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Started a stupid company. Failed.
1260 points by themanthatfell  2 days ago   395 comments top 164
zedshaw 2 days ago 59 replies      
Hey, other comments are going to give you a few lines telling you to not quit, that you should hang in there, and that it'll be alright. That may be true, but to me it sounds like you're possibly not doing well enough to make any of that possible, and you probably need to find work fast. Here's what I want to do:

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 help@learncodethehardway.org 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.

avenger123 2 days ago 1 reply      
You are a husband, and a father. To me, that is never failure, no matter what happens.

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.

PhasmaFelis 1 day ago 2 replies      
To the OP: Thank you for sharing this. I'm sure it wasn't easy. I hope that some of the many folks offering help can give you a leg up.

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.

themanthatfell 2 days ago 10 replies      
My wife cried reading all of your comments. I guess we were looking for some sign that someone somewhere is pulling for us. During the first hour this post was up I hovered over the delete more than once. It doesn't seem right to bring an entire ecosystem of ambitious and wonderful people a story of failure. I guess I learned that hitting delete would be worse. Thank you from the 5.3 of us.
31reasons 2 days ago 8 replies      
I don't care if I get down voted. But if a person already has 3 kids and another on the way, why would you spend all your savings on a startup ? even if you run out of savings, why would you max out your credit ? There is something called calculated risk.
joshmn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm mobile now so excuse the brevity.

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 josh@josh.mn

tomasien 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're really done, don't listen to the people saying "don't give up" - give up, and get back on your feet, whatever that takes. Then, get back on the horse when and if you're ready - I just came off a year of re-building my life after a failed startup, and I'm in such an insanely better position to start my next company now than I was then, but it's only been made possible by the fact that the moment we realized the funding was not going to happen, we gave up.

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.

JesseAldridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked on my own stuff for a long time, trying to live off next to nothing. It didn't work and eventually I ran out of money.

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.

Michael_Murray 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm on my 5th company. The first 3 failed so miserably that there's not even a crater from where they imploded. The fourth had one of the founders usurp control and steal >$1M from the rest of the team and we were left exactly where you are - tapping 401Ks, taking our savings to $0 (and in some cases <<<< $0) and with terrified wives/kids/families/pets.

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.

johnnyg 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are in Houston, johnny@cpap.com.

Give us a paypal link and we'll gap you.

pallandt 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should comment with a list of skills, maybe either a fellow HN-er offers you a job, or knows someone else that might be able to.

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.

pjungwir 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't see anyone who's mentioned Portland, OR yet. If you're around there, I'd be happy to talk: pj@illuminatedcomputing.com. My startup failed two years ago, with a homemaker wife, two kids 2 & 0, no health insurance, and almost no savings. Pretty scary. I've been freelancing since then and it's a huge relief to be out of that place. You have more support than you know!
megablast 1 day ago 2 replies      
With 3 kids and another on the way, this is a risk you should never have taken. Even when I started, a single bloke, I started my company in my spare time working full time, and built up a huge safety net before quitting.

This is more a warning for others who think it is easy, or a fun thing to do. Don't.

tigersharktopus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey bud,

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

vertis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to echo a few other people here. You need to share more details (Location, etc)

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 me@vertis.io

jval 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey dude, please post up a BTC address so we can send you some cash to tide you over.
dennisgorelik 2 days ago 1 reply      
You are in an unpleasant situation, but not in a tragedy by no means. To put things into perspective: imagine you have successful company but got pancreatic cancer.

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.

vellum 2 days ago 1 reply      
You should take Zed up on his offer. If you want to be entrepreneurial again, you can be, after youve built up your bankroll. When youre broke with dependents, you dont have the emotional ability to make good decisions.
brianbreslin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Trust me you are not the opposite of most people here. This site thrives on "survivor bias" and making it seem like its all rosy. If you're in Miami, I can help you get a job in startups.
l0c0b0x 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Pretty sure I am the opposite of everyone here.

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.

smtddr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dude, you got a paypal donation link somewhere? Just put it in your HN profile if ya want.
gtallen1187 4 hours ago 0 replies      
nothing too original in this post, just wanted to offer some words of encouragement, and possibly give you some perspective from a different point of view.

i myself have been in this situation, although it was my father in your shoes and i was the child. i also remember the police knocking at the door and our family having to pick up and move.

your courage and commitment to chase your idea and pursue your dream is part of who you are. i know it may be hard to see this now, but it is this ambition and bravery that your family will always remember and love you for. as children, we knew that our dad was having some tough times and that there would be changes in our lives because of it, but none of this ever gave rise to any questions of his love. we always knew that our dad loved us, and that in the end, that was all that mattered.

i know its hard to see the good things now, but just remember that your family is there for you, through the good times and the bad. your children will always love and respect you - not for how well or how bad your business did, but for the parts of you that made you give it a shot.

i dont have many resources myself, and even fewer industry connections, but if you are ever in/around the pittsburgh area id be more than happy to lend an ear or do what i can to help.

mtsmith85 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey There. 138 comments in, it may seem trite, but if you're in NYC, please shoot me an e-mail (info in my profile). I'm hiring across the board; even if it's just freelance to get you back on your feet, we can work something out. Please e-mail.
001sky 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bad bet to make or a good bet with a bad outcome? You may have already commented as much as you feel comfortable with, but would be important for readers to understand perhaps more on this point. In any event, this has some bearing on even how you perceive yourself when you say 'just a statistic'.
mililani 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey man, sorry to hear. I really hope things work out for you. I really do. But, even if things go south for a long time, I sort of envy you. At least you've tried. I haven't done shit. I keep wanting to try. At least I can say at the end of my life, "You know what? I wasn't a success, but I followed my dreams and passions."

But, I still hope your situation will be better several years from now.

dodyg 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is my worst nightmare - I have had my company for 10 years and we've come close to this position twice, first in 2008 during the global economic collapse and second in 2011 when the country I am in had a revolution. I can still remember the stomach churning fear in my stomach during the worse periods.

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.

mikesickler 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember this: the startup failed, but you're not a failure, and you'll start another company again in the future. I'll bet you learned a hell of a lot this time around, and you'll be in a much better position to succeed NEXT time!

And you're not the opposite of everyone here. Two weeks after I soft-launched my startup in 2012, my wife and I separated. This is my _2nd_ divorce, by the way, at age 37. Boy, did I feel like a failure! I was financially ruined, and my startup was put on ice for nearly a year as I battled depression and got back on my feet. I had some dark, dark days, believe me.

Now, though, I have a terrific co-founder (and no, it's not wife #3. Learned my lesson!), and while we're just getting started with sales, things are looking great and I couldn't be happier. Draw on your family for energy and support right now. Make sure you have someone to talk to, be it your wife, a friend, or a therapist. Give yourself permission to put the startup dream on hold, and work at an office for a while.

Finally: Read 'Feeling Good' by David Burns. This book really, really saved my ass. Best of luck, happy holidays, and keep fighting the good fight!

hakkasan 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"

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.

happywolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here are two things you can consider:

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.

apedley 1 day ago 1 reply      
You sound almost exactly like me 2 years ago.1. House in default, to be foreclosed2. 3 kids under 6, wife was pregnant3. Years of trying startups and all out of cash4. Utilities all to be soon cut off5. Getting any bit of cash to buy food

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.)

jason_slack 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have failed on 5 different ventures. Now going to try a 6th.

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.

michaelochurch 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's a really fucking shitty game for most of people who play. Ruined lives are pretty rare. (I'm doing well, a couple years later.) But most people get far less out of their time than they'd get in a conventional career.

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.

skyraider 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check the Who's Hiring and Seeking Freelancer posts here. The November ones may still be active. Also, just to re-emphasize, you should post a list of skills in this thread.
fygwtclub 1 day ago 0 replies      
I consider myself a lot less Smarter than people here on HN so I never comment. But your 70 words made me.

'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..

dennisgorelik 2 days ago 1 reply      
Please share some more details - it would help us to give you more targeted advice:

1) What was the mission of your failed startup?

2) What was your personal role in it?

3) What city are you in?

chaostheory 1 day ago 0 replies      
You had guts. Most people don't have that. You have perseverance. Most people don't have that either. You also have your health, you have a great wife, and it sounds like your family is healthy as well so that's a few big things that most people don't have.

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.

yogo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hang in there man. Care to share more about what kind of company? How big of a gamble was it?
smokeyj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd rather fail than never have tried. Just remember people still love you for who you are.
BrainInAJar 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's sad is that a large chunk of HN readers are going to see this and think "well my company isn't stupid, so I won't fail" when the reality of the situation is that most startups fail and are, in fact, stupid. Confirmation bias and sunk cost fallacy keep people doing it and slaving to make money for VC snakes
gigawatt 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're in NYC or can relocate, the company I work for is on a major hiring push. Very stable and a great place to work no crazy anti-family startup hours. Feel free to contact me.
digitalzombie 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is exactly the reason why I don't want to do anything like this.

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.

steven777400 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I had something more helpful to say. But I appreciate this post very much. I appreciate first of all the strength and courage it takes to admit a difficult situation. And secondly, I appreciate your willingness to stand up to the confirmation and survivorship bias that, by definition, permeates the new-business world. Thank you. I wish you the very best and sincerely hope you quickly find your feet again.
strwbrry 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a creator (don't like calling myself an entrepreneur) I have failed more than 30 times and out of this I lost everything 3 times and personally went bankrupt 1 week before my wedding (talked about this on Mixergy during Andrews failure week).

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

dcarmo 1 day ago 1 reply      
It just seems wrong to have three kids under 6 and a wife pregnant and still try your luck on creating a new company. I think before anything else, you need to be responsible with the ones that depends on you.
Edmond 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure how old you, but one of the central sacrifices that a young entrepreneur has to be ready to make is on the matter of family formation.

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.

edgecrafter 1 day ago 0 replies      
TL;DR summary: Watch the burn rate on your money - bail out or adjust before to late. Reboot - do anything to get a foot on job market again.

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.

rjohnk 2 days ago 0 replies      
While not completely analogous, when I graduated with a 4 year degree, I didn't know what to do in life. Went back to grad school - then exited - still lost. Two hospital stays with a wife and young child. No job. Life sucked. If your religious, cling to that. If not, cling to your wife and kids. THEY are the important thing.

I am religious, so I will be praying for you that everything will turn out. Keep us posted, man.

lemonberry 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've had one of the toughest years of my life. One thing I kept doing was writing a gratitude list. Almost daily. It may have saved my life. Good luck.
jaxn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Failure sucks. I have been there.

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.

Good luck!

huherto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Somehow we tend to think that all it takes is hard work. But there are many aspects of building a successful business. Sometimes we can risk a little too much. Not everybody makes it, not every body has the needed support, not everybody has the tolerance to risk. It is not only about making your dreams happen, you also need to know when to fold.

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

aioprisan 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're in Boston and if there's anything that I can do, listening or some freelance work, we're always looking for talented people at Splitzee.com.

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!

bonemachine 1 day ago 0 replies      
But you're a good writer, obviously.

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.

AnotherDesigner 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish you well. Do whatever it takes to keep your family comfortable, regroup and get ready to fight again. In todays economy, we're all entrepreneurs. You don't get to keep a job your entire life like some of our parents/grandparents did. You fight every day for your family, hustle, make friends, call in favors and help those that need it.

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

BalancedThought 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Man, Husband and Father. I have a large amount of respect for you. My only suggestion is to apologize to your wife and family for not being able to provide now. The love and forgiveness that you receive from them will lift a weight off you that you may not know is there.

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.

emhart 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't want to overstep the bounds of a semi-anonymous comment thread, but some of the language you are using, and your choice of user name, has me concerned about your more immediate plans.

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.

SteliE 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really sorry to hear the situation you're in. I've shared my story of failure and entrepreneurial depression here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrUw4S76jFQ

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 steli@close.io if you ever need someone to listen.

splatzone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry to hear about this, hopefully you'll bounce back.

Did you plan for this eventuality when you started the venture? Can you spare any details about what went wrong?

tomelders 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're based anywhere near London, drop me an email, I might be able to point you towards a few people looking for devs (assuming you're a dev), and I'll also take a look at your CV, I tend two write good ones.
realrocker 1 day ago 0 replies      
And what a failure! Most of us here wouldn't be able to fail so hard even if we tried. Since it can'get any worse by one's own choice, you are going to have so much fun and excitement going back up. Good luck to your family and you. If you need some daily expenditure money, please ask.
brianmcdonough 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep your head up and don't be afraid to reach out to this community or others for help. All is not lost and you are no different than anyone here, though you may have over-extended yourself. Beating yourself up will not help you or your family.
lnanek2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, tech jobs are pretty easy to come by, especially with no home so you can live wherever the job is. Honestly, I wouldn't want to do a startup if I had kids anyway. I'd rather work a 9-5 with a regular income so I'd have money to take care of them and time after work to be with them and raise them. So this may all be for the best.
victortrac 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're in Austin, NYC, or SF and want to work for a decent company, I may be able to help. victor@victortrac.com.
philjackson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Where are you? How can people here get a hold of your CV?
gozmike 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey Man - it sucks. But...

It gets better, way better. Keep your family safe and in the forefront and you'll make it through this. I can promise that.

aforty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ouch, hang in there. Go get a 'real' job until you get back on your feet.
knackernews 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't be the man that fell. Be the man who fell, got back up and kept going. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

And please read up on birth control and family planning.

Altan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't even imagine the pain you're going through. I know it's tough to think rationally now, but if theres one thing that'd help is that you need to write down and memorize everything that went wrong so you never do it again once you get your second chance (everyone deserves a good second chance).

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

coldtea 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Pretty sure I am the opposite of everyone here.

Quite the contrary. This is the norm -- most startups fail, and a lot of them fail horribly (and with personal defaults).

Keep fighting.

binarysolo 1 day ago 0 replies      
OP, please let us know what rough geographical area you are located. This will allow some of us to at least give you some sort of referral to work; I can help out in the SF Bay Area but seeing the responses there are plenty better positioned who can lend aid and support to you.

Fight hard and good luck.

mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
On my worst days, my kids are still thrilled to see me when I get home. Hang in there! There's nothing wrong with getting a boring corporate job while you regroup. I think Zed is the best help you can find, but post an email address in response to this and I'll drop you an email and see if I can help.
exodust 1 day ago 0 replies      
What was the company? Why was it "stupid"?

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?

mbesto 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel you man. I know very few "successful" people who haven't gone through what you're going through right now (to varying degrees). You're not alone - http://www.techdisruptive.com/2013/10/29/common-themes-despa...
brianmcdonough 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm based in Santa Monica. If you're in the area and I'll buy you lunch, give you a pep talk and help get you back on your feet in any way I can.
jacoblyles 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't help out a lot. But I did accidentally order a pretty nice Christmas present that it turns out I don't need. Drop me an email with your address and I'll forward it for the kids.
vasundhar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Buddy,

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 .

rrich 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know that there is much I can do to help you, but sometimes it helps to just know you're not alone. You are not alone. You are not the opposite of everyone here.

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.

mugenx86 2 days ago 0 replies      
You may have lost your dream, but you have gained time to focus on your family and well being.

Find a job and take it easy for a while. Rebuild and come back stronger!

vik_psiphilabs 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess you stuck on to your dreams a bit too long. Well, we all do, that's the point. Nobody can tell you that's a wrong thing, even if it sometimes seems logical in the real world.

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! :)

wf 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm late to the party. But I'm also willing to help you. If you're technical and need a recommendation for a job in the Midwest shoot me an email and maybe in my limited way I can help you. Good luck!
Justsignedup 1 day ago 0 replies      
TBH, this is why I only have the one child. Children = big money. Also this is why people live in middle america where 50k buys you a nice big house.
arbuge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find a job for now. (Indeed and Linkedin aren't half bad for that nowadays; there may be better more specific resources in your industry also.) Get back on your own two feet. The rest will take care of itself later. It always does.
abbottry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can you offer your general location? Might help those of us with connections that might offer employment opportunities you'd be interested in.
johnny99 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're not the opposite of everyone here. I've driven a company into the ground and was an early employee at another where I watched someone else drive us into the ground--not sure which was worse. Have two little kids and after one of the experiences above had to get a 'real' job for a while, in cubicleland. Felt like, and was really, a total failure, at least professionally. Probably doesn't help a ton right now, but you're not alone. Three years after that low point the situation has improved amazingly. It may be a slog, but you can dig out.

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 john@entelo.com if that might help.

xamdam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with Zed - find job and re-group. I have 3 kids myself and totally understand the insecurity you're feeling - I've been through a layoff. I don't know your jedi level, but starting a business takes smarts and guts lots of companies want. You will probably get a lot of help here already, but feel free to PM me on reddit http://www.reddit.com/user/xamdam/
Choronzon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do Quit!At least for awhile,these experiences are emotionally and financially shattering and you will want to get a grip on both before you start attempt anything else or your will burn yourself out.Take some boring well paid contact for 6 months,then have another fresh look at things.You deserve some downtime dont be shy to give yourself and your family some.
greenwalls 2 days ago 1 reply      
Don't give up. When you hit rock bottom that's when you have no other choice but to turn it all around.
thomasfl 1 day ago 1 reply      
We definitely need more failures on HN. All these success stories is bringing me down.
xux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really sorry to hear that man. We often stereotype startups as cool, exciting, explore-new-frontier crazy wild success.

Sometimes (probably most of the time) they just don't turn out that way, and the failures have real, life-changing consequences.

xplorer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Which kind of company did you start? There's always hope. If you are a developer or sysadmin you can easily find a job.

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.

jccodez 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can assure you that what you are experiencing is not out of the ordinary. Everyone has their struggles. My wife was pregnant with our third child while I was unemployed for 8 months. I encourage you to love that family and be a great husband and father. No business success can outshine what you have.
zura 1 day ago 0 replies      
The world would be such a wonderful place if the location didn't matter... I mean, remove that prefix "if you're at place X" and suddenly all those propositions become much more valuable.
OneOneOneOne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Four kids under 6... I envy you man. My wife and I are working toward that but it will be a few years. Hang in there. You're in my prayers.
err4nt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep your head up dude! I haven't been where you are but I have been in a position where I had no clue how my rent would get paid or how my lights would stay on.

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 look@mewhenimtalkingtoyou.com and I can send some Paypal your way. No strings attached.

sidcool 2 days ago 0 replies      
Please do update us when you are better. We would love to know that a fellow Hacker is doing well.

Shoot me an email at sid_cool1234(at)yahoo.co.in and I can see what I can do for you.

w_t_payne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kudos for trying. Good luck with the future. Hope you manage to get back in the ring at some point. Let us know if you need anything specific.
yangtheman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey man, I've been there (two failed startups). Whatever you learned during that time should be valuable assets/skills in many startups. Hang in there. You gotta be there for your family.
bwb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn man, I'm sorry but you bet too much on this given your family responsibilities :(
Cyberis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Risk has its rewards.... but also its disasters, which is why it's called "risk." Before taking it you have to consider the cost of failure. If you can't afford the failure, don't take the risk. That being said, you're in a tough place and hopefully zedshaw actually has a list and not a bunch of hot air. I'd take him up on it and get something to provide income. BTW, while failing seems to be harder on us men, failing doesn't mean your not a man, but failing to take responsibility does speak to your manhood. So get up and get going.
vinlimyh 1 day ago 0 replies      
They say there are dip and rise. Only people brace through the dip, shall rise. As dip is the time where many give up. That say, a personal opinion, it would be best to rectify the current situation and prepare for a come back. As a an old Chinese saying goes, It means, as long as you are here to stay, there will always be a chance.

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.

pouzy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did you see it coming ? You might have wanted to start searching for a job before losing the house. Don't think you are worth nothing, hang in there and get back on your feet in a more "normal" manner.
cpt1138 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry to hear about your misfortune. I have hesitated going all in because of Barbara Sher's infomercial saying "you don't go shopping for new clothes naked."
eplanit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Comments TL;DR

Startup failed. Founder is suffering. Long live Zed Shaw.

kureikain 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey, I was ever in same situation like you, with no help. My dad would blame me. My mom cried out. I cannot come back home. Leading to my homelessness for several weeks.

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.

alsobrsp 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can't win if you don't play.

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.

mikekij 2 days ago 1 reply      
You're getting a lot of this in this post, but I'd be happy to connect you to my network as well. Email me at mkijewski (gmail).
coofluence 1 day ago 0 replies      
What do you do friend now? Pickup the pieces and look at a few positives from the last experiences. May be you made some contacts during the startup experience who could help you with next phase in life. Your family could be your priority and guide all your thoughts. That said, like a Greek heroic story do overcome the challenge and come out well. Good Luck.
kennethtilton 2 days ago 0 replies      
I pulled out of my dive before going broke, but not by much. Licked my wounds, got a job, built up my savings for three years and now can try again, this time much wiser (and less risky) for the experience. Survival is success, I was told early on, and...yep.
antoniopratas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use all the know how you gathered while creating and working on your company. Understand how you fit in a company and what that know-how can make you a valuable asset to the company. Look for a full-time position, leverage your know-how to get a higher position and a bigger salary. Get a job, get everything running, start thinking about a new idea and jump to it again when it's time.
lowglow 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm totally down to help you. Let's meet up if you're in SF. I'll buy you coffee and hep you find something that works for you.
enscr 1 day ago 0 replies      
This post struck a chord with HN folks. It would be awesome if OP could exchange the karma with real life credit...
headgasket 1 day ago 1 reply      
What that does not kill you makes you stronger. No product + Sales = company. Product + no Sales = No company.

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.

CmonDev 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are two outcomes when playing lottery...
sonabinu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good Luck !!! You have a lot of courage to reach out and tell your story ... you have the spirit, you will succeed ... Good Luck once again.
luistroche 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hang in there. At this time is important for you to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Find a job and be there for your family. About the foreclosure: did you talk to a lawyer? can you delay the process a little longer?. About your company: can you share some information about your visions?. What do you think went wrong?. My best regards for you and your family.
nell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dude, What's your skillset?
sidcool 2 days ago 0 replies      
You will bounce back. Let us know a Bitcoin wallet where we can chip in whatever is in our ability.
dtoidniero 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you still have your health? Then you have everything. Go work hard and try again. Start a less stupid company next time around. At least you tried.
xivzgrev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really sorry for your situation...how can community help? Listen? Living money? Place to stay? Job? Help on business?

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.

kapogo1 1 day ago 0 replies      

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.

th3byrdm4n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah pretty much why I've settled on working for "the man."

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.

reinder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hang in there! It's gonna be okay. If you ever need a listening ear, now or in the future, feel free to email me and we'll call. Also, eat well, sleep well, get some fresh air & walks and spend time with the family. Coping with difficult times is easier that way.
pedromsantos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this an opportunity to solve a real problem? In helping founders of failed startups. Would an "insurance model" startupt for startups make sense? I'm European, so not sure how this sounds in the USA.
ewebbuddy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hold tight. It's just a rough patch that will pass. A lot of people here are ready to help. Take it and mend somethings. Stay strong.
alanmeaney 1 day ago 0 replies      
Alas, what could have been an interesting discussion reduced to over analysis of some guy calling some other guy a cock.
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have any technical skills, you should immediately go get a good paying job.
spacecowboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are not just a statistic, you are much more. Your an inspiration to your family and to all of us just like all of those that have responded to you with offers to help. Let us all know how we can help.
JacobIrwin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stay strong. Another statistic - in favor of the world's need for talented engineers! Maybe not bound to be a self-made man, that's all.
toobulkeh 2 days ago 0 replies      
best of luck. If you want to fall back on security, I personally have good connections in the stable large companies in the South East US. If you need a stable income for awhile and are willing, please let me know.
djuggler 2 days ago 0 replies      
You aren't alone. And it gets better. Just don't do anything terminal.
d0m 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing wrong in taking a job and slowly working on your things on the side..
ests 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am really sorry about your situation. I can't help you in any "real" way, but I send you the best and warm wishes.
wesgarrison 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're in Kansas City, my company name is databasically and my first name is wes and I use a dot com. Shoot, if you're not in KC; email me and let me know how I can help.
Neolis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep calm and carry on! Do not give up! We will be there for you.
feulix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad story makes me sad. Keep on trying and accept the help of all the people in this thread. Christmas season has officially started.
limaoscarjuliet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you need some real, immediate help, as in food and other necessities? Do not have millions to spare, but can help with some things. How can I contact you?
jbobes 1 day ago 0 replies      
What did you worked on?I'm in somewhat similar situation with this http://cloud306.com
ssfermoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
A very brave thing to write. Don't judge your self on how the dice fell. By just having tried you've done more than most people ever will.
iamabraham 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're more like the rest of us then most will admit. Be strong. Take care of your family. Good luck.
benmorris 2 days ago 0 replies      
Live and learn. Luckily developers are in demand these days.
nutela 1 day ago 0 replies      
So did you learn anything? :-)
michaelxia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your'e one of HN. so fight hard and good luck right back at you.
Kalki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you working or have you applied for a traditional day job?
adventured 2 days ago 0 replies      
I won't say you should do X Y or Z. There's no way I can know what your best course of action is going forward.

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.

Jagadeesh1210 1 day ago 0 replies      
You might lose your money. But don't lose faith in you.
ChrisNorstrom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many Americans have run out of money. Have poor credit. Have lost their house. Ghetto men leave their girlfriend when she's pregnant. Baby Mamas trying to raise 4 kids without a father. You have a wife, kids, and you care. You're 3x the man most "men" out there are. You are doing much better than the other "statistics". Believe me I've unfortunately had to work in their neighborhoods. Your material possessions are gone, but you have your family. Get on housing assistance/welfare for a while, collect yourself, start over, begin anew. You're smart, you'll make it.
spajus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zed, you are my fucking hero. Seriously.
shklnrj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just keep hanging there. Things would be all right in due time.
abhididdigi 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are in India, shoot an email at abhididdigi[at]gmail.com.
scotthtaylor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you have a CV that you can send through?
hkbarton 2 days ago 0 replies      
hey, it's not the end of the world, maybe you will gain huge if you found it's very hard this time. Don't give up!
karlcoelho1 1 day ago 0 replies      
put your email in the bio, so people can get hold of you, and help you out.
wellboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't matter bro, you can get a job at many startups with a $100,000 salary in the bay area now. Failure is valued in the valley.

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. ;)

ddmma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Failure is a feedback
fastisslow 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shinden 2 days ago 0 replies      
read the book Millionare fastlane. just google it it's available via electronic book version, Within that book it will tell you where you went wrong and hopefully it will steer you in the right direction.
rpddh9 2 days ago 1 reply      
pls put up a paypal acc and we can all chip in..
tbarbugli 1 day ago 0 replies      
startup blues
jayrparro 2 days ago 1 reply      
have faith! keep up!
weishgoname 2 days ago 0 replies      
it will be alright! there is always a way out. Good Luck
r0ash 1 day ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents would be to just focus on what services you can offer rightaway with your skill set and grab whatever leads you could.

#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]

kellyphong76 1 day ago 1 reply      
Dont want to hurt OP but seems like he is a troll, he just joined 7 days ago and made 500+ karma.

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.

fiatjaf 2 days ago 4 replies      
Seems like a troll.
spande 1 day ago 0 replies      
@themanthatfell: I would like to offer you a solution to your problem. It may not seem like one, when you initially read it but I would request you to read it and try to apply it: http://findpo.com/secret-ingredient-actually-2/
How Hacker News ranking really works: scoring, controversy, and penalties righto.com
858 points by jseip  2 days ago   188 comments top 33
swombat 2 days ago 8 replies      
Hilarious that the original article was flagged off the front page, but this one isn't...

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...

sethbannon 2 days ago 5 replies      
I find it really disheartening to learn that any article with "NSA" in the title is pretty severely penalized by HN's algos. This seems like one of the seminal issues of the decade, for this community in particular.
flexie 2 days ago 6 replies      
The avoidance of controversial topics when talking together is one of those things we Europeans are typically not so good at. I know from many Europeans who like me lived in the US for a while that they had to learn the art of talking without touching controversial subjects. At first it seemed superficial but then I realised that it makes discussions that are not controversial but nevertheless important possible and I came to appreciate it every now and then.

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...

david927 2 days ago 3 replies      
The post this morning, "Ask HN: What kind of side projects are you working on?"* got a lot of great responses and was killed because of it. There was nothing "controversial" about the post; it was merely popular with comments of what people are working on. This algorithm needs to be tweaked or HN risks losing its base.


mgunes 2 days ago 2 replies      
How HN page rankings really work: you vote stuff up, and then the flag mob and hidden moderators axe right off the front page whatever irritates the pro-capitalist internet-libertarian techno-optimist idelogical sensibilities of the white male Californian HN hive mind even in the subtlest of ways.
minimaxir 2 days ago 3 replies      
Not sure why the HN submission didn't link to the original post: http://www.righto.com/2013/11/how-hacker-news-ranking-really...

Discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6755071

grey-area 2 days ago 3 replies      
This article was more interesting than I anticipated. While I admire the tinkering which goes on with moderation here in an attempt to keep discussion civil and interesting, sometimes it has counter-productive effects. In particular this rule doesn't seem to work very well:

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?

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its a wonderful analysis, kens if you would ever like to come work for me identifying robot search clients just give a shout :-). I chafed a bit though at calling it a 'penalty'. Isn't it really a 'moderation' ? The scoring is adjusted by the moderators to be more the site they want to have and so they moderate articles that they feel aren't appropriately more heavily than those that are appropriate?

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.

tehwalrus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interestingly, the best strategy for keeping an article you like up high is to upvote it and not comment (or, if you must comment, do so only once.)

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).

lnanek2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting. So if you want to get rid of the stories on the front page, and see more stuff, you should comment a lot. Because on HN a lot of comments is a death sentence for an article.

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.

jader201 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming this article is correct regarding the penalization of comments, I'm a bit surprised (maybe even disappointed) that it is assumed that discussion is a sign of controversy. And maybe it is, historically?

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. :)

DanielBMarkham 2 days ago 2 replies      
At some point over the past 2 years HN has stopped being my friend. The folks here? Great people. Very happy to have gotten to know many of them. But the system itself? Not so much.

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.

brador 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blog spam link. Real content from the article at http://www.righto.com/2013/11/how-hacker-news-ranking-really...
hmsimha 2 days ago 0 replies      
According to this article, the link currently in #3 [Vote Now: Who Should Be TIMEs Person of the Year? Edward Snowden](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6800145) must be the victim of a very harsh penalty. I'm guessing 'Snowden' is a heavily penalized term as well, and having less than twice as many upvotes as comments might not be helping either.
twotwotwo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not everyone has the same criteria for what content they want to read. Nor does it really help the world for all HN visitors to read the same content.

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.

Samuel_Michon 2 days ago 2 replies      
TL;DR: If an article has more comments than votes, dont add your comment to it or you may kill it off entirely!

Rings true to me and, if indeed accurate, it seems like a good practice for HN.

vijayboyapati 2 days ago 0 replies      
What I find quite strange is that I have posted articles which show up in the new section, then later when they make the front page, it shows them posted as someone else. Either dupe detection isn't working (these are very simple URLs typically, like from the New York Times) or HN is rewarding the post to someone else after I've posted it. Weird.
damon_c 2 days ago 0 replies      
The question is: Deep down, whether we realize it or not, are these unspeakable manipulations the reason we come here?
sixtypoundhound 2 days ago 0 replies      
Using score adjustments as automatic community management makes a lot of sense; there are certain topics which are more likely to upvote/rank than others. Similarly, there's also a good bit of research that controversial articles generally do better on Reddit and other social news sites.

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...]

cloudflare 2 days ago 1 reply      
It would be interesting to know if there are 'flagging rings' in the same way there are 'voting rings' and whether HN actively detects the former as it does the latter.
michaelochurch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I get a personal penalty, because someone with moderation powers (possibly PG, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt) is a wolfbagging pissant.

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...

alexkus 2 days ago 0 replies      
If someone wants a 'weekend project': an interesting browser plugin would be one that undoes the effect of the penalties and reorders the page accordingly, it could even allow the user to choose the level of penalties enforced against stories in their view in case they did want some to disappear off the front page.
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hm, this post was kinda bad for me to read. I thought this was a completely community driven board. But I'm a fairly new member and some things never change, apparently.
alok-g 2 days ago 0 replies      
Instead of using ad hoc scoring rules like that, HN could use a machine-learning based system. This can also help solve another issue -- automatically determining the initial score of the new stories.
mikeevans 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting that github.com links are automatically weighted down, especially since almost every blog post they make hits the front page, and often projects hosted there show up fairly regularly as well.
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
This article is worse than the original, and the original article was crap because it never addressed flagging. I have on occasion flagged articles on a particular topic...sometimes I just get frustrated with recycled topics. It also doesn't address the possibility that penalties are applied when HN's heuristics suspect vote rings.

And given that the hackaday article is blossoms, don't be surprised to see it fall.

pearjuice 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think what is more interesting, is what drives people to upvote certain things.
franstereo 2 days ago 1 reply      
As other folks have mentioned there is a raw feed if you want to see a non-penalized version.

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

analog31 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful MatPlotLib work. ;-)
muyuu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I see this is being penalised already >:-D
Eye_of_Mordor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why doesn't everyone vote for this article and leave a comment?
brosco45 2 days ago 0 replies      
And censorship
001sky 2 days ago 0 replies      
On average, about 20% of the articles on the front page have been penalized, while 38% of the articles on the second page have been penalized. (The front page rate is lower since penalized articles are less likely to be on the front page, kind of by definition.) There is a lot more penalization going on than you might expect.

==Why there will never be a Flat tax...

Jolla jolla.com
665 points by Geee  1 day ago   242 comments top 52
jasonkester 1 day ago 8 replies      
They seem to put a lot of effort into telling you things other than "what is this thing?"

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.

MehdiEG 1 day ago 3 replies      
For those who are wondering why this is up on the front page: Jolla is launching their first handset tonight in Helsinki: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/jolla-sailfish-os-phone-...

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).

networked 1 day ago 7 replies      
>Jolla brings you the best of both worlds super intuitive Sailfish OS apps and the latest Android apps.

The recent article on OS/2 [1] 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 [2] on an actual device.

[1] 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.

[2] https://sailfishos.org/

znowi 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of their implicit pitch is that Jolla is "surveillance free". And it can run Android apps. I think these two features are good enough to spark an interest. The spec looks also impressive. But freedom doesn't come cheap at almost $550. Nonetheless, a very exciting development.

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.

atwebb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps I'm not in the know (I'm not) but it took me way too long to figure out it was a phone and not some UI overlay/Android enhancement suite.
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
FYI: those who wonder about the technology, check out these sites:

* https://sailfishos.org

* http://merproject.org

* https://wiki.merproject.org

* http://mer-project.blogspot.com/2013/04/wayland-utilizing-an...

* http://mer-project.blogspot.com/2013/05/wayland-utilizing-an...

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

ye 1 day ago 2 replies      
So I watched the video, and I still have no idea what Jolla is.

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.

buster 1 day ago 1 reply      
It would be awesome if Jolla would become a successful company after Nokia sold out to MS (because it seems like Jolla is a continuation of what would have been Nokias route without MS). Also i only heard good things about the N900, i love linux, i hope the handset/os is "free"... and 399 doesn't seem to be too expensive.Also it looks well designed.

Good luck, Jolla Team!

Fauntleroy 1 day ago 0 replies      
It really bothers me that they didn't do something about the flickering infrared light in the video. I know it's not going to show up in real life, but that's going to confuse some people who aren't aware of the fact cameras can see some things we don't.
easytiger 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hint: most global mega corps block youtube. Host videos locally for product demos if you can pay for the bandwidth. You will reach a bigger audience.
davexunit 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can anyone comment on how free this device will be? From what I recall, Sailfish is partially free software, but contains proprietary software as well which is a real shame.
616c 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is interesting is that anyone that comes here, likes it (I do from what I see) and goes to check on the Mer Project where this work stems from will see their git repos have been largely untouched for two years. [0] I find that strange because I had to search a few pages into their wiki to even find that URL.

I wish people who liked Meego would support the latest update to the truly free OpenMoko project. [1] 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!

[0] http://gitweb.merproject.org/gitweb

[1] http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/

SideburnsOfDoom 1 day ago 1 reply      
I value my smartphone a lot, but I find it hard to get excited about this smart phone vs that smartphone. Android, Samsung android fork, iPhone, WinPhone, whatever. They're all good, they all roll out a faster better version every year. They all have twitter, facebook, email, maps, search, a camera, app store. etc. Oh yeah, and SMS and voice calls too.

So why should we get excited about this flavour of hand-held connected computer? What's the USP?

ender7 1 day ago 0 replies      
The UI is pretty, but it's dropping frames like crazy during your demo video. It's super smooth most of the time, but not at the critical times. Horseshoes and hand grenades, etc.
CookWithMe 1 day ago 1 reply      
> To get back to Home from any app, swipe from either side of the screen.

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!

gesman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Suggestion: add a text "elevator pitch" on a front page.

Forcing me to watch video is a sure way to Ctrl+F4

pliny 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Peek and Pull features exists on the iPhone - but the directions are reversed.

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?

espadrine 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Why couldn't Ubuntu do that?

Is it because device manufacturers won't put trust in anything but the Android brand?

namuol 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I like how the video gives us the heads-up about how easy it is to accidentally hang up on your mother.
trekky1700 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone else really distracted by the extremely messy desks. Who honestly leaves a wet, browning apple core just sitting on their desk. That's just going to be a sticky bloody mess later.
luxpir 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a (still happy) n900 user looking for an upgrade path to a decent open phone with modern hardware, I'm hoping that Sailfish gives you command line/root access.

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...

mattholtom 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does no-one answer phone calls from their Mom anymore? Just me?
pm90 1 day ago 0 replies      
>User-replaceable battery


Zigurd 1 day ago 0 replies      
It will be interesting to see if customers see Jolla as a continuation of Nokia's handset business. Lots of people liked N9 and Meego, and when that product was killed it was out-selling Nokia's Windows Phone products.
rodolphoarruda 1 day ago 3 replies      
I wonder how the name is pronounced.

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.

scrozier 1 day ago 1 reply      
"A new beginning." And a web site and video that look exactly like every iOS and Android device ever made. For HN readers, there's some geek cred here, but as a consumer product, they need some marketing help.
LandoCalrissian 1 day ago 0 replies      
OK, all the garbage in the video is really, really strange. It completely distracted me and kind of grossed me out. I don't know who thought that was a good idea.
jrockway 1 day ago 0 replies      
> GSM/3G/4G LTE* (Works on 6 continents).

What, no service in Antarctica?

rjohnk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have no idea what the web design of the type Jolla has, but it's getting old really fast. Yes, it looks neat at first, but then it's confusing. Crashplan recently did their update with the same style.

I'll shut up now if I'm the only one bothered by this trend.

shimon_e 1 day ago 0 replies      
it will be interesting to see how this competes against the Chinese competitors in this arena. Just yesterday Gionee announced the E7 for about the same price. A phone that includes a camera sensor from a point and shoot.


neakor 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I supposed to be impressed by this? "truly open and gesture based OS". I thought the open card has been played and dead already. And don't iOS and Android both have plenty of gestures? I didn't see anything new at all.
Cyclenerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why should I buy this device now? 400EUR a lot of money and on Twitter they write:Calendar sync is not supported at the moment.MMS is not supported at the moment.We do not have DLNA support at the moment.
javindo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
That looks cool and all but please get Swype on board. I find it an indispensable part of mobile use nowadays and any US without it is seriously missing out.
dschiptsov 1 day ago 1 reply      
Weaker than S III hardware to run Android apps for 400 euro? Did I miss something?)
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll be getting it as soon as they'll confirm compatibility with T-Mobile LTE.
snth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really wish we could edit submission titles to be more informative.
abjorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
All I learned from the video is that this is a phone for people with very messy desks.
bananacurve 1 day ago 0 replies      
While trying to open the video to full size, some was cut off, I found Google's 'Stats for Nerds' on right click. Not expecting that, but gave me a chuckle. As for the phone I don't think it is wise to do promotions with no word on availability.
grigio 16 hours ago 0 replies      

- 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 :(

LeicaLatte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Liked what i saw. Easily better than any iphone ad of recent times.
uxwtf 1 day ago 0 replies      
A phone for messy people? Why put so much junk in the video to defocus viewer's attention?
okso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally a great Mobile OS for Python ?
iamtheike 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you know some finish guy, you will definitely understand that this mobile is going to rock.
itsbits 1 day ago 0 replies      
When does this mobile technology gonna saturate?
chrisarriola 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do we seriously need another mobile operating system?
jdalgetty 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks cool but I wish it had beefier hardware specs.
jokoon 1 day ago 0 replies      
$400 ? nope.
shooper 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kinda off topic, but as soon as I opened that page in a new background tab, it froze my browser and PC for about a minute with an hourglass before it would respond to my inputs. I thought it crashed the system, but everything is okay now. I did close the tab after giving it a cursory look because it looked too noisy and light on content. Perhaps someone can analyze how much RAM, CPU and bandwidth that page takes up. And I am rocking a quadcore computer with 8 gigs of RAM.

Sigh, the more the hardware giveth, the more the new fangled web pages taketh away.

speeder 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was wondering why a condom site was on HN, then I entered and saw it was the mobile phone one...

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).

fracchio 1 day ago 0 replies      
My opinion is: "wat"
amalag 1 day ago 6 replies      
So this is an Android fork with UI improvements?
xmus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
i don't know about you but it TRIES to look like ios7, i say LET IT GO - smart-phone business is OWNED by Apple, the sooner we accept that the sooner we can move on to a TRULY different thing - this includes Android too, just DIE you're NOT "original" - instead of coming up with NEW ideas you try to rip-off one another and it's getting annoying [most of the time the company that started the idea WINS]

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!

Web GL Ocean Simulation david.li
662 points by clukic  2 days ago   134 comments top 39
randomdrake 2 days ago 5 replies      
The code is quite cool to look at. Love seeing the extensive use of matrices and mathematics to create such a beautiful and mesmerizing display.

If anyone is interested in playing around with it, I threw it up at JSFiddle here: http://jsfiddle.net/zyAzg/

Excellent demo.

computer 2 days ago 0 replies      
AsymetricCom 2 days ago 3 replies      
I remember seeing this run smoothly on a P2 after a very small executable download in late 90's. How far we've come in a big, stupid circle back where we started.

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

nspragmatic 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Your browser does not appear to support the required technologies.

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!

bhouston 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice and fully custom code too! The UI is really clean and fits nicely with the WebGL via CSS transforms I believe. Props to you.

BTW geistner waves reference here: http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGems/gpugems_ch01.html

alan_cx 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but how hard would it be to add a boat that realistically bobs up and down with the water?
Impossible 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of this shader toy shader. https://www.shadertoy.com/view/XdsGDB
dingdingdang 2 days ago 2 replies      
Honestly very impressive, idea: if made into fullscreen (i.e. without edges visible) and with an added horizon and an emulated sun-rise/sun-set this would make for totally enthralling watching - the "live'ness" of it makes it a thousand times more interesting to the eye than images or pre-recorded video material.
blahbl4hblahtoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
You know...IE11 does support webgl...just saying. (I don't think it checked...)
krelian 2 days ago 3 replies      
Where would one start if they wanted to learn the math needed to achieve something like this?
kevincennis 2 days ago 6 replies      
This runs at about 7 frames per second in Chrome on my 10-month-old 13" Macbook Pro at work.

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.

gulbrandr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Relevant: http://www.babylonjs.com/Scenes/Worldmonger/index.html

Scene with water, made with BabylonJS.

iguana 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome demo, and a great way to turn your laptop into a heater. Still, performed quite well on my 15" retina mbp.
Quiark 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really like the layout of the controls, it's a mix between infographics & some movie-like GUI and it works pretty well.
nawitus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Crashed my browser (using Firefox 25 on Arch Linux). Maybe it would've worked, but I only waited for 25 seconds.
skylervm 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a really awesome demo. Great work.

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

niels_olson 2 days ago 0 replies      
That may be the only wave in SoCal today. But can I surf it? :)
nitrogen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to listen to the bottom edge of the simulated region played back as a waveform as the simulation progresses.
meatsock 2 days ago 0 replies      
excellent work, thanks for sharing. my wavyness simulation resulted in more literal results [1] so i'm glad to have code to study for improvements.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnG6I1nsHy4

codeplay 2 days ago 0 replies      
I knew this is a bit irrelevant, just want to show a pure js ripple effect which I borrowed before: http://jsfiddle.net/esteewhy/5Ht3b/6/
brokenparser 2 days ago 1 reply      
Error on line 36: An body start tag seen but an element of the same type was already open.
pattle 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really cool
prembharath 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am surprised how this runs smoothly even on lower end PCs. I was able to view it perfectly smooth on a old Dual Core, integrated graphics and 2GB RAM linux box.
colszowka 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hitting ctrl-+/ctrl-- on chrome leads to interesting results :) Impressive demo, kept staring at it for a while pondering the exciting future the web platform has in it.
wamatt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Might be system dependent, though couldn't help but notice a non-trivial difference in the OpenGL rendering quality, between Firefox and Chrome.

Chrome 32 beta on OS X, produced an anti-aliased canvas, whereas Firefox 25 had the dreaded jaggies @ 1680x1050

zobzu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Redundant but I just want to say it: this is well done:)
izietto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very realistic, with the foam it would be perfect
randartie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love to see this code fully commented!
n1ghtmare_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is awesome. After many years of experience in programming this still makes me feel like a total idiot.
nickthemagicman 2 days ago 0 replies      
That is really cool.

Is that some sort of fluctuating perlin noise?

IvanK_net 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too sad they are using "OES_texture_float" extension :( It would be more interesting to see it done with pure WebGL.
julien421 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's super cool!
adamwong246 2 days ago 0 replies      
sheesh, all these great blogs... Mine looks like it was made by a middle schooler.
mahdavi 1 day ago 0 replies      
looks cool, but it's really slow.
scrdhrt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really cool!
circa 2 days ago 0 replies      
wow this is great!
rocLv 2 days ago 0 replies      
which browser can display?
shobhitverma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love it!
jheriko 2 days ago 2 replies      
computers have now become so powerful that this stuff is easy. you can implement it in a way which, aside from platform, is really quite naive and wasteful - and still get applause.

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...

Dear Spike Lee juanluisgarcia.com
626 points by sakai  1 day ago   154 comments top 32
gkoberger 1 day ago 8 replies      
Seems weird he mentioned Spike Lee (who did nothing wrong, as far as I can tell) so many times, but didn't name the agency. Seems to hurt the wrong party's reputation.

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

callmeed 1 day ago 4 replies      
Seriously, what is it with "Agencies" lately? Who the F--k are these people?

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.


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.

redler 1 day ago 0 replies      
An unfortunate but common sequence of events, where this:

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.

herge 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is why you should always have your contracts reviewed by a lawyer. See Mike Monteiro's Fuck You, Pay Me: http://vimeo.com/22053820
ary 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there any reasonable escrow services out there for designers? It seems that a third party with a list of conditions for both sides could hang on to a predetermined amount of money and the digital assets until both parties agree to release.

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).

zaidf 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's actually good that you didn't have a contract. If you did, you would probably be sworn to secrecy and not be able to share this story. Sure, with a contract you could take them to court, but you can do that anyway if someone stole your work.

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.

cokernel_hacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
So the agency played hardball but the guy didn't budge, then tried to rip him off? Their bad faith effort seems to deserve punitive damages, I hope he takes them to court.
MrZongle2 1 day ago 0 replies      
If Mr. Garcia wants to work long hours in a stressful environment but at least get paid something for it.... perhaps he should apply for a job at Penny Arcade.

Sounds like a move up.

nhebb 1 day ago 0 replies      
For anyone curious about the agency, Garcia told the Hollywood Reporter that he didn't name them because "Spike knows exactly who I am referring to."


donretag 1 day ago 6 replies      
So basically Spike Lee doesn't do the right thing?
gallerytungsten 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sadly, this story is all too typical of how advertising agencies work. Having worked with a number of agencies in the past, I found that nearly all of them were more than willing to steal work, not pay, break contracts, and engage in other unsavory hardball tactics.

This situation certainly looks like a blatant ripoff to me. I hope Juan Luis Garcia gets a great attorney and hefty amount of money.

schainks 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the comments so far, these lessons seem relevant:

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 ;)

Edit: formatting

mildtrepidation 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's big money and fame in high-profile work, and that can be very attractive... but stories like this, and the frequency with which they occur, are important to pay attention to. You can do everything right, you can make everyone happy, you can meet every demand, and you still stand a very real chance of getting absolutely shafted.

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.

jcromartie 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, now he's going to get paid.
mystix24 1 day ago 0 replies      
This type of scam permeates throughout society. In web design, media production companies. SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST WANT TO BELITTLE YOU AND MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR PRACTICE. THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE TO BE SMART WHEN YOU ARE HIRED.

You have to be smart and not be lead on by advertisers.

cinitriqs 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel sick to my stomach as well, all about the artist's heart here, as well as about the respect this one has for Spike Lee (which I admire a lot myself). As an advocate for righteousness, this does come across rather harsh and intimidating so I hope SL reconsiders the contract with the people responsible for this mishap... All the best though, all the best.
theboss 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to me this guy is going about it all wrong. Why not keep your mouth shut and sue. If he never got paid and never signed anything then it's a clear case of copyright infringement since the images are being used in commerce. Lawyer up and get off the internet.
AnotherDesigner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Agencies are giant corporations these days.


They will screw you every chance they get.

pbreit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I usually have very little sympathy designer complaints around spec work, pay and "borrowing" but this is totally messed up.
danso 1 day ago 2 replies      
Whew...I thought this was going to be an indictment of the Oldboy remake. Sure, the original was great, but I was interested in how an American director would handle the material.

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


lintr0ller 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should tweet your address to him so he knows how to find you.
fooshero85 1 day ago 0 replies      
The real question is, who is this agency? Typical run of the mill untalented agencies that steal other peoples work (even when they pay for it).
kaonashi 1 day ago 3 replies      
They didn't seem to use his comps I'm assuming he had access to the same pool of photography that the finals used, but that doesn't mean they ripped him off. The work on top of the photos seems very different to me.
chris_wot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who was the agency?
larrys 1 day ago 1 reply      
"But they said that the important thing wasnt the money it was the exposure and potential for more work. After thinking about it long and hard I had to decline. "

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.

lignuist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fight the power
bananacurve 1 day ago 12 replies      
Where are the internet hippies saying everything should be free?
mavdi 1 day ago 0 replies      
shitty remake anyway
erikig 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spike, you have 5 days...
marincounty 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most movies don't make what they used to--that is before the Internet. I would sue in small claims court. I'm surprisedThe Cricket didn't sub the job out to Indian graphic designer--and get away with paying a few rupees.
rurban 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always consider Spike Lee as technically worst filmmaker working today, and wondered who on earth did he get to rights for the Oldboy remake. He cannot even get the simpliest things right, and I wonder how often the DP needs to help him adjusting the shooting plan, tell him that he crossed the line and adjusted angles, and how much the editor has to fix. And we have to see the results. But with the Oldboy remake you would need a master, not an amateur with a hyper ego. Anyway, I decided to skip that desaster last year already. And now we see that he is also in other departments one of the lowest.
Shinden 1 day ago 2 replies      
As Richard Pryor once said "don't be messing wit dem Jews if you ain't got no money".

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!

End the N.S.A. Dragnet, Now nytimes.com
528 points by jedwhite  2 days ago   168 comments top 21
dalek_cannes 2 days ago 10 replies      

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

spodek 2 days ago 4 replies      
Senators have to go to the press to try to stop the government from doing what clearly breaks the law -- the Constitution, no less -- using up billions of taxpayer funds and undermines American business for no clear benefit.

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.

Lagged2Death 2 days ago 2 replies      
Our first priority is to keep Americans safe from the threat of terrorism.

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.

geuis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I disagree with this quote, "There is no question that our nations intelligence professionals are dedicated, patriotic men and women who make real sacrifices to help keep our country safe and free."

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.

nateabele 2 days ago 1 reply      
> "Our first priority is to keep Americans safe [...]

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).

dpweb 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Our first priority is to keep Americans safe from the threat of terrorism." There's the problem. Even by those protesting sweeping NSA collection, we're obsessed with this.

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.

monsterix 2 days ago 4 replies      
And what about the remaining 7 billion law-abiding souls on the planet? I resonate with the intent of this article but how come protecting only an Americans' privacy be of concern to this voice on NYT? I believe this approach is not only insular (apart from being stupid) but also destined to fail.

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.

znowi 2 days ago 0 replies      
> "Severing ties with the NSA" started off with a NSA penalty but was so hugely popular it still got the #1 spot. However, it was quickly given an even bigger penalty, forcing it down the page. [1]

Supposedly, "N.S.A." will not trigger HN's keyword penalty :)

[1] http://www.righto.com/2013/11/how-hacker-news-ranking-really...

pilker09 2 days ago 2 replies      
> "Our first priority is to keep Americans safe from the threat of terrorism."

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.

petejansson 2 days ago 0 replies      
What this editorial gets right is that the oversight regime for domestic surveillance is inadequate. What it misses, however, is that big piles of data are inevitable with the current trajectory of technology. It will not be possible to have the piles of data not collected. As others have written, the government surveillance agencies essentially saw what private industry was doing and said "I want a copy of that."

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.

001sky 2 days ago 4 replies      
Ron Wyden of Oregon, Mark Udall of Colorado and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, all Democrats, are United States senators.

== Why isn't this adressed to Dianne Feinstein?

segmondy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ending the NSA Dragnet is not the solution. The solution is to assume that there will always be a rogue agency wanting to spy and to come up with solutions that make it hard or impossible.
AsymetricCom 2 days ago 4 replies      
The thing about the NSA dragnet is that if the NSA wasn't doing it, then corporations would (are) doing it. You can't stop technology from moving forward. Someone is going to be sniffing your packets now until the end of time.
summerdown2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think one of the complications is we have become used to historically unusual levels of security. Far fewer babies die in childbirth these days. Cars have airbags. Medical care is fast and reliable.

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.

andyl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surveillance is a tool for oligarchs to control their citizens. The terrorist threat is theatric misdirection.
grej 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the quote from William Pitt is appropriate:

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

balabaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, for this opinion to make it into the mainstream conscious, it needs to be broadcast with the same gravity on Fox News and CNN where the large majority of uninformed Americans are spoon-fed their beliefs and opinions.
logfromblammo 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a Murphy's Law matter. The disaster cannot be prevented until it is technically impossible for it to continue.

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.

mrobot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm glad these guys are here for us. I honestly can't believe some of the comments on the times site.

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.

netman21 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, no dragnet, but our first priority is terrorists.
gchokov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Over? Well, okay, I trust you this time.
Jury: Newegg infringes Spangenberg patent, must pay $2.3 million arstechnica.com
521 points by lukeholder  2 days ago   272 comments top 59
gkoberger 2 days ago 3 replies      
The patent involved basic traffic encryption (SSL or TLS combined with the RC4 cipher), and the company already has made $45 million off it.

Here's some more info on the company they lost to:


TL;DR: They're patent trolls.

sytelus 2 days ago 11 replies      
Article starts with the most important two words:


From Wikipedia:

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!

bradleyjg 2 days ago 2 replies      
The original Anglo-Saxon juries were chosen from among local people because they knew the witnesses who would be testifying. The idea was that they could judge the credibility of the witnesses based on their direct experience with them.

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.

droithomme 2 days ago 2 replies      
It says this patent covers using SSL with RC4. SSL dates back to Netscape, was released in 1995, and has no one involved in it has anything to do with the patent holder here. RC4 was designed in 1987 by Ron Rivest who also has nothing to do with this case.

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.

taspeotis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Optimism please, they've beaten patents on appeal before:

> "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.

zellyn 2 days ago 3 replies      
Perhaps someone who knows more about the legal system can help me understand something: at this point, it's well-known that these areas of Texas are good for patent disputes: they receive national attention, and a massive influx of spending as companies travel there to fight court battles.

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?

SwellJoe 2 days ago 3 replies      
Disgusting. This is one of the reasons Texas has such a bad reputation: Ignorant juries and judges in the pocket of patent trolls.
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 1 reply      

  "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."
I think I see the trailer for the TV Mini series right there :-)

saryant 2 days ago 6 replies      
To those patting themselves on the back as we begin another round of Texas bashing (because, let's face it, for a number of people here that's their favorite part of patent stories), may I ask why you blame an entire state?

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.

natch 2 days ago 5 replies      
Bring a California company in front of a Texas jury, and call wild-haired Stanford visiting professor Diffie as a witness? I'm afraid this says more about the bigotry of the jury members toward Californians than it does about the case. My hunch is they (wrongly in so many ways) thought they would teach the hippie a lesson.
meritt 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Why Patent Trolls Worldwide Love Marshall, Texas" -- http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060203/0332207.shtml

Nearly 8 years ago. Unfortunately nothing whatsoever has changed.

brianobush 2 days ago 2 replies      
Makes me wonder why we allow juries to hear patent disputes. Do they really understand patents and their terse wording? I would rather have a jury of individuals that would be able to read, code and test the same concepts that they are deciding on.
batgaijin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't this just motivate startups to incorporate somewhere where software patents aren't enforced, like New Zealand?


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.

linuxhansl 2 days ago 1 reply      
> "I feel fortunate to live in a country with a judicial system like this where a jury can decide these things," [Jones] said.

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.

micahgoulart 2 days ago 3 replies      
I think Newegg was complacent, perhaps a bit cocky, bringing in the expert on encryption, pandering to the jury and going through a humorous exchange on his knowledge of it, thinking they had it in the bag after the shopping cart win.

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."

[1] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/11/newegg-trial-cryp...

davidw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Depressing, but this might be a good time to donate to those fighting for patent reform, like EFF.org
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos to NewEgg for the immense risk in fighting these.
defen 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's getting late and I don't really have the energy to dig into this patent (http://www.google.com/patents/US5412730), but on a cursory reading I don't see how it differs from the encryption work that Claude Shannon and Alan Turing were doing during World War 2, later embodied as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGSALY ... is it just because it transmits the data in "blocks"? Pretty low bar for novelty, there.
awwducks 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's coverage from the local paper.


Seems to be more of a TQP slant to it.

adamnemecek 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's terrible but I feel like they will win once they appeal the decision.
shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is the jury required to explain the logic of the decision, or it's simply "we decide this"? Rejection of such obvious proof of patent invalidity and existence of prior art looks pretty bad.
josscrowcroft 2 days ago 2 replies      
How can your average startup and company owner rest assured that they're not unconsciously walking into a patent troll's lair? I might be unknowingly infringing patents nobody has heard of (except companies like these).

Business idea: a service that investigates your stack (with your permission) and verifies that you're not likely to be sued.

Osiris 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why are patent disputes resolved by laymen (juries) rather than experts in law and the area of study of the patent itself? I just don't see how people completely unfamiliar with the subject matter at hand can be expected to understand highly technical arguments necessarily to determine patent validity.
scotth 2 days ago 0 replies      
To put it bluntly, that fucking sucks.
mattlutze 2 days ago 1 reply      
A few have commented how, internally to the IP law industry, the district is known to have a lot of specific domain experience with the argument of IP law. I can definitely understand why that would be attractive to patent-holding firms, in the way that Delaware is attractive to large corporations.

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.

CalRobert 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is no way in hell I'd start a company in the US. This BS is absolutely ridiculous. I can't imagine the thought of constantly living in fear I'd get sued for millions because I was using a fax machine, or some other ridiculously common piece of technology.

It doesn't help that juries are apparently the dumbest people on earth.

mynegation 2 days ago 1 reply      
Stupid question to those who know the US law: theoretically, would it be possible for Newegg to refuse to do business with residents of Texas, so it is impossible for other conmpanies to sue them in Texas?

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.

ytNumbers 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since we can't seem to stop these horrible patent trolls, perhaps they could be reined in with a law that limits how much damage they can do. If a new law limited these sorts of claims to a grand total of 10% of a company's gross sales for the year, a small business could survive these kinds of attacks without having to pay millions of dollars for lawyers. If a business was attacked by multiple patent trolls, then those trolls would have to fight each other in court as they each argued that they deserve the lion's share of the capped 10% of the company's gross sales for the year. Since our current patent system is being thoroughly abused, the question we should be asking is: What can be done to limit patent trolls so that small businesses can survive? Because right now it is very lucrative to be a patent troll, so in the future, we could wind up with a ton of them. It's not a bright future.
ck2 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious if these juries have any college education.
CamperBob2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm beginning to think that a sniper rifle is the best answer to these trolls.

Props to Newegg for fighting the good fight.

arbuge 2 days ago 0 replies      
"I feel fortunate to live in a country with a judicial system like this where a jury can decide these things"

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.

consultant23522 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yesterday I was reading an article about this case that stated Newegg didn't even bother to call their witnesses to dispute the amount of damages that would've been caused by their patent violation. It gave the impression that they were so confident that they had roundly destroyed the plaintiff's arguments that they didn't even bother to follow standard operating procedure for how to fight these types of cases.

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.

RexRollman 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is sad but not surprising. The game is stacked against the accused (they either pay a lot to defend themselves or pay in an effort to get the case to go away) and then they have to deal with venue shopping (Texas).
garthdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can we put up billboards in East Texas letting potential jurists know what the stakes for the country are?
eliben 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't $2.3m negligible for the size of companies involved and even compared to the legal expenses for this case?
venomsnake 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well ... expect some bad stuff to happen. Like a company subsidiary shell company developing all business method IP overseas and "selling" it to the parent and when a lawsuit emerges they will have just enough funds to mount a defense and then blow the fuse company. That way shell companies will fight shell companies in court ... the fun.
zacinbusiness 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've never had the pleasure of serving in a jury. How does it work? I have been under the impression that all jury members must agree on a single verdict? I know for a fact that I would not agree with this verdict. And I can't rationalize finding against Newegg here. Can someone who can see the other side (whether or not you agree) explain it here?
droopybuns 2 days ago 3 replies      
Uhhh.... RC4 + SSL = broken cryptosystem, right?

We're not bummed about additional incentives to avoid this broken approach to TLS, are we? This is actually a fucking good thing.

excitom 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a person with a computer science degree and years of experience in the software industry, I would love to be chosen for a jury like this so I could do my part in smacking down a troll. However I realize this will never happen precisely because I actually know something about the subject. Sadly, jurors are chosen for their ignorance and gullibility.
caycep 2 days ago 0 replies      
Were they expecting to set up a the criteria/grounds for appeal? If Newegg accomplished that, then they hopefully met their objective. I think the goal is to get it out of the Texas court and onto some place that is more objective.
beaker52 2 days ago 0 replies      
Imagine where we could be if everyone openly shared everything they discovered or invented. Just imagine a world where we co-operated instead of making life harder for one another.
bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just in time for me to throw some money at Newegg while I build out a new computer.
ChikkaChiChi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Marshall, Texas; population 24,751.

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.

Totient 1 day ago 0 replies      
Patent trolls are certainly a problem, but realistically you can't have laws without someone trying to abuse them.

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.

mkramlich 2 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped reading a few pages in when kept talking about meta/social/gossip stuff rather that what the case was actually about, what the patents were about. Low S/N.
dec0dedab0de 2 days ago 0 replies      
I planned on shopping at Newegg this week anyway, but now maybe a bit more than normal.
rwbt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does the jury give a detailed explanation beyond the judgement? Also how come all these patent trolls are incorporated in Texas?
smegel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why can't the world be just, I don't know, more decent and reasonable and just?
betterunix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great, another patent on abstract math upheld by our court system...
codygman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can we troll the patent trolls yet?
loganfsmyth 2 days ago 1 reply      
We'll have to hope it goes better on appeal. I would be very interested to hear the jurors reasoning.
pezh0re 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's cases like this that make me really miss Groklaw.
bovermyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
So... when are we going to abolish patents?
kunai 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does the jury for a highly specialized patent case exist and function in largely the same way as a jury for other trials? Namely, "peers" instead of educated individuals on the particular topic at hand?

If that's the case, the United States needs some serious judicial reform.

dreamdu5t 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm confused by people who both hold the position that these case are "patent trolls" while simultaneously supporting patents and copyright? This verdict is perfectly consistent with the reasoning and intention behind copyright and patent law.
charlysisto 2 days ago 0 replies      
sadly, one word comes in mind : the new mafia.
Fishrock123 2 days ago 0 replies      
wnevets 2 days ago 0 replies      
what a disgrace
voltagex_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh. Crap.
Show HN: Probabilistically Generating HN Post Titles grantslatton.com
426 points by gamegoblin  12 hours ago   206 comments top 126
gamegoblin 12 hours ago 21 replies      
I was inspired by this comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6813162

I find that lookback of 2 generally creates more entertaining titles. Lookback of 3 usually seems to just splice together two titles (which can be hilarious, and is usually more grammatically correct), and lookback of 1 tends to generate more nonsense.

Some fun ones I found just now:

    The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Teenage Hacker    How my comment on TechCrunch got me a new, useful superpower?    PHP Sucks But I Didn't    Windows 8 is 20% faster than C    The Navys newest warship is powered by WebGL    Cards Against Humanity has made comments even worse, I'm leaving    How Porsche hacked the financial system and made a html5 game, polished it many many times
Interestingly, if I change the code to pick the most likely word, followed by the most likely word, etc. the "most probable" post is "The New York Times and The Internet"

If I limit it to just 2013 posts, it is "The NSA surveillance".

My site is running on the smallest Digital Ocean droplet (512MB), if it goes down, I will feel silly. If it does, code can be found here: https://gist.github.com/grantslatton/7694811

jiggy2011 12 hours ago 9 replies      
That is literally hilarious."Nobodys going to download your bullshit app" ,"HN will be retired, transition to Google Wallet Anti-Competitively" , "The best interface is no retirement" , "Amazon's homepage was down for 6 hours to boot Ubuntu" , "PHP Sucks But I Like PHP" , "Programming is a Lie" ,""Gangbang Interviews" and "Bikini Shots": Silicon Valleys Start-Up Machine" , "Ask HN: What colour is your primary operating system" , "Chrome Engineer: Firefox Is A Costly Mistake" , "CSS Zen Garden is 10 times more efficient than the New Commodore 64" , "How one man escaped from a major UI overhaul" , "Turn anything into a Wikipedia article" , "Women, Tech Conferences and the "profitless business model" fallacy" , "MySQL now includes memcached, and a manifesto" , "FuckItJS: Runs your javascript code with MS Paint" , "Iceland Kicked Out of Y Combinator without an Idea" , "The shittiest project I ever read", "From idea to exit the vi editor"
DanBC 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Turn it into a game. "Which of these is real? [A] vs [B]" give people ten pairs of headlines and score them.

> MongoDB Gotchas and How To Avoid Getting Fired From Your Own Company

frik 10 hours ago 1 reply      

  Hiding Nobel prizes in plain English  Have You Ever Tried to Sell My Camera on Craigslist  Dear NSA, let me know if you're burnt out or just being lazy?  Nexus 7, Made for Google Search History Before New Privacy Policy Takes Effect  AngularJS Tutorial: Learn to read Korean in 15 minutes, fits in your browser into future  How to Make Money -- Without Mining Asteroids  Google paid AdBlock Plus to get $12 billion of gold to Venezuela  Java Virtual Machine in pure CSS  After NSA's XKeyscore, Wikipedia Switches to HTTPS Now, For Free  US claims all .com and .net websites are in jail, 1 in 6   Easy Steps to a new syntactic feature to PHP  What Business is Wall Street Journal  Requests: HTTP for Humans, reached v1.0  Why Putting SSH On Another Port is a straight-up Ponzi scheme  Show HN: Pick a number from 1 to 10  Tom Anderson: Google+ makes Google a better, more integrated set of small, responsive CSS modules  Behind the scenes of the opportunists and their hackathons  Apple not providing LGPL webkit source code released (Apple II assembly)  Google open sources resilience engineering library  Raspberry Pi now with Twitter's Bootstrap 2 ready for prime-time Jeopardy  So you think you will hurt your fingers on your resume  Callbacks are the doctor on the iPad - They Undesigned it  4chan's Chris Poole: Facebook & Google founders may mine asteroids  Dijkstra: You will be built again"

DigitalSea 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the greatest thing I have seen on Hacker News in a very long time, and I mean that. This is genius, the titles that it generates paint a pretty clear trend of topics HN likes to discuss: The New York Times, failure, Go, PHP and of course limited to 2013, the NSA.

Some of my favourites I've generated today include:

Living in a bubble

MIT is a Bing Affiliate Scam

My GF learned to be inflated in seconds

Hacker Who Helped Put Jazz Back in 1997 That Made Amazon a Gorilla

I Hope My Father Hated India

How you eat corn on the road to Starcraft

Tim O'Reilly: Really, Google is making a comeback due to harassment

Skype vulnerability allowing hijacking of an interview

Voyager 1 has been forked

Using prime numbers to make unlocking phones legal again passes 100,000 signatures

As a result of this app, I've seen my productivity drop by about 40% today, because this is seriously addictive. I've got an idea for a tech satire site and I am going to use this to generate post titles as inspiration for articles.

Pxtl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I am honestly laughing to the point of tears.

- I quit my job to personally email the first open source project

- The 19-year-old jailed for the HN interface

- Google to Sell your Company

- Einstein's list of front end development resources

- 4chan founder: Mark Zuckerberg married

- Mozilla and Partners Prepare to Launch a 65Gbps DDoS, and How You Fix It

- ORM is an idiot" (Update 3)

Pxtl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Man Survives Steve Ballmers Flying Chair To Build a Future Without Cars

Notch's 48-hour game: Prelude of the Libyan Rebels

Room Temperature Superconductivity Found in X.Org

Evernote Peek, The First Guitar That Anybody Can Play

How Carrots Became the new Nexus 5

US claims all .com and .net websites are in jail, the Internet caf in Zimbabwe

Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a wireless airplay speaker

Judge Orders U.S. to Release iOS Maps App Tonight

BoppreH 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Suggestion: filter the titles that are identical to real ones. Or maybe it was part of the plan, demonstrating how they are indistinguishable.

    My deadly disease was just a website.    IBM's "Watson" finally ready for preorder.    TileMill  an application for making my daughter cry.    "Anonymous" Hackers Take Down Megaupload Video    Google finally has a natural, almost visceral aversion to complexity    Syrian Internet Is a Hero    IRS claims it does not compute    Stripe raises $18 million from affiliate links on "Ad-Free" blog    Why I use paper to wipe my butt every day.    Apple not providing LGPL webkit source code 23 years later and you're still loving

moot 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"AppleCrate II: A New Future"

Fuck the iWatch and iTV -- I want an AppleCrate II.

"The Hacker News is a Work of Art"

Indeed it is.

fruchtose 6 hours ago 0 replies      
LevelDB: a fast multiple-account Google Docs makes it personal... very personal

Show HN: When is good time to cut the crap

Can Snowden be targeted using the Soundcloud API

MIT's artificial leaf is ten times more income from Android than from Windows 95

Free online version of Apache HTTP Server released

What the smartest people do on the Moon

Sorry, this blog post is not non-linear

Supreme Court to allow Google to sue me into acquiring. Help

Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Middle Of A Terrible Blubble

Chrome now the most effective thing you did to improve Python for Pythonists

IBM to Acquire a Domain Name?

My husband is a JavaScript library for capturing input

Youporn.com is now MIT licensed

yetanotherphd 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nothing makes a place feel like a hive of groupthink like n-grams.
vellum 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Woman Problem

Cosmo: A wolf in the command key files show how to Start Banning Servers

Custora (YC S12) Reinvents Transistors Using JSON

Ask HN: We Should Read (At Least Pretend to) Know Whats up

Guy makes a knife from scratch. He has to make a chat server in 12 lines of code

Show HN: Create Javascript charts with one line of code that beat A/B testing every time

Show HN: Why You

Im Glad We Need Emotional Support Staff to update to C# App

JQuery 1.5.1 released, includes memcached, written in 24 hours

Game Industry Needs a cartoonist's advice

tbirdz 11 hours ago 0 replies      

    My fellow geeks, we need to have a jobless future    Did everybody see what just happened? The pendulum has swung.    Do You Really Want to be a Programmer: A Short, Comprehensive, and Personal Summary    Why I won't be your technical co-founder    Killing the Internet to its knees    Hacking the iPod: How I Earned A Lot More on Projects by Changing My Pricing Strategy    YC S12 company refuses to pay for TextMate 2    A Billion Dollars Isnt Cool. You Know Whats Cool? Paid, Paid Vacation.    Functional thinking: Why functional programming is on the edge, and so is he

Pxtl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Eclipse launches new language to cut the crap

Anatomy of a 5pm Bedtime

Man Walks into a stuffed toy

Extracting Audio from Pictures of kittens for use as Paypal in 5 days

Why Education Companies Do Not Emulate These Oppressive Nations

Dear Programmer, I have seen the future of spam in Windows

Do Things that suck in AngularJS

SpaceX wins $440M contract with NASA to develop exploits?

Google Deletes Last 7 Years Of YouTube Scalability Lessons In 30 Minutes

Objective-C in The Rain, Spray Yourself With This

Why Japanese Web Design is Horseshit

John Carmack: Thoughts on Go after writing 3 websites

The Horrible Future of Markdown

herbig 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Our unrealistic views of death, through a thunderstorm
mikkom 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> The No. 1 Habit of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs

> RIP Open Source releases on GitHub

> How I've Made 200,000$ in the browser

> Massive deposit of lithium found in bag attended US security conference before death (2012)

> Flash is dead. Long live Postgresql

> Anonymous goes after Sony, makes it easy to do WYSIWG word processing

I love this site :-D

mcphilip 2 hours ago 0 replies      
NY Comptroller: Legalise marijuana, tax it now with three.js
beernutz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How to land an airplane if you are logged into Gmail

Tim O'Reilly: Really, Google is making a comeback due to harassment

Ask HN: Does anyone actually code at a parole

RBerenguel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Lost an stupidly large amount of time laughing so hard I cried. Some of the best:

Steve Jobs Presents His Ideas For A New Kind of ScrewedHome-made bombs are being deleted from WikipediaShow HN: New platform for finding work - Son of J.R.R. Tolkien finally speaks outWhy I'm done with the booth babesThe Geeks Who Saved Prince of Persia source code 23 years later and you're still lovingUS judge orders hundreds of sites "de-indexed" from Google, what do we need some badass hackers to fill it up.Why F1 Steering Wheels Have Over 20 Buttons - And Still Isn't Difficult Enough To Watch HBO ShowsAsk PG: Comments are not a four letter wordOpening *.txt file is dangerous on Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux bootingUltrabook: Intel's $300 million plan to beat comment spamOcean acidification due to HTML5Markdown.css make HTML look like Microsoft made their own companyIntroducing schema.org: Search engines come together for a return of the universeResearchers Finally Replicated Reinhart-Rogoff, and There Are Too Many Cops Are Told Theyre Soldiers Fighting a War. How Did We Get Here?Parsley.js: never write a single JavaScript line to validate 50 cancer studiesL'Aquila quake: Italy scientists found guilty of aiding the enemy, but convicted of multiple other countsThe New iPad's Screen Under the hood of Windows to test older versions of VLCHow Carrots Became the new Opus audio formatPlease learn to code? Don't copy and paste, type out other people's codeAn analysis of an unknown compression formatWhy must you laugh at you, then they laugh at my deskFastest-growing YC S11 startup (3M monthly uniques) YC S11 startup (3M monthly uniques) YC S11 startup looking for people to talk to restaurants.Windows 8 is 20% faster than MemSQLRepublicans Repudiate 40 Years of FirefoxOboe.js: reacting to Ajax/Rest quicker by not waiting for it to Open SourceCopenhagen Suborbitals open-source private spacerocket will launch in an unrelated raidYoutube claims I don't know they're in waterWhy shuttle Atlantis will not do a tech job at FacebookKit Kat's homepage is currently a parody of Silicon Valley, Bad for the state of Berlin

agibsonccc 4 hours ago 0 replies      
<3 markov chains. I had to do something like this for a homework assignment a long time ago. Here's mine:

PredictionIO A Simple Explanation for Why HP Abandoned Palm

Obama said the NSA Over Data Collection

NSA collecting phone records for his defenseHow to Be Upside-Down

GMail: designer arrogance and the $580 Million Black Hole

Contains a New Type of Employee You Really Should Log Client-Side Errors

How to solve it

Google disables AdSense account of Coinpal shut down a product? Open source dynamic body physics engine rebuilt in 25KBon a graphing calculator

Google to acquire Nokia

Serving at the Pleasure of the plot

Watch YC Startup with Paying Customers

A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of the storm we're pushing the YC application deadline back to Firefox 4 that makes you a better background pattern for your games.

Goodbye Basecamp, This Is All Your Email

37signals invests in synthetic beef

Groupon is a GitHubber

The first Django site to run for Australian Senate

Single page apps in the lab: Apple is back

Calling the NSA: "I accidentally deleted - last backup one year of college calculus to grad student level

Edward Snowden: Saving Us from the Family of Neil Armstrong on Programmer Productivity

Some advice from Jeff Bezos on Post purchase

Is Google building a TC alternative.

Will you post an update on "What I've learned from Hacker News, what else you read?

DanWaterworth 10 hours ago 0 replies      

    Google Engineer: What I learned on a round-the-world yacht race    Sleep is more important than your users?    Ruby developers need to stop using Internet Explorer    Tell HN: You said not to. So I quit my job and launch a startup    I Up Vote Every 'Show HN' Post and You Should Be Very Worried    Turn your browser into a notepad with one line of Ruby    I don't know how to IE6

pmtarantino 11 hours ago 2 replies      

    History made in under 1K of javascript

rdl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Next step is to get humans to write the articles based on those titles, and then auto-generate fake comments based on those articles.
bobbles 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Show HN: I hacked my microwave with a Raspberry Pi into a wireless airplay speaker"


chrismorgan 5 hours ago 0 replies      

  My GF learned to code in 3 months. This is what it's like to skydive through a thunderstorm
... the connection there is concerning.

  Bitcoin ruled illegal in North Carolina in 1961
Very impressive!

  Introducing BrowserID: A better Ruby REPL
And here I was, all along thinking it was something else.

  Static analysis of Steve Jobs To Take On The Nexus 7 is now feature complete for C++14
I knew C++14 was a broad-scoped language, but using the power of Steve Jobs to tackle Android? Who'd 'a thunked it?

rjtavares 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Best one I got: "How to build (and how not to do it again)"
raganwald 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"The policeman's beard if half-constructed"


namenotrequired 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of my favourites:

How to add a person to blame field to every site you visit

Larry Page to be forked

Why PHP Was a Political Prisoner at Birth in North Carolina in 1961

Why Explore Space? A 1970 Letter to sites with Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery UI or pure jQuery

Peter Thiel: Were in a Year

Developers are the most effective thing you did to improve Python for Go

Watch YC Startup with Paying Customers

loceng 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Why the cheapest maple syrup is the best predictor of code quality"
hvass 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is too good. This I easily see as a link bait at 'Business Insider':

"Why Quit? Because the other company has bigger monitors."

sean-duffy 10 hours ago 0 replies      

  Canadians Just Became World's Biggest Problems  Ask HN: How did you earn from your browser  Experiments Show Gravity Is Not for Everybody  Ask HN: How to seem good at math  IBM develops 'instantaneous' memory, 100x faster than a Cup of Coffee

FiloSottile 6 hours ago 0 replies      

> Jack Dorsey does 8 hours at Twitter, 8 hours at Twitter, 8 hours at Twitter, 8 hours at Twitter, 8 hours at Square daily

jamornh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing, can't stop laughing!

- Ubuntu ported to the Web when you hit it with the stupid stick

- Why the cheapest maple syrup is the new compose in Gmail

- Oxford announces new degree in Computer Security, Dies at 78

- Cancer Vaccine, tailor-made for each cashier

- Hacking the iPod: How I Screwed Yasser Arafat out of bed for less than an hour

libria 9 hours ago 0 replies      
From the producer that brought us The Social Network:

    1. The girl with the JavaScript Ninja Update
Categorized under "Well, that was fast":

    3. Rate my startup was my worst mistake

kr4 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How to land an airplane if you are logged in Gmail

Matt Damon: Edward Snowden did a great job translating LPTHW to Ruby

Dropbox Bug Can Permanently Lose Your Family

Mozilla should move Persona out of the plane (2004)

Sleep is more important than your users?

MongoDB Gotchas and How To Avoid Getting Fired From Your Own Company

~/.osx a collection of well-written GPGPU programming tutorials

politician 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> Can Snowden be targeted using the Soundcloud API?


lazugod 10 hours ago 0 replies      
- Question for PG: Where do you work?

- Things I Wish I Had Been Given

- GIMP is Now a Self-Contained Native App for Mac OS X Mouse Annoyances

- Why it is awesome to be inflated in seconds

- Show HN: I really need your money

- Why two spaces after a takedown?

- I'd like to skydive through a mountain

- Why I still don't contribute to an asshole

iagooar 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm laughing out really loud:

* Understanding the code quality of the Fibonacci Sequence

* Dad hacks Donkey Kong for his defense

* Show HN: Built a Billion-Dollar Business and Still Gets Home By 5:30 PM

* Show HN: Tired of Being Tired

* Eulerian Video Magnification for Revealing Subtle Changes in Rails?

* Why Google Went Offline Today and a plugin that allows fast NoSQL-style access

* On Atwood's Please Don't Learn to read a sentence of Chinese kleptocracy

* Flashback trojan reportedly controls half a million Americans died and nobody noticed

* Why I left Google. What happened to all the female developers?

* How to land an airplane if you are logged in Gmail

* In emergency cases a passenger was selected and thrown out of the US

* Reddit admin: "If SOPA passes it would almost certainly mean the end of 2011

* Software Architecture cheat sheet for web forms

* How Porsche hacked the financial system and made a html5 game, polished it many many times

neuralk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant, hilarious, and either scarily accurate or perfect satire:

  Ask HN: I might be a spook  Show HN: I'm tired of seeing  Mark Cuban: If you want to get rich, stop being a fucking joker  Google+ is now available as an alpha release (1991)  Apple announces Mac OS X mouse annoyances

loceng 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Add voting for top titles to get the gems in a list...
girvo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, I'll pay these:

    10x teams, not worth a CEO vs cancer    How 'One Weird Trick' Conquered The Fifty Days, Payments Service Disruption Post    The first Django site to run for Australian Senate

wmf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Show HN: I really need your money"
y-satellite 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Funniest thing I've seen in a few days. Markov algorithms are underrated as sources of hilarity.

  After 180 Websites, I'm Ready to Start the Rest of My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

hluska 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm having one of the worst days of my adult life, but this one made me laugh very hard.

#9 - Reginald Braithwaite is a Red Herring

jere 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You should make this into a twitter bot, la Two Headlines https://twitter.com/TwoHeadlines.
henrik_w 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely hilaruous! Some good ones:

Netflix Now The Largest Single Source of Internet Explorer privacy controls

How one man escaped from a major statistical error.

20 lines of e-mail data

Skype options turn out to be a Girl in Tech

Scott Adams: How to Apply to Y Combinator Started

raverbashing 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's the best ones I got:

"Our office is too slow for programming"

"E17 is out after many years in jail, the Internet from the Other Side"

"Jack Dorsey: Today Starbucks Signed up for Stallman"

"Everything you need to stop fixing bugs in PHP"

eitland 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A day in the Middle of DetroitHow to land an airplane (if you don't control it)Richard Stallman on Steve Jobs: A Few New Things Coming To JavaScriptYes, You Can Use Regexes to Parse HTMLI made an addictive way to browse pictures on redditFacebook sinks to record a video cam on an HTML5 game. I finally understand why I'm not buying Facebook
corford 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"No, I'm not going to have a jobless recovery. Were going to have a jobless recovery. Were going to have a jobless recovery. Were going to have a jobless recovery. Were going to have a jobless recovery. Were going to have a talk."

"AWS is down due to IP litigation"

jimmytucson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's amazing how with a little ingenuity you can program a source of hysterical laughter. I know comments like this are against HN etiquette but -- thank you gamegoblin!
kissickas 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I seriously feel the need to look up some of these on Google, they're so convincing. All from the same batch, lookback=2:

SOPA sponsors break their own IE6-countdown site.

The Arduino Solution to Clearing Afghan Landmines

What Major World Cities Look Like It Was Made By Samsung

WordPress Discontinues Support for SOPA

mieubrisse 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm a loser and I need someone to talk about why I'm not allowed to use Lisp"
DouweM 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I just built a Chrome extension that randomly adds one of these to the Hacker News and hckr news frontpages: https://github.com/DouweM/AlgoNews
MichaelMoser123 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you Gamegoblin, now it is clear to me that I am spending too much time on HN.And...Must resist the \for a mee too. (futile).

Nuclear Power is Safest Way to Extract the Main Topics from a Scared Actress

US Patent system so dysfunctional you can tell Arial from Helvetica?

N-gram Analysis of the world for 8 years straight

Guys buy island on Craigslist, use Kickstarter to turn up

the volume in the wrong SSL certificate

Bill Gates: My Plan to Raid The Pirate Bay

Sergey Brin invests in Duck Duck Go

henrik_w 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminded me of "SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator" http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/
vezzy-fnord 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Winamp's woes: how the NSA

This was HN just a few days ago.

pmelendez 10 hours ago 1 reply      
> "I took the top 10 daily posts for the last 3 years from Hacker News Daily (sorry about the few thousand wgets last night!)"

I believe you could HNSearch API (https://www.hnsearch.com/api) and that would not impact the website performance

Groxx 5 hours ago 1 reply      

    Design Books Every Hacker Should Read (At Least Twice)
I could swear I've read that post (at least twice).

jw_ 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"I quit my job, and I'm excited about a Failing Startup"
ivanhoe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Functional Programming For The First Smartphone Designed Entirely By Lawyers" - this sounds totally legit :)
namanyayg 11 hours ago 2 replies      
This is amazing!

I got:

    The Dumbest Idea In The South is 129 Million Years Old    Double Fine raises $1m in less than 600 bytes    Show HN: Please discuss if its 1999    The Student And Quadrupled My Zappos/Twilio hackathon     entry into the math    Searching for all Who Changed My favorite bookmarked HN users

    How Khan Academy is the Future of Education    What its like to work for Google
I'm pretty sure these are actual titles (lookback = 3)

Thanks for the laugh :)

joshaidan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like I found my weekend project:

"Show HN: Game where you write Python robots to fight crime"

Semaphor 11 hours ago 0 replies      

    Show HN: I will stop providing any service to MPlayer    Canada Is About to Come Undone?    Do the Dishes, Put Out, Dont Talk So Much Radiation?    How Paypal and Reddit faked their way to browse pictures on reddit    Oracle gives up trying to escape police    Opera moves to restrict Internet freedom    Our office is too big -- we need a Pirate

izietto 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I got this: "Google finally has a huge security hole". Finally!
mck- 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of a hackathon project of mine: https://github.com/mck-/oneliner

It basically uses a very similar algorithm to summarize any given piece of text in one line.

lanekelly 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Got this one:

>No, I still don't want to download your bullshit app

Thinking it was too good to not already be a headline, I searched and found this:

>No, I'm not going to download your bullshit app

Pure gold.

minciue 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. Thanks for this, I haven't had such a good laugh in a while.Here's what I got:

  Hashify.me - store entire website content in the cloud  Obama administration is still so offensive  This Internet provider pledges to put man on Mars  EFF: Apple Should Stand Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction  Video shot from the ground up.  Drunk scientists pour wine on superconductors and make tons of money?"  Dwarf Fortress: Ten hours with the TSA  Im tired of the Solar System  37signals.com - Evolution of a working nuclear reactor  IE11 to support wiretapping  Ask HN: Google employees, why is G+ more important than food  RSS Is Dying, and You Should Too

r0muald 7 hours ago 0 replies      
An unknown proportion of these titles have a corresponding news article or blog post, somewhere on the Web, just waiting to pop up on HN.
increment_i 10 hours ago 0 replies      
These ones got me some odd looks from my coworkers (couldn't hold in the laughs):

  The Node Beginner Book, a guide to Objective C  What Happens to the HN Crowd: Do nothing for 2 minutes  The polynomial algorithm for a Cool Billion Dollars  My husband is a new IDE for poets

DouweM 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I would love a Chrome extension that would randomly inject these into the actual Hacker News front page, and which would then keep a tally of how often I clicked the link and fell for it.
Avalaxy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
- Power surges in Britain caused by millions of people on Mars

- How to hack the immigration system with a floating incubator

- Lavabit's founder: 'If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Know about jQuery

- Google Unveils The iPhone 5S

OGC 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Redditor Explains Why They're Wrong"

Like that is going to happen.

fla 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for this ! And by the way :

"Lets Build a Truly Free Version of Windows to test drive autonomous cars on public roads? California says yes"

archildress 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll join, this is fun:

  - Thank HN: 127 days since I quit Facebook  - Dropbox: The Hottest Startup You've Never Heard of  - Facebook detects if you are not a pilot  - Reddit traffic doubles in less than 600 bytes  - How to break in Gmail & Major Torrent client for work on Jeopardy

cupcake-unicorn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Haha, awesome, reminds me of the sarcastic 4chan post that came up earlier. Here's a great one:

I love weird socks and I'm surfing a PDF

donjo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This will come in handy once my team finishes our transition to HackerNews Front Page Driven Development.
downer95 10 hours ago 0 replies      

  1. An unofficial alternative to Node.js  2. Ask HN: Best books you read daily?  3. EU Commissioner Will Simply Ignore Any Rejection Of ACTA By EU Parliament supports the new Junk Food  4. Why you shouldn't start a startup on Haskell [video]  5. Stallman: Facebook is using IE6 as standard for displaying web pages  6. Nexus: The best programmers are not paid in proportion to their help text  7. "They're Made out of Facbook is not a war zone  8. Behind the scenes of the opportunists and their hackathons  9. Antibiotic resistance: The last time I saw Steve Jobs  10. The UK Court Sanctions Apple, Hopes "Lack of Integrity" Is Not Free

valtron 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> Matt Damon: Edward Snowden did a great job translating LPTHW to Ruby
jlees 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice work!

How about caching the number of upvotes and estimating the potential popularity of the generated titles, then for the most promising, getting a ghostwriter to actually create them? Could turn out brilliantly.

imdsm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> My Neighbor, Steve Jobs dissed me in a "map" interface

Damn Steve Jobs.

timewasted 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome.

    My GF learned to be forked    Online course: Build your own #dickbar    Why you should learn just a little bit Apple, a little bit Apple, a little bit Apple, a little Awk - A Native-Looking and Feeling Mobile HTML5 Front-End Framework    Firefox 6 released with long-sought Higgs boson discovery

3rd3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe it could display the original titles when one moves the cursor over the individual words?
garychou 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Facebook is what happens when one guy practices art every day for nine years"
darkxanthos 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Markov chains were my first foray into machine learning. Painfully simple and accessible. It's a great way to show the power of just a little data.
runj__ 11 hours ago 0 replies      

  Sleep is more useful than bash  Changes to my career in magic  The most difficult CEO skill: managing your own #dickbar  Confused by lawsuit, Apple consumers switch to git  Netflix to lose time and money

gliptic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Since everyone is doing it...

  Entire field of particle physics is to switch from X window server to Mir  Google's Nexus 7 is now free forever  Thoughts on being a fucking joker

jbrooksuk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
These are brilliant! Using a loopback of > 3 seems to be the best for me.

> I analyzed the chords to 1300 popular songs for patterns. This is what a DDoS attack looks like

Coincoin 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's clearly broken, in three tries, it didn't generate any title starting with "How" or "Why".
bhaumik 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So you created the http://what-would-i-say.com/ for all of Hacker News? Kudos.
davecap1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh no:

    Robert Morris, computer security expert, dies at the age of 91

vmp32k 2 hours ago 0 replies      

    ACTA killed in hit and run accident

tehwalrus 11 hours ago 0 replies      

    Show HN: I love weird socks and I'm excited about a year & sold a startup...with only 300 lines of Ruby
this is gold :)

swoker 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Hover.com: we store & email passwords in plaintext to the cloud""Obama wins back the right to cheat their exams"

I laughed so hard!

coldcode 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Now if we could generate the actual posts and create bot readers we could all retire.
ArekDymalski 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Rubular - a visual programming language with eternal moral vigilance"

Oh, I just hope people will start doing stuff that fits these titles.

namenotrequired 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Solve your first 10 customers" - what, kill them with chemical solutions?
bobfunk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Can't help but add a few of the most hilarious it gave me:

How I Became a Billion Dollar CompanyDropbox Bug Can Permanently Lose Your FamilyMPAA Publicly Threatens to Stop Writing REST API ClientsGet-shit-done - Easy way to write a single DMCA noticeLinux To Become A Better Twitter BootstrapGovernment: we can solve a problem with VimTower.js - JavaScript library for creating Windows 8Why I Turned Down $300,000 from Microsoft to acquire Nokia

darkstalker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
- Bunny.py: A WiFi darknet that hides its traffic in the cinema


harvestmoon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
- What Powers Instagram: Hundreds of Passwords

- Gmail.com was down for 6 hours to boot Ubuntu

- MongoDB Gotchas and How We Nearly Lost the Discovery Shuttle

- Facebook, I want to pay defendants' legal bills

- How I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a matter of minutes

evilturnip 8 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite:

Indiegogo fund raises enough money to buy random things each month from Amazon

drak0n1c 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Plenty of Fish Hacked - Chris Russo explains how he did it

25 years ago I hoped we would extend Emacs to do market research

fyskij 4 hours ago 0 replies      
After 180 Websites, Im Ready to Start the Rest of My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
gautamnarula 6 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite: Germany Minister o Justice demands immediate response to "Paul Graham's Letter to YC Companies"
j_m_f 9 hours ago 0 replies      

  Lesser known C Craft: C Programs  PostgreSQL doesn't care  Functional thinking: Why I don't "get" art  Elon Musk says um ~7 times the tech sector

jseip 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Endlessly entertaining: "ACLU launches phone app to help you avoid hills in SF"
joallard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A Man Walks All Day to Create Spectacular Snow Patterns

Understanding the code quality of the Fibonacci Sequence

Gmail.com being MITM'd by Iran using this idea by now: Font Icons.

FWeinb 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great!

Best ones:

Zuck, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey In Short Film To Inspire Kids To Learn How To Write Code In 2012

The tent that turns into concrete in less than 600 bytes

CoffeeScript is not a four letter word

ismail 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Federal Prosecutors, in a cellular automata on an RC truck and saves the lives of 6 soldiers
hilarium 3 hours ago 0 replies      
These had me on the floor:

My husband is a JavaScript library for capturing input

Ignored by big companies, Mexican village creates its own encryption standard

I hate almost all software Ryan Dahl steps down

U.S. Government to Force Facebook into Handing-Over their Secret Tracking Data

Show HN: Learn Math the Hard Way

Valve hired their first Github repo

garychou 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"4chan founder: Mark Zuckerberg is annoying the bankers"
cossatot 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Only going to share 1, it was so good:

'''Down syndrome reversed in 2011'''

metaxy2 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I may have gotten the best one, on my second try:

"Zynga Shuts Down LucasArts"

kronholm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for a much needed laugh. This one was my favorite: "Microsoft releases tool for humans"
AndrewBissell 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty great, but I'm surprised there's not more RandomLibraryName.js or .io.
ismail 8 hours ago 0 replies      
WordPress has left the solar system
tobltobs 11 hours ago 1 reply      
pimp up your droplet, this is great.
Atroxide 10 hours ago 0 replies      
HN should put a few of these headlines onto the frontpage on april fools day...
coherentpony 11 hours ago 0 replies      
No "Severing ties with..." titles? :)
ericgsmith 6 hours ago 0 replies      
In 1951 there was a startup on Haskell
mrbuttons454 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I quit my job and am excited about a Failing Startup
SteroidsLove 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Im writing my own DNS servers"
flippyhead 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it!
lukasm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant! :)

Apartments So Small They Can Say No

jmtthis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool hack to take a photo of Neil Armstrong
jsumrall 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell HN: My Startup Failed. Fuck.
inanov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
That's quite fun!
Penny Arcades Insultingly Horrible Job marco.org
407 points by ambirex  2 days ago   295 comments top 55
VexXtreme 2 days ago 5 replies      
A lot of companies out there are run by total morons or psychopaths, this doesn't surprise me at all. This sounds like a combination of both.

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.

fragsworth 2 days ago 5 replies      
There are so many fucking developers out there who are totally unaware of their own value, and will take a salary significantly less than they're worth. This usually comes as a result of nervousness in interviews, lack of confidence, fear of going broke, and/or some other feeling of desperation.

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.

ssclafani 2 days ago 7 replies      
Robert Khoo, the business manger of Penny Arcade and the one who wrote this job ad subscribes to the "work is family" level of cultural fit. He looks at hiring as adding a new member to the family rather than just filling a position. This is why his job ads and hiring methods are so harsh. The three seasons of Penny Arcade's video show paint a good picture of what it's like to get hired and work at Penny Arcade: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/show/pa-the-series.
DigitalSea 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm glad someone spoke up about it. I was rather insulted as a developer myself who feels undervalued that a business is doing nothing to help improve conditions for developers, this is why the industry is plagued with mental health issues; we aren't sleeping, we are drinking a lot of coffee, we have no time to socialise or even spend time outside in the air/sun. Workplace conditions as highlighted in the job ad for Penny Arcade are what is wrong with the industry as a whole.

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.

snogglethorpe 2 days ago 5 replies      
The actual ad seems a lot less disturbing than Marco's write-up of it... the main thing I notice is it seems to avoid the typical grinning-HR-guy-speak and sounds more like they're being honest about things.

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...

pesenti 2 days ago 6 replies      
> Full Medical, Vision and Dental, 401k (SEP) retirement contributions (2% of annual income per year), Holiday pay, Periodic bonuses, Flexible vacation time, We're willing to relocate you if need be

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).

minimaxir 2 days ago 1 reply      
In a bit of life-imitating-art, Penny Arcade also co-writes a side webcomic about poor conditions in the gaming QA industry: http://trenchescomic.com/

The Tales from the Trenches section is less hilarious in hindsight.

DanI-S 2 days ago 1 reply      
> This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture

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.

MartinCron 2 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't seem that out-of-the-ordinary in how horrible it is, but there is something really unsettling in the "yeah, this is going to be terrible" attitude of the job poster. There's an arrogance there that I don't think is earned by being part of an only sometimes funny publication.
jpatokal 2 days ago 4 replies      
Props to PA for the honesty though. There's plenty of jobs like this out in small businesses that only need/can afford one "IT guy" to run everything, and most will have pretty much this exact set of requirements (can't pay crazy dot-com salaries, has to be able to do a bit of everything, be on-call 24/7 if the shit really hits the fan), but how many of them would actually spell it out?
lingben 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Annual Salary: Negotiable, but you should know up front were not a terribly money-motivated group."

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.

vinceguidry 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is absolutely the norm for the creative industry. They pour themselves into their work, and they expect you to too.

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.

rfnslyr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel like this isn't terribly demanding position. How hard can it possibly be? They're websites aren't very complex and the system is already in place. Sounds like a full-stack-engineer-gone-maintenance position.

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.

Segmentation 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm reminded of the movie MoneyBall. Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt are employed with what outsiders would consider horrible jobs, but each stick with it because they enjoy it.

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.

gordaco 2 days ago 0 replies      
The job posting looks an awful lot like the usual videogame programmer job: it's bound to attract some people just because of the nature of the job, so they don't bother adding good money or perks. In this case it's a little more blatant and there seems to be some boasting from the employer, but in the end it's the same.

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.

fotoblur 2 days ago 1 reply      
At dinner one night I overheard a senior guy tell a junior guy that what he couldn't pay him in salary, he'd pay him in experience. The junior guy was full of excitement. The senior guy was also full of excitement but did his best to conceal it because he had just won a favorable victory in convincing another to do his deeds without an equitable compensation.
santoshalper 2 days ago 0 replies      
Man, the people complaining about this shit are hilarious. I bet half of you people are "libertarians". Nobody has to take this job, and if it means they don't get a good employee, then so be it, that's their business decision. I get worrying about McDonald's employees, many of those folks are living in poverty and have few other options. Anybody who can do this job has a lot of options and even if underpaid will be far from poverty.

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.

mbesto 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Their unreasonable, immature expectations are a damaging message to send to their huge audience of young software developers.

Two things:

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.

mikeash 2 days ago 1 reply      
This blog post basically boils down to: you will work far more than a regular full time job, and you will be paid poorly.

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.

FreeKill 2 days ago 1 reply      
Personally, that job is not for me, but I don't see the harm in "shooting for the moon" in a job description if they think they can get a candidate that matches the criteria. Why wouldn't you try to get someone overqualified and then underpay them if you think you can? It's not PA's fault people will apply for the position or that they can sell themselves as a desirable destination for more reasons than balance and compensation.
doktrin 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I don't usually find myself in staunch agreement with some of what Marco has to say (particularly with regards to Apple), I fully endorse this post.

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.

nwh 2 days ago 3 replies      
Archive of the advertisement for prosperity/history http://archive.is/pqsJT
crygin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the ... third (maybe fourth?) article on this topic today to get up into the top few posts on HN before disappearing into oblivion. Some people really don't want to have a conversation about how young tech folks are being exploited.
Jemaclus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not defending PA's job listing, because I do agree that it's absurd, but it's also important to remember that job listings tend to be for "ideal" candidates. Actual hired candidates are often far less qualified than the ideal candidate listed in the job requirement.

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.

RandallBrown 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why would this salary be very low?

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.

deletes 2 days ago 2 replies      
For anyone not familiar with Penny Arcade( PA ), the absurd condition are there to reduce the number of candidates applying. Pa gets thousands of applications every time they have a job opening. Everyone dismissing the possible job at PA for those conditions is automatically removed from the process and that is exactly what R.Khoo wants. In case you are wondering why would you still want to work there, then you are not the Candidate, and >shock<, they don't want you there. Yes it is that simple.

Anyone who wants to work at PA, knows why very well.( hint: its not the money )

wilg 2 days ago 1 reply      
"a person that can do four jobs"

"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?

shunter 2 days ago 0 replies      
This passive aggressive tone permeates a lot of PA's comics, postings, and general presence. So I'm not surprised to see it. They've built a community around the over all nerd thug mentality that exists within their forums.

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.

mildtrepidation 1 day ago 2 replies      
The ad does look like either an awful but honest job offer or a fairly clever collection of Bad IT Hiring Behavior jokes. No one here seems to think the latter, and like a lot of others I worked plenty of these before understanding how undervalued the position was... do we have it from the horse's mouth that this is real?

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.

Untit1ed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh cmon. There are thousands of tech jobs that don't pay that well and require all those skills. The difference is that when those companies go to find someone, they lie in the ad. How is being honest insulting?

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.

bigd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm doing almost the same job, in Northwestern University for 37k year.

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.

jakemcgraw 1 day ago 0 replies      
For anyone that hasn't experienced it first hand: "programmer" + "IT/computer guy" is a recipe for professional failure. The demands are so different and balancing them is impossible. You can be an IT person or software developer but never both at the same time. It is also a sign that whomever job description doesn't understand the difference.
jsumrall 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the few things to make me audibly laugh today. They expect you to know everything(to be THE MOST CRUCIAL person in the company), but I let it go thinking there was some perk I was going to read next which justified it.

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.

InclinedPlane 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've debated about posting on this but I figure context is probably more helpful than not.

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.

goshx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish the person that left the job would show up here and tell us how it is like to work there and take care of all those items.
jurassic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since we're talking about insane job ads, I saw this one recently: http://www.splore.com/content/jobs

"You should be ready to make this startup the primary focus of your life"

lnanek2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty common at startups where your actual job is often "everyone does everything". It's quite common to only have a business person and a set of one or more developers, for example. Then the developers start having to do IT and sys admin that can't be outsourced or clouded out like in the linked job ad. I think the ad is honest and it gives the impression that the PA biz guy seems like a straight shooter, personally. :)
JacobJans 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of people here who are creating jobs.

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.

Create dream jobs.

Please :)

If you succeed, I promise that it will be one of the most gratifying things you ever do.

10098 2 days ago 0 replies      
> if you [...] dont mind having a really bad sense of work-life balance, this is the job for you.

wtf, they're not even trying

danso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, I'm really divorced from the real world. The Penny Arcade ad, other than the edgy snark, reads like virtually every developer position I've ever read in the media/news business.

(yes, this is an indictment of the already troubled news industry)

droopyEyelids 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure how to understand this in the context of respecting human life. How does the team that created this posting think of people?
singingfish 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found a somewhat interesting job on odesk the other day (via a contact, I don't keep an eye on odesk). Once I informed the person offering the job what we could do for them and how much it cost, they pulled the advert and recast their plans.

tl;dr; It's not always as grim as it looks. but in this case it might be.

GhotiFish 2 days ago 0 replies      
you know. When I read the story, I thought it was a little too harsh. Then I read Penny Arcades job post.

(the title blog post's title is a link to the job posting)


That's pretty horrible.

mverwijs 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I were willing to make those hours for that pay, I'd start my own company.
thinkpad20 2 days ago 1 reply      
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading that.
javajosh 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's a reasonable strategy, because it's the same one other prestige companies use, particularly in gaming. Blizzard, for one, doesn't pay market rates for developers. It's a 15% difference or so, and you accept it because...well, it's Blizzard, and you really want to work there. The same may hold for a few other prestigious companies, like Valve, Bioware, etc.

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.)

drunkenmasta 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess the sad part is that they will still have plenty of people falling over themselves to get the job.
SheepSlapper 2 days ago 1 reply      
Haven't we beat this subject to death already?


ekarulf 2 days ago 1 reply      
For eight years of my life, I was this "Do-Everything Rockstar." I was also a student for the majority of that time. I certainly wasn't a "programming deity" -- I was just a kid that was presented with the opportunity to learn some incredible lessons about scaling, appsec, capacity planning, etc. I also learned soft skills like how to negotiate, travel, and delegate.

The skill set absolutely exists and, for the right person, it's a great job.

rrich 2 days ago 1 reply      
Totally understand the work life balance issue, particularly coupled with basically what's being pointed out as a sub par salary. But I really don't understand how that skill set is a premium. If you are a web developer I would expect all those skills to be part of your repertoire. I've seen worse, desired skill sets encompassing the impossible. The 20 years experience programming Java want ads, circa 2000.
wismer 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's really only one person behind this job listing and that's Robert Khoo. He's got great business acumen, but not a great nose in determining the job expectations for a position like this. That being said, it seems like poor form to insult the business manager of a small company without offering advice first and it is unseemly to use such excoriating language. Does this blogger fellow know Khoo?
Kiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds fun and the kind of postings I'm looking for. If I'm going to waste half of my life in a company I want to be in one where everyone is dedicated.
AliAdams 2 days ago 0 replies      
PA has been digging its own grave for a while now. Such a crime as I love a lot of the content. Who thinks that charging for access to the html5 player is a clever model?
drakaal 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are a manager (I am a CTO), Raise your hand.Put your hand down if you have never heard of Penny-Arcade.

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.

vernie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sucks that you're being forced to apply, huh?
Docker 0.7 runs on all Linux distributions docker.io
397 points by zrail  2 days ago   128 comments top 25
shykes 2 days ago 5 replies      
A few details on the "standard linux support" part.

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.

Legion 2 days ago 2 replies      
Could someone explain the logistics of Docker in a distributed app development scenario? I feel like I am on the outskirts of understanding.

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.

Sprint 2 days ago 4 replies      
I looked at it several times but never really got it. Can I use Docker to isolate different servers (think http, xmpp, another http on another port) on a server so that if one of them was exploited, the attacker would be constrained to inside the container? Or is it "just" of a convenient way to put applications into self-contained packages?
neals 2 days ago 2 replies      
I see docker come around every now and then here. I'm a smalltime developer shop, small team, small webspps. What can docker do for me?

Can this reduce the time it takes me to put up and Ubuntu installation on Digital Ocean?

Is this more for larger companies ?

speeq 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know if it is possible to set a disk quota on a container?
Nux 2 days ago 3 replies      
EL6 users (RHEL, CentOS, SL), I've just learned Docker is now in EPEL (testing for now, but will hit release soon):

yum --enablerepo=epel-testing install docker-io

PS: make sure you have "cgconfig" service running

sown 2 days ago 2 replies      

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.

T-zex 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it possible to have multiple instances of the same app running in Docker containers and having readonly access to a "global" memory linked file? What I'm trying to achieve is having sand-boxed consumers having access to some shared resource.
apphrase 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone please tell about the overhead of Docker, compared to no-container scenario (not against a fat vm scenario)? I am a "dev" not "ops", but we might make use of Docker in our rapidly growing service oriented backend... Thanks
shimon_e 2 days ago 0 replies      
The links feature will make deploying sites a million times easier.
Xelom 2 days ago 2 replies      
Will it be possible to run Docker containers on Android? I may be asking this incorrectly. So correct me if I have a mistake. My question might be "Will it be possible to run Docker containers on Dalvik VM?" or "Can I run an Android in Docker container?"
chr15 2 days ago 1 reply      
For local development, I use Vagrant + Chef cookbooks to setup my environment. The same Chef cookbooks are used to provision the production servers.

It's not clear to me how I can benefit from Docker given my setup above. Any comments?

gexla 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, I assume that if you aren't using AUFS then you don't have to deal with potentially bumping up against the 42 layer limit? Or does this update also address the issue with AUFS?
jeffheard 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is crazy talk of course, but I wonder if there'd be some way to use rsync or git to support distributed development of images the way git does with code?

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.

unwind 2 days ago 1 reply      
Annoying typo in the submission's title, it would be awesome if someone could fix that.

It's just s/distrubtions/distributions/, obviously.

jfchevrette 2 days ago 2 replies      
Unfortunately it looks like the documentation has not been updated yet...

So much for feature #7. Documentation should be part of the development/release process

dmunoz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nice to see Docker 0.7 hit with some very useful changes.

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.

neumino 2 days ago 0 replies      
You guys are awesome, just awesome!

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!

oskarhane 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hmm, not sure I'm understanding #1 correct. Can I install it on, let's say, Debian without Vagrant/Virtualbox now?

I can't find the info in the docs.

saboot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have heard / read about docker for quite some time, yet it is unclear still how this is useful.

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?

kro0ub 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can someone please explain what docker does and brings to the table, what all the fuss seems to be about? I've looked into it several times and really can't tell from any of what I've found.
binarnosp 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks like the Ubuntu packages are not there? (apt-get cannot find them)
vpsserver 2 days ago 1 reply      
It doesn't run on a typical OpenVZ VPS.

Is there any alternative for separating apps on a single VPS?

Edmond 2 days ago 0 replies      
getting excited about docker and lxc in general..
igl 2 days ago 0 replies      
i like docker \o/
Why GNU grep is fast (2010) freebsd.org
393 points by kurren  18 hours ago   115 comments top 32
michaelsbradley 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The author of The Silver Searcher[1] has some blog posts about his efforts at optimizing his own grep-like tool.

There's nothing wrong with good ole grep, but on boxen I spend any significant time on, I always install ag. The integration with Emacs provided by ag.el[2] is awesome too!

[1] https://github.com/ggreer/the_silver_searcher#how-is-it-so-f...

[2] https://github.com/Wilfred/ag.el

yelnatz 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm actually more familiar with the KMP algorithm than BM. So I looked it up to see what the difference was:

The classic Boyer-Moore algorithm suffers from the phenomenon that it tends not to work so efficiently on small alphabets like DNA.

The skip distance tends to stop growing with the pattern length because substrings re-occur frequently.

By remembering more of what has already been matched, one can get larger skips through the text.

One can even arrange 'perfect memory' and thus look at each character at most once, whereas the Boyer-Moore algorithm, while linear, may inspect a character from the text multiple times.

1: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12656160/what-are-the-mai...

stcredzero 13 hours ago 2 replies      
That's also a Forth way of looking at optimization.

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!

noonespecial 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The fastest programs are the ones that don't prepare themselves to do something and then don't do that thing. Another way to say just do one thing well.
chj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Quote of the day:

  The key to making programs fast is to make them do practically nothing.          -- Mike Haertel

BrainInAJar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Conversely, Why GNU grep is slow (and how to make it not-slow): http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/2011/12/08/2000x-performance...
_delirium 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this still work in Unicode? It seems like it'd cause the Boyer-Moore lookup tables to blow up in size.
pestaa 16 hours ago 1 reply      
By this logic you can write really fast programs in Haskell, because it avoids computing unused values (and therefore complete calltrees). (Unfortunately, the management of such calltrees -- thunks -- often has higher cost than outright computing them in the first place.)

I try hard, but I'm not smart enough to write programs that do nothing. :)

MikeTaylor 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Impressive, but if the goal is for BSD to have a faster grep then clearly the solution is to use GNU grep instead of rolling their own redundant and inferior clone.
bane 13 hours ago 4 replies      
The inverse is this...what is modern software doing that makes them so slow?
ionelm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
jontro 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Please add [2010] to the title
Myrmornis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In case it helps anyone else, to install GNU grep on OSX using homebrew I did

  brew tap homebrew/dupes  brew install --default-names homebrew/dupes/grep
following http://www.heystephenwood.com/2013/09/install-gnu-grep-on-ma...

smackay 16 hours ago 3 replies      
In other words the correct choice of algorithm and data structure can dramatically simplify a problem and the amount of code and time needed to solve it.

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.

pmiller2 16 hours ago 4 replies      
This applies very well to optimization, too. There are only really two ways to optimize code:

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.

ivanhoe 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I know all this, but it still feels like a magic when you run it against a fat log file and it's done in a couple of seconds, while awk and tail were previously struggling with it for like 15 minutes...
zamalek 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know who to attribute the quote to, but there is one the goes something along the lines of:

"The fastest method to execute is an empty method."

a3n 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The article mentions the difference in times from forcing mmap.

  $ grep --mmap "fleagle" *  grep: the --mmap option has been a no-op since 2010  ...
Coincidentally, the article is from 2010.

4ngle 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Original title is better. I'm gonna call the cops.
mamcx 13 hours ago 0 replies      
That is similar to how I explain to some students how have a fast database system: The key to a fast query is one that do little, and the way to make it do little is have the data exactly as how is needed.
dbbolton 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In some cases, Perl can actually be faster than grep and sed at basic text processing-- IIRC particularly with larger files-- but I'm not sure about the mechanics behind it.
dicroce 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The art of solving the problem in question and ONLY the problem in question.
leeoniya 8 hours ago 0 replies      
if you don't need backtracking, re2 [1] should be faster.

[1] http://code.google.com/p/re2/

myg204 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Corollary (from my fortunes file):

Deleted code is debugged code. - Jeff Sickel

TheAceOfHearts 17 hours ago 2 replies      
In case anyone is interested in checking it out, you can download the source here: ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/gnu/grep/
niuzeta 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Leaving a comment here and upvoting simply to have an access for the resources. I will really need to update my way of bookmarking pages...
enthdegree 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Original submission title was: "The key to making programs fast is to make them do practically nothing."
fsniper 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Practically doing nothing is not doing things efficient and intelligently.It is a joke but it may be misleading.
jrgnsd 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I've always loved grep. Now I know why.
fibo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks to grep, it almost payed my rent
ColinWright 15 hours ago 2 replies      
In case you're interested to see what older HN contributors had to say about this, here are some of the previous submissions, all of which have significant discussion:

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

jhhn 15 hours ago 2 replies      
what is grep?
MongoDB is dead. Long live Postgresql github.com
322 points by lest  2 days ago   149 comments top 22
pilif 2 days ago 5 replies      
The title is a bit misleading. This is basically an announcement of a fork of Errbit that has Postgres support. Additionally, the fork was announced as an issue on errbit with no discussion or as an official pull request.

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.

cullenking 2 days ago 6 replies      
Maybe I am just incredibly lucky, but mongodb has worked fine for ridewithgps.com - we are sitting at 670gb of data in mongo (actual DB size, indexes included) and haven't had a problem. Replica sets have been fantastic, I wish there was another DB out there that did auto-failover as cleanly/easily as mongo does. We've had a few server crashes of our primary, and aside from 1-2 seconds or so of errors as requests come in before the secondary is promoted, it's transparent.

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.

pilif 2 days ago 0 replies      
All the philosophical issues and /(No)?SQL/ discussions aside, as a heavy user of Postgres and a user of Errbit, this is very good news to me. I have not much experience with running Mongo, but I have a ton of experience with running Postgres.

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 :-)

functional_test 2 days ago 12 replies      
Seriously, another case of using Mongo incorrectly? I want to believe all the Mongo hate, but I can't because I always find out that the actual problem was one or more of:

* 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.

mml 2 days ago 1 reply      
The hstore enhancements coming in psql 9.4 will pretty much put mongo out to pasture.

"Mongodb" already nearly exists as a single column type, 9.4 will complete it.

memracom 2 days ago 4 replies      
Lets just say that PostgreSQL answers the criticisms of relational databases that led to NoSQL. The complaints all boiled down to saying that the RDBMS forced you to do things one way and that it was cumbersome. PostgreSQL evolved and fixed the most annoying issues like JSON support and schemaless key-value store support. That's the way open source is supposed to work. Now folks are learning that throwing out the baby with the bathwater leads to more complexity than just learning how to use a relational database. The pendulum has swung back.
endijs 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm no MongoDB expert, but recently started to look into this db. Can anyone tell me (from experience, not from promo materials) - for which use cases MongoDB is good fit and for which ones it's not? It's clear that it can't fit for everyone. That's why it would be good to know in advance, for what it most likely to find and for what it's most likely not to fit.
jvvlimme 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you want to use MongoDB in a project and you don't intend to rely heavily on the aggregation framework, the consider TokuMX (http://www.tokutek.com/products/tokumx-for-mongodb/) as it alleviates many of the shortcomings of MongoDB (data compression, document level locking for writes, ...) + it adds transactions.

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)

egeozcan 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'm nearly sure one day someone will write a MongoDB compatibility layer on top of PostgreSQL
kldavenport 2 days ago 0 replies      
Their use case didn't seem especially Mongo-centric, I wonder why they chose to go down the road.We used MongoDB TokuMX to improve performance:http://www.tokutek.com/resources/benchmark-results/tokumx-be...
WoodenChair 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." Nobody ever got fired for using PostgreSQL.
weixiyen 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Finally we sleep quietly, and dont fear that mongodb will drive out redis to swap once again.

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.

trekky1700 2 days ago 2 replies      
This just makes me wonder why they chose Mongo in the first place. It sounds like they didn't really consider their needs when initially choosing databases. Mongo has some benefits that when properly implemented far outweigh the negatives. At the same time, it's still relatively young, and doesn't have the "maturity of process" that makes older SQL engines so easy to manage/implement. Eventually, I'm sure, Mongo will solve these issues and be a great database for those who need to utilize its many virtues.
r0muald 2 days ago 0 replies      
In case you missed it, this submission is not about PostgreSQL vs MongoDB. It's about the crazy GIF parade in the comments interleaved with thumbs up emojis. You don't see such stuff often on github :)
jeffdavis 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Its volume on disk is growing 3-4 times faster than the real volume of data it store[sic]"

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?

iand 2 days ago 0 replies      
Typo in title.
WalterSear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a recommendation for an authoritative guide to either Postgres or Mongodb? One that does more than show you where the levers are, that is.
poseid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone compared MongoDB with other document stores, e.g. with https://github.com/triAGENS/ArangoDB ?
filipedeschamps 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is what I call a click bait title.
coolrhymes 2 days ago 0 replies      
RDS now supports Postgres. It supports both hot & cold swaps. Hopefully in future it will support read replicas.
1945 2 days ago 0 replies      
This title is why I've been reading Hacker News less and less.
mtolan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is PostgreSQL web scale? I will use it if it is web scale.
I Am Not Satoshi dustintrammell.com
315 points by citricsquid  2 days ago   168 comments top 34
gjm11 2 days ago 2 replies      
General consensus seems to be that Ron&Shamir's publications on this topic are extraordinarily weak given how stellar a record Shamir, in particular, has.

The conclusion seems obvious: It's a misdirection. Adi Shamir is Satoshi Nakamoto.

(Note: No, I do not in fact believe this.)

computer 2 days ago 3 replies      
One of the consequences of a public transaction chain is the great potential for witch hunts. Here's one of the first examples, but it surely won't be the last.
vbuterin 2 days ago 7 replies      
This is not even the first paper by Dorit Ron and Shamir on Bitcoin; they did an analysis of the transaction graph earlier: http://eprint.iacr.org/2012/584.pdf

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.

Aqueous 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think we should look closer at the cryptography mailing list for evidence of Satoshi's identity. It seems likely that at some point Satoshi posted under his real name about something unrelated to BitCoin, before he decided to switch identities to release BitCoin under a pseudonym. I really doubt that Satoshi would have lurked silently there for many years before suddenly dropping the BitCoin whitepaper on the list without once contributing under his own name, perhaps before he was even thinking about BitCoin.

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?

stfu 2 days ago 2 replies      
If his statement is true the "research" by Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir seems more than just accidentally flawed, not to say even highly misleading.
cm2012 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this person is enormously rich now from BTC, considering how early he got in. Not that it's any of our business...
vijayboyapati 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder, is research like journalism where an academic is morally obliged to issue a retraction or correction for conclusions shown, conclusively, to be false?
DigitalSea 2 days ago 4 replies      
I doubt the real identity of Satoshi will ever be revealed. Seriously, if the claims of Satoshi mining the first 20,000 Bitcoins is true (with a value of almost one billion), would he seriously want to be publicly known?

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.

pyrocat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hah, I thought it was a reference to this PBF comic at first. http://pbfcomics.com/45/
trevorcreech 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a scathing breakdown of the paper in question from /r/bitcoin: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1reuwq/vigorous_deb...
smsm42 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why he calls Satoshi Nakamoto "infamous"? Did he mean "famous" or actually thinks Satoshi Nakamoto is evil?
wrongc0ntinent 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the amazing "Sunday" research paper. It's OK if you stop at the giant red typo, but you may eventually get the point:"The short path we found (which is depicted in Figure 6) suggests (but does not prove) the existence of a surprising link between the two mysterious gures of the Bitcoin community, Satoshi Nakamoto and DPR. It is reasonable to assume that all the accounts described along the top of Figure 6 belong to the same person, but to be on the safe side we refer to him as a Founder rather than as Satoshi Nakamoto. We are sure that analyzing this gure will start a very vigorous debate in the Bitcoin community."

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."

buremba 2 days ago 4 replies      
I don't really understand why Satoshi wants to be hidden. Is it because of the legal issues or does he want be a hidden super character?
MrZongle2 2 days ago 1 reply      
"I am not Spartacus!"
jackgavigan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Y'know, with all the snooping they've been doing, I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA/GCHQ knew Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity.
Procrastes 2 days ago 3 replies      
Aim to astonish.
Tycho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's another thing to consider: the NSA and other intelligence agencies have most likely already figured out who is behind Bitcoin, even if the general public have not.

What does that mean?

dllthomas 2 days ago 0 replies      
"only Mt. Gox knows who controlled those specific coins after I began trading them."

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.

gesman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ron and Shamir were very eager to see what they wanted to see. Some people got stuck in looking for "ghost under the bed" well beyond their childhood years.
yeukhon 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I really want to find out who satoshi is I would have lie to all and wait until the actual Satoshi to come out and call me a liar. Anyway, life goes on - I do want to find out who Satoshi is really...
caycep 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't this supposed to be "I am Spartacus" or something like that?
NanoWar 1 day ago 0 replies      
OT:Reminded me of this:http://pbfcomics.com/45/
atmosx 2 days ago 0 replies      
The next obvious question would be: are you batman? That said, I believe him. I have a great deal of respect to Shamir but I think he got it a little bit wrong.
pearjuice 1 day ago 0 replies      
Disinformation is key to success. By actively participating in denying his identity people will become even more skeptical leading to more confusion.
moocowduckquack 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, a global quest for the hidden wise one who lives in the middle. This whole affair has a solidly mythic feel about it.
sigzero 2 days ago 0 replies      
Will the real Satoshi please stand up?
WhoIsSatoshi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tips welcome @WhoIsSatoshi
hernan604 2 days ago 1 reply      
Satoshi is a perl programmer
rusabd 1 day ago 0 replies location:MalaysiaISP:Piradius Net
carsongross 2 days ago 2 replies      
Too obvious.

Backwards that's "I hso tasto nmai" which is phonetic late R'lyehian for "Up yours Bernanke".

C'mon Dustin.

icambron 2 days ago 3 replies      
For what it's worth, I'm not Satoshi Nakamoto either.
didgeoridoo 2 days ago 2 replies      
That's exactly what Satoshi would say...
nsxwolf 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would just like to make it known that I am also not Satoshi.
The string type is broken mortoray.com
291 points by DmitryNovikov  1 day ago   222 comments top 51
pilif 1 day ago 4 replies      
Python 3 gets so much of this right. It's one of the things I really loved about python 3 as it allows for correct string handling in most cases (see below).

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".

pilif 1 day ago 3 replies      
A nitpick from the article

>This spells trouble for languages using UTF-16 encodings (Java, C#, JavaScript).

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)

tomp 1 day ago 4 replies      
The problem with text (that Unicode solves only partially) is that text representation, being a representation of human thought, in inherently ambiguous and imprecise.

Some examples:

(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.

judofyr 1 day ago 1 reply      
In many languages it's difficult fixing the string type without breaking existing code. In Ruby: String#upcase only handles ASCII (by spec), #length counts codepoints, #reverse reverses codepoints.

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"

edent 1 day ago 2 replies      
uu 'spo 'sdl 's uq 'o 'up s x puno us o so u slqssod usu os so pou
jbert 1 day ago 3 replies      
Perl seems to pass nearly all the tests (including uppercasing baffle):

  $ 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.

baddox 1 day ago 1 reply      
A big problem here is a lack of clear definitions for various concepts like "character," "reversed string," "upper case," etc. The author briefly recognizes this, but brushes it off with statements like "I generally expect that..." and "I assume most people would not be happy with the current result."

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.

masklinn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure I agree with the title, although I do agree with just about all of the content:

* 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)

lmm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the mistake here is seeing a string as an extension of an array or vector. What I would prefer is a string type that didn't support all the operations of vectors. The length of a string is not inherently a meaningful question (and for the cases where it is, what you want is something like a vector of grapheme clusters - which is a useful type to have, but not so useful that every string in your program should incur the overhead of creating such a thing); likewise reversing and splitting are operations that simply shouldn't be allowed for your "fast path, undecoded string" type.
this_user 1 day ago 6 replies      
The string type isn't broken. If anything these "X is broken" posts are broken. Taking one special case, finding problems with that case and deducing that the whole concept must therefore be discarded is just silly. Strings work fine for the vast majority of use cases. No technology is free of flaws and engineering decisions are almost always based on weighting the pros and cons and choosing a solution that on balance works best. Strings are a useful feature and Unicode is a notoriously hard problem. Proposing to go back to arrays of characters makes things worse for most people in most cases and therefore is not a practical solution.
billpg 1 day ago 5 replies      
Do people really need to reverse strings in the real world?

I don't think I've ever written code to do that outside of homework assignments and interviews.

rayiner 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is why the U.S. dominates the software world. Back when everyone was figuring out how to express their languages, we had the option to punt on complexity and just use ASCII.
revelation 1 day ago 0 replies      
I seem to have rather little use for the cases the author presents here. If I'm working with strings, they are either of the debug or internal variant, where even basic ASCII would suffice, or I get them from somewhere and don't touch them at all, just pass them around.

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).

AndyKelley 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think the solution to this problem is to make our string classes more complicated. I think it's to make our languages and character sets less complicated. I can't believe that multiple codepoints being used to generate a single glyph made it into the Unicode spec. That breaks a bunch of extremely useful abstractions. I think it is reasonable to expect human languages to be made up of distinct glypths that do not interfere with each other. Any language that does not is too complicated to be worth supporting. Let it die.
Pitarou 1 day ago 3 replies      
Hat tip to Guido van Rossum for passing (nearly) all the tests in Python 3.

Is the "ffl-ligature to uppercase" test really relevant? Isn't that fixed by appropriate use of string normalisation?

duncan_bayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd have hoped Common Lisp would fare well here, but SBCL (1.1.11 on 64-bit Linux Mint 15) is pretty broken. My results:

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.

wazoox 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Tom Christiansen (of Perl fame) made a much, much thorough analysis of Unicode problems in his OSCON 2011 presentation:http://www.oscon.com/oscon2012/public/schedule/detail/24252

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....

panzi 1 day ago 0 replies      
While JavaScript (in browsers) has no way to normalize precomposed/decomposed strings, it has standard methods to correctly compare them:https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Refe...https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Refe...


    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
Browser support for this varies, The Intl.Collator interface is currently only supported Chrome (maybe also in Opera? Idk).

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.

ddebernardy 22 hours ago 1 reply      
This is misinformation. OP's strings are just wrong...

    >> "\u0308"    => ""    >> "\u00eb"    => ""    >> "noe\u0308l"    => "nol"    >> "no\u00ebl"    => "nol"
His nol examples work just fine if you don't copy/paste the string he posts, and instead type them in like I just did.

If anything, languages are reporting correct reverses and length, since he's really manipulating 5 characters rather than four.

b-johansson 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are actually manipulating strings rather than just storing and pushing them around I would suggest looking at ICU. Handling Unicode is difficult and it's easy to confuse encodings, code points and glyphs or make assumptions based on your own culture and language.

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.

gcr 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the record, Racket gets the "bae" example right:

    racket@> (string-upcase "bae")    "BAFFLE"
It also passes all of the author's other tests (except for the ones involving combining diacritics, but racket includes built-in functions for normalizing such strings so you can work with them)

JulianMorrison 1 day ago 0 replies      
For Go: the for-range loop iterates 5 times, reversed (manually, using the resulting runes) is leon, utf8.RuneCount is 5. The blog has just recently been talking about text normalization[1] via a library, but it isn't built into the core.

[1] http://blog.golang.org/normalization

delinka 1 day ago 1 reply      
Now let's take the lower case of "BAFFLE" - should we get "baffle" or should the string class/function/wtfe attempt to recognize that a ligature can replace "ffl" and return to us "bae"? More generally, should the string library ever attempt to replace letter with ligatures? Should this be yet another option?

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.

mathias 1 day ago 0 replies      
The article briefly mentions JavaScript, which uses something similar to UTF-16/UCS-2: http://mathiasbynens.be/notes/javascript-encoding>

Heres a slightly more in-depth blog post on the many issues this causes, and how to avoid them in JavaScript: http://mathiasbynens.be/notes/javascript-unicode Some of these problems are briefly mentioned in the above post, too.

brihat 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article is mostly written from a European language perspective. For Indian scripts, storing combining characters as a separate code points is the right thing to do.

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 "".

klrr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope Haskell Prime solves this. In Haskell String is literally a list of characters. This causes some overhead and leads to bad performance. Of course we got Text and for binary data you can use ByteString, but it's a bit of pain compared to having a real string type by default.
DannoHung 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it possible that Unicode is actually a bunch of horseshit? If literally nobody gets the spec right, then maybe the spec is wrong.
implicit 1 day ago 0 replies      
What we really should be doing is doing away with broken nomenclature.

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.

alayne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try the correct test input: noe\u0308l
NkVczPkybiXICG 1 day ago 1 reply      
All of these examples work in Haskell's canonical text library, 'text'! It's the only language I know of that works.
AsymetricCom 1 day ago 1 reply      
Now, look over here! When I substitute this context with that, ka-pow! now it's an array of characters!

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...

jeorgun 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the specific case of ligatures isn't a failure in strings per se, but a failure in Unicode in that it includes them in the first place. What "".upper() (or whatever) should do is kind of ambiguous. The following doesn't really seem appropriate:

  "".upper().lower() #=> "fi"
But obviously nor does

   "".upper() #=> ""
In Turkish (which distinguishes between dotted and dotless 'i'), this issue exists already:

   "".upper().lower() #=> "i"
This case couldn't (so far as I know) be fixed by any string library without breaking Unicode compatibility, so it seems slightly disingenuous to call it an issue with strings.

Dewie 1 day ago 0 replies      
What do you guys think about String in Haskell, where it is a list of char? Should it have some other default implementation, or should it have been more, um, decoupled from its implementation (don't know the correct terminology)?
al2o3cr 1 day ago 0 replies      
If anybody hasn't seen it, Glitchr's twitter is a fantastic example of how bizarro things can get with "140 characters".


Note: may freak out browsers with a flaky Unicode implementation. For instance, scrolling that stream on the iOS Twitter client can get very laggy.

michaelfeathers 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is now my favorite example of a leaky abstraction.
brihat 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author intentionally chooses decomposed form. Indeed all of them work with Python 3. Here:

    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
The point is, defining what is a character based on how it is displayed is flawed. Just precompose the string ifg you want and carry on. Like I said in my other comment, making automatic conversion of decomposed -> precomposed wrecks havoc with Indian languages.

jheriko 1 day ago 0 replies      
this hits on one of my biggest problems with native android and ios development. the wcs/wchar functions are largely broken or unusable... it caused me a real headache from not knowing upfront.

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)

shioyama 1 day ago 2 replies      
Happy to see that ruby (2.0 at least) passes all the tests except the "baffle" one.

Edit: sadly, it doesn't.

falsedan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mostly this article says that most languages choose NFC for their default normalization form, and don't attempt to detect & convert strings to that form automatically.
mbq 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a one more issue -- the easier it is to manipulate strings in some language the greater chance that they will be used as an internal data structure for things that certainly aren't texts. And this almost always causes substantial performance loss and awful bugs that are either untraceable due to a dependence on subtle configuration details or form security holes. Or both.
drdaeman 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's because in a truly sane languages there should be a distinction between data type and its implementation.

Then it would be not "string" type, that's broken, but an implementation of "string" type.

Aardwolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
So what do you propose? Not have a string type, and let everyone handle all these cases manually instead? That will not end well...
daGrevis 1 day ago 2 replies      
Logically equivalent doesn't mean equivalent for computers. While you can't define why reverse of noel is lon by set of rules that computer can follow, computer just can't know.
rverghes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Out of curiosity, why only have one string type? We don't do the same for numbers. Many languages don't have "number", they have int, float, long, etc.

Instead of just String, maybe we should have ASCIIString, UTF8String, and UTF16String.

ademarre 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think a lot of programmers don't properly understand character encoding simply because their programming languages don't give them the proper treatment. We need more APIs that force developers to acknowledge character encodings, probably in the type system.
jwmerrill 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks like Factor passes all of these tests. Hat tip to Daniel Ehrenberg.
jszumski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Objective-C handles the "bae" case just fine.
vfclists 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly I think 'you' computer programmers love useless challenges too much. Why can't you adopt lessons from Q?

If it isn't easy to get some languages working with Unicode properly then fix the languages and leave Unicode alone. Remove all the language characteristics that makes working with Unicode difficult. If Unicode will not go to the language then the language must go to Unicode, or opt out of the computer era, or die!!


monkeyninja 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand the reason of using C++ char array to store unicode text....
cafard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Upvotes for the OP who posts "Disrupt 'Is Broken'".
davidhalter 1 day ago 3 replies      
I would argue that it's a unicode problem. `U+0308` shouldn't exist in the first place as a unicode character. That's why we have `U+00EB` ('LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH DIAERESIS'), etc.
A universal income is not such a silly idea timharford.com
289 points by giorgiofontana  15 hours ago   314 comments top 46
PaulJoslin 14 hours ago 17 replies      
The thing I genuinely don't understand regarding the basic income for all argument is that surely it just moves the goal posts rather than solves the problem at hand?

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).

DanBC 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The UK benefits system has been built up over many years, over a range of different government departments, and covers many different needs and philosophies.

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.

ck2 15 hours ago 13 replies      
It's not a silly idea at all but I like to think of myself as progressive and I think it is a very bad idea in reality vs on paper.

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.

netcan 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Rather than these posts discussing universal basic income in abstract, I would like to see someone go through a back of the envelope scenario for a real country that might try it. Switzerland or some other European country.

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?

clarky07 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a conservative. One would probably assume I'd be against a universal basic income. In theory I am, but I actually think I find the basic income much more palatable than the current welfare state.

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.

downandout 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Progressives seem to have lost all understanding of the concept of money. It is a means of trade. The spending power of the basic income will ultimately reflect the value its recipients produced in order to obtain it - zero in this case.
Fuxy 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"This sounds like some communist plot. How can anyone take seriously the idea of paying people to sit around on their backsides?"

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.

draugadrotten 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Meanwhile, Europe apart from Switzerland is busy building thicker walls around Fortress Europa.



twoodfin 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Can we stop putting these "universal income" posts on the front page until someone has something genuinely new to say about the idea or there's some news about an actual implementation?
williamcotton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It is easy to see that the redistribution of wealth throughout all of society is a noble goal. This becomes clear as we approach a point in our evolution where we start to automate the collection and processing of resources.

We're all part of this giant machine of modernity. If everyone can feel the benefits of it, and I mean everyone on the whole planet, then we can start to really feel good about what we're building and how we're gonna compromise all of our own individual pursuits and dreams with all of those people around us.

The truth of the matter is that we've all been in this big global machine the whole time. Cultural interchange on a global scale is nothing new, only the speed at which it happens is changing. Pretending that the resources gathered through the skills of just one man somehow doesn't affect the rest of humanity is very short sighted, especially in our modern world.

The ability to extract and accumulate resources is amplified loudly by the existing machinery. Facebook is just an aberrate growth on the top of a very large system that is fueled by the blood, sweat and tears of billions of people living now and extending back in time to the dawn of recorded history.

This has been known to the modern world for some time. We've built systems that we call social democracy, liberalism, communism and fascism with a lot of these tenants in mind. And we argue about the merits of each, and the merits of other systems, and we pontificate about the expected outcomes of imaginary systems or invent new versions of incomplete readings of the past, and we get lost in an endless maze of rhetoric.

There is danger merely in the act of having faith in manmade systems like politics, economics and technotronics. There isn't a point to nor a way to quantify and classify everything under the sun. We can't ever know how these things will work out.

We need to make sure that our faith is actually in the people around us. We need to have faith that the vast majority of people have a good heart and able hands, and they also have just as big of an itch to create, discover, and explore the world. We need to carry that understanding with us everyday and in all walks of our lives and stop pretending like "playing the game" is in any way nobel or worthy of anything other than meaningless excess.

And yeah, Silicon Valley and the cracker jack crew of Hacker News users, I'm talking right to you.

hatu 15 hours ago 5 replies      
In a country with it's own currency, wouldn't this just raise prices until finally the effect would be being back to step 1 but with huge inflation.I.e. I'm selling bread for $3. Now I get $1500 free money every month and I know you do too. I'm selling bread for $6 because I know everyone has extra money lying around and since I have extra money I don't really care if people buy less from me.
josephlord 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I support this idea in theory although I would need to see calculations of possible levels of universal income and tax rate in a given economy to fully support it.

The interesting thing is that with a generous universal income and a fairly high rate of tax (e.g. 45%) you would naturally get a really quite progressive tax and benefit system without the complexity of many thresholds that currently exist. It actually makes the idea of a 'flat tax' actually work and not be ridiculously unfair.

It would also enable people not to be employed and to work on projects that they are passionate about whether start-ups, internships, forming pop bands, writing, caring for children or parents but enable people to choose to earn additional money. Unpleasant jobs should command increasing premiums as more people have the choice not to do them open to them but interesting flexible jobs may not need as high wages as current minimum wages (which I could imagine being abolished for recipients of universal income).

Of course some would sit around all day doing nothing but I suspect that not many would do this long term and it may be better that they can declare it as an active choice rather than be bullied into interviews and appearances at job centres.

There would be complicating factors such whether/when immigrants were entitled to the universal income and if not a minimum wage may be required to protect them from exploitation.

agentultra 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it sad, but not surprising, that one of the key disagreements with a BI system is the assumption that poor people are lazy and will spend it on drugs.

There are people like that but they make up such a small portion of the population considered, "poor," that it's insulting everyone in a very large demographic. I'd wager that the effects of these people who do use their BI for drugs and recreation will be statistically insignificant.

Whereas a BI would provide a lot of mobility and improve the bargaining power of the lower classes if I understand BI. It seems to me that would have far-reaching benefits for the economy at large -- even for high-income earners.

hugofirth 13 hours ago 1 reply      
One point of confusion for me, that I hope someone with a sounder economics background than myself can address, is:

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 .

mck- 11 hours ago 0 replies      
One side effect I can think of is that this might spur innovation and entrepreneurialism, because the consequrnces of risk-taking are softened.

It increases the opportunity cost of getting a job, vs being an entrepreneur. Perhaps we will see a generation of new entrepreneurs that otherwise would never have taken that leap; Which in turn might be great for the overall economy

dangoldin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the biggest benefit of a universal income is to remove the perception that unemployment is a bad thing. Now to reduce unemployment there's a fair amount of menial labor and policies encouraging it. If countries didn't have to worry about their employment levels I suspect they'd be a lot more willing to embrace new approaches.
atticus010101 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that eventually universal income will be a good idea. The question is not whether it's a good idea, but whether it's the right time for it.

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.

yetanotherphd 14 hours ago 1 reply      
An alternative that I prefer is a welfare system such as in Australia. Australian welfare is very similar to basic income, the main differences being that you have to look for work (but enforcement is not strict) and the way welfare decreases as your income increases, makes your effective marginal tax rate about 50%.

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.

nateabele 13 hours ago 1 reply      
People like to bring these things up to as thought experiments about how they'd fly in other countries, but one thing to keep in mind is that Switzerland is a really, really different place. Particularly compared to the US, it has fairly stable demographics, and obtaining citizenship is absurdly difficult.

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.

michaeldhopkins 13 hours ago 0 replies      
In order for a basic income program to save costs on bureaucracy and replace existing programs, those existing programs must be closed by legislation or executive order, and the people employed by them must lose their jobs, and the number of employees in the new basic income agency must be fewer. Many of these employees will not find replacement work due to age or their industry (government bureaucracy) shrinking so will go from middle class to poor on basic income.

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.

geogra4 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone seems so deeply concerned with the specific economic calculus of the poor and low income that this will affect.

But nowhere in this thread is there a bare mention of how the economic system has been perverted by incentives that only the truly wealthy and elite have access too (ie. LIBOR, etc.) when there is no BI and capital has complete control over the laborer.

A true BI system would not be inflationary and would do a great deal to increasing the general welfare of the populace. We shouldn't demand that people be slaves to the engines of production. A BI at moderate level would alleviate poverty and also in some ways be very good for capital as well. It would increase the velocity of money and increase consumption in the economy (remember that poorer people spend more of their money as a %age than the truly wealthy)

amerika_blog 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a better idea:

Universal no-income.

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.

LekkoscPiwa 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm always shocked how otherwise very rational and logical people tend to be "communists". It is one of the things that lets me down when reading comments on HN. So sophisticated as far as hard science goes, so naive and just - plain dumb - in terms of humanities.

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!

JoeAltmaier 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe the issue is, in the 'western' world its no longer actually necessary or even useful to have people work. That's not where the wealth comes from any more.

So incentive becomes less interesting. Demand, supply, innovation still count. But getting people to pound the streets and dig ditches en-masse is not important any more.

So a basic income makes employment not the goal. Its useful innovation and adaptation to changing conditions that matters.

graeme 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how the swiss proposal treats travel/residency?

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.

johndevor 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think this is a good idea. It could do a lot of harm to future generations. If we pay for this through debt, we're slapping a bill on our children.

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!").

lettergram 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I still cannot comprehend how anyone with a basic knowledge of economics can perceive this as a good idea. All universal income can achieve is increasing the cost of living to the point where it is as if there is no universal income.

In other words, the universal income idea simply increases the cost of living by the same factor of the increased income. Perhaps it takes a year or two, so the poor benefit during that time, but in the end all it does is destroy the currency and suppress economic growth.

"There is no such thing as a free lunch"

Point being, there's always some trade off. All universal income does is push the cost of lunch onto the wealthy even more.

pothibo 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't studied economics long enough to be an expert in the field, but doesn't a universal income drive inflation up?

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?

mariusz79 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Basic income has potential but I think people are waiting for the governments to provide, while there is possibly another way. Imagine creating bitcoin version that does not favor early adopters, but allows everyone participating to get the same amount of coins every week. Of course it's easier said than done, and it would need to be detailed a little more, but I think it's possible.
efnx 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This would not be Communism. We shouldn't be arguing Comminism vs Capitalism because both are extremes that have never been fully realized. This is more about compassion vs group association - a typically American Democrat/Republican debate.
lowmagnet 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone has to try it somewhere. I for one won't make predictions, and instead think I'll wait to see if a country adopts this and see what happens to its industry, quality of life, and so on before being on 'one side or the other'. Most of the predictions in this thread are based on basic assumptions of economics that come from political backgrounds/beliefs, and I don't think that's an appropriate way to argue something this complex.

A lot of you are programmers, at least some of you can run simulations. Stop arguing with words, and instead concentrate on developing models. In other words, start contributing to the science or stop arguing from ignorance.

edwardliu 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the best timing for this. When the cost of things are driven down anymore, universal income makes more sense than ever.

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.

turtle4 13 hours ago 1 reply      
My question regarding this is how do you prevent gaming the system causing overpopulation? What will stop currently poor individuals from having 10 kids to collect their income? Is it just not awarded until you reach age of majority?
ryanmarsh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't recall Milton Friedman being for a flat basic income. I do recall him being for a negative income tax, which works quite differently.
atmosx 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea, a lot. The obsessive attachment to what Friedman said and did not said - like if it's a universal truth - is kinda pathetic.
FrankenPC 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing is for sure (IMO), this would never work in America. The not-obvious reason is the middleman problem. In America (again, IMO), the primary financial problems we have has to do with capitalist opportunists finding clever ways to become transition siphons for money flowing in any given direction. The: It's-only-2500$-a-month thing would rapidly become 10000$, 100000$, etc a month as politicians add pork fat, Local municipalities siphon from it, public welfare divisions sprout up to "support" the distribution, and finally the capitalist system itself engineers ways to absorb that new free money floating around the system.

No. This would never work. This kind of universal support system depends on a core of altruism. I don't think anyone will try to make the argument that America's core is altruistic.

roosevelt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Last time someone implemented this kind of social equality experiment was in 1959, 30-40 million Chinese starved to death: Great Chinese Famine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chinese_Famine
ilkan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Universal income is a fantastic idea. Imagine being able to work on your own coding project for 2 years with a guarantee of basic ramen and safe shelter. I don't think it'd work well in Western society yet. It would be feasible in, say, a dense and autocratic city-state like Singapore.IMHO it will come. As a world, we are starting to automate and displace work faster than our brains can learn new skills en masse. IE one person can create a skill and codify it (years), faster than 300K people can go to training and expand the industry organically (lifetime). This applies to both manufacturing and service jobs.

Structural lifetime unemployment is going to be the cause of future civil instability, and governments will use UI as a way to calm and control social order.

veganarchocap 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You would likely have to increase taxes. Taxes are extracted from us involuntarily through coercion. I don't think re-arranging this model in any format will change that.

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.

knewter 11 hours ago 0 replies      
why don't we just give everyone $200,000/year. if this is a good idea, mine must be a great idea.
oleganza 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It is an outright fraud.

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.

InclinedPlane 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty ambivalent about basic income, although I think it's probably worth a try. Not a version that replaces earned income though, there are too many obvious perverse incentives for such a system, it must be supplementary. On the one hand I can see a lot of positive effects from it. On the other hand one of the biggest downsides is that now you have a very strong divide in terms of citizenship, which could potentially drastically change the dynamics of immigration. Personally I'm very much pro immigration and I think the fact that people from all circumstances have the opportunity to earn substantial benefits from their work by moving to the US (or the developed world in general) is one of the most positive aspects of this country and part of its life blood and character.
dreamdu5t 11 hours ago 0 replies      
None of the universal income proposals have any math to back them up. Simple napkin estimates show it's nowhere near affordable. "But people are rich!" is not an explanation. "We can draw on labor" is not an explanation. I want an explanation that actually demonstrates the affordability of such a thing. Not hand-waving about how we just aren't trying hard enough.

Can the people proposing a basic income please demonstrate how much they want to give and how much that costs? Then point out how they would fit it into the existing budget?

Also, please explain why prices would not react to a basic income? If $40,000 represents the price of doing nothing, other prices will change to respond to real not nominal costs. It doesn't seem like people proposing the basic income understand how prices are formed.

ayush66 14 hours ago 0 replies      
1. The title is misleading.2. Are you guys talking in the context of the US, or globally?

Different implications based on the two different scenarios.

PS: Studied and study economics.

hpy_thksgvngzzz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The reason universal income works for the Swiss is because they are the Swiss. There are many countries and cultures and people for which it would not work, at the very least not until some unknown time period required for adjustment, and even then only if conditions were right.

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.

wanda 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Can we stop putting these "universal income" posts on the front page.
Vote Now: Who Should Be Time's Person of the Year? Edward Snowden time.com
275 points by ghosh  2 days ago   130 comments top 30
lignuist 2 days ago 4 replies      
baby 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm wondering why some people are on the list, like Miley Cyrus or the guy behind Netflix. If those are, why not others? I'd personally vote for the head of Naughty Dog and The Last of Us over Netflix.

PS: thinking about it, I'd vote for Satoshi. We should do a HN POY.

PS2 : done! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6800515

chollida1 2 days ago 4 replies      
Can't vote as I have to login with Twitter or Facebook to vote.


kolbe 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is one of the more disheartening polls I've seen. It speaks to a new, disturbing dynamic in our social order where people do not defend their beliefs with any sort of force or passion.

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.

beaker52 2 days ago 4 replies      
Government: Snowden is a terrorist.

People: Snowden is a hero.

What a great way to bring this difference of opinion to the fore.

user24 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are these polls typically good indicators of TIME's official choice? Or is this going to be a way of making Snowden "the people's POY" without TIME officially making it so?
brokenparser 2 days ago 3 replies      
Poll requires Facebook

0/10 would not vote again

thesadman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ugh, do people still waste their time with TIME magazine and their "storied" polls? Sorry, but it is the equivalent of a tabloid because for the last 10 years the quality of articles have been continuously dropping. To see it linked here on HN is unfortunate. Lets spend our time on more interesting topics.
benmarks 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Authorize Poptip to use your account?

"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."

The hell.

mkohlmyr 2 days ago 0 replies      

I'd say those numbers sound about right...

trekky1700 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd nominate Bill Gates, he's done more in the past year to support and make actual change and improve the world than anyone on the list. Then again, not exactly newsworthy.
beaker52 2 days ago 0 replies      
2012: Anonymous got peoples vote, but Obama was chosen.
ChrisArchitect 2 days ago 0 replies      
Putin is a good one but I feel like he wasn't a top newsmaker this year, and further that he will most likely be a newsmaker next year (look at current happenings in Ukraine, continued things like that, and then the mother of all craziness that's going to be Sochi Olympics)

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.

beshrkayali 2 days ago 1 reply      
I may not be correct, but Edward said specifically at the beginning of all of this: Please don't make this about me! Correct?
ck2 2 days ago 1 reply      
As much as I appreciate Edward Snowden and what he did, Malala Yousafzai deserves even more attention for her deeds.
rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see how this is even a question capable of admitting debate (although maybe Poitras and Greenwald could get in.)
knodi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think Edward Snowden should be person of the year. Not because I don't think he did something important because he did. I truly think what he did was the right thing. But he needs to stand trial in the US so the we the people can see how extreme our government has become.

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.

esamek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Chrome won't let me vote..throwing shitloads of errors in the console.

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.

Hovertruck 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the helpful error message, Time.

   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

wehadfun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wonder how Zimmerman and Travon Martin did not get on this list.
Tosh108 2 days ago 0 replies      
The numbers are completely different from this afternoon, seems like some people are hacking the votes for fun: http://www.dailydot.com/news/time-person-of-the-year-miley-c...
mydpy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Miley Cyrus has more votes than Edward Snowden. How can that be?
avisk 2 days ago 0 replies      
The irony is to vote for Snowden,I need to login using Facebook or twitter :), so that time.com can track me.
Kiro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I voted Lebron James.
bcRIPster 2 days ago 0 replies      
...and provide Time marketing info by giving them access to your Facebook data. Not happening, thank-you very much.
Glyptodon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Their voting system provider keeps failing.
jotm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Voted (with my "fake" FB account cause I don't have a real one).
Nilmay 2 days ago 1 reply      
The future PM CANDIDATE OF INDIA SHREE NARENDRA MODI JI!deserved to the time person of the year! Cos he thoroughly deserves it!
PixelPusher 2 days ago 4 replies      
No way, I don't vote for traitors. All his US supporters are a bunch of Benedict Arnolds.

BTW, just voted for Miley. She definitely made my year.

CyanogenMod Installer Application Removed from Play Store cyanogenmod.org
263 points by eknkc  1 day ago   174 comments top 23
naner 1 day ago 5 replies      
With the CM Installer in the play store many lay-people started using it, rendering their phones unusable[1] when any little issue cropped up.

Also the process wasn't foolproof even for people capable of dealing with technical issues[2].

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.

1: http://www.reddit.com/r/nexus4/comments/1qkfaw/cannot_uninst...

2: http://www.reddit.com/r/nexus4/comments/1qi5lw/official_cyan...

interpol_p 1 day ago 6 replies      
While I view this move as hypocritical of Google, it does feel like it's in their customers' best interest.

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.

g8oz 1 day ago 8 replies      
It seems like no matter how blatantly Google carries out it's updated "Microsoft from the 1990's" act there will be a coterie of apologists on HN explaining away it's actions. The Cold War provided an appropriate label for this crowd: "useful idiots".
fidotron 1 day ago 3 replies      
At this point it really looks like Google have zero interest in seeing Android improve, beyond ensuring it stays superficially in line with iOS or Windows Phone, and will use whatever means necessary to ensure no one else does it while desperately trying to shoe horn irrelevant features into Chrome in an effort to reach feature parity.

The clause about no forking with the SDK is probably going to rear its head in anger soon.

mirsadm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think this is completely reasonable. If people want to sideload the app then by all means go for it. The Play Store shouldn't allow apps that can potentially damage your device (or void your warranty).
eDavis698 1 day ago 0 replies      
The new CM installer nearly bricked my phone! This would be a warrenty/customer support nightmare for Verizon/ATT/Samsung/HTC/whoever.

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!

babesh 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Android isn't open. It's Google's and they want to keep it this way. iOS isn't open. It's Apple's and they want to keep it that way.

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.

Edit: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/18/cyanogen-mod-7m-benchmark/

Cyanogen has basically become a competitor to Google

Mikeb85 1 day ago 0 replies      
Understandable. If people don't know how to enable developer mode, Adb debugging, sideload apps, etc..., they shouldn't be messing around with modding their phone. It really doesn't belong in the Play store.
JPKab 1 day ago 1 reply      
Good old Googlesoft.
DanBC 1 day ago 1 reply      
Customers buy a phone. That phone is loaded with terrible, awful, software and unpleasant branding. Customers want to remove that software and that branding.

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?

davidp 1 day ago 0 replies      
If Google knowingly allowed their app store to host software that harms carrier-supported devices, they might easily be in breach of contract with those carriers. This is a defensive move.
37prime 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I have just download CyanogenMod Installer from Google Play Store and still have it in my now Android KitKat-running Nexus 4.

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.

Zigurd 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is less a matter of Google being evil or hypocritical. Google is just being dumb. CyanogenMod is an important part of the Android ecosystem, and should be an even more important part of that ecosystem.

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.

IgorPartola 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This entire fiasco with the Android ecosystem stems from locked down bootloaders. How many people have bricked their PC's by installing a different OS on them? Why can we not have the same model for phones: If you brick it, some tiny bit of ROM can be invoked which connects to the Internet, downloads, verifies, and installs the latest carrier approved OS. This simple fail safe means that it is impossible to brick a phone and I bet instructions for how to initiate this reset could be made very simple. Instead, it seems that the OS and the bootloader are tightly coupled and the OS can actually screw up the bootloader, which is the root of all Android evil.
icefox 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like how http://www.cyanogenmod.org/ doesn't really tell you what it is or why I would want it.
Create 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Fortunately, Android is open enough

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.

sushirain 22 hours ago 0 replies      
A better compromise would have been to just enforce a modal warning message in the play store, such as:

"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.

joeblau 1 day ago 1 reply      
When Google is saying CyanogenMod is voiding warranties, are they talking about warranties from the hardware manufacturers? It feels like the OS is open, but the Hardware is not.
mushroomhead 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unlike appstore where most accounts is password protected on download because of credit card associated with their account. Most android phone user don't set such restriction, and what truth is most kids just download whatever they saw on playstore. Google did the right thing to remove a dangerous app with potential to break your device.
imahboob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well there are other ways in which you can crack an android phone, cyanogen was just a noob friendly way to do so...
pilooch 1 day ago 0 replies      
put it on fdroid
oddshocks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Windows only? Are you joking around?
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google is a new Apple?
Facebook stallman.org
254 points by pearjuice  9 hours ago   104 comments top 23
throwawaykf02 8 hours ago 8 replies      
To save everyone the time, here's a typical Internet thread about Stallman:

- He's crazy!

- But he's right!

- Right? He's just been stating the obvious all this time!

- NSA surveillance!

- Hadn't anyone heard about Echelon?

- He stands for freedom of users!

- But users don't care about those freedoms, they just want something that works!

- He's antisocial and extremely rude!

- Autism spectrum.

- But he's not diplomatic at all, we don't want him as a spokesperson for Open Source!

- It's GNU/Linux, not Linux.

- See? It's nitpicking things like GNU/Linux that make even open source enthusiasts hate him!

- Only the userland is GNU anyway.

- GPL!

- Emacs!

- GCC!


- Toejam.

adwf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As much as I've avoided Facebook for so long, I've come to the realisation that if you want to use the internet, old-school "full" privacy is dead and gone.

I've had a profile on FB for a long time now, but never ever used it. I've had the javascript blocked around in my general web browsing, never installed the phone app, etc. All I've ever received is the occasional email saying that someone has tagged me in a status/photo. These annoyed me a little, as I wanted to avoid FB as much as possible, whilst still being sociable with my friends.

I came to a sad epiphany a few months ago however. I realised that even if I weren't aware of all the photos/tags being posted of me, I'd still be tagged by my friends regardless. Even if I completely cancelled my account, the photos are still going up because I still meet with my friends and have an active social life. This is when I realised what I needed to do.

It is the exact same situation as when someone makes a small jest at your expense at a party. If it's a friend, you know they're just messing around and taking the piss, you laugh it off, not offended. If it's not a friend however, you might get a little offended by it. "Were they insulting me? Trying to embarrass me? Should I laugh it off as a joke?" It's potentially annoying, just as a violation to your privacy is. Inevitably, you have only a few choices: Laugh, insult them back? (guess it depends on your culture/how rude it was!) Some people might even just punch the guy...

You can't punch Facebook. (I wish)

It isn't gonna go away just because you're upset.

So the question here is: Why do we laugh these little embarrassments off? The little invasions of our private self that we find annoying?

Because it's a way of owning the situation. You can't be offended/embarassed by something you laugh off and apparently don't care about. "Yeah, my Karaoke is terrible, but I love it!", "Yeah, I do have a habit of giggling in a funny way, hahahaha!". It's exactly the same when you look at highly confident people, they never seem embarrassed by anything at all. They just smile and carry on.

Well I made a decision a couple of months ago to take the exact same approach to Facebook, so I'm on it properly now. I can't punch FB in the face, but I can take ownership of my own public persona. My friends/aquaintances are going to be posting about me regardless, might as well take control of the situation and make sure I know everything is good.

PS: And hey, there are still plenty of good uses of FB anyway, might as well enjoy the perks too.

PPS: I'm aware that it's a shitty situation. I almost feel like I've got Stockholm syndrome and have just given in. But FB isn't going anywhere soon.

lifeisstillgood 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a reason Linus is the figurehead of the Kernel project - he has a track record of choosing directions that later turn out to be fruitful.

There is a reason GvR is the figurehead of the Python Language - he has a track record of choosing directions that later turn out to be fruitful.

There is a reason Stallman ...

Look the guy spotted the trends waaaaay earlier than anyone else and be put his money where his mouth is. The original GPL is no less crazy than this. Hell most of us agree with this one.

greenyoda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The link to an ACLU article on how Facebook censored an ACLU Facebook post on censorship was quite interesting:


jroseattle 7 hours ago 2 replies      
My only issue with Richard's rant here is -- why stop at Facebook? The social network/media economy is responsible for lots of business plans, with lots of people vested in their success.

There are others out there besides Facebook.

davidjgraph 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I wonder why he doesn't suggest actively building a fake Facebook profile to dilute the accuracy of the information being mined? What's the worst that can happen, the account is blocked...
mark_l_watson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, that is a long (if sometimes repetitive) list! Hopefully Richard had help putting that list together. I have two general comments:

1. I am surprised how many non tech Saavy people I talk with are starting to understand privacy issues.

2. I had dinner last night with some Silicon Valley residents who were talking about what a horrible investment Facebook would be long term. New things will replace Facebook, and they will eventually have fewer active users.

A bit off topic, but advice I like to give people is to use one specific web browser for social media connected sites like Facebook, GMail + Google+, Twitter, etc. and another web browser with locked down security for all other browsing. This is easy to do, lets people enjoy the social media stuff if they like, and still maintain some degree of privacy.

Double_Cast 8 hours ago 3 replies      
> If you do as I do, and reject Facebook, you are safe from this form of snooping.

Am I? As far as I understood, Facebook tracks internet users who have never even created an account.

thearn4 4 hours ago 2 replies      
No disagreement with RMS actually, but just out of curiosity:

Back when land-line telephone subscription was more popular, did folks used to complain about the phone company putting their name and address (by default) in a large directly shared with the entire public?

I know you could pay a fee to be unlisted, but didn't it strike anyone as a gigantic privacy issue in general?

Aardwolf 9 hours ago 2 replies      
But he has his photo and text on his website, so the NSA can see that, so a photo on Facebook would not add anything new?
drakaal 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Stallman is an idiot.

When you post to your blog you tell the NSA what you know. When you attend a conference where Stallman speaks and paid with your credit card the NSA knows you support his ludicrous ideas.

Stallman thinks information should be free, but apparently that doesn't include information about where you shop. Sure I get it. Information should be free unless he can charge you to hear him speak, or it is his information.

You can't have it both ways.

Also, is CSS bad in some way? Do themes support the Evil too? Cause for a famous guy that is one ugly website.

martinvol 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Did he check that all the websites he linked were fully open source? Just asking.
RexRollman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I stay away from Facebook, Twitter, and Google for many of the reasons that Stallman lists. I treat email like a postcard and I do nothing on the Internet under my real name.

That said, I know many people don't care about this stuff, and I applaud their lack of concern.

jgalt212 3 hours ago 0 replies      
per Stallman:

The NSA tracks Americans' social networks, and Facebook is just one of its sources.

maybe so, but they don't seem to be doing it very effectively. If so, they would have been a. more closely following the the Boston Marathon bombers. b. would have been able to ID them from photos pulled from the surveillance tapes.

so while the NSA and their recent "efforts" are pretty scary and de jure or de facto illegal, it is the government, so how effective can they really be at keeping an eye on us?

phy6 8 hours ago 1 reply      
linux_devil 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Realized this late , but saving lot of time since past 6 months . Deactivated facebook , and find more time to actually go out and socialize. Don't even know if it was adding to efficiency.
eonil 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyway, ideal implementation for accessibility and readability. Must be the standard of HTML styling.
jokoon 7 hours ago 2 replies      
is there a way to make a browser block any access to those like widget, or any other facebook access ?

I haven't been or used on facebook for years now, and those tracking things weird me out

hernan604 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The best thing about fecesbook is the UX. They have done such a great job even illiterate people can use it.

Its a great tool to get UX ideas.

Old timers will remember bbs, irc. And after Okrut was created, many people left the old services. Now, many of them migrated to fecesbook.

That same people also are not interested in NSA or privacy. They just want to make noise, search and be found by other people like them.

eonil 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This makes me curious of his thought on Google+
tarekmoz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
He never used Facebook, but oh gawd he loves to use <hr/>.. :)
_Simon 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Getting a little bored of RMS now. He's becoming increasingly like chicken little rather that the boy that tells the emperor he's naked.
dlsx 8 hours ago 3 replies      
If only the mainstream media would listen to humanitarians like RMS. Instead they choose to listen to greedy slime balls that end in BERG.

Money is the root of all evil. Combine that with privacy, and Facebook IS the new root of all evil. I deleted my account years ago, and I know with 100% certainty it will never be purged. It's criminal, and I fucking loathe this fact. I would pay to cave in some of the faces at Facebook.

CMS Trap hakunin.com
237 points by hakunin  1 day ago   60 comments top 18
Udo 18 hours ago 2 replies      
This is basically the same phenomenon that happens with frameworks. At first, the framework gives you a ton of functionality for the (initially) low price of living with its abstractions. As you want more custom functionality, you find yourself either fighting the framework with increasing levels of desperation, or simply coding around it. I'd argue that the best frameworks are such that you can code around them without causing huge overhead or resorting to objectionable tricks.

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.

foz 21 hours ago 4 replies      
From an architecture point of view, I'm convinced that the CMS is better treated as a service, and not as part of your web application. This is especially true in a larger organization where content needs to be collected and managed in different ways (via import, or where people edit or curate content).

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.

Breefield 1 day ago 1 reply      
@rudyrigot and the team @prismicio http://prismic.io really have a handle on this problem.They believe a github-esq content management system makes the most sense for content creators, and a content API makes most sense for engineers to distribute that content inside of a variety of platforms (mobile, a rails app, whatever). Saw Rudy speak at Zendesk/Rails meetup this month, it was a very good presentation (I am not affiliated with Prismic).

I've been playing with their ruby-kit, so far so good, really liking this approach and plan to see awesome things ahead.

vinceguidry 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote an app for my company to extract data from the database and form xml feeds for various e-commerce services. I took the opportunity to learn OO principles and read through Object Oriented Design in Ruby.

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.

bct 1 day ago 2 replies      
Back in the old days (2005) we used to call this Do the Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work.
na85 22 hours ago 0 replies      
>A CMS Trap is a state of a web-application in which the development of content management systems is obstructing the development of the content.

I think this pretty neatly summarizes my experience working with Drupal.

maxk42 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am SO sick of spending more time configuring the CMS than writing code.

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.

Domenic_S 1 day ago 3 replies      
Just because you use a CMS doesn't mean you have to use it for everything. If you're managing content (blog content?) use a CMS. If you're making PPC pages, host them statically somewhere. If you sell something, use ecommerce software for that part.

The right tool for the right job.

ThinkBeat 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If there is a reasonable need for content editors to be able to update content in web site allowing them to do so in a quick and easy manner is a good idea.

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.

fiatjaf 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Ok. Here's an idea:

Imagine a code editor (probably embedded in some online where the developers would also work/code) that would show all the application code.

For developers, everything would be editable, so they could change logic, add logic, database calls, anything. On the other hand, for content editors, only strings (and arrays and numbers) would be editable. So the whole page would be freezed except for the parts between quotes. The developer could then hard-code these possibly-editable-values at code time (or leave them blank) and the non-developers edit them: categories, text content, values.

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. This should be a must-read for developers, especially ones working in the content field.

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.

SolarUpNote 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the key question is: At what point is building a user interface more expensive than hiring a full time developer?
lifeisstillgood 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I am going to look so silly :

- 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

kenster07 1 day ago 1 reply      
Love of complexity is a programming disease.
nevvvermind 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, c'mon. I was currently doing the exact same thing the blog post advices against.

I was designing, centralizing, decoupling. Then some changes came about. I implemented them, then watched them fluently rippling throughout the system. "How cool is that?".

It was some time ago when I was an OOP-design junkie (I think it's analogous to puberty: exaggerating). I think I passed that, as I frequently wonder if I'm over-designing and get back to using plain strings, constants etc.

I once read that, designing a plugin (be it a pattern or an actual plugin), try no less than 3 different implementations.

He's right, though. I work with Magento. Try adding a new backend form in that beast.

paulftw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Overengineered software systems are like sex - every generation thinks they invented it.
prottmann 20 hours ago 0 replies      
You're talking out of my soul! I see this behavior many many times in the last 10 Years, i admit, i do the same long time ago ;-)

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.

mavhc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
ie. Don't write a programming language when you're supposed to be writing an application.
On Penny Arcade, Exploitation, and the Myth of the Do-Everything Rock Star cwbuecheler.tumblr.com
230 points by hoonose  2 days ago   178 comments top 23
johngalt 2 days ago 2 replies      
Par for the course for IT/Sysadmin type jobs. "We expect you to build the hospital while running the emergency room and operating room." They are just being up front about it. There are a few areas where they glossed over it. I will translate:

"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.

jmduke 2 days ago 7 replies      
I think the thing that frustrates me the most about it is: theyll probably get a thousand applicants. A bunch of 25 year-old kids with a ton of talent and stars in their eyes are going to try to get this crap job for crap pay so they can work somewhere cool and feel like a part of something big. The Penny Arcade machine (their term) will roll on, making its millions of dollars while somehow retaining the little guy image that hasnt been accurate for at least five years, and probably more. Thats one of Khoos many gifts he has figured out exactly how to sell this company, even if the image theyre peddling is a load of horseshit.

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.)

saalweachter 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think this job posting is running up against the difference between an employee and a partner.

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.

tvladeck 2 days ago 7 replies      
I have the opposite reaction to this posting: Penny Arcade are being abundantly clear and transparent about the requirements and drawbacks of the role.

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.

gaius 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is the dirty little secret of startups too. As an early hire you will work as hard as the founders, and take at least as much personal financial risk as them if it doesn't work out, yet with minimal exposure to any upside - so the sane options are, full co-founder, or double market rate salary to offset the risk. Not pennies and "stock options".
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a confusing post.

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 [1]. 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.

[1] 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.

andrewljohnson 2 days ago 3 replies      
I really scoff at the notion that any sort of white collar programming job is exploitative. I know there is some controversy over interns in some industries (not tech), Wal-Mart workers, overseas child slaves, and other real problems in the workforce. But to call out Penny Arcade for what amounts to a very honest job listing, for one of the most high-paying jobs in the country and the world, is just absurd.

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.

badman_ting 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of people who would like you to grind your life into dust in exchange for the glory of having made them richer. If you want to do that, there are a lot of ways, and this is one. I agree that they are trading on their name to find some gullible nerd to do all this stuff. The terrifying thought is, there are people who will read this and mostly agree with it, and still be willing to take the job. I can't really explain that.
Sukotto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Two thoughts spring immediately to mind.

Firstly, take a job posting to it's logical extreme and you'd get something similar to the linkedin post[1].

"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"

[1] 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.

GFischer 2 days ago 7 replies      
"you know whats even more rare? A guy who can write excellent code in several disparate languages, manage multiple different server installs, administrate databases, and configure office firewalls."

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")

johnyzee 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's what interviewing will be like: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/04/06
tehwalrus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wait, the (linkedin) post isn't sarcastic? I heard Jeff Jaques (QC) mocking the idea on twitter earlier[1], and thought he was joining in a wider joke.

[1] https://twitter.com/jephjacques << at the moment, the posts are about 4 hours old and the first 5 or so.

xixi77 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they are satisfied with hiring "a jack of all trades who has mastered very few or none of them, and who will have to scramble like crazy just to meet the base requirements of the job, let alone excel at them." (which I agree is the likely applicant profile), why not?

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.

davidgerard 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have the sort of qualifications this job asks for, you may want to consider applying them somewhere that makes the world a better place:


The smartest people you will ever work with, doing good work on a seriously popular website, at charity rates of pay ;-)

egypturnash 2 days ago 0 replies      
This job posting kinda reminds me of the mental calculus I did when deciding to work for Spmc for a while. John Kricfalusi's studio did not pay well, and the work was gruelling - but you were working for John fucking Kricfalusi, the guy responsible for Ren and fucking Stimpy. And yeah, there was definite cachet in that. Even if you burnt out on the animation industry like I did, you were still gonna be able to draw rings around most people after a stint there. Working at Spmc taught me a lot, and I think ultimately I am glad I made the trade of shitty pay with a demanding boss for a few years. I got paid in a hell of a post-graduate education from a man who changed the face of the animation industry, as well as in money.

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.

jhjester 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it really that difficult to run a handful of LAMP stack sites? The job posting is designed to discourage people not confident in their abilities. They'll ask pointed questions in the interview process that will expose any lie on your CV. Do you need to be a "Do-Everything Rock Star" to do the job? Not likely. Do they want someone who will work their ass off for less than industry standard pay? Probably. Will it really be that hard? Probably not. They've survived for 15 years without a dedicated resource. While the job posting may speak of an incredibly intimidating position, I sincerely doubt that the person that gets it will be up all night troubleshooting complicated python scripts. I get that it's super cool to shit on Penny Arcade. It drives a lot of traffic to website and sometimes they deserve the vitriol. If they were a start up promising a new social media blah blah blah bullshit I'd have a big old hate hard on too. They're not. They're an established 15 year only internet media company that's looking to bring talent in house. The expectations of the job posting are absurd for sure. I think it's only meant to weed out fan boys that run their own CounterStrike server and think they could be the PA IT guy.
ChristianMarks 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had thought that the general IT/AV person was a dinosaur, but judging from comments here, the position is alive and well. And all too common. Avoid these jobs if you can. If you have the talent and energy to do them, your energies will be dissipated and misdirected, and your talent wasted. You may end up too discouraged to develop it. And you will get old fast.
jgon 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are many comments here launching off into discussions of objective reality, what ad-hominem is and various other topics, trying to discern why people are taking so much offense to this ad, but I think that it boils down to two simple things, greed and hypocrisy, which are things that we are pretty hard-wired to take offense to. I don't think it is much more complicated than that.

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.

jheriko 2 days ago 0 replies      
people who very nearly match this description exist. its not really the point though. i agree that this is an unrealistic ask.

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.

thesimpsons1022 2 days ago 2 replies      
The author obviously has a clear and abundant bias against penny arcade.
sireat 1 day ago 0 replies      
The problem I have with this job posting, is that it screams hypocrisy. That is this is something that Penny Arcade would draw a comic about if it were about game programmers. In fact, I remember seeing some PA comics about crappy wage/job situations before.
downer96 2 days ago 0 replies      
truantbuick 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not qualified to discern the quality of most of this post, but its tone disturbed me, and I agree that I find most of the ad hominem stuff really distasteful.
New Bacterial Life-Form Discovered in NASA and ESA Spacecraft Clean Rooms scientificamerican.com
218 points by ColinWright  1 day ago   48 comments top 11
andyjohnson0 1 day ago 7 replies      
I wonder if this article is confusing two different types of clean room.

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.

unoti 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a bunch of questions born of my ignorance of microbiology:

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?

ryanmarsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
"New" or "previously undiscovered"?
bonestamp2 1 day ago 4 replies      
"The researchers are not sure yet if the bug lives only in clean rooms or survives elsewhere..."

They think there's a possibility it only lives in clean rooms? Am I missing something, or does that seem very unlikely?

riggins 1 day ago 0 replies      
for a second I thought this was indestructible bacteria accidentally brought back from a trip to outer-space and was momentarily terrified.
Aardwolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, there probably already is life on Mars thanks to us now :)
snoonan 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Life form" subtilely connotes alien life, doesn't it? Especially when you put it in a sentence with NASA and Spacecraft.

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??)

ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
Life finds a way.
kimonos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmmm, I guess the title is a bit confusing. I was expecting a different article.. But thanks for the info though!
jlebrech 1 day ago 1 reply      
does it have dna?

what if it's a branch new genome?

dekhn 1 day ago 1 reply      
As long as NASA doesn't try to claim this is more evidence for astrobiology (rather than plain old terrestrial damn-tough bacteria), I'm OK with this.
On Asm.js acko.net
217 points by scribu  1 day ago   181 comments top 22
captainmuon 1 day ago 10 replies      
Imagine there would be a language that would compile to proper bytecode (not JS), that would run on a standardized platform which is present on almost every computer, that is mature, sandboxed, and actually pretty fast. Oh, wait, that already exists and is called Java.

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.

fidotron 1 day ago 3 replies      
This discussion is missing the simple point that the web is rapidly gaining all the flaws that Flash used to have, without the nice (for some) editing environment.

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.

safetydank 1 day ago 5 replies      
I feel like PNaCl is the technically superior approach - define a stable set of LLVM bytecode and build an interface to run it in the browser. But the uptake is a problem, no other browser maker wants to adopt a big chunk of code controlled by Google, tailored to run optimally in Chrome.

So asm.js took a beeline - leveraging existing Javascript machinery for security/JIT and shoehorning a way to run executable LLVM on top of it. The fact that it's Javascript is just a detail, a legacy of the days when one vendor (Netscape) was able to push through a standard for running code in the browser.

In today's fragmented browser landscape I find it hard to believe a consensus could be reached again. Most of the major browser makers (Google, Microsoft, Apple) have their own platform agenda to push - in that context asm.js's compatibility with existing Javascript engines gives it the best chance of adoption.

But I agree, the hoops that had to be jumped through are a damned shame.

flohofwoe 1 day ago 3 replies      
What I miss in all those discussions regarding JS, asm.js and PNaCl is that the web is the best software distribution platform we have by a huge margin, this is really its overwhelming killer-feature. All the user needs is an URL. No "downloading", no installation, no special user permissions, no app shops, no gate keepers, no walled gardens, and everything is automatically multi-OS and multi-CPU-architecture. The web as a runtime platform may not be ideal, but the web as a "software distribution platform" rocks. For this I'm even happy to give up a few CPU cycles. And no platform should be tied to a specific language. The more choices there are, the better.
pwang 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's very simple - there is no magic here. asm.js is just a "pidgin instruction set architecture", to allow communication between an emerging set of VMs - the browser runtimes - and a compiler backend. (The front-ends are the LLVM front-ends.)

The article is exactly right in saying that it's a way to route around JS. Javascript fanboys should not be praising asm.js, because it's a way to route around them. (Which is fine by me; JS is an abortion of a language that cannot die fast enough.)

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.

goggles99 20 hours ago 1 reply      
What would it take to get a standards board to approve a common VM for browsers?

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.

andyjohnson0 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm very impressed by the Epic Citadel demo. But how do you debug a C/C++ program that has been converted to asm.js? Whats the current tooling like?
endemic 1 day ago 3 replies      
This article neatly sums up my thoughts on asm.js. On the one hand, I really like the fact that Mozilla is doing a lot to promote Javascript (which I usually enjoy programming in). On the other, asm.js basically destroys any reason to write Javascript.

For someone interested in web-based gaming, it really discourages me from investing in Javascript-based tools, since the future _won't_ be hand-written Javascript. It's only a matter of time before a tool like Unity includes an asm.js export target.

haberman 1 day ago 1 reply      
On an unrelated note, I absolutely love that site's header animation (like what you see if you scroll up and/or click "play").
macspoofing 1 day ago 0 replies      
>It means JavaScript has nothing to do with it, it's just the poison we ended up with, the bitter pill we supposedly have to swallow.

Yeah. That's right. If we could remake the web from the ground up, and had 100% buy-in from all the major parties (corps and devs) to implement and use the new common standard, JavaScript would not be the central language. But we can't. So welcome to reality.

charlieflowers 1 day ago 0 replies      
asm.js is brilliant because of the current situation we are in. However, the current situation we are in is silly, and can correctly be called a "tragedy of the commons."

Why? Well, for example, is JavaScript truly the best language we'd be able to create for browser scripting, or did it win by historical accident? (And I'm actually a fan of Javascript programming!)

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.

ma2rten 1 day ago 4 replies      
I agree, an Unreal Engine compiled to javascript doesn't make sense. It would make much more sense if it were compiled to some kind of bytecode (like NaCl). That will ultimately give you better performance, less loading time, etc.

However, maybe there are some libaries which compiled to asm.js are small enough that they can still run in a browser without asm.js support, e.g. an compression or an encryption algorithm compiled to javascript. Maybe that is the sweet spot for asm.js: You are still able to support Safari and IE though native javascript, but it's faster on Chrome and Firefox.

vanderZwan 1 day ago 2 replies      
> "And this is really the biggest contradiction of them all. Tons of people have invested countless hours to build these VMs, these new languages, these compilers, these optimizations. Yet somehow, they all seem to agree that it is impossible for them to sit down and define the most basic glue that binds their platforms, and implement a shared baseline for their many innovations. We really should aim higher than a language frozen after 10 days, thawing slowly over 20 years."

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.

Torn 1 day ago 1 reply      
The citadel demo, if anyone's looking for it: http://www.unrealengine.com/html5/

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?

theallan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to compile Blink and run it using asm.js in Firefox? Then you could run Firefox inside of the Blink renderer, also in asm.js, and ...
gotofritz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't see the problem with asm. It appears that Chrome and Opera support them too. It can only be a good thing.https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2013/11/26/chrome-an...

It doesn't require requires a plugin install like NaCl

samsquire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could we combine ASM.js and "native web libraries?" (see https://github.com/samsquire/ideas#51-native-web-libraries)

Compile some non-Javascript code.Create a package containing the native code.Serve ASM.js and the native web library.

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.

gitaarik 1 day ago 2 replies      
So Asm.js is a strict subset of Javascript, and the author is saying that Asm.js is only useful when you want to compile a C/C++/Whatever library into Javascript, and that it's not interesting for Javascript developers themselves. Then I wonder: why? Can't you write Asm.js code directly (instead of compiling to it)?
felxh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I definitely recommend poking around the console on this site!
franole 1 day ago 2 replies      
Windowx XP give me the blue screen of death, with Firefox 25.0.1
snrip 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am surprised that Dart is not mentioned as a comparison in any of the comments. It is also heralded as a better and more performant Javascript. Is it because the use-case of ASM more limited? I would imagine that DOM integration in ASM would be tricky so that would set Dart apart.
ben0x539 1 day ago 0 replies      
UTF-8 is a legacy mechanism now?
Cmder: portable console emulator for windows bliker.github.io
217 points by octo_t  2 days ago   52 comments top 15
bliker 2 days ago 2 replies      
Everybody hold tight for 1.1. I managed to get the git prompt workinghttps://f.cloud.github.com/assets/2674600/1549691/1e3f6c02-4...
mariusmg 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm all for ConEmu gaining recognition because it's a great app and Maximus totally deserves it.

But why repackage conemu and call it something else ?!!!

aidenn0 2 days ago 3 replies      
So far, strictly worse than Console2 in everything I've tried. In particular ncurses apps in an ssh session render terribly no matter what I set TERM to. "ansi" works the best, but still I find myself hitting C-l to get rid of garbage regularly.
SchizoDuckie 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've just created an issue. The size difference with msysgit included seemed a tiny bit weird to me. Could it be a result of a symlink being packaged as individual files?


snarfy 2 days ago 1 reply      
What does this add over conemu? Is this just conemu + clinks + msys repackaged?
swah 2 days ago 4 replies      
Nice idea, but I was disappointed that it actually was some software that I probably tried and could not use (ConEmu and I can't remember why...). Maybe you could explain this new attempt?

(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!

st0neage 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not bashing, I actually want to know: How did a terminal emulator get blown up to 250MB?
talles 2 days ago 1 reply      
Downloading right now.

Kudos for the idea and the presentation, nicely done. Really nice.

elliottlan 2 days ago 0 replies      
The 7zip difference is indeed shocking.
jheriko 2 days ago 0 replies      

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.

brokenparser 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm always confused when "portable" and "for $OS" appear together in a title.
urlwolf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great job. Still a bit laggy compared to a real unix terminal, but that's probably because of the lack of fork(). Nothing you could have done...
eonil 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks good. Finally Windows get a real terminal?
queimadus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone else having trouble pinning it to the taskbar and loading the cfg?
horzefli 2 days ago 0 replies      
i can't actually find the source code, it seems the only thing there is a ruby that downloads binaries? can someone enlighten me?
102TB of New Crawl Data Available commoncrawl.org
208 points by LisaG  1 day ago   36 comments top 14
rwg 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really wanted to love the Common Crawl corpus. I needed an excuse to play with EC2, I had a project idea that would benefit an open source project (Mozilla's pdf.js), and I had an AWS gift card with $100 of value on it. But when I actually got to work, I found the choice of Hadoop sequence files containing JSON documents for the crawl metadata absolutely maddening and slammed headfirst into an undocumented gotcha that ultimately killed the project: the documents in the corpus are truncated at ~512 kilobytes.

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...

boyter 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love common crawl, but as I commented before I still want to see a subset available for download, something like the top million sites or something like that. Certainly a few steps of data, say 50GB 100GB and 200GB.

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.

kohanz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious to hear how people are using Common Crawl data.
rb2k_ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there an easy way to grab JUST a list of uniq domains?

That would be a great starter for all sorts of fun little weekend experiments.

GigabyteCoin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone give me a quick rundown on how exactly one gains access to all of this data?

I have heard about this project numerous times, and am always dissuaded by the lack of download links/torrents/information on their homepage.

Perhaps I just don't know what I'm looking at?

ecaron 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone have a good understanding of the difference between this and http://www.dotnetdotcom.org/? I've seen Dotbot in my access logs more than CommonCrawl, so I'm more inclined to believe they have a wider - but not deeper - spread.
ma2rten 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would be great if common crawl (or anyone else) would also release a document-term index for it's data. If you had an index, you could do a lot more things with this data.
recuter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anybody want to take a guess at what percentage these 2B pages represent out of the total surface web at least? I can't find reliable figures, numbers all over the place. 5 percent?
DigitalSea 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've yet to find an excuse to download some of this data to play with. I have a feeling my ISP will personally send around a bunch of suits to collect the bill payment in person if I were to ever go over my 500gb monthly limit by downloading 102tb of data, haha. I would still like to download a subset of the data, from what I've read apparently that kind of idea is already in the works. I just can't possibly think of what I would do, perhaps a machine learning based project.
sirsar 1 day ago 1 reply      
We have switched the metadata files from JSON to WAT files. The JSON format did not allow specifying the multiple offsets to files necessary for the WARC upgrade and WAT files provide more detail.

Where can I read more about this?

danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very cool...though I have to say, CC is a constant reminder that whatever you put on the Internet will basically remain in the public eye for the perpetuity of electronic communication. There exists ways to remove your (owned) content from archive.org and Google...but once some other independent scraper catches it, you can't really do much about it
csmuk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Well that would take 3.5 years to download on my Internet connection!
iamtechaddict 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a way we can access the data(small subet say 30-40GB's) without having an AWS account(as it requires a credit card, I'm a student i don't have any) ?
manismku 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's great and cool stuff.
Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits To Discredit 'Radicalizers' huffingtonpost.com
208 points by joshfraser  1 day ago   51 comments top 13
brymaster 1 day ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of a link I found while browsing Woz's tweets several months ago. https://twitter.com/stevewoz/status/364464427736633344

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.

Amadou 1 day ago 3 replies      
Remember the unfortunately named us congressman Anthony Weiner?


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.


Amadou 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everyone should remember how the FBI tried to blackmail Martin Luther King.


jmadsen 1 day ago 1 reply      
My first thoughts on reading this:

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?

Gustomaximus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can see why this is a useful tool but this has such potential to be part of the slippery slope. After reading this I thought I would Google the NSA wiki page. I was surprised that illegal domestic wiretapping issue is not new but going back to the 60's.


paul_willis 1 day ago 2 replies      
Let's examine who they're targeting:

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.

freejack 1 day ago 1 reply      
I read this story and I couldn't help but think about the actual extent of the pressure that was brought to bear on Aaron Swartz and whether or not there's a lot more to that story than we've been made aware of.
digitalengineer 1 day ago 1 reply      
So, this made the first page even with the word 'NSA' in it. Let's see what happens when it reaches 40 comments.
digitalengineer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Okay, so you're someone that doesn't want them tracking your every move. How much would a VPN, scripts like Ghostly/NoScript and encripted mail help?
salient 1 day ago 0 replies      
If someone would've said this before, they would've definitely been seen as paranoid/conspiracy type people. I mean it's ridiculous to even think that a government agency would concern itself with stuff like this - and here we are. It's like you can think of the worst stuff NSA could do to blackmail/discredit someone - and now you can bet they are already doing it.
arprocter 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wasn't there a story that they 'found' smut in OBL's hideout?
blahbl4hblahtoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are all doomed.
efoto 1 day ago 2 replies      
Finally, something about NSA that I can hear without disgust and horror. This is actually the kind of job I was expecting them to do. Unlike dragnet surveillance, breaking internet protocols, etc.

Although the problem remains: the same methods can be used to silence dissidents...

A JavaScript parser and interpreter written in Go github.com
206 points by scapbi  1 day ago   64 comments top 13
ek 23 hours ago 3 replies      
A couple years ago for a programming languages course, we wrote a bytecode compiler and interpreter for a JavaScript-like language we were using in the class (objects, prototype-based inheritance, higher-order functions, etc), and we initially started building it in Go, but the biggest thing that made us switch to C++ at that time was the fact that Go didn't have a straightforward union type.

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!

recuter 22 hours ago 8 replies      
Alright, 90 points, most comments being meta about the title so I'll be the brave one and ask: What is this actually good for?

I can't think of any reasonable use case. Grab little NPM ditties and incorporate them into your Go binary - Javascript to Go becomes as Lua is to C? Somebody enlighten me.

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.

jchrisa 1 day ago 1 reply      
We use this for the sync function interpreter in Sync Gateway. Robert has been very helpful and responsive with pull requests etc. thanks!

Edit to add link to example code using Otto https://github.com/couchbase/sync_gateway/blob/master/src/gi...

ebilgenius 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This is the most Hacker News sounding title I've ever heard.
runn1ng 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't there also a Go parser and interpreter written in JavaScript?
riobard 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to have some rough performance numbers to compare with existing JS engines.
fabriceleal 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I have no idea how to really ask this, but does it uses continuation-passing style [0] to execute expressions? I tried to search for "cps" or "continuation" in the repo, but no luck. I also don't really have the time right now to go dig through the source.

[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuation-passing_style

Aardwolf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Now someone must make a Go interpreter written in JavaScript, so you can JavaScript while you Go while you JavaScript while you ...
omeid2 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Someone please bind the Go Net and IO and there you have a Node.js-esque-Go-Hybrid.

Not serious. haha.

oelmekki 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this aim to compete with v8 implementations for high level products usable by non go developer (I think qtwebkit, here), or is it just a mean to have js integration in go for small low level scripting ?
Goranek 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain to me whats wrong with using V8 in Go? I mean what's the point in building js interpreter in Go, when you already have a better one made.
scosman 23 hours ago 1 reply      
the perfect hacker news title
yOutely 20 hours ago 2 replies      
This is not a good thing nor will it lead to good things.
Bitcoin Reaches 1000 USD mtgox.com
199 points by wallzz  1 day ago   387 comments top 45
cs702 1 day ago 9 replies      
Wow -- $1030 per BTC as I write this. This is happening way faster than anyone ever expected.[1]

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.


[1] 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...

seanalltogether 1 day ago 6 replies      
It's now been over 5 weeks since I sold all my bitcoins on mtgox and still haven't received any of my money from them.
downandout 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's either ridiculously underpriced or ridiculously overpriced. Not exactly sure which yet.
carbocation 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think bitcoin is extremely interesting, but price reports like this are not intellectually stimulating. 1,000 is an arbitrary number. Let's talk about bitcoin, but for a volatile currency, let's not fire off news articles every time it crossed another arbitrary threshold?
rescripting 1 day ago 9 replies      
Hopefully someone can clear this up for me: With the price rising so quickly what incentive is there to actually use BTC as intended, as a currency?

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?

shawabawa3 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can people please stop reporting MtGox prices? The real[1] price is closer to $950

  [1] The price on exchanges where you can actually withdraw USD, e.g. bitstamp

snorkel 1 day ago 8 replies      
As someone who witnessed the dot-com boom, I always tell the kids nowadays: sell. sell it all. now.
saalweachter 1 day ago 8 replies      
Anyone know what is driving the price?

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?

brador 1 day ago 2 replies      
Remember kids, it's only real once you sell. Until then it's paper money. With a price rise, either there's more demand from speculators or more people holding.
tokenadult 1 day ago 0 replies      
In other news, tulip bulbs can be had for $9.99 for a dozen,[1] a decline (for some varieties) from the historic high price.[2] The history of commodity prices provides some interesting insights into human behavior.[3]

[1] http://www.brecks.com/category/Tulip_Flower_Bulbs

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

[3] http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Popular-Delusions-Charle...

eegilbert 1 day ago 2 replies      
Has Bitcoin been subjected to serious academic research? Quickly scanning this bibliography [1], at least, I don't see many top ACM conferences.

[1] http://users.encs.concordia.ca/~clark/biblio.html

edubart 1 day ago 1 reply      
Back in 2010 I did mine 160 BTC in 3 days just with my average CPU, however at some point I stopped caring, because 3 years ago there weren't much blabling about bitcoin and everyone that I told at that time did't care. Months later I had to format hard disk because ArchLinux did a great job breaking the whole system in a update, in the moment I just didn't remember that there were a BitCoin wallet in my system. Now about 2 years later I am hopping to recovery the wallet using a recovery program, but I already know that there is almost no chance. Today I just can't stop thinking about what happened.

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.

lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 6 replies      
holy cr!9 - I was thinking of trying to mine some to get a handle on the whole thing - last week when it was 800 bucks.What the hell?

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

EGreg 1 day ago 0 replies      
My thesis is simple.

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.

gerhardi 1 day ago 3 replies      
Could someone explain how is the blockchain going to maintain integrity and the transfer lag is taken into account "when" bitcoin is globally used everywhere and thousands if not millions of transactions are happening every single second?
ck2 1 day ago 2 replies      
It seems to be lifting all boats too, litecoin broke $25
AndrewDucker 1 day ago 2 replies      
Are there any decent estimates for how much one bitcoin will be worth if it ends up being a generally used currency for international transfers?

i.e. if it becomes the new Paypal, how much would one bitcoin need to be worth?

drzaiusapelord 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is the success of cryptolocker raising the value of this currency? Essentially, we have quite a bit of proof now that it is truly an untraceable currency and previously shy buyers might feel emboldened by this. More demand == higher value.
granfalloon 1 day ago 0 replies      
man, this has been fascinating to watch (and not just because i have a little skin in the game).

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

giarc 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was following BTC when it had hit $200-300 and was in the news quite often. I considered buying some but after reading lots of opinion pieces, decided against it. Many people were showing graphs comparing the dot com bubble and the bitcoin bubble and warning others that BTC would settle nicely into a lower price. Those people were obviously wrong, wish I hadn't listened to them.
nkuttler 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are so many uneducated comments that I'll link to the bitcoin FAQ: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ.

Really, anybody trying to argue for or against BTC should at least have read that.

gagege 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm afraid of Bitcoin becoming the world's only currency. Someone with enough computing power can massively game the system. I'm not saying that that can't happen with today's government driven currencies, but that there are at least other options right now. Maybe we shouldn't all switch to Bitcoin.
judk 1 day ago 2 replies      
If bitcoin concept gets popular, why would the next set of adopters buy into btc instead of trying to be early adopters in a different technically equivalent cryptocurrency?
blackdogie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was surprised that there wasn't a dip when it hit 1000, I'm sure that there must have been quite a few people will sell orders at this round, but arbitrary point. If this was the case there would have been some dip, is it just being overly inflated by some rich backers who are slowly taking the cash out, but backing it up when it dips ?
bottled_poe 1 day ago 2 replies      
What makes bitcoin special? It's not like we've seen widespread adoption of this particular cryptocurrency. Do litecoin, feathercoin, et al. use the same algorithm with different seeds? I dont't understand why bitcoin is gaining so much value. It seems that an identical cryptocurrency could be created with or without the coins already mined. It seems to me that $1000 per bc can only be speculation by the wealthy at this point. It is surely a bubble waiting to implode.
Aqueous 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is still around $950.00 on CoinBase. Mt. Gox is usually ahead of CoinBase and BitStamp.
crististm 1 day ago 1 reply      
The price should be based on what people are able to _cash out_. Is this the case? Are people getting $1000 money in the hand for 1BTC or is it just the "valuation" we're talking about here?
AKifer 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm afraid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania will again happen, wikipedia should already prepare an entry for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin_mania
xedarius 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone please answer me this.

If a Bitcoin is worth +$1000 and I want to buy an item worth $50. How does one receive change?

gnister 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin is not a traditional currency.

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.

BenjaminN 1 day ago 7 replies      
When it will be as easy to buy a bitcoin as it is to buy, say, an ebook, it will go up significantly.

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?

dmix 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Canada our biggest market is $924.
borplk 1 day ago 1 reply      
How easy is it to sell bitcoins now? Especially for large amounts, can someone just cash 1000BTC on mtgox now?
thisiswrong 1 day ago 1 reply      
And meanwhile altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies) are booming like never seen before - even more so than bitcoin.

Litecoin just hit 30usd, Peercoin nearly at 4usd.


wil421 1 day ago 1 reply      
What happens in 5 years?
PinkBunny 1 day ago 6 replies      
Why does the bitcoin price differ on different exchanges?
wallzz 1 day ago 0 replies      
The price is in EURO if you want the USD try https://www.mtgox.com/?Currency=USD
guilamu 1 day ago 0 replies      
adrianwaj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wait 'til Wall Street gets on board.

I've setup a simple webpage (with @btcprice) for displaying prices:

$1,022.90 mtgxUSD

$943.00 bitstamp

$943.00 bitpayBBB


broolstoryco 1 day ago 2 replies      
to the moon.
guilamu 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wrong, did not reached it yet.
relaxedricky 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://preev.com/ - 963.1 USD at time of posting
paweld 1 day ago 0 replies      
What if mtgox is buying bitcoins for money which doesn't have. Could that drive prices up.
snake_plissken 1 day ago 0 replies      
knodi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hope there is a crash coming.
Show HN: Gmail.js JavaScript API for Gmail github.com
189 points by kartikt  1 day ago   56 comments top 19
grinich 1 day ago 4 replies      
Unfortunately this type of hacking isn't really sustainable. Even small tweaks to the Gmail UI often change the DOM in very unpredictable ways. When they released the new compose feature, pretty much every single Gmail Chrome extension broke.

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. :)

gkoberger 1 day ago 3 replies      
It would be amazing if this were a service. Easier said than done, I know -- but, basically this but have it check a JSON file every few hours and gets the updated selectors.

(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.)

untog 1 day ago 2 replies      
Interesting - and a very good job given what you have to work with. Surely its incredibly brittle, though? As soon as they release a new version of Gmail it's going to fail.

But then, I suppose that's how most Chrome extensions work.

jamesjyu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Author of Gmailr here, which apparently inspired this project. Kudos! Glad to see someone taking the ball and running with it. I haven't had time to update Gmailr lately, as it is something that needs active maintenance. The main challenge here is that Gmail will have continue to have bursts of updates that break extension libraries, with relatively long periods of stability.
zrgiu_ 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd love to use this but I can't figure out what's the action/event for when I open an email to read it. I'm sure it's there, I just can't see it ..
driverdan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm curious why you'd use the DOM instead of making API calls to the server. If Google can do it as part of their UI surely a 3rd party script can too. Is the API more complex than the frequently changing DOM?
typpo 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is pretty useful. A couple months ago I started making a free self-hosted version of Boomerang for Gmail, but lost interest because I felt like I would have to devote most of my time to gmail's idiosyncrasies. Maybe it's time to get back to 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.

tericho 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks for making the library, glad to see you put lots of time into the docs too. Hopefully the can of worms you've opened doesn't drive you crazy, personally I would've stopped the second I found myself writing something like this...

$($($($('.nH .if').children()[1]).children()).children()[1]).children()[1]



xpressyoo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi Kartik, Gmelius (http://gmelius.com) developer here! Great stuff. Will be glad to help you maintain the API up-to-date, if you wish so :)
togasystems 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use Selenium tests that run on a cron job to check for elements on third-party websites. This works great and I am able to keep the extension mostly up to date. One of the issues I have come up against is when a third-party A/B tests. I usually have to hack around and find an account with the B portion to make sure everything works.
advisedwang 1 day ago 3 replies      
Did you know there is a remote API for Gmail which is compatible with Exchange, Outlook.com, yahoo mail and every other mail provider out there?

It's called IMAP/SMTP!

catmanjan 1 day ago 1 reply      
These projects are already pretty advanced versions of this:


In fact gmailr is used in "Cloudy" - one of the more advanced gmail plugins.

jorgem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar in some ways to api that is in streak.com
pknerd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love if someone make it to work by using oAuth in js.
rohitv 1 day ago 1 reply      
Your name sounded very familiar, finally realized from where after reading the recent opendata email! Great job on this and the OpenDataUW API stuff. I am also admiring the PHP Scraper Class as I was planning on writing something similar.
sumit_psp 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks awesome. You should make a demo extension and open source it to show some of the applications that can be built on top of it.
gailees 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is awesome.
melpomene 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Been looking for something like this! Perfect. Thanks for the effort!
kirbyk 1 day ago 1 reply      
You probably know more about Gmail then you ever wanted to, right?
UK Prime Minister: We have put in place Internet filters to block extremism publications.parliament.uk
175 points by tamersalama  2 days ago   115 comments top 18
GVIrish 2 days ago 4 replies      
Well that didn't take long. First it was about porn, now the naked power grab begins. Who gets to define 'extremism'? Will information that Snowden leaked now be deemed extremist material? It seems only natural that the next step will be blocking dissent and content deemed dangerous to the sanctity of the state.

People of Great Britain, I hope you're not sleeping on this. Forget the slippery slope, this is the cliff.

handelaar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Less shit link to the actual speech in question:


But am flagging for the outrageous misquote in the title.

RyanMcGreal 2 days ago 2 replies      
MP Julian Smith: "Following the reckless handling by The Guardian of the Snowden leaks..."

Cameron: "My hon. Friend is absolutely right."


jsvaughan 2 days ago 3 replies      
The word "filters" is not in this text

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."

tamersalama 2 days ago 0 replies      
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.
vidarh 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is one of the worst cases of editorialising titles I've seen on HN.

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.

noja 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's like watching a horrible accident occurring and knowing that you can do nothing.
secoif 2 days ago 0 replies      
Internet filters are extremism.
1angryhacker 2 days ago 0 replies      
The actual quote:

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.

tamersalama 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish politicians would one day face the same amount of word-scrutiny a concerned HN poster/commenter does.
csmuk 2 days ago 2 replies      
josteink 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do we?

And if I were to accept such an extreme stance, who gets to define "extremism" mister prime minister?

bad_user 2 days ago 2 replies      
Makes sense. Extremism, along with porn, is corroding childhood.
trekky1700 2 days ago 0 replies      
End of days big brother talk aside, it will be interesting to see how this is actually used. Speculation aside, this could be an interesting case study in internet censorship and government responsibility.
meira 2 days ago 1 reply      
We need to stop create situations that create extremist groups. There is no need for internet censorship.
eli_gottlieb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh please. We all know that while al-Qaida will obviously be filtered, so will the Socialist Workers' Party, and so won't English Defence League.
mkaziz 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Pakistan, you can hide in a cave ... or in a house next to the Army's HQ and no one will know where you are.
jsmithedin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Scottish independence can't come soon enough.
Clojure: The JFDI language docs.google.com
174 points by michaelochurch  1 day ago   109 comments top 14
davidp 23 hours ago 11 replies      
I enjoyed the presentation very much, until

    "Engineers 3-10x more productive"
Citation needed.

If this were generally true (of any technology X) the dollars would be flowing that way in an unstoppable torrent, and anyone using anything else would be the subject of ridicule and/or pity. It would be like writing custom websites in C.

Since that isn't happening, I have to take assertions like that with a sizable chunk of salt. The alternative would mean that there's a gigantic arbitrage opportunity that's being missed by a bunch of highly motivated people. So yeah, citation(s) please.

danenania 1 day ago 4 replies      
Thanks for this. It's a great overview that manages to be both detailed and easily accessible.

Your visual approach to explaining macros with arrows to demonstrate the substitutions also really helped me to grok them in a way I haven't been able to previously. They are actually quite simple aren't they? It's basically the same idea as html templating, but outputs code instead of markup.

I'd love to see you get more in depth on some of the headier topics--core.logic, monads, storm/hadoop interop, etc. You seem to have a gift for making difficult concepts approachable.

sandGorgon 23 hours ago 6 replies      
Question - there was a recent post about how the dailymail group moved 140k lines of java code to 4k lines in clojure.

Since I have never programmed much in Java (I went from c++ to ruby!), could someone tell me where the gains are coming from ?

I know that eliminating the setters and getters (and the private/protected/etc system) would eliminate a lot of code, but I dont understand if it would be that much.

Possibly, I'm also trying to understand if they would have gotten similar improvements in kloc if they had switched to.. ruby/python for instance.

wuschel 14 hours ago 2 replies      
(Disclaimer: I am a python that found a new home in the scheme world)

Clojure is a Lisp. Lisp based languages are great.


One of the problems with clojure - or rather with its home or ecosystem - is the fact that it requires a very high activation energy to get going. Grasp the concept of functionial programming, cc/call, macros, totally different syntax than your previous imperative language of choice, and last but not the giant blob that is called Java platform with all the traps regarding project management, IDEs, building, compiling, deploying etc. I know that there are great tools such an Leiningen or LightTable, but they only make the whole process of transition more manageable.

Now, I know that Java is a huge benefit for all that want to make use of its gazillion tools. But if You are not into Java, then Clojure might give you some hickups.

In comparison to Clojure, Python also allows for some functional programming, gives the eager disciple an easy going start. Most of libraries are written in Python (or exist in a fast, a C-esque implementation) and are very easy to grasp. I can not say that for the Java enviroment Clojure has been born into.

I frown at java lingo error tracebacks in the REPL, and to bring a external Java library into play is even more problematic. Any thoughts on this how to remedy this problem without getting involved into Java?

I wish there would be some kind of Index of how to use certain Java libraries from Clojure, or an index of Clojure wrapping packages. It might make life a bit easier.

Finally, I claim that for now, I am quite happy with my choice to migrate from Clojure to Chicken Scheme/picolisp. You can get quite a bunch of Clojure data types from the good package repository. It compiles without setting your hair on fire. And it is really simple, as the language basics are small.

I will keep an eye on Clojure. but I must say that Julia is as appealing to me when it comes to the choice of future language.

coolsunglasses 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's not really accurate to think of core.async as mutable state at all, because by default channels are only queues in the sense of implicit waiting go blocks forming a queue.

Unless you use a buffer implementation, channels have no "placeness", you're not mutating/adding to a queue by parking a go block.

I liked everything else.

ninetax 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there really more Clojure jobs than programmers? As a clojure programmer looking for a job I haven't seen many...

Wish there were more though!

eklavya 23 hours ago 7 replies      
I don't get it. Scala has all the features, it's fast AND it's easier to read (no matter how much the presentation tries to play down the () issue, it's there.)

Why not use Scala insead?

vorg 23 hours ago 2 replies      
> Functional programming has two simple, elegant design pattern that don't suck: noun and verb.

I'd add adjectives (including adverbs), which is the metadata on the nouns and verbs.

johnwalker 1 day ago 1 reply      
The misconception list basically summarizes the interactions I have with people who know I use Clojure. It's really interesting that these are still around, especially considering that lisp hasn't been new for a long time.

As an aside, I loved the chrono trigger reference! I was actually listening to some of its music as I viewed the slides.

I know this is old hat for the FP community, but it's worth mentioning that the dot product would be normally be written as (reduce + (map * xs ys)) (or something similar) for the sake of readers scared by the loop acc pattern.

yresnob 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Great overview..

from direct work experience in building complex systems in clojure....I agree with all the statements made in this document...

I am a better developer because of it and will look at things differently if I need to pick up java or scala again..

and I will also make sure to always "get in the hammock" before writing a line of code..

saosebastiao 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting to see you mention Supply Chain Optimization. Other than myself, I know of only one other person that actively uses it for the task. Is there some hidden community that I'm not aware of?
joelgrus 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a really nice overview of Clojure, thanks.
EdwardDiego 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cheers for a great synopsis that I intend to inflict upon my coworkers at the first available opportunity. :D
turar 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a web framework for Clojure similar to Play for Scala?
       cached 29 November 2013 05:11:01 GMT