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Square Cash square.com
657 points by rjsamson  2 days ago   279 comments top 65
meritt 2 days ago 16 replies      
Seems to work amazingly although I'm a bit concerned about the security. A friend sent me $1. I get an email from square, link to website where I entered my debit #, expiry and postal. It deposited directly to my debit card (I didnt even know you could do that). The deposit already arrived!

"Checking Card Adjustment POS Pin (Credit) $1.00"

So I sent him $1 back (to: my friend, cc: cash@square.com, subject: $1). And it instantly sent it to him. I didn't have to verify my details or anything.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if there was a security blog explaining how they are validating that I indeed sent the email and it wasn't simply spoofed.

Edit - I did this from Gmail which I presume authenticates all of the emails via dkim? I'm guessing this won't work as automatic for other providers?

Edit2 - Just attempted with another friend and had to verify manually. The automatic-authorization appears to only apply when it's between two previously validated parties.

philfreo 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is my favorite type of product. Here's why:

- Take an existing known medium (in this case email) and makes it way more useful.

- They didn't try to build a bunch of new UI for connecting your Facebook so you can find and invite and pay your friends, paying out to your card, etc.

- It magically hides the messiness of an enormously complex problem (fraud, different types of debit cards & banks all over the world) behind a very simple interface.

- Unlike every other P2P payment system, I can actually sign up and receive money (or convince my friend to) using only what's in my pocket (debit card)... not hunting down ACH/wire details.

abalone 2 days ago 4 replies      
The most stunning part of this is the "free" part.

The Durbin amendment regulates the cost of debit transactions over the Visa/Mastercard network. It's $0.22 + 0.05%.

Mossberg reports that Square is planning to monetize via "premium options" like international transfers. But still, $0.22+ is a lot to lose every time someone uses your mass-market service.

Good thing they raised $341M of VC money.

Who said the dot com days aren't back??

Source: http://allthingsd.com/20131015/the-money-is-in-the-email/

Tomdarkness 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is one area where the US seems to be behind compared to the UK. I am from the UK and that service would look quite poor if it launched over here. We have a system called faster payments service that offers instant (although in some cases up to 2 hours) bank transfers for payments up to 100,000 (can differ between banks). You can use this directly if you share bank account numbers and sort codes but there are also wrappers around FPS like Barclays PingIt that people can register with and use your mobile number instead. There is no fee associated with these services.
redthrowaway 2 days ago 2 replies      
Do Interac email transfers not work in the US? They're pretty much the same thing: send money to an email recipient who then clicks a link to deposit it in their account. I'm surprised that this is big news, and that it seemingly doesn't exist down south.
jey 2 days ago 4 replies      
They're obviously taking a loss on this (due to credit card fees) if the recipient gets the full amount sent. So this must be a loss-leader that's building up to something else where they expect to make a ton of money.

That "something" is most likely just "replacing cash and cards", but will be interesting to see how it plays out. It's a bold move regardless.

EDIT: I meant debit card transaction fees, not credit card fees.

MBCook 2 days ago 5 replies      
Note that it takes 1-2 days for the deposit. They must be using ACH to do this. The 'free' part is great. Even with Square, I'd be hesitant to enter my debit card number.

Planet Money recently did a great episode all about the US's ACH system and why it works the way it does.


rmccue 2 days ago 0 replies      
Note that this isn't available everywhere: https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5136-troubleshoot-sq...

(Would have been nice to see this on the actual page rather than hidden in "Troubleshooting")

sahaskatta 2 days ago 5 replies      
Hmm neat, however what benefits do I get using this when it's also built into Gmail and provided directly by Google Wallet?


nly 2 days ago 5 replies      
And composing an email to send someone money is secure how?

What stops someone from spoofing my email address, CC'ing it to cash@square.com, and clearing me out? And if someone does get in to my email account I'm toast?

guiambros 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant solution, but can anyone tell me how they avoid fraud? I just sent money to a friend, and back. It worked fast and flawlessly, as expected. Supposedly money will be posted to my account in 24-48 hours. All good there.

Now, how can they make sure that the email is genuine and wasn't spoofed? Sure, they can check for white-listed domains and SPF records, but still seems fairly weak process. The FAQ [1] doesn't say much either. Human validation is even worse.

It helps that the send receives an email confirmation with the transfer, but you may not check the email before the money is posted. I guess they're pushing the onus of the proof to the receiver -- after all to receive the money you have to have a bank account and a visa/mc debit card.

Whatever the security mechanism, it's a brilliantly simple solution. If it takes off, it'll quickly replace Dwalla and other micropayments.

[1] https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5144-square-cash-sec...

gizzlon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like it's US only? ZIP code??

Residents of 48 US states have the ability to send and receive Square Cash. Currently, you'll be limited to receiving Square Cash if you live in the following two states..

tmsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was talking to a colleague about how Dwolla implements a similar pay network. I don't know Square's implementation. It varies with different P2P providers. Some create their own 'rails' in the backend (PopMoney, etc.). Some follow the 'clearing firm' / brokerage model of the commodities / equity markets. They have accounts in all major banks with deposit (debit) accounts and simply do an inner-bank transfer on both ends on your (and your recipient's) behalf.

That got me thinking though. It's 2013. The ideal solution is not to be beholden to any centralized authority or group of 'clearing' accounts for routing. The ideal solution is security but flexibility and distributiveness. The ideal solution is a network of trust with similar 'hubs' / 'clearing firms' that one can choose to route through automatically, have all the routing be automated for you via solid protocols.

There is the chance to create clusters of payment routing networks that are more elegant. It would make money movement so much more liquid in our world. And would be a really great thing.

Maybe Square is the beginning of that solution. I hope it gets even more distributed though. It's mostly companies leading the way for this. And good for them. But there's another possibility: something very open, but given the right protocols and architecture, very secure.

There is no incentive to create such an architecture other than the amazing world that it would mean where you could travel to different countries and authenticate seemless money transactions to whoever had a phone or email endpoint (again there would have to be name servers + some sort of money equivalent of SMTP + TLS / chains of trust + distributed clusters of shared 'clearing' bank accounts + routing algorithms to these accounts, etc.).

But that didn't stop Tim Berners-Lee or the early internet folks....

dangoor 2 days ago 1 reply      
It sounds great, but I'm always left wondering what the angle is for free services. Will they make their money off of float? Is it something to do with the way debit cards are charged?
ytadesse 2 days ago 2 replies      
The simplicity of this is amazing.

That being said, I have a question: Here in Canada, I can send an email transfer of funds from my bank account to my contacts by simply logging into my bank online and specifying the email address of the recipient. Does this type of system exist in the US?

tiziano88 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a similar gmail feature http://www.google.co.uk/wallet/send-money/
cryptoz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I want to learn more! The Help page is a 404 though: https://squareup.com/help/en-ca/topic/139

What banks does this work with?

downandout 2 days ago 1 reply      
I just scoured the site and saw no limits for receiving through square cash. I can't imagine that this is actually the case; does anyone have any idea what the actual policies are?
elwell 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If they are really losing 0.05% + 22 every transaction, then Venmo should use Square Cash to make a lot of large transactions, forcing them into bankruptcy.
BHSPitMonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems a little scary, to be honest. It's plausible that malware (or even just somebody physically using your phone or computer for a minute) could generate and perhaps send these emails on a user's behalf (and then delete the confirmation and the "sent" copy, depending on the mechanism). If I were ever to use this service, I'd surely use a dedicated email address that's harder for me to casually send mail from.
marcamillion 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone know if this will work with international debit cards?

E.g. if I have an debit card with my account at a Jamaican bank, can someone from the US email me cash and it arrives instantly or is this just a US service? Can't find any details about this on the site.

SeoxyS 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using Square Cash for a few months, and it's worked flawlessly. (A friend used it to send me money, and I jumped on the bandwagon; didn't even realize it was pre-release!) Square is attacking the consumer payment market from all angles, and I think it has the potential to become one of the biggest companies of this bubble!
abcd_f 2 days ago 1 reply      
This needs an out-of-bound verification for the transfers. At the very least, it should confirm every new recipient - "Did you really mean to send $500 to yahoo@google.cc?"

Seriously, I am all for the simplicity of the system and the flow of the narration, but where the heck is the explanation of how this is not trivially exploitable?

usaphp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think thats an awesome idea, in the current world where the cash is not used as often as before and its hard to just send money to your friend or relative without dealing with long forms, swift codes, routing numbers etc...I am just wondering how did they manage to make it free? Any ideas?
verelo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another US only payment option. I get it, but at least state it somewhere so people like me don't get excited and then suddenly disappointed.
kgermino 2 days ago 2 replies      
>Free. Actually Free.

Ok now I'm confused. I realize it's probably a marketing ploy, but how could the fees on this not eat them alive?

SwaroopH 2 days ago 0 replies      
A point about spoofed email, Square always seems to ask the sender for a confirmation whether the email was spoofed or not. I tested this by sending it legitimately and through an unauthorized email server.

The only thing that was concerning was when I sent a spoofed email, the receiver was able to know the sender name (cash account name) "ABC is about to send you cash". Very minor but it allows anyone to find out your name provided they know your email address.

enraged_camel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not quite sure how to sign up. When I go to "Account" at the bottom right and enter my email address, it takes me to the purple "how to sign up" section, but it's not clear what to do from there.
sami36 2 days ago 1 reply      
Free. I bite, What's the catch ? I presume recruit users to use the Wallet app ?
rjsamson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember seeing this talked about a while back and not thinking much of it, but the details look slick. Sending money with no signup required seems pretty awesome.
k-mcgrady 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see anything on the site but on Google Play it warns the app can't be installed on my Nexus 4 - I take it this is US only?


Looks like it's not even available in all states in the US [1]

[1] https://squareup.com/help/en-us/article/5136-troubleshoot-sq...

mrtimo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've had a debit gift card for 10 months with $35 on it. Just used this to send that money to myself. Awesome.

Amazing what you can do with a card number and expiration date. Don't loose your debit cards!

d0m 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't really care about that new feature, but man, I love that background video playing with the animation.. Is there a library to help create that? Seems like it's a <video> with some animation css on top of it?
kiddz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm completely taken back by the simplicity of this + that it's free. So many times have I paid a contractor via PayPal as a "friend" to reduce PayPal's fees.

Moreover, why hasn't a bank or credit card company done something like this yet? Amazing how the solution disappears into a cc: address line and unique link in your email.

kin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I currently use Venmo, which ties into Facebook accounts so it's super easy to find people. But Venmo is only free is you tie your checking account.

With this I can tie my debit card (which I guess is the same thing). So, I don't seen any real positive benefit over Venmo IMO. Can anyone else point anything out?

keyle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I cannot believe this is happening. This is extremely cool...

But didn't we agree that email wasn't a safe protocol?... How long do I have to cancel a transaction? Are they going to honor the fake ones like Visa does?...

jonheller 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love and trust Square, but would be extremely hesitant to trust my debit card anywhere online. Someone going on a charging spree with my credit card doesn't bother me as much as the thought of someone stealing this number and taking the money directly out of my account.
chasingtheflow 1 day ago 0 replies      
I get that this is cool because it doesn't require an app or anything to work. But I just don't see this replacing venmo for me. Albeit venmo requires a bit of set up (so does this) and an app, but once that's in place sending money is quicker and easier and I don't have to remember to cc anyone. Thoughts?
electic 2 days ago 0 replies      
The security here is very very questionable. It is non-existent and that worries me.
dalys 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was just impressed by how the colors of the buttons in the top left corner (when idling at the section with the video background) is synchronized with the color theme of the video background.
mallipeddi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since the emails are not encrypted, anyone in the middle who's capable of scanning this traffic can basically see all the transactions passing by?
unclebucknasty 2 days ago 0 replies      
In addition to phishing risks noted below, I wonder how many typo squatters will pop up for the cash@square.com cc.
sbirch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think they've done something quite clever by (I infer) getting people to join up when they receive money. Venmo puts up an unnecessary wall by requiring that the payee sign up before they can be paid.
charleyma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Square Cash is definitely some sort of loss-leader, but for what?

Most obvious long-run plan would be for user/debit card acquisition (which has lower interchange rates) to support their bread and butter business (merchant tools) as this would increase their profit margins by reducing processing expenses, especially since Square simply charges a single rate to merchants...

Lifesnoozer 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a similar thing in Sweden, called Swish (https://www.getswish.se/). But it's a cooperation between banks, and you link it with your phone number, the transfer is instant, you have to identify using something called Bank ID.

Square Cash seems nice, but I prefer the approach of Swish.

ateevchopra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really liked the idea. Its really good for all the parents who are not so tech savvy and can send money this easily. And its all free ? I don't understand why ? i mean I am not saying that it should be paid of something but being an entrepreneur myself I would love to know how you guys are making money on this.
abvdasker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not talking about the product for a moment. There are a lot of not-so-great "flat design" websites out there, but Square Cash's is one of the best I've seen. I keep seeing these loud sites with full-width graphics and animations on everything. This is how it should be done. And responsive to boot!
zcs 2 days ago 0 replies      
What are they using to do the animations on the demo site?
pranavpiyush 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is simply a user acquisition mechanism for the rest of the Square business. They lose money on every transaction.

Read this: http://www.quora.com/Square-Inc-1/What-are-the-details-behin...

bydpark 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty interesting, but, as everyone said, security sounds like it will be a huge issue.Will there be other methods of verifying a user for email, now that it can be linked to your bank account?
aioprisan 2 days ago 0 replies      
how does the email source verification work? SPF and DKIM checks?any idea how they can credit a debit card? I'm guessing they rolled out their own solution with a few of the biggest US banks, having accounts at each one?
pradn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Echoing the other commenters: this is really great, but I'm a little weirded out because it's free. I'd like for them to be upfront about why it's free, since all the alternatives aren't.
AustinLin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hands down one of the best interfaces / UX I have ever used. It's about time someone made sending money really simple and free. Can't wait to see how this service matures.
hnriot 1 day ago 0 replies      
on an aside, what a great website, the background video and colorization all work so well.
ya 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://d.pr/i/oEmN chrome banned the request.
goeric 2 days ago 0 replies      
Glad they changed it from 50 cents to free. Smart move.

They solve this problem with the least amount of friction.

Romoku 2 days ago 1 reply      
Aren't emails sent in plaintext? What are the security and privacy implications of using this service?
taigeair 2 days ago 0 replies      
how do they make money with this? BTW I didn't know I could scroll for the longest time! I thought it was an animation.
kirk21 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any idea what mailsystem they use to handle all these mails? Or is it an in-house build system?
abhia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would this still work if someone used a fake email script?
magico 2 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't accept British Pounds yet :(
meonkeys 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did Square just kill Dwolla?
tapmap 2 days ago 0 replies      
what about sending cash to an international debit card? Has anyone tried this?
hipaulshi 2 days ago 0 replies      
hmm? isn't Email address fakable?
maerF0x0 2 days ago 1 reply      
NSA will start to deposit the cash you send, its just "Metadata"
Show HN: My x86 emulator written in JavaScript copy.sh
610 points by g3  18 hours ago   153 comments top 63
staunch 18 hours ago 4 replies      
This may as well be magic as far as I'm concerned. When I first saw http://bellard.org/jslinux/ I just about shat myself. This is definitely another level of awesome. Well done.
JoshTriplett 17 hours ago 5 replies      
Very impressive.

Interesting bug: I can't seem to type '-', '=', '+', or '_' into the Linux image. Missing '-' in particular makes it hard to run commands with options.

Elaborate workaround:

    /root% eval eq$(dmesg | grep 'e820 update' | sed 's/.*) \(.\).*/\1\1/')    /root% echo $eq    =    /root% eval dash$eq$(uname bad 2>&1 | grep Usage: | sed 's/.*\[\(.\).*/\1/')    /root% echo $dash    -    /root% uname ${dash}a    Linux (none) #44 Tue Oct 15 20:50:15 CEST 2013 i586 GNU/Linux 
The first command grabs an '=' from dmesg and sets "eq" to it (without typing '='), and then the second command grabs a '-' from the usage message of uname and sets "dash" to that (without typing '-'). The last shows how to use ${dash} in a command.

bumbledraven 15 hours ago 0 replies      

   g3 62 days ago | link | parent | on: Show HN: Virtual Machines in the Browser   Just give me one more month, I'm almost there ...
The last month always takes at least 60 days. Strong work!

cokernel_hacker 15 hours ago 0 replies      

  /% cat /proc/cpuinfo                                                              processor       : 0                                                               vendor_id       : GenuineIntel                                                    cpu family      : 5                                                               model           : 1                                                               model name      : Pentium 60/66                                                   stepping        : 3                                                               cpu MHz         : 1.301                                                           cache size      : 256 KB                                                          fdiv_bug        : no                                                              hlt_bug         : no                                                              f00f_bug        : no                                                              coma_bug        : no                                                              fpu             : yes                                                             fpu_exception   : yes                                                             cpuid level     : 2                                                               wp              : yes                                                             flags           : fpu pse tsc cx8 pge cmov                                        bogomips        : 2.60                                                            clflush size    : 32                                                              cache_alignment : 32                                                              address sizes   : 32 bits physical, 32 bits virtual                               power management:
Heh, 1.3 MHz on a Pentium 60.

mambodog 13 hours ago 2 replies      
If like this you might also be interested in my port of the PCE Emulator to the browser: http://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/

At the moment I've only uploaded a demo of the Mac Plus emulator (classic 68k mac) but I'll upload IBM PC and Atari ST demos soon also.

sramsay 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Just when you thought "I've written an x in JavaScript" can't get any more insane . . .

Still, this wins the Nobel Prize for awesome.

hardwaresofton 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty awesome, I for one don't think the constant stream of "x, rewritten completely in javascript" is tiring (this is not meant to be sarcastic).

[EDIT] - This post doesn't seem to say enough when I look back at it. Wanted to add this:

Seeing posts like this really excites me (and inspires me) about the future of web programming, and programming in general. Anyone that's excited about programming has to get excited about abstraction, and it doesn't get much more abstract that cross-coded/implemented virtualized systems like this. Even if you hate javascript.

Every step people take in blurring lines between systems like this should be exciting, given the large amount of abstraction that had to go into creating something like this.

agilebyte 17 hours ago 0 replies      

  125 kB compressed JS  262 kB uncompressed JS  9765 lines of uncompressed JS

senorsmile 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got a kernel panic trying to boot tinycore linux:

Decompressing Linux... Parsing ELF... done. Booting the kernel. init[1]: segfault at b8e8e089 ip 08071929 sp bfb81b08 error 4 in busybox[8048000+7c000] Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init! exitcode=0x0000000b

atkbd serio0: Spurious ACK on isa0060/serio0. Some program might be trying to access hardware directly.

runn1ng 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It actually boots on Chrome.

On Android.

Then it usually dies for low memory - and I can't enter anything at all without keyboard (which doesn't pop up) - but still. The fact that I can boot up a x86 emulator in javascript in browser on ARM mobile phone is crazy.

aray 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Plan 9 iso [0] CD image fails

    Unimplemented: #GP handler    Execution stopped
[0] http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/download/

general_failure 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Now and then I see a project which is soul crushing to me when I compare myself with other programmers. This is one of them.
Aardwolf 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Would have been fun if it included some interface to execute assembler code on it directly in some way (without booting an OS).

In any case, super awesome! Great work :)

EDIT: Whoa, the dos one has games on it! Can you make Wolf3D work? :)

bcoates 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone know what format the floppies are expecting? It won't accept a DOS 6.22 install disk from MSDN, maybe it doesn't like DMF?

Also, swapping disks during the install might be an issue, I don't see a button...

McGlockenshire 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome.

You might want to consider re-ordering the font list in the console though. Consolas isn't perfectly fixed-width apparently, and it made Rogue rather puzzling to play.

etfb 5 hours ago 1 reply      
When I first saw DOOM running on a bog-standard 386, I declared it to be utter nonsense. I'm no fool! I know what's possible and what's impossible, and that was clearly the latter. Sure, I knew it wasn't impossible, and in fact was true and real and a testament to the brilliance of Carmack et al, but it was still nonsense. Brilliant, astonishing nonsense.

I declare your x86 emulator similar nonsense, for all the same reasons. I take my hat off to you. Well done indeed!

mVChr 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My second computer was an IBM XT 8086. That was the first time I played and fell in love with Rogue. Every time I grab a copy of Rogue nowadays for nostalgia's sake I'm left disappointed because I can never find the version of Rogue that I played as a kid.

My friend, your emulator has that version of Rogue. The kid inside me thanks you greatly.

tectonic 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This guy is awesome. Check out a Game of Life Turing Machine: http://copy.sh/life/?pattern=turingmachine
jordwalke 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Two things:

1. How can we help? How can I support you?2. Please open source this.

iso-8859-1 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a list of virtual machines in JavaScript: https://gist.github.com/ysangkok/5606032
x0054 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is quite amazing. Could someone post a blog post on the details behind how this works. I am not a JavaScrip programer, and this looks like black magic to me at the moment.
ck2 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The FreeDOS feels only half the speed of a TRS-80

This is jaw dropping. Imagine next generation javascript.

mvanotti 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to run a custom basic x86 kernel (it was an assignment for my Computer Architecture course). But I can't get it to work =/. (This image works with bochs and in a virtual machine without problems). It seems that it can get to protected mode, enable interruptions, enable paging, but it fails loading the tasks =/

This is the error that I'm getting:

Unimplemented: load system segment descriptor, type = 9Execution stopped

Here's a screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/DdCt8jX.png

seldo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems very like http://bellard.org/jslinux/ from a while back.
dman 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a non minified version of the javascript emulator file that is publicly available?
dbancajas 16 hours ago 7 replies      
I want to write an emulator as a learning experience. Any tips how should I start?
mzs 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried the freedos image, says something about 400kips and then down to 0. Nothing ever shows. FF 17.0.9 ESR on 1386 freebsd 8.3
hayksaakian 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool, I tried the linux gui OS and games worked.

sudoku and snake worked really well, but pong seemed to graphically expensive

batuhanicoz 15 hours ago 1 reply      
This is so cool!

I have one problem with it though, it doesn't seem to support my keyboard. For example when I try "*", it writes "-".

I'm using a Turkish Q keyboard and Chromium on OS X Mavericks GM.

r4pha 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This is beyond awesome! I'd love to read about your thought process while writing it, I guess a lot of people (including myself) would learn a lot from it. How long did it take to write?
api 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I know this sounds like crazy pants, but I would actually use this in the real world if it were a NodeJS module.

Not for anything compute-intensive or serious, but for creating very secure very isolated VMs to run web apps or other services in an insecure environment. It could also be a great way to take a LAMP stack app and rapidly deploy it in certain cases.

Again not for high performance, but for... I can think of a few things personally and I'm sure others can too.

(Though honestly performance wouldn't be that bad...)

Then add the ability to go back and forth between client and server, and virtual networking, and you might have a commercial "virtual DOS LAN with nodes in a browser as a service" startup. What for? Supporting legacy DOS crap: point of sale systems, etc. "Run your legacy DOS stuff in your browser with persistence in the cloud." You'd be surprised how much legacy DOS crap is out there.

s-macke 16 hours ago 1 reply      
g3: Probably you have seen my emulator. http://s-macke.github.io/jor1k/It does more or less the same, but emulates a different CPU.

Your emulator is impressive and especially fast. I think it took a long time for you to optimize it.I tried to start TinyCore, but it stops after decompressing the kernel. So still some work to do ;)

jbobes 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool!

Btw, this is what I'm working on http://cloud306.comIt's kind of similar, but not really.

shurcooL 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone had success running this on an iOS device? There are hints of it working on my iPad mini under Chrome, but with Safari it gives a "Unimplemented: #GP handler".
walke 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very cool! Great job!
Tarang 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting ages for this ever since I saw jslinux. This is freaking brilliant.

Looking at the source its been minified. How big is it before that? Are you planning on going open source? Was kind of blown away to see the single js file do all this. Would love to see the method's names to understand how it works

pyrrhotech 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, shit like this makes me feel dumb. How does this work?
agumonkey 15 hours ago 0 replies      
waiting for docker.js
arjn 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it and would like to learn more. Are there any docs you could make available ?
eliben 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool project. Can you elaborate on the difference between this and JSLinux?
klepra 17 hours ago 0 replies      
That's awesome, I quit! :)
LionRoar 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A program listing as screensaver (KolibriOS). Now, that is cool.
tharshan09 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Could you give some tips or links on how to go about emulating an architecture? I would like to know how to go about emulating an architecture much less complicated like PIC.
zerr 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I know it is oversimplification, but in essence, isn't writing an emulator just mundane following and reading specs? a lot of specs...
urs2102 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is incredible! At this point, it's definitely JS magic, because I'm struggling to fathom how this even exists.
buremba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you add networking support to this amazing project, I think some crazy development environment tools are waiting for us.
zenocon 17 hours ago 2 replies      
no network interfaces :( boo. rm -rf or halt -f are fun.

this is great work. would love to see source un-minified.

mirsadm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The amazing thing is it works (slowly) on my Nexus 4. Great work!
tnhu 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a superb work! Beyond my imagination.
bovermyer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
...wow. Just, wow. You, my friend, are awesome.
sambecket 6 hours ago 0 replies      
this is beyond cool... logs off to think in some startup with this :)
swamy_g 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude, this is Grade-A stuff.
abeiz 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, very impressive! What are your plans for this? Any plans to open source?
cattt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't sleep over the awesomeness of your emulator. I love you and happy birthday <3
chris_mahan 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm totally impressed.
michaelmcmillan 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe this
haliphax 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Very, very awesome. Kudos!
malladye 18 hours ago 1 reply      
how does it work?
lxe 17 hours ago 0 replies      
You should un-minify and open-source this.
zzx375 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What else is there to say? Swung for downtown and knocked it into the ocean.
elwell 17 hours ago 0 replies      
github link?
scosman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
_-_-_- 15 hours ago 0 replies      
@g3 this is super-mega awesome. 3 questions:

1. I know it is already available via the page, but would you please open-source it so others could contribute?

2. Thought I appreciate the apps being shown in the canvas in the resolution they are supposed to use, a full-screen option would be incredible. That way I could play space invaders the way it was meant to be played, in FreeDOS, in a JS emulator, in Firefox, on a mac. (That's just so wrong, it's right.)

3. Is that your real hair? (Sorry, just had to throw in a Real Genius quote.)

f.lux has been updated to a new version justgetflux.com
575 points by dailo10  2 days ago   257 comments top 64
heydenberk 2 days ago 8 replies      
f.lux is one of my favorite pieces of software. It just does what it's supposed to and I hardly even think about it. Being near the 40th parallel, it rarely activates from April to October. At some point in October, as it did a week ago, it naturally and unobtrusively becomes indispensable again.

Something that happens quite frequently is non-technical friends see my laptop at night and ask "why it is orange?". When I temporarily deactivate f.lux, they shrink from the intrusive blue light and need no further explanation.

kseistrup 2 days ago 8 replies      
And then there's Redshift, which is GPL'ed and has its source code available. Works like a charm on my Linux box.



josefresco 2 days ago 7 replies      
Hard to run a neat tool like f.lux when you design for the web. Reason being that I need to "see" the web like my clients and their customers do. Same reason I don't run ad-blockers, or many browser add-ons that modify the browsing experience.

I found when using it for personal use, there are times when the time of day, doesn't align with my energy levels and I ended up disabling it enough that it became a nuisance.

jrnkntl 2 days ago 4 replies      
Heads up: not yet available for Linux and Mac.
T-hawk 2 days ago 2 replies      
f.lux is great, but I really really really wish it would allow custom control of the timing instead of pegging to sunset. I don't want my screen going red at 4:30 pm in the winter eight or more hours before bed. 10 pm would be about right. f.lux can be manually controlled, but that's much less useful since I'll never remember to turn it back to red at the times I want. "Disable for an hour" is useful once, and really tedious to repeat for six hours.

And in this update: "Movie mode ... lasts 2 hours." Seriously? Why in the world not prompt for a time duration, or use a dropdown or flyout menu for various 30 minute intervals?

sovande 1 day ago 6 replies      
Being wary of using too much resources in my own programs I'm always a little surprised and disappointed when I see small utility programs like this use resources like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Flux is currently using 118 MB of real memory and 0.1% CPU.

Using otool -L /Applications/Flux.app/Contents/MacOS/Flux you can see an impressive number of frameworks included. I guess inclusion of the webkit framework is the biggest culprit. Why all this is needed to simply dim the light on my screen is beyond me.

That said, Flux is perfect functionality wise and very useful.

molf 2 days ago 5 replies      
Flux is fantastic. I just wish it were built into iOS too, so I can have something similar on my iPad/iPhone without jailbreaking.
NatW 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome project, thank you!! It would be helpful if the creators listed the latest version number on their site so folks don't need to install it to see if it's e.g: version 23.0 or something else. FYI: the latest version seems to be 23.0 for mac at the moment.
saturdaysaint 2 days ago 3 replies      
I really wish someone would put f.lux in a TV or receiver. Sure, it's not ideal for critical viewing, but it'd be great for casual tv watching/gaming at night. Anyone found good solutions for that? I tried amber glasses but it's a bit of an awkward solution and somehow doesn't feel as effective as f.lux.

Would lowering the blue light in the TV's picture settings and the brightness accomplish everything f.lux does?

calinet6 2 days ago 0 replies      
What this page needs is a big "Download" link.
RyanMcGreal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I start work before 6:00 AM and f.lux is a godsend. I actually feel my body go aahhhh as the sun comes up outside the window and my screen shifts to blue.
BryanB55 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you use Android, Twilight is also great (same concept but for your smartphone): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.urbandroid...
ZoFreX 2 days ago 0 replies      
> A simple schedule for Philips Hue, so you can f.lux your house

This sounds pretty cool! Has anyone who has a Hue tried this yet?

yock 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just yesterday I was in the office late and was struggling with the bright monitor in a dimming room. The reminder that this software exists comes at a very nice time of year for those north of the tropics.
msutherl 1 day ago 0 replies      
For people who love f.lux, you may be interested to check out the work of Philippe Rahm: http://philipperahm.com/. He's built a number of spaces that explore how environmental conditions affect you physiologically. Along the lines of f.lux, he has some experiments that use specific qualities of light to affect your circadian rhythm, including an iPhone app and JavaScript library: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-weather.org/id389364795?mt....

This is a great example of where avant-garde art can be an inspiration for mass-market products, though who knows if the f.lux creators were directly or indirectly influenced by Rahm's work. Nevertheless, I believe there's a whole range of products that could come out of this conceptual framework.

joelackner 2 days ago 3 replies      
the alt-pg up/dwn feature to adjust brightness is pretty great. the fact that it rolls back in the morning is pretty clever, i always found myself having to fidget with settings on my monitor.

i wish more devices, like tvs, had flux baked in.

jaxbot 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who has used f.lux for the last few years (and more so after I've started classes), any single one of these is a welcome update. Together? I'll take it as a late birthday present.
ksrm 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only thing that annoys me about f.lux is the lack of flexibility. Why can I only disable it for one hour? Why are there only two transition speeds - 20s and 60m?
EnderMB 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember first looking at this, and thinking it was pretty stupid. I downloaded it out of curiousity and ran it on my work machine while doing a few late nights, and I noticed very quickly that my eyes were feeling a lot less tired near the end of a day than they usually were.

Now, I install it on every machine I use, and it's probably saved me a ton of (literal) headaches. I couldn't recommend it enough.

Tichy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dumb question: does changing the image on the screen actually change the output of blue light? I was kind of under the impression it was a result of the light source.

For example I think neon light is actually greenish and it is just the human eye that adjusts the colors back to normal. But I don't think one could make neon light behave like another type of light simply by painting it with some color.

dzhiurgis 2 days ago 0 replies      
The appearance on my setup if quite hilarious: http://imgur.com/1VrPWNw

The cheap Dell monitors got quite small horizontal visibility angle. Additionally, the USB adapter doesn't seem to be supported.

chli 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great update !

Now I'm just missing : "automatically disable if Photoshop is running" (I got caught a few times)

StavrosK 2 days ago 0 replies      
WARNING: If you want to try this for the first time, wait until mid-day. The first transition is quite jarring, but trying it in the day will make it much smoother (to the point where, if you disable it at night, you will quickly curse and re-enable it).
vutekst 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you like f.lux, and you use Android devices, you might enjoy Twilight.


rietta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Neat. Flux has been one of my favorite tools for years. There have been times that I have had to use its "disable for an hour" function late at night and the sudden brightness change is actually painful. It's easy to forget just how bright monitors are.
teeray 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can I pay these people yet? This is an awesome piece of software, and they should not have to buy their own beer anymore at the very least.
GraffitiTim 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you find yourself not able to fall asleep until later than you'd like, I recommend trying the warmer flux setting. I've been using RedScreen + a little script I wrote instead of flux because it gets far redder, and for me works far better.

It looks like flux still only goes down to 2200 on Mac, so I may continue using RedScreen.

Crake 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone with insomnia AND eye problems, this makes monitors a lot less painful for me. Downloading the new version now!
k-mcgrady 2 days ago 3 replies      
I used to use this but my issue was that I usually watch TV/Movies on my laptop before bed. I had to disable flux to do that which made it kind of pointless for me. During my time using it I never noticed any benefits (probably because, like I said, I turned it off late at night).

Has anyone seen real benefits to using it?

stcredzero 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been wearing orange tinted safety glasses to reduce my exposure to blue light at night. Is there a good option that's more suited to wearing outside the home/hackerspace? Rose colored glasses, of course, but with better peripheral coverage?
driverdan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm just weird but I previously tried flux for a few days and hated it. I can always tell the colors are wrong and it drives me crazy. At no point did my brain adjust to white being red.

Anyone else have this problem?

ezequiel-garzon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this supposed to become a commercial product? I'm confused about their business model, if any. If they don't have one, an open-source approach would be more common. Any ideas?
srik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Note: The update is only for Windows and not OS X.
rolfvandekrol 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use f.lux all the time (on OS X). The only thing that frustrates me about it, is that "disable for an hour" actually means "use daytime settings for an hour". I reduced the daytime temperature to 4500K, but when I need to do graphical work, I want flux to disable completely. And yes, I know, I can simply quit the app, but then I forget to re-enable it.
asafira 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just a heads up: f.lux is a great tool, but remember to turn it off during video games. Your experience with some games can be affected by the temperature of your screen. For me, that was definitely true when playing left4dead2.
bdclimber14 1 day ago 0 replies      
I teach a class at Arizona State University and one of my students asked why my laptop screen was pink. I then proceeded to give the class a 10 minute sales pitch on f.lux and how blue light inhibits melatonin production. It still surprises me what a profound sales channel raving fans can be.
oasisbob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like some of the new features are Windows-only? eg, I can't figure out how to activate darkroom mode on OS X.
akg 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems that the new updated features are not ready for Mac OS yet? I tried updating but have not noticed anything new?
44Aman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was interested in using the expanded range, but it needs to access administrator privileges which I can't use on my locked-down work laptop. The normal version is a lifesaver though!
alanh 1 day ago 0 replies      
iOS devs, please submit radars to Apple for iOS support without jailbreak. (IDGAF whether its native or third-party support for changing the whitepoint, I just dont want my phone to blind me at night.)
kux 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just tried out the f.lux for Philips Hue feature and it is highly impractical because it arbitrarily adjusts the brightness of all Hue lights in your house...

Disclaimer: I'm the creator of LampShade.io, an Android app for the Hue that has a similar feature (and many others too)

Nux 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting application, but it seems to me that it only really works well if you rely on natural light.

I'm in an office with bright neon lights, does it still help?

parshap 1 day ago 1 reply      
> A simple schedule for Philips Hue, so you can f.lux your house

You can pair your Philips Hue bulbs with f.lux! This is awesome! This kind of thing is very helpful for people who sleep odd hours or just have trouble going to sleep and waking up. Has anyone tried this or knows how it works?

seferphier 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love f.lux.

A simple program but solves a common problem. My eyes are always shocked when i switch off flux for color intensive work.

JoshMock 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know an update isn't available for OS X yet, but did anyone else get notified of an upgrade of their OS X version? The most recent OS X version of the Flux.app file says it was created Oct 4, 2013. I'm pretty sure this update has caused my Macbook Air to hang momentarily when trying to put it to sleep. Kind of annoying.
jarjoura 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh man, this would be perfect if it tied into my Hue lights!
hisham_hm 2 days ago 0 replies      
For a project designed to reduce eyestrain, a white website with light gray text is pretty hard on the eyes.
najra 2 days ago 1 reply      
Might not be what this piece of software was created, but could a similar technique be used for an opposite effect: waking up in the morning? There are morning lights available that send 10.000 lux light, could you get a monitor to do this instead? would it have the same effect as those lights?
snth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not updated for Mac yet?
simonebrunozzi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love to see an option to specify a different time zone. It would be useful for when I travel, and I'm lazy.
dipth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if this update is for windows only? I can't seem to find a Mac version of the update.
wincent 2 days ago 0 replies      
"A map to help you find your location"

I hope this isn't the start of feature bloat.

mathiasben 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would like to see a feature where the software takes local cloud cover into account and dims with the sun during the day.
taeric 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone ported this or something like it to phones/tablets, yet?
latraveler 1 day ago 0 replies      
My eye fatigue was so bad a month I thought of changing professions. I wouldn't say f.lux has cured it completely but it has helped significantly.
aj 1 day ago 0 replies      
This update is for Windows only. The update for Mac is due soon.
codeduck 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really, really wish flux was compatible with the ipad. Using an ipad at night is a painful experience.
shanac 2 days ago 0 replies      
So I just downloaded - why can't i figure out where TV mode is...hmmmm
gdonelli 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where is the download link?
chid 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm kind of curious, why is a restart necessary to extend the range?
jordanbrown 1 day ago 0 replies      
If only I could get it back onto my phone... Jailbreak can't come soon enough.
t0mislav 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very useful software. Willing to donate.
lia_memsql 1 day ago 0 replies      
f.lux for iOS next please!
diminoten 1 day ago 3 replies      
I hear so much about f.lux, but to me I don't know if the science quite backs it up like everyone says it does. I've found it suffers from the, "They used the word science so it must be good" problem.

Why hasn't anyone done a study on specifically what f.lux attempts to do? Sure, light at night causes people problems sleeping, but does f.lux actually make a difference? Can we quantify that difference in a way that controls for the fanboy (formerly known as placebo) effect?

Introducing government.github.com github.com
412 points by _pius  2 days ago   78 comments top 20
aroman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great to see Philadelphia front and center with this project.

In Mayor Nutter's keynote at PennApps last month, he talked a lot about how Philly is really pushing for open data/open government. It's great to see those initiatives coming to fruition.

guynamedloren 2 days ago 6 replies      
This is awesome. I respect GitHub more and more every day. However, despite how much I love the GitHub model and think it's a great way to collaborate, it's still (mostly) inaccessible for non-developers. Shameless plug: I think there is still some room for innovation here, so I'm building a GitHub for everyone else:


bfirsh 2 days ago 2 replies      
Seems pretty US-centric. Governments outside the US are doing great things with open source too. The entire UK government website is open source, for example:


clienthunter 2 days ago 2 replies      
I saw a TED talk about using GH as a form of collaborative democracy once. I am so shocked (in the best way) that momentum is building this quickly.
robbfitzsimmons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Admitting it's totally beside the point, what is the deal with the "trademark" Campfire emoji at the end of the post? Soon(tm)? In-joke?
Siecje 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is the Changlelog episode of Civic Hacking


pizza 2 days ago 0 replies      
And so, github claims this space.
bachback 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin + contracts => new governments https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts

Quote from Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks By Nick Szabo.

"We are now entering an era of online communications and software "literacy". The "physics of cyberspace", studied by computer scientists, are radically different from the properties of paper, to an even greater degree than paper was different from string, clay, and metal. "

stevewilber 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is really cool. I sent a request to my City to join. I'd be happy to donate some time improving their website if the source were public.
count 2 days ago 1 reply      
How are all those civilian agencies using GitHub without a FISMA or FedRAMP approval (or does GitHub have one and just not advertise it)?

I see at least NASA on there (who just got in trouble with their IG for improper use of un-accredited cloud services).

Or does this include GitHub Enterprise users?

pouzy 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a pretty ironic timing considering the fact that there's no government in the US for now :)
bitwize 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now can we use it to collaboratively fix Healthcare.gov?
Kinnard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this mean we know longer need Congress because we can legislate through version control? Cuz that would be awesome.
bachback 2 days ago 3 replies      
amazing potential. but in the end - out of scope. If you go through the least each org has only few repos with little interest. One of the more interesting ones is: https://github.com/opengovplatform
agumonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny a while ago a friend suggested we should version law texts and publish it, this is even better.
niels_olson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm on a DoD network and can't even access github.
cheshire137 2 days ago 0 replies      
Woo, just submitted a pull request to get openlexington of Lexington, KY on there.
AstroChimpHam 2 days ago 0 replies      
So... github wants to be wikileaks?
Joe_Quincy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wish github would work on some features that help developers write better code rather then this, which looks like it was put together by some intern.
yeukhon 2 days ago 2 replies      
Before we go on, please have someone fix this bug. We are making a lot of suggestion, but no WhiteHouse developers are interested in this. This is not how you do an open source project.


See Your Folks seeyourfolks.com
406 points by Anon84  1 day ago   190 comments top 73
spodek 1 day ago 5 replies      
Effective site, but I hope the people who found it depressing reconsider their response.

The site didn't tell you anything you didn't already know, it only clarified it.

Instead of denying information to keep yourself happy, why not use the information? My 69-year-old mother remarked earlier this year that if she didn't get around to some of her life goals soon she wouldn't be able to.

Did she say that out of depression? No, to live the life she wanted even more. She celebrated her 70th birthday bicycle-touring a wine region in France with my step-father, riding something like one hundred kilometers a day.

We can all do the same in our ways. In my opinion, awareness trumps denial.

cecilpl 1 day ago 4 replies      
This erroneously uses the life expectancy at birth rather than the life expectancy at <current age> - a common mistake.

If my parents are 80, I don't expect them to die in 1 year just because life expectancy at birth is 81. I expect them to live about another 8 years.

Use a table like http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html

nostromo 1 day ago 8 replies      
If you are 25 this is how many weeks you have left to live:


sjtgraham 1 day ago 3 replies      
Damn, my dad had a stroke on Saturday night. Thankfully he got very prompt and first class medical treatment (Thanks NHS. Socialised medicine FTW) so the damage is fortunately very limited. I'm actually on my way to the hospital to see him now.

This is a great reminder to pick up the phone and tell your folks or anyone that matters to you that you love them. Everyone reading this should do that now if they can. You never know when it will be too late and you don't want those regrets.

krmmalik 1 day ago 6 replies      
Please understand I don't mean to discredit your site in any way and what I'm about to say below is no reflection in your commitment.

But this is a good opportunity for me to make an important point regards a discussion that took place here a few days ago.

You see - This website serves no purpose in the East or Eastern ethnic minorities.

It's not part of our culture to lose contact with our parents. I saw my parents on the weekend, my wife saw hers and we both spoke to our parents today on the phone. We live 3hrs away.

I'm 33 yrs old. I've never not spoken to my parents for more than 14 days ever in my life.

Why am I telling you this?

Because in the last discussion that took place - the rant about culture in India, many commented that people need to get more mature but what they dont realise that its culture holding them back

Your website proves my point.

Context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6546587

DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a cool little website. Both my parents are dead, but I appreciate the thought behind it.

It's interesting that it sticks to a mother and father. A number of families are moving into more complex arrangements - 2 fathers, or 2 mothers, or step parents, or single parents, or etc etc. (I'm not complaining, just commenting.) I guess it shows that people know who they consider to be parents.

chris_mahan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm going to Japan in 2 months, for 2 weeks, to see my wife's parents in Japan. (I live in Los Angeles.) They are getting up in years and their health is declining so this will probably be the last time we see her dad, and maybe her mom too. The trip will cost $6,000 minimum for the 3 of us to go. My father lives in Texas, and we went this spring. That cost $2,000. Next summer, we may go to France for a couple of weeks to see my mom and a bunch of other relatives. That will cost another $6,000, at least. So, at a minimum, we'll spend at least $14,000 in the space of 15 months to see relatives. Can't do that every year, or even every other year and hope to fund our retirement and my son's college fund.
Crake 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really weird reading the comments here. I guess I'm jealous of people who have parents worth seeing.

I haven't seen my mother in well over half a decade, and am much healthier for it.

madaxe 1 day ago 4 replies      
Why is 0 not a valid input? I mean, I know it makes it somewhat pointless to even fill in if one never sees ones parents, but either way, 0 is a valid, if sad, answer.
slig 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this open source? Maybe someone should fork and change to something with a different thematic:

"Where do your in-laws live?"

"On average how many times do you see your in-laws a year?"


chanux 1 day ago 1 reply      
yetanotherphd 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why is it that when it comes to this issue people feel completely comfortable with telling other people how to live their lives?

Wanting to spend more time with your parent's isn't a moral absolute. It's a social pressure that has proved hardier than going to church or getting married while you are still fertile.

sidcool 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am happy that this sort of condition is relatively rare in India, from where I hail. Most of us stay with parents and share homes and love. In fact, staying away from parents never even occurred to me before I came in touch with the Western culture that derides staying with parents. At first it seemed rather selfish to me that kids abandon their parents, almost like what happens in the animal kingdom. But later I realized that it's a cultural thing. And there's no judgement passing on either.

The only sad thing is that in India, if you abandon your abusive parents, it's looked down upon. In the West, if you stay with your angel like parents it's still derided. Hope this changes both ways.

lucb1e 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is "(Holland, Europe)" doing behind "Netherlands"? Which, by the way, is The Netherlands. Why are we the only one with an incorrect postfix? Holland are two provinces where the government reside; it's like putting "le-de-France" behind "France". Like all Frenchmen outside of that region, I don't identify as a citizen of Holland at all.
pdeshpande 1 day ago 2 replies      
It made me sad because it makes me realize I have no control over the fact that they are growing old.

Instead, what would be nice is if provided information such as: ask your father to go for a prostrate exam, ask your mother to run these other tests, and so on - based on the country, age and perhaps race data (which is not collected right now).

The website is nice and intuitive.

Argorak 1 day ago 2 replies      
My parents are divorced. I cannot fill this form properly.
hawkharris 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a great example of how even the simplest programming projects can inspire people by tapping into emotion and being aware of their audience.
beshrkayali 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is terrible... it makes it horrible for people in difficult situations.
Who828 1 day ago 2 replies      
They didnt understand me, I wish I had done this in the past, I wish I had someone to guide me towards my interest, I hope I become successful in the future, I hope become a millionaire

Our ambition, our regrets have made us distant from the now and the present. We are not satisfied with it, how can we? We have our own expectations and dreams to achieve in life. So we run from the present, we live like we have a millennia more. We believe that our parents will always be there when we have time.So we dont go meet them on holidays, we rarely talk to them over the phone. When we meet them we are obsessed with our future, never paying attention to their stories. Never really looking into their eyes. After all, Facebook and Twitter is way more interesting then old peoples talk.

And one day you will catch the train (success, fame, money or whatever it is) but you realise that there is no one on the other side, that you are all alone. It feels empty, it feels incomplete. That you have an entire life to go through now.

Dont let that happen, go to their place. Talk to them over the phone (at least once a week). When you meet them, turn off your smartphone. Look at them in the eye and listen to their stories.You will find out that they need you as much as you needed them in the past.

Life is not all about fame and achievements, its about the people (Family, friends, etc). And whatever insignificant time we have on this planet, its better spent together in the present.

dmlorenzetti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Small bit of feedback, in case the devs are reading.

The site is needlessly vague about what it's going to show me. What are "my results", and will they be compelling enough for me to send personal information to somebody I don't know?

Coming to this site cold, with no expectations, I had no desire to enter my parents' ages, to tell you where they live, or to tell you how often I see them.

Samuel_Michon 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great, regardless of whether the math is correct. I dont share much on Facebook, but this, this I shared. It may seem sappy to some, but I find it to be a community service.

My situation: Im 33 years old and I live in the same city as my parents do. My mom is 65 years old, my dad is 69 years old. I visit my parents about once a week.

According to this test, I can expect to see my parents another 700 times before they pass. That may look like a large number, for me it is sobering. My dad has heart problems (he had an angioplasty and a stent placed last year, some incidents after, and he had a pace maker installed this year). Im not sure whether I get to see him another 700 times at the rate that I visit him now. I will certainly increase the rate of my visits.

irollboozers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great hackathon project :) This is the kind of thing tech can easily do that is much better than social mobile video for dogs.
Jemaclus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't share this with anyone. Ugh. Now I need to move back across the country...
nocman 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing this does not take into account -- seeing your parents in person is not the only interaction that is meaningful. Yes, I agree that seeing them in person is a good thing to do, but for some people that is difficult to do, and very often it is not because of a lack of dilligence on the child's part.

So send your folks a long letter or email. Call them on the phone. There is no need to feel guilty because you can only see them X times a year -- for some that is just a fact of life. Phone calls, emails, letters all have meaning. Letters and emails can be read multiple times (and often are). You want to really show your parents you care? Write one or both of them a poem or a song. If you have no skill in that area, write a long heartfelt letter. I wrote one of those letters to my dad years ago and he kept it forever.

It is good to remember that life is short and to use your time wisely. Remember the things that are important. But personal visits aren't the only way to do something about it.

tghw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Randall Munroe wrote a python script with actuarial data in it. Give a list of age and sex and it will tell you when deaths would be expected.


utunga 1 day ago 0 replies      
Realise it was thrown together in a day but didn't especially like 'the feels' I got from being told that I would see my Dad, who has already died, 572 more times before he passes on.
0003 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if you could incorporate expectation of years of life left at given age instead of defaulting to state the years lived past their expected life. Does the WHO data have this? For example, see rightmost column here http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/Revised_Tables_2008.pdf .
evanlivingston 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the great things about working remotely is the ability to spend time with folks. I moved out to SF to be where the sun shines but recently my father became ill. I'm now spending lots and lots of time in a small town in the Midwest sharing moments with my father, which is the most important thing to me at this moment.
audiodude 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm depressed I have to see them that many more times....
jedanbik 1 day ago 0 replies      
This assumes number_of_parents = 2. This also assumes class.parents() = {female_mother, male_father}. Maybe that's just a little too much heteronormativity for the year 2013?

A more generalized version that produces See Your Folks calculations for people by gender, age, and frequency of visit would be appreciated by folks like me that have complicated family dynamics. Hell, maybe I don't want to see my folks, maybe I just know how often I should see my friend that moved to the EU!

Relevant reading:

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective -- http://qntm.org/gay

_random_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does spending two weeks together constitute one "seeing"?How many weekly Skype sessions constitute one "seeing"?

Cheer-up folks! It's not like we are all soldiers during First World War.

aswath87 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar. Live your dreamshttp://liveconsciously.me/
thebiglebrewski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh my god, this is horrifying
_lex 1 day ago 0 replies      
This so so mean. I've got 6 more times left. Now I'm buying ticket home for xmas.
yodsanklai 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rather pointless in my opinion.

First they make the wrong assumption that the most we see our parents the happier we are.

In any case, I don't think it makes a big difference for people to see their parents 500 or 700 times before they die. Especially if they don't get along with them, they should see each other as little as possible.

My parents died a while ago and while I miss them, I don't regret that i didn't see them enough.

ColinWright 1 day ago 1 reply      
All I get is:

    Oops...something went wrong.

SG- 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just remember there's a good chance one of your parents will die a lot sooner than you or this site actually estimates.

My dad passed away rather quickly fighting cancer back when I was 25, he only got an extra 2 years after he found out.

dlsym 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great. Now I'm depressed. :-/
curiouslurker 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am not sure I appreciate this kind of thing but it is interesting nevertheless. My folks have lived 4.5 years beyond the expected life expectancy for my country! By the way, the app needs to handle this case gracefully: I am a foreigner in the US so I see my folks less than once a year. I tried putting in 1/3 but looks like the lowest number it can handle is 1.
Avalaxy 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a (imho) very emotional song about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s5r2spPJ8g

I really love the text, it's so beautiful when you get towards the end.

cgrusden 1 day ago 0 replies      
Loosely based off of the "1,000 marbles" story. If you want to enjoy your life more, read this story and then go buy a jar of marbles :)


hadem 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was very depressing.
lchitnis 1 day ago 0 replies      
A reminder is good, but an entire website for this purpose alone - with data culled from the WHO? And four people to create it?? Is there any other purpose of the site other than to remind us that our aged parents are nearer to their graves? I tried to find the site pithy but it was equal parts depressing, simplistic and oddly cute. I looked around for other stuff to click on, but there was nothing. Am I missing something?
Jakob 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a comic I really like from Abstruse Goose about the same topic: 936 Little Blops http://abstrusegoose.com/51
borplk 1 day ago 0 replies      
This kinda depressed me a lot more than I was expecting :|
mfontani 1 day ago 0 replies      
17.5 times?!

Comes with living abroad and away from the family, sure, but grim. I should visit them more often than once a year.

donohoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
It says I'll see them 6 more times.

Very little I can do to change that.

LastZactionHero 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like a wasted opportunity for a Kayak.com affiliate bonus...
Pxtl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who guessed what this was going to be about when I saw the questions?
thrillzone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar to the question "Do you want to know when exactly you are going to die?"

I think I'd prefer not to have checked this out.

Nux 1 day ago 0 replies      
This web site makes me sad.

A much lesser problem, it doesn't work in Opera Mini, would be nice if it did, many of my friends are using it.

npras87 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm going to send out good old postcards to my folks every week.And seriously think about making a living, living close by them.

Somebody made http://pigeonpic.com just for this kind of scattered families.

MadMaddie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't even dare to put my details in. I'm a constant worrier and have always had existential issues, so this website doesn't do me any good. We are all different.
ldn_tech_exec1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not trying to be funny, but FaceTime has made a real difference to peoples' lives here
fatbat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Inspiring. I actually have a shelved project that is somewhat similar but for marriage + life, etc.

I think I will continue that now!

juanuys 1 day ago 0 replies      
It said I'll see my folks 0.8 times before they die. Does that mean they'll die while I visit?
josephjrobison 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scary and encouraging! Thankfully I'm an hour away, so there's a way to fix that
armini 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love websites like this, they are a constant reminder that you and those around you are not mortals. Others might also like www.aznoe.com its on the same lines as this...
scottcanoni 1 day ago 0 replies      
My mom has already passed away. I can't use this site :(
Spien 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have to put a number greater then 0... That number (and the statistics they are likely collecting) should even be lower.
Sikul 1 day ago 0 replies      
Feels bad man.
irishloop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ha! Joke's on you, my Mom died this summer.

Oh. Right. :-\

ronaldsvilcins 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sh*t makes me really sad...
brentm 1 day ago 0 replies      
That was about the exact opposite of an enjoyable experience.
stoic 1 day ago 0 replies      
My parents are dead, you insensitive clods
6d0debc071 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love my parents, but the knowledge that I'll only see them another ninety times... there's only so much hearing them my mother talk about her life or watching my father sit in front of the TV that I can take.

I'd prefer to have 90 days of goodness than 300 days of meh, you know? There's only a certain amount of content you can share in a given relationship.

cubitesystems 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know. This was really f depressing.
superpaow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Morbidly amusing results when you select Ethiopia (or any developing country really) as the country
killertypo 1 day ago 0 replies      
annnnnnd that was depressing.
AsymetricCom 1 day ago 0 replies      
My parents are deeaaaaaaad!
ivanbrussik 1 day ago 0 replies      
ratsimihah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Truth hurts.
zubieta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lessons Learned Going from Zero to $30k/Month in a Year groovehq.com
395 points by joshdance  22 hours ago   53 comments top 13
rfnslyr 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic series of articles. I like that you included strategies you've used and actually uploaded documents for the public to see. Keeping it real is the only way to go.

I'm tired of articles written by someone hard working, trying to abstract all their efforts into a certain few points relevant to really their own situation only. The most you get out of these is an ooh or ahh. These types of articles are unintentionally predatory to wannabe entrepreneurs, which in reality, only serve to boost your revenue and traffic.

I want to hear specific conversations you've had, email exchanges, social strategies you've used, things you've read that have literally changed your life and perspective. Give us a peek into your mind and how it works. Not one off points you thought of on an evening and decided to make a blog post. Spend a month, two months, three months, a half year gathering data, and make a post full of integrity with defined goals in mind. Outline a path you took, tell us where you went wrong and why.

Looking forward to more in this series.

OP what do you recommend as reading material? Any books/authors that helped you?

patmcc 22 hours ago 10 replies      
You know, I skimmed the article and liked it, and thought "hey, I'll check out GrooveHQ.com, see what their deal is" since I haven't heard of them before.

And I get to a page where the only way to learn more is to watch a video. Instant turnoff. I'm in a quiet place, I don't want to make noise or plug my headphones in just to have any idea what it is you actually do. Please consider that people might want to read something about you on your signup page.

taude 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Funny, we're already recycling tech company names. Any one remember the cool group collaboration tool (until MSFT bought them) called Groove[1]?

I think the former Groove inspired a lot of what became Web 2.0 productivity tools. It was definitely at the forefront of such.

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

Edit: I should add, good article

basicallydan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I've had a quick read, and I think this is a pretty comprehensive post and I suspect it'll be useful in the future. Especially inclusion of "a bunch of other posts to read on various blogs in a spreadsheet" - that's awesome.

Another thing that's awesome: "There's no magic bullet".

Thanks for a good read.

ateevchopra 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Theres no way to make smart decisions with that sort of self-doubt.

Fortunately, it can be overcome. There are so many entrepreneurs who are smarter, more experienced and more successful than I am. Much of their wisdom is available for free on the internet.'

This is exactly why now startups straight out out college are getting successful. Students, who are mature enough have an ocean of knowledge and experience on their click. I can understand that experience can only be gained, but a wise is one who learn from others mistakes. You can not commit all the mistakes in your single life.

Earlier people used to avoid funding to fresh entrepreneurs, but today "unexperienced" ones can easily "evolve" and become immune to some common traps startups experience. That is why it is said that if you really want to change the world, read and read a lot.


alexbardas 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Great post, really made me take a deeper look into the product.

I wasn't disturbed by the short video which explains most / all the features, but I can see the need of also having them as separate web pages (also useful for SEO).

My main concern is that there is no free version at all, even for smaller teams / startups (1-2 members) and I don't know if it's possible to import data from other customer support SAAS.

chrismorgan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
FYI: in the sentence "Simplifying our onboarding quadrupaled our completion rate" (one of the images), "quadrupled" is misspelled.
codyod 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing. This has given me good ideas to follow through as I try to build up my product. How much resources (capital wise + hours) did you expend? You say in earlier post, 250K bootstrap fund. What percentage on this particular effort?
benlarcey 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting you're spending at least 10% of monthly revenue on BounceExchange. Does it provide ROI? The product looks great but the pricing is another matter!
exo_duz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing. I believe the experiences you have learnt can help me along my way building my own startup.
kostyk 20 hours ago 1 reply      
was there initial funding or everything bootstrapped?
dain 20 hours ago 0 replies      
No Doctype on this page: http://www.groovehq.com/users/sign_in

If this is rails, just add the doctype to the layout you are using for devise sessions. Easy to overlook. Not smart to be missing in production.

briankim 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you for sharing!
Welcome, Freshmen. You Don't Deserve to Be Here chronicle.com
364 points by onedev  3 days ago   199 comments top 34
WA 3 days ago 12 replies      
Dear Americans,

let me tell you something. The good and cheerful atmosphere at freshman speeches is something you should be proud of. It gives people spirit and a wonderful first experience. The harsh truth will catch up anyways. The speech in this article, how the OP thought it should be, is utter crap and comes from a place of total arrogance and serves only himself.

It doesn't act as an eye-opener, because the students won't listen anyways. They will experience reality soon enough and there's absolutely no need to tell them anything they can't understand at their current position. They are mentally not in the state to receive any "truthful speech". They are in a new chapter of their lives and the only bet is to give it a try. The experience of others is worth close to nothing, because they need to make experiences themselves.

Why am I telling you this? Because I'm German. In Germany, there is not even a freshman speech. What we have can be described as a big "fuck you" from some dean or whatever arrogant professor feels entitled to speak up. "50% of you won't be here in 1 year" is something you get told on first day of university. What is this good for? I haven't seen a single student saying "Oh, this guy's right, I'll unenroll right now". They HAVE to try first, because that's the choice they made for this new chapter in life. It might even be true. 50% unenroll after a while, but it's unclear which 50%.

My girlfriend is becoming a teacher. She studied for 5 years. After university follows a 1.5 traineeship at school, before she can call herself a real teacher. They have a welcome speech for the new trainee-teachers and it went like that:"Welcome, good to see you, but you won't get a job anyways." Again, a big "fuck you" to all these people who spend 5 years in this system, gave their best, are motivated and accept a lousy pay for 1.5 years with ridiculous long hours.

From my limited experience and what people told me who experienced the exact same crap in Germany, I can see this only as some self-righteous bullshit from arrogant frustrated people that serves no purpose at all but only to make THEM feel a tiny little bit better. "I'm here, see, I'm the best." Fuck you!

Be proud that it is a common practice in the US to have motivational speeches that give people a good feeling. There's nothing in the world you can tell freshmen to prepare them for reality. The only thing that counts is how you make them feel in this very moment at the Welcome-freshman-party.

nugget 3 days ago 4 replies      
You don't deserve to be here, but thanks for the $50,000 tuition check we just cashed . . .

Education, like religion, politics, and almost everything else in America, is first and foremost a business. Never lose sight of that.

dnr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Saying "You all deserve to be here" isn't intended as a pat on the back to the privileged in the audience, it's a reassurance to the ones on full financial aid and looking around and feeling out of place among their wealthier classmates, or the minorities who are worried that they're only there at all because of affirmative action.

At least that's how I read it.

Jormundir 3 days ago 10 replies      
I've never understood why anyone feels they have a right to say these sorts of things to anyone.

Why should I listen to an old Dean of Admissions speak condescendingly about what I deserve or not? He lost all respect from me, and reverberated the silly "us older generations are wise and have made a beautiful fairy-tale world for you. We look at you youths and think you're incapable idiots who are going to destroy the world, who don't know how to work".

STFU older generations! We are more capable and morally idealistic than any generation before. We work fucking hard for what's right, and will make the world a better place for our kids. I know when I'm old I'm not going to tell my kids they're worrisome morons who deserve nothing. They will work hard, they will be more capable than me, I will inevitable worry, but I will support them unlike these occasional airheads of my parents generation.

hacknat 3 days ago 3 replies      
Very, very good. I share the author's sentiments immensely, and he articulated these ideas much better than I ever could. However, the final lines bothered me:

>> When you deserve it, come back to us. Share your service with your peers and your children.

>>Then you'll be part of our family. Then you'll truly belong.

I don't know what it would ever mean to deserve the wealth and privilege that I have now. I want to do everything in my power to make sure that the injustices that have built history are righted.

To the extent that I can participate in righting wrongs rather than making them I can say to myself on my death bed, "I lead a good life", but will I ever deserve what I currently have? How would I ever know that?

epaga 3 days ago 0 replies      
At first, this article struck a nerve and I found myself agreeing for a while.

On second thought, however, I think the author falls to the other extreme of that which he is criticizing. I'm all for critiquing the vacuous "You're special! you DESERVE to be here!"

But to instead turn around and say "No, you don't deserve to be here! So EARN it!" is to trade a meaningless vague happy feeling for crushing pressure which turns to either arrogance when you succeed or despair when you fail.

Instead of making "earning" / "deserving" something the central point, why not focus on taking that which was given to you at birth and in your upbringing and education (much of which you did not "earn" or "deserve") and making the most of it? Not with the goal of "deserving" something but rather because otherwise the good that was given would go to waste.

Q4273j3b 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Things happen to people by accident," she used to say. "A lot of nice accidents have happened to me. It just HAPPENED that I always liked lessons and books, and could remember things when I learned them. It just happened that I was born with a father who was beautiful and nice and clever, and could give me everything I liked. Perhaps I have not really a good temper at all, but if you have everything you want and everyone is kind to you, how can you help but be good-tempered? I don't know"looking quite serious"how I shall ever find out whether I am really a nice child or a horrid one. Perhaps I'm a HIDEOUS child, and no one will ever know, just because I never have any trials."

"Lavinia has no trials," said Ermengarde, stolidly, "and she is horrid enough."

- A Little Princess (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/146/146-h/146-h.htm). It's a kids book from 1901 about fortune of birth. One of the most interesting things I've ever read.

joelrunyon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Deserve is always a scary word. Every time I hear it - I assume the person is preying on my ego in order to sell me something.
nyan_sandwich 3 days ago 0 replies      
We have some, and will create more. There is no "deserve".

The author seemed to teeter between inspiration and self destructive guilt. I liked the inspirational part.

telephonetemp 3 days ago 0 replies      
The whole notion of desert or lack thereof seems pretty iffy to me. Nobody accomplishes anything without some degree of luck and help from others, which at minimum includes having been born with a brain and having been fed as a baby, and if you believe in biological and economical determinism beyond that it becomes very hard to say who deserves what. In practice most people seem to evaluate how deserving someone is of his or her accomplishments based on whether or not that person meets an arbitrary cutoff for hardship (as indicated by external signs) and where the exact cutoff level lies depends on the evaluator's own experience with hardship and the local baseline for it. This is more of a tool for establishing social status than for moral judgement per se.

Actual accomplishments and the lack of pride (in the sense examined by C. S. Lewis and delightfully summarized at http://squid314.livejournal.com/339814.html) seem to me to be a better measure of a person no matter how lucky that person's birth was.

russelluresti 2 days ago 0 replies      
Or my speech...

You do not deserve to be here. You do not deserve to have to pay $60,000 a year. For those of you who graduate, because at least 20% of you will not, you do not deserve to leave here $240,000 in debt to student loans only to end up taking a job that does not require the degree you will spend the next 4-6 years pursuing. No one deserve to struggle financially for the rest of their lives because of 4 years of bullshit that your parents, educators, and soceity sold you as the only way to "get a good job" or "make a decent living."

Stanford is a private "educational" institution that operates for profit. The notion that you have to "deserve" to be there while going into debt and paying them is ridiculous. That's like saying you don't deserve to eat at Olive Garden; even though you're paying them, even though you worked hard to earn the money to pay them; because eating there is a privilege that you haven't earned yet.

abritishguy 3 days ago 0 replies      
I understand what the author is saying but I disagree, I'm a fresher at Cambridge University and for those of us that haven't come from the private schools it can feel a bit overwhelming and that somehow you have conned them into thinking you're good enough. I can't quite remember what the warden said at our matriculation dinner but it followed the same sentiment that basically every one of us is good enough to be here and that many of us will be feeling that they are out of place but this is normal and not to worry. A week in and I'm absolutely loving it (it's hard work though).

The first week should be for getting people settled in and making new friends.

aaron695 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meh, meaningless claptrap.

The students worked hard to get there, which is just day one of entrance.

Do they deserve to be graduates, no, they get that reward when they graduate after more hard work.

Are they rich peoples children, well yes all Americans are compared to many Somalians or people who lived 500 years ago. No one today deserves anything in that meaningless sense.

Anechoic 3 days ago 0 replies      
I get the message that Carey was trying to convey but I disagree strongly. I went to MIT in the 1990's. One kid in our dorm killed himself. A group of friends and I had to convince another student to not kill herself. The problem has been so endemic that the Boston Glove wrote a series of articles about it. From what I can tell, similar "elite" universities have their own suicide problems.

A lot of this stems from the fact that these freshmen students are 15-18 year-old kids who are facing a really competitive atmosphere, mot to mention being away from home on an extended basis, for the first time. They attend with the hopes and wishes of family, friends and teachers back home and they are fully aware of the financial sacrifices that it took to get them to college. When they get that first 'C' or even a 'D' or 'F' it's very easy to look on yourself as a failure - and suicide looks like an easy way out for some.

These students don't think they deserve to be there, where the opposite is true. That's why these universities try to drill in the positive message. As WA wrote, the real world will make itself known in due time, laying a guilt trip on kids as soon as they arrive is not the way to go. At graduation, sure tell them to give back. But as incoming freshmen, the priority should be helping them succeed.

adamnemecek 3 days ago 1 reply      
How delightfully nebulous and unspecific.
nirmel 3 days ago 2 replies      
It is a truth that we don't deserve anything we have, here in the upper class of the developed world. If we believe that in general believe have approximately the amount they deserve to have, then that would also mean that people who have nothing deserve nothing. For what fault of theirs? For being born somewhere poor, somewhere dirt poor. And if we don't deserve what we have, then we're obligated to help those who deserve to have more than they do.
codex 2 days ago 0 replies      
Children share the same genes and epigenetics as ther ancestors. Likely it's the source of their consciousness. So really, parents and children can be considered the same organism, only running with different inputs. Why shouldn't the same organism, who has worked hard, benefit from the fruits of their labor?

Luck is also involved, but luck, which is random, is distributed randomly and is thus fair to all people in aggregate, even while it is unavoidably unfair up close.

So, where's the unfairness? There is an inherent unfairness that comes with wealth and privilege in that it throws up barriers to newcomers. An equally qualified newcomer may be excluded from the spoils; for that reason, society is never a place where each person has an opportunity to rise to the limits of their ability.

What's interesting here is that the unfairness is not only cross generational, but can occur within the same generation. Serial entrepreneurship is unfair; it makes it harder for newcomers. Wrath accumulation unfair. Having a large social network is unfair.

Therefore, anyone interested in fairness should also levy a progressive tax on wealth accumulation. At the top end, it should be a lot more than 35%.

zacinbusiness 3 days ago 1 reply      
No one deserves to be anywhere, it's all made up.
freshhawk 2 days ago 0 replies      
How did a "You should all feel very lucky to be here, you have been given quite the opportunity and not everyone is so lucky. Count yourselves fortunate, work hard and try and make a real contribution to the world to make the most of where you are" get characterized as a "fuck you" speech?

Did people only read the headline and get caught up on the word "deserve"?

Am I crazy in that I found the hypothetical speech to be motivating and very positive overall? These people are young adults, they can handle a fair bit of truth, especially since they are young, smart and at Stanford so the truth is pretty damn great. Why on earth people think this would be demotivating is beyond me.

rawatson 3 days ago 1 reply      
The author of this article quotes two bits from the speech:

>We have made no mistakes about your admission.


>You all deserve to be here!

The first statement is the more important part. Incoming freshmen meet an extremely talented group of people when they arrive on campus. It's easy to be intimidated by what others have accomplished before even getting to college. The point of this speech isn't to comment on the service undertaken by students, but rather to reassure them that they are capable of performing at the level of the peers they're so impressed by.

allochthon 3 days ago 0 replies      
Implicit premise of the author: he's among the deserving.
dgreensp 2 days ago 0 replies      
The author has his own negative emotional agenda.

If you got accepted to Stanford, great, go to Stanford. It's just a school, a place where people go to learn, and it's a rather expensive one. So learn, and focus on bigger things than moral guilt and self-doubt over the opportunity you've been given, like your career and developing yourself. That will put you in a much better position to give back to the world.

wellboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like this, but instead of saying they don't deserve to be there, I would add that having made it into Stanford is actually "nothing". It could be like this:

Stanford will probably be the most intensive and formative period in your life. However, Stanford can only prepare for the big things that are about to come. The real test comes, once you have your degree in their hands. What will you do with you life after Stanford, will they want to be a pure engineer, work at Facebook or Google, will you try to found the next billion dollar startup, will you cure cancer or become an astronaout?

Stanford might seem big and overwhelming now, however it is still just a nursery and a stepping stone to the challenges to come after Stanford. So don't be overwhelmed, stay humble, stay foolish.

yetanotherphd 2 days ago 0 replies      
"You will deserve to be here (and to exist as a human being) when you have learned to accept my progressive values"

I haven't been to one of these speeches but I assume they are mostly meaningless platitudes. But this is better than left wing indoctrination where they are berated for their privilege and told to seek out "human things, like ethics and obligation and desire" - code for progressive thinking. There will be plenty of time in Gen Eds for that.

wtvanhest 3 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have any opinion on this:

"We live in a society increasingly defined by winner-takes-all competition."

I see this sentence cropping up more and more. I do not see a true structural change in society or business. I definitely see more opportunities for winner-take-all business, but only in terms of rapid scale, not long term sustainable positions of true market dominance.

sac2171 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just graduated from another elite institution, and I truly wish this had been a part of my convocation.

If I ever do open a school, we will have a succinct version as part of the school creed/honor code.

kiddz 3 days ago 0 replies      
The round of applause from the students was likely because they were relieved to have the validation. I went to great schools and it seemed like many of us were always thinking that none of us were as smart/gifted/different as the next person (side note: doesn't take 100% audience buy-in to get the whole audience eventually applauding). But the twist is reminding students (and especially young alum) what such a prestigious degree means -- in short, not as much as you would hope. And for good reason because the tools of the "knowledge economy" are more freely available then ever before. I'm not saying that Khan Academy or Rural Broadband is equal to 4 years at Yale, but I do think that 4 years at Yale is less meaningful now. Like, wouldn't many of you rather have a Karma score of 5000 if you were applying to YC then a CS degree from Stanford?
aianus 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you believe that the unit of life is the gene and not the individual, then rich children are deserving of their privilege.

Their genes, in their previous incarnations, were able not only to survive (through the survival and reproduction of their ancestors) but also to accumulate, preserve, and pass down wealth.

Money and social status is the only form of evolution that's left in a society where (almost) everyone is capable of surviving and reproducing.

6d0debc071 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can't talk to adults like that.

"You don't deserve to be here."

"I studied hard, I did extra curricular activities. I'm smart and I suffered for this. I earned it. When I want someone to look into my soul and spout BS about worthiness, I'll find a priest. In the meantime you've just lost any moral credit you had with me by pretending to know me. Good day."

Maybe it's true that other people deserve it more - I don't think too many people hold out with the idea that they're the most deserving people on the face of the planet though and wouldn't imagine that's what they mean by deserve. Indeed it's hard to see how performing community service would make you fulfil the latter definition.

webo 3 days ago 2 replies      
"Dean Shaw announced that the freshman class included students from 49 states"We miss you, Arkansas"and 66 countries."From Arkansas here. Ouch.
mankypro 2 days ago 0 replies      
You know how you can tell if someone went to Stanford? You don't have to, they'll tell you...
1angryhacker 3 days ago 0 replies      


GoofballJones 3 days ago 0 replies      
I agree, no one deserves having to go to Stanford.

Go Berkeley!

graycat 3 days ago 0 replies      
Stanford's not so great. I'veseen a good fraction of some of their best work, and it's not too difficult. E.g., to me, Ngis out in la-la land. Diaconisis not too difficult but much,much better than Ng. Then some of the bestare Royden, Luenberger, and Chung,but none of their books should beregarded as needing some superhuman effort -- they are all veryclear writers.

For Stanford 'computer science', mostly f'get about that; maybein 50 years it will have somesignificant content.

The speech was insulting BS.

A lot of HS students work theirtails off trying to get into places such as Stanford; sadsituation. E.g., they take APcalculus. Total bummer. F'getabout AP calculus because thepeople who wrote that materialdidn't understand calculus verywell. Instead, just get a goodcollege calculus book and dig in,that is, study the material andexamples and then work the exercisesuntil understand them and the material well. Work from more thanone famous book. There are highlypolished college calculus texts going back at least 50 years andno shortages. Working througha good college calculus book isnot difficult and great fun. Allthe angst over AP calculus is justmake-work, junk-think, busy-worksadism to hurt high school studentsby trying to make difficult something that should be fun.

High schools and that Stanford admissions guy just like to beat upon HS students. Bummer.

Me? I never took freshman calculus!Instead, the college where I did myfreshman year was not very good andforced me into a math course beneathwhat I'd done in my relatively goodHS. So, a girl in the class toldme when the tests were; I showed upfor those; and meanwhile I got a goodcalculus book and dug in. For mysophomore year I went to a muchbetter college, started on theirrelatively good sophomore calculus(same text then used at Harvard),did well, got "Honors in Mathematics"and 800 on my Math GRE. Yup,never took freshman calculus. Well,HS students can do the same: Justget a good, standard, popular, recognized calculus book and dig in.Then f'get about AP calculus andeither just skip calculus in collegeor just show up for the tests andmove on to, say, linear algebra(say, one of Noble, Nearing, Hoffman and Kunze, orStrang, and, finally,Halmos), theoretical advancedcalculus, applied advanced calculus,ordinary differential equations,elementary probability and statistics(race through it and don't take itseriously since will see it allagain with much higher quality),measure theory and functionalanalysis, probability and stochasticprocesses, mathematical statistics,etc. Pick a real problem, do someresearch, get a Ph.D. in engineering,then write software for a startup!

The Russia Left Behind nytimes.com
352 points by mxfh  3 days ago   214 comments top 41
DominikR 3 days ago 10 replies      
This article is outrageous propaganda, I knew that the US government had issues with the Russian government, but it saddens me to see that most posters here have nothing but hatred towards Russia.

Just the fact that the NYT picked life in a gypsy settlement (no water, no electricity, child weddings) to generalize about the life in Russia makes it obvious to me that the journalists had no other intentions but to villify the Russians.

What they did not tell you is that gypsy settlements look the same in France, Germany and other industrialized countries. (Yes - children not going to school, no electricity, no water, weddings of 13 year olds and so on)

olegious 3 days ago 13 replies      
Interesting article but this is nothing new. Russian villages have been dying for centuries- life was always better and easier in the cities. Putting forward gypsies as examples of a "Russia left behind" is disingenuous at best- gypsies live in their own societies by their own rules all across Europe.

Frankly I'm a bit tired of all the negative coverage of Russia by the NYT, The Economist and other respected establishments. I can drive through the Appalachians or towns in the South or Detroit and describe an "America Left Behind"- but we all know that those places do not represent the USA as a whole.

Edit: Russia has problems everyone knows that, I would just like to see more balanced coverage- talk to the middle class that has grown in the cities, the startup people in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities, compare how things are today to how they were in the 90s.

anovikov 3 days ago 2 replies      
Nothing new and does not really show how bad things are. Places like he visited are among relatively polished ones. And well, using a wood stove an not having indoor plumbing is simply the traditional way of life, most of those people are subsistence farmers and that obviously doesn't give good quality of life. Problem is that in many regions, there is nothing reasonable people could except subsistence farming + receiving relative's pensions and drinking them away, because there are no jobs and no economy per se. That in turn, happens because the regions are populated sparsely enough due to cities sucking out population, and smart and initiative people who could start a business find that they have so few customers that they are better off just getting a full time job in Moscow, so they leave. And this filtration goes on and on, and we get the population that is rotten itself.

That is a natural process, and will result in rural Russia being completely abandoned (probably with no permanent population at all) in couple generations. In the region where i am from, rural population (settelements under 100,000 population) declined by a factor of 5 in 80 years (while total population declined by just 25%). There is not much left and what's left cannot sustain itself, too few people to even maintain infrastructure, which in turn pushes remaining people out.

Soviets somewhat contained this trend with restrictions on movement (propiska), which were a gross violation of human rights and Soviet constitution itself, and these limitations were lifted immediately after Soviet Union collapse. That only accelerated in the process.

Probably in countries where there are no real reasons for people to live (except resource-rich regions), some kind of non-democratic control is needed to simply make them survive.

When leaving becomes very easy, it is true even in not-so-bad countries. Why so many people left Baltic states and they turned from most prosperous Soviet republic to the holes they are now? Answer is simple: because they CAN leave. Nobody is going to live in Vilnius if we can just catch a train, find a job and stay in Berlin with no paperwork at all. And it doesn't even require Vilnius to be very terrible. You just can't make it like Berlin, no way.

I know i will be downvoted for this, and of course i'd hate to be in the shoes of those poor chaps locked up in their countries/regions, but it's extremely sad to see places decline, depopulate, and turn into forests for no real reason at all except that the people who lived there initially did so because they've been forced to, and now they are no longer.

memracom 3 days ago 3 replies      
Makes things sound desolate and hopeless. But the residents of provincial cities like Kazan would tell a different story pointing to new subway lines, a new airport terminal, new rapid transit from the airport to the city center, new highways, new apartment buildings, etc.

A foreigner will say, but St. Petersburg is an important port city. How could the main road link between the port and the capital be in such a sorry state? The answer lies in the Russian way of doing things. Russia has an excellent train network, and goods mainly travel from the port to the capital by train. Roads serve those areas which are not important enough to have trains, so when you take a road trip in Russia, you are choosing to travel off the beaten track in the back of beyond. Charming and full of natural beauty, but also full of poverty just the same as you would see on an indian reserve in the USA. Only the natives live in such places in Russia, clinging to the traditional way of life of their ancestors. You look at these people and see white faces like those of you and your neighbors and you are confused because you are used to seeing brown faces on the aboriginals. But in Russia, the white faces ARE the aboriginals, living in this land since before the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago when all of Europe was under a thick sheet of ice.

Russia is a very big place, and the government cannot afford to spend its money everywhere and anywhere. In order to make Kazan and Sochi into modern cities that are productive and desirable places to live, they have to neglect some other places. In a vast territory that means that most of the villages are neglected. But there are lots of people who like it that way because they want to live in the forest, breathe fresh air, collect mushrooms and berries, etc. It is their traditional way of life since time immemorial.

martincmartin 3 days ago 2 replies      
Long Bet #5: "By 2012, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will have referred to Russia as "the world leader in software development" or words to that effect.

Predictor (who lost) was Esther Dyson, an investor in several Ruassian start-ups. Challenger was Bill Campbell, chair of Intuit.


victoro 3 days ago 1 reply      
There is nothing really that novel about this story to anybody who knows anything about Russian history. Rural Russians have been saying "God is too high and the Tsar is too far away" for centuries now. A strong central government that cares little for the provinces is the status quo that has been maintained despite a variety of different political systems. Unlike the US, which has had powerful agrarian political parties that were fiercely suspicious of a strong central government since at least Jefferson, Russian serfs and the overall "agricultural class" have never had any significant political power (factory workers and other lower-class city dwellers were the prime force behind communism while the serfs were mostly an afterthought).

I don't know if anyone can make any sort of objective claims as to whether the highly centralized Russian power structure is any better or worse than a more evenly distributed one. Yes people in small towns live without infrastructure, but they also choose to live there, often for the "clean air" as the article notes. I'm sure there are many American individualists out there that would love to be able to disappear into an unregulated wilderness, mostly free of government scrutiny and yet be like 4 hours away from the capitol.

dm8 3 days ago 3 replies      
How much time does it take for NYT to make these interactive stories? (pure technology not data collection or field journalism)

If it's not significant then this is certainly future of journalism.

[EDIT]: Looking at couple of interactive stories in recent past (Snow Fall and New Silk Road) looks like this is something they want to repeat again and again. Do you think they've developed some sort of framework (like Django/Rails) ?

austenallred 3 days ago 0 replies      
I spent two years living in a variety of cities eastern Ukraine (Donetsk, Kharkov, Makyevka, Gorlovka), and what I saw there wasn't too far removed from what is described in the article. As I read the article, with the exception of the 14-year-old Gypsy wedding, I found myself saying "Oh yeah, I remember that." I would argue that what was described wasn't so much a story of a dying and decaying Russia, as it is some aspects of Russian/former-Soviet culture, especially in small cities or villages.
1gor 3 days ago 1 reply      
This coverage reminds me Soviet articles from my childhood about hard life of common people in the USA. Funny to see same propaganda being produced for domestic consumption in the USA now.
dangoldin 3 days ago 1 reply      

I love this style of presenting journalism content and hope to see more of it. Finally seeing the web being used to do things that print cannot.

Great job to the NY Times team.

tvladeck 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wish they'd stop saying "problems of the last century".

What's described in this article has never stopped being a major problem in many parts of the world.

avenger123 3 days ago 0 replies      
The America Left BehindA journey through a heartland on the slow road to ruin.

Could we not use this title? Take the examples of Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Galveston or Atlantic City and many other cities in America and the same could be said.

The headline is catchy and I'm not sure if I agree with it.

It would be really nice if NYT did a real piece about how American cities are declining and the causes of this and also how we could change it. I guess its easier to study Russia, instead of looking inward.

V-2 3 days ago 0 replies      
You may argue that it's biased and cherry-picked - presumably as opposed to all these counter-arguments like "I've seen worse around Brooklyn" or "I happen to have a lower crime rate than NY in my 100 thousand Russian town" :))) That's solid stuff fortunately, no cherry-picking going on.

However oops, overall statistics also tend to show that Russia isn't doing all that great

Eg. Human Development Index, which measures the standard of living based on a wide variety of data, doesn't even place Russia in the world's top 50.

It only does slightly better than Cuba or Mexico. Or is this evil, imperialist dollar-paid propaganda too (this one never gets old) :)

patrickg_zill 3 days ago 1 reply      
I spent some time in a different part of Russia, 10 days in Volgograd. The best and brightest do try to leave for the big city, not much different than many stories of people going to NYC or California in the 40s and 50s.
revelation 3 days ago 3 replies      
They need to stop with the scrolling effects for the big images. It just flickers, stutters and is all together a terrible experience.
afiedler 3 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of this NY Times article about the Amtrak line between NYC and Washington, DC. Similar story of two booming cities and hundreds of miles of urban blight and poverty in between: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/magazine/amtrak-industrial...
thrownaway2424 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why do they bother hauling goods by road if it takes days, and they have railroads and inland waterways?
dchichkov 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think that in the moment, it is very beneficial to have large chunks of rural, not overpopulated lands. And I don't think that it is in any way a problem.

Current approach of developing natural resources is an ecologist nightmare! Just consider growing fields of mono-cultured plants. And in developed/overpopulated countries, well, the land is 'developed' on the country-wide scale. Ecological nightmare on a country-wide scale!

So. Until we learn how to build better-than-natural ecologies, I'd never consider any under-populated regions as a problem. I wouldn't even think of such region as poor, considering the richness of local ecosystem and natural resources.

usaphp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just want the author to go to a Moscow or St Petersburg subway and compare that to the one in New York City. He will be amazed how clean and beautiful is Moscow subway, and he will see how dirty and slow is NYC subway compared to it.

You can not judge the whole country just by driving on a highway which not many people use and filming a gypsy wedding which has nothing to do with Russia.

democracy 3 days ago 0 replies      
My cosmopolite was sustaining the pride and reputation of the Earth when the waiters closed in on both combatants with their famous flying wedge formation and bore them outside, still resisting.

I called McCarthy, one of the French garcons, and asked him the cause of the conflict.

"The man with the red tie" (that was my cosmopolite), said he, "got hot on account of things said about the bum sidewalks and water supply of the place he come from by the other guy."

"Why," said I, bewildered, "that man is a citizen of the world--a cosmopolite. He--"

"Originally from Mattawamkeag, Maine, he said," continued McCarthy, "and he wouldn't stand for no knockin' the place."

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe by O Henry

ohwp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow great pictures! Didn't have time to read the article but I had to look up the photographer: http://www.kostyukov.com/
Tarang 3 days ago 0 replies      
Besides the content, Is anyone going to mention the beautiful use of the line as a scrollbar with the SVG? Its nice to see more and more articles beginning to use more interactive web technologies as opposed to just a static text and pictures. There's more of a reason to read content online than just having the latest content.
ommunist 3 days ago 1 reply      
I believe I am going to hack Russia by going to live there for a while. Let's see what I can do.They have 13% of business tax only.
colinbartlett 3 days ago 4 replies      
? , .
sailfast 3 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful presentation work - congratulations to Mike Bostock and company at the Times for making something engaging to read in the modern web environment. Great work and I enjoyed the experience of reading it - things like this will be critical to the future of journalism.
itchitawa 3 days ago 0 replies      
To me this is a good sign. Not every small town needs to exist. Historically there were reasons for them - agriculture I guess. But now they often serve no purpose except to house the old people who have trouble leaving. The fact is the world doesn't need as many farmers as it used to so these places are better off left to disappear. It might feel sad if your hometown is lost but it's only physical things whose usefulness has passed.
danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm old fashioned...the parallax motion and the embedded widgets and things don't do much for me, but what really sticks out to me is the great photography, and this format, whether you like the effects or not, at least showcases the great images.

That said, I don't think this story-telling format is the future of journalism. The reason why this story looks so attractive is because there are so few ads, if any. Yes, this format lends itself to being able to do full-page ads or special built-in ads...but those take work to both acquire and construct. Given that these type of feature stories are far and few between, I'd be surprised if the higher-CPM on special-feature-story-ads outweighs the bespoke-effort needed to acquire and implement them. In any case, I highly doubt that if it does, that it does so at a scale that is meaningful.

And another thing: the reporting and editing is obviously the bottleneck here. But let's let that be a given...the other main bottleneck is the non-web-dev reporters and editors trying to get their ideas into this innovative format. My guess is, that even at the New York Times, this is a very painful and slow process, even if your devs include Mike Bostock, creator of D3. Part of these features are done with generated templates. And part of them appear to be handcrafted.

But again, it's not the hand-crafting that is necessarily the most painful part of the tech workflow. It's the editing across systems that weren't designed for this collaboration. Have you ever built a fancy website in Flash only to have your client want to change a bunch of links that were hard-coded? Imagine that, except across several editorial departments. Another way to think of it: newspaper reporters and editors typically do not use Sublime Text.


Some technical observations:

The NYT interactive team has been doing analytics on these different story formats. Check out the source code for their previous feature on The Jockey:


At the bottom is some JavaScript that seems to be handcoded for that feature and refer to analytics:

          NS.jockeyMeta = {            photoPath: 'http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/multimedia/bundles/projects/2013/Jockey/',            videoStillPath: 'http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/multimedia/bundles/projects/2013/Jockey/',            videoPosterPath: 'http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/multimedia/bundles/projects/2013/Jockey/',            videoPath: 'http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/video/multimedia/bundles/projects/2013/Jockey/',            url: 'http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/the-jockey/',            viewport: document.documentElement.clientWidth,            legacyDesktop: window.NYTMM_IE,            imageSizes: [1400, 1280, 1024, 980, 800, 680, 640, 540, 420, 380, 320, 280],            videoSizes: [320,600,970],            blankImage: 'http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/flash/multimedia/ICONS/greyC.png',                  comment_page_url: 'http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/the-jockey/comments/'
If you view the source of the Russia story, you won't see any such analytics code. You'll see a lot of D3 code and even some special video-player helper code that I haven't seen on the other features. So again, these features are a pretty new thing, but I think it's a long way from being something that is scalable, and not because for lack of technology or skill at the NYT.

scarfacedeb 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's definitely not a whole picture, but it's rather accurate view of the countryside and abandoned villages.I live in Tyumen and it's not that bad, thanks to the gas and oil industry.But I visited a couple of villages and _it seems to me_ that this article is rather accurate portray of the average out-of-the-city life in Russia.

I think that it's written as propaganda, but it doesn't change the facts.

kutakbash 3 days ago 0 replies      
That 'cartographic' parallax is seriously cool. They even increase scale indicator accordingly.
palderson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Putting the article aside, I love the functionality. Mapping a story to exactly where you were on the trip when it occurred, the way the NYTimes has, is an amazing way to present the story.
Duckpaddle2 3 days ago 1 reply      
The subject matter aside, that is the coolest web page implementation I have seen in a long time. The rolling zoom with the mouse wheel and the map display on the side was just neat.
rpupkin 3 days ago 0 replies      
NYTimes' maudlin travelog aside, Russia is in deep sh*t:


wuschel 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have only skimmed this article and thus will not comment on its contents, BUT I wonder what is the software package that has been use to generate the article layout?
codecrusade 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can someone pen a similar - 'The India I left behind' and put the damn thing on NYT
beautybasics 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is that it's fine for major western media establishment to paint unsettling picture of east.

- Of course west is doing better

- But that does not mean they can point communities that are worse off

- I'am sick of BBC covering negative stories on China & India (i'am one)

- Why don't NY Times and the like, point to their own troubles where they left ordinary people troubles and spend all the recourses in covering the powerful { Politicians, Actors, Musicians, Sports Personale}

- Just like the way BBC sucks up to monarchy

squozzer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Two words -- West Virginia.
ilteris 2 days ago 0 replies      
does anyone have any idea how they did the left bezier drawing as one scrolls down? thanks.
hoiplodocus 2 days ago 0 replies      
would love to see this 12 hours drive from the russian driver dash cams
exhilaration 3 days ago 0 replies      
How long until this happens to the United States?
ujsfdo 3 days ago 0 replies      
caiob 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is this open-source?
Google Fiber now allows servers for non-commercial use googleprotest.com
343 points by pontifier  3 days ago   151 comments top 15
rsingel 3 days ago 6 replies      
I still don't think this comports with the net neutrality rules, which focus on network management at a user/protocol level. Commercial/non-commercial is a business distinction -- which is exactly what net neutrality was meant to stop (e.g. Comcast throttling BitTorrent).

Google Fiber shouldn't care a whit if my server is commercial or non-commercial (what does that even mean?) If my usage hurts the network, then GF can throttle my connection in some way that is disclosed as a policy and which is considered reasonable.

This is a half-assed compromise and it's not in line with either the spirit or the clear language of net neutrality.

(Full Disclosure: I wrote the Wired article that set off this storm.)

tnuc 3 days ago 1 reply      
To save people from looking, it has been changed to;

---To operate servers for commercial purposes. However, personal, non-commercial use of servers that complies with this AUP is acceptable, including using virtual private networks (VPN) to access services in your home and using hardware or applications that include server capabilities for uses like multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security.---

Tomdarkness 3 days ago 1 reply      
Had Google actually taken action against anyone hosting a server? I guess this is more of a T&C clarification than anything else, i.e they would of not actually taken action against non-commercial servers anyway.
rch 3 days ago 4 replies      
Out of curiosity, why is there a prohibition on a particular type of activity and not just on bandwidth or similar? I understand that this is a fairly common provision, and not specific to Google Fiber at all.
mtarnovan 3 days ago 1 reply      
Slightly off topic, but browsing the comments on this thread I'm just amazed how good and cheap Internet has become here (Romania) compared to some of the prices out there. A major local provider recently announced a new 1Gbps plan for about 18$/month. I'm currently on their 50Mbps plan, and I get just that: 5MBytes/s up/down.
cenhyperion 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great news. Although I doubt they would crack down on people running some low traffic servers for personal use either way, it's good that it is officially clarified.
pfraze 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely appreciate that policy change.
blhack 3 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't this change...nothing? They have always allowed you to run non-commercial servers, haven't they?
nullc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Better make sure you run adblock while browsing through your VPN to home- wouldn't want anything commercial to go on.

It's all good: Google is just trying to protect you from the evils of money.

ilaksh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Aren't there a ton of people who moved out there specifically to run their startups on Google Fiber? So all of them are breaking the terms supposedly.
ljlolel 3 days ago 1 reply      
What happened to net neutrality, Google?
ivanbrussik 3 days ago 0 replies      
EXTRA! New WATER company opening throughout the USA but doesn't allow HOT water.

Google is shit. I hope the US government smacks them for this.

piratebroadcast 3 days ago 0 replies      
Site looks like shit. Just saying.
api 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can't have faster home Internet lead to decentralization...
znowi 3 days ago 2 replies      
If only it was that simple to make Google stop spying for NSA
GoDaddy, Media Temple, and the Horrible World of Web Hosting marco.org
339 points by mh_  2 days ago   158 comments top 41
smacktoward 2 days ago 8 replies      
As long as we're sharing hosting anecdotes/recommendations, I'll throw in my two cents: I've dealt with umpty gazillion hosting companies over the last 15+ years, and the only one that has consistently impressed me to the point where I recommend them to clients without any reservations is Rackspace. Both in their dedicated server offerings and the newer Rackspace Cloud stuff. (Rackspace Cloud doesn't have as much bleeding-edge whiz-bang stuff as AWS, but they make up for it IMO with excellent tech support/customer service.)

They're generally more expensive than the competition, but you get what you pay for, you know? I'm sitting here trying to think of a time when Rackspace has ever let me down, and I can't. Being able to have that kind of confidence in your hosting environment is nice.

Marco is correct that shared hosting is a disaster area, so much so that Rackspace doesn't really compete there, so I'm always hesitant when people ask me to recommend a shared host. I generally end up recommending Dreamhost too; it's not great, but it's better than what you'd get for the same money anywhere else.

larrys 2 days ago 2 replies      
"But its also highly commoditized: hosts cant differentiate their products very much, theres effectively no barrier to entry, switching at any time is fairly cheap and easy, and most customers buy primarily on price."

I don't agree at all that for many website hosting customers the process is "easy".

A typical web hosting customer is not tech saavy they either have it being handled by their "tech guy" or they can't even remember how their files got onto the server in the first place with their static site and sometimes they don't even know who is hosting their site [1].

[1] Source: We're a registrar and we get the calls and emails of confused customers who have no clue where they are hosted. They don't even know enough to look at the whois and see the dns to give them a hint. Actually you'd be suprised how many times someone will access our whois and think we are their registrar.

seldo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think Marco is overly dismissive of shared hosting; the web should be inclusive and easy to use, and for lots of people with uncomplicated hosting needs shared hosting is a fine choice. See also: Heroku, AWS, any other level of abstraction you care to pick. Many developers outgrow shared hosting, but that doesn't mean the category is intrinsically bad.

(My personal site has been on Site5 for over a decade; they have mostly been pretty good)

lelandbatey 2 days ago 4 replies      
Web hosting customers are nomads. If your host hasnt been ruined yet, just wait.

This line right here is absolutely sage wisdom. Here are some of the companies I've bought services from, as well as what I remember happening to them:

    ClubUptime        Closed in a disastrous closure due to basically being conned.    DirectSpace        Still around, haven't changed much    VolumeDrive        Very sketchy, I don't really know how they're still in business    Fazewire        Local Seattle hosting/colocation company. Originally founded by a guy        when he was 15, he sold the company when he went to college.    URPad.net        Still around, only used them for a short period of time.        OVH    Amazon    Digital Ocean

coderdude 2 days ago 5 replies      
I've been a Media Temple customer since 2007 and a GoDaddy customer since 2004 [edit: I say 2004 but I don't think that's possible. I must have switched to them sometime after 2006 but I can't recall who my previous registrar was.]. I like both companies just fine though apparently not everyone has been as lucky. I don't know if GD is going to be a good home for mt since GD specializes in cheaper hosting. But...

GoDaddy does a lot to support their customers. Friendly people over the phone. They've walked my dad through some hosting issues he had when he was trying to set a site up. They call me every couple of months to make sure I'm satisfied with everything (and probably try to sell me on that bundled registration). Making them out to be The Devil is too dramatic. And transparent too when he could have linked to the #Philanthropy[1] heading on their Wikipedia page but chose to focus on #Controversies to support a position.

unclebucknasty 2 days ago 1 reply      
And before it was Ev1Servers, what is now IBM, was RackShack. So, it was RackShack, ev1, ThePlanet, SoftLayer, IBM. We started as a dedicated customer with RackShack, then on to a managed customer on ThePlanet. FWIW, we are on the same dedicated rack as when with ThePlanet, though SoftLayer tried to sell us on their "pod" solution (i.e. VPS).

So, we are overpaying for our current hardware, but haven't had the stomach for another migration. Contrary to what the article states, small companies with already limited resources don't want to spend time moving a moderately complex infrastructure around, on top of the considerable work already on the table.

But, yeah, GoDaddy engages in questionable practices. Automatically adding stuff to your cart (and/or making it confusingly easy for you to do so), bumping renewals to 5 years by default, and otherwise making their UI "consistently inconsistent" in ways that miraculously always seem to benefit them are part of the equation. To be pushy with upsells is one thing, but they take it a step further.

These are kind of ingrained business practices and part of the same ethos that says selling IT services with sex is OK. It is hard to imagine them acquiring a company without that company getting at least a little of that stink on them.

cylinder 2 days ago 5 replies      
Hosting is like commercial airlines. Everyone wants excellent service, but they shop on price, and expect it to be low. Those who can actually spend a lot, do it themselves anyways (private jets). This could be the beginning of a consolidation phase in the hosting industry just like what took place with airlines.
DigitalSea 2 days ago 1 reply      
This news could not make me happier after moving from Mediatemple completely about 6 months ago. I would say I got out just in time. My experience with Media Temple (I was with them since the beginning and all of the teething problems they had with their hosting in the early days) was fairly good. Support was great, but if you soon find you hit the limit of their hosting pretty quickly. They used to market their Grid Server (gS) plans as being "Digg Proof" and it was once upon a time but then eventually the Grid Server plan lacked behind and getting Slashdotted/Digged meant you had to scale up with burst addons.

I would argue that Mediatemple kind of killed themselves in many ways, I can't see how GoDaddy will do much worse to be honest. People put them up on such a high pedestal as they got bigger, they just couldn't live up to their glowing reputation because of how big they were growing which is a problem not many companies can say they have, Support stayed timely until the end, but Media Temple lost out to Digital Ocean and Linode big time and just couldn't keep up in the end.

I wish GoDaddy all the best, but for the moment I am very happy with my Linode 1024 virtual server plan which never buckles under anything I've thrown at it thus far. Even hitting the front-page of HN once upon a time didn't cause it to break a sweat.

wonderyak 2 days ago 5 replies      
My least horrible experiences have all been with DreamHost as well.

Our company did reseller hosting for about 5 years and went through all of the acquisition stuff Marco mentions. We had to exit SoftLayer because they were horrible, only to be brought right back.

Hosting is a horrible business. To be good at it and have marketplace success you need to deliver over the top support; which is just unsustainable at scale.

arikrak 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's interesting about standard shared web hosting (mainly used by small PHP-based sites) is how most of them are secretly owned by one company: EIG


Many people spend time comparing the different services, but in truth they're all the same!

Also, you get much better specs with the free tier of OpenShift, but I guess that will change once enough people switch to it (just like AppFog changed their free tier).

naiyt 2 days ago 1 reply      
I worked in webhosting for about two years, and can attest to the fact that it's a horrible world. We were pretty good at our jobs, but the company was experiencing some really nasty growing pains, and the product was pretty bad as a result.

One of the big pains in the webhosting world is maintaining legacy systems...we had about 15,000 clients on ancient servers running RHEL4, under a proprietary VPS platform. (And as far as I know, a big chunk of them are still there.) Needless to say, this resulted in a really crappy service for the clients on those servers, and there never seemed to be a big push to get everybody migrated off of them and onto our newer servers running cPanel. We were working towards it, but it was a big endeavor that would leave a lot of clients extremely upset when things invariably went awry. So rather then putting some good development time towards automating the process as much as possible and hiring more support for those accounts that didn't migrate properly, the problem just sat there for years.

davidedicillo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I remember in 2001 when it was almost a badge of honor to be hosted on (MT), especially if you were one of those website that got the free hosting in exchange of their logo on the page.
lsc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it's interesting how shared hosting has such a terrible reputation.

Really, it's sad, because it's pushing a lot of folks who really shouldn't be running their own servers into the VPS market.

Thats the thing, though; VPSs, generally speaking, have much harder limits. It's harder for that one user to make the server suck for everyone. I mean, it's not as good as a dedicated server, but it's a big step up from the isolation available in shared hosting.

Now that the market price for VPSs has fallen almost to the shared hosting level, I wonder if services that implement a shared-hosting like environment within managed VPSs will take off? Something where the user doesn't have root, where it's managed by the hosting company (presumably automatically) but where there is only one user per virtual.

There are PAAS providers that operate that way, sure, that will let you run languages better than PHP... but there doesn't seem to be an ecosystem of PAAS providers that are all compatible, like there is with php shared hosting.

What interests me about this sort of "PHP as a service" is that unsophisticated users are used to dealing with shared hosting. They understand the limitations. And they want the resource isolation of a VPS solution, even if they are unable or unwilling to put in the sysadmin work required.

mbesto 2 days ago 0 replies      
My experience is the following: not everyone has the same consistent experience with every host, but some are definitely better than others.

That being said, the companies I've had good experiences with, have heard others, and will continue to use/pay are: AWS, Linode, DigitalOcean, and Webfaction (webfaction is amazing for a small cheap shared hosting environment). Other ones that cross my mind are OVH and Hetzner.

noir_lord 2 days ago 1 reply      
If I need to host multiple simple sites they go onto one of my linode instances that is set up for multiple sites.

If I need to host a more complex or demanding web application it goes onto a dedicated linode (or may share one).

Dedicated servers that are reliable are very very expensive (Hetzner in my direct experience is nowhere near reliable) where with linode across 3-8 linodes at various times I've had no down time in coming up for 5 years.

Fantastic support, they don't oversell their machines.

Sure if I shop around I can get a similar spec (whether it delivers who knows) for half the price but is it really worth saving 20 bucks if I don't sleep at night worrying about my vps provider going down.

I also like DO, I still won't host anything important with them but for a quick dev/test box they are pretty good.

I've never really gotten why the VPS market is quite so price conscious the difference between 5 a month and 20 a month is so meaningless in the grand scheme of things (I suspect I spend a lot more than 15 a month on coffee on the way to work).

SteveGerencser 2 days ago 1 reply      
In the late 90s i was a partner in a hosting company. To this day every time someone asks me to host a small site on my personal server I get flashbacks and the shakes. Never again. Hosting is not a game for people without very strong nerves. I won't even resell hosting.
jasonvorhe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a proud user of Uberspace (see https://uberspace.de) - unfortunately they are based in Germany and therefore all of their amazing documentation is in german too. They have adopted a Dokuwiki-based documentation and their support on Twitter (@ubernauten) and via mail is kind, fast and amazingly personal. It's a real shame they have no plans to expand to an international market. They claim that the quality of their service and the documentation would suffer if they'd go the dual-language route so they'd rather not do so in order to keep their current quality.

Their datacenters are located in Frankfurt so the roundtrip to the US might come with a latency you'd want to avoid, but you should at least try them anyways. They will gladly offer their support in english, but consider that english isn't their native tongue. You can even send them GPG encrypted mail.

Uberspace is quite young (they started in the beginning of 2011 afaik) but they've only improved during all that time and there was no decline in their service quality after word got around that they are the go-to provider for german customers seeking shared webhosting. They offer anything from ruby/rails to python to nodejs, mongodb, postgresql - and even php in different versions from 5.3 to 5.5 including almost all revelant point releases. They only offer 10GB of storage which is not easily expandable but they place no limit on the amount of Uberspace-accounts you create, so if you are hosting different projects you can simply scale them to different accounts which might end up on different nodes. (which are never too overbooked that it might impact the performance - and if it does, they'll upgrade the hardware to fix that!)

You decide what you want to pay! They want at least 1EUR per month but you can adjust your price to anything you want and you can even change your prices on a monthly basis. They say that they want all people to be able to state their opinion on the internet and that's why they're hoping that people with a bigger budget chose to set their price to their recommendation of 5-10EUR per month. But they will never beg you to pay more if you stay with 1EUR and your service won't suffer either. (I have several accounts and a 2 of them have the default price and I got amazingly fast help via mail despite only paying 1EUR for these accounts)

You don't need to give them any personal data if you simply want to create an account (all you need is <8 letter username and a password or OpenID). They will give you a fully usable Linux-account on one of several dozen CentOS-powered servers in return and you can even run your own services (via djb's daemontools) or ask them to open up a higher (>61000) port for you if you want to host a xmpp-server or something. You can't get unencrypted (as in non-TLS) IMAP/POP3/SMTP and they don't offer FTP because of its bad security. Instead you'll work via a fully capable SSH-connection and have SCP/SFTP-access to transfer files. Their webinterface is simpyl called "dashboard" and offers only the most basic stuff like creating virtual mailaccounts and password and SSH key-management. They're giving you your own IPv6-address and their servers have been dual-stack from the beginning. You can also create your own SSL-certificate for your own domain (which you don't even need to register/transfer at Uberspace, just add the domain to your account and setup your DNS and you're done.

If you're up to the challenge and have lots of experience as a Linux-systemsadministrator, start your own Uberspace-service outside of Germany and you'll get rich within a year if you can offer their commitment and service.

I'll never ever go back to lame hosting providers where I'll have to fiddle with crude and slow webinterfaces. At least for me the roundtrip to Sweden is acceptable and their documentation is understandable when translated to english by Google.

On the topic of Marco's claims regarding hosting providers I can simply state from my experience that Uberspace seems behave diametral to his expectations so far.

(I am not being paid for this and I'm also not affiliated with Uberspace other than being a happy customer.)

davidw 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.welton.it/articles/webhosting_market_lemons - this seems somewhat relevant: "Web Hosting - A Market for Lemons".

I'm not sure I got it 100% right, but I think there are some valid points.

kephra 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most important advise is: Unbundle domain contract and hosting contract. Do not eat the bait of the free domain!

About softlayer: Its possible to bargain with them. We have E-2620 servers there, official starting price at $879, and we pay $299/month including more RAM and a small network. So they had been willing to undercut co-location calculation if you ask them. I dont know if this is still possible after IBM. I guess their sales team now knows better how to barter with big customers.

jacques_chester 2 days ago 0 replies      
A nitpick: he's saying "high profits" when I think he means "high gross profits". It's an important distinction. The low cost-of-goods-sold (COGS) is offset first by the competition and later by the cost of hiring people the manage it and deal with customers.
kyoji 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really feel the need to plug Nearly Free Speech, my host of choice:


Definitely not aimed at large(r) sites, but for my static sites and a few WP installations it works fantastically. The control panel takes some getting used to, but the "pay for what you use" business model more than makes up for the rough edges. Its all la carte and I love it, I've been a customer for 5 years with no problems.

programminggeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is it me or is there a place in the market for higher quality, less commodity type hosting services. Right now things are segmented by type of hosting in very technical ways, but we're now seeing more value added hosting for things like rails (heroku), wordpress (wp engine), etc.

I think people will always pay for service, quality, and experience. Whoever can deliver that consistently will make money in hosting.

nsoonhui 2 days ago 1 reply      
I subscribed to a tmdhosting VPS package, and the IO throughput was simply horrible. I collected the IO statistics, and I emailed the support team and asked it to move me to another hardware node which was less overloaded.

The support person refused to do so, but instead, asked me to subscribe to a dedicated server. I explained that I didn't need a dedicated server, as it was clear from my statistic that all faults were on their IO throughput side. He just won't listen and still insisted on up-selling me a dedicated server.

What a horrible experience! Anyone encountered the same thing as I do? Is IO throughput a PITA for your hosting experience?

dctoedt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been happy with server289.com for my personal site for several years now. The one time I had an issue (which turned out to be pilot error on my part) they were quite responsive and very helpful.
larrys 2 days ago 0 replies      
"theres effectively no barrier to entry"

Made this point in another comment but want to stress the biggest barrier to entry is being able to provide customer support and handling the "rtfm" type calls. So it's a people problem. In the sense that you could start doing hosting as one individual but at a certain point you'd have to hire someone to take care of the support calls that a larger customer base (than one person can handle) would require.

Trufa 2 days ago 7 replies      
I would like to know what other people experiences are with regard to Hostgator. Honestly, I chose because I didn't know many other options at the time but I've never had any sort of trouble and their chat assistance is pretty awesome.

I would like to know if I'm actually just lucky or if other people have had this experience too.

wyck 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always considered MT to be a marketing company so this seems to be a perfect fit. I mean that literally because I always joke that they are the designer jeans of hosting.
SubMachinePun 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work next to Media Temple in Culver City, and FWIW, those MT employees in their new GoDaddy hoodies partying with their taco truck seemed pretty happy this afternoon with their new SOPA-backing overlords. I'm not sure if the reaction is supposed to imply something positive that I'm just overlooking.
systems 2 days ago 0 replies      
its a nice post, and the note that MT was planning for exist since day one is insightful ... i didnt know that

but i cant help but feel, the MT story was forced into this post to make the much general point that most hosting companies are horrible

also, he does seem to miss a smallish fact MT or he doesnt raise it clear enough .. MT was not a great host .. it was an expensive mediocre host ... but i think he probably did downplay this a little to make his louder statement that things will get worst for MT ... mainly because the founders left

i have to disagree, MT wasnt, he sort of admit it, the founder was never a believer he admit it ... MT didnt loose much

plus if hosting is such a comodity and MT wasnt good .. the customers should feel they really lost anything

again i believe marco used MT story as just an excuse to make this post ...

kbar13 2 days ago 1 reply      
well, it was a good run, MT.

I wonder how many of their employees will leave MT

NKCSS 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hmm, the recommendations at the end of the article still seem pretty pricey to me. I'm personally a fan of LeaseWeb; been renting servers with them for 5 years now and still very happy, at a good price (~100 for 100MBit unmetered, quadcore xenon x3440, 16GB ram, 2x2TB HDD and ESXi 5.1)
newsreader 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm definitely in the minority here but I just don't see how "GoDaddy is a horrible company run by horrible people selling horrible products." I dealt with GoDaddy in the past and have an active account with them. I think that their prices are reasonable and their customer service is good enough at least for me. I do find that navigating through their website is a pain and definitely not designed for a non-technical person, but that alone doesnt make it horrible.
k1m 2 days ago 0 replies      
For shared hosting I've had a great experience with https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net
kevinwalzer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't pay for hosting. Run your own box on a static IP. I've done it for a decade for the 12+ sites my business operates for its various brands. The traffic is fairly light, sites are mostly static, but the cost savings add up.
JEVLON 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a terrible experience with MT a couple of years ago. GoDaddy won't be ruining them. They wrecked themselves.
bishopknight 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been with Media3 Webhosting since 1999 for all my clients ( mainly for Coldfusion Hosting ) and the great thing about them is I can get a live person within a minute to a few minutes, any time.
quocble 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh for the love of god. MT was one decent hosting company, now bought out by the people shits all over themselves and their customers.
thrillgore 2 days ago 0 replies      
Media Temple had to know during the talks that any acquisition would cost them dearly.
PauloManrique 2 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one that never had problems with GoDaddy?
busterzzz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use mt for one of my sites, hope this isn't A turn for the worst.
ebbv 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work in the web hosting industry and this is a pretty good analysis, and fairly accurate.

I would say that usually the hosts that are trying the hardest are the smaller ones that are not "household names" yet. Once they break out and start growing really fast, that's when the people who made it happen tend to check out and let things fall apart.

Adi Shamir Prevented from Attending Crypto and Cryptology Conferences ncl.ac.uk
336 points by cantrevealname  1 day ago   99 comments top 20
buro9 1 day ago 4 replies      
My visa takes a long while.

Not quite as long as it took Adi Shamir, but long.

On average it takes about 14 weeks to get a visa, but on occasion it has taken many many months.

I've done the calculations, the worst-case scenario for the full process is 32 weeks. It's never actually taken that long, but it's not been far off.

I remember having to explain to Microsoft that they needed to write a sponsor/supporting letter (for the US embassy) more than half a year in advance of any potential visit to Redmond that I'd be working at. As this was for DAC (Developer Advisory Council) meetings that Microsoft only scheduled a month in advance they found themselves in a dilemma over this. Thankfully they agreed, and their legal department would author letters that a meeting would likely occur requiring my attendance, but it was always a slog of a process.

For those wondering, I was shortly married to a US citizen and I speculate that this triggers some flag or signal that makes them think I want to stay there (I don't). I also have an interesting past, having been homeless for a while. Who knows though, the system doesn't supply answers. It's a black box process.

It's a nightmare process that doesn't end when you have a visa. On arrival I experience the joys of "secondary", and being sat in a waiting room for many hours before a 10-second interview in which they let me go my way.

Every part of the experience is a miserable one, always with the threat of an axe over the visit.

The vast majority of the time I have been invited, or had opportunities to visit, I just do not choose to visit the USA.

lvryc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I quite like the 'apology' he received from the conference organizers:

> In July 2013 I told the NSA-affiliated conference organizers that I was having some problems in getting my visa, and gently asked whether they could do something about it. Always eager to help, the NSA people leaped into action, and immediately sent me a short email written with a lot of tact:

> The trouble you are having is regrettable Sorry you wont be able to come to our conference. We have submitted our program and did not include you on it.

cantrevealname 1 day ago 10 replies      
Adi Shamir wrote that the president of his institute says:

"It is clear that scientists have been singled out, since I hear that other simple citizen, do get their visa in a short time."

Scientists get more scrutiny? What in the world is going on there?

rburhum 1 day ago 1 reply      
As somebody that has held six different US immigration statuses during a span of a couple of decades, I can almost assure you there is no malice behind this and just pure bureaucratic incompetence. I once had a paper that was supposed to arrive in three months take three years. What I learned is that going to the USCIS office after something is due and checking the status will make a difference since, for example, you can spot (common) routing errors with applications.
JanezStupar 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been to the USA in the past. I would like to see more than I have seen and I would also like to participate in the wonderful US economy.

However upon the last visit I really took offence with the security theatre (that was in 2008 mind you and I am from a visa waiver country). Another factor is that USA chooses to not grant me a visa under which I start a business in the US under reasonable terms i.e. without constant fear of getting caught and deported and being put on lists.

It became a matter of pride. Now I will continue to avoid USA on principle.

rb2k_ 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's not that they didn't give him a J1 visa, it's just that they took way too long to process it.It sucks, but I wouldn't attribute to malice what I could attribute to inefficiency :)
piqufoh 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Indeed, public-key cryptography might not evenbe with us today if Adi had not been involved with Ron Rivest and Leonard Adleman so long ago.

There you go, those pesky scientists making the surveillance industry's job that little bit harder.

zhuzhuor 1 day ago 0 replies      
AFAIK, USA has been a second choice for crypto-related conferences for many years.If you ever attended one such conference, you will notice there will always some speakers/presenters couldn't attend due to visa issues.I guess many US people aren't even aware of this, but visa problem has been a huge pain for non US citizens. You can ask about this if you have any friends who are international students or H1B workers.
ra 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think if the US must continue to have such draconian and onerous entry requirements they should offer a fast track or simplified program for persons of note to attend a specific event in their field.

To not do so simply hinders the progress of human knowledge, or at least, it hinders the United States.

informatimago 1 day ago 2 replies      
What is obvious is that "Adi Shamir" is a name of someone living in a country dominated by Islam, and further that person is known to work in cryptography, so he is obviously a terrorist trying to send secret orders to other terrorists. In any case, he's a PITA for the NSA and other good guys like that. What they should have done, is to give him a visa, and redirect his flight direct to Guantanamo for further interrogation.</sarcasm level=big>

A tad more seriously: it's because of all those scientists of all the ages, that they have this situation where mere peasants can travel all around the globe, and make bombs or pilot planes into buildings. In the good old time, if a peasant tried to escape, he was eaten by the wolfs in the hoods, or killed by the highwaymen, so they stayed put, and the most they could try to do was to bump the armor of the lord with their wooden forks.

So it seems only natural to try to restrict them like that (perhaps it's a little too late).

raverbashing 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone explain why it involved a J1 visa? I thought a B-1 sufficed for attendance (and even non-compensated presentations)
Sidnicious 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why not attend by telepresence? Let him present by video and hook him up with a Double or similar internet-controllable robot to talk to people around the conference. Or go full-on Bluth and pair up with an American proxy wearing a headset.

This sucks, sure, but there's always another way.

bhitov 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those of you in the Cambridge area, he will instead be giving a talk at MIT tomorrow.



gngeal 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hope this will spur research and development in the area of telepresence.
bowlofpetunias 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised nobody is offended by the fact that an Israeli needs a visa for the US in the first place.
kartikkumar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why did he apply for a J-1 visa? I've been on a J-1 a couple of times for research stints in the US, but my understanding is that for conferences, you can also make use of the B-1 visa [1], as stated on the State department's website. The B-1 is generally processed much more quickly, with the J-1 requiring a lot more documentation.

[1] http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_2665.html#...

mortdeus 23 hours ago 1 reply      
There needs to be legislation that allows foreign scientist's visas to be rushed to the front of the line when they have a science convention. I mean just imagine if doctor A had information to present that would help doctor B find a cure for HIV or something just important.

Are we really making it that difficult for the smartest people in the world to convene and discuss all the new smart stuff they know with the other smartest people in the world?

frank_boyd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not organize important events such as this one elsewhere, some place more easily accessible for everyone?
Yuioup 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does this have anything to do with the recent shutdown?
anon1385 1 day ago 1 reply      
This was also submitted yesterday but didn't get much interest for some reason: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6560355

Similar recent story: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6499744 'US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban'

Youre infectedif you want to see your data again, pay us $300 in Bitcoins arstechnica.com
327 points by elux  19 hours ago   260 comments top 54
MiguelHudnandez 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I was hit by this, or a variant, at my place of business. Hundreds of thousands of files on our shared drive were overwritten, about 2 TB worth of files. Office documents, PDFs, and Adobe documents like PSD and INDD were encrypted. JPEGs were altered but still viewable. All files increased in size by a few hundred bytes.

Pull-only backups were the savior here, although because we didn't notice until the next day, the pulled backups on that system were also overwritten with encrypted/corrupt files. Luckily we had VSS versioning on the pull-only backup location. There was a close call in that the 2 TB or so of "new" data ended up pushing VSS over quota and we almost lost our good versions of the files that way. If not for the VSS versions, we would've had to resort to cold backups which would've been a bit older. As it stood, no file recovered was more than a few hours old.

Auditing on the file share indicates which workstation was infected. Pertaining to that: it surprises me that in 2013, a default install of Windows will not log any useful information about shared folders by default. You must enable object auditing in Group Policy and specifically declare which users or groups are subject to said auditing on a share-by-share basis. In a world without logrotate, I suppose a sensible default is to just let a bunch of shit happen without recording it.

What gets me wound up most of all is the amount of engineering involved for an average home user to protect themselves. I thought a Mac with Time Machine was enough, but a similar virus would easily corrupt those backups if they were available to it over a mapped drive.

It is the goddamn 21st century, and users are still losing work by overwriting documents by accident, or opening a document as an e-mail attachment and not being able to find the actual file they edited. Should people really need an IT guy with ten years of experience to be protected from simple mistakes? Google has made progress on that front with the Chromebook, I suppose.

blhack 18 hours ago 9 replies      
You can work to prevent this by creating a group policy that disallows


A good discussion of this happened here: http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/1mizfx/proper_care...

sidenote: this virus actually scares me, and it sounds like it actually scares most people who work in IT. This is the shittiest thing anybody has ever seen, it sounds like.

antihero 18 hours ago 5 replies      
I think the interesting thing here is the shift from the target - the "best" target used to be compromising the OS, so OS's made moves to protect themselves from programs running as unprivileged users. Now, it's trivial to wipe an OS and restore from a backup. The real value is the things people store on a computer, which are usually going to be accessible via a user account.

One trivial solution would be OS level automatic versioning of files (ala Dropbox or Sparkleshare) - the original files would be written to location that is read only to the user and only accessible via the OS, hence, backups could always be restored from it, but never destroyed without admin rights.

Of course, with people having great internet and whatnot, an automatic cloud based solution would be much more likely and useful.

I think with Windows 8.1 and onwards, Microsoft are automatically doing this by setting up the "Documents" type folders in SkyDrive - a great think moving forward.

Backups are, obviously, a much better solution but require extra storage and usually cost money.

So there might be a niche for a freeware product that runs as an admin that automatically versions files - perhaps even as simple as having an admin-owned .git repo for the Documents folder.

The worrying thing about this attack is that targeting user data is trivial on all OSs, because of the way we think about privileges - it could be done to us Linux users through something nasty in our shell rc using GPG or whatever. There is no need to compromise anything.

ggchappell 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I get annoyed when people are warned not to open some attachment. The real problem here is that in 2013 we're still using the flawed language of "opening attachments" -- as if running a native executable with full permissions is an action that belongs in the same category as viewing an image, reading a text file, or listening to music.

Well, it doesn't. This is a problem that should have been solved at the level of OS permissions/UI long ago. Why does a modern OS include UI functionality allowing a standard user to run an uninstalled executable in a non-sandboxed environment? There's no good reason for it.

In some cases the problem been solved (e.g., restrictions that allow only signed apps to be executed). But I guess none of those cases include Windows, its standard UI, and popular e-mail programs. :-(

susi22 18 hours ago 5 replies      
In a corporate environment I'd expect crucial data to be on the network drive and snapshotted every few hours. We run ZFS on our network and all the secretaries have to do their doc/excel work on the drive. Nowadays that everybody has a Gigabit Ethernet connection read/writes are extremely quick.

Use ZFS and make read only snapshots that are only accessible to the sysadmins. You'll solve many problems that way. We do snapshots at 6am,noon and 6pm and then keep the 6pm one for 7, 14 and 30 days.

Fuzzwah 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Victims don't even get the enjoyment of having to make their payments in some far flung corner of an MMO, like the plot of Reamde.


andybak 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyone is talking about post-infection. However - this passage from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptolocker-r... seems fairly key also:

"This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails would contain a zip attachment that when opened would infect the computer. These zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files as they have a PDF icon and are typically named something like FORM_101513.exe or FORM_101513.pdf.exe. Since Microsoft does not show extensions by default, they look like normal PDF files and people open them."

I haven't got a Windows box handy to try this on but I assume there is at the very least an extra warning dialog when opening an exe - even a zipped exe?

Not that that mitigates this at all. The inability to distinguish executables from data files - and although that doesn't apply in this case - the ability of data files to hide executable payloads either via design or error - is a major and currently uncorrected flaw in the system.

ChuckMcM 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Central to the plot in the book Reamde but these guys don't offer a 'pay in WoW gold' choice.

Given the cost of computers these days, at least in business a separate 'browsing' machine and 'business' machine seems to be the best solution. I wonder if you could provide wireless for employees to bring their own laptops which had no 'office' connectivity (but internet connectivity) and machines that were hard wired and MAC filtered to the 'business' network.

amalag 18 hours ago 1 reply      
A company I work with was hit when the employee opened a phishing email supposedly from another employee in the same company. It hit about 50 gb of data on the shared drive. We had Crashplan and restored from a few days previous. I then turned on DKIM and enabled quarantining non DKIM emails via DMARC.
fekberg 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been trying to raise awareness in my social medias, since my family, friends and co-workers might not spend time on HackerNews.

If you want, copy my message and share with your family, friends and co-workers:

"Hi folks,

There's a new virus out there that I want to raise awareness of, it's called CryptoLocker. Basically what this virus does is that it tracks all your files - hard drives, flash drives, usb sticks, network drives/shares - then it encrypts the files it finds.

The only way to unlock the files again is to pay $300 to get the key used for the encryption. The encryption used is RSA with a 2048 bit key which makes it extremely hard to crack, I'd say impossible with the time span and todays computers.

You have 72 hours before they trash the key making it impossible for you to get your data back.

This can be extremely devastating if you are running a business and all your files are gone. If you sync your files to the cloud, you're still not safe, it syncs the encrypted files as well. If you are able to restore to previous versions of your files in the cloud - great.

Let your friends, family and co-workers know about this.

Here are some simple ways to avoid getting a virus in general:

1. Don't open e-mails from people you don't know

2. Don't open attachments in e-mails unless you were waiting for the attachment

3. Don't go to websites/click links that you don't fully trust

4. Don't download and execute files that you don't fully trust

It might seem obvious to the most of us to don't do the above, but to a lot of friends, family and co-workers it might not be.

Imagine waking up and having to pay $300 to get your data back. However, the police tracked down one of the servers that serves the keys and shut them down which means the keys were not delivered and the data was lost, this means even if you do pay the $300, there is no guarantee that you will get the data back.

Raise awareness of this and avoid having your files lost."

mcphilip 18 hours ago 6 replies      
While I'd like to think I'm sophisticated enough about security to avoid this, it makes me concerned about the vast majority of people (e.g. my parents, my girlfriend) that are clueless about such dangers.

Are there any recommendations of a simple way to at least enable automated backups of local documents to the cloud on a windows box?

alec 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Since the Bitcoin blockchain is public, couldn't you follow the money? Make a list of all wallets that accepted these funds initially, and then do graph analysis, either to see where the money went or provide others with a tool to avoid transactions with those wallets?
haberman 17 hours ago 5 replies      
You could imagine the Bitcoin community deciding to blacklist any wallets to which funds like this were demanded and disbursed. That seems like a great idea until you then realize that this would be a way of denying anyone access to their own funds, by specifying their wallet as the recipient even though the attacker doesn't control it. There really doesn't seem to be any good countermeasure to this.
grecy 10 hours ago 1 reply      
When I first saw the title, I thought it went like this:

1. Your machine is infected, and it encrypts everything it can.

2. The 72 hour countdown begins, and during that time your machine has been re-purposed to crunch BitCoins.

3. All you have to do is wait 72 hours, and everything will un-encrypt and uninstall, leaving you perfectly fine.

Creators profit by having millions of machines crunching BitCoins in their name.

DigitalSea 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the scariest forms of attack on computing since viruses became prevalent in the nineties. The fact they were up until recently relatively undetectable adds another eerie dynamic to the situation. It highlights the aged old problem of people not pro-actively backing up their data offline until it's too late. Go out and buy a couple of cheap 1tb external drives and back your data up now and keep doing it, there are even tools and drives that handle this automatically for you.

While ransomware isn't anything new, the fact that the authors of such software are using currencies like Bitcoin make it that extra bit harder to track and stop these people from extorting data. I sense a new wave of ransomware is about to hit the scene now that Ars have revealed specifics about potentially making millions a year from such a racket. It's hard informing people about these things without encouraging others to go and try writing their own ransomware and expect Bitcoin as payment.

This really worries me.

mariuolo 18 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm sorry, but if a firm doesn't compartimentalise access and a single infected workstation can bring down everything, then they deserve what they get.

Hadn't been ransomware it could have very well been a disgruntled employee, to the same effect.

readme 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I got a similar virus once but it was before bitcoin was popular. It just asked for money via credit card. The virus hid my files, and I needed them for work too.

Fortunately the virus did that by some filesystem driver level hack, because after I booted into Linux I was able to mount the partition and get my files back.

simonw 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I talked to a small shop owner just the other day that had been hit by this. They said they spent the $300 on a new PC instead - but I'm pretty sure they lost a bunch of irreplaceable data (mailing lists, supplier details etc). Pretty heart breaking.
verytrivial 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the difference between crime and organised crime. People would not hand over the money to the burly visitors each month if their shop was burnt down anyway.

Evidence that paying the ransom actually results in the files coming back is the most troubling aspect here - these people are looking to establish a longer term criminal enterprise.

coryfklein 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, I guess it is time to send the annual email to mom, dad, and the in-laws to be very wary of downloading anything or clicking on links in suspicious emails.

I find this is good insurance against the inevitable phone calls I receive as the only computer-literate member of the family: "Hey Cory, all my documents disappeared and I can't get them back. Do I have a virus?"

scotty79 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if amount of $300 was determined via A/B testing as optimal for bringing maximum profit.
ryan-c 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I've gotten a few copies of this, all to an email address that was only ever given out to AT&T, and is not guessable.
gwern 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The only new thing about this ransomware is that the payment method is through Bitcoin, right?
joeblau 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow what a scheme. I mean it's almost the perfect situation for whoever wrote the system. It creates an extortion mechanism with a sense of urgency. Normally, users just carry malware around on their machine for weeks or months. The most frustrating part of this whole thing is that if you don't get the private key back and you're not backing up; you're toast.
daveid 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The article didn't mention, what systems does this ransomware primarily target? Is it cross-platform?
revelation 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why a RAID setup is not a backup.
headShrinker 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it the case that Mac OS default security setting would prevent an unsigned app like this from running?
pkinnaird 16 hours ago 0 replies      
PilateDeGuerre 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This scenario - minus the Bitcoins - was a plot device in Neal Stephenson's "Reamde".
kbart 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine that this combined with virus capabilities (so it can spread itself via network) would be an overkill. Strange that they didn't do it, once you have an access to the local network (as soon as the initial victim runs .exe received by email) it shouldn't be too hard.
anonymous 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Wouldn't it be possible to attach a debugger to a running instance of the virus and extract the key while encryption is taking place?
dutchbrit 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Our company was hit by this yesterday, caused a lot of issues. Thank god we had backups, but they were 2 days old (frustratingly enough, the backup failed the previous day - first time in months...)
tbarbugli 18 hours ago 1 reply      
And than the police shut down the ransomware servers and dooms data from many infected victims to garbage, brilliant!
fmax30 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh , that is pretty scary add a physical packet snooper on all the traffic sent from my computer , it might be possible to mitm the private key as it is sent to the server. That way i might have a fighting chance against this.(if the traffic was unencrypted that is )
phogster 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Never heard of ransomware before, but the trend is alarming:http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=ransomware#q=ransomwa...
jasonlfunk 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"you need to pay 300 USD / 300 EUR / similar amount in another currency"

How about 300 VND? Seems similar to me. :)

Pxtl 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Well that's moderately horrifying. I've dealt with ransomware before, but mostly it just used scary messages, not literally encrypting all your data.
coin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"When the receiver clicked on it, he saw a white box flash briefly on his screen but didn't notice anything else out of the ordinary"

What email client automatically unzips AND executes any containing .exe files?

bfell 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This happened to someone I know (really, it wasn't me). Not only did it encrypt the local drives it also hit all of their network drives. As reprehensible as it is to pay the ransom they really had no choice since the encryption happened the prior night before the last backup.
spajus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a pity to see that Windows haven't died off yet and things like this are still happening. Using Linux / Mac for years, never looked back.

And for those who say "my mother can't use Linux", don't be a cheapskate, get your loved ones a Mac - they will definitely know how to use it.

__abc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
foundlogin 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally viruses are doing what they're supposed to - wreck your computer instead of staying under the radar as long as possible. If people are motivated to protect themselves from this they'll also be preventing botnets and doing good to the rest of the internet.
AsakiIssa 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I know a customer that got hit by this Tuesday morning. Unsurprisingly, Avast did nothing. I just told her the bad news and clean-installed Windows.

I have tried to find the private key with sample files, using known file byte headers, the public key and brute force on the private key. Sadly, no luck yet.

gngeal 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what Venti (of the Plan 9 fame) is for!
jpalioto 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Nasty stuff. Fortunately for me, this would set off the "why the heck are my fans running so loud right now" alarm that I have in my head (that honestly, I wish I could turn off sometimes ... curse you trustedinstaller.exe!!).
zalzane 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks like the patent trolls have finally found their true calling.
wentkenko 15 hours ago 0 replies      
People on here are talking about attachments and being smart enough not to fall for sham downloads, but this isn't how most of ransomeware is spread to its victims. They use exploit packs and 0 days. Visiting a website that's been hijacked with an Iframe or a proxy that embeds an Iframe or any other data to the HTML that is returned could get you infected. There is no full proof way around this unfortunately.
doubt_me 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How long will it take until the FBI gets rid of these guys?
roasty 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Disabling or limiting your use of JavaScript and Java in the browser will go a long way towards protecting against delivery of this as it is likely delivered by an exploit kit. If you do hit an exploit kit, Microsoft EMET (free) will probably mitigate the exploit/s.
abstractConcept 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone attempted to run this using Wine?

As long as you keep all drives (/ or ~/) unmounted, I assume it would be `safe' to test it.

Might be a simpler environment to analyze CryptoLocker in, as apposed to a full Windows install.

computerhead 11 hours ago 0 replies      
or dont use windows...
nvk 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Stop using Windows, is a good start.
nsxwolf 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Get a Mac.
sergiotapia 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Who are the creators? Are the FBI going to take them to federal-pound-me-in-the-ass prison?
No More Callbacks: 10,000 Actors, 10,000 Threads, 10,000 Spaceships paralleluniverse.co
319 points by pron  1 day ago   140 comments top 17
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 4 replies      
Nice exemplar. Back when Java was being created, James Gosling was pretty insistent that concurrency be lightweight and scalable. When I ported it from SunOS 4 so Solaris 2.0 I had to move from the really light weight setjump()/longjmp() threads that he had implemented, into the thread system that Solaris had defined. There was a huge negative impact on performance (as I recall about 15x slower). That sucked because one of the coolest demos at the time had a little world in it where 'Fang' (the Java mascot) lived and a bunch of things in that world were all animated with threads. Looking at the 'fiber' model for threads I think they are much closer to what we should have done in the first place.

The thought was to have a billion threads on a SPARCStation 10 (that is like an old Pentium machine now). We never got close but it was a great goal. Definitely going to have to go back and revisit this topic now. Thanks for the excellent demo to play with!

CookWithMe 1 day ago 2 replies      
My first thought was "why don't they use Akka"?

> Akka has no true lightweight threads (the actors are actually callbacks)

Would you care to elaborate? I'm not too familiar with the internals of Akka, but they definitely don't use "heavyweight" threads (which I assume are threads that are 1:1 mapped to OS threads).

Also, I didn't get "the actors are actually callbacks". Yes, there may be callbacks involved internally (why not?), but there is a big difference whether I am sending a message to an actor (which may be processed at any time) vs. calling a callback (which is immediately executed on the very same thread that I'm running on).

Sorry if this sounds dismissive, but I'd really like to learn why you choose to implement your own solution, because you've obviously put some time into evaluating what is out there.

jaimefjorge 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well written, good description and nice demo.

Would love to see more on how this is different to (or better than) Akka. The programming model is actually close to Akka (with actor systems, supervision, receive method, message passing, etc).

The article states that Akka has no true lightweight threads. The guys behind Akka have put it running with 50M messages/second[1] and perfomance vs erlang seems to be good as well [2][3].

Perhaps a benchmark would be great.

Thanks for sharing.

[1] http://letitcrash.com/post/20397701710/50-million-messages-p...

[2] http://uberblo.gs/2011/12/scala-akka-and-erlang-actor-benchm...

[3] http://musings-of-an-erlang-priest.blogspot.pt/2012/07/i-onl... discussing millions of messages is a good signal IMHO).

IgorPartola 1 day ago 3 replies      
> Writing correct and efficient multi-threaded code is at once necessary and extremely difficult.

I do not agree with this. The original statement he is quoting says "can be very challenging". Yes, if you are designing something very state heavy and your design is somehow flawed or too complex then you can run into issues. However, in most cases threads are no more complex than callbacks, actors, etc. In fact, from what I've seen, concurrent code eventually all converges to some semblance of the actor model anyways.

Where the actors/green threads/etc. really shine is having huge numbers of them. OS threads still have very large overhead compared to lighter weight green threads, so you can spin up many magnitudes more of them than you have CPU cores.

Also, in lots of languages multi-core != concurrent. You can have 10,000 actors using a single core. In fact writing a scheduler that can efficiently distribute actors between different cores is probably where the complexity Doron Rajwan refers to lies.

Morgawr 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm going to be "that" guy and ask... why actors? Why not agents?

The concept of agents (as defined by Rich Hickey in a lot of his Clojure talks) is all about a globally shared, immutable and persistent state on which you can act upon.

With actors you still need to have the actor handle its own mailbox of requests and then handle them, the actor has to define its behavior.

With agents you don't have to ask for the world to stop to communicate, you can read the current snapshot of the world (aka no request to view the state, no database queries) and send transformation functions on the data of that specific agent, which will be then processed by the agent's thread in an ordered way.

I'd love to see more insight on the choice for this, it's interesting as I am currently working on a similar project.

newobj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Title: "...10,000 Threads..."

Post: "...10,000 Fibers..."


frozenport 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the approach is interesting but I don't understand how this considered theoretical. 10,000 elements for an N-Body problem is expected.

What I am more confused about is how this considered peak optimization.

Assuming they are utilizing doubles and doing both read and write I get the following computation:

(10000x10x8x2 bytes per second) or 12 Megabits per second vs the theoretical bandwidth of a PCIe of 40 Gbs?

Are they computationally limited and what is their memory access pattern?

dschiptsov 1 day ago 1 reply      
The other day some guys proudly re-implemented jemalloc in pure Java - https://blog.twitter.com/2013/netty-4-at-twitter-reduced-gc-... now these guys re-implemented a half of Erlang.)

Isn't it better (and bitter) to face the reality and just use Erlang or Go or at least to ask oneself why should everything be stuffed into JVM in 2013?)

regi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting. I'm attempting to do pretty much the same thing in C: http://github.com/reginaldl/librinoo
auvrw 1 day ago 1 reply      
concurrency --- albeit not at this scale --- is something that that you sometimes have to deal at a low level with when writing android apps. animating custom views, for example, often winds up involving direct use of Runnable s rather than (what i assume are) system-level AsyncTask s. a lot of the die-callbacks-die neatness on the java side of this relies on a coroutine library, but that library doesn't run on android. there is a continuation library that does> http://commons.apache.org/sandbox/commons-javaflow/which could be used to create coroutines and from there user-level threads

... but if we just want some generic kind of concurrency-niceness on a java virtual machine, might it make more sense to use scala rather than write your own lightweight thread library? is the user-space thread implementation really necessary or even helpful if you're abstracting toward actors anyway? do these questions even make sense to anyone?

mpweiher 1 day ago 0 replies      
And we nowadays have the hardware resources to run this on one CPU per spaceship, at least theoretically:


Needs some interconnect, of course...

ericHosick 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are working on a fully composable frame and concurrency is done as follows (upper-case = Object, lower-case = property):

AsyncRun ( part SomeObject )

multiple items can run in parallel like this:

AsyncRun ( part SomeObjectA SomeObjectB .. )


AsyncSync ( part AsyncRun ( part SomeObjectA SomeObjectB .. ))

locking a property:

AsyncRun ( part AsyncLock ( lockName = "someName", part = SaveUser ( ... ) ) )

On main thread (for UI/UX):

MainThreadRun ( part SomeObject )

meowface 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is this similar to green threads / "greenlets" in Python? They look to be the same concept.
vendakka 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks very nice!

Does this play well with existing JVM threading support? More specifically, if there is a call to a synchronized method inside of a fiber and another JVM thread has entered the monitor, will this block the entire fiber scheduling thread?

The reason I ask is I'd like something that plays well with legacy code.

EGreg 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does this compare with Grand Central Dispatch on the Mac?
knodi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not a fan of this approach. I like what Go does with channels and I like what D does with synchronized functions. Its simple and powerful and no magic. Fuck magic.
perlgeek 1 day ago 2 replies      
>On my 4-core (8 virtual cores) i7 MacBook, with 10,000 spaceships, I get close to 10 simulation cycles per second. [...]

> When running the simulation synchronously, i.e. with a phaser, performance drops to about 8 cycles per second on my development machine.

> Performance we are able to fully exploit the computing power of modern multi-core hardware.

So, 25% faster with 8 cores is "fully exploit the computing power of modern multi-core hardware". WTF?

Hacker News is a social echo chamber dreamwidth.org
318 points by BCM43  3 days ago   193 comments top 31
DougWebb 2 days ago 15 replies      
I'm curious how many people who have the ability to upvote or flag stories actually do so. For my part, I'm very conservative:

- I never flag stories; I may not find a story interesting, but I don't feel it's appropriate to impose my interests on others or 'police' their discussions.

- I rarely upvote stories, mostly because I'm usually browsing stories that are already on the front-page. Occasionally I skim through the new stories and if I see something interesting there I might upvote it.

- For comments, I upvote comments I find particularly helpful or insightful. I don't downvote comments very often unless they're particularly rude. However, I never downvote comments that are part of a discussion I'm having; I don't trust my impartiality in that case.

If my behavior is typical, then stories are being controlled by a 'vocal minority' who take the time to upvote or flag them. As in any group, the vocal minority tends to have the more fundamentalist / extremist points of view on a subject, which could lead to the outcomes TFA discusses.

vezzy-fnord 3 days ago 5 replies      
Stories that discuss the difficulties faced by minorities in our field are summarily disappeared.


I've tended to notice the opposite: new ones are constantly appearing, they get lots of comments, inspire heated debates and most sentiments are sympathetic, sometimes to an almost unhealthy and postmodern degree.

protomyth 2 days ago 3 replies      
"The original story linked to a review of peer-reviewed scientific research."

I believe the credit we assign to peer reviewed scientific, mathematical, or engineering papers shouldn't be anywhere near the same weight we assign to peer reviewed social science papers. I dealt with quite a lot of these papers early in my career and they do a wonderful job of backing up grant proposals but a poor job of being correct.

My takeaway was that they tried to present some idea as universal when it really required the culture of the researcher in the geographical area the researcher was studying[1]. The second problem is that they didn't understand what they were studying. They didn't think that way.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some amazing researchers whose results were really useful, but the lack of true rigor in many of these studies is just poor. Don't get me started about the damn math errors or "correlation does not imply causation" arguments.

1) Community risk factor studies have to be the worst. The number of them that only studied urban settings, but believed their results applied to rural areas is astounding.

andrewcooke 3 days ago 1 reply      

   Pope remains Catholic   12 points by BCM43 56 minutes ago | flag | discuss   Bear shits in wood   32 points by BCM43 21 minutes ago | flag | discuss

crusso 2 days ago 1 reply      
The whole argument of the article is a non-starter:

Building a social echo chamber risks marginalising us from the rest of society, gradually becoming ignored and irrelevant as our self-reinforcing opinions drift ever further away from the mainstream

I don't consume movies, books, music, food, web sites, or much of anything else because they're "mainstream".

I do so because they have a high degree of quality that holds my interests. Mainstream is often the opposite of quality.

The more mainstream HN becomes, the less desirable it becomes. If I wanted mainstream I'd spend more time looking at Slashdot and Reddit.

yummyfajitas 2 days ago 1 reply      
The author's sole example is incorrect. Paul Graham did not dismiss any peer reviewed research. The original article provided no argument (peer reviewed or otherwise) asserting that natural born programmers were a myth - the cited research merely argued that the belief in natural born programmers was harmful. Paul Graham gave an anecdote explaining why he believed in natural born programmers.
the_watcher 3 days ago 4 replies      
Flamewars != disagreements. Discouraging flamewars (namecalling, counterproductive arguing that devolves into ad hominem and unrelated attacks) doesn't mean it kills stories that generate disagreement and discussion. I've had many a disagreement in HN threads, been convinced that my original stance was wrong, and (I believe) convinced others that their original stance was wrong (or incomplete, or to change something about it). I've also learned a lot from simply posting what my understanding of an issue is and letting those more familiar add to it. The fact that HN does not want to go the way of Usenet/Reddit/4chan/name a forum doesn't make it an echo chamber.

I hope people disagree with me in this thread and prove my point.

znowi 2 days ago 2 replies      
Abundance of throw-away accounts to express a potentially unpopular opinion is a good evidence of a groupthink environment. People either afraid to lose karma or be scrutinized or otherwise upset the mods.

I can often see people opening their comments with a hefty preamble, which goal is to justify the following controversial opinion, in hopes that it will not bring or at least lessen the wrath of the mob.

And of course people like their idols, too. When PG makes a comment - it's a godsend and instantly attracts the fervent following. In a similar manner, there's no lack of ardent supporters of Google that will rationalize any move by the company in a way that is good for the world.

mwfunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not every forum is obligated to be as democratic and decentralized as 4chan or Reddit. I like HN because it's more focused, and in some cases more aggressively moderated, even if the mechanisms for doing so are more opaque/blunt/arbitrary/etc. than in other forums. If HN was the only place on the web to discuss anything, I would be much more concerned about the points raised by this article. Fortunately it's not.
ctdonath 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems his prime complaint is that resonating consternation is aggressively removed, giving an undue illusion of peace and harmony - and somehow that's a bad thing.

Some issues are social hot buttons, with a roughly even split (if not in actual numbers, then in energy exerted in pushback against the opposing view), roughly equal validity to each perspective, and pretty much no chance of one side reversing their view en masse in short order. Repeated prolonged verbose heated arguments over these subjects will not lead to any meaningful consensus. Their presence tends to erupt as a tangent or non-sequitur to another discussion, destroying the overall thread in a wave of verbose hysteria. Nothing is served by their recurrence; we all know there's a dramatic split on views regarding the subject, we are each settled in our own views thereon, and frequent re-hashing the subject just sours the environment and encourages participants to seek more sensible discussions elsewhere. Ergo, there's no point in letting these recur. PG is right in weighting the algorithm so such destructive & pointless discussions tend to disappear.

Yes, we know such disagreements exist. A policy of "not here, guys" is a good thing. Yes, the issues being suppressed are of great sociopolitical importance; please recognize that decent people can disagree over them, please agree to disagree, and resolving that disagreement will not happen here - but continued rehashing thereof will create a toxic environment.

jiggy2011 3 days ago 3 replies      
Is there any online discussion place that isn't to some degree an echo chamber?
thetabyte 2 days ago 2 replies      
Especially after pg's response to the blog post about sexual assault at CodeMash, I wonderwhy can't the flamewar detector just disable comments?

I tend to have a lot of respect for pg, and found his apology for what happened in that thread to be admirable. Whether or not preventing discussion of the issue on HN is positive or negative...I have very complex feelings on the issue, and see valid arguments on both sides.

What I do not have mixed feelings about, however, is that these issues need to be put front and center, so that people in our industry a) know they exist b) know how common they are c) are inspired to make personal effort to fix it. I would hope that pg agrees.

If he does, why not make such stories, when they set off the flamewar detector, maintain their ranking, but disable comments? That way, the issue is still raised, and people are still alerted to it, but it prevents the (some believe) "unproductive" discussion.

scott_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacker News is a meta-experiment on confirmation bias. In every meta-discussion I see on the "bias" in HN, there is always someone saying "HN is biased against X" and "HN is biased against not X". It's in the comments linked in this story, and I see it all over HN itself. My best explanation for that is an individual's confirmation bias.
drcode 3 days ago 1 reply      
What HN should do is add a feature where readers can upvote stories so they can have their say about what is on the front page. This would address OP's concerns.


MichaelAza 2 days ago 1 reply      
"There are no social problems in the technology industry. We have always been at war with Eastasia."

Boy oh boy, I sure love me some Orwell references.

Referencing 1984 should be on par with referencing Hitler. It's just a lazy debate tactic. If you have a good point you can make it without resorting to these much-too-often used references.

Orwell himself went against it his essay "Politics and the English Language". Read it. It'll do you good.

mortice 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is just a natural consequence of Hacker News not being a free market. The state controls of the karma system practically guarantee inefficiency in the free exchange of ideas. We need to stop subsidizing mediocrity.
EliRivers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stories that appear to challenge the narrative that good programmers are just naturally talented tend to vanish.

Wait, is that the common narrative? Surely the only people who believe that are the elderly, who just can't shake the "child genius" idea of programmers they were fed in the seventies and eighties?

makerops 3 days ago 2 replies      
I tend to agree with the premise of the article, but found this line from a self described "big government" type, funny:

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

ThomPete 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well culture is an echo chamber. It does not mean it's bad.

I see it as there is a certain culture here, one which i happen to be in agreement with most of the time, while there is still room for dissent.

theorique 3 days ago 3 replies      
In other words, a place focused on particular subjects (technology, programming, science) collects people with similar life experiences, interests, worldviews, etc.
elp1stolero 2 days ago 0 replies      
A wise man once said,

"Seeking clarity is more valuable than agreement."

That changed the way I think about writing, and sharing my opinions or discussing other people's ideas. If you go into a disagreement looking to better understand what led the other party to their beliefs, you typically have a more mature and interesting discussion. Plus, why someone believes something I completely disagree with is more interesting than the what, anyway.It is likely in the end that you both may agree to disagree, (a lost art in this age), but at least you can converse respectfully about complex ideas like adults.

NovemberWest 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny, my concerns about the social climate here are rather different. But I suspect writing this type of article is probably not the way to fix things. When people feel attacked, they get defensive and tend to become more entrenched, not less, due to trying to justify their behavior.
mattmaroon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacker News was a social echo chamber long before there was flagging or flamewar detection. I think it's just an inherent law in any small, passionate community.
steven2012 3 days ago 2 replies      
HN is privately run by pg. He's allowed to set the rules whichever way he wants.

Just because the author wants it to be run a certain way doesn't mean that it should. If he doesn't like how it's done and thinks that issues that he believes are important should be discussed, he should make his own news aggregator site, instead of trying to hijack an already-established site for his own agenda.

If the majority start disagreeing with the curation of HN articles, then they will leave to other places, like reddit. And frankly, I'm not sure that pg even cares if this happens, he didn't start HN to increase his popularity or his influence.

elchief 2 days ago 1 reply      
My stuff has been on the front page twice, and I'm a left wing, big government Canadian.

Some people can be a little cranky, we're computer guys ffs, but I think the discourse here is pretty civil and open minded.

trendspotter 2 days ago 0 replies      
The comment section of this article is a social echo chamber of a critique of a social echo chamber.
Steko 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hilariously, this article appears to be flagged far below it would naturally score atm.
gnarbarian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone who believes in big government has never contracted for one at length.
BigChiefSmokem 2 days ago 0 replies      
We are all pretty like-minded and I see nothing wrong with that. This isn't Congress, it's the Hacker News Social Club. You can leave when you like.
squozzer 2 days ago 0 replies      
So are CSPAN, NPR, and most media outlets. Duh.
0xdeadbeefbabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
When you write to hacker news to say hacker news is an echo chamber I go into an infinite loop and run out of stack space, thanks a lot.
FlyKly Smart Wheel kickstarter.com
307 points by BerislavLopac  1 day ago   185 comments top 39
noonespecial 1 day ago 5 replies      
FlyKly guys: Welcome to HN. I know that a lot of this thread is going to look like we're hating on your product. (Personally I think that if you deliver it with the level of finish you're aiming for, it will be pretty cool). Mostly we're not, this is how we roll. For geeks, we've got x-ray vision when it comes to most new technologies so we see right down to the basic principles (which are almost always simple) right away. These are almost never the most interesting parts of new product releases but will elicit the predictable "pfft, Thomas Edison did it in 1913...". Water off a duck.

What we will do is pour our thoughts like water through your product and ideas. Anything that's not perfectly thought through is going to leak. I hope you'll take the criticism in the (mostly good) spirit in which its offered and use it to build a better product.

buro9 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was going to join everyone else in this thread in bashing elements of the design and product, the specifications, etc. But I won't do that.

Instead I'll do the opposite.

I'll point out upfront, I own 5 bikes, I run one of the largest cycling forums in the world, and I run one of the largest cycling clubs in the UK. I get cycling.

I like it. The FlyKly.

I like it because it allows a rider to keep their existing bike, and yet to retrofit for a really reasonable price an electric motor.

I like it because the vast majority of the weight within the wheel isn't a moving thing, the batteries are fixed.

I like it because the 30 mile range, whilst not suiting my 18 mile commute for a daily charge, actually does suit the vast majority of cyclists that I know who only commute fewer than 10 miles.

I like the 1,000 cycles, which is probably 900 in reality, is actually a few years of use for the average cyclist. Even most cycle commuters don't actually cycle 7 days a week, and those do diligently do so on all work days only do so for 220 > 250 days per year.

It hits all of the sweet spots:

1) Can I keep my existing bicycle?

2) Can I just get the electric bit and not pay to replace all of the other bits I have?

3) Will it just work and be easy to install?

4) Will it help me on my commute?

5) Will it realistically last a couple of years?

6) Is it priced such that I can afford it?

For the majority of cyclists I know, the answer is yes to all of the above.

I think it's got a good chance, which doesn't mean I'll be buying one but then I'm not your average cyclist.

PS: FlyKly, you show several times the use of the wheel on a brakeless fixed-gear bike. That's just for the aesthetics right? Or is the wheel fixed compatible such that you're fine with people skid/skip stopping?

fernly 1 day ago 2 replies      
You need to differentiate from the long-existing BionX hub motors[0] which do regen braking at user-selectable levels AND allow proper 7, 8 or 9-speed clusters, unlike the single gear your pictures show.

[0] http://www.bionxinternational.com/bionx-international-north-...

Edit: the big differences would be (a) this has the battery integral to the hub, where the BionX uses a separate battery pack; and (b) that this communicates to its controller -- your phone -- wirelessly, where the BionX console[1] connects with a wire.

IMO as owner of a BionX-equipped bike, I'm dubious about whether either difference is a positive one. For (a), the in-hub battery is clearly size-limited, can't be removed from the bike for charging indoors, and would be harder to replace.

As for (b), is it really a good idea to require a smartphone to be attached to your handlebars whenever you ride? That's not an easy environment, it has a lot of vibration as well as exposure to water, dust, and sweat. A minor point, the BionX dedicated controller has an optional thumb operated throttle lever for proportional control when you don't want to pedal, and it's hard to see how that could work with a smartphone.


beloch 1 day ago 4 replies      
Here's why I like this design.

5 kg is light for a battery/motor module, but it still adds about 50% to the weight of a decent bike. The added thickness also means it's probably not practical to put a multi-gear cassette on it. End result, this will cripple most bikes once the battery runs out. More weight and poor gear ratios = hell for the cyclist. However, most smart-bikes are crippled anyways once they run out of juice.

The great thing is that you can use the same bike for commuting that you use for your sweatier, long-haul weekend trips. All you have to do is swap the original dumb-wheel back in. If you buy a dumb-bike and a smart-wheel you almost get two bikes for the price of one.

Tip for the makers: Stress the ease of hot-swapping that wheel in even more than you are now. This is a major selling point.

P.S. I don't see a quick-release clamp on this sucker in your pictures or video. This is a no-brainier and absolutely needs to be on there.

cjensen 1 day ago 5 replies      
"it can quickly be located and tracked via GPS" but the only radio in it is Bluetooth, so I guess you can track it if you're in the same room...

"36V Lithium" battery, but no spec about how many kWh it stores.

"Top Speed 20mph". Given that it only operates when the human puts in some effort, what does that even mean? I'm guessing this is written down because US Law says if it goes faster than 20, it's no longer a bike.

"In 2011 Niko Klansek introduced the first line of electric bicycles to the USA market." Nope; ebikes have been available in the US for far longer than that.

GAH. There are lots of conversion kits you can buy today. The kickstarter gives no way for you to figure out if this is anything better.

chintan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Niko (the CEO) is real deal - he used to work across my cubicle at Projective Space in SoHo. He first introduced FlyKly electric bikes in NYC (he did manage to sell a lot in the area). His personal story is full of inspiring entrepreneurial journey! He is now back with smart wheel! Good luck man!
crazygringo 1 day ago 3 replies      
It doesn't appear to support bicycles with gears. Is that something planned for a future model? Or do gears somehow become unnecessary with electric assist? Could you even retrofit this to a standard cheap 15-gear bike, or is it strictly fixed-gear only?
alan_cx 1 day ago 3 replies      
KERS for a bicycle. Cool.

Given that old Lotus bike, Im surprised one for the F1 teams hasn't rustled something up. I'd have a chat with one of them and see if they would like to partner up. Especially as they are trying to be all green these days.

Can you harvest from the front wheel too?

shadowmint 1 day ago 0 replies      
The chances of me sticky-taping my phone to the front of my bike are non-existent.

...but also, won't charging this be a complete pain? I'm just imaging a bicycle sitting next to all the other USB charge devices on my desk. Awkward...

ginko 1 day ago 1 reply      
Considering the acceleration of the motor is controlled wirelessly, I wonder if you could attack it so it e.g. accelerates uncontrollably.
farnsworth 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is less efficient than putting all the batteries and other gear on the frame, right? Spinning all that mass around will take energy. I don't see an advantage unless you expect to swap wheels out often.
mdisraeli 1 day ago 1 reply      
My wheelchair-using family and friends have been rocking Alber e-motion wheels[1] for some time, and would highly recommend them. Those don't recharge from motion (or as fast), or support bluetooth, but work in a similar way.

[1] http://www.alber.de/en/products/wheelchair-drive/mobility-wh...

grannyg00se 1 day ago 1 reply      
"It goes up to 20 mph (25 km/h) for a 30 miles (50 km) range."

The speed conversion is way off. But the distance conversion is pretty good. Wonder why that is.

jessaustin 1 day ago 1 reply      
IANAMechanicalEngineer, but do we need to worry about additional stress on the left dropout? The forces to which this component is typically subjected are the weight of the system and the tension of the chain. This device would seem to add an additional torque associated with driving the wheel via the pill-shaped peg that slides into the dropout.

This probably wouldn't be an issue for most bikes, but it seems like it's outside the design specs for any existing bike.

hipsterelitist 1 day ago 0 replies      
These guys made an electric bike/scooter hybrid a few years back that had some buzz here in NYC before release, but just seems to have fizzled. I'd be curious to know what happened.
Robin_Message 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could you fit it the front wheel instead? Less work with the chain, and you can keep all your old gears. Not sure how it would affect the "drivability" though.
codex 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If this project is like the other Kickstarter projects I've backed, it will meet its funding goal then be delayed by months and months, if not years, with letters of apology sent every month or so. It's a shame because Kickstarter is one of the best things to ever happen to capitalism.
Zigurd 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's an interesting idea. But there are some big obstacles:

1. I question the need for a retrofit product. There are many mature e-bike designs on the market. I doubt it would be hard to find an ODM or CM that could sell you a good design off the shelf.

2. Many e-bikes have removable batteries. You can charge them at work. This doesn't look like it could.

3. Maybe the e-bike isn't the sweet spot. Maybe a slightly larger electric scooter is it. Or maybe an even bigger three-wheeler like Toyota has shown.

4. Outside of China, where gas scooters are prohibited in many (all?) cities, e-bike have not caught on (though I see quite a lot of them in Manhattan, still not enough to be mainstream)

LaurentVB 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the concept very much, but they're being a bit dishonest about the "fits practically any bicycle frame". Even in their own video, they show the wheel mounted on bikes where it absolutely does not fit with the brakes: see http://imgur.com/lZZ2ABg
virtualritz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most bikes I see in cities in Europe have hub gears in the rear wheel's axle.I think this won't work with these because if you put that wheel in, you loose the hub gear?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub_gear
soperj 1 day ago 3 replies      
What's to stop someone from just taking the wheel when it's locked? Or removing the wheel and taking the rest of the bike?
6ren 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm disappointed it doesn't (seem to) do regenerative braking... so elegant, don't waste that power, reuse it! But I don't think this is a big selling point, and you can always add it later.

I think your marketing approach is what will make or break it: "non-sweaty to dates/interviews" and the phone-charger could be the killer app (perhaps look into what segment actually experiences this pain most? Many of today's phones have adequate battery life for some people's usage; target those phones + usages that don't).

r00fus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Battery life of 1000 cycles? Isn't that a bit low considering it'll only take you about 30mi/50km per charge cycle?

If they had some way of restoring the batteries without replacing/repurchasing the wheel, I'd be less concerned.

mistercow 1 day ago 1 reply      
What I'm not clear here is whether this does regenerative braking, or only charges at home. If it's regenerative, it's awesome and I want it. I've actually wanted to do a DIY regenerative braking project for a bike for a long time (impracticality and net-loss-due-to-added-weight would not really bother me as long as it worked). Somehow, if it's only charged at home, I feel like it's kind of silly, like a way to make biking lazier.

Still, in any case it would be awesome in that it would make biking practical in hilly areas where it is otherwise a horrible mode of transportation.

bluekite2000 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought electric bikes are illegal in New York??? http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/electric-bikes-...
DanBlake 1 day ago 4 replies      
This has been done before, not sure why it warrants a kickstarter.

The Copenhagen wheel has been around for around ~5 years and looks identical to this, sans the GPS.


tocomment 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I was trying to figure out if this same type of thing would be possible to build into a car tire. I haven't been able to figure out braking yet?

Is there any work being done to simple regen braking systems that could easily be added to cars?

towski 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you don't mind having to position a battery on your bike, for $399 you can already get an electric wheel.


Otherwise I've been using a wheel and battery from http://www.leafmotor.com/hub-motors/16r-electric-hub-motor.h...

If you're more into plugging stuff together yourself. They also offer more wheel sizes, like 700c.

CrankyPants 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will it come in black? 700c?
Tarang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Im curious how does the (normal) braking system work? If the motors helps push against hills it pushes against resistance like the rubber brakes too? Surely its not always regenerative braking? I guess you always have to stop pedaling for that to kick in.. It is nice though to go down a hill or even flat land on free without feeling the resistance of regenerative braking or something slowing you down.. Do we get control over this?

The second was how does it talk to the phone without a SIM card or some kind of internet connection if you're a couple of storeys up in a building where Bluetooth? doesn't have any range?

Otherwise this is pretty awesome, although I do like getting a bit of a workout when going around I like when you want you can move around stressless it would be awesome for 'those days' and not have to use a car.

kamjam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Will this only work with single speed bikes? What about bikes with gears in the front and/or back, they will need to be converted to single speed I presume?
joetech 1 day ago 0 replies      
I absolutely want one of these. They've thought of everything. As I went to pledge my money for it, I found that the starting pledge that actually gets me a wheel was $550 and that's all gone. So to get one will run me $590 and presumably more in retail. This is where "more accessible" as one of their goals falls short.

It looks great, but I'll have to pass at the price.

nsm 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I do hope this will work even if I don't have a smartphone.

It's ridiculous how a lot of mechanical things today are bound to the digital world when they don't need to be.

tirant 1 day ago 0 replies      
It only comes in 26 and 29 inches size. Good luck then selling to one of the biggest market of Bikes (and electrical bikes), Europe, where the common size for Urban bikes is 28 inches.
susi22 1 day ago 0 replies      
Will it be waterproof? ipx7? What about vibrations? The housing for a Di2 battery case are enormous compared to the battery it contains.
avn2109 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sweet product. But am I the only one who has noticed that the "locking" feature is an absolute joke? Esp. in NYC, where the most burly bike locks money can buy keep you a mere step ahead of only the least-committed thieves.

Also, can this thing run without a smartphone? If it's raining, you certainly don't want to keep your phone on the bars.

Ono-Sendai 1 day ago 0 replies      
spelling mistake: "and it weights only 9 lbs (4 kg)"
hendekagon 1 day ago 2 replies      
Unsprung mass
Miyamoto 1 day ago 7 replies      
Unless you're disabled, why do people want an electric bicycle? I figured most people cycle because they love cycling and the exercise of it. Including hills. Is this product meant to attract more automobilist?
Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) ubuntu.com
301 points by zeis  1 day ago   180 comments top 25
rlpb 1 day ago 5 replies      
No, it's not released.

The release is imminent. Ubuntu is developed in the open, so you get to see candidate release images on the page linked.

Ubuntu is not released until the release is announced. If you're in doubt, expect to see an announcement on the ubuntu-announce mailing list, or its archive at https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-announce/

Also see #ubuntu-release-party on Freenode. At the moment, the topic says "... No, it's not out yet | No, we don't have a set time for release"

(written as of Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:55:59 +0000; obviously this post will become incorrect as soon as it actually is released)

csense 19 hours ago 5 replies      
The main feature I'm looking forward to is zswap in kernel 3.11 [1]. Basically instead of swapping, the kernel will first compress infrequently used pages in RAM, which is orders of magnitude faster than swapping to disk.

The practical effect of this is basically the same as a free RAM upgrade!

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/537422/

gw 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I upgraded my 13.04 system this morning and now it is unfortunately unusable. Any time I try to switch users, it consistently brings me to a black screen with a frozen mouse pointer that I cannot get out of, even when hitting Ctrl+Alt+F#. I'm downloading the iso now to try a fresh install.
endijs 1 day ago 2 replies      
Web is finally refreshed. And release notes are here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SaucySalamander/ReleaseNotes
homosaur 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain to me what's different about the Mac and PC versions of 64 bit Ubuntu? I've seen these Mac versions show up lately but what's in them? I can't find the data clearly on the website. Is it just different drivers and defaults?
diminish 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'll stick to 12.04 LTS for desktop and server and wait for 14.04 LTS for desktop and server. 9 months support made *.10 releases less exciting, for me somehow.
baldfat 1 day ago 8 replies      
Ubuntu is not going the direction I want for "my Linux.1. Mir is a huge mistake (My opinion)2. Unity (Well I am tiled window manager (i3) guy now so all DEs) I really don't like the flow of OS X and it is starting to really look more like OS X. DEFAULT an easily be changed.3. Lack of community between the Linux ecosystem. Millions is spent on Ubuntu but seems like little makes it upstream.4. Software Center. They need to just take OpenSUSE's one-click model and get rid of their current model of App Store and the horrible app model. (My model)5. Their Developer SDK to "Write once, run everywhere." If I had a nickel for every time that was promised (Java looking at you) Once again OpenSUSE Build Service is the most underused Linux tool in the last decade https://build.opensuse.org/ Build it there and also build packages for other Distros also.

Now after my list I have Ubuntu running my home server right now and well it is solid. I use OpenSUSE at work and Arch Linux on my tiny laptop and like those experiences more.

People need to look at OpenSUSE again!

abbot2 1 day ago 4 replies      
To be honest "what's new" page looks, well, not very convincing: https://help.ubuntu.com/13.10/ubuntu-help/whats-new.html
josteink 1 day ago 0 replies      
Same day as Windows 8.1 hits the market. [1]

Wonder which one will get most press coverage :)

[1] http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/17/windows-8-1-now-available...

simonebrunozzi 22 hours ago 1 reply      
So, a user (zeis, don't take it personally) publishes a link to the release of Ubuntu 13.10, but he's actually wrong... Despite this, his post gets 188 points of karma (as of know).Now that's what I call a karma system that doesn't work well.

I should just post "Ubuntu 14.04 (Taunting Tiger) released" and get my own share of karma...

kh_hk 1 day ago 0 replies      
[Related] Kubuntu Linux 13.10 Released https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6565146
JSno 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ubuntu 13.10 will only be supported for 9 months. Non-LTS releases prior to Ubuntu 13.04 were supported for 18 months. "
Symmetry 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was sad to see that the option to swap caps lock and escape was gone (I think I'm blaming GNOME here). But on the other hand I ought to be doing that programaticly in my setup script, so I finally just got around to adding that there.

EDIT: I almost decided to switch to Xubuntu, but then I installed xfce, tried it out, and found that they didn't provide that option either. Besides, using xmonad with xfce is much more complicated than with GNOME.

nobleach 23 hours ago 9 replies      
Let me guess. Postgres 9.1, Ruby 1.9.1, PHP 5.3.11, a lot of extremely old packages... Please tell me if I'm wrong!

I'm really tired of the software world moving forward and Ubuntu turning into Debian Woody.

talles 1 day ago 6 replies      
Is it shipped with Mir?

Their what's new page is kinda succinct: https://help.ubuntu.com/13.10/ubuntu-help/whats-new.html

rtpg 22 hours ago 0 replies      
a warning for people using Anthy or other IME's : 13.10 replaces some stuff in the keyboard mechanisms, and the dash eats up a lot more keyboard shortcuts (I can't even get Alt+Shift to work! Alt+Shift!). It's frustrating, I somehow got two random keybindings to work and somehow activated ibus (not in the conventional fashion, which no longer works), but I don't know what I did so can't document it.

Frustrating how they can break such an important thing (keyboards)

routelastresort 1 day ago 1 reply      
Releases link is live:


puller 1 day ago 0 replies      
The beta of this has been smooth for me. I had no problems doing the upgrade (but I have used Ubuntu for a while). I am enjoying the newer versions of the kernel and some packages that are key for me. If you use Unity, the dash feels faster. I'm more pleased with this release than several past ones.
shurcooL 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this support touch input well? What would the experience be like if you were to install it on a Windows 8 tablet, like Acer Iconia W3, Surface Pro or others?
arbutus 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's some ideas for names for the next release:

Tenacious Turkey

Threadbare Thrush

Tailles Tenrec

Tailful Tenrec

Thorny Thorny Devil

Timely Tarantula

Titilating Titmouse

MrMeker 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm installing it as a chroot on my Chromebook, I hope this goes well. Otherwise its sudo delete-chroot unity.
rohu1990 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Any one managed to get Ubuntu 13.10 on mac book air with Haswell processor ? Any better result for the graphics support on haswell ? I was hoping to buy one of these if I could run ubuntu 13.10 without much problems.
pacofvf 23 hours ago 1 reply      
ubuntu-gnome 13.10 now comes with gnome 3.8, I will give it a try.
saltyknuckles 1 day ago 0 replies      
lol Saucy Salamander
Introducing TogetherJS mozilla.org
285 points by conductor  1 day ago   80 comments top 14
mikegioia 1 day ago 9 replies      
This looks great but it seems they have no plans to support Internet Explorer (https://togetherjs.com/docs/#browser-support). That's a shame because most of our users who need this level of support all use IE :/
aroch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion (before the official announcement) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6415210
hrjet 1 day ago 1 reply      
What worries me, and I realized this only after trying TogetherJS, is that Websockets don't require a special permission in browsers! So any website with JS enabled is now going to be able to do peer-to-peer? Could this be a can of worms, security-wise?
csantini 1 day ago 1 reply      
Jesus, how much I waited for this! :O

Literally just deployed, absolutely love it:


One liner copy-paste for community on your website. I can finally talk in real time with my users and understand why the use my website.

mntmn 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am building an actual service using technology like this (but we wrote our own, not TogetherJS). It's cool, but don't forget that this is really a "utility" and it's the mix of factors and features that you build on top of this that make an actual product out of it. I'm currently compiling a (somewhat biased) feature-by-feature comparison on creative realtime collaboration tools. Feel free to comment and suggest more products to compare! https://docs.google.com/a/mnt.mn/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AunvDU...
nichol4s 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm very excited to see so much enthusiasm for TogetherJS.

We are currently building something similar and plan to release that next week. It has lots of similarities but we target a somewhat different market. Some of the differences, you do not need to write a single line of code and it will even work with advanced application that require sign in without sharing security tokens.

We plan to release Surfly next week, but people who are interested in trying it out can msg me and can get a beta account.

Kiro 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is WebRTC better for real-time apps (drawing, games) than WebSockets?
veganarchocap 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's incredible! Already got it working on a project, just... wow!
drcongo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Am I the only person that gets an SSL cert mismatch on this site?
newsreader 1 day ago 1 reply      
Too bad it doesn't support IE10. I was already brainstorming how to implement but will have to wait for something else...
filipedeschamps 1 day ago 0 replies      
Had to be made with Node.js ;
nadee013 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a really nice :)Firebase added firebase integration[0] to this, I hope that would be really cool.

I'm not there could be an possible integration with Meteor too.

[0] - https://github.com/firebase/togetherjs

createcode1 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Need IE support please
ldn_tech_exec1 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is a 363 point discussion on this 26 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6415210
Coding Interview Tips interviewcake.com
280 points by gameguy43  2 days ago   150 comments top 26
Jemaclus 1 day ago 7 replies      
Here's where I think I diverge from most people on this topic. My personal view is that I think by the time you bring someone in for an interview, you should already know that they can code, whether that's through code samples they provide or through Github accounts or whatever.

TL;DR; Don't waste your applicants time or your own

## The InterviewInterviewing should have two parts, imo:

* Confirming that I actually wrote the code I sent you and know what it means

* Confirming that you want to sit next to me for the next six months

I can tell you right now that if I take time off my current job to go sit in your office for an interview and you ask me basic questions like "What is MVC?" or "What's the difference between a POST and a GET request?", I'm going to thank you for your time and walk right out.

Why? Because my Github profile, which is featured prominently on my resume, contains examples of both. Half my projects are MVC projects, and many of them use 3rd party APIs (or are even APIs themselves!). The fact that you're asking me basic definitions means you didn't even pay attention to the stuff I sent you, so you're wasting my time and yours. You could have already figured this out ahead of time. Instead, you asked me to take time out of my day (probably during work hours) to ask questions whose answers I've already provided.

(Please note that this only really goes for non-entry-level positions. For entry-level applicants, such as kids fresh out of college, you may not have very many code samples to work with. That's fine. In that case, send some problems for them to work on at home. Hopefully, these are dumbed-down but real-world problems your company has faced in the past.)

## Phone Screen (aka verifying authenticity)

The first thing you should do is take a gander at my Github profile or my code samples. Then you call me up at a prearranged time and ask me questions about that code. Make me prove that I wrote what I said I wrote.

* I noticed you made this combat simulator (www.bitfalls.com/2013/08/autofight-php-job-interview-task-part-1.html). Walk me through your thought process.

* Your code appears to be a custom MVC. Why did you choose to go with a custom one versus say, CodeIgniter or Symfony?

* This project is an API for Nerd Nite scheduling. First of all, what's Nerd Nite and why did you make an API for it? Second, explain how you scraped the data, organized it, and output the results.

The above three questions will give you way more insight into my programming style and thought process than "What is an MVC?". Please. Don't waste my time. As a senior engineer with 7+ years in the field, I shouldn't need to prove the equivalent of my ABCs to you. It should be understood.

I personally would also skip the whole "live coding" thing via Stypi or whatever. Waste of time, imo. You've already got code samples and you can ask me as many questions as you want about it. I shouldn't need to write code in front of you to establish my credentials.

## What about people who lie?

There are people who lie about their resume and their qualifications, but that's exactly why you should tailor your questions to fit the code samples provided. If I don't get excited about that code and I can't eloquently explain why I did what I did or how it works, then maybe I didn't write it after all. It also gives you an insight as to my personality: I clearly took time out of my day to write this code. Why? What prompted me to write an API for Nerd Nite schedules?

The answers to those questions should give you an idea of whether I can actually program or not. Questions like "What is MVC?" can be looked up in a dictionary. Explaining code samples is much more difficult.

## What next?

Once you've established that I wrote the code I said I wrote, then Step 1 of The Interviewing process is mostly done. Now you bring me into the office to determine Step 2 -- am I someone you want sitting next to you for 8+ hours a day for the next six months? Do I fit in with company culture?

You could give me a problem to solve on the spot, but hopefully it's more of a higher level thing rather than a "write code on a whiteboard" thing. The reason I say this is because at this point you should already have seen my code. You should know by now that I can build a class. The question you need to answer now is: given an arbitrary problem, can I solve it or at least come up with a reasonable thought process?

Bonus points if it's relevant to the job. (i.e., if your job never requires you to write binary trees from scratch, don't ask the applicant to do so.)

## Finally

Between the phone screen (technical) and in-person interview (personal), you should have a good idea of whether you want me on your team or not.

Occasionally for small teams, you may decide that you need to know something about time, creativity, independence, and other similar qualities that you can't really get from code samples. If this is the case, then I suggest doing the contract thing, where you give them an assignment on contract. Once the assignment is finished, you hire them or pay them for the work completed (or hopefully both).

I really, really, really despise whiteboard coding. I don't think it's indicative of anything, and I think you will find a lot of false negatives (i.e., rule out good candidates) using the whiteboard method.

A few other thoughts:

* I should meet my potential future boss at the in-person interview

* I should meet at least one of my potential future coworkers

* Be respectful of my time. Most interviews take place during work hours, so I've taken time off work -- and probably lied to my boss about where I'm going! -- to meet with you. The least you can do is not waste my time.

* Be familiar with my resume and code samples. I took the time to write them, you should take the time to read them. It will answer way more questions about my abilities than a 20 minute quiz on technical terms will.

The more informal the in-person interview is, the better. The technical qualifications should already be accepted by the time I walk in the door. At this point, it's a two way street as we figure out whether we want to work together. I'm interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing me.

(Note: These are just my opinions about how I interview others. It hasn't failed me yet. On the other hand, almost every job I've ever interviewed for has completely wasted my time on that front.)

RogerL 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the programming/algorithms questions are probamatic. They by and large depend on seeing some trick. Take the array 1..n one. It's an 'aha' type question. You either see the trick, or not. I saw it after a minute, but rolled my eyes. How does that in any way predict whether I can solve hard problems in production. I give myself pretty high probability of not having that 'aha' moment in an interview; whether I did or did not tells you nothing useful.

Not to mention that this is not exactly an obscure trick. If you've seen it a few times it is trivial to remember the trick and apply it. It's been awhile since I've looked at the 'interview questions exposed' type books or websites, so it didn't leap immediately to mind. Would you really select against me because I haven't read such things?

edit: my phrasing was way to strong and unfriendly. I reworded the first sentence.

beat 2 days ago 4 replies      
As an interviewer, I'm far more interested in soft skills than hard skills. I just want to know that they can actually program, which I can usually tell by how they talk about accomplishments in the face of some probing detail questions. Good programmers want to take a difficult problem, shoot it, mount its head on the wall like a set of antlers, and brag about it to anyone who will tolerate that. So competence shines through without a lot of tech question grilling.

Soft skills, on the other hand... is this person an asshole? Inflexible and dogmatic? Timid? Boring? That stuff drags down a whole team.

obituary_latte 1 day ago 2 replies      
-1 for forcing sign in. What if I don't care about saving my progress? What if I'm not a member of any of those services? Answer: 10 second pageview guaranteed to not become a return visiter.
kabdib 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had an interesting question once: They gave me a whiteboard problem that I'd studied about a week ago.

So I told them. "Look, I did this problem on my own a little while ago." They chuckled and made it harder, which was fine. :-)

dkhenry 2 days ago 1 reply      
Quick someone show this to college students. Most of his advice is exactly what I am looking for when I give interviews.
ChikkaChiChi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any time I've been a part of hiring new talent, I'm looking at three things:

1. How you process information. I'm not going to be impressed if someone at the table says 'Microsoft' and you cringe.2. Can you admit to not knowing everything? You'd be shocked how big of an issue this is.3. Are you willing to adapt? In a smaller team, you have to bend and be willing to take on new challenges.

sgustard 1 day ago 0 replies      
As the last round of a 3-hour interview I met the engineering manager whose first question was, "Do you know Perl?" and I said no and he said "Sorry, we need someone who knows Perl" and sent me home. After 3 hours of wasting my time! Not naming names, but Screw you and burn in hell for eternity SAP!
yeukhon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please allow googling in an interview. How many people today actually write code without a Google search? I bet 90% of the Google engineers do that and still able to write really brilliant code.
bcjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a really comprehensive list of tips, thanks Parker!

Definitely including this in next week's Coding for Interviews newsletter.

kevinpet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't look like there's a whole lot of coding in that coding interview. Apparently the article assumes that "coding interview" involves a whiteboard, rather than a keyboard.

We segment our interviewing into different sections. One person will do a specific functional competency evaluation which consists of writing code in an IDE to see whether you can write code. This portion of the interview is not about analytical thinking skills, people skills, or "tell me about a problem you've solved". It's about writing code. The interviewer is looking to see how many hints you need to get at working code, how well your solution is structured, and getting an overall feel for how you program.

umsm 2 days ago 0 replies      
The key point from the article: Communicate well.

This is really very true in the corporate world. The better you know how to communicate, the more likely it is that you will succeed in your chosen profession.

buildit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice site, could not do the practise questions though since I am not member of any of the social sites needed. Suggeting the option to proceed without the saving feature.
Fede_V 2 days ago 0 replies      
That was very useful, thanks. All pragmatic, useful advice and no generic bs.

Edit:Annoying that you cannot try practice questions without logging in though.

bastiaanus 2 days ago 6 replies      
I am at the "write a function that reverses a string without creating a new string" question and this is the answer on the site:

  def reverse(str):    left_ptr = 0    right_ptr = len(str) - 1    middle = len(str) / 2    while left_ptr <= middle:        # swap        temp = str[left_ptr]        str[left_ptr] = str[right_ptr]        str[right_ptr]= temp
wouldn't this create an infinite loop? You're never incrementing / decrementing left_ptr or right_ptr.

Pirate-of-SV 1 day ago 1 reply      
For http://www.interviewcake.com/question/largest-stack

There's a simple solution that requires no additional space.

Disclaimer: Code is not tested or given the love it deserves.

    Class Item():        def __init__(value):            self.value = value            self.next = None            self.next_largest = None    Class maxStack():        def __init__():            self.top = None            self.largest = None            def push(value):            i = Item(value)            i.next = self.top            self.top = i            if value >= self.largest:                i.next_largest = self.largest                self.largest = i            def pop():            v = self.top.value            if self.largest == self.top:                self.largest = self.largest.next_largest            self.top = self.top.next            return v            def getLargest():            return self.largest

bcbrown 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Leave yourself plenty of room. You may need to add code or notes in between lines later. Start at the top of the board and leave a blank line between each line.

That's a good idea I'll adopt. It looks messy when you start trying to shoehorn in a missed line somewhere.

yixizhang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice article, but not that good site design. Not to mention the solutions for most of its problem are either flawed or fundamentally not correct.

Author of the site wrote solutions in Python, but obviously he/she doesn't understand Python. Isn't that against what the article suggested?

dhammack 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just as a heads up, after I finish an interview question neither button works (I'm an expert or review later). Clicking on each doesn't seem to do anything. The only way for me to see additional questions is to head back to the homepage and re-click 'run some practice questions.'
triplesec 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reads even better as a "how to be a more insightful and incisive thinker and presenter", and anyone who just wants to use this excellent advice for interviews is missing the point!
aidos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm just glad I work in python mostly and no longer have to deal with off by one errors...
loblawslawblog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also found this book helpful for more practice questions & solutions: http://interviewsolutionsmanual.com/
dancecodes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think if you offer to code in interview its not right and dont resume good Man and company lost cool thinking programmer. In root its going from escape from peoples - such company not need with anybody. They must offer not coding, the must offer work and good things. Programming solve not coding it solve to make effective and easy. Coding in interview is monkey fun.
known 1 day ago 0 replies      
quiz != interview
zachmokahn 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is aweasome
shawiz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Manager.io Free accounting software for small businesses manager.io
277 points by Heliosmaster  2 days ago   134 comments top 43
breckinloggins 2 days ago 12 replies      
"Enter bank transactions."

Nope. Customer lost.

Look, I hate Quickbooks and Quickbooks Online. I really, really do, but I will not use a financial product that doesn't connect to my financial institutions. Period.

Do you want to know what MY startup dream is? I want someone to give me money, and then I want to go create a service that kicks the crap out of Yodlee and Intuit's own bank connection system. I want it to use REST APIs when it can, OFX when it should, and intelligent screen scraping when it must.

I want to build a startup based on an open core of specifications for how to connect to every financial system in the world. I want that spec to be executable and available as a simple library with bindings to every language you can think of. If you have a new institution or your bank changes and you can fix it, I want you to be able to fork the library and send us a pull request.

I want end users to be able to go through a "guided login process". "OK, log in now", "OK, click on the accounts list", "OK click on a transaction". "You're done! We've autogenerated a basic scraper for your bank. Thanks for helping us out."

I want to make money off this library by providing a simple, unified REST API behind all this mess that provides the computational resources to handle millions of customers connecting with thousands of institutions.

I want this company to provide push notifications so your app can do clever things when people spend money.

I don't want you to have to sign an NDA and pay thousands of dollars just to get permission to play with it.

I want it to be the Twilio of Banks.

But if you want to take the code and go your own way, you can.

I really don't know why we've let just a few companies keep our collective financial data locked up for so long. Is it because it's so expensive to get it working? Well why not spend it on people who will create an open, scalable system that can still make money?

Instead, we have Mint.com and mvelopes. That's it, really. Have an idea for a personal finance tool that lets you create "virtual subaccounts" for your checking and savings accounts so you can leverage double-entry bookkeeping in your personal finances through a clear metaphor? Great! Now have fun spending 10 minutes every two days copying and pasting stuff from 10 websites into 1.

It's just madness.

You know that "one weird thing" you're passionate about that's not really related to anything else you're passionate about? This is it for me.

P.S.: lubos - this isn't really about you or manager.io. I commend you for making something and getting it out there. This is about the thing that makes every one of these attempts inevitably fail, and it's sad that we're all being held hostage to crappy software because of it. I wish you success, I hope that I'm completely wrong.

lubos 2 days ago 7 replies      
Wow. I'm founder of Manager.io and long-time member of HN but I was always afraid to submit on HN link to my own startup thinking it won't ever get any upvotes. There are hundreds of people on www.manager.io right now. I'm amazed and completely humbled by the interest right now.
quarterto 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting. My immediate question was "is this US-specific", but it seems not: http://www.manager.io/about, section "First-class support for every country".
arbuge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks interesting. My main concern with something like this is that my accountant won't be able to work with the file it generates, or will charge me more to do so. My accountant, like most others, speaks Quickbooks.
gregd 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I try to email an invoice, I get an "Error", which isn't very helpful. I can't find anywhere to setup the emailing functionality, so I assume that that part isn't ready yet?
tobeportable 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wished this would be based on http://www.ledger-cli.org/
brass9 2 days ago 0 replies      
A nice piece of work!

But I'm curious about a few architectural decisions. What made you to decide to build each HTML page by hand?

Code like this[1] makes my eyes bleed... reminds me of the faux-OOP HTML builder classes that used to be a fad among PHP programmers (or ISAPI & Delphi web developers of old) a while ago.. No offence, but much of your Manager.HttpHandlers.* codebase feels like messy, ugly PHP4 code ported to C#...

What made you decide against template-based output rendering (Razor, NVelocity, NHaml, .liquid to name a few)? With template-generated output, the business logic layer could be decoupled from the UI. I had only a cursory glance at your code (and thus could be wrong), but it seems manager.io's DAL/BLL layer is intermingled within the GUI parts.

The protobuf DLL was named protobufnet.dll in the MSI. But the proper filename should be protobuf-net.dll

I think user input validation and error handling could be made more robust.

Additionally, spawning 5 HTTP worker threads to serve a single user seems a little overkill.

These are few of the issues I've noticed during the 5 minute tinkering with your assemblies. But don't let this critique discourage you. The app looks good - I guess end users won't care how it's built so long as it provides real value...

PS: Thanks for the heads up about Eto forms! I'll give it a spin and see how it fares against Xamarin's XWT.

[1] https://gist.github.com/anonymous/7003337

free652 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sadly I got an exception right after trying to add a company:

System.FormatException: Guid should contain 32 digits with 4 dashes (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx). at System.Guid.GuidResult.SetFailure(ParseFailureKind failure, String failureMessageID, Object failureMessageFormatArgument, String failureArgumentName, Exception innerException) at System.Guid.TryParseGuidWithNoStyle(String guidString, GuidResult& result) at System.Guid.TryParseGuid(String g, GuidStyles flags, GuidResult& result) at System.Guid..ctor(String g) at Manager.Objects.Get(String entityId) at Manager.HttpHandlers.File.Upgrade.Get() at HttpFramework.HttpModule.ProcessRequest(HttpRequest request) at Manager.HttpModule.ProcessRequest(HttpRequest request)

jaboutboul 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use wave (www.waveapps.com) for this and its been absolutely fantastic. absolutely fantastic. (yes it had to be said twice.
rexreed 2 days ago 3 replies      
Any interest in making personal accounting software as well? On the Mac, there are few good low-cost options if you want desktop software and not cloud-based.
elwell 2 days ago 3 replies      
Will check this out. Have been using Wave Accounting rather happily.
deweller 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is the business model? Will they charge for upgrades? Or will they use your data to send you targeted ads?
mcescalante 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like you could put the *.manager file into dropbox or another "sync service" and put a symlink into the Users/... folder to point it to the dropbox file, which would probably allow multiple users to all access the same data. I feel like this would sort of be bypassing your cloud service
joebo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good work. The install process was very smooth. I like that it doesn't require admin. Also a neat architecture. Looks like it's a .NET app running an in process web server.
krmmalik 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is brilliant. I'm referring to the execution, the landing page, design, pricing model etc.

One question, can bank accounts be linked for realtime importing or is it based on importing csv's only etc?

cmalpeli 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice! Does this pull in transactions from your bank accounts automatically? I'm using Xero right now (awesome BTW) and that is a killer feature for me.
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
If this works, it could be a new model for software. There's something about accounting that seems more appropriate as desktop software. I like avoiding the monthly fees and it's probably more comforting to the developer not to be serving the app (I realize they are offering cloud storage).
rfnslyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am so jealous of any product or startup with a perfect domain name. I'll definitely use this.
NKCSS 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like the creditcard form, where you ask your customers to send their creditcard details + CVV to be sent via mail... is that secure?


mixmixmix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just curious, but what is the app written in? Is it something like Adobe Air?
jonathanmarcus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Downloading now. Based on the screenshots, this looks pretty damn solid.
joshdance 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't really download software much. If you had a web app I would probably try it out.
maheart 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really good. I'm kind of concerned (wondering?) about the long-term viability of this product:

1. It's free (how does the company backing it plan to stay in business?).

2. It's free (as in beer), so I/the community cannot take over in case the product/company ever goes under.

Thanks for your work.

nigekelly 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is really superb. It's quick and responsive. Looks good. Looks easy to use. Will give a test drive over next few days as have to get my taxes done. I see that many of the plugins are disabled so suspect that's the business model.
Felipe1976 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great app congrats!

I have a tech related question. It seems like you are running a web server locally and using a web browser component to display the pages processed locally.

Would you care to explain how everything is setup?

What webserver are you using?

Is it a QA app with a webview?


lukashed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really looking great! If you could attach files to bills (i.e. a PDF scan) it would fit all our needs perfectly! :)
madao 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this, I am starting a small side business and this looks like a nice solution for what I need.
nickler 2 days ago 1 reply      
Cool stuff. Reminds me of www.waveaccounting.com, is it ad supported as well?

Looking forward to taking it for a test drive.

ckdarby 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought this was open source ;_;
elyase 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to be able to customize the text in the invoices (for example to translate them to other languages) and be able to add your logo. Also full screen on mac would be very welcome.
chatman 2 days ago 0 replies      
GNUCash just rocks. And it is more trustworthy.
ikonos_de 2 days ago 0 replies      
What environment is used to create this app? Seems to be made of simple HTML-sites, but what is used as a backend?
thoughtpalette 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sent the link to a family member who still uses Quicken 2000. The invoicing looks great!
mrjatx 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should work on integrating this into various niche apps, like WHMCS (webhosting control panel), VOIP panels, basically any reseller panel you can find. It'd take off.
mbostleman 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I have rental properties and I am so sick of Quickbooks. This is everything Intuit is not.
ptr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Feels very polished, even as a Mac app. Well done. Lion full screen support would be a nice feature to have.
tommis 2 days ago 1 reply      
For those who have tried it out: what kind of options does it offer for taking out/exporting your data?
holri 2 days ago 0 replies      
important clarification: it is free as in beer not as in speech.
dragthor 2 days ago 0 replies      
I might download and try to use for me own personal expenses and bills.
airtonix 2 days ago 0 replies      
love that you have GST and BAS statement generation. I sent you an email about dpkg errors since I only use Linux (ubuntu 13.04 Gnome Shell 3.8)
blind4x 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there something simmilar but solely online and with a good design?
stwr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am definitely going to check this out :)
acount5437 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is wonderful. Where do you get your tax codes? Any plans for an API?
MathGifs mathgifs.blogspot.co.uk
261 points by co_pl_te  2 days ago   31 comments top 10
susi22 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ah Mathematica:

    $ curl -s http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MPv_CwvvwKQ/Ulrw3TfdgyI/AAAAAAAAAEw/YsRPmU6C5xM/s1600/trefoil_rotate_white.gif |strings|grep -i created    UCreated by Wolfram Mathematica 9.0 for Students - Personal Use Only : www.wolfram.com
Would love to see the source for them.

B-Con 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I opened the first page I thought that it would be a page of unrelated GIFs. I saw the first one, read the accompanying paragraph, and stopped to think about it. I thought for a while before proceeding on, at which point I noticed that I had just thought through the next several GIFs of explanation.

That's why math is fun. You can always participate in the analysis.

BHSPitMonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
That simple parabolic reflection animation explained the concept more elegantly than words ever could, I think.
icambron 2 days ago 3 replies      
These are really neat, but one thing I don't understand is the animation they linked to (i.e. the post that inspired the OP) [1]. Unlike the animations in mathgifs, my brain isn't interpreting anything there as rotational motion. Am I missing something?

[1] http://beautyandthemaths.tumblr.com/post/62281036101/the-ave...

011011100 2 days ago 10 replies      
Cool. Anything else like it?
philbarr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone know a good place to plot the mathematical envolope at the bottom of the page? But like, quite big?

I know it might seem a little facile but a nice plot like that would look pretty cool on my website. :)

XaspR8d 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent! I'll have to spend a while exploring the archives. I just happened to have "proved" to myself the linearity of a very similar animation a few weeks ago. :)


mrcactu5 2 days ago 0 replies      
rohitv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but I still have a headache since I looked at the gifs about an hour ago. Maybe it's just me but I would advice putting a warning somewhere.
Debugging a Live Saturn V zamiang.com
257 points by dblock  2 days ago   33 comments top 11
Arjuna 1 day ago 4 replies      
For those that are not familiar, the Saturn V was equipped with 5 (yes, you read that right)... five F-1 rocket engines. Each engine produced an absolutely staggering 1,500,000 pounds of thrust; that's a total of 7,500,000 pounds of thrust!

Can you imagine being tucked into the small, cramped Command Module, sitting on top of this power at lift-off?

The whole thing, the technology, the sound, the people coming together to make it happen... it's soul-stirring.


kabdib 2 days ago 2 replies      
Signing off on the paperwork and /then/ getting out of there.

So NASA :-)

brudgers 2 days ago 1 reply      
And that's what is meant by"Steely Eyed Missile Man."
andyjohnson0 1 day ago 0 replies      
A fascinating story. Although the situation was very different, it reminded me of the aborted launch of Mercury Redstone 1:

"...following a normal countdown, the Mercury-Redstone's engine ignited on schedule at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (14:00 GMT). However, the engine shut down immediately after lift-off from the launch pad. The rocket only rose about 4 inches (10 cm) before settling back onto the pad. It wobbled slightly, but stayed upright and did not explode. An odd series of events then took place.

Immediately after the Redstone's engine shut down, the Mercury capsule's escape rocket jettisoned itself, leaving the capsule attached to the Redstone booster. The escape rocket rose to an altitude of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) and landed about 400 yards (370 m) away. Three seconds after the escape rocket fired, the capsule deployed its drogue parachute; it then deployed the main and reserve parachutes, ejecting the radio antenna fairing in the process.

In the end, all that had been launched was the escape rocket. Meanwhile, a fully fueled, slightly wrinkled Redstone and its Mercury capsule sat on the launch pad, both with full batteries and live pyrotechnics. Among these pyrotechnics were the capsule's retrorockets and the Redstone's self-destruct system, which was still active. Furthermore, the capsule's main and reserve parachutes were hanging down the side of the rocket, threatening to tip it over if they caught enough wind..." [1]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_1

bigiain 1 day ago 0 replies      
Somehow my occasional entry into the command line on a production server, opening up vi, and snapping a new configuration tweak in place and testing it it doesn't seem quite so brave or adventurous any more
geetee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing story and many condolences. I hope he was able to personally tell you some of these stories before he passed on.
ljoshua 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome. I wish/don't wish that my debugging was that exciting.
larrydag 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a great legacy to share. Thanks for sharing.
carterac 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author humbly failed to mention that late last night he accomplished quite an extraordinary just-in-time feat himself:

Today Artsy launched its live auction platform with TWO x TWO, a charity to benefit AIDS research: http://artsy.net/feature/two-x-two

shospes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Incredible story, unfortunately debugging is not that exiting any more..
AustinLin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Beautiful story.
Wireshark is switching to Qt wireshark.org
251 points by Tsiolkovsky  1 day ago   130 comments top 22
ryandrake 21 hours ago 6 replies      
The thing I most remember about having to program with Qt was having to convert all my standard C++ types back and forth to QStrings and QLists and QFiles in order to work with the library's APIs, and witnessing what happens when all the QThis and QThat objects start leaking over into your non-UI code if you're not careful.

I've always found it annoying to have to work with frameworks that invade your project with their own type defines, particularly when they are just parallel versions of types already in the language's standard library.

general_failure 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this Qt5 or Qt4? If it's Qt4, I have some terrible news. The Qt project in its infinite wisdom has pretty much obsoleted Qt widget stack and moved on to QML. It's a completely different beast and requires a complete rewrite.

Edit: grammar and some bloopers :)

groovy2shoes 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Much of Wireshark uses not only GTK, but Glib as well. I'm wondering how the move to Qt will affect plugins that manipulate the Glib structures, as I'm assuming these will also be migrated to Qt.

What I'm trying to get at is: as the maintainer of a Wireshark plugin, what should I be doing to prepare myself for the switch? Will I need to start maintaining to versions of the plugin, one for Glib and one for Qt?

grn 23 hours ago 6 replies      
Is there a solution better than implementing OS-specific GUI to provide native look and feel? I was thinking about that and came to the conclusion that the best thing we can do is to separate the business logic from the GUI. We can then equip the application with a CLI, a GTK GUI, a Qt GUI, etc.
tuananh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Qt app still looks like alien on OS X though but at least, it's less awkward.
clumsysmurf 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The inkscape project hasn't put out a Mac OS release in years; from the little I know it seems to be related to the UI toolkit / XQuartz. Maybe they should consider a move like this also.
raminf 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"If youre using Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux Mint we need to support Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux Mint. If youre using an iPad or a Galaxy Note we need to give you a long, hard, nonplussed stare and think about supporting IOS and Android at some point."

Comedy gold!

AlexMax 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I am very pleased by this news, as using Wireshark on the Mac is not a pleasant visual experience.

However, having only casually looked at both Qt and wxWidgets, how do MODERN versions of both compare?

Doing something with a GUI toolkit is something I'd like to visit at some point in the future, and Qt seems to have more mindshare, but from what I understand Qt doesn't actually draw native widgets, merely emulated ones. Reading about MOC and seeing the number of .dll's included with the average Qt project also put me off a bit.

radikalus 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent -- I use wireshark probably every other day on my osx laptop and this looks like a pretty good improvement.

Have there been any performance improvements to command line tshark recently?

leephillips 1 day ago 7 replies      
I've never used this, but from the screenshots it looks like a perfect candidate for a curses-type interface. Is there a good reason for using the extra resources required by the GUI?
staunch 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I just wish Wireshark didn't barf when I throw a 1GB capture at it.
shmerl 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish Firefox would do the same. Sailfish browser already does (which is basically Gecko with Qt UI based on IPC embedding API). There was initial work to make Firefox with Qt, but Mozilla never officially started supporting it.
hcarvalhoalves 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Great. I tried using it on OS X last week and gave up after having to deal with X11, slowness and crashes. I ended using tcdump. I look forward to trying the Qt port since Wireshark (Ethereal) has saved my bacon many times in the past.
secstate 23 hours ago 4 replies      
Hrumph ... should just port it to shoes[1] and be done with it. Just kidding, just kidding. But really, why can't we have an HTML5 layout engine for native applications?

1: https://github.com/shoes/shoes4

pjbringer 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Just the other day, I noticed that on my kde desktop, wireshark was the only program using gtk3, whereas gtk2 is used by a bunch of cross platform programs. I'm not too sure what that means though.
sambecket 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There's always JUCE ! A little slow to catch up at first,but after a while you'll get it and be able to build amazing things easily, plus its pure c++ no prepoocesor or anything like it.
stock_toaster 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I use wireshark regularly (on OSX these days). Looking forward to this!
b4d 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks good, just needs some retina support on OS X.
_-_-_- 12 hours ago 0 replies      

Qt has been a pain in my ass in OS X. You get the wrong version installed in the wrong place and you're fucked. I think it is something that is kind to developers and a headache to users.

Personally I give a big thumbs down on this decision. It's one thing for some random program or library to use Qt that I don't care about, but I've been using Wireshark since it was Ethereal. It should not be Qt. That's lame.

jebblue 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Actually I prefer SWT or Swing with Java for a mature looking, cross-platform application. I thought Qt went away until I read Ubuntu will use something new for Qt called QML. If I were to consider something for Linux Desktop GUI's other than SWT/Swing/Java I would probably use Gtk+Python.
znowi 22 hours ago 3 replies      

We wanted to please the trendy Mac users, hence switched to Qt, which providers a more authentic interface on Mac OS X.

guilloche 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Why bother wasting effort on GUI?

GTK3 is good enough and QT seems more bloated and has more dependencies.

Anyway, I will use tcpdump.

Byebye, wireshark.

Free Font: Norwester jamiewilson.io
243 points by benoitg  3 days ago   59 comments top 18
bbx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great job. I saw this font on Designer News yesterday and downloaded it instantly.

I think creating a font from scratch could become a designer's rite of passage. It involves usability, aesthetics, and technical knowledge (kerning, weights, character encoding, horizontal and vertical metrics...). I always thought about creating one myself but usually ended up browsing the web for original and better designed fonts.

You got me questioning my behavior.

casca 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thank you for putting the license in the zipfile. We've had to avoid using certain fonts because it wasn't possible to identify the license.

Can you please put another file with a link back to your website and the request to donate to the International Justice Mission if used?

jamiewilson 2 days ago 8 replies      
Hey everybody. I'm the designer of Norwester. Thanks for the interest and feedback. Yea, the font is really limited right now. Please use it judiciously as there are a lot of glyphs not accounted for, as digitalengineer pointed out. Please let me know if you have any special requests or catch any thing not looking right. Thanks again!
digitalengineer 3 days ago 3 replies      
Looks nice. It's Open Type so thats cool. However, no serious designer would choose this font for production as it is right now though. You dev's would call it 'Aplha' or 'Beta'. It contains only the 'Western' letters and even for that, not most variables. This makes it dangerous to use for your company's branding. Imagine if you want to write an , , or what not. You can not. So, nice to try a bit but be careful using it for production.

If you wish to compare it to something, have a look at these free fonts: http://www.exljbris.com/ They're free for the Roman, Bold, Heavy, Italic and small caps, but if you want more variables, say a Heavy Italic you pay a small fee.

narad 3 days ago 0 replies      
This font will be great to use in headlines. Will this font be available in Google Fonts [1]? Because Google hosts many fonts under SIL Open Font License .

[1] http://www.google.com/fonts

noonespecial 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks a lot like "Bank Gothic". I almost expect to see it on a refrigerator... (S M E G)
jdmitch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the fact that you've asked people to donate to the International Justice Mission - they do great work! What made you choose them? Is the font somehow inspired by the work they do? (maybe you could convince them to incorporate it into a rebrand ;)!
ChikkaChiChi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic. I just wish more fonts used a slash zero :(
patrickg 2 days ago 3 replies      
Wow, an ASCII font. Useless in most part of the world (sorry for being dismissive. I actually like the font, but without any "funny" characters, it's use is very limited) Now, I'll probably get all the downvotes from today...
haddr 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's a pity this font can't be used in many countries due to lack of any diacritics... :(
benoitg 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just to be clear: I submitted this but I'm not related to the OP. I just found it on http://sidebar.io/ earlier today and liked both the open license and the fact that the author seems open to suggestions.
elwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why did you use images of the font on your demo page (rather than using it as a web font)?
huntaub 3 days ago 1 reply      
What license is this released under?
arnley 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice looking, thank you!
DonPellegrino 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love it. It has that cold war propaganda feel to it. Great for headlines.
asimov42 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "R" and "5" are quite interesting, and the symbols look fun, specially that "@".
gondo 2 days ago 2 replies      
is this font legit?it looks like it was build based on some other font, and there are still original/unchanged characters left.f.e. try to render A, and notice the difference in font-weight and also the char differences.or am i missing something?
pagekicker 3 days ago 0 replies      
Boxy! Downloaded it to play around, thx.
Sleep Flushes Toxins from the Brain bbc.co.uk
226 points by anishkothari  18 hours ago   83 comments top 14
drewcrawford 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This appears to have an interesting implication for FFI [1], a mysterious genetic disease that causes complete insomnia in adults and results in death. The final stage of FFI is dementia.

It turns out that the -amyloids that are cleared during sleep according to this paper, are associated with certain types of dementia in the general population [2].

It also turns out that certain sleep disorders are dementia predictor [3].

This is just a laymen's speculation, but this is suggestive that dementia may be a type of sleep disorder, that it could be caused by some interruption in the process demonstrated in this paper.

And this is a stretch, but it is known that FFI is caused by a malformed prion protein, which is a protein that is deeply involved in various neuron-related functions. It seems possible that this protein is involved in the cleansing process in some way. If so, that would be a HUGE deal, because abnormal prion proteins are associated with a huge variety of neurodegenerative diseases.

Basically, I have high hopes for future research.

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

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17502554

[3] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/781136

tokenadult 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Science Now, the news service affiliated with the journal Science, has a write-up on this report,


and that links to the abstract


of the published study itself.

Locke1689 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Same old story, primitive stop-the-world GC ;)
dbecker 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states - awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,"

Sure sounds like part of the wake-sleep algorithm, which is impressive given that the wake-sleep algorithm was named in the mid-90s.

batgaijin 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I always wondered about how split-brain theory would work into this...

I mean there are stories of people with half their brain removed who are fully functional (I think? I can't find a source atm).

I wonder what would happen if half your brain could be on/off and switch?

Also you'd think that any mutation optimizing for time awake would have decimated the other creatures? I don't get how evolution has conquered everything but sleep.

tannerc 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Can anyone with better knowledge of such things explain why this has to occur during sleep? Is there just too much going on during the day to dedicate physical and mental resources to this type of cleaning?
greenyoda 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Wikipedia has a decent article on the glymphatic system, which clears waste products from the brain:


The brain and spinal cord have no lymphatic circulation, which handles waste removal for the rest of the body.

brickcap 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Fascinating. An average 60 year old man sleeps for 20 years (considering a normal 8 hr a day sleep) that is 1/3 of his life. A polar bear and some other hibernating animals sleep for half of their lives. Amazingly polar bear is cognizant enough to feed her baby while she is sleeping.

Sleep also lowers the heart beat. It is generally accepted that all mammals have the same life span in number of hear beats. An elephant lives longer than a mouse because it's heart beats slower. Could that mean that people who live longer generally sleep more.

Whales are known to live for a long time. Wonder how much they sleep.

Miyamoto 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Awesome. One very (very very) small step closer to creating a pill to help the flushing process so we may sleep less, or not at all.
sillysaurus2 17 hours ago 5 replies      
A "toxin" is something which is toxic to a system. But our knowledge of the brain is so primitive that we can't reasonably claim to know which chemicals are toxic at tiny, long-term dosage levels, unless it leads to death. There is no evidence that it's possible to die directly from sleep deprivation. Therefore this seems a dubious headline.
hkon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it flush the toxins if you take sleeping pills?
jimgardener 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if my computer did all scan/cleanup defrag ops after I shut it down and go to sleep
giardini 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Any implications for napping?
_-_-_- 11 hours ago 1 reply      
When I hear "toxins", I think of a developer on a project I helped manage. He was having health problems so he had to take a 1-1.5 month sabbatical to India to be cleansed of toxins. If I remember correctly the end result was that he quit.

While I do believe there that the body cleanses itself from toxins, and I can't say for certain whether the developer that left us got his toxins cleansed or not, this article and study smells of B.S.

The second tip off is the quoted doctor's name: Dr. Nedergaard

Scientists with Dutch/Scandinavian names always seem to produce the most crap science on average in my experience. I have no idea why, but I've noticed it. Especially when it comes to the "positive affects" of pot. I know that is an over-generalization, but someone should do a study on that to see if it's true. Preferably one without as many A's in his/her last name.

TSA Admits In Leaked Doc: No Evidence of Terrorist Plots Against Aviation in US tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com
224 points by ddelphin  20 hours ago   122 comments top 12
jstalin 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The GAO regularly audits the TSA by trying to get firearms and other contraband through security. They consistently get a lot through without the TSA noticing:


pavlov 19 hours ago 4 replies      
...But as you can see, Senator, there is also no evidence of the guaranteed absence of terrorist plots either. They are obviously even better hidden than we feared. Increased resources will be required to bring them to light. Our department has drafted a new budget proposal that takes this changed situation into account.
k2enemy 19 hours ago 8 replies      
I'm a huge critic of the TSA and would be thrilled to see it dismantled, but I always find these kinds of arguments a little intellectually dishonest. It could be that terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports because we have scanners in place that deter that kind of threat.

Now, I don't believe this is the case, as plenty of research has shown that the scanners don't increase security, but the "no active threat" argument by itself doesn't get us very far. By that logic, we should remove security at Fort Knox because it never gets robbed.

canistr 19 hours ago 10 replies      
But couldn't it be argued that the use of body-scanners functions as a form of strong deterrent for potential plots? If a potential terrorist understands that they will eventually be caught or that the stakes to beat the system are too high, they will look at alternative forms of terrorism simply because the investment to beat airport security is too high.
herbig 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If I were trying to champion a legitimate cause, I would steer way clear of acknowledging Infowars by name or calling them "journalists."

You could just say that a third party discovered it or something, but you definitely don't want to imply that they're fighting the good fight alongside you.

tsaoutourpants 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This post has been moderated down for some reason. Generally, posts on HN appear on the front page based on a calculation of upvotes per unit time. This post has a better ratio than all of the posts above it, yet about 20 minutes ago got bumped down from #1 to #14.


tsaoutourpants 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Link owner here. I love it when my posts get submitted to HN so fast that I don't even have a chance to share it. ;) Happy to answer any questions.
np422 19 hours ago 1 reply      
From my horizon the entire security debacle have never been about actually keeping the populations safe - it's there to keep them worried about "the enemy" and keep them compliant with both funding requests and authorities in general.

As of today neither USA or countries in western Europe can be considered police states.

But if we keep on travelling in the same direction we are going now, that's where we'll end up.

DannyBee 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
zzzeek 19 hours ago 7 replies      
I know I'm throwing my karma down the toilet here but domestic-sourced airline terrorism has happened before. The TSA (edit: OK, whoever it was that scanned our bags and ran us through the metal detector, if it was not "the TSA") was unaware of 9/11 as well. Argue all you want that we should just tolerate the occasional 9/11-style (edit: or the random pipe bomb blowing out the side of the plane, cockpit doors can't protect against that) event as the price of freedom, but if there were no airline security, you can be sure events will occur.
Havoc 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Free cavity searches for all. Taxpayer dollars at work right there.
growupkids 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps what the actually conclusion one should take from this memo is not that terrorists don't exist, clearly they do, but rather that those terrorists are now focusing on softer targets, because aviation is seen as too difficult. I realize this may be an unpopular opinion, because let's face it the TSA searches are demeaning and some might argue an invasion of privacy. But it seems like a non sequitur to say that because terrorists aren't focusing on aviation that they don't exist. Maybe aviation is hard to hit, and they want to focus on easier targets like shooting up malls.

Perhaps what's happenng here is that terrorists would like to target aviation, but TSA is doing just a good enough job to dissuade them. I know, blasphemy. The government can't do anything right.

To an alarming degree, science is not self-correcting economist.com
223 points by martincmartin  21 hours ago   128 comments top 22
tokenadult 19 hours ago 5 replies      
This is an excellent overview article on an important topic. It mentions many of the most influential authors on the topic of accuracy of scientific publications.

Hacker News readers may enjoy "Warning Signs in Experimental Design and Interpretation"[1] by Peter Norvig, a LISP hacker who is now director of research at Google, on how to interpret scientific research. Norvig's essay is my all-time favorite link to share in a Hacker News comment. That's because we see submissions here every day of preliminary studies that can be analyzed by Norvig's checklist on research issues to look for when reading about a scientific finding.

I discuss psychology research weekly with a group of psychologists who study human behavior genetics in a "journal club" (graduate seminar course). Those researchers have told me about other researchers who are trying to clean up the published literature in psychology, for example Jelte Wicherts, whose article "Letting the daylight in: reviewing the reviewers and other ways to maximize transparency in science"[2] in an open-access journal suggests general procedures to improve scientific publishing, for example by changing the incentive structure around reviewing papers submitted for publication. Another helpful researcher on statistical tests to verify results is Uri Simonsohn. The papers he and his colleagues produce[3] are thought-provoking, pointed, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.

[1] http://norvig.com/experiment-design.html

[2] Jelte M. Wicherts, Rogier A. Kievit, Marjan Bakker and Denny Borsboom. Letting the daylight in: reviewing the reviewers and other ways to maximize transparency in science. Front. Comput. Neurosci., 03 April 2012 doi: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00020


[3] http://opim.wharton.upenn.edu/~uws/

haberman 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The fundamental problem as I see it: science can either produce a high rate of unreliable results or a low rate of reliable results, but the market demands a high rate of reliable results.

The market produces the current situation because the rate of results is much easier to observe than their reliability.

No one wants to fund a study only to get no result out of it. So they end up getting an unreliable result instead.

pnathan 19 hours ago 1 reply      
In my experience at the university performing graduate research -

* Newness is prized

* Replicating old science is not prized

* Funding and papers happens for breakthroughs

In software engineering -

* many bugs in code creep through exacting peer reviews.

Recapping the short list: new things make you money, reviewing things is error prone, replicating old things doesn't make you money until someone wants to rely on them. Hmmmm. The disincentives to replicate unapplied research speak for themselves.

What then is to be done beyond hand-wringing and moaning?

Several things have to happen: First, grants need to be given for replication of research- replication needs to be an thing that is frequently done. Second, papers (dis)proving prior results (or disproving, period) need to be a recognized category in journals. I do not mean that disproving someone else's pet theory in favor of yours; I mean disproving the result, period; regardless of whether it helps advance your particular line of work.

From someone who's currently in industry (and is looking towards going back for the PhD), I encourage the academics to open up and/or push the area of "negative results" as a recognized category of paper. If you have graduate students that can't reproduce prior work - please have them publish that!

There have been occasional comments about Journals of Negative Results; maybe those could come to fruition sometime. :-)

capnrefsmmat 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I am sometimes amused to read failed replication studies which do not calculate their own statistical power -- so they do not know whether, assuming the original study was correct, they will have the sample size to reliably detect an effect. A failed replication then says nothing about the original conclusions.

Statistical error is a hobby of mine. The Economist mentions a few pervasive errors, but there are many more. I've been writing a guide:


One amusing example is the oft-quoted statistic that 3 million Americans use a gun in self-defense each year. The true figure is several orders of magnitude smaller. Follow the link for more details:


timr 18 hours ago 7 replies      
What a weird article. I agree with nearly every individual fact within it, but after reading it, I still don't know the point of the piece. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but given that this piece is mostly criticism of science the part of me that associates "conservatives" with "anti-intellectual reactionaries" suspects a hidden agenda to undermine science or give climate change "skeptics" something to point at and yell about [1].

Do scientists get funding to replicate research? No, not usually.

Does replication still happen? Yes replication of a previous work is often step 0 of new research. It happens all the time.

Do replication results get published? No, not usually. Unless it's a clear rebuttal of a famous paper.

Does this matter? Debatable. Science proceeds slowly, and bad papers tend to be forgotten unless they're easily replicable. It just takes time.

Does this mean that we can't trust science? Absolutely not. You just can't trust individual papers, prima facie. This is something that scientists are supposed to learn as undergrads. Just because it's in a journal (even a "good" journal, like Science or Nature -- some would say especially if it's in one of those journals) doesn't mean it's right.

What does this tell us about armchair science? It's utterly useless. The reason that you have to be a professional scientist is not because professional scientists are smarter, but because they have a huge depth of knowledge about a particular field. Any working scientist can point out published, cited papers in their field that are total crap. But you can't tell that a paper might be crap unless you've spent years reading all of the literature in the field. Yet people on the internet persist in thinking that they can cherry-pick a single paper from arXiv or PubMed, and make sweeping conclusions about a field.

[1] indeed, the usual HN climate-change critics are in this thread, pointing at and yelling about how science is "broken".

jacoblyles 19 hours ago 6 replies      
The truth machine is broken. How do we fix it?

And why is it that whenever I see a list of the "top 10 most important problems" to solve, this isn't on it? Most educated people take the veracity of published science as given, and we clearly know that's a false assumption.

I know we need more transparency in science - sharing of data and code, and negative results. But institutionally, I don't know how we get there with the tools we have.

Part of the reason the current system stays in place, despite failing at its charter mission, is billions of dollars of annual subsidies. Changing the way research dollars are allocated would change the structure of the academic enterprise, but that is incredibly hard to do. Few systems have as much momentum.

cantankerous 19 hours ago 3 replies      
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn has some interesting commentary on how invalid scientific models of our world are eventually (and painfully) discharged. It's the book that coined the term "paradigm shift". This article tends to focus more on bad science, but I think the book is still at least partially relevant.
Theodores 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This article re-hashes much of the content of Ben Goldacre's book 'Bad Pharma', however it does not propose any solutions (Ben Goldacre does). There is plenty that can be done with legislation, as a customer of healthcare and in clinical trials. If all trials - good results or bad - were published then we would be half way there.


The article mentions the company 'Amgen' and how they were not able to reproduce some earlier trial results. Alarm bells went off for me right there at the word 'Amgen'. They were the company that had the wonder drug EPO, as in of Lance Armstrong fame. That story is truly fascinating and best pieced together from the book 'Blood Medicine':


...and from the cycling scandal books that have came out recently, e.g. Tyler Hamilton's.

SeanDav 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I suppose it is naive to believe that scientific papers should not be published until they are peer reviewed and more importantly, their results duplicated.

If this is impractical there should be separate sections in journals for non-replicated and replicated results or perhaps there needs to be separate tiers, with something like the "Gold Tier" only containing papers that have had their results replicated multiple times in multiple countries.

Probably wishful thinking, but it seems clear, something needs to change.

Tichy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if much of it is not being corrected because it simply isn't important enough? Like the example of "think about a professor before an exam to get higher scores". I suspect that if for example some medication against HIV is found to not work, it will be thrown out again quickly.
0xdeadbeefbabe 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The guy who wrote Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance had a problem with the scientific method too:

"Through multiplication upon multiplication of facts, information, theories and hypotheses it is science itself that is leading mankind from single absolute truths to multiple, indeterminate, relative ones. The major producer of the social chaos, the indeterminacy of thoughts and values that rational knowledge is supposed to eliminate, is none other than science itself."

I used to think (10 years ago) he was wrong or concerned about something that would happen far in the future beyond my lifespan.

Strilanc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Their starting example of priming reminds me of the post/video "Fixing Toxic Online Behavior in League of Legends" [1], where the makers of LoL discuss (among other things) testing how well priming was reducing toxic behavior.

They had absurd results like changing the color of intro text giving (IIRC) ~30% reductions, and were (IMO) obviously accidentally cherry picking.

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5616541

tensor 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The only important discussion to have is "how can we improve our scientific method." Complaining about deficiencies without offering improvements is not particularly useful. There is no alternative to science.

The posters here that are suggesting that people should not trust science ought to be shunned. It is good to be skeptical of particular studies, but if you discard "science" you are reverting to a position of complete ignorance. Always remember that without an alternative model, if you discard a body of research the only valid fallback is that you don't know anything.

danielharan 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Given all the talk about "Open access" and reforming peer review, one of the most important things to fix should be publication bias. Positive and negative results both need to be published, along with all the tools and data.

Does anyone know if there are groups aiming for that standard?

thisisnotatest 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How about a karma/bittorrent system for researchers to encourage replication? In such a system, the "application fee" for submitting your experiment to a journal would be that you must also replicate someone else's experiment that was also submitted to the journal. This system could scale arbitrarily.
pasbesoin 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't read the article, yet (in a bit of a hurry ATM...), but a crucial part of science is (independent) reproduction and verification.

Any number of things stand in the way of this: Funding and funding restrictions, counter-productive IP laws, "cult of celebrity" (to the detriment of those quiet souls who "quiety grind away"), etc.

I've been screwed over more than once by "medical science" and medical "best practices", so I have been somewhat sensitized to incongruities in this area. A recent, emerging big one: Statins, and more so the premise upon which they became ubiquitous, stand upon increasingly shaky ground -- at least with regard to their current, widespread prescription and use.

E.g. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/03/09/895-the-great-chol...

snowwrestler 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably not a great idea to learn about science in a magazine called The Economist.

(Yes, I am familiar with this famous and well-liked magazine. Its reputation does not rest on its science reporting.)

0xdeadbeefbabe 18 hours ago 1 reply      
And this is why http://xkcd.com/836/ could have a fourth scene at the graveyard. Top hat man and his girlfriend stand by his tombstone. Girlfriend says to top hat man something like, "that study turned out to be bogus" or "he was in the control group"
ballard 8 hours ago 0 replies      
20 m on rigor:

Institute the "ten {wo,}man rule"


And more readily, easily reproducible experiments.

And regular joke / high-quality fake papers.

DanielBMarkham 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Technology development is going through a revolution over the last decade or two. The process of teams creating things that have a high degree of precision and detail has been found to overwhelmingly social in nature. That is, while technical skills are irreplaceable, it's the social aspects of developing new things that are much more critical to success than the technical aspects.

Many technologists do not get this. To them, anything important must by definition involve some kind of new tech. They fail to see that even in breakout technology development, the social way we construct teams and interact with each other (and our market) is critical.

Turns out humans are social animals. And this nature has impacts on all kinds of things, even things that are completely analytic.

Science has yet to make this leap. We're still at the stage where the details of the science are published and gushed over. We focus on the science itself instead of the much more interesting and powerful thing: the social structure of how we are conducting our scientific research.

There is a slight bit of light on the horizon. People from technical backgrounds are taking a hard look at how we organize our information and work. There are calls for more open science, there are calls to rethink our how we make funding decisions. There are calls for scientists to stop trying to be priests of knowledge -- arbiters of all that is true -- and work more as servants. These are all taken from mistakes the tech community has made and suffered from (and still suffers, in many cases). Let's hope this trend continues.

sambeau 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Like democracy, science is the worst way to discover truth apart from all the others.
Reproducibility Initiative gets $1.3M grant to validate 50 cancer studies scienceexchange.com
222 points by djkn0x  1 day ago   34 comments top 9
napoleoncomplex 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reproducibility in science is something that badly needs this push. It's an incredibly difficult "sell" to anyone with funds for research, and I'm extremely happy that they've found capital for it.

The foundations of our scientific knowledge need to be solidified, and from all the science news and developments, this one is the one that makes me by far the most excited for the future of science.

Next on the list, open source repositories for protocols of experiments! Maybe someone surprises me with a link to an existing solution :).

Osmium 1 day ago 3 replies      
Honestly, I'm impressed $1.3M is enough for 50 studies! Though, of course, verification should be cheaper than the original research since you know exactly what to look for and how to find it.
irollboozers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Science Exchange is leading and pushing ahead with this very important work. They are addressing what the public funders and private industry can't and won't do, but at scale this becomes really powerful. Great stuff.
gabemart 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't know very much about how reproducibility validation works. Is it the case that, if we assume p= ~0.05 and all 50 original studies are perfect, we would expect the first iteration of reproducibility validation to fail for ~2 of the 50 studies?
DaveWalk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested to know which studies they are targeting. Is SciEx testing a key figure from an expansive publication, or the entire methodology from discoveries with few tests? To me, this seems to be a conceptually difficult decision to make...most discoveries do not discuss the number of years (or failed attempts) that goes by before obtaining the quantifiable result.

And where is the peer review in this process? I suppose as soon as something turns up unreproducible we will find out.

doctoboggan 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I met some of the people behind The Center For Open Science at SciPy this year. They seemed very passionate. I hope the idea of reproducing experiments as a matter of course becomes more common. Maybe in the future to be a reputable scientist you will have had to reproduce many of the current experiments of the time.
dnautics 1 day ago 0 replies      
this is really phenomenal. Congratulations, SE.
brianbreslin 1 day ago 0 replies      
awesome congrats guys!
ypandit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations SciEx !
Visual Studio 2013 released to web msdn.com
209 points by pjvds  1 day ago   150 comments top 25
727374 21 hours ago 8 replies      
This rant has been brewing for many years...

Everything's been downhill since VS6. I'm only joking, but seriously, does anyone remember how lightning fast VS6 was? That was over 15 years ago with much slower computers. I guess application 'snappiness' has not been a priority for the Visual Studio decision makers.

I've used VS since the late 90s (writing node.js in ST2 now) and honestly appreciate the hard work and cool features that goes into it. The new VS2013 feature that shows how often a function is referenced is useful. I don't get that in ST2 and probably never will. But I've used VS enough that I've become philosophically opposed to it and other similar IDEs. The core of the problem for me was that all the fancy wizards and project templates are not maintainable for MS. There were a number of times I was using some new project type introduced in a version of VS only to find the template was incompatible in the next version (e.g. reporting in 2005). This inevitably lead to a lot of unexpected work when my team would upgrade. Many of the productivity wizards impose hidden debt on their users.

Another major gripe was that VS would get really sludgy for solutions with a great number of projects/files. Take note that whenever you see MS demo a hot new feature, it's always with a very simple solution. Also, VS would block for me a lot, but that was probably due using too many plugins. I'd find that an application freeze of even 2 seconds would distract me. Not an issue I face now with a text editor + repl.


taude 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Since moving to OS X, I've left Visual Studio behind. At first, I had a boot camp partition running windows so I could still develop our C#-based web product. Then eventually we changed the product significantly enough that moving to an OSS tech stack made sense.

I'd probably still be using some MSFT technologies if I could use a VSS-style IDE on OS X without virtualization (I tired MonoDevelop, but it just wan't the same). I didn't have issues with the speed of Visual Studio running on my beefed up MBPro, but the keybinding stuff was just too much to deal with.

Not to mention, having a ton of different runtime/hosting options is a pretty nice bonus for the OSS stack.

Also, for mostly web apps, I think Visual Studio is massive overkill (but I'll still watch their videos on features).

For now, I've settled happily using on cross-platform tools (PyCharm/WebStorm for a feature rich IDE and Sublime Text 2 for code editing, and VIm when tweaking stuff on the server). Should I ever go back to Windows (likely, because I want a Surface Pro 2), my tooling should carry over (though I'll have to go through some keybinding issues again).

Never again will I use products that are locked down to a single OS. Even the tools on my Mac (with the exception of Keynote) run on Windows and vice-versa.

Pxtl 1 day ago 3 replies      
VS2012 took out installer projects (instead telling you to just use InstallShield), SQLCLR projects, was incompatible with Oleg Sych's T4 Toolbox plug-in, and had a colour-scheme in the TFS source browser that made my eyes want to bleed.

Every other VS upgrade has been comparatively painless. I can't say I'm excited to try VS2013.

jpalomaki 23 hours ago 2 replies      
And finally we should be able to see function return values in debugger:http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2013/06/27/s...
teamonkey 1 day ago 2 replies      
Fully-integrated TypeScript support!

For me that elevates TypeScript from a MS side project to something they're serious about.

scrabble 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm still using VS 2010 at work. Can't seem to make a compelling case to upgrade for the cost, and it's just getting more frustrating.

VS 2013 is looking like a really great product, especially in comparison to VS 2010.

mu_killnine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very nice. I really love 2012 and the 2013 RC was pretty solid as well. The step up from 2010 was the most pronounced, as 2012 just runs circles around 2010 in (albeit, my own anecdotal) performance.

Just gotta wait for an upgrade license of R# to go on sale, as R#7 isn't compatible with 2013 ;(

nailer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thought this was announcing a web version of VS.
acqq 1 day ago 4 replies      
In VS 2012 MSFT removed the color for the icons in the UI. Everybody complained on the web. Now the color icons are back. MSFT's spin:

"Visual Studio 2013 includes many user interface improvements based on customer feedback and Microsofts core design principle of keeping the focus on the content to deliver an improved user experience. You may notice the more than 400 modified icons with greater differentiation and increased use of color,"


buckbova 23 hours ago 1 reply      

Apparrently there is a requirement to have IE10 installed. Dealbreaker for many in the corp world.

These should be developed independently.

Flow 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are few new features I actually need. I want speed. Speed when compiling(currently it's file-copy mania), speed when starting my project(minutes of loading debug symbol, really?)
mamby 1 day ago 0 replies      
VS2013 is great, try it guys! watch this (for web devs): http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-503
xradionut 1 day ago 1 reply      
VS 2010 is the last one I got for personal use. Not enamored with the changes in VS 2012, Windows 8.* nor the cyclical abandonment of APIs. Add in the increased license cost we face on all Microsoft products at work and any announcement from Redmond gets a "meh" from me.
swalsh 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the preview installed, and I had really grown to love the navigation bar for Javascript.

After installing the professional edition from MSDN... my navigation bars are gone. WTF?

macca321 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I got a free copy of 2010 by attending a launch event, and 2012 from the (now defunct) websitespark program. Anyone know of any freebies for 2013?
yeukhon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Imagine one day you can just loan Windows Azure server and launches a build when you click a button on VS web edition. I think that's an attractive feature. Or pair programming on web over VS with co-workers.
ChikkaChiChi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Came here thinking VS2k13 was going to be free.
rossy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it available on DreamSpark yet? There's a link to DreamSpark on the download page, but it takes you to the RC, which has been out for a while.
V-2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is exception assistant still removed from Express edition? Yes? Put me back in
saejox 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Please install Internet Explorer 10 and then retry installing Visual Studio"

Internet Explorer 10 also insists on Windows 7 SP1 installation. I'm using this Win7 install since 2009. I'm very scared the update will jinx it.

oddshocks 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> people use this> what
gwjp 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you need to justify upgrades I would recommend measuring build speed savings in teams - vs 2012 & vs 2013 build faster than 2010 in my findings.
mauricedb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cool :-)
ninjakeyboard 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't seem to find the dmg for mac.
barrkel 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why is go language slower than asp.net mvc? http://www.techempower.com/benchmarks/#section=data-r6&hw=wi...

Microbenchmarks like these don't usually teach you a whole lot, other than how far someone went to implement the benchmark, and how close the benchmark is to the designed application of the libraries used in the implementation.

Baidu now accepts Bitcoin bitcointalk.org
195 points by ferdo  3 days ago   104 comments top 13
zhoutong 3 days ago 0 replies      
A quick translation of the Baidu Jiasule press release:

"As a cutting-edge IT guy and a professional webmaster, what else can showcase our difference? The answer is that we have Bitcoin!

Bitcoin, as a new electronic and digital currency, is being accepted internationally. It's also used in daily lives. You can use Bitcoin buy a cup of coffee, or easily convert it to cash. But in China, Bitcoin is still a fairly new thing. Today, we have a good news: from today, we are starting to officially accept Bitcoin as a payment method. You can use Bitcoin to buy all Baidu Jiasule services. Baidu Jiasule as an innovator in the Internet industry, is now the first cloud service provider to accept Bitcoin and give everyone a better payment method and experience."

lispython 3 days ago 1 reply      
Jiasule is just a little company (service) Baidu acquired August. This decision is probably made by this independent company, not by the main company Baidu. And other services Baidu provide doesn't accept Bitcoin.

I couldn't imagine any big company in China will officially accept Bitcoin in the future at all.

haakon 3 days ago 6 replies      
You're supposed to pay to a bitcoin address included in their press release, and then notify them about this. For a major NASDAQ-listed company, this approach seems startlingly half hearted.
wcoenen 2 days ago 2 replies      
Given that there was a bitcoin rally led by the Chinese bitcoin exchanges before this news[1] and now this amateurish announcement, it seems like somebody at Baidu Jiasule is doing a pump and dump.

[1] http://imgur.com/jgwRMJo

firloop 3 days ago 2 replies      
Looking at the bitcoin address [1] Baidu posted in the press release, it looks like a whopping 0.00326169 BTC has been deposited into their wallet. I know they just set it up, but I guess I would have expected slightly more activity by now. This makes me wonder if it's more of a PR stunt than anything.

I know that Reddit, after months of enabling Bitcoin as a payment option, still only got 3% of their entire revenue in Bitcoin [2]. I like the concept of bitcoin but as of now, it seems like many of these initiatives are launched by businesses to get "tech people" interested and to make news about their business. That's not a terribly bad thing though for bitcoin because businesses are still adopting it. It just would be nice to see Bitcoin used more than 2.5% of the time.

[1]: http://blockchain.info/address/1NtbQKVFxAPc8mmBoWwRzhg7o3EMC...

[2]: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1dkbix/bitcoin_usag...

wjnc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Someone testing automated trading systems with that title? Or, why would anyone enter the Nasdaq-ticker so prominently?
shocks 3 days ago 1 reply      
Don't Baidu deliver more packages than Amazon? This is an interesting development
frozenport 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now Chinese cyber-criminals can setup load balancing with full anonymity?
devx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Could it be related to yesterday's announcement, and a confirmation that they were talking about Bitcoin?


kevcampb 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this will end up playing with the fact that exchanging CNY is heavily restricted. Exchange services all require proof of identity to allow you to trade, and there's quite a few limits on exchange.

Some details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renminbi#Managed_float

bernatfp 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not a surprise, China already has the leading exchange in terms of volume, BTCChina.
yeukhon 3 days ago 6 replies      
But Bitcoin has three major problems. One is if you lose your key you won't be able to access your coins, right? And two, how is tax going work? Third, bitcoin price goes up and down so rapidly. Say the service costs 20BC today but if tomorrow's bitcoin price is $100USD instead of previous $50USD, the consumer will pay more (and vice versa Badiu might lose some money).

Correct me please.

ffrryuu 2 days ago 0 replies      
A step towards a de-Americanized world.
SecureDrop schneier.com
194 points by hatchan  1 day ago   26 comments top 8
rsync 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we rename the meme "war on whistleblowers" ?

When it is phrased like that, there's some ambiguity about the whistleblower ... since there could be good ones and bad ones. Further, a lot of folks may have been swayed by propaganda and believe that "whistleblower" is a negative term in all contexts.

I would like to suggest:

"war on transparency"


tomp 1 day ago 1 reply      
So... can this protect against internal attack, or attack by courts, like the one witnessed in the Lavabit case? I certainly hope so, since it uses TOR, but I don't know enough about TOR to be able to claim that the source remains hidden even if the destination is owned.

Another possibility is that courts would allow journalists to keep their sources hidden, but I wouldn't count on it...

danso 22 hours ago 2 replies      
The audit that Schneier participated in doesn't sound promising. These things stuck out to me:


> First, we experimented with leaking data to our DeadDrop deployment. We are not aware of the ways that actual leaked documents are submitted, but we assume that this way of leaking data is at least plausible.

In this controlled test, the researchers found that the app did not protect against sources accidentally including their meta-data in the submitted files (i.e the Properties of a Word Document, for instance)...this meta-data has been a classic source of amusement and stories for journalists when they make public records requests and government officials forget to remove it...so, in other words, given that DeadDrop is meant for tech novices...it did not, in its audited form, protect against one of the most basic human-snafus in document-leaking.

But that can be fixed...what I'm concerned about is that this audit -- and Aaron and his original collaborators -- may not have considered the other less obvious human vulnerabilities. For instance...many (if not most) leak investigation/prosecutions happen well after the publication of a story. It's not the journalist who gets the hammer, but the whistleblower.

At this point, the "attacker" (the government authority) has a short list of candidates for who the leaker could be: i.e. anyone who had access to the info that a journalist published...It's not a matter of intercepting all of the journalist's communications, but intercepting all of these shortlisted suspects' communications, and any prior network activity, either at the workplace, from their work phones, or even at home.

The "attackers" could seize on something as seemingly innocuous as the leaker visiting "newsorg.com/deaddrop/faq" from his office computer. And sure, they can't prosecute on something that circumstantial...but that's not the point...they just have to keep limiting their scope and keep questioning (the suspect, the suspect's associates) until they find the smoking gun.

I think too many tech people (though not Bruce) think that this process fails alone on the technology...i.e. if they can't break 4096-bit encryption, then you're good to go. But they don't have to break the security technology, just the person.

This should be pretty clear from the story of Silk Road's takedown, which was operated by someone who was more technically savvy than most of DeadDrop's audience:


The Feds didn't get their initial lead by using sophisticated NSA wiretapping. They did the kind of Google work that every amateur researcher can do: look for the earliest mentions of something that was previously unheard of, and find the pattern in those mentions:

> The post directed readers to visit silkroad420.wordpress.com, belonging to the blogging operator WordPress, where further instructions would be found for accessing the real Silk Road site. A subpoena to WordPress Revealed that the blog had been set up on January 23, only four days before the Altoid post. If this wasn't the first mention of Silk Road, it was certainly one of them. Altoid became a person of interest, but who was he? Further research revealed that Altoid had been posting on a board called Bitcoin Talkfurther suggesting a possible link to the Silk Road, which operated on Bitcoin. A key break came when the agent found an October 11, 2011 post by Altoid, looking for an "IT pro in the Bitcoin community" and directing all inquiries to "rossulbricht at gmail dot com."

Protecting against this kind of info-leaking before using the app is outside of DeadDrop's purview of course...but that's kind of the problem. The kind of exposure vulnerabilities that leakers face is not typically from encryption cracking, but inadverdent human mistakes...

But perhaps even having a DeadDrop, heavily used or not, will at least put everyone at the news org (and their sources) on a higher level of situational awareness, and that would be valuable enough.

shennyg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try The New Yorker's Strong Box without a client: https://tnysbtbxsf356hiy.onion.to/
StavrosK 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hmm, what security does this actually provide? It seems to me that it only secures materials from the server to the operators, but that's a really small part of it. Someone malicious with access to the server can just inject something to get the plaintext, no?
danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
There needs to be more information on now usable this is. That is key for adoption but particularly so at media organizations where many of the professionals can barely operate a spreadsheet. When security systems get cumbersome, they take shortcuts in security. Hence, the recent number of high profile Twitter phishing hacks among news orgs
yeukhon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So this system at its best is just GPG?
       cached 18 October 2013 15:11:01 GMT