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Sistine Chapel vatican.va
561 points by z0a  1 day ago   229 comments top 54
jacquesm 1 day ago 12 replies      
Very nice. In fact, almost nicer than being there (though you should do that anyway if you get the chance). Because now you can experience the details for as long as you want without a hundred other people around you who are just as annoyed at you as you are at them.

I get it that a tourist complaining about tourist attractions being too crowded is total hypocrisy on my part. But at the same time what I wouldn't give to be able to stand in that chapel for as long as I wanted just to look, all by myself. And now I can. We live in amazing times.

Be sure to look 'up' and use the zoom feature.

The only improvement I can think of is a 'link' icon that you can use to cut-and-paste a certain viewpoint + zoom so that you can show others specific details, and two more viewpoints at the end and the beginning (so you don't lose the corners due to distortion).

frik 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Saint Peters VR-Tour:


more Saint Peter VR-Tours: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/vr_tour/i...

more Vatican VR-Tours: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/index_en.html

  Special thanks to Villanova University in Pennsylvania (USA)  for its contribution to the realization of the Virtual   Reality Tour of the Sistine Chapel
-- http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/index_sistina_en.htm

The Sistine Chapel HTML file contains some commented text:

  Photography: Chad Fahs & Paul Wilson, Villanova Department of Communication  Stitching & Image Correction: Chad Fahs & Paul Wilson  iOS conversion of the entire site is done courtesy of  the Villanova Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology  and the Villanova Computer Science Department  contact: Frank.Klassner@villanova.edu
Please add "(2010)" to the headline (see copyright on the chapel floor)

JunkDNA 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is one of those cases where (having not used one) I sincerely hope the Oculus Rift can bring something more to the experience compared to what we have now.

What you can't get from your computer screen is the scale of it all. You can intellectually get it by looking around at reference points in the image, but you can't feel it the way you can when you are there.

This would be especially true if one had a similar view of St. Peter's. There's almost no way to convey the sheer enormity of it without actually physically being there. That's one of the things I remember the most from my visit: that feeling of being so tiny inside this massive, ornate indoor space that is so big, there's a haze when you look from end to end.

nitrogen 1 day ago 7 replies      
Meta comment about the panorama interface:

The click+drag view control feels inverted to me. I'm curious whether I'm in the minority, though. For FPS games on PC I use normal mouse, but for console FPS games I use inverted joystick.

bobbles 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I was in the Sistine Chapel a couple of years ago, someone opened that big black door at the back of the hall (between the two wooden walls).

This was not the tourist exit, and inside there were huge beautiful golden hallways with exquisite paintings all around.

Does anyone know if this part of the chapel is visible or recorded anywhere?

Heliosmaster 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the soundtrack: http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/music/Sist...

(from the source: Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli - 5. BenedictusTP1(Simon Preston: Westminster Abbey ChoirTCM"Giovanni Pierluigi Da PalestrinaTAL6Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli - Allegri: Miserere)

JonnieCache 1 day ago 2 replies      
I saw a thing on TV once where some religious historian lady was pointing out how the robe enclosing god as he reaches out to adam resembles the human brain in cross section. She speculated that Michelangelo may have been leaving a clue as to what he really thought of his employers, based on his attendance at banned human dissections around that time.

(It was a serious programme about art history BTW, not some conspiracy nonsense. Wish I could remember the name.)

shriphani 1 day ago 1 reply      
Excerpt from "When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel" by Michelangelo:

  My painting is dead.  Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor.   I am not in the right placeI am not a painter

aashaykumar92 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very cool. This got me thinking: there are many tourist sites where people aren't allowed to go anymore because of safety/security issues. It would be awesome if the site coordinators (or whoever makes executive decisions on such things) would make pages like this one available on their websites for their respective tourist attractions. And in more POVs.
80 1 day ago 2 replies      
For more renaissance goodness check out this site on the Ghent Altarpiece - zooms so far in that you can see between the paint cracks:


j2kun 1 day ago 2 replies      
Having never visited, I did not realize until how high the density of nudity per square meter was.
araes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone have the technical info on how this was done and put together? Looking at other pages, it appears this was created by Villanova University in Pennsylvania (http://www1.villanova.edu/main.html) for the Vatican, and they appear to have several folks actively publishing in photogrammetry journals. It looks like it was done with some very high quality photogrammetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photogrammetry), and I'd be interested to see what program they used, and if its available, as my agency could probably find some uses for it.
gilgoomesh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
For a room where you spent the whole time looking up... that gimbal lock is really annoying.

Quaternions, please?

bostonpete 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is an extreme violation of the Chapel's no photography rule. I hope they catch whoever did this.
sheltgor 1 day ago 3 replies      
Having never had the opportunity to actually see this in person, yet seeing god knows how many prints, its fascinating to see the whole room in perspective and just how monumental of an artistic achievement this was. Lots of components I'd never seen that had me starting for minutes. Only thing I wish was that there was a way to zoom.
qq66 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really awesome stuff. I wonder why they chose this level of maximum resolution -- from the Gigapixel images it's clear that they could support zooming into the individual paint cracks, although with the publicity that this is getting, that might have incurred extreme bandwidth costs.
sytelus 1 day ago 1 reply      
You know what would be cool? If I can click on those painting and read story underlying each of them. I can read that all day long.
sergiotapia 1 day ago 0 replies      
The moneyshot: http://imgur.com/aiBLxXD

Absolutely breathtaking!

adambenayoun 1 day ago 1 reply      
Funny - I just got back from Rome 2 days ago and was in the Vatican - imagine the surprise when I saw this on top of of Hacker News.

The experience of being in the sistine chapel is nice but a bit spoiled by the fact that there are hundreds of tourists in the chapel as well and Italian guards are pushing you to move and be in the center (Often yelling at tourist who aren't moving fast enough and throwing out of the chapel anyone trying to take a picture).

logn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. The paintings make a lot more sense seeing them in context.

Also, who knew, the Vatican knows how to hire good software engineers. I guess they did hire Michelangelo too though.

zz1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one finding it ironic that they used (Adobe) Flash to show the chapel to the whole world, when tourists can't use (camera) flash to show it to their close friends?

Well, just jacquesm, I simpathize with the stewards: "please, no flash" :(

Walkman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The performance of this is crazy good. I clicked from mobile and the scrolling was very fast and smooth, which is strange because the desktop version is flash I think :O
pshin45 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hah, got me thinking maybe PG's pre-Viaweb startup idea to put art galleries on the Web was just too far ahead of its time[1].

[1] http://paulgraham.com/bronze.html

csense 1 day ago 1 reply      
Needs WASD to move, and a more "standard" mouselook.
klunger 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was a kid, my parents took me to Disney World. It was a long time ago, childhood amnesia and so on, so forgive the fuzzy details here... But basically, they had a very early version of virtual reality (a headset a la Oculus Rift). They chose the same imagery, so I was immersed in the Sistine Chapel. I remember being deeply impressed at the time (although I was a kid, so who knows how great it actually was). Regardless, I have never been to Italy and have wanted to go ever since that experience.
Shivetya 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I would hope that museums across the world along with locations like this would have this technology applied. I would not mind small fees to use on private collections.
trhway 1 day ago 0 replies      
it may be nitpicking, yet - the projection seems strange at the borders of the viewport. And there are a lot of 3d TVs/monitors out there - could have done a 3d version :)
rrradical 1 day ago 0 replies      
This game has good graphics, but I'm not really into the art style. They should get a new texture artist.
chrismcb 1 day ago 0 replies      
From an American copyright point of view... Is this copyrightable? It is a reproduction of a work of art that is no longer under copyright. The image itself offers no creativity, other than as a reproduction.
Xcelerate 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cool! Although it kind of stutters a little bit as I move around (very very minimally but just enough to break the flow). MBPR 2012, Chrome.
weinzierl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know that Paul Debevec worked in the Sistine Chapel. Is this his work?
james33 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just wait until they add VR support!
Oculus 1 day ago 2 replies      
Has the actual Chapel aged so well or have the images been reworked to give show more color?
rail2rail 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was luck enough to score an after hours (nightime) guided tour of the Basilica (including this chapel) several years ago. We nearly had the entire place to ourselves and saw rooms that were kept off the general tour. We saw stone that is now extinct and art that melted my face. We lingered so long the guards chased us out. There are no words for how beautiful this place is.
lifeisstillgood 22 hours ago 0 replies      
on a thread dominated by insightful comments on religion history and art I hate to do this but ... I can't get pinch to zoom to get in close on the iPhone - is the image only "as seen from ground level" or can you really get up close if using a PC?
Thiz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't admire.

I am flash impaired.

l33tbro 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow - though music a bit too much.
pithon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been looking for Waldo for hours now. No luck.
SimeVidas 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd have preferred WebGL over Flash.
atriix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Too bad, what ever it is I'm not gonna be able to se it.ERROR: "Adobe Flash Player 9/10 or higher needed"
brianzelip 1 day ago 1 reply      
What role do you think the `Sistine-Chapel.xml` file, included in the html source's `embedpano` script, plays?
pinkskip 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the internet and this is why!
sirdogealot 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Now if they could only add in bing-like hyperlinks to every depictable image in there so I could actually know what I'm looking at!

Very, very beautiful site though and wonderfully fresh idea coming from such an arcane institution. I like it a lot.

ulfw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Super cool!
marcfawzi 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I went from Seventy Two to Sisty Four (sic) karma points all because of this stupid chapel. Get over your religious nostalgia and get back to real tech news... Thanks.
marcfawzi 1 day ago 3 replies      
There's nothing technically novel about this. It's also kind of offensive given the mass genocide committed in the name of religion. Hacker News turning to Christian News.
afonsopraca 1 day ago 0 replies      
old stuff
soheil 20 hours ago 0 replies      
that's gay!
grimmdude 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like flash is still good for something.
audiodude 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just remember: whatever piece of code you're working on right now; whatever tiny feature on a tiny website you're trying to implement; that is your Sistine Chapel.
mariuolo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Sixteen chapel? What about the other fifteen?;)
nthitz 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you look straight down "Copyright Musei Vaticani". Is that really on the floor at the Sistine Chapel or just for this web version?
opinali 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like how God has these really buff arms... He must bench-press at least 225lb.
We Are Now In Command of the ISEE-3 Spacecraft spacecollege.org
424 points by jwise0  2 days ago   62 comments top 13
0x0 2 days ago 2 replies      
Are there any technical details available? It would be super interesting to see all the stuff that is re-developed from old specs, and to see how all the calculations and commands fit together to reach thw mission goals, or even what the received data and telemetry looks like.

Or is this kept confidential to try to prevent outsiders from going at it like in that xkcd posted in the comments here? Or is the only "protection" based on the requirement to have access to those huge observatories?

dTal 2 days ago 2 replies      
If they do manage to fire the engines, it has to pass through the lunar shadow on the way back to Earth and as it's running off solar panels this means a total shutdown, which it's never done before (alas, the uptime!). Let's hope it comes back up!
trhway 2 days ago 3 replies      
cclogg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Whoa I did not know anything about this story until now ><

On a related note, I also just noticed that the "Arecibo Radio Observatory" was in Goldeneye!

servowire 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The fact that this machine is still in operation is awesome. What a piece of engineering.
ColinDabritz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Simply amazing.
bad_alloc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is this the satellite NASA had given up because there was no communications equipment left?
ForHackernews 2 days ago 3 replies      
> We have successfully commanded both of ISEE-3's data multiplexers into engineering telemetry mode. The current bitrate is 512 bits/sec.

BITS not even BYTES, let alone kilobytes.

ShaneOG 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. This is an amazing achievement!
iamdanfox 2 days ago 0 replies      
Twitch spacecraft anyone?
broabprobe 2 days ago 1 reply      
Brilliantly impressive. Especially considering they're operating out of an old McDonalds on the NASA Ames campus.
spiritplumber 1 day ago 0 replies      
Woo Hoo!
apetresc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Another xkcd has come true! http://xkcd.com/1337/
How to Tell Someones Age When All You Know Is Her Name fivethirtyeight.com
385 points by ca98am79  2 days ago   144 comments top 33
te_platt 2 days ago 8 replies      
Not only can you get a good idea of age from a name you can generate names that match age and sex. I have a niece who recently did a science fair project where she used Markov chains seeded with U.S. census data over the last hundred years to create new names. With about 90% accuracy people could tell if a fake name was from 100, 50, or <10 years ago and the sex.

An interesting side note was that she put in a simple profanity filter but in all of her trial runs it never picked up any "fuq" or variant names.

Edit: Here are sample boy names:ShillFlayRoshardPerCollMiliusMadfregoDerryFerFordyCarlelMarlerRommyronanceJordFelwookeRottLuperBentZekinOthenNolanterryJerarton

Here are some girl namesEsalessieRineNolennAlynnaMyrtinetFaybecilineAlineOrassabendaPhinaDorgiaLideleasteBearaSonilinnJudeliaMonangeoraJarninaGeleeneEmozellynMaudraVertaLortisFretKathoph

taliesinb 2 days ago 1 reply      
One of the built-in models in the Wolfram Language does precisely this:

   In[1]:= Predict["NameAge", "Gertrude"]   Out[1]= 84   In[2]:= Quartiles @ Predict["NameAge", "Gertrude", "Distribution"]   Out[2]= {62.8975, 74.7389, 84.8247}
More info about Predict and Classify here:



hudibras 2 days ago 0 replies      
Baby Name Wizard (linked in the article) is one of the true hidden gems on the internet. It looks like a fluffy website for moms-to-be, but then you start poking around at the graphs and you realize that an hour of your life has disappeared...


Bonus: This blog post from Baby Name Wizard is utterly fascinating. Everybody I've ever showed this to has been amazed.


jwegan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I actually used something similar to this (but not as sophisticated) at a previous startup to generate recommendations of people to invite to the app because the app's target demographic was women ages 20-40.


btilly 2 days ago 4 replies      
I found the age range on "Jennifer" to be particularly interesting.

My sister Jennifer (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Tilly for details) is in her mid-50s. She was in college before she met another Jennifer her own age. People still are mislead by her name and believe that she has to be a lot younger than she really is.

The moral is that if you have the great fortune to pick a girl's name that will be popular some day but is not now, that girl will probably be happy about it. :-)

palakchokshi 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of the ways cold readers hone in on all kinds of things about the person they are reading. It is a very effective way to guess someone's mother's or grandmother's name or sister's name. if the audience is a group of mostly 30 to 50 year old women the reader has a good starting point. It goes something like "Is there a Laura or Lisa here?" There is a high probability there will be one of those. Once a woman acknowledges their name is Laura the reader can see what her approx. age is and make a guess about what their mother or grandmother or grandfather's name is. They use other cues to figure out which dead relative the woman is there to "hear" from and then say something like "Someone with a M or K is coming forward" if the target reacted to one of those letters the reader guesses "Mar.... Marg... Mary...Margeret... Margeret... Is that your mother?"...

You get the idea.

bane 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to work for an NLP startup, we focused on stuff you could do with Romanized names -- names that were original not written in the Latin alphabet and ended up being written in the Latin alphabet using some kind of transliteration scheme.

For example, we could take a name and generate a pretty comprehensive, and culturally aware, list of variants.

Jennifer -> Jenifer, Jen, Jenny, Jennie, etc.

Richard -> Rich, Richie, Dick, Dickie, Ritchard, etc.

Rho -> No, Lo, Loh, Noh, Roh, Ro, Nho, etc.

The intention of course was to build up lists of name variants that could be used during identification checks.

We also had some pretty significant statistical models that could guess Gender and provide a descending list with confidence levels of the most likely country of origin for a name. It was surprisingly accurate and could account for different Romanization schemes popular in different countries. It could even guess if a name was a surname or a given name.

What did we build the models on? Somehow, one of the founders was able to swing access to U.S. Border Control Data. Even though it was names and country of origin data, it's de-identified (having a list of names doesn't mean we know who the names belong to). There was something north of a billion names in the collection, and included place of birth, country of origin, gender, etc. Names were mined for digraphs so we could build CFGs that could be walked to generate variants. There was lots of manual work as well. Endless regex writing and testing, QA, that sort of thing.

For some countries, we had pretty poor data to be honest. I think we had a couple dozen North Koreans, but for most of the world, our coverage was surprisingly good. It turns out all that work boiled down into a surprisingly small library just a couple dozen megabytes in size and was pretty fast -- I don't remember how fast, but something like a few thousand names per hour. It was pretty niche, but eventually the company was acquired and I went on my way.

I always assumed that technology like that would find its way into more applications, but I'm constantly surprised it hasn't.

ilamont 2 days ago 1 reply      
Two thoughts:

1. Marketers surely have mined this data to the hilt -- cross-referencing these trends with address lists and full-name email prefixes can make targeted promotions a lot more effective.

2. My own name is relatively rare in the U.S. among my age cohort (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=ian) to the point where some adults had problems pronouncing it when I was in elementary school 35 years ago ("Isn't that a girl's name?"). But I suspect, based on anecdotal evidence and personal observation, that the name is more common in England, Scotland, Australia and Canada. And the Wolfram data shows that it has been growing in popularity for many years in the U.S.

jaxytee 2 days ago 8 replies      
The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, so it makes sense that the median age for Dorothy's is around 75 years of age.

I wonder what other pop culture events influenced naming trends.

was_hellbanned 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was curious about one of the deadest male names, Isadore, so I looked it up. It's of Greek origin and it turns out the female counterpart, Isadora, is the ninth most popular name for baby girls in Chile in 2006. The website linked from the article indicates that it's never ranked in the top 1000 in the US. Interesting how a shared, ancient name could be so wildly divergent in usage.
bazzargh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would be interesting to apply it to a group of friends. Since they're likely to be similar ages, you should be able to get an improved guess from combining the distributions for all of their names.
mooism2 2 days ago 2 replies      
...and her nationality.

I'm British. I know two women called Deirdre. They're both Irish. It seems that the name had fallen out of favour in Britain by the 70s, but was still fashionable in Ireland until at least the 80s.

dllthomas 2 days ago 1 reply      
The assumption that death rates have no link to names will probably break down in some cases.
Finbarr 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The peak year for boys named Joseph was 1914 when about 39,000 of them were born. Those 1914 Josephs would be due to celebrate their 100th birthdays at some point this year. But only about 130 of them were still alive as of Jan. 1."

Something quite poignant in this. I'd be interested in seeing a life expectancy chart based on name.

tzury 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can someone tell what software was in used to products charts ?
bostonpete 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's surprising that Jacob isn't one of the top 25 most common male names considering that it's been the most popular male baby name for 14 of the past 15 years.
drpgq 2 days ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related, here's the latest NIST results for age estimation based on face photographs (PDF):


onewaystreet 2 days ago 2 replies      
Did FiveThirtyEight steal this idea from Business Insider? http://www.businessinsider.com/popular-girl-boy-names-2014-5 They did the same research a week ago.
talles 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's very interesting.

Anyone knows some sort of service or website where you input a particular name and then gives you statistics like the average age of persons with the name given?

ojbyrne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its great to be unpredictable (Owen, slightly older than 8).
ElongatedTowel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Xavier? Logan? Guess someone wants to have his son grow up as the Wolverine.
MarkMc 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've just been travelling through Singapore and was astonished to come across young women named Agnes and Gertrude.
madengr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing that the oldest male names do not include biblical Old Testament names but the youngest male names do! A sign of increasing religious fundamentalism?
cafard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amusing. My brother and I are almost smack on the median of our names. Yet I was named after my father (and his father), my brother after our mother's father.
jccalhoun 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how names with alternate spelling fit in?
bmmayer1 2 days ago 0 replies      
My app, DrillbitApp.com, uses the same data to run on marketing lists. Also does race and gender.
subdane 2 days ago 0 replies      
This totally nailed my Mom. That sounds worse than I meant it.
danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
The combination of the SSA babynames data, which is very cool and deep on its own, with the SSA actuarial data is pretty neat, partly because I hadn't known about the actuarial data set...but when I saw that the OP had tried to calculate surviving persons of a given name and birth year, I assumed that they just used the SSA's death database...from until at least 2010, the SSA had a list of every SSA person who has died and also, when they were born, and also, their social security numbers. Since the SSN, until relatively recently, was indicative of what state the SSN-holder was actually born...well, that, combined with the babynames-per-state data, could get you very granular calculations...I'm sure the SSA's actuarial table gets it pretty much within an acceptable margin of error, but who knows, maybe some awkwardly named people were doomed to a shorter lifespan? (I'm only half joking, I think)
shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's very much culture / language / country specific. Naturally societies tend to have certain preferences in names in different time periods. But those only a tendencies, not a set in stone set of names.
autokad 2 days ago 0 replies      
sorry if someone already posted it, but you can also get an estimate on where they live :)


akilism 2 days ago 3 replies      
Baby names, is this the new wave of data journalism?
p1itopre 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was searching for a link to download the data (a csv maybe) for me to play with. Did someone find a link?
shawkinaw 2 days ago 13 replies      
Can we agree to use the plural "their" for ambiguous sex third-person possessive? "His" is sexist, but so is "her", which is distracting on top of that because it isn't conventional.
Git 2.0 iu.edu
371 points by pantalaimon  3 days ago   136 comments top 10
ultimoo 3 days ago 6 replies      
I find git's growth and adoption remarkable. It was only 5 years ago that as a young programmer I was first exposed to git and the concept of version control. I remember that every other team I knew at my organization was using svn and no one really understood how git could improve their workflow or how it worked and what it brought to the table.

Now that I look around, almost everyone in the programming world (at least the part I'm exposed to) is familiar with git as a version control software and github as a social-coding/code-hosting site.

justinmk 3 days ago 2 replies      
> "git rebase" learned to interpret a lone "-" as "@{-1}", the branch that we were previously on.

Cool, I was just looking for something like this with "git merge". Turns out "git merge" already supports it, and I need to get better at using the reflog (@{...}).

> "git add <path>" is the same as "git add -A <path>" now.

> The "-q" option to "git diff-files", which does NOT mean "quiet", has been removed

More intuitive.

> The bitmap-index feature from JGit has been ported, which should significantly improve performance when serving objects from a repository that uses it.

Improves clone performance if you're pulling lots of history, but there still doesn't seem to be a way to sparse-checkout without fetching the entire .git repo.

ww520 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a summary for the new features in 2.0?

One feature I really hope git to add is an easy way to clean up deleted files in the repository. Some times I accidentally check in some large zip files or built files and that really blows up the repository size. Those files stay in there even if I've deleted them. It's a pain to clean them up.

dj-wonk 3 days ago 2 replies      
I can't tell if Git, the project itself, uses semantic versioning. Is 2.0 considered a major (backwards-compatibility-breaking) release?
joemaller1 3 days ago 1 reply      
So I'm excited this is finally here. But I'm also terrified. You go first.
jc123 2 days ago 0 replies      
Git is remarkably deep in its functionality that its possible to learn something new about it on a weekly or even daily basis: if you have the time. Whenever you are trying to manipulate code, there is usually a clean way of doing it in git if one takes the time to master its power. Next time you have such a problem, if you have the time, take the opportunity and you'll probably pleased at learning something new instead of using what you currently know about git plus a workaround or two.
zobzu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wanted the auto gpg sign for a while. I wonder if itll get more adoption.
spb 1 day ago 0 replies      
How common is this style of describing changes to parts of code as "teach" and "learn"? I like it.
yeukhon 3 days ago 2 replies      
For me the amazing thing about writing VCS is that a subtle bug or change could destroy someone's history and future commits. For example, in some old Mercurial release, hg mv had a bug (something affects history integrity) and the bug is fixed in recent release (the default version install on Ubuntu 12.04 should see that bug).

Maybe I lack of the domain knowledge, but writing VCS must be a very difficult task if you care about preserving history.

_RPM 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm about to graduate with CS degree, and my first question to potential employers is going to be "Do you use source control, and is it Git?"
For Hire: Dedicated Young Man With Down Syndrome aljazeera.com
367 points by mr_tyzic  3 days ago   113 comments top 20
GuiA 2 days ago 5 replies      
I worked with mentally handicapped kids a lot as an educator when I was younger (albeit in a different country). This wonderful article captures perfectly how, in the right environment, children with Down Syndrome can blossom, but how hard it can be for them as adults once society & red tape & bureaucracy all come into play. (I also worked with children who had Down Syndrome and had not grown up in the right environment- think abusive/dead/incarcerated/etc. parents. That got very depressing very fast, and I'm not sure I could do it again).

I think this also highlights how the increasingly geographically fragmented familial unit is problematic: in a culture where several generations of the same family lives under the same roof, the situation wouldn't be as dire. However, in our culture it is typical to have only small portions of a family living together, and for children to move away and live on their own, potentially hundreds of miles away. No situation is perfect, of course - but it's still something to ponder (and it affects other social groups as well, for instance the elderly).

There was a wonderful American Life a while back on a similar topic, about a mother dealing with her adult son who had a mental disability (can't remember if it was autism or Down), and fearing for what would happen once she passed away. Can't find it right now; will edit this post if I do.

sdrothrock 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was afraid that this would be a tacky post hinging around hiring a guy solely because of his disability (i.e., charity) and instead it's a really thoughtful, insightful post about what it's like as a father of a young man with a disability and how hard it can be for people with disabilities to get hired.

One thing I wonder (and I don't know if the author comes here): is there no Office of Vocational Rehabilitation or something similar? The author mentions Penn State and I know Pennsylvania has an OVR, even though it can be very hard to communicate with them sometimes.

I had this problem when I was younger and had just gotten a cochlear implant. I always fretted about whether or not I would be able to get a job somewhere since I couldn't hear in moderately noisy environments (think fast food, movie theaters), couldn't use the telephone, and sometimes had difficulty understanding people I'd never met before. It was really scary thinking that I would have to live with my mother for the rest of my life, unable to get a job.

Being rejected from all of the entry-level jobs I applied to at the time only made my fears worse.

I found some good jobs and have a great one now, but I feel for this young man.

caublestone 2 days ago 1 reply      
I barely made it through this article. After the 10th minute of pushing through my tears to read, I had to resolve that nothing would stop me.

On HN we dream big. And we all agree that we can dream big and maybe hit it big. Imagine what it feels like to realize at a young age that you DONT get to go after your dreams because you are missing the tools. Imagine what it feels like to believe something is wrong with you because you talk to yourself sometimes. Now get back to starting your company.

And yet, you can be happy to commute, to have co workers, to have some freedom from our parents.

hkmurakami 2 days ago 2 replies      
I remember when I worked in an auto-industry factory (as part of my training) in Japan, we wore caps with colored bands that denoted rank/category. New employees were dark blue. Equipment/facility maintenance people wore yellow bands. "Management" inside the factory, as well as the white-collar employees had light blue. Outside guests wore red.

Amidst this, workers with disabilities wore caps with green bands. Many were hearing impaired, but there were some with leg issues and others with some form of mental illnesses.

This kind of categorization perhaps wouldn't fly in the States, but it seemed to aid the company's goal of having 5% of their factory workforce composed of people with various forms of disability (iirc).

As knowledge workers, it's easy for us to dismiss bluecollar positions like these, but working at a enormous Toyota group company, receiving a great deal of training and a respectable wage (you can make quite a bit with overtime), and being part of something that produces countless goods into the world is a pretty good deal for people in a country where it's not illegal for potential employers to ask about your existing medical conditions during the interview process.

pling 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not downs, but we had a guy with a pretty bad speech impediment interview with us a while back. He had a well controlled stutter which resulted in pauses of 10s+. The guy was awesome (better than the average across our team) and had wonderful written communication skills. That's all we need as we email each other all day (we're a very disparate team). Unfortunately my asshat boss decided that he wasn't suitable for the position due to a number of made up concerns and vetoed our acceptance.

Pisses me off every time I think about it but that's how a lot of companies operate.

weinzierl 2 days ago 1 reply      
In Germany another young man with Down syndrome is currently much talked and written about. It is about eleven year old Henri who took part in a model experiment to attended regular school classes.

Now that some of his classmates are about to go to high school, his parents try to get him also into high school. Their reasoning is that it would be cruel and against the idea of the original experiment to separate him from his friends again. They don't argue that does not have the abilities to graduate. The whole argument is if a high schools should accept someone for other reasons than graduating.

The following article is not very good, but the only one I could find in English:


Much better one, but in German:


mike_h 2 days ago 3 replies      
Would something like a google glass app, or another semi-automated assistant work for augmenting his capabilities?

Sounds like he's totally motivated and capable to do e.g. the janitorial work, but his capability needs to be paired with intensive supervision. Could that supervision be implemented as wearable interactive instruction or cheat-sheets?

dougjordan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I took french class with Jamie back in high school. He is a great guy, and works incredibly hard. I loved working in groups with him; his french was much better than mine.
digitalengineer 2 days ago 2 replies      
I enjoyed reading this article, strangely enough by Aljazeera. That did made me want to know how a child like this would grow up in the Middle East. I found this: http://media-dis-n-dat.blogspot.nl/2009/03/saudi-mother-trie...
rcthompson 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's difficult to imagine how hard it must be the be mentally handicapped yet fully aware of that fact.
personlurking 2 days ago 0 replies      
If anyone is interested in a good film about a young man with Down Syndrome and how he gets on in life (work and love), check out the Spanish film Yo Tambien (Me Too). Here's the trailer, with subs.


tatianajosephy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have a strong sense that online work - on CrowdFlower, Mechanical Turk, or Elance - could be the path forward for someone like Jaime. Please do note: I work for CrowdFlower.

The beauty of online work is its promise of operating as a meritocracy. Access to the labor market is not about who you know, or how you appear, but about your ability to perform. Everything about Jaime, from his diligence to his incredible cataloguing memory, struck me as a perfect fit for the type of work that's readily available online: data collection, cleaning and labeling.

Even better, this type of work is going to become a larger and larger part of labor market as the machine learning field grows and the need for clean training data grows along with it.

thehme 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really respect the humanity with which this story is told; kudos to the dad, and Jamie, of course. This heartfelt story makes you realize how little we know about people with mental handicaps and the struggles they face, even is the best of circumstances. It only saddens me to think that similar children/young adults/adults out there, do not have the access to some of these programs because of they do not have such resourceful parents.
bayesianhorse 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe in Taxonomy? Taxonomists are scientists who can catalogue specimens of animals and plants into species, and argue about what is a species and what is two species.

However, he might be quite good at learning to classify specimens and classifying them. Not in the more academic/scientific role, but it would be valuable work. He might even be able to discover things about taxonomy nobody else has found yet.

BorisMelnik 2 days ago 0 replies      
very touching young story - I bet this kid is a lot of fun to work with. The fact that he was on time every day for 6 months probably whips all the other employees into shape from an HR perspective. "If this kid can be on time and take the bus, then so can you."
lazyant 2 days ago 0 replies      
I talk to myself, ha what's the problem with that
zilian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting and moving article. I was surprised by his incredible self-awareness and self-acceptance. Now it makes me wonder about all the reasons why you can't fit in our busier-than-ever society. Why bother trying joining the workforce when it's already broken for most of us? Maybe he could learn to grow his own food, learn to make things at his own pace and become more 'independent' while doing so?
jeremyperson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of these videos which I think HN will enjoy. Meet Anthony -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv5nzgrYBIQ and Tim's Place -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6He0FWoFj0
duffdevice 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dolphins aren't pinnipeds. Just sayin'
Suncho 2 days ago 4 replies      
I found this article disturbing.

Why are we forcing developmentally disabled people -- or anyone, for that matter -- to get jobs? Is there a dire shortage of low-skilled labor that I'm not aware of?

"Whenever we talked about his employment prospects after the age of 21, we reminded Jamie that he did not want to live a life of watching YouTube, wrestling videos and Beatles Anthology DVDs in the basement."

Would there have been anything wrong with watching YouTube videos all day if Jamie's father had never told him that it was wrong?

And if the purpose of sheltered workshops is to provide busy work for developmentally disabled people, why should it matter whether they pay below minimum wage?

Google's XSS game xss-game.appspot.com
350 points by morphics  2 days ago   153 comments top 44
skoob 2 days ago 1 reply      
For those interested in XSS challenges, there's also http://escape.alf.nu , which I think has a slightly better UI.
laurencei 2 days ago 5 replies      
I asked this question once on SO and never really got a "great" answer I was after.

If my site will only ever allow users to see their own submitted data, and never ever data another user has submitted (i.e. no general 'posts' etc) - then is there actually a XSS risk on my site?

So I'm curious if an attacker can gain anything by looking at their own XSS attack?


prezjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
That was a lot of fun, appropriate amount of difficulty for noobs like me.

The best part is the hints, too many of these sites have points where I go "Oh, well I don't know how to do this, and I don't see how I could figured it out, so I guess I'll just leave"

tieTYT 2 days ago 1 reply      
I probably should be too embarrassed to ask this question, but why can't I use script tags in the second test? I don't understand what's preventing me from doing that.
muraiki 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google has another game for learning webapp exploits and defenses here: https://google-gruyere.appspot.com/

I tried it a while back and enjoyed it quite a bit. I forget if I completely finished it or not, but it was educational.

al2o3cr 2 days ago 2 replies      
"There will be cake at the end of the test."

That's what the computer said LAST time. But I'm still alive... ;)

michaelx386 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how to submit corrections to Google? I've not been able to find a way after noticing a few mistakes on Google's XSS help page. There are a few examples using an image tag but the tags haven't been closed properly:


e.g. "Now, enter <img src='' onerror="alert(document.cookie);" and hit 'Share status!'."

jeffreyrogers 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is really interesting. Does anyone have any recommendations for similar sites/challenges? I'm aware of this: https://microcorruption.com/, which is somewhat related.
penguindev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there more than way to attack level 3?

SPOILER: I used the "html += "<img src='/static/level3/cloud" + num + ".jpg' />";" untrusted injection, but after reading the hints it seems to be suggesting window.location and the postmessage to parent stuff.

reidrac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like using Google's jsapi callback to pop-up the alert doesn't work any more, so that tip in the last one is misleading.

(unless I was doing it wrong)

honoredb 2 days ago 5 replies      
Fun! Level 6 failed to load any widgets, evil or otherwise, in Chrome; I had to switch to Firefox and redo the whole test. For my external script I used http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=15S5qZs0, although I don't think the lack of a .js extension there was the problem.
neil_s 2 days ago 3 replies      
Level 4 has a bug. Entering a string in the text box for the timer solves the problem, but putting that string directly as the get parameter in the URL doesn't. Anyone know how to report this?
lazyjones 2 days ago 4 replies      
Nice one; I gave up trying to solve the last with the http-only google.com/jsapi and hosted my own with https, but then it occurred to me that it's even more trivial than I thought!

Checking our stuff for this mistake now ...

k-mcgrady 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love this. I know very little about xss and web app security so this is a fun way to learn.
riffraff 2 days ago 2 replies      
I completed the game, but I honestly don't know: why wouldn't inject a script tag directly in level 2 work?
jevin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great!XSS is one of the hardest things to get right when it comes to security. I'll be sure to complete all the challenges, because I'm working on a product that could use some good HTML sanitizing.
instakill 2 days ago 2 replies      
What is lvl2's answer? I'm trying:

<img src='invalid_link.png' onerror="this.src='alert(1);'">

johnadam 2 days ago 3 replies      
How do you solve lv4?
aendruk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Their background image is successfully reproducing the nauseating effects of this monitor test [1]. I can't look at it for long without experiencing physical discomfort.

Perhaps disabling it is part of the game.

[1]: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/inversion.php

codezero 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, does the cake have a recruiting message encoded in it? :)
thomasahle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm only trying to solve it for the cake.
hhaidar 2 days ago 3 replies      
mavfly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally made it all levels ;). http://rawgit.com/ was helpful
nero_luci 2 days ago 0 replies      
How to solve level 5? :(((I tried a lot with onClick and different js scripts on querry parameter... nothin' :(((
personjerry 1 day ago 1 reply      
This should really direct to the http instead of https version to avoid the mixed content error for problem 6.
heri0n 2 days ago 1 reply      
on level 5 i tried to modify the url, but my quotes are automatically encoded, also tried encoding it using %22.. but didn't work.. I'm using chrome on osx, could it be a browser thing, i managed to get it to work by manually modifying the html using the developer tools :p
myfonj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wee, cake is not a lie this time. Nice!
htd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Loved it. Though got struck in Lvl4 and 6. But lvl4 was really a smart question.
octatone2 2 days ago 0 replies      
That was super fun!
SimeVidas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ah, I'm supposed to toggle the "Target code" box :) Ugh, I used DevTools to look at the <iframe> code for the first 3 steps.
gpvos 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally, cake.
0x4139 2 days ago 8 replies      
can someone share theirs hosted script that echos and alert? :D
hhaidar 2 days ago 0 replies      

For #5 you can just do javascript:alert()

geoffroy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed the game ! thanks
shtolcers 1 day ago 0 replies      
learned some new thingsthanks
fhandley 2 days ago 0 replies      
So did anyone else cheat their way to the cake level?
finalight 2 days ago 0 replies      
haha took me a while to pass level 2
greyfox 2 days ago 1 reply      
can someone help with level 5?
mavfly 2 days ago 1 reply      
Someone solved the level 6?
sebastianavina 2 days ago 1 reply      
fataliss 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well the first levels are trivial, right click "inspect element" and adding a onClick="alert();" on a random button and tadaa. I'm not sure you can qualify this as XSS attack though, can you?
tristanperry 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had fun with this; definitely a good mini game to learn more about XSS, although it's a pitty that you can cheat-pass a level simply by appending '/record' to the end of the URL. (Granted it's just a game)

I.e. https://xss-game.appspot.com/level1/record allows you to go straight onto level 2.

Anywhoo, HackThisSite is similar & worth checking out (albeit it covers a wider range of web app security issues)

True Goodbye: Using TrueCrypt Is Not Secure krebsonsecurity.com
339 points by panarky  2 days ago   233 comments top 33
jxf 2 days ago 6 replies      
My current favorite insane/facetious conspiracy theory on this:

    "WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as ..."     WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is (n)ot (s)ecure (a)s ...                    TrueCrypt is (n)ot (s)ecure (a)s ...                                 (n)ot (s)ecure (a)s                    TrueCrypt is (n)   (s)      (a)

abcd_f 2 days ago 7 replies      
That's LavaBit 2.

I've been a long time TC user and if there's the trait it has it's the quality and a high degree of polish. And now looking at the diff and the screenshot of that in-app "Not secure" message, the polish is just not there. It feels like it was something that was slapped together in a rush or by someone who's not an original developer. The SF page alone is a big red flag. If you compare its nearly hysterical tone and ridiculous BitLocker advice to the tone and content of the actual app, they don't add up at all.

This leaves us with a handful of discrepancies between the last good state of the project and what's out there now. So it's either someone else's hackjob or it is original and the discrepancies are intentional. Then, factor in the .exe sig match, and it pretty much leaves only the latter option - the original devs made an absurdly non-TC-like release. The question is "why?"

tzs 2 days ago 3 replies      
Well, if we are going to speculate, I'll offer a guess: the crowd funded security audit made the developers lose their enthusiasm.

I believe I read in another thread that TrueCrypt did not get many donations. I'd be a bit depressed if I worked long and hard on a project that people seemed to appreciate, but not enough to crack open their wallets and toss a few bucks my way, and then some third party comes along and quickly raises $70k to audit my code.

AhtiK 2 days ago 2 replies      
"BitlLocker, the proprietary disk encryption program that ships with every Windows version since Vista."

This is misleading - Windows 7 product line has Bitlocker only for Ultimate and Enterprise. Even Windows 7 Professional users cannot use Bitlocker without upgrading to Ultimate. Very unfortunate.

panarky 2 days ago 3 replies      
"[Matthew] Green last year helped spearhead dual crowdfunding efforts to raise money for a full-scale, professional security audit of the software."

"'I think the TrueCrypt team did this,' Green said in a phone interview. 'They decided to quit and this is their signature way of doing it.'"

"Im a little worried that the fact we were doing an audit of the crypto might have made them decide to call it quits.

blueskin_ 2 days ago 4 replies      
This seems highly suspicious, especially the recommendation of BitLocker, a product we have little to no evidence does what it says and after PRISM, have no reason to trust[2]; not to mention it being limited to a (very small subset of) Windows platforms vs. TrueCrypt's cross-platform functionality. If this was legit[1], it'd probably be directing people to one of the other TrueCrypt-like programs.

[1]The new version posted is almost certainly compromised; don't download it, or at the very least, run it in a VM on non-networked hardware you can reimage after finishing using.

[2]Edit: Forgot this before, but BitLocker is definitely completely broken as it sends your recovery key to MS anyway ( https://twitter.com/TheBlogPirate/status/471759810644283392/... ).

AhtiK 2 days ago 1 reply      

"Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine." :-)

codeulike 2 days ago 6 replies      
Are there any decent alternatives to TrueCrypt for Windows that aren't Bitlocker?


cornholio 2 days ago 3 replies      
Truecrypt is dead, long live ChipCrypt: a Truecrypt fork with TRESOR and scrypt built in.

TRESOR is a technique that keeps the volume key strictly in the CPU registers and not in RAM. This completely prevents RAM freezing and related attacks. A running computer that is locked cannot be trivially decrypted anymore by dumping it's RAM.

Scrypt is an advanced password derivation function that makes even trivial passwords very hard to bruteforce. A scrypt derived key is 20000 times harder to crack than the equivalent PBKDF2 derived key of the same password.

The TrueCrypt license is not GPL compatible but it allows redistribution in source form as long as the software is not called "TrueCrypt".

Who's up for it ?

mhogomchungu 2 days ago 0 replies      
TrueCrypt encrypted volume format is well known and there are tools out there that can create TrueCrypt volumes and open them.

There is tcplay[1]. This project can create and open TrueCrypt volumes.

There is cryptsetup[2].This is a linux native solution for block device encryption and supports opening of TrueCrypt volumes.

The above two projects and command line based and there is a third project called zuluCrypt[3] that gives a GUI front end to the two projects.

I am not aware of any alternative solutions in windows or OSX that does support TrueCrypt encrypted format but adding support for it should not be that hard.

This maybe the end of line for TrueCrypt as a project,but its encrypted volume format may still be used as a "universal cross platform encrypted volume format".

Somebody should file a bug report in projects that deal with block device encryption in windows and OSX and ask them to support this format as i think the format should live on as its the only one that is widely used and supported.

[1] https://github.com/bwalex/tc-play

[2] https://code.google.com/p/cryptsetup/

[3] https://code.google.com/p/zulucrypt/

pling 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well this is good for me. I currently use a TrueCyrypt encrypted exFAT volume for backups. My motivation is now to move this to an open source system (probably dm-crypt). This and RDP is the only reason I'm hanging onto windows and that's purely out of apathy. The suggestion of using BitLocker is a bit insulting (this might just be comedy value from TC though). Every other bit of software I use is portable or in a Linux VM already.

So my weekend project is now to move all my stuff to Debian.

personalcompute 2 days ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion from earlier today: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7812133
mhogomchungu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Somebody who has been following TrueCrypt closely seem to think the project lost momentum and they just decided to call it quit.Their comment is on slashdot and the link is: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5212985&cid=47115785
noarchy 2 days ago 0 replies      
If the TrueCrypt devs are done with the project, is there anything legally preventing others from restarting development on it? I know the software had an oddball license that wasn't always well-received.

My point here being, with the source being available, why do we need to assume that TrueCrypt is history, other than perhaps a lack of people willing to work on it (which I assume could change now that there is an immediate need for some)?

nness 2 days ago 5 replies      
Out of curiosity, wouldn't the open-source TrueCrypt be better than the closed BitLocker? (assuming, of course, that TrueCrypt was not already compromised)
dan_bk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like what happened to LavaBit (some sort of gov't pressure).
pppp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's my theory (step-by-step):

1. Truecrypt is a gigantic pain-in-the-side for US intelligence agencies.

2. Intelligence agencies brainstorm about the best way to deal with the situation.

3. Taking over and tampering with the current code is deemed unrealistic. The user base of Truecrypt is very sophisticated and even minor changes to the source code would be scrutinized.

4. "How can be get people to stop using Truecrypt?" "We can discredit the project - get people to voluntarily stop using it because they don't trust it".

stordoff 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reading through the posted diff, a couple of things stood out to me.

1. The release date string went from "February 7, 2012" in 7.1a to "5/2014" in 7.2 . Might be nothing, but it made me wonder if someone other than the orignal author changed it due to the date style change - I'd've expected it to be changed to "February 2014".

I also wonder why no specific day was given - makes me wonder if the release was automated and the author didn't know exactly when it would happen (possibly a dead man's switch triggered it?). Again, could be nothing.

2. Pretty much every reference to truecrypt.org has been removed - even the licence now states "Your Product [...] must not present any Internet address containing the domain name truecrypt" (instead of truecrypt.org), and there is no requirement to link to it anymore. It might just be a change in licencing stance to encourage forks, or, if the release was made under duress (NSL/threats/blackmail etc.), it might be a way to try and signal that truecrypt.org can no longer be trusted.

Edit: Something is bugging me about this line on the site: "The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP." IT might just how the author writes, but my reaction on reading "was ended" was that something external forced it to stop rather than it being a choice.

Also, why mention XP's EOL? The message doesn't say support for TC stopped _because_ of EOL, just after, and I can't think why the end of XP support would effect TC greatly.

sekasi 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is this a warrant canary?
lurkinggrue 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lets just fork the sucker and call it a day. They developer is anonymous and if he wanted to stop people he would have to reveal his identity and that is not going to happen.
awakened 2 days ago 0 replies      
E4M - Encryption For the Masses is free software that TrueCrypt was based on. It's free to fork as well.


neves 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe it is because Bruce Schneier uses and recomends it: https://www.schneier.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?tag=TrueCr...
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not particularly looking forward to a slew of poorly coded alternatives to TC, or to endless discussions about whether or not something actually is FDE.
zvrba 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't think of a reason why they'd remove sources for earlier versions from SF. I mean, in this day and age somebody is going to upload them again to the internet.
ambrop7 2 days ago 2 replies      
So what's the (Windows compatible and open source) software to transition systems to?
bak3dj0 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe the developers were Americans and they decided to bail before they get caught for exporting cryptographic software.
gcv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now that this party is over, does anyone know any wrappers for using gpg-zip with some of the degree of convenience of TrueCrypt at least, for the limited case of keeping directories conveniently encrypted and useable?
stefan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any opinion on "Tomb"? http://www.dyne.org/software/tomb/It tries to be a nice LUKS wrapper with container and key files.
drKarl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would it be feasible to use encrypted docker containers as a cross-platform encrypted container solution?
23jimbo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Was not one of the selling points of truecrypt its ability to provide 'plausable deniability'? That is not so common in other crypto-products.
seyfarth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any reason this cannot just be forked?
Eye_of_Mordor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps TrueCrypt was an NSA scam all along, 'retiring' before they're found out? Worse still, a Russian/Chinese scam!
zaroth 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why isn't BitLocker open source? If the new CEO wants to show he's serious about user privacy, I think opening up BitLocker and letting everyone look inside would be a great start.

One of the reasons I like iPhone is the idea that the security system and drive encryption is not hopelessly broken. It would be great to have the same level of confidence in BitLocker.

Dragon V2 Unveil Webcast spacex.com
305 points by nkoren  2 days ago   167 comments top 26
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 3 replies      
There haven't been a lot of things that left me in awe in the past couple of decades but that did. That thing looks like something right out of a movie. Does anyone have a direct link to the flight testing program?

I agree with others that the vibration environment may be challenging. Most of the ships and ship mockups I've seen had a lot of work to avoid randomly hitting switches, it would not do to have an atmospheric bump cause you to make some mistake in commanding it. Presumably the entire thing can be flown on automatic so the first flight can be with just flight test dummies rather than people.

My other initial impression is that it makes NASA's efforts with the Orion project look somewhat kludgy in comparison. Sort of the 'go kart' versus an actual car. I'm sure a lot of that is just the resonance that Orion has with the Apollo capsule from the 60's and the modern look of Dragon 2 but the difference between propulsive landing vs parachutes is huge. Cost of operations goes waaay down if you land people on the ground.

I really feel like somebody from the future popped into the present and 'snuck' in design that wouldn't normally be seen for 50 years or so. I am massively impressed with what they've done so far.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_%28spacecraft%29

moskie 2 days ago 5 replies      
Amazing stuff.

Some screencaps of Musk sitting inside the thing:

http://i.imgur.com/U2wkPV6.png, http://i.imgur.com/KHM0Phn.png

21st century spacecraft indeed.

peeters 2 days ago 3 replies      
This thing looks so...empty! I imagine it will be a welcome change to the incredibly cramped Soyuz.

Does anybody know if the second row of seating is meant to be replacable? I assume a 7 person crew won't be the norm for the usual ISS crew rotation missions, so it seems like that row would usually be better spent on filling up with supplies.

Mithaldu 2 days ago 3 replies      
Short version: The V2 has chutes as a fallback, but is meant to land using 8* rockets and buffered legs.

More: It has seats for 7 people and the controls seem to have taken lessons from the Tesla cars: Large touchscreens, with fallback buttons for critical functions.

* corrected from impressions of the animation

BrandonMarc 1 day ago 6 replies      
I couldn't shake the feeling that Elon seemed a bit nervous. The pressure of expectations when you're already successful, perhaps.

I wonder: the chairs do seem awkward, especially for someone who's spent 6 months in space (from what I've read, they can barely walk ... or is that less true these days?). I'm sure SpaceX knows a helluva lot more than me, though.

The inside ... it looks so roomy ... and pretty ... such a far cry from Soyuz, Apollo, or hell the Shuttle even. Like someone said, a spaceworthy Tesla, giant touchscreens and all.

Question: let's say an anomaly occurs, and it has to land using the chutes .. on land. How's that going to feel? Or, will they aim for a coastal area on purpose, and use the chutes to splash in the water if they have to?

dba7dba 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just an observation. I think Elon is one man who is not motivated and driven by money.

One who's driven to make money for the sake of having money often ends up not being happy and often self destruct, because there's always more money to make.

And then there are those are driven to achieve a goal, other than money or possession. There aren't many such people around and it's especially refreshing to see someone who not only has such dreams (other than making money) but is achieving them.

carbocation 2 days ago 4 replies      
> "This will be the first time that a printed rocket engine sees flight."

Is printing engines a tactic for making return flights from Mars more plausible?

buro9 1 day ago 1 reply      
Elon Musk is starting to look more like a Thomas Newton (The Man Who Fell To Earth) than a Tony Stark.

That module immediately made me think of the one David Bowie sat in and that appears on the front of the album Station to Station.

dag11 2 days ago 0 replies      
15 minutes and it hasn't started yet. I wonder what's happening?

Edit: Started at 22 after.

Edit2: Holy cow, it's basically a flying Tesla! This is fantastic. And I love the redundancy.

skizm 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm 25, if I join the air force now, do I still have a shot at being an astronaut if I work my tail off?
Shivetya 1 day ago 1 reply      
He would make such a great Bond villain, I wonder if one day they will name equipment for him? A common trope of science fiction is the naming of ships, propulsion systems, and other devices, for people from history.
bayesianhorse 1 day ago 0 replies      
So you can go up and down to the space station again and again? Sounds almost like the trampolin Russia suggested to the NASA to use for access to the ISS.
grecy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Did anyone else catch the bit where Elon said "for docking with the ISS... or potentially other things" [1]

I wonder what "other things" Elon has in mind.

[1] 7:08 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPzlQF7ziBQ

wuliwong 1 day ago 1 reply      
I get super jazzed by everything SpaceX does, this was no different.

My one question was about the idea that it could just refuel and take off again. I see two issues. First, it appears that it sustains some pretty significant damage upon re-entry, I'm guessing there are probably some repairs needed before relaunching. Second, it seems to launch with some sort of first stage rocket which is detached and presumably is lost or at very least, dropped into an ocean with a parachute? So, although the Dragon can land anywhere, it still needs this other stage to be recovered and attached. With regards to reusability, it doesn't appear to be a huge leap beyond the space shuttle.

I'm sure the process of repairing, reattaching, and refueling are more efficient with the dragon v2 vs the space shuttle but the presentation making the specific claim that the dragon v2 just needs to be refueled and it can launch again seemed false.

Gravityloss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like a really early mockup. For example, the buttons don't have any physical accidental press protection. The labels are tiny. All shapes, sizes and colors are identical.

The seats look that they don't support the crew at high g forces at all. In a nominal launch that might be ok, but in case of problems, you'd need a better seat.

No life support systems shown. etc.

oska 1 day ago 0 replies      
Video is up now on their official YouTube channel:


mikeash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dragon 2 is reusable. Falcon 9's first stage is going to be ready for reuse just about any day now. All that's left is the second stage.

Propulsive landing is a big deal. I thought this was going to be along the lines of, "We added chairs and oxygen, hooray!" And I was all ready to be excited by that. I'm impressed.

phkahler 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's amazing how little propellant is needed for landing vs getting to orbit.
macmac 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know what the thinking behind the ability to sustain the crew for several days is? Is this just a step on the way to being able to sustain a crew for lunar/Mars flights or does it have any immediate utility?
xur17 2 days ago 3 replies      
Out of curiosity, does anyone know what happens to the solar panels that are shown in the animation when it docks to the ISS? They are disconnected before returning to earth. All of the stages are reused - are the solar panels thrown away?
outworlder 2 days ago 2 replies      
"You can just reload propellant and fly again."

While I am sure this has some exaggeration, I wonder what the actual expected turnaround time is.

enraged_camel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Having the original V1 hanging above the audience is a brilliant, brilliant move.
richardw 1 day ago 0 replies      
They printed the engines! That has to be up there on the coolest stuff printed so far.
aunty_helen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scroll to the image of the seat with the spacex logo embroidered.

We have begun a new chapter of space.

lutorm 2 days ago 0 replies      
The suspense is killing me!
arrrg 2 days ago 5 replies      
So. How far along is that thing? I assume they never really tested it as a whole (since that would kind of imply showing it to the world), so theres lots of potential for reality crashing into this. Hard. Right now its basically vapourware, right? I mean, I guess they have to show it off, but this feels more like a concept study than an actual thing.
The Man Who Single-Handedly Converted a Washed-Out Land Into a 1,360 Acre Forest thebetterindia.com
296 points by dhimant  2 days ago   40 comments top 18
spodek 2 days ago 2 replies      
How did "tree-hugger" become an insult?

> The education system should be like this, every kid should be asked to plant two trees, Payeng says.

Damn straight! That idea works in so many ways I can't believe we don't inscribe it on every school building.

xefer 2 days ago 4 replies      
This immediately brought to mind:

"The Man Who Planted Trees" the book which was adapted into an animated film that won the Acadamy Award for Best Animated Short Film and Short Film Palme d'Or in 1987


sdfjkl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Having planted some trees myself as a teenager (under the supervision of my grandfather, a forest warden), I can tell you it is very rewarding to do so[1]. It is also a lot of work. The young pines we planted (bought from a tree nursery) needed protection from deer, who like to munch on them while they're small, from boars who destroy the bark by rubbing their itching hide against it, and from bark beetles who decimate entire forests if left unchecked. From humans they were protected legally.

[1] Here's a series of shots of an apple tree growing up: https://plus.google.com/photos/114301087219148980063/albums/...

zacinbusiness 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is amazing. "...I knew I had to make the planet greener." Yes! I love how he saw a problem and just set out to solve it because he knew no one else would. He's a real hacker.
dukerutledge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Single handedly is a bit of hyperbole. To quote the man, "my family supports me unconditionally, they help me if more trees need to be planted."

We need to stop relying on this super man concept. Community creates change through support and encouragement, no man is an island.

denzil_correa 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a Wikipedia page for the forest [0] and the man (Jadav Payeng) too [1].

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molai_forest

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

mbubb 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a human attempt this is breathtaking. Bringing back tigers, etc. Phenomenal.

Something troubles me - not specifically about this attempt but such attempts in general.

I live a few miles away from the "Meadowlands" in New Jersey - a good example of land thought to be useless and in the need of 'improvement' and yet it is rich enough to support wildlife within eyesight of NYC. People have drained it and dumped unmentionable crap in it. Cars and refineries pollute it. And yet it survives and provides much of the areas o2 and has other useful functions like providing a resting place for the dead bodies from the real life 'Sopranos'. I've seen deer and woodchucks by our datacenter and coyotes have been reported poaching dogs in the area.

"Unimproved land" I think they call it - marshes, wetlands, swamps and bogs. Sometimes we rush in to improve 'wastelands' that are not wssted land. Wetlands and tidal flats are the basis for life and there are more biomes than the visible 'pretty' ones with lions and tigers and bears...

A forest burns down and it remains an ugly, smelly blight - but it becomes a different ecosystem for a geological instant ( a few human generations...) But there is a human impulse to 'fix' it. Like we fixed Australia by introducing rabbits or the US by adding starlings and English sparrows. Our improvements often become problems in their own right.

It is hard to argue with building forests, though. There is no place I personally enjoy more. The forsets of the Catskills or the Adirondacks. Or the ones I grew up near in suburban NJ. WHen I lived in Korea - looking out at Buhkansan (largest mountian in the Seoul area) in the winter - I remarked how the mountain looked like a closely cropped head or hair. My friend informed me that was a legacy of the Korean War napalm (or whatever it was called at the time) was used to clear the mountains of hiding places. The trees were so even because they had been planted in the postwar years, so the forests I enjoyed hiking in were the result of a huge communal amount of human activity.

Again - mad props to this guy and the community around them. I suspect that he rescued land that was ravaged already by human activity as well as the mentioned flood. I live a few miles away from the "Meadowlands" in New Jersey - a good example of land thought to be useless and in the need of 'improvement'

"Unimproved land" I think they call it - marshes, wetlands, swamps and bogs. Sometimes we rush in to improve 'wastelands' that are not wssted land. Wetlands and tidal flats are the basis for life and there are more biomes than the visible 'pretty' ones with lions and tigers and bears...

A forest burns down and it remains an ugly, smelly blight - but it becomes a different ecosystem for a geological instant ( a few human generations...)

Again - mad props to this guy and the community around them. I suspect that he rescued land that was ravaged already by human activity as well as the mentioned flood.

ohwp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, his friends created houses for themselves. He created a forest for everyone...
nowarninglabel 2 days ago 1 reply      
I truly admire this man. I'm wanting to do a smaller scale similar effort on 150-ish acres of land I own. It previously was ravaged by forest fire (long before I bought it) and there are very few trees left. I've been trying to water the new saplings that are growing, but I haven't set up the infrastructure to be able to scale that yet. I really wish there was more help from local government on restoring forests. We have in the U.S. a program for setting aside land as a preserve and getting a tax break. I've tried to do that to help fund re-foresting the land, but no one seems to be able to point me to how to actually move forward with that process (you need a local conversation org to sponsor you, but the ones I talked were too big to have time for me). I feel like if we just provided more information and process then folks like me could re-forest a lot of land.
jotm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now here's a glimpse of what's possible when it's an organized effort: http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Macedonia_plants_three_mil...

3 million trees in 1 day.

smackay 2 days ago 0 replies      
John Wamsley is another colourful character with a very hands-on approach to conservation.



tren 2 days ago 1 reply      
Willie Smits gave an interesting talk about a more systematic way of restoring a rainforest on TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest
reforge_reborn 2 days ago 0 replies      
As an aside. I just noticed that site features mostly inspiring and positive stories. The world definitely needs more news like those.

One good thing about the internet is that we can pick the kind of news that we like.

I refuse to listen to news mediums where fear and negativity are the main focus. The world is a wonderful place if we look at the right places. (Cofirmation bias anyone :)

davidw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Makes me think of this story about Darwin:


SergeyDruid 2 days ago 1 reply      
For those who don't know, they made a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign on the story: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/59012691/forest-man-pos...
fiatjaf 2 days ago 0 replies      
This not an area so big, but it is good for those who think that only the government can preserve the environment (while, well, the government mostly destroys it).
dhruvpathak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Truly inspiring. An unsung hero.
phoebe311 2 days ago 0 replies      
emmm, his friends have built a house. He created a timber for all ..
How LEDs are Made sparkfun.com
288 points by yror10  1 day ago   80 comments top 14
HeyLaughingBoy 1 day ago 5 replies      
I could do this in my basement!

Years ago I answered a "for sale" newspaper ad for used office desks and some test equipment. I showed up at the address and it was a small dingy old building and most of the employees seemed to be 55+ year-old women. When I asked what they did and was told they made diodes, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Like he did, I assumed that all electronics parts manufacturing was high-tech, cleanroom work, etc. But here were little old ladies putting pieces together.

I had a similar epiphany years later when a friend told me he was buying a thermocouple manufacturing business for $20,000!!! The business consisted of two senior citizens who wanted to retire. No high-speed pick&place robots working in inert argon atmospheres, just two old people putting wire in jigs and spot-welding them together (probably in an inert atmosphere, though).

The same thing repeats itself over and over: a huge amount of what we think of as sophisticated technology is being done by hand, or by ancient machinery, in dirty, poorly lit corners of the US.

leoedin 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm surprised by how manual the whole process is. I think labour is so expensive in the west that any manufacturing of small low value items is incredibly highly automated (see youtube for lots of videos of how huge automated production lines work). There's no way you could employ someone to manually bond 80 LEDs a minute in the west and still have a competitive product.
carrigan 1 day ago 2 replies      
The title here is slightly misleading- this isn't how LEDs are made, it is how LED dies are packaged. The more difficult part of all of this is creating the dies themselves, which is requires a clean room and all the automated tools I'm sure most people here were expecting to see.
userbinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Similar process, but for USB drives: http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=2946
Eliezer 1 day ago 2 replies      
If this is the manufacturing process and its price, why are LED light bulbs still expensive? (Serious question.)
chrisBob 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only person that thought the shape of the metal inside an LED was a significant part of the function?

I am sure if I thought about it I would have realized that it is just support for the silicon. I guess I never thought about it that much until today.

coreymgilmore 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very surprising how manual this is, unless this is just for the purpose of showing how the LEDs are made. I would have expected everything in this process to be automated since electronic component manufacturing is very high volume.

Also amazing how small the components (LED dies) are.

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 1 reply      
And so this makes an interesting point, LED shapes are controlled by the mold makers, but when do we get just a flat thin LED and you can 3D print the shape you want on top? :-)
sparkman55 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is clearly an old process - when was the last time you saw a 7-segment display, or those big red round thru-hole LEDs, outside of hobby electronics?

I'd be very curious to see how this process differs from the high-power lighting LED manufacturing process (e.g. CREE), which is a more modern technology by several decades. I would guess there is much more of the automation people are expecting...

mrfusion 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how the LED dies are made?
NIL8 1 day ago 0 replies      

Now, I'd like to see someone do something like this for solar panels.

rikacomet 1 day ago 3 replies      
Isn't the word "dyes" the right one to use here? Instead of "dies"?
xedarius 1 day ago 1 reply      
Trick of the eye there for a moment. I thought that girl in the photo had a robot LED making arm.
danvoell 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one that thought Alicia had a bionic arm at first glance?
Write your first Linux kernel module linuxvoice.com
260 points by benev  1 day ago   43 comments top 10
jvns 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is so great!

Writing toy kernel modules on your own is a super fun way to get into kernel programming. There's no danger of anything going wrong, especially if you develop inside a VM.

My partner wrote a kernel module for a talk I gave that rickrolls your file system -- it overrides the 'open' system call so that any time you open a '.mp3' file, it plays Rick Astley instead. (this requires you to have Rick Astley already on your computer =))

The source code for that (and a few other toy kernel modules) is at https://github.com/jvns/kernel-module-fun

The rickroll module (by Kamal Marhubi) is the most well commented and fun: https://github.com/jvns/kernel-module-fun/blob/master/rickro...

I wrote a blog post with more about this kernel-programming-for-fun philosophy: http://jvns.ca/blog/2014/01/04/4-paths-to-being-a-kernel-hac...

Of course, writing code for the mainline kernel is a responsible task, but writing kernel code on your own machine that nobody will ever run in production is a great way to learn, and I think it's made me a better programmer.

A few concrete ways I think it's made me a better programmer:

- I now understand the interface between kernel space and userspace much better (I use strace all the time to debug my regular userspace code!)

- realizing that the Linux kernel is just written in C and it's something I can read (and understand! and change!) was a big deal for me

- understanding the basics of the underlying operating system helps me reason about my programs better

- I now feel like if I ran into an actual kernel bug or performance problem, it's something I could conceivably attempt to fix and understand, instead of hiding under the bed and saying OH NO THE KERNEL IT IS TOO HARD

deutronium 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is my first kernel module, which 'fakes' your system uptime:


Personally I think people should be encouraged to hack around with the kernel, rather than be afraid of it, how else can we learn?

pdevr 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a good starting point for anyone interested in the Eudyptula Challenge [1].

[1] http://eudyptula-challenge.org/

chrisBob 1 day ago 4 replies      
Do most kernel programmers start out working on their regular daily-use machine? My only experience is with an embedded linux environment, and I would probably recommend starting with something like a RPi so that your environment is easy to restore if you mess something up.

I also recommend "Linux Device Drivers" from O'Reilly. http://lwn.net/Kernel/LDD3/

jhiesey 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I might be missing something, but the final version still looks susceptible to deadlock to me.

Suppose the buffer is empty. Process A, which is reading, gets through the mutex_unlock() call and into wait_event_interruptible(), which seems to first internally check the condition. It is then switched out before it internally waits.

Process B then runs all the way through, acquiring the mutex, doing its work, and runs wake_up_interruptible(), which won't do anything, because process A hasn't started waiting. Process B then releases the mutex and gets switched out.

Process A then gets switched back in, and then immediately starts waiting, with no more events to wake it up. Why won't it just wait forever (deadlock)?

Am I missing something? Do all processes occasionally get woken up without an explicit wake up?

Aardwolf 1 day ago 3 replies      
VirtualBox uses a kernel module, and that is annoying because the linux kernel API changes with every update, which means its kernel module needs to be recompiled. Since I update my Linux quite often, that basically means:

Everytime some friends call me to play a certain game online with each other, they need to be waiting a bit longer for me because I have yet again to recompile VirtualBox's kernel modules.

Is there a way to convert something that requires kernel modules, to run fully in userspace?

I'd be happy to lose some efficiency for this. Just a 100% reliable game to run my game would be perfect.

Are there things you can do only in kernel modules and not in userspace, and does VB need this? In theory userspace can do everything you need, right? Graphics, networking, audio, ...

Nursie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cool, definitely relevant to my interests. I've done various ARM/orion5x platform porting related stuff before but never a module...
benjojo12 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had great fun writing a silly toy kernel module a few weeks back, ( https://github.com/benjojo/dev_markov ) Would totally recommend anyone curious giving it a go.
Myrmornis 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Really great article.
thegeomaster 1 day ago 5 replies      
Maybe it's worth emphasizing that writing kernel code is a very responsible task, not to be taken lightly. Hackers coming from a userspace background tend to think it's just "userspace with a few quirks" which is grossly wrong: your code has to be completely free of bugs, as a dangling pointer, for instance, won't just send you a friendly SIGSEGV and terminate your ass, it will crash the whole system, leading to consequences for everyone who relies on its stability. Just imagine introducing a bug which crashes a Linux-based life support system. You could be responsible for endangering human lives. (I ageee that Linux isn't a sane choice here, but just for the sake of the argument.)

Also, standards to get your pull requests merged into mainline Linux are insanely high, but even given that, you can never rely solely on maintainers' code review to catch your mistakes. Take kernel hacking seriously.

US cybercrime laws being used to target security researchers theguardian.com
239 points by wglb  2 days ago   81 comments top 7
tptacek 2 days ago 6 replies      
Note that this concerns the subset of security research that involves actively talking to computer systems owned by other people, presumably in production, on the public Internet.

Most security research does not in fact work this way. Consider, for instance, virtually any memory corruption vulnerability; while it was once straightforward (in the 90s) to work out an exploit "blind", today, researchers virtually always have their targets "up on blocks", connected to specialized debugging tools.

I am a little surprised that we are only now hearing about high-profile researchers getting dinged for actively scanning for actual vulnerabilities in other people's deployed systems. It has pretty much always been unlawful to do that.

(These are descriptive comments, not normative ones. My take on unauthorized testing of systems in production is complicated, but does not mirror that of the CFAA).

It's for this reason that you should be especially appreciative of firms, like Google and Facebook, that post public bug bounties and research pages --- those firms are essentially granting permission for anonymous researchers to test their systems. They don't have to do that. Without those notices, they have the force of law available to prevent people from conducting those tests.

(Background, for what it's worth: full time vulnerability researcher, started in '94.)

Caveat: it does depend on the vulnerability you're testing for. There are a number of flaws you could test for that would be very difficult to make a case out of. But testing deployed systems without authorization is always risky.

esbranson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think this article is misleading to British English readers.

> HD Moore, creator of the ethical hacking tool Metasploit and chief research officer of security consultancy Rapid7, told the Guardian he had been warned by US law enforcement last year over a scanning project called Critical.IO, which he started in 2012.

British might confuse "warning" for what's known in Britain as a "police caution", which is a extra-judicial criminal prosecution, judged summarily by police, and is also referred to as a "formal warning". Such warnings become part of their criminal record in the UK and effect things like employment, as they are in effect a criminal conviction (as I understand it, although the UK describes them as "not a criminal conviction but an admission of guilt [after being accused by the police]", which I view as an irrelevant distinction). There is no such system under federal law in the United States. A UK reader might rationally assume "police cautions" are just called "police warnings" or "US law enforcement warnings" in the US. Police cautions are not something most people in the US know about, and would probably be outraged to know of their existence. (In effect, the police say you admitted to a crime, so they go around telling everyone who asks that you're a criminal. Such as potential employers and landlords.)

At least, to me, that's the implication of the statement.

anonymousDan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I disagree with people who are drawing direct analogies between someone breaking into your property to test its security and cyber security pen-testing. To me, it's more like giving your money to a bank for safe keeping with the understanding they will protect it, and then wanting to test they are actually fulfilling their promise (e.g. by going to the bank and checking they have solid thick walls, and that entry to the vault is guarded properly). Even that's not a direct analogy, as you'll likely be compensated if the bank loses your money, but you'll rarely be compensated when your personal information is disclosed.I also think there are some interesting questions raised by cloud computing. What if I were to deploy a purposefully insecure honeypot VM or application to the cloud, and an attacker managed to use that to mount an attack on other applications?
Yardlink 2 days ago 0 replies      
A fundamental difference between online "property" and physical property is that you can never fully protect physical property. Build a stronger wall and someone can use a bigger bulldozer to break it. But build a secure website and you might find that it doesn't get hacked no matter the resources of the hacker. If it does, you have plans to limit the effects.

I wonder if people are so busy rushing to do things online they don't want to pay the cost of strong security, so they let themselves be vulnerable and need laws to protect them. As a few people have said, foreign government hackers aren't bound by such laws and even they can't get in to many sites.

If we stop seeing hackers as guilty people to blame, and think of them as an unavoidable natural presence on the internet, just like data corruption or power failures, then we won't need laws, instead we'll need safety standards and licenses for IT workers just as we do for, say gas plumbers.

Every day, spammers "hack" my web forum by solving the captcha. I don't want to find them and send them to prison. I want to build better defenses to prevent them doing it.

lasermike026 2 days ago 1 reply      
Call your congress critter, form a PAC, and elected one of your own. If you are in a gerrymandered district, join the party that controls that district, and primary the congress critter out.
forgottenpass 2 days ago 3 replies      
Monied interests want you to play in their safe playground without rocking the boat, the legal and technical enforcement is closing in. Slowly, but the ratchet only turns one direction. I worry that the only reason it hasn't closed in entirely is that smart people exploring is more beneficial to business than not. For now.

Over the last few weeks I've been wondering when the scale flips and general purpose computing will die outright. Things that were once considered forgone conclusions about tech are turning out to be accidents of the fact adoption starts with individuals. How long can tech empowering people continue to outrun the oldschool powers using tech to empower themselves?

perlpimp 2 days ago 4 replies      
this is dumb on many layers - threatening white hat who could be held accountable but could be hired to do further audit; failing to come to grips that if you are insecure enough to threaten someone, you know - internet will find out that you rather than fixing holes in your system rather use expensive lawyers to intimidate people who on the whole trying to a good thing for you.

The whole thing about unauthorized access - not sure about. If you get burglarized and live worse part of town - because you did not lock your front door - is this you fault or criminal's? Ultimately buck stops with you, you would look very stupid arguing that a stranger walked off the street and pinched your laptop, better yet, if you leave your laptop on your front lawn.

Google Maps Mania Blog is Dropping Google Maps plus.google.com
239 points by chippy  2 days ago   94 comments top 19
mbrubeck 2 days ago 3 replies      
What gets me is that Google employees like JohnMu (in the following thread) are actually telling authors to hide large portions of their sites from Google's indexer, in order to prevent all their pages from receiving penalties for "low-quality" content:


That feels like a step back from Google's stated mission to "to organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful":


Apparently, only the information that maximizes search advertising revenue is worth organizing and making accessible. I understand that fighting SEO spam is an important part of keeping search usable, but there must be a way to do it that doesn't lead to completely cutting out large parts of the "indie" web (e.g. posts in discussion forums, and other sites that host user-generated content).

jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any kind of algorithmic classifier will have false positives for a given level of confidence. The lower the threshold at which you start banning sites the more false positives you will have, there is no silver bullet here.

So when Google decided to crack down on a class of sites sites that share enough traits with the sites that were being axed came into the danger zone and a number of those ended up being penalized enough that they are no longer viable / interesting enough to maintain.

This appears to be one of those cases.

Being dependent on a single entity your hosting, for the traffic you are receiving as well as the service you are directly promoting (in this case maps) makes you an add-on to their eco-system.

I wonder how many small but viable websites are still in this position and how many of them will give up after finding their traffic decimated because they ended up being a false positive in some filter.

It might be more productive to try to figure out what exactly caused the penalty, but I fully understand if the owner of the site just wants to move on and become as independent of this as he can.

Let's hope that 'pointing go google maps' versus 'pointing to open streetmaps' won't trigger another penalty because then he might lose what is still there or a good sized fraction of that.

Pxtl 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm starting to wonder if killing the "content farms" like About and Answers and the like aren't a case where the cure is worse than the disease.

Often when you search for a "how do I" question, the content farms are the only things that produce a result that's even vaguely topical, at least before Pandas.

I mean, it usually went content farms -> Pure SEO spam -> actual relevant results. Content farms weren't good, but they still beat the SEO spammers. At least the content farms had some minimal connection to the topic, unlike say eBay.

chippy 2 days ago 2 replies      
From the post:

"Tomorrow I'm going to feature the very last Google Maps on Google Maps Mania,

The blog now gets 10% of the Google search traffic it did just 18 months ago. With Google attempting to kill off Google Maps Mania it would be like a turkey voting for Christmas for me to continue to promote Google Maps and the Google Maps API.

Last week I came very close to giving up completely. But despite Google I still think there is an audience for the blog. So from Wednesday Google Maps Mania will be featuring maps created with Open Street Map, Map Box, Leaflet and other map providers.

If you have any Google Maps you want promoting you have about 24 hours left to submit them to Google Maps Mania."


The blog is at: http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.co.uk/

fidotron 2 days ago 3 replies      
I seriously thought from the title "That must be because they've come to hate new Google Maps so much" and was surprised that wasn't the underlying reason.

To be honest, I've always been dubious of any business that is familiar enough with Google's search versions that they name them. It's indicative of being way too dependent on a single entity.

narrator 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a preview of our AI dominated future. The AI will penalize you and you will have no idea why and have no recourse or appeal. It's also great for plausible deniability if it was indeed a "manual action".
dfc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Turkey voting for christmas

That was a new phrase for me. It seems to be chiefly British but the Wikipedia page suggest that the American alternative is "turkey voting for thanksgiving." I searched google ngrams for "turkey[s] voting for christmas|thanksgiving" and it seems that the British variant is a relatively recent phenomena. NGrams has no results for the American variants. Is this a common phrase in the UK?

Google NGrams result: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=turkey+voting+...

userbinator 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a (very) long-time user of the Internet, I've become increasingly disgusted at what it's become, in particular the rise of the whole "SEO phenomenon" that's basically become a cat-and-mouse game between site owners and search engines. Large corporations and SEO spammers have the resources to play this game, while the smaller independent sites (often managed by a single person) don't, and when they get penalised somehow, it's much harder for them to solve the "problem". The often interesting, unique, and more personal bits of the Internet are being made less accessible.

I think the reason it became this way is entirely due to search engines encouraging this ranking game. Those who want their site to be at the top of the SERPs optimise for that, instead of focusing on what makes their sites' content valuable to actual users. The incentives are all wrong, from the perspective of what the Internet should be, and to fix this I think search engines should, instead of trying to develop more and more complex algorithms that the SEOs will just figure out how to beat, use a (periodically changing) random ranking. This would probably kill off SEO completely, as there would no longer be anything about the search engine to optimise for - everyone who wants visitors would instead focus on that content, so on those times when their site appears near the top of the rankings, they can attract and retain users who will preferably bookmark them and visit again.

uptown 2 days ago 2 replies      
OT, but does anyone else have wild zooming issues with the "new" Google Maps on OS X with a scroll-wheel mouse? It borders on unusable as the zoom seems to completely have a mind of its own.

Edit: This seems to be the issue I'm experiencing: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/6D072fsK...

icantthinkofone 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've owned my own web development company for 10 years. In all this time, I've never had a problem with any of my client's sites scoring well in Google search. They have never lost their rank, never been de-listed, never "disappeared", never felt Google was out to get them or that Google was trying to kill them off.

Google has always been helpful, given us free tools, told us what to do and how to do it, what is good and what is bad and how to do good by them.

Then you run into people like this guy.

I must be doing something wrong.

rpedela 2 days ago 2 replies      
How is Google trying to kill off Google Maps Mania?
dalek2point3 2 days ago 0 replies      
This site was due for a revamp anyway. Nowadays some of the most exciting maps are created with OpenStreetMap -- and the blog was featuring most of them anyway. The Google Maps name was not giving OpenStreetMap its due credit.
brokentone 2 days ago 1 reply      
While this makes a certain amount of sense (not promoting a tool from a company that is not promoting your content as well in another arena), I'm actually glad that Google works in a blanket manner rather than an individual manner. Assessing "manual" promotions of domains could get really sticky really quickly.
narrator 2 days ago 0 replies      
I monitor some keywords that relate to obscure topics of interest of mine. If I look at search hits in the last 24 hours I get lots of pages of markov chain generated spam that looks like forums or blogs or community sites. It's freakin' ridiculous. The spammers are using machine learning to fool Google's machine learning.
lnanek2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it is healthy to cover all maps providers anyway. I had a rude awakening too a while back when I wanted to do a native Android hack on Google Glass using maps, but there is none of the usual MapActivity, etc. available. So Open Street Map was the way to go. Google Maps sometimes just isn't the solution, so it is good to know many.
scottcanoni 2 days ago 1 reply      
The only serious traffic I got to my website RoadPetition.com came from when it was featured on Google Maps Mania.

Does anyone here have any feedback for me on this Google Maps Mashup?


garrickvanburen 2 days ago 1 reply      
to top it all off, Google Maps Mania runs on Blogspot (a Google property).
EGreg 2 days ago 3 replies      
And this is why you shouldn't rely on Google for your traffic, but diversify off of it asap. In fact dont rely on any one company. Use the open web.
themodelplumber 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure the Maps team will be excited to hear about this. On the other hand I wonder what kind of sites this website is competing with. I don't think the site is really best suited to the blog format; maybe it'd be a good idea to rethink the presentation and throw some of the latest SEO strategy in there as well. You can't just make a blog these days and do ordinary blog things and expect to collect the same SERP pension every year.
The Makings of a Great Logo pixelapse.com
226 points by lominming  2 days ago   73 comments top 17
radley 2 days ago 2 replies      
The logos of Path and Pinterest are very similar.

Pinterest was actually designed by Mike Deal and fontographer Juan Carlos Pagan. The letter P looks like a needle & thread (i.e. a pin).


Path... is a font.


ArekDymalski 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've got a feeling that a big part of our sentiment towards the logo comes after the company succeeds. That's when stories, associations and emotions reinforce our perception of the brand as a whole.

Just imagine Apple producing crappy, cheap devices. Would we still consider their logo awesome? I doubt it.

shasta 2 days ago 10 replies      
I had noticed neither that the arrow in Amazon's logo points from A to Z nor that the arrow resembles a smile. My guess is that the only competitive advantage resulting from such design flourishes is the free press you get from designers discussing your logo.
ohwp 1 day ago 0 replies      
The articles doesn't give examples of why you need to test your logo in black and as small size. I think some logo designers only focus on digital so here some non digital examples:

Black logo examples:

  Logo on a Fax  Logo on a photo copy  Logo on a black-only laser printer
Small logo examples:

  Logo on a pen  Logo on a USB drive

sithu 2 days ago 1 reply      
"All these logos are sized to fit in 16 x 16 pixels." - I was surprised how crisp these look for 16 pixels, then noticed the file was actually 32 x 32 and shows up as such on a retina display. It's a fair point that only the first four logos are recognizable when 16 pixels though.
kawsper 2 days ago 2 replies      
I really like Dockers logo, its cute and it works perfectly for a system that let you manage, and "ship containers".

There is blog-post here about how they got their logo: http://blog.docker.io/2013/06/announcing-new-docker-style/

NAFV_P 1 day ago 0 replies      
The DHL logo [0], it's odd but why do leaning or italic bold letters give a sensation of movement? Oh, and a logo from a dnb label [1].

[0] http://www.dhl.co.uk/en.html[1] http://www.metalheadz.co.uk

nayanga 2 days ago 1 reply      

    it should be hand drawable     Keeping it Simple    Do not use multi-color (meaning no color transitions and shading, but can have more colors )    Should look good in B&W    Pattern should be easily recognizable

rhengles 1 day ago 1 reply      
>> Casual script fonts like Comic Sans are probably best left for fun and animated companies such as toy companies.

Except Comic Sans _itself_, which isn't appropriate for anything.

spb 2 days ago 1 reply      
This list should be in the reverse order.
anotherevan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dammit. I misread this as "The Makings of Great Lego"

Yet another disappointment. Sigh.

devindotcom 2 days ago 7 replies      
leoCodePoet 2 days ago 0 replies      
The example of Pinterest and Path is for what? their logo is bad? I noticed that a lot of corp are using a single letter as their logo, such as Mashable, even hacker news. Recognizable is important, but hard. I upvote Pinterest logo over Path, and I like Twitter birds!
gene_rey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe we should ask Will.I.Am regarding this matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gFA7DUM008
MIT_Hacker 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can we talk about the line height and weight on the font of their blog? Hate to be a classic HN commenter, but it makes it almost impossible to read on mobile. Very little of my screen is actual black pixels, mostly just white space between lines and characters...


Mithaldu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what possessed them to choose a domain name that most closely evokes a medical condition.
hkmurakami 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm ashamed that I read WWF as the wresting version rather than the wildlife version :(
Absolute Zero damninteresting.com
225 points by jqm  3 days ago   40 comments top 17
Stratoscope 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've complained about changing titles in the past, but here's a case where the submitted title ("Absolute Zero") doesn't hold a candle to the original title:


Much, much better. 0K?

Jun8 3 days ago 3 replies      
I didn't knwo about this site, a true find: the writing and witticisms are fantastic, e.g.

"As [sic] unspecified assistant with quick reflexes reversed the helium valve, but he turned it either the wrong way or too far, because instead of halting the flow of helium, he caused it all to be vented into the laboratory. Dewar's notes do not indicate whether a high-pitched apology was offered."

(Although some proofreading would have been useful.)

Someone 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The municipality of Leiden has made objections as to my working with condensed gases and has not been content with asking that additional means of precaution are taken, but is gone so far to claim in August last that my cryogenic laboratory be removed from the city!"

Kamerlingh Onnes' laboratory was built in the space that was created in 1806 when over 15,000 kg of gunpowder stored in a ship exploded, killing 151 people and destroying over 200 houses (http://www.pieterskerk.com/en/explore/19e-eeuw/1807/

That must have made the Leiden city council more cautious when hearing about potential explosions in this laboratory.

DrStalker 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's worth pointing out that it's possible to get below absolute zero: http://www.mpg.de/6776082/negative_absolute_temperature

It's a bit of a definitional thing; once you get that cold measuring how fast atomes move is less useful than looking at enthalpy and entropy and the way atoms give or receive energy.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero

> It is commonly thought of as the lowest temperature possible, but it is not the lowest enthalpy state possible

Monkeyget 2 days ago 2 replies      
In Our Time episode regarding absolute zero : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r113g
cottonseed 2 days ago 0 replies      
There was a good NOVA episode, Aboslute Zero, on the race for cold:


coldcode 3 days ago 2 replies      
Now this is real hard nosed science, rarely done today. I spent 6 years studying chemistry and decided to switch to programming because computers seemed unlikely to explode in my face. But I miss messing with liquid gases at cold temperatures.
kbart 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very well written and interesting article. I'm still laughing at this:"his London lab was rattled by yet another minor explosion which deprived yet another lab assistant (James Heath) of yet another eye."
crash78 2 days ago 0 replies      
What technique would they have used to measure the temperatures?
Angostura 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beautifully written, informative and witty. I did not know about the cascade of gasses method before now.
davidw 2 days ago 1 reply      
> If one physically scoops up a portion of the superatom, the elevated portion acquires more gravitational potential energy than the rest, and since this is not a sustainable equilibrium for the superfluid, it will flow up and out of its container to pull itself all back into one place

Is this actually doable/observable?

quarterwave 3 days ago 0 replies      
A discussion of the Third Law and the Nernst unattainability principle can be found in: http://benthamscience.com/open/totherj/articles/V006/1TOTHER...
nicholassmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is fascinating, I really enjoy the turn of the century science stories that come up. Big egos, big risks, fantastic results.
pdevr 2 days ago 0 replies      
The site has a lot of other articles that are darn interesting.
pistle 2 days ago 0 replies      
"ambiguous smears of quantum probabilities"

Oh phlogiston.

shaan7 2 days ago 0 replies      
That was awesome :)
rcthompson 2 days ago 0 replies      
My friend had himself cooled to absolute zero once. He was 0K.

(Source: The internet)

Peter Sunde arrested in Sweden aftonbladet.se
209 points by henrikberggren  9 hours ago   101 comments top 10
ColinWright 8 hours ago 3 replies      
From Google translate ...

Peter Sunde arrested in Skne

One of the brains behind the file sharing site The Pirate Bay has been arrested.

Peter Sunde, 35, was arrested today in a raid in southern Sweden.

- He has been on the run since 2012 , says Carolina Ekus , press contact at NCIS .

Rikskriminalen state that Peter Sunde has been wanted by Interpol and that he is now arrested.

- He was arrested for him to serve a prison sentence of eight months. It's about the Pirate Bay case , says Caroline Ekus .

Expressen says that the raid took place at a farm in Skne Tonganoxie . According to the newspaper shall Polish police and sknsk picket police have participated in the arrest .Sentenced to prison

Peter Sunde were sentenced for aiding copyright infringement along with two other men in the Svea Court of Appeal in November 2010. Together sentenced Pirate Bay founders in addition to prison to pay damages of around 46 million.

In its judgement, the Court of Appeals held that the men through file-sharing site The Pirate Bay " has facilitated illegal file sharing in a way that lead to penalties for those who run the service ."

Peter Sunde has repeatedly applied for revision of the Supreme Court , most recently in February this year. He also refers to new cases from the European Court which deals with how to assess aiding and abetting ."Deeply unhappy '

Peter sundes defender Peter Althin says to Aftonbladet that he still finds it difficult to accept the verdict .

- Has a final judgment , you have to enter and serve this . I kvljer them but I still think that the judgement is deeply unfortunate and inaccurate when it comes to him. There was nothing that showed that he had an active part in this as he was sentenced for, says Peter Althin.

He says that an open prison now awaits Peter Sunde.

- It does not get Kumla Security or something like that. It will be a little more open prison and that will happen pretty soon, says Peter Althin.

kefs 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Relevant: If you haven't seen it, TPB: AFK is a fantastic documentary.



jacquesm 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Very clever to arrest him after the elections. Before the elections this would have been a much bigger issue and possibly would have gained votes for the Swedish Pirate Party resulting in more seats in the European Parliament for them.
Numberwang 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would Polish police take part in a raid in Sweden?
zz1 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Too bad he didn't made to the EU Parliament.

That makes two out of the three in jail, which is very saddening. I wonder what will happen to Frederik: I doubt they will just let him be. They are beating three to scare millions.

hocaoglv 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Gottfrid Svartholm is currently being held in solitary confinement in Denmark, Peter Sunde is arrested in Sweden. I thought these countries were like role models.
callesgg 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Aftonbladet is one of the worst tabloids in Sweden a cant say i trust any details in their articles.
charleshaanel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Skne! He should have headed to Sdertlje they never would have found him there ha. In all seriousness, this is heck of a way for old Sverige to stay in the press don't you think? (and this is coming from a yank who loves the place like a second home)
elinchrome 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So what's the URL now? Is it thepiratebay.org, or thepiratebay.se? It jumped around so much that it's hard to keep track.
klunger 8 hours ago 1 reply      
PirateBox 1.0 piratebox.cc
192 points by Morgawr  1 day ago   69 comments top 20
Phogo 1 day ago 3 replies      
What is the PirateBox?

PirateBox is a self-contained mobile communication and file sharing device. Simply turn it on to transform any space into a free and open communications and file sharing network. Inspired by pirate radio and the free culture movements, PirateBox utilizes Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) to create mobile wireless communications and file sharing networks where users can anonymously chat and share images, video, audio, documents, and other digital content.

How does it work?

Simply turn PirateBox on to transform any space into an offline communication and wireless file sharing network. When users join the PirateBox wireless network and open a web browser, they are automatically redirected to the PirateBox welcome page. Users can then immediately begin to chat anonymously, post images or comments on the bulletin board, watch or listen to streaming media, or upload and download files.

PirateBox runs on multiple devices, including wireless routers, Android-based phones, single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi, and even laptops.

Is it safe?

PirateBox is designed to be private and secure. No logins are required and no user data is logged. Users remain anonymous the system is purposely not connected to the Internet in order to subvert tracking and preserve user privacy.

Can I make my own PirateBox?

Absolutely! The PirateBox is is free (as in freedom) because it is registered under the GNU GPLv3. This license grants the right to freely copy, distribute, and transform creative works according to the principles of copyleft.

PirateBox can be built for as little as US$35. For detailed instructions, visit the PirateBox OpenWrt DIY page.

Where can I read more about the PirateBox?

Visit the PirateBox Press page for a listing of and links to more than 175 stories about the PirateBox.

Where can I find more photos of the PirateBox?

Check out the PirateBox Gallery.

Where can I find more videos of the PirateBox?

Check out these PirateBox Videos.

Why did you build the PirateBox?

The PirateBox solves a technical/social problem by providing people in the same physical space with an easy way to anonymously communicate and exchange files. This obviously has larger cultural and political implications and thus the PirateBox also serves as an artistic provocation. See this ars technica article and this New Scientist article for more info.

Why is it called the PirateBox?

The PirateBox is inspired by the free culture and pirate radio movements. The name is a playful remixing of the title of the worlds most resilient BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay.

Does the PirateBox promote stealing?

No. The PirateBox is designed to facilitate communication and sharing between friends and local community members.

Who helps build the PirateBox?

The PirateBox was created by David Darts and the lead developer is Matthias Strubel. Aaron Williamson from the Software Freedom Law Center provided advice on the project and Christiane Ruetten originally ported PirateBox to OpenWrt. The project is actively supported by developers and testers all over the world.

Do you know of any other projects similar to PirateBox?

Yes, check out Aram Bartholl's fantastic Dead Drops. There are also several forks of the project, including Jason Griffeys LibraryBox, the Bibliobox, the LibroBox and the CoWBox (CoWorking Box).

Where can I discuss the PirateBox?

Visit the PirateBox Forum to discuss the PirateBox, share your builds, and receive support.

cyanbane 1 day ago 3 replies      
Would be neat to see a mesh-network of these running on old phones of which most people have 1 or 2 of at their house with a REALLY simple installer.

A few of these sprout up organically in locales and it would be like the BBS days of yore - ultimately it could lead to a larger geographical footprint of a "side-net".

noonespecial 1 day ago 4 replies      
That is an unfortunate name. This has implications much greater than a few privileged first-worlders sharing some movies but you wouldn't guess it from the name.

FreedomBox perhaps? WunderWurfel? Anything seems better than Pirate-something.

soapdog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love the project! I am actually thinking about buying an mr3020 just for this.

My main feedback is that the page does nothing to tell new users what the heck is PirateBox. The landing page should contain an explanation of what it is and why do you want it.

mentos 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'd love to see a world where an enormous network of these makes big telecom obsolete. Don't think the issues with big internet will ever push enough people into creating this but at least there's a safety net. Pun intended?
Element_ 23 hours ago 0 replies      
These would be great on planes/trains/buses where wifi isn't readily available. These days the passengers probably carry enough content on their mobile devices to keep everyone entertained during a long haul flight they just need a way to share it.
tomp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Site is down now, but this is from the FAQ:

> What is the PirateBox?

> PirateBox is a self-contained mobile communication and file sharing device. Simply turn it on to transform any space into a free and open communications and file sharing network. Inspired by pirate radio and the free culture movements, PirateBox utilizes Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) to create mobile wireless communications and file sharing networks where users can anonymously chat and share images, video, audio, documents, and other digital content.

> How does it work?

> Simply turn PirateBox on to transform any space into an offline communication and wireless file sharing network. When users join the PirateBox wireless network and open a web browser, they are automatically redirected to the PirateBox welcome page. Users can then immediately begin to chat anonymously, post images or comments on the bulletin board, watch or listen to streaming media, or upload and download files.

shiftpgdn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cached version:http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zWSCSbJ...

I built a piratebox using a cheapo tplink router about 2 1/2 years ago. I'm somewhat surprised nothing has been built using commodity Android phones since then. They'd be better suited to the task as far as having a battery built in, better antennas, etc.

iuguy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if this addresses the myriad of security flaws with the old version? I have an older box, but found it wasn't really used. I should bring it back up at some point and update it.
mschuster91 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Sweet idea, but the sceptic in me already sees the negative downside, which will inevitably follow: perverts exchaining child porn, people sharing copyrighted stuff, drug dealers organizing heroin trafficking.

Before you downvote me: from a legal POV, this is the same as leaving your WiFi open or protected with WEP. In front of a court you will be either held liable for just aiding distribution of child porn/warez (if you're lucky), or worse, for possession. In Germany this definitely means time behind bars, in the US it means federal court for child porn/aiding a drug business. Good luck getting out of this.

You would not even remotely consider leaving your WiFi open, right? Then, why do you consider putting up a PirateBox or whatever it is named for public use?

rkda 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a bit concerned that some unsavory elements will be inspired by this and create a malware box.
kybernetikos 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like this would be perfectly suited to running on a hacked wifi sd card.
chippy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Would this work with all those old routers on the defunct laptops we have lying around?
vertex-four 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have any idea how long you could run, say, the TP-LINK WR703N for on battery? It'd be neat to set one of these up at a small summer festival in a couple of months.
josephlord 1 day ago 2 replies      
I can't see any links on any of their pages to the source code. Multiple links to the GPL and about Free software but no route that I could find to the source itself.
TruthSHIFT 1 day ago 2 replies      
In this picture, they show the PirateBox attached to the bottom of a skateboard:


Can it actually run this way? Do they actually have a portable way of powering this device?

ecoqba 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is perfect for the people in Cuba.
lemonSnap 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds cool but the website should explain what it is at the top of the home page... Why make people hunt? A short tagline would be helpful.
hypron 1 day ago 2 replies      
Site seems to be under heavy load atm.
paulhauggis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like to be more anonymous and hide within plain sight. Instead of a little box with a large pirate symbol, I would rather fire up a VM and run it off my laptop.
Google Shames Slow U.S. ISPs With Its New YouTube Video Quality Report techcrunch.com
191 points by sunilkumarc  2 days ago   74 comments top 24
rpm4321 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know Google is traditionally very stingy when it comes to adding elements to their interfaces, but this seems important enough to dedicate at least a small portion of screen real estate to it on every YouTube video page. It would certainly have more of an impact than a report that 99% of users will never see.

It doesn't have to be a big deal - maybe just a "cellphone bars"-like icon, linked to further info and net neutrality content.

yellowbkpk 2 days ago 4 replies      
goatforce5 2 days ago 5 replies      
I imagine ISPs will start using these results in advertising really quickly. "Google rates us as Excellent for video playback. Compare us with your ISP! We're faster than 82% of ISPs in this area."

Google/YouTube speed ratings could very quickly end up being analogous to school rankings. You want to be in an area with good schools, and if you don't have good schools you're probably going to start putting pressure on people to improve things.

tzs 2 days ago 3 replies      
Provo, UT, is interesting. It has both Google Fiber and Comcast. Their performance is essentially the same, with perhaps a very slight edge to Comcast. I tried to compare them in the other Google Fiber cities, but Provo was the only one I saw both Google and Comcast in. (Austin, TX, is interesting, because that is supposedly a Google Fiber city, but Google Fiber does not show up in the report).

Comcast has similar performance in all the cities I've lived in as an adult (Los Angeles area, Silicon Valley, Seattle, small towns on the west side of Puget Sound). Certainly not what I expected given all the complaining I see on the net about Comcast and YouTube performance.

berberich 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's the Netflix ISP Speed Index, which is more of an ISP ranking: http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/
tlogan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm looking the report here: http://www.google.com/get/videoqualityreport/

But I cannot understand the graph (Video consumption and Quality). Can anybody help here?

jrockway 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something that's interesting about this data is that it measures speed end-to-end. So if you are an ISP that gives out flaky WiFi routers, your score will be lower not because of any limit between YouTube and the ISP or the ISP and the CPE, but because of that "last meter"* between the access point and laptop.

* A new term I'm coining for this :)

brokentone 2 days ago 0 replies      
For comparison purposes, Netflix has been releasing this data for some time: http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa
CoffeeDregs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting. Given all of the complaints about the big providers, the chart suggests to me that they're doing an OK job? Perhaps Google is trying to get out in front of the arrival of throttling?

Also, as a cynical person, I compared SF to Washington DC expecting to see that DC was perfect and SF was not. Instead they looked quite comparable. In fact, I couldn't really find any major metro in which cable performed poorly (NYC wasn't wonderful).

chrisBob 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is impressive how local the results are. Comcast is rated as HD at my house (Natick MA) but SD at work (Boston MA).

I use RCN which performs well in both areas and costs much less.

trustfundbaby 2 days ago 0 replies      
The graph in the actually video report is a poor way of representing that information IMO. It took me a second to figure out what the graph represented and then after that I still didn't know why I should care.

I guess average speed/bandwith was too esoteric to chart? #sarcasm

cddotdotslash 2 days ago 1 reply      
And the average user will never see it. If Google really wants to do something effective, add a red warning bar at the top of the page that says "Your ISP is making YouTube slower. Call them at...". I guarantee ISPs will take notice then.
freeasinfree 2 days ago 2 replies      
All I get is "Results from your location are not yet available."
subdane 2 days ago 0 replies      
The visual storytelling of the associated video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH863XXRZEQ is fantastic. You can watch the vid w/out sound and still understand the point they're trying to make.
tinalumfoil 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel some of these results may be misleading. I watch YouTube mostly through Wifi, where the Wifi is the bottleneck and and not my ISP. The methodology page [1] doesn't seem to take that into account.

[1] http://www.google.com/get/videoqualityreport/#methodology

mmgutz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would a cable company, ISP for most of us, want to offer connections capable of ultra HD quality video streaming? Streaming threatens half of their business.
NicoJuicy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bad publicity on the most popular video website? Nice thinking for countering anti-net neutrality ISP's :)
nerdtalker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure Google's efforts to shame ISPs with this new report are well-intentioned, but I really miss the old YouTube speedtest which it seemed almost nobody knew about: http://www.youtube.com/my_speed/

It seemed to show more data both throughput from your actual cookied sessions and graphs of comparable connections around you. It took months for YouTube/Google to generate these reports when there was existing data out there already. I guess they wanted something that'd be easily digestible for a Netflix-style monthly shame-a-thon.

lucb1e 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Results are not available on your location

I suppose having net neutrality as a law helps, then?

handelaar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I assume Vimeo doesn't have this because it always sucks for everybody on every network.
zavi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can't seem to find a single city with both Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Vendan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yay, no ISP in my area is HD verified! Wait, booo!
listwise 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me a little of this service but for payment processor speeds/success: http://gatewayindex.spreedly.com/explore
higherpurpose 2 days ago 1 reply      
More companies should be keeping track of this, so in case we don't pass a strong net neutrality law, and ISP's do in fact start slowing everyone down in order to make them pay to get back to normal speeds [1], we can have a swift and strong backlash against them. Let's make it impossible for them to do this without millions of people finding out about it at once.

[1] - http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/this-hilarious...

Interesting Data Sets for Statistics rs.io
189 points by aficionado  2 days ago   16 comments top 12
mikecb 2 days ago 0 replies      
In related news, the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is now available in bigquery, for free. [1]

[1] http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.com/2014/05/worlds-large...

sytelus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Surprisingly it doesn't mention HN itself which is a treasure trove of data. I know there is APIs to download HN content but is there a permanent location for HN data dump (like StackOverflow do their data dump on Internet Archive)? This is a great article, BTW, anyone who wants some cool projects to do in data mining and machine learning.
privong 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like an interesting list of datasets, but it's such a large number that it's tough to get a feel for what all is in it (without reading a lot of the entries). I wonder if some sort of organized table might be a way to present the information in a more skimmable fashion.
mxfh 1 day ago 0 replies      
For starters and people who miss their R sample sets there is a pretty good maintained archive of 731 of them available as CSV at http://vincentarelbundock.github.io/Rdatasets/

Index: http://vincentarelbundock.github.io/Rdatasets/datasets.html

Github: https://github.com/vincentarelbundock/Rdatasets

kevinwang 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Reddit data isn't actually the top 2.5 million posts - it's the top 1000 posts of each of the top 2500 subreddits. An important distinction to make if anyone's planning to do statistical analyses on the set.
sytelus 1 day ago 2 replies      
So someone put 2.5 million Reddit posts on Github. I was thinking about doing same for the HN data I've downloaded (1.3 million stories ~ 1.7GB of json).

Does Github has any restrictions on hosting data files like this?

Hortinstein 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it will be really interesting in a few years when people start some in-depth analysis about the bitcoin blockchain(though some is going on today). If Bitcoin hits mainstream adoption it may be the first time ever someone can run analysis on a complete financial system. Not even including the applications built on top of the block chain.
joshu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some stuff I hadn't seen before.
shobhitverma 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have always wanted to create a Data Science training course which finds the right dataset to expose the power of the technique in question. I think this dataset will give me a good start. Thank you!
ejain 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks like a good resource. But be sure to understand all the implicit assumptions in each data set before announcing your amazing discoveries!
atestu 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a gold mine, thank you!
toxik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good article!
TrueCrypt must not die truecrypt.ch
181 points by joshcrews  2 days ago   98 comments top 14
tptacek 2 days ago 2 replies      
It would be nice if the people who pick up and run with the "reboot" of Truecrypt's project management had a background in cryptography. Do these people?
buddylw 2 days ago 8 replies      
Also, it appears someone finally got a hold of a Truecrypt dev. The project was just shut down from lack of interest. No drama about auditing or, crazy NSA conspiracies after all: https://twitter.com/stevebarnhart/status/472203503478509568

Edit: That tweet was deleted for some reason, but the rest of the thread is still there:https://twitter.com/stevebarnhart/status/472192457145597952

callahad 2 days ago 4 replies      
I don't believe the TrueCrypt license allows this kind of redistribution, does it?

Then again, with anonymous developers and unknown jurisdiction, it may be moot.

voltagex_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
The signatures and binaries are not served over HTTPS. It would be prudent to compare them to other sources.
bitJericho 1 day ago 1 reply      
My opinion, the fact that some security researcher was going to be getting more money than the actual developer ever made off the project must have been infuriating. I think that's good enough reason to burn the project to the ground.
throwaway7767 1 day ago 1 reply      
Honestly, I was hoping this drama would result in the implementation of hidden containers for other crypto solutions (dm-crypt, etc).

Hopefully that may still happen.

Sir_Cmpwn 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is a bad idea. TrueCrypt should be put to bed for good. An event of this magnitude is easy justification for dropping TrueCrypt. It serves an extremely delicate purpose and this raises far too many red flags to ignore.

Place your energy in the alternatives. I wish you could downvote things on HN, if only because this is downright dangerous and needs to be read by as few people as possible.

nhayden 2 days ago 2 replies      
This looks like a bootstrap site that was thrown together in an hour by two guys with twitter accounts and $10 for a domain name. I really doubt they're going to be doing any dev work.
christianbryant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Search off the phrase "TrueCrypt Developers Association. All rights reserved." and you will find many other projects that include embedded TrueCrypt code. Food for thought...
Istof 2 days ago 2 replies      
if the developers of Truecrypt are anonymous and the license doesn't allow something like this, would this allow us to find out who the developers are if they sue?
thought_alarm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why don't you send TrueCrypt.org a few dollars then?
Paul12345534 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love to see it live on with no new unneeded features, no changes made unless they are to fix bugs. Keep a stable long-term product and get as many people as possible looking over that code for flaws.
read 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anonymous development on a security relevant Project is no longer an option.

Why not?

100rsa 1 day ago 1 reply      
Still have no idea what's the "unfixed security issues", and few guys mention about it.I image there the "security issues" will be (if it exist):1. because key are easy to stolen by coolboot or trojan.2. because it has backdoor, will save key to a hidden place.3. because it will leave some information in other place, like 2 but it's implantation problem.4. because it use a vulnerable algorithm to generate key.5. because pbkdf2 or aes256 is broken but nobody known it.exclude 2 and 3, change to other software it's not help at all, algorithm almost same.
Java 8 Features infoq.com
178 points by ancatrusca  1 day ago   121 comments top 13
Mister_Snuggles 1 day ago 1 reply      
The new Date API will be a big win for new developers. I think it was created by the same person that made Joda-Time, so there's some real world experience behind the new API.

I also like the easy parallelization functions, though as the article indicates they're not suitable for every use case.

thescrewdriver 1 day ago 1 reply      
The best part is that these classes are available for use in other JVM languages. I'm more likely to use these from Scala than I am from Java.
ZoFreX 1 day ago 4 replies      
The process control changes might not seem so exciting but they fix some serious pain points, I'm very excited to integrate these into my code.

Optional is another nice addition, I've been creating one myself in all Java projects I've created since I first encountered it in Rust.

bicx 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wish Android would move in this direction. We're stuck in a 1.6 API for the most part.
goblue96 1 day ago 6 replies      
I can't wait to do code reviews where people are sprinkling parallelSort() all over the place, not understanding the consequences.

Serious question: isn't this something the JVM could abstract away?

xxs 1 day ago 3 replies      
StampedLocks have been talked about extensively at least on jsr-166 mailing list and they required adding load/load barrier in sun.misc.Unsafe. That was the prime reason it needed Java 8, as previously it required a no-op CAS on the load path.

For most people StampedLock will remain quite a mystery as they are harder to use and the vact majority of Java developers doesn't actually write (or even use) low-level concurrency primitives.

hyp0 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't Mandatory<MyType> (or NonNullable<MyType>) be better for Java, since all reference types are nullable (aka optional) already...? Haskell's Maybe monad doesn't meet java's specific needs.

It could check for null in its setValue method, at write-time - more useful than discovering it read-time (though I'm not sure it's worth the abstraction).

mycodebreaks 1 day ago 2 replies      
Which companies are running Java 8 already on production?
ChrisAntaki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Secure random generation is exciting, especially for endpoints.
gdi2290 1 day ago 1 reply      
Java the good parts?
dschiptsov 1 day ago 1 reply      
No one sees an irony?)
terranstyler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Re Optional<T>:

If I get this right, the source code of the signature of many (many!) methods will now be twice the size of before, unless the names of your types and variables were already considerably bigger than "Optional<...>" (10 chars).

I hope it's worth this cost.

leorocky 1 day ago 7 replies      
> The difference between this and the old Atomics is that here, when a CAS fails due to contention, instead of spinning the CPU, the Adder will store the delta in an internal cell object allocated for that thread.

Wow man Java's still all in with it's terrible threading mechanism all the while C# has had async, await and parallelism for years, Go is well past version 1 to great acclaim, node.js and libuv are taking over, and Akka has gained enormous popularity and yet real coroutines in Java aren't even on the horizon. Even python 3 is getting coroutines.

Low level threads in Java are so goddamned awful and unavoidable that it makes me want to pull my hair out. And I otherwise love Java. Java would be so awesome with real, native coroutines. Like that should be only thing they should be working on right now.


I'm guessing the people downvoting this have no idea what I'm talking about and don't know what coroutines are.

You know I'm starting to think there's maybe an entire generation of Java engineers who have no idea how much easier it is to write concurrent code with other tools and Java has ruined them. I love Java, but expand your horizons a bit.

No more ads opendns.com
166 points by philip1209  2 days ago   104 comments top 21
jblow 2 days ago 1 reply      
The attempt to put a positive spin on the ad-version is kind of absurd.

Translation: "We tried to serve ads in a way that broke basic functionality for many people. But we didn't make that much money, so we are going to stop being malicious actors, and we're going to start following the protocols we're supposed to follow."

mschuster91 2 days ago 4 replies      
Looks like Google's stole them quite a bunch of traffic, simply due to it being (often) faster and ad-free. It was e.g. impossible to use OpenDNS on a server doing mail stuff because OpenDNS would resolve everything and their dead mother instead of returning NXDOMAIN.

Well, now I think I'll switch over to OpenDNS as soon as they prove to deliver un-manipulated DNS service. One way less for Google to track me.

edit: does anyone know if Cloudflare is also in the DNS business, from the resolver side? I know they and Amazon (Route53) do DNS server hosting, but does Cloudflare also provide public resolvers?

tty 1 day ago 1 reply      
An alternative to all these popular DNS servers is the Swiss Privacy Foundation

No blocking, no logging except for errors (the IP is not logged).

jacquesm 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Text ads and banners alike, theyre all vectors for the spread of malware.

That's an excellent argument pro-ad blockers. Typically ad-blocker users are berated because they're 'stealing from the publishers' or something to that effect, but it makes good sense from a security point of view too. And it rationalizes so much better than 'the web is faster this way' (assuming that's even the case).

DanBlake 2 days ago 5 replies      
Its nice to say "we stopped doing it because we love our users" but I always feel like there is something more behind the scenes that makes these things happen.

Did chrome or Firefox recently change the way they handle nonexistent DNS answers so that opendns '404 pages' would no longer work? If the writing was on the wall it might make sense for opendns to get ahead of it, since there wouldn't be much they could do to combat browser level changes.


Did google/yahoo not renew their search feed agreement with them to be the search provider and/or significantly change the rates?I know google has been coming down very hard on toolbar makers so perhaps this is googles way of getting out of that biz (And forcing opendns's hand)

enscr 1 day ago 2 replies      
Search "opendns vs google dns" https://www.google.com/webhp?q=opendns+vs+google+dns#q=opend...

One of the top links is titled "OpenDNS vs. Google Public DNS" and points to : http://www.opendns.com/about/global-dns-infrastructure

There's no mention of Google on that page. How do I trust a company that's tricking users with misleading titles?

nly 2 days ago 1 reply      
So I guess an analogy for this move would be like if Google announced Gmail was going ad-free for freeloaders because their Google Apps platform was now their sole money-spinner. Though, I imagine, vastly different cost structure and conversion rates.

I find it hard to be too cynical when OpenDNS were one of the few companies to give DNSCurve a whirl.

bluedino 2 days ago 1 reply      
We used OpenDNS until we sent out an email that linked to SurveyMonkey - the URL was wrong, it said surveymonkye.com

The problem was our QA never caught it, since OpenDNS 'fixed' the request during testing. 24,000 emails later, we were instantly alerted to the bad link.

joshfraser 2 days ago 0 replies      
Props to davidu for skating to where the puck is going and not where it's been.
wtallis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they're planning on implementing DNSSEC, given that this change is a prerequisite for full DNSSEC support. They would also have to be willing to use a less user-friendly method of blocking phishing domains (like return an unsigned NXDOMAIN that doesn't validate).
unreal37 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats davidu and opendns on making bold choices and thinking about users despite millions in revenue you could have made.
mahouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
The amount of users they have lost to Google and other DNS providers without ads and that follow the standards (i.e. NXDOMAIN, etc.) must be big.
blueskin_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very nice, I might give OpenDNs another try as my backup DNS server now. I hate NXDOMAIN hijacking with a passion.

>This experience is one of the only reasons people cite to not use OpenDNS.

Yep, because people care about their privacy. I'm surprised OpenDNS didn't notice this before. I will probably start recommending them again now; after all, almost anyone is better to trust with something like DNS than google.

fataliss 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've always hated ads. Because most of the time products use it without embracing it and integrating it fully.Anywhoo, I'm happy to see OpenDNS getting out of this revenue model, I hope it's gonna work so other might be inspired! Who knows.
bigbugbag 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those of you who prefer to use a different DNS server from of the one provided by your ISP, thanks to the work of Chris Hill you can make good use of this resolv.conf:


WARNING: Not to be used as is, be smart and only activate a handful of those DNS servers.

brokentone 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is only partially related, but ad quality is just so bad, that it's becoming nearly a moral issue (as essentially is here) making ads the business model.

I wonder if there isn't a business case for highly QA'd ads? Or is there too little visibility into that for the average consumer to appreciate the value?

melville_X 2 days ago 1 reply      
A good free alternative is Comodo (, I trust them slightly more than Google and they have security features such as malware detection.


kolev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I either use Google Public DNS or DNSCrypt with one of these here (https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy/blob/master/dnscr...). Some providers even support Namecoin and DNSSEC validation.
fiatjaf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, I remember not even knowing what was DNS, and having the bad luck of having a computer with OpenDNS set as its primary DNS, I don't know why.

I only know I thought it was a malware and the first thing I did when I learned it was a DNS server was to change it.

zobzu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped using opendns when they added ads.I might use it again then.
ing33k 2 days ago 1 reply      
just trying to figure out this, won't the people who bother changing their DNS also use an Ad-blocker ?
OpenSSL, OpenSSH and NTP to receive support from Core Infrastructure Initiative linuxfoundation.org
165 points by ryanweal  2 days ago   89 comments top 11
kyledrake 2 days ago 10 replies      
Just give the money to the OpenBSD team. We saw with OpenSSH that they have a proven track record taking crappy security software and fixing it. Why does everyone have this aversion to giving the OpenBSD team the funding they deserve?

And "Theo's a dick" doesn't qualify as a valid reason to not fund real security development. For the work those guys have done improving the security infrastructure of every operating system (they lead, others followed), the entire team deserves to be well-off dicks. It's to me the ultimate highlight of OSS's funding problem. People make millions/billions of dollars off of this software, and nobody ever contributes any of that back to the shoulders they stood on to make that happen.

allendoerfer 2 days ago 2 replies      
When the missing funding of OpenSSL was discussed, it came up several times, that OpenSSH, while doing great, is quite underfunded, too. I am glad to see them getting some money.

What i can't really comment on myself, but am reading from the OpenBSD guys is, that the OpenSSL team does quite well with FIPS consulting and has no increased interest in improving the library.[0]

Even if those claims are not true, it would be nice to see several other TLS libraries (GnuTLS, LibreSSL etc.) getting sponsored to get some healthy competition. Maybe, they could even directly compete for shares of the funding by the Linux Foundation in some way.

[0]: http://www.openbsd.org/papers/bsdcan14-libressl/mgp00008.htm...

mrweasel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm actually looking forward to seeing how the OpenSSL problem will deal with their own legacy code, compared to how the OpenBSD developers have handled it.

It seems that own of the only ways of dealing with the OpenSSL code is to strip out the code for a large number of, should we say "less used platforms". Is the OpenSSL developers willing to drop support for 16 bit Windows or OpenVMS?

adventureloop 2 days ago 3 replies      
I skimmed, but cannot seem to see which project is being supported when they say NTP.

When you support the OpenBSD Foundation you support:

- OpenBSD - OpenSSH - OpenBGPD - OpenNTPD - OpenSMTPD - LibreSSL

The wording makes me think that the initiative will be supporting something other than OpenNTPD

orik 2 days ago 2 replies      
If OpenSSL software foundation is a for profit operation, why are tech companies funding it(1) instead of LibreSSL?

1: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/tech-g....

dmix 2 days ago 1 reply      
How do code security audits actually work? Are various well-experienced people just combing through the code and trying to break it? Or is there a more formal process?
dfc 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great news. NTP is one of the least appreciated OSS projects. Harlan and the rest of the ntp dev team are very helpful and deserve a lot of respect for keeping the clocks on time. I can only hope that increased ntp funding/awareness/development means that BitKeeper (not a typo) is finally replaced by git/mercurial.
mjibson 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is possible the OpenSSH funding, since it is done through the OpenBSD Foundation, could, at the Foundation's discretion, go toward LibreSSL, since it's the same group.
davidgerard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just LibreSSL. Let OpenSSL die its deserved death. Portable LibreSSL will do wonders.
joealba 2 days ago 2 replies      
What about BIND for DNS?
tux 2 days ago 1 reply      
Having "Huawei" as one of the backers does not create confidance. Recent news shows that they had there hardware backdoored.


Laverna: Self-hosted Evernote alternative laverna.cc
160 points by yid  2 days ago   50 comments top 17
Inufu 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm not that excited by Lavema, but it lead me tagspaces (http://www.tagspaces.org/), which seems much more awesome.

It just saves to your local filesystem, so you can sync with drive or dropbox if you want, layer some encryption in between with fuse. There's a mobile client, but you'll have to keep the note directory synced manually with a 3rd-party app.

emsy 2 days ago 2 replies      
I tried it myself and liked it pretty well from its look and feel but there are some caveats:

-No cache manifest, so internet connection is mandatory

-It defaults to local storage for your notes, so the notes are basically saved in your browser

-Syncing works via Dropbox (not an option for me) or SyncStorage, which I never heard of before and which requires yet another server if you want everything self-hosted

-You have to download all the dependencies and build the app locally for what could be a simple tarball-As far as I can see there is no API to build upon if you want automated notes or a custom app (though you may be able to do this via SyncStorage)

Another important fact is that it's not nearly as feature rich as Evernote, so the headline is actually misleading.

I'll stick with my current BTSync/Markdown files workflow and check back in a few months.

kcovia 2 days ago 1 reply      
Evernote's slow push toward the social ecosystem has been worrying me. It's fundamentally a mind-dump / journal to me, and I have absolutely zero desire to share notes straight from the program itself. The fact that I could send out personal journal entries to Facebook worries me, even though it's not likely...I just don't like the functionality being there to begin with.

I'll definitely be looking into this.

unhammer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Me and my gf went through a range of note-taking apps to find one that she could use for organising her business TODO's and notes. She did try Evernote, but the feeling was always "what do I do with all this". She ended up using the much more barebones http://zim-wiki.org/

It's quite simple to use if all you want is to make hierarchical TODO lists that you can check off, but also lets you link between pages, do some minor formatting etc.

Also, points for storing files as plain text and having very friendly git integration (just click FileSave a version, you never see any scary merge stuff since what you can do from the UI is so restricted).

dscrd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Somebody oughta make an OrgMode (or a reasonable simplification of it) for the cloud.
mynegation 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll give it a try. I wish there would be more open-source applications supporting encryption that I could put on my own web server, preferably with well-defined APIs so that mobile app developers could create apps on top of them. I would love to have my own RSS reader, my own pinboard.in, my own Dropbox. Owncloud and Synology apps (not open-source but close in spirit) are the examples of things I am looking for.
amckinlay 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is especially relevant now that Springpad is shutting down (https://springpad.com/blog/2014/05/springpad-says-goodbye/).
benrapscallion 2 days ago 1 reply      
Evernote's biggest distinguishing feature is OCR, which seems to be missing here.
jimktrains2 2 days ago 1 reply      
"None of us can get access to your personal data because we are using IndexedDB and localStorage. In fact all your information will be stored only on client side."

Does this mean it's useless for multiple devices or sharing between people? I find these to be the most useful features of evernote. I make notes on my phone to look at later on my computer or share shopping lists with my wife.

nppc 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks more like Notational Velocity and definitely not anything like Evernote
lsiebert 1 day ago 1 reply      
I currently use SpringPad (which can tell when I clip an amazon page I wanted the book, not the amazon page)... which is going away. I'd love to be able to transition to something other than Evernote.
nobotty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why do these things never have syntax highlighting? It's like nobody cares about collaboration among hackers
Cub3 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using tiddlywiki (http://tiddlywiki.com/) for years, same concept except stores in a single file and as a plus uses the "Stanford JavaScript Crypto Library" for password protection, I sync this between machines (incl. mobile there are a few clients) with btsync
binaryanomaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like it. Still a bit unpolished but I'm already since longtime looking for a FOSS Evernote alternative. This one has potential.
atmosx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hm, the markdown support & the self-hosted option convinced me :-)

great job guys!

mcmillhj 2 days ago 1 reply      
I realize this is a beta release, but a grammar check should probably have been done on the homepage. This could be a strong deterrent for some people.
darka 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can this be used on Android phones in any way?
After Google bought Nest, it removed companys biggest competitors from results pando.com
155 points by webhat  2 days ago   107 comments top 18
Matt_Cutts 2 days ago 14 replies      
It's a shame that Pando's inquiry didn't make it to me, because the suggestion that Google took action on vivint.com because it was somehow related to Nest is silly. As part of a crackdown on a spammy blog posting network, we took action on vivint.com--along with hundreds of other sites at the same time that were attempting to spam search results.

We took action on vivint.com because it was spamming with low-quality or spam articles like

- https://web.archive.org/web/20130919184930/http://anadesign.... for "Alburquerque NM home security system"

- http://www.womenspk.com/5-ideas-for-keeping-your-elderly-rel...

- http://www.frugalful.com/2013/12/five-surprising-ways-to-sav...

- http://doyoulovewhereyoulive.com/archives/top-10-benefits-of...

- http://arch.itect.us/2013/01/17/top-10-benefits-of-automatin...

and a bunch more links, not to mention 25,000+ links from a site with a paid relationship where the links should have been nofollowed.

When we took webspam action, we alerted Vivint via a notice in Webmaster Tools about unnatural links to their site. And when Vivint had done sufficient work to clean up the spammy links, we granted their reconsideration request. This had nothing whatsoever to do with Nest. The webspam team caught Vivint spamming. We held them (along with many other sites using the same spammy guest post network) accountable until they cleaned the spam up. That's all.

absherwin 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is misleading. The article cites a single company that inadvertently violated Google's rules by failing to mark paid links. This seems to be part of the ongoing saga of companies making errors, sometimes honest, and being penalized.

Is the company even a major player in the smart thermostat space? It's not even listed in this market analysis from last fall: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/14/honeywell-leads-smart-th....

It looks more like a competitor in the home automation systems space that sells smart thermostats mainly as part of a more comprehensive system.

Given the absence of action against any of their more major competitors, this seems like a coincidence.

jamesjyu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Highly doubt that this was anything but a coincidence. Even if you don't think it was, the Nest deal most likely took more than 2 weeks to close, and it'd be crazy for Google to take such deliberate and egregious actions before then.
sivetic 2 days ago 1 reply      
No real comment on the issue at hand, but I've been targeted by Vivint's door to door sales team on one occasion. It was a very pushy salesman that started to ask security related questions despite my insitence for him to leave. Once I managed to gen rid of him I found a dozen plus other similar accounts of pushy and deceitful selling practices in my area. Serves them well I would say.
danso 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's another thing that Google's alleged dirty-tricks obscured: Vivint's Wikipedia entry including its fairly lengthy "Legal Issues" section:


According to that section, Vivint has made settlement/voluntary compliance agreements with, or been penalized by the states of Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Washington, Louisiana, South Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee, California, and Oregon upon accusations of fraud and deceptive practices.

Holy shit...Google has even more power than we had yet imagined! Talk about Pando burying the lede here.

Edit: Holy, holy shit: it appears that even Wikipedia itself is on the scam. At the very top of Vivint's Wikipedia entry, some Wikipedian/Nest-boardmember has placed a banner warning stating:

> This article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links. (March 2014)

So a company that Google has wiped out from the search results also, within a few months later, has its Wikipedia entry vandalized by the Wikipedia Cabal to make it look like an advertisement for Vivint, as if Vivint or someone friendly to the company would ever break the rules on Wikipedia. Surely this is a conspiracy to end all conspiracies.

swinnipeg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Vivint is more of an ADT competitor. They are a security/automation company with monthly fee model.

It is clear they have spent alot of money buying links from their profile, but so has ADT.

A more fitting question would be why ADT hasn't also been penalized.

anigbrowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a potentially nasty lawsuit waiting to happen there if Vivint has solid tracking/referral records, since the standard in civil trials is only 'preponderance of the evidence.'
DiabloD3 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sorry, but I wasn't aware Nest HAD competitors. Not only that, Vivint was violating the rules and got punished accordingly for it.

And, as they say, theres no greater place to hide a dead body than on the second page of Googles search results. is a massively inflammatory statement.

jchimney 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hate government intervention in these matters, I really do. But in the case of Google I feel that their search results should be walled off from any other business interests. They have so much influence over the discovered internet that maybe its time to separate search from their other business interests.

Page and Brin were geniuses in realizing early that search was the golden ring to reach for. They deserve their billions for bringing this amazing service to us; but now with shareholders muddying the waters I don't think this should be leveraged for other business efforts.

robryan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Say what you want about how Google handles penalties but I think it is silly to suggest that Google has acted any differently in this case than to the vast majority of sites out there who receive penalties, but don't have friends in high places to expedite the process of having the penalty lifted.
nepalidude 1 day ago 0 replies      
This actually makes sense. Does it matter when they started dissecting links? What matters is when they de indexed. Why rapgenius was given break so early? Does Google think people will not know just because they don't have billion dollar in their pocket? lol.Here is my version of story:Board decided to purchase nest and naturally they looked at competitors. They send the message down to webspam team and asked them to check their linking profile and if anything is against the guidelines, take their ass down.

You know there are laws but prosecutors decide whether to file charges or not or a police decide whether to pull over or not if the car is driving 8-9mph more than the speed limit. Be polite to them, you can get away or get less penalty. Show aggression to them, you will get charged for much more things than you were initially approached for. Sometimes you dont even know what that means. Once I got a traffic citation after making a wrong U-turn and since I was "showing attitude", I got citation for having foreign materials on my liscense plate?? LOL

Of course attitude= money in this context

hellbreakslose 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm sorry to say so but Vivint does have several court orders for missleading information.

I also don't see how vivint makes the same products as nest or even making em a competitor... Nest is something that is coming from the future and I can assure you that vivint is not even close in that.

Also I don't get how Google is supposed to contact every website that puts on a banlist for innapropriate or missleading content...

hallzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
"one of the"
outside1234 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is what happens when we let one company get too much power on the web.
apricot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Remember when the standard Google excuse was "it's not our fault, it's the algorithm"?

Now it's "what are you gonna do about it?"

flyinglizard 2 days ago 2 replies      
And this, children, is how you get an antitrust probe started.
bhouston 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think that these manual actions are likely never to happen to Google properties, but they can easily happen to everyone else. They are opaque and have severe consequences on those that are affected.

How are websites selected for manual actions? Does someone get handed a list of sites to check out? Are they selected algorithmically? How are manual actions decided upon (when it is up to humans, it can be very inconsistently applied)? How are the results communicated to those affected (I hear that it is communicated in very vague and unhelpful ways via Webmaster tools)?

If one isn't friends with Matt Cutts or have deep SV connections (i.e. if I am not RapGenius), how does one get a manual action removed quickly? Apparently it is really really hard if you are not RapGenius.

Seriously, these manual actions are scary as hell for those relying on Google to send them traffic. If MF can be seriously harmed by a manual action, no one is safe.

nivla 2 days ago 3 replies      
If there is any truth to this article, then things are going to get really bad for Google. This with other recent complaints may prove that Google may be stepping beyond the gray areas of a monopoly. A good lobbying may delay the process but it is inevitable.

OT: I don't usually complain about votes but the amount of downvotes in this thread is appalling. Anything critical of Google has been downvoted. Ironically, if asked, most people here would be against censorship of any kind, however for many that is valid as long as the opinion stays within their perception. Under the same argument, I can "predict" that this post like other similar ones before is going to flagged off the frontpage. Its starting to get repetitive enough to be no longer ignored. Not sure how the situation can be improved because in reality its very hard to built a community with diverse opinions.

Pollen: the book is a program mbutterick.github.io
151 points by Tomte  1 day ago   52 comments top 18
capnrefsmmat 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been looking at this recently. It looks like an extension of what made TeX so successful: your typesetter is programmable -- and macros can live in your documents, defined at any time -- so any common tedious task can be automated.

Sure, Markdown and the rest have a simple syntax for everything, but what if you're writing a book and want cross-references? Or you commonly use side-by-side examples (good grammar vs. bad grammar, say) and want a macro that generates the appropriate table layout. Or you want some macros which typeset entries in your CV. And instead of crufty TeX macros you can use Racket.

If I weren't already writing a book in LaTeX I'd try writing one in Pollen.

Blahah 1 day ago 2 replies      
Beautiful, and I'll use it for my first book.

But I have to call out the claim:

> I think Pollen just won the Hello World Tournament.

That tournament was won permanently by the M4 language in 1977. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hello_world_program_exa...

mbutterick 1 day ago 3 replies      
Hi, this is Matthew Butterick. If you have specific questions about Pollen's capabilities (e.g., "how hard would it be to ...") I encourage you to post them to the GitHub repo at http://github.com/mbutterick/pollen. I'd love to make it more useful for other authors, especially those in technical fields, so I welcome all suggestions.

TeX has been mentioned several times I don't mind that comparison at all, since my thinly-veiled ambition is to create a contemporary successor to TeX. Contemporary = optimized for web publishing + better "macro" language (Racket) + shallower learning curve.

That said, TeX got a lot of things right. Especially the basic notion that a book (or other publication) should be represented as a program, and that authors should be able to freely intermix text and code. With digital books, I think it's essential.

(PS on Racket: HN was built with Arc, which was also built with Racket.)

habosa 1 day ago 2 replies      
"The character is called a lozenge. In Pollen, the lozenge is a special character that marks anything Pollen should interpret as a command (rather than plain text).

How to type a lozenge: Mac: option + shift + V Windows: holding down alt, type 9674 on the num pad Ubuntu: ctrl + shift + U, then 25CA"

That's an unfortunate choice, imo. Pollen looks great but I wouldn't want to have to type that character all the time.

Sorry to nitpick, I think everything else I've seen (so far) is very encouraging. Looks like something halfway between Markdown and LaTeX.

Vaskivo 1 day ago 0 replies      

I love Buttericks Practical Typography. It taught me a lot about typography, and started my love for typefaces.

The fact that Matthew Butterick is, a lawyer, a typographer and a programmer just increase my respect for him.

Thank you for your work!

ivan_ah 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks very interesting. Books really are code: I now have 10+ conditional flags in my book: ifPG13, ifPRINT, ifEBOOK, ifEREADER, etc. I'm looking to add more, but the basic \ifthenelse macro in LaTeX won't be enough...

How hard would it be to implement things like \ref and \pageref and support more of the LaTeX environments supported by MathJax?

I think a triple output format HTML + ePub + LaTeX|PDF|print would be awesome --- I'd switch right away!

Thanks for releasing this as LGPL.

a-nikolaev 1 day ago 3 replies      
Interesting software. Actually, I wish there was a way to use some other character (or string) instead of the lozenge character () for commands.

I mean, I see the reason for using a weird symbol, but I'm not even sure how to enter it from the keyboard other than by copy-pasting it. Is it some sort of standard symbol in DrRacket environment?

Maybe, a directive for changing this symbol can be added: #commands_start_with my-char

arnarbi 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks great! I like the documentation itself even more, is that generated with pollen as well?

Edit: I answered my own question, the documentation is generated using Scribble: http://docs.racket-lang.org/scribble/

spot 1 day ago 0 replies      

also used scheme for writing books, provided for embedding code execution, tex for math, targeting html and paper, etc. i made it in 1996 to write my phd dissertation, based on markup by jar@mit.

dangoor 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks cool and I'll take some time to read the docs in depth.

I wonder when Atwood's Law will kick in and we'll see more ambitious JavaScript-based tools like this (maybe with sweet.js macros to provide higher level constructs). JS already turns a document format into a program, but plain HTML+JS is not the best authoring format.

dfc 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been looking forward to trying this out ever since I heard about pollen in one of MB's talks on typography. Unfortunately it requires racket 6.0 and Debian only has 5.3.6 in unstable and nothing in experimental.

According to the "package 6.0" bugreport it looks like things are not going to change very soon:

  As far as I understand, the build system and general organization of  racket has been changed quite a lot for 6.0. I'm not sure how soon I'll  find time and motivation to work on this, especially since I'm committed  to using 5.3.6 at $WORK through the end of April.
I cant remember the last time I saw a self extracting shell archive installation and/or a shar without a gpg signature.

grayclhn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just saw this too: https://github.com/mbutterick/hyphenate "Racket implementation of the KnuthLiang hyphenation algorithm."
jestinjoy1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can I export it to PDF like in TeX?
thrush 1 day ago 0 replies      
[How] Can we add keyboard navigation?
jostylr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am a bit flummoxed about the lozenge character being used to signify markup. Is it convenient to input by keyboard? Seems like that would be necessary.
mjf2 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does it have mathematical typesetting like Tex?
ctdavies 1 day ago 0 replies      
toolslive 1 day ago 0 replies      
The story behind football's innovative yellow first down line cnn.com
150 points by nickgrosvenor  1 day ago   86 comments top 24
habosa 1 day ago 1 reply      
In the Eagles vs. Lions game earlier this year there was about 6" of snow on the field and tons more coming down. The field barely showed any hints of being green underneath. The photographers couldn't even use autofocus because of the size and frequency of the snowflakes.

Due to the yellow line technology, or some other augmentation they were doing live on the feed, all of the players would appear translucent for brief periods. It was really weird, but it made me stop and think about how many impressive live-processing algorithms get their hands on the video before it gets to me. It was the first time I appreciated how tough it is to do the "yellow line". This article is a very interesting insight to how it came about.

chaz 1 day ago 3 replies      
> Hill liked the concept, of course, but Fox thought that the price, $25,000 per game, was too steep. [...] Our last stop was ESPN and the reception was decidedly different.

So interesting to see that FOX balked at the seemingly low $25k but ESPN didn't flinch and insisted on exclusivity for games they didn't even have rights to. Telling of how the networks viewed themselves and each other, but also how important it is to find the customers that are the true believers.

digikata 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a cousin who worked with Sportvision at the time. I recall he had mentioned that early on, the support team for the line was comprised of classic nerd engineers who couldn't care less about football. And ironically, they had somebody's dream job of being sent to every single football game being covered by the line tech.
brucehart 1 day ago 0 replies      
When this first debuted, my grandfather (born in 1917) thought that they had a piece of nylon material that was connected between the first down markers on the sidelines. That's when you know a technology is good. It's so seamless that it never occurs to a layman that it might even be possible.
BioGeek 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The latest sport where Sportvision used this technology is sailing, called LiveLine there. During the last America's Cup [1] they used it to show the starting, finish and boundary lines, distance between the boats,...

[1] http://youtu.be/r0LH5cCuc_4

jabelk 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have dabbled in a little bit of video production, and on the (rare) occasion that I catch a few minutes of televised football, that yellow line always blows me away. Mentioning how difficult it must be to whoever is actually watching the game results in weird stares as if it's the most natural thing in the world, but I'm glad to read that I'm not going crazy. And I had no idea how extensive the setup actually was.
RogerL 1 day ago 2 replies      
I work here, if you have any questions...
alistairSH 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The yellow line really is amazing from a "user interface" perspective. It's so natural that I had forgotten there was a time when it didn't exist. And, as mentioned elsewhere in the comments, it seems everybody has an old uncle that swears it's just nylon between the down markers (or paint, or something else that isn't "magic").
beloch 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"Gepner, a TV production expert, engineering guru Stan Honey and I (the business person) -- had been inspired by Stan's invention of the glowing hockey puck technology the previous year for Fox, technology which we licensed upon leaving the company in exchange for an equity interest for News Corp."

This article opens in May of 1998, just one month before the final use of the glowing puck in June of 1998. By this point everybody in that meeting must have known how hockey fans had reacted to the glowing puck. The interesting thing is that they bravely forged ahead anyways!

Execution may have been the key difference in fan acceptance. Fox made the puck into a giant glowing and color-shifting comet that practically screamed, "PEW PEW PEW!!!". These guys made a simple line that was meant to look, as much as the technology would allow, like a simple chalk line on the turf that some poor slob had to create (while erasing another) after every down. Would we still have puck-following tech in the NHL if Fox had been run by people with even the tiniest amount of taste or restraint?

AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have always thought that it was a complex computer vision problem that made this work, very interesting that it was more than just software and makes sense.

I am tempted to think that this was the first widely adopted (and accepted) instance of augmented reality. Very cool in that context!

ksenzee 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love this. I've spent a lot of time between plays imagining just what kind of engineering is behind that magic first down line. Of course, I should have known it came down to this: "Our engineering team... worked around the clock through the summer..." Sometimes I wonder if there is any such thing as a correctly scoped project that can be completed during daylight hours on weekdays.
alelefant 1 day ago 3 replies      
His mention of the glowing hockey puck made me realize that I haven't seen a glowing puck for awhile. Granted, it may be that I haven't watched hockey as much as I did when I was a kid, but I certainly didn't see it last year when I watched some games.

When I did see the glowing puck it made me feel like I was watching NBA Jam on Ice.

nikcub 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting from a startup perspective is that they raised a lot of money first and then tried to figure out if they could implement the idea. This definitely is an idea where if it isn't being developed in a lab at a large corp or by government grant you would need to raise money for.
EEGuy 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Preceding his accomplishments at Sportvision, Stan Honey created, in 1985, an automobile navigation system showing your car's position on a moving map.

This was before Google Maps, before GPS, and before digital maps of cities. You couldn't just go out and buy them in 1983; Stan's company, Etak, had to create them itself [1].

Per [2], here's a description of the the hardware platform:

  The original Etak Navigator was a specially-packaged Intel 8088-based  system with 256K RAM, 32K EPROM, 2K SRAM, and a cassette tape drive  on which digital maps and some of the operating system were stored.
The 8088 has a 16-bit address bus, thus can directly address only 64 K. Must have been some bank switching to get to the full 256 K RAM. This for all the code and geodata.

edits for formatting


[1] Source: Personal conversation

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

jccooper 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I was hoping they'd get into the later patent struggle and competitive technology. (But I guess it's really a piece about a single interview someone manager to score.)

Another company in the field (PVI) at about the same time used vision-based technology to similar effect. They got into a mutual patent infringement battle and ended up settling by cross-license.

I'm still trying to figure out why NBC (maddeningly) doesn't show the line of scrimmage. At one point I saw some vague report that NBC uses the third company in this space (SportsMEDIA) and that company has a license to the patent for the first down line but not the patent for the line of scrimmage. Which sounds silly and plausible at the same time. However, they advertise line of scrimmage as available:http://www.smt.com/products/smart/line-visual-insert-publish...

It is probably a policy decision based on a 2008 in-game controversy where the line of scrimmage was a yard off and one of the broadcasters (Madden) was using it as a basis for evaluating the call, and didn't know that the officials can't see the line.

In either case, they need to deal with it and get the line of scrimmage back in. It's a very annoying omission.

morgante 1 day ago 3 replies      
Impressive technology, but perhaps someone with more football knowledge could explain why they don't just paint lines on the field?
taftster 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's a decent youtube video that basically shows the tech in action. http://youtu.be/Vh9af_gXxlM
Gracana 1 day ago 0 replies      
The few times I've watched football, I've been fascinated by this technology. I imagine football fans take it for granted at this point, but I just want to say "wow, are you SEEING this!?" For a live broadcast to be augmented in that way is damn impressive.
catshirt 22 hours ago 0 replies      
i'm not a huge football fan but i've always really loved the new technology they bring to the show. the yellow line has always impressed me, and the fly-by cameras they introduced are really cool too.

i think i've seen something similar, but it would be cool to have full on video-game style indications. player markers, etc.

tn13 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That is not football. It is Egg Shaped Handball.
shekhar101 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. I only had read about it but this one gives a first hand perspective. Hats off to the team! Can someone point to the algorithm/exact technology used in this? Would love to read more about the technology.
seanhandley 22 hours ago 1 reply      
American Football.
logn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't see how exclusivity into the playoffs was a mistake. ESPN believed in the technology and they wanted to punish their competitors. I think the creators of the yellow line should be proud to reward ESPN for their foresight and take part in enjoying the Emmy together as opposed to sharing the limelight with another TV network who never believed in the company. Financially, I would think you're in better bargaining position too: well, this year the line is $30K/game since it's proven to work and you don't need to do R&D work like ESPN did with us.
AznHisoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always thought it a neon lights in the actual football field.
Who or What Broke My Kids? powersfulmath.wordpress.com
148 points by ColinWright  14 hours ago   169 comments top 38
tokenadult 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've lost count of the number of times that Colin has posted an interesting article on mathematics education on Hacker News over a weekend. This submission here is particularly good. The problem indicated is quite stark, and very commonplace. Most pupils in a mathematics lesson in elementary school swiftly learn that "getting the right answer" is the point, and some check out and soon begin to doubt their own ability to REASON to the right answer.

The author of the submitted article writes, about a seventh grade class, "The basic premise of the activity is that students must sort cards including probability statements, terms such as unlikely and probable, pictorial representations, and fraction, decimal, and percent probabilities and place them on a number line based on their theoretical probability." As the author makes clear, the particular lesson arises from the new Common Core State Standards in mathematics,[1] which are only recently being implemented in most (not all) states of the United States, following a period of more than a decade of "reform math" curricula that ended up not working very well. I am favorably impressed that the lesson asked students to put their numerical estimates of probability on a number line--the real number line is a fundamental model of the real number system and its ordering that historically has been much too unfamiliar for American pupils.

The author continues by elaborating on his main point: "When did we brainwash kids into thinking that math was about getting an answer? My students truly believe for some reason that math is about combining whatever numbers you can in whatever method that seems about right to get one 'answer' and then call it a day." I like the author's discussion of that issue, but I think she misses one contributing causal factor--TEACHER education in the United States in elementary mathematics is so poor[2] that most teacher editions of mathematics textbooks at all levels differ from the student editions mostly just in having the answers included[3] and don't do anything to develop teacher readiness to respond to a different approach in a student's reasoning.

What I LOVE about the Singapore Primary Mathematics series,[4] which I have used for homeschooling all four of my children, is that the textbooks encourage children to come up with alternative ways to solve problems and to be able to explain their reasoning to other children. The teacher support materials for those textbooks are much richer in alternative representations of problems and discussions of possible student misconceptions than typical United States mathematical instruction materials before the Common Core. Similarly, the Miquon Math materials[5], which I have always used to start out my children in their mathematics instruction before starting the Singapore materials, take care to encourage children to play around with different approaches to a problem and to THINK why an answer might or might not be correct. (Those materials, both of them, are very powerful for introducing the number line model of the real number system to young learners, as well as introducing rationales as well as rote procedures for common computational algorithms. I highly recommend them to all my parent friends.)

I try to counteract the "what's the correct answer" habit in my own local mathematics classes (self-selected courses in prealgebra mathematics for elementary-age learners, using the Art of Problem Solving prealgebra textbook[6]). I happily encourage class discussion along the lines of "Here is a problem. [point to problem written on whiteboard] Does anyone have a solution? Can you show us on the whiteboard how you would solve this?" Sometimes I have two or three volunteer pupils working different solutions--which sometimes come out to different answers [smile]--at the same time. We DISCUSS what steps make mathematical sense according to the field properties of the real numbers and other rules we learn as axioms or theorems in the course, and we discuss ways to reality-check our answers for plausibility. We don't do any arithmetic with calculators in my math classes.

[1] http://www.corestandards.org/Math/

[2] http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/fall1999/amed1.pdf



[3] When I last lived overseas, I had access to the textbook storage room of an expatriate school that used English-language textbooks from the United States, and I could borrow for long-term use surplus teacher editions of United States mathematics textbooks. They were mostly terrible, including no thoughtful discussion at all of possible student misconceptions about the lesson topics or of alternative lesson approaches--but they were all careful to show the teachers all the answers for the day's lesson in the margins next to the exercise questions.

[4] http://www.singaporemath.com/category_s/252.htm

[5] http://miquonmath.com/

[6] http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Store/viewitem.php?item=p...

overgard 13 hours ago 6 replies      
Nobody broke the kids, they were doing exactly what they were taught to do.

I'm not a fan of the education system in the least bit, but something about this rubbed me the wrong way. She's probably exaggerating when she said she had a "meltdown", but all the same, what are you supposed to think as a kid when your teacher has a tantrum in front of you because you're doing what you were trained to do? To the kids she's just part of the institution, and in this particular case the institution is sending them very conflicted messages. "Think for yourself! As long as you're thinking what you're supposed to be thinking."

In any case, I think the real problem with the education system is it's constantly trying to bullshit kids into "learning" things they really don't need to learn. (And they don't really learn it. Quick sanity test: what do you remember about high school trigonometry? But you "learned" it right? Or did you, really?)

Most kids aren't stupid. They're naive, but they're not stupid. They can tell when their time is being wasted. They're out to give the right answer and not think about it because when you're literally trapped in a system like that, the most logical thing to do is minimize effort and not make waves until you can make your way out. So that's what kids do, and then pompous teachers are surprised that kids aren't "passionate" about these things. Well no kidding they're not! Why should they be?

jameshart 12 hours ago 4 replies      
My son's elementary school homework this week included, after a series of arithmetic exercises involving adding pairs of even numbers, this sequence of questions:

What happens when you add together two even numbers?Is that true for all even numbers?Why?

Part of me was overjoyed to see an actual mathematical question being posed, but... what exactly was my second grader son expected to write under the 'why' part of the worksheet? There was a couple of inches of blank space left for him to fill in his answer. Is the teacher going to read his answer there and mark is right or wrong and hand back the homework? I don't know if I have much hope that this will be used by the teacher to gauge each child's understanding in order to facilitate further classroom discussion. Have the kids been taught a particular explanation in class which the homework is expecting them to reproduce? What is the teacher's goal in sending home this question as an exercise?

The fact that two even numbers always add up to an even number, as do two odd numbers, is an interesting insight into the shape and flavor of numbers. It gives you a practical tool - you can use this knowledge to parity check mental calculations and intuitively reject wrong answers - as well as an insight into the idea that esoteric mathematical properties numbers have can have interesting consequences when they interact, which is kind of the essence of a lot of mathematical thinking.

Is that always true?Why?

are probably the most important questions in mathematics. But... I have no idea how you teach that, except by having a one one one conversation with each student about it. I don't think you can get much value out of asking them on a single page worksheet and sending it home as homework, though.

bittermang 3 hours ago 0 replies      
School did.

When I was a very young boy, 2 or 3, my parents did everything in their power to ensure I could read. They would read books to me, I would read books to them. It is the very reason I am so well spoken and intelligent to this very day. Books were awesome. I loved books.

Note the past tense. Loved. I have not been able to will myself to read a book on my own since the third grade. It was Lois Lowry's The Giver, that is the last book I can confirm to you that I read, in whole, because I wanted to.

It was in the second grade that I had to do my first book report, and the entire concept of reading a book not for joy, but for work's sake, was a concept I could never rationalize. Even while I was reading The Giver, a book I had selected out of the elementary school's own library through my own volition, I received snide and discouraging comments from the library staff and teachers. "He shouldn't be reading that book." "That book is too advanced for his age." And on, and on.

Something changed. I lost my will and my zest for books. Even books I would've very much liked to have finished and I found interesting, such as Mick Foley's Have a Nice Day!, his autobiography about breaking in to the wrestling business, I have not been able to finish. I have no will left inside of me to crack open a book, to even lift one off of the shelf. I feel like my love for books was steadily beaten out of me at a young age by the very institution whose job it was to educate me with them.

At least this author seems to be on the right track. In all of my years of watching society ask "What is wrong with the kids today?" so few have bothered actually trying to ask the kids themselves.

falcolas 14 hours ago 15 replies      
I'm 36, and math in my youth was always about getting the right answer, and proving how I got that answer, even up through college calculus and discrete mathematics. Heck, that's one of the things I really enjoyed about math, when compared to, say, English.

So, if math isn't about getting the right answer, it's been broken a long time.

Even today, math as I've explored it (which admittedly hasn't been much) has right and wrong answers. Sure, there's a bit of fuzz in the answers now, but a probabilistic model which can't determine ham from spam some majority of the time isn't kinda right, or even on the spectrum of right. It's just wrong, and needs to be fixed.

wirrbel 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I firmly believe there should be two math subjects taught at school. One being "Calculating" where students do the boring calculations and all the stuff, calculus, algebra, etc. and another one where the interesting and challening part of math is taught in an accessible and fun way.

There are a lot of topics in math and related to math that could be explored in that second, new subject, probabilities, paradoxa, symmetries, basic set theory, even concepts of linear algebra/groups, etc. that are normally taught in university can be broken down to really great middle-school or high-school lessons. The only problem with that in normal math classes is, that the angry parent will quickly complain when that is talked about in a normal math class because they think that their kids should be bored to death by calculations that their smartphone does better already.

I was recently talking to a retired high school teacher who had taught language classes (he was really not a maths guy). We started talking about password security and piece by piece we discussed how easy those passwords could be guessed and in the end he had a good understanding of the concept of probability/information/entropy. This really made me think, if a really non-maths person can enjoy and understand a topic that a lot of students who have gotten STEM degrees directly refuse (something like "I do not understand what entropy is, that is something about the my room being in order or not but I have given up .....")

To repeat myself: There are great concepts and modern curricula available, sometimes for decades. However mathematicians, math teachers and parents are just not supportive in chaning anything substantially.

netcan 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Math gets a lot of attention and therefore a lot of criticism from people who think math education is substandard and from people who think it is overemphasised to the detriment of creative thinking and such.

I think that overall, our math education is surprisingly good, possibly better than any other subject. Especially if you consider the level of proficiency a high school graduate at below average achievement has. Reading, writing and arithmetic. Those are still the things our education system is best at.

I don't mean that the average person will use trigonometry confidently, but they will use basic algebra. That in itself is an achievement. The same cannot be said of foreign language education, most science classes or anything else that requires cumulative learning. Most people that learn a foreign language (apart from english) for years in school do not come out with even a basic ability to communicate in it.

I think part of the reason is the very long tradition of teaching the subject. But I think another reason we're good at teaching math is the sort of fundamental property of the subject. It's unforgivingly right or wrong, which helps cut through the cynicism of a youth that doesn't want to be in that class. The problem with the "holistic" (scare quote intended) approach to subjects is that it opens the door to nonsense of the bikesheding type. It's hard to distinguish nonsensical but enthusiastic from genuinely thoughtful.

The hard right-wrong distinction in maths gives kids a feedback loop of positive and negative reenforcement. At the end of the year it's glaringly obvious if the student now has ability that he/she didn't before.

I don't disagree that the ability to reason is important. But, I don't think teaching "hard" maths is debilitating to developing that ability.

I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this. Maths gets a bad rap. Teaching kids "real world reasoning" within the fake world of school is hard. No one broke the kids. They are just reacting to you changing the rules.

euank 10 hours ago 0 replies      
He is talking about the same problem that is discussed in Lockhart's Lament [0]. If you've never read this piece of writing, I encourage you to do so now as it presents our math education system in a wonderful and critical light. I can't speak as elegantly as Lockhart, so I won't damage the piece by summarizing it or discussing it in the post; rather, I'll leave you to read it and draw your own opinions.

[0]: http://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.p...

monochr 13 hours ago 0 replies      
After reading most of the replies in this thread everyone who thinks that maths is about answers needs to read A Mathematicians Apology: http://www.math.ualberta.ca/mss/misc/A%20Mathematician%27s%2...

Mathematics has nothing to do with answers. It has everything to do with the most sublime and subjective beauty there is. The fact that this purely aesthetic system has says anything about reality should be more shocking than if we lived in a world where playing Beethoven's 5th symphony made it rain food from the sky:


jowiar 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If I were a teacher/professor, the words "Will it be on the test" would be criterion for an an F, or a detention, or something along those lines. But somehow we've codified that mentality into law? Jesus.

We've broken school by making it all about getting a piece of paper with a number on it, rather than by being about being able to do things better each day. Learning is about answering "Can you do more, or do things better today than you did yesterday?" Repeat this process and eventually you're good at things.

delluminatus 14 hours ago 1 reply      
When did we brainwash kids into thinking that math was about getting an answer?

That's what school is about. It's not math in particular. Doing well in the US mandatory education system is the art of finding the right answer.

calinet6 12 hours ago 0 replies      
3 + 4 = _____

There's your answer.

When kids are measured by "correct answers" and pressured to find them, then that is all they will care about. They aren't, then, doing math they're generating correct answers.

When you add multiple choice computer-readable tests into the fold, the problem compounds on itself.

That is what broke our kids.

goodcanadian 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I must have been taught critical thinking by my parents as even as a child, I could see that the education system was mostly about regurgitating not even the "correct" answer, but the answer expected by the teacher. If you want to see who "broke the children," you need not look much further than that. I am glad that teachers occasionally realize that there is value to being able to reason about a problem rather than just returning the answer by rote. It is rare that grade school teachers even notice there is a problem.
drdaeman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> If You Can Type the Problem into Wolfram Alpha and Get an Answer You Arent Doing Math

If something can be computed with WA, it's somehow a waste of human time to do by hand. I could only hope, eventually, someday, we'll teach those aspects of math somehow combined with algoritmization and programming. Like, "Read on algorithms that could solve this class of problems, understand those (how they work and why), implement them, run the problem sets to see how it works in practice."

abecedarius 12 hours ago 0 replies      

"Benezet showed that kids who received just one year of arithmetic, in sixth grade, performed at least as well on standard calculations and much better on story problems than kids who had received several years of arithmetic training."

I've wondered if it was a big waste of time to teach arithmetic in elementary school, if kids that age mostly just aren't ready and they'd catch up fine if you waited. This experiment seems to say that it's worse: it inculcates cargo-culting operations until you get the 'right answer'.

(I haven't read the original paper; the reference came from http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/05/23/ssc-gives-a-graduation-...)

edwhitesell 13 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO, this is one teacher who gets it. There is a lot of math that is entirely about answers that are right or wrong. Most of the time that includes how you arrived there. Given the references to MAP and Common Core in the blog, I'm sure there's a lot of that in the classrom.

However, there is so much of the K-12 education that arguably should be about exposure. Discussion about probabilities of pictures and phrases on a number line is a great example. Have kids make their case among peers regarding why 'It will rain tomorrow' is .9 in one group, but .75 in another.

For most, you don't get to pick your desired area of study/career until College. So why not use K-12 to expose kids to all sorts of different things without standardized tests as the only goal?

Kenji 14 hours ago 1 reply      
If I have to solve exercises and after that, I have no way to know whether or not I did the right thing, I don't learn anything at all. The point of exercises is to learn something new and uncover your misunderstanding of the subject. Your wrong solution clearly points to the things you have to work on. No solutions = no learning.Mathematics is about getting answers. It's a formal way to declare problems and seek for answers. Right answers. I'm glad I wasn't taught maths by this person.
oe 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd say it's the parents. Listening to parents of elementary school kids they seem to get confused or angry if there isn't one single right answer to an assignment. For example drawing shapes one line at a time and listing the lines as "commands" to a computer. There might be multiple ways to form a shape.

No use trying to argue that it might be valuable to understand how to think with algorithms, even though it might produce several different answers.

stretchwithme 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think learning comes naturally to all of us when we are trying to find an answer or solve a problem.

Perhaps a good way to interest kids in math is to offer them the opportunity to make something that actually requires learning some math.

Let them try to empirically do something that can really only be done with a formula. Show them the power! Without it, the world as we know it would not exist.

If you're really motivated, you'll spend years seeking the answers. We should be motivating without coercing, providing tools for discovery, then just stay out of the way.

noonespecial 8 hours ago 0 replies      
How could any student not be fall-right-over excited about learning standard 7.SP.C.5 ?
darkhorn 6 hours ago 0 replies      
She is a teacher but as you expect she is not a statistician. If she would have studied statistics in statistics department for a year she would know what to teach. First you start with a coin, you have 1/2 chance to get this and that etc. This means 50%, then you repeat your move 100 times and you say see, the output is 53/100. Then you repeat and the output is 502/1000. So they start to get what 50% means. Then you do it with die and so on. However she has started it in wrong way. And I'm sure that most of the kinds do not know what 50% chance rain means.
MisterBastahrd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It wasn't until a 10th grade class in world history that I encountered a teacher who wanted you to not only know the answer, but why the answer was correct. He ended up being one of my favorite teachers ever.
apeace 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I recommend a simple, fun solution that kids of all ages LOVE:

1. Download DrRacket http://racket-lang.org/download/2. Show the kids cool functions from the 2htdp/image library, like (circle 10 'solid 'red)3. Show them the animate function from the 2htdp/universe library4. Leave them to their devices and instruct when they have questions

It won't be long before they want to make a game, and they'll need to learn all sorts of things about coordinates, shapes, colors, animations, and functions. Kids love functions. They'll have no idea how much math they're doing, yet at the end of the day they'll actually get it.

For probability, check out the (random) function.

xsmasher 13 hours ago 3 replies      
>One student had seen the weather and knew there was a 90% chance of rain the other had not seen the weather and though the probability was 50% since it would either rain or not. They compromised and picked the middle but thats not the part I cared about, I cared that they had a reasonable discussion about their thoughts.

Wow. One of those students was right and the other was wrong; if the teacher praised the discussion instead of pointing out AND EXPLAINING the right answer, then the teacher did a disservice to the entire class.

I've heard jokes about touchy-feely "Bill has five apples and John takes two, how do we feel about that?" math, but I honestly believed they were jokes.

tks2103 8 hours ago 0 replies      
What cost effective alternatives are there to public schooling in the U.S.?

Is it possible or feasible to home school your kid with success?

SonOfLilit 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In his Intuitive Explanation of Bayes Theorem, Eliezer Yudkovsky wrote:

Its like the experiment in which you ask a second-grader: If eighteen people get on a bus, and then seven more people get on the bus, how old is the bus driver? Many second-graders will respond: Twenty-five. They understand when theyre being prompted to carry out a particular mental procedure, but they havent quite connected the procedure to reality.

I was awe-struck, so I asked a friend who sometimes teaches second-graders to try this. 11/18 wrote 25, 5/18 wrote 25 passengers on the bus and 2/18 returned a blank note.

I think this is a big part of the explanation. If youre taught addition as a process that happens in a notebook, not in reality, then you have no way to separate answers that make sense from those that dont. You also have no way to connect math to things you experience in your life, and I think the most common way to develop an interest in something is to find out its related to something else that youre already interested in.

In the last Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks scored 8 points in the first quarter, and 14 in the second quarter. Who won the match?

sandworm101 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Why? Because students today are focused on "doing well". That means getting good grades. Look at your tests, be them locally-created or standardized. How are they graded? Do students get good grades for debate or mechanically computing the right answer?

Who? An American culture that constantly enforces a science v. arts dichotomy. I say American because in no other country is this split enshrined in language: Metric units for the scientists and English for everyone else. I say American because few other countries produce so many millionaires with zero science education. Look at your student's role models. Athletes. Celebs. Seth McFarlin. Politicians. Donald Trump. The American system does not reward scientific creativity in the same way it does social aptitude.

Change would be painful, so painful that it cannot happen for a generation or two Just try suggesting highway signs be changed from mph to kph. And that's easy part.

jacquesm 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Tom Lehrer on 'New Math':


Enjoy the 'octal' bit.

ugk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
So many schools seem to "teach only towards the test" because of the heavy reliance on standardized testing. I don't claim to have any answers, but society has pushed for this and it's a logical result IMO.
javajosh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
When Feynman was a boy he'd always relate the math problem to a real world puzzle. With trig problems, he might imagine being given a riddle involving a flag post and rope and calculating distance. One got the sense that he was, in effect, using math to prepare himself to solve future, real-life riddles. Or rather, math was giving him the tools to (correctly) answer questions he otherwise could not have answered - and Feynman's great preoccupation was his obsession with solving puzzles of all kinds, and he would enthusiastically (perhaps greedily?) grab at all the tools he could. (Physics leans heavily on trig almost constantly, so a total mastery of it would be quite handy for a budding young physicist).

It's also interesting to me that he was, at an early age, concerned with the usability of math, and was unafraid to create his own notation that was more comfortable for him (he liked the square root symbol and created analogs for sin(), cos(), etc.)

Frankly, I think this is a fantastic way to approach learning. After all, it feels good to solve puzzles; if you solve enough of them, the way they fall together, the way they relate to each other (sometimes in unexpected ways) become useful insights in themselves. With a large, solid core of puzzle mastery, you might even be able to turn your attention to the more difficult puzzles of "how to teach". (Of course, the greatest thing you can teach is the love of solving puzzles!)

I can't hold back anymore: what a foolish teacher! To get emotional over kids asking if their answers are right! In general, the yearning to be correct in one's calculations (and ordering cards is a calculation) is a good instinct, not to be beaten out of them.

mtsmithhn 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You hear about this all the time these days. Is this issue prevalent in all schools now from public to private and low to high socioeconomic status?
mydpy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You're calling your students "broken"? Can we start there?
mbuffett 14 hours ago 4 replies      
So the author asks a room full of kids to arrange numbers on a number line, then gets mad when the kids want to know if their answer is right? As far as I could tell, it was an exercise with one right answer. Why get mad at the kids for wanting to confirm whether they understand the material?
briantakita 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> Who or What Broke My Kids?

Rigid Institutions, Rigid Hierarchies, Social Stratification, Judgement, Power & Control, Special Interests, Lack of Freedom, Lack of Autonomy

Confusion 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It's unclear to me what the problem is that this teacher encountered. The students were given an exercise to learn something. They wanted to validate whether they learned something, by validating their solution. This could be achieved by reaching agreement with other students or by asking the teacher. So the problem is that only that ne was unclear that they were supposed to reach agreement instead of asking nir?
QuantumChaos 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the point the author makes is fundamentally correct: the correctness of answers comes from human reasoning, and is subject to discussion and debate. It's not something completely external, and education shouldn't be a game to guess what these external decrees are. As the author says, what should matter is what the student thinks is correct, not whether they think their answer will be accepted as correct.

However, the author uses language that is belittling and rude. I think that teachers who use students as an emotional outlet for their frustrations are very harmful. I would rather see the teacher find another way to get the students to see her point of view, than emotionally browbeating them.

DanielBMarkham 11 hours ago 2 replies      
These conversation and facilitation skills among kids are really great, and I agree the teacher should be encouraging them, but I have some serious questions as to whether this teacher and I have the same definition of "math".

To me, math is a skill involving the manipulation of abstract symbols. It doesn't involve sharing, being nice to other kids, helping each other out, or any of that. Those things are great, but they ain't math.

Now "teaching math in a primary school setting" may involve the combination of all of those things, and that's fine. So I guess we agree. But this essay was terrible. If this teacher came to me with this definition of math as an answer on a test, I'd fail them.

graycat 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> Who or What Broke My Kids?

From the OP, sounds like heavily that teacher did. Let's see why:

> understanding that all probabilities occur between zero and one

Better would be, "a probability is a number between 0 and 1 with both 0 and 1 possible".

Try not to use "occur" here because if event A is "it rains" and it does rain, then we say that "event A occurred". So, it is better wording to say that a probability "is" than to say that it "occurs".

> differentiating between likely and unlikely events

Using the word 'differentiating' here is not good because (1) it is crucial in calculus where it has a quite different meaning and (2) it is just too long for the simple concept of, say, 'identifying' likely and unlikely events.

The worst is,

> The basic premise of the activity is that students must sort cards including probability statements, terms such as unlikely and probable, pictorial representations, and fraction, decimal, and percent probabilities and place them on a number line based on their theoretical probability.

I have no idea what is intended here! Probability theory was the main foundation of my Ph.D. in engineering from my research in stochastic optimal control, and I can't make much sense out of the teacher's statement. Calculating probabilities of poker hands would have made much more sense. Or, just for a start:

We shuffle a standard deck of 52 cards and pick the top card. What is the probability

(a) the card is the queen of hearts?

(b) the card is a king?

(c) the card is diamond?

(d) the card is a spade?

(e) the card is a face card?

Suppose that first card was none of (a)-(e),and we pick the next card from that deck. Now what is theprobability of each of (a)-(e)?


We flip a fair coin five times. What is theprobability we get Heads exactly three times?

> where they can solve any computation problem with technology with no issue.

I wish that were so! I guess the teacher has notheard of the problem in the set NP-complete andhow common such problems are in business planning andscheduling.

> the probability was 50% since it would either rain or not

Uh, can we place some real money on that!!!!!!

The Unitedstates Project theunitedstates.io
148 points by _pius  1 day ago   32 comments top 10
dj-wonk 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Although many folks from the Sunlight Foundation support the project, it has relatively decentralized control:

> This is an unusual, and occasionally chaotic, model for an open data project. the /unitedstates project is a neutral space; GitHub's permissions system allows many of us to share the keys, so no one person or institution controls it. What this means is that while we all benefit from each other's work, no one is dependent or "downstream" from anyone else. It's a shared commons in the public domain.

From http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/08/20/a-modern-appro...

audiodude 1 day ago 0 replies      
Speaking as someone who contributed a few scrapers to the inspectors general project (https://github.com/unitedstates/inspectors-general), I think this is a great and worthwhile effort. It's actually not that hard to contribute a scraper if you know a little Python (and maybe a way to learn a little Python if you don't).

One thing that my friend who works in Open Data has told me is that it's important for websites like this to exist, to be able to point non-technical people at them and say "SEE. THIS is why you can't just publish everything as a PDF".

yen223 1 day ago 2 replies      
For any Malaysian readers out there, here's our version:


ljd 1 day ago 0 replies      
We use the GovTrak API's and some from Sunlight Foundation for http://PlaceAVote.com. They are pretty awesome and well written.
the_watcher 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow. If this can aggregate some of the secondary sources that are the main source of Lexus/Westlaw's power, it would be fantastic.
mattste 1 day ago 1 reply      
Awesome list of resources! I'm currently working on a text-based Twilio app that simplifies updates on how their Senator/Representative votes on major legislation. Further down the line I'd like to tie in direct communication with Senators/Reps where they give a statement on why they voted the way they did, updates on when they're in their local offices, etc.
HistoryInAction 1 day ago 1 reply      
Excellent leadership from sinak!
dfc 1 day ago 1 reply      
The project I am most excited about is the citation extractor: https://github.com/unitedstates/citation
bloometal 1 day ago 1 reply      
Doesn't www.enigma.io do this?
atonse 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is awesome - though I'm amused that the site that clearly represents US data, is hosted on an overseas domain... (.io = British Indian Ocean Territory).

Edit: All snark aside though, this really is awesome. I can imagine all kinds of useful things that come out of this sort of structured data, including just interesting information (like demographic patterns of various politicians, etc).

A Data Analysis Curriculum mysliderule.com
149 points by gautambay  2 days ago   50 comments top 13
daemonk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't find khan academy's videos to be that great to get at the intuition behind probability and stats. It's good for reference and surface explanations.

I recommend Harvard stats 110 youtube videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2SOU6wwxB0uwwH80KTQ6...

These videos are more focused on probability, but they contain a lot of great intuitions.

gautambay 2 days ago 7 replies      
We (SlideRule) launched our first Learning Path on Web Development on HN a few weeks ago, to very encouraging feedback. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7501516

This is our second Learning Path, on Data Analysis, built by the awesome Claudia Gold (MIT alum, self-taught data scientist, early at Airbnb). The aim is to list helpful resources in a sequence that a beginner can follow.

Once again, we realize this is a curriculum, not the best curriculum. We'd love your feedback on what we should change or add.


Edit: Since we have your attention, here are some other ways in which you can help us:

1. Tell us which new Learning Paths youd like to us build.

2. Collaborate with us to build a Learning Path on a subject where you're an expert.

3. Request features that will help you take better advantage of Learning Paths.

Were at founders@mysliderule.com

Denzel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I like the curation of free educational content in a specific area because it eliminates the guesswork, and duplicated effort, of filtering for high-quality resources. Thanks to Claudia Gold for the amazing amount of work she put into this. My main gripe comes with the majority of these data science courses/tracks.

It appears that no comprehensive treatment of applied data science exists. For the past few months, I've been searching high-and-low. I understand collaborative filtering; I've heard about the Netflix recommendation challenge ad nauseam; I grasp machine learning, bayesian statistics (prior, posterior, conjugate prior distributions, etc.) on a superficial level. Conversationally, I can hold my own with practitioners', albeit on a beginner level.

But what I, and others, want to learn is how to apply these techniques in a scalable way on a real production system. Right now, it's easy to conjecture about what could/should be done, but there's a lack of confidence in how to achieve the goals. I'm experimenting with a collaborative filtering problem using Cassandra as the data store for thumbs up/down ratings on products, and Hadoop for the MR pipeline; it'd be great to have more visible examples available. Is there any place I could find detailed information on real, online machine learning/statistical inference systems?

ths291 2 days ago 1 reply      
Love the idea of expert-curated learning paths.

With so many "free" learning resources online, we end up "paying" through the mental churn and frustration of trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is a great step in truly making free resources more accessible and meaningful.

blutoot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the idea of expert-curated learning paths - this is so much needed with the proliferation of all the competing MOOCs. Thank you for putting this together.

I've noticed that there's a growing demand for performance and reliability engineering types of roles in the tech. Can that become a learning path? The courses for that could be:1. OS2. Computer Networks3. Distributed Systems4. Intro to Algorithms5. Intro to Statistics6. <Some course on best practices of general systems-level troubleshooting?>7. <Some course on best practices of software debugging?>

I know it sounds almost like a full-fledged MS program in CS. But this could be a great opportunity for those who are not enrolled in those programs but love systems in general and would like to make a career out of it. Apologies if this type of "learning path" makes no sense to most of the industry insiders.

krrishd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting. I wonder how this compares to Coursera's Data Science specialization[0], from what it looks like they both have very similar curriculum.

[0]: https://www.coursera.org/specialization/jhudatascience/1?utm...

findjashua 2 days ago 1 reply      
Login page keeps redirecting me to the sign up page. There I'm told I'm about to login to the django server (why the django server bit, just say I'm about to login), but when I enter my email address, it says a user with that email already exists and I should try logging in instead. The cycle continues.
orky56 2 days ago 1 reply      
It would be great to add an elective course for Growth Hacking where you can assume the knowledge of data analysis and provide a survey/use cases of effective examples of using analysis and other methods to inform product development and/or design.
chiachun 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find that your "Apply to YC" path is also very interesting.http://www.mysliderule.com/apply-to-Ycombinator
Claud334 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi! I'm Claudia Gold, the author. Happy to answer any questions you might have. :)
dang 2 days ago 1 reply      
We took "Show HN" out of the title because this site had a Show HN recently: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7501516.
theop 2 days ago 0 replies      
and the Data Analysis hipe continues..
cornholio 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Data science" my ass. It's called statistics, econometrics and programming.
       cached 1 June 2014 04:11:02 GMT