hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Jan 2015 Best
home   ask   best   4 years ago   
Intel Compute Stick
923 points by stickhandle  4 days ago   334 comments top 65
Jormundir 4 days ago 5 replies      
This looks awesome. Finally a piece of tech I actually want, and by Intel of all companies.

The bigger consumer companies have been shuffling their feet, releasing arbitrary, very closed off pieces of tech that I don't really need. I really applaud Intel for making the tiny little PC I've been wanting for media and linux tomfoolery. The Chromecast was a no-go, and now with an apple tv, I'm feeling a little too enclosed; they don't have enough apps to satisfy all my media needs.

I've been watching the mini-pc market, chronically unsatisfied with what's been released up to this point. The Intel compute stick finally looks like the thing I've been looking for, mainly because they balance the size and low price, with just enough power for what I need. To top it off they're offering a Linux version, so I don't have to be worried about buying into a closed off platform.

fidotron 4 days ago 7 replies      
Hardware like that makes me yearn for one with no wireless and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports to use as a firewall and server.

It's fairly interesting to note what it's not: Android or Chrome OS. I suspect Microsoft will do quite well out of this, especially in the digital signage market, anywhere which is reasonably price sensitive but if developer time and cost can be reduced then they get a lot of leeway.

Still, yet another reminder that the cost of computing is collapsing. Most of the cost here is Intel margin and in the case of the more expensive one MS licenses.

aditya 4 days ago 4 replies      
$149 for Windows 8.1 version and $89 for Linux version, not bad.


bobbles 4 days ago 4 replies      
"Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon." this is how product announcements work these days?

Would've been nice to have a bit of actual information.

briandh 4 days ago 0 replies      
"TV sticks" of this form factor have been all the rage on AliExpress, DealExtreme, and the like, although their popularity seems to have waned somewhat compared set-top-boxes (I read somewhere that it was due to trouble managing heat while customers demanded more powerful processors, but I don't know). See http://www.google.com/cse?q=tv+stick&sa=&cx=partner-pub-8120... and http://liliputing.com/?s=tv+stick

They've mostly run on ARM and Android, with some hobbyists loading more traditional Linux distros on. Probably the most notable exception that I know of is the following: http://liliputing.com/2014/12/100-bay-trail-pc-stick-can-run...

If this is priced well it will be interesting to see how it impacts that landscape.

ekr 4 days ago 0 replies      
This has already been done by some Chinese manufacturers, http://www.szapec.com/default.asp?id=1793, and the Meegopad (http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/10/15/meego-t01-hdmi-tv-sti...).

And given that the Intel's Linux version will only have 1GB of RAM, and maybe a slower CPU than a Windows version, these Chinese alternative could get quite a bit more attractive, given that their price will go down in time as well.

pellaeon 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's already on sale in Taiwan for 1 or 2 months. (with a different case though)http://www.mobile01.com/topicdetail.php?f=514&t=4112495 specs inside
untog 4 days ago 2 replies      
I was pleasantly surprised to find the Intel NUC ("next unit of computing ", sigh) devices recently - I've bought one and it sits under my TV. Having a full PC instead of a Chromecast/Roku stick/whatever really is awesome. Not only can I use every streaming option out there, I can also browse the web and order food, look up maps, etc. etc.

It'll be interesting to see how these perform, but if they are similar to the NUC units, they'll be worth the extra money. The only complaint I have with mine is actually software based - I can't find a way to make the Windows 8.1 tiles larger (and more suitable for TV viewing distances)

bla2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Somewhat similar open-hardware project that'll ship in March: https://www.crowdsupply.com/inverse-path/usb-armory I'm not involved with the project
epaga 4 days ago 0 replies      
Fascinatingly in one of the comments sections, someone referred to this product which looks like it's almost exactly the same product, just not directly made by Intel: http://de.aliexpress.com/item/2014-Original-MeegoPad-Meego-T...
veidr 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why this is interesting to me is that most of the popular hot-dog-on-a-stick devices run some crappy, limited, or proprietary OS (although if you have time to invest, many can be upgraded to Linux). But this one will ship with Linux or Windows.

For some decent background info on this form factor, see: http://www.stickcomputing.com

barrkel 4 days ago 1 reply      
Presumably this thing needs a power brick too, though?

As I read it, HDMI as standard only supports +5V at 55mA. Taiwanese versions of this thing linked on this discussion suggest it needs +5V at 2A: http://www.mobile01.com/topicdetail.php?f=514&t=4112495

pedalpete 4 days ago 2 replies      
As the power increases beyond Atom processors, I think this will be very compelling.

I'd love to be able to unplug a dongle from my desktop monitor at home, and plug it into a tablet sized device to use on the train, then plug it into my monitor when I get to work, or a hotel rooms tv screen, or the presentation screen in our office conference room, etc. etc.

damian2000 4 days ago 3 replies      
My 2c ... I see a problem with it not being able to fit into the HDMI ports on my TV ... due to the design of the TV there is only room for a compact HDMI cable (the port is located in a small recessed section). In this case I'd need to connect it with an HDMI extension cable, and would end up having to mount the dongle itself somewhere.

Its probably better to buy an ultra compact PC such as an Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix, which come with VESA mounts for mounting onto the back of the TV, and store data on an SSD drive.

medecau 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is it expectable that this will ship with Intel Management Engine?

And if so why is it that 4 hours after posting there is no mention of this? We should be asking these questions upfront.

frik 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can one install WinXP, Win7, Win10 or Linux too? Or is the BIOS/Efi locked down?
ryan-allen 3 days ago 0 replies      
I bought a i5 NUC [1] which I use for work (in the places I contract where I'm there for a bit longer than a few days). It's such a cool little device, the build took all of 15 minutes, and now Intel release this!

The NUCs come in a few sizes, the cheapest costing around 150 AUD. They make great media, desktop replacements or linux servers!

As soon as this little guy comes out I'm totally buying one (a stick), I like what they're doing with this stuff!

[1] http://www.intel.com.au/content/www/au/en/nuc/overview.html

DigitalSea 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is fantastic. As a car PC enthusiast, this kind of device is going transform the car PC community once again. Up until now, small form-factor PC's have been somewhat unaffordable.
peterpacz1 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at the Intel NUC and the current trend of stick computing, a common problem exists for both: The lack of peripherals (keyboard/mouse).

Of course, these can be easily justified by their use cases, but at the rate we are going... why don't we just make a keyboard that doubles as a touchpad and computer, with a retractable HDMI cable?

krisgenre 4 days ago 0 replies      
Damn! Wonder why Ubuntu Edge didn't get the funding. It was quite similar but much better, why carry a separate stick when your smartphone itself is capable.
damian2000 4 days ago 2 replies      
If they support a keyboard and mouse via USB then wouldn't supplying power to 2 USB ports be an issue? Assuming the stick itself gets its power from HDMI.
mperham 4 days ago 1 reply      
Such an elegant name.
tailrecursion 3 days ago 0 replies      
Intel's compute stick strikes me as a vehicle for "Windows 8.1 with Bing", which also appears in cheap laptops. There are already many powerful followons to the Raspberry Pi, with 1-2 GB RAM and up to four ARM cores for $40-$100. Microsoft must have jogged Intel and said, Do something!
Shivetya 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just love the idea of having the computer being a plug in accessory to my display. Small enough that where ever I go and a display is available I have my computer and data.

Now if it is topped up with good sync software so I can have the truly workhorse computer at work/home and take whatever partition of it I want I will be sold

hengheng 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wait, so, an HDMI stick similar to those ARM/Android ones that we've all been using as media centers since 2012?
xbryanx 4 days ago 0 replies      
This could be a direct competitor to the digital signage folks over at Brightsign - http://www.brightsign.biz/digital-signage-products/overview/
alsocasey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone happen to know whether the quad-core atom mentioned would be sufficiently powerful to handle being a Plex client or Steam streaming client machine? This would make a remarkably cheap living room client PC.
murbard2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Now imagine if this were wireless, so that you didn't have to connect it to a TV? And while we're at it, add a screen, so that you can use it when you're not around a monitor.

And... it's a smartphone with chromecast.

jaimeyap 4 days ago 1 reply      
Attach a highspeed microSD card reader (or build one in) and this would make a very compelling low power, personal media file server. Although needing to keep the television on to power it might get annoying.
fasteo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cotton candy [1] has been around for some years. This looks pretty similar.

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

cottonseed 4 days ago 2 replies      
Can you do touch screen over HDMI?
jostmey 4 days ago 1 reply      
Great concept. I really like the idea of owning cheap computing devices. That way, if I break it I won't feel bad. Nothing feels worse than accidentally spilling water all over your expensive laptop. It would fit me just perfectly.
chavesn 4 days ago 2 replies      
Too bad the plug is on the end... my guess is that it's impossible to pick an arrangement that works for every TV, but this seems likely to be a problem for wall-mounted TVs like the one in the picture.
quarterwave 4 days ago 2 replies      
Consider the use case suggested by the image on the copy i.e; on-screen projection of slides in a business meeting. Can this use case be met with a tablet/smart phone using a VGA adapter?
theandrewbailey 3 days ago 1 reply      
Off topic: while running Noscript I know I am just begging for broken websites, but this page shouldn't be outright unstyled without JS.
spurgu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any idea whether this will run on 5V or 12V or something else?
auvi 4 days ago 1 reply      
Lately Intel is trying to enter several device markets. Other than their core products they now have at least the following "compute" products:

  - Intel NUC  - Intel Galileo  - Intel Edison
Now comes the Compute Stick.

allworknoplay 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's hoping they'll offer a version for embedded computing (and support it better than they historically supported their embedded motherboards).
OedipusRex 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really hope they get a 90 degree adapter for the HDMI.
ohashi 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if you could hook this up to your computer and run it like a VM but it's just a whole computer you can use from your main machine?
iwince 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is really big. We might now upgrade to the next Roku with Netflix running in Chrome on Linux, fast, now an Intel CPU device, really cool.
akshaykarle 4 days ago 1 reply      
So any comments on how is this better than a Raspberry Pi for example? You could all this using an arduino or a pi isn't it?
Nimi 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can a malicious display install a rootkit on the device? If there's USB access, this seems like an avenue worth exploring...
interdrift 4 days ago 2 replies      
This looks sick.Now all I need is a resizable monitor.
aaronbrethorst 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon."

Hello, Marketing 101 called, and said, "sign up for Mailchimp."

mark_l_watson 4 days ago 2 replies      
Very cool, but...

I think the future is our compute power in our "phones" that work with ambient peripherals (keyboards, monitors).

andyidsinga 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm totally thrilled about this ..cant wait to try one,

( ps. i work there, funny i heard about it here first ...big company :) )

sentinel 4 days ago 1 reply      
"compute-on-a-stick" what a name...
igl 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am currently crafting together a new desktop, seeing this makes me feel really silly.
Gonzih 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, very impressive.

But> Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon

Where is email subscription form?

Aissen 4 days ago 0 replies      
What's the SoC in this NUC? Is this a Broadwell i3 ? Which one ?
lsiebert 4 days ago 3 replies      
The interesting thing would be if you could stack them and cloud compute.
reidrac 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon."

That made me chuckle. If just there was a technology based in XML that could be used to do that...

blueberry73 3 days ago 0 replies      
what do you need to have besides a tv or monitor to use the Compute Stick?
ummonkwatz 4 days ago 2 replies      
So long, NUC!
bedhead 4 days ago 0 replies      
They are such idiots for not having the picture of the device in the palm of a hand or something. Marketing fail.
johnvschmitt 4 days ago 1 reply      

Close, but not what I need. What I want (& maybe others?) is:

Compute on a stick that's a VM. Then, I can plug this into my laptop's HDMI or USB port to work on my project's local data/apps that's inside the VM.

Then I can take the stick when I travel, instead of taking my laptop. I can plug the stick into any laptop for full keyboard/trackpad. Or, I could plug the stick into a TV/monitor & use my phone/tablet's IO (keyboard/touch) over the same wifi. (Yes, the stick would need a minimal host OS to run a VM on a dumb monitor.)

Small local storage (working cache) with the rest in the cloud.

If such a device exists, please educate me/us.

pzxc 4 days ago 0 replies      

I have a feeling this could be a game changer.

I'm more than impressed... I'm stunned.

rebootthesystem 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've been looking for a board like this that has HDMI in and out for real time image processing. It seems nobody makes such an animal.
fit2rule 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very welcome leap towards a new platform. From the perspective the musical-instrument manufacturers, this now allows us to do something we've wanted to do in synthesizers, effects, digital-audio processing, and so on: build an instrument that can be upgraded.

I imagine a new controller category, akin to the current iOS USB/MIDI controllers that allow music-making with iPads/etc., albeit its a synth workstation with all the knobs you could possibly want, and maybe a little screen.

And of course, a place to stick the 'compute device' of choice. I'll get 3 or 4 of these, put a different pre-configured music-production system on each one, and make a complete suite of instruments that can be easily upgraded in the future.

Very nice to see this happening.

integraton 4 days ago 3 replies      
What are the existing products this will compete with?
dholowiski 4 days ago 0 replies      
But, it doesn't exist. This will be interesting, when it exists.
justizin 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon"?

Intel, you totally fail at social media!

rubiquity 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm anxiously awaiting for Intel to team up with Justin Timberlake and offer us Compute in a Box.
olaf 4 days ago 1 reply      
Intel offers "... Pre-installed with Windows 8.1* or Linux, ...".

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."Mahatma Gandhi

Announcing Rust 1.0 Alpha
882 points by steveklabnik  1 day ago   241 comments top 35
kibwen 1 day ago 3 replies      
Congrats to everyone involved (and there sure are a lot of you)!

The TL;DR of the alpha is basically this:

1. The concept of a six-week release cycle begins today, with the first beta coming in March.

2. Breaking changes will basically cease, with the exception of a list of libraries that are still unstable and features that may be tweaked (https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/wiki/Anticipated-breaking-...).

3. Given the aforementioned degree of remaining instability, users should still probably stick to the nightly releases in order to help keep their code up to date and weed out bugs in the compiler.

As ever, it deserves to be reiterated that the 1.0 release does not represent the language being "finished" in any way, only that things will stop breaking. The language will continue evolving rapidly after 1.0, and even the 1.0 release will contain several known (and sometimes rather unfortunate) restrictions that will be backwards-compatibly lifted over time.

Post-1.0, I expect there to be a large community outreach to determine which work to prioritize (for example, I foresee a great clamor for making macros more usable). With developer help I intend to publish a blog post before then detailing exactly which deficiencies Rust 1.0 will contain, and the use cases that they currently either prevent or make awkward.

iamdanfox 1 day ago 2 replies      
Coincidentally, I used Rust for a little board game solver this week and have been delighted by its performance and typechecker feedback!

My Scala v1 was was very concise but took ~3 seconds to simulate a whole game. The naive Rust rewrite did it in 0.7 seconds and my current version churns them out at 0.015s each!!

http://github.com/iamdanfox/qwirkler if you're curious.. This language is really fun!

gnuvince 1 day ago 7 replies      
Wow. Anyone remembers Rust pre-0.1? When it had typestate, ML syntax, garbage collection, etc.? So nice to see how the language slowly evolved and was molded to fit as best as possible the problem they were trying to solve.
eslaught 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been incredibly impressed by the willingness of the Rust team to take a step back and re-evaluate old decisions. I think this 1.0 release will be much better for all the iterations put into e.g. dynamically sized types and other things that never quite fit in their first half-dozen iterations of the design. Congrats all!
TylerE 1 day ago 7 replies      
The one thing that would put rust over the top right now is something along the lines of gofmt - something simple, with zero configuration, that can be run on commit or even save.
jfaucett 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel like this is the moment that so many devs who have observed rust over the past couple of years have been waiting for. I for one am looking forward to diving in.
vruiz 1 day ago 2 replies      
> The core libraries are feature-complete for 1.0.

Can someone well informed about Rust give some impressions on the standard library? It is as comprehensive as in python or Go for example?

snake_case 1 day ago 5 replies      
Being a game developer, inheritance is a really important language feature. I'm not one to abuse the power. Currently, for school I've been working on an OpenGL game engine in C++. It's a component based system. The only real inheritance situation that's important to me, is to allow the user of the engine to create any object and make it inherit from GameObject (example: Duck would inherit the members and methods from the GameObject class). Everything else is a component that plugs into GameObjects (Mesh component, Transform component, etc.)

Over Christmas break, I played around with Rust and I'm really enjoying it. However, I can't figure out a nice way to inherit members from other structs. My current idea, like many others, is to keep a pointer to a "parent" object. So, Duck would have a GameObject, rather than be a GameObject.

Does anyone have any recommendations for better ways I can achieve what I would like to do? I will also accept the fact that inheritance is not needed in a language, but it does make a few situations easier.

speg 1 day ago 2 replies      
Stupid question, but how can a web developer relate to Rust? I had to look up 'systems programming' and Wikipedia basically told me it is writing software for certain hardware components.

Will I ever be writing a web application in Rust?

jnbiche 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the Rust team on all their hard work paying off.

Looking forward to watching Rust expand into almost every corner of the development world: web, applications, systems, embedded, safety-critical, games, hard real-time, on so on!

im2w1l 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great news! Have been waiting for 1.0 to jump into rust. Anyone knows when the final 1.0 will come?
listic 1 day ago 1 reply      
swetland 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a way to parallelize the build?

I just checked out the github repo on a quad core 3.4GHz i7 with 16GB ram, and make -j8 took 37 minutes -- the c/cpp stuff (like llvm) built in parallel, but all the rust stuff did not, such that 7 cores (HT) of 8 were idle for the bulk of the build.

Eleutheria 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stupid question...

Why not 'let' and 'var' instead of 'let' and 'let mut'?

It's just so ... weird.

JeremyMorgan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well here we are. I think this is what a lot of folks were looking for, anything before Alpha just seems too bleeding edge. Will be interesting to see what the next year holds for this language.
valarauca1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to the rust team. I've been having fun for a while in the language can't wait to start developing serious tools now that we have a stable release :)
MrBra 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Quick poll: what's your favourite features in Rust? What's the core reasons for you are going to use it soon?
mlitchard 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, there's been some buzz about rust in the haskell community, which piqued my interest. And now it's time to give it a look.
tete 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pretty nice! I mostly used Rust Nightly till now. The language, the ecosystem, etc. seems really mature now. I've been following language development for a while now. I've never seen something that is really a new language and is that far before 1.0 or in such a short time.

The language developed rapidly, without sacrificing reinventing things, changing opinions a lot. I am not sure how they did that, but it's really impressive. Usually languages lack documentation, stability, performance, etc., have lots of rough edges, no users or libraries, but none of that is true for Rust.

I am really curious about how this was achieved. Maybe someone involved could describe how that was possible. I am sure I'm not the only one interested in this.

A year ago there was an article about using Rust for an undergraduate class on operating system development. Rust was 0.7 back then and very different and way more mature.


ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome job! I so want to port it to the VAX so I can say "I put Rust on some old Iron" :-)

Time to start exploring it again.

cottonseed 1 day ago 2 replies      
What the status of Rust for Android/iOS?
jumanji 1 day ago 3 replies      
Are there any plans for ARM-support? Last time I looked, it did not seem to be supported.
svraghavan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the whole Rust team. Awesome work. Time to jump in.
akavel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know of the Rust Book is available in epub format?

Or, if not, but if it's still possible to build one from source, what are the required dependencies I have to install to be able to build the epub?

builtwithrust 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi everyone,Have you guys already had any cool projects and want to share with us?I just quickly made a site here where I would love to showcase your Rust project. http://builtwithrust.com/.Thanks all,
Exuma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great job rust team! I've been playing around with this lately and it's a lot of fun.
azdle 1 day ago 1 reply      
So that's why I'm suddenly getting all these "warning: use of unstable item" after doing a rustup.
alouanchi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally time comes to have a look at it.
KenoFischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to the rust team! Committing to 1.0 is a scary step :).
ibnukamy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats and thank you guys for all the hard works.
arenaninja 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just downloaded, I'm excited for this
weatherlight 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is Super Exciting!
namelezz 1 day ago 0 replies      
adultSwim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wake me when we get there
mopo2000 1 day ago 5 replies      
How can you have an alpha without generics?
A Career in Science Will Cost You Your Firstborn
621 points by timr  1 day ago   383 comments top 61
wwweston 1 day ago 21 replies      
"Why does anyone think science is a good job?

The average trajectory for a successful scientist is the following:

* age 18-22: paying high tuition fees at an undergraduate college

* age 22-30: graduate school, possibly with a bit of work, living on a stipend of $1800 per month

* age 30-35: working as a post-doc for $30,000 to $35,000 per year

* age 36-43: professor at a good, but not great, university for $65,000 per year

* age 44: with (if lucky) young children at home, fired by the university ("denied tenure" is the more polite term for the folks that universities discard), begins searching for a job in a market where employers primarily wish to hire folks in their early 30s

This is how things are likely to go for the smartest kid you sat next to in college. He got into Stanford for graduate school. He got a postdoc at MIT. His experiment worked out and he was therefore fortunate to land a job at University of California, Irvine. But at the end of the day, his research wasn't quite interesting or topical enough that the university wanted to commit to paying him a salary for the rest of his life. He is now 44 years old, with a family to feed, and looking for job with a 'second rate has-been' label on his forehead."


comrade1 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is nothing new.

I planned on being scientist in genetics/cell bio starting around 10th grade. I worked in laboratories throughout my undergrad years and then got into a prestigious human genetics phd program around 1993.

I first started to see that something was wrong while still an undergrad while working with people smarter than myself that were on their second or third post-doc. I had no desire to be into my career 12 years (phd + 3 2-year post-docs) and still not have a real job.

In graduate school I saw this continued and I also began to see just how much of a crap-shoot having a successful science career in academia was. The young professors on tenure track all had some amazing research during their phd or post-doc(s) but most often it based on something unexpected or novel that they couldn't have predicted.

Finally, when the head of the NIH testified in front of congress that there is a glut of scientists and that he couldn't recommend to anyone to go into science I decided to drop out.

I've had a great career since then outside of science but there are times when I miss it. I especially miss being around people much smarter than myself and driven purely by curiosity and the desire for knowledge. And I miss doing original research solving a fundamental question about life that is completely unknown and that can't just be googled.

And there are times when I get tired of the software industry and its man-children and its lack of seriousness... I know that everything we do isn't pointless and I've worked on some interesting cutting edge government/military projects that had mixed academic/industry teams, but it saddens me that so many of the smartest people in the software industry are working on essentially marketing/advertising projects. Google has become the blackhole for researchers that Microsoft Research used to be in the late-90s.

I'm not as negative as my post probably comes across as. I do like what I do and I have made friends with people in the software industry that are closer to my mindset than the norm. But it would have been nice to have been able to stay in science and have a better chance at being able to support myself and a family.

dnautics 1 day ago 6 replies      
I think it's important to consider that maybe scientists aren't worth paying that much. The average scientist is probably moving society forward, but I'm not so sure the median scientist is. Having been to a 'top 10' PhD program in a 'hard science' (chemistry), I am not sure 75% of the professors there were worth a dime. I am not sure 50% of the thesis defenses were, either (mine included).

This is in contrast to the doorman example, or in my case, being a Lyft driver (which pays more than being a postdoc). Every night, I help society out by providing a service that someone wants, and if you want to be more abstract, by keeping drunk people off the road.

I was able to raise $56,000 for an experiment in anticancer research. That doesn't seem like much (it isn't) but in retrospect it's about right. I asked for money for one experiment, and that's what I got. It doesn't pay my salary, but I probably don't deserve it (yet) until I've proven myself at least at one stage. Drug development is risky, why should society pay much more than the bare minimum to get it done?

kohanz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I only did a Master's and avoided the academic route (wasn't interested). My lab peers at the time were 5 PhD students. Of that group at a good Canadian University, 3 are still post-docs (4-6 years after graduation), 1 has a decent-paying research position (non-teaching) and 1 is a faculty member... in the Middle East. Meanwhile, I work in an R&D field alongside many current faculty members, a surprising number of whom are 65+ and will die before they retire.

In general, my observation has been that the students that quit after a Masters tend to do better financially than those who continue on. That's not to say that Master's graduates are hitting the big time; they just tend to end up getting their market value.

mathattack 1 day ago 2 replies      
It seems strange to me that people assume that more education in any field they want will necessarily result in more money.

Schools are producing too many Biology Phds. Or Forensic Science undergrads. Such is life. There's no way to predict 100% what the market will be like, so we make do. There's no intrinsic right to a job in the field that one chooses to study, and most people work in fields outside of their major.

It's also true that your choice of first (or second or third) job is no guarantee. GM used to be a job for life. Now it isn't. As individuals we make our best choices, and then have a small safety net to fall back on if we're wrong.

The only thing we should push for schools to do is show transparency on where the alums wind up, because unfortunately their incentives in producing Phds (and JDs and Russian literature degrees) differ from ours in receiving them.

paulmd 1 day ago 4 replies      
Yup - "STEM jobs pay well" is just wrong at this point. Neither Science nor Mathematics pays worth a damn, what people actually mean when they say this is "go work in technology or engineering".
carlmcqueen 1 day ago 7 replies      
Maybe it's just me, but I've never really thought getting a PhD had to do with money, but instead the result of either extreme curiosity or a very strong passion about a more granular complex topic.

I never understood it to mean a path with a defined cost to equal a defined salary. This scientific equation of years of school to salary just feels foolish.

stalcottsmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Passed on a career in science when I was 17 and noticed after interviewing professors that it was mostly full of politics and money stress and precious little science. Fact is there are a lot of fields that are "desirable" and enjoy and endless supply of willing young and talented recruits. These fields always pay terribly for all but the elite and offer tremendous competition. Publishing seemed to be another one. It was common knowledge or at least patently obvious to me that you should not attempt a career in publishing (editing and evaluating manuscripts for major publishing houses) in NYC without a trust fund and or a magic credit card paid by daddy. Science is like that. I hope my children can do science.
eykanal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Excellent post. Even more depressing, the author didn't discuss the fact that when this young researcherwho just finished a PhD and postdoc training in a specific research areaapplies for her first grant, she is effectively required to submit a grant for whatever topics are "hot" at that moment. These topics may not be directly related to her field of interest, and may be something she has very little expertise in. However, by writing a proposal in simply whatever area she finds interesting, she is taking her already dismal chances of obtaining funding and decreasing them further.

Even MORE depressing, once our young female scientist has done a good job, built her lab, and is now in her mid-forties, if she really wants to improve her pay at that point she will have such attractive options as "department chair", which adds a lot of non-research administrative work to an already overworked person. What fun!

tsotha 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Frankly, everything about the career, the business of science, is constructed to impoverish and disenfranchise young scientists, delaying the maturation of their careers beyond practicality.

That's because way, way too many people want to be scientists. Lots of people want to be actors, too, and most of them end up working as waiters for the same reason.

I've never run across such a smart group of people who are so dumb. Even if you win the lottery and get that coveted tenured position you're not going to be doing much in the way of research - you're going to spend all your time filling out grant applications and managing grad students.

You may as well get an MBA instead.

djoshea 1 day ago 2 replies      
Certainly a depressing perspective, but as a Stanford PhD student (neuro), my thoughts have always been that pursuing science was a decision to work on the problems that interested me at the _expense_ of not receiving good financial compensation. The particular things I'm interested in studying happen to exist primarily within academia (and non-university academic institutions like Allen Brain and Janelia), because the neuroscience work being done in industry (today) is far more primitive (e.g. EEG). This may change in the near future, and I'll reconsider my options then, but for now, I'm under no delusion that my salary (~30k) is anywhere near what it could be for an EE/CS in industry. That being said, if the amount of bullshit and politics becomes so burdensome that it kills the attractiveness of the science, then I'd leave.
mikhailfranco 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If a situation doesn't make any logical sense, you are not seeing it from the right perspective. If you look around and can't see the sucker, it's probably you.

Higher education is not designed to produce happy productive affluent scientists, it's designed to make money for the education industry (administrators) and churn out debt slaves for the finance industry.

debacle 1 day ago 5 replies      
If it weren't for our current economic system, having a glut of lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers, etc, would be an incredibly good thing. For everyone.
throwaway-4321 1 day ago 2 replies      
This hits just way too close to home to keep a straight face :-(

If anyone on HN has any questions/doubts/need details, AMA. I'm a Life Sciences Post-Doc at a major US university. I'll try my best to answer (no personal details please).

greymeatball 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know it's N of 1 but I did grad school with a wife and kid both at home, all of us supported on my typical student stipend. Then lived in one of the most expensive locales in the country as a postdoc, again, wife was at home with the kid(s). Started making $45k, 2.5 years later was at $55k (you do know that postdocs can ask for raises, right?). Now in a tenure-track faculty position, have federal funding, and making $125k/year. It's not impossible to make it work, and I'd do it all again.
cryoshon 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't have a PhD, and won't be getting one. While it's something I'd love to do for the sake of knowledge, it simply isn't workable money wise, family wise, or time wise. The postdocs and graduate students work 6 days a week for 10 hours each day for a pittance.

I'd like to think that all these gripes about science are reaching some sort of boiling point, and that some solution is right around the corner-- except that I'm here in the trenches, so I know there is no such thing happening. People suffer through it, grumbling once in a while, but refusing to attempt to better their own circumstances in any way other than more work.

Many of them lead outwardly lonely or empty lives spent slaving away at their lab benches or tissue culture rooms. They cannot afford to replace their old clothes, phones, or bicycles. They live in houses with 4-6 other people, even into their 30s. When they publish their paper, it is their supervisor's name that is noticed. The bitterness and beatdown demeanor they express suffuses many of their non-work conversations.

Science is a pretty bad life in academia. Industry scientists still need to muddle around in academia for at least some period of time, but on the whole they seem much better off... except that most people from the academic side don't consider them to be scientists at all.

CurtMonash 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got my PhD in Math from Harvard in 1979. Based on http://abel.harvard.edu/dissertations/index.html, it seems that 5-10 folks per year did that in those days. Perhaps 20% went on to research careers big enough to have Wikipedia articles now -- mainly in academia, although there's one in industrial cryptography (Don Coppersmith) and another in finance. Most of the rest have had decent careers in academia or business.

However, I don't recall grants -- beyond grad school fellowships or whatever -- playing a major role in pure math at that time.

fiatmoney 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not brilliant to ensure a good fraction of your smartest citizens are effectively unable to reproduce.
varelse 1 day ago 1 reply      
Grad school cost me close to ~$100M... My bad...

No I am not exaggerating. I would have been #3 at a very successful tech company had I chosen it over grad school and that's about half what #1 and #2 are worth these days.

That said, over a decade after I tripled my salary in a day by fleeting my post-doc for the dotcom boom, everything I learned in academia suddenly became relevant and continues to increase in relevance every year.

throwaway1979 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a PhD in CS from a highly ranked school (systems) and work for an industrial lab (6 years out of school). I make the same as a fresh graduate from Waterloo from recent empirical evidence. It is just dressed up differently ... the fresh grad in question has a salary at the 100K mark salary with 25K-ish in guaranteed bonus for a few years (plus some stock options). I make that in guaranteed salary with no bonus or options. My work week just ended (easily 10 hours a day doing very cool stuff but not science). I'm juggling reading some papers out of true interest (deep belief nets), reviewing some crappy papers for some journal that were due two weeks ago, and spending time with my wife. Clearly I made some very bad career decisions.
roadnottaken 1 day ago 8 replies      
I have never heard of a professor "forgoing their own salary" to keep the lights on. I'd be surprised if this was allowed, actually.

Also, for what it's worth, I did a PhD and a post-doc and have a nice biotech job that pays well. It's not an easy road (what is?) but it's not as bleak as all-that, if you enjoy doing science.

kevinalexbrown 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Why do we do this to ourselves?" She asked me. "We train forever and ever, live in near poverty, work insane hoursall of it to get jobs that dont exist, as tenure track faculty. Why do we suffer this way?"

Because it's fun and fulfilling. My lab has had people who left banking and consulting gigs, at extraordinary financial cost, measured in dollars. Neither seemed to regret the switch much, but many who go the other way feel the same.

Planning on a tenure track job isn't very reasonable, it's like planning for a successful startup, I suppose. But right now I get to do exactly what I want to be doing. The 'premium' economists would say I pay is worth it to me, for now.

api 1 day ago 8 replies      
It's simple: we have de-funded science just like we've de-funded other liberal pursuits.

People like Peter Thiel are right about the drought of fundamental innovation since the early 70s, but they are wrong in other ways that ultimately render their arguments void and hypocritical. Thiel backs the same right-libertarian economic policies that caused this problem in the first place. The reason we stopped going to the Moon and inventing new paradigms in computing is because we stopped funding it.

The simple fact is that only three kinds of entities can fund basic research in most fields:

(1) Governments.

(2) Gigantic corporations with entrenched monopolies so profitable that they can afford to spend like governments (e.g. the old Bell Labs). Usually deep lasting monopolies of that sort are government-granted... again Bell Labs is a good example. So this goes back to governments or alternately government can be seen as the ultimate super-monopoly.

(3) Individuals with absolutely stratospheric net worth (over one billion at a minimum). The problem is that there are few of these and fewer who really get science and care about it that much.

You can't -- and shouldn't be able to -- patent a law of nature. Discovering a fundamental principle that led eventually to practical fusion power, interstellar travel, or radical life extension (to give examples) would be among the most valuable acts in human history, but its economic value would be pretty darn close to $0. There is no way to directly monetize it. As a result, markets cannot efficiently fund basic research. There is no way to securitize it -- no marketable financial vehicle for valuing it, capitalizing it, or delivering returns on it.

Monetize-ability doesn't come in until later -- until engineers have assimilated the new scientific discovery or principle and designed practical and workable technologies based around it. Usually these are different people than the original discoverers. Sometimes this process takes generations.

Science won't come back from its present abyss until and unless we get over market fundamentalism and realize that there are some classes of human endeavor that markets just aren't very good at funding.

It's a fact that's been true throughout history too. All the wonders of the ancient world (pyramids, Roman roads and aqueducts, etc.) were built by governments. None were built by commerce. All the wonders of the modern world -- the Moon landings, the Internet, the ISS, the Human Genome Project, the harnessing of the atom -- are either wholly government funded or were set into motion by a substantial initial investment of government money. The only big set of counterexamples I can think of are mostly out of Bell Labs, which was funded by a government-backed telephone monopoly.

If you think Xerox Parc is a counterexample, go find the Engelbart demo. Parc was doing stuff that was trail-blazed by a DOD-funded SRI project a decade earlier. If you think Elon Musk's ventures are counterexamples, understand that both Tesla and especially SpaceX are built directly on massive amounts of government R&D over the past 50 years. SpaceX is basically commercializing a lot of NASA (and Soviet, and German) technology. Elon himself says this, to his credit.

Most libertarians are simultaneously pro-tech and anti-state-investment. This requires an act of willful blindness and ideologically driven self-delusion on the same level as believing that the Earth is 6000 years old and mankind coexisted with dinosaurs. There is simply zero historical evidence that you can have that cake and eat it too. This is a special case of the more general "public good denialism" of right-libertarian and conservative ideology. Market fundamentalism is, quite ironically, America's own version of Soviet dogma.

The deeper underlying reality is that to make a huge step forward like this requires enough capital to effectively insulate a group of smart motivated people from the market (and other forces and demands) long enough to enable them to try something fundamentally new. Nothing like that is ever profitable from the get-go. You can't bootstrap it. It must be a "pure act," almost Nietzschean, undertaken for the goal itself and nothing more. "We will go to the moon" or "we will build a pyramid" because... we decided to. Period. Only once the trail has been blazed can commerce come in and line the street with shops and houses. At that point you've de-risked the path enough that bootstrapping and venture funding and similar things become thinkable.

I'm not anti-market. I reject that fundamentalism too, and generally reject fundamentalism as a way of thinking. Governments can fund basic research because they can, but they stink at taking it beyond the discovery or prototype phase. I'm just saying that markets are good at some things, but not others. Market should be free to act where they are effective, but they should be part of a larger political landscape that encompasses multiple mechanisms that are (hopefully) given jurisdiction where they work best.

Everything I wrote here will remain true until someone figures out a way to profitably fund such things within a market framework. Given the monstrous challenges involved I'm not holding my breath. Patents would be a poor mechanism, since they would have the perverse effect of shutting down research in a whole area for a long time.

ska 1 day ago 0 replies      
It can even be hard when your career trajectory isn't stuck. I went to grad school because it was well funded and I could do fun research; I did the same thing in a post-doc with my own funding (much more than this article suggests, so I wasn't giving up too much salary compared to industry).

But I got a good look at what the next 10+ years were going to look like if I wanted to be successful at it. Although I had tenure track offers I decided the life of a research academic, even at an R1, wasn't for me. The practicalities of maintaining funding derail a lot of good research ideas and make people very conservative. Time pressure from the admin and teaching on top of this leaves little left for actual research. This was topped off with the difficulty I was having trying to get outside collaborations really working and transition my research into practice. Maybe if I'd been better at it I would have had opportunities that changed my mind, I don't know.

So I left, although many of my colleagues thought I was crazy to do so having "made it" past the post-doc trap.

I can't complain at all, I made a decent salary for several years to just do research and learn things, which was great. But I couldn't see staying.

harmonicon 1 day ago 1 reply      
My first college major was biology. I was determined to become a "scientist", inspired by all the giants I learned about in high school. I immediately found a job working in a lab after getting to college.

However, I quickly become disillusioned about the career prospect. In the textbook, it seems like Mendel had a great idea one day after observation of pea traits. He cultivated some pea plants to test his idea and thus came the genetic theory of inheritance. Boom, home run. Modern biology research takes a lot more effort and churning just to get to a intermediate finding. Obviously I was at the bottom rung with the most menial work but it just did not appeal to me much.

In addition to that, it is very apparent that everyone in the lab is stressed out. The professor is always working on a new grant application; post-docs worried about their future; grad students trying to get their experiment finished and paper out. People come into the lab on weekends all the time. It feels like a grind and very few people seem to have the time to slow down and take delight in their work. I didn't have an idea of how much their respective salary back then but its obviously they are not rich.

I worked on the job for all four years but am very glad I switched my major to CS in my sophomore year.

harmonicon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Also I feel like this article just reflect a familiar trend across all US labor market: Winner takes all. The people at the top always take a disproportionate amount of the overall resources. In manufacturing it's the CEO vs the assembly line worker; in healthcare it's the hospital administrator vs the nurse aid; in academics its the university administrator vs the grad student.
papul1993 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes me so sad. I am currently studying Chemistry in a joint undergraduate+postgraduate program. And reading all of this makes me so sad. Here in India, the situation is even worse.
mudetroit 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this doesn't point to a market inefficiency that someone could take advantage of. A company that focused on research specifically, patenting and marketing relevant discoveries or spinning of subsidiary companies to exploit research they are doing.

I know it isn't the tenure track positions that are mentioned in the articles. But a company like this could potentially pay substantially more than the academic institutions,and give them a more immediate opportunity to publish as a primary investigator.

Those additional publishing opportunities may allow them to even return to the academic field if they chose to later on.

Just something I was mulling over while reading the article.

othmanaba 1 day ago 2 replies      
The argument that PhDs should earn more because their education costed more is faulty. Salary is a price, you see. It is governed by laws of economics, supply and demand. Scientists should not earn more, because their value is unknown. Why would anyone pay $200,000 to someone who "might" create an amazing paper? Whereas those in investment banking earn much more than that because they provide much greater value to the employer. One should be pragmatic about life and not feel entitled just because they incurred high costs.
hueving 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Dont we, as a society, want them to have bright little babies who will make the future a better place? If we do, were really working against ourselves.

This is a common flaw in thinking I see all of the time when it comes to teachers, scientists, and everyone else that someone says is underpaid. The fact that they are underpaid represents exactly how the sum of our society values people in these positions. So the blunt answer is, "no, humans are more focused on short term goals and reward people that provide something with an immediate return."

Lots of smart people train to become lawyers as well, and now the market is saturated with new lawyers resulting in a situation similar to PhD students. Think about how much interest you have in shelling out extra money to fund these new lawyers salaries with bring them to parity with the law graduates of 10 years ago. That is how much interest most of society has in ensuring that someone with a PhD in biology is making six figures.

saalweachter 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is trickle up economics at its finest.

The share of income going to labor has been declining for decades. 2000 hours a year at minimum wage is $15k before taxes. Why should universities pay their grad students any better when $15-20k is the realistic best alternative? If you want to increase grad student stipends, a $15/hr minimum wage is the way to do it.

dluan 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's posts like these that show just how ripe for innovation academia has become.

It's no surprise that there are now so many science tech startups popping up. Founded primarily by scientists.


ergzay 1 day ago 1 reply      
This all comes back to profitable work generation. MUCH of science just isn't profitable, you're usually doing something that simply shows that something ISN'T possible. This, to the economy, was a worthless result. The only value was to stop other's from also spending money on that same worthless result. That's fundamentally why science doesn't pay well.
mason240 1 day ago 2 replies      
So what can actually be done? Simply adding more funding won't change the grad student -> post doc -> tenured professor system.
padobson 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're smart enough to copy DNA with a polymerase chain reaction, then you're probably smart enough to figure out the logistics of building a highly efficient janitorial services company that undercuts the local competition.

On that career path, you'll be making six figures before your scientist doppleganger gets their graduate degree.

The point is, most career paths don't put money as the top priority. Count up the costs before you start down it.

AznHisoka 1 day ago 4 replies      
Replace science with medicine, or law, and the same still applies.
chris_wot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or a career in science may save your firstborn, or someone else's. Just saying.
known 1 day ago 0 replies      
veryluckyxyz 1 day ago 0 replies      
If that is all a career in science will cost you, you are one of the lucky few. For many others, it costs a lot more.If your significant other is also in science, bonus costs for you!If you came to US on a student visa and want to continue living in US and you spent your OPT working as a post-doc, more bonus costs for you!If after many years of postdoc, you have not been able to get a tenure-track position, even more bonus costs for you!

One has to try though.

rthomas6 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is the economics of this? I never understood why this is the case now in academia but it apparently didn't used to be. What changed?
xanmas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assuming 7% returns, and 6% employee match of a graduate student's salary in my programme (32k), graduate school costs ~288k in lost retirement savings, as well.
Balgair 1 day ago 4 replies      
Ask HN: Ok, well, im in my first year of a neuro PhD. I returned to school to beat the credential creep and partly to change careers. I have burning questions, but the funding is just not there at my uni. Also, as it is a career change, my grades aren't the best, as I lack the foundation in neuro (was EE before). What now?
cafard 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the cultural historian Burkhardt's letters, I saw one to a young friend saying, in essence, What do you want to be a university professor for? Become a high school teacher, and you'll earn enough to marry and start a family. This was 19th-Century Switzerland (or possibly Germany, I forget).
drdrey 1 day ago 0 replies      
"It didnt really occur to me that most employed twenty-somethings werent scavenging free food from lecture halls."

I used to do the same thing as a postdoc at UC Berkeley, while trying to provide for a wife and kid. Actually finding leftover sandwiches was a big deal.

tezzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've contracted for several government agencies and research firms, and I've noticed only PhD's get to run laboratories. Without one, you hit a glass ceiling rather quickly (by which I mean you don't make the leap from 100Kish to 200Kish salaries)
sosuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember watching Prince of Darkness, the students were in science.

  [Walter is studying quantum physics]  Walter: Why do I want a Ph.D. in this?  Catherine: Particle beam weapons, research grants...  Walter: A millionaire when I'm forty! Now I remember!
That is what I thought as well, I guess science doesn't pay.

kirk21 1 day ago 0 replies      
Guess it depends on your location. In Belgium they pay quite a lot to compete with the private sector. In Germany not so much...
superdude264 1 day ago 1 reply      
So the university get a portion of each grant someone brings in? This may be naive, but I thought grant money was given to a person/project and that tuition paid for university stuff.
fergie 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a well paid software consultant, I totally envy my friends and family who get to work in academia. I would love to do a PhD no matter how poor it made me.
vph 1 day ago 0 replies      
All this person is focusing on is $, $, $, and more $. If you want money, get a MS degree. PhD's don't get you high-salary jobs.
rrtwo 1 day ago 0 replies      
ok, so I have done the 'mistake'* and now an epsilon away from getting my PhD in CS.

What would be the best came coming out of it financial?

* I did enjoy the process very much, and learned a lot, but like the gist of the article - you can't feed on science.

facepalm 1 day ago 0 replies      
On the other hand, getting tenure is like winning the lottery, so maybe 8% is not that bad a probability.
niche 1 day ago 0 replies      
The issue here is that you are focused on: something vague (a PhD) and a quantitative psuedo paycheck. Money is bound by numbers, a primal abstraction of the mind. Focus on what is most meaningful to you, get it, chew it, digest it, vomit it out, study your vomit and repeat. Everything else will fall into place. You are limitless.
lambdafunc 1 day ago 0 replies      
go do an mba instead of a phd if you really want to spend more time in university.
nosferatus 23 hours ago 0 replies      
low cost high reward, from my view
geebee 1 day ago 0 replies      
My guess is that none of this is surprising to people on HN, we're well aware of it.

But the message is important. Our government still operates on an almost unquestioned assumption that there is a critical shortage of people going into science and engineering.

A discussion from the chronicle of higher education is here - along with a link to the very specific legislation that is voted on.


"The real game changer in the bill for universities is in the green-card section, where advanced-degree graduates for STEM fields have green cards stapled to their diplomas," said Craig Lindwarm, assistant director for international issues and Congressional and governmental affairs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities."

Notice that this is specifically STEM. Many legislators in government truly believe that there is a shortage of STEM workers, especially at the grad degree level (they are almost never holders of these degrees).

Meanwhile, a report from the RAND institute finds the aversion to STEM graduate degrees among US citizens (ie., people who already have the freedom to work and live in the US regardless of what degree they hold) is rational considering the better prospects in other fields.


Keep in mind that a dental hygienist in San Francisco makes a median salary of 109k a year, a registered nurse in San Jose 122k a year (see us news best jobs for sources).

The whole system is due for a correction, and truth is, the market would bring about this reckoning on its own if it weren't for the interference of government. To get people into STEM graduate programs, especially at the elite level, you'd need to make those graduate programs as attractive as MBA, dentistry, medicine, elite law, and so forth. What would happen? Perhaps universities would do something about the 50%+ PhD attrition rates, realizing that elite law and med schools typically have attrition rates of below .5% (yes, half of one percent). Perhaps they'd make completion times shorter and more predictable. Perhaps salaries and work conditions would improve.

Or, alternatively, universities wanting students and tech companies wanting workers can lobby for special consideration in the immigration system, where immigrants are allowed into the US only on the condition that they either have immediate family or spend a huge chunk of their lives studying science and engineering, getting PhD degrees that only make sense if you don't have the same choices as full and free citizens, and working in this field under limiting visa conditions for an extended period of time, after which your life options may be more limited.

So far, the second choice appears to be the path the US has chosen, but by delaying the market correction, the US may truly harm itself in the long run. I don't think it's wise to allow the career path for science to deteriorate to the point where the only people who would pursue it are ones who don't have the freedom to chose their profession in the US.

MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why do scientists regard academia as necessary?

Out of my own education, the science class that I regard as the very-most valuable with Caltech's "Physics X", taught by Richard Feynman. There were no grades, no homework, no tests. One did not register for the class ahead of time, one could come and go as one pleased.

One could ask any question one wanted, provided Dr. Feynman was not required to work out any math. It's not like he didn't know how to, rather that he felt conceptual understanding was far more important than the understanding that comes from following derivations.

Pierre Fermat totally stymied more than three hundred years of the world's very finest mathematicians with his famous Last Theorem - while serving as a magistrate of the French Court.

We've had universities since medieval times, however it is only recently that universities have served science.

It is also only recently that one attended a university to prepare for a career. Consider that I have a degree in Physics, despite that I work as a coder. In my actual experience I am often able to do work that those with Computer Science degrees are unable to.

(I expect that some CS graduates could perform Physics research that I myself would be unable to, were they only to try.)

Would you like to do research? To publish? Win the Nobel Prize? Score with graduate students?

Just carry around a notebook.

If you see something that you don't fully understand, write it down. You might forget, or if you remember the phenomenon, you might not remember it accurately.

If you find a phenomenon that you can't explain, try to find some way to explain it. perhaps it's in wikipedia. Or if not, perhaps it's in scientific american magazine. or if not, perhaps it's in the astrophysical journal.

Maybe you've discovered something totally new, or if not, you are the very first to take interest in any otherwise unnoticed phenomenon, or perhaps the first to explain it.

If you can explain it, publish your explanation.

Don't gripe about the peer-reviewed journals - publish it on your website. If you have a Sitemaps Protocol file - http://www.sitemaps.org/ - then The Wayback Machine will eventually pick it up.

"Peer Review", for me, consists of mentioning something I'm working on at Kuro5hin, then getting flamed mercilessly for it. The way I see my colleagues at Kuro5hin, is much like the reason Inspector Clouseau requested that Kato attack him with sophisticated martial arts whenever he entered his apartment.

"Citation" is getting linked.

"What about research grants?" you may reasonably ask.

When I was at the Institute, there was an Astronomy Professor who had never been awarded a grant in her entire career - no doubt due to sexism, as the grants are awarded by anonymous committee members.

She was real pissed off about this, but didn't let her lack of funding get her down; she paid for her research by operating a recycling center on the side.

I'm good enough at Physics that I figure I could get tenure were I to complete my doctorate.

But I don't want to be part of the system. It was pointed out to me in 1993 that there were too many postdocs, and not enough professorial seats.

I'd like to publish, but really, I don't see the point of completing my PhD or even applying for a postdoc fellowship.

However, I do carry a laboratory notebook around with me.

And I do publish - on my own website.

(BTW - I didn't decide to be a scientist when I was sixteen; I decided to be a Chemist at first, when I was but eight years old.)

michaelochurch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Academia and VC-funded startups in this "M&A has replaced R&D" era seem radically different but are actually similar in structure.

You have a massive wealth of mostly passive capital with vague desires behind it. For the VCs, it's "invest in small businesses and get me a high return", the passive capitalists being administrators of teachers' pension funds in Ohio who delegate the small-business investment decisions to a bunch of well-connected "experts" and kingmakers in California. From the government, it's "invest in research that benefits the national interest". You have talent that wants to do the research and exploration. And you have politically-adept middlemen who manage to leverage the principal-agent problem native to passive capital for personal gain.

In technology, those are the venture capitalists, the well-connected people who can be founders whenever they want by placing phone calls, and the buy-side executives at Hooli-type companies who have the authority to acq-hire mediocre "talent" at $10 million per head.

In academia, they're the bureaucrats who administer grants and the most successful academics who transfer out of an IC role into a professorship that is mostly a management role with a high degree of credit. (That's what the OP's discussing when he talks about the people doing the work getting the least credit, having it taken by advisors and full-timers.) Power goes not necessarily to the best scientists, but to those who are most able to direct the flow of passive investment capital (from the government) in a direction they find favorable.

It's upsetting and perverse, but it also shouldn't be surprising. People sell their votes for pennies and wonder why they don't have power. Ohio pension funds invest their wealth in Silicon Valley VCs and wonder why none of the jobs being created are within 500 miles of them. Academics and startup engineers who work based on "idealism" or "changing the world" are likewise selling their votes by taking jobs that underdeliver in compensation and career support. And, of course, people pay taxes into the federal grants that keep universities afloat (let's be honest: even "private" universities breathe on taxpayer oxygen) and tuition to get their kids stamped as "approved for admission into the middle class" and that's the biggest bit of cut-price vote-selling in all of this.

Part of me says "fuck this noise" and the other part of me doesn't know what the solution is, for startups or for academia. I think the end goal of all societies should be (just as political vote-selling is illegal) to make passive capital a bit less passive, so that the salesmen who make careers of buying and selling cheap votes at a profit are (what is the word?) disintermediated.

PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that's the right way to put it.
pvaldes 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is totally true.
How my life was changed when I began caring about the people I did not hire
593 points by chl  2 days ago   321 comments top 33
BrookeTAllen 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hi, this is Brooke, the original hiring manager. I'm new to HN so please excuse me if I violate protocol.

I agree, life is about treating people well. However, although I find hiring is probably the single most satisfying thing I did on my job, it was very hard emotionally because in the case of nearly everyone I dont hire it is because they say NO to me, and boy, rejection hurts. But at least I have a job and my candidates usually dont.

More later but first

If my site is unresponsive there is this on slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/BrookeAllen1/brooke-allen-has-a-be...I've generalized my approach to hiring all sorts and describe it here: http://qz.com/88168/how-to-hire-good-people-instead-of-nice-...

When I'm lucky enough to talk to programmers I'll describe it this way...

I dont want to be stuck in Von Neumanns bottleneck so rather than me processing candidates in series with the question Who do I want to hire I take an OO approach and send a different question, Who wants to work for me? to my candidates so they can work on it in parallel.

Since hiring is an elimination process I let them eliminate me in the first rounds. I dont say no but I have to take a lot of it, which can be hard on the ego, particularly if I judge people too early and start to want one person over another. Desire is at the root of suffering. (Any fans of the move The Tao of Steve? Formula for getting the girl: 1) Be desireless. 2) Be excellent in her presence, 3) Let her desire you.)

I try to be the most flawed (e.g. honest) but-striving-to-be-excellent person I can be in front of my candidates and hope they will be the same for me (and magically they are). If were not going to be who we are before we start working together who do we plan on being afterward?

Because eliminating candidates is the name of the game, I concentrate on the negatives and that way there are only positive surprised later. Arguably many of my best candidates might eliminate themselves, but Im not looking for the best I can never afford them anyway I am looking for the most appropriate for my budget, which I state early on and is almost never subject to negotiation. You cannot increases your desirability to offer to work for less, and if you are worth more than I can afford than Im sorry, but I cannot afford you.

I want what I call hidden talent; those good at doing a job but bad at getting one. After all, the last thing I want you to be good at on my job is getting the next one. I'll help you find a better job before I hire you because afterward we've got to hunker down and get some friggin' work done.

Because I form an intentional temporary community of my candidates, and task them with something hard but meaningful that benefits them (like learning a new skill and/or helping each other find work) then by the time I say yes to someone everyone else agrees with the decision. In fact, in 10 years only once did a person tell me he thought I had made a mistake by not hiring him and the other candidates were so outraged they jumped all over him and one who happened to be a lawyer offered to defend me pro bono if he tried any funny business.

I never heard from him again but it is my great pleasure to say he is an exception in that regard and I count a few of the people I havent hired among my friends. This is a wonderful side-benefit because as I get older it is harder to make new friends, and it is certainly unwise to treat employees as friends as some do.

I seldom tell individual candidates what they did wrong, not because I am shy, but because it can be hard to take and Im fairly tactless. However, I will offer a class on how to find work in which I anonymize specifics enough so as to benefit those who can identify themselves. Also, most people dont do anything seriously wrong other than be unqualified or unlucky; no shame in that.

More later, if youre interested.

After 30 years Ive retired from the capital markets and they will do fine without me, but the markets for human capital are severely broken. Because Im not ready to die, stop working, or give up on having a life's purpose, if you would like me to help you crack this nut then please do not hesitate in contacting me.

sekasi 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've done a LOT of interviewing, recruiting and ultimately a lot of saying "no" to people.

Over the years I've landed on a series of personal rules on how to do just that.

1. Always explain rationale around the No, to help them improve2. Always let people down gently reinforcing positive notions as well, you never know what state of mind they are in.3. Always respond to requests for more information

This takes me a lot of time in my professional life, but it's making me a happier person. Ultimately, it's people's lives you're dealing with. You don't owe anyone anything, but life is about treating people well.

JeremyMorgan 2 days ago 5 replies      
The first time I got a front page link to my site on HN, it did this exact same thing, which prompted me to move away from Wordpress. Static HTML ever since.

But to comment on the article, I think this is a fantastic idea. I do wonder though how he found so many enthusiastic people. Maybe it's just a new era, but I have a hard time finding people who even want to do a 1 hour coding challenge. He got these folks who were willing to learn something, and build and spend DAYS on it? It's awesome but it seems unlikely these days.

Taking that kind of time to choose the right person, then helping the other people network with other APL folks... that just spreads good vibes all around. I would like to see the "care more" trend spread in our industry. Even now with a programmer shortage companies are still unicorn hunting and making people jump through stupid hoops for jobs.

shortcircuit01 2 days ago 6 replies      
This story reminds me of how broken software engineer interviewing is. Imagine if a company decided to hire software engineers by giving them five 6-sided dice. Then they have to come to the company building and roll each dice once every hour. And during that hour they have to dance and sing in front of someone while being recorded. If they roll all 6 on all 5 dice, their dancing and singing will be judged by the committee! And if the committee likes their performance they might get the job! The acceptance rate is 0.01%, the company is so elite. And this company is also complaining about a software engineer shortage. They wish they could find more good engineers!

It's pretty obvious which company (or group of companies) I'm referring to. The interviewing process of these companies has done great harm to the software industry. And now they're trying to do further harm by using it as an excuse to get cheap foreign labor to reduce salaries.

smacktoward 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how much of this kind of thinking can be traced back to a persistent startup-culture problem: the delusion that the people who work for you are, or even should be, your friends.

If that's the lens you're looking at candidates through -- as people auditioning to be your friend -- of course you'd feel you're obligated to help them through their job search! That's what friends do for each other.

But the people who work for you -- and even more so, the people who have only applied to work for you -- are not your friends. You can (and should!) be friendly with them, of course; but you can't have a real, true friendship with them, because you have power over their lives that they don't have over yours.

Moreover, if you try to just ignore that power differential and relate to your employees like they're your old dorm buddies, all you'll find is that the power differential poisons the relationship. They'll constantly be second-guessing their own reactions to you, out of fear of negative job consequences. You'll constantly be second-guessing your own reactions to them, out of fear of appearing to play favorites. And they'll all be second-guessing each others' reactions to you, out of fear of someone brown-nosing their way past them on the career ladder.

It's the same reason why it's always a bad idea to date someone who reports to you -- you can never have the kind of relationship with them you have with someone outside the hierarchy you sit at the top of. Suspicion and jealousy and gamesmanship taint it from the moment it begins.

The solution to all these problems is to learn, understand, and internalize the distinction between colleagues and friends -- two groups of people you owe very different things to -- and then act accordingly.

bjterry 2 days ago 2 replies      
BrookeTAllen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi, this is Brooke, author of the original story.

Wow, other than the grief I'm going to get from my ISP I'm so glad to see all this and when I get a chance over the next few days I'd like to add more.

Some quickies: I've generalized this approach and talk about it in a Quartz article: http://qz.com/88168/how-to-hire-good-people-instead-of-nice-...

fecak 2 days ago 4 replies      
I sometimes consult to clients on improving their hiring process. Candidate experience is now a topic that at least some companies consider.

This isn't your typical candidate experience - applying for a vague job ad, being asked to answer 6 puzzle questions, invite to an open house, two days of free training and then left alone for three weeks, followed by a vote by the tribe to see who will get the job.

It's definitely a plus that many of the students were hired elsewhere, but this is likely a method that would only appeal to the unemployed. I hear quite a bit of negative feelings towards companies that ask for extensive amounts of time commitment during the hiring process, and this is probably the highest level I remember.

If most companies asked candidates to go through this process, I expect they would want (and feel entitled to) some explanation at the end of the process.

deedubaya 2 days ago 3 replies      
When you hire for a person, you find that personality traits are much more important than what an applicant has done in the past, including passion, drive, etc.

When you hire to fill a position, all this goes out the window the applicant goes into the hiring lottery pool to maybe get an interview, and then the traditional "You could totally goog this IRL, but I'm going to hire you based off your memory" type of hiring.

bbcbasic 2 days ago 1 reply      
To generalize the point a bit:

I don't think enough companies are doing enough to help the ecosystem.

Like foresters chopping down the Amazon, or fishers taking the last fish from the ocean, they want to harvest good talent and then stick them in jobs where they can be a cog in the wheel it is hard to grow. They expect other companies to have given them the training or perfect relevant experience.

And then we hear complaints there there is a shortage of hackers etc.!

midnightclubbed 2 days ago 3 replies      
So unless I'm reading the cached text wrongly 38 people read the given manual and answered programming questions based on it. They then met informally.Lets say they burnt a day on this.

27 of those people then suggested being taught how to program in APL (after building a classroom). I'm assuming anyone who didnt want to attend got cut.3 additional days spent.

They were then given 3 weeks to solve some difficult problems.Estimating they spent 4 days solving those problems.

They then re-met and were interviewed.Another day spent.

So to get to the end a candidate had to spend best part of two work weeks doing nothing but learning and programming an obscure language. No time for interviewing elsewhere, earning a wage, or attending college classes.

I would really hope he cared about the majority of the candidates who spent so much of their own time and money to be rejected with nothing to show for it. Most companies would have interviewed a couple of times, given a few hours of programming/aptitude testing and made a decision as to whether to hire the person (and teach them the job while paying them a fair wage).

Feel free to vote down if I'm getting this all wrong or an being overly cynical.

S4M 2 days ago 0 replies      
This hiring process is great, but requires lots of time, for the applicants and especially for the hiring manager - I suspect the author was targeting unemployed people, so they would have time for this long application (he put his job advert on the New York Times). To be honest, that is what surprised me the most in this article: that someone who runs a statistical arbitrage desk has the time for all of this.

I wonder if companies could collaborate to create this hiring process. It would save hiring manager's time, applicants' time since one application will count for different jobs, and then a system could be set for candidates to rank their employees, then the candidate who performs the best get his first wish, the second candidate gets is first wish if there is still room, otherwise he gets his second wish, and so on - a similar system is being used in France for students to chose in which universities they want to go after competitive exam entrance, basically lots of universities pool exams together.

On one hand it would scale hiring process, on the other hand it's not flexible and offers have to be transparent (it's currently not the case but maybe that would be a good thing), and it would hurt the pride of companies who are ranked in the last position.

In the case of the article, I am sure someone who is able to solve in a language he recently learn the non trivial software that are mentioned will be able to land a job at some point. It was written in 2004, maybe Github, Stackoverflow and Open Source in general are now contributing to that selection.

BrookeTAllen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, other then the grief I'm going to get from my ISP this is great that you're interested.

While we figure out how to get my site working again, I wrote this in quartz: http://qz.com/88168/how-to-hire-good-people-instead-of-nice-...

and this for Science Magazine: http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previou...

And there is this Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/BrookeAllen1/brooke-allen-has-a-be...

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Money quote : "I started No Shortage of Work to encourage my unemployed friends to re-frame their status not as a disaster but as an opportunity to explore new vistas."

This is something which people often forget, is that learning needs to happen life long, it isn't a 'did college, check that box.' kind of thing, its about always learning. Its the first thing I check for when I look at people to hire.

sunstone 2 days ago 0 replies      
How bad can it get? Several years ago I had a Russian team lead at a software company who ate code for breakfast (clearly the top guy amongst over 100 coders) and had excellent leadership qualities.

Later, when the financial crisis hit he was out of work and I found out that he was really bad at interviews. Ever since I've wondered if I was hiring would I be able the spot the diamond in the rough where evidently, very few companies/people can. I'm still not sure.

Yhippa 2 days ago 4 replies      
In the US are there legal reasons why employers generally are tight-lipped about why a candidate didn't get hired?
nostromo 2 days ago 5 replies      
I have mixed feelings about this.

It's easy to see what's to love: an open, honest, and collaborative hiring process with a boss willing to train employees. Awesome!

But he also got about 30 people to spend four weeks building trading software for him. Collectively that's over two years of uncompensated work, the results of which the hiring manager may use for free. And from the perspective of the applicant, how many applications could they complete in a year if all were so time intensive? 12? 24? I suspect many top applicants would avoid this process entirely.

jdudek 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is quite similar to how we hire Ruby on Rails developers. We organise two-weeks long Bootcamp where we train people in Rails. At the end we offer some of them to join us as junior developers, with further training during next year. Those who are not hired still winthey receive two weeks of training which helps them find jobs elsewhere. Weve had some fantastic hires this way over the past two years.

This article made my think that maybe we can do better and provide more assistance to those we do not hire after Bootcamp.

More details about our Bootcamps are available at http://pilot.co/bootcamp.

freework 1 day ago 0 replies      
The best example I've seen for putting together a team comes from my high school football team. Instead of tryouts, they let anyone play who wants to play. The best players excel from day one, but the crappy players quit after a few days. The coach never says to a player "we've decided you aren't good enough, so you're off the team". It was each players decision that they came to themselves to leave the team.

The guy in the article pretty takes the same approach. I've always felt the best way to interview engineers is to go over installing the company's development environment on their machine. In other words, there is no evaluation, just expectation of results.

vonnik 1 day ago 0 replies      
FutureAdvisor's in-house recruiter here.

I recently ran a hiring event in San Francisco with Brooke called Staffup Weekend. Brooke is one of the smartest, hardest-working and most generous people I know. I read the post linked to above last fall, and worked with him to bring jobseekers together to work on meaningful projects. The event was called Staffup Weekend, and it was held in the Chron building on Mission and 5th.

Our hypothesis was: The only thing that correlates with performance is performance. Everything else -- degrees, pedigrees, buzzwords, interview skills -- are a waste of time. About 20 people worked through the weekend to create various apps. They made wonderful things: one was a Chrome extension that gives you the emails of the founders of the company web pages you visit. Another was a LinkedIn 2.0 for people who wanted to feature their work and themselves. We made 8 interview offers and one hire from the weekend, and I think everyone involved came away feeling like it was worth it. Write me if you're curious to learn more: chris.nicholson@futureadvisor.com

seagreen 2 days ago 6 replies      
"So, here is my answer to the question, What do we owe the people who we do not hire?

    1. Information on where they stand.    2. An explanation of what they are doing wrong.    3. Help improving."
Nope! You don't owe them those things. Good for the author that they tried it and it worked out, but it's not a general rule.

Everything works smoother in lots of different parts of life if all parties understand the concept of a Clean No. Not "You can say No but then you still owe me such and such". Just "No." Anything beyond that is a gift.

fogleman 2 days ago 0 replies      

    So, here is my answer to the question, "What do we owe the people who we do not hire?"    - Information on where they stand.    - An explanation of what they are doing wrong.    - Help improving.
Things you will never get from companies like Google.

ErikRogneby 1 day ago 0 replies      
I attended a bootcamp at ArsDigita on building database backed web applications back in 1999. I don't recall now if it was two weeks or three, but the things I learned in that short time have been useful in almost every job I've had since. Just knowing my way around Oracle an PL/SQL landed me a position at a telecom. The bootcamp was free, and at the end of the bootcamp after a code review I was offered an interview. I declined because I didn't want to live in Boston. I realize that Philips motives weren't entirely altruistic but I am sincerely thankful that he took this approach to staffing up.
edem 2 days ago 0 replies      

    Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 9961472) (tried to allocate 19456 bytes) in /home/quest15/public_html/brookeallen.com/pages/wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 959

skazka16 2 days ago 0 replies      
I interviewed an engineer today. Probably a lot of companies would not hire him. He was not that great. I said "Yes" because I noticed a passion and a huge desire to learn and grow. We'll see if that was a mistake or not.
spydum 2 days ago 0 replies      
The real solution here is not to interview people, but to discover people OUTSIDE of a hiring scenario, and recruit them after you've determined they would be a great fit (inverting the game). It's just unfortunate that it is much more effort to invest as the employer, but it is essentially the best way for everybody involved.
normloman 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds like the job search from hell. Let's break down this trainwreck:

1. The guy posts a vauge help-wanted ad that implies no experience is required. Then he's surprised that 300 people applied and none had relevant experience.

2. He asks applicants to read a 500 page manual, then solve some programming puzzles. With no pay. As if the applicants have nothing better to do.

In the rest of the story, the guy does a nice thing for the remaining applicants. But why does he ask candidates to jump through so many hoops for this job, especially when, as he states in the ad, experience is not required. Not every unemployed person has the time to read a manual, waste time solving puzzles, or attending a class with no guarantee of employment. Some of them really need jobs. Some of them have bills to pay. Some of them have other opportunities, and can't afford to put their life on hold while you make up your mind.

alishan-l 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a job seeker having recently completed a web dev bootcamp (with no prior experience), how might I go about getting my first tech job? Or, taking a step back, my first interview? I find it frustrating that entry-level positions seek people with years of experience.
anon4 2 days ago 0 replies      
Or "How my life improved once I started making friends"
soheil 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Resource Limit Is Reached"

this is how

sonabinu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Je Suis Charlie
581 points by drallison  3 days ago   270 comments top 30
hyp0 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Je n'ai pas peur des reprsailles. Je n'ai pas de gosses, pas de femme, pas de voiture, pas de crdit. a fait srement un peu pompeux, mais je prfre mourir debout que vivre genoux." - Charb, one of the murdered satirists

"I am not afraid of retaliation. I have no kids, no wife, no car, no mortgage. It surely is a bit dramatic but I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees" - translation from http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/2rmgra/these_two_carto...

gouggoug 3 days ago 3 replies      
Some context for people wondering what this is about.

Wednesday 7th, at 11am, 3 people entered "Charlie Hebdo" a very well known French satirical newspaper and shot 12 people with kalashnikov. Charlie Hebdo is also known, for their caricatures of the prophet Mahomet.

"Je Suis Charlie" means, "I Am Charlie" and is a message of support to the newspaper.

This is obviously a very short sum-up.

krig 3 days ago 8 replies      
This is horrible, and we as a society need to somehow make this kind of thing not happen. I have no idea what that means in practice, though. It seems everything that has been tried so far has only escalated the hatred and strengthened the extremists.

Also, at a time like this it is important not to forget that the last major terrorist attack in Europe was instigated by a fundamentalist christian norwegian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik

But it's hard not to get swept up in it right now. I too want to _do something_. The question is, what? How is freedom of speech best defended in the face of unreasonable people who have no limits to what they are prepared to do?

tokenadult 3 days ago 2 replies      
Posted on my Facebook wall immediately. Thanks for sharing the link. Earlier today, I was searching for news stories about the shooting incident in Paris that would actually show the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo to establish context for how cowardly and despicable the shooting was. Most English-language press outlets are not showing the cartoons. A comment on one news site pointed out that Spanish-language media are generally not being so gutless today, so I linked a slideshow from El Pais[1] on my Facebook wall so that my friends could see that the shooting is all about suppressing free speech.

[1] http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/07/album/1420632020_829679....

sarciszewski 3 days ago 1 reply      
My belief is that, when something like this happens, we need a strong show of solidarity with the victim.

If you are (or know) a journalist, please consider publishing some of the Charlie Hebdo satirical cartoons, unredacted and uncensored, in your coverage of this story.

Terrorists may be able to kill some of us, but they can't kill all of us.

robteix 3 days ago 8 replies      
I wonder if the debate in the media will focus on religious fanaticism or if they'll start victim blaming by arguing that Charlie Hebdo was asking for it, being provocative.
creamyhorror 3 days ago 1 reply      
BBC coverage: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30710883

I am outraged at the enormity of the murders, but I can't see a simple solution given the significant presence of extremists. Their brazen acts know no limits; what then are governments to do? In my country, Singapore (which has a significant Muslim population), we have a relative lack of incidents or conflict, but the government also maintains tight control that probably wouldn't be feasible in Europe (clarification: meaning that mosques and madrasahs are regulated and overseen by an Islamic Council that is part of government).


mercer 3 days ago 3 replies      
My heart sunk as soon as I heard the terrorists were muslim extremists, as here in Holland anti-immigrant and anti-muslim feelings are very present, and these incidents are fuel on the fire of racism here.

I really, really hope that people from different muslim communities speak up as well. In past incidents there was a lot of silence, usually prompted by fear (I suspect). I understand if they don't, but I hope they do.

jknz 3 days ago 0 replies      
For some context, the wikipedia page is still updated every few minutes


meapix 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a muslim and I found most of cartoons by Charlie Hebdo funny, however the cartoon about the prophet didn't upset me at all but was not funny. It did however trigger something: this is how people actually see this religion, a bomb on a prophet's head. The reality is what makes something funny or not.

Should this be the end of making funny of anything or raising questions/ideas, no. However a journalist's job is not to upset people but to cross the line then come back and bring some people with him/her: convince.

All my condolences to those affected by this tragedy from Ottawa, Canada.

questerzen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Attacks in two of my home cities (Paris and Sydney) in recent weeks affecting people I am closely connected to. It is truly heartbreaking. It makes me very proud that in both cities, people refuse to accept these actions as anything but the actions of inexcusable murderers; and in both cases people have made use of the internet to share a positive message of hope and solidarity (Je Suis Charlie / IllRideWithYou). When I grew up in London during the IRA bombings, no such channel existed and the message was a very negative one issued by the government and echoed by the broadcast media. What a difference it makes that the general population now have a channel to direct the way these actions are viewed, communicated and reflected back to the perpetrators. Yes, now we ARE all Charlie.
fbhat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a muslim and here's my perspective on what happened in Paris.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo is an absolute travesty. My heart goes out to the cartoonists, columnists, editors, policemen, and other innocent victims.

Absolute freedom of speech is a human right. From Paris to Riyadh, anyone is free to draw and publish cartoons of the Prophet and any aspect of Islam that they disagree with. Not only should critical discourse be tolerated, it should be welcomed, for it leads to introspection and self-betterment.

I believe that a majority of muslims living in the west would agree with me. Many might have been offended by the cartoons, but one does not choose to live in a free society if they can't handle opposing points of view. Unfortunately, this doesn't come through in the statements of muslim "representativates" on TV who are quick to condone acts of violence but seem hesitant to categorically dismiss the ideological basis for the violence (i.e. the cartoons shouldn't have been published). This is probably because their jobs depend on carefully towing a line between religious ideology and political correctness.

Again, I don't think the cartoons are an issue for msot muslims in the west. I suspect the motivation behind the gruesome attacks in Paris might have been to make them a bigger issue, with the ultimate objective of sowing internal discord and recruiting more troublemakers. Perhaps the perpetrators play upon the expectation that the public discourse will inevitably drift to "why are muslims violent and dangerous and opposed to cartoons of the prophet?". Young mulsims will inevitably face this discourse in schools, in the press, on TV, and may eventually start to believe it and feel isolated. This might mold them into targets for further brainwashing and recruitment.

I think that we, as a society, need to get a lot better at understanding these criminal motivations. Forcefully reacting to these acts of violence is simply not enough. If we fail to control the discourse, I'm afraid such violence is likely to continue.

rurban 2 days ago 2 replies      
It might be an unpopular opinion, but "I am not Charlie".

Even as atheist, some of those Mohammed caricatures are not funny or satire, they are simply over the line. Not just juvenile, silly or stupid.In most other countries they would be forbidden. E.g. this one from 2010, who caused the stir and death threat. http://torstenh.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CH8.jpgFrance has a different liberal, explicit anti-clerical and anti-censorship tradition. The US and scandanavian countries also. But elsewhere it would be illegal.

Compare them to similar Jesus caricatures, e.g. http://www.zensur-archiv.de/index.php?title=Satire

It's a fine line and in some cases german Titanic covers were allowed. "Ein Strafverfahren wurde von der Frankfurter Staatsanwaltschaft mit dem Verweis auf die "Satire" und deren Mittel der "Verzerrung" und bertreibung" abgelehnt. (Sdt. 24./25.4.2010)"

The legal situation in Germany and Austria: 5 explicitly states to respect the religious beliefs of the population. In addition to the insults of religious faiths ( 166 para. 1 of the Criminal Code).

Anybody who explicitly agrees with Charlie Hebdo and posts images will probably fall under these paragraphs in those countries.

_cipher_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. While Philae landed in a comet after a ~10 year trip, some people still killing each other because they believe/insulted an imaginary god. sigh

Don't get me wrong. Almost every big religion did the same (crusaders anyone?). But for me, this kind of behavior (regardless the religion), leads me to believe that these people are Uruk-Hai in human form.

2015 and instead of chosing to actually educate people, that sh*t keeps happenning.

random123456 2 days ago 0 replies      
Throw-away account for obvious reasons:

The problem with fanatics is just that: they're illogically fanatical about their beliefs. They're blindly driven by an ideology and can't be reasoned with, much less asked to sit at a table to discuss their grievances and concerns.

It bears noticing that while "Charlie" spoke out for the right of freedom of expression, he did so in a culture where that was only permissible within a context that the French found suitable [0]. While crazy and murderous acts are impossible to excuse--and should be condemned--it's hard to understand why people are surprised when the chickens come home to roost. That's what chickens do.

We are all Charlie, but apparently only if we choose to fully assimilate and not carry on with any religious or traditional customs others might find offensive.

0 - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28106900

ankurpatel 3 days ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain what this is suppose to mean? I know there were attacks in Paris.
kbarre123 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's nothing to discuss, really. I'm not going to convince you. You're not going to convince me. Steve's not going to convince Akbar, and Akbar's not going to convince Omkar. Nobody's ever read an internet comment and thought, "Holy shit, @deeznutz420 is right. My religion IS a total crock of shit! Well I'll be..." What happened is terrible. It'll happen again, and no amount of pontificating or "nation-building" or foreign aide is going to change the fact that some people hate other people because they're different because their parents raised them to be that way. This is not a religious thing, it's a human thing. Whites in the US killed black people all the time, not too long ago mind you, simply because they were different. And they worshipped the same freaking god!
fra 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is a gathering in SF being organized on Facebook. Tonight, 7pm in front of the French consulate.



Techbrunch 3 days ago 1 reply      
I hope they are not gonna use this as an excuse to pass new laws to increase surveillance.
baby 3 days ago 0 replies      
I believe these are papers you can print to show irl.

There are meetings everywhere in France right now and people are displaying those printed papers.

on Facebook everybody is changing their profile picture to this image.

osehgol 3 days ago 0 replies      
I dont think this discussion belongs here, just read the Economist article and be done with it. It makes an excellent point for Islamist to modernize and "the others" to realize all Abrahamic religions had taboos http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/01/johnson-blas...
chasealias 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.As quoted in Liberation Theologies in North America and Europe (1979) by Gerald H. Anderson and Thomas F. Stransky, p. 281; this is sometimes misattributed to the more modern revolutionary, Che Guevara, and to "La Pasionaria" Dolores Ibrruri, especially in Spain, where she popularized it in her famous speeches during the Spanish Civil War, to Jos Mart, and to Aeschylus who is credited with a similar declaration in Prometheus Bound: "For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life." The phrase "better that we should die on our feet rather than live on our knees" was spoken by Franois-Nol Gracchus Babeuf in his defence of the Conspiracy of Equals in April 1797. In French it read, 'Ne vaut-il pas mieux emporter la glorie de n'avoir pas survecu a la servitude?' but transliterated this bears no resemblance whatever to the quote under discussion. see: The Defense of Gracchus Babeuf Before the High Court of Vendome (1967), edited and translated by John Anthony Scott, p. 88 and p. 90, n. 12.Spanish variants:Prefiero morir de pie que vivir siempre arrodillado!I'd prefer to die standing, than to live always on my knees.As quoted in Operacin Cobra : historia de una gesta romntica (1988) by Alvaro Pablo Ortiz and Oscar Lara, p. 29Variant translations:Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!With an extension, as quoted in Timeless Mexico (1944) by Hudson Strode, p. 259I would rather die standing than live on my knees!It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!I prefer to die standing than to live forever kneeling.Prefer death on your feet to living on your knees.La tierra es de quien la trabaja con sus manos.The land belongs to those who work it with their hands.Quoted as a slogan of the revolutionaries in Shirt-Sleeve Diplomat (1947) Vol. 5, p. 199, by Josephus Daniels, and specifically attributed to Zapata by ngel Ziga in 1998, as quoted in Mexican Social Movements and the Transition to Democracy (2005), by John Stolle-McAllisterIgnorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than flocks of slaves for tyranny.Remarks in regard to Pancho Villa, as quoted in The Unknown Lore of Amexem's Indigenous People : An Aboriginal Treatise (2008) by Noble Timothy Myers-El, p. 158
eumenides1 3 days ago 0 replies      
I disagree with actually all the comics. I don't think anybody is "charlie" in those comics. Everyone is saying they are "charlie", but nobody is "charlie" because none of those comics are depicting the prophet mohammed as charlie clearly would have.
chasealias 3 days ago 0 replies      
Matt Sullivan @sullduggeryFollow"An assault on democracy": Thursday @guardian front page with former Le Monde editor Natalie Nougayrde #CharlieHebdo
baby 3 days ago 0 replies      
By the way here's a picture of the demonstration in Lyon:


Thiz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Never a better time to bring back the guillotine.
discardorama 3 days ago 8 replies      
308 points in 2 hours and 121 comments... and listed at #24. Ranked below stories like:

    2.  121 points, 3 hours ago ,  26 comments      3.  69 points , 2 hours ago ,  22 comments      5.  138 points, 4 hours ago ,  33 comments    8.  80 points , 4 hours ago ,  28 comments    9.  46 points , 3 hours ago ,  10 comments    10. 56 points , 3 hours ago ,  19 comments
Looks like it's being flagged left and right. Why? What if, instead of Charlie, it was some Internet startup? Freedom of speech is important to all of us.

Martin Niemoller's "First they came for the Communists...." comes to mind: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

simbilou 3 days ago 0 replies      
Of course not. What makes you think it is?
lotsofmangos 3 days ago 0 replies      
_almosnow 3 days ago 6 replies      
I honestly want to know how is it allowed for someone to humiliate and make fun of something that is sacred to other people/culture. 'Free speech' I know, but when does someone's right to express themselves ends? Doesn't (or shouldn't) it has its limits?

There are many other instances where you can't get away with something just because it is free speech. How come guys like Julian Assange are not protected under 'free speech'? How about people who sign NDA's? How come it would be heavily criticized (and probably illegal) for a newspaper to start running weekly cartoons where they make fun of the black population in America, depicting them with the all the token representations and slurs that are now widely accepted as 'racist'?

I really want to know what's different, what's permissible, what isn't. Are there some written rules about this or is it just the result of how things are perceived by the majority of the public (i.e. what we like vs what we don't)?


I'm not muslim, I don't sympathise with their religion and neither I'm trying to condone what happened. I made up an example with black people because that's a very sensitive and controversial issue in the US, but the intent is not to spark controversy around racism and the likes. I'm probably going to be downvoted into oblivion but I want to know if at least I get an intelligent point of view to these issues.

Can't you just turn up the volume?
541 points by varunsrin  3 days ago   152 comments top 26
korethr 3 days ago 5 replies      
This is nifty.

My father has hearing loss and it's bad enough that not only does he use hearing aids, he is constantly turning them up until they feedback and start ringing. He doesn't hear the ringing, but I do, and I have some hearing damage of my own. And he wonders why his hearing aids go through batteries so fast.

Their description of how hearing loss works gives me some ideas on how I can help my father manage his hearing loss better than just constantly buying batteries.

However, I do have one complaint with the article, and that's their (mis)use of terminology, specifically, dynamic range. Dynamic range is not, as they claim, the range of frequencies one can hear, from lowest to highest (e.g. 20Hz-20kHz). That's bandwidth. What dynamic range is, is the ratio of quietest to loudest sounds possible, often expressed in dB.[1]

For example, as they mention, human hearing has about 120dB of dynamic range. An audio CD can encode a dynamic range of 96dB. The 24-bit files professional audio studios work with can represent up to 144dB of dynamic range.

Perhaps it's a pedantic distinction, but using already existing terms for what you mean to say is less likely to cause confusion than misusing one that means something else.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range

Jemaclus 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm completely deaf in my left ear, and I wear a hearing aid in my right ear. What's really cool is that my hearing aid has BlueTooth, and starting with the iPhone 5S, Apple supports direct-to-hearing-aid technology. That means when I get a phone call, it streams directly from the phone to my hearing aid -- not out of a speaker, directly to my ear. Very, very cool.

Here's more info: https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ios/hearing-aids/

That said, if I had an older hearing aid or didn't have this one, I'd definitely use this app. They are spot on about hearing loss and how it's more than just a volume thing. In fact, most of hearing loss is really an understanding thing. I can hear your voice just fine -- I just can't hear 100% of it, so the words don't make sense to me right away.

carlob 3 days ago 1 reply      
I once went to a 3h long blackboard talk given by James Hudspeth [1] on the physics of hearing.

It was one of the most fascinating things I've ever heard: it turns out that not only the cochlea performs a Fourier transform of the sounds we're hearing, but it can also selectively amplify some frequencies, by vibrating the very same hair that detect the sounds.

Sometimes the mechanism that amplifies some sounds goes wrong and that's why sometimes old dogs seem to emit a high pitched sound from their ears, and also the cause of some forms of tinnitus.

If you have some time to kill do go read the wikipedia pages of the cochlea and hair cells, it's really fascinating stuff!

[1] http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/faculty/labheads/JamesHu...

roberthahn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting article. Thanks for posting, varunsrin! I've been following development of SoundFocus for awhile.

I'm profoundly deaf. This is a technical term classifying the degree of hearing loss; to give you a sense of where this fits, the typical classification range is mild, moderate, severe, profound, total.

Between a combination of hearing aids and lip-reading, I've done a reasonable job of integrating into a hearing society. Not perfect, but ok.

I've often wished for a different approach to correcting hearing. It crystallized for me after I read this article by Jon Udell: http://blog.jonudell.net/2014/12/09/why-shouting-wont-help-y...

In that article, what Jon found was that his mom would hear best if you spoke at a low to medium volume close to her ear - this worked better than any shouting at a greater distance could accomplish.

And it should be easy for you to simulate - get a friend to talk to you from 50' away - you can still hear them, but there's some detail loss that wouldn't happen if they're 3' away.

I still benefit - a lot - from MBC, but if someone could come up with a way to make the incoming sound sound as if it were right beside me, man, that would really help me understand people clearly.

One non-technical solution, that people use to ensure that deaf people can understand you clearly is to enunciate consonants audibly. An example of this is is the word "red" - it becomes "erREDdead". I don't know if there's a name for this so I can't point you to a page describing how to extra-enunciate all the letters. As useful as it is, people speaking to me like that always makes me feel like I'm dumb, because they sound dumb saying it. Clearly I have issues :-)

kabouseng 3 days ago 0 replies      
My wife is an audiologist, and she and her colleagues found this excellent. One suggestion if I may (actually that my wife made), is that where you have the soundcloud files demonstrating MBC, you add one demonstrating what a person with hearing loss would hear, before the one with the MBC.

That way a person can judge the improvement that MBC gives to a person with hearing loss, instead of just judging the reduction of quality to that of a person with perfect hearing.

But again, excellent article!

dghughes 3 days ago 2 replies      
My mother as a teenager listened to her transistor radio all the time, it was a new thing when she was young. She held it up to her ear and it was turned up very loud now she suffers from fairly profound hearing loss but only in a specific high range she can hear low bass normally.

If you talk to her and then turn on a tap to get a glass of water the conversation over, the fridge motor comes on conversation over, any non-verbal sounds is noise that obscures all words to her. "What?" is the response to nearly every word from anyone mouth has to be repeated twice except in a dead silent room. She listens to the TV on level 20 and it's very draining to everyone around the person.

But she won't get a hearing aid! She's 70 years-old but refuses to even discuss it. It's odd how if you say to a person who can't see they may need glasses it's OK but if you say to a person hard of hearing the may need a hearing aid it's like you said the most obnoxious thing ever to say to anyone.

gwern 3 days ago 2 replies      
For people with hearing loss & run Linux: if you have your audiogram and an idea how your hearing loss varies by frequency, you can try to do selective boosts by frequency through a Pulseaudio filter. I discuss it a bit in https://plus.google.com/103530621949492999968/posts/32qSkcQP...
zenocon 3 days ago 5 replies      
"Why can't I just turn up the volume on my iPhone?" is something I ask myself everyday and shake my fist toward Cupertino. Seriously, the gain on the phone is severely limited. Try listening to a voice call on speakerphone in even a moderately quiet environment with just a twee bit of ambient noise. It is maddening that I can't get any more volume out of this device without jailbreaking it.
marquis 3 days ago 1 reply      
While I appreciate the article, having hearing loss is not like losing context of an image such as not being able to see the bear on the tricycle. It's more like the image is fuzzy and depending on the factor of loss, it might be a bear or it might just be some fuzz:


Audio compression, especially when using psychoacoustic principles, helps by lowering the noise of the unwanted sounds e.g "probably not a human voice" or "not a bear" in this case and increasing certain frequencies for a person's particular hearing range so they can "see" the image better.

pizza 3 days ago 1 reply      
This article would be great if they replaced their frequency-domain 'dynamic range' terminology with the standard word for it, bandwidth.
anigbrowl 3 days ago 4 replies      
Whats the solution? Multi-Band Compression (MBC), a technique thats been used by the $6 billion hearing aid industry to solve this specific problem.

An MBC uses intelligent design instead of a one-size-fits-all method. With the right data about your hearing pattern, it can mash the full sound into your range so that you get all the information you need.

Audio engineer here. That is patently untrue. MBC is a super-useful technique and is indeed helpful for mitigating hearing loss in relatively transparent fashion, but it does not and cannot bring sounds from outside someone's audible hearing range back within it. It will dynamically rebalance incoming audio in inverse proportion to the degree of hearing loss within a set of frequency ranges, but many kinds of sensorineural hearing loss involve the death of cilia cells (the tiny hairs thatvibrate at particular frequencies, much like the bins of of an FFT) which can result in a total loss of perception at or above certain frequencies.


To 'mash the full sound into your range' requires a technique known as frequency shifting, but that's problematic because it destroys the harmonic relationships of the incoming material and sounds disorienting, at best.

In any case, I think the illustration of the bear on the tricycle is absurdly simplistic and makes me wonder to what the degree the pp designers really grasp the underlying concept. A much more appropriate parallel would have been to show an image with a severe Gaussian blur, which more closely parallels the actual experience of hearing loss in terms of both empirical measurement (higher frequencies tend to be more severely attenuated in cases of induced hearing loss) and subjective experience (blurring hinders edge detection, which is analogous to transient detection in audio, and which has a large role in speech intelligibility.


If you're struggling with hearing loss, then you should really, really consult an audiologist, work out the basis of your hearing loss (which is sometimes as simple as impacted earwax), and work out a treatment strategy. If you're suffering from degenerative hearing loss then listening to overly-compressed music could actually accelerate it, and listening on headphones or earbuds (many of which bias the sound for increased impact) could also contribute to the problem. It's a truism in the pro audio world that most people are awful at self-measurement and tend to over-equalize in the absence of proper experimental control protocols.

I apologize for the rather negative tone of the post; I appreciate the people at SoundFocus are trying to provide people with something useful and helpful at minimal cost, by leveraging the pretty good audio hardware in their phone. However, hearing loss tends to be a one-way thing, and I think that offering a product to that market without a clinician on the team is a bad idea. There's a lot more to being an 'audio ninja' than understanding the fundamentals of DSP.

larrybolt 3 days ago 9 replies      
This was an interesting read, but what to me personally is more interesting is how to prevent hearing loss over the years.

I might be wrong on this, but I recall a hearing specialist advising me not to use earbuds at all, or at least limit the use to max 1 hour at a time. A dynamic headphones, such as the good old Superlux HD 681 would be "better" in the long term. (Not trying to advertise for that headphone, it's just one of the few that is cheap, good, and I can rewire myself and even add a plug so I can easily buy new aux cables).

However I cannot wear my headphone longer than 6 hours without it getting annoying. And running with a big headphone is a big no, but than again, I'm nowhere near to running longer than 30 minutes in a row.

Anyone who has his own thoughts on this topic?

Scaevolus 3 days ago 0 replies      
A spectrogram would show what MBC is doing far more directly than the waveform plots.
soj 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi folks,

In order to summarize what I've read so far: This promotion article about SoundFocus is clearly not written with help of a professional from within the hearing aid industry nor from someone with clinical experience. The author shows to be good with language, probably an engineer who makes links with technical terms as if he knows what he is talking about.

I find this article very misleading and not a help for the hearing disabled or their relatives. It reminds me of a very useful course I once followed:'physiology of the ear for physicists'. It would be good if the author or developers find something similar.

I realize that my post breaths some arrogance and of course it is easy to burn something down. But yes, I know better. And yes, I could have written this article that would market SoundFocus properly (in a similar style if you like) with only useful and correct information.

Maybe I should... ?

Cheers-a professional-

sandworm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish people would put half the effort into prevention that this article puts into mitigation.

Work beside a machine humming at a particular frequency and you will loose that frequency even if the sound doesn't seem loud at the time. And simply jambing in a pair of earplugs doesn't make you immune. They have limits.

adamnemecek 3 days ago 2 replies      
I might be wrong here but isn't what you call "dynamic range" usually referred to as "hearing range"? Dynamic range has a bit different connotation AFAIK.
dlandis 3 days ago 2 replies      
> If you know people who have hearing loss, youve noticed that they cant tolerate loud noises that youre fine with, but they also cant hear some of things that you can hear perfectly well.

So what is the explanation of why they can't tolerate certain loud noises? I feel like the article was going to address that aspect of hearing loss as well but never did.

itgoon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Could you add a "hearing test" to your app, which does at least rudimentary tuning? Call it "headphone calibration" and I bet you'd improve the listening experience of people who don't know they are hearing impaired.
eccstartup 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a drift in the soundcloud audio. Audio goes ahead of visual wave. So I missed the last visual beep in both compresses and uncompressed version.
danielsamuels 3 days ago 0 replies      
I really wish this app was available on OS X, I would very happily pay for it and use it every day.
cheng1 3 days ago 0 replies      
So it's like a CPU can't process fast enough and start to losing signals.

Just like the choppy adobe flash player on OSX!

s0rce 3 days ago 0 replies      
Spatial frequencies in the image might have been a much better analogy instead of simply cropping the image size.
shreyas056 3 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr "hearing loss is caused by uneven or abnormal frequency response of ear compared to that of normal human"
alphabetsoup 2 days ago 0 replies      
the music world already uses copious amounts of multiband compression, as if all listeners have hearing loss
tempodox 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this post on top?
a2kadet 3 days ago 5 replies      
> "Sound expresses itself in three dimensions: time (seconds), volume (decibels) and frequency (Hertz)."

Is anyone else as irked about the authors choice of the word dimensions as much as I am? I can't read past it. Wouldn't "factors" be a better fit?

Scroll Slow. Have Fun
546 points by drinchev  3 days ago   141 comments top 48
Aardwolf 3 days ago 18 replies      
This somehow manages my monitor to make a high pitched sound. It's an LCD monitor. It's the actual monitor making the sound. Switching to a different window or tab makes the sound top. Taking a screenshot of the tab, and closing the tab but viewing the screenshot, produces the sound.
AlphaGeekZulu 2 days ago 5 replies      
We just produced a children book with this technology in Germany:


Will be released in the next 4 weeks. It was fun to make, but also quite nightmarish in the technical details. It is a hell of work (we have roughly 30 animations in the book, very small and very big ones). It requires extremely accurate measurements for the grid-foil and a sophisticated workflow and color management.

In the first run, the printer forgot to fixate the ink on the grid-foils with a protective layer, so using the foil would smear the black color.

addisonj 3 days ago 7 replies      
I am lazy and (apparently) suck at scrolling smoothly, dropping this in the console worked well :)

    setInterval(function() {      window.scrollTo(0, document.body.scrollTop + 5)    }, 60)

Pxtl 2 days ago 2 replies      
To scroll super-slowly and smoothly on Windows, use the middle-click thing that spawns a little arrow-circle doodad. I'm pretty sure Linuces are inconsistent about implementing that feature, though.
cryowaffle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Am I doing something wrong? I don't see anything interesting. I see black lines and some art scrolling behind the lines. Is there some sort of illusion this is supposed to create?
tholman 3 days ago 2 replies      
For wanting to look more into the math/art behind this, they're based on Moir patterns - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moir%C3%A9_pattern
Avitas 2 days ago 2 replies      
This trick has an interesting artifact.

When I came back to HN, I noticed that my mind made my vision appear actively "wavy." In other words, I could see some slight movement of waves on the horizontally drawn elements currently displayed -- the top orange bar that says [Y]Hacker News [...] had the appearance of fluctuating with low frequency waves.

theandrewbailey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've seen this technique used with transparencies on an overhead projector before. Things get interesting when the fields aren't aligned exactly.


seanalltogether 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's the top image? I thought it was a spinning skull at first but that can't be right.
jweir 3 days ago 1 reply      
Scanimation has a series of books which use this technique:


Mithaldu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Trying this with different browsers on Windows highlights how bad the pan acceleration curves are in Firefox and Chrome. In Chrome there are exactly 2 speeds where this works usefully, and they're a pixel apart. In Firefox there's a small handful of them, and you have to be fairly careful with your mouse.

In Opera 12 on the other hand there's a range of about one inch of mouse movement on the screen, where you get, pixel-for-pixel, different speeds for this thing, all of them useful.

nanofortnight 3 days ago 1 reply      
I found it works better on my machine if I adjust .bars height to be 15.5px with a margin-bottom of 1px.
dragonshed 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nifty. This effect reminds me of the old-school color cycling animations that 8bit games from the 90s used to have.

Someone actually made a canvas viewer to show off how it works: http://www.effectgames.com/effect/article.psp.html/joe/Old_S...

drccrd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created a webapp for fun some time ago, is somewhat minimal but explores how to do this effect easily from a bunch of images or shots from the webcam (applying cool filters!), the js sources are not compressed so you can read what is going on http://animotion.licheni.net/
aruggirello 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow. This is definitely something that you should never look at if you suffer from epilepsy.
mattdotc 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great. Reminds me of a certain kind of chain email that I would commonly receive from friends in the late 90s, although I imagine that they likely existed before that time as well.

You would get these emails that were thousands of lines long with ASCII characters all over the place. When you'd scroll, though, an animation would take form and you'd watch stuff bounce left and right across the screen and other effects similar to, but more primitive than, the effects demonstrated by this submission.

b409ba0801cd21 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminded me of a toy I had as a kid: the Tomy Tutor Play Computer. The screen was a lenticular lens over a paper scroll, and pressing the space bar caused the lens to move vertically.

Here is a video made by someone selling one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAghB2-Ks5I

I bet many of the people here can guess the fate of it and many of my other toys.

greenvaio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not loading for me. Server down?
bjoveski 3 days ago 1 reply      
poemotion by Takahiro Kurashima has many amazing examples of this type of art. A very good gift for anyone that appreciates mathy art :)

You can order it here http://www.amazon.com/Poemotion-2-Takahiro-Kurashima/dp/3037...

rajeemcariazo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there an application, in any way, of this in graphics animation or any field?
hownottowrite 2 days ago 0 replies      
Parratoro is an artist focused on this type of work. His designs are pretty amazing. http://www.parratoro.com
arbabu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is the content generated auto with some algorithn or is it manual work?
ErikRogneby 2 days ago 0 replies      
These images seem different than traditional lenticular images from books. Here is pacman without the bars: http://www.scrollslowhavefun.com/images/002.jpg
stevenkovar 2 days ago 1 reply      
My vision felt "wavy" for a bit after viewing this. Pretty cool.
seiya 2 days ago 0 replies      
Scroll Slow. Have Fun. Get a new pair of eyes.
dahart 2 days ago 0 replies      
I couldn't scroll slow enough! So I...

t=300;s=1;y=t;d=s;i=setInterval(function(){window.scrollTo(0,y);y+=d;if(y>6200) d=-s;if(y<t) d=s},33);

NOW its fun. ;)

aaronrenoir 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's cool. I did something similar on my home page. http://catzo.com
skynetv2 2 days ago 0 replies      
my child has a book in this format


really cool, animals move etc.

adam12 2 days ago 0 replies      
I felt like I was going to have an ocular migraine after looking at that for a few seconds.
CDokolas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why do I have to look at it sideways? Couldn't this be done horizontally?
jondiggsit 2 days ago 0 replies      
That seriously hurts my eyes
zenbakiak 2 days ago 0 replies      
then secondary click, .bars { display:none; } kill all the fun!
mcms 1 day ago 0 replies      
People with a pointing stick, good luck!
sinwave 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a lyric from an old rap song. "Drive slow, homie". Ready and eager for downvotes on this unproductive comment :p
gima 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pacman eating dots began playing in my head..
r109 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I got to the bottom my monitor started melting down and up and I looked around the room to see if space time had truly been bent...
slinkyavenger 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh cool, an internet zoetrope.
canda 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is funny. Great work!
vinayp10 2 days ago 0 replies      
wow that hurts my eyes
dblotsky 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hooray, Moir! :)
MajorSkrub 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to have a book that did that..
pearjuice 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have no idea what is going on but sure had fun scrolling slow. Well worth my time. Props to the founders for launching. It is a hard field to compete in but I am sure they will find their revenue model.
m52go 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome work!! It ended too soon ;)
vander_elst 2 days ago 0 replies      
awesomly sick!
armandososa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, squint.
chtoric 2 days ago 0 replies      
my eyes, they are burning
kylec 2 days ago 1 reply      
Loads Slow. No Fun.
A Teenagers View on Social Media
484 points by nicksergeant  3 days ago   285 comments top 58
themodelplumber 3 days ago 7 replies      
This is weird; the author possibly met with the CEO of Snapchat more than once recently:


> Can't wait to visit my friends at @Snapchat again tomorrow :D


> Loved hanging out with @evanspiegel yesterday, he's one of the nicest and more genuine guys I've met. Thanks for having me @Snapchat!

...influencer? Hope not :(

AndrewKemendo 3 days ago 19 replies      
This is filled with gems that old farts like me (I'm 30) don't have any idea about.

If I dont get any likes on my Instagram photo or Facebook post within 15 minutes you can sure bet I'll delete it.

Super interesting take - it's as though they are posting not to show people stuff but to get people's approval for what they are posting. Simple but critically different in my opinion.

Facebook is often used by us mainly for its group functionality.

Got it, so make a better group service and bring everyone to that.

One big thing I took away is that, assuming this is representative of the demographic, they seem to not mind using multiple applications for communications. So there really is the ability to pretty narrowly specialize with functions - something I think the older generation does backwards; we want to consolidate and make services a "one stop shop."

bgun 3 days ago 4 replies      
many have nailed this on the head. Its dead to us.

The next few paragraphs then go on to describe Facebook as essential social plumbing. I think an FB product manager would be delighted to hear that Facebook is "dead" in this way.

This is precisely why the most successful social network of its generation was built, first and foremost, to be a platform rather than a cocktail party.

0942v8653 3 days ago 2 replies      
Here's another teenager's view on social media.

I don't have an account for any of these, and I don't want one. I have, let's see, HN, GitHub, and Stack Exchange. Those accounts are my online identity, which I make sure is separate from my real identity. If you want to contact me, you can email me, or if you know me in real life, you can text me. I don't feel smug about not having those accounts, but I'm not embarrassed either. Maybe it's just because I don't socialize with the "normal" people my age, or something else, but more people than you might expect understand when I say I don't have an account. I don't want them because they would be more of a time suck than the Internet already is, and no one really has trouble finding me.

Rainymood 3 days ago 4 replies      

>In short, many have nailed this on the head. Its dead to us. Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can't really leave.


>Snapchat is where we can really be ourselves while being attached to our social identity. Without the constant social pressure of a follower count or Facebook friends, I am not constantly having these random people shoved in front of me. Instead, Snapchat is a somewhat intimate network of friends who I don't care if they see me at a party having fun.

I use snapchat to send funny images of myself to my girlfriend

>WhatsApp- You download it when you go abroad, you use it there for a bit before going back to iMessage and Facebook Messenger, you delete it. I know tons of people who use it to communicate with friends they made abroad, but I feel like Messenger is beginning to overshadow it. For international students, however, WhatsApp is a pivotal tool that Ive heard is truly useful.

Back here we use WhatsApp exclusively almost, fb messenger when we must

>Tumblr is like a secret society that everyone is in, but no one talks about. Tumblr is where you are your true self and surround yourself (through who you follow) with people who have similar interests.

To me, tumblr is a place where hipsters post images from the internet, back on the internet

edit: added location, might be very relevant

jinushaun 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty much nailed it on the head:

If I could break down a party for you in social media terms, heres how it would pan out:

* On Snapchat, you post you getting ready for the party, going to the party, having fun at the party, the end of the party, and the morning after the party.

* On Facebook you post the cute, posed pictures you took with your friends at the party with a few candids (definitely no alcohol in these photos).

* On Instagram you pick the cutest one of the bunch to post to your network.

I said it then and I'll say it now, FB screwed up when they pivoted to copy Twitter. FB was fun when it was more private. Zuck should've realised that once there was a critical mass of news reports of teens getting in trouble for stupid FB and Twitter posts, teens would dump the service.

hugs 3 days ago 2 replies      
Also noteworthy that Google+ didn't even get a mention, even if to mock it.
fideloper 3 days ago 0 replies      
People's take on Twitter is always fascinating.

I didn't really get it at all either, until I followed people relevant to my interests. Now I can't live without it - it's an amazing source of material.

Not sure if that translates to industries outside of tech or not. It's both a source of learning and revenue. Having an audience on twitter literally makes me money on eBook sales and other things I do. It's a great place for "organic targeted marketing", so to speak.

Anechoic 3 days ago 2 replies      
Piggybacking off bcRIPster (now down voted) post, I'd be curious to know the race of the teen author and if the preferences he observed are the same across others with different ethnic and racial background. Among my 30-something and 40-something circle I've noticed that most of my white and Asian friends tend to utilize Facebook more while most of my black friends tend to use Twitter more. Instagram seems more evenly split.
daigoba66 3 days ago 1 reply      
> In this part Facebook shines- groups do not have the same complicated algorithms behind them that the Newsfeed does. It is very easy to just see the new information posted on the group without having to sift through tons of posts and advertising you don't really care about.

That part resonates with me, and I'm not young. I was an early Facebook user (2003-2004 when I was a college freshman) way before the news feed existed, and way before it starting "algorithmically" filtering and sorting. I've always hated it.

swalsh 3 days ago 2 replies      
I have never felt so old reading a post :D

What I find interesting is the stark contrast to people's predictions from years ago. I can recall the speculation about how in a world of facebook our lives will be documented forever, and the problems that will cause. That very real concern seems to not only have been well received, but they seem to be taking precautions. Unexpected, but very encouraging!

stinos 3 days ago 0 replies      
The content on Instagram is usually a higher quality. People take time to edit their photos with filters, different brightness/contrast settings, etc. ... This means the content on Instagram is normally better (photo-wise)

That's the OP's personal experience of course, mine is sort of the opposite: facebook has all sorts of crappy pictures, instagram has those as well but made even worse by having applied all kinds of filters most of which appeal ugly to me. Tumblr on the other hand I consider as a source for decent/pro material (as in, actually beautiful pictures taken with proper cameras). Maybe all this is because of who I'm following though.

arethuza 3 days ago 1 reply      
For another single data point I asked my 15 year old son a few months back about what social media platforms he uses and was rather surprised to have him answer "Facebook is for old people" - which probably means over 20.
scottmwinters 3 days ago 0 replies      
Really interesting views on people disliking but still using Facebook. I was walking around my college's campus a few years ago and overheard a girl saying "well, he doesn't have a facebook, so thats kind of a huge red flag to me. I dont think I'm going to keep talking to him"Funny what an animal social media has become...
balls187 3 days ago 1 reply      
Am I in the minority by thinking a 19 year old college student is not what people think of when they hear "teens?"
efa 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Facebook is dead to us but we use it for X,Y, and Z." I found this kinda funny. Obviously it's not dead to you if you use it for a variety of purposes. Seems like friends I have with teenage kids are mostly on Facebook. Now it may not be their primary outlet. But "dead" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.
experimentsin 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the teens who favour Instagram and Snapchat today will nevertheless age into people who get more out of Facebook as they get older.

When you're young, most of the people you know and think about are still right there around you and you see them almost every day. You haven't left too many people behind yet. But that changes quickly over time and an increasing proportion of the people you know and care about, the ones you met at a particular place and time in your life, are no longer close by. Being able to keep in touch with those people's comings and goings and relationships and family lives to the (relative) depth afforded by Facebook probably becomes more attractive and more valuable.

So although Facebook may be losing its original stomping ground to simpler, more targeted alternatives, perhaps both Facebook and its active user base are maturing together.

simbilou 3 days ago 1 reply      
> I only know a handful of people (myself included) that believe Snapchat does delete your photos. Everyone else I know believes that Snapchat has some secret database somewhere with all of your photos on it.

It takes a special kind of stupid to even consider the idea that the photos are _really_ deleted.

bluedino 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I heard 'teenager' I was thinking 13/14. Like a middle school or young high schooler, not a college freshman.
supercanuck 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why is everyone seemingly falling over themselves in a rush to discredit this guy?
kmicklas 3 days ago 0 replies      
20 year old college student in the US here. He got a lot of things very right, but also from my experience some things very wrong:

Instagram: No one uses it. Maybe 10% of students have one and those that do spend little time on it.

Facebook: It's not as uncool as it sounds. If anything it's had a resurgence lately. Maybe people post less content to their profile these days, but post on each other's timelines and use the messaging system more than ever. As smartphones and connectivity continue to improve, there's less and less incentive to use texting over Facebook. Also, I don't know what he's talking about with groups. No one uses those.

Snapchat: I would say it is currently the biggest one. (People spend more time on Facebook but care more about Snapchat.) However it seems to be losing momentum at this point. Since introducing the story feature, there has been a constant and continuous shift away from the original, more personal uses and towards a more Twitter like document of daily occurrences through stories. Less back and forth dialogue, less creative art, etc. People are also fed up with ads and gimmicks like messaging and sending money (???).

GroupMe: Never heard of anyone using anything but Facebook for this purpose.

Venmo: Not sure if it really qualifies as a social network but it's trying to and it deserves mention. Everyone loves documenting their restaurant expenditures and there seems to be a strong culture of wittiness in generating the captions.

tambourine_man 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if I'd have a Facebook if I was a teenager today.

It's hard enough not having one now, and even though I was never one to give in to social pressure, I wonder if it would be simply unbearable.

dysoco 3 days ago 0 replies      

I'm not really into Social Networks, I guess you can tell by the fact that I'm on HackerNews. However I can provide some insight in what's the panorama in the other half of the world.

Facebook is still king, everyone uses it, everyone has it. I use it exclusively for groups (school group, friends group) since it's easy to post questions or info in there and make sure everyone reads it. I also use it to chat with people (although via Pidgin, I barely go to facebook.com). I do see however a huge ammount of traffic in my feed. So I guess it's not going anytime soon.

Whatsapp is hugely popular. Everyone uses it, even for work related stuff. I'm not sure why it's not as popular in the US/Europe (I guess because of iMessage?) But calls/SMS are barely a thing, everything is Whatsapp now.Sadly, I'm not a big fan of it, it's great for sending quick messages and talk something in a group, but people here use it for everything which means I have to get my hands off the keyboard and type in a tiny touch screen to talk with someone.You usually get randomly added to Whatsapp groups too, where you get invited to parties and stuff like that, I'm not a big fan of this either, since it's really easy to miss a message. However, I reckon my social life has improved considerably since I got Whatsapp because of all the invites I get now.

Twitter has gotten very big lately too, I started using Twitter about 3 years ago, and I mostly use it to follow tech people and get news, probably the same way most of you use it. However, my friends use it as some kind of Facebook. They tweet everything they are doing, and they also maintain conversations using it. I think this is silly, I don't know why they do it, you can know everything about someone by just reading his Twitter feed.

Instagram is not huge but it's catching up. It's mostly used by girls and hipster/cool/popular guys (not sure how to describe them). I never go there and I really don't care.

Snapchat/Tumblr/YikYak are not even thing, heck, I don't even know what YikYak is supposed to be.

I wish more people would start using IRC, but well, I guess that's not happening.

ergl 3 days ago 0 replies      
22/m/europe here

- Facebook

Everyone uses it and there is peer pressure for you to have it. Everyone talks about deleting their account but never does. I rarely use the website or the app but I use Messenger everyday to talk with foreign friends (mostly in the US)

- Twitter

Used to have an account a few years ago, but it just wasn't my thing. Extremely popular though its ux seems to have dropped a lot

- Snapchat

Not really a thing, most people I know barely know it exists. Used it for a while a year ago but it was a fad for me.

- Tumblr

Not really a thing anymore for me, but it seems to be really popular for people between 12-16

- Instagram

I might be the minority here but I mainly use it for photography. Has replaced Flickr and Tumblr for me

- Whatsapp

#1. SMS charges were too expensive until a few years ago so it exploded (I think we are the biggest market in europe now, so you might guess where I'm from). Biggest downside is the lack of group control, you can get added to any group without your permission and it is 'poor form' to leave. I have a couple of them on mute and rarely read them.

- Telegram

Seems to be gaining some use since Whatsapp got acquired by Facebook though I personally don't use it. Seems redundant to have two IM apps when everyone is on Whatsapp anyway

warp_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm amazed how many people here say "everyone is on facebook".Edit: Maybe it's like that because you've molded your social circles to fit those of your own socioeconomic status?

From my closest 20 friends (all of them I've known for 5+ years), 7 use facebook, most of them use IRC and the rest are on WhatsApp. I've never made any new friends through facebook, as a matter of fact, the posts made by people on facebook push them further away from me, because I'm a cynical bastard and their shameless self-promotion is disgusting to me and I see through their bullshit.

To me, facebook always seemed like a public display window of your life, to show off those old high school classmates that nowadays you live in the cool downtown hipster district and you've gotten laid. Nothing to do with actual friendships or socializing.


0xCMP 3 days ago 0 replies      
Models most of my use, however I like WhatsApp a lot. I used it when I still had a Windows Phone (iPhone 6 now) and I needed a better messaging app that went over the web than facebook because I had horrible service on campus. It's a very capable, simple, reliable (or used to be anyways), and feature filled messaging app which I wish more people used. iMessage does most of what WhatsApp does though for talking to iOS users and it has a desktop app so I use that more now.

I almost refuse to use facebook except to share select photos/videos privately (only me + tagged people) and message people who I haven't talked to in a while. Groups are usually never useful and I use other things.

Twitter is great, tumblr is good but not for me, snapchat isn't for me (too obvious you're taking a photo of your self), and instagram still makes me feel the facebook "it'll never die on the internet once uploaded" scary feeling.

X-combinator 3 days ago 0 replies      
Many of those younger than me (1016 years old) who I've talked to about this matter dont even have a FacebookInstagram is all that they need.

As a 15 year I totally agree, but Hacker News is one my favorites site because I just love discovering new things on the web(That's the only reason I visit HN)

Also Facebook simply "Stinks"

paulhebert 3 days ago 0 replies      
While an interesting article I'd take it with a grain of salt and not try to make generalizations about others' social media use.

The author seems like he's on the high end of social media use.

As a 22 year old male I check Facebook occasionally to see what my friends and family who live in different areas are doing, and that's about it.

rorydh 3 days ago 1 reply      
> "Another point: tagging. I don't have to constantly check Instagram to make sure I wasn't tagged in any awkward or bad photos. Thats because you can't see them on my profile, making the whole experience seem way more private."

The fourth tab on every Instagram profile allows you to see just this...

brianstorms 1 day ago 0 replies      
My response:

A 1980 Teenager's View on Social Mediahttps://medium.com/@brianstorms/a-1980-teenagers-view-of-soc...

sozh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is NOT sharing even an option with a dozen social networks to chose from?

I wrote a response to bring up some important questions that Andrew's article brought up.


niksethi 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a slightly younger teen (17), I have a completely different view of Twitter. I'm not sure if it's unique to my specific area, but quite a significant number of the people around me are on Twitter and use it to communicate funny things they see, or just share opinions (I guess the author approaches this with "complain/express yourself"). To me, I go on twitter to see what people are saying about any given event, especially sporting events. At other times, I will find memes or jokes or just anything that is somewhat funny. Overall, the three groups that Andrew brings up aren't really complete.
onedev 3 days ago 0 replies      
To be fair he did say these were all just anecdotes. He just phrased the descriptions in a way that seems "matter of fact" and everyone seems to be taking that and running with it.

For example, as someone else in here mentioned, this is more like "A North American Teenager's View of Social Media".

I bet he hasn't even heard of QQ, which has over 1 billion users. His lack of understanding of WhatsApp says a lot because as someone else mentioned WhatsApp has the least penetration in North America, but everywhere else it's the lifeblood of online social interactions.

krmboya 3 days ago 1 reply      
> WhatsApp- You download it when you go abroad, you use it there for a bit before going back to iMessage and Facebook Messenger, you delete it. I know tons of people who use it to communicate with friends they made abroad, but I feel like Messenger is beginning to overshadow it. For international students, however, WhatsApp is a pivotal tool that Ive heard is truly useful.

Perhaps the title should have been 'A North American Teenager's view of Social Media'

Edit: Minor re-wording

thomasfoster96 3 days ago 0 replies      
I really don't like these "Teenager's view of social media' type posts. All of them make the mistake that teens only have time for two or three apps and that the teen demographic is very homogenous. I get a little disappointed when a post like this then gets reported as the demise of Facebook, because that's not really an accurate observation.

Looks like I better write a response post.

omg_ketchup 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm 30 and I use GChat/Google Talk/Hangouts (they're all the same thing) all the time. So does almost everyone I know. Haven't seen it mentioned here.

We don't really care if that data gets exposed to/by the NSA. It's mostly like "I'm off today whats up" or "Want to hit the bar after work?" type stuff.

the_duck 3 days ago 1 reply      
>The only time I ever hear this application is for the joke, Aye you got Kik?, normally seen as someone trying to spit game to attract a partner. Its really difficult for me to describe it here but it isn't super relevant.

This paragraph is mystifying. Can someone explain what he's talking about here?

k__ 3 days ago 0 replies      
In Germany I got the feeling that most younger people rather use WhatsApp for its group functionality, than Facebook.
FollowSteph3 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how the usage progresses as you age. What's important at 15,20,25, and beyond are different. Not different demographics but the same people as they age through the different demographics. In other words how consistent would the diffeent media options change with time....
eastbayjake 3 days ago 0 replies      
> "I have yet to ever hear of a hot post on Secret that everyones talking about"

I get the feeling Secret's redesign strategy is just being Yik-Yak for the post-college crowd. I'd imagine the location data is more valuable/marketable for working people in big metro areas than incomeless students.

hellbanner 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another anecdote for file: I spoke with an early-twenty business student, also studying in Texas. Snapchat and GroupMe were their preferred chat programs.

I personally prefer WeChat for its Group Voice chat. This was developed in Shenzhen; Mandarin is notably tonal so voice is a selling point.

zeeshanm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can see why group service is popular among teenage crowd these days. One of my friends who is in school has college wide fb group to ask questions about classes, etc. I have seen her mostly being active in groups when logged into fb.
harisamin 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is actually a really refreshing post. I have to give Yik Yak another try. Secret didnt do much for me. But its always important and interesting for peeps to see whats going on, even if were getting old :)
chki 3 days ago 1 reply      
It is interesting to see that for example in Germany WhatsApp is really the most important chat and group discussion instrument -- ahead of all other messengers. I wonder where this difference comes from...?
ajcarpy2005 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised that with all those less popular social networks listed, Google+ was not. I'm pretty sure Google+ has a higher user 'population' than YikYak, WhatsApp, GroupMe, etc.
Maken 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this article makes me feel old. I'm just on my twenties and the only service mentioned in that article in which I have an account is WhatsApp.
neue 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Twitter point doesn't make much sense.

As a senior in high school, I see nearly everyone having a twitter account and using it pretty often. It's pretty popular.

dgcoffman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Just tried Yik Yak after reading this. In SF's FiDi, appears to be mostly dudes looking for gay hookups. Am I doing it wrong?
huangwei_chang 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am curious that if they don't write things about them on FB, how could they find out who one is on FB?
revelation 3 days ago 1 reply      
An American Teenager's View on Social Media

There, much better now.

jcrawfordor 3 days ago 1 reply      
Okay, I'm 22, that's not much older than this guy. I know a lot of 18 and 19 year olds. How does it look to me?

Facebook: most people use this primarily, but about 1 in 5 people does not because they object to pervasive surveillance/got frustrated by the newsfeed reordering/dislike Zuckerburg personally/are just asocial. Facebook Messenger is the main way of communicating with people who have it. You also use it to communicate with people who don't have Facebook Messenger by the indirection of using Facebook Messenger to talk to someone who might have their phone number.Instagram: I know a total of maybe two people that use this at all, and they have their content copying to Facebook which is where most people see it I think.Twitter: Not a lot of people use this, with the curious exception of the Facebook objectors, who mostly use this.Snapchat: I know a few people who use Snapchat but I don't think anyone takes it seriously. Of course that's kind of the point. General assumption is that snapchat users are trading dickpics and just not sharing with the rest of us.Tumblr: A lot of people are tumblr users but in sort of a "guilty pleasure" way, you don't discuss it with people you're trying to win the respect of. Perception is that it's mostly [furry]porn and SJWs. Admittedly this is roughly correct.Yik Yak: Took the campus by storm. Most people use it exclusively to either complain about faculty, ineffectively try to find a date, or to make fun of the former two. Openly mocked, but in the way that makes other people install the app just to see what's being joked about, so I guess that's a social strategy.Medium: Maybe a handful of CS majors even know what it is.

Yeah, I go to a small engineering school and my social group is primarily in CS. I'm sure this impacts my experience a lot. This is exactly my point: I think social media/application/etc usage is far too specific to social groups, institutions, and even geographical areas for it to be remotely useful to work off of anecdotes. Here Facebook is absolutely king, but I can imagine a "trendier" population (not Engineering students) might have a certain ire for it. I think Instagram isn't widely used just for lack of having achieved critical mass in this particular student body, there may (and probably will) come a day when that changes.

This is probably part of why "what teens are into" reporting seems so ridiculous. It's based on a shallow look at one group of people, and behavior varies far too much between groups. Broad statistical data would be far more useful for marketing purposes, but the results would still ring hollow for many specific peer groups.

VLM 3 days ago 0 replies      
He uses facebook as a directory service occasionally, the same way us "old people" use linkedin.

Observationally my kids are a little younger than him and facebook is dead to them. My wife is still addicted. They used to complain about family tagging them in pix (especially embarrassing-ish such as anything from when they were little) and now they don't even care, nobody uses it.

"Not too many people talk about it." - thats not pinterest, thats reddit and 4chan. Everyone is on baconreader and clover, and just like fight club, rule one is no one talks about fight club (or 4chan or reddit).

hnriot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just shows how shrewd Zuck was in acquiring Instagram.

This post is exactly in line with what I see my daughter and her peers doing.

Matth3wMarshall 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is the truth! I hope the product guys at these places are reading.
bcRIPster 3 days ago 2 replies      
While it's an interesting article, I think he's being a bit hyperbolic in translating his local experience out to a generalization.

This isn't simply a 19 year olds experience. It is a white, suburban, middle-class, male attending a conservative university in a culturally regressive state. If nothing else, he's about as radically distant from an urban minority as you could get to the point where I'd imagine it is really impossible for him to have any perspective into other demographics and how they use these tools. I value his opinion, but it's important to take it into context.

Atleast he attempts to hedge his lack of experience in his opening statement.

javajosh 3 days ago 0 replies      
I find this all exceedingly strange - why should we care about a teenager's opinions, right or wrong? Kids don't make money, and they spend relatively small amounts of parent/student-loan money. Moreover, all signs point to a difficult job market for new graduates, kids moving back home for extended periods, etc, so the argument that they will soon spend money doesn't resonate. Why then is this demographic so coveted? Heck why do these kids have smartphones at all?

I begin to suspect that youth-obsessed culture is actually a temporary phenomena. The reason it happened in the 90's and 00's was that this was the dawn of the consumer internet, and college kids were the first adopters (a fact that is itself a confluence of educational theory and the enthusiasm/capability of computer science academics)

Against this, we could say that college kids are a better demo for this stuff because they are so pure, in the sense that they aren't constrained by jobs or other income production - so they are at a magical junction between articulate and irresponsible, like having a society of our own "id"s running around. If we can please them in their primordial state, then surely that will have resonance in the hearts of the middle-aged who's youthful lusts still exist under rocky layers of life's harsh requirements.

RandallBrown 3 days ago 2 replies      
This kid doesn't even know that when he uses WhatsApp or Instagram, he's using Facebook.
jolid 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like that he's less concerned with a company storing his Social Security Number (or credit card, name, address... things governments/companies ALREADY HAVE) than the photos and thoughts he's choosing to share only with his closest friends.

Dunno how to quote:I only know a handful of people (myself included) that believe Snapchat does delete your photos. Everyone else I know believes that Snapchat has some secret database somewhere with all of your photos on it. While I will save that debate for another day, it is safe to say that when photos are leaked or when theres controversy about security on the app, we honestly do not really care. We aren't sending pictures of our Social Security Cards here, we're sending selfies and photos with us having 5 chins

Antibiotic Breakthrough Ends 25-Year Discovery Drought
445 points by uptown  3 days ago   144 comments top 19
spanktar 3 days ago 2 replies      
I think the real meat of this article is here:

"...strikes multiple targets, including cell walls...Since the lipid structures it attacks dont evolve as quickly as frequently mutating proteins, it may take the bacteria longer than usual to develop a survival tactic."

Proteins change often and quickly, but basic cell structures may take longer or never adapt.

But I'm not a pathobiologist, I just play one on the Internet

betatim 3 days ago 0 replies      
Full text for free: http://rdcu.be/bVbR

This is a link to nature's new "share it for everyone to read if you have paid access to the article" version of 'open-access'.

A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance, Nature, January, 2015. DOI: 10.1038/nature14098

TomAnthony 3 days ago 9 replies      
They author's state "it should be used, if it gets successfully developed, as broadly as possible" - because they believe it is robust against bacteria developing resistance.

Knowing nothing about this area... isn't this a bad idea because board use would increase the risk of resistance appearing and would mean those bacteria resistant to this would be extremely resistant to most other treatments aw well (given this drug has multiple modes of attack)?

_craft 3 days ago 4 replies      
The nytimes article mentions:

"The research was paid for by the National Institutes of Health and the German government (some co-authors work at the University of Bonn). Northeastern University holds a patent on the method of producing drugs and licensed the patent to a private company, NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, in Cambridge, Mass., which owns the rights to any compounds produced. Dr. Lewis is a paid consultant to the company."

If the research was paid for by the National Institutes of Health, why is the patent privately owned? This does not seem fair to taxpayers.

dbcooper 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Nature publication seems to be open access:


The Scientist has quite a nice write up:


Details on the cell culture device (open access):


baldfat 3 days ago 1 reply      
While there are new strains this would be a new class WHICH means AWESOME if it works out. Since this is so early I am not hoping for much.

My son had cancer and he had a staph infection that was septic (AKA in his blood through out his body). Non-resistant = 95% cure rate resistant strain and if you have a compromised immune system less then 50% cure rate. Good news for cancer patients and glad to see it coming down the track.

refurb 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is a bit of an odd article. The FDA has approved a number of different antibiotics over the past year. Most are not new mechanisms of action, but they are new products that have different profiles against different resistant bacteria.

The other issue is that this is very early in development. I really hope it gets through trials, but there are graveyards full of promising antibiotics that failed.

Gatsky 3 days ago 1 reply      
Their experimental approach was interesting and hopefully will lead to more discoveries. I feel like this drug is already being overhyped however. It doesn't work for gram negative bacteria, which are responsible for most of the serious and scary multi drug resistant infections.

Also, assuming it doesn't have weird toxicity in people, or unfavourable pharmacokinetics, the author's suggestion that we should give it to everyone is a bit cute, given that it will almost certainly cost north of $200 per day if it gets to market...

Peptide antibiotics can have some issues. A recent new peptide antibiotic called Daptomycin [1] can't be used for pneumonia for example, because it is inhibited by pulmonary surfactant.

[1] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daptomycin

ars 3 days ago 1 reply      
When they made roundup they expected plants would never be able to be resistant to it[1].

And in fact plants did not become resistant in the way they expected. Trouble is plants found a completely different way to resist roundup that no one expected.

Their claim that bacteria would not become resistant to this antibiotic is rubbish. They do have the ability to determine that.

If they actually want to know then deliberately try to (carefully) create resistant bacteria by continuously giving them low levels of antibiotic and slowly increasing it.

[1] http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/11/148290731/why-mo...

Houshalter 3 days ago 2 replies      
All of the comments are by armchair biologists about how the scientists are wrong and all bacteria strains will become resistant to it in 2 days.

But anyways, if it is an issue, why can't we just require antibiotics be taken intravenously? The vast majority of bacteria exposed to antibiotics are in your digestive system and that is where resistance develops. Or at least that's how I understand it.

kileywm 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone clarify the core causes of antibiotic resistance over the last several decades?

I've heard the following causes, but I cannot substantiate them:

[1] Improper patient usage. Primarily, not taking the prescribed dosage long enough to eradicate all of the target bacterium, leaving (enough) survivors to meaningfully propagate their resistance. Typical to the "Hey I think my sinus infection is gone already! Adios remaining pills."

[2] Improper targeting. A functional antibiotic used on the wrong type of bacterium, or even usage against viruses.

Are there any others? Are my [1] and [2] debunked?

emmanueloga_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
The mention of the "25 year discovery drought" made me think about this documentary I saw once about bacteriophages ("viruses that infect and replicate within bacteria") [1].

I don't remember the specific documentary but here is a wikipedia link [2] "Although extensively used and developed mainly in former Soviet Union countries circa 1920, the treatment is not approved in countries other than Russia and Georgia."

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriophage

2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy

shanev 3 days ago 3 replies      
I think we'll be seeing more research like this in the future, where we develop drugs by mimicking nature instead of starting from scratch in the lab. Nature has had a few millions of years more to build and test things.
hga 1 day ago 0 replies      
Derek Lowe has his usual great analysis of this paper and the antibiotic: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8862148
tokenadult 3 days ago 0 replies      
A very interesting submission about the big medical news story of the day. The news suggests that we can all enjoy significant gains in finding effective treatments for dangerous infections. The era of antibiotics is probably not over yet, by a long way.

As noted in another comment, the underlying Nature article is up on the World Wide Web, [after edit:] and now shared to all of us by a subscriber who posted a subscriber's-sharing link in this thread.[1] I searched for some other news stories about this preliminary research finding to link to others based on independent reporting as well as the authors' press release and the Nature article. I found a story in Financial Times[2] reporting, "Teixobactin quickly kills Gram-positive bacteria, which are prominent in discussions of antibiotic resistance, including Clostridium difficile, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus.

"Neil Woodford, head of the antimicrobial resistance unit at Public Health England, commented:

"'The rise in antibiotic resistance is a threat to modern healthcare as we know it, so this discovery could potentially help to bridge the ever increasing gap between infections and the medicines we have available to treat them.'

"But Prof Woodford added: 'Although it is a step forward, this new discovery would not be suitable for treating infections caused by E. coli, Klebsiella or other Gram-negative bacteria.'"

The Washington Post reports,[3] "But all good things must eventually come to an end.

"'They didn't find resistance in a couple of simple tests, so it wont happen in a minute, but there is no compound on this planet that bacteria will not develop resistance to,' Said Richard Novick, an NYU Langone Medical Center professor who wasn't involved in the study. 'But it would certainly happen more slowly with this one.'

"And unfortunately, the drug's genius mechanism is also its biggest flaw. It can only target so-called gram-positive bacteria, like staph, strep, and TB, because they're unprotected once their cell wall starts to break down. Gram-negative bacteria like E. coli and the organisms that cause many sexually transmitted infections have an outer membrane that Teixobactin can't penetrate. That's probably a safety mechanism built-in by the gram-negative bacteria that created Teixobactin in the first place."

That expert also comments that he would strictly limit application of this antibiotic at first to hospital settings, and that would be my policy recommendation too, to reduce the chance of producing selection pressure for resistant strains of bacteria. But this does look like it could be a big advance in clinical treatment of gram-positive bacterial infections resistant to other antibiotics.

The reporting in The Scientist,[4] already linked by an earlier participant, includes a comment on the laboratory technique used to find the microorganism that produces this new antibiotic: "'This is a very clever technique,' added Robert Austin, a physicist at Princeton University who studies the evolution of microbes and was not involved in the current study. 'The bacteriology community needs to get away from culturing bacteria on agar plates, because this will not lead to new antibiotics.'" That's a familiar principle in science: look in a new place, and make new discoveries.

The reporting in The Guardian[5] picks up on that idea in the words of another expert: "'What most excites me is the tantalising prospect that this discovery is just the tip of the iceberg,' said Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh. 'It may be that we will find more, perhaps many more, antibiotics using these latest techniques.'"

It's very likely that there are more antibiotics yet to be discovered, because all microorganisms live in a world full of other microorganisms, and haphazard adaptation to that environment must have produced selection pressure for many microorganisms to produce natural chemicals ("antibiotics") that kill off other kinds of microorganisms. Putting those chemicals into human bodies applies human knowledge to take advantage of the variety of life that has arisen from evolution.

[1] http://rdcu.be/bVbR

"A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance" http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/natu...

DOI: 10.1038/nature14098

[2] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/701a3c36-95be-11e4-a390-00144...

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/20...

[4] http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41850/...

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/07/antibiotic-dr...

stevewilhelm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Company's press release http://s831.us/1Dml4G5
NoMoreNicksLeft 3 days ago 2 replies      
> It should be used, if it gets successfully developed, as broadly as possible, because it is exceptionally well-protected from resistance development, said Kim Lewis, one of the studys authors and a professor at Northeastern University in Boston. Lewis estimated that it may take more than 30 years for bacteria to become resistant to teixobactin. He is also a co-founder of NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals LLC, which is developing the drug.

I'd much rather get two or three more that all use different mechanisms, and use them as a cocktail.

Let the bugs try to develop 3 different kinds of resistance at once.

briantakita 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm skeptical that this is a good thing given how the profit motive motivates people to "externalize" side effects; Environmental damage from antibacterial soaps, disrupting natural biological processes, disease-resistant bacteria, are a few effects.

> Scientists have discovered an antibiotic capable of fighting infections that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year

Given it's potential as a medicine, the media will hype it into public consciousness. Marketers & Entrepreneurs will use this social inertia to sell it in places where it is dangerous to use. The FDA has a history of revolving doors with big pharma & playing loose in pandering to corporate interests, at the expense of the public & environment.

I'm merely presenting a minority view here on Hacker News. It's good to have all your t's crossed and i's dotted.

jalada 3 days ago 0 replies      
Headline should read: Zombie apocalypse averted for now.
JavaScript in 2015
410 points by geelen  4 days ago   122 comments top 24
akanet 4 days ago 5 replies      
God, he makes it look good. The demo does give me a few of the ol' "too much magic" heebie jeebies, but frontend JS development is so badly lacking in compelling packaage management stories that I'm going to give jspm a shot.

Here's to 2015, I suppose.

P.S. Glen, if you're reading this, I really would love to see a youtube of a DJ hooked up to automatically synced GIFs. Don't be a tease.

peferron 3 days ago 5 replies      
My biggest issue with the recent additions to the language is that there's now a thousand different ways to do the same thing.


  for (var i = 0; i < y.length; i++) { ... }  for (var x in y) { ... }  for (var x of y) { ... }  y.forEach(function(x, i) { ... })  Object.keys(y).forEach(function(x) { ... })

  ==  ===  Object.is() (would have been a good laugh if introduced as ==== instead)
Of course, this doesn't matter much if you're a single developer. I've started writing a bit of ES6/ES7 and it's pretty cool. But it's going to be a PITA for projects built by many developers of varying experience levels. The nice things about smaller languages is that there's often only one way to do something, so when you write code or review other people's code, your mind is free from the minutiae and you can focus on the big picture instead.

It's a bit funny that it's when JS is, from the general consensus, finally getting "better" that I'm actually considering more and more switching to a small but well-built compile-to-JS language. I guess smallness and simplicity just matter a lot to me.

chrisdotcode 4 days ago 2 replies      
What's interesting is that all of the 'niceness' seen is the result of a switch to the functional style.

Excluding the singleton class (which could have been a single function itself), you've got your map/filters in the gif processing, and encapsulation of async activities[0] through monads via promises.

Seems like JavaScript got good when it started embracing what functional programmers have been drowned out saying for years.

Looking good indeed.

[0] Async actions as a language-level construct, as opposed to a syntactic abstraction have always been A Bad Idea. Promises should have always been the default, and manually writing callbacks should have never been a thing.

fredsted 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great screencast lots of detail in a short period. No messing around, it also shows how an optimized workflow should look like. The audio/video quality of the screencast was extremely good as well.
danabramov 4 days ago 3 replies      
What will SystemJS+JSPM give me over Webpack? Just curious.

Webpack also supports ES6 modules (as well as CJS and AMD) when used with 6to5 transpiler, and has a lot of great features like splitting code into bundles, figuring out the best way to split dependencies based on module size, and asynchronously loading missing chunks.

lbotos 4 days ago 2 replies      
Aside: "A DJ using Ableton Live, a huge bundle of MaxMSP emitting a UDP stream of beat information (courtesy of the immensely pro Cade), a UDP WebSockets server, and DJGif pulling hundreds of GIFs off various Tumblrs to beatmatch <x-gif> on two projectors makes for a hell of a good show."

Does anyone know why he wouldn't have used the midi clock from Ableton (or other DJ software) to a "midi->websocket" server?

jnhasty 4 days ago 0 replies      
For anyone building projects utilizing GIFs, check out the GIPHY api.


Here's another project using GIFs and beat matching:


Some other cool projects:


rmrfrmrf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like an interesting workflow, but I think I still prefer using a compile-to-js language like CoffeeScript over the use of shims. I know it's a silly thought, but to me, shims sort of violate the separation of responsibilities between the user and the developer. If I, as the developer, want to write more concise, scalable, and convenient code, it should be my responsibility to spend my development resources to convert that code to something the user's browser can understand.
tmaly 4 days ago 2 replies      
I would love to hear more about djgif
wldlyinaccurate 4 days ago 1 reply      
Really great screencast. If you have the good fortune to be a JS developer in 2015 (and beyond), there are some exciting times ahead!
mattdesl 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'd be curious to see how a medium to large project (500+ files) works with this approach? I'm guessing it would take a while to load the page since the browser has to request each script?

The tool looks pretty good. I think the most important feature is working with existing modules on npm. :) This means that most browserifiable modules can be jspm'd and vice versa.

vayan 4 days ago 2 replies      
Nothing to do with this, but I remember a conf about javascript in 2040++ or something can't find the video..
basicallydan 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this looks great. Nice one Glen. I'm looking forward to trying this out. I'm going to, ASAP.
williamcotton 4 days ago 1 reply      
What advantages does this offer over the more mature ecosystem that surrounds browserify?
Bahamut 4 days ago 0 replies      
I found this link that was linked by the article to be very interesting: http://blog.npmjs.org/post/101775448305/npm-and-front-end-pa...
MrBuddyCasino 4 days ago 3 replies      
Slightly off topic, and sorry if it seems obvious, but his coding workflow looks really neat. He must be using a Chrome extension to live-reload the changes? Did anyone recognize the editor?
eskimobloood 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if there is a way to split the build in more then just one big file but in several smaller files then can be loaded on runtime.
nawazdhandala 4 days ago 0 replies      
Finally we have promises support built into JS.
atestu 4 days ago 1 reply      
What is the difference between this and require.js for loading modules? I feel like I'm missing something
akanet 4 days ago 1 reply      
The article and cast was specifically about making the development flow for frontend javascript more robust. What are you complaining about? This article has nothing to do with advocating JS for "critical systems, frameworks and back end".
collyw 4 days ago 1 reply      
Still has more WTF moments than any other language I have used so far.
BigChiefSmokem 3 days ago 1 reply      
Instead of creating yet-another-library, yet-another-framework or superset (TypeSscript, etc.) of it we should try to fix JavaScript itself. Why companies don't push for this even if it's in all their best interests is beyond me.
AndyFang98 4 days ago 1 reply      
Node.js is the only real dev language.
tkubacki 4 days ago 0 replies      
JavaScript is broken by design (eg. adding obj properties on the fly is killing perf and toolability) we need replacement.

Why web can't get such a nice lang like C#, Swift?

In the mean time I will stick with Dart

DIY 2880x1800 projector
350 points by WestCoastJustin  1 day ago   30 comments top 9
WestCoastJustin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make sure you check page #2 too [1]. More build pics, bulb encasing design, cooling, and thermal images. These guys are pretty good marketers. I want to attempt this, and I am not even in the market for a projector, I mean you cannot get better than this for a DIY project [2, 3].

[1] http://forum.allinbox.com/aspectgeek/Projetsencours/18/photo...

[2] http://i.imgur.com/PoIY7aR.jpg

[3] http://i.imgur.com/SNvdzcr.jpg

Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
LED off-road auto headlamps, brighter than on-road, are good enough and cheap enough now that those are an illumination option. You can get a few thousand lumens now for a hundred dollars or so. Halogens are a pain; they have a short life, cooling problems, and generate IR which turns into heat at the LCD panel, so you need fan airflow across the panel. This guy has been struggling with halogen cooling and power problems. Halogens are on the way out. Even stage lighting is going LED.

Projectors are getting better, cheaper, and brighter with LED lamps behind them. Here's a 1000-lumen 1080p projector: "http://www.lg.com/us/projectors/lg-PF85U-portable-led-projec.... It's still around $1200, but give it six months.

snippyhollow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow that site still exists! :) I did one when I was 17 (I'm 28 now), I first modelised everything in 1) an optics simulator 2) Solidworks, and then assembled it with a wooden case: http://forum.allinbox.com/aspectgeek/Projetsencours/9/projec...


amadeusw 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks spectacular!

I didn't quite get how it works. Is it essentially an LCD panel with an extreme backlight, and a lens to correctly display the picture?

frik 1 day ago 1 reply      
Make sure to add some fans, the LCD/TFT panel doesn't like the heat of a high-power halogen/xenon lamp! OP uses several fans too, to cool down the air around the xenon lamp: http://forum.allinbox.com/aspectgeek/Projetsencours/18/photo...

A friend converted an overhead projector (and a 1080p LCD panel) into a DIY projector, some years ago. His panel turned brown and broke because of too high air temperature.

As even the OP has cooling issues - lesson learned: Better use LED with 1000+ Lumen instead of a halogen/xenon lamp.

terrence_giggy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This brings up some good (and bad) memories from past hobbies. Back in the day when 1080p was the new rage, I remember getting immersed in one of these DIY projector projects. For anyone looking into it - this was the site to get parts from:


They built a box 100 times better than I would hoped to have. Plus, I believe I got my lenses from there as well.

sebastianconcpt 1 day ago 1 reply      
This things are what makes me come and check Hacker News

Thanks for sharing

beloch 1 day ago 0 replies      
The videophile in me really wanted to see some test patterns. It's relatively easy to get some nice, artificially colorful CG shots to look good in screenshots, but comparatively hard to get uniform focus and illumination with color fidelity that will make human faces look natural. Using such a large LCD panel might make focus easier (and the cabinetry bigger), but I bet getting the illumination anywhere close to uniform is a real PITA!
stinos 1 day ago 2 replies      
The LCD he got for $200, is that actually the same as what's in the MacBook? That's not really clear from the first paragraph..
How I Crashed and Burned in Y Combinator
354 points by mparramon  22 hours ago   117 comments top 34
charlierguo 19 hours ago 7 replies      
Hey everyone! Author here.

First off, thanks for reading! To be honest, I really didn't expect to get this much attention. This is a story that I've wanted to share with friends and family for a long time, and was thoroughly surprised when it was picked up by Backchannel (and then posted here).

Regarding some of the points made here, I (mostly) agree. Getting into YC or raising money is not success. Changing your idea completely isn't really a "pivot" (but I don't know if the industry has as concise of a term for throwing everything out and starting over). In my mind, the real failure was squandering the opportunity of YC, an opportunity I know many people would kill to have. Clearly we should have stuck it out with our idea, but we were 21 years old, stressed out, and foolish.

I also want to note (in case anyone was wondering) that my experience hasn't diminished my opinion of YC at all. PG's advice was spot on, and YC remains an amazing program for founders. We simply didn't make the best use of our time in it.

Hopefully reading about my experience is helpful in some way. If not, sorry about that. Give it a downvote and send it on its merry way.

birken 20 hours ago 2 replies      
This post really misunderstands what both success and failure are.

Getting into YC or raising money isn't success. And trying an idea out for a few months before giving up on it isn't failure.

Building a success startup takes a long long time. Years. Lots of years. Maybe the idea is bad, but giving up on it after a couple of months really proves nothing. All it has proven is that the founders are the type of people that are readily willing to bail out at any moment, and that is a quality that doesn't lead to startup success. The "nightmare" described in this post is a joke compared to the depths some highly successful startups have gone through. Techcrunch wrote a bad story about me? Really? Try having to decide whether to lay off people to make payroll or having spent years on an idea only to still be not sure if it is working on not.

edent 20 hours ago 8 replies      
Am I missing something here? You can get $$$ and top quality advice for an _idea_ and then just turn around and say "bored now - let's do something else"?

And then, so it seems, when that idea runs out you just say "uhhh... let's do this instead!"

So, what are the YC people investing in? Two guys who seem pretty smart?

I appreciate that you might need to pivot from "a social network for dogs" to "a social network for pets" or even "a dog training forum" - but this just seems like they were given investment for one idea, then immediately dropped it to do something else.

Or, like I say, have I missed something vital?

HorizonXP 21 hours ago 2 replies      
What a great story. Charlie is very brave for telling this, and it's something that more people need to hear.

Getting into YC is not an achievement. Even if you get in, you're not special. You still have to bust your ass like everyone else trying to build a company. Not getting into YC isn't a big deal either, because you're still not special.

Stories like Charlie's should help others highlight this fact. He said that he felt impostor syndrome. I've felt that too. I don't have a great solution for that, but what it should tell you is that even people who you feel are smarter/better than you really are not. We are all the same, and we all face the same struggles, albeit in different circumstances.

PG's advice to Charlie about focusing on an idea they're passionate about, and an idea that they could see themselves working on for the next 5 years is sound. Don't chase trends. Don't chase money. Chase your passion. When you're really passionate about something, it's infectious to others around you. They want to help you. The success and money will usually follow.

I'm glad that people like Charlie tell these stories, since we seem to focus on the success stories. Those are few and far between. Charlie's story is likely more prevalent than we perceive.

bkeroack 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This is what happens when people want to "do a startup" more than they want to build a business doing X. The passion for the idea/product should come first, with incubators (if deemed necessary) being used as a tool towards achieving that goal.
nkangoh 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I find this paragraph interesting:

"From the outside, it might have looked like I was crazy to feel this way. I had graduated from Stanford, I had a CS degree, and I knew how to play the startup game. In college I had started an ed-tech company, ClassOwl, that raised nearly a million in seed funding."

Pardon my ignorance, but if a startup is a game, wouldn't knowing how to play be knowing how to win, i.e. an exit? I feel like getting venture capital would be the equivalent of prolonging the game, which is a +0 type of action. Is raising money really "playing?" From what I've read raising money just results in needing to raise more money.

nakovet 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't get it, I have been working with web development for the past 10 years, I never had problems finding a job but I wouldn't know how to do remote consulting while I travel around the work to "take a break", nevertheless the tone set from OP is confusing you don't know if he is humble, spoiled or bragging. It's all mixed up, and like other people noted pivoting is not changing your idea completely, this is starting over.
dasil003 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think you should call it a pivot when you are effectively starting over. Pivot literally means one foot planted and moving the other to a new spot.
sparkzilla 19 hours ago 2 replies      
The article makes it clear that the YC interview selection process is deeply flawed. Leaving out the idea that they were selected because they told a story about the sound of biting a bottle, surely at the interview stage, if the entrepreneurs do not know what the company is making, or the business looks weak the interviewer should just say no. It's not enough to say "here are two bright people that can pivot". Bright people are everywhere, good business ideas are rare. All this does is cause the stress that the author has gone through as he and his partner have to desperately search for a business idea that may not come. This kind of stress, based on unrealistic expectations, can lead people to kill themselves, and seems to me to be borderline unethical.

Meanwhile there are literally hundreds of other companies and thousands of smart people with great ideas that would gladly take their place and succeed, including many of the readers here.

Noelkd 20 hours ago 1 reply      
> I would have to talk to my cohort and confirm that no, we hadnt found an idea yet and yes, we were still super excited about our company. I did little else but eat, code and sleep.

If you don't have an idea what you're doing what are you doing coding?

mb_72 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This post seems to neatly encapsulate a lot of what I feel is wrong with the entire start-up / accelerator scene. I've always felt that capable people with a good idea will succeed 99% of the time anyway - and if that team in particular doesn't succeed, then another group will, and hence no net loss to humanity of the 'idea'.

OTOH, this kind of process seems to rescue half-baked ideas, or throw money at people that can perhaps program but can't actually run a business, or glorifies killing yourself working for hope of a huge payday. Perhaps I'm in the minority, and perhaps it's because I'm old (44) and 'get-off-my-lawny' ... but I am so not down with this kind of approach to making money.

guynamedloren 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure why the author didn't consider a fourth option when graduating from college:

    4) Join the ground floor of a startup *as an early employee*
It would've yielded invaluable experience and a whole lot of personal growth, leaving him in a much better place to run a company years down the road.

At this point, I don't really think he's learned anything at all, and he won't learn much about running a company while he's galavanting around southeast asia humblebragging.

thoman23 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Please tell me that this Ryan Lawler from TechCrunch is writing in that style to insinuate his utter disdain not only for the FanHero business model, but for the whole "free money for 21-year olds with a half-baked idea" industry. He can't possibly write that way for real, could he?
mediaright 19 hours ago 1 reply      
..."professional hoop-jumper" ...He means being a kid?

There's a self-importance and arrogance to all of this that really comes through from this type of rhetor. I think the imposter syndrome might not be that much of a syndrome in the case of far too many startup teams sadly.

myohan 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"I dont want to start another company until I find a problem that I care about. A problem that I eat, sleep and breathe. A problem worth solving."

i agree with you but you shouldn't wait for these ideas to come by out the blue moon, you should be constantly searching, trying/testing, and keep living/experiencing a lot of different things...because there are a lot of problems out there that you DO NOT know they exist, and how would you know you care about these problems if you don't know they exist.

good luck.

pavlov 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The "impostor syndrome" meme would have us believe that if you feel like an impostor, don't worry -- it's a positive sign that you're actually a modest, shy kind of genius.

But sometimes it just means that you really are out of your depth.

researcher88 20 hours ago 1 reply      
When I read about FanHero on techcrunch, I thought it was a good idea despite the article's tone.

Mainly because I watch a lot of alternative content and listen to podcasts, and I want a way to support what I like. It wasn't an original idea but with awesome execution I think it could had worked.

rubiquity 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The author sounds spoiled and entitled to everything in their life up until YC.
lesingerouge 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Through some very strange twists of fate it seems to me that bot programming and starting a business ended up being "fashionable" things to do. And obviously as all fashionable things there's quite a lot of people that want to ride the hype train.

Statistics tell us that there will always be a certain percentage that are on the train just for the hype.

My 2 cents: getting on the train just for the hype is a clear indicator that you do not have a very good knowledge of yourself. Internal, time-tested, hard-earned kind of knowledge.

georgeecollins 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like a parody of entrepeneurship. Like instead of defying the odds to be an entrepeneur he's defying the odds to avoid getting startup funding as a recent CS grad from Stanford.

The world it full of things that sound appealing. But you may find when you get a chance to do them it isn't your thing. You may enjoy art, admire artists, but not really enjoy or be suited to the work of an artist.

Disruptive_Dave 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Does YC ever accept business / growth people or just "tech"? I ask that in seriousness, as my take - in my very limited time as a startup founder & employee - has consistently been that many startups fail due in part to an obvious lack of business sense and skills. I'm regularly surprised by the sheer amount of startups out there, many of which are funded, with coders and designers who have no damn clue how to sell.

"We were a solid team, a designer/developer combo." Is that a solid "build a business" team or just a solid "engineer the product" team?

onewaystreet 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Did anyone at YC talk with these founders after investing in them? It sounds like they never understood why they were accepted. Getting accepted into YC should be a confirmation signal, not a signal that you should pivot (yes, YC invests in people, but if that was the case in this case then I would've expected a partner to have helped them find a new idea).
jokoon 20 hours ago 1 reply      
rsp1984 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Aside from some other great comments here (some of it which really nail it) I'd like to point out that the greatest difficulty of the author seems to be being in charge of things.

Throughout the entire story he is denying control.

Being accepted into Y Combinator? Pure luck.Most critical interview factor? Sound of biting a plastic bottle. It doesn't surprise me a tiny bit that he thought he had impostor syndrome since he probably felt he is getting rewarded for something that is seemingly totally out of his control.

Then all the "pivots". Again feeling that startup success is something that will magically come just by "waiting a bit longer" or "having a slightly better idea" (i.e. being largely out of one's control), of course you re-set the course right away if the odds seem against you. Even if it's just some objections by interviewers who know you for about 10 minutes. Because they surely know better, right? No way to to prove these guys wrong, right? Probably much better to try something different...

The author ends by saying he wants to get back into startups once he's found a suitable problem to work on. That's cool. Even better would be to find a problem he knows he can solve, by being in charge.

haky_nash 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. Aspiring Founder here. What a read. Loved this:

"I dont want to start another company until I find a problem that I care about. A problem that I eat, sleep and breathe. A problem worth solving."

rdtsc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> We researched Bitcoins, smart devices, 3D printing, biometrics, and a host of other industries.

Is this common? As in people first decide they want to do a "startup thing". Then they fish for idea. Just curious, is this how most startup idea begin?

I kind of thought it was always someone first having a burning and interesting idea that eventually they want to develop and it gets developed as a startup or patent or something like that.

GoLocalApps 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is both an indictment of "squirrel" syndrome (the dog from Up), and YC not choosing well in the first place. maybe that's the environment there, but I would guess if you brought in a new team with an idea, gave them money for that idea and then they went and dumped the idea right off and went to something new and shinier, they shouldn't have been funded in the first place?

And with two previously abandoned businesses in his past, someone should have asked about commitment to the idea. Sure you can work on something you don't love, but then its a job not a career or a self focused business, not something worth others investing in without a really clear business plan and exit strategy.

zeeshanm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for writing the article. One thing have bothered me for a long time is why tech startups think TechCrunch or any other high-speed news website writing about them is an indication of early success. It may help you get early customers via the write up if your customers are actually those clicking through these clickbaity links. But this probably doesn't apply in all cases. A lot of the times those reading such viral stories more often than not are on the lookout for the next big big idea to copy. So why bother? May be I don't get as it is some sort of a Valley thing.
paulvs 14 hours ago 0 replies      
An idea may be worth less than the potential of the founders, but a well thought-out idea reveals a lot about the founders themselves, in my opinion.
Animats 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Now YC gives startups less money, so they can't try to "pivot" after the first failure. Win big or die fast.

Comment below: "Building a success startup takes a long long time. Years. Lots of years." Not in the YC world. That's not the model.

smurph 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks it's insane that someone can go from an undergrad CS degree to a failed startup and then directly into (presumably well paid) consulting gigs? I'd be pretty wary of a consultant who's only work experience was starting their own company and failing.
juanbyrge 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing this story. I know it was a tough decision to leave the company. If you were in a situation that causes you a lot of stress and unhappiness, there's no shame in leaving.

There are a lot of people being critical here. It's easy to look at the situation from the outside and feel entitled to make comments. I bet if some of the commenters here were in you're situation they'd feel differently.

rl3 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Developing an idea that you feel comfortable genuinely committing yourself to is hard.

Usually it takes six months from coming up with an idea to researching it and getting to the point where I believe in it.

Most of the time, you start with only a vague notion and have to further develop that into something concrete.

No wonder that it didn't turn out well for them doing it under pressure in just a few days time.

blazespin 19 hours ago 1 reply      
They seemed like good guys who had no sense of wherewithal. I liked the FanHero idea, it seemed pretty good.
How the Colombian army sent a hidden message to hostages using a pop song
334 points by kposehn  3 days ago   42 comments top 9
shutupalready 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's a great feel-good story, but the whole thing is just intelligence theater, la Bruce Schneier's security theater.

That is, the coded message serves no intelligence or military objective. It sounds to me like the government concocted this idea because they felt they should be doing something, anything, no matter how useless( * ).

What's a hostage supposed to conclude from hearing, "19 people rescued. Youre next. Dont lose hope". Should I run? Run now? Hide in the jungle? Run when the rescue starts? Stay put? Fight during the rescue? Don't fight? If you asked 10 different people what specific action you're supposed to take based on this message, you'd get 10 different answers.

If this message had any tangible effect, why aren't there any first hand accounts from the hostages explaining what they did differently as a result of hearing the message?

So 3 million people heard this song, yet the only ones who understood it were some of the hostages? Not one of the several thousand militants and no one in the public decoded it? This just proves the point that it's un-actionable. Case (1): Lots of people got it besides the hostages, but there's nothing to blow the whistle on. It's not as if the message says, "Raid at dawn". Case (2): Nobody got it, which also implies that the message had no effect.

( * )If the government claimed that the message was simply a way to make the hostages keep up hope, then OK (though it still seems like a lot of expense for little gain). But they're trying to make it sound like a big intelligence or military coup, which it is not.

lrm242 3 days ago 4 replies      
The morse is subtle but if you listen closely you can hear it. Set the Soundcloud player to 1:25 or so and you'll hear singing as they finish up the chorus. As the chorus completes at about 1:31 the singing stops and instruments play. Listen closely, and try to remember what morse sounds like in the movies. It's there in the background, and once you hear it it's obvious. Don't listen to the drums or tambourine, it's not there in the beat. It's "behind" the beat as if a background instrument was playing.

(edit: it also kicks in again around 2:30 and 3:30. So the start times are at approximately 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.)


biot 3 days ago 3 replies      
Though I don't know morse code (beyond S-O-S), I know of morse code and roughly what it ought to sound like. I really wish the article had started out with the SoundCloud player, saying "Listen to this first... notice anything peculiar about the song?" since because I knew it contains morse code, I instantly recognized it in the chorus. I wonder if I would have been as oblivious to its inclusion as the FARC members had I not been made aware beforehand.

It reminds me of Evanescence's "My Immortal" song where people have speculated there's a hidden message in it. Take a listen and see if you can hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5anLPw0Efmo

bbayles 3 days ago 1 reply      
Clever! It reminds me of another story of broadcasting information such that only interested parties will receive it.

In 1997, during an auction of wireless spectrum by the FCC, some of the participants colluded by stealthily signaling the geographic region of the licenses they most valued. They made the last few digits of their bids (in dollars), which were visible to all, the area codes of those regions.

blahedo 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is a fantastic example of steganography in action, in a context other than hiding info in low-order bits of images.
monitron 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think I hear an additional bit of trickery that the article didn't mention: the morse signal keeps oscillating between the left and right stereo channels, which on headphones or a nice speaker system make it sound more like artsy synth and less like a coded message.

If the illustration in the article is accurate, the hostages are probably listening on a monophonic radio or one with limited stereo separation, which would make the code easier to pick out and understand.

seandhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a pretty great story. I was in Bogot in July of 2008 just after Ingrid Betancourt and several other hostages were rescued. In the face of such jubilation of their rescue, there was a small demonstration in Plaza de Bolvar to remind everyone that there were still people who needed help. https://www.dropbox.com/sc/93d9g1ycgxamg3o/AAD4g5xPPyT3R-AWJ...

It is inspiring seeing the steps that the government took, the planning, the rescue, and the demonstration of genuine care for all involved.

gabrielblack 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's very important to keep prisoners' morale high, so this initiative is very commendable.

But this isn't a new idea, there are a lot of pop songs with embedded morse code messages, for example, this Slipknots' song:


A tutorial:


Anyway, there are more creative methods to insert coded messages in radio shows, for example, some years ago, the italian police confiscated a commercial radio in Naple. That radio was controlled by a mafia family and used to send message to the inmates of Poggioreale prison. They used fake "inscription" related to the songs transmitted:


curiously 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder if anyone would've picked it up? You would have to listen to the song over and over. Then figure out morse code and what letter each signal represented.
We're moving to GitHub
303 points by taspeotis  8 hours ago   124 comments top 20
JBiserkov 11 minutes ago 1 reply      
Can someone please change the title to

.NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") is moving to GitHub

The current one makes it seem that MSDN is moving to GitHub (wouldn't that be a sight? :-)

bcantrill 7 hours ago 8 replies      
This is getting terrifyingly close to my prediction that Microsoft should/would/will buy GitHub. When I first started predicting this two or so years ago, it was mainly for its comedic value (it always got laughs, followed by "yeah, they should!" followed by nervous laughter followed by "wait, do you think they would actually do that?!"), but after the open sourcing of .NET I honestly think anything is possible. Especially because the counter to MSFT buying GitHub was always "but... CodePlex!", and here they are explicitly moving a high-profile project from CodePlex to GitHub. Scary!
tzs 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Are there any major public repository hosting services that provide good organizational tools for multiple repositories?

GitHub, as far as I have been able to determine, only supports a flat list sorted by last update.

This is annoying when a developer has a lot of repositories. I'll come across something useful in one of my areas of interest from a given developer, and then want to look at their other repositories to see if they have anything else in that area of interest. In a sane design, all of their repositories in that area would be organized under a folder, and this would be easy.

BitBucket seems to have the same limitation.

niutech 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Every monopoly is bad. GitHub is becoming one. I don't think it's a good move, as well as Google abandoning Google Code.
icehawk219 7 hours ago 3 replies      
> HOW: This will be a simple switch turn off CodePlex, turn on GitHub. Youll be able to see our check-ins on GitHub that same day.

It's probably a safe bet that CodePlex's days are numbered. Which is kind of a shame. It was definitely heavily lacking but I can't help but think that some more competition in the space would be a good thing.

lbradstreet 7 hours ago 1 reply      
With Microsoft making moves like these for their open source projects, it seems like network effects are alive and well, and working for GitHub. Of course, it did require some change from above to get to the point where Microsoft is willing to open source this stuff in the first point.
benbristow 2 hours ago 1 reply      
BitBucket for private stuff/stuff I don't want showcasing.GitHub for open-source.

Works perfectly fine for me and since they're both Git based there's no extra learning curves for either of them.

Permit 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This post only mentions Roslyn, but the F# project will also be moved over. :)
josteink 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I definitely hope they will blog more about the migration and source-code conversion and how they did it, much like ESR blogged about the Emacs BZR to Git conversion[1].

It would probably be very interesting for customers thinking about migrating from TFS to Git themselves.

[1] http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=5634

antaviana 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Perhaps Microsoft wants to divest out of the git+online tools space? Github is the incumbent that they did not crack how to beat and it will be a bit more crowded with Amazon who seems to be also coming this year with CodeCommit. So far, Amazon strategy has been to suck all air from the room.
iamcreasy 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty cool!

Are all these happening because Satya Nadella is trying to steer MS in new direction?

nl 7 hours ago 2 replies      
One of the GitHub founders has talked about being offered a job at Microsoft out of college, and deciding to take the risk starting GitHub instead.

Must feel satisfying....

Edit: Ok, not straight out of college. No less satisfying though.

XorNot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes sense to me. I've not met anyone who doesn't think Visual Studio is solid software, and received numerous recommendations that an IDE is definitely something worth paying for. MS looking to be developer friendly can only be good for them.
waitingkuo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
That's interesting!!! So what's Microsoft's next step? Aquire Github?
jng 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Microsoft embracing open source and open culture without having a clear path forward ensuring business. This reminds me of Sun a lot. That didn't end up well.
farresito 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What were they previously using before the switch to git? Mercurial?
ck2 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I had to double take and check if it was April 1st already.
davidgerard 5 hours ago 0 replies      
>as well as switching to use git internally


XzetaU8 6 hours ago 1 reply      
CmonDev 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Well be using GitHub Issues for both discussions and bugs after the switch"

Hilarious! Did someone call GitHub "social"?

The Tough Decision to Leave the Classroom
308 points by washt  2 days ago   257 comments top 34
rossta 2 days ago 2 replies      
I taught middle school science in Houston for five years. I decided to leave the traditional public school system for many of the same reasons the author makes about his experience. This was over a decade ago so it's sad to hear the same problems persist.

Alternatives like charter schools have not always fared well, but some, like YES College Prep (http://www.yesprep.org/), are serving low income areas and achieving profound success. They've been able to replicate a model where teachers, students and parents all buy into the same mission: that all students must gain acceptance into a four year college or university to graduate. YES began with the hard work a few enterprising teachers who became tired of a broken system - not much different from a tech startup in a way.

I've often felt if the teaching profession was prestigious as, say, law or medicine, we could eventually solve the problems in education. That's not to say we don't have problems with our legal system or healthcare - but it'd be hard to argue there is a shortage of good lawyers or doctors. Imagine if we had no shortage of good teachers... But we don't pay teachers well, there are stigmas ("Those who can't...) and a lack of long term benefits outside of the daily joy of interacting with young people and helping them grow - we'd all be crazy to leave tech to go teach, right?

rdtsc 2 days ago 6 replies      
Great points.

This, I think is one of the fundamental problems:


If parents and local decision-makers really value education (and there is a small portion of the community that does), student and teacher morale would be much different.


The overall environment matters more than the teacher. We've mentioned it here not too long ago as well.

Doesn't matter how fancy the workbooks and new materials or how hard we flog the teachers. The environment is anti-learning. Sure there is tons of lip service of "children are our future". All the best for the children, etc, etc. Except that actions and reality doesn't reflect that.

Many students come poor and/or bad families. No new "Common Core" tests are going to help that child learn if they are afraid they might not eat dinner that evening or they will be beaten up by their drunken family members. Just flogging the teacher to teach harder won't work.

It would be nice if "teaching" was considered just as a prestigious profession as laywer, doctor, astronaut, CTO of startup. Besides attracting more talent, it would send a cultural message -- education is very imporant and only special people get to do teach.

Heck look at the stupid Breaking Bad show. If Walter would be just teaching chemistry vis-a-vis his rich startup-owing friend he would be totally pathetic and uninteresting. Media like that tends to condense, distil and reflect back cultural attidides. Well thank god Walter started cooking meth, and killing otherwise he would have been the most boring person ever.

iguanayou 1 day ago 3 replies      
I taught high school for 5 years and made the same decision. The biggest factor for me was how the schools were being administered; just a few examples:

- Competition among students, instead of being used as a motivator as piles of research suggests, was specifically DISALLOWED because it might make certain students feel bad.

- When a student fell behind because they were slacking off in class, it was the teacher's responsibility to put in extra time and make sure they caught up, stopping just short of doing the work FOR the student.

- Double standards, administrators demanding that classes be "rigorous", but then when students complain that the class is too hard, or students get bad grades because they can't hack it, that of course is the teacher's fault, and it is reflected in our official evaluations.

- Turf wars among teachers who only care about protecting their own jobs.

- I never had a full time job. Schools will hire for, say .6 FTE, or even .2 FTE, which no one can make a living on. I tried holding 3 teaching jobs at once to put together a full time salary and that worked for about 4 months before things fell apart.

- Working hours of 60-70 hours per week during the school year leads to burnout.

- I make 3x as much as a software engineer.

If it was truly about the students, I'd still be teaching, But it's not.

jurassic 2 days ago 5 replies      
No raises in six years as inflation marches steadily on is a 10% paycut. Criminal. It's a disgrace that our college-educated professional teachers are so under-valued they have to take on multiple side-jobs just to maintain their economic status quo.
aerique 2 days ago 8 replies      
Honest question:

We lived with one car (a car that was given to us) for 4 years. During that time, I walked or rode my bike to school to save on gas. We recently bought a second car with money I saved from my web design business.

Is the US really structured so that owning one car is (seen as) a problem?

loteck 2 days ago 5 replies      
Do we care more about student progress or our appearance?

We care about both, and we have to. Proposed solutions will have to cater to this reality to have any hope of success.

Why cant we start a movement to walk away from these tests?

Because a ton of scared people think the tests are the safety net of education. They are the last resort. If you got a bad education and can still past the test, it's a quantifiable bare minimum.

Why cant we shift our focus to critical thinking and relevant educational experiences?

Because while great teachers exist, they are sitting on top of a pile of good, decent and bad teachers that largely can't be fired or forced to improve. Kids in those teachers' classrooms need to come out with some bare minimum of quantifiable education.

waynemr 2 days ago 5 replies      
The sad and infuriating thing is that good teachers leaving public service is precisely what conservative groups strive for, in their "starve the beast" agendas. As more quality staff leave, they [conservative groups] can claim greater and greater failures in the public system and siphon more tax dollars into private voucher schools.
WalterBright 2 days ago 5 replies      
> SOL tests are inherently unfair,

I regularly see claims that tests are at odds with learning. What I don't understand is how anyone can tell what kids have learned without some sort of test.

nkangoh 2 days ago 1 reply      
I REALLY wish teaching was as prestigious as say, being a doctor, or investment banker. I read a very interesting [1] book on this and it really just opened my eyes regarding the mediocrity of teaching (not quality per say, but as a profession, which eventually leads to poor education).

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Smartest-Kids-World-They-That/dp/14516...

ComSubVie 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I stepped into the classroom around the time of a major worldwide recession. As the individuals and institutions responsible for this recession escaped accountability for their actions, school districts like ours went into survival mode.> Six years later, were still there. We have no plan for the future.> Earlier this year, the school board held its annual budget meeting. I left my second job early to attend and asked board members one simple question: Is there any cause for optimism? Each school board member, searching for a silver lining, effectively answered no by the time their reasoning caught up with them.

I think that's quite the same everywhere. Here in Austria school budget gets cut every year, local media are always bashing the teachers so the social standing of teachers isn't very good, therefore it is hard to get good/motivated teachers and you're struck with unmotivated teachers (and even motivated teachers don't hold their motivation for a lot of years).

Most important would be for the community to recognize that education is the most important thing we have for future generations and start investing (financially, socially, ...) into it. However I have no idea how that could be reached.

SeanLuke 2 days ago 2 replies      
In what way is this person the "Virginia Teacher of the Year"? The word "Virginia" never appears in the body. He was the Waynesboro (pop. 20K) Rotary Club Teacher of the Year.
scornwell 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't think there is another profession who's need is so widely advocated for, yet so pathetically enticed. Put some money on education, make it a desirable job, and then watch the world change as talented people try for those positions. Now, just figure out how to get the money committed to education instead of people giving RollsRoyce, Bentley, Ferrari, etc their best years ever.
retrogradeorbit 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Reason Education Sucks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILQepXUhJ98

Edit: for those wanting something less cynical and more serious, I recommend some John Taylor Gatto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_CeWip5BpU#t=1m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxCuc-2tfgk

AndrewKemendo 2 days ago 2 replies      
My wife is a school teacher and so I see this from her constantly. She argues that people don't value her work but that it is vitally important.

So my question to her is, if it is so valuable then why aren't people willing to pay for it? The answer seems to be, because they can't afford it. People with money spend egregious amounts of money on schooling and private school teachers are reasonably well paid.

Publicly funded schools however are like every other major bureaucratic organization, they have to prove their worth and are all competing for a shrinking pot of money. That is where all these bullshit requirements come from.

Schools are trying to prove that their teaching is effective. The problem with this however is that the community around the school, the engagement of parents in education and the economic opportunity in the community has as much if not a larger influence on educational outcomes than the actual school day activities do.

In my opinion schools should be kind of a seat of knowledge for their communities, not just a place that kids go to during the day and then go back home - like a glorified day care (or prison).

noir-york 2 days ago 4 replies      
The American political system is broken. Here is a middle-class family that can barely make it. The GOP harp on about lower taxes and immigration, and the Dems talk about economic equality and healthcare. The ACA helps the middle-class but the political gridlock ensures that the president, or anyone else, can't force through effective change.

Commonly cited are campaign finance and lobbying and polarisation but those are merely the symptoms of the deeper problem which is the US constitution. A messy compromise, the US constitution effectively gives veto to tiny states (Senate seating). Gerrymandering at the state level ensures that safe seats, and worse, incumbents who have to defend themselves from the ideological 'purists' of their own party. Not a recipe for pragmatic government, vide Brownback, Kansas.

I still look forward to the spectacle of the 2016 general but even if Warren were to be the president (a far off prospect, even though she is what the US needs), little real and effective change would come about because she'd be stymied at ever corner. In view of the fundamental alignment of forces political and economic (increasing inequality in both), we can expect a return to a Victorian economy.

Goronmon 2 days ago 1 reply      
I honestly don't know how people stay teachers for more than a couple years in most places. The people who I know who are teachers not only get paid fairly poorly, they work 60-70 hour weeks, have less and less control over how they are allowed to teach and also have to deal with crazy parents (ie. parent stalking outside school, sending books/emails, because they apparently aren't teaching in a way that is pro-conservative/pro-christian).

It just seems like it takes a lot of effort to get into a field that treats you like crap almost as a general rule.

jonpress 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was surprised that he mentioned the global financial crisis. I think 'too big to fail' was one of the biggest frauds ever committed against society. There is no such thing as too big to fail.

I think the 2008 financial crisis was an evolutionary mechanism for society to rid itself of excessive greed among its leaders (natural selection). The bailout was an unnatural intervention and will only serve to propagate the genes for greed in our society.

I think it's only a matter of time though before the next crisis - And I think it will be the same people who will take us there - This time the cause will be more clever and more complicated than the last time.

tempodox 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh, my. Education in the U.S. is as broken as it gets. If you have to pay for being able to afford a job as a teacher, that spells doom for a whole profession. Not to mention a nation's future.
blazespin 2 days ago 1 reply      
I thought all of the points were naive, except for fair compensation. What we need is extremely high compensation (the level of doctors) for teachers who can inspire their students to teach themselves.
kaptain 2 days ago 0 replies      
> When we have a desperate need like football bleachers that have to be replaced, or turfgrass that isnt up to par, we somehow find the money. We through public or private avenues meet those needs. Why cant we find funds to address the areas that seem more pertinent to our primary mission?

> Stop by the high school for a sporting event (and I love sports) and youll be impressed with the attendance and enthusiasm. Stop by the high school on a parent-teacher night and youll see tumbleweed blowing through the halls.

Living in China, the expat community often criticizes how parents are fixated on trying to make sure their child does well; for most Chinese children, every waking moment of their life from elementary school on is focused on trying to get into a university. Childhood often consists of going to class, coming home to eat, going to class, coming home to do homework, and then sleeping.

The irony in the critique is that most Americans (I float around with a mostly American expat community) are unaware how weird their own sports fetish is. I'm American and I love sports too! But it wasn't until recently (like in the last 10 years) it dawned on me how weird it is that Americans love sports so much.

Look at our university system. The university system is just a proxy for a professional sports league, except the participating athletes are not paid and are not allowed to hold jobs. Instead many of them are required to study things they have no interest in, in the hope that they can get by long enough to be able to graduate to a real professional league to begin making a living wage. Meanwhile many schools go bankrupt trying to field a winning team, while the teams that do win make millions that go to university officials.

When a university is mentioned in the news, it is most likely in the context of some sporting event. Imagine what would happen if, instead of focusing on sports, people focused on the actual mission of the university. I think this is a microcosm of American culture and the way we treat education needs to change dramatically. All of these tests and metrics smack weirdly of "sportsification" or "athelitis", where we try to turn education into some sort of game because it makes it easier to understand even when there is little correlation with the original mission.

I don't know if the situation is as dire as I write it to be. This rant is the result of years of incubation in my mind. Hopefully things will change so I don't seem so grumpy or anti-social (like seriously, it's hard to make friends with other guys unless I can say something intelligent about the Big 10).

mcguire 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really hard to care about X when everyone you work with, judging by their actions, seems to not care about X.
markvdb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Make all schools compete for students. And if you can't pay teachers lots of money, at least give them some trust. They're in it for teaching.

It works relatively well over here.

pfortuny 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know this is easy to say from abroad but something that keeps coming to my mind when reading these statements is: what is needed are (also) teachers with the guts to act freely and teach what they deem necessary DESPITE whatever the government says and scraping the bureaucracy. Be not afraid of being fired.

Yes, very easy to say but, as I see it, the only weapon against the Leviathan is your conscience.

ck425 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good post and a lot of interesting points, some of which I've seen raised in the uk too. But one thing that confused me, in the US is only having one car and walking or cycling to work considered a big sacrifice?
tokenadult 2 days ago 0 replies      
I read the fine article kindly submitted here and a great many of the comments here before commenting. First of all, the headline of this submission (which is the original article headline, and thus expected by Hacker News rules) is a misstatement of fact. The author of the submitted article is a Virginian who has been teacher of the year at his little-known high school, but NOT the "Virginia Teacher of the Year."[1] The exaggerations go on from there.

The author writes, "But public education is painted as a career where you make a difference in the lives of students. When a system becomes so deeply flawed that students suffer and good teachers leave (or become jaded), we must examine how and why we do things." Well, yes, but he could have asked different questions, and come up with the different answers earlier reached by John Taylor Gatto, a New York State Teacher of the Year decades ago.[2] Teachers should never kid themselves about how much the school-system-as-such is designed to enable learners to learn well. That has hardly ever been its main purpose.

Meanwhile, I have seen some examples of helpful reforms where I live. Virginia needs to catch up with all those reforms. Minnesota, where I now live and where I grew up, has had largely equal per-capita funding for public school pupils statewide since the 1970s. The state law change that made most school funding come from general state appropriations rather than from local property taxes was called the "Minnesota miracle."[3] Today most funding for schools is distributed by the state government on a per-pupil enrollment basis.[4] You don't have to live in a wealthy neighborhood in Minnesota to have adequately funded schools in your neighborhood.

The funding reform in the 1970s was followed up by two further reforms in the 1980s. First, the former compulsory instruction statute in Minnesota was ruled unconstitutional in a court case involving a homeschooling family, and a new compulsory instruction statute explicitly allows more nonpublic school alternatives for families who seek those. Second, the Legislature, pushed by the then Governor, set up statewide open enrollment[5] and the opportunity for advanced learners to attend up to two years of college while still high school students on the state's dime.[6] And Minnesota also has the oldest charter school statute in the United States.[7]

Parents in Minnesota now have more power to shop than parents in most states. That gets closer to the ideal of detecting the optimum education environment for each student (by parents observing what works for each of their differing children) and giving it to them by open-enrolling in another school district (my school district has inbound open-enrollment students from forty-one other school districts of residence) or by homeschooling, or by postsecondary study at high school age, or by exercising other choices.

The educational results of Minnesota schools are well above the meager results of most United States schools, and almost competitive (but not fully competitive) with the better schools in the newly industrialized countries of east Asia and southeast Asia. It's a start. More choices would be even better. (P.S. Many of these school system reforms in Minnesota were sponsored and championed by supporters of the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, but most are also supported by Republicans here too. Choice is good for everybody and helps schools have incentive to improve.)

[1] http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/recognition/

[2] http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html

[3] http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/18public.php

[4] http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/mnschfin.pdf


[5] http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/StuSuc/EnrollChoice/index.h...

[6] http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/StuSuc/CollReadi/PSEO/index...

[7] http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Chance-Passage-Pioneering-Charter...

personlurking 2 days ago 0 replies      
The other day there was a "best-of" on Reddit where a teacher said that "only martyrs teach now in America."


thirdreplicator 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's sad. I would be a teacher if I could get paid $75/hr...
jqm 2 days ago 2 replies      
Good read. I remember a few dedicated influential teachers. Unfortunately, they are but a few and surrounded in my memory by a large number that were simply going through the motions.

That was 20 years ago, and it sounds like maybe things have not improved. Quality teachers are just about one of the most important things a society can have. Not sure why we haven't institutionally figured that out.

keithpeter 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Bad teachers can game any system; good teachers can lose their focus trying to take new requirements seriously."

This is a major point and it applies to educational 'systems' across the world.

ck2 2 days ago 0 replies      
A calm rational deep and insightful explanation that will be completely ignored and forgotten.

Oh I know, let's spend more money on weapons for police and the military while draining all resources from schools, that will solve everything.

tlrobinson 2 days ago 2 replies      
More like "Waynesboro Rotary Club Teacher of the Year"?

Looks like this is blogspam with a linkbaity title. Original was "The Tough Decision to Leave the Classroom": http://iamjwal.com/the-tough-decision-to-leave-the-classroom...

jonas21 2 days ago 0 replies      
joshstrange 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here is the non-mobile (and from what I can tell, original) article: http://iamjwal.com/the-tough-decision-to-leave-the-classroom...
animex 2 days ago 3 replies      
Maybe do some job research before getting an education degree in the US. I think most teachers would have told you it's pretty shitty in general. In Canada, teachers make more than most software developers, ~90k/yr. Still, much of the same bureaucracy exists here as well.
Applying an experimental procedure to fall in love
282 points by pje  1 day ago   60 comments top 15
grimgrin 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I harvested the questions out of the PDF.


ada1981 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I was so inspired by this article that I spent the day coding an app / game that beautifully guides you through the questions and includes a built in timer with a sound for the eye gazing.


I envision is being something that would be fun on a first date as a game.

Also - I've used eye gazing and several variations with profound results in my coaching work -- many of my clients have said that a ~3 minute session is easily the most profound experience of their lives.

cllns 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm just finishing up All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks. In it, she talks about love as an action.

She frequently quotes Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving, which seems good as well.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_About_Love:_New_Visions

[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Loving

DarkIye 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading about positive conceptualisation techniques in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. This is nothing particularly special. What if you spent 90 minutes detailing one another's flaws? You'd come away with a similarly inaccurate negative impression of your partner.
cel 20 hours ago 2 replies      
In a psychology class I took, we applied this procedure as an in-class exercise, pairing up and asking each other the questions. It works well.
logicallee 23 hours ago 4 replies      
I thought this was great and recommend the article. Click through to the list of questions - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-...

There's no harm in trying it. At worst you'll get to know someone. I'd have no qualms working through this set with at least a dozen people I can think of off-hand (some of whom aren't available anyway, it doesn't matter, or where we flirt anyway.)

The questions are mostly quite interesting. I'd lie about #34 though as it's embarrassing that, like most people here, I have unbacked up stuff on a laptop, which would be an easy decision over other stuff (since there's so much and it's so easy to take) but gives the wrong impression about my priorities. So what - say someone isn't completely honest with you in some of the answers. still an interesting set of questions.

I'm also curious what happens if you just do this with an acquaintance of the same gender assuming neither of you two have any interest in that gender romantically. if you're a man, imagine just answering this stuff with a casual acquiantance (think of bros or colleagues) vaguely similar to you but not a gender you're attracted to, and looking into each other's eyes for 4 minutes. same if you're a woman with another woman acquaintance. [1]

It would be interesting to know what kind of bonding this elicits.

[1] I specifically chose to mention only a same-gendered examples - two guys who aren't into guys, or same with two girls - because the example of a purely gay person doing so with someone of the opposite gender is a bit different for a couple of reasons. some gay people will date or even marry someone of the opposite gender - e.g. a beard - plus social norms would push in that direction even if neither party is attracted. I'm more interested in the example of two acquaintances who are of the same gender but not gay doing this.)

minthd 23 hours ago 3 replies      
What i don't get-why did something like this remains hidden from the general public for 20 years ? Why didn't the study authors worked on popularizing this ?
scottlocklin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This article is disgusting hogwash, suited for the emotional timbre of shallow New Yorkers who go to psychotherapists as a hobby. As the great philosopher Inigo Montoya put it, (Love) "you keep using that word, I don't think you know what it means."
adamzerner 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I could have sworn that I saw a video about this. It might have been a Ted Talk? I can't find the link. Can anyone else?
jmharvey 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Whatever happened to HN's rule about clickbait headlines?
jacques_chester 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Time for all of us to come up with pre-canned answers.

"My greatest weakness is that I'm a workaholic perfectionist. I know I should spend more time doing stuff other than working and preparing for work, but it's just so important to do everything that is best for my company."

tightfleece 1 day ago 1 reply      
"To Fall in Love with Anyone, Stare Into Their Eyes for 4 Minutes"

I hate business models that work by wasting your time. It's not a bad article though.

andrewlynch 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Apply to Tinder.
kornork 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I dated a girl who liked to stare at me in the eyes, in silence. I'm not sure if we ever made it to 4 minutes. It was pretty creepy.
selimthegrim 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is sophistry. She was already attracted to him (here, I use it in the sense primarily of "willing to go out on a date with him") before they started. I don't see any mention of "to build attraction, do this", and intimacy will smother their boundaries and their relationship without attraction.
Dirty Coding Tricks
300 points by LaSombra  2 days ago   84 comments top 16
dcole2929 2 days ago 8 replies      
That last one about the guy who tucked away 2 extra mb of memory for a rainy day is one of the most bad ass things I've ever read about a programmer (never thought I'd say those words). That's next level, old vet, been around the block a few times, stuff right there.
koala_man 2 days ago 1 reply      
I knew some people who wrote a graphical demo at a small, local demoscene party. One of their effects had a static, vertical tearing artifact that moved around based on their parameters but which they weren't able to entirely get rid of.

One of them noticed that the projector screen that the demos would be shown on had a vertical splice. He eyeballed the location and tweaked the parameters to make the artifact line up with it.

No one noticed.

shinymark 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm Mark Cooke, I wrote the first entry in this article a few years ago. Of all of them, it's the least related to interesting code, but it does reflect the reality of the kinds of crazy last minute hacks that can go into shipping a game.

Unlike many other types of reusable code, this sort of gameplay hack will be thrown away and won't be used again in a subsequent game. To an extent it justifies its use in a pinch. But no craftsman is ever happy shipping something like it.

It has been my experience that at the end of game development projects many of these sorts of hacks start flying. Most of them are unnoticed by players.

No game is ever perfect. With limited resources and time it's important to keep in mind what players care about and focus on those things. I care deeply about providing a good experience to players and one of the most interesting and challenging components of game development is deciding where to apply resources when under tight constraints to deliver the best experience. I haven't worked outside the game industry in a long time but I'm sure this is true in most consumer software businesses.

dividuum 2 days ago 2 replies      
One of my favorite tricks is this one (I thought I read about it in that exact collection but it isn't there, so here you go):

Back on Wing Commander 1 we were getting an exception from our EMM386 memory manager when we exited the game. We'd clear the screen and a single line would print out, something like "EMM386 Memory manager error. Blah blah blah." We had to ship ASAP. So I hex edited the error in the memory manager itself to read "Thank you for playing Wing Commander."

debacle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always try to explain to people I work with that you can't get away with hacks at the deadline if you've been hacking from the start, but if 90% of your system is an ivory tower, it usually doesn't hurt that 10% is a nefarious back alley.
jheriko 2 days ago 3 replies      
That packing the controller id into a pointer, which you couldn't use to point at a controller id because it gets freed before you can use it?

I must misunderstand something because the hack is going to fail too, except that you are going to end up with some controller id in your allocator's free list or some other such nonsense...

That last one is best. After having to struggle and fight for 640k for /the heart of a renderer/ if someone had left 2MB lying around that would have been great. Then again so would not using loads of memory for all sorts of weird and wonderful things that are much less important... like C struct padding, or making everything into memory pools, before you have any memory problems. :)

codyb 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great article. I'm not a game developer but I enjoyed reading about the constraints they face daily and the solutions they used and how those eventually backfired. I've always figured I'd never want to be a game developer but this gave the feeling I might enjoy it a bit more than I think. Boy, the experience of seeing a fully 3D game run and and run well, that must feel pretty good.

I really liked the final problem's solution!

Anyways, just rambling a little :-).

VBprogrammer 2 days ago 1 reply      

  Spurred on by the success of "if A==bad then NOT A", I used this tool to patch several more bugs -- which nearly all had to do with the collision code.
This reminds me so much of a developer I work with, why figure out the root cause when you can throw a try / except / pass around it. If that doesn't work upgrade a package and see if that helps. If that doesn't work throw in a hacky fix.

mVChr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seen this a few times before, but I am always entertained on reread and enjoy the reminder that sometimes you need a scalpel and other times a sledgehammer.
raverbashing 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a good reminder for the "avoid technical debt" crowd and other advocates of sterilised development practices

Sometimes the rubber hits the road and you don't have time or money or any more cognitive energy to understand why your code that calculates a lot of things from a lot of data is not working in that 0.01% of cases

So you come up with a quick fix that's not exactly what it has to be done but it works it ships and it pays the bills.

Of course I don't advocate such solutions on critical paths, ate least not without some double checking.

barbs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also worth reading is the three-part article by Patrick Wyatt on the issues encountered whilst developing Starcraft[1], which were a huge factor in its delayed release. Of particular interest is the path-finding hack they used [2]

[1] http://www.codeofhonor.com/blog/tough-times-on-the-road-to-s...

[2] http://www.codeofhonor.com/blog/the-starcraft-path-finding-h...

zomgbbq 2 days ago 1 reply      
We once had a game demo that was crashing every time we tried to exit the game. Inserted an exit(0); in the shutdown code and it never crashed again.
probablyfiction 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of these are dirty, but I think the majority are smart hacks in the best sense of the word, especially the final story about memory allocation
GotAnyMegadeth 2 days ago 1 reply      
These seem to come from here [0] which has more and some other general tips.

[0] http://www.dodgycoder.net/2012/02/coding-tricks-of-game-deve...

_mikz 2 days ago 1 reply      
donatj 2 days ago 4 replies      
I find th CRC collision story rather unbelievable.
I made a debugger that draws the state machine of the program
304 points by r00nk  4 days ago   58 comments top 14
jacquesm 4 days ago 3 replies      
That is absolutely awesome. I used to have something like this: a pair of very fast dacs hooked up to the 16 address lines of my computer and another dac hooked up to the databus. It allowed me to look straight into the memory of the machine as the processor was accessing it, quite a powerful tool. Yours is nicer though (and with todays memory size I'd hate to think about the quantity of data that passes in a split second across the bus of a modern pc).
rmc 4 days ago 3 replies      
Here's one for Python. http://pythontutor.com/ It shows the variables, and allows you to step forward and backward. Great for explaining programming to new people who haven't grokked computing yet.
r00nk 4 days ago 1 reply      
Also, if anyone's interested, I need some help porting it to different platforms. If you can swim in the clusterfuck of x86 for a bit to port it to ward that would be awesome, or even getting working with gdb this could be an actual tool.
r00nk 4 days ago 1 reply      
hrjet 4 days ago 0 replies      
IIUC, you could probably use KLEE to ease the pain of capturing the state.


simias 4 days ago 1 reply      
I would have been more interested by the source code and some explanations...
dschubert 4 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless self-plug: Me and a friend developed a Java debugger [1] that visualizes (Java) programs with UML class and sequence diagrams [2]. It isn't actively developed anymore, but the demo version [3] (along with Help -> Tutorial) can still be used to give it a try.

It was quite an involved & fun project as we used Java VM Tool Interface directly instead of using JDI and the layout algorithms for the diagrams are quite fancy too :)

[1] http://www.jbixbe.com[2] http://www.jbixbe.com/VisualTour.html[3] http://www.jbixbe.com/download/jar/jbixbe.jar

avodonosov 4 days ago 0 replies      
That's useful, exactly the tool missing in my BrainFuck toolkit.


clarry 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would love to have a visual representation of all the possible branches that can be taken in a body of C code, with an easy way to ask the program to tell me what are all the conditions that must be met for this branch to execute.
partition 4 days ago 1 reply      
How did you get your terminal to look like that?
c-qjv0xfi 3 days ago 1 reply      
What is the widget in the top right corner? What WM are you using?
PhasmaFelis 3 days ago 0 replies      
All right, I'll be the first one to admit that I don't know what the hell I'm looking at. Would some sort of explanation, or at the very least some source code, be too much to ask?
VLM 4 days ago 0 replies      
Its interesting that its dynamic. Idea to think about would be snapshotting dot files for graphviz. Then you can do all kinds of crazy stuff with the graphviz output.

My databases at work snapshot out their schemas to graphviz to create diagrams of all the FK relationships automatically every day, which I find helpful, and more or less inspired this idea.

faaar 4 days ago 1 reply      
what wallpaper is that
How HoursTracker earns five figures a month on the App Store
302 points by wallflower  4 days ago   69 comments top 18
debacle 3 days ago 9 replies      
One thing that I really notice a lot as I get older is that so many people say it isn't possible to make money anymore, early adopters had it easy, etc. People say this about apps and startups and the like.

I tell myself these same things sometimes, but then I have to check myself - it is actually easier to make way more money on an app these days than ever before. What is bigger is the risk proposition, which is why people tell themselves that success is entirely about luck - if your own skill doesn't matter, there's no reason to try, and if you try and don't succeed it isn't your fault.

This is a very real trap and I think in the reddit age (where if you aren't a cynic by 15 you're behind the curve) it is a mental virus. The world still rewards value, even if it takes some time. The people clamoring that it doesn't are doing so because they want to believe that it isn't their fault they didn't succeed.

You need to be willing to emotionally and mentally invest yourself in something with a reasonable chance of failure or you will never, ever succeed. The people that you see who you are smarter than that have succeeded haven't gotten there because of luck - they've gotten there because they tried. Luck just helped.

jonawesomegreen 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think the app store has become much more about marketing now when you are entering with a new app. Most of the built in discovery tools are focused on apps with an existing reputation. Given the volume of apps this makes sense, and helps ensure that users are shown quality apps, however it also places a barrier to entry to newcomers until they can build a reputation that allows this virtuous cycle to take hold.

I would be interested in hearing from any app developers who have managed to break through this cycle recently and the marketing techniques they used.

mherrmann 4 days ago 1 reply      
Cool article but I think things are very different now. If the author launched the same app today, I think he'd have a much harder time getting to that revenue, even in 6 years. The time when the App Store opened was great for the first developers there but things have changed.
andrewtbham 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a similar app, onsite time tracker, and it makes way less. like a few hundred dollars per month.


I have always been curious how much Hours Tracker makes. It dominates the app store searches.

z3t4 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is the best article I've read in years. This guy understands economics, design, copy-writing and apparently knows how to code.

What usually would need a whole team of highly educated professionals he seems to do all by himself ...

justboxing 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love your iPhone app landing page. I mistook it for a page on apple.com


Simple, yet very beautifully designed.

shanev 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Good to see an article about an indie developer doing well in the age of funded startup hype. I too have been living off the success of my app Drum Kit since 2008. No longer making 5 figures a month, but it did for a few years :)
coolhand 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a compelling story. 6 years is a long time and I think that anything can happen in the app store in that timeframe. Too much talk that things have changed - always opp in the app store.
epaga 3 days ago 0 replies      
This freemium approach is exactly the one I've chosen for my own iOS app Mindscope - if Apple would finally get their act together and natively support trial versions of apps, I would change to that in a heartbeat.

Until then, I offer an ad-free, functional app for free but then charge to unlock the complete functionality. It's worked quite well for me so far (but obviously nowhere near five figures a month) seeing as how about 15% of downloaders end up unlocking the full functionality which I think is a pretty good number.

__abc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Got my money simply for using setec astronomy :)
maguay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Somehow reminds me of Stratechery's writeup about Pleco, a Chinese dictionary app: http://stratechery.com/2014/pleco-building-business-just-app.... There's something to identifying a problem and working relentlessly to solve itand, of course, to being willing to experiment and find a business plan that works for your product.
viggity 3 days ago 2 replies      
I love the company name in the screenshot "Setec Astronomy" - it's a reference to the movie "Sneakers". It is an anagram for "too many secrets".
programminggeek 3 days ago 3 replies      
In my experience, the early apps rank well and it's much harder to launch a new app and get downloads.
harisamin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting read. Ive been looking at Mac Apps for a while to make some extra steady income. Theres definitely less competition there and yields are usually higher. I recently launched my first Mac App to the App Store:


lmedinas 3 days ago 1 reply      
Would be interesting to see the numbers for the Android version.
alexvr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like a great app! Thanks for sharing
serve_yay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work if you can get it!
timtas 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the developer, and I appreciate his taking the time to tell us about his journey. However, I find that the post offers little insight.

I have a special reason to seek this insight: I did nearly the same thing, and my app makes THREE figures per YEAR. I read this post hoping to gain some insights as to why. I was disappointed.

Actually, I didn't do what he did. If I did what he did, I would be making all that money. My complaint about the post is that it didn't help me discern the key differences.

In March 2010 I introduced Bill It [1], a time tracking app. I was motivated by my own need combined with a desire to get into the exciting world of mobile apps. Like the author, I was a .NET developer by day. As a contractor I wanted something for myself, and I figured I was not unique.

I want to be very clear that I am not surprised of my lackluster results or jealous of his success. (Well maybe a bit jealous.) I approached it as a build-it-and-maybe-someone-will-come-but-who-cares-because-its-fun-and-I-learned-something kind of thing. It hurts my head a little to think about it marketing, so I built it and threw it out there.

But so did he: "Surprised to see it getting some traction, I decided I should take HoursTracker a bit more seriously."

His app took off with no marketing at all. Mine did not. Had I been able to say this about Bill It, my whole story would have played differently. Had I seen the proverbial fishing pole starting to bend, I would have grabbed it and stared reeling, as he did. Is that a post hoc rationalization? Maybe, but I don't think so.

So what made the difference? Time-to-market? Features? Try-ability? Pricing?


As others have said, time-to-market is important because the app store keeps the winners at the top, and it's easier to get to the top early on. Maybe I was just too late to have a chance without serious marketing. Who knows?


My "killer feature" was supposed to be Quickbooks Integration. I was running my consulting business on Quickbooks, and I needed to get my hours input in order for billing to be linked to payments, deposits, revenue, etc. I created a very nice feature set to accomplish quite smoothly (if I say so myself). I decided not to add a timer. I explain the rationale in the product description. Perhaps this was a bad decision. Who knows?


Bill It launched shortly before in-app purchases were introduced. So I created a "lite" version and a full version. As soon as in-app purchases came out, I added a "full" purchase in the lite app. Did I "accidentally give too much away for free?" No. If anything, I erred on the opposite side. The Quickbooks integration took some setup work, so my main goal for the lite version was to allow the user to verify it before paying. I only allowed 5 time entries, which was plenty to see how the app works but not enough to actually use it. Maybe that was the problem. Who knows?


Just before Bill It came out, another time tracker featuring Quickbooks integration came out. Although I thought my integration feature was superior, their app seemed to have a few more features and a little more polish, so I tracked just below their price, ending up at $8.99 (about the same as the pro version of HoursTracker), which is still a high price as apps go. Maybe a different pricing strategy would have been better. Who knows?

I want to clarify another point. I don't expect the author the know what made him successful where I and others weren't. My real complaint is that the rest of us expect that of him. From the first word of his title, "How," we can see that he wants to meet this unrealistic expectation. The post would have been better titled "HoursTracker earns five figures a month on the App Store" but then no one would read it I guess. I told you, I'm bad at marketing.

[1] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bill-it-lite/id367603023

In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack, Lets Not Sacrifice Even More Rights
282 points by stefap2  2 days ago   166 comments top 14
sandstrom 2 days ago 3 replies      
Norway had a great response to their terror attack in 2011.

    The country would "stand firm in defending our values" and the "open,     tolerant and inclusive society", he said. "The Norwegian response     to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political     participation." -- Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian Prime Minister [at the time]

zkhalique 2 days ago 9 replies      
The question is, can liberalism be intolerant of intolerance?

If this is the exception rather than the rule, then we shouldn't sacrifice any rights.

However, if islamISTS or communISTS or nazISTS or anyone else decides to take advantage of a liberal society and attempt to overthrow it, systematically, shouldn't there be some way to prevent it?

I don't know what's worse, McCarthyism or allowing unlimited growth of violent revolutionary ideas. Of course, the civil libertarian in me says that freedom of expression should be maximized. But I also realize that there are mind viruses out there that compete with liberalISM and despise it for one reason or another. The question is, how intolerant should we be of intolerance? In the United States, for instance, we have become very intolerant of racists and homophobes.

I am not talking about this particular incident.

tokenadult 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hear. Hear. Let's make sure that life in a free society is preserved no matter what threat it is put under.

I see that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is calling for individuals and news media organizations to respond to the Charlie Hebdo attack too, and I hope they follow her suggestions.[1]

A historical example I turn to about how to respond to grave national danger is that during the United States Civil War, the 1864 election occurred exactly on the expected schedule, and Abraham Lincoln was prepared to be voted out of office during the middle of the war. Of course in parliamentary systems elections do not occur at predictable intervals as they do in the United States constitutional system, but I've always thought that was a good example of how not to cave in to the temptation of self-benefit "for the sake of the country's stability" by delaying the election or something like that. Lincoln did invoke the power (a power granted by the Constitution from the beginning[2]) to suspend the right of habeas corpus during the War of Rebellion (as the Civil War was called by the Union at the time), but habeas corpus was restored as soon as the rebellion ceased.

We should cherish all of our freedoms all of the time and guard them zealously. We should exercise free speech to minimize the risk of future attacks like the attack in Paris, by openly disagreeing with the kind of thinking that leads to attacks like that.

[1] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/08/ayaan-hirsi...

[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/habeas_corpus

duncan_bayne 2 days ago 3 replies      
My (hastily written) email to the EFF on this issue:


"Even as we mourn the losses at Charlie Hebdo, we must be wary of any attempt to rush through new surveillance and law enforcement powers, which are likely to disproportionately affect Muslims ..."

May I suggest the following thought experiment?

Imagine if Hebdo staff had been murdered by Neo-NAZIs (it's certainly within the realm of possibility; the publication skewered the political right as much as it did other groups like Muslims, and fascist groups are known for their love of violence).

Would you be decrying the possibility that new laws might disproportionately effect Neo-NAZIs?

There are many parallels between the politics of Islam and the politics of National Socialism: the rejection of individualism, the anti-semitism, the subordination of all aspects of life to the philosophy, the hero-worship of the leader, etc. etc.

The fact that most Muslims are not actively engaged in Jihad has parallels with the observation that most Germans during WWII weren't actively fighting for the NAZI party. To support an evil philosophy is morally wrong, regardless of whether that philosophy is or is notreligious in nature.

I'm particularly saddened to see the EFF join in the pretence that Islam, in and of itself, is worthy of respect. The philosophy, and the mainstream religious movement itself, is inimically opposed to the freedoms you seek to protect.


bsaul 2 days ago 9 replies      
People here live in a bubble. We're afraid of an orwelian society, but in the case of france, we're still unable to catch those guys eventhough they :- killed people in the center of Paris, including cops protecting the area.

- left their id card at the back of the car

- had 2 car accident while running away inside Paris and changed the car twice

- stopped at a gas station a few kilometers away from paris to get some gas,where the owner recognized them.

- were already under monitoring by the counter terrorism, for having tried to go to war in iraq ten years ago.

- have 8000 cops chasing them all over the country, and 24 hours later, they lost their tracks, for the second time.

We don't live in an orwelian society. We REALLY don't.

quonn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Also worth mentioning: The authorities already knew the subjects. The supposedly even had recent warnings regarding Charlie Hebdo. They have had police officers there for a long time, too. And for most cases of terrorism in the last decades it was the same.

Generally, the police usually knows about the suspects before. They just can't do much before they commit a crime. The unwarranted surveillance of everyone can't possibly prevent attacks by people who already were filtered anyway. Much better to invest the budget in classical targeted intelligence and police work and into improving the response _if_ something has happened.

Trisell 2 days ago 1 reply      
The general population has been sold a bill of goods by those in power that those in power cannot possible make good on. As long as there are small groups of armed individuals, highly motivated and unmoved by the fear of laws or death, a government cannot guarantee the general populations safety.

Only when the people finally come to understand this fact and decide to make good on the need to provide their own protection will you see a change in the reaction to these events.

This idea is what continues to drive the gun vs. anti-gun movement in the USA. Individuals still want to be able to provide for their own protection, while the other side wishes that we rely upon government to provide that protection.

Like it or not the unarmed police officers on bikes were just more sheep sent to the slaughter by a government that had convinced the people that it could provide for their safety. When it not only failed totally, but is still failing today as the people are no safer then they were yesterday.

pknerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
As free speech advocates, we mourn the use of violence against individuals who used creativity and free expression to engage in cultural and political criticism. Murder is the ultimate form of censorship

It always amaze me why do world want to practice freedom of expressions against Islam only. Why not one is allowed to mock Holocaust like things by using same tool of freedom of expression?

azinman2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Too soon. The main dudes are still out there, and now there's some warning about legislation? You can't warn about consequences when the wound is so fresh -- we're still in emotional-trying-to-process-land.

I saw this after 9/11... people protesting generically against war on 9/12 in SF. I normally am a big supporter of the EFF but this feels out of touch with reality.

DickingAround 2 days ago 3 replies      
Let's call a spade a spade here. Government's don't care even a little about protecting their people with the surveillance bills that come from events like this. They're just using events as an excuse to grab power from the people. We all know that. If they did care, they'd be pouring money into driver-less cars to reduce road fatalities. Let's stop even attributing decency and sense to government actions and just admit they're power grabs.

The EFF is already probably too aggressive/extreme in their messages for most of the public, so I see why they say it this way. But we don't have to be PC about it. This article should be titled "Governments, please mar the trajectory at Charlie Hebdo by claiming you care about it."

shaurz 2 days ago 0 replies      
The problem is, you actually need an all-seeing surveillance state if you're going to mass-import millions of Muslims in to a non-Muslim country. The violence will keep getting worse as their numbers in Western countries grow and the spineless dhimmis continue to apologise for them. Unfortunately beyond a certain point (which we seem to have already passed) it is simply impossible to stop, no matter how efficient the state is at foiling their plots.
higherpurpose 2 days ago 2 replies      
Congress is way ahead of you EFF:


It's also interesting to see how American media is reacting to this attack, in a manner that's completely opposite of how the French media reacted, or other journalists in other countries.

Just like with the Sony threat, Americans seem ready to holds their hands up at any threat now:


The best way to hurt the terrorists is not to kill them. They want to die for their cause. It's to show that you are not afraid of them. Terrorist attacks are meant to create "terror" in populations, so the population or its government react a certain way.

The US gov/population is reacting exactly the wrong way to terror attacks. France or Norway (that massacre a couple of years back) reacted the right way. Being "scared of offending the terrorists" is exactly what the terrorists are going for, and if it works once, why not try it again when something else offends them?

GFK_of_xmaspast 2 days ago 1 reply      
Lot of people getting mad about Charlie Hebdo and staying quiet about Brandon Duncan.
unclebucknasty 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's really just bullshit, all the way around.

The terrorists, the various governments, people killing each other, the EFF, the predictable media response, the endless commenting and discussing by everyone who has a keyboard--as if what they have to say really matters--and the fact that nothing will change. Absolutely nothing.

Bullshit. All of it.

ThorCon Power
266 points by jf  1 day ago   82 comments top 12
CurtMonash 1 day ago 1 reply      
I took one nuclear engineering class, in 1975. It was clear then that pressurized water reactors should be replaced as the predominant design, either by gas-cooled or molten-salt. I'm sure the same is true now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-temperature_reactor suggests that gas-cooled reactors tend to be pebble-bed, and that the story gets confused because there's a molten salt version of the pebble-bed reactor as well.

Anyhow, googling on HTGR (High Temperature Gas Reactor) will reveal more.

baseten 1 day ago 4 replies      
So they've finally managed to solve the little problem of the extremely high temperature AND highly corrosive nature of this fuel?
green7ea 1 day ago 2 replies      
It seems that thorium reactors produce less nuclear waste than uranium reactors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle#Fission_pro.... Could someone with more knowledge on the subject give a rough estimate of the amount of waste we would be talking about?
sremani 1 day ago 1 reply      
India has very rich monzanite deposits. If the claims published are real, India has found one awesome solution to address the present energy crisis.
novalis78 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like an expert crew and quite thought through design. Now all it needs is an Elon Musk to push it into existence in record time.
driverdan 1 day ago 3 replies      
> ThorCon can produce reliable, carbon free, electricity at between 3 and 5 cents per kWh depending on scale.

How does this compare to traditional nuclear power and other forms of power generation?

sosuke 1 day ago 2 replies      
Are they already in production, is it being sold, do they need funding, are they going to do a Kickstarter? (half joking, I can imagine it happening) This tech sounds cool, but the site doesn't say anything about implementations.
batemanesque 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you guys need to redo yr site - a lot of the design cues make it look like a one-man fringe project which (assuming that's not the case here) is unfortunate

edit: more specifically, it's not about making it look more expensive/complex/modern but moving away from the specific aesthetic it has right now

pm90 1 day ago 6 replies      
OK, so here is an idea for disposing nuclear waste that might sound outlandish: with the current progress in putting stuff in space, couldn't be compactify all that waste and throw it at the sun?
audiodude 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there an ELI5 version?
tracker1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or did anyone else expect to see plans for a convention based around the Norse god / Marvel character?
pkaye 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should call it the "Thorium Brotherhood".
Sed An Introduction and Tutorial
280 points by aethertap  4 days ago   73 comments top 14
narrator 3 days ago 4 replies      
I just use | perl -pi -e 's/foo/bar/g' , etc for this kind of stuff. Is there anything I can't do with perl on a line that sed will do? I can see how perl is a lot more complex than sed, but I went through the whole perl learning curve back in the late 90's so it doesn't bother me that much..
JeremyMorgan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Sed is one of those tools that once you learn it, you'll start to wonder how you ever got by without it.

This is a great set of tutorials, he also wrote one about Awk: http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/Awk.html

Get to know these two tools and you'll be amazed at the hours you can save and what you can do, especially with text files.

sidcool 3 days ago 0 replies      
I tried posting this to /r/programming. It said already submitted 8 years ago. It's a very good tutorial and I was oblivious of its existence for so long.
c3RlcGhlbnI_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
To be honest I don't know how much he has improved on the manual. It is such a small language that you could easily read up to the the examples very quickly even if you aren't particularly interested in learning.

I would suggest just giving it a look directly at https://www.gnu.org/software/sed/manual/sed.html

Though be forewarned, something that neither document explains well is the actual syntax. As in how addresses and expressions can be used and how to read a script. The syntax is relatively simple to understand looking at some examples, but the lack of clear delimiters between the address, command, and command parameters can confuse beginners.

sea6ear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Peter Krumins also has decent a walkthrough of sed that essentially goes through and explains it via detailed explanations of sed one-lines (The explanations are original, but the list of one-liners was already popular on the internet).


Free online articles:http://www.catonmat.net/blog/sed-one-liners-explained-part-o...

mbubb 3 days ago 0 replies      
For context of 'why sed and why not x?'

This was written in 1984 (I think) and still works with a few syntax adjustments. I think it is not bad discipline to return to these tools from time to time and remember core UNIX principles.


I am not so sure anything that I currently am writing would/ could be relevant in 30 years. Very humbling.

senorsmile 3 days ago 0 replies      
probably the best reference besides the o'reilly books.
Jacky800 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have always used grymoire.com for regex and sed tutorials since probably around 2009. Thanks grymoire
jakeogh 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a command to automatically escape a string for use in sed?

I got frusturated escaping for simple replacement: https://github.com/jakeogh/replace-text

nkangoh 3 days ago 2 replies      
A friend of mine has been trying to get me to learn awk, sed, perl or grep. Honestly I only have the patience for one at the moment, which do you think is the best (taking the ease of learning into account)?
stygiansonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great reference; with the awk reference on that site, this formed a great resource for learning text manipulation/searching in a Unix environment.
la6470 3 days ago 0 replies      
michaelsbradley 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's also an excellent (non-free) book:

Definitive Guide to sed


I found it to be well worth the money, though I wish it were available as a PDF.

misiti3780 3 days ago 8 replies      
was interested in reading this until i saw the yellow background and couldnt stomach it - looks like a lot of great information just displayed in a horrible way
Filezilla at SourceForge is malware
280 points by Sami_Lehtinen  4 days ago   147 comments top 44
Someone1234 4 days ago 6 replies      
Just want to be clear about something:

- This program (bundling) is opt in for the project (Filezilla) and SourceForge ("the pimp") pays Filezilla ("the whore") for each download.

- This isn't recent. In fact it started well over a year ago and was well publicized.

- Even a year ago it was all very malware-y.

- A lot of people were super dismissive about this issue a year ago (see Reddit threads and here). In fact many supported the practice.

- Those same people are now whining about it.

- Suggesting that "but Github exists!" as a solution entirely misses the point. Sourceforge pays the project money, and both Sourceforge and the project profit. So unless Github can match that (hint: it cannot) then that is a non-starter.

jayess 4 days ago 2 replies      
If you read through this thread [1] on the filezilla forums, you'll see that the administrator defends the use of SourceForge over and over. My guess is that they're receiving kickbacks of some sort for the installation of said malware.

[1] https://forum.filezilla-project.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3294...

NKCSS 4 days ago 2 replies      
Just make sure to add ?nowrap to the end of the url and you'll download the orignal package without that crapware installer sourceforge adds.
jpmonette 4 days ago 2 replies      
It sounds more like a SourceForge issue than FileZilla. SourceForge used to provide clean binaries, but I guess they changed that process in the past year or two to bundle apps in the installer wrapper. You need to be extremely careful during the installation process to make sure that you do not accidentally install some extra software. The same happen to uTorrent - they also added tricky question during the install process to include advertisement, change default browser and such. That's a sad way to earn money - the end-users will definitely move on because of that.
leni536 4 days ago 0 replies      
Open source software really should abandon SourceForge. You can't even download any binaries through HTTPS from them. Even if you log in the download links redirect to plain HTTP.
_cpancake 4 days ago 5 replies      
There's really no reason to use SourceForge anymore. GitHub can do almost everything SourceForge can do, aside from app reviews I guess. GitHub also doesn't make you feel like you're in 2004.
RubyPinch 4 days ago 3 replies      
isn't this more, the SourceForge wrapper is acting unsafely?

regardless, this has been happening for the entire last year with the consent of the developers: https://forum.filezilla-project.org/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=13...

I would be very doubtful they will listen to their users any further about the harm it does.

I'll probably avoid FZ from now on, I don't exactly enjoy using software that is openly hostile towards me

Pxtl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Mozilla could argue that Filezilla is infringing on their trademark and damaging their reputation because of this.

I mean, it's an open-source client for a common internet protocol that ends in "zilla". It would be easy for users to assume that Filezilla is affiliated with Mozilla.

And up until the move to Sourceforge's adware downloader system, that would have been fine for everybody - they're both good products.

But now? Now filezilla is riding on mozilla's coattails with the confusion and profiting from it, to the detriment of mozilla's reputation.

jmuguy 4 days ago 4 replies      
We've been sending Windows clients to https://ninite.com/filezilla/ to download it but perhaps we ought to start avoiding it completely. I don't particularly like any other FTP client I've used in Windows, but its been a while since I looked.
smrtinsert 4 days ago 3 replies      
It works really well unfortunately. I would prefer my installations without the potential for malware, but I don't see another sftp client as mature as filezilla. There used to be a ton and then it emerged as the best. fwiw it seems the auto updates are malware free.
debacle 4 days ago 0 replies      
SourceForce itself pushes a lot of malware these days. If your software comes in an installer, I wouldn't trust it.
Sami_Lehtinen 4 days ago 1 reply      
https://www.virustotal.com/fi/file/d0d418efb07df4378b24bccac...If you download the package, it will be unique malware packet for you. So if you check it with virus total, it's not the same file.
ghantila 4 days ago 3 replies      
If you really need FileZilla, you can directly download the portable version with this workaround.

Visit http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/filezilla/FileZilla... to directly start downloading

Or, switch to someother FTP client.


List of FTP Server Software - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FTP_server_software

Comparision of FTP Client Software - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_FTP_client_softw...

jackmaney 3 days ago 0 replies      
As time marched on, I've found myself more and more hesitant to use SourceForge at all, even to download things. If a project isn't available on GitHub, BitBucket, or through a package manager, then I'm very unlikely to download the source.
robert_tweed 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just an FYI for those cases when you need to download something that isn't available anywhere other than SourceForge: there's a small, plain-text "direct download" link under the big download button.

They tend to move this around a bit to make it harder to spot, but it's always been there since the malware-infested download manager was introduced. The malware & crapware is entirely limited to SF's download manager. The application binaries themselves are totally clean.

zuck9 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is not about SourceForge or FileZilla. This is an issue that plagues most Windows freewares, everyone is integrating offers to the installer. Even FileHippo started this recently.

The download manager (wrapper) of these 2 companies are provided by the same Israeli company InstallCore.

cordite 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ever since 2007-2008, Source Forge and places like CNET really started to lose trust for me. When I noticed something from source forge had some sort of downloading tool I put my hands down and refused to continue with that sort of thing.

We have enough Ask Tool bar kind of crap from Oracle Java installers, and when useful tools step to doing similar things, it really makes me lose respect and find alternatives.

As a developer, I need to have a work environment that is robust and dependable. Additional promotional packages that can slip through will disrupt or degrade my work. That is not something I can take and feel sane.

nikolak 4 days ago 0 replies      
As far as I remember this is an opt-in feature for developers who host their projects on sourceforge that makes the installer offer additional software, by 3rd parties, to be installed. That additional software may be malicious.
nyar 3 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't paid for the program and have not installed any adware on my machine, I am happy with the product and have no qualm with someone who has spent their time making something to try to profit from it. I'm not the sort of person who opts-in to install malware so its not an issue to me. If I wanted to be upset about something I would buy a commercial, ad-free, program and complain that it does not have features of filezilla.
irishjohn 3 days ago 0 replies      
What about doing a Fork of it? Clean build. Call it Forkzilla.
DunningKE 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've had a similar experience trying to install OpenCV.

I use windows, and I couldn't figure out why something like OpenCV could possibly have malware with it. When I downloaded it, chrome said "Stop! This is malware!" I thought that there was no way there could be a problem with the file unless Sorceforge was having issues.

What fixed the issue for me was downloading from a different mirror. So perhaps some of the mirrors are compromised?

smilepet_26 3 days ago 0 replies      
I faced the same problem. This is a total mess and I could not believe that a most reputed web program like Filezilla hosted at Sourceforge is a malicious software. The best thing should be that Filezilla should be available for download from https://filezilla-project.org firsthand.
abandonliberty 3 days ago 0 replies      
Solution: Use the zip version. It's portable. Avoid sourceforge where possible. The download page even says:

>This installer may include bundled offers. Check below for more options.

Yes, it's a bit dirty. Valid discussion here is how to make open source viable, otherwise pimps like sourceforge will exist.

Now get off my lawn with your fancy installers :)

kefs 4 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't trusted anything from SourceForge since they were compromised 4 years ago, regardless of their 'data validation'.


jdlyga 3 days ago 0 replies      
What happened to you Sourceforge? I hope the same thing doesn't happen to Github in 10 years.
eridal 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can we file a report against SF? Then when users attempt to enter the site browsers will warn about the dangers.
yAnonymous 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a good cross-platform alternative to FileZilla?

Or seeing as it's licensed under GPLv2, maybe we should just setup a GitHub repo with the latest source and links to pre-compiled binaries.

yellowapple 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been a long-time user of WinSCP anyway, regardless of FileZilla's antics. Seems to work better, for me at least.

Unfortunately, this is a reminder that free software isn't a guarantee of software freedom or safety.

jongalloway2 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a solved problem: https://chocolatey.org/packages/filezilla

Chocolatey packages include silent, malware free installers

krzrak 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think Google should mark SourceForge as malware site.
blueskin_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sourceforge has been doing this for years. I would never download anything from there these days.
zer01 3 days ago 0 replies      
Also let's not forget that Filezilla will silently cache all your credentials in plaintext without telling you :(
bborud 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nobody should use Sourceforge. I rarely take projects seriously when hosted on Sourceforge.
ChrisArchitect 4 days ago 0 replies      
so easy to avoid by just toggling the Direct Download Link option at top of file list to On
codegeek 4 days ago 1 reply      
i m an idiot but does this impact the linux version ? I use Filezilla on my ubuntu that I downloaded around September'2014 and not sure if I downloaded from Sourceforge. I am guessing this issue is only for Windows, right ?
AlyssaRowan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. They even wrap the source packages, and the portable ones.


gojomo 4 days ago 1 reply      
Separate from any particular issue with Filezilla: all Sourceforge downloads are via insecure HTTP, so could be redirected elsewhere, or corrupted in transit, to deliver malware.

Even if you try to use an HTTPS link, Sourceforge redirects to a plain HTTP download.

Cthulhu_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
For Windows and my own servers I don't even bother with FTP anymore, it's just another possible entry into my servers. WinSCP / SCP itself works fine, no FTP server required.
otikik 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a fork without the malware?
aleem 3 days ago 1 reply      
The worst thing about FileZilla is clear text password files. The developer refuses to fix it I am not sure why.
ExpiredLink 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone tries to monetize his GPLd software in an unfriendly way.
ro-mx 4 days ago 0 replies      
sadly it is true
ro-mx 4 days ago 0 replies      
sadly it is very true
gavreh 4 days ago 0 replies      
Seems to me like there's a market for a reasonably priced, excellent, simple, Windows FTP client. (cross-platform bonus points)
Samsung Unveils SSD Delivering Speeds of Over 2 GB/s
271 points by notsony  2 days ago   112 comments top 10
WestCoastJustin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Has a Lenovo part # on it, so I suspect this is the PCIe SSD inside the new ThinkPad X1 released as CES 2015, and there was a nice discussion on HN about it yesterday [1]. In that article, the author mentioned that in the tests "read speeds reached 1350 MB/s", which is pretty freaking awesome for a laptop!

Update: Yeah, the SM951 (shown in this article) is in the X1 [2 - see specifications heading].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8847411

[2] http://www.thinkscopes.com/blog/2015/01/06/lenovo-thinkpad-x...

jfb 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's great, but I'd settle for half the speed and twice the density.
dzhiurgis 2 days ago 2 replies      
> offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB capacities

Same as current Apple offering, although Retina MacBook Pro's only supports only 2x link.

I hope some larger capacities will become available in next year or two. Also I have noticed no difference in daily computer use when went from 500 MB/s SATA drive to 900 MB/s PCIe.

aruggirello 2 days ago 0 replies      
This. Sata Express/M.2 looks promising; there are no mobo's with multiple M.2 ports so far though, so sorry, your 2 GB/s is still not enough for me - a raid0 mdadm device with 4+ very good Sata3 SSD can beat it.

OTOH if a mobo with 2 (or more) M.2 ports hits the market, things are probably going to change...

ck2 2 days ago 5 replies      
How long until they just use dimm slots?
goeric 2 days ago 2 replies      
How does this compare to the PCI-e based SSD's in the Mac Pro?
monochromatic 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are there issues with booting from PCIe slots? I assume if there are, they'll get sorted out quickly as drives like this become more popular.
harisamin 2 days ago 2 replies      
would love to update my 128gb SSD on mid 2011 macbook air :(. Shouldve upgraded to 256 at least damn you hindsight :)
drzaiusapelord 2 days ago 4 replies      
What if we gave up on the idea of fixed disk storage and just filled our computers with enough fast RAM to use as a permanent RAMdisk that wrote to these super fast SSDs on occasion, effectively treating the SSD as a backup for the RAMdisk? With a proper battery backup implemented, I imagine it could work.

2 GBytes/sec is crazy fast. That's my entire steam library in 20 seconds. What percentage of those files change per day? 10% or so at most? So when I shut it off, its syncs up the diff in 2 seconds.

When storage gets this fast and RAM this cheap, why bother with fixed disks? Imagine the new Macbook Air with 8gb RAM installed and another 128gb as a RAM disk and a 128gb SSD to back up the RAMdisk.

NoMoreNicksLeft 2 days ago 2 replies      
Speed's nice, but get the price-per-terabyte down, I beg you.
Judge Orders NYPD to Release Records on X-ray Vans
259 points by JumpCrisscross  1 day ago   71 comments top 12
UnoriginalGuy 1 day ago 5 replies      
They have a very interesting way of reporting radiation exposure (ditto with airport scanners). Instead of reporting the total body accumulated dose, they report the dose a single scanning beam sweep induces over a small area.

These machines use a tight beam (or several) which sweep. Each individual beam when measured in isolation likely deliver 0.1 microSievert of radiation. However the total body dose (accumulated dose) is significantly higher than that (because you'd measure the total dose delivered, rather than the total dose delivered to a small 1x1 square cross-section).

This is interesting because while the body can and does (continuously) repair DNA damage, it has diminishing returns. So 0.1 microSieverts to the entire body is totally inconsequential, however 0.1 * 100 or more? Particularly to people who are frequently scanned (or those with weakened bodies due to illness or age).

Plus these X-Ray means can and do bounce. So imagine three 1x1 cross sections, you scan the left and right, but the middle will have a measurable radiation exposure even if not directly exposed to the X-Ray beam (partly because the beams are imprecise but partly because of reflected X-Rays).

Honestly 0.1 Sv is the headline figure. What is the full body accumulated figure? I'm going to guess as much as .30 Sv per scan.

k-mcgrady 23 hours ago 3 replies      
>> "The X-ray vanswhich reportedly cost between $729,000 and $825,000 eachare designed to find organic materials such as drugs and explosives."

As much as I don't like this at least explosives are a good reasoning for using them. Drugs? Come on! Exposing citizens to radiation, no matter how little, so you can find people in possession of drugs is ludicrous. Every time you think the war on drugs has reached the height of stupidity they raise the bar even further.

loceng 1 day ago 0 replies      
'"While this court is cognizant and sensitive to concerns about terrorism, being located less than a mile from the 9/11 site, and having seen firsthand the effects of terrorist destruction, nonetheless, the hallmark of our great nation is that it is a democracy, with a transparent government," she [Supreme Court Judge Doris Ling-Cohan] wrote in her decision last month.'
tesq 21 hours ago 1 reply      
What implications does this program have for the 4th amendment right to not have a search conducted without a warrant? If they're used on the public at large, generating mass probable cause or a blanket expectation that anyone could be a dangerous terrorist as justification is a scary precedent.

It's reminiscent of the FLIR vans used to catch marijuana growers that the Supreme Court determined to be mobile Constitution violators. They are still being used to bust people who like to grow Christmas trees or tomatoes indoors.

I feel bad for the minority that are terrorized by authorities suspecting them of engaging in criminal activities based on their nationality or skin color and fuzzy scans of their businesses, homes and vehicles.

tightfleece 1 day ago 6 replies      
> "releasing the documents would hamper the department's ability to conduct operations and endanger the lives of New Yorkers."

Then apparently the lives of New Yorkers are protected by security through obscurity, with absolutely no evidence of efficacy and absolutely no auditable evaluation of safety.

I'm thinking that a strong education in science should be a requirement for anyone who touches these programs with a ten foot pole.

pluma 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fourth Amendment issues aside, as a non-American this strikes me as an obvious violation of Human Rights (especially the right to bodily integrity in particular).

I'm not sure what the situation is like in the US, but I'm fairly certain that in my country you couldn't be subjected to an x-ray scan without consent, unless there is sufficiently strong suspicion and an x-ray scan would be the least invasive option (e.g. this is why you can be forced to give a blood sample if you refuse to take a breathalyser test when assumed to DUI).

I have no idea how random drive-by x-rays on the street could be considered reasonable and not in violation of Human Rights unless you're in a freakin warzone.

fnordfnordfnord 22 hours ago 0 replies      
>>But most Federal Drug Administration regulations for medical X-rays do not apply to security equipment, leaving the decision of when and how to use the scanners up to law enforcement agencies such as the NYPD.


medecau 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Would a Geiger tube detect these X-Rays?


I'm thinking Arduino boards and webcams.

throwaway7625 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The use of these vans seems like an opportunity for some investigative journalism.

Setup dosimeters to detect the x-rays as the vans pass by, record a video of it happening, then tell the pedestrians nearby that their government just irradiated them without their knowledge or consent and see what they say in response.

Or setup stands that detect the x-rays and automatically announce over a loudspeaker that people standing nearby are being irradiated an observe the reaction.

If the police are not confident that the responses will be welcoming, they should not be doing this.

serf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how many shipments of dosimeter badges arrived 'like new'.

(I kid)

lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems the NYPDs argument is that releasing information on the vans will allow people to predict where they are (or more likely be told ala speed cameras) and so avoid them (civilians as well as criminals).

That's kind of the point of a deterrent.

You cannot scan every car on every journey, at least not without a massive spike in cancers, so this is a deterrent.

And it's a secret deterrant....

So it won't catch anyone because you can't scan everyone, and it won't deter anyone because no one knows it's there

Seems a waste

johansch 22 hours ago 4 replies      
(Swedish. Politically speaking right-wing in that spectrum. In the US political spectrum; probably centrist.)

If I were a NYC citizen, I'd approve of a police authority that was innovative enough to bring these things onto the streets. NYC is a terrorism magnet, as has been shown.

Whitehouse response to Aaron Swartz petition
262 points by btilly  3 days ago   105 comments top 23
declan 3 days ago 11 replies      
The White House's non-response on the two-year anniversary of Aaron Swartz's death shows why these petitions are not only flawed, but should be avoided by people who actually care about political or policy change.

Look at the nearby discussion: Instead of asking why Carmen Ortiz, who's been in her current job for nearly six years, is still there, we're debating the terms of use of the petition site. Instead of wondering why a law originally designed to protect NORAD was used to drive Aaron Swartz to suicide -- despite his JSTOR "victim" never asking for a criminal prosecution -- we're reminiscing about other, equally useless, petitions in the past.

I admit it's a brilliant move by this administration (to be sure, Rs would do the same thing). Instead of having people sign up to be members of EFF or ACLU or TechFreedom.org, which will send email alerts when legal fixes like "Aaron's Law" are pending in Congress, people slap their names on a petition that results in a committee-managed non-response on the two year anniversary of his death.

Imagine if even 5% or 10% of the 61,179 people who signed that petition instead organized rallies in their cities, or a kind of Leave The Internet Alone rally in DC. That might or may not accomplish something; it surely would accomplish more than signing the petition did. (You could wrap in a bunch of related topics: DMCA/copyright reform, NSA reform, CFAA reform and more.)

I'm sorry if I sound frustrated. I spent hundreds of hours interviewing folks involved in the case and reading court documents about the Aaron Swartz prosecution while I was at CNET before leaving to build http://recent.io/. What happened to him was a tragedy, but Carmen Ortiz will leave for a seven-figure law firm job at a time that's convenient for her, and an effort in Congress to fix things actually coughed up a bill to make current law worse:http://www.cnet.com/news/aarons-law-rewrite-backfires-reform...

If you're interested, here's a detailed piece I wrote about the federal anti-hacking law Carmen Ortiz wielded against Aaron Swartz, and how it was never originally intended to cover what he was accused of doing:http://www.cnet.com/news/from-wargames-to-aaron-swartz-how-u...

olefoo 3 days ago 1 reply      
So, I am the person who wrote that petition. (and yes I'm aware of the issues with the wording )

The decision to name Carmen Ortiz was deliberate; she is a political appointee and thus could be dismissed at the administrations pleasure. That they chose to hide behind the 'cannot discuss personnel matters' figleaf is to put it plainly; bullshit. Political appointees are just that, political; and the fact that the administration is too cowardly to defend their choice in this matter speaks volumes.

It doesn't really matter; Aaron is still dead, Carmen Ortiz still has her job (although hopefully her political career has topped out) and we carry on.

codingdave 3 days ago 3 replies      
Federal prosecutors always throw the book at people. That is their job, that is how the legal profession works - 2 sides come at a case from the most extreme positions, knowing that the end result will fall somewhere in the middle. Of course they found inappropriate laws to throw at him. Of course it seems over-zealous. That is how our system works. But people need to realize that prosecutors do not expect every charge to stick. They do not expect to actually get the horrible sentences that they threaten.

Because this case never went to trial, any decisions or reactions based on the worst-case scenario threats of prosecutors are unfounded. Any criticisms of laws being unfairly applied would have been argued in court.

The tragedy here remains that Mr. Swartz needed professional psyche help, and did not get it. A smaller tragedy was that he needed better legal help.

Across the board, this is a horrible story. But people continue to focus on the wrong points. Petitions to fire the prosecutor? Really?

We should be working towards better mental health in our society. I would also love to see a change in our legal system, but that one seems a tougher nut to crack.

ecaron 3 days ago 3 replies      
Does it make me too cynical that my initial reaction to anything on petitions.whitehouse.gov is "Who cares?"

Can someone point me to a petition that actually made a difference?

njovin 3 days ago 1 reply      

  "You agree to only create petitions consistent with the   limited purpose of the We the People platform, which is to   allow individuals to petition the Administration to take   action on a range of issues  to address a problem, support   or oppose a proposal, or otherwise change or continue    federal government policy or actions. To focus discussion,   the platform is limited to a discrete set of topics, which   may be adjusted over time."
I wonder how releasing the white house beer recipe[1] fits that standard any more than the Aaron Swartz petition?

[1] https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/ale-chief-white-ho...

tomschlick 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's sad that the most on point response I have seen to one of these things was the response to the "Build a Death Star" petition. Everything else just seems like a media spin.
synesso 3 days ago 0 replies      
What a surprise. The response to the petition is meaningless dribble. I'm surprised they didn't reaffirm their commitment to using the Internet to further the cause of making politicians seem useful.
jmct 3 days ago 3 replies      
It makes me wonder, what does the White House consider a suitable forum for holding appointed officials to account? Or more appropriately, holding the appointers to account.
jimtla 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a feedback form here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/tell-us-what-you-think-abo...

It's likely that nobody will ever read my feedback, but if enough people respond then maybe somebody will. In any case, here is my feedback.

Please provide any additional comments about the We the People petitions system:

The technology worked fine, but the response was utterly vacuous and without empathy.

Aaron Schwartz took his own life almost exactly two years ago. He was a leader, a visionary, and a friend to many of the people in our community. Most importantly he was a person trying to live his life.

Aaron was subjected to unjust and vicious prosecution for an act of peaceful civil disobedience. That prosecution lead directly to his death. He received a death sentence for downloading academic journals.

This is not a petition about "openness" and "economic growth". This is not about ensuring that "the Internet remains a free and open platform." Hell, it's not even about firing Steve Heymann for his actions. It's about the way we choose how to prosecute civil disobedience (and the way we choose not to prosecute murder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Eric_Garner). It's about a justice system that feels increasingly unjust.

Mostly, though, it's about the death of our friend. We'd like an apology for his death, but if you're not willing to do that, at least acknowledge the value of his life. Sympathy is not enough.

jayleno 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a documentary about Aaron Swartz. https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaro...

Edit: It was educational, emotional, and enlightening to see what he went through to make the world a better place. Also it's scary to see how much the government can get away with. .. Makes you think.

vpeters25 3 days ago 2 replies      
As frustrating as the lack of action by the white house might be, I think this petition accomplished something:

I can almost bet Carmen Ortiz' name has been thrown to the hat for career advance nominations (federal judge, justice department) only to be immediately dismissed by white house staffers because "the internet would bury us"

PostOnce 3 days ago 0 replies      
Someone should write a plugin or bookmarklet that adds an "official whitehouse response" to every petition which just reads: "Okay? Whatever, we're going to take no action on this." because that's been the response to every petition I've seen so far.
tempodox 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do I get this right that this so-called response actually represents the absence of any response? And in good government manner it's phrased in a language that could mean anything and therefore means nothing at all. This just makes me want to barf.
JabavuAdams 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is anyone else embarrassed that the text of the petition is ungrammatical and contains typos?
kyleblarson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hope and change
IvyMike 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whenever there's one of these petitions that goes nowhere, there are a ton of, "I typed my name into a computer and it didn't make a difference! This country sucks!" responses.

Look, I sympathize with this a little--these petitions imply more than they ever deliver. But realistically if you want to force any significant change it's going to take money, time, and a lot more effort.

jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's weird. I truly believe that if this had happened to someone other than Aaron that he'd have found a way to marshall at least an order of magnitude more petitioners. He really had a knack for this kind of thing. Sad to see this blown off like that, adding insult to injury.
desireco42 3 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that they think this moment is convenient with all of us being distracted, to push this through without too much of fuss.

I am not a president, so I can't publicly disgrace prosecutor, but if I was, I totally would, as her office bullied Aaron Swartz and pushed him over the edge.

That is all.

chasing 3 days ago 0 replies      
Expecting anything more than this kind of response from an online petition is naive.
crucini 2 days ago 1 reply      
78 comments here, 61k signatures, and nobody has pointed out the glaring grammatical error in the first sentence of the petition.

I reckon that the intern who read the thing got a laugh from it.

havery 3 days ago 1 reply      
what third party org is used to validate the petition count number?
monsterix 3 days ago 1 reply      
The question here is: what do we want as a nation?

When they decide(d) not to take any action, not even remove those one or two unnamed persons from their positions at the CIA (for all that rectal feeding, waterboarding stuff) why do you think any of this story would matter to them at all? It couldn't count any higher in their value system, could it?


This may be just my anguish but from where I stand and see things these tyrannical problems of our Government will only exacerbate, not subside. There is no reason for them to stop. Not until our citizenry becomes as powerful, empowered and weaponized as is the Government today.

cyphunk 3 days ago 1 reply      
WOW. Depending on what side of the firewall you sit this act can be interpreted as either "out of the box thinking" OR subtle arrogance and desperation.

For those sitting on 192.168.* that thought this strategy up take note: Speaking of Aaron Swartz is about much more than internet freedom. His actions may relate to this topic closely but his death touches something much deeper. For anyone that cares about this person or his death it is about moral corruption and the hollow platitudes of accountability. You cannot just deal with his life without dealing with his death and attempting to separate them will be seen as arrogance to almost anyone aware of this persons name. In the future, when you're interns are throwing around ideas, take a moment to examine and better understanding of the market you peddle your next strategy to.


Farm 432
260 points by lelf  3 days ago   143 comments top 42
warble 2 days ago 9 replies      
I talked to my kids about eating insects the other day with the expected results in the form of 'ew' and such. We've spent so much time in modern society associating insects with disease it's hard to dissassociate. For some reason shrimp which are essentially bugs are no problem because (I think) they come from the ocean, so there's an obvious mental line that can dissassociate them from other bugs.

This is a great idea if you look at the math, but almost impossible to get over the emotional response. Maybe processing the grubs/flies into something less recognizable would help, but at some point you read the ingredients and you're back at square one.

Disgust seems to be one of the more irrational and risk averse emotions, which makes sense - guessing something is disgusting when it's not has little risk, but guessing something is not disgusting when it really is dangerous carries great risk.

Interesting problem especially when recoginzing what damage our current meat production is causing, plus the base inefficiencies of it.

ch 2 days ago 3 replies      
At first I was totally grossed out by the though of the entire process. It's tough to see how the sausage is made, tougher still with the cultural aversion to eating bugs. Then I watched the video where they are frying up the bugs in the pan, and though "How can they be so thoughtless to use metal on a non-stick pan"! So perhaps I'm past my aversion to eating bugs! Maybe not.
theophrastus 2 days ago 0 replies      
The key to successfully introducing insects into the western diet is processing. Processing to remove the chitin exoskeleton (which can be saved and used for making non-edible objects), and processing to remove the product from the direct image of an insect. If you scatter some fried cockroaches over a salad you'll get a some brave souls who will say "eh, crunchy, but not bad"; if you process cockroaches to a 'meat patty' or sausage or 'protein bar' then the large majority would give it an honest try enough to become regular customers.
petercooper 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've realized this breaks a willful ignorance I have over animal-based food. Coming from afar, I can put aside the realities of meat eating and imagine chickens and cows dancing hand in hand in a lush green field enjoying their short lives.. (and yes, I can do this, otherwise I'd be a vegetarian.)

With Farm 432 in my kitchen, however, the idea of life multiplying to keep my belly full is right in my face. How sickeningly first world.. :-) I actually wondered if it was a project designed to evoke such reflection.

suvelx 2 days ago 3 replies      
What about taste? While bugs are a great source of protein, we don't eat foods primarily based on nutrition, we eat food based on taste.

I know Huhu or Witchetty grubs taste similar to peanut butter. And while peanut butter is nice and all, I want me some rich (but sustainable) beefy taste.

autarch 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is so weird. Are people really so set on eating animal protein that they'd rather eat insects than just eat plants?

Yes, this is incredibly more efficient than eating most animal products, but so are plant-based foods, which already exist, taste pretty good, and most importantly, are not completely and utterly revolting.

udev 2 days ago 3 replies      
Reminds me of the movie Snowpiercer, where there is a scene with an industrial size device that creates protein bars from insects.
phil248 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those in the Bay Area, I highly recommend checking out Don Bugito. They've done a great job of making insects palatable for the uninitiated. Everyone I've taken to their food stand at Off the Grid has ended up trying some bugs (despite insisting they would not). You can also buy them pre-packaged at the Ferry Building. http://www.donbugito.com/
soperj 2 days ago 2 replies      
Seems like a great source of protein for animals. Would be interesting way to feed chickens.
justzisguyuknow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely makes me think of the scene from Snowpiercer (spoiler alert) when they discover the protein blocks they eat are made of cockroaches.
weisser 2 days ago 0 replies      
Austin, TX is at the cutting edge of the edible insect trend in the states. I had the pleasure of grabbing some mead and enjoying some snacks with a bunch of the companies down there.

Anyone doing anything with cricket-based foods in the US is likely supplied by World Ento (which recently merged with Aspire International). They're building a massive cricket farm in ATX to try to keep up with the demand.

ilitirit 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing people often miss is that besides not looking very appetizing, some bugs don't really taste that great either. Well, it's more to do with the fact that they're just very bland or bitter. But, some animals are exactly the same. The reason that lamb, beef and chicken tastes "good" to us is because a: we've grown accustomed to the taste, and b: they've been farmed to be palatable (breeding, diets etc).

In Japan, some fish are given special diets to alter their flavour. I don't see why we can't do the same with insects and worms.


kpmah 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're concerned about your CO2 footprint, one thing you can do without going as far as eating bugs is eliminating beef from your diet and eating only poultry. Minimal impact on your diet and about twice as efficient.
volker48 2 days ago 5 replies      
Why not just let the animals pasture and eat grass instead of feeding them grain? Factory farms are the big problem.
stevenh 2 days ago 1 reply      
The widespread irrational disgust shamelessly expressed here, without regard for how expressing that disgust out loud is enforcing the status quo and contributing to the prevention of this ever being accepted in the mainstream, is exactly how I imagine the pervasiveness of homophobia in past generations.

...Which I think is a good thing, because it means it can be eliminated through a cultural shift assisted by mass media.

d23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are we considering this more humane because the creatures are smaller? You're still trapping hundreds of living beings into a tiny container. Don't get me wrong -- I eat meat and consider it ultimately a natural part of life. I just don't understand why flies are somehow okay to trap and confine, but cows aren't.
habosa 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am pretty into high-end foodstuffs and really anything that tastes good, so I am somewhat surprised that my inner self says "bring on the bugs!". I think it would be kinda cool to eat an entirely new source of protein and know that I'm being just a tiny bit more sustainable.

Plus once in a while I get some pang of guilt about factory farming. Not gonna happen with cockroaches; I'm pretty sure there is no possible world where I develop sympathy for an insect.

frozenport 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is insect protein better or more nutritious then protein directly from a plant?
Aqwis 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Farm 432" would be a great title for a dystopian science fiction novel. I'm imagining a fictional future Soviet Union where the citizens are fed with insect products from collective farms simply named "Farm #".
zirkonit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Obviously more of an art project than anything else, but a brilliant direction to focus our thinking on. Insect protein really is a good direction to grow our meat consumption in, and if at first toy projects like this mostly provoke disgust, I hope in 25-50 years they will be in a very different position.
brohee 2 days ago 1 reply      
I could see myself buying and using the device, but not eating the worms myself... The worms would feed pets and aquaponics fishes. Cats an dogs have little in a way of yuck factor. Fishes even less.
moonchrome 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're down with eating disgusting things and only interested in nutritional value why bother with insects and not skip directly down to algae/bacteria - my guess is since these are simple organisms they can be genetically engineered for mass production with low maintenance and "tweaked" for desired nutritional values. Risks of disease sound much lower too.
detaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Why Not Eat Insects?" published by Vincent M. Holt in 1885, including recipes and menu suggestions:


sremani 2 days ago 1 reply      
The impending insect protein era, for some reason reminds me of Peak-oil. Unless there is some marketing genius that makes eating insects sexy and drinking them cool, we will not usher into that era.
code_duck 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love that this is being discussed. I've often spoken to friends of the cultural cognitive dissonance Americans exhibit in being repulsed by eating terrestrial bugs, but loving shrimp, crab and lobster. Many Americans never see a whole shrimp and don't even realize that they have a bunch of antennae, legs, a head and would be considered completely horrifying to eat if they lived on land. Eating insects such as crickets is quite common in Mexico.Personally, I will stick to kidney beans and rice.
VerGreeneyes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll keep waiting for cultured meat, thank you very much. Now excuse me as I attempt to use needles to purge the sight of those 'meals' from my retina.
bluedino 2 days ago 1 reply      
Even if they just ground up so they are unrecognizable and added into other foods, that would be a huge accomplishment. Imagine getting 5% of your calories from insect sources, without knowing, an it replacing something like starch. It could be added to virtually anything.
xupybd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Horrified at that second video. You can't use a metal fork on a nonstick pan!
sp332 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article mentions killing by freezing. Does freezing change the texture of the bugs?
palakchokshi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yup not eating insects anytime soon :) The device looks cool though.
dyeje 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really cool. I would definitely be interested in trying this out depending on the price point.
Kiro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would totally buy this. I don't mind eating insects.
fargolime 2 days ago 0 replies      
With fish stocks and aquifers fast depleting, it seems inevitable that it'll become normal for citizens of the developed world to dine on bugs.
jweir 2 days ago 0 replies      
The funny thing for me it is less the insects that are off putting and more the sterile environment they are raised in.
forgotten 2 days ago 0 replies      
My mouth was salivating while reading the website. I think I'm ready to eat bugs.
seanv 2 days ago 0 replies      
i'm trying to wrap my head around this, but im leaning towards engineering vegetables with high protein... or enhancing nut production.
juanpabloaj 2 days ago 0 replies      
probably the insects were the first source of protein for the humanity
briantakita 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "Farm 432: Function" video is good. What raised my eyebrow is two larvae from the harvest trap are selected for the next generation.

How do you know which gender the larvae will be? Would the inbreeding cause issues?

ilija139 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why not just go vegan? Pulses are relatively easy to grow and have great nutrition.
jqm 2 days ago 2 replies      
At an earlier point in our evolutionary history we no doubt ate plenty of insects. Grubs, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, termites... pretty much whatever we could get our hands on.

This practice was generally discarded by humanity except for niche pockets here and there.

Why? I mean... there must be a reason humans (for the most part) stopped eating insects.

kendallpark 2 days ago 0 replies      
throwaway230543 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is gross! Humans should be consuming less animal protein, not inventing more new efficient ways to breed, torture and consume more.

How about considering sustainable vegan/vegetarianism before inventing personal bug death cathedrals.Sick and wrong. Burn it!

List of University Courses for Learning Computer Science
293 points by hising  2 days ago   47 comments top 16
krat0sprakhar 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hi All, I'm the author of this list. My main motivation with this was to list down a few university courses that make their material available online for free. In contrast to MOOCs, I've found these university courses to be quite valuable especially if you're looking to dive deeper (lecture notes & readings) and/or like working at your own pace. Most of these courses have really interesting assignments which you can work on when you are between side-projects.

Thanks to the contributors, the list has become quite huge and I'm open to any ideas that might help users navigate this better. There was a recommendation[0] made to add emojis and I'm looking for feedback on how it could be done better. If any of you have suggestions, I'm all ears! Thanks!

[0] - https://github.com/prakhar1989/awesome-courses/issues/29

phkahler 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find the number of places not requiring Linear Algebra in CS curriculum disturbing. Graphics, PageRank, Super Computing, and other areas are all very heavy on the matrix math. I know there's only so many course you can fit in 4 years, but this still seems like an oversight to me.

Numerical integration methods (for ODE solvers) and constraint solvers should probably be covered better too, these are the basis for all engineering and scientific simulations.

angrave 1 day ago 1 reply      
The link to the systems course @ UIUC and probably other UIUC courses is not useful because the UIUC has just changed all of the the web pages in preparation for next semester.

If you're interested in C, thread synchronization, pipes and other system level programming concepts, then you might find the following freely-available and re-usable resources we created for UIUC's CS241 useful:

http://angrave.github.io/sys/#Includes:1. 7 minute intro videos on C and POSIX calls2. linux-in-the-browser programming+shell playground that runs in your laptop's browser

My course staff will be releasing a new version of this VM in the next semester with additional features and bug fixes (including embedded man-page and autocomplete)

We also built a crowd-sourced book that mirrors most of the lecture contenthttps://github.com/angrave/SystemProgramming/wiki

Together, these items comprise a significant amount of the systems course CS241.

amirmc 2 days ago 0 replies      
For anyone looking for courses using OCaml, there's a list at http://ocaml.org/learn/teaching-ocaml.html -- Prev HN discussion at: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8603202

To be honest, I'm somewhat confused by the purpose of general lists like these. When they're small and focused, I can see them being useful (as the OP mentions here) but eventually they tend towards being a directory. At that stage I'd just use Google (edit: though it'd be hugely ironic if a Google search led me to an 'awesome-style' list - hasn't happened yet)

eric_bullington 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's amazing the amount of high-quality material there is out there. However, as a programmer who is currently going back and attempting to master the fundamentals of an undergraduate CS curriculum through self study, what is lacking is:

1. A comprehensive list of the topics covered in the fundamental CS classes (that is, the topics covered in data structures, algorithms, etc. as well as the required math), ideally with links to related online material. Actually, ACM's Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula publishes a report that is an excellent resource (starting on page 59)[1] for this kind of thing. This resource just need to be distilled down into a list of general topics, each with an associated list of the best online education materials for that particular topic.

2. A nice flashcard program to accompany each topic, ideally with SRS, that could help students learn the terms and other concrete facts related to those topics.

3. A way to systematically evaluate and analyze a learner's mastery of these topics. That is, tests. I'm sure there's a lot of great test material out there that could be auto-graded, but it's scattered about.

4. Oh yeah, and a pony.

Does anyone know of a resource like this? I've actually thought about building it, and have started on very minor parts of this vision [2]. But it's a big task, and I'm not sure if there's any demand for this kind of thing.

1. http://www.acm.org/education/CS2013-final-report.pdf

2. https://github.com/esbullington/canonicalcards

SippinLean 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a self-taught front-end developer (more of a hack) that doesn't have a CS degree, and I want to go back and learn the fundamentals. Anyone been through a similar thing that can recommend a good free online CS program?
norswap 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish people would stop using the word "awesome" as punctuation.

Otherwise it's a nice list, kudos for the effort.

mathias_awkward 2 days ago 3 replies      
Could be good to have classes about (relational/noSQL) databases too I think :)
tericho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, so TIL MIT has a course dedicated to mastering Google, Facebook & Apple interview questions. Thanks for the list.
dguido 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in security, you may want to look at the CTF Field Guide which is based on an older course at NYU-Poly, CS6573: Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis.


fnayr 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd be very interested in a list of PAID courses you can get a grade from. It would be helpful to demonstrate my ability to get a masters in cs.

I have a bachelors in math. I've taken a data structures and algo course at a local university. I'm currently taking software engineering grad class on udacity through Georgia Tech.

Any other paid online cs courses from universities? Some of the other Georgie Tech classes require too much since they're grad classes. I'm looking for BS level paid online classes.

baldajan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting how it lists Real-Time programming from uWaterloo. It's likely the toughest class taught at the university, requiring at least 40h of work a week.
ashhimself 2 days ago 0 replies      
So much knowledge.. so little time in the day.
bruceb 2 days ago 0 replies      

Gives basic idea of computer science courses and level they might be at a US university

krat0sprakhar 2 days ago 0 replies      
frumpy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Genuine question, How does one make use of these courses if living outside US. Just the available online material?
Apples Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App for iOS
242 points by sinak  3 days ago   114 comments top 16
pseudometa 3 days ago 5 replies      
This comes across as though they never intended to make an app for the app store and all along just wanted to call out apple on their term sheet. It is purely a moral stance. Which is fine, but the article is slanted differently.
sinak 3 days ago 2 replies      
For any other non-profits or companies who might need a similar app to notify users, both the app (Cordova + Ionic) and the APNS/GCM push notification server are open source and available here:



If you're an Android user, consider downloading the app. Its really, really simple - it just sends you a push notification if there's an action EFF needs your help with - but we hope to improve it over time.


jewel 3 days ago 4 replies      
Does anyone know if the Google Play Store agreement or the Amazon App Store agreement contain similar terms?

I'd love to see Apple open things up a bit. My personal pet peeve is that it's nearly impossible to use LGPL libraries in iOS apps due to some of the terms.

suyash 3 days ago 2 replies      
Good job EFF exposing blanket agreement and requirements Apple makes developers sign. We need more of these come into lime light so developers can fight back against big corporations.
WhitneyLand 3 days ago 3 replies      
The EFF dev said its a Cordova app, so why not just throw up the HTML mobile site for iOS users? You could still notify via sms, email, etc.
shmerl 3 days ago 1 reply      
They can use Cydia I guess. But this may be more an attempt to simply bring attention to how sickening Apple's developer agreement is. Which is a good thing to do anyway.
dmishe 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand the purpose of the app, the one on play store looks like a one button subscription frontend. How is it better then their website, email, twitter?
gnu8 3 days ago 0 replies      
Apple needs to remove each of these requirements. None of them serve any justifiable purpose, they only immorally and antisocially serve Apple's avarice.
eridius 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand their position on DRM here. It makes no sense. The EFF is complaining that the DRM required by the App Store is onerous and puts restrictions on what users can do with their app, and says "we want them to be broadly available to others to use, adapt, and customize".

But that's nonsense. If the EFF hands me a binary for an app, it hardly matters whether it's DRM'd or not as long as I can still run it. The extreme minority of people are capable of doing anything remotely interesting with a binary without access to source code. If the EFF wants people to be able to adapt and customize their app, all they have to do is release it under a permissive open-source license.

In fact, if this really was a purely moral stance, they could have developed the application and released the source without ever publishing it to the App Store, thus allowing users to compile and use the application themselves. But they didn't do that. Instead, this seems to just be a flimsy excuse for the EFF to make a bunch of noise about Apple in order to drum up some PR.

jasonjei 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it would be really effective and tongue-in-cheek if EFF released their app on Cydia.
parrots 3 days ago 1 reply      
People are still complaining about section 8 - the remote kill switch? I remember only one instance of an app remotely killed, and that was malware.

Even apps that enabled tethering, emulating, or are otherwise against the rules but make it through review have been simply pulled for sale, never terminated using this capability. I think Apple has proved they're using this responsibly after 6 years.

saganus 3 days ago 1 reply      
0 downloads. I guess I'll have to be the first.Edit: Now that I think about it, it said 1-5 installs, so most likely not the first.
eridius 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Kill Your App Any Time

I'm rather shocked to see the EFF linking to the horribly wrong old Telegraph article about Steve Jobs purportedly confirming that there was a kill-switch that would remove apps from iPhones. At least as of the time that was written, that was not true. The referenced "line of secret code" (hyperlink is broken), IIRC, was actually referring to a CoreLocation blacklist, not an application blacklist, with the intended usage being to be able to disable GPS functionality in certain regions if local governments demanded it, and that blacklist never actually ended up being used and was removed entirely in a future OS update.

csense 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've never understood why either users or developers put up with all of Apple's crap.
higherpurpose 3 days ago 2 replies      
> Ban on Reverse Engineering: Section 2.6 prohibits any reverse engineering (including the kinds of reverse engineering for interoperability that courts have recognized as a fair use under copyright law), as well as anything that would "enable others" to reverse engineer, the software development kit (SDK) or iPhone OS.

Wow. EFF should sue Apple over that alone. Private companies aren't supposed to "contract-out" your rights. This will be an easy win for EFF.

thought_alarm 3 days ago 1 reply      
EFF have a lot of time on their hands, apparently.
Google Is Donating 250k to Charlie Hebdo
244 points by greenvaio  2 days ago   122 comments top 16
NotGoogle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google is not donating to Charlie Hebdo. A fund not managed by Google that Google has to pay into as a result of being fined by the French government is giving the money to help ensure the continuation of its publication.

From article: "The press innovation fund was set up in February 2013 to settle the dispute between Google and the French government over whether the internet group should pay to display news content in its search results. Financed but not managed by Google, that money will go to support the survival of the weekly."

themartorana 2 days ago 3 replies      
Bravo. In the face of continued pressure to make free speech a little less free here in the U.S. and around the world, it's on the U.S. and its citizens to protect free speech and/or show their support for those who have been silenced around the world.

If Google does that by donating some money, the message is still very clear and, at least from me, quite appreciated.

Freedom is never free, and human life, sadly, seems like the ongoing and unending price.

junto 2 days ago 2 replies      
I know it would be inflammatory, but I can think of an extremely provocative Google doodle "cartoon" that would put the cat amongst the pigions and make a statement about Google's position on free speech in this particular matter.
moultano 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Je suis Charlie" is on the homepage of https://www.google.fr/
JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 1 reply      
France has been a Google v. the traditional press ground zero for some time [1]. One hopes the press will react to Google's gracious move positively. I expect denouncements.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jan/21/france-goo...

andyjohnson0 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Guardian has announced that they are donating 100k to Charlie Hebdo [1].

[1] https://twitter.com/arusbridger/status/553298181568884737

jayess 2 days ago 0 replies      
You can also subscribe to the magazine in the US through Amazon, although it's $186.25 a year: http://amzn.to/17n94Hc
xster 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think we all agree that this support is very heartwarming and meaningful but also makes one think who's donating to all the drone strike victims for whom not only freedom of expression but freedom is existence is continually threatened?

I agree that empathy is obviously not a zero sum game but find that it's also unfortunate that the media's subtle nudge on public sentiment is tipping an already unbalanced situation into more unbalance.

samstave 2 days ago 1 reply      

What a tragedy. While there are many tragedies happening recently, it's great to see how the world reacted to this, but still underscores how poorly the world reacts to other incidents like the recent slaughter of 2,000 people in Africa by Boko Haram.

chvid 2 days ago 1 reply      
Google could of course also put one of Charlie's "controversial" cartoons on its front page. The one with Mohammed crying and saying "it is hard to be loved by idiots" seems relevant.


This is how censorship works: the threat of violence already limits what even the biggest and strongest "champion of free speech" can do.

dang 2 days ago 0 replies      
nakedrobot2 2 days ago 7 replies      
Interesting figure. In Google-land, why $300K and not $1M?

I don't want to say that it's not a lot of money, I'm just wondering how someone arrived at this sum.

zirkonit 2 days ago 3 replies      
Je suis Charlie.
happyscrappy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Islamists are consistently in the running for stupidest worldwide, they are their own worst enemy. They seriously could not be more damaging to their cause. Pretending that these acts have nothing to do with Islam will be the death of the left and The National Front are now electable.
ck2 2 days ago 3 replies      
No-one deserves death or prison for speech/art.

That said, someone explain to me how mocking people's beliefs brings positive change in this world.

I don't get the point of satire. It just makes people who already agree pat themselves on the back and the people you are mocking will double down to spite you. It's not intellectually clever, it is just bullying in another form.

You want people to change without war, then you need dialog. Satire is not dialog, it is a one-way street.

mkawia 2 days ago 5 replies      
It's awful what happened to them . But they are racist/bigot cartoonists . Imagine if someone attacked Rush Limbaugh it would be bad for freedom of speech but it won't change that he's a bad person like these cartoonist.

Here are those girls that were kidnapped in Nigeria http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--Wj8pQ_7T...

here is black Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--2Ea5CAgX...

Freedom of speech and all that stuff ,but these people are awful

       cached 11 January 2015 16:11:01 GMT