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1
I'm Leaving Mojang
1056 points by UnfalseDesign  12 hours ago   345 comments top 66
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krelian 12 hours ago 8 replies      
This whole Minecraft thing has been very interesting to follow. I tried the game a few times and it's not really for me but everything around Notch's story is interesting (I bet their going to make a movie about this at some point). Not everyone can be an entrepreneur and I feel that in this case (on a different scale of course), we basically watched a plausible version of how Apple could have gotten started if there was only a Wozniak but no Jobs.

I'm sure there are many here that dream of having their idea be a huge success but aren't really interested in becoming the next Bill Gates or Zuckerberg. They just want to cash out so that they can have their financial freedom and then go out of the limelight and back to doing the same things they enjoy but without having to constantly worry about job security and putting food on the table. Notch achieved this in the most spectacular way possible and I think he handled it perfectly.

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ryan-allen 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I say good luck to him I say. Everyone has the right to make their own choices, and I hope he has a good time post-mojang.

A lot of people have thoroughly enjoyed Minecraft, it's a true phenomenon. Hopefully Microsoft do a good job keeping it going (and more importantly, improving it, of which I suspect they'll do a pretty ace job).

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scottjad 11 hours ago 10 replies      
The other day there was a post about some Doom map viewer Notch had written in Dart. One of the top comments said something along the lines of "This is why we all need to be rich, so we can work on stuff like this." I thought the comment was so sad because honestly, almost no one is going to benefit from a mostly broken Doom map viewer in Dart that's abandoned after a few days. Same with the numerous games he's started (often with no idea where he's going) and abandoned after a few hours/days. Don't get me wrong, I like watching his coding stream as much as the next person, but compare that to the millions of people who benefitted from the sustained and focused effort on Minecraft.

Notch says:

> If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately.

So sad. Imagine if Jobs/the PayPal guys/etc had taken this approach after their initial succcess.

Now I'm all for people being free to do what they want and only this guy owns his life and no one is entitled to have him work for them (hat tip Ayn Rand), and obviously this guy has had a bigger impact on the world than I have, but I tend to agree with Immanuel Kant (and Jesus) that we all have a duty to develop and use our talents in a way that benefits humanity and not just indulge ourselves in idle amusement once we're comfortable. And to be honest, this probably applies more to me than to Notch.

From "Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals":

> A third finds in himself a talent which with the help of some culture might make him a useful man in many respects. But he finds himself in comfortable circumstances and prefers to indulge in pleasure rather than to take pains in enlarging and improving his happy natural capacities. He asks, however, whether his maxim of neglect of his natural gifts, besides agreeing with his inclination to indulgence, agrees also with what is called duty. He sees then that a system of nature could indeed subsist with such a universal law although men ... should let their talents rest and resolve to devote their lives merely to idleness, amusement, and propagation of their species- in a word, to enjoyment; but he cannot possibly will that this should be a universal law of nature, or be implanted in us as such by a natural instinct. For, as a rational being, he necessarily wills that his faculties be developed, since they serve him and have been given him, for all sorts of possible purposes.

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jere 12 hours ago 4 replies      
>As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments.

It has always amazed me how down to earth Notch is. Now, he's going to be a billionaire doing little game jams. It's hard to believe and quite awesome. It's like Bruce Wayne deciding to spend the rest of his life playing with legos.

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jacquesm 12 hours ago 5 replies      
> I dont see myself as a real game developer. I make games because its fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I dont make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I dont try to change the world.

I think that's the essence of being a real game developer.

It's sad that Notch feels this way, I think the majority of old school games guys and girls were just like that.

Since it's become a big business with huge studios and ridiculous budgets the market has been spoiled. But Notch/Mojang and team have shown that there is still a place for great indie games and bootstrappers.

And I actually believe him that this deal is not about the money. Projects like these can become albatrosses.

6
chubot 8 hours ago 3 replies      
This may be a weird reference, but what comes to mind is John Frusciante leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers at the height of their fame. He quit in the middle of the tour after Blood Sugar Sex Magik, after they became unexpectedly huge.

He just wanted to make music and play in small clubs. And he went back to playing guitar by himself and making solo albums. (Also heroin use, but that's a different story).

And he rejoined in '98 or so, had 3 huge hit records, and then left again a few years ago. He made a few more solo albums and experimented with electronic music.

Some people are not cut out for fame. The intrinsic joy of what they do is even more powerful than fame.

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grellas 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Why should someone self-immolate in the name of a cause to which he disclaims being a leader when he has a chance to sell his for-profit business on optimal terms with no strings and with an immediate ticket to full independence free of the headaches of having to bear entrepreneurial and ideological burdens that he felt himself unfit to carry?

The question answers itself. There is no earthly reason why he should have. None whatever.

Of course, the price of being a cult figure is many who follow you do not really care who you are but care a great deal about who they think you are. If you are a vital symbol for the cause, then all that you do must conform to the symbol or you become a betrayer, a hypocrite, or both. And that is unforgivable.

And so we arrive at the world of caricature where symbols rule the day, even at the expense of facts. Buck and kick all you want, there is no winning in that world once you fail to conform.

That, I think, is the point of this piece. In effect, it says: "You have made me larger than life. Well, I'm not. I am who I am and I love what I do. If you have made me out to be something more, I can't help that. I am just like the rest of you. No more and no less. If you want me to shape my life by what you think, you will be disappointed. I will shape my own life regardless of your expectations."

Who knows if this really is betrayal or hypocrisy? Usually the reality is much more complex than the caricatures make it out to be but no one really knows except those directly connected with the events.

As for me, I have no ideological axe to grind and can simply stand back and say, as many people likely feel, "that is one helluva ride for one so young to make."

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petercooper 12 hours ago 5 replies      
I think there are some interesting parallels with J K Rowling. If he releases anything now, it's big news (even Cliffhorse). He might have to start "writing" under a pseudonym just to get any sense of doing something fresh without intense public scrutiny.
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willvarfar 11 hours ago 3 replies      
For the interested, Notch didn't enter the current Ludum Dare but thousands of mortal coders did, and they'd love you to go play their games!

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/

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chernevik 12 hours ago 5 replies      
This is why we can't have nice things.

I don't know much about Minecraft or whatever issue Notch is referring to in his post. But I'm always struck by how quickly people snap to emotional argument and response, without thinking about the other side of the question, without thinking about how their response will be read or felt by others.

The first step in any dialogue is trying to understand why the other side has said or done what they have, and how that might seem reasonable and right to them. Without that, how do we have any hope of learning anything, or moving to any actual agreement? And yet 98% of what I read presumes that any disagreement must be ignorant, stupid or evil.

I understand many of the reasons why people talk this way, and yes, it's hard to avoid it. But we now have more communication amongst ourselves than at any other time in human history. Maybe it's time to start thinking hard about how each of us can communicate better.

Wouldn't it be great if we could get to a community where some idiosyncratic dude could write a monster hit without feeling himself battered for reasons he can't understand?

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jokoon 9 hours ago 4 replies      
He sounds depressed and frustrated. All I see is bad emotions in all that.

With all the money he has, he could at least try to share or expand his passion in some way.

It's true that he's lucky, you sense the modesty, that he doesn't want to be perceived as talented.

But even if that's true, he could at least try a little bit more. I mean he seems content with his work, but if I had such fame, at least I'd try to use it and approach game companies to negotiate deals, and share his vision of gaming.

Hasn't he ever tried to lead some team and get in touch with programmers he likes to do something ? Can't individuals like him hire a manager to do the job and project his vision into something ? I mean aren't there decent people able to know when there's potential, and solve the relational stuff ?

I mean you can't be modest like that all the time. at some point it's grumpiness, not modesty.

I wish there were businessmen able to notice those modest, hard working loners and just get small companies working with them. Not even companies, just small teams and projects. Some coaching. I wonder what's Carmack's story. I'd love to hear about the work stories of those guys, or maybe hear them talk about work politics. Of course they don't want to, because they might be made fun of, but meh.

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gamesurgeon 12 hours ago 3 replies      
"Im not an entrepreneur. Im not a CEO. Im a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter...If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately."

I have the utmost respect for notch after reading that.

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Nickoladze 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Basically "I was successful once, it was awful".

Sometimes I wish he would have just stuck with Minecraft as the only developer and stayed away from the spotlight. Plenty of very popular game creators have done so (Icefrog, Toady One).

I really enjoyed the times back when Minecraft was just getting popular and you could tell Notch was adding features that he genuinely enjoyed (Redstone update, for instance). Then he started up a giant company and started assuming responsibility for things like server admins charging money, when he should have sat back and let people do what they want.

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adriancooney 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, Notch is a pretty amazing guy. It's clear he just loves to make games. The post reminds me of Dong Nguyen/Flappy Bird situation. Let the man be.
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god_bless_texas 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry, but did notch go on reddit and indicate that Minecraft sold for 2.5B. That bastard.
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ErikRogneby 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This was the hardest line to read: "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately."

I hope when he says "abandon" he means upload it on github with an MIT license.

Seriously though, what a horrible thing to be fearful of creating something that people might like.

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tosh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to more Dart programming streams.

I think more and more people should stream like Notch does. It is incredibly entertaining and educating to watch how people write code similar to how people play games.

A great learning opportunity. Different format compared to prepared talks and tutorials. I wish there was a list of people with programming streams that I can just tune in.

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corbinpage 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead of pulling a Wozniak, why not pull a Sergey Brin?

Use the incredible resources you gained from your first success to finance all the cool side-projects you ever dreamed of?

Notch could start any web experiment he wanted, and when he got bored, pass it along to an army of coders to refine and finish.

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joshfinnie 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is super sad. I never want to read the following from a programmer:

    As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately.
I feel for anyone who has felt such stress to want to kill anything that they are working on that gains traction...

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80ProofPudding 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for you, Notch. You made something awesome, got rich doing it, and stayed a mensch throughout.
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JacobEdelman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Notch has done it. By leaving mojang he can no longer be blamed for any major disasters and has already achieved a place of honor in nerd communities. And now he does what every nerd dreams of doing but isn't sure they can do, leaving their company once it gets to big so they can just go and code. By specifically stating he doesn't want to be a huge symbol for the nerd community he has permanently affixed himself as one.
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cmdrfred 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I love ya notch, you inspired me. Games don't have to have a story, great graphics, or even a point. They have to be fun. After years of being a gamer, Minecraft is the only game I come back to.

I will buy anything you have for sale.

23
bilalhusain 12 hours ago 5 replies      
Heartbreaking to read what we do to people.
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blueskin_ 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Site is massively overloaded.

Text: http://pastebin.com/GLuR7T9t

archive.today: https://archive.today/KKNNA

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sergiotapia 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"It's not about the money (BECAUSE I HAVE TWO BILLION OF THEM!)."

Haha, and who can blame Notch, I wouldn't work a day in my life and become a full time carpenter for the rest of my life.

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dasmithii 5 hours ago 0 replies      
- "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately."

These words describe how I've been feeling since the beginning of this year, when I first became a self-described programmer. Before then, I loved playing around with little toy projects, but I never considered myself as a programmer. Instead, I was a regular kid who programmed sometimes.

After realizing that, over some time, I had gained some real skills, I felt obligated to make use of them. It was no longer a playful activity, I put a burden on my own shoulders that my programs had to be significant or important to others in some way.

This sense of importance ruined programming for me. Though self-imposed, the homework-effect took over and I lost interest right away.

I'm sure many of you code for a defined purpose, whether it be profit or world effect. But for me, my computer is a toy.

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phlakaton 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Something in a novel I just read last night comes back into my head: "I reflected bitterly that I had walked away from people I had known and cared about to avoid the very situation I was now in with comparative strangers. I wondered if there was any way to live amongst other people and refuse to be harnessed by their expectations and dependencies." (Robin Hobb)

If there's sadness I see in Notch's story, it's only that Notch appears to see and define his public persona in such a negative light. I wish he could see his contributions and influence on fellow hackers as a beautiful thing. But I totally understand and support his intent to find a new playground, free of expectations, regardless of his success on previous playgrounds. I hope that Notch finds the happiness that he seeks.

(I also hope his comment about abandoning his next project on the first sign of success was more tongue-in-cheek than it came off...)

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hyp0 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love Notch.

But since I don't know him, it's for what he represents; how he's handled success, knowing his values and acting on them.

Poor guy can't help being a symbol - a bit like Life of Brian

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netcraft 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> Its not about the money. Its about my sanity.

This does make the most sense, in looking at everything hes said in the past. Sounds like MS had the right offer at the right time.

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archildress 11 hours ago 0 replies      
At the opposite end of the spectrum of the startup CEO who's intent on cashing out for fame is Notch, who sold to remove himself from the center of attention.

I think we all believe we could handle the spotlight and the attention and fame that comes with it. But until we're faced with it, we'll never know.

All the best to Notch and thanks for a game that brought many people many hours of happiness and shared experiences.

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GigabyteCoin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately.

This reminds me of the unwanted flappy-bird fame.

What a strange idea for an entrepreneurial mind to read.

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rafaqueque 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not always about money, as he said.

Classy move by Notch. Respect.

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tdicola 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't help but think this deal is going to have the exact opposite effect on Notch as he intended. Now everyone knows he's a billionaire and people will come crawling out of the woodwork to try and get something from him. Also parts of the Minecraft community will be pretty upset about the decision, and if a year from now things go sour and Minecraft isn't what it used to be then people will be even more upset with him. I dunno, if he wanted to get away from it all why not just leave? No need to sell the company for billions. Give his ownership to the other founders and walk away.
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antirez 11 hours ago 1 reply      
He should not give a fuck about random people on the internet, but just about opinions of the few he knows in one way or the other and respect. I understand this is more complex to do than to say, but still, how to have fun working in the current IT development scene without this crucial step, especially for a famous person like him?
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lnanek2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad, his claim that he isn't a developer and just wants to have fun playing and tinker makes him sound a lot like the famous Miyamoto from the StarFox development stories. Miyamoto apparently often played with many different implementations, making the programmers throw out a lot of work, but this was done to find something fun. Notch now had the money and organization to do that without worrying about having to push out a release. I wonder if his descent into writing useless things like Doom map viewers is just sort of chickening out. It's fun and easy to write for him maybe, no stress, but completely meaningless for the industry.
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craigching 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm really happy for Notch as long as he's happy. To me, the most disappointing thing about this is that the story becomes more complex. I loved telling my kids "this was created and developed by one person in his spare time." That's not been true for awhile now I realize, but it was fun telling my kids that. I guess I can figure out a different way to convey reality, but it's more complex when they say "but isn't it from Microsoft?"

Anyway Notch, good luck to you and I love you too! You really gave us something great and no matter what you do going forward, you can't take back what you've given!

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mcguire 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately."

That is a very nice option to have.

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lubujackson 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Notch seems like the closest thing to a modern day Woz, at least in his "doing it for the fun" approach. I wish him well in the future!
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noonespecial 8 hours ago 0 replies      
He's doing the only thing that makes a repeat of Minecraft possible. If he stayed "on" and tried to make "the next big thing" as part of a Mircosoft team there would be no chance.

Going straight up _why is about the only way he might create another important work. I'd lay even odds.

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huhtenberg 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like Notch and I really like how having all that money didn't seem to change him. The sale is interesting news, but seeing him go through it with integrity is even more interesting.
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diltonm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Marcus has earned the right to do what he wishes, enjoy life instead of stressing. Best wishes to him and continued success to Mojang!
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debt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of reminds me of something Richard Feynman said:

"Then I had another thought: Physics disgusts me a little bit now, but I used to enjoy doing physics. Why did I enjoy it? I used to play with it. I used to do whatever I felt like doing - it didn't have to do with whether it was important for the development of nuclear physics, but whether it was interesting and amusing for me to play with. When I was in high school, I'd see water running out of a faucet growing narrower, and wonder if I could figure out what determines that curve. I found it was rather easy to do. I didn't have to do it; it wasn't important for the future of science; somebody else had already done it. That didn't make any difference. I'd invent things and play with things for my own entertainment."

I think we should take serious stock not only in what Notch is saying here but also his overall success: if you get off making ephemeral photo-sharing apps or a Salesforce clone then keep on trucking otherwise you should ask yourself why you're doing it in the first place.

Are your little projects a ton of fun to work on? Notch makes an all around good argument for pursuing your passion.

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im3w1l 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought Minecraft pretty late in the game, but I really liked it. It's a great work.I'm glad for your exit, even though I realize that you quit on a sad note. I wish you joy in your future endeavors.
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nperez 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who took my lifelong fascination and turned it into a "job", I respect the hell out of this.Granted, not everyone is financially capable of just coding small experiments and getting by, but that's where the magic is.
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pingwing 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't blame the guy and now he has plenty of money to do what he wants and not deal with the bullshit. Corporate America sucks. it is a horrible "culture". Not everyone wants fame, fortune maybe, but not fame.
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beauzero 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for you. When it's not fun anymore...it's just not fun anymore.
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dsego 5 hours ago 0 replies      
He could've given a share to Zachary Barth. Just saying.
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ianstallings 11 hours ago 0 replies      
He reminds me of Steve Wozniak a little bit. He's disconnected from the scene and it's refreshing in every way. Good luck to him.
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nXqd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
this is so awesome that he can make things that he loves. Become super rich with it, but still staying who he is. This kind of achievement is incredibly hard.

Thanks for great work !

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mentos 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see him consider investing in other video game projects. There is a game 10x better than Minecraft out there somewhere and he has the money to find it.
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sgtnasty 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Then why didnt he just open source it? That question deserves to be answered by Notch.

I watched my kids grow up on Minecraft, and how I led them to learning technology, enabling their future. Minecraft is more than just a game, and really the users own it, it's not Notch's anymore.

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alexvr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope he puts that money to good use.
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31reasons 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Flappybird situation at a much bigger sale ( I mean scale)
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e3pi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
`luden dare'

There is a latin root word that means 'play', `have fun'. There is a philosophy and a religion whose names are coined off this word. Perhaps `ludens'? Hesse's Glasperlenspiel -Glass Bead Game?

Learning about notch here this morning, I see a master living this reality regardless of philosophy or religion nonsense or the noisy crowds.

He `got game'.

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hyperliner 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really a sad statement about the evil "consumers." It does not happen only to simple nerdy game developers. It happens to everybody who does something huge.

It happens to small business owners. Then, people "tell them" that they "must" raise the wages of their employees, without ever having created a small business.

It happens to activists. Then, people "tell" them they "must" support this other cause, when those activists simply want to change a small part of the world that they care about.

It bothers me the most when it happens to presidents. (Pres. Bush, Pres. Obama, depending on your political inclinations). Just simple guys asked to carry the weight of a nation just because they were at the right time, the right place, did the right things, a few mistakes, wanted to change the world a little, and worked really hard.

Maybe all of us who instead of sweating are going for the ride should simply enjoy the game. Just put a few blocks on the game, build a small tiny house, put a glass window, a small bed in there with the tiny cool candle on the wall (my favorite block in Minecraft), and stare out the window. And watch for creepers.

But leave these folks alone to do what we did not do, and let them enjoy a reward for their hard work.

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melvinmt 11 hours ago 8 replies      
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, How long does it take you to catch so many fish?The fisherman replied, Oh, just a short while.Then why dont you stay longer at sea and catch even more? The businessman was astonished.This is enough to feed my whole family, the fisherman said.The businessman then asked, So, what do you do for the rest of the day?The fisherman replied, Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.

The fisherman continues, And after that?The businessman laughs heartily, After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.The fisherman asks, And after that?The businessman says, After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!The fisherman was puzzled, Isnt that what I am doing now?

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2010/09/08/the-fisherman-and-the-...

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UnfalseDesign 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Full text of post until the site becomes less overloaded:

------------------

I dont see myself as a real game developer. I make games because its fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I dont make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I dont try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me its changed games. I never meant for it to do either. Its certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, Ive had so much fun with work. I wasnt exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didnt understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didnt have the connection to my fans I thought I had. Ive become a symbol. I dont want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I dont understand, that I dont want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. Im not an entrepreneur. Im not a CEO. Im a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately.

Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I dont expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I wont feel a responsibility to read them.

Im aware this goes against a lot of what Ive said in public. I have no good response to that. Im also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. Im not. Im a person, and Im right there struggling with you.

I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I cant be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, its belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

Its not about the money. Its about my sanity.

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jacquesm 11 hours ago 1 reply      
He's already invested many years of his life into mojang, why do you think you are in a position to tell him what to do with his money?

Markus is 100% free to do whatever the hell he wants with his money and you nor anybody else should place conditions on or make demands on him.

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jonifico 12 hours ago 1 reply      
While I do see his point in saying Minecraft has become too big for him, he might also be backing out a bit from a responsibility that could bring a fascinating challenge. But then again, he doesn't see himself as a true developer. Hope he finds a way to fulfill himself apart from spending billions of dollars.
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Nib 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It's the end of an era...

This may be the last time a post from Notch makes it to HN Frontpage...

We all know what's gonna happen next, microsft is gonna try to messup with the game, and, somehow, it'll end up dead...

RIP Minecraft

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LeicaLatte 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Say Facebook had acquired Minecraft I believe Notch might have had a chance at continuing at Mojang. But Microsoft's history with killing talent is legendary (Nokia, Rare, etc) and there was no question of him taking a chance with them.
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tbrock 12 hours ago 4 replies      
"If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, Ill probably abandon it immediately."

He seems to have an awful attitude for a guy who just made a billion dollars and gets to spend the rest of his life doing exactly what he wants.

65
theflubba 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Notch is an idiot. He should just ignore what people say on the internet, stop taking things so personally, and work on a new idea. There's nothing stopping him but himself.
66
iamleppert 12 hours ago 0 replies      
He should donate some of that money to some good causes if he's really a simple man like he says he is. Of course he doesn't have to do anything, and fully deserves to take the money and run, and build some giant evil castle or something.
2
My experience with using cp to copy 432 million files (39 TB)
818 points by nazri1  4 days ago   261 comments top 34
1
fintler 4 days ago 4 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 4 days 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
pedrocr 4 days 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.

4
mililani 4 days 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.
5
vhost- 4 days ago 2 replies      
These are the types of stories I love. I just learned a boat load in 5 minutes.
6
pflanze 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've written a program that attempts to deal with the given situation gracefully: instead of using a hash table, it creates a temporary file with a list of inode/device/path entries, then sorts this according to inode/device, then uses the sorted list to perform the copying/hardlinking. The idea is that sorting should work well with much lower RAM requirements than the size of the file to be sorted (due to data locality, unless the random accesses with the hash, it will be able to work with big chunks, at least when done right (a bit hand-wavy, I know, this is called an "online algorithm" and I remember Knuth having written about those, haven't had the chance to recheck yet); the program is using the system sort command, which is hopefully implementing this well already).

The program stupidly calls "cp" right now for every individual file copy (not the hard linking), just to get the script done quickly, it's easy to replace that with something that saves the fork/exec overhead; even so, it might be faster than the swapping hash table if the swap is on a spinning disk. Also read the notes in the --help text. I.e. this is a work in progress as a basis to test the idea, it will be easy to round off the corners if there's interest.

https://github.com/pflanze/megacopy

PS. the idea of this is to make copying work well with the given situation on a single machine, unless the approach taken by the dcp program mentioned by fintler which seems to rely on a cluster of machines.

There may also be some more discussion about this on the mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/coreutils/2014-09/msg00013...

7
calvins 3 days ago 1 reply      
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.

8
jrochkind1 4 days 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?

9
pixelbeat 3 days 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...

10
pedrocr 4 days 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_...

11
gwern 4 days 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.

12
gaius 4 days ago 8 replies      
I would probably have used tar|tar for this, or rsync.
13
sitkack 4 days 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 3 days ago 2 replies      
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
angry_octet 4 days ago 2 replies      
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.

16
IvyMike 4 days 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.

17
dredmorbius 3 days ago 1 reply      
The email states that file-based copy operations were used in favor of dd due to suspected block errors. Two questions come to mind:

1. I've not used dd on failing media, so I'm not sure of the behavior. Will it plow through a file with block-read failures or halt?

2. There's the ddrescue utility, which is specifically intended for reading from nonreliable storage. Seems that this could have offered another means for addressing Rasmus's problem. It can also fill in additional data on multiple runs across media, such that more complete restores might be achieved.https://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

18
pmontra 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another lesson to be learnt is that it's nice to have the source code for the tools we are using.
19
grondilu 3 days 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 - )

20
dspillett 3 days ago 1 reply      
> 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.

21
icedchai 4 days ago 1 reply      
For that many files I probably would've used rsync between local disks. shrug
22
mturmon 4 days 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.
23
sauere 4 days 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.

24
maaku 4 days ago 1 reply      
Another lesson: routinely scrub your RAID arrays.
25
0x0 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how well rsync would have fared here.
26
ccleve 3 days 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?
27
Andys 4 days 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.
28
davidu 3 days 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.

29
dbbolton 4 days ago 4 replies      
>We use XFS

Why?

30
limaoscarjuliet 4 days ago 0 replies      
Rsync seems a better tool for this. Can be run multiple times and it will just copy missing blocks.
31
nraynaud 4 days ago 0 replies      
it reminds me of crash only software.
32
RexM 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is this where a new cp fork comes about called libracp?
33
brokentone 3 days ago 0 replies      
Feels like a similar situation to this: http://dis.4chan.org/read/prog/1109211978/21
34
lucb1e 4 days 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
Bzier Clock
808 points by frigaardj  5 days ago   69 comments top 29
1
nyan_sandwich 5 days 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 4 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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
TrainedMonkey 5 days 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.
6
femto113 5 days 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
propela 4 days ago 0 replies      
8
tdicola 5 days ago 3 replies      
Nice animation. Something similar is JWZ's dali clock: http://www.jwz.org/xdaliclock/
9
devindotcom 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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
bitwize 5 days ago 0 replies      
Right now jwz is slapping his own forehead going "bezier curves! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"
13
Tloewald 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cute, but I would prefer if the tweening were adjusted to dwell longer on the numbers when less distorted.
14
LukeB_UK 5 days 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...

15
benjaminjackman 5 days ago 1 reply      
Pretty Cool! I wonder if it's possible / how hard it would be to port to Pebble.
16
matthiasb 5 days ago 2 replies      
It would be fun to have it on phones. Can you make an Android app? ;-)
17
vog 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great idea!

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

18
arketyp 5 days 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.
19
heeen 4 days 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.

20
bujatt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice and elegant way, for me this would be the first reason to get an Apple Watch
21
RoboTeddy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what it would look like with interpolation pathways that minimize the amount of bending
22
myhf 5 days ago 0 replies      
Ahh, it was so satisfying to watch it right as 59:59 ticked over to 00:00.
23
proneb1rd 5 days ago 0 replies      
Too bad, doesn't work without cookies/localstorage enabled.
24
frandroid 4 days ago 0 replies      
Finally, Dali Clock arrives on the web!
25
randartie 5 days ago 0 replies      
Gives me a headache
26
chillingeffect 5 days 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?

27
propela 4 days ago 0 replies      
hello
28
weegy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I love it!
29
ctdonath 5 days ago 1 reply      
Apple Watch.

'nuf said.

4
Yes, were being bought by Microsoft
814 points by jordanmessina  13 hours ago   417 comments top 61
1
gokhan 11 hours ago 8 replies      
For people without children, here are some quick notes on the situation in kiddieland:

- My son is 7. We bought iPad edition first, shelled some more for PC edition last month, and I'm sure I'll be forced to buy more in the future if MS puts a price tag on it.

- I spend a fair amount of time during weekends for deciphering the modding world, trying to find something called CraftBukkit, learning to mod, finding launchers, finding maps shown on some Youtube video etc. because the son is mad about it. BUT, he's spending hours trying to learn JS (ScriptCraft on Bukkit) just to make an exploding arrow. I truly believe this is analogous to C64 days back then.

- School started today, he's moved to another school this year. The first thing he asked to his news friends was about Minecraft. Then he advertised how PC version is superior to the one on iPad.

- My 2 yo daughter knows what Minecraft is, tells she'll play Minecraft when she grows up.

- While we were shopping for school supplies last week, saw two people asking for Minecraft licensed school bags for their kids.

- We live in Turkey.

2
jacquesm 12 hours ago 14 replies      
That's 2.5 Instagrams, or 0.33 Nokias. What do you feel, realistic, too much, too little?

Personally I feel this makes (much) more sense than instagram, these guys have a very loyal following, a tremendously strong product and actually make money.

Congratulations to everybody on the selling side in this deal, too bad it had to be Microsoft but with amounts like that there are not too many companies on the acquiring side.

Does anyone know if this was stock / cash / a mix?

edit: this Microsoft - Mojang deal will do more to get people into (games) programming than a million $ adspend by codecademy would

edit2: right now (16:43 my time) microjang.com is still free

Wonder how long it will take before that is a registered domain.

edit: microjang.com is now no longer free.

   Registrant:      Microjang Development (DR is US)      PO Box 100439      NY, NY 10163-4668      US (UNITED STATES)

3
scrollaway 12 hours ago 10 replies      
There goes all hope of Minecraft being released as open source.

There was a blog post from several years ago from Notch saying that after he made enough money with the game, he would "probably clean it up and release it as open source". Oh well.

Instead now we have the DMCA-infighting and an atrocious modding community that hosts their binaries on shady file upload sites, their "project page" in a forum thread, make their measly money from adfly-like sites and have never heard of Github.

So much wasted potential. Anyhow, congratulations Microsoft.

4
rcamera 12 hours ago 14 replies      
I have been trying to understand why Microsoft would buy Minecraft. Even though Minecraft is really important, and wildly successful, but the price tag for a game studio with one successful game is rather odd, considering it is unlikely Minecraft will sell millions of copies more (it is already the most sold game ever made). This is a long shot, but it may explain it:

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. It 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.

Anyone else has any other idea why the 2.5 billion price tag?

5
mattdotc 12 hours ago 5 replies      
Very peculiar seeing this news after Notch was so critical of the OculusVR sale to Facebook.

Seeing as I bought my premium Minecraft account on 8/1/2010, I must be due some sort of equity for supporting him at such an early stage.

edit: Oh, and what do you think will become of the old alpha/beta/release builds? I'm thinking about going ahead and archiving them all in case access to them is revoked. Not sure if I'm being too paranoid, but I much preferred the simpler versions without all the distractions like XP, hunger, and those weird tall black guys.

6
TillE 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> Hes decided that he doesnt want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance

> The founders: Notch, Carl, and Jakob are leaving

Yeah, that's exactly what I suspected when the rumors started. Markus doesn't really want to run a company, so he's cashing out and doing his own thing. Good on him.

7
joemaller1 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm trying, but I just don't see any good coming of this. The comments from Mojang seem incredibly naive, everything is going to change.

First people to make money on this will be lawyers. There's going to be a blizzard of copyright takedown notices going out to every unlicensed (most all) Minecraft merchandise and spinoffs. The offline fan ecosystem is going to get slaughtered.

Mostly I'm just sad for all the kids. They love Minecraft, and this won't end well.

8
cptskippy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I could see this being a huge play for young developers by Microsoft. They have been positioning themselves as a platform agnostic services provider, investing in or purchasing cross platform development frameworks, and opensourcing a lot of their technologies (e.g. C#, .NET, Rosetta, OWIN). Now all they need are developers to adopt their technologies.

Minecraft has a huge modding community and a lot of first time coders are getting into the scene because they love Minecraft. Imagine Microsoft ports Minecraft to C# or possibly C while maintaining full support for all existing platforms. Then go about developing a great API/SDK for modders and making it incredibly easy for anyone to download Visual Studio and the Minecraft SDK.

They just introduced an entire generation of developers to MS technology.

9
DanBC 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Be interesting to see how MS deal with YouTubers.

Shutting down Etho, Yogscast, etc is likely to lead to hordes of 13 year olds hating MS for ever.

Maybe there'll be an MVP programme for YouTubers? </s>

I just hope MS can sort out modding: a sane mod interface would make many people very happy.

10
danschuller 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this just demonstrates the power of the internet/social networks and an increasingly interconnected world.

Notch creates a small game on his own, improving on Infiniminer, it catches the imagination of an entire generation. Without the internet and social networks this would have never happened. Without this game having a multiplayer mode added (which happened fairly early on) it wouldn't have happened. I wonder what it would be like it Doom was first released into a similar environment but maybe it's a little less universal.

People in their bedrooms recording themselves playing video games speak as loudly, or more loudly than traditional media. PewDiePie has 30 million subscribers - he can make any game just with a mention.

It's interesting now our networks are concentrating and distributing influence, power and wealth. Nothing I could have predicted and I'll enjoy seeing what comes next.

11
malloreon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That Mojang is worth 62.5% of Star Wars is a testament both to Minecraft's value and how much Lucas destroyed Star Wars in the last 20 years.
12
worklogin 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> Theres no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft cant make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.

Linux is absent, but I wonder if they lump that in with "PC".

13
mindstab 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Ran some math with friends. Minecraft is from 2009, so it's 5 years old. https://minecraft.net/stats says it's sold ~16M pc and mac copies and the front page says at $27. That's about $432M in its entire life [assuming everyone paid full price, which they didn't, there have been loads of deals over the years]. Now that doesn't take into account mobile and console. For android the $7 pocket version is reporting 5M which is $35M. I don't have numbers for iOS and console but I can't really imagine they come close to PC and Mac. And as my friend reminded "Well I'm one if those 5m and I paid $0.10 [for the android version]"

I have a hard time understanding where they get the $2.5B valuation considering its revenues. Another friend thought advertising: " heck, even brand recognition - if they put "Microsoft Minecraft" on the title, I'm sure that's comparable to a few superbowl ads &tc"

So we ran that math.

"the average cost of a 30-second advertisement was around $4 million" - wikipedia [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_advertising ] "Super Bowl XLV, played in 2011, became the most-watched American television program in history with an average audience of 111 million viewers " - wikipedia. 16.7M people have bought minecraft [mincraft.com/stats pc and mac] + 5M for android. That's still a fraction of a super bowl ad (like 16%) or ~$670,000 value in super bowl advertising terms. Except I suspect anyone actually in advertising would say the value of a finely crafted 30 second video advert massively beats your company name under a game title.

Regardless of quibbles, the advertising potential seems off by many orders of magnitude. also as was mentioned: "Is brand recognition something ms has a problem with?"

So where is the $2.5B coming from? Especially when the gamesutra article [ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/225611/Minecraft_studio_M... ] has them saying they think they can recoup the full value in 1 year!

14
diltonm 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd feel much better if they would clarify the term PC. As a long time Linux user and Minecraft fan; I'd hope the Linux client continues to thrive similar to the way the Skype client has after the Microsoft acquisition. The fact that the list uses the term PC instead of spelling out "Windows,Linux,etc." worries me some.
15
p1mrx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
With $2.5 billion, you could buy 3 blocks of gold:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=1+cubic+meter+of+gold == $765 million.

16
Joona 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy crap, 2.5 BILLION? And on top of that Notch and Jakob (and Carl) are leaving? I understand Notch's decision (as he has been doing his own thing), but I did not imagine Jakob or Carl leaving.
17
calewis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to me like the most sensible tech purchase in a while, PE ratio is a bit more normal and it has massive and sustained traction amongst young people.It remains to be seem if M$FT will fuck it up, but that's a different question.
18
shmerl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: We don't know Microsoft's plans. But don't worry, everything will be fine.

Yeah, right. It's MS we are talking about. MS don't even hide their mindset here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/sept14/09-15n...

> Minecraft fans are loyal, with nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC having signed in within the past 12 months.

That's MS for you. DRM to be expected.

19
tdicola 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing I can't wait to see is how Microsoft intends to recoup the cost in FY2015 like they say they will. From what I read Mojang only made ~$300 million off Minecraft last year, so where is the other $2.2 billion going to come from in the next 9 months? I will be surprised if there isn't a big write-down on this purchase come July.
20
tyho 12 hours ago 5 replies      
>What about the other editions of Minecraft? Will they stop being developed?

>Theres no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop.

So what is happening to the Linux edition that has been fully supported since day 1?

21
worklogin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
He's a bit disingenuous.

Don't care about the money at all? Open-source it and let it thrive.

Care about the money a bit, but really want the game to survive? Want the community to have faith in its future? Sell it to Valve for $25m or something on the condition that an API gets built. If it's worth a fraction of its sell price, Valve would have jumped on it.

But instead, it got sold to a company devoted to closed source software and killing its game purchases. And Notch got a fat check for it.

Listen, I can't judge him, and I won't. The game is great, and he built it. But every action in this says it's about money, while none of it shows a care for the game. We'll see how it pans out, but history tells us to be suspicious.

22
DigitalSea 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Worse kept secret ever.Good for Notch and everyone else though, a well-deserved cash out and completely understandable. Notch never striked me as a guy who wanted to run a big company like Mojang in the first place.
23
alyandon 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't see this being a good thing for anyone that cares about Minecraft at all. I wonder how long it'll be before:

1) The older Minecraft binaries suddenly become unavailable for download which will effectively kill many launchers, mods and modpacks

1a) Microsoft aggressively uses DMCA notices to kill off the modding community when the modding community tries to work around #1 by hosting the binaries themselves

2) Microsoft adds unnecessary integration with the win32 API via JNI to Minecraft in order to make it Windows-only despite the fact Minecraft is written in Java

2a) More aggressive DMCA usage to kill off the community attempting to work-around #2

Those are just off the top of my head but I'm sure I can come up with more not too far-fetched scenarios.

24
bru 12 hours ago 4 replies      
> Microsoft acquired Mojang for a smooth 2.5 BILLION dollars.

Impressive.

I hope that Microsoft won't disrupt Minecraft's development (e.g. like they did with Skype, making Linux a third-rate platform - which should not happen since Minecraft's coded in Java).

25
spacecadet 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Notch went from having trouble with Paypal over a poultry $750k to being a Billionaire. That's awesome.
26
jccalhoun 12 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing that needs some explanation is the fact that because Minecraft predates Mojang, at one point Mojang was only licensing the Minecraft trademark from Notch (even though Notch was the majority owner of Mojang). (If you look at the bottom of minecraft.net you will see: "Mojang 2009-2014. "Minecraft" is a trademark of Notch Development AB")

I hope that MS's lawyers were smart enough to make sure they were actually buying Minecraft and not just a license...

27
outside1234 9 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the things you need to understand about these deals, and deals like it (Nokia), is that Microsoft is using trapped overseas cash to make these acquisitions.

(If they repatriated this cash to the US instead they would lose something like 40% of it to taxes)

Its a good time to be a foreign (to the US) company.

28
Florin_Andrei 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> Everything is going to be OK.

Yeah, with $2.5 bil in the bank, I'm sure it will.

29
wiremine 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I like this quote from Gruber:

"Its almost impossible to overstate just how big a deal Minecraft is for my son and his friends." [1]

My son is 8, and he and his friends are CONSUMED by the game. I wonder how Microsoft is going to leverage this fact for reaching new users...

[1] http://daringfireball.net/linked/2014/07/25/minecraft

30
aaronbasssett 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Coming soon, Minecraft 2.0! Exclusive to Xbox One.
31
citricsquid 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A copy of the blog post if the site is down: https://archive.today/TbJQh

Xbox announcement: http://news.xbox.com/2014/09/games-minecraft-to-join-microso...

32
centizen 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, this will be an interesting ride. At least now Notch will have enough time and money to fund that Psychonauts sequel!
33
tomrod 2 hours ago 0 replies      
More power to you, Mojang employees, and may you see many happy returns.
34
Pyrodogg 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, there goes a ton of support for the current Forge-related modding community.

"Take care everybody. rm -rf .minecraftMS free for 20 years. Not starting now!"https://twitter.com/minecraftcpw

35
keypusher 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not clear to me exactly what Microsoft is buying here. As far as I know the development studio Mojang is tiny, maybe a few dozen people. Minecraft itself has a huge community, and made a lot of money, but it's not clear how Microsoft leverages that into anything other than goodwill.
36
LeicaLatte 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Mojang's new roadmap starting next sprint -

Minecraft kart racer, brawler, side scroller, kinect game, store.minecraft, themed COD maps, Forza tracks, minecraft 2 pre-order beta access

37
octo_t 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the most significant part is that the founders at Mojang are leaving:

> The founders: Notch, Carl, and Jakob are leaving. We dont know what theyre planning. It wont be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool.

38
smoyer 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Is this the first product Microsoft will own that's written in Java? They support it on Azure but I'm not aware of them selling a software product that's based on Java.
39
dageshi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They'll probably create a market. Right now mods/skins are for the most part being given away for free. I think the obvious thing to do is allow mod creators to sell at a profit if they wish.
40
maljx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Personal statement by notch - http://notch.net/2014/09/im-leaving-mojang/
41
aabdocker 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> The founders: Notch, Carl, and Jakob are leaving. We dont know what theyre planning. It wont be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool.
42
tehwebguy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
No one has mentioned merch or licensing yet here.

I would offer an educated guess that Minecraft is/was the single most valuable indie game IP outside of actual game sales.

43
xedarius 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it amazing that there wasn't a clause tying Notch and the other founders to the company, at least for a transitional period. Usually when you buy a games company it isn't the product you buy so much it's the creative talent. But to counter my own argument, few games companies have a product as strong as Mojang.
44
netcraft 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I look forward to a post from MS about their plans. I still believe that with a proper modding API minecraft could quadruple its current impact.
45
blueskin_ 12 hours ago 1 reply      
>Theres no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft cant make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.

Translation: MS hasn't killed them yet, but probably will soon.

46
turshija 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope they won't ditch cross-platform and go for Windows + Xbox only. Or try to make "Minecraft 2". Damn
47
illumen 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ludumdare is bigger than Y combinator now.
48
knd775 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes me sad. I see that there is the potential for good to come from this, I don't think it will happen. At least Jeb is staying. There might have been some pretty big problems for Minecraft if he didn't stay.
49
KhalilK 9 hours ago 1 reply      
First thing to do: ditch Java; port the game to C#.
50
neves 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hope they don't decide to bundle it with Windows. My kids will have zero productivity for their whole life.
51
georgehaake 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting that my 8 and 10 year old sons two weeks ago declared Minecraft boring after 3-4 years of all that they could consume play.
52
JoeAltmaier 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps Microsoft has a similar project in the works, and instead of fighting over IP and copyright, they just bought the company. Like Intel or Cisco buying innovators to avoid patent litigation.
53
pinaceae 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Did Minecraft ever take on any VC money? I think not, so this 2.5b is very, very different than the stuff you see here. Not comparable to Instagram in net profit for the founders.
54
talmand 10 hours ago 0 replies      
All I can say is that my daughters are so lucky that Games for Windows Live is dead and won't be integrated into Minecraft.
55
programminggeek 12 hours ago 0 replies      
$2.5 billion and the founders get to walk. That is impressive. No golden handcuffs.
56
Pxtl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
So, MineCraft 2 will be an X-Box/Win8 tablet exclusive made by a AAA development studio, I suppose.
57
drivingmenuts 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, it was fun while it was lasted. Being on OS X, I'm not going to pretend that Microsoft will support us for any longer than they have to.
58
betabob 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Think Microsoft-VR.

Billions in VR-device/console sales secured via platform exclusivity. See Halo(Bungie)/Xbox etc. Games dictate console sales.

Minecraft will actually be a lot more effective. Massively popular among every demographic. Smart move and good timing.

Hats off to New-Microsoft.

59
eric_cc 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Minecraft 2: now with Micro-transactions, Achievements and More!!
60
LERobot 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The skype effect is near
61
Fastidious 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Next steps:

- Replace Mojang/Minecraft account with a Microsoft Account, use it to login

- Minecraft installer comes with Bing

- Minecraft ported to C#, Java version discontinued. Name changed to Microsoft Minecraft 1.0

- Minecraft servers can only be run in Azure, legally

5
Feds Threatened to Fine Yahoo $250K Daily for Not Complying with NSA's PRISM
783 points by suprgeek  4 days ago   236 comments top 26
1
xnull 4 days ago 5 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
joshavant 4 days ago 8 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...

3
comrade1 4 days ago 7 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.

4
rdtsc 4 days 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.

5
legutierr 3 days 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.

6
otakucode 4 days ago 2 replies      
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.

7
kriro 3 days 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]

8
hadoukenio 4 days 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?
9
jacquesm 4 days ago 2 replies      
So that's the price of having principles.
10
bengrunfeld 3 days 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.
11
lern_too_spel 4 days 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?

12
sharkweek 3 days 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?

13
enlightenedfool 4 days 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.
14
quackerhacker 3 days 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.

15
idlewords 3 days ago 2 replies      
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.
16
known 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
17
notastartup 3 days 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.

18
nathancahill 4 days ago 3 replies      
Happened in 2008, revealed today.
19
chris_wot 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah? I'd just refuse to pay, what are they going to do - publicize it?
20
psykovsky 3 days ago 0 replies      
They fought it, but they're complying...
21
dmritard96 4 days ago 0 replies      
might be worth it actually. if it doesn't increase, and if they can market with it. haha
22
jbverschoor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Yahoo, move to europe
23
DominikR 3 days ago 2 replies      
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

24
icantthinkofone 3 days ago 0 replies      
When the terrorists stop using the internet, the government will stop searching for them with PRISM. Sound fair?
25
_pmf_ 3 days 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.

26
korzun 3 days 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!"

6
New Requests for Startups
710 points by comatose_kid  3 days ago   390 comments top 75
1
akkartik 3 days ago 16 replies      
> What comes after programming languages?

I've been working on this for several years, though a startup seems the wrong vehicle for it. I think the description in the RFS is misguided:

"Were interested in helping developers create better software, faster. This includes new ways to write, understand, and collaborate on code, and the next generation of tools and infrastructure for delivering software continuously and reliably."

There's a blind spot in prose like this that gets repeated all over the place in our community: it emphasizes writing over reading. I think we have to start with reading. My hypothesis is that we need to reform the representation of programs to address this use case: I download the sources for a tool I use, wanting to make a tweak. How can I orient myself and make a quick change in just one afternoon? This is hard today; it can take weeks or months to figure out the global organization of a codebase.

You can't "deliver software continuously and reliably" until you rethink its underpinnings. Before the delivery problem there's a literacy problem: we programmers prefer to write our own, or to wrap abstraction layers over the code of others, rather than first understanding what has come before.

More on my approach: http://akkartik.name/about

2
frandroid 3 days ago 9 replies      
It's a fantastic list; I'd like to comment on how some of the problems are already solved (outside the U.S.) or not cast properly.

> Healthcare in the United States is badly broken. We are getting close to spending 20% of our GDP on healthcare; this is unsustainable.

That's mostly a policy problem, not a technology problem. Countries with single-payer healthcare spend massively less on it per % of GDP than the United States with its pro-profit healthcare system, and American doctors and healthcare corporations end up being fabulously more rich than in those countries. (And they still have private healthcare, like in Sweden, which competes with public healthcare organizations.) The other reason healthcare costs are getting higher is that people are getting older and thus more sick. That's a generational bump, there's very little we can do about that. Not that I'm opposing the types of ideas YC is after in this sector (preventative medicine and better sensing/monitoring), just that the premise is wrong that it's a technological problem.

> At some point, we are going to have problems with food and water availability.

That's because we dedicate most of our water and land resources to feeding cattle that we then eat. Innovations that will have the most impact in that sector will involve weaning people from animal products. Stuff like Beyond Eggs and lab-grown meat.

> Its not a secret that saving money is hard, and that people tend to be bad at doing it. The personal savings rate has largely been falling since the early 80s.

Sure, some super-low-cost index funds would help, but the main problem here is two-fold: 1) real incomes are stagnant, due to government policies favouring corporations and 2) government/pension funds are much better at providing good ROI on investment than individuals can. Once again policy change is much more likely to have a massive impact than trying to improve the individual worker's investment returns. Collect retirement contributions at the source, and have the best investors in the country manage them. Without taking a profit for themselves. It's done elsewhere.

3
impendia 3 days ago 13 replies      
Would somebody please disrupt the textbook publishing industry?

http://www.amazon.com/Discrete-Mathematics-Applications-Susa...

$264.39, for students that work part time jobs at $7.00 an hour (before taxes).

Not only students are angry about this. Professors are angry, and authors are angry too. Bitter fights between professors and publishers are common.

Everybody wants to see the big players in this industry fail. Please, someone, make it happen.

4
maxcan 3 days ago 4 replies      
> Wed like to see new services that make it possible to invest in super low-cost index funds.

Sorry, this is not the right problem in financial services. Companies like Vanguard are already doing a great job of this and the costs are extremely low. Its a commodity product with razor thin margins that actually serves the needs of its customers well. Maybe there's a marketing issue where they aren't educating enough people, but that's not a technology problem.

As an alternative: Lower the Costs to IPO, disrupt Investment Banks

Sarbanes-Oxley, minimal competition between investment banks, and heightened SEC scrutiny have made the fixed costs to an IPO astronomical. These days a company, for the most part, cannot IPO for less than a $1 billion raise. This means that the broad public, including those index funds YC loves, is prevented from enjoying any returns at all for younger, high-growth companies.

There is room for startups to disrupt part or all of the process. It would be capital intensive and hard as hell. But, you're not looking for easy right?

5
atonse 3 days ago 9 replies      
While I've always felt a strong attraction to YCombinator (especially the cameraderie that comes from being a part of it) and been very inspired to apply, I can't help but feel that I am in a phase of life that's simply not a good fit for YC, or at least the narrative that's pushed.

I'm no longer a mid 20-something that can live on Ramen and 16 hour days. I'm married and have a young child.

Are there YC founders in this phase of life that were able to make it work in YC? What did you do differently? Is YC interested in working with these kinds of founders? (it's certainly a different kind of "Diversity")

6
ealloc 3 days ago 10 replies      
I'm surprised no one has commented yet on the first couple of these - Energy, AI, Biotech, and Drug design.

These have traditionally been domains requiring a huge research apparatus with tremendous manpower, for only very long term gains. Not good for startups. In AI, how can a startup hope to succeed when academia has had almost no success in 50 years (and I am doubtful throwing more CPU/neuron layers will 'solve' the problem).

In addition, the people with the skills necessary to make progress are going to be advanced researchers with PhDs, who are good enough to remain in academia if they wish or who have already developed a proven-enough idea through their research career that they don't need Y-combinator-style money.

I am not trying to be a downer on the idea, contrarily I hope there can be success. Really I am fishing for anyone with a good perspective (or an answer) to these points.

7
bravura 3 days ago 6 replies      
An important trend is the API-ification of everything. As more and more businesses are accessible with a web API, the Internet becomes more and more powerful.

I'd like to invite people to try the early release of Empire API, which is one API for every enterprise SaaS:

http://empiredata.co

Empire is an API for accessing enterprise SaaS services such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Apps, etc. It provides a uniform, database-like interface to every service that it supports. Empire makes it easy to integrate data from multiple enterprise services into your own enterprise app.

You can click Login to create an account, and we'll send you an API key. Or you can just sign up for the mailing list.

8
cik 3 days ago 2 replies      
While interesting - the thing that surprised me the most was not seeing "security" (take that for what you will) on the list. Given the year of disclosures, the heartbleed incident, and all other sorts of things - I feel like this field is ripe for a disruption.

Between the staid companies that have been providing tools for decades that can be better, the tools that don't really exist that need to - I think we're ready. Similarly, with the security world starting to consolidate (FireEye buying Mandiant, likely goings public of companies like Rapid7 and TripWire), I'd think it's an ample rate/return option.

9
wmeredith 3 days ago 4 replies      
I liked this line: "the government is a very large customer with very bad software."

It could also be written like this: the government is a very bad customer with very large software.

10
zeratul 3 days ago 1 reply      
S.A. is talking about general-purpose AI (position 2 in the RFS). This means processing natural language. There is a lot of progress but it's just slow so it's almost invisible.

Also it's a very difficult field of science. Now you need to be proficient in AI, machine learning, computational linguistics, linguistic corpora research, cognitive sciences, statistics, and sometimes physics if the text changes over time. Of course, you also need to be a good programmer. This combination of skills is very rare. Thus, very slow progress.

I suggest to start with well defined practical problems. For example, no one seems to do much with user generated reviews. There is some sentiment analysis but that is just a binary text categorization problem - not even close to general purpose AI.

It would be much more interesting to show a seller a time ordered stream of clustered reviews that depict only the most representative review for each cluster. This way a seller can see how his/her fixes/changes impact user reviews. Also it would be a great source for features and bug fixes requests. This is an ideal testing bed for clustering, novelty detection, categorization and mild inference. The inference is required because of sparseness of data.

This would create a good data set for a more general purpose AI. We would have reviews and text documenting changes and improvements of a new version of a product. Now the computer could start learning the dialog between users and product developers. Then, we are just one more step from statistical inference based question-answering system. Not a brute force system like "Watson" or a hand crafted rule base system like "Siri".

[EDIT:] I was thinking more about a decision support system that can recommend product changes. But in a way that maximizes customer satisfaction and minimizes the cost of implementation. The dialogue between past changes and customer reaction would give us the surface that needs to be optimized. This would generalize well to other domains where there is a text for request and a text for response - just to name one: clinical text in healthcare (position 5 in the RFS).

11
hazz 3 days ago 5 replies      
>Specifically, lightweight, short-distance personal transportation is something were interested in.

Doesn't this already exist, in the form of the bicycle?

12
jblow 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am very happy to see this list.

I came to Demo Day in 2010 (as an investor) but left without investing in anything, because I was so demoralized by the way it seemed everyone was trying to start lame web sites doing relatively trivial things.

If Demo Day looked like the stuff on this list, I'd be banging down the door to get in again.

13
startupfounder 3 days ago 0 replies      
Energy generation, transmission, storage and consumption technologies are the opportunity of our lifetime and it is great to see Energy as #1 on this list (though there might not be a correlation between rank and YC weighted importance).

Generation - Solar & Wind

Transmission - Distributed Grid

Storage - Batteries

Consumption - Electric Vehicles

> We believe economics will dominate - new sources must be cheaper than old ones, without subsidies, and be able to scale to global demand.

The world uses a huge amount of energy and it is vital that any technology is 1.cost competitive and can 2.scale on a globally. These are no small feats, but like Airbnb the assets already exist, but our access to them does not. This is a distribution and financing problem, not a creating new technology problem.

14
aresant 3 days ago 1 reply      
I loved seeing VR on this list as an Oculus enthusiast.

The http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus, http://www.reddit.com/r/oculusdev/, and https://developer.oculusvr.com/ are jam packed with excited hackers cranking out their projects and with the Oculus Connect conference coming up I'd love to see some of this talent pointed towards Y-Combinator

15
nerfhammer 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Its not a secret that saving money is hard, and that people tend to be bad at doing it. The personal savings rate has largely been falling since the early 80s.

There already several startups in the "personal saving" space largely based on index funds, though some of them have large minimums. Complex schemes may not be worth the effort for those with only a few bucks to spare:

https://www.wealthfront.com/

https://www.betterment.com/

https://www.futureadvisor.com/

It would be cool if Vanguard had an API so we could do the same thing open-source rather than incurring the extra management fees from these companies which are mostly based on Vanguard funds.

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bambax 3 days ago 2 replies      
> HUMAN AUGMENTATION

Oh yes, yes, yes. Everyone is talking about the quantified self but human augmentation would be so much cooler. I don't care if a watch can tell me my heart rate at all times (I know when my body is tired, or out of breath, because I live in it!!!)

But there are so many senses that I would like to have; for example, be able to always know where the North is relative to me. A device that would let me feel the North would be so cool and useful (I wear a Tissot T-Touch for that reason, but it's a very poor solution to this problem).

I think I heard the Apple watch will be able to do this, in some cases; but it sounds like an afterthought. I would pay serious money for a wrist bracelet or some other wearable that would do only that, but do it well.

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foobarqux 3 days ago 1 reply      
>This seems to us like something software should help solve. Wed like to see new services that make it possible to invest in super low-cost index funds (in a normal account or a retirement account), do some customization around individual stocks, and otherwise set it and forget it.

This exists already, there are a ton of discount brokers with very competitive pricing.

18
Permit 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool to see this list expanded. My own personal interest lies in programmer tools and their inevitable evolution, so it's great to see them listed on there.

A few of the accelerators I'd applied to in the past don't see the business opportunity present in developer tools (Who pays for those?) so it's a relief that YC recognizes the opportunity there.

19
DodgyEggplant 3 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome, ambitious and inspiring list of the challenges humans need to solve to move forward. One huge issue forgotten though: animals and wild life. They also inhibit our planet and part of our lives, but many quickly disappearing.
20
mbesto 3 days ago 5 replies      
> We want to fund companies that have the potential to create a million jobs.

I still am curious about this one. Is there any startup that has successfully done this in recent history?

Keep in mind, there is a big difference (IMO) between creating new jobs and shifting existing ones.

21
foobarqux 3 days ago 0 replies      
Have any previous RFSes been filled? Have any been successful?
22
foobarqux 3 days ago 3 replies      
> what comes after programming languages

Isn't this like asking what comes after spoken language? Arguably the answer is nothing because language is what structured thought is.

23
tsax 3 days ago 0 replies      
Huh? This looks like a laundry list of everything, not a specific request.
24
jolan 3 days ago 1 reply      
25
anon1385 3 days ago 2 replies      
>An important trend is the API-ification of everything. As more and more businesses are accessible with a web API, the Internet becomes more and more powerful.

This is a bad thing. Replacing opens standards with proprietary APIs locked behind access tokens hardly makes the internet more accessible.

Walled gardens are great for making money though

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agorism 2 days ago 0 replies      
Truthcoin satisfies 8 of the 22 requests: https://github.com/psztorc/Truthcoin

my implementation: https://github.com/zack-bitcoin/Truthcoin-POW

Science/Drug development: truthcoin allows for a new method of funding public goods that is far more impact per dollar than taxes.

Government: http://hanson.gmu.edu/futarchy.html

One million jobs: Successful traders can do it as a job. Every job that involves nothing more than decisions making can be replaced by a trader. Doctors, Governors, CEOs, various boards and counsels, Congressmen, Supreme Court Judges, etc. are all in danger of being replaced by anonymous, potentially uneducated, traders.

Diversity/Developing Countries: It will give modern financial instruments to everyone with internet connection. Insurance to hedge everyone's risks.

Enterprise Software: prediction markets are very unconnected today. Each business has a separate in-house prediction market built. They have to be heavily regulated. Truthcoin makes prediction markets as available as google or facebook.

Financial Services: prediction markets are a financial service. They are illegal. Use of a blockchain circumvents the law against prediction markets.

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orky56 2 days ago 0 replies      
Regarding enterprise, our approach with Catalist is a combination of 1. (Making the Expensive Cheap) & 3. (Digitizing Every Industry). We are providing companies with easy-to-use solutions based on the basic systems they understand. Half our companies come from competitor's tools while the other half are just getting started with a tech solution for their general workflow. Our hypothesis is that majority of workers wear multiple hats and spend more time figuring out what to do by assessing their responsibilities across multiple tools. We give these workers and their teams one place to address their system. This gives everyone on the team a clear idea of what actually needs to be done with full context.

Our favorite use case is a medical office that has made the jump to EMR. Much of their data is digitized but there is little benefit directly to them. However, once that digital data becomes a part of their workflow they actually see the benefit in it.

We are trying to think more generally about each of these problems and providing guidance to our individual customers specific to their vertical. Although it may seem we are still finding product-market fit, the small business market is always fragmented and diverse so this is just the reality of the situation.

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foobarqux 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most "blue sky" innovations have come from the state sector (either universities, publicly funded research institutes or majority state-funded private companies). They are commercialized by private companies afterward.

Why does YC think that it will be different now?

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kfcm 2 days ago 0 replies      
(US-based comment.)

While a great list, the mistake is being made of assuming disruptive startups (through technology, business processes, or both) will solve problems in several of the sectors. Some being Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Transportation & Housing, Telecommunications, and--most of all--Government.

It's not because smart people haven't developed solutions to the problems they see in these sectors. It's that government--through policy and/or bureaucracy--often prevents those solutions from being implemented.

For example, I have family who are in the pharmaceutical industry. PhDs and all. The amount of money spent on the bureaucratic steps to obtain government approval (FDA and others) to bring a new drug to market is the vast majority of development costs.

I won't even go into my experiences working with various levels of government on technology projects. Suffice it to say, never again.

You want great, efficient solutions to hard problems? Get government out of the way. Government involvement hinders progress, and makes what progress there is extremely expensive.

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Jun8 3 days ago 1 reply      
Two things I think are missing from the list:

1. It has often been commented that the next Google will come from the company who develops a palatable version "next generation TV". Hollywood 2.0 really covers only part of this.

2. A YC generator. YC emerged as an anomaly in the VC field and became widely successful. How can its success be replicated, both for US and in other countries. This was on a 2008 list that pg posted (http://old.ycombinator.com/ideas.html).

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pja 3 days ago 0 replies      
"lightweight, short-distance personal transportation is something were interested in"

I think that's called the bicycle.

(Of course there are plenty of barriers to people actually using the things, especially in the US, but those have little to do with the machine itself and everything to do with the social context in which it's used. If a startup can manage to solve those problems then more power to them. Start by talking to the Dutch perhaps.)

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chrisacky 3 days ago 1 reply      
- INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE

"An important trend is the API-ification of everything. As more and more businesses are accessible with a web API, the Internet becomes more and more powerful."

I think a POSTman style Zapier, love-child would go down very well. Also products like Mashery where you provide APIs as a service and charge.

Notably missing from the list...

- Anything related to travel.

- Anything related to storage

- Anything related to video (Maybe that's Hollywood 2.0?)

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colmvp 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Science seems broken. The current funding models are broken and favor political skill over scientific genius.

Isn't that already catered to by experiment.com, a YC company?

34
pptr1 3 days ago 0 replies      
These new RFS are awesome. I hope YC help accelerate a few startups that doing these type of RFS. It would be game changing. I can see allot more investor interest in YC if a non tradition YC backed company based on one of these RFC makes it big.

I had my doubts about @sama but he is pretty much on the right track and and seems to be the right person for the job. They are fighting the typical SV stereotype about not funding big ideas. Go YC keep on disrupting!

35
pbiggar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice to see programming tools listed here. In 2011, investors couldn't've cared less. That description could almost have been written for CircleCI: "delivering software continuously" and "better software, faster".

That said, I had more success building what wasn't in the RFC (dev tools in 2011), than what was (journalism stuff in 2010).

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dobbsbob 3 days ago 0 replies      
>Hollywood 2.0

Actors are now being hired based on the amount of followers they have on twitter. If you have a lot of worldwide followers you're guaranteed to be casted since that's where all the money is these days.

>Government

The problem with this is dealing with government technocrats who will never deploy your software as is and will demand all sorts of complexity, basically creating the same garbage they were using before. If you can somehow survive this insanity there are gigantic contracts up for bid, for example many post offices are using Microsoft Mobile devices and looking into some kind of wearable scanner that doesn't charge hefty MS licensing fees. Then there's the Integrated Case Management software contract for $182 million that still doesn't work http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/government+million+co...

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taigeair 3 days ago 4 replies      
How far off is singularity? Seems like quite an interesting topic.
38
rhspeer 3 days ago 0 replies      
For Education, I really like this approach:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/davinci-flight/davinci-...

Learn by making awesome things to solve problems, then attach rockets and see what happens. It's a good approach, that's more fun for all and more accessible to folks that don't learn from the book & lecture model well.

I really like the prototype, simulate, 3D print approach. Being able to take home a flying model at the end of a lesson is just awesome.

Full Disclosure: Chris, the lead on the project, has been one of my best friends for the last 25 years so I'm biased.

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wj 3 days ago 1 reply      
If anybody is working on the financial services one I would love to talk to you about it. My day job is in that industry and I think there is a ton of room for innovation. Sometimes it is hard to convince people in the industry of that as they retain the ideas they came up with. I recall hearing somebody say in a talk (or maybe on Twitter) recently that industry disruption happens from people outside of the industry rather than people inside the industry.

Ultimately I think something that provides a whole financial picture is what is needed (I think Learnvest is trying to do that). I picture something along the lines of a combination of Credit Karma, You Need a Budget, and Vanguard as being the way to go.

My email and twitter are in my profile if you would like to talk.

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walterbell 3 days ago 1 reply      
Would the Semantic Web (e.g. vertical knowledge graphs) qualify as AI?

We need business models which support partially-open graphs, e.g. object IDs and some metadata are open, some metadata is closed via API. Open metadata can be cached offline and standardizes models within a vertical market, driving demand for paid metadata. API revenue grows as the open graph grows.

Semi-open knowledge graphs reduce the cost of adversarial algorithms. Better to have many competing skynets than one big skynet. The open part of the graph lowers the cost of consumption. Multiple, closed annotations on the graph compete to support AI use cases, and can optionally become open as value moves to higher-order representations.

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foobarqux 3 days ago 0 replies      
> The personal savings rate has largely been falling since the early 80s.

That's not because saving is complex or low-yielding, it is because middle class non-disposable expenditures have gone up. (see Elizabeth Warren)

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bfe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Given sama's enthusiasm for SpaceX, including as a "great example" in his blog post on the original new RFS, it seems unambitious for the RFS to mention space only in the context of robots and science.
43
vishalzone2002 3 days ago 3 replies      
With less than a month left to the deadline, its really challenging to build a decent MVP with some traction in one of these fields. And I think that seem to be at least the minimum requirement to get into YC.
44
bradleysmith 3 days ago 1 reply      
Was interested to see nothing mentioned about news & current events information startups. This seemed to be a re-occuring "problem worth solving" on YCombinator lists, and is notably absent.
45
saosebastiao 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think you really shortchanged the section on transportation by only focusing on personal transportation. The real opportunities are in commercial transportation and logistics. The US spends more on truck logistics every year than the market cap of the top 5 global car manufacturers combined. And the trucking industry is only 50% of the total logistics contribution to US GDP. Even a mildly successful startup in a tiny niche of logistics could result in a wildly profitable company.
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kibaekr 3 days ago 1 reply      
It would be awesome if programming could actually be as easy as you imagine it to be in your head. Any non-tech person could program in their head: When this happens, do that, except for when this happens. It's more of the hidden bugs and shit just not working for no reason that makes programming so difficult and frustrating, but if there was a way that things would "just work," that would be game changer.
47
pyb 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or are these RFSes too vague to be inspiring or actionable. It looks like you perhaps had a good list of actual ideas, which you redacted to death ?
48
mbenjaminsmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
If anyone is interested in exploring ideas for SE Asia email me (in my profile). I'm based in Bangkok and have 15 years of experience living and doing business in this part of the world. I have a network and access to capital but would be interested in finding some fresh blood to help me execute.
49
npostolovski 3 days ago 0 replies      
Best RFS yet. Well done Y Combinator. I hope this orients more technical people toward problems that really matter.
50
bfe 3 days ago 0 replies      
"What comes after programming languages?"

Maybe somewhere in the direction Meteor and Light Table are heading?

51
dasmithii 3 days ago 0 replies      
This a surprisingly promising list of ideas, especially for an incubator to suggest. Things like internet infrastructure, ideally, are in the non-profit sector. And though YC does fund non-profits, I can't imagine they'd be happy with a swarm of unprofitable applicants coming in next round.
52
chris123 1 day ago 0 replies      
"New Ways to Distract People From Building Startups to Disrupt Existing Our Startups/Investments"
53
desireco42 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was sure you will not cover human mind augmentation, which possibly is the easiest and more difficult to improve, but here it is, fairly vague described, but there.
54
flipside 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm glad the disrupt Hollywood rfc is now Hollywood 2.0, before it seemed needlessly antagonistic.

If anyone else is interested in Hollywood 2.0, hit me up (check profile). Tinj is reimagining content ratings, reviews and recommendations.

55
jdp23 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great to see diversity on the list. I notice that gender isn't on the list of what you're looking for ("all ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultures"). Just an oversight or a conscious decision?
56
ivv 3 days ago 0 replies      
There used to be an advertising category in the previous version of this document. Wonder why it has been dropped. Did the field get too crowded? Are the existing solutions adequate?
57
emcarey 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great list! Our startup, Glassbreakers, is focused on diversity and enterprise software to help women within organizations find mentors- applying for YC's winter batch!
58
dharbin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Which ones are the new ones?
59
edawerd 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to see the progression of YC's RFS over the years. The ideas behind the new RFS seem to driven by fundamental problems of society, not just market opportunity.
60
mladenkovacevic 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a governance/citizen participation startup that I will be applying with in 2020 according to my current progress speed.
61
napoleond 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is a minor typo in the "Government" section: s/INternet/Internet (or just "internet"...)
62
webmaven 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see a diff between this and the previous RFS(s). How often has this list been revised, anyway?
63
AndrewKemendo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really glad to see AR on the list, we are excited to be at the inflection point of that medium.
64
calebm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I see what you did there: "We deserve a simpler, more elegant solution for a more civilized age"
65
yaur 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Celebrities now have direct relationships with their fans.

I have a side project where I am aggregating celebrity generated content and one of the things that surprised me, though it really shouldn't have, is how bad the underlying content is. New tools aren't really going to help here beyond creating an incentive for celebs to create better content.

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miguelrochefort 2 days ago 0 replies      
What YC is really looking for is a better language or communication framework.

In practice, this probably means something like a"Semantic Marketplace + Contract and Reputation Management".

When are they going to explicitly ask for it? I don't know. Time will tell.

67
dhillonj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe something related to "Fixed the current problems?"
68
lettergram 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well, I already applied, but I guess I can update my app. Human Augmentation ftw!
69
Joshyuen 2 days ago 0 replies      
We should be able to comment on start-up requests if we are involved in a start doing specifically what is mentioned in the request. This way we can help expand start-up awareness!
70
pinaceae 3 days ago 0 replies      
but no mention of photosharing? videosharing? the current YC batch had this smuggling startup, where is the black market stuff?

great marketing, kudos.

71
joeguilmette 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hmm... No photo sharing apps? SnapChat for X?
72
mqsiuser 3 days ago 0 replies      
ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE > Making The Expensive Cheap:

I have been working (and still am working) with incredibly expensive software from IBM. Now it's somewhat trivial what it does and I have open sourced it (http://www.use-the-tree.com). Feel free to contact me. My dream is to find a team, apply to YC and crush IBM (I am somewhat serious).

73
graycat 3 days ago 0 replies      
What about the YC motto "Make something peoplewant."?

I mean, reading over these requests, my guess isthat, while some of them, if successful, would helplead to a better life for nearly everyone and savethe world, so far not many people would "want" theresults in the sense needed by a startup.

Some of the requests are nearly hopeless: E.g., theUS Federal Government via DoE, NSF, and NIH havebeen spending billions on research in energy andmedicine for decades. The idea that a YC start upcould do a lot better makes most long shots looklike sure things.

Next, a lot of these requests ask for some darnedchallenging research projects, and just a researchproject is one of the worst insults passed out bythe venture capital community. Instead, no matterwhat the Web sites of early stage venture firmssuggest, such firms want to see traction, notresearch projects, not even projects to writesoftware for research already successfully done, noteven to go live with software already written fromresearch projects already done.

Example? Okay, want a research project to solve abig problem? Okay, consider security andreliability of the complex systems of large serverfarms and networks. We'd like to do better, right?For this, the first step is essentially nearreal-time monitoring for ASAP detection. So, wewant detectors.

First big problem is getting a good combination ofrates of false alarms and missed detections; I'mcorrect here; think for a few minutes and otherwisetrust me on this one. Or, we're trying for a goodcombination of false positives and false negatives.Or for a good combination of Type I and Type IIerror.

Right, you guessed it, oh how you guessed it: Suchdetection has just two ways to be wrong -- a falsealarm where we say that the system is sick when itis healthy and a missed detection where we say thatthe system is healthy when it is sick. Inescapable.Have any doubts, then think for two minutes. Withme again now?

Okay: So, right, such monitoring and detection is acase of ASAP, essentially real-time, statisticalhypothesis testing. I know; I know; you don't wantanything that is just statistical. Neither do I.Tough stuff. We're necessarily, inescapably stuck-onever the less. Or, want a detector with no falsealarms? Got that one for you -- just turn off thedetector. Want a detector with no misseddetections? Got one of those, too -- just sound thealarm all the time. Yes, some detectorsoccasionally make correct detections and haveessentially no false alarms, but such detectors willdetect only problems of a very narrow kind andotherwise have a high rate of missed detections.Arguing is futile -- the hard stuff isn't here, andI'm correct here. We're talking research here, likeYC now seems to want to see, and research can betough stuff to swallow. Keep reading ....

Now, what the heck to do about this? Okay, we'vegot some good news that, right Andreessen Horowitzshould understand quickly: We can get data on eachof several variables, maybe dozens or hundreds, atdata rates of a point each few seconds up tohundreds of points a second. At a big, complexsystem, we're talking big data. So, we want ourstatistical hypothesis test to be multi-dimensional.Sure, go to the library and find a lot of those,right? Wrong. You won't find much. Next, most ofthe material you see on statistical hypothesis testswants the probability distribution of the data whenthe system is healthy. Tough since for thesecomplex systems there's no theory that will give youmeans of finding such distributions (we're talkingmulti-dimensional), and, even with big data,anything like accurate estimates ofmulti-dimensional distributions is agony with thecurse of dimensionality. So, now what? Okay, wewant to be distribution-free, that is, have astatistical hypothesis test that makes noassumptions about the probability distribution.

So, how many multi-dimensional, distribution-freestatistical hypothesis tests did you find in thelibrary? Not a lot. Maybe the only ones you foundwere mine. Mine? Yup.

But, when the dust settles, we do get a (large classof) genuine statistical hypothesis tests that areboth multi-dimensional and distribution-free. So,right, with meager/standard assumptions, as isstandard we can calculate false alarm rate and setit in advance and get it exactly in practice. Fordetection rate, as is usually the case we don't haveenough data to use the best possible Neyman-Pearsonresult, but there is good reason to regard thedetection rate as relatively high.

So, any large server farm or network doing importantwork and interested in security and reliability, ,that is, nearly all of them, will be interested,right? And any VC firm, too, right? Nope. Don'thold your breath waiting. I only wrote nearly everyinformation technology venture firm in the country,indeed, some months before the bubble burst in 2000.Responses? Even during the days of big bottles ofWonder-Bubble, none or f'get about it.

Lesson: Research, even for a big problem atimportant enterprises, even done research, even withalgorithms to make the computing fast, even withprototype software running, even with a researchpaper that passed high quality peer review, doesn'tget venture funding. I learned that lesson. HereHN and YC can learn it now or learn it later. Nowis easier.

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ycskyspeak 3 days ago 0 replies      
bits v/s atoms anyone?
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maximem 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing about the Web 4.0 that's weird! http://slideshare.net/Facehacks/web-40-is-coming
7
A Watch Guy's Thoughts on the Apple Watch After Seeing It in the Metal
606 points by panic  5 days ago   464 comments top 55
1
pavlov 5 days 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 4 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 4 days 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 5 days 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.

13
seanflyon 5 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting that he assumes all the strap options are available at the "starting price" of $350.
14
jasonwilk 5 days 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
cnbuff410 5 days 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?

16
maigret 4 days 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.
17
capkutay 5 days 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.

18
pimlottc 5 days 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.
19
serve_yay 5 days 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.
20
drivingmenuts 5 days 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.

21
tlrobinson 4 days 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.

22
scald 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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
zobzu 5 days 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.

27
P3KLb82AhB 1 day ago 0 replies      
this watch is an add-on to a phone when people are extending their contracts (you know "extend your contract with a new iphone and you get an apple watch for free" kind of deal) to get some of android base back, other than that it's useless.

I would not wear one even if it was given to me for free in every configuration possible.

28
Shivetya 4 days 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

29
LeicaLatte 4 days 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.

30
hyp0 5 days 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 5 days 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
Aldo_MX 4 days 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.

33
cpr 5 days 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
neonkiwi 5 days 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.

35
larrys 5 days 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
fla 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is not a watch, it's a communication accessory's accessory.
37
deweller 4 days 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.

38
josu 5 days 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.
39
minusSeven 4 days 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.
40
sebastianavina 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm still not sure what kind of information I want to be delivered via my watch...
41
totalrobe 5 days ago 1 reply      
Was the battery life announced? Cannot find a reference anywhere which makes me wonder...
42
debt 5 days 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
_pmf_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
The digital crown will snap off, and people will be pissed.
44
smrtinsert 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is the best ad ever for a Patek Philippe 3940G.
45
lazylizard 4 days ago 0 replies      
now we just need a dumb seiko 5 or casio g-shock with a dim LED to do 'less intrusive' notifications..
46
LeicaLatte 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice photos of the watch in there
47
nzp 4 days 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.

48
marincounty 4 days 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?
49
hnriot 4 days 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!

50
zindlerb 5 days ago 0 replies      
51
Thiz 5 days 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.

52
mmxiii 5 days 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.

53
smaili 5 days ago 3 replies      
Call me cynical but how do we know that Apple didn't secretly just pay him to write this review?
54
Ar-Curunir 5 days 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.

55
dchuk 5 days 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.

8
Steve Jobs Introduces the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch
579 points by strict9  4 days ago   219 comments top 63
1
ThePhysicist 3 days ago 11 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
gcp123 3 days 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.
3
GuiA 4 days 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)

4
Bud 4 days 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.

5
DCKing 3 days 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?"

6
vor_ 3 days 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 3 days 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
joeguilmette 3 days 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.

9
arihant 3 days 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.

10
kenjackson 3 days 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.
11
richard_cubano 4 days 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.

12
fredsted 3 days 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!

13
k-mcgrady 3 days 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.

14
bhouston 4 days ago 1 reply      
Not bad at channeling Jobs. Congrats. He could do it better than Cook for sure.
15
tcc2161 3 days 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.

16
ZenoArrow 4 days 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.

17
fndrplayer13 4 days 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.
18
dodyg 3 days 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.
19
aaronbrethorst 4 days 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.

20
mamoriamohit 3 days 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.

21
trhaynes 4 days ago 2 replies      
I really enjoyed this, especially the bit about the heartbeat feature.
22
mrjasonh 3 days 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
23
nzealand 3 days 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?

24
fizixer 3 days 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).
25
broabprobe 4 days 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...
26
Radiant 1 day ago 0 replies      
What an awful article. The whole "let's imagine how Steve Jobs would do it" thing is so lame and morbid. His whole critique is basically "Why isn't Tim Cook the same as Steve Jobs?!" If you need bullshit "storytelling" to like or buy a product, then that product probably sucks.
27
mironathetin 3 days 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.

28
Aloha 3 days 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.

29
hereonbusiness 3 days 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.

30
jacquesm 3 days ago 0 replies      
The various incarnations of the iwatch are as different technologically as the original 'coloured' imacs.
31
Shivetya 3 days 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.
32
Rapzid 3 days 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.
33
Yizahi 3 days 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
mlopes 3 days 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.

35
PerfectElement 3 days 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.

36
ragerman 3 days 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.
37
nb1981 3 days 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
edwintorok 3 days ago 0 replies      
The FSF has also made a statement regarding the new iPhone launch: https://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-foundation-statement-...
39
engtech 4 days ago 1 reply      
That was a great article.

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

40
binarycrusader 3 days 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...).
41
quickdraw46 3 days 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.
42
laacz 3 days 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
dmishe 4 days ago 0 replies      
I do think that Schiller would make for a much better presentation. Cook is ok, but that good.
44
jamestimmins 3 days 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.
45
transpy 3 days 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.
46
LeicaLatte 3 days ago 0 replies      
Some folks do have a lot of time in their hands.
47
ashrestha8 3 days 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)
48
mpg33 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the iPhone's will sell themselves. The watch could have benefited from Steve selling it.
49
mozilla 3 days 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

50
jesstucker 3 days ago 0 replies      
Commentary on Apple decorum at its finest.
51
rootlocus 3 days 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?

52
petercooper 3 days 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.

53
stef25 3 days ago 0 replies      
Firewall here at work blocked this site, reason - pornography :(
54
jbergstroem 3 days ago 0 replies      
This was beautiful. Thank you.
55
chatman 3 days ago 0 replies      
> (Audience is in tears as they stand up and give a standing ovation)

Hilariously, genius!

56
mikecaron 3 days ago 0 replies      
Absolutely NAILED it.
57
Cowicide 3 days 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.

58
geuis 3 days ago 0 replies      
This, this, this. This is what is missing from Apple now.
59
niix 3 days ago 0 replies      
:(
60
ck2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Apple cult has gone a little too far when they start reanimating the dead.
61
dmilanp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Home Run
62
mp99e99 3 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing job nice work
63
mproud 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whats next? Don Draper doing a marketing pitch to Apple as if he was selling the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch?
9
The Apple Watch
501 points by benigeri  6 days ago   836 comments top 93
1
chipotle_coyote 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
arihant 5 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.

8
wiremine 5 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.

9
fidotron 6 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 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
oldmanjay 6 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.
18
agscala 6 days ago 4 replies      
The watch looks very nice indeed but starting at $350 is ominously steep especially since it requires an iPhone
19
freekh 6 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).

20
psbp 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
joesmo 6 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.
32
kumarm 6 days ago 1 reply      
It is cheaper to tie iPad Mini to wrist than buy an iWatch :).
33
vermooten 6 days ago 1 reply      
Also: why the hell do I need to see what the moon's gonna look like 6 days from now?
34
blinkingled 6 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
paul 6 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
36
72deluxe 6 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?
37
ChuckMcM 6 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.
38
exodust 4 days 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.

39
brianmcdonough 5 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
wooyi 6 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.

45
malbs 5 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.
46
edpichler 6 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
LukeWalsh 6 days ago 0 replies      
Glad they finally got rid of that hideous header on the homepage
48
capkutay 6 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

49
paradite 6 days ago 1 reply      
Any official site for WatchKit? I can't seem to find any.
50
ars 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 1 reply      
I expect muggings for jewelery to be making a comeback.
53
brian_cloutier 6 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
deanclatworthy 6 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.
55
r0fl 6 days ago 0 replies      
Curious to see how much the solid gold model costs.
56
supernova87a 6 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?
57
Shivetya 6 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

58
n72 6 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
callesgg 6 days ago 0 replies      
I want a smart clock that looks like a clock not like a small wrist calculator.

Is that so hard?

60
buro9 6 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)?

61
ebbv 6 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.

62
thearn4 5 days 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?
63
neil_s 6 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 6 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
teyc 6 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.
66
72deluxe 6 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).

67
LeicaLatte 5 days ago 1 reply      
As someone with 5 watches, I can't wait for this to release.
68
AshFurrow 5 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.
69
tdicola 6 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.
70
doczoidberg 5 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.

71
foobarbecue 5 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 5 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
T-zex 6 days ago 1 reply      
Does it have an SDK for the third party apps?
74
ForFreedom 5 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.
75
cpursley 6 days ago 0 replies      
This makes me want.... a regular watch with good battery life.
76
dheer01 5 days ago 1 reply      
Steve jobs would have kept the configurations to only one.
77
nodesocket 6 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 5 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
I would have been nice to have real photographs.
80
pasiaj 6 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know what the lower button does?
81
bg0 6 days ago 0 replies      
I just wanted to swim with it... :(
82
vermooten 6 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 4 days 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 6 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 6 days ago 2 replies      
Broken link
86
EGreg 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
Does it come with a kill-switch ?
88
mgarfias 6 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 6 days ago 1 reply      
To all of you criticizing the features, just remember:

It's vaporware.

90
drinchev 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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...

10
Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain
496 points by shahmeern  4 days ago   179 comments top 23
1
blennon 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days ago 6 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 4 days ago 6 replies      
Wow, could you imagine building a computer so resilient that it still works after a part equivalently important disappeared
5
jrkelly 4 days ago 2 replies      
The robustness of evolved systems is just crazy.
6
blisterpeanuts 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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- 4 days 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
Osmium 4 days 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?

12
lostlogin 4 days 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.
13
rmc 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
16
sramsay 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Don't mind the gap . . ."

Perhaps a more tasteful lead-in was in order.

17
z3t4 4 days ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine lost the left side of his brain ... And he's all right now!
18
mmcclellan 4 days 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really curious, how would this woman react to alcohol?
20
toblender 4 days ago 0 replies      
Talk about living on "Hard" mode.
21
clueless123 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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.
11
With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce
467 points by anigbrowl  6 days ago   212 comments top 27
1
Sanddancer 6 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 6 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 6 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
kbenson 6 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/

5
jacalata 6 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".
6
abvdasker 6 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 6 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 6 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
ThrustVectoring 6 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.

10
s-phi-nl 5 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."

11
davidkclark 6 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...
12
discardorama 5 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?
13
d357r0y3r 6 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.
14
fizixer 5 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.

15
bthomas 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 3 replies      
This is a press release about how cool 23andme is, wrapped in a sorry story.
25
GandalfTheThird 6 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 6 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 6 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!
12
Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts
486 points by Anon84  5 days ago   206 comments top 52
1
untog 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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
shmerl 5 days 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.

12
AdmiralAsshat 5 days 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.
13
michokest 4 days 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.

14
abcdefidk 5 days 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?

15
eitally 4 days 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.
16
wiredfool 5 days ago 1 reply      
Please please please don't screw up Google Voice.
17
ErikRogneby 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
Can this hand off between Wifi and data? Multipath TCP?
23
leni536 5 days 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.

24
jebblue 5 days 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.
25
djyaz1200 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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
gk1 5 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.
33
aggieben 5 days 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.
34
drewr 5 days 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.
35
veidr 5 days 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
vmarsy 5 days ago 1 reply      
Weren't the calls already free on Google Voice for years?
37
ulfw 5 days ago 2 replies      
Introducing the simple rebranding/reworking of Google Voice into Hangouts.

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

38
Zikes 5 days 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.
39
philchambers 5 days ago 0 replies      
http://g2m.me/ - GoToMeeting's new WebRTC Free product is decent.
40
s3r3nity 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this front page? Facebook has had free voice calls in their messaging app for almost a year now.
41
broabprobe 5 days 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
tinfoil alert

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

43
460200 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is the best! Only a data connection will be needed now for everything.
44
spacefight 5 days ago 0 replies      
Introducing free full voice capture and voice analysis via your favorite NSL.
45
toyg 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does this mean us European peons can finally use Google Voice...?
46
cranklin 5 days ago 0 replies      
Now, when will they re-enable hangouts on google glass?
47
benbristow 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not in the UK as per usual. Thanks Google.
48
findjashua 5 days ago 1 reply      
Goodbye Skype! You won't be missed.
49
miah_ 5 days 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
End for Google Voice?
51
higherpurpose 5 days 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 5 days 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.

13
Stripe and Apple Pay
447 points by Peroni  6 days ago   97 comments top 13
1
nextstep 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 2 replies      
No API for web?
6
jefftchan 6 days ago 6 replies      
Can we now use Stripe + Apple Pay to circumvent 30% revenue cut?
8
biafra 6 days ago 1 reply      
In which countries will Apple Pay launch in October?
9
bmurali 5 days ago 0 replies      
Can Apple Pay be bypassed?
10
thegreatpeter 6 days ago 1 reply      
What scares me is that Stripe knew my email address and prefilled the box.
11
lifeisstillgood 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
they're so on it!
13
jMyles 6 days ago 1 reply      
Something something Bitcoin something decentralized fiat currency blah blah blah.
14
Gravit Open-source design tool
430 points by jarek-foksa  2 days ago   71 comments top 24
1
jarek-foksa 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's worth noting that Gravit.io is a JavaScript rewrite of Stagestack project [1] which was an attempt to create commercial clone of Macromedia FreeHand from scratch [2]. Stagestack project failed due to lack of funding from FreeHand community.

[1] http://www.stagestack.com/

[2] http://www.freehandforum.org/news.html

2
joelthelion 2 days ago 6 replies      
This may be the first time I try a web app that is as snappy as a desktop one. Congratulations!

What front-end frameworks/technologies did you use?

3
diminish 2 days ago 1 reply      
Random thoughts; (1) A classic drawing tool made slick, beautiful. (2) Flash is not needed for this type of work at all, thanks to HTML5 (3) It's fast enough (4) View source shows nothing, which means all the UI view generation functionality has moved inside JS.
4
reinhardt1053 2 days ago 0 replies      
5
overgard 2 days ago 1 reply      
You might consider overriding the delete/backspace button. I tried to delete a spline and ended up back on hacker news :-)
6
_delirium 2 days ago 0 replies      
For offline usage, has anyone used both Gravit and Inkscape for any significant period of time, and can comment on pros/cons?

This might be a dumb question if they don't really occupy the same space. But naively it seems to me like they overlap somewhat, and maybe I should move some of what I currently do in Inkscape to Gravit? (I'm not all that proficient in Inkscape, and at first usage Gravit seems simpler.)

7
thewarrior 2 days ago 3 replies      
Has anyone here manage to figure out the secrets behind this apps blazing fast performance ?
8
jng 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the great job. Nobody would raise an eyebrow for this work if it were not browser-based. Does this say something about the state of web apps?
9
wydyl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic...have a similar initiative though of a little different flavor. Will share soon.

All the best

10
iamleppert 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome!! Played around with it for awhile. Very snappy, great UI. Very functional! Well done.
11
baltcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
I couldn't click on the Save item in the File menu.
12
nulldata 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm impressed with the responsiveness on the iPad, it feels like a native app!
13
microcolonel 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is kinda cool, and might help out the web crowd which is working with Chrome OS at the moment.(I'm writing this comment on a Chromebook right now)

Why anyone would use this rather than inkscape on either Linux or Windows, however, is beyond me.

14
theoutlander 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice interface. I'm trying to get better at very quickly implementing UI's from the ground up (also moving past bootstrap/foundation). What was your approach to making this interface? Did you use a pre-processor? Did you modify an existing framework or generate css output from a photoshop mockup? Thanks.
15
webwanderings 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was looking for something similar frantically the other day when I couldn't use pixlr (it needs flash and my laptop was very old).

But, how do I insert an image from my computer as the layer?

16
djtriptych 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is very good. I think it's designed to be an Adobe Fireworks replacement. Great stuff!
17
hawleyal 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Trash buttons don't work.
18
aaron987 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work! It might be cool to allow people to share designs. So if I was creating a web page, I could browse through web pages other people have created and import one, then use that as a foundation for my own design. At any rate, this is pretty cool.
19
adamjs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has a nice UI (albeit cloned from Photoshop).

Save/Export doesn't seem to work on my machine (Chrome 37, Mac OSX).

Would be nice to see some kind of SVG export instead of raster formats.

20
hliyan 2 days ago 1 reply      
That loaded much faster than expected. I'd very much like a peek at the code (could not find a link to Github or Google Code).
21
nottombrown 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great. I could see it replacing much of my Illustrator work.
22
kudu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just wondering, why is the title of this submission allowed to remain as "Gravit - Open-source design tool"? Under HN's dogmatic rules, shouldn't it be renamed to just "Gravit"?
23
dfurlong 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is not open source! this is free software
24
clarry 2 days ago 3 replies      
I came expecting a free alternative to something like AutoCAD. Instead I got a blank page, and after reloading with JS enabled, a core dump from a browser that ran out of memory.

For a snappy drawing program, native code remains the way to go.

15
Exploding Offers Suck
414 points by lalwanivikas  7 days ago   169 comments top 34
1
malgorithms 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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
rickdale 7 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.
17
rjf1331 6 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?

18
govindkabra31 7 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.

19
ISL 7 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?

20
beat 5 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.

21
dmourati 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 days ago 0 replies      
the solution: a centralized clearinghouse that uses the gale shapely deferred acceptance algorithm
30
lukasm 7 days ago 1 reply      
What if you accept the exploding offer and then break the contract or avoid to sign it?
31
legohead 7 days ago 1 reply      
exploding offers call for exploding counter-offers
32
jgalt212 7 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 7 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 7 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!

16
Apple event overshadows unflattering news at Snapchat, Tinder
419 points by wmt  5 days ago   101 comments top 13
1
downandout 5 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 5 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
A beautiful way of saying, "We're sorry... but not really sorry."
7
snoman 5 days 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 5 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 5 days 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
From the headline, I thought that Apple had banned those two applications.
11
jedanbik 5 days ago 2 replies      
How is this Apple's fault? Slapping the big A on the headline seems like a derail at best.
12
TaoloModisi 5 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 5 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.

17
Navdy
412 points by esolyt  2 days ago   205 comments top 53
1
Yxven 2 days ago 15 replies      
I hate to see products like these promoted because the creators are making bloodmoney.

Cell phones are not dangerous because the driver was looking at his phone or playing with the buttons when he had an accident. They are dangerous because they encourage your mind to wander. Most people's brains are really not good at multitasking. (Try patting your head while rubbing your belly counterclockwise)

Anything that takes your mind away from the road when you're driving even if you can see the road is dangerous. (They found that talking to someone in a passenger seat is not as dangerous because if they notice danger and you don't, they'll inform you of the danger automatically by tensing up or whatever.)

If your brain worked like a single process cpu, it would be like setting Twitter to high priority while relegating driving your 2-ton SUV to low priority. It will work well enough most of the time, but sooner or later, you'll crash the SUV.

(Source: BS in psychology)

2
danbruc 2 days ago 5 replies      
Why can't we just stop using phones while driving? No matter how much one reduces distraction, it is still more distracting than not using it in the first place. Twitter while driving - why on earth?!? For navigation it is obviously a good idea because you can keep your eyes on the street and don't have to look to your GPS or even try to read street names.

Watch From One Second to the Next [1] from the Texting and Driving - It can wait campaign.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BqFkRwdFZ0

3
rdl 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is an interesting harm reduction angle to products like this.

It's probably the case that people using Navdy will drive worse than people with 100% attention on driving. It's also quite likely they'll drive better than people using a cellphone directly. The question is if it makes people feel safer and thus more willing to do the dangerous activity, countering the safety benefit. (There's also a clear benefit to people actually using phones while driving; letting people know they're late, not being bored, etc. It's just generally trumped by the safety loss; I'd be willing to sacrifice SOME safety for convenience/entertainment.)

It's the same thing with sex (abstinence vs. barrier-based birth control vs. hormonal birth control), drugs (illegal vs. decrminalized vs. legalized), etc.

It's possible NOT having technologies like this leads to overall less safety; it's also possible it leads to more safety. It depends on the specifics.

I have nav (with voice, and a driver information display in my line of sight while driving), and use that, and also don't feel particularly bad about looking at my phone screen to see who called, etc. while stopped at a red light (although I realize it's less than perfectly safe; it's also more of a legal risk than a safety risk in california now, IMO.)

Actually using the phone while driving, or having anything but the most brief and cursory conversation while driving in the city, is clearly a sacrifice in safety; I don't mind phone calls on highways, but I generally won't answer in the city.

4
applecore 2 days ago 6 replies      
Does one company make every startup's tech product video?

Edit: Yes. http://sandwichvideo.com/

5
danielweber 2 days ago 1 reply      
I said it last time: it's shocking they thought the most important use case was "WATCH INTERNET VIDEOS WHILE YOU DRIVE."

And they still haven't changed their homepage.

Navdy could be really useful, even improving of total safety, as HUD navigation. But maybe that's not where the money is.

6
rayiner 2 days ago 4 replies      
This product is going to kill people, and unfortunately not just the ones who buy it.
7
martin-adams 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice looking product, but I can't help but think we shouldn't be encouraging sending Tweets while driving. I'd say keep these devices to assist driving (navigation and safety information), but not to assist additional activities on top of driving.
8
jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Driving is a full time occupation.

If you can reduce the number of distractions please do. A phone needs only one button, answer/break connection and you shouldn't be dialling 'out' while driving anyway. No need to pop up pictures and other distractions in front of the driver, such a call at the wrong moment could easily cause an accident, if only because you will instinctively re-focus on the changing item in front of you.

Set your GPS navigator to do voice announcements and only check the display when you suspect a sudden change in direction or are not sure what lane to sort into. Other than that the voice indications should be enough.

9
dilipray 2 days ago 4 replies      
http://www.hudwayapp.com/ Free application without any hardware. What are you guys trying to prove here. I didn't get your point.
10
Twirrim 2 days ago 1 reply      
stop using your phone when you're driving. It's not that hard. It can wait. If it can't, find somewhere to pull over.

GPS, cool. Text etc? ARGH.

11
SoftwareMaven 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a motorcycle rider, these things scare the hell out of me. Drivers already pay little enough attention; do we really need more distractions? Jets have HUDs, but they also have much less traffic, highly trained pilots, and computers and air traffic control watching out for things the pilot misses. Car drivers have Siri.
12
smacktoward 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if this product was actually a giant sting operation designed to identify people who have no business being on the road.

"I see you have a Navdy there, ma'am. I'm going to need to confiscate your car keys before you hurt somebody."

13
molecule 2 days ago 0 replies      
14
zeynalov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually there are plenty of Navigation gadgets doing the same function, but non of them works on a sunny day. I bought some of them, but frustrated, non of them are really functional. I drive on a highway a lot and navigation is annoying when it's not in front of you. So how do Navdy solves this problem?
15
ibejoeb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Holy shit, people. The point of this product is not to enable tweeting. Did you miss the ever-present navigation hud?

This is a good product. Don't you use nav? What's better: Looking at your nav screen pinned to the dash or in the console; looking down at the phone in your lap, because you know you can't be seen holding it; or looking at the road with augmented information?

If you think HUDs are more dangerous than squinting at road signs or reading maps, then you can petition your legislators to make it illegal. I'm all for it, though, because I know the alternatives are worse.

16
guybrushT 2 days ago 0 replies      
Neat product and like others have noted here - well done on the marketing. Doing other things while driving is dangerous no doubt, but it is also a very practical reality. Any product that embraces this practicality and tries to maximize eyes on on the road is a good step forward in making driving safer.

A random idea: Adding a camera to this could open up the dashcam market. In Russia for example, dashcams a very common and are a part of the driving culture (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashcam and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sousveillance).

17
skrebbel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice first step! I want this, but with eye tracking so it can plot perspective correct navigation arrows on the actual streets in front of me.
18
thomasfoster96 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know the display looks cool and all but this doesn't make driving with a phone any safer. You're still distracted. It's no different to just having your phone on the windscreen.

Even where I live (Tasmania, Australia) I'm fairly sure there is either a proposal or already a law banning even hands free devices, because they are seen as just as dangerous. This device is going to be illegal to start with.

The only two thing I see as being feasible from a safety point of view for cars is either some sort of augmented reality for lane guidance and navigation, or your phone giving you direction via voice (which they already do).

19
mindcreek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, nifty device, but what happens when you have a collusion or an accident and that device in front of your head starts flying around ?

I don't want to destroy their hype bu they should really give that problem some thought.

20
sciguy77 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, what a sweet product. And boy do they know how to market it, "feels like driving in the future."
21
mmastrac 2 days ago 2 replies      
A killer feature for this would be IR/night vision with an external camera.

They did a great job with the marketing video for this. Really curious to see where this ends up.

22
jstanek 2 days ago 5 replies      
It's odd that they promote their product by saying that phone use while driving is unsafe. I fail to see who this is significantly safer than using a phone, since to use the HUD one needs to necessarily remove their attention and focus from the road and redirect it to a small point much closer to their face. Granted, it is probably at least a little better than using a phone, but I'd be _very_ hesitant to say that it's safe.
23
abroncs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can we start adding some context to these titles, please?
24
wuliwong 1 day ago 1 reply      
For all the anti-distraction people: Why is the Navdy HUD so much more dangerous than the already existing stuff in your car? At least when you are looking at Navdy you are still basically looking through the windshield. When I look at my radio or speedometer on my current vehicle, the windshield relegated to peripheral vision which is useless in this case as you get no depth information from the peripheral. With Navdy, you still should be able to see something coming at you. It seems far superior to the current HUDs in cars.
25
bsenftner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Safety issues asside, no one seems to be pointing out that this product is unprotectable: nothing they are doing has any barriers to entry, so what is to prevent a car manufacturer or anybody else from doing the same? Here's someone doing the same without any hardware: http://www.hudwayapp.com/ Also, that video is too smug.
26
elb0w 2 days ago 0 replies      
My dev friend and I were looking into doing a similar product a few years back. We stopped because of laws that prevent you from putting anything that may obstruct you or another drivers vision / attention.
27
hobarrera 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Feels Like Driving In The Future"And I'm prompted to install a now obsolete plugin to watch the video. Oh, the irony!

Anyway, here's a link for anyone else who wants to watch their introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKL4PJICS40

28
rdl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sort of an aside, but wtf is the car they are using in that video? It looks like a Ford Mondeo with a Bentley hood ornament; otherwise it's the ugliest Bentley I've ever seen.

Did they do that as a joke (including the SANDWCH license plate from the video production company)?

29
Codes 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's builtin in my 2014 Mazda 3... It only displays usefull stuff though. Like direction, speed and distance to the car in front.
30
zitterbewegung 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this legal to have in your car in the US? Looking at the state laws for electronics in the car it doesn't appear to be. http://www.ce.org/Consumer-Info/Car-Electronics/Got-It/State...
31
pj_mukh 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like a stopgap till, a) The car companies head downmarket with this kind of tech and roll out on your entry-level models.b) Cars get autonomous enough that this tech becomes irrelevant. Though maybe then we can project Netflix on the windshield with this and watch OITNB on your way to work! :D
32
kitsune_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
"From One Second To The Next", A Film By Werner Herzog: http://youtu.be/_BqFkRwdFZ0

Absolutely gut-wrenching.

33
namuol 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just give me a standalone, turn-key GPS app that lets me keep my eyes on the road. I don't want phonecalls or texts interrupting my driving.
34
fistofjohnwayne 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the same actor that appeared in the original Coin video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Sx34swEG0
35
tantalor 2 days ago 2 replies      
> The image is focused into the distance so the road stays in focus

What magic is this?

36
cezarywojcik 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how soon using this will be illegal in some states. Something like this should only provide an interface to your phone's maps and just maybe help with phone calls. Nothing else.
37
ricardobeat 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's going on here? This was a top post just a few weeks ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8137815
38
mrharrison 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its neat, but it's troubling that they really haven't thought it out.

First big problem I see, is that it will be sitting in the sun while driving, so it will quickly overheat and have sun damage over time.

39
lazylizard 14 hours ago 0 replies      
i can't wait for self driving cars and a ban on human drivers.
40
mrmondo 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I love the device and the presentation, I am certain that this will negatively affect your concentration and thus your driving performance.
41
brown9-2 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great example of a product where just because you can combine a few pieces of technology in a new way doesn't mean that you should.
42
popol_kon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe it would be a bit off-topic - but why these kind of startups doesn't support WindowsPhone system?
43
akerl_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very trivial, but there's a typo in the FAQ: "Were running a 30 day pre-oder campaign"

Looks like an awesome product!

44
arjn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isnt this a re-post ? It was a bad idea then and its a bad idea now. Distractions while driving are potentially dangerous.
45
ezpuzzle 2 days ago 0 replies      
i'm going to create a startup for the ultimate integration between mobile phones and automobiles. it's this box and you put your phone in it, and while you're driving you can't open the box.

pre-orders now, just email me at dontfuckingkillpeople@driveboxr.us

there's no way this will make it past state legislation

46
LukeHoersten 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love in the video how they replaced the Ford logo with a Bently logo. Nice touch Sandwich Video.
47
dalek2point3 2 days ago 0 replies      
any idea if this plugs into Google Maps or whether it uses some other map data?
49
beachstartup 2 days ago 0 replies      
well... personally, i wouldn't have gone with a name that could be pronounced "nav die".
50
Glan1984 2 days ago 0 replies      
Navdy looks sweet. I want one. Don't currently text and drive, but I would with one of these badboys.
51
gfodor 2 days ago 1 reply      
no way this stays legal in CA
52
spydertennis 2 days ago 0 replies      
finally someone made this. spot on.
53
twatshaft 2 days ago 0 replies      
So stupid
18
Im tired. So Im selling my game that just went viral
380 points by napsterbr  1 day ago   162 comments top 62
1
masukomi 1 day ago 3 replies      
Re the emails / support / whatever being stressy... dude. It's been like no time at all, and you had a spike. You don't have to reply to EVERYTHING ASAP. All things in moderation. Set up an autoresponder politely telling folks that you're a single person and the spike in requests is a bit overwhelming. ask their forgiveness and let them know that you'll get to people as soon as you can.

With that out of the way, congratulations on the spike in traffic.

After having been on the front page of multiple programmer sites I can tell you it's just that. It's a good day. You may even get a good week out of it.

Unless you are incredibly atypical the spike in traffic will not last. There's absolutely no basis for assuming that traffic will continue at the spiked rate. It tells me your either naively optimistic (sorry to inject an unpleasant reality) or trying to sell it quick to someone else who is naively optimistic.

The upside is that the onslaught of requests is that since it's a spike, they will die down and you'll be able to catch up. The longest, and hardest, i had was a project that ended up with me stuffing envelopes every night and making daily trips to the post office sending of letters to people around the world because my offer started getting passed from message board to message board. It lasted about a month.

I'm very dubious of the belief that adding "more advantages" would get you a 10-15% conversion without any evidence to back it up, especially when you can't even be sure of the 1% conversion rate you think you can get for the current state of things.

You can't extrapolate an enduring income stream (or even an amount of work) from a single small spike.

2
ddingus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why not take the modest income and pay somebody to improve the game and or it's traffic?

Seems to me, you could find another University student looking to grow traffic as part of their studies. Collaborate on this.

Take another small share and pay somebody to do a little support for those users worth responding to.

As others have said, you could potentially benefit from this in the future.

Right now, you are just a programmer. Continue that. Do well, grow.

But, a programmer who understands some business has serious potential. Seems to me you just created the perfect lesson plan. This little project won't take that much to treat like a business and if you make a couple of friends, who knows where you all might go in the future?

You would be able to learn how to better execute on an idea, get a lot of very interesting user metrics, have a following, show income, etc...

Consider this. I would in a second. A few hours here and there just isn't going to impact your studies. However, those few hours here and there could really educate you in ways you will find difficult to realize in a strictly academic environment. This is worth more to you than you currently realize.

Nice work :)

3
zak_mc_kracken 1 day ago 2 replies      
First of all, congratulations for finishing your game and getting some success with it.

A few thoughts:

- 6000 registered users in a couple of days is hardly going viral. It's a promising start but too early to use that adjective (and the numbers are also pretty low).

- The fact that you are trying to sell something you worked on for more than a year just because you can't keep up with the email volume is... suspicious. Especially if the income estimates you give in that article are accurate. Why not just ignore your inbox for a few weeks and come back to it later?

- I think the answer to the question above is obvious: you know your success is temporary and you're trying to cash out while you can. Sorry for my cynicism, just being honest.

4
napsterbr 1 day ago 7 replies      
Hey, I'm Renato.

I really don't know what to do. Many people told me if I hire a team, or at least one developer, this would help me get going with the game. This does make sense.

However I've been extremely stressful for the last hours. I guess this really is a bad decision, but one that would free myself for university and other projects I have.

The problem is I can't stand to spend my whole day working only on Hacker Experience anymore. I already have other projects that I want to work full time with.

Happy to hear any advice from you. I have no experience at all with business, marketing or even start-ups. I'm just a programmer.

Thanks!

5
fsk 1 day ago 0 replies      
My advice - don't sell.

First, it's hard to put a value on it. It isn't clear than the buyer would make enough revenue to keep up with the expense of keeping it running.

Second, you aren't obligated to respond to everyone who sent you an E-Mail or message. Wait a couple of weeks, and then start looking at them.

Third, you aren't considering user retention. You had 6k unique visitors today. There is no guarantee you will still have 6k unique visitors in a month.

Fourth, as long as your income from ads and payments cover the expenses, leave it running.

Finally, if you do retain an audience of 1k+, now you have a customer base for whenever you launch your next project.

6
lsc 1 day ago 0 replies      
So... I can't advise you about selling. I've bought tiny companies, but have never successfully sold them, and... yeah.

However... I do have a suggestion for your sanity now and in the future that doesn't involve selling the company, or at least, not all of the company.

Assuming you want to keep releasing stuff direct to the public, I suggest finding a friend that you can interact with, that can interact with the public and other business partners. There are a lot of different ways to structure that relationship; some people get a "business partner" and when the relationship is described that way, usually the partner gets some control over you. This relationship can also be structured as "hiring a secretary" - if that's what you call them, you are implying your partner has less power, and often that you will compensate said partner regardless of revenue, but compensate them less.

On your end, I think, the fact that this person can deal with your quirks and protect you from the parts of the limelight you find unpleasant might be more important than their raw talent as a business person, especially if you retain more control over the business side of things. (Note, if I'm reading your personality correctly, and I might not be, you probably want someone who is willing to at least act in public like they made the decision in question. Someone willing to take the blame even if it was actually your decision. These people exist, but you need to be clear, if that is in fact what you need.)

I mean, you and your partner need to decide what your relationship looks like, how the power dynamic works, and how remuneration works, and it doesn't have to conform to either one of those models, but I've worked with people that were really, really uncomfortable with social situations; I've been that "human interface" person, and if you find a compatible person, I think it can generate a whole lot of value for both people.

7
jliptzin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats on the success. Allow me to give you some advice before you sell, having been in almost your exact position at your age:

- Lots of emails/press attention is a good sign and no reason to give up on a project. Focus on improving the game and ignore the emails if you have to. They don't matter

- I too had a game go viral (0 to 3 million accounts in about 6 weeks). I was getting multiple acquisition offers but up until that point it was the most exciting and stressful time of my life. I got absolutely no sleep for days on end. But it paid off and I learned more practical knowledge in those short few weeks than my entire college career.

- When the time was right I sold, not because I was tired, but because it was the right time for the game and for my future

- Shortly thereafter I developed another game which I considered selling early on like you are doing now because I wanted to move on to something else. I decided to continue improving it and it ended up lasting 5+ years and grossing several million $s, far more than I ever thought was possible with the initial version

- This is your baby. You are by far the best person to nurture it and turn it into something you're extremely proud of.

- Your growth is promising but the traffic right now is too low for you to get any serious offers in my opinion. Keep on grinding, it'll be worth it

8
cypherpnks 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'll make an alternative suggestion. Hire management. You want to sit in a box and code. You want someone to handle business, support, etc. People who can do that are a dime a dozen.

That could be another student at the university; someone with an active Twitter account, good charisma, etc. Offer 25% equity vesting over 4 years. That's pretty generous. Keep hacking and plugging, and do as much or as little of the interacting as you want. If the other person doesn't carry their weight -- which is not uncommon -- dump them or swap them out for someone else. Be very upfront about this when bringing them on (if you want, overly upfront -- pitch this as a short-term engagement, with possibility of going longer depending on how business goes).

Give yourself the title of CEO and CTO. Give them the title interrim president+COO.

Regarding depression, social anxiety, etc., this can help fix it. I've been there. Depression gets better when you have meaning and purpose, and when you're busy enough to not have time worrying about it. Social anxiety gets better with status. When people are competing to talk to you (rather than the other way around), and you're in a position to say yes or no, the dynamic is just different. If this were to grow into a successful company, you might be in a very different position. You've been playing with fixing this for a while. Play with this as an opportunity to try a different approach to fixing it.

Again, I don't know you. This could not apply at all. Take this as what it is -- an idea from a stranger.

9
gasping 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had to laugh at the revenue estimates based on the peak of a brief social media buzz. Most of that traffic will disappear over the next few days.
10
victorfigol 1 day ago 0 replies      
I doubt anyone will want to buy your game. It is not that it is not good but without you in the price it is not worth it, they will not be able to improve it or even maintain it. The learning curve in order to maintain that game will be very expensive. Also success is not guaranteed yet, now is the time your game is growing do not let go. Just take a trip somewhere to relax.

Also find a partner, if you were working on this with someone else, you would have much less stress. Working alone is very unhealthy and extremely stressful. Either partner with someone or balance life and work which might be hard since you have to study too. Go to forums where other programmers that love making games are and find someone to become your partner.

11
whocares 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi Renato

I am very sorry to hear about your health problems. I don't have the same challenges as you but I do have experience of when a side project explodes. I have a piece of freemium software that has been downloaded about 700,000 times and here is what i did to manage the emails:

- set up a great FAQ and put all questions that are asked more than once in there.- if you use a mac get a copy of TextExpander ( or a similar product) and automate all your email replies. Then you can answer support emails with one command.- use a Gmail label to sort out support, and batch send emails once or twice a week. Don't be afraid to ignore whiners, complainers and the people who cannot Google answers for themselves.

Take care of your health first and best of luck!

12
fishnchips 1 day ago 0 replies      
My 0.02.

This is somewhat similar to the situation where a FOSS developer feels the pressure from the users of his software. The more successful their software the more miserable and frustrated they become. I believe the best way of preserving your sanity in this case is just pushing back and allow others to take responsibility. Forks and pull requests exist for a reason. Chances are you're using my open source library for your regular job in which case you (unlike myself) will actually get paid for your contributions.

@napsterbr: you don't owe anyone anything. If there's any obligation it runs the other way. Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride, long may it last. One way of sharing the burden of support (which seems to be your main concern) is creating a community and granting most eager and devoted users some 'superpowers'. Makes them happy and they do a lot of work for you. You only get involved sporadically and on your own terms.

13
meh_master 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty good time to sell, given that all that traffic will be gone by next week. But I think the dev and any potential buyers know that.
14
mikkom 1 day ago 0 replies      
> At the current stage of the game, one would be able to get about $1000 per month with both ads and user membership.

The current usage is a peak because of exposure. It will drop and the ad profit will go way down in the coming few weeks.

15
orasis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get some sleep bro. Shelve the project for a while, work on something else, then come back to it in a couple of months when you're feeling energized again.
16
mrpickles 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool project. It's nice to see someone put together something awesome while so early in their education/career and have it work out for them. Shows you've got potential.

If I could give you any advice, I'd say think about going to academia. Working in the software industry is all about this kind of stress, and it really only gets worse from here. It's why we get paid lots of money to sit in a chair all day eating free snacks.

If this project has been stressful, the industry is going to chew you up and spit you out. Projects follow the same trajectory: you work on a project in a bubble for a long period of time (maybe a year or two). Then, there's a usage spike the first day, the first week. Maybe it goes up (if you're lucky), but it probably goes down. You have to fight to get usage.

And then things get harder. Bug reports. QA nitpicks about a million things you didn't notice. Product Developer's decide to change something major and you re-write 20% of your code base. Some of your junior team mates can't handle stress, so their output drops. The senior folks on the team get agitated and are suddenly unaccessible to help you with anything because they have their own shit to do.

Oh, and btw now that it's already in the field with customers bitching about it, so everything needs to be done yesterday. You think about leaving sometimes, but you can't afford to be out of a job for a month, and thinking about studying for an interview yet again while working sounds even more stressful (since you haven't really used big-O notation or graph algorithms in your last 2.5 years as a web developer).

Not every job is going to be stressful, but the really good ones will. You'll work with people smarter than you doing things a lot of people haven't done before.

17
foz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please remember, that even if you don't do anything at all - ignore it, let it fade, or whatever - you had a great success. Be proud, let yourself feel the satisfaction. Working for years on something and having people connect with it is an amazing accomplishment. If nothing else comes of it, that's OK. You won.
18
iSloth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been in a very similar position to what you're in now, at university in England and a side project went viral and was making a decent amount of money. In the end I sold it onto someone that gave me a decent offer.

Has to be one of my biggest regrets, I could have paid someone else to support it while I was busy with my education. Perhaps the biggest kick was that the person who bought it didn't really look after the site and it went into decline anyway losing most of it's users.

Selling might be your best option, however be 100% sure before doing anything :)

19
sheetjs 1 day ago 0 replies      
> There are two main ways to earn money with this game. One is using Google Adsense.

> These values are estimated, but I believe one can get at least $20$25 per day. Thats about $750 per month.

Until you actually see your first payout, the estimate is meaningless. I've heard of many cases where people saw significant estimates and google turned around and shut down their accounts before the first payout.

There is an ongoing class action lawsuit against AdSense for this behavior. Relevant discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7776282

20
pouzy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everybody's advising not to sell it, but looking at the game: Yes, it might only be a spike. The game is long to get into, a lot of reading, etc. It's like starting a complicated board game without somebody to explain it to you: a lot of people will just drop it to play a game in which the rules are explainable in 20 seconds.

There's a buzz going on around it right now, but don't expect it to be Flappy Bird. So depending on what you want (you seem tired of that game), I don't think it's a bad idea to sell it while it's hot

21
TallboyOne 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's not going viral... going viral is 8 million visitors in one day. What you have is about the amount of traffic we get in ~10 minutes. You need to chill out.
22
dsirijus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find an understanding partner. Since you obviously don't have a clue about anything besides programming (sorry, harsh words, but I don't have the time to type out a list of mistakes you did here), it'll have to be business dude that handles stress and load well.

Have him insulate you from the support, monetization, PR, and so on, and let him assemble Terms of Use to be very generous towards you as a programmer in a way that you don't have to respond to reported bugs (especially concerning monetization) immediately but leisurely.

Agree with him on the priority of types of fixes/improvements and have him deliver lists of tasks to you on a weekly/monthly basis.

Have that business partner on a probation period first, to see is he supportive of your persona and then split profits with him 50/50. It'll be a great opportunity to learn from him strategems of handling stuff you cannot.

Aim long-term. These types of games are something people stick around for quite some time. Adjust monetization model accordingly. These numbers you have or project right now are meaningless from that context.

Do the right thing and good luck.

As a side note, an analogy to first-time parents is an appropriate one here. A lot of them panic a lot when they find out baby is on its way. But I'm not ready! I'll make mistakes during parenthood! Will I be able to support it!?

And most kids still turn out just fine.

Cheer up. :)

23
kngspook 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool that you made the forum automatically create account when the game account is made. It's the small touches that make the difference between something people will use and something people love to use.

Like other people commented, I don't think your user numbers will hold up in the long run -- not because of the game, necessarily, but because people naturally try stuff out and then never return.

Nonetheless, I'd consider buying it, but not at any price that would make you feel good about spending two years coding the thing.

24
presumeaway 1 day ago 3 replies      
Alternate title: how to sneak a For Sale listing to the top of HN.
25
elwell 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> There are about 60kLOC in PHP, and 2kLOC in Python. We do not use any framework. The PHP code was written completely from scratch. This give us some performance boost, however it might be a little more difficult to understand the code.

60kLOC in PHP from scratch. When I hear that, I just hear that it probably will need to be rewritten. If the buyer isn't hiring you, then that's a pretty hefty amount of code; unless it is written very well.

26
pitchups 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Kudos on your success!

This may be a bit off-topic but reading your post, was struck by the low cost of your dedicated servers at OVH : $116 per month, for a server with "64GB ECC RAM, Xeon E5 3.7 Ghz, 360 GB of SSD (at RAID 1) and 500 Mbit of networking." seems like a really great deal - drastically cheaper than Rackspace or Softlayer for similar configurations. How good / reliable is their customer service and responsivemess in case you have a problem?

27
sdnguyen90 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think selling it would be more stressful than just keeping it running. Lots of buyers flake and lots of things could go wrong.

Also, how much time do you really need to put into this project to keep it running?

This is also a reason why I prefer working on PaaS's for solo projects.. For the most part I can do other things and not put too much mental effort towards it.

28
korzun 1 day ago 0 replies      
TLDR: I received a single traffic spike for a game I just released and looking to make a quick buck, take everything and make me an offer before traffic goes away.

There are so many things wrong with that blog post.

29
danielrhodes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stress can really drive people to make bad decisions.

He should step back, take a breath of fresh air, and then get back to work.

30
arjie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't make a decision either way until you're less excited about this. Sit back, take a deep breath, and then go through with it tomorrow after a good night's sleep.

You know the rule: Don't make any decisions hungry, angry, or sleepy.

I wish you luck and happiness. Nice work.

31
nanofortnight 1 day ago 0 replies      
Suggestion:

Ignore it for a week, don't think about it.

I would hardly call that going viral, plus it's only been two days. You're too optimistic, thinking too big.

If this is anything average you'll find that most of the traffic will die off after a month.

32
adir1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just set up something like GetSatisfaction and let community try to help itself, while you rest and get your sanity back. Take as long as you need - a week, or a month, whatever.

You are probably in the best position to fix/improve it going forward, so selling it is not an option IMHO. Instead, look around campus for a partner-dev. Even with just one partner developer, to bounce ideas and priorities off, things will become clear for you long term.

Good Luck!

33
paul9290 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems ridiculous, yet and maybe unintentionally smart too.

As it makes for a good story press outlets will probably pick up and write about. It's semi-similar to the Flappy Bird's creator decision to remove it from the app store and all the press that followed.

Though maybe it's creator just want to cash out on it quickly and go relax on a beach with nice looking people (who doesn't?).

Good luck!

34
mrchess 1 day ago 0 replies      
If only it was as simple as using personal time and emotion invested as a large part of the equation that determined a softwares value... we would all be rich :)
35
natch 1 day ago 0 replies      
This post feels like spam. I'd hate to see more of this kind of thing taking over the HN front page.
36
curt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about placing it on third party gaming sites? Kongregate.com is a great example (disclaimer I work there), they have a built in audience, handle marketing, payments, customer support, etc so you can focus on development. Solo game development, even in small teams, can be quite the struggle and there are communities that are happy to help.
37
misulicus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just sent you an email few minutes ago. Let me know what you think :)
38
adam74 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm tired? I don't understand this. It's like climbing a mountain and then closing your eyes. Of course you are tired from all the hard work, but now is the fun part. Relax and enjoy the view. I guess the view for this developer is selling the product.
39
alegrn 1 day ago 2 replies      
Here is some math:

The formular for the present value of a perpetuity is just

  present_value :=  cashflow / discount_rate
Given 750$ per month (9000$ per year) and a 3% annual discount rate, then an infinite stream of 750$ monthly payments is worth today 300.000$.

40
wavesum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think many commenters here have been watching too much shark tank. The old ways of valuing a business based on past revenue work very badly for seed-stage software startups.
41
ethana 1 day ago 1 reply      
I too advice you not to sell it. Branding is a hard commodity to come by. Give it a week or two before doing anything hasty.

The Flappy Bird guy ran into similar situation, but he kept it running. Perhaps there are some lessons to take away from that.

42
torbit 1 day ago 0 replies      
lol what? using medium to sale a product. I was expecting some great insight on why, but it quickly turned into a pitch and then an action to sell.
43
volume 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you open to different structures of the deal? Like:

* some upfront fee

* you remain onboard for X months

* each time period is a certain % of equity

* some monthly fee paid to you until X total

44
nerdbeere 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if I this is a sign that I should stop working on my realtime multiplayer hacker game or if it means that there is a huge market for this genre out there.
45
NicoJuicy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fyi, the wiki doesn't contain any content.. If you want to get someone else on board. It wouldn't be a bad idea to fix this (depending on the amount of work required)
46
tuananh 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is like the peak of your game right now. You can't take it into calculation just yet. Let it cool off and see. If you get stressed from it, just leave it for awhile.
47
yazaddaruvala 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does the code have an automated a test suite? It would be really hard for someone to take over for you without one.
48
Donzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Flippa.com if you are serious about selling.
49
andyidsinga 1 day ago 0 replies      
the Op might consider building some nice sales pitches to different types of customers. for instance, someone in the movie industry might be able to use his for a more realistic production asset!! please, for the love of mitnick, we need better hacker production assets in entertainment!
50
realrocker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't sell! Hire someone who will take salary as a profit cut. If I had any money I would have totally bought it though.
51
minusSeven 18 hours ago 0 replies      
meh this is very early days and so making and comments about the future of the game is very stupid.
52
sideproject 1 day ago 0 replies      
Want to put it up on Sideprojectors? http://sideprojectors.com - I'm sure there will be plenty of people who would be interested in your project!
53
biomimic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this an episode of "Silicon Valley" in the works?
54
tux3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, the site just went completely down apparently.
55
nbevans 1 day ago 0 replies      
I lol'd when I saw "[the codebase use classes but in an unconventional way]" followed by "[i can offer programming support]"

Down-votes accepted but let's face it this guy is extraordinarily naive.

56
hrrsn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice game. Looks to me like a modern slavehack. Keen to give it a try.
57
ForFreedom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Selling this game or an application when there is high traffic is not the way to handle things. Invest about 2-3 hours daily to respond and resolve any bugs.
58
asdz 18 hours ago 0 replies      
you sell your game.now I should quit
59
eridal 1 day ago 0 replies      
OT, but the correct term should be `cracker`
60
telltherello 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a slavehack clone
61
telltherell 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a clone of slavehack
62
telltherello 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a clone of slavehack
19
The Road to Rust 1.0
370 points by steveklabnik  6 hours ago   140 comments top 19
1
tomdale 4 hours ago 5 replies      
We've been using Rust in production for Skylight (https://www.skylight.io) for many months now, and we've been very happy with it.

Being one of the first to deploy a new programming language into production is scary, and keeping up with the rapid changes was painful at times, but I'm extremely impressed with the Rust team's dedication to simplifying the language. It's much easier to pick up today than it was 6 months ago.

The biggest win for us is how low-resource the compiled binaries are.

Skylight relies on running an agent that collects performance information from our customers' Rails apps ( la New Relic, if you're more familiar with that). Previously, we wrote the agent in Ruby, because it was interacting with Ruby code and we were familiar with the language.

However, Ruby's memory and CPU performance are not great, especially in long-running processes like ours.

What's awesome about Rust is that it combines low-level performance with high-level memory safety. We end up being able to do many more stack allocations, with less memory fragmentation and more predictable performance, while never having to worry about segfaults.

Put succinctly, we get the memory safety of a GCed language with the performance of a low-level language like C. Given that we need to run inside other people's processes, the combination of these guarantees is extremely powerful.

Because Rust is so low-level, and makes guarantees about how memory is laid out (unlike e.g. Go), we can build Rust code that interacts with Ruby using the Ruby C API.

I'm excited to see Rust continue to improve. Its combination of high-level expressiveness with low-level control is unique, and for many use cases where you'd previously use C or C++, I think Rust is a compelling alternative.

2
JoshTriplett 5 hours ago 8 replies      
I used to describe my preferred family of languages as:

- C when I absolutely had to (kernel/modules/plumbing).

- Python for scripting and broad accessibility.

- Haskell when I had the choice and I knew everybody who would work on the project.

I was skeptical of Rust when it first came out, due in large part to the many different kinds of pointers it originally had, many of which involved significant manual memory management. But now, with a strong static type system, garbage collection, pattern matching, associated types, and many other features, Rust is looking like a serious contender to replace all three of those languages for me.

Still waiting to see if it develops a strong following, community, and batteries-included library ecosystem, but I need to start doing more experiments with Rust.

Disappointing to see yet another language-specific package management system (Cargo), though.

3
pacala 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The ownership idioms are very similar to idiomatic C++11 and std::unique_ptr. Which is to say that Rush has got an industrial strength safe memory management system.

But Rust stands out because the rest of the language is such a joy to use, compared to pretty much any other 'systems' language out there.

Congratulations to the team!

4
Ixiaus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> The key to all these changes has been a focus on the core concepts of ownership and borrowing. Initially, we introduced ownership as a means of transferring data safely and efficiently between tasks, but over time we have realized that the same mechanism allows us to move all sorts of things out of the language and into libraries. The resulting design is not only simpler to learn, but it is also much closer to the metal than we ever thought possible before. All Rust language constructs have a very direct mapping to machine operations, and Rust has no required runtime or external dependencies.

Almost sounds like they borrowed this thinking from Exokernel design... I think Rust is shaping up to be a very exciting language.

5
rubiquity 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> Green threading: We are removing support from green threading from the standard library and moving it out into an external package.

I only ever looked at Rust from a 500 foot view while toying with it at a Hackathon, but I had no clue it had so many different types of threading models. This seems like a step in the right direction, indeed. If Task is going to your unit of concurrent execution, as much transparency around that as possible is a good thing.

6
hadoukenio 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Still sitting on the fence as to which language I should pick up on next - the only contenders are C++11 and Rust.

How does Rust compare with C++11 as a language? C++11 seems to (in some ways) have caught up with what Rust has to offer (compared to older C++ versions) e.g. smart pointers, concurrency and regexes part of the standard library

7
cdnsteve 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
Can rust be used to power http endpoints like a REST API? Or is it more designed to be system type daemon stuff? I guess I don't fully understand the marketing of it, however I haven't ever written anything in C or C++ either.
8
MichaelGG 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Rust looks fantastic, and has a lot of things I wish I could do while in a higher level language like F#.

I just wish Rust was a bit less verbose. Requiring, for instance, type annotations on function arguments because it's sometimes helpful is such a weird decision. Let the programmer decide when an annotation is needed. This gets annoying when you get into functions with complex arguments. Especially for local functions where the signature could be messy, but the limited scope means annotations just clutter things. I'm not sure why Rust forces us to compromise here.

9
sriku 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is all good. No higher kinded types for v1.0?
10
kvark 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm excited for the release too. Know many people who hesitate to touch Rust, even if interested, due to the fact language is still in active development.

On minor concern though, I don't see how "where clauses" are simplifying the language. Looks like something that could be added after the release.

11
AlyssaRowan 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It'd be wonderful if they kept the ability to define that a certain destructor does zero memory.

Sometimes, you need that.

12
austinz 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Congratulations to the Rust team! Can't wait to start learning the language and building stuff using it.

I'm looking to learn about how Rust's refcounting memory management works (and how it differs from how, e.g. Objective-C or Swift's runtime-based reference counting works), mostly for personal edification. Can anyone point me to any good resources?

13
MoOmer 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> We are removing support for green threading from the standard library and moving it out into an external package. This allows for a closer match between the Rust model and the underlying operating system, which makes for more efficient programs.

That's an interesting move in comparison to Go, which multiplexes coroutines onto threads.

14
3289 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems that 1.0 is going to be a solid release. But the post-1.0 Rust is going to be even more exciting once they have added inheritance and subtyping which enable true polymorphic reuse!
15
doe88 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What I think is an important feature of this language is the ease with which it can interact with other languages. Especially the possibility for Rust code to be called from foreign languages such as C very easily.

I'm looking forward for even better support of iOS with the support of arm64, I think it is really important to offer an alternative.

BTW is there an RFC on dynamically sized types? I can't find any, I'm looking to learn of it works.

16
forrestthewoods 2 hours ago 0 replies      
When will it be pleasant to use on windows?
17
robin_reala 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Adopting the channels system is interesting. Are there any other languages that have a scheduled release pattern like this?
18
eCa 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't looked at Rust, but it seems from the outside that releasing a stable version of a language every six weeks is very aggresive?
19
egonschiele 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Could someone lay out the advantages of Rust over C/C++/Dart/Go/other languages that cater to a similar space?
20
Snowden Documents Indicate NSA Has Breached Deutsche Telekom
347 points by mstolpm  1 day ago   140 comments top 20
1
lispm 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm pretty sure our German services know much more than they say. There is also a lot of cooperation between German services and the US. Keep in mind that Germany hosts major military and intelligence installations for the US. The central US military commands for Europe and Africa are both hosted in Germany. The US organizes a lot of the world-wide military activities (aka wars) from Germany. We host US nuclear weapons. We have surveillance installations here. The CIA and NSA have bases here...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Africa_Command in Stuttgart/Germany. Imagine that, the US military activities for Africa are coordinated in Germany.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_European_Command in Stuttgart/Germany.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagger_Complex in Griesheim/Germany hosts 1000+ people working for the NSA.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_Intelligence_Cent... under construction in Wiesbaden/Germany, for the US Army and the NSA.

2
kaeso 1 day ago 0 replies      
While everybody is mostly focused on Deutsche Telecom and Stellar, I'm more concerned about the long list of big-profile red-filled dots ('SIGINT collection points from AS') in the dox and slides:

* AS1299 (TeliaSonera)

* AS3549 (Level3/GBLX)

* AS6762 (TelecomItalia/Sparkle)

* AS3320 (DeutscheTelekom)

* AS1273 (CW Cable and Wireless)

* AS702 (Verizon/UUNET)

This list covers most of the uplink/transit/tier-1 providers, serving most of EU operators (TATA and TINET being the biggest absents here).

3
chestnut-tree 1 day ago 0 replies      
The BBC broadcast a good documentary on the broad issue of internet survelliance a few weeks ago (Horizon: Inside the Dark Web). It's been uploaded to YouTube and is well worth a watch.

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

There is a segment in the programme that starts at 4 mins 50 sec that explains how key fibre optic cables that connect the UK and US handle as much as 25% of all internet traffic. It also explains how relatively simple it is for GCHQ to insert an "optical tap" that allows them to capture the data that flows through the cables.

4
etiam 1 day ago 1 reply      
You may also perhaps also be interested in the corresponding article at The Intercept, mostly the same journalists.https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/14/nsa-stellar/
5
crazy1van 1 day ago 5 replies      
Evidence that the US spy agencies engage in large scale espionage on its own people is outrageous. Evidence that US spy agencies engage is foreign espionage is expected.

What is the difference? The US has made explicit commitments to its people through things like the 1st and 4th amendments to protect their privacy.

6
metafex 1 day ago 2 replies      
A few years ago I worked for a small Telco company who provided software for virtual MNOs, and security there was not that, let's say, inspiring confidence.It is generally a problem with small companies in the Internet and Mobile-services areas that security is only an afterthought. Partially also due to the fact that the protocols which are used are pretty old and do not implement much, if any, security measures.

edit: customers of the company were mostly in eastern europe, middle east and oceania, so maybe that was another reason ;-)

7
rukugu 1 day ago 2 replies      
Maybe we should have ethics taught in CS so that people know that it's wrong even if you are sitting at a terminal and having fun because the work is challenging.
8
BillFranklin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having access to an ISP at the level the NSA does, geolocation, complete communications surveillance and MitM attacks become very easy. I'm based in Cologne and a customer of one of the breached ISPs - very annoyed.
9
japasc 1 day ago 2 replies      
As i see it, all the US patent system is invalid with this kind of revelation. They can not claim any original idea any more, because of spying
10
danbruc 1 day ago 2 replies      
The main problem in this whole story is the inability to punish the misbehavior without getting hit by the backlash. It's the same with Russia's recent activities. We lack efficient means of punishment on a global scale when dealing with powerful nations. Therefore the best option is usually to improve defense measures and that takes time.
11
PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
I knew skript kids who were networking mapping cities and national networks like TymNet back in 87. Around 2k I made a map of the Netherlands, because it was a small but interesting country. The bigger boys play with bigger toys.
12
bowlofpetunias 1 day ago 1 reply      
The picture in the sidebar (Spiegel cover on the fall of the Berlin wall) is extremely painful in this context.

Millions of Germans that honestly believed they wouldn't be spied on anymore once they were part of the "free" West.

13
mgulaid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most likely, the hacked company in the video is Horizon Energy in the UAE. The first part of the IP matches of the UAE, and you can see the name horizon on the screen. after quick search you can see Horizon has energy operations in the ME and Africa.
14
doctorstupid 1 day ago 1 reply      
Imagine the uproar that would ensue if Germany were to be found spying on U.S. citizens.
15
markdutton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting how this post is disappearing fast from the front page.

On the other hand, when Apple launches a new product, the front page looks like the front page of Apple.com, for more than 1 day.

16
igl 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article disappeared from the german frontpage of Spiegel.de very quickly :)
17
BillFranklin 1 day ago 2 replies      
This will strain the US-German relationship even further.
18
Keyframe 1 day ago 1 reply      
It has now been a year+ since Snowden is out of the loop (I guess). I wonder how fast NSA moves and how much things have changed since this intel.
19
sauere 1 day ago 5 replies      
Imagine where Germany would be today if the US would not have been stealing trade secret, patented designs and other stuff over the last 70+ years.
20
meepmorp 1 day ago 6 replies      
At this point, Snowden's clearly a traitor.

His revelations about domestic surveillance were important and timely (if not surprising to people who've been paying attention). But here, he's leaked data that's unarguably within the laws under which the NSA operates - it's a foreign telecom operator that operates abroad.

Releasing this information isn't whistle blowing, it's pursuing a political agenda.

21
Issue #3 Better Late Than Never
343 points by bpierre  6 days ago   43 comments top 15
1
scrollaway 6 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 6 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
phireph0x 6 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...

4
famblycat 6 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.

5
yepguy 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
:x == :wq

(I love conciseness.)

15
TheSoftwareGuy 5 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?
22
OS X Auditor
341 points by evandrix  1 day ago   42 comments top 8
1
w0rd-driven 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd say this isn't quite ready for prime time. The errors I received were annoying and you're not going to get an end user or most IT admins to parse the python just to find the errors.

I've only had 3 major errors but they were significant:1) I'm on Yosemite so GetAuditedSystemVersion() looks for a PatchVersion variable that simply isn't there. The header reads 10.10 not 10.10.patch as expected.2) The Safari parsing snafu listed in my previous comment. Opening Safari isn't enough, you have to use the browser quite a bit. The same could likely be said for all browser tests and it would be a good idea to outline precisely what this needs to be. Hint: A new system or install of Yosemite for instance will produce the errors I saw.3) There's a parsing bug in ParseMailAppAccount() and I just commented out the call completely.

Any number of these could just be Yosemite related but I don't think so. All of the bugs I ran into are variations on index out of bounds due to some hardcoded assumption that mostly works, except in this instance apparently. I'm not the only one with these nagging bugs based on the issues list but mine do seem very specific to Yosemite or how I do(n't) use my system.

2
spiralganglion 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks like an interesting project. But, there's one bit of information, which is missing from the description and this discussion, that would help a lot with my understanding.

Is this a tool for a user who wants to learn more about their own machine, or a non-user who wants to know how a given machine has been used?

More information about the use cases of such a tool would be most helpful.

3
c0wl 1 day ago 4 replies      
OSXAuditor is pretty dope and we used it a bunch at Yelp. Over time, we created what we think is an inspired next version - https://github.com/Yelp/osxcollector
4
korzun 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool idea.

But using raw md5 hashes to verify against a blacklist is kind of useless. Especially now.

You should be using smarter file signatures:

http://hooked-on-mnemonics.blogspot.com/2011/01/intro-to-cre...

5
rrggrr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great idea. Love to run it, but... crash and burn:

~/Library/Safari/LastSession.plistTraceback (most recent call last): File "osxauditor.py", line 1702, in <module> Main() File "osxauditor.py", line 1663, in Main ParseBrowsers() File "osxauditor.py", line 808, in ParseBrowsers ParseSafari() File "osxauditor.py", line 745, in ParseSafari ParseSafariProfile(User, UserSafariProfilePath) File "osxauditor.py", line 717, in ParseSafariProfile LastSession = LastSessionPlist["SessionWindows"][0]["TabStates"][0] File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/PyObjC/objc/_convenience.py", line 451, in __getitem__objectAtIndex_ return container_unwrap(self.objectAtIndex_(idx), RuntimeError)IndexError: NSRangeException - -[__NSCFArray objectAtIndex:]: index (0) beyond bounds (0)

6
SmileyKeith 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks nice but there are a ton of issues around pyobjc. I've never been able to successfully install it on 10.9.
7
mcescalante 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very interested to try this out on my own machines to see the results. I know somebody who does computer security at a University and the staff there has been frustrated with the lack of available forensics tools for OSX, so this may nicely fill an empty niche for some industry people as well.
8
entelechy0 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm getting an error after running it:

[INFO] Users' LoginItems[INFO] 's LoginItems[INFO] /Users//Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginitems.plist[INFO] Cannot parse /Users//Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginitems.plist (Binary or JSON plist may FAIL)

Traceback (most recent call last): File "osxauditor.py", line 1702, in <module> Main() File "osxauditor.py", line 1651, in Main ParseStartup() File "osxauditor.py", line 550, in ParseStartup if "SessionItems" in LoginItemsPlist:TypeError: argument of type 'bool' is not iterable

23
Microsoft Near Deal to Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang
354 points by thethimble  6 days ago   262 comments top 38
1
citricsquid 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
jaimebuelta 6 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.
12
rcamera 5 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.

13
droopybuns 5 days ago 0 replies      
I love that there's a possibility that the solitare/minesweeper of this generation could be Minecraft.
14
xkarga00 6 days ago 2 replies      
I hope they resurrect 0x10c
15
Tiktaalik 5 days 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.

16
Pyrodogg 6 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.

17
thetabyte 6 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
joshdance 6 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.
20
annnnd 5 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...

21
guiomie 6 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
looks like a low ballpark figure ; $2 billion .
27
cowardlydragon 5 days ago 0 replies      
dotNET rewrite?
28
Kronopath 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
: ((
32
0x0 6 days ago 0 replies      
Xbone, powered by Java? :)
33
_superposition_ 6 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 6 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft about to buy a Java shop, how the world has changed.
35
shmerl 6 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
MS, give me one million and I will tell you a secret to save you billions.
37
sramsay 6 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 5 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).

24
Copies of malware used by intelligence agencies to spy on journalists
358 points by gasull  21 hours ago   58 comments top 10
1
girvo 19 hours ago 1 reply      
So, it seems the NSW police here in Australia are a customer and use this.

Ignore for a moment whether it's a good or bad thing that police use tools like these. What I want to know is, what happens once they "get their guy", so to speak.

Does the malware stay on that computer forever, violating the privacy of family members, or other users of the computer should it be sold on and not wiped correctly? What happens if it's not the correct person?

Basically, why are the police spying? To me, that raises some ethical questions and makes me feel that the police will handle things like this in a very ham-fisted way, like they usually do with technology. Worrying.

2
kissickas 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting note on Mongolia on the bottom.

Also good to see that, at least for a time, Gmail was able to detect infected files (see the Mongolian feedback numbers 10-12)

https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles4/database.html#feedback

3
wldlyinaccurate 18 hours ago 1 reply      
This company makes millions upon millions of dollars from selling surveillance malware to (by the looks of the customer list) anyone who will pay.

If I were to set up a company which sold similar products at similar prices, I would expect the FBI to come knocking at my door very quickly.

4
aliquis 14 hours ago 0 replies      
These periodic reminders that Internet isn't a safe place and that anyone might be spying on us probably makes a lot of people learn about security, come up with better passwords, hesitate before downloading unknown software and so on.

When people get their identities stolen, or lose all the money from their bank accounts, this might be regarded as "random" events, in the same way that most people won't get mugged and when it happens it's because of "randomly" being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But more people have experience dealing with the government, and though they believe that criminals aren't interested in them they know that the government might be, and thus the government is seen as a more tangible threat.

Is it possible that governmental surveillance is on average a good thing, since it raises people's awareness and makes them protect themselves more? Having enough money in your bank account to buy food is, after all, a more basic need in Maslow's hierarchy than not having copies of your e-mail conversations in a government database.

5
BorisMelnik 19 hours ago 6 replies      
If I were to download this, I'd do it with some masking tape over my webcam, booted from Kali Linux, inside a Windows VM from a library or coffee shop.
6
cyphunk 20 hours ago 1 reply      
shared pad for compiling patterns: https://pad.riseup.net/p/gO8Ng806lNnl
7
aetherspawn 20 hours ago 3 replies      
"Handle with care."

Hey guys, let's unzip this so the next guy can run it and spread the worlds most advanced malware on our home network.

8
xkiwi 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't usually click EXE,

But when I do,

I do it on my production computer with 200 VM running.

======

and none of my firewalls pop a warning.

9
orblivion 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope Norton is updating their database accordingly.
10
ogijaoijfawje 18 hours ago 5 replies      
I know many love to consider Snowden and Assange "heroes", but I think these two are people we should think outside the box on. Are they acting in the interest of everyone, themselves, or another party? The releases, interviews, and otherwise that get released seem very scripted and controlled. The propaganda machine is skilled and there may be unseen benefits to these leaks.
25
Google Employees Secretly Live on Campus to Avoid Paying Rent
347 points by thejteam  6 days ago   262 comments top 33
1
awjr 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
BGyss 6 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.
10
ryanpardieck 5 days 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.

11
cafard 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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
skizm 6 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.
21
api_or_ipa 6 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.

22
sounds 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
And at the same time Yahoo doesn't want employees working from home...
28
jesstucker 6 days ago 0 replies      
I remember reading a similar article about yahoo employees some years ago.
29
lakeeffect 6 days ago 0 replies      
They offer everything else, why not offer barracks?
30
bitJericho 6 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
Supposedly some pilots live in RVs at LAX.
32
jacquesm 6 days ago 0 replies      
Not so secret any more.
33
ck2 6 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.

26
Dimensions Measure everything you see in the browser
341 points by julien  4 days ago   54 comments top 21
1
peterjmag 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
Alt+D is my favorite shortcut to focus Chrome omnibox :(
8
panorama 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Like http://xscopeapp.com/ but in browser
11
MasoInar 4 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work on my machine :(

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property '0' of undefined tooltip.js:84

12
ianbannerman 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is great! Unforunately, does not work with iframes. A couple sites I'm stuck with are iframe heavy :/
13
progx 4 days ago 1 reply      
Would be nice if you add a "copy size to clipboard" function, when click on an element.
14
Raphmedia 4 days ago 0 replies      
Color me impressed.

This is AMAZING.

You have no idea how easier you just made my job!

15
StephenGL 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is super cool. It will compliment another tool I use called screen ruler very nicely!
16
klausseiler 4 days 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 :/

17
igl 4 days 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?

18
msane 4 days ago 0 replies      
I want one of these that does ems, rems and even vw/vh ...
19
ellysetaylor21 4 days ago 0 replies      
Now I dont't need Crtl+u every time thanks man (Y)
20
djrconcepts 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great extension! Very useful.
21
oakio 4 days ago 0 replies      
Super handy. Nice work.
27
Sandwich Video: The company that makes nearly all startup videos
337 points by coldtea  2 days ago   70 comments top 19
1
nodesocket 2 days ago 6 replies      
Smart marketing by Adam to star in most every video they make. Instantly when I see him, I know its a sandwich video. Basically they have built in branding into their product.

However, I have to admit, if I was forking out the big cash for a sandwich video for my startup (https://commando.io), I'd insist to not star Adam, because it is somewhat distracting from the message of my startup. He is basically everywhere, and it sort of gives me a strange (but negative) sensation of devaluation of the startup. Am I the only one who feels this way?

2
lonelysandwich 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm not sure what I did to luck into my company being on HN today (thanks, coldtea), but if anyone has any questions about Sandwich, I'm here for you.
3
sauere 2 days ago 5 replies      
Good work but it can't compete with the best video ad ever made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI
4
slhomme 2 days ago 0 replies      
Adam and Sandwich video are pretty much the reference in the "startup videos" industry, specially for "live action" videos. They have such a distinctive style and premium quality standard attached to each of their videos. Even though they have a very specific style, they always try to stay innovative and craft original concepts, which is very inspiring. We made a "behind the scene" interview with Adam a little while back when Sandwich really started to get popular http://startup-videos.com/blog/startup-videos-interview-sand... definitely worth a read if you want to learn more about his process.

That being said, there's a lot of other very innovating and smart videos made by other studios/startups, and if you're curious about them, a good place to check out is http://startup-videos.com disclaimer: I'm one of the cofounder of the site).

5
tmcz26 2 days ago 0 replies      
We used Video Brewery (http://www.videobrewery.com) to find an independent animator for our startup (https://www.konduto.com). We found an excellent animator and contracted the voice-overs from Voices.com. The result was great and much cheaper than the companies we quoted.
6
yoavush 1 day ago 0 replies      
We love Sandwich video. We at Veed.me (http://www.veed.me) help startups with low budgets as well - get an affordable and awesome videos. For a budget between 3k-10k we had great companies like Waze, Jawbone, Check, WeChat and many SMB's getting their great video.

Also - it's free to list a project.

Sandwich video are f* awesome, but not every startup can get a video there.

7
_neil 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think my favorite is the Aeropress "ritual" video. http://vimeo.com/40980282
8
owenwil 2 days ago 1 reply      
Their videos are incredibly well done, highly polished and very descriptive. I suspect they cost a lot, but they always do a great job of explaining exactly what they do. Perhaps my favorite one is the latest by Slack where it's pretty much their office saying how Slack changed the way they work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6zVzWU95Sw
9
pravda 1 day ago 2 replies      
So how much do they cost?Ballpark figure. $3k? $10k?
10
solomone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Huh. I remember robinhood. I signed up for that a year ago and I'm still #183,851 in line. Cruise'n right through that wait list.
11
chris123 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is interesting because I was wondering why so many of these startup videos seemed so similar (not in a good way, IMHO, but that's just my personal tastes and preferences).
12
kingnight 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aside from the main guy being in all the videos, I thought their website was incredibly well written and provided a great explanation of their services. Refreshing as far as professional services websites go.
13
porsupah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested to find out if Sandwich are sufficiently confident to offer contracts based on some measurable outcome metric. Such a "no risk" contingency would be valuable for very small business owners, beyond the likely budget of a normal up-front approach.

Difficult, and probably not that well advised, but..

14
icpmacdo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had never heard of this startup before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c6QdNhy1Aw&feature=youtu.be , really cool.
15
aren55555 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find that a lot of Canadian startups (specifically those in Kitchener-Waterloo) use Arc Media: http://www.arc-media.ca/
16
TaoloModisi 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you use sandwich, it seems like your video becomes a sandwich branded video rather than your own branded product video, as Adam and his team star in every video. So, even though the videos produced are catchy, I believe, as a founder (http://www.dialmedirect.com) you need to figure out ways to brand your product, so that it's stands out from the crowd and at the same time expresses your value, vision and mission.
17
todd8 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a fun and addictive web-site (actually the videos). Bravo!
18
dbates0623 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look up Bokeh Inc. (Seebokeh.com) They have a strong list of company's whom they have worked with and tend to understand start-ups extremely well (as they are a start-up themselves).
19
dbates0623 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look up a company called Bokeh Inc. (Seebokeh.com) They have a great website, and a pretty impressive list of clients considering they are a start-up themselves. They have also worked with Y-Combinators before like Watsi and Caviar.
28
Sysadmins see evidence that they have been hacked by GCHQ [video]
321 points by sauere  1 day ago   156 comments top 23
1
WestCoastJustin 1 day ago 13 replies      
Is it really possible to protect yourself and your network from these types of attacks? Any company with sysadmins or internal security teams is extremely out gunned against someone like the NSA (it is almost comical) [1]. From the perspective of a sysadmin, who has worked in startups, small companies, a university, and several government departments, I can firmly tell you that, we are not in the same league! Sure we take the yearly security courses, use best practices, harden machines and infrastructure, but after reading these articles.. we are sitting ducks. If the NSA is in bed with US based network gear providers, they can simply own the network and telecom infrastructure (via build in backdoors), and you do not even know they are there, because they side step the normal exploit channels [2].

Probably the best way to describe this, is to compare security and pro sports teams. From what I have read, the NSA is a top tear team winning championships across the globe, with billions in research and development, and thousands of highly trained athletes, living and breathing this day in and day out. Yet, they are matched up against a local beer league who likes to play casually Thursday nights. Who do you think is going to win?

Go read the "A Look at Targeted Attacks Through the Lense of an NGO" [3] paper, then put yourself in their shoes. Think about the IT resources a small NGO with 30-50 employees has. Maybe they have a sysadmin and a helpdesk guy. They are dead meat. The threats are so vast, spear phishing, target malware via MITM attacks, etc. It almost seems hopeless. But it is not just the NSA at the top of the heap, you have lots of foreign governments, which have direct access to your playing field via the internet.

Think about the resources that Google, Facebook, and Apple throw at security, then you see something like Operation Aurora [4, 5]. What chance does an ISP or small business have? None. Personally, it just seems like the entire model is broken. Yet, nothing seems to change, in that we are all just waiting for the next zero day to drop, and the cycle continues. All it takes is one targeted zero day addressed to a normal employee, the attackers gain access to the network, then move laterally [6, 7]. The odds are further stacked, in that you have a top tear team against a targeted employee, who doesn't even know the game.

ps. sorry for the tone of this

[1] https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/20/inside-nsa-sec...

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/13/snowden-nsa-syr...

[3] http://www.mpi-sws.org/~stevens/pubs/sec14.pdf

[4] http://www.wired.com/2010/01/google-hack-attack/

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Aurora

[6] http://g0s.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/downloads/Inside_Repo...

[7] http://intelreport.mandiant.com/Mandiant_APT1_Report.pdf

2
rdtsc 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is the right way to do it. Great job Spiegel (or whoever worked on this piece). Putting real people on screen, real faces. Showing emotion, showing them swallowing knots when they see their names on the screen of "tasked" engineers.

I think here on HN and other tech and privacy forums we understand what is happening. Unless there is a reporting like this, it will be a bit harder to engage a wide audience. Telling the proverbial grandma about "PRISM" or "they are listening to everyone" is not going to quite work. What works is to do this -- showing one particular grandma with a name, address, life story and showing how maybe her recipe for baking cookies is now logged in Utah's NSA's headquarters in room 5B, on storage node 18Z and so on.

3
rdl 1 day ago 2 replies      
Satellite communications providers, especially those offering L-band (mobile) services, are really the low hanging fruit of the SIGINT world. They're pretty much only used by "interesting" people due to cost, in areas which are inaccessible otherwise (non-permissive to HUMINT, etc.)

That they tend to be run by technically incompetent people, using expensive black box hardware they don't understand, and with multiple levels of indirection between end user and the Internet (transponders, ground stations, facilities, virtual network operators, ...) makes it all much more vulnerable.

Combine that with price sensitivity (so subsidized government stuff can be cheaper, and legal expenses unacceptable), and a highly regulated environment (ITAR + various spectrum licensing and launch regimes), and it's a perfect storm.

The only more interesting target would be "satellite comms network dedicated to high value international payments".

(Disclaimer: I started/ran a satellite communications and wireless provider, and worked for or with a bunch of others.)

4
sauere 1 day ago 2 replies      
Stellar PCS is a german ISP company that is specialized in bringing internet access to inaccessible regions via satellite. Clients include research stations or oil rigs. In this video you can see a SPIEGEL journalist showing them evidence that the NSA has hacked their network for the first time.
5
malandrew 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm shocked that they are securing such important routers with a username/password combination like horizon/h0riz0n. Such a system should be protected by public and private keys.
6
staunch 1 day ago 4 replies      
The reporter said "Develop and task key engineers" means surveillance but I don't think that's right. Task can be used multiple ways but I think that line is talking about recruiting key engineers as agents, probably using bribery.

I could be wrong but I thought Ali had an extremely guilty reaction. As if he was waiting for the reporter to accuse him of being an NSA asset. Which he very well may be.

7
pinaceae 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're a radical, islamist, leftist, etc. then maybe you're a target for NSA, GCHQ.

if you're a sysadmin at a telco or infrastructure provider your definitely a target for the NSA, GCHQ.

let that sink in.

infrastructure these days also means AWS, facebook, youtube, twitter. every piece, site, offer that might be used by ISIS, for example.

8
zz1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Impressive. However I regret that we don't see when they commented with "Fuck". Not for the word, clearly, but because the face that went with it should have been really powerful.

I hope that now sysadmins from all over the world know that they are subject to NSA surveillance.If you are a sysadmin, please read:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/20/inside-nsa-sec...

You could easily be a target for TAO:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-ns...https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6979457

If you are a sysadmin, they are after YOU.

9
johnchristopher 1 day ago 2 replies      
How come Stellar PCS didn't check out the NSA documents that were made public (I assume the documents the journalist is showing them in the video are those public PRISM/snowden/TreasureMap docs) for any hints their operations were compromised ?

Just found this https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/14/nsa-stellar/ which includes more narrative and GCHQ's involvement.

10
andy_ppp 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd be really interested to know what they did to get the access. Did this guy have malware installed on his machine? Do we all have Malware installed on our machines? Is there any way to protect yourself from an adversary as powerful and competent as the NSA?
11
jostmey 1 day ago 5 replies      
If I were caught hacking into a private network of computers without authorization even if I had a "good" reason to do so I would be breaking the law and throne in jail. So why is the NSA allowed to do the same?
12
kbar13 1 day ago 1 reply      
that feel when ~5:15 and the username/password to an account with "deep access to the network" is horizon/h0r1z0n
13
codemac 1 day ago 3 replies      
Any non-flash version of this video?
14
notastartup 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is the most intense video I ever seen since the Snowden revelations. I could almost feel Ali's feeling of complete violation. This is absolutely chilling material.
15
dredmorbius 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there an alternate source for the video? I cannot get it to play at all under Linux / Chrome.
16
nether 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's this great line in Dataclysm (written by the guy who wrote the OkCupid blog) about how the NSA recruited from the best math students at Harvard. "The people spying on us are extremely, extremely smart."
17
coalbee 1 day ago 0 replies      
What about 2048 RSA public key cryptography performed on the application level? Didn't the Snowden leak say the NSA still can't crack 2048?
18
zby 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This crashes my shockwave flash plugin - should I start to be paranoid?
19
naner 1 day ago 0 replies      
This also illustrates the weakness of using just a password for authentication to anything of value.
20
dmix 1 day ago 1 reply      
Requires Flash to watch :\
21
ck2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the Google engineer response:

https://plus.google.com/+BrandonDowney/posts/SfYy8xbDWGG

22
Keyframe 1 day ago 0 replies      
They must've known?
23
kelas 1 day ago 5 replies      
Enjoyable. A rare opportunity to witness an expression of someone who got p0wned well beyond his level of comprehension. Look how he strokes his pen in disbelief, that poor German dude. "I know those switches", Mein Gott.

As of today, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe we're still stuck in post-9/11, and those who realised we are now in post-Snowden.

There is a third kind who have Facebook accounts, but those are just the nature's way of saying that Darwin got it right.

29
KaTeX: Math typesetting for the web
309 points by xymostech  7 hours ago   73 comments top 25
1
jordanthoms 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is there an wysiwyg equation editor that can produce the code for this? Would be interested in adding equations to our product but our users wouldn't be familiar with TeX.
2
mrb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A great idea would be that when you copy a math expression from the browser, it would put the LaTeX code in the copy-paste buffer:

  f(x) = \int_{-\infty}^\infty    \hat f(\xi)\,e^{2 \pi i \xi x}    \,d\xi
So then I could paste it in an email, in a text editor, in my own LaTeX document, etc.

3
akurilin 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Heavy mathjax user here. Couple of use cases I'd love to know more about:

- does KaTeX work pretty reasonably across the platforms? The simplest way I figured out for rendering math notation in-app on mobile devices was through web views + mathjax. E.g. say I wanted to use it in a web view in iOS or Android, would it work as intended? MathJax comes by default with a giant folder of various fonts / ways of rendering, what's the KaTeX story for this?

- would KaTeX work just fine in a headless environment? e.g. say I'm using http://wkhtmltopdf.org/ to generate PDF from some HTML

- how does KaTeX compare to MathJax from a payload size? Mathjax takes quite a bit to load from basic connections even though you have to cache it only once.

4
vedtopkar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ben Alpert, Emily Eisenberg and the Khan Academy team never ceases to amaze me. This is a great MathJax replacement in the making.
5
ErikRogneby 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been incredibly impressed with Khan Academy's output and how engaged my kinder-gardener has been with it. The site keeps improving as we continue to visit it, and I am happy to see so many repositories up on github!
6
arenaninja 7 hours ago 1 reply      
MathML, MathJax and now KaTeX

Not that there isn't a usecase for this, but is this fully MathJax compatible?

7
camdenre 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any plans for an interactive equation editor supported by KaTeX? I think this is something the web is missing. I've been following the MathJax dev google group, and it seems like there aren't any solid plans for them to implement this feature.

Some examples:

My attempt: http://camdenre.github.io/src/app/html/EquationEditor

Mathway: https://www.mathway.com/

Mathjq: http://www.mathjq.com/math-editor/

It would be nice to have something officially supported by a large project. I think that there is a lot of potential on the web for interactive math lessons with symbolic input using a CAS (not multiple choice).

8
rhythmvs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks great! Will KaTeX support (c.q. integrate with) ASCIIMathML.js,? AsciiMath is dubbed TeX without backslashes, or as markdown for math. (La)TeX input can become laborious, and the syntax gets difficultly readable, very rapidly.

With AsciiMath syntax (and Unicode!) you can write A instead of `\delta A`, instead of `\frac{1}{2}`, ((a,b),(c,d)) instead of `\begin{pmatrix}a & b \\ c & d \end{pmatrix}`, &c.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCIIMathML http://www.asciimath.org http://boolesrings.org/krautzberger/2014/08/10/asciimathml-t... http://www1.chapman.edu/~jipsen/mathml/asciimathsyntax.html http://www.johndcook.com/math_symbols.html

9
daturkel 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there support for alternate math fonts (not sure what the proper term is) like \mathbf, \mathcal, \mathbb? Couldn't get it working. Looks fantastic though.
10
AKluge 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I may be the odd man out, but especially for the case where I modify a small part of an expression I like MathML because those small parts can be uniquely identified and altered without altering or reformatting the rest of the expression. MathJax supports MathML, so this is possible with MathJax.

For example, the event handler that updates r at the bottom of this page: http://www.vizitsolutions.com/portfolio/gausslaw/ does not know anything about the expression as a whole, it only knows to update elements with a certain class with the new r value.

Of course I will take a look at this and see how it works for my content. It seems though, that this would be a case of interest to Khan Academy as it is comparatively common in instructional material.

11
htf 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I love this. One question: how much emphasis was put on security? Can I safely let the users of my website input any string and feed it directly to the render function?
12
amathstudent 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What choices did you make that make KaTeX faster than MathJax? (i.e. 'how is it done?'
13
cnanders 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Any plans to support equation numbering (like MathJax) and \eqref? I didn't see this in any of the examples or docs.
14
gravity13 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Did Mathjax just become obsolete?
15
thebooktocome 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Props to the coders for improving upon the LaTeX/Web use case space, but I can't help but feel something other than LaTeX is going to be necessary for the internet. LaTeX was fundamentally about document-level typesetting, and the internet is fundamentally not a place where that happens.
16
ahmacleod 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great news for server-side tex rendering. Valiant efforts on behalf of projects like svgtex (https://github.com/agrbin/svgtex) notwithstanding, MathJax is abysmal for pre-rendering content.
17
jgrowl 6 hours ago 3 replies      
This looks really nice. Are there any handwriting recognition projects for being able to write on a wacom tablet that could output to a format like this?

That was always my dream when doing homework at the university.

18
auggierose 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you also using the STIX fonts? If yes: I am working on a web application which downloads those STIX fonts anyway, can I point KaTeX to use my already downloaded fonts instead of downloading its own?
19
phloxicon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Any benchmarks against MathJax beyond the visual at the bottom of the page?
20
hyp0 2 hours ago 0 replies      
works instantly on mobile! are there demo pages with more latex, for a tougher test?
21
robinhoodexe 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not bad, but MathJax is also pretty fast:

https://trinket.io/latex/788599bf30

22
felipellrocha 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Any plans on adding support to \newcommand and \newenvironment?
23
ChristianMarks 5 hours ago 1 reply      
No xy support yet...
24
mrcactu5 6 hours ago 0 replies      
was mathjax not fast enough?
25
sjtrny 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or is the style of this website a rip off of writelatex.com?

Edit: I guess I hit a nerve then.

30
Rust Guide
316 points by bilalhusain  3 days ago   140 comments top 14
1
axaxs 3 days ago 10 replies      
Honest initial impressions from my quick glance. This guide is confused. It reads at times like an informal conversation... lots of exclamations. That's pedantic, the real confusion comes from the target audience. As a programmer, I want as little cruft as possible. Get me to examples and how this differentiates from C. As a non programmer, teach me the basics of types and logic. From that thought, it's failing at both. As a programmer, stop talking to me informally and redefining types as one liners. As a newbie, you're explaining basic shell constructs as if I don't know, then trying to sum up strings in a one liner. I know it's an early draft, and I know Steve is an awesome dude. My advice - figure out your audience or else break into two guides. Be terse with me, be overly explanatory to a beginner. This now seems to sway on both sides of that line, and likely will frustrate both groups.
2
phloxicon 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it reads well but I would prefer if the examples given were correct first time around and then talk about what might go wrong, whereas right now, it describes what might go wrong and then how to do it correctly.

For example, in the testing section, the first example code generates an error because it's scope is private. The section then shows how to fix this. I would prefer he showed the correct way first and then how to fix common errors.

Also, I didn't see file IO but i probably overlooked that.

Other than that, it's excellent. Very thorough and reads like a book.

3
SideburnsOfDoom 3 days ago 3 replies      
One stylistic nitpick / question. It says:

> "We expected an integer, but we got (). () is pronounced 'unit', and is a special type in Rust's type system. () is different than null in other languages, because () is distinct from other types"

Would it not be more accurate and more informative to compare the "special type" unit to "void" than to compare it to "null" ?

The keyword "void" is a placeholder that says "nothing here" where normally there would be a type. It function more or less like a type. i.e. "public void foo { ... };" instead of "public int foo() { ... };"

I understand "unit" as a "first class void".

"null" on the other hand is a value, that can be placed in variables of many types.

4
gtani 3 days ago 0 replies      
quick comments (from s.b. who has been recently learning D and cuda C++)

- Most important, and nota bene: I liked it!

- this seems to be targeted as a crossover guide for experienced c/java/C++/C# family devs, but written a little below that level (whereas tutorial would be for people that have some programming experience in any language

- top level summaries before you launch into litany of language features: what is the object model, are there entities that can be inherited, how do interfaces/traits/mixins? how does allocation/initialization/destruction/cleanup typically work?

- Needs to note conventions ("_" in file/directory names, 4 space soft tabs) vs things enforced by compiler/tooling

- needs inline references/footnotes/bibliography for H-M type inference, FP style pattern matching, i.e. the "new" FP concepts for people without haskell/ocaml/scala experience

5
ch 3 days ago 0 replies      
It would be useful if the guide folded the Unix/Windows examples up into a single view (something like what the Spark docs do: https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/quick-start.html#Basics)

And then, perhaps, used some platform detection to display the more appropriate form by default.

That way less space is used up by the parallel examples.

6
steveklabnik 3 days ago 5 replies      
Hi everyone! I just woke up to find all this, and I'm speaking at a conference today where there's no laptops allowed, so we'll see when I get to read these comments. A few things:

1. Consider this a 'first draft.' I wrote this in sections, see [1], and now it's time to edit as a whole.

2. Because of that, there are still changes coming. There's even an active one in the queue right now. [2]

3. This guide is fairly long (The PDF is 80~ pages), tries to make little assumptions about systems programming knowledge, and will get you from 'I know nothing about Rust' to 'I'm an intermediate Rust programmer.' There's plans to make an abridged version for people who are already familiar with systems or want something faster with less explanation.

To expand on (3) a bit, one of the hard parts of teaching is that you have such varying background levels of skill in your audience. This means different people need different things, one learning resource will never fit all. I very specifically went for extra explanation and an informal tone with this piece, based on my years of experience teaching programmers new languages. You all here are generally much further along, know more programming concepts and features, and are just generally more advanced. I want to include _everyone_ with the introductory documentation I write, and that means spelling things out a bit more. And it also means you all may not like it. You'll probably prefer the abridged version.

Feedback very welcome. I'll read all this eventually, or just open some issues.

1: https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/pulls?q=is%3Apr+author%3As...

2: https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/pull/17155

7
someone13 3 days ago 0 replies      
Also note that the installation section is a bit out of date: they have Windows x64 binary installers now:

http://www.rust-lang.org/install.html

8
the_mitsuhiko 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like the informal style, I would not want to change it. Tutorials and introductions are supposed to be readable to complete beginners or developers that only used a simple programming language before.

There are lots of small things I would want to change about the guide, especially in regards to which sections should be more in depth and which ones should be skipped for another guide, but that's why it's a first iteration.

9
gosub 3 days ago 5 replies      

    let x = 5i;
so, integers are written like complex numbers?

10
octo_t 3 days ago 2 replies      
+1 from me for the `curl | sudo sh` disclaimer. Even if the only thing it does is stop people complaining about it :)
11
niix 3 days ago 4 replies      
This language really interests me, but I would like to know some real world applications that are being used for it. While I may enjoy writing it as a hobby, could this be something that I utilized in production as well?
12
bmurphy1976 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. That's a lot of text. I'm going to side with others out there, it's too informal and needs to be tightened up considerably.

It's a decent start, but needs some serious editing.

Good luck!

13
eik3_de 3 days ago 5 replies      
leaving aside the first-mover advantages like community, docs, stdlibs, api stability, where do you see rust's advantages over go?
14
antocv 3 days ago 10 replies      
Please Rust-lang, why, oh why, do you choose to name function 'fn' and module 'mod', dont you expect to read any of the programs you write!?

How is anyone supposed to read fn main(). Fun main? Fen main? F of N? Is it related to ln in println?

Ive tried rust, but it just doesnt parse well in my mind. More time is spent for me parseing out the bullshit terse keywords than the meaning of the program.

Ada gets this right, there you have to write exactly what you mean, end begin, if then. Simple clear.

Terseness, shorts and abbrevations, thts now hw you wrt anyng.

       cached 16 September 2014 02:11:01 GMT