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First-Person Hyper-lapse Videos
1422 points by davidst  1 day ago   167 comments top 59
UnoriginalGuy 1 day ago 6 replies      
The result is quite simply breathtaking. It looks like something shot for a movie using a stabilised dollycam, the fact they were able to achieve the same thing using nothing but a GoPro, their software, and likely a week of post-processing on a high end desktop PC is simply amazing.

I hope we see this technology actually become readily available. There might still be work to be done, but in general if they can reproduce the demo videos with other content then they're on to something people would want.

Mithaldu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since it's not quite obvious, the supplementary page has videos with better bitrate than what youtube did to them: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hype...
rkuykendall-com 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting that the final video ( mostly the rock climbing ) resembles a video game, where shapes and textures "pop-in" as they are rendered. The technical explanation video was really well done.
msane 1 day ago 2 replies      
If the MSR researchers are here -- I'm curious what does it look like when bordering hyperlapse with regular input? i.e., if there were a video consisting of input frames at the beginning and the end, with a stretch of hyperlapse in the middle, what does the transition look like? Does it need much smoothing?

Also you probably saw this over the past week: http://jtsingh.com/index.php?route=information/information&i... disregarding the politics of that) Whatever he's doing (I assume a lot of manual work) it has a very similar effect and it has these beautiful transitions between speeds.

Amazing work and the videos are stunning.

spindritf 1 day ago 2 replies      
The videos don't load for me (due to mixed content, I believe), so here they are:



The hyperlapse of the climbing video looks like an FPS game from a decade ago with texture refreshing as you get closer.

jahmed 1 day ago 1 reply      
I walked around Boston once with some friends for 7 hours. When I remember it I see it as the hyperlapse, not moment for moment or sped up. Super interesting work.
steven2012 1 day ago 1 reply      
Okay please sign me up. I'm willing to pay hundreds of dollars for this software. I have hundreds of gigabytes of time lapse that I've taken that is just sitting there because of lack of ability to do something. I'd easily pay $200+ for this software right now just so I can have those videos and free up massive hard drive space.
moultano 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how far you can get by using a "naive" timelapse of selecting frames from the video, but being smarter about which frames you choose. Rather than just choosing every nth frame, try to choose visually consistent frames by making the intervals between the frames loose, then apply conventional stabilization after the fact.
iamshs 1 day ago 3 replies      
Bloody amazing! Fantastic work! Release it. Release it soon. This is something that everyone would want.

I see they have listed a Windows app coming. Is that Windows desktop app?

Lifescape 1 day ago 3 replies      
It appears as if the mountains are loading in the background (like in a video game) as you get closer to them.

Awesome idea/execution!

31reasons 1 day ag="http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8148402">0 replies      
If your reply was technical in nature and their user name is their actual name it could simply be worry about being googled during a job application.
4k 4 days ago 0 replies      
May be that person felt embarrassed/stupid after asking the question. Personally, it wouldn't compel me to write a post about it.
Htsthbjig 4 days ago 0 replies      
Take a shower,take you partner or children with you and get out for a walk, look at the birds, the threes or the sea, or better go to a place where you can look at the thousands of millions of trillions of stars.

Then you will realize that it doesn't matter. Seriously, it doesn't matter at all.

Sometimes it happens to me too and I need to focus again on what is important and what is not.

capex 4 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't saying 'Thank you' against the ethos of HN?
peterwwillis 4 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe they didn't like your answer. Maybe they didn't like their own question, which is why they deleted it. Maybe they'll upvote you instead of saying thanks. Maybe they aren't around to give a thanks reply or forget about it. Or maybe they just don't care.

You're not completely out of touch, but it's unfair to put conditions on your answers. I recommend letting your kind deeds be their own reward and get on with your day.

cinitriqs 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ah well... I have a -4 downvote just because I accidentally replied to the wrong thread one day.. big deal... won't sleep any less over it... guess that's part of the internets...
0-o 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you!
eau 4 days ago 0 replies      
S/he probably did not learn about common courtesy growing up. Society will give this person a lesson one day...
snowwrestler 4 days ago 0 replies      
I don't believe in deleting comments in general. I've said some stupid and mean stuff here on HN, and I think it's important to leave those up, especially if there are responses below them. If nothing else it helps me feel an incentive to be less stupid and mean the next time.
beachstartup 4 days ago 0 replies      
> People - don't be a jerk. If you ask a question and someone answers, say thank you. They've taken the time, does it cost you too much to be polite?

this is why i am in the habit of top-quoting my replies if i put any effort or thought into it. when people are wrong, embarassed, or let something slip they shouldn't have, they're likely to delete. it's just human nature.

blutgens 4 days ago 0 replies      
korzun 4 days ago 2 replies      
Welcome to the internet.

Maybe they erased the post by accident? How do you know that your answer solved their issue or was relevant? You might think that was the case but it might not be.

In general, I think this is a extremely silly.

I had instances where I would post about cloud infrastructure and somebody would crawl out of their hole to 'educate' me on colocation, thinking they are solving a ground breaking issue.

forca 4 days ago 0 replies      
danbucholtz 4 days ago 1 reply      
This advice really applies to all walks of life. If you're running a start-up (mine is gopaperbox.com), this is how you should treat your customers. More than likely there is someone that does something similar to you. The best way to win is to treat your customer with the utmost respect and be as fair as possible to them. Cliche advice, yes, but it is absolutely integral to success.
Transducers are coming to Clojure
316 points by siavosh  5 days ago   98 comments top 12
tel 5 days ago 3 replies      
This sort of reminds me of the Church-encoded form of a list.

    newtype Fold a = Fold (forall r . (a -> r -> r) -> r -> r)    fold :: [a] -> Fold a    fold xs = Fold (spin xs) where      spin []     cons nil = nil      spin (a:as) cons nil = cons a (spin as cons nil)    refold :: Fold a -> [a]    refold (Fold f) = f (:) []
Notably, since `fold` and `refold` are isomorphisms then we can do everything we can do to `[a]` to `Fold a`

    map :: (a -> b) -> (Fold a -> Fold b)    map x (Fold f) = Fold $ \cons nil -> f (cons . x) nil    filter :: (a -> Bool) -> Fold a -> Fold a    filter p (Fold f) =      Fold $ \cons nil -> f (\a r -> if p a then cons a r else r) nil
but all of this work is done without concrete reference to `(:)` and `[]`... you instead just use stand-ins I've been calling cons and nil. What's nice about this is that `Fold` can be used to build anything which can be "constructed from the left"

    foldSet :: Fold a -> Set a    foldSet (Fold f) = f Set.insert Set.empty
It's sort of dual to the stuff I was exploring in Swift here [0]. It also creates laziness for free because you can't really execute the chain until the endChurch-encoding is really a form of continuation passing.

The downside of this idea is that each time you "consume" a Fold you redo workthere's no place to put caching necessarily.

Maybe that's what they're solving with the Fold transformers representation.

[0] http://tel.github.io/2014/07/30/immutable_enumeration_in_swi...

vbit 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not quite sure what this means, so here's my attempt to translate this into Python. A reducer is a function such as `add`:

    def add(sum, num):      return sum + num  
Of course you can plug `add` directly in `reduce(add, [1, 2, 3], 0)` which gives `6`.

A transducer is an object returned by a call such as `map(lambda x: x + 1)`.

You can now apply the transducer to a reducer and get another reducer.

    map_inc = map(lambda x: x + 1)    add_inc = map_inc(add)    
Our first reducer simply added, but the next one increments and then adds. We can use it as `reduce(add_inc, [1, 2, 3], 0)` which gives, I'm guessing, `9`.

Since the transducer returns a reducer as well, we can compose transducers:

     r1 = filter(is_even)(map(increment)(add))     # use r1 in reduce()     
It seems in clojure, reduce() isn't the only useful function that works with reducers, there are others which makes this all worthwhile.

Is my translation accurate?

pron 5 days ago 2 replies      
I think that a good way to understand transducers is to look at their implementation (shortened a bit). Here it is for map:

    ([f]    (fn [f1]      (fn        ([result input]           (f1 result (f input)))        ([result input & inputs]           (f1 result (apply f input inputs))))))

    ([pred]    (fn [f1]      (fn        ([result input]           (if (pred input)             (f1 result input)             result)))))
And it gets more interesting with take:

    ([n]     (fn [f1]       (let [na (atom n)]         (fn           ([result input]              (let [n @na                    nn (swap! na dec)                    result (if (pos? n)                             (f1 result input)                             result)]                (if (not (pos? nn))                  (reduced result) ; a terminal value indicating "don't reduce further"                  result)))))))
The transducer is supplied with the reducer next in the chain (f1) and returns a reducer function that gets fed with the reduced value by the preceding reduction (result) and the next element (input). Note how the take transducer maintains internal state with an atom. This could get a little tricky for more elaborate reductions, as how the internal state is maintained might have a significant effect on performance, depending on exactly how the reduction is performed. For example, if the reduction is done in parallel (say, with fork-join), then an internal state that's updated with locks (like refs) might significantly slow down -- or even deadlock -- the reduction.

AFAICT mapcat still only returns lazy-seqs.

oafitupa 4 days ago 5 replies      
As someone who tried Clojure and failed, serious question: Does anyone actually use all these crazy features/patterns that keep getting added/discovered and talked about?

I ask because even though I can imagine someone smart mastering these things and programming faster, I can't imagine a second person being able to understand his code, maintain it, and generally be productive. I imagine the second person losing a lot of time trying to understand what is going on, or even thinking he understood but in reality he didn't and messing things up.

So how do you even form a Clojure team?

undershirt 5 days ago 0 replies      
I just saw this morning that many functions in core.async are marked "Deprecated - this function will be removed. Use transformer instead." I guess Tranducers will provide a generic replacement for those. Looking forward to seeing some examples.
unlogic 5 days ago 1 reply      
This looks exciting, but I'm confused about the decision to add extra arity to collection-manipulating functions. "filter" that returns a collection or a transducer depending only on arity seems a little counter-intuitive.
tel 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is about as close as I could get in Haskell so far. It uses a slight twist on (x -> a -> x) called a Fold (which has a lot of great propertiesit's a profunctor, an applicative, and a comonad).

Nicely, this construction lets us write `take` purely!

    {-# LANGUAGE GADTs         #-}    {-# LANGUAGE RankNTypes    #-}    {-# LANGUAGE TypeOperators #-}    import           Control.Arrow    import           Control.Category    import qualified Prelude    import           Prelude hiding (id, (.))    data Fold a r where      Fold :: (a -> x -> x) -> x -> (x -> r) -> Fold a r    data Pair a b = Pair !a !b    pfst :: Pair a b -> a    pfst (Pair a b) = a    psnd :: Pair a b -> b    psnd (Pair a b) = b    newtype (~>) a b = Arr (forall r . Fold b r -> Fold a r)    instance Category (~>) where      id = Arr id      Arr f . Arr g = Arr (g . f)    amap :: (a -> b) -> (a ~> b)    amap f = Arr (\(Fold cons nil fin) -> Fold (cons . f) nil fin)    afilter :: (a -> Bool) -> (a ~> a)    afilter p = Arr $ \(Fold cons nil fin) ->      let cons' = \a x -> if p a then cons a x else x      in Fold cons' nil fin    fold :: Fold a r -> [a] -> r    fold (Fold cons nil fin) = fin . spin where      spin []     = nil      spin (a:as) = cons a (spin as)    asequence :: (a ~> b) -> ([a] -> [b])    asequence (Arr f) = fold (f (Fold (:) [] id))        aflatmap :: (a -> [b]) -> (a ~> b)    aflatmap f = Arr $ \(Fold cons nil fin) ->      Fold (\a x -> foldr cons x (f a)) nil fin        atake :: Int -> (a ~> a)    atake n = Arr $ \(Fold cons nil fin) ->      let cons' = \a x n -> if n > 0 then cons a (x (n-1)) else x n      in Fold cons' (const nil) (\x -> fin (x n))

fnordsensei 4 days ago 1 reply      
Tentative benchmark results have surfaced: https://github.com/thheller/transduce-bench

Add salt according to taste.

davdar 5 days ago 1 reply      
Clojure transducers are exactly signal functions from Haskell FRP literature, for those interested in such a connection.
dustingetz 5 days ago 2 replies      
Not sure I understand - so Clojure is getting first class support for lazy collections and curried combinators? Or am I missing the important part?
nohat00 5 days ago 1 reply      
> "these transformers were never exposed a la carte, instead being encapsulated by the macrology of reducers."

What does 'macrology' mean in this context? Is this a common usage? Or a novel application of a word that ordinarily means "long and tedious talk without much substance"

graycat 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sorry, but from the OP I can't be at all sure I can understand notation such as:

     ;;reducing function signature     whatever, input -> whatever

     ;;transducer signature     (whatever, input -> whatever) -> (whatever, input ->   whatever)
Or, in mathematics there is some notation

     f: A --> B
where A and B are sets and f is a function. This notationmeans that for each element x in set A, function f returns value f(x) in set B. Seems clear enough. Maybe the notation in the OP is related? How I can't be sure I can guess at all correctly.

LinkedIn to pay nearly $6M in unpaid overtime wages and damages to 359 employees
316 points by e15ctr0n  6 days ago   164 comments top 12
Smudge 6 days ago 3 replies      
> This company has shown a great deal of integrity by fully cooperating with investigators and stepping up to the plate without hesitation to help make workers whole ... We are particularly pleased that LinkedIn also has committed to take positive and practical steps towards securing future compliance.

I'm surprised they're getting praised so much for complying. It's not like they had a choice.

Instead of commending them on their newfound diligence, we should be asking why and how these overtime violations occurred in the first place. Was it a systemic problem with lower management incentives? How far up did knowledge of the violations extend? Why wasn't it detected until now, and what can we do to prevent it from happening elsewhere, not just within LinkedIn?

allsystemsgo 6 days ago 8 replies      
I don't get it. So if I'm working overtime for my employer, a lot, I'm entitled to money?

I get that my work after hours is essentially "free" labor. But I wasn't aware that there are actually laws that say salaried employees are entitled to more compensation when working after hours.

pudo 6 days ago 2 replies      
This is one of these HN discussion moments when you, our American friends, just have imagine all of Europe sitting with an open mouth, enjoying the radical feeling of labour law disaster tourism.
crdblb 6 days ago 0 replies      
The reach of these kinds of lawsuits (see also the Yahoo one from a few years ago) goes far beyond the affected employees. For example, I'm a dev but I've never worked in ops or any other role where I was considered "on call", so I have never had the opportunity for being in the plaintiff class of any of these kinds of suits. But just reading about them makes me reconsider a lot of things. Despite not being "on call", I have still put in tons of unpaid overtime over the years, which is unfortunately considered typical for a software dev these days. Reading about lawsuits like this has essentially motivated me to stop doing that. If others are getting paid for overtime (even if it's through lawsuits) but I'm not, then I won't put in those extra hours. It's changed my life for the better, despite not being directly affected.
morgante 6 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have insight into which LinkedIn employees this actually applies to?

I'd think that the majority of LinkedIn employees are computer professionals or sales people, to whom overtime laws don't apply.

Also, this thread has a lot of consternation/discussion about overtime payment for software developers. If you consider our bargaining power, overtime protection is completely unnecessary. Just find a new job where people will either pay you a commiserate salary with your work hours, or find one which doesn't expect ludicrous hours.

Despite the stereotypes, it's perfectly possible to find great technology jobs where you work 40-45 hours a week.

djvv 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how did the Linkedin employees organized in order to file the lawsuit? I imagine that, if the wrong person heard about the plan, the organizers would be fired right away.
rainhacker 6 days ago 0 replies      
How come Investment Banks are never fined for this ?

People have died working overtime in the past: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/bank-of-america-sta...

shunya 6 days ago 0 replies      
Who are these employees? I don't know any developers who get paid overtime. Even at shitty companies with shitty pay I have worked at least 55 hrs/week and during launches over 70 hrs/week.
aneeskA 5 days ago 0 replies      
I live in INDIA. I read the verdict and think - I could have been a millionaire if this happened here :D
codezero 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really curious if this was isolated to a particular department or team, or type of worker.
larrys 6 days ago 2 replies      
I had this happen to me at a company that I owned in the past. I got the DOL to chop the total amount due in half and then got them to allow us to pay it out over 4 or 5 years. (All without a lawyer btw...)

Edit: Reason for downvotes?

revelation 6 days ago 5 replies      
prohibiting off-the-clock work to all nonexempt employees

I presume this doesn't include computer professionals, which for some reason are exempt [1], as are sales staff on commission or, you know, farmworkers. Can someone explain why this insanity continues?

The original source for that exemption seems to be [2], an act from 1990

To eliminate "substantial documentary evidence" requirement for minimum wage determination for American Samoa

which also includes this provision. All I can figure from the history of this bill that can be found online is that in 1990 Idaho, senator James McClure decided to fuck over tech workers and sneaked that into a bill on American samoa (snooze). 25 years later and here we are not getting paid.

[1]: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

[2]: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-104/pdf/STATUTE-104-Pg2...

Navdy: HUD for your car
332 points by adambratt  6 days ago   213 comments top 65
tshile 6 days ago 8 replies      
Using a HUD to read/write texts/tweets? It seems like the creators missed all the studies about the dangers of distracted driving.

And pilots use HUD's so this must be safe? That would potentially hold water, if the pilots were using huds to tweet, text, and select music while landing... instead they're using huds to display important information...

I like the technology, I just don't like the suggested use cases for it...

100k 6 days ago 9 replies      
HUD navigation could be cool, but anything that takes attention from driving like showing text messages is a terrible idea and should be banned. Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. Even hands free phone calls are distracting.


josephwegner 6 days ago 2 replies      
Just need to share my first reaction...

Your hero image with an example of a HUD should probably not be a prompt to watch a video. That's just about the most dangerous thing that a HUD could ask you to do.

dchuk 6 days ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure that showing off how your new product can make texting while driving easier is the best idea. The whole hands free debate isn't about literally keeping your hands free of objects, it's the psychological distraction of texting/talking/browsing that causes the safety issues. If it were just about keeping your hands free to stay on the steering wheel, people with one arm wouldn't be allowed to drive.
declan 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a pilot and was surprised that the Navdy video invoked the "pilots use it -- it's safe" language.

Um, when I'm flying a plane, I don't:

- have other 4,000-lb planes 3' away that I could collide with after a moment's distraction

- compose tweets by speaking aloud while staring at a screen, and then when the voice recognition system doesn't work properly, have to retry multiple times while staring at the screen

- talk on the phone to my mother

- play music while navigating through crowded airspace (some pilots do on longer cross-country trips, of course)

- need to have my airspeed projected in front of me (maybe on takeoff it would be useful)

- have apps pop up notifications directly in my field of vision when I'm trying to focus on one of those 4,000-lb objects that's about to collide with me

- have some of those other 4,000-lb objects near me controlled by people who are composing tweets, etc. rather than focusing on the task of flying

What I do want to be doing is scanning the airspace around me for other planes, scanning my instruments to make sure all is well, etc...

Navdy seems like a good HUD implementation from a technological standpoint, and unlike other folks here I don't think it should be banned. But assuring everyone it's safe because "pilots use it" seems like a statement made without, well, talking to pilots first.

caio1982 6 days ago 2 replies      
When I read "HUD for your car" I imagined a super cool HUD like the ones in nearly-sci-fi jets showing actually useful info about my crazy driving skills, other objects in sight, about routes and parking stuff, and about the car itself. I really didn't see it coming when it showed people using social media apps. But it's alright as long as it makes HUD displays more popular anyway... I guess!
mattholtom 6 days ago 0 replies      
Glad I'm not the only one that thinks driving should be a full time activity. If you don't have a personal chauffeur, you are not important enough to need your phone while driving. If you do have a personal chauffeur, text away Mr./Mrs./Ms. Important.
Yaggo 6 days ago 0 replies      
My 2010 Prius has little monochrome HUD showing speed, navigation info, and power consumption (configurable). Although less fancy than Navdy, it's really useful because you will always see the road in background. Should become a standard in every car.
gcb0 6 days ago 1 reply      
having felt prey to the "ok google now" scam i will pass this one.

i know i will only be able to control minimal navigation and calls options.

no other app will ever play along. e.g. you skype calls will either block everything or only show up on your phone screen... to the point integration is so bad you still have your phone on the holder next to that screen and in the end you are using your phone directly more than that projector.

uptown 5 days ago 1 reply      
States have laws regarding this stuff. So let's look at California, where this company is based:


Video Screen RestrictionHands-free Cell Phone Use OnlyBan on Texting While DrivingRestrictions on Cell Phone Use for Novice Drivers and School Bus Drivers

Law: Prohibits any person from driving a motor vehicle if a video monitor, or a video screen or any other similar device that displays a video signal is operating and is located forward of the driver's seat or is visible to the driver. Provides exceptions for emergency equipment.Statute: California Vehicle Code 2890 (West 2004)Penalties: No Penalty Specified.

Law: Prohibits the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Allows exceptions in emergency situations.Statute: California Vehicle Code 12810.3 and 23123Penalties: $20 for first offense, $50 for each subsequent offense.

Law: A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text-based communicationStatute: California Vehicle Code 23123 (2009)Penalties: Infraction - $20 first offense, $50 for subsequent.

Law: School and transit bus drivers and drivers younger than 18 will be banned for all cell phone use while driving (regardless of hands-freeheadset).Statute: 2007 California Statutes, Chap. 214Penalties: $20 for first offense, $50 for each subsequent offense.


ricardobeat 5 days ago 0 replies      
I recently drove a Citroen rental car with a HUD display. It only displayed critical info: gear, speed, cruise control mode, and next gps turn.

This is just a gimmick. I would never, ever want it to display tweets or whatever distracting content, just because you can still see the road doesn't mean it won't take away your attention. Until we have self-driving cars there is no technology that will magically make it possible to multitask while driving...

buro9 6 days ago 0 replies      
As soon as I saw that it combines OBD II information from the car with turn-by-turn information from Google Maps... and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee upon receiving it... sold.
vive1 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes I definitely think there is a real need for HUD for our car. Kudos for the Navdy team for such a brave attempt.

Few challenging tasks ahead for Navdy team like:

1. I get tonnes of marketing SMS, It should recognize which SMS should be delivered to HUD might depend the ratio of conversation I make with the sender and decide based on that? (Yeah I live in other side of the planet)

2. I might not need integration with Twitter and other social media accounts they are definitely not meant to get my focus while driving

3. As per other HN commenter, it would be awesome if it can recognize the signals or detect objects ahead of some 10m and warn me and get me a path way to ride? determine the pathway depending on the car dimensions ? (Yes, I live in India and commuting here in city is really makes you very skillful in driving :), something like in Captain America 2 film wind sheild? Yeah I know easier said than done )

4. May be get them the HUD view of rear and help me to drive reverse without need to turn around ? (Asking for too much?)

But definitely worth an attempt.

jcdavis 6 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised the OBD II port is capable of powering something like this. I hope they aren't cheating by running off the onboard battery while running and charging while the car is off.
pnathan 6 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting idea, but certainly the demonstrated applications seem to be awful. Now, a HUD with map and information about upcoming traffic & road conditions would be useful.
daniel_reetz 6 days ago 1 reply      
As an optics guy, I was seriously considering building one of these myself. Awesome stuff. I'll be ordering...
cordite 6 days ago 0 replies      
I would feel a lot safer if this product did not have an emphasis on something like texting.

If it detected you were at a red light, maybe it might be appropriate to display such, but please, not while a kid might be running in front of you, ignorant of your presence.

obisw4n 6 days ago 1 reply      
Why does this look like a very bad idea? I think the last thing we need is some gadget thats right infront of their view and distracting.
LemonPieDeluxe 6 days ago 1 reply      
Video @ 0:33: Am I the only person who noticed the Bentley badge on the Ford Fusion? Director Easter egg?
tashoecraft 6 days ago 2 replies      
Why are people comparing Navdy with not using a cellphone at all. That isn't the point of this device. People use their cellphones while driving, and are going to continue unless the government can physically prevent it all the time. This device isn't trying to prevent all types of distracted driving that cellphones create, but to minimize it. As a whole, the public is going to not only use cellphones to the level they are now, but are going to increase their usage. If the usage is going to increase and people will not stop using their phones while driving, isn't it better if they use Navdy? This is a good idea, but I think it's too pricy to convince people to stop. The tech costs too much in order for most users to decide to get it. Ultimately car manufactures will create their own in-car tech through partnerships with the big tech companies that will do it better for cheaper. Or it will be packaged in with your car and you won't notice the 1.5k charge when you are paying 30k for the car.
astockwell 6 days ago 0 replies      
Although you could see this sort of product coming years ago, the creators are ignoring the fundamental lesson that more mature US industries learned the hard way: Regulate yourselves, or raise red flags and force the government to step in and do it for you (and most likely gut your business model). Or at the very least, show some tact.
Eiriksmal 6 days ago 0 replies      
Woah. So my Maxima can become as cool as my buddy's Z06 for the low, low price of $300? Interesting. Having a tach thrown onto the windshield is much preferable to squinting down through the steering wheel into Nissan's lovely (not), isolated pods. Keeping both eyes on the road while shifting into 2nd a hair past the redline? Nice.
joelcollinsdc 6 days ago 2 replies      
The guy in the video is the same guy from the Coin concept videos...
poof131 5 days ago 0 replies      
While part of me is fascinated by the idea, part of me is slightly appalled. For one, they seem to be mixing internet UX with aviation UX and hoping for the best on Americas roadways. Ive flown extensively with both a HUD and an HMCS. Even a missile alert is a small flashing icon, not a giant picture. And this is in a plane where other objects are not usually in your immediate vicinity. All I can think looking at that picture with mom calling, is wow, I just drove off the cliff because mom called, this sucks, well at least the scenerys beautiful, and this HUDs pretty cool.
unsignedint 6 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe it's just me, but I just don't understand why drivers feel like they need to receive/respond to their call/text while they are driving.

More often than not, someone other side won't realize I'm driving and see I can work out some magic until I tell them I'm driving.

Because of this annoyance I've started ignoring any attempts to reach me while I'm driving.

What would be cool service, actually would be the service that can cause call to go through only when it's really urgent, but caller only gets a certain number of "urgency" calls to be saved for REAL emergency.

brk 5 days ago 2 replies      
"Shipping early 2015. We will charge your credit card immediately upon pre-order."

When it did become legal (or even advisable) to charge a credit card more than 30 days in advance of shipment?

Given all the kickstarter hardware startup fiascos, there is NO way I'm paying for a piece of technology this complex 4+ months in advance of estimated delivery times. I'm fully expecting to see "Where is my Navdy!!!?!?!" threads around about this time next year.

iamthepieman 5 days ago 0 replies      
Were they purposefully going for the "stoned" vibe with that video? Just seemed like an odd choice for something they are trying to say is both safe and cool.
daphreak 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great. Now hackers will have a connection to my car.

If they are using the CAN connection on ODB-II then I'm connecting my car to the internet. Sure, most cars only put non-critical stuff on that particular bus but I don't want script kiddies turning on my radio or flashing my lights while I'm driving.

Hopefully its not required and I can just make a power only cable.

ojbyrne 6 days ago 0 replies      
I wish it had more about the legality of this beyond: "Some states may also have legal restrictions regarding where accessories may be mounted on the dashboard"
lsiebert 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hmm... seems to lack a gps. Given that it's running android, it would be nice if it used it's position and size to have a better gps antenna then your phone. Also it could totally store offline maps for when you can't access the network.
thebiglebrewski 6 days ago 3 replies      
This is the same guy from the Coin video (https://onlycoin.com/)! Who is this guy?
supernova87a 5 days ago 0 replies      
HUD is a reasonable tool to augment driving information. It makes sense for maps, directions, vehicle alerts.

Using it to make texting and other non-driving related functions more accessible is a slippery slope towards driver distraction and pretty directly linkable liability for this company.

skbohra123 5 days ago 1 reply      
I think the point they want to make is that no matter how dangerous it is to operate your mobile phone while driving, a lot of people do it. So, I think replacing that with a HUD like this might just be safer than using your mobile while driving.
mrfusion 6 days ago 2 replies      
Side note: I'm always annoyed that Siri insists I read a preview of what it thinks I want a text message to say. Otherwise texting could be completely voice based.

Why can't it read the message back to me? That would give me a rough idea of whether Siri got it right?

MattyRad 6 days ago 1 reply      
My senior project in college was very similar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axDyhF1N7hY

Navdy's interface looks quite a bit nicer though, for sure.

JacksonGariety 5 days ago 0 replies      
"But you can't use your phone in your car. When you do, bad things happen."

gets pulled over by a cop

Yes a ticket is the worst that can happen when you're distracted while driving.

kentf 6 days ago 0 replies      
Powered by Tilt no less ;)

https://www.tilt.com | https://open.tilt.com

ph0rque 6 days ago 0 replies      
It would be even better if combined with a backup camera and parking sensors.
oliwarner 6 days ago 0 replies      
WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST DRIVE?!?!! Why do they think they need to be reading and replying to SMS messages and emails and calls.

Just focus on the 1-3 tons of vehicle you're bimbling around in.

state 6 days ago 2 replies      
It's the same actor from the Coin video [1]. How strange.

1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Sx34swEG0

tamour 5 days ago 1 reply      
In the future I'd like to be able to look down at my phone/tablet/book/food/etc while my car drives me to my destination. This is not the future.
desireco42 6 days ago 0 replies      
Really cool, I plan to get something like this as soon as it becomes available, my money is here, please post when you have product I can order and is reviewed by Ars or Engadget.
macrael 6 days ago 0 replies      
That's @lonelysandwich, he is the director of a lot of tech startup demos: http://sandwichvideo.com
coherentpony 6 days ago 0 replies      
I would use this solely for navigational purposes with Google Maps turn-by-turn. This is exactly why I would not pay $300.

Why does my car need Twitter?

mmsimanga 5 days ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who initial read HURD?
viggity 6 days ago 0 replies      
"compose new tweet". for fucks sake, pull over and use your phone.
rafeed 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you have an Automatic and want to use both, this will be a no go since each will need to use the OBD II port in your car.
elitrium 6 days ago 1 reply      
I think this is a really good alternative. While I do believe that anything that takes away from your attention (texting) while driving, should be banned. It's always going to be a problem whether there is a law against it or not.

It comes down to.. would I rather someone be sending a text while looking down at their phone. Or would I feel better about someone sending a text, a message that's being sent regardless, while looking ahead in front of them.

EvanL 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great product video! Actually quite funny. This technology can be a nice little stop gap before the driverless car revolution.
Linear-b 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is a terrible idea. If it were up to me I'd ban phones in cars entirely until self driving cars are a thing.
mmastrac 6 days ago 1 reply      
I really like what these guys have done -- I've been jealous of the vehicles that ship with this built-in.
Fastidious 5 days ago 0 replies      
Looked interesting. Lets watch the video! "Missing Plug-in." Duh! (Homer style
culshaw 5 days ago 0 replies      
Navdy seems gimmicky, (Husband) I'm worried about Adam trying to hit on my wife...
dqmdm2 5 days ago 0 replies      
You can get a HUD in a Corvette, but it simply displays info from the gauge cluster.
smackfu 6 days ago 0 replies      
Very optimistic with the ship date. Early 2015? Do they realize it's August 2014 already?
jcfrei 6 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to see a working prototype first before I'd consider buying one.
ep103 6 days ago 0 replies      
This seems really cool, I'd definitely want to try it out first though.
tgraham 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great product. Surely a matter of time before buyout from a big car company.
dalek2point3 6 days ago 0 replies      
any ideas where the map data comes from? OpenStreetMap?
HNJohnC 5 days ago 0 replies      
Jesus, this is a terrible idea.
circa 6 days ago 0 replies      
40% off at $319? Wow.
matponta 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just bought one :)
notastartup 6 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped watching when the HUD was actually a tiny piece of screen glass limited to the device. I thought it would project light into the dashboard somehow.
vernie 6 days ago 0 replies      
Howdy, Mr. Sandwich Video
Compile like it's 1992
307 points by cremno  1 day ago   40 comments top 9
zak_mc_kracken 1 day ago 3 replies      
Have to hand it out to Fabien, he's not just an amazing developer with baffling skills to understand code and graphical routines, his dedication to understanding old games of yore is second to none.

Nice job, Fabien!

haberman 19 hours ago 1 reply      
In a similar vein, here is Lua 5.2 being compiled with Turbo C 1.0 (impressive that software written in 2013 compiles unmodified on a 1990 compiler!)


hayksaakian 1 day ago 3 replies      
Its nice that they made it public domain. There are 1000 more games from that era whose code will simply dissapear despite being simply bits and bytes that may be perfectly preserved for ever.
GnarfGnarf 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Borland 3.1 also came as a graphical IDE. For a while Borland was ahead of Microsoft's character-based Programmer's Workbench. Borland had a great IDE.

My company stuck with Borland until 4.5. We parted ways when the compiler generated code that GPF'ed when calling 'new' in a DLL, or declared some global variables undefined that had successfully compiled a few modules earlier. Also, Borland couldn't step through 32-bit code in debug mode. Visual Studio 6 could.

gavinpc 1 day ago 2 replies      
I remember getting the Borland C compiler as a ten or eleven year old and thinking, twenty megabytes! What in the world could they need twenty megabytes for? That was like, my entire hard drive.

N.B. you have a typo

    Z:/> mount c ~/systen/c

russtrotter 23 hours ago 4 replies      
Does anyone else find it sorta ironically odd that one of the masterminds behind this great stuff is now a .... gasp Facebook ... employee?? my heart kinda aches.
webmaven 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice trip down memory lane (and a good counter-example to those who claim that web development today is soooo much more complicated and tedious than desktop development was back in the day...).
frozenport 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Will it build with a modern compiler?
ramgorur 23 hours ago 0 replies      
nostalgic :'-(
I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days
284 points by sethbannon  14 hours ago   111 comments top 21
phillmv 13 hours ago 1 reply      
From the TFA,

>Also, as I went to bed, I remember thinking Ah, crap. I have to like something about Gaza, as I hit the Like button on a post with a pro-Israel message.

>By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right.


>Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right Im nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.


>While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behavior would have on my friends feeds.

This article has so much modern anxiety in a nutshell. We have the pervasive surveillance society, and having our behaviour affected by algorithms.

What this really highlights, to me, is the extent to which Facebook exerts editorial control over the news that you're subjected to. This has all sorts of other effects on how media dollars are spent and as a result the shape of discourse - I'm immediately reminded of http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/05/22/facebook_s_mi...

This is not to say that there haven't _always_ been pernicious incentives at work; but before you could at least question those incentives and motivations instead of shrugging, and pointing to there's an unexplainable, mysteriously biased, support vector machine et al pulling strings.

eumenides1 13 hours ago 9 replies      
I was thinking of a way to destroy my facebook account because you can't actually delete it, this is pretty much it, like everything. Also I guess you could check-in every where at once all the time.

I didn't think about the collateral damage it could cause to others, which is to bombard your "friend's feeds". This is also interesting because, well you can destory facebook in this manner. If enough people are peeing in the pool, people are going to get out.

Maybe I should write a greasemonkey script to accomplish just that. Not that I want to destroy facebook, but that if i wanted to destroy my data this would be the way because facebook doesn't give me that option.

Also does everyone else think it's creepy when your friends stop using facebook and old "likes" pop up on your feed to make it look like that user hasn't left?

protonfish 13 hours ago 5 replies      
So if you like everything on Facebook, the result is political extremism and the most insipid pop culture trash. What frightens me is what if this has nothing to do with Facebook, but is instead about human nature? Does this also describe what happens to a person's life when they stop caring, when they are no longer motivated to put forth the effort to be discerning, when they give up trying to make anything but the easiest and most immediate choices?
uberdog 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I did sort of the opposite. I would click on "don't want to see this" for any link to an external site. It took a few days, but now pretty much all I see is updates from friends.
ChikkaChiChi 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Confirmation bias bubbles like a social media feed like this are atrophying the debate muscles of our society. When we don't actively participate in two-sided discussions we lose the empathy and scope of how so few things are really black and white.

I wish there were more discussion venues where the quality of your participation was based on the value to the discussion, not as to whether or not you supported what that person said.

scoot 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Could someone please put 'Liked' in the HN title in quotes so it makes grammatical sense.

As it stands, the title makes it sounds as if someone tried Facebook for two days and was happy with what they saw. (I know this is the original title, but that doesn't make it correct.)

webwanderings 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice. This is the post I needed to read, as I am on one-week fasting from Facebook (in fact, I am fasting from all kinds of email/group, facebook interactions). It is hard work, but much needed. I tend to believe, as humans in this age and time, we are losing our fundamental ability to delay gratification.
NhanH 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a very tangential point to the post, but the author mentioned a FB employee trying to connect him with the PR department. Exactly what does FB have in mind in doing that?
sosuke 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love to be able to hit the reset button on my FB profile, undo all the profiling they've done on me and start again. Same thing for Google. What does it look like to be a vanilla user?
artumi-richard 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Could there be a browser plugin to like and share everything as you wander through the web? That would be an interesting way to demonstrate tracking technologies.
sebkomianos 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This made me think about creating a second profile on facebook, adding myself as a friend and liking whatever I post on my original - just to find out what "advertising value and quality" I create. Anyone got any ideas on how to automatise this?
milge 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The only winning move is not to play.

Or in this case like/post.

skimmas 13 hours ago 1 reply      
it's possible to unlike everything you've ever like isn't it? I'll try that one day.
donbronson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So, that's what the bots see in Facebook. Doesn't that mean that bots are consuming most of the ads?
snowwrestler 11 hours ago 1 reply      
There's going to be a lot of Facebook bashing in this thread, but I'm going to posit that this response from the Facebook software is not unexpected or even wrong, because the author is purposefully playing against the assumptions built into Facebook algorithms.

Most people rarely "like" branded or advertising content on Facebook. So Facebook has tuned their algorithms to be very sensitive to the few data inputs it receives per person.

Now, here is a person flooding it with input. I am not surprised that the result is crazy deluge of branded content. It's like taking a carefully balanced lever and pushing real hard on one end. The other end is going to move a lot.

> I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous.

Why would they build in a rate limit? The vast, vast majority of the time, the level of input is very low. To build in a rate-limiting system would be pointless gold-plating.

The rarity of this sort of flood is obvious from the fact that a human being at Facebook noticed the level of activity and contacted the author. That is an incredibly high bar at Facebook, which prides itself on automating everything.

po 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This article has reminded me of how astoundingly ahead of his time Andy Warhol was.
viniciosbarros 11 hours ago 0 replies      
this could be some kind of metaphor? =D it starts with a simple but very humanist text, about everybody should like everybody, but this all ends with the statement that after he had liked everything, he got with nothing that he really likes. This could be the same with our relationship with people, where if you dont stand for your principles you could get around with people you don't appreciate.
flippyhead 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Every since I read The Circle stuff like this seems to ring true.
stevebot 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting read. wonder what would happen if they added a dislike button.
PaulHoule 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Somebody still uses Facebook, film at 11.
limaoscarjuliet 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm so put off by Facebook that I'm even put off by articles describing how one is put off by Facebook.

Full disclosure - I closed my account 2 years ago. Did not miss it even for 10 seconds.

Judge rejects $324.5M settlement over Apple, Google hiring
276 points by uptown  3 days ago   169 comments top 20
bkeroack 3 days ago 6 replies      
The otherwise amazing book by Ben Horowitz (of Andreessen-Horowitz fame) called The Hard Thing About Hard Things has a chapter that basically lays out and encourages this type of illegal behavior (called "Is It Okay to Hire People from Your Friend's Company?").

It literally recommends that companies maintain a "do not hire" (aka "do not poach") list of other organizations from which HR is forbidden from recruiting. It also recommends calling the CEO of the other company on the down-low to ask permission before extending an offer.

It really disgusted me when I read it. Such smart people doing such dumb things, and encouraging would-be CEOs to do the same.

olefoo 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it." -Santayana

This is yet another iteration of American labor politics. That it involves workers with greater skills than in previous iterations is not germane. The reason that labor unions arose in the first place was that capitalists actively exploited workers. And, guess what? Capitalists still exploit workers, even when the workers tools are laptops and VMs rather than steam engines and Bessemer converters.

How easily we forget that our grandfathers fought and died for the forty-hour work week. How easily we give that up, because we're working for "disruptive startups".

If you want to know what previous iterations of no-hire agreements looked like; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacklist_(employment)

suprgeek 3 days ago 2 replies      
I had two concerns when this was made public:

that this was a laughably low amount considering the scope of the collusion and the time-scale over which it happened.

that it looks like a good deal to all the companies concerned on two fronts - 325 Million is a pittance compared to what Apple, Google or Adobe make in a month.and the perception of the non-tech folks that this is about the rich whining about not getting caviar rather than a real issue.

At least the first one is being addressed (somewhat). I hope the final settlement really makes them hurt financially so that it becomes one more item in the HR manual - "thou shalt not enter into illegal no-hire agreements even when pressured by an asshole" .

For the second issue there needs to be some effort put in towards communicating with the non-programmer public and educating them about why shit like this is a VERY bad idea no matter who does it or who is impacted.

erobbins 3 days ago 1 reply      
Good. the decimal point needs to move (right) before this settlement can even remotely be considered fair.
MangezBien 3 days ago 3 replies      
Is there any recourse for the engineers who weren't directly affected by the collusion but were affected by the indirect effect on the market as a whole?
numlocked 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's strange that even the NYT got this wrong -- the bulk of the agreement was not in fact about poaching engineers, but rather sales and product people[0].

[0] http://www.businessinsider.com/emails-eric-schmidt-sergey-br...

jessriedel 2 days ago 0 replies      
> After the plaintiffs lawyers took their 25 percent cut, the settlement would have given about $4,000 to every member of the class.

> Judge Koh said that she believed the case was stronger than that, and that the plaintiffs lawyers were taking the easy way out by settling. The evidence against the defendants was compelling, she said.

Can anyone explain this from the perspective of the economic/sociological motivations of the lawyers? People often complain about a huge chunk of the money going to the class-action lawyers who are too eager to settle, but the traditional argument is that a fixed percentage structure (rather than an hourly or flat rate) gives the lawyers the proper incentive to pursue the interests of the class by tying their compensation directly to the legal award.

Here's my best guess: Lawyers, like most people, are risk adverse for sufficiently large amounts of money. (They would rather have $10 million for sure than a 50% chance at $50 million.) On the other hand, the legal award will be distributed over many more plaintiffs. Since it will be much smaller per person, the plaintiffs are significantly less risk adverse. So the lawyers settle even thought it's not in the best interests of the plaintiffs.

This suggests the following speculative solution for correctly aligning the incentives of the lawyers and the class action plaintiffs: either (a) spread the legal work over many lawyers such that the potential compensation for them is small enough that their utility function is at least as linear as the plaintiffs or (b) turn the class-action lawsuits legal team into a corporation which must answer to many shareholders.

Proposal (a) has problems because it might require the number of lawyers to be comparable to the number of plaintiffs, which could be thousands or millions. Proposal (b) strikes many people as weird, and introduces other principal-agent problems, but it does have precedence:


Would love to hear an expert opinion on this.

mrbird 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how many people are likely to actually be paid out as part of the class?
yuhong 3 days ago 0 replies      
From https://plus.google.com/103157122834258782502/posts/dvxSd4wn...

"I'll settle for a personal letter of apology, written by and signed by Eric, Larry and Sergey."

AFAIK the SEC is already beginning to push for admission of wrongdoing.

GeneralMayhem 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is still worrying.

>In her ruling, Koh repeatedly referred to a related settlement last year involving Disney and Intuit. Apple and Google workers got proportionally less in the latest deal compared to the one involving Disney, Koh wrote, even though plaintiff lawyers have "much more leverage" now than they did a year ago.

>To match the earlier settlement, the latest deal "would need to total at least $380 million," Koh wrote.

$380 million??!!?!?! That's not really any better when they're suing for $3B, and having it come from a judge's mouth is NOT helping. I'm glad she turned down $324m, but the new number is still insulting.

justina1 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm curious if this will have any impact on the practice other than companies getting better at not leaving a paper trail.

If it doesn't, the only people this settlement will help is those at the named companies and not the trickle down effect it's had on the rest of the industry.

chaostheory 3 days ago 0 replies      
I know this is illegal but I wonder whether any, most, or even all of the plaintiffs will be blackballed from most large companies in the future? Yes it's wrong, but in practice it's both easy to do and get away with it.
yutah 3 days ago 0 replies      
'To match the earlier settlement, the latest deal "would need to total at least $380 million," Koh wrote.'
funkyy 3 days ago 0 replies      
$324.5 is just a wild number or is there a math behind it?
justina1 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope the perception leans more towards 'uber rich tech execs conspired to pay their employees less' and not 'some of the best paid employees complain about how little they make'.
dreamdu5t 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's nothing wrong with "collusion." Collusion is nothing more than free association. Same with "poaching" for that matter. There's nothing wrong with two people agreeing to work for each other. People should be free to negotiate their own agreements.

The arguments for criminalizing such free association are based in sentiment not reason.

aceperry 3 days ago 0 replies      
The plaintiffs have those companies "dead to rights."
davidf18 3 days ago 2 replies      
This collusion depressed the price of engineering talent but so does H1B Visas. Need to work on the current battle as well...
cognivore 3 days ago 1 reply      
"The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said the proposed settlement amount "falls below the range of reasonableness," before dashing back to her new two million dollar home to pack for her European vacation.
mcfunley 3 days ago 3 replies      
Their collusion depressed the price of engineers generally. I spent a lot of the years in question ignoring recruiting emails from those companies, and this affected the amount my employer needed to pay me to do that. We should dig up the corpse of Steve Jobs and tar and feather it.
Storemapper: Bootstrapped to $50k/year in 2 years
281 points by TTringas  8 hours ago   40 comments top 19
aaron987 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This story has another lesson buried inside it, and it is one that I first learned not long ago in a video (unfortunately I can't find a link to it).

The lesson was: "The best way to get into business is to be in business". In other words, the best way to build a successful business is to get started. Do something, anything to get started. You have to do that to get into contact with people and start getting feedback to see what other problems they have.

I noticed the same lesson in this post. Initially, the author was making money from freelancing. But as clients began asking questions and providing feedback, a more profitable idea came to the surface.

Do something. Just get started.

Great post.

maxbrown 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice job! Especially love the value you're creating in the analytics back-end... that a company can gather and analyze their users' location searches for planning and growth is great. I'm not sure I would have seen the possibility for that little gem.

One piece of feedback for you, in my opinion the sign-up form could really use some work. It has this "survey" sort of feel that does not excite me or give me confidence. I wonder how much this affects conversion - how many people follow a CTA from the homepage but fall off here. Some design & UX focus here could go a long way, happy to give more detailed ideas if you'd like.

edpichler 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a good story. I'm facing the same experiences with a small web app I did (tool for travel agents). I currently have just Google ads but now it's at least paying the servers.

The interesting is that every business is different to growth. I really tried a lot of strategies and the only one that have really worked well was the cold email I sent for potential customers. This to me seems really annoying to do because it's almost like spam I think, but when you really knows your "personas" and you have a good product to them, they answer you with a big Thanks and you feels good, like doing a favor.

There is a very thin line that separates the spam and the mail marketing.

Another thing I learn is that users don't help you, very difficult to someone answer you when you ask feedbacks. They only answer you when they think they will gain something valuable in change. Same behavior in all countries I tested.

My biggest dream is my App give me enough profit to I get out of my regular job and work on this full time. Storemapper is really a inspirational and motivational case to me. Thanks for sharing.

frankdenbow 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Salute to another solo dev boostrapper from Brooklyn!

Do you have any stats on how effective the "Powered By" link was in getting new conversions?

The oDesk lead generators plan is something I am trying now with finding leads for press for a Kickstarter campaign. It works well when you can very clearly define the steps for what you'd like (in my case supplying the list of Kickstarter pages to research). It has to be repeatable and less up for interpretation. I'm using eLance and have had luck with some admins.

I also had a side project that turned into a full time project. Clearing away distractions and focusing on one product made a world of difference for me (still learning to do this). When I kept things as side projects, I wasnt fully able to test if what I was working on had real potential and I wish I would have focused earlier.

Great post Tyler!

lquist 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As a fellow bootstrapper, congrats!

A few recommendations:

* I recommend A/B testing a pricing structure 3x what you currently charge. I'm guesstimating this to be the sweet spot, but I think you're underpricing significantly.

* Hire a professional designer to make the site look less amateurish.

* Advertise to web developers/consultancies. Again, I don't know too much about your customers, but I think marketing to web developers/consultancies will have a high ROI

jxm262 7 hours ago 8 replies      
Thanks for sharing.

For this line - "I know that starting from this position, with certainty that some customers will pay for the product is a fantastic starting point for a small business or passive income side project."

As someone who recently graduated college and wants to create some sort of startup/side-business some day; how does one go about finding what things someone would be interested in paying for?

Any tips on how to find that initial starting point?

pmorici 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the over head of running a service like this is this 50k in profit or revenue?
reillyse 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"With an eight hour layover in the Flagship Lounge I was looking at nearly 36 hours of free wifi, unlimited champagne and coffee and very few distractions." and you decided to nerd out.... I'd do the same but what does that say about us :)
skeoh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This was a fascinating read. I'm having trouble with the statement "switching customers to monthly billing is great for your cashflow and sanity", given that the previous paragraph details switching customers from monthly billing to annual billing. Am I missing something? Which is preferred in this case?
ohfunkyeah 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Great product but even better support. I integrated storemapper in a meteor.js based website for my brewery http://twbrewing.com/where_beers. The meteor framework gave me some grief as it tends to do with embeddable js widgets but Tyler got back to me within a day or sooner everytime I had a question.
theworst 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm currently in the pre-preparation process for moving to another country, something you alluded to in your article.

Argentina is one of the places I've been considering. Can you point me to any resources you used to decide where to live, preparatory work, any gotchas, etc.?

jacquesm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Super work! Now you need to scale it, if you can't find any good reasons why you can't do $500K per year then that should be your next target.
reustle 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you pay for a google maps commercial license of sorts?
mkal_tsr 7 hours ago 1 reply      
From one solo-bootstrapper to another, great read and well done!
lowellgoss 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great story! Congratulations. I love the time boxed goal of launching when you landed.
kamilszybalski 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone once said that a startup becomes a business as soon as it makes its first dollar.
at-fates-hands 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"Lesson learned: always test higher prices. I didnt bother with the setup required to run simultaneous A/B tests. I just raised prices and watched what happened."

Not enough startups do this on a regular basis. They're too worried about losing clients. If you don't reinforce your value proposition on a regular basis by adding features, you will lose customer regardless.

With several of my side projects, I would add a new feature, then raise prices for new customers. At the same time, clients who renewed (I used a subscription based model) would get a discount. It was like magic. More people wanted in earlier, instead of waiting for a more mature, more expensive product. They gladly paid a lower monthly fee up front, in order to avoid the increase in price later on.

ericthegoodking 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing.
vuzum 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Tyler, I hate to do this to you (and to SnapWidget and others), but there's something cooking.

With the API and feature rich product updates that are coming up, I think we'll hit a cross road. I don't think I have to go into details, you'll figure it out with this sample widget + Editor:http://blogvio.com/widgets/util/map-with-google-maps/composi...

I just want to let you know that we appreciate you opened up and shared your story. I checked your product and it's cool. Keep up the good work! Don't hate the messenger. :-)

Questions about Nasa's space drive answered
285 points by ColinWright  4 days ago   196 comments top 28
gus_massa 4 days ago 5 replies      
Short version:

Unless they believe the machine breaks some of the fundamental physics laws, the device must emit something. With this definition using a red LED Laser powered by a 1.5V battery in the back of the spacecraft is a "no reaction mass" thruster. The problem is that the momentum / energy ratio has theoretical limitations, and they are getting too much momentum.

Long version (based on a previous comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7162069):

Ill try to explain what I had understood trying to find an explanations that dont break the physics laws.

To move the spaceship you need momentum. You must use some particles to carry the opposite momentum away. Its not clear, but the main candidates are photons (aka light). (The other possibility is gravitons, but that would be even more amazing)

The photons have no rest mass, but they have energy. So to produce them, you must "spend" some energy. The energy source can be carried in the ship (a nuclear reactor) or absorbed in place (solar panel).

If you are using a nuclear reactor, a small par of the mass of the atoms is transformed into energy and you put that energy in the photons. So the net effect is that some of the mass of the spaceship goes away, and it's no long a "no reaction mass" ship. (The same idea is valid to electric batteries, but the mass difference comes from the chemical bounds and not from the nucleus.)

If you use a solar panel, then when you absorb the photons the spaceship gains a little of mass. Unless you have a mechanism to dissipate the mass the spaceship would get heavier. Luckily, the photons that you are using for propulsion carry a little of mass (and the heat you are dissipating also helps). So this is essentially a solar sail, you get some photons, and send them in a different direction, and the change in the direction of the photons give some momentum to your ship. Perhaps a complex setup (solar panel + led) can be more directional that a simple setup (mirror). Perhaps you can gain a x3 or x6 efficiency. (But someone has to do the calculations, because this might break the second law, unless you get a laser light and also dissipate some heat without a specific direction, and the net result as good as a mirror.)

In the previous comment, throwaway_yy2Di noted that with photons "the ratio a photon's momentum to energy is fixed at 1/c, which is 3.3E-6 N/kW". The problem of photons is that to get some moment you need a proportional amount of energy to create them. Another possibility is to create particle-antiparticle pairs and accelerate them, but this is even more inefficient that using photon and you get less than 3.3E-6 N/kW.

The alternative solution is to accelerate other particles (for example the hydrogen atoms in the rocket fuel), you don't need energy to create them, because they are already there. So you can get more than 1/c=3.3E-6 N/kW, but it's not a "no reaction mass" ship.

They claim 40 microNewton/28W = 1.4E-3 N/kW ~= 400000/c. This is in the like 400000 times the theoretical limit, so they have a measurement problem (or they'll get a Nobel price).

michael_nielsen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Every few weeks on Hacker News we have the following cycle:

(1) News article! Prevailing view of physics overturned! Etc! Etc! Etc!

(2) Many excited comments!

(3) Much less excited comment, pointing to skeptical remarks by well-known professional physicists (e.g., John Baez, Sean Carroll).

(4) Much to-and-fro. People who once saw a Discovery Channel special on physics now appear to believe that they're in a better position to evaluate the new claims than the people from (3).

Now, points (1) and (2) do sometimes happen, without points (3) and (4).

For instance, the neutrino faster-than-light claims attracted very cautious comment from professionals. In other words, point (3) was absent or rather muted. That's because the people who'd done the experiments were known for being extremely careful, and were, in fact, very cautious in their announcement.

That kind of thing is genuinely exciting, and worth discussion.

Another nice example of an exception is the Alcubierre drive. It satisfied (1) and (2) (or the 1996 equivalent), but (3) was absent, except that professionals noted that the drive required the stress-energy tensor to have some unusual properties, not satisfied by any known substance. Indeed, Alcubierre pointed this out himself.

Again, genuinely exciting, and worth discussion.

But when the professionals are loudly deriding a result, it'd be nice for the amateurs to make a serious attempt to understand why, and not just airily dismiss it.

didgeoridoo 4 days ago 3 replies      
Deep breaths. Probably experimental error. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof...

God DAMN this is exciting.

FiatLuxDave 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've read the abstract, but apparently Wired has access to more information. Any idea where the primary source for that information is?

I'm interested to see what magnetic shielding was used and how well they characterized the magnetic field in the experimental volume. There was a mention of shielding against electromagnetic effects, but that could just mean a Faraday cage or Helmholtz coils, neither of which will reduce the B-field to zero.

Because the device is based upon microwaves in a conducting cavity, I would think that the first place to look for a theory of operation would be E&M, not quantum. The level of force involved is the kind that you can see when interacting with the Earth's magnetic field. Normally we ignore the force produced by the interaction of currents with the Earth's field, because they are so small. Was a mu-metal shield used, and if so, what was the remnant field? Was a stronger field induced to see if that increased the force? I hope that the experimenters try this if they have not already.

tobinfricke 4 days ago 4 replies      
Here are two nice posts by physicist John Baez with some reasons to be skeptical about the "reactionless drive":



mrfusion 4 days ago 2 replies      
Why does number 7 say a superconducting version of this drive does not require energy to hold things up?

Are they just referring to how superconductors can float in an external magnetic field? That doesn't seem to give general purpose hover boards.

vkal 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm reading Contact by Carl Sagan right now and my heart kept fluttering as I read this article.

I'm unqualified to comment on anything in this article, but this is really cool, and I didn't know Wired produced science journalism (or a highly technical Q/A) like this.

JulianMorrison 4 days ago 1 reply      

  A superconducting version of the EmDrive, would, in principle, generate thousands of times more thrust. And because it does not require energy just to hold things up (just as a chair does not require power to keep you off the ground), in theory you could have a hoverboard which does not require energy to float in the air.
If they have just solved flying cars and hoverboards, I think we can officially declare this to be the future already.

jobu 4 days ago 0 replies      
Best part of the article is the answer to question 9:

"9. Why isn't there a simple explanation of how it's supposed to work without violating the laws of physics?"

"If the new drive results continue to be replicated, then theory may have to catch up."

Reminds me of the quote: "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is."

tgb 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wired gets some flack these days but that was a thorough article. Maybe I need to read the actual paper now instead of just dismissing it off-hand.
bitL 4 days ago 1 reply      
So what's the difference between what NASA does, what Chinese did with Em drive and what Russians have orbiting in Yubileiny satellite?

More interesting question: can I make one at home? I can do magnetic levitation, both pushing and pulling with high-frequency electromagnets; it would be cool if I could do this as well and having floating objects in my home 8-)

madengr 4 days ago 0 replies      
Photons (i.e EM fields) have no mass, but do carry momentum and can transfer it to charged particles (i.e. the solar sail). So if the drives uses EM field to transfer momentum to the quantum vacuum particles, wouldn't that upset the net-zero energy balance of the quantum vacuum? I though the particles are popping in and out of existence, hence net-zero energy?
jcfrei 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a demonstration video of the EmDrive in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57q3_aRiUXs

However this test rig apparently doesn't adhere to the same strict experimental setup used by NASA.

mangeletti 4 days ago 0 replies      
Shortest version:

They think it works, but we don't know how. More tests will tell whether or not we have finally discovered the technology required to drive around easily in the solar system and propel skateboarding into the realm of Back to the Future.

noselasd 4 days ago 1 reply      
Besides the frequency of the electromagnetic waves , is this the same concept as the "Pioneer Anomaly" - where they eventually figured out it was thermal radiation emitted from its satellite dish which slowed down the spacecraft ?
Gravityloss 4 days ago 3 replies      
The most important question that should have been top center: with reactionless propulsion it is possible to create a free energy device.

Attach the thruster to a wheel.

When the thruster is firing, it consumes constant power and the wheel accelerates, spinning ever faster.

The wheel can be attached to a generator that produces power which is thrust times the rim velocity.

Thus, after a certain speed, the wheel produces more power than the thruster consumes.

This was discussed on a rocketry list.

bad_user 4 days ago 0 replies      
Given the steady push of this drive, if it actually works can it be said that a significant percent of light speed could be reached?
grondilu 4 days ago 1 reply      
I liked the comparison with high-temperature superconductors. We don't exactly know how they work either. But they do work.
spingsprong 4 days ago 4 replies      
Please be true, please be true!

How big is a two megawatt nuclear power source anyway? A quick search showed nuclear power plants are in the hundreds to low thousands of megawatt range, and RTGs are in the tens to hundreds of watt range. I have no idea what something that lies between those two would be.

readerrrr 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is very exciting; a new propulsion method that already works much better than existing thrusters, doesn't need propellant and without requiring years of research.

It sound too good to be true. My bet is on experimental error.

crusso 4 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't this remind anyone of the not-so-long-ago overhyped E-Cat?


davedx 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is this the same thing as the Q-thruster?


mrfusion 4 days ago 3 replies      
Would this be how impulse drives are supposed to work in Star Trek work? Just curious.
cookiemonster11 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's probably powered by N-rays.
VikingCoder 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Prototype engine weighs about 15 kilograms"

"EmDrive, produced 91 micronewtons of thrust for 17 watts of power"


428 miles per hour, after a year.

Am I doing the math wrong?

thisjepisje 4 days ago 2 replies      
Where can I find blueprints?
DanielBMarkham 4 days ago 0 replies      
A less conservative projection has an advanced drive developing ten times as much thrust for the same power -- this cuts the transit time to Mars to 28 days, and can generally fly around the solar system at will, a true Nasa dream machine.

If we had this plus a reduction of cost-to-orbit by a couple orders of magnitude, say getting prices down to $10 per kilo? Space travel would actually become a thing -- something available to most people. And we could lower cost-to-orbit in a lot of proven ways, like using mass drivers for non-human orbital insertions.

This is firmly in the "too good to be true" category right now, but hell, I'm a believer. Even if we're wrong, even if there's some experimentation error, science still wins. People are being energized, lots of imaginative scenarios about space travel are playing out across the net, and so on.

This is a very good thing.

pistle 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ugh. That's a Buzzfeedy title if ever there was one. I'm surprised it isn't:

Space Scientists Don't Want Obama To Know These 10 Secrets About Warp Drive

Go 1.4+ Garbage Collection Plan and Roadmap
280 points by crawshaw  4 days ago   178 comments top 14
kator 4 days ago 9 replies      
STW has to die. I love that the goal is 10ms but in some environments the world has passed you by in 10ms and with STW you've timed out every single connection.

I want badly to fall in love with Go, I've enjoyed using it for some of my projects but I've seen serious challenges with more then four cores at very low latency (talking 9ms network RTT) and high QPS.. I cheated in one application and pinned the go process to each cpu and lied to Go and told it there was only one CPU but then you loose all the cool features of channels etc.. That helped some but a Nginx/LuaJIT implementation of the same solution still crushed it on the same box, identical workload.

It would be nice if we have to have STW to have it configurable, in some environments swapping memory for latency is fine and should be configurable.

The way Zing handles GC for Java acceleration is quite brilliant, not sure how much of that is open technology, but it would be cool to see the Go team reviewing what was learned in the process of maturing Java for low-latency high qps systems.

eloff 4 days ago 5 replies      
People use the JVM in soft realtime / financial applications, and the trick is to reduce allocations, especially of objects that are long-lived enough to make it to gen 2.

Go is better suited than Java for those kinds of applications, because it's easier to avoid allocations (Java doesn't have stack allocations, but Go does.) Also hard upper limits on GC time are very helpful for those cases where allocations can't be reduced any further. The standard library additionally has a Pool type that allows for reducing pressure on the GC through object reuse.

davidtgoldblatt 4 days ago 1 reply      
For those interested in additional technical details of high-performance garbage collection, the book cited (The Garbage Collection Handbook: The Art of Automatic Memory Management) is a fantastic reference. It's one of the best-written technical books I own, and distills much of the modern literature. If you need to do GC performance tuning or reason about memory management issues in the JVM, having this book around will be very useful.
chetanahuja 4 days ago 3 replies      
Seems like the 10ms pause thing provokes a much sharper reaction (at least among this crowd) than this little nugget:

"Hardware provisioning should allow for in-memory heap sizes twice as large as reachable memory."

So I know "memory is cheap"(TM) but surely a 100% physical RAM overhead for your memory management scheme is worth at least a small amount of hand-wringing. No?

SEJeff 4 days ago 6 replies      
10 milliseconds is far too long for STP for anything in the financial industry. I can see it as also not being great for robotics or several other latency critical industries.

It is a shame too. I love writing go

BinaryIdiot 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm absolutely in love with C++'s RAII scheme but it seems almost no languages use it and, instead, go with a complex garbage collecting scheme that requires pausing.

I want to like GO but a language that targets native development but still uses garbage collection just seems like an odd pairing to me. Maybe it's just me especially since I rarely get an opportunity to do native development.

rurban 3 days ago 0 replies      
Be fast and use Cheney (copying, double memory) or be slow with Mark&Sweep and only the current memory usage.Nothing new here.

Catching up old GCs via concurrent GC states is fine and tandy, but it is still just catching up, and it requires GC state. Cheney not. And a typical Cheney GC is 3-10ms not 10-50ms.

dualogy 4 days ago 1 reply      
"Quantitatively this means that for adequately provisioned machines limiting GC latency to less than 10 milliseconds (10ms), with mutator (Go application code) availability of more than 40 ms out of every 50 ms" --- once they get there, they should try to make those targets customizable, with default values being 10ms/50ms. That'd be marvellous.
ChikkaChiChi 4 days ago 1 reply      
Go is a language built on concurrency. Today's computers are usually allocated a lot of memory resources.

Garbage collection is required but even a hybrid STW only reduces latency but doesn't eliminate it. Nor is there seemingly any foreseeable way of allowing developers to issue a GC request in a timely fashion.

What if, prior to enacting GC, Go concurrently shifted from it's current memory allocation to an exact clone, cleaned up, then shifted back? Or maybe it cleans as it's cloning, enabling a shift to a newer, cleaner allocation? Sure, there would be latency during the switch, but it would be considerably less than stopping everything and waiting for GC to finish.

sudhirj 4 days ago 2 replies      
When there's talk of making sure the GC doesn't take up more than 10ms out of every 50ms, this is only when the GC is actually happening and not during regular running, right?
Thaxll 4 days ago 3 replies      
Is that possible to make a realtime gameserver with the actual GC?
jaekwon 4 days ago 2 replies      
Curious, how "real time" can a large application get in Go by judiciously working with pre-allocated structs and slices? Perhaps if the underlying system libraries don't require much garbage collection, then you can avoid stopping the world for too long.
smegel 4 days ago 2 replies      
As a side issue, are there any plans to switch to gcc as thr main compiler? It can do everything that 6c can do from what I understand, and produces much faster code due to gcc well tuned optimizer.
jblow 4 days ago 2 replies      
Availability of 40ms out of every 50ms... how many 9s is that? Oh wait.

"Go, the language with zero nines of availability."

War in the womb
266 points by Mz  3 days ago   69 comments top 15
Kenji 3 days ago 7 replies      
In my opinion, this is the most interesting paragraph:

>In primates and mice, its a different story. Cells from the invading placenta digest their way through the endometrial surface, puncturing the mothers arteries, swarming inside and remodelling them to suit the foetus. Outside of pregnancy, these arteries are tiny, twisty things spiralling through depths of the uterine wall. The invading placental cells paralyse the vessels so they cannot contract, then pump them full of growth hormones, widening them tenfold to capture more maternal blood. These foetal cells are so invasive that colonies of them often persist in the mother for the rest of her life, having migrated to her liver, brain and other organs. Theres something they rarely tell you about motherhood: it turns women into genetic chimeras.

The whole article sounds so creepy. I never thought you could describe one of the most natural processes in that light.

rmrfrmrf 3 days ago 7 replies      
This article is needlessly sensational and has waaaaay too many misleading "chicken and egg" statements. The evolution of the uterus came prior to the evolution of the human embryo, so to say that the uterus "needs" to protect the body against the embryo is untrue; in reality, it was the embryo that needed to adapt itself to its environment.

It's these kind of articles that cause misunderstandings about how evolution actually works. If we, the HN community, are interested in furthering our knowledge bases, we need to stop falling for these pseudo-intelligent reskinned BuzzFeed articles.

rosser 3 days ago 1 reply      
I shared this on Facebook, and my friend who's a perinatologist (a sub-specialist who takes care of moms delivering preterm, moms w severe medical conditions (lupus, kidney failure, heart failure) and fetuses with problems (birth defects, fetuses who need transfusions for anemia) commented, saying, "The fetus is the most successful parasite known to man. Many people even want one!"
RV86 3 days ago 4 replies      
I read this article on Aeon the other day -- for an ostensibly scientific approach, the author spends a lot of energy anthropomorphizing the biological processes. Plenty of what's said is rigorous and fascinating, but I think that style obscures some of it.

What's really interesting to me is that in many ways this "adversarial" relationship must actually be looked at as a fairly optimal one as far as evolution is concerned -- after all, our species (and plenty of other mammals) have reproduced and thrived across the world.

I'd be very curious to read an analysis of postpartum depression through this lens.

facepalm 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are even more interesting implications of the "war": women are fertilized inside the body so that fathers can not be sure whose offspring a child is (because the fertilization can not be seen, other than with eggs, for example) - otherwise they might kill the offspring of other fathers (our ancestors would have, that is). Furthermore, women try to hide their fertility as much as possible, other than most other mammals. Iirc that is for the same reason: since men can not be sure when the woman was fertile, they can not be sure who made her pregnant. But if they don't know when a woman is pregnant, why even have sex? And that is why sex is fun. We take it for granted, but apparently it is only fun for very few species.

I recommend "Why sex is fun" by Jared Diamond for a fun read... I hope I have remembered correctly (it's been too long since I read it).

31reasons 3 days ago 1 reply      
>>Even with the help of modern medicine, pregnancy still kills about 800 women every day worldwide

Um..I am not sure about modern medicine part. Most of these women must be in developing countries where you hardly get "modern medicine" on a regular basis.

akirk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think it is a very important detail to understand that new life has to grow in water.

When life moved out of the water, different life-forms discovered a way to take that environment away from the water to have their embryos grow: Birds keep the water in eggs, mammals in their womb.

While egg-laying animals create self-contained environments, mammals need much more energy to develop therefore have to be live-fed. So they feed this separate, new creature. Of course they have to protect themselves from them.

gordaco 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess that the situation is even harsher when there is more than one foetus.
ryanmarsh 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can confirm. My new daughter tried to kill her mother by preeclampsia.
Terr_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if/how this relates to premature births.
eternalban 2 days ago 0 replies      
"It's my body". No, it is a parasite and a distinct life form.
mqsiuser 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have huge brains, jo

They must be there for a reason

I tell you, bro. It's war, you know.

"We/I thought about everything and this is what we came up with (interwined with very catchy words to hold your attention)"

Could you please do (representative) studies and not assume too much?! Very hurting are some of the cause&conclusion sections... very slim terrain (correlation=/=causation)

personZ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Related but incidental, but what's the deal with Aeon? They don't seem to have a revenue model, but I read and enjoy virtually everything they produce. Is there a gotcha coming?
andrzejsz 2 days ago 0 replies      
This kind o article suits perfectly as a pro choice propagandaI could only wonder if it was written with support for example Planned Parenthood
guard-of-terra 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is where God either doesn't exist or doesn't care about us, so we should stick to our devices AND FIX THEM.

Reading the article made me feel shame about not being able to clean up this situation yet.

New Site Recovers Files Locked by Cryptolocker Ransomware
278 points by Albuca  5 days ago   40 comments top 10
TeMPOraL 4 days ago 2 replies      
> The free decryption service was made possible because Fox-IT was somehow able to recover the private keys...

Part of me is so hoping that they extracted those keys from the crooks using rubber-hose cryptanalysis. There are many types of Internet scams, some more evil than others, but this is one of the nastiest I ever heard of.

nospecinterests 4 days ago 3 replies      
I know they are doing this as a community service... because, I assume they feel it is their honor and duty to do so... but why the hell do these guys NOT have at least a donate link/button on their site!!!!! This is crazy. I know they are going to get awesome press which would have normally cost thousands but it never hurts to throw up a link and see how much your appreciated.
userbinator 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is interesting because it's one of those cases where insecurity can turn out to be a good thing - had those cybercriminals been more careful with their systems and made them more secure, this may have never been possible; but then again, the malware might not have been able to do this in the first place if the users' systems were more secure. How that could be accomplished is also worth considering - there is a school of thought that suggests taking control away from the users and disallowing them from doing anything that some entity (corporate or government) does not approve of on the assumption that users will always make mistakes (e.g. Trusted Computing), but this also means loss of freedom - as the saying goes, "freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

However, if on the other hand we allow the users freedom, and thus assume that mistakes (such as being infected with malware like this) will happen, then it makes sense that a means of recovery should be available, which is not something that "perfect" security allows. To use an analogy, people who have lost their keys or had them stolen should still be able to gain access to their house. In the physical world, perfect security is nearly impossible, but with digital data, it's not. Locking an item in a safe means it can still be retrieved if the key is lost by, in the worst possible circumstance, cutting open the safe, no matter how physically strong it is. Encrypting data with a long-enough key and sufficiently strong algorithm means it's truly practically destroyed without the key. I think this point - that encryption can be really, really, really unrecoverably strong - needs to be made more aware as we continue to use more of it.

It would be particularly ironic if this recovery was made possible through exploiting the malware servers with something like Heartbleed...

RAB1138 4 days ago 0 replies      
Relevant: Neil Stephenson's Reamde takes the principle of Ransomware and plays it out to a fun conclusion. This site would have come in handy. Highly recommended http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Reamde-Audiobook/B0...
aresant 5 days ago 1 reply      
Key from one of the comments "Its not too late if you still have the encrypted files, as I suspect many people do, hoping that someday a program like this would come along."

That is awesome. I'm sure a large percentage of people with irreplaceable files hung onto them, hope these guys get the exposure they deserve for the site.

#1 on HN is a good start.

gordon_freeman 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just hope as many people as possible who were affected by this lockdown and who have not paid ransom yet would know about this. As per the Krebs' article only 1.3% paid ransom so it's not too late.
nness 4 days ago 1 reply      
It should be obvious that not all consumers are as technically proficient as HN readers. Some don't know the risk, some don't want the cost, I'd say most don't care enough.
timsayshey 4 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone here looked at the software? It requires you to manually run a command from the command prompt for every file. Decryptolocker.exe --key "<key>" <Lockedfile>

If I have thousands of files, that will take forever, anyway to batch decrypt?

xxxmadraxxx 4 days ago 2 replies      
Of course, the conspiracy theorist might say that it's a bit too convenient to suppose the hitherto extremely clever criminals helpfully and stupidly copied their private keys across to computers controlled by 'the feds'. A bit like those supposedly 'random' police stopping of vehicles which turn out to be full of drugs or explosives.

Maybe public/private key pairs aren't as secure as we've been lead to believe.

Reverse Engineering for Beginners: Free book
266 points by galapago  1 day ago   28 comments top 8
kqr2 1 day ago 1 reply      
For understanding the stack frame layout on x86-64, I found this post to be quite useful:


j_s 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Reverse engineering has come up a few times in the past few months:

Automated reverse engineering (of DRM) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7989490

Open-source debugger for Windows - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8092273

luckyno13 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been contemplating taking up coding in my spare time, especially after the post about turning the $200 Chromebook into an el cheapo learning machine. This could be the starting block I have been searching for.
newaccountfool 1 day ago 2 replies      
After just visiting DEFCON and watching all the teams partake in CTF, this is what I want to learn. This is computing.
ryanmerket 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Takes me back to high school. I used to sit in my room for hours working on keygennerators.
middleclick 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember how I spent a summer going through Lenas videos tutorials (look them up). They were really good and I learned a lot. Reverse engineering is an addictive thing.
codygman 22 hours ago 4 replies      
Is there a good reversing toolset for linux? For instance this book recommends a windows only tool called Ida.
checker659 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know of a tool that can dump C++ vtables from 64 bit macho files?
Robin Williams, Oscar-Winning Comedian, Dies at 63
262 points by kmod  4 hours ago   55 comments top 33
robg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Crying. A terrible loss of a kind soul. My favorite story:

[Christopher Reeve's] approaching operation to reattach his skull to his spine (June 1995) was frightening to contemplate. I already knew that I had only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the surgery. Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. The man announced that he was a proctologist and was going to perform a rectal exam on Reeve. It was Robin Williams, reprising his character from the film Nine Months. Reeve wrote: For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.

I only wish someone was there for him in his last moments. A horrible illness that is truly indiscriminate. RIP.

SoftwareMaven 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are few actors whose passing would really sadden me. Whether it was Mork and Mindy from my childhood, his appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway, shared by my kids and I, or the Genie from my kids' childhoods, he has been responsible for a lot of my favorite entertainment memories. Rest in peace, Mr Williams.

Far too many people are laughing on the outside to cover up the pain on the inside. I know I've done my share.

JshWright 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yet more proof that depression (and mental illness in general) does not discriminate... When I think about the friends I've lost to suicide, the list includes one of the smartest people I've ever known, and someone who fits the description 'full of life' better than anyone I can think of... Now one of the funniest people the world has seen.

My thoughts and prayers are with Robin's friends and family. I hope they are able to find ways to celebrate his life, and aren't plagued by 'what ifs'. I also hope this pushes us just a little bit further down the road of reducing the stigma associated with depression...

asadotzler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Terribly sad. He sure was fun to watch. He must not have been very fun to be. I'm thankful for the decades he was able to cope and share with all of us.
Smerity 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually don't react to such things but Robin Williams is such a strong part of my childhood and youth. Jumanji, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, Hook, Bicentennial Man, Good Morning, Vietnam, Good Will Hunting ... RIP mate, you've been integral to so many stories.
baby 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh captain my captain. Rest in peace Robin Williams...
azinman2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So sad that depression can bring down someone as great as him.

His kids went to my school growing up, and I remember him picking them up and always being nice to us schoolmates and doing impersonations for us. He definitely seemed affable and happy then, but typically depression hides beneath the surface in a destructive isolated world.

robflynn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel.

Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

Doctor says "Treatment is simple. A great clown, Pagliacci, is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up."

Man bursts into tears.

Says "But, doctor..."

"...I am Pagliacci."


This is sadly true all too often.

siculars 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the funniest guys out there for a long, long time. It's hard to believe that someone with access to any type of help one could get could not find the help he needed.

Someone you grew up watching is no longer around. I'm really broken up about it.

click170 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Mr Williams was the face of comedy for me growing up, as much as Jack Nicholson could be said to be "the face of evil".

I love the work done by Mr Williams and will be watching Mrs Doubtfire tonight.

I was watching The Daily Show with John Stewart a few weeks ago when he had Seinfeld on and Stewart said something that kind of hit home for me, he said something off-the-cuff to the effect that once Seinfeld left TV he was in people's hearts and minds but that once he (Stewart) left TV he would vanish from memory.It really struck a chord with me and made me want to send him even a brief written note. Comedians never vanish from memory. They are in our thoughts, our behaviours and mannerisms. We absorb the comedy we love and carry it with us, leaking it everywhere. I figured I should write to him, even if only so his secretary can filter it out for the trashcan. Everyone can use a pat on the back sometimes, even the people we look up to. I have resolved to write that note tonight.

drblast 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's an outstanding recent episode of Louis (Louis C.K.'s show) where Robin Williams is a guest. In the show they both attend a funeral for someone nobody liked because they feel obligated, and they talk a bit about life and death.

Definitely worth a watch, and very poignant in light of his suicide. RIP Robin.

MaysonL 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just last night, I saw him in a 1977 Richard Pryor roast. Sad.


jmromer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Somehow, and sadly, I wasn't surprised to learn the cause of death. To me Williams's jovial veneer never seemed very convincing. RIP to a gentle soul.
Taek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I know I'm just another comment, but I'm too moved not to add my own goodbye. His work was inspirational and he's been one of my favorite professionals since childhood. Very sad to see that he's moved on, especially by his own choice.

May he rest in peace.

shiven 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Incredibly sad. Loved his performances. One awesome thespian in every way.

Alas, my secret wish, for a performance I wish he had given, but never did, will forever be only a wish now:

Khalil Gibran's The Prophet, Read by Robin Williams (in a voice from the Park Scene in Good Will Hunting).


el_duderino 4 hours ago 1 reply      
RIP to an absolutely brilliant performer. His unique brand of madcap genius will never be duplicated, and he will be sorely missed.
ObligatoryRef 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Sometimes you got to specifically go out of your way to get into trouble. It's called fun."

RIP, Robin.

hkmurakami 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So many of my favorite childhood movies involved him (still live watching Hook now and again). So sad and shocking.
ck2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What a filmography, going to be so hard to watch many of these ever again:


He even goes back to Laugh-In and Carson shows.

squiguy7 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Another sad testament to one of the most overlooked illnesses in this country and the world for that matter. I don't want to parade one single suicide as cause for action, but something needs to change in this arena.
carljoseph 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I may be jumping to conclusions here, but I wonder if depression was part of the issue for Robin Williams.

In our industry or technology, depression, burnout, mental illness are all areas I don't feel we deal with very well.

litmus 3 hours ago 0 replies      
this incidental interview with stephen fry and robin williams is kind of poignant, not in small part because of the difference in the exterior behavior of two interesting bipolar personalities and the way fry effortfully tries to forgive williams for his intrusions.


tonteldoos 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just echoing other sentiments here - some of my most memorable childhood movies and times involved Robin Williams. His death is a loss to all of us.
seanmcdirmid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Really hackernews, keep it classy and don't mod this out.

Edit: classiness is in short supply.

slake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A little bit of happiness has gone out of this world. RIP Robin Williams.
bhaile 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sad and a memorable actor. From Awakenings to Mrs Doubtfire. Good range.
computerjunkie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favourite actors when I was growing up. Rest in peace Robin Willams.
iloveyouocean 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Another addition to the painfully long list of tragic comedian deaths.
slurry 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nanu nanu.
GoldenHomer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"I can't believe it, I'm losing to a rug."
ajani 3 hours ago 0 replies      
RIP Robin Williams.
001sky 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A slightly longer piece on the subject, as well


simonebrunozzi 3 hours ago 12 replies      
Don't throw stones on me, but... Why on HN?

(besides, I am as saddened as you are. I truly loved his as an actor and comedian - I just used his acronym scene from Good Morning Vietnam 4 days ago in a presentation I gave).

       cached 12 August 2014 04:11:01 GMT