1. I have a little list of companies looking for employees that I'll send you. Not much just companies that have contacted me looking for people.2. I am a bad ass writer and have a crazy resume, but more importantly I know how to craft resumes and I'll look at yours and help you fix it up.3. If you're in the San Francisco area I'll meet up with you and listen to what happened and see if there's a way to work out of it, or at least listen.4. If you email me at email@example.com I'll talk with you and see if there's other ways I can help.
I'm serious, hit me up on email and I'll help out if I can. In fact, this goes for anyone else looking for work right now. Email the above and I'll reply with my little list. I don't make commissions on placement or anything like that, just a good thing to do.
Keep it together for your family. Your kids and wife need you right now. You are the pillar of the house and if you stand tall your strength will make the rest of your family emotionally better off.
So you may lose the house. Happens to a lot of people.
Whatever money you have right now or can get, keep it. Stop paying any of your bills, except the necessities.
Who knows how many weeks, months it will be until you are kicked out. Stay in your house until you are forced to leave. When you do have to leave, go get a rental.
Go find your self whatever jobs you can get to get some income coming in. This could be delivering pizza, snow romoval, mowing lawns, etc..
While your doing this, find another software job.
None of this is easy but see this as another start up. This time its literally to start you back up again.
Remember, you are in the States, no matter what happens, your wife and kids will never go hungry. You will provide for them no matter what.
To everyone else: I like HN, but I often wish that it really was Hacker News instead of Startup News, and this is one reason why. I worked for a startup for a while, until it folded; now I'm maintaining servers at a university library, making mid-five digits a year, and I'm as happy as I've ever been. I've got stability, I've got low stress levels, I work 40 hours a week and then relax at home or with my friends; and I've got enough money to live comfortably, save for retirement, and have a few luxuries besides.
We need to stop telling aspiring coders that they're not worth shit unless they're taking risks, burning with ambition, dreaming of being billionaires. Some people really enjoy that road, and that's okay, but sometimes taking the safe and easy path is a perfectly fine and noble thing to do.
If you're in the Twin Cities I'd like to extend a hand in you running on two legs. I'd also like to help out giving your little ones a memorable Christmas. No strings attached.
I can get you in front of some bigger names here and get you interviews, depending on what you do. tbese
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a shitty 4 months, and it could be longer for you it could be shorter, but go through it and come out the other side. My new startup is now about to close funding, but it only happened because we put ourselves in the position to succeed, not by continuing to try to force something that wasn't going to happen.
Knowing when you're dead is the first step.
I got a job as a programmer-grunt. I saved up basically everything I made. After two years my bank account hit $50K and I quit and started working on my own stuff again. Life is so much easier now that I have some cash in the bank.
Burning through credit cards seems like a bad path. It's just not necessary. I remember being afraid I would get addicted to easy money in the corporate world. I didn't. The lifestyle was nice, but the lack of freedom made it easy to quit.
Now, I don't have a family to support. That would of course make things harder. I just wanted to strongly recommend the nest-egg approach to anyone grappling with finances.
The 5th hit $10M in revenue in 3 years (completely bootstrapped).
Everyone else has great advice here - I just wanted you to know that there are others who have been where you are.
Much as everyone else expressed... if there's anything I can do, please reach out. mmurray / at / MAD Security.
Give us a paypal link and we'll gap you.
It's close to Christmas guys, help this person if you can.
Edit: Also, I noticed you said you're pretty sure you're the opposite of 'us', I can assure you, there's at least another 'failure' to join you, me. I've failed plenty of times in various ways. I used to have a company (not a startup in the common sense though, just a small business) as well some time ago, it didn't fail per se, but I ended up closing it voluntarily because things weren't going in the direction I wanted them to, lots of external factors out of my reach. I felt terrible about it for quite a long time though...now I'm better.
This is more a warning for others who think it is easy, or a fun thing to do. Don't.
Hitting the bottom after a long fall is the hardest thing you can go through in life. A year ago I was working on my own stupid startup, ran out of money, ran out of credit, wasn't sure there would be another blue sky in my life. Everyone has ups and downs, its the hardest thing to go through.
However, life is not over. It may feel like it, and you may even want it to be. But YOU are still writing YOUR story -- do you want to be the guy who fell and didn't get back up? Fuck no. You want to be the guy who had nothing left and no matter how far down the rabbit hole you go, you find a way back out. You want to be a success. You want it all. You'll have it all someday. Is that day today? No. But because you're still alive you have the chance to make it a reality.
So get back up, find work, pay off bills, and you'll be back in the game before you know it. You're intelligent, smart, driven. Remember -- do not let failure dictate who you are. You're not a failure, failure is simply something that happens to all of us. Learn from failure and let it compliment your decision making in the future. You'll be wiser and you'll learn from this mistake.
Good luck and I'll see you around,Tiger
Zed Shaw may be the most famous, but there is a bunch of us that can do things to help.
On the off chance you're in Australia (or if you just want a someone to talk to about this), feel free to email me at email@example.com
Your to-do list is pretty straightforward:
1) Put your failed startup aside.
2) Find a job ASAP.
3) Try to save your house. Your family would need it. Beg your bank to give you ~extra month until your next paycheck.
4) In about a year you may return to thinking about another startup. Take another year or two to think it over, accumulate some funds, do some part-time research and then jump into your new startup again... or not. Being an employee until you retire is also a good choice.
I am one like you with a wife and 3 Kids, that at one point couldn't afford bills/payments (exactly during this holiday season), Dec/January and February were the coldest and weakest I have ever felt as a man. Look at your wife and kids for an extremely good amount of energy and inspiration to go on and fight for them.
During these tough times, nothing comes better than believing in that 'one thing' that will always be true, and that is the love for your family. That's what helped me.
Somewhat cliche now, but it is true: It will get better.
Good luck to you and your family - it was a brave thing to do. I pray that you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
What I did.
1. As much as I swore never to return to work, I got a contract job (6 months). It stung, I wasn't in a good headspace at that time.
2. Borrowed some money from my family to cover the mortgage.
3. Saved my house from foreclosure by 6 hours using the borrowed money and my salary.
4. Kept the business running in the background and working on it at night.
5. Worked for 12 months, paying back everything, enjoying seeing my family eat good food once again and getting the occasional night out. What a treat to go and see a movie once in a while :) I can tell you going to the bottom gives you an incredible perspective on money and not what you think either.
6. Built up my contacts and pivoted my business. Lots of hard work and 2 years later I have 2 offices and a team of 7 people. (this is obviously a longer story, but for another day)
I recommend you get a job for the short term and get your life back in order. I can tell you that trying to grow a business while you are incredibly stressed about how you are going to eat or keep the lights on will only result in panic decisions and they will be bad.
If you have a passion to change the world, your families life and your own for the better, you will get back to business soon enough. Business owners have a burning passion to succeed at all costs and only consider this a temporary set back.
(Just a side note, some people have a fantasy of working hard (but not really), having lots of fun, getting traction easily, getting investment, get bought for a few billion and live happily ever after. If this is your plan, I would suggest setting up a career path, it will lead to a much happier life than a startup, in which the failure rate is very high and you have to be prepared to fail many times. Not work towards failure, just accept it as part of the journey.)
But, I still hope your situation will be better several years from now.
1) Document why your company failed and have a PayPal Donate Button. I think a lot of people here will appreciate your sharing and glad to donate. I myself am one.
2) List out your skills and see if any remote work can be arranged.
You do what you need to get and your family through this. That's only only game that's important. The rest of this is just icing. If you are in Europe or the Bay Area feel free to reach out to me @kzhu. I'll help if I can.
I am in the Bay Area. If we share a common grocery store. I'd be happy to send you a gift card for some groceries.
'Manthatfell' - You are a very brave person to write something up like this very openly. But, If a Man of the Family loses hope it tears that family apart. Trust me. I observed this very closely. HN Community is so strong, kind and supportive.
You already found a lot helping hands. You are now 'Manthatfellbutgotup'. Just start Running..
You also haven't failed yet until you stop trying.
Houses are also never really anyone's until they fully pay it off anyways. In most cases, people are just renting from banks. I don't feel that you really lost anything aside from property taxes.
That said, it doesn't hurt to regroup and get a normal gig for some time. I don't think there's any shame with moving in with either your parents or hers for a bit.
Maybe next time you get the fever, aim for starting an equivalent of a "small restaurant" first before something much bigger. i.e. have a day job and work on your project at nights and weekends.
1) What was the mission of your failed startup?
2) What was your personal role in it?
3) What city are you in?
Even the "low-risk" option of the startup job is way too risky for what little upside remains (at equity slices around 0.05%). Regular companies mentor and, when they have to lay people off, provide severance and positive reference (they'll often work with the recruiters who placed you and say good things). Many of these startups use fake "performance" issues to avoid the image problem of an honest layoff, and to fire people for free. (Banks and hedge funds just admit shit's tough, but these startups have to pretend they're always hiring, even when they're cutting. In other words, they prioritize their image over that of those they're letting go-- when they most need the help.) Getting fired with no severance and no reference is, in many ways, as bad as a startup failure. In some ways, it's worse. Startup failure has more short-term financial pain but, 3 years later, you can talk about it without fearing stigma (especially if you weren't a sole founder).
Paul Graham played the game once and won. It's hard to call it pure luck because, if you read On Lisp, he's obviously a very smart man and was, while active in Lisp, a clear 10x-er. However, there are a lot of people just as smart as he is, who end up ruining their lives in this game.
You're not alone, and I'm sorry to hear about it.
Where are you located? Have you considered Austin, Portland, or Baltimore? Those places have much lower COL and you'll make 80-90% of your Bay Area salary.
I'm now on my third success and each new project seems to get better and bigger, I still launch something that sucks here and there but I enjoy the journey and NOT the attachment to the end result.
I hate to sound all Zen here but failure is normal. I wish I had three kids, wish my wife was pregnant - you lucky man.
Failure cannot live with persistence.
90% of what we do sucks! but that's ok.
You really have no control over your future so enjoy the path.
From one guy that fails to another! @scottsbarlow
Almost the same here. Quitted a well paid job, sold my flat giving enough money to live on for a couple of years, moved together with girlfriend starting a webshop and loose plans on freelancing as IT-consultant too.
Webshop not taking off and I neglect to pursue consultants job, thus not keeping myself "warm" in the market.
One year later I form a start-up with 2 other guys. 5 months down the road I realize this is not going fast enough - I'm seriously running out of money, about to sell all I own, which only will pay bills for another 2-3 months.
Miraculous, through a friend, I get a break on a consultant gig for 2 months. Another stroke of luck (and marketing myself) this is followed by another gig for 5 months in a new company and the consultant path now on track with a third gig.
The two co-founders took it were badly I jumped ship, as I were the only techguy, although we had outlined the consequences if doing so (no share of company/product) if leaving within first year.
Lesson learned: Do your math, look at $ burnrate. If you go "all in" you might risk "go all out" if you keep going to long. If co-starting something with others be very clear on terms for quitting, and be sure it's ok to do so.
Scary experience loosing almost everything ....Webshop now very slowly getting tracktion - but still not earning "real money" to live by. Still got some startup ideas, but will be outsourced or groomed as side projects
Best of luck to you. Endure the next period, focus to get a foothold in jobmarket again.
I didn't get marry or get kids or build any asset because I want a stable career first before I start taking the plunge into starting a company.
Hell I thought about it. And that I can even mitigate the risk to with LLC/INC and I can do it on the side while having a part time or a consultancy job. If my bet doesn't work I can continue to work anyway. My plan was to get a stable and consistence income while having something on the side because it would lower my risk.
Anyway, thank you for posting this and I hope it gets better for you.
The moment you are a family man, things are different, you can still try starting a business but you really need to think long and hard about what you are doing before you make a move.
In fact I would say if you already have a family to support the only business you should start is one where you already have customers lined up ready to pay, or you have investor money to cushion you.
Good luck with everything am sure things will work out.
Hold on. Life has a way of bouncing back (especially when it comes to jobs and money). So you aren't CEO material; but who gives a fuck, really. Your family may be the only ones to see through the fog of our culture's toxic emphasis on performance and "winning" -- but they will stand by you, and they will pull you through this. And they are a million trillion times more valuable than the peer approvable of the crummy startup "culture" out there, and the promise of easy, outsized gains that it dangles in front of us.
In my experience the hardest part was that I couldn't separate myself from my startup. So when the startup failed, I was a failure. This was compounded b/c the startup failed in large part b/c of my weaknesses. As a founder we are responsible for all aspects, but we can't be strong in all aspects (I suck at sales).
Take some time to focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. Luckily, that is probably the easiest way for you to pay the bills too.
It is going to take some time to rebuild your self-confidence, but it helps to acknowledge that is what is going on.
I am religious, so I will be praying for you that everything will turn out. Keep us posted, man.
I wish you the best. The best advice I can give you is to hang in there with your life. Strengthen your relationships, life may suck now, but it will get better, just hang in there, one day at a time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stockdale
Also, full disclosure, I am the CTO of splitzee.com, a group fundraising platform. I wanted to share the link so that if anyone wants to create a collection for this guy, please let me know so I can make sure that there are no fees and that he gets every penny. Splitzee is a fundraising platform that can be used for any cause, and this type of fundraiser is what we see our site being used for all the time. I don't want my intentions to be misconstrued, I would love to see any collection set up so I can pitch in a few dollars, I just hadn't seen one, and really do think Splitzee would be a great choice. All the best!
You tried. And you should try again. You've learned something from this but you won't get a chance to use it unless you try again.
> Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
Also, remember, you aren't the first Man, Husband or Father to be in this situation and that you are not alone. At this point, make sure not to be prideful and accept the gifts of known and unknown people who want to help you out. None of us made it to where we are without the help of family or the kind words of strangers.
This too shall pass and you will come out even stronger. I am in the New York area and depending on what you do, I might be able to help introduce you to people. You can reach me at rwoodruf at gmail dot com.
In the course of a very public failure and a long depressive phase I wound up in a mental facility for a few days. It's taken a long, miserable time to get back. I did not have the same stressors that you do, and the details of my situation are going to be very different than yours, but if you would just like to have a conversation with someone tonight, please feel free to get in touch. No judgment, no life-affirming advice, just that I would be very glad to hear what you have to say and to talk if you are up for it.
Email is in my profile, I'll keep checking it until pretty late. Good luck.
A few people have told me that it helped them in tough times.
I have a small child and another on the way so I can only guess how you feel right now. Entrepreneurship is hard. Ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever need someone to listen.
Did you plan for this eventuality when you started the venture? Can you spare any details about what went wrong?
It gets better, way better. Keep your family safe and in the forefront and you'll make it through this. I can promise that.
And please read up on birth control and family planning.
Quite the contrary. This is the norm -- most startups fail, and a lot of them fail horribly (and with personal defaults).
I'm keen to hear what it was. Do you know why it failed? If so, knowing that is very valuable information that is not easily taught. Use that knowledge for your next adventure, and maybe share with us here, so we can learn too?
Hang in there man, you'll be surprised how many good people are out there that are willing to help. Never stop asking, never give in, always remember what you're fighting for. You'll be in my thoughts
Fight hard and good luck.
It sucks, it sucks big time, I know, I'm in the exact same boat. My business has sustained my family for the past fifteen years and over the past year I have lost clients that have been with me from the beginning due to industry consolidation and pricing pressures. If you hold tough this will pass and you will be stronger than ever. You have that spirit and drive within you. You wouldn't have begun the journey if you didn't.
Please know that this is part of the journey and has no reflection on how you are as a father or husband. Regroup, get back to the basics and try again when the time is right. There are amazing people here that are willing to help others, and among those amazing people is you. You shared your story. Many people, including myself, can't bring ourselves to do that, but the willingness to share your story allows us all to know we are not alone on this journey.
It happens to many, It happened to me. Entrepreneurship as we all know is not easy, if you are financially unstable don't think the world is Goog to end day after tomorrow. It doesn't and shouldn't. Get a relief, get your skills tuned, get employed somewhere and work on your passion and if things work out you can be / will be a success story. However don't Loose hope and passion for what you do. Beat wishes .
Find a job and take it easy for a while. Rebuild and come back stronger!
Well, if I step into your shoes it might take me a while to listen to the suggestions of all these people who are genuinely trying to help you. Your brain just shuts off and cant think straight. You need to find a way to somehow let it out. Cant say go backpack for a few days because you have a family to take care of...but try talking to friendly strangers, do something you haven't tried before(in a good sense) that doesn't cost money, just somehow get everything out of your system, try unplugging even if its for 2-3 days and then come back and read the comments again. I'm sure you'll see things much more clear. The help is already here!
That was as honest and close I can get to feel what you might be going through. Having said that, its always easier said than done. God bless you! Dont forget to comment to this thread once you are back up and strong! :)
Sometimes (probably most of the time) they just don't turn out that way, and the failures have real, life-changing consequences.
If you're in the Bay Area and an engineer or know SaaS sales, my company's hiring. It's a good place to work. Email email@example.com if that might help.
Keep up!! Everything is going to be alright in the end!
Don't give up, keep your head up and keep looking up, then you will find some positivity in your life.
Reading this hits close to home for me. You are are more than the sum of your assets. You are more than a set of skills, and ultimately you still have the ability to go out and conquer. Lean on family, lean on friends, and once you get through this never forget where you've been and help others in the same predicament.
I can't offer much, but if you need a few bucks for a couple bags of groceries email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send some Paypal your way. No strings attached.
Shoot me an email at sid_cool1234(at)yahoo.co.in and I can see what I can do for you.
Startup failed. Founder is suffering. Long live Zed Shaw.
I guess my point here is, do not give up, but rectify current situation first. I'm sure @zedshaw does provide good helps there.
Good Luck. Blessing from Malaysia.
Now, I live in San Jose. And Thanksgiving is closer, if you happen to live in San Jose, contact me kurei at my website: axcoto.com. I can give a hand, drive you around if you need, and a place to sleep for several days if need.
The company that I'm working for also is hiring PHP Dev. I can referred you to the CEO.
Most of my business ideas don't make it out of the box. One did well enough, about $100k over 6 years, now we are being sued for trademark infringement. Bogus according to several lawyers, but no money to fight it.
Shit happens, fall back, regroup, fight another day.
At this point you do what needs to be done for the family. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Then see if you can figure out what happened and try a new idea.
It's only money, you have your health, your wife and 3 wonderful children, plus a beautiful promise underway. You can start the next one, loosing the stupid, with less than 100$ these days. A days worth of pay saved at the local burger shop. Pick the parts up and charge ahead. Just remember, no sales, no company. Dont buy the coolaid, fight hard for one thing: sales where sales = cost + profit. En-route entrepeneurs on HN should be following a SalesAndMarketingStarNews.yc.com aggregator if one existed. But if it existed it would most likely filed with BS...
Angel money or VC is not an enabler; it's profits that are. Profits attract all sorts of good things.
Good luck. If you are an true entrepeneur this will resonate. If it does not, get the best job you can get at moment's notice, and immediately start looking for the next one up the latter.
Cheers and good luck! And remember the one infinitely valuable thing you have: time.
Money will cone back into your life. Be grateful for your health and family health.
This may sound lacking - But - This experience may change you and you family in the better for ways you could not yet imagine.
As others have mentioned, hopefully one day when you are ready you can document. The world needs more documented failures to help us avoid survivor bias.
Stable paycheck for my family might not compare to the ups (and downs) of running my own, but having gone through a bankruptcy (parents) before, I have no desire to go through it again.
I'll just say, given the only thing that really matters is your family, what you do from here on out will dictate what kind of man you are, rather than the fact that your company failed.
You know life is just the blink of an eye and then we are buried 6 feet under, it doesn't matter, so keep it up, get some savings again and next startup. ;)
#1 follow what zedshaw is offering to you and#2 if you think craigslist could help you bring some leads let me know what you can do and I will try to post ads for your service offering for you.#3 if you want to try earning (passive or something) online via some website, I can buy you domain + hosting + any script#4 [removed the text where I offered you monetary help, you must proof you are not a troll]
Would happy if he prove me wrong by writing in detail what he did and how did he failed, sympathetic people will be ready to rush money to him including myself, but dont want to be a victim of emotional blackmailing.
I find it very disheartening that the negative voices are being given so much weight. Everything that's worth doing will have detractors, and when it's something really worth doing it will have vocal detractors. Back when I had comments on my blog, every article I wrote that was any good had at least one person commenting that I was a moron or some equivalent statement.
Great things arouse passion - on both sides.
Giving 10x the power to the people on the negative side just creates an environment where new ideas are discouraged, where important but difficult discourse is pushed aside, where things of true import are penalised out of the group's attention by a few detractors.
There does need to be a system for flagging and removing spam articles, but if this system can (as it plainly regularly is) be co-opted to remove articles from sight just based on not liking them much, then it is broken. The people who have flagging powers are not responsible enough to use them wisely, perhaps.
I see at least one simple solution: lift the flagging privileges so it only becomes available to a much smaller segment of the population. Perhaps making the limit 10'000 instead of 500 would do that. That would still include hundreds of people, based on a quick extrapolation from https://news.ycombinator.com/leaders ). An even better model would be to make it dynamic - perhaps the top 200 commenters...
Anyways, it would be nice if we in the settings could apply our own penalizing to subjects that we don't care about or that we find controversial instead of having others decide for us. But that would mean that submissions ranked differently for different users, of couse...
In order to prevent flamewars on Hacker News, articles with too many comments will get heavily penalized as controversial. In the published code, the contro-factor function kicks in for any post with more than 20 comments and more comments than upvotes.
Is a vigorous discussion bad? Should everyone commenting also upvote?
Discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6755071
I understand that for some people the moderation choices offend them, I think that is unavoidable, but the goal is, I believe, to make a 'better' collection not to shoot down particular articles.
If you do comment, however, you can be as verbose as you like (as long as you are bland enough not to provoke replies.)
I wonder if this will change the strategy some post authors have of "hosting comments on HN" (and replying to every comment, even just to say "thanks".)
EDIT: and to edit your posts instead of replying.
I think this is penalisation of comments is a shame - I certainly come to HN for the comments, not the articles (although they're interesting stimulus for discussion).
On the other hand, if you are an article writer and add a "discuss this on HN" link in your articles, you should remove the link as soon as you get a good ranking. Or actually don't ask people to discuss at all, because it is harmful, just ask them to vote and have your own comment system for discussion.
HN basically reinvented "sage", the concept from 4chan and its Japanese origins where people sometimes comment on a thread just to get it closer to the comment limit before it would no longer be bumped up to the front page when replied to.
It's a shame for those articles sparking insightful discussion though.
It seems like a weighted penalization could be implemented, potentially looking for red-flag words like "pedantic", or "not to be *". Or maybe it already is.
Hope I didn't just set it off. :)
People expect machines they interact with to behave in some kind of logical manner. After 2 or 3 times of submitting an article that HN has traditionally liked -- and watching it tank -- just not that motivated to submit more. After submitting my own articles, having people stop me in the hall and tell me they liked it and voted up for it on HN, only to see it have no votes? Not so motivated to submit more. After the tenth conversation about how people expect HN to act one way and instead it acts another? Not so crazy about it.
I think the problem here is that PG wants folks to participate, but only to a certain extent. People want to interact with the system, but on some kind of mutually-fair terms. I'm not sure PG's goals line up with the average user any more. There are good reasons for this, and I'm not trying to trash the entire effort. It's just that this is a tough problem. I don't think you can code your way out of dealing with messy human issues at scale. If you could, we'd all be managed by computers in 50 years, and that's not a future I would wish for my children.
Would love to see ideas that broke from the model of a single ranked list: let folks tune their personal penalty amounts and gravity; add random jitter to rankings and throw a couple random new stories onto each list; classify/cluster users by their votes, so people who vote for jokes or NSA articles or their neighbors' articles (automatically) see more of those things.
It's maybe a bit much to ask PG and co. to architect radical alternatives to HN, because HN is a handful as it is and, besides, I hear they have day jobs. It could be cool to let a thousand flowers bloom: publish most of the now-hidden ranking data (maybe not all, because it can be useful to obscure how anti-spam algorithms work); let users opt in to publishing anonymous votestreams for clustering, etc.; then let other folks use all of this to make their own homebrew HN frontends within certain limits.
I suppose that, too, is kind of a pipe dream, because opening HN up for people to easily build their own frontpages is far-from-trivial for both tech and policy reasons. But it's a nice pipe dream.
Rings true to me and, if indeed accurate, it seems like a good practice for HN.
Applying an automatic penalty to certain topics / tactics which are likely to gather excessive upvotes, due to the nature of the content vs. it's quality, helps ensure you've got a diverse mix of content occupying the front page. Which is generally good for the overall user experience.
Otherwise, the front page will be a massive list of shock jock posts about the NSA.... [since controversial posts about those subjects will get sympathy votes, regardless of their actual contribution to the community...]
Apparently being brutally honest about VC means that everything I say is of low value.
For more, go here: http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/heres-why-pau...
And given that the hackaday article is blossoms, don't be surprised to see it fall.
It would be interesting if it somehow incorporated other elements to determine article "value":- Open rate- Ratio of comments to opens- Time spent on article or comments- Depth of comments
==Why there will never be a Flat tax...
If anyone is interested in playing around with it, I threw it up at JSFiddle here: http://jsfiddle.net/zyAzg/
Now instead of a small executable, we need a large executable to sit on top of a large API on top of the CPU before even touching the GPU, and a network connection to download all the dependant APIs and libraries every time the page is loaded.
The only impressive thing about this demo is how many YCombinator readers are impressed with blinkenlights
It would've been nice to have an 'I don't care, proceed anyway' button. The check excludes Safari 7, which runs the demo just as well as Chrome.
^ removes the hasWebGLSupport() invocation.
Very nice demo, though!
BTW geistner waves reference here: http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGems/gpugems_ch01.html
Scene with water, made with BabylonJS.
Are people with better graphics cards seeing 60 (or even 30) fps? I'd love to be able to see this in all its glory.
I'd love to see it with different ocean floors to be able to see how waves break in different locations based on certain conditions. Someone please make this happen! :D
Chrome 32 beta on OS X, produced an anti-aliased canvas, whereas Firefox 25 had the dreaded jaggies @ 1680x1050
Is that some sort of fluctuating perlin noise?
most programmers can come up with a much better solution to this problem if removed from google and forbidden access to gpu gems.
this is at least well presented though...
its a shame the code has been posted. whilst i normally assume that demos like this are unlikely to be smart or impressive these days - this time i know for sure. its actually a good deal worse than i ever would have imagined.
i'm still quite torn whether all this horsepower is a good thing or not.... on the one had we get a demo like this without much in the way of understanding or resourcefulness. on the other hand we have hundreds of man hours being wasted at dev studios because clever efficiency is rapidly becoming a thing of the past...
It sorta looks like a phone. Is it a phone? "Jolla is powered by Sailfish OS." Sweet. How is that relevant? It must be important because it spends the rest of the page telling you about the OS.
I'm back here, with honestly no idea what it is. Probably not the impression they want to leave on people, assuming (as a guess) that this is a consumer product of some kind.
It seems they put the engineers in charge of designing the website.
I always wondered why Jolla is getting so little love from HN. To me and from a geek / hacker point of view, Jolla is an awful lot more interesting than Android.
Anyone who's had the chance to own a Meego device knows how incredibly talented and passionate the team behind Jolla is. I'm really looking forward to see how the OS and apps feel on Jolla. The OS also appears to be a lot more open and hackable than Android (although the proof will be in the pudding so we'll see how it all pans out).
The recent article on OS/2  makes me wonder whether such compatibility (which, as I understand, is full and not selective) is actually good for them. Either way, tough, I wish Jolla success; I'd like to see Sailfish OS  on an actual device.
 See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6792010. The short of it is that the Ars Technica article claims OS/2's compatibility with Windows made developers less inclined to write native applications for OS/2. Some discussion on whether that was the case can be found in the comments to this response to the article: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/?p=2144.
I'm also waiting for Firefox OS to mature and produce more devices.
I can't wait to drop Android. Each release takes more freedom away from the user and gets increasingly integrated with whatever social, cloud, data milking services they have at their disposal.
Funny how freedom becomes a competitive advantage for startups against the big and evil Internet giants.
Jolla.com is more consumer oriented, so that can puzzle some who look for technical details. It's probably good to provide some links to the above from the Jolla.com. You can give them feedback, they are even present on Diaspora*: https://joindiaspora.com/u/jolla
I was not impressed by anything in the video, but that's besides the point.
If you're a technology company, this hipster crap is ok, but you need to start with explaining what it is and how it's better. Showing a bunch of gestures does nothing - Android can do that.
Good luck, Jolla Team!
I wish people who liked Meego would support the latest update to the truly free OpenMoko project.  You can build your own upgrade or buy the whole thing in an old GA02 case (the second revision OpenMoko phone).
I am waiting out for pocket change to buy one of those. Buy a real open handset and fight the power guys!
So why should we get excited about this flavour of hand-held connected computer? What's the USP?
I don't think it's a great idea to reserve the "swipe from side of screen" gesture for the OS. Especially the left-swipe is used in many apps to reveal a menu, which is a UI-pattern I like a lot.
Anyway, looks interesting, would love to try one out!
Forcing me to watch video is a sure way to Ctrl+F4
Changing the directions means that app developers cannot develop the same app for both iOS and Sailfish since they have to place important information that shouldn't be covered up by notifications, or shouldn't be interacted with in a way that could activate the notifications menu, on the bottom in iOS and on the top on Sailfish.
Is there any benefit to changing the directions notifications come from?
Realistically that probably won't happen in this first iteration, but I've held out for long enough now to be able to wait another 6 months to see what happens. A hardware keyboard would also be nice, the bigger the better, but you can't have it all...
OH. GOD. YES!
My first language is Brazilian Portuguese, but I tend to read it in Spanish because of the double "L". But that in turn would make it sound like the Portuguese version of "cork", like a bottle cork.
- FirefoxOS is just web
- Ubuntu Phone is cool and gestures
- Windows Phone is pushed by Microsoft's money
- Jolla / Sailfish is ..
Sorry I don't see a killer feature :(
What, no service in Antarctica?
I'll shut up now if I'm the only one bothered by this trend.
Sigh, the more the hardware giveth, the more the new fangled web pages taketh away.
Too bad for them their name (at least in Brazil) still sounds like a condom name though. (the most popular condom in Brazil is named "Olla")
More on topic edit:
> The original Finnish design, with no front-facing buttons, stands out from the pack.
Only me find this... ironic? I mean, almost all smarphones now come without front-facing buttons (a design I hate by the way, specially when your hands are wet or oiled for whatever reason, or when you sneeze in the screen and it go ballistic).
in summary:- it's a phone [i think]- looks elegant- looks simple to use- it's smart [i think --- am thinking a lot aren't i :)]- android apps [hope it's better in security than Android]- gesture based [OMG, didn't see that one coming]
sound familiar - well it should - iPhone which STARTED all of THIS!
NOTE: am not even an iPhone user, Blackberry [Loyal to the end :)]
PLEASE if there's something NEW about the OS and the HARDWARE tell me!
Additionally, he has no apparent way to contact him.
EDIT: I really don't want to point fingers with 0 proof, but Spike Lee happens to be CEO of an ad agency named Spike DDB. https://twitter.com/SpikeDDB
I have heard/experienced a dozen similar stories recently. I have a friend who left a huge agency to freelanceonly to have another small agency work him to the bone and take advantage of him almost exactly like the story here.
YES I ABSOLUTELY GET THAT THE ONUS IS ON THE FREELANCER/SUB TO GET THEIR CONTRACTS IN PLACE ...
But, seriously, these people are ridiculous. A bunch of salespeople in suits tossing around buzzwords so they can land a job taking advantage of a big company's big budget. Everything is a pitch or a comp or a big lead.
My advice to all freelance hackers and designers: if you meet someone who says they work at an agency, (a) tell them you're a janitor and (b) run away.
We never signed any contracts or work-for-hire agreements
...leads to these:
The agency told me that I could publish the work as my own for the "exposure"
I never even got paid the peanuts they owed me
The agency responded by threatening me with legal action and worse
Whenever a client states or implies that "the exposure" will be payment enough, alarm bells should be ringing.
There are perhaps caveats that I've not considered, but this idea comes to me again and again when I hear this kind of story (again).
Edit: Guess I also have to throw in here that I am continually amazed at the number of people who are afraid to do the dirty work of being in business (drawing up contacts, negotiating, calculating margin, saying NO, etc).
I did work through an agency for a San Francisco interior designer. The agency's Founder paid me with multiple bad checks. Meanwhile, two years later, my work continues to be used and I remain unpaid for a month of full time work.
I ended up launching a site exposing the guy behind the agency who has a history of writing bad checks. I've received many emails from others he scammed or tried to scam so I find some peace in the fact that when people google his name, a site exposing the guy come up.
Sounds like a move up.
This situation certainly looks like a blatant ripoff to me. I hope Juan Luis Garcia gets a great attorney and hefty amount of money.
1) Get a contract signed up front. If possible, make sure you're allowed to discuss your experience with the firm publicly along the way, so you're allowed to talk about it (good or bad).
2) watch "fuck you, pay me" (http://vimeo.com/22053820)
3) Spike Lee hires a firm that brings him top talent and work, but that firm treats that talent like shit. We (all the netizens!) are giving Spike Lee the benefit of the doubt, as he appears to be unaware of this practice.
4) These agencies need to be called out more often for unfair business practices, no matter how reputable they are. They don't have to like their talent as people, but they must respect their talent and the skills of the community they serve.
As long as you're not publicly mentioning this firm's name, I hope you are privately notifying ALL the designers you know to never work with this agency and mention the firm by name.
Sorry you got shafted like this, but you're clearly making the most of it. Your artwork is great, by the way, keep it up - I suspect this bad egg won't poison your future livelihood ;)
I've experienced enough of this with much less prolific projects that I happily keep pretty much everything small time now. Chasing billboards and marquees is almost always a game for lucky people and the already-rich.
You have to be smart and not be lead on by advertisers.
They will screw you every chance they get.
That said, this was probably not the kind of controversy Spike Lee needs attached to this project.
side note: Roger Ebert's raving review of Oldboy was what got me to watch the original Oldboy and that spurred a whole new appreciation of independent foreign films for me:
Would've loved to see what he thought about this one, though Ebert's successor only gave the remake 3 stars
Because the exposure was more important than the money. Would have of course been nice if they stated this upfront but they didn't. That's water under the dam at this point.
I have regularly done work for people at no charge.
This has not only led to a great amount of paid work but I've thrown around the names that I've done work for quite liberally and use it the same way the company that sold a treadmill to the White House used to scream in their ads "only one chosen to be used by the President in the White House!!"(when in fact it is a competitive bid almost certainly). So I use those names to book more work. I've even used the names with success when cold emailing here and there. Right on the subject line.
While it is not great that he was lied to, he did agree to put in the work with no guarantee of getting anything.
Consequently the way I look at it even if he feels he was screwed heshould have sucked it up and let Spike use it, even for free, and thenbragged and gotten out of that what he could until the cows came home.
Instead he reacted emotionally and ends up with nothing. Understanding of course that this is upsetting.
Separately, in looking at his site he does really nice work. So perhaps he shouldn't have done the work on spec in the first place but then again he did say that "the idea of working for you and having my design represent your film blinded me."
In other words if anyone of us had approached him to do work on spec he most likely would have declined very quickly or not treated the transaction the same way.
Welcome to the world of people who give you praise and acolades but give you nothing in return. They are consumate smoke blowing up your ass thieves.
Contract in hand and no matter what you should own all intelectual property rights. The reason they chose you was because they thought you would roll over for a belly rub and instead all you got for your efforts was a kick in the head.
Ever go see a movie and see all these companies that flash accross the screen before the movie starts? You have no idea what they do? well those are the companies subcontracted out to market, advertise, invest and promote the movie and those adds are important because if you are somehow in the privy of someone who promises 20% of your investment return if you fund a movie they will mention those companies and your will say "OH! so thats who you are!" RUN QUICK!
It always starts with a desire to be safe. And that comes from fear. It seems Americans today are afraid of more things than ever: pedophiles, guns, terrorists, lawsuits. Some news reports are ridiculous by foreign standards: teachers not being allowed to shake hands with students out of fear of sexual harassment allegations, boys suspended from school for drawing guns, bystanders not administering first-aid to accident victims out of fear of lawsuits, and of course the terrorism hysteria for which I have no words. I'm fortunate enough to have visited the US and have met mostly great people, but going by news reports the entire society seems paralyzed by fear.
I always thought of freedom as inversely proportional to safety. If you want to be perfectly safe, you'll never leave your house in case you catch a germ, get in a car accident or even slip on a banana peel. You'll never eat store bought food without first running it through a spectrometer. You'll want everything controlled, predictable, seen ahead of time so that nothing unexpected gets thrown your way.
I guess this is what surveillance is trying to do. Rather than accepting a level of risk as the price for being free and handling disasters when they do occur, we seem to be increasingly trying to avoid danger at all costs. And the cost seems to be freedom.
It's almost as if the author of the US national anthem knew this when he ended it with "land of the free and the home of the brave" (correct me if I got that wrong). Maybe he knew you couldn't have one without the other. I guess the brave isn't home anymore...
/disjointed philosophical rant
Conventional wisdom says the Cold War was between the doctrines of Capitalism and Communism and that the doctrine of Capitalism won.
It doesn't look like that view was right.
The doctrine of the KGB and Stasi is winning over both of them.
It's like a feller can't even write a serious editorial in support of American liberty without kowtowing to irrational fear-mongering anymore.
The battle to keep us jumping at shadows has been won so conclusively that no one even bothers to stand up and say anything like:
You are safe. Your family is safe. You are safer now than you would have been at nearly any other time in American history. Your children will probably view these years of The Terrorist Menace in much the same way we view McCarthyism and the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover - a humiliating betrayal of everything that was supposed to make America different from the rest of the world.
There is nothing patriotic about being afraid all the time.
But that won't sell, and the Senators who wrote this know it. I don't fault their judgement, but it makes me really sad.
I argue that the weight of evidence says the opposite. First the "there is no question" bit is wrong, because clearly there is a huge question. Further, people that want power tend to be attracted to positions that give it to them. We see this in things like police, lawyers, and politicians.
Note that I do no mention the military, because in the US the military is largely about subservience and not about control.
There is also little evidence suggesting that the men and women working for the NSA are patriotic. I argue that they are not. Patriotism involves holding up the rights of citizens as defined by the Constitution, especially against those who would change or remove these rights. Further, patriotism involves defining new law, as needed, explicitly in the spirit of the Constitution. Under this definition, it is very unclear that the people working at the NSA have been remotely patriotic. Quite the opposite, in my view.
Last, I believe we are fundamentally less free and less safe now than we were 13 years ago. The erosion of freedom and safety is often a very gradual process. When I say we, I do not refer to We as in The United States. I refer to all the people living under it, both citizens and non-citizens alike.
I have to be more cautious of what I say at 33 than I did at 21. I seriously consider alternatives to flying during the holidays because "safety" has become a physical impediment to travel. I have to think twice about what I should pack in my luggage, for the certainty that someone will search my belongings.
When I see police, I do not feel safe. I get more nervous and afraid. These are people walking around with weapons who can hurt, imprison, and murder people almost at will and we as citizens have almost no recourse to defend ourselves without being further harassed and harangued.
That is not how someone should view their police departments. Yet I do, because in my short life I hear more about police brutality than stories of police helping people. My own experiences were particularly forged by being arrested at a peaceful protest (FTAA) and trying to watch the inauguration parade in DC in 2005. I stopped respecting police officers a long time ago, though I view them as a necessary evil.
So to wrap. We are less free and less safe now than before, the people working for the NSA are working towards their own ends or the ends of people wanting power, and there is nothing patriotic going on. We are in pot being slowly boiled.
And herein lies the problem. Their job is not to keep us safe, it's to keep us free.
(I'm aware others in the thread have pointed this out, but less directly).
When the axis powers threatened to plunge the world into 1000 years of darkness, the only thing we had to fear is fear itself, now - that's not good enough - we must fear the unending threat of terrorism. Letting the NSA run wild is a logical result from this mentality.
If I were to run dragnet, I'd accept protecting the interest and privacy of all Americans back home, but strike a deal with GCHQ or some other Government agency and provide them with all the tools and tech to snoop on my fellow citizens. No legal hassles, no constitutional violation. Cost? Well that could be worked out given the advantage the data gives me to remain in power.
Supposedly, "N.S.A." will not trigger HN's keyword penalty :)
Uh, no. The first job of a good, decent government is protect the rights of its citizens. It now seems that the first job of a citizen is protect him/herself from the government.
I think we need to rethink some things:
1. In the short term, one of the biggest changes that has to be addressed is the current court doctrine that privacy has not been violated if no people are actually looking at the data. Given that much of the surveillance is directed by automation, we need to recast that doctrine to include some of the automated analysis of the data. It's a thorny question, and one that will take some time and effort to get right, but there's no time like now to start.
2. We need more forceful and more transparent oversight of surveillance. There is a risk that the surveilled might change their tactics based on lessons from oversight reporting, but it seems clear at this point that the trade off is necessary. To quote the editorial: "The usefulness of the bulk collection program has been greatly exaggerated. We have yet to see any proof that it provides real, unique value in protecting national security." Trade-offs are only worth making if you get something. Time to revisit the trade-off.
3. We need to address both the big piles of data in the government's hands and those in private hands. This is going to require rethinking ownership of the data, and probably moving the US more towards an EU-style privacy directive. Again, a longer process, but one that needs to start now.
4. As a country, we need to start toward a more rational view of terrorism risk. Plenty has been written about how disproportional our response has been. Time to rebalance the scales.
In the end, we're going to continue to have big piles of surveillance data as long as we continue our technology trajectory. We need to start figuring out how to work with it, rather than try to stop it.
== Why isn't this adressed to Dianne Feinstein?
Not unreasonably, people expect their governments to provide the same level of predictability. And, not unreasonably, the majority of those politicians who want to preserve their jobs go along with it.
So what can be done about it? If this was a flawless AI keeping us all safe like in Iain Bank's culture universe, I think we'd be all happy. The problem comes when it's not clear if those charged with curating this information have other agendas.
I think this is a historically unique time, when we have the chance to put in safeguards and oversight while we can still see the cameras and the window of debate is still available.
But in order to do that, I think the debate has to be reframed not as security vs liberty but as structured oversight vs tyranny.
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
If legislation were to declare that the names and numbers used to identify a computer on a network could not be legally used to identify either the physical location of the computer or the human that might have been using it, I think it likely that the number of VPN access points and Tor exit nodes would increase wildly overnight.
End-to-end encryption of all electronic traffic, everywhere, is the only reasonable solution.
My main issue is that this has not become a debate, it's still an order. And it's an order that violates our fourth amendment right. This right was part of handshake for a new system, and it cannot be violated save for some rare situation we could all agree is reasonable.
No one should think this is reasonable... security is lax, control of the data is lax ("corporate store"? Are you kidding me?). The situation is flipped here. Without leaks, we would actually be suffering more. Security clearance is not protecting us, it's using and abusing us. It's being used to hide things that would harm us more if they were never leaked. And FISA courts are used to give us some illusion that rules will be followed while having it waved in our face that we're lucky to have them. This is crazy.
Try to accommodate any warrantless surveillance in the fourth amendment's text without creating either a comical contradiction that violates its entire spirit or removes it entirely. We know that being ok with these citizen data programs amounts to being ok with not having this right, but we're still talking about it. I want to keep my right. And since the amendment was added in response to writs of assistance, unchecked delegation of authority so scarily similar to this reasonable articulable suspicion thing we are seeing today in both this and Stop and Frisk, i think we'd all be better suited to start with our right and add any exceptions as-needed, not have them added for us. I'm assigned a threat score even before i'm suspicious? To find out whether i'm suspicious? To then act on me because of this suspicion? All while making money off of me based on my actions? You want to buy my actions? Ok, name a price, i'll consider it.
I don't want to start this privacy war this gang wants me to. I'd rather we follow the law and consider those who don't criminal. Privacy is a buffer against abuse, not a place to hide dirty secrets. We can't predict or even see or notice all of the horrible loss of self control that might come about because of this collection. The chorus of "Nothing to Hide" in response rings eery in my ears.
Here's some more info on the company they lost to:
TL;DR: They're patent trolls.
Marshall has a reputation for plaintiff-friendly juries for the 5% of patent lawsuits that reach trial, resulting in 78% plaintiff wins.
I've stopped myself getting surprised for any patent suits where troll gloriously wins and that decision comes from a court in Marshall. This town's economy probably runs on lawsuits that trolls bring in and jury members from the town seem to have special incentive to favor plaintiffs almost 4 out of 5 times!
Then later on after the idea of an unbiased jury took hold, there arose a justifying theory that the jury could tell by careful observation whether or not a witness was telling the truth. This theory is dubious enough when applied to simple questions of outright lying. When it comes to judging expert witnesses testimony, it is totally bogus.
If they don't want to create a patent office court to adjudicate these cases, at the very least Congress should authorize the appointment of special masters to do fact finding in patent cases.
Someone named Michael Jones patented using SSL with RC4. Which in seems was a known and used combination at the time he did so, as was testified by the expert witness? But the jury thought that not relevant.
The patent would seem to avoidable if say using AES instead.
Caution: I don't know what I am talking about and just looked the above up on wikipedia, which I probably misunderstood. Hopefully someone who understands this in more depth will post.
> "We're certainly very disappointed," said Cheng. "We respectfully disagree with the verdict that the jury reached tonight. We fully intend, as we did in the Soverain case, to take this case up on appeal and vindicate our rights."
> Soverain was the "shopping cart" patent that Newegg was ordered to pay $2.5 million for, but the company then knocked it out on appeal. Soverain's damage request was huge for Newegg: $34 million.
Given that, surely any jury made up of locals has a huge incentive not to kill the golden goose and deter patent trolling by letting defendants win. Is there not a conflict of interest here?
"We've heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption," said Albright. "Are you familiar with that?" "Yes, I am," said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial. "And how is it that you're familiar with public key encryption?" "I invented it."
When things go wrong in California or New York or Massachusetts, those states aren't blamed: the individuals take the heat! (What a concept!) But whenever something bad happens in Texas, somehow all 26 million of us are involved and culpable.
Case in point: a few minutes ago there was a post here saying we should poison the water in East Texas to stop this. Thankfully, it has been deleted.
Battling bigotry with bigotry is not likely to work. When Hollywood pushes for another batch of draconian copyright laws no one here raises up there hands and hopes for the "big one" to knock LA into the ocean. When municipalities go after Uber or AirBnb no one begs to push that entire state out of the union. Why the double standard?
(I know why, no need to answer that question)
Certainly as a Texan and tech person I'm not a fan of this ruling but the vitriol displayed here towards an entire state verges on disgusting. FWIW, I grew up in the Bay Area and across California, I'm not some Pineywoods hick who never left the trailer park.
I am, however, quite tired of the hatred and, frankly, gleeful malevolence sometimes displayed on this site towards Texas.
Nearly 8 years ago. Unfortunately nothing whatsoever has changed.
I mean at the end of the day this lack of timely reform is fundamentally making people look for asymmetric ways to entirely avoid problems. Is that the way society should be driven? I think that is an unstable driver of future events --- a society that cannot reform itself in a timely manner, that cannot properly forecast events and repercussions, is a society that is forgetting it's responsibility for balancing itself.
I really do not like this behavior; it is abhorrent of a society that can be a seer. I mean there is the usual belief that we are all equal and deserve equality --- but that cannot happen as long as we inherit citizenship, wealth and networks. It is a nice belief but simply cannot be rendered in any sort of predictable manner.
This creates a situation. Their are private discussions on the ongoing nature of patents --- but I feel that more than anything people are forgetting that as the point of a corporation is it's superhuman predictable nature, that the further antagonization of new corporations will balance itself not with a mutated form of socialism but with an asymmetric alliance of corporations - one which favors unpredictability and an increased rate of change.
Wealth and the rate of innovation are separate --- and that fiction will reveal itself at a much faster rate if proper steps are not taken in a timely manner.
Of course he does. It's the very judicial system that presented him with an easy $45m. He is a parasite (quite literally) and he knows it.
And then the defense surprisingly declined at the end to rebut the damages claim of $5.1 million:
"Then came another stunner: Newegg rested its case. It did so without putting on its expert witness to rebut TQP's $5.1 million damage claimeven though documents in the court docket clearly indicate the company had such a witness."
Seems to be more of a TQP slant to it.
Business idea: a service that investigates your stack (with your permission) and verifies that you're not likely to be sued.
Most of us not in the IP industry think a lot of these suits are ridiculous, and it's because we don't make our lives by the reality of how IP law is structured.
These cases are ridiculous because IP law is ridiculous. It's not Marshall, TX's fault that IP law is ridiculous, and these juries very well may be the most knowledgeable jurours out there. That fact is dangerous, however, because this town's specialized experience makes it as if these companies are arguing cases in front of a jury of paralegals instead of representatives of the public, which absolutely will bias results.
Part of the reason we have juries is to balance the law with common sense. Common sense means something different when you're almost as knowledgeable about the law as the lawyers in front of you.
To other commentators: no offence meant for people of Texas, if it is how it works, it is just cold-blooded business decision, nothing more.
Props to Newegg for fighting the good fight.
I still feel fortunate to live in this country but the dysfunctional patent system has nothing to do with it.
The status quo is this: When you receive a letter from a patent troll, you're already out at least $50k or so, possibly several $100k or even more if you decide to fight on longer. You can receive such a letter simply for scanning and printing a pdf file, or operating a shopping cart on your site.
This situation must be fixed.
On one hand, it's yet another nail in the coffin of innovation in our country. On the other hand, shame on Newegg's lawyers for being so hubris.
We're not bummed about additional incentives to avoid this broken approach to TLS, are we? This is actually a fucking good thing.
It doesn't help that juries are apparently the dumbest people on earth.
I think it might be more effective to attack the problem from the other end: making sure patents like don't get issued in the first place. Maybe it's not reasonable to expect every jury to understand the basics of encryption. But it is reasonable to expect the patent office to understand prior art in cryptography.
Definitely small enough for the entire town to know and understand that voting in favor of a plaintiff today brings more money to your town tomorrow.
If that's the case, the United States needs some serious judicial reform.
I was recently introduced to a job by a recruiter and they wanted me to do a "programming assignment" which would take at least 20 hours, before I could even talk to them and see who they were. I was like, "Cool story bro".
The reason why I bring that up is because I noticed the same pattern here; this job ad is screening for desperate people lacking a spine. I can't imagine any decent developer with a good job applying for this. Only someone desperately looking for work and having relatively low skills would willingly take this job, assuming he's not an idiot.
As an employer, you want to find these folks. There's usually no downside to having these absurd job postings. Penny Arcade apparently went too far and is getting some bad publicity, but usually there are no repercussions. Can you really blame them for trying to do this - when it works?
As developers, you need to educate your fellow developers about how much they're worth, strategize ways to extract maximum value from companies you work for, and instill a sense of confidence in one another. If you've ever gone to engineering school, I know you knew tons of folks who couldn't believe what companies were willing to pay for them. Their misconceptions need to be abolished.
If you don't help your fellow developers understand their positions, then they'll end up taking jobs like this one at Penny Arcade for shit pay and it brings down the overall price of employees in general.
Company owners don't want you to know this. They benefit from these awesome hires.
Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of expecting someone with a computer science degree for such a job. After spending tens of thousands of dollars on a CS degree, I'm sure said developer would love nothing more than to get a job that underpays, has no perks or offers real value. Surprised they didn't list they wanted someone with knowledge of plumbing and performing complicated electrical work with experience working in a commercial kitchen and being able to cook 500 meals in the space of a couple of hours...
There aren't many developers out there who would meet even half the requirements Penny Arcade listed in their job ad as a self-taught web developer with no qualifications, I would be on that list as well.
This clearly isn't the job for everybody (obviously not Marco), but there are plenty of people out there who are (as the ad puts it) "not terribly money-motivated" and would be willing to work hard to be in a cool environment with cool people. [Some of the best jobs I've had have been for absurdly low salaries, but I don't regret them for a nanosecond...]
Given who wrote the ad, I also wouldn't be surprised if they're exaggerating a wee bit and making it sound rather scarier than it really is. Having a small outfit with reasonable people in charge (and whatever faults they have, I don't think PA are really psychopathic-startup-CEOs in disguise) is one of the best insurances there is against a truly unreasonable work environment. Sugar-coated job ads are an insurance against nothing....
If anything, I'm more disturbed by Marco's rush to judgement...
An insultingly horrible job and this is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, really Marco? Maybe your post is what's insulting to 99% of the world work population (who have much worst jobs) and what's wrong in the tech culture today (disclaimer: I was Marco's first employer).
The Tales from the Trenches section is less hilarious in hindsight.
In my experience, this isn't really tech-startup culture, it's entertainment industry culture. If you know anyone who has ever worked in film, music or videogames, it's a fairly typical thing.
This is ridiculous to anyone who knows Robert Khoo. He is nothing but money oriented and motivated. In fact he was brought in to PA for exactly this reason and he is the reason why they grew to what they are now.
As an outsider you may think Penny Arcade's offer is bad, but someone, somewhere would love nothing more to work with the people behind that legendary comic and expo, no matter how rough it is.
Edit - I would also like to make an analogy with MMO guilds, particularly World of Warcraft. There are players who spend 4+ hours a night with their guild hardcore raiding (especially after the release of a content patch). These hardcore guilds have very strict enlistments. Unless you're as hardcore as them you're not in. An outsider would think they're insane, but there is no shortage of people applying to these guilds because they enjoy the experience of hardcore raiding. Some of these guilds have a very family-like bond toward each other, so you have to consider community/culture fit.
Honestly, sounds like a fun ride for about a year, I wouldn't mind, even if the pay is a bit low. If it's really that bad of a position, then quit. We're pretty much immortal when it comes to finding jobs anyways so it's not like you're putting your life on the line, especially if you're a single, young bachelor.
The reason is that creative work is incredibly hard in a way that's not possible to make up for with experience or training. It's hard on day one, year one, and hard on day one year twenty.
The thing that gets you through it all is the very nature of the work. It's like you're giving birth to a baby and seeing it grow and thrive, only this baby can make you shitloads of money. It's incredibly rewarding.
Penny Arcade wants the type of employee that can not only handle this, but who can thrive off of it the same way they do. That's why they're so in-your-face about how shitty the job is.
The entertainment industry is driven by big names. It's relentlessly competitive, the successful enjoy a never-ending crush of people who want to be a part of something they've been seeing on TV or the Internet and at cons for years. The unsuccessful have to fight for every minor victory. It's winner takes all, there's only so much public mindshare to go around.
If you want to know what the poor hapless sap who does get hired on to be their resident nerd is getting out of the arrangement, it's being part of this crush of attention. It's seriously life-changing. The social perks defy enumeration. After a few years of shoveling Penny Arcade's shit, they will be able to write their own salary at any number of massive media franchises who need every vetted hand they can get and are willing to pay top dollar. That's what's unsaid in that job ad, but if you've spent any time around that industry, you'd be salivating at the mouth at the opportunity.
And the saddest of all this is that the job will get covered. In fact, I'm sure that there will be a lot of applicants. Just like for videogame programming.
Yes, we need to fight this. It's good that there are people complaining publicly. By the way, I believe that a few details from the job posting would be illegal in my country, although probably not in the US.
When I was 22, I was a small businesses best programmer, IT guy, server admin, CAD draftsman, document writer, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, etc. These kinds of jobs are extremely common in small businesses and honestly it was an amazing and formative experience. You people are being babies.
1. The intent of their hiring specification isn't to send a message to their audience, it's to hire someone to service their audience. I'm not sure why the two are assumed to be mutually exclusive? Don't want to apply? Then don't apply - let market forces weed them out.
2. In all of my years of applying for jobs and hiring people, not once has a candidate ever met exactly the profile nor eventually fulfilled every responsibility in a hiring specification. This sounds a bit overdramatic and too pedantic. Let it go.
This is not, as far as I can tell, actually supported by the job posting itself.
I really can't understand why this is getting upvoted so much. I'd love to see an intelligent discussion of unrealistic demands in tech jobs, but this isn't it.
I found myself seething while reading the original Penny Arcade job listing. The cognitive dissonance required to write it is beyond my comprehension. In particular, the nonsense about somehow justifying a below-market salary in order to "make the office nicer".
Needless to say, my appreciation for Penny Arcade as a whole plummeted drastically today.
For instance, ideally, I'd love to hire a dev that has 5+ years of professional PHP experience building web apps and has experience with machine learning systems specifically relating to fraud. But in all likelihood I'll be lucky to hire someone with 3+ years of professional PHP experience with zero experience doing machine learning. The hired candidate will likely be simply interested in machine learning. The hired candidate will likely have no experience with fraud-related topics.
I can train you. I can teach you those things. But ideally, I wouldn't have to.
Likewise with PA's job listing, ideally, they want someone who can do all of those things. Practically, they'll hire someone who can do a very small subset of those things.
That said, it's a bit unrealistic to expect one person to do the job of four people (which is what this listing wants), especially for low salary, so... yeah, it's a bit ridiculous.
Sure, they say that money isn't important to them, but there's no reason to assume it wouldn't be slightly competitive.
Penny Arcade is in Seattle. If they want a chance of hiring anyone they would at least need to be in the ballpark of other job offers out there. Microsoft and Amazon pay pretty well, so I don't think this number will be as insulting as people are assuming it will be.
Anyone who wants to work at PA, knows why very well.( hint: its not the money )
"terrible at work-life balance"
"on call 24/7"
"potentially offensive environment"
"being pushed to your limit is part of the job"
"sometimes tedious work"
That, and Penny Arcade's history of avoidable and frustrating controversies (http://business.financialpost.com/2013/06/21/download-code-p...), and their terrible responses to them?
Where do I sign up?
I stopped reading PA after the controversy about the rape wolf and their dismissive reaction to it.
I wouldn't want to work there. Not because of the hard work aspect, but because I can imagine that the overall attitude that informs their public work would inform their internal political structure as well.
Lets face it, you're not curing cancer here. You're making events and media that appeal to a certain sub-culture. This shouldn't require repressed nerd rage to get right.
Regardless, some of the comments here are suggesting that taking advantage of people who are hard up for work, don't understand their own value, or don't have the resume to get anything else is OK as long as you're up front about it. Where did this ridiculous notion come from?
"I sold you a car, and it's a lemon, but I didn't tell you it had problems despite knowing." "I'm trying to sell this car; I know it's a lemon."
Being honest about being a piece of shit makes you... wait for it... a piece of shit. It does, however, put some of the responsibility on the applicants in this case: If you know up front you're applying for a position like this, and you do anyway, you've made your own bed. I'm not the kind of person to say that at that point you have no right to complain, but you certainly went in with an understanding of what would happen, so while it doesn't absolve the employer of responsibility for poor treatment, it does absolve them of any hint of having misled applicants.
few highlights:1) - Saturday night deadlines for Sunday evening.2) - Management decides Monday 1:30am that the new release has to be Monday 9:00 am.3) - >70h week, and always on call4) - shitty overstressed environment5) - might loose my job if the boss get fired, which implies loosing the status, therefore deportation.6) - planned vacations canceled few days before, because "there's this really important last minute thing".
you people have no idea of what the life of non us citizens can be. I'll probably improve my status working for PA, but they'll never consider going trough the immigration madness.
I'll bet there's plenty of young developers out there who don't mind working long hours and would love to spend their time flying around with the Penny-Arcade crew keeping everything running - admittedly they won't be hiring the best applicants in the industry with the rates and conditions that they're offering, but I doubt they'll have much trouble finding someone who fits the bill.
Perks include:on call 24/7low paywork is your life
But I guess we're not the people they're looking for, and when they do find someone they give them a high-five, a latte, and scratch their hipster beards and laugh at how materialistic we are needing money and free time.
The person leaving this job is a close friend of mine. I agree that this is a very unusual job posting but I think it's a mistake to view it through the lens of typical startup or silicon-valley hiring. There are plenty of jobs in the industry which, on paper, look similar to this one. Low pay, lots of responsibilities, on call duties, poor work/life balance, etc. But PA isn't a normal company so a lot of the assumptions going into some of the conclusions people are drawing are erroneous.
PA is a family, which is something that a lot of startups pretend to but which is actually true in this case. The people there don't just eat lunch together they spend a lot of time in and out of the office with each other, and they tend to have pretty strong bonds of friendship with each other. The majority of people working at PA didn't interview to work there. PA tends to hire by osmosis when it can, because "cultural fit" is by far the most important factor. It's a very challenging prospect to try to hire someone into a very close nit group of friends, even more so when the job you're trying to hire for has fairly high skill requirements.
Personally I think that this job requires a fairly unusual candidate, but I think there's a good chance such a candidate exists. And I don't mean "unusual" in terms of being a "rockstar" or someone filled with self-hatred or low self-esteem.
So, let me correct (or confirm) some perceptions. This isn't a "death march" job like you'd expect in game dev or many startups. Yeah you may have to work late sometimes, and there may be weeks when you're chugging red bull, but a lot of that is up to you and how you do development, set expectations, and so on. This isn't healthcare.gov, it's mostly a bunch of content-heavy sites. You can certainly get into a crunch if you don't manage your time or your projects well but that's within your control, and you can certainly push back as much as is necessary. Unlike most startups you're not going to be expected to be in crunch mode all the time and you're not going to be expected to put in a set number of hours per week. If you do good work and prioritize well you'll be fine.
In terms of being on call, again it's not as though this is reddit or healthcare.gov or amazon.com, it's a handful of CMS deployments and a few other things. Things can, and will, go down, and the fact that you're pretty much the only person available to fix a lot of this stuff is definitely going to suck. But the sorts of problems you're going to run into aren't the same sorts of things you'll see at a typical startup. Maybe the load balancer for some site isn't working right or something, so you'll go file a support ticket w/ the VPS provider or fix it yourself as warranted. This isn't a job where you'll expect to have to get out of bed at 3am at least once a week to have to fix some bullshit code that someone else wrote. You have the opportunity to make the system work as smoothly as possible, and if you find yourself getting woken up by monitoring alerts too often that's probably due more to the choices you've made than anything else.
The reason why the job listing asks for people with a "crazy person level of attention to detail" is because you will be the entirety of the dev team (but there are designers, so you're not the whole universe). There's no QA team and not really any project management other than what you do. And accountability primarily comes from intrinsic motivation, not from someone looking over your shoulder.
As far as IT support and DBA, I don't think that's a very difficult requirement for a lot of devs to satisfy. It's not as though you have to do tech support for an office of mundanes, pretty much everyone at PA is tech savvy, the only thing you're there to do is be a resource to maybe solve some of the problems they can't, and to babysit the office infrastructure as necessary. If you feel comfortable setting up a managed switch (with the help of documentation) and building your own PC from parts you'll probably be fine.
The really bad news is that you're going to be taking a pay cut most likely. There just isn't the same opportunity to make as much money as you could in other parts of the industry. If you think you can negotiate a more competitive salary, then you can certainly try, I wouldn't rule it out. You'll still make okay money, if money isn't a big factor for you then it'll probably be fine, it should be enough to live wherever you want and have plenty of disposable income. But compared to what you could make in a profitable startup or at one of the big companies it's going to be a lot less.
The other bad news is that there's not much opportunity for growth or change. A lot of that is in your own hands but there are only so many things the company needs. If you have an ambition to learn haskell this isn't a good position for you. Similarly, there's no other dev. position to move into, you can't switch to another team working on different projects with different technology, you won't have the opportunity to become a lead or a manager, etc. The job can be what you make of it, but there's only so far it can realistically stretch, so you should consider that in terms of your long-term career goals. Of course, if you want to spend your free time working on some open source project, there's nothing stopping you.
Overall I'd reiterate that cultural fit is by far the most important part of this job. If you're excited about the possibility of working at PA then that's square one, if not then you should just ignore this job posting entirely. Beyond that, if you're competent and proficient at web dev and comfortable with getting your hands dirty with networking or hardware on rare occasions, and if you're the sort of person who wants to settle into a role where most of the time you'll be setting up content-heavy sites then this might be a good opportunity for you. It's certainly not a job for everyone, or even the vast majority of devs.
"You should be ready to make this startup the primary focus of your life"
I just have one request for you:
Create dream jobs.
Make it your mission to think of 'dream jobs', and then find a way to make them happen.
Don't start by thinking about what tasks need to be done. Don't start by thinking about how to get the most bang for your buck.
Start by thinking, "what would be a reallly-damn-cool job to have?" Then find a way to make it happen. Once you've thought up the dream job, go back and find a way to pay for it. Figure out the path you'll need to take in order to make it happen.
If you succeed, I promise that it will be one of the most gratifying things you ever do.
wtf, they're not even trying
(yes, this is an indictment of the already troubled news industry)
tl;dr; It's not always as grim as it looks. but in this case it might be.
(the title blog post's title is a link to the job posting)
That's pretty horrible.
Does it hold for Penny Arcade? Unknown.
Does it have any implication at all for the general profession? No way. It's funny to see how upset people are getting about a job ad. They are "insulted". But really what they are experiencing is, at worst, Penny Arcade misattributing themselves so much "juice" that they'd be willing to let someone grind themselves up in a job.
(That is, perhaps, the only narrow way in which this job posting is immoral, is if it describes working conditions so horrific that no-one could escape without deep emotional scarring. And no, I don't think it's quite that bad.)
The skill set absolutely exists and, for the right person, it's a great job.
Put your hand down if your company gets more traffic than PAX does at its peak.
Put your hand down if your work place is more fun than the Penny Arcade office.
Put your hand down if your after work parties rival Penny-Arcades.
Anyone with their hand still up is someone who would hire you after this gig. PHP devs are typically commodity programmers. As managers we will typically give you a basic programming test and fire you when you burn out. (not at my company I am saying what is typical in the space)
This is a gig that would make you no longer a commodity programmer. That is worth something. A dev who has been working in a Middle level position would do well to take this gig for 18 months, then start shopping for a better paying gig.
To remove the hard dependency on the AUFS patches, we moved it to an optional storage driver, and shipped a second driver which uses thin LVM snapshots (via libdevmapper) for copy-on-write. The big advantage of devicemapper/lvm, of course, is that it's part of the mainline kernel.
If your system supports AUFS, Docker will continue to use the AUFS driver. Otherwise it will pick lvm. Either way, the image format is preserved and all images on the docker index (http://index.docker.io) or any instance of the open-source registry will continue to work on all drivers.
It's pretty easy to develop new drivers, and there is a btrfs one on the way: https://github.com/shykes/docker/pull/65
If you want to hack your own driver, there are basically 4 methods you need to implement: Create, Get, Remove and Cleanup. Take a look at the graphdriver/ package: https://github.com/dotcloud/docker/tree/master/graphdriver
As usual don't hesitate to come ask questions on IRC! #docker/freenode for users, #docker-dev/freenode for aspiring contributors.
My goal is having a team of developers use Docker to have their local development environments match the production environment. The production environment should use the same Docker magic to define its environment.
Is the idea that developers define their Docker environment in the Dockerfile, and then on app deployment, the production environment builds its world from the same Dockerfile? How does docker push/pull of images factor into that, if at all?
Or is the idea that developers push a container, which contains the app code, up to production?
What happens when a developer makes changes to his/her environment from the shell rather than scripted in the Dockerfile?
What about dealing with differences in configuration between production and dev? (Eg. developers need a PostgreSQL server to develop, but on production, the Postgres host is separate from the app server - ideally running PG in a Docker container, but the point being multiple apps share a PG server rather than each running their own individual PG instance). Is the idea that in local dev, the app server and PG are in two separate Docker containers, and then in deployment, that separation allows for the segmentation of app server and PG instance?
I see the puzzle pieces but I am not quite fitting them together into a cohesive understanding. Or possibly I am misunderstanding entirely.
Can this reduce the time it takes me to put up and Ubuntu installation on Digital Ocean?
Is this more for larger companies ?
yum --enablerepo=epel-testing install docker-io
PS: make sure you have "cgconfig" service running
docker newb here. Can I easily put my own software in it? I've got this c++ program that has a few dependencies in ubuntu.
It's not clear to me how I can benefit from Docker given my setup above. Any comments?
I mean, it'd be neat to be able to do a "pull" of diffs from one image into another related image. Merge branches and so on. I don't know, possibly this would be just too unreliable, but I would have previously thought that what docker is doing right now would be too unreliable for production use, and lo and behold we have it and it's awesome.
It's just s/distrubtions/distributions/, obviously.
So much for feature #7. Documentation should be part of the development/release process
I see lots of people are getting some generic Docker questions answered in here, and want to ask one I have been wondering about.
What is the easiest way to use dockers like I would virtual machines? I want to boot an instance, make some changes e.g. apt-get install or edit config files, shutdown the instance, and have the changes available next time I boot that instance. Unless I misunderstand something, Docker requires me to take snapshots of the running instance before I shut it down, which takes an additional terminal window if I started into the instance with something like docker run -i -t ubuntu /bin/bash. I know there are volumes that I can attach/detach to instances, but this doesn't help for editing something like /etc/ssh/sshd_config.
I was pretty sure that the requirement for AUFS would stick for a long time -- I was resigned to use a special kernel. But again, you folks surprise me!
You guys just rock!
I can't find the info in the docs.
Let me ask a direct need I have, would docker allow me to use newer c++ compilers on redhat so I can code in c++11?
Is there any alternative for separating apps on a single VPS?
I would not consider this good etiquette. If you fork your project (especially without discussing the intention first), adding a bug to the original project isn't a very nice thing to do.
An official pull request would be nicer or, even better, don't bother the original project, but just announce your fork over other channels.
Even better would be to at least discuss the issue with the original project - maybe they agree and you can work together.
With that being said, we are using it to store our JSON geo track data, most everything else is in a mysql database. As a result we haven't run into limitations around the storage/query model that some other people might be experiencing.
Additionally, we have some serious DB servers so haven't felt the pain of performance when exceeding working memory. 192gb of ram with 8 RAID10 512gb SSDs probably masks performance issues that other people are feeling.
Final note: I'll probably be walking away from mongo, due to the natural evolution of our stack. We'll store high fidelity track data as gzipped flat files of JSON, and a reduced track inside of postgis.
tl;dr - using mongo as a very simple key/value store for data that isn't updated frequently, which could easily be replaced by flat file storage, is painless. YMMV with other use cases.
Even better: The application I'm using Errbit the most for is already running in front of a nicely replicated and immensely powerful postgres install.
Being able to put the Errbit data there is amazing.
This is some of the best news I've read today :-)
* didn't read the manual
* poor schema
* didn't maintain the database (compactions, etc.)
In this case, they hit several:
" Its volume on disk is growing 3-4 times faster than the real volume of data it store;"
They should be doing compactions and are not. Using PostgreSQL does not avoid administration; it simply changes the administration to be done.
"it eats up all the memory without the possibility to limit this"
That's the idea -- that memory isn't actually used though; it's just memory mapping the file. It will swap out for something else that needs the space unless you are actively using all the data, in which case you really are using all your memory. Which is why you should put it on its own server...
"it begins to slow down the application because of frequent disk access"
"Finally we sleep quietly, and dont fear that mongodb will drive out redis to swap once again."
You should be running Mongo on a server by itself. At the very least, if you're having disk contention issues, don't run it on the same server as your other database.
I'm not sure you always need to read the manual for everything, but for your production database, it's probably worth it.
"Mongodb" already nearly exists as a single column type, 9.4 will complete it.
It's a drop in replacement so it will work with current drivers. (if you have a running mongo cluster however expect quite some work if you want to migrate)
(I have no affiliation with TokuTek whatsoever except that I use their product)
Well duh, Mongo was designed to live on its own server as it tries to claim all of the free memory available. Putting it on the same server with Redis makes no sense.
The case that caused you sleepless nights does not apply to 99% of projects out there.
Are they saying that it has a high constant overhead to the data, or are they saying the storage grows in a super-linear fashion?
The conclusion seems obvious: It's a misdirection. Adi Shamir is Satoshi Nakamoto.
(Note: No, I do not in fact believe this.)
And that one too was quite poorly done; from the text, it actually seemed like they thought that "the blockchain" is a file stored on blockchain.info. Disappointing from the inventor of Shamir's Secret Sharing and differential cryptanalysis.
I think someone should do a quantified textual analysis of posts to to derive some sort of written language fingerprint for each author on the Cryptography Mailing List. Has anyone been able to derive a unique fingerprint of written language that accurately predicts the identity of the author? Has an analysis like this been done and come up empty?
I would imagine the FBI amongst other Government organisations and figures would love nothing more than to pick Satoshi's brain (by force if need be) if his or her identity were to ever be truly revealed. We won't ever know who the real Satoshi is.
I can make baseless and factless accusations as to who I think Satoshi is as well. I think it's Al Gore, he invented the Internet after all.
In other words, "we're covering our asses so we don't have to retract, but we're expert and relevant to this bitcoin thing."
What does that mean?
And anyone who knows one of the subsequent addresses those coins touched in the blockchain. Of course, it also doesn't really matter who they went to.
Backwards that's "I hso tasto nmai" which is phonetic late R'lyehian for "Up yours Bernanke".
Note that this is only really true with Python 3.3 and later as in earlier versions stuff would start breaking for characters outside of the BMP (which is where JS is still stuck at, btw) unless you had a wide build which was using a lot of memory for strings (4 bytes per character)
In general, internally using unicode and converting to and from bytes when doing i/o is the right way to go.
But: Due to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_unification being locked into Unicode with a language might not be feasible for everybody - especially in Asian regions, Unicode isn't yet as widely spread and you still need to deal with regional encodings, mainly because even with the huge character set of Unicode, we still can't reliably write in every language.
Ruby 1.9 and later helps here by having many, many string types (as many as it knows encodings), which can't be assigned to each other without conversion.
This allows you to still have an internal character set for your application and doing encoding/decoding at i/o time, but you're not stuck with unicode if that's not feasible for your use-case.
People hate this though because it seems to interfere with their otherwise perfectly fine workflow ("why can't I assign this "string" I got from a user to this string variable here??"), but it's actually preventing data corruption (once strings of multiple encodings are mixed up, it's often impossible to un-mix them, if they have the same characer width).
I don't know how good the library support for the various Unicode encodings is in Ruby though. According to the article, there still is trouble with correctly doing case transformations and reversing them.
Which brings me to another point: Some of the stuff you do with strings isn't just dependent on string encoding, but also locale.
Uppercasing rules for example depend on locale, so you need to keep that into account too. And, of course, deal with cases when you don't know the locale the string was in (encoding is hard enough and most of the cases undetectable - but locales - next to impossible).
I laugh at people who constantly tell me that this isn't hard and that "it's just strings".
if they were using UTF-16, this wouldn't be a problem as UTF-16 can be used to perfectly well encode code points outside of the BMP (at the cost of losing ability for O(1) access to specific code points of course. If you need to know what the n-th code point is, you have to scan the string until the n-th position).
They are, however, using UCS-2 which can't. If you use a library that knows about UCS-2 to work on strings encoded in UTF-16, then you will get broken characters, your counts will be off and case transformations might fail.
Most languages that claim Unicode support still only have UCS-2 libraries (Python 3 is a notable exception)
(1) A == A but A != . The last letter is not uppercase "a", but uppercase "". Most of the time, the difference is important, but sometimes humans want to ignore it (imagine you can't find an entry in a database since it contains that looks just like A). Google gives different autocomplete suggestions for A and . Is this outcome expected? is it desired?
(2) The Turkish alphabet is mostly the same as the Latin alphabet, except for the letter "i", which exists in two variants: dotless and dotted i (as in Latin). For the sake of consistency, this distinction is kept in the upper case as well: dotless I (as in Latin) and dotted . We can see that not even the uppercase <==> lowercase transformation is defined for text independently of language.
These are just two examples of problems with text processing that arise even before all the problems with Unicode (combining characters, ligatures, double-width characters, ...) and without considering all the conventions and exceptions that exist in richer (mostly Asian) alphabets.
You can use UnicodeUtils if you need "full" Unicode support:
>> UnicodeUtils.upcase("bae") => "BAFFLE" >> graphemes = UnicodeUtils.each_grapheme("noe\u0308l").to_a >> graphemes.reverse.join => "lon" >> graphemes.size => 4 >> graphemes[0, 3] => "no"
$ perl -E 'use utf8; binmode STDOUT, ":utf8"; say uc("bae");'
The only failure I can see is that it treats "no<combining diaresis>el" as 5 characters (so reports length as 5 and reversing places the accent on the wrong character). That's documented here: http://perldoc.perl.org/perluniintro.html#Handling-Unicode "Note that Perl considers grapheme clusters to be separate characters"
All else seems to work though (including precomposed/decomoposed string equiality etc). The docco also says that perl's regex engine with Do The Right Thing with matching the entire grapheme cluster as a single char.
I think these hand-wavings aren't helpful. Short of extensive surveying, which is bound to be controversial no matter what the result, talking about "general expectations" is a purely subjective notion, and not a good way to evaluate the actions of cold, soulless silicon that is just following orders.
Like the author, I also consider myself a mostly reasonable person, yet is might come up with very different expectations. If I saw that "ffl" ligature, how would I know it's a ligature and not some single unrelated character in another language? You might respond "but it's clearly part of the word 'baffle' and should be capitalized thusly." But would you suggest that string libraries ship with word lists and perform contextual analysis to determine how to perform string operations? Surely that's a fool's errand, not to mention that it would inevitably produce unexpected results.
* a string type is probably a good idea to bundle the subtleties of unicode, a plain array or list (whether it's of bytes or of codepoints) won't cut it: standard array operations are incorrect/invalid on unicode streams
* the vast majority of string types are broken anyway, as even in the best case they're codepoint arrays (possibly with a smart implementation). The bad cases are just code unit arrays, which break before you even reach fine points of unicode manipulation
And then, you've got the issue that a lot of unicode manipulation is locale-dependent, which most languages either ignore completely or fuck up (or half and half, for extra fun)
I don't think I've ever written code to do that outside of homework assignments and interviews.
But what I absolutely need in a language is to have a very very clear seperation between strings and byte arrays, or raw data, and ideally a way to transform between the two. C# gets this right with its byte and string types, the framework uses them correctly, and there is the wonderful Encoding namespace to interchange the two. Python 2.7 is the absolte worst, it's apparently impossible to get anything done with raw data and not run into some obscure 'ASCII codec can't handle octet 128' whatever exception (reminds you why we have strict typing: magic is fucking annoying).
Here are the slides:http://training.perl.com/OSCON2011/gbu/gbu.pdf
The site seems down ATM, but Internet Archive has it:https://web.archive.org/web/20121224081332/http://98.245.80....
string: noel, reversed: leon, first 3 chars: noe, length: 5
string: , reversed: , first 1 char: , length: 2
string: bae, upcase: BAE
string: nol, equals precomposed: NIL
Edited: GNU CLISP 2.49 produces identical results.
>> "\u0308" => "" >> "\u00eb" => "" >> "noe\u0308l" => "nol" >> "no\u00ebl" => "nol"
If anything, languages are reporting correct reverses and length, since he's really manipulating 5 characters rather than four.
Is the "ffl-ligature to uppercase" test really relevant? Isn't that fixed by appropriate use of string normalisation?
var decomp="nol"; var precomp="nol"; console.log(decomp.split("")); console.log(precomp.split("")); console.log(decomp.localeCompare(precomp));
["n", "o", "e", "", "l"] ["n", "o", "", "l"] 0
Note: In Chrome when comparing (e.g. sorting) a lot of strings String.prototype.localeCompare is much slower than using a pre-composed Intl.Collator instance (because internally localeCompare creates a new collator for each call). Using Intl.Collator rediced startup time of my http://greattuneplayer.jit.su/ immensely. node.js currently has no support for Intl.*. It probably will be a compile time option for 0.12.
racket@> (string-upcase "bae") "BAFFLE"
ICU has support for a lot of the basic operations you would want to perform on strings as well as conversion to whatever format is suitable for your platform and environment.
And as I type this, another issue manifests: the spelling correction can't even recognize bae as a properly spelled word; it highlights the 'ba' and ignores the rest.
For example, (ki) is composed of and When I'm writing this in an editor, say, I typed ku () instead of ki () and I press backspace, I indeed want to see rather than deleting the whole "".
What does the "length" of a string even mean? A database will tell you it has to do with storage. A nontechnical person will say it's the number of symbols. A visual designer might say that it has to do with onscreen width when rasterized in a particular way. None of these people are obviously right or wrong.
It's very useful to be able to count the number of glyphs in a string, or the number of unicode codepoints, or bytes, or pixels when rasterized in a particular way, but "length" isn't clear enough to unambiguously refer to any of them. Any meaning you try to ascribe to the "length" operation is going to be wrong to someone.
"".upper().lower() #=> "fi"
"".upper() #=> ""
"".upper().lower() #=> "i"
Big deal. I don't understand what the point of this article is when it shows the shortcomings of half a dozen different string implementations in random languages. Yes, if you don't understand the language, then your assumptions about how it works may be wrong. Big surprise, that doesn't mean every string implementation needs to conform to your expectations...
Note: may freak out browsers with a flaky Unicode implementation. For instance, scrolling that stream on the iOS Twitter client can get very laggy.
Python 3.3.2+ (default, Oct 9 2013, 14:50:09) [GCC 4.8.1] on linux Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> noel="nol" >>> noel[::-1] # reverse 'lon' >>> noel[0:3] # first three characters 'no' >>> len(noel) # length 4
Edit: sadly, it doesn't.
the idea of the string type is just fine though (or a character array) broken implementations don't invalidate it, they just invalidate the myth of '3rd party libraries must be good because hundreds of programmers worked on them for years' - which is exactly a myth. it doesn't just apply to strings but everything. (not brokeness, just that you shouldn't expect them to work beyond what you can measure, and certainly shouldn't expect that they are flawless or even good implementations)
Then it would be not "string" type, that's broken, but an implementation of "string" type.
Instead of just String, maybe we should have ASCIIString, UTF8String, and UTF16String.
And then it became:
So probably this year it will be Miley Cyrus...
PS: thinking about it, I'd vote for Satoshi. We should do a HN POY.
PS2 : done! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6800515
I had no clue so many people shared in my belief that Snowden has done something great. I figured the media had corrupted most of the people into thinking he'd done something deplorable, because no one has been taking to the streets or to the polls or to the anything to demand changes based on his revelations.
Past generations would have, but that's not the case today. We think he's great. We just don't care to actually support him.
Historically, I feel like there was a notion that someone was "too popular to execute." But, even though the vast majority appear to support Snowden so much that they declare him POY, I don't think we'd do a thing if the US raided his home in Russia and put a bullet in him. We'd be mad, and we'd write blog posts about it, and maybe some people would DDoS attack a website or send a bunch of pizzas to John Kerry, but there would be no political turnover. There would be no justice on Snowden's behalf. At best, it would be like Guantanamo, where some new POTUS candidate promises change so we elect him, then does absolutely nothing. And we'd happily just not care.
People: Snowden is a hero.
What a great way to bring this difference of opinion to the fore.
0/10 would not vote again
"This application will be able to:* Read Tweets from your timeline.* See who you follow, and follow new people.* Update your profile.* Post Tweets for you."
I'd say those numbers sound about right...
Snowden seems like the best bet for sheer impact/newsmaker. Tho I'm not sure how 'international' TIME is these days, and perhaps Snowden is only really know in the West.
He needs to be like batman, sacrifice his mind, body and freedom for a cause that people will remember him for.
But he's in Russia and he's never coming back to the US so this will be a on going thing for years even decades where no one but few people will remember him and our blight.
GPT LOADEDEVENT LISTENER EXECUTEDload listener, textContentGPT LOADEDBlocked a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com" from accessing a frame with origin "http://tags.bluekai.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.GPT LOADEDEVENT LISTENER EXECUTEDload listener, textContentBlocked a frame with origin "http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net" from accessing a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.EVENT LISTENER EXECUTEDold height: old width: scroll height: 55 scroll width: 275new height: new width: Blocked a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com" from accessing a frame with origin "http://tags.bluekai.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.Uncaught SecurityError: An attempt was made to break through the security policy of the user agent. 93c0d7430d30e77dc6a5f0275dfcb679.js:48Uncaught TypeError: Object #<Page> has no method 'init' 528c2242c903451bee0013d3:812Blocked a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com" from accessing a frame with origin "http://tags.bluekai.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.Invalid App Id: Must be a number or numeric string representing the application id. all.js:56The "fb-root" div has not been created, auto-creating all.js:56FB.getLoginStatus() called before calling FB.init(). all.js:562Blocked a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com" from accessing a frame with origin "http://tags.bluekai.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.Posted 2 errors to errorception.com 50eb3228903069e001000036.js:12Blocked a frame with origin "http://poy.time.com" from accessing a frame with origin "http://tags.bluekai.com". Protocols, domains, and ports must match.
Error (api.go:209) forerunner/api.getPollById: exception: can't connect to new replica set master [ec2-54-225-59-0.compute-1.amazonaws.com:27017], err: couldn't connect to server ec2-54-225-59-0.compute-1.amazonaws.com:27017
BTW, just voted for Miley. She definitely made my year.
Also the process wasn't foolproof even for people capable of dealing with technical issues.
It isn't polished enough to go in the play store IMO. I don't know WTF the cyanogenmod team was thinking, non-technical people messing with CM will just lead to negative press.
Think about it from a less technical perspective: I can install an app from the official Google Play store that voids my warranty.
They can't have that on their public facing store. Google wants users to install apps, they don't want them to be afraid of voiding their warranty.
It's interesting to see how things played out over the last few years.
Google has been moving towards a more controlled environment, from something that was initially billed as open.
Apple started completely locked down with a strong customer focus, and has cautiously been making their policies more developer friendly.
I personally prefer Apple's approach, as it was always about the end user but as a developer I was sometimes envious of Google's lenient policy. Google's assertion of control now makes me more interested in developing for their platform.
The clause about no forking with the SDK is probably going to rear its head in anger soon.
The open spiel was pure marketing to gain market share. Now that they have it, they are locking things down to maintain control. Threatening decertification, requiring google play services, certification by a private party,...
Now that the open argument no longer works, people are defending it as pro consumer. Hogwash.
Cyanogen has basically become a competitor to Google
Preface: I consider myself a fairly advanced power user on linux as a hobby, and I'm a computer technician/sysadmin [Windows] by day. I've had two Android phones over the past two years.
I have a Verizon Galaxy Nexus and was pissed that Verizon decided that phone was not to get 4.3 let alone Google decided no 4.4 for the Galaxy Nexus...(Each iteration of Android broke more things like speech to text.) Rather than wait for the never coming updates I started studying how to flash Cyanogenmod onto this. It looked a bit convoluted even compared to flashing firmware onto micro-contollers. Then the app hit the Play store and I figured I would give it a shot.
The app showed you what settings needed changed (like enable USB debugging) and how to do them, even to the point of opening the settings screens for you. A casual user would never even be able to find the settings again after that first opening. It would be akin to going straight to the Computer Management console in Windows or loading up fstab in Linux without telling a casual end user how to get there! My install process did not go smooth. The first thing it had wrong was the connection mode, said to use Camera Mode PTP instead of MTP. That is flat out wrong for this phone and it won't connect. Then during the bootloader/rooting process, which the installer fully automatically does for you(!) a critical USB driver failed to install and it locked the phone up. The soft power button does not respond here and luckily I was able to pull the battery to reset. If this was a Nexus 4 or 5...I would have been praying that once the battery died I could still power it up for a recharge; a very good possibility it would have been bricked. Now that the software is installed I have no Photosphere in the camera and I can no longer connect to my work exchange calendar. I also managed to lose a few stored contacts somehow. I knew to backup my pictures/docs/data but a typical user would not.
Now imagine a typical consumer has just purchased a Galaxy S4 on contract for $199. They flash CM onto it and now best case they call Verizon/ATT/Samsung wanting to know why feature X isn't working or why they lost the phone numbers of their friends/family or worse their baby pictures/movies. Now that company either says 'Go fly a kite' or reflashes and they still have data loss. If the phone bricks they will be shocked to learn they will need to pony up $650 to replace it replace it!
One way is to use scary software like Cyanogenmod.
There is not other way.
Maybe Google and customers need to start pressuring carriers to stop loading phones with this awful software?
I intended to install CyanogenMod 10.1.3 which is based on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, on my nexus 4. I have not done so.
I also have the intention to install the stock Android Jelly Bean 4.3 on the same nexus 4; downgrading from Android KitKat 4.4.
I found that Android KitKat on Nexus 4 (and Nexus 5) now redirect tethering network traffic to the carrier login page, specifically T-Mobile USA. Strangely, I had no problems using the built-in tethering (Nexus 4 - Andorid KitKat combo) with AT&T network.
Google should encourage aftermarket Android distributions. They serve the customers who want a truly open source Android and they serve the orphaned devices users.
It you RTFA, you see that the app has a very simple function and mostly serves to enable discovery of CyanogenMod. The actual installation requires a Windows PC.
Well, make CyanogenMod Installer Application open enough and put it onto F-droid.
Don't wan't to? Well, neither GOOG ...so much about openness PR.
"Warning! This app can brick your device. Google is not responsible for its damages, and you may loose other warranties, too!"
Regarding kids, that would overlook the warning, they still have to download the PC software. So the procedure isn't significantly more simplified than going directly to the website.
"You need to have a crazy-person level of attention to detail" - We will judge you based on anything you've overlooked, rather than what you've done.
"A motivated self-starter who can overcome or workaround issues independently" - Don't bother telling us we are asking for something impossible, that's your problem.
"Flexibility to travel up to 30% of the time." - Not only should you be able to do four jobs, but you should be able to do them from an airplane/car/hotel room with permanent availability.
"Should have no problems working in a creative and potentially offensive environment." - Note this doesn't apply to you, only we will be insulting prima donnas. You will conform.
"Flexibility adapting to deadlines, changing schedules, priorities and unpredictable events in a fast paced environment." You should be able to meet deadlines that are assigned arbitrarily. You'll have no control over your own schedule, but you'll be expected to give highly detailed attention to whatever the project of the day is.
"Its rarely we call on it, but if something breaks in the middle of the night, you are expected to be on call to address that issue 24/7." - We'll cheap out at every opportunity, buying shitty hardware and cheap services, because it's not us that has to fix it when it's 2am Christmas morning. If you keep shit running, then we were right to be cheap. If it fails, then you're a bad IT person. That you recommended a different option is irrelevant.
"we are not money-motivated group" - We aren't motivated to give you any money.
PA will surely find someone who meets their requirements and accepts their level of compensation. PA will be lucky to hang onto them for more than a year. Anyone who has accumulated all of the skills that this post requires, will also not stay in this position for longer than it takes to put it on their resume.
This confuses me, because its as if the author tries to force his valuation of the opportunity onto all prospective applicants. He recognizes that a position at Penny Arcade has a level of cachet, but doesn't recognize that that level of cachet is transitive: if someone "can work somewhere cool and feel like a part of something big", then good for them. It's up to each person whether or not to decide if those benefits outweigh the costs of eschewing different employment.
Also, lots and lots of ad hominem. I'm not super familiar with Penny Arcade -- having never attended PAX and having not read the comic in a few years -- but a lot of this post seems to be conjecture which hinges on Robert Khoo being a villain.
(I would never apply for this job, because I value salary and work-life balance too much. But I recognize there are people who don't, which is why early-stage startups can thrive.)
This isn't really unique to software, so I'll use the example of the dying American family farm.
I grew up on a small farm, for most of the time it was owned by four men, all related by blood. They each individually took full responsibility for the business, and were never off the clock. If something needed doing -- planting a field, fixing a tractor, feeding livestock -- they got it done. They didn't quit working when the work was done, because the work was never done. They momentarily paused when they were too exhausted to continue. If there was an emergency at three AM -- livestock escaped, water main broken, building on fire -- they got out of bed and dealt with it without delay. They were partners.
Occasionally, mostly during harvest, these farmers employed a few farm hands. These farm hands were contracted to do a specific job, like buck hay. They bucked hay for a certain number hours, and then went home. If something went wrong outside their purview, like a tractor breaking down, they informed one of the four farmers, who dealt with it. If there was a disaster at three AM, they were not summoned. They were employees.
It would have been easy for these farmers to expect the farm hands to act like farmers. After all, the farmers worked all day and some nights, did anything that needed to be done. But the farmers were partners in their business, and the farm hands were employees. Expecting employees to behave like partners just makes you a bad boss.
I think it is important for a small business, when growing, to remember the difference between partners and employees, and if you're hiring employees -- and not adding a partner -- to remember to treat them as employees, and not expect them to act like a partner in a business they have no interest in.
It's not exploitation; it's a trade, and Penny Arcade have listed out their terms. Everyone is free, or not, to go along with what they want.
The author mixes two messages: (1) the merits of the offer, and (2) the ethics of the offer. The author may be right about (1) -- I am not qualified to say -- but this does not imply that he's also right about (2). A poor job offer is not an unethical one; and in this sense I think Penny Arcade are living up to higher standards by being transparent about where they may fall short.
I understand that pain of seeing someone in an abusive relationship, like a talented programmer working at a game studio on a crappy legacy codebase because it was once touched by some personal hero of theirs. Or the killer VLSI chip designer writing shell scripts any system administrator could write because its "working at Google." But the author here isn't in the place.
He is arguing that this job offer is a setup for entering into an abusive relationship with the folks behind Penny Arcade.
So all of that I understand and I pretty much agree with it, people will ask you to work for peanuts and spin it in such a way that they try to make you feel good about it.
But where it gets confusing for me is the whole 'I'm a unicorn and I know these guys personally' rant. What that reads like is "Gee I'm perfect for this job, know these guys, and would could totally do it but they won't compensate me 'fairly' to do it." The angst of wanting something but not willing to pay the price of getting it.
I don't know what Chris is trying to say there.
Perhaps for some people it is the same reason they take 'production assistant' jobs for minimum wage in Hollywood, so they can 'make contact with' the folks in the industry they want to be a part of. What I do know is that monetary compensation is only part of the value for some people, I know I've been in jobs that the fact they paid me was just icing on the cake, they were that fun to do . Clearly the job posting is looking for someone for whom part of their compensation is that they are part of the 'Penny Arcade' family. I don't see the issue there that Chris does, hence the confusion.
 Ok not completely, I do need to eat and live somewhere, but sometimes felt I was being paid more than I needed to be paid to stay, just because it was so interesting/fun.
So what if the blogpost describes a myth, and they'll settle for someone who does a bit of each? That's not a crime, that's a strategy.
Firstly, take a job posting to it's logical extreme and you'd get something similar to the linkedin post.
"We want a ninja rockstar coder+sysadmin in the top 99.999th percentile of skill/ability/knowledge. A successful candidate will give their heart and soul to the company, for very little money. Fringe benefits: pong pong table, a beer fridge, and limited 401k matching"
 Speaking as someone currently looking for work.
Secondly, this is par for the course at Penny Arcade who has historically gone to great (and borderline abusive imho) lengths to find the best candidates. Their television show PATV did two fascinating arcs on hiring, the first episode of which is here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/new-hire-part-1
Robert Khoo will no doubt get a lot of applicants, whom he will ruthlessly cull until he has the perfect fit for his organization. And if he can't find a perfect fit, he'll start over until he does.
I greatly admire his accomplishments at Penny Arcade and have no strong desire to work for him.
Is that really so hard to find? I might be selling myself short... (I actually thought I'm worth less on the marketplace by being a "generalist")
 https://twitter.com/jephjacques << at the moment, the posts are about 4 hours old and the first 5 or so.
However hard it may be for some here to believe, there are many people who are most efficient -- and most satisfied -- in an environment of constant and unpredictable variety in both type and intensity of work, just as there are people who find it more entertaining being jacks of all trades rather than mastering one.
Implying that all jobs should accommodate your personal preferences (e.g. specialization, predictability, or work-life balance) is not doing them any service, and their skills are already discounted too far in this marketplace.
The smartest people you will ever work with, doing good work on a seriously popular website, at charity rates of pay ;-)
But... you know, honestly, I think the closest thing to an industry-changing genius Penny Arcade has is Robert Khoo, and this job ain't gonna have you getting your hands dirty in such a way that lets you learn Khoo's ways.
In terms of greed, the blog post above correctly points out that Penny Arcade is at this point a large outfit that is making a ton of money. The founders are at this point millionaires and will, baring extravagant spending, never have to worry about money again. So when they come out with a job posting such as this one people look at it as they would seeing a wealthy investor hiring an unpaid intern as an assistant, or something similar. This person has more than enough money to satisfy almost every desire, and yet rather than pay competitive wages, or work to spread some of that wealth out to the people who help them obtain their success they have deliberately chosen to keep as much of it as possible even to the point of paying people far less than they are worth, instead talking up nebulous terms like "access", "experience", or "work environment". This strikes most people as the definition of greed (taking more than you could possibly need even if it means exploiting other people) and we generally react negatively.
In terms of hypocrisy, there is right up front the spectacle of a businessman and salesperson telling you with a straight face that they are "not money-oriented" despite the fact that this is a complete description of their job. But more than that, you have an organization that has spent years taking potshots at the "big guys" ostensibly standing up for the "gamer", aka the little guy, the consumer, etc, etc. Hell they even run a comic about QA work in the game industry, ostensibly a satire about the terrible conditions, accompanied by writeups from people doing QA talking about the terrible exploitation they have faced. But apparently, when push comes to shove (or paying market wages), Penny Arcade is just as comfortable taking advantage of naive young people, willing to grind themselves down for their "heroes" as their heroes gaze on and pocket millions.
Given those two things, I think the only surprising thing is that apparently the powers that be at Penny Arcade are too sheltered to not immediately understand that this would be the reaction they would receive.
its not uncommon to see in the games or entertainment industries in general... everyone wants in and so many are willing to work themselves to death for it.
The same goes for CMSes. Many CMS customers would probably be better off if they took the CMS editor interface as a separate component and wrote the actual page renderer as a custom development separately. The trouble is of course, content systems make it very hard to do that. Having to make things work with the native mechanisms (and the often horrific underlying data model) is what makes huge CMS projects fail or at least perform miserably for everyone involved.
On the very top of the list of abhorrently convolute CMSes would probably have to be Typo3, followed after some distance by Drupal. But the more you work with the initially-liberal Wordpress the more you discover it's not that far behind either.
This reminds me of a bygone era: my startup (now long gone) had its own CMS. Sadly, that wasn't our actual product as we were a pure service company and the CMS was only a tool for us. In hindsight, we should have done it the other way around. Our CMS wasn't perfect, but it shone in a few areas that made the life of both developers and content editors very easy: a simple, accessible data model and an easily extensible page renderer. Unlike many other solutions it was designed to get things done, not to bill a lot of consultant hours. I've yet to come across an open source (or commercial for that matter) CMS that works equally well.
Seeing this as easy, and building a custom application to handle it, will quickly become a bad idea, and an artifact of "not build by me, I can build better" mentality.
Being able to leverage a tool that is both proven and easily available to solve this problem makes sense.
Expecting the cms to solve every problem and be the only tool used is also a big problem.
As to whether to provide the users with a means to define new pricing models and change current models, depends on how frequently it needs to get done, how much dev resources are needed to keep up with demand, and what the release process is like.
If you are in an enterprisy place. First an issue must be created to update the pricing model or create a new one. This probably goes under change control, and it will be addressed in the next meeting of the governance committee.
If all is approved there it will be passed on to the project manager who will create a backlog item for it.
Then once the current sprint is completed, a new prioritized list of tasks are distributed and in the best scenario the issue is handed off to a developer with a high priority.
The developer will analyze what changes are needed, design the new pricing model, implement it, create and run unit tests, ensure it goes through CI. Then he will write the test cases for the new functionality and move on to the next issue in the back loc.
In 2-4 weeks when the sprint is over the worst case is that the dev branch is promoted and the test team is assigned an issue to test and regression test everything.
Once their sprint is done, it will be promoted to Stagingand more tests and sign offs and then after a month or two the new pricing model will hit the shelfs and the executive who requested it might already have forgotten why it was an issue to begin with, or the client he created it for has long gone with a different company
All of that to say sometimes it makes very good sense to create a decent way for the end users to be allowed to modify and create new pricing models.
Just like its easier to allow the end users to edit the content of web pages.
It would in my opinion be absurd to create an ecommerce system where the pricing and products require code to be updated. Much better to leverage an existing product or worse case write the logic to allow the users to make changes on their own.
At the start of this year, the company I work at had about six different CMS platforms. Many of the applications that used them were built on top of CMSs, and were tightly coupled to them. As for static content generators, we tried that. It really didn't scale, especially for dynamic content. Too many hacks, deploys, and hard to train people.
As of today, our team has switched nearly all public content for our company to LocomotiveCMS (http://www.locomotivecms.com/), and deployed a centralized multi-tenant system. In many cases, we use our Locomotive instances as an API, pushing content via the API or the command-line tool, wagon. The CMS then renders HTML templates (or even JSON), which are consumed by our applications via HTTP. Sometimes it's just a tiny part of a page, or sometimes entire mini-sites. As a result, most of our apps don't need to know about a database.
Whenever there's a change that requires a new model, or the addition of a field, it can be done quickly through the LCMS back-office UI (or the wagon CLI tool). We update the application(s) affected, and re-deploy. Non-techies can edit the content using the admin web UI in a familiar way.
In any case, it's been working really well for us. The CMS has become an API, a service, and a separate app, shared by many applications. We've become more flexible and efficient as a result, our web applications are no longer burdened by CMS frameworks or admin interfaces of their own. And we dont have to struggle with Sharepoint or Wordpress or any other nonsense.
It's been a fundamental shift in how we think about the CMS, and has scaled well across multiple projects.
I've been playing with their ruby-kit, so far so good, really liking this approach and plan to see awesome things ahead.
What I eventually came up with was pretty much exactly what this post is advocating for. YAGNI was the rule, I was new and wanted to demonstrate results quickly. Instead of classes, I put constants in modules, realizing that all that a class I'd written was holding was basically a hash, and since that data wasn't changing anytime soon, they might as well go in a constant.
I caught the refactoring bug sometime around when I was tasked with adding a third service. I found turning the logic I'd created into proper classes incredibly easy, make changes, run rspec, rinse, repeat. The interfaces between the various pieces were surprisingly loose. So I could play around with different implementations of a piece of logic and at every point have something that could be made to work if I suddenly had to shift gears.
I had two services and they were each slightly different. Waiting to build the abstractions until I had multiple implementations of them wound up being a big win. Now that I have a third, I can already tell that it's going to be an easy add. I spend much more time figuring out service-specific stuff than wrangling with my code.
Hard-coding really does get a bad rap. You're not building a castle, you're fixing a pressing business need. If you do it well, then one day you'll be able to open-source your work, because your company will want to add more and more to it because of how badass it is. Not because your delusions of grandeur led you to over-abstract everything to the point of uselessness.
I think this pretty neatly summarizes my experience working with Drupal.
Oftentimes, I could've built a product from scratch in the time it takes me to Google the undocumented quirks of some stupid YAML file.
The right tool for the right job.
- all content served as json through a REST interface
- all content created in best way possible and reduced to either static json or Dbase backed templates
- content has metadata to keep it indexed
I've made a few complex apps that use Google Spreadsheets as the backend...that is, to hold the public facing data and not, obviously, any proprietary data. This makes it very easy for those who have to maintain the app to enter in data. The downside is, of course, the inability to strongly enforce business rules and to denormalize things...but that forces me to reduce the data design to a bare minimum, which is often the best strategy in the first place.
I hope I never have to be in a situation where I'm building a CMS-type system for a client. People who haven't dealt with data-modeling or relational-databases don't appreciate simplicity...in the end, most people want something that they can type a headline, some text, and attach a photo or two (i.e. a Tumblr). But if you give them reins to design the system, they will inevitably want you to build them something Drupal like. In my experience, I've found that all these different content-relations end up being unused, and the client ends up hacking around them just to get a simple post up.
The problem for the mass of developers is, that they "fall in love" with their CMS and that make them blind for obvious things.
We shift away from CMS as central point for web and web-application. CMS is only a tool to maintain simple static data in various languages for many people.For everything else (like shops) we use other systems, that are NOT a integrated part of a CMS.
If interaction between CMS and ohter systems is needed, implement a separate and clean API.
Java has gotten a bad rep lately due to some high-profile drive-by-malware bugs. But if the java codebase would have gotten the same intensive care that the webkit codebase got, this would no longer be an issue.
Many people remember java to be sloooow. When I first came into contact with it in school, that was certainly the case, but since a couple of years it has had a modern JIT that could easily rival native code.
Java applets are ugly, sure, but that is largely due to the decades old AWT, and the poor font support it used to have. With SWT, you can have native widgets (dunno if they work in Applets, but they are nice on the Desktop), and with antialiased drawing you can get the same results as with HTML5 canvas.
Java applets (and Flash, and Silverlight) died for marketing reasons, and political reasons. There were no unsurmountable technical issues. The outcome is that we are stuck with "worse is better" for the foreseeable future, only max. 50% to 1% of the possible native performance, and a bunch of restrictions we only slowly realize what they mean (no sockets, no signed applications, no anonymous/serverless mashups, less hardware access than we used to have, suboptimal caching, suboptimal tooling like languages, debuggers, content creation tools (I haven't seen anything that can replace Flash for simple vector animations yet) and so on.
The web really isn't suited for app development at all, as the native mobile markets have demonstrated, while the viability of it as a document delivery platform diminishes every time the content gets hidden behind a massive layer of scripts.
But I agree, the hoops that had to be jumped through are a damned shame.
I see asm.js as the Revenge of Compiled Languages. Coupled with generic interfaces for accessing underlying graphics and audio hardware, we're just right back where we started with Java applets. Write your apps in whatever language; run in the browser.
I don't see this ever happening. They would in effect be eliminating themselves. They would have to find new jobs or even careers.
Once the VM is standardized, what about HTML/JS/CSS. Well who the hell wants to use those slow moving legacy technologies?
So the standardization now becomes for python, for C#, for scala and lisp ETC.(and their associated UI frameworks). Not controlled by the W3C at all - thus their extinction.
It's more than this though. The W3C has an agenda and it is not to advance technology, it is to slow it down. They want everything moving so slowly that standards can be followed across the board. They want JS/CSS/HTML to be the end all not just in the browser, but everywhere. I think that this should be pretty clear if you follow their trail going back 10-15 years.
It is like a socialist government in a way. The promise is to keep everything stable and let everyone be on equal footing (equal here because the technology moves so slowly that nobody can be left behind by it.) They have to kill and silence many revolutionists who want freedom along the way to do so but consider themselves justified in doing so. Meanwhile, in a neighboring free government with limited govt, people flourish. They have more ups and downs true, and mistakes are made along the way, but after 10 years the free country is wealthy and flourishing, while the socialist one is stagnant and poor.
Think of the mere opportunity of innovation that would exist if a language creator could sit down and create a new language and UI framework universally for browsers in a well established and supported way. This lack of freedom is stagnating innovation.
Let the people decide. Make a standardized VM and your HTML/JS/CSS stack and let the people vote with their choice of options that appear.
And beyond that, we'd all like something that gives us safe native-speed rendering control in the "sandbox". Silverlight was meant to, as was Flash/Flex. But those were proprietary, and we didn't want one company to have "control of the web." HTML 5 hasn't been what we hoped for.
So basically, we're one big, divided bureaucracy that is not making rational decisions (what big divided bureaucracy does?).
I guess what might happen is something new will eventually come along (who knows how long it will be) that actually displaces the web as we know it. It will be an adoption-tsunami, similar to what the web itself was, and therefore it will be able to ignore this series of historical accidents that we're chained to today.
It's kind of hard to redesign an airplane in flight, and because of the way the web works, that's a problem that applies to browsers a lot more than some other pieces of software.
The article seems pretty doomy regarding asm.js - is it really going to take off and become an unweildy/frozen standard? Or is it of interest only to people writing game engines in pure JS / vanilla browser technologies?
This package is then installed in the browser and the browser switches to it when it detects code that is about to be used that matches the installed web library signature.
If the browser supports native web libraries, it uses that.Otherwise it falls back to ASM.js.
Either way, we gain performance and we can compile code natively AND to ASM.js.
It doesn't require requires a plugin install like NaCl
But why repackage conemu and call it something else ?!!!
(edit: mentions Conemu on the frontpage.. my bad)
BTW, why don't we have a bash in Windowsland? What are the limitations of the underlying OS that make it hard?
OTOH: Congrats for delivering!
Kudos for the idea and the presentation, nicely done. Really nice.
as much as i struggle to think of something where i would use this by design, every time i've been forced to try and use some *nix-y tools on window it has been a nightmare of cygwins and mingws... i can see the desire for this.
on the other hand i'm yet to meet one of those problems where, with a little thought and not having my hands tied, i can't remove the needless dependency and end up with a better development environment too.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1626305, 1193 days ago, 115 comments
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2393587, 972 days ago, 68 comments
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2860759, 842 days ago, 43 comments
( ionelm also pointed out a previous submission:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6814153 )
Also worth mentioning is "The Treacherous Optimization" (http://ridiculousfish.com/blog/posts/old-age-and-treachery.h... ), although previous submissions of that provoked no discussion at all.
ADDED IN EDIT: More rigorous searching has turned up substantial discussion of the Treacherous Optimization: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1627367
Also reminds me of Kent Beck's quip when he was asked to optimize Chrysler's C3 system. He asked for validated sets of input and output. The programmers on site said the the system wasn't producing correct results yet. His response: In that case, I can make this real fast!
It also means that having tools where you can quickly apply different techniques, ahem, composable functions, that you can search for more efficient solutions with a lot less effort. That doesn't solve the smartness problem but it makes it a lot more tractable.
I try hard, but I'm not smart enough to write programs that do nothing. :)
1) make it do less
2) make it do more at a time.
The first corresponds to using more efficient algorithms and data structures. The second is parallelism.
"The fastest method to execute is an empty method."
Deleted code is debugged code. - Jeff Sickel
I can understand why a lander like Phoenix has to be biologically clean, needing bio-isolation and alcohol-swabbed surfaces, but why is there this requirement for the Herschel space telescope? It stays in space. Surely the telescope would just require protection from dust, etc. during assembly in an environment similar to a chip fab? I'm not too surprised that bacteria could find their way into such an environment.
Disclosure: Obviously I'm not a rocket scientist.
Is it possible this organism evolved in the last few decades, with the advent of clean rooms? Or is it more likely that a few of these are around all the time, and only multiply extensively in clean rooms? Also, what do they eat or use for energy to reproduce in such environments? And if they don't really eat, how do they not die on a long space journey?
They think there's a possibility it only lives in clean rooms? Am I missing something, or does that seem very unlikely?
When they discover actual life on Mars and Europa, it's probably going to have a lot less impact due to the lack of self restraint in using desensitizing wording like this among journalists (Scientific American??)
what if it's a branch new genome?
It was a video about a possible attempted 'setup' of someone named Luke Rudkowski who runs an investigative/dissenter/truthseeker blog.
Someone claiming to be a whistleblower had emailed Rudkowski's personal account from an anonymous Tor address supposedly having information that might interest him but attached were graphic images of CP. He was overseas at the time so if he had happened to get detained in customs while reentering the US and had his browser cache searched he'd be in some serious shit. Apparently he'd been detained in the past and had his computer searched.
A nefarious organization could use this method and tip off customs or local law enforcement to discredit a 'radicalizer.' Very scary stuff.
Ever wonder if maybe he didn't accidentally post that dick pic to his political twitter feed? That maybe someone else who knew he had another private twitter account which he used to perv out with women online was responsible for putting that pic out on the public twitter feed?
Weiner lost his congressional seat in the fallout and his replacement, Robert Turner, is a republican. The first republican to hold that seat in roughly 80 years.
1) Looks like (perhaps) one step short of where we all said it was going - "collect what we can now, never knowing when & how we might need to use it against someone later"
2) Wouldn't it be easier/cheaper/better/whatever to simply fake the data & frame someone?
One that stands out has the cause of targeting as "The U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself", a view Ron Paul holds - I'd hardly call this appropriate targeting of terrorists.
The second one that is perhaps more inappropriate than the first:"The US perpetrated the 9/11 attacks." Who said this? A "well-known media celebrity". There are many far right-wing media celebrities who espouse this view. While it's an absurd view, I'd hardly call labeling them as terrorists and targeting them (with intent to discredit) an appropriate reaction.
Pretty disgusting behaviour from the NSA.
Although the problem remains: the same methods can be used to silence dissidents...
All else being equal, the more people who decide to use or hold Bitcoin, the higher its price will be, because the maximum number of bitcoins that can ever exist is permanently fixed. It's a scarce commodity by design.
So, greater adoption = higher price.
 In early 2011, I speculated it could take a decade for price to reach the thousands of US dollars per Bitcoin: http://cs702.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/on-the-potential-adopt...
Because the maximum number of coins is fixed it's pretty easy to project where the valuation is headed, and so anyone in their right mind should just hoard their BTC instead of spending it, which in turn should drive the price down, no?
 The price on exchanges where you can actually withdraw USD, e.g. bitstamp
My supply-side model, which I felt pretty smug about for the last couple of months, only calls for a price of $450-500, so it clearly can't account for the current price. So much for that.
Seems likely then that this is coming from an increase in demand. Does anyone have any good guesses about where that increase in demand is coming from?
Damn ArchLinux, I really hope you die in hell. At the moment around USD160000 lost. Anyway I am still sticking with you, in sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth. Because you know, despite what you have done, you will be always by my side.
If I understand it, there is a upper limit to number of bitcoins available ever - what is that number and when will it be equal to the total asset value of the planet? I mean is it feasible that bitcoins could really work?
Edit: ok there is a limit of 21million bitcoins by 2030, and a world assignable wealth of ~210 trillion USD. So, if bitcoin works and can be the repository for all worlds currency, it would have to be worth 10,000 USD per bitcoin.
Then any growth in value.
So ... this might just work folks. And if not it still makes for a great DHT
The value of any currency to someoneis how much real stuff they need that they can exchange it for.
Any cryptocurrency that is effectively limited in volume and viable to be used will grow. Because of the growing number users of the currency, some are developers who will make it easier for sellers to accept it.
What bitcoin had going for it is that it DIDNT have mass adoption - it had a long way to go. Now the same is true of peercoin and litecoin - they are where bitcoin was a year ago. There's no reason they can't go to 1000 also.
In short there are a few factors determining the price of a currency:
Short term fads:
1. being newly listed on an exchange as exchangeable for the local currency of the country
2. news stories about the currency
Long term fundamentals:
3. The increase in acceptance by merchants and metcalfe's law (I think n log n is more realistic than n^2 though)
4. Limit on new currency being produced.
In this respect I feel litecoin beats peercoin in #4 and peercoin beats litecoin in #3, it has a longer way to go but it is more sustainable and is further behind so it has a longer way to grow from now.
i.e. if it becomes the new Paypal, how much would one bitcoin need to be worth?
the tech and theory underlying the currency; its mysterious founder; the idea of massive "mining" operations where people are essentially printing their own money; the fact that one of the major exchanges was orginally a MTG exchange; the senate hearings; the tor black markets and FBI "seizures"; the absurdly juvenile chatter in the "troll box" on BTC-E, a major exchange; and of course, the goldrush-like nature of the skyrocketing prices.
i'm looking forward to hearing what people have to say about all this a few years down the line
Really, anybody trying to argue for or against BTC should at least have read that.
If a Bitcoin is worth +$1000 and I want to buy an item worth $50. How does one receive change?
It's more like gold or another scarce commodity.
Bitcoin is an electronic commodity with no intrinsic value that has been rigged to be perfect for speculation.
What would a national bank do if the value of its currency exploded like this?
It would print more money, regulate interest rate or take other actions to keep the currency value more stable compared to other currencies.
There is no "bank" supporting Bitcoin.
Comparing Bitcoin to traditional currencies make people think about Bitcoin the wrong way.
For example, I tried to buy some last monday and realized that I had to justify my address, my bank account, my identity and so on. I still can't figure out why it's so complicated to buy a bitcoin. I've been waiting for my bitcoin-central account since then, and received confirmation for my account on bitstamp last saturday. I still have to transfer some money there.
My question is: why is it so complicated to buy bitcoins?
Litecoin just hit 30usd, Peercoin nearly at 4usd.
I've setup a simple webpage (with @btcprice) for displaying prices:
It looks like they've fixed the first problem by switching to gzipped WARC files, but I can't find any information about whether or not they're still truncating documents in the archive. I guess I'll have to give it another look and see...
I really think a subset like this will increase the value as it would allow people writing search engines (for fun or profit) to suck a copy down locally and work away. Its something I would like to do for sure.
That would be a great starter for all sorts of fun little weekend experiments.
Where can I read more about this?
We haven't really announced it yet, but I've been working on a new email platform with some friends to solve a lot of these issues. It's essentially Rails/Meteor for email features, and lets you skip past hacking Gmail or writing a full IMAP client.
It's called Inbox, and we're aiming to open source it in January. Ping me if you're interested in playing with it early. :)
(For people who don't know, all GMail's classes and IDs are things like '.xb3', and they change often.)
Having worked on Mozilla Add-ons for a long time, one of the biggest problems was by the time any G-Mail add-on was approved, it was already out of date again. API calls, when done correctly, are allowed by both Chrome and Firefox -- this could be a good solution.
(You could easily charge a few bucks for this, and even contact Firefox + Chrome about making sure the reviewers allow it. Market it as "cutting down on their time" since there will be less to review.)
But then, I suppose that's how most Chrome extensions work.
Is there a way to add navigation events (eg. user opened email) to the observe gmail.observe API? Right now it looks like I would have to poll gmail.check.is_inside_email.
It's called IMAP/SMTP!
In fact gmailr is used in "Cloudy" - one of the more advanced gmail plugins.
It looks like this interpreter is using tagged unions for values, and using the empty interface to emulate a union type. I seem to remember that we may have read something at the time that recommended using the empty interface instead of unions, though I don't remember for sure. Nice to see some interpretation efforts finally being realized in Go!
Edit: Not that this needs a use case per say, just that the intent behind it is underspecified enough for me to wonder about it.
Edit to add link to example code using Otto https://github.com/couchbase/sync_gateway/blob/master/src/gi...
Not serious. haha.
In the current system, you can go stay at home and get income support, which should provide you with the basics i.e. a home, food, electricity etc.If you would like more than this, you can go and get a job and hopefully earn more (have a better lifestyle) than staying at home not working.
[Note the 'should' and 'hopefully' - This system may not always work, but when it doesn't it's generally a fault with wages paid not being sufficient rather than the benefits system being broken]
This therefore means there is an incentive to go work. There is also control, to make sure the money the unemployed person is getting is mostly spent on the basics (such as housing, rather than say drugs).
The problem with suddenly giving everyone a minimum amount of money, is that due to everyone now 'at least' having that amount of money at hand, this becomes the new 'bottom' of the market. If I get a job, I earn money on top of this basic amount, which means I can afford nice things and the person unemployed still can't afford anything.
To clarify, this works similar to pricing of items in different markets. A beer in the UK is ~3.50 (5 in London), a beer in Vietnam is about 14 pence. Both costs are fairly relative to what they would have to pay their work force to produce the item (plus cover costs and make a profit) and what the local market can afford to pay.
If let's hypothetically say, you gave everyone in Vietnam this basic wage, the cost of beer would not remain at 14 pence. The first reason is because the work force would find their existing pay negligible compared to the basic pay (so wages would have to rise to be incentive to work on top of basic pay) which would in turn cause cost of manufacturing to rise, but also the market would realise with this extra money available - the price could be set higher and would rise accordingly.
Now back in the UK if this was to occur, you would have slight price rises due to these factors which would in affect move the poverty line up higher, which would mean the people at the bottom are still poor relatively.
What's worse is that assuming the people who are unemployed are given the choice on how that money is spent, they may in fact not spend the money sensibly (i.e. on their housing) and end up homeless instead.
The final problem with this model is that the cost of living and economic output is not evenly distributed throughout a country. 1750 a month in northern England may give you a fantastic lifestyle, where as in London you'd barely cover your rent. (What happens to the unemployed in London in a fixed give everyone a basic income situation? They have to leave London and move where they can afford, which then makes it potentially harder to find a job and splits the country into two halves, the elite / the poor).
Just look at how college costs magically rise to the availability of loans and grants. What do you think is going to happen to food and rent prices once those supply chains figure out there is much more profit to be made?
The Walton family alone has more wealth then the lower 42% rest of the USA. What do you think is going to happen when they know all their customers have a certain base income - you think prices are going to stay where they are?
So you will just make the wealthy more wealthy.
Presumably there would need to be major changes to income tax brackets (especially for the lower income tiers) & dismantling of various existing welfare programs in order to fund a basic income. I think Friedman included public services like schools, public transport, health services, etc in his definition of welfare. I doubt Europeans would go this far.
Then we can discuss the more speculative parts like who will be more or less incentivized to work.
Is there something like that on the internet?
This means it's a horrific mess. For years it was not possible to know how much housing benefit you would get before you moved into a property. While I think there are flaws with the free market I can see that crippling it doesn't help at all.
It's really hard to work out if you're getting the correct benefits, or if you're getting too many. (We have a tax credit system. The credits lag real world payment information, and many people get caught with having to repay tax credits.)
There are other flaws. Someone getting voluntary work (improving their chances of getting full time paid employment) is penalised. Someone with MH illness who gets voluntary work as a step back into society gets penalised.
So, the different government departments have been streamlined a bit. The different benefits are being changed, and signals are being sent about acceptable use of the system.
I got a letter, to my name and address, with all my relevant information. It had a phone number. I called the number. They asked me security information, and confirmed my name and address. They sent me a form. I had to fill out the form and return it. That form is an assessment for an interview. I'll attend an interview, which is given by a doctor. That doctor doesn't do any diagnosis, they have a rigid check list which they assess the patient against. ("Can you walk 10 metres unaided?" "Can you stand for ten minutes without pain?"). The form is scored and sent to a decision maker. That is then returned to a bureaucrat, who awards one benefit, or another, or none.
The checklist is flawed - turn up with a dirty t-shirt because you're a lazy slob? You score points. Turn up with an ironed shirt and tie because your crippling OCD and anxiety won't allow you to leave the house otherwise? You lose points.
All of this bureaucracy is very expensive. The system is open to abuse from multiple parties - criminal gangs using dead people's names to claim benefits; people over claiming, or claiming while working, or claiming for something they're not eligible for.
Sweeping away all of this and replacing it with a relatively simple "Does this person exist? Are the eligible for the universal income?" would save so much money, and time, and stress. It would free people to do voluntary work, or small informal projects.
Then we just need a bonfire of the tax / duties system, and get something sane there.
While the Reuter's article doesn't mention that as a prerequisite for income benefits, one can reasonably infer that they're not gonna start handing out money to anyone who wanders in.
Contrast that with the US, where you get healthcare and free public education just for making it across the border from Mexico.
This is a bit of a tangent, but since this is tech oriented community I think it's relevant. It's highly likely that one day strong AI will be able to run the entire world economy, and humans will not longer have to work, nor will they be needed. At that point humans will need basic income to survive. In this scenario, the whole concept of "the economy" will have been stretched and squeezed into something entirely unrecognizable, so the problem of basic income being a drag on the economy will be irrelevant.
We are getting closer and closer to this point every year. Just look at employment figures. Computers are replacing humans in the workforce, and they will continue to do so at a rapid pace.
Basic income will be useful and needed, it's just a matter of time.
That's something a person that didn't experience communism would say.
Communists would never allow a person to just stay idle doing nothing if you don't have a job you would be sent to forced labor camps where people are needed.
Ask any Romania born before 1989 if you don't believe me.
At least with the basic income, there is never an incentive to not work. It makes it possible to not work, but it doesn't incentivize it. The current welfare systems make it such that if you start working you lose the welfare. If you don't have the skills to make significantly above the welfare level, you are actively incentivized to not work.
For those suggesting we'd have massive inflation making this completely worthless, I think you underestimate the level of money we currently give away. While there would be some inflation, we already give huge amounts of money in the form of welfare, food stamps, social security, etc. A basic income would replace all of those things.
This will have a large economic effect unless it is done slowly, but if it is done slowly, both programs will have to exist at once without paying too much to the same person. This will require the basic income agency to have the same kind of bureaucracy as the other agencies or else have no oversight. In the first phase of the transition, at least, it would cost much more.
The agency would need to maintain some bureaucracy to guard against fraud since obtaining benefits would never require a visit to an office or proof of some activity. It would be easy for someone to claim extra people without oversight.
Would the national unconditional basic income render the national minimum wage effectively 0 (or much lower than it currently is)?
For example, corporations could be taxed more heavily if they could offer their lowest paid positions a wage of 2 per hour. This extra taxation would then help fund a national basic wage (equivalent to say 5) which would leave a low-skilled worker earning 7 (roughly what they were before). I had assumed that any such 'basic income' scheme would be so prohibitively expensive as to require such drastic means, just to find the money, however I haven't seen any such changes mentioned in many of the articles discussing the relative merits of the Swiss proposal.
As an aside - for those saying: "What if people don't spend the money responsibly?" - Isn't that, somewhat idealistically, a large part of the point of the scheme?
The scheme would encourage responsibility, rather than treating people like children? Yes things like addiction (to Gambling, Drugs etc...) throws a spanner in the works of this - but charities and support groups exist to tackle this kind of issue already - they could continue to do so, with one critical difference. Charities could do a lot more with less if their workers were earning a basic income from elsewhere, and could afford to give their time for less .
I also don't like this idea because it increases personal dependence on the state. If the goal is to make people independent and self-confident, how does this help (on the whole, excluding edge cases)? And as the top commenter said, I think this will move the goal posts and surely cause inflation. I also think this will enable some peoples' destructive habits (how does the song go? "It's the first of the month... Get up, wake up!").
Ever heard of inflation? If you give basic income to everyone what happens to the prices of everything? So the ROI on this is extremely limited and the price inflation will kill any benefit.
But still for some people rising prices with real unemployment at 15% is a good thing!
I'm not sure what the optimal tax schedule (pre-tax vs post-tax and welfare) should look like, but my intuition is that a high effective marginal tax rate for people on welfare is not bad, as the disincentive to work that it produces affects fewer people, than if we had a flat tax (e.g. VAT) plus basic income.
The disincentive to work produced by a higher effective marginal tax rate is also offset by the fact that welfare isn't a lot of money, and the longer you are on welfare the stricter enforcement becomes.
I also don't see the moral reason for a true basic income, except perhaps for men, who should be compensated for the possibility of being conscripted.
I've long thought that a guaranteed income is an idea worth trying. But it did occur to me recently that such an amount would let you live like a king in many developing countries. Is there anything in the proposal to stop people from simply moving abroad?
More generally, how should a well designed universal income proposal treat travel/living abroad? If you cut off payments for those that are no longer residents, you suddenly provide a huge disincentive for travel. If you keep them, you encourage mass emigration.
Our best option is to spend less, shrink the state and get rid of income tax, especially on those say, living under this proposed living wage.
It's basically the same as a minimum hourly wage that keeps going up to follow the inflation, it's always a catch up game and organization fighting for minimum hourly wage always say it's insufficient.
Maybe an economic alumni could enlighten me?
Instead of making costs higher by distributing money and thus making it less effective, distribute no money, lower costs and allow people to live more comfortably.
After all, there's no truth in "having" to work. I think there should be the freedom to choose if you'd like to work or not.
I've always pondered why people think you "need" to work. You "need" a job.
I like working, and have a job, but I know many people are fine getting by, and it stresses them out for having to work everyday, which I think is perfectly fine.
This is why (fiscally-liberal-supported) universal healthcare (and subsequently why Obamacare has flunked so far, because they wanted to promise universal healthcare and had to settle for a crappy healthcare marketplace that only a layer and more red tape to add to the overhead and cost of providing healthcase) and (fiscally-conservative-supported) fair tax initiatives would not work in the U.S.; because much of the economy, social norms, etc. are based upon it NOT being set up that way.
Status-quo is the best fiscal option.
And to everyone complaining that universal income would add to inflation, I'd like to add that I hope you are also not a fan of quantitative easing that we've done that will royally screw the U.S. in the future. We are now in "heavy experimental mode where we don't know what will happen", according to Ivy league experts on economic matters.
Different implications based on the two different scenarios.
PS: Studied and study economics.
1. Premise: "Basic income of X units of money is sent to everyone in population".
2. Basic income comes from where? Either from taxes, or from printed money. Either way, purchasing power is being taken from some people in proportion to their savings/income.
3. There's always a difference in income and amount of savings. If everyone was making the same amount of money, doing "basic income" wouldn't change much (except feed some bureaucrats in the process).
4. Therefore, some people will be taxed less than "basic income" they receive. And some people will be taxed more that the income they receive.
5. Therefore, some people do not really receive any extra income. They are getting deprived of a portion of their purchasing power instead.
6. Therefore promoting it as "everyone gets it, no strings attached" is a total lie.
If they said "we want to take from some people and give to others" it would be honest and true. But it doesn't sound as fair as "everyone gets", isn't it?
Note: I'm not debating taxation itself. Even if you think it's okay to tax and redistribute wealth, the description of this law is a total lie.
EDIT: I guess downvoting folks are too busy redistributing people's wealth to point out a logical flaw in my comment.
People of Great Britain, I hope you're not sleeping on this. Forget the slippery slope, this is the cliff.
But am flagging for the outrageous misquote in the title.
Cameron: "My hon. Friend is absolutely right."
What it actually says is far less inflammatory:
"We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task forceit met again yesterdaysetting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites."
Usually I'm for allowing some flexibility in the titles, but the current title ("UK Prime Minister: We have put in place Internet filters to block extremism") is a total fabrication not supported by the linked text.
Frankly, the misquote in the title borders on libel.
The Prime Minister: We have put in place some of the toughest controls that one can possibly have within a democratic Government, and the TPIMs are obviously one part of that. We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task forceit met again yesterdaysetting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites. Now that I have the opportunity, let me praise Facebook for yesterday reversing the decision it took about the showing of beheading videos online. We will take all these steps and many more to keep our country safe.
And if I were to accept such an extreme stance, who gets to define "extremism" mister prime minister?
They were never great.
They lied to their customers by selling hardware under the same name as previously produced hardware with cheaper components and lesser specs.
They built hardware that was simply off-spec, an example being drives where the connectors were an entire millimeter shifted, such that when installed in certain machines the connectors literally could not make contact with the corresponding metal.
They built drives with extreme speeds while entirely sacrificing longevity and reliability.
At best they had a great marketing department that made it possible for them to peddle their crap to the public for so long.
I'm glad to see them go.
For those who must have numbers, return statistics:
"My OCZ drive failed..." / "I'm on my fourth RMA, what should I do?"
"Real junkies buy Intel." (Or Samsung). And they don't buy TLC flash, either.
With regards to other brands, I spent some time at the startup where I used to work putting together manufacturing PCs meant for programming serial numbers into devices, assembled from Intel SSDs, cheap Foxconn nettop computers, and the cheapest sticks of RAM we could find. I must have put together around 15 or so of those machines, and although a lot of them failed due to factory conditions/rough handling/power cuts, I don't think any of the Intel drives ever broke down.
If you're a fan of conference calls, then you probably already know that OCZ isn't in the same rosy position it has been in years past. Fortunately, its enterprise-oriented offerings are really helping the company's bottom line. But the situation is darker on the desktop. It's still in the position of needing to source NAND from the fabs manufacturing it, which means it's paying more for the flash it uses and perhaps unable to ship as many units as it'd like.
But again, if you listen to earnings calls, you might already know all of this.
Although only anecdotal, we ditched OCZ at my last company because of their high failure rate; never risked going back. No such issue with Intel or others
Bought a Samsung SSD to replace it.
Whether these associations are informed by and backed by data or not, they are among the points that steered me into the arms of Intel and Samsung for my SSD needs.
With rising global adoption, many new kinds of applications are likely to be created to take advantage of the Bitcoin network, the design of which even specifies a built-in script for defining and executing new types of transactions involving any arbitrary number of parties.
In short, Bitcoin is a technology platform -- one that is benefiting from network effects.
It may fail as "money" (in a narrow sense) and still succeed as a global platform.
In fact, Bitcoin is already a success.
There're ample historical counterexamples of currencies that are not tied to a government. Gold is the most obvious example; if currency was inextricably tied to governments, there would not have been a mad rush to colonize the New World (and extract its gold reserves). In prisons cigarettes frequently serve as currency, as a medium of exchange that is widely valued.
What really makes a currency is confidence. People have to believe that other people will continue to value the currency later. Government backing can provide one source of confidence. But so can strong crypto, and one could argue that these days people have more confidence in crypto than in governments.
What'll really kill Bitcoin is that this speculative wave has made the price incredibly volatile, so volatile that real merchants selling real goods have no idea what to price things at. So everyone holding Bitcoins purchases them for investment value, and then the price will crash when it stops going up. That destroys confidence in the currency, which destroys the currency.
I could easily see a successor currency based on the Bitcoin protocol emerging from the ashes, though. By then the speculators will have been burned so badly that they'll stay far away, so it'll quietly gain adoption in the background, and then eventually become the new currency of choice when inflation starts to make it's way through current fiat currencies.
>> "The developers of bitcoin are trying to show that money can be successfully privatized."
There is so much bias in this sentence that I don't even know where to start.
First of all, the developers of bitcoin are not necessary trying to show anything, are also not necessary the ones or the only ones. Bitcoin is an experiment, and they say that explicitly everywhere. Second, people encouraging the use of bitcoin are way bigger than what the author seems to imply, It's now an economy worth billions, remember?
>> "sophisticated algorithms guaranteeing the anonymity"
Again, bitcoin does not guarantee anonymity. They say that explicitly here https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Anonymity
>> "bitcoin is tiny; at the current exaggerated exchange rate, the total projected volume of coins is worth less than the gross domestic product of Mongolia"
_is_ tiny now doesn't give you a clue about it's future size.
"But the monetary philosophy behind this web-based phenomenon can be traced back to one of the oldest theories of money."
I honestly stopped reading to do my brain a favor.
The current hyperdeflation is encouraging people to hoard their bitcoins; which means that they are behaving a lot more like a commodity - and there-in lies the problem: they are deluding people. Not only do they have the word "coin" in their name but they also fall under the category of "cryptocurrency".
The problem is that people are so firm in their belief that inflation is one way for a government to screw them; that they will change their argument (no, it's a commodity vs. no, it's a currency) depending on which argument you present to them.
What we need a cryptocurrency that penalizes hoarding; or at the very least in some way encourages spending (or exchanging).
Let's say that hypothetically I don't know what I am talking about; and that hypothetically bitcoin becomes a universal currency as many would have it (all other currencies are abolished). Now consider the hypothetical scenario where you are selling property and have a family to feed at home. You spend your day showing people properties and nobody buys - why? Because their currency will be worth a lot more tomorrow than the fixed asset you are offering. The economy will collapse.
What I do think is very interesting about Bitcoin is that it is a harbinger of things to come. It won't replace greenbacks anytime soon, but I think it's an indicator of where the world is heading.
I believe the global and historical trends we are seeing right now is away from traditional authorities acting as monoliths, in favor of empowered individuals. We are most likely at the very beginning of the trend - I doubt anyone reading this board in 2013 will be alive to see the transformation completed. But we will be alive to see some very interesting changes. Generally speaking, all centralized authorities, be they monetary, political, technological, etc. are fracturing in favor of empowered individual actors. That poses challenges as well as opportunities.
For example: consider a technology like Square coupled with a store of value such as Bitcoin. (In this example, the terms "Square" and "Bitcoin" are just placeholder values for mechanisms and tools). Oversimplifying greatly, if we take these technologies to their logical extreme, we have the tools for an individual to completely bypass banks and traditional governments. You have some goods that I want, I have some Bitcoins, we do a point-to-point transfer; you get the money, I get the donut, end of transaction. Truly savvy users in this system will have their own way of transmitting the money from themselves to the merchant. I'll choose to trust someone like Square to do it safely and securely for a nominal fee.
Whether or not you agree with the mechanics of how this happens isn't really the point. The point is to show that we are heading towards a future where two individuals can transact freely without a middleman "getting in the way." For the purposes of this discussion, "getting in the way" means limiting the freedoms of those individuals to transact as they please.
Of course, there are problems with this. If there are no rules, inevitably someone will game the system or take advantage of someone else. That'll be unpopular, and so people will seek to band together to transact in a network of trust. The idea of a network of trust is important today, it's value will only increase over time. I can't remember the exact term, but I read a wonderful book some years ago called "Anarchy, State and Utopia" which dealt with the philosophy around these types of issues (it's a pretty academic book, but here's a link in you'd like to see - http://amzn.to/18883MU - and yes, that's a kickback link).
Boiling it down, the main argument I took away from that book was that, even in a world where there are no "governments" as we're used to thinking about them, we'll never achieve true 100% freedom because there'll always be those who are stronger who take advantage of those weaker than themselves. For this reason, people join together and form mini-states. Within those mini-states and associations, rules will exist that people choose to live by, limiting individual freedom to provide security.
I think people are right to be excited about Bitcoin, but I'd be cautious about heralding any brave new world within the next 25 to 50 years.
You can't slap a sticker saying "public-minded!" on a government, and expect it to therefore be public-minded, any more than you can slap an "environmentally friendly!" sticker on a coal power plant and expect it to stop polluting.
"What kind of role, if any, should a government take in supervising a parent's choice of genes for their child? Could parents deliberately choose genes for schizophrenia? If enhancing a child's intelligence is expensive, should governments help ensure access, to prevent the emergence of a cognitive elite? You can propose various institutions to answer these policy questionsfor example, that private charities should provide financial aid for intelligence enhancementbut the obvious next question is, "Will this institution be effective?" If we rely on product liability lawsuits to prevent corporations from building harmful nanotech, will that really work?
I know someone whose answer to every one of these questions is "Liberal democracy!" That's it. That's his answer. If you ask the obvious question of "How well have liberal democracies performed, historically, on problems this tricky?" or "What if liberal democracy does something stupid?" then you're an autocrat, or libertopian, or otherwise a very very bad person. No one is allowed to question democracy.
I once called this kind of thinking "the divine right of democracy". But it is more precise to say that "Democracy!" functioned for him as a semantic stopsign. If anyone had said to him "Turn it over to the Coca-Cola corporation!", he would have asked the obvious next questions: "Why? What will the Coca-Cola corporation do about it? Why should we trust them? Have they done well in the past on equally tricky problems?""
The recent rise in Bitcoin valuation is speculation based on merchant trends. Well established merchants in Asia are starting to accept Bitcoin. The total valuation of Bitcoin is still around $15Bn. The total value of annual US domestic cash flow is somewhere around $15T. Think about the potential of Bitcoin. Highly unlikely? Absolutely! But think about if you woke up tomorrow and Amazon or Apple announced that they would start accepting Bitcoin? What do you think the valuation would be?
He doesn't know how Bitcoin works, though. Claiming it's an attempt to "privatize money" (huh?), or that governments will "take it over" (how? Building mining farms forever so as to maintain >50% of the network hashrate?) suggests he thinks there's someone in control of it. That's kind of like suggesting there's someone in control of TCP. There's a standard, sure, and there's people who develop and maintain that standard, but if their actions ever significantly diverged form the interests of users there'd be a brand spanking new standard pretty quickly.
1. Money has always been controlled by governments,
2. So money always will be controlled by governments.
3. Bitcoin is identical to money, but
4. Bitcoin cannot be controlled by governments,
5. Therefore bitcoin is doomed to fail (no date specified).
I'm not sure any of the premises are beyond scrutiny, or that the conclusion is even meaningful.
Anyone can say that nothing lasts forever. Let us know when someone predicts that bitcoin won't last out the year.
The guy was every bit a classical liberal, like nearly all of the US' founding fathers, emancipationists and suffragettes. Classical liberalism is decidedly anti-collectivist and modern conservatives are much more collectivist than individualist: "support our troops", faith-based education, corporations as people. Classical liberal ideology predates the modern conservative and liberal thought that grew from it and you can't just decide to associate him with modern ideology.
I'd even say this article is deliberately deceptive.
Everything can be a currency satisfying these criteria:
(1) enough quantity (2) limited quantity (3) convenient to move/exchange (4) widely accepted
All currencies is based on "faith". Any currency is doomed if it looses trust. For instance cigarettes were used as currency in Germany between world wars.
And it seems to me that Edward admits that at the end: "governments are not fully living up to the responsibility". Yep, he is contradicting the claim that monetary policies are independent of the government. They are not and you can see it in the price of gold.
Since bitcoin is based on math and official currency on politics, bitcoin is inherently more trustworthy. Its deflationary tendency, limited supply, and lack of physical presence are common drawbacks of bitcoin as a "common" currency. Not trust. And they are actually advantageous for its particular area.
In the tech sector, new things come along every day. We see new ideas, approaches, left-field thinking on a steady, almost predictable pace.
We also see that, more often than not, the very first version of the thing is not the thing that lasts. It's a proof. It mostly works. There are problems. It sticks around for a bit, till someone else comes up with a better idea, implementation, etc, which takes hold. And then something else replaces that.
If you believe Bitcoin is Money 2.0, that it is destined to replace the USD, or other global currencies, you clearly accept that a newer, better thing is destined to replace an old flawed thing.
If you don't believe in Bitcoin, you cannot deny that while IT might not be the thing to take down the USD, something else might.
So why does every article treat Bitcoin as a yes/no proposition? Either it is a moonshot success, or tulips? Either it changes the world and creates new millionaires, or it joins the pantheon of quick money schemes that tempted and fooled so many in the past?
I realize we're talking technology here, but it doesn't have to be binary.
Bitcoin, the software, solved a few problems thought unsolvable. It showed that you can decentralize the ledger, with some amount of stability. It showed you can solve the double-spend problem, and create some guarantee of transactional consistency.
But bitcoin has a few obvious issues. It is illiquid, and deflationary. It is slow (unless you just pretend its fast and hope for the best). It is only basically anonymous, though not foolproof. It is easy to steal, and easy to destroy.
Some of these problems are solvable, and some are inherent to BTC itself and cannot be removed from BTC.
But that's not to say something can't come along with all the good properties of BTC and fewer of the bad. Or none of the bad. That's not to say there's not some kid sitting at a computer thinking of a better way.
[I'm not interested in debate; I just want to give my prediction. And if I'm wrong, I will be sure to add this to my list of spectacular mistakes.]
Meanwhile, fiat currency (as we know it) is not merely a tool of state; it is a command-and-control tool of the government-industrial complex, a creation not only of the U.S. tax code, but by massive private banking institutions who steal value from the public through complicated mathematics.
I actually quite like Graeber and his ideas; I think crypto-currencies come closer to fulfilling "an intricate structure of social relationships and spiritual beliefs" than the U.S. dollar ever could.
I'm not Rothbard and I can't prove to you that we will be better off with an unregulated decentralized currency. But I do want to see the experiment through, for the alternative is worst from a point of view of my morality -- certain members in government shutting down the Bitcoin experiment by decree, because it is inconvenient for them.
They will cite history and circumstances to justify their centralized control of a currency and the need for income taxes, but I also know alternative lines of reasoning that negate them. What I do know for sure is that control over currency gives near-absolute power to those who handle the levers, and I would imagine that such power is not something you simply abdicate.
There are aspects of the economy that does require a policing authority, in such areas as environmental sustainability to prevent a tragedy of the commons. A growing income disparity between the wealthy <1% and the impoverished majority is also another tragedy of the commons, but perhaps the current way of dealing with these issues aren't actually helping. I suspect that a better way to deal with these issues is more competition amongst alternative economic forces, and for that we need a diaspora of currencies; currency and economy is what helps people converge upon a stable state solution in a distributed fashion. It's a heck of a tool, and we'd be damned if we don't explore its uses.
I'm not sure what the future holds for us in terms of governance structures. Bitcoin shows us that not everything need be "privatized" as the old libertarians had predicted. I think we're just now entering the beginning of the end for government as we know it. It's going to be exciting, wrought with pain, and probably unfathomably rewarding.
All that I ask is that any time you encounter an argument that assumes that taxes must be paid to fund a centralized government that controls the issuance of currency (for the good of the people), think twice before nodding your head. Our technology is new and we don't yet know what is possible.
But I have three comments:
I would probably be - out of self interest - a strong supporter of Bitcoin if I had any, or would have belonged to the first miners. But I have no BTC, and such I only observe as a bystander how this technology develops.
2. Energy and intrinsic value of BTC
For me, the argument that cryptocurrencies can be made out of thin air and thus BTC is just some digital data does not hold. Gold can be mined from many sources as well (e.g. in can be found in the oceans as Au2+). Or another currency can be created and printed/minted. However, with a currency such as BTC it takes a lot of energy to fire up such a system until a certain level of penetration is reached, and it takes energy to maintain it. Actually, this is one of the greatest drawbacks I see: every BTC that is created now now will be more expensive in terms of energy cost. I prefer a one time energy and material cost for the creation of a currency, and minimal energy/material costs that come with its operations.
3. Penetration and access.
I wonder if it might not have been better to distribute all BTC among all of mankind. That way, everyone would be in possession of an instant amount of currency and could readily engage in trading. The early mining process support the creation and distribution of bitcoin but gives extreme gains to early adopters. A better initial distribution might have helped to position BTC as the dominating cryptocurrency. Right now any follow up can beat BTC if it excels the parameters that define the adoption and usage rate of the currency as trading medium.
"Of course, the global monetary system has suffered from appalling management in recent years. The authorities, especially in the United States, first allowed banks to act almost as if they were in a right-money world, lending and speculating wildly. That led to a typical right-money disaster a sudden loss of trust and the failure of leading institutions."
The Federal Reserve has the ability to set interest rates in the way it deems best for the economy. There is nothing "right wing" about the way they set very low interest rates before the financial crisis. There is no way that private money could ever replicate the kind of economic stimulus that the Federal Reserve was able to engage in.
Anyway I don't believe that bitcoin will become much larger (or smaller) than it is now. Not for any deep reason, but because it is inconvenient, and commercial banks are already very good at what they do. Hopefully it will provide enough of a shock to the system to cause a reform in the current system of merchant fees for credit cards, which are an aberration that should have never existed in the first place.
Stopped reading right there. Does this author actually believe that money is issued by governments?
Why do you think your notes have "Bank of England" or "Federal Reserve", or whatnot written on them?
It's because they're issued by those private institutions. They're not government bodies.
Of course, the government has the alleged power to regulate those private institutions, but in reality it works the other way - those private institutions have the real leverage to regulate governments.
It's because the governments are in debt to the private institutions that they can force the government to back their monopoly issuance of currency, and of course, they can force the government to privatize publicly owned assets to pay back the debts.
Once you see past the very basic myth that "governments issue money", you quickly realize why politics is theatre, and any chance of change to the status quo won't happen through government. Bitcoin is the game changer.
I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but this seems like a big point in the authors argument.
Isn't the removal of this flaw baked into bitcoin by it's nature?
" Besides, if bitcoin ever really started to take off, governments would either ban it or take over the system."
Isn't this pretty damn hard as well?
1) "currencies...increase the efficiency of barter"2) "Barter played a tiny role in all premodern economies"3) governments have tended to issue currencies4) Bitcoin is inferior because it lacks "the backing of a political authority" or the ability to "raise taxes or pass laws to unwind monetary excesses"5) private money generally has uncertain value and legal status6) government might shut Bitcoin down7) Bitcoin is a part of "Right Wing Money"8) all effective money is "left money" and "state backed. The recent banking system is a part of "Right Wing Money". 9) Bitcoin is for criminals and speculators
I think there have been much more intelligent and nuanced opinions on why Bitcoin might fail, I wouldn't put this on the list.
However, the author rather fails to explain his reasoning about the social entanglement of money, referring us instead to a book which is 10.34 in paperback or 9.31 on Kindle (a rather uneconomic proposition, if you ask me.)
The result is that the cryptocurrency will continue to gain momentum until it is used everywhere worldwide. This will eventually lead to a single worldwide government or an agreement between all countries across the world to act uniformly in regards to the currency. This will become a necessity to properly administer taxes and/or settle cross-border contract disputes.
Once you have a single government, worldwide government ids will be initiated (or all local ids, like driver's licenses will require integration with a wordwide database). At this point, the single government will then co-opt the cryptocurrency or initiate a new cryptocurrency and require everybody to tie their id to their cryptocurrency usage. The reasoning will be to crack down on crime, tax evaders, etc. Because it's a one world government or all governments are working together in lock-step, they would then have the capability of controlling/banning the cryptocurrency. Anyone not properly linking their identity to the currency will be breaking the law, and it will be very difficult to participate in commerce because there will be no more physical cash or coins.
Either way, the only way I see this playing out is a currency that most people assume was initially intended to break from government control will eventually lead to ultimate government control.
As a side note, I realize the concept of a one world government is controversial, but my personal opinion is that it is an eventuality.
I guess he focused more on philosophy (unfounded ramblings) and journalism in his life.
Is that his choice or the editors?
FWIW, unless governments start to intervene by outright banning it, I suspect Bitcoin will first become the ultimate storage of value, then its price will become less volatile and with time stable enough to start using it as a currency.
By the Gresham's law  (i.e.: "Bad money drives out good") being an "inferior money" is actually a good thing.
How about gold? Bitcoin can just as easily be seen as a limited commodity as as currency. It's even mined :).
The reason I believe bitcoin will continue to exist and even be supported by states like USA is because transactions are public and traceable. The identity of wallet owner can sometimes even be determined through that.
I guess Banks feel threaten because this currency is not (yet) ~ 80% depth. It is so by design. The depth bubble grown by banks and countries will soon or later burst. Get ready for that moment. I'm not sure that bitcoin is the best placement, but in an placement diversification strategy, this would definitely be one of my picks.
Is it doomed to fail? Perhaps it is, but things are not quite as grim.
Here is what is likely to happen as a result of bitcoin:1. The future of banking transaction fees is bleak - The current financial systems will get threatened and adapt. Here bitcoin will succeed.2. Bitcoin is used as proof of concept and paves the way for a world currency, think euro but global.
The two points above are definitely wins. If you have any problems with those playing out, its likely you have the same concerns about bitcoin and just haven't realized it yet.
Here is what would likely happen to bitcoin v1, it will fail to become a real currency.
Its currently morphing into a speculative store of value. I'd like to say its like tulips, but I'd be wrong, as it is definitely more useful than tulips. On the speculation front it may play out like the tulip mania/bubble, but I hope I'm wrong about that.
The reason for it to fail as a currency is the very reason for the spike in interest at the moment. Exchange rates seem to be soaring and may continue to soar which would make people vary of buying some thing worth $1000 USD for 1btc if there is a possibility that deferring a purchase by a couple of days could offer a notion discount of x% from the hope of the value of btc increasing. If you could wait a few days for the purchase and buy the $1000 item for 0.8btc, who wouldn't wait?
On the flip-side, if you bought 1btc for $1000 to buy something but the value of btc suffered a temporary squeeze to the effect that 1btc = $800, hence the same item now costs you 1.25btc or 25% premium to what you were willing to pay. Hence who would be willing to pay extra if you were sure the value of btc would rise?
This applies to all commercial transactions. In 90%+ of cases people will likely defer spending btc unless the value was at the same level +/- 5% as their purchase price.
Bitcoin as a currency/for commerce will leave every consumer in a constant state of buyers remorse and THAT will be the real reason for its failure.
Bitcoin has two qualities that are unique:
1) Extremely high degree of privacy (you can put 50.000.000 USD worth of USD in a USB stick and pass through 7 airports, or print them in an A4 page encrypted with GPG, and no one will know).
2) Transaction speed: You can send money from Iceland to China (even huge amounts) very quickly (less than 1 hour), with no third party being involved.
There will be always a market to request this kind of qualities. However if any of those two qualities goes missing for whatever reason it is doomed. Another way to kill BTC would be to create another crypto-currency that have additional features and would kill BTC on the spot.
I still struggle with how a fixed money supply vs. a steadily growing economy does not lead to deflation, and (eventually) hoarding.
It won't succeed as a currency because it can't maintain a stable value--again, just like gold.
1) money must come from the state (because I say so)
2) bitcoin is bad because it appeals to "right wing" people and I'm (presumably) left wing (my enemy's friend is my enemy?)
3) free markets caused the financial crisis (not massive gov money printing and trillions in implicit backing of credit markets) so free market money must also be bad
4) the value of bitcoin disappears if people loose trust but this could never happen to a gov currency (even though it happens several times a year with fiat currencies around the world)
5) fiat is fine so we don't need a replacement (as long as we ignore the trillions in debt transfer from the bankrupt banks to the bankrupt governments)
Or is the unreported reality of BTC is that it is just too difficult to cashout in a big way due to liquidity/transaction fees/general sketchyness of exchanges that will transfer BTC to hard currency?
There were a lot of bank busts and currency scares.
Yes, but money issued by governments is also doomed to failure, with a failure rate modestly higher than the failure rate of governments.
And when, in the time of QE, does he expect that it will come to pass that "authorities do better?"
"Its value is uncertain, its legal status is unclear, and it could easily become valueless if users lose faith"
Is this not also true of state run currency? Have we not seen massive deflation during the great depression, in Israel, in Russian and in many other part of the world?
The legal status is an interesting one, but given that the feds got some 31million (and rising) USD worth of BTC from the Silk Road seizure I doubt they will make BTC illegal.... But it could happen in the future.
Loosing faith, well believe it or not this is true of all currencies. That is why it's called Fiat, there is nothing other than faith behind currencies.
So really the only issue is the legality, which basically translates into government regulation, which is what we already have for "state run currencies", so at worst BTC becomes regulated by the state and becomes more of a "state run currency". In some views I guess that is failing, but that means that worst case it will end up like cash but with a lot of technical benefits.
I think the real issue with BTC is deflation, and that will probably continue for a long time. At least until all the BTC are out, if not for much longer.
-- Not really. Bitcoin is open sourced. They did not try to privatize bitcoin.
Excerpt from the article: "The currencys issuer is an unknown computer programmer"
-- No, bitcoin is not issued by Satoshi Nakamoto in the sense that cash is printed by the government. The currency is generated by mining, which can be participated by anyone with the right equipment.
I do not have a better crystal ball than anyone here, but the article's author made a mistake in trying to shoehorn bitcoin into his own concept of currency.
Other crypto-currencies already exist and there will only be more. Paul Graham was right when he pointed out that "hackers love it"that key point means people are going to continue to evolve the general idea. If deflation proves to always be a serious problem, I'm sure hackers will build in something to solve that. Anonymity is a problem, so Zerocoin is tackling that. And Litecoin tackles other problems.
With such a sensationalist title, I'm not surprised this article is much balooney but I wonder how it got to HN frontpage in the first place.
Governments have more mechanisms to adapt to changes in public opinion, while bitcoin deals with a more specific problem. If bitcoin loses endorsement, it will be replaced (traded) for other goods, probably the next generation cryptocurrency. The same goes for governments that don't adapt, and their currencies.
This relegates it to the status as a "virtual collectible" (as someone so humorously put it).
Maybe Bitcoin 2.0 will be smart and remove a cap (or build in the ability to allow itself to float).. but Bitcoin as it is isn't flexible enough.
If I create my own dollar and claim it is backed by the U.S. Government, I am breaking the law. Until a few decades ago, it was physically impossible to create new gold (and now it is still prohibitively expensive-- and radioactive).
There is nothing that stops someone from generating a new currency (ZitCoin) with the same desirable properties, but without the obvious favoritism toward early adopters. If one more can do it, then many can do it. I don't see why this won't eventually drive the value of fixed-pool cryptocurrencies to (or near) zero.
If so, I can empathize with the "losing faith" perspective. It only takes the tiniest bit of squinting to see bitcoins not at fundamentally limited, and therefore currency-worthy, but as completely unlimited.
only if there's no demand. And I think there's a floor on how low demand can go that comes from the black market.
So I don't think its doomed to fail.
Power to the people, right?
since i wrote this bitcoins value has soared, but i still hold that opinion. national governments might tolerate bitcoin as a sandbox playground for now, but once it gets widely adopted and threatens national currencies, they can choose between giving up vast economic and fiscal powers or restricting bitcoin. i see no reason why they should choose the former.
did i convince you? want to get rid of your bitcoins? send me some: 17Dk1cugCynTaNdmQihF7tproJgyKyWiwr :-)
Like what? Gold?
I actually find myself narrowing my searches by sites I know will have reliable information, like this one, reddit, certain forums based on the search topic, etc. I think there would be some real value in creating a search engine that was very selective about the sites it crawls. Honestly, crawling the comments from the best user-participation sites on the web (reddit, HN, SO, quora, etc.) would probably make for a very useful search engine.
A mix of affiliate-driven content sites, abandoned blogs & spam sites, based on some of the searches I did. The broader the category, the more likely I think you are to stumble on something relevant and helpful.
(Also, .gov sites don't seem to have been removed from the index. A search for "type 2 diabetes" still brings a number of results from NIH.gov, mimicking what Google serves up.)
Which is a shame because I really enjoyed searching with it.
Tiny complaint: Its default option is "Don't remove any sites". Kind of misses the point imho...
Other complaint: If country is set to e.g. Switzerland, you see only .de and .ch domains in the results! Is there no "worldwide" setting?
(I like big robots. I searched for "mech." #9 was a mech-based browser MMO I'd looked at briefly a couple weeks ago.)
Neither page popularity or query popularity are necessarily proportional to domain popularity (eg, *.github.com). Ruling out the most popular domains is therefore, I suspect, neither good or bad in terms of the quality of results it produces on the whole. Sometimes it will produce better results, sometimes it will produce worse, sometimes the same.
If a search engine/tool is going to add value, imho, the very difficult problem that it must solve is to improve the quality of results. Unless I'm missing something, I don't see that here (yet).
I don't know who's behind that search engine, but thank you!
A How To should rank better for "Make a cake" than a sales page or a review page.
A Review should rank better for "Best SUV" than a Table Of Contents page.
Just because you are the Underdog doesn't mean you should win. You should have a fair fight, but a good result is a good result.
I hate much of the stuff in Wikipedia. But there are some pages that were amazingly well written.
I hate eHow, but there was a brief time when they had experts in the fields they were writing about writing really great content. Those posts should do well.
Later we may let you turn off Right or Left Leaning articles. We may expose the feature we have that returns only easy to read results, a feature designed for ESL, and Youth searches.
But we will never release a blanket no more top million sites.