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Was isolated from 1999 to 2006 with a 486. Built my own late 80s OS
1069 points by shalmanese  1 day ago   208 comments top 38
adrusi 20 hours ago 7 replies      
While I don't have a story quite like OP's, I wanted to share my experiences with old-school programming in more recent history. In middle and high school (2008-2014), I had access to modern hardware, the internet and all those lovely things at home. At school, though, I didn't have access to a computer most of the time, and yet I wanted to program. What I did have though, was a TI-84+SE graphing calculator, with a z80 cpu clocked at 15MHz and 24/128K accessible/total RAM, and 1.5/2.0MB of ROM. Most teachers didn't really care if I just stuck my nose into that thing for the entire class, so often I did just that.

For those not familiar with the calculator, it ships with an OS that provides a shell where the user can input mathematical expressions, as well as a graphing interface. It also provides a program editor where the user can write what are essentially shell scripts for the main interface in TI-BASIC, or run machine code written in hex if the program starts with the AsmPrgm token. It also lets you transfer files from a PC using a usb port on the calculator. You could download and install "Apps" for the calculator. When I was 12-14 I mostly wrote small programs, like Pong and a quadratic factorization utility, in TI-BASIC, and played games that I downloaded in class.

After a while I tired of TI-BASIC because it was slow, and that limited the possibilities. I downloaded Axe, an App that modifies the code in RAM of Kernel's TI-BASIC editor to allow for programs written in a different language, which was basically assembly + a lot of macros and a standard library useful for writing games, or like C without a type system. This code was compiled to machine code on the calculator, and therefore the code ran at a reasonable speed (keep in mind it's still just a 15MHz cpu from the 70s).

With Axe I made some more interesting programs. Unlike with TI-BASIC, where learning the language was easy since the calculators main interface was basically a REPL for the programming language, Axe was hard to learn. I needed to look at external documentation to know what I was dong in Axe, but even though I had a smartphone at this point, I couldn't use it in class, so I printed out the manual to reference it in class. I wrote a bunch of programs in Axe, like a cellular automata simulator, a game of life program, a 4-level grayscale sprite editor (which worked by flickering the pixels of the 1-bit display which had a slow enough response time to create a static gray color if alternated quickly enough). I also learned z80 assembly and used an on-calc assembler and editor called mimas, but editing assembly on-calc was too bothersome with a 64x96 display, so I mostly stuck with Axe.

Eventually I stopped being the nerdy kid who played with his calculator all day, but I had fallen in love with the platform, so even though I wasn't writing code in class, I wrote code for the calculator at home, sometimes on my PC and sometimes on the calculator just because I liked that experience more.

I'll be sad to see these ancient calculators finally phased out of the math curriculum in the US, so that kids no longer get access to that last stronghold of 80s computing. Raspberry Pi is cool, but it's still so much more modern than the calculators, which hurts its coolness factor for me, but more importantly, kids won't have access to it unless their parents want them to get into computing. Soon I see kids only having hardware that seems impenetrably locked down, which is a real shame.

stuff4ben 1 day ago 14 replies      
I had a similar although not as tragic story of my own. My parents were poor (dad was in the USAF) so we couldn't get a Commodore 64 or Apply IIe/IIc like everyone else had. We got a Commodore Plus/4 because they were literally giving them away. Since I couldn't buy any games for it and there was hardly any software available, I taught myself BASIC and made my own games. Fast-forward 30 years (geez I'm getting old) and now I'm fairly successful (in my own mind) as a software engineer at a Fortune 100 company. I credit being deprived by my parents for becoming interested in computers like I am today.
phpnode 1 day ago 8 replies      
Something about this story does not sound quite right to me. If I were essentially locked up in that scenario, I would at least be confident of the names of the 3 games which were installed, since they'd inevitably be played to death, regardless of how good they were. Also there's this http://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/2p63rv/australian...
iamcreasy 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Astonishing story. I'd like to meed this guy and have a coffee with him.

I have a similar story but not as harsh as his. I started programming basic(not sure which variant) on a small hand held system CASIO PB700. One this system I've created a Paranoid clone and a 4 frame ascii animation. My father saw my aptitude on programming he introduced me to his more advanced systems. He was a computer engineer and had an habit of buying new systems in 1980s. On the newer systems(I don't recall the name) I learned Turbo Pascel. Back then those systems didn't have any storage. MSDOS had to be booted from one 5 inch floppy drive and a new disk had to be inserted to get the different programs.

Every time you compile and run a program, it would take a couple of minutes to read the compiler from the 5inch floppy disk. Those floppy disks were fragile and they had a tendency to developed bad sectors after a frequent read-write session. To circumvent this, my father deployed a ramdrive on the system. A drive would be created inside the ram every time the system boots up, and it would copy the Turbo Pascel compilers and all relevant libraries to that ram drive. So next time you hit 'run', it would take seconds instead of minutes. This solutions still blows away my mind.

Another thing about these old machines, they all came with monochrome monitors. It was all green and had a very low refresh rate. Every time there was a large change on the display, you could still see the previous characters being faded away. Like matrix.

Later I had access to better machines(Pentium 1 133Mhz), but haven't forgot those days. I wish I had more information about those systems to post here, but I am long way from home. Back at home those systems are still all packed up and stacked on top on one another. The funny thing - all them work as if they are 'brand new'.

doctorstupid 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm saddened that most of the comments here are of the "me too, time for my story" variety. The amount of self references is disheartening.
dpcan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd love to go back to those days... 486 with DOS and QBasic, maybe a Borland C compiler if you're lucky enough to have a local computer store that sold copies.

Myself and a friend tried to create our own version of Windows 3.1 in QBasic when we were in middle school. I wish we would have saved our progress. I don't think it was as far as long as I remember. I know it read INI files, and we could drag windows around. Not sure how much else.

OP got to learn how to program the fun way, like a lot of us did in the 90's. Grinding away at crazy side projects on old DOS systems with lots of limitations. That opportunity just isn't available to kids anymore. High powered computers are everywhere and accessible, no reason to make an old PC do new tricks. But I guess they have the web to do crazy things with, so it's not so bad.

wtbob 23 hours ago 6 replies      
> I took another shot at coding this year to see if I could build anything interesting in C++, but the difference between something like QBASIC and a full blown C++ IDE just ended up baffling me more than anything else, and I struggled for a bit.

That's a really damning statement about our modern software ecosystem. You see what this guy was able to put together as a kid, and it's impressive. Sure, it was close to 20 years out of date, but it was good-looking and (appears) usable.

Why isn't it as easy for him, with the knowledge he's accumulated, to build software with modern languages, modern tools and and modern libraries as it was for him to build software with BASIC?

wslh 1 day ago 1 reply      
i) In 1990 I was using a VAX computer in high school shared by a whole class and programming in Pascal. The compilation process (executed in a compilation queue) could take a few minutes or half an hour depending of how many people and processes were running that day.

I wanted to imitate this stuff in my Amiga 500, so I joined a friend who knew about electronics and he removed a Commodore 64 keyboard and made the interface to connect to the Amiga as a second keyboard. I made the software in assembler to use the same computer with a single monitor in two windows using two keyboards. A bizarre but funny project.

ii) In 1992 I wanted to make my own graphical operating system. Not in the real sense but in the Windows 3.0 sense. I started doing this in Turbo Pascal and at some point I stopped because my multitasking was cooperative just realizing a few years later that Windows (and Apple!) used this basic strategy too. I felt ashamed of them.

twoodfin 1 day ago 2 replies      
Nitpick: It's essentially impossible that a 486 would come with 64KB of RAM. My 8088 XT clone in '88 came with 640KB. 4-16MB would be more common for the time.
lake99 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fascinating story. If it's any consolation to the author, some of us still use Vi/Emacs, do batch processing in shell scripts, run complicated commands from the command prompt. And when it's time to take a break for some gaming, launch NetHack or some other roguelike -- in a terminal.

To hazard a guess, the biggest "wow" programming languages for the author now would be Python and JavaScript.

lupinglade 11 hours ago 0 replies      
486s typically had 4-16MB RAM. To access this memory in DOS a special driver needed to be loaded, EXTMEM386.SYS or something like that from what I remember.

This article really is somewhat misleading, as that is not an OS, rather it is an application running on DOS.

Did the same sort of thing as a kid on an Atari 130 XE. Was a lot more graphical though. It's something you do when your computer is essentially useless :)

swatow 9 hours ago 1 reply      
In the late 1990s, my parents divorced, and my mother took my brother and myself and had us go live in a very rural area of Australia with a psychopath who was wanted in 3 states. This was our new stepfather, so we were to remain in isolation so that he wouldn't be found. This being said, we were not allowed to leave the house after school hours, nor use the internet, nor own mobile phones.

Truly shocking that this could happen in Australia. Where were the child support services? Why didn't the teachers notice anything?

The rest they say, is history. Mum finally ditched the guy who made our life hell. I was allowed to move back to civilization and had my mind absolutely BLOWN away by Crisis screenshots.

I wonder how old the author was when this happened? Was he still being kept captive as an adult?

This story raises serious questions about the adequacy of child protection and law enforcement in Australia.

brandonmenc 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't an OS - it's closer to a DOS shell, like Central Point's PC Tools.
pm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I relate somewhat to poster's situation, as one of my half-brothers had a somewhat related experience in rural NT, sans the happy ending. If the poster is reading HN, I'd be happy to catch you up on the state of Australian tech. My e-mail is in my profile.
andsmi2 1 day ago 5 replies      
This quote hurt my head "Windows 2000..., which was basically like 98, but crappier." But provided context for the entire thing.
sauere 16 hours ago 0 replies      
QBasic... those were the days.

I actually started programming around 2002/2003. At that time QBasic was of course already horribly outdated. But that was what my school teacher was using. We used it to have direct PEAK/POKE access to the LPT-Port (the big, bulky printer port!). So we connected LEDs and other Stuff to the LPT Pins and made them blink with QBasic (and Windows 2000).

I still sticked to QBasic a while because i refused to learn anything else and C-Style languages just looked scary to me. By the way, if you are looking for a cool, modern, cross-platform BASIC Compiler take a look at FreeBasic. It started out as a QBasic-kompatible Interpreter but now is a Project on it's own.

ghinda 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I also have a similar, but definitely not tragic, story. In the late '90s my dad got us a ZX Spectrum, so me and my brother learned BASIC and played Deathchase.

Around ~2000 we got a Pentium "75", that is - 75mhz, 16mb ram, 500mb hdd with no cdrom or sound card. I think it had a 2mb S3 video card, and came with Windows 95.

At some point, after some tweaks, you could play Mortal Kombat 4 in a very small window, installed from multi-rar archives on around ~20 floppys.

We had a lot CDs with games from gaming magazines, with "cool" (or so I thought at the time) HTML/JavaScript autoruns, that ran with Internet Explorer 4. Since most of these games (eg. NFS 3) wouldn't run on my PC, I found out how to "View Source", and I basically learned HTML/CSS/JS from them. In 2003 I sold my first "DHTML" menu widget.

robotkilla 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Throwing my story in the mix: I owned a 386 and a 486 when I was around 9. Hand me down computers. My family was poor and we didn't have the internet and I'm not sure it would have mattered if we did back then. I learned QBASIC and Dos from library books and help files. Made lots of text adventure games and later games with minor graphics. I'm a professional developer now (have been for 12 years). I know multiple languages including python and I still make games on the side as a hobby.

I keep seeing stories similar to mine. I really think we (humans) have lost something with new tech. Simple UI breeds users whereas hard seems to breed developers.

Edit: typed that out on my phone - made some typo fixes.

Also forgot to mention - I never went to school for CS and I dropped out of community college which I attended for graphic design.

kokey 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I can relate too, though my situation was also not that bad. Too poor to buy a computer, learned programming (BASIC mostly for the C64) from library books, and electronics from library books, and general details about PC hardware from magazines. This all without having a computer. Then I managed to repair and salvage enough old PC parts to piece together my first 8086 PC, eventually upgraded to a 286. We were long distance calls away from any city so dial up connections were impossibly expensive, so I learned to hack my way around some online services and phone phreaking to get myself onto the internet in 1993. I then got hooked on Unix and the internet and it became my ticket out of our in the middle of nowhere town all the way to living in the developed world.
scoot 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Was isolated from 1999"

So why label it (c) Copyright 1995? http://i.imgur.com/XSDOXEZ.png

FrankenPC 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where did he get the books? When I was a kid, the DOS interrupt bible was something I turned into a dog-eared nightmare. I wonder if he had access to technical books through his school maybe?
nashashmi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it painful to know that there are people like this who live like this painfully everyday: * people with old computers because they cannot get new ones, * people with old crappy android phones because they cannot get the new kind of phones, * people who are poor and are working on some rundown computer that does not work very nicely because it is worn down,and other people who are just stuck with whatever they have and how we will never hear their story because ... well.

And when I say people, I really mean kids. Heartbreak!

centizen 1 day ago 0 replies      
This OS is interesting enough on it's own, but I want to hear more of the story of how and why it was created.
agumonkey 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminded me of the classic 'stuck in a room' reddit thread


WoodenChair 1 day ago 0 replies      
The story sounds like it has some significant parallels to that of Julian Assange in his teenage years (at least as depicted in the movie Underground). Is he an inspiration to you?
pjbrunet 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like typical apps we all created during the early 90s. I taught my little brother Pascal in what seemed like a few minutes (I think he was in 5th grade) and within a weekend he created a file manager that would blow this one away. My brother is very smart but my point is, coding some DOS games or a file manager is not anything remarkable, even if you only had the manual to work from. Most developers during that time period worked from a manual. We did not have StackExchange, haha. Where do you think RTFM comes from? I'm surprised this is trending. If you want to see what was typical of the early 90s, take a look at the Graphics Gems books http://www.amazon.com/Graphics-Gems-Andrew-S-Glassner/dp/012... every bookstore in the US had Graphics Gems.
Igglyboo 1 day ago 2 replies      
What was your experience level before you started this?

I'm about to graduate with a degree in computer science and I would love to work on a long term project like this but I feel like I could never accomplish something remotely close to the complexity involved in your project, especially without outside help like the internet.

abhididdigi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If there is one story that changed me today, it's this. Kudos to you sir. With no internet/help you still pursued your passion and built this from Ground UP.

Thank you for the inspiration, and have a great career ahead.

stuaxo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
He should learn python, after wbasic it was the first language I used that was as easy or fun(after years of java).
pwr22 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This guy's mother made a terrible and selfish choice :(, I feel terrible for him
codezero 23 hours ago 4 replies      
I had a 486 in 1991. If this person had one from 1999 to 2006 I'm amazed it didn't suffer repeated hardware failures. Hard drives die often. I want to believe this isn't true because it's too depressing. I want to believe it's true because people deserve the benefit of the doubt.
drinchev 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I only imagine what would've happened if OP was stuck with a UNIX or even better Linux with source code files included.

It would be a really different story I guess...

reitanqild 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Totally impressed. Yes, not an os but a shell but still impressive.

Boredoom can easily lead to creativity it seems. And this guy is smart.

mariuolo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see how necessity is (still) the mother of invention.

BTW, is the guy in jail now?

curiously 22 hours ago 1 reply      
did a similar thing in the late 90s. I didn't have a computer besides an old 286 with monochrome monitor because my parents would not let me use a brand new computer because it would affect my school studies as I would play games (they weren't wrong).

I discovered a program called qbasic and started fooling around with it. I did whatever I could on it. It was so interesting.

Then after about a year I got a fast computer because my dad felt sorry for me and I just started using the internet to download emulators and roms. I lost the same level of patience back when I used to have a 286.

Anyways I still remember those times. Magical moments like figuring out how to program. I wonder what would've happened if I had kept going. Sadly, the internet and video games completely took over.

VLM 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Two oddities, there's a technical difference between a GUI desktop environment and an operating system, even if the commercial vendors insist they're conjoined twins and alternatives to that worldview are a thoughtcrime. So this is an OS of the Gnome variety, not a OS of the retroBSD variety.

The other oddity having lived thru a slightly earlier era in high school, we did TONS of sneakernet peer 2 peer filesharing using floppies. The stuff he needed would be getting would be kinda obsolete, on the other hand the school had stuff laying around so if you wanted a "turbo C" it was literally sitting in the library waiting for you to copy it. Anyway I'm surprised he never found anyone to trade "warez" with.

In '99 when the story started I already had 5 or 6 years of experience with a linux desktop at home, first with SLS floppy based installs off a BBS, but by 99 I had a couple years experience with Debian, makes you wonder what would have happened if the guy had been on an abandoned isle with a linux distro instead of quickbasic...

boomlinde 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, those details of the divorce proceedings that you just made up are very different indeed.
leke 19 hours ago 0 replies      
When I started reading this, I imagined the author was going to say, isolated from 1999 to 2006 with a 486 on an island living with a group of scientists called The Dharma Initiative, with no connection to the outside world.
Firefox.html: Rebuilding Firefox UI in HTML
608 points by ash  4 days ago   143 comments top 26
paulrouget 4 days ago 5 replies      
I've built that. Just to be clear: this is a personal project, not a mozilla project (even though I'm a mozilla employee).

Also - many people find it silly to use HTML instead of the operating system toolkit library. But it's not HTML or native. It can be both. In this case, the HTML code define the layout, and we can draw native widgets inside (look at the <input type=submit> tag in HTML, it's a native widget). For example, if you run the current build on Mac, you'll see that new tabs use Yosemite "vibrancy" effect. Native look and native performance, can, in theory, be achieved.

icefox 4 days ago 6 replies      
The browser shipped with Blackberry 10 was written in HTML and was a real joy to develop.

Edit: some more public details

The default browser on the BlackBerry 10 platform was a completely new browser application. The chrome was written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Being able to develop the chrome on your desktop browser or being able to run inspector remotely and using your desktop was very handy. The core was a command line application called webplatform that "launched" a url that was a "webapp". The webapp had API's exposed to it such as creating WebView's in or out of process (yup blackberry has had multi-process tabs for a while now...). One joy was being able to pull up the Javascript console for the browser WebView and dynamically calling exposed c++ API's in any WebView in any process to test out features or diagnose problems.

It started out as a quick little proof of concept I tossed together over a day and the upside was large enough to invest time into. One of the reasons for making the main browser in html was that as a platform we wanted web application to succeed. Eating our own dogfood we made sure webapps could handle the job. The API's that were needed were there, memory usage were low, startup time was fast etc. And if you search for reviews of the blackberry 10 browser you will find that the end result was a success.

Edit 2: Much more in depth information can be found on this video which was a presentation given at Blackberry Jam by several of my colleagues. Skip to the 23 minute mark to see some actual code of what a webapp browser would look like.


kibwen 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm very excited at the potential of the browser chrome being implemented entirely via standard web technologies. And given that Servo is never going to implement XUL, it would save a lot of effort that would otherwise be spent implementing a bespoke, minimally-functional UI (which has been tentatively named Crow, if the MST3K reference wasn't already obvious).

See also this other thread linked from the discussion in the OP, "Moratorium on new XUL features": https://lists.mozilla.org/pipermail/dev-platform/2014-Octobe...

bkeroack 4 days ago 8 replies      
I realize this is a personal project, but this is deeply amusing considering that:

1. Way back when (circa 1998-2001?), the Mozilla project started as a radical redesign of the next gen Netscape browser. One of the core principles of the architecture was that the browser itself would render the UI elements (using an HTML-like tech call XUL).

2. The Firefox browser (then called "Phoenix") was a reaction against the above, which was thought to make the browser too heavyweight and slow. Originally Phoenix was the Gecko engine in a native UI window without all the XUL overhead (and without all the other components of the Mozilla Suite like the email client).

Now we're seeing the reverse trend, 15 odd years later.

EDIT: It turns out I misremembered about Phoenix dropping XUL completely--rather they dropped XPFE for a "new light-weight XUL toolkit", along with dropping all the non-browser components of the Mozilla suite.

taf2 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is great. My experience with XML for UI went something like this.

1. build an XML language for abstracting C++ UI MCF or gtk

2. realizing the need for HTML content - embed mozilla/xulrunner

3. realzing xulrunner /mozilla already provide a cross platform toolkit use XUL to build the user interface with xpcomm wrappers

4. realize that HTML is better for user interface, and only write HTML/javascript with xpcomm wrappers.

5. switch to web development completely and avoid desktop apps all together :)

6. from time to time check in on the state of desktop/app development and see if they've finally figured out html is better for interfaces than any interface builder

Morgawr 4 days ago 6 replies      
Color me surprised, but when we get to the point where we run HTML to build a browser that is supposed to be the tool used to render and display such HTML... haven't we gone too far? Is a browser necessary? What is rendering that HTML if not a browser?

I mean, I get it, a browser is used to browse (duh) the internet, not necessarily to render HTML, but at this point we really need to ask ourselves "why are we doing this, again?".

EDIT: Still impressive though, nice proof of concept!

EDIT 2: As much as I hate the "Why am I getting downvoted?" shenaningans that people usually pull, I want to clarify the intent behind this post. I'm not flaming or hating on the project, it's a cool idea. I was trying to spark some insightful conversation on "where do we want to go from here?" and "do we really need a browser if we have gone this far?". If you want to downvote me, why not just reply to this post and have a nice interesting conversation instead?

nacs 4 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Breach[1] / Thrust[2] which basically lets you do the UI plus some low level stuff via Node/JS.

There is a 'browser in a gist' [3] using Breach which is a good example of its use.

[1]: http://breach.cc/

[2]: https://github.com/breach/thrust I believe this is the new core of Breach by the same people)

[3]: https://gist.github.com/morganrallen/f07f59802884bcdcad4a

browserxul 4 days ago 1 reply      
Copy this into firefox's URL bar for a fun treat:


matthewmacleod 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a fantastic idea and I'm really glad to see experimentation in this area. It's already great to look at how things like Webkit's dev tools are implemented in HTML and see how that idea might be extended.

At it's core, a browser is an HTML/JS rendering engine with some chrome to allow users to manage what pages they're looking at and in most cases, that chrome is actually pretty minimal. It seems like a natural evolution to play with the idea of implementing that chrome in the natural UI language of the browser engine too. Yeah, the tools aren't there yet but experiments like this will give us some scope to play around with what might be possible and identify the pain points that must be overcome to make it a reality.

Great stuff.

agumonkey 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm always pleased when I use chrome devtools on chrome devtools. So I can't welcome this enough. Have fun.
espadrine 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can HTMLRunner be used as the basis of something like node-webkit[1]? What's its strength / weaknesses compared to that?

[1]: https://github.com/rogerwang/node-webkit

simonw 4 days ago 1 reply      
Would it be possible to implement XUL using Web Components and port the existing XUL interface to HTML that way?
agumonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
misuba 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a connection between this and the old Chromeless project? (It doesn't say there is, so I suppose my real question is, why not?
grumblestumble 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm all for it if it means we finally get ::-webkit-scrollbar equivalency in Firefox...
phkahler 4 days ago 0 replies      
What widgets are used? (I'm not a web dev and only dabbled in that over 15 years ago) If you use native widgets, then you end up with a cross-platform app framework. If you create your own widgets, then you end up with a cross-platform GUI toolkit and app framework. Which is it? Either way, this seems quite interesting. OTOH, can you do apps this way with anything other than js?
hawski 4 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a good idea. But change should happen gradually - no to parallel versions.Like author of zeroconf, when he was rewritting in in OCaml: http://roscidus.com/blog/blog/2014/06/06/python-to-ocaml-ret...
1ris 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is this the first step to switch to servo?
blueskin_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
>we could drop XUL and close the gap between B2G and Firefox Desktop

I hope not. Customisability is always the first thing to die in mobile 'apps'. As soon as that happens on the desktop, I'm moving to Pale Moon permanently.

shmerl 4 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting. But on Android Mozilla already deviated form this approach of "webbiness" in favor of using native UI. Same as Sailfish browser does with Qt and Gecko through IPCembedlite.

If not for that, Sailfish browser could reuse the UI.

gesman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this could be used to visually replay captured HTTP traffic?

Say, I want to visualize what my site visitors are seeing - and I capture complete request/reply stream of data off Ethernet interface.

earp 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is like watching a nuclear superpower go down in a fist fight. I honestly think HTML5 was designed to eliminate Mozilla.
hencq 4 days ago 1 reply      
Way back when wasn't the original plan for Seamonkey to use Gecko to render the UI as well? Maybe they were too far ahead of their time back then.
Edmond 4 days ago 0 replies      
love the idea, web tools built on web technology.
mcao 4 days ago 0 replies      
The one thing that absolutely annoys me about the current Firefox is the location of the refresh button, which is a tiny icon stuck in the far right of the location bar. Worse of all you can't customize it natively. You have to download extensions to change the UI and still you won't get it to look 100% how you want it. Being able to modify a HTML based UI would be awesome.
donniezazen 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have been running Firefox for almost a month now. The divide between firefox and Chrome is getting bigger and bigger.

1. What do you guys think about sidebars and multiple toolbars? There is only a limited space available on screens these days for most people. I find them very archaic.

2. Dropdown arrows - I also don't understand the purpose of actually showing that if you click here a menu will open. A folder expands when you click it. There is nothing to be said about it.

3. Lack of overlay icons. There is literally a block with yellow background which shows number.

4. Lack of interest in devs to innovate on Firefox. There is a difference in versions of Evernote webclipper for Firefox and Chrome. Diigo extension is in atrocious condition.

Why do you think a solid browser like Firefox is lagging behind in UI compared to Chrome?

Streem a new programming language from Matz
545 points by tree_of_item  3 days ago   189 comments top 37
c3RlcGhlbnI_ 3 days ago 8 replies      
I am glad that someone is working on a new stream processing language, it is a very interesting paradigm. However I hope that they provide some very robust tools for controlling input splitting. As I have spent too much time fighting with awk and wishing it was more flexible(it is frustrating always having exactly two levels of splitting with only matchers on the first and only inverse splitting on the second).

As is you would have to put in filters to resplit input into lines and that is very messy for something that you will need/want to do very often.

For example if you wanted to parse by character it would be wonderful to be able to do the following:

  STDIN | /./{|c|    # stuff  }
Even better would be if you took it a step further and offered something like regex pattern matching for the block input. e.g.

  STDIN | /\w+/{|word|    /house/ {      # when word is house    }    /car/ {      # when word is car    }    {      # default case    }  }

Argorak 3 days ago 2 replies      
If you ever meet Matz, talk to him about programming languages. While he gets some flak for all the problems of his original hobby project (Ruby), he obviously loves programming languages and gives things more thought then people give him credit for. I had the chance to talk to him while I was still a student and full of ideas how the language could be made "better" and he shot them all down. For good reasons, as I know nowadays. So I always love seeing him building languages.

I shared a small story about him and languages quite a while ago, I guess it fits here as well: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6562979

pluma 3 days ago 1 reply      
*Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of Ruby

I'm not sure everyone is familiar enough with Ruby to know who Matz is.

vessenes 3 days ago 8 replies      
Why do most implementations of FizzBuzz special case % 15? I haven't ever really understood this. Maybe it's just my math-y background, but it always seemed to me you should just check mod 3 and mod 5 without an else between them, concatenating Fizz and Buzz.

Can anyone else comment on this? Most canonical FizzBuzz programs special case 15, and I don't get it.

apoorvai 3 days ago 7 replies      
I'm not really a programming language expert, but it seems to me that having an implementation being the spec wouldn't be a good idea. If the Streem implementation has a bug, then the bug becomes the authoritative behavior. Any platform specific quirks would also make it difficult to have defined behavior.
weeksie 3 days ago 1 reply      
At the very least, it's going to be amazing to watch a master language designer build a new language from the ground up.

That said, I'm incredibly optimistic about a new Matz language. If I was going to guess, the syntax will be much lighter and the semantics will make VM optimization much easier than in Ruby.

lgleason 3 days ago 2 replies      
I love Ruby and I love Matz. With that being said there are some things that Ruby struggles with. I know that there have been some conversations among the core on bringing in more functional concepts to Ruby....at least since April. To me this says that Matz is coming to the conclusion that we may need a new language to get functional right.

While I am sad to see that Ruby may be superseded by a new language I'm really happy to see Matz leading the way with one of the solutions. In the Ruby community we have a expression "Matz is nice and therefore we are nice". That has set the tone for the community in ways that have never been the same in some of the others.

As someone who has had the opportunity to talk with Matz on multiple occasions and work with the Ruby community it would be great to see this as a natural evolution of Ruby and the people who love it... As I have started to move on to working with more functional languages etc. I have started to move away from doing Ruby, but if the community can continue on and evolve with a new language that would be awesome!

skrebbel 3 days ago 2 replies      
Reminds me a lot of Elixir's |> operator, which does the exact same thing. Nice! Curious how it'll turn out to compare with Elixir on other areas.
mostafah 3 days ago 1 reply      
And... heres an implementation: https://github.com/mattn/streeem

Well, that was quick.

dwash 3 days ago 4 replies      
"Copyright (c) 2015 Yukihiro Matsumoto" - bit early, ey? ;)
samuell 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would be cool if it would incorporate some thinking and concepts from Flow-based programming [1], as that is AFAIK the most comprehensive architecture covering all the aspects of asyncronous concurrent processing that one might run into (multiple in/out-ports, channels with bounded buffers, sub-stream support, etc etc).

[1] http://www.jpaulmorrison.com/fbp/

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow-based_programming

mijoharas 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone help explain what's going on here: \"([^\\\"]|\\.)\" [seen here in context](https://github.com/matz/streem/blob/master/src/lex.l#L49).

Now it seems to be finding literal strings (so "strings" e.t.c.). That would explain the literal double quotes on either side. so without that we get: ([^\\\"]|\\.) so zero or more repeating versions of [^\\\"]|\\.

What I don't understand is why there is the explicit or \\. construct there, as this seems unnecessary. Am I missing something? also, why does it seem that strings cannot have either literal \ or literal " in them?

luckydude 3 days ago 0 replies      
We did a similar thing to the awk source. Made awk scripts first class, you could pipe them to each other.
chmartin 3 days ago 0 replies      
AwesomeI hacked something like this together a couple years ago using ruby and gnu parallel


it is badly needed

hdmoore 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent example of using a parser as a language. Whether it has any legs depends on whether it beats existing tools on some front (sed, perl, ruby, etc). The concurrent angle is interesting, but I have found a multi-process approach to stream data to be more efficient than most concurrent single-process implementations. For example, with DAP (https://github.com/rapid7/dap), we found that GNU Parallel + Ruby MRI was more effective than a concurrent language such as Go.
panic 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tab (https://bitbucket.org/tkatchev/tab) is another interesting recent text processing language.
nchuhoai 3 days ago 0 replies      
For people interested, you can do something like this in Ruby right now that has nearly the same syntax:


bnegreve 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's definitely a good idea. Pipes are both very powerful and very simple to use and debug, yet they are not very common in general purpose programming languages (examples?). I'm not surprised that someone is trying to build a language around them. I'll follow that, but for now it's a bit too early to judge.
golemotron 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great idea, but I'm a bit disappointed in the syntax. Composed chains in Ruby are much nicer to look at.
eccstartup 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope it will support really big integers as in Haskell and better floating point number calculation, although I cannot foresee the power right now. Because it is concurrent, it may be very useful in scientific computing, whether in small or large scale.
kricstta31 3 days ago 0 replies      
-> in clojure or hy deals with that nicely:

(-> (read) (eval) (print) (loop))

using python-sh in hy this is possible:

(-> (cat "/usr/share/dict/words") (grep "-E" "^hy") (wc "-l"))

ksherlock 3 days ago 1 reply      

    true{TRAIL}return keyword_false;
Well, this will be fun to debug

1qaz2wsx3edc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Matz, now get started on implementing transducers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mTbuzafcII
grandalf 3 days ago 0 replies      
Stream processing languages typically derive from SQL (streamSQL) or prolog (Rapide) ... This one doesn't seem anywhere near as powerful but who knows.
pmalynin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looking to hire a Streem professional, must have at least 5 years experience with Streem.
vlucas 3 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting that he chose a C-like syntax after going the complete opposite direction with Ruby.
NanoWar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Now it might be time to have a look into YACC, LEX and maybe BISON and follow Matz' repo :)
10098 3 days ago 1 reply      
I see this as a very good alternative to traditional shell scripting languages.
leke 2 days ago 0 replies      
What kind of areas could Streem be used in?
randyrand 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why is Stream spelled incorrectly?
programminggeek 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like the idea of dataflow or stream processing ideas. I would love if you could make the connector pieces smarter so that you were enforcing a contract between the piping mechanisms. I believe you could build some very interesting systems with that approach.
retr0h 3 days ago 2 replies      
Not a fan of the closing braces.
spacemanmatt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Having littered the battlefield with various versions of Ruby VM, Matz drops the mic, walks off the field
patrick73 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, but if you know nothing about Ruby this is pure hype.
faragon 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26:52, King James Version)

Sony played hard many times, e.g. closing Linux on Playstation 3 devices. I do not condone the attack, although I have no sympathy at all for such kind of companies.

Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo
476 points by adrianhoward  3 days ago   90 comments top 19
Arjuna 3 days ago 3 replies      
What a truly inspiring human being. I can only dream of aspiring to her levels of contribution.

Check out some of the Apollo 11 code for the Lunar Module's (LM) Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC). It's just awesome browsing through it, reading the comments, and thinking about the zeitgeist of being on a team that was working on something of that world-altering magnitude.

Code Library:












- - -

Incredible quote:

"There was no second chance. We all knew that. We took our work very seriously, but we were young, many of us in our 20s. Coming up with new ideas was an adventure. Dedication and commitment were a given. Mutual respect was across the board. Because software was a mystery, a black box, upper management gave us total freedom and trust. We had to find a way and we did. Looking back, we were the luckiest people in the world; there was no choice but to be pioneers; no time to be beginners." - Margaret Hamilton

- - -

Edit: OK, this is interesting. Note the filename. The filename and comments suggest that it was for driving keyboard and information display...



Animats 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yes, she was one of the early formal-methods people. I met her and Saydeen Zeldin back when I was doing proof of correctness work. They had a company called Higher Order Software, which promoted an extreme form of waterfall design using formal methods. This is appropriate for avionics but didn't catch on. Proof of correctness was just too slow back then.

Incidentally, when you post articles like this, please don't use a title that makes it sound like an obituary.

norvig 3 days ago 2 replies      
I worked with Margaret and Saydeen at Higher Order Software for my first job out of college, but I didn't get to work on anything as glamorous as Apollo. We did mostly government contracts; I was there for two years before I decided it was time for grad school.
makmanalp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely a role model.

Her site has a pretty neat article called "Inside development before the fact":

> Today's traditional system engineering and software development environments support their users in "fixing wrong things up" rather than in "doing them right in the first place". Things happen too late, if at all. Systems are of diminished quality and an unthinkable amount of dollars is wasted. This becomes apparent when analyzing the major problems of system engineering and software development.

Also a cool paper she wrote:

> The key to software reliability is to design, develop, and manage software with a formalized methodology which can be used by computer scientists and applications engineers to describe and communicate interfaces between systems. These interfaces include: software to software; software to other systems; software to management; as well as discipline to discipline within the complete software development process. The formal methodology of Higher Order Software (HOS), specifically aimed toward large-scale multiprogrammed/multiprocessor systems, is dedicated to systems reliability. With six axioms as the basis, a given system and all of its interfaces is defined as if it were one complete and consistent computable system. Some of the derived theorems provide for: reconfiguration of real-time multiprogrammed processes, communication between functions, and prevention of data and timing conflicts.


And some NASA work related to HIOS: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/1975001...

jordigh 3 days ago 3 replies      
I find it a bit... sad? disturbing? that the only reason women were so involved in computing and programming in the early years was because programming and software were seen as less important jobs than the "software planner" jobs, where the "coder" was just a flunkie, something of a software custodian. They were considered clerical jobs, like data entry or a secretary.

This old article (2009) has a lot more details on this old sociological phenemonon:


The author has a whole blog about this topic:


danso 3 days ago 4 replies      
Besides the great photo and backstory, I liked this snippet:

> She was all of 31 when the Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the moon, running her code. (Apollo 11 was able to land at all only because she designed the software robustly enough to handle buffer overflows and cycle-stealing.)

You could read that paragraph in several ways. Back then, accomplishing something like that at 31 seems precocious. Today, in the hype about 18-year-olds becoming millionare-startup founders, she sounds like a late bloomer of a programmer.

acqq 3 days ago 0 replies      
More details about her work on Apollo Guidance Computer:

Apollo Guidance Computer History Project, Margaret Hamilton's introduction:


"Many of the things I was intrigued by had to do with how to make the mission software safe and reliable. And one of the things I remember trying very hard to do was to get permission to be able to put more error detection and recovery into the software. So that if the astronaut made a mistake, the software would come back and say "You can't do that." But we were forbidden to put that software in because it was more software to debug, to work with. So one of the things that we were really worried about is what if the astronaut made a mistake -- We were also told that the astronauts would never make any mistakes, because they were trained never to make mistakes. (Laughter)

So we were very worried that what if the astronaut, during mid-course, would select pre-launch, for example? Never would happen, they said. Never would happen. (Laughter) It happened."

She also mentions her companies:

"So since that time, the theory has evolved and now I actually lost the first company to venture capital people, and started a second company called Hamilton Technologies."

The link to the second:


dangerlibrary 3 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like she is currently CEO of a company that sells a formal-methods language (and accompanying IDE) called 001. It looks interesting - has anyone here worked with it before?


lotharbot 3 days ago 2 replies      
The wikipedia article on her notes she's credited (by NASA) with coining the term "software engineering".


scj 3 days ago 0 replies      
She was briefly mentioned in Steven Levy's "Hackers", as an MIT computer user who's program crashed after the "Midnight Wiring Society" changed how the computer worked.

Also, she was interviewed in "Moon Machines" episode three, about the nav computer.


annasaru 3 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome. She's a role model for girls, which our field badly needs. The client list on her company's website is pretty long and substantial.
brudgers 3 days ago 0 replies      
When this story was posted yesterday [1], the comment about UDL sparked my interest. That led me to Hamilton'sDevelopment Before the Fact methodology [2]. I find DBTF an appealing approach to reliable systems, particularly buildings. Because AEC design software is largely focused on automating manual steps rather than the generation of systems.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8731711

[2] http://www.htius.com/Articles/Inside_DBTF.htm

peter303 2 days ago 0 replies      
In early computer days a fair fraction of the programmers were women. They migrated from earlier computer jobs such as keypunch operators, switchboard wirers (some early computers had programable switchboards) and mechanical calculator clerks. Until mid 1940s "computer" meant the third category- a person who operated mechanical calculators.
rattray 3 days ago 0 replies      
> I suppose todays kids are ho-hum about these recoveries of memory, but I think theyre pretty neat.

No, we think they're pretty neat too :-)

tempodox 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope this serves as tangible evidence that women do have their place in tech. I feel it's a shame that we believe (rightfully or not) that we need extra coding schools for females.
einrealist 3 days ago 0 replies      
My take on this: If more women would be into (information) technology, we would have cheap holidays on Mars!

Margaret's role is a role model.

happyscrappy 3 days ago 1 reply      
Her with a hardcopy of her code.


lfender6445 3 days ago 0 replies      
what a great read. she looks so happy! she is very pretty as well!
kohanz 3 days ago 0 replies      
This kind of comment has no place and is irrelevant, IMHO. Even though the statement may be well-meaning, it's completely gender biased.

How many times in an article about a male entrepreneur, or computer scientist, or other interesting person, is his subjective physical attractiveness even a topic of conversation? Almost never - and that's the way it should be for everyone.

Yahoo Starts Prompting Chrome Users to Upgrade to Firefox
455 points by jonastern  2 days ago   224 comments top 42
dochtman 2 days ago 3 replies      
Seems like that has no doubt been an important part of the deal that Yahoo! and Mozilla made. It's an interesting way to get back at Google's heavy promotion of Chrome on their properties.
joelthelion 2 days ago 1 reply      
Given the number of times Google has prompted me to "upgrade" to Chrome, this is only fair game.
tszming 2 days ago 2 replies      
I always joke to my friends that why Chrome didn't bring extension support to Android - Because extension support will hurt Google's mobile ads revenue so deeply if you can install adblock with one click.

So, please also consider support a non-profit organization like Mozilla, when their products are actually not weaker.

bobajeff 2 days ago 2 replies      
Good for Mozilla. They need some promotion from websites. I've heard that Google use to do this for them but I guess that changed once they made their own browser.

I'm still not going to use Yahoo search as it's really just Google search only not as good. Hopefully one day there will be a challenge to Google.

alexbardas 2 days ago 2 replies      
Makes a lot of sense to me, Firefox is an excellent browser. I hope it will keep its independence though.
cpeterso 2 days ago 4 replies      
Calling a promo banner a "prompt" is a bit of an exaggeration. Also, the same "Upgrade to the new Firefox" message is also shown to Firefox versions less than the current version (34).
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Part of a more strategic move I believe for Yahoo! to get back into the search business. When their 10 year contract with Microsoft is up I would not be surprised to see them switch to a new index of their own making. What has always been interesting to me about search though is that the two big players who have a lot to gain by having their own search index (Facebook and Apple) have so far chosen not to go there. Putting on my prognostication hat I see Yahoo! shipping on a new index in 2016 and being bought by either Apple(most need) or Facebook(most likely) in 2017 :-)
l33tbro 2 days ago 3 replies      
Too bad their shitty mail service does not play nicely at all with Firefox. Seriously, Yahoo Mail does not even allow me to attach a PDF when I'm in Firefox.

There's a raft of other functionality issues which drove me to the decision to migrate 15 years worth of emails out of it.

wjoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see any such notice if I try going to Yahoo in Chrome. Perhaps because I'm in Europe where Yahoo doesn't have the search deal with Mozilla. Or perhaps it's just confused with the Linux user agent or something.

Happy Firefox user here though. Glad they aren't so reliant on Google funding now, I expect the Yahoo/Baidu/Yandex deal with get them more money than Google alone, without being too reliant on any one party.

wycats 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google deserves every last inch of this.
danielweber 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Chrome" in headline.

Doesn't appear at all in the article.

sp332 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is also happening for people who have paid for Yahoo Mail in order to not have ads. I would be asking for my money back if they start showing me ads like that!

Edit: source https://twitter.com/AnthonyPAlicea/status/542670797912166400

IgorPartola 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love me some Firefox. I do. I am really glad that it is a major browser, and that people use it. I am very grateful for the innovation it brings. But I cannot bring myself to use it. Chrome was late to the party, but it got a fundamental issue right: tabs and plugins get their own process spaces. This is huge for performance. I am lucky to own a newish top of the line computer and I trnd not to have more than a dozen tabs open at once. I cannot do this workflow in Firefox. It gets slower as I go, and it's memory usage creeps up. Flash makes things worse (don't recommend that I turn it off; doing front-end work still involves it from time to time). I fire it up periodically to check it out, but it just does not work for me and that makes me sad.
kasabali 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now this started to look like a fair play.
awalton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ok. Google prompts me to "Upgrade to Chrome" all of the time.
ender89 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see a problem with this, its what google has been doing for years.
jrochkind1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google certainly did the same thing to promote Chrome on web search and other places.

I'm not sure if Google used the misleading "upgrade" terminology -- I'm also not sure if most people know the difference between "upgrading" and "switching" anyway, and those who do are obviously the ones who won't be misled anyway.

It still makes them look sleazy to those who do know the difference.

gordon_freeman 2 days ago 5 replies      
I just don't understand Yahoo's user acquisition strategy here. I updated my Firefox to latest version a week ago and it took literally less than a minute for me to set Google as default search engine. I know that if given choice between Yahoo and Google, I'll almost always use Google for 2 main reasons: Search quality and it is just that I'm accustomed to making specific search queries on Google. The thing I don't understand here is: what Yahoo will gain by this deal with Mozilla? I mean why don't they try to improve the quality of their search product and gain users that way rather than forcing an inferior search as default on Firefox.
jdlyga 2 days ago 0 replies      
To give it some credit, Firefox is pretty damn good in the past few months after the multi-process updates they've been making.
zeruch 2 days ago 1 reply      
The odd part here is that Firefox has gone back to being my primary browser. The fact that it now disables/disallows extensions the Play store doesnt like and flat out locks you from doing so manually really annoyed me.

Don't try to out-Apple Apple, it doesn't win you any favor.

While they aren't packaged by default, some of the tools around FF for .js work just as well as on Chrome, and the only thing hat Chrome has that I can see FF doesn't is process isolation.

watwut 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny. And google is prompting me to upgrade to chrome. I wonder what would happen if I would use some MS service.
debacle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Firefox also automatically updated my default search on every device to Yahoo, even though I deselected that option.

I was pretty pissed about that.

john2x 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why isn't Google facing the same issues Microsoft faced back in the Windows + IE dominant days?
WorldWideWayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd really like someone to come along and make a Webkit/Blink based browser that doesn't suck. I'd pay for it.

Neither Chrome nor Firefox respects my operating system. Both of them take up the whole title-bar with their tabs, rendering useless the window functions that depend on that area. They have non-standard menu systems and very poor keyboard acceleration. Chrome gives you zero control over things like HTML5 video auto-play and I just can't stand to use Firefox because they keep changing the UI and it gets worse every time.

pwr22 2 days ago 0 replies      
No different than when Google was telling me to upgrade to chrome whenever I visited their sites
preillyme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given that Firefox now uses Yahoo as its default search engine, this move doesnt come as a huge surprise. Yahoo clearly wants as many people as possible to use Firefox and with it its search engine (which is powered by Microsoft Bing).
huhtenberg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not just Chrome users. I am on Firefox and I got this message too. I'm guessing they show it to everyone who's not using FF34.
skrowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chrome to Firefox is a large upgrade. No one that cares about their privacy should still be using Chrome.
avodonosov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see that "Upgrade to the new Firefox" link... ah, wait, I am already on the Firefox!
stephengoodwin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tomorrow's headline: Google Starts Prompting Yahoo Mail Users to "Upgrade" to Gmail.
Istof 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love Firefox but it is unusable on my Android phone because it uses close to 100% CPU (I tried the latest version less then 2 weeks ago) ...

edit: downvote me, but Firefox is still way too CPU intensive on Android

ryanSrich 2 days ago 0 replies      
So long as no one is promoting IE I have no gripes (for those saying newer IE is better than older IE, I agree, still please avoid using IE).
junto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next we'll have Microsoft pushing IE down our throats when we visit Bing... :-)
tedsmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
I dont think that Apple will follow Firefox. They will renew the contract with Google (as default search engine in Safari). Maybe they get a better price...
at-fates-hands 2 days ago 1 reply      
Despite the browser wars, the newest annoyance is having to use Yahoo's search engine. I figured I would give it a few weeks and see how good it was compared to Google.

Two weeks in and I'm done with it. Almost every search is useless to me. Even just doing local searches was painful.

Type in pizza + your city and I got a bunch of ads and "Top 10 pizza places in (insert your city here)" and a ton of Yelp reviews. All I wanted was a list of pizza places near me.

I have a dozen other examples, but in a nutshell, it was just really poor at returning results I was expecting.

gcb0 2 days ago 0 replies      
if techcrunch thinks my favorite browser should be scorned with quotes on 'upgrade'... i'm on the right path!

thanks for the confirmation, techcrunch!

ivanca 1 day ago 0 replies      
If Google decides to respond, they should just delete all Yahoo and Mozilla results from their search engine; and if they do it would be just fair (... and Mozilla complaining would be extremely hypocritical)
smegel 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's funny, it's been years since I used either of them.
j_baker 2 days ago 1 reply      
My first question: is this intentional or is it a bug? This wouldn't be the first time a website has mistakenly prompted a user to upgrade their browser.
LukeFitzpatrick 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately I stopped using Firefox a few years ago, found it to be more of a distraction than a benefit.

But it's good that Yahoo is doing something to compete with Google, if they don't than who will? I'm personally a big fan of Google, they lead the way of change.

RemoteWorker 2 days ago 2 replies      
ITT: If Google does it it's ok, if Yahoo does it it's not.
DoubleMalt 2 days ago 3 replies      
That would probably make me stop using Yahoo.

Although I grudgingly accept a similar prompt on mobile Workflowy (I use firefox there and are prompted to use Chrome for it) even though it annoys the crap out of me. There is not even a possibility to turn this off.

But for Yahoo I have alternatives for workflowy not (yet).

Yehuda Katz and Steve Klabnik Are Joining the Rust Core Team
421 points by wycats  2 days ago   128 comments top 11
tomdale 2 days ago 2 replies      
Congratulations Yehuda and Steve!

We've been using Rust in production for awhile now, specifically because of its combo of native speed and memory safety[1]. This bending of traditional tradeoffs has let us implement features that would have been otherwise impossible.

Interfacing with Ruby via its C APIs, we are able to do some pretty crazy stuff, like sample memory allocations in production with imperceptible overhead[2]. Most importantly, we can do it without fear of segfaulting our customers' servers.

It's really great to see people other than low-level bitbangers being added to the core team. In this case, having a production user and someone focused on new users demonstrates the Rust team's commitment to building a functionally diverse community.

Lastly, I think opening up the core team to a wide coalition of companies is the right way to build a robust, long-lived open source project. Yehuda talked a little bit about this in his Indie OSS talk[2]. There are several "pathogens" that can affect open source projects, and the more diverse the distribution of power, the more likely you are to be immune to these pathogens.

1: http://blog.skylight.io/bending-the-curve-writing-safe-fast-...

2: http://blog.skylight.io/announcing-memory-traces/

3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqXU4o24Hkg

nardi 2 days ago 4 replies      
Thus continues Yehuda's quest to join every cool core team on the Internet. :) See also: Rails, Bundler, Ember.js, jQuery, W3C TAG, TC39.
losvedir 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats! I actually didn't know they weren't already part of the core team. What exactly does this change entail, then?

The rust community is lucky to have these two. I recently went through the rust guide and it's terrific! And as a happy rubygems user, I'm glad to see crates following a similar path.

juanmnl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Yehuda! You are a true inspiration, and i just want to thank you for everything you've done and i'm shure you'll take rust to another level. Congrats to Steve too. 2015, the year of rust(?) :P
zampano 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations! The two of you easily became two of my biggest role models after I was introduced to web development; its been a pleasure to follow your general trajectories. Thanks for showing us what is possible when you're willing to actually do something!
sergiotapia 2 days ago 1 reply      
How will this affect Yehuda's involvement with Ember? I'm kinda scared he will jump ship and leave it in the air. :/
yesimahuman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice! As a reluctant Go developer, I look at rust with envy and excitement. I am very eager to see this project progress and it seems like they've got some great people on it.
grandalf 2 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone care to mention the best reasons to start using/learning Rust? There must be a lot with these guys joining the team.
pjmlp 2 days ago 0 replies      
paulmalenke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to both of you!
deadprogram 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very exciting!
Einstein: The Negro Question (1946)
421 points by juanplusjuan  1 day ago   274 comments top 28
schimmy_changa 1 day ago 2 replies      
If this moves you, follow Einstein's logic to today's world and join in the struggle. There are marches today, consider this your invitation!

SF: https://www.facebook.com/events/675598982556580/

Oakland: https://www.facebook.com/events/858052834217501/

NYC: https://www.facebook.com/events/959630214065046/

Boston: https://www.facebook.com/events/1559794327598726/

(and I'm sure there's one near where you live as well)

kroy 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is really fascinating. This part particularly struck me:

"[Americans'] sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious"

As a non-black person of color, this has been my access point to issues of race and oppression. Thinking about the (relatively) minor prejudices and indignities I've experienced made me a lot more receptive to the idea that things just aren't right for a lot of people. That oppression is real. And it's also made me aware of the privilege that I do enjoy as a college-educated male who's the son of college educated parents.

This is a very prescient and relevant piece by Einstein. I'm glad it's on HN!

mariodiana 1 day ago 4 replies      
The thing I like is the reference to Aristotle. Today, there are some people who are too quick to brand anyone who disagrees with their enlightened views as a "moron" or worse. There's no winning hearts and minds that way. It's better to gently point out the mistakes of those who are otherwise worthy of respect, in the hopes that this will spur others towards self-reflection, than to castigate and put people on the defensive. We could use more of that.
lpsz 1 day ago 12 replies      
What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice?

More diversity (in neighborhoods, in workplaces, in schools) would certainly help -- the transition from "us" and "them" to a unified "us." And yet, it's disappointing how segregated America still is today. One fairly in-depth study [1] offers an example of how "today" came to be. (This report is not about any current events, but rather a detailed account of city zoning over a few decades.)

[1] http://www.epi.org/publication/making-ferguson/

pvnick 1 day ago 5 replies      
I hope what I have to say is not as controversial as I fear, but I don't think that individual racist beliefs are as big a problem as we have been told. To look at somebody and consciously judge them to be inferior based on their skin color is so outdated and obsolete, that those who do so are fringe members of society who are typically elderly and either changing their mindset or dying out. We elected a black president in a landslide victory for God's sake. Twice!

No, what is harmful is the vindictive, hyper-vigilant collectivist attitude that persists in a ham-handed attempt at "leveling the playing field." The idea that certain groups of people (blacks, women, gays, etc) need compulsory protection at the expense of other groups (white males), induces a sort of resentment as a response to what is perceived to be a witch hunt. For example, certain events - such as the destruction of Paula Dean for admitting to saying the word "nigger" in the past, or Brendan Eich's dismissal as CEO for his donations against gay marriage - and certain policies - such as affirmative action or the greatly lopsided outcomes of most child custody battles - evoke an understandable, but completely irrational, feeling of resentment towards those groups as a backlash for perceived unfair treatment. It's this "us vs. them" victim mentality that's the problem in mainstream America. That's where the real racist attitudes come from, not some sort of widespread, conscious conclusion that certain groups are intrinsically inferior to others.

The answer is not collectivist protections or more anti-racism vigilance, it is to look beyond our superficial differences and to consider all people as individuals with an equal capacity to love and to be loved. Racism is an outdated idea. Let it die on its own.

markgarity 1 day ago 1 reply      
"It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignityand shape our lives accordingly."

Key takeaway, in my opinion, and this extends beyond racial prejudices.

pcthrowaway 1 day ago 2 replies      
While Einstein only fully stopped eating animals shortly before his death, there is some indication he also felt uneasy accepting the general attitude on animals as food for some time before that. This is prejudice that that most of us have yet to shake still.
blazespin 1 day ago 3 replies      
I was always impressed by his stand against zionism.


revscat 1 day ago 1 reply      
What makes this discussion so much more frustrating today is that the racial biases are inherent in the system. While the laws are structured to be. Entrap, their application is decidedly not. While I, a white male, choose to do as Einstein here suggests and live a life of example, and teach my children the destructiveness of racism, my actions do not directly help those in my country who are suffering from official and unofficial forms of discrimination.

I want to do more, but... "What can men do in the face of such reckless hate?"

vixen99 1 day ago 1 reply      
Relevant to the subject Einstein addresses I strongly recommend the writing of Thomas Sowell.


vinceguidry 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone interested in this topic should read Karen Armstrong's Fields of Blood


The first chapter gives a very good rationale for where hatred and subjugation of the 'other' comes from and the book traces how this kind of socialized violence evolved over the ages.

sethbannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
"I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out."

Sadly on the matter of unequal race relations these words ring nearly as true in 2014 as they did in 1946.

queensnake 1 day ago 1 reply      
Such self-fondling pabulum around here. If Aristotle can be wrong, so can Einstein. See: IQ data.

I bet at least the number of people who posted want to say the same thing, but have refrained from posting. I bet frikkin' Paul Graham thinks the same thing (maybe gentler) - he's alluded to 'inexpressible ideas about race' (paraphrase) in one essay.

arielm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Einstein's simplification of this situation, even though it was made in a time where political correctness wasn't common, is a fresh view that reminds me how important it is to stop pronouncing racism and instead to each do our part in extinguishing it by action.
desdiv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend Jane Elliott's "Blue Eyes Brown Eyes" lesson for anyone who have not seen it yet:


In any discussion about racism, the stratified-by-race-IQ-chart invariably gets brought up (crtl-f for "itjustdontwork" for its latest rendition in this thread). Jane Elliott's video helped me to find a new perspective on the IQ chart data.

jxm262 1 day ago 1 reply      
love this.

"A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is traditionbesides inherited aptitudes and qualitieswhich makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerful influence of tradition is the influence of our conscious thought upon our conduct and convictions"

just wow. This gives me alot to reflect on and goes much deeper than racial prejudices. This can be applied to alot of areas in my life. I was one of the top in my high school class for math, and skated through college pretty easily. Came out being kind of cocky then learned pretty quickly how little I actually knew. The past few years have really really given me perspective. Speaking for myself, I seem to grow much faster when I humble myself and acknowledge my areas that need improvement.

lexcorvus 1 day ago 2 replies      
Many a sincere person will answer: "Our attitude towards Negroes is the result of unfavorable experiences which we have had by living side by side with Negroes in this country. They are not our equals in intelligence, sense of responsibility, reliability."

I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal misconception.

Although it has clear political implications, the last part of the quote-within-a-quote ("They are not our equals") is a scientific hypothesis. Does it strike you that people who take the opposite view of Einstein'sor who even consider its possibilityare treated as merely mistaken? As suffering from a misconception? Nothey are treated with opprobrium, condemned with epithets (racist, fascist, etc.), and purged from civil society.

No reasonable person denies that the ancestors of slaves were mistreated, but as an explanation for group differences this is not mutually exclusive with cultural or biological factors that may have nothing to do with past oppression. Unfortunately, this subject is not treated as a scientific matterit has become a political fight. Einstein appears to be "ahead of his time" not because of the triumph of his scientific arguments but because his political allies have been consistently advancing.

aik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very interesting. There are some other articles by Einstein there as well. The Science and Religion one is particularly interesting:


jamesblonde 1 day ago 1 reply      
Way ahead of his time
phazelift 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazingly great thinker with a great heart too, we are so in need of people like him..
33223332323 1 day ago 3 replies      
> The ancient Greeks also had slaves. They were not Negroes but white men who had been taken captive in war. There could be no talk of racial differences.

As Slavic I find this inaccurate and bit offensive :-)

fsloth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am humbled by the sincerity and humanity of this writing. Thanks for sharing.
subdane 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to the wonderful piece, I enjoyed the fact that he appears to be wearing a bad-assed, black leather jacket in the photo.
nobrains 1 day ago 1 reply      
All men are created equal. Except Blacks. And Muslims. And non-Americans. And Native Americans.
mathu7 1 day ago 0 replies      
this is the part of Einstein's legacy that I wish more people knew about
moron4hire 1 day ago 1 reply      
Racism will continue to be a problem as long as it serves as a useful distraction for the people to prevent us from really scrutinizing the ruling class and the complete disparity between the goals of the super-rich people and the needs of the rest of us who are just trying to get by.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, drugs, guns, taxes, war, spying, all of it are just distractions because whether the issue goes left or right won't matter to most people. What really matters is whether or not people can feed their children, have a roof over their heads, have something meaningful to do with their time, be warm in the winter, be free from violence. These are the things that matter, but we're all caught up in bikeshedding over how to get there.

And in the process, a very small group of people get to come in and unilaterally take action to fill their own pockets. Everything else that happens is the rest of us playing Lord of the Flies.

Isms will end when the majority takes up the cause of the minority, because in actuality, it's their/our cause, too.

vidarh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I find it absolutely hilarious that you believe that Comintern - an organization that was dissolved in 1943 - is still "funding and driving" civil rights struggles.

As someone who used to be active in a party that used to be a part of the Comintern, and that spent a lot of time during my youth to try to build support for re-establishing an International, and who learned in the process there are about a dozen "Fourth Internationals" (Comintern was the Third), a few Fifths, and at least a couple of Sixths, none of which acknowledge each other, all of which are ludicrously impotent tiny little groups, the idea of some shadowy remnant of the Third actually still existing and having the power and will to do something good for a change is some world class tin foil hattery.

I also love how you try to pretend that it was a secret that Einstein was left wing, yet at the same time try to push the idea that the supposedly left wing US press (... as a European, the very idea of a left wing US press is comedy gold) were exaggerating his worth as a physicist because of his secret left wing views.

By all means, keep on going. It's exactly this over the top lunacy that have changed US attitudes to socialism - the rate of change the last 20 years have been astounding. Maybe in another 20 your political landscape will start to approach the European.

UhUhUhUh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bottom line, then and now, to be a racist you need either be stupid or have serious psychological issues or a combination of both.On a side note, I always admired Einstein for his tremendous ability to abstract problems. I believe he is the co-inventor of the "thought experiment" with Mach.You can always feel this ability in his writings.
Go 1.4 is released
452 points by ahochhaus  3 days ago   253 comments top 20
krat0sprakhar 3 days ago 4 replies      
> The most notable new feature in this release is official support for Android. Using the support in the core and the libraries in the golang.org/x/mobile repository, it is now possible to write simple Android apps using only Go code.

This is fantastic! Are there any example Android apps released by the Go team to help get started ?

xrstf 3 days ago 3 replies      
Damn, another project giving up on Mercurial and switching to Git. :-/ A few more major ones and basically nobody is using Mercurial anymore. How sad.
pjmlp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Even if I don't agree with all design decisions, Go is certainly coming forward.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

_RPM 3 days ago 18 replies      
Can someone give me a compelling reason to start programming in Go? My default language at the moment is C, or C++.
valevk 3 days ago 4 replies      
There is a new range syntax[1]. The release notes say it's rarely used, but makes code cleaner. In which cases would the syntax be useful?

[1] https://golang.org/doc/go1.4#forrange

rcarmo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice. Now all I need is for someone to turn https://github.com/jcla1/gisp into a slightly more complete LISP and I'll have a nice environment for all kinds of ARM systems.

Edit: typo/autocorrect

cryptos 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder why they didn't move the main code repo to GitHub as well. https://go.googlesource.com/ is somewhat poor compared to GitHub.
makeramen 3 days ago 0 replies      
At first glance it seems like you will be able to use go on Android the same way you can use C and C++ through a jni bridge between the java and go code: https://github.com/golang/mobile/blob/master/example/libhell...

I'm very curious to how the go runtime and GC will work.

bgentry 3 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't look like it's been pushed to the canonical git repo or Github just yet: https://go.googlesource.com/go https://github.com/golang/go/releases

Aside from that, this is yet another great release! :)

nXqd 3 days ago 1 reply      
Now you can write Android application and eventually iOS ( I don't know if I need that ), this is quite interesting. Congrats go team !
hanief 3 days ago 2 replies      
Can you build Android UI using Go? I have not found a good UI library in Go.
frik 3 days ago 0 replies      
What's the current roadmap for dynamic linking / shared library support?

Is this the current one? https://docs.google.com/document/d/16Y4IsnNRCN43Mx0NZc5YXZLo...

JulianMorrison 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think they ought to add a one argument version of the copy() keyword to bitwise-duplicate and fix up the pointers on the built-in slices and maps. This would support the copy-change-replace semantic their example for Value follows.
Kabukks 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just to make sure I'm not missing it: fsnotify didn't make it into Go 1.4, right?1.5 maybe? :)
JulianMorrison 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Package glsprite blah blah blah TODO". Okay then :-D
fxbois 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mobile development will soon be exciting with the fight Go vs Swift
cyber1 3 days ago 0 replies      
bpatel576 3 days ago 1 reply      
Good god. Seriously, another language. I'm just starting out learning how to program, and I find it irritating that there are so many languages and it's not that easy figuring out which ones you should learn and which ones you shouldn't.
codemac 3 days ago 2 replies      
And they actually stuck with their go generate design? What an unfortunate mis-step.

Let the makefile's continue.

I've seriously thought about moving to gccgo just to try and get a build system where I can actually inject dependencies on .go files builds again.

teddyh 3 days ago 5 replies      
This relatively recent trend of company-specific languages annoys and disturbs me.

I dont ever want to be tied to a language and library ecosystem under the thumb of a single (large) corporation. Not Visual Basic, not .NET, not C#, not Objective C, not Go (Its even named after the company, for crying out loud! Yes it is. Dont try to claim otherwise).

Ive used Basic, Ive used Pascal, Ive used C, Ive used Python, Ive used Lisp, and so on and so on. Those were open platforms, with different companies in the lead position in any one time (Microsoft Basic, Turbo Pascal, Borland C, GNU C Compiler, CPython, PyPy, etc.), but the language was not owned by a single company which would loom in everyones mind, always the unspoken fear being what if <company> doesnt like it?.

I will not use tools which make me afraid. I will not live a life in fear.

Microsoft accepting Bitcoin
415 points by DavidSJ  3 days ago   149 comments top 15
chuckup 3 days ago 4 replies      
This is great news. I've always thought teenagers are the biggest market for bitcoin, they're less likely to have a bank/credit card. Knowing you can now exchange bitcoin for Xbox points makes accepting bitcoin a lot more attractive.
Animats 3 days ago 4 replies      
No, Microsoft is not accepting Bitcoin. Microsoft's hosted shopping cart program, like several other shopping cart programs, is now handling Bitcoins for merchants who accept them. Microsoft's page says: "You can only use Bitcoin to add money to your Microsoft account and then purchase digital goods at select Microsoft online stores. You cant use Bitcoin to purchase Microsoft products and services directly at this time."

So this is apparently for Microsoft partners who want to accept Bitcoin. Any idea which partners do? Microsoft's site is rather unhelpful; it keeps demanding a login.

brayton 3 days ago 1 reply      
Biggest point is someone fairly high up at Microsoft said yes to Bitcoin - executives at massive companies are taking it seriously.
aluhut 3 days ago 5 replies      
Now I just need a anonymous way to get some BC without farming it or meeting some shady guy near the main station in Frankfurt...

I hope those BC vending machines get more popular here.

gesman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Curb your enthusiasm.

You can't purchase laptops:


NicoJuicy 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's great for adding Bitcoin to their options, but is there some way to find out how much income someone has in Bitcoin (if they include it in their shop?)

The closest thing i found was by an article about shitexpress on http://goo.gl/4ri1B5 , they added paypal as payment method and their revenue was +370%.. So Bitcoin/Dogecoin/... was only 21,2% on day 1 of adding Paypal as payment option.

sreyaNotfilc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hearing this news makes Bitcoin that much more legitimate. Having Microsoft, a company known for its money and its practices to obtain large amounts of it, accept Bitcoin will affect its value in a big way. Or at least one would believe.

I kind of wish I bought Bitcoins when I heard about it a year or so ago (just like I wish I invested in Facebook). I did read an article explaining Bitcoin. Parts of it made sense, but other parts still left me confused. I wouldn't say that should deter anyone. As many things out there that we want or have, the results of the product is sometimes more important than its inner-workings.

ww520 3 days ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin price seems to have settled down recently, which is good for its day to day usage.
kleer001 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, at least it's a step in the right direction?

>You can only use Bitcoin to add money to your Microsoft account and then purchase digital goods at select Microsoft online stores. You cant use Bitcoin to purchase Microsoft products and services directly at this time.

jc123 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds big. Could get the other large tech companies to look into Bitcoin more and evaluate their efforts.
ubersync 3 days ago 1 reply      
Bitcoin totally makes sense for digital products, especially for transaction with small amounts. With Bitcoin you can send even $0.01 for a very low fee.
kolev 3 days ago 5 replies      
Microsoft is accepting BitPay, not Bitcoin. It's like saying that Microsoft is accepting checking account payments, because PayPal supports it.
Ologn 3 days ago 4 replies      
Ah Silicon Valley's big ponzi scheme. A year ago today a Bitcoin was worth $820, right now one is worth $360. How long until it hits its inevitable price, $0.00, considering it has no value whatsoever? Who knows? As Keynes said, markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. Marc Andreessen talks about how older people have dot-bomb hangover fears, but nothing screams bubble to me than this modern scam known as Bitcoin. It has all the attributes of a scam as well - the anonymous architect, all the big players running off with the money or getting raided by the police. Yet the big names in the Valley keep touting this worthless ripoff. Plenty of HN'ers are involved in the scam, so this post is sure to get downvoted to oblivion by them.

What we have here on HN is me, who over a year ago when Bitcoin was worth $460 said it was worthless ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6753545 ), and we also have the scam artists who were hyping it then, are hyping it now etc. The potential Bitcoin investor suckers who listened to me would have saved themselves from losing the $100+ dollars on each Bitcoin they bought since the current price is below $360. I've been prescient, they've been wrong, but they're still running their scam and will downvote me to oblivion - they still have some suckers to fleece. The real thing to note is how hard the big names in the Valley are pushing these hashes that they know to be worthless, which has been surrounded by an architect who hid his identity, and multiple ripoffs and police raids. Supposedly the Valley is about people who have insights that others don't. In this case though, the big names and big money have one insight, this is a scam, and try to hush those pointing that out, as there are still suckers left to fleece.

Marking HTTP as Non-Secure
383 points by diafygi  2 days ago   226 comments top 42
andrewstuart2 2 days ago 7 replies      
I think the best time to do this would be soon after the Let's Encrpyt free CA [1] starts handing out certificates. There's no more good reason not to have HTTPS, so that's a good time to start applying a little pressure and adding the incentive for website authors.

Does google already reward secure sites with higher search rankings? I can't decide if I think that's a good idea or not, but if they want to push for a more secure and free web, that's definitely another avenue.

[1] https://www.eff.org/press/releases/new-free-certificate-auth...

comex 2 days ago 3 replies      
On a related tangent:

In the new secure-by-default world, what happens if a website has some large assets (e.g. video, game files) and would like to opt into caching by any transparent proxies that may be on the user's network? The site could embed hashes of the assets in question, and use ServiceWorker to transparently inject a hash check into any fetches (no matter what HTML thingy initiated them), but I think requests to http: from https: are always blocked as mixed content - let me know if I'm wrong. Also, this would still send things like user-agent, language, any non-secure cookies, etc., and allow the unauthenticated server to set them; it would be good to have a way to opt out of all these things, just sending a minimalist HTTP request instead.

Of course, even if these issues are fixed, any system allowing caching of assets must allow tracking of what assets were requested; for some sites this is unlikely to provide much info beyond what the domain name already indicates, but for others it would be best to avoid. On the other hand, if assets have sufficiently distinctive sizes, a proxy might be able to guess this information over HTTPS anyway through simple traffic analysis, so it wouldn't be that harmful to run it over HTTP instead.

randomwalker 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the surveillance attacks pointed out in the post is the NSA piggybacking on advertising cookies. Details in the Snowden leaks were scant, so we did some research to figure out just how far the NSA could go with this technique. Very far, as it turns out. Here's a blog post with a link to our research paper: https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/dreisman/cookies-that-giv...

One of our conclusions was that tracking companies switching to HTTPS would help, but a large majority would have to switch to make any difference, because of the sheer number of trackers (Section 4.1). This proposal or something like it is probably necessary if we're to see that magnitude of change.

zerocrates 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you make a change like this too quickly, you run the real risk of users seeing the "warning" so often that they just get trained to ignore it (even more than they already do).
josteink 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is just pointless scaremongering.

Remember what happened when msie added warnings for this a decade ago?

People got so fed up with "security"-warnings that they just clicked "OK! OK! Whatever. Get the fuck out of the way!". And they did it to ALL warnings, serious ones too.

Glad to see history repeat i itself.

fiatmoney 2 days ago 6 replies      
Excellent. While they're at it, maybe they should stop marking self-signed SSL as more of a security risk than plaintext HTTP.
sdrinf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Synthesis: Chrome Security Team would like to put :( for all non-secure HTTP connections. With gradual deployment, and increase of all active sites moving to HTTPS, it is assumed that users won't become trained to ignore this as a warning signal.

| Then, in the long term, the vendor might decide to represent non-secure origins in the same way that they represent Bad origins.

The biggest disadvantage of the proposal, as it stands in current CA climate, is that it's psychologically successfull deployment will impose a liability for site operators to touch their sites at least once per CA renewal timeframe. There are many sites where this isn't desired, feasable, or even possible at all, but which despite non-security, still serves giant heaps of high-quality information. So, this will increase SEO, and accessibility gap between sites run by geeks, and sites (attempted to) run by everyone else. Whether this is a desired future of the web is left to an exercise for the dear reader.

Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
From the article:

"Wed like to hear everyones thoughts on this proposal, and to discuss with the web community about how different transition plans might serve users."


"You do not have permission to add comments."

ajnin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great. So with this proposal all website operators that don't pay their due to the Certificate Authority cartel will be marked as "bad" sites. I'm all for restoring trust but not before the CA issue is resolved.
cryptolect 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ever since I realized there will be a persistent log of my browsing history maintained by one or more government agencies, I have mentally-marked http as risky. I cannot wait for something like this to happen, and encourage the wider less-informed community that TLS is critical for both trust (properly implemented, TLS will provide protection against tampering and data leakage) and to provide a minimum level of privacy (I can see you visited site x, but not what sections of it). Bring it on.
jstsch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hmm, there are a lot of sites out there. So many small sites with their own domain name. Local establishments, projects, clubs, communities... that will be hell to migrate, with non-obvious benefits to most site owners.

This might force more centralisation of the web again... just move your content to ESTABLISHED_GLOBAL_PLATFORM_X instead of that vhost at SMALL_LOCAL_PROVIDER_Y.

sft 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google and others rarely ever mention DNS/DNSSEC, even though just as much information is being sent insecurely in the form of DNS queries/responses.

Learn more:



Check if you already have it enabled (unlikely if this is the first time you're learning about this)http://test.dnssec-or-not.com/

steve_taylor 1 day ago 2 replies      
Marking HTTP as non-secure implies that HTTPS is secure. The large company where I work has quietly rolled out the Zscaler HTTPS proxy and my colleagues are unaware that, despite the assurance given by the green padlock in their browser, their connection is most definitely not secure.
lnanek2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Really not happy with the way Chrome is going on these things. As a web developer, sometimes the best thing for my users is an HTTP media file off a non-SSL CDN closest to their home and cacheable by things like Squid stuck in front of them in my HTTPS otherwise page. But I can't do that now because Chrome will display the page as broken. They are just taking useful tools away from developers to improve the lives of users and not really improving anything except for a few privacy nuts who care about every tiny image on every page possibly being tracked.
ademarre 1 day ago 0 replies      
> We know that people do not generally perceive the absence of a warning sign. Yet the only situation in which web browsers are guaranteed not to warn users is precisely when there is no chance of security: when the origin is transported via HTTP.

That is a very strong point. User perception of the browsers' current UX treatments of the various security scenarios poorly represents the true level of security. An insecure HTTP site (no warnings) looks safer than an HTTPS site which happens to reference a single non-HTTPS image (mixed content warning). The absence of a warning for the HTTP site is not fair, because despite the mixed content, data submitted in a web form to the HTTPS site is still encrypted, yet the UX treatment affords it less trust.

Separately, how should Extended Validation (EV) certificates fit into this plan? Especially after the final proposed transition phase, T3: Secure origins unmarked. Personally, I think EV certs have become kind of a racket in the CA industry. But they exist nonetheless, and we should push for more consistent browser treatment of site security in general, including consistent treatment of EV certs.

hartator 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think that can be scary for the wrong reasons. Like a whole part of the web will be marked as "non-secure" where it should be marked as "non-encrypted."

Security-wise, MIM (Man in the Middle) attacks using HTTP are a fraction of the real security threats (Phishing that can use https!, Keyloger, Malware, Browser Vulnerabilities...)

It will give too much weight to HTTPs websites or too little to HTTP websites.

Moreover, SSL certificates are expensive!

bonsai80 2 days ago 2 replies      
My vote for the icon to use would be a small frown or disappointed face. It's different than the icons for broken https, but still gets the point across that something isn't so great.

Here's what I'm thinking of: https://cdn0.iconfinder.com/data/icons/smile-emoticons/78/Em...

zzzcpan 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe showing the "http-is-insecure" warning in the address bar only when the user fills form inputs?
demarq 1 day ago 3 replies      
Some one explain this to me. If I use Https would I still be protected from my own service providers (isp/carriers).

Surely anyone who can see the handshake can also decrypt what follows. I ask this because I'm assuming this move is a reaction to all the NSA buzz that's been in the media(assumption).

And I would figure the only way all the spying was going on is because one of the parties we depend on for our internet services anywhere from the ISP to the end server were compromised.

So how would HTTPS make a difference?

general_failure 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great move. We also need free/cheap wild card certs.
1stop 2 days ago 1 reply      
Even with HTTPS if you compromise the server, or the client you can do whatever you like... so my awesome server with all ports open and with login (on everything): admin password: 123 serves some content, but has a valid certificate, and the browser says: "This Connection Is Secure!"

Meanwhile a well managed server with no open ports, private key auth etc, but serves content without HTTPS, the browser says "This Connection Is Insecure!".

Seems a bit misguided to me. Also feels a little corrupt and profit driven (by CAs)... Why don't google offer free Certificates... seems an obvious (and trusted) way to spread more "Certified websites".

mlaretallack 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a good idea and a step on the right direction. However working in the embedded world, no one has yet created a system for using https that does not involve a lot of complex steps to prevent the browser from warning of an insecure link.

It would be nice if all browers worked more like Firefox where it is easier to add exceptions.

Going forward I can imagine the conversion I am going to get, "why does the brower say that my traffic controller is insecure?"

totony 1 day ago 3 replies      
A better approach would be, in my opinion, to only show insecurity when a <form> or user input is requested, i dont really see the use in https everywhere for small static websites.

DNS will still leak most of the websites you visit, so anonymity in this case is not really the issue that will be resolved.

alxmdev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope they'll label mixed content pages the same way as plain HTTP, it might motivate all the big websites that still get this wrong to get their act together.
IgorPartola 1 day ago 0 replies      
To all those arguing that HTTP is still fine, please go ahead and drop ssh in favor of telnet. Go ahead, I will wait. If you cannot figure out why HTTPS is more secure than HTTP and why we should drop HTTP support from all browsers entirely, then please go read about it. HTTP should be used no more than telnet these days.

I am not saying HTTPS is perfect as is, but I am saying that HTTP is fundamentally and practically broken at this point. It is exploited daily in many different ways and your and your users' experience is worse because of it. Stop using it, and help other stop.


sleepychu 2 days ago 6 replies      
Noooooooo! Why must the entire web be secure? I might run some micro news site for my local church that I update manually with (S)FTP and html files - why on earth should that connection be encrypted.

Bad security should be marked as bad. No security is not inherently bad.

michaelbuckbee 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems to describe a situation where sites served over plain 'http' would pop a red 'x' or other distinguishing UI element to connote untrustworthiness.

This is almost the case already where a good number of browsers will show no positive (green indicator or lock icon) for domain validated certs - showing a preference for the much more expensive EV (Extended Validation) certs.

Screenshots of the different browser SSL level representations: https://www.expeditedssl.com/pages/visual-security-browser-s...

donniezazen 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have been looking into setting up SSL for my blog. There currently no free way to get SSL certificates. There are some free ones but they tend to come with strings and lure you into paid plans. I am not sure if this proposal is the best.
illumen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sites with advertising should be marked as insecure. Since they have been known to serve trojans, and also are used to track people without their consent.

Will Google and Mozilla both do this? No. Because their revenue depend on it.

cnst 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, looking at their screenshots...

How about prefixing the non-secure URLs by "http://", so that, you know, people will be sufficiently warned that it's not "https://"?

jcrites 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Secure (valid HTTPS, other origins like (* , localhost, * ));

Does this notation refer to any protocol and port on localhost? That's my guess, but the meaning of the notation wasn't immediately clear to me.

raldi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain this part?

    Secure (valid HTTPS, other origins like (*, localhost, *));
Are parenthesis-asterisk and asterisk-parenthesis some kinds of special origin?

justinph 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great idea, and I say this as the webmaster of many sites that are not secure. I should be forced to get my but in gear and fix that.
idibidiart 1 day ago 0 replies      
Related discussion with and in between W3C TAG members


tszming 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think this is a good start.

But it is also important to educate users that even you are using HTTPS, some companies' internal network might not be fully encrypted and therefore it is not fully secure against some three-letter government agencies :)

edandersen 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should also mark as Non-Secure the situation when you are being MITM attacked by your employer - custom root CAs on Windows boxes are quite common.
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since when is HTTPS secure?
sft 1 day ago 0 replies      
can someone explain how we can save threads within our HN accounts? it's not immediately obvious
BrickAddict 1 day ago 0 replies      
bigeee22 1 day ago 0 replies      
bigeee22 1 day ago 0 replies      
Long overdue. :)
Peter Sunde: 'I went to jail for my cause. What did you do?'
365 points by butwhy  3 days ago   354 comments top 23
karmacondon 3 days ago 9 replies      
Many don't agree with the principles of TPB, but Sunde was willing to take risks for what he believed in. He deserves a lot of respect for that no matter what people think about the morality of what he helped to create. Most people go their whole lives without caring strongly about any issue at all, and almost all of those that do care are willing to sacrifice exactly nothing. I'd like to think that I would be willing to give up everything for what I believe is right. But everyone likes to think that. And most of us will never find out, not how Sunde did.

That said, everyone also wants to be a martyr. TPB wasn't about rights or freedoms or standing up to government oppression. People used it primarily to obtain media and software without paying for it. It does sound like a noble crusade when he expands the context to include SOPA or PIPA or net neutrality, but TPB isn't really related to those things and served only as a rallying point for people who feel strongly about them. The ideal of freedom of information is only tangential to fighting the good fights that he listed in the opening of the piece.

The truth is that Sunde didn't have to go to jail. TPB's popularity gave him a platform and helped him to centralize an ideological movement. But there are other ways to do that, significantly more effective ways. Martin Luther King (as an example, not a comparison) went to jail too, but he also went to the right schools, wore a suit and influenced the right people. Creating a popular and morally dubious website is a quick way to put your ideas into the spotlight. But it doesn't last, and it doesn't really change anything. His effort and conviction are genuinely admirable but he's still a long way from winning the battles that matter.

drzaiusapelord 3 days ago 9 replies      
I'm sorry, but downloading entertainment is not a human right. He didn't exactly feed starving people by breaking the law. He put up a torrent aggregator to, mostly, Hollywood movies and shoved aggressive and high-revenue porn and malware ads into every nook and cranny of that site.

HN and those passionate about internet freedoms deserve better heroes than guys like Sunde, Dotcom, and Ulbricht. These guys very much enriched themselves via what was essentially a web based business and any "freedom fighter" argument is pretty disingenuous at this point.

Personally, I see malware coming from ad networks and other dirty tricks TPB did as a bigger issue than being able to watch Spiderman 3 without paying. Honestly, now he's painting himself as a some anti-spying hero when his site was the #1 vector of aggressive spy and malware onto people's computers? I mean, it fucking took over the search box when you clicked on it and launched a download to suspicious-toolbar.exe immediately. What link actually took you to the torrent? Not the dozen of so "DOWNLOAD NOW" buttons Sunde happily populated his site with. We need less of that stuff, please.

k-mcgrady 3 days ago 7 replies      
He went to jail for creating a website that enabled people to download music and movies without paying for them. Jail is a harsh punishment IMO for that. ACTA/SOPA etc. are all terrible things that we can't allow and we can't allow the internet to become more centralised/controlled by government. But that's not why he went to jail. Enabling illegal downloads of content has little to do with those causes.
jfaucett 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think the problem is that no one realizes the internet we grew up with and loved is changing fundamentally and we can't be passivist users of the medium anymore.

If you are you're basically saying you're okay with a future where governments regulate which services you can use and ISPs control how fast you can download bits based on whether you're using their sponsored services or not.

Its bullshit but its what's happening. At its core though, I think its a hardware problem. We REALLY need a decentralized networking solution to replace ISPs and DNS and if we don't get it, the road is going to be really hard going. This still doesn't solve the problem of intercontentinal networking, and I have no idea how we could solve that one without some monopoly/govt controlling everything.

tomp 3 days ago 1 reply      
I feel this is a very important article with a very important message, but I'm just not sure what I can do to help! They have money, guns, political support, media and very powerful, highly emotional rhetoric. The only thing I can do is hack on software, but most people don't care enough about "geeky stuff". I feel that the only way this issues will get resolved is if they get much, much worse first (i.e. high-profile people jailed for what they say, internet controlled China-style, disappearance of middle class, ...).
thetmkay 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't agree with all (or most) of the principles of TPB, but I can appreciate his criticism of slacktivism. He had his beliefs, stood by them against the law, and served his time for it. It's unjustified to criticise a lack of action on his part.

My only concern with his methods would be if he hurt people in the process (indirectly through TPB). Also I fail to see how it was an effective protest against the things he mentioned in the article (SOPA, PIPA etc).

josefresco 3 days ago 0 replies      
Last paragraph was biting and very powerful - side note: Who sends a copy of 1984 to Peter Sunde in prison?

"My feeling of some life-altering insight might be nothing but rants on the spoiled, lazy and naive parts of our internet community. And maybe I'm using those terms just to piss people off a little bit more. But hey. I went to jail for my cause and your TV shows. What did you do? You want that copy of Orwell's 1984 returned? I'll take one of the 25 copies I got sent to me in jail and send it back to you. Maybe you'll read it instead of just sending it to someone else to take care of."

lorddoig 3 days ago 4 replies      
When did stealing other peoples' life work segue from a guilty necessity to a noble cause? I missed that.
Htsthbjig 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a complex issue.

While I believe copying without compensation is bad, and not something to feel proud of, I also understand the position of a Chinese or a person from Ghana that have to work 15 times more to be able to access the same item than an American.

The West has used countries like Ghana to dump technological trash that make children get malformations and cancer.

Think on this for a moment: what does 20 dollars means for you, now multiply it x15.

Now if you want to access an important resource for you or your family like a book, what do you do? You pirate it.

Most of the people in this world economic power is closer to the people of Ghana that to the people in California.

Copyright is out of control, it should be like patents 20 years, with the extensions it is becoming eternal and making impossible to reuse any work legally.

danielalmeida 3 days ago 2 replies      
> "What people reveal, what people fight for, are major causes. Freedom of information. Liberty. Democracy. Governmental transparency and due process."

I have a really hard time trying to link this with my experience on TPB. It's all about downloading stuff without paying for it. Honestly, that's it. I'm not proud of that, I'm not saying it's a noble thing to do. I really don't get what trying to "determine" what should or shouldn't be free by sharing other people's stuff without their permission has to do with freedom.

gglitch 3 days ago 0 replies      
I see many people in this thread debating (1) whether Sunde is some sort of freedom fighter, and (2) the ethics of intellectual property law. In my interpretation Sunde is mainly arguing that people who are criticizing him for not defending TPB should instead get their hands dirty and make something that sidesteps the established internet control structures, for better or worse. I don't think that's such a controversial idea.
joesmo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think what most people here are missing is that TPB didn't actually host any illegal content and yet it still got shut down and its members sent to jail. Sunde went to jail for free speech and distributing completely legal files. I think that's implicit and am rather surprised that it's a point missed by so many people. In that sense, it's a lot more egregious than Manning or Snowden because, AFAIK, he did not commit any crimes. Perhaps he wants it to be a warning to people like many of the commenters here who are deriding or belittling his actions yet still claim to support free speech.

If the files he distributed contained freely available chemistry information, would he have been sent to jail for assisting others in making bombs or poison? That seems rather ridiculous, but that's essentially what equating his actions with piracy is actually doing.

agumonkey 3 days ago 1 reply      
The man choosed to do what he did, but when they were heavily fined I already felt an obligation to pay a part of it, as I was a regular user before that. About the future of the web and other larger social questions, I find it hard to believe.. when it's mostly movies and tv shows (even though there was some hard to find vintage content on it sometimes). Lastly, as for anything, when technology N is unavailable, we go back to N-1. We won't stream the latest show from the other side of the planet right from peers in real time but well.
SixSigma 3 days ago 0 replies      
What I did was finance a feature film and get it released on DVD. Shame some people think that they can just take all my investment and piss it on to the internet.
smoyer 3 days ago 0 replies      
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one. - Wilhelm Stekel

I think we need Peter Sundes in this world to keep the rest of us vigilant ... I'm not sure going to jail for a cause really helps much either. While I admire him for sticking to his principles, I'd rather he was out in the world doing his work.

Marazan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like the way he selflessly teamed up with a Neo-Nazi. How noble.


eridal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow all I see here is top-paid man-hours being used to produce a wall of text.

I'm not against discussion, but look at what are we doing, arguing to each others instead of just producing something valuable.

swamp40 3 days ago 0 replies      
Subtitle: "Even bad guys are Heroes in their own Story."
etiam 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do you think he's being ironic about the cell phones? Seems like a strange stance on them if he's all in favor of skipping Facebook, for similar reasons and with similar consequences.
tambourine_man 3 days ago 0 replies      
I went to jail for my cause. What did you do?

A bit tu quoque, not the best way to engage people, IMO

GoldenHomer 3 days ago 0 replies      
This sucks, I didn't get to download a car.
jqm 3 days ago 0 replies      
He mentions Snowden and Manning, but he left Dread Pirate Ulbricht off the list of comparative figures. A real shame because that may actually be a more accurate comparison.
Google News to shut down in Spain
368 points by apsec112  4 days ago   257 comments top 31
carlesfe 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wrote a bit about this in July, when the law was passed, if you want an opinion from a Spaniard: http://cfenollosa.com/blog/spanish-media-just-shot-themselve...

  Let's summarize what is happening here:  Big media editors AEDE, most of which pro-government, in collusion with the   corrupt Spanish politicians have managed a masterstroke which they think will:  1. Get them free money  2. Destroy the discoverability of smaller media competitors, usually critical   with the government  3. Hinder the future of Spanish internet tech business, their main competitor  4. Get more exposure, since readers won't have access to media agreggation and   will resort to reading just one or two outlets  In reality, what is likely to happen is:  1. Google will close Google News Spain, no big problem  2. Spanish media aggregators will move their business abroad and won't   contribute taxes to the country  3. Tech enterpreneurs will realize that Spain is a shitty country to invest money on  4. Without Google, the aggregators, and thanks to the increasing   user boycott to AEDE media, those editors will lose traffic and money.

kh_hk 3 days ago 3 replies      
"the worse the better", I am happy about this.

Articles about this have been going around Spanish news aggregators for a while. Now that there's an official statement from Google, message will finally go around the world showing what kind of stupid laws the Spanish government is passing around with the influence of the powerful copyright lobbies.

Now, about the recent Spanish Intellectual Property reform. The particular reform affecting Google is actually called the AEDE tax. This reform will affect any news aggregator operating in Spain.

AEDE stands for Asociacin de Editores de Diarios Espaoles, as in Spanish Association of Newspaper Editors. This private association, together with another one called CEDRO, will take care of collecting this tax. Even if your publication is not associated with AEDE and because this reform is law, they will have the obligation to collect it.

This reform smells exactly the same as an old anti-piracy law. Just change AEDE for SGAE (another association, related to authors and editors). For a while, any kind of media support was subject to this tax. Any media support, including hard drives and even cameras, on the pretense that these might be used to store content subject to IP. This law was derogated on 2011, but not completely. Now it's the state the one who pays this tax to SGAE. I can see this AEDE tax having poor results, and either the public or the state ending up having to pay for it.

Funnily enough, this just shows how weird and different some people think. This tax is proposing that news aggregators cause loss damage to news producers just as torrent aggregators cause damages to Warner. Note that this IP reform also includes fines of around 150k to 600k euros for running a site that links to copyrighted material. Before, it was only an infraction if a site was causing "significant damages". This has been eliminated, as in, any damage is a significant damage.

Just as a remark, let's not confuse this with the so-called "Google Tax", which is related to stopping Google and other big co's from evading taxes in Europe and has nothing to do with intellectual property. To be fair, I do not even know by now, as they call "Google tax" anything that is going to affect Google, nevermind.

rsync 4 days ago 10 replies      
Things are going very badly for a global internet if we are discussing a web site "shutting down in spain".

Of course we all know what that means and it seems very sensible in 2014, but remember - if someone had told you in 1998 that a certain website would not be operating in country X, you would have laughed and explained to them (like a child) that the Internet was a single global network and that if one had Internet access at all they would have access to the site in question.

All of that simplicity and innocence has slipped away.

jonathansizz 4 days ago 3 replies      
A pertinent quote from the Guardian article on this story:

Germany passed a similar law to Spains and Google removed newspapers from Google News in response but in October publishers reached an agreement with the company after traffic to their websites plummeted.

onetimeusename 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am reading through the official law and essentially it is saying that the Spanish government finds this necessary to reinforce intellectual property protections, the ip here being the news/stories. The thing that isn't clear from the law was whether anyone had actually complained about what Google was doing or whether Google was actually found violating any ip laws in place(it doesn't seem so). The whole thing is 40 pages so I probably won't read it all. Can anyone clarify if there had been some sort of issue here?

edit: Something that sticks out is that the law dictates how any agreement involving ip is to be done even if previous agreements are in place in order to cover costs "equitably". Yet I can't see how Google isn't already beneficial. The wording suggests Google would be causing damages since damages can be included in payments under this law.

franciscop 4 days ago 1 reply      
Things are getting pretty freaky around here in Spain. We've got some horrible (freedom-wise) laws passed recently and we're all angry about them. They've been trying to for several years, and now that people is tired of fighting these stupid laws back they can pass them. This basically means that Google would need to pay to index newspapers.
jpatokal 4 days ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable.
AznHisoka 4 days ago 2 replies      
Why can't the just display the headline and no snippet from the article text? Or does that count as a snippet? But wait... what about the actual organic search results? Do they have to remove Spanish news articles from that too?
mimighost 3 days ago 0 replies      
To be honest, I didn't see who could benefit from this law enforcement. If the government or whoever drive this believe this would force Google to pay for the news, they are wrong in the first place. The reason is simple, if Google pays to Spain, other countries would certainly require it to do the same, otherwise, why not? So if they are not stupid, the shutdown is what they have foreseen.

If that is the case, big local newpaper/portal will be happy. Because right now, there will be more people to buy the real newspaper/visit their site directly. Maybe they will see to a certain increase in their readership. However, the trend of information digitization is inevitable. Fundamentally ,internet is more efficient in collecting, organizing and delivering information than any other media. Eventually everyone will become loser.

I don't know how this is going to end, because law is not something that could be taken back easily. Hopefully, they will be smart enough to figure out something to bypass it.

etanol 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is one example of what happens when the population gives absolute power to a single political party: lobbying paradise. We spaniards have the politicians we deserve.
6t6t6 3 days ago 0 replies      
Something has to be understood.

This is not against Google in particular, is against a tool that helped people to find news in alternative media and gave visibility to small news sites.

This law is a victory for the big News Editors that are controlled by Government and economic powers in Spain

eva1984 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interestingly enough, I found myself searching through news.google.es and using google translate to navigate the local news about impending shutdown of itself. Pure irony.

This reminds me the situation is actually bilateral. Unlike the precedent cases, it will block NOT ONLY Spain but also the WHOLE WORLD to access to a lot of Spanish content. In effect, this is, IMHO, even worse than China's infamous Great Firewall, which is evil but not stopping google to index local articles.

santialbo 3 days ago 0 replies      
It was really funny when they published an article in El Pais comparing news aggregators with piracy and you could see the social sharing buttons next to it including those news aggregators they hated so much.

Like we say here, con dos cojones.

sebicas 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am wondering if they will also remove newspapers from search results. Indexed search results of newspapers may also contain "News snippets"
gasull 4 days ago 2 replies      
Even worse, this might affect Facebook, Twitter and Spanish Reddit-like site Mename (very popular there):


Just like we have the term 'patent troll', maybe we need the term 'tax troll' for some Governments.

tomelders 3 days ago 0 replies      
I do think this is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Why couldn't google exclude Spanish news sources from google News?

If I were running Google (which obviously I'm not, and probably for good reason as what I'm about to say might indicate), I would use the companies enormous amount of capital to exclude all major Spanish news outlets and pay the the independent and fringe new outlets what the law demands as an F.U. to the AEDE. But that's just me.

I understand that politics isn't Google's business, but Google (and the Internet) is fast becoming every Politician's business; And I mean "business" as in a way for them to make money for themselves. So like it or not, Google is going to get embroiled in politics. It would be prudent to nip this sort of stuff in the bud, and make a lot of noise while they're doing it.

anon4 3 days ago 1 reply      
So how is what google news is doing not piracy? I mean, we also have Peter Sunde's post about his ideals on the front page https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8734204 and a large portion of comments seem to be very pro-copyright. How come then, that nobody here is applauding this move? Google news is absolutely breaking copyright - they're publishing others' content without their permission and without paying them. Under any measure what they do is illegal. Why then, is everyone siding with Google news on this? This legislation simply extends compulsory licensing to news publications.
blas01blas 3 days ago 0 replies      
I feel embarrassed of my government, they are so ridiculous, they fell so big headed that it is very good that google does these things to show them how foolish they are
taksintik 3 days ago 0 replies      
Horrible policies like this are the reason Spain's unemployment rate is at 25%. Short sighted bull headed.
logicalman 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can they allow users in Spain to access Google News from a non-Spanish TLD but still serve those results in the Spanish language?
Vladipoteur 3 days ago 0 replies      
This type of laws will not prevent "paper news" to go to bankruptcy.

The only way for a company grow is to innovate, Google News is a tool that could help.

At the end of the day it is a lose lose situation:> readers> newspapers> Google

amelius 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this new law only limited to news, and not to random things put on HTTP pages in general (which could also be regarded as a news publication)?
Miner_anonym 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, but if i live in Spain and i use vpn with German IP, for example, i have no promblem, isn't it?
NicoJuicy 3 days ago 0 replies      
So they'll send a invoice to my Chinese hosting provider? :P
sounds 4 days ago 1 reply      
When you say "A lot of Europeans," can you cite a source, like a poll or even an internet forum, where like-minded Europeans express this view?

I'm not challenging your assertion, I'd just like to see it in action and measure it for myself.

Edit: in case you edit or delete your post, this is what I'm asking about:

  Does still anyone believe that 9/11 was a terrorist  attack. A lot of Europeans think it was the US  government itself.

caiob 4 days ago 3 replies      
Since when Google makes money by putting ads on their sites?
abennobashi 4 days ago 4 replies      
Good for Google. Greedy, thieving socialist governments have no place in the free world. This new Spanish law stinks of "Anti Dog eat Dog" legislation. Downvote me to hell, but Who is John Galt?
youssifa 4 days ago 1 reply      
May not necessarily be a popular opinion on here, but I'll state it anyway:

Google may not directly profit from Google News, but they still manage to extract value from it. We exist in a top-heavy paradigm where giant servers profiteer off the work of everybody else, capturing a disproportionate percentage of the total value created.

It's unfortunate but not unexpected that Google's response is this snarky blog post. But I wish people wouldn't pretend this is somehow a giant government tipping the scales against "openness".

I see this more as an institution in charge of making sure our collective greed not getting the better of us trying to distribute wealth to those who create it proportionate to the value being created.

Is it a futile attempt, likely unaware of its own vision? Sure. I just wish Silicon Valley would get its head out of the sand and realize that the current paradigm isn't necessarily sustainable for anyone -- whether you're the one sitting atop Mt. Server enjoying crazy network effects or the person contributing value for peanuts (if you're lucky).

gcb0 4 days ago 3 replies      
"we don't make money because we do not advertise on that site" is a huge fallacy.

This sounds like a bluff because if that gets traction in the US then their search business will collapse. Imagine $0.01 for every search that shows a snipet of wikipedia to the wiki foundation?

Afforess 4 days ago 5 replies      

Spanish news is irrelevant now. Google will just show Spanish users broader Euro news they can continue to serve freely. Spanish newspapers just accelerated their demise.

You are so arrogant. "Google News needs to be stopped". Like you think an idea can be stopped. Please. The journalism profession exists because for a time it was profitable to package the changelog for reality in a convenient form and add a price tag. It's not profitable anymore. Like the candle-making industry, journalism is dead (as we know it). It is foolish to try to change the habits of billions of people.

notjackma 4 days ago 2 replies      
"As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. "


Google's Human Resources department doesn't make any money either, yet it exists, along with other loss-making divisions.

Google as a whole is a very profitable company, and it could easily pay publishers over the long run. It just doesn't want to.

You can take down Pirate Bay, but you cant kill the Internet it created
351 points by Libertatea  2 days ago   238 comments top 21
userbinator 2 days ago 10 replies      
I see a lot of the antipiracy efforts now being directed towards end-user devices; in particular, mobile. I think the trend of walled-garden environments with app stores, the app-centric model of interaction, and all the increasingly locked-down (always in the name of security) features of modern OSs are where the real battle is being fought, and it's one that they seem to be winning: with data being managed by and hidden behind apps, touted as a feature of convenience, the users of these new consumption-oriented devices are being distanced from direct control of their data, and this greatly increases the effort required for them to pirate. If the majority of the population eventually only has access to one of these heavily locked-down devices (and traditional desktops/laptops become a niche product), then it's easy to see how file sharing could become virtually nonexistent - almost everyone will not even know what a file is, much less see any ways to copy and share the contents of one. The only sharing they would know of is that explicitly featured in the apps they use. It wouldn't be too dissimilar to the world of Stallman's Right To Read ( https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html ).

Fortunately most computer users today still know about files and torrents, and hopefully that knowledge continues to thrive, but I do see large-scale attempts at fundamentally changing how we interact with computing devices that could eliminate that knowledge and those freedoms associated with it in the future. Taking down TPB and chasing the other torrent sites isn't quite as effective as systematically eliminating the knowledge that makes those sites possible; in other words, remove the concept of filesharing and "the Internet it created" will essentially kill itself.

Illniyar 2 days ago 7 replies      
"Before the birth of the torrent protocol in the early aughts, sharing big files, like TV shows or movies was virtually impossible"

This phrase is a bit misleading.

While not discounting the power of the torrent protocol, there were many p2p software before it which were more popular then it (napster, kazza, edunkey/eMule) .

The reason why sharing tv-shows and movies is so easy now then before is that we have broadband. In 2000 most people had dial-up.

If at all, the greatest achievement of the torrent protocol is allowing for discovery of files without a central repository.

larssorenson 2 days ago 6 replies      
I think the article misses the point of why piracy was a big thing. It was not always (necessarily) about getting what you want free of charge, but the free flowing access to the media and content. For instance, the reason Game of Thrones is watched via torrent downloads more than via HBO is because a large portion of the audience wants to either just watch HBO or just watch Game of Thrones. But to do that, you have to have an HBO subscription through some cable provider, who does not provide a direct subscription for only HBO. Thus, if all you want to watch is Game of Thrones and nothing else, your only option is to torrent/pirate it.
marrs 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm really curious to see how productions of the future are going to be funded, because I think the current business model is on borrowed time.

I simply don't watch a lot of TV any more because I can't cope with all the adverts, and everyone I talk to about this says that they don't watch TV in real time any more and just skip all the adverts. So I have to wonder what the actual value of advertising is in the first place; probably a lot less than what retailers are currently paying.

And if the value of advertising is inflated, TPB might well become the least of the industry's worries.

pervycreeper 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or has the Washington post been kicking a lot of ass these past few weeks? Is traditional journalism on the cusp of getting disrupted... from the inside?
mkoryak 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Before the birth of the torrent protocol in the early aughts, sharing big files, like TV shows or movies was virtually impossible

Unless you knew about usenet

zwetan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't agree that TPB created this Internet, it was existing before.

Internet, de facto (kill 1 server and the network still works), and web sites, social network, and people using them are a lean mean copying machine, everything is build around that very same principle: how to distribute (and share) data fast and efficiently to the biggest number.

Before TPB, you had ppl cracking software, other ppl organising "copy party", then burning CDs, FTP, IRC, binary usenet, etc.

After TPB, a lot of "mini" pirate bay all over the place by the thousands.

And even more ways to copy and share files on the Internet.

To me, it's Napster happening again.

scrrr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Coming up: peer to peer chat (tox.im), hidden services (tor), distributed social networking, yadayada.. dont see how you can stop this, unless you turn off the power grid.
mahouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, lately TPB was something which is far away from what it should have been; too many ads, the lack of daily archives of magnet links and buggy and closed software.
mkoryak 2 days ago 1 reply      
a few months ago I read an article posted here about how the cloud/vms has made TPB virtually impossible to take down.

What happened to that?

UhUhUhUh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Internet provided people with way to much freedom, a fact that could not be left un-addressed by powers around the globe. People's freedom needs to be constrained, controlled and supervised because if it isn't, it will eventually invade more concerning areas than music, porn etc. It will leave the realm of distractions to that of action. It will suck the profit out of everything, negate merchandise and generate so many ideas and praxis that the center of power will eventually shift away from its current centers. Free connections between people and free access to uncensored, unlimited knowledge resources therefore is a present and significant threat to the way human affairs are run at this time. It will be met with staunch opposition and will need a constant guerrilla around hardware, software and networks to plough its way through. That's the bottom line.
tomp 2 days ago 3 replies      
Apparently, it's online again: http://thepiratebay.cr/
furyg3 2 days ago 2 replies      
I can't wait for new tracker services developed with inspiration from decentralized services like bitcoin.
Nux 2 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like IsoHunt has revived the TPB "content" at http://oldpiratebay.org/
karsus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was a little surprised by this take down. I thought they'd put major effort into making sure there was nothing much constant to take down.
wazoox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related, read Cory Doctorow's "Pirate Cinema". An excellent read about our near future.
biomimic 2 days ago 0 replies      
The dandelion principle... Factory Records https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIXz80LnDjo
joeblau 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what percentage of the Internet the torrent protocol is responsible for using?
chrishawkes 2 days ago 1 reply      
Apparently it's already back up
avodonosov 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can do both
Bad Microsoft
334 points by Flopsy  23 hours ago   218 comments top 26
nonymous-- 14 hours ago 12 replies      
For people supposedly so intelligent, programmers often appear quite foolish, at least when compared with other professionals.

They give away enormous quantities of their labor for free through open source (some even going so far as to sign one-sided contracts granting the copyright to for-profit corporations without compensation). They openly denigrate their own skills by spreading egalitarian myths like "everyone can be a programmer" (whereas I doubt many doctors or lawyers would make similar declarations concerning the practice law or medicine) and by preferring the title "coder" over its considerably more prestigious alternatives like "programmer" or "software engineer." They promote bootcamp-style vocational schools to flood the market with cheap labor to compete with them and to further bolster the perception that programming is an easy, low-skill trade, perhaps a rung or two above mere clerical work.

And then when it becomes apparent that they are getting screwed by their employers who collude with one another to drive down wages with no-poaching agreements, H-1B visas, and by firing senior devs in favor of 20-somethings, the long-ignored subject of unionization is revived.

And of course, being programmers and therefore unsavvy, the model proposed is invariably that of a blue-collar trade union like the United Auto Workers Union and never an innocuous-sounding, white-collar "professional association" like the American Bar Association, American Medical Association, or American Dental Association. These outfits are so successful in both their lobbying and PR that they've made their members among of the highest paid practitioners in the world (particularly doctors), and the gullible masses remain wholly ignorant of their true nature and consequently spare them from the condemnation usually heaped upon unions, both public- and private-sector alike.

In fact, their PR has been so successful that I wouldn't be surprised if someone responded to this very post contesting my characterization of them as unions, despite evidence of their anti-competitive practices being trivial to come by: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/press_releases/2006/216804.h...

greenyoda 22 hours ago 2 replies      
"Telling your story to HR or the ERIT will make you feel good, but all you are doing is giving Microsoft Legal a heads-up."

This can't be emphasized enough: In any conflict between employees and management, HR will always be there to cover the company's ass legally, not to help the employee. Don't expect them to be on your side.

I've been reading the book "Corporate Confidential", recommended recently by a HN contributor.[1] Strategies like "managing employees out" seem to be a ubiquitous practice in corporate America, not just limited to Microsoft.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8600716#up_8602172

edent 19 hours ago 11 replies      
Join a union. I know they're not particularly popular in the USA - and especially not in the high tech sector. But if these actions don't convince you that they're necessary, nothing will.

In the UK I pay ~16/$25 per month to be a member of Prospect, a union for workers in the telecoms sector. When I was made redundant (downsized) they were able to get me an excellent settlement and provided me with incredibly useful professional advice.

I also know that if I'm in a disciplinary situation, they'll have trained employment rights specialists available to fight my corner.

The best way to think about a union (IMO) is as legal insurance. You pay for car insurance in case someone plows into your automobile - why wouldn't you do the same for your career?

CurtHagenlocher 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I love anecdotal data, so I'll share mine: I'm at Microsoft, almost 46, and most of my managers have been younger than me. Nearly all of my reviews have been extremely good; the remainder just good.

It's true that there seems to be a sort of cliff around my age; there are very few people in product development roles over the age of 50. I would attribute that to the way the industry evolved: mine was the first generation that really had the opportunity to grow up with PCs. My first exposure was a programming class in summer school in 1981. The demand for software developers also really exploded in the 1980s. These things combined to make software both more interesting and more compelling as a career than it had been in earlier generations.

EDIT: It's probably also worth pointing out that anyone who'd joined Microsoft before ~1995 and was careful about managing their money could likely have decided to retire by now.

funkdobiest 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This story reminds me of my current company. A large fortune 500 company that has recently had most leadership moved to Silicon Valley, in which there were major layoffs to most of the older engineers, based on a consultants suggestion. Most of these engineers maintained and supported older legacy and mainframe systems. Now everyone is scrambling to fill the gaps and it puts a toll on everyone. Not to mention the fear of current talent fleeing as the word is out that you don't spend more than 5 years here or you will be forced out.
quonn 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Only 17.7% of Microsoft employees are younger than 30. Almost half are 40+. Average age: 38.7.

Source: http://news.microsoft.com/facts-about-microsoft/

Don't be scared. Instead, learn to have more compassion on others while you are young. Join a Union. Keep improving. And consider moving into management later or start a small business in your late 30s.

brackenbury 12 hours ago 2 replies      
"Microsoft uses bad performance reviews (The How) as a tool to eliminate the elder (40+) and senior ranked employees."

Current Microsoft employee here. A few years ago my manager at that time did exactly the above. The review process in use at that time rated employees on "What" you accomplished and "How" you accomplished it. I had done really well on the "What" and the manager still gave me a low rating because supposedly I did poorly on "The How". The "How" gave managers tremendous flexibility to rate employees however they want regardless of actual performance. So why did my manager do it? I believe he discriminated against me for age reasons. There is evidence to support this: This manager rewrote ("reinterpreted" according to him) the HR-supplied expectations for SDEs (Software Development Engineers) at each level, and he raised expectations for those at higher level, while leaving expectations for lower level employees the same.

While I believe this manager discriminated against me for age reasons, I don't believe there is Microsoft-wide, corporate-sanctioned, age discrimination going on. It might be happening at the level of individual managers, however.

jurassic 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Stories like this one terrify me. No matter how young you are today, someday not too long from now you'll be 40+ and on the receiving end of this type of discrimination. Is that the kind of industry we want to be?
patja 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess it is just the audience on HN that is driving it, but I find it interesting that this whole discussion here is focusing on subjects like the purported STEM shortage and whether programmers should unionize. As far as I can tell the badmicrosoft.com site and suit in question really doesn't have anything to do with these subjects, other than the fact that Microsoft is the largest software company in the world.

Relatively few Microsoft employees are STEM workers or programmers, and none of those in the lawsuit in question. They are in the sales organization. They may work in the technology industry, but the questions of this lawsuit are more about ageism and management issues endemic in many Fortune 500 corporations regardless of the industry or role of the worker.

walterbell 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Why are tech writers and programmers treated differently in the law? Recruiter lobbying: http://andreas.com/faq-overtime.html

"The recruiters accepted our exemptions because they were going after bigger fish: the engineers. The computer engineers who work as W-2 contractors are generally earning $100-300/hr and often work 60-80 hours per week. The recruiters were afraid that if such workers were entitled to overtime pay, the companies may cut overtime work, and therefore the recruiters would lose their 30-50% share of that money (this can be much as $6,000 per week to a recruiter for a single worker.)

Engineers have always refused to organize or even to be aware of their interests: they think recruiters are their friends. One engineer said to me: "Engineers think they're so smart that no one could do such a thing to them. Wow. They got really screwed." The law is an annual loss of as much as $50-75,000 dollars per each engineer. Yep, it's legal. The recuiters wrote a law to take away their money. Silicon Valley engineers were plundered by their "friends"."

See also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8137958

MisterMashable 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft has turned into Ma Bell. Microsoft is so large that any innovation at this point has to be minimal and highly managed or it would rock the boat, threatening the cohesiveness of the company. This is the worst environment for the hacker. It's an excellent environment for office slime who know how to play the game and lean more toward the psychopathic end of the spectrum. It's a world tailor made for the venal and the mediocre. A word about priorities, let the pricks take all the money, it's really worthless anyway compared to your mental health. In lieu of any positive creative talent middle management and HR thrive on destruction pursuits like emotional abuse, gas lighting and lying. Start living a real life worth having, live by your own rules and play your own game even if it means living on $20,000 per year which is all you really need anyway. Most of us are fighting an uphill battle with corporate suits to protect our clutter, distractions and excesses. Go outside for a nice walk, feel the sun on your face, read a good book, talk to a friend, take your child to the play ground, throw out the stuff you don't need, just start living for God's sake. Be happy now and leave all misery and bad feelings with them where they belong. Do not take the anger and resentment of your bitter experience with you (that's their greatest weapon BTW). It's very difficult to just drop your anger and resentment but do it fast, hard and don't look back. You want to be happy don't you? You want to be free? Don't waste your time thinking about them. Only think about good things. If it doesn't make you happy, you shouldn't think about it. If it makes you happy, you should think about it. You can and should become the happiest person you family and friends know about. Happiness isn't free. It requires a disciplined mind that allows good stuff in a throws out garbage like grudges. Happiness costs you but it well worth the price. There will always be enough money in your life. Social status is overrated and useless. Imagine yourself on your deathbed, are you going to regret not making $X million dollars and being the center of attention or the opportunities for true happiness that you let slip.
leoc 20 hours ago 3 replies      
This story doesn't exactly scream "STEM shortage", does it?
pentelkuru 5 hours ago 0 replies      
These stories lead you to believe that engineering, as a profession, is broken. Like athletes and models, software engineering is one of the few career paths where your perceived value starts declining at a relatively young age.

If a developer's value truly increases faster than their cost over time, why are software companies engaging in age discrimination? We can all tell ourselves that these companies are shooting themselves in the foot in the long run, but do facts back this up? Presumably, if another company hired all these valuable experienced professionals, they'd wipe the floor with these companies staffed by cheap college grads. Why hasn't this happened?

I'm currently in my early 30s and working in a different engineering discipline, but I love programming and part of me would love to jump into professional programming. I interviewed at a few start-ups recently and got an offer for that money than I'm currently making. Ultimately, I turned it down because jumping into software this late in the game feels like possible career suicide. In my current occupation, senior engineers are valued and their accumulated knowledge and experience has demonstrated value.

By comparison, writing software the HN way feels like building on sand. It's fun how a new programming language or database or web framework is announced weekly, but in the end everyone is chasing a moving target. I enjoy this now, but I can see how I might eventually grow tired of playing this game.

I don't think Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., have consciously been creating/adopting different programming languages to silo their workforce and reduce the fluidity of the labor market, but that might be a side effect.

robrenaud 21 hours ago 7 replies      
What incentive does Microsoft have to get rid of high performing older employees?
jmpeax 18 hours ago 1 reply      
"Microsoft uses bad performance reviews (The How) as a tool to eliminate the elder (40+) and senior ranked employees."

Proof please. This not only reeks of confirmation bias, but could it also be explained by resistance to acquire new skills in line with advances in fast-paced technological improvements?

musesum 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Metrics for MSFT vs GOOG: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-vs-microsoft/

Pay > $150K: MSFT 40%, GOOG 20%.Age Over 55: MSFT 16%, GOOG 20%.No children: MSFT 74%, GOOG 79%.

As for me, I am 57, a developer in a startup, and still get offers. MMV

mark_l_watson 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't feel like the article convinced me that Microsoft has any wide spread process for removing older employees.

A little off topic, but: I am in my 60s and I have never felt any age discrimination (at large companies like Google, Disney, and remotely working for many small companies, some of them startups).

I think it is critical to put effort into developing your own career, in addition to giving fair value to whoever is paying you at the moment.

kuni-toko-tachi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with many of the sentiments here regarding software engineers particularly in regard to not effectively capturing the economic value of their own work and that corporate interests which depend upon that value do not have their interests at heart. While open source and information sharing is one of the joys of working in this industry, I wonder if there is not a middle ground - confederations of engineers who charge for their products as independent entities as a means to reclaim that value for themselves, where the software they create is charged for, and shares of the profit are distributed on a contribution basis. Does this idea have merit, and is there interest in the community to write software to manage this confederation model?
kenjackson 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The article has a lot of innuendo, but I couldn't actually find any data in it. Did I miss it? From my observations MS is one of the "older" tech companies.
las_cases 18 hours ago 2 replies      
No disrespect, I have something that is pressing on my heart.

I am absolutely mind blown by reading the comments here. You are afraid of what will happen to your job when you reach 40? Ask yourself this: how do you think people managed to live and have a job a hundred years ago when they hit 40 or 50?

OK, perhaps this is a cultural thing. I am from eastern Europe where a "normal" annual income, for a single person, can be $12,000. So a couple can bring $24,000 I assume this would be devastating in US. Just like the news the other day with the president of a university (in UK?) where he was complaining of having to deal with an 220,000 annual income.

But of course, you are aware of this discrepancy. Otherwise why would these kind of job offerings exist: https://www.elance.com/j/wordpress-plugin-theme-developer-mo...

$300 / month "FULL-TIME wordpress plugin and theme developer from Pakistan and India only."

Please, if you are being laid off at 40 and in the case you are not suffering from a company downsizing, bankruptcy or you don't have medical issues (another interesting topic to talk about) it means that you are either an incompetent or a lazy individual.

No disrespect, please just wake up from your dream.

EDIT: I just realized from the feedback to this message how completely and utterly naive I am to not taking into account that HN is in no way representative of the average worker in US. Here, the absolute majority seems to be only people from IT which don't quite appreciate the opportunity and privilege actually to be able to code and think that only > $60,000 salaries are worth their time and effort.

Good luck then!

meesterdude 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Just when I was starting to think Microsoft had turned a new corner. Can't say I'm surprised. But definitely a little disappointed. I guess it's just part of their corporate identity.
kelvin0 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It`s somewhat bizarre to find that programmers are starting to have a much shorter shelf life (In SV only?), something that used to be associated with more the 'fickle' fashion world ... what does that say about us?
hooverlunch 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Yet another reason to start or join a worker cooperative. http://techworker.coop
sidcool 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Now I am scared for my 40s.
higherpurpose 15 hours ago 1 reply      
So glad to see the "new Microsoft* is so much different than the "old Microsoft".

/obvious sarcasm

ethana 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I understand the reason behind replacing older coders. However, I think software companies like Microsoft should have transitional programs to better help seasoned programers proceed with their careers.

There are plenty of transition paths I think. For example, education, research, legacy support, etc.

The Old Pirate Bay
342 points by dil8  2 days ago   98 comments top 18
cantbecool 2 days ago 3 replies      
The Pirate Bay will be back. They just had their load balancer taken out. All this doom and gloom about how the TPB is gone for good is ridiculous. It's a cash cow, it's not going to go away anytime soon.

I knew something was wrong with TPB before it was announced that it was raided and subsequently taken down. I noticed an uptick in in sessions on google analytics for my movie meta-torrent search engine https://moviemagnet.net

pknerd 2 days ago 3 replies      
Ok I searched a few porn movies to verify whether they have it completely or not. Glad to tell you that it's really the 'Pirate Bay'
amatheus 2 days ago 3 replies      
Maybe I'm saying something stupid, but couldn't the pirate bay be distributed as a torrent that is continually updated, and then you have a torrent client that can search the database?
AndrewDucker 2 days ago 3 replies      
I do wonder why a more decentralised approach hasn't taken off.
santacluster 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's kind of confusing, they make it sound like a snapshot of TPB before it was raided, but it actually contains very recent torrents that weren't yet available when TPB went down.
evv 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really wish somebody would invent a torrent/magnet service distributed on a blockchain.
pbhjpbhj 2 days ago 0 replies      
TPB was/is blocked at ISP level in our country (UK). These sorts of mirrors of course aren't. So there's some Streisand Effect going on here in that more mirrors are being publicised because of the take down basically making it easier for people in the UK to find TPB content than it was last week.

Personally I don't use the site however.

Plough_Jogger 2 days ago 0 replies      
The next 'Pirate Bay' will likely be on a decentralized storage network like Storj, rather than rely on a single point of failure. Much more robust.
jonifico 2 days ago 1 reply      
Powered by Isohunt? Now that's interesting!

Have to agree about the old database, and the search ain't all that accurate. But still, nice finding.

rnhmjoj 2 days ago 0 replies      

Sooo, I guess it wasn't "virtually invulnerable to police raids".

pmalynin 2 days ago 0 replies      
So I'm still not sure why people just don't go to say Kickass Torrents and forget about TPB.
maurobaraldi 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is better, because there is no ads!
dumbfounder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting that they call it the "pilgrim" of freedom, and not the pirate...
happyscrappy 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is good, no ads. Anyone can share files but if you don't have ads you can't scale and if you are making money by having ads you become a target.
mahouse 2 days ago 3 replies      
That's a very old dump of the database, I'm afraid.
djyaz1200 2 days ago 0 replies      
God Damn I love the internet!!! :)
acronmace 2 days ago 0 replies      
nice to have it back online..
peejfancher 2 days ago 2 replies      
This site also seems to work: http://thepiratebay.cr/
Comments on the Sony Hack
298 points by CapitalistCartr  3 days ago   182 comments top 17
smacktoward 3 days ago 15 replies      
This is the angle on the Sony hack that I find most interesting/troubling/etc. (from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/12/05...):

Jason Spaltro, then executive director of information security at Sony Pictures, called it a "valid business decision to accept the risk of a security breach" in a 2007 interview with CIO Magazine, adding he would not invest "$10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss."

So basically their thinking was that getting hacked was just the cost of doing business. Of course, they are now discovering that the cost of a really serious hack is much higher than they thought it was.

Which makes me wonder if, at some point, we're going to have to have some kind of controls on who can legally hold personally identifiable information on their systems and who cannot. Right now pretty much anybody can, regardless of whether they're competent enough to protect it. And as a result there's a huge volume of critical information out there stored on systems that are either poorly secured or whose admins have decided, like Sony's, that the ROI on real security is too poor to justify having any, which creates a target-rich environment for hackers to take advantage of.

Attaching serious liability to holding data on systems that aren't secured, or requiring proof of competency/minimum-acceptable-effort in order to avoid such, might shift the ROI calculation on security enough to convince even idiots that it's worthwhile; or, at least, that it's better to outsource holding the data to someone who knows what they're doing (and is willing to back that up by accepting liability) than it is to keep everything in-house on a dusty Windows NT4 box under someone's desk and just cross their fingers.

We already sort of do this sort of thing for financial information, via PCI; but the universe of "data that could do serious damage if it got loose" is much larger than that which PCI covers, as this hack demonstrates. So I wonder how many of these types of giant hacks people will be willing to accept before they start calling for some kind of protection.

steven2012 3 days ago 13 replies      
I wish people would stop calling this a hack. It's not a hack, it was a cyberwarfare. I know someone who was working on the team trying to recover from this attack, and Sony Pictures is basically fucked. Their IT infrastructure has been utterly destroyed, meaning they can't even pay their employees, pay their vendors or take orders from customers. They don't even want to use computers anymore, people call and text now to avoid any sort of central infrastructure that can be hacked. They had to switch to all-manual processes, and it will take months or likely years before their infrastructure is back within some sort of semblance.

But by then Sony Pictures as an entity may no longer exist. From all of the emails being released ridiculing their own talent, to their employees having their privacy destroyed and financial accounts hacked, who could work for this company again?

The thing this attack does is raise the bar as to what to expect. The worst we had heard until now was credit cards being stolen for quick gains, maybe some business secrets being stolen. But in my mind it started with lulzsec a couple of years ago where the attitude was for anarchy and cyberwar. But if the new trend is for companies to get destroyed, then cybersecurity will go to the next level where every company has to assume if they get hacked, they will get destroyed, so it becomes probably even more critical than other business processes.

click170 3 days ago 2 replies      
I have no sympathy for Sony, but I feel deeply for the honest people who are just trying to earn a living working there. More so after reading about how some of them were openly complaining internally about things they saw as problems - many of these people were trying to make the company better from within.

I'm torn. On one hand, I want to see Sony the company suffer, but it still feels unfair to attack and expose the people who work there - the folks who are just trying to pay their bills.

I wonder at what point it becomes necessary for a person to judge the risk that joining a company with a questionable history will have on their privacy and personal security. I think the sad fact is though, in all likelihood Sony didn't have especially poor security, they likely had moderate to good security but failed when facing a persistent threat. I get the impression many other companies (large to small) would have failed a lot sooner.

Is there anything employees can do to protect themselves from these kinds of breaches? Is the answer to sue our employers who fail to protect this info?

scotty79 3 days ago 2 replies      
> That we live in the world where we aren't sure if any given cyberattack is the work of a foreign government or a couple of guys should be scary to us all.

Actually that's absolutely awesome. Especially in the light of what Assange recently wrote: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/opinion/julian-assange-on-...

I am more impressed with another of his oracles: the 1945 essay You and the Atomic Bomb, in which Orwell more or less anticipates the geopolitical shape of the world for the next half-century. Ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make, he explains, will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance ... A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon so long as there is no answer to it gives claws to the weak.

Hacking is a cheap weapon with no answer to it, what was proven over the recent years and therefore it is democratizing force for good against the tyranny of the powerful.

santacluster 3 days ago 1 reply      
> They just showed up. They sent the same banal workplace emails you send every day

Yeah, no, I have a bit of a problem with this. There is a lot of stuff coming out of this hack that should never, ever have been on corporate IT systems in the first place. Stuff that doesn't come out of regular HR data where people should have a reasonably expectation of privacy and security, but stuff people have put there themselves.

And I don't think this should ever be considered normal behavior, to use corporate IT systems to store such private data.

Yes, these people are victims, but I think it sends the wrong message to say that their own role in this was completely normal behavior. It should be possible to be critical of this without drifting into blaming the victim territory, and I'm kind of missing that from the whole Sony hack discussion.

joshstrange 3 days ago 3 replies      
Am I blind or does the article linked in relation to the DDOS attack by Sony not mention DDOS at all?

I found did this: http://www.zdnet.com/article/sony-strikes-back-at-data-thiev... and this: http://www.zdnet.com/article/amazon-denies-sony-counterattac... that mentions the DDOS attack.

nostromo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is it legal to DDOS websites that are hosting your stolen documents?

It seems like vigilantism that sets a bad precedent.

RexRollman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Considering that they spread a Windows rootkit and screwed people over in regards to PS3/Linux, I consider this corporate karma.
influx 3 days ago 2 replies      
What's most surprising to me about this attack, is the journalists who are digging through this illegally gotten material and then creating stories and spreading the details even further.

That doesn't strike me as the right thing to do.

Scramblejams 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't see how this sort of thing can be realistically prevented with today's software. I just don't. Yes, the damage can be limited through better IT practices, but at some point everyone needs to have access to their relatively recent email and access to their files germane to their projects, and that need won't go away. And as long as our laughably porous networks and operating systems and application software can be penetrated at will by a targeted attack, those emails and files will be vulnerable.

We need to start over. From the kernel on up. Until then, all we can hope for is band-aids like Qubes. And after we get there, we'll mostly have the hardware to fear. Not sure how addressable that part is, but it would be better than where we are now.

spacefight 3 days ago 3 replies      
I really have no idea why they keep unreleased feature films not on an airgapped network before the release date.
BillFranklin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another reason for companies to start using zero-knowledge systems http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/17/edward-sno...
Michaelbellamy 1 day ago 0 replies      
If companies like Sony would hire seasoned engineers like me, instead of new young college graduates then they would never be hacked.
eyeareque 3 days ago 0 replies      
I feel bad for the sony employees that are affected.. but I can't help but think that attacks like this just give me more job security.
pistle 3 days ago 1 reply      
The messages from GOP seem more like desperate attempts to not sound like English first kids. It's awkward in places where maybe a translator service would use the wrong word, but with language structure for sentences that would not come from such a tool.

Someone wouldn't structure sentences as they do AND make word mistakes like they do. The structure is too "good" to make mistakes on terminology. It's like a bad Chinese accent in a cartoon.

hisabness 3 days ago 0 replies      
where can one read these emails?
debacle 3 days ago 8 replies      
No one should have any expectation of privacy for anything they put on the Internet. Privacy is something you have to work for, and unless you have those controls (PGP, encryption at rest) in place, privacy doesn't exist. Even if you have those things in place, your privacy is only as strong as the privacy of the people you are communicating with.

We should work towards strong privacy as a default, but the service delivering targeted ads is not incentivized to protect your privacy.

What if journalists had story writing tools as powerful as those used by coders?
319 points by danso  4 days ago   145 comments top 31
jawns 4 days ago 8 replies      
When I was working as a web editor at a metro daily paper a few years ago, I proposed something similar: an XML-like syntax that would allow for metadata to be included in drafts of news stories, some (but not all) of which could be made use of in online versions of the story (such as a link to a map when you're referencing a location).

A lot of wire copy already includes metadata, but it's generally just in a header that accompanies the story.

What I was envisioning was something more like what is being proposed for the semantic web:

<name id="1394">John Smith</name> was elected president of the <organization id="2315">New Castle County Council</organization> on <date value="2014-12-10">Wednesday</date> at the <place lat="39.685881" long="-75.613047">county headquarters</place>.<source id="23" name="Mila Jones" title="New Castle County public relations officer"></source>

I also wanted to use the metadata to help copy editors trim wire stories:

<priority value="1">This amounts to de facto resegregation. <priority="4">(And we all know how we segregation worked out the first time.)</priority> If the school district still values integrated schools, it must act swiftly to correct this effect.</priority>

It turns out, though, even when you create a UI that lets reporters and editors easily plug in this metadata without having to understand XML, they are not apt to fill it in, because they are just so overworked as it is.

Plus, in order for this to work on a larger scale, you'd have to get an incredible amount of buy-in. You'd have to get reporters and editors to agree that it's worth their time. You'd have to build software to support it. You'd have to get all of the different media companies out there to agree on standards.

It's just ... not what the media industry is (or should be) focused on right now. They've got bigger things to think about, like how to find a viable business model.

Alex3917 4 days ago 6 replies      
I've been messing around with something similar, specifically though focused on tracking strengths and weaknesses in US infrastructure:


It's actually a lot easier than you'd think, because thanks to Zipf's law pretty much every article in these evergreen topic areas is using the same set of 1,000 or so facts. And these facts mostly come from the same set of government or NGE reports, which are updated at most once a year, and often only once every ten years.

The cool thing is that you can then use a javascript snippet to track which facts are being used in which documents, automatically mark facts as outdated when they change, etc.

tezza 4 days ago 4 replies      
Most journalists are barely informed cut'n'paste merchants.

Journalists value the sensational over the factual, and work hard (true) to tight deadlines.

So they already do not care about the tech features promised, namely indicating:

* there is not enough evidence to make a given point

* a certain person or company has not been investigated thoroughly enough

* a certain point is not relevant

[edit: data points]

Cut'n'paste obituary from Wikipedia: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/wikipedia_obituary_c...

"Hack": A self referential term journalists use for each other in the UK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack_writer

Hansi 4 days ago 1 reply      
When I wrote my disertation I used Scrivener: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php which is a wonderful tool for writing. An expanded open source application similar to that with a good plugin system might be very useful.
pavlov 4 days ago 2 replies      
It's true that coders have lots of great tools for working with textual representations of programs... But IMHO programmers' tools are stuck in a certain kind of local maximum due to the difficulty of moving beyond text. We've done all we can to make textual programs easier to manipulate, but there are fundamental difficulties that can't be solved this way.

I'm personally interested in this question: What if coders had design tools as powerful as those used by architects and construction engineers?

I wrote a blog post about this recently: http://blog.neonto.com/?p=44

LukaAl 4 days ago 6 replies      
What do you mean for "writing tools as powerful as those used by coders"? In my experience good coders doesn't need very powerful tool. Super-complex IDE are usually a disturbance to good coders rather then an help and even the uber-geeks that use Emacs don't really use in their jobs all the macros.

A lot of good software engineer I know prefer lightweight editor like the good old Vim or SublimeText over IDE like Visual Studio, Xcode or Eclipse. That's because when you write complex code your brain is slower than your finger and the syntax and structure of the language you are using is something under your skin, you don't need to think at it.

So, no, great coder doesn't use powerful editors, if they can chose they use very simple one with the minimum level of features they need to help them think faster (syntax highlighting, autocompletion, indention) and stop. All other features of complex IDE are a disturbance rather than an help.

I don't know what a good journalist need but my guess is that they have the same problem, their brain is slower than their finger and the grammar of the language they are using should be well known. I don't know which tool they use, but in my opinion a simple text editor with a minimal spellchecking system (but not correction) well integrated with the publishing process is more than enough.

From an Innovation point of view I'm usually suspect when someone claim to have an innovative tool for an established industry. If the industry is established the actors have already optimized their tools and if there could be an improvement is very small. What usually happens is that something changes in the industry and make the actual tool obsolete (e.g: a new process or a new technology became available). But if you want to create something really innovative, you have to find this change. Simply bringing something existing in a field in a different field rarely works. And if it works is because you have a really good understanding of both fields.

declan 4 days ago 0 replies      
I worked full-time as a journalist for a bunch of different news organizations before leaving to found the forthcoming http://recent.io/.

My suspicion is that neither I nor other journalists I know would use this newsclip.se tool. In a single newsroom I've seen people using Word, TextEdit, Google Docs, Notepad, BBEdit, Gmail, phone-based email clients, phone dictation, and even emacs (me, a few times) to write news articles. While the CMS is newsroom-wide, the writing and editing processes tend to be very personal. Journalists also tend to be individualistic and dislike being forced to use a standardized system without clear benefits.

Where something like newsclip.se might be beneficial would be as a kind of preprocessor/lint for the CMS. It could do a lot of what's being described in the linked article but without replacing the entire journalistic stack.

cryoshon 4 days ago 2 replies      
Making a tool like this has occurred to me, but my idea had a slightly different focus.

Rather than attempt to link evidence to statements, which, if we're being honest, doesn't really bring us closer to the truth since many "sources" are merely other people's words, it was much simpler: identify weasel words, euphemisms, or use of the passive voice. Between these three features, I think that most factual writing could be improved a colossal amount.

I would certainly appreciate an easier way to keep track of claims, citations, evidence, and interplay between a story's moving parts, though. I think that the article mentions a few tools which work toward that goal admirably. Right now, to make a really bulletproof piece, you need to be extremely scrupulous with self-identifying your claims and then providing written explication of evidence or hyperlinked evidence.

Additionally, it'd be really useful to have a tool which kept track of sentence structure and also allowed you to track logical rhetoric by keeping track of "If this, then that" style statements.

This is probably asking too much, though. A final hurdle is that journalists and writers tend to be old-school when it comes to technology, so it might be a hard sell to the older segment of that market.

aethertap 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is a great idea. So much so that I have "Why didn't I think of that?" syndrome.

Here are a couple of suggestions that I could use if you're looking for feature requests. Most of these things exist in one place or another, but having them integrated into a one-tool workflow would be awesome.

1. Some kind of crowdsourced reputation system for sources (i.e. medical journal sites have high reputation, naturalnews.com has low)

2. Auto cross-referencing between articles based on content.

3. TODO list management

4. License-aware relevant image suggester (please!!!) This alone would be a killer feature for me. Pick out topic words and search selected image sites, then give me thumbnails to choose from.

Fede_V 4 days ago 2 replies      
My distinct impression is that the limiting factor in quality journalism is gum-shoe reporting, not incredibly powerful CMS.

Buzzfeed has the most advanced CMS, but their reporting pales with respect to the NYT. When they do bother to do proper reporting (McKay Coppins, etc) they get excellent stories - the rest of the time they use filler, because it's cheap to produce.

phkahler 4 days ago 8 replies      
I've always wondered why writers don't use things like revision control and decent diff tools. I'm not sure the existing tools are well suited to them (yet).
morgante 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is a very cool prototype, and I especially like the idea of calling it a "journalism IDE" (as opposed to a CMS).

At work (http://cafe.com), I've actually been working on something similar with our CMS (Monsoon). We're trying to use technology to make telling cohesive online narratives a lot easier.

Interestingly, one of the biggest hurdles so far has been in decomposing stories. Media traditionally treats each story as a big blob of text (in most cases, HTML), but we're trying to change that so that each story is actually just an arrangement of smaller tidbits (we call them droplets). Switching to that model helps us to encode a lot more semantic information, and also to reflow stories effectively for context.

We're not yet to the point where we integrate/suggest droplets from other stories automatically, but that's definitely the goal. Maybe we could integrate something like Newsclip.se to encourage that.

(PS. If you want to help us get there, we're hiring: http://cafe.com/careers)

pudo 4 days ago 4 replies      
Hi all, post author here! We're working on the code base and would love everybody's input here: https://github.com/pudo/tmi
dredmorbius 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's a standard called hNews, created by Jonathan Malek (Associated Press), Stuart Myles (Associated Press), Martin Moore (Media Standards Trust), and Todd B. Martin (Associated Press), which addresses this:

hNews is a microformat for news content. hNews extends hAtom, introducing a number of fields that more completely describe a journalistic work. hNews also introduces another data format, rel-principles, a format that describes the journalistic principles upheld by the journalist or news organization that has published the news item. hNews will be one of several open standards.


I learned of it (yesterday) re-reading Readability's Article Publishing Guidelines:


hNews is an XHTML microformat -- the tags are entity names and classes added to standard HTML entities.

Key among them are: hnews, hentry, source-org, dateline, geo, item-license, principles.

Other microformats, including hCard, can be used to identify people, companies, and organizations, similar to vCard properties. The elements will be familiar to those who've worked with address, Active Directory, or LDAP data: fn, n, nickname, org, email, tel, adr, and more.


An IDE that tied into these (or, possibly, other standards) could be useful.

You'd likely need some sort of natural-language processing in the copyediting or publishing process to apply this uniformly. Field reporters may work on a wide range of equipment and software (including pen-and-paper or simply voiced-in reports). And expecting reporters to incorporate tags into their copy is likely a stretch.

coldtea 3 days ago 0 replies      
>What if journalists had story writing tools as powerful as those used by coders?

Not much would change, except more fluff.

What journalists need is a money making, sustainable outlet.

couchand 4 days ago 0 replies      
This somewhat plays into Rebecca Parsons' talk [0] at hack.summit() last week. She emphasized that we've done a great job building tools for other technical folks, but we've really dropped the ball on supporting non-technical fields. Her perspective was specifically on the potential of DSLs, but the call to developers to be more relevant is likewise compelling.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KO2YmU5RBY

spypsy 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's funny, I was thinking about that while writing my dissertation.

After a year of coding on Visual Studio, during writing I would say something like "As mentioned in previous chapters, the decision was based on..." and then just click on "previous chapters" and press F12, expecting to be taken to the original reference.

Unfortunately I found out Word does not offer such functionality just yet

taylorbuley 4 days ago 0 replies      
The developer in me likes this very much. I mean, Taxonomies! Unfortunately many non-journalists tend to romanticize and over-complicate the craft. Journalists care mostly about the story telling, and it's not clear to me how this translates into a better story. I believe this to be a (beautiful and well-intentioned) example of overengineering a domain model that, at it's most basic, involves just titles, deks and content such as text, images and video. To me it does not clearly push journalism toward a more profitable and sustainable future and thus, is a distraction from more challenging problems at hand.
rrggrr 4 days ago 0 replies      

Scrivener comes closer than anything else I've seen to meeting the OP's goal.

davidgerard 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is vaguely reminiscent of some of the professional tools for scriptwriters and novelists, which do in fact start to resemble IDEs: you can shuffle around characters, outlines, plot fragments ...
Spooky23 4 days ago 0 replies      
We had some Github religious adherents who made a lot of noise about this. The net in our case ended up being "You can eliminate complex stuff like Word and just use markdown & Github!" (I almost spit out my coffee laughing)

I don't think that an IDE model makes sense because writing in human language is more complex and nuanced than programming languages, which are more limited in scope. At the end of the day, IDEs are shims to match human desires to the language the machine expects.

jseliger 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great article, and great idea.

I'm not a journalist but I do a lot of writing, and I actually use a program called Devonthink Pro in the manner described here by Steven Berlin Johnson: http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/2005/02/devonthink_cont.h... . It's surprisingly close to the tools Lindenberg is describing.

mvc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting fact. The Django web framework was initially created by the dev team at the "Lawrence Journal", a newspaper in Kansas.
heyts 4 days ago 1 reply      
This article, incidentally by one of the creators of the Django Framework, still seems relevant, even 8 years later:


vonnik 4 days ago 0 replies      
Newsclip.se is a great idea.

As a former journalist, I think that http://hypothes.is will become another very important tools for reporters... It's an annotation layer for the Web.

rtpg 4 days ago 0 replies      
reading this I feel like it would totally be possible to use CRM software like Salesforce to manage investigating a story. Leads and the like, it's almost like the workflow is the same.
iondream 4 days ago 0 replies      
I writing enough like coding to make this worthwhile?
milkers 3 days ago 0 replies      
I want IDE logic in every possible area, i.e. browsing experience.
chrismcb 3 days ago 0 replies      
We implemented something like this in Word 15 years ago
jtth 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's called Tinderbox and it's awesome.
dash2 4 days ago 1 reply      

* Your weekend newspaper would come out on Wednesday.

* There would be new editions many times daily... not with new stories, just corrections of the first edition, which was blatantly inaccurate and partly written in Moldovan.

* Every day, the newspaper would be in a different format which didn't fit the newspaper rack you just bought.

* Every week, the newspaper would get bigger, but contain no more content (just a new font). You would regularly be forced to buy a new newspaper rack.

* Also, once a week the paper boy would break into your house and steal your old papers. He would offer to sell them back for you in the new format, for a higher price.

* Also, the newspaper rack sellers would not let you store newspapers of which they disapproved.

* Rather than telling you about the world, the paper would track your behaviour and tell the world about you.

* Once a week, the front page would be 404 NEWS NOT FOUND.

* Reporters would be paid high six-figure salaries, but would be unable to relate or talk to anyone but other reporters.

* Many journalists would consider themselves brilliant, world-changing geniuses, with plans not just to report on government, but to replace it.

* At the same time, they would have secret deals with those governments to report people who read "subversive" news.

* et cetera...

Rust 1.0: Scheduling the trains
327 points by steveklabnik  2 days ago   181 comments top 11
Jemaclus 2 days ago 11 replies      
I'm pretty stoked about this. I've been following Rust since 0.4, and it's been super fun to play around with. I have two major problems with it, but none of them are Rust's fault -- purely flaws of my own:

1) I have no idea what to do with it. I'm primarily a web developer, and I really want to get into systems programming, but I have no idea what to do with it or where to start. I wound up implementing about 50 different Rosetta Code things in Rust 0.9 and 0.10, but I still never came up with a really solid use-case that I could start and finish.

That said, I've been really impressed by rust-doom (https://github.com/cristicbz/rust-doom) and the new Iota editor (https://github.com/gchp/iota), and I wish I had the know-how to even start down that path.

2) Given that the last time I touched systems programming was in college (15 years ago), I've found it difficult to wrap my head around some of the concepts (ownership in particular). I actually hung out in the IRC chat room for awhile, but I felt more than a few times that people were treating me like an idiot because of my questions ("Ha! You did X? Why in the world would you do that??"), so I wound up not really going back. I'm sure it was all my imagination and that I'm just being sensitive, but I think it would be very helpful to have more people interested in getting new people on board -- specifically people like me, with over a decade of programming experience in higher-level languages.

I guess the TLDR of this is: I love Rust, but I don't know what to do with it.

Congrats to the Rust team, though. 1.0 is a huge milestone. Good job!

Sir_Cmpwn 2 days ago 11 replies      
I'm getting less optimistic about Rust. At first, I liked that they were willing to make breaking changes pre-1.0 to get the language right. However, leading up to 1.0 they've decided to leave cruft in, in the name of getting the release out.

For example, the current build system is functionally equivalent to #including a bunch of C files in your C project and only passing one file to cc. I brought this up and had a long discussion about it and how it might be improved with the community, but then when core contributors showed up, the discussion was shut down with the justification that "1.0 comes in a month". I've heard other stories about poor management of the project and I'm just not as excited about Rust as I used to be.

asb 2 days ago 6 replies      
I do wonder if Rust 1.0 is being branched just a little bit too early. I understand that you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere, and the rolling release model means new features can be rolled out quickly. On the other hand, I'm rather disappointed that the ergonomics of error handling may change substantially after 1.0. This is something that is going to affect every single Rust program written, and people may be surprised if 'the best way' to do this changes after 1.0.


scanr 2 days ago 3 replies      
I really, really hope that abstract return types make it in or are not considered a breaking change for a future release:



swetland 2 days ago 2 replies      
The biggest question I have regarding rust-1.0, is what's the likelyhood of small/standalone binaries being possible? Last time I looked, while there was talk about lightweight core libraries on the website, but the basic hello world binary was 2MB+ and depended on a bunch of shared libraries. I spent a little time trying to figure out how to build static/smaller binaries without much luck.
piokoch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now Rust needs some killer app. Maybe a message broker, something like Apache Kafka, maybe even with Java Messaging Service compatybility as an option. Rust with its low level I/O and efficient memory management should enable creating something very performant.
seren 2 days ago 2 replies      
What is the roadmap after 1.0 ? Is it going to evolve quickly ? Or will it be the right time to join since things are going to be more stable ?

My question sounds obvious but depending on the project 1.0 can mean very different things.

XorNot 2 days ago 1 reply      
So something that always holds me up with new languages: workflow.

What's a Rust development workflow look like at the moment, from editor, to reference materials, to debugging? I tend to be an IDE person (which obviously doesn't and won't exist for some time) so I'm pretty eager to hear how other people have been doing it.

alexandre_m 2 days ago 0 replies      
I predict some confusion about Rust crates.io and this project https://crate.io/
jaredonline 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is incredibly exciting. Way to go Rust team!
does_not_matter 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lie #3: Code is more important than data

This is the biggest lie of all. Programmers have spent untold billions of man-years writing about code, how to write it faster, better, prettier, etc. and at the end of the day, it's not that significant. Code is ephemeral and has no real intrinsic value. The algorithms certainly do, sure. But the code itself isn't worth all this time (and shelf space! have you seen how many books there are on UML diagrams?). The code, the performance and the features hinge on one thing the data. Bad data equals slow and crappy application. Writing a good engine means first and foremost, understanding the data.


Databases at 14.4Mhz
294 points by chton  4 days ago   81 comments top 15
ChuckMcM 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is Foundation DB's announcement they are doing full ACID databases with a 14.4M writes per second capability. That is insanely fast in the data base world. Running in AWS with 32 c3.8xlarge configured machines. So basically NSA level data base capability for $150/hr. But perhaps more interesting is that those same machines on the open market are about $225,000. That's two rack, one switch and atransaction rate that lets you watch every purchase made at every Walmart store in the US, in real time. That is assuming the stats are correct[1], and it wouldn't even be sweating (14M customers a day vs 14M transactions per second). Insanely fast.

I wish I was an investor in them.

[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com/wal-mart-company-statistics/

hendzen 4 days ago 5 replies      
This is very impressive, however...

See this tweet by @aphyr: https://twitter.com/aphyr/status/542755074380791809

(All credit for the idea in this comment is due to @aphyr)

Basically because the transactions modified keys selected from a uniform distribution, the probability of contention was extremely low. AKA this workload is basically a data-parallel problem, somewhat lessening the impressiveness of the high throughput. Would be interesting to see it with a Zipfian distribution (or even better, a Biebermark [0])

[0] - http://smalldatum.blogspot.co.il/2014/04/biebermarks.html

jrallison 4 days ago 1 reply      
We've been using FoundationDB in production for about 10 months now. It's really been a game changer for us.

We continue to use it for more and more data access patterns which require strong consistency guarantees.

We currently store ~2 terabytes of data in a 12 node FDB cluster. It's rock solid and comes out of the box with great tooling.

Excited about this release! My only regret is I didn't find it sooner :)

bsaul 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just watched the linked presentation about "flow" here : https://foundationdb.com/videos/testing-distributed-systems-...

Is it really the first Distributed DB project to have built a simulator ?

Because frankly, if that's the case, it seems revolutionary to me. Intuitively, it seems like bringing the same kind of quality improvement as unit testing did to regular software development.

PS : i should add that this talk is one of the best i've seen this year. The guy is extremely smart, passionate, and clear. (i just loved the The Hurst exponent part).

dchichkov 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm only familiar with other key-value storage engines, not FoundationDB, but it seems like the goals are: "distributed key-value database, read latencies below 500 microseconds, ACID, scalability".

I remember evaluating a few low latency key-value storage solutions, and one of these was Stanford's RAMCloud, which is supposed to give 4-5 microseconds reads, 15 microseconds writes, scale up to 10,000 boxes and provide data durability. https://ramcloud.atlassian.net/wiki/display/RAM/RAMCloud Seems like, that would be "Databases at 2000Mhz".

I've actually studied the code that was handling the network and it had been written pretty nicely, and as far as I know, it should work both over 10Gbe and Infiniband with similar latencies. And I'm not at all surprised, they could get pretty clean looking 4-5us latency distribution, with the code like that.

How does it compare with FoundationDB? Is it completely different technology?

felixgallo 4 days ago 1 reply      
This looks very interesting and congratulations to the FoundationDB crew on some pretty amazing performance numbers.

One of the links leads to an interesting C++ actor preprocessor called 'Flow'. In that table, it lists the performance result of sending a message around a ring for a certain number of processes and a certain number of messages, in which Flow appears to be fastest with 0.075 sec in the case of N=1000 and M=1000, compared with, e.g. erlang @ 1.09 seconds.

My curiosity was piqued, so I threw together a quick microbenchmark in erlang. On a moderately loaded 2013 macbook air (2-core i7) and erlang 17.1, with 1000 iterations of M=1000 and N=1000, it averaged 34 microseconds per run, which compares pretty favorably with Flow's claimed 75000 microseconds. The Flow paper appears to maybe be from 2010, so it would be interesting to know how it's doing in 2014.

shortstuffsushi 4 days ago 2 replies      
As someone who has no idea about the cost of high-scale computing like this, is $150/hr reasonable? It seems like an amount that's hard to sustain to me, but I have no idea if that's a steady, all the time rate, or a burst rate, or what. Or if it's a set up you'd actually ever even need -- seems like from the examples they mention (like the Tweets), they're above the need by a fair amount. Anyone else in this sort of situation care to chip in on that?
w8rbt 4 days ago 0 replies      
I thought it was DB connections over radio waves just above 20 meters. Also, it's MHz, not Mhz.
maliki 2 days ago 1 reply      
This sounds great compared to my anecdotal experience with DB write performance; but is there a collection of database performance benchmarks that this can be easily compared to?

The best source for DB benchmarking I know of is http://www.tpc.org/. The methodology is more complicated there, but the top results are around 8 million transactions per minute on $5 million systems. This FoundationDB result is more like 900 million transactions per minute on a system that costs $1.5 million a year to rent (so, approx $5 million to buy?).

The USD/transactions-per-minute metric is clear, but without a standard test suite (schema, queries, client count, etc.), comparing claims of database performance makes my head hurt.

illumen 3 days ago 0 replies      

However I think there's still plenty of room to grow.

320,000 concurrent sessions isn't that much by modern standards. You can get 12 million concurrent connections on one linux machine, and push 1gigabit of data.

Also, 167 megabytes per second (116B * 14.4 million) is not pushing the limits of what one machine can do. I've been able to process 680 megabytes per second of data into a custom video database, plus write it to disk on one 2010 machine. That's doing heavy processing at the same time on the video with plenty of CPU to spare.

PCIe over fibre can do many transactions messages per second. You can fit 2TB memory machines in 1U (and more).

Since this is a memory + eventually dump to disk database, I think there is still a lot of room to grow.

mariusz79 4 days ago 0 replies      
MHz not Mhz.
tuyguntn 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I would work with such great professionals as a Junior for 10years, right after school!!!
oconnor663 3 days ago 0 replies      
Any chance of an open source release for the database core? :)
lttlrck 4 days ago 2 replies      
"Or, as I like to say, 14.4Mhz."

Sorry, I don't like that at all.

imanaccount247 4 days ago 1 reply      
Why the deliberately misleading comparisons? If you are doing something genuinely impressive, then you should be able to be honest about it and have it still seem impressive. One tweet is not one write. Comparing tweets per second to writes per second is complete nonsense. How many writes a tweet causes depends on how many followers the person who is tweeting has. The 100 writes per second nonsense is even worse. Do you just think nobody is old enough to have used a database 15 years ago? 10,000 writes per second was no big deal on of the shelf hardware of the day, nevermind on an actual server.
Secret surveillance detected in Oslo
300 points by draugadrotten  1 day ago   106 comments top 17
flexie 1 day ago 19 replies      
Makes me wonder about the future of democracy.

If tiny Norway, which imposes no real threat to any other country, including it's mighty neighbor, Russia, is a target for intelligence services, then every country is a target.

Norway has little strategic importance and little influence on the world economy or world peace. Sure, they have lots of oil but its undisputed Norwegian and they sell it willingly. Sure, they are NATO members and at present the NATO secretary general is Norwegian, and they do participate in NATO actions in the Middle East. But their own military is modest, barely capable of defending Norway if it came down to it. And Norway has little say over the other NATO countries.

I think the NATO secretary general, Stoltenberg, said it best himself when he described the Norwegian democracy as a fax democracy where Norwegian officials sit at a fax machine waiting for the latest directive from Brussels (Norway is not an EU member but part of the European Economic Area and must adopt most EU rules in order to keep their access to the Euroean single market).

Anyone thinking that Norway has any real powers or impose a threat to anyone in the next 5-10 decades is delusional.

So why and to whom is it vital to spy on these fax politicians whose international influence barely exceeds that of an American senator or governor or a member of a German Landtag?

acqq 1 day ago 2 replies      
The article written in proper English by the same daily newspaper:


The Google translation can be somewhat misleading, as explained in the other comments here.

eitland 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting but in Norwegian. Google translate for those who haven't picked up Norwegian yet: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=no&tl=en&js=y&prev...
acd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brings up a concern there are no authenticity check in the mobile networks. Who signs the authenticity of cell towers? This should be like SSL with certificates so your phone should only communicate with towers that are certified secure. Hackers have been able todo this for years through GNU radio and FPGA. But this should be a foreign state.

And if there are fake towers around the Norwegian parliament.Who, which hackers and what malware is potentially inside the computers of the cell phone operators of Norway? I would target them if I wanted to really listen in to cell phone communication across the country.

spacefight 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there any projects or methods on how to locate fake base stations? I know that the blackphone is able to do that, but is there more on the technical side of e.g. triangulating the location and track them down?
prbuckley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could this be financial espionage? I would imagine that the Norwegian politicians have privileged information about oil production volume in the country that some traders out there could benefit from knowing. This is all just a theory. I don't think governments are the only suspects in this type of spying.
vidarh 1 day ago 1 reply      
My bet is that it's the Police Security Service that's behind it.

After all, they have been behind the vast majority of illegal political surveillance in Norway after the war, and they were very dismissive when asked about trying to identify who were behind it (claiming it'd be difficult and pointless; so either they're unwilling to even try to do their job and/or are incompetent, or they know more than they let on).

Spying by foreign powers have certainly happened in Norway, but the Police Security Service (or technically its "predecessor", the Police Surveillance Service) was found to have carried out extensive illegal surveillance of left wing politicians for the better part of half a century in the mid 90's at a level that no known foreign plot have gotten anywhere close to.

If not the Police Security Service, I'd bet on the US with the tacit approval of the Police Security Service.

matt_morgan 1 day ago 1 reply      
The big question for Norway, as they say, is "who is behind it?". The big question for all of us is how commonplace this is. It seems like it's easy enough to do, and law enforcement etc. don't seem to be looking for it actively/publicly.
kszx 1 day ago 3 replies      
The translated article says that the "police, Police Security Service and the National Security Agency" have the authority to use these types of devices. It seems very reasonable to me that they may do so around government areas.

Did I miss something?

papul1993 1 day ago 2 replies      
GSM is so broken.
andersthue 1 day ago 1 reply      
tl;dr translation, multiple IMSI catchere in Oslo, Norway near goverment buildings, lots of suspecious data traffic from phone, all of unknown origin.
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hm, reminds me of the Athens affair[1].

[1] http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-athens-affair

mhomde 1 day ago 3 replies      
So 60% it's the russians and 40% it's the US?
kyrre 1 day ago 1 reply      
would you not have to do some 3g/4g jamming for this to actually work?
riffraff 1 day ago 2 replies      
interesting bit in the translation seems to be

> If these are criminals, foreign intelligence or other behind, is unknown.

dkopi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Mallory (malicious) and Trudy (intruder) are often used in crypto books.
hkon 1 day ago 0 replies      
My bet is on the chinese, making sure the peace price is delivered to the "right" people.
Google to close engineering office in Russia
282 points by azov  2 days ago   289 comments top 17
jkaljundi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Acronis, one of best known Russian tech companies, is slowly moving to Estonia:http://www.investinestonia.com/en/about-estonia/news/article...

There are also quite a few who are moving from Russia to Ukraine.

Also remembered this: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/luxoft-to-move-500-...

robk 2 days ago 4 replies      
Word is that most employees are being offered full relocation (generally to Zurich) which I have to think will be well received.

This goes for both Moscow and St Petersburg.

danmaz74 2 days ago 2 replies      
Putin is increasingly cracking down on any possibility of dissent and threat to his power, whatever the consequences to the Russian economy, and this of course scares foreign companies who work there - even if, with the recent fall of the ruble, Russian talent is even more affordable now.

I'm afraid (I have friends in Russia) that we're going to see more of this.

jmnicolas 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Google Inc has plans to shut down its engineering office in Russia amid a crackdown on internet freedoms and a law regarding data-handling practices"

Should they close their offices in USA then ? (yes I'm being sarcastic here)

ThinkBeat 2 days ago 10 replies      
it is worrying what is happening in Russiabut much less so than what is going in the USA.

Google, Facbook etc tightly integrated with the nationsintelligence agencies, mining the data found there to make secret lists that could result in assassinations, indefinite detention and torture.

Russias actions are for the most part overt, and rightlycriticized, what the US does, it does so covertly.

If anyone speaks about the actions that the Us takes in secretthey are hunted to the end of the world, and must seek refugein Russia.

We hear a lot about Russian dissidents leaving Russia becausethey have their freedom limited. Snowden and Julian Assangehave had their freedom limited to much more so than any of the Putin dissidents. (With the exception of the possibility that a couple of them have been assassinated)

Remember that the air plane carrying the President of Bolivia was forced to land and be searched by American allies under the suspicion that Snowden might be on-board. Can you imagine AirForce One being forced to land, and be searched by Russia or China? Becaus they suspected it might be carrying a dissident? I dont think so.

chkuendig 2 days ago 2 replies      
Might be a coincidence, but they also just announced plans to rent 50'000 square meters of office space in Zurichhttp://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/google-investiert-d...
aleksi 2 days ago 0 replies      
and just 2 months ago Microsoft closed Qik/Skype development office in Moscow, relocating willing developers to Czech Republic.
rurban 2 days ago 2 replies      
Oh my, goodbye sanitizers? There's still work on the kernel sanitizer and a few other things to be done. Disturbing.
bgarbiak 2 days ago 2 replies      
Knowing the government's of Russia ways of controlling the media and opposition, I understand and agree with those scared for personal freedoms. On the other hand, I would feel way better if similar law would be imposed in EU, so my data would stay within its borders and be protected by EU laws.
NARKOZ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right. That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring Internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live.


tlear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps their executives do not want to have an 'accident' landing Sheremetievo?

They are smart to get out now, probably should have been done earlier

dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
What else "Sharikovs and Shvonders" would expect?
p_kolya 2 days ago 2 replies      
How does engineering office relate to censorship?
kevingadd 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is clearly a pragmatic move that protects them (and their customers), but it feels telling to me that Putin's violent anti-LGBT crackdown - literally threatening the lives of many Google employees, not to mention Google's customers - wasn't sufficient cause to close or relocate their offices.
eldargab 2 days ago 1 reply      
Stupid propaganda...
ivankolev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really hope Jetbrains, a Russian company, do not secretly work with the government to plant backdoors in all its IDE offerings :). It's fascinating but uneasy feeling how some of the best tools for software development come from Russia
tinco 2 days ago 2 replies      
Will they close their offices in Europe as well when Europe implements the same laws? They're put in a bad light now because Russia does it, but the EU is contemplating the exact same laws.

These laws are not because Russia wants the data for themselves, they are because the US currently has them and they've been shown to be absolutely incapable of dealing with that responsibility in an acceptable fashion.

Classic arcade game TRON on a cloth modelling grid
280 points by kreldjarn  2 days ago   85 comments top 22
Lagged2Death 2 days ago 4 replies      
I didn't know quite what the headline meant - there was at least one TRON arcade game - as in, a coin-operated game - that had a totally different concept and which is now mostly deservedly forgotten:


There was also a TRON arcade game that was a mismash of mini-games, one of which was the light-cycles:


I see from Google that indeed many, many people refer to this "use moving wall to make the other guy crash" style of game as "TRON" now, but TRON actually just put a brand name on a game genre that had been around:


A home game circa 1977, years before TRON:


"Snake" to TRON could actually be one of the earliest, if not the earliest, example of a big-budget studio movie adapting a video game concept. Doing so surprisingly directly.

Now, of course, half the movies that come out of Hollywood seem to have action bits that are vaguely video-game inspired.

doodpants 2 days ago 8 replies      
I wish it supported arrow keys. WASD is really awkward on a Dvorak keyboard.
Pwntastic 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's the music in this? I see boats.m4a but it doesn't have any metadata.
beebs93 2 days ago 2 replies      
Ha, very slick - nice work!

The fabric makes timing a bit harder, but it's still a lot of fun.

bobbylox 2 days ago 2 replies      
Cool demo. Turns out it kind of ruins the game because it makes the task of timing turns so much harder, but there was no way of knowing that until you tried it :) Great experiment, though!
tzs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Too bad the keyboard layout diagram at the upper left doesn't do anything when clicked on. If clicking on the diagram keys had the same result as pressing the corresponding keyboard key, it could be playable on touch devices that lack keyboards ifyou added a way to start with a click.
jastanton 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow that's really fun! Good work :)
smrtinsert 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is some of the cleanest code I've ever seen. What ide/editor do you use and plugins etc?
pimlottc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very neat! One minor nit - I didn't know which one of the line was me and died on my very first move...
delinka 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice work!

Hate to be a buzzkill, but you might consider renaming it before Disney C&Ds you.

danepowell 2 days ago 2 replies      
Did the screen keep waving for anyone else after stopping the game? I'm feeling a bit woozy...
amolgupta 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like the simple gameplay and music.sharing the highscore on twitter would be a fun feature.
shardo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe you could include the rules? I can't seem to figure out what they are..
thomasfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hold it! This is to fast.
djrconcepts 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fun game, and clean code.

Good job!

spain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks cool but it froze my browser...
jesse_m 2 days ago 0 replies      
This was really fun! Good job!
kolev 2 days ago 1 reply      
Kills Firefox Developer Edition on MacBook Air. I still can see the demo, but the entire browser becomes unresponsive and the only option is to force-close it.
connie_lingus 2 days ago 0 replies      
an impressive technical achievement, and kudos for the music.
maninalift 2 days ago 0 replies      
yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg awesome!
lfottaviano 2 days ago 0 replies      
good work! Cute game!
smrtinsert 2 days ago 0 replies      
How Products Are Made
267 points by rcarmo  1 day ago   37 comments top 14
jmcalvay 1 day ago 3 replies      
[shamelessplug]I run a factory tours meetup group in the Bay Area. We've been to machine shops, injection molders, foundries (metal not semiconductor), among others:http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Factory-Tours/

Another one just started in Boston:http://www.meetup.com/New-England-Factory-Tours-Meetup/

Attendance is free--just sign up to the tours you're interested in.

Let me know if you want to spin one up in your area/if you have an idea for a tour.[/shamelessplug]

mxfh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Armin Maiwald produced hundreds of educational shorts, so called Sachgeschichten for the german TV show Sendung mit der Maus[1] with a target audience of 4 to 8 year olds.

Here is one from 1999 that explains the Internet, including dial-up and DNS-lookup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKLz4ufCuKk


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Sendung_mit_der_Maus#Educat...

inofficial youtube playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1875415EEB9204AC

official page at WDR [german]: http://www.wdrmaus.de/sachgeschichten/filme.php5

official page to order DVDs [german]: http://www.bibliothek-der-sachgeschichten.de/

xbryanx 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm not exactly sure but this looks like this is made by a company called Advameg, Inc. They've quite a few other sites that might be of interest to HN readers:


jglauche 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow. I had expected a series of youtube videos showing short sequences of machinery, but I was positively surprised. The explanations are really well written and quite detailed. Thanks for the link!
sravfeyn 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It's often not too difficult to find resources on how a piece of software works and is made. While you may not find line by line code of Google Search, you can find resources that explain most of fundamentals of a search engine and how to build a search engine.

But, if you want to figure out how a pice of hardware (e.g. Falcon 9, Oculus and a microchip) works and is made, it's not so easy. Hardware industry is not as collaborative or as open as software counterparts. The only resources to understand hardware are specialised books that only people in respective domains would have heard of. (Book discovery is another issue, e.g. it's taking me an awful lot of time to find a book on how digital electrical switches work)

Having a great resource like this to understand how a piece of hardware is made and how it works is incredibly valuable and reduces the barrier to understanding hardware a notch down, I look forward to more and better accessibility to understanding hardware.

Logmix 1 day ago 0 replies      
The George Eastman House just released a informative and well produced series on photographic processes that might also be mentioned here:


MrJagil 1 day ago 3 replies      
Always wanted to know this one: http://www.madehow.com/knowledge/Seat_belt.html

Sadly, it's hard to grasp the mechanisms without pictures...

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting. There is a book along these lines (more how things work vs how they are made) and of course there is something like 10 seasons of 'How its Made' which the discovery channel runs.
known 12 hours ago 0 replies      
sjtrny 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish this was more specific. Take for example the page on stainless steel. I want to be told an exact recipe for how to make steel. Not a hand wavy general explanation.
FrankenPC 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the Encyclopedia of Science and Technology series. Excellent series for young minds.
lovelearning 1 day ago 0 replies      
How in the world did I never come across this all these years?! Amazingly informative. Got lost in it for hours.
wyager 1 day ago 1 reply      
This would be an excellent site to archive in book form to assist in recovering from some sort of catastrophic societal collapse. If I could take one thing back in time to the 1500s, it might be a paper copy of this site.
hnriot 1 day ago 1 reply      
someone should write a bot to merge this into wikipedia.
My Adventures with 4K 2160p and Linux
260 points by pmoriarty  13 hours ago   124 comments top 16
darshan 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been running 3840x2160 on the 23.8" Dell UP2414Q for the past month, and I couldn't be more pleased. Well, I could if I had it running at 60 Hz rather than 30 Hz, but having twice the PPI is worth the cut in the frame rate to me without question. I'm using the open source Intel drivers and the on-die GPU of my i7-4770K, and everything works out of the box at 30 Hz. Patches to get things at 60 Hz are in the works, but it's pretty complicated because the software needs to treat the display as two separate 1920x2160 displays due to limitations in the DisplayPort spec.

My desktop is where I spend the most time, yet it was the last remaining device I use where there were visible, ugly, distracting pixels everywhere. Now I never see pixels in my daily life, and reading and writing on my desktop have become significantly more pleasant. I highly recommend switching to a high-DPI monitor for anyone who spends much time on the computer (which is probably almost everyone here).

Oh, most software works just fine once I manually set the DPI in KDE's system settings. Upgrading to Plasma 5, the only software I use that isn't scaled properly is Chrome. Apparently they're working on it, but I only use Chrome for Netflix, and it's not too bad having tiny browser tabs for that one use.

lrizzo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I have tried 4K@30Hz using HDMI on five different TVs (not monitors): Seiki 39" US, Seiki 39" UK (US and UK modes are different), Hisense 42K680, Samsung UE40HU6900DX, LG 40UB800 (the latter three are in Italy and seem available across europe).

In all cases the additional display lag wrt my retina MBpro screen (measured with the small HTML/JS at the end) was huge, in the 130-230ms range, i.e. 4-7 frames. As a comparison, even the low end 1080p TVs i tried (at 60Hz) only gave 0-16ms additional lag, i.e. one frame.

The problem is not 30Hz vs 60Hz, but a video pipeline which is too deep, and cannot be shortened in any of the models i tried (even the models that have a "gaming" mode disable that control when running at 4k).Note that even at 30Hz one frame is only 33ms so anything more than 66ms indicates excessive pipeline depth.Based on my measurements, I think that at the moment the chipset that do 4k (upscaler etc.) are still buggy/immature in terms of features, and probably we need to wait the next generationof silicon to get 4K TVs that can be used as monitors.

I have become used to the 130ms lag but it is not pleasant.

Note that the Acer Chromebook C720 ($199) can drive the screen at 4K through the HDMI port. I had no problem with FreeBSD using high end nvidia cards (GT640 and GT750), whereas lower model seem unable to use pixel clocks above 165 MHz (you need about 290 MHz to run at 4k).

<!DOCTYPE html><html><head><script>Object.prototype.d = function(l) {return (this + Math.pow(10,l)).toString().substring(1, l+1) }function g(x) { return document.getElementById(x); }function clock() {var t=new Date();g('txt').innerHTML=t.getSeconds().d(2)+'.'+t.getMilliseconds().d(3);setTimeout(clock,1);}</script></head><body onload="clock()">Set PC to mirror screens, take a snapshot with a camera, compare times<br/><div id="txt" style="font-size: 120px;"></div></body></html>

dedward 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't mean to be "that guy"... because this is, of course, about linux running 4k.

But much of the discussion seems to be around what the point is, whether it's useful, and so on.

As someone who's been using one of the new 5k iMacs since it came out (so that's 5120x2880 in a 26" display)... let me add a bit, hopefully without sounding like an apple fanboy.

First - running it at actual 5k, rather than at 3200 or 2560 HiDPI, is crystal clear, amazingly sharp, but too small at this size. With a 40" display it would be perfect, I imagine.At full 5k, you can fit an amazing amount of stuff on a single screen, and it's handy for certain short troubleshooting sessions - but stuff can be so small it's straining. The stuff is still crisp though, if you can manage to focus on it. The detail is there. 12 point fonts are barely readable to my 40 year old eyes unless I get closer.

3k is just fine, and 2k is what you'd expect - but both are using HiDPI rendering and you get stunningly crisp fonts and detailed images and whatnot.

I wouldn't trade it for anything, even if I don't run in 5k all day long.

patcheudor 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Hats off for trying this in Linux. I gave up on that path a long time ago and am running nine monitors with a Windows 8.1 base OS, utilizing DisplayLink USB docs in combination with the DVI out on my main doc to drive the 2560x1600 30" display (the yellow one) with all others running at 1920x1200 from DisplayLink. I then run Linux in a VM, all from a laptop whith 32GB of ram and three built in SSD's giving me a bit more than 2TB of storage.

Interestingly there appears to be an eight monitor limit total when using DisplayLink for the OS so the ninth monitor is driven from its own DisplayLink doc which I've directly hardware associated with a VM. Of course because the host OS doesn't know about that monitor I also need a second mouse so I can access it. Here's the latest photo of my setup:


siliconc0w 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I looked into this setup but it gets pretty ridiculous if you want to do any gaming. You want 4k @ 60hz with 4:4:4 color sampling at a reasonable <40" but it soon begins to feel like you're hunting a rare animal. With only hints and whispers strewn throughout a dark abyss of forums threads and amazon reviews. The kind of places where people put AMD driver revisions in their signatures. I don't think we're quite there yet.
shmerl 10 hours ago 3 replies      
KDE will only fully support it in Plasma 5.0. As of now it's somewhat messy and requires lot's of manual tweaks besides changing the DPI.

See https://community.kde.org/KDE/High-dpi_issues

However one should be careful when getting monitors with such huge resolution since they put more requirements on the GPU. For example if you want to play games in native, it will require dual GPU at least which is a very pricey overkill otherwise. Current video cards don't cope with such resolution well yet. That besides the fact that such monitors are very expensive on their own.

Also, ergonomics wise, for me personally 24-27" is a sweep spot. Anything larger than that becomes uncomfortable to use unless you place it in some distance.

kenrikm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I ran the Seiki 4K as a monitor for about a year. Overall the quality is fine however the 30hz and mouse lag make it less then optimal for anything other then static content. Even scrolling a page is not easy on the eyes.
nightcracker 10 hours ago 3 replies      
> The myth I keep hearing is that you must go to larger fonts when scaling up to a 4K monitor. This is not exactly true. Do the math. If you double the screen resolution and at the same time you double the screen width, you have done absolutely nothing to the size of a pixel or the physical size of your fonts.

What the author seems to be missing here is that if you double your screen size you will likely put the screen at further viewing distance.

PSeitz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have the same monitor, 4k is cool but the input lag makes it not so efficient to work with.At least I could't get used to.
miduil 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if a bigger screen will make that difference for me. I've been using an 1920x1200 24" screen and that was nice, but for the past 12 months I've been fine with my 1366x768 12.4" laptop. Tough, I'm using a tiling window manager which makes a difference compared to others I guess.


bryanlarsen 12 hours ago 3 replies      
If you're looking for a ~40" QHD monitor, you no longer have to buy a TV with its attendant compromises. Check out the Philips BDM4065UC.
eeZi 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The real fun starts with high DPI/high resolution displays when you actually have to scale up your desktop environment.

(which works reasonably well nowadays - at least with Gnome!)

zaroth 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a late-2010 Macbook Air with the nVidia 320M, which can handle 2560x1440 over the mini-DP. I have the Acer B326HUL which was $399 on Black Friday. Seemed like a good compromise since driving 4K would mean a new laptop.

Compared to the 28" 1920x1200 monitor it replaced, I'm very pleased with the 32" 1440p.

dustin999 12 hours ago 8 replies      
"The myth I keep hearing is that you must go to larger fonts when scaling up to a 4K monitor. This is not exactly true. Do the math. If you double the screen resolution and at the same time you double the screen width, you have done absolutely nothing to the size of a pixel or the physical size of your fonts."

Yeah but it's a 39" monitor... On your desk! Seriously, I'm all for the largest monitor and resolution and everything else, but there's a point where I'd argue it's just too much. I think a 39" monitor on your desk is crossing that line. I can't imagine the neck strain that's going to occur.

Instead of selling extended warranties, they need to start selling these with chiropractic insurance.

Full disclosure: I just went through several days of research on 1440p vs 4k. I went into it assuming I'd get a 4k monitor, but in the end, opted for the 1440p monitor because I refused to stick a 39" monitor on my desk, and the 28" 4k would require DPI scaling and all that mess.

I'd get a 4k for gaming, assuming I had a rig that could power games at that resolution. Otherwise, I'm happy with my decision to get the Asus PB278Q 1440p monitor.

jrockway 9 hours ago 0 replies      
So all that and it's only refreshing at 30Hz?

Here's my long post about the current state of the art: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8549629

ck2 11 hours ago 2 replies      
How's that 30hz refresh rate working out for you.

Noticed there was no mention of it.

You want to flash the firmware from the 50" version to fix it a little bit but without hdmi 2.0, it is always going to suck.

Air Traffic Control Simulator
268 points by dshankar  1 day ago   82 comments top 31
lucb1e 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Fun, but not as good as the ATC game I know from the bsdgames package in many Linux distributions. This is a lot more graphical but there are a few disadvantages, mostly regarding input:

- Callsigns are long. In, let's call it bsdgames ATC, you have to type only one letter to indicate an aircraft. When Z is reached, you've long cleared A so the letter can be reused. This is more realistic though, I guess.

- It is not clear to me what an aircraft wants. Do all the flying ones want to land and all the landed ones to fly? Because in bsdgames ATC they each have a destination.

- The locations on the map (where you can fix an aircraft on, the triangles) are small and you have to properly look to make sure you typed it correctly. There is no highlighting like for planes.

- Runways are even harder to read. Here too there is no highlighting like for planes.

- You cannot send, as bsdgames ATC calls it, delayed commands (e.g. "N926JW fix QUITE then turn 0").

- You can not set an aircraft in "ignore mode", or otherwise mark it as "I have finished giving it directions".

- There is no command autocompletion. In bsdgames ATC you type "atdab0" to indicate "plane A, Turn to direction D (90 degrees) At Beacon 0." Or as the game displays it while you type the letters: "a: turn to 90 at beacon #0". After typing every letter, the game will display the next word to indicate it understood. (E.g. typing "at" it will display "a: turn to" and "atda" displays "a: turn to 90 at".)

There are a few things I really like though:

- The score system makes it not immediately 'game over' when you make a single simple mistake.

- It not only looks more modern, but because it's graphical and not ASCII there is a lot more space on the map to maneuver (at least it looks like that, maybe there are simply more planes). It also gives way more space for fix locations (triangles).

- Either this is common for ATC systems, or it looks like the good old bsdgames ATC. I like that it is a modern version which, with rather minor improvements, is better than the original.

asherdavidson 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a lot of fun. I've always been a huge fan of flight sims, but I never realized that ATC was just as much fun.Just a few notes:

* All the planes enter at 90 degree angles. I assume this is intentional, but it would be nice to have semi-random entry angles.

* There are a fixed number of planes in the simulation. It would be more challenging and fun if more planes would arrive while I'm taking care of the others.

* The words are small and hard to read.

All in all I think this is a really cool simulation. I can see myself wasting many more hours on it. Thanks!

jrockway 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've found a new way to make airports handle twice as many departures per hour: send a plane to each end and tell them to take off at the same time! So far: 0 crashes!

It's the counter-intuitive out-of-the-box thinking that I come to HN for!

danwakefield 1 day ago 1 reply      
Its fun, The two speeds are at the extremes though, Maybe a third halfway between them. Runway names are impossible to see while landing a plane and it's not obvious that takeoff always happen on *R runways.

If it was expanded it use actual flight data (if its legal) it would be something I could see myself losing a lot of time to it.

dshankar 23 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI, it's open source: https://github.com/zlsa/atc
breckenedge 1 day ago 1 reply      
OK I know it's a simulation, but as a pilot, this really helps understand what ATC is going through. If I was a flight instructor, I'd recommend my students spend some time with this.
lisper 1 day ago 1 reply      
Command entry seems broken in Safari. But no JS errors.
maroonblazer 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love this.

It'd be great to have the option to turn on/off radio chatter, the sort you hear when listening to real ATC transmissions. Would definitely make the experience feel a bit more immersive.

aluhut 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you!

A printable list of commands would be nice.

dejawu 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great. After a few minutes of being frantically overwhelmed I gradually figured things out. Cool to see what ATC has to deal with, I was always curious how that looked.

There are two things I'd like to see:

- More than two speed options. A slider, if possible?

- Some sort of simple scripting. I'd like to be able to dial in, "Navigate to WAYPOINT, then when you reach that, navigate to OTHER WAYPOINT, then descend to 5000 feet, then land on runway XX."

rwmj 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a ZX Spectrum ATC game which (considering 1983 hardware) was reasonably accurate: http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0002270It was written by an actual air traffic controller and pilot (picture: http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=BigK/Issue03/...)
pizzashark 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish the planes continued to generate rather than having a fixed amount. I don't like when I run out of planes.
tantalor 1 day ago 4 replies      
After going through the tutorial and landing a few planes, my first impression is the interface is extremely user hostile... I hope real ATC is better.
jimmcslim 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Some indication of when aircraft are risking violation of separation would be handy, I assume that real ATC consoles have this? Its unclear what the scale is.

Voices would be great. Emergencies (minimal fuel, medical, etc) and weather would also be great!

javindo 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really good fun except it's incredibly difficult to read the navigation beacon names, even with zoom it is just very pixilated.
max0563 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this not just a clone of http://www.atc-sim.com/ ?
imownbey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Woah this is super fun and nothing was wrong with it. It was kind of annoying but I feel like all sims are that way. I want to be able to run different airports!!!! And a mode that just goes on forever would be awesome.
Moral_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Needs better error correction when it comes to landing I haven't been able to land one yet I get it close to the lines but no cigar. I've resorted to just trying to get them to collide.
jarsj 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone able to crash 2 planes yet ? I tried landing one on a runway while other was taxied, nothing happened.
known 1 day ago 4 replies      
http://www.flightradar24.com/ shows live flight tracker
fnordfnordfnord 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't want to be reminded how terrible ATCs' consoles are. The game is super neat though.
refurb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice job! Pretty simple game, but you had me playing it for an hour!
ssully 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like it! It's not for me at all, but it seems really well made. I am going to send it to a friend who is ATC and see what he thinks.
ForFreedom 22 hours ago 1 reply      
To get it to land is pretty difficult. How can I know the altitude, speed?
ForFreedom 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there an equivalent for ATC on the MAC?
VLM 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone suggest a sim that handles real procedural / system design issues properly, like the difference between being a terminal ATC or a ARTCC ATC?

The real world is more of a team approach and most game sims have a pretty distorted view of reality. The guy who's doing ground taxi control at a tower doesn't usually moonlight at simultaneously running approach control while also simultaneously running departure control and enroute. A dude running approach 200 miles away usually doesn't get to play tower 200 miles away to tell a plane when they get to take off.

In my experience with aviation and ATC games, I haven't found one yet where the game designer was a pilot or ATC or listened on a scanner to pilots and ATC during the design phase.

I've also never seen a sim that handles dynamics for anything but planes. Real ATC is all about handling very local weather, and NOTAMS, and hot/cold MOAs (military training areas, if cold you just fly thru, if hot you get out of the way or get shot down). And of course it changes in real time not just once at game start. Also you trade / share space with other ATCs, so that dynamic would be interesting. And your shift doesn't end when all the planes land, you'll always both start and end a shift with planes in the air.

I don't expect much from the arcade games but there have been some sims out there that at least graphically have tried to look realistic and have at least sorta realistic procedures and limitations.

rrggrr 1 day ago 1 reply      
awesome job
Knox32 12 hours ago 0 replies      
jmtucu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like it
albumedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome work, I like it.
eccstartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
No one knows there is a hyperbolic PDE out there?
The Rise of Men Who Dont Work And What They Do Instead
256 points by cjdulberger  3 days ago   272 comments top 30
JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 4 replies      
The silent yet steady substitution of unemployment benefits with federal disability insurance is well covered in an episode of This American Life [1]. We, as a country, have a shoddy system for re-training low-skills workers facing technological obsolescence. We have also set up a system under which unemployment benefits are largely a state liability. Disability, on the other hand, is federally funded. The intersection of these trends, as documented by This American Life, lands us in the curious situation of state governments encouraging their unemployed to seek disability benefits (thereby shifting their burden onto the federal budget).

In the short run, state unemployment and federal disability benefits have similar effects. Social stability is enhanced through buying off the poor. But long-term disability is not designed for the under-trained. Its means-testing paradigm discourages even the exploration of employment options which might jeopardise the applicant's disability status. Thus a one-way valve to dependency on the state's largesse.

[1] http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/490/t...

MCRed 2 days ago 8 replies      
Look ma, that's me! Free of a soul crushing corporate job, back to doing a "startup", I may not have the cash rolling in, but at least I'm in control of my destiny. Hey Ma, I'm moving in!

I think there are a lot of people out there like me. I have some money coming from side projects, several opportunities to grow that, and several opportunities for new side projects.

And quite a long personal runway before I have to "get a job" again.

If I can get to personal ramen profitability, that would be great.

And if my cofounders and I get a real startup off the ground that can pay us salaries.... well, then I can start showing up in statistics as employed again.

But either way, it's not as big a deal to me as it would be to men of my age 20 years ago.

And that's a huge shift-- in opportunity towards the individual.

brandonmenc 2 days ago 1 reply      
> The places with the highest rates of male nonwork include parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Michigan.

The areas of high unemployment in Arizona and New Mexico overlap almost exactly with the Indian reservations. A problem deserving its own analysis.

jokoon 2 days ago 5 replies      
I live in france, am 29, I worked 2 months in my life.

"what they do instead"

Trying to go back to school, I learned programming for 2 years in some technician school program, did not get the degree, after that I expanded my programming skills by myself, but it has been pretty bleak. I'm quite ashamed of myself. I have many ideas of projects, but they really seems to be out of my reach in terms of skill, experience, motivation and networking. I took anti depressants for 4 years but am not so unhealthy in term of mental health...

I'm back at school again, for some equivalent degree, but on 1 year, I have an internship starting wednesday, I really hope it will hook me to some job opportunities.

If I don't get the degree nor a job, well I could really try to start some crowdfunded game project or social network, but I don't feel the industry really needs that many programmers. Maybe I'm really incompetent.

bruceb 2 days ago 3 replies      
There are books on this phenomenon. Part of what they say is now men have access to their basic needs with out needing to work as much. Entertainment is abundant and relatively cheap and sex isn't tied to marriage. You can lounge around and be if not exactly satisfied, at least not terrible wanting for stuff. Of course these guys are screwed when it comes to retirement.
patja 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article states that every month the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics asks all men who are not working and not receiving unemployment benefits what their situation is.

How does this process work? Having been in this population, I know for certain nobody from the government has ever asked me for this information.

mkingston 2 days ago 0 replies      
(A little facetiously, but..) Perhaps this is just the decrease of work required that was historically expected by economists, being applied unevenly.

Of course there's nothing in the article to suggest many of these people are happy.

blazespin 2 days ago 2 replies      
The problem is there is a multiplier affect from technology today that causes unemployment. The average IQ required to be economically relevant is increasing each year.
IndianAstronaut 2 days ago 2 replies      
>Some countries have developed policies that encourage older people to leave the labor force, so they do not crowd out younger workers

Classic lump of labor fallacy.

ap22213 2 days ago 0 replies      
As of 2011, there were 3.5M disabled veterans, of which 800K were receiving significant disability benefits.


hessenwolf 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's an awesome graph. I mean, we could say some things like that the thickness of the gray bit is not so clear, or that it might be better if smoothed, perhaps the legend would be better elsewhere than in the coloured areas, but... it is still a totally expressive and elegant graphic.
wtbob 2 days ago 1 reply      
> People in the military, prison and institutions are excluded from these figures.

One of these is not like the other

Everyone in the military (at least, who's not also imprisoned) should count as fully-employed.

emodendroket 2 days ago 1 reply      
I occasionally see the rise of the single-breadwinner family where a woman has a job celebrated as forward progress for gender equality or something, but that's misguided. Frankly, a lot of men are just unable to work and then their families are forced to subsist on the woman's job, which still pays, on average, less. Newspapers talk a lot about high-powered female executives with stay-at-home husbands and so on, but that's a small sliver, not somehow representative of the trend.
mamurphy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am mesmerized by the age 40 bar. It barely moves; a few more people are retired or are in school. My armchair speculation is that turning 40 really makes people reexamine their decisions.
mbrameld 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why do they exclude men in the military from their numbers?
joshuahedlund 2 days ago 0 replies      
This related article, also dated today, was linked at the bottom, and is a longer read with more/different details and stories:


ctdonath 2 days ago 2 replies      
Where does minimum wage [objectively] fit in?

If an employer can't pay someone what a job is worth, either the job doesn't get done or a machine is found to do it - leaving someone without the opportunity for a job. Yes, it may not be a "living wage", but no wage is even less desirable.

I've started using Taco Bell's remote ordering app. The clerk, seeing how I'd ordered (not using his services), yesterday thanked me for making his job easier. Couldn't help thinking that rather than happy, he should be scared: with all the talk about pushing for $15/hr minimum wages, coupled with automation of order-taking, he's facing prospects of no job instead of an easy one.

I know minimum wage is meant to help, but it only contributes to increased unemployment and inflation.

randomname2 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The decline of traditional pension plans and rising education levels, which are associated with less physically demanding jobs, may both help explain why the elderly are working longer."

Nice spin there, NYT.

ottocoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know this isn't entirely on point but I couldn't help thinking of Mr. Jaggers replying to Pip's question "what will I do?" with "Be a gentleman, of course!" (Dickens reference) when I saw the title.
Doctor_Fegg 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Men Who Dont Work And What They Do Instead"

Surprised that "read HN" isn't listed as one of the "insteads". Which reminds me, I really ought to do some work.

theorique 2 days ago 0 replies      
This article describes the growth of disability benefits and the way they are dispensed: thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/09/how_to_be_mean_to_your_kids.html
cJ0th 2 days ago 0 replies      
> To the extent that rising nonwork reflects more men graduating from school, thats good news. Male high school graduation rates have risen 5 percentage points since 2000, and people with more education earn more and are less likely to be disabled later in life.

I am not positive this computes. People with more education might earn more now but that doesn't mean that their wages or the amount of jobs in their domains won't go down when more people have a degree.

stdbrouw 2 days ago 0 replies      
HN is not the place for contentless whining.
blueskin_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
vidyesh 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are lot of factors which are discussed but not considered when it came to concluding this topic.

The increase in population : Instead of comparing the ratio or the percentage of working vs non-working with the present population it compares x out of every 100.

The increase in jobs : 2000 vs 2014, the number of jobs available has also changed which is not taken in account. As mentioned in the article older people end up creating more jobs.

The increase in unemployment rate : Yes, this contradicts with the above mentioned increase in jobs point but this should also be a factor. This also is affected by people not-from US who work in US.

The Shift in Generation : 14 years brings/builds a very different minded person and this person might have a different approach to living.

The higher standard of living : This also is one of the reasons why older people are still working and won't leave their jobs as their value is appreciated, helps pay the debt and they could satisfy all their needs to live a life of luxury(?) and fulfil all their ambitions.

icantthinkofone 2 days ago 2 replies      
One of my neighbors is 62 and brilliant. He's worked at Pixar and Silicon Graphics. He cranked out web sites for sites you probably go to. He lost his last job when the company went under. He now applies for jobs all over town and never gets a reply.

If age is the reason, these places don't know what they're missing.

wirefloss 2 days ago 0 replies      
The only remarkable thing about this NYT article is that it appeared at all. Read Charlse Murray "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010".
manuelriel 2 days ago 0 replies      
None of this is new or surprising. It would be more interesting to apply this kind of visualization to industries, % or part-time jobs, freelance workers, etc.
npx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any notable instances of unqualified founders beating the odds and starting a successful business?
ttty 2 days ago 0 replies      
>When more older people are working, they are earning money that they will then spend in ways that may create more jobs for young people, for example.

But... older people earn 2-3 times more than a younger one (at, least in Portugal). So for each old people there could be 2-3 younger working.

So if you lay off 100 old people you can get ~2500 younger people working. Of course, I doubt that the productivity will be lower per person, but here you are paid by how old are you (not, experience) * what you know

Censorship 2.0: Shadowy forces controlling online conversations
249 points by r721  1 day ago   152 comments top 20
fidotron 1 day ago 8 replies      
Of course, this place isn't immune to it. That includes all the usual suspect discussions (NSA, Palestine, China, Russia etc.) but more visibly with the employees of certain companies.

One of the more curious things you can do on HN to distract from a story is to start a tangential flamewar in the comments on it, but my single favourite way I see to bury things around here is to ask for detailed citations to data for something which really doesn't need it, as that results either in a flamewar or if left the post loses any momentum completely.

notacoward 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is why I'm not particularly thrilled about programs passing the Turing test. As soon as we have programs that can write credibly human-sounding comments on sites like this, many conversations will be controlled by whoever can afford the largest sockpuppet farm. Also, for every post on the actual threads of interest, there will be dozens of comments on every thread designed to increase karma. Automated karma whoring might even be more injurious than the direct intervention, because it will increase the groupthink tendencies already present.

Some might say we're already half way there. I disagree. Yes, Google or Apple employees might swamp an occasional thread here and there, either openly or covertly, but what I'm talking about would be a whole order of magnitude worse and constant.

penprog 1 day ago 1 reply      
The first thing this article reminded me of was ghost in the shell season 2. In the show the Intelligence Agency of the government used this sort of info manipulation to increase animosity towards refugees to the point where the public was in support of basically slaughtering them.

In the show this agency also analyzed public opinion using info obtained from discussion forums to gauge the public's acceptance of government policy and they would use the information manipulation with sock puppets to change public opinion in their favor.

Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've made this point before about search engine ranking. Most of the popularity signals used by search engines can be, and are, faked. I have two papers on this:

"Social is bad for search, and search is bad for social" (2012), or how Google's use of social signals backfired, badly.http://www.sitetruth.com/doc/socialisbadforsearch09.pdf

How Google's use of social signals backfired, badly.

"'Places' spam - the new front in the spam wars", or how Google's use of "local" information backfired."http://www.sitetruth.com/doc/placesspam10.pdf" 2010)

Google's merge of data from Google Maps into the main search engine results created a whole new branch of local SEO spam.

The fundamental problem is that the creation of fake online identities is cheap and easy. This can be partially fixed by taking a tough line on identity, but that's hard for services which are either big or have only a casual connection with their users. Facebook ran into the gay agenda enforcing a real names policy.

The mobile guys can at least make people buy a phone to fake an identity. (A phone number is not enough; you can rent fake phone numbers. See "http://www.attlines.com) An app that phones home with too much user information, though, is hard to fake cheaply. Yelp can tell if your phone has been to the place you're rating.

InfiniteRand 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure how alarmed I am by this. I certainly have seen this in action on Wikipedia at least, if not on the scale described, but I have little doubt it occurs and I can think of a couple events whose online conversations show evidence of this sort of manipulation.

To some degree I admit, when I see the overwhelming online conversation swaying in one direction, it does influence. On the other hand, partially because I know online conversation manipulation is out there, I become less prone to read comments. I used to always read comments to Economist articles for example, now I rarely do.

Ultimately, if there is online conversation manipulation but people barely pay attention to it, it will be overwhelmed by all the other random sources of influence in our lives. Whether, traffic, etc. all play some influence on our opinions, if the impact of the online conversation manipulation is less than that, I am not alarmed.

There are two other aspects of this worth thinking about:

1. What is the problem we have with online conversation manipulation? Is it the sock-puppets alone? If you replace sock-puppets with volunteers, is that different enough? If you take volunteers who otherwise wouldn't participate in that online conversation, is that different enough? What are the aspects of this that are different from a legitimate campaign to change the opinions of others about a position you think is profoundly wrong.

2. One sad aspect of this is that it dilutes the impact of anonymous or semi-anonymous voices on the web. This was a short-cut to influence for ordinary web users. On the other hand, this is in a way natural, whenever the impact of a medium becomes popularly recognized, more people will try to utilize that medium, and its impact will be diluted. In the same way, just having a website used to be a short-cut to influence, but now has little effect.

fiatmoney 1 day ago 1 reply      
2013's "Most Reddit Addicted City" was Eglin Air Force Base.


lizzard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been talking about this for years; we have to at the least be aware that there is wide scale sockpuppetry and astroturfing for political as well as corporate ends. Better tools for disinformation detection may help. One person running many personas is much easier to detect than the more sophisticated model we have now.
patcon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Call me crazy, but it /has/ crossed my mind that #gamergate might have been a large-scale test of the ability to create widespread conflict and some degree of community crisis from thin air through sock-puppetry...

EDIT: I honestly don't totally understand what gamergate is, but am in awe of the resurging energy of the whole thing, and hence the observation

snarfy 1 day ago 0 replies      
wyck 1 day ago 0 replies      
This has been going on in one form of another throughout history. But if you want to sway opinion on the internet, it's not that easy. There are a lot of voices and noise in the mix, compared to how it was a mere 20 years ago.

This is certainly important, but in the context of history, how people consume information is on a much better track, in my opinion things are actually getting better if you look at the big picture.

raggaeturf 1 day ago 4 replies      
If you doubt this, then just criticize Google on HN or Reddit...

Google has thousands of employees and sock puppets on all social media discussions. It's especially blatant on Reddit.

Google is a charity and everything they do is perfect and for the good of humanity. They've never been involved in massive spying and with monopolistic practices concerning their spammy ads and search engine preference for ebay, amazon, trip advisor and others.

pekk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whenever someone says something you disagree with, just accuse them of being a sockpuppet of a shadowy conspiracy.

Then you can censor their view very effectively.

lol123456 1 day ago 0 replies      
A social group implies at least 2 persons.

Even if two people are in a room, and they start having a conversation what you find is that they will try to

* Censor / Re-Imagine themselves to present their POV in a better way

* Censor / Manipulate the other person to force their POV unto them.

The online is a complete extension of the offline, so its perfectly normal for all this to happen, even all the time !

woah 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like it would be an important public service to game as much online discussion as possible, persistently. Right now, the vulnerability of these discussion media is not detrimental to those running them. Make gameability of discussion media something that is actually visible, and the vulnerabilities will be patched.
intended 1 day ago 1 reply      
All the discussion here pointing out possible shill armies aside - is there some way to actually stop it.

How do we move conversations - Forward.

arca_vorago 1 day ago 6 replies      
This is more insidious than I think even most HN readers realize. In the intelligence community, the big black sheep people don't really talk about is psychological operations, or psyops, units. They are the same breed that used research from MK ULTRA style programs to learn how to deprogram humans (some claims on how to reprogram them), and part of that is a scientific analysis of mass social community discourse. Previously, domestic propaganda was illegal, though it was often engaged in anyway now that the law against domestic propaganda has been rescinded that means the remnants of older programs like Operation Mockingbird, where the CIA inserted people into news outlets across the board for intel gathering and disinfo pushing, have now evolved to a level where they are actively manipulating public discourse on all kinds of subjects.

A very good example of this is the post JFK assassination issue. It's pretty clear to any intellectually honest person that there are some very large issues that were never addressed regarding the assassination, because the CIA purposeful put into action an operation to discredit any alternative theory's as "conspiracy theory" and anyone who talked in that manner was labeled as a crackpot "conspiracy theorist" and then a large campaign to undermine any logical discussion of "conspiracy theory", essentially by putting it, as Chomsky would say, "outside the accepted range of debate".

Wonder why the fourth estate, aka journalism is in such a sad state of affairs? It's because the state has reached (quietly) so far into it that even the handful of real journalist are having a hard time.

They have keep up technologically to keep sources safe, which proves almost impossible these days. They have to deal with pushback from the editors bosses of a glarily political nature, they have to deal with being cut off from sources if they happen to piss off the wrong people with a too-strong story.

This is another reason the surveillance society is so insidious. I have said it before and I will say it again, surveillance, censorship, subtle covert influence of public discourse, are not about security.

It's about control.

A lot of people argue about 1984 vs Brave New World. What I say is that it's a Brave New World, unless you attempt to resist, then it's 1984. This is the state we live in, the real question is "Are the people going to let this happen?"

I'm no longer so reliant on the "long arc of justice", and am getting pretty pessimistic.

legutierr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Are the sock puppets that frequent HN simply much harder to detect? It often surprises me that HN is not a target for these kinds of people; I like to think that I have a good sense of when this kind of thing is going on, but probably I'm less sophisticated than I think I am.
Udik 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hmmm. The only verified case of sophisticated, organized sockpuppetry in the wild mentioned by the article seem to be related to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and anti-semitism, and in every case they seem to be orchestrated to favour Israel. But all the comments here seem concentrated on the NSA, AIs, and even abortion. Now downvote me :
higherpurpose 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's a pretty scary concept when we have the rise of the unstoppable, unaccountable and highly secretive spy agencies. Things will probably get even worse when Strong AI exists.
Magnus Carlsen I am chaotic and lazy (2010)
238 points by radovanb  4 days ago   87 comments top 13
eddotman 4 days ago 4 replies      
The brevity and bluntness in his responses is pretty amusing. I'm surprised he so candidly rates his own abilities and the abilities of his peers - I feel like many people would dodge those questions in public interviews.
kizer 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think there's a great analogy for why he cares so little about his intelligence: do you think Michael Jordan sat around admiring his build, his height, etc? In a competitive environment, it's best to accept that some of your abilities are fixed, so you can focus on training what can be bettered.
CurtMonash 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't find his disclaimers about his intelligence persuasive. He's obviously a pretty smart guy; at least, he was quite the smart kid.

That said, I had monumentally high IQ scores as a little kid, and they are surely vastly lower in adulthood. So I'm not very eager to be retested either. ;)

tbrake 4 days ago 2 replies      
He briefly talks about Kasparov here as they were training together at the time. They later broke up.

I wonder if some of the conflict they felt was was really Magnus's more organic, natural approach clashing with Kasparov's more like systematic and rigid type of training, which he no doubt inherited from Botvinnik. This isn't to say Magnus doesn't work hard at his game but on a chess approach scale of, say, Capablanca to Botvinnik, he would very much tilt towards the former.

edit: Actually he specifically talks about that; somehow I skipped it upon first reading.

dont_be_mean 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sometimes you wonder.

I was not particularly interested; I was bad and soon stopped again.

I dont know why I learnt all the countries of the world off by heart, including their capitals and populations. Chess was probably just another pastime.

Im not a disciplined thinker. Organisation is not my thing; I am chaotic and tend to be lazy. My trainer recognised that and as a rule allowed me to practise whatever I felt like at the time.

When I was 13, my parents took me out of school for a year. They travelled around the world with me and my sisters, and on the way they taught us. That was fantastic, much more effective than sitting in school.

mhomde 4 days ago 5 replies      
I think there might be a correlation between being lazy and being creative. I've seen this pattern in many other greats (and in my not so great self :)

Aaron Sorkin talks about procrastinating a lot between writing sessions. Lots of painters and artists procrastinate as well.

I think its a matter of digestion, your mind is focused on a "task" and churning in the background, but you don't actively work on it except when you "feel like it". I saw some scientific article to this affect that the downtime is actually very valuable for the brain to form creative thought.

sayemm 4 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting how he says that extremely high IQ may even be a disadvantage:

And thats precisely what would be terrible. Of course it is important for a chess player to be able to concentrate well, but being too intelligent can also be a burden. It can get in your way. I am convinced that the reason the Englishman John Nunn never became world champion is that he is too clever for that. At the age of 15, Nunn started studying mathematics in Oxford; he was the youngest student in the last 500 years, and at 23 he did a PhD in algebraic topology. He has so incredibly much in his head. Simply too much. His enormous powers of understanding and his constant thirst for knowledge distracted him from chess... Right. I am a totally normal guy. My father is considerably more intelligent than I am.

And that his big shtick is his focus, intuition, and domain expertise - not his IQ:

No. In terms of our playing skills we are not that far apart. There are many things I am better at than he is. And vice versa. Kasparov can calculate more alternatives, whereas my intuition is better. I immediately know how to rate a situation and what plan is necessary. I am clearly superior to him in that respect.

lukeholder 4 days ago 1 reply      
My favourite quote: "I listen to music on the Internet, but don't download any songs. It's all totally legal. Many people may find that boring, but I think it is important."
jonny_eh 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see Carlsen play a modern game like Hearthstone or Magic. Even just to hear his thoughts on them.
KhalilK 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I am feeling good, I train a lot. When I feel bad, I dont bother.

I can definitely relate to that when it comes to my studies, too bad it's not yielding any good results.

wavesandwind 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm currently reading a fascinating book on world-class performance, "The Art of Learning" by Josh Waizkind, a chess and martial arts champion. It gives some really great insights into the world-class players' psychology. Highly recommended!
jc123 3 days ago 0 replies      
His quote was "tend to be lazy". When he feels good he trains a lot. No amount of brilliant talent, that is lazy, is sufficient to be world champion in any endeavor. There's too much competition from the others who want to be champion.
amelius 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what his 4 letter personality type is.
Rosetta finds comet's water vapour to be significantly different from Earth's
232 points by twowo  4 days ago   52 comments top 8
tokenadult 4 days ago 2 replies      
The two comments submitted previously as I type this explain why the article title on HN is as it is. I was puzzled by what the title MEANT, so I looked into the article, and what the article says farther down is "Previous measurements of the deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratio in other comets have shown a wide range of values. Of the 11 comets for which measurements have been made, it is only the Jupiter-family Comet 103P/Hartley 2 that was found to match the composition of Earths water, in observations made by ESAs Herschel mission in 2011." When I first read the headline, I wasn't sure if the claim was that the water vapor had mixtures of other chemical molecules in it, or what.

Okay, a different isotope ratio in water from a comet as contrasted with water generally found on earth would indeed be a clue to how water might have traveled from one orbiting body to another early in the development of the solar system. This kind of isotype checking (for isotopes of other elements) is one of the things done to confirm that rocks found on earth are presumptively from other parts of the solar system.

grecy 4 days ago 2 replies      
I didn't realize the standing theory is that Earth's water was delivered by lots of meteor strikes.

Has there ever been an estimate made of the number of strikes needed to deliver the volume of water currently on Earth? I have to think it's enormous.

acqq 4 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't appear to be a result for which the landing was necessary? Also it seems it was something already achieved before ("measuring D/H"). The text mentions that the D/H ratio was already measured in 11 comets, I believe by just flying through their "tail" (1)?

1) http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1987A%26A...187..435E

How was it done this time?

AYBABTME 4 days ago 2 replies      
They mention that water already on earth would have boiled off in its youth. I don't understand this, wouldn't the vapor stay around the planet, then return to liquid when the planet cooled?

Or else, what would have attracted the water away from the earth's atmosphere? And if so, why wouldn't it have attracted away the azote and oxygen and all of the atmosphere at the same time? Or was there not yet an atmosphere?

lnanek2 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it is pretty obvious D/H would be higher for a comet that has been out a long time and that doesn't really tell us much about if Earth's water came from comets a long time ago since those crashed early. H is a lot lighter than D, so it is a lot easier for a body to lose it, especially if the body has no magnetic field like a comet or Venus (D/H is also very high on Venus). Thinking the ratios would be the same seems like a mistake. Their graph should really compare the values normalized for loss rates and time since solar system formation.
wavesum 3 days ago 1 reply      
This one puzzles me:

"One of the leading hypotheses on Earths formation is that it was so hot when it formed 4.6 billion years ago that any original water content should have boiled off. "

So where would it actually have boil to? I thought gravity affected water also in gas state. Just like the atmosphere doesn't "boil off", why would the water?

smeyer 4 days ago 2 replies      
(For future readers, see dang's comment on how he changed the title from "Rosetta first results: ocean water not from comets")[1])

I don't know why you changed the title to something claiming a stronger result than their title: "ROSETTA FUELS DEBATE ON ORIGIN OF EARTHS OCEANS". I'm not a planetary guy, but I think while the evidence is moving that way, the claim in your title is definitely premature.

Here's a distillation of their results (from their post) that seems far more in line with their claims than your title:

>Our finding also rules out the idea that Jupiter-family comets contain solely Earth ocean-like water, and adds weight to models that place more emphasis on asteroids as the main delivery mechanism for Earths oceans.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8731304

dang 4 days ago 2 replies      
The submitted title was "Rosetta first results: ocean water not from comets". Since the article's own title is not very informative, we changed it to the first sentence, which is. We also changed the url from http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/12/10/rosetta-fuels-debate..., which points to this.
The Other Money Problem
209 points by smcgivern  3 days ago   71 comments top 24
jsnell 3 days ago 2 replies      
> If he tells you not to start a start-up, his co-founder wife, and all the start-up friends hes made over the last several years, will be mad at him.

One of his essays from a couple of months ago very clearly made the point that a certain group of people shouldn't be doing startups (college students). That certainly seemed to be a big change in attitude to the essays from 10 years ago, and exactly in the opposite direction compared to your theory.

Edit: http://paulgraham.com/before.html

bokonist 3 days ago 5 replies      
If I was pg, unless I was writing essays based directly on the YCombinator experience, I would write under a pseudonym. Once you achieve a certain level of fame, it is simply too dangerous and aggravating to write honestly under your own name. This has only gotten worse in the past few years with the rise of angry twitter and tumblr mobs. The world is full of people who wish to punch upwards and tear someone down of higher status. And then on the flip side you have too many groupies who will agree with you just because you are successful. Of course, maybe he already is writing and submitting essays under a pseudonym, we may never know ...
jraines 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seems to me this weirdly presumptuous post--imagine for a second a stranger pontificating to the world on how your wife would feel about you doing some hypothetical thing--is refuted almost entirely by Graham's lecture & essay "Before the Startup". http://www.paulgraham.com/before.html

He's not telling people unconditionally not to start a startup, but he is very frank about reasons why one shouldn't.

vinceguidry 3 days ago 2 replies      
> The problem is that if he doesnt say this, well, his essays will be lacking in their erstwhile authenticity.

That's silly. He believed in startups, that's why he started YCombinator. That he's no longer at the helm of the startup he created doesn't mean he doesn't believe in startups anymore.

It just means that he's done them and helped others do them enough to where he's ready to move on. I'm a Ruby developer right now. If I switched to Rust tomorrow, that doesn't mean that I found Ruby lacking. Just that I want to explore a new kind of programming. They both fit the bill nicely for the types of problems they were intended to solve.

Don't focus on solutions. Focus on problems. The solution will come out of the problem. The startup 'solution' solves a particular kind of social problem. It still solves that problem. PG is finding a different problem, that's all. Perhaps at the junction of the funding problem and the founding problem, if I were to make a guess.

clamprecht 3 days ago 4 replies      
The article says: "Paul Graham has been thinking about start-ups the last several years, and he is almost certainly going to write about start-ups now."

Maybe. But I've noticed many of PG's tweets lately have been more political, dealing with other problems in the world.[0] I think it would be awesome if PG started attacking these kinds of problems more. Police violence, government surveillance, stuff happening in Israel, etc. Imagine a YC for politics.

tl;dr, I think PG needs to start a new country. I'd apply.

[0] https://twitter.com/paulg

Alex3917 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't want to speak for him, but I'm pretty sure pg is more worried about people following his advice uncritically than he is about promoting YC. Ever since HN launched he has been pretty wary of encouraging people to drop out of school or quit their jobs when they have no reasonable chance of being successful.
rglover 3 days ago 0 replies      
The thing that was so striking about Paul Grahams original essays was that they read almost as a kind of paranoid thriller. The world was out to dupe and enslave you, but he, Paul Graham, was disinterestedly, dispassionately going to get you out of here alive, armed only with Lisp, random facts about medieval Florence, and deep knowledge of Business Things.

I laughed out loud at this part. Classic.

untilHellbanned 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the trouble musicians have in creating that 2nd album after their debut was such a big hit.

It's not anybody's fault but somehow whatever the musician subsequently does, it never sounds as pure as that first album.

gus_massa 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I understand correctly, pg didn't quit YC completely. He only resigned as YC president and now is a normal partner. If he was making millions, now he is probably making only 3/4 millions, not in the unemployment row.

He also resigned as the main HN moredator/administrator/spokeman/programer/whatever and put a few people to cover those tasks. He didn't earn money directly from that work, it was a side project that grew out of control. (I suspect he's still watching from the shadows. Hi!)

poppup 3 days ago 1 reply      
The author of "The Other Money Problem," seems to assume readers are not aware of change or that Paul Graham can't continue to be honest and interesting now simply because he makes more money than he did previously. According to this theory, J.K. Rowling would be less interesting to read now that she's rich, but I would argue that her new work is better. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, same thing.

Each of Paul Graham's essays were written as he slowly evolved into the man he is today. He was changing the entire time. Also, he knows more now than he did before.

The thing that saddens me is not Paul Graham getting advice from friends, it's people who try to take some of the shine off.

sytelus 3 days ago 0 replies      
Let's not forget that pg probably doesn't have money as driver or motivator for his next adventures given that he has plenty of it. I would trust pg to say FU to any VC in world as needed although he might do it much more elegantly. Also given that he is much less involved at YC I would think his essay topics will change sooner or later. It's like Bill Gates who now writes almost nothing about software even though that's what he did for 30 years. One thing I would however agree is that something is different in his last two essays. Especially public praise for highly subjective physicic abilities of wife kind of took me of guarded from otherwise logical pg.
friendstock 3 days ago 1 reply      
For that "paranoid thriller" sort of feeling, try reading these blog posts: http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/
porter 3 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe he'll write essays on being a good parent. Sort of like a being a good startup founder, and likely just as counter-intuitive.
JoachimSchipper 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems gratuitously mean. Why not let pg write some essays first?
hawkice 3 days ago 0 replies      
Who cares who writes the essay? If you aren't reading the content without regard to who wrote it, yes, it will be less credible. You're using a system of authority / ad hominem, and those two sides of the same coin are not a good barometer for truth.

Who cares that he made money on it? If you want to really get into this discussion, anyone who writes about startups has a vested interest in advocating them -- that way their work is relevant instead of confusing ("let me tell you about how bad this thing you weren't going to do is" doesn't make sense to write). This whole line of thinking leads no where.

CurtMonash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh, bull.

We all have biases. We all, if we're known to our readers, are perceived as having biases that are not a perfect match to the biases we actually have.

Being credible despite those obstacles is a skill commonly self-taught.

pain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beautifully written. The other money problem is talking about money.
facepalm 2 days ago 0 replies      
What an utterly superfluous article. Why not just wait what he will write (if anything). There is no point in speculating about it.
tptacek 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is silly.
drcomputer 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Its the other money problem. Just as having a lot of money drives a wedge between friends, power drives a wedge between writers and their audience. It spoils all the fun. Sure, things might look the same as before. But they just wont feel the same. But they just wont feel the same.

How do you know how you will feel in the future? Do you read things assuming you already know what they are trying to say?

rokhayakebe 3 days ago 0 replies      
You know what man, critical reading/thinking. We should read just everyone in the same manner: with an open mind, but not one that just receives everything written as the ultimate truth.
jgalt212 3 days ago 0 replies      
>I admit to feeling a twinge of excitement last summer when I read that Paul Graham was leaving his jillion-dollar job to write more essays

rather apocryphal claim. I bet PG makes just as much money now as he did when he was running Y Combinator as most of his earnings are investment earnings, not salary from being Y Combinator President.

Sam's salary doesn't come out of Paul's pocket. It comes out of the management fees, of which, Paul's only charged a small part of.

mkramlich 3 days ago 0 replies      
I thought that was too meta and strained of a piece. I suspect his goal was just to say something that could make HN front page and then get some portion of that eyeball stream siphoned through to look at his commercial software Wizard. (and here I've helped with that further perhaps, haha.) But it was a very strained, strawman-heavy piece. Though I liked the writing in terms of craft.
karmacondon 2 days ago 1 reply      
PG essays aren't going to change, he isn't going to write exclusively about startups and he has no conflict of interest. One of his main messages in the past was "You don't have to take a corporate job like people may have advised you to, you can start your own company". I don't think his stance on that has changed, he just doesn't have to say it as loudly. Dorm room startups have become part of the cultural zeitgeist and the word has gotten out. Oscar winning movies have been made about prototypical startup founders, everyone has become familiar with the companies, the people behind them and the amount of money that they make. If you told someone at a cocktail party that you were going to start a software company back when PG wrote some of his first essays, you would have been looked at as a crazy risk taker. Now someone will say "Going to make a billion dollars, huh?". PG hasn't changed, the culture around him has.

Any conflict of interest is marginal at best. Paul Graham is in a situation where more startups will help his business interests, but only by a little bit. He's already built a world class brand and he doesn't need to hype it up like a late night tv commercial pitch man. It wouldn't change his financial standing if he did, and that's just not his personality. He's too smart, too wise and has much more to lose from damaging his image and reputation than he does to gain by convincing yet another college kid to start yet another photo sharing site. "his co-founder wife" won't be mad at him if he tells people not to start companies, or to start companies, or to study art instead. Make no mistake: Paul and Jessica are grown and highly intelligent people. They are in a place where petty greed isn't going to influence their decisions in any way.

Paul Graham is not a perfect man, but he sure as hell isn't weak minded. He's incredibly careful and he's usually right. All of his essays may not hit the mark, but I'm always looking forward to the next one.

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