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Spidermonkey has passed V8 on Octane performance
641 points by francois2  2 days ago   331 comments top 30
rdtsc 2 days 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.

Jonanin 2 days 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).

cromwellian 2 days 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.

orthecreedence 2 days 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.

BorisMelnik 1 day 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.

JohnBooty 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am ridiculously proud of Mozilla and everybody who has contributed to Firefox over the years.
Igglyboo 2 days 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.
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.
kevincennis 1 day 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.

general_failure 2 days 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.
zobzu 2 days 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!

pjmlp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great work!

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

bobajeff 1 day 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.).

piyush_soni 1 day 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

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.
Tloewald 1 day 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.

Sephr 1 day 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".

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.

EduardoBautista 2 days 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.
joemccall86 1 day 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.

SwellJoe 1 day 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.

Rapzid 1 day 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.
bruceboughton 1 day 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.
arthursilva 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn, where's the super like button on this. Kudos to all contributors (and donators)!
tkubacki 2 days 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
untilHellbanned 2 days 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!

themechanic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kudos to all involved in making this happen.
dude3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please now work on translate3d performance!
whoisthemachine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good job guys!
notastartup 1 day 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.
#define CTO
640 points by craigkerstiens  2 days ago   105 comments top 33
brandonb 2 days 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.

jkarneges 2 days 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.

tonystubblebine 2 days 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.

ef4 2 days 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.

jwr 2 days 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.

cynusx 2 days 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.

ChuckMcM 2 days 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 ..."
kfcm 1 day 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:




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.

staunch 2 days 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.

akramhussein 2 days 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.
leothekim 2 days 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.
ycxd 1 day 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.

jbarmash 2 days 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.



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).

dc2447 2 days 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.

JakeSc 2 days 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.
rosspanda 1 day 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.

cperciva 2 days ago 2 replies      
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.

highlander 2 days 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.

inmygarage 2 days 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.
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.
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.

dk8996 2 days 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.
dude_abides 1 day 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.
ScottBurson 2 days 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.
JoeAltmaier 2 days ago 0 replies      
Manages the technical team. Provides direction on infrastructure, tool chains, architecture goals. Hires and fires.
lifeisstillgood 2 days 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:-)

lifeisstillgood 2 days 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 ...

lifeisstillgood 2 days 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.

yegor256a 1 day ago 0 replies      
would be much more convenient if the article would say in the beginning what it is about...
michaelochurch 1 day 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.

comex 2 days ago 1 reply      
Changing the title from the original "#define CTO" to "Define CTO" does not seem particularly helpful to me.
rfurmani 2 days 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!
Meteor hits 1.0
562 points by debergalis  1 day ago   233 comments top 64
state 1 day ago 5 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

killertypo 1 day 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?

mrcwinn 1 day ago 2 replies      
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!

liscovich 1 day ago 4 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?

aliakhtar 1 day 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

resca79 17 hours ago 1 reply      
When the first release of meteor came out, I was really impressed by the product.The real time update of the web page with zero code was an amazing feature.Today why I need of Meter?

Server side I have multiple choices that guarantee me heigh scalability, performance, and real time.Also the mongodb solo option, without sql is very restrictive.

Client side, there are great js frameworks like React, Ember and Angularthat are great modular libraries.

moondowner 1 day 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
hardwaresofton 1 day 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

saym 1 day 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.

perlmonkey 1 day 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.

nathan-muir 1 day 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].


* 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.

dia80 1 day 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

landland 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Meteor is awesome, congrats to the Meteor team for their 1.0 release! I've been using Meteor for over a year now, and it is staggering how far it has come. They've addressed and continue to address just about any concerns the community has brought up, from security to speed to tools, etc. And where they haven't, the community has stepped up huge. Seriously, Meteor is amazing, but what makes it even better is the awesome community surrounding it. Congrats again.
ajhit406 1 day 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:


sferoze 1 day 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.
wasd 1 day 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.
decidertm 1 day 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!
dfischer 1 day ago 1 reply      
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
lukb 1 day ago 1 reply      
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?

donutdan4114 1 day 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.
roshanj 1 day 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

bkruse 1 day 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.
logicalman 1 day 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?
sarciszewski 1 day ago 1 reply      

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

This despicable habit rears its ugly head again.

GordyMD 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I am excited to give Meteor a go and take advantage of its isomorphic nature.

I am particularly excited by the potential of being able to swap out Mongo for RethinkDB (https://github.com/tuhinc/rethink-livedata).

taternuts 1 day 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!

sferoze 1 day 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.
findjashua 1 day 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?
tomcam 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kudos, Meteor team! Now, SQL, please...
richardofyork 1 day 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/
1qaz2wsx3edc 1 day 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.

jeswin 1 day 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.

coldcode 12 hours ago 2 replies      
What is the status of supporting Redis. I'd be more excited if I could use my favorite instead of Mongo.
rdtsc 1 day ago 5 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...?

Everhusk 1 day 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.
xs 1 day ago 2 replies      
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!
callesgg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice i love meteor, i hope that there will be some work on a sql backend.

I want defined database strucures ;)

general_failure 20 hours ago 2 replies      
What is meteor's revenue model?

What am I missing...

swartkrans 1 day ago 1 reply      
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?
dasmithii 1 day ago 3 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.
akhatri_aus 1 day 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.
andreasklinger 1 day 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

ambhaiji 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The inevitable will come soonNews headline:Google buys meteor
AndyKelley 1 day ago 2 replies      
I see this in example code:

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

jakelin 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Well done, Meteor team. My project based on Meteor is going to finished this Friday.
nojvek 1 day ago 2 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.
frequentflyeru 1 day 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.
coffeemug 1 day 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.
dsyko 1 day 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!
ForFreedom 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any similar applications like meteor?
maxharris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations and thanks, Meteor team!
adam_h 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you Meteor team. I really enjoy working on my web app that I made with Meteor.
niix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yay! Congrats to the Meteor team!
desireco42 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats Meteor, great times!
freefrancisco 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats Meteor team!
j_k_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations, and great pun for the title. :)
Lauricio 1 day ago 0 replies      
waitingkuo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome, really excited to the 1.0!!!
rglover 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Really excited for this.
arunoda 1 day ago 0 replies      
congrats guys :) Very excited to be a part of the community.
notastartup 1 day ago 1 reply      
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?

ofcapl_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
congrats to meteor team!
char_pointer 1 day ago 1 reply      
FYI: this link gets me into a redirect loop (probably because of something NoScript related)
zura 1 day ago 2 replies      
If only this was built in Dart... or at least TypeScript.
Orbital Sciences Antares rocket explodes after liftoff
497 points by politician  1 day ago   246 comments top 40
blhack 1 day ago 11 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.

SuperChihuahua 1 day 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...

gedmark 1 day ago 3 replies      
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:


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.

trothamel 1 day 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.

zaroth 22 hours ago 1 reply      
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."

Another interesting fact. The pad is NASA's. So you can imagine the crew that maintained it are pretty disappointed.... "Look at what you did to my pad!?!" The fireball was enormous. The view from the Cessna incredible.

That must have been just about a worst case scenario for the pad to sustain such a direct hit. Hopefully it was the strict safety protocols and not just dumb luck which kept everyone safe. That's another aspect of this event which can be studied and reported, so at least we maximize the take-aways. Track the entire response from T-6.

Apparently the rocket is designed to do that little lateral kick that you can see in the video and initially seems odd. 'Why is the rocket not going straight up' causes a little unease at first but apparently is nominal. If that's the case, then the time of the explosion may correspond to a point where they kick up engine output. It also may have been a heavier payload than usual requiring higher engine output? (Unconfirmed)

trothamel 1 day ago 0 replies      
biscotti 1 day ago 2 replies      
matthewwiese 1 day ago 3 replies      
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

codezero 1 day 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!

jwise0 1 day 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...

rl3 1 day 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...
Osmium 1 day 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.
TheBigSteve1 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I happened upon this website as a result of a Google search re. yesterday's failed launch of the Orbital Sciences venture to resupply the ISS, and this URL appeared as the first search result. I've read your site guidelines, as well as the many comments on this news page, and as a lay person I humbly offer this question, which I hope someone will answer: Why was there no escape rocket atop the rocket's payload module? Was it considered cost-prohibitive? Thanks for your time. Cordially, Steve Logsdon. Post Script: I hope you won't think it patronizing of me to observe that I found the apparent erudition and literacy of the contributors to this web page to be most impressive.
daeken 1 day 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.
rglover 1 day 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.
KhalilK 1 day 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?
ChuckMcM 22 hours 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.

nevergetenglish 16 hours ago 0 replies      
To decide is this is a success or a failure one need to determine exactly where was the error. If this new knowledge contributes to the design of better systems then this is a success, if the actual error provides us with nothing to learn then this is a very big failure. So there is an amortized cost of success/failure in long term enterprises.
hnlurker 1 day ago 1 reply      
You will not go to space today.
i_have_to_speak 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Heartwarming to see how positive and forward-looking the responses here are. Certainly more positive than the responses towards India's (successful) Mars mission.
keehun 1 day 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)
Evolved 9 hours ago 0 replies      
So on one hand it is possible and encouraged to fail out of sheer ambition yet on the other hand it is possible to fail due to ignorance or laziness.

Therefore failure does not always occur when one is trying too hard because it is also feasible to fail when not trying hard enough.

hueving 23 hours ago 4 replies      
How do they root cause something like this when so much of the evidence is blown to pieces?
vermontdevil 1 day ago 2 replies      
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.

72deluxe 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting that they used the engines from the Soviet moon rocket from the 70s (?). The N-1 looked a great rocket, pity it never flew.

Even the massive arms for lifting the rocket into position are impressive for the N-1.

alexvr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was planning to watch it the night before, but it was cancelled because of a sailboat or something nearby. How silly, I thought. It's not like it's going to explode...
ars 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone know what the cargo was? Anything unique or expensive? Or just regular supplies?
jakozaur 1 day 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...

blueboxjesse 1 day 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.
stox 1 day 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.
ericcumbee 1 day ago 2 replies      
They are securing the vehicle because it has sensitive crypto equipment on board.
djyaz1200 1 day 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.
ericcumbee 1 day 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.
bd_at_rivenhill 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Makes me really wish SpaceX were public; would make for interesting trading tomorrow.
notjustanymike 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone accidentally hit spacebar twice.
kilroy123 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a bummer... Getting to space isn't easy.
readerrrr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Spacex had an engine explosion during a flight, yet their primary mission was successful. This is the benefit of modern rocket technology.
TheBigSteve1 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Why was the payload lost? Was it considered cost-prohibitive to have furnished the payload with an escape rocket?
TerraHertz 1 day 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.

uptown 1 day 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.


FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with Unlimited Data Promises
486 points by tshtf  1 day ago   203 comments top 33
swartkrans 1 day 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.

Someone1234 1 day 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.

Drakim 1 day 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".

kolbe 1 day 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.
nerdtalker 1 day 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.

adamfeldman 1 day 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
RankingMember 1 day 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).

morganvachon 1 day 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...

denzil_correa 1 day 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.

userbinator 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if anyone would like clearly-advertised "unlimited data, harmonic throttling":

First X amount of data at full speed

Second X amount of data at 1/2 of full speed

Third X amount of data at 1/3 of full speed

Fourth X amount of data at 1/4 of full speed


(With perhaps prices based on what that X is, or the decrease in speed could be more gradual.)

This is clearly "unlimited" since you can transfer as much data as you want, it just takes a little longer for each additional amount (until the next billing period). :-)

twoodfin 1 day 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.

dumbfounder 1 day 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.

us0r 1 day 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

sswaner 1 day 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.

robert_nsu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here I thought I was being capped around 5gb. I didn't ditch the "unlimited" data plan until late 2013.
eyeareque 1 day 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.

mrbill 1 day 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.

ozarius 1 day 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...
post_break 1 day 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.
fady 1 day 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 :(
oamoruwa 1 day 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.
greyfox 1 day 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.
mpg33 1 day 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.
wpaprocki 1 day 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.
lukasb 1 day ago 2 replies      
Apart from a $10 settlement check, what's likely to happen to grandfathered unlimited / unthrottled plans?
hernan6042 1 day 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.


barce 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sprint does the same thing but at 5GB. Just a data point from a former Sprint customer.
lewis_b_real 1 day ago 0 replies      
And there is absolutely no meaningful way to hold them accountable.
davidholmesnyc 1 day 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 .
cevaris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Soooo, no throttling by ISP's is next?
jqm 22 hours 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...It must have been me!). 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 nor repair 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 proper 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.... Or more likely, he was just trying to sell her a new phone.

peterwwillis 1 day 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.
jrgifford 1 day ago 0 replies      
435 points by perone  11 hours ago   130 comments top 60
pa5tabear 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Engadget summary with videos: http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/29/hp-reveals-sprout/

"It's a unique machine that combines an all-in-one Windows 8 PC with a set of 3D scanning cameras, a giant tactile touchpad and a downward-facing projector (for displaying graphics on said touchpad). The design is built around a concept HP is calling "blended reality" that blends the 3D physical world with our 2D digital one. The obvious target audience is creative types. You know: makers, tinkerers, designers, etc... Rather than the traditional method of control built around mice and keyboards, Sprout focuses on touch and pen input. The 23-inch LCD serves as the primary display, but it's the bottom display, the 20-inch capacitive pad positioned under the camera and projector that serves as the primary point of interaction."

richthegeek 10 hours ago 6 replies      
The video works for me, but I have to agree with the other comments - I needed to work very hard to figure out what exactly this actually was.

The first 40! seconds of the video didn't show the product in action, the first image of it was from such an odd angle that I didn't even know it was an image of it at first, and the later images don't actually show the camera that seems to be an important part of it.

Part of me thinks this is a solution in want of a problem, designed by the kind of person who uses a spoon for soup and a fork for their main course and thinks "If only I had a combination fork-spoon, my life would be so much simpler".

swamp40 10 hours ago 5 replies      
The Aha moment for me was watching the beans spill on the touchpad and getting immediately digitized and put into a presentation.

They also should have taken a real necklace, placed it on the touchpad and had it instantly digitized, then manually manipulated around the woman's neck.

Very cool product. I love seeing highly imaginative products, especially coming from well established companies.

Suggestion: Maybe whoever was in charge of this development project could push thru that super-cool HP logo and branding that HP was too scared to implement: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/14/please-save-hp/

unwind 10 hours ago 2 replies      
So, it's a combined 23" touch screen and projection surface with touch and camera-based tracking, at a 90 degree angle to each other. With a built-in Core-i7-based computer, of course.

Pretty nifty, but also extremely specialized. Daring move!

bjackman 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I gave this a cursory scroll but by the time I got to the bottom I didn't know what the product was. I was also annoyed by the overcooked design so I gave up. Sorry.
nutate 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Radical hardware with a buy now button that doesn't go to kickstarter. Awesome.
_almosnow 10 hours ago 2 replies      
As w/ everything. Great software makes great hardware. Only 8 apps at launch (not that it is actually bad per se) and I find it hard to believe that it will gain traction among current developers. I can't think of any reason to start developing for sprout, a platform with zero users right now. Users won't buy because no apps, developers won't code because no users; it will be interesting to see how HP will manage to solve this.

Still, it's good to see a big consumer-oriented company like HP trying (at least) to innovate in some new way.

schtinky 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder to what degree public perception of a company's brand (think HP, Microsoft, Ebay vs Google, Apple) helps or hinders their ability to get a product off the ground. It reminds me of the old Shakespearean "What's in a name?" question.

One would like to believe that the product, if good enough, will always win out, but that's probably not the case, especially if it relies on an ecosystem to develop around it to be fully viable.

If brand quality matters severely, then an interesting question is whether or not startups have an advantage against large corps with bad reputations. Is it better to be StartuppyMcstartup nobody's ever heard of or Microsoft?

hammerbrostime 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow, this makes me wish HP didn't make shit hardware.
bndw 9 hours ago 1 reply      
After watching the video on their landing page, I can't help but be reminded of the Generic Brand Video on Vimeo[1].

[1] http://vimeo.com/89527215

seltzered 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Are any of the hp Sprout folks from the MS Research 'illumishare' team from a couple years ago? the video reminds me of this demo of kids playing games over skype with a similar system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODx5t53j66M

also, an even older demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnL34XwTgag

I'm actually a bit surprised they didn't stress the collaboration features more, guess there's an initial fear of how many people will own the same device.

nathannecro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Really neat concept and (it appears) fine execution!

Right now, it's a really niche product, but I'm looking forwards to see if this is improved and adopted more widely.

Also, the main video doesn't show much. This is much better:


matt_morgan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting that it's being sold as an all-in-one, where it could easily be a peripheral that works with any computer. It's packaged as signature bold product but they got there incrementally, using (as others have pointed out) an idea that's come around at times before (but in even more niche areas like museums).
radnam 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me so much about osmohttps://www.playosmo.com/Disclaimer: Not affiliated with the company
bsimpson 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I was big into experimental interfaces in around 2006. There was a similar peripheral for the Mac whose name escapes me. (I only ever saw marketing material for it.)

It had a sensor to detect the depth and positions of your hands above your desk. Its software would then cast a hand-shaped shadow on your screen, so you could see what you were about to interact with. The UI was like a touchscreen, but you'd abstract the touching away from the displaying for ergonomics.

It was a cool concept. Bummed it never went anywhere. Sprout could be interesting, but it would be a lot more interesting if it came from a brand that moved platforms (like Apple). I don't know if HP has the developer mindshare (or sales volume) to have a "revolutionary" product that people get excited about. There are too many other Windows machines (both inside and outside HP) for this to get the attention it deserves.

TheMagicHorsey 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the coolest thing out of HP in a long time. I hope they don't screw it up in the typical HP way through tone-deaf responses to the market. They are going to have to work pretty hard winning over consumers because their PC and device brand has been damaged almost irreparably through decades of selling characterless beige boxes with poor performance, durability, and customer support.
baldfat 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As a pre-school lab coach with 300 children weekly in my lab I would LOVE to get two and see what kids could do with some help with teachers.

I really like the idea of kids putting a physical 3d object into something 2d and build a simple blue print. STEM tool for children seems perfect to me.

HP contact me :)

niels_olson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Really cool idea, too bad it comes with an operating system.

1) This should be a sold as a peripheral, not with its own CPU

2) Turn the bottom into a matte finish Cintiq monitor that can be quickly shut off

jnorthrop 10 hours ago 0 replies      
At the time I'm writing this all posts are complaining about the presentation of the site... yes it sucks, but the product looks really cool. It appears to be a combination of a camera and projection tool allowing the user to add real objects, such as a coffee mug, to the projected image and have it added to that image. Then user can use their hands to digitally move things around and otherwise manipulate the image.

That is really cool, but I can't help but think how limited its uses are. The real-world objects need to be relatively small (like a coffee cup, not a car) and you are limited by taking pictures from the top-down angle. However, that kind of interaction is really natural and would be easier to learn than say Photoshop.

kubiiii 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat machine. Desktop computers need things like this. After all, what can you do with today's desktop computers that you can't conveniently do with a tablet?

I can't predict a mass market destiny to this but it warms my heart to see a huge company release some kind of engineering chimera

3d cam is what is a perfect addition to 3d printers. Well, 3d printers prove pretty useless without 3d cams. It also enables 3d movement detection.

Something bugs me though, how is it possible for the 3d cam to see beneath the object (bird origami) to come out with such a perfectly scanned shape?

stevenschmatz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I see some interesting potential to make a three-dimensional experience using camera tracking and perspective effects on the surface.

Although at first I was a bit skeptical of the replacement of a touchscreen with a projector, there are some capabilities of a projector that you just don't get with a touchscreen mainly, projecting images on real objects placed on the pad. This, combined with a 3D printer, could allow designers to create 3D shapes and project surfaces onto these objects.

superuser2 11 hours ago 4 replies      
I still can't tell what Sprout is.
aaronetz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the augmented reality sandbox [1] I've played with at a museum [2] and which was really cool.

[1] http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/SARndbox/

[2] https://naturalhistory.novascotia.ca/

state 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If your target audience is 'makers' then why is this being marketed as a toy? The underlying idea is great, and I'm very much looking forward to someone implementing this correctly but I'm not interested in buying a giant toy for creating more 'moments' for my 'followers'.

I want something for doing actual creative work, and that's the only metric that matters for a product like this anyway. Maybe Bret should give it a try (http://vimeo.com/97903574).

627467 8 hours ago 0 replies      
About time some serious attempt at blurring the lines between creating in digital and physical worlds. This along side paper and a 3D printer is going to be a fantastic tool in the creator toolbox.

Let's see how the dev community reacts to non-Apple/Google new platform.

zan2434 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
is the primary text input supposed to be a virtual touch keyboard?
jscheel 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Really impressed with this. I'm glad HP is trying something innovative in the desktop market. As a father of a young girl, I'm really interested in something like this. Could be especially great for her.
IkmoIkmo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My immediate reaction is that it looks pretty useless apart from being a foray into bringing digital and physical closer together, which may lead to other interesting things. We need springboards like this to find out what works and what doesn't and make something better, but in and of itself it doesn't seem too interesting.

Just the first reaction to some of the videos that are mostly bleh marketing. Might have to revise my opinion once I see some more.

Looking forward to seeing someone do a hands-on video, or just create something for 30 minutes with a camera looking over his/her shoulder.

ceeekay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I knew I had seen that first image somewhere... https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bb/Fatboy_Slim_-...
namuol 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally, the problem of creating those fancy desktop-at-a-coffee-shop splashes is solved! throws away SLR
dvirsky 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the concept in general, but I have two main problems with it:

1. A vertical touch screen! my arms hurt just from watching the video showing that lady stretching her arm and dragging objects across some presentation slides. You simply can't do that for more than a few seconds.

2. I'm fearing a chicken and egg situation with the software aspects. I mean the photo editor they show looks nice and original but pretty limited. Without wide adoption from software makers you won't have more professional grade apps, and without professional grade apps, you'll still have the limited set of toy apps and no adoption.

Dharmakirti 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Loved it! Feels nice to see the pioneering spirit at HP is still alive.

A cursory look at the SDK shows that it's mainly WPF and C++ (QT?) which might make it easier to develop apps. Looks interesting.

tlrobinson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Neat idea, but I don't necessarily want a whole new computer, just the projector + 3D camera.

Someone should hack together an open source version. The hardware should be pretty straightforward: a commodity projector, a couple webcams, and perhaps an Xbox Kinect or similar.

wmeredith 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Kudos to them for trying something new! This looks great. I can't help but think they would have a little more credibility if the industrial design wasn't a wanna-be iMac. Oy.
lnanek2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
In case other people are having trouble telling what it is, it appears to be a projector over a touch sensitive white board it can project on to placed in front of the computer where the keyboard normally is. Then it can track your hands for touch input.

I scrolled through the entire landing page, tried to watch the video which got stuck at 24 seconds before revealing something, then finally managed to get some frames from later on. Really terrible marketing since they are hiding what it is, but whatever. Seems inferior to a Wacom Cintiq in every way so far (an LCD with pressure sensitive pen with buttons that graphics artists use).

ceeekay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking at the "apps" section's picture, I can't help but feel like they've created a giant Nintendo DS. I also can't tell if I feel like that's a bad thing.
michaelbuckbee 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Really neat. Reminded me of the D&D downward projecting map setups:


PaulHoule 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You're looking at low end parts for the price, particularly the inclusion of a "Hybrid HDD". Hybrid HDDs do almost nothing for for Windows, but putting an SSD into a Windows machine makes it dramatically more responsive. If you want people to experience a new thing in computing that is tactile you can't make people wait for a disc to spin up, ever.
pnathan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh. This is novel. I don't know what to call it (initially I thought it was another tablet thing).

I'm kinda intrigued by where it'll go.

mapleoin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"Hands. They've always done amazing things..." That's a great beginning for a video parody of some Silicon Valley startups.
eranation 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's actually pretty cool, too bad they leave the punchline at the end of the too long video talking about hands.
crapiola 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This product must have sounded like a good idea to some clueless but slightly rich tech charlatans.Looking at the product page, a mediocre genius like me can tell:

The intro video tells zilch about the product. Tries to sell some grandiose vision about hands. As if they have evolutioned hands for snakes. That's a sore sign that there's not much to the product.

"A creativity station. A fully functioning PC. Whatever you want to call it, Sprout can do it. " I want to call it the spaceship voyager on a mission to the planet of the MBAs.

"Blending the physical and digital worlds that you live in, Sprout unleashes your creativity like never before." if by that you mean it makes you want to rant creatively, sure.

krosaen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Wii or Virtual Boy?

Ambitious in any case, glad HP is trying!

roxtar 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminded me of the original Microsoft surface
himanshuy 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Video does not play on safari.
kbar13 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the product looks like one of those shitty toy computers from shoprite.
dyeje 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty awesome. Looking forward to giving it a whirl.
danielki 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks nice, but the 1-year warranty is a huge dealbreaker. If I'm going to be spending $1900 on a PC, it had better be guaranteed to last longer than that.
Domenic_S 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Did the woman in the video search for images and then steal the dolphin one to go with the HP logo?!
fastball 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks cool, but not sure I could get into it without any sort of haptic feedback.
aragot 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I almost thought "Wow, someone finally starts building Apple-level PCs". But the machine still only runs Windows. To a certain crowd of IT profrssionals, Apple has raised the standard to "I need both quality gear and the unix experience (including the command line but not only)".

So much that it would make sense that HP starts supporting Ubuntu by default.

Raphael 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You'd think they would write a description of the product. Basic SEO.
malloreon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a neat idea but I'll bet in practice it is very tiring to use.
swalsh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
With Tim Cook running Apple, there's a void in the "Well designed, but not cheap prosumer hardware" space. HP seems to want to stab it.
flameingo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
staz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Two screens at a 90degrees angle? Just imagining it make my neck hurts, they could have at least tilted the bottom one. There is a reason I learned to touch type...
hk__2 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Side note: prout is French for fart. For a French speaker, this products name hence sounds like sfart.
Argorak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm probably a bit weird in that regard, but the large image immediately reminded me of the Left4Dead cover image.
VLM 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Google terms to search for

"augmented desk" "InteractiveDESK"

This idea is introduced roughly every 4 years at least since the first time I saw it in the early 90s.

There has been some limited commercial success.

The local mall had a 100 sq ft model for kids to play with in one of the walkways. Balls bounce around and react when people walk into them.

Its more or less a kinect with substantial changes in scale and optical path.

leeber 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's kind of cool from the video, but honestly I lost interest half way through. I'm not sure if it solves an existing problem or would appeal to the mass market though.

I guess when you have cash that needs to be spent, you do stuff like this? I can't imagine this is the best innovation HP can come up with.

Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden [video]
422 points by rosser  3 days ago   188 comments top 13
gluczywo 3 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.

venantius 3 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.

Beltiras 3 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.
w-m 3 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?

recondite 3 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).

MichaelMoser123 2 days 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:



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.

PythonicAlpha 3 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.
accounthere 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why is he using Google Hangouts? That sounds like trouble.
relate 3 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.

johanzebin 3 days ago 6 replies      
It's weird that Mr. Lessig refers to cryptography as "physics" instead of mathematics around 28:15 :-).
johanzebin 3 days ago 0 replies      
no comment?
Why I can't have conversations using Twitter
404 points by Spiritus  16 hours ago   153 comments top 38
chton 16 hours ago 5 replies      
There are conversations that work on twitter, and ones that don't. In general, twitter conversations are quick back-and-forth affairs. If you need more than 2 tweets to express your thought, you're either using the wrong medium or thinking too far. If that conversation model doesn't fit you, that's perfectly fine, but that's not the fault of twitter. It's just a bad match-up. In that case, it's perfectly fine to respond to a tweet with a link to a medium that does support your model better.

If you do get roped into a conversation where you need more tweets to explain, here's a few simple guidelines:

- Don't split sentences over tweets. People will only read one part.

- If you really must, use "(cont.)" on both tweets (end of the first and start of the second), so it's obvious there was another part. I know that reduces your character limit, but it's worth it to be less ambiguous

- Make each continued tweet a reply to its predecessor. You can reply to your own tweets. It facilitates following the conversation on most clients.

- If it's more than 2 tweets, consider using twitlonger. In general, that should be a last resort, though.

Without trying to make it sound high-handed, there's something of an art to smooth twitter conversations. Terseness is the key. I find them rewarding because, when done right, they have an enormous density of information in a short time.

veidr 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Yep. Incidentally this is the exact same reason why I can't have conversations by shouting out the window of my car as I speed past people on the street.
staz 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't think this is due to the limit of 140 characters (even if it doesn't help) but much more due to the audience of fanboys and crow cheered during a fight.

There is the same problem on Google+ where there is not 140 characters limit. Any discussions with Linus or any other "celebrity" in it and the comments thread will be full of : "+1", "M. Linus you are so smart, you are my hero", "Well said, ripe him a new one" etc... Which drown any constructed argument and render any constructed debate impossible.

_yosefk 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The average thing I publish on the Internet is thousands of words long. There was never a shortage of people taking some of those words out of their context, and arguing against what those words supposedly say. And I'm likely to have done it myself to someone else's writing. Certainly I pay attention to some things more than others when I read, especially if I come with some prior knowledge and opinions. I can easily fail to notice important things when scanning something quickly.

And the longer it is, the more likely I am to be scanning quickly, actually. On the other hand, shorter messages and less context result in things simply being omitted, even if you do read carefully.

Maybe Twitter is worse than average, but it's pretty bad with any medium.

kyro 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter is terrible for meaningful conversation and debate. And I say that as an avid user.

Networking, sharing links, tidbits of insight, short messages, and Q&As all work really well. I've learned quite a bit from the curated articles and reports tweeted by those I follow. And if you follow the right people and engage appropriately, Twitter can open up a lot of opportunities. But anything beyond that is a waste of time, and can border damaging.

In fact, for all the good Twitter has facilitated (protests, revolutions, etc), I think it's having some negative impact. It is by far the most popular platform where individuals of all backgrounds, beliefs, and opinions congregate and interact, but it's built in a way where it is absolutely not conducive to meaningful debate, and so when the huge opinionated masses clash, the bite-sized arguments volleyed by either side are taken without context and nuance, further igniting and polarizing people. I'm seeing this happen with issues like feminism and Islam, where someone will tweet a very distilled version of a larger and more thorough opinion, it will be taken at face-value, someone will retweet it with a snarky comment, it snowballs into a food fight with enraged people retweeting/replying, and the original tweeter trying to add context but not being able to keep up with the reactionary domino effect. And because Twitter has almost become the official sounding board for many people, their tweets and reactions to those tweets contribute to their public image, reputation, and online presence, all damaged by death threats, accusations of sexism, bigotry, racism, etc, often thrown around unwarranted by people taking things out of context and who feel antagonized or polarized because of the way Twitter is structured.

And that's why I avoid tweeting about religion, politics, and databases.

brazzy 16 hours ago 3 replies      
This is why I could never figure out why anyone could possibly want to do anything with Twitter...

I keep hearing how it's great to keep up to date with whatever you're interested in - but I just can't see it.

davidw 11 hours ago 0 replies      
BTW, this also brings to mind another thing I've come to believe over the years:

> "You have clearly not understood how the math works or why tail latencies matter in dist sys. I think we're done here."

If, when you write something, it sounds like it's coming straight out of The Simpsons' "Comic Book Guy", you should probably rethink it unless you really mean to be a bit of a jerk.

felixgallo 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The distributed systems community as represented on twitter is pretty shameful; discussions of any non-CA database tend to devolve into intentional misreading and jokey sarcastic pile-on bullying, with Basho folk leading the charge.

Personally I get that they've lived through some pretty gruesome use cases and wars, but jesus, glass houses and stones, guys.

lhnz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is unfortunately a case of Twitter biasing technical discussions to highly literate, careful people.

Good tweeting requires almost Orwellian control over writing.

It needs to be extremely terse and explicit.

You need to be the kind of person that will write a tweet, read it and if it could be misunderstood in any way delete it, before rewriting it several times.

You need to do this until you are able to fit each inalienable component fact into 140 characters.

This kind of writer is often careful to form only one idea per tweet, considers using mathematical notation if it requires less characters, and will finally consider placing a [...] on the end of sentences which leave their argument hanging. Though when you have to do a lot of these things, it's often because you have not fully analysed the concept to a point where you understand it well enough to say simply.

dilap 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Small elements of Twitter's design really exacerbate this problem.

In a strictly time-ordered tweet view, you'd see one or another of antirez's tweets, be be curious, and go back into his & other respondents timelines to see the full conversation, w/ whatever context was originally there.

But how Twitter works right now is you get what appears to be a full conversation neatly tied together, but it's actually been selectively edited by an algorithm maximizing (I'm educated guessing) engagement, which ends up basically being an automated filter to create misunderstandings and controversy.

geoelectric 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Re: the original convo, they're stuck on the fact that arithmetic mean isn't terribly valid on a skewed distribution (and response/completion distributions are generally positive-skewed because of the firm/hard lower bound on task completion).

However, I do get what you're trying to do re: identify whether the problem is related to outliers. But in general, comparing to median has a lot more validity. Median isn't as sensitive to skew, and will be closer to the peak. For your purposes it probably wouldn't be a lot different but you wouldn't have pushed the "it's wrong" button.

All said, though, even comparing 50th (median) to 99th is pretty coarse. I'd probably be looking somewhere closer to 75th percentile for a comparison. Basically, you'd want to guess what percent might reasonably be affected by performance spikes and compare from there.

epaga 15 hours ago 3 replies      
When I want to write something over multiple tweets, I use a simple syntax to make it clear that each individual tweet is meant to be read in context with the others: I simply suffix all tweets except the last one with ">" and prefix all tweets except the first one with "<".

Additionally, I make sure each tweet is a reply to its predecessor. Here's an example: https://twitter.com/epaga/status/510316379833393152

raverbashing 15 hours ago 4 replies      
What is it with Postgres fans that "have to" prove they're better?

I don't want to use Postgres. I want to use Redis. Postgres IS NOT the solution for a lot of things. Yeah, feel free to call me stupid for not knowing every nook and cranny of PGSQL. I don't care

"I love to argue, but this is just a futile exercise."

Very wise words

rdtsc 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't use Twitter. Never signed up, never read it, unless someone I know posts a link to some insightful 140 character piece of text, which is rare.

It might be a good news headline spreading medium but not for conversations.

ayrx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Like any high volume channels, you have to ruthlessly curate your Twitter feed. Be picky about who you follow and block the trolls. Twitter is a pretty useful source of information after that. I usually see hints of upcoming vulnerabilities before the details get publicly released. That's pretty useful.
eksith 13 hours ago 0 replies      
When trying to get through what appears to be a brick wall of myopia, the liberal use of the block feature is more productive.

Seriously, I don't even try to have arguments anymore. A sane and relatively productive one is nearly impossible with some people. I don't know if it's the brevity of speech or the even shorter attention span, but the Online Disinhibition Effect seems to be an order of magnitude greater when it comes to certain topics.

hardwaresofton 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't that essentially the entire internet?

I absolutely think that you should only use twitter to post links to blog posts and mailing lists emails. That way, people who really care will read, others will not, and they likely won't comment without reading.

Complex thoughts don't often fit in a tweet.

pdonis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How about this: "This issue is too complex for a tweet: <link to article/blog post>"
throwawayaway 14 hours ago 0 replies      
twitter is less RSS for humans and more IRC for casual users, with no moderation.
Mc_Big_G 11 hours ago 2 replies      
My 16 yr. old daughter explained to me two days ago why Twitter conversations are broken, how to fix them and that maybe we should design products together since we can do it better than Twitter or that maybe she should send them her idea.

My response was, if you want to develop products together, let's do that. Second, Twitter probably has 50 product people who have all sat around and discussed her solution in detail and come to the conclusion that, for some reason we won't understand but that is probably better for Twitter, they shouldn't implement it. Most likely it has something to do with more views.

Then I welcomed her to the shitty reality that once a company gets the market share, they stop caring about a better experience for users and more about the bottom line OR maybe they're just stupid. After all, Twitter didn't have a single backup for something like the first year or two of existence.

marban 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Just as ridiculous as companies offering support via Twitter; and its customers expecting structured answers from it.
nickpresta 12 hours ago 0 replies      
yetanotherHNacc 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If you can't have a conversation on Twitter you may be doing something wrong. Thanks to the peers on the network we've found all sorts of interesting things.

Things like the location of rockets associated with sarin attacks in Syria[0] placed squarely on Mezzeh military airbase in Damascus. The rockets at the time were thought to be Iranian Falaq but more evidence showed them to be part of their own distinct program.

The discussion did not stay entirely on Twitter but was the main venue for it. Without being able to rope millions of random peers you may not know you will converse with later into one IRC channel, Twitter works for wide broadcast fast paced discussion.

Blocking people helps sure, but I think many people's problem seems to be a perceived lack of interesting peers.

[0] http://wikimapia.org/29357078/Falaq-2-Launch-Site

jpswade 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You can't expect Twitter to work like email when it works like text messaging.
jegoodwin3 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If only he'd called it 'the 1%' instead of the 99th percentile, he could have founded the 'Occupy EC2 movement'. #lostopportunity
resca79 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the context has important role in technological issues and it needs to be explained.Twitter is very useful when you need some quick answer, with no premises.While a tweet with a post link is enough, one tweet is just buzz
tmaly 14 hours ago 0 replies      
it would be great if there was a resurgence in the usenet
hpaavola 15 hours ago 1 reply      
TWTR is no good for conversations because there is no way to explain something new or controversial in 140 chars. Yes, this fits in a tweet
Confusion 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The more visible you are, the higher your standing, the likelier it is that people try to catch you in a mistake to improve their own visibility and standing. They are not aware that this is the motivation for their behavior.
burn 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You should try out a service called Jot. It has a twitter feel, but is built around conversations.
adamconroy 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Correct. And because I can't have conversations on twitter I find it very tedious.
ianstallings 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The older I get the more I ignore. I'm not missing out on anything by not following twitter and it's really just a distraction from my goals. I sink way more time into HN than other social media, and I don't spend that much time here. My goal is to be completely off in my own world a decade from now, focusing strictly on what is important to me.

Now if I can just kick my HN habit..

baldfat 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter = Information.

Google+ = Conversations

icedchai 11 hours ago 0 replies      
the problem is twitter isn't for conversations.
moron4hire 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this why twitter supports links in tweets?
lotsofmangos 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I think part of the problem is that Twitter is optimised for machine processing, more than it is for human conversation.
jlouis 12 hours ago 0 replies      
May I recommend using percentiles over the average? Reporting the 50th, 75th, 90th, 95th and 99th percentile is much better at describing the situation. Even better is to report a histogram or a kernel density plot of the the observed values.

Averages tend to be a notoriously bad indicator on their own because they don't describe anything about the distribution. This is obviously not a normal distribution, and even if it was, you need to report some kind of variance measurement as well. Otherwise it is hard to say anything about the shape of the distribution, let alone make tests for statistical significance.

notacoward 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Maybe if antirez doesn't want to read others simplistic responses on Twitter, he shouldn't make simplistic statements on Twitter. It's clearly a medium that doesn't convey nuance very well. There was a great deal of misinterpretation and talking past one another on all sides including his.

This was actually a continuation of a conversation that has been going on for several days, starting with an issue even more serious than 99th percentile latency - data loss due to a broken replica-repair strategy. Some very clueful people have pointed antirez at useful literature on the topic, and made specific suggestions to avoid the problem, only to be met with silence or excuses for why throwing away data was actually OK. Is it any wonder that they're frustrated with him, and ready to interpret an ambiguous statement like "the 99% percentile is bad" in a more negative way than he intended? For him to cherry-pick one exchange and present only one side only continues his own pattern of making constructive conversation almost impossible.

It's not a Twitter problem. It's a people problem.

Windows 10 will come with a command-line package manager
410 points by Systemic33  1 day ago   319 comments top 46
alkonaut 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Having a package manager is one thing, having a good curated repo of packages is another. I doubt MS Will have the balls to say that all their "partners" (most of the AV vendors, Oracle, ...) whose entire business model is based on crapware or bait & switch will somehow be banned from the repo?

Currently it seems that both the apt and choclatey versions of Java actually come without crapware. I have a feeling that if this kind of install becomes the default then the crapware will be bundled there too.

Yuioup 20 hours ago 6 replies      
Sorry, penguin lovers if you thought that 2015, in the heinous wake of Windows 8, would finally be the year of desktop Linux, you were sadly mistaken.

If youve ever ventured into the dark and mysterious land of Linutopia, where Ubutologists and Debianites reign, ...

Wow what a snarky article! I guess Extremetech does not like Linux at all...

logn 19 hours ago 4 replies      
> and who knows, that might just trigger some kind of revolution in Windows app management

Free trials of un-tar? Installing apps that require subscriptions to the cloud? Dev libraries that require enterprise support packages?

Good package management on Linux is owed largely to the tireless voices such as Stallman who understand the core issues here. Yes, tying together install scripts and maintaining repositories requires a lot of work, and good for Microsoft. But the reason It Just Works is because the software is free, from top to bottom, including the OS. And Mac will have the same problem here as Windows. For now, I'm guessing this is just a command-line interface to app stores.

Fuzzwah 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm coming to this massive comment party late, but I wanted to drop my thoughts about this and explain why I'm personally very excited by OneGet.

I'm a very experienced Windows Server Admin (15 years). I'm also a fairly experienced Linux Server Admin (7 years, on and off).

I'm currently an SCCM guru for a ~4000 user organisation.

I'm sure that if OneGet is supported by MS to the level which the developer explained in the reddit thread it'll be a boon to power users managing their own systems and to desktop support people.

But I can imagine that it'll be the SCCM teams who can leverage the most out of it.

The thought of being able to deploy and manage software across desktops and servers in a similar way to apt or yum makes me feel something close to utter joy.

I've had to build some very complex task sequences to install software on corporate machines. The worst example I can give is MS's own Dynamics CRM application. I was seriously proud of the batch files, registry inserts, dll hell avoidance, dependency solving, mother of all automated install processes to get Dynamics installed and hooked into Outlook in a magical way that the end user had no clue the complexity of.

It was only after slugging through developing all of the above that I found the incredible PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit [1], which people smarter than me had developed to basically handle everything I'd just slogged through.

From what I see OneGet has the potential of allowing us to easily push installs and updates via SCCM with out having to rely on 3rd party tools, batch files, msi rebuilding and general hackery.

Even if it doesn't gain wide support from software vendors, just enabling me to rip everything out of an msi and repackage it into a private OneGet repo sounds superior to having to rely on complex SCCM task sequences.

I'll be watching this closely.

[1] https://psappdeploytoolkit.codeplex.com/

awor 18 hours ago 1 reply      
the lead dev and architect for OneGet jumped on the reddit thread yesterday and answered a bunch of questions:


using the username : fearthecowboy (his twitter is the same, @fearthecowboy )

This was the top comment:http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/2khkpo/windows_10_...

sundvor 21 hours ago 5 replies      
Wow, what's next, ability to shift-ctrl+c & shift-ctrl+v text in the console just by default?
Animats 18 hours ago 1 reply      
There will probably be a GUI for it, called an "App store".

Windows Vista had a command-line package manager, although it was rather lame. It was a kludge to feed canned answers to installer prompts.


mastazi 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The fact that the Chocolatey repository will be compatible is very convenient, it looks like MS is listening to the user community, well done.
zbowling 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The article says that it's the same format as Chocolatey (an existing Windows package management tool) but actually it's a fork of NuGet in Windows 10 and Chocolatey is also a compatible fork of NuGet. Microsoft already owns and maintains NuGet.
slavik81 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I liked how the idea's champion dealt with Microsoft bureaucracy:

> So, back in August I started looking at what I was going to accomplish over the next year or so, and I thought it would be a good idea to try and see if I could get some of the CoApp package management ideas put into Windows itself (hey, it'd be kinda nice to be able to do apt-get style-stuff and have that built into the OS)

> I had proposed some of this at the beginning of the product cycle for Windows Blue (Server 2012 R2/Windows 8.1) but it was a little too late in the planning cycle, and I gave too-grand of a vision.

> I finally came to full understanding of some advice my pappy once told me: "The secret to success is to find someone else to care what you care about, and make it their problem." ... I looked at him like I understood what he meant, but he could tell that I was just paying lip service. He then said "Try it this way: Set the building on fire, take someone else's stuff into the building with you, and then cry for help"


lsiebert 22 hours ago 2 replies      
So does it do dependency management? That to me is essential in a real package management tool.
joenathan 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This will be a great way to automate Java and Flash updates, so users don't have play uncheck the adware every time there's an update.
arjie 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic. It'd be great if it would integrate with the Store. I'm guessing that even if it supports dependency resolution, most packages will just be monolithic blobs like currently. That does have its advantages, so it'll be interesting to see if people switch to specifying dependencies instead of bundling them.
lucian1900 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> much to the lament of Linux users

What? Everyone will be happy to have one, especially people that use Linux at least some of the time.

jimmcslim 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Chocolatey is great... although I wish it had a different "more professional"-sounding name.

When I was using it in anger a while ago I also found the quality of some of the packages to be a bit random, many of them just seemed to be random developer X's favourite aggregation of other packages. In which case I'm happy to see that they are adopting package moderation;


Systemic33 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will be interesting if this will be similar to linux with the possibility of community driven repositories alongside official repo's. Or if it's more of an admintool to do windows updates/windows store installs.

Edit: Apparently, it's also open source [1]

[1] https://github.com/OneGet/oneget

SwellJoe 1 day ago 3 replies      
As simple as it seems, this single failing has been my primary reason for outright dismissing Windows as a reasonable contender for server usage, no matter what else Microsoft might do to make it attractive for a variety of server tasks. A system that cannot be updated easily without human intervention is not a system that deserves a place in any data center.
aespinoza 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope they change the options. I think this is way too long for a command:

* Install-Package -Name firefox

When in Linux I can just do this:

* apt-get install firefox

I would love to see this:

Package -install firefox

lucb1e 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Good step, now the rest of Windows... I mean, Program Files containing the binaries is not even in %PATH%. I assume improvements will be made here too, but I wonder.
bnt 18 hours ago 4 replies      
But why "Install-Package", "Add-Package" and "Update-Package" - it's not like you can install, add or update anything else with this tool.
johnchristopher 18 hours ago 3 replies      
> While Windows and Mac users have to run graphical installers you know, where you hit Next a few times and try to avoid installing bundled crapware Linux users can just open up a command line and type sudo apt-get install vlc.

Right. As if VLC on windows comes with crapware.

As if apt-get [0] never asked cryptic messages [1].

[0] or yaourt or any other package manager

[1] and it's more about the package than the package manager

analog31 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I love it. Bring on "sudo apt-get install."

Somehow, folks have been led to think that the command line is a scary place, just for geeks, but it's so easy to lead someone through a slightly complex manual installation by just giving them a few commands to copy and paste into the terminal.

And as a somewhat casual user myself, I even find it easier to follow a command line installation than to wade through several pages of "open this window, click on this, click on that," especially when the instructions and the actual installer don't exactly agree due to revision divergence.

emsy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe the biggest problem for its success is that most companies don't want to give up the control a dedicated installer gives them (e.g. installing AskBar that comes with Java, as some comments pointed out).

In Linux, dedicated installers are the exception not the rule. I'm curious how the adoption on Windows will be, especially for commercial/non-free software which there is a lot on Windows.

I'm also curious how they will present the packages to the average user. Worst case, the user will have to look in three different places to uninstall software (namely System Control, the package manager, and in directories of software that isn't registered anywhere).

annnnd 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the article misses the point. It doesn't matter if the package manager is CLI or GUI-based, what matters is good UI and quality (+ price) of application packages.

Mobile stores (Google Play, Apple Store) are a good example of this... they host many apps & are easy to use. Who cares if you use keyboard, mouse or touch to get them.

whoisthemachine 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me if Microsoft is copying features from Linux for Windows, then it may be that Linux on the desktop is starting to worry them.
dpina 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Plus, it seems like puppet is working on a plugin to make use of OneGet. It'll make work much more interesting in the future that I'm actually looking forwarding this happening.

Couldn't find much more on puppet on this topic than this presentation:http://www.slideshare.net/ferventcoder

xyzzy_plugh 21 hours ago 2 replies      
There has been an (albeit poor) package manager for some time: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/library/cc748979(v=ws.10)...

I've personally struggled with it to fix corrupt updated installed by windows updates, and while it doesn't meet the bar set by mainstream Linux distro package managers, it is a package manager nonetheless.

pmontra 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome Windows10! What next, maybe a network oriented display manager to be able to open a window on another pc, phone, tablet, xbox? ;-)
talles 12 hours ago 0 replies      
rejschaap 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I think there is a huge missed opportunity here. I mean, it's good that Microsoft is finally adding functionality that went mainstream in the late 90's. But why don't just skip the flawed approach most of the current Linux distributions use? In my opinion they should have been looking at a more declaritive approach, such as the Nix package manager uses.

I will agree though that this oversight is not as bad as TFSVC. Where they were building a centralized version control system when the whole world was switching to decentralized VCSs.

ForFreedom 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Any idea when its available for download for consumers?
kyllo 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Cool, but will you still have to restart your computer every time you install something?
davidgerard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
So is this basically taking Ninite's business model?
gum_ina_package 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This could be awesome, especially if it can integrate with the Windows Store. Maybe even your XBox/WP too?
melling 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm not a Windows user so maybe I'm way off, but wouldn't adding Cortana go much farther in getting people to upgrade?

How's the Kinect support in Windows? Quite honestly, Microsoft is only competing against itself. How many XP uses are still out there? A couple hundred couple hundred million? Give them a reason to get excited.

tn13 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I am not sure why even in 2014 we have to pit Linux against Windows. We have surely grown out of that sort of debate.

Microsoft successfully achieved its objective of putting a computer in every home with the help of Windows. We should thank them for that. Linux on other hand has grown leaps and bounds. Android after all is a linux kernel fork. I think as technology lovers we can surely love both and look at them as technologies complimenting each other rather than competing.

chippy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
But will it have sudo, or would you run PowerShell as Administrator?
meapix 10 hours ago 0 replies      
linux is not package manager
jqm 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Someone at work told me Windows 10 is also going to have virtual desktops.Haven't verified.

I did play with a release preview of 10. It was actually OK in a brief 5 minute survey. I won't ever use it for day to day stuff, (I'm a Linux user), but its nice to see them at least appearing to make an effort. I think most of us in the field are at some level negatively impacted when Microsoft engages in evil/stupid behavior, so it's nice when they come out with something good which they do from time to time.

TheSoftwareGuy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Maybe I'll end up buying a windows machine sometime soon.
jeffmess 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome to the party!
kolev 23 hours ago 0 replies      
One-up OS X!
robomartin 22 hours ago 4 replies      
If Windows 10 was built on top of Linux I'd get a lot more excited.

I have to use Windows for the myriad of engineering tools that are not available under any other OS, for example, SolidWorks, Altium Designer, various embedded toolsets, etc. And, while I've been using PC's (and Macs and Linux) since they came on the scene I hate, hate, hate the DOS or technically DOS-like underbelly of the beast.

I know it is a ridiculous idea. It would break everything, including their profitable corporate platforms.

Yes, there are ways to mitigate this but it'd be nice if all computing platforms got behind a common standard. Utopia. I know.

mherkender 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of that time that Microsoft caught up to a competitor years too late to have any impact.
GuiA 10 hours ago 3 replies      
> Find-Package

> Install-Package

Dashes and uppercase...what terrible names. Is the windows shell case sensitive (I seem to recall it is but it may have changed)? We've been designing command line interfaces for over half a century now, this is just lazy. Shells are not magically exempt from UI best practices just because they're not graphical.

snake_plissken 9 hours ago 1 reply      
In terms of managing programs/packages, what is wrong with Add-Remove Programs/Programs and Features? I've always found these to be satisfactory. Or am missing the point here? In terms of automatically retrieving the correct dependencies, I can see this being pretty useful, even if most programs already automatically install the dependencies or at least let you know that you don't have them. Maybe I'll find myself in .Net framework or MS C++ distribution hell a little bit less. The same problem, with missing or incorrect shared libraries, seems to happen just as much when I am on a Free/Net/OpenBSD system. And the workflow for installing a Windows program is fundamentally different from the *Nix eco-system; as the former is mostly closed while the latter open, you have to be much more discrete when installing on Windows.

Maybe I am using Windows differently than a lot of other people even if I consider myself a "power" user. I've always felt much of Windows' power and usability came from it's GUI focused experience (forgetting the maddening changes that can occur between versions).

Post: after writing all that, I looked at Programs and Features (on windows 7 now) and I think the biggest advantage of something like this would be mapping out dependencies, even if I don't think I've ever deleted one by mistake. Still, it would be nice.

Joker Torrents to streamable video
394 points by bmaeser  1 day ago   156 comments top 42
wmt 1 day ago 7 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=

mbesto 1 day 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.

denisnazarov 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is not actually p2p. Check out https://github.com/feross/webtorrent. Hoping to hear feross' input.
kristofferR 1 day 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.

Sami_Lehtinen 1 day 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.
geekymartian 1 day 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.
hotgoldminer 1 day 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..
bmaeser 1 day ago 1 reply      
developer of joker.org joined comments on product hunt: http://www.producthunt.com/posts/joker
digital-rubber 1 day 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.

caractacus 1 day 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.

Phogo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, that was easy and actually worked flawlessly.

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

Mendim 1 day ago 1 reply      
IT saves the torrents in host.i checked an video.the site maybe will be suspended because is hosted ilegaly contents


colinramsay 1 day 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?
fredley 1 day ago 2 replies      
paul9290 1 day 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?

afro88 1 day 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
jmbmxer 1 day ago 1 reply      
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.
interdrift 1 day 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?
daddykotex 1 day 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!

omgmog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tested with Big Buck Bunny and it seems to work nice enough.


h43k3r 1 day 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?
tomphoolery 1 day 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.

Patrick_Devine 1 day 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.
anilshanbhag 1 day 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.
mk00 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worked beautifully for me, including loading at different points. Very nice.
jokoon 1 day 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 ?

taneem 1 day ago 2 replies      
What's the difference between this and Popcorn Time?
notax 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't seem to work. I get an error on any torrent I try, regardless of source or video format.
Aissen 1 day ago 0 replies      
So this is basically put.io, but free ?
maram 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow! this is very simple and easy to use!! I wonder for how long it will be available..
IkmoIkmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow that was smooth as butter... Am I unique or is everyone getting speed like this?
kumarharsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems there is another issue: Some of the torrent videos don't play at all.
neogenix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does it support ChromeCast?
foobarqux 1 day 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.
bluehazed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worked fantastic. Awesome.
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this open source? Can I download/install this to my VPS?!
manish_gill 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this will work with Private Trackers?
Jamie452 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seeking seems super fast, I'm impressed!
Codename47tr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Even works perfect on my ipad, amazing
drdoooom 1 day ago 1 reply      
this is really great, worked better than i anticipated. maybe a xbmc addon in the future!
JCJoverTCP 1 day ago 1 reply      
dont torrent chunks show up out of order?
baldfat 1 day ago 3 replies      
So a ton of links and stories are removed from Hacker News based on???? But a service that stream pirated material is fine?
Smuggling Snowden Secrets
361 points by jbegley  1 day ago   62 comments top 10
lazaroclapp 1 day 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.

davidholmesnyc 1 day ago 3 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.
scintill76 1 day 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.

davidw 1 day 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.
dmix 1 day 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.
redwaldciei8379 19 hours ago 1 reply      
0.) Greenwald makes same pattern of mistakes at least 3 times.Get a tainted USB by federal express and get the USB firmwarelevel compromise.Its a common LAZY practice, so ALL USB in Fedex are changed atthe central shipping hub. The history is to dissolve glue on envelopeand reseal. Today it is automated, perhaps. This is sci fi, of course.

2nd time Greenwald - use your partner to carry the solid statedevices. Lead to the 'drug war sweep' at the airport. Yes, yourclothes are removed to 'distract you' and to make sure that youare not 'hiding' any USB drives.

3.) There are few 'excellent journalists' left. That's why WE concentrated all of them on da verge as a single point of failure.

4.)Salient fact: there are only 2 techies that know gpg in theorg and the journalists dont care to learn or dont know what isimportant?

5.)three factor authentication == security. 1 factorr eencyrpted keyrates low.

6.)xkcd comic badone has hammer on your head and u will givepassword. a/pple bio-metrics fooled again by latex clone.no 3 is how u play. game: chess 'sing fortissimo' n-q6(if I play a rank 1600 move, it means REVOKE credentials,a 1900 move means pass)

7.)thought experiment - the radio operator is parachuted intoenemy territory. Captured and turned? or maybe...

8.)increas eing the noise to the signal for the metadata is more important.of the h-l or letter h munus 1 which looks like letter l --pg for 3 letter acronym - is basic. so, twitter source is too lowentropy. steagan image or TWO simple texxt on public websiteforum means plenty oof of downloaders.

summary1.)who are the top 3 in the world?2.)single point of faliure on one email website?3.)meta-info ENCRYPTED MESSAGE HIDING plus tor, etctrust attack or even simple denial of service attack leaving onlythe 'bad ones' to be used.

8.)joke crypto. old Russian proverb.we pretend to work and they pretend to play us ... oops pay us..

yoops slay us? So mister red wald start up the joke contestand have plenty of playing the part of the green herring or is itpurple herring - fuscia maybe? - i dunno. THIS WIL INNCREASE THE NOISE TO SIGNAL ratio where badtyoists yuuppsie TYPISTS are then on the tracking list.

Using number theory and the many old people who love to playgames and trade joiokes it is now time to look at spam and emails

jordanpg 1 day 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.
GHFigs 1 day 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.
minusSeven 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Great read. This is stuff movies are made of, but in reality its seems more horrifying.
escapologybb 1 day 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?

How a differential gear works (1937) [video]
384 points by edferda  3 days ago   55 comments top 35
journeeman 2 days 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.

mutagen 2 days 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.


bithush 2 days 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.
Yahivin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like how they start ghost riding the whip at 8:45 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4JhruinbWc#t=519
mxfh 2 days 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

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.
reckoner13 2 days ago 0 replies      
My favorite: Wave Behavior from Bell Labs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DovunOxlY1k
analog31 2 days ago 1 reply      
Excellent use of graphics, created in the age before computer graphics.
rahulmax 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! Amazing.

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

draker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had not seen this particular video but have seen the "How a manual transmission works" from the same series.


JasuM 2 days ago 0 replies      
An interesting mechanism using differential gears, doubling the speed while only using gears of the same size:


nopar8 2 days ago 0 replies      
The way the teaching was sequential really made it an understandable to a layman like myself.
sisar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Any idea for what purpose was this video originally made?
petercooper 2 days 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

blt 2 days 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?

charlieok 2 days 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 :)
haphazardeous 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant video. It's definitely a lot better to see the basic principles and evolution of those principles in action.
amenghra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember building lego cars which had a differential: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/drl/courses/cs54-2001s/images/le...
hsshah 2 days 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)
clebio 2 days ago 0 replies      
The actual explanation doesn't start until about 2 minutes in:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4JhruinbWc#t=110
charlysisto 2 days 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 ?

jonmrodriguez 2 days 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)
leeoniya 2 days ago 1 reply      
some may also enjoy a 3d-printed triple gear


franciscop 2 days 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
joeblau 2 days ago 0 replies      
Differential -- the most misused word in sports. The video is a great explanation about the automobile version.
sreejithr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd have loved it if these guys had made a video on fly wheels. Dying to know more about those.
gradstudent 2 days ago 0 replies      
@edferda: props for posting this; the pedagogy here is just terrific!
smilefreak 2 days 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.

VLM 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see a Torsen gearcase. Strange little things, they look like pepper grinders.
mickcartwright 1 day ago 0 replies      
love the clarity, simplicity and enunciation
nikant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great Video:)
spacefight 2 days ago 0 replies      
Best spent 8minutes today, thanks!
thebladerunner 2 days ago 0 replies      
__database__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
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.

Post Mortem: A single whitespace character
333 points by goleksiak  2 days ago   205 comments top 27
pilif 2 days 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/

goleksiak 2 days 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


jrochkind1 2 days 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.
spydum 2 days ago 4 replies      
The Server: cowboy tag is from an Erlang web server:


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?

asveikau 2 days 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.

userbinator 2 days 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).


"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.

jlouis 2 days 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.

mml 2 days 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.

kirab 2 days 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

Animats 2 days 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.

Danieru 2 days 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.
kyberias 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's the deal with all the scrollbars on this page?
colinbartlett 2 days ago 1 reply      
It scares me to think all of these requests run over unencrypted HTTP.
vvpan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Way to abuse :first-letter.
KMag 2 days 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.

jameshart 2 days 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.

justinsb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tangentially, why didn't curl escape the trailing space to %20?
jim_lawless 2 days 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.

weissadam 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have some advice. Hire a real C programmer. This code is _awful_ and probably full of vulns.
rcconf 2 days 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.

ericcholis 2 days 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.
kstrauser 2 days 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).

cleanCodeAtWork 2 days 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?
robomartin 2 days 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.

peterwwillis 2 days 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."

mikeklaas 2 days ago 0 replies      
cofcdylan 2 days ago 1 reply      
i'm just glad my city made it to HN.
Rewriting Reddit (2005)
342 points by amalantony06  2 days ago   112 comments top 19
jedberg 2 days 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.

_stem 2 days 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...

joesmo 2 days 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.
coldtea 1 day 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...

temuze 2 days 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.

mikepurvis 2 days 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.

wcummings 2 days ago 4 replies      
What Lisp webserver was used, originally? Hunchentoot? What web servers/stack are Lispers using these days?
mox1 2 days 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).

euphemize 2 days 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".

linuxydave 2 days ago 4 replies      
Whatever happened to that Lisp clone?
tim333 2 days ago 0 replies      
For another take on the Reddit rewrite from Steve Huffman see:


25m 40s

closetnerd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Its incredible how intelligent this kid was.
pshc 2 days 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.

general_failure 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is reddit that simple to rewrite over the weekend?
gprasant 2 days 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 ?
83457 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would clojure fare better now?
andyzweb 2 days ago 0 replies      
RIP Aaron ;_;
geerlingguy 2 days 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?

gcb0 2 days 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.

She Tweeted Against the Mexican Cartels. They Tweeted Her Murder
329 points by danso  2 days ago   202 comments top 15
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.

drawkbox 2 days 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.

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.

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.
blrgeek 2 days ago 4 replies      
And that is what the USA 'War on Drugs' is doing to the poorer neighbours.
jacquesm 2 days 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.

mjfl 2 days 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.
sidcool 2 days 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.
Shorel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I offer myself as a proxy for such twitter accounts.

Let's see what happens.

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.

judk 2 days ago 1 reply      
The US has drones. Why don't they firebomb every drug plantation and capo hacienda in L Latin America?
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.
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?
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?

tn13 2 days 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.


I hope that she is safe.

An open source engine clone of Age of Empires II
344 points by andygmb  3 days ago   71 comments top 13
silveira 3 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.
M4v3R 3 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...

fakeyfake 3 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.

captainmuon 3 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...

bluehex 2 days 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. :/

egeozcan 3 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.
jqm 3 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.

Aethelwulf 3 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.
hhsnopek 3 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...
Void_ 3 days ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me how can software be "free as in freedom"?
sebastianavina 3 days ago 3 replies      
I just want to sudo apt-get install it and play it.
timwaagh 3 days ago 1 reply      
how does this work with copyright & trademarks & stuff?
himanshuy 2 days ago 0 replies      
AOE II is one of my all time favorite game.
Osquery: Expose the operating system as a relational database
351 points by jamesgpearce  8 hours ago   99 comments top 35
ibdknox 7 hours ago 3 replies      
This is really interesting and very cool to see. The approach we're taking with Eve (gory details at [1]) is that you can treat everything as relational and doing so provides lots of benefits. One thing that wasn't clear though, was how you extend that notion down into the OS-level for both performance and semantic reasons. It's encouraging to see someone with requirements as deep as facebook's find that this strategy works in that context.

The next step would be manipulating the OS as relations. E.g. an insert into the process table allows you to actually spawn a process. It would start to get really interesting from there...

[1]: http://incidentalcomplexity.com/2014/10/16/retrospective/

avifreedman 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
marpaia, Did you consider using OpenTSDB?

At CloudHelix, we did a Postgres FDW to OpenTSDB, which gives a time dimension as well.

That was an issue at Akamai - how to get historic as well as realtime with Akamai's Query system ([WARNING: PDF direct download] http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd...)

Interesting stuff though! Maybe a FDW could connect Postgres to osquery, which could allow joining with local tables or other FDW-accessible data.

The FDW approach to OpenTSDB looks like:

select to_timestamp(atime::float), value, hstore(regexp_split_to_array(tags, ',')) as hs from chf_realtime where i_start_time >= now() - interval'1 min' and agg = 'sum' and metric = 'df.bytes.percentused' and tags = 'host=*,mount=/|/data|/ssd' ; to_timestamp | value | hs ------------------------+-------+---------------------------------------------------------2014-10-30 01:15:33+00 | 84 | "host"=>"XY4.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:16:33+00 | 84 | "host"=>"XY4.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:33+00 | 9 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/data", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:16:33+00 | 9 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/data", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:15:33+00 | 49 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:16:33+00 | 49 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:14:55+00 | 63 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:55+00 | 63 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:14:55+00 | 1 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/data", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:15:55+00 | 21 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:14:55+00 | 21 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:50+00 | 63 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:50+00 | 8 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"btrfs"2014-10-30 01:14:56+00 | 89 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:56+00 | 89 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:14:56+00 | 55 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"xfs"2014-10-30 01:15:56+00 | 55 | "host"=>"XY.iad1", "mount"=>"/ssd", "fstype"=>"xfs"(17 rows)

MrBuddyCasino 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Cool, so basically it brings something like WQL to nix, because this is something that exists in Windows already:

    SELECT * FROM Win32_LogicalDisk WHERE FreeSpace < 2097152

zwischenzug 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Available as a docker image:

  docker run -t -i imiell/osquery /bin/bash  root@81fbc2076e1c/# osqueryi  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  osquery - being built, with love, at Facebook  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  Connected to a transient in-memory database.  Use ".open FILENAME" to reopen on a persistent database.  osquery> select * from processes;  +----------+-------------------------+-----------+-------+---------+------------+---------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------+--------+  | name     | path                    | cmdline   | pid   | on_disk | wired_size | resident_size | phys_footprint | user_time | system_time | start_time | parent |  +----------+-------------------------+-----------+-------+---------+------------+---------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------+--------+  | bash     |                         | /bin/bash | 1     | -1      |            | 1764          | 18276          | 17        | 18          | 95476444   | 0      |  | osqueryi | /usr/local/bin/osqueryi | osqueryi  | 19380 | 1       |            | 4312          | 110652         | 225       | 327         | 96321589   | 1      |  +----------+-------------------------+-----------+-------+---------+------------+---------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------+--------+  osquery>

zobzu 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
Google has GRR and Mozilla has MIG (http://mig.mozilla.org/)

I think its interesting to see that MIG is in Go and thus cross platform "by default". It also seems to be more privacy-compliant.

osquery's SQL is sexy however.

That said I'm also wary of a single piece of software that basically give you control over absolutely everything (control everyones laptop, etc. silently and quickly. Thats the best rootkit ever. You wont even detect if its being compromised because its a trusted piece of the OS!)

asb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a paper at EuroSys this year "Relational access to Unix kernel data structures" which seems to attempt to offer similar functionality. A comparison between the two would be interesting.

HTML version of the paper here: http://www.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/pubs/conf/2014-EuroSys-PicoQL-ke... Paywalled version: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2592802

gooseyard 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Akamai has been using a system like this since 1999 or so, nicely documented in this presentation to LISA some years ago:


mapleoin 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Welcome to 2014 where cross-platform means "Ubuntu, CentOS and Mac OS X".
sanj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds of a old project to kill daemons with a shotgun: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~dlchao/flake/doom/
elwell 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great, so now we can have SQL Injection at the OS level.


adl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I build the .deb for Ubuntu 14.10 (downloaded the project, the Vagrant image, etc, the works. 1.1GB in total according to du -h)

It's here if anyone wants to try it: osquery-0.0.1-trusty.amd64.deb (11 MB)


pothibo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is quite cool. I'm installing it right now on my system.

From the wiki, it says it will soon be available on homebrew as well.


tdicola 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there instructions how to build it? I'm looking around the github page and don't see anything like what depedencies it needs, what infrastructure it uses (looks like CMake?), etc. It's cool to distribute it as a vagrant source, but I'd like to compile and run this on a Raspberry Pi which doesn't run Vagrant. Supplying some basic how to build instructions would really help.
Pxtl 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I just wish there were better relational languages than SQL for accessing/manipulating this stuff. Relational logic is great. SQL is... okay.
brianpgordon 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This is neat, but why is Facebook making it? I may be too used to working at startups, but it seems to me that "look Mom, SQL!" isn't nearly worth the cost of the engineer hours it must have taken to bring this project to maturity.

I guess it does buy community goodwill to throw handfuls of money off the Facebook float...

thibauts 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a very good candidate for a postgres FDW ...


sehrope 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty neat. I'm a big fan of SQL in general and being able to query system stats like this feels pretty natural to me.

A long time back I created something similar to this atop Oracle[1]. It used a Java function calling out to system functions to get similar data sets (I/O usage, memory usage, etc). It was definitely a hack, but a really pleasant one to use.

Be cool to see an foreign data wrapper for PostgreSQL[2] that exposes similar functionality. I'm guessing it'd be pretty easy to put together as you'd only need to expose the data sets themselves as set returning functions. PostgreSQL would handle the rest. Though I guess that would limit it's usefulness to servers that have PG already installed. Having it be separate like this let's you drop it on any server (looks like it's cross platform too!).

[1]: I don't remember exactly when but I think 10g had just been released.

[2]: http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.3/static/postgres-fdw.html

chacham15 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to create triggers with this kind of emulated database? E.g. Insert a row into the notifications tablewhen free space drops below 10% or to use their example when SELECT name, path, pid FROM processes WHERE on_disk = 0 actually returns a row.
eli 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of LogParser, a funky Microsoft tool that let you run queries against log files, directories, the registry, etc. I think it was a skunkworks project. Apparently still exists: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2465...
karavelov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is something similar in aws. The main difference is that it is distributed and can query and aggregate across clusters of thousands machines. Also I think it is not built on sqlite but implements new db engine.
gdulli 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to try this out but is there a way to install it that's as simple as all of the other Linux software I've ever installed before, and doesn't require installing vagrant, installing virtualbox, downloading an ubuntu image, creating a whole VM (which failed) so I can then make a package I can install? I can usually try these things out without making a whole thing of it.
godisdad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Nifty, but not incredibly novel. SQLite's VFSes have been around for some time, albeit in smaller breadth and scope. I think one thing this kind of glosses over is the notion of transactions, what if load/fs contents change between independent parts of your query, are they memoized, recomputed, etc?

Having said all that I'm going to install it and try it out because it's new and shiny.

stefanobaghino 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant idea, this can easily expose metrics in interesting ways to a whole lot of people who happen to know SQL better than the /proc filesystem.
peterwwillis 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's hard for me to grok this project's design goals. I mean, the basic idea is simple enough to understand: I want to run SQL queries on metadata about my hosts. I've built and run several different iterations of that same idea, but they didn't require thousands of lines of C++.

The usual implementation is simple: take any host monitor (say, collectd) that can export key/value pairs from a host, or take a log stream over the network and pair it with a host monitor/log scraper to create key/value pairs. Then insert into an SQL engine while appending to a log for a historical record (or PTA/PITR/whatever, i'm not a DBA). Separately you can create a database application to query/modify the database as needed.

But we're talking like, a handful of python scripts that don't ever change except to add new search features. This seems like a big departure from the simplicity of that approach. Am I missing something?

spo81rty 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish something like this shipped with every version of linux just like WMI does on Windows. This is awesome to see.
rdtsc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Any relationship or inspiration from BeOS's file system?


I remember from back in the day that was one of the really cool feature of Be.

mongol 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Something similar using SQLite virtual tables and the proc filesystemhttps://github.com/claes/osql
jacquesm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this reading os datastructures synchronously or asynchronously?
politician 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Would've preferred to see the from-where-select style rather than the normal way of writing SQL.
falcolas 8 hours ago 3 replies      
You know, this wouldn't be too hard to implement as a storage engine for MySQL... What an intriguing idea.
mixedbit 6 hours ago 1 reply      
A system with SQL interface != a relational database
pron 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice! Can we have a JDBC driver for this?
innguest 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The original wiki had much to say, over its many discussions, about TOP - table-oriented programming.

Today we know via Category Theory that tables are Turing complete and are actually quite synonymous with CT itself.

In other words, thinking of computation in terms of tables with rows and columns and relationships between tables is an interesting and promising (given CT) approach to computing that has been discussed in the past but then left largely unexplored.

peetle 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey? LINQ? What?
rpm33 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing.Installing it right away
Can Authorities Cut Off Utilities And Pose As Repairmen To Search A Home?
316 points by DickingAround  11 hours ago   144 comments top 27
austenallred 9 hours ago 3 replies      
My story is only tangentially related, but pretty absurd. TL;DR - an FBI agent came to our house undercover as a FedEx driver, ready to serve a warrant as soon as we accepted a package.

When I was 16 I became an "eBay trade assistant" - basically people who didn't know how to sell stuff on eBay would pay me a 15% commission to sell their stuff for them. The work was really trivial, but a lot of the people I sold stuff for were 70+ years old and had some great antiques. It was easy money for a 16-year-old.

One day a guy contacted me and said, "Hey, I have a GPS from my work that I don't need, and I want you to sell it for me." I looked up the GPS; it retailed at about $1500, and was selling for around $1,000 on eBay. I would literally copy/paste the official product description and earn $150 - a no-brainer. I told him to ship me the GPS.

A few days later, as my mom was about to take me to pick up my car from the mechanic, a FedEx guy came to our garage door. He asked if there was a "Scott Smith" that lived at our house (I don't remember the exact name). We said there wasn't. He said, "Oh, well I have a GPS here for Scott Smith." I said we were expecting a GPS, but that wasn't my name. My mom got nervous and turned down the package.

A few minutes later, as we were driving to the mechanic, my mom got pulled over by an unmarked car. It was a little strange to see an unmarked car in our small town, but oh well, my mom was speeding (as everybody always is in that town). I put my iPod headphones in and didn't think twice about it. The officer asked her to step out of the car (again, I didn't know enough to think twice). After about 10 minutes of them standing there and talking I finally pulled my headphones out and heard "stolen credit card" and "GPS" in the same sentence. I put together what had happened pretty quickly, and explained it to the officer. The officer made a circling motion in the air with his finger, and four of five other unmarked cars that had parked discreetly behind us on the street drove off in various directions.

Turns out I was being used as a "fence" for one of the largest credit card thieves in America, as he was testing the waters of using trade assistants to sell on eBay. My next-door-neighbor (and a good friend of the family), who was a police officer, later told me that they had been setting up this sting for weeks. He recognized the address as being close to him, but we lived next door to a trailer park that had been notorious for crime of all varieties, so he didn't realize it was actually our house they were targeting.

Turns out the FedEx guy was an undercover FBI agent, and they had a warrant to strip our house down to the studs if we had accepted the package. In the end, we just explained what happened, and I had to turn my beloved Hotmail account over to the FBI. They said they would have me testify in court if they ever caught the guy/girl responsible, and I've never heard anything. So either they never caught him/her or my testimony was unnecessary given the email transcripts.

My mom loved to tell that story to girls I brought home for the first time. In retrospect it was probably a good litmus test to know if they'd be able to put up with me.

Someone1234 11 hours ago 4 replies      
> the FBI provided two blank CDs, claiming the recording devices malfunctioned

The levels of day-to-day corruption within the US judicial system are almost comical at times, scary at others...

Between the police constantly getting away with committing crimes, prosecutors essentially blackmailing innocent people into pleas, and judges often ignoring the rule of law (with VERY shaky justifications), it seems like the entire system is fubar.

The US system is just corrupt through and through. I see nothing redeeming about it. The only people who seem to [sometimes] receive justice are the rich, and while that is the case on other countries, in many of those countries that is a "scandal" in the US it is "working as intended."

SyncTheory13 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a story similar to this, though it didn't involve the police actually searching my home.

In March of 2011, my St. Louis hosted an Occupy convention - which was mostly workshops/lectures and some very tame marches due to out-of-town folks. My roommates and I had been involved for a bit and some had given our address out when arrests were made.

This was prime-time for police intimidation (including of witnesses) and undercover agents. We were aggressively tailed by unmarked cars, had police writing down license-plates of those at our house, and had a constant police presence circling the block and down the alley.

Aside from very close friends being intensely beaten for participating in a march that was staying on the sidewalk (a scene that still haunts most of us) - the most corrupt thing that happened to us was when they worked with the local Electric company (Ameren UE) to have our electricity shut off.

We called the electric company to find out why it was shut off when the bill had been up-to-date and were told they were ordered to by the police due to the house being declared Condemned and us being labeled as squatters.

We had some pro-bono lawyers who advised me to threaten the electric company with legal action - which made their representatives quickly make up a legal excuse as to why our electric was shut off. I informed the landlord, who checked into it and found that it involved a Sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

The conversation between then went something along the lines of:- Landlord: Why has the house been declared condemned and the electric shut off?- Police: This house has been involved with Occupy and often serves as a meeting place for it.- Landlord: Ok... Is it illegal to hold meetings in a house?- Police: Well... No...- Landlord: Then we shouldn't have a problem.

Probably helped that the landlord is a high-ranking official in the nearby Air Force base. Within 24 hours, our electric was reconnected.

My take-away from all of this, and the current events, is that the best course of action in dealing with aggressive and usually illegal police activities is to fight back with an even more aggressive legal campaign as well as establishing a very close and open relationship with all surrounding neighbors. Their fraternity acts as an organizational bully that constantly pushes what they can get away with until they sense actual danger to themselves/their jobs in terms of legal ramifications, etc.

gleenn 11 hours ago 3 replies      
If it is true the FBI tried to cover their asses, heads should roll. This kind of stuff is so despicable. If it is inconvenient to get a warrant, then that's where your job ends.

My civil liberties should not be crumbling because of overzealous FBI agents going after some silly illegal gambling.

Afforess 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Normally these discussions get framed in terms of "rights" and how the FBI are violating them, but the average person doesn't care a lot about their abstract rights. It doesn't register. The real issue, and what bothers me, and I think the FBI here don't "get", is that when they pull these stunts, they are helping the real criminals. In court, when someone who is actually guilty of a crime can show that the FBI did this sort of stunt, they can often appeal and nullify the entire sentence. Criminals can end up going free because the law enforcement felt it had a right to do whatever they wanted. When law enforcement acts in disregard to the law, they are not only breaking it, but aiding the real criminals escape justice.
stevengg 11 hours ago 2 replies      
This sort of thing is standard secret service wave blank paper to gain entry


click170 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I once caught a pair of police officers trying to break into my home through my 2nd story bedroom window (while I was sleeping) in the middle of the day.

I was home and caught them in the act, which was evidently unexpected because one of them nearly fell off my roof when I asked them wtf they were doing.

They claimed they had received a 911 call from my home, despite the fact that I was asleep and was home alone. After searching the home myself looking for a possibly incapacitated relative (with them in toe, despite the fact that I had not granted them access) and finding no-one, they left. I asked around, and this apparently happens very frequently in my area.

If there's a 911 call and it is disconnected, that does sound like grounds to at least attend to the residence. But breaking and entering when there aren't signs anyone is even home? I have a hard time agreeing that this was called for. I now live in an apartment building or I would block my windows from opening wide enough for someone to enter through them.

kbart 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I'm amazed this happens in modern USA. Such methods reminds of KGB in Soviet Russia or Stasi in East Germany, where agents were often "employed" as cleaners, housekeepers, electricians, doormen etc. Looks like the whole warrant system is broken and often used only to cover up the "parallel constructions", in other words, some kind of PR stuff.
Shivetya 9 hours ago 0 replies      

I have followed this story for a while and this is just insane what they did without a warrant. So they effectively break the law to gain evidence? They are allowed to sabotage another party's services and pose as their persons to do such?

This is really just another in a long line of abuses the judicial system foists onto people, mostly onto those who cannot afford legal representation. Their mistake here was these people could. I am amazed they didn't try forfeiture laws and declare the computing equipment as breaking the law, without rights, and just taking it only "to discover" it was used for nefarious purposes.

rdtsc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
FBI is now an "organized crime" cartel. It is the Mafia.

This is not unlike the corruption at high levels in places like Russia, China etc. There, they have a grey zone between law enforcement and criminal organizations. Think of it as "regulatory capture" but in respect to law enforcement. Here there isn't as much of a grey zone (yet?), it is more isolated, but the acting above the law bit is the same.

You can look at it as both being a bad thin in an of itself but also a signal (proxy) for deeper and more serious issues coming down the pipeline.

The one thing that FBI has is better technology and resources than any of those other criminal organizations. So any corruption no matter how small will be amplified many times over.

MatthiasP 10 hours ago 1 reply      
When Law Enforcement Agencies ignore the very law they are supposed to enforce they simply become a'put people into prisons' organization. This is the real reason why you don't want them to have wide reaching powers, there is only a fine line between LEA and criminal activity.

We will see if James Comey will shed as many tears about this as he is spending on Apple's encryption.

jsaxton86 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The worst case scenario for the FBI is that the evidence gets thrown out in this one case. No one will lose their job. No one will get seriously punished. As such, I fully expect the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to continue to come up with creative ways to perform unreasonable searches without probable cause.
jeffdavis 8 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing also disturbing is that it doesn't say what they actually saw inside, and apparently that wasn't recorded.

This goes to show that, even if they don't see anything to justify a search warrant, merely letting them in allows them to say they saw something in order to obtain a warrant.

Similarly, if you speak with police without a lawyer present, the policeman can say that you confessed to them (or said something that damages your case, at least), regardless of whether it's true.

crazypyro 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This comes just after the allegations that the FBI used the Seattle Times email format to trick a bomb threat suspect into clicking on a link that installed spyware.

If this plus the FBI impersonating respected Press members doesn't cause some kind of shake-up, I think we are doomed at every solving the problem of the law enforcement overreach.

aburan28 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The FBI has been breaking the law and been guided by a machiavellian attitude for decades now. They are simply above the law and no oversight has ever been applied to this agency. Has there ever been a FBI agent sent to jail for subverting the legal system and breaking laws? Absolutely not.
anigbrowl 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this turns out to be compliant with Betteridge's law, and I think it will. In a different thread yesterday I pointed out that deception is a reasonable and legally acceptable aspect of law enforcement, but that stops where the penal code starts. Cutting off communications services to the building as a pretext to gain entry seems like a clear violation of law, and (IMHO/NAL) should render all the evidence gained pusuant to the search warrant inadmissible as 'fruit of the poisonous tree,' because the probable cause offered for issuance of the warrant was defective.
carsongross 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I suppose that would depend on if I am allowed to invite repairmen into my home under the pretense that I have a broken utility and then shoot them for trespassing.
a2tech 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is so fucking crooked that only the government could make an argument that its legal.
ObviousScience 11 hours ago 0 replies      
These FBI agents are criminals, pure and simple.

Not that I think they'll be held accountable for their crimes, much like they weren't for the other lies that they've brazenly told in court related to parallel construction.

However, it's apparent that they don't actually care what the law is, and are perfectly willing to violate it when they feel like they want something that the law forbids them.


mbrutsch 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As hard as it is to believe, in all my encounters with the police over the past few years, they have been courteous and professional, and, as far as I can tell, completely honest. Go figure.
ck2 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This still doesn't top the fact cops all over this country on a regular basis, stop anyone and seize their property and cash without any charge of criminal wrongdoing, just because it would be too expensive for people to sue them to get it back.

That little gem should be running on the corner of the front page of every newspaper and television news program every week forever until someone is finally horrified.

sidcool 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a tricky situation. Can this be done or not depends mainly on the gravity of the crime being investigated. If it's about someone's life in danger, I can get behind such a move by FBI, but to get evidence against gambling I don't think such an extreme move is necessary.
s_q_b 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This will be tossed out at the district magistrate prior to trial due to Fourth Amendment violations. The amendment does exist, and still has quite a bit of force of law in traditional criminal prosecutions.
dragonwriter 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, they obviously can.

Whether or not they should, OTOH...

thrownaway2424 10 hours ago 3 replies      
The only legally relevant part of this story isn't discussed in the article: did the occupants of the hotel room consent to have the agents enter the room, or didn't they? This is the only thing that will matter in court. If they did, then it doesn't matter that the cops employed a ruse. The police use ruses and tricks all the time. You could argue that it wasn't within their rights to sever the internet connection in the first place, but you'd have to contend with several arguments there, such as internet being or not being a utility, or the operators of the hotel having the unilateral right to cut it off if they wanted to.
krambs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
No, they can't. This is an incendiary set of facts - but most certainly won't be upheld in any reasonable court.
at-fates-hands 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm all for rooting out criminals, but someone needs to start telling these people you need to do it within the guidelines of the law.

The funny thing is they could've easily written up a warrant and had it signed by a judge in the span of an hour and then properly searched the room. Instead, In their haste, they violated several local laws including the fourth amendment, which most judges don't look kindly on.

Not a good day for law enforcement.

Mobile is Eating the World
301 points by tomazstolfa  1 day ago   148 comments top 26
cageface 1 day ago 14 replies      
There is no point in drawing a distinction between the future of technology and the future of mobile.

I find Evans' analysis of mobile a bit hyperbolic. Yes the growth of mobile is explosive and, in some cases, it's displacing older technology. But for a lot of use cases small touch screen devices are simply inadequate. It's probably true that a lot of people that used to use desktop or laptop computers just to check email and Facebook have shifted that activity to their phones and tablets. But its equally true that these devices are still really only good for quick, informal communication and browsing. Despite the best efforts of Apple and Samsung to persuade us otherwise, tablets are lousy for getting real work done.

So we find ourselves in the ironic situation of a domain that is experiencing almost unprecedented growth but in which almost nobody is making money except Facebook and the vendors of what are essentially gimmicky slot machine games. My take on this is that the market for richer desktop/laptop software isn't going anywhere soon. People that need to edit complex spreadsheets, compose scores for films, analyze genomes, and render 3d effects need real computers. As a developer this kind of customer is in many ways a better customer to serve than a teen snapping selfies on a phone.

sinofsky 22 hours ago 3 replies      
At every moment of disruption in technology people saying that the new technology doesn't replace the incumbent. By definition disruptive technologies are less functional and inadequate "replacements".

First, folks tend to talk about all the things that the new technology can't do that the old one does do. In the Steve Jobs interview at All Things D referenced in the comments, he goes on to talk about how software needs to get written--"it is just software" he says. In the near term history we have seen this same dynamic in the advent of the GUI relative to CUI or in the way browser/HTML subsumed the GUI client-server apps. People are writing more code all the time that is "mobile only" even if some of it reinvents or reimagines the desktop/laptop world. I was struck by Adobe's recent developer conference where they showed many mobile apps. As an always aspiring photog we can see how the field is transitioning.

Second, people tend to underestimate the way that new tools, as ineffective as they are, drive changes in the very definition of work. Said another way, people forget that tools can also define the work and jobs people have. It isn't like work was always "mail around a 10MB presentation before the meeting". In fact a long time ago meeting agendas were typed out in courier by a typist -- that job was defined by the Selectric. The tools that created presentations, attachments, and follow up email defined a style of working. While we're reading all this, the exponential rise of mobile is changing what it means to work--to go to a meeting, to collaborate, to decide, to create, etc.

What is so fascinating about this transition is that we might be seeing a divide where creators of tools will use different tools, at least for some time, than the masses that use tools. Let's not project the needs of developers on to the whole space. We might reach a point where different tools are needed. Two years ago I might have said this applies to a lot of fields, but the rapid rise of mobile and tablet based software for many things is making that argument weak. Cash registers, MRI machines, video annotation, and more are all scenarios I have seen recently where one might have said "needs a real OS" or "this need sa full PC". As with the the idea of underestimating software, our own desire to find an anchor pushes us to view things through a lens where our own work doesn't change.

All of this is happening. In parts of the world they are skipping over PCs (Africa and China). Everyone is seeing their time in front of a screen go up enormous amounts and most of that is additive, but for many there is a substitute effect. This doesn't happen overnight or for everyone. TO deny it though is to deny the very changes that led to supporting the idea that the mouse, overlapping windows, and color once displaced other technologies where people said those were not substitutes for the speed, efficiency, or capabilities of what was in use.

fidotron 1 day ago 5 replies      
Is this actually true? My perception is that the smartphone bubble is bursting. Yes, there are lots more people to come online, but all they're going to do is use WhatsApp and Facebook.

The big disappointment of mobile is that all this stuff doesn't seem to result in enabling people to do their jobs better or more easily. Web apps really exploded with things like Basecamp, but the most mobile has brought along for that seems to be mobile email. (Edit to add, the only exceptions I can think of to this are actually the SMS apps deployed in the places pegged to explode in smartphone usage).

Having lots of people mindlessly addicted to notifications is not really that interesting.

ams6110 1 day ago 6 replies      
From one of the slides: Email is for grandparents

I think this varies. I'm not a grandparent, but am close to 50 years old and have been working in computer technology my entire adult life. I have an Android smartphone (got my first one this year) but have not installed any apps on it. Email, web browser, text messages, calendar, contacts, and maps are all there and I can't really think of anything else useful I'd want it to do.

My mother-in-law on the other hand IS a grandmother and she's constantly using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and half a dozen other things on her phone. I don't see the point in any of it and don't use any of those things.

Not sure who is the outlier.

diltonm 1 day ago 1 reply      
My smartphone has 2 Gigs of RAM and most of it is wasted. Games on phones aren't even interesting because my fingers slide right off the screen when the action gets fast. Give me a PC with 2 Gigs of RAM and I can do amazing things with it, a mouse and a keyboard. Every single phone app I use is an exercise in futility or it feels that way. Touch is a terrible HID. Smart phones are handy when you don't have anything else but man I really prefer anything else, I'm considering buying a Chrome laptop or Surface if I can wipe them and install Ubuntu on them and can plug in a SIM card; not a bigger phone, a real computer.
Cyther606 23 hours ago 1 reply      
By these figures, 80% of the world will be carrying a mobile spy tool by 2020. I refuse to do anything on a mobile phone that is conceivably worse than PG-13. Until mobile hardware is free and open, I only view the proliferation of mobile Internet as a tool for human enslavement.
ThomPete 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This remind me of the race towards smaller phones we experienced in the pre-smartphone era I don't see Sonys ultra small mobiles being in vogue anymore. We seem to forget a simple fact.

The smartphone was not a better phone but a smaller computer. The idea that mobile is somehow replacing most of the other platforms and their usage is simply misplaced.

Mobile is part of a diverting technology trend not converging.

jacquesm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Very hard to compare two worlds (mobile and 'immobile' computers) without taking into account that the one is brand new and people seem to want one (and there is a very large push to own the latest and greatest) and the other is simply mature technology that works until the hardware dies. It's obvious you're going to sell more of things that sit in peoples pockets that replaced their previous phone, something they were doing with some regularity before smartphones appeared.

Smartphones and tablets are interesting, they may enable new applications, they take over some of the functionality of desktops and laptops but it's more of a continuum than a very strong difference, you go from small and on your person to phablets (what a word), tablets, laptops, touch screen all-in-one PCs, regular PCs all the way to servers.

So mobile simply completed the spectrum and as long as there is a fashion element to it they'll be sold in very large numbers (the fact that the batteries die is another push to upgrade them, ditto laptops).

In the longer term it will slow down a bit but mobile phones will always be sold in larger numbers than desktop computers because of these reasons.

There is one way in which 'mobile is eating the world', which is in terms of resources consumption, and that is going to be a real problem without better and more structured ways of thinking about disposing phones during the design phase as well as some kind of rebate program.

forgotAgain 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Its worth it to keep in mind that A&H are in the business of selling investors on their investment ideas. This is a marketing piece not a technology piece.
jerf 1 day ago 1 reply      
The western world right now is in a bit of a defeatist mood and pessimism reigns supreme. And while I can't deny that all things end and in some sense civilization is scheduled for some receding, I find myself wondering what impact this sort of technology will have on that process. Technology is speeding everything up so much and so fast... what if technology speeds up our next "dark age" from centuries to decades... or decade... or mere years? What if we're even already halfway through the decline?

We know technology is a big game changer. Sometimes we overestimate that impact, but sometimes we underestimate it too. What will it do for everyone to have a smartphone? Heck if I know! But perhaps it's reason for at least a smidge of hope.

wslh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem is the definition of mobile. Mobile seems to be more like a form factor than an operating system. If at the end I can convert a tablet into a full featured PC (i.e Microsoft Surface running Visual Studio) or I can plug a future mobile phone to a keyboard and monitor and run Microsoft Office there then there is no division between mobile, desktop PC, and web.
LVB 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get the "Tech Brands Are Huge" slide, specifically the comparison to the same companies in 2004. Wouldnt you compare to the top four tech companies at the time (MSFT, AOL, whatever) to demonstrate that the share of global brand value in tech is much higher now?
hownottowrite 1 day ago 0 replies      
marknutter 1 day ago 2 replies      
Mobile is not the future. We're in that future right now, and it's largely stabilized. I fully believe VR is the future. Anyone who's tried the Oculus and who has even an ounce of entrepreneurial imagination would agree. Just like when the iPhone came out in '07, the right convergence of technology has made it possible for truly convincing VR to make it into the mainstream. It will revolutionize gaming, commerce, socialization, productivity, and more. Those who understand this are already skating towards that puck. Everyone else is fighting over the few remaining scraps that the mobile table has to offer.
Ologn 1 day ago 2 replies      
I mainly program Android apps, many for my side business.

Some people here have said "mobile has peaked". I go around with my Android mobile phone, and I have trouble finding out what time stores close. I have trouble finding nearby supermarkets. I certainly can't find out if supermarkets have an item in stock, or if the item on sale. I can't find a nearby bathroom to use.

We are nowhere near mobile peaking. Yes, there may be a little bubble now that fizzles out before it comes back again. Kind of like how there was a website bubble, which fizzled in 2000, and then four years later Facebook was started. The day I can punch into my phone asking where I can buy a chair, and get back most of the local stores, and what they have in stock, and for what price - that is when the "smartphone bubble" is soon to "burst".

chevas 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I doubt this presentation was created on a mobile device.
mark_l_watson 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been hoping for a world where developers and content creators produced reactive HTML 5 web apps that worked beautifully on all devices from phones to laptops to large screen desktops and TVs.

An analogy: writing and production tools have been getting better with output to PDF, Kindle, iBook, and print books. The overhead for creativity decreases so more effort goes to producing great content. This is what I would like for interactive web applications.

There is a lot of niche content and special interests and there will continue to be a wide range of devices. Lots very inexpensive phones in developing countries and a wide range of devices upscale. Content providers and application developers should have access to all users, world wide, with low development overhead.

lnanek2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did a double take at the "Glass is eating the world" slide before finally realizing they were talking about LCDs and not Google's failed wearable.
ck2 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Mobile is how I know I am old.

After 5 minutes on a iphone or android phone I am like f* this give me a damn desktop.

ddbb01 1 day ago 0 replies      
Technology gets cheaper and easier to use - a consistent story over time. Interestin stats.
api 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't disagree with the market numbers, but there's a problem with mobile. It is best illustrated by the fact that I csnnot develop a mobile app on a mobile device.

There won't be any "convergence" until mobile OSes are uncrippled.

I personally see a three device ecosystem. Mobile will cut into PC on the low end, but it's really growing into a space not served by PC or server. Computing in general is expanding.

InclinedPlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
The evolution of mobile technology has ironically been held back by its success. Today it's too easy to make money in mobile devices, just make things thinner, shinier, faster, and prettier and you're most of the way there. And then you can rake in massive profit margins in a market where people replace their devices on a timeframe measured in months. It's practically raining cash in the land of successful mobile manfuacturers.

But once we get past this early stage of mobile success people will be looking to gain more productivity out of their devices. Today have the power and OS chops to handle beefy tasks, but for the most part the UX and peripheral experience isn't there. But that'll change. There will be more attachable keyboards, more desktop docking stations, etc. And then the use of tablets and smartphones in business will drive the manufacturers to service that market more and more to meet those needs.

Meanwhile, the low end of mobile will get cheaper as the developing world starts to gain access to computing and folks find out how valuable that market is and figure out how to serve it.

This is the 2nd wave of the personal computing revolution and it's only just barely started, what we'll see in the next 10 years will blow the doors off the last decade.

fanssex 20 hours ago 0 replies      
probably because PCs had already eaten the world
lazylizard 22 hours ago 0 replies      
but batteries?
sstas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm, Good Information ...
maxsavin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I saw Eric Schmidt's quote "By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded" and stopped there.
CurrentC Has Been Hacked, Testers Email Addresses Stolen
311 points by Jeremy1026  10 hours ago   149 comments top 22
steakejjs 9 hours ago 9 replies      
This is a big problem I've noticed with startups. Stupid web vulns are EVERYWHERE.

I've reported so many serious web vulnerabilities to startups it isn't even funny (4-5 S14 YC batch alone). Account hijacks, XSS, SQLi. Everywhere.

If you are starting a startup (or writing any web software software), PLEASE read OWASP to at least get an idea of what types of issues can exist in Web Applications. Their top 10 is a good place to start (https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Top_10_2013-Top_10)

jfb 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Straight from the horse's mouth [1]:

"On the data security side, the technology choices weve made take consumers security into account at every aspect of their core functionality. We want to assure you, MCX does not store sensitive customer information in the app. Users payment information is instead stored in our secure cloud-hosted network. Removing this sensitive information from the mobile device significantly lowers the risk of it being inappropriately disclosed in a case that the mobile device is hacked, stolen or otherwise compromised."

There are simply not enough faces to palm.

[1] http://www.mcx.com/blog/answers-to-your-questions/

mikestew 8 hours ago 0 replies      
MCX's privacy policy is a hoot, and worth a read if you like picking such things apart: http://currentc.com/50D6A97C-4B72-44D6-9021-BE0884ED2F8D/pri...

Where you see "enhance services", read it as "mine the hell out of your data and sell it". Amongst all of that "service enhancement", there's this gem: We do not respond to web browser do not track signals at this time.

They'll also track which pharmacy you go to, and the time and frequency of when you get your prescriptions. And so on, and so on. Apple and the rest of the NFC stakeholders could have a lot of fun with this. But I think they'll wisely just sit back for now and watch the whole thing blow up on its own.

ilikemustard 9 hours ago 4 replies      
The fact that they've already had a data breach within the first week or so of launch is not exactly a strong argument for how secure their platform is.
michaelt 9 hours ago 1 reply      

  But then those retailers disabled NFC at their registers,   ending their unofficial support for Apple Pay. The   problem, apparently, stemmed from the fact that   retailers contracts with MCX states theyre not   supposed to accept rival mobile payment products.
Interesting example of applied public relations here - you want to do foo but you don't want to be blamed for doing foo, so you create a scapegoat organisation and have them take the blame.

kreek 9 hours ago 3 replies      
CurrentC will not fail because of this, they will fail because they use QR codes. An old lady could probably write a check faster than most people can scan a QR code.
coldpie 8 hours ago 7 replies      
You know what works every time, is accepted everywhere, has no processing fees, and won't leak your personal data?


joeblau 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Since CurrentC blocked NFC technology at the terminal, it would be funny if Apple and Google blocked CurrentC from their app stores.
nav1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
They were hacked before even launching publicly. I suppose they're trying to build trust in their service early on.
ufmace 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Considering the already known issues with CurrentC, where the customer is liable for any type of fraud and they want to connect directly to your bank account, not to mention potential issues with health information, I was already feeling roughly hell no on having anything to do with these guys. Having a data breach in like the first week only makes it look more dangerous.

I know it's just email addresses - this time. Sounds like next time, the hackers might be able to clear out the connected bank account, and you'll bear full liability.

iLoch 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Good riddance. Leave the difficult problems to capable companies and let this be a lesson.
coldcode 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps it's a new feature where everyone can mine user's information.
Pinn2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have more trust in Apple Pay and hope that wins.
DigitalSea 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Seems like CurrentC have a great product on their hands. Effectively they are cutting out the middle man and tying in a rewards program, not groundbreaking, but still a better deal than Apple's offering. If all else fails for them in the payments space, they have a great name that would allow them to pivot into the bottled juice market as well.

The fact this thing has not even launched fully just yet, worries me they have already been hacked. Just wait until CurrentC is rolled out to more vendors and adoption increases (if it happens), it will just make them a bigger target. To some of those vendors supporting CurrentC, I bet Apple Payments is looking more appealing right about now.

Pretty rookie error, lets hope they get their act together before a more widespread launch.

Sonicmouse 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This is just the beginning.

Anyone who has account information stored in their care should pull it now.

abhishekmdb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
However no personal data or payment card data was breached http://www.techworm.net/2014/10/currentc-hacked.html
jchmura 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Well at least this system is open with saying that it exists for the retailers to mine customer data. Looking at the technology, it seems it would just be faster to pay with a card than rely on my phones camera to make a payment.
higherpurpose 9 hours ago 0 replies      
We can only hope this uber-data mining [1] app has a swift death.

[1] - http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/25/currentc/

NN88 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Courtesy of Apple
MrDosu 9 hours ago 4 replies      
The entire cellphone based NFC payment system is retarded. Money needs to be free from electricity and endure the elements.

I don't get it why they are not using proven NFC payment card systems like in japan...

azdle 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one that sees this as somewhat promising? They've become a massive target because of all the recent news with apple pay and whatnot, so it's not that surprising that there are people attacking them and all that was stolen (so far) was email addresses, but no actual important data. This is a pre-release system, it wouldn't be surprising to me if they just stole some logs off an under-protected email server that is being used to testing or something. Plus they're actually being open about it rather than just sweeping it under the rug like so many try.

Yes, it's never good when any amount of personal info is stolen, but it's just email addresses and if you're not already getting spam, you just haven't been using that address long enough.

grandma876234 3 hours ago 0 replies      
5.) Walmart is like a monopoly. Tax deals as well as real estate location.CVS, Walgreen are like a monopoly. Especially in Florida where 1/3of population is older, retired or using Medicare.

6.)Identity theft is rising due to Affordable Health Care LAW, aka'Obamacare.'

7.)Try to open an independent pharmacy in Florida and compete withthe 24 hour, cut throat pricing of CVS, Walgreens. Like anEFFECTIVE monopoly.

8.)Your Grandma is NOT tech smart and lists her phone number inthe phone book EXPOSED. She uses her name in her e-mailaddress. I use mail redirectors like 33mail and others as well as'changing configurations.'

9.)As a non-public USA Citizen, it is AMAZING how manyROBOT phone calls I get on an unlisted phone number andhow much spam and malware oritented stuff.

10.)why? The easiest and richest WHO OWN A HOUSE ANDa BANK ACCOUNT that is public rrecord are the SAND STATES.

11.)why? why? the Sand States are fast growing and have retirees like Florida, Carolinas, Arizona (think Senator John McCain).and even California.

Not a lot of folks who love to LIVE IN North Dakota Winter. Unlessyou are a oil drilling FRACKER who is making 250 thousand a yearand living in a trailer.

18.) SUMMARY: Attitude - CurrentC hires security codes for 'close to minium wage' - SO THE QUALITY IS FAR ABOVE THAT OF GOOGLE????note: alleged and even stupidity can be relative in context.Top Management Stupidity - the top are marketers of HIGH ENDSoda. CVS pharmacy competes head to head against PublixShopping Chain. The BIG FLASHING SIGN marquee says'special deal on Coca Cola Soda.If Target and Home Depot Top Management have Never heard ofBSD OS or even linux command [ lsof -i ], then there is little hopefor the KEY PHARMACY SUPPLY CHAINS of the USA, in my opinion. Add in the screens of the hospital waiting rooms thatSHOW WINDOWS XP or old version Windows NTwhich can cause some of HN to laugh out loud.

New chaos + Monopoly + Attitude + Rise of Botnets + Testers= YOUR Grandma + Old White Hair Consultant (think Captain Crunch)+ Top Manager Stupidity == No Surprise

Do I expect the SWAT RAIDS on Grandma's house?... errr norare that someone would borrow her identity as a 'tester'and

where are you hiding 'the pills' grandma?

*all respect to Grandma, she is used as a generalization.1st amendment. fiction, no specialized mention of YOUR GRANDMA'sname and no animals were hurt in the making of this message.

We Make Mistakes
307 points by katm  1 day ago   188 comments top 46
tomasien 1 day ago 3 replies      
I never got into Y Combinator (I think I applied 4 times but I'm not sure) but I'm now the CEO of a rapidly growing, well funded startup that actually SERVES an increasing number of YC companies. The way I always thought about YC was that it is ALWAYS worth applying because the exercise is good and the upside is high (and the downside minimal) but getting into YC should never be "part of your plan" - there are too many other great applicants, plain and simple.

It's the same as how no student should ever PLAN to get into Harvard, and Harvard even has SATs and GPAs to rely on (fairly objective stats around which you can make a guess about your odds) while YC has only heuristics based on experience and founder reputation. Never judge yourself based on something that has an open application process - it doesn't define you, it defines them. No reason not to apply, but take it as a bonus if you get in, don't take it personally if you get rejected.

flipside 1 day ago 7 replies      
7th rejection, doesn't even phase me anymore. :P

For those with less experience, the disappointment will pass. Take a day if you need to reflect on what you're doing, why you're doing it and how you could do it better.

Rejection is fuel for the fire, use it to burn brighter going forward.

Next time, be so good they can't ignore you, simple as that.

damurdock 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm reminded a bit of http://www.bvp.com/portfolio/antiportfolio, a collection of companies that applied to Bessemer Venture Partners for VC funds, were denied, and went on to make it big.
onuryavuz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This was our first time, and we are rejected. (http://cubic.fm)

During the application process I started to realize, YC asks all the right questions. Just trying to find proper answers is a huge step forward for the first timers, like us. We learned a lot.

I think, the only thing that missing is the feedback loop. I'm aware of the fact that there are more applicants than YC could accept, or provide a feedback. But after all, we still need a feedback.

After I saw the rejection email, first I planned to share our application in HN to get feedback from the community. But now I see this is a need for all the rejected applicants. I'm not sure what could be a better way for closing the feedback loop. Maybe, there's a start-up idea in here somewhere :)

vishnupr 1 day ago 2 replies      
A relevant question I asked PG a year ago:[Do you review rejected YC apps to find startups who then made it big?] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7122774
zeeshanm 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone feeling down should read Ev William's story from "Founders at Work" on how he had to create, recreate, and recreate his team at Blogger. There was an year when he was the only one running Blogger when the entire team left. It is truly inspiring!

Great things can happen when you're low on budget and there are numerous entrepreneurial stories about those early days. Sometimes it is much needed to go through the early struggles to come out even stronger in the end.

waterlesscloud 1 day ago 1 reply      
"In this cycle we saw a +40% increase in the number of companies applying over the Summer 2014 batch."

Yikes! That's a major increase in applications. Has that number always grown that fast?

I wonder what the saturation point will be...

Fando 22 hours ago 2 replies      
There are more applicants than YCombinator could accept (or anyone could accept if you look at it in scale). Someone should create a social-media type website for YCombinator applicants (or anyone) to share their stories, meet, interact, network, learn, and collaborate on new and existing ideas. Imagine how many start-ups would be "born" like this. Think of how many great ideas don't get in or simply don't apply, think of how BIG this community could grow to be in a short time - it would grow by itself. Look at what Kickstarter is doing. Think of how many new comers this type of stepping stone would benefit and help achieve their ideas. Starting this community is possible by creating a great website that creatively engages members to collaborate. Let YCombinator (and anyone else) endorse it - first to members of the y-community then others. In fact "y-community" should be the name of it. We all know that out kind already burn with passion, desire and creativity. With minimal guidance from YCombinator it could succeed faster - passionate desires of those not-accepted will continue to burn and be fostered. Eventually, and this is speculating perhaps, if YCombinator becomes somewhat involved, with so many start-up communities popping-up in every city and country, this website, could grow to become the "Facebook" of start-ups. (only it would also be productive :) But seriously.
taytus 1 day ago 2 replies      
First rejection but I have a smile in my face. I did it, I had the courage to apply. So... yeah I'm happy.
KetciaThach 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Been rejected , but been viewed by 6 people (alumni/or YC) and it is a victory for us for a first time. In the end it is all about what resonate the most to them, YC has its agenda if you dont fit in it , doesnt mean you're bad or your idea is not smart enough. It means you don't fit . That's all. We will keep on working and apply in 6 months or just never apply again and make it work on our own. And I think the worst case would have been to be accepted by YC and fail once I got out of it ... which happens a lot !! :) Thanks for all YC
ninajlu 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Got in this batch on our second time applying. First time we applied with an idea: now we have a product and customers. In retrospect I think the initial rejection was reasonable.
Udo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Damn, I was thinking about trying for a "late" application, but apply.ycombinator.com seems to be down.

Does anyone know if they still allow this, in principle? Or are batches now so saturated (with good ideas) that they dropped the option?

lubos 20 hours ago 2 replies      
If you want to get into YC, it's quite simple.

You have to optimize for what they want and considering how transparent the application process is, it's actually quite easy. PG's essays are step-by-step guides on how to "tick" all the right boxes. They even give you the list of ideas they wish to fund. How nice of them... No wonder YC has announced that quality of applications is increasing. It's not increasing because startups are getting better. It's increasing because more startups are optimizing.

Remember Nikki Durkin from 99dresses? She didn't just apply. She spent huge amount of time researching partners, their history, what they liked, what they wanted to hear... and she has delivered just that like a rockstar. How many promising founders are rejected because they just didn't bother to optimize like Durkin?

To me, if you get rejected, it just means you didn't put enough time into the application. If your goal is to get into YC, then keep trying, you will figure it out.

But in the end, if you are real entrepreneur, figure out what you are doing with your business. Don't optimize for YC, just do what you've got to do and if YC wants to join you for a ride, then fine. If not, too bad for them.

userium 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As many here told, the process of applying is valuable in itself.

Our application was rejected, but you can sign up for a beta invite here: https://userium.com/ Soon 400 sign ups and counting. :)

AustinPythonFTW 23 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm definitely speaking at least a little bit out of bitterness (our team just got rejected), so with that caveat it feels like YC is becoming more like traditional VC (venture capital):- extremely low probability of success just due to volume of applications- no feedback (again, due to volume of applications, and they posted a nice blog post about this, but just stating a fact)- it seems (I don't have any factual evidence to back this up, would love to be proven wrong through factual evidence) that you need to know someone- tendency to fund those who need it the least (already-proven user traction or revenue)

YC is a for-profit, private enterprise that can do whatever it wants, and it is in the business of maximizing income, so it would be foolish for the organization not to act in a self-interested way, but just calling it like I see it (and again, it'd be great if there were any stats the organization could release to disprove any of the points above, but I understand that it has no obligation to do so).

MarkyPc3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Last I applied as a single founder I got an interview. Now I have a cofounder and made significant progress but our application didn't earn us an interview (the second time applying with this idea.) Perhaps I took something for granted when i applied this time so the app turned out weaker or disappointing but I realize how lucky I was to get feedback last time as opposed to none at all now.
chacham15 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or does the application to YC feel like a pitch to an investor? I understand that for very specific cases they might be different in that they can see some early potential. However, if you're not one of those lucky few, then it feels like if you're at the point where you can convince YC to invest, you're already not too far from being able to convince an investor to invest. E.g. I've gotten the advice from multiple people at or affiliated with YC: "get users and show growth". But, for me specifically, if I had users and growth already, there is little more that the money that YC would help me raise can do. If I got into YC earlier, I would have hired people to help build the product which people want. Yes, there is a lot of work to grow post product, but in my case, money wouldnt really help that much (my case is desktop software, so I dont really need more server capacity or have scaling issues like other companies do).
michaelchisari 23 hours ago 2 replies      
First application, got rejected. Honestly happy it happened now instead of after the interview. It gives me more time to think about what's next.

My startup is movie industry related, so maybe Los Angeles would be a better place to be. I'll post the startup site here when we launch.

ececconi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It's easier to imagine that YC can't take all of the good companies that apply if you imagine they could only pick one company out of 10,000 applying. The goal should be to build a great company using whatever resources and networks of people you have available. Not just gaining entry here.
MCRed 1 day ago 3 replies      
One of the things that I've found so challenging about applying for accelerators is that it's difficult to find examples of companies that got in or that didn't get in, and what they did for their applications. Every time I have come across one, I've learned a bit - like "that didn't work" or "that was a great idea" - around how they apply, pitch themselves or their product, etc.

Anyone who was rejected want to share any of their application info, like team or product demo videos, or their website and a one line pitch? I know you might not want to for competitive reasons, and I understand.

But there's always things we can learn from each other, so if you want to share I'm sure I'm not the only one who would appreciate seeing what didn't work. :-)

qopp 1 day ago 0 replies      
The whole process makes seems to make some people feel like it's asking someone out or trying out for a play (i.e. the video interview, etc) so I can see why people can take it so harshly.

Your application/video/product could be flawless and literally solve world hunger but the process isn't objective as all that. In the end they just pick a handful of people out of all the applications that they want to invest in.

I'm sure that most applications there was no reason at all that they chose not to accept them. They just didn't.

BillionaireBear 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Dissapointed, got very positive feedback from an alum prior to applying. But alas, that was not enough. :) I do find that international founders are at a distinct disadvantage due to lack of networking opportunities (which definitely plays a big part when each application probably receives 5 minutes per reviewer). That said - you could argue that any great entrepreneur would not allow that to be a barrier hehe!

Best of luck to everyone who has an interview and those who don't.

jaksmit 1 day ago 1 reply      
"In this cycle we saw a +40% increase in the number of companies applying" roughly how many applications were there? 1000? 10,000?

Also, how many teams make it to the interview stage?

doddavenkatappa 18 hours ago 1 reply      
We too got the rejection letter. But it is perfectly understandable in our case as we are really in the early stages, without a prototype.

Any thoughts on how much a prototype and full-time commitment from all founders matter?

fsoroush 20 hours ago 0 replies      
We haven't received any response yet...Anybody else NOT received a response ?
paul9290 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm curious to how many founders in this batch are...

- Over 35

- Female

- African American

Edit: My post here is to gauge if the needle of progress in our industry is moving forward in the terms of race, age and sex.

iamjoday 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Friends,

I've just received rejection email from Ycombinator... :( Though I realize, how competitive it gets to get in, its not the start one expect for their product or idea...

while, I am working on to make my product, I would appreciate if fellow community members can help point out ares of improvement in my product,


Thanks for your time! I really appreciate it!

NishFounder, Joday.com

pptr1 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Dont let funding take your eye off the goal: making something people want. Everything else, including going through Y Combinator, is there to support that goal but is not the goal itself." Exactly...
stevephillips 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds pretty honest and heart felt.
qazawy1001 15 hours ago 0 replies      
you make mistakes and we will remember.

btw, it just might be sour grapes, but i get the feeling yc app process is highly gamed right now and being rejected by it is not useful enough information to act on for the founders - which is the hallmark of a good investor.

guelo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Does YC get every single early startup applying now? Why would an early startup not apply? Seems like it's almost a requirement now.
pardeepg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I have not received any response from YC yet. should we wait or contact YC for application status?
rudeboy347 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you YC. I hope to be in the batch one of these days.Congrats to the successful applicants. For those who were rejected, reflect, revaluate and reapply.
viksit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does this include late apps? Curious about the decisions on apps that came in hours or days after the 8p deadline.
charendy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I think is time you guys dig into Africa, the fast growing emerging market.
monsterix 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the exact case of a crowded doorway [1] we discussed almost two years ago on HN: Higher the number of applications implies higher the perceivable quality of YC applications. Implies higher the probability of riskier bets to fall through.

What's potentially dangerous about this situation is that quite a few glossy low-risk companies will outdo the more riskier ones - even though YC staff is one of the best in the world and thoroughly equipped to do what it does - and thus lowering the chances of fishing real gems off the coast.

I do not have the numbers, but how have the batches of later years done as compared to the early ones which had Dropbox, Airbnb in them?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5648760

bozoUser 1 day ago 1 reply      
do the co-founders also get the email? I dont see one in my inbox yet..
yunnnyunnn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks YC
7Figures2Commas 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Dont let funding take your eye off the goal: making something people want. Everything else, including going through Y Combinator, is there to support that goal but is not the goal itself.

It would be interesting to see a chart plotting over time the number of applicants in each batch who have applied to YC multiple times. Based on the number of folks here on HN who have apparently applied multiple times, and for different concepts no less, it seems plausible that a not insignificant percentage of the applicant pool now consists of folks who, contrary to YC's own advice, are more focused on getting accepted into YC than building a real business.

graycat 1 day ago 0 replies      
The start-ups that are of the most interestare necessarily exceptional and significantlydifferent from start-ups in the past, successful or not. Thus, evaluating start-ups whenlooking for the ones of most interestis challenging, and evaluations via simple, empirical patterns from the pastpromise to select a lot of straw and miss some golden needles.

Really the challenge here is common, nearlystandard, and a very old story that goes backto nothing less than the Mother Goosechildren's story "The Little Red Hen":What the hen was doing was unusual and, therefore,not in the experience of others. Thus,no one would help her. But when she hadhot, fragrant loaves of bread freshly out ofher oven and eager, hungry, paying customerslined up to buy, lots of people were ready tohelp. But in the interim she had to work alonewith just her own evaluation, creativity, and determination. No doubt that story is inMother Goose because the situation was both common and ancient.

What is needed are better means of evaluatingprojects. For a special, relatively small,collection of projects, there are such means,highly polished, e.g., for grant applicationsto NSF, NIH, and DARPA, similarly forPh.D. dissertation proposals, and alsofor a huge range of US DoD projects, e.g.,the SR-71, the F-117, GPS. Generallythese projects and their evaluations havemuch better batting average than SiliconValley equity funded information technologystart-up projects.

Maybe what Silicon Valley is doing is making money,and the YC $30+ billion is astoundingly impressive, butone major success can be worth $300 billion, 10times as much, so that we have to suspect thatbetter evaluations could lead to better returns.

MCRed 1 day ago 6 replies      
That's the problem you're trying to solve. There are many possibilities for why that didn't result in a successful application. For instance:

1) your solution might not seem viable

2) your solution might seem viable but you don't seem like you can pull it off

3) your solution might be great and you might have a great team, but there were stronger teams in the round

monksy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not do the 1871 startup incubator in Chicago?
the_cat_kittles 1 day ago 1 reply      
"We Make Mistakes" is such a pretentious title because you think people hold ycombinator in such high esteem that you need to say that
aloma85 22 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are not a White or Asian male, don't even bother. Someone needs to start a fund for African Americans.
resca79 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate the seriously of Y Combinator,but I dislike an article like that, first the title:'We make mistakes'

While I found the rejection a good and sincere email, I'm trying to figure out the role of this article

pulkitpulkit 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I get YC makes mistakes (as does everyone else) but I expected / wished / hoped that the response would be figuring out how to make fewer mistakes; maybe an improved process to reduce the risk of mistakes and not just a blog post throwing their hands in the air and wishing everyone that fell on the wrong side good luck. I think they owe that to their stakeholders, if not all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there. This makes it seem like they don't really care...
Google is developing cancer and heart attack detector
296 points by sxp  1 day ago   141 comments top 23
steven 1 day ago 4 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.

swamp40 1 day ago 7 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."

swartkrans 1 day 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.
Lambdanaut 1 day 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.

bradbeattie 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would hope they investigate whether the ingestion of "disease-detecting nanoparticles" increases one's risk of cancer.
sk2code 1 day 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.

EZ-E 1 day 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 ?)
Shivetya 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading the story all I can think of is the possibilities. Suspend the particles into and disperse with aerosol in public places and then scan for indicators you want as they walk through or by detectors. You could set it all up to report to individuals anonymously, but the idea of what a future of health care might be should include a system which requires no action on the patients.

The privacy concerns could be immense or moot, but many would trade for the convenience

zaroth 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine "killer app" is no longer the understatement when your next wearable actually actively monitors your health like this. I think the privacy concerns can be worked out, and they shouldn't slow down the research.

Seeing the headline, I thought it would be an article monitoring passive signals to calculate risk scores, so I was really happy to see biochemistry. I think Google pouring funds into this kind of research will lead to some awesome advancements. It's easy to imagine a recurring revenue stream from a device like this which adds years to your lifespan. Owning a device like that actually reduces the cost of your life/disability insurance because anything that does go wrong gets discovered earlier with better outcomes. Actually, you could pay for the device out of those savings alone.

It is amazing to think what the feature comparison chart for wearables in the next decade will look like.

millstone 1 day 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?

taf2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds pretty elaborate - perhaps if we could just work on a lower cost almost do it yourself access to an MRI or ultrasound detection as well as many other troubles in the body could be detected... But this is health care 7 billion opinions very few solutions beyond reducing pain and cutting stuff
6stringmerc 1 day ago 1 reply      
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?



loopasam 1 day 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.

cpuguy83 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm... Anyone seen the show "Continuum"? You should. It's on Netflix. And would instantly raise some red flags for this.
melling 1 day ago 0 replies      
That would pretty much cover the rest of the population, as far as getting people to wear a smart watch.
julius 1 day 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?

brianstorms 1 day 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.
malthaus 18 hours ago 1 reply      
why are they doing that - just because they can and it's a great headline?

if i were a google shareholder i'd rather have them return excess money than go on those pet / "greenwashing" projects

brightdream 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google is uniquely positioned with the amount of data it has to uncover strong correlations between behavior and disease.
quietriot 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Google is a developing cancer and heart attack...
lovemenot 1 day 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.
ripb 1 day 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.
darkstar999 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google is developing cancer

[long inhale]

and heart attack detector

We Are All Confident Idiots
275 points by r0h1n  1 day ago   153 comments top 31
leeber 1 day ago 3 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.

mathgenius 1 day 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!

atmosx 1 day 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.

adwf 1 day 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.

wglb 1 day 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.

Bahamut 1 day 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.

lucio 1 day 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?

waterlesscloud 1 day 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.

prof_hobart 1 day 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.

Dylan16807 1 day 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

kevinwang 1 day 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.
lucio 1 day 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?
nwatson 1 day 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.
teekert 1 day 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.
blinkingled 1 day 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 :)

Shivetya 1 day 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.
reddytowns 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have liked this article more if they had left out the word "All" in the title
androidb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not confident!
ScottBurson 1 day 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.

shimfish 1 day 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.
dlss 1 day 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.

gsz 1 day 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.

DanielBMarkham 1 day 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.

jacobn 1 day 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.


praptak 1 day 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."


century19 1 day 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 !

cowardlydragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
The REAL problem is that confident incompetence in males is attractive to females.
qwerta 1 day ago 0 replies      
"idiot" is well defined medical term, author probably meant "ignorant".
tokenadult 1 day 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.


piker 1 day ago 0 replies      
TL;DR go with your gut--it's probably correct.
vinceguidry 1 day 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.

The new archive.org
247 points by bpierre  16 hours ago   75 comments top 19
textfiles 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Jason Scott, here. Disclaimer: I work for the Internet Archive (although I don't speak for the entire Archive) and I'm vaguely gung-ho on the place: https://twitter.com/textfiles/status/527549181175427072

I am also, as part of my job there, one of the largest individual uploaders of data to archive.org - I've added hundreds of thousands of individual items (texts, movies, music, websites) since I started working there in 2011.

So, moving on.

Welcome to the new user interface beta. I'm glad to see people toying with it, and the commentary and complaints are very, very welcome. As a smallish organization with a lot going on, the responses from people really digging down in the beta are very appreciated.

First, I'll say that the Beta interface is a "true" beta - it's the result of a lot of internal work, arguments, and discussions, but nothing is 100% set in stone. This isn't a beta like Gmail or a FPS trying to determine the rate of firing of the chaingun weapon: this is a lot of best-approach attempts at a whole range of goals. There's bound to be lots of responses from a lot of camps that are now coming forward. (For example, the new site has accessibility issues that need to be addressed.) If the term "beta" has been wrecked, stick with "prototype".

The internal name was V2, so I tend to keep calling it that.

V2 is the first major redesign of the main archive.org site in over a decade. And part of the conditions of this project (done by a handful of people) were to keep the old site (retroactively called V1) running, and mostly unchanged. That was a whole bucket of headache that isn't even obvious when you come into the site. (Anyone who has done this knows how it can be). With over 20 petabytes of data on the site, and millions of items and objects, spanning the whole environment without downtime is a feat in itself. So there's a whole range of philosophies being approached, but just getting the backend into a shape where it could sustain a new interface to it was a lot of non-obvious work.

Moving to the site as it is now.

Definitely slow. Definitely a shock. Definitely some great choices, some which might seem like head-scratchers. There is a designer, with a vision (his name is David) and there's been approaches to all the intended known shortcomings of V1 Internet Archive in this prototype.

One of the issues with Archive.org that's been an issue is non-responsiveness for different platforms - you got one site and that was it. Another was a lack of visual interface as an option. Now there is one.

The tagging and metadata efforts were spotty before now, because you were not really rewarded for doing so. The V2 site uses these tags and metadata extensively, and will continue to. This has been a nightmare for me, frankly - I've had to add logos to the 1,200 collections of items I've been uploading, and I'm doing descriptions as well as tags. But under the new system, the chance for finding things has increased exponentially.

There are definitely cases where I have to swap back to V1 to get kinds of "work done", because as an intense power-user, I do all sorts of grandiose work. But then again, 99% of my interaction with maintaining and adding content to the Internet Archive, I do through the API, and specifically through a python command-line interface we've had a developer working on for over a year:


I've uploaded many thousands of items, analyzed and upgraded their metadata, and done search-and-modify runs by the hundreds with this tool. It's being constantly updated.

In the future, I expect us to see multiple improvements to the interface - one which is much more bandwidth and processor friendly, a version of the "view" (we have image and list right now) that is optimum for researchers, and so on. But I'll stress again:

- This is a prototype which was done with a pretty small team who had to keep the old site running as smoothly as possible, while doing essentially a decade of upgrade in one swoop;- Now that it's "proven" that it works, refinement by the truckload needs to happen- Your comments are not just welcome but encouraged- Increased interest in the archive and the materials, and working together to find ways to access the petabytes of data in a meaningful way is not just a nice side benefit, but a vital core of the Archive's mission

Thanks for reading.

aw3c2 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Awww why... This looks incredibly cluttered. Infinite scrolling is a terrible idea in an _archive_. If you use the list view instead, you get a very hard to scan "3 narrow lines for 1" design.

The site is very broken if you don't have Javascript enabled. I am scared how CPU intense it would be on my mobile or cheap netbook. The details of collections don't even display any items.

Where is the list of files inside an item? Previously there was a nice table. Now everything seems to focus on images instead. IA hosts a lot of things that are not visual. Music, texts, data. Those seem like second row citizens now. The cover of an album tells me .. nothing about the music itself.

For an archive, I think this is a rather bad interface. The technical implementation seems very un-archivey and more suited to a "dumb user" discovery interface built upon an existing well-presented archive. :(

PS: The categories and tags on the side are a nice addition.

If someone from IA reads this, I think at least https://archive.org/advancedsearch.php is not using output buffering which might make user's performance much better.

Overall the site is very very slow.

edit: Some comparison images.

Old: http://i.imgur.com/gJXgJhI.png

New default: http://i.imgur.com/JOEoAiu.png

New list: http://i.imgur.com/m2d1Gf4.png

Old: http://i.imgur.com/X7e2s5T.png

New: http://i.imgur.com/9HsrQO1.png

bane 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I with there was a word stronger than love for what I feel about archive.org. It's one of the amazing promises of the Internet come true.

If I have one criticism of archive.org it's that things are impossible to find, even if you know they have them - this redesign doesn't solve this problem.

I think the principle problem is that what should be a meta-layer on the organization, the provenance of a collection of stuff, is often used just as often as an organizational scheme as media and subject type.

And example. I'm looking to see if they have "A calendar of dinners, with 615 recipes" by Marion Harris Neil. Where would you suppose this book would be?

If I go to "eBooks and Texts" I'm simply met with a wall of collections, none of which are subject area organized, is it under Microfilm, or Canadian Libraries? Boston Library Consortium? Who knows? I'll never find it by browsing and the way books are collected is pretty much useless. Unless I know there's a copy under "Canadian Libraries" I'll probably not find it.

Sure I can search for it, "A calendar of dinners" gives me 3 results! Turns out it's buried under the following Archives:

"Toronto Public Library", "The Library of Congress", "Cornell University Library". Notice that none of these are the crumbtrail I used to find it the first time on accident (Canadian Libraries)!

How about Omni Magazine? Is it a "Text"? I'm not sure, even today. I do know if I go to texts and search all texts for "Omni" I get it back. But it's part of "The Magazine Rack" and "Additional Collections" which I still have not figured out how to just navigate to.

These are just texts, video, audio and other media types are similarly hard to navigate and find stuff. There's little pleasure in browsing archive because if you find something, it'll be by accident, not because you navigated to some pocket of cool stuff.

Good luck seeing what SF books they have and browsing it. That's actually a collection I'd care about.

I also like old radio shows, and those are scatter shot all over the site. Unless somebody basically just uploaded an entire series at once, good luck piecing it together.

Right now, about the only way I know something is on archive.org is because the person who uploaded the item mentions it on a podcast or something.

I'm almost tempted to just start a meta-website of some sort to start organizing stuff I care about to that other people like me can find it.

It's kind of a mess, and it's given me a lot more respect for what librarians have largely solved in the physical world.

sirn 15 hours ago 3 replies      
My first impression: wow, looks minimal. This is a nice change. I like it! Then I read the comment here and realized the page hasn't fully loaded yet. The fact that above the fold part loads almost instantly (including top menu which worked right away) is very nice, but I'm not quite sure about the rest. It's slow, heavy and really hogs up CPU when it's loaded.
droithomme 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The page here has 13.5MB in assets for the initial load, including a 7.9MB top html file. Takes 29.5 seconds to load, assuming all extensions and plugins like adblock are disabled, otherwise it seems to never complete loading. In both cases, it pins one CPU at 100% while it loads.
Mithaldu 16 hours ago 2 replies      
The new archive.org is over 8MB of HTML, quite impressive.

Snark aside, i'd like to read a post about what they changed and why. For example i see they almost entirely removed the previously prominent links to the forums. Why is that?

asaddhamani 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with the general sentiment of this thread. This redesign was not needed in the first place. The new website is incredibly slow to load, and the infinite scrolling thing absolutely sucks. While I can see all my uploads with the old(better) website, the new one doesn't seem to work. Just says "Fetching more results", and then nothing happens. With the tabs, if I try to list my uploads by, say, text, it reloads the page and switches the tab to collections, and then I have to click the Uploads tab again to see the filtered results. Same when I remove a filter.

Even on my workstation computer with a nice overclocked CPU, I can see the CPU usage jump to the top whenever I load the site. The website takes 19.90s to load with cache disabled, with ~200 requests and 6.5MB of data transferred. The older website takes 4.21s to load, with 18 requests and 280KB of data transferred, in contrast.

Meanwhile, features like the ability to playback WARC files that are uploaded by users don't seem to be getting any attention, but a feature like that would make so much sense for a site like the Internet Archive. I can see they provide a player for media files, why not provide something for WARC files too, then?

As a heavy user of the site, the redesign(at least at the current state) will only ever hinder my experience, I can't see it being helpful in any way.

ANTSANTS 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks fancy and Web 2.0 and pinteresty and whatnot (and has the page size and CPU requirements to prove it), but it still has the fundamental problem of the old archive.org: it thinks portals are still relevant to the internet. They're not. One person or organization can't meaningfully organize all of the world's information, it's not worth trying. It's like saying "we're bringing the Dewey Decimal System into the 21st century." No, rigid hierarchical classification just doesn't cut it any more. Just focus on archiving the information, improving the search mechanism[1], and staying alive, and let the community handle curation and discovery.

[1] Merchanisms? Sorry to weeb out, but they should really look at Danbooru (NSFW) sometime. Tag-based classification and search works extremely well when (1) the users submitting the content aren't the people that made the content, so there's no conflict of interest encouraging them to try to game the system by spamming tags and whatnot, (2) there are strong guidelines for what is and isn't acceptable, what is and isn't subjective, and (3) the users are as dedicated and passionate as anime fans and archivists are. Let the users contribute objective tags, add support for subjective/personal tags ("pools" in booru lingo) that don't show up in search results but provide a way for users to curate, and for the love of god let them "fave" things and see their friend's favorites, and participation on archive.org would explode overnight.

domas 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You can provide feedback/comments directly to them by clicking "exit beta" in the top right.
TomGullen 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I love archive.org. Has my first website ever on it, no way would this exist without archive.org any more!


danbee 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is practically unusable in Safari on my MacBook Pro. It's a shame because once it actually loads it looks quite nice!
calinet6 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Increase.. spacing... between top icons... and labels.. twitch

Sorry, designeritis.

bgutj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The only thing I've tested with the new beta interface is the ability to search all books for a particular word or phrase at the top level. This has not been implemented. If I am looking to write a biography about a particular person, for example, who is mentioned in passing in n books in the archive and I search for this person, I will find a very small amount of these books, perhaps even zero.

If I go to a particular book, I can search -inside- that book for words/phrases. I would like to do with the raw text from all books.

glomek 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Yikes! That's different!

But it still doesn't have the one feature that I've been wishing they would implement forever. In a collection of audio files, I wish they would provide a podcast feed. It would be so nice to be able to listen to Old Time Radio shows as podcasts.

frik 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Direct link to the WayBack Machine:


72deluxe 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't infinite scrolling a memory hog?
butwhy 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been waiting for something like this to happen, as the old design just looks old and doesn't encourage me to use it.

But.. I'm sure haters gonna hate.

davea37 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the old one available anywhere? ;)
ooooak 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> server: nginx/1.1.19> Powered By: PHP/5.3.10-1ubuntu3.2

why 5.3 ? and ubuntu3.2 !!!

DuckDuckHack: Help us make the web a better place
261 points by ForHackernews  1 day ago   34 comments top 11
Animats 21 hours ago 1 reply      
DuckDuckGo wants you to write their vertical search engines. Those are the things that provide weather, traffic, stock quotes, sports scores, and similar data as specialized search results. Yahoo Search originated that concept, and now all search engines have to have it.

The vertical search engines you write go on Github, so someone could take all their verticals and put them into another search engine. It's not "send us the code and then we own it". Might be worth it writing one if you need the exposure as a programmer.

DuckDuckGo is still under 1% search market share, though.

prezjordan 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I made a SoundCloud plugin for you folks a few years back. In return you sent me a t-shirt and a ton of stickers.

It was my first time contributing to an open source project and I haven't been able to stop since. Keep being awesome, and thanks for inspiring me :)

emergentcypher 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure I really understand what this is about. What exactly does DuckDuckGo want me to hack? Are people writing plugins to improve the search results of a for-profit company's proprietary search engine?
Lerc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a say to search DuckDuckGo for things that DuckDuckGo supports?

I'd like a way to specify a language, sdk and an identifier and get a function/class/other reference. Is that something DDG does? It it something it could or should?

My ideal magic app would do this automatically on a keypress in an IDE and put the result on my tablet.

mp4box 1 day ago 2 replies      
Their old goodies page was better.now it's redirecting to https://duckduckgo.com/tour which is not that helpful.


The correct short url is http://ddg.gg

squiguy7 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I submitted a Goodie about a year ago and had it pulled into their repository on Github and am yet to have it appear in a search that should trigger it. It's a cool opportunity but I don't get how the instant answer plugins will make it in.
ilyaeck 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Sorry for my ignorance, but as a user: why would I use DDG over Google?
niklasber 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The title "Open-source DuckDuckGo" is sadly very misleading, as only few selected parts are open source.
fluffheadsr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
this is great! once i free up some coding time I'm going to leverage our apps API for our customers, so that their brand identity is the first thing that comes up on duckduckgo when someone searches for them.
jfaucett 1 day ago 0 replies      
where's the fork me?
amirite1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
sorry duckduckgo, perl died
What Does an Idle CPU Do?
231 points by brunorsini  5 hours ago   32 comments top 13
DonGateley 3 hours ago 3 replies      
In the days of OS/360 and OS/370 (IBM's mainframe OS in the 60's and '70s) no instructions at all executed in the wait state. There was no OS level idle process. Instead, the internal CPU microcode itself ran a little loop without dispatching any machine instructions until the tentacles that reached out from that loop were tickled by an external interrupting event. That loop had to be very short for latency reasons and very prickly to test for all the conditions that could take the processor out of it to resume dispatching instructions or do critical internal things.

I know this because I wrote that 6 (initially 8) micro-instruction loop for the IBM System/370 Model 155-157 in the late '60s. I was told back then that since that model became the most widely sold machine ever I had written the code most executed in the history of computing. :-)

The status latch in the machine that indicated that loop was running was fed to a light on the console and, yep, it was nearly always lit other than when booting the OS.

AceJohnny2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Gustavo Duarte's (not to be confused with Androider Matias Duarte) blog posts are awesome. I still highly recommend his 2009 in-depth review of how the Linux kernel manages memory: http://duartes.org/gustavo/blog/post/how-the-kernel-manages-...
s_kanev 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, cpu idleness is pretty fascinating and, as it turns out, quite important. Shameless plug, I just published a paper [1], showing that if you mess up how deeply you go to sleep in cpuidle, you can loose up to ~15% latency in datacenter services like websearch.

[1] http://www.skanev.org/papers/iiswc14ep.pdf

amluto 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Tiny little correction: On x86 multi-processor machines, the CPU can be woken from idle by an interrupt or by a write to a designated address in main memory from another CPU. Linux uses* the latter technique to very efficiently wake up a process on one CPU when it receives data from another CPU. This is a big speedup on some workloads.

* This didn't work very well until Linux 3.16.

amelius 3 hours ago 3 replies      
But what does a CPU running an idle virtual machine do?
leonatan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was young, I never understood why there was an idle process in Windows, eating my CPU... The days without Internet.
typedweb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I seem to recall the idle 'task' on Windows zero's empty memory pages, so there might be less of what's happening in the article on those machines.
DogeDogeDoge 4 hours ago 0 replies      
nop nop nop nop
Correctille 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It makes coffee for the GPU.
Codhisattva 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Counts sheep.
sholanozie 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a really awesome article - thanks for sharing!
mindslight 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Spread spectrum modulate its emissions to backhaul cached crypto keys?

(/me ducks)

edit: oops, the downvoters are correct; modern cpus have dedicated hardware for that.

beat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What does an idle CPU do?

Oh, lifts weights, writes a little poetry, works on its side project startup, surfs for cat videos...

Bootstrap 3.3.0 and Bootstrap 4
224 points by rayshan  5 hours ago   102 comments top 12
Smudge 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The most interesting part of this release (well, something that came shortly before this release) is Bootlint, their linter for your bootstrapified markup.


I could see myself integrating something like this into a text editor or a build process -- something that watches for bootstrap usage errors and helps my team correct them early and quickly. That is, of course, assuming that we stick pretty closely to vanilla bootstrap, which we usually don't.

One of my biggest issues with Bootstrap (and similar frameworks) is that, beyond a certain point, you find yourself overriding and customizing them to such a degree that it's more productive to just build your own "vanilla" components that are specific to the way your site or organization uses them, and then just ditch Bootstrap altogether.

One thing I'd like to see is a way of generally linting HTML structure (not validity, but actual structure) with a goal of reducing complexity and improving maintainability, regardless of what frameworks you may be using. Something that spits out a ratio of meaningful, semantic markup to "div soup" and tells you where you should spend the most time mopping up the soup. It could also have some understanding of which kinds of div patterns are acceptable -- bootstrap components, your own component library (see: OOCSS), etc.

derengel 3 hours ago 7 replies      
Why is Bootstrap much more popular than Foundation? Is technically better for most tasks?
_random_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Phew, no BootScript!
minimaxir 5 hours ago 3 replies      
For Bootstrap 4:

> Updated grid system with at least one additional tier for handheld devices.

Bootstrap already has a Mobile and Tablet layout, so which form factor would this addition address? Phablets?

hackerboos 4 hours ago 4 replies      
I would have liked to have seen LESS support dropped. Bootstrap is the only thing keeping LESS alive right now...
mattmanser 5 hours ago 14 replies      
From Bootstrap 4:

Dropped support for IE8

That seems pretty premature.

sebslomski 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad to see them finally switch from pixel based values to rem. This feels totally overdue to me.
bhhaskin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I for one am happy they are dropping support for IE8.
wuliwong 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who actually thought that video was going to show some sort of demo for the new release? hahahah. I was actually pretty disappointed when that didn't happen.
elchief 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Please add the "clear" button back on input type=search! Thanks
brickmort 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the rhythm of the night!
iends 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Does it have RTL support yet?
W3C declares HTML5 standard complete
231 points by darklrd  1 day ago   78 comments top 15
johansch 1 day ago 1 reply      

""The real problem is of course that the W3C is still copying our work even after we asked them to stop doing that," [Anne] van Kesteren said. It's legal, but "oftentimes it comes pretty close [to] or is actual plagiarism."

It's one of many instances of copying, Hickson said. "For reasons that defy my understanding, the W3C staff refuse to treat the WHATWG as a peer organization" that relies on WHATWG's work, he said. Instead, it creates its own copies of some standards. "They'll eventually say they have a 'final' version, and then they'll stop fixing bugs. It's very sad."

nostrademons 1 day ago 2 replies      
The other huge accomplishment of HTML5 is completely standardizing many fundamental parts of the web that previously were a mess of browser incompatibilities. 6 years ago, if you wanted to parse HTML, you might reach for BeautifulSoup, or libxml, or Hpricot, or Nokogiri...and they would all be subtly different in the parse tree they produced. And they couldn't do any better, because if you viewed the page in IE, or Firefox, or Chrome, or Safari, you might get a different parse tree.

Now, IE9+, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are all basically guaranteed to look at the same page in the same way, and the "toolsmith" parsers like Gumbo or html5lib are all rapidly converging on the standard. So it's finally possible to see a page the way a browser sees it.

lucideer 1 day ago 1 reply      
The term "WHATWG" seems to be conspicuously absent from this article. I wonder where they factor into this announcement.
RexRollman 1 day ago 0 replies      
This announcement makes me miss Mark Pilgrim. I wish he was still publishing his blog.
cwyers 1 day ago 0 replies      
This CNet article seems to have a lot more detail than the Techcrunch one:


j4meserljoness 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool, but It doesn't really matter what W3C says. In the end it is all about what the Oligarchy of popular browser implementers decide to implement.
codeaken 1 day ago 0 replies      
indubitably 1 day ago 3 replies      
The most important thing about HTML5 is <video>? What a weird statement.
malandrew 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm hoping for a scene graph standard for HTML6 and a spec that allows multiple documents per window (which themselves could be nodes on a scene graph) instead of the one document per window.
jaredmcateer 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know how is Doctype versioning going to work with W3Cs snapshoting of the living standard? Or are browsers just going to ignore W3C and stick to implementing WHATWGs spec?
deskamess 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was hoping they would add file api support for downloading to non sand boxed environment with mandatory user interaction prompts. The api would prompt for the file download location (via file dialog) but after that, how the file is filled up is up to the web client (and happens in the background). This would allow for parallel download workers via the existing get range option.
taf2 1 day ago 1 reply      
i guess it's finally time to upgrade that .vimrc to include syntax highlighting for the new tags... canvas, video, audio, nav, section, etc..
gsnedders 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://html5doctor.com/the-ride-to-5/ is an interesting overview of perspectives of various people who've been around HTML5 for years about its publication as a REC.
yoran 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Kind of ironic that the embedded Vimeo video in the article is Flash.
yuhong 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wonder when the IE standard support documents listing all the "deviations" from HTML5 will happen.
Mozilla Stumbler 1.0
207 points by crankycoder1975  23 hours ago   152 comments top 13
crankycoder1975 23 hours ago 7 replies      
Hi all!

We cut a 1.0 release of the Mozilla Stumbler finally.

Have at it. File the bugs. Complain about battery life.

Help us make this thing not suck and build out a proper open location service.

tonylemesmer 17 hours ago 2 replies      
As an Android user, is it possible to modify my phone to use this service instead of Google's? Is it possible to upload the database directly to a phone or replace an APK to achieve this?
Aissen 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Is the wifi AP database downloadable somewhere (OSM/Wikipedia style) or is it "cloudlocked" (we can only query it through the API) ?
towolf 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Any info about how multiple fixes are integrated to approximate the true location of a fix?

I remember reading how Wigle Wardriving calculated fixes and the method seemed unsophisticated and lame.

For example, if I bike down a street then fixes would be detected 100m ahead of me and always pinned to the road at my current location.

If I bike down the road in the other direction the next time, will be fix become more accurate?

Normally higher SNR fixes should have more weight than weak fixes. Do they?

chdir 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Could someone explain the privacy implications of mapping Wifi networks to GPS co-ordinates. Is it an opt-out thing?
wooptoo 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a lot like the Wigle wardrive app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.wigle.wigl...
ChrisGranger 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Will this work with WiFi-only tablets? I'd like to contribute but my Kobo Arc device is marked incompatible. I saw in the screenshot on Google Play that there is a WiFi-only report symbol.
lgierth 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Will 1.0 be available on the F-Droid store, like earlier versions?
bajsejohannes 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting for something like this. Most other location services I know about also crowd source data (after initially seeding it), but don't give the data back to the user.

Kudos for giving back what people gave you.

millzlane 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Will this still collect hidden SSID's?
Icybee 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems similar to what Google did to receive massive fines a few years back.
icebraining 17 hours ago 0 replies      
No, Google was sued because in process of doing this, they "mistakenly vacuumed up e-mail messages, user passwords and other communication", that is, they recorded actual data packets instead of just the AP identifier.
thristian 18 hours ago 1 reply      
No Firefox OS port?
React v0.12
223 points by spicyj  1 day ago   74 comments top 18
jbhatab 1 day ago 5 replies      
I don't know if I'm reading the changes wrong, but I'm not liking how I have to do an extra step if I don't use jsx. I want to use coffescript and not have to do extra stuff.

I definitely feel this forced vibe around making everyone use jsx, but have yet to hear any compelling reasons why it's better.

simplify 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm disappointed that JSX is now so coupled to React. I was looking forward to JSX being used by many different JavaScript frameworks[1], but this change reveals the devs are not interested in moving that direction.

[1] Example: https://github.com/mrsweaters/mithril-rails

malandrew 17 hours ago 2 replies      
What options are there for syncing flux stores on the server and client?

I ask this because the increasing move towards microservices seems to suggest that "joins" are going to start taking place on the client via waitFor.

For example, if I get model A and it depends on Models B, C and D. I don't want to have to wait for the client to fetch model A before it knows it needs to fetch models, B, C and D. Ideally, as model A passes through the server side store layer, it already starts fetching models B, C and D so it has those ready to serve to client, (or better yet it anticipates that the client is going to want B, C and D and eagerly sends that data to the client).

palcu 1 day ago 0 replies      
A sincere and big thank you for building and evolving this awesome tool that simplified UI madness in browsers. :-)
hardwaresofton 1 day ago 1 reply      
As a person who is using react, this is a welcome change! I'm glad they're taking time to get rid of the kludgy code that wasn't quite consistent.
jaredgrippe 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have a huge problem with this change explained here: https://gist.github.com/deadlyicon/da8c020662ea8e6002dc
xiaoma 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ouch. I've been building dynamic components using transferPropsTo(), which is now deprecated. It's very flexible and working well, so I'm a bit bummed to see it go.

  render: function() {    // after building up some object, propsObj that is determined by state    return this.transferPropsTo(      Component(propsObj)    );  }

glittershark 1 day ago 0 replies      
Always really happy to see a ton of breaking changes in a pre-1.0 release, and very pleased that they're all moving towards simplifying the public API.
fiatjaf 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't get the React.isValidComponent -> React.isValidElement change. Wasn't "class" the name of the abstract idea of component and "component" the name of the actually rendered component, the class materialized in a DOM?
jaredgrippe 1 day ago 2 replies      
One of my favorite patterns in React is using functions to wrap a React component.

It goes something like this:

  App.Button = React.createClass({    render: function(){      var className = 'btn '+this.props.className      <a href className={className}>{this.props.children}</a>    }  });  App.BigButton = function(props){    props = props || {};    props.className = 'btn-large '+props.className    return App.Button.apply(null, arguments)  };
How would you do something like this?

moondowner 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The license change paragraph mentions patents. Anyone knows which Facebook patents are used in React?
Kiro 18 hours ago 1 reply      
How are bindings in React not two-way? Update an input field and it updates the underlying JS object. Update the object and it updates the input field. I thought that was the definition of two-way, regardless of what happens behind the scenes.
bostonvaulter2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been looking into React.js recently and I have a general question. Is it possible to use React.js with zurb foundation cleanly? It appears that it will not work well because Foundation expects to modify the state of the DOM for Foundation elements. Are there any workarounds?
josebalius 1 day ago 2 replies      
So are ES6 classes for components coming in 0.13?
scwoodal 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Are the v0.11 docs available anywhere other than the Github markdown files?
limsup 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain what the "spread operator" is and how to use it?
johne20 1 day ago 2 replies      
off topic a bit, but why do the CDN urls 301 redirect?
fiatjaf 1 day ago 2 replies      
I really don't see the point of making so much breaking changes just to simplify the public API. The thing was working, it was good. It didn't need any changes. God would have rested.

But well, the developers were there and, you know, they cannot see a repository without commits for much time, right?

       cached 30 October 2014 02:11:01 GMT