hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    29 Oct 2014 Best
home   ask   best   5 years ago   
1
Alan Eustace Jumps from Stratosphere, Breaking Felix Baumgartners World Record
816 points by specialp  4 days ago   235 comments top 39
1
aresant 4 days ago 7 replies      
So the guy straps himself to balloon, rides straight up for 2 hours, 25 miles high.

So 12.5 mph, a little faster than the average bicycle pace. Straight up.

Works with other engineers in secret for 3 years to knock out a badass space survival suit.

And then, just for us kids, "cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device . . ." and achieves 800mph+, setting off a "small sonic boom".

I !@%! love engineers.

2
joeguilmette 4 days ago 0 replies      
To clear up some points (I am a professional tandem skydiver and use drogues)-

A drogue is about 3 to N get feet wide. It is used for z axis stability, to slow you down a bit so that when the parachute deploys it will not explode, and finally to actually deploy the parachute.

If you do not use a drogue chute then you would use a pilot chute to deploy the parachute. The difference between a pilot and drogue chute is minimal. In fact, design wise the only difference is that after you deploy the drogue you need to pull a handle to open the container holding the parachute, at which point the drogue chute becomes a pilot chute. A deployed pilot chute will open the container without needing to pull a separate handle. Drogues are also generally much hardier than pilot chutes as they have more force acting on them.

A drogue is not a parachute. The para in parachute means it is designed to be used to slow you down enough to survive your fall. A drogue is not designed to do so.

Tandem skydiving, the kind everyone does recreationally, uses drogue parachutes to maintain what would be terminal velocity for one person. Terminal velocity for two people lying on top of each other (or one 500lb person) would be too high to safely deploy either the main or reserve parachute.

So yes, a tandem skydive is still a skydive even though you use a drogue. Eustace, even though he used a drogue, has the record for highest skydive. Arguably Baumgartner had the record for longest freefall without a drogue. But longest freefall without a drogue is a silly record to cling to. Does anyone care who has the record for driving the fastest land vehicle without a helmet?

This still is amazing. And from the perspective of a professional skydiver, Eustace broke Baumgartner's record fair and square.

3
coreymgilmore 4 days ago 3 replies      
Amazing how little this was publicized and promoted compared to Baumgartners jump. Undoubtedly because Redbull used FB's jump for marketing, but still a feet like this should have had more media exposure.

On a side note: If the marketing/publicity budget on this was so much lower, and the design was simpler, how much less do you think this cost compared to FB/Redbull Stratos?

4
sjs382 4 days ago 1 reply      
My favorite part is that he did it so quietly, with no marketing or build-up. Just because he wanted to.

Also, off-topic, but this is some terrible ad placement: http://imgur.com/T6MBg2x

5
birken 4 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, I had to do a double take when I saw the name. He is a well known SVP at Google, and at least when I was there he was in charge of the majority of engineering. Good for him.
6
djb_hackernews 4 days ago 2 replies      
To put this in perspective, if the average school room globe diameter is 0.3 meters, Alans peak elevation was 0.97 millimeters above the surface of the globe...
7
AndrewKemendo 4 days ago 2 replies      
As a skydiver I am super upset that I didn't know this was happening!

I'd love to see video of it and see if he had better control than Felix. We almost lost him and I wonder if Alan had implemented controls to prevent a bad spin.

On another note, I love that he used the suit only instead of a diving bell - completely simplifying the whole process. It's arguably more dangerous, but not by much.

8
incision 4 days ago 1 reply      
Fantastic.

I've long thought that if I ever acquire the means I'd want to take a U2 ride like James May [1]. I'm thinking I'd definitely prefer this.

Also, no wonder his name felt so familiar [2].

1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJoMDq4AyLc

2: http://pando.com/2014/03/27/how-steve-jobs-forced-google-to-...

9
Yhippa 4 days ago 2 replies      
> It was amazing, he said. It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.

I want to experience this before I die.

10
onewaystreet 4 days ago 1 reply      
The article says he had a GoPro on. Hopefully they release some video or stills from the actual jump.
11
taternuts 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most bad-ass things I've read in a while. The fact that it was so under-covered so as _not_ to be associated with any kind of marketing makes it even cooler.
12
jeztek 4 days ago 0 replies      
13
trhway 4 days ago 2 replies      
>plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at 822 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground.

doesn't FAA prohibit supersonic flights over US territory? :)

14
unchocked 4 days ago 2 replies      
We need more hero-engineers like him. Now he's cool, as opposed to just nerdy (and rich). Bang for the buck, this is going to help STEM a great deal.

Astronaut daredevils: both cool and nerdy.

15
bicknergseng 4 days ago 2 replies      
I know the ISS is moving at ~27,600 km/h and is ~10 times further away than this jump, but is there a significant engineering reason to not say... double this jumps height? 5x? ...10x?
16
sp332 4 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder why he decided to use pure oxygen?
17
mercwear 4 days ago 0 replies      
He did it because it was a hard engineering problem that interested him, not for the publicity. A+
18
stormbrew 4 days ago 2 replies      
> He did not feel or hear the supersonic boom as he passed the speed of sound, he said. He performed two slow back flips before a small parachute righted him.

Just out of curiosity, isn't this expected? It is my extremely layman understanding that the boom happens behind the object moving supersonically, and obviously if you're going faster than the speed of sound it won't catch up to you, right?

19
dekhn 4 days ago 0 replies      
Alan also wrote a wonderful Digital Technical Note (he used to work at, or manage Digital's Western Research Labs):http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/Compaq-DEC/WRL-TN-13.pdf

it's worth reading the whole thing, including the references.

20
phkahler 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've been wondering when the high power rocketry guys and the skydivers will get together...
21
vermontdevil 4 days ago 0 replies      
I admit I thought maybe this was one of the numerous hoax news that's been plaguing Facebook lately.

But really? Wow. That definitely came out of left field considering how long Felix' jump was promoted until the jump day.

22
jchook 4 days ago 1 reply      
At what point does the boundary between a high-altitude skydiving suit and re-entry spacecraft become blurred? With the right definitions someone could say that Yuri Gagarin has this record beat.
23
Crito 4 days ago 2 replies      
> "Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at more than 800 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground."

I was under the impression that the "faster than the speed of sound" thing was technically deceptive, since it used the speed of sound at sea-level but they were only doing that many miles up where the speed of sound was much higher. Terminal velocity should always be lower than the speed of sound, is my thinking here. If that is the case, then I wouldn't expect a sonic boom.

Is it actually the case that they have enough momentum to continue to fall that fast as they enter the denser atmosphere?

24
jangid 4 days ago 0 replies      
Alan himself had distanced himself from Google's offer for support; because of marketing etc. I am sure he his happy to not get much media coverage.
25
pingou 4 days ago 0 replies      
I was surprised to see he was breathing through a mask and seriously wondered what would have happened if he had vomited in it.
26
eyeareque 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love it when things like this happen. He spends next to nothing compared to redbull, and surpasses their record. Awesome work :)
27
gohrt 4 days ago 2 replies      
28
awongh 4 days ago 0 replies      
I hope that some of this work gets open sourced. Is this the next logical step from balloon cameras?
29
taksintik 4 days ago 0 replies      
Up next.. Power assisted Launch from the moon with reentry landing on MGM Las Vegas. For tha win.
30
general010 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is gonna put a little dampening on all the Red Bull hoopla.
31
chris_wot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is there footage of the whole descent from his POV?
32
mikepalmer 4 days ago 0 replies      
... and at the press conference after his record-breaking jump, Mr. Eustace addressed assembled reporters in Mandarin!
33
blackkettle 3 days ago 0 replies      
what happened to the balloon?
34
ck2 4 days ago 3 replies      
at 57 years old - dang - what is my excuse...
35
erobbins 4 days ago 4 replies      
Sounds like a lot of research was done on the suit.. and pressure suits that provide useful movement to the wearer are hard. I'm sure NASA will be interested in investigating the suit to see if any technology can be used in other areas. I wouldn't write it off as conspicuous consumption yet, just like I didn't write off James Cameron's marianas trench dive.
36
joeguilmette 4 days ago 1 reply      
You have done just enough research to use the right nomenclature in the wrong way. Using a drogue might not technically be freefall, but it is called drogue-fall because you're hauling ass. It is not a parachute. The para part of parachute means it will slow your decent enough to save your life. A drogue is used mainly for stability and to slow you down enough so your parachute won't explode when deployed. Deploying a drogue doesn't mean you're now "under canopy".

As to a drogue making this no longer a skydive, drogues are used in tandem skydives and are most certainly perfectly acceptable.

You're entitled to an opinion, it just so happens that your opinion is wrong.

37
ForHackernews 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm sorry, but I didn't care about the Red bull/GoPro marketing stunt, and I don't care about this one, either.

"Oh, but this one fell from slightly higher up than the other one!"

Can somebody explain why this is impressive or cool? Anyone can fall.

38
birdstrike8888 3 days ago 1 reply      
grep on "bird' at 212 comments"bird strike' problem for aircraft, likely worse thandeer strike problem for automobiles.question: what is the strategy to survive BIRD STRIKE problem?please.

Also, birds could be 'long flight' dozing while flying in formation andare NOT looking up.

Congrats. and am I off on my questioning, since this is question 122or is the fluoride and pollutants in drinking water decreasing generalintelligence in USA like the lead did in the Roman Empire?

39
andrethegiant 4 days ago 1 reply      
Google exec films with a GoPro, not Glass? Missed out on a marketing opportunity.
2
#define CTO
629 points by craigkerstiens  1 day ago   104 comments top 33
1
brandonb 1 day ago 5 replies      
>But universally, sparse micromanagement (the best term Ive heard for jumping in to some random issue, overturning all the decisions, and then disappearing) is the worst.

Great essay. My favorite term for this is "drive-by micromanagement."

:)

I think it's hard to make "chief architect" work out in the long term--if the role is too weak, it often becomes nothing more than an evangelist; if too strong, it often disempowers the people who are closest to the work.

For figuring out what CTO means in an organization with a VP engineering, you might take some inspiration from Google's organizational history. Google never had a CTO, but they took care to establish ways for highly technical people to have huge impact without being forced onto the management track.

The first was Google Fellow, a level of individual contributor equivalent in to a VP engineering. Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat are good examples; they didn't manage people, but they did work on very hard technologies like GFS, MapReduce, and BigTable that were used by the whole company, and later inspired projects like Hadoop. (In general, I think having a dual career ladderone for ICs, and one for managersis a good idea, and the "Fellow" model really just recognizes the fact that the best engineers are worth as much or more than the best managers.)

The second model is essentially skunkworks: leading projects which are high-risk and important to Stripe's future, but far enough outside the main product that you want to treat it almost as a small startup. The first attempt at this were Googlettes, led by Georges Harik, which included projects like GMail, Google Talk, Orkut, and Google Mobile. At the time, those were very distant from search, but as they grew the successful projects became core to the company. The second version is Google X, where they're now expanding into very distant areas that involve hardware, biosensors, self-driving cars, etc. For Stripe, maybe the equivalent is something like cryptocurrencies, or physical payments, or something you've imagined by I haven't. :)

Anyway, thanks for writing. I have a lot of admiration for Stripe's culture and so I hope you all keep blogging about it.

2
jkarneges 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think one of the hardest parts about being an early stage CTO, particularly a founding CTO-by-default, is delegating away your codebase to potentially smarter engineers than yourself while still remaining a highly relevant team member. Not just relevant, but justifiably executive level (which, IMO, writing code is not).

This is an identity crises that deserves more coverage, I think. It is certainly not something the CEO faces in a typical tech startup. The CEO can delegate all day every day. In fact that's really a CEO's end game. The CTO, on the other hand, is expected to be superman.

3
tonystubblebine 1 day ago 1 reply      
It was really nice to hear someone else talk about Marc Hedlund (the VPE in the article). I wasn't one of the back channel references, but I would have said the same things: "hes been an amazing influence and mentor for me, I still keep in touch."

Back when all I did was write code, Marc took me out for lunch and told me, "If you can write code and speak English, then you need to be in leadership."

There's some major hyperbole in that statement. I'm sure I'm not quoting him correctly, but that's how I remember it. Speak English was short hand for likes people & communicates well. I had never considered that having a dual skill set was particularly valuable or that there was a bigger impact to make than just writing really clean code. He really opened my eyes to a bigger world.

And then he followed through by making great connections and being a constant advisor. I've known him for 12 years now and he's the person I always think of when people talk about a career in startups. He's got such a huge network of people that he's helped and that now look to him for advice.

A lot of my career is thanks to Marc. Stripe is really lucky to have him.

4
jwr 1 day ago 2 replies      
Right on the money. I've come to similar conclusions over the years. You can't be a CTO without writing code. Not all of it, and certainly not the critical parts, but at least some code.

I've been in a company where I stopped writing code and I found that I just couldn't keep up. I couldn't participate in architectural discussions, couldn't form opinions based solely on what other people told me. Worst of all, I started losing interest.

These days I strive for a healthy balance. It certainly doesn't make sense for a CTO to write code that is needed in production right now, because other duties might make him unavailable anytime. But prototyping, testing new solutions, writing proof-of-concept code, trying out a major refactoring just to see if it works these things make sense and they allow a CTO to both perform his regular duties and keep in touch with code/technology.

5
ef4 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have a hunch that one of the good ways for a CTO to still occasionally write some code that delivers significant value for the company is to take on the "little" projects that reduce friction in the internals of the company itself.

Too many companies fail to invest in that kind of software, because its value is less obvious than code that's shipping directly to customers. But I think it's very high-leverage. It's literally reprogramming parts of the business itself.

It's tempting to slice off that kind of work for a new hire, because it's more self-contained and lower risk than your product. But I think that's probably a mistake -- the new hire will learn faster on a product team, and the "little" project will be bigger impact in the hands of someone deeply technical who has a vision for how the company should run.

6
kfcm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How to define the role of CTO is a question which has been asked for many years, and there are some "general" answers. I would recommend two things.

First, read these two articles. They're older, but provide some answers into how others have defined the role. You might be able to pick and choose to further define your role:

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/courses/archive/spring12/cos448/...

and

http://www.brixtonspa.com/Career/The_Role_of_the_CTO_4Models...

Second, I think right now it's best to look laterally into the business world as to your role. You are essentially the "CEO" of your company's technology realm. The VP of Engineering is the "COO". Look and talk to your business-side counterparts on how they handle their roles.

Your job is to work with the business to develop both business and technical strategies, and oversee the development of the technical architecture to get you there. To monitor competitors technology. To monitor emerging technologies. To prototype. To provide business and technical analysis and advice for M&A's.

The VP Engineering's role is to handle the day to day stuff. To be more tactical than strategic.

In the end, the role of CTO is still ambiguous, meaning different things to different companies. And it's changed in the past few years--I'd never heard of developers being in the CTO role until maybe five years ago or so--and it will continue to change.

7
cynusx 1 day ago 0 replies      
As I understood it, it is the CTO's role to make sure that the technology supports the business strategy.

It's perfectly fine to have a VP of engineering run day to day management, in this case you have more time to immerse yourself in stripe's business strategy and find and eliminate bottlenecks there.

According to the Stripe team page there are 160 people working there and engineering is the minority of it. I would be surprised if the other functional departments in your company are so optimised that they no longer have issues that technology can help remedy, these issues may accelerate the company or even prevent the company from reaching its objectives. e.g. the executives in charge of a department may lack visibility and have to beg for engineering time to get the analysis they need to do their jobs. Even worse, they may have already stopped asking for these insights and are now operating with limited insight.

A great example of this is Max Levchin his initiative to tackle fraud at Paypal, a core strategic issue for them but it wasn't part of product or engineering.

8
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicely written. I find that more often the CTO is connecting people outside the company to technology inside the company, they certainly have a mentorship role to play but Steve Kleiman (CTO at the time of NetApp) once described it as the 'technical headlights' of the company. There are technological changes that can be just as impactful on the company as business changes or changes in taste. One of those I got to witness first hand was the notion that SATA drives were "good enough" for NAS applications (as opposed to expensive FC drives). Getting the company direction changed so that it could intercept that change in the technological landscape was something Steve did quite nicely. And no, it is never as straight forward as saying "Let's do this ..."
9
staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
This buys into Titles and Big Company thinking. It even draws on advice from a non-technical VC's blog on "rockstars."

You're far better off just defining people's roles based on what they're capable of, and what the company needs. Having titles bestowed and then filled is backwards and leads to problems.

10
ycxd 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a chapter in HBR's On Managing Yourself called, "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time," by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy.

Briefly, it is about having rituals and behaviours in place such as: getting enough sleep, doing cardio at least 3 times a week, have small snacks every 3 hours, take brief but regular breaks at 90- to 120- minute intervals 'away from the desk.'

I'm sure these are obvious, but they are easily dismissed or forgotten. There's a lot more in the essay, so it's worth taking a peek.

11
akramhussein 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great retrospective. I saw gdb talk at HN Meetup in London and with very few years on the 'work' clock, I felt he had a much better insight than seasoned vets. Spoke to him briefly after before dashing to get a train and when I followed up with an email he was quick to respond (feel guilty for taking his time now :( ), right to the point and gave really valuable information. I've utilised his tips on how he manages technical debt. From my few interactions, reading his posts and watching Stripe scale he's definitely a rock-star CTO in my books.
12
leothekim 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't mean this as a troll, and this is largely based on my own understanding of the CTO role, but - how many direct reports does Greg have now? If not many, then I imagine that can contribute to some existentialism around the role.
13
jbarmash 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great Post.

If you are in NY (or Melbourne, Sydney) and are interested in becoming a better technical leader, whether CTO or VPE, or lead dev, please check out the CTO School Meetup We discuss topics relevant to technical leaders with both educational and networking components.

http://www.ctoschool.org/

http://www.meetup.com/ctoschool/

We've been doing it in various forms since 2010, and have about 1500 members in NYC, most of them in various positions of technical leadership.

(ONLY people with technical background can be members).

14
rosspanda 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The CTO role is completely different depending on size of company. Here is my experience.

Startups: <10I have had roles in small start-ups as CTO, but did the role of a Lead Developer in reality, it was important to get investment that they had a CTO on board that had a track record and could talk to investors, but I still had to build everything as well. Thinking back it would have been better to get a 2 day a week CTO and a full time Lead dev.

Mid Size:10>40In a company this size with a dev team of 10ish its more of a Development Manager Role, this is some times worst than a startup as you have to be hands on, speak to investors and run a team.

Larger:>50This is where a real CTO can really make a different, by this size you would have a couple of functional managers as your direct reports to look after day to day and get the time to focus on culture, team, investors, new tech, presentations etc.

15
dc2447 1 day ago 1 reply      
Twenty plus 1-1s, means twenty plus direct reports.

No wonder the guy was burnt out. That number is simply not manageable in any worthwile way.

The rest of the article just reads like someone is CTO purely because when he joined.

The friction with the VP in terms of how the VP executed hints at someone a little out of there depth maybe.

16
cperciva 1 day ago 1 reply      
Being as cynical as I am, my immediate thought was that the title was a summary of the article:

    #define CTO
i.e., "CTO" means nothing at all.

17
JakeSc 1 day ago 2 replies      
Thanks for posting this. One question I have is this: When, as the CTO, you approach an engineer with the intent on coding together or otherwise building some system, are there not organizational challenges with an executive working with a subordinate? I realize that this has been tremendously beneficial to you, but I wonder how this works mechanically--do you just say, "Hey Jeff, let's build this together."? I have to imagine that if you're ever wrong technically, an individual contributor-level engineer might hesitate to tell you.
18
highlander 1 day ago 2 replies      
> We then set up interviews with Marc: four days of back-to-back 1:1 or 1:2 meetings with everyone on the team from 10a-6p, as well as a talk to the whole company.

When the article says Marc had become available, should we assume he wasn't working at the time? That just seems way over the top. I can't imagine asking any serious/heavyweight candidate to 'interview' that way in the UK. I'm curious to know what others think.

19
nartz 1 day ago 0 replies      
At Magnetic (http://www.magnetic.com) - we've implemented a policy of code review - maybe you could participate on some code reviews in one part of the code base - reading code isn't as fun as writing code, but at least you could still feel part of the codebase and have influence.
20
inmygarage 1 day ago 1 reply      
What I enjoy most about Greg's writing is the honesty. Here is someone who appreciates that software is a relatively young industry and many best practices are still a work-in-progress.
21
dennisgorelik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think for CTO architectural discussions and code reviews are better than writing code.

But code review should not be done alone. It should be review and discussion with the developer who committed that code.

22
dude_abides 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Does John Carmack (one of the true legends among great programmers) still write code? If yes, then it will be intriguing to find out how he manages to do that while being CTO at Oculus.
23
dk8996 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is so true. Moreover, our industry moves so fast that if your not in the dirt and on the ground for more than a year... it's hard to catch-up. Another things, is that I see some technical people move up so quick that they are never seasoned and thus end up making high level (architect) choices -- with alot of issues. I am not sure how other industry do it, for example, in medicine when someone becomes head of the hospital or something like that.
24
ScottBurson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recall reading somewhere of companies that split the CTO role into two, internal and external. I can see this. The internal CTO is primarily focussed on the technology and product, while the external one mostly talks to customers.
25
JoeAltmaier 1 day ago 0 replies      
Manages the technical team. Provides direction on infrastructure, tool chains, architecture goals. Hires and fires.
27
yegor256a 18 hours ago 0 replies      
would be much more convenient if the article would say in the beginning what it is about...
28
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 0 replies      
Before I over post here (really got me thinking on the journey home though) one more thing ...

The description of wanting to go back to coding is laced with guilt and uncertainty - and we have all felt it. But it reminds me of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage - if coding is what you are best at, you should code even if you can do other things (like recruitment) better than some others.

So yes, go back to coding, get a feel for the boat thrumming over the waves again, listen to people's problems in the only way that matters - by sharing them. Your authority is useful but it is not what makes a good CTO else every idiot would be a good one. You aren't supposed to know the answers - enjoy the journey of discovery and speak not because you think you the CTO should weigh in, but because you the hacker feels it.

Ok, Time to stop pontificating, that's enough posts on one thread:-)

29
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing I have not tried, yet seems viable, is instead of frequent 1:1's (which only really matter when there is a personal problem) is something similar to the Oxbridge Tutorial (small group of students sit with Professor and discuss problems at hand.)

I think this approach could hear fruit as it moves the discussion from "how are you feeling" and onto "let's have an open but focused discussion on the problems facing us - not writing code but thinking first and foremost"

When me or my teams think first, things always flow better.

It's rather an indictment of me that I miss it and want to try it again ...

30
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to use the idea of a head chef as an analogy to CTO (well ok I had itmanagerscookbook.com - back in the day when IT manager meant what it said.)

Anyway Basically a chef must be able to cook and well, but their role is much more teaching and training people in how to do excellent cooking whilst fitting in around this kitchen.

I like this article ("I started doing things I thought were missing like culture") and I wish we could get a more useful definition of CTO rolling - something like a wiki editable only by good CTOs explaining the role to new ones.

31
comex 1 day ago 1 reply      
Changing the title from the original "#define CTO" to "Define CTO" does not seem particularly helpful to me.
32
rfurmani 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sorry to comment on only the subject and not the content, but "#define CTO" just makes sure that CTO is recognized as something but makes it completely empty. All it's good for (standard C pattern) is asking "#ifdef CTO" and then it will happily reply: yes there is a CTO, just don't try to use it! Actually this does fit in nicely with the article, but to be pedantic maybe a typedef would have been better!
33
michaelochurch 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I also talked with a bunch of people who had worked with him previously, some of whom were references given to me by Marc and some of whom were backchannel.

[Edited to be less confrontational.]

That's reckless and unethical. I'm sorry, but if you make reference calls that aren't provided, you're engaging in the kind of invasive, fratty, white-male-privilege shit that gives Silicon Valley a bad name. It's also why we, in the technology ecosystem, don't have the credibility to get the rest of society to respect us and get some genuinely competent business people (see: Damaso Effect) in our mix. We let immature psychopaths get away with shit, and the rest of the world (rightly) thinks we're all a bunch of sexist, classist, oblivious tools.

Also, going beyond the "classic 3", in reference checking, backfires. Average people can provide 3-5 references, but the people who can survive a double-digit, backchannel reference check are mostly the ones who bought references (it's a real thing) and intimidated people into saying good things about them. Somewhere around 6-8, the empirical relationship between the number of references and the quality of candidate actually goes the other way, because you exclude more unlucky good guys than you filter out bad guys (i.e. unethical people you'd want to not hire, and hope to filter out by checking references). The worst of the bad guys almost always have their act together.

3
Spidermonkey has passed V8 on Octane performance
612 points by francois2  1 day ago   318 comments top 30
1
rdtsc 1 day ago 6 replies      
I have been very impressed by Firefox lately. Kudos to the whole team at Mozilla.

Just about 5 years ago, it was looking to me like it was the end of Firefox. It was Chrome all the way. New features were coming out one after another. Faster rendering. Safe process isolation for each tab. Looked better.

But I just switched back last month. It happened kind of randomly. Saw an announcement of a new release ( 33, I think ), downloaded, re-imported my bookmarks from Chrome and just kind of kept using it instead of Chrome since then.

I like how the tabs look also I think it feels lighter and snappier on my (now old-ish) laptop.

2
Jonanin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Check out http://arewefastyet.com/ the website mentioned in the article), which tracks javascript engine performance. Spidermonkey is faster than v8 and Safari's JSC on all three popular javascript benchmarks [1]

[1] Octane (google's benchmark), Sunspider (Apple/Webkit's benchmark), and Kraken (Mozilla's benchmark).

3
cromwellian 1 day ago 3 replies      
"This puts us in a position of strength, so we can say "these benchmarks are not very interesting; let's talk about other benchmarks (e.g. asm.js-related) and language features" without being accused of being sore losers."

But are asmjs benchmarks interesting? They are not representative of the vast majority of real-world JS, so wouldn't an asmjs-laden benchmark suite really be a case of optimizing for your own set of benchmarks, tuned to your own idiomatic-JS?

But anyway, congrats on the achievement. I like the fact that V8, JSC, and FF performance are converging. If the performance differential is too great, it creates additional headaches for the developer targeting a certain level of efficiency.

4
orthecreedence 1 day ago 6 replies      
Firefox is awesome and I love it, but my one complaint after all these years is that I have to restart the browser every day. It's not the end of the world, but it's still frustrating, especially when I'm in the throes of debugging or important research.

Over the course of a day, the browser becomes unresponsive and CPU usage idles at 10-15%. Restarting with the same tabs brings it down to 0%. Yes, I know, disable addons, blah blah...doesn't work for me. Same problem.

I'm really looking forward to the new threading model coming up. I have a feeling that once each tab has a thread, things like this will be much more self-repairing. It's not always easy to kill a rogue execution path in an event loop, but killing a thread is pretty straightforward =].

Also, congrats on the firefox team for really taking performance seriously.

5
BorisMelnik 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Love hearing this. I have been a Firefox user since Netscape 5, if that makes sense. To me there might be some positives about Chrome but for me it is a culture / community issue. It is a foundation I am willing to support during the good times and bad, and I am not so hot about giving Chrome access to every keystroke I make.

While this may sound petty, one feature I'd really love to see come back in Firefox is the ability to see the refresh button match the style / movability of the back/home buttons. It is very annoying having to use precise clicking on the eeeency little arrow on the URL bar.

But thats the thing, even if I am annoyed by small issues or lacking features, I don't abandon a project based on that.

6
kevincennis 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is cool, but Firefox still feels a lot slower to me than Chrome.

I think Mozilla would get a lot of mileage out of improving the performance of the rendering engine. FF doesn't feel slow because of JS, it feels slow(-er than Chrome, at least on my Mac) because repaints and layout seem to take longer.

7
JohnBooty 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am ridiculously proud of Mozilla and everybody who has contributed to Firefox over the years.
8
Igglyboo 1 day ago 3 replies      
As soon as firefox gets per process tabs in stable I'll switch back, I really want to switch from chrome but that's a deal killer for me.
9
dmix 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the cell phone industry competition. We all benefit from head-to-head fights for performance and value. It's a shame so many markets have little direct competition outside of technology either due to monopoly, regulatory capture, or market dynamics.
10
general_failure 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kudos. But they should really invest time in making the UI responsive and fast. This is my biggest gripe about firefox. I also find it incomprehensible that it checks for updates on startup in a modal fashion. Very annoying.
11
pjmlp 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Great work!

Improvements like this and Rust, is where I like seeing Mozilla spending their resources.

12
piyush_soni 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I still use Firefox as my main browser, but while it has improved a lot in recent times, I don't know why are some root problems not getting fixed - memory hogging, browser hangs, crashes (yes, I still get them on my workstation - I've even reported the callstacks to them). Mostly, the answer is, "It's your add-ons" - oh yes, but when it comes to talking about their strengths, this is one of the first things they talk about - "add-ons".

For example, every other browser fixed this 12 year old bug [0] one by one, but Firefox doesn't care much about it. In fact, not only that they don't have any solution to it whatsoever, when people's resentment about the bug increased, they chose to just shut down their voices on it.

[0]: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=78414

13
zobzu 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Spidermonkey has passed V8 on Octane performance on arewefastyet, and is now leading V8 and JSC on Octane, Sunspider and Kraken." (ie faster than Chrome on Chrome V8 benchmark)

Good job Mozilla!

14
bobajeff 23 hours ago 0 replies      
>This puts us in a position of strength, so we can say "these benchmarks are not very interesting; let's talk about other benchmarks (e.g. asm.js-related) and language features" without being accused of being sore losers.

I'm looking forward to such a statement from Mozilla. The web needs mature suppott for languages other than JavaScript and C++/C are very widely used languages(as opposed to some new hobby language) and compile to JS tools are the only realistic way of getting there. So I can hardly wait until browser venders and standards organizations embrace efforts like Asm.js and the nessary extensions to make it support other memory and language models and features (Shared memory, SIMD, JVM languages etc.).

15
Tloewald 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Firefox's hopeless video and audio implementation (especially on Mac OS X) remains a deal breaker for me. It means resorting to Flash in a lot of cases, which means I use another browser.

I'm glad to see strides being made in JavaScript performance, but basic browser functionality is far more important.

16
vuldin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Mozilla is one organization that I have no problems supporting. Thanks to everyone involved with Mozilla for contributing to a great organization that does awesome stuff.
17
joemccall86 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I keep going back and forth between Firefox and Chrome. Chrome is ahead right now for two reasons:

1. Support for Netflix on linux

2. Webapps as native applications (like the old project prism). We use slack at work and a Chrome webapp is how they choose to support Linux.

Admittedly though, I will switch to Firefox for the rest of the week to see if I can live with these caveats.

18
Sephr 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Octane now includes asm.js benchmarks, and V8 doesn't attempt to support "use asm". This gives SpiderMonkey an advantage in the benchmark.

I think it's quite impressive how close V8 is in performance to SpiderMonkey which actually goes out of it's way to support "use asm".

19
cddotdotslash 1 day ago 2 replies      
While this is great for those keeping track of the stats, I doubt it will have much effect on the average consumer. Almost everyone I know uses Chrome; that includes family members, co-workers, tech-minded and non-tech-minded people alike. For them, it's been IE vs Chrome for awhile and telling them "Firefox is a tad bit faster" isn't enough to make them switch again. Unfortunately, I think Firefox lost too many people during its sluggish phase awhile back and it's going to be tough getting them back.

Also, as much as I keep hearing "Google is evil" in the tech echo chamber, again, the average consumer doesn't care. Even I know Google's policies and still choose to use Chrome purely because it's more convenient.

20
EduardoBautista 1 day ago 3 replies      
You know, I just don't know who to believe these days when it comes to browser benchmarks. All browser vendors pretty much say they lead all browsers in _something_. Honestly, I don't even know what all these benchmarks mean most of the time.
21
SwellJoe 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I switched back to Firefox from Chrome a couple years ago, because I no longer trust Google to have my best interests at heart. It's been fine; I have a beefy machine with plenty of RAM, but I also use it on my horribly slow Android phone (an old HTC Sensation 4G that has never been worth a crap), and it works OK there, too.

My only complaint is that it requires a plugin to get a reasonable number of tabs in a window before requiring scrolling. It's downright absurd that it stopped being configurable many, many, many versions ago.

22
Rapzid 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I had another look at FireFox the other day. Impressed with their editable layout and smooth interface. Less impressed with the Network tools pane in comparison with Chrome(chrome shows compressed/inflated size, can view and copy raw headers, etc). Still, it's in my to-do to give it some game time.
23
bruceboughton 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be interesting to now how Firefox performs with regard to battery usage. Apple in particular seems to be focussing on battery life as much as performance, given that the codebase is shared across iOS and OS X.
24
arthursilva 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn, where's the super like button on this. Kudos to all contributors (and donators)!
25
tkubacki 1 day ago 0 replies      
kudos for Firefox team. I hope they put more love in speeding up css animations (like here: http://bartaz.github.io/impress.js/#/bored
26
untilHellbanned 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can really feel the swing back to Firefox happening like the switch to Chrome back 5-7 years ago.

Go Firefox!!!

p.s. Great work on Firefox OS too!

27
themechanic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kudos to all involved in making this happen.
28
dude3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please now work on translate3d performance!
29
whoisthemachine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good job guys!
30
notastartup 22 hours ago 1 reply      
You know whats funny, I stopped using Chrome and use Firefox now because Firefox is so much faster. The exact same reason I switched to Chrome 5 years ago. Also I'm slightly less creeped out.
4
FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with Unlimited Data Promises
453 points by tshtf  10 hours ago   185 comments top 31
1
swartkrans 10 hours ago 13 replies      
For those of us who are Americans, isn't it amazing how the companies that provide us with access to the internet are pretty much among the most hated companies in our country? I feel like I'd rank them almost up there with Halliburton, Sodexo and Blackwater.

First of all they are incredibly expensive. They try to actively create worse experiences for their customers. Forced inclusions of apps on android phones on mobile carriers. A comcast rep wanted to install a browser toolbar on my computer. Vague billing that leads to sticker shock. $0.25 per tiny little text message, really? I paid next to nothing to post this comment on HN, but had I posted such large amounts of text via a text message, it would have cost a lot of money.

Talk to them on the phone and they try to sell you things you don't need. Like one time I wanted to get HBO, HBO costs $15 a month, period, but when you talk to them on the phone they wont tell you that unless you ask a specific question, they'll tell you about their bundles which will cost you hundreds of dollars extra. This is a really scummy thing to do. They know the person who contacted them only wants HBO, but then they sell them something way worse they didn't want.

Collusion with illegal federal programs that involved lying to congress, lying to our public representatives. These companies are filled with scum from top to bottom. The people that you deal with in the stores, the people that decide which phones you can buy at their store and what they have on them, the people you talk to on the phone, the executives. It must be like working for a tobacco company, once you're willing to work at such a place the culture just destroys your integrity or something. I have no idea. I even still considerably distrust tmobile, even though they seem to be trying to change things.

2
Someone1234 10 hours ago 13 replies      
Here's the thing about these unlimited-throttling programs: They are good for both the consumer AND cellular operator, but you have to be upfront and honest about it.

AT&T's problem is that they just one day up and decided to start throttling unlimited customers (down to 10-20% of their normal speed) without a warning, and without it being made clear in any of their marketing material or contracts.

The reason why I call these programs "good" is that they all but eliminate overage charges from a consumer's bill. With limited data, you often get charged excessive amounts if you go over your cap (disproportionately large amounts at times).

So for example, if a consumer got their teenager 2 GB of data, and that teenager ran up a 5 GB usage bill one month, that could be an additional $60 charge ($20/GB) out of the blue. Unlimited-throttled data averts that possibility (and the teenager in this example is the only one negatively impacted by the excess usage).

This is how T-Mobile currently operates on all of their Simple Choice plans (both unlimited and limited). They have scrapped overage charges (so there is no bill-shock) and instead just throttle you down.

The only major difference between what T-Mobile currently do and what AT&T were doing, is that AT&T lied and hid it, and worse still charged customers ETF if they left as a result. T-mobile is completely upfront about the policy and how it is enforced.

PS - T-Mobile also do the same thing for roaming data, no overage charges.

3
Drakim 10 hours ago 2 replies      
> began throttling data speeds in 2011 for its unlimited data plan customers after they used as little as 2 gigabytes of data in a billing period

This is what really gets me. I expected this sort of situation to come about when some jackass used up 1 petabyte of bandwidth on his unlimited plan, but 2 gigabytes?

To me, that's like offering unlimited coffee refills, but stopping customers after the second cup, with some excuse that there has to be some limits to "unlimited".

4
jqm 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is debate on the thread about whether or not low level AT&T employees are scum...

I don't claim to know, but a funny thing happened a few weeks ago. My girlfriends android phone was acting up and shutting off randomly. So she took it to the AT&T store to have it reinstalled (I don't know much about smartphones and didn't want to play with it). So, in the middle of the day, I get an angry call from her accusing me of installing Linux on her smartphone (and why not.. I install Linux on everything else...). The guy at the AT&T store told her since I had installed Linux there was nothing he could do for the phone and couldn't reinstall it. I protested my innocence but she said the guy in the store had given her proof and she would show me that night. I was actually a little curious as this was the first I had heard of Linux running on a stock android phone. So when the moment of proof came, she pulled up an android screen with the kernel version and there it was... at the bottom of the screen in bold white letters... "SELinux status". Proof! I mean, it said Linux.

So maybe they aren't evil, but that guy at least left me wondering about their general competency. I laughed for half an hour solid imagining all the Linux infected phones he must be seeing coming in....

5
kolbe 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been on the AT&T unlimited plan for a long while now, and I've been looking forward to the day when I get a $10 settlement check in the mail whilst some law firm pulls in $200mm in legal fees.
6
nerdtalker 9 hours ago 1 reply      
AT&T silently killed what formerly was an unlimited plan out of the blue one day, and not many people noticed. I would constantly run into the 3 GB limit a week or two into the month and then suffer through the slow throttled 0.5 Mbps rates for the rest of the billing cycle in agony.

At that point I realized I was essentially paying for a 3 GB data plan (remember, no tethering provisioning was included or even could be added) under the auspices of an 'unlimited' tier. I switched to mobile shared but that turned out to be a huge mistake for other reasons (among which was that corporate discount codes didn't apply to the $30 phone fee on top of the bucket charge), and then shortly after that left for T-Mobile where I now have a real unlimited plan for less money. Not the full speed tiers + throttled data after that plan mind you, the actual unlimited plan.

What's really disappointing is that it took the FTC until now to build a case or whatever legal burden is required to go after AT&T for their elaborate bait-and-switch. This is years after the fact, and I wonder how much extra money AT&T made as a result.

7
adamfeldman 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I've been on a (now grandfathered) 'unlimited' data plan with AT&T since 2008 (iPhone 3G > 4S > 5S). Can confirm the throttling, lately after 3GB of data usage in a billing period
8
RankingMember 9 hours ago 1 reply      
For people in the U.S./Canada looking for a provider who gives a shit and who live in an area with decent Sprint coverage, check out Ting. I've been using them for about 2 years now and they've been rock solid (I am in no way affiliated with them, I'm just that happy with them).

The closest reasonable thing to sending photocopies of your middle finger in their (Verizon/AT&T) "business reply" spam postal mailings is giving someone else who kicks ass your business (don't do the photocopy thing, the people who have to open and transcribe those things don't like Verizon/AT&T either).

9
morganvachon 10 hours ago 3 replies      
So, I wonder if this is the first salvo in a war on all the major carriers who use the same "unlimited but throttled" marketing scheme? If AT&T loses this one, will the FTC go after T-Mobile and Sprint, who also do this? (Verizon doesn't offer unlimited data to new customers, but had kept it going for grandfathered customers, and backed off from plans to throttle them[1]).

[1] http://www.cnet.com/news/verizon-backs-off-on-plans-to-throt...

10
twoodfin 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see how anybody wins from this complaint. AT&T already no longer offers any unlimited plans to new customers, and the most likely outcome will be to no longer offer renewals of the existing grandfathered plans.

It's not as if anyone on those plans using 5GB+ a month isn't already aware of the throttling: AT&T is pretty good about notifying you when you are close to or over the limit.

I guess a settlement might let some folks in the middle of their contact get out easier.

But personally, even considered as just a 5GB/line plan, my grandfathered plan is cheaper than anything currently offered (almost even before you account for the $450/line device subsidy!). Probably won't be the case in two years when I'm up again, but for now I'm glad the FTC didn't file this complaint a few months ago.

11
denzil_correa 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this is the beginning of the end of Fair Usage Policies (FUP) masked as "unlimited Internet". The best part of the release was the note

> The Commission files a complaint when it has reason to believe that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court.

12
dumbfounder 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the unlimited plan for several years and was shocked and outraged to find that they were throttling after I reached a certain limit.

So I switched to Sprint's unlimited plan and now I can rest at ease that I have a consistent experience. My bandwidth is now throttled 100% of the time by the crappiness of their network.

13
us0r 9 hours ago 0 replies      
While this appears good, this is nothing more then a show. AT&T will end up paying virtually nothing[1]. If you get angry when companies like Microsoft can go and seize domains, property and anything else in civil matters - this lovely agency has helped pave most of the way for them. The bulk of their cases come with Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order's and Asset Freezes[1].

What will likely be the most egregious offender with the highest amount of "consumer damage" (AT&T) they don't even use the word "scam" or "fraud" in the complaint or press release. AT&T has already won. I doubt anyone there is losing any sleep over this.

[1] - http://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings

14
sswaner 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I made the mistake of downloading over 20GB of music and files on my new iPhone 6. The phone has been almost useless since hitting that limit. So much for "Unlimited Data".

But, I am waiting for a check for over $1300 as part of a class action settlement with AT&T after being overfilled for service.

15
ozarius 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't wait to send in the threatening email that i received from AT&T stating explicitly that my "unlimited" bandwidth will be throttled because i happened to be in a high usage area. Seriously there should be a place where everyone who received such emails can post them en masse...
16
eyeareque 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love seeing AT&T getting this kind of attention from the FTC for their terrible, terrible, monopolistic and greedy tactics. Their goal is to squeeze every penny they possibly can out of their customers. Their service has always been subpar.

I really hope that this lawsuit costs AT&T a lot of money; It needs to hurt in order to teach them a lesson.

One can only hope that we can someday have a competitive wireless market with 5+ options for consumers to choose from. That is when customer service will become real.

17
mrbill 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm on the $60-70/month T-Mobile plan that gives me truly unlimited 4G data; no throttling.I might not use more than 2G a month most of the time, but if I need to use more, I don't have to worry (such as when I had to go out of state when a family member had emergency surgery a couple of months ago).

I wouldn't switch back to AT&T as a wireless carrier even if someone paid me every month.

18
post_break 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I left AT&T because of this. My iPhone went dead data wise after 3GB of usage, on unlimited data plan. We went to arbitration and they let me out of my contract, and unlocked my phone. They clearly know they are ripping people off trying to force them to nickel and dime the tiered plans.
19
greyfox 6 hours ago 0 replies      
arent these cell companies really misleading every customer by charging them for Minutes, SMS, AND Data, when really all that needs to be given to the customer is an ip address that one can call/text/email etc.? i've never understood why our phone numbers arent ip's they seem to be a converging set of numbers at this rate anyways.
20
fady 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have an unlimited data plan as well and I am 100 percent positive that AT&T throttles at 5 gigabytes and when they do its really bad, like .6 megabits per second down :(
21
oamoruwa 9 hours ago 0 replies      
AT&T can't be the only operator guilty of such throttling. A previous article was published about Verizon also considering implementing throttling data consumption.
22
mpg33 8 hours ago 0 replies      
At least you Americans have some choice. Here in Canada there are only 3 (nation-wide) carriers with virtually the same plans/prices.
23
wpaprocki 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I work for a telco reseller. We make our money by selling the same services as the big guys without being assholes about it. We make a lot of money.
24
lukasb 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Apart from a $10 settlement check, what's likely to happen to grandfathered unlimited / unthrottled plans?
25
davidholmesnyc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I dream one day we will all have 1 Gig per second up and down on our mobile phones and it will cost less than a gallon of milk. A man can dream can't he lol .
26
lewis_b_real 7 hours ago 0 replies      
And there is absolutely no meaningful way to hold them accountable.
27
barce 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sprint does the same thing but at 5GB. Just a data point from a former Sprint customer.
28
cevaris 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Soooo, no throttling by ISP's is next?
29
hernan6042 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This 'unlimited' term is very misleading. Every connection that has a bandwidth cap will be tied and limited by that cap. ie. 10mb/s is limited to 10mb/s period. There is no such thing as 'unlimited' unless of course the connection has no virtual cap, then that would be considered unlimited.

So every connection plan as we know is limited and never unlimited.

Thoughts?

30
peterwwillis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Do people actually think that wireless carriers have the bandwidth to handle everyone streaming HD at once? They throttle so there's headroom for spikes in overly-saturated network segments. It's not like they just don't like it when you use their service.
31
jrgifford 10 hours ago 0 replies      
SURPRISE!
5
Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden [video]
419 points by rosser  2 days ago   182 comments top 13
1
gluczywo 2 days ago 5 replies      
"the fundamental reality of encryption (...) is thatthe person who is using encryption (...) cannot read it either unless the key is put in some point. (...)Even when your phone is encrypted locally, when you are looking at the secret picture, if the picture is visible to you it's because that picture is decrypted. (...)What this means is that even heavily encrypted communication is vulnerable to traditional means of investigation."

I'm a strong believer in crypto as the liberating technology, but this quote is a wonderful Devil's Advocate argument that dispels hackers crypto dreams.

2
venantius 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Let us speak no more of faith in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of cryptography."

Really awesome interview, with some ideas discussed within (e.g. Binney's notion that transmissions be encrypted with a key that only a court has the power to decrypt) that I hadn't encountered yet.

In truth it's less of an interview and more of a platform for Snowden to talk about his thinking around certain things, but he's so well informed that it's a fascinating watch in spite of that.

3
w-m 2 days ago 3 replies      
The first couple of times Lessig replies, and tries to summarize something Snowden said or give some citations, I can't follow him very well. Also I can't make out any question in his remarks. Strange interviewing style.

> But even in that context though, you made a pretty strong distinction between people who would leak in the context of CIA activities and people who'd leak in the context of what you had done. So this is again a narrower conception of what you think the appropriate role for a whistleblower is, because you had a much more visceral sense of the risks that would come out by releasing information about the CIA.

Sorry, what?

4
Beltiras 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's interesting to witness the flat world at work. You can't silence smart whistleblowers anymore. They have resources to draw upon away from home base that will allow them to continue pushing for reforms of what they blew the whistle on. The 21st century will be interesting times to witness.
5
recondite 2 days ago 1 reply      
Less of an interview and more of a platform for Snowden to reiterate his views, but still good to hear directly from the horse's mouth. He says he's no good at public speaking, but it's clear that he is very articulate, very thoughtful, and had the courage to act on his convictions despite the extraordinary threat to his personal safety. If I were to define what makes a strong public figure, it would be those three characteristics.

His commentary during the 2016 presidential election will be interesting to hear, at the least (assuming he hasn't struck a deal with the US to come back before then).

6
MichaelMoser123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Snowden mentioned that a report for the UN General assembly found mass surveillance in conflict with international law (the 'International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights')

Here is some more information:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/15/internet-survei...

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

7
curiousgeorgio 2 days ago 1 reply      
Off topic, but Snowden's face seems to look "fake" in an interesting way... maybe it's makeup, the lighting, video compression, or a combination of those things... and his out-of-sync audio seems to enhance the synthetic feeling - for me anyway.

Of course his physical appearance isn't important to the topic of the interview, but maybe a part of me wishes that Edward Snowden was really a CG persona/face created to represent an anonymous group of whistleblowers.

8
PythonicAlpha 2 days ago 2 replies      
When (repeated) lying is tolerated in official positions and to official organs of the state, the whole nation itself is in grave danger. In this case, the whole world is in grave danger.
9
accounthere 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why is he using Google Hangouts? That sounds like trouble.
10
relate 2 days ago 3 replies      
At 48:55 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Sr96TFQQE#t=2933 ) Snowden says you cannot control who uses the backdoors.

I assume he is referring to malicious bugs and simple/sloppy backdoors? For example, if I append my public ssh key to someones .ssh/authorized_keys, it's not a backdoor anyone else could use.

11
johanzebin 2 days ago 6 replies      
It's weird that Mr. Lessig refers to cryptography as "physics" instead of mathematics around 28:15 :-).
13
johanzebin 2 days ago 0 replies      
no comment?
6
Don't run 'strings' on untrusted files
391 points by robinhouston  3 days ago   213 comments top 13
1
kens 3 days ago 7 replies      
Am I the only person who thinks there's something fundamentally wrong with computing if running "strings" could let someone take over your computer? (I'm not being snarky; I seriously think the whole approach to security need to be redone somehow.)
2
kjetil 3 days ago 2 replies      
Even without such vulnerabilities, I would be wary of printing out stuff from any untrusted files in a terminal. Most terminal emulators have been vulnerable to escape character attacks at some point.

http://marc.info/?l=bugtraq&m=104612710031920http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2008-2383

3
avian 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm a regular user of this utility and this came as a complete surprise to me. So much so that I checked the source myself before believing the article.

I thought "strings" was just a dumb scan over the file. Does this mean that with a properly crafted binary it is also possible to hide strings from a quick check with "strings"?

4
Animats 3 days ago 6 replies      
It's time to start converting the low-level Linux/UNIX utilities to a language with subscript checking. Go, or Rust (if and when it's finished), or D, or something. We have some good options now.
5
guns 3 days ago 3 replies      
Crap, so if `objdump` is likely vulnerable to overflows, and `ldd` is a simple bash script ripe for abuse, is there a safe and easy way to determine dynamic library dependencies in an executable?

http://www.catonmat.net/blog/ldd-arbitrary-code-execution/

6
_delirium 3 days ago 2 replies      
> the Linux version of strings is an integral part of GNU binutils...

I think almost everyone ships that version of strings and objdump, fwiw. FreeBSD and NetBSD ship an almost verbatim GNU binutils; OpenBSD's seems to have more local changes (partly b/c it's based on an older binutils they've diverged from), but its 'strings' still uses libbfd.

The only exception I ran across in some quick digging is that Illumos ships the Solaris version of 'strings', and doesn't ship an 'objdump'. This 'strings' seems to have come via Sun via Microsoft via AT&T via UC Berkeley: https://github.com/illumos/illumos-gate/blob/master/usr/src/.... Whether it's safer I haven't investigated; it also parses ELF files, but via its own libelf rather than GNU libbfd.

7
bjackman 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm probably going to sound painfully naive now... but why is that a security risk? So libbfd reads past the end of a buffer and segfaults.. so what? It's not writing or executing anything untoward, so who cares?
8
mihai_ionic 2 days ago 0 replies      
The binutils maintainers aren't exactly responsive when it comes to following up on security-impacting bug reports: https://sourceware.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=16825
9
101914 2 days ago 0 replies      
Despite what the blog comments suggest, gdb does not have to link to libbfd.

But what about objcopy? Much more important utility than strings(1), in my opinion. I admit I rely on it and do not a have a substitute at the ready.

At some stage we need a BSD alternative to the GNU binutils (aside from gcc alternatives). I have seen it discussed several times over the years, but as far as I know it does not exist?

10
roghummal 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is 'cat foo|strings' immune to the problems of libbfd?
11
pronoiac 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, can anyone suggest a safer alternative? Or should I use this as an excuse to pick up a new language?
12
Bentech 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder if this counts for 'file' as well
13
rajivkomar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can't this bug be fixed
7
Meteor hits 1.0
440 points by debergalis  9 hours ago   158 comments top 56
1
state 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm still a bit unclear on what the target market for Meteor is. Is this just for small to medium sized projects, or is it intended to be used for large-scale projects as well?

Since it seems like everyone wants to think of themselves as doing something huge, I'm sure the answer can't be 'no' to the second question but I don't see any examples of significant projects being built on the platform. Actually, with that in mind, what happened to the gallery of projects built on top of Meteor? Perhaps I'm missing it.

All that being said, congratulations on reaching 1.0. There's clearly a lot of great energy and thought that went in to the project.

edit: The videos on the site weren't obvious to me at first, but after finding them I think this one is a good counterpoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzhtQzAX_6k

2
killertypo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations on 1.0 but these kinds of buzzwordy lines

    Accomplish in 10 lines what would otherwise take 1000,    thanks to a reactive programming model that extends all     the way from the database to the user's screen.
Really bother me.

Show me where you eliminated 1000 lines of code and how it was beneficial. Each line of code, to me, is placed with purpose and intent.

Are you eliminating thousands of lines of boilerplate? Or are you making best guess assumptions that fit the common need, and we still end up with those 1000 lines for something truly custom?

3
liscovich 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder if the criticism that the Flux team at Facebook has directed at two-way data binding is also applicable to Meteor. Jing Chen is her intro of Flux (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYkdrAPrdcw&list=PLb0IAmt7-G...) says that two-way data binding creates a major challenge for scaling applications because views can trigger changes in data, and data changes can trigger cascading changes in views, which makes it very difficult to predict the behavior of the app as a whole. Wouldn't Meteor face the same challenges?

In other words, if you believe that the Flux design pattern (which involves a central dispatcher as the only entity capable of updating the data) is sound, shouldn't you stay away from Meteor's model when building large applications? Or am I missing something?

4
moondowner 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's the official blog post announcement for Meteor 1.0: https://www.meteor.com/blog/2014/10/28/meteor-1-0
5
aliakhtar 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I've read somewhere that a use-case of Meteor is to let you write your server-side logic in javascript, and then run the server-side logic on the client. Wouldn't that be clearly insecure, to trust the client with running server logic?

Also, this was accomplished years ago with Google Web Toolkit, which lets you write both the server & client in Java, and compiles the client-side java to very efficient, optimized javascript. That has the added advantage of letting you use a sane, strongly typed language, with all the productivity tools available for Java, and none of the quirks of javascript. http://www.gwtproject.org/overview.html

6
nathan-muir 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the Meteor team!

We've built an enterprise/b2b app on meteor, and even through all of the hard yards, it's been a success & the right choice for us.

When I first heard about meteor, back at v0.5 or v0.6 - I watched the video from their home page, and thought it was full of buzzword bullshit. I didn't have a clue what it did.

I then ended up reading about how their latency-compensation API system worked [Meteor Methods]; And instantly knew that it was for me.

Having an API that simulates itself on the client, while simultaneously performing the same work on the server, is freaking awesome. (And then rolls back automatically if they don't agree).

If you are building a real-time, collaborative tool. Meteor is the framework.

That being said, there are a few questions about integration & scalability.

Opportunities to use Meteor:

* If you can make something small, eg. an internal tool [Free mobile app with cordova!]

* If it matches a certain feature of your app - and you can segment it based on URL (eg, it's a separate app)

* You're a sadist, and you're going to port your whole app to meteor...

* You're writing an MVP and you're going to scrap it later

* You're product has realtime/ collaborative elements that are a SELLING feature [not just for your personal enjoyment].

Scalability:

* Client are always connected via websocket. Great for realtime data (no polling), crap for a website.

* As meteor instances are single threads, you can run multiple instances on the one server. Design you code for this (eg, don't store state in regular JS variables on the server - all has to be in the database). Load balance between them.

* Once the "client" has booted up. You can then connect to as many other DDP servers [backed by their own mongo instance, or the same mongo instance] as you like. This gives you the ability to segment your application based on your core feature. EG; if you're a monitoring app, shard your data by client, if you're a document app, shard by project. Have a central listing which tells them which server to connect to.

* Perform heavy lifting somewhere else. Plenty of "web workers" out there, or roll your own using Celery & Meteor-Celery package [shameless plug].

All in all. Meteor is great at what it does; and what it does, is going to be the next generation of web apps.

7
ajhit406 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Meteor is already easy to setup, but for those of you on Windows or who want a clean sandbox to develop meteor apps, we launched a custom Meteor template on Nitrous today. We also increased the free resources:

http://blog.nitrous.io/2014/10/28/meteor-template-on-nitrous...

8
mrcwinn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a lot to like about Meteor. Just compare setting up some kind of "dream team" of JavaScript: Rendr + React + Grunt + JSX = OMG WHERE DID MY FRIDAY NIGHT GO.

Meter out of the box "just works," but it only works with Mongo for now, and it only works if you are all-in with the platform on both the client and the server side. Those are two pretty big bets to make.

I would say Meteor is ideal for learning, except that it's important to learn what the request-response lifecycle is all about, and I think it can be detrimental when a "magical" framework does so much for you.

And one thing I just can't get over -- page loads in Meteor.com feel super fast. Until you realize it actually downloaded the contents (not the unseen images, of course) of the entire website! DPP is doing some interesting things, but some of Meteor is some nice magic tricks that we've seen before. 600kb+ of JS on page load is certainly an interesting concept.

Huge amount of work by a talented team. A super nice community. As for the framework itself, give it some time, let it grow, but most importantly, understand objectively its strengths and risks. It has both!

9
saym 10 hours ago 1 reply      
While I do enjoy the bleeding edge on which we live. I'd love to wait to have the discussion about the new Meteor features until their site and newsletter tells us about the release.

Sure the git commit is a landmark, but there's nothing to offer other than 'kudos' with this link as the discussion point.

10
perlmonkey 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is about books as learning resources.

For everyone looking to learn Meteor the first 8 chapters of Discover Meteor are available for free for the next week. It is probably the starting book for everyone :)https://book.discovermeteor.com/starter

Also the Manning book Meteor in Action is 50% off the next week with the code jiafinal50 The book is in heavy development with updates every couple of weeks. However it is still not finished and lacks some advanced chapters still.http://manning.com/hochhaus/?a_aid=yauh&a_bid=aeff5509

Apress also has a book called Beginning Meteor but it has almost no relevant content as of yet and no updates in the last months.http://www.apress.com/9781430268369

All Packt titles are hopelessly outdated for version 1.0, so you better stay away from them.

11
dia80 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you Meteor team - you have done fantastic work, what an achievement. I've had a blast building my meteor hobby site [1]

[1] http://quantpapers.com

12
hardwaresofton 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't looked at Meteor in a while, but am really impressed with how the vision of Meteor and the code (and of course the website) have evolved.

Meteor looks extremely simple to get up and started with, and I was thoroughly impressed by the implicit modularity of it all ("meteor create" makes like 3 files, I think that's awesome)

They really try (and succeed) to rid ourselves of the duplication on server and client. And if the android/ios support is as easy as it looks, this is an insanely useful framework.

I'm going to use it in my next project for sure now, just need to see how template/module composition works

13
sferoze 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really awesome, I just checked out the new website and docs. Everything is so much more clear, I love the new docs. Stuff is laid out really well, people new to Meteor are gonna really like this.
14
wasd 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey Meteor Folks, https://www.meteor.com/main says Preview 0.9.4. First place I went after I checked the git repo.
15
donutdan4114 9 hours ago 3 replies      
How does one start a project like this and get paid? What are the revenue sources for the team? It's a great product, and the fact that it's open source is amazing.
16
decidertm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Great job, Meteor has really helped me develop my programming skills as a beginner. It allows me to get instant feedback on the code I write. To see a real world prototype keeps me going!
17
bkruse 8 hours ago 1 reply      
First of all - absolutely love meteor. Couchbase/CouchDB support would be fantastic! More (NoSQL) database support would be fantastic. I worry that it's so MongoDB specific now and the "scale" technologies are MongoDB specific (Oplog tailing only) that adding other databases in the future will become a lot more difficult.
18
roshanj 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to the Meteor Development Group! I've been using Meteor for 16 months now and it's amazing how much it has changed/improved. It is a great tool to learn for any beginner web developer.

Also check out a catalog of the best Meteor learning resources at http://MeteorHelp.com

19
logicalman 10 hours ago 1 reply      
How did Meteor get to 1.0 when node.js is still at 0.10? I congratulate the Meteor team, but can anyone confirm it is actually stable?
20
lukb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
UI & API in one go?

I just went through the tutorial on meteor.com, and I'm impressed with the speed of getting results.

When I were to build another online app, I'd split that in building the frontend and the API composed from microservices, so that I'd be able to offer access through the UI and the web API. Is Meteor a good choice for this approach?

21
richardofyork 5 hours ago 0 replies      
For an unbiased overview of Meteor, including what it offers and how it differs from typical JavaScript frameworks (like Angular.js and Backbone.js) and ecosystems (like Mean.js and Yeoman), read this article:http://javascriptissexy.com/learn-meteor-js-properly/
22
findjashua 7 hours ago 2 replies      
seems like their selling point is data binding + client syncing. Considering I can do that with Ractive/React + Firebase, what's the advantage of using Meteor?
23
dfischer 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I absolutely love Meteor. I've been evangelizing it a lot this year. I wish someone at Meteor would reply to my emails. wink ;) me@danielfischer.com
24
taternuts 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the team - maybe it's just me, but it seems like you guys to to 1.0 pretty quickly

edit: random aside, I literally just saw the transition from the preview website to the 1.0 website as it was hotswapped in, and I have to say it looks _much_ nicer!

25
sferoze 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow that was fast, I can't believe Meteor is already at 1.0! This is really exciting times, so much progress has been made with Meteor. Ill upgrade my meteor app as soon as the official release is out.
26
callesgg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice i love meteor, i hope that there will be some work on a sql backend.

I want defined database strucures ;)

27
jeswin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The importance of JavaScript as a Platform is not abt billions of browsers running JS, but abt how each one of them is also a JS IDE. If we could click the fork button, and start editing, testing and deploying right away, all within the browser, we'd probably get programmers to contribute to open source web apps in a way never seen before.

A sea change in how web software gets built and consumed, in the same way Britannica yielded (had to) to Wikipedia.

28
1qaz2wsx3edc 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Not official but here is the a change log: https://github.com/meteor/meteor/blob/fb7466078ec5da90321bdc...

It's a bit light on details. I wouldn't say Meteor is 1.0 yet, but preparing for it. Also Worldwide Meteor day is Nov 6th, I anticipate a more formal announcement then.

29
tomcam 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Kudos, Meteor team! Now, SQL, please...
30
rdtsc 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Trying to figure out how it works. And saw this in one of the paragraphs:

> No longer do you need to provision server resources, or deploy API endpoints in the cloud, or manage a database

So you don't manage a database, but what happens to the data.

Can anyone trace an example, I don't, order or cart update from client code to persisting it on the back-end somehow? Does it use flat files...?

31
Everhusk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing :D Great work, and hats off to the meteor team! I just finished a hackathon this weekend with a meteor app, and absolutely loved the framework.
32
sarciszewski 7 hours ago 0 replies      
https://www.meteor.com/install

curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh

This despicable habit rears its ugly head again.

33
AndyKelley 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I see this in example code:

    if (Meteor.isClient) {
I don't get it. Are we shipping server side code to the client?

34
swartkrans 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I used my meteor developer account to get the free discover meteor book (via the limited time 1.0 promotion I guess), but I thought I did something wrong, tried again and ended up with two copies/purchases. It was free, but seems like a bug. Maybe detect if someone already got a book?
35
dasmithii 9 hours ago 2 replies      
At this point, what percentage of web development can't/shouldn't be done with Meteor? It seems like everything else is obsolete in comparison. The only non-Meteor cases I can think of involve especially large scale.
36
akhatri_aus 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the Meteor team on 1.0! We're building our app http://servicelocale.com on it for high quality services & crafts in Australia.
37
andreasklinger 10 hours ago 2 replies      
i am super excited to see the launch

quick feedback: this scares me off a bit:

200 open issues / 150 stale branches / 42 open pull requests

might be normal for open source projects of that size though

38
nojvek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats Meteor! but I really find it loading a bazillion javascript files a bit of an overkill. Also debugging is a pain in the butt.
39
dsyko 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to everyone on the Meteor team on 1.0! I feel this is just the beginning of many great things to come!
40
frequentflyeru 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Just started using Meteor + Telescope on my site TravelMo.re and love it so far. Really easy to use, kind of a pain in the butt to deploy.
41
coffeemug 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the team! This is a very serious engineering achievement. I'd imagine it wasn't nearly as easy as they made it look.
42
adam_h 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you Meteor team. I really enjoy working on my web app that I made with Meteor.
43
arunoda 2 hours ago 0 replies      
congrats guys :) Very excited to be a part of the community.
44
xs 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi meteor.com team. I've scanned the home page and even looked at some other links on the site. I still don't know what this does. Is it a javascript library? Or template maker? A project packager? I have a lot to do and very little time. Can you make a quick video that describes why I should use Meteor and what it does for me? Thanks!
45
maxharris 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations and thanks, Meteor team!
46
niix 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yay! Congrats to the Meteor team!
47
desireco42 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats Meteor, great times!
48
freefrancisco 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats Meteor team!
49
j_k_s 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations, and great pun for the title. :)
50
Lauricio 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations!!
51
waitingkuo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, really excited to the 1.0!!!
52
notastartup 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So last time I used this was back in August 2013.

The main concerns we had was scalability and reliability.

How does 1.0 address the previous concerns that was enough to abandon meteor.js altogether?

53
rglover 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Really excited for this.
54
ofcapl_ 7 hours ago 0 replies      
congrats to meteor team!
55
char_pointer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI: this link gets me into a redirect loop (probably because of something NoScript related)
56
zura 10 hours ago 2 replies      
If only this was built in Dart... or at least TypeScript.
8
Pro Git, 2nd Edition
404 points by petercooper  3 days ago   77 comments top 13
1
schacon 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm planning to write all of this up soon, but there are a few really interesting things about the second edition.

For one, everything was changed from Markdown to Asciidoc and the entire book can now be generated in multiple formats in the asciidoctor toolchain. Also, we're using O'Reilly's Atlas platform to generate amazingly high-quality PDF, ePub and Mobi versions automatically with every push to master. In every language. This is a massive improvement over the previous version.

The other really interesting thing is the production process. We used GitHub and prose diffs for the entire production of the book. I think we used about 100 Pull Requests to get to where we are now. This is a massive improvement over how I collaborated with editors for the first version, the first few chapters of which were actually done by sending Word documents back and forth.

2
jeffreyrogers 3 days ago 3 replies      
This book is super helpful and I referred to it in the past while I was learning Git. I want to note though that Git is pretty complex and trying to learn it all at once is going to be extremely frustrating. Instead, just start by learning the basics (push, pull, commit, clone, add, and maybe a few others). Then, when you have a specific problem that you don't know how to solve (How do I combine all these tiny commits into one substantial one?... or, I screwed everything up, how do I revert to a previously good commit?), look it up or Google for it. I still learn new things about Git this way and I think I know my way around it pretty well. It's amazing that pretty much anything I can think of Git already has implemented.
3
lylejohnson 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is the book that I recommend to colleagues who are learning Git. I still refer back to it on occasion when I get into tricky situations with Git. Looking forward to reading through this new edition.
4
luckydude 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm liking asciidoc but wondering if anyone has married it to high quality website "skins". I googled and found some websites done in asciidoc but they all look pretty basic. Has anyone done anything that looks more professional, like a marketing company did it? If it costs money that is fine.
5
fsiefken 3 days ago 2 replies      
I really liked the 1st edition, good and full featured book on Git. Does anyone know what the diff is with the 1st edition?
6
hueving 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's interesting how github even got its own section in this book. Poor bitbucket never gets any love. :(
7
SimeVidas 3 days ago 2 replies      
Whoa. The Amazon link on that page links to the 1st edition. I almost ordered it. whev ^_^
8
michaelx386 3 days ago 0 replies      
This book just achieved the impossible and helped me understand the rebase command properly. I'm ordering the printed version as soon as it's available.
9
deevus 2 days ago 3 replies      
The mobi file is 105MB, which is over all of my email attachment limits.

Any ideas on how to send to my Kindles without uploading for each device?

10
jokoon 3 days ago 4 replies      
I still wonder what are the advantages of git over mercurial.
11
asb 3 days ago 1 reply      
Somewhat offtopic, but I wonder why git-scm.com has still not been transferred to the Software Freedom Conservancy http://whois.domaintools.com/git-scm.com
12
mate_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you!
13
abhididdigi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you!
9
Orbital Sciences Antares rocket explodes after liftoff
348 points by politician  5 hours ago   150 comments top 32
1
zaroth 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Right before the explosion you can hear launch control saying something like "Got engines at 108%".

I was curious about it, but from Reddit discussion, apparently this is totally normal; "Yes, the engines have been upgraded many times. To avoid having to recalibrate the software each time engines are upgraded, they are simply rated at over 100 percent thrust over the first engine's thrust."

2
blhack 5 hours ago 8 replies      
I had a close friend who worked on this. Everybody in our lab stopped working this afternoon to watch it launch, and to cheer our friend on.

Definitely went from "YAY!" to sad really quick.

It's been said other places in this thread, but to echo it again: I really feel for all the engineers involved in this. That's got to be devastating.

To everybody: failures suck, but big spectacular failure is directly correlated to the difficulty of what you're trying to do. If you're failing, you're doing something right.

Back when I used to mountain bike a lot, it was a personal "joke" that I wasn't really riding unless I crashed at least once. That's how I knew I was pushing myself to improve.

Don't fret the failures.

3
SuperChihuahua 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Video of the explosion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHMmMgdcOSU

...and I believe this is the water-tower you can see in the video: https://www.google.se/maps/place/NASA+Wallops+Flight+Facilit...

4
gedmark 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Using 50 year old Russian engines was a risky move on Orbital's part, but in fairness the NK-33's are a pretty amazing piece of technology. The US has still yet to build anything matching its performance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NK-33

297 seconds of Isp is huge. The Saturn V's F1 engine only had 263 seconds. And the closest we've come since to that level of performance in a Lox/RP-1 engine is the Merlin 1D which will have 282.

They did it by using an oxygen-rich, fully staged combustion cycle. Which means that most of the fluid flowing around the engine and through the turbines of the pumps is super hot pure oxygen at 2000 psi. That's crazy. The US has brought over NK-33's and taken them apart and we still don't quite know how the Russians got it to work.

Of course, performance is only one consideration. All the other things you'd expect like integration costs, reliability of your suppliers, etc. made the Antares a pretty risky bet. But given Orbital's choices of developing their own engine from scratch, buying a hyper-expensive engine from Rocketdyne, or buying a wonder of engineering for cheap from the Russians, buying a bunch of surplus NK-33's wasn't totally crazy.

5
trothamel 5 hours ago 7 replies      
The first stage engines that exploded were AJ-26 engines. These are remanufactured NK-33 or NK-43 engines built in the Soviet Union in the late-60s or early-70s for the N-1 moon rocket, but never used.

In May, an AJ-26 exploded on the test stand at Stennis space center in Mississippi, severely damaging the test stand.

6
trothamel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
7
ChuckMcM 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ouch. A lot of rocket fuel burning all at once. I would be less concerned if this was the first or second flight but as the fifth flight one has to wonder what part of the process didn't work. This was apparently the first flight with the Castor 30XL which is the second stage, I suppose if it started its burn prematurely that would certainly be an issue.

As a testing problem, rockets have always fascinated me. At some level you have to trust in first principles but being so thorough so that you know will either fly or fail safe. That has got to keep folks up at night.

8
matthewwiese 5 hours ago 1 reply      
My entire physics lab watched this happen live. It started going up and everyone was cheering. Seconds later just caught fire, and fell to the ground and exploded.

"That's what happens when you set 'a' to negative." a good lesson from my TA

9
codezero 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bummer, I hate to see stuff like this happen. The payload in this rocket was the heaviest that has been included in an Antares launch, I doubt this had anything to do with the failure, but hopefully we'll find out.

Rocket science is hard, after all.

In the video, there are several pieces of debris that fly off and spin in a helical motion, I wonder what those bits are!

10
biscotti 5 hours ago 1 reply      
11
jwise0 5 hours ago 4 replies      
There aren't many blogs covering this right now, but there are no personnel injured (according to the launch loop) -- just "significant property damage and significant vehicle damage".

Nobody has said much yet: https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences/status/52722568241456742...

12
rl3 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yesterday's launch was scrubbed due to a boat violating the range safety exclusion zone: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/space-station-cargo-ship-prepped...
13
Osmium 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Very sad that this has happened. I can only imagine what it must feel like to those who worked on the rocket and its payload. It can really happen to anyone, even the best. At least we can all be thankful no one was hurt.
14
keehun 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It seemed like from the press conference that Orbital will be footing most of the bill. The best Frank from OS could say was that "some of the rocket" was insured. Someone below cited $110 million minimum insurance, but that's not even close to the number OS gave out in the conference at $200m for just the rocket (which I think included neither the manifest nor the damage to the pad/environment and any necessary repair/cleanup)
15
daeken 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In addition to the COTS resupply provisions for the ISS, this craft was also carrying the Arkyd-3 satellite (basically the whole Arkyd space telescope minus the optics, to serve as a test platform). While this is always sad, no lives were lost and that's what insurance is there for. Kudos to Orbital Sciences for pushing the boundaries of space flight, even if these losses are anything but fun.
16
hueving 1 hour ago 2 replies      
How do they root cause something like this when so much of the evidence is blown to pieces?
17
hnlurker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
You will not go to space today.
18
KhalilK 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Will the logs suffice to determine the cause of the explosion or will they have to reassemble the wreckage and look for anomalies?
19
rglover 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Terrible situation, but the radio chatter on the live feed is a wonderful way to learn about handling crises in a calm, collected manner. Impressive considering what's going on.
20
bd_at_rivenhill 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Makes me really wish SpaceX were public; would make for interesting trading tomorrow.
21
jakozaur 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Launching to space is very prone to failures and (almost) everyone got one.

Though NASA seems to be paying for Orbital launches more than SpaceX (even considering the difference in payload):http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/153960-private-spacefligh...

22
stox 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like one of the engines blew up as they went to full throttle. Since this was the first XL launch, I wonder if they are trying to push the AJ-26's too hard with the increased payload.
23
blueboxjesse 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A good reminder that no matter how bad your day goes at your job, things can always be much, much worse. My thoughts go out to the the Orbital Sciences team.
24
readerrrr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Spacex had an engine explosion during a flight, yet their primary mission was successful. This is the benefit of modern rocket technology.
25
vermontdevil 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wonder if the boat didn't stray into the restricted area yesterday, things would have been different?

I know we might never know but I did wonder if the draining and refueling the fuel caused an anomaly somewhere and lead to this?

Such a big loss for us.

26
ars 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Anyone know what the cargo was? Anything unique or expensive? Or just regular supplies?
27
djyaz1200 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So glad no one was hurt! I'm not a rocket scientist but it looks like fuel was coming out the side of the rocked as it lifted off (kind of a puff) then it got worse and ignited from the nozzle at the bottom.
28
ericcumbee 5 hours ago 2 replies      
They are securing the vehicle because it has sensitive crypto equipment on board.
29
ericcumbee 5 hours ago 0 replies      
They are waiting to hear from the FAA if the NTSB will be involved in the investigation. Seems like something that would have been decided beforehand.
30
TerraHertz 3 hours ago 2 replies      
In the videos you can see the quality of the rocket flame changes suddenly about half a second before the obvious explosion in the engine area. The jet becomes more orange and less convergent.At 1:03 in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL5eddt-iAo

So, as a general comment, something bad happened with the gear that pumps fuel into the engines in the right proportion. Maybe involving a major leak of fuel into the structures around the engine. Leaked fuel explodes. Complete loss of thrust, rocket falls back to earth.

I wonder if the Russians would consider it a good or a bad thing for them, if the West decides to stop using those Russian-built engines? Specifically, who benefits if there's a series of failures of AJ-26 engines?Considering the current imposition of economic sanctions against Russia, based on quite untrue accusations related to Ukraine and MH17. The Russians are feeling considerably put out over that, and rightly so.

31
kilroy123 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What a bummer... Getting to space isn't easy.
32
uptown 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Truly unfortunate that it failed. Here's Elon Musk's comment about the Antares rock two years ago:

Musk: The results are pretty crazy. One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the 60s. I dont mean their design is from the 60sI mean they start with engines that were literally made in the 60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.

http://www.wired.com/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/all/

10
How a differential gear works (1937) [video]
382 points by edferda  2 days ago   53 comments top 34
1
journeeman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, that was a fantastic video. I could understand it easily only because they iteratively added complexity to the models. It's amazing how well they have made the tutorial for the layman.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

2
mutagen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice to follow that with this short video illustrating how one type of locking differential works to eliminate some of the disadvantages of an open differential.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCxqUJCZGNU

3
Yahivin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like how they start ghost riding the whip at 8:45 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4JhruinbWc#t=519
4
bithush 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use this video quite often to show an example of one of the best educational videos I have ever seen. The language, presentation, use of graphics (impressive for the time) and demonstrations is just superb.
5
mxfh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Around the Corner (1937)

Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization

Sponsor: Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation

Probably the source of this re-encode,with significantly less artifacts, on archive.org:https://archive.org/details/Aroundth1937

Named after Jam Handy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam_Handy

6
spiritplumber 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you like videos like this, check out Retrotechtacular on Hackaday. They have a series on mechanical firing computers on navy ship that is nothing short of mech-eng porn, and I mean the classy kind.
7
reckoner13 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favorite: Wave Behavior from Bell Labs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DovunOxlY1k
8
analog31 2 days ago 1 reply      
Excellent use of graphics, created in the age before computer graphics.
9
rahulmax 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow! Amazing.

There's another video from 1949 about 'How a Watch Works' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=508-rmdY4jQ

10
draker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had not seen this particular video but have seen the "How a manual transmission works" from the same series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAWxZRuBXtw

11
JasuM 1 day ago 0 replies      
An interesting mechanism using differential gears, doubling the speed while only using gears of the same size:

http://507movements.com/mm_226.html

12
nopar8 1 day ago 0 replies      
The way the teaching was sequential really made it an understandable to a layman like myself.
13
blt 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is the best technical education video I've ever seen. If all information were available in such an easy to understand form, the world would be full of geniuses.

The level of effort is astounding. The "support" part holding the spokes looks cast. They couldn't have possibly cast that part specifically for this video... could they?

14
petercooper 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a chap who collects tons of videos like this on YouTube. He was mentioned on MetaFilter the other day: http://www.metafilter.com/143903/Do-you-like-vintage-trainin...

Or you can find his channel direct on https://www.youtube.com/user/webdev17/videos

15
charlieok 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember reading through David Macaulay's The Way Things Work as a kid, soaking up the illustrations until I understood each one. It was life-changing. However, I remember having trouble with one page in particular -- the one describing differential gears. Of course, video would probably have helped a lot :)
16
haphazardeous 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brilliant video. It's definitely a lot better to see the basic principles and evolution of those principles in action.
17
amenghra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember building lego cars which had a differential: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/drl/courses/cs54-2001s/images/le...
18
hsshah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember seeing this a while back and realizing I learned more from this video than I learned in class during my college course. Amazing production value. We should properly catalog such gems so that students and even professors can use these to teach (instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel)
19
clebio 1 day ago 0 replies      
The actual explanation doesn't start until about 2 minutes in:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4JhruinbWc#t=110
20
charlysisto 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was generally not bad at physics but I remember not getting my head around this one...

What a great lesson for decoupling systems. I wonder what's the software equivalent in design pattern land. The facade maybe ?

21
jonmrodriguez 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to create a "negative differential gear" that puts more torque into the wheel that is stuck? (in the hopes of forcing it unstuck)
22
leeoniya 1 day ago 1 reply      
some may also enjoy a 3d-printed triple gear

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9IBQVHFeQs

23
franciscop 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is just too awkward that I learned how they work with the same video last year, still better than my University's current presentations
24
joeblau 1 day ago 0 replies      
Differential -- the most misused word in sports. The video is a great explanation about the automobile version.
25
sreejithr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd have loved it if these guys had made a video on fly wheels. Dying to know more about those.
26
gradstudent 1 day ago 0 replies      
@edferda: props for posting this; the pedagogy here is just terrific!
27
smilefreak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guessed some of the next steps, and considering I have the automobilic knowledge of the ancient greeks, that was pretty impressive.

An education in how to present to a lay audience.

28
nikant 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Great Video:)
29
mickcartwright 23 hours ago 0 replies      
love the clarity, simplicity and enunciation
30
VLM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see a Torsen gearcase. Strange little things, they look like pepper grinders.
31
spacefight 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best spent 8minutes today, thanks!
32
thebladerunner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting
33
__database__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing!
34
Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
We know. I put a link to that video (to the Internet Archive, not YouTube) on Wikipedia years ago.

There's a whole series of Chevrolet films from the Jam Handy organization at the Internet Archive. "Take it Easy", "Spring Harmony" and "Shockproof" cover how auto suspensions work. "Facts on Friction", "Hydraulics" and "What stops them" explain brakes. "Head on" and "No Ghosts" - auto frames. "Water Boy" - cooling. "Free Air" - carburetor. There's more.

11
Joker Torrents to streamable video
375 points by bmaeser  14 hours ago   142 comments top 42
1
wmt 12 hours ago 6 replies      
What's the catch? I have a few trust issues when someone wants to pay his own money to give me access to mostly illegal content.

Somebody just spent time making a torrent streaming service, and is now paying for the bandwidth it takes to download that torrent content AND to upload it to your browser. What I could quickly see about the service is that the facebook "app" of it doesn't have too many users[1], dyn.com[2] handles the site DNS (not free) and redstation.com[3] hosts the service (not free).

[1] https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer/?method=GET&p...

[2] http://who.is/whois/joker.org

[3] http://tools.pingdom.com/ping/?target=149.3.133.138&o=1

2
mbesto 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I do exactly this with Put.io - (1) get magnet link (2) stream on the browser and (3) push out to chromecast on my TV. No downloading ever.

My understanding of "how is this legal" is the following - the server and server admin has no keys to the data so it would be impossible for them to do DMCA. Put.io has been around for a long time now so I'm pretty sure they've cleared the legal hurdles already.

3
denisnazarov 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This is not actually p2p. Check out https://github.com/feross/webtorrent. Hoping to hear feross' input.
4
kristofferR 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Damn, it's awesome that bandwidth has become this cheap.

This isn't a torrent client in your browser, the server actually does the torrenting for you and then streams the file to you as it's downloading on the server.

5
Sami_Lehtinen 12 hours ago 0 replies      
In Finland it's totally legal to watch streamed pirated content. But the streamer (source) will get quite likely get sued and pay a lot.
6
geekymartian 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is cute, but I will continue using peerflix : https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix . Loads way faster and is not hosted/tracked (besides the obvious p2p interaction). And I don't have to see ads.
7
hotgoldminer 13 hours ago 3 replies      
What are the legal ramifications of streaming pirated content? Could you cache popular content to preserve downstream traffic? Or is that the loophole? This plus content aggregation/browsing.. hmm..
8
bmaeser 12 hours ago 1 reply      
developer of joker.org joined comments on product hunt: http://www.producthunt.com/posts/joker
9
digital-rubber 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Somehow i predict this site will not live long. Mainly because of the legal implications.

If it does live long, i might start to wonder if this is some RIAA like honeypot system to have users report where they get their torrent downloads from by sharing the links directly.

Just my penny.

10
caractacus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried an mkv from NYAA: no go, format not supported (loads to 100% but then gives the error)

Different mkv from Kickass: format not supported (without loading, apparently, though I wonder if it's cached given that it was Guardians of the Galaxy)

TV episode of Gotham: same as for previous

Something is happening because it says e.g. 'Gotham' in the top and retrieves a nice faded background of the cast but I keep getting 'format not supported'

EDIT: seems to be my browser or connection; trying a different machine on a different IP and it works very nicely and quickly indeed.

11
Phogo 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, that was easy and actually worked flawlessly.

Could you provide us with a little info on the technologies behind it?

12
colinramsay 13 hours ago 4 replies      
This worked really well for me after a few seconds of stuttering at the start. Looking at the network requests, it's streaming from an MP4 file on the server which I guess is being fed by the torrent. But doesn't it effectively mean that this site is hosting the MP4 of potentially illegal content - even if just a few seconds of it? Or even as just a container for it?
13
jmbmxer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I work in security and have been running into more and more issues with these types of Torrent streaming services. People at work mostly know that downloading a BitTorrent client, seeding, leeching, etc. is bad but they have no idea that these streaming applications are doing the same exact thing behind the scenes. They just see it as a way to watch free movies. Keep your employees informed about this and tighten up your policies because DMCA laws apply.
14
paul9290 10 hours ago 1 reply      
With all the streaming sites out there that let you watch ALL your favorite TV shows and the latest movies, I never understood the lure of PopCorn Time and this type of site?

With both Popcorn Time and this tool (site) I could receive a copyright infringement notice. While the streaming sites that stream the latest from the Pirate Bay & more are liable. Further, by the letter of the law, me watching these streams is perfectly legal; no copyright notice will be received.

Maybe the streaming sites I speak of are not well known or not openly spoken about because they'll get shut down?

15
fredley 13 hours ago 2 replies      
16
afro88 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Anyone know how this would work in Germany? They're incredibly strict on torrents here (you can torrent one movie and get a letter in the mail 2 weeks later). This seems like it would be a nice workaround... While it lasts
17
interdrift 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What if the data isn't a video.Does every format have a header which provides that it's actually a video?I assume it works through a stream feeding it with data at a time and then decoding it?
18
Mendim 13 hours ago 1 reply      
IT saves the torrents in host.i checked an video.the site maybe will be suspended because is hosted ilegaly contents

http://v4.joker.org/v/d027a2418e34d040f015a75376d627c0a022e2...

19
daddykotex 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very impressive, it worked flawlessly for me with a randomly picked torrent. The file was an MP4.

Good job, I hope you find a way to make it stick around!

20
omgmog 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Tested with Big Buck Bunny and it seems to work nice enough.

http://distribution.bbb3d.renderfarming.net/video/mp4/bbb_su...

21
anilshanbhag 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This service is very good. You can watch pretty much any video (not a movie - that's piracy you know) as if it were hosted on Youtube. Scrolling is smooth and almost instantaneous load time.
22
tomphoolery 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Noticed "Inception" was much easier to stream than "200 Motels", and the laserdisc version didn't even work. How in the hell does this thing work? It's pretty awesome, once the movie actually downloads. :)

Seems like there's some caching going on. Good idea.

23
h43k3r 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I am thinking of starting a project similar to this for DC++. DC++ is pretty popular in many of the indian universities intranet networks for sharing files/music/videos(I know its illegal, but no one cares about it here in India because very weak laws) . Anyone having any inputs on this?
24
Patrick_Devine 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Didn't have time to look through the DOM. Is this a javascript torrent client? I think there was one out there in the wild before, but I'm not sure how good it was. I always thought if there was a simple JS torrent library out there, Bit torrent could make a comeback.
25
jokoon 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember watching some video of bram cohen in his lab, where he was actually making some p2p video client.

I guess what he's working on at this moment... I guess nothing ?

26
notax 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't seem to work. I get an error on any torrent I try, regardless of source or video format.
27
mk00 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Worked beautifully for me, including loading at different points. Very nice.
28
taneem 12 hours ago 2 replies      
What's the difference between this and Popcorn Time?
29
Aissen 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So this is basically put.io, but free ?
30
maram 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow! this is very simple and easy to use!! I wonder for how long it will be available..
31
IkmoIkmo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow that was smooth as butter... Am I unique or is everyone getting speed like this?
32
kumarharsh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems there is another issue: Some of the torrent videos don't play at all.
33
neogenix 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it support ChromeCast?
34
foobarqux 12 hours ago 0 replies      
iflix.io, which did the exact same thing (in fact I think it is the same code base), closed after a few days because it is not sustainable to do the downloading on behalf of the client.
35
atmosx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this open source? Can I download/install this to my VPS?!
36
bluehazed 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Worked fantastic. Awesome.
37
manish_gill 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this will work with Private Trackers?
38
Jamie452 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Seeking seems super fast, I'm impressed!
39
Codename47tr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Even works perfect on my ipad, amazing
40
drdoooom 13 hours ago 1 reply      
this is really great, worked better than i anticipated. maybe a xbmc addon in the future!
41
JCJoverTCP 11 hours ago 1 reply      
dont torrent chunks show up out of order?
42
baldfat 12 hours ago 2 replies      
So a ton of links and stories are removed from Hacker News based on???? But a service that stream pirated material is fine?
12
The Fourier Transform, explained in one sentence
361 points by ggonweb  4 days ago   80 comments top 24
1
karpathy 4 days ago 12 replies      
Fourier Transform became trivial to me when I noticed that it's just a basis transform, as you would do with ANY other basis. Except this basis happens to be sine and cos waves of different frequencies.

i.e. you view the entire signal in the original domain as a single point in space of dimensionality equal to number of measurements, and then you project it onto the new (fourier) basis. For example, one of the new basis vectors could be sine signal of some frequency k. You find the component of the original signal along this new basis just as you would do for any other basis vector, with a dot product. The only slight complication is that to get the phase information you have to actually dot with a cosine at that frequency as well. The confusing e^ix complex number multiply "hides" the fact that we are actually doing two simultaneous dot products (since e^ix = sinx + icosx): one with the sine and the other with the cos, to get both the frequency and phase.

this is the intuition for DFT but for FT you just have infinite-dimensional vector space, done. This is much more intuitive to me than "spinning a signal in circle", which I personally find very to be a very confusing statement.

EDIT: granted, basic linear algebra concepts (vectors, basis transform) needed.

3
Terr_ 4 days ago 1 reply      
I like to think of it like a vertical line of individual LEDs that sequentially shine to show current amplitude. (Like a Cylon visor or KITT the car.)

Sweep it sideways across a dark area, and you will see the waveform as an afterimage.

But start to spin it around the center, and you get a blob of light, one that becomes tighter and more symmetric whenever the spin-rate approaches the rate of a repeating subpattern.

4
platz 4 days ago 1 reply      
i.e. color coding is necessary because math notation is typically expressed with ambiguous assumptions in service to absolute terseness.

As far as I can tell the only time it's attempted to combat this is in proofs.

Note that in a real paper or textbook, such a detailed description explaining each term would most definitely be absent, even without the color coding.

5
shubhamjain 3 days ago 3 replies      
One thing I don't fathom is why FT is always explained in terms of circles? For me it was always confusing this way; the concept was much more graspable when visualized in the terms superposition of sinusoidal waves.
6
bluecalm 3 days ago 0 replies      
As I switch off the moment I see "signal" or "wave" let alone spinning it around the circle here is my take without any engineering intuitions:

-you can represent any (nice enough) function as sum of sines and cosines of given frequencies and amplitudes (frequency is how often the function hits the whole period, amplitude is by how much you multiple its value). The functions look this way: Amplitude* sine(x* freq)

-So you have your sines and cosines at various frequencies and you wonder what the amplitudes should be for every one o them so that if we add them all up we end up with the original function

-The idea to answer this question is to see how values of your sine or cosine correlate with values of original function. If it turns out that the original function is high in value when your sine/cosine is high in value then sine/cosine at this frequency needs to have higher weight than sine/cosine at other frequency where it doesn't correlate well with original function. Intuitively if you take functions which correlate well with original one with higher weight and those which doesn't with lower weight then you will have good approximation of the original function.

-Euler formula tells you what sine and cosine at given point are representing it as one complex number; to get value of sine/cosine at frequency different than 1 you need to multiple the argument by k*2PI (as frequency is given in beats/period and period is 2PI it's quite obvious why); So e^(xi) is value of cosx and sinx and e^(xik2PI) is value of those functions at frequencies different than 1.

So now let's see what this formula is:

-it's an average of things (1/N and a sum of N elements)

-those things are multplications of values of sine/cosine at given frequency at given point with value of original function at this point

-this average is going to be high if places where sine/cosine at given frequency is high and original function is high overlap (you multiple big number by big number) and low if described correlation is low; that's the concept of correlation

-the points are evenly spaced from 0 to n-1 (that's why n/N in the formula) and the sum goes over them.

That's it. No circles and spinning. The only trick is to realize that:e^(ix) represent value of sine and cosine at x and e^(ixk2PI) represents value of sine/cosine at frequency k (if k is 1, then it's standard sine/cosine as everything simplifies).

One sentence explanation could be: the more sine/cosine at given frequency correlates with original function the more that sine/cosine contribute to the original function.

7
quarterwave 3 days ago 0 replies      
Think of FFT like music notation - a separation into notes, dynamics, and tempo.

Alexander Graham Bell came up with the idea of increasing the capacity of telegraph lines by combining several 'dit-da-dit' streams at different pitches. He called it a 'harmonic telegraph'. The idea was that a mechanical arrangement of reeds tuned to different pitches would pluck out each stream of data. This insight eventually led to the invention of the telephone.

Finally, if 'orthogonal basis set' is difficult to understand, think of giving someone 'left/right' driving directions. An FFT would then (roughly) be the mathematical equivalent of 'driving directions' for a clip of music or speech.

8
ggonweb 4 days ago 0 replies      
9
j2kun 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is an extremely confusing sentence. My sentence would be:

> Every "nice" function can be uniquely decomposed into complex exponentials, which in some contexts represent physical frequencies.

10
marmaduke 4 days ago 1 reply      
Neat idea but this is a discrete Fourier transform (the original is continuous, with an integral), and it's only "explained" in the context of signal processing. And even then, the explanation is imperative.

I agree with another commenter that the more useful explanation is in terms of a change of basis.

11
tylerneylon 4 days ago 1 reply      
The Fourier transform is the map between sound waves and music as written on a staff.

That's an informal statement with some hand-waving since, for example, music notation is discrete and sound waves aren't, but that's the main idea.

12
vpeters25 3 days ago 0 replies      
I remember fondly a college lab experiment where we had to design a circuit that modulated a signal on a carrier (basic FM modulator).

The prep for the lab included a paper running all the math predicting the outcome, that included fourier transforms.

The moment we hooked the circuit's output to an spectral analyzer was the first time I saw years of theoretical math resulting on something "tangible": the carrier signal's peak and +/- modulated peaks around it.

13
zwieback 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think all the efforts to make FT more intuitive are necessary because representation of signals in terms of complex numbers is a tricky abstraction. It's definitely worth taking the time to get comfortable with the idea of representing a signal in the complex plane without trying to understand the FT at the same time. Then all the spinning-around-a-pole verbiage makes a lot more sense.
14
ggonweb 4 days ago 0 replies      
Understanding the fourier transform (from archive) https://archive.today/ulPFk

(original link(dead) http://www.altdev.co/2011/05/17/understanding-the-fourier-tr...)

15
natch 4 days ago 1 reply      
>then there is frequency corresponding the pole's rotational frequency is represented in the sound.

Parse error.

16
bbrennan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Felt inspired after reading this this morning and spent my Saturday hacking up a little demo in d3:

http://bbrennan.info/fourier-work.html

17
Adrock 3 days ago 0 replies      
18
Lambdanaut 4 days ago 0 replies      
19
madengr 4 days ago 1 reply      
It just correlates a signal against harmonically related complex sinusoids.
20
crimsonalucard 4 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe an animation would serve to be a better vehicle for understanding.
21
dlwj 4 days ago 0 replies      
Would thinking of the fourier transform as breaking a signal down into basic elements (like atoms) and figuring out how much of each atom is in the signal? Each different value of "K" then is like using a Ph strip to measure approximate energy b/c that particular strip reacts most strongly to a certain k.
22
__m 3 days ago 1 reply      
What about phase?
23
jokoon 3 days ago 0 replies      
isn't this theorem used to transmit signals across DSL connexions ? isn't it also used for wireless internet ?
24
burtonator 4 days ago 0 replies      
you know, it should be possible to generate some of these sentences from the mathematical notation directly to make concepts more understandable to the lay person (and people in general).
13
Angular 2 Core
356 points by tilt  3 days ago   261 comments top 40
1
davidholmesnyc 3 days ago 9 replies      
I feel that Angular changes too much in HTML to be considered useful for long term projects.The new syntax is also disturbing. My ideal MVC for front end utilizes regular javascript and html tags. At most just add data-ang-click="" something like that instead of "(click)" the latter isn't even valid HTML. Sometimes I think Angular is mainly popular because it's supported by Google. If any regular developer made these drastic changes in HTML with non valid tags and attributes people would not be happy with that project.

I know Angular has a lot of community support and I have built some side projects in Angular but I feel now too bloated with having their own standards instead of following normal HTML standards. That's just my 2 cents on it and i'm sure there are a ton of reason to use Angular but I just don't know if I can continue supporting a project that makes so many drastic changes to a standard. I don't want to make it sound like I have Angular hate here but i'm a big vanilla fan and it seems in order to build anything useful in Angular you have to throw out vanilla and use Angular's way even if vanilla is better. On most projects handlebars and correct proper design patterns in code is enough to keep HTML out of javascript and keep basic organization.

2
Cthulhu_ 3 days ago 2 replies      
I want to be excited, but at the moment there's just so much new and unknown stuff I'm seeing that I'm just not sure. I don't like the new template syntax; html attributes with parentheses and whatnot just look non-standard and I don't really see why they did all that. I really need to dig into the design documentation and find out the whys behind all of these new features.

ES6 is also new, of course; when I first saw Angular 2.0 code, I didn't like it - mostly due to DI, which instead of a single argument in a simple function, now consisted of three different statements to have one service injected, which just feels non-DRY.

3
zak_mc_kracken 3 days ago 3 replies      
Even though this is still called "Angular", this new version has barely any resemblance with the previous one, it's really a totally new framework.

It's a bit sad to think that all this knowledge I have of Angular 1 is now obsolete but I'm excited to dive into this new framework. If it's half revolutionary as Angular 1 was, it's going to be a pretty interesting time.

4
realusername 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm quite disappointed by this presentation, I see only new syntax everywhere for approximately zero benefit.

There is not even any mention to the Object.observe integration which would be the most exiting feature to improve Angular apps.

Angular looks and feels now like a Java framework, with ugly decorators and bloated APIs, that's really sad...

5
pedalpete 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm not sure I've seen a framework with such a drastic API change, particularly such a young API. I find that very threatening. Having spent a considerable amount of time learning and working with Angular.js, not only does this appear to be massively breaking changes, but it would also break 3rd party directives which has been a great benefit to building the Angular community.

This makes me think that Angular didn't think through their API for the 1.0 release. I would have thought Angular could have been written to improve the performance where needed without such drastic changes to the framework.

6
tracker1 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am literally working on a new project, starting to code the front end as of a day ago... I using Flux+React (nearstack.io, plug) around the Yahoo implementation of Flux's model. The down side, is this will be how things are for the next 3-5 years for the life of the site/application.

Angular 2 looks really cool... they seem to be embracing the shadow-dom concepts (like polymer) as well as es6-style import directives and expansion. I still think I made the right decision, but this is really cool and looks to be something that can work really well on current/next-gen browsers, but maybe not so well on currently supported browsers such as limited support for IE8 in my case :-(

I've been saying for a while that React/Flux is probably the best solution today for web applications, and that something similar to Polymer would be the best option in 3-5 years. I'll be watching this with great anticipation as Angular 2 actually changes most of my complaints about the framework today, and is really something that will come to work well.

Though, I'm not sure if they have or plan on a server-side component to handling server rendering, which is a huge part of why I went with React+Flux.

-- adding to my post --

More Info: http://ng-learn.org/2014/03/AngularJS-2-Status-Preview/

Looks like they are indeed using Traceur as a migration path, and embracing many ES6 features. Not sure how they will go with Promises, or if they'll wind up going down the generator path. There's definately some interesting reading and watching for the next year or two on this. Also, really curious where Polymer is heading in the light of this as well.

7
gasping 3 days ago 6 replies      
Angular 1 developers should see this as an opportunity to abandon Angular and move on to React.

React is by far and away the best the market has to offer right now. From my perspective client-side applications are a solved problem thanks to React.

8
skore 3 days ago 14 replies      
To everybody trying to make this into a tech fight about Angular vs. React/whatever, I've been repeating this like a mantra and even mentioned it in a talk on javascript once[0]:

You can argue about the minor details of the tech stack till you turn green and blue, but Angular wins because it succeeds in the only metric that really counts.

jQuery: (for reference)

    5,656 commits    7 branches    122 releases    199 contributors
React:

    3,003 commits    10 branches    18 releases    226 contributors
Ember:

    7,490 commits    35 branches    90 releases    412 contributors
Angular:

    5,988 commits    12 branches    111 releases    1,044 contributors <---
I have made a bet on Angular two years ago and the reason was: They understand how to herd cats. They get community right and at the end of the day, that's the only thing that really counts (no matter how much nerds like to pretend that it doesn't and it's all about technological purity or what have you).

I am absolutely confident that they are making good calls and the way they have handled the transition periods so far (and the way they are going about these new "big" changes) only increases my confidence.

I would be very surprised if in a few years, Angular wasn't on the same level of "you can basically assume that it's loaded" as jQuery is.

[0] https://www.flickr.com/photos/valanx/14136669418/in/set-7215...

9
emilis_info 3 days ago 1 reply      
Guys, relax and stop whining. You are probably wrong about what is going to happen with Angular, because you underestimate how massive Angular has become.

I recently began searching for a new JavaScript job. I don't like Angular at all and I am skipping all positions that mention it. I have to skip ~90% of all ads. Think of it 90% of companies that are expanding their web development use Angular.

So, even if this change will kill Angular, it will probably take years. It has become too big to fail.

If you like Angular, get excited about it. Look at how .NET or Java guys accept everything coming from Microsoft or Oracle. You are in a similar ship now. No one got fired for choosing Angular. No one will.

10
marknutter 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's sad to see a post on HN specifically devoted to Angular utterly devolve into framework flame wars. If the title were "Why Angular 2 will be better than React" I could understand, but this is just a sneak preview of features to come. Can we please just choose the tools we prefer and build stuff instead of nursing our insecurities about the choices we've made?
11
inglor 3 days ago 5 replies      
The problem I see with this is that it's very different from Angular 1 to the point people using Angular would have to learn it all over again.

Breaking how the framework looks this drastically is both very brave and very risky. Especially since from discussions with Angular core (and as you can see from the presentation) - Angular 2.0 relies heavily on ES6 features and syntax which are not yet supported in any browser and worse - are not known by most web developers anyway.

12
joeevans1000 3 days ago 3 replies      
I think it's hilarious how javascript frameworks are beginning to resemble java frameworks. This new release is really starting to look like Spring, including annotations. The increasingly complex DI is also looking like Spring.
13
swalsh 3 days ago 1 reply      
There have been so many binding frameworks, with a few varieties of approach. It has always been clear that it's "experimental". But it's been a few years now, and the mature(er) frameworks are focusing themselves.

This is a good thing! I'm glad they're learning, and willing to make it better. In my career I've gone from ASP -> PHP -> ASP.NET Web Forms -> ASP.NET MVC -> Angular/knockout/react. We're developers, if you can't flow with change you should move on to one of the more established engineering disciplines.

14
Wintamute 3 days ago 2 replies      
Every large opinionated framework is "overblown" (aka "scary") until you actually take the time to learn it and code a few large non-trivial projects with it. I've learnt more MVC frameworks than you can shake a stick at and Angular is hands down one of the best. Once you're comfortable with it you can fly and code things so quickly and cleanly, and it scales well into complex apps too. Angular is largely designed the way it is to promote small, encapsulated, testable components. But if you're not practising TDD, or don't test your code at all, (which I suspect is the case for many of the framework's detractors) then it possibly is somewhat over architected - by all means pick a simpler framework, but don't knock it from a position of ignorance.
15
IkmoIkmo 3 days ago 2 replies      
Ouch, just spent this month learning Angular... And now 'RIP angular.module, controllers, $scope' etc.

Does anyone have some idea about when this launches and when it can be sort of considered stable for building apps beyond mere prototyping? Curious about the timeframe :) Thanks

16
taskstrike 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a change for the far worse, someone branch this please and maintain a backward compatible branch with the same syntax.
17
grose 3 days ago 2 replies      
Took some digging but I found a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8fE-w2DL8U#t=54m12s

Edit: They took it down, sorry :\

18
adamors 3 days ago 0 replies      
This looks like a completely new framework, version 1.0.

I don't think I'll use Angular for any new projects, they basically flushed every library and documentation (1st and 3rd party) down the drain.

19
spir 3 days ago 0 replies      
As somebody with little experience writing web applications, having just used ember for a my last project, these Angular 2 Core highlights seem way behind ember.
20
allworknoplay 3 days ago 1 reply      
I knew there was a reason I put off learning angular.
21
ChicagoDave 12 hours ago 0 replies      
After looking at the doc, my first reaction is that all HTML should be schema compliant. Using non-standard HTML in the constructs will screw up a lot of tooling and validation.

It's also safe to say this is just too big of a change without public commentary. Way too big.

22
andrewstuart 3 days ago 1 reply      
Intresting, but WHY are these approaches better. Is that adequately explained?
23
vayarajesh 3 days ago 1 reply      
It took a lot of time for me to get the hang of AngularJS 1.x and now AngularJS 2 seems very promising but shifting along with the new syntax, programming logic is really painful..

They should provide a path to easily shift programmers thinking from 1.x to 2 (hopefully it is already in their roadmap)

24
tschellenbach 3 days ago 1 reply      
I tried both EmberJS and Angular. To me it seems Ember is years ahead, the main advantages:

- clean model abstraction, which prevents soo much boilerplate- clean templates- components, partials, great re usability

25
AndrewDucker 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there anywhere with further detail on this?

(Because it looks fascinating, but I'd like to see some detailed documentation and examples on how it's going to work.)

26
desireco42 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love how they use attributes, I've been impressed by attribute modules for CSS. The only thing I am surprised, I would think that this would include significant overhead, yet you claim it is way faster. Most likely previous scanning of the dom was even slower.

I think this is excellent use of attributes and good way to refactor things. What others pointed out, this is different framework :)

27
Ironballs 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know exactly how many of the Durandal & Angular convergence[1] features made it into Angular 2.0, but it looks like lazy module loading and a better component syntax did, which is fantastic

[1] http://angularjs.blogspot.fi/2014/04/angular-and-durandal-co....

28
joeevans1000 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone suggest which practices can be added to the use of 1.3* to ease the transition to 2.0? For instance, if I start using grunt-ng-annotate or gulp-ng-annotate now, will that help ease the transition? If it would, I'd be curious what other things I could do to make the switch less abrupt.
29
toblender 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this for real? Is this the official direction for AngularJS 2?

Seems like a very big leap considering people are just getting use to the way AngularJS 1 works ($scopes etc).

30
marani 3 days ago 0 replies      
New syntax is ok, quite cool actually, but I'd rather see more improvement on things like route, high performance repeat. Hope they bring some goodness from Angular 2 to Angular 1x as well. Also, not sure how the old directive/plugin ecosystem would fit in, is there any rewrite needed?
31
ChrisCinelli 3 days ago 0 replies      
I understand wanting to appeal to the same user base and tell that it was develop by the same team. It's a brand decision. Nevertheless Angular 2 "deserve" a completely new name. It has no resemblance of Angular 1.x. Welcome to a new framework.
32
joeyspn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm now wondering what will happen to other projects that have placed a huge bet in Angular 1.x, like the Ionic Framework for example...
33
TheMagicHorsey 3 days ago 0 replies      
What does Angular win you beyond what you get in Web Components? I haven't used Angular, so this is curiosity, not a challenge being issued.
34
dodyg 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is what is shit with JavaScript frameworks, no respect to backward compatibility. Imagine if these kind of API churning happens in C++ or other languages.
35
omarelamri 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is he using TypeScript or ECMAScript 6? Also, is it just me, to does this seem like a completely different framework than Angular 1?
36
calinet6 3 days ago 0 replies      
So... upgrade path is nonexistent?

Looks like it's great if you're starting from scratch though!

37
novaleaf 3 days ago 0 replies      
is there a video of this? viewing these slides is like reading every-other page of a book :(
38
finalight 2 days ago 0 replies      
time to find another framework to work with

or best is, just scrape client side MVC framework, and fallback to server MVC framework

39
hellbanTHIS 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is this just a proposal or something?
40
EGreg 3 days ago 0 replies      
In your face Angular fans, who said that all the angular stuff was the best way. They scrapped most of it!
14
Rewriting Reddit (2005)
340 points by amalantony06  1 day ago   111 comments top 19
1
jedberg 1 day ago 5 replies      
web.py never really worked well, so we ended up rewriting it again. The interesting thing was that Django still wasn't up to the task when we did that, mostly because it's templating engine was too slow. So we chose Pylons instead.

It should be noted that Django has since fixed that issue.

2
_stem 1 day ago 2 replies      
For all people still thinking that Django is not "lean" or flexible enough for their next project, let me just leave this here: https://speakerdeck.com/mstepniowski/django-best-python-micr...

A single-file web application in Django: https://github.com/mstepniowski/microdjango/blob/master/poll...

3
coldtea 15 hours ago 1 reply      
>The Lisp newsgroup, comp.lang.lisp, was upset about the switch that theyre currently planning to write a competitor to reddit in Lisp, to show how right they are or something.

That must have ended as a huge success, because as we all know the important thing behind a website is the backend language...

4
joesmo 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think you can leverage these criticisms at about 90% of the framework software out there written in just about any language. Most developers like to create complex, complicated software mainly to show off their "cleverness" without thinking through the implications for the people that have to use it. It's as if they think that by cramming in every design pattern they can think of and using many different libraries together for no perceptible reason makes the software better when they could've achieved the same thing much more simply and cleanly if they had put a little thought into it. Such over-engineering is equally a problem as the spaghetti code of programmers who don't know better.
5
temuze 1 day ago 2 replies      
The first Python web framework I used was Django. I'm really glad I came across it first because I was inexperienced at the time and it forced me to adopt a lot of good practices.

However, now that I'm more experienced, I can relate a little to what Aaron is saying here. Learning all of this boilerplate stuff is annoying! Recently, I started contributing to a friend's rails app and I found the process of learning how to use each separate little tool tiresome.

This is why I like Pyramid - it starts off dirt simple. Hello World is almost as short in Pyramid as it is in Flask. As you grow, you can start organizing and adding different things as you need them. It has absolutely 0 magic. I find Pyramid to be a happy medium between Flask's minimalism and Django's extensibility.

6
mikepurvis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Note that reddit has rewritten at least once since the web.py rewrite. cf. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=51078

I recall reading a more scathing post from spez at one point about frustrations with web.py, but I don't seem to see it now. It may have been removed. In any case, Flask seems to be the inheritor of the "write webapps in Python" description.

7
wcummings 1 day ago 4 replies      
What Lisp webserver was used, originally? Hunchentoot? What web servers/stack are Lispers using these days?
8
mox1 1 day ago 1 reply      
web.py is still my go to for lightweight webapps. I won't start a big discourse on the pros and cons vs. other technologies, but I will say it is incredibly easy to setup and use.

The current github page is here: https://github.com/webpy/webpy

If you are looking to get up and running quickly, I would recommend forking this skeleton: https://github.com/jzellman/webpy-skeleton

Finally, the built in database framework is a bit simplistic. I like to pair this with Peewee (included in the webpy-skeleton).

9
euphemize 1 day ago 2 replies      
Used Tornado, django and flask quite a bit, web.py only once. As others have mentioned, it didn't work that well, and the community around it is smaller than other frameworks. Again today, Django seems a bit cumbersome, Tornado works well but has a very low bus factor.

Pretty sure flask is currently the front runner in "python microframeworks".

10
linuxydave 1 day ago 4 replies      
Whatever happened to that Lisp clone?
11
tim333 1 day ago 0 replies      
For another take on the Reddit rewrite from Steve Huffman see:

http://www.pyvideo.org/video/234/pycon-2009--keynote--reddit...

25m 40s

12
closetnerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Its incredible how intelligent this kid was.
13
pshc 1 day ago 1 reply      
We currently use web.py + gevent to run our API where I work. It's really easy to work with since it's so tiny and simple, and since we only need JSON in and out for now, it's perfectly sufficient.

Before web.py, we were on a scary Tornado implementation. The API was rewritten to web.py in a week with a minimal delta. We won't be on web.py forever, and gevent sometimes kicks up minor fusses, but I think web.py has given us a nice malleable form that helped us get out of a terrible place, and we can easily hop off once we decide where we want to be.

RIP aaronsw.

14
general_failure 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is reddit that simple to rewrite over the weekend?
15
gprasant 1 day ago 3 replies      
They say hell hath no fury like a lisp fan scorned. I wonder if they hadn't been acquired, would they have still used Lisp ?
16
83457 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would clojure fare better now?
17
andyzweb 1 day ago 0 replies      
RIP Aaron ;_;
18
geerlingguy 1 day ago 5 replies      
Just wondering (as someone who only uses/touches Python indirectly, through some projects that use it, but is not currently a 'Python developer' by any means); was this posted in response to some recent drama in the Django community, or as an argument against Lisp?

I'm just wondering why it seems this story is quickly getting upvoted on the front page of HN, when it seems there are no other frontpage stories remotely related to Django, Reddit, or Lisp?

19
gcb0 1 day ago 1 reply      
> "It means readable HTML with the proper HTTP headers."

said all the other frameworks's authors a few months before him that are now churning out deprecated headers just like that one will in a couple months, while gallantly trying to protect the user from handling headers.

15
Post Mortem: A single whitespace character
329 points by goleksiak  1 day ago   203 comments top 27
1
pilif 1 day ago 5 replies      
Likely "Cowboy" is a transparent proxy added by your mobile service provider. I had a similar thing happening a year ago when the mobile provider used by most of our barcode scanners decided to add a transparent proxy into the loop (without telling anybody).

The solution for this problem: Use SSL.

I mean: There are already many good reasons to use SSL, but whenever you need to send any kind of mission critical data over the mobile network, you practically must use SSL if you want any kind of guarantees that the data you send to the server is what actually reaches the server (and reverse).

Here's my war story from last year: http://pilif.github.io/2013/09/when-in-doubt-ssl/

2
goleksiak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Heroku came back and said:

Looking through the system, I see that you were sent two emails (in August and September) as several of your apps were migrated to the new routing stack (https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/heroku-improved-router). As mentioned in the documentation, the new router follows stricter adherence to the RFC specification, including sensitivity to spaces.

...and sure enough, there is a line that says:

The request line expects single spaces to separate between the verb, the path, and the HTTP version.

So the lesson is: RTFM

-G

3
jrochkind1 1 day ago 13 replies      
This very example -- requests were technically illegal all the time without devs realizing, but something in the stack changed to start rejecting them -- demonstrates the fallacy of the "be liberal in what you accept, strict in what you issue" principal. If all the web servers involved had been strict in rejecting the illegal request from the start, they would have noticed the bug in development before deploying to firmware in the field.
4
spydum 1 day ago 4 replies      
The Server: cowboy tag is from an Erlang web server:

https://github.com/ninenines/cowboy/blob/master/src/cowboy_p...

I'm guessing around here would be interesting to add a test case to handle.

As far as whose server this is? I'd guess Heroku or AWS, though it's plenty possible T-Mobile could have devised some proxy to inspect traffic, but seems unlikely they would do so with Cowboy?

5
asveikau 1 day ago 3 replies      

      strcpy( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, "GET /v1/printer/");        strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, ( char * ) settings.getIMEI());      strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, "/orders.txt  HTTP/1.1\r\n");      strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, "HOST: ");      strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, SERVER_NAME);      strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, "\r\n");      strcat( ( char * ) commsOrderBuffer, "Authorization: Basic ");
What the.... O(n) string concatenations, unnecessary pointer casts, no bounds checking... I think extra whitespace in an HTTP request is not their only problem.

6
userbinator 1 day ago 2 replies      
I saw it right away - "that HTTP/1.1 looks a bit farther away than it should be..." - and confirmed it by selecting the spaces. I thought it would be a bit more subtle than that... I remember working with a server that violated the HTTP spec by not accepting allowed extra spaces in headers.

According to the new HTTP/1.1 RFC 7230, it should be a single space - the previous RFC didn't specify this clearly in the wording, although it is implied by the grammar (SP and not 1 * SP).

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7230#section-3.1.1

"A request-line begins with a method token, followed by a single space (SP), the request-target, another single space (SP), the protocol version, and ends with CRLF."

I'm surprised there doesn't seem to be any widely-used and easily available HTTP conformance checker - unlike the well-known HTML validators.

This is also why monospace fonts are ideal for seeing small but significant differences like this.

7
jlouis 1 day ago 2 replies      
This proves a very important pet peeve of mine: Your modern application has a highly dynamic operating point. There is no way you can deploy a system and expect it to be static for eternity. Back in the day with low interconnectivity you could. But today it is impossible.

When you build stacks on top of system for which you have no direct control, you must be able to adapt your system. This means you can't statically deploy code without an upgrade path in one way or the other.

8
mml 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cowboy is quite a well respected we server of the Erlang flavor. I'd guess heroku rejiggered something in their stack, perhaps adding cowboy as a reverse proxy or load balancer in front of their junk.

Cowboy apparently shot yor no-good dirty sidewinding web requests in the face.

9
kirab 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's technically correct, according to the HTTP spec there must be a single "SP" character between the elements in the Request-Line:

Request-Line = Method SP Request-URI SP HTTP-Version CRLF

Source: http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec5.html#sec5.1

10
Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another broken network device which takes it upon itself to mess with TCP connections passing through.

I ran into this a few years ago with Coyote Point load balancers. It turns out that if you send HTTP headers to a Coyote Point load balancer, and the last header field is "User-agent", and that field ends with "m" but does not otherwise contain "m", the connection does not go through the load balancer.

Complaining to Coyote Point produced typical clueless responses such as "Upgrade your software". (The problem wasn't at my end, but at sites with Coyote Point devices. Fortunately, I knew someone who had a Coyote Point unit, and we were able to force the situation there.) I had our system ("Sitetruth.com site rating system", note the "m") put an unnecessary "Accept" header field at the end of the header to work around the problem.

Coyote Point's filtering software is regular-expression based, and I suspect that somewhere, there is a rule with a "\m" instead of "\n".

A current issue: there are some sites where, if you make three HTTP requests for the same URL from the same IP address in a short period, further requests are ignored for about 15 seconds. You can make this happen with three "wget" requests. Try "wget http://bitcointalk.org" three times in quick succession. Amusingly, this limiter only applies for HTTP sessions, not HTTPS.

11
Danieru 1 day ago 3 replies      
That series of strcat's caught my eye as bad practice. Fine in this case since the destination string is short but horrible in general. Every single one of those calls needs to iterate over the entire existing string to find the string size. The code could be much cleaner with a small macro hiding the incrementation and the casts.
12
kyberias 1 day ago 2 replies      
What's the deal with all the scrollbars on this page?
13
colinbartlett 1 day ago 1 reply      
It scares me to think all of these requests run over unencrypted HTTP.
14
vvpan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Way to abuse :first-letter.
15
KMag 1 day ago 0 replies      
When learning OCaml, I decided to write a little web client that would bruit force the password on my own home router. I wrote a client, and my router wasn't responding, so I tried having my client fetch pages from Yahoo, and it worked fine.

I fired up wireshark and saw that everything looked fine... except that all of my line terminators were shift-in-formfeed instead of carriage-return-newline. It turns out that OCaml uses decimal character escapes instead of octal. (This was back when I was under the impression that portable code avoided use of \n in string literals because someone who misunderstood text mode file handles had told me that Microsoft compilers expanded \n to \015\012.)

Apparently someone at Yahoo had experienced enough terribly terribly written web clients that they wrote their HTTP server to accept any two non-space whitespace characters as a line ending.

16
jameshart 1 day ago 0 replies      
"our cellular printing api has printed over 9300 food orders for our client restaurants, stadiums and golf courses"

Am I the only one who read this as a system using 3D printing to print food? Disappointed to discover it's not that kind of cellular.

17
justinsb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangentially, why didn't curl escape the trailing space to %20?
18
jim_lawless 1 day ago 0 replies      
I experienced a similar problem with a POP3 utility that I had written years ago. I had been appending an extra space to the end of each text line (before the CRLF ).

There were a few people using this utility with no problems until one day a particular POP3 server no longer tolerated my utility's malformed requests.

19
weissadam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have some advice. Hire a real C programmer. This code is _awful_ and probably full of vulns.
20
rcconf 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've had the same issues when developing with Flask in Python. I forgot to URL encode some query parameters and it worked fine with the local HTTP server.

But when I put nginx in front as a proxy, it denied all requests.

21
ericcholis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Slightly off-topic, but this is why dev posts like this are important. I didn't know eatabit.com was a thing, it it sounds like a great service.
22
kstrauser 1 day ago 2 replies      
If this were my team, I would be unsettled by the fact that we never caught it in testing. Did no one write tests to exercise this part of the app - the one where we're handcrafting HTTP requests?

Objectively, you need to write more tests. At the minimum, this bug should have a regression test so that it can never accidentally happen again (say when a dev merges an old branch in for whatever reason).

23
cleanCodeAtWork 1 day ago 4 replies      
Are there any languages out there that handle scale and many connections like Erlang does, but with an easier to swallow syntax?
24
robomartin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kudos for sorting this out quickly. Problems like this one can be really difficult to debug.

I remember one case where the coefficient table for a polyphase FIR filter we implemented in an FPGA caused huge instability problems in a design. The coefficient table, if I remember correctly, was 32 wide (32 multipliers) and 128 phases long. That's 4096 numbers. The design had about 40 of these tables that would be loaded from firmware into FPGA registers in real time as needed. We built a tool in Excel to be able to compute these tables of FIR coefficients.

We got word from a customer that things were not behaving correctly under certain circumstances. We were able to reproduce the problem in the lab but could not find anything wrong with the FPGA, microcontroller or Excel code after about three weeks of work by three engineers. This quickly became a nightmare as it threatened several lucrative contracts and failed to service our existing customer base adequately.

I had to put our other two hardware engineers back to work on their existing projects so I took on the debugging process. This was the most intense debugging I've had to do in thirty years of software and hardware development. Lots at stake. The very reputation and financial well being of my business was at stake. Enter 18 hour days, 7 days a week.

FOUR MONTHS LATER, at 2:00 AM on a fine Sunday morning without having slept for three days looking at code the bug jumped out at me. We've all had that moment but his one was well "one of those". The problem? We used "ROUND()" in instead of "ROUNDUP()" in calculation that had nothing to do with the FIR filter coefficients but rather affected the programming of counters related to them. This caused timing errors in a state machine that drove the FIR filters. If this were software this would be exactly like having the wrong count in a loop counter. Yup.

I re-calculated after making the change and everything worked as advertised. That was the best Monday I've had in years. And I took a long vacation after that.

Over four months to find a bug.

That's why sometimes it is impossible and even unreasonable to create budgets for software development. One little bug can set you back weeks, if not months.

25
peterwwillis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Assuming the problem originates from something relating to eatabit's infrastructure, the important takeway (for me) would be: Depend as little on 3rd parties as possible.

I know this is not a popular opinion among the HN crowd, mainly due to the entire web's love of linking to some other site's js/css to offload cost from their own site. But this makes no sense; you're not really reducing costs, you're just delaying them.

People talk about how 3rd parties speed up development or (potentially) reduce costs. But if the success of your business depends on providing a service all the time that has to be reliable, the reliability of your product is directly proportional to the reliability of the 3rd party. And each 3rd party adds additional points of failure. If you don't control whatever service or product the 3rd party is giving you, you will be unable to even attempt to isolate and fix it yourself.

Typically the answer to this problem is 'buy a better service contract'. But if the 3rd party doesn't provide 24/7 365 support along with multiple contact methods and harsh penalties for failing to supply you with timely service, you're wasting your money. You don't want to be the guy who has to tell the CIO "Sorry, I can't get a hold of our service provider or they aren't giving me timely updates, so I do not know when our product will be up again."

26
mikeklaas 1 day ago 0 replies      
q
27
cofcdylan 1 day ago 1 reply      
i'm just glad my city made it to HN.
16
She Tweeted Against the Mexican Cartels. They Tweeted Her Murder
328 points by danso  2 days ago   202 comments top 15
1
theobon 2 days ago 9 replies      
Why are the majority of the comments here blaming the victim?

This is the death if a person who tried to stand against an overwhelming force. To try and stand against the cartels where the police didn't dare and instead of honouring her work or get death you mock her for not using tor.

If you seriously think that lack of cybersecurity is the problem then at least use this to highlight the lack of good easy to use security software.

2
drawkbox 1 day ago 2 replies      
We've created a monster with the War on Drugs.

It will only get worse unless we reverse course. Unless we do, the violence/terrorism on the border could increase dramatically. We have a historical model in alcohol prohibition and know what it does and what happens after.

We blame Mexico, Central and South America for much of this but policies and our actions there are creating these black markets where only criminals get the revenues. How is that the best solution we have? We are actively creating armies south of the border that aren't state associated, I believe that is terrorism.

3
monochr 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is why we need not only password locks and full encryption but panic passwords and hidden logins on every piece of electronics we own. That no mobile OS offers these yet is pathetic.

When twitter and facebook don't let you connect anonymously from tor, this is what the result is. If you have a major website that is used by dissidents and journalists in countries such as Mexico or Iran and you don't have a plain html form to fall back on and insist on javascript being on all the time you really do have blood on your hands.

4
chuckcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
When can we stop the madness and regulate drugs rather than criminalizing them? Didn't we learn anything from prohibition?? In a time when so many people are aware of the limitations of government why do so many people think that we're going to resolve the drug problems with more government in the form courts and prisons. We're just creating a market opportunity for the cartels by inflating prices and turning their customers into criminals.
5
blrgeek 2 days ago 4 replies      
And that is what the USA 'War on Drugs' is doing to the poorer neighbours.
6
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mexican cartels will become much less of a threat when the US decides to treat drug addiction like a disease instead of a crime and will legalize drugs to the point where the street value will drop to where crime is too high a price to pay for the profits that can be made with them.

This will probably take longer than I'm going to be around for but in the end that and only that will get the drug 'war' over and done with. It's politically hard because it would be in the eyes of some admitting defeat and in the eyes of others admitting being wrong. Those are both hard things for politicians. But if that doesn't happen the war on drugs will be the US equivalent of the war in Afghanistan for the Russians. Unwinnable, a continuous sapping of funds and energy that could go to better uses.

In the meantime we rely on people like this extremely brave woman that stood up for what was right, and I sincerely hope that those that are on the consuming side of the equation ('a man that needs a little help to dream') wise up and see that they are very much part of the problem and that they and everybody else fractionally kill people (sometimes even themselves) on a daily basis.

The drug trade is supremely ugly.

7
mjfl 1 day ago 1 reply      
We live in a surveillance state.. I don't understand why the CIA can't find the leaders of these organizations and slip arsenic in their morning coffees.
8
sidcool 1 day ago 1 reply      
Many people here are thinking of this as a technical problem than a social one. I know we are HNers, but we do think of stuff in different perspectives too, don't we? I mean technology is not the farthest we can look.
9
Shorel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I offer myself as a proxy for such twitter accounts.

Let's see what happens.

10
ripb 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's somewhat amazing that it was a seemingly unrelated kidnapping that lead to her discovery given that she seemed to be tweeting from her own phone, probably publishing from her own (unsecured?) computer etc. and the reach that the cartel are purported to have in law enforcement / military in those areas.

I sincerely hope for America's sake that there's no substance to the claims that the CIA are working with these cartels.

11
judk 1 day ago 1 reply      
The US has drones. Why don't they firebomb every drug plantation and capo hacienda in L Latin America?
12
rokhayakebe 2 days ago 3 replies      
Should we invest serious funds (billions) into creating a 1) legal drug which is 2) not addictive, and 3) far more superior than weed, cocaine, heroine, and all the other drugs.
13
leeber 2 days ago 2 replies      
If the Cartels have such a hole on media down there, then how did such a detailed account of this story get out?
14
VexXtreme 2 days ago 8 replies      
If you're going to whistleblow on your local government online (be that a legitimate government, or a violent drug cartel), the only reasonably safe way to do it is from outside the country AND using Tor. It amazes me that people don't take these basic precautions.

Mexican cartels are known to have infiltrated ISPs, where they were able to tie IP addresses to identities. Using encryption is the only way.

EDIT: may I ask why the downvotes? Did I say something offensive or break the HN rules?

15
tn13 1 day ago 1 reply      
The blame rests on her. She was rich, able to afford college education and unnecessarily painting the poor equal-opportunity lacking folks on street as thieves.

Instead of tweeting against the cartels she should have tried to build a bridge to their hearts, reach to the root cause of crime and should acted like a responsible citizen. She instead chose adventurism.

US is doing a great service to these people by continuing to have a drug-prohibition and letting their uneducated/unskilled labor get safe citizenship and welfare money at the expense of American taxpayers. She should have learned something from USA.

^^#sarcasm

I hope that she is safe.

17
An open source engine clone of Age of Empires II
343 points by andygmb  2 days ago   71 comments top 13
1
silveira 2 days ago 3 replies      
http://play0ad.com, 0 A.D, a free, open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game. GPL 2+ license for the game engine and the CC-BY-SA for the game art.
2
M4v3R 2 days ago 1 reply      

    Waaaaaah! It    * segfaults    * prints error messages I don't want to read    * ate my dog    All of those are features, not bugs. To turn them off, use ./openage --dont-segfault --no-errors --dont-eat-dog.
I chuckled when I read that. If that were so easy...

3
fakeyfake 2 days ago 1 reply      
You should post this on aoczone[0] - probably the largest aoe2 enthusiast forum. Voobly[1] is the primary aoc client at the moment with fan made compatibility patches, such as userpatch[2]. They are also hosting a $120,000 tournament in a weeks time with some of the strongest teams around. I'm sure some of the developers from voobly/userpatch could have a look at it.As someone mentioned 0ad[3] is an aoe2 inspired game, unfortunately I think their kickstarter failed but they did add multiplayer support which looks promising.

[0] http://aoczone.net

[1] http://voobly.com

[2] http://userpatch.aiscripters.net

[3] http://play0ad.com

edit: I jumped the gun before RTFM, sorry about that, might want to check out http://aoccs.net too for aoehd.

4
captainmuon 2 days ago 1 reply      
The internals of AoE II are quite interesting, especially when it comes to how the terrain is rendered. There is an epic thread here [1] where it's discussed a bit and one of the original developers (Matt Prichard alias MattP) chimes in and talks a bit about AoE II's development.

Trying to clone AoE II seems like a pretty cool and challenging project, and actually if I was going to write a game with 2D isometric graphics, I might steal some tricks from AoE.

[1] http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aokcgi/display.cgi?action...

5
bluehex 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm going to out myself as oversensitive and lacking a sense of humor in many of your eyes (or so I imagine) but I can't stand the kind of sarcastic humor in the contributing section.

Sarcasm is only funny to me when it's not mean spirited.

The joke about segfaults: "--dont-segfault --no-errors --dont-eat-dog." was quite funny, on the other hand. I'd like to see more playful expression in this way rather than playing with negativity; because even though it's obviously a joke, there's enough negativity in the world already that it doesn't make me laugh thinking about it.

I imagine i'm in a tiny minority. :/

6
egeozcan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Scripting AoEII maps with a decent scripting language has long been a dream of mine. Current trigger editor is "hard to use and lacking" to put it politely. Python support in the map editor would be amazing.
7
jqm 2 days ago 5 replies      
I wish someone would clone Cossacks.

I've been playing it since 2002 and keep an XP box specifically to play it on. After all these years I still haven't gotten bored of the game and probably play it 2-3 hours a week or more on average.

I don't know if this means it's a really good game or I'm just a boring person. But it beats AoE all over in my opinion. I've tried a lot of other games, played them for a bit and forgotten about them. But not Cossacks. I just wish they had kept the series going.

8
Aethelwulf 2 days ago 3 replies      
Has anyone else seen a big difference between the original AoE2 and the Steam re-release? I swear that the AI is barely aggressive anymore, even on the most difficult setting.
9
hhsnopek 2 days ago 3 replies      
The engine looks solid, I loved AOE II growing up as a kid.also: I can't tell if they're joking when it comes to contributing...
10
Void_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me how can software be "free as in freedom"?
11
sebastianavina 2 days ago 3 replies      
I just want to sudo apt-get install it and play it.
12
timwaagh 2 days ago 1 reply      
how does this work with copyright & trademarks & stuff?
13
himanshuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
AOE II is one of my all time favorite game.
18
Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns
306 points by bane  3 days ago   176 comments top 27
1
Sambdala 3 days ago 14 replies      
I remember high school.

During class I hid whatever book I actually wanted to read at the time inside the class book and drowned out the teacher.

If homework was worth >10% of the total grade for the class (so that you couldn't get an A from tests/quizzes alone), I would copy the homework from someone else the period before.

Tests & quizzes are so gameable it's a complete joke. Standardized tests even more so. Without any actual learning from the class itself, you can generally come close to ace'ing most high school tests by being moderately intelligent.

There was one class where I got busted for copying the homework and actually had to apply myself for the rest of the semester to avoid being failed, and this was only because the teacher felt I could rise to my potential if challenged to do so. Thankfully, that was actually one of the more interesting classes I had to attend.

I was warned constantly that college was going to tear me apart if I didn't instill good study habits, but it was mostly more of the same. It actually required even less work because most classes relied more heavily on quiz & test scores than High School did. After my freshman year, I went to class about 2 hours a week (out of ~18) and still kept above a 3.5 GPA.

At the two corporate jobs I've held so far, the same formula still seems to apply where you can avoid applying yourself 98% of the time as long as you can shine during the corporate equivalent of "tests."

To date, it's the hardest thing in the world for me to garner the self control to apply myself to a task if I'm not passionate about it (even forcing myself to pay bills is a challenge), and I think a large part of that is due to the fact that I've been able to coast through every "challenge" quite easily, and everything has seemed to work itself out so far.

This next month I'm actually striking out on my own, thankfully on something I'm passionate about (and have been working on for the past six months on the side), and I'm scared to death I won't be able to actually follow through on the hard work required to be successful as an entrepreneur.

2
folz 3 days ago 4 replies      
Saved you a click (from the top comment the last time this was posted):

The three points from the article:

> [1] Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.

> [2] High School students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes.

> [3] You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long.

People wonder why high school aged students are unruly, unpleasant, and filled with deep negative emotions (anger, disdain, need-to-rebel). I look at this list (especially [2] and the lack of autonomy that follows) and the reason seems really clear. The basic model seems broken.

Previous discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8442067

Original source of the story here: http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teach...

3
bane 3 days ago 4 replies      
I found this interesting. I worked for a few years teaching technical subjects to mid-career adults and ended up adopting an educational theory not too dissimilar to the author, but for mostly different reasons.

Previous discussion https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8251569

I remember high school very well, and it was a pretty torturous experience. If you could design an educational program that was almost guaranteed not to be a conducive learning environment with poor mastery outcomes, the public k-12 system in the U.S. would probably be it. Even worse, when they measure educational outcomes, the place systems like South Korea's at the top, a system that's absolutely optimized and excels at the lowest possible form of learning, rote memorization.

In the previous discussion, I point out that I believe students need to "complete the circuit", go from input/reception to output/production to say they've learned a topic. In today's school environment, if this happens at all, it happens by accident:

1) The teacher gives a lecture, information is shoved in

2) The students do homework and tests, okay, the students "produce" what they've learned, usually a brain dump of what they've memorized, but let's be honest, not a demonstration of learning or mastery.

3) The homework and tests get an impersonal grade, the "feedback loop" necessary to complete the circuit. But if the student got it wrong? Too bad, the lesson is moving on anyways. There's no time really spent in education to have the student go back with this new course correction and see if they got it now. And out of schedule help in most schools is woeful.

Because of this systematic failure, by the time many students are involved in "advanced" topics in high school, their foundational knowledge is so flimsy and filled with holes that new topics are like turning a strong fan on in a room with a house of cards. Yet the professional educational establishment seems unable to figure this out and correct it.

Keep in mind, without even a template of any kind, we're all fluently able to learn a complex language, a mass of complex social rules so complex that libraries are full of books describing them and how to sanitarily complete a digestion cycle on our own (everybody poops) before we even show up for day 1 of 1st grade. Keep in mind that we spent the first two of those 6-7 years not even being able to talk - so we did all that in about the same time it takes to get through high school. If we learned as much in our 4 years of high school, we'd all be leaving with the equivalent of advanced degrees in physics.

Children can learn at phenomenal paces, yet it takes years before students accumulate any worthwhile new skills in this kind of environment -- skills that should take them weeks or months.

School is doing it wrong.

4
pdonis 2 days ago 1 reply      
The money quote to me is this one:

"I was struck by this takeaway [#2] in particular because it made me realize how little autonomy students have, how little of their learning they are directing or choosing."

What strikes me about this is how none of the solutions the author offers fix this problem. In fact, it's unfixable with our current concept of what a school is. No amount of monkeying with how classes are taught will change the fact that the kids are there because they have to be there, not because they chose to be there.

5
1a2a3a4a 3 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting analysis, but as a current student I would find the things she wanted to change to be annoying in high school. It probably depends a lot on the student, but I really just wanted to listen to the teacher teach. My best teachers really knew their stuff and assigned interesting work for homework.

The ones that tried to get us to hop around were not appreciated. I'm there because I want to learn, not do jumping jacks.

6
derekp7 3 days ago 7 replies      
Why is this so surprising? Wasn't every teacher a high school student at some point? Is the experience so traumatic that they completely forget what the schedule was like once they become teachers themselves?
7
markbnj 3 days ago 3 replies      
I think to some extent she underestimated the differences in her own body after 15 years. I recall being bored and fidgety in school, but I was never so physically drained just from sitting in the way that she describes. That's probably something an increasingly inflexible adult experiences more than a child does.
8
vorg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recently spent a year as a full-time language student in a college (in China, so more like US high school in many ways) after teaching English for 10 yrs, and also unexpectedly discovered point no. 1, i.e. how tiring it is to sit down all day, and almost never did so as a teacher. Even after 1 year I was still often yawning after 2 or 3 hrs of near continuous sitting, and always got up to walk around outside for 5 or 15 minutes during breaks. Most other students were much younger, usually 20-ish, and often stayed sitting in class during breaks. I don't know how they do it, but maybe it's just their age, or maybe they haven't done a job where they're on their feet all day for 10 yrs.
9
misuba 3 days ago 4 replies      
...does she learn how to write clickbait headlines?
10
aarohmankad 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is one of the reasons I like my school. Points 1 and 3 in the article are pretty close to nonexistent.

[1]: We operate on a 4x4 schedule (4 classes August - December, 4 classes January - June). So we sit in one class for 90 minutes, a good time to focus on a task and get it done.

[2]: Issue 2 is a problem with every school I've been in and seen. I can't think of any school that has managed time in a way that will cover curriculum and capture student's attention.

[3]: I'm lucky that my school is only 3 years old, extremely new for my district. I can easily form personal connections with my teachers and administration. My teachers know my extracurriculars and understand if I didn't complete my homework that day (I turn it in later, but I do have to finish it).

Overall, this article was a reflective experience and made me even more thankful of my school.

11
intopieces 3 days ago 1 reply      
I do wish that my school had had the block scheduling this school seems to have. We had 8 periods in a day (school was a half period) and they were all ~50 minutes. This is barely enough time to accomplish anything, and days where the classes were shorter (teachers' meetings) then each class was worthless.
12
sopooneo 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I was a student teacher I asked permission to do this and, without exception, was met with baffled looks. What specifically are you hoping find out? I was asked. Why would you want to that? my mentor teacher wanted to know. It's not that anyone had objections, they just couldn't fathom why an adult would want to do it.

My biggest take away was how out of control and unpleasant lunch period was. Also, how much the kids got yelled at during class transitions.

13
pyre 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wasn't there a previous discussion/article on this (or at least something very similar)?
14
ARothfusz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why were they only taking 4 classes per day?

They are 30 minutes longer than my high school classes were, but we had 7+ different classes per day. I'm pretty sure our day lasted till 3:30 or 4pm. We had 5 minutes to get to the next class, and on a big campus, that could result in some pretty good cardio workouts. So maybe inadvertently we were getting those stretches recommended by the author.

15
reledi 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the best high school teachers I had used to teach Dutch to adult immigrants before becoming a Dutch high school teacher. She treated her previous students with respect and expected them to do the same. She taught us with the same approach and had thoughtful discussions with us, and it made a world of difference.
16
Immortalin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Singapore's education system is probably more reasonable. They use a pyramid structure for high school and middle school. Students will have to take a test at the end of primary school and their scores determine the type and quality of high school they actually go to.
17
mschuster91 2 days ago 1 reply      
iirc either McDonalds or BK has rumors of an internal rule that even the uppermost layers of management have to spend at least one full day each year standing behind the cash register and selling burgers.

It would be nice if a) this was more than an urban legend and b) if more companies embraced variations of this rule.

I believe it to be a good way to catch problems (e.g. unrealistic expectations of workers) before shit hits the fan like in a Mannheim (Germany) hospital where medical instruments were not disinfected properly due to too few workers and time - and reports to upper levels vanished in bureaucracy.

18
Meekro 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is reminiscent of a book called My Freshman Year, by a college professor who actually enrolled as a student at the same school. She writes about numerous discoveries that she found shocking, despite having taught at the same school for many years. It's a great read.
19
WalterBright 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's true in any profession that one learns a lot by spending a day in your customers' shoes.
20
marco1 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Offer brief, blitzkrieg-like mini-lessons with engaging, assessment-for-learning-type activities [...]"

Is that normal usage of "blitzkrieg"? Do you use it in everyday language?

21
j2kun 3 days ago 0 replies      
It would be easier for teachers to notice these things if their schedules included some time for reflection and preparation instead of packing as many classes as possible into an eight hour day.
22
rootlocus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aren't teachers supposed to go through college / university before they become teachers? Why are their own experiences irrelevant?
23
Freeboots 2 days ago 0 replies      
This article actually made me angry, to the point of pacing and muttering, that these points are not commonly understood and addressed.

How can these be new concepts? how can this be news? Students are bored because they have no autonomy, are force to sit and be talked down to all day, are not empowered to be involved in their own learning. WOW! AMAZING!

How out of touch do educators have to be for this to be considered innovative thinking?

24
analog31 3 days ago 0 replies      
From now on I'll be more tolerant when someone plays with their cellphone during one of my presentations.
25
pbreit 3 days ago 3 replies      
Wow, 7:45 sounds awfully early. And out at 2:35?
26
jqm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found her description of being tired in an icky way very good. I remember feeling exactly that way at the end of the day in high school.

I also agree with her suggestions. Short bursts of information, plenty of chances for physical motion, participation rather than passive listening. I believe all of this would have greatly improved what I got out of high school.

Oh, and also cutting out a significant portion of the bullshit and indoctrination which was passed off as eduction but which was not. That's a different topic though I guess.

27
cmdrfred 3 days ago 1 reply      
How can someone who has been teaching for 14 years pass themselves off as a 16 year old?
19
Porsche: The Hedge Fund That Also Made Cars
290 points by ryan_j_naughton  4 days ago   66 comments top 21
1
caboteria 4 days ago 1 reply      
I've heard Harvard described as a hedge fund that has figured out a great way to avoid taxes.
2
lisper 4 days ago 2 replies      
Berkshire-Hathaway was a textile company (and then an insurance company) before it became an investment company.

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

"In 1962, Warren Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway after noticing a pattern in the price direction of its stock whenever the company closed a mill. Eventually, Buffett acknowledged that the textile business was waning and the company's financial situation was not going to improve. In 1964, Stanton made an oral tender offer of $11-12 per share for the company to buy back Buffett's shares. Buffett agreed to the deal. A few weeks later, Warren Buffett received the tender offer in writing, but the tender offer was for only $11-38. Buffett later admitted that this lower, undercutting offer made him angry.[7] Instead of selling at the slightly lower price, Buffett decided to buy more of the stock to take control of the company and fire Stanton (which he did). However, this put Buffett in a situation where he was now majority owner of a textile business that was failing."

3
datainplace 4 days ago 2 replies      
Priceonomics. The blog that also is a startup.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

4
nathell 4 days ago 1 reply      
Did anyone mention McDonald's, the real estate company that also happens to be making hamburgers, yet?

http://money.howstuffworks.com/mcdonalds.htm

5
arjunrc 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is a must-read for automobile fans. Ferdinand Piech is as tech and business savvy as he is diabolical, and this article gives you a little perspective of that. I hope someone writes a book about him soon.

I mean, if you personally played a hand in creating the Audi Quattro (that dominated rallying) and the world's fastest car (Veyron, reviving a dead brand), which everyone deemed impossible, you've got to be in the history books of the automobile world.

Can't wait to see how they compete with electric upstarts and how they evolve their Ducati motorcycle brand.

6
jakozaur 4 days ago 3 replies      
The story of one of the largest short squeeze:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_squeeze
7
wdewind 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's an interesting story but hard to understand why they are saying it's a hedge fund. The fact that Porsche made an investment in VW that affected the larger financial markets does in no way equate to Porsche being a hedge fund, especially since that investment was made to allow them to continue manufacturing cars, not as a switch to focusing on financial markets.
8
adwf 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think they are putting a little too much of the blame on Wiedeking here. The CEO doesn't make huge stock purchases like this without board approval, and Pich was on the board of both Porsche and VW. To me it sounds a lot more like a play by Pich all along.

The article also understates the rivalry between Porsche and VW. They're saying it's just Wiedeking behind it since '93, but it's really been going on for a lot longer as far as I know.

9
seanv 4 days ago 0 replies      
anyone who took a quick look at this and didn't read the whole thing, i highly recommend it... i felt like i was reading Game of Thrones - Car Edition. What a fantastic story I never knew about!
10
cumeater 4 days ago 1 reply      
I like how desperately this article tries to portray Ferdinand Pich as a genius when he just got lucky. What if the "great Financial Crisis" of 2008 did not hit and a board member wasn't in bed with German Chancellor? These shenanigans would have blown into Pich's face.
11
ot 3 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that this move has been performed enough times to deserve its own (very amusing) name: Pac-Man defense

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man_defense

12
swang 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wow I remember the squeeze, didn't know it cost Porsche it's independence. Great read!
13
hosay123 4 days ago 1 reply      
Blatant clone of a vastly more concisely written (read: not padded using a thesaurus) article by Ivan Krstic

https://radian.org/notebook/porsche

14
pjtr 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious, how much did Wiedeking personally profit from this scheme? How much would he have made had he continued "just focusing on making cars" as the article concludes he should have?
15
ManuelKiessling 4 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like the article actually is an experiment that tries to find out in how many ways you can misspell the word Porsche.
16
oxryly1 4 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent article. In depth, with great sources.

And all on one page!

17
guiomie 4 days ago 0 replies      
Quite a good read.
18
Zhenya 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not the best phrase choice.
19
srhngpr 4 days ago 1 reply      
They should make a movie out of this.

"Das Hedge Fund"

20
pranayairan 3 days ago 0 replies      
such an amazing post. Loved it !!
21
immaceleb 4 days ago 3 replies      
is that true?
20
Plover: Thought to Text at 240 WPM (2013) [video]
283 points by zaroth  2 days ago   119 comments top 30
1
ploversteno 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hot off the press: Please view my latest steno coding video, where I transcribe a somewhat longer snippet of Python from the Plover codebase!

http://youtu.be/jRFKZGWrmrM

I'm still just a Python novice, so obviously I didn't write this code originally; I'm just transcribing it from a text file into Vim to demonstrate how easily and fluently code can be written with steno. It's not primarily about speed, but about chunking commands and words into single strokes, as opposed to breaking them down into individual letters and typing each letter out one by one as in qwerty. Also notice how simple error correction is; an incorrect word is deleted with a single stroke.

For more information, visit: http://openstenoproject.org

2
arh68 2 days ago 2 replies      
Most people have no business using a pneumatic nail gun. No business at all. You won't hang pictures any faster, and your doghouse will probably look the same. Technically, everything done with a nail gun could be done with a hammer.

But if you didn't know what a nail gun was, never imagined the thing, could you imagine framing a 2-story house by hand? A large house might need teams of arms & hammers. Dozens. You wouldn't even see construction as the same kind of thing: more of a coordinated work of labor, like aisles of rowers on a trireme.

If I can type so fast I can think out loud into the machine, the flow changes. It's likewise hard to argue how a REPL changes much anything, since saving & recompiling is fast, but I think flow is rather important.

3
charlieflowers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing that Mirabai is able to think in terms of semantic words, most of which can be entered in a single keystroke. If you're a programmer and you don't want to watch the whole video, at least jump to 32:50 and to hear what Mirabai's brain is thinking while coding. Very intriguing.
4
spyckie2 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone who has always been fascinated with alternative typing systems and shorthand, I took a look at Plover and Steno a couple of months ago. I bought myself an NKRO Keyboard - haven't turned it into a permanent STENO keyboard yet although I think that's the next step I should take if I want to be serious.

It seems difficult, but after about a week, you can write a lot of things without having to look them up in the STENO dictionary. The syllabic way of spelling words is systematic enough that you can derive most words, and there are multiple ways to spell something so most of your guesses are right.

Unfortunately, I think it will take (as said in the video) 3-6 months before I can go at a normal pace, and words not in STENO are not so easy to deal with. For any word not in the STENO dictionary, you either spell them out or generate a new set of chords for that word. So the system grows on you as you use it more and becomes more optimized and comfortable the longer you use it; it just takes a long time for you to become comfortable.

Steno keyboards also don't have arrow keys or modifier keys so you have to chord them out or remap all your shortcuts to things that make steno sense to you - that's even more of a learning curve.

I still really want to learn it; it is something that I think pays dividends after around 5 years or so. I would love to use it for stream of consciousness writing or note taking/transcription. Not sure about programming since there are so many tools (autocompletion, you can just write your own macros if you really want to save keystrokes) to help speed you up.

5
brunorsini 2 days ago 3 replies      
Love her passion and eloquence.

If Plover can effectively make Steno keyboards understandable by our OS of choice... Should we start teaching our kids this thing before they ever get hooked into qwerty?

6
canadev 2 days ago 2 replies      
That was really cool. Thanks for the link.

I liked the discussion of unicode/multilingual stuff (brief and inconclusive though it was). Basically it sounded like if a language has a steno solution then this could work for it.

I liked the demos and the going over of the chords that were typed in to make the various outputs.

I liked the accessibility and efficiency side of things.

I really liked the conversational speech engine thing.

At first, I was a bit uncomfortable with how fast she was talking (it was very rapid fire), but she even addressed that (in giving the same presentation previously, she'd run out of time).

I liked the low cost aspect of it.

I thought her idea of a game (RPG or MUD) to learn how to type steno was interesting. I looked at the project website (http://plover.stenoknight.com/) and didn't see the game yet, so I am guessing nobody has taken up that torch yet.

I am skeptical about the keyboard as a long term input device, but I've been using it for 25+ years now, and it doesn't seem to be going away just yet.

Here's a site with an n-key rollover test, which should tell you if your keyboard will support this sort of stuff natively: http://www.gigahype.com/nkey-rollover-test-page/

I noticed that my keyboard supported, in some cases, up to 8 characters are a time -- but if I tried to hold WASD all down at the same time, it failed. So I guess it's not an n-key rollover supporting keyboard. (I vaguely remember reading something about this and how the key switches are laid out in a grid last year.)

I rarely seem to get problems with my fingers from typing, but one culprit is Tetris (which I play for hours every week, not sure why I'm not sick of it after so many years). It does cause some pain for me to play. I don't know if this sort of thing would ever help with that, but I am not sure.

Edit: Forgot to mention, the description of the logo was pretty neat.

7
toxik 2 days ago 5 replies      
Very nice! She is a very good speaker. I want to add two things:

1. A gentleman at the end says he's learning Colemak and that he's forgotten QWERTY as a cost. I type Dvorak every day, and I have to refute that claim! Sure, Colemak is a lot closer to QWERTY but I have a hard time believing he actually forgot QWERTY. So don't worry about that, I encourage you to try a different layout (and recommend Dvorak for its prevalence in the wild.)

2. There is a second gentleman asking if this could be done for iPhone. Such efforts are underway, I know there is some project at KTH doing this. It doesn't really work all too well but it is a nice concept. Perhaps if you could also properly see the screen while typing...

8
danbruc 2 days ago 4 replies      
While cool and useful if you have to write a lot quickly, I don't think it is very helpful for programming - typing speed is just not the limiting factor except in some rare cases.
9
pmoriarty 2 days ago 0 replies      
The speed of steno is mostly due to having a huge number of macros, which chorded keyboards let you have a lot of. You could have a bunch of one-stroke macros for full sentences, for instance. There's no way someone spelling out words one letter at a time is going to be able to keep up with someone who can type a one-stroke macro to type a long word or even a sentence.

But you don't have to use a steno keyboard or a pre-defined steno system to type words phonetically nor to create macros. Both can be done on regular keyboards (or any other kind of keyboard). However, it is nice to get a keyboard that can chord more than 2 or 3 keys which most cheap keyboards are limited to. The more keys a keyboard lets you chord, the more one-stroke macros you can create.

10
jlhawn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Something which was particularly striking to me about this presentation was how the steno input system seems very similar to the Korean alphabet and writing system, Hangul [1], a phonetic writing system in which each syllable is composed of a beginning consonant, a middle vowel, and an ending consonant. Steno seems to have a very, very steep learning curve, but Hangul has been around since the 15th century and is already used by over 50 million people. While the steno 'chords' seem to have as many as 5-6+ keys pressed at the same time, Hangul blocks are typically 2-3 characters. I've been learning Korean for about a month and though I only know a handful of words, I find the writing system easy to learn and use. While it doesn't allow for all combinations of consonants and vowel sounds that exist in western languages like English, with some modifications a hybrid writing/input system could be made which may not be as powerful as steno, but is easier to use and learn like Hangul, allows for all of the consonant and vowel sounds used by most languages, and gets you most of the efficiency gains of stenotype.

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

11
kanzure 2 days ago 3 replies      
Typing source code with Plover is possible, but so far there have been lots of reports of unexpected whitespace. I think the ultimate test for plover is to beat something like the 23 minutes 28 seconds qwerty record on http://www.ioccc.org/2013/cable3/cable3.c with less keystrokes overall. IOCCC can be seen as an absolute worst case scenario for the sorts of code that might be encountered in day-to-day programming. So if a somewhat experienced Plover user can handle IOCCC without a problem, then programmers are in the clear.

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ploversteno/KJ2OcDqboCc/5iLn...

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/ploversteno/KJ2OcDqboCc/GPWU...

Meanwhile I have been working on reverse engineering the proprietary USB protocol for the Elan Cybra steno machine... http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server1400/803d4/products/3527/i...

12
mwcampbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
It occurs to me that blind people who are proficient at writing braille would likely be able to learn steno with relative ease, because they're already used to routinely pressing several keys in one stroke (up to 8 at a time in 8-dot computer braille). Also, braille has several contractions, including dot combinations that don't map to single letters but to common two-letter sequences like 'th' and 'st'. Steno, being syllabic, requires fewer keystrokes per word than braille, but at least proficient braille users would already have the dexterity and some of the concepts.

Edit: On a more software-related topic, the interaction between Plover and a screen reader (assistive technology used by blind people) would be... interesting, particularly if the user is using text-to-speech output rather than a braille display. Plover simulates individual QWERTY keystrokes, and a screen reader often speaks in response to keystrokes. So to take the example of entering "Python", the screen reader would notice the backspaces produced by the second steno keystroke and would try to speak the backspaced characters, interrupting itself all along the way, before speaking the newly constructed word (assuming the user has word echo enabled). The response to the asterisk key would also be suboptimal. I don't know how best to solve that. On Windows, the best solution would probably be an add-on module for the open-source NVDA screen reader (http://www.nvaccess.org/), which is in Python.

Edit 2: I belatedly remembered the correct answer to the above problem for Windows. On Windows, Plover should be using the Text Services Framework as an alternative to simulating keystrokes, where the TSF is available, which includes Microsoft Word and standard edit controls. I guess I should implement that.

13
Jonovono 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know if the macbook air (13-inch, Mid 2013) supports n-key rollever

I tried this link and it seems like I can press multiple keys at once: http://www.gigahype.com/nkey-rollover-test-page/

It looks like I get 6 keys so maybe that is not enough?

14
RevRal 2 days ago 2 replies      
I suppose this is a good place to ask.

Does anyone have a preferred system of shorthand? I've always wanted to learn shorthand because my thoughts sometimes escape me when I am writing. I haven't taken the step beyond choosing a shorthand system, so if anyone has a preference would you mind sharing?

Thank you.

15
doorhammer 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm wondering about the user specific dictionaries and whether or not adoption would be aided by the communities trying to define sets of standard dictionaries that seem to be particularly efficient and effective at different tasks, like coding in brackets languages, or just general coding dictionaries.

If I tried to use it for something somewhat non standard and had to start defining a lot of my own chords, I'd pretty quickly wonder if I was handicapping myself by making bad choices in defining things. Might be that I'd quickly realize it doesn't matter for whatever reason.

Looks really rad, either way.

16
TazeTSchnitzel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since there wasn't yet a Wikipedia page, I've started one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plover_%28software%29

17
fsiefken 2 days ago 0 replies      
programming at the speed of thought; vim at 240 wpm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpv-Qb-dB6g#t=829

I wonder any of the Pycon 2013 participants try to learn plover and what their experiences were, perhaps they even read this topic on HN?

I'm already very proficient at dvorak typing (with the regular vim bindings), so I'm not sure if the 30% speed increase would justify taking 3 to 6 months of learning this, it'd be cool for substituting your speech with a text to speech engine, and with openeeg recognition one step closer to cyborghood. It's also nice to just have the skill to transcribe human speech real time and being able to apply for jobs in politics, justice or television. For example, here's an interview with the dutch transcriber in Dutch parliament:http://www.intermediair.nl/carriere/een-baan-vinden/beroepen...

I wonder if the steno chording could be optimized significantly by rearranging the keys and layout in a similar way as dvorak did with qwerty. Perhaps T9/autoexpand with Linux can be just as fast, but it cannot be used blind, can it?http://code.google.com/p/autokey/https://github.com/shaaniqbal/T9-QWERTY/

18
tomjen3 2 days ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who spends far more time thinking about what I am writing than writing it?

I mean being able to type 240 wpm would be some bragging rights, but how would it be useful?

19
dsego 2 days ago 0 replies      
How about this versus coding by voice? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SkdfdXWYaI
20
1ris 2 days ago 1 reply      
I still have not found any information on using it with other languages than English.
21
epayne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great talk! I am excited by the possibility of seeing Mirabai Knight launch a Kickstarter campaign for a steno keyboard for programmers and other users. Given the promise of typing 200 WPM comfortably I think many of us would pay a premium for a new device and training software.
22
reledi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I never knew something like this was possible, very cool.

One (unrelated) part of the Q&A saddens me, the fallacy that an open source project cannot be commercially successful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpv-Qb-dB6g#t=1200

23
ploversteno 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, here's a transcript of the PyCon video for people who don't have time to watch it: http://openstenoproject.org/transcripts/pycon-2013-video-tra...
24
verroq 2 days ago 0 replies      
The really great idea is the portable low cost steno keyboard, maybe backed by a Raspberry Pi. Just plug it in and you'd get your own customised input system with all your personal configurations and dictionaries and what not.

Also since it's phonetic, I'd imagine it'd work great with Chinese in Pinyin mode.

25
thefreeman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is a link to the code. Couldn't seem to find it anywhere on the website. https://github.com/openstenoproject/plover
26
JD557 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems interesting. I was going to install a steno keyboard on my phone to try it out, but then I noticed that it might only work with english.

Does anyone know if this project supports other dictionaries/layouts?

27
plg 2 days ago 0 replies      
A really good example of how to give a great talk.
28
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 1 reply      
With my knuckles getting stiffer, this is a really attractive idea - I just wish there were more obvious ways to get the stick on keys (cannot seem to find the links)

Edit: did not mean to sound so miserable. I think this is a great project and my plan before Xmas is to install it on a raspberry pi, buy or make the stick on keyboard and use the RPi as a pass through keyboard at work - so I am less dependant on each local hard disk

29
lotsofmangos 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is very cool, I've been thinking for a while of learning chorded keyboards, and this stops me having to spend a fortune to do so.

From the title I must admit I was wondering if it was going to be something like NASA's actual thought-to-text project - http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/mar/HQ_04093_subvocal_s... - It would be really cool if someone could make an open source version of that in python.

30
Noxchi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping this was a system that captured your thinking and put it as text in the computer. That's something I want.
21
Smuggling Snowden Secrets
255 points by jbegley  10 hours ago   41 comments top 8
1
lazaroclapp 5 hours ago 2 replies      
"The frustrating and ironic thing about GPG is that even experts make mistakes with it. [...] in his first email to me, Snowden had forgotten to attach his key, which meant I could not encrypt my response. I had to send him an unencrypted email asking for his key first."

So, not only can't Johny encrypt (http://www.gaudior.net/alma/johnny.pdf), but neither can security experts when their lives may depend on it. Proving once more that not only do we need better security tools, but - above all - more usable security tools.

2
davidholmesnyc 6 hours ago 2 replies      
What a great article. To think this guy had no idea for months he was talking to one of the biggest whistleblowers of our generation. Reading this makes me wonder if there's room for a yellow pages style public key directory for journalists. That would of saved a lot of time and hassle.
3
scintill76 7 hours ago 2 replies      
> Snowden had forgotten to attach his key, which meant I could not encrypt my response.... His oversight was of no security consequenceit didnt compromise his identity in any way...

Uh, didn't it compromise security by making it possible for someone else to MITM the rest of the emails Snowden received? They see the public key request before he does, send out their key instead, suppress his real response from being sent to them, decrypt mails to him and re-encrypt with his real key so he doesn't notice. AFAICT it indeed didn't compromise his identity, but the privacy and authenticity of the rest of the conversation.

Granted, like a lot of MITM scenarios, using crypto at all drastically raises the bar from permitting passive eavesdropping, to requiring a lot of access and agility to eavesdrop. At least, this is my personal, semi-informed conclusion lately -- I don't know what the experts say.

4
davidw 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I should get back into doing GPG key signings. I really hope that, sometime soonish, someone does a decent browser email crypto thing. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to add to the amount of encrypted traffic on the internet.
5
dmix 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I could imagine the NSA has set up a team of people who collect journalists PGP private keys from their computers these days.
6
jordanpg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This article highlights for me how much the world could change if the overall knowledge level about PK crypto was raised -- if it became as intuitive for the non-technical user as, say, protecting physical keys.
7
GHFigs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad to see The Intercept is still bringing those hard-hitting revelatory leaks instead of merely capitalizing on public idolization with hagiographic exclusives.
8
escapologybb 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is harsh full stop. This guy had an amazing experience, it was his experience alone and therefore it is his story to tell.

He can say whatever he likes, in whatever way he wants and so can you. Isn't the Internet awesome?

22
We Are All Confident Idiots
258 points by r0h1n  21 hours ago   144 comments top 30
1
leeber 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I think if you're truly (1) confident about your knowledge or mastery of a particular topic and (2) actually are knowledgeable, you don't have trouble admitting things you don't know.

Here's what I really hate though. When you are around multiple people who are the type to claim knowledge about things they truly have no idea about.

For example in social situations or work situations and you have multiple of these types around. When a conversation comes up and the knowledge of the people involved is put to the test. Maybe your boss is asking who knows how to perform a certain task, or who has experience with certain hardware or software, etc. Or maybe a friend is asking what is the best TV they should buy, etc. There's the people who claim to know about topics XYZ when they really don't, and you, naturally, admit that you don't know. But you might still be the most knowledgeable person about the general topic, and best candidate to offer advice or take on said task. Doesn't matter, you get labeled as the uninformed person while the "idiot" who claims to know everything about XYZ appears to be knowledgable expert. And worst case scenario is when your boss, co-workers, friends, etc. are dumb enough not to catch it.

2
mathgenius 13 hours ago 6 replies      
It astounds me how many people will just make shit up rather than profess their ignorance. I'm not even sure if they are even aware of their lack of knowledge, it is as if they discovered this lump of meat in their skull that emits random verbiage and they assume this must be truth. Like a little tv in their head, power up and go.

So the next time someone says to you they don't know something, watch out, this person is probably a genius!

3
atmosx 19 hours ago 2 replies      
"As You Like It" by William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1:

[...]The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool[...]

I try to keep that quote in mind at all times. I believe it holds a great deal of wisdom, especially for me. For I am loud and opinionated. But I still fail when I need it most, at times when I am surrounded by (people who IMHO are extreme) idiots.

4
wglb 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Very well written article. Very amusing commentary threads.

But let me suggest something that I have tried. In one of my most intense coding periods in my career, I kept a log of the bugs that I created and had to fix. My bug rate declined measurably. (This is one of the old notebooks that i dearly wish I kept--was left at that job when I moved on.)

There is a relevant quote that I can't locate from someone famous who said that he would keep a list of his mistakes in his wallet and refer to it from time to time. A boss of mine who was adventurous about experimenting with new technology said "I don't know very much about it, but I do know 50 ways that wont't work". This has led me to asking someone who claims to be an expert "Tell me three (or five) things that won't work" in their field of expertise.

The advice from the article For individuals, the trick is to be your own devils advocate: to think through how your favored conclusions might be misguided; to ask yourself how you might be wrong, or how things might turn out differently from what you expect seems spot on.

5
adwf 16 hours ago 7 replies      
I usually accredit the evolution attribution problem to the phrase "survival of the fittest". It's a catchy line, it implies that the better you are the more likely you are to survive, which is kinda true, but leads to the mistaken agency issue. It has the additional benefit of aligning with the ethic of hard work (ie. do better to survive) that we also try to teach kids, which I think is one of the reasons it persists as a meme.

The problem is that "death of the weakest" is a much better way of describing it - although possibly not so PC to teach in the classroom. The reason why people think Cheetahs evolved to be fast is because they equate it with the ethic of hard work, rather than the real reason - slow cheetahs don't eat and therefore die before breeding, fast cheetahs eat and get to breed.

Without meaning to start yet another internet debate/flamewar about evolution, I often wonder whether the strong protestant work ethic in the US is also the reason why evolution is so poorly understood there. Because "death to the weakest" involves no agency, no self-improvement or hard work.

EDIT: Just to avoid to confusion (as there seems to be some!), I'm not talking about the mechanism of evolution, purely the actual phrase "survival" and what it means to people when it's mentioned, the implication of agency that goes along with the word.

6
Bahamut 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This is anecdotal, but as far as I have seen in the Marine Corps, there is a bit of knowledge that is passed down that confidence makes you right, and that you need to be absolutely confident if you make an observation that goes against what a higher up is doing.

Of course this is bad logic (and likely part of why Marines get a bad rep for often being stupid), but there is a bit of wisdom in there - confidence makes things more likely to happen your way, and people also like confidence more than uncertainty. For the Marine Corps, such a bad adage is useful since uncertainty is bad, and it often is better to choose an action, even if sub-optimal, than do nothing at all.

7
lucio 18 hours ago 2 replies      
"epic housing bubble stoked by the machinations of financiers and the ignorance of consumers"

Isn't he being prey of his own effect?

So the "epic housing bubble"(consecuence) was caused by "the machinations of financiers(cause 1) and the ignorance of consumers (cause 2)"

If this is true, why 2008?Clearly cause 1 & 2 were present waaay before 2008.So maybe the bubble have other causes?

8
waterlesscloud 17 hours ago 1 reply      
"Because its so easy to judge the idiocy of others, it may be sorely tempting to think this doesnt apply to you. But the problem of unrecognized ignorance is one that visits us all."

This means YOU, person who thinks you see through it all.

You don't.

This applies to you too.

9
Dylan16807 16 hours ago 1 reply      
>whether his appearance as a judge on Americas Got Talent would damage his legacy. No, said one woman to this last question. It will make him even more popular.

Will. As in, this person was not bluffing. They were not talking about a previously aired nonexistent show. They were speculating on a possible future. It doesn't matter if the questioner is trying to lie.

(The 'lie' isn't even something that's disprovable, as a plausible future event.)

Disclaimer: only talking about the quote in the article, if there was more context it shouldn't have been cut

10
prof_hobart 19 hours ago 1 reply      
> some familiarity with concepts that are entirely made up, such as the plates of parallax, ultra-lipid, and cholarine. In one study, roughly 90 percent claimed some knowledge of at least one of the nine fictitious concepts

Is it possible that this is at least partly down to the phrase "some knowledge"? Knowing what parallax or lipids are might be seen as having some knowledge of the concept.

11
nwatson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm probably too late with this comment ... but if the diameter of the tube is significantly larger than the diameter of the ball, and the initial velocity of the ball is large enough, then the trajectory of the ball as it leaves the "curved tube" won't necessarily correlate well with the straightforward textbook answer you'd expect to see. Perhaps the original context for the question made this a bit more clear, but as presented in the article, the "real world" might intervene.
12
kevinwang 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm pretty sure that for the Kimmel segments, they ask the interviewees different questions and later edit in a different question that makes the original answer seem funny.
13
teekert 15 hours ago 1 reply      
In holland, a DJ called Giel Beelen has/had a part of his show called "Gaat ie mee of zegt ie nee.": "Will he join or will he say no."He asked a national politician about terrorist Jael Jablabla (http://nos.nl/op3/artikel/359078-pvdakamerlid-leerdam-stopt-...), about a non-existing band and about the coma of Sharon... The politician bluffed his way through, claiming he knew more about Jablabla than the DJ... and ended his career shortly afterwards.
14
blinkingled 13 hours ago 0 replies      
One extreme is confident idiot. The other is the ever doubting fool. I keep thinking there is a happier middle ground - I know some things and I can't know some others. I will do my best with what I know.

From personal experience #1 obviously leads to certain failures (unfortunate one if you are even a little wise and honest - you saw this coming and still decided to be a cocky idiot). #2 you lose out on motivation, don't get the credit you deserve and get more stressed than necessary.

The happier middle ground works for me - actually look at everything, find out what you know, what you need to know and equally importantly what you are just not going to know. Then work a plan on the strengths of what you know.

That's work though - heh! The extremes are just easier to acquire :)

15
lucio 18 hours ago 2 replies      
In the curved-tube image, clearly the ball will exit with a clockwise spinning, because it'll be rolling on the external wall of the tube (based on the "Newtonian principle" of inertia). I'll bet if you try it as a experiment (inside the atmosphere) the ball will follow "C"... Am I a confident idiot?
16
ScottBurson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"Master, what is knowledge?"

"When you know a thing, to know that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to know that you do not know it -- this is knowledge."

I don't remember where I read that, but I like it.

17
shimfish 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I often reply "I don't know" when asked about things I don't know. It's invariably met with an explicit or implicit questioning of my worth. I can see why people learn never to admit ignorance.
18
Shivetya 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder where those of us who tend to self depreciating humor, who also in turn confess to not knowing much while being told we get things done, fall. I know some of what I am totally clueless about but revel in being told when I am factually wrong in something I thought otherwise. However there are areas where I just refuse to understand and worse I think I know what some of those are and still won't correct it.
19
androidb 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not confident!
20
jacobn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
And this is why software schedules are always off. Any schedule for that matter.

If you're into this type of psychology, check out "Thinking Fast and Slow" by D. Kahnemann.

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/...

21
dlss 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone is curious about the Kimmel clip, it's on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frjaQ17yAww

The article makes a lot more sense after watching it IMO.

22
gsz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like it's best to be doubtful and unsure about my knowledge. So as long as I can make sure I'm unsure, I'm good. But can I be confident that I'm unsure?

It's turtles all the way down.

23
DanielBMarkham 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one thats filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge. "

Yes, and an informed mind is the same, only all the junk is "lined" up to agree with whatever the prevailing wisdom is.

People don't operate on facts. They operate on feelings, flimsly allegories, metaphors, and half-baked truths. This isn't a bug; it's a feature. It allows us to walk into a room we've never visited before, use a chair, and order from a menu without having to spend time verifying a lot of details. The brain is emotional and always wildly guessing and generalizing about things, no matter who we are or what we do.

People wonder why prejudice and stereotyping hasn't gone away in society. Well heck, it's never going away until you replace people with robots. I was attacked by a clown as a kid, I hate and fear clowns. You saw your mom shrink from a tall person, you are afraid of tall people. That's how the brain works, and it's how we're able to function.

At best we learn to deliberately struggle with this. It's never going to go away -- at least while we're still human.

24
century19 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> "Often, our theories are good enough to get us through the day, or at least to an age when we can procreate."

This is a fantastic line. I guess getting to the age where we can procreate is all that's needed by our genes !

25
cowardlydragon 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The REAL problem is that confident incompetence in males is attractive to females.
26
qwerta 15 hours ago 0 replies      
"idiot" is well defined medical term, author probably meant "ignorant".
27
tokenadult 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This article is very worth a thorough top-to-bottom read. I especially like a paragraph from farther down in the article where the author brings up an issue that often comes up here on Hacker News: "According to Pauline Kim, a professor at Washington University Law School, people tend to make inferences about the law based on what they know about more informal social norms. This frequently leads them to misunderstand their rightsand in areas like employment law, to wildly overestimate them. In 1997, Kim presented roughly 300 residents of Buffalo, New York, with a series of morally abhorrent workplace scenariosfor example, an employee is fired for reporting that a co-worker has been stealing from the companythat were nonetheless legal under the states 'at-will' employment regime. Eighty to 90 percent of the Buffalonians incorrectly identified each of these distasteful scenarios as illegal, revealing how little they understood about how much freedom employers actually enjoy to fire employees." I have seen this misconception here on Hacker News many times. (To be sure, here on Hacker News we have participants from many countries, not all of which have the same laws about employment, but I have seen plenty of Americans proclaim "facts" about rights of employees here in the United States that simply are not facts.) Basically, in our thoughtful discussions here, we all have to take care to check our facts. That's why I'm especially glad to upvote comments that ask earlier commenters to explain where they got their information, or to suggest further reading on a topic. I'll link a book here about employment law (mostly related to hiring procedures) as an example of the information I like to see in comments. I need to check my understanding of all issues, all the time, according to the article kindly submitted here, and I appreciate it when other HN participants help me find more information.

http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Hiring-Manual-Employment-Backgrou...

28
piker 15 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR go with your gut--it's probably correct.
29
praptak 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Anecdotal evidence from a fun show, plus the mandatory reference to Dunning-Kruger.

"Unfortunately, Kruger and Dunning never actually provided any support for this type of just-world view; their studies categorically didnt show that incompetent people are more confident or arrogant than competent people."

http://www.talyarkoni.org/blog/2010/07/07/what-the-dunning-k...

30
vinceguidry 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The article makes a few generalizations about evolution that don't really hold up. The idea that evolution does not have agency needs to be re-examined in the light of the fact that animals themselves have far more agency than we realized.

To use the author's example, cheetahs may well have all decided as a group to run faster, in the sort of 'social learning' way that we're just now starting to really get a grip on. I mean, adaptations don't just happen, beings have to use their abilities, and then the cells will respond by getting thicker, stronger, more responsive. Think about lifting weights. If agency isn't responsible for evolutionary advantages, then what is? Random differences? Really?

Evolution is way more complex than we realize. Every year, we come across crazy things that happen in our own bodies that just totally blow our minds. Right now I think our broader understanding of how evolution works is hampered by the fact that we just don't know yet how genomes hold on to experiences and then pass them along to our offspring. So we assume that every life form is a blank slate, limited to just the same genetic code all their fellow life forms share.

But just because we share the same template in one, specific way doesn't mean there can't be a ton of ways that fertilized zygotes can be different from each other too. And that those differences could result from the things our parents did in their lives.

23
Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required
236 points by 001sky  3 days ago   129 comments top 23
1
guylhem 3 days ago 5 replies      
Before, I wondered how such things could not be found in violation of the constitution, while they were obviously taking property without prosecution, guilty until proven innocent, etc.

The answer is simple: because someone in power said so, and with his thugs buddies pressured the right people to turn it into law - aka "might makes right"

A recent US exemple: civil forfeiture, even of the money you set aside for your own legal representation, is totally ok, even if it actually impedes your right to defend yourself, cf http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/02/ci...

To those who still can't believe civil forfeiture in the US, here is a sweet example in the EU. The constitution explicitely says : "The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State" (article 125 of the Maastricht treaty aka constitution)

Yet the european court of justice, equivalent to the supreme court, found that bailing out Greece etc. by the European Stability Mechanism (purchase of dubious greek debt) was perfectly kosher.

Now people object to the idea of the european central bank doing quantitative easy, for similar reasons - because it's against the basic premises of the ECB, the constitution, etc, but it will be done, regardless of what the law says, if enough pressure is applied by those in power to result in what is in practice disregarding the law.

Basically, you can have a crystal clear constitution saying X is strictly illegal, but unless it's followed in practice, it's as worthless as the freedom of expression that was granted to the citizens of USSR by its own laws.

There used to be a separate judiciary power - even the state was subject to laws. It is no longer the case. This separate power is being swallowed by the state.

Is it profond disrespect of not just the spirit, but the letter, of any constitution? Whatever. "Might makes right"

(Edit: clarified)

2
emotionalcode 3 days ago 7 replies      
> He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources.

I don't understand this. How can anyone know whether what they are doing is wrong unless those rules are built into the structure of the law and the infrastructure of banks?

From how I read this, one government 'report' gets triggered if deposits are over 10,000$. Another government 'report' gets triggered if deposits are made for an indeterminate period of time under 10,000$.

> Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

How can they assume this?

3
Yetanfou 3 days ago 3 replies      
How on earth can these practices continue in a country which prides itself - to the level of claiming so in the last line of every stanza of its anthem - on being the 'land of the free and the home of the brave'? This type of injustice should be taught in history and literature classes in the guise of Prince John and the legend of Robin Hood. It should definitely not be part of the government curriculum.

Required reading to become successful in the injustice department:

    Robin Hood    1984    Brave New World    ...

4
sethbannon 3 days ago 2 replies      
"in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice"

While it's upsetting that this practice happened in the first place, and even more upsetting that the judiciary seemed to allow it, it's a relief to know that the New York Times here fulfilled the intended role of a free press.

5
thelogos 3 days ago 2 replies      
This has been the case for a long time. The IRS works on a guilty-until-proven-innocent basis. Take the case of collectible gain tax, if you do not have evidence to prove the value of the item on the date it was acquired, then the IRS calculates the tax based on the total value of the item, not just the profit. So if you buy something that might increased in value at a later date, you better keep the receipt.

And of course, anytime the government freezes your asset and property, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to get it back. Meanwhile, you won't have any means to hire a good lawyer.

6
NaOH 3 days ago 0 replies      
Two good additional pieces. One is John Oliver's segment on this from his show Last Week Tonight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEpZWGgJks&sns=em

The other is a piece by two of the people who were originally behind the law but say it has failed and should be abolished.

http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140923/DM04/140...

7
ipsin 2 days ago 0 replies      
So as an individual who wants to conduct transactions involving more than $10,000, in increments of less than $10,000, what do you do?

You can't file a Currency Transaction Report on amounts less than $10,000. You could demand that the bank file a "Suspicious Activity Report" on you, to make it very clear that you're not trying to evade limits, but ... they're under no obligation to do so, are they? And my understanding is that there's a Gag Order attached as well, and the recipients of the report probably won't get the nuance that "you asked for it" at all.

I think the "structuring" rules are kept vague because well-defined rules would be used by people who wanted to avoid attention, for various reasons.

8
nicwolff 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, carry $18,000 and it gets seized by highway cops because law-abiding people just don't carry that much cash http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/06/st.... But take it to the bank in two batches of $9000 and it gets seized by the IRS because law-abiding people don't avoid large deposits.
9
zyxley 3 days ago 2 replies      
I still fail to see how this kind of thing avoids violating the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
10
msoad 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile corporate tax abuse has no criminal consequences for decision makers in the corporate!
11
Constitution4Me 3 hours ago 0 replies      
12
stretchwithme 3 days ago 1 reply      
Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply when all three branches of government agree that it doesn't apply.
13
carsongross 3 days ago 0 replies      
And there's that boot again, grimly stomping on a human face...
14
CauseOrSolution 2 days ago 0 replies      
When might makes right how far behind is a revolution to clean out the bullies and tyrants who made it possible? Have leaders not learned what turns the majority or vocal minority against them... not just at the ballot box, but by the guillotine, armed resistance, suicide bombers, snipers etc?
15
biot 3 days ago 2 replies      
How about a workaround: if you want to deposit less than $10K in cash, you first withdraw an amount that, when added to your original deposit, totals $10,001. This automatically triggers the reporting requirement. If enough people made every deposit reportable, it would be like a denial of service on banks and the IRS.
16
mindcrime 3 days ago 0 replies      
For the 8 trillionth time, let me point out that this is a perfect example of why people should vote for Libertarian candidates. Pretty much NO Democrat or Republican is going to take any strong stand against this behavior... OTOH, pretty much ALL Libertarians would fiercely oppose this.

So, this November, when you go up to that ballot box...

17
monsterix 3 days ago 3 replies      
Just out of curiosity: Can someone dealing purely with cryptocurrencies (like bitcoins) avoid this situation?
18
DanielBMarkham 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sidebar: the IRS also has special privileges when it comes to viewing your private data. Most folks don't know this. If your account is "flagged" (for whatever reason by a worker) they can go online and take just about any personal data of yours they want.

The only reason more people don't know about this is that they haven't started abusing it as much as they do funds seizure.

The IRS (and tax law) has some egregious structural defects that will not be fixed with a law here or there. A complete overhaul is desperately needed.

19
Constitution4Me 1 day ago 0 replies      
You Nation of Cowards!, says Eric Holder in his speech to the people of the USA. Yes he is calling us cowards! Holder is Obama's man, he is also the fall guy too.Perhaps he calls us cowards, because Americans put up with so much s-t from Obama, Holder, Bloomberg and Napolitano and do nothing. Is the IRS controlled by the mafia? Yes it is, but not for much longer!

"We the people" do noting even to defend the very Constitution that saves us from these criminals. There is a heap of criminal evidence against them all, growing by the second, but everybody is a powerless coward! WHY? The judges are paid-off by this gov mafia. All it takes for them to have power is a threatening phone call.

Sane legal teams that defend normal people are accused and sacked and then the mad legal teams take over - predictors against ordinary good people like you, like your sister or your brother or your father.

Everything that is good is accused of being totally evil and everything that is evil promoted by the media and government, promoted out of Obamas own mouth. It's all upside down political correctness barking madness!

The IRS is controlled by this mafia. The USA has gone to hell in a madhouse. The police are predictors dressed in black just like Na- zi storm troopers that shoot your own kids in the back! The law does not apply to the police and your life is worthless to them. You know that is true because of their swagger and they behave like school thugs. Police carry military hardware and shoot innocent people every day!

A few good cops, a few good sheriffs, a few good military commanders are a threat to Obama. HE REMOVES THEM. I guess we voted the wrong man in because he has removed over 300 good US military generals and captains! The consequence is ISIS or ISIL take over - off with your heads and all this when Obama is playing golf.

NOW! We draw a line in the sand. IT STOPS HERE!-----------------------------------------------_______________________________________________ NO MORE!

So then the ARCH CRIMINAL HOLDER is actually right about: "WE THE PEOPLE BEING COWARDS". Is he right? He is laughing in our faces, except he does not realize that bravery starts out with inaction, starts with cowardly acts, or with shameful thoughts.

Eventually a few brave men and women wake up, they are ashamed by their yellow bellies, ashamed by their drug habits, their past horrible mistakes are shameful, ashamed because they fail to defend their friends in trouble.

Injustice is how a revolution starts and yellow bellies quickly become hard and brave and angry. DETERMINED NEVER TO BE COWARDLY AGAIN!NEVER TO TOLERATE EVIL SOCIALIST COMMUNISTS AGAIN.

The USA will wake up, but will it be too late?Has the police state taken over already? Yes, it has! America is NOT free anymore! Worse Obama is dragging the rest of the world the same way.

It is never too late and it is time to defend the Constitution which anticipated exactly these criminal minds taking over. For that reason the Constitution is an unrecognized genius that defends YOU against death by your own government. Obama knows exactly this fact and so he hates the Constitution of the United States of America.Almost every signature on paper makes him ARCH anti-Constitution reinforced.

It is so obvious - it is as if 80% of Americans do not know their own constitution and are high on dope!

Do you agree that clean minds must rule not criminals?Do you agree that you often tolerate what the rest of the world does not tolerate?If the IRS act like mafia then the IRS ARE MAFIA!If you simply tell them NO and everybody stands firm they absolutely cannot act against you. Why not say NO? Why not bring determined charges against them and charge them with treason because clearly their actions are killing the USA. Please Reply.

20
Constitution4Me 2 days ago 0 replies      
Deposit less than $10,000 dollars at a time and the IRS seals your bank deposit - no evidence no charges required! ISIS chops heads off but IRS is chopping its own head off. Trust has gone, common sense, gone, justice gone. Picking on Mum and Pop businesses that deposit less than $10 000 and confiscating the money is a sickness. I have studied the constitution and casual violation of the amendments by authorities for mad reasons is a sure way to destroy the USA. Then ISIS can step in. My idea is to VOTE somebody in that ENFORCES THE CONSTITUTION so that violations require capital punishment BACKDATED! That would be fair and legal and can save the USA instead of kill it. It seams that applying laws because of criminals that clobber innocent people is brain less. Come to England and start your own business - you pay about 20% TAX. Please come away from the USA about to destroy itself.
21
hapless 3 days ago 2 replies      
In two out of the three given examples, the people involved admit to deliberately structuring deposits to avoid reporting requirements. That is a crime, in and of itself. Ignorance is not a defense.

These people were given bad advice by bank tellers and accountants, but they are still guilty. Being offered a settlement by the IRS is more than they should have hoped for.

If anything, they're lucky to have been subject to civil forfeiture. In a criminal process, they would have lost all of the money, and also potentially spent time in prison.

22
morgante 3 days ago 4 replies      
I'm as outraged by the practices of civil forfeiture and asset seizing as the next guy (our government is increasingly looking like a stationary bandit [1]).

That being said, I'm not at all surprised that it happens and frankly not very worried: it's on a ridiculously small scale. There's a reason the NYT article focused on specific storiesthe overall stats aren't exactly that scary.

Of 639 seizures in 2012, 128 were legitimate. While 80% false positives doesn't seem good at first glance, consider that it's out of over 700,000 reports. Less than 0.1% of reports actually led to people's money being wrongfully seizedthat's a low enough rate that it's hardly worth worrying about. If anything, I'm more worried that they're not catching more money launderers and tax evaders (only 128 seems awfully low in a country of 316 million).

I think most of us would be hard-pressed to come up with a system which had a similarly low error rate. Paypal, for example, hardly does any better. Probably the biggest problem here is just that we don't provide effective enough mechanisms for remedying it.

But this article doesn't even provide sufficient evidence of that. Take the Hirsch brothers who have been having trouble reclaiming their money. While that's unfortunate, I can totally understand how an all-cash family business which paid vendors in cash might have trouble providing adequate records. If I were with the IRS, I would have flagged them as welltax evasion runs rampart in those sorts of family businesses.

Yes, there's a small problem in our justice system (that it's hard to correct false positives). But it's hardly something the average person will ever be affected by. Focus on the scarier things, like systemic wiretapping.

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mancur_Olson

23
chinesrestaur09 3 days ago 1 reply      
Senorita and US Citizens. Hopefully the system works as well asin Meixco and Venezuela or the former Chile under the 'strong supremeleader.'

1.)big corporation tax loopholes. reason dot com. So with tax receiptsfalling thee is an incentive to crack down on small business.2.)small business is the engine of growth, but there is no need due toprinting of money in the shadow banking system.the shadow banking is a TECHNICAL TERM used by the Federal Reserve and global banking system.

3.)Maybe the shadow baning system hides in the shadows with thederivatives. Oh.... NO, NADA, NONE derivatives have been seizedlike the ';working captial' of small business?

4.)BUT the IRS is well run according to talk radio like thelawsuits about the IRSgate Lois Lerner scandals? Strange howall the government records 'disappeared.'

5.)this only happens to Mexican-Americans for perhaps theFREE AGENTS, consultants, small business and even shoe repairwill be targeted?

6.)So, there is a BIG drug war going on. It is global, but the USA isthe leader, IMHO. Using OUR leadership skills in making theworld save for democracy and the US leadership in IRAQ andthe list of other 39 countries....

7.)So, there is a BIG drug war which is why most of the law enforcement highway stops are GOING SOUTH TO MEXICO.Why?

7a.)no great interest in stopping ttravelers GOING NORTH with possibledurgs.

7b.)Travelers including average citizens GOING SOUTH have cash.reason dot com - police can seize it AND KEEP IT for 'police use.'Police use can include training - where else LAS VEGAS whereprostitution is legal? Police use can include LUXURIES.

8.) this is in alleged possible preparation for the Cyprus bail-ins,where the governemtn seizes not only cash, but the bank accounts.

9.)First, raise the 10,000 ten thousand reporting requirment toten times that or one hundred t. That allows any transaction,even 99,999$ to be investigated - that is seized.

Of course, of course, the 'informal handshake merchants' as inthe mid east and bitcoin, digital currency are still operating.

so, perhaps most small businesses will go BIITCOIN?

22.)Will your local Chinese restaurant be affected?

IMHO, NO! Eventually ALL the chinese restaurants, especialy thoseiin the nationa's captial will refuse to serve those who are 'taxcollectors.' perhaps you may look at the references in the bible abouttax collectors.

PLEASE TARGET ALL CHINESE RESTAURANTS.

what is your opinion? Better off, with no chinese restaurants - mostare family owned and deal with cash.

24
Wikipedia needs an IDE, not a WYSIWYG editor
196 points by jamesfisher  4 days ago   71 comments top 22
1
tottenhm 3 days ago 9 replies      
"Users apparently dislike this workflow so much that they dont bother contributing at all: significantly less people are editing Wikipedia than did a few years ago."

To be fair, I think this exaggerates the role of the editing UI -- if the editing UI was that bad, then people wouldn't have contributed in the first place. The more common narrative for reduced participation is the growth of cultural issues which make it less rewarding to participate (e.g. http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-dec... ).

(Edit: Not trying to be negative -- the suggestions in the article sound cool anyway.)

2
philipn 3 days ago 0 replies      
I sympathize with the sentiment expressed by the OP here, but his conclusions -- especially that the VisualEditor project is not worth undertaking -- are, I believe, very much off base.

The Wikimedia Foundation did a great deal of research, including professional usability testing, and reached the (I believe fairly self-evident!) conclusion that a visual editing environment was sorely needed. You can go look up videos of regular people attempting to contribute to Wikipedia if you don't believe me[1].

The difficulty of the task, the particularities of hardcore Wikipedia editors, and the importance of preserving the record that Wikipedia's edits represent makes the project have a very real amount of essential complexity. If you think this is easy then you have not done much work with complex rich text editing on the web[2]. People in this thread suggesting Wikipedia use an off-the-shelf OSS rich text editor don't understand the requirements of the problem.

The team at the Wikimedia Foundation has done an exceptional job given the task at hand, especially given their relatively small amount of funding (relative to other sites Wikipedia's size). The reasons the VisualEditor isn't enabled by default have to do with getting from a 97% solution to a 99.9% solution[3], and based on the work I've seen out of the Wikimedia engineering team, I'm sure they will get there.

1. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wiki_feel_stupid_v2.o... and http://usability.wikimedia.org/wiki/Usability_and_Experience...

1. Or really any kind of rich text editing.

2. In terms of never, ever causing a problem with the underlying wikitext.

3
return0 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Users apparently dislike this workflow so much that they dont bother contributing at all: significantly less people are editing Wikipedia than did a few years ago."

Oh, the arbitrary causation!

4
discreteevent 3 days ago 1 reply      
So he goes from:

" Thing is, editors hated its bugginessso much that the roll-out wasreverted shortly afterwards."

to:

" Their solution tothis was a WYSIWYG editor, whichfailed for the basic reason that itdenies the fact that Wikipedia is aprogram. "

Something tells me he might be making it up as he goes along! I wonder how successful Microsoft Word would have been with markdown editor.

5
tree_of_item 4 days ago 2 replies      
This isn't really feasible, as Mediawiki's markup is far too hard to parse[0]. You can't just write an IDE for wikitext in a nice language, you'd need to instrument Mediawiki itself somehow to give fine grained information.

[0] http://www.cs.rmit.edu.au/adcs2010/proceedings/pdf/paper%204...

6
louhike 3 days ago 0 replies      
An IDE looks like a solution for developers by developers. I'm not sure it will appeal to most people. I consider the Visual Editor to be a good solution for non-techie newcomers. They are more used to visually similar tools.
7
nl 3 days ago 1 reply      
Take a look at the Wikidata project - it's designed for editing structured data.

Unfortunately I wouldn't say it is very easy to use - the Wikipedia editor is much easier. It's also completely unclear which parts of Wikidata data are used in Wikipedia, and where.

That means the Wikidata data is usually much worse than the Wikipedia data, even if it theoretically easier for machines to use.

8
MatmaRex 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Visual Editor was rolled out in 2013. Thing is, editors hated its bugginess so much that the roll-out was reverted shortly afterwards. () Why did the Visual Editor fail? Because it tries to deny the basic fact that Wikipedia is a program, not a word document.

Eh, I can't really agree with this. VisualEditor rollout was indeed premature (critical features like template editing were developed literally days before it), but a year has passed and it's gone a long way since then. Haters still hate it, but personally I find it more pleasant to use than wikitext for many tasks.

This was a really interesting read, though. I still this there's value in the WYSIWYG paradigm, even if we have to fall back to "IDE mode" for infoboxes and such (right now if you double-click a template, you're shown a key-value table to fill in; there's no live preview). After all, most of the content of Wikipedia is text with some light formatting.

9
d23 3 days ago 0 replies      
> This tension is irresolvable: the terms WYSIWYG and abstraction are literally antonyms.

Except they aren't. WYSIWYG is an abstraction over the code layer that works in the terms of "bold", "italics" and "underline".

10
n0nick 3 days ago 0 replies      
> The one unconventional suggestion is the idea of a correspondence between the characters of the source text and the HTML text.

Did you get a chance to check out fellow HN homepage link Paperman [1][2]? It offers exactly what you propose: Double-clicking on the results frame highlights the relevant line in the source, and vice versa. This could easily be adapted to match your suggestion.

[1] http://paperman.patricklorio.com/[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8507310

11
fidotron 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would echo the suspicion that the problems here are cultural and not technical, however, I think the solution is kind of technical.

Basically, in future why assume we have one definitive repository of objective fact? The notion is ridiculous. What I believe will happen is a git-ification of Wikipedia, so you can fork the whole thing, run your own when you disagree with the direction, and pull in changes from those you trust. If you're going to attempt to fix this class of problems this is the only way forward.

12
dynjo 3 days ago 1 reply      
They should implement an editor like http://medium.com or http://slimwiki.com
13
aaron695 2 days ago 0 replies      
My understanding is they don't want more idiots editing, it's a 'feature' that it's tricky to edit.

I also considered the decline is that it's kinda 'complete' it's not like the old days where it was easy to contribute something important and meaningful.

14
nma83 3 days ago 1 reply      
mediawiki-mode in emacs seems like a good solution, and emacs has proven to be a good enough IDE for other programming languages.
15
throwmeawaypg 3 days ago 0 replies      
They should also have mechanisms in place to stop events like these from happening:

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/09/06/wikistorming-colleges...

16
Dorian-Marie 3 days ago 0 replies      
Talk is still cheap. I think a prototype would be far more convincing than a blog post.
17
dmolony 3 days ago 0 replies      
If that blog was a wiki, we could correct the typos.
18
Double_Cast 3 days ago 0 replies      
gwern had a thing or two to say about wikipedia. As I remember, he said its biggest issues were cultural and that technology issues were a red herring. I'm interested if he has anything to add.

[0] http://www.gwern.net/In%20Defense%20Of%20Inclusionism

19
giancarlostoro 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love the subtle inclusion of the Operation Northwoods page as an example.
20
hlfcoding 3 days ago 0 replies      
Don't you mean CMS?
21
Jerry_li 3 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe something like an enhanced LaTeX.
22
contingencies 3 days ago 0 replies      
I must say that Wikipedia community has become very effective at giving partisan editors tools to target undesirable editors - a Byzantine collection of policies which admins overzealously enforce without a second thought, and without thinking of a big picture. Admins in fact are incentivized not to involve themselves, which basically gives the enforcement gun to POV-pushers which are intimately acquainted with all the glorious details of the relevant wikilese. I urge admins to think outside the policy-enforcing request-observing mode.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ivan_%C5%A0tambuk

25
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout
214 points by danso  4 days ago   143 comments top 23
1
jamesaguilar 4 days ago 6 replies      
I tried the seven minute workout for a little while and saw no improvement in any dimension. This[1], on the other hand, has gotten me some significant results so far, five months in.

[1] http://stronglifts.com/

2
cwilson 3 days ago 5 replies      
The 7 minute workout is for people who want to feel like they are working out with minimal effort. It's kind of ridiculous. I tried this for a few weeks 4 times a week and saw/felt almost no benefit. Then I upped it to a 30 minute workout using the same set of exercises and saw quite a bit of progress.

That's really the difference. You need your heart-rate pumping for 30 minutes to really see benefits from this, not for 7 minutes. I doubt any "scientific" claims that 7 minutes a few times a week is all the exercise someone needs.

At the very least double it. Do 14 minutes. I remember trying this while out of shape (hadn't done any intense exercise in months) and with 7 minutes I barely broke a sweat. Unless you're morbidly obese you need to do more than this.

If you really want a god exercise buy some weights or go to the gym. Moving around really heavy objects for 30 - 45 minutes is the best bang for your buck workout you can get.

3
webwielder 4 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing beats working out to the 7 Minute Workout musical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LezARmLDu6U
4
jordanpg 4 days ago 3 replies      
My reaction to this is similar to this one: http://norvig.com/21-days.html Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years)

I've been exercising regularly for a long time and know pretty well what my "equilibrium" exercise time is, and it's about 5 - 6 times longer than 7 minutes. If I thought it could be shorter, then I would make it shorter because my #1 goal is to minimize the number of minutes of my life I spend on exercise.

All I can say about this is that 7 minutes strains credulity and sounds like marketing nonsense to me. At a very minimum, I need to sustain an elevated heart rate for a few minutes to feel good.

5
l33tbro 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm building a site like this at the moment and things like this made me happy we chose video and real humans - instead of vector images. Showing people how to exercise in 7 minutes is easy - but motivating them to exercise is a totally different thing.

I get that this is probably for people on the go, but at least having a voice telling you what you're doing and giving you tips would make this so much better.

Also, don't just say "science". Tell us what kind of "science" and link us to specific research that maybe we want to know about.

6
gnah 4 days ago 4 replies      
I should be able to do better than this. Presenting The Broscientific 7-Minute Workout:

A: 5x Back Squat 5x Weighted Chin-up or Barbell RowB: 5x Deadlift 5x Olympic Press

Repeat alternating. Do as many warm up singles as you can fit (max 5) ascending in weight before each heavy set. Increase weight on every exercise as often and as much as possible. Get or make some micro plates to extend linear progress when you can no longer sustain 5lb jumps. If you have a few minutes extra, throw in an extra set of as many reps as you can comfortably do with 70% of the working weight on each exercise. If you can't do these movements spend 7 minutes a day learning form and improving mobility until you can.

7
hunvreus 3 days ago 0 replies      
To anybody trying to get back in shape, I can't recommend Nerd Fitness (http://www.nerdfitness.com/) enough. I used it to get back in shape 2 or 3 years ago, it's very approachable even with no real fitness knowledge. I am not affiliated.

Bottom line though:

- Fix your diet (whatever works for you, for me it was getting rid of carbs),

- Make time for this and build up the routine (I get most of my workouts done in under 35 minutes all included, I do this at least 3 times a week),

- You don't need a gym; you can get dumbbells for cheap, but even without it there is a lot you can do (I haven't lifted anything in a year, doing mostly bodyweight).

8
mparramon 4 days ago 2 replies      
I tried this about a year ago and blogged my results:

http://www.developingandstuff.com/2013/09/50-days-of-scienti...

9
Iftheshoefits 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Sorry, Well Workouts requires iOS 7 or greater, the Android Chrome browser, or Internet Explorer 11."

So Android Firefox users aren't supposed to view their website?

10
maerF0x0 4 days ago 1 reply      
A neat website, but where are the links to the "Science" ?
11
TrainedMonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
Science is that if you work out all major groups of muscles with maximum intensity you use up all of the stored ATP energy and trigger anaerobic energy delivery mechanism which builds up lactic acid [0].

Do this for all major muscle groups and you get significantly raised metabolism throughout the day as your body deals with replenishing ATP, cleaning up lactic acid, and repairing small amount muscle micro tears.

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

12
adwf 4 days ago 0 replies      
12 exercises in 7 minutes seems a little rapid. I usually manage 4-5 in 30-45 minutes...

I guess if you're beginning from a very sedentary level, this is probably a great starting point. It exercises most major muscle groups and will at least activate them far more than just sitting in an office chair.

13
Opossum 4 days ago 0 replies      
Link to the original research article from ACSM:http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/050...
14
danieltillett 4 days ago 2 replies      
I managed to develop a 5 minute workout that performs remarkable well for the time involved (it is not a pleasant 5 minutes though). The basis routine is 30 seconds absolutely flat out on an exercise bike cranked right up, then 30 seconds slow recovery. I do this first thing in the morning (before having a shower) and after fasting for at least 12 hours. I then dont eat for 3 hours afterwards.

It works remarkable well to keep me fitish (basically fit enough to do all the other physical activities I want to do) and at keeping my weight down. I find that this intense exercise makes me feel sick afterwards. This takes away my hunger until a few hours later so it is not too difficult to avoid eating for the 3 hours.

15
patrickg_zill 3 days ago 0 replies      
The old Canadian RAF exercise program 5BX worked reasonably well for me when I did it. I got as far as the highest level, "A" on Chart 5 I think. Chart 6 is marked as "only champion athletes can do this" and I couldn't even finish the lowest level on that chart no matter how hard I tried.

The most famous adherent is/was probably the writer Tom Clancy.

16
parkaboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Since we're all tossing our favorite regimens into the ring, I've been using bodyweight training site http://fitloop.co (free site made by one of the members of r/bodyweightfitness) for 5 months now, and the progress has been pretty amazing. A good diet is important too, of course.
17
yabatopia 4 days ago 2 replies      
If I remember correctly from a BBC documentary it's important to have a warm up session first before you do an intense workout like this, especially when you're just starting out. You don't want to risk injuries. Be nice to your muscles, tensons and joints: damage can be permanent, I know from experience.
18
MisterMashable 4 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder, what is the ratio of exercise programs articles vs. people who actually follow them?
19
speedyapoc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Note that this "workout" isn't going to put on much (if any) muscle mass nor will it help you lose significant weight. Resistance training and diet is required for the former and diet is absolutely everything for the latter.
20
throwawayme 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whole lotta "I'm fit and this did nothing after 3 days. All I had to do was go to a gym and workout for an hour every day, and then I saw gains"

You're dubasses, all of you.

21
lingben 4 days ago 3 replies      
what?! unless you're really in top shape and have done a lot of leg conditioning and weight lifting there is NO WAY that you can do a wall sit for 30 seconds straight!

most people, even in good shape (not overweight or obese) can only do 10-15 seconds before their quads burn into a cinder

try it! its a good exercise but 30 seconds? c'mon!

also, another reason why this suggested 30 seconds duration is bad is that it will mean that most people who do try to meet the unrealistic 30 second duration will collapse down as their legs give out and this is NOT what you want to happen because risk of injury from this exercise is greatly increased if you don't get out of the position by standing up

22
conception 4 days ago 3 replies      
Please note you are supposed to do the 7 minute workout 2-3 times.
23
kolev 4 days ago 0 replies      
The true scientific one is called Body by Science [1]. If you have 100 minutes, invest watching this [2] from God himself (Doug McGuff M.D.).

P.S. The next The 21 Convention will be in January 2015 [3].

[1] http://www.bodybyscience.net/[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdJFbjWHEU[3] http://www.the21convention.com/

26
Google is developing cancer and heart attack detector
214 points by sxp  10 hours ago   114 comments top 17
1
steven 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I had the opportunity to speak to the head of this project Andrew Conrad at length.

https://medium.com/backchannel/were-hoping-to-build-the-tric...What struck me was his optimism that this was really going to happen. Usually researchers are ultra cautious about going out on a limb like that (Yes, he said there was much to do, but read the interview to get his tone.) I think that comes from working at a place like Google X that encourages the big reach.

2
swamp40 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Google: "We want to scan your body with our amazing new technology and possibly add 20 years to your life!"

Haters: "No thanks, way too intrusive. I don't want you tracking me/selling my data/showing me ads."

3
Lambdanaut 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not worried about an "advertising agency" handling this project at all. Google is hardly just an ads agency anymore. They're multi-faceted. Maybe we should be concerned that they're(successfully) reaching their hands into just about every problem domain, but so far it's been good news for the consumer and they haven't done anything that I'm aware of to warrant them to be untrustworthy.

That being said. Watch your diet and carb intake. Preventative measures are better than having to fix the disease at the last minute.

4
swartkrans 9 hours ago 6 replies      
The heart attack detector seems great, but I wonder about the cancer detector. It may lead to a high number of false positives resulting in unnecessary exposures to CT scans, which because it uses radiation can actually lead to cancer, and unnecessary medical procedures and expenses, and unnecessary anxiety. If they get the false positives down it would be very beneficial of course.
5
sk2code 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Including my mom in the last 10 years I've lost 4 female members of family to cancer. This product is revolutionary no doubt and I am very excited about it. I believe Google will face an uphill task as there are lots of things to explain to the consumer before taking this full stream.

1. Will these nano particles stay in my blood stream forever or do I have to inject them in my body periodically. What are its side effects?

2. The wristband on my hand communicating with these nano particles in someway connects back to the Google's network and now along with my emails and pics Google is tracking my health and my DNA. I mean I can turn off my phone and not use my email but I can't turn off my body. When combined with the DNA this project has the potential to provide an RFID to each and every human being.

Ignore my ignorance I am not the expert here just curious about all these possibilities.

6
bradbeattie 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I would hope they investigate whether the ingestion of "disease-detecting nanoparticles" increases one's risk of cancer.
7
millstone 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This sounds great and I hope they're successful.

That said, what's the point of pre-announcing stuff like this, when it's at such an early stage? Is it just goodwill?

8
EZ-E 9 hours ago 15 replies      
Why do Apple, Google and major IT companies seem so much interested by our health suddenly ?What are they planning to do with the data ? Just selling it ? (life insurance companies ?
9
6stringmerc 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Honest and serious question:

Will this compete or compliment the notion that using canines in the cancer / disease detection process is an avenue for further study?

Re:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/10/training-dogs-to-sn...

10
loopasam 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Nano-bubbles and particles have been used since a long time to diagnose diseases and enhance the quality of ultrasound analysis (contrast agents). You can also link an antibody on their surface to target them against a particular protein or reveal a zone of interest (e.g. a tumor revealed by a specific biomarker). Nano-bubbles are even use to destroy adjacent tissue on purpose (sonoporation).

Usually such particles are constructed via a mix of lipids and have a very short life time in the blood stream. I wonder how they're going to keep them alive in the blood stream for what seems to be a very long time and their design regarding toxicity.

11
julius 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Specially trained dogs are able to sniff out stuff like cancerous cells or if a kid needs his insuline.

Always wondered why we cannot build an artificial nose like that. Does anyone have any insights into this topic?

12
brianstorms 6 hours ago 1 reply      
World's largest advertising company developing cancer and heart attack detector. Think of the great AdSense and AdWords lead generation opportunities coming. It's like printing money.
13
melling 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That would pretty much cover the rest of the population, as far as getting people to wear a smart watch.
14
brightdream 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Google is uniquely positioned with the amount of data it has to uncover strong correlations between behavior and disease.
15
lovemenot 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Marketing, competition, new features, bugs, expoits, evolution. These things could go viral. Literally.A hard robots.txt equivalent cellular protocol might be needed to protect body parts from the gaze of Grey Google.
16
ripb 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find the idea of potentially handing Google, a firm whose core model is selling ads and generalized user data, the details of my biochemical makeup quite troubling.
17
darkstar999 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Google is developing cancer

[long inhale]

and heart attack detector

27
We Just Thought, 'This Is How You Start a Company in America'
223 points by staunch  3 days ago   86 comments top 15
1
kevin 3 days ago 6 replies      
"We started in January 2012, and may still be the only Asian YC founders ever."

So that is not true. 9gag is from Hong Kong. Semantics3 is from Singapore. Strikingly is from China. Memebox is from Korea. Cleartax is from India. Those are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more.

That being said, I actually would love to see more Asian startups applying to Y Combinator. We should be funding one from each country EVERY batch, not just averaging one per batch. I've made several trips to Asia now talking with startups to try and better understand how YC can do a better job and what is it about their ecosystem that makes the Asian startup scene so different. For example, I did office hours with over 60 Japanese startups trying to understand why it feels different over there. What surprised me the most was how much we take for granted here in the US about our startup ecosystem and values.

My plan is to write this all down in depth soon and figure out what actionable things can be done by YC to help. Stories from companies like AnyPerk help, but so much more needs to be done by us to reach out to founders out there.

2
xnull2guest 3 days ago 4 replies      
How you start a (tech) company in America:

* Move to the valley.

* Come up with a really good idea. Or at least a gimmick that will be a fad for a time.

* Find a generous person from the upper echelons of the wealth distribution (or a club of them) who have enough money to fund your idea or gimmick.

* Make a deal with them so that your business becomes part of their diversified portfolio. The risk to them is hedged by being broadly invested. The risk to you is a real ultimatum of your time.

* Work tirelessly and thanklessly. If you do succeed you will give a large part of your company, and many times control, to your patrons.

* Furthermore, because you've waited as long as possible to IPO all of the initial growth to launch your business into 9 or even ten digit figures has been captured by the upper class - the common man never had a real chance to invest in your idea.

* That's okay though, the common man probably isn't paying you with dollars anyhow. You're probably collecting his data for sale and for advertisement (or rather partnering with a company that does for you).

3
downandout 3 days ago 3 replies      
You do not necessarily need to start in the Valley to become successful, especially if your situation there imposes additional hurdles to success. Living out of a car or tenement is generally detrimental to one's ability to focus on the business.

It's always amazing to me that as tech entrepreneurs we largely sell to others the idea that technology enables us to do anything from anywhere, but simultaneously believe that there is exactly one place on earth where we must phyiscally be to get anything done. The ideal place to start a startup is anywhere that your day-to-day life issues can take a backseat to working on your startup.

4
driverdan 3 days ago 7 replies      
Living in a Mission dump trying to sleep three people to a bed is not how you should be starting a business. Why do people think this is how you optimize for success?
5
reduce 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice story. I'm so tired of hearing all the "get rich without stressing yourself - by using this one simple trick" folks. Not that I encourage going to extremes for no purpose, I just don't see these as extreme at all. Just determined.

Sharing a room with a few people for a little while to save the last bit of money? I just call that camping and adventure, which some people actually seem to like. Have the commenters here never been camping? Travelled on a small boat? Been in competitive sports? Hiked a mountain? And they cry about sharing a room for a little while? What a bunch of wimps!

6
craneca0 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Three days into joining YC, we decided to pivot. Wed been working on the dating site for six months at that point, and we knew it wasnt working... Also, Id read a study that said happy employees are twice as productive as unhappy employees. That was the beginning of AnyPerk."

After all the flak the word 'pivot' has gotten I'm surprised to see it used this way here. This does not seem like a pivot, but rather you just deciding to work on a completely new business. Were the two ideas related in any way? Did anything in the original dating business inform this new idea?

7
willbonz 3 days ago 1 reply      
This valley conceit is just astounding. Do some of you people who are obviously so smart at what you code and create really think that this is the only way to go about being a success? You look like trapped otters.
8
SSH007 1 day ago 0 replies      
The problem I had with this article was that there was no substance on what they actually did to create the product and start a company. How did they arrive at the idea of AnyPerk, what did they do? Did sleeping in the TacoBell parking lot or sharing a bed in a $10/night hotel do something for their startup other than low burnrate. How did this help them?Seems they had a (wrong) idea in their mind on what you have to do to start a business in America and in the end they contributed more to that idea by only telling a story of sharing a bed/sleeping in a car. Someone naive may come along and think if I sleep in a car in a parking lot, and sacrifice my privacy I'll have a successful business. There was more to this story and this was their opportunity to state that. I wanted to hear about how the idea came about, how they created a site, then they spoke to and contracted with x number of vendors to provide these perks that they are essentially reselling.

Pretty weak article. I would have said that its not worth being on front page of HN, but comments are interesting.

9
bsaul 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it just me or do other people also find the idea of pivoting after three months really troubling ?

I've seen two kinds of people creating start ups so far : business school guys and "real job" guys. The first type are really focused to one thing : making money. The second type have a passion for their skills and had an idea on how to improve something in their field.

The first type can pivot to about anything, because ultimately the product is just a mean of getting rich. The second type feels the need for their product in their every day life. So profitable or not, they really want that thing done.

Somehow i've always found the "real job" type the most interesting to work with.

Edit : business school guys doesn't mean you went to a business school. It's just a mind set. Same for "real job", i mostly mean passionate about one specific personnal need.

10
tmuir 3 days ago 2 replies      
Can someone explain AnyPerk to me? Is it just a middleman for employee perks? What is the added value? Why couldn't a company look at their landing page and say "thats a good idea, I should buy my employees movie passes", but not sign up for AnyPerk?
11
akanet 3 days ago 0 replies      
The amount of cynicism in the comments for this story is astounding. The list of complaints is long. By my accounting, people don't like that the founders were:

  * naive  * exploitative of the funding climate  * deluded into irrational personal sacrifice by dreams of riches  * whiners for thinking their hardship was hard  * bad decision-makers overall by coming to SF
What happened to being charitable? Taro and co have built a real company out of nothing, and they took a particular path to get there. No one was harmed and it looks like they had a great time. Startups are HARD and you should expect successful (for some value of success) companies to have odd beginnings.

12
staunch 3 days ago 1 reply      
I had to resubmit this because the first post got missed. This is one of the best startup stories I've heard. Good luck with AnyPerk, guys!
13
jcavin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sometimes it just takes talking to the right person to get your start. It may take a few thousand no's, but one yes can change your life. This story is inspirational and reminds me that you have to put yourself out and communicate with others not just build a great product.
14
teach 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wish more university students had this kind of attitude. Instead of "Let's take out the maximum amount of loans so I can get a new iPhone!"

Well done.

15
andrewliebchen 2 days ago 0 replies      
No one should have to consider living in their car when starting a business. I guess that's how it goes in America.
28
Pgweb: Web-based PostgreSQL database browser written in Go
204 points by sinak  1 day ago   43 comments top 13
1
msluyter 1 day ago 6 replies      
For some reason I was having difficulty getting it to connect to our internal servers, though I could connect to one on my local machine. I'm guessing ssl related. In any event, definitely pretty neat, though it wouldn't really replace my standard database interface.

Which brings up the question -- most database tools I've used for ad-hoc queries have been mediocre at best. psql isn't bad, but a text based interface is suboptimal in many cases. On the other hand, SquirrelSQL, which I generally use, is adequate though not particularly friendly.

What I'd really love is a UI with some modern sensibilities, like saving all queries in history and providing Sublime Text like cmd-P commands to quickly recall and re-run queries. Auto-limiting, quick scrolling through query history with arrow keys, templated queries/ handling bind params, nice key mappings, SQL formatting, etc...

When I was using Oracle, Toad provided some of the above, but it was pretty bloated and provided way more than what I really needed. Tried navicat and it ate 100% of my CPU and crashed repeatedly. I'd be curious if there are any better (free or cheap) alternatives out there, but most of the offerings I've seen look pretty weak.

2
smmnyc 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This was a good post from a few years ago on HN with tips on working with PostgreSQL via the command line (and your favorite text editor): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5214072
3
zerr 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anybody have this wrong feeling about importing modules from some 3rd party URL (github.com in this case). I mean, if it is a one shot script, fine. But, don't you plan this software to live 5 or 10 years after publishing?

E.g. imagine if phpMyAdmin had some critical imports from geocities.com...

I see it is common in Golang, so somebody please explain why don't you feel wrong about this.

4
sandGorgon 23 hours ago 1 reply      
There is also pgstudio/Postgresql-Studio which is run as a standalone jar file on your desktop (java -jar jetty-runner-9.0.6.v20130930.jar pgstudio.war)

http://www.postgresqlstudio.org/about/features/

5
philangist 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is really great. It was a fun read. Although I'm wondering why the routing table definition in startServer() here(https://github.com/sosedoff/pgweb/blob/master/main.go#L85) isn't closer to the api.go module. Is this a gin convention or just personal taste?
6
silasb 15 hours ago 0 replies      
My solution is to use Adminer [1] and running it via `php -S localhost:8080 adminer.php` works beautifully. Many other databases supported also. Not affiliated, just a happy user.

[1]: http://www.adminer.org/

7
abstrct 1 day ago 1 reply      
I notice you have to pass a username when starting the server. Is there no way to require username/password from a database user when they access the site?
8
lauriswtf 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks a bit similar to what Datazenit [0] is offering, another simple way to browse a database.

[0] http://datazenit.com/

9
uberneo 1 day ago 1 reply      
An Inline Edit will be really handy .. something like http://www.sequelpro.com/
10
surajcm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there any similar oracle client available ?
11
johne20 1 day ago 0 replies      
What about hstore support?
12
morenoh149 1 day ago 1 reply      
very nice. I currently use pgadmin III. How does this compare?
13
tenken 22 hours ago 0 replies      
mysql version :P plz ? haha.
29
T-Mobile quietly hardens part of its U.S. cellular network against snooping
190 points by Libertatea  1 day ago   91 comments top 11
1
cooperq 1 day ago 3 replies      
Um guys, A5/3 is completely broken. According to Wikipedia: "In 2010, Dunkelman, Keller and Shamir published a new attack that allows an adversary to recover a full A5/3 key by related-key attack.[5] The time and space complexities of the attack are low enough that the authors carried out the attack in two hours on an Intel Core 2 Duo desktop computer even using the unoptimized reference KASUMI implementation. The authors note that this attack may not be applicable to the way A5/3 is used in 3G systems; their main purpose was to discredit 3GPP's assurances that their changes to MISTY wouldn't significantly impact the security of the algorithm."

Even if A5/3 weren't broken, there are still tower dumps and IMSI catchers, which are a whole lot easier to use than breaking encryption.Yes A5/3 is better than A5/1, but I call bullshit on this whole article.

2
x1798DE 1 day ago 9 replies      
I have T-Mobile, and I have to say, I've been quite happy with it and I've been just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The only negative thing I hear about them is people don't like the coverage area - which doesn't bother me because when I switched to them they were the only company that offered wifi calling (meaning I can comfortably use my phone at work and at home, where I spend 99% of my time, for the first time in 6-8 years).

Do I just have a rosy outlook, or is T-mobile's limited marketshare such a problem that they're somehow disciplined into being an actually good mobile carrier?

3
joshavant 1 day ago 5 replies      
Just a reminder: TMobile is also actively chipping away at net neutrality through their 'free' music streaming feature.

That is, they inspect your traffic and don't charge your bandwidth quota for network traffic with TMobile-selected music streaming services (Spotify, Google Play, etc).

http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/free-music-streaming.html

4
cpeterso 1 day ago 0 replies      
In other T-Mobile security news, their customer website only supports SSL3 and will stop working with Firefox 34 on November 24 (because SSL3 will disabled due to the POODLE attacks). (Their website login is currently broken in Firefox Beta, Aurora, and Nightly release channels.)

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1042380

5
sarciszewski 1 day ago 0 replies      
A5/3? Where have I seen this before?

Oh, right.

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/013.pdf

6
eli 1 day ago 1 reply      
This hardens your messages against passive eavesdropping of the wireless signal, but not a targeted attack with a bogus tower, right?
7
teamhappy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Germany has great cellular network hackers. If anyone of you would like to know more about this area I'd highly recommend to search for talks by Harald Welte or Karsten Nohl.
8
davidholmesnyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good on Tmobile. I had them about 5 years ago and they was pretty good to me. I only switched because I wanted an iPhone and at the time the unlock community didn't come out with a patch. Because of that service I just opened a new line with them for my second phone and so far so good.
9
justignore 9 hours ago 0 replies      
T-MOBILE USED HARDEN! IT WASN'T VERY EFFECTIVE.
10
joering2 21 hours ago 0 replies      
For many years I have impression that T-mobile seem to be the most user-friendly network among all of them.

I also enjoy their Simple Talk Network. $40 unlimited talk, text, mms, 3G. Sometimes my friends have hard time on their $120 Sprint or $140 ATT plan to get internet fast in places where SimpleTalk (T-mobile rebrand) works like a thunder!

11
benguild 1 day ago 4 replies      
Does this only affect 2G/EDGE for the most part? Because I know that T-Mobile falls back on 2G more often than AT&T does.

The only time Ive been on 2G with AT&T in the last few years was going through the BART tunnel in South Bay haha.

30
iCloud Uploads Local Data Outside of iCloud Drive
195 points by sneak  2 days ago   116 comments top 28
1
kps 2 days ago 4 replies      
Last I looked, iCloud was not HIPAA-compliant. Health-care workers who previously could have iCloud enabled, as long as they did not use it for HIPAA-covered documents, may be in for a big and expensive surprise.

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/

2
quesera 2 days ago 6 replies      
Interesting, but:

There are two kinds of users in this scenario. Those who don't care (99%) and those who do.

If you count yourself among the latter group, as I do, then it's always solid advice to choose actions which clarify your intentions.

In this case:

  - don't use iCloud  - don't use iCloud sync for the app you use for private data  - do explicitly choose to save the file locally  - don't enable new features like Continuity that clearly change the file    persistence and availability model without considering your old patterns
The author is rightly sore that his bits got pushed to Apple due to his oversight. He's wrong to place the blame fully on Apple, but it's hard to be fair when you're angry. And I'm glad he wrote it up because it should encourage people to think carefully about where and to whom they trust their data. Though most people I know sync their private data to Dropbox, Ffs, so...thinking != thinking, I guess.

My secure notes strategy is vim with encrypted files on an encrypted partition. It could still leak, and I'd be angry, but there are at least three vendors involved that would have to alter their products behaviours before I was hugely surprised. TextEdit on HFS+ on OSX with iCloud enabled is just one vendor, who can't always cater to my 1% of 1% expectations.

3
jen_h 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure that this has been happening at least as early as Mountain Lion. I felt really violated when I discovered it - I use TextEdit as a scratchpad, so it's always full of random notes (and a temporary copy-paste spot for private keys, double-plus-ungood!). Not to mention financial data into Numbers - those were being synced automatically, too.

Another gotcha I noticed around the same time - Notes from iPhone are automatically stored to the primary email account. So I had my private scratchpad phone notes stored on my corp account's Notes folder with no easy and obvious way to re-associate them to the correct account.

It's easy to disable, but as the writer notes, that's not the point - if you don't know it's happening, there's not much you can do, just feel your stomach drop, disable it, then get to work figuring out how much damage was caused (i.e., get to swapping keys, ugh...).

5
cjensen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Guy is confused. New documents which are not explicitly saved to the local filesystem were already stored to iCloud on Mavericks.
6
parasubvert 2 days ago 1 reply      
Given this feature has been around for well over a year with eg. TextEdit, I'm amazed at the reaction.

This is exactly the behavior I want and expect from Apple as a user, it would surprise me if they DIDN'T do this.

7
sneak 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's worse:

It would appear that iCloud is synchronizing all of the email addresses of people you correspond with, even for non-iCloud accounts, to their recent addresses service. This means that names and email addresss that are not in iCloud contacts, not synchronized to your device, and only available in an IMAP-accessed inbox are now being sent to Apple, silently.

8
joelberman 2 days ago 2 replies      
For continuity to work, it should be obvious that what you are working on must be stored somewhere other than the machine you have turned off. The obvious place is on iCloud. Just do not enable continuity if you do not want to enjoy is features.
9
SCAQTony 2 days ago 1 reply      
This may sound naive but it is just bizarre that if you own a computer it is just not really "YOUR" computer anymore. It's like you are "leasing it" but you pay the hardware company with your data.
10
whizzkid 2 days ago 3 replies      
Like Adobe streaming their Photoshop software from their servers, Like Google is trying to push Chrome OS so that you DO NOT need hard drives.

Big boys in market, sooner or later, will move all software and hardware power to their side leaving you with a screen, mouse and keyboard to interact with everything.

As soon as companies do not have control over whatever you are doing, they are losing benefit on it.

Get ready to this big move already, every big company will try to do this to my opinion which is sad.

11
IDrive 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi, I'm Thomas from IDrive Online Backup. If you're concerned about the privacy of your data while using OS X Yosemite, you might want to consider IDrive as a cloud backup service. We offer 256-bit AES encryption with a private key option so the key to your data is not stored anywhere but locally on your computer. Hope that helps!
12
rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Uh, wtf.

I guess if you don't opt in to iCloud Drive you're safe?

13
brohoolio 2 days ago 0 replies      
whoa. i'm going to have to flag our security folks about this.
14
abalone 2 days ago 1 reply      
Number one, if you are using Apple products in a high-security environment (e.g. HIPAA compliance) you should enable 2-factor authentication.[1] This will provide good security for data stored in the cloud.

Number two, there is an easy way to prevent data from ever even touching the cloud. Just immediately save the new document to a local non-iCloud folder before you populate it.

In terms of whether defaulting unsaved docs to iCloud is a good/bad design decision:

Defaulting unsaved documents to the cloud means if someone steals your account login and you don't have 2-factor auth enabled, they can access your unsaved docs.

Defaulting unsaved documents to local storage means continuity doesn't work and kills a lot of value of iCloud.

I think it's a good decision.

[1] http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5570

15
scottmf 2 days ago 0 replies      
TextEdit used to auto save things to iCloud on Mavericks for me. No one made a big deal out of that.
16
Someone 2 days ago 1 reply      
"those in-progress (not yet explicitly saved) documents live in iCloud Drive"

So, what is it? On the drive or outside of it?

Does it matter? I googled a bit, but couldn't determine whether Apple can decrypt that data. It is encrypted both in transit and in the cloud, but do they hold the keys?

I know I have to trust them to do what they say they do, anyways, but if they do not have the keys, they cannot change their mind (say in response to a visit from the NSA)

17
dserodio 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I had already regretted upgrading to Yosemite (this thing is ugly), but this is the last drop: I'm going back to Mavericks.
18
gchokov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Could this all be related to continuity features? Not all apps support continuity APIs but I suspect we'll be seeing more and more apple stuff working across devices and one way for this work is by using iCloud. iCloud Drive is just an iCloud service.
19
arrrg 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you enable documents in the cloud (now iCloud Drive, I think) document based apps will pick that location as the default location to save to. Autosave has long been a feature, so that happens, too.

It all makes perfect sense and is perfectly logical. How is it even possible to be surprised by this?! Im mystified. Its also not data outside iCloud. It is very much inside iCloud. Obviously. Newly created documents have to be saved somewhere, and if iCloud is your default location thats exactly where. Where else?!

20
acd 2 days ago 1 reply      
I do not see any proof in the form of ip addresses to the location where this documents are uploaded and that being part of PRISM.

What IP addresses?

21
sneak 2 days ago 0 replies      
They're showing up in the application's folder on iCloud Drive without my ever having saved them.
22
_mikz 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is most probably because of the new Handoff feature, no? Application state is shared between computers.
23
ge0rg 2 days ago 3 replies      
The link is 404 now, anyone got a mirror?
24
xenadu02 2 days ago 3 replies      
Apple is not a "PRISM" partner; I thought we all agreed that this was when the NSA discovered goto fail and/or some jailbreak exploits.
25
keithmancuso 2 days ago 1 reply      
if your so concerns with privacy why are you writing passwords in plain text documents?
26
DRAGONERO 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just FYI, are you aware that when you create an email the draft is also stored on the server unless you explicitly choose not to?

All of these things are just normal. It's not like an evil mastermind decided that there was the need to access your unsaved documents.

I mean, you can still get angry about it but it seems pointless since you (probably) already use all of the google services that are available.

Also, a "security researcher" should know better :)

27
mcintyre1994 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Apple has taken local files on my computer not stored in iCloud and silently and without my permission uploaded them to their servers - across all applications, Apple and otherwise."

Presumably they actually did have permission through some ToS you have to agree to if you want to use OSX - which begs the question of what insane amount of permission they actually have here. Seems that it probably boils down to that they can make an argument for literally anything on the mac being useful for continuity, so they can probably upload anything they like by default using that claim?

28
aisenik 2 days ago 1 reply      
How many hyperbolic, bad faith posts about Yosemite are going to be made and voted to the top at HN? (This is the third I've seen this week, and they all make extremely negative insinuations based on incorrect assumptions and the shallowest possible examination of the functionality being excoriated.)

It appears that the only new functionality in this case is increased visibility via iCloud Drive. Presumably these documents were always saved on iCloud, which has been default behavior when you don't save to the local file system for a while.

As usual, there's an unfounded insinuation that this is intentionally nefarious activity on Apple's part. Documents and Data sync is easily disabled -- what did anyone think it was doing previously?

       cached 29 October 2014 04:11:01 GMT