If it were me, and the true intent was to distribute the Tesla patents as widely as possible, I would have said "Tesla pledges to license its entire patent portfolio, on a worldwide non-exclusive no-royalty basis, to any interested party. We will ask for consideration in the amount of $1 for a 99 year license. Your lawyers and accountants can reassure you that these sort of symbolic commitments hold up in court. They'll also no doubt ask to see the full terms, which are about as boring as you'd expect, and which are available from our Legal Department."
Edit: Nice catch, peter_l_downs ... I didn't realize that the estimated search result of 6,430 would be off by such a large factor.
> Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters.
This is consistent with my view of how engineers in the traditional disciplines view patents.
> At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla
This is the precise thing that patents are designed to prevent: to keep the market from turning into a race to see who can outsource most efficiently to China and inundate the public most completely with advertising.
> The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesnt burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.
So the other manufacturers didn't copy Tesla's technology, either because they are incapable of it or because they didn't feel there was enough money in it relative to their traditional markets.
> We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.
In other words, it helps Tesla more to have lots of companies developing electric cars to push back on regulatory barriers and consumer perceptions than it does for them to protect themselves against larger manufacturers copying their technology. Also buried in here is the assumption that Tesla is, now, far enough ahead of its potential competitors that it doesn't matter if they copy the technology.
I think this is the right move for Tesla, but there's a lot of dynamics at play that have nothing to do with the usefulness of patents in general.
Which amounts to if we like you and we reserve the right. If they wanted these patents to be open source, they would license them explicitly.
Quite an interesting business move and pretty unprecedented as far as I know, at least for a non-software company. Presumably he is hoping that this will encourage improvement to infrastructure. He is also probably thinking he can build higher quality cars and cheaper than others, irrespective of if they are electric or not (probably this is true).
I'm not familiar with US legislation, but from my perspective this is just Musk on his soap-box making a statement. It's not something I can rely on while building a business that possibly (!) infringes one of Tesla's patents. They may retract their statement and reconsider at any time, especially when times get tough.
It's nice to hear this, sure, but I fail to see the meat in this announcement.
What exactly does that little "in good faith" clause mean in there?
Opening up, in this sense, could be seen to be a selfish endeavour, but still a positive one, aiming to position Tesla as the Apple of the electric car market, only mildly less litigious.
Seems like there is good potential to build on the momentum of Tesla's announcement to formalize the process, and answer the questions that I'm sure will emerge in this thread - eg more akin to an Creative Commons (which is very well defined and practical).
One would argue that they might not have been encouraged to invent these stuff if there were no patents. Even if that was true, the fact is that they had already ammassed massive fortunes even before they started patent wars. One would expect these visionary geniuses to let go patents in interest of advancing the state of art after they have gotten more money than they know how to reasonably spend. Elon Musk is the only one doing this here on the top of risking everything on fields that few entrepreneurs would dare. Hats off to him.
> At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldnt have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesnt burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.
I read this as effectively saying that it's easy for them to take this step, relative to companies in other industries (Apple, Google, Amazon, et al) because none of Tesla's competitors even have the ability to make use of their technology. Makes me wonder if Musk would have done the same thing if Tesla were a software company.
I've heard of various strategies like publishing the work in as many forums as possible; publishing it on IP.com; filing a patent application and withdrawing it; filing it and pledging; etc.
It would be nice if there were a step by step guide written by an attorney--ideally an ex-patent attorney--that goes lists the steps in order of priority/cost/ease for both individual innovators and companies with deeper pockets.
>"If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal"
Perhaps Tesla relies on trade secrecy as well?
It is much better to hold the patent and allow others to used without being worried about getting sued. I am sure the big auto makers may consider taking advantage of this situation to crush tesla, but Elon Musk is known for not getting distracted by the petty things.
What exactly is Elon committing to here? Is Tesla planning on releasing any design documentation, or technical specifications or manufacturing process information?
It's great that they won't enforce patents in an effort to not stifle innovation, but do they plan on taking any actions that will encourage innovation?
On the other hand, can't patents protect smaller companies? Open sourcing projects and technology has its case-by-case pros and cons. I agree the increase in open source adoption has had a largely positive impact on the development community. But there seems to be a lot of stigma against 'proprietary' as a whole.
How is your company supposed to grow if you can't protect your technology from being easily replicated by competitors?
(2) Having limited legal knowledge, I'm curious what he means with "a lottery ticket to a lawsuit". Is he indicating that patenting something would make a company more likely to get sued? My basic understanding is the opposite, that patents yield protection from lawsuits rather than create exposure to them. Is this flawed?
What does that even mean? How do you make cars in bad faith?
What about the defensive measure? To defend against being sued. It would be good if Tesla pools the patents with others to form an "open patent" club where all the interested parties can join and use the patent to defend against infringement lawsuits.
Is there anything they can do that's binding outside of a declarative 'we won't sue you unless...' statement?
Reason? The partner(s) want to sell all the capacity even if Tesla can't buy it all, and they want everyone to know there won't be any issue buying Tesla batteries.
I would go all in on this. A niche product (in the current condition) and usable driverless electric cars.
You aren't really competing with Tesla, because you have a total different audience.
If Tesla really wanted to see the big auto makers build more capable electric cars, AND if they also want to be a profitable enterprise, THEN, the best course of action would be to OEM the powertrain parts that they have already invested in inventing and building.
And I also agree he was right to fear the better-resourced incumbents to duplicate his tech for free, unfounded though it was.
He doesn't mention this, but at this point, he is also well ahead of his real competition (fellow disruptors) in market terms, and so it won't harm him to release these patents.
"Tesla, other companies ..., and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform"
Separately using the "All Our Patent Are Belong To You" meme (as has been pointed out below by peterarmstrong ) appears to be a clear "in your face" to "the man".
Most people I would imagine aren't aware of this meme (I wasn't) and using it in a public press release seems a bit odd to me.
More specifically - could you just buy the S chassis/drivetrain from tesla and build say a delivery van body on top of it?
These are reasonable questions, but as Shaw said, all progress comes from unreasonable men. I cannot help but be fundamentally depressed as I read these comments. In my view, Elon Musk has, moreso than any other human except maybe Bill Gates, given every absolute inch of human effort and genius to fight to solve the world's biggest problems. And all we have for him, after benefiting freely from the fruit of his labor, is skepticism. We want more. It's not enough. It's never enough.
Yes, Tesla Motors is a company operating in a media-hyped 2014 America. I know some of you are butthurt that he engages in the same "dishonest" PR tactics that other companies do. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. The end product he's producing will save humanity. That all of America has not rallied behind Musk and Tesla as the most important movement and achievement in the last 100 years of human history absolutely blows my mind.
Not only do we not recognize his goals or his achievements, we actively try and bring him down and shit on his accomplishments. "Well, they invented a pretty cool electric motor, sure, but they were kind of dishonest in that one press release that one time."
Go fuck yourself.
I want to say "I'm done with Hacker News", but we know that's not true. I'm supremely disappointed in all of you. Godspeed, Musk. I thought this was a great announcement, and I'm behind you 100%. I just hope you can finish your work before our shitty, myopic, destructive society tears you down. Here's to faith.
I really liked Tesla here, there is the "good faith" deal, but still...
Let's see what a mob of similar armed companies will do.
I also like this conclusion.
> My experiment doesn't prove that Vermeer worked this way, but it proves that he COULD have worked this way.
I do take issue with the hypothesis.
>The way Vermeer painted this wall is consistent with a photograph. It is not consistent with human vision. If you were standing in the room that Vermeer painted, you would see that wall as a pretty even shade of off-white. The retina in your eyeball does some image processing to minimize the effect of light and shadow. To your eye, the wall appears to have far less contrast than it actually has. And if you can't see it, you can't paint it.
Then you can't see it through this device either.
I'm not an artist, but I've taken a few art classes, and one of the transformative things that happens during formal art training is that you learn to look at things in non-intuitive ways. For example, when most people are told to "draw a dog", even if they're looking at one, they reach back into their semantic memory, look up the mental function for "draw dog" and reproduce that.
The same thing is true for colors, brightness values, etc. A great deal of formal art education is learning to detach your visual stimulus from the semantic association you would otherwise naturally make...and perhaps reattach it to new semantic associations like "negative space" and "comparative brightness" and "relative white value". When you get really good you can even start reprocessing a scene or a model, deconstructing it in your mind and then reconstructing it via some other technique. You can go from photorealistic reproduction to complete abstraction.
I think a better hypothesis might have been "techniques at the time weren't suited to such exact reproduction of scenes, even great artists slightly distort objects and subjects in their work. Yet these paintings don't appear to suffer from such distortion, the shape and color reproduction is as exact as a tracing or photograph. There must have been a technique or tool used to assist the artist in not only tracing the shape, but reproducing the colors."
> I needed a CNC lathe to make the legs for the harpsichord and the blue chair. I couldn't find a CNC lathe large enough to make these parts so I came up with the simple hack of bolting a cheap wood lathe onto the bed of the milling machine. Then, I programmed the mill to trace out the contour of the leg while the lathe spun the wood underneath the mill head.
> The legs of the instrument turned out to be a few inches too long for my wood lathe so I pulled the lathe out of the milling machine and cut it into two pieces on a band saw. I then bolted both pieces back into the mill, separated by a few inches. Now the lathe could accommodate a longer piece of wood.
Adam and Jamie would be proud.
He points out that the intricacy of Vermeer's paintings, and peculiarities of perspective, strongly suggest the use of a camera obscura (or other optical device) to aid his work.
This is not to detract from the investigation in the OA, just point out that others have been this way before.
Is it wrong for me to think that Tim's Vermeer is better than Vermeer's Vermeer?
For an untrained eye casually glancing at the wall, sure, the brain edits out variations. But a big part of training to be a painter is learning to see, and even with an untrained eye, if you stare at a wall long enough you'll start to see color and texture variations. Not saying he couldn't have used a camera obscura or some other machine, but this in itself is hardly evidence that he had mechanical help.
(not affiliated, just an art geek)
"I couldn't find a CNC lathe large enough to make these parts"
Makes absolutely no sense. I've worked on CNC rigs that would turn shafts for ocean liners and wheels for cranes, a couple of table legs should not have been a problem.
As for the theory, very interesting.
Here is the artist painting himself in his studio:
I don't see anything like lenses, mirrors or other tricks, mostly just brushes, paint, canvas, the artist and the subject. There is that little black stick on the top right of the canvas, wonder what that is? Maybe there is a mirror at the end of it ;) It would be funny if the evidence for all this was sitting in plain view for a few hundred years but likely there is a more ordinary explanation for that stick, maybe someone with more experience in painting can chip in about what that is.
The about box at the bottom lists Tim as the guy behind DigiPaint of Amiga fame, and his company is also the one behind LightWave 3D.
Where can I buy this in Europe? In today's globalized world, online videos should be available everywhere at once.
Another great book to check out is David Hockney's "Secret Knowledge", which covers how this is done in other ways, how projection devices were used by Kepler and others, how it could have been considered a guild secret among painters, and how when the photograph first came out people remarked how much the looked like "finished" paintings. His latest exhibit at the De Young was actually based on the research from this book where he cranked out a metric ton (quite literally) of art using various projection devices.
Another fun thing to do is "spot the laptop". You know how people are doing impressive hyperrealistic paintings like this:
These are amazing, until you realize he's getting the fidelity he needs by making the paintings huge, then taking pictures of them from farther away. Can't tell a painting's size on the internet, so it looks super realistic until you see it in person. Next, if you look carefully at that first photo, he's looking off in the distance at....a laptop most likely, or a projection. If you look in youtube or at various artist's blogs you start to catch them with a laptop sitting right there, or an ipad stuck to their easel with the image right on it.
If you check out these hyperrealists (they don't say photo 'cause that's a bad word) you can sometimes catch them with a laptop, image on it squared off, sometimes even zoomed in.
What modern "Vermeers" are doing is they're using computers and screen technology to get very exacting details and color harmony using combinations of large size projections (you can see Eloy's pre-drawn lines), gridded images, and zooming on a computer screen. So the awesome thing about Tim's Vermeer is he shows that if someone's using enough technology to make art then they become just a mechanical photo printer. Might as well be a photographer.
Here's another artist you can see copying a photo:
Franoise Nielly at least interprets them, but I bet if you looked she probably uses the hell out of computers at first to get studies right.
What's interesting is many artists use technology like this, and many of them get into this "cheating" when they run into disabilities or time constraints. The problem isn't the technology though, it's whether they pretend they don't use any, which is what a lot of these hyperrealists try to get away with. But, take an artist like Richard Schmid and you find he started using a computer after a major back injury and he freely admits he uses photos and computers to do painting.
What I liked about Tim's Vermeer is it's at least proof that someone with zero talent can use technology to create an equivalent to what's considered a masterpiece. David Hockney's book also demonstrates that much of the art we consider painted using pure skill is actually just clever uses of technology to do photo reproductions with oil paint.
This article shows his paintings and photo sources side-by-side:
Basically, it's a tiny prism on a stick that projects what is in front of you to your drawing surface.
(disclaimer: I have no financial connection to these guys, but I did buy one of their Neolucidas, and it is a lot of fun)
"...maybe, then maybe! I will have reached the end of the exercise. Except, if I'm being honest with myself, reaching the end of the exercise was never really the point of the exercise, was it?"
You can zoom in and see the flecks of paint.
I'm involved in arts (open studios board and website operator) in massachusetts and have been talking to painters about this (none had seen the documentary yet). Generally they don't see it as changing things, unless a lot of people start doing this. Also painters enjoy the freedom to create stuff that doesn't exist, where is this technique is kinda like a photograph where what you capture has to exist.
Makes you question art and its valuation (a lot does these days). No matter how its done the end result is what should be judged.
Could this be a subtle nod to the animators who painstakenly produce live cartons at the sacrifice of their wrists?
"what a sweep of vanity comes this way!" - Shakespeare
Nice docu and a fun way to get acquainted with some artsy work. In the end, "photorealists" are just that, "photorealists" who like to get as close to the real deal as they possibly can, whatever means necessary. (what or what isn't "photograph" is not up to discussion here at all)
"..You will be fooled by a trick if it involves more time, money and practice than you (or any other sane onlooker) would be willing to invest."
Teller's friend Tim appears to have taken the same attitude towards checking out his Vermeer hypothesis. Amazing effort.
And in digging up links about 'The Caress', I came across a cool word, ekphrasis, that also applies to Tim's Vermeer:
...Said no art historian ever.
Vermeer painting is ok, but there are better paintings and certainly better painters.
Rembrandt or Velazquez run circles around Vermeer in photorealism, but if you consider other things Vermeer is not even in the top ten, probably in top 100.
"A common analogy for a resistor is a pipe that carries water. The water itself is analogous to electrical charge, the pressure at the input of the pipe is similar to voltage, and the rate of flow of the water through the pipe is like electrical current. Just as with an electrical resistor, the flow of water through the pipe is faster if the pipe is shorter and/or it has a larger diameter. An analogy for a memristor is an interesting kind of pipe that expands or shrinks when water flows through it. If water flows through the pipe in one direction, the diameter of the pipe increases, thus enabling the water to flow faster. If water flows through the pipe in the opposite direction, the diameter of the pipe decreases, thus slowing down the flow of water. If the water pressure is turned off, the pipe will retain it most recent diameter until the water is turned back on. Thus, the pipe does not store water like a bucket (or a capacitor) it remembers how much water flowed through it."
Admittedly, this is not my field, so my fascination may appear to be quite naive to the well-initiated, but I find it simply intriguing that the memristor was first theorized to exist; that is, it is somewhat analogous to the Higgs boson, in that the mathematics precedes the discovery.
To my point (from the paper):
"Although no physical memristor has yet been discovered in the form of a physical device without internal power supply, the circuit-theoretic and quasi-static electromagnetic analyses presented in Sections III and IV make plausible the notion that a memristor device with a monotonically increasing -q curve could be invented, if not discovered accidentally."
The important part of memristors is that they can be arranged to form a crossbar latch, which acts like a transistor.
This crossbar latches are very very small, and very low power. HP plans on achieving data density of 100GB/cm^2  with read write speeds approximately 100x faster then flash memory while using 1% of the energy. Also with lower energy costs, expected data density is 1 Petabyte per cm^3 (due to 3D stacked circuitry)
Basically when this technology comes of age we'll see smart phones reach the order of terabytes of storage.
Another way of putting this: because of patents, we're in a privileged position of being the only people who are allowed to work on this problem.
So instead of the whole world rushing to make something interesting with this new tech, we get a group of people working in an ivory tower trying to come up with the perfect thing.
If we're lucky, they'll execute well and deliver a compelling product that they have monopoly power over for 10 years, or however long the patents last.
If we're not lucky, they'll bumble around like cable providers trying to develop "valuable add-ons", and the only reason they'll have any success is because no one is allowed to compete with them.
Sorry if that's overly pessimistic, but that's how this article came off to me. I guess patents do have the benefit that we are getting to hear about this development at all instead of it being a tightly-controlled trade secret. And this kind of payoff is what funds the R&D gamble to begin with. I just hope that they actually deliver reusable parts that other people can build into bigger innovations instead of trying to control the innovations themselves.
"The Machine isnt on HPs official roadmap. Fink says it could arrive as early as 2017 or take until the end of the decade. Any delivery date has to be taken with some skepticism given that HP has been hyping the memristor technology for years and failed to meet earlier self-imposed deadlines."
So, does anyone actually know whether significant new progress is being made on this project, or is this article just a win for HP's PR department and nothing more?
Just like IBM had at least a few interesting ideas to give Watson credibility, HP hopes its memristor work will give "The Machine" enough credibility that they won't get laughed out of the room once they parade it around the MSM.
HP has been working on the memristor since 2008. Memristors have already been produced in labs by U of Michigan:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor
This article seeks to give the image that this is a novel idea that investors can take advantage of. In reality, it is not.
It's interesting to note that the brain does not have separate components for memory and computation. Every neuron computes and stores at the same time.
So... it's a chip.
... and they'd still have to wait for data, knowing that modern apps love pulling data from the network.
> Fink has assigned one team to develop the open-source Machine OS, which will assume the availability of a high-speed, constant memory store.
I have to ask: if this is open-source, where is it? Perhaps my google-fu is weak, but I can't find anything but news articles talking about "The Machine".
EDIT: Aha, found mention in some articles that it "will be made" open source. Future tense. That makes more sense.
What's also awesome is that - according to the article - HP plans on open-sourcing its custom "Machine OS"; rather refreshing coming from a company that's traditionally released its own operating systems under non-free licenses.
I'm not normally a fan of HP (aside from their printers), but seeing them go after this kind of stuff is certainly exciting.
Either HP must be lying, physics must be wrong or whomever figured out this "proof" must have screwed up.
It's great that they decided to make it open from the start.
It's just a resistor with memory. i.e. its R value can be changed by current and remembered. Wouldn't an inductor with memory in the sense that it's L is changed by voltage or current and remembered be a fifth and a capacitor with a C that is changed and remembered be sixth?
Ten years later it will fit in your pocket.
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/abs/ncomms2784.ht... open access)
The physics is (unsurprisingly) rather involved and I don't have time to decipher it, but, yeah, here's the guts.
Market started going crazy earlier today when DPR's seized coins started to move. https://blockchain.info/address/1FfmbHfnpaZjKFvyi1okTjJJusN4... The downtrend is only accelerating.
Ross William Ulbricht hasn't yet been convicted of anything. I know that they aren't selling his personal bitcoins, but in the (highly unlikely) event that he is found innocent, wouldn't that mean that the Silk Road assets need to be returned to him? How then can they sell them now?
Those coins will then be linked to the winners' identities permanently in the block chain. Talk about painting a target on oneself.
You couldn't ask for a better story - the opposite of what Bitcoin really is when you think of it - finance, computers - stuff that bores the hell out of most people. Instead: drugs! conspiracy! magic internet money! Now, add "Satoshi" - mysterious inventor who's vanished. Seriously, you can't write this stuff!
They only made the announcement today and you have to be registered to bid by this coming monday?
Is this typical of government auctions?
Which dents my plan of offering to buy each of the BTC 3,000 blocks with an offer of BTC 2,000 each.
"Let's sell them all in blocks of 3000 and require a deposit of $200k to bid" ... yeah ...
The USMS will not transfer bitcoins to an obscene public address, a public address apparently in a country restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a public address apparently associated with terrorism, other criminal activities, or otherwise hostile to the United States.
So, be sure to pre-calculate your auction-winning vanity-address to be some simple transformation of your obscene/anti-American message, rather than the message itself!
Dear officers, these are zero fee transactions, if there were any :)
Also, is it possible to use these bitcoins in a transaction, or would you simply be paying for the still-encrypted wallet?
It would have been far better to quietly sell these BTC evenly spread across the major exchanges at market prices.
So the government makes it illegal to sell narcotics, regardless, some individuals take a risk and deal drugs to be able to sustain themselves or finance a lifestyle of their choice.
Now the government start prosecuting someone, seize their assets (Which were turned over through illicit methods) and release this dodgy money back to the market.
What's more disturbing about this whole scenario is the fact that someone is getting done over. What if the government kept prosecuting dealers and then selling their assets back to the market? Those assets should be "destroyed" - just the way narcotics are destroyed when dealers get caught.
This is a joke.
Nothing new here, carry on, carry on!!!
What are the precedents here? Does this style of US government confiscation / sale have any analog in realms outside the net?
I'm honestly curious, I know that governments are completely within their (self defined, but generally accepted) rights to profit from these seizures, but what are the implications of profiting from the proceeds of crime, and has this raised it's head in more "traditional" areas before?
It would prevent the feds from having an incentive to seize bitcoins.
This sort of visibility into the real problems means the ISPs can't hide behind their lies.
Is it possible that anti-trust laws could be used to force these large ISPs to break up into separate companies, one that owns and provides the network and the other that only leases the lines and provides service?
Such a breakup would allow new, smaller, ISPs to leverage the infrastructure while provided superior service and potentially better pricing models.
Of course there would still be the problem of competing infrastructure companies. Some of that could be alleviated by increasing competition through public/private fiber installation projects.
As I understand the problem, the congestion builds at the interconnection because Verizon's routers at that point at working at capacity. Verizon could solve the problem by adding routers at that point. I honestly don't understand what Verizon wants Netflix to do, unless it is to extend the Netflix data provision deeper into the Verizon network -- essentially adding routers at the point where Verizon is supposed to be maintaining routers. (I wonder if that is what this Open Connect program is about?)
If that's right, I wish Netflix would provide some further detail explaining the problem. Otherwise they risk having readers -- and politicians -- go into glazed eyes and presume that this is just some inscrutable battle among corporate giants.
No thank you, Verizon.
If Netflix doesn't pay, wouldn't Verizon and other service providers transfer the cost to Consumers? Or will this also be not allowed for ISP to do? If ISPs want to make more money and charge more, why would they not transfer the cost to Consumers if they cannot charge Netflix and the likes.
In fact, from what I've noticed, Verizon has already lowered their tone about this, and is backing away from threatening Netflix with the lawsuit. So carry on!
These ISP's promised good service to their paying customers, regardless of the conditions. It's their responsibility to live up to those expectations.
This way, any company can use the software and report the same thing to their customers. Lower the barrier to entry for Amazon/Google/Hulu/your startup to join the fight and inform the people.
I wish I know how to direct this energy into something a little less disappointing.
Either way, brilliant response, and hopefully Verizon gets the hint.
Why for example has SKY or TalkTalk in the UK not tried this? What is stopping them?
I'm slightly sick of these silly public letters. Why the hell either Netflix or said telcos feel like they need to bother the public with their internal problems, instead of solving them privately like adults?
This is not about net neutrality. It's about who foots the bill for upgrading the network to handle the capacity that Netflix users need.
Meter the damn traffic and let Netflix (and other heavy) users pay the telco and be done with it. God damn.
Superpowers (US/USSR, Apple/Google) acquire very large nuclear/patent arsenals under the guise of protection/defense. These arsenals are relatively cheap for superpowers to build, but they are expensive for small states (small countries/small businesses) to acquire.
The US and USSR were roughly equivalent in their arsenals so it made little sense for either party to act offensively. However, the implied power behind the arsenals gave them a lot of power when dealing with smaller actors. The superpowers benefit greatly from acquiring these arsenals. Even without using them publicly, the threat can always be used behind closed doors (as Jobs has been shown to do).
But there's a third actor; the most universally feared actor: terrorists/patent trolls. These actors behave only offensively because they have nothing to defend. These actors are best poised to benefit from nukes and patents and can send an otherwise orderly system into chaos.
Anyway, just a fun but flawed analogy to play with in your noodle. :)
I got the impression that the underlying motivation for writing the post, and tactic you used for justifying your positions was largely in response to what I would consider the overly myopic hacker news user base. That is, disproportionately white, male, curmudgeoney programmers. I sympathize with your frustration, but urge you not to let their world-view cloud yours, or cause you to search for complicated answers to simple questions.
An example of what I mean:
> I believe the current skepticism around Silicon Valley's "Make The World a Better Place" mentality is deeply rooted in historical anxiety about institutional capitalism.
On this point, I urge you to consider a much simpler explanation: that people are skeptical because there is much to be skeptical of. People like Musk are a rare breed in Silicon Valley. Today's tech "entrepreneur" rarely looks like Elon Musk, someone who genuinely seems to want to do good things for the world. The skeptisism exists because there are a lot of startups doing plain silly things, masked in global do-goodery marketing narrative.
Startups are the new gold rush, today's investment banking. But the west coast has much different cultural norms towards opulent wealth than does the east coast. Put simply, we like to hide it out here, they like to flaunt it out there. Thus, "we're making the world a better place" instead of something like The Wolf of Wall Street.
Still, I enjoyed your post and your choice of using macro-economic theory as a lens through which to view this. Thanks for writing.
There's a reason Southern Europe has worse economic outcomes, and that's trust. You get even worse results as you move towards the development world. And many parts of South America make Southern Europe seem downright trustworthy.
It's important to have a high trust society, but it's really more of a systemic trust than anything: About having negative consequences to breaking trust, not about taking leaps of faith to trust companies.
In fact, given the environmental damage from production of a new car combined with environmental damage from production of lithium batteries, combined with CO2 emissions from the cola burning power plants and nuclear waste from the nuclear power plants, I would argue that the earth is better off if you were to drive an older F150 pickup truck for another 300k miles, rather than buy a new Tesla. If you have an option though, you should choose something more efficient.
But overall, I just wanted to point out to anyone who is honestly concerned about global warming. Driving your current car for longer (assuming it's reasonably economical), and investing the money into fixing it up and getting more miles out of it is way better environmentally than buying a new car. Remamber, repair > reuse > recycle > replace.
This, to me, is ideal capitalistic behavior: oblivious, but with good faith (not trying to 'unfairly' or 'destructively' bring down your opponent) -- and it should come with swift regulations and laws flexible enough to punish edge cases.
We have a truly unrecognized gift as a species: morality. Not because it's cute or honorable (that would be a circular assessment), but because it allows us to reach those Pareto optimal spots. We just have to use it in proper settings, with proper rules.
The experience of the technology industry is that innovation happens in periods of monopoly. That monopoly might arise from first-mover effects, network effects, lock-in effects, or IP protections (patents, copyrights, and trademarks). This has been true from Bell Labs to Xerox to Google to Facebook. Bell Labs had its heyday when AT&T was a government-sanctioned monopoly. The Xerox Alto, which pioneered the GUI, the mouse, and networking, was invented at a Xerox that had 100% of the U.S. copier industry, a few years before an antitrust consent decree forced it to license its patents to Japanese competitors, quickly destroying its marketshare. If another search engine could easily copy Google's data and algorithms, they wouldn't have the money to be working on self-driving cars and AI. Facebook is a textbook example of network effects precluding perfect competition.
In comparison, look at the PC industry, which is based on open standards and an OS licensed on non-discriminatory terms. What has happened to the PC? They have become commodities and innovation is essentially dead. Companies like Lenovo eke out single-digit profit margins, and nobody can afford to spend money on R&D.
Instead of saying "in a large Democracy" it should say "in a large Democracy which uses plurality voting." Some voting systems (for instance Condorcet compatible ones) do not encourage partisanship in the same way as plurality does. In fact other systems actually encourage cooperation and favor candidates that are more in the center.
And I think that points to a flaw in the conclusion of the article: attempting to directly change human nature (or culture, as the OP suggests) is a fool's errand.
Instead, changing the rules of a system, such that the Pareto optimal result and the Nash Equilibrium align more closely, is a much more realistic approach. And I believe that when you do set up good systems where people are rewarded for cooperating, the culture changes with it.
(Regardless I think it is an excellent article and the more people who understand the Game Theory stuff he explains, the better. And I absolutely agree with his sentiment than Musk should be lauded for what he is doing rather than being met with cynicism.)
The Pareto Optimal is not an outcome which is best for both, since the whole point of this concept is to avoid giving a definition of "best for both". Rather it is an outcome from which no player can be made better off without making some other player worse off. So, for example, for two greedy people sharing a cake, any division of the cake, including one which gives the entire cake to one person, is Pareto optimal.
Anyone seriously interested in understanding what game theory really says and avoiding superficial mistakes in its interpretation should read at least the first chapter of Binmore's 'Playing for Real'.
The only hope is cultural trust, and the only way to achieve that is to allow like-minded individuals to separate themselves into autonomous political units.
This is dangerous thinking Chris, if you start following these thoughts through to the end, rather than spinning off into happy-clappy "change the world's heart" wishing...
"Apparently, lots of confused media inquiries about blog title. Look, we just to make sure they don't set us up the bomb."
I wonder about a different solution though: can you design a mechanism that transforms the Nash equilibrium of a Prisoner's dilemma game into the Pareto optimal outcome? Something similar to escrow?
Also optimism has never been as high as it is now with all this talk about full automation of the economy and people living happily ever after with their guaranteed basic income.
Now I understand where the author is coming from, and I agree there is a terrible lack of trust in modern America. I just don't agree that the cynical view, that all humans are untrustworthy shit-bags, is all that terrible. Cyncism causes parties to make explicit their assumptions about future behavior. We can then codify this assumed behavior in contracts.
If I was a battery manufacturer and I wanted to use Tesla's patents, I would approach Tesla and ask for a contractual agreement whereby Tesla agreed not to use those patents against me. If Tesla were unwilling to enter into this sort of contractual agreement with me, I would assume they were reserving the right to later use these patents against me.
What's that got to do with Capitalism? Correct me if I'm making a straw man, but the alternative to capitalism is to remove negotiation from individual interactions by implementing more State-heavy mechanisms like Communism. Isn't creating a crap-ton of government bureaucracy, rules and regulations to tell people exactly how to live and interact with each other institutionalizing the idea that people are shitbags and shouldn't be allowed the freedom to behave freely?
I liked your original HN post and tend to be similarly disappointed in the lack of giving some people like Musk his due for trying to do the right thing... not to mention the nit-picking posts that assume that Musk and his people are too mentally deficient to properly allow use of their patents.
This isn't quite right. In a Pareto optimal solution, there's no way to improve things for one party without making them worse for another party, but there's no guarantee that the outcome is good for everyone. "I get everything, you get nothing" is a Pareto-optimal way of diving things up.
First, there is a large portion of the population that doesn't believe global warming is an issue.
Second, there is another large population that doesn't believe global warming can be stopped by a slow transition to electric cars.
Third, there is a large majority of the population that can't afford a 90k luxury car so they fail to see how Tesla will revolutionize the world. This is compacted by the fact that the batteries will need to be replaced in 6-10 years and it will likely cost 20k+. These cars are out of reach for the majority of Americans it's not really going to reduce CO2 output by anything significant enough in time to matter.
Fourth, Elon made a fat stack of cash selling PayPal to Ebay. With that being his primary historical success story, it doesn't make it sound like he is doing just what is optimal for humanity. SpaceX is great for space exploration, but that's not really optimal for humanity considering our current problems.
The article had a nice write up on pareto optimal solutions and the prisoner's dilemma but they are completely irrelevant to the skepticism observed here.
I believe the current skepticism around Silicon Valley's "Make The World a Better Place" mentality is deeply rooted in historical anxiety about institutional capitalism.
silicon valley really needs to get over itself. the only thing different about silicon valley and other companies is that silicon valley is to naive to realize they are just like every other company, no matter how much they doth protest.
companies dont set out to make the world a worse place for the most part, even hated companies like BP have good intentions. but if you want to be a publically traded company, and if you want to make money, you have to make profit.
i mentioned on HN before that its funny how Amazon is loved and Walmart is loathed. all the reasons why walmart is loathed Amazon has in spades.
i also feel your view on how capitalism works in the western world. in fact, it has always been a prisoners dilemma / golden rule do onto others as you would have them do onto you economy. thats actually a reason why capitalism has worked so well for the west, and one of the reasons why it took longer in places like China.
That suggests the cultural problem is decline in longer-term thinking or more likely a decline in arbitrary codes of behavior without a concomitant increase in longer-term thinking that would recreate many of those same norms.
American business used to place a high value on trust:"A man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom. I think that is the fundamental basis of business." -J. Pierpont Morgan
As another example, Warren Buffet seldom does diligence to determine an offer; he trusts those from who he buys to deal and report honestly.
In large scale democracy partisanship is not necessity.American system has some specific methods to cause it, compared to Finland where it isn't really a problem. And its really these TWO issues that make the american politics more partisan than rest of the world.
A) Election system is strongly geared towards creating two party. When new party has gained enough support it replaces one of the previous two parties at the control, and there is new TWO parties which compete each other. Compare that to systems in which allows smaller parties to get seats. For examble in Finland there are 3-4 big parties that total 60-70% of seats and rest goes to smaller parties.That means to pass anything you pretty much have to have two big parties agreeing on the matter and either third big agreeing or some small parties agreeing.
B) Executive branch is Winner takes all.In Finland the parliament(legislative branch) selects Executive branch and because no party has half or near half seats there is need to be enough parties agreeing on the matter. So if you are REALLY uncompromising you NEVER get to be part of executive branch EVEN if you become the biggest party of elections, since you didn't get more than half the seats anyway in multiparty system. The biggest party gets first attempt to create the cabinet, but they still need to get enough others onboard. The cabinet pretty much needs majority of legislative branch to support it. They need a program which over half the legislative branch supports and usually give seats in the cabinet to enough other parties that have over 50% of parliament. If biggest party fails to create agreement of the program the responsibility of trying to form the cabinet goes to next largest party. And if all else fails parliament may agree a minority government OR even putting some professional bureaucrats instead of politicians in top positions of executive branch. Both are extremely rare situations in here.
If a hunter goes out, learns out how to kill an animal, and then teaches everyone else in the tribe how to do the same, he is shooting himself in the foot because he is no longer useful. The tribe can get their own food and his specialization is no longer special. So he dies off. Unless, he's ready to retire the hunting business and/or holds the monopoly for creating the weapons.
In Musk's case, he seems more interested in what SpaceX is doing and just built the largest electric car battery factory.
It's amazingly philanthropic and evil genius at the same fucking time!
Sigh. One of the most prominent features of capitalism is that it relies on mutually beneficial exchanges.
This is all empirical studies.
This part is very confusing to me. I've always understood that deny was the screw-over move in the prisoner's dilemma. But this segment suggests that confessing is a local optimum. Have I misunderstood the prisoner's dilemma all these years?
We've got a lot of problems facing humankind right now. The stakes get higher every day. Whatever it is we have to do to solve the toughest one we need to do _whatever it takes._
a) I'm very cautious about working with American companiesb) Why my contractors nearly all bitch about working with American companies (I use a lot of contractors on oDesk and they tell me the same thing).
America's great but the lack of trust in business is the one thing that really grates on me.
Elon Musk is one of the few leaders in the world.
(1) Americans are "The Weirdest People in the World", per one review of psychological studies, in economic games. They're more willing to punish 'unfair' offers in the 'Ultimatum Game', and offer higher shares against naked self-interest in the similar 'Dictator Game'. See for more details:
(2) We've had a number of explicitly "anti-capitalist" nation-states in the last 150 years. They haven't been paragons of collective action for the greater good, or protection of the common environment. In particular, the ex-Communist societies and emigrants-from-same sometimes take a while to adjust to new economies where every stranger, government and non-government alike, isn't constantly trying to screw them under false pretense of shared-sacrifice.
The actual games in "capitalist America" are only very occasionally dog-eat-dog zero-sum affairs. More often, they're iterated games rewarding not just consciously chosen cooperation but an optimistic, cooperate-by-default mindset. Politics, with its zero-sum elections and redistributions, is an exception. Its partisanship shouldn't be attributed to market processes, but to electoral/governmental ones.
I'm reading the comments on the earlier thread and thinking 'shit, people are really negative'. I refresh the page and this thing shows up. Nice to see that at least on HN people possess Second Thoughts or would this be Thirds Thoughts?
This raised a lot questions for me though. I was trying to draw the payoff matrix for adopting Tesla technology. How would this look? How to estimate relative gains for each player? I was hoping he'd go through it a-la Khan Academy.
I am sorry, but that statement shows misunderstanding the issue at such level it is hard for me take his argument as something based on facts.
No. The skepticism around Silicon Valley has always been because of its coziness with the gub'mint. From internet to Siri, DARPA funds large parts of our research. And when this research reaches the public via SV, it automatically divides people into two groups - those who can use it and those who have been replaced. The group which can trump this research, though, keeps disappearing.
It doesn't, by definition, follow the principals of capitalism. That institution in 'institutional capitalism' is the government and it cannot be whitewashed over.
If you haven't seen it already, there's a BBC series called "The Trap" which raises interesting questions too around game theory reflecting human behaviour versus game theory driving human behaviour through modern capitalism.
Umm, you posted this article yourself to hn. You also plastered links to hn on the article.
It's very hard to believe you in this instance:)
Having said that, great article, keep them coming!
I think this should be between 0 and 100 (for the Nash equilibrium to work, anyway.)
Achievement-oriented people are given to depression both when they fail and when they succeed. If your identity is tied up in your work, then you feel bad about yourself when work isn't going well. That's obvious, and that's the message of this blog post. The implicit message is that you're depressed because you're not succeeding, so get your shit together and succeed and be happy like everyone else.
But then if you do succeed, you start to wonder, why did I just spend my youth in this masochistic, narcissistic path, and why the fuck am I not as happy as I was expecting, and is this really all there is in life. This is a classic "achiever in crisis." The problem is that you realize all along you've been doing things that OTHER people wanted -- that is, you've been doing things that make you valuable in society -- perfect summed up in the raison d'etre du jour, "making the world a better place." And nobody stopped you, because who can argue with making the world a better place? (Or being a doctor, or whatever.) But upon reflection, you quickly realize that this was in many ways easier than asking yourself what YOU wanted out of life. I.e. you've pushed aside your innate feelings and desires, whatever they may have been, and replaced them with the external motivation of achievement, under the rationale that you'd be able to "figure it out" after you had "made it".
Unfortunately achievers aren't really sure what they want "deep down" because achievement is inherently defined by society, and then after they've "made it" they freak out because they start to wonder if there even is a "deep down" or if they're just a highly educated donkey chasing a carrot.
If you talk to e.g. people who've gone through rigorous Ph.D. programs, you'll find a number of them were severely depressed after their defense. It was just kind of a let-down after such a long buildup, and then they started to wonder why they invested the entirety of their twenties into it and question whether that's really what they wanted their life to be. At least before the defense they could have something look forward to, and the various requirements provided a source of manic energy to propel the achiever forward.
Anyway I don't think the problem here is "not enough success," and I don't think the solution is having more coffee meetings. Founders need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves why they're doing what they're doing and whether their depression is truly a function of their free cash flow or if there's a deeper dissonance between the founder's feelings and the expectations of society, i.e. the heroic mythology of the founder that Silicon Valley has been inculcating in susceptible teenagers for the last 20 years.
Just my 2c. I am not a founder just an observer and aspiring societal psychiatrist. If you want to learn more I highly recommend "The Wisdom of the Enneagram":
It looks a lot like astrological pseudoscientific trash but read it and see if things in it resonate with you.
Ok back to work.
This is very true, and unfortunate. It makes it easy to feel like everyone is being successful except you. I realized this a couple years ago and, when talking to other founders, I just stopped sugar coating things about my situation. I would tell them about our struggles, what was going on, and its affect on me. I don't think I've ever been brought to tears as many times as this year. It is super painful, but lying about it is bad for all involved. You can't get the support you need, nor provide proper support to others.
I can definitely vouch for the dark days. I feel fortunate to be an eternal optimist who knows these things are temporary, but the startup lows are about as low as they come. On top of that, you have things like breakups, family emergencies and other tragedies that are already hard enough to deal with when you are not nursing a struggling company. When those things hit at the same time, it can feel impossible to do anything.
Seriously, as a founder, find a few people you can really confide in and do so. And, don't be afraid to say things aren't going well. You never know what people can do to help. On that note, though today isn't the best day for me to cheer up others, I'm available to chat for any founder going through dark days. firstname.lastname@example.org
This is super important. Non-founders often will not get it, in my experience. If you haven't started a company, you often will not have experienced the intense ups and downs, and just how fucked everything can be, even when you pour your life and soul into it, and that there really can be a light on the other side of the tunnel.
One brief tip: it is OK to give up your startup - don't feel that you can't.
If you're in a dark place, do take up the kind offers that people are making in this thread. (I'm email@example.com if you want to chat, and I've publicly fucked up one startup, so I understand.)
I've known founders whose VCs took their "down" moments as weakness. They "helped" them dilute to pave the way for future takeover. They exploited founders' weakness and talked about them behind their backs. Who can you really trust when you and your company are at their weakest?
1) The key role of sleep appears to be flushing toxins from the brain:http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2013/10/sleep-ulti...
2) Sleep disorders appear to precede mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression:http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/30/health/conditions/sleep-apnea-...http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/...
Your brain is your performance and health computer. Please remember to take care of it.
If you're in San Francisco, we can also get coffee.
You can't show weakness in public (web) for fear that a potential employer will flag you. You can't express your lament to many coworkers since it can come back to bite you.
Non-founders generally aren't subjected to the kind of lows that founders are, and have more room for camaraderie and confidants. But no matter who we are, it seems that were need to put on an air of invulnerability, and this bothers me immensely.
(And in general, I play the game as well)
Written 135 A.C.E.
Translated by Elizabeth Carter
1. Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.
Aiming therefore at such great things, remember that you must not allow yourself to be carried, even with a slight tendency, towards the attainment of lesser things. Instead, you must entirely quit some things and for the present postpone the rest. But if you would both have these great things, along with power and riches, then you will not gain even the latter, because you aim at the former too: but you will absolutely fail of the former, by which alone happiness and freedom are achieved.
Work, therefore to be able to say to every harsh appearance, "You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be." And then examine it by those rules which you have, and first, and chiefly, by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our own control, or those which are not; and, if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you.
Leased the first location, bought the second for about $2 mil, ($100k down)... Economy took a crap, road work, city restrictions, fking Denny's decided to open right next to my first location. I closed in 2010. Sole-Proprietor. Combine taxes, bills, loans, etc.. I was looking at around 1.5 mil in debt. I had $400 about at the time. The newspaper had me front page for closing, social media blew up, everyone wants to know wtf happened.
I made ALOT of mistakes, not saying I am a complete victim but it hurts... REAL bad. So I ran and hid. Couldn't own a bank account, had to move. All those "friends" ain't friends we you are in the gutter. Worked random jobs just to eat and pay rent on a shared room in a new town. Decided to code because it looked better than my bartending/sales jobs.
Learned code and now in the industry. Its fun to hear people get VC help, a co-founder, community support, nothing really on the line but other peoples money and time. Not saying that it's everyone or even the OP, but things could be sooooo much harder when falling from grace. When you get on your knees in front of all your staff and beg the power company rep not to shut off the lights, you are pretty close to that wonderful feeling. "Run it till the wheels fall off.."
This is not founder-specific but a fairly typical American greeting. "How's it going?" "Pretty good, you?" "Not too bad, how 'bout the weather / sports team?"
By comparison, the next time someone initiates the standard greeting try responding with something out of the ordinary. "I'm having a difficult time with foo" or "My wife and I just did this". Breaking the pattern will result in a lot more meaningful conversations.
It's not like people have to open their souls on their blogs.
But when high profile individuals like Sam "proclaim" that it's okay to talk about this, somehow it feels a lot safer to open up to people in person.
Especially if they're in a similar situation.
This was nowhere near the pressure of founding a company, but I took that experience and created an informal support group of founders amongst my colleagues too. It didn't last unfortunately, but I later got into an accelerator and found the same support group.
No matter what the cause of your stress or depression, having a good support system is extremely helpful. It ranges from Mommy/Daddy groups to AA to even a single good friend.
Unfortunately for many people, it's very difficult to find and/or build a support system.
P.S. I vaguely recall seeing an organization (maybe a startup) listed on HN that basically helped people find someone to talk to. Anyone remember the name?
I also find that being more frank, than is probably expected, on forums like this is somewhat cathartic. If you were to dig through my old posts (don't waste your time, it's not actually that interesting) you'll find my admitting to suicidal ideation, and talking openly about how I think I'd off myself in the "doomsday" scenario. I hope it never comes to that, and I doubt it will, but something about this almost pseudonymous forum leaves me feeling more comfortable about saying certain things. This is true even though my "real life" identity is clearly spelled out in my profile and is trivially easy to find. shrug
Anyway, I'm no mental health expert, but if anybody just needs a friendly ear to listen to them vent, feel free to give me a shout. If you're in the RTP, NC area, I'm happy to meet for coffee/food/drinks or whatever. Email and contact info in profile.
All the lows are worth it for the highs, because the alternative is working n wasting ur life away at a desk job. Which after experiencing many highs sitting at that desk makes you hate it and for me I only keep jobs for a year because of my incessant need to start up. Needless to say I don't lead the normal societal life as I have sacrificed such for my startups/dreams.
But oh the lows(depression) and instability... Like today because of my startup addiction it's time to find a new desk job.
This stuff is crazy HARD, but I can't stop!
Its very important, thus, to have established trust with your support network before you go into the founder seat. If you don't have a support network that consciously navigates around such things as TPS and mobbing-mentality, then you're going to be in for a hard time. The fact of the matter is that humans are subconsciously hard-wired to dissent against organizational structures requiring hard work and honest production, and a founder getting up there on the hill and attempting to work hard and produce new things needs to understand that the most difficult thing about organizing humans, is humans.
Disclaimer: founder who just went through all of the above, and still working hard to survive in spite of it all.
It's interesting to hear you speak about founder depression as you sit on top of the world.
Our team, openhospital.com, interviewed at YCombinator 6 weeks ago for the current batch and we failed (rejection email below). The $1100 interview reimbursement we received from YC only covered 1/3 of the cost of the trip and the time/energy spent applying could have been time and money spent coding and developing our product (and paying rent).
In the last 7 months I've managed to burn through my 401k from years software engineering jobs in pursuit building a cash medicine marketplace. I barely have enough money to pay my rent next month. In a desperate attempt to find capital, I also charged a trip to San Jose on my credit card 2 weeks ago to knock on doors up and down Sand Hill Road.
If you or anyone on this forum is interested in starting a cash medicine marketplace there is an opportunity to change the world and this needs to be done. Ironically my wife has horrible stomach problems and I spent two hours calling GI/colonoscopy doctors trying to find a cash price as I will be charging this on my credit cards as well.
I am desperate to start this and I don't care if I end up with 1/10000th of founder ownership at the end. We have a working provider site with several providers (18k lines of code). The other engineer on my team is smart (Stanford educated) and an awesome co-founder to work with.
Am I depressed? Yes. Am I giving up? Never.
My contact info is joe (at) openhospital.com if you Sam or anyone on this forum would like to chat.
If you are in Utah, we can grab food.
He talked about his breakdown, about how he was fired from ten or so jobs and slowly came to a realisation that I think is worth repeating - that you can accept your life is yours, if possible live "with no fear and no blame"
I certainly don't suggest his approach is perfect but I is interesting to see someone widely successful and respected talking about the same fears and depression pervasive within us.
Look for Seun Hughes / John Lloyd on iTunes
Seek specialist advice.
I personally try to limit success stories and get back to work :)
I don't have data on this, but I actually believe you increase your odds of success by being open about your insecurities. Among other things, it helps you form connections that are more human.
If anyone in SF would like to talk through stuff, my email is in my profile. I've seen my share of lows, and been helped by other entrepreneurs. Would like to pass it forward.
I think to myself "Well, I've certainly turned my life into a clusterfuck, but at least I'm not like some of these guys who went bankrupt, couldn't afford medical for their children or who died from overworking. Can't really complain, right?"
I guess I find it very hard to whine about my struggles and all the fuck-ups when it's self-imposed martyrdom. Nobody asked me to quit my cushy 6 figures 9 to 5. I was miserable at it, but doesn't mean I needed to do a startup instead.
The reason is quite simple -- successful founders are always positive because every event which happens has some positive impact in their perception, even if it might feel as a failure. Successful founders don't use the word failure, nothing is a failure to them.
People who are depressed -- it doesn't matter if those are founders or not -- tend to let external circumstances determine the mood or happyness level. Most people are happy when it's good weather and sad if it is raining, successful people do not let something like rain influence their mood level.
The question is rather why the topic 'depression' pops up quite often on HN.
My theory: I had very successful times as a founder and also -- let's call them -- 'slow' times as a founder, in particular in the beginning. When I had successful times I didn't check HN for months a single time, when I had 'slow' times, I checked HN every 30 minutes.
Let's just say, it involves dealing with somebody that developed severe mental illness, quickly.
Great project, way too little exposure for them though.
I've experienced depression while running a startup, and seeing a therapist was immensely helpful. A therapist who regularly sees founders as clients would have a stronger-than-usual feedback loop on what sorts of advice and recommendations can help.
Edit: While I think the advice of talking to other founders about depression is really excellent for those who have that option, I think back to when I've experienced depression and wonder whether it would have helped. Specifically I'm not sure I was even in a state to be able to act upon that advice. Generally my sense of self-worth was so deflated that it was very difficult to discuss it with anyone, and particularly anyone who I wasn't close friends with. Beyond my co-founders, few of my close friends were entrepreneurs.
There is a story of the founder who had just put a round together with a VC. Then, privately, the founder confided to a mutual friend, over dinner, about some of the difficulties. Result? The friend told the VC, the VC pulled out, and cited this conversation, saying that it was because his mutual friend said the company was having difficulties.
You can't afford to talk.
In a chart like this no data is lost in presentation. You can easily answer questions like "when did Android overtake iOS in marketshare?" and "is Windows Phone marketshare growing or shrinking?"
Stacked bar charts are better, but only a little better.
Line charts overlaid on top of each other are most clear, to me.
Like this: http://i.imgur.com/kyvpiax.png
Just use a normal line chart.
Here is my solution:
* It retains the line aspect of it, which is essential as we are talking about a trend here.
* It easily allows you to see it both in stacked and overlapped lines. Each one of them is good at communicating clearly a certain point about the data.
* It also mitigates the problem in nostromo's comment, where a whole bunch of lines could overlap without a clear view on a single point of interest.
The solution described is incorrect. Area charts and column charts are used to display different types of information. Area charts (and line charts, similarly) are used to display continuous data - data that must pass through point B to get from point A to point C. Column charts are used for non-continuous data.
You should use an area chart (or just a line chart) when tracking your weight. If you weigh yourself on Tuesday and you weigh 150 lbs, and then weigh yourself on Thursday and you weigh 155 lbs, because of how weight works, you can assume that between Tuesday and Thursday your weight traveled through all the points required to get from 150 lbs to 155 lbs.
If you're tracking the amount of hours you sleep every night, you should use a column chart. Just because you get 6 hours of sleep on Tuesday and 8 hours of sleep on Thursday doesn't mean you got 7 hours of sleep on Wednesday. The data isn't continuous.
For market share, that data is continuous - you can't get from 10% market share to 15% market share without passing through all the percentages in-between. Therefore, a column chart is very much the wrong way to display that information.
The problem with representing percentage breakdown over time this way is that it visually eliminates the size of the sample, be it size of market, number of users, page visits, etc. It is visually implying that the same size has stayed the same over time.
Take these two charts representing the breakdown of smartphone shipments by manufacturer: http://s831.us/1kmFK28 and http://s831.us/1kmFrEz
The first displays the percentage of market by manufacturer over time. In this chart, Apple's performance looks mediocre.
Then look at the second graph that displays the number of units shipped by manufacturer. Here the amazing growth of the smartphone market is visually captured along with the breakdown of which manufacturers are driving or benefiting from the growth.
My ascii art skills are failing me, and this is going to be hard without visual aids, but I'll try...
Overall, there was a significant and stable jump from best case to worse case (not worst case). What was interesting was that a chunk of time the size of that delta always fell in a single region but it was not always the same region but always roughly the same amount of time from the start. Since the process is small scale and kicked off at varying times, this means it was something asynchronous but triggered by our activity (or activity we were responding to).
After studying data visualization, it's surprising how most popular dashboard widgets/visualizations are relatively bad at encoding data versus simple things like sorted tables.
The perfect use case for stacked area charts (but not pinned to 100%) is when there are many categories, but one is very predominant, and you're interested in (a) the sum of all quantities and (b) the participation of the principal category.
Example: a country is mainly reliant on hydropower for domestic electricity; there are years where it doesn't need any other source (it's still cheapest....). So we want to track (1) the evolution of domestic consumption and (2) the share of hydropower (3) which years it hasn't been enough.
I'd like to think that in this age there's no need to force a static, unexplorable view of the data to the user at all.
Please chip in $5 if you can towards their goal.
What a fantastic project.
I use MuckRock to FOIA the CIA quite often, and they are probably the third-worst agency to deal with (behind the NSA and the US State Department). They don't even accept FOIA requests via email!
Hopefully, this will lubricate them a little bit.
"There is a great deal of often heated debate about these matters in the literature of the cognitive sciences, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind, but it is hard to see that any serious question has been posed. The question of whether a computer is playing chess, or doing long division, or translating Chinese, is like the question of whether robots can murder or airplanes can fly -- or people; after all, the "flight" of the Olympic long jump champion is only an order of magnitude short of that of the chicken champion (so I'm told). These are questions of decision, not fact; decision as to whether to adopt a certain metaphoric extension of common usage.
There is no answer to the question whether airplanes really fly (though perhaps not space shuttles). Fooling people into mistaking a submarine for a whale doesn't show that submarines really swim; nor does it fail to establish the fact. There is no fact, no meaningful question to be answered, as all agree, in this case. The same is true of computer programs, as Turing took pains to make clear in the 1950 paper that is regularly invoked in these discussions. Here he pointed out that the question whether machines think "may be too meaningless to deserve discussion," being a question of decision, not fact, though he speculated that in 50 years, usage may have "altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted" -- as in the case of airplanes flying (in English, at least), but not submarines swimming. Such alteration of usage amounts to the replacement of one lexical item by another one with somewhat different properties. There is no empirical question as to whether this is the right or wrong decision.
In this regard, there has been serious regression since the first cognitive revolution, in my opinion. Superficially, reliance on the Turing test is reminiscent of the Cartesian approach to the existence of other minds. But the comparison is misleading. The Cartesian experiments were something like a litmus test for acidity: they sought to determine whether an object has a certain property, in this case, possession of mind, one aspect of the world. But that is not true of the artificial intelligence debate.
Another superficial similarity is the interest in simulation of behavior, again only apparent, I think. As I mentioned earlier, the first cognitive revolution was stimulated by the achievements of automata, much as today, and complex devices were constructed to simulate real objects and their functioning: the digestion of a duck, a flying bird, and so on. But the purpose was not to determine whether machines can digest or fly. Jacques de Vaucanson, the great artificer of the period, was concerned to understand the animate systems he was modeling; he constructed mechanical devices in order to formulate and validate theories of his animate models, not to satisfy some performance criterion."
I would suggest shunning them is the right response.
The University of Reading is, of course, the august institution behind:
I think this proves that the Turing Test is more or less crap. Humans, who are easily fooled/socially engineered, can't just decide that "this is AI," like its some kind of American Idol-like contest. There should be some rational metric at work here. A bunch of different tests and human judgement as only one part of the testing suite.
Look at what IBM has been doing with Watson. It may never pass this test, but its probably the closest we have to AI (generalist self-learning system). Maybe this event will be the excuse we finally need to lay Turing's test to bed, permanently.
<Josiah, an 8 month old from Nashua, has entered the room>
S: Hi Josiah, I'm Steven. What do you like to do?
J: <no response>
S: Josiah, are you there?
J: <no response for 4 minutes>
J: uhqtuhq a
S: Excuse me?
<Steven has left the room>
>I chatted with the chatbot Eugene Goostman, and was not impressed. Eugene does not keep track of the conversation, repeats himself word for word, and often responds with typical chatbot non sequiturs.
Interrogator: "Hello, how old are you?" Bot: "I'm 2 and a half." I: What is your name? B: Keegan I: I live in the Capital of the United States. B: Why? I: Because there was a job open and I needed one. B: Why? I: Because I need money in order to live. B: Why? I: You know, to buy groceries and stuff. B: Why? I: What do you mean? B: I like butterflies! I: Oh, really? B: Yeah, do you know butterflies come from cappilars? I: Yeah, I knew that. B: Do you like butterflies? I: I guess so. B: Why? I: They look nice I guess. B: Why? I: I don't think you're a person, this is shit. B: SHIT! I: What? B: SHIT! I: Stop saying that. B: SHIT SHIT SHIT hehehe! I: Oh God damn it what did I do? B: SHIT SHIT GOD DAMN SHIT HEHEHE! I: I gotta go. B: OK, bye! B: SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!
At least in my example a 2 year old doesn't care what you're saying. It's able to learn better than the other example, but still not a lot is expected.
I bet there's some cognitive age level that we're able to emulate well enough to pass off as human, at least in terms of verbal communication. I think it would be useful if we were better able to measure that, and raise that level slowly. Maybe we actually can impersonate a 2 year old well, then what about a 3 year old? 4 year old? Where do we get hung up?
If we can't get a 2 year old's cognitive processes down without a doubt, we should build on that first instead of trying to do something more complex without an understanding of how to make the foundations of that intelligence work.
Look at this rule: The Computer will be deemed to have passed the Turing Test Human Determination Test if the Computer has fooled two or more of the three Human Judges into thinking that it is a human.
Suppose the Computer is absolutely perfect its responses (i.e., it should pass the Turing Test). The judges know that they're speaking to 3 humans and 1 computer, so if the judges are chatting with 4 equally-good subjects, they'll decide that one of the four is a computer on a whim. There's a chance that Kurzweil will lose just by arbitrariness.
It's like being asked to sample 4 glasses of wine to pick the worst. Unbeknownst to you, all 4 glasses have the same wine. Even though they're equally good, you'll reject one glass by some arbitrary measure. Maybe you felt an itch on your neck while drinking from the second glass, so that one is the bad wine.
( * 1) http://www.kurzweilai.net/a-wager-on-the-turing-test-the-rul...
Kurzweil is being too kind.
What this Eugene stuff has made me realize is that we need milestones around the Turing test in the pop-science lexicon, rather than just a pass fail. Kurzweil's right, this bot isn't a pass in anything like the spirit of the test. But, getting attention is a good thing. It encourages potential students and engages the public.
Maybe there could be a few variants of the test based on bot age, bot native language, judge age, judge proficiency, etc. These could be scored these by the percentage of judges fooled.
That way a new bot could break a previous record on one or more variant of the test. PR fodder. Legitimate accolades. The headlines could mean something. Fewer cranky nerds.
Kurzweil could do promote this.
"Eugene", I can imagine creating when I was 12.
If this was a sci-fi short, the twist would be "Ray Kurweil" admitting at the end of these negotiations that he was a bot that had borrowed the futurist's email address.
> Professor Warwick claims that the test was unrestricted. However, having the chatbot claim to be a 13-year-old child, and one for whom English is not a first language, is effectively a restriction.
Kurzweil seems to say that the bot lying is a restriction, but the Kapor-Kurzweil Turing Test Session rules explicitly allow the bot to lie about who they are:
> Neither the Turing Test Human Foils nor the Computer are required to tell the truth about their histories or other matters. All of the candidates are allowed to respond with fictional histories.
I suppose he's just addressing Professor Warwick's claim. Nevertheless this point doesn't seem to make any difference to what Kurzweil would consider a passing bot and the casual reader is baited into saying "The bot failed because it lied it's history."
Turing never even mentioned the criteria that participants should be aware that they are possibly talking to a computer. This single criteria should not matter for intelligence IMO, because the whole point of the test was to abstract away the appearance. The other way around: a chatbot doesn't pass the test if a participant mistakes a human for a machine.
People fail the Turing Test all the time when unaware of chat scripts. Even some upvoted Hackernews comments may have been artificially generated without being detected as such.
The best way for me to detect if something is up, is to ask the chatbot about Alan Turing, 42 and the Turing Test. Then to curse at it. Most chatbot makers can't resist adding lines specifically for these questions, or they show feigned annoyance that is easy to pick up on. I got Goostman to admit that he was a Turing Test and then we talked about bots some more. Eugene ended with:
I call all these chatter-bots "chatter-nuts" due to their extremely high intelligence. I hope you recognize irony.
Full conversation here: http://pastebin.com/Wf4uiCRf
What we need is more of a Turing "score". The design would be a website (say) where each human participant will be presented with both "defend your humanity" challenges (as a subject) or "judge other's humanity". For the former, you'll try to convince an interviewer that you are human; for the latter, you'll be presented with two subjects, and asked to identify which is human (possibly with a "both human" or "both robots" option).
Based on this, individuals will get an ELO score (like chess) on how often they "win" the contest as a subject, that is, are identified as human (or as "more likely to be human than their opponent").
Computer programs will participate as subjects; the requirement will be that the behavior is deterministic given a random seed presented (to them only) at the beginning of the conversation,is to prevent cheating and allow reproducibility.
On an orthogonal level, participants acting as judges could be scored on how often they are correct in making the identification; and there's no reason that computer programs could not compete on this side as well. And this could even feed back into the score for humanity; you get more credit for fooling a good judge than fooling a bad judge, etc.
He wrote that back in 1992, and I think it's still very relevant now.
Limits to Imagination
I think we should have much greater ambition than to make a computer behave like an intelligent butler or other human agent. Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), hypertext/hypermedia, multi-media, information visualization, and virtual realities are powerful technologies that enable human users to accomplish tasks that no human has ever done. If we describe computers in human terms then werun the risk of limiting our ambition and creativity in the designof future computer capabilities.
1. regex the input and spit back canned responses:Question: I live in the |||<<capital of the United States>>|||. Do you know where that is?Eugene: Every nerd knows that the |||<<capital of The United States is Washington>>|||.
2. if you get confused spit back out something from the chat historyQuestion I live in the capital of the country that put a man on the moon.Eugene:: Well, if you want it, the |||<<capital of The United States is Washington>>||.
3. if you haven't been able to find a regex pattern match in a while try to derail the conversation.Question: How old were you when you started to wear glasses?Eugene: No I was not! How can you think so?! If Im not mistaken |||<<you still didnt tell me where you live>>||. OR its a secret?:-)
In fact this bot is pretty bad. You can tell from the output that it couldn't pattern match virtually any of the inputs and responses 3,7-10 are an attempt to change the topic of the conversation. Responses 4,5 are pattern match misses that are regurgitating from the chat history. Only 1,2,4 are response matches from the parsing engine.
Maybe one-day there'll be a test where we have to convince a super intelligent sentient machine that we can be more than just human...
In fact if you read it, the whole claim that you can call more than 30% of the judges getting a test wrong one time 'passing the Turing test' is rather contrary to what Turing actually was saying.
Me: heyMe: hola!Me: que pasa?Me: 'sup?
If the bot/person on the other end tried to respond exactly 4 times that would be a very strong indication that something's amiss. And most likely they would trip up on the slang term at the end.
It also seems to have problems with slang.
Somewhat interestingly, Firefox built their entire add-on architecture because Joe Hewitt wanted dev tools (for debugging the actual browser moreso than websites), and Firebug was split off from Firefox and made into an add-on. A decade later, this has reversed and every major browser now ships with integrated dev tools.
@Firebug 2 devs: Please make the JSON preview table-rows-width adjustable - the JSON "key" row-width is too wide!
@Firefox DevTools devs: please finally fix support your JSON preview (see above)
It looks like a variant of Open Sans, if anyone would point me to it, I can fix it.
I'd consider dropping Chrome for this feature, as Chrome broke pretty printing in some cases in a recent update.
I prefer Firebug over other dev tools but it is useless without this feature.
Entering safe mode, uninstalling the existing version and attempting to close all tabs related to Firebug seemed to fix the problem.
So you may want to try removing your existing Firebug before installing.
Can I inspect Websockets with Firebug?Or maybe newer Firefox versions ?
about:config -> devtools.inspector.enabled -> false
If I "share" via e-mail, then I transmit a document to others. After this, each recipient has a separate copy which, thereafter, is completely out of my control.
If I "share" via social network, then I upload a document. This makes a single copy, accessible to previously chosen people. It is (depending on the social network) somewhat under my control. Others can comment on it.
If I "share" via something like Dropbox, then I make the document accessible to others. No copy is made. If I share via URL, then I give read access. If I make a shared folder, then I give both read and write access.
Now, we techies know these are different things. Our mental model of non-technical users' thinking might suggest that, to them, these are all the same kind of action.
But are they?
Does an average non-technical user think of folder sharing, Facebook posts, and e-mail messages as the same category of action? I'm not sure he does.
The share icons are Facebook, Twitter and Google+ logos. The share icon that nobody agrees to is actually just the icon that is going to reveal the interface of the actual share icons.
I think that users don't want to share, they want to post on facebook, tweet or do the thing that people on google+ do(sorry, never used it) because the context of the thing that you are going to share is often appropriate to one of these and the reflex of the user is something like "I should post this on facebook so that my friends see it" or like "I should tweet this so that my audience sees it".
You can't find the logo for the share icon because the action is fundamentally something else. I don't know, maybe the button that will open the interface for the sharing buttons should just represent the logos of the services available.
Many of the others are trying to represent the abstract concept of "sharing", which doesn't fit the use case at all. That's why those icons don't make any sense. Others are representing specific technical concepts like graphs that again, only make sense for certain specific uses and aren't especially intuitive.
In many ways, it makes sense to outsource this kind of design to someone that doesn't speak any English and run the brief through a translator. That way you're forced to explain the concept that the icon needs to represent, instead of having the icon represent the English word that happens to be (perhaps wrongly) attached to the concept.
Distilling the concept down to an arrow pointing outwards to represent sending something is the kind of minimalist, universally intuitive design that Apple are often brilliant at. Approaching the design task like an engineering task is likely to lead to this as the optimal solution. I find it endlessly interesting that good designers tend to do this intuitively, in spite of not thinking anything like Engineers, whereas Engineers tend to do the opposite if forced to do design.
This clarifies the author's preference for icons with the arrows, fits with the usual mix of upload/post-to-social-app/open-in-other-app actions, and removes the motivation for the somewhat out-of-place milkshake icon.
(You can keep the 'share' label for marketing purposes if you want...)
The new Apple icon is less abstract, but it does seem to scream upload/send to server, which is also a function I might expect in similar situations as a share function; I think the old one is better because it points to the side signifying communication towards a peer.
The Windows 8 one is fine, easily understandable in context for the same reasons as the new Android one, but it lacks any semblance of directionality. It's a bit hilarious that it's almost identical to the Ubuntu icon.
The other two are terrible and I probably wouldn't expect them to signify sharing even in a context where I'd expect the functionality.
Edit: Of course I am an Android user so this may just be (confirmation?) bias at work. :)
I just have a bookmark. Google+, bam. Twitter, bam.
My phone uploads all photos to Google+ whenever it finds Wifi and if I want to share a photo it's because I'm using Google+ at that moment. I don't need to share photos from anywhere, at most I generally need to export photos.
But the share button has become to ubiquitous that now it seems to have taken the place of export in iPhoto, as an example. I need to navigate menus to find the export option.
I don't need functionality spelled out for me while I'm using a computer like it was something designed by Fisher Price. If I want to send an email I'll start composing an email. If I want to share something on Google+ I'll go use that application.
iPhoto doesn't have an upload to Google+ option, in the case that I'm trying to manage photos from my digital camera. Which brings up another problem, which is that Facebook and Apple are in each other's pockets. Once these share buttons are ubiquitous then companies when they feel like it omit options.
The Android share icon has been around since (at least?) 2006 and was used a lot on websites, particularly Wordpress-based sites.
It was initially open source but then sold Share This and trademarked. Most services use the icon shape without ST's green button background.
In terms of the milkshake, that's the perfect icon. You actually share something when you stop having "a whole" and now you have "a part" but then someone else has "a part" as well. That's what I've seen parent teach their kids over and over again. Sharing the ball: we both use it, share your candy we both enjoy it, even if it means I'll have less.
With electronic articles and other media that gets shared, you actually share nothing in that sense, you just let someone know about it, whilst still keeping the whole yourself.
I know that semantically you can also "share information", and you lose nothing by doing it. But my point is that maybe most people associate sharing with "losing a bit to give to someone else" instead of just "letting know".
I am thinking hard and haven't come up with a better word, I admit it, but maybe there is actually a better word for describing that "electronic share" action?
The bullhorn looks promising, but like someone said, it looks like an axe is too small. And also someone else said it would have to be different enough from a volume icon.
Maybe two hands apart, one with a piece of "the whole" and the other hand with the other piece?
In that regard I liked the Android icon a lot, even though it's a bit too abstract. But it conveys the idea that you just multiplied the information, without losing anything yourself. Maybe a diagram of an "information bus" could work? like a straight horizontal line with a perpendicular line protuding from it, indicating that you keep going but still produced a new path/road/source?
Edit: added clarification
By far my biggest pet peeve re:action icons these days are the Android copy/paste icons. Here's a screenshot I found: http://i.stack.imgur.com/87bDm.png pardon the annotations -- I found it in a Stackexchange thread).
I challenge anyone to tell me what each one does (without testing first).
Personally, I like the iOS 6 icon over the iOS 7 version. They're almost the same, except the new one places too much emphasis on "up." For example, when using the Meme Producer app and you want to save the picture to your photo library, the app uses the iOS 7 "action" icon but it feels awkward to then immediately go to the "download" icon to actually save. http://i.imgur.com/YtVd5WZ.jpg
A huge part of what 'sharing' is today is actually publishing albeit to a controlled group of people. Often on social sites sharing is in fact publishing in the classic sense since many posts are public.
I wonder whether this is a branding thing. 'Sharing' seems to be a more intimate and special or exclusive one-one activity (think secrets), while 'publishing' seems to be a far more public one-many activity. Strange then that so many companies try to use 'share' to cover many to one. I guess you can 'share' a story around a campfire, but again, you probably know everyone you are sharing with.
Given the association of sharing with familiarity I think it is quite devious of companies to use such a term to describe an activity which is actually publishing.
The outgoing or upload are nouns that don't mean share either.
The Google Android - three dots approach seems to be the simplest, most logical, where one becomes two (or more).
Our previous share icon was two arrows facing diagonally in opposite directions. The main problem with that was that it was very close to our "embed" icon. We knew we wanted to change it, but we didn't know what icon to use.
We had a bunch of mockups that included some of the icons found in this article.
Ultimately, we ended up deciding on a paper airplane. It definitely is familiar to people in terms of sending email, but we also thought it was a playful and fun way to indicate sharing. Really it was the only icon that we all liked.
It might not be immediately clear at first, but hopefully after using it you get the hang of it.
You can check it out here:https://vimeo.com/76979871
And yes, I am the one in the opening shot of the video who throws the airplane :)
and at 32px wide:
Like, I would use these as my heuristic guidelines if I was on the job and constraints dictate that I can't spend time on researching icons. But I wouldn't write a blog post authoritatively telling people that one icon is more recognized that the other without having some kind of research to back it up.
Then again, the author does say at one point that their research is extremely informal, so maybe I'm just projecting my feelings about the cowboy nature of the UX profession right now. But I still feel like they could do more to qualify that these just appear to be their best guesses about how people interpret the share icon.
In general, this kind of thing would actually be a interesting research project.
In the old days Microsoft was creating an icon and everybody used that, otherwise people would not understand what a given button is doing. Web and mobile devices with multiple os changed all that.
Another thing is how much iconized guis are. In theory it would be enough to create an icon with "Share" written on it. Nobody even tries that now, not even icon + text.
This is also a beautiful example of how much text/speech is sometimes more powerfull then picture. It seems that not always "picture is worth a thousand words".
Share -- exemplified by iPhoto -- means share by any means (e.g. email, youtube, twitter, facebook, burning a DVD). Thus, Apple's icon makes perfect sense -- more sense than the Y -- based on this. You might be sharing with one specific person, or everyone. The point is that you're sending stuff OUT.
Most of the others treat sharing as something special that is "distribute by any method except the other things we have icons for".
For good reasons, too: when you want to share something, you invariably want to do so in a specific manner, meaning email, FB, twitter, HN, etc., rather than plain "share".
It also makes sense to me because I most frequently want to share specific things with specific people rather than everyone.
I wonder if there might be two different share icons - one to share with someone specific, and one to share with the world at large.
I think the author's own greater familiarity with one icon (by virtue of being an OSX/iOS user) has led him to make an overreaching conclusion about the wider population.
For instance, while the milkshake icon is an interesting new approach, I wonder how much sense it makes in many cultures and countries.
It's unique and memorable after you learn it. Not like the million other arrows we have in icons.
When I was a kid, this is what I thought the old "Find" binoculars icon from Microsoft Word / Netscape was. It seems to me that an icon that brings this association inadvertently is better than a contrived abstract symbol that requires explanation.
I tend to stay away from any 'Share', 'Mail', 'Like' and related buttons. If I want to share something, I'll use my own server so that only those who I intend to share with are party to the conversation.
I honestly believe that this is the case for all the icons. As an Android user and developer, I wouldn't associate the box with the up arrow with a "share" action, much less the Windows 8 circle thing.
Ok, ok, how about wrapped candy?
It's just perfect!
i find it confusing.
It will be a random share icon.
until we can measure how many times each user clicks on individual icons, and optimize in the future to use that previously used icon for that user. After some data collection period the user will be served the icon he identifies more readily.
Some heuristics can be added initially, like showing the android icon if the user agent is android for 90% instead of random.
Will be taking round A tomorrow by noon. thank you.
This website uses a herd-to-read font and disables pinch-to-zoom (an essential feature) on my iPad.
Rather, download a screen reader (for Windows I like Windows Eyes), learn to use it, shut off your monitor and spend one hour trying to use the web. That will give you all the context that you need. Once you're armed with this experience, make navigating through your site with your screen reader part of your regular QA process.
If you follow these steps you will:
- craft sites that are significantly easier for people with visual impairments to use.
- build sites that are easier for search engines to crawl.
- gain an understanding of WCAG that you can apply to everything you develop.
This method will not prevent usability nightmares like horrible font/icons, but it will get you most of the way to WCAG.
Does the ADA apply to the web? Yes. This has been supported in court, when the National Federation of the Blind successfully sued Target over their e-commerce site:
The ADA is a great example of important legislation that protects the rights of a minority group that is regularly ignored by the market.
Please caption your videos, or make transcripts available.
 Google "percentage of people with hearing loss" to see multiple sources converging on this number
Well, yeah, because apparently no one fucking cares. Including you. (I said this not out-loud, to be clear.)
I also guess that people with more severe disabilities are less likely to control large corporate or personal budgets than the general population and those that do are either very good at working around their disability of simply have others to who do it for them.
It's also possible that making a site easier to use for somebody with one disability might have the effect of making it worse for a person with a different disability.
The latest fad with soft pink and grey is really bad, almost unreadable for me. Luckily, I can usually just select the text and get blue/white contrast, which makes it more readable, but lately I've seen people override this too, or simply just hijack the ability to select text. I could open it in a screenreader or something similar, but usually I just close the tap and move along. Just keep that in mind if you decide to override how the browser behaves.
A funny side note, which was very clear on this website: When you're using pie charts, also know that it's almost impossible for colour-blind people to read them. The only two I could pick out was Chrome and IE11.
1. Contrast. Don't use gray text on gray background 
2. Keyboard accessibility. Avoid adding onclick handlers on elements that are not an <a> / <input> / <button> ; use tabindex to make certain page element focusable and CSS's :active, :focus pseudoselectors (adding border, outline, changing background color etc.) to clearly indicate where's the focus for the keyboard users so they can navigate the page easily.
3. Avoid quickly-disappearing menus and everything that requires precise mouse pointing (elderly people tend to have problems with that) and can't be triggered from keyboard.
There are lots of websites failing at those basic things. When you fix that, you can start going further and making site further accessible for certain minorities.
 http://contrastrebellion.com/ http://jakub-g.github.io/accessibility/onclick/
Then you can test with the screenreader NVDA (if you have access to Windows or a Windows VM):
I'm no expert, but the process of using ARIA in HTML feels very much like trying to employ "semantic" HTML5 tags, except that ARIA provides a much richer vocabulary. It can be good inline documentation, too: when you come back later and wonder, "What is this div for?", seeing a role="presentation" attribute is a handy thing.
It starts to feel like ARIA takes over the responsibility of semantics and HTML becomes just a scaffold, even moreso than it has been in its relationship with CSS (tags that serve no purpose except as hooks for styling). Which I appreciate, because "semantic HTML" has always felt limited, awkward and a bit pointless, apart from the small part of the effort that has known SEO implications (h1 elements and so forth).
I agree with the OP that the reason most developers don't build accessible sites is because they don't use the accessibility tools and hence have no understanding of how they actually work and the experience they provide for their users. Reading the List Apart article I linked to was rather eye-opening to me (no pun intended) because I didn't realize that I could just use a Chrome plugin or my iPhone's voice-over as a screen reader to actually experience it myself. I am now wishing I could go back and change a lot of html structure on sites I've built in the past to make it easier to navigate via screenreaders!
First, these two groups may or may not be mutually exclusive. Catering for the former may take care of some of the latter too.
Second, this question is actually very easy to answer. Catering to disabilities makes almost no money. Catering to IE9 gets the customers that forgot or don't know how to upgrade. That's a wash when it comes to advertising.
Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not playing devil's advocate. I do my best to cater to people with poor vision for anything I write. That includes anything I use colour for. I'm simply answering the question as if I were the CEO of a company, where my goal is to make as much money as possible, and not care about anything else.
As your font choice and general blog layout seem to indicate, yes.
Don't do it for the disabled.Do it for the blind and deaf unstoppable corporate robots.
But the inability to replicate the experience in full, I think , inhibits catering to that demographic.
Or does a disability correlate with going out less which might correlate with spending more time and money online?
I could never have imagined how huge the movement can grow, and I hope you help us celebrate it next year.
And, yes, bad no, really BAD readability of web sites seems to be quite standard these days (including HN). And, on top of that, the worst offenders block the zooming functionality in mobile browsers. Mankind never had a shortage of torture specialists.
There was a talk at WWDC about improving accessibility and usability in web apps if anyone is interested in learning more: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2014/#516
> Show me a virtual machine that I can test with, that puts me in the shoes of a user w/ a disability, and I'll develop with accessibility in mind.
> Well to be honest I can test my code in IE9 to see if it works. But I have no idea how a disabled person is experiencing my website, I do put all the "alt" attributes etc...but it's hard to imagine it.
Turn off your monitor. Turn your laptop brightness all the way down. That's what it's like to use your website while blind. Basic screenreaders for the web cost zero dollars and could not be easier to install . A screenreader for Mac OS  costs zero dollars and is already installed on your machine.
Stop pretending that these tools are mysterious. You or someone you know might have no choice but to become an expert screenreader user tomorrow. Have a little bit of compassion.
It's also hard to take the author's opinion on web-design seriously when they make such decisions for their own site.
1) We don't cater to IE9, which is at 5.11% according to stat counter. IE9 is a bad choice point for this - it's the first IE that had auto-update. Everyone left. We're catering to IE8+; 8 is currently at 6.5%.
2) You don't count the version; you count the version and all its successors. That is, we're not catering to 8, we're catering to 8+. 8+ is at almost 35% and is still the dominant aggregate browser.
3) Where does 14% come from? This says 6.8%, or roughly half what's claimed, in the same neighborhood as the browsers mentioned: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1417-Accessibilit....
4) You can't cater to disabled users. They're not one thing. What you do for the colorblind isn't the same as what you do for the blind, which isn't the same as what you do for people who have specialty control systems, which isn't the same as what you do for micro-screens, which isn't the same as what you do for people who have motor control circumstances, et cetera.
5) The web solution for this is WAI-Aria, which began in mid-2012, and became a candidate recommendation three months ago.
6) Microsoft has been requiring WAI-Aria for store apps since late 2012.
7) Most people have never heard of WAI-Aria.
8) As far as I know, no single group of disabled users reaches 1% of the userbase.
9) Supporting old browsers is way, way easier than supporting disabled users. Old browsers mean installing a shim and fighting a couple bugs, and that level of effort leaves people writing angry blog posts for five years. Supporting disabled users means learning how (there's basically no tutorials, but ample angry blog posts with bad statistics) then finding someone who has the equipment to test it on, then learning that you have to re-order everything on the entire site because the reader software can't be told that the source order isn't the reading order, then adding several properties to every single tag on every single page, then having no way to audit.
10) Many of us /do/ cater to the disabled. Your site has no aria markup at all, is peppered with empty iframes (which will wreak havoc on older readers,) and is covered in images that have no reader equivalents. You are actually substantially less disability friendly than the average webpage.
11) Even people with full sight find a font and color scheme like that very difficult to read.
12) In short, because like you, most small web authors are more comfortable writing about the problem than being part of the solution.
Lack of empathy, basically. There's very little financial or technical incentive to supporting disabled users. People just don't give enough of a shit to help people who have a hard time using technology. Sadly it's going to take a strong push from an advocacy group for disabled users to be taken seriously, just like they were necessary to get ramps and rails as required for all businesses.
You usually can't have a design that makes all of them happy at once.
For example, high contrast UI themes often leave large white areas on the screen that users with glaucoma find blinding, but other users like a lot.
*there are exceptions for some industries
Apologies in advance for the poor (attempt at) humour, I don't mean to trivialise a real issue, only to ridicule IE9 users.
In all seriousness it's due to the complexity of catering for certain disabilities each of which require entirely different technical solutions, and some of which depending upon OS and various devices can be seamlessly provided for.
I would say a better question here is why isn't there more standardisation on the technology and approach to better serve the needs of people with a disability.
It's not a purely technological issue either, I've never seen a tender for website or application development with any provision for it. And I've seen a fair few.
if she is so concerned about making websites accessible for those with impairments, why in the heck did she choose that font?!?
2nd, you are really twisting things. first you take ALL people with disabilities (term used generously), and use that to justify websites having to comply with an issue that effects less than 1% of the population. the vast majority of disabilities falls under visual impairment, and all websites should strive to make them readable.
Then you do the complete opposite to IE. you disregard all the IE versions and focus on just one. in short, you lumped all disabilities to validate your point about one specific part of it and bifurcated the IE market to make it seem smaller to prove your point.
The NYT spent a whole high-profile article highlighting the issue of a silently shifting court record. This completely removes the "silently".
It's time to adopt the ideas we've learned in CS to other professions.
If only we could get a transcript of legislators' or government officials' conversations with influence groups...
And you can't really sue the guys...
We can review them... We have the technology.
He still refuses to admit that he made any sort of mistake.
I filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which you can find here:
Other judges refuse to cite wiki citations at all. When I brought the issue to the attention of the First Circuit as misconduct, they dismissed it, carefully refusing to use the word "wiki" in their public Orders because that might admit that judges cite wikis whenever they feel like it. I appealed; they refused to use "wiki" in the Order once again. Instead, they refer to an "on-line source."
Wiki citations can be edited by anyone, including adverse parties, during or after proceedings, presenting the exact same problem as silent edits in opinions after they have already been issued. Whenever there is a better source they should never be cited. The behavior of Judge Collings, the First Circuit, and the Supreme Court does not inspire much confidence in the Courts.
We've always been at war with Eurasia.
There are some absurdly obvious ways to improve the T. One study was done in NYC which showed that making the busses free would actually save them money, as the gas/time spent idling (and delayed) actually cost them more than fares. I wouldn't go this far, but I'd say that if there are 50 people in line to get on a bus, that they shouldn't charge a fare to just get things on-time. As-is, I see bus drivers hold up things all the time for one person counting their nickles to get on the bus; that is simply inefficient. - http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2013/06/fares
Other places like Park St could be massively improved. Have one side of the platform (outer side), be the side that people get on the trains from, and the center area be the place that people get off the train. This would streamline foot traffic in the station. Make some stairways one-way to additionally streamline foot traffic.
For some reason, Boston never planned for bypass capability, for trains to be able to get around stations, run express or in parallel. NYC did it, and it helps a great deal with construction, disabled trains, express trains, etc... Not all the the T is 100+ years old, and for newer lines/stations such certainly could have been done.
I could probably sit here all day and think of basic improvements to help with things like this, but it takes the T forever to implement anything. How many years did it take to get the signs on the Red/Green lines operational for tracking train positions (a trivial problem in my mind, from an electrical and implementation side. These days, I'd just use iBeacons...)
And, you might have missed at the bottom of the page... here's a realtime version: https://mbta.meteor.com/
Do you commute from the north part of the city to the west part of the city? Plan an extra hour per day for the next 30 months or so.
>Service starts at 5AM on Mondaymorning. Each line represents thepath of one train. >Time continuesdownward, so steeper lines indicateslower trains.
Has anyone else noticed this issue? (Arch Linux, Chrome: 35.0.1916.114)
The chart I'm talking about is in Tufte's Envisioning Information, and is one of my favorite examples in all of his books: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BpxpK-1CIAAl2yH.png:large
This is fine, except that it limits those who need to tinker in order to find out how those concepts work. When the elements are visually recognizable and physically manipulatable, you can tinker without having to hold the entire chain on concepts in your mind. It reduces the load and increases the likelyhood of 'playing around'.
I hope some day more of Victor's ideas can be realized through the understanding that visualizing processes allows us to use more of our brain to design and develop or products -- not to mention stumble upon and explore unexpected outcomes.
The challenge in both the maker space as well as much of the visual learning and programming material he has done previously is that each of them is incredibly time consuming to adapt to each new different project. In the real world even similar tasks within projects in the same domain often have enough subtle differences that re-use is not possible or very costly.
That isn't to say these are insurmountable but maybe much of the focus needs to be on meta-tooling that can accelerate the work of experts to build these purpose-built environments (as opposed to making generic tooling).
2 things came to mind though.
1. It seems, possibly, the exact wrong time to make rooms with giant displays. With things like Google Glass and Oculus Rift as first gen (2nd?) VR/AR you could project all of that info virtually and cheaply and be able to have all the visualization he describes wherever you are, not just at a makerspace that only a few people can use at a time.
2. I'm always super inspired by the Bret's visualizations but when I actually try to figure out how they'd be implemented I'm clearly not smart enough to figure out how that would happen.
In this example in particular, he shows graph toward the end where the system tries every setting and graphs the results so it's easy to pick out the best setting. How would that happen? How does the system know what "good" is? It seems to me it can't know that. You'd have to program it which in itself would be pretty hard. Worse, most system have not just one adjustment but many. Just a few and there'd be tens of thousands of variations/combinations to try to figure out "best".
I'm not saying we can't get there. Maybe the first step is building a framework that would make it easy to make systems like that with various kinds of visualizers, analysers, time-recording, searching features etc, and maybe somewhere along the way we'd figure out how to automate more of it.
I'd love to help work on such a system.
More specifically see phybots:
Kato leverages the overhead camera trick in this system, though in a bit different way. See "A Toolkit for Easy Development of Mobile Robot Applications with Visual Markers and a Ceiling Camera:"
See http://SchemaTheory.net for a draft presentation that is still in work. Audios are still in production for the tutorial.
Other papers on Schemas Theory are at https://independent.academia.edu/KentPalmer and http://emergentdesign.net and http://archonic.net
A good book on Schemas is Umberto Eco Kant and the Platypus.
Basically schemas theory tells us what it is possible to see and also give us the intelligible templates for our designs.
Some pretty tools in there.
My experience with years of embedded programming is that NO HUMAN BEING is made for working with the cold, brainless machine or metal if you don't visualize your data.
Even the person who tells you she likes doing it, she can't work on it for long periods of time without burning.
It is like climbing over 7.000meters of altitude. Humans could survive for some time with those conditions, but depleting internal resources fast.
You could collaborate, sharing the same view, or each individual could project different views, or mix and match.
Let say you're doing some medical research, growing some cell cultures and you add some compounds to the cell cultures to see what happens. Then something weird happened to some of the cell cultures, and you don't know exactly what caused it. Perhaps that thing was really an important scientific discovery waiting to happen, but you missed it, because you didn't have all the data.
The process is normally recorded with a lab diary, where you write down everything deemed important. The problem is, you're not going to notice everything, and there is also a lot of things that you can't see without more sensors that just your eyes.
The system Bret describes here is basically an automated lab diary. With enough sensors it could record much more data, much more accurately than a person, and it has a way to query the actual data rather than having to either manually browse through pages of text or searching through it with just a basic full-text search engine.
A problem with many scientific experiments is that you might a lot of measuring equipment and sensors for the thing you are doing an experiment on, but you don't have the same thing for the experiment itself, to easily be able to debug the process and to see where something went right or wrong. Why was one lab able to reproduce an experiment, but another couldn't? This kind of questions can be very difficult and time consuming to answer.
And if you're going to talk about ideas and inspiration: Lighttable does nothing that emacs didn't do 20 years ago except a little prettier.
So it's good to stick to some boundaries. In the example of the robot: you could measure room temperature, because maybe the sensors are acting to it. Or you could measure the amount of people in the room because sensors could act to it. Heck, maybe the sensors are acting different to different people, so track there faces and store it. Well maybe sensors are sensitive to somebodies smell so track that too.
There are limits to what is useful to track.
The tl;dr of Haxl: what if you could describe accessing a data store (a la SQL) and have the compiler and library work together to "figure out" the most efficient way to perform queries, including performing multiple queries in parallel? That's what Haxl does, it allows you to specify the "shape" of your query, the type checker verifies its correctness, and the library executes it in parallel for you, without the developer having to know about synchronizing access or anything.
Here's a link to their paper (PDF): http://www.haskell.org/wikiupload/c/cf/The_Haxl_Project_at_F...
* - I am not sure if he's still committing, or if he's only doing application development. His accomplishments in Haskell land though, are many.
Edited: I removed my comment about GitHub issues, seems it's a known problem. :)
As said by @nbm, we also have a blog post up: https://code.facebook.com/posts/302060973291128/open-sourcin....
It contains a lot more information about the problem it was originally created to solve, and potential other use cases.
Why do Haskell libraries on Hackage doesn't come even with a single example, getting started, how to use, quick start, nothing, really, just function declarations? This scares Haskell newbies.
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee this morning. Can someone explain how you would get second best in this case? Wouldn't you never meet a candidate better than the best of that first group and exhaust the rest of the candidates?
The key is to realize time and effort is finite, and that you can always keep on looking if you don't have a stopping point.
But this does not mean you have to do this EVERY time. Say you have done a round on interviews before and you are tasked with interviewing for a new position: you might hire the first person you speak with because you know the population model, and they are high up with respect to that.
In common parlance, this is called "being experienced"
A store has just opened in New York City that offered free husbands. When women go to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the entrance:
You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors to choose from. You may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the store to find a husband. On the 1st floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs
The 2nd floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
The 3rd floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and are extremely Good Looking.
Wow, she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the 4th floor and sign reads:Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
Oh, mercy me! she exclaims. I can hardly stand it! Still, she goes to the 5th floor and sign reads:Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor and the Sign reads:Floor 6 - You are visitor 71,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that you are impossible to please.Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.
Am I missing something? Surely...
IMHO, it's remarkable how a girl ages the way her mother aged. And some age well while other don't (both in physical/emotional).
So, don't get hung up with the girl only. Think about her family in your 'equation' too.
As an aside, the best thing about the Marriage Problem is that it shows that it is much, much better to be the side making invitations instead of the side awaiting invitations. So being a guy is a pain in (generally) having to invite the woman, but that power translates into guys tending higher in their ultimate stable matching range than women. (Surprise! Hospitals make invitations to residents, not the other way around.)
My understanding is that this also give you 36.8% of not finding a wife at all because the best one is in the learning set. So 36.8% chance of success (picking the best one), 36.8% chance of no wife and 26.4% chance of picking the wrong one. I suppose there are different algorithms for different types of bachelors. Bachelors working under marry-or-lo-your-inheritance conditions are better off using different algorithms.
Using this method on a population of 100 prospective wives, what are the probabilities that: (1) you will pick the best wife (2) you will pick a wife in the top 3.
Thinking of this problem and eating a fun-blog level understanding of them is one of those things that give you "mental thinking models" of the Charlie Munger kind. Very useful.
Introductory paragraph (p. 399): "Kepler's first marriage had been engineered by his well wishers when he was penniless young teacher. Before his second marriage, friends and go-betweens again played a prominent part, but this time Kepler had to choose between no less than 11 candidates for his hand...".
What follows could hardly IMHO put in any proper mathematical formula. In the best case it has to be modeled by some stochastic process with exponentially increasing number of random variables.
Anyways, the book is more important than that and I cannot recommend it enough. There is nothing else to my knowledge that so convincingly describes how process of scientific discovery can be arbitrary, fragile and random. The mentioned 'choosing ideal bride' episode is merely anecdotal chapter in the book that better explains Kepler's role and importance in the history of science.
Now that's love. "Honey, you were better than the 37% of women I was going to try. It is statistically likely that you're probably the best, or at least second best, of all my immediately available options. Will you marry me?"
I'm somewhat amused that the conclusion is to date (sample) for a while, then start getting serious once you get an idea of what you want. Sounds a lot like what everyone does already, at least the ones whose marriages aren't arranged for them.
Kepler got what he wanted and sampled 100% of his options. He didn't get a statistically likely "Right Girl", he got "The Right Girl", and he never wondered whether or not he got the best one.
If everyone did this, you have to assume the other candidate is doing the same, thus your choice after 36% may end with you being insider their 36% bracket. This works only at a selfish scale and dubious at best.
This only really works for a gameshow situation. You have 20 boxes with money inside. You don't know what is the minimum or maximum amount, you get to look at a box and determine yes/no. So you do the 36%. Then the very next box that is close enough or above the maximum of the first 36% is what you chose.
A slightly different variant, is how to make it totally random selection http://www.datagenetics.com/blog/june52013/index.html
You should click through the first 40/e (roughly 15). Then start clicking until you come across a song better then the best one in the first 15.
Listen to that one.
One of the hardest parts of coreutils is keeping it working everywhere, including handling that buggy version of function X in libc Y on distro Z. That's handled for GNU coreutils by gnulib, which currently has nearly 10K files, and so is a significant project in itself.
coreutils files, lines, commits: 1072, 239474, 27924
gnulib files, lines, commits: 9274, 302513, 17476
But I was expecting it would take a while before people had the ambition to start doing these things, even when it comes to the smaller ambition of rewriting the GNU coreutils. Rust is a great language already, but it's not a stable language yet.
I wonder if my imagination will become reality eventually. There's really good buzz around Rust now, and it's not even 'production ready'.
Past re-implementations have focused either on the learning experience, code size (for embedding or Unix "purity" reasons) or the license (i.e. not GPL).
I don't get how on the earth can using CVS for version control be an appropriate reason to consider a software project bad. Yes, CVS is old and centralised, but, is it that big of a deal that it's usage by a project per se projects the project old and inactive?
I wrote one of the first utilities for this when it was first opened up for collaboration, so I hope it succeeds :) I need to go back and write tests for my util.
Any chance of Rust taking over embedded systems programming? That's still mostly done in C and quickly devolves into horror.
Love this change. There's some good conversations in Bugzilla about it. 
If we can get it down to just Flash and nothing else, hopefully a few years from now Mozilla's HTML5 implementation of Flash will take off (similar to PDF.js), which pushes Flash inside the browser sandbox, and ensures that it has no more privileges or capabilities than normal in-browser content.
Use of line-height allowed for <input type="reset|button|submit">
There are add-ons for suspending tabs but in my experience not very robust ones
: Full text search and search operators for time intervals would be great.
Hopefully this gets some more people over from the closed-source Google Chrome.
So it adds < / input > etc
Works fine in literally all other browsers. Oh well.
I guess my kids are going to use Firefox 142...
EDIT: I didn't mean to imply that this exists only under the U.S. and nowhere else. I meant to imply "so far, the existence of this reservoir has only only been confirmed under the U.S.; the rest of the world is unknown at this point".
If the story of the great flood (Holy Bible) is real - could it be that this is where all of the water has gone? Could this water some time in the future "rise up" once more and create a second worldwide flood?
Anyone up for a hydrogen peroxide cocktail?
By measuring the speed of the waves at different depths, the team could figure out which types of rocks the waves were passing through. The water layer revealed itself because the waves slowed down, as it takes them longer to get through soggy rock than dry rock.
Jacobsen worked out in advance what would happen to the waves if water-containing ringwoodite was present. He grew ringwoodite in his lab, and exposed samples of it to massive pressures and temperatures matching those at 700 kilometres down.
To me, as someone who knows not that much about all this, that sounds like it could well be hooey. It could be voodoo. It could be a Tall Tale.
Can anyone explain to me (like I am 5 years old) how such things get vetted or taken seriously or whatever?
No, I am not trolling.
Only annoyance is stupid power connector, which really needs fixing as it comes out too easily.
Its fast, and I run it fairly heavily although builds are not continuous, but it is on 24x7.
Since they are far, far into voided-warranty land already, I would say just remove the lid completely and thus get better airflow and cooling for the board.
The Chromebooks are not trashed, they are simply re-installed with Linux and have their batteries removed so they can rest in racks for long-term testing.
tl,dr; There aren't enough reliable ARM servers yet, so for developing Linaro (optimized release of gcc), they use Chromebooks.
On the other hand merchants who choose to accept bitcoin using Coinbase (or Bitpay) and who also choose to keep some fraction of their profit in bitcoin (thereby exposing their profits to currency volatility, which may even be a good thing for growth of their profits) will tend to increase the market price of bitcoin.
Overall it seems like most merchants accepting bitcoin are not holding any of the bitcoins they accept. It would be great to see more merchants choosing to keep some fraction, however small, in bitcoin itself.
If you read down in the comments you see hotel workers saying they will still apply a 2X block on the daily rate of the room to your credit card, even if you've paid for the room with Bitcoin. A block that can take up to two weeks to be released.
Obviously the standard hotel procedures will need to be revised but until then Bitcoin buyer beware ;<(.
Then I remembered what an accountant friend once said to me: "Hotels are big portals between the black and white worlds".
So you may have black money in bitcoins (and a Hotel which is your "legal business"), and want to "wash" it? now you can do it through Expedia (they having a bite in the process, hence their motivation).
Nope. They let someone else do it and just accept real money.
Now if only I could make it easier for people to pay me in bitcoins for small freelance work...
I'm sure the uber nerds were already aware of this but has it been brought up enough that the general community thinks this through? One booking on Expedia and you've revealed any possible Silk Road or other curious transaction you've ever made, right?
For example I tried to buy an ebook recently and it required my home address.
For Credit cards I believe that's required to verify the billing info, but there's no reason bitcoin purchases should need it for non-shippable products. And it cancels out a lot of the benefits of using bitcoins (fast purchase, anonymous from marketers)
They will HODL and continue to buy their air and hotel with fiat cash which will be cheaper, faster, and easier.
Honestly, the cynic in me says the use case for spending bitcoin is a quick way for speculators to "cash out" in a way that makes it easier to hide earnings from the tax-man.
In a later stage, when bitcoins are more diseminated and people feels bitcoin more "domestic", then there will be a interest for "personal-wallets" and "business-wallets", which may be hardware-wallets, or multisig-insured-online-services...
TLDR; this is a good-first step toward bitcoin adoption, further later will be another step towards personal-wallets.
This does nothing to disperse bitcoin into many little places. In other words, accepting bitcoin by online merchants everywhere doesn't make many people want to go trade fiat for a volatile currency with all the inconveniences inherent. You need a frictionless means and stimulus for many swathes of people and organizations to accept and hold BC instead of wanting fiat conversions immediately.
"We take Discover/American Express etc." only really got so far to help with consumer adoption of those networks. This keeps coming around to a currency without a country is a PITA.
What are return policies around goods bought with BC? Do you get BC back or fiat? Do you get spot prices at time of return request, etc?
Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso Chet Faker - Built on Glass Tycho - Awake
2. Amazon's store interface is not well suited for consuming media. I tried watching a few episodes of Friday Night Lights on the service instead of Netflix. Spoilers in episode descriptions meant that I had to very specifically control where I let my eyes over the UI. Next episodes don't auto play. Perhaps most annoyingly, there isn't a standalone URL I could go to for my streaming needs. To watch an episode I had to carry out the following steps:
Navigate to amazon.com Search for Friday Night Lights Skim the results to click on the TV show Remember what season I was on Skim the episode descriptions while avoiding spoilers Click to stream, and make sure I don't accidentally click on the 1-click buy button which is annoyingly right next to the stream button.
Navigate to netflix.com Click on the continue watching pane on top left corner of my screen.
3. I suspect that this works many orders of magnitude better on the Kindle Fire line of devices and that's great for people who already own Kindle Fires. If I don't already own one though, the Prime ecosystem should be driving to make that purchase and right now it is failing at that task.
The amazing thing about Rdio and Spotify, and what makes streaming services different than their MP3 purchasing predecessors, is that you can think "I want to listen to Kanye", type "Kanye" in to the search bar, press enter and listen. Amazon is making this whole process very awkward by adding a "buy" step (even if no money is changing hands).
The reason that Spotify is disruptive isn't that the music is paid for via subscription pricing - it's that it eliminates the distinction between "music I own" and "all of the music ever recorded".
If you are an Amazon Prime customer in another region, Amazon will ignore that and ask you to start another Amazon Prime subscription. But I doubt your second Prime account will actually come with any of the advertised benefits.
Which, for an international company with accurate knowledge of my billing address, is misleading and hamfisted.
As a amazon prime subscriber, this is great for me, here's why:
1. I have amazon prime for their delivery, and this is basically a free music service for my mobile that is unmatched by anything else. (Free spotify sucks on mobile in comparison, and can't be used offline)
2. Downloaded songs basically gives me a library and allows me to use the song everywhere.
3. A million songs is a lot, unless you listen a lot to very esoteric bands, it works well.
The app is crashing on search for me, but it doesn't matter, the content is so great I will keep going back. Amazon Prime video already trumped netflix with their HBO library acquisition. I am psyched to see what they will try next.
But I also found a lot of spammy crap. I searched for Smashing Pumpkins, and it's pages of "1979 [A Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins]" or "Disarm [In The Style Of The Smashing Pumpkins]". It takes some work to figure out, no, they don't actually have them.
I'm reminded of Steve Jobs's line with the introduction of the iTMS:
"This number [of songs] could have easily been much higher, if we wanted to let in every song. But we realize record companies do a great service. They edit!"
Here's hoping they can grow their library, but in the meantime, please don't give me piss when I search for rain.
I will never understand the appeal of subscription music services.
(I am aware that Amazon's music library is currently not as large as that of its competitors. I think it is reasonable to assume that this will change in the near future.)
The more significant thing to note here is that the general trend in online businesses (obvious examples will include Google, Apple, and Facebook) is that every business is trying to create its own walled garden --- they try to provide all the services that any user could need, such that the user would not do business with any competitors, and so the user would interface with the business as much as possible. Apple did a remarkably good job at this with iTunes back in the day --- they were the first to provide access to a massive online store of entertainment and to integrate it very heavily with their products.
Amazon, however, is taking the cake in this respect. Their products are extremely well-integrated: www.amazon.com is gradually becoming a one-stop-destination for most media and for general shopping. Perhaps this is due to Amazon's perseverance: I've never seen Amazon weaken its hold on a particular share of any market.
It went ahead and renewed my prime account with today's date, and sent me a new welcome email.
It's completely unclear if it has consumed my previous subscription with over half a year left.
So be cautious... probably I did not read enough!
1) The interface is rather horrid when compared to services in the same category, like Netflix. Others have already expounded on this though, so I won't waste the bytes.
2) I hate, hate, HATE being told I have access to all these movies/songs, only to find that the content I searched for isn't available to stream unless I pay extra money on top of the service I already have. Logically I say that it's better to have extra options- but I've never gotten as mad at Netflix for not having what I want to watch as I've gotten at Amazon for having what I want to watch, but needing to pay extra.
I'm a user of Rhapsody for almost 13 years now and love it not having to buy individual 100s of artists I listen to. Amazon's 1 million song collection is peanuts for me but for most others it might be enough. I see we are now only few months away from true commoditization of music business (i.e. pay monthly subscription to use all you want like electricity and water).
They have decent content for free on Instant Video but it doesn't keep track of what you have watched and navigating is a massive PITA. Their music selection is sparse and that's me being kind... I paused my Spotify to check out their OS X app and couldn't believe how terrible it is. Search is confusing and navigating my library is not intuitive at all.
I will keep an eye on it but they should not have released it in this state.
This line reads like it's by Rhapsody in 2002.
Has anyone tried the amazon lending library? Absolute rubbish. At least this has Neil Young, but the problem is, you have to have nearly everything for it to work. And also you're competing with this:
Pretty brilliant move.
At this point, I gave up and closed the window. I couldn't be bothered to enter this information when I already have various other streaming services. I wonder what their stats are like for the sign on funnel...
After finding an album using Amazon reviews and related items, this is faster: 1) Search GrooveShark/YouTube from the Chrome URL bar, 2) click play.
Amusingly, when searching for "Let It Go", I ended up with virtually every song titled "Let It Go" that's not sung by Idina Menzel (speaking of which, the only Idina Menzel songs available are from Glee, and there are a whole two of them that are actually sung by Idina Menzel). Disney's probably to blame for that one, but still.
(I tested quickly using the Mac client for it.)
edit: Is this why they raised the prices for Prime? If so, the fact that I will never use it means they're saying that they don't want me as a customer.
When applications like Hip Hop exist and are advertising 45 million songs, a million doesn't seem that impressive.
 - http://gethiphop.net/
Beyond the comments above about UX and library content, I was surprised to find I no longer have access to my uploaded songs unless I upgrade to something called "Cloud Player Premium". No thanks.
But I guess my next prime subscription will be on a new account that is only connected to the US. Maybe it will finally allow me to buy TV shows as well.
I logged into the system and on the next screen they were asking for my credit card information which is needed to start a 30 day free trial on Amazon Prime (after it is $100/year). Prime is some kind of premium service for Amazon services.
So, Amazon Prime Music is FREE if you BUY Amazon Prime. In my opinion that is not anyway free, well okay it is for 30 days after that you will get automaticly charged.
Still, this blog post was excellent. I don't understand why all elementary math education isn't in the form of games and activities like this.
There's also the game of Sprout (or Sprouts) that is easy for kids to learn and has interesting mathematical implications.
The idea is quite simple: I will send out a daily email with a grade appropriate set of math questions and/or games. Your child provides the answers back by email. I check the answers, provide corrections/feedback. And the next day's worksheet is customized to the child's history. If there is an interest, I could follow the child all the way from pre-K to graduate level Math subjects. Think about that -- wouldn't it be awesome if when you are getting your PhD, you could look back over 20 years of daily problems you solved and how you progressed in your conceptual understanding?
Naturally, you want to balance the gaming aspect with the rigorous aspects. You can start learning Graph Theory with diagram filling, but as you get more serious, there is no substitute to solving several hard problems to get a deeper/intuitive understanding of the concepts. There is no question that people learn different ways, some visually, others through games, and others through mental modeling. I am convinced that if we could tailor math teaching to each kid, we could get rid of the stigma that "Math is hard", or, worse, "Girls can't do Math".
Math, as I say, is a contact sport, not a spectator sport. You have to grab a pencil and a piece of paper to work on 20-30-40 harder and harder problems to master each concept. But to learn new concepts, you also have to cross the significant hurdle of climbing the first few rungs of each concept, so to speak. So let's learn by balancing games and theory.
My daughter isn't even 3 yet so this would still be a little beyond her. Not by much though, given how approachable it has been made.
I've downloaded the kit for later in life.
Wait, there's math devoted to that? I used to do that as a kid for fun!
I have also tried to introduce the concepts to teenagers. In Denmark, we have an annual, national science weeks in primary and secondary schools. I have given http://www.slideshare.net/geisshirt/naturvidenskabsfestival-... as a talk/lecture at 4-5 schools and most 13-15 years old children get the ideas quickly - Facebook and other social medias are a big help :-)
Incidentally this has come at the perfect time. I was just discussing with my 8 yo different fields of mathematics and which symbologies he's used and starting him on Boolean set operations. Graph theory was mentioned (by me!) so this will be a good flexi-day if he wants to follow up on it.
A nice accompaniment might be a lightbot like game for exploring Eulerian paths.
 http://http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/ http://www.valerieslivinglibrary.com/math.htm
| Why is Amazon's security for replacement orders so lax?
Amazon values customer satisfiction above their fraud write-off.
| Why would they send a replacement to an address that has never been associated with me, and is in a wholly different state than the one the original item was sent to?
Because the time between ordering an item, and defect can be sufficiently large to cover moves: people shift around all the time. It's entirely concievable you'd like to exercise replacement rights from Texas, even though you've ordered it from NY.
| How did the scammer know about my order in the first place to social engineer the replacement request?
Via: either buying order requests, using third-party honeypots to capture your info, using the domain registrar, or a combination of any of these.
| Why haven't Amazon black-listed the 13820 NE Airport Way; Portland, Oregon address as a destination for replacements? This package drop address shows up again and again when you Google around for people who have been hit by Amazon scams.
I suspect this might be http://reship.com/ Alexa rank: 166K). This is entirely legit: if you're a UK customer who'd like to buy stuff that are exclusively US-only, reshippers are the cheapest way to do so. Based on their Alexa rank, I suspect Amazon makes quite a money on these customer segments. Blacklisting them also wouldn't help this case: reshipping companies can easily buy up a handful of different addresses in a range of cities, making this a game of whack-a-mole.
| Can I really trust this company to hold multiple credit card numbers of mine in their database, one click away from someone potentially ordering thousands of dollars of merchandise that they can apparently easily redirect to an address that should have been black-listed years ago, if there were any kind of sane security policy in place?
Note that no credit card, or password database has been compromised in executing this attack. This is social engineering corporate goodwill at it's vilest.
I suspect the root cause of this issue to be the friction-less execution of this engineering. A proper solution for this problem might be as simple as sending out an email with clickthrough-link-confirmation before replacement shipping; this would raise the bar from "knowing about an order" to "knowing about an order, and having an active compromise on the mark's inbox".
A story I've been meaning to write for a while, but aligns well with this: I bought a kindle a while back, with the (kinda expensive) case because I knew I would break the screen if I didn't.
I broke the screen anyways (some badly aligned books in my bag I think). I sent a kinda annoyed email at amazon about how their case didn't seem to help me much.
The next morning somebody from Amazon called me, trying to help me out with seeing if they could fix the screen (reboot style things). I was fairly confident I destroyed the screen, but they offered to replace it for me for free if I sent them back the old one at their cost.
The issue was that I was heading off to Japan the day after (from France), and so it would be a bit complicated for me to go to the post office on a sunday night to send it off. Instead, they offered to just send me the replacement to my address in Japan, no questions asked.
At no point did I prove anything about my story, I could have walked away with 2 Kindles (granted, one is probably blacklisted now, if I put it online). They did know I had bought one recently (which let them get my phone number through my account), but still.
Amazon has some pretty great customer service, and honestly requiring "proof" would, although for a rational human being would seem normal, have caused me great grief and I would just think about my 300g brick that I used for all of 1 week.
Anyways, I like Amazon a lot more than I probably should and take any opportunity to tell this story. Fraud is the small cost to pay compared to the goodwill you end up with by trusting (or at least pretending to trust) your customers.
The wifi on the replacement Kindle stopped working though... been too lazy to figure out why though.
I was able to get a CSR to show me some of the logs of the chats with the scammer, which was particularly enlightening:
http://www.htmlist.com/rants/two-for-one-amazon-coms-sociall... (Thanks also for linking to my post in your article. It's insane this is still going on.)
Seems like a blatant oversight in loss prevention and fraudulent data sifting. Not only does it admit that an account has been compromised in some shape (socially most likely), but it disappointingly shows incompetence in Amazon CSRs.
Years and years ago I ordered a few items, mostly DVDs. I got the items. Months later I get an email from Amazon customer service saying I owe them money from that order because I never paid for it. I said "huh?" I call customer service and I found out it was because there was a chargeback. I didn't do a chargeback so I was confused.
Eventually I figure it out because the CC number shows up on the invoice with the last 4 digits. I accidentally transposed the last 2 digits of my CC number. I combed through my CC statements and found out that I indeed wasn't ever charged for the original items. Apparently the card was valid and was charged even though it was someone else's card. That means they didn't even do the least bit of checking to see if the billing address was the same or even name.
I call up and told them what happened. They just were dumbfounded and confused about the whole situation and didn't know how to handle it. They just kept insisting I return the items and they'll give me a refund. I think she was confused as to what I was even trying to tell her since I received the items. I said I didn't want to return them and even if I did they were now used items. They said "what's the problem then?" I told them they THEY sent ME and email saying how I owe money. I wanted to take care of it. Well finally the customer service rep just took down my right CC number and presumably wrote it in as a note in the logs or something.
I was never charged for the order.
Even more years ago my college boyfriend told me that when he was like 17 him and his friends played some kinda "prank" where they ordered some expensive cameras shipped to the school and put in some fake name and credit card. Apparently according to him the cameras shipped. Kids freaked out they would get in trouble, they told a science teacher. Science teacher took care of it and called Amazon before the cameras arrived to say that it was just some kids messing around.
Any time I have had a problem with an Amazon item, they have made it insanely easy, and cheap, for me to get a new one.
With the Kindle 2 (first one with the directional nub) the screen was VERY fragile. I used the official case but just putting it in my bag caused the screen to crack 3x in a year. When this would happen, I'd call Amazon and they'd have a new one on my doorstep the next morning. Then I'd use that box to send the old one back, no questions asked. Sure I could have been a fraudster and probably could have somehow kept 2 Kindles, but I appreciated the customer service.
[Aside: no I'm not just an idiot, the Kindle 2 really was that fragile. I've had a Kindle of every generation and never broken any other screen, but broke that one 3x].
The amount of goodwill I have towards Amazon because of that experience is tremendous. I took out Prime, and I look there first for everything now. I can absolutely see that being worth the shrinkage.
Hey! What the heck? I'm in the security industry and had no idea about this new "secure server software" and why is the TLA SSL? What the heck? I've been on vacation for the last week, when did it hit?
On a serious note, I understand that some security teams hire non-technical types into the team but it's always the responsibility of senior staff to make sure they are at least understanding the basics, especially when communicating with customers. Say it with me: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). There's a credibility problem here somewhere.
They never told me what happened but I suspect someone in this shop took the money and declared the laptop returned.
The product is still a drop in the bucket for Amazon. Hopefully some of you actions will trigger their fraud protection dept. to blacklist the address or maybe they think it's not worthwhile blacklisting a whole address with multiple suites for a tiny amount. Anyway, I don't think it's reason enough to lose trust in Amazon. As long as they got the honest customer covered, it's OK to lose some when you are running a business of Amazon's scale.
As @sdrinf mentioned, it's social engineering at play. Maybe they can raise the bar to placing phone orders/replacements. Or maybe they think, they'll lose more business by adding a teeny hurdle than gain on fraud recovery.
A times B times C equals X. If X is less than... we don't care kind of thing (Fight Club recall reference)
If I click on a picture to view a larger version of it, I should not have to hunt around the page for a blue button to stop viewing the large image.
The other way around (his address, my bank details) also works without any further verification.
So I could basically just enter someone's bank details and hope the order ships to my anonymous forwarding address before they notice. The victim will then order her bank to refund the fraudulent direct debit transaction (thanks to SEPA she now has 13 months to file the request). Amazon will probably suspend the account but the perpetrator will obviously not care.
Even if it's less convenient (because not instantaneous) Amazon should be doing something similar to what PayPal does: transferring a few cents together with a verification code to the account for verification.
This scenario would hopefully only work if the account itself was compromised. But when looking at how overcredulous customer support seems to be it might well be possible to pull this off without actual access to the account.
If you really want you can have someone stake out the home and see who comes, but that's really something for Amazon + the Police to do.
"Amazon orders are still subject to replacement fraud"
There, I won't have to sit there and swap emphasis in my head until it makes sense with that one.
Obviously I'm not going to link to a scam site, but you can get in through and read the articles through Google so you don't have to register with them. I saw this site with another Amazon scam where people were requesting refunds saying not shipped, etc.
I was also quite surprised by Google's HTTP Maps flaw in HTTPS search. I'd have previously imagined this would be a standard security pentest that Google products would need to go through. Given how pervasive and important Google is to the digital ecosystem, even small flaws can have a profound impact.
I'll again state that this is why I feel so strongly that Google Analytics should be updated to be HTTPS by default. If you hit a non-HTTP site, you're leaking all the information you would send to Google Analytics to anyone that's listening -- it goes across the wire unencrypted. Considering Google Analytics is on 60+% of the top 100,000 domains, this is a lot of information leakage. Referrers, time on page, browser details, operating system details, everything that Google shows a webmaster in Google Analytics also ends up in the hands of the passive observer.
In the decade between this type of data collection becoming possible and the mass populace becoming concerned about it, I fear we've passed a threshold we can't un-cross. This type of technology is so intertwined in our daily lives that avoiding it isn't a realistic option.
Things like Apple using random MAC addresses to scan for Wi-Fi APs are a start; but too many devices (Android included) use default settings that are far from secure. But it's up to the companies that make usable, mass-market devices to ratchet up the security, and I fear that they have little incentive to do so when their own ambitions include the same type of data collection.
I suppose from there it'd be in the clear, but at least it'd stop snooping at an ISP level. Or am I missing something, and would it be useless?
1) Chocolatey (package manager)
3) ConEmu (Shell)
4) gow (Unix command line utilities in Windows)
5) WinMerge (win diff)
7) SourceTree (git)
Makes day to day stuff much smoother....
Curl is a very mature code base by now and that's something to appreciate. It handles all the edge cases well and has dealt with all the mess that you'll discover over time.
It can also be used to replace Wget, which not only breaks a multibyte filename sometimes, but also requires the --content-disposition option to handle the Content-Disposition header.
But with time,using it in the shell it happened to be quite powerfull for testing apis.
HTTPie coloring is a plus,does it work with XML too?
2) The intro/tutorial is fantastically well done. Like really, really well done.
PS. Here's my entry code: https://gist.github.com/mpolyak/8af627cbdf596b5e294a
I wish I had more time to optimize it as well as develop additional army building strategies.
See you at the next tournament!
Hope to see some more in the future.
Please fix how it scales for vertical displays. I know that's a strange case, but it's near unplayable on a large 1200x1920 due to the graphics being scaled by the horizontal size of the browser.
Perhaps when a display like that is encountered, logic moves the code editor below the gameplay window and keeps them equally sized horizontally?
The real difficulty in learning programming isn't syntax - it's semantics. And when you finally become skilled in that, it's separation of concerns and modularization. Any programming learning tool should mirror those notions as players develop "skill". Otherwise, as a user, you'll end up great at programming simple AI's...without any knowledge of how programming actually works.