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1
Bzier Clock
795 points by frigaardj  2 days ago   69 comments top 29
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nyan_sandwich 1 day ago 2 replies      
Excellent.

It looks like it uses linear interpolation between the different glyphs, which makes it look a bit jerky. The author might want to try a sinusoidal interpolation so that velocity reaches zero at the key frames and the whole thing thus spends more time dwelling on the legible parts of the animation and looks smoother.

2
frigaardj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi all, I'm the author.Thanks for all the feedback - really good to hear you like the clock. I've added some more animation easings as per your suggestions. To clarify: when continual animation is off, each digit only animates for a specified amount of time. I set this at 20 seconds for all but the 'seconds' digits, which animate continually. I thought this looked cooler and they're inessential to reading the time.I'll try and port it to Apple watch / Android wear when they release their proper watch face SDKs.
3
kyrra 1 day ago 4 replies      
My crappy addition to clocks: http://myoldclock.appspot.com/

Did it in about 12 hours for a Google I/O competition 3 years ago. It's a countdown clock instead of a normal clock, but similar idea.

4
mholt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, that's awesome. Reminds me of Timely Alarm Clock[1] which I use every day and still tout as probably the single most beautiful Android app ever.

However, for this Bzier clock, it would be more practical if the animation was finished before it had to change again, so that we could read the numbers.

[1]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ch.bitspin.tim...

5
propela 1 day ago 0 replies      
6
femto113 1 day ago 1 reply      
I propose a new sport: Bezier clock golf, in which we try to construct a readable clock using the fewest number of control points. Current par is 5.
7
TrainedMonkey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks awesome, but tens of seconds need to morph faster. By the time 4 is clearly formed and visible seconds read 48. While continuous motion is aesthetic, it is hard to tell time.
8
tdicola 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nice animation. Something similar is JWZ's dali clock: http://www.jwz.org/xdaliclock/
9
devindotcom 1 day ago 3 replies      
Fun. I'd say you should have every number at x/60 or whatever of the way between first and next state, including hour and such, but that would probably just result in a bunch of unrecognizable squiggles.

edit: oops, RTFM devin

10
jlward4th 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't work unless cookies / local storage is enabled:

Uncaught SecurityError: Failed to read the 'localStorage' property from 'Window': Access is denied for this document. processing.js:9503

Not sure why processing.js needs local storage to work.

11
pit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Processing is absolutely wonderful. Be sure to check out p5.js as well [1], which has hooks into various HTML5 APIs including video and sound.

[1]: http://p5js.org/

12
Tloewald 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cute, but I would prefer if the tweening were adjusted to dwell longer on the numbers when less distorted.
13
bitwize 1 day ago 0 replies      
Right now jwz is slapping his own forehead going "bezier curves! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"
14
vog 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea!

But why is the site blocking the Ctrl+D keystroke? Don't they want to be bookmarked?

15
LukeB_UK 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the animation on the numbers in Timely[0]

[0]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ch.bitspin.tim...

16
benjaminjackman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pretty Cool! I wonder if it's possible / how hard it would be to port to Pebble.
17
heeen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why does this need a cookie to function?I block cookies by default and I get annoyed every time some site requires a cookie for something mundane like displaying the time or playing a game that doesn't even preserve state across browser sessions (like 2048)

edit: 2048 does indeed restore the game, but it should still work without a cookie.

18
matthiasb 1 day ago 2 replies      
It would be fun to have it on phones. Can you make an Android app? ;-)
19
bujatt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very nice and elegant way, for me this would be the first reason to get an Apple Watch
20
arketyp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I image you would become used to reading the interpolated states eventually. That would be a pretty nice way to write fractions.
21
frandroid 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally, Dali Clock arrives on the web!
22
RoboTeddy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder what it would look like with interpolation pathways that minimize the amount of bending
23
myhf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ahh, it was so satisfying to watch it right as 59:59 ticked over to 00:00.
24
proneb1rd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Too bad, doesn't work without cookies/localstorage enabled.
25
randartie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gives me a headache
26
chillingeffect 1 day ago 1 reply      
The graphics are excellent.

I'm curious about the code organization: it seems that processing.js contains both the application code for the clock as well as the libraries for interpreting the Processing code. Is that true? Is that the best organization? Would it not be better to have have a processing.js which is the interpreter/libraries and a bezier_clock.js?

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propela 1 day ago 0 replies      
hello
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weegy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love it!
29
ctdonath 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apple Watch.

'nuf said.

2
My experience with using cp to copy 432 million files (39 TB)
683 points by nazri1  17 hours ago   204 comments top 31
1
fintler 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I wrote a little copy program at my last job to copy files in a reasonable time frame on 5PB to 55PB filesystems.

https://github.com/hpc/dcp

We got an IEEE paper out of it:

http://conferences.computer.org/sc/2012/papers/1000a015.pdf

A few people are continuing the concept to other tools -- that should be available at http://fileutils.io/ relatively soon.

We also had another tool written on top of https://github.com/hpc/libcircle that would gather metadata on a few hundred-million files in a few hours (we had to limit the speed so it wouldn't take down the filesystem). For a slimmed down version of that tool, take a look at https://github.com/hpc/libdftw

2
rwg 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Disassembling data structures nicely can take much more time than just tearing them down brutally when the process exits.

A wonderful trend I've noticed in Free/Open Source software lately is proudly claiming that a program is "Valgrind clean." It's a decent indication that the program won't doing anything silly with memory during normal use, like leak it. (There's also a notable upswing in the number of projects using static analyzers on their code and fixing legitimate problems that turn up, which is great, too!)

While you can certainly just let the OS reclaim all of your process's allocated memory at exit time, you're technically (though intentionally) leaking memory. When it becomes too hard to separate the intentional leaks from the unintentional leaks, I'd wager most programmers will just stop looking at the Valgrind reports. (I suppose you could wrap free() calls in "#ifdef DEBUG ... #endif" blocks and only run Valgrind on debug builds, but that seems ugly.)

A more elegant solution is to use an arena/region/zone allocator and place potentially large data structures (like cp's hard link/inode table) entirely in their own arenas. When the time comes to destroy one of these data structures, you can destroy its arena with a single function call instead of walking the data structure and free()ing it piece by piece.

Unfortunately, like a lot of useful plumbing, there isn't a standard API for arena allocators, so actually doing this in a cross-platform way is painful:

Windows lets you create multiple heaps and allocate/free memory in them (HeapCreate(), HeapDestroy(), HeapAlloc(), HeapFree(), etc.).

OS X and iOS come with a zone allocator (malloc_create_zone(), malloc_destroy_zone(), malloc_zone_malloc(), malloc_zone_free(), etc.).

glibc doesn't have a user-facing way to create/destroy arenas (though it uses arenas internally), so you're stuck using a third-party allocator on Linux to get arena support.

IRIX used to come with an arena allocator (acreate(), adelete(), amalloc(), afree(), etc.), so if you're still developing on an SGI Octane because you can't get enough of that sexy terminal font, you're good to go.

3
calvins 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would usually use the tarpipe mentioned already by others for this sort of thing (although I probably wouldn't do 432 million files in one shot):

  (cd $SOURCE && tar cf - .) | (mkdir -p $DEST && cd $DEST && tar xf -)
Another option which I just learned about through reading some links from this thread is pax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_%28Unix%29), which can do it with just a single process:

  (mkdir -p $DEST && cd $SOURCE && pax -rw . $DEST)
Both will handle hard links fine, but pax may have some advantages in terms of resource usage when processing huge numbers of files and tons of hard links.

4
pedrocr 15 hours ago 4 replies      
How about this for a better cp strategy to deal with hardlinks:

1. Calculate the hash of /sourcedir/some/path/to/file

2. Copy the file to /tempdir/$hash if it doesn't exist yet

3. Hard-link /destdir/some/path/to/file to /tempdir/$hash

4. Repeat until you run out of source files

5. Recursively delete /tempdir/

This should give you a faithful copy with all the hard-links with constant RAM at the cost of CPU to run all the hashing. If you're smart about doing steps 1 and 2 together it shouldn't require any additional I/O (ignoring the extra file metadata).

Edit: actually this won't recreate the same hardlink structure, it will deduplicate any identical files, which may not be what you want. Replacing the hashing with looking up the inode with stat() would actually do the right thing. And that would basically be an on-disk implementation of the hash table cp is setting up in memory.

5
mililani 16 hours ago 7 replies      
This may be a little off topic, but I used to think RAID 5 and RAID 6 were the best RAID configs to use. It seemed to offer the best bang for buck. However, after seeing how long it took to rebuild an array after a drive failed (over 3 days), I'm much more hesitant to use those RAIDS. I much rather prefer RAID 1+0 even though the overall cost is nearly double that of RAID 5. It's much faster, and there is no rebuild process if the RAID controller is smart enough. You just swap failed drives, and the RAID controller automatically utilizes the back up drive and then mirrors onto the new drive. Just much faster and much less prone to multiple drive failures killing the entire RAID.
6
pixelbeat 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I found an issue in cp that caused 350% extra mem usage for the original bug reporter, which fixing would have kept his working set at least within RAM.

http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/coreutils/2014-09/msg00014...

7
vhost- 16 hours ago 2 replies      
These are the types of stories I love. I just learned a boat load in 5 minutes.
8
pedrocr 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Unix could really use a way to get all the paths that point to a given inode. These days that shouldn't really cost all that much and this issue comes up a lot in copying/sync situations. Here's the git-annex bug report about this:

https://git-annex.branchable.com/bugs/Hard_links_not_synced_...

9
gwern 16 hours ago 6 replies      
> Wanting the buffers to be flushed so that I had a complete logfile, I gave cp more than a day to finish disassembling its hash table, before giving up and killing the process....Disassembling data structures nicely can take much more time than just tearing them down brutally when the process exits.

Does anyone know what the 'tear down' part is about? If it's about erasing the hashtable from memory, what takes so long? I would expect that to be very fast: you don't have to write zeros to it all, you just tell your GC or memory manager to mark it as free.

10
jrochkind1 16 hours ago 4 replies      
So it was all the files in one go, presumably with `cp -r`?

What about doing something with find/xargs/i-dunno to copy all the files, but break em into batches so you aren't asking cp to do it's bookkeeping for so many files in one process? Would that work better? Or worse in other ways?

11
gaius 16 hours ago 8 replies      
I would probably have used tar|tar for this, or rsync.
12
dspillett 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> The number of hard drives flashing red is not the same as the number of hard drives with bad blocks.

This is the real take-away. Monitor your drives. At very least enable SMART, and also regularly run a read on the full underlying drive (SMART won't see and log blocks that are on the way out so need retries for successful reads, unless you actually try to read those blocks).

That won't completely make you safe, but it'll greatly reduce the risk of other drives failing during a rebuild by increasing the chance you get advanced warning that problems are building up.

13
sitkack 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate that he had the foresight to install more ram and configure more swap. I would hate to be days into a transfer and have the OOM killer strike.
14
minopret 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In light of experience would it perhaps be helpful after all to use a block-level copy (such as Partclone, PartImage, or GNU ddrescue) and analyze later which files have the bad blocks?

I see that the choice of a file-level copy was deliberate: "I'd have copied/moved the files at block-level (eg. using dd or pvmove), but suspecting bad blocks, I went for a file-level copy because then I'd know which files contained the bad blocks."

15
grondilu 10 hours ago 2 replies      
On Unix, isn't it considered bad practice to use cp in order to copy a large directory tree?

IIRC, the use of tar is recommended.

Something like:

    $ (cd $origin && tar cf - *) | (cd $destination && tar xvf - )

16
angry_octet 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The difficulty is that you are using a filesystem hierarchy to 'copy files' when you actually want to do a volume dump (block copy). Use XFS and xfsdump, or ZFS and zfs send, to achieve this.

Copy with hard link preservation is essentially like running dedupe except that you know ahead of time how many dupes there are. Dedupe is often very memory intensive, and even well thought out implementations don't support keeping book keeping structures on disk.

17
IvyMike 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting.

In Windows-land, the default copy is pretty anemic, so probably most people avoid it for serious work.

I'd probably use robocopy from the command line. And if I was being lazy, I'd use the Teracopy GUI.

I think my limit for a single copy command has been around 4TB with robocopy--and that was a bunch of large media files, instead of smaller more numerous files. Maybe there's a limit I haven't hit.

18
icedchai 15 hours ago 1 reply      
For that many files I probably would've used rsync between local disks. shrug
19
pmontra 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Another lesson to be learnt is that it's nice to have the source code for the tools we are using.
20
mturmon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The later replies regarding the size of the data structures cp is using are also worth reading. This is a case where pushing the command farther can make you think harder about the computations being done.
21
sauere 16 hours ago 0 replies      
> While rebuilding, the replacement disk failed, and in the meantime another disk had also failed.

I feel the pain. I went thru the same hell a few months ago.

22
davidu 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is not, not, not how one should be using RAID.

The math is clear that in sufficiently large disk systems, RAID5, RAID6, and friends, are all insufficient.

23
ccleve 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe this is naive, but wouldn't it have made more sense to do a bunch of smaller cp commands? Like sweep through the directory structure and do one cp per directory? Or find some other way to limit the number of files copied per command?
24
0x0 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder how well rsync would have fared here.
25
Andys 16 hours ago 0 replies      
A problem with cp (and rsync, tar, and linux in general) is there is read-ahead within single files, but no read-ahead for the next file in the directory. So it doesn't make full use of the available IOPS capacity.
26
maaku 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Another lesson: routinely scrub your RAID arrays.
27
dbbolton 16 hours ago 3 replies      
>We use XFS

Why?

28
limaoscarjuliet 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Rsync seems a better tool for this. Can be run multiple times and it will just copy missing blocks.
29
nraynaud 15 hours ago 0 replies      
it reminds me of crash only software.
30
RexM 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this where a new cp fork comes about called libracp?
31
lucb1e 16 hours ago 6 replies      
> 20 years experience with various Unix variants

> I browsed the net for other peoples' experience with copying many files and quickly decided that cp would do the job nicely.

After 20 years you no longer google how to copy files.

Edit: Reading on he talks about strace and even reading cp's source code which makes it even weirder that he had to google how to do this...

Edit2: Comments! Took only ten downvotes before someone bothered to explain what I was doing wrong, but now there are three almost simultaneously. I guess those make a few good points. I'd still think cp ought to handle just about anything especially given its ubiquitousness and age, but I see the point.

And to clarify: I'm not saying the author is stupid or anything. It's just weird to me that someone with that much experience would google something which on the surface sounds so trivial, even at 40TB.

3
Feds Threatened to Fine Yahoo $250K Daily for Not Complying with NSA's PRISM
671 points by suprgeek  15 hours ago   172 comments top 26
1
xnull 13 hours ago 4 replies      
This is nothing compared to what allegedly happened to QWest. When the US Government was forcing telecom by telecom to install taps into their business's core routing hubs Joseph Nacchio, the CEO at the time, dug his heels in demanding legal avenues to avoid turning his back on QWest's customers. The US threatened to pull out large contracts that made up a large part of QWest's business.

Furthermore, having been served a National Security Letter, Nacchio was not able to speak to his company or shareholders about the situation.

Nacchio continued to insist on legal avenues and Uncle Sam did exactly what it threatened. Nacchio warned major stakeholders that all of the major QWest contracts were about to go belly up.

The US government threw Nacchio in prison for insider trading.

Oh and then QWest went bankrupt and was bought by competitor CenturyLink (who presumably had fewer difficulties complying).

Sometimes the market has more than one invisible hand.

Edit: A good point by a fellow commentor - no independent investigation has been performed into the QWest story. I looked but could not find FOIA information online.

2
DominikR 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A militarized police state, the state subjugating private businesses according to its needs, state intrusions into the most private spheres of its citizens, executions of US citizens without trial, kidnappings - it all looks like we are moving straight into fascism.

And I'm seeing the same pattern in the EU where I live since it basically copies whatever the US does.

"Fascist governments encouraged the pursuit of private profit and offered many benefits to large businesses, but they demanded in return that all economic activity should serve the national interest."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_fascism

3
joshavant 14 hours ago 7 replies      
Weren't these requests, which Yahoo objected to, intended to stay secret, by the wishes of the government?

Consider if Yahoo refused to honor the requests, and began accruing the fines. Presumably, if they didn't pay the huge bill for their fines, what would happen?

Surely, $250k/day would rack up fast... As I see it, eventually Yahoo would rack up such a bill that they couldn't afford it, and any collection of the fee by the government would force Yahoo to close its doors. At that point, surely they'd have to reveal something to the general public about said requests, and the fines, and everything else going on behind the scenes...

4
comrade1 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I wish there was a way to post anon here. I create a new id every now and then and post but no one sees the posting because it's new...

I wish more people would be outraged by where the u.s. Is going and just leave. If you're educated, have desirable skills, you can just come to Europe. If you think you can change what's happening in the u.s. I do not agree with you. You will lose to the political class. They have 100% of their time to focus on restraining you while you have to focus on building your business.

The u.s. has become a force for evil in the world. It has been at war for almost the entire time of its existence. In the past Americans were protected from that reality but now the u.s. seems to be even at war with its citizens and businesses.

If you don't like what's happening in the u.s. you can quit your company you're building and become a politician, or you can just take your skills and knowledge to someplace different. But don't forget to continue filing your u.s. taxes.

5
rdtsc 13 hours ago 2 replies      
$250K/day -- someone had to come up with that number.

Was it some high level official? An intern?

I can imagine this dialogue taking place:

----

(Two bureaucrat monkeys. They just got back from lunch from cafeteria at Ft. Meade. Their tummies are bit heavy with greasy hamburgers. Settling in to finish their day before 2pm. One last thing needs to be done -- deciding on this PRISM non-compliance issue)

M0: What if they don't comply?

M1: We'll punish them!

M0: How?

M1: Well...we'll make them pay.

M0: How much?

M1: [Puts pinkie finger to the corner of his mouth] Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a day!

M0: Great idea, M1

(They wrap up before clock hits 2pm. Get in their cars. One goes to pick up kids from soccer practice. Other drives straight home, to his bachelor-pad apartment in College Park, MD).

----

Wonder what and how the people who generated and viewed this documents feel about them being on the front page of news sites. I can only hope they feel a tiny bit violated and betrayed. Kind of like when someone breaks in and steals your things. Or violates your privacy.

6
legutierr 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm...if they hadn't complied, in three months more than $20 million would have accrued.

Would that have been material enough to require disclosure in Yahoo's public filings? If so, how would it have been described? It seems as if by complying with SEC regulations, Yahoo would have been forced to violate secrecy rules with regards to the origin of the fine.

That would have been an interesting conundrum.

7
otakucode 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It would have been very interesting if Yahoo had simply said "do it."

A few months later the government would want to demand Yahoo pay them millions of dollars........ but be entirely incapable of explaining WHY they were owed this money at all. That would have been a very interesting event.

8
kriro 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I applaud them for fighting this in some way but at the end of the day they'll probably comply somehow.

The curious mind in me would like to see a parallel universe in which a major company responds to these threads by leaving the US entirely (or threatening to do so) and then running an anti agency here campaign for years to spite them.Or maybe a big enough company that takes them heads on and crushes them...well I guess I've been reading too much dystopia fiction recently and am curious how the megacorps > governments scenario would actually be kickstarted.

[the situation is too sad for me to think about it in realistic terms, sorry for the minor derail]

9
bengrunfeld 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone who believes that America champions freedom of speech and expression only has to go as far as the closest newspaper to discover that it's a bull-faced lie.
10
hadoukenio 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a serious question - is the fine secret too? If Yahoo didn't comply and were slapped with a fine, could Yahoo object and table the fine in a court?
11
jacquesm 13 hours ago 2 replies      
So that's the price of having principles.
12
jbverschoor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Dear Yahoo, move to europe
13
lern_too_spel 13 hours ago 0 replies      
What sloppy reporting.

"The company disputed the initial order in 2007 because it deemed the bulk demand for email metadata to be unconstitutionally broad."

That is neither what the government demanded nor the reason Yahoo appealed. How did the reporter get this so wrong?

14
sharkweek 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's just say hypothetically Yahoo said "No" and refused to pay the fines.

What happens next? Do the feds forcibly shut down the company?

15
quackerhacker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Just seeing the dates that the companies complied (or were forced to comply) is disappointing. A full year after Steve Jobs passes and stepped down as CEO, then Apple is added to that list.

Way to go Yahoo for sticking it our then.

16
chris_wot 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah? I'd just refuse to pay, what are they going to do - publicize it?
17
enlightenedfool 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"But todays [document] release only underscores the need for basic structural reforms to bring transparency to the NSAs surveillance activities"and how would those reforms come when majority of population and hence politicians are okay with such surveillance? that's a dream. makes good hacker news debate and nothing beyond that.
18
idlewords 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A smarter company would have treated the $250K as a marketing expense. It's peanuts compared to what Yahoo earns, and imagine the reaction when people figured out that Yahoo had gone to the mat for its users.
19
psykovsky 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They fought it, but they're complying...
20
dmritard96 14 hours ago 0 replies      
might be worth it actually. if it doesn't increase, and if they can market with it. haha
21
kathrinalewis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is upsetting to this law abiding citizen!
22
notastartup 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is like being shaken down by the Mafia.

You are not gonna do what we like? It's gonna cost ya. Next we are gonna break Marissa's legs.

23
nathancahill 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Happened in 2008, revealed today.
24
_pmf_ 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> Feds Threatened to Fine Yahoo $250K Daily for Not Complying with NSA's PRISM

Luckily, they realized that nothing of worth is on Yahoo.

25
korzun 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically, half of HN is circle jerking DuckDuckGo as some sort of privacy king pin every other week.

They are either in bed with NSA or will be very soon. I laugh how gullible some people are.

"But they owner told me that they will stand up to US government with 3M seed round guys!"

26
icantthinkofone 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
When the terrorists stop using the internet, the government will stop searching for them with PRISM. Sound fair?
4
A Watch Guy's Thoughts on the Apple Watch After Seeing It in the Metal
600 points by panic  1 day ago   446 comments top 54
1
pavlov 1 day ago 10 replies      
Nice article. I'm wondering about this bit:

On an emotional level, you can't compare [Apple Watch and mechanical watches], and that is why I don't believe many serious watch lovers (who, again, would normally be racing to spend their cash on an Apple release) will go for this.

I suspect that the "serious watch lover" market is one that doesn't really figure in Apple's market estimates at all. On the contrary, Apple has traditionally tried to go contrary to the expectations of the archetypal "serious lover of X" user when entering the market of X.

The Macintosh was not for "serious microcomputer lovers". The iPod was not for "serious MP3 lovers". The iPhone was not for "serious smartphone lovers". (Those did exist back in early 2007 -- they were the rare people who actually knew how to install stuff on their geeked-out Nokia N95 devices, or were in love with the BlackBerry keyboard. They hated the iPhone almost unanimously.)

Personally I'm not going to get a smartwatch because I hate interruptions. I hate OS X notifications; I hate it when the phone rings; I hate reading Twitter (but it's an addiction that's sometimes hard to overcome). I certainly don't want a blob on my wrist endlessly buzzing and tapping away, trying to figure out my heart rate and mood and generally being a bothersome noisy little electronic snoop.

But at the same time, I can imagine that the younger crowd wants exactly that. I think the Apple Watch will be a hit, but maybe about 1 year after the launch once the price of the low-end model comes down and a few millimetres get trimmed off.

2
sfjailbird 1 day ago 12 replies      
Am I really the only one to think that the Apple Watch is just ugly?

A big clunky square box with a rubber strap. Some dim electronic display on top. That's what it looks like at a distance. Honestly it looks like something Samsung or Sony might turn out.

Most of the guesswork 'prototypes' were far more compelling: https://www.google.com/search?q=iwatch+prototype&tbm=isch

Even the Samsung offering looks better - we can finally do curved displays, and is there a better place to put them than in a wristwatch? http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/gears/

3
beloch 1 day ago 5 replies      
A Timex might last over a decade if you replace the battery occasionally. A mechanical watch will offer inferior time keeping accuracy but, if maintained, can operate well for centuries. A quality mechanical watch is an heirloom item, which is one reason why watch aficionados can rationalize spending thousands on a single watch.

The Apple watch will be totally obsolete and incompatible with everything inside of five years. It's soldered-on and nearly impossible to replace battery will likely run out of charges in far less time than that. These are not heirloom items. They're disposable. As such, I don't expect the same kind of build quality from an Apple watch that I would from a mechanical watch. That they do offer good build quality for the money is therefore totally unexpected and rather nice.

That being said, I'm still waiting for the killer app that makes me want one of these. As a fitness tracker and GPS watch they're inferior to what's out there (chiefly because the Apple watch relies on your iPhone's GPS). I don't do workouts with a phone in my pocket. Also, so far it's unclear if the Apple watch is waterproof, and it had better be to have any use at all in this market! For almost all other applications, the effort of working with such a tiny screen and different interface outweighs the trouble of reaching into your pocket and pulling out your phone. If I want eye candy on my wrist, I'll dust off a mechanical instead of buying something that will be junk in a few years.

4
julianpye 1 day ago 4 replies      
We here on HN are mostly looking at Apple Watch as Android Wear vs. Apple Watch. This article is interesting since it shows that Apple is successful at completely ignoring these competitors and promoting Watch in a totally different market and environment, where all that matters is Brand, Design and Build. No matter if Android Wear is as good or even better, none of their manufacturers can compete in the luxury space as well as Apple may be able to.
5
arh68 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wow, what a crazy review. No mention of materials, which seems odd for a 'watch guy' review. I have to go to apple.com to read: A new aluminum alloy? "thats 60 percent stronger than standard alloys"?? No mention of the sapphire crystals? Or the strengthened Ion-X glass? As a watch guy, that's what I want to hear about. Is it lighter than titanium, or heavy like a stainless watch? Is the crystal domed? Reflective? What is the ceramic back? I'll be honest, this reads like a crap review.

I'm impressed by the sweeping, of course. The display looks very nice for a watch at any price range. I wish the author actually compared some $350 mechanical watches, instead of a $28,000 hourglass, a $15,000 watch too big for his cuff, a $150 mechanical Swatch, and a $700 mechanical Tissot. Instead, we get vague, non-specific swaths of comparisons:

> Apple got more details right on their watch than the vast majority of Swiss and Asian brands do with similarly priced watches

> In many cases, its offerings make what is coming out of Switzerland (or Asia) look amateurish.

Again, no specific mention of better-than-X. Too bad. I do like that Tissot he mentioned.

I'm quite impressed by Apple's (relatively) vast array of superb finishes: other watch manufacturers could step their game up in this regard, but they would have to consolidate their designs. Also, the bracelets look quite nice and I hope that competition improves things analog-side.

6
fillskills 1 day ago 8 replies      
"Market Leader In A Category No One Really Asked For" -

Thats what I feel when I hear about any tech company launching a watch, be it Samsung or Apple. Maybe its just me, but since owning a smartphone, I feel I don't really need a watch. None I know wears a watch anymore. Werent watches one of the main things replaced by smartphones. Also, how many more screens can I handle? Laptops for work, tablets for browsing, smartphones for on the go tech.... and a smartwatch to do what exactly?

Maybe I am missing the whole point of smart watches. I am hoping its just not me.

7
MCRed 1 day ago 5 replies      
Apple is historically the kind of company that says "you can have it in any color you like, so long as it's black" for new products... and then when the product has been around for awhile, they start accessorizing it.

The iPhone is a good example: it wasn't until last year that you could have more than 2 versions (black and white)... and the 5c added many possible combinations with the off color cases. That's a product that had been on the market 6 years at that point!

So, actually offering all these different variations is quite a departure for them.

One argument for the Beats acquisition I heard was that Beats did this as well- they had many SKUs and many color combinations for each model of headphone and the argument went that managing selling a product line like that took a lot of special skill.

I wonder if this is the thing that Apple was really buying with Beats? (or more realistically, a big part of Beats value to Apple.)

8
balloot 1 day ago 2 replies      
My issue with the watch is the crown control. It just feels lazy to me to take a control mechanism made 100+ years ago for winding mechanical watches off your wrist, and repurpose it for digital control of a watch on your wrist.

Is it possible that the best possible UX solution for winding a mechanical watch and controlling a digital OS is exactly the same? Perhaps. But that seems improbable to me. It's hard to know until the thing is out in the wild, but I would expect a lot of people fiddling awkwardly with the top half of that tiny little dial as the bottom of the dial digs into their wrist. Doesn't seem terribly fun.

Or to look at it differently, both of Apple's other consumer hits (iPod, iPhone) introduced a navigation interface that was completely novel and way better than anything else on the market (iPhone => finger navigated multi-touch screen, iPod => rotary dial). A crown on a watch is definitely not novel, and I'm thoroughly skeptical it will be way better than its competition.

That being said, it's unlikely that this thing bombs. But as a test of innovation post-Steve, I'm just not seeing it. And over time, the luster of Apple will fade if there's no innovation.

9
mladenkovacevic 1 day ago 2 replies      
Here's one thing I realized about the famous Apple "reality distortion field" with the release of this watch.

The reality distortion doesn't start with the consumer once the product is released. It starts within Apple while the product is being developed. I mean they really believed when they were building the Apple Watch "We are building a $350 device". Wheter you love the design or hate it, it's hard to deny the effort that went into designing this device, from getting the dimensions right, to the curvature of the screen and bezel camouflage to the bracelet selection. This reality distortion field only then gets transfered to the RIGHT customer who has no problem paying $350.

I still think it'll be a tough slog to get the watch through the early adopter curve and over the early majority hump simply because it has no compelling features as of yet, but that might change with a wider ecoaystem. As of right now, the main selling feature of this watch is the built in reality distortion field.

With the right offer though it might have an easier time. If you got the watch for $100 extra when upgrading your iPhone anyways that might be an easier pill to swallow than paying $350 outright. Whatever the offer may be, Apple needs to find the equivalent of the carrier subsidies which propelled smartphone adoption at the end of last decade.

TL'DR: What Apple realizes is that the way to sell their watch is to communicate to their customers that they want to wear the watch because they'll enjoy wearing it - no other reasons or features are needed. In fact many of the truly novel features (payment, identification, keyless entry...) will only scare away mainstream users. Just put in on their wrist first.. And show them the true functionality slowly and in stages.

10
lumens 1 day ago 1 reply      
The smartwatch represents the beginning of a new era: the unbundling of the smartphone. Like Marc Andreessen pointed out with his last tweet in this storm (https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/481554165454209027), "Unbundle X from Y, but then use the liberation of X as leverage to do amazing new things with X."

This thought framework has me convinced that watch-like wearables have a place, but I think the fact that the Apple Watch doesn't "fit beneath the shirtsleeve" as OP points out is a major ding: form is as important as function for such a jewelry/tech hybrid. A 2x slimmer second generation of the Apple Watch will get /everyone/ on board.

11
lispm 1 day ago 3 replies      
A watch which does need charging once a day with a special charger, which is not very robust, very clunky, with a UI for kids for 350+?

No way.

Apple targets the fashion market. Material might be great, but the form factor is horrible: big, clunky, ...

Basically Apple tries to sell a very tiny computer add-on in a jewelry case.

Currently I'm only using watches for training a Garmin 310xt and now most of the time a Suunto Ambit2 S. The latter is the more modern and it does the training stuff very well. I can swim with it, it has GPS and it has very good heart rate monitoring functionality (it gets the oxygen consumption and energy using heart rate variability data).

For Apple I would hope that the new Apple Watch is the equivalent of the first iPhone, which also wasn't very good on the hardware level (slow, limited connectivity, ...).

12
grecy 1 day ago 8 replies      
Great article and photos.

Imagine a man who grew up in the middle class, went do a decent school, got an okay job, lives in a nice apartment in some metropolitan town, maybe drives a German car and occasionally splurges on something nice for himself. Do you see him wearing the Apple Watch? I don't.

I honestly don't think Apple are too concerned about not selling a watch to that man. The watch is targeted at the hundreds of millions of teens and 20 year olds that are already attached to their iPhone, and want another gadget to connect to it and play with.

Market Leader In A Category No One Really Asked For

Which is exactly what the iPad was. Everybody said it was stupid and nobody would buy it, and now the sales figures speak for themselves.

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seanflyon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Interesting that he assumes all the strap options are available at the "starting price" of $350.
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jasonwilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good article. I really agree with his comment:

"It's directly competing for the same real estate (i.e wrist), where as if we had seen a bracelet of some kind announced yesterday, those early adapters, myself included, would be begging Apple to take their pre-pre-pre-order"

I really did want the apple watch to be more of a bracelet and something that could be complimentary to an analog watch with all the messaging, notification, health aspects in tact. More than anything, the health tracking seems to be the most relevant for myself, and for that, I see a JawBone Up or something comparable that I can rest next to my analog watch as a potentially better option.

The design is brilliant, it's just not for me. However, iPhone 6 looks great so not like Apple won't be taking my money :)

15
maigret 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing the author is missing: the prices begin at 350$. The milanaise strap he shows might be worth as much alone. For 350$ you probably get the cheap sport watch, while the beautiful ones might cost a good 1000. Which makes the wealth argument less strong. But let's see how this comes out.
16
cnbuff410 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure the author is very knowledgeable on the watch industry and by no means I'm challenging his taste and feel of fashion.

I'm just curious that when he made claim of "The Apple Watch is by far the best smartwatch", what is this claim based on? Did he try all the other high end smart watch like Moto 360 or G watch R? If not, is it really fair to make a strong public claim like this?

17
tlrobinson 1 day ago 1 reply      
"and in fact, to my left is an Ikepod Hourglass (designed by Marc Newson) that I wanted from the minute I laid eyes on it. I saved up and bought it because it's a perfect object, and even those people who don't care about time, or design, agree that it's beautiful."

By "watch guy" he means someone who dropped $28,500 on a hourglass.

18
capkutay 1 day ago 3 replies      
Apple is a marketing/sales retail machine. This watch is just another thing for them to sell with a high-end, glossy look and feel that fits with their strategy of dominating the sectors they want to control. I'm not surprised it doesn't do all the things HN folks were looking for (e.g. requires pairing with iPhone, not a standalone device with its own internet connectivity/gps).

On the other hand, I think they delivered a nice product that will fit perfectly in an Apple store, engaging swarms of shoppers with lots of disposable income.

19
pimlottc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Another site with an always-present header that completely fails keyboard paging. It is really frustrating how many pages break such a basic function. Forcing the user to manually adjust the positioning every time they page is a really great way to make them lose interest and go somewhere else.
20
serve_yay 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like this, because it dispenses with the "Apple lover" angle and instead focuses on the existing watch market at the $350 price point. It should be clarified, though, that $350 is the base price and some configurations are probably going to go up to double and triple that.
21
drivingmenuts 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know many people who will happily spend $350 on an iWatch who wouldn't even consider a mechanical watch at any price. I think this watch is for them.

I also think mechanical watch makers are going to wake up one day and realize their market is getting old and dead.

22
scald 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the point about Swiss makers being in trouble with the younger generation is valid. I'm 28, and have always had a great appreciation for fine watches. This is mainly because I grew up seeing my dad appreciate them, and many of the people I'd classify as successful were appreciating them. I wonder though, how many in my generation will teach their children - intentionally or not - that a reasonably successful individual owns the best smartwatch to control their Tesla and their smart home, and not a Rolex? It isn't a stretch to think Rolex could partner with someone to be that brand of smartwatches. Today, smartwatches aren't competing with classic timepieces. In 10 years, there's a real chance that they will.
23
NicoJuicy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought Apple would say: the market ain't ready for a smartwatch. Nobody wants to pay for a watch that has to charge every 24 hours (or less).

That's immediatly the biggest mistake from the Moto360, the watch looks awesome... But the battery life is too short :(

24
klochner 1 day ago 2 replies      
The hourglass referenced in the article costs $28,000, here's the start of his review about it:

Let's begin this post by letting you know, right from the start, that this hourglass costs $28,500. Now, as you continue to read, you will notice how that number becomes more and more rational in your mind.

Not quite for me. It's still seeming absurd.

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2011/3/29/the-ikepod-hourglass-...

25
sanoli 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'll bet 5 bucks with someone here that it will flop (as in, won't become a regular product). My reasons for winning the bet:

-Although it looks great, it doesn't look like a great watch, it just looks like a beautiful Apple product. The thing is, on this specific product, as opposed to all their other products, Apple is competing with an established design lineage that goes back for decades, and wristwatches have always been about good taste and good design, so the competition on the aesthetics front is not so easy for Apple as it was on their other products (meaning computer hardware/software makers suck tremendously in regards to design, but watchmakers are champions of it).

-Extending on previous reason: it's as if Apple decided to go the eyeglass route and take on Google. Easy, because Glass is downright ugly and too geeky. So Apple makes its own beautiful glass, which is still a little geeky, and then they have to compete with Ray-Ban, Gucci, Prada, wathever.

-Short battery life sucks for a wristwatch.

-People already have the functionality on the iPhone, and the iPhone is already pretty portable.

-Short battery life sucks a lot for a wristwatch, come to think of it.

edit: formatting.

26
Shivetya 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I have only a few watches I certainly am not on the level of a collector nor do I own any beyond the five hundred range. I appreciate a good watch but I appreciate good design and great function as well and I just don't see it here.

I do not need a slaved device. To me that is a redundant device. If anything I would love a wrist mounted phone and would willingly give up much of the smart phone functionality I have now. Simple text messages, voice mail, gps, and similar would be needed. Full on email, taking pictures, and browsing not so.

Besides being boring, ugly, whatever, the worst offense here is that you cannot buy it. Apple should go back to announcing products you can buy today, not next year.

Slaved device, I guess we should be thankful it isn't cable attached

27
LeicaLatte 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like this is not a fight just between Apple and Android. So many players, so much history, so much subjectivity that...

Apple and Android are sure to win! :)

But seriously, only these two have the tech. We never wanted those old watches these smart watches are being compared with. And we sure as hell are not going to buy them now!

None of these so called watch makers make phones. Or tablets. Touch screens. Voice recognition. They are clueless about ecosystems. Watch companies have managed to have a strap ecosystem, that's all. That's laughable and lazy for a "big" business. I continue to believe watch incumbents are obsolete. If anything, this is their last chance to jump onto the bandwagon now that tech companies have put our interests back into watches.

28
zobzu 1 day ago 3 replies      
Personally I dont want any watch with at least 1 week of battery time with heavy use.

My current watch has 5 fucking years of battery time. Some are more or less working indefinitely.

I like that my watch looks nice, but I also like that its functional. Running, on a bike, what not, its actually much more convenient than grabbing a smartphone.

What I don't get, is why current watch makers don't make a smartwatch from their point of view:

a regular watch, with connectivity to the phones, that can do a couple of things like vibrate in a variety of ways - OK - citizen actually tried that and it sort of work but there is no attention to details.

You want the watch to reliably vibrate if u get a msg or notification that you setup. You want it to vibrate differently for navigation depending if you gotta go right or left according to your phone (so you dont need to grab the phone while on a bike for example!).

Neither work well on the citizen, and the connection eventually times out, that sort of stuff. Too bad.

29
Aldo_MX 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Dear mankind:

I don't want a smartwatch to be the complement of a smartphone.

I want a smartphone to be the a complement of a smartwatch... actually, a smartphone sans the phone, like an ipod touch or a tablet.

My idea for a smartwatch is to have the modules that make a smartphone possible there: cellular antenna, gps, bluetooth, fitness tracking, etc. Baterry-unfriendly modules like Wi-Fi must be discarded.

The use case for a smartwatch as a standalone device would be the following one:

- Connect a Bluetooth headset to listen to music (extra points, if a micro sd slot is included)

- Receive messages and answer to them with predefined text (ex. I'm on my watch, I'll text you later)

- Receive calls and call to existing contacts/emergency numbers, a proper dialer is not required at all

- Basic GPS directions to predefined locations (ex. Home/Work/Gym/School)

- Fitness tracking

- Wireless charging

For the rest of features, and to enjoy a proper dialer, proper texting, proper navigation, etc., just connect the ipod/tablet/whatever to it via bluetooth.

The killer feature: Having to carry no smartphone at all.

You can use the multimedia system of the car to take advantage of the watch, the steering wheel could have a wireless charging module next to it.

Another accessory could be a desktop keyboard with a wireless charging module.

And at home, you could have a proper charging dock.

30
hyp0 1 day ago 0 replies      
A specific-purpose accessory can't be as big or as revolutionary as Apple ][e, Mac, iPhone or iPad.

More like apple TV, iPod, console, kindle. Still scope for a multi-billion dollar market though.

Just the kind of thing Sony might have made in its heyday, and Apple can dramatically improve it iteratively, limited only by the wrist-space form-factor. Replace your wallet (payments, ID, memberships), car keys, TV remote; monitor blood sugar, home-automation etc.

31
conradfr 1 day ago 0 replies      
My only question with those watches is the screen, i.e does it look like one ? I have a friend with a LG watch and the back light is annoying.

Years ago I thought digital photo frames were an excellent (and still relevant) idea but ultimately a failure because they looked like screens. And screens are distracting, eyes are drawn to them.

I hate TVs in bars, people unconsciously watched them even if they don't care about what is broadcast and forgot they are with people.

32
neonkiwi 1 day ago 1 reply      
My thought after reading thisa great product would be an actual analog watch (quartz or mechanical) with the same styling and finishes that the Apple Watch has, with a much thinner case, that customers would use with Apple's bands. Take advantage of the immense design effort that went into the watch, but set aside the smart watch idea.

I'd buy that watch today for the same price as the Apple Watch.

33
cpr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Isn't anyone else bothered by the lousy typography of both the logo (<apple>WATCH) and the typography on the screen?

The fonts are too loosely spaced, and the screen layouts looked amateurish, no better than the Android-based wearables.

I know this sounds like a nit-pick, but it's not. It's not like Apple to blow it at this level. They need to get it right at every level, especially the UI (and the brand).

34
deweller 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The Apple Watch looks beautiful when photographed by itself. It looks absurd to me when photographed on someone's arm.

In time perhaps history will prove me wrong.

35
larrys 1 day ago 0 replies      
I liked this:

"But for me, it's all about the Milanese bracelet, baby. The fact that Apple even knows what this is is remarkable. I promise you not a single other tech company in the world would've spent the time to make this admittedly outdated looking option. But I absolutely love it."

Specifically "The fact that Apple even knows what this is is remarkable."

Apple knows?

Obviously Apple didn't develop the watch in a vacuum. And they have the money and resources to hire and consult with the best people in the world. So the surprise isn't that they did this what's surprising is how other equally rich companies don't tend to do things like this. In other words they seem to be lacking the motivation and creativity to even hire the right individuals.

36
josu 1 day ago 3 replies      
If Motorola were able to release iteration 2 of the Moto 360 by the time the Apple Watch comes out, and make it iOS compatible, they could single-handedly kill the Apple Watch.
37
minusSeven 1 day ago 0 replies      
meh, Why are all this kind of watch reviews focusing on the looks rather than what you can do with it. Dunno I would be far more interested in what you can do with how you want to use it rather than how incredible wonderful it looks.
38
sebastianavina 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm still not sure what kind of information I want to be delivered via my watch...
39
totalrobe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Was the battery life announced? Cannot find a reference anywhere which makes me wonder...
40
fla 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is not a watch, it's a communication accessory's accessory.
41
_pmf_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
The digital crown will snap off, and people will be pissed.
42
debt 1 day ago 1 reply      
In one of the photos I could see a reflection in the Apple Watch of the camera man taking the photo. I can't help but think that that big honking camera will be replaced one day by the very thing he's taking the photo of.
43
smrtinsert 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the best ad ever for a Patek Philippe 3940G.
44
lazylizard 1 day ago 0 replies      
now we just need a dumb seiko 5 or casio g-shock with a dim LED to do 'less intrusive' notifications..
45
LeicaLatte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice photos of the watch in there
46
nzp 22 hours ago 0 replies      
With the risk of sounding like an elitist prick (not the intention, and I'm really not) that photo of a Patek Phillipe and Apple Watch side by side on his wrist to me screams: This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a digital picture of a fake butterfly. A masterpiece of craftsmanship, good taste and skill, side by side with a mass market simulation of those all those things sporting a tacky, pointless image of an animal.

I'm not an Apple fan but I do appreciate their mostly good taste and design. However, this watch is hideous. It's the first object they produced since their resurrection in 1997 that I instantly find ugly. Really, really ugly. If it was an aeroplane it wouldn't fly well. I wouldn't bet it will be unsuccessful though, there's a lot of people with bad taste out there.

47
marincounty 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I was too initally hard on the watch, or expected too much? After they thin it out it might just get younger people wearing watches again?
48
hnriot 1 day ago 0 replies      
What about privacy? There's something reassuring about putting an iPhone into one's pocket. Messages showing up for anyone to see doesn't really appeal to me.

I ran this page through NLTK's Sentiment Analysis and the the score is NEGATIVE 0.8, Stanford's never finished!

49
zindlerb 1 day ago 0 replies      
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Thiz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apple Watch is not a watch.

It's a computer on your wrist that will be used for special tasks where little but precise information is required.

It's all about presence, NFC, iBeacon, sensors, iTags, etc.

51
mmxiii 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand how a watch guy would have strong feelings about the emotions and ideas behind a watch. But I think he is missing the greater context.

When an object has a permanence in utility and form, we have a certain relationship with it. This is the kind of emotion and relationship we have with watches. But the world changes, and very soon it will be competing against a different type of relationship. Our relationship with wearables may be skewed more to utility than heirloom. But that's OK because wearables represent the mesh of software with hardware, and software gives the ability to evolve. We will no longer have the singular relationship with one watch, but a broad relationship with a series of evolving wearables that slowly become more and more essential to our lives.

So no, we won't have the same emotions and same relationship with wearables as we did with watches. But that's just where the universe will be going.

52
smaili 1 day ago 3 replies      
Call me cynical but how do we know that Apple didn't secretly just pay him to write this review?
53
Ar-Curunir 1 day ago 2 replies      
This article is just falling over itself to praeise the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch doesn't look particularly sleek or modern, instead it looks like someone shrunk the iPhone 3GS and put a strap on it.

The author picks up random watches that do not look nice as a comparision for the Apple Watch, but ignores watches in roughly the same price range that do look better?

For instance, look at [1] or [2], both are from Tissot, both look elegant and classy, and both are the same price as the Apple Watch.

The article obssesses over Apple's decision making regarding straps, but uses really, really biased sounding words. For instance:

> The fact that Apple even knows what this is is remarkable. I promise you not a single other tech company in the world would've spent the time to make this admittedly outdated looking option. But I absolutely love it.

Anybody who visits a watch store will find watches with that sort of strap a dime a dozen.

Further evidence of Apple fanboyism can be found later on in the article, when the author states that the new iPhone 6, which is not available for use yet, as "the absolute best offering in the category in both form and function".

I am not implying that liking Apple products makes one a fanboy (I own and really like my MBPr), but this article isn't of any really journalistic standard, and yet has reached the top of HN.

54
dchuk 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's interesting to me that there has been very little mention of the fact that the Apple Watches (at least the watches we've seen so far) are purely for right handed people who wear watches on their left hand. If you tried wearing these on your right hand, you'd be reaching across the face to use the digital crown.

There are two logical solutions for this:

1) Sell a left handed model as well. You can expect there to be a 90/10 skew for righties just because of genetics, but that can be accounted for in manufacturing runs.

2) Allow the watch to be flipped upside down for the right wrist. While technically this would work, I highly doubt Apple would design something to be worn upside down.

Or they can just say fuck it and only make watches that make sense for right handed people. I guess we'll find out in a few months.

5
Steve Jobs Introduces the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch
550 points by strict9  15 hours ago   200 comments top 63
1
ThePhysicist 7 hours ago 9 replies      
"What we want from Apple isn't new technology. We want human warmth a possibility of living a more fulfilled, meaningful life."

I think this sums up nicely what's wrong here: The belief that technology will make your life more fulfilled or meaningful. I didn't watch the live keynote (I don't have the required Apple gear) but saw excerpts on Youtube, and frankly, I find the level of religiousness surrounding this event appalling. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I really don't like how emotionally charged most products are today, in the sense that they are supposed to not only solve a technological problem, but at the same time fulfill a social or even religious role and provide "human warmth", as the author puts it. It's not only Apple who does this (BMW comes to mind with their Mini commercials), but it seems they perfected this art to a point where their events have more resemblance to a Lenie Riefenstahl movie than a trade show (no comparison intended beyond the aesthetics of the presentation). And does technology actually live up to the promise? Studies show that, although we have more superficial interactions through technology, the number of close friends diminishes and more and more people become socially isolated. Take the metro / subway in any big, affluent city these days, and look around you. What do you see? People whose eyes are glued to their phone screens, oblivious to the persons around them, looking for "human warmth" in their virtual companion. That's really not the society I want to live in.

Sorry for the rant, I just think that especially people who are very savvy and enthusiastic about technology and full of entrepreneurial spirit (like most readers of HN) are especially susceptible to this kind of religious admiration of technology and should sometimes take a step back to ask themselves what kind of society they're actually creating with their actions.

2
DCKing 2 hours ago 7 replies      
The whole premise of this article is so wrong. If Jobs were alive we wouldn't have had this presentation in the first place.

First up, under Jobs phablet iPhones would have been out of the question. He would have flat out rejected those, because he was simply wrong about some of the assumptions of phone design and would be a lot slower to admit that than Apple did without him.

Second, the Apple Watch would not have been what it was now. For the first time in tech, Apple is second in execution with a more complicated product - one with a more complicated, information dense interface that requires two input methods to operate [1]. I'm not insinuating that Apple Watch will be an inferior product (I think it's more likely the opposite), but I don't think the execution of the product is something Jobs would have let happen in the same way.

But that's all okay! Apple is going in a different direction, and it just might actually be the better direction to go in. I'll be buying my first iPhone later this year, and I very much doubt I would have done so if Jobs was still as influential as he was.

This deification of Steve Jobs is incredibly annoying to me. The annoyance I feel when people say "what would Jesus do?" is the same annoyance I feel when reading these articles about "what would Steve do?". This article is just one level above fan fiction and it has gotten more than 450 votes. Ugh. He was a pioneer in the field, but let's appreciate him for what he's done and not for what he should have been doing today.

[1]: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/09/smartwatch-wars-the-app... - the comments contain the gem "What kind of bizarro world are we in now where Google releases the clean, minimalist UI and Apple releases the information-dense but cluttered one?"

3
gcp123 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Don't tear apart the details of what the author wrote. Just squint your eyes, and you know he's dead right. This is exactly the kind of storytelling that was missing from Tuesday's keynote. Steve always started with WHY before he got to the WHAT or the HOW. Tim Cook was shaking his fists in triumph after doing nothing but showing some over-produced video that showed some cool camera angles on the watch. Not a word about why it should exist, or what it changes about your life. WE DID IT! WE MADE A WATCH! WOOO! My jaw dropped. Very tacky. Too self-congratulatory.
4
GuiA 13 hours ago 7 replies      
Hacker News: your premier source for Steve Jobs fan fiction. (laughs)

Does the author really think that Steve Jobs would have ever said "When I open up a website on Safari, I don't have to strain my eyes anymore"? They're still selling 5S and 5C! Not even Asus would disparage their previous products like that.

The rest of the piece is just as bad and devoid of substance.(Steve rolls in his grave)

5
Bud 13 hours ago 4 replies      
The writer says a lot of things that are just silly. For instance:

It's hard enough to craft desire for a single identity. When asked to think of an Apple Watch, people don't know what to picture. Can you imagine if the original iPhone in 2007 came with sixty customizable skins?

Well, um, it did come with hundreds of customizable skins. They were called iPhone cases. They were, and still are, endemic.

Instead of a single, perfect product, we got a jumble of features and choices.

Actually, there is no functional difference between the various Apple Watch lines. It is a single product. It simply allows the user to customize the appearance of the product. This is necessitated by the fact that this device, unlike all Apple devices to date, is worn on your body.

6
vor_ 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The previous time this was submitted, it was deleted, so I guess I'll post this again:

Over the years, I saw many presentations from Steve that I thought were bland or off in some way.

Pointing out Steve's statement that nobody would want a big phone, implying that a big iPhone isn't something Steve would have allowed to happen, ignores Steve's famous habit of dismissing something and then doing it anyway. I remember when he said nobody wanted to watch movies on an iPod, and then new iPods came out with the ability to play movies.

I often see complaints that "Jobsian Apple" would never release multiple versions of something, even though there was the iPod, iPod mini in several colors, and the iPod photo; later there was the iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch. A watch is a fashion device, and it would be strange not to have style options.

Steve got too much credit. Apple was led by a team, and many of those people are still there. Some of Apple's most successful decisions were choices Steve opposed or had to be convinced of.

7
owenwil 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This was killed already once today and is back again?

Steve was very explicit to Tim Cook and others in the Apple executive team that they should never ask "what would Steve do." Seems to be written by someone with little understanding of Apple today.

8
arihant 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe Jobs wanted to launch "The Sixty" and did not have a product deemed personalizable enough to do so in his time?

Where they could, they have iMac, Macbooks, Mac minis. So with OSX, they do have multiple options cause it fits. Each model is customizable into gazillion ways based on HDD, RAM, GPU and what have you. How many variations of Macbooks can you count which can be ordered directly from Apple store website? I bet you it is more than the Apple Watch.

What the author misses is - Apple thinks. It did with Jobs, and it is doing so without him. Apple did "The One" when they thought it suited. They did "The Sixty" when they thought it suited. Copying Apple is a job of other companies, not of Apple.

9
fredsted 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I just find this article a little creepy and off-base. He's yearning for Tim to be a fake imitation of Jobs. The author has some vision of a perfect Jobs. Guess what, Steve wasn't perfect. It's easy to say, "Steve would have done it this way".

Tim is not a presenter, he's the CEO. And he's just really proud of his team. It shows. So he leaves most of the presentation to other VPs.

Steve is no longer with us. Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs, and shouldn't be. He doesn't need to be. In any case, the products speak for themselves.

Apple Watch definitely needs styles. It's partly a fashion item!

10
joeguilmette 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This article was horrible, in poor taste, and raises a litany of ridiculous points.

That said, while I'm happy to see the iProduct naming convention die, I agree that including the logo in the product name is a bit much. There is the old story that the command key used to be an apple logo, but Steve had it removed as to not dilute the brand.

11
transpy 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Man, I'm sold! Even if this is fictitious, there is just something about Jobs that actually influences me. The stainless steel model looks indeed very attractive.
12
kenjackson 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Jiggity, kill the intro to the blog post. All that insecurity stuff is BS. Jobs was as insecure as they come. But your Jobs transcript is spot on! Just have that as the blog entry. Keep it simple.
13
richard_cubano 13 hours ago 6 replies      
The single version of the watch is spot on. As is the implicit point that maybe they could have hit this year's holiday season if they hadn't tried to make so many different versions.

The best part of what you wrote is the end, where Steve ties the watch to the human experience. I hadn't thought about his keynotes from that lens before -- you showed me something new.

14
k-mcgrady 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank god Apple doesn't follow advice given by bloggers on the internet. Release one watch? Seriously? The wide variety of options is one of the reasons Apple has a shot at getting people to adopt smart watches when everyone else has failed so far. It's why they invited fashion industry people, and it's why many of them loved it. A wearable is a fashion accessory first and foremost. When it comes to looks, people like options - we've seen this with the iPhone. People quickly got bored of black, then they got bored of white. Most people also accessorise with cases, not to protect their device, but for aesthetic reasons and individuality.

As for all the 'Jobs wouldn't have done that' BS, how do you know? There's a reason Jobs told them not to do what he would do but to do their own thing. Not even Jobs new what he wanted. He changed his opinion regularly: no video iPods, then he released a video iPod. No bigger screen iPhone, then the iPhone 5.

This is one of those things that you look at and think you could do better but in reality dozens of the worlds smartest people have spent years researching and working on it and they have very good reasons for not doing the ideas you've come up with in 4 days.

15
ragerman 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very nicely done! The problem is Steve Jobs is dead. NO ONE ELSE could have delivered that pitch. Anyone trying would have been reaching. Only Federighi could even try. Perhaps even Jobs would have had difficulty. You see Apple is a different company. There is a desperation around it now, being a behemoth that needs to run at full tilt to stay exactly where they are. Earlier they were a tiny David constantly taking on Goliath. It takes something special for that desperation not to show.
16
mamoriamohit 4 hours ago 4 replies      
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO, he found a lot of variations of Mac getting developed. There was Mac for this, Mac for that, separate Mac for everything. He asked one question to the people developing, If I had to buy one for my nephew, what would you recommend me?

He got several options. Then he asked, If I had to buy one for my nephew, what would you suggest from the ones you just suggested? He got more fine-tuned answer.

He kept asking this question until a lot of the variations were rejected. Then he went up to the board and drew a 2x2 matrix. On one axis, he wrote, Personal and Professional. On another axis, he wrote, Desktop and Portable. He concluded that Apple would make only four variations of Mac, and they would shut down development of every other variation.

Steve always went for 'less'. While current leadership released 2 versions of phones, many versions of the iWatch, Steve always wanted the company to focus of a subset of users.

The simple flaw in present Apple's mindset is 'lack of focus'.

First time ever, I am disappointed by the Apple. And yes, Steve would have fired every 10th person for the glitch in the live stream and the Chinese woman.

17
bhouston 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Not bad at channeling Jobs. Congrats. He could do it better than Cook for sure.
18
edwintorok 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The FSF has also made a statement regarding the new iPhone launch: https://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-foundation-statement-...
19
dodyg 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A watch is a fashion accessory. If you make it only in one 'perfect size/look/color', it becomes a gadget, which is the furthest thing Apple wants it to be.
20
mikecaron 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Absolutely NAILED it.
21
mlopes 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a realistic scenario. If Jobs was alive Apple wouldn't be chasing the Android and making crappy products, so he wouldn't need to give all of those lame excuses to try to justify poor decisions and no innovation in their products.

I'm an iPhone user, and when my iPhone stop being usable, I'll move to a Google phone, in spite of the size, not because of it. The real reason why I'm moving to an Android phone is because all of the limitation that the iPhone has and that it hasn't removed while the Android evolved.

22
Shivetya 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually like the article but for a reason I did not suspect, he identified another aspect of the Apple Watch I didn't quite connect the dots on earlier. Its not a well defined product, they could not make a decision and so went with everything. Committee designed and marketed.
23
aaronbrethorst 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Steve also claimed that Apple would never do a video iPod until the day it launched.

You should read the entire article. Steve said a lot of stuff that he later (not so much recanted as entirely) ignored.

http://www.wired.com/2010/02/steve-jobs/

    When Mossberg in 2003 asked Jobs whether he    planned to put video in an iPod, the CEO said    he was turned off by the idea.    Im not convinced people want to watch movies    on a tiny little screen, Jobs said. To    paraphrase Bill Clinton, Its the music,    stupid, its the music! Musics been around    for a long time, will continue to be, its huge.

24
fndrplayer13 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This article is _fantastic_. Nailed Steve Jobs, as I remember him anyhow. The presentation that Apple gave sounded a lot like something you would hear from Google, not Apple, in my opinion. Too many options, too many stats. Not concise. Not moving.
25
tcc2161 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A week doesn't go by without me seeing Steve Job's name in some click-bait headline and inasmuch as the author has identified current problems with Apple we can add the cult of Jobs to that list.

Yes, of course, Jobs had amazing charisma, and bringing Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy with well designed products by Johnny Ive deserves its legend. But as the novelty of these products wear off (as they should) Apple still strives to distinguish itself (and continue to charge its premiums) by designing superior hardware. The hardware market is somewhat saturated, but since the tech is always improving, planned obsolescence means we get to take advantage of superior tech and better products every few years.

The real growth market is the cloud and internet-of-things, and I think the author got it right by imagining Jobs describing the watch as a product for the "personal universe". Tethering to an iPhone is the first step to tethering to the Cloud. Apple is still trying to figure out the cloud, and they keep stumbling, and the celebrity leak (of which nothing was said to a room full of celebrities), and the live stream screw up are the latest examples. Also, egregiously, their indifference to producing a responsive website. They're still a hardware company, and the hardware, combined with their tightly controlled OS X / Unix based software, provide a solid platform for the design of superior software, by others.

The first iPhone was severely limited and it didn't become the democratized smartphone until after the App Store and the 3G, that is to say, after they crowdsourced software development. The watch seems like the iPhone 2G and the Nano watch hack as revised by Ive. I don't want this version, but I'll probably want the one after the next, when its twice as thin, and Ive makes another pompous video extolling its bullshit (I can't have been the only one rolling my eyes at the "horological experts" and the "conferring on how different cultures care about time" ... the clock was perfected years ago).

The thing about Apple is that they keep making the Modernist Future come true - handheld communicators, tablets, and now walkie-talkie watches. Tim Cook is proud of the fact that they pulled off the Dick Tracy finally, and who cares whatever Samsung did a year ago. What they really need to pull off next are the holograms.

It just seems to me as well that to everything there is a season, and Apple has had a glorious turn of the century. It integrated itself with youth culture, but do you think the kids of the 2030s will still crowd Apple retail stores, presuming they still exist? Or will they see the brand as that of their parents, and thus lame.

My greater point though is that Jobs is dead and let him rest in peace, and let Apple grow beyond Jobs, and don't worry if one day in about twenty years you hear some kid say Apple is lame. Apple did that to Sony, and presumably some startup out there now, or about to be created, might do that to Apple.

26
nzealand 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I posted this a few days ago....

What would todays presentation would have looked like if Steve Jobs was still around?-There would have been fewer leaks before the big unveiling.

-There would have been fewer features mentioned in the presentation.

-There would have been fewer features in the product in favor of a faster ship date.

-There would have been fewer choices in terms of colors, straps and models.

This is a totally unfair comparison, especially as I don't work at Apple and have yet to wear the device.

But I think we are all wondering, can Apple continue to innovate as successfully without Steve around?

27
ZenoArrow 13 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a good attempt at a Jobs-esque keynote, enjoyed that aspect, but on the product side the only criticisms can be boiled down to...

1. There's too much choice (option of a larger phone screen from the 6+, and a variety of watch options).2. Because of this choice, you have to do more thinking for yourself.

I feel like it's sad that thinking for ourselves is seen as problematic. That diversity isn't something to be embraced. Though it just shows how much some value the status symbol aspect.

28
trhaynes 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I really enjoyed this, especially the bit about the heartbeat feature.
29
mrjasonh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
totally disagree on the watch. I would never consider a watch with that metallic band, and there a few bands I really like that apple released. I think apple nailed it by recognizing the personal aesthetic and fashion statement that wearing a device on your body entails
30
mironathetin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Why do I need it?"

That is indeed the question I ask myself since the introduction of the iPhone. And it includes the iPad and certainly the iWatch.

I am a Mac user and although the old Mac models were not always better technologically, Jobs made us feel good when we used them. Just think about the awful time, when he had to re-sell the G4 to us again and again, because there was no progress with the G5. Who could have kept the spirit alive, if not Steve? That's one of his great achievements. That's not anymore. Apple has completely lost its focus with Macs. If Linux were not so bad, I'd be working on Thinkpads again, or Vaios.

The iPod when I first bought one of the 5GB original white ones, was such a great thing to use. It reminded me of the walkmans but it was so much better. No need to explain. But, in the meantime I use a Cowon, because it sounds so much better.

So, yes, there is truth in this article.

31
Aloha 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not 'the 60'

It's 12 Cases:Stainless (38/42mm)Black Stainless (38/42mm)Aluminum (38/42mm)Space Gray Aluminum (38/42mm)Rose Gold (38/42mm)Yellow Gold (38/42mm)

and 15 bands:5 Colors of Sport Band (Pink, Blue, White, Green, and Black)Classic BuckleMilanese LoopModern Buckle (Pink, Blue and Brown)Leather Loop (Stone, Brown and Blue)Stainless Steel Link (Stainless and Black)

In reality, I'd bet when this thing ships it's going to be the 12 watch sku's then an additional 15 sku's for the band,, the combination thereof to be assembled at the point of purchase.

You cant expect to package an sell any watch like a phone, it can't be one size fits all, not to get any real market penetration, because with jewelry, the technology takes a back seat to the appearance.

32
mpg33 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think the iPhone's will sell themselves. The watch could have benefited from Steve selling it.
33
Yizahi 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Author fails to see that iWatch is actually a single model, without any variation at all. Same OS and apps, same controls, same hardware. Counting straps as different models is really silly. And besides, not a lot of people are fans of metal bracelets.

Second - if we are speculating about how Steve would see iPhone 6 then saying that he would keep THAT design and only fiddle with diagonal is also silly. Steve would have imagined something way more efficient and pretty - no button maybe, maybe radically different materials for body (and solve stupid stripes vs. radio dilemma), maybe it would be a flip or slider, maybe... maybe... Definitely not just 0.2 difference in diag.

34
fizixer 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if the article was good or bad. But boy did it make me miss Steve Jobs. (and I don't even use Apple products).
35
broabprobe 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Agree totally except for the bands. Customizable bands were a necessity for something you wear. It's a whole new experience to wear it and I would not buy it if it were just the band you selected as best. Otherwise this is spot on...
36
Rapzid 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I completely disagree with his assessment of there being "too many" watch choices. For a fashion accessory I think it's absolutely critical that they give people room to express themselves. IMHO the "style" angle Apple has taken is what's going to move product.
37
nb1981 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a, what, 7th, or 8th generation product?Let them move on. Of course it's going to settle into a more MacBook style cycle of steady, measured updates (no pun intended).Going bigger is clearly a 'we've done what we came here to do, now lets mop up what we can from the high end to fund our other projects'. I struggle to knock them for that.
38
hereonbusiness 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"What we want from Apple isn't new technology. We want human warmth - a possibility of living a more fulfilled, meaningful life."

What we (the corporations) want from consumers is for them to buy our product(s), and we'll do whatever it takes to sell it to them as long as it is profitable.

39
jacquesm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The various incarnations of the iwatch are as different technologically as the original 'coloured' imacs.
40
quickdraw46 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Although I do agree with a lot of things being said here, I am happy that the watch comes with a variety of options. A watch is something much more intimate and reflective of personal style. Phones usually get covered up, the watch wont be.
41
PerfectElement 11 hours ago 0 replies      
>> What we want from Apple isn't new technology. We want human warmtha possibility of living a more fulfilled, meaningful life.

So your life's meaning and fulfillment depends on Apple? That's really sad.

42
laacz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
While other commenters are trying to find smal imperfections or errors, I read both parts with great satisfaction. SJ fiction was spot on for me. I really was able to portray SJ telling all of that. And I did not mind those tiny errors.
43
Cowicide 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
In my opinion, I think it was too early for Apple to release a watch.

They should have waited until there was more of a breakthrough in battery storage (to make it far slimmer) and also the ability to give it some little bit of extra power capacity through heat off of one's wrist along with an ability to grab solar energy combined off the watch face.

Also, it really, really needed to be able to work standalone without a tether to the iPhone, IMO.

This was just too soon. The battery technology isn't there quite yet. This didn't blow my mind in practicality and usability, it just looks like another vanity watch someone wears in a vapid attempt to impress others.

I'm underwhelmed.

44
binarycrusader 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the article was interesting, but it was surprisingly uncomfortable to see the various photos where Steve was suffering from the effects of his illness (I guess for me, it's more personal having seen other family members go through the same and pass away...).
45
engtech 13 hours ago 1 reply      
That was a great article.

I love the idea of the heartbeat feature. Is that a real feature of the iwatch?

46
mozilla 7 hours ago 0 replies      
thats actually pretty good

i too believe in the single device. and explaining why its been made.otherwise, apple is another samsung.

heck i dont even own any apple product but thats still something i liked and respected.

turns out my next phone is the ze compact. close to the perfect size. :p

47
LeicaLatte 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Some folks do have a lot of time in their hands.
48
jamestimmins 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Worth noting that "iWatch" doesn't work because it sounds like the sentence "I watch". There's a lot of ways to take that in creepy/joking directions, which would be an unnecessary distraction from the product.
49
dmishe 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I do think that Schiller would make for a much better presentation. Cook is ok, but that good.
50
jbergstroem 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This was beautiful. Thank you.
51
ashrestha8 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I just love your presentations)You understand clearly what was missing at keynote and what all of us expected. Apple is becoming average. The iPhone looks like it has been derived from what market wants, it did not break any rules, and showed us we are wrong and that they know a better way. It feels cold (rightly noticed). Please jiggity continue with your posts, its like "the proper apple keynote)
52
stef25 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Firewall here at work blocked this site, reason - pornography :(
53
rootlocus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Messy. Too many options. This is such a huge blunder."

"It's hard enough to craft desire for a single identity."

"Can you imagine if the original iPhone in 2007 came with sixty customizable skins?"

Seriously? Is changing the wallpaper such a "huge blunder" for Apple users?

54
petercooper 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Half a billion original thoughts safely stored on iCloud.

I'm pretty sure Jobs wouldn't make a specific reference to iCloud's security so close to the celeb hacking scandal, whether or not it was Apple's fault.

55
jesstucker 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Commentary on Apple decorum at its finest.
56
chatman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> (Audience is in tears as they stand up and give a standing ovation)

Hilariously, genius!

57
ck2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple cult has gone a little too far when they start reanimating the dead.
58
geuis 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This, this, this. This is what is missing from Apple now.
59
kathrinalewis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple, finally catching on with androids ugly watch market.
60
niix 11 hours ago 0 replies      
:(
61
dmilanp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Home Run
62
mp99e99 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing job nice work
63
mproud 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Whats next? Don Draper doing a marketing pitch to Apple as if he was selling the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch?
6
The Apple Watch
499 points by benigeri  2 days ago   831 comments top 93
1
chipotle_coyote 2 days ago 11 replies      
While someone else already made the reference to this quote, it's hard for me not to recall Commander Taco's (in)famous dismissal of the original iPod when I browse these comments.

Personally I don't know that there's any watch that would really get me to start wearing watches at all again -- I never liked them that much to begin with. But this knocks down an awful lot of the criticisms I've had of existing smartwatches. The smaller Apple Watch is 38mm, certainly not small but by no means an irrationally huge behemoth. (Even the larger is only 42mm, I believe.) When you consider the three lines, two sizes, and multiple bands, there's dozens of combinations available. You may personally not like the fashion sense, but other than the Moto 360 this is the first smartwatch that's had a fashion sense to criticize. (And guys, the Moto 360 is 46mm, so let's not pretend it's svelte, either.)

But what's really interesting to me is that Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device like this should work than anybody else. Yes, I'm sure every single component has an antecedent you can point to, just like the iPhone's interaction model. Except that nobody put it all together like that before the iPhone. And nobody put it all together like this before the Apple Watch.

I'm not so glib as to say that catcalls when Apple introduces a new product are a sure sign of success (I remember the iPod Hifi, thanks). But again, it's hard not to see a few recurring patterns in the responses: oh, look, it doesn't do everything that it could (or that competitors already do!) and it's too expensive. If it sells well, it'll only because of the Apple faithful buying everything.

And, of course, if it sells well, than within a year all smartwatches will adapt its interaction model. Other manufacturers will come out with variants that Apple isn't making, and we can move onto the evergreen phase of dismissing Apple as a company that just copies everybody else.

2
antr 2 days ago 23 replies      
My two cents: I don't know any person who is into serious running (I'm into triathlon, so add cycling and swimming) who would spend $350 on the Apple Watch and additionally you are required to have your iPhone with you to use the GPS. A sports watch without GPS, IMHO is a no go at $350. For <$300 I can get GPS, HR, ANT+, waterproof* and +20h battery life. e.g. Garmin Forerunner 910xt.

(I won't comment on the lack of info on battery life and water resistance).

*Edit: changed from water resistant to waterproof.

3
wlesieutre 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Maybe if we don't mention lefties, everyone will forget they exist"

Righty watches aren't a big deal for us to use because you only use the crown to set them, and you only set them twice a year. On the Apple Watch, you're going to use it all the time.

It's not even that I couldn't use my right hand, it's that I don't want a bulky $350 gadget permanently strapped to my left hand, which I frequently use for doing things. Great recipe for (best case) being irritating, or (worst case) getting smashed into stuff.

Maybe it can be rotated 180 to go on a right arm? It'd mean the button and crown positions are backward, but it'd be better than nothing. I see no mention of that option anywhere, so for now I assume you can't.

Either way, doesn't support the 4S, costs more than I'm willing to spend, and will hopefully get thinner in future releases. I'll jump on the smartwatch train eventually, but not with this one.

4
georgemcbay 2 days ago 10 replies      
Who would have thunk that of all the end-of-2014 smartwatches, the one that would make you look the least like a dork would be the one from Motorola?

Shame about the battery life, though. Please fix that Motorola, I want to give you my money so bad, but cannot do it until you fix the battery life.

5
rebel 2 days ago 9 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks the available/previewed watch faces don't match the intended goal of the device? This event was all about fashion, inviting all of the fashion journalists and talking about personalization. Not a single one of those watch faces look appealing, and worst off they do nothing to shake off the "geeky" stigma attached to smart watches. I think the design has potential when it gets a little bit thinner (v2?), but the previewed watch faces look absolutely awful to me. You'd think that would be the easiest part of building a super computer that fit on your wrist.
6
zmmmmm 2 days ago 2 replies      
My biggest take away is that Apple has failed to advance the state of the art in any meaningful way here. I guess hype is always hype, but people really expected that Apple would do something that would knock this out of the park - a week long battery life, a flexible watch face, or a bracelet style 360 degree screen or something else that would just reset the whole space. It didn't happen. This device may sell well (or not) but it's basically a peer to the current entrants in this space, not a generation ahead like many people expected.
7
wiremine 2 days ago 3 replies      
I spent about 20 minutes reading through some of the now 650+ comments, and I'm a bit surprised how common the arguments are on both sides. It feels like the entire tech community has the same basic argument every time a new 1.0 apple product is released:

Those who don't like the product:

- it is feature incomplete

- the hype doesn't match the actual product

- it doesn't actually look that great

- there are other, better products already on the market

- it is overpriced

- one or two interesting feature doesn't equate to "innovation"

And those who like the product (or love Apple) tend to have counter-points for each argument.

I'm curious if anyone has compiled a list of day zero critiques over the years for Apple successes (Mac, iPod, iPhone) or failures (Mac toaster, hifi, etc.)? It would be fun (and maybe a bit informative) for the community to review.

Edit: fixed spacing and wording.

8
arihant 2 days ago 4 replies      
Here are my first thoughts (I kind of won't be doing device specific nitpicking as this is the first iteration. We are sure the concept will evolve with time):

Good things:

1.) The Tap-talk feature is an absolute genius for me. This, exactly this, is the perfect non-intrusive yet hyper connected way to intimately stay in touch with someone. Just tap on their wrist, so simple. Make a little scribble to show emotion, so beautiful.

2.) The digital crown seems very interesting. I know the concerns on this thread, but if you see the demo again, the nob is bigger and is fluid enough to rotate by rolling just one finger on it. We hate crowns on our watches not because we have to rotate them, but because they are hard to rotate. This one might be different.

3.) The built. It starts at $349, while Android Wear is at $250-300 range. But then this is sapphire glass with at least steel body. And their is mention of actually how a watch is accurate with time, something 3 other companies didn't do.

4.) Multiple sizes is a good thing. Small people, petite ladies don't like to wear big sizes. I like how adaptive this watch is with the sizes, materials, straps.

Now on to the awkward parts:

1.) They gave developers at least 4-5 months time to implement the tap-talk on Android Wear. By the time this watch actually comes to stores, it would be beaten down concept.

2.) They gave Android Wear manufacturers all the time to step up their game.

3.) The killer app, even in on-stage demos, seems to be the maps app. The Apple maps, unfortunately. That makes it profoundly useless wrist weight for anybody living outside of handful countries it actually works in. That gives Android Wear a terrible advantage.

4.) No GPS on watch. So basically I have to carry my phone in pocket during runs. There is already GPS apps which do that. So that makes this watch essentially a display.

5.) No word on battery.

6.) Apple launched a watch today. A week earlier Moto launched a better looking watch. This is a sentence I never thought I'd say.

Would I have bought it today if Apple launched it? Yes.

Will I now that Apple has given me months to think it over? No.

9
fidotron 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is an intriguing situation because while the "No wireless, less space than a Nomad. Lame." comment will always haunt those that criticise Apple product launches this is the first one in years where the product looks more like it's actually the Nomad being mentioned, and the iPod has yet to arrive.

I'm going so far as to say that smartwatches and VR represent the desperate flailing of a tech industry that's run out of ideas that will connect with people. We had a good boom post iPhone, but this kind of thing just doesn't look like there's any point to it.

10
leoc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Two small things:

* The product pages for the individual Watch lines, especially http://www.apple.com/watch/apple-watch-sport/ , are the first time I can recall Apple using sex or (literal) sexiness in its advertising. (We'll pass over the "Rip. Mix. Burn." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ECN4ZE9-Mo cringefest ...)

* I await Gruber's reaction with considerable interest...

11
phirschybar 2 days ago 1 reply      
To those who are concerned about mainstream adoption of a watch like this, I remind you of the Pebble Kickstarter which was one of the most successful in Kickstarter history. And all those contributors had no guarantee that the Pebble would see the light of day. There is serious demand for a watch that does even what the Pebble originally promised, which is still far far less than what the Apple Watch has now proposed to do.

I have been a Pebble watch owner for over a year, after having given up wearing watches around the time I owned my first cellphone. I have come to feel the same NEED of having my Pebble on as I, and everybody else, has with their phone in their pocket. All of the quirks of the Pebble and everything that I have come to realize is missing with the Pebble, is addressed elegantly with the Apple Watch. 'Canned' and voice responses to messages... Huge. A non-obvious alternative to the classic vibration (which is obvious to people nearby when using the Pebble) in the 'tap' technology... also clever and smart.

12
3pt14159 2 days ago 11 replies      
Super disappointed with this. I was hoping for a bunch of sensors that fed my iPhone. Not something to discretely take meetings during a meeting.

Here is what is missing for me:

1. Sweat sensor.

2. Insulin sensor.

3. Smarter/more accelerometers to intelligently automatically detect what I'm doing. For example, if I start lifting 50 lbs in a dumbell bench press it should know that! My iPhone should auto update a fitness tracking app. If I start biking my normal "track" here in Toronto, it should automatically know that! So underwhelmed here.

4. No mention of emergency assistance "stuff", (like detection of heart attacks, or spiking insulin levels).

5. Some really stupid / weird features, although I do kinda like the shared heartbeat one. Would be fun on exercises / first date makeouts :)

13
julianpye 2 days ago 2 replies      
The main innovation I like is NFC in the Watch. This makes so much sense. What is the big advantage of pulling a phone from your bag instead of a wallet? Paying with a wrist, opening doors with your wrist, entering the metro with your wrist. Can't wait for the next Wear releases from Samsung to have it integrated :)
14
personZ 2 days ago 11 replies      
As much ink was spilled about competitors' failures, it's interesting that this won't be available some until vague window next year, and needs to be tethered to an iPhone.

The interface looks interesting. The ridiculous draw pictures to each other bit, though -- what a gimmick.

15
DominikR 2 days ago 2 replies      
Even though I am an Android developer, I played with the thought of buying the iPhone 6 (the big one) and an Apple Watch, because Swift is kind of a reset for developers and I am very happy with my MacBook.

But now that I've seen the keynote, I've got some issues with the watch:

First of all, I feel it's too expensive, because those smartwatches are basically obsolete after a year. (at least to me)

It would have been good if Apple would allow those watches to be sent in and upgraded, especially for the version that uses a gold casing, which I suspect will be extremely expensive. (probably > $1000)

The design of the watch is not bad, but not good either. I would have no problem wearing it, but I don't like that rectangle look. (the Moto 360 looks better to me)

But on the other hand I like the navigation wheel a lot. I'm pretty sure that this alone will allow for more complex apps than what we see on Android Wear at the moment.

The new types of messages that Apple presented isn't interesting to me, but I can see the younger audience using it a lot.

16
jroseattle 2 days ago 2 replies      
I haven't worn a watch in at least 15 years. A good chunk of my friends and colleagues as well.

I'm sure there are interesting use cases, but my summary view is this seems like a current-generation iPod with a wristband.

No prediction of how successful it will be, but I kind of think this will be more niche than mainstream.

17
freekh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Was expecting something more than this from Apple - the vision seems to be the same as what google had for google wear. Hardware wise it is not much of an increment either (my opinion only of course). Then again, I didn't really get excited over the iPad either and that was a huge success.

Setting that expectation aside, I would be fine with something simpler if it:

- it was classy looking: thin and round, steel and real/sapphire glass - ideally something that looks like one of those simple swiss clocks from the 1960s

- had an e-ink screen

- had a gps, which I can turn on and off

- had bluetooth notifications in case my phone is near

- had bluetooth audio support; and

- had spotify support. And here I mean that I want to be able to play music which has been synced to my watch over bluetooth, a cable or while docked.

- had heart-rate monitor would also be a plus of course.

- has enough battery for at least about a week, unless I am using the gps (for 2-3 hours), in which case it is fine if I have to charge it afterwards.

Want to use it as a regular watch (with the occasional message/calendar notification and perhaps even daily weather updates), and as a music player and as a gps for when I am running/biking.

Pebble almost have it, but their watches are way too ugly (my view only of course), too large for my wrists (so says my partner at least) and they don't have the extras that would make me really want one. I guess Spotify would have to be a partner as well, but I have Spotify on my radio so I guess it is only a small step to something like this as well.

Should be possible with todays technology though I am not really into HW. In terms of processor-power it really only needs to keep track of time, draw the watch face every second, draw the notifications/menu/..., handle user input (could be buttons not capacitive) and play music (which probably is the most resource intensive thing, but an easy match for any modern SOC). So for processing, battery shouldn't be a problem. An e-ink screen is thin and does not require much power either. Bluetooth 4 LE chipsets are very power friendly I think, so I would imagine that should be fine as well. They are also fast enough (1 mbp/s) for syncing notifications and even for the occasional sound track sync (I don't mind waiting 5-10 minutes for an album).The gps doesn't really have to give me directions, only log my position and would be used only when I am running/biking, and as I said, should be possible to switch it completely off.

The battery could be in the (detachable) wristband - I think I have seen quite thin and flexible polymer batteries around on the internet (though I am not sure if they are thin/flexible enough). Could also have different looks on the wristbands so you get one leathery-looking (for normal usage) and one plastic looking (for sports) like apple did (liked that part though it is hardly innovative).

18
oldmanjay 2 days ago 1 reply      
i can't imagine this selling well, but i also couldn't imagine the ipad selling well and history showed i don't know what i'm talking about, so it'll probably be a huge hit.
19
agscala 2 days ago 4 replies      
The watch looks very nice indeed but starting at $350 is ominously steep especially since it requires an iPhone
20
psbp 2 days ago 1 reply      
It may be that Google did a pretty good job of preemptively responding to the Apple Watch, but I don't find this that much more interesting than the already not very interesting Android Wear devices.
21
rwhitman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started wearing watches on a regular basis about a year ago and it has become an addictive new hobby, I'm up to 4 now and feel naked without one.

The primary use-case for a wristwatch - being able to glance at your wrist to tell the time - is actually very underrated in it's usefulness. We forget that watches started out as a pocket device until the military started strapping them onto the wrist for practical purposes.

When the cellphone came around we abandoned 100+ years of natural design evolution in favor of the more powerful new technology, but when that tech starts to fit comfortably in the same place that was so natural for the last century it will be a sea-change in the way we look at wireless tech...

22
na85 2 days ago 1 reply      
For me it's now official: Apple has ceded its position as an industry leader/innovator, and become a follower.

This is a really, really lame product.

23
mladenkovacevic 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's a little thick isn't it? But it's got a design that I can see evolving over time. Not bad for a square-ish watch.

Except I don't see any features that I need to plop over $350 for. In terms of health-related metrics the Basis watch is more feature-complete, and over half the price http://www.mybasis.com/

In terms of personal assistant features, Google Now takes the lead along with any smart-watch that takes advantage of it and Android-wear.

When the iPhone released, I believe the market was primed for a next-generation smartphone. I don't think this is true for wearables now. The Apple Watch will have a much touger climb than the iPhone ever did.

24
computerjunkie 2 days ago 1 reply      
My Two Cents : I love watches, but a smart watch is just not for me. I prefer the craftsmanship it takes to create a watch that is delicately engineered to give you the exact time and makes sure the timekeeping is always accurate.

This is what a watch is supposed to do, keep time.

I feel smart watches are somewhat a novelty at the moment. There is simply too much functionality involved in smart watches, although they say its been dumbed own. When I look at my wrist, I want a quick glance of the time and a small moment to appreciate what is sitting on my wrist.

The idea around of smart watches brings so many possibilities.But I don't feel they are solving actual problems.

Design - Motorola is a company that is so underrated in the industry, the [0] Moto 360 was something I expected apple to release.Its actually a nice looking smart watch which seems to complement your lifestyle. Trust LG to follow suit. Square dials are just unpleasant to look at, but that's just my personal taste.

Battery life is another no go for smart watches right now - What if I'm on getaway hike for the weekend where I need to check the time and a watch compass regularly? I can get a Casio G Shock for hiking trip that is solar powered for half the price.

Its still early days to judge from afar. A couple of years, a couple of generations, and the prices falls down as always then maybe I'll check it out.

[0] https://moto360.motorola.com/

25
bhartzer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes, you can use Apple Pay with the Apple Watch. Great addition, no more digging in my pocket for my iPhone Plus (if I can actually get it out of my pocket).
26
scj 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wear a watch, but I think about it as jewelry, and incidentally as a time piece. And until there is a killer app for a watch, I will continue to do so.

Originally, I posed myself the question _if_ I would wear a smartwatch if there is no such thing as a killer app. The answer is yes, but _when_ is a better question. And the partial answer isn't about it being a smartwatch or dumbwatch, but about being an uglywatch or not.

I think this watch fails the uglywatch criteria. Which is an odd thought to combine with Apple.

27
paul_f 2 days ago 1 reply      
The iPhone only seems affordable because it is tied to a 2-year contract. Otherwise it would be $800 and Apple wouldn't sell anywhere near as many as they do.

At $350, I don't see how Apple Watch is going to crack the volume markets. Think 15yo girls.

28
LiweiZ 2 days ago 0 replies      
As the first step in watch market, Apple is in the right direction. Is this watch the ideal one we expect? Maybe not. Unlike others, they have found a path in design, but the logistics weighs more currently. So they are not able to go far at this moment. And the segment has attracted more and more competitors. It is not difficult to see they are struggling to balance the time to enter and their ability to offer an ideal product now. It's just the beginning.
29
Igglyboo 2 days ago 2 replies      
really hate the curved look, bringing back memories of the 3GS. I thought we moved on to sharp corners.
30
taude 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's really a deal breaker that the watch needs a phone to be tethered. If I'm going to look at a map, I'm just going to use the phone that's in my pocket. Similarly, I don't really need a buzz notification into my wrist to know text messages are coming in.

Not to mention, even though it's an Apple design, it still looks like a nerd-toy.

31
exodust 22 hours ago 0 replies      
But we already know the time, it's on our phones? I don't get why anyone would buy this watch apart from trendy reasons.

I bet sales will be low. Body monitoring sensors are better off hidden I rekon, then you can wear any watch, or no watch, and your phone does all the interfacing with the hidden sensors. All this should be open technology too, compatible with any phone rather than tied down to one system. It's your body after all, our data's fate shouldn't be a corporation's monopoly money.

32
joesmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that the Apple Watch needs an iPhone nearby to do anything useful. This is extremely disappointing and a complete failure from the get-go. Essentially, Apple Watch just becomes a tool for those too lazy to take their iPhone out of their pocket. It's absolutely useless for exercising or other activities where one wouldn't typically carry a phone. That was supposed to be one of the main selling points and one of the main target audiences. As a runner myself, I can't see wasting any money on this unless it gets its own Wifi/LTE/Bluetooth/Storage capabilities and I can leave my phone behind. It seems Apple missed this quintessential requirement.
33
kumarm 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is cheaper to tie iPad Mini to wrist than buy an iWatch :).
34
blinkingled 2 days ago 2 replies      
Tim Cook tried to make the Apple Watch his iPhone moment but it came across as off - the Watch really is nothing as revolutionary in any way shape or form as the iPhone was.

It is thick. They had to resort to gimmicks - communicating heart rates, drawing fish, three dots to ask for lunch(!) - to make it sound useful. The price is off by at least $100. They specifically danced around mentioning battery life - with these many features it might not actually be all that better than the competition - an area where Apple habitually shines.

The UI also looked complicated to me - two ways to control it - touch and the unimaginatively named crown thing. Which is again very un-Apple. (When the watch is on your wrist I kept thinking how easily am I going to find the crown. For a normal watch that thing is very rarely used and that too when it is not on the wrist.)

Not that I think SmartWatches are here to stay as a mainstream product but the little hope we had that Apple will knock it out the park with some must have feature - that hasn't panned out with the iWatch for sure.

35
vermooten 2 days ago 1 reply      
Also: why the hell do I need to see what the moon's gonna look like 6 days from now?
36
paul 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's surprisingly unattractive, but I think people here may be underestimating the quality of the interaction design. Of course it's impossible to know without trying one, but they've clearly put some thought into it. The video is worth watching: http://www.apple.com/watch/films/#film-design
37
72deluxe 2 days ago 2 replies      
I notice in all of the pictures and videos that the "crown" (nub on the side) is a render....? Kind of like all of Behringer's new product announcements: you see them on their website and they may or may not ever actually exist or get released.Does this mean they haven't finished it, or have rushed to get to appear to be in the market before it is swallowed up by Android watches?
38
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting, a payments system that works only if you have the latest iPhone, and a watch that only works if you have (possibly latest) iPhone. I love the display, and I think they have some great ideas here but I was hoping more for the 'ipod' replacement that would work with any iOS 8 device (like iPads too) instead of a remote for your phone.
39
brianmcdonough 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's amazing, the variety of attitudes and opinions on this thread. People don't spend this much energy arguing the fine points of war and yet, it really is just a watch.

The promotion is genius. Not sure about the watch, but if the chatter is any sign, it's already a success.

40
Rapzid 2 days ago 0 replies      
My take away from the page is that it is entirely focused on cosmetics and construction. It seems loud and clear they are positioning this as a piece of designer apparel... I think Apple understands the most important thing most people in the market for a watch are interested in; How desirable it is to others. The whole page just talks about how hawt it is.

As others have mentioned, I believe Google has put massive thought into smart-watch interaction and how it integrates within your life as a utility. I'm not saying Apple hasn't. But I am saying Apple's watch sales are going to be crazy nuts. People have room for one watch as a fashion statement. If it's not going to be an Armani who do you think they'll go with?

41
anmonteiro90 2 days ago 2 replies      
Main drawback is you need an iPhone in order to have one. Couldn't there be a version that didn't?
42
nilsimsa 2 days ago 0 replies      
The one thing I like about my current watch is that is is solar charged. I haven't had any issues with replacing batteries for nearly 7 years. I'm not sure if I'm ready to charge yet another device on a regular basis.
43
adamjs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Two words: Universal Identity. That's the killer use-case that everyone is missing. The Apple Watch has an NFC-chip, internet connection, and an API-- this is going to happen. (They've already announced a partnership with W Hotels for the Watch to replace keycards in rooms.)

I think this would be super-convenient in the short-term but seems very worrisome in the long-term. My watch/phone/drivers-license is NOT me, and the more we rely on a single-point for authentication, the greater the potential for abuse and theft. More solutions need to be created.

44
malbs 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first I was thinking I had to have one of these. Then I read feature page where it subtly tells you that most of the functionality is based on being tethered to an iphone. What a pity.
45
wooyi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I run and occasionally do sprint tris. I carry a phone for both riding and running as I use Strava to track and compete with others. The thing I'm excited about is that this watch has a HR monitor, which is what I would need as you train based on intensity.

Not to mention when you're stranded 50 miles due to a flat tire, you'll need that phone to call for a pickup.

Others have mentioned listening to music,..etc. (I don't)

Look - you're going to carry a phone everywhere you go on land.

46
edpichler 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is just the first release of another killer product from Apple. To compare, the first iPhone did not have some basic features found in many cell phones, including stereo Bluetooth support and 3G compatibility.

I really believe that Apple will earn a ton of money, like in the first years of iPod or iPhone era.

And the watches market size, bigger than cell phones, computers and portable music. It's a pity to do not have this company listed here, on stock market of Brazil.

47
capkutay 2 days ago 0 replies      
The only reason I want this watch is the exact features they were demo'ing:

Quickly respond to texts without having to pull out and unlock my phone

See who's calling me

Using the map to track where I am in a route

It seems like they nailed the low-hanging fruit and designed a pretty nice looking watch. Apple watch and the moto 360 both deserve credit for making smartwatches that don't look like total nerd gadgets

48
LukeWalsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Glad they finally got rid of that hideous header on the homepage
49
paradite 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any official site for WatchKit? I can't seem to find any.
50
ars 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are those actual photos on the home page or computer renderings?

Because I hate how that thing looks - it looks sort of like a cartoon, like something from WALL-E.

51
thomasahle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Snapchat seems like the best suited form of communication for a device like this. I wonder why Apple didn't fit a camera into that huge black bevel..
52
freeasinfree 2 days ago 1 reply      
I expect muggings for jewelery to be making a comeback.
53
brian_cloutier 2 days ago 2 replies      
Miniaturization has come a long way, but there's no way this costs just $350 to make. Has Apple's strategy changed? They've always sold hardware at a healthy margin and made trivial amounts off software and music.

There are some really nice features here, I would probably buy one if I didn't prefer android so much. But is it so nice that it will drive iPhone sales?

54
supernova87a 2 days ago 0 replies      
Samsung's watch also needed a phone to work, and was just slightly clunkier. Why does Apple get such adulation in comparison?
55
deanclatworthy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was rather impressed but at 350USD and most likely 350e in Europe it's an expensive purchase. Still no word on battery life either.
56
r0fl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Curious to see how much the solid gold model costs.
57
thearn4 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't help but think that there really is a hard limit on the number of powered electronics that a person is willing to routinely carry on their person, and that number is one. Am I alone in feeling this way?
58
n72 2 days ago 1 reply      
For many watches are used as a signaling device. That is, an expensive watch indicates to people that you have money. I assume these people aren't going to downgrade to an apple watch. I don't know what percentage of watch owners this is or whether it could affect uptake, but it could be factor.
59
Shivetya 2 days ago 6 replies      
My biggest disappointment, they announced a product they cannot ship. I remember the good old days, ITS AVAILABLE TODAY. Now Apple is nothing than just what they used to lampoon, a creator of announcements; not products.

Perhaps we can hope they use the time to take the obvious feedback flowing in and make it right by launch

60
callesgg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want a smart clock that looks like a clock not like a small wrist calculator.

Is that so hard?

61
buro9 2 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't bought into Apple stuff too much, just an iPad and an Air. No iPhone, I have Android instead and my desktop is Linux.

Question: Is the phone a mere accessory to the iPhone, or can it stand alone or with any phone (inc' Android and Windows Phone)?

62
ebbv 2 days ago 3 replies      
The fact that this requires me to bring my iPhone on a run kills it as a sport watch. I can get a high quality GPS watch for $150 that doesn't require me to bring my iPhone.

Or if I am OK with bringing my iPhone I can just use it.

Dumb, dumb move on Apple's part.

63
neil_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
The linked to page made me wonder whether Apple had released a watch that was literally just a watch, just a fancy time-keeping device. Its not until you go one level up and go to features that it shows what the watch can actually do.
64
ggchappell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful page, but kinda worthless IMHO.

When I look at it, I'm wondering: what's the UI like for a computer that isn't much bigger than my finger? (And if it's any good, why isn't it front & center?)

65
LeicaLatte 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone with 5 watches, I can't wait for this to release.
66
AshFurrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty sure the title of this should just be "Apple Watch", which is the title in the browser. Apple considers their products proper nouns.
67
teyc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised they haven't done a chunky smartwatch. That would provide plenty of battery life, and more room for electronics, while at the same time fill a bigger unmet niche.
68
72deluxe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else really like the subtle ways to share sketches / heartbeats? It kind of makes it more personal than just a Google Now / cards interface.

Nice touch (literally).

69
doczoidberg 2 days ago 3 replies      
serious question: Does this watch anything do what my phone in my pocket doesn't?

I can't see a benefit of using a smartwatch.

70
tdicola 2 days ago 4 replies      
I worry this will be a massive target for theft. If someone sees you wearing an Apple Watch they know you have at least a $350 watch and $400+ phone on your person.
71
foobarbecue 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, it's basically a tiny external screen for your iPhone right? Snore. Wake me up when they put cellular capabilities in there.
72
cdnsteve 2 days ago 0 replies      
My perspective is that the majority of the market already owns a smartphone. Companies are trying to get new gadgets out there in peoples hands to increase sales and keep the corporate machine rolling. The problem is, people are happy with just their phones. I think wearables will have a very very slow uptake, especially since they require you to have a smartphone in your pocket.

Someone call me when they get holograms to mass market, then I'll be interested.

73
ForFreedom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why do I have to buy a watch for my fitness, I can arm-band my iphone and have all the details.
74
T-zex 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does it have an SDK for the third party apps?
75
dheer01 2 days ago 1 reply      
Steve jobs would have kept the configurations to only one.
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cpursley 2 days ago 0 replies      
This makes me want.... a regular watch with good battery life.
77
nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is even an 18 karat gold edition. Sapphire crystal, waterproof, imported leather from the Netherlands. It goes behind the technology, to also embrace some of the finer things that make a quality watch... Quality.
78
pinaceae 2 days ago 0 replies      
ths is using a system on a chip designed by Apple themselves - what the hell. they're going all in on chips. intel quo vadis?
79
fvdessen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would have been nice to have real photographs.
80
pasiaj 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know what the lower button does?
81
bg0 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just wanted to swim with it... :(
82
vermooten 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't want my heart rate and other health data getting uploaded to Apple and anyone else. Big blocker for me.
83
notastartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if there was a watch which could do everything a smartphone can do. make calls, take photos and videos, instantly teach me how to fight like Jason Bourne on demand etc.
84
aikah 2 days ago 0 replies      
meta : I'm glad the product pages dont involve using JS to fuck up scrolling,for once. This fad needs to go.
85
JustinBlaird 2 days ago 2 replies      
Broken link
86
EGreg 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Apple watch looks hot, but will it use a different store than the iOS store? Where is the info on registering apps for it etc?
87
sremani 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does it come with a kill-switch ?
88
mgarfias 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thought of the thing buzzing when one of serveral very talkative/verbose friends starts spamming me with SMSes drives me into a rage. And thats just thinking about it.
89
cowardlydragon 2 days ago 1 reply      
To all of you criticizing the features, just remember:

It's vaporware.

90
drinchev 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah okay, blah blah. I was at IFA Berlin 2014 and asked the SONY lady: "Hey what's the killer feature of your watch?". She said "It shows the time and tracks your steps!".

IMHO Apple Watch did a great job. I couldn't find any smart watch that have navigation ( although with a paired smartphone ) and a possible ecosystem of apps that can use it. The whole IFA ... nobody could offer this.

Althought, Of course it might be better, but Apple did a good job agains other tech companies in this field. Period.

disclaimer: I'm not that big apple fan boy.

91
antidamage 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've taken a hard look at every single smartwatch that's come out to date and found them wanting. I couldn't at any point bring myself to wear a device that needs to be charged every night and isn't "always on" yet doesn't have all the features I wanted. Little by little they got closer, but nobody had nailed it until Apple did.

I think it'll initially be seen as a superficial luxury, much like a smartphone. Then without much effort and without anyone noticing it'll become a device that's at first convenient to have and then inconvenient not to have.

I'm definitely getting an Apple watch and it'll take some amazing competition to steer me in another direction. I guess this means I'll have to get a Mac some time too.

92
marknutter 2 days ago 2 replies      
I always measure the future success of a new Apple product by both the number and volume of negative comments related to. The greater the volume, the more likely it is to be successful. By all accounts, Apple Watch is going to be a smash hit.
93
thomasahle 2 days ago 3 replies      
The Apple fans [1] impress me with their non-fanaticism on this one. If this is a general trend across religions, I like where we are heading. Props!

Apple watch certainly has qualities though. It's exciting to see how the market will develop now that all parties have opened their cards.

[1]: http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2fxe2t/its_hideous/?s...

7
With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce
458 points by anigbrowl  2 days ago   211 comments top 27
1
Sanddancer 2 days ago 7 replies      
There are some serious facts missing in the story here. When were his parents married? When was the half brother born? Was this a known fling? This was definitely something traumatic that happened, but we are left way too hanging for this to be an interesting story.
2
IvyMike 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've been wondering if any agency in the US government has been using DNA databases to do "genetic triangulation"--and if not, when they'll start.

I'm in 23andme, and I get messages saying "someone who is your 4th/5th/6th cousin wants to connect" all the time. I figure if I was given a bit of DNA from a crime scene, by cross-referencing all of the 4th,5th, and 6th cousins, the number of potential people matching that DNA has got to be tiny.

Science fiction dystopias used to hypothesize a complete DNA database but I'm pretty sure even the spotty coverage we have now is pretty powerful.

3
credo 2 days ago 4 replies      
>>"My parents divorced. No one is talking to my dad. We're not anywhere close to being healed yet and I don't know how long it will take to put the pieces back together."

We don't know the circumstances under which the father and his then-girlfriend had given up their son for adoption. However, that seems to have happened decades ago.

I'm not sure why no one is now talking to the dad for something that happened decades ago.

4
jacalata 2 days ago 0 replies      
Genetically it may be difficult to tell a grandfather from a half-brother, but logically it seems like you could easily add some basic checks like "is dude A more than x years older than dude B? No? Well lets rule grandfather out then".
5
kbenson 2 days ago 3 replies      
Summary: 23andMe's genetic database may uncover shitty behavior of people close to you that they would rather you not know about. They hide this behind a checkbox asking you if you want to see info about possible close relatives, but the author thinks there should be big flashing warnings that it might show information you aren't ready for.

Of course, the other way to interpret this is that his parents weren't really okay with the status quo, at least one of them either hadn't put enough thought into what happened, didn't know the whole story, or was entirely in the dark. The author may feel that it would be better to not know that information, but that information is truth, and represents who the people involved really are or were. I have little patience for being asked to help support others delusion.

Edit: s/rather now know/rather not know/

6
abvdasker 2 days ago 2 replies      
I work for a major genetic research and diagnostics laboratory. This is what's known in the biz as "incidental findings" and in a clinical setting is an enormous no-no (not as big a deal in research).

It's this kind of careless disclosure of sensitive information that makes more than a few of the non-consumer-facing organizations (not to mention the FDA) a bit wary of companies like 23andMe.

I haven't used 23andMe so I can't speak to how well their ordering system addresses this issue beyond what the article states. Regardless, customers ordering these kinds of panels should be well informed as to what they're getting into.

EDIT: I did mean "wary" not "weary"

7
andrewtbham 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a similar situation. I had a close cousin contact me on 23 and me that I wasn't familar with. He is adopted and looking for his parents. My dad took the test so we have narrowed it down. He recently found his mom, so I know it's his dad that I'm related to. Bottom line, we still haven't figured out who the dad is and I'm afraid to push it because it may cause an outcome like this. I invited the adopted cousin to a family reunion but he declined.
8
TrainedMonkey 2 days ago 1 reply      
Genetic testing is a really cool concept. There is a parallel with the internet, is that for every new person tested value of testing increases for everyone. Sufficient number of people tested should allow us to identify really subtle patterns in genetic code and will be a boon in healthcare and family planning. For example a dating site, that takes genes into account while matching people. Unfortunately there are huge privacy implications to consider.
9
s-phi-nl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Relevant xkcd: http://xkcd.com/830/

"We can't be sure, but we've analyzed genes on several of your chromosomes, and its hard to avoid the conclusion: at some point, your parents had sex."

10
davidkclark 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how many sperm or egg donors will register on 23andme and receive an interesting email... Or how many children conceived in that way will find half brothers and half sisters. I wonder if you could see traces of "prolific" sperm donors via their related offspring...
11
ThrustVectoring 2 days ago 6 replies      
The genetic testing didn't cause the divorce, keeping secrets did.

This is also a very good argument for honesty - it's very hard to figure out when and how you'll get called out on lies.

12
d357r0y3r 2 days ago 1 reply      
Somewhere, there's a product manager or developer coming to terms with the fact that the decision to check that box by default tore at least one family apart.
13
fizixer 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm amazed at people preferring living under a lie for the rest of their lives and dying like that than finding out the truth in case it might be bitter. I would trade a supernuclear family for truth any day of the week.

Slightly off topic, but no wonder it's also difficult to make people realize the reality about religion(s). The same 'ignorance is bliss' head-in-the-sand mentality is working behind the scenes many times.

14
discardorama 2 days ago 1 reply      
IMHO, genetic testing wasn't the cause of the divorce; it was the family's intransigence at the dad wanting to get in touch with his long-lost son. What kind of a people are these, that they'd want to kick the father out for wanting to get in touch with a son he never knew he had, from before the marriage?
15
bthomas 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've never understood the dynamic between 23andMe and the FDA. It's just information - what's to stop someone from setting up the same service in Bermuda? Would they really stop Americans from mailing a spit kit somewhere?
16
r00fus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm just trying to think about what would happen if those parents in the story were me and my wife. Would we break apart? I'm guessing/hoping no, but the real answer may be completely different.
17
nhoven 2 days ago 2 replies      
The rate of non-paternity is commonly quoted to be around 10%. If genetic testing becomes more common, we're likely to see even more of these divorces.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misattributed_paternity
18
analyst74 2 days ago 2 replies      
On one hand, I believe that people have the right to know the truth to things; on the other hand, not many people are able to really handle the unpleasant ones.

Sometimes I wonder, did forgetting/hiding of the hard truth caused the inability to handle them? Or because of?

19
Kamic 2 days ago 4 replies      
weird this article came out after buying pre-nov2013 kits off ebay so we can see our health information....last night my wife and I just spit into our 23andme kits and we shipped it out this morning. Wish me luck on the truth! :)
20
dllthomas 2 days ago 0 replies      
"We all know that genetically it's hard to distinguish a son from a grandfather"

Shouldn't that read, "a brother from a grandfather"?

21
joeevans1000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Something tells me the author would have checked the box even if it required a physical key. Time to reread the myth of Pandora's Box.

22
geuis 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is confusing. "This is how it happened: when you share around 25 percent genetic similarity with someone, that means that either it's your grandfather, uncle, or half-sibling".

I have half my dad's DNA and half my mom's, so does my sister. So therefore wouldn't we both share 50% of our DNA? If we were brothers it would be closer to 100%. So a half sibling should be the same as a sister in this aspect. I have a half brother too, so we both got 50% of our DNA from our mother. So we are 50% similar, not 25%.

Is my math wrong?

23
graycat 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is an encouraging side to this agony: At least some of the people in that family cared, really cared, aboutthe issues of intimacy (that is, open communications in the sense ofgiving knowledge of themselves to each other, as inE. Fromm, The Art of Loving),honesty, trust, fidelity, etc. This fact is "encouraging"because now it is far too easy to conclude from various circumstances, stories in the media and/or tabloid media, the hookup culture, etc. that in US culture these issues have been regardedas meaningless, that any sexual behavior is nomore meaningful than, say, a game of ping pong,that the standard marriage vows are just lines in a stage play comedy/fantasy, that a couple stays together only so long asthe combination of money and sex are appropriate,etc.

YMMV, and not everyone agrees,but there is a body of thought that the fundamental problem of life isdoing something effective aboutthe anxiety of feeling alone, thatthe best solution is the joining withand love of spouse and the associatedfamily and its bonds (as in commonmarriage vows), and thatlove making, especially causingconception of another human, isa crucial part of family formation,bonding, joining, love, and security against the anxietiesof being alone. Then infidelity,dishonesty, deception, violation ofvows, etc. are torpedoes just below thewater line of a Good Ship Loving Home and Familyand, thus, a disaster for all involved.

Net, good to see, even with the agony of this story,that some people still care about the ideals of a traditional family.

It is easy for someone to be fooled about traditional views oflove,home, and family, that is, regard theseviews as so good, beneficial, and attractive,nearly universally, that a candidate lifepartner would also leap to embrace andhonor the views. Alas, too often too manypeople fail to see and/or act on such views.

Art is sometimes defined as the communication,interpretation of human experience, emotion, andsome of the strongest emotions have to dowith the family and love issues here. Then,we can find some art that communicates theagony of love, home, and family destroyed.E.g., there is the Renata Scottoperformance of the aria "Un bel di vedremo" from the Puccini operaMadama Butterfly as at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCSdz2hM_o4

Apparently Puccini was correct thataudiences would see the reasons for theagony expressed in that aria;that is, many in the audience wouldunderstand that love making was oneof the most important issues in all of lifeand that often casual sex was quite serious and not at all casual.Similarly for the intimacy ofgiving knowledge of self,honesty, trust, fidelity, etc.

To me, good to know; to me,regarding traditional marriage vowsand love, home, marriage, andphysical love making ascasual or just a jokeis rot in the foundations of our society. So, it's good tosee that not everyone accepts suchrot of our society.

24
dguaraglia 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is a press release about how cool 23andme is, wrapped in a sorry story.
25
GandalfTheThird 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's fantastic that, in this enlightened age, the simple fact that about 30% of people, across cultures, have wrong idea about their biological father, is still deeply suppressed.

This is why such ad hoc testing has been prohibited in many countries (Germany, most recently.)

Yes, about every third reader of this is deluded about her/his biological father. Deal with it.

26
raverbashing 2 days ago 4 replies      
That what happens when you put the algorithms in front of people.

Didn't it cross anyone's mind that such things would be uncovered? Or that it would always "be cool"? Opt-out? Really?

Money and technology before ethics.

But I'm still left with a question. What does "25% similarity" means? I mean, humans have more than 99% in common genes with the Chimpanzee, so is this a specific set of genes or what exactly?

27
kolev 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'll be brutally honest - dishonest people will always pay for their misbehavior. Lies and secrets always get uncovered. Smart people always think decades ahead. Decades ago, it was clear that DNA testing will be daily business, so, simply, you're gonna pay for doing things without thinking, sorry. That's how it should be anyway. When you do genetic testing, you need to be smart enough to understand what it could reveal to you - both positive and negative. But, hey, let's sue and ban services like 23andMe just because stupid people do stupid things! Like it's not a harm already to us already that FDA removed health information (well, for new customers, at least) from 23andMe. What I cannot get is why health information is not allowed even for new customers abroad who are not a subject of worries for FDA? Things like this will force innovative companies in the field to move outside of highly and insanely regulated United States where people, for example, remove their breasts just because Angelina Jolie told them so! I am talking in general, not about this specific article. All my family members have 23andMe testing during the early days and still have access to the health information (although it doesn't seem like it's being actively updated). There's http://www.snpedia.org/ and http://www.promethease.com/ that kinda feel that gap now. Anyway, I've go immense value out of 23andMe, found out a lot of health information about me and my family and I'm afraid that stupidity of some can lead to negative consequences in this area! In your personal life, at least, be open and honest, it prevents cancer, and it makes you immune to certain types of "discoveries"! It's that simple!
8
Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts
483 points by Anon84  2 days ago   206 comments top 52
1
untog 1 day ago 14 replies      
According to /r/android this also finally brings Google Voice into Hangouts: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/2fz6hh/hangouts_and...

I haven't seen the update yet to try it, but am hoping I do soon. This is long, long overdue.

All this said - Hangouts on desktop is still so much worse than GChat was - and GChat had free calls too. I'd type a number, two seconds later it would be ringing in the bottom right corner. Now, a Hangout window opens, the Hangouts plugin loads, my CPU goes haywire...

2
chakalakasp 1 day ago 3 replies      
This has been available on iOS for a long time, which I found to be really, really strange, given that you would think Android would be the platform where they'd want to put their more advanced features.

It isn't half bad, though -- the call quality, even when the call terminates in an actual phone number, exceeds that of cellular by a good margin, due to what I assume is a much better bitrate being used. And it works even if you don't have a Google Voice account. This is nice, because I can fire it up and make a phone call to a customer (I work for an MSP) without giving away my cell phone number. This is important to me because if all my customers had my cell number, I'd have to change it constantly or never have peace.

edit BTW, some pitfalls of this I have discovered. Depending on how well your cell handles handoffs between Wifi and LTE, your call may be dropped as you walk away from a Wifi hotspot. It works over 3G, but not well. The ringer for Hangouts on iOS is almost impossible to notice, so if you get an incoming GV call, good luck with that. I have had a good number of randomly dropped calls that I could not trace back to a cause. If you get an incoming REAL phone call on your real phone number, Hangouts (at least on iOS) immediately boots you out of your Hangouts call, even if the Hangouts call is on Wifi. (With Verizon, voice call kills LTE data stream, so this is to be expected, but with Wifi... not to be expected.)

3
nkoren 1 day ago 1 reply      
Until Hangouts provide the ability to properly control one's visibility, I Will. Not. Use. Them. Full. Stop.

It's somewhat amusing to see Google finally reintroducing functionality which worked perfectly well in GChat years ago. But sad when I reflect on how I now spend so much less time using the Google ecosystem, thanks to their constant dismantling (Reader), deprecation (GChat), divestment (Sketchup), and defacing (Gmail/maps UX/UI) of software which I once relied upon. Google is still doing many things right; why are they consistently getting certain things so wrong?

4
flavor8 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fine, but I wish they'd stop breaking some of the core features in hangouts. Since fairly recently, non google users are unable to get into video hangouts via new-style (non /_/calendar/) google calendar created links. Uberconference integration doesn't consistently work. Screenshare (since the plugin was phased out) doesn't work in chromium/ubuntu, but does in firefox. I've reported all of these issues in the product forums, but haven't seen resolution on any of them.

I know google isn't "into QA", but for such a core product it's remarkably flaky.

5
furyg3 1 day ago 4 replies      
Maybe it's just me, but I've had this functionality on the iOS version of Hangouts for a while (I already have Google Voice). Outgoing phone calls from Hangouts show my GV number as caller ID. Incoming calls also ring on my Hangouts app. I did not know that that wasn't available for Android users...

Anyway, it's very handy. I have a US Google Voice account, but live abroad. Calls from hangouts are the primary way I talk to my friends and family back home. Wifi or a very strong 4G signal is required, 3G doesn't really cut it.

6
davidw 1 day ago 3 replies      
Didn't this used to work fine with Google Voice and Google Chat? Then they broke it, and now it's fixed?

Lately, Google Hangouts has been giving me abysmal results when talking to my parents in the US. The video freezes every minute or so, and even voice only doesn't work so well. It used to work much better.

7
kilovoltaire 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just in case anyone else was wondering what the most expensive rate is...

  Array.prototype.slice.call($$('td')).sort(function(a, b) { return parseInt(a.textContent.replace(/\D+/g, "")) - parseInt(b.textContent.replace(/\D+/g, "")); }).slice(-1)[0].parentNode
Satellite Service - Thuraya$7.25 per minute

8
aviv 1 day ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug: if anyone is interested in helping a startup test out their VoIP infrastructure, let me know (email in profile) and I'll hook you up with a free SIP trunk you can use for a while for both domestic and international calls. Conversational traffic only please, no automated dialers of any kind. To be used with any SIP client of your choice.
9
mcintyre1994 1 day ago 5 replies      
"its free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada"

It's great that expensive international calls are a thing of the past by now but is this really the right way to go? I'm in the UK - do I have to pay international rates to call UK numbers or will I just not be able to call from the UK 'yet'?

10
gchp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Free in price perhaps, but I'm not sure how readily I'm going to start using this. Call me paranoid but voice calls are probably the one part of my life right now that Google don't have access to. I just don't know how I feel about handing another piece of information over to them. It's not even that it's Google - I'd say the same thing for any other corporation trying this. I removed Facebook from my phone for this very reason. Just makes me feel that little bit uneasy.
11
michokest 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish Google would take a second to try their own iOS dialer in real-life scenarios:

1) Paste an international number like +34 911 111 111 from the web to Hangouts: it gets pasted as 34911111111, losing the +

2) They don't follow the standard text input element, so it's not possible to go to the beginning of the line and add a +

3) ... now you're stuck with app switching and TYPING NUMBERS IN, NUMBER BY NUMBER

There's that and then there's the horrible Hangouts video chat experience. I can't count how many hours I've wasted trying to explain other people how to join a call or share their screen before giving up and doing a voice call or skype.

12
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really sad that Google took all that direction with Hangouts.

Now requesting any bug fixes for federated Google Talk is just pointless. Google completely ignores them under excuse that "Hangouts is the way now".

For example there is no hope they'll fix server to server encryption which they don't provide in Google Talk federation, which cut off all contacts from there since a lot of servers now make such encryption mandatory.

13
AdmiralAsshat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Finally. Now when I'm in my basement I can at least wifi-call my family from my cellphone instead of having to open up my damn laptop to call from a Chrome gmail browser tab.
14
eitally 1 day ago 0 replies      
Beware to everyone setting incoming Voice calls to ring in Hangouts. YOU NEED TO DISABLE THIS FEATURE IN VOICE AT THE SAME TIME, or your phone will ring in two different apps, and continue ringing in the second one even after you answer the call in the first one (no matter whether that's the Android Phone app or Hangouts). This embarrassed me on a business call today.
15
abcdefidk 1 day ago 5 replies      
So.....

Why are we paying for ginormously expensive cell phone bills again? With a wifi connection, you can now:

Talk

Text

Send MMS (think Snapchat)

Do everything else smartphone-wise.

I know a few things that might run into issues - you can't take a call while on the road without cell service. GPS would be a no-go. Things like Google Maps and Nike Running wouldn't work.

But aside from that.... what good reasons still exist for having a cell phone bill?

16
wiredfool 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please please please don't screw up Google Voice.
17
ErikRogneby 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can install the dialer, but can't seem to find the 2.3 upgrade from 2.1.2. You'd think this would work on a Nexus 4. EDIT "To get started on Android, just grab the new version of Hangouts (v2.3, rolling out over the next few days),"

Why release the dialer in the play store if it requires a yet to be released updated hangouts version?

18
pouzy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, this took a while. It's been the most frustrating experience having Hangouts since it rolled out, because of this exact issue: I based everything on GrooveIP at the time, having a small voice plan but unlimited data. Then Hangouts showed up and everything became messy (I still hate hangouts, putting SMS and web chat at the same place is very confusing for the average user)

I wrote this a bit more that a year ago about how all of Google's products are becoming too complicated: http://oneurl.me/google-my-mom-cant-use-your-new-products

This is all linked to the Google+ spirit: Trying to make things work when they clearly don't.

The GV/hangouts app hasn't been rolled out on my phone yet, but I'm looking forward to see what complications it creates :)

19
mncolinlee 1 day ago 2 replies      
Who needs a voice plan now?

You can also receive calls on your Google Voice number in Hangouts. This means that if you have data service, you can make and receive calls.

It seems the best argument for a voice and SMS plan nowadays is for traveling in areas where data coverage is poor or spotty.

20
smeyer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this still possible from gchat? That used to be (and possibly still is) an option if I recall correctly.
21
duked 1 day ago 2 replies      
I tried to look at the details but couldn't find out, so may be someone has the answer. Do I need to have a google+ account to use hangout or my gmail address is fine ? I just don't want a g+ account and don't want to be tricked into creating one by mistake.
22
khc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can this hand off between Wifi and data? Multipath TCP?
23
jebblue 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using this on Ubuntu Desktop for several months instead of the older GTalk. It works great for plain numbers too, just click in the field to give it the focus and type or paste in your plain number to dial.
24
leni536 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm using a sip provider with much better international call rates than this, however I understand that free calls in the US is really good. I don't have contacts in the US though.

I'm using voipstunt.com now with qutecom (after I really fed up with Skype) but there are many similar providers. I'm making phone calls 0.01 EUR/min + VAT to mobile in Hungary (where I live) which is not free but still much better than other providers here.

Also I could bind my phone number so others can see my number when they receive my calls so they can call me back. I don't know if hangouts handles that.

25
djyaz1200 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is all headed to one login for all your email, sms, chat, etc. Gmail, Hangouts, Voice are all converging. Communication is far more valuable from a data science (aka marketing) standpoint than "social." Who you have as a "connection" on any network is nearly meaningless now, however who you actually talk to is very valuable information. This is why (not trying to start a political discussion) NSA stores meta data about who people talk to on the phone.
26
AndrewBissell 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been running without a full wireless plan for a little over a year now. I just connect my phone to the MiFi I have for work and route calls to a Google Voice number through a privately-run SIP server. Using SIP was always a little spotty and inconsistent, so I'm looking forward to trying out the Hangouts calls.

If you're tired of paying wireless carriers $90/month I think this makes data-only solutions much easier to use now.

27
davidradcliffe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've only used google voice for the incoming calls and voicemail features. Hopefully those don't get lost in the shuffle.
28
jrochkind1 1 day ago 1 reply      
> you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web.

How do I get to google hangouts on the web, and use it to make free calls? I can't even find a google hangouts on the web, googling for it just sends me to things suggesting I download an app.

29
Watabou 1 day ago 0 replies      
It also looks like they finally updated Google Voice for iOS 7. You know, a week before iOS 8 is released.

Hey I'm happy though! This means all my apps finally have the design of iOS 7.

I hope they have fixed the notification bug that plagued the previous version.

30
donniezazen 1 day ago 0 replies      
All my devices are incompatible with Hangouts Dialer. Is the dialer only for Google Voice users. I can call US from international locations without GV number and I have wanted this on phone for so long. Does anyone have any information?
31
eyeareque 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was really hoping the Google Voice app for iOS would get another update, but that seems even more unlikely now.

Sadly, I cannot use my main gmail account with hangouts, as I don't want to create a google+ account for it. Oh well.

32
aggieben 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure I get it....didn't Hangouts already do this? I've been making outgoing calls from Hangouts for months, at least. Edit: ooooohhhh, this is just Android catching up to the rest of us. Got it.
33
drewr 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would rather audio text message. I want something like Glide, but without video. Sometimes a txt doesn't do it, but I don't want to enter into the time-consuming ceremony of a phone call/voicemail.
34
gk1 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great and comes just in time for me. I'm close to my monthly minutes limit and have resorted to using Hangouts and Skype, where I still have some credits remaining. Now it'll be a no-brainer, if the calls are free.
35
veidr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been making free calls from the Hangouts app on my iPhone for many months. What's new about this?

I read the post nothing jumps out at me.

36
s3r3nity 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why is this front page? Facebook has had free voice calls in their messaging app for almost a year now.
37
vmarsy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Weren't the calls already free on Google Voice for years?
38
ulfw 1 day ago 2 replies      
Introducing the simple rebranding/reworking of Google Voice into Hangouts.

(the same 'free calls' have been on Google Voice for years)

39
philchambers 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://g2m.me/ - GoToMeeting's new WebRTC Free product is decent.
40
Zikes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this is why I haven't been getting notifications for text messages on my Google Voice number for the past couple of months.
41
broabprobe 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is new? I've been using Hangouts on my iPhone as the only way I make calls for over a year now...
42
lxfontes 1 day ago 0 replies      
tinfoil alert

your data will flow through google's RTP proxies (see STUN/TURN). Probably in US.

43
460200 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the best! Only a data connection will be needed now for everything.
44
spacefight 1 day ago 0 replies      
Introducing free full voice capture and voice analysis via your favorite NSL.
45
toyg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does this mean us European peons can finally use Google Voice...?
46
cranklin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now, when will they re-enable hangouts on google glass?
47
benbristow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not in the UK as per usual. Thanks Google.
48
findjashua 1 day ago 1 reply      
Goodbye Skype! You won't be missed.
49
miah_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for my voice call to be interrupted by a pop up letting me know that I'm typing while on a call.
50
akbaralis 1 day ago 0 replies      
End for Google Voice?
51
higherpurpose 1 day ago 1 reply      
> its free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low

So is it free to call a US number from another country, too? Or only if you call from inside US?

52
lutusp 1 day ago 0 replies      
This might be premature. I still can't use Hangouts to make voice-only calls, and I end up going back to its predecessor over and over.

When I try to use Hangouts for ordinary phone calls, the system assumes I want a video chat, and can't seem to understand that I want to use my USB headset, not the microphone on the video camera and the system speakers, for a voice-only call. I've never been able to train the system to default to the USB headset and leave the video camera out of the equation.

I'm going to try the new version on principle, but I have serious doubts.

9
Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain
457 points by shahmeern  21 hours ago   167 comments top 23
1
blennon 20 hours ago 5 replies      
This condition is known as cerebellar agenesis. A review of many of the case studies was done by a prominent cerebellum researcher [1]. Typically the individuals that survive past birth live relatively normal lives but with impaired motor skills which are slower to develop. Their abilities are remarkable given that acute lesions to the cerebellum result in much more significant impairments (e.g. not being able to touch your nose with the tip of your finger in one smooth, coordinated movement).

These individuals probably also exhibit diminished cognitive function as well. Only recently has it been recognized that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition [2]. It's interesting to note that you don't need a cerebellum to move or think, but the loss of it impairs both. Contrast this to damage to your motor cortex which can result in paralysis.

[1] Glickstein, M (1994). Cerebellar Agenesis. Brain, 117, 1209-1212.[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23996631

2
karpathy 20 hours ago 7 replies      
This also reminds me of Hemispherectomy[0] where an entire half of the brain is surgically removed in extreme cases to prevent seizures. And amazingly, especially if you do this on younger children:

"Studies have found no significant long-term effects on memory, personality, or humor,[4] and minimal changes in cognitive function overall."

If you don't _really_ need half of the brain and you don't _really_ need the cerebellum, I wonder how little (and what part) of the brain we actually do _really_ need. And then there are so many people living just fine with lesions in so many parts of the brain.

It's just amazing. Imagine going into our code bases and tearing out entire classes or modules; That wouldn't go down well.

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

3
smtddr 20 hours ago 5 replies      
I love how these kinds of discoveries challenge, if not out right shatter, our current scientific understanding of human beings.

Again, I recommend Gattaca movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/

Don't let medical science try to dictate your potential based on gender, race or anything about your DNA. They're only right until they find out they're wrong.

4
e0m 20 hours ago 6 replies      
Wow, could you imagine building a computer so resilient that it still works after a part equivalently important disappeared
5
jrkelly 20 hours ago 2 replies      
The robustness of evolved systems is just crazy.
6
blisterpeanuts 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is fascinating because the cerebellum is part of the "reptilian brain", one of the three sections of the mammalian triune brain that include the limbic and neocortex as well.

The reptilian brain is responsible for basic motor functions, heart rate, temperature regulation, and balance, and evolutionarily seems to be the part of the brain that is most connected to that of ancient fish and reptiles, as the name implies.

A person who is missing a portion of this rigid subsystem should still be able to think, process new information, and remember it, but might suffer from imbalance and other basic health issues as in fact this woman does. Yet, she can do lots of stuff. Apparently the surviving portions of her reptilian brain are able to compensate for the loss of the cerebellum.

It sheds a whole new light on a phrase like "my cold reptilian hindbrain tells me to ruthlessly proceed". We think of ourselves having this sort of emotionless hindbrain that is moderated by the more modern brain centers for sympathy, empathy, emotion, and higher reasoning. But what if in fact there is no such thing as a ruthless, primitive hindbrain and we are all completely in charge of our behavior, ethically and emotionally speaking?

http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_05/d_05_cr/d_05_cr_her/d...

7
otoburb 21 hours ago 1 reply      
>"[...] the woman joins an elite club of just nine people who are known to have lived without their entire cerebellum. A detailed description of how the disorder affects a living adult is almost non-existent, say doctors from the Chinese hospital, because most people with the condition die at a young age and the problem is only discovered on autopsy."

Is this woman the only one of the nine to have lived this long? Incredible given how critical the cerebellum is.

8
mrb 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is fascinating considering that the cerebellum contains more neurons than the rest of the brain(!) (source: http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu/s3/chapter05.html). I wonder what other problems she experiences (the article only says she started speaking and walking at age 6-7).
9
lizzard 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope she knows all the lyrics to The Ramones' "Teenage Lobotomy".

"Then I guess I'll have to tell 'em / That I've got no cerebellum."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ssoBUb2cJk

10
vhost- 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The brain knows how to survive, that's for sure... http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/12/woman.brain/index.html?...
11
lostlogin 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The upper image which I assume is her MRI scan is interesting. It isn't just her cerebellum missing - her brain stem looks odd too. Where is the pons? Where are the cranial nerves attaching? Need more images!Edit. On closer reading this article isn't great. <<Doctors did a CAT scan and immediately identified the source of the problem her entire cerebellum was missing (see scan, below left)>>. Assuming it isn't some sort of problem related to me viewing the article on a phone, that image is an MR. No CATs involved.
12
Osmium 20 hours ago 2 replies      
> Her doctors describe these effects as "less than would be expected"

Understatement of the century? I wonder, then, what parts of the brain (if any) truly are essential for conscious thought?

13
rmc 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Remember things like this when people talk about biological differences between men and women's brains. Studies sometimes find tiny differences, and then some people claim that's why 19 out of 20 board members are men. It's not bias, it's science!

But if people can live missing massive chunks of their brain, is it really believable that tiny differences can cause such massive societal outcomes?

14
timle 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have always found it fascinating that the cerebellum has more neurons than the rest of the brain. What the heck is going on in there.
15
lostlogin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
16
z3t4 17 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine lost the left side of his brain ... And he's all right now!
17
sramsay 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"Don't mind the gap . . ."

Perhaps a more tasteful lead-in was in order.

18
mmcclellan 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm being sincere here. I am surprised and excited to see interest in this. Someone very close to me has no discernible cerebellum and no one we've seen or known has ever considered it medically interesting.
19
2xlbuds 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm really curious, how would this woman react to alcohol?
20
toblender 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Talk about living on "Hard" mode.
21
clueless123 19 hours ago 0 replies      
That is nothing... I know of several politicians that have no brain at all, and no one has noticed yet. jk,jk
22
josu 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Is the picture of the CT scan real or just an illustration? Because I would assume that even if the woman doesn't have a cerebellum the brain should expand to occupy that space.
23
fiatjaf 20 hours ago 4 replies      
It's strange how materialists of all sorts (just look at the comments) take it for granted that, no matter how scientifically absurd, these facts cannot be used as evidence for non-materialistic explanations of the life and the world. Everything will be explained by materialistic science, and that is settled.
10
Stripe and Apple Pay
446 points by Peroni  2 days ago   96 comments top 13
1
nextstep 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'm not sure I understand Stripe's value proposition here. What is the benefit of using Stripe's library over using ApplePay (PassKit) directly? (Honest question)
2
Letio 2 days ago 1 reply      
Patrick,

Curious, was the majority of the work required to support ApplePay related to the format of the PKPayment? I assume in other cases, you just pass the raw PAN + pin, etc, where as now you need to pass the encrypted single use token + cryptographic data + more. Was more work required to support ApplePay?

And if so, did Visa/MC/Amex and the processing networks recently start supporting this payload, or has it been in place for some time?

Finally, what does Apple use the Merchant ID for?

3
nlh 2 days ago 1 reply      
I presume from what I've read/seen, ApplePay will be app-only (i.e. iOS) for launch. But I've got to imagine they (as in, Apple and Stripe) will integrate with web-based payment forms as step 2.

Or, should I say, "I hope"...

4
bhartzer 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's great to see Stripe endorsing Apple Pay. But from a dev standpoint, how difficult is it to integrate?
5
eyevinx 2 days ago 2 replies      
No API for web?
6
jefftchan 2 days ago 6 replies      
Can we now use Stripe + Apple Pay to circumvent 30% revenue cut?
8
biafra 2 days ago 1 reply      
In which countries will Apple Pay launch in October?
9
bmurali 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can Apple Pay be bypassed?
10
thegreatpeter 2 days ago 1 reply      
What scares me is that Stripe knew my email address and prefilled the box.
11
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 2 replies      
Obvious question - when can I store my stellar or bitcoin in my apple pay "wallet"? Or have I misunderstood?
12
eculic17 2 days ago 0 replies      
they're so on it!
13
jMyles 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something something Bitcoin something decentralized fiat currency blah blah blah.
11
Exploding Offers Suck
411 points by lalwanivikas  3 days ago   169 comments top 34
1
malgorithms 3 days ago 6 replies      
A dear friend and excellent negotiator told me that when he gets any kind of short-term exploding offer, the first thing he does is verbally reject the deadline. And the second thing he does is ignore the deadline and offer feedback only after it has passed.

I've seen him employ this many times in practice and it has always worked out. I don't want to be responsible for anyone losing a deal, but remember: when someone offers you an exploding offer, it's because they really, really want you to take it. If anything, it should be a sign there's (a) more time to be had, and (b) plenty of room on the terms.

Any deadline claim has to be concrete and believable. The start of the YC program is a good example.

2
DanBlake 3 days ago 5 replies      
It is pretty clear to see whats going on:

It is without question that most people applying to incubators apply to a few of them, in case they don't get into the (obviously) best one, YC.

Its my guess that some of the less exciting incubators give these exploding term sheets to make the founder think:

"Damn, I got into Incubator X but I have to say yes in 48 hours. I wonder if I will get accepted into YC also when answers go out in 2 weeks. Should I risk walking away with nothing, or just take the offer I have now..."

Would not be surprised to see more incubators doing this anyways, with or without exploding term sheets. They will likely just move up the dates their sessions start (and the date you need to say yes by), to make sure its before YC answers go out.

On the same hand, I am not sure what you expect other incubators to do. YC is hands down the most prestigious incubator to get into and everyone knows that. So, you have a bunch of other incubators that have to think scrappy to get people into their programs. These guys don't just want YC's cast-offs, after all.

If YC was to start doing rolling acceptances for a start date, it would solve the issue of other people doing exploding term sheets. If I apply to YC today for the winter batch and can interview and get a yes in a few weeks, then the motivation for other incubators to do this behavior is gone.

YC partners need to realize they are the cause of other incubators giving out exploding term sheets. I know YC likes to make a event of doing all the interviews/acceptances on one day, but it would certainly be much more entrepreneur friendly to have it be rolling admissions. The start dates for sessions can still remain the same of course.

3
nihaar 3 days ago 3 replies      
When my co-founders and I were applying to accelerators in 2008, we had been accepted into a Philadelphia based accelerator called DreamIt shortly before our YC interviews. Not knowing if we would get into YC, we accepted with DreamIt as it was an exploding offer. A few weeks later we found that we got accepted by YC. After deliberating it for sometime, we went back to the DreamIt team and told them that we wished to rescind our acceptance. This started a shitstorm with the DreamIt team as they seemed to take this very personally. It was the first year of doing the accelerator and they went as far as threatening to take legal action. Not knowing what to do, we turned to PG and Jessica for help, a bit hesitantly, as we were afraid of what they would say. PG expressed his extreme disappointment with how DreamIt had reacted to this and was supportive of our situation. He send them an email telling them to back off and that this was not an acceptable way to be treating founders.

Just one anecdote out of many of how YC has gone to many lengths to protect founders.

Since that experience, I've realized that it really doesn't do accelerators any good to introduce these conditions in their funding offers. It creates a bad reputation amongst founders in the increasingly competitive field of accelerators. And founders ultimately need to pick based on what they think will have the most impact to their business. Compete on benefits you can offer to founders, not legalese.

4
seats 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm an MD for Techstars and I completely agree. This is the approach we've always taken for the programs that I've run, (Techstars Cloud and the Austin TS program).

In several cases, just as a consequence of the calendar, the timing of when we've given offers out can create tension for a company, particularly if it lands in between the YC interview notification and the actual YC interview. When it's come up in the past I've aways encouraged founders to notify YC and see if they can either take the interview early or if our timeline permits, to let them take their YC interview knowing that they have a standing offer from me regardless.

I've had some people mention to me that this is merely bolstering these companies' applications to YC, but I don't view it that way and regardless of which program they end up in, it's the right thing to do imo. It's actually worked out quite well and I'm happy with the companies that chose Techstars in those scenarios over YC, and also completely happy for the companies that chose YC.

5
ivankirigin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is this a change for YC? YC previously required getting an answer the day you're accepted because "you have all the information". So this is an update to allow people time to decide, right?

I always found the justification of having all the information a bit self centered. Founders have all the information... about YC, but not about other options.

That said, as a YC alum, I think you should almost certainly say yes if accepted.

6
calpaterson 3 days ago 2 replies      
Cool change of policy. Brian Chesky says in this video that Y Combinator gave AirBNB an exploding offer back in 2009:

http://youtu.be/6yPfxcqEXhE?t=53m6s

7
jusben1369 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure Sam's heart is in the right place but I'm not sure I agree with him here:

"Exploding offers suck. Founders should be able to choose the investor they want to work with, not have to make a decision based on time pressure."

and investors should be able to choose the founders they want to work with. And accelerators are the one's who make it all about the calendar. So they inject the notion of time and deadlines (YCSpring12 etc)

"where an accelerator tries to force a company to make a decision about a funding offer before the company has a chance to finish talking to other accelerators."

The risk here is that sounds like sour grapes.

"after we make you an offer, well give you until the beginning of our program to decide (though most companies accept quickly, because you cant start having office hours with us and participating in other ways until you accept). We ask companies to be transparent with us about needing more time--we won't rescind our offer. Its usually about 45 days from interview to the start of the batch."

- We use "soft" deadlines. You don't get access to important resources until you say yes. And yes look we have 45 days from interview to the start of the batch (there's that pesky calendar coming into play)

"We encourage all other accelerators to join us on this. It should be an easy yes. Exploding offers are the wrong thing for founders, and an accelerator that does the wrong thing for founders will not last long."

- We're the pre-eminent accelerator and other accelerators should play by the same rules as that way we'll stay the pre-eminent accelerator!

"And founders should think very hard about joining an accelerator that puts forth a short-fuse offer."

Once again makes me feel like they're losing out to this tactic and it's hurting. And a bit of FUD?

Are you creating startups that have to go out and compete in a very competitive world? Seems like insulating them from making important business decisions is a little counter intuitive.

Again, I'm sure Sam's motives are pure. This is a little tin can ear to me and whiny.

8
JOnAgain 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's a little different for a lot of other accelerators. YC takes batches of, what? like 40 companies or so in a batch? Most other accelerators are smaller with class sizes around 10. If YC is shooting for 40, and gets 37, it's maybe not a huge deal (8% under target). You could even make 42 or 44 offers and plan for a certain acceptance rate, end up with 44 probably isn't the end of the world (110% capacity).

If another is shooting for 10 and gets 7, that's a 30% drop which is probably enough to mess with the economics of the accelerator. Similarly, if they make 12 offers planning for a certain acceptance rate and end up with all 12, they're at 120% capacity, which also might be enough to mess with the economics.

I still think exploding offers suck, but YC is in a much stronger position to be relaxed about them than others.

9
chrisbennet 3 days ago 1 reply      
In general, if someone wants me to agree to something "big" immediately, I figure that they don't want me to have time to consider it carefully.

If you don't want me to think about something, I figure you know I would probably decide against your offer (if I did think about it).

10
Grae 3 days ago 0 replies      
While I agree with the points made in this post, it's important to note that the strategy of condemning offers with a short term plays in the favor of YC and other established/larger accelerators and to the detriment of newer/smaller accelerators.

As others have noted, there may be compelling reasons to require an offer be accepted on a short timeline or not at all. In fact, as raised elsewhere in this thread, YC itself used to require acceptance the same day the offer was made.

From an entrepreneur's perspective, given two offers at equivalent valuations and terms it's rational to take the offer at the more established accelerator (e.g. YC) over a less well known one. It's also less important for large accelerators to allocate each open position in each cohort, and thus easier for larger accelerators (e.g. YC) to tolerate losing a few deals last minute.

Again, I agree with the points made in the post, but it's important to note that making longer term offers the norm plays in YC's favor.

11
far33d 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is true for ALL exploding offers. Not just accelerators or investment term sheets, but for employment as well.
12
mathattack 3 days ago 0 replies      
A couple observations...

1 - If you're good enough to be accepted by one incubator, you have an incubator-worthy idea and team. If they go away, another will arrive.

2 - The person forcing your hand is trying to use their temporary leverage over you until you have leverage over them. It sets the tone of the relationship on leverage.

3 - That said, people with lower acceptance rates (whether it's accelerators, colleges, etc) have to play yield games. Harvard yields ~80% of admits so they can wait their time because they are confident of admits, and it won't impact their capacity. Amherst accepts ~40%, so they have to play the waiting-list game. The 2nd tier accelerators have to play waiting list games, and that's what drives this behavior. 48 hours is unreasonable, but a few weeks isn't. (Or having a formalized waiting list too)

13
clamprecht 3 days ago 0 replies      
It seems like the other accelerators are doing this so they don't end up with only YC-rejects. Since YC is probably considered the top accelerator, it's also better for YC to have other accelerators not give exploding offers. Because then the few companies that would have accepted the exploding offers AND also would have gotten into YC, can now actually go to YC instead of accepting an exploding offer. If I missed something, I'm sure you'll point it out ;)
14
kordless 3 days ago 1 reply      
I accepted an exploding offer. It was a harbinger to a larger detonation.

There's a simple way of looking at this type of behavior: If someone is willing to go negative on you at the beginning (evidenced by 'denying' you an investment because you didn't take it when they wanted you to take it) then you should assume they will be willing to go negative on something else of a similar or greater magnitude at a later date.

15
typpo 3 days ago 1 reply      
This seems like a step forward. Exploding offers are generally unpleasant, usually a power play from the side that has less to lose.

It's also common practice for companies to extend exploding offers to new hires. Replace "accelerators" with "companies" and "founders" with "hires" and you get a very similar argument for not forcing people to take a job until they've completed their own decisionmaking process (this ultimately benefits the company as well, in my opinion).

16
rjf1331 3 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with the concept for the most part, but have a few gripes.

First, the desk space argument is very real. Y Combinator takes 60+ companies and has no real space constraints since they do not offer office space. Other accelerators take far fewer companies and do have office space, so they need to know ahead of time 1) that their batch will be full and 2) that each company has passed their own due diligence process.

Also, as with term sheets, founders can take their offer from one accelerator and shop it to others. It's happened before (with people I know), who take an offer from one accelerator and use it to trigger FOMO from the other.

Couldn't an accelerator just position it's start date before Y Combinator's decision date, and therefore not need an exploding offer but have the same effect?

Exploding offers should be reasonable, and I'm not against being fair to founders. But doesn't democratizing this essentially involve accelerators colluding to have the same offer/acceptance date?

17
rickdale 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is a tactic I see used on the micro level on Shark Tank where usually Mark Cuban will be like "25 second shot clock, you gotta decide right now." Being a Shark Tank and Dragons Den addict (both Canada and UK versions) I can say the greatest difference between the US version and the others is this tactic. I have never seen any of the Canadian or UK investors do anything remotely similar. Usually they are more impressed by companies that take the time to think about the offers. Just an observation.
18
beat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used an exploding offer effectively once. I was buying a house in 2002, during the crazy bull market on housing. Houses in the neighborhoods we were shopping regularly went for more than list, with competing bids. We finally found a house, at the very top of our price range, and put an offer in for it just a few hours after it first listed - for list price. The seller's agent was furious! She really wanted to drag it out to the weekend and get a bidding war, which we absolutely could not afford. But what were they going to do... turn down a list price offer? Why not just sell it at a higher price, then?

We still have that house, 12 years later. It's finally worth what we paid for it again. Sigh.

19
govindkabra31 3 days ago 0 replies      
A good alternative for YC to consider is to change to a 'continuous' mode.. where you incubate companies on 1st Tue of every month. The companies in a batch are already in variety of stages, some just starting with an idea, some with some market validation done, some may even have raised $500K round before.

This is very much unlike a college or a vocational class, where all participants are in more or less same stage.

20
ISL 3 days ago 3 replies      
Academic here: Doesn't this post state that the offer has a 45-day duration?

Are offers that "explode" only a few days in duration?

21
dmourati 3 days ago 1 reply      
I got an exploding offer for employment and came to the same conclusion. The company is called Loyal3: https://www.loyal3.com/

Steer clear of them.

"Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like."

22
mathattack 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's not the same as job interview exploding offers, but the thought process behind it is the same.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/11/26.html

23
jacquesm 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's simple: if you're being pressured just say 'no'. There is no upside to negotiations under pressure, only downsides. Likely the pressure is there because if you thought about it long enough you'd refuse the deal anyway, so you might as well refuse it right off the bat and tell the counterparty the time-limit is what caused you to refuse.

If you have no other options then likely you already made a series of mistakes. Exceptions exist but don't happen often enough to go and make a series of qualifications here, adding pressure is similar to being blackmailed, the only reasonable course is to refuse to play.

24
VarunMKhona 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is sensible and good for the entrepreneur. If its good for the entrepreneur, its good for the prospective accelerator, its good for the prospective investors and so on and so forth. The virtuous cycle is for real. The issue is the not-so-famous accelerators bear the brunt because almost all applicants are awaiting response from YC and not the other way around. If the conclusion of this is you give you short-term exploding offer, the accelerators have got it all wrong. Instead, the right perspective is that they need to make their value prop as strong as a YC. Glass half-full/half-empty, remember?
25
teachingaway 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's a balance between "exploding" offers and hang-around-forever offers. You don't want someone to come back 6 months later and say they're finally ready to accept your offer.

Its not difficult to balance these factors. Just ask, "how long do you need to consider this deal?" "Two weeks? Four weeks?" "If you need more time, just give me a call."

26
jpetersonmn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Exploding offers make perfect sense in situations like this. Especially if you're given 48 hours, that's plenty of time to accept/decline. And if it's not enough time then you weren't ready to play ball yet anyway. If I'm making someone an offer, I'm not giving them weeks to decide so that they can go shop around for something better.
27
rdl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd feel a bit more ok with exploding offers for organizations where there are a finite number of slots -- e.g. if an accelerator is very small and capital or other resource constrained, or has a hardware lab and limit space, or something like that. None of that applies to YC, of course.
28
andykmaguire 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sam - This is standard fare not just for accelerators but VC term sheets as well. Curious if you apply your logic in that case as well?
29
the_cat_kittles 3 days ago 0 replies      
the solution: a centralized clearinghouse that uses the gale shapely deferred acceptance algorithm
30
lukasm 3 days ago 1 reply      
What if you accept the exploding offer and then break the contract or avoid to sign it?
31
legohead 3 days ago 1 reply      
exploding offers call for exploding counter-offers
32
jgalt212 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most exploding offers don't represent credible threats. That being said, if someone jumped at one of my exploding offers, I'd definitely try to negotiate a better price ex post facto given my read that the counterparty is so jumpy.
33
kazinator 3 days ago 0 replies      
> It may be the best thing for accelerators to use time pressure to get founders to accept their offer, but its definitely not the best thing for founders.

Why should accelerators should do what is best for someone else, not themselves?

The world is full of expiring offers of all kinds; they are everywhere. Rarely does any kind of offer stand for as long as we would like. Expiry of offers is the norm.

Also, Golden Rule: he who has the gold, sets the rules.

34
MarkPNeyer 3 days ago 0 replies      
> It may be the best thing for accelerators to use time pressure to get founders to accept their offer, but its definitely not the best thing for founders.

isn't that 'not the best thing for accelerators' in the long run as well? if you're using a strategy which is clearly not win-win, you're going to lose _good_ deals to people who aren't doing that - so you'll get stuck with a portfolio of companies run by founders not smart enough to see this for what it is. enjoy, sucker!

12
Apple event overshadows unflattering news at Snapchat, Tinder
416 points by wmt  2 days ago   100 comments top 13
1
downandout 2 days ago 5 replies      
As a co-founder who got screwed on a large acquisition, it makes me happy to see that Snapchat finally settled. However, a settlement doesn't change the fact that Evan Spiegel really went out of his way to intentionally screw the guy that actually invented Snapchat's model - and seemed to enjoy doing it. He's definitely not someone I'd ever do business with.

http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-lawsuit-video-deposi...

2
flurdy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I was going to link to the mandatory reading of Joel Spolsky's canonical answer on splitting shares in startups between founders and beyond. But as Stack Exchange's policy of shuttering less popular subsites that is now lost in its original form :( It was originally here http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/6949/forming-a-new-s... Is there a good reproduction elsewhere?
3
autism_hurts 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is there any interest in "this is how I got fucked" at a startup type article, or is it so common that it doesn't matter?

I have an experience...

4
crag 1 day ago 2 replies      
Money. Greed. It destroys more friendships (and marriages) than anything else.

So what's the lesson here? Don't be careless. I don't care what the idea (startup) is - get the details on paper. True, 99% of startups fail, but you don't want to be in that 1% that's making the lawyers rich.

5
tomp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Honestly, I don't see either of these as nothing but positive news (for the companies, not necessarily for all the people involved).
6
dreamweapon 1 day ago 0 replies      
A beautiful way of saying, "We're sorry... but not really sorry."
7
snoman 1 day ago 0 replies      
After the 3rd mention of Apple before the story intro was completed, in an article that (by all appearances) isn't actually about Apple at all, I decided that this just isn't a news source worth reading.
8
curiousDog 2 days ago 3 replies      
As a side note, is it still wise/advisable to join Snapchat as an engineer? Particularly for Visa candidates whee the risk is higher?
9
at-fates-hands 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting all the outrage about Whitney Wolfe and all the articles about her and sexual harassment and sexism in tech while her case was going on.

Now she finally wins her case and its like a blip on the radar? Pretty sad if you ask me.

10
notastartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the headline, I thought that Apple had banned those two applications.
11
jedanbik 1 day ago 2 replies      
How is this Apple's fault? Slapping the big A on the headline seems like a derail at best.
12
TaoloModisi 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's interesting the news on Tinder and Snap Chat came around the same time of Apples new iPhones and iWatch release. In fact, it's no coincidence they must have been trying to hide behind the noise.
13
compare 2 days ago 7 replies      
Seems a bit comical that the article claims this to be the first disappearing photo app. I created and launched one myself a year before Snapchat started...

The normal way for start founders to receive equity, is only from one or more of these 3 things:

- For hours worked, based on the vesting and usually the hours must be beyond the cliff or you get nothing.

- If you built a crucial part of the IP that the company needs to buy from you with equity.

- Cash invested up front - less common.

He fulfilled none of those. Not even close to being a cofounder. Ideas aren't included among those.

13
Issue #3 Better Late Than Never
341 points by bpierre  3 days ago   43 comments top 15
1
scrollaway 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reading about neovim is very cool. It's nice to see such an actively beloved open source project which is all about modernizing an old tool (and that means 90% "backend" stuff), and it's a big breath of fresh air to see how well organized they are.
2
hackuser 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most importantly, thank you Bram Moolenaar! Vim is the probably my most productive tool and it's certainly my favorite.

If you donated to Neovim, consider also donating to Bram's charity.[1] All of us who have benefited so much, and for free, from Bram's efforts owe him thanks, respect and much more.

[1] http://iccf-holland.org/

(I'm a satisfied Vim user and see no need for any major revision. Perhaps others with different needs feel differently, and it has been discussed before:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7287668 )

3
famblycat 2 days ago 1 reply      
This thread is a good example of why the policy requiring that a post title must match the article title doesn't always work.

The title is okay within the context of the site it's on, but it's completely nonsensical on its own without that context.

4
phireph0x 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a vim user for many years, I'm also glad to see this project take off, and will give it a spin soon.

Just curious, how is this project being received by Bram Moolenaar, the creator (and BDFL I believe) of vim?...Just found an answer https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/vim_dev/x0BF9Y0Uby...

5
yepguy 2 days ago 3 replies      
Reading through the Github proposal for Go plugin integration, I'm pretty confused about Neovim's plugin architecture. I had thought that Neovim's plugins would be language agnostic, with external processes communicating with Neovim using msgpack-rpc (presumably paired with some method of telling Neovim to start those processes).

However, it looks like the proposal for Go integration is very much Go-specific, following the example set by Python-specific integration code. This makes me significantly less excited about Neovim's plugin architecture, since it now seems to me like every language may need support to be manually added to Neovim anyway. What's going on here?

6
pcmonk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love how they're also contributing upstream to libuv. This is how you do an open source, community-focused project.
7
lbradstreet 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am seriously glad that this is a thing. I donated after the original bountysource, and seeing the momentum I may just donate again.
8
pestaa 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really looking forward to seeing neovim make it possible to put it in a nice GUI. I know it's an application that meant to be used with the keyboard, but gVim always refuses to behave in maximized windows, doesn't handle random window widths, etc. Is there a good workaround while this dream is coming true?
9
elwell 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's the equivalent of Newvim for Emacs? I had hopes for Deuce [0], but it seems stagnant.

[0] - https://github.com/hraberg/deuce "Emacs under Clojure"

10
banachtarski 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any way to link to neovim as a C library instead of using the messaging protocol? Also, where is the documentation of the protocol? I wasn't able to find it after a few minutes of browsing.
11
atdt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos for keeping up the commitment to publish regular updates. The newsletter gives the whole project a feeling of momentum and integrity.
12
RexRollman 2 days ago 2 replies      
Totally off topic but this reminds me that I need to see if I can figure out how to get Nvi to compile on OS X Mavericks. I know, I know, but it has a special place in my heart because it was the first version of Vi that I ever used.
13
varkson 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they can make Vim feel more modern and allow plugins to integrate better, I'd be very very happy to move to this software.
14
cranium 1 day ago 0 replies      
:x == :wq

(I love conciseness.)

15
TheSoftwareGuy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't been keeping up with neovim, but does it completely freak the fuck out whenever I forget I have caps lock on the way that vim does?
14
Microsoft Near Deal to Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang
350 points by thethimble  2 days ago   261 comments top 38
1
citricsquid 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is interesting given that Mojang doesn't actually own the Minecraft IP, they license it from Notch who owns it (I believe) exclusively, that's how he's able to pull in hundreds of millions per year while Mojang makes a much smaller amount. Notch previously said he's had an offer in the $2bn region and turned it down[1] so this seems /weird/, that said anything is possible!

[1] https://twitter.com/notch/status/448900844541726720

2
freshyill 2 days ago 8 replies      
My kid loves it, but I'm the one who has to deal with the mods and the shitty YouTube videos and ad-filled garbage forums made by a community that's somehow never heard of GitHub.

Hopefully Microsoft can reign in all of that crap and make the game less of a nightmare to maintain.

3
Hominem 2 days ago 3 replies      
For people under a certain age, minecraft is the Internet. If handled correctly, it will be Facebook, email, Skype and damn near everything else to an entire generation of users.

Notch didn't really see it. He created the metaverse.

4
math0ne 2 days ago 8 replies      
As an avid minecrafter since the early days I can't help but see this as a good thing. The mod community is what has made mc what it is, but it gets no support from the developers.

Minecraft has been so wildly profitable but the company is set up in a way which Mojang the developers get a tiny portion of the profits to re-invest in development.

Notch essentially diverts all the money into his own pocket while leaving a very small staff to work on what is prob the most profitable video game franchise in history. Just from a very basic business standpoint this seems to make very little sense to me.

If someone could get control of minecraft that was willing to invest in it's development amazing things could be accomplished. Imagine big budget lego minecraft expansions, minecraft re-written in C with a good rendering engine. So many things could happen!

5
mindstab 2 days ago 9 replies      
I don't get it. Mojang already made "all the money" from selling minecraft and are largely maintaining it now. I haven't heard if they even have any new games on the way? The space one was cancelled. What exactly is MS possibly getting that could be worth $2B?
6
manachar 2 days ago 3 replies      
What an odd rumor that I hope is just that.

Notch has a history of bashing Microsoft and MS's efforts to lock down Windows and Microsoft has a pretty bad track record when it comes to acquisitions. They seem to kinda squash anything interesting out of them to try to force that acquisition into helping the MS/Xbox brand.

If anyone buys Mojang I really hope it's either Valve or a company much like it. They seem much more analogous in outlook, business model and process.

7
bhouston 2 days ago 1 reply      
It makes sense to sell to me as we seem to be around peak Minecraft:

http://www.google.ca/trends/explore?hl=en-US&q=angry+birds,+... #googletrendsexplore

8
jamespitts 2 days ago 1 reply      
Remember the Bungie acquisition? Remember why Microsoft wanted Halo -- to give XBox a killer-app?

As much as I dislike indie shops getting sucked up into starships... let the well-funded VR wars begin!

9
tdicola 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, good for Mojang and notch. I kind of fear that this is just going to be another Rare though. All the talent will move on after the handcuffs are off and the popular franchises will just languish.

edit: Also I hope this wouldn't kill any momentum to get Minecraft on the Occulus Rift. Something tells me MS wouldn't be so happy to have a first class game experience on a competitor's hardware/platform.

10
theandrewbailey 2 days ago 0 replies      
> At the same time, Mr. Nadella has said Microsoft views videogames as a way to expand the company's footholds in PCs and mobile phones.

Really? The company that owns Windows feels that it doesn't have enough foothold on PCs? Really? If Nadella is talking about PC gaming, then I get it. I find it difficult to believe that they are serious about it. Remember that Games for Windows thing that Microsoft epically failed to act on?

They don't need to buy game studios, they could do fabulously by releasing old Xbox exclusives on PC. If they released that Halo Collection on PC, I'd buy it right away.

11
rcamera 2 days ago 0 replies      
If Microsoft is trying to build its own Steam competitor (which given Valve's current strategy to make Linux an alternative gaming platform to Windows, makes sense), then Minecraft is the perfect acquisition to start it up, for a number of reasons.

Minecraft is the best selling video game of all time, with over 15 million copies sold for the PC (54 million copies across all platforms), and it has over 100 million accounts registered. It is possibly the only successful indie game that has never integrated with Steam, and that has a very young userbase (based on my experience) which, given their ages, probably isn't part of Steam's userbase. All of these aspects make it a great strategic acquisition if Microsoft wants to make a new and successful game marketplace and platform for Windows.

12
jaimebuelta 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mmmm... this would be quite surprising, actually. Notch always seemed to be very fond of his independence, and he sure has enough money to back his position.
13
droopybuns 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love that there's a possibility that the solitare/minesweeper of this generation could be Minecraft.
14
Tiktaalik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised by this news because I feel like most game developers would usually pick ~100 million in income for a few years and total creative freedom over a much larger number and having to do the bidding of a corporate giant.

What makes the most sense to me is that Notch is completely tired of Minecraft, never wants to touch it again, and he wants to hand it off to someone completely. Even though he hasn't been directly working on the project for a long time now, he must still get dragged in enough that it's an issue for him.

15
xkarga00 2 days ago 2 replies      
I hope they resurrect 0x10c
17
Pyrodogg 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Minecraft modding community just had a ridiculous few weeks with the various dramas surrounding Bukkit (a popular, extensible server mod).

I can't wait to see what the reactions are to this news.

18
thetabyte 2 days ago 1 reply      
Given everything I've read from Notch in the last year or two, I would be highly unsurprised if he wasn't pushing this as a way to dump his hands of anything to do with business and/or notoriety (as much as he ever will be able to). His recent sentiments have expressed a lot of regret that he is no longer able to spend his time doing simple game programming & experimentation with a decent level of obscurity -- and I can't blame him for it. This is wild speculation, of course.
19
annnnd 2 days ago 0 replies      
> The deal would be valued at more than $2 billion...> Mojang has sold over 50 million copies of "Minecraft" since it was initially released in 2009...

$40 per a customer? It seems a bit excessive to me, unless MS counts on extracting more money from the same customers...

20
joshdance 2 days ago 1 reply      
Talked to a die hard Minecraft fan about this and he thinks it will be a good thing. More devs, more updates, maybe even a re-write so it runs better.
21
guiomie 2 days ago 1 reply      
"e Jakob Porsr and Mr. Manneh, the CEO. The trio remains the company's only shareholders and board members."

Would this mean they'd split the 2 billions by themselves? ... wow. I wonder how do the employees feel about this.

22
ilaksh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Makes a ton of sense. This is peak Minecraft. Right time to cash out before it depreciates. I expect Microsoft to do some things. One: monopolize. Two: monetize. Within three to four months most Minecraft fans will be extremely pissed at Microsoft. They will be practically forced to either move on to some of the successors to Minecraft like Tug or Blockscape, or adopt an open source Minecraft clone that is designed from the outset for plugins.

Overall this is great for everyone. I wish Microsoft would burn in hell though.

23
chris_mahan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I smell franchise with movie rights, books, etc. I can imagine it being like Star Wars in a couple years.
24
paul9290 2 days ago 0 replies      
Only 2 billion and WhatsApp goes for 18 billion?

Im not sure of how wide a net Minecraft has globally, but based on every kid you know (U.S.) who spends hours on it, it has to be worth more then 2 billion. Especially, when compared to the WhatsApp acquisition.

25
MrZongle2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ugh. Horrible if true, and not because it's Microsoft. Any large corporation that would potentially drop that much money for such a property clearly has plans to suck every last dime out of it.

While immediate changes would likely not be visible, I'm sure that over the long term it would mean the end of the ongoing Minecraft development, less developer-community interaction, and the start of Minecraft 2 development ... exclusive to Xbox 1 (with Windows 8 launch TBA). And DLCs out the ying-yang.

If true, I can't blame the Mojang team for cashing in on an incredible opportunity. But as a consumer, I really hope this rumor turns out to be false.

26
blaincate 2 days ago 0 replies      
looks like a low ballpark figure ; $2 billion .
27
cowardlydragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
dotNET rewrite?
28
Kronopath 2 days ago 2 replies      
Link to read the article without a subscription:

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd...

29
thepumpkin1979 2 days ago 2 replies      
I hit that paywall every single time. Can we have a rule against posting links with paywalls? WSJ and other websites can either disable it for HN or we don't link to these websites at all.
30
thorn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sigh. I thought it's bad manner to give links to resource where you cannot read the article without additional actions like sign-up.

Also it's not hacker news. I am sorry. But quality of links being promoted here degraded in quality and keeps going down.

31
tiagok 2 days ago 0 replies      
: ((
32
0x0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Xbone, powered by Java? :)
33
_superposition_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
All good things come to an end, I guess.Strictly from an MC perspective, nothing good can come of this.
34
zak_mc_kracken 2 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft about to buy a Java shop, how the world has changed.
35
shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't sound good. MS isn't going to make it better for gamers. If anything, they'll lock it into Xbox.
36
msie 2 days ago 0 replies      
MS, give me one million and I will tell you a secret to save you billions.
37
sramsay 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great! I'm going start writing a Clippy mod for Minecraft so I'm zero-day prepared for the purchase.

In this mod, Clippy runs around dropping random notes that give players worthless hints about how to play the game.

"Did you know . . .!"

38
gear54rus 2 days ago 1 reply      
All these comments saying it's a good thing that Microsoft will buy it make me a bit sick. Have you forgotten so easily? <hate>It's MICROSOFT. Here are some other users' comments that sum it up:

- Sorry, you can't build any more wood blocks today! Would you like to buy an extra 10 wood blocks for 99 Mojang bucks?

- You Died! (Respawn for $2.99?)

Next thing you know they release sequel as an exclusive for their shitbox</hate>

It's incredible luck that such an innovative (not Apple innovative, but really innovative) project is maintained by a company like Mojang. And it needs to stay that way. Being avid player, I really don't want Minecraft to become DRM-infested crap Windows became (still, Windows is a very good day-to-day OS, kudos to them). Not to mention their last attempt at gaming: GFWL (yeah, we all remember that one).

15
Google Employees Secretly Live on Campus to Avoid Paying Rent
343 points by thejteam  3 days ago   262 comments top 33
1
awjr 3 days ago 9 replies      
I did this on a 6 month contract as an experiment over a mild winter in the UK in 2011. You can pretty much do this anywhere.

Couple of tricks:1) Get a small camper/van that can park in one car parking space with a diesel heating system. Kitchen is irrelevant. Bed/toilet/heating system/space to sit and type/space for clothes to hang.

2) You need a toilet but usually you time your bowel movements to only need to use it as a urinal unless you decide to go for a crazy hot curry

3) Find a local sports centre (not gym) with a sauna. Go for a swim in the morning, spend the evenings working out or hanging out in the sauna (you get regulars).

4) Bank of leisure batteries in your van (to drive the heater and give your laptop power), can give you the power to live for weeks inside your van. Luckily I went home every weekend to recharge them. If you can't get a power source connection (friend etc.), then consider covering your roof in solar power cells.

5) Unlimited mobile data plan that allows tethering.

6) Clubs/Meetup/Work social groups (CRITICAL).

7) No it's not 'hot' to invite a girl back to your van in a car park.

8) Scout the areas and work out where to sleep. Sleeping on a road can mean you get traffic buzzing you from 5am. Go find a really quiet road or lay by. Use retail park car parks if they don't have security patrols. Remember you're parking up at work during the day. You only really turn up after the gym at 8pm or later and leave by 8am.

9) It's quite liberating. Want to wake up next to the sea and go for a swim....yes you can.

10) Be proud of what you are doing. The limited space you have frees you from clutter.

11) Do crazy things...like continue to run an ebay magic card sales business inside the van!

12) Cold is your enemy. When winter hit hard, the issue was the driver cabin and the rear doors. Two cheap double duvets insulated the rest of the van from those cold spaces.

13) Go stealth mode if possible. No windows on the sides of the van, roof windows are perfect. You want somebody to think there is no one in the van.

14) Layout can be interesting, but I prefer bed at back on a removable platform, storage under neath, rear door 'insulated'. Sliding door opens into a space with bench and toilet under bench. Blackout curtains between driver cabin and rear area. Lockable from the inside.

15) Always go for a van you can stand in.

16) Check your drinking laws. In the UK sleeping in the back of a van is legal if drunk.

17) Going to repeat this. Scout out your area and work out great un-disturb-able places. A quiet car park in the centre of town may have a lot of pedestrians walking through it at 2am going back from clubs. Go for those parks/spaces that are not natural through routes. You will get into a routine. You'll end up parking in the same place on the same night of the week.

18) Be social. Get out of that space. Do not go back to the van and lock yourself away and watch stuff on the internet. GET OUT.

[edit] This was the van: https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1....

Slightly on the big side, but it worked at the time. If I was going to do it again, I would custom build. Height for me being 6'2 is always going to be an issue. I would consider a normal height van but bending over all the time is not my thing.

2
electrograv 3 days ago 15 replies      
Silicon Valley: Where highly paid ($100-$200k+) engineers sleep in cars to save money on obscenely expensive rent.

Honestly, recently moving to Seattle has been refreshing to me in this regard. I find Seattle tech industry pay no less than SF, plus no state income tax, and for the same rent as SF you can practically live like a king/queen here.

I wonder how long the housing situation in SV can keep up until everything collapses under its own weight?

3
tsuyoshi 2 days ago 1 reply      
As an executive at a nonprofit, I was renting an apartment several blocks from my office. The apartment building was purchased by a developer who proceeded to convert them to condos. I was offered some money (I think $1500 or so) to end my lease early. I was planning on leaving the country in a few months anyway, so I took the money, and just moved all my belongings into my office.

I stored my clothes in an otherwise-unused filing cabinet, took showers at a gym a few blocks away, and slept on the floor, with just a blanket and pillow. The biggest problem was laundry; the nearest laundromat was pretty far away and I didn't have a car. I ended up strapping a sack full of clothes to the back of my bicycle and riding a couple miles to the laundromat every weekend.

I had a private room with a door that closed, but everyone at the office knew what I was doing. The only conceit was that I claimed that it was only temporary until I could find the right place to move into; in reality I found it so convenient and cheap that I stayed for over a year (until I did, in fact, leave the country). One Friday night, I even had a friend stay over; he slept on a couch in someone else's room.

Our organization rented a suite in a larger building, and every morning when I woke up and went to the restroom, I saw other people seemingly doing the same thing. One guy even went to the restroom every morning in a bathrobe. From about 6-7AM it reminded me a truck stop restroom, with people brushing their teeth and giving themselves sponge-baths at the sink. There are zoning laws that prohibit people from sleeping in offices, but I think the property manager didn't really care as long as everyone was reasonably discreet.

There were a few significant disadvantages. First, there was no kitchen. I had an electric kettle that I used to cook ramen, which I would add eggs and canned meat and vegatables to, but that was about it, except for eating out. There were plenty of nice restaurants nearby, and I had plenty of extra money from not paying rent, so it was not a huge problem.

Second, personal mail. The US Postal Service has a policy of not forwarding mail, addressed to an individual at a commercial address, to a residential address. This meant that when I forwarded my mail from my apartment to my office, I couldn't later forward my mail from my office to somewhere else.

Third, the gym was not open on holidays. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went to my parents' house anyway, so I just took a shower there. But for other holidays like Labor Day and Independence Day, I had to do without a shower.

I would do it again. Actually, I would even consider just renting an office instead of an apartment to live in. Generally speaking, office space is cheaper, easier to rent, and more centrally located than housing. These days though, I'm married, and my wife would not be so enthusiastic.

4
kabdib 3 days ago 1 reply      
We had a contractor in Xbox who was let go. They snuck back into the building and lived there for a number of weeks (not sure how many), pretending to work and hanging out in our various couch areas during the day. [Someone quipped: "Not much different than certain full-time employees."]

I've known a few people who lived in vans / RVs in the company parking lots. (Ironically, the guy whose van had the ATARI vanity license plate was one of the first to be let go in the crash of 1982).

A friend of mine lives in the Sierra mountains, and used to RV down to Silly Valley for a week or two at a time. Really pretty convenient. Once he was parked underneath the flight path for Moffet Field around the time that Air Force One was scheduled to fly in, and the Secret Service politely asked him to move his RV.

5
bsaul 3 days ago 12 replies      
Does anyone else feels like we're really getting towards the cyberpunk universe ?with corporations that completely own the life of their employees by providing them with everything, and a violent lawless and miserable outside world.

And as always, it all started with the best intentions.

6
Systemic33 3 days ago 12 replies      
Can't Google just setup dormitories? It's halfway on being it's own city, so why not go all out and have cheap living quarters?
7
raverbashing 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is not "a perk". This is homelessness plain and simple.

(Tech) People glamorize campus life but at least in campus you have a bed, clubs, parties and other interaction opportunities, etc

8
lablurker 3 days ago 1 reply      
I did this for a couple of months at my university, having failed to secure accommodation at the end of a rental period. Slept variously in an electron microscopy suite, a darkroom, and a rarely used bathroom. Wasn't too bad, though there was the omnipresent fear of campus security twigging on. As this was in London I saved quite a decent wad of cash in rent. Wouldn't do it again though unless I was particularly desperate.
9
ryanpardieck 1 day ago 0 replies      
The author William Vollmann comically wrote about doing this at a San Francisco (I think?) software shop when he was young and writing his first novel. Living off of vendor-machine candy bars, dodging the janitor, etc ... Probably my favorite parts were how he confessed having no bloody clue what he was doing when faced with the thing he was being paid to do: write code ...

As with any fiction author, the details are probably exaggerated, and he particularly tends toward a certain kind of luxuriant self-deprecation, so, pinch of salt and all ...

I believe the dueling meta-narrators of his first book, You Bright and Risen Angels, were also programmers, or something like that. It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember Electric Emily's origin story and the parts where the programmer-narrators fucked with the "source code" of the narrative being my favorite parts.

10
BGyss 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can speak to this happening at a major visual effects facility in the Los Angeles area. There was one developer (a guy who developed Academy Award-winning volumetric rendering software) who was able to live out of a mobile home parked in the main parking lot. This was around '99-01 or so - they're no longer in the same location and I'm sure the current ownership would throw a fit if someone tried it today. You could pretty much get away with anything at Venice Beach in the 90s.
11
cafard 3 days ago 0 replies      
I knew a programmer who did this in Baltimore, a much less expensive city, particularly then. In his case, it was probably the domestic uncertainty brought on by late-onset adolescence--he was forty or so and divorced. Even allowing for the expenses that brought on, he could probably have afforded to rent a rowhouse in a safe-enough neighborhood, but I think he couldn't quite focus on that.
12
skynetv2 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you have to resort to living in your car while working at Google or other such big companies, there is something wrong with the way one looks at life. Unless there are exigent circumstances, like you were bankrupt for whatever reason, or you are a fresh grad with nothing but time on your hands, this is not ok.

work is not everything. there is life to be had

13
fishnchips 3 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps behemoths like Google could literally build company towns in the vicinity of their campuses with heavily subsidised rents. I'm not even being sarcastic here - I live in Ireland and until recently worked as an engineer for Google in Dublin. With 3k+ folks there - most young and single and not much into commuting - a few square miles around the campus is just a 'Google ghetto'. Some folks even happily connect to the office wifi using various contraptions. The only difference between that and a 'company town' is higher rents. I'd imagine that would work even better in SV where rents are outrageous as compared to Dublin, IE.

With regards to the original article I can testify to knowing a guy on the MTV campus who did that for a little while. To be fair his manager eventually got involved and told him to find either an apartment or a new job.

14
mithras 3 days ago 4 replies      
maybe change the link to the quora thread?

The article adds literally nothing.

http://www.quora.com/Which-Googler-holds-the-record-for-livi...

15
luckydude 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did this for a while when I was working at Sun but it wasn't to avoid rent (I paid rent) it was to avoid my commute. When I was in full on work mode I viewed the commute as too much of a time drain (I lived in San Francisco, Sun was in Mountain View, 30 minutes without traffic, closer to an hour with. Each way. Blech.)

I had two VW vans parked next to each other, one was set up as a "bedroom", the other was set up as the "living room" and was also my daily driver. It worked pretty well if you don't count social life (I didn't have one).

16
VLM 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, the author has clearly never car camped or worked operations before:

"It's not clear what the Googlers like Discoe did when they had to go to the bathroom at night."

They went to the bathroom of course, just like you would in the day. Its not like toilets are solar powered and don't work after dark. If you work there and have an ID and walk past the guard at 2am and walk past leaving a couple minutes later, they simply don't care. "He must have been called in to reboot a server or something". Also although I am a morning person the world has no shortage of night persons and my experience in a 300 person building is I never heard of it being empty although it could happen, and at a 800 person building I don't think we ever, not even on holidays at 3am, dropped below six people.

17
dreamweapon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Must be kind of hard to bring a date home to... a car in some corporate parking lot, with the windows blacked out.

But I guess for Googlers, that's not such a high priority.

18
oftenwrong 3 days ago 0 replies      
I lived in an office for a few months once. I did not have a car, so I was actually staying inside. It was not worth the savings. Especially since the rent in that city was far lower than in the places discussed in the article. No bed. Worrying about security (even though I made friends with the main night-shift guard). Worrying about people finding out. Worrying about people finding my caches of possessions. Etcetera. Not worth the stress.
19
ellysetaylor21 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yes, highly paid employees do deliberately go homeless in the Bay Area. This isn't unique to Google. If you own the right vehicle, sleep in it.
20
api_or_ipa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly, not that surprised. I basically live at my co-working space. Showers, lots of comfy desks, couches and bean bag chairs, well equipped kitchen (gotta buy your ingredients though), well heated, even at night.

Apparently someone lived there for a couple months before someone found out.

21
skizm 3 days ago 1 reply      
I guess I'm wondering if Google actually cares. Seems like if they think it will help employee productivity to let them hangout at work 24/7 then seems like a win for everyone. Maybe they formalize it and set up a few bunk beds with lockers or something. Doesn't seem out of the question.
22
sounds 3 days ago 2 replies      
It sounds like Google will be making some rapid changes to their security policy.

Part of me feels bad for the guys who just got ratted out. Homelessness is a pretty disorienting thing.

Part of me feels like this is just another way of saying that there's a bay area housing shortage...

23
guard-of-terra 3 days ago 1 reply      
Moscow University main building has cafes, shops, dormitories and even a barber's shop. I've heard rumors that some students spent months without leaving the building.

On campus this should be even easier, come on.

24
joeguilmette 2 days ago 0 replies      
I currently live in a van. It's a 1996 Plymouth Voyager. The back is converted into a bed with storage. I absolutely love it.

Currently in bed in Brooklyn!

25
piratebroadcast 2 days ago 0 replies      
I lived in a coworking center for about 6 months. Slept on a couch in a dark room, got up at 7am and showered before anyone else got there. Wasn't too bad, really.
26
panzerboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why secretly? I mean, Google should seriously offer this as a perk. In this way, you have your employees 100% of their time on campus.
27
quicksilver03 2 days ago 0 replies      
And at the same time Yahoo doesn't want employees working from home...
28
jesstucker 3 days ago 0 replies      
I remember reading a similar article about yahoo employees some years ago.
29
lakeeffect 2 days ago 0 replies      
They offer everything else, why not offer barracks?
30
bitJericho 3 days ago 0 replies      
"It's not clear what the Googlers like Discoe did when they had to go to the bathroom at night."

Can #1 and can #2?

31
Zigurd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Supposedly some pilots live in RVs at LAX.
32
jacquesm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not so secret any more.
33
ck2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Heh I came up with this idea at another large company decades ago in another city.

Unfortunately they were in no way tolerant of it and when security eventually caught on they reported me to my manager and that was the end of that.

Google sounds far more laid back but I suspect if too many people do it, the loophole will come to an end.

16
Dimensions Measure everything you see in the browser
332 points by julien  1 day ago   54 comments top 21
1
peterjmag 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is awesome! Such a wonderfully simple idea, and pretty nice execution to boot. I normally rely heavily on Cmd-Shift-4 on OS X for measuring stuff on screen (click, drag, then Esc to cancel before actually taking a screenshot), but I have a feeling this extension will be a pretty significant improvement over my approach. Great work!

For those that don't see a use case: Chrome's dev tools work well for measuring things within the context of the box model, but so much of what I measure on a regular basis isn't captured there. The best example I can think of is measurements relative to some text's baselinethe distance between the bottom baseline of some text and the border of its parent container, including adjustments for line height, padding, and related margins, for instance. This extension would also work for things that aren't even represented in the box model, like the distance between two shapes in a <canvas> element.

One feature suggestion: it'd be great to be able to click or use another keyboard shortcut to set arbitrary anchor points on the page. That way, I could measure the distance between elements that aren't necessarily on the same vertical or horizontal axis. That's one thing that OS X's screenshot utility is great for (though perhaps unintentionally).

2
Flenser 1 day ago 1 reply      
Useful for quick measurements, when you need to measure between several elements at once there's Tape:https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tape/jmfleijdbicil...

And if you just want a box that can be dragged around there's Page Ruler:https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-ruler/jlpkojj...

3
ymir 1 day ago 2 replies      
Disclaimer: I'ma co-creator of SnapRuler.

Great job, it's amazing how accurate it is. Getting this tool to be reliable had to be a substantial struggle.

If you find this extension useful, there might be a situation when you need to measure stuff that is not inside your browser. SnapRuler (http://www.snaprulerapp.com) is an OSX tool that can measure anything you see on screen.

4
samwillis 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is rely nice, its unfortunate that it doesn't work on gradients though...

One way to fix that would be to pass the screen shot of the page (what I believe it is doing) though a edge detection filter first before measuring between colour thresholds?

5
program 1 day ago 1 reply      
The very interesting thing is that it goes through transparent portions of png backgrounds. Try it in the google logo.

I am very impressed.

6
AVTizzle 1 day ago 0 replies      
The interactive background/header on the landing page is awesome!

It's beautiful, and does a terrific job displaying the tool's functionality in a playful, interactive way. Kudos!

7
naviehuynh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Alt+D is my favorite shortcut to focus Chrome omnibox :(
8
panorama 1 day ago 5 replies      
This is great, installing now. I too use the cmd+shift+4 method but it's pretty unreliable.

Similarly, one thing I often find myself needing to do is find the hex or RGB value of an element of pixel on the fly. I know there are osx apps that do this but they're usually of the paid variety. Are there any good chrome extensions that can accomplish this?

9
lfx 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really impressive how it calculates size between letters.

By the way source may be found here https://github.com/mrflix/dimensions

10
alaskamiller 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like http://xscopeapp.com/ but in browser
11
ianbannerman 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great! Unforunately, does not work with iframes. A couple sites I'm stuck with are iframe heavy :/
12
MasoInar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work on my machine :(

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property '0' of undefined tooltip.js:84

13
progx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Would be nice if you add a "copy size to clipboard" function, when click on an element.
14
Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Color me impressed.

This is AMAZING.

You have no idea how easier you just made my job!

15
igl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just testet it on a few pages... I'm sorry. It's not going to work out between the two of us.

I was hoping it was really just doing by pixel testing, but it seems to pick up on html elements too.

Or could it be buggy on my retina fisher price here?

16
StephenGL 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is super cool. It will compliment another tool I use called screen ruler very nicely!
17
klausseiler 1 day ago 4 replies      
don't know why, but the extension won't work on my retina mbp 13"http://imgur.com/3NHVDv5

on the extension website it works fine :/

18
msane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want one of these that does ems, rems and even vw/vh ...
19
djrconcepts 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great extension! Very useful.
20
ellysetaylor21 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now I dont't need Crtl+u every time thanks man (Y)
21
oakio 1 day ago 0 replies      
Super handy. Nice work.
17
The Satoshi Nakamoto SourceForge account has been hacked
289 points by jordhy  3 days ago   177 comments top 27
1
croddin 3 days ago 5 replies      
Satoshi's account on p2pfoundation.ning.com also made the first comment since he said "I am not Dorian Nakamoto." back in March. It says:

"Dear Satoshi. Your dox, passwords and IP addresses are being sold on the darknet. Apparently you didn't configure Tor properly and your IP leaked when you used your email account sometime in 2010. You are not safe. You need to get out of where you are as soon as possible before these people harm you. Thank you for inventing Bitcoin."

http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/forum/topic/listForContributor...

2
shlorn 3 days ago 2 replies      
Intresting theory from https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=775174.80

[Quote]

nycgoat on September 08, 2014, 11:49:43 PMIs it possible that he deleted the e-mail address @gmx when he left the project and that it has been recycled? Someone else may have been able to sign up, then use the reset password feature on these other sites. It is likely that the @gmx address would have been destroyed at the conclusion of his participation in the project, as all relevant information and e-mails have been public from the beginning.

1) Satoshi finishes with Bitcoin and deletes GMX account2) He does not delete other accounts (sourceforge, i2p, etc) 3) GMX account is recycled after x period of time4) Person signs up for @gmx account after it is recycled5) Passwords for other sites are reset because they still point to the @gmx e-mail address as a recovery6) Person tries to profit by extortion and fails

This is probably the most likely scenario... and they probably don't have any of Satoshi's information because it is unlikely that any e-mails were still in the box when he re-set up the @gmx address.

[/Quote]

3
georgemcbay 3 days ago 1 reply      
https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/509145414008725504

Peter Todd @petertoddbtc

"Interesting, got another forwarded email from "satoshi", from 2011 - indicates this was a hijacked account, not expired and re-registered."

----

Going to grab some popcorn, this might get pretty entertaining...

4
berberous 3 days ago 3 replies      
More details via Wired: http://www.wired.com/2014/09/satoshi/

1) A pastebin threating to dox Satoshi for 25 BTC: http://pastebin.com/7gbPi8Qr. Address has received less than .02 BTC thus far: https://blockchain.info/address/19pta6x1hXzV9F5hHnhMARYbRjux...

2) The GMX screenshots show 11k+ emails in the inbox, with one from as far back as June 2013

5
galoppini 2 days ago 0 replies      
Greetings,

We suspended s_nakamoto's account 2 hours and 17 minutes after the attacker gained access to that account.

After generating a list of changes made, confirming method of attack, and identifying no serious changes to project content, the project was restored to its pre-attack state, and the compromised user account was removed from the project.

Risk to the community is believed to be low, as file content wasn't modified.

Regards,

Roberto Galoppini, SourceForge.net

See https://sourceforge.net/p/forge/site-support/8512/

6
patio11 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's looking like his email address got recycled, and someone is using that to request password resets on accounts associated with it.
7
tripzilch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just ploughed through the thread on the bitcointalk forum. (disclaimer: a lot of the following summary is based on hearsay and lacks evidence)

Some kid hacked the satoshin@gmx.net mailbox, by guessing the birthdate forgot-password check on gmx.net (yes, it sounds kind of unbelievable to me as well).

He probably used this email to gain access to the SourceForge account, and wrote some juvenile texts about "buttcoin" (everything seems to have been reverted now, see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8293062 ).

He also used the mailbox to gain access to Satoshi's account on p2pfoundation.ning.com, which is the same place where the "Dorian is not Satoshi" message was posted a while back when some news media thought they found SN. Then he used this account to try and pull off a "give me 25BTC or I'll release SN's dox" scam. Nobody in the bitcointalk thread seems to believe the kid actually has SN's dox, because Satoshi was clever enough not to leave personal info in that mailbox.

The kid also used the email to try and threaten the bitcointalk forum admin ("send me some coins before I hitman you" ...). The forum admin seems fine to just let it be, because no real damage has been done, it was just a kid and by now the kid and his family have been doxed, who's probably scared shitless right now realizing what sort of serious business he's been messing with.

Adrian Chen tried to mail satoshin@gmx.net with some questions, and in response got a screenshot of the mailbox, "proving" it was indeed under someone else's control: https://twitter.com/AdrianChen/status/509162847130370048/pho... . There's a second screenshot of some invoice of someone ordering a bitcoin-mining device, with the address info photoshopped out--which was done badly because someone on Reddit quickly revealed part of the name and address. But that order seems partially fake, just some guy that thought it was funny to enter Satoshi's email when ordering the device.

It's assumed the kid no longer has access to the satoshin@gmx.net mailbox. Again I didn't see these claims substantiated either.

All in all, someone smarter could have done a LOT more damage with this hack. But whoever did this really screwed it up. There might be some unintended clues about Satoshi's identity in that mailbox, but it seems like whoever got access isn't clever enough to string all that together (tying it with the research done into his identity so far). So unless the whole mailbox gets dumped somewhere, that's it, case closed?

8
jordhy 3 days ago 2 replies      
Hackers have changed bitcoin's description to read:

Buttcoin is a peer-to-peer butt. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new butts or tracks butts. These tasks are managed collectively by the network. Its like a bitcoin, but with butts instead.

9
r721 3 days ago 0 replies      
theymos: "satoshin@gmx.com is compromised"

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=775174.0

10
austinheap 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you take the screenshot showing the leaked e-mail from an order 'he' placed at CardReaderFactory, you get an interesting data point:

- You can lookup orders tied to the e-mail address shatoshin@gmx.de- You cannot lookup order tied to gibberish accounts, like odn2n489n4@gmail.com

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/22z72

11
thejj 3 days ago 0 replies      
A bitcoin address appeared on satoshi's profile page:

https://blockchain.info/address/19pta6x1hXzV9F5hHnhMARYbRjux...

http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/profile/SatoshiNakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto posted a status:

"Tip Jar: 19pta6x1hXzV9F5hHnhMARYbRjuxF6xbbV"

12
jonalmeida 3 days ago 1 reply      
One of the comments on the Wired post[1] shows that the email from CardReaderFactory is a hoax: you can see the person's name using the Levels tool in Photoshop.

Confirmed with Photoshop myself using the imgur image links I got from this HN post.

[1]: http://www.wired.com/2014/09/satoshi/#comment-1580438754

13
kintamanimatt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems to have been reverted now.
14
nogridbag 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe Satoshi Nakamoto is zohar002. This is my belief... At least for now!

http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Hyper+Lemon+Buster+Cannon/t...

15
sktrdie 3 days ago 0 replies      
This makes me wonder whether the "I am not Dorian Nakamoto" message left on p2pfoundation is also a fake. It did seem weird back then that instead of signing a message using his well known public key, he decided to use a p2p forum to announce the fact.
16
chj 3 days ago 1 reply      
How can you blackmail a person for digital information you steal? Who knows if you won't blackmail again?
17
Aqueous 3 days ago 1 reply      
I won't post a working link to the images but I did view them and the top-most email says it was sent 12/6/22, a date that has not occurred yet. So this is either a bug in GMX that doesn't validate timestamps or he didn't finish his otherwise convincing photoshop job :-)
18
artursapek 3 days ago 0 replies      
Heh, so far this guy has earned about 10 bucks.

https://blockchain.info/address/19pta6x1hXzV9F5hHnhMARYbRjux...

19
return0 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whoever satoshi is/are, it's a good opportunity to step forward and become the public face of bitcoin without this stupid hide-and-seek.
20
aburan28 3 days ago 0 replies      
Couldn't this person who has Satoshi's GMX email then reset the passwords on any of Satoshi's existing accounts?
21
jokoon 3 days ago 1 reply      
if he has a lot of bitcoins, wouldn't it be smarter for him to just sell them right now ?

I mean it's much safer to have real money in a bank account than to have bitcoins.

22
mzs 3 days ago 1 reply      
What was there? It is just the bitcoin SF page now.
23
mykhal 3 days ago 0 replies      
more relevant link: https://archive.today/odPyB
25
notastartup 3 days ago 1 reply      
What are the signs that it has been hacked, the sourceforge page looks correct, has it been recovered?
26
WoodenChair 3 days ago 2 replies      
Could this be a government posing as a hacker in order to discredit the threat to mainstream currencies? I don't think so, but I do think conspiracy theories will be abound!
27
k0dog 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this could be Satoshi creating an additional layer of complexity in the hunt for his/her identity. By compromising his email address and web properties he can basically direct the masses in any direction he/she wants to. While ensuring that they have false bits of information seeded within them.

Creating a myth and story around the creator is brilliant to ensuring future relevance. I doubt this is a planned event; however, if the Satoshi did plan it... Wow tip my hat to you sir/ma'am

18
The curious case of the cyclists unshaven legs
276 points by soundsop  3 days ago   80 comments top 20
1
sjackso 3 days ago 6 replies      
> The problem in the research community is that scientists have little incentive to duplicate earlier work just to check if its correct. Many journals have explicit policies forbidding the publication of work that attempts to replicate previous experiments.

This drive for unending novelty in the sciences is a shame on many levels. The good and useful work of duplicating and verifying results goes undone, and scientists are driven ever more forcefully towards designing studies only on the basis of what will attract grant agencies.

Duplicating major results carefully would be useful to the scientific record. Trying things that will probably fail, and then publishing negative results, would be useful too. But, for most researchers, doing this useful work appears to be career suicide.

2
nl 3 days ago 4 replies      
The Specialized video[1] is worth watching - it's pretty funny how astonished they were over how much power it saved.

If you are interested in this, then the book Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World's Fastest Cyclists by Michael Hutchinson is really good (and very well written).

He notes that human intuition about aerodynamics just isn't very good (you have to test) and that the current state of the art is no longer wind tunnel testing but computational fluid dynamics (CFD) followed by testing with a power meter on the road.

CFD lets designers iterate much quicker on designs and try things outside the norm (avoiding the local maxima problem). Power meters plus riding is better than wind tunnel testing because things like variable cross winds are very hard to test in wind tunnels.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZnrE17Jg3I

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Obsession-Science-Fastest-Cycli...

3
jmadsen 3 days ago 5 replies      
Strange. When I was racing, we never thought about drag, except as a joke.

We shave because it helps reduce road rash when you go down on asphalt (slide easier) & easier to keep the wounds clean afterwards.

4
jrapdx3 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's healthy that this discussion expresses amazement, skepticism, methodological questions, and observations about competition for public media attention, and frequent instances of journals cynically manipulating publication for maximal sensationalism under a scientific patina.

Strictly my own imagination, but I'm anticipating the introduction down the road of the world's most advanced hair removal system that gives cyclists a big aerodynamic advantage proven by scientific tests. Yes buy the XYZ system and fly to victory! Wow, I really am jaded, but too many times we've seen it happen.

So much bad science obscures the good work because the latter doesn't make the news, it's far too boring to attract attention. It's the small incremental, tedious, repetitious, careful, persistent work that provides the real advances. Edison I think said, "we find 20,000 ways it doesn't work" and learn something every time we try.

I propose a simple set of remedies. Journals should give highest priority to publishing careful replications of prior studies, whether it's yes/no/maybe. Negative studies whether original or replications are give as much priority and those confirmatory. Novel associations are of course welcome if meeting standards of adequate power to discern something beyond quirky results.

Ultimately, the impact of hyperbolic claims about the meaning of research causes the greatest distortions of scientific process and progress. Journal editors can solve the great bulk of misinformation their journals promulgate. It's remarkably simple. All they have to do is issue an edict, all that authors can write about are the history, background, what they did and factual results of their work. These "rules" apply to observational and experimental work all the same. IOW it would be forbidden to draw conclusions about the what the outcomes mean, what is proven, or what "causes" what.

Sure giving context about past results is necessary and usefully informative, but conclusions are for we the readers to determine. If this was the case, suddenly the strident "answers" and premature incorporation of findings into practice will be sharply reduced. Hysteria will subside. We can then actually use our scientific talent to accomplish honest goals, and solve the real and daunting problems we actually have.

Perhaps this seems a radical view and maybe it is. It's not whether I'm right or anybody will make any of these substantial changes. It is about getting back to careful thoughtful scientific inquiry and reducing misdirected human energies.

5
jpatokal 3 days ago 3 replies      
Previous test: "leg-shaving reduced drag by 0.6 per cent"

New test: "The tests showed that shaving his legs reduced Thomass drag by about 7 per cent"

Yet the blurb says: ''Even more confounding was that the results contradicted earlier finding''. What's contradictory about those results? Be it 0.6% or 7%, shaving your legs clearly reduces drag.

6
nether 3 days ago 0 replies      
The gremlin that is low Re, viscous drag. This is how cacti work; the needles slow surrounding air to reduce moisture loss through convective evaporation.
7
myleskeating 1 day ago 0 replies      
Relevant article on similar lack of reproducibility in cancer research.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-...

Summary: a team at Amgen discovers 47 of 53 "landmark" studies published in high-quality journals could not be reproduced. A team at Bayer did an internal review of programs they had initiated based on journal studies and found that less than a quarter of those findings could be reproduced.

Three very damning quotes:"Some authors [of the journal articles] required the Amgen scientists sign a confidentiality agreement barring them from disclosing data at odds with the original findings."

"'We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,' said Begley. 'I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they'd done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It's very disillusioning.'"

"The problem goes beyond cancer. On Tuesday, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences heard testimony that the number of scientific papers that had to be retracted increased more than tenfold over the last decade; the number of journal articles published rose only 44 percent."

Academics are pressured to produce publications, not to produce science, and their studies are not always rigorous (not blinded to experimenters, etc.). People with high integrity and ability do produce good science that gets published, but unfortunately that appears to be the minority, even in highly prestigious journals.

So I'm curious: how would you fix it?

One thing the article mentions that might improve things is every journal dedicating one complete issue a year to reproducing the most influential studies of the year. Another could be getting a consortium of pharmas (who try to reproduce studies all the time, because if you're going to successfully make drugs you need the thing to work) to publish their internal data for the benefit of all. Does something like that exist?

8
serf 3 days ago 0 replies      
a family friend, the aerodynamicist Chester Kyle, was mentioned in this article. He was a lecturer at Long Beach State (I think) and did practical wind-tunnel testing with my father (an engineer and manufacturer) on bicycle shapes for many years.

He pushed the edges of conventional design, and participated in the human powered vehicle races quite a bit.

That's fantastic; I never thought I would hear about him on here.

9
idlewords 3 days ago 0 replies      
It bugs me that the test is run with the vertical wheel supports in place. It's conceivable that they alter airflow in a way that affects how it goes over the cyclists legs.

But maybe I don't fully understand the experimental setup. I'm basing my comments on what I see in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZnrE17Jg3I

10
andyjsong 3 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting, I wonder how dramatic the effect is with swimming, there are swim flumes like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feUhyCklHL0. It's usually used to analyze your stroke, but maybe if you put a bar in there to hold on to and test unshaven vs. shaven.
11
ccozan 3 days ago 1 reply      
I speculate here that this could be a second reason why we lost our big ape hair. The preferred method of hunting was running after prey until it fell/slowed down - due to the fact that, unless other animals, man can run and hold the mouth open, thus eliminating the excess heat + higher oxygen flow. Having less hair than the prey made us run otherwise faster while on lower enery requirements.
12
jamessb 3 days ago 0 replies      
Specialized previously investigated the effect of shaving off a beard, and found that it had a negligible effect: http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/news/article/specialized-te...
13
graemian 3 days ago 1 reply      
If a cyclist invested the weekly time he spent shaving his legs in extra training instead, would he be better off?
14
IvyMike 3 days ago 1 reply      
They are claiming "it contradicts previous results", but certainly the savings must depend on the athlete's pre-shave hirsuteness. Unless they controlled for that, the previous results could have just been because of a relatively smooth group of subjects.
15
vhost- 3 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know why wind tunnel use costs $500 an hour? Electricity bill?
16
ck2 3 days ago 0 replies      
After 15mph a great deal of energy is used to overcome wind resistance.

I wouldn't have figured it to be so much but this doesn't seem so incredible to me.

Similar thing for swimming.

17
anvarik 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy, and those planet creators
18
shiven 3 days ago 0 replies      
Compared to numbers from earlier studies (0.6), the new number (7) looks suspiciously like a floating point error arising from software/hardware issues!
19
mosselman 3 days ago 2 replies      
A good thing that 5-6 people is a statistically significant number of participants....
20
bch 3 days ago 1 reply      
Massage and reducing wear-and-tear in event of crashing are the best most plausible reasons I've heard for it. I'd never heard anybody seriously thinking it reduces drag in a meaningful way.

(Edited to describe my experience, per "let's not read the article" comment).

19
Swift Has Reached 1.0
269 points by mattquiros  2 days ago   166 comments top 19
1
Jweb_Guru 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am not the biggest Apple fan in the world, and will probably not use Swift professionally, but I'm still super enthused about it as a language and I am glad it's entering the marketplace. We're going to have sum types and type inference in a mainstream language! For the first time, professors can teach a language like SML and have a good response to the question "so how is this going to help me in the real world?" I really, genuinely hope this will lead to better choices of languages in introductory programming classes.
2
DAddYE 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hey guys, do you know if swift will be ever open-sourced? After the WWDC they said that was early to think about it while in beta. So, what's the status now?
3
Someone 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, what kind of 1.0 release is this?

- It's Keynote time/September 9, so we call what we have, crashing bugs included, 1.0.

- We culled the features that do not work reliably yet, polished the good parts, and called it 1.0.

- This is a/the set of features that we consider to form a good product, and all features work reasonably well.

4
bezalmighty 2 days ago 0 replies      
"You can now submit your apps that use Swift to the App Store. "-that's great news!

For Hackers in SF: We are running a Swift Hackday at GitHub HQ on the 27th September. There will be food, drink, swag and lots of other Swift hackers! Check it out & RSVP at http://SwiftHack.splashthat.com

5
stefantalpalaru 2 days ago 5 replies      
Why is a programming language without any open source implementation getting so much attention?
6
no_future 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone tell me about the interop situation? I'm working on my first iOS app and doing it all the old way with Obj-C, and some things have been a little difficult to grok even though they've been around a while(AVFoundation). I'm very interested in the new Metal graphics API that Apple showed at their presentation. Not sure if I should just switch to Swift for everything now or continue learning/working in Obj-C and slowly transition.
7
melling 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a list of Swift resources that I've been collecting: http://www.h4labs.com/dev/ios/swift.html
8
smaili 2 days ago 4 replies      
Stupid question but is Swift just compiled into Objective-C? I'm asking because I'd like to know if I can write an app in Swift that can run on iOS6.
9
codemac 2 days ago 7 replies      
My brother has been using swift to learn some programming.

I don't have a mac, let alone iTunes.

Is there a legal way for me to download/purchase a manual to help him with his progress?

10
krschultz 2 days ago 2 replies      
This might be a stupid question, but does Objective-C have versions? Objective-C was always talked about in terms of the iOS version, even when the language itself was changing (eg blocks).
11
thurn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any word on whether they added static library support? Not having it is kind of a dealbreaker for my workflow, unfortunately.
12
wycats 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't believe this is the traditional definition of "reached 1.0".
13
cdnsteve 2 days ago 7 replies      
That's fantastic! Now, too bad I can't watch your video tutorials on my Macbook Pro using Chrome. Or Windows 7 using Chrome. The messaging on the site declares it requires Safari. So much of the open web... Quietly moves along to Android.
14
stephenaevans 1 day ago 0 replies      
Might be time to learn Swift.
15
akkartik 2 days ago 2 replies      
GM?
16
Yuioup 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can somebody tell me why in 6-7 years I will be rewriting Swift apps ?
17
tzakrajs 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is this? Javascript for Mac?
18
PopsiclePete 2 days ago 5 replies      
I can't believe Apple would release a brand-new language with zero baked-in support for concurrency. In this day and age? Looks like developers will have to resort to 2nd grade efforts like GCD. I just don't get it. There's no excuse for it. Port Go's channels and go-routines to it, or something else, but come on - it's 2014, not 1998?
19
jehb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, I'm pretty sure you meant Swift has reached 2.0. And that was a couple of months ago. Also why are you people talking about Swift like it's a programming language and not an object storage system? :)

http://opensource.com/business/14/7openstack-swift-brings-st...

20
Tabnabbing: A New Type of Phishing Attack (2010)
268 points by gkop  3 days ago   95 comments top 18
1
rip747 3 days ago 2 replies      
Man did that fool me.

I clicked on the link and started to read the story, but then had to look up an IIS error in a new tab. After my search I closed the current tab and I'm face to face with an old gmail login page. I'm sitting there like "WTF?". I refresh the page and the blog post comes back?!?!?

I finish reading the post and realized what had just happened. Kudos to the author. That really is a brilliant attack.

2
slantyyz 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fortunately, if you're using a password manager (and you don't have your password memorized), your password manager plugin will probably say "no logins saved for this site" which will clue you in on the attack.
3
biot 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another thing that's bitten me from time to time is what might be called FocusNabbing: where you're entering a password into one site and something else steals the focus, so now you're potentially typing part of your credentials there. It could be some other application running in your OS showing a modal alert or some other tab suddenly stealing focus (looking at you, Google Calendar).

While this attack vector is far more difficult to exploit, there should be protection against this kind of focus stealing. If your browser detects that you currently have the focus in a password field, it should block any attempt to switch the focus away to something else. The same should apply to the OS itself.

4
wlesieutre 3 days ago 1 reply      
Favicon isn't changing for me in Firefox 33. Also worth noting that it still triggers when it's the frontmost tab in an unfocused window. I'd pulled up a smaller window on top of it, so the change to Gmail was hard to miss.

Despite that, I can imagine people falling for this even if the favicon doesn't match. They'll just say "Oh, Gmail's favicon is wrong. Silly web browser." If they notice the favicon at all.

5
gingerlime 3 days ago 5 replies      
I think this was published in 2010, so not really new - but probably still a possible attack vector.
6
Terr_ 3 days ago 3 replies      
Aaaand that's why I always have JS disabled by default.

Hardly foolproof, but 95% of the time it truly doesn't improve my web experience.

7
georgemcbay 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice spoof, hadn't seen this before. It would have gone really well with the RTL address bar spoof (CVE-2014-1723) I reported in Chrome back in February (since fixed in Chrome 34), it would have made the tab very close to indistinguishable from the real thing.
8
hayksaakian 3 days ago 2 replies      
The favicon and title change work on mobile, but the URL is clearly wrong.

http://www.imgur.com/qn3pUIL.png

I suppose this is another use for typo domains.

9
fragsworth 3 days ago 1 reply      
For a really sophisticated attacker, even 2-factor authentication isn't secure from this.

They can ask you for the 2-factor authentication code the same way Google does. You would type it into the phishing site.

10
jonathonf 3 days ago 4 replies      
It appears to be entirely foiled NoScript (i.e. Javascript whitelisting).
11
eadler 2 days ago 0 replies      
When this came out I posted about a no-Javascript version of this: http://blog.eitanadler.com/2010/05/tabnabbing-without-javasc...
12
cousin_it 3 days ago 0 replies      
Browsers or browser add-ons can mitigate this attack by blocking the use of the same password on two different sites. That might also be helpful for other reasons.
13
Navarr 3 days ago 0 replies      
An impressive sort of attack, I would never have thought twice about it.
14
u124556 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any valid use case for the onblur event on the window object?
15
amolgupta 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tried opening the video. It didnt play. Tried full screen mode..still no luck. But when I returned back to the page, it turned out this page implements Tabnabbing!
16
eyeareque 3 days ago 0 replies      
Still works in Chrome 37. Not sure how you could fix this though..
17
teekert 3 days ago 0 replies      
This would certainly fool me. Another reason for 2 step authentication... which could also be cheated from you with this trick by the way.
18
npsimons 3 days ago 4 replies      
1) It didn't work for me; probably because I'm using NoScript.

2) Also, I don't use GMail; say what you will, it's another defense against this.

3) Never, ever enter important credentials to a site you didn't open from a bookmark.

EDIT: Downvotes for effective strategies against this attack? Stay classy, HN. Stay classy.

21
No Association Between Salt And Blood Pressure, Study Finds
244 points by brandonb  1 day ago   156 comments top 22
1
svsaraf 1 day ago 9 replies      
I'm a medical student who actually read the paper this article refers to. I would be very careful trying to draw conclusions from a study like this. I don't think many people in the healthcare community would be very surprised by it.

1) All clinically treated hypertensive patients were excluded - that means if you have kidney or vascular disease (hypertension) and are being treated for it, you aren't counted here. Doctors WILL care about your salt intake if you have these conditions, as they should! It is very common to prescribe something called the DASH diet to lower sodium intake and increase potassium intake.

2) If you're healthy, it means your kidneys are healthy (simplifying). One of the purposes of the kidneys is to maintain homeostatic blood pressure by excreting a combination of salt and water. To put it simply, if you eat a huge load of NaCl, say in a dominoes pizza, your blood pressure WILL NOT be affected for a very long time. I'd guess 20 minutes or so after the salt enters your bloodstream. Which means these folks can't measure that blood pressure change by testing blood pressure yearly.

3) Either medical doctors or the press that listens to them have a nasty habit of taking treatments that often work for very sick people - morbidly obese, type 1 diabetics, bed-ridden centenarians - and applying it to normal healthy folks. I will go out on a limb and say that these unilateral recommendations are almost all BS, and should be ignored. If you're healthy: eating eggs will not affect your cholesterol, eating cheesecake will not give you diabetes, sitting in a chair will not misalign your spine. It would be prudent for you to be skeptical when you hear these claims, often on daytime television or on the internet.

2
lincolnq 1 day ago 8 replies      
The state of nutrition science is pathetic.

The science is conflicted over a simple question of fact -- whether or not a trivially measurable short-term effect occurs when you eat one of the most common food additives in the world.

If we can't even answer THIS -- it seems like it should be incredibly easy to answer -- I don't see why people can claim anything at all about diets and macronutrients.

Nutrition science needs a fundamental breakthrough and I don't know where it's going to come from but I desperately hope it happens quickly. Because a lot of people are suffering and dying of poor nutrition and we don't know basic things about what's good and bad for us.

3
nazgulnarsil 1 day ago 0 replies      
I decided to go through the IOMs Sodium Intake in Populations report[1] when the FDAs new DRIs were released. The FDA guidelines pushing for 1500mg a day stand in contrast to the findings of the Cochrane review meta-analysis(summary[2]). After looking over all the studies reviewed by both the IOM and the Cochrane review I can't figure out how the FDA are justifying their recommendations of very low intake. The only truly consistent finding seems to be that below around 2g and above about 4g is clearly harmful in that it definitely results in more hospital visits. In between is a lot more shaky. The FDA basically asked the IOM to write the bottom line first and still the IOM wasn't able to come up with any evidence that lowering sodium intake below that range was helpful. It is important to note that the vast majority of sodium studies additionally do not control for a very important confounder which is potassium intake, and that those that do seem to agree strongly with the conclusions of the Cochrane Review. IOM makes note of this shortcoming but does not draw any conclusions from it.

MealSquares (http://mealsquares.com) will be sticking with the Cochrane Review conclusions for now, but of course we will update and inform our customers based on the recommendations with the strongest evidence behind them. It's interesting to note that Soylent 1.0 went with around 1g of salt/day and was forced to change this when people started getting dizzy. it will be interesting to see what they change it to.

1. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18311&page=R1

2. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/11November/Pages/cochrane-review...

4
delinka 1 day ago 4 replies      
Oxygen is bad for us. It oxidizes and damages all kinds of organic chemicals in our bodies that are required for use to live. Oxidization, however, is exactly what provides us with the energy that supports life.

Salts are electrolytes. (Electrolytes are salts?) You need them in your body so that your nervous system can conduct signals and keep things going - like your heart.

We live. We grow. We hurt. We heal. We get sick. We recover. We age. We wear out. We die.

Rather that avoiding "omg sugar" or "omg salt" or "omg fat," we should just be eating well-rounded diets. Have some beef today. And some pork tomorrow. And some fish after that. Have some fruit. And veggies. And a bit of dessert. And a spoonful of honey. And some powdered sugar on that syrup'd French toast. Just don't eat large piles of stuff for a meal. And don't eat the same thing every day.

Life's gonna kill you. Just don't clog up your body with excessive amounts of the same thing and you probably won't die early.

5
coldcode 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nutrition hasn't much since I took some nutritional chemistry classes in college decades ago. It's still a very complex system which is almost impossible to study because you can't easily isolate different the different bits from each other. The only thing even less settled is how the brain operates and stores information.
6
seesomesense 1 day ago 0 replies      
Low Sodium Intake Cardiovascular Health Benefit or Risk?Suzanne Oparil, M.D.N Engl J Med 2014; 371:677-679 August 14, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1407695

"In response to controversy about the health effects of low sodium intake, the Institute of Medicine convened an expert committee to evaluate the evidence for a relation between sodium and health outcomes.4,5 The committee concluded that most evidence supports a positive relation between high sodium intake and risk of cardiovascular disease but that results from studies with health outcomes were insufficient to conclude whether low sodium intake (<2.3 g per day or <1.5 g per day, as recommended in current dietary guidelines6,7) is associated with an increased or reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in the general population. The committee found limited evidence that low salt intake may be associated with adverse health effects in some subgroups, including some patients with heart failure or other forms of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.Results from three studies, reported in this issue of the Journal, bear on this matter. The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study provides new evidence about the association between sodium and potassium intake, estimated from morning urine specimens, and blood pressure, death, and major cardiovascular events.8,9 The procedure for estimating electrolyte excretion was validated elsewhere.10 The PURE study included more than 100,000 adults sampled from the general population of 17 countries that varied in their economic development and acculturation to an urban lifestyle. Approximately 90% of the participants had either a high (>5.99 g per day) or moderate (3.00 to 5.99 g per day) level of sodium excretion; approximately 10% excreted less than 3.00 g per day, and only 4% had sodium excretion in the range associated with current U.S. guidelines for sodium intake (2.3 or 1.5 g per day).

Across this broad range of populations, the relation between sodium excretion and blood pressure was positive but nonuniform: it was strong in participants with high sodium excretion, modest in those in the moderate range, and nonsignificant in those with low sodium excretion. The authors concluded from the findings that a very small proportion of the worldwide population consumes a low-sodium diet and that sodium intake is not related to blood pressure in these persons, calling into question the feasibility and usefulness of reducing dietary sodium as a population-based strategy for reducing blood pressure. There was also an interaction between sodium excretion and potassium excretion: high sodium excretion was more strongly associated with increased blood pressure in persons with lower potassium excretion. The authors suggested that the alternative approach of recommending high-quality diets rich in potassium might achieve greater health benefits, including blood-pressure reduction, than aggressive sodium reduction alone. After a mean of 3.7 years of follow-up, the composite outcome of death and cardiovascular events occurred in 3317 participants (3.3%). As compared with those who had a moderate level of sodium excretion, those with a higher or lower level of sodium excretion had an increased risk of cardiovascular-disease outcomes.

The authors attempted to rule out residual confounding or reverse causation as explanations for their findings by showing that participants with a low level of sodium excretion had a similar mean INTERHEART Modifiable Risk Score and higher intake of fruit and vegetables, as compared with those with a moderate level of sodium excretion, and that more than 90% of the cohort was free of antecedent cardiovascular disease. The findings were not altered by the exclusion of participants with prior cardiovascular disease, cancer, or use of blood-pressure medication, by the exclusion of outcome events occurring in the first 2 years of observation, or by adjustment for all identifiable confounders.

The major weaknesses of the PURE study, inherent in its study design and scope, include the absence of direct measurement of 24-hour urinary excretion on multiple occasions, which is the accepted model for assessing electrolyte intake, and the lack of an intervention component to assess the direct effects of altering sodium and potassium intake on blood pressure and cardiovascular-disease outcomes, thus making it impossible to establish causality. Nevertheless, this large study does provide evidence that both high and low levels of sodium excretion may be associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular-disease outcomes and that increasing the urinary potassium excretion counterbalances the adverse effect of high sodium excretion. These provocative findings beg for a randomized, controlled outcome trial to compare reduced sodium intake with usual diet. In the absence of such a trial, the results argue against reduction of dietary sodium as an isolated public health recommendation.

The authors of the third article, from the Global Burden of Diseases Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Expert Group (NutriCode),11 used modeling techniques to estimate global sodium consumption and its effect on cardiovascular mortality.12 The investigators quantified global sodium intake on the basis of published surveys from 66 countries and used a hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate global sodium consumption. They then estimated the effects of sodium on blood pressure in a meta-analysis of 107 published trials and estimated the effects of systolic blood pressure on cardiovascular mortality by combining the results of two large international pooling projects that included individual-level data. They found a strong linear relationship between sodium intake and cardiovascular events and estimated that 1.65 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010 were attributable to excess sodium consumption. The NutriCode investigators should be applauded for a herculean effort in synthesizing a large body of data regarding the potential harm of excess salt consumption. However, given the numerous assumptions necessitated by the lack of high-quality data, caution should be taken in interpreting the findings of the study. Taken together, these three articles highlight the need to collect high-quality evidence on both the risks and benefits of low-sodium diets."

7
jpmattia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scientific American was beating this drum a while ago:

> It's Time to End the War on Salt> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/its-time-to-end-th...

8
skylan_q 1 day ago 1 reply      
The orignal study that caused the salt scare didn't claim that increased salt intake caused increased blood pressure. The claim was that a sodium intake on the high end of regular sodium intake was closely correlated with increased mortality rates in heart attack victims. There was no claim made about sodium intake and blood pressure, nor was there a claim about sodium intake and heart attack rates.

This is why I hate the intersection of journalism, science, and the public.

9
fasteo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Analyzing the effects on health of a single nutritional item - salt in this case - in pretty useless IMHO. The more I read about nutrition, the more I come to realize that it is the ratio of different nutrients what is key to our health.

Take Omega3 for example: Its much healthier to reduce the content of Omega 6 in your diet than popping a couple of Omega 3 pills a day. This is so because our current diet has screwed up this optimal ratio [1]

Same applies to salt: The problem is not Sodium, but refined salt, that has a mineral composition so unbalanced that makes Sodium problematic.

Just eat unprocessed food.

[1] Optimal ratio Omega6/Omega3=around 1. Typical ratio in western diets: 15/1http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332202...

10
zmmmmm 1 day ago 2 replies      
Did they really prove there was 'no association' or did they just fail to reject the null hypothesis that there is no association? These are diabolically different things!
11
eik3_de 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can't confirm. Whenever I use salt, my blood pressure goes up fairly quick. That's why I use Ansible instead.
12
nuh777 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The results section of the paper has some possibly contradictory information:

1. "Salt intake was positively associated with SBP in men but not in women."

2. "Salt intake was not associated with SBP in either sex after multiple adjustments."

Also isn't this kind of journalism and article titles unethical? There should be some kind of regulatory board for articles in any media.

Anyone can write anything and can cause serious harm.

13
illumen 1 day ago 0 replies      
This title is more misleading than the article. Notice the question in the headline? That almost always means No.
14
nickbauman 1 day ago 0 replies      
In recent years oncology is seeing there might be a connection between lack of iodine and increase risk of cancer. So when people curb their salt intake for long periods of time they may be risking cancer since it is one of the only ways inlanders get enough of it.
15
smegel 1 day ago 1 reply      
> those patients who were hypertensive consumed significantly more salt than those without hypertension

Doesn't that mean there is a causative effect, or are they saying it just a correlation? People with high blood pressure tend to eat more salt? Or if it is not statistically significant, why mention it at all?

16
crusso 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sadly, the unsettled or contradicted nature of the science won't stop politicians like Bloomberg from trying to force the behavior he wants through legislation.
17
pbreit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does the headline square with "patients who were hypertensive consumed significantly more salt than those without hypertension"?
18
graycat 1 day ago 0 replies      
To me, it sounds like poor, little, old, suffering 'Time' magazine is trying to get eyeballs.

The article sounds like a total yawn to me, that is, just old and obvious. So, I long understood: If eat some food with some table salt, that is, NaCl, then within an hour or so likely the salt concentration in blood will increase and then blood pressure will increase. But, the body has a system that regulates salt concentration; so, if the salt concentration is too high, then the body will lower the salt concentration, and the usual way is to flush out the extra salt in urine. So, net, likely within a few hours, the salt concentration will be back to where the body wants it. Typically, for reasonably healthy people, no biggie.

Somewhat separately there is a disease called hypertension which means high blood pressure, and such blood pressure can be dangerous, e.g., cause blood vessels to break and leak, say, in the brain -- not good. If a person has this disease, then extra salt that further increases blood pressure, even just for a few hours, can be not good. So, for such a person, a standard recommendation is to reduce input of salt: So, e.g., don't sit around eating salted peanuts, potato chips, etc.

But does eating salt cause the disease hypertension? Nope.

Then, bingo, presto, wonder of wonders, the mass media, always eager for getting eyeballs, often by grabbing people, by the heart, the gut, below the belt, always below the shoulders, never between the ears, comes out screaming about salt suggesting that salt, exploiting really simplistic thinking, is somehow bad. Or, since people are sensitive to suggestions or symptoms of danger, suggesting that salt is bad can get eyeballs.

Then companies that manufacture and want to sell food products, say, bread, may see a selling opportunity, lower the amount of salt in their products, and then scream on their product labels that their products are healthy because they are low salt.

We can see how the mass media and their food product advertising customers have a common interest: The media raises fears about salt, and the food companies scream that their products are healthy because they are low in salt. It's deliberate confusion and deception, that is, in a word, a scam, all in an attempt to get money from ordinary people.

This scam has been going on for decades. E.g., back in the 1980s I was in the house of some friends; they were in their 20s and in perfect health, with perfect weight, etc. The husband was a good athlete, and his wife was drop dead gorgeous. But the wife was cooking with low salt based on the scam, i.e., that salt would cause hypertension, which of course it would not.

Or, as in the title here, "No Association Between Salt And Blood Pressure", of course not. There never was any such association. Salt does not cause hypertension; there's never been any competent claim that salt did cause hypertension.

So, now Time gets another way to grab eyeballs -- debunk the scam that for at least three decades has had way too many people thinking the total nonsense that salt causes hypertension.

For the media, there's a pattern here: To get eyeballs, create a scam. Then, later, maybe decades later, to get more eyeballs, debunk the scam. Then continue with more scams -- there are many possible scams.

So, net, salt does not cause the disease hypertension, and the media likes to use scams to get eyeballs. Virginia, if you didn't already know this, then listen up and learn. I mean, by now, we expected something else?

19
sparkzilla 1 day ago 3 replies      
The latest health scare is that sitting causes all kinds of trouble. Expect articles in 10 years saying it was all a lie.
20
elchief 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or is there? Nutrition "Science" is fucking Phrenelogy
21
nakedrobot2 23 hours ago 0 replies      
ALL NUTRITION SCIENCE IS A BUNCH OF GODDAM LIES.

EAT FOOD THAT TASTES GOOD. STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOOD. GET OFF YOUR ASS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. THAT IS ALL!

/rant

22
calvinbhai 1 day ago 4 replies      
This article is BS. I mean, its a FUD advertorial.

I say that based on my personal experience:

A nurse in the clinic checked my BP (as a routine) when I went to get checked for some eye infection. And she was shocked that it was 170/100 (normal is 120/80).

It was shocking for her (and of course me) because:I was 25I looked healthy and lean (not too thin).I showed/experienced no signs of hyper tension.

My eating habits, was to go on a Frozen Prepared Food diet (for lunch and dinner) because that was the cheapest tasty food I could afford along with cereals for breakfast, for about 3 months before my BP was checked.

I dropped this diet since that day, reduced salt intake considerably. And it took about 9 months for my BP to come down to normal levels, without any medication, and with a little extra exercising.

I'd have taken this article with a pinch of salt. But, I have cut down on salt intake. So I prefer to not take it :)

22
The Y Combinator (no, not that one) A Crash Course on Lambda Calculus
247 points by juanplusjuan  1 day ago   45 comments top 12
1
wlevine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice article, definitely piqued my interest in the lambda calculus, but there were a few points that were confusing for me as my first glimpse at the lambda calculus.

The first confusing point was the lack of definition of the order of operations. I first stumbled at the line (y.(x. x) y) a b . Is this supposed to be (y.(x. x) y) (a b) or ((y.(x. x) y) a) b . In this case both give the same answer, but it's not obvious that associativity holds in general.

It gets worse with the Y combinator: f. (x. f (x x))(x. f (x x)) . Is this (f. (x. f (x x)))(x. f (x x)) or f. ((x. f (x x))(x. f (x x))) . Peeking ahead, it seems to be the latter, which makes more sense (otherwise the letter f would be pressed into service in two different contexts), but it's totally ambiguous from the rules that have been presented in the article.

The other point of confusion was regarding rule #3 (If t and s are both valid -terms, then t s is a valid -term.) The article tells is a certain manipulation we can do if t is a "function" (i.e. something that begins with a , I don't know the technical name for this), but doesn't say what to do if t is not a "function". As far as I can tell the answer is: do nothing, there is no simplification in this case. It would be nice if this was said explicitly.

2
vqc 1 day ago 4 replies      
One of my favorite programming videos: Jim Weirich on the Y Combinator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FITJMJjASUs
3
tromp 1 day ago 1 reply      
My page on lambda diagrams at http://www.cwi.nl/~tromp/cl/diagrams.htmlhas a nice picture of the Y-combinator at the top,and this note at the bottom:

The diagram in the title, produced by the postscript code below, is a slightly deformed alternative Y diagram made to look like a Y.

    %!PS-Adobe-2.0 EPSF-2.0    %%BoundingBox:0 0 118 110    /m{moveto}def/l{lineto}def/c{concat 6 m 0 6 l 7 8 m 0 8 l l l 3 6 l 2 6 m 7 6 l    3 4 m 6 4 l 6 6 l stroke}def 3 0 0 0 1[-8 4 0 8 60 9]c 3 2 0 2 2[-1 1 0 1 0 0]c

4
im3w1l 1 day ago 1 reply      
tl;dr

A fixed point p for a function f, is a value so that f(p)=p.

A semi-recursive function f is a like a recursive function, except that instead of invoking itself, it invokes some other function provided as an argument to f.

The y-combinator (aka fixed-point-combinator) is a function, that for a function f, finds a fixed point for f.

We can turn a semi-recursive function f into the corresponding recursive function g, by finding a fix point for f, which we can do using the y-combinator.

5
SeoxyS 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once tried an insane thing: building the Y-Combinator in C, and wrote a blog post about it. http://kswizz.com/post/50429268286/fibonacci-the-y-combinato...

It was a fun thought exercise. Not something I'd use in production code.

6
derengel 1 day ago 1 reply      
From The Little Schemer - http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/matthias/BTLS/sample.pdf

That chapter made me grok the Y Combinator.

7
socksy 1 day ago 1 reply      
If there's one thing that the prolific rise of the Y Combinator accelerator has done, it's made the combinator much harder to google for. (Though ofc Fixed-point combinator would still work).
8
anatoly 1 day ago 5 replies      
Has the Y combinator been useful to anything? Has it been used in any software in a role other than pedagogic?

It's a beautiful way to make a recursive call without binding the function to an identifier, but has it actually proven useful? It would seem that languages that allow that make it easy to use the Y combinator also typically make it easy to use named recursion with a permanent or a temporary name.

9
drdeca 1 day ago 1 reply      
There appears to by a typo in one of the lines.

The line

6 * (if 3 == 0 then 1 else 1 * (YF)(11))

The previous line is6 * (x.(if x == 0 then 1 else x * (YF)(x1)) 1)When replacing the x s with 1s, it replaces one of the x s with 1, but replaces the first one with 3.

My guess was that this was copied from the first version, and they just forgot to change one of the threes to a 1.

(that is, unless I misunderstood something, which is of course possible)

I think the line should be

6 * (if 1 == 0 then 1 else 1 * (YF)(11))

10
cousin_it 1 day ago 0 replies      
It still amazes me that you can define the Y combinator in Haskell directly:

    y f = f (y f)
And in ML, only slightly less directly:

    let rec y f x = f (y f) x

11
supsep 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember taking this in University, lambda scared the hell out of me.
12
kazinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Y Combinator in TXR's embedded Lisp dialect:

    @(do      ;; The Y combinator:      (defun y (f)        [(op @1 @1)         (op f (op [@@1 @@1]))])      ;; The Y-combinator-based factorial:      (defun fac (f)        (do if (zerop @1)               1               (* @1 [f (- @1 1)])))      ;; Test: 4! -> 24      (pprinl [[y fac] 4]))

23
Apple Live September 2014 Special Event
236 points by Geee  2 days ago   362 comments top 87
1
IkmoIkmo 2 days ago 13 replies      
First no video, then constant mixing between the TV Truck schedule, a video of the crowd, a video of the presentation screen showing the apple logo, a message showing apple copyright.

Refreshed a few times, got 'access denied to server' page a few times. Then got video with Chinese translations talking over the presenter. Then it suddenly stopped, I pressed 'resume' to get the TV truck schedule again.

On an iPad.

2
sytelus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Summary:

2 new iPhone models: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.iPhone 6 is 4.7", iPhone 6 Plus is 5.5".Power button on right side.A8 chip - 13% smaller chip, 25% faster CPU, 50% faster GPU, 50% more energy efficient than A7.Battery a little better on the iPhone 6; iPhone 6 Plus has amazing battery life.VoLTE (Voice over LTE) - make calls over LTE internet instead of using minutes.Camera is still 8MP...

YouTube video stream is working:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxCbIjAg6mg

3
mslev 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm watching it using VLC. Media > Open Network Stream... > Paste this link:

http://p.events-delivery.apple.com.edgesuite.net/14pijnadfpv...

4
zvanness 2 days ago 1 reply      
Right now i'm at:

Access Denied

You don't have permission to access "http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/" on this server.Reference #18.2d2f0660.1410283131.13b065e3

5
Aardwolf 2 days ago 5 replies      
This website says that live streaming requires OS X or iOS.

Why would they only allow already-customers to watch their presentation?

Locking out non-customers seems not the best way to get some.

6
yumraj 2 days ago 9 replies      
Is it just me or the iWatch "looks" really ugly, at least when compared with Moto 360 which looks beautiful. iWatch may win out on functionality and user experience etc., but it just looks funky.
7
e0m 2 days ago 14 replies      
Anyone else seeing the TV Truck schedule instead of the keynote right now?
8
nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
Solid black screen for me. Now, I have video, but why in gods name is there a Chinese translation?

Wow, this is an utter failure. Now video is skipping around.

9
RexRollman 2 days ago 12 replies      
I'm getting older, so maybe my desires don't match up with the majority of tech people's anymore, but does anyone really want an iWatch (or whatever it ends up being called)? I am just not sold on the usefulness of such a thing.
10
Quai 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Sorry, your browser doesnt support our live video stream."

My browser supports live video just fine. It's -your- streaming software that lacks support for my browser.

This illustrates why I never have, and never will own a Apple product.

11
brotchie 2 days ago 6 replies      
ApplePay: I do this every day and have been doing this every day for the last year with my Android phone in Australia!

edit Admittedly the integration of all different types of cards with Passbook is good stuff!

12
gramasaurous 2 days ago 5 replies      
The video started for me a few minutes ago, anyone else notice that there seems to be two songs playing in the background at once?
13
cylinder 2 days ago 3 replies      
Restricting this to Safari only? Fuck you Apple. I'm on a god damned Macbook.
14
fidotron 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lessons so far: fragmentation is only bad when it's a criticism you can apply to other people.

EDIT: Additionally, losing Steve Jobs really was as damaging as many feared then.

15
aroch 2 days ago 4 replies      
Apple.com/ has been redirecting to apple.com/live for about ~20 hours now. They're very confident about what's about to be presented.
16
natch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lest anyone blame local networks or non-Apple hardware for the streaming problems:

I was on IRC with other iOS developers viewing the streaming using Safari on Apple hardware with fully updated software all around (I know these people), in different parts of the US, people working at different companies, using different, very fast, geographically diverse networks, and all of us were seeing the same catastrophic problems at the same times: a mix of simultaneous multiple audio streams sometimes in sync, sometimes slightly out of sync, stopping and starting video, truck schedules for 5-10 seconds every minute or so, English over Chinese, audio temporarily resetting to beginning of stream while another track of audio continued at the current position superimposed over the let's-start-over audio, access denied errors, pause/continue buttons not working, refresh not working.. this went on for at least 40 full minutes as the problems started before the broadcast and didn't stop until after 30 minutes. And no, we were NOT madly hitting Refresh or pause/restart all the time, although we did try invoking them a few times and calmly waiting, usually to little avail.

I want to emphasize that when I saw a TV truck schedule on my screen in San Francisco, at that very same moment my buddies in other parts of the country started seeing the TV truck schedule on their screens as well. If we can say one thing for this broadcast, it is that the screwups were very well synchronized for many if not all viewers.

The mind boggles as to why the didn't have someone dedicated to be listening to a dog food channel of their own stream on a remote network, and report the problems back earlier, and whether they did or not, why they couldn't fix it sooner.

17
evertonfuller 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well someone's going to get fired after this is over. What complete shambles so far.
18
sudhirj 2 days ago 0 replies      
As far as live feeds go, this is one of the biggest screwups I've ever seen.
19
wiredfool 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wall Street is going to be disappointed if there's no Singularity.
20
moeedm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, they're going all out for this one. Lots of new things they haven't done in past keynotes. Can't wait to see what they show off.
21
rubicon33 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes apple, I want to buy your products! Why? Well, because you showed such engineering prowess with your streaming service, that I am sure you know what you're doing!
22
ryanSrich 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone see this right now? My video is seriously messed up. I have both VLC and Safari running the stream. It's freezing, jumping around from the iPhone 6 release back to the beginning video. The audio is a combination of glitches, Chinese, and skipping english.
23
dzhiurgis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am hearing Tim Cook and some Chinese translation in the back.

Go figure.

24
readerrrr 2 days ago 6 replies      
How can I watch this on windows if I don't have Quicktime installed?
25
antr 2 days ago 4 replies      
Call me dull, but I'm looking forward for a new iMac 27". Apple recently renewed the 21" version, but I'm just waiting for a new 27" to come out.
26
pt 2 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone hearing Chinese commentary?
27
gooseus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Question that I didn't hear addressed anywhere in the talk or online yet.

Will the NFC capability be exposed to third party apps through the SDK in any way?

I'm curious because they started talking about the apps for iWatch right after talking about its features, but they didn't discuss NFC in any other context but its use via Apple Pay.

What do you all think?

28
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty sad, on my iPad I had it for a while first with the Chinese translation and then that faded out, then the video stopped but the 'live blog' updates kept going, and then Safari crashed. And now three versions: access denied, a plain text non-stylized page, safari crash.

Amazing that this isn't a solved problem by now.

29
moeedm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Guess: The building outside is actually a stage where Dre will perform.
30
laacz 2 days ago 0 replies      
People will get used to iPhone6 size, though many of iPhone5 users will feel like unfarily forgotten. I was betting on iPhone6 being same size as 5s and another on just a tad larger - I was wrong.

Apple Watch does not bring anything exceptional to wrist devices world, though overall functionality and UX is much better than those of Android. It's just an accessory for iPhone. One thing they got right - wristwatch is personal, so it should be able to be made look personal and different.

I can't say much about Apple Pay. Payments via iPhone look nice (fingerprint as authorization method) but paying via Watch just does not look very secure to me - how are you going to add that one factor? Also, it's another proprietary way of paying for stuff, which just does not feel right...

31
anigbrowl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't watch any of the video (using Chrome) so I'm just watching the live updates on the website instead with bullet points...which is apparently a lot more useful than the video feed. 200 comments and nobody is discussing the technology, what a shame after all that build-up.

Anyway the new iPhone looks more like a Samsung in terms of size, screen resolution etc. but presumably with a significant Apple technical edge. It seems like a really beautiful product, and I say that as someone who doesn't care for Apple's stuff in general.

I'm sad that the launch of multiple new products is being overshadowed by the clusterfuck of the presentation, but it's a great example of execution > ideas that will probably be taught in business schools for years to come :-/

32
keithxm23 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article explains pretty well what went wrong with the stream. It wasn't Akamai, it was Apple. The interactive JSON-based elements that had on their page prevented it from being cached which resulted in the issues we were seeing. http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014/09/why-apples-livestream...
33
grej 2 days ago 1 reply      
OUCH! This is on a MacBook Pro running Safari:

Access Denied

You don't have permission to access "http://www.apple.com/" on this server.

Reference #18.342f0660.1410282543.baf7bd

34
taylorwc 2 days ago 0 replies      
The livestream of this event, both browser and Apple TV access, is an unmitigated disaster. I'm not sure I've ever seen something go this poorly, and I'm certain I've never seen an Apple event go this poorly.
35
jdprgm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was really hoping the watch would be able to track gps for runs without needing an iphone. Am i supposed to wear the watch and then still have my iphone in my hand when I go for a run? Terrible user experience.
36
wickedOne 2 days ago 0 replies      
quite a disgrace for a tech company of this size: either a black screen, an access denied error, stalling stream with a chinese (?) voice over

but hey, the iphone 6 has rounded corners! B|

37
hoistor 2 days ago 2 replies      
Aaand japanese translations ???
38
discardorama 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else getting Chinese crosstalk on the audio?
39
wfjackson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they started working on the bigger iPhones while airing this ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY4c2mh15Yk

The new "reachability" feature is an interesting way to try to minimize the problem though, if a little cumbersome.

40
killerdhmo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are the top comments really about the livestream problems and not about what they released? http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/9/6125873/apple-watch-smartwa...
41
saganus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm getting

"You don't have permission to access "http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/" on this server.Reference #18.520fd717.1410283069.16b78ac2"

How come?

42
derengel 2 days ago 3 replies      
Who wants to see the mac mini revived? ;)
43
u124556 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those not able to see the video, text updates [here](http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2fwmcl/apple_special_...)
44
jimotto 2 days ago 0 replies      
This site has the most and best comments on the disaster by Apple. I am a fan of Apple and use many of there products. To my disappointment I was not able to hear or watch any of the broadcast.I agree with many of the comments...fire the bad guys!
45
adricnet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gizmodo's live blog here has been working well for me:http://live.gizmodo.com/our-new-iphone-liveblog-starts-right...
47
shawn-butler 2 days ago 0 replies      
The translation voiceover is pretty distracting.

Not sure what Apple is trying to do.

48
cbgb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Off by 1 error in the new Fitness app. Apparently you can be 101% done with a run.
49
jdnier 2 days ago 1 reply      
Apple's web site has a curated set of "live" posts giving details. http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/
50
stock_toaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now redirecting directly to cdn (akamai) at http://www.apple.com.edgesuite.net/live/2014-sept-event/
51
acomjean 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like working and having the text feed. I use:

http://www.macrumors.com/ feed of the event. It autorefreshes which is nice.

52
malchow 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know whose network is delivering the streams? Is it Akamai?
53
rdvrk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Little onions love to disco. With Chinese translations. And the TV Truck. Maybe they have an augmented reality product coming? Bringing back the rainbow logo? This is terrible.
54
krorange 2 days ago 0 replies      
hahah.. from all videos player i think apple video player sucks!!. I hate that.. not to say Apple event last night (MY time). I think youtube or google services are better video player. hmm.. why apple always wanted to create and use their own video player but they denide to develop it. I cannot play video in some websites. Sucks!!! Apple should change this. BTW Im apple fan though.
55
Zikes 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh good, charts with no Y axis. How informative.

http://i.imgur.com/4UZk0MH.png

56
bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
57
math0ne 2 days ago 1 reply      
WOW their streaming choices here have made me loose another notch of respect for apple WTF, safari only? This is 2014 apple grow up.
58
lordbusiness 2 days ago 3 replies      
Can anyone recall if iOS goes GM / public release on the day of this? Or do we have to wait a week?
59
discardorama 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yay! The Chinese translation has stopped!! It took only 26 minutes to achieve this.

I hope someone gets fired for these goofs. I expected better from Apple.

60
sdegutis 2 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: they made a bigger phone and a watch
61
RayVR 2 days ago 0 replies      
getting translators for...mandarin? korean? over the sound of tim cook...
62
stasy 2 days ago 0 replies      
How much will an unlocked version be of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+? If you buy full price from Tmobile.
63
rebel 2 days ago 0 replies      
This presentation looks like it's going to be on another level.. even for Apple standards.
64
AlexeyBrin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can't wait to see the new iPhone 6, time to change my old iPhone 4 :)
65
icpmacdo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm getting an access denied page trying to refresh the stream
66
htaunay 2 days ago 0 replies      
[Off-Topic]: The 12:44 pic might as well be a Starbucks ad (8:44 PDT)
67
evidencepi 2 days ago 0 replies      
The live stream is a disaster. Anyone experiences a homepaga crash?
68
clairity 2 days ago 0 replies      
did anyone catch if apple devices can do peer-to-peer payments via apple pay? (e.g., one phone acting as a reader, la square, another as payer)
69
ulfw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow they seriously messed this one up.
70
jl6 2 days ago 0 replies      
iBeats smart headphones with voice-only UI. "Wish we could say more".
71
bringking 2 days ago 0 replies      
whats up with the Chinese translations?
72
hlmencken 2 days ago 0 replies      
seventeen songs at once are playing
73
DSingularity 2 days ago 0 replies      
anyone else getting access denied?
74
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the smart money is on:

- iWatch with less features, possibly just tracks your every move and becomes part of quantified self

- a new record label or Dre inspired mood

- two new iPhones

Possibly some or all put back till they are perfect.

Is this a correct reading of what has to be a record 150 HN posts in five minutes flat?

75
droopyEyelids 2 days ago 4 replies      
Any chance we can keep all Apple discussion on HN contained in this thread?
76
hlmencken 2 days ago 0 replies      
why am i getting bars
77
DSingularity 2 days ago 0 replies      
now no audio?
78
mbrubeck 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't reproduce this in either Chrome or Firefox. All of the requests I see are to the http://www.apple.com origin. I also can't find any hard-coded https://www.apple.com URLs in the HTML+JS sources. Maybe they fixed it already, or maybe you have a browser extension that's modifying the requests on your end.
79
TheAlchemist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Getting 'Access Denied' now
80
autism_hurts 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly very excited about this... very excited.
81
udzinari 2 days ago 0 replies      
WTF per minute world record just got smashed to peaces
82
niix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get it together, jeesh.
83
subpixel 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't believe I'm actually tuning in to watch this.
84
wilsonfiifi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Streaming seems to be better from the iPad than the Mac... weird
85
stasy 2 days ago 0 replies      
The timer doesn't display for me. Is this happening with anyone else?
86
DigitalJack 2 days ago 2 replies      
The new iPhone 6000 SUX. Big is back! Because Bigger is Better! (c.f. robocop)
87
hobarrera 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Our live broadcast begins at 10 a.m. PDT."

Considering that the entire world uses GMT, and that only US citizens use PDT, they could have bothered to use GMT.

Or better still, they could have detected your location/system time and just put a countdown or your own local time.

24
Cosmos Browser Connect to the Internet via SMS, no data or wifi required
284 points by cleverjake  20 hours ago   148 comments top 50
1
tomw1808 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Guys, really, that is an awesome idea, especially when it comes to several countries in the world that limit the access to data. This data doesn't necessarily require multimedia, sometimes its all about access to basic information like dates for demonstrations, or other political topics and things like that. This could be really hand for hundreds of thousands of people who are just not informed and kept silent by their governments. Think about that when implementing. There is a not-so-small audience out there.

Do not get discouraged by all those people who are telling you that its too expensive. Those guys are sitting in behind a high-speed access and don't seem to look beyond the horizon, that sometimes its not about getting 2GB across with SMS (really? ... I mean... REALLY?!), its about getting basic access to information. Not every country is as awesome as the US or Europe in this world. Not everyone is free. And not everyone uses the internet the way we seem to got used to it.

Keep up the great work, its an awesome idea. For sailors, for people without access to internet, for quite a bit of an audience we like so much to forget. Keeping it open and turning down VC firms is even better.

GREAT JOB!

2
NicoJuicy 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd do the jquery function .text() on a page, spaces and new lines with a max sequential occurence of 1 and would send that through in markdown (to get some layout).

The browser contains same basic stylesheets and the user can change this (h1,h2,p,...)

Keep the link functionality with # (for single page apps) somehow, for links {{the text}{the link}} could be used.

Strip everything else.

3
romaniv 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very insteresting, but...

The backend takes the url, gets the HTML source of the website, minifies it, gets rid of the css, javascript, and images, GZIP compresses it, encodes it in Base64, and sends the data as a series of SMS's.

This is yet another interesting idea that will get screwed up in practice because of massive overreliance on JavaScript in modern web development. This is why developers should do progressive enhancement. There are a lot of thing that are possible with declarative markup that are not possible or not safely feasible with imperative code, which generates things on the fly.

4
Animats 18 hours ago 4 replies      
They're using Twilio. Each SMS they send costs them $0.0075.

However, simply stripping the junk out of web pages for mobile delivery has real promise. Just put all third-party content on "load on user request only", like mail attachments.

5
krrishd 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Just for context, these guys turned down significant VC money recently in favor of bootstrapping/remaining open source.

Kudos!

6
thewarrior 4 hours ago 1 reply      
One app the HN crowd may not be so aware of is UC Browser.

UC Browser aggressively optimises for page size by cutting out javascript and sending out only 10 kb segments at a time.

I owned an old Nokia feature phone and used to browse the internet all the time almost as if I had a smartphone with a good internet connection.

On slow 2G connections here in India UC Browser can be a god send.

But there are privacy risks.

7
XorNot 16 hours ago 3 replies      
So this seems stupid.

SMS is the most expensive data service on the planet. It costs more per byte to send SMS then it does to send data to Jupiter (factoring in the space ship you had to launch there to receive it).

WhatsApp's entire business model is based on the fact that SMS is just stupidly expensive.

8
sunsu 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see this could EVER be economical. Even wholesale SMS (not Twilio/Plivo/Nexmo/Etc) can still cost $0.001 / SMS. There is simply no way they can operate the proxy/gateway profitably.
9
edpichler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome!

Here in Brazil internet on mobile is expensive and limited, and the SMS is easily found free and unlimited. This project can potentially improve mobile Internet here.

Remember me the Opera Mobile case that was largely used in Africa where 3G was too much expensive. I remember to saw in some news that Opera brought digital inclusion to many African countries with their browser that basically shrink the requested pages at server side before sending to the phone.

I don`t know about the speed and reliability, but at least, it would be a option.

10
pranayairan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
we did similar thing in Intuit India, check out https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.intuit.txt...

We have a platform that enables access of internet services over sms, i did the android app which enables accessing all the content offline as well.

11
Systemic33 16 hours ago 1 reply      
A big problem to solve is that SMS is notoriously bad at delivery. You may have SMS's dropped for weird reasons, and delivery reports aren't exactly reliable.
12
Gys 14 hours ago 1 reply      
One market you might not have considered: sailors. Out there on the water its very slow and expensive to be online.

Any cuttings in data transfer have a huge return in less costs and faster replies.

The few options out there are focused on email and expensive. To get an idea: sailmail.com offers email-only SSB (single side band) for $250 / year.

13
Gys 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You could sell this in a prepaid kind of way ? 30 webpages for USD 1 or something. So I would first have to buy credit and then each requested page is deducted from my credit.

Assuming the user has to other internet access, you could offer access to the login / payment / info pages for free. However, you do need some secure sms payment option. I believe all current sms payment options are operator dependent. A huge business in Africa if I recall correctly. An independent version might be another opportunity ;-)

14
tankenmate 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I had a browser (WAP) on my Nokia 7110 that supported browsing via a SMS bearer; 1999. I tried it once and got billed up the wazoo, SMS was expensive back in those days.
15
billpg 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Just thinking about some of the comments I've written into my JS and how many text messages it would take to deliver them.

Text messages are free to deliver these days right?

16
dmead 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
screenshots. thanks.
17
sauere 18 hours ago 0 replies      
> gets rid of the css, javascript, and images

Hell, this might even be faster than loading stuff over WiFi.

18
robgibbons 18 hours ago 3 replies      
May I ask why you're encoding as Base64? Does this not increase the payload size significantly?
19
sleepychu 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like something RMS would like ;-)https://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html(Old page ctrl-f "I am careful in how I use the internet")
20
digitalcreate 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I guess this only works if you have a cell phone plan with unlimited SMS. Otherwise you're looking at a phone bill of thousands of dollars!
21
ggchappell 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Question: Why is this called a "browser"?

Is it a web browser? If so, then I don't see the point. Why not simply write some kind of driver that does IP over SMS; then any app that uses the net could connect that way.

(And if it isn't a web browser, then why "browser"?)

22
sygma 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In terms of saving on data, I think Opera Mini [0] is a good compromise. They compress the hell out of the page and images (there's even an option to strip images away), but they don't mess with the layout.

[0]: http://www.opera.com/mobile

23
tsunamifury 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Coming up with new ways of compressing data to travel down legacy or fundamentally anti-functional data channels (i.e. low bandwidth, low quality of data, high latency, preprocessing that destroys the majority of the experiencial data) is always a fun hack, but is never a marketable strategy for a few reasons.

- It bets on technology going backwards rather than forwards (i.e. will have cheap android phones with cheap data plans before you can scale it)

- It doesn't provide much more than novelty self promotion. "Hey i made a webpage deliver via SMS"

- Its usually more expensive and time-consuming to produce what almost always becomes an inherently inferior product.

24
damian2000 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Why not do it using audio modem software over a phone call ... might be able to reach higher speeds - approaching 56kbps??
25
skywhopper 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting approach. I wonder if this HTTP-specific approach is better or worse than coming up with some form of generalized TCP-over-SMS stack (with accompanying server-side router software, of course).

Reminds me, though, of Georgia Weidman's Smartphone Pentest Framework[1] which provides tools to hack a target smartphone and from there create a data connection via SMS via which you can then access a firewalled corporate network using SMS over the cell network as your tunnel in. I've seen it demoed, and it's frankly incredible.

[1] https://github.com/georgiaw/Smartphone-Pentest-Framework

26
lucb1e 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure how badly I want to find out just how unlimited "unlimited texting" is, especially at 0 extra cost a month. Of course it's included in the price somewhere, but I can't turn it off to pay less. Suddenly receiving thousands of text messages a minute after hardly using sms for years doesn't sound like a great idea...

Calling my number and using the good old dial-up method sounds much more efficient actually. Isn't the bitrate around 128kbps in normal calls?

27
jbert 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome app. I was thinking about something like this recently for a niche.

I was going to ask how you direct the SMS to the app, but taking a quick look at the src, it seems the app reads the sms inbox, looking for the specific phone number?

I guess this means that:

- the user sees alerts for the incoming sms?

- the user needs to delete (does the app/could the app do that?)

Great stuff, really interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

28
kayoone 18 hours ago 0 replies      
In germany unlimited sms has only been a thing since ip based messengers like WhatsApp took over messaging and nobody is using SMS anymore, before that SMS were quite expensive after you hit the budget of your contract (typically about 50-100 SMS). Now, unlimited SMS is the norm and things like this browser get interesting. But even if it would be a great working alternative, it will only work until carriers adapt. I really want unlimited data...currently i get 750MB with a contract that costs EUR 50.
29
jbarrow 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is an interesting proof of concept; it seems like the exact opposite of WhatsApp, which is based on the concept that data is cheaper than SMS.

I know that SMS plans are often "unlimited" in the US, which is why (at least from what I've seen) WhatsApp is far more popular in Europe.

30
azdle 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they could do some intelligent parsing of the content and just return a plain text version of what the user requests. It wouldn't work for everything, but for things where there are articles with a defined "content" it shouldn't be too hard.

In fact, isn't that what the "read it later" type apps do? I'll bet there is a free js library that already does the detection or you.

31
sspiff 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I had considered doing something similar (to avoid roaming charges). I'm very happy someone else did it for me!
32
revelation 17 hours ago 1 reply      
SMS isn't going to get good bandwidth, given the path it uses over the mobile network.

But I've thought about building HTTP-over-WhatsApp. Mobile providers here offer prepaid contracts where you don't pay for WhatsApp access, regardless of your balance or traffic remaining.

33
aviv 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminded me of this thread about Smozzy from 3 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2976764
34
walski 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is like the mobile era's acoustic coupler :D what's not to like about something that weird?!
35
BrianEatWorld 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Would this allow users to circumvent internet censorship? It seems like that as long as the main server was outside of the censored zone, SMS traffic would be able to get information in under the radar.
36
cdcox 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Could you achieve a more high throughput version over voice? I wonder, after compression what the data rate ends up being. I'm reading gzip can get 2:1-4:1 with text. So about a kb/s?
37
bikamonki 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Love it. A few q's: all traffic on your servers is plain open? "The phone recieves this stream at 3 messages per second", how about upstream? How much data (kb) fits on each message?
38
denisnazarov 17 hours ago 1 reply      
What about using MMS?
39
SilasX 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Even at good compression, 420 chars/sec is a little frustrating...

Still, major admiration from me for getting that to work!

40
benologist 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This would be really awesome as emergency internet access if twitter/facebook/google/etc did or were optimized for it.
41
tzhong 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Really awesome hack and can't wait to see what you guys do to improve it!
42
thrush 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Was this developed during MHacks?
43
JetSpiegel 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Now port this to J2ME and make a lot of people happy.
44
jonpo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Try zip-txt.com for a similar idea ...
45
lucasgonze 16 hours ago 0 replies      
lynx --dump

Would be an optimal way of encoding the return.

46
brianjesse 15 hours ago 0 replies      
it's the return of slipknot
47
pbjorklund 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this designed with rural parts of africa in mind?
48
ptaipale 18 hours ago 0 replies      
We're definitely on the way to practical implementations of RFC 1149.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149

49
dfurlong 18 hours ago 0 replies      
mhacks!
50
dfurlong 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Mhacks!
25
iPhone 6 Screens Demystified
242 points by melancton  23 hours ago   79 comments top 17
1
fidotron 23 hours ago 4 replies      
This fuss about the iPhone screens is, to me at least, hilarious.

A good part of my career has been being the "Android guy" in organisations where for better or worse the products would de facto lead on iOS. The number one headache was designers pushing "pixel perfect design" which is doable on Android, but is a pointless headache when your tiny screen is 720p or higher.

The fact Apple have a phone coming out for which it is actually impossible is going to send a lot of these people into a confused fit. If this was how Android worked it would be criticised to the hills, but because it's Apple they can't.

2
0x0 23 hours ago 4 replies      
I wonder if it will be possible to opt-in to 1:1 pixel rendering on the iPhone6+ after all, particularly for opengl/metal/video playback. It seems the downscale hack is mostly required for UIKit backwards compatibility and to maintain approximately equal physical sizes for UI elements only.

Very nice visualization in the OP, by the way!

3
solutionyogi 23 hours ago 0 replies      
An infographic which conveys a complicated information in easy to understand form. More of this please!
4
bla2 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is looking really nice. The "No Image" images on http://www.paintcodeapp.com/content/news/2014-09-11_iphone-6... look unintentional, though.

Edit: The 1x version looks fine: http://www.paintcodeapp.com/content/news/2014-09-11_iphone-6... So this post only looks broken on retina screens, which is a bit ironic :-)

5
morganvachon 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm not a UX designer by any stretch, but as a consumer I can say that if Apple can pull off the downsampling/downscaling correctly, good on them. I have a Kindle Fire HDX 7", and recently upgraded to a Fire HDX 8.9". The former is 1920x1200 and 323 PPI, the latter is 2560x1600 and 339 PPI. That's not a huge difference in PPI in fact it's far less than the difference in the two new iPhones, yet so many apps (mostly games) render incorrectly on the larger Kindle, to the point that small text becomes unreadable.

If Apple can release two new phones with greater disparity and seemingly get the app experience right, why can't Amazon? I don't use an iPhone but seeing these explanations that break down how they pull off such a feat really impresses me.

6
ianlevesque 23 hours ago 5 replies      
I know it's dangerous to armchair speculate about Apple's moves, but it really seems like they should have held out for a true 3x screen instead of compromising on a 1080p. I certainly would never buy the 6+ after reading about their cheesy resolution hack. It feels rushed and short term.
7
u124556 22 hours ago 2 replies      
So if you want to watch a 1080 video on this device, the player will upscale it to 1242 and then the hardware will downscale it to 1080 again? or will there be some way to bypass all this?
8
adamfeldman 23 hours ago 3 replies      
(1) Is it really a problem that apps can't be pixel perfect on the 6+? How unsharp are we talking about? Are there workarounds such as device detection and an additional set of image assets?

(2) Will Apple aim to re-enable pixel-perfection in next year's iPhone release? Was this just a stopgap measure due to yield challenges inherent to display manufacturing?

9
yodsanklai 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Stupid question, but why the point resolution for the iphone 6+ isn't a perfect divider of the pixel resolutions like it is for the other iphones?

Since there is more than one point resolution anyway.

And also, how is it different for android devices?

10
xngzng 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Would be great to add 4" size of iPhone 5/5s/5c to the illustration.
11
sriku 22 hours ago 1 reply      
They did it! This nice page explaining the resolution differences etc. made me want to click the "paintcode" link at the bottom of the page. This is hard to pull off well, and I think they did it.
12
TomAnthony 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool diagram - helps to understand what can be a confusing topic for people who don't actually do any dev on the platform.

I believe the 326 PPI for the original iPhone is incorrect. Should be 163, I think.

13
natex 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Note: On latest Chrome, I'm getting some clipping on the left text column. see http://imgur.com/jEAuB4A,YtVYC4T

Nice diagram!

14
josteink 23 hours ago 2 replies      
TLDR: The Iphone 6 plus can never show a sharp picture, unless the application-UI is adapted to be unsharp on all other displays.
15
Too 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft made a somewhat similar mistake(?) many years ago with WPF, a vector UI framework supposed to handle a wide range of pixel densities. You could frequently end up with lines that were 1.5pixels thick or located on a fraction of a pixel which caused them to look very blurry. To fix this they added a special flag called something like forcesnaptodevicepixels, which was supposed to force certain lines to always be located on an exact device pixel.
16
achille2 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I still don't understand how the iphone6 can run existing apps while having the same dpi as the iphone5 but with a larger screen.
17
felixgallo 23 hours ago 0 replies      
can this be real? There's mandatory downsampling in every case, even if you want to try to ship to be pixel perfect?
26
Peter Thiel AMA
256 points by jordanbrown  20 hours ago   66 comments top 14
1
ihnorton 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting point on science funding practices:

I think there's been a Gresham's Law in science funding in this country, as the political people who are nimble in the art of writing government grants have gradually displaced the eccentric and idiosyncratic people who typically make the best scientists. The eccentric university professor is a species that is going extinct fast.

2
dfc 2 hours ago 1 reply      

  > many of the bad monopolies in our society involve the unholy  > coalition of urban slumlords and pseudo-environmentalists.
Does anyone know who these "bad monopolists" are?

3
jordanbrown 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Intriguing.

Question: What did you think when you first met Elon Musk?

Peter: "Very smart, very charismatic, and incredibly driven -- a very rare combination, since most people who have one of these traits learn to coast on the other two. It was kind of scary to be competiting against his startup in Palo Alto in Dec 1999-Mar 2000."

4
prawn 16 hours ago 4 replies      
A few of his answers seem brief when I wished he had time to answer in full. Selling something aside, I've always wondered why people commit to an AMA and then don't dedicate the time to over-delivering with comprehensive answers? Is it just a matter of something being better than nothing?
5
onedev 20 hours ago 3 replies      
"At 22, I didn't think it was important to meet people."

I thought that was interesting.

6
arjie 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Most of his comments I can understand, but to be honest I can not glean a shred of understanding from the following answer to the question about his Christian faith and libertarianism:

> To think of Christ as a politician might be the easiest way to get him all wrong.The theological claim that Christ is the "son of God" is also the anti-political claim that Augustus Caesar (the son of the divine Julius Caesar) is not the "son of God." So I think that Christ should be thought of as the first "political atheist," who did not believe that the existing political order is divinely ordained.Now, I think that there is lot of resonance between political atheism and libertarianism, even if they are not strictly identical...

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2g4g95/peter_thiel_tec...

7
DAddYE 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> And more generally: the NSA has been hovering up all the data in the world, because it has no clue what it is doing. "Big data" really means "dumb data."

I think he nailed it. Working a bit with "big data" I 100% agree with him.

8
tienlehut 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Q: Is Palantir a front for the CIA?

@peterthiel: No, the CIA is a front for Palantir.

9
quadyeast 15 hours ago 1 reply      
awesome - "Bonus tip for philanthropists: Find a way to sue Intellectual Ventures. If we could get rid of these parasites, we'd all be better off."
10
eglover 19 hours ago 0 replies      
He was also just on The Tim Ferriss Show:

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/09/09/peter-thiel/

11
1337biz 16 hours ago 1 reply      
As a Girardian acolyte, I'm curious if there any private truths you can reveal to us?

I am not getting this. Anyone care to enlighten me?

12
lukasm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
>What is the Straussian interpretation of Zero to One?

>Perhaps you should not become an entrepreneur...

eh?

13
notastartup 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Just asked Peter Thiel a question. I hope he responds.
14
staunch 14 hours ago 1 reply      
> The restaurant industry in SF is very competitive and very non-capitalistic (e.g., very hard way to make money), whereas Google is very capitalistic and has had no serious competition since 2002.

Either situation could change very quickly. A meal delivery restaurant chain could take SF by storm and rake in billions. A startup could launch tomorrow that begins rapidly stealing Google's market share. Nothing prevents this but the lack of people willing and able to do it.

Private individuals are free to upend industries without fear of unreasonable government interference. This is what capitalism is and it's alive and well in most industries.

27
Firefox Add-on Enables Web Development Across Browsers and Devices
260 points by rnyman  23 hours ago   25 comments top 5
1
bsimpson 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Kudos to Mozilla for tackling a huge pain point (having to learn three sets of dev tools because each browser speaks its own protocol sucks).

I'm most familiar with the WebKit/Chrome Dev Tools, and found this awesome project via Mozilla's post:

https://github.com/google/ios-webkit-debug-proxy

If it works as advertised, it'll let you connect to iOS browsers from Chrome Dev Tools. Honestly, I'm surprised they don't have a version of this compiled into Chrome for iOS.

2
redact207 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been working on something similar this year (https://www.entomic.com) that helps developers build cross-browser, responsive sites.

As an editor, all changes update immediately on all connected browsers and devices as they're being made to help see when things start going wrong.

Although it doesn't support javascript yet, all HTML and CSS changes do get pushed instantly to connected devices without the need to host a local server.

3
Aldo_MX 15 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a port of ios-webkit-debug-proxy for Win32:

https://github.com/artygus/ios-webkit-debug-proxy-win32

So in theory, the Firefox Tools Adapter should also be capable of debugging Safari iOS in Windows

4
bobajeff 22 hours ago 7 replies      
I know I'm probably the only one but I really wish they'd have Dev Tools that you can use on the device instead of remote debugging. Especially on Tablets and Set-top boxes.
5
varkson 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If this was the Chrome dev tools I'd be very very happy.
28
Inside a Tesla Model S Battery Pack
229 points by cyanoacry  20 hours ago   66 comments top 13
1
mercnet 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are the QR codes only used for manufacturing lines or tech support? It would be awesome if there was an open database where I could find replacement parts for particular devices.
2
jacquesm 15 hours ago 2 replies      
That was one very quick trip to the recycler, pack dates from August 2013. Crashed car?

Totally nuts to work with DC voltages this high without taking safety precautions. Anything over 50V DC is to be treated with very serious respect.

AC is different, you get a good number of opportunities to dis-engage, but with DC your muscles contract and that's that.

I'd rather mess with 2 KV AC than with 200 V DC.

Lovely engineering on that pack by the way, the number of safety features is very impressive. Sure looks a lot better on the inside than mine ever did!

( http://pics.camarades.com/d/90045-1/IM000398.JPG )

(That's only 48KWh but at 48V so much higher current)

I think I've found the source of the pack:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/32687-For-sale...

Original asking price was $29K.

3
phkahler 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I think he's wrong about one thing. A good BMS not only monitors cell voltages, it has the ability to bypass some charging current around individual cells. Not a lot, but enough to balance the charge of all cells over a cycle. That capability can do wonders for the reliability and life of a pack.

While I worked in EVs for 6 years, I have no knowledge of the Tesla BMS - they were not our customer and I worked mostly in motor control anyway.

4
agumonkey 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Pictures wouldn't load so I used https://web.archive.org/web/20140910232549/http://www.teslam...

thanks again archive.org

5
Gracana 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting to compare this to the ford fusion battery[1], which uses clever construction to prevent a technician from being exposed to high voltages during construction and teardown.

[1] http://www.etotheipiplusone.net/?p=3109

6
zizzer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone else notice that in the Tyco contactor picture it's labelled "Coil 3.14 Ohms"? It makes me think they only needed it to be 3 Ohms, but an engineer somewhere couldn't resist making it
7
DanBlake 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Asides from price, why not engineer a battery that did not rely on 18650 cylindrical cells? Seems like a bit of extra weight and lost capacity/space by using tons of 18650 batteries which each have their own casing instead of just making a 'brick' style battery, similar to those found in mobile phones (but obviously much larger).
8
beagle90 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Can we hurry with the electric buses already...
9
awonga 17 hours ago 0 replies      
One problem I've had before was if one cell in a pack is damaged and replaced, the BMS balance current would take forever to flatten the pack.

Do you know if Tesla has any way of improving or making this faster?

10
aresant 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a similar appreciation reading this that I felt for the original iPhone tear-aparts by ifixit and their brethren.

EG - looking at a truly innovative use of existing technologies pushed to their limit and engineered to a sum greater than their individual parts.

Makes me want a Tesla even more.

11
clumsysmurf 18 hours ago 1 reply      
From what I've read these packs have around 7000 3100mAH NCR-18650s. Over the years I've used these NCRs (or lower mAH versions) individually in special flashlights - and while they seem to have good reliability overall, one did fail on me while charging. Thats why often hobbyists charge these outside in fireproof bags.

I would be terrified to drive a car with this technology.

12
allegory 5 hours ago 0 replies      
That's pretty interesting and is testament to the versatility of the 18650 cell package!

I'm rebuilding ThinkPad X200 9-cell this weekend that is filled with 18650s and repaired a PBX about 15 years ago that had them in it so they appear literally everywhere.

13
ck2 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Seems like there is a lot of room for improvement?

Reducing the sheer number of casings on individual cells would radically reduce weight/volume.

Then with less groups of cells you could actually have the BMS monitor them like my lifepo lithium battery for bicycle.

29
Intel Edison Module
214 points by gao8a  2 days ago   52 comments top 17
1
centizen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very interesting! The picture is kind of confusing though, it took me a minute to realize that the picture was of an "expansion board" with the module installed (in the lower left hand corner).

I like what I see though, they have packed quite a bit of processing power into the tiny package. Good amounts of memory too. And I really like the built in WiFi/bluetooth. Looks like it could be a good option for making connected devices with. The only problem is transitioning from prototype to production with Intels current business model.

This video does a good job to show off the Edison on it's own, for anyone interested.https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GY8k...

2
tdicola 2 days ago 2 replies      
Impressive how much Intel can shrink their X86 processors and supporting hardware. However I think Intel is making a mistake trying to push Arduino 'compatibility' with this and the Galileo. Unless they actually put an AVR microcontroller on board it will have poor compatibility with Arduino shields (like the Galileo). You also won't have real-time control of the GPIO so making servos move smoothly, talking to 1-wire-like interfaces (like WS2811 LEDs), etc. will be problematic. Lots of folks were excited about the Galileo but unhappy after actually using it and realizing its limitations. Hopefully Intel will get the messaging a little better this time.
3
twotwotwo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fun thing, though obviously not quite the same: Transcend wifi SD cards are (or at least were) running Linux on ARM, hosting a Perl CGI script(!) that could be exploited to let you do your own thing with the card -- see http://haxit.blogspot.com/2013/08/hacking-transcend-wifi-sd-...
4
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
I went browsing around their site this morning when I got the email of the release. I cannot say that I understand Intel's strategy here. On the one hand they could release 'Quark' like Atmel ships AVR's or ST Micro ships STM32 chips with a data sheet and a demo board, on the other they seem to want to jump into some sort of "Intel at System supplier" kind of thing where its mosly proprietary interfaces and only works with their stuff.

When I look at something like the Nucleo boards[1] I see a chip company leveraging the energy around Arduino to push their own ISA, but that is just a form factor play AFAICT. What does Intel hope to achieve here? And can they do that without being a crapload more "open" than they have been in the past?

[1] http://www.mouser.com/new/stmicroelectronics/stm-nucleo-deve...

5
songgao 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can anybody confirm whether the wireless chip used (BCM43340) is FullMAC or SoftMAC? The model is not listed on either brcmsmac nor brcmsmac. The wifi driver that comes with the source code downloaded from Intel is not in a Linux tree and it even has IP and TCP related stuff. I'm confused.
6
markokrajnc 2 days ago 2 replies      
How much power does it use? In documents I read:

Standby (No radios): 13 mWStandby (Bluetooth 4.0): 21.5 mW (BTLE in Q4-14)Standby (Wi-Fi): 35 mW

It this turned ON and waiting on standby? Or is this turned OFF standby? And how much does it use when CPU is working?

7
skorgu 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is pretty close to something I've wanted for ages: the smallest possible Ceph OSD. This doesn't have the right set of devices on it but it's pretty close.

Ditch the wifi for gigabit ethernet, slap a sata controller on the pci-e and mount it in a stackable frame with a power bus. Buy a drive, one of these nodes and stack it on top of your existing ones. Bam your own tiny cloud you can expand in increments of one drive (and commodity ethernet). It's probably a commercial non-starter now that 8TB drives exist but I still love the idea.

Or now that I think about it skip the sata and just sell it with some NVMe flash storage built in. Stackable storage bricks.

8
revelation 2 days ago 2 replies      
Presumably its shipping now, but I can't seem to find anywhere to buy it.

WLAN has been somewhat sorely lacking for these mini computers, your only option was pretty much the rather terrible MIPS platforms made for routers.

9
Yuioup 2 days ago 1 reply      
For people like me who are too stupid to make things with it, can I use this to replace my Raspberry Pi+RaspBMC setup? How's the performance?
10
Sophistifunk 2 days ago 4 replies      
Personally, I love the idea of low-spec 86 chips being available at rock-bottom prices. It's an architecture that while far from perfect is well known, and most of us here have a boatload of experience with it I'll wager. I'd really like to see something similar to this but for 2 or 3x the price (it's only $50) that includes a framebuffer, hdmi and a fully documented hardware blitter or bargain-basement GPU.
11
sireat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I couldn't find any info, but I guess one will have to wait for adapter so Edison can output to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPD-Link that is connect Edison to most LCD monitors.
12
makmanalp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like a prime candidate for a unikernel like mirage (http://openmirage.org/blog/announcing-mirage-20-release)
13
ksec 2 days ago 1 reply      
Give it PIC-Express lanes with SATA Raid or Gigabit Ethernet Controller, it will be perfect for NAS / Router.
14
polskibus 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about adding Erlang support ? It would be great to be able to program multiple devices with OTP-level of support for mesh network topologies.
15
aswanson 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is the price?
16
higherpurpose 2 days ago 1 reply      
And what exactly are you going to do with an "x86" expensive dev board with 500 Mhz Atom CPUs and 1GB of RAM? Run XP on it?
17
burtonator 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see Tesla Inc sue Intel saying that they stole all the tech for their Edison Module :)
30
There are no B players
205 points by swombat  22 hours ago   89 comments top 33
1
geebee 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I like the einstein quote about a fish judged by its ability to clime a tree. This happens a lot, though the mismatch can be much more subtle than that.

Almost every "senior" technical job I've seen in the last 10 years ("senior" really just means 5-7 years of experience, if that) contains verbiage about autonomy - choosing technologies, establishing best practices, setting architectural direction. HR speak for "let this developer decide how to do the job." I've also noticed, though, that as a developer, you often really have to fight to get this kind of autonomy, even if it was right there in the very formal job description everyone signed when you were hired.

This is because every project is different and has a history. The CIO went to a conference and made a huge investment in a product that needs to succeed to justify the expense. The director of technology is all about "agile", which means setting strict deadlines and asking people if they've met them in daily standup meetings. A chief architect who contributed many hours to an open source project, reassuring the director of technology that it will payoff tenfold once other people start using it, now believes that this should be the toolbox for your project.

While I'm sure you can read some cynicism in what I've just written, sometimes these are excellent choices - for the person who made them! Here's my analogy.

Someone studied tennis players, and concluded, based on John McEnroe's success, that tennis players should play left handed, slice the backhand, and get to the net as quickly as possible, avoiding rallies of more than 5 strokes.

So they hire Bjorn Borg, who appears to be a good tennis player. They hand him his racket, and tell him that at his next French Open (played on slow clay instead of fast grass), he will serve and volley and play left handed. Borg will no longer appear to be a tennis genius, but he's such a good athlete that he could probably win reasonably challenging local leagues this way. You know, a B player.

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hawleyal 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
So all you said was there are B players for specific companies, but they might be A players in a different one.

Fucking brilliant.

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ChuckMcM 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for that, it is a good read. My first manager at Sun used to say "there are no bad employees, just bad fits." and over the years I've seen the wisdom of that. I have been guilty of labeling someone as being a 'B' player only to see that person excel in a different environment later. The risk for younger engineers and people who don't know this is to make bad decisions about joining or hiring or leaving a situation. As a manager I've used it sometimes as a rationalization, knowing that by letting someone go they were going to have an opportunity to find a better match for their personality, but it doesn't "good" knowing you're giving someone that opportunity. It feels like you failed them.

When I interview folks I try to get a sense of what makes them excited to get up in the morning. Do they like solitude? (not good in a open plan office) Do they like to try lots of things in rapid succession? Are they people that like to bend existing things to their will or people who want to create something beautiful from whole cloth? If you can figure out the thing that energizes them and provide it, you will get great results from them.

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jacquesm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny. I was writing something along the same lines but Daniel does a much better job of wording it. The essence is spot on, it's the organization that makes people excel or fail.

Dysfunctional organizations happen much more frequently than dysfunctional people do.

Once upon a time I was a 'B' player too (after starting out as an 'A' one I quickly got demotivated to the point where I didn't want to go to work at all, this was at a big bank). I'm happy they didn't take Daniel out back and shot him.

A good company will mentor and will teach as well as empower, maximizing the contribution its employees make by rewarding their input and by respecting them as human beings first and employees second. That's a very hard trick but the most successful companies know how to do this well.

And it's that part - the corporate culture - that is the hardest to shape and nurture. Lose it and you've lost your momentum, if not your future.

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Luc 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. - Albert Einstein

I'm pretty sure Einstein never said this.

It's important to correct these misattributions, because they spread quite virulently and paint a saccharine picture of Einstein. He was a great scientist, let's understand him from his real work instead of from made-up poster quotes.

Here's the top Google result for this quote, which quite extensively examines it and concludes there is no connection to Einstein: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/04/06/fish-climb/

P.S. There's an easy heuristic to apply to Einstein quotes with a life lesson in them: he didn't say it. You'll be correct 95% of the time.

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kareemm 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Bob Sutton, a Stanford prof and author who writes[1]:

"This tendency to look for individual goats and heroes isnt just a problem that permeates the world of sports. It is reflected in many misguided ideologies and management practices, which focus excessive energy on hiring stars and weeding-out mediocre and poor performers, and insufficient energy on building a great system that enables most competent people to succeed.

I agree and can show you evidence that there are huge differences in individual skill and ability in every occupation. BUT weve also got a lot of evidence that ordinary people can perform at top levels in a well-designed system, and even a superstar is doomed to fail in a bad system."

Sutton, you know, researches these kinds of things rather than holding a blind belief that once you hire A players, your job is done.

1 - http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/08/crappy_people...

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faceyspacey 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Very good piece. It really puts all the responsibility on the employer as it should be. See, if you do your job of getting people good for your environment, it doesn't matter whether their output is 1 or 100--the cost of integrating them is proportionate. For example if u have an intern with output 1 who fits your environment and the cost is .1 and another whose output is .25 and the cost is 5, ie to train them, you have a problem. It doesn't matter the output. It matters how frictionlessly they can join your company and not cause problems. And that is all up to u to forecast. I contract out all of the world all the time to developers of varying skill levels, motivation levels and personalities. It's up to me to match the right task to the right developer. And I don't need everyone to have 100 productivity or even have many available work hours.
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nradov 20 hours ago 1 reply      
A good academic article on the topic is "Set Up to Fail: How Bosses Create Their Own Poor Performers" by Jean-Franois Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux. http://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/research/doc.cfm?did=4...

Abstract: This paper explores how managers behave differentlytowards perceived higher and lower performers - and how a manager'sexpectations of subordinate performance tend to get acted out by the subordinates. It focuses particularly on the way boss behavior towards "lower performers", while intended to increase performance, often ends up discouraging and alienating these subordinates. The boss and perceived lower performer become entrapped in a vicious circle which is costly for the bosses, the subordinates, team and the wider organization. The paper considers how to recognize such a dynamic and how to break out of the vicious circle.

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birken 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I really like the post but I don't agree with the conclusion.

> dont make the mistake to think that those who dont fit your specific environment are unworthy human beings

> dont let yourself fall into the trap of thinking youre better than them

I think from a personal and societal perspective, both of these statements are great. But in business, who cares? People found ambitious startups because they think they are better than the companies/people that reside in that space. Founding a company is inherently an arrogant exercise, the opposite of a humble one. Business loves arrogance and confidence because business is hard. If you spend all your time philosophizing about the humanity of it all, some other competitor who doesn't care is just going to beat you [unless it is a competitive advantage].

So basically, if you are firing somebody, it really doesn't matter whether you are firing them because you think they are a B/C player or because you think they are a great person but they aren't a fit. You are firing them. From a humanity perspective it would be great if you spent a bunch of time helping them find a new job and gave them a great severance package, but as nice as that feels there is no guarantee this is good for your business at all.

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nradov 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This aligns with Malcolm Gladwell's article "The Talent Myth" http://gladwell.com/the-talent-myth/ which focuses on how Enron self destructed even though it was filled with "A players". Gladwell asserts that anyone can be highly productive in the right environment with appropriate supporting organization and process.
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otto_sf 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Being an A or B player isn't something that happens at birth. Your performance at work depends on a lot of factors.

But there are B players out there, and A players are doing better work than them. This is irrefutable if you've ever worked on a team of significant size. It's not supposed to be some personality-damning attribute that implies a B player is forever doomed, or always brings less utility to the table than an A player. It is specific to their current role, work, etc.

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neilellis 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice article, enjoyed that.

We humans seem to have an intrinsically elitist point of view which leads to the idea that people are intrinsically better or worse. Hence class/caste systems institutional racism etc... oh and A/B players ;-)

However there is a plenty of evidence to the contrary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/09/18/161159263/teacher...

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lnanek2 21 hours ago 6 replies      
He claims no one is bad and some just don't fit and will thrive elsewhere, but this is nonsense to anyone with big corporation experience. I've met many people who never did any work, only jumped to the next easiest excuse for why they turned nothing in, and just got their pay check because it was too much of a pain to fire them.
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TheMagicHorsey 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Basically if you read between the lines of OP's story, he was a B player, but then the fear of no safety net made him an A player.

Anyone touring the halls of Google, HP, Microsoft, or Intel, knows for a fact that large, years-old organizations gather lots of dead weight. That is just the nature of human organizations.

The alternative is either start-ups where the fear of death is ever present. Or companies like Facebook (where allegedly you get fired in 12 months if you don't deliver tangible value).

There are many people that deliver A level work without the fear of death. But you can't assume you can fill your large organization with such people. They are rare. Its hard enough to fill a small start up with such people, but at least that is in the realm of possibility.

Google is never going to find 5000 self-motivated stars. Just look at how far behind AWS Google Cloud is. Google is the nice, comfortable work environment we all want to be in. Amazon is the scary environment with the sword of damocles over our shoulder at all times.

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bostik 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This article reminded me of perhaps the most striking science fiction short story ever written: In Case Of Fire by Randall Garrett. It's a story I try to keep in mind every time I have to shuffle tasks, or when I review my interview notes.

Looks like it's available online too: http://gutenberg.readingroo.ms/2/4/5/2/24521/24521-h/24521-h...

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avivo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It is true that environment (and other non-intrinsic factors) have a huge effect on how much value a person adds to a company (or community, or friendship). I've definitely experienced this variance personally.

That said, if I had my perfect environment, and you had your perfect environment...we would not be equally good at doing particular tasks. For some values of me and you, the difference in effectiveness would be tremendous. We can argue all day if that is due to nature or nurture - but the end result is that some people are just better at doing particular tasks than most other people, by a very wide margin.

Also, some people are more consistent in their value add in spite of particular forms of external variance. For a concrete example, there are some people who will very productively stay with a company as it grows from 20 to 2000 people while others will prefer to hop around to stay in smaller companies.

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rdlecler1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Tiger Woods would be a b-player on the worst basketball team in the NBA. The question you need to ask is whether a person will be an A-player on your team.
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ctdean 9 hours ago 0 replies      
He's just misinterpreting the quote, and then setting up a strawman to make an slightly related point.

"A" players make an outsized impact on a rapidly growing organization. Successful startups aren't like other activities - it's built into the model that the early team has to be truly, deeply, amazing. If you don't think that "A" players exists in startup land, you're just not paying attention. Just like there are "B" players who join a startup and then just coast along and don't make a giant impact.

I've never heard Jobs (or anyone else for that matter), claim that all people could be permanently categorized as "A", "B", or "C" players.

You want to be Apple? eject the "B" players.

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Peroni 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Like most advice, it's not literal.

Only hire A players! Fire the B players!

The subtext that you seem to be overlooking here is that you shouldn't settle for 'good enough' and instead, raise your hiring standards.

>There are no B players, only people whose potential is not being brought to life, fish which are made to climb trees and then told they suck.

As uncouth as it may be, there are plenty of people who just simply aren't good enough to do a particular job. I'm sure you've worked with more than one engineer who, despite any help provided, was just not cut out to be a good programmer.

Your overall message will help someone to be a better person. I don't necessarily believe it will make them a better employer.

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jonmc12 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I read the book Topgrading a few years back, defined A-player relative to the position: "An A player as defined by Topgraders is one who qualifies among the top 10% of talent for the compensation available for a position (any position)."

I think this concept has been understood for many years in industry. However, In startup land, its been ego-cized a bit through logic like "people are the most important assets of startups, therefor there are good people and bad people, only hire the good people". But this logic alone is open for misinterpretation because whether talking about "A-player" or "10xer", good is much for a function of ability of an organization to empower a person in a position.

On the other hand, there is a reality that certain individuals will be an "A-player" more consistently in more positions than other individuals.. so I believe there is some value to understanding how an individual's general behaviors would, or would not, make them an A-player in specific positions. At the same time, its likely very difficult to deduce this kind of statement meaningfully unless the same person has worked with someone in multiple positions.

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nyan_sandwich 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it. The author rails through the whole essay that there are no A players and B players, but the conclusion concedes that some people are stronger and smarter, and some people are going to fit into your company better, which from the perspective of the employer, is fully equivalent to the A/B thing. The only difference is in what you think they might accomplish elsewhere, and vague notions of their value as a human being.

More interesting is the point that a given person may thrive in one environment and falter in another. This is totally true, and very important to keep in mind when evaluating what to do with people who are faltering, but it's not a dichotomy between that and the "fully general robust innate talent" theory. Both are true. Some people are simply stronger and smarter, but on top of that, environment plays a large role. Act accordingly.

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dredmorbius 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The article poses a false equivalence.

First off, there are absolutely people with greater skills, many of them made at birth, though I'll get back to that. You cannot take a B (or a Z) and make them an A.

But you can make an A into a B (or Z). Give them poor nutrition, childhood diseases, knocks on the head, environmental toxins, poor education. Or a toxic workplace, bad task fit, or other workplace issues. You can really easily take someone with a ton of talent and squelch it.

That's the real lesson here.

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stevewepay 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I come from a different generation where people aren't all assumed to be equally smart and equally talented. So I very much subscribe to the idea that some people are clearly smarter and more talented than others.

There are definitely A players who are demotivated and become B players. But the point of "Only hire A players! Fire B players!" is simply due to the fact that most startups can't afford to sit around and move demotivated employees around until they find a good fit. It's also the same reason why many startups don't train people for jobs and instead expect them to be already experienced. The number 1 currency for startups is time, and if they don't get traction quickly, the entire company will falter. Wasting time and money on an employee that isn't a good fit, regardless of how intrinsically talented they are doesn't make sense, because the entire survival of the company demands that everyone is performing at top levels for a relatively short period of time.

As the company grows and turns a profit, and if it can afford to invest in employees, it might make more sense to try to elevate the performance of their B players by moving them around, etc. But that requires a more mature company.

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michaelochurch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Correct, and courageous. A- and B-playership are mostly about context. People who are engaged and secure at work behave like A-players, trying to achieve more every day. People who are worried about political changes and protecting an income or status turn into B players.

"B players hire C players" isn't always true, and I use the name "insurance incompetent" for that (put someone awful on the team so no one half-good ever gets fired when you have to take a lump during layoff season). It's only one of many ways that people make suboptimal decisions out of insecurity.

A lot of terrible software is built when people with A-player talent turn into "B players" due to environmental insecurity.

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hartator 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't really get the point of article... Find your own A player tailored to the environement you are building? How is this different than to hire A players?
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ownagefool 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I think we're all pretty much A players until we're demotivated. It's dangerous to spend too long demotivated though, lest you fall behind and stick with the rut.
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dpeck 20 hours ago 1 reply      
There are plenty of B players, some of them lifers and some of them just there for a time due to other circumstances (young child, old parents, etc), but they(we) very much do exist.
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api 21 hours ago 0 replies      
... or alternately: everyone becomes a "B player" when they don't really care.

As the post correctly states, people are not cogs. We are sentient beings with complex, conceptual motivational structures. Companies with a sense of mission and purpose can get A work out of most of their people, but if the mission and purpose isn't real -- if it's a put-on or if it fades or gets distorted with time -- then the effect fades as well. You can't really fake it, at least not for very long.

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lifeisstillgood 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I have only recently found a position where I feel I might be a A minus fit. Being a B player sucks - especially if like most other b players you are trying to hide it.

In fact I would say hiding B player dom is the thing most likely to prevent getting to A. The problem is very very few environments allow one to make as brave an announcement as OP and survive with salary intact.

I think probably the best means to build a team of A players is to allow people to admit they are B players.

Scientific method is a great example of this

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programminggeek 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll be a contrarian and say that there ARE B players out there and C players and so on. That part is true.

The part about a great organization or team has a structure that fosters excellence is true.

Where this falls down for me is that there IS a synergy between the two where you get the right process with the right team and magic can happen that wouldn't so much come from a bunch of average to terrible people.

For example, look at the New York Yankees vs the Oakland A's. Every so often Billy Beane is able to get a team together that makes an amazing run, but at some point a team with great process and top tier talent wins if only for the fact that they are more skilled AND they have the right organization as a team that allows them to excel.

When you have BOTH great players and a great organization/process, then you reach the top levels.

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finishingmove 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Bravo, Daniel, my fellow humanist.
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thanatropism 20 hours ago 0 replies      
First world problem, this "too much meritocracy" thing.

It's a good thing. First world problems are good to have, discuss and overcome. "Third world problems" in the internetspeak are those for which the solution is known, but the general culture isn't ready for.

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groby_b 21 hours ago 3 replies      
> "A few of us are lucky to be able to find or fashion an environment which enables us to give our best day after day after day."

That's not what A players are - at least in my book. An A player is productive and brilliant regardless the environment. A better environment allows them to be more productive, but they always stand out from the mass.

Maybe that means the A players I encountered were simply skillful enough to always pick the right environment - that's certainly possible. (If so, there's an obvious lesson in there)

But yes, there are B and C players. And they do drag down teams. If you have a good manager, they're able to coach the B players, and they'll shed the C players. If you have a bad manager, they try "A only", or they don't care.

"A only" doesn't work. There are not enough A players to make that possible. "Don't care" results in your typical dysfunctional corporate environment.

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