to make starter templates. Your project creating big value and can have good future if you add templates regular.
aswanson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Awesome resource, thanks.
b0z0 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not really seeing the point of this per se. Bootstrapping something that's already called Bootstrap? And then having to bootstrap that to make it unique?
shire 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this cool or what?. Very nice! I can see people learning how to code with this also by seeing it done the right way.
mmackh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, this is very useful. One thing I'd recommend is adding an option to subscribe to a weekly newsletter.
hardwaresofton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Really like the site, and love the templates! I definitely went in with the pre-conceived notion that this was going to be another bootswatch clone, but I really like it!
Choronzon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Simple template is great for a data driven website.Little to distract from the graphs/info.Many thanks
ateevchopra 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was planning to design my website today. Looks like Universe has responded !. Thanks for such an awesome templates. Web is a beautiful place because of u guys !
michaelmcmillan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This really helps with shaving of tedious design and layout work for devs who really just want to ship their app.

Thank you!

lilpirate 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks! This is awesome. I'm always looking at the official examples whenever I start a new project. This is so much better.
ldonley 5 hours ago 0 replies      
These look good, thanks for this free service.
pmtarantino 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Really useful. Thank you.
tsenkov 7 hours ago 0 replies      
MrBra 7 hours ago 0 replies      
great! :)
Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens theguardian.com
280 points by devx  5 days ago   158 comments top 18
grey-area 5 days ago 3 replies      
Let's consider a specific example:


The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen...The attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., said only that Abdulrahman was not specifically targeted, raising more questions than he answered.

The people killed in this attack were either killed by mistake, or because they were nearby someone considered a target, eating at a restaurant. Because the reasons for killing were secret, if the president decided to include some of his enemies or political enemies of allies in Yemen, made a mistake, or was given false information, it would never be known, because the list is secret. We don't know why or even who was targeted.

In war we accept assassinations, murder without trial, and mass murder, because people are fighting for survival. But even in war only enemy fighters should be targeted, and civilians should not. We have a whole list of rules of war which are being ignored, and this is not even a formal war - war has not been declared, uniforms are not worn, so the rules of war do not apply, but if they did, they are being broken.

We find ourselves in a very murky area where the US is at war with an undefined and secret enemy, who may be anywhere in the world, and lives amongst the civilian population. The reaction of the Obama administration has been to order assassinations from a secret list, also killing any civilians nearby. There is no trial, no charge, and no suspicion, just a decision to kill and an attack, wherever the target may be. This means the president and his advisers have arrogated the power to decide on life or death for anyone on the planet, without limitation in time or space, and without justification or warning, and also killing civilians nearby.

The implications of this are that this war will never end, the targets are everywhere, and the list of enemies will continue to expand in secret. Nobody is safe, because anyone might be standing next to someone on Obama's list at some point, and the general terror and hate instilled by these methods will continually generate new enemies. The Obama administration has adopted terror as a method of war - they have become what they set out to fight.

miles 5 days ago 4 replies      
For those who regularly ask why these stories appear on HN:

The president's underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president - at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as "Terror Tuesday" - then chooses from "baseball cards" and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.

This should be daily news everywhere until it is addressed and we start scaling back the War on Humanity. This is simply not how America is supposed to work.

alexeisadeski3 5 days ago 7 replies      
In the US, laws against assassination and extrajudicial killing make no distinction between American citizens and others: Foreigners have the exact same protections as citizens. This goes for the Bill of Rights as well. (Aside, this explains why the NSA is only "supposed" to spy outside of the US. Wether the target is a citizen or not is technically irrelevant on this particular point)

If you accept that the US is in a war with Al Qaeda, then it is in no way surprising that the US government would then attempt to kill members of that organization. And, again, whether the members are American or not is quite literally irrelevant.

However, if the targeted individual is physically located within the US, then the US government is generally supposed to arrest them instead of assassinate them - and again this protects foreigners and US citizens alike.

adamnemecek 5 days ago 1 reply      
Feels like some sort of line has been crossed.
aurelius83 5 days ago 3 replies      
The other day several american muslims strapped a bomb onto themselves and killed themselves and many innocent people in a suicide attack in Kenya.

If there were actual legal mechanisms built into the US constitution or laws created that dealt with fighting an asymmetrical war with people like this then I really doubt the President would go through this process, but that's not the case.

I'm not really sure how we should handle this but this isn't some evil plan to grab more power by the Obama administration, it's an ad hoc solution to a really difficult problem.

ck2 5 days ago 1 reply      
It's legal when WE do it - The Government
_s 5 days ago 0 replies      
What can a non-US citizen do? What can a US citizen do?

I don't mean this in a sarcastic or confrontational manner at all, but it is a genuine enquiry - other than raising awareness of such issues to the voting public and donating to foundations such as the EFF - what more can an average Joe do to prevent / reel back these reaches and abuses of power?

hrasyid 5 days ago 4 replies      
How to respond to this kind of argument: We don't need to give "due process" to enemy soldiers before we kill them. How are al-Qaeda members different?
Mordor 5 days ago 0 replies      
They are so fond of telling us, "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear."

What does Obama fear?

MysticFear 5 days ago 0 replies      
> (2) capture is infeasible

I am not sure how they can even justify how any capture can be infeasible. Since, the US clearly found capturing Osama Bin Laden to be feasible even within an allied country.

maxcan 5 days ago 0 replies      
"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." - Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly
jeroen94704 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, this is bad, as everybody has a right to a fair trial.

However, I think it is _far_ worse that it is EVER, in any way, shape or form, deemed acceptable that innocent bystanders get killed in order to get rid of a single individual, no matter how horrible their acts may have been.

It is frankly appalling that people get all upset about the fact that the target in question was a US citizen, and blatantly ignore the addition that "at least five other civilians" were killed in the same attack.

devx 5 days ago 0 replies      
What bothers me most about what the government has been doing lately (for the past decade or so), is that they seem to have total disregard for the spirit of the law. All they do nowadays is try to find legal loopholes and mind-bending justifications for doing anything they want and pretending that anything is fair game and in the "legal limits".

I'm not sure what even the Courts can do against this, because this trend from the government and authorities is so overwhelming and they're doing it so much, that the Courts would really be fighting a very tough uphill battle, while the government gets away with so many things they pretend are "legal" for many years.

CmonDev 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's funny how they used "US citizens" instead of "people".
gtirloni 4 days ago 0 replies      
Funny thing Hail to the King started to play while I was reading this article.
ad80 5 days ago 0 replies      
And he got a Nobel price... it sounds like an terrible joke.
shortcj 5 days ago 0 replies      
The sad fact is that 99% of people just don't understand the concept of 'rule of law.' They think it means 'rule of the law man.'
Fuxy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Heil Obama!
ARM64 and You mikeash.com
276 points by zdw  2 days ago   106 comments top 18
Tuna-Fish 2 days ago 4 replies      
This is a reasonable, short overview of the programmer-visible side of changes in A64.

For those interested, there's an another side. A64 drops all the features of the ISA (inline variable shifts, conditional execution, variable-width instructions) that are hard to implement in a fast, high-power CPU. If a cpu is to not have any 32-bit ARM compatibility, there's no reason one couldn't make a 4GHz 4-wide superscalar one based on A64.

mullr 2 days ago 3 replies      
It never occurred to me that they'd be using tagged pointers for Objective-C runtime stuff. Of course it's obviously a good idea, but only after hearing it does it become so. Objective-C is always more dynamic than you think it is, so taking implementation cues from other dynamic language runtimes makes perfect sense.

It appears that they've been using tagged pointers on the desktop since 10.7, which I never realized: http://objectivistc.tumblr.com/post/7872364181/tagged-pointe...

corresation 2 days ago 5 replies      
First, a note on the name: the official name from ARM is "AArch64", but this is a silly name that pains me to type. Apple calls it ARM64, and that's what I will call it too.

What ARM calls ARM related periphery is canonical, whether you think it's silly or not.

However the overarching entity is called ARMv8, with the 64-bit state called AArch64 (which can be contrasted with the AArch32 state, which is also a part of ARMv8) and the instruction set is actually called A64.

mistercow 2 days ago 0 replies      
>This allows compiling if statements and similar without requiring branching. Intended to increase performance, it must have been causing more trouble than it was worth, as ARM64 eliminates conditional execution.

Probably because so many projects use Thumb (the default for iOS projects in XCode, for example) which doesn't include most instructions for conditional execution. From what I can tell, it also sounds like compilers weren't making very effective use of those instructions anyway.

Also, these were originally meant to compensate for a lack of branch prediction, which as I understand it, has changed drastically in recent years.

Scaevolus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope by "Perform an atomic store of the new isa value." he means "Perform an atomic compare-and-set of the new isa value."

A64 doesn't eliminate conditional execution completely. It just pares it down to the basics: branch (obviously), add/sub, select, compare (for flattening conditionals like `a && b && c`).

Another thing removed from A32 was the optional shift on operand 2-- which was taking up 7/32 bits for most instructions.

This has a few more that were missed: http://nominolo.blogspot.com/2012/07/arms-new-64-bit-instruc...

StephenFalken 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is interesting to watch ARM finally adopting many of the great architectural solutions that MIPS used 22 years ago, back in 1991, when it launched the MIPS R4000 family of 64 bit processors. [1]

[1] http://groups.csail.mit.edu/cag/raw/documents/R4400_Uman_boo...

skylan_q 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the breakdown of how performance is affected with the new architecture.

I've had a few quibbles about where performance gains would be, and all too often I was told that the performance increases would be solely realized in the larger memory addressing space. That just didn't seem right to me.

I really like the use of the otherwise unused space in the 64-bit pointers.

thepumpkin1979 2 days ago 0 replies      
"On ARM64, 19 bits of the isa field go to holding the object's reference count inline." That's really awesome.
simscitizen 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the biggest impacts of moving to 64-bit is increased memory pressure. While all of Apple's apps and daemons are running 64-bit, most users will be actively using third party apps that are 32-bit-only for a while. This means that on average there is less memory available in the system, because the amount of RAM is unchanged in the 5s, and there will now be code from both 64-bit and 32-bit binaries resident, rather than just 32-bit binaries.

Apple has done some work to alleviate this extra memory pressure at the kernel level. grep for WKdm in the xnu sources if you're interested.

Pxtl 2 days ago 1 reply      
The bit about memory-mapped files, considering the fact that these devices aren't using magnetic discs, is something interesting. The conventional file API of seeking and streams suddenly feels a bit anachronistic. Of course, flash memory is often optimized for sequential reads, but still - it's far more amenable to the memory-mapped model than magnetic media ever was.
w-m 2 days ago 2 replies      
> With ARM64, there are 32 integer registers, with a dedicated zero register, link register, and frame pointer register. One further register is reserved for the platform, leaving 28 general purpose integer registers.

but http://www.arm.com/files/downloads/ARMv8_Architecture.pdf says:

31 general purpose registers accessible at all times * Improved performance and energy

* General purpose registers are 64-bits wide

* No banking of general purpose registers

* Stack pointer is not a general purpose register

* PC is not a general purpose register

* Additional dedicated zero register available for most instructions

Which one is it?

By the way, the ARMv8 resources are quite interesting overall and a bit more in-depth than the article. http://www.arm.com/products/processors/armv8-architecture.ph...

matthewmacleod 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great write-up, thanks!

I expect we'll see ARMv8 architectures in the next round of flagship phones. Apple's a little ahead of the curve, but it won't be long till competitors catch up.

In the context of Apple, it's interesting to think about how they're going to take this next. ARM process and architecture improvements are likely to lead to chips with high-enough performance to be used in mainstream desktop applications Is it possible we're going to see something like an ARM/x86 dual-processor Macbook platform that allows ARM's low power consumption supplement Intel's performance?

jswanson 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the article:

  The biggest change is an inline retain count, which eliminates the need to perform a costly hash table lookup for retain and release operations in the common case. Since those operations are so common in most Objective-C code, this is a big win.

revelation 2 days ago 1 reply      
CPython has reference counts as a part of the object in memory. The claims of "large memory consumption" are nonsense, especially since small integer objects and strings are aggressively interned.

And increasing just one aligned integer is certainly cheaper than the bit masking the solution here entails (all of which is neatly hidden away in the 'increment of the correct portion' part).

bnolsen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only using 33 bits for memory addressing is troublesome. 33 bits is 8GB ram which is small potatos for a desktop. Why couldn't they have left it at 38 or even 40 bits? Or is this limitation only part of the objective-c runtime?
devx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why didn't ARM call it ARM64? It's hard to believe it didn't cross their minds and decided AArch64 is the better name, so it could be another reason.
denim_chicken 2 days ago 3 replies      
I still wonder why in the world Apple went with just 1GB of RAM on the 5s. Even the Nexus 4 that I bought contract-free for $200 comes has 2GB of RAM.
nickhalfasleep 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anybody know when 64-bit arm processors might be released as a blade or mini-server to work with?
Reveal.js hakim.se
273 points by shandip  3 days ago   50 comments top 31
chops 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reveal.js is great.

Up until recently, I was putting slides together using Google Docs (ugh!), and thought there had to be a different way so I started looking around. Reveal.js looked the best to me, but I wanted two things:

1) It running on a server reading new slideshows automatically, and

2) To write the slides in pure markdown (like how some others use `---` for slide separation).

I ended up hacking together a quick Erlang-based slideshow server called Sliderl[1] that lists all slideshows (showing a quick preview of the first slide), and has a simple text-search. And of course, all the slideshows are rendered with Reveal.js.

1) Make sure Erlang is installed

2) clone the repo

3) put your slideshows in its "slideshow/" directory (slideshows must end with .markdown)

4) make

5) make run

6) Open browser to

I suppose it's simple if you have Erlang installed already, but if you don't have Erlang installed, you probably don't want to install it just to show some slides. A running example with some of my slide decks is at http://slides.sigma-star.com/

[1] https://github.com/choptastic/sliderl

hakim 3 days ago 3 replies      
For those of you wondering what we've changed in reveal.js since it was last on HN, have a look at https://github.com/hakimel/reveal.js/releases everything since 1.2.0 is new). Changes include support for RTL, MathJax, Multiplexing, Leap Motion and much more.

I'm also working on making reveal.js available to folks who don't know HTML. Give it a go at http://slid.es/

nailer 3 days ago 1 reply      
I looked at Reveal recently (the Google Chrome DevTools guys use it for all their demos) for a presentation but ended up using Bespoke.JS instead (which oddly enough the Mozilla folks have been using recently):

The following presentation gives a good overview of the differences between Bespoke and Reveal:http://markdalgleish.com/presentations/bespoke.js/

(keep pressing forward...it gets more interesting as you progress)

I liked the plugins, the docs were simple, they include grunt so your style changes are applied live, and they linked to other people presentations so you could peak at what others were doing.

In particular, I was 100% willing to switch right back to Keynote the moment any JS based presentation tool made me work on the tool more than the content. That never happened, and I ended up finishing the slides in Bespoke.

sequoia 3 days ago 0 replies      
+1 for reveal.js. In a talk I gave recently about a PHP dep management tool, I used reveal.js (+fragments) + `script` command + ansi2html.sh to create colorized, step-by-step terminal demos without running it in the console.

Nice cuz a) no live coding, no risk there b) dep tool requires network access for most operations; bad wifi at conference = "oh no" c) ppl can follow along at home or go over the steps themselves d) not an image so you can select/copy text.

Here's an example: http://sequoia.github.io/composer-talk/#/7/1 (press spacebar to advance). I plan to write a blog post about my strategies for avoiding live coding in presentations... one of these days :p

chrisfarms 3 days ago 3 replies      
Am I the only one who finds the concept of "vertical slides" a bit, errr, wrong?

A presentation is a linear process. The first time a skipped through someone's slides who had this concept (without being presented to) I missed half of the content.

Is it for "things I might not have time for"? or What am I missing here?

BinRoo 3 days ago 1 reply      
For a cool example of using Reveal.js, check out my Haskell Lectures http://shuklan.com/haskell/lec01.html
prezjordan 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you like whipping up quick, simple slideshows without any effort - I've been hacking away at Cleaver [0] for the past few weeks. You write a single markdown document and it parses into a single HTML document. I built it primarily for quick presentations at my Open Source club.

[0]: http://jdan.github.io/cleaver/

captn3m0 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is also a presentation hosting service, based on this at http://Slid.es
NKCSS 3 days ago 0 replies      
Been around for a good while, but still awesome.

You should check out all his labs on http://hakim.se/

Be ware that most of the stuff there is just PoC and you may have some issues trying to adapt them, but the showcases are awesome :)

fiddlosopher 3 days ago 0 replies      
The recently-released pandoc 1.12 (http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc) supports reveal.js as an output format. I've been using it for some time to give talks, and it works well. The 2-D navigation structure makes it easier to find slides when there are questions.
shocks 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a cool little node application for reveal.js that lets you control the slideshow with your phone over websockets.

Reveal.js is great! :D


rcthompson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Protip: In addition to standard fullscreen, Chrome also has a "Presentation mode" that makes all the browser UI autohide at the top and makes the content full screen. Useful if you don't want the browser UI cluttering up your presentation.
agumonkey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Being on the low end of computing power, every time I see a reveal.js based presentation I cringe. I'm not embracing the trend for fancy transition in presentation, content first I guess. Maybe there are ways to gracefully degrade slides to avoid lagging ?
deathanatos 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hold down alt and click on any element to zoom in on it using zoom.js. Alt + click anywhere to zoom back out.

Alt+mouse is bound to "move window" by default in GNOME (and perhaps others), and your event handlers will never get fired. (Personally, I love this keybinding: IMHO, it's a every quick and efficient way to move windows, since it increases the "catchable" area to the entire window, not just the title bar.)

Also, did anyone else notice that progress bar at the bottom?

GeneralMayhem 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using slid.es for a few things recently. It's really well-made, gives you a workable GUI with the option to edit HTML directly, gives you free cloud storage for your presentations, and is a nice change of pace and extra bit of glitter compared to Powerpoint. A job very well done.
sgt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I loved signing up to slid.es - for some reason it's just never that smooth, but my brain was completely on autopilot and before I knew it, I could start building slides.

As for the app itself, I'll have to play around a bit more, but initial impressions are that it's very responsive and something I wish was available years ago.

moondowner 3 days ago 0 replies      
To people that want more classic style presentations which are exportable to PDF slides there's shower.


Used it for several presentations and I'm pretty satisfied.

efyx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another framework for making presentation that I love is Impress.js : http://bartaz.github.io/impress.js

It's a bit different and more technical than Reveal.js but it allow you to create fully customizable and unique presentation.

lallysingh 3 days ago 0 replies      
I ended up presenting my PhD with this and a mix of d3.js and inkscape-generated svg. You can do a lot with this, especially if you tune down the transitions, colors, and fonts a bit.
alokv28 3 days ago 1 reply      
I still prefer Keynote to JS presentation tools since playing with layout is easier manually than with css (for me).

But one killer feature Keynote lacks is slide inheritance. I love using build-outs and I wish I could edit a parent slide and have the changes propagate to its children. This feature would be much easier to build out with a JS presentation framework.

franze 3 days ago 0 replies      
shameless plug: reveal.js works great with onsnap.js (http://miniqr.com/onsnap.r) how-to: allow microphone, start snapping
gren 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've just "hacked" Reveal.js on my own prez to support some code injection and enter/leave support :-)


cburgmer 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am using impress.js for all my presentations: http://bartaz.github.io/impress.js/
chid 3 days ago 4 replies      
Is there anything new about this?
ChrisArchitect 3 days ago 0 replies      
wildmXranat 3 days ago 0 replies      
It was great and it looks like it's just steady as she goes. Good job.
TallboyOne 3 days ago 0 replies      
marksbrown 3 days ago 0 replies      
The way this has been recently tied into `ipython notebook'[1] is surprisingly nice.


oddshocks 3 days ago 0 replies      
I suggest that you make the alt-click shortcut something else. Many Linux users have alt-click/drag mapped to moving/resizng their windows.
bahmutov 3 days ago 0 replies      
For quick and dirty presentations, I created http://glebbahmutov.com/slides-now/ - just drag and drop .md file. Supports themes, timers, etc. Even does very nice jobs with code blocks, because I need to show code a lot.
Kiro 3 days ago 0 replies      
Everything Hakim makes is gold.
Nvidia seeks peace with Linux, pledges help on open source driver arstechnica.com
266 points by bitops  5 days ago   80 comments top 18
cobrausn 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here is the full text of the email, also sent to the Mesa3D development community.

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Andy Ritger <aritger@nvidia.com>Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 11:44 PMSubject: [Nouveau] offer to help, DCBTo: nouveau@lists.freedesktop.org

Hi Nouveau developers,

NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs,with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usabilityof NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentationover time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able.

As a first step towards that, we've posted a document here:

that documents the Device Control Block ("DCB") layout in the VBIOS.The DCB describes board topology and the board's display connectors.

I suspect much of the information in that document is not news forthe Nouveau community, but hopefully it will be helpful to confirm yourunderstanding or flesh out the implementation of a few unhandled cases.

A few of us who work on NVIDIA's proprietary Linux GPU driver will payattention to nouveau@lists.freedesktop.org and try to chime in whenwe can.

If there are specific areas of documentation that would most help you, thatfeedback would help NVIDIA prioritize our documentation efforts.

If you have specific questions for NVIDIA, you can ask here, or directthem to: open-gpu-doc@nvidia.com. I can't promise we'll be able to answereverything, but we'll provide best-effort in areas where we are able.

Thanks,- Andy Ritger

icambron 5 days ago 7 replies      
One thing I guess I don't understand is why Nvidia's own drivers are closed source to begin with. What do they gain by it? Is it that open source drivers would make their hardware easier to reverse engineer? Is it that the drivers themselves are an important piece of IP, and competitors would learn all these cool tricks they use in their drivers? Neither of those fit my model of the role and value of drivers. It seems like they'd just want to maximize the usefulness of the hardware they sell. But I'm obviously missing something.

Edit: Thanks for the responses. That's quite a variety answers.

castis 5 days ago 3 replies      
As someone who wasn't aware of the issue with Optimus nVidia cards before I purchased my laptop, this is fantastic news. I get support thanks to the wonderful work of the bumblebee team but it's never really felt "solid" to me. However, this is most likely because of my inexperience with the subject.

I feel as though I represent a fairly decent number of people when I thank Valve for the steps being taken to make Linux better as I use it as my primary OS.

redthrowaway 5 days ago 4 replies      
As far as the timing of this move and the announcement of SteamOS is concerned, I'm having difficulty seeing the reasoning behind it. Wouldn't Nvidia just continue work on their proprietary Linux drivers, and wouldn't most gamers (who are unlikely to care about FOSS) simply use them? I imagine OEMs would include the best drivers available for the devices the choose to use, which at this point means proprietary.
gcb0 5 days ago 0 replies      
This happens every two years.

Nvidia: we will help the open source community!

> delivers binary blob

nvidia: we will help the open source community with a better integrated driver

> delivers deb and rpm that inject binary blob in kernel

... what they are launching today is information that Noveau would get anyway after a couple weeks with the new cards. All this will do is get you the same crappy support you would get, two weeks in advance.

dnautics 5 days ago 3 replies      
you don't suppose this came about because steam announced steamOS?

edit: noticed it's in the article.

comex 5 days ago 0 replies      
Direct link to thread on lists.freedesktop.org:


kunai 5 days ago 1 reply      
Linus' response:

  We'll see. I'm cautiously optimistic that this is a real  shift in how Nvidia perceives Linux. The actual docs   released so far are fairly limited, and in themselves they   wouldn't be a big thing, but if Nvidia really does follow   up and start opening up more, that would certainly be great.

lukaszdk 4 days ago 0 replies      
There was a thread on Reddit a while back were a few users said that Nvidia are not that great at documenting their hardware internally.

"Nope. One of the reasons is that NVIDIA still doesn't document anything. A friend of mine worked there, and he told me that most of the knowledge was gathered by having little gatherings with the "village elders" as they were called. Seriously. He even leaked a humorous internal video to me called "Zero Documentation" in the style of Zero Punctuation."


hansjorg 5 days ago 4 replies      
This is a bit surprising. I was expecting an increased effort into their proprietary drivers due to Valve's Linux announcements, but not this.

Of course they could do both, but isn't Nouveau 3D performance so far behind the proprietary drivers that nobody is going to be using it for gaming anyway (at least for a long time)?

I guess it could be that they're just buying some goodwill from the general community in anticipation of working closer with it.

ianstallings 5 days ago 0 replies      
Skeptical panda is very skeptical. If these open source drivers perform as well as their proprietary ones I will eat a whole crow pie.
verbin217 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here's the relevant part of the video that the picture is from:


cientifico 4 days ago 0 replies      
Still rejecting to buy nothing with nvidia for my personal use.
mahgnous 5 days ago 0 replies      
My guess is this has something to do with SteamOS and the recent rise in gaming on Linux.
Arnor 5 days ago 0 replies      
Finally! I have an image of Linus flipping the bird in my image library :
kazagistar 5 days ago 0 replies      
My akmods in fedora broke a few days ago, and thus I am still on the 3.10 kernel.
TerraHertz 4 days ago 0 replies      
IMO there's one primary reason Nvidia does not release open source drivers, and never will, despite whatever they say now.It has nothing to do with lawyers, or protecting hardware secrets - that's all just smokescreen to obscure the real reason.

If open source drivers were available, it would be possible to port the low level code to any operating system environment anyone wanted to. And that means future, experimental operating systems and GUIs too.Effectively this would enable OS/GUI innovation, allowing radical new 3D graphics based UIs, escaping the Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple trap.

Considering the dismal state of UIs now (Windows 8, cough, say no more) you can imagine what the appearance of a well designed, sensible and user-enabling OS/GUI in the next few years would do to Microsoft.

Open source 3D drivers would definitely result in a quite rapid overturn of the present OS monopoly-by-three applecart. So the powers that be in the personal computer market are going to allow it ... over their dead bodies.

Incidentally, 3Dfx did make the full source code for their Glide drivers available (for money.) I worked at a company that bought the 3Dfx drivers, and I personally ported the drivers (which were Windows & Linux targeted) to a minimal MIPS processor based platform intended for gambling machines. It worked - passed all the test code. Then the company went through a 'local CEO was ripping off the company, sack him and kill all his projects' spasm, and the machine never got to market. Soon after that 3Dfx was deep sixed and their patents sucked into the Nvidia pool.

Personally I've always suspected those events may have had something to do with certain parties making sure an open source 3D engine never happened - precisely because it would be a threat to the OS status quo.

tomrod 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great! Looking forward to seeing this progress.
VLC 2.1.0 videolan.org
265 points by jbk  4 days ago   142 comments top 25
jbk 4 days ago 16 replies      
So, this is our new major release, and I'm going to share some stuff that should fit better the audience here on HN, and that are not part of the main announcement :)

First, this is a release that fixes some important architecture mistakes we've done in 2.0.x branch of VLC. I'm notably speaking of the lag in reactivity, notably on volume change (that was shared on the mpv thread) and seeking, but also some grave video settings propagation. I wish we could have fixed and shipped that earlier, but we couldn't (long release cycle).

Then, this is the first official release of libVLC that is LGPL for most of what you need as a developer, including the right modules. SDKs for Win32/64, MacOSX, iOS and Android are getting ready.

If you are a web developer, our VLC plugin now supports Windowless, to fill the gap between Flash and HTML5 (it should work on IE6,7,8 without too much work).

If you are on Mac OS, the interface is finally polished after the major changes of 2.0.0 :)

Finally, we decided, as a community that we will accelerate the major release cycle of VLC. The fact that we needed 1,5 year to get the fix to some critical audio core and video settings issues out is way too much. We will move towards a 6-months schedule with LTS.

Sure, there are other very good players on each platform, but we are doing our best so that you can play everything everywhere for free, using open source technologies :)

rafski 3 days ago 2 replies      
I really don't like the idea of the Playlist-driven interface forcing itself in front. I have no use for Playlist, why do I have to see it, ever?

Even when I launch a file from Finder, I get a split-second blink of the Playlist. And when the clip stops, I see Playlist instead of the starting screen and can't drag and drop to play files to it anymore.

When I disable the Playlist by pressing its button on the interface, the expanding transition of the window when opening a file is oddly jumpy hopefully an easy fix in future releases (I'm on OSX 10.8.5). Playlist still appears at times.

The standalone Controller module from the interface I miss it, any chance of it ever returning?

Back to the two years old VLC 1.1.12 for me, it was much better thought-out interface-wise (Playlist is just a functionality, not the driving feature and Controller is still there) and it still plays every file I need it to.

I will of course keep checking for updates.

shitlord 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am running VLC 2.0.8 on windows, and when I check for updates, it says I am up to date. Am I on a different release channel? Anyway, I switched to VLC 2.1.0.
ucha 4 days ago 0 replies      

We finally have H264 hardware decoding on Mac. That's the single largest missing feature that prevented me from completely switching to VLC. I used to open H264 videos with QuickTime.

Good job guys!

616c 3 days ago 1 reply      
I remember when I first moved to Linux, six or seven some odd years ago for the first time, and I researched a good media player. I went, unlike others with mplayer, with VLC. It was one of the first projects that made me think "how are proprietary software companies not embarrassed to compete with this, it is SO much better!"

Thank you guys. You are true FOSS heroes.

BoppreH 3 days ago 1 reply      
You can now see the total playlist time and the startup time seems to have been almost eliminated.

It's great to see significant improvements to the software you use everyday.

alan_cx 4 days ago 2 replies      
Been using VLC for as long as I can remember, but recently I have had loads of audio/video sync problems with VLC. Really annoying since I don't want to use any other media player, and I've had to. Will this release do better?
ilitirit 3 days ago 1 reply      
I loved VLC, but since I've started using Daum PotPlayer I just can't go back :\


w4rh4wk5 4 days ago 5 replies      
Apparently shuffle is still not working as intended... Man this issue must be around for ages now.

This problem makes VLC useless as my default music player :'(

i386 3 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone like the Mac OS X interface? I've been tempted to hack on it to make it nicer.
devx 4 days ago 1 reply      
When is the VP9 support coming?
jimmcslim 3 days ago 1 reply      
The streaming and transcoding capabilities of VLC appear awesome but are hard to get to the bottom of. I tried to use VLC to convert a h264 stream coming out of an IP camera (Foscam) into either a live FLV stream or an iPhone compatible HTTP stream; it seems like it is POSSIBLE but actually knowing which sequence of magic whispers to utter is the challenge :-)
Daiz 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's a bit funny and sad how VLC has touted new stuff "for anime fans" for a few releases, yet every time they've done it they still haven't managed to catch up to the "standard" solutions in those circles. If you're on Windows (and a ton of people are - the lion's share of VLC users included), CCCP is an equally simple one installer solution that can be pushed even further with things like madVR and XySubFilter.

For example, VLC's dithering of 10-bit content still seems to be worse than CCCP out of the box, leading to banding where there shouldn't be any, and it seems to be doing something weird to the colors in all the things I tested it with. I'm not exactly sure what it is, though, as it's not a color matrix or luma level issue - I'd post some screenshots but I'm at work now. Also, Nvidia users still seem to have luma level issues out of the box that requires a trip to GPU settings to fix.

Congrats on the release anyway, VLC has come a long way from the 0.8.6 days as far as high-end media playback is concerned.

AsymetricCom 4 days ago 2 replies      
* New port to iOS, from iOS 5 to 7, on all iPads and iPhones after 3GS.

Is there any way to actually get VLC on iOS anymore?

ksec 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have always tempted, and wanted to use VLC. But i have always been sticking to MPC and its derivative. Currently I am using MPC-BE.

The reason is rather simple. VLC on Windows is just plain ugly. You could tell this is a Linux software ported to Windows. It doesn't even need to complex and fancy. Take a look at MPC-BE, plain simple and stylish.

And it isn't all just about the looks. The settings, menu placement, icons, etc.

I really wish something could be done about it.

john_wilcox 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the VLC team!

While VLC is excellent and we would like and want to use VLC as a plugin in our corporate environment, we sadly cannot, because there's currently no way to configure VLC plugin to use a proxy. In order to get to the internet, everything must go through the proxy.It would be very welcome if You could implement this little functionality. VLC plugin should just get the proxy settings from the browser and it would be done. Ofcourse, bonus points for SPNEGO.

I have just made my HN accounts only to post this request.

Keep up the excellent work!

Edit: minor typos.

sandieman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Clicked hoping for airplay or chromecast support. Maybe next time :)
canvia 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would it be possible to add key frame previews when mousing over the time bar? Similar to youtube where you mouse over a time and see the closest key frame so that you can have some idea of what part of the video you are about to skip to beyond the time. Thanks for the awesome software and keep up the great work!
rgovind 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for making this software. I have been trying to add a RSS-ticker and stream my video for a month...using ffmpeg. Even after posting on ffmpeg user gropus, I got no useful responses.

It took me 5 min to do the same using VLC.

duwip 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks jb, awesome work by the vlc team - as always.

Could you maybe share some news on the status of the web plugin for the Mac?

jackkeline 3 days ago 1 reply      
There seems to be a regression in the hardware-accelerated decoding. Worked fine in 2.0, now it looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/IzSfo0v.jpg

(Win64 VLC build on Nvidia hardware)

Dacapa 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had problem with AirPlay in Mac OS X 10.8.5. When using internal speakers the sound is normal. But when I switch to AirPlay speakers the program hangs and looses sound. Now I'm going back to 2.0.8
iliiilliili 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've recently switched to Media Player Classic for watchign movies. I tried not to, because VLC works on Linux, but MPC's video quality is simply superior, when you put the two side-by-side you can see a difference...


so when I'm watching a movie, I will switch to Windows and play it on MPC. For everything else VLC is fine. Annoying, I've tried filters and other fixes, but nothing worked.

nijiko 4 days ago 0 replies      
ivarious 3 days ago 0 replies      
>For Anime Fans

>New 6.1 downmixer to 5.1 and Stereo from MKV/Flac 6.1.

>Correct YUV->RGB color matrix in the OpenGL shaders.

I like how they put a separate entry for pirates.

The Future of AngularJS docs.google.com
263 points by jbdeboer  2 days ago   71 comments top 17
alexandros 2 days ago 3 replies      
What I don't understand is all the whining about posting slides.

This is fresh off the presses, answers hot questions in the angular community, and obviously people are upvoting it. If you're aware of what's happenning in Angular, every slide stands on its own and has useful info.

Can we please give all the moaning about format a rest please?

nailer 2 days ago 3 replies      
Neato. Angular reimplementing it's own module system (when many developers already have a large body of code in existing module formats, particularly AMD) was one of the things that turned me off when first looking at it.

Do ES6 modules have all the dependency injection stuff the Angular developers wanted?

JDDunn9 2 days ago 4 replies      
Unfortunately, I didn't see improved documentation in their future vision...

I'm not sure how a lot of those ideas will work with compatibility with older versions of IE. You already have issues using the element tags for new attributes.

emp_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Shadow DOM seems like beautiful for reading/blocking output but I see most of my time with the "Expand Shadow DOM" option in the dev tools to see what the heck is actually going on during development.
HNJohnC 2 days ago 4 replies      
I don't understand why people link to raw slides. Are we meant to waste our time trying to read meaning from them like tea leaves?

Surely there is something to go with this slideshow?

augustl 2 days ago 2 replies      
You have to sign in with a Google account to access the content. All I get is a login page, at least.

Anyone got a link that is publicly accessible?

jeduan 2 days ago 2 replies      
Now whenever I see The Future of <something>, I asume such thing is getting killed.
bsaul 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do we have more clues as to what migrating an angularjs directive into a webcomponent will look like ?
adelevie 2 days ago 2 replies      
Being able to avoid $scope.$apply() will certainly be nice.

As it stands now, if you want to leave the Angular reservation and use something like the Parse JS SDK (which is a customized set of Backbone models) your code will be littered with $scope.$apply(). Not very DRY, and also adds, from the dev's point of view, a needless level of nesting functions.

gumpieza 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really cannot understand why this whole phase of "posting my slides" is becoming a big thing. Powerpoint presentations are useful in context. This link was of no use to me apart from some bullet points
olegp 2 days ago 1 reply      
What I want to know about the future of AngularJS is: what is the state of server side rendering? We have some of our own ideas as to how this could work at https://starthq.com but I am hesitant to start implementing anything so as to avoid duplication of effort.
dmak 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was really excited when I saw the multiple responses possible for a given request
antihero 1 day ago 0 replies      
When ECMAScript 6 "happens" (any idea when that will be?), will we actually be able to use it or will we have to stick to old things due to browser compatibility?
jemeshsu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a release schedule for ES6?
ryankshaw 1 day ago 0 replies      
does anyone know if there was a presentation that went along with these slides. it would be great to be able to see it. @briantford if you see this, we'd love to see more of the meat behind the bullet points. cool stuff though!
Bahamut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally, I liked that the slides are up there publicly, even if I don't get to see the talk to go with them - they function nicely as a brief overview to the future of Angular, letting good devs fill in the rest. Much of this isn't new, but I liked seeing some example code snippets comparing current and future syntax.
na85 1 day ago 4 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks the name "Angular JS" is nonsensical and, frankly, a little silly?
       cached 30 September 2013 02:11:01 GMT