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Swift will be open source later this year apple.com
1314 points by brbcoding  1 day ago   542 comments top 68
1
cpr 1 day ago 5 replies      
Nice to see that Chris (Lattner) got his way. I chatted with him last WWDC right after the main Swift technical session, and he expressed the desire to open source it, but had no idea if he could get it through the powers that be.

Supporting the standard libraries on Linux is certainly a surprise, though.

2
LesZedCB 1 day ago 3 replies      
I remember a thread on HN [1] from a few months ago talking about how apple was never going to do this. I'm so glad they were able to pull it off! Good for you, Apple!

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8488808

3
dmritard96 1 day ago 10 replies      
I will surely be downvoted for speaking so off the cuff, but I haven't really enjoyed swift so far. How has the general developer reception been to the language, not just with respect to obj-c, but also to java or any other turing complete language?
4
fixermark 1 day ago 2 replies      
Ah, interesting. I've suddenly gone from "Not caring at all about the existence of this language" to "Mildly intrigued."

It's amazing what some opening of control will do.

5
jophde 1 day ago 2 replies      
Please for the love of all things holy please stop saying Swift would be great for Android or that Google is porting Go to Android. As an Android developer for the past four years I can assure you that there is zero evidence that Google is moving the Android FRAMEWORK to Go. There aren't even any plans to support lambdas and Java 8. Also, pretty much everyone on the bleeding edge of Android is planning on moving to Kotlin. It has even more higher level and functional abstractions than Swift or Go, full interoperability with Java (even in the same file), and almost no performance hit.
6
gtrubetskoy 1 day ago 4 replies      
This places Swift right along Golang and Rust as the new interesting language.
7
yjgyhj 1 day ago 3 replies      
People who talk about swift compare it to Rust and Go. I can see how the syntax is to ObjC what Go is to C++. Else but that, in what way is Swift anything like Go or Rust?

To me (someone who does Lisp & JS, so none of these all) go seems cool for concurrency and being 'boring' (in a great way). Rust seems cool for being very robust and 'safe' (or hard to screw up with), while still doing concurrency nicely and letting you code in high and low level.

Is there any ways that Swift is more than ObjC without [[[[all] the] square] brackets]? (nothing wrong with that, if you're not into square brackets)

8
philip1209 1 day ago 0 replies      
Much of the sentiment here is about how Swift will drive iOS developers to write APIs in the language. I think the inverse is much more fascinating and creates greater business benefit for Apple: If developers start using Swift for interesting or prominent projects outside of iOS, then that drives people to learn Swift outside of the Apple ecosystem. This means that the barrier to learning and building iOS apps drops, and Apple gains more, potentially experienced developers writing code.
9
seivan 1 day ago 3 replies      
Swift on Rails, who's first :) ?I suspect Heroku are working on preparing for an out of the box build pack, but I guess they don't have access yet since it's out late 2015. At least I hope so, looking for a better Ruby replacement but I still like Rails.
10
sondr3 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well whaddaya know, I like the direction this is going with both Apple and Microsoft.
11
tosseraccount 1 day ago 3 replies      
Aside from graphics/GUI programming; there is little advantage to Objective C or Swift.

The "language" may be "open sourced"; but will the important Cocoa implementations be open sourced?

It shouldn't be to too tough to re-implement Swift; unless Apples starting suing people for doing it.

The exact meaning of Apples announcement needs some clarification.

12
foxhop 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://youtu.be/Pm8P4oCIY3g this is a talk by Joyant's Bryan Cantrill where he make the case that announcing something is going to be open sourced in the future is bad and is an anti pattern.
13
ajross 1 day ago 1 reply      
To be clear: Apple promises they will open source Swift "later this year". There's no source yet.
14
wiremine 1 day ago 2 replies      
Apple explicitly said they see Swift as a systems language... curious what people thing about that. Does it compete with C/Rust, or is it just a pipe dream/marketing message?
15
BinaryIdiot 1 day ago 3 replies      
Hmm they said they wanted Swift used everywhere for the next 20 years, they're going to make it open sourced and provide builds for iOS, Mac and Linux...but not Windows which is one of the largest operating systems in the world? I'm guessing they really don't want it used everywhere. Though knowing Microsoft they'll take Swift and implement support for it in Visual Studio.
16
bachmeier 1 day ago 6 replies      
> Swift will be open source later this year, available for iOS, OS X, and Linux.

They're doing Linux but not Windows? Is Windows not sufficiently important or maybe they just forgot to include Windows in the announcement?

17
alkonaut 1 day ago 1 reply      
Funny, for years people said Microsoft was Copying Apple. We'll never know but I can't help thinking that Microsofts recent push to open source dev tools and languages at least made this happen sooner than it would have. It's a great time to be a developer.
18
emehrkay 1 day ago 1 reply      
Swift interfaces with C and Objective-C natively right? I can't wait to see web servers written with it.
19
mmrasheed 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is by far the most impressive news in this WWDC to me. Wouldn't it be great if swift can break into the complexity of android development and bring simplicity and elegance in it!?
20
BuckRogers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Swift for me is what Python3 should've been. For me as a Python user, this development is huge.

I've been watching for the language to move to instead of Python3. Of Rust, Go, Swift and other new languages, Swift always seemed to me the most appealing language.

Being the 1st class citizen on iOS makes learning this for serverside development very appealing. An ideal server language that enables single language client-server applications possible with iOS.

Once the popular libraries start to drop Python2 support (which may take decades, who knows), this is a no brainer as the language to migrate to instead of moving to the much less robust Python3 ecosystem.

21
0xCMP 1 day ago 0 replies      
It also now supports Markdown in code comments
22
niutech 1 day ago 0 replies      
FYI, there is already a free cross-platform implementation of Swift called RemObjects Silver. It works with .NET, Java and Android.
23
markque 1 day ago 0 replies      
This could be a prelude to Apple offering their own Cloud services like AWZ or Azure, they need a standard backend Language that runs on traditional server OS's.

Regardless being able to implement backend and apps in one language is huge.

24
therealmarv 1 day ago 1 reply      
Swift.net ? What? No Windows version? Why? ;)
25
pibefision 1 day ago 4 replies      
Microsoft open sourced .NET and I don't see queues of people willing to use .NET just because it's open source.
26
jkelsey 1 day ago 1 reply      
And it runs on Linux.
27
norman784 1 day ago 1 reply      
I will love to see how Android apps will be written in Swift, not because its an Apple language, just because I didn't like Java at all (don't know the Oracle Java but the Java supported by Android lack of some features of an actual language).

Also the first challenge will be to build a library that implement all the Swift UI elements to Android (or vice versa) or better Google reinvent their UI or at least add more features and turns Android in a real MVC (bind the view with the controller).

28
aerovistae 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain what it means for a language like this to be open source?

I sort of get it for Python, means you can download the C files and mess with them.

But isn't Swift written in like Assembly?

29
rectangletangle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice, Swift just became 10x more interesting to me; especially since it'll run on Linux. A Pythonesque statically typed language server-side could be handy.
30
candl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seeing as Objective-C has never took off on non Apple platforms (and is not any useful without Cocoa APIs) why would Swift be an exception?
31
bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll believe it when

a) I see it

b) Facetime becomes an open-standard like promised

32
callmeed 1 day ago 5 replies      
So ... what will they call the Swift MVC framework?

Swift on Stilts?

33
20kleagues 1 day ago 0 replies      
I spent 10 minutes looking around for their github page haha but apparently it will only be open-sourced later this year. But the opening up of APIs for Linux is certainly very refreshing news.
34
jokoon 1 day ago 1 reply      
In other news I have a macbook pro I really need to sell to buy a thinkpad.

Microsoft opened .NET, while apple is just releasing a language for its platform because mozilla and Google did too. While the latter opened sourced the languages.

Microsoft is just getting out of their walled garden, while Apple still has a much stronger one, which is worse because they tie their software with their hardware, which is a really dubious practice in my opinion.

I'm really starting to question the trial decision that made it illegal for developers to just run OSX on PCs. Either way we really need laws to prevent manufacturers to restrict other softwares from running on their hardware.

I slightly hated microsoft but always loved their OS and at the time I did not care abut apple. But now do I hate them.

35
wuyongzhi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Swift will be a server side programming language!
36
TheBiv 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder where the official open source repo will be hosted?
37
Someone 1 day ago 4 replies      
Did they tell under what license? If they really want to mess things up, they would choose GPL2 without the 'or later' part, but my guess would be BSD, but Apache and Apple's Public Opensource License also are possible (http://www.opensource.apple.com/apsl/).
38
0xCMP 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love how the biggest cheers in the past few conferences have been from open sourcing some major technology from a company.
39
frik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great, that Apple will open source Swift 2. I hope I can use an Win32/64 community port on Windows 7 next year. Go, Rust, Swift, JavaScript and Julia - a really great time. Thinking back a few years, there were no new mainstream languages for about one decade (ca. 2000-2010).
40
giuscri 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thus that means I can use my Thinkpad to develop an application using Swift? Or will I miss some features? I don't understand exactly ...
41
alkonaut 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's the state of the/a standard library for Swift? When used on linux I hope I won't have to use types prefixed "NS..."?
42
heropotato 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can't wait to see more IDEs support Swift across operating systems.
43
codesushi42 1 day ago 0 replies      
For game devs, hopefully we can look forward to Swift support in Unity then. C# and Booscript are fine, but I'd welcome a language that puts the tool closer to iOS development.
44
noobie 1 day ago 1 reply      
This means developers don't have to be on OSX to make iOS apps?
45
stock_toaster 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hoping that at some point it gets ported to FreeBSD too!
46
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will Swift be an ISO or ANSI standard?

Consider that while Objective-C is open source, Objective-C 2.0 was produced without any effort at all at standardization.

I attended the 2008 WWDC. One of Apple's engineers was demonstrating Objective-C++ and actually said "You can freely mix objective-c and c++." I wanted to start screaming, maybe beat him senseless.

I've done quite a lot of Objective-C, and quite a lot of C++ but I'm still not sure I can figure out how to mix the two.

47
TYPE_FASTER 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great!

I bet:* Swift will get ported to Android.* Swift will compete with Mono.* Xamarin will add Swift support to Mono.

48
pjmlp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile on Mountain View, "here take Java 7 and be happy".
49
pixelmonkey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Surprising, but good news. When Swift was originally announced, I suggested on HN that if they didn't open source it, long term, it would go "the way of Flash" -- eventually, developers would abandon it in favor of more open platform technologies.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7851583

50
wkcamp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Question: Does open source expose vulnerabilities in the security of the language?
51
jimmy0x52 1 day ago 3 replies      
Apple also announced their intention to make FaceTime an open standard. Don't hold your breath.
52
ffk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any word on whether any of their standard APIs will also be released open source?
53
mcphage 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't get me wrong, that book sounds interesting, but... what?
54
marvel_boy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Open Source, this is indeed a very good start.
55
ermintrude 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ha ha, great video :-)
56
markque 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does swift have a good package manager/library ecosystem? I think any new language should have this from the start.
57
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
How does it compare to Rust?
58
honest_joe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any predictions how this can hurt RoR,nodejs and the others ?
59
menghang 1 day ago 2 replies      
How to learn Swift?
60
meburns 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a time to be alive :D
61
joeld42 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great news.
62
tn13 1 day ago 0 replies      
I will not read too much into this. It is a programming language used only to make iOS apps. I dont think this gives benefit to anyone.
63
jheriko 1 day ago 0 replies      
let me see if i can find a shit to give about that...
64
udev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you Microsoft for this.
65
matthoiland 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, who's gunna write the first HTTP library for Swift?
66
Animats 1 day ago 4 replies      
No, Apple announces they intend to open source Swift at a future date. That's not the same as doing it.
67
joshuak 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am very much against the way Cocoa & Cocoa Touch work (a "ViewController" is NOT!!! a controller in the MVC sense), and Interface Builder makes me want to take a high powered rifle to Cupertino, but Swift is definitely a winner now that it's going open source.

I rebuilt a dysfunctional OS X application that was ported from iOS (obj-c) from the ground up almost entirely in Swift last year, and really enjoyed working in swift. It's worlds better than Objective C, and compares favorably with other modern languages like Go (which I also like and use quite a lot). It takes a minute and a bit of annoyance to get used to optionals, but that ends up being really nice for issues most languages let you shoot yourself in the foot on. Along with switch patterns, easy immutability, memory management, string handling, and Playgrounds/REPL make it a really pleasure.

Even with that endorsement I couldn't recommend it seriously for anyone without being cross platform / open source. Now I can say I really think it's worth learning.

68
sarciszewski 1 day ago 0 replies      
My sentiment can be summed up as: "Meh. It's still Apple."

I've never had a good experience with an Apple product.

Goodbye Marco gnome.org
566 points by SnaKeZ  2 days ago   57 comments top 9
1
pan69 2 days ago 4 replies      
I had this weird thought the other day, not sure if it makes sense; We all think that one day we'll grow old, we see old people around us all the time so I guess we assume one day we'll be one of them. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be true for many of us.

Goodbye Marco. May you rest in peace.

And to you my friends, smell the flowers while you can.

2
ekianjo 2 days ago 3 replies      
Evince is my favorite PDF reader on Linux. Sad to see that his original author is gone :(
3
lmedinas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has a former GNOME Fundation member I would like to wish my deepest condolences to his family. It's very sad to see someone leave us so young. The FOSS lost a great mind, his work will was/is/will be in our Linux Desktop for some time.

Thank you Marco!

4
amyjess 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh man...

Marco created Galeon, which was my favorite browser back in the 1.2 days. He'll be missed.

5
kentf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Started a tilt for his family if anyone wants to donate:

https://www.tilt.com/campaigns/for-marco-pesenti-grittis-fam...

6
dmritard96 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is sad news as this he has obviously made some really great software and shared it with the community. At the risk of threadjacking - I am always curious how evince and others are funded (if at all)? Is it corporately sponosored, completely volunteer, backed by a foundation. And following that up, if it is backed by a foundation, which ones generally give the most? Just trying to figure out how the money for opensource relates to things I know and use everyday.
7
stkni 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember reading somewhere (I forget where) that making software has the ability to improve change/many lives and that alone makes software development, but especially open source, a useful endeavour.

How great it is then, that now I know who to thank for Evince. So sad that he's not here to receive my thanks.

8
chheplo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Deepest condolences
9
tluyben2 2 days ago 10 replies      
So sorry to hear this; Evince rocks!

On a side note, as someone with cancer i'm getting more and more annoyed with people saying 'lost the fight' 'after a long fight' etc. Somehow (and I know more people have this) it makes it feel like you didn't try hard enough. Stop saying that please.

It's the Future circleci.com
533 points by ctoth  18 hours ago   131 comments top 28
1
akanet 18 hours ago 4 replies      
It really is striking how products like Docker, even while delivering incredible value, continuously fail to message themselves in an intelligible way. If you go to https://www.docker.com, you see:

"Build, Ship and Run. Any App, Anywhere."

Jesus Christ. I get that you're The Future, but make the value prop for me here, at least. Why should I use Docker? What parts of my stack does it replace? When does the cost-benefit make sense? What new things can I do that I couldn't do before?

They made a separate page just to address this giant "Huh?": https://www.docker.com/whatisdocker, which I feel is equally obtuse.

Luckily, the product itself is fantastic, so that gives you a lot of wiggle room on your website and documentation. Like, a lot.

2
Animats 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Ah, l33t for system architects.

A few days ago, the CTO of Soylent, the food drink, was describing their elaborate computer infrastructure. They have one (1) product and a simple web site. Based on their sales volume, they do about two sales a minute. That could run on a HostGator "Hatchling" account for $4/month, using one of the seven off the shelf shopping cart/payment programs HostGator offers.

3
VieElm 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Well these technologies are there to help bring Google type infrastructure for businesses that need it. If you're running a CRUD app just fine on Heroku you don't need to do any of this and you shouldn't.

When your availability starts having problems or your data is getting too much for one machine, you start having problems of scale. Where you are in terms of scaling issues should lead you to the next iteration of technology required to keep your service up.

Starting out of the gates with that one idea you're not sure anyone will be interested in? Just stick to deploying something fast and not worry about Google style scaling solutions.

4
myth_buster 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Sadly I often feel this is the state of most of the web-dev stack due to high churn. There are extremely smart people working on tools who keep forking out new frameworks/tools/components/scripts and a bigger pool of smart people who keep consuming it.

Having seen in enterprise incredible amount of man-hours wasted on migrating, re-writing and creating POCs on the latest fad, I sometimes wonder whether this cycle is productive or we keep at it just to keep our brains working and not go insane thinking of geo-political/financial/meta-physical questions. Its perhaps Crack for the tech crowd.

5
aerovistae 18 hours ago 2 replies      
This is exactly how I feel whenever people start talking about this stuff. Is that bad? I know this is a satirical post but it seems like a pretty faithful depiction of reality.
6
bch 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Anne > Whats Aphyr?

Bob > -Aphyr is that guy who wrote, Call Me Maybe. You know, the distributed systems and BDSM guy?

Anne > What? Did you say BDSM?

Bob > -Yeah, BDSM. Its San Francisco. Everyones into distributed systems and BDSM.

This hilarity demonstrates the tone, and alone is worth the price of admission. Great job with this article.

7
vbezhenar 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I may be old guy but I never get it. Why do I ever need all this virtualization stuff? I just buy a server, install CentOS, install postgresql, create another user, install java, download&unarchive tomcat and write some simple bash scripts. Voila. Everything works, everything is protected, performance is superb and I can do all that within one day. Good enough to serve few thousand requests per second. May be not enough for Facebook, of course.
8
noonespecial 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile, the last two web applications I've consulted on are now more than 12 years old, use SOAP and where written in Delphi.

They work surprisingly well to this day and despite being horrified upon hearing that this was what they were built on, I found them surprisingly well done.

I wonder what will still be running 12 years from now and what it will look like.

9
BerislavLopac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In the immortal words of David Wheeler and Kevlin Henney: "All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection, except for the problem of too many levels of indirection." Feel free to substitute abstraction for indirection.
10
thebouv 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading this made my brain feel itchy.

Because it's too close to some conversations I've had.

11
rehtona 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Now do this for the Hadoop ecosystem. I'm ripping my hair out because of the complexity of it all. I get that distributed is difficult, but this just feels like too much. Abstraction upon abstraction upon abstraction. Hadoop is this thing over here, but now we have this other thing built on top that is way better. But actually that thing also sucks, so we built a whole layer on top to abstract away the badness of that other thing plus two other alternatives to it. Oh, but that wasn't good enough, so now you can write queries in this other language. And on and on and on it goes.
12
icebraining 17 hours ago 2 replies      
This hits home. While everyone is talking containers, we're running simple processes with a Linux user per instance, and I feel no need to add more complexity to our system, except I'm really struggling to automate stuff.

It seems that if you aren't running a full dockerized cluster of services or outsourcing everything to a PaaS, you're left with building all the infrastructure yourself. What did people use before this great new wave?

13
nchelluri 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of my favorite blog posts of all time.

I love it.

Thank you, CircleCI, for posting this!

14
smadge 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Ughhh this.

I just want to give my project to a PaaS and let them figure out everything.

I was looking into Google App Engine, but they didn't support some language features I wanted (e.g. Java 1.8, Servlet 3.X["I know, programming in Java? You're stuck in the past"]). So I looked into their new Container Engine. But like this article points out, it makes deployment 500000000 times more complicated than it should be.

15
hawski 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading this I keep my fingers crossed for http://sandstorm.io/ or another Android-of-services.
16
ninkendo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always thought of the whole containerization and orchestration "hotness" (I guess we're calling it "gifee" now?) to be great for people who want to write their own PaaS. And not really anybody else.

I mean, it's great that the pieces are all there and open source now. You can get to a really great place with automation by gluing together Docker/Rocket, Mesos/Kubernetes, etcd/zookeeper, etc. But for now, a complete solution still requires you to bring a lot of your own glue.

I mean, by the time you've actually covered enough edge cases to make all these ops components work together in a meaningful way, in a way that doesn't doesn't fail randomly or trip over itself when some critical component breaks, you may as well just start charging other people money to use it.

I say this from the point of view of someone who's done it all (implemented a private Heroku on the stack described above [1]), and although it works amazingly well (for literally hundreds of internal apps), it was not trivial... not even close. We're talking probably 1-2 man-years of effort to get it to the point where it's usable, and that's with leveraging as much existing tech as we can.

To anybody else, as in, any company who actually wants to ship a product (where the product isn't just a PaaS), I just don't see how it's worth it. Just use heroku (or elastic beanstalk, or appengine, or whatever.)

[1] I'd love to make all the glue open source but I'm not really in a position to do so. But I suspect I'm not the only person who's done this... I really think anybody who's gotten this whole "the future" stack working solidly is in a similar position as me: if you really did get the job done for a single app, chances are you've invented an internal Heroku of your own.

17
mmanfrin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Rails? That's so yesterday. New hotness is React!

React? I thought we were doing Angular?

Come on man, you're stuck in the past!

18
jbigelow76 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Only made it about a third of the way through but it seemed like latter day Xtra Normal MongoDB/web scale shtick[1].

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2F-DItXtZs

19
msane 17 hours ago 1 reply      
To the position that containerization is needless complexity for simple or non-scaling apps: one of the benefits of containers is it can create development environments which can be identical to your production environment(s); no matter what platform you're always running the same code, same artifacts, same images.

Virtualization does this too, but at great cost. I wish the kinks were better worked out at this point as well, and hope we start to converge around a few well-working patterns and toolsets. I expect it to happen. In the meantime it is chaos and easy to laugh at.

20
sebringj 16 hours ago 0 replies      
These frameworks arise from huge corporations then get preached to the masses. Problem is, they are only useful at the huge corporation level. Ironic.
21
bch 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This OP gem-of-a-story reminds me of another masterpiece, about Tcl:

http://www.markroseman.com/tcl/dyingout.html ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9689046)

Edit: link to submitted story.

22
fredsters_s 18 hours ago 0 replies      
hilarious and true.
23
doppp 11 hours ago 0 replies      
What's funny is that CircleCI is one of a million CI deployment services out there too.
24
jtwebman 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What no mention of running Dokku on Digital Ocean.
25
crispycret 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this in the voice of Randy from southpark. Best episode ever!
26
lafar6502 7 hours ago 0 replies      
sounds strikingly realistic for a joke
27
facepalm 17 hours ago 1 reply      
A seeming eternity ago I let Maven convert apps into war files that supposedly could be deployed into any web application server.

What do the new containers add on top of that (or other than that)? Only the option for more services (not just web app, but database, different languages, whatever)?

It seems odd having to worry about that kind of thing.

28
serve_yay 16 hours ago 0 replies      
So you posited a totally dumb guy to talk to, then you talked to him and he said dumb stuff. Cool.
A Constructive Look at TempleOS codersnotes.com
456 points by kayamon  1 day ago   167 comments top 29
1
white-flame 1 day ago 2 replies      
While not very familiar to many, this is highly similar to the old Lisp Machine environments. Those were similarly a clean break from prior OSes, with:

 - a powerful REPL to call either apps, inline tools, or direct commands - interactive shells made up of mouse-interactable graphical components being printed to the screen - compilation of source code directly into the running image
etc.

They were also single-user, but did networking as well. People logged into a machine remotely could have the same interactive graphical sessions in their own context.

Given the history of computing from the 50s - 80s, this desktop architecture idea comes naturally to a lot of people. The major OSes, however, all have their ancestral lineage which prevents major rethinking. But another issue is that these ideas are at least power-user oriented.

While the mobile market did some major rethinks about the UIs, they're still *nix inspired descendants underneath, and don't expose anything but pre-baked applications to their users.

2
dang 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's time to retire the disputes about Terry's mental health and his use of racist language that perennially dominate these threads. These arguments are always the same, they lead nowhere of value, and it's wrong to gossip about a human being as a case specimen as if he weren't here.

We've had years of this already and it's enough. If someone wants to do the work of making a list of threads we've had about it in the past, we can all point to that the next time someone inevitably starts this controversy up again.

I'm not talking about Terry's technical work, of course. That is as on topic as anyone else's.

3
VieElm 1 day ago 5 replies      
Someone should start a Kickstarter for a professionally done documentary of Terry Davis and TempleOS. He's such an interesting person. I'd watch it. It would probably be an amazing documentary if done well and assuming Terry Davis would be OK with it.
4
pcorey 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wrote a Julia Set viewer in HolyC about 6 months ago. It was a very interesting experience to say the least.

Terry seemed to think it was pretty cool, so he made a 3rd Party Software page and linked to the GitHub repo.

https://github.com/pcorey/julia-templeos/blob/master/julia.C...

5
bane 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great article. I really like this kind of open-minded "everything can teach us something" attitude.

I'm not sure I really want to use TemplOS, but if you look at it as a research OS like the article suggests, lots of the ideas here are very compelling. DolDoc sounds like something I wish I had today.

I kind of wonder what could be created if these ideas were filtered through more modern design ideas?

6
yen223 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have to admit - HolyC is a clever name http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_See.
7
markbnj 1 day ago 4 replies      
Very interesting article. But ...

>> If a crash in one users programs could take down all the others, then obviously that would be bad. But for a personal computer, with just one user, this makes no sense. Instead the OS should empower the single user and not get in their way.

My PC doesn't have 100 users, it has 100 processes serving one user. It's nice that they can't stomp all over each other.

But I hear you on the low level access. For me it was a Tandy Color Computer, and then a Columbia 8088 luggable, and finally a 80286. All those systems ran DOS or something similar to it in real mode, and I had fun poking bytes into RAM too :).

8
yoklov 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, theres actually a lot of cool stuff in that. HolyC[0] also has some very nice features and is much more practical than I had previously thought, although I'm not sure I could last for long with it -- a lack of type checking is somewhat brutal.

[0] http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Doc/HolyC.html

9
ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
Its very easy to be negative, but you will never learn anything new by doing so.

Couldn't agree more, and something I'm going to try to keep in mind more often.

10
bliti 1 day ago 0 replies      
I enjoy reading the source code of TempleOS. Its simple and down to earth. No gimmicks or traces of someone trying to show off. The kind of code you just sit down to read whenever the daily grind of battling technical debt gets to you.
11
byuu 1 day ago 0 replies      
What really gets to me about all this is that I probably see more articles about losethos/TempleOS than I do about the BSDs.

There's a whole world of hundreds of small and innovative hobbyist/niche OSes (Sortix to name just one), but we only ever hear about this one. Again and again, over and over, because the author's mental health makes for good clickbait articles for people to gawk and stare at, apparently. It's really quite sickening.

I'm okay with this article though, I like that it presented something new for a change.

12
c3d 1 day ago 2 replies      
Seeing projects like this makes me wonder: how come great ideas often fail to be picked up, when bad ones are repeated again and again.

Take the idea of having a single language for the shell and system programming. It forces you to think harder about the design of the language, so that it correctly works both as a command-line interpreter and as a compiled language. Lisp machines had that. Oberon system had that (in a graphical way, even). Forth systems had that. So it's not like we collectively didn't know. But neither Unix nor DOS/Windows even tried. Instead, they both feature shell languages that can best be described as "pathetic". Why did we have to wait until Windows 10 to have useful text selection in the CMD shell?

Or in programming languages, why is it that new languages always seem to take C and C++ as role models, while spectacularly failing to take any inspiration from Erlang, Ada, SmallTalk, Intentional Software, or Lisp? Why is XL, my own language, still the only one I know where it's easy to do multi-operator overloading, i.e. overload A+B*C, something it has been doing for at least a decade? Why are we unable to create a language that would work well both on GPUs and CPUs, or better yet, let me easily describe an application that uses both?

Or in interactive apps, why do we still not have good reactive functional frameworks for the web, similar to what Tao3D does for interactive 3D? (See http://bit.ly/1G8VOmr for my rant on that topic). Why is creating an OpenGL application getting more complex with each generation, instead of simpler? Why can a kid easily use GameMaker, but none of the Apple developer tools?

Or in operating systems, why did Linus Torvalds decide to mimick Unix and not the kind of mind-blowing operating system design ideas that were floating at the time? Like TaOS, the OS that was recompiling byte code at page-in time and could run a same program on different processor architectures during its lifetime? Or like MacOS, the original one, and its built-in graphical toolbox where, unlike X11, you could easily draw an ellipse inside a rectangle irrespective of line width? Or like GeOS and its 64K-based multitasking OS with vector fonts and GUI apps?

In summary, why is it that we always seems to ignore good ideas, but have no concerns repeating bad ones?

My theory is that inferior technology needs superior marketing, and that's how you win in the end. That's just a theory, of course ;-)

13
rectangletangle 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is basically how I've been viewing the project.

Like an esoteric programming language, it's likely never going to be used as a mainstream or practical system. However, Terry has been afforded the opportunity to create this system with few external constraints; this is one of the reasons it utilizes so many novel approaches. It could likely influence features in more practical systems.

People get too worked up about solving immediate problems, and often never see the forest through the trees. He may end up solving problems we never even realized were problems.

14
alganet 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is very interesting to see some comparisons you did. You mentioned Oberon[1], which has an explicit reference to Doug Engelbart. Seeing some TempleOS highlights reminds me a lot of those ideas, including LightTable[2].

[1]: http://ignorethecode.net/blog/2009/04/22/oberon/[2]: http://lighttable.com/

15
S4M 1 day ago 6 replies      
I like the idea of the shell being an HolyC interpreter. Do we have some analogs with the mainstream languages - I know I could fire up, say, the Python REPL and use it as my shell but that wouldn't be convenient to manipulate files.
16
alxmdev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Long-term personal projects are the best things you can reward your developer mind with. The dedication and achievement in TempleOS is phenomenal.
17
Immortalin 11 hours ago 0 replies      
<code>In this video Terry gives a brief tour of some of the more interesting features of TempleOS. At 5:50, he shows how to build a small graphical application from scratch. Now lets just think about how youd do this in Windows for a second. Consider for a minute how much code would be needed to register a windowclass, create a window, do some GDI commands, run a message pump, etc. Youd need to set up a Visual Studio project perhaps, and either use the resource editor to embed a bitmap, or try and load it from disk somehow. Now compare it to the tiny snippet of code that Terry writes to accomplish the same task. It certainly makes you wonder where we went so wrong.</code> Before MS killed Visual Basic 6, it was also almost this easy..
18
cdelsolar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwa6rU-Y_Ic

It's amazing. He has a whole bunch of videos of his programs. It's fascinating how much stuff he puts out there!

19
jd3 1 day ago 0 replies      
>If GNU is the cathedral, and Linux is the bazaar, perhaps there is a place for the temple somewhere too.

cute

20
zefei 1 day ago 2 replies      
Every time I read something about TempleOS, I was amazed by its concepts and Terry's dedication. I wonder if one day we could see something like "doom source code review" on TempleOS.
21
bitL 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's amazing to see that Terry achieves more than most healthy programmers. Kudoz and all the best!
22
tomasien 1 day ago 0 replies      
Obsession by one person doesn't always work out for that person, but it does so often provide insights that are instructive to a level that would have been unfathomable to an outside observer at the start of the project/obsession. Not surprised TempleOS seems to have similar qualities, even though even now it seems to be a pretty bizarre project.
23
JSnake 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Any look at an OS that doesn't consider the platform's usability is pretty suspect, and this article doesn't even mention TempleOS' usability. It really doesn't matter how many good ideas an OS or any other platform has if it isn't at all usable. And TempleOS is the most unusable platform I've ever seen.
24
JulianMorrison 1 day ago 0 replies      
The days when you could be sure of being sole user of your machine ended with the internet, alas. All that compartmentalization is there for a reason.
25
fit2rule 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how far off TempleOS is to implementing the kid of environment envisioned by Bret Victor?

See: http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/

It seems to me that the way that the HolyC environment is designed, we're not far off from having a pretty decent implementation of some of Brets' concepts .. it at least seems closer than the features offered in other OS's for this kind of interaction.

Perhaps some enterprising disciple of both TempleOS and Worrydream will find motivation to push the last %5 of work through to completion .. seems like an exciting opportunity to do something truly innovative.

26
aedocw 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm honestly curious, and not trolling here. I've followed some of what Terry Davis has developed, and seen him pop up here frequently as a subject of interest to many. In every thread here, I've seen something like:

Person A: TempleOS is amazing, written by just one guy! I'd love to know more about Terry, someone should do a documentary!

Person B: Terry has a mental disorder, a documentary would just end up [making fun of him|causing more mental issues]

As I understand it he does not believe he has mental issues, but does believe everything he's doing is directly influenced by an entity he perceives to be his God. Any of his supposed mental issues can just as easily be explained as issues of deep faith, a faith most/all of us are incompatible with.

Maybe I'm missing something essential here but what's the difference between Terry Davis and anyone else who believes their lives are being influenced/led by the invisible forces that are part of their religion? If he's crazy, is his brand of crazy significantly different from that of the pope or anyone else who claims to be regularly spoken to by their God?

27
fierycatnet 1 day ago 2 replies      
That's nice. Glad to see it on here. I remember this guy and his OS back when people on Reddit were mean to him because he has a mental disorder. His dedication to this project is admirable.
28
ebbv 1 day ago 3 replies      
While there's an element of truth here, that kernel is being overplayed.

It's important to be open minded, but at the same time it's important to also have a filter for what's actually worth examining in depth and what isn't. Otherwise you waste your time going down fruitless cul-de-sacs to nothing. Which is exactly how you end up spending your life making something completely useless like TempleOS.

Additionally, the author thrives on attention. He's been around forever, it's true. But every time he gets any attention he goes on what seems to be a manic streak which erupts in the racist diatribes and nonsense.

He certainly does need medical attention. He does not need this kind of attention, treating his delusion seriously.

29
Maken 1 day ago 3 replies      
It sounds like a security nightmare and I'm not sure about how efficient it can be for not user oriented tasks. But the ubiquity of the system is like what XML pretended to be but never was.
Show HN: Universal Pause Button github.com
487 points by RyanRies  22 hours ago   162 comments top 34
1
tomkinstinch 21 hours ago 6 replies      
This is nice! On OSX, processes can be paused and continued too (by name via killall, and by PID via kill):

 kill -STOP 1234 kill -CONT 1234 killall -STOP -c "Pandora" killall -CONT -c "Pandora"
A more nuanced control is to throttle down the CPU, via cputhrottle[1].

If I'm running a CPU-intensive calculation and don't want to bog down the rest of my system I will use it to give me enough cycles for Sublime Text to work smoothly.

It's easy to call:

 sudo cputhrottle PID cpuUsage%
ex.

 sudo cputhrottle 12345 400
1. http://www.willnolan.com/cputhrottle/cputhrottle.html

2
NamTaf 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Great app but I have one request. Can you please modify it so instead of pausing the game until my SO is done talking, it pauses my SO until my game is done its cutscene? Thanks in advance.
3
samspot 21 hours ago 5 replies      
This should be a basic requirement for all games. Even before I was married my mom would call or someone would ring the doorbell. And when I was a kid I had to go down to dinner or take out the trash.
4
frik 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Great idea, will be helpful.

Now, I only need a similar tool that kills the process with the highest CPU and MEMORY load with a short cut. Reasons: Sometimes a process leaks memory and fills up 16GB RAM and opening a new process like taskmgr is impossible to severe paging-IO. Sometimes a full screen application crash and spawns a modal crash dialog behind the full screen window so only taskmgr and keyboard usage works (as the mouse is hidden by the crashed full screen app).

5
RyanRies 22 hours ago 2 replies      
You can also download the executable (if you don't want to compile it) from https://www.myotherpcisacloud.com/post/universal-pause-butto...
6
scandinavian 21 hours ago 3 replies      
"I've already gotten great value out of the program, as there are lots of cut scenes in The Witcher 3, that I don't want to skip."

The Witcher 3 pauses cutscenes when the window is not in focus. So the example is probably not the greatest.

7
kozukumi 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice idea and app. Having a quick look at the code I had forgotten how much work needed to be done for old-skool Windows applications. They do give you great lean applications though which is something I miss.

I will always have a soft spot for small, lean single function applications. I guess it takes me back to my UNIX days. Some of my favourite more modern programs are SumatraPDF, uTorrent (the older 2.x versions) and Notepad2, lovely single exe programs that are self-contained. No installers and messy configs all over the place or in the registry.

8
ubercow13 19 hours ago 1 reply      
You can do this to any process in Windows' Resource Monitor too - the one you can open from task manager. On the CPU tab you can right click any process and suspend it.
9
arcatek 22 hours ago 3 replies      
That's interesting. However, I wonder ... don't you think it can be abused in some games that try to compensate lag? For example, what if they use a code similar to:

 delay = currentFrameTime - lastFrameTime playerPosition += direction * delay
I know that some games (such as Diablo III) may automaticallt ban you if you happen to run a program that may be used to cheat (they detect that via a background process check).

10
savanaly 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Now if only there was a Universal Skip Button for those games with unskippable credits, intros or cutscenes!
11
ifdefdebug 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Indeed some deep nesting here. You made me remember a quickbasic program I wrote for a class back in early 90s, where I packed the whole program in a single do-loop with about 20 indent levels at it's deepest, and I loved it. But... the prof told me to never do that again :( Anyway, thanks a lot for the flashback :
12
lettergram 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Without reading the explanation, immediately my roommate and I figure out how to do it via the linux terminal by pausing the main thread. It seems so obvious, don't know why I wasn't doing this myself.... since I have the same problem as the OP.
13
ohitsdom 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Really clever. What a thoughtful project, too. Hope your SO appreciates the work you put in on it!
14
snorkel 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, coded like a simple old school Win32 API win app, I didn't realize that was still possible in modern Visual Bloatio. Nicely done.
15
Drdrdrq 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I love this!!! The pause button was incredibly useful when trying to figure out what went wrong with DOS boot sequence. I wonder if it would be possible to include support for it in Linux kernel? Sometimes I would like to read those messages that fly over the screen (no, dmesg is not enough)...
16
frik 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Win10Phone/Android/iOS apps are suspended and restored the same ways too. Only the visible app (and some system processes) is running in iOS1-8 (in iOS9 iPadAir2 two apps). It's usually unused in desktop OS (except for universal apps in Win10).
17
deevus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
@OP

I've added this to the scoop-extras bucket for Scoop[0]. So users with the extras bucket can install it using:

 scoop install universalpausebutton
EDIT: Do you have a licence?

[0]: http://scoop.sh

18
janinge 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a modernized pause/break key on your keyboard can also be handy if you ever have to use software that acts stupid on purpose, like these "Safe Exam LockDown Browsers" that some schools and universities around here have started forcing upon their students. Software like this typically just run a timer or similar to make sure that only their windows are running in the foreground, but sending them a SIGSTOP stops this annoyance.
19
est 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of old utility which could resize any DirectX based game and force them run in windowed mode.
20
Carrok 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I would love this for Mac, not for games but for all browser tabs. Find whichever tab I'm playing music in, and pause it, whether it be SoundCloud, YouTube, or some other streaming something. Fantastic idea though!
21
hittudiv 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Always used to watch those cutscenes on youtube! Awesome app btw.
22
amelius 17 hours ago 1 reply      
But what if the process uses a timer to update an animation? (I.e., the state of the timer determines the frame in the animation).

In that case, after unpausing, the animation would just skip ahead.

As a remedy, the pause button could also stop the system clock as seen by the process.

23
kilolima 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't it be easier if your girlfriend would not expect that she can walk in and interrupt you any time she wants?
24
murbard2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
For a fraction of a second, part of me really hoped it could somehow be a pause button for life itself.
25
miket 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Would love to have this for email.
26
72deluxe 18 hours ago 0 replies      
On OSX you can use Activity Monitor to use View > Send Signal To Process....
27
seba_dos1 21 hours ago 0 replies      
aka "Windows users discover our CTRL+Z" :) Been doing that very often during Ludum Dare where the best games have usually very fine gameplay and very poor everything else, like lack of pause or progress save - surely came handy.
28
jdlyga 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It even pauses video studio! It really is universal.
29
mattbgates 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Damn, I thought this was for real life.. could've used one of those. Better than hitting snooze 10 times.
30
Dewie3 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It wasn't until MGS4 before the Metal Gear Solid franchise got cutscenes which you could pause. Which was sorely needed because of how story driven the series is, and how long some of the cutscenes are -- I think the end of MGS4 was something like 1 hour, 30 min.
31
VLM 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This specific example is nice although not truly universal.

An interesting startup idea would be a bluetooth thingy (kinda vague, maybe a necklace?) that when pushed becomes a TRUE universal pause button. Pauses my DVR, my car audio, my linux mythtv box, everything, silences my phone ringer, mutes the TV, shuts off the alarm clock, temp-mutes the smoke alarm if its currently going off, silence the oven timer, car alarm off if its currently sounding, you name it.

Sounds technologically possible although a huge PITA, which sounds like a great startup idea.

You might need to ram thru a whole new bluetooth LE broadcast protocol, maybe. Or just a blind beacon of "anything" thats sniffable (edited: whoops that wouldn't work so well with silenced burglar alarm systems).

I suspect this would sell pretty well once it gets universal...

32
neutralino1 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we pause the significant other too?
33
cool-RR 22 hours ago 2 replies      
"I like to play video games. I also have a significant other, and she often walks into the room to talk to me while I'm playing a video game."

Looks like the real solution would be to pause your SO ;)

34
kpennell 19 hours ago 0 replies      
test comment!!
I quit the tech industry eev.ee
439 points by jaimebuelta  4 hours ago   251 comments top 58
1
probablyfiction 3 hours ago 10 replies      
This is what burnout looks like. Unless Yelp has a toxic work culture, it's likely the author brought it on themselves by pushing too hard. After several months, the author will probably start thinking about work again, and begin the job search once more.

Not to say that the author's points are invalid; it's a terrible feeling to have to spend your most productive hours working on someone else's problems. He or she may find themselves drawn toward entrepreneurship. There's nothing quite like working on your own idea...especially if that idea is going to make you cash.

Office culture is draining. Some people aren't cut out for it. Additionally, programmers tend to push themselves too hard for too long out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to the company. They're being paid huge sums and sometimes feel that they need to work extremely hard to deserve what they're being paid. They don't see that the work they do is extremely valuable in and of itself. Employment is a business arrangement; a coder doesn't owe the company anything more than their agreed-upon hours of work.

If/when the author does return to work, it's likely they will be much more likely to put themselves first and the company second. They'll likely have a plan to escape working for someone else ever again.

2
yc1010 3 hours ago 11 replies      
I have been working for myself for last 8 years after completing my masters, in hindsight financially I did not do too badly (tho there was some great and ups and incredible downs!) and it is NICE working from home and watching your kid grow (tho there are quite a lot of distractions!!! says he who is procrastinating reading HN :D )

BUT if I was offered a job with guaranteed employment and steady wages and (gaaasp pension!) like being a teacher I would go for it. Having kids changes your perspective.

I would have been financially much better of if it wasn't for punitive taxes in Ireland, here you reach ~53% high tax rate with only about ~$35K in income. And then there are new property/water taxes they brought in now as well as 23% VAT :(All of these taxes really make you ask yourself "why bother work harder and longer" and really kill any incentive to work.And no we do not get free healthcare here still need to pay for medical insurance out of aftertax earnings. And as a business owner I do not qualify for the full welfare if things go to shit, despite paying high rate of social taxes.

edit: Now that I read my rant in second half of my past, no wonder no good startups come from here, the atmosphere is toxic to entrepreneurship.

3
jahnu 3 hours ago 3 replies      
"I had stock options, and I cashed them all in last week. I net enough to pay off the mortgage, so Im doing that, which will leave the entire household debt-free and cut our expenses drastically."

I'm happy for you. Even a tiny bit jealous. But it does in the end make the whole post sound like a humblebrag to me.

4
fecak 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I fail to see how this is quitting the tech industry. This is quitting Yelp, but the listing of the Patreon account is all "tech industry" work, just without having a boss or company to be accountable to. The post doesn't seem to insinuate that the author will quit writing software - "Eventually it would be nice to make a thing that actually makes money on its own." Someone who codes and makes money off that product is still in the industry, no?

The author isn't quitting the industry. He is basically going independent, with an undetermined business model.

5
nine_k 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> Im not going anywhere. Im going to sit at this desk and Im going to work on whatever the hell I feel like working on.

> I dont know how to turn this into dollars yet. Hopefully Ill figure that out.

Well, good luck. I'm just afraid the reality will kick in soon. Tech industry is by far not the worst way to get some food for fifty picnics; many others are much more soul-crushing, with less chance to retire early.

6
mrgriscom 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't understand the desire to pay off the mortgage after a big windfall, especially with interest rates so low. I suppose you get a vague sense of security, as in "the bank can never take my house away now", but you just took a big chunk of liquid money that could have been used to pay any kind of expense, and you put it into very illiquid home equity that was being loaned to you at a long-term locked-in rate barely above the historical rate of inflation.
7
mavdi 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I couldn't believe what I was reading. I have the exact same feeling about current state of the tech industry.

No one pushes barriers anymore. Rarely anyone makes anyones life better by doing things radically different. We keep reinventing the same wheel again and again. I've been paid handsomely in the last 5 years by doing pretty much the exact same things, using different frameworks for different (and at times the same) companies.

8
JDiculous 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The author's rant is not specific to the tech industry at all, it's the case for practically all full-time jobs.

Full-time jobs generally suck. Spending the bulk of every weekday in an office doing what your told is not fun. If it was, then people would do it for free. Day to day work is generally unglamorous and boring.

I think part of the blame is that tech employers permeate this notion that one must "love" their work. So we feel guilty for not enjoying cleaning up somebody else's legacy code, fixing that tracking bug, or god forbid solving an IE8 bug.

I totally agree with the author that the tickets we're assigned are all puzzles that I could lose myself in and inevitably get some feeling of satisfaction when I figure it out. But in the grand scheme of things, most of us aren't working on problems of real significance (eg. curing cancer, creating a more efficient battery). Most of us are just reinventing some form of wheel. And most of the problems we solve as implementors don't pertain to us. Rarely do we capture any of the fruits of our labor aside from a "great job!" and a 10% pay bump at the end of the year if we're lucky.

We as employees need to change the culture of employment. Nobody should have to pretend to enjoy grunt work. Work should be about the output you produce, not face time or tracking hours. Being in an office 8 hrs/day and never seeing the sun is depressing, and it's time we acknowledge that and fight to improve the situation.

We can start by demanding that remote work be accepted by our employers. That immediately gives us back our entire commutes (even just one hour a day is huge when you spend the majority of your waking hours in an office and thus only have 6 hours of real free time). And we can demand the freedom to work on our own schedules rather than being confined to 9-5, which we all know for most people is bullshit because we're not on an assembly line and our most productive work doesn't necessarily follow a 9-5 schedule.

9
ChuckMcM 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think it is great for the author that their career has allowed them to pay off their mortgage and sit back and examine what it is they are really passionate about. But this was a challenging comment for me from the article:

"Ive only worked for two tech companies, in radically different fields. The only things they have in common are that their main products are websites with tertiary features that let you buy things. Yet both of them ended up scrambling to write their own payment platforms from scratch. What the fuck is going on?"

I'm currently working at a tech company that is trying to increase the survival rate for cancer patients. Others are working at companies that are providing medicine or support for folks who have no access to medical facilities. The point being that the experience of two tech companies is insufficient to evaluate the entire industry.

And the bigger point is that how you spend your time is your choice. Take the fact that you are getting burned out in your current job to inform your decision on your next one. That is the key to not getting completely burned out.

10
shalmanese 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It's sad to me that the industry is pushing out so many great people because they feel so disenfranchised by it. I believe technology is one of the most potent forces of good in the world but for that to sustain, a culture has to develop around it with a deep desire to solve serious, large problems.

I attended my first (and last) Hackathon a couple of weeks ago because it was immigration themed and so I thought I could meet some smart, thoughtful people. The pitches were mostly terrible with a few more decent ones sprinkled through as you would expect from a Hackathon.

One of the pitches that was made though, was "Greendir", a Tinder for Green Card marriages. Now, I fully support the guy's desire to pitch whatever idea he chooses but it was depressing to me that Greendir turned out to be the most popular app on the pitch board and the one the most people indicated they wanted to work on. It just seemed to me to be the epitome of the "we're in it for ourselves", move fast and break things, easy X-meets-Y description, get rich quick schemes attitude that is increasingly gaining mindshare in the tech industry.

It really made me wonder, what did these people come to this weekend to do? Why were they giving up their precious time? Because they wanted to be entertained and have a laugh? Or because they believed their powers could be meaningfully leveraged to solve hard problems that have the potential to fundamentally alter people's lives? Furthermore, what impression does it give to the newly entering workers in the tech field who use events like hackathons to get connected into a community of peers and who subconsciously absorb the value of those peers?

Fortunately, I'm seeing the other side of the picture too. I'm in the process of building a startup right now with a serious social mission (we want to get people excited about donating to charity by doing for charity what Whole Foods did for organic foods). I reach out to my network and I see my friends who came up 5 - 20 years ago in tech having the same frustrations by the triviality that's morphed the industry over the last couple of years. The outpouring of support has exceeded, by an order of magnitude, that of any previous startup I've worked on and I think it's precisely because there's a real yearning to see entrepreneurs solving hard problems with large impacts.

11
Jimmy 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Having a traditional job is such a terrible experience. At the very least, it's terrible if you're not 100% in love with whatever company project you're working on.

I think there are some personality types that are suited to traditional jobs though, since most people don't share my concerns when I tell them how terrible it is to have a job. Because of this, I think more people like the author of this post should pursue non-traditional lines of work without feeling guilty. Perhaps our current economic set-up doesn't allow everyone to be happy, but more people could be happy than they currently are.

12
mikemarsh 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
"I hate dread. What a completely useless emotion."

Funny you should say that, since the sense of dread seemed to motivate this decision pretty heavily. Seems like the emotion was pretty useful as a sort of "burnout immune system".

13
bipin_nag 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I empathize with the OP. I wanted to post a reply to probablyfiction explaining to him. Instead I will list the reasons why burnout could have happened to him.

Point 1 "unless X has a toxic work culture,it's likely the author brought it on themselves by pushing too hard."

An overstatement unless you know what he faced. You were hired for your problem-solving ability where pushing hard can be expected at times. In reality this could be he's not pushing too hard so much as the existing environment which leeches effort and adds burden to every step. Toxic culture is somewhat unlikely but what if he inherited a huge technical debt, this happens a lot.

Point 2 it's a terrible feeling to have to spend your most productive hours working on someone else's problems. He or she may find themselves drawn toward entrepreneurship

Wrong. IMO you can either work as a product engineer role building something new (hopefully) or as support role integrating products/fixing glaring bugs crappy code/migrating systems. The latter is not exciting. A developer MUST be capable of both and SHOULD be given at least an opportunity for both. It does not have to be in your own startup. I maybe a coder but I am not a horseshit shoveler.

Point 3 Office culture is draining. Some people aren't cut out for it.

Why ? It doesn't have to be. Even then why assume work culture is the culprit here and he is not cut for it.

Point 4 Additionally, programmers tend to push themselves too hard for too long out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to the company. They don't see that the work they do is extremely valuable in and of itself.

Translation the coder has to see the fine line of enthusiasm between "working already" and overzealous. Seems like a hypothetical problem unless you tell why is it relevant here. About the "work" you say, you should tell what "work" is. It is not just the stationary lines of code lying on repository, but the amount of effort that went to write it, debug it and will go to maintain it. A badly written project demands higher effort to keep it running than what you could imagine.

Point 5 a coder doesn't owe the company anything more than their agreed-upon hours of work.

I know that is the agreement. But I dont know if you have seen places where boss wants work in a deadline and not hours a coder spends and wants it done. You should remind him that then.

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TheCapn 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Not to knock on the industry at large but the day I gave up wanting to program "services" (for the lack of a better term -- things that work the data to produce an outcome that although convenient, is not a necessity of our lives) and apply my skills to tangible, real world problems I became immensely happier in my day to day. I went from loathing the next day of work and counting the clock hours until I ran out the door to happily thinking of the problems, looking forward to the next project. I think a lot of people in software could benefit from taking the time to take a hands-on hobby of sorts where you create physical output, a useful craft with purpose. There's a chunk of our lives that logic and algorithms cannot fulfill in the same way that a craft can.

It seems like hokum re-reading that last paragraph. I wish I was better with words to portray what I'm trying to get across but its just something that's been on my mind in the last month or so. I feel into another slump similar to what our article's author describes. You get caught in a cycle of "I'm tired because tomorrow will suck" and don't use that time to regenerate and recover. When my car hit the tipping point last week and I was forced to get my hands dirty it broke that cycle. I came out from under with a true sense of accomplishment; beaming with pride for what I had done and suddenly Monday's problems were on the wayside.

To swing back to what I tried saying originally though; having a job where I produce factories, networks, systems that clients look, touch, and interact with just gives the same feeling of pride that I never achieved when building services for IPTV products, billing software features or other data applications. I'm certain there's a whole host of people that drool at some of those domains but if that's not your "thing" then you'll never be happy. I wasn't, the author likely wasn't but that's not to say she can't find happiness anywhere in tech. And to believe that leaving it all behind for a mystery won't solve those same problems that put her where she is now. "The Grass is Always Greener" will wane and she'll miss being among peers and those who she can share her problems with. A girlfriend in the medical industry just can't converse on the same level as other tech's can, its where I reach out to coworkers, peers, friends to blow off some steam. I wish her the best, I just hope she figures out where the true problems lie or where her true calling is before she regrets distancing herself from an industry that she has obvious passion for.

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lohengramm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This post expresses exactly how I feel. I am currently under a 30 days vacation and it has been incredibly good. In only three weeks I have studied lots of things that were postponed for months or years, worked on a personal project, exercised my body, slept well, read books, disassembled every old electronic device that was lurking for years to clean and fix it, went to a medical doctor to fix health issues that were also postponed and now I still have an infinite list of things to learn, books to read and projects to do.

Now I am really thinking on leaving my full-time job, because the vacation is coming to an end. But how to make money? If I could have a stable but low income without wasting too much time, it would be great. Mainly if that income came from a source with which I care about.

It sucks. Life, I mean.

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jrochkind1 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course a full-time job sucks. Most people need one anyway in order to pay the rent. If you have the luxury of getting away without it, of course why wouldn't you?

I have the luxury of working a 4/5ths time (four days a week job). I'm still a programmer. At a university. That also allows me to work reasonable hours on that 4/5th time job, take personal days for personal business, etc. And most of what I write is open source, which is very nice. It's definitely still a trade-off, it's a very frustrating place to work sometimes, I don't always get to work on interesting problems (but sometimes do, in some periods often), I don't have enough colleagues to work on the _really_ cool stuff that would take more IT resources than my employer is willing to devote to what I think would be the really cool stuff. Etc.

My impression is that trying to start your own business will end up taking _more_ of your time than a 'full time job', not less. But if you end up finding that time more rewarding to spend, then, great.

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mikecmpbll 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You got burnt out, no need to turn it into a sob story or a bitter industry rant. You couldn't manage your time effectively.

By all means if you're unhappy change your lifestyle -- and pronto -- if you can eek out an existence in a more fulfilling way then get to it, but don't try telling everyone they work in a "stupid, backwards, fledgling industry" because you didn't like your job.

Just another "woe betide me"-disaffected-techie rant.

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dataker 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Instead of quitting the tech industry, why not move to an existing smaller company, whose size gives you more freedom?

Wait and sit for a profitable idea doesn't look like a very good idea.

I'd go to AngelList and join an existing startup, rather than going on my own.

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muraiki 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Do you have any internal libraries or systems or platforms at your company? Do you think no one else has ever had the same idea and built the same thing?"

Isn't this one of the reasons behind the FOSS movement? That we as programmers are often repeating the same uninteresting tasks, so perhaps we should just freely share what we've done so that we can all work on something more interesting.

And in the Libre sense of Free -- in the GNU sense (and perhaps I've interpreted it wrongly here) -- this is why GNU is not just "something to make our lives better". It is rather a moral responsibility towards your fellow users, which includes programmers who use your code, not just end users. Because if people don't share, you end up with people like the author of this article: burnt out on writing something that's been written before.

Of course how this meshes with the real world of capitalism is a whole other story. I'm not saying it's not viable: Stallman of course mentions selling support in the GNU Manifesto, and the article also mentions Patreon.

Note that I'm not saying GNU is the One True Way, but rather trying to stimulate a discussion about something I don't fully understand but have been thinking about lately and which I believe touches upon one of the core issues that prompted the author's action.

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fotoblur 30 minutes ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately the world is a cruel place, and this guy wants freedom from it. I know, I took the 3-4 months off after quitting a job to do my own thing. I did earn a few dollars but nothing like what a business was willing to pay for my skills.

We'd all like to be free to do what we want to do, but in all honesty only a fraction of 1% ever get to. And even those people serve a master. Did I ever find the answer, no. I think what its going to take is a huge leap in what we call work.

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CrLf 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"Ive worked remotely my whole career"

I wonder how much of a role does this play in (not) caring about your employer's problems...

As much as I can understand the benefits of working remotely on occasion, doing it all the time will cause a kind of disconnect all by itself. You see the problems as your employer's problems, instead of your team's problems. Your are fixing your employer instead of helping your teammates.

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renegadedev 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel his pain but it's easy to quit when you can cash in your stock options and pay off your mortgage
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flipped_bit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Understand the author's (Clintonesque) pain, as I am going through a similar problem, but don't have it all figured neatly to disengage from the industry yet.

My own views are that the software industry has reduced its 'professional quotient' a lot, to probably near zero, and hence all this chaos. I used to work in 'well-run and large companies' prior to the internet days, and in some sense we are a victim of the post-internet (mid-90s' post-Netscape) runaway success.

There is no professionalism in the industry anymore, and paradoxically it could be due to the 'open source model'. Don't get me wrong, I like open-source with all that emphasis to openness, freedom etc.. but it has led to the ruin of the small developer. It is forcing a lot of us to jump into the 'entrepreneur/solopreneur' bandwagon.

The openness part described above also includes anyone to jump into the industry (unlike say the medical, or civil-engineering profession; after all do you want a 'hacker heart surgeon' or a 'hacker bridge builder?'). The professionalism is completely mocked at, and all this hero-worshiping of start-up culture etc.. has ruined it.

OTOH, I am not arguing in favor of high-barriers of entry etc... Honestly I don't the answer on how to fix it....

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kohanz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Im just thoroughly exhausted. I have so much I want to do, yet Im selling half of my waking hours every weekday to someone else, for the sake of cleaning up their legacy messes. By the end of the day Im already worn out, and now I have to squeeze in whatever I wanted to do alongside relaxing and doing chores and maintaining this fleshsack. Weekends are nice, but become a mad dash to get fifty things done, meaning none of them get done.

And then add kids to the equation! I left my full-time job for part-time contracting (ahem consulting!) just over a year ago. I work about 60% of the hours that I previously did, make about 80% of what I did, and spend the rest of the time with the family and catching up on "life". Not sure if it's a longterm solution, but I'm enjoying watching my family grow.

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thebouv 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Some days I dream about this and going out on my own, or pursuing that startup idea that's been itching the back of my head for so long. I couldn't leave the tech industry per se, but at least changing what I'm doing in it.

But then I realize I've been doing the day-to-day for so long that I have accumulated the trappings thereof: mortgage on a house, two cars, a "comfortable" lifestyle.

To leave puts it at risk. I fear not being able to make it solo. The startup idea will take too long or fail if I bootstrap it. We'll have to move. Downsize. Change our lifestyle. Affect the kids. And a downward spiral of thoughts like that.

So I'm back at my cubicle today. Wishing I was working from home to watch the new baby grow while I code.

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mark_l_watson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think he did the right thing paying off his mortgage. He does not have to create a successful startup as money runs out: he could switch to part time consulting, which is what I did about 18 years ago. Back then we became debt free and except for short jobs at Google and Webmind Corporation, I consulted for probably an average of 15 to 20 hours a week, remotely. The trick is reducing living costs (we live in the mountains in Central Arizona).
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jimwalsh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Work-Life-Balance, such a great lesson many 20 somethings should make an effort to learn before they destroy the passion they have for whatever it is they are passionate about.

I'd never tell someone to not work hard or to strive for things they want to accomplish. But be able to step back and look at the big picture. Life is too short. Don't forget to enjoy it while you can.

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jnsaff2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds very much like the article I read yesterday: http://mashable.com/2015/06/09/post-hipster-yuccie/
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vuyani 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think OP really was burning out. I have a daily job but manage to get solid side projects shipped. 8-5(Till 5 is the important part! no overtime). I get home. rest or gym till about 7pm then get cracking. Usually sleep around 1am. Im a heavy sleeper so i dont do it every day. but its enough to get things done.
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kev009 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Find some group of people and cause bound by something other than simply being coworkers working on bubble-ish webapps or boring corporate software. For me, this is FreeBSD -- the problems are interesting personally from running my laptop to scaling the Internet in my day job, the work and skills will transcend any one job I ever have, and the people are the best I've ever met.
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cianchette 3 hours ago 3 replies      
After reading on HN about the miners in England yesterday, it's difficult to generate too much sympathy for your situation.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9677863

I hope that you translate your passion into using technology to truly help make the world a better place.

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smhg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There are quite a few different topics in this post. I just take one: the fact that people keep reinventing the wheel (libraries/systems/platforms) and the frustration that triggers.

Humans aren't really "built" to cooperate, right? I think almost all could accomplish far more if it would be easier/more obvious to work together. We call competition healthy, and it might be, but it also takes the focus away from cooperation.

It takes a lot of effort to make others (peers, customers, managers,...) work together. And if some don't (which is often the case), the amount of effort required grows exponentially. Although the satisfaction is huge, it's easy to think the cost is greater than the benefit.

Just a guess of course, but maybe this is what the author lacks in his/her career? Too little cooperative efforts on the tasks he/she performed?

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some_furry 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Poor Eevee. :(

I hope he finds happiness from his new path in life. Goodness knows he wasn't finding it in his previous one.

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TheGunner 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for him, I'd be surprised if he didn't end up back in the tech industry at some point in the future but the guy obviously needs a break/change of scene. Hope it works out for him
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jliptzin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You don't have to justify yourself for quitting your boring full-time job. Most people don't have that option and you're in a fortunate position. I wish I knew more people like you with the courage to actually quit once you're able. I have too many friends who continue to slave away, complaining about their jobs, yet have banked 7 digits+, all because they think that they'd feel out of place and without things to do if they quit, or just want to continue accumulating more money. I don't see a reason to accumulate money if you have no time to spend it.
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Kiro 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I definitely don't agree with everyone screaming "burnout" in this thread. I feel exactly the same and I'm far from burnt out. Some people are just not fit to be employed.
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shabinesh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am in a similar phase, just two more days left in my current job. After that I shall start working on my own projects and freelance and build MVPs for startups to keep me afloat, which I also enjoy for the fulfilling responsibility. But I am only experimenting it for next few months and if it doesn't work out I shall fall-back. Good luck for your next steps.
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mrgriscom 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd like to plug going part-time as a good way to temper burnout and provide a soft landing for if/when you eventually decide to leave. You still get some money coming in -- proportionally more due to progressive taxation. You still have benefits, which the company may or may not still cover as if you were full-time. You avoid abrupt life change while getting a four-day weekend every week. If your company values you they will probably be more open to this arrangement than you may think.
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stkni 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is interesting mostly because it echoes my feelings of dissonance with the employers I've worked for.

My conclusion was that I needed to be more in tune with the/a business that I'm ultimately trying to serve, and therefore to be closer too it. Because until then it all seems like pointless bit shifting.

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notNow 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
words of advice to the author of this piece: Just take a vacation and go somewhere new and interesting and then unwind for some time and after you clear up your mind, re-evaluate your decision and see what's good for you going forward and I'm sure you will manage to sort all of this out.

Best wishes

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jkot 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps it is just working environment? Since I quit cubicle my productivity skyrocketed and I actually enjoy it.

Banging your head against a wall on unsolvable problem? Lets take kids for lunch, some swimming on beach. I will resume head banging at evening, but problem is usually cracked before that.

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thrillgore 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds to me that the OP simply got tired of confronting an endless sea of technical debt. It happens to the best of us.
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ivan_ah 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This post reminded me of another I-quit-the-industry blog post from a while back: http://mashable.com/2014/04/30/programming-sucks/
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hias 2 hours ago 1 reply      
so he did not quit the tech industry at all but decided to create his own business :-)
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scolfax 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Well said. I checked the article, and apparently I didn't write it.
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peter303 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been in it 43 years! Still as fun as when I started.
47
jgwynn2901 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
boo friken hoo!
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mvanvoorden 2 hours ago 2 replies      
We're not meant to do jobs, this is just some modern made up concept to keep people busy so they don't see they are actually analogous to cattle.

So that you don't care about the virtual problems you solve for virtual company X, is perfectly normal and healthy. They are not your problems, they are not even remotely life-threatening, and so they are not relevant for survival.

Jobs are just created to keep us busy, as I said before.If we imagine a world without money (realistic or not), about 90% (educated guess) of jobs would not even exist anymore, as those are just jobs that do some money-related thing: Banking, insurance, financial advice, most lawyers, any administration department at any organisation.Indirectly even more jobs would disappear, because there is no need to compete financially, which means for example all R&D in a specific field can be brought together, as no one has to invent their (still unpatented) version of their wheel anymore.

We would be in a world where only work is done that is needed, that is directly involved with our survival, curiosity or entertainment, and no 'need' is created by some virtual dependencies. We would live in a world where everybody has the time and freedom to pursue their own dreams, without having to be afraid they will get in trouble later (because no pension built up etc).

We would also able to always pursue the most efficient and sustainable way to do something, as money is out of the equation. No more fraud, no more oil leaking in the oceans, no more rainforests cut down, and with all the empty offices due to disappeared redundant jobs, the demand for resources will be down and we wouldn't have to build any new houses or shelter for many years to come.

So yes, wake up and stop working and go exploring. Travel the world, find a skill that is directly useful to people, as helping out people will make you happy and you will get food/shelter in return even without asking for that. See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7SVLaDdvDY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCFe2KnBuJ0

Anyway, don't worry about financials. I went travelling in 2013, through Europe and Canary Islands, and spent about 5000 euro's in 18 months. With what I've learned now, I could spend twice the amount of time travelling with the same money.

At the moment I'm (unfortunately) working in IT again, because I haven't found the way yet to earn bread on the road. When I started travelling I knew nothing, now I know what to do and so this will be the last time I will spend many hours a day in an office, as my salary will buy me all the gear I need to make a(n easier) transition.

Anyway, whatever you do, don't lock yourself up in a stone prison for the rest of your life. Become your own boss. Don't spend your life realizing other people's dreams and wealth, because you WILL regret it when you are a pensioner, as then you find out you forgot to live your own life and there's no energy left for it now.

49
imaginenore 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I did that. I stopped working full time. I started working on my own projects, which I have like 10 of, all very different. 3 of the ones I launched are already making okay money, paying half of our rent.

The mental change is tremendous - I don't have a manager harassing me, I do everything on my own schedule. I can switch between whatever projects I want, whenever I want.

The only thing that I miss is working with the people who are smarter than me.

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beachstartup 3 hours ago 0 replies      
i find it impressive he resisted using the word 'fuck' until about 2/3rds of the way through. he may have a future yet.

the irony of course, is that anger and humiliation and frustration drive you to start your own company, but if you succeed, you will basically deal with new instantiations of the same old problems, except this time it's all your fault and they still need to be fixed. now 'that guy' is you. congratulations! you've made it.

technical debt, constant stressful fire-drills, ludicrously overloaded schedules, demands on your time and patience, inane re-inventions of established technology, etc. plus a whole host of others ('unknown unknowns') that you can't even begin to fathom as someone who was paid handsomely to care only about the technical problems in an organization.

but, of course, you will be king shit sittin' pretty at the top of the whole shit-heap by then, and see the entire heap of shit from a new, exciting, gilded perspective. and this is, in and of itself, worth something. in fact, it can be worth a shitload.

they don't call it an exit strategy for nothing!

51
ianstallings 1 hour ago 0 replies      
He sounds like an entrepreneur that wants to do his own thing, and he's using his anger at the industry for motivation. We all find our power somewhere.
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smcl 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Anyone know what's with the black "x" characters which appear through the article?
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outsidetheparty 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep, job burnout is the pits.
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makeitsuckless 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ive worked remotely my whole career"

Regardless of all the perfectly valid reasons for being unhappy in what most people consider a cushy job (the author seems perfectly aware of that), this could possibly be an important factor here.

Working remotely means you only get a small slice of what most people get out of their job. Again, this is perfectly fine if you're not "most people", but if you've never known anything else than that may play a considerable role in being dissatisfied with having a job.

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DanielBMarkham 2 hours ago 1 reply      
In a way, this is a good argument for contracting, as long as you do it right.

If you know useful stuff, people will always offer you a bag of money to help them out. It is extremely rare that you get the bag of money and you get to do exactly what your passion is. Heck, most of us just have some vague idea of what our passion is anyway. So it's always some sort of compromise.

But with contracting, you should be looking at a fixed amount of time working, then a fixed amount of "downtime", then back to the market again. You should ask for enough money in the bag (or adjust your expenses) so that both the uptime and downtime is included in the payout. Otherwise you become a prisoner of your own lifestyle -- which is a godawful place to be.

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tmaly 3 hours ago 0 replies      
well written post!
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davidgerard 3 hours ago 0 replies      
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billpaetzke 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> I've worked remotely my entire career

Perhaps some of the angst stems from this bias. I wonder how well Yelp handles remote workers.

How my father gave me a terrifying lesson at 10 bbc.co.uk
400 points by arethuza  2 days ago   160 comments top 26
1
kh_hk 2 days ago 4 replies      
My dad worked for some years on a coal mine when he was 16. Mind you, this was on a remote village during the post-war era on Spain. He has countless histories even though he does not share them often; smelly rooms with bunk beds, cold winters, or fishing on a pond with dynamite. He later moved from there to the big city, took correspondence studies on electricity and started a tour around multiple companies and projects as an electrician until he settled on one company (a company that started small but later became one of the biggest multinational corporations of pool products) where he worked until retiring.

Sometimes he would do side jobs fixing pools and fancy installations on the high profile clients. I've been there with him helping out. He once told me: "see these big houses, two pools and an spa? They think they need all this, but have no time to enjoy themselves. Me? I have everything I ever wanted."

He has been all his life self learning just as a pastime. His side project being going back to his old village to build a well and water installations to help farmers irrigate their fields. He even used water pressure to make a kind of 'protocol' to communicate different panels. When you go there, it's crazy land. He's been iterating over his initial design for more than 40 years, and he keeps going at it now at 79. One thing he usually says, contrary to what most people think is that life is long, really long. There's time for everything.

We come from two different worlds. To me it's not just about him being a role model but showing him gratitude for all he has taught me.

2
PaulRobinson 2 days ago 2 replies      
The coal mines were tough places way back when. I know a few old boys from the mines in Wales and Lancashire, less so over in Yorkshire.

Hard. As. Fuck.

Almost fearless. Grateful for a quiet life now they're out of it.

I know one guy who bought a very small mine in the High Peak which he and a mate thought there was 3-4 years work left in for them. Just them. On their own. Tiny, tiny seam. Off they went. Utterly bonkers.

I grew up in a mill town myself, and all the local towns have stories about kids being put to work and the odd one being killed. My school trips were to Litton Mill, where the working conditions were once so bad there was a Parliamentary enquiry into the child deaths there.

What I'm getting to is, I am unbelievably lucky to live in the age I do where I get to work with my brain, I was able to get a decent education despite relatively modest beginnings and I would never, ever, ever look down on a manual labourer like a coal miner: they were tough bastards.

And it is of course now mostly past tense - not many mines left in the UK, despite there still being plenty of coal down there.

3
michaelkeenan 1 day ago 0 replies      
George Orwell has a great essay about his visits to coal mines: http://www.george-orwell.org/Down_The_Mine/0.html

"It is impossible to watch the 'fillers' at work without feeling a pang of envy for their toughness. It is a dreadful job that they do, an almost superhuman job by the standard of an ordinary person. For they are not only shifting monstrous quantities of coal, they are also doing it in a position that doubles or trebles the work. They have got to remain kneeling all the while--they could hardly rise from their knees without hitting the ceiling--and you can easily see by trying it what a tremendous effort this means. Shovelling is comparatively easy when you are standing up, because you can use your knee and thigh to drive the shovel along; kneeling down, the whole of the strain is thrown upon your arm and belly muscles. And the other conditions do not exactly make things easier. There is the heat--it varies, but in some mines it is suffocating--and the coal dust that stuffs up your throat and nostrils and collects along your eyelids, and the unending rattle of the conveyor belt, which in that confined space is rather like the rattle of a machine gun. But the fillers look and work as though they were made of iron. They really do look like iron hammered iron statues--under the smooth coat of coal dust which clings to them from head to foot. It is only when you see miners down the mine and naked that you realize what splendid men they are. Most of them are small (big men are at a disadvantage in that job) but nearly all of them have the most noble bodies; wide shoulders tapering to slender supple waists, and small pronounced buttocks and sinewy thighs, with not an ounce of waste flesh anywhere. In the hotter mines they wear only a pair of thin drawers, clogs and knee-pads; in the hottest mines of all, only the clogs and knee-pads. You can hardly tell by the look of them whether they are young or old. They may be any age up to sixty or even sixty-five, but when they are black and naked they all look alike. No one could do their work who had not a young man's body, and a figure fit for a guardsman at that, just a few pounds of extra flesh on the waist-line, and the constant bending would be impossible. You can never forget that spectacle once you have seen it--the line of bowed, kneeling figures, sooty black all over, driving their huge shovels under the coal with stupendous force and speed."

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chiph 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're ever in the Scranton PA area in the summer, visit the Lackawanna Coal Mine, part of the Anthracite Heritage Museum. Cost is $10. Take a light jacket as it's cool down there.

Fact I learned on the tour - the wooden supports you see in the old mines aren't there to support the roof. They're there to provide warning (when they break) that the roof is coming down.

5
earlz 1 day ago 3 replies      
Although not nearly as horrific as a coal mine, I learned this type of lesson in a bout of unemployment. I'm a self-taught programmer, and had been laid off of my job, and with only 1 year of experience and no degree it's super tough to get anything in a small town.

So, I ended up working at a local factory. The labor itself was hard, hot, and sweaty(in the summer, the temp was usually around 120F), but you got use to it after a month or two if you don't have a heat stroke (which is common).. The most horrifying thing I saw in this though was the utter disregard for human life.

If you got hurt on the job for any reason, the company would try to find anyway they could to fire you as soon as possible. One guy had a family to feed and all, and due to a missing guard ended up grinding a spot on his arm down to the bone. Although the department head had told him to work as fast as possible and disregard the missing guard, it was the employees fault for getting hurt. He came in the next day bandaged up and on painkillers (because they still didn't let him have a day off) and then fired him at around an hour before closing.

In another case, a guy in my department that I commonly ate with lost his finger. I didn't hear the story of what exactly happened, but he was fired, determined to be his fault. Also, the factory tended to actually be a highly sought after job. It was well paid (for the area, around $13/hour) and accepted anyone with a high school diploma. So, if you complained about too much, you could easily find yourself canned for not meeting impossible quotas and with a replacement at your station in less than a week.

Also, people drove from all over (Oklahoma) to go to this job. So, when there was a rare snow storm and most people were trapped in their house, they all had to take "points" (ie, their only allocated time off) if they couldn't leave. I think 5 or 6 people wrecked on the way to work.. They kept this crap up even after being sued for some relatively small amount by an ex-employee for being fired due to crashing on the way to work when there was an ice storm (She was fired because she ran out of her allocated time off)

The way the managers and company would treat humans more like robots was really more painful than the work, and when I quit (because I got a programming job again) I did not complete my 2 weeks I was suppose to and ensured that I'd never be able to work there again

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LordKano 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I was a grade-school child, we were taken on a tour of a coal mine.

It was an operating mine but there was a section that had been updated to safely give tours.

I was too young to appreciate the kind of effort that went into being a miner but it was readily apparent to me that I did NOT want that kind of life.

When I was working my way through college, I had a summer job at a machine shop. We made parts for train cars. Two months of that work made me appreciate the value of the education that I was getting. Every day when I woke up, my hands were too cramped to move them. I used to have to wake up 10 minutes early and place my hands under my back to use the weight of my body to stretch them out before I began my day. I began to experience numbness in my fingertips that didn't go away until more than 6 months after I left that place to go back to college.

All in all, I think it's a good idea to give people a taste of work like this while they still have choices. It's far better to know, in advance, what you're in for if you do not acquire some other marketable skill.

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golemotron 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a kid I heard the song 'We Work The Black Seam Together' by Sting. It was protesting the closure of mines in England. Even as a kid I couldn't imagine what was going through his head. Yes many minors were put out of work and I'm sure many of them and their families were put into horrible poverty or worse but breaking the generational cycle had to have been a positive thing.
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BJBBB 2 days ago 1 reply      
Gave self a "terrifying lesson". Enlisted in the Marine Corps on an open contract. From Day #1, was surrounded by profoundly competent, but wholly crazy, people that seemed to cherish all manner of physical discomfort or mental terror experienced in the course of a day's 'work'. Damn right that the VA benefits were subsequently used for school and CS degree.
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nate_meurer 2 days ago 2 replies      
I can't visualize what's happening when they move the jacks and let the roof collapse. Obviously they don't let it trap them, but I don't understand where the face, cutter, and jacks are in relation to the tunnel that lets them in and out. Does anyone here know?
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ed_blackburn 2 days ago 2 replies      
As people in the UK can gather from my surname my family is originally from the North West. Both sides of my family were coal miners. Both met an early grave thanks to coal dust. My father worked at the pit above ground.

My grandparents and parents worked very hard to provide me with the environment to succeed. Success? Stopping another generation from going down the pit.

Whilst I was at university so many other students had the same background. As mundane as call centre and supermarket work maybe at least so few are subjected to those working conditions in the UK now.

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fit2rule 2 days ago 12 replies      
My version of this, with my Dad, was when I was precocious 16 year old, failing highschool because I was spending all my time hacking code, smoking pot, and girlfriends. Not a bit of schoolwork was being done, and my Dad was having none of it.

So he gave me a summer job. In the hot Australian sunshine, I was sent off to be a labourer on building sites. Since I was the young blood, the brickies and other construction types gave me the shit jobs .. moving piles of bricks from one end of the universe to the other, shovelling shit from one end of the universe to the other, getting lunch and ciggies and mud and bricks to the brickies from one end of the universe to the other. It was monotonous, hot, boring work, and I hated getting up at 5am every day just to get there on time, and work until the sun went down every day, just to go to bed in time to get up again and start moving shit from one end of the universe to the other.

It did teach me a lesson, and that lesson - which dear reader I hope you understand - is that work is good for you. It expands your universe and gives you a life beyond the realms of the little box we're otherwise born with.

So, at the end of summer, I took my hard-earned wages, bought myself a new computer, got back to hacking, split up with my girlfriend, and got myself the hell out of that situation.

And I've never looked back.

Well, now I look back .. because now I'm the Dad, and more than anything else in the world I want my kids to grow up knowing that hard work is good for you, but smart work is better. Don't know how its going to happen, but that's the joy of fatherhood, innit ..

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ColinWright 2 days ago 4 replies      
Here's a rough translation of most of it. There may be errors, and I would be happy for more fluent speakers of proper deep Yorkshire to correct them.

 "Come on, son. Gerrup! Ah've a surprise for thi!"
Come on son, get up! I've a surprise for you!

 "Ah see Leetning lost three on t' thutty-niners t' other week, Poke. Bloody belt'll kill some'dy sooin, tha knows."
I see Lightning lost three (fingers) on the thirty-niners the other week, Poke. Bloody (conveyer) belt will kill somebody soon, you know.

Poke was the author's father's nickname.

"Lightning" was his father's best friend's nickname.

"Thutty-nine" was the coalface they were working on.

 Dad often threw a sickie ...
To take a day off as sick leave, despite not being ill.

 "Stick wi' me, son. Tha'll be reet."
Stick with me, son. You'll be right."

 "Hey up, Poke. Is that thy lad?"
Hey up, Poke. Is that your son?

 "Hey up, Young Pokey. Is tha barn darn t' pit?"
Hey up, son of Poke. Is the child down the pit?

 "Aye, sither. Ah'm barn darn t' thutty-niners wi' t' fa'ther."
Aye, you see. I'm (the) child down the coalface with the father.

 "He's a cheyky young bleeder. Tha wants to gi'im thick end o' thi belt."
He's a cheeky you lad. You want to give him (the) thick end of your belt.

 "Tha knows Leetning, dun't tha?"
You know Lightning, don't you?

 "Aye, sither, but even then Ah still do bart twice as much as thi fa'ther."
Aye, you see, but even then I still do about twice as much as your father.

 "But thy an't had thi surprise yet,"
But you haven't had your surprise yet.

 "Poke's lad darn yet?"
(Is) Poke's son down (here) yet?

 "Reet oh. Ah'll start droppin 'em. Watch thi'sens."
Right oh. I'll start dropping them. Watch yourselves.

 "Tha wain't say nowt to thi mam nar, will tha? This is just between us men."
You won't say anything (lit. nothing) to your mother, will you? This is just between us men.

 "But tha knows why he done it, dun't tha?"
But you know why he did it, don't you?

 "Nay, lad,"
No, lad.

 "Thi dad had to grease a few palms to get thi darn t' pit that day, tha knows."
Your dad had to bribe a few people to get you down the pit that day, you know.

 "Nar look at thi. Tha passed thi Eleven Plus, ...
Now look at you. You passed your 11-plus (a significant school exam),

 "... tha's bin to college an' tha's got a reet good job, an't tha?
... you've been to college, and you've got a right good job, haven't you?

 "Exactly! Sither nar, sunshine?"
Exactly! See it now, sunshine?

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DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article has a nice photograph of supports being installed.

Those supports are active - they move forward as the coal is being cut. They have something called a "Chock Control Interface" (it's the smallish box, at knee hight, on the hydrolic arm, with the big thick cables attached.)

I used to build and test those boxes. I was part of a sub-contract firm, the client was Dowty Mining, then Longwall, then Joy Mining. They were fun to build - you used a variety of different engineering.

Seeing that photo gave me a bit of a flashback.

EDIT: This article mentions a radio programme, but does not link to it. The BBC iPlayer makes it hard to find the programme the article talks about.

Here are some about coal mining (including "The Light", the programme talked about): http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/collections/p02t6qzd

(One of those mentions the Forest of Dean, which is where one of the Stack Exchange devs is from.)

and here's a direct link to The Light: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05y4f96

And here's another programme from that author about growing up poor: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nzqvr

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Treyno 2 days ago 3 replies      
Anybody who is interested in this dialect or 'Yorkshire Life' should give Kes a watch http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064541/
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10098 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm relieved to say that whole drunk father story turned out better than I expected.
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gregsq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Conditions in Victorian coal mines shocked victorian England, particularly when it was discovered that topless young girls co worked with naked men.

My family in medieval times were squires. My grandparents in Yorkshire worked in these conditions. What I've inherited from it is a very strong back.

It's a fascinating time, and a commission was formed by queen victoria to look into it.

This may interest some.

http://www.victorianweb.org/history/ashley.html

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mjklin 2 days ago 0 replies      
... And that's why you always leave a note!
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BuildTheRobots 1 day ago 0 replies      
People in the UK can listen to this on BBC (radio) iPlayer as it was on Radio4 this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05y4f96
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learnstats2 2 days ago 7 replies      
On British regional accents:

I saw a BBC drama from the 1970s where a man with a West Country accent would say (it was subtitled as) e.g. "He'm a farmer", replacing "He is a farmer", consistently throughout.

I have never come across that grammar before and can't find any source for it. All of his other grammatical constructions were comfortably familiar, and no other character (not even neighbours in the same village) spoke in that way.

I wondered, were we supposed to understand something particular from that? Would we have, in the 1970s?

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spacemanmatt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having just read the article, I'm now so much more thankful that watching my parents' relative struggle was informative enough for me to pursue education and a good career, that they never had to "scare" me out of anything.
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wumbernang 2 days ago 1 reply      
An anecdote...

My father did the same thing in a mid 80s scenario in the UK.

He took me to work. At the time, he was importing containers full of stuff from Taiwan for the the new PC clone market i.e. building PCs, assembling them and reselling them.

I spent an entire day slicing my hands open on cheap PC cases, box cutters, cardboard boxes and standing on dropped PC case screws and installing MS DOS.

To the child poster, as HN has stopped me replying, yes literally slicing my hands up - they were cheap pressed metal back then and had edges like razor blades.

This is why I did electrical engineering and now software :)

(incidentally his volume was 4x Michael Dell's back then but due to sod-all business sense, he screwed the company up)

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na85 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still have no idea what the surprise was. That was really poorly written. The roof caved in? They did it on purpose and then something exploded?
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VLM 2 days ago 5 replies      
"I'd finished college, got my degree and had a highly paid job in social work"

Is that the famous British humor, or do they actually get paid pretty well on that side of the pond?

The popular theme of denigration of labor and blue collar work in general was carefully followed to the letter in the story, but, the author hid some social rebellion in there, describing the feeling of brotherhood and family the workers feel for each other. I worked some labor type jobs as a school kid back when that would actually pay your tuition without taking out loans (aka I'm old) and I also did some time in the reserves and shared adversity leads to brotherhood. You put up with insanity because 1) you actually can do it and 2) your brothers need you. To this day no one has ever had my back and vice versa quite like this one grocery store night shift manager or this one sergeant I was assigned to in the army. Never, in all my white collar experience since. Given the working conditions I don't think making a life of it would be wise, but its an experience worth having.

There's a side dish of most people are extremely soft and aspire to be soft, yet, most people really can also be old school tough.

Also a lesson about anxiety, telling the kid they're going to drop the face would probably create great anxiety and terror for every second from when he heard about it until after the drop, assuming the kid had any idea what they were planning.

It was an enjoyable story and thx for posting.

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ColinWright 2 days ago 4 replies      
Does anyone need a translation of any of that? I don't speak broad Yorkshire, but I can probably help out with the more difficult bits.

I never was given a lesson like this, but I learned the same lesson by working one summer in a factory that made gas barbecues. I saw the hard physical work, the utter tedium, and it was without doubt the best motivation to get a good degree and work I enjoyed.

This was a great read. Thank you.

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nl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Make sure you read to the end. TL;DR doesn't really work.
Placebo Button placebobutton.com
419 points by luu  1 day ago   178 comments top 79
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codeshaman 23 hours ago 4 replies      
Brilliant idea and I feel like I've already got what I pressed - "focus".The first thing, of course, is to write a comment on HN and then I'll focus :)).

But the concept might just work.

People believe in crazy, irrational things and it actually seems to help them, so why not a button which does this ?

Here's a story. Last month I've travelled to Romania, which is a beautiful country and one of the main attractions there is the multitude of churches and beautiful monasteries on top of mountains. So I arrived at this monastery where a famous priest was buried and people from all over the country and the world come and visit his grave. They wait for hours in line and eventually they get maybe 30 seconds in front of his grave and they kneel and kiss the cross and make all kinds of wishes.From a rational perspective, what those people are doing is totally absurd - even if the dead priest could manipulate this world from 'the other world', why would people think that in order to be helped they have to kiss his grave ?

But I've heard countless stories of miracle cures - cancers, paralysis, etc, after people visited his grave so maybe there is a force at work which helps them, which I think is the force of placebo.

Stories like this are abundant all over the world so if you're in the Church of the Digital, a digital button might just be a trigger for some force inside our minds.

2
jMyles 22 hours ago 2 replies      
> That means, if I give you a placebo, and tell you it's a placebo, there's a 1 in 3 chance it will help alleviate symptoms of whatever I say it's for.

I've seen this avert bad trips.

"This is a coin. It's just a regular coin from my pocket, but I want you to carry, and know that as long as you carry this coin - for the rest of the night - you'll be safe."

3
gcb0 22 hours ago 6 replies      
in pro audio equipment, there is often a flashy colored button on the panel, unmarked, that the documentation call the "client button". it does absolutely nothing, and the manufacturer suggest you press it when the client is annoying you for "more weight" or "more color" or some other nonsense.
4
kevinmchugh 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Choose your own well-researched 'tokenadult rejection of placebo efficacy here: https://hn.algolia.com/?sort=byPopularity&prefix=false&page=...
5
drvortex 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not the placebo effect working despite the user not having faith in it.

By providing the information you do on the web page, you are suggesting (and perhaps convincing) the user that the placebo will work despite being a placebo. Therefore, it might work by a placebo effect on the effectiveness of the placebo.

You are placebo-ing the placebo. Inception all over again, eh.

6
SlyShy 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Reminds me of a brain hack I employ. Intentionally worshipping Placebo as a god makes me laugh, thus activating his miraculous healing powers: http://zencephalon.com/placebo
7
stdbrouw 23 hours ago 0 replies      
On the other hand there's http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200105243442106, a meta-analysis which shows that while placebos might make people feel better, you don't actually get better which is about what you'd expect and probably not shocking to most of you... but you'd be surprised at the mystical powers that are sometimes ascribed to placebos.
8
fmeyer 21 hours ago 2 replies      
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Ryan_Jones 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Make the SEO play here. Create a static link for each button with the text that I type in, so I can link people right to it. Then, with proper title and headings, etc you can probably get some traffic for "random long tail term button"
10
huuu 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I read a story about a guy who changed his password into his next goal. Every day he had to type it and was reminded by his goal.

This button might also be a great goal reminder...

Edit: https://medium.com/@manicho/how-a-password-changed-my-life-7...

11
gjm11 23 hours ago 2 replies      
There are lots of actual placebo buttons out there in the world on pedestrian crossings, elevators, etc.; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_button for an overview.
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sopooneo 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Noting that some replies here are describing positive results, I wonder if atheist organizations could make use of the principal. Have an understanding that for the one hour every Sunday that you spend together in the while building, you will say things you all acknowledge as nonsense. But keep up the pretense for that hour and do the chants and make the incantations because we find that it makes us feel happier and more looked after. Then stream out the doors at the end to resume our devout denial.

Actually, many people may be doing this already.

13
hyperpallium 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Many ailments have a stress-related component, as the purpose of our stress response is to handle an immediate threat, diverting energy away from long-term tasks like healing, fighting infection etc.

A placebo is a reassurance, that we don't need to worry, we are being looked after, protected, safe, and everything will be ok.

Thus, the immune system gets its resources back, and gets on with its job. We heal.

sorry, no references, just seems a simple explanation of the observed evidence (eg so strong that double-blind experimental design is required to prevent it confounding drug test results).

14
paulbaumgart 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I typed in "cure my superstitious beliefs," and it totally worked!!!
15
iMark 23 hours ago 1 reply      
"Fix my code" has yet to produce a tangible result, but I shan't give up easily!

click

click

...

16
eblume 22 hours ago 1 reply      
That was just bizarre. Had a stomach ache. Typed 'stomach ache', hit the button. Ache gone.

The brain is a strange, strange organ.

17
koz1000 18 hours ago 0 replies      
So I had a similar idea a long time ago (when I worked at a gaming company) to put a large illuminated button right on the front panel of the machine, simply labelled:

 [ LUCK ]
...that did absolutely nothing. It would have (by design) NOT been connected to anything other than lamp power. I'm convinced it would have been a great hit. My colleagues were not as convinced.

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d--b 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great, but I have a feeling that it's not very well executed. For the placebo effect to work you still need to take the pill, which means that you suggest something might happen. Here the reaction time is way too fast, so it's obviously a fluke for the mind. Add a progress bar that simulates a long and non linear process, and I think the effect is going to be much greater.
19
solox3 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Misinterpreted the question, "what do you want your button to do", and typed "Turn red." Needless to say, it turned red.
20
rnhmjoj 21 hours ago 1 reply      
You think it has cured you even you know it is a placebo because there is a study that says it and you put your faith in it. The study itself is a placebo. A metaplacebo.
21
olympus 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Doing it to yourself isn't so much the placebo effect, but rather autosuggestion. It was created by mile Cou, who used to tell his patients to tell themselves every morning, "Every day, I am getting better" (in French of course).

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

22
billpg 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I seem to recall an application where the developer inserted a completely pointless delay after clicking the button before reporting completion, because people couldn't quite believe that a computer (or anything) could complete such a big important task in a fraction of a second.

Maybe this button should wait a random period of time. Its doing really important work.

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jakobegger 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I already feel much better after pressing the button.
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crimsonalucard 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This button needs to enable url query parameters so I can send custom buttons to other people.
25
synthmeat 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I typed up "Placebo Effect" in the little box, clicked, and - wouldn't you know it - I felt cured from Placebo Effect instantly!
26
bturn021 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a phd student in marketing and my research is on the placebo effect. Not only does the research back up the idea of a "placebo" button, but also its evil cousin the "nocebo". That is, if you typed in something negative (I.e. This will make my head hurt) then if you are prone to suggestion (as many people are) the. You will feel worse.
27
charlysisto 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You probably know the joke (from popstar Zizek) :

When a friend of Niels Bohr (quantum theory) goes to his house in the country side he's bewildered by a horse shoe hanging on the great scientific genius's door. When Niels opens the friends asks : "but truly a rational man like you, how could you give any credit to such superstitions" and Niels Bohr answers : "Well I heard that superstition works even if you don't believe in it"

Yes I'm amazed by the power of placebo because "it works even if you know its a one/don't believe in it."

I actually wrote in the placebo field : "Give me a break". And my God it worked. I felt relieved. Like that weight on my chest just faded away. Although I suspect the fact the button/pill is blue has something to do with it.

Anyway who cares... "Give me a steak"

28
jhildings 23 hours ago 1 reply      
It worked with <marquee> and other HTML tags , not sure if bug or feature :D
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CompanyLaser 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I entered "Self Destruct DO NOT PRESS!"

...FWEW! Just the adrenaline kick I needed.

30
Bdiem 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So, what did I want the button to do? I tried the following with success: "visual changes on press then revert to original state"
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ethagknight 21 hours ago 0 replies      
A list of items entered into the Placebo Button would be quite interesting, grouped together by similarities.
32
larkspur 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Could we have a red button, which would be better for "activating" suggestions like increased energy, in addition to the blue button, best for "inhibiting" suggestions like pain relief?
33
drewmate 22 hours ago 0 replies      
That flashing background effect is a little off-putting. At first I thought something was wrong with the fluorescent lights in my office, then I realized I don't have any fluorescent lights in my office...
34
Animats 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Soon to be available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Only $2.50 per month. You can opt out of marketing communications for an extra $3.95 per month.
35
egypturnash 20 hours ago 0 replies      
What a beautiful piece of magic for rationalists!

Really. Go read 'The Camel Rides Again' with an open mind: http://thebaptistshead.co.uk/2007/09/16/the-camel-rides-agai... it's short) and consider how this is any different from the methods described there.

36
Procrastes 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Just at a glance, it doesn't seem to record the requests. This would be a great stealth survey for problems to solve if it saved the requests anonymously.
37
bshimmin 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I asked it to finish all my client work this week so I could spend more time with my family and also work on my neglected side projects. Looking in git, there are zero new commits, so I'm assuming this didn't work (or the fairies it invokes don't believe in version control, which is equally worrying). 1 star, would not click again.
38
morganvachon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried "make the work day go by faster" (I'm currently stuck at the sales desk -- again -- instead of getting real work done, because the lead rep is on vacation -- again). I've been browsing HN for the past 10 minutes of my afternoon break, and it's like the break was over way too soon. So...working, maybe?
39
chx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Crazy as it sounds but as some/many/most illnesses are psychosomatic just by making yourself believe you'll be healthy you actually will be. This is solid science not some mumbo-jumbo.
40
wkcamp 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I already have begun levitating...In just a few days, I will finally be able to fly--just like Superman.
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gtrubetskoy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Can I set the text via a url or query arg, e.g. http://placebobutton.com/?foo+bar ?
42
scottmcdot 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be good if I could pre-write the purpose of the button and email it to a friend.
44
varunjuice 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Focusing illusion states "Nothing In Life Is As Important As You Think It Is, While You Are Thinking About It"

I think the Placebo button addresses this, as this is a cause of significant stress in our lives.

45
DrBergie 20 hours ago 0 replies      
How about hint text in the edit box that changes for each page serve:"I will become a better person""The neighbors will become less noisy""I will achieve my goals in life"
46
bhayden 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I typed that I would be very productive today, and I was more productive than I've been in weeks.
47
codazoda 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if a reminder would work in the same way. Set a recurring reminder on your phone. Dismissing it is your Placebo. The act of swiping that notification off your phone just might fix what ails you.
48
amelius 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see the placebo effect correlated with IQ.
49
moron4hire 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I typed in "cure my headache", clicked the button, and felt the unmistakable feeling of endorphins flooding my brain. Maybe. Might be mistaken.
50
Houshalter 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if being told that "a placebo works, even though you know it is a placebo", is itself a placebo.
51
skidoo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite version was this:

http://vhemt.org/philrel.htm#button

52
rsync 19 hours ago 1 reply      
You can make this very mind-twistingly self-referential ...

What if you enter in this phrase:

"Pressing this button will cause my placebo effect to go away"

53
ljk 16 hours ago 0 replies      
what if by pressing the button you get the feeling of accomplishment without doing any of the work? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHopJHSlVo4
54
caseysoftware 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I prefer the Ham Button: http://hambutton.com/
55
flowless 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Typed 'make people stop using javascript'. And it didn't work cause of NoScript :(
56
vishalzone2002 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't believe this made it to the top of HN. Shouldn't it be Show HN? BTW, did not work for me for that stats.
57
loganlucid 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is normal human tendencies and I believe even placebo effect is part of daily routine...which could be changed just as habits...there could be certain chances that it will turn once individual brain to be addictive.....its funny that blackmajic is shifting its platform to software...serious upgrade...
58
chris-at 17 hours ago 0 replies      
So is there a placebo button that supports "force touch" yet? ;
59
bhartzer 22 hours ago 0 replies      
So if I click it 3 times one of those times my wish will come true? (Well, scientifically speaking?)
60
myth_buster 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to see the data.
61
robbrit 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been pushing this all afternoon. Feels great.
62
nusbit 19 hours ago 1 reply      
may I ask you how much you make with ads? ( just out of curiosity )
63
dmd 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I typed "make it not so quiet in here" and clicked it. It worked!
64
ph0rque 23 hours ago 6 replies      
I typed, "make me a millionaire" and it didn't work :(.
65
ourmandave 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it work if I write a cron job to click the button for me?
66
rudyl313 21 hours ago 1 reply      
A placebo won't work if you know it's a placebo.
67
Hengjie 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I should grow my startup this way. Seems to work!
68
_sb1 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is "placebo works even when its known that its a placebo" a placebo ?
69
BlackLamb 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Now open source the data. :)
70
snowwrestler 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome way to build a database of people's biggest problems.
71
jtth 20 hours ago 0 replies      
That sound is fantastic.
72
larkspur 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Mindhacker News.
73
hamburglar 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I clicked it 3 times so my EV would be 1.
74
jlebrech 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I cured aids
75
pikachu_is_cool 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I typed "kill me" and it didn't work.
76
Dewie3 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> Did you know the Placebo Effect can occur even when you know it's a placebo? It's true.

Wait... a meta-placebo? :-)

77
0xdeadbeefbabe 22 hours ago 1 reply      
A mechanical button would work even better. Now that's science or at least a hypothesis you could test scientifically.
78
femto113 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried "Raise my HN Karma". So far nothing.
79
gulbrandr 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Why so much code for a single button?

 <table id="btn_table" style="padding-bottom:10px" height="300" width="300"> <tbody><tr><td style="cursor:pointer; background-image: url(img/button.png); background-repeat:no-repeat;" onclick="pushbutton()" height="300" align="center" valign="middle"><table height="250" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="250"><tbody><tr><td align="center" valign="middle"><span id="btn_text" style="width:250px; word-wrap:break-word; color:#ffffff; text-align:center; font-family: Arial bold, Helvetica, sans serif; font-size:36px"></span></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>

How to undo almost anything with Git github.com
400 points by agonzalezro  2 days ago   90 comments top 15
1
npongratz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've used the following flow chart to help determine strategies to get myself out of messes:

http://justinhileman.info/article/git-pretty/

Just another way of presenting similar information. No affiliation, just a satisfied consumer of the info :)

2
mmanfrin 1 day ago 9 replies      
My only real git crisis was when I accidentally `git push -f`ed what I thought was my own branch, but actually the `develop` branch. On a monday. After a weekend where about a hundred commits had been cherry picked and merged in to develop by a dev not in the office. None of my coworkers had recent versions of develop.

The thing that ended up saving me was our CI -- we autodeployed passing builds to our staging env; so we were able to ssh in and `git push -f` back from staging to our repo.

3
johnnymonster 1 day ago 4 replies      
This does not cover the only scenario which I was hoping it would. I accidentally pushed my api key/password to github and I want to "undo" that push and completely remove the history locally and on an origin? This is so obscure across many different outlets. And go ahead, flame me for pushing my password/api key to github, but all of you know you have done this at least once in your life!
4
js2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Was this taken from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9661349 or is it just a coincidence?
5
forrestthewoods 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm so glad I use Perforce. Yeah branches are a bit cumbersome. But it's idiot proof. There is literally no way for any artist to cause irreversible harm. They can't even do harm that isn't easy to fix with a few clicks in an easy to use, easy to understand, easy to discover GUI.

I suppose one of the key features of Git is the ability to rewrite history. It makes a lot of sense in the context of an open source project pulling in changes from the wild. For most of us such utilities aren't just useless they're actively harmful.

Never leave me P4. Please God never leave me.

6
thyrsus 1 day ago 5 replies      
Something I'm still working out....

I have a directory tree full of test data. As the project goes along, the test data will evolve, and thus should go under revision control.

Testing needs to start with known files, so, hey!, git checkout test_data - except that means my latest code revisions need to go into the test_data branch even before they're tested :-(.

Then the tests make their changes to the data, which the tests check, and which I then want to throw away. So: "git checkout test_data -f; git clean -f" -- except that cleans out the source code area as well as the test data area.

I'm thinking the test data should be separate repository. Is that a mistake?

[Edit] I've tried looking at stackoverflow.com, but searching for "git testing" returned ~7000 articles, the first few hundred of which didn't look relevant.

7
crimsonalucard 1 day ago 4 replies      
as great as git is, I wish there was something more intuitive. Git is definitely one of the more confusing tools out there.
9
chx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of rebase, I will fear no evil: for reflog are with me (sorry, couldn't resist)
10
daxelrod 1 day ago 0 replies      
See also http://sethrobertson.github.io/GitFixUm/fixup.html which has helped me immensely in the past.
11
nbouscal 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is pretty good, I had never seen autosquash before. Another rebase flag that I find useful is --onto. For example, to rebase only the most recent N commits of a branch onto master:

git rebase HEAD~N --onto master

12
chriscool 1 day ago 1 reply      
Instead of "git reset --hard stuff", I recommend "git reset --keep stuff" as it will not delete uncommited files in the working directory.
13
jokoon 1 day ago 0 replies      
git checkout is what I want to do most of the time, but I always have been confused with svn checkout, so I never could remember it.
14
vacri 1 day ago 1 reply      
One particularly tricky thing that this page doesn't mention is removing binary blobs (or any file) from the history. Someone committed tens of megabytes of binary stuff to one of our repos. A later commit 'fixed' this by removing them. But those binary blobs are still there, because it's a historical commit, meaning every time you clone the repo (or similar) you get huge amounts of crap.

Maybe --squash will fix it? Something to look at, I guess.

15
ocdtrekkie 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is pretty useful for Git noobs like me.
LightSail Test Mission Declared Success; First Image Complete planetary.org
292 points by gokhan  18 hours ago   56 comments top 7
1
devindotcom 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Love this. I'm happy to say I just talked to Bill Nye on Friday (LS was still AWOL) about this and a recent science competition for kids and I love his enthusiasm for everything. He thinks of it as carrying on work that Carl Sagan started. Just gonna hijack this thread to share a couple quotes from my notes that didn't make it into my article[1], since you guys might appreciate them:

"for me it's [lightsail is] really personal. i had carl sagan for one class, and it changed my life. and so i'm really excited to get this thing working. if not this mission, the next mission. oh god, the concept is just cool, to just be sailing around the solar system essentially for free. It's elegant."

"there are two questions we all ask, and if you meet somebody who claims they've never asked these questions they're lying and that's all there is to it: where did we come from and are we alone in the universe? if you want to answer those questions, you have to look at the past and the future. You have to look at paleontological evidence, and you have to explore space."

"talk to younger people. they expect great things from technology. that expectation i believe will carry over to every aspect of life - that we can do technological things to prevent climate change. that for any problem there's a technological solution."

"this is what we talk about all the time in science ed. we want science every day in every grade. this is obvious to me and my colleagues in science ed. what's amazing is it's not amazing to everybody. science is as important a topic as writing and reading and arithmetic. if you want to have innovation, if you want to have the engineers of tomorrow, you have to have science."

"kids have no trouble understanding climate change - it's grown-ups that are confused. climate change denial is almost entirely a generational issue."

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/bill-nye-boosts-...

2
mod 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know the actual purpose of the LightSail?

The article doesn't seem to mention it, just the details of this successful mission.

3
magicmu 16 hours ago 2 replies      
This is absolutely amazing!! Pardon my ignorance, but how does this compare to ion thrust? Unless that's still theoretical, that is -- this seems like an even more elegant solution that ion thrusters.
4
Adam_O 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Minor side note for the audio-curious.. Neil DeGrasse Tyson's podcast had an episode recently where Bill Nye talked all about the LightSail..

https://soundcloud.com/startalk/cosmic-queries-lightsail-wit...

5
tomphoolery 16 hours ago 1 reply      
"Mirab, his sails unfurled!"
6
aswanson 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who thought, on first read, Danifong pivoted to space imaging?:https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=DaniFong
7
kolev 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's give it one last push! A bit more than 2 weeks and $150K to go: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theplanetarysociety/lig...
ADP intentionally broke its Zenefits integration
305 points by netaustin  2 days ago   112 comments top 38
1
gumby 1 day ago 1 reply      
I understand why ADP does this -- they are horrible to work with so people are willing to stick someone like Zenefits in between.

My horrible ADP story: years ago, ADP debited the IRS taxes twice -- so all the paychecks bounced, or would have if the bank hadn't called me and let me move money into the payroll account from the main account (yes kids, don't let your payroll, or anyone, deduct money directly from your company's main account). It was a couple of hundred K.

Customer service was completely uninterested. Finally I got it escalated to the manager of the local ADP office. He said he couldn't understand why I was upset -- the IRS would just credit us the amount next month. He also couldn't understand why I kept saying that they had taken the money out without authorization: "we didn't take your money -- we sent it to the IRS. We don't have your money so it makes no sense to give it back to you. I actually have no mechanism to put money _into_ a customer account anyway." Finally I got annoyed and agreed with him: "you're right, I shouldn't say you 'took' it, I should use the correct term: 'felony grand theft.' And if I don't have the money in my account by the 4pm I will discuss this with the Santa Clara Sheriff."

Magically, the company that had "no mechanism to put money into a customer account" managed to put $250K into our payroll account by the time the fed wire closed. Who would have guessed?

That's the last payroll I ran with ADP.

2
apalmer 1 day ago 5 replies      
I just went digging around the zenefits.com and pulled this verbiage out, which i think outlines the fundamental business problem:

'Zenefits works with all top payroll providers, so there's no need to switch from your favorite system.'

ADP doesn't want to be a 'provider' in the 'Payroll As A Service' sense. Further Zenefits entry point into the market is based on the low friction of you not needing to leave your current payroll system...

why on earth would ADP let this continue?

3
ohitsdom 1 day ago 10 replies      
ADP online access is awful. They make up a username for you, some combination of first initial, last name @ company name. Then the login isn't a modern system, it's the old "authentication required" browser pop up, which disables any user remembering or password managers. Such a pain to deal with!
4
lexap 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hope I never have to use ADP, but that said, their response makes Zenefits sound like a bunch of crybaby Valleyholes.

http://www.adp.com/zenefits/downloads/The-Facts-About-ADP-an...

5
rblatz 2 days ago 5 replies      
ADP has some of the worst online offerings. In order to see my paystub or signup for health coverage I use one site. To request time off I have to use a different ADP site. Both have different usernames and passwords.

Both sites look like they were made in the IE 5/6 web development drought. I have no real complaints though with how everything actually works though, never had an incorrect paycheck or messed up PTO.

6
olafskyansian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is ADP's response to this brouhaha.

http://www.adp.com/zenefits/downloads/The-Facts-About-ADP-an...

What I don't get is if the integration is one-way from Zenefits to ADP (and not vice versa) why all the data allegedly being pulled back from ADP?

7
cbzink000 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was back at an automotive startup, we had to write an integration with ADP's DMS. I can say without a doubt that it was the worst API I have ever had the misfortune of working with. Horribly buggy, the documentation didn't match the output, endpoints disappeared at random, different endpoints required different auth keys. Made no sense at all.

I even remember a time when our ADP representative called us and said she thought the project should be called off due to the amount of malformed payloads we were sending her.... on our development account. Not production.. Not even testing. Development.

ADP has left a bitter taste in my mouth since then.

8
jeffasinger 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is basically because Zenefits and ADP indirectly compete.

ADP, Paychex and some other major payroll providers make quite a bit of money be using their relationships with companies to sell insurance and other benefits to their customers. Zenefits is basically an insurance broker, and therefore competing with ADP on this front (which is a lot of revenue for both companies).

Payroll really shouldn't suck, the basics of it should be pretty easy. The problem is that the vast majority of payroll providers are nearly impossible to work with.

Disclosure: I work at Employii, a company that makes payroll/hr software designed for integration with insurance brokers.

9
tedchs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I see both sides of this. It sounds like Zenefits was scraping the HTML interface of ADP's web site, and according to ADP's response, generating huge volumes of traffic. Around here, there is a bias that startup = white knight and incumbent = arrogant and malicious. If it was me, I would have probably disabled these accounts too under my ToS against negatively impacting the system for other users.

I also see that Zenefits needs to move quickly. Is there an ADP API they could be using?

10
bwb 2 days ago 1 reply      
We use ADP and they are one of the worst companies to work with, very very difficult and their web interface is like the 90s.
11
koyote 1 day ago 3 replies      
Reading all these comments about how ADP is the worst for any of its online tools (and in my experience, it really is), could someone enlighten me as to why so many companies use them? Is there no alternative?
12
_delirium 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blocking any kind of automatic access not explicitly provided for (via an official API, often paid) is quickly becoming a business norm on the modern web, so this doesn't surprise me too much.
13
calcsam 2 days ago 2 replies      
Engineer at Zenefits. Can confirm this.
14
enknamel 1 day ago 1 reply      
If ADP doesn't want to work with a competing third party that is their right. This is why you should never base a business on the goodwill of a platform. We saw the same shenanigans all the time in social and mobile gaming.
15
Osiris 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I started working at the startup I'm at, we were using Zenefits and Expensify. For some inexplicable reason, in the last few months everything got switched to ADP and Concur, both of which offer a worse experience than what we were using.
16
randall 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just sign up for ZenPayroll first and then back port into zenefits. That's what we did.
17
rvdm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been very happy with ZenPayroll for paying my employees so far. Going to check out justworks though.
18
cgoodmac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm biased since I work there, but it's worth checking out justworks.com - payroll/benefits/HR/everything in one place, no need to integrate with different providers.
19
uvince 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Appropriately ADP responds with a PDF: www.adp.com/zenefits/downloads/The-Facts-About-ADP-and-Zenefits.pdf
20
mergy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm very surprised ADP would even open themselves up like this to a competitor. The mythical ADP API has been hovering around for years. It feels like ADP just "fixed the glitch" in "Office Space" terms.

Anyone going with an ADP competitor is going to have to get fully off ADP. This is a big risk for companies. ADP knows this and the overhead around compliance and other back-end work is massive. Any company trying to innovate in the HR space has the security blanket of ADP to combat.

For those that take the risk on companies like Zen* or *Zen need to weigh it. ADP has already had to open-up a bit and improve systems over the last few years to go mobile and improve UI enough to not make it totally horrible. But, it typically comes down to compliance vs. innovation and ADP is the former. If ADP did "fix the glitch" here, it reaffirms the risk and peril of innovation when you still are dancing with the 800lb gorilla. HR folks don't want the headache of that dance and that is why ADP usually wins unless you can totally lap them.

21
obornii 18 hours ago 0 replies      
CFO - Current user of zenefits & ADP here

I authorized Zenefits to look into our data. ADP's feelings on how Zenefits looks and grabs that data are moot (also, how would they know if they are unsecure).

This is not an "unauthorized_ integration" because I specifically signed Parker Conrad to be my broker of record.

I understand where ADP is coming from (they tried to sell us PEO a month ago, at at crazy high price) because they can't compete on price or product. So they compete on access.

However, they messed with our Zenefits Sync without my permission, so now I will simply replace ADP with Zenpayroll or Wagepoint, or the one people seem to be throwing around here "justworks".

I will take my $13,000 in payroll fees somewhere else.

22
scottorn 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm COO of a Startup CFO Firm, Kruze Consulting. We work with 135 startups. We use Zenefits heavily in our practice and we've signed Zenefits' petition and are working with Management to spread the word. If your startup is caught up in this, call my cell 415-652-6380, and I'll help you switch payroll providers.
23
rexreed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why bother with ADP when there are so many other payroll solutions. The better option for startups with better things to do than manage HR and operations, is to use a PEO like TriNet and not even bother with any of this. Focus on your core business and outsource everything else.
24
threefour 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once had COBRA benefits administered by ADP and they everything they could to boot me off, and once they did they made a mockery of the appeals process (this was before the day of the Affordable Care Act when getting health care could be impossible otherwise).
25
bigtones 2 days ago 0 replies      
We experienced these problems at my startup using these two technologies too.
26
noahmbarr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Paychex's idea of an API is a PDF output #nojoke
27
footballguy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
ADPs technology is so far advanced relative to Zenefits it is not even close. Anyone with any knowEdge of these systems knows that.
28
c-slice 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why cant zenefits become their own payroll provider?
29
pbreit 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems as inevitable as Zenefits developing its own payroll service.
30
hurlio333 1 day ago 0 replies      
I sometimes wonder if PayPal is doing this with FreshBooks. FB integration is fine with lots of providers; for whatever reason PayPal is constantly down.
31
evanm 1 day ago 0 replies      
ADP is in my axis of evil. Their employee and employer-systems are horrendously out of date and their support is non-existent. Let them fail.
32
fweespeech 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, this is why relying on potential competitors generally leads to all sorts of sadness. :/
33
jgalt212 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, Zenefits seems to be a nice wrapper around other services with bad UI/UX.

That being said, we researched using Zenefits for our 401k, and they work with Ubiquity. Ubiquity has a very nice front end we saw no reason to have a Zenefits account just to access Ubiquity.

34
tomjen3 2 days ago 1 reply      
If the problem is the email address, why not give them one of your companies emails?
35
beachstartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
one reason i didn't sign up for zenefits (other than the sales guy was a pushy dickhead) was that they weren't able to clearly articulate how they would integrate with our payroll (a large american bank).

i knew in the end it would be me, typing shit from one browser window to another, and i knew it would break often.

zenefits sounds great on paper but i'm still unconvinced it's that much better than just doing things by hand for small companies like ours.

36
saryant 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're not fooling anyone.
37
whoiskevin 1 day ago 6 replies      
I have to put the blame on Zenefits here. You cannot offer something to a customer that depends on integration with a competitor. Shame on you. No I don't support ADP and am not a fan but basic business dictates that you should not even offer this service if it depends on integration with a competitor.
38
kferber007 18 hours ago 0 replies      
CFO - Current user of zenefits & ADP here

I authorized Zenefits to look into our data. ADP's feelings on how Zenefits looks and grabs that data are moot (also, how would they know if they are unsecure).

This is not an "unauthorized_ integration" because I specifically signed Parker Conrad to be my broker of record.

I understand where ADP is coming from (they tried to sell us PEO a month ago, at at crazy high price) because they can't compete on price or product. So they compete on access.

However, they messed with our Zenefits Sync without my permission, so now I will simply replace ADP with Zenpayroll or Wagepoint, or the one people seem to be throwing around here "justworks".

I will take my $13,000 in payroll fees somewhere else.

NSA whistleblower warns of surveillance state startribune.com
281 points by Errorcod3  2 days ago   104 comments top 14
1
diafygi 2 days ago 3 replies      
So I guess the lesson is that if you want to have a bigger impact when you blow the whistle, you need hard documentation and evidence. You can't just tell the world there is a bad thing happening. You need to show them the paper that proves it.
2
stygiansonic 2 days ago 1 reply      
Many of you have probably seen this, but I highly recommend the PBS Frontline documentary, United States of Secrets: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/united-states-of-sec...

Binney, along with the other NSA whistleblowers, are interviewed at length for the film.

That, and Citizenfour were, for me, the most intriguing documentaries about these issues.

3
jmkni 1 day ago 1 reply      
A year before Snowden took off to Hong Kong, William Binney was on a panel at Def Con where NSA surveillance was talked about at length, worth a watch - www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqIz-RNUL1g

A lot of the stuff which was later leaked by Snowden is discussed here, nice to see Binney vindicated.

Interestingly, the NSA facility in Hawaii where Snowden was working at the time is mentioned by name.

I often wonder if this Defcon talk inspired him to do what he did.

4
some1else 2 days ago 0 replies      
Word abut the surveillance programs (dubbed Echelon) was common-sense on #phrack as far as 2002. We have had American and German Intelligence agencies capture traffic at the Slovenian Internet Exchange at least since 2007. When the affair broke out, Germans stated that they will cease cooperation with the Slovenian Intelligence Agency, and the entire thing was swept under the rug.

Unfortunately, whistleblowing really takes substantial evidence, and that's what Snowden provided.

5
csbrooks 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Binney doesnt see much distinction between the Bush and Obama administrations when it comes to intelligence policy."

This has been such a disappointment for me. I had such high hopes for Obama. :(

6
preek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yesterday Thomas Drake spoke on this topic: https://voicerepublic.com/talks/the-digital-surveillance-sta...
7
tek-cyb-org 2 days ago 1 reply      
I knew about the surveillance program since 2006 and i dont work for the nsa....
8
bandrami 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hell, Drake warned back in 2005, and Congress rushed back into session to make it legal. Drake managed to do it without passing reams of classified data to Wikileaks, too...
9
zmanian 1 day ago 0 replies      
So Bill Binney is often described as a legendary mathematician inside the NSA, have anyone ever had a technical discussion with him about things like ECC?
10
jjtheblunt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yawn.
11
stefantalpalaru 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Im out here exposing their underwear, he said.

But with no proof other than his word. It's easy to ignore one disgruntled former employee's lunatic ramblings. Not so easy with actual documents supporting their claims.

12
at-fates-hands 1 day ago 0 replies      
The issue at hand here is how do we prevent terrorist attacks from within our own borders without mass surveillance of the population and without the profiling of certain populations (ie middle easterners, northern africans, etc)??

I don't think we need mass surveillance since it creates more useless data and not enough indicators someone is planning something. So where is the line drawn between mass surveillance and no surveillance? How do we keep this country safe, without infringing people's freedom?

13
vezzy-fnord 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, if we want to go that route, then one could say Frank Church was aware (and his committee made the results public) some 38 years or so before Snowden.
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herbig 2 days ago 1 reply      
I lost trust in anything Binney says when I saw that he did an interview with Alex Jones on Infowars. You need to completely separate yourself from that garbage if you want people to take you seriously.
Open-Source Loan-Level Analysis of Fannie and Freddie toddwschneider.com
267 points by lil_tee  1 day ago   35 comments top 12
1
chollida1 1 day ago 7 replies      
This is pretty cool.

When people say to have a github repository, I often worry that people think they have to have some huge project. Like a fork of Node or something.

This analysis would be more than enough for me to give someone an interview.

The math isn't complex, the analysis is pretty shallow but it shows that the author knows their way around the basics of:

 - finding data, this is often the hardest part of data analysis - working with data, unpacking, storing, retrieving, etc - basic analysis with R or python
and to be honest, this counts for alot!

As a first introduction to a potential employee, this is more valuable than having a good resume and its well within reach of most people, regardless of how busy you are!

TL/DR, don't overthink having a public github account. Basic analysis like this will put you above most other candidates, oh and good job to the author!

2
nissimk 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a really good write up and analysis.I'd like to point out a couple of things: the subprime market has moved to FHA and Ginnie Mae securities. I'm not sure if they have the same detail of loan level data available online, but it would be interesting to analyze.

The other thing is that securities, mortgage loans themselves, securitizations and their derivatives will not trade in the market at fundamental value. This type of fundamental analysis is great, and you can make a lot of money by understanding value better than your competitors. When the market goes crazy, your portfolio market value can fall far below values calculated with these models. If that happens and you've leveraged your portfolio, you will go out of business. I know it seems like stating the obvious right now, but I saw a lot of very smart people who were caught in this trap.

3
zhte415 1 day ago 3 replies      
I was asked to do an analysis of Fannie and Freddie during a job interview in 2001. A 3 page report of 2 institutions I'd never heard of before, with a stack a papers around 3 feet high consisting of a variety of financial statements, promotional material, and news clippings, to be completed in pen within 3 hours.

Not being from the US, unaware of these institutions, and boggled how the concept of the state backing fixed rate mortgages was sensible, I wrote my 3 pages and somehow got the job.

> It should not be overlooked that in the not-so-distant past, i.e. when I worked as a mortgage analyst, an analysis of loan-level mortgage data would have cost a lot of money. Between licensing data and paying for expensive computers to analyze it, you could have easily incurred costs north of a million dollars per year.

If it existed. It did not. Computers were not needed to analyse a nice big data set, because a nice, big, transparent, data set, did not exist. Those that dug did quite nicely realizing that a big data set didn't exist did so by digging themselves, being confused, and realizing everyone else was confused / delusional too.

Splitting things by state and making data available is a level in transparency. But it is fine-tuning an organ based on where the horn is, and not understanding what the notes played are.

Providation of this type of data is badly stitching a bad gash. It confirms what has been known for years. A better question would be "If you're issuing bonds based on loans to people you have a FICO 'thin file' score of 600 for, that you've not done basic background checks for, and they're seeking to borrow 10 times their annual income, don't you see something wrong?"

Basic questions and understanding underlying data are more important than optimization of headline metrics.

4
joeriel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I work in the mortgage industry and have analyzed large datasets of subprime and alt-a mortgages. These findings are very consistent with mine, although the default and severity rates are (obviously) even worse than conventional.

Freddie is a bit behind in their dataset, only offering data through 2013. IMO, this kind of defeats their effort to increase transparency. If 2014 vintage loans are performing much worse (or better), it won't be known in time for many investors/modelers to react.

I also wish GinnieMae would release loan level data like this for FHA/VA/USDA loans, which are a huge part of the market. I could only find MBS pool aggregated data on their web-site: http://www.ginniemae.gov/doing_business_with_ginniemae/inves...

5
omarish 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Mortgages get disproportionately low airtime in the startup world, which I've always thought was strange, especially considering how significant they are to the US (and global economy).

Check out LendingHome (http://lendinghome.com) if you're looking for an awesome company in SF that's doing some really cool work in the space.

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chrisBob 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It was unclear to me at first that a default rate of 0.4 on the map is actually 40% !!!

I had no idea it was that high, and I just assumed it meant 0.4% until I saw the numbers later.

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rgbrgb 22 hours ago 1 reply      
> So-called agent-based models attempt to model the behavior of individual borrowers at the micro-level, then simulate many agents interacting and making individual decisions, before aggregating into a final prediction. The agent-based approach can be computationally much more complicated, but at least in my opinion it seems like a model based on traditional statistical techniques will never explain phenomena like the housing bubble and financial crisis, whereas a well-formulated agent-based model at least has a fighting chance.

Can anyone unpack this a bit? By my (fuzzy) understanding, this was something a lot of people thought in the 80's with neural networks but there wasn't a lot of theory to back it up. Later, applied math people introduced the kernel SVM which could solve non-linear problems with power equivalent to neural networks [0]. RNNs are back in style now (and a lot more theory has been developed), but is this the type of agent-based model that would be useful for this problem and why so?

[0]: http://www.scm.keele.ac.uk/staff/p_andras/PAnpl2002.pdf

8
stadeschuldt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Direct link to Github repository: https://github.com/toddwschneider/agency-loan-level
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danny8000 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be interesting to cross-reference the records from Freddie and Fannie with the HMDA data, which has additional fields about each mortgage application: https://www.ffiec.gov/hmda/hmdaflat.htmWould the HMDA "loan amount" field match the "ORIGINAL UNPAID PRINCIPAL BALANCE" field in the Fannie data? Since HMDA data is geo-located to the Census tract, it could then be linked to Census and other public data sets.
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bbanyc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Private securitizations were inflating the subprime bubble well before Fannie and Freddie jumped in. If there's any data on, e.g., Countrywide/IndyMac it'd be valuable to add.
11
magicmu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the detailed analysis! It's very thorough and really interesting, and it's awesome that people are making intelligent use of this data now that it's available.
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GutenYe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the source code.
What's new in Xcode 7 apple.com
250 points by yconst  1 day ago   173 comments top 14
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glhaynes 1 day ago 12 replies      
Unexpected: "Xcode 7 and Swift now make it easier for everyone to build apps and run them directly on their Apple devices. Simply sign in with your Apple ID, and turn your idea into an app that you can touch on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch. Download Xcode 7 beta and try it yourself today. Program membership is not required."
2
halayli 1 day ago 8 replies      
"Advanced error handling model using try / catch / throw that feels natural in Swift."

yeah try/catch is very advanced.

3
Entalpi 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Xcode 7 has a ENABLE_BITCODE option to embed bitcode in apps, app extensions, and frameworks. The option is turned on by default for iOS and is mandatory for watchOS projects submitted to the store.

When bitcode is enabled for a target, all the objects, static libraries and user frameworks used when linking that target must contain bitcode. Otherwise, an error or a warning will be issued by the linker. (Note: missing bitcode is currently a warning for iOS, but it will become an error in an upcoming beta release of Xcode 7.) ENABLE_BITCODE should be consistently turned on for all the targets. If you use a library or framework provided by a third party, please contact the vendor for an updated version which contains bitcode."

Dear God, do we need to wait for all libs to update? :S

4
Fargren 1 day ago 4 replies      
Not even a mention of refactoring tools for Swift? Right now you can't even do a Rename. This was one of the biggest reasons I bought Appcode, actually. And I'm still waiting for either IDE to implement Extract Method.

It boggles my mind how little I hear people complain about this. Aren't these basic tools by now?

5
dep_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one excited about nil flags and generics support in Objective-C? I think it's really nice to have an NSArray full of MyObjects that is type checked compile time.
6
arihant 1 day ago 3 replies      
Every year the new XCode comes, and I'm less excited about new features and more worried about how many more Macs will I have to buy. Last update on XCode 6 made it impossible for some 2012 models to run it.

This update is almost surely for Yosemite and above. The cost of developing on Apple platform is crazy these days. I miss the days when they could mock Microsoft for having an expensive Visual Studio. Now they make you buy a new Mac per developer every 2 years.

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zimbatm 1 day ago 1 reply      
> A migrator in Xcode 7 to convert your existing your existing Swift code to use the new Swift 2.0 features and syntax.

woops, repetition !

8
pjmlp 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Swift is a successor to both the C and Objective-C languages.

This says it all, regarding what the future for Objective-C looks like.

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msie 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stack Views is really cool! I don't need the full power and complexity of AutoLayout.
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nathan_f77 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really excited about code coverage, and the built-in user interface testing support. That's amazing. We currently write our acceptance tests with KIF, but this sounds so much better. Looking forward to playing with the automated test recording.
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iphonedevpinoy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if it's possible to do ad-hoc testing on Xcode 7 without joining the developer program?
12
Thiz 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can I use it on my old mac mini 2011 with 2gb ram and Mavericks?

I really want to start using Swift. And no, can't upgrade.

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BlackLamb 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be interesting to see, how Apple manages to stop people from Side loading apps.
14
ngoldbaum 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if Xcode 7 will include LLVM OpenMP support?
The Making of Lemmings readonlymemory.vg
249 points by errozero  1 day ago   89 comments top 25
1
oneeyedpigeon 1 day ago 4 replies      
Maybe I was just the perfect age - 12 - when the game came out, but I remember it as pretty much the most formative video game I've ever played. It truly blew my mind that you could have something that seemed so open, even to the extent of being able to modify the actual environment. Lemmings just seemed so different from everything else around, in a way that might be difficult to appreciate nowadays.

I must've played Sim City & Populous prior, but something about the platformer genre and the level of indirection combined perfectly to make this game genuinely unique.

2
benbristow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Site seems to be down. Here's a mirror.https://archive.is/t96Pg
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Symbiote 1 day ago 1 reply      
"But if you ever visit Perth Road in the centre of Dundee, you can see DMA Designs old office at the far west end. A few hundred yards away is a park called Seabraes and here, in front of the entrance to Dundees digital media park, you can find a pillar with three bronze lemmings clambering up and over it."

News article with several pictures of the pillar: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/gallery-lemmin...

4
Symbiote 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Composer Tim Wright pulled Lemmings out of the fire with style, bouncily reinterpreting standards like Offenbachs Galop Infernal and Ten Green Bottles, and adding a touch of class with Tchaikovskys Dance of the Little Swans."

Since I was about five years old when my parents bought Lemmings, I remember pieces like "Dance of the Little Swans" as "Lemmings music".

I think it's a better choice than 60s/70s music would have been. It doesn't date, and it's less annoying to hear on repeat for four hours straight...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Qw...

5
sambeau 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once applied for a job working for DMA just before Lemmings came out and in the phone call Dave Jones described Lemmings to me. He sounded really excited about it. I thought it sounded totally mad and couldn't for a minute understand why they would leave behind their totally successful series of side-shooters for a bonkers game about suicidal rodents.

More fool me.

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crispweed 1 day ago 5 replies      
Two player lemmings was crazy:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAedz3nWn9E

There was a kind of pixel preciseness with the original lemmings that contributed a lot to this being great, but that somehow seems to have got lost in newer versions..

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learnstats2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Any comment on lemmings being suicidal in popular culture is incomplete if it doesn't credit Disney for chasing a few of the "nasty little rodents" off a cliff.

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

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thisjepisje 1 day ago 4 replies      
Wow, never even realized you could save blockers (by digging the ground under their feet away). /me grabs PSP
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Kenji 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great article. I enjoyed the Lemmings games a lot as a kid.

Lemmings 3 was a bit crap more to end our commitment to Psygnosis than actually do a good game, admits Dailly.

You gotta give him credit for his honesty. Lemmings was one of many titles that didn't survive the transition to 3D unscathedly. I think it was because a lot of time went into the engine instead of cute handdrawn 2D graphics and map design. Also the 3D camera movements were finicky, while in 2D you could just scroll.

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lmedinas 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm waiting for a Remaster for years, we had Pingus a while ago and it seems the development is back to the track again. I hope Sony change their mind and make Lemmings again.

1 - http://pingus.seul.org/welcome.html

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bluedino 1 day ago 0 replies      
Special editions, ports for almost every system that existed, it was really the closest thing to Angry Birds of the time.
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Mindless2112 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's also "The Complete History of Lemmings" [1] for Mike Dailly's (the guy who inspired the game) take on the making of Lemmings.

[1] http://www.javalemmings.com/DMA/Lem_1.htm

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simonebrunozzi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Cache from Google (site unreachable at the moment): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8O3HvdU...
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amelius 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Already a keen programmer, Jones used his 3000 redundancy cheque to invest in a top-of-the-range Amiga 1000 and begin taking software engineering classes,

If you were already a keen programmer, what would software engineering classes in the 80s have given you?

> to the chagrin of his parents, who saw a better future in his hardware expertise.

Perhaps rightly so, he could have invented mobile telephony for instance :)

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Rexxar 1 day ago 1 reply      

 ... he also recalls it was partly funded by royalties (75p per 25 sale) from DMAs first two games
They had 3% royalties on their two first games. It seems retrospectively incredibly low compared to what people currently get from app stores.

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jcadam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ah, this brings back memories. My parents had acquired a second-hand Amiga 500, which we then hooked up to the green monochrome monitor from our Apple ][e (also acquired used several years previously) - we couldn't afford a 'real' monitor :)

The Amiga came with a big box of floppies, one of which was labelled 'Lemmings.'

I don't believe I've ever played Lemmings in color (I'm having trouble picturing it, actually), but it was still pretty amazing in monochrome. Though, my only basis for comparison at the time was the games I'd played on the Apple ][.

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lisper 14 hours ago 0 replies      
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edem 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I still remember Lemmings 2: The Tribes when I played it for the first time. I still listen to its music sometimes. It was a masterpiece!
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hnur 1 day ago 1 reply      
Feeling nostalgic for the soundtrack? This guy did a medley -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz0_ZHEDZ-4
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caasih 1 day ago 0 replies      
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paublyrne 1 day ago 0 replies      
I played Lemmings 2 recently on an Amiga for the first time since about 1992.

There was something magical about that game.

They make great Halloween costumes also.

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M8 22 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a good cloned game about pigs on mobile recently...
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finnjohnsen2 1 day ago 0 replies      
503 - Service unavailable :(
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martincerdeira 1 day ago 0 replies      
503 - Service unavailable :(
How MIT Students Won $8M in the Massachusetts Lottery (2012) time.com
247 points by onuryavuz  2 days ago   203 comments top 21
1
downandout 2 days ago 6 replies      
This isn't the first time someone has been able to turn lottery odds in their favor. A woman named Joan Ginther, who has a PhD in Statistics from Stanford, won more than $15 million from a Texas lottery scratch card based game [1]. Though she has never spoken and exactly how she did it remains a mystery, her odds of winning the number of times she did as a random buyer of scratch cards were 1 in 18 septillion and should occur approximately once every quadrillion years. Here's another case, where a geologist named Mohan Srivastava cracked several different lottery scratch ticket games [2]. He warned lottery officials, who did....nothing.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/kiriblakeley/2011/07/21/meet-the...

[2] http://www.wired.com/2011/01/ff_lottery/

3
stygiansonic 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Irish National Lottery format used to be 36 choose 6, giving odds of a jackpot win at 1 in 1,947,792. The cost of a single ticket was 0.50; therefore you could buy up the entire "space" for 973,896.

Thus, when the jackpot rose above this value, it became economically viable to buy up the entire "space" to guarantee a win; this would result in a profit so as long as no one else bought a winning ticket. This is what a group of individuals attempted to do in May 1992.[0]

They were limited by the physical requirement of filling out all such possible combinations on the paper tickets, but they attempted to spread out the work by pre-filling out combinations over several months and waiting for the jackpot to rise to a large value before "deploying" the tickets.

0. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lottery_(Ireland)#His...

4
tokenadult 2 days ago 0 replies      
As this article from 2012 makes clear, the positive return on investment resulted from unusual rules in one state lottery game that has now been discontinued. The typical state lottery in most parts of the United States has parimutuel pay-outs for winning tickets, meaning that if multiple purchasers have winning numbers, they split the prize in a way that ensures that the lottery doesn't pay out more money than was bet for that drawing. An example from Britain was a national lottery that had something like seventy-six different winners, who all bet on the same "lucky" number that happened to be drawn in that drawing. They split the prize equally, so that each bettor's individual winnings from a large prize were not particularly large. The number may have been lucky in the sense that it matched the drawn number on that one occasion, but the number wasn't INDIVIDUALLY lucky for each person who bet it.

Over and over and over, some people have winning tickets, but most people have losing tickets. When a lottery is structured in the typical parimutuel way, as most lotteries are, even if you buy all the tickets available for sale in the next drawing, which takes a big investment, you can't be sure of winning a full prize individually, because other bettors may have a collision with your choice of a winning ticket number. tl;dr: A bug in one state lottery game was discovered by MIT students, who invested in exploiting the bug until the game was closed.

5
randlet 2 days ago 3 replies      
The url of this article and the titles of other uses the word "scammed" which is unfortunate since they don't seem to have done anything of the sort.
6
hownottowrite 2 days ago 9 replies      
"This isnt the first time that MIT has been involved in a gambling controversy."

If it isn't illegal, what's wrong with using brains to make money?

7
pmorici 2 days ago 1 reply      
This article strongly implies there was something morally wrong about what the students did but doesn't detail any actual misconduct on anyones part. Sounds like the lottery officials just got their pants in a bunch because they like to be the ones taking advantage of other people's naivet and not the other way around. Ironic that the article embeds a video of John Oliver ripping the lottery for taking advantage of those who can least afford it.
8
baldfat 2 days ago 4 replies      
Lottery = Poor People Tax and should be removed from Government.

http://www.businessinsider.com/lottery-is-a-tax-on-the-poor-...

9
plorg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's the Boston Globe source article for the Time piece.

* http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012...

And a couple of investigative pieces the Globe had run previously:

* http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011...

* http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011...

A fun quote from the first piece they ran:

Mark Fettig of Tennessee, one of the top 10 winners during the May rolldown week, urged the Globe not to write a story at all, saying it would be immoral to attract more people to Cash WinFall and potentially dilute the winnings of current players.

10
kdamken 1 day ago 1 reply      
It bothers me how the article implies that they were doing something wrong. They figured out a trick to the system and used it to their benefit.
11
chrisBob 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why the lottery commission would know and not stop this. If they are guaranteed to win I think that is the same thing as the state have a guaranteed loss.
12
bradfa 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is from 2012, probably should include in the title.
13
rglovejoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
The card counting rings mentioned in the article have been going on for decades. Edward Thorp, while a math professor at MIT, was the first to do a rigorous analysis of card counting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_O._Thorp

14
delinka 2 days ago 0 replies      
"While most students at [MIT] use their powers for good [...] others are busily using their prodigious math skills to" win the lottery.

Interesting morals on display by the author.

Further: "While the students actions are not illegal, state treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the lottery, finally stopped the game this year."

I expected the last part to say they'd filed charges against the students. Since they didn't (because their activity wasn't illegal), the state treasurer made the right decision to stop the game.

I'm not impressed by this author's writing skill.

15
SonicSoul 1 day ago 0 replies      
This story (and the math behind it) is discussed at length in "How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking" by Jordan Ellenberg. I highly recommend it, the other stories in it are equally enlightening.
16
peter303 2 days ago 0 replies      
It takes a fair amount of man power to buy hundreds of thousands dollars of lottery tickets. Especially if you have to fill out forms and submit them to a cashier. I've heard of consortiums hiring people to do such.
17
S4M 2 days ago 3 replies      
Doesn't that mean that the lottery was losing money? How is that even possible?
18
topynate 2 days ago 1 reply      
So I suppose there's a sort of intergenerational underground community of advantage players at MIT that these exploits come out of? Hard to imagine that MIT just happens to be the source of unrelated rings.
19
reagency 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reading between the lines, there is a very strong hint that lottery officials violated lottery rules to enable the exploitation, possibly for indirect benefits. What the students is very similar to how card counting is supposed to not work: they violated the maximum bet. And lottery officials let them, against the rule of the lottery system.

It seems like no real harm done though: they guaranteed themselves winnings, causing the jackpot to never grow, before anyone else bought tickets against the larger jackpot. So in a sense they just stomped the game before it started, no other players got screwed out of their chance at any existing jackpot.

20
akhilcacharya 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hah, what can't these people do.
21
helloz_0707 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is overrated.

Grant that you can make 15-20% ROI on your 600K investment, however, you could have 95% chance to lose all of it and 5% chance to hit jackpot and win say 26 mil. Your expected value is high but no one would play 600K like that, unless you are some rogue hedge fund manager.

You might well invest it in stock market, which has better Risk-reward ratio.

Show HN: Learn Swift aidanf.net
230 points by aidanf  1 day ago   49 comments top 15
1
aidanf 1 day ago 7 replies      
I've been learning Swift in recent months, and as part of that process I wrote a short book about the language.

It's aimed at developers (like me) who can already program in a language like Ruby or Python and are looking for a quick tour of Swift.

It's available to read for free online at http://books.aidanf.net/learn-swift

I'll be adding stuff about yesterdays announcements in the next couple of weeks.

2
ashwinl 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd highly recommend Functional Programming in Swift for more intermediate topics.By Eidhof, Kugler, and Swierstra

http://www.objc.io/books/fpinswift/

No affiliation to the author/book.

3
davnicwil 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic, just what I was looking for, a very quick intro to swift that assumes I'm already a programmer.

The Apple docs, at least last time I tried reading through them, were like wading through treacle so this is a great alternative! I just read the first couple of chapters in 10 minutes and got all the key info I wanted with no fluff - great job!

One edit suggestion - I've noticed a couple of times so far that "it's" is used incorrectly, for example in this sentence:

> You cant change the type of a variable once youve declared it. Its type is fixed at the time it is declared.

I assume you know the error here but on the off chance you don't:

it's = it is (it's a Bool) /its = the possessive of it (Bool is its type)

It's a little jarring so you might want to go through and fix these.

Cheers for the book! :-)

4
Zaheer 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Shameless plug - I made a site that gathers resources for learning Swift. Will be adding this shortly :)

http://www.LearnSwift.tips

5
psophis 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Slight tangent, but are there any recommended guides/books/videos for leaning the iOS frameworks with swift?

I have recently started programming on iOS with swift. I got my head around the language just not any of the frameworks, specifically UIKit.

6
Tloewald 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like the style, brevity, and practicality of the book (at least the first few chapters; haven't read it all yet). Good stuff and good luck with it.

I did find the first few examples with the REPL to be a bit confusing. Were you using a function before it was defined?

7
brisance 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, I'm learning Swift from your site. The kerning for Chapter "10.4" is killing me though. Other than that I'm enjoying going through it. :D
8
drussell 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing! Great that it's free too :)
9
yla92 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I love this. Btw, totally off topic : Is it possible to write iOS/OSX apps by learning Swift without the knowledge of ObjC ? My background : I know some Java/Ruby and do some Android apps.
10
numbers 23 hours ago 1 reply      
In Chapter 4, you have a typo: "dynamicly" should be "dynamically"
11
christudor 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Have just started learning Swift. Have favourited, and will be sure to give some feedback once I've made my way through the whole thing. Good luck with it!
12
mayrund 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome! Thanks for your time I will definitely look into it deeply soon!
13
rashthedude 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi Aidan, your about Author section has a typo says'bulding' rather than building.
14
blowski 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just because it will go out of date at some point, it doesn't mean it's not a useful resource today.

I haven't read this particular book, so can't comment on whether or not it's any good, but in general whenever I want to learn a new language, I start by looking for a book.

15
npalli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sorry, but this guide is not as comprehensive or updated as the official documentation [1]. Just compare the generics or memory management sections to see why you would want to read the official documentation. Maybe a high level tour of swift but you certainly are not going to learn swift with this guide.

[1] https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Swift/...

Add Amazon root certificates mozilla.org
238 points by joshmoz  1 day ago   77 comments top 11
1
reipahb 1 day ago 4 replies      
This being Amazon AWS gives me hope that this will be a CA with an API that allows automatic certificate issuance for domains you control. I find the process of issuing and reissuing certificates for all sorts of services to be an increasing amount of work as more and more services move to https.

(The letsencrypt.org CA is build around automated certificate issuance through an API, but some competition wouldn't be a bad thing.)

2
zwily 1 day ago 3 replies      
An obvious move for Amazon. They'll be able to make SSL certificate management pretty painless for people using ELB.
3
x5n1 1 day ago 3 replies      
The community needs to figure out a way to demonopolize this business and make it ubiquitous without destroying its credibility.
4
michaelmior 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how long it will take before it becomes practical to rely on Amazon-issued certs.
5
aaronpk 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does it bother anyone else that the links Amazon provided to their certificates and CRLs are not https?
6
teoruiz 1 day ago 1 reply      
How long will it take for the CA to be distributed to a large enough browser base?

I mean, it could be years. Is there any other, speedier process? (cross-signing, for instance).

7
madez 1 day ago 3 replies      
A typo in the introduction:

 "We do not require customers that customers have a domain registration (...)"
There is a "customers" too much.

8
rmoriz 1 day ago 0 replies      
please support S/MIME!
9
higherpurpose 1 day ago 5 replies      
Why would I trust a company like Amazon with a root certificate when it doesn't even use HTTPS across its website?
10
elcct 1 day ago 4 replies      
Since Amazon is an American company, would you trust their certificates? I mean are they going to give private keys to NSA or whoever is now spying in the US?
11
ne0n 1 day ago 1 reply      
That article is quite old (from Jan 2012). Amazon's independent publishing platform has extensive checks for plagiarism and content that is freely available on the internet. I know this system was there at least 6 months after that article.

Source: I used to work at Amazon in Independent Publishing.

Terms of Service, Didn't Read tosdr.org
250 points by hunglee2  2 days ago   60 comments top 17
1
mcescalante 1 day ago 2 replies      
This site pops up here about once a year, and if I recall correctly, I often hear the sentiment of frustration with the whole way TOS works on the web. Here are 3 other past discussions HN has had about the site for anyone curious:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5888393

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4373610

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4350907

2
belorn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Even those that are rated best, I doubt anyone can really explain the scope of the contract or each party's responsibilities without going into further details of my country's contract law, EU contract law, consumer protection laws, precedence and a few years of legal studies.

For example, when kolab says they should be, "To the extent permitted by the law", be excluded from any liability and be completely indemnify from all and everything, what does that actually mean? What does that mean for fit-for-purpose, or quality assurance, or to use a Swedish contract law: fairness in the contractual terms?

Here we got a Class A contract which I have no clue what, if anything, each party has agreed on. The only part I could reasonable figure as a contracted responsibility is that they will provide 30 days for customers to agree to the new terms if they decide to change prices. Also, customers are required by the contract to make private backups, which is quite an odd contractual responsibility to demand from customers. I doubt Kolab intended to be a contractual responsibility, but rather letting customers know whose responsibility it is to make backups if the customer wants that.

3
MrBoomixer 2 days ago 2 replies      
This has been around for a long while. It's in need of much love from online communities.
4
mcbrogrammer 1 day ago 1 reply      
This website is a walking, talking advert for open source. If they have to foist a metric shit-ton of legalese onto you to grace you with the ability to use their offering, walk nay run away, find a freer alternative.Software wants to be free as in free from eulas ndas and tos!
5
eridal 2 days ago 1 reply      

 Copy Right .... Creative Commons Terms of Service .... ?
Innovators, please fill that gap

6
zobzu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have read and agree to the Terms is the biggest lie on the web

"not just the web" ;)

7
michaelaiello 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.privacyparrot.com

Similar -> Uses Baysean classifier to classify privacy policies vs rely on humans maintaining. More coverage.

Previous discussion https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3222334

8
madez 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sadly I must note that Pebble is not included. The last time I mentioned their ToS here on HN [1], Pebble changed them in less than 24 hours to leganese.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9615240

9
theandrewbailey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even though there are concrete bullet points for nearly all of these, more than half are "No Class Yet".
10
empyrical 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's also this similar website which seems to be mainly used for software licenses

https://tldrlegal.com

11
lucaspottersky 2 days ago 0 replies      
surprisingly Stackoverflow isn't listed there yet... :P
12
aivosha 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would be nice to have ways to show similar services side by side showing their rating so user can decide which of the lesser evils to pick to use.
13
giltleaf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone else notice that it ranks the terms of service for the chrome add on page as a C? Thought that was funny...
14
learnstats2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Slightly bizarre and unhelpful that the site links to its discussions on Google Groups.
15
SeanLuke 1 day ago 1 reply      
This project has been going on for three years now, and they've still not gotten to Facebook, Apple, Amazon, or Yahoo. Okay.

I would have expected hundreds of assessments at this point. Not twelve.

16
Silhouette 1 day ago 0 replies      
As laudable as the goal is, I always have the same reservations about this kind of site.

Firstly, contracts and licence agreements can be complicated, and there is a real risk that "dumbing them down" in this way will misrepresent either what they actually say or their real impact given actual laws that are relevant. Of course these things can themselves vary significantly from one jurisdiction to the next.

Secondly, there is always a risk that the information on the summary site becomes out of date.

Thirdly, the choice of which points to highlight and whether to present them as positive or negative often seems rather arbitrary and perhaps guided by the preferences of the TOSDR operators.

An example of being out of date would be the Steam entry, which says "No refund policy" despite this being changed a few days ago.

As an example of the final point about subjectivity, several sites are given a thumbs down for claiming varying degrees of rights to content you upload, yet Wikipedia is given a thumbs up for publishing your content under a free licence. Given actual laws with regard to giving credit/claiming authorship (moral rights/author's right/your local equivalent if you have one) that exist in many jurisdictions in addition to the usual copyright provisions, I'm not sure I see a big difference here in practice.

Several of the points raised, sometimes repeatedly, as negatives are also routine in B2C contracts and indeed probably necessary for the services to provide their intended functions -- the ability to change terms, for example, or transferring users' data in the event of an exit. In many jurisdictions there are legal safeguards that would allow for challenging unreasonable TOS changes or disclosures regardless of what any terms say, but the idea that any commercial service is going to fix its terms for all eternity with no mechanism for changing them even with notice is just silly (not to mention legally impossible almost everywhere), as is the idea that a business will promise not to transfer data about its users to any new owner.

17
reagency 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great. This link is here today because of a reedit.com/r/showerthoughts post wishijg for such a site, and tosdr got linked in the comments. Then someone reposted it to /r/internetisbeautiful. Both posts made reedit front page, and then an HNer reposted here.

You have the much-maligned reedit frontpage community to thank for this.

Google Ideas google.com
239 points by duck  1 day ago   177 comments top 44
1
jackmaney 1 day ago 6 replies      
Can someone please summarize what the hell this is supposed to be? Sure, DDOS attacks, hacking, etc are bad. What else, exactly, am I supposed to pull away from this horribly designed site?
2
dmix 1 day ago 3 replies      
Google's designers have totally lost it, just try scrolling on this page without getting dizzy:

https://www.google.com/ideas/products/

The page looks so nice but then they proceed to destroy usability with bizarre navigation schemes and breaking nearly every common design pattern - scrolling is just one of them.

3
gmisra 1 day ago 3 replies      
Julian Assange believes that "Google Ideas" is, amongst other things, a channel for Google to get involved in geopolitics while maintaing political cover and distance - and Google Ideas often engages in surreptitious actions in concert with the US government.http://www.newsweek.com/assange-google-not-what-it-seems-279...

IMO, anything Assange say needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But then again, the same holds for Google PR.

4
Lancey 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does Google have a team working round the clock to develop the most annoying webpages possible? For as many "cool wow amazing" CSS tricks as this site uses, it doesn't do a good job of explaining what it is at all. And what's up with the products page? Why does it scroll so slowly?
5
jokoon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Having a decentralized forum/chat/data system would be really awesome, even if that might be against google's interests. I really want the future to have more p2p systems.

There was edonkey, then bittorent, then the cloud, then git, then bittorrent sync...

I don't understand why systems like freenet and bitmessage have not taken off. The internet was built for p2p, but it's still mostly used as a broadcast system where everything is centralized.

Why isn't google trying to fund those projects ? Because they re so much invested in the web of HTML content they can't look eitherway.

6
ISL 1 day ago 6 replies      
Just getting a black screen with a mute button. Page source is more readable :).
7
danso 1 day ago 2 replies      
One of their products: Investigative Dashboard

https://www.google.com/ideas/products/investigative-dashboar...

Some good ideas there, but mostly it's a collection of high-level tools and visualizations...my main objection is that journalists have a tendency to see data and documents as "magic" and making a slick Investigative Dashboard doesn't really dispel that. The main problem of data and document collection is not much different than in data science, where research and data cleaning/collection is by far the most time consuming part of the process. Improving OCR (and let's give Google credit for its work on tesseract) and creating a more friendly interface for tesseract (such as a training GUI) would be much, much more useful to the average investigative reporter.

And in terms of collection/research: if Google took up the work of reverse-PACER (for court documents), or furthered its work in election data (https://developers.google.com/civic-information/)...those would also be hugely beneficial initiatives.

8
BinaryIdiot 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is confusing and I'm not entirely sure what the message is. What am I missing?

Edit: okay so I think I get it; they outline a product then you can click through and apply to use that product. Not very descriptive though.

9
Eupolemos 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I was doing sensitive stuff, I wouldn't expect Google to protect me from anything in which the US has economic or intelligence interests.

I think these products are meant for journos and NGO workers who want some level of protection without knowing much about what they are doing.

The way I see it from under my tinfoil hat, is that this is a bit of protection paid for by making your work instantly indexed and searchable by the US for various purposes.

10
wenham 1 day ago 1 reply      
Blank screen for most, try going to https://www.google.com/ideas/products/
11
addedlovely 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like that glitch effect on the text and images, tried something similar with CSS clipping masks before. This canvas implementation is rather slick.
12
krisroadruck 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought this was going to be about actual ideas not bla bla terrorists cyber dude fear mongering. Shame.
13
alfonsodev 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Protect against hackers" I still feel bad when I see the word hackers used like that. Although words end meaning what the majority think they means, it feels wrong to see this usage in a Google website.
14
yjgyhj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I miss old Google... Their UI was the simplest, most basic of all saas companies. My browser uses my GPU and my computer has 4x as many cores, and 4x as much memory. But googles web pages are unusable on my machine.

It may not make web designers swoon circle jerk, but a web site with 0 CSS (or close to) would give a better experience. In this case, and in many many many others.

15
perrygeo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Leave it to Google to create an atrocious, bloated, horrible UX for a dead simple content page.
16
drinchev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sidenote, but I'm taking a look at how googlers made this website. Reason for this is that whenever they create a webpage I can see how they've achieved an effect that people are blogging how to do efficiently. In this case the effect is the background parallax.

So... I see that they are doing this on their ideas page [1] with the following code on their background image :

 position: fixed; transform: translate3d(0px, -402px, 0px); -webkit-transform: translate3d(0px, -402px, 0px);
Difference from any other methods is they use position fixed and it actually looks smooth on my old mac.

17
Splendor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be curious to know how Google's decides which ideas are worth defending.
18
arthurcolle 1 day ago 1 reply      
On first thought, this sounds like Google's version of Hooli XYZ, but on a deeper level I guess this is kind of like Facebook's ThreatExchange?
19
sidcool 1 day ago 0 replies      
People bitching about UX here. That's fine, freedom and all. But those comments being upvoted to top??!!
20
nickdirienzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can't explore more than the landing page in Firefox... Wish I could see more.
21
osipovas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why is tracking radicalization in the Muslim world a bad thing for Google? The less conflict around the world means there are more people looking at ads.

Unlike the Cold War and the militaryindustrial complex, Google is actively pushing for 'peace'.

22
jusben1369 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fascinating. I'm not sure how long this has been around but feels like a nice counterweight to Tim Cook's critique last week about the importance of privacy and making the world a fairer/safer place.
23
kevinSuttle 1 day ago 1 reply      
24
flinty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Inspired a little bit by Aaron Swartz?http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/epiphany
25
a-dub 1 day ago 0 replies      
The website is a mess, but, I met a guy who works for this group a few weeks ago and it sounded pretty cool.

When I asked what the hell they did, he said that they did some Cloudflare like stuff for political speech in the middle east and spent a bunch of time on building and deploying infrastructure to link up a bunch of anti-human-trafficking agencies all across Asia.

26
skbohra123 1 day ago 0 replies      
27
yellowapple 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Enhance your experience by turning on sound"

How about no. Seriously. Google of all companies should know better than to rely on autoplaying any sort of audible multimedia, especially as what I'm guessing to be the preferred source of information (guessing since - at the point where people started talking - I simply closed the tab).

28
Rifu 1 day ago 0 replies      
As an aside, I can't help but be amused at how flash-like the experience is. Impressive what we can achieve natively in the browser these days.
29
daveloyall 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'll focus only on "Project Shield".

It's supposed to protect news outlets from DDoS. Fine.

It's altruistic. Fine.

I see no technical guarantee that some future Google couldn't pull the shield away from a news outlet that speaks ill of Google. Not fine.

No centralized "shield" tech can provide said guarantee--rather, only a decentralized, community-driven shield can be provably neutral. Amiright?

30
pidusd 1 day ago 0 replies      
And when I try to help!

http://cl.ly/image/0R1d0Q3n291z

31
meesterdude 1 day ago 0 replies      
WTF is this shit? This site makes no sense, groundbreakingly horrible design, and totally unclear mission and purpose. Just 100% BS.

Maybe it's a jaberwocky. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spyJ5yxTfas

32
CrackpotGonzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lol at the site not working on Chrome but working fine on Safari.
33
raonyguimaraes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blank Screen!
34
phragg 1 day ago 0 replies      
That infinite scroll on their "Products" page is the best "Idea" they've implemented on this site.
35
zoo1 1 day ago 0 replies      
36
logotype 1 day ago 0 replies      
A few issues in mobile Safari: background cropped in landscape mode and form submit button styling on :hover.
37
molsongolden 1 day ago 0 replies      
Investigative Dashboard doesn't seem to work at all beyond the home screen. Not sure if it is just FF.
38
kup0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting content but one of the worst scrolling mechanics I've seen on a website
39
chrismarlow9 1 day ago 0 replies      
I smell another too big to fail coming in 20 years for some of these tech companies.
40
bobcostas55 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's an idea for you, google: don't hijack my effing middle click. I use it to open the link in a new tab. It's not up to your website to override that.
41
sj4nz 1 day ago 0 replies      
So I get a blank blue/purple screen.

Shrug.

42
littletimmy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Google's influence is quite concerning. Being a corporation, it should not be allowed to be a player in geopolitics.

Break it up.

43
darkstar999 1 day ago 0 replies      
44
j2kun 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was recently talking with my friend about Google and he brought up a good point.

Google had a really deep and good idea with PageRank for search, but what truly innovative ideas have they had since then? Scaling datacenters with commodity hardware? Giving people lots of free email storage? These were neat tricks (and huge engineering challenges) but they don't feel very game changing. Maybe I'll feel differently if I can ever get my hands on a self-driving car, but until then... I'm honestly curious what game changers Google has produced.

Firefox OS on Android Devices mozilla.org
228 points by ndesaulniers  1 day ago   69 comments top 14
1
davidbanham 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's a little slow on my Nexus 6, but really surprisingly usable.

The fact that this is even possible is pretty great. I've been getting more and more frustrated with Android lately, but being able to do things like this is still a really great feature.

Very neat way to get a feel for Firefox OS without the need for new hardware.

2
capnhooke 1 day ago 5 replies      
One thing I really liked about this was the vertical scrolling of the home screen. I think it would be cool if Android did this with their home screens. That seems to be how we naturally read on our devices (webpages, news apps, email etc), so why should we have to horizontal swipe to change screens?
3
bentcorner 1 day ago 0 replies      
If anyone is interested in trying out Firefox OS, Multiboot is a great way to try it out (if your device is supported by multiboot). Truth be told, I don't know if running Firefox OS through multiboot has any caveats, but it worked for me when I tried it.
4
jharohit 1 day ago 0 replies      
tried using on my LG G3. it's "runs" for now. But very slow and laggy at the moment,low res, etc.
5
chenzhekl 1 day ago 0 replies      
The experience is really bad. slow and laggy on my Snapdragon 801.
6
teekert 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice way to get a feel but it is very laggy on my MotoG gen 1. I'd love to switch but... Whatsapp... Yeah, I hate it but it is THE thing among my friends. Same thing goes for Ubuntu Phone. Definitely a shame multibooting is not easier then it is now.
7
746F7475 1 day ago 2 replies      
So is Firefox OS just Android fork? Because if not then this isn't as much "Firefox OS on Android" as it is "Firefox OS like home screen for Android"
8
drzaiusapelord 1 day ago 5 replies      
> let you use Gaia (the user interface of FirefoxOS) on your Android device, as an alternative homescreen.

So.. this is just a launcher? Not anything to do with actually running an OS, just pretty icons and such? Shame. I was really looking forward to some kind of dual-boot or co-exist setup. I guess FFOS is in the same place a lot of small and hobbyist projects are at - without the marketshare of android, you simple do not have drivers available for your platform and considering the closed nature of most SoC's, its impossible to write you own.

Its kinda sad that smartphones didnt evolve like PCs. Drivers and specs have become proprietary trade secrets and that hurts us all.

That said, a FFOS Android distro would be pretty nice, especially if it broke away from the Google world of google play services, play store, etc. Imagine CM but without all the suckitude. I could see that having a chance and the driver problem would be solved.

9
trendroid 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I enjoyed the experience but now I want to get rid of it. How do I uninstall it?
10
alexnewman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I love firefox on my phone. This is unusable on my 1 + 1
11
amolgupta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did not work on Nexus 5 with M-Preview build.
12
tofupup 1 day ago 2 replies      
why ... as a current firefox os user ... can't wait to get back to andriod.
13
pjmlp 1 day ago 1 reply      
From the technical point of view, it is a cool project.

From the business point of view, I don't see any value over the existing options.

14
TryToCatch 1 day ago 1 reply      
at 2015 firefox aka mozilla is a waste of time and a good way to waste productivity and firefox os is one of the great example. they made open source a business and they use it .. bad ass
Musk files to provide Internet service from space washingtonpost.com
207 points by jes  13 hours ago   117 comments top 19
1
dankohn1 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I was Director of Marketing with Teledesic, Craig McCaw and Bill Gates's Internet-in-the-Sky from 1995 to 2000. I'm a huge fan of what Musk is doing, with order of magnitude cheaper launch costs and satellite hardware. AMA.
2
geomark 12 hours ago 3 replies      
From the article: "SpaceX would need permission from countries to operate the service, a process that could be difficult, if not impossible."

Yep. To operate in many countries an ISP has to block access to a lot of content. It differs greatly from country-to-country. Would they really get involved in that? That would mean taking orders from governments all over the world and implementing blocks per those orders. Or would they forget about providing access in those countries? That's a large number of countries.

Added: Forgot to mention one of the biggest obstacles to getting permission in many countries: surveillance. Beaming directly from a user to a satellite that relays to a ground station in another country is going to bypass local surveillance.

Another addition: Wikipedia article on internet censorship and surveillance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_and_surveil... Note some of the countries listed under "Pervasive censorship or surveillance": India, South Korea, UK and USA.

3
jes 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Musk claims to want to launch 4,000 or so satellites. The Goddard Space Flight Center indicates that there are 2,271 satellites in orbit now.

I'm wondering to what degree this would make it more likely to have a negative feedback loop of satellite destruction in the case of a satellite being hit by space junk.

4
ridgeguy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so ready for this.

At the very least, it would bring more ISP competition to underserved /sarcasm extremely remote areas /sarcasm like where I live - that would be Portola Valley, CA - where the only internet provider available to most of us is Comcast. Which all of us hate.

I live 16 light-sec from Stanford (OK, free-space velocity for C), and my neighbors and I have one ISP to choose from.

Go, Elon!! I'd light the fuses on the launch vehicles to see this done.

5
ourmandave 13 hours ago 7 replies      
If this were to ultimately succeed in cheap internet everywhere, it doesn't bode well for other projects like Google's Loon.

https://www.google.com/loon/

Unless they can do it cheaper I suppose.

6
tdaltonc 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Interestingly, Facebook just announces that they are giving up on a project to do just that.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-scraps-secret-plan-t...

7
joshontheweb 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The ability to go off-grid is becoming more of a reality for me now. I'd love to be able to get a cabin in the middle of nowhere, slap some solar panels on top still have access to highspeed internet.

Even if you didn't want to go off-grid, this could open up a lot of developing countries to being more viable remote-working locations. I recently spent some time in Bali and considered moving there for awhile but ultimately couldn't solely because the internet was too slow and unreliable.

8
acd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Besides enjoying Internet globally, I see hope freeing humanity from government censorship with Internet from satellites. This will also mean we will have cheaper global roaming prices for cellular access as if its more expensive with cell phone data people will just use the satellite based system instead.

How much power can such micro satellites transmit with? How much power does the earth based transmitter need to communicate back to the satellite in space?

9
Robin_Message 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It worries me that they are launching satellites for the NSA whilst also build something the NSA would certainly love to tap into I mean, realistically, the NSA are going to get their hands on the data if they want to, but giving them extra leverage over the company is a shame.

It also saddens me they are launching satellites for the NSA full-stop, at least until the NSA has been reined in a bit.

10
jreimers 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Replacing terrestrial broadband is great, but what happens when your internet stops working because it is raining outside? How exactly do they plan to deal with rain fade while operating in the Ka band?
11
kirk21 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting plot twist.

Check this subreddit dedicated to global internet: http://www.reddit.com/r/globalinternet

12
x0054 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder how it would compare to Exede Satellite service. I have Exede, it's the only thing available here in High Desert :( The speed is very good for what it is, I am getting 16-20 mbps down and 3mbps up. But, the latency is a huge issue for me. Most servers, even once in US, ping at 800ms, this makes it such a pain to do any kind of SSH server admin!

With low orbit devices I would imagine the latency should be better, I am guessing, but how much better.

13
xbmcuser 6 hours ago 0 replies      
To me this is just 1 spoke of the wheel he will be providing this internet service to google loon balloons that need base stations on the ground currently.
14
fivedogit 13 hours ago 5 replies      
My first thought, here, was "Well what about the speed of light? Wouldn't that cause satellite internet service to suck, just like it does now? And isn't that why news correspondents are always delayed?"

But then I did the math:

Speed of light = 186 miles per millisecond. Satellites orbit at about 380 miles above earth (Source: Hubble).So it only takes ~4 ms for a round trip to a satellite directly above?

I did not know that. Weird, wild stuff.

If someone knows specifics about why satellite communication is currently so slow (both internet and video), I'd be interested in the EL5 version.

15
3327 12 hours ago 0 replies      
PLease please please, destroy, demolish, obliterate: Comcast, verizon, At&t.
16
dikaiosune 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite exciting. At the same time, did anyone watch Kingsman?

I worry about a big play like this in a market with ridiculously high barrier to entry. We might find ourselves in a vulnerable position if we invite monopoly.

17
Bud 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Could he call it Skynet? Please?
18
shmerl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope it can boost competition. My only concern is latency.
19
savage_platypus 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Great, another pipe-dream to sell to his investor fan club.
Pixel City Procedurally generated city (2009) [video] youtube.com
210 points by jdmoreira  2 days ago   32 comments top 20
1
striking 2 days ago 2 replies      
Shamus Young's stuff is pretty incredible. Not the programs themselves, because it's "been done before." Rather, it's his writing skill that really shines. He has a true talent for describing and illustrating difficult or complex programming, and then showing it in action in a nicely-wrapped binary executable. You can see all of his wonderful series here: http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?page_id=16458
2
userbinator 2 days ago 0 replies      
A little surprised that this doesn't seem to be a demoscene production, because it has all the characteristics of one. I was even expecting greets in the endscroller.

If he could get the contents of this video down to a single 64k or 4k binary (including the music), it would make a great demo. Cityscapes are pretty common and definitely doable in 4k or 64k; here are two examples of winning demos containing similar scenes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UgbKQKD9I4 4k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaNYOzwlVC8 64k

3
david-given 2 days ago 0 replies      
Polygons are for the weak.

https://www.shadertoy.com/view/XsBSRG

(There are several awesome-looking procedural cities on ShaderToy. Here's another nice one: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/MdXGW2)

4
daviding 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really enjoy these, and had this bookmarked. A nice example here:

http://alteredqualia.com/three/examples/webgl_city.html

Holds up very well and looks very impressive (plus the source is uncompressed and interesting).

5
Wingman4l7 2 days ago 0 replies      
Introversion, the indie game dev, also different-but-equally-amazing procedural city generator, for their now-cancelled game Subversion. It was actually bundled in the Hunble Introversion Bundle, and you could play with the parameters and make your own city. You can see a demo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pR8jpK4ETk
6
cpayne 2 days ago 1 reply      
Step 7: Release it as a...Damn. I actually have no idea what this thing is for

Summarizes my development career to date. Still awesome to watch...

7
adamrezich 2 days ago 1 reply      
This was from the scrapped game project that Introversion Software ended up not finishing in lieu of making Prison Architect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J30i0gABfS8
8
birger 2 days ago 1 reply      
10/10 would buy it as a screensaver! It has been years since I saw a cool screensaver that is just fun to watch when I am not doing stuff.

[edit] There is a screensaver and it works!http://code.google.com/p/pixelcity/

9
martin-adams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to be into modo as a hobbyist and this reminds me of the Telematics City showreel which for me was a true work of art (also from 2009).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PodUqc4B5Fc&list=PL4DFBA006A...

10
djent 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like it would make an amazing GPL Mirror's Edge clone.
11
felhr 2 days ago 0 replies      
The whole shamus projects, from books (I read his autobiography) to programming posts are awesome. His game "Good Robot" was greenlighted recently so we are going to see his first released game soon, which is pretty interesting coming from a guy who talked so openly about it http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=20638
12
m_eiman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I ported this screensaver to OSX way back when, and I think it still works: http://emage-software.com/
13
FraKtus 2 days ago 0 replies      
ArtMatic Voyager has amazing procedurally generated cities and landscapes: http://uisoftware.com/Voyager/index18.html It's based on a powerful texture engine to generate colors and height maps and the model is ray traced...
14
bipin_nag 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have one question, are the buildings generated randomly or is there any algorithm that generates which building goes where. The generation is like the urban version of "No man's Sky".
16
iamcreasy 1 day ago 0 replies      
The best part was when he added the yellow red lights. The swing of mood was stunning.
17
lamuerteflaca 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny, I was just looking at this yesterday night to get some ideas on building design.
18
stretchwithme 2 days ago 0 replies      
Makes me appreciate the Chrysler build all the more.
19
pavel_lishin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would love to have this as a screensaver.
20
opless 2 days ago 1 reply      
Also add [2009] to title.
Grid Style Sheets Replace CSS with a Constraint-Solver gridstylesheets.org
197 points by aeontech  2 days ago   96 comments top 22
1
hamstergene 2 days ago 5 replies      
As GUI dev who worked with Apple's AutoLayout extensively I can confidently say constraint-based layout is a trap. It looks like more intuitive way to go on simple examples, but complexity spikes quickly as number of controls goes up. It's more complicated, more resilient to changes (harder to maintain), easy to get wrong, hard to understand and debug, bugs generally look uglier (what would be minor misplacement in CSS often becomes overlapping or clipping). It does not support word wrapping without hacks and restrictive assumptions about width. It is a real mess to insert/remove controls dynamically.

Compared to previous experience with Qt, I don't see any advantage of constraint-based layout over box-based layout.

2
masklinn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, @vjeux specifically preferred flexbox to a constraint solver (cassowary) for react native: https://twitter.com/nikitonsky/status/561941079038390273

His main points:

* you can't express text wrapping which is a huge issue. You've got to do workarounds in order to support it

* the api is very reference based. You need to say that the right of this element is left of this other one. whereas in react you don't want to assign every element you create to a local variable to get that reference the best api with react is one based on containers. <HorizontalLayout>... This is what I started with in react native but then, i realized that this was so close to flexbox that I could just use it instead :) you could use cassowary as an implementation detail of flexbox but that doesn't give you much

* also, when i tested cassowary, the js version, it was extremely slow. The version that we have in react native barely appears in traces for real code that we have

3
cageface 2 days ago 4 replies      
One of the absolute worst things about iOS development is struggling with auto layout. Sure there are some things you can do with it that are hard to do in a box layout method but 95% of the time it's just a massive headache to achieve something you could do with flexbox or even Bootstrap in a much more transparent way. In fact, one of the most appealing things about React Native is that it lets you do iOS layout with flexbox.

So I'll pass on similar constraint-based approaches to HTML layout, thanks!

4
SchizoDuckie 2 days ago 6 replies      
From their demo: structure.gss

 @h |-(#message)~-~(#follow)~-~(#following)-(#followers)-| in(#profile-card) gap($sgap) !strong { &[top] == &:next[top]; } }
If you inject stuff like this into a project, make sure you're doing it solo. 'cause if you're on my team, i'll slap you.

WTF is this voodoo? Less and Sass aren't complex enough? CSS isn't hard enough to work with as it is?

5
weego 2 days ago 0 replies      
Demos were all slightly wrong on Android chrome until I rotated screen at which point they completely broke. Using js to augment layouts with useful functionality is a great idea, but relying on it for core styling is a terrible choice.
6
Qantourisc 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'd love to use this. But in the back of my head I still think javascript should be optional if possible ... not that 99% of the rest of the world cares ...
7
freyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I go to the demo, resize the browser window, and the layout falls apart. Not a good advertisement.

http://i.imgur.com/KkxICEw.png

8
Animats 2 days ago 3 replies      
Constraints are the right approach to layout. This should have happened years ago. The important concept here is defining layout like this:

 #elmA[top-left] == "area"[top-left]; #elmB[bottom-right] == "area"[top-right];
The trouble with this is that it's expressed as a programmer's approach; everything is about variables, not geometry. Constraints should be input from a GUI, like Dreamweaver. To see what this looks like done right, try sketch mode in Autodesk Inventor, where you can draw lines, circles, and arcs and constrain them to each other in various ways. Designers would love it if they could do layout that way, and we could lay off a few thousand Javascript programmers.

9
electic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Auto-Layout is the worst. I used to spend so much time trying to figure out why things didn't line up or behave like they are supposed to. Luckily pods like Masonry and Paper make things easier but still, it is frustrating. To have it in CSS sounds like an absolute nightmare.
10
robogimp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just watched this GSS intro talk from last year:https://vimeo.com/91393694It looks interesting, but obviously from this and the demo page it needs alot of work to be ready for the mass market.

One piece of advice for Dan if you are reading HN, you have a nice relaxed speaking style but please stop using the word "crazy" or "it gets pretty crazy" which for me at least parses as: "too complex to work with".

11
bsaul 2 days ago 0 replies      
Autolayout is great once you've spent the first three days pulling your hair in anger.

Yet, i would absolutely not use it without the wysiwyg tools xcode provide, such as warnings on conflicts or automatic preview after changing the uppermost container's frame.

12
Otik 2 days ago 2 replies      
If your layout system's site looks like complete arse on a major browser like IE, your layout system deserves to be ignored.
13
avodonosov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Kudos!

I've been thinking about constraint satisfaction solver for layout, and keep it in mind as a possible project for a future. Great to see someone shares this view and went on to implement it.

I haven't studied this concrete project deeply, but the idea in general seems appealing, because CSS is hell.

(The site says this constraint language is used in Apple products - I didn't know that).

14
jjar 2 days ago 0 replies      
> http://puu.sh/igQ03/9d6f0ffcb5.jpg

I'm opposed to most CSS grid styles as I feel they trade accessibility for a faster production speed. This seems to have neither of those benefits.

15
TazeTSchnitzel 2 days ago 0 replies      
That profile card demo completely breaks if you reduce the browser height a bit:

http://i.imgur.com/MLhaheD.png

Perhaps this is why the web uses box-based rather than constraint-based layout.

16
CodexArcanum 2 days ago 0 replies      
I must admit a certain trepidation anytime I hear the phrase, "and replace it with a constraint solver!" Not that they aren't useful and powerful tools. That's exactly the problem, they're very powerful tools. I'm not entirely convinced that doing website layout should require so much computing power.

Also, ironically, the site looks pretty bad on mobile and the entire left side of the page is chopped off. I don't take any "new ideas in style" page seriously if the mobile (or desktop, or whatever I'm using) experience on that page is bad.

17
usaphp 2 days ago 2 replies      
None of the demos work correctly on safari iOS
18
ColinDabritz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found the picture at the top to be a funny reflection of the problems of layout. The bird (I believe that's a cassowary as on the book cover) in a spacesuit is an interesting juxtaposition artistically, but the helmet face plate won't be able to rotate down over the birds beak and seal the helmet. A 'layout' case that the image didn't consider. Layout is hard.
19
dyarosla 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't trust a layout engine whose webpage advertising the engine has centering issues... iPhone 5s in portrait does not center the section starting with 'Polyfills' but does so in landscape mode; I'm pretty sure this was not the expected design.
20
msie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Heh, I'm looking at React Native with Flex Box precisely because of difficulties I've had with AutoLayout.
21
JabavuAdams 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is up with that logo? That's a terrifying chimeric space thing that I don't want on my machine.
22
donatj 2 days ago 3 replies      
Lol, I have a post from years and years ago where I rail against 960 gs and the like "grid style sheets" for not being semantic, and about a year ago one of the authors of this emailed me asking me to amend it specifying that I wasn't talking about this. I declined, and went on to comment how the use of JavaScript for layout was even worse, lol. I was a little irritated at the hubris of the guy and may have gone a little overboard.

You can't choose such an incredibly generic name though and then expect all existing references to update, that's simply illogical.

Update: http://jdon.at/1cgIw the emails in question

Apple iPad Gets Split-Screen Multitasking in iOS 9 techcrunch.com
192 points by zhuxuefeng1994  1 day ago   198 comments top 18
1
Someone1234 1 day ago 7 replies      
It is nice to see Apple has finally started taking notice of the competition (larger phones, multi-tasking, alternative keyboards/swipe, etc). It seems like Apple stalled in terms of progression there for a few years, maybe after Jobs everyone was too scared to make any significant changes to the golden goose.

I will say I haven't seen too much "innovation" from Apple in recent years. Progression, yes, but innovation no. Apple used to lead the field, and now they're just another "me too" device seller. The Apple Watch in particular is highly disappointing compared to what existed before it (e.g. Moto 360), but for what they lack in innovation they have more than made up for with advertising dollars and celebrity endorsements.

2
fpgaminer 1 day ago 8 replies      
I remember watching a video awhile back that noted how Steve Jobs, being keen on eastern religions, brought Zen principals into his surrounding environment. In that particular case, they showed how his home was very spartan, eliciting an expression of focus and elimination of distractions from the task at hand. The point they were making was that this showed through his products. On the iPad, you can only do one thing at a time. You have to focus on that one thing, and are not able to be bothered by distractions such as other windows/programs.

Of course, having multiple apps open on the earlier iPads would have been quite challenging anyway, so this was either a happy coincidence or an excuse/interpretation made after the fact. But the idea was cool none the less. It made me think about how distracting and unfocused work on a normal desktop can feel like compared to an iPad. The downside, of course, is that while this inability to have multiple things open side-by-side is fine for casual usage and entertainment, it makes a lot of tasks related to creation and work quite difficult.

So it will be a relief to finally have this feature on iOS. It certainly was a pain point. But that concept of focusing on a single task without distractions is still something worth remembering.

3
founderling 1 day ago 6 replies      
One reason that I do not use my iPad as a productivity device is that I do not understand the security model. I would need a terminal app with ssh capabilies. But how do I know if the maker of the app is sending my SSH credentials to his server or something? Does apple check that? Is the process how apple prevents this documented somewhere?

At the moment, I only use software that is in the debian repos. At least I understand the security model of debian to some degree. And it is open and verifiable to everybody.

I wonder why the Linux distros are so slow to adapt to tablets.

4
devindotcom 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the few features from Windows 8 I was hoping Apple and others would adopt. 8 really did have some interesting innovations in the 'productive tablet' world, it was just... well, we all know what it was.

Think they'll bring in a "charms" thing for quick actions, maybe from the left side?

5
Yhippa 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is a feature I love on my Windows 8 tablets. Glad to see iOS will be getting this.
6
nkoren 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great feature. I used to love doing this with my Amiga.
7
zyxley 1 day ago 2 replies      
Note that as of the moment, this will only be available on the iPad Air 2.
8
walterbell 1 day ago 3 replies      
If Apple introduces a larger iPad Pro with multitasking, this will shine more (blue) light on human eyes and create a need for platform-wide color temperature adjustment in iOS. At present, this is only available in a few apps. On desktops, it is available via fl.ux.
9
BinaryIdiot 1 day ago 1 reply      
If only they allowed the iPhone 6 Plus to do some of these neat iPad features. Surely some of them would work at least in landscape mode.
10
SwellJoe 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've always thought tiling window managers were the future (as they're just flat out superior to windowing systems for many, many workflows). I just didn't know it would be Apple that would make it popular. But, maybe tiling will become the de facto UI for everything in the next few years. I'd like that.
11
mark_l_watson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I will wait until this ships, but I don't think that I will like it more than quickly switching apps with a sideways swipe. For example: I write a lot on my iPad, keeping a text editor open to a markdown file and a PDF open in an adjacent app. I sometimes quickly swipe back and forth when making edits.

I recently bought a keyboard cover for my iPad, which I don't often use, but an iPad Air with a keyboard cover overlaps some laptop use cases, and the split screen might be useful.

12
dwarman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many years ago - 2010 to be precise - I installed Desktop for iPad by Aqua Eagle. I don't think it ever got updated. It is still installed, still works on iOS 7.1.2, but is no longer in the store nor, interestingly, does it show up in my list of installed Apps. It implements split screen multitasking, albeit with their own versions of each App. I never use it.
13
listic 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was expecting an OS X-toting, keyboard-wielding Surface 3-like iPad Pro instead.

Now when Apple squeezed multitasking into a regular one, I am not so sure whether to expect the iPad Pro. Maybe in autumn, with/instead of the supposed iPad update? I wouldn't rule out the secret homebrew CPU that could replace the x86 Core M.

14
udev 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this will lead to wider screen formats long term.
15
rebootthesystem 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not going to make any difference. The plain fact is that iOS sucks for any real work and the OSX UI is a disaster that came out of not wanted to let go of an idea that worked OK on a little 9 inch Mac screen.

The second assertion is the easiest to prove. Setup a Mac to drive a wall of six or nine HD or better 65 inch monitors and see how quicly you end up at the doctor with carpal tunnel and intense shoulder and arm pain. Not so with most Linux platforms, Windows and even going back to Irix and Solaris.

On he iOS front, well, it's mostly good for games, browsing and very simple tasks (like credit card scanners). Anything beyond that where there's far more user involvement the whole touch thing falls apart very quickly. Try entering a few thousand transactions into an accounting program, maintaining a large codebase or working with a non-trivial Excel file. It's a great "fun and games" interface, but that's about it.

Apple Watch. Dead as a doornail.

I am getting the feeling that Apple is noe entering into the downward slope that ultimately happens once all the smoke and bullshit clears out.

Context: We develop for all platforms and have been using Macs since the Original 9 inch CRT models.

16
higherpurpose 1 day ago 3 replies      
Google's, but especially Sundar Pichai's, stubborness to make Android more PC-like to the detriment of Chrome OS meant that Apple gets to do multi-windows natively before Android - which should've had it at least two or three years ago.

Sure, Android M is likely to get multi-windows as well when they announce the final version (maybe), but we've still moved from Android getting some features two or three years before iOS, to Android and iOS launching very similar features about the same time.

This is a big problem for Google because Apple can release the new OS with the new features to 50% of its users within a week and to 85% of its users within a year. It takes a certain version of Android to do that at least 3 years.

If Google can't release its major Android features years before iOS anymore, then it needs to make upgrading Android devices by itself an even bigger priority, rather than leaving it to others.

17
adeptus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations, Windows 3.0 level achieved!
18
acd 1 day ago 1 reply      
BSD 4.4 was released 1994 it has multitasking which the Darwin kernel in OS X and also ios are based upon. Talking about 1994, NT also has had preemptive multi tasking since 1993. Multics the father of UNIX had multi tasking in 1965.
JavaScript Cold War simulation simonswain.com
210 points by simonswain  13 hours ago   62 comments top 26
1
akama 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The author also worked on a deep space simulator [1] which has been on hacker news [2] before. Another very interesting simulation.

[1] (https://github.com/simonswain/deepspace)[2] (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8837204)

2
pjc50 2 hours ago 0 replies      
People who like this might like the very similar PC game "DEFCON" http://www.introversion.co.uk/defcon/
3
masswerk 10 hours ago 3 replies      
For "authorized" advice, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2v0YuDatpc Declassified USAF training material, 1958), alternate source: https://archive.org/details/AirForceSpecialFilmProject416pow...

(Amazing actors' performance included.)

4
beefsack 10 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a hot war simulation, is it not?
5
hopfog 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The creator held a talk about simulations at JSConf.Asia 2014. Highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HJPilemNns
6
gruez 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Can you give an explanation about what each type of unit does?
7
graeham 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Really cool - would be good to have a quick instructions drop down - I started with clicking things and hitting keys until I realised it was a simulation on initial conditions only.

The bombers seem too effective in anti-fighter measures, and has been said, the sats are very effective at anti-ICBM, but seem invincible themselves?

Interesting how quickly the tide turns from stalemate to dominance once a few factories or bases fall. And also how long it takes to really finish the opponent off (probably my launch_max is too low).

Also interesting the 'fronts' or lines of bombers that form between oppositions. This happens in naval and ground battle, but I'd think a major air war, with high speed relative to density of fighters would avoid this?

Would be cool to involve some sort of strategic element? I'd hoped the fighters would protect the bombers more, but it seems they are more defensive?

Well done!

8
zachrose 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Yikes! Is this realistic? There seems to be a doctrine that ICBMs will only be launched upon receiving a complete nuclear strike, and once that happens it's pretty much game over.

This makes fighter jets a critical buffer because the only way a defense can prevent mutually assured destruction is to prevent non-ICBM first strikes.

9
caio1982 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This was super fun to play with and the visuals are very cool! One minor thing though, the Star Wars program simulation seems too good: once you have around 5 sats going around you're safe for a long long time that it starts becoming boring (and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the case IRL). Like, I watched a game for 30min and all sats were too effective and nobody could really hit each other no matter how many attacks they did. Maybe make sats attack each other while in orbit? Perhaps only in specific timed cases, sort of during an orbit apogee or perigee or whatever, just to make them a bit less effective or durable?
10
jjar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The game also becomes interesting and easier to watch the escalation by turning it straight to Defcon 3 and then reducing the number of bombers.

This leads to skirmishes between fighters and a few stray icbm's in the beginning, but once one hits the situation escalates extremely rapidly.

11
hliyan 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish the parameters were url parameters. Comparing simulations would have been possible.

(I'm currently running a conventional war scenario -- bombers and fighters only - no icbms or sats).

12
apaprocki 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This was a presentation at JSConf US 2 weeks ago. I'm sure everyone will enjoy it much more with the video once it winds up online.
13
Thiz 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Atari Missile Command.

Good ol' days.

14
artmageddon 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Reminds me a lot of the game Defcon. I love it!
15
dspillett 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me somewhat of DefCon (http://www.introversion.co.uk/defcon/). No one wins. Try to be the one who loses least...
16
guard-of-terra 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Real Cold War is more of this:Two side point lethal nukes at each other, but at a point one side falls on its face and proceeds selling factories for scraps, while other one forgets near-death experience in a whim deriving no lesson from it.

Not so fun to simulate mind you.

17
lifeformed 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the dual side/top view setup.
18
zatkin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
>Doing heavy lifting with JavaScript in IE8 is just not fun.

Please force your customers to upgrade their browser. You'll do the better good for yourself, your customers, and mankind in general. :)

19
rogeryu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Minestorm on the Vectrex!
20
eclipxe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I spent an hour playing with this - very enjoyable! Would love an iOS app with something similar. Recommendations?
21
Already__Taken 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Slight bug, If there's any bombers on the field at all the other sides fighters won't shoot any fighters.

If side A has fighters on side B. A has a bomber just launched. B fighters just try to fly at the bomber, dieing to the B fighters.

22
janci 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Joshua, is that you?
23
anti-shill 12 hours ago 2 replies      
the only winning move is .....
24
romanovcode 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Every time the same team wins over and over again, when I change some values other team keeps winning all the time.
25
ForFreedom 9 hours ago 1 reply      
@simonswain - You should avoid the bright flashes when the game is over, some people might have health issues.
26
lotusko 9 hours ago 0 replies      
need more visual
Apple OS X El Capitan apple.com
184 points by NickSarath  1 day ago   141 comments top 19
1
zamalek 1 day ago 7 replies      
> Metal is coming to Mac, paving the way for new levels of realism and detail in games and other apps.

I'm guessing this is yet another API like Mantle/Vulkan that is also seated comfortably in the Apple walled garden and increases the development costs: awesome!

2
sirn 1 day ago 2 replies      
Since no one already mentioned about it, here's an update to WebKit in Safari 9.0[1]. Just to pick a few:

* Force Touch Trackpad Mouse Events

* Content Blocking Safari Extensions (bytecode-compiled content blocklist for both iOS and OSX)

* SFSafariViewController for iOS (as an alternative to UIWebKit and WKWebKit)

* ECMAScript 6 support

* CSS properties are now unprefixed (including flexbox!)

I'm excited about the content blocking extension; it replaces the existing canLoad API that needs to be called on every request (which may result in some performance hit) with a JSON ruleset that will be bytecode-compiled and blocked by Safari itself. The better news is that an iOS app could also provide the JSON block list, so this works on Mobile Safari too.

[1]: https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/mac/releaseno...

3
teraflop 1 day ago 1 reply      
For anyone else who's wondering where the actual information is: you have to scroll up, not down. Far from obvious on a mobile device.
4
sinatra 1 day ago 3 replies      
It looks like an incremental release. Not a bad idea considering how many bugs / issues Yosemite had. Hopefully, El Capitan fixes most of them.
5
cpr 1 day ago 0 replies      
6
pmdulaney 1 day ago 4 replies      
When Apple switched from the big cats naming scheme to "places in California" I predicted (mostly to my adult children, who all have Apple computers): "How much ya wanna bet it's gonna be a cold day in hell when they name a build after someplace in SOUTHERN California?" If I'm wrong, I suppose the first build named after something in SoCal will be called "Joshua Tree" -- nice tie in with U2.
7
Spiritus 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone know what Python version comes bundled with El Capitan? I assume it's still 2.7.x, but one can always dream they have moved to Python 3 :
8
lambdasquirrel 1 day ago 4 replies      
Welp... it looks like OS X is about to discover tiling window management lite. ;)
9
jordanthoms 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is amusing how they are touting 'faster app switching' for the new release, when it was instant a few versions ago and has got steadily slower over the last few OSX releases (even on the latest hardware). It's good they are finally addressing some of the performance issues, but it's a bit embarrassing that things got to this point.
10
tdicola 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if discoveryd will come back or if it's gone for good.
11
bitsoda 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hooray for native window snapping. This is one less utility app I need to install on a fresh copy of OS X.
12
chrisdevereux 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any word on minimum specs from people who've got the beta?

I'm guessing that moving the system graphics frameworks over to Metal will result in the minimum specs being bumped to whatever they've written Metal drivers for.

13
newman314 1 day ago 3 replies      
I didn't see a list of supported hardware. Anyone know if a mid-2009 Macbook will be supported?

Also, I'm really hoping Apple supports ed25519 in ssh in 10.11... No reason why this is not available at this point.

14
meesterdude 1 day ago 0 replies      
I say bring it! I moved all my development into a linux VM, so i'm shielded from them totally mucking things up further. Will be just another upgrade for me, instead of a nightmare.

Apple wants more entrenchment; to make it even harder to switch to something else. I'm already stuck on OSX because of itunes purchases and iphone sync, but that's really all it does for me at this point.

I definitely gave up features when switching to linux, And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The less I rely on OSX, the better off I am. I've just been bitten too many times by attempts at innovation that only hinder me, and running old OSX because the newer version has problems or issues is not really a great solution either.

15
sidcool 1 day ago 0 replies      
Intelligence is a pretty nifty feature.
16
skybrian 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm seeing a slide with almost no information. Is there a better link for this?
17
apendleton 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was probably stupidly hoping this might finally be the release where they actually did something about their awful antiquated filesystem. Maybe next year.
18
lmg643 1 day ago 1 reply      
will we be able to change the zoom on the font in an email without increasing the font size? Huge PITA on Mac compared to Windows.
19
gcb0 1 day ago 1 reply      
gotta love the adoption rate being percentage and not numbers. osx would show as a flat line...
Paw: The ultimate REST client for Mac luckymarmot.com
179 points by lobster_johnson  1 day ago   109 comments top 23
1
connor4312 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've tried to use both Paw and Postman. Always ended up going back to HTTPie (https://github.com/jakubroztocil/httpie). It's much faster than clicking through a GUI, at least for basic requests (which is what 95% of requests are).

Don't get me wrong, Paw is a really nice app, but I don't feel that it rivals the productivity of bash-jitsu for most day-to-day use.

2
spdustin 1 day ago 1 reply      
It can generate basic auth headers, handle OAuth workflows, store variables in different "environment" containers per project, export the request in any of a variety of formats (jQuery, curl, etc:) - it's a brilliant piece of software, and I use it almost every day.
3
mattkrea 1 day ago 2 replies      
We bought this app and I can safely say this is the best REST client I have ever seen or used.

The others out there (mostly the extensions for Chrome and Firefox) will do for most people but this app is just gorgeous and offers some nice features on top.

Some of the more mundane parts (JSON content in a post, basic headers) are handled in a couple clicks.

I love it.

4
dorian-graph 1 day ago 3 replies      
I had been using Postman[1] for the last year or so and it's recently undergone a big update too which includes syncing. I've just tried Paw and like it more because:

- Native Mac app (it's prettier)

- I like the 3 pane window structure

- A lot of smaller UX things are nicer like duplicating, Postman annoyingly scrolls down, having to explicitly hit save, etc.

- Extensions

- Dynamic values

- Completions

Postman has the following which Paw lacks AFAIK:

- Collection automation and testing

- Chrome integration

- Dark UI theme

If I had use either of the 2 above I would not be able to switch over to Paw.

[1] https://www.getpostman.com/

5
ing33k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Paw is undoubtedly the best REST client, but that said I am slowly moving away from it as it's not cross platform . I develop both on a Mac and Ubuntu system .

Slowly migrating to Postmanhttps://www.getpostman.com/

6
brainburn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Somehow it does not understand what to do with my https://mydomain.io/blah url, it tries to fetch https://mydomain.io%0A/blah%0A

Postman has no problems with it though :)

7
sul4bh 1 day ago 1 reply      
The most useful feature for me is 'dynamic variables'. I can use data value from a HTTP response as a variable in the request body for another HTTP request. It makes testing API endpoints that depend on each other a breeze.

I also like the 'environment variable' feature. I can easy test the API locally and on staging server just by changing setting different environments.

8
jaaron 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm actually surprised by how positive the responses are for this app.

First, I'm a bit turned off by it's use of the term REST. It's just an HTTP client. Gah, I give up.

I occasionally use postman, but more likely I'm writing a script that I'm going to integrate into my automated testing anyway. Or a simple one-off script with wget. I find that faster to use than a GUI but maybe I'm just getting too settled in my ways.

What was the use case that made you switch to something like this?

9
westoque 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think $30 for REST client is a bit too much since there are many free alternatives.
10
vittore 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am looking at it and can hardly find anything that it has that free POSTMAN doesn't have. I am wondering, anyone who leaving nice comment about Paw, have you used POSTMAN before, if yes, what is it what it miss that justify non cross platform piece of software that you have to pay for?
11
ddoolin 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been using this for awhile, and I think it's quite pricey for what it does, as Postman is free and offers much of the same functionality. That said, this has a great UI and the grouping feature is awesome for managing multiple projects, and in general it works very well. One of my favorite features is the ability to "turn off" certain parameters but keep them in the request, so you can switch them on/off when you want to change maybe a field or two easily without making an entirely new request.

I really would like to see the ability to type JSON out in the request body manually instead of the somewhat-clunky input field deal.

12
quicksnap 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I normally use Postman, and the one feature that turns me off right now is the inability to import from a URL. Specifically, Swagger.

Postman has these type of import options: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/spa/4moihw0kt47f2sy/lona1q...

I also tried saving my Swagger JSON spec to a file and importing it via the Swagger Importer, but it failed. =\

Otherwise, it seems gorgeous!

13
cwisecarver 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's excellent. It's worth the money. I didn't even expense it because it was worth my money.
14
akhilcacharya 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just discovered PAW yesterday. Its already my favorite Mac app. Absolutely wonderful!
15
mplewis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use Paw a bunch and I love it.
16
tbrock 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish you could send a request by hitting the enter key in paw. I seem to remember that not being possible.
17
morgante 1 day ago 0 replies      
I downloaded the trial, but unfortunately it seems to be extremely buggy. I'll stick with Postman.
18
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is an elementary particle physics program produced by CERN called PAW, for Physics Analysis Workstation.

In my honest opinion, it is the very worst computer program to have ever walked the earth.

19
tempodox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Might be nice. However, I do not find video an acceptable medium for a tutorial or documentation. Might be easier to make than a written doc, but so much harder for the recipient to get value out of.
20
vermooten 1 day ago 1 reply      
DHC anyone?
21
msoad 1 day ago 1 reply      
This should have Swagger import!
22
jinwei 1 day ago 1 reply      
the logo of Paw is too like Baidu's https://www.baidu.com/
23
stephenr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Not in the MAS? I'm significantly less likely to buy your app.

Edit: apparently it is available via MAS but there is ZERO mention of this on the site (on mobile at least).

Ask HN: How to reskill without losing income?
185 points by xchaotic  2 days ago   90 comments top 32
1
hkarthik 1 day ago 10 replies      
I did this back in 2009. Here's how to do it.

Pick a technology stack that you want to get a job in and build a side project in your spare time. Attend meetups with experts in your local community and learn how to make it awesome. Build relationships with them along the way.

Use those relationships to get some part-time contract work in said technology stack with someone local. Document this experience and build up a portfolio.

Eventually, use the knowledge you've obtained from your side project and part time contract work to apply for full time jobs. You'll then be very marketable, and you will have enough knowledge to do well in interviews.

Good luck!

2
pcsanwald 1 day ago 6 replies      
As someone who does a lot of hiring for a startup, I will say I'm agnostic with regards to languages and frameworks. We've hired folks with all sorts of disparate backgrounds including embedded C (we mostly use Java and JavaScript).

I think you should sell yourself as an experienced technologist who's looking to learn. You should also demonstrate a willingness and ability to learn new things; maybe by making something and putting it up on github.

3
sjcrank 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have found it is much easier to switch to a new stack within your existing employer than it is to get hired for a stack for which you have no professional experience.

Here are the steps:

a. find employment at a company that requires your niche skillset but also has projects in your desired tech stack (hopefully this is your current employer)

b. learn enough of the desired tech stack on your own to be a useful contributor

c. ask to switch over to a project using your new stack, or volunteer to write tests or help in some other way to get your foot in the door (this may require some persistence and relationship-building)

d. once you have some experience you are ready to add it to your resume and seek your dream job

4
lastofus 2 days ago 1 reply      
> I think if I applied for a job I'd get rejected as there is no track record of being able to work with that tech.

This is a big assumption, that is simply not true for a lot of opportunities out there. If you are able to show proficiency in what they are looking for, many companies will take you seriously as a candidate, even without 5+ years on the resume in said technology.

Worst thing you can do for yourself is to not try and apply. Worse case is you get a "no thanks" and you move on to the next application.

5
nasalgoat 1 day ago 2 replies      
When I interview people, I am less interested in their specific experience than I am in their ability to think and troubleshoot problems. Google solves the knowledge problem but doesn't solve the problem of intelligently using that info.

I imagine other employers are similar, and given the high demand for tech workers, you might be surprised at the reactions.

6
mrj 1 day ago 0 replies      
My advice: thinking it is just "different keywords" is exactly why you may lose income. The syntax may be easy to change but you're changing an entire stack that will have it's own conventions, history and culture.

If you want to be paid well, it's an awful lot more than just keywords.

7
nilkn 1 day ago 3 replies      
Do companies really try to pigeonhole developers into "tech stacks" so much that you'll be forced to revert to junior status to change?

Unless we're talking about COBOL -> Haskell here, I think any decent company would be wary of overvaluing skills with a particular language or framework and undervaluing fundamentals.

8
vkjv 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Are there any companies that would be willing to hire a grumpy 30-something and recognise his/her experience as something reusable?

Yes. I work for a large company that does recognize this and does not hire for specific stack experience. We have a hard enough time finding enough good people, regardless of specific experience, to use that as a critical factor.

9
wyclif 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I also went through this a few years ago. I was a land surveyor and although I loved the combination of technical, mathematical, and analytic skill with working in the great outdoors, the subprime mortgage crisis resulted in big commercial land development contracts drying up.

You have to be single-minded and goal-oriented. Another HN user above says to "pick a technology stack" and focus down on it. That's great advice. I already had some experience on the LAMP stack and I built up from there. Don't let yourself get distracted after you've decided the direction you see yourself moving in.

Work on side projects. Go to meetups. Find people you can collaborate with and work well with you. See if you can get some PT work that is being parceled out by companies because their own FT devs are too busy. If you're allowed to expose your code, build up your Github. Don't forget to visualise where you see yourself going, and don't be afraid to tell people where you're headed.

Also, make productivity apps work for you. Have a Dropbox file where you keep all your technical books, and have that file open all the time. Subscribe to Pinboard or some other bookmarking service to save technical blog posts and documentation you want to read. Use Trello to manage your projects. Etc. Good luck to you.

10
colinbartlett 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe start by attending user groups or meet-ups on the tech you're interested in. That might lead to some potential freelancing gigs or even just some open source work in that field.

But, in general, I think many, many companies are willing to hire 30-somethings with experience. Perhaps seed-funded startups aim for cheap low end labor, but enterprises and well-funded startups consistently value experience over skills with a specific stack or language.

11
vinceguidry 1 day ago 0 replies      
You would not get rejected if you applied for a job without a track record, at least, not out of hand. I've been hired to work on .NET having never had worked on it before.

You do not need side projects or to train yourself. Just the ability to project confidence.

12
deedubaya 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you have an employer, this is usually a pretty easy sell. Approach your boss about transitioning Aging Product X to a new technology stack because the current one is becoming defunct. Of course this will require some training for you, but it is easier to teach you a new skill set than to hire someone with that skill set and get them to learn about Aging Product X.

If you aren't employed and are contracting/freelance, it is just as easy. Since your skill set is niche, not everyone has it, and you can charge more for that niche. Up your rates enough that you can cut 10 hours a week out to study something new.

13
newobj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've worked for 20 years and never targeted myself towards a tech stack. In fact, I think spreading yourself over lots of different tech is a better bet for longevity, even if not optimal in some short-term capacity. Being able to adapt quickly to new paradigms is the quality necessary for long-run viability. And when you have a track record of successfully doing that, no one will question your ability to do it in a new setting.
14
GFischer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Doing consulting work? If you can solve companies' problems, they won't mind if you don't have a track record with that particular stack.
15
serve_yay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched from doing back-end C# work to front-end JS by switching jobs at my employer. I basically reskilled on their dime. If you're a talented engineer and your company doesn't suck, they should be relatively accommodating to this idea. Engineers get bored and want to switch it up, smart companies and smart managers get this.
16
jsamos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you're confident in you ability to pick up any stack. I wouldn't wait. Good companies hire smart people.

I just switched to a great company with a stack I had zero experience with. Hasn't been a problem at all.

17
darklajid 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks a lot for asking this - I'm in a similar boat and will follow this thread with interest.

Good luck from another 30-something.

For me 'niche tech' is one thing, and 'investing a lot of time in the bowels of the corporate product over 10 years' the other one - the latter just WILL go away if I switch and is absolutely not useful elsewhere

18
xchaotic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you soo much for all the comments so far. I didn't expect such positive respone. It definitely encourages me to try new things over the summer.
19
cpitkin 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone who is trying to move into the development space from a more sys admin role this is great to hear. I have a similar idea about learning new things. I just dive in with both feet and start building, watching tutorials, and reading the docs. I have been working on Nodejs/Meteorjs apps in my spare time. I am just going to keep building little side projects to get better and learning all I can along the way.

Glad to see I am on the right track and that others have had success managing their career path. Thanks for all the great advice!

Moral of the thread: Never stop learning!

20
personlurking 1 day ago 0 replies      
My issue is similar, though not so tech-related. I do VA work for some startups but would like to get into a growing interest of mine (journalism), though my time is limited. I have experience as a writer, but not a background in journalism. I could make the complete jump to being a journo and self-publish, shop stories and find my way, but that'd mean giving up what pays the bills (pay & responsibilities of which are currently on the rise). Doing what I want to do means way more work and, very likely, less pay.

Does anyone else here juggle two different jobs? Is there a secret to doing so?

21
ofcapl_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is a good question! Personally, I've got my first full-time job thanks mostly to own side projects in my portfolio - I was hired even without code challenge during recruit process - so listen to 75% of comments here - do some side projects, built a solid portfolio and apply.

You can also try some contract work/start own business and do some simply projects that one-man-band can handle - I was trying that too and after every project I've felt that my skills got a boost.

Best,

.

22
swalsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just switched from C# to Ruby. Honestly the switch has not been that big of deal. The company is giving me some time to learn, and the switch has been pretty painless.

I think if you want to switch, I think its more important to demonstrate skills in the base skill set (in my case software architecture), and then there are plenty of people willing to give you some room to grow.

23
testingonprod 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://nextdoor.com/jobs/?gh_jid=424

We don't care about what tech stack you know, we're willing to teach you ours. We just need you to be extremely motivated and ready to go!

24
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Career changes also allow for switching roles. There's no reason to keep playing grumpy at a new job. First because good workplaces are often good because they don't place a premium on grumpy, and second because at companies that value grumpy that slot is likely to be filled. I'd throw in that thirty-something is a bit young to be the go-to-get-off-my-lawn person.

Good luck.

25
vkjv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious about something similar, but perhaps more drastic. I went to college for EE, but after graduating got a job in software. I enjoy computer engineering much more than software, but at this point I'm 5 years into my career and I don't see a way that I could ever switch paths without taking a critical hit in income.
26
digitalboss 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'v really enjoyed seeing what companies such as tradecraft have doing around this sort tactic http://tradecrafted.com/ - check them out.
27
martin-adams 1 day ago 0 replies      
>> I think if I applied for a job I'd get rejected

Only one way to know for sure.

28
derptron 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're going to have to do it on your own time. Make it a pet project, make it visible on github, and make sure to link it on your resume so potential employers can see what you're capable. of.
29
a3voices 2 days ago 1 reply      
You could do work at night on side projects to learn new skills.
30
ngneer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am in the exact same position. Summarizing the responses, the short answer to your question is no, there is no escape.
31
ngneer 1 day ago 0 replies      
READING THE THREAD IS DEPRESSING AND ENCOURAGING BUT THE SHORT ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION SEEMS TO BE NO
32
adnam 1 day ago 0 replies      
PHP programmer, right?
The facts about ADP and Zenefits: Response to the claims made by Zenefits [pdf] adp.com
174 points by cgoodmac  1 day ago   71 comments top 18
1
phantom_oracle 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Just swap this story around and change it to:

Big corp. starts illegally stealing data through improper means and not following T&C of small-funded startup

and there would be an uproar.

All those fluff tech-sites that treat Apples new Iphone with incremental changes as "big news" would suddenly have months of juicy news to bash the big corp to the point where their bigger media-parent companies would follow suit and damage the big corp indefinitely.

Maybe folks should just call "a spade a spade" here.

The startup violated the T&C of ADP and whether or not ADP is 100% honest of the server-volume from this company, the startup still committed an illegal action.

You can "disrupt" industries all you like, but when you break explicit contracts, you can't go crying on social media about it and expect things to work out for you.

As far as PR goes, ADP won with this line:

"Were willing to work with our clients who use Zenefits, and with Zenefits directly, to find a solutionthat fulfills our clients needs and protects their data."

2
eitally 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad they posted this. It sounds like Zenefits could get away with using a startup mentality to work around an enterprise software/platform provider's generally accepted architecture for integrations, if not their explicit TOS, and was burned. Perhaps ADP will learn from this and look at it as an opportunity, or perhaps they won't. It's not like enterprises with ADP contracts are going to switch away from them because they can't use Zenefits on top of it....

Integrating with ADP is easy, but like so many other enterprise software/platform integrations, each project has to be taken independently. Zenefits doesn't want this but ADP doesn't have any real reason to change things.

3
thrillgore 1 day ago 1 reply      
This PDF has a better interface and user experience than anything else i've ever used with ADP on it.
4
MangezBien 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I hate ADP with a burning passion (as a user of them across three different companies now) but their points are totally reasonable. Zenefits looks like a petulant child and seems to have made no good faith effort to integrate with ADP properly.
5
shaaaaawn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny watching the Zenefits response: Bring in the yComb & Celebrity Investors (Jared Leto / Ashton Kutcher) to get public opinion on their side via twitter #ADPeeved and a Change.org petition. So far at least on social media there's not a lot of noise from impacted customers. Just negotiate an MSA, pay the fee, build a proper integration and perform better Risk Management in the future (like a $4.5B business should).
6
markbnj 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's an interesting shot back at Zenefits from ADP. I have no way to judge ADP's claims with regard to security and the volume of requests. It would not surprise me if they were true... or not. But I suspect the fourth row in the table is the one that really matters.
7
scarmig 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I never expected to feel sympathy for ADP. This is a pretty effective PDF.
8
cgoodmac 1 day ago 1 reply      
OP disclosure: I work at a competitor to both - posting this because I find it generally interesting from a data security and integrations perspective.
9
spdustin 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait... So was Zenefits scraping ADP's RUN portal?
10
slang800 23 hours ago 4 replies      
> Our first priority is protecting our clients and their data.

...From themselves? If someone wants to manage their account through a 3rd party that allegedly uses some non-standard way of accessing ADP then that's a risk they decided to take. ADP should be figuring out a way to give Zenefits (and any other similar companies) more secure access to their platform, not cutting them off.

11
binxbolling 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Now where's the Zenefits rebuttal to this salvo? I think this story is really interesting on a number of levels.
12
wnevets 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Hats off to ADP for responding.
13
dikaiosune 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Enterprise integrations are expensive and can take a long time to get to market. So I can see why Zenefits would have avoided doing so for as long as possible.

Perhaps Zenefits, having using their hack-around for a while, needs to look at a proper integration? Call ADP's bluff? If ADP is telling the truth that they've never had conversations about service integrations with Zenefits before, it seems like that may be a good place to start.

14
joshdance 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Using ADP was the worst part of my week at my previous company. This PDF is better designed than anything I ever saw from ADP. And good to know of have more ideas about both sides of the story.
15
c-slice 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Why doesn't Zenefits just become a payroll provider? Is the an enormous amount of regulation around providing payroll services?
16
MCRed 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is not the first time a YC company has "hacked" their way into success-- for example AirBnBs spamming of Craigslist users and violating Craigslists ToS in other ways. In fact, these kinds of things come up so often I wonder if it's not encouraged.

It's kinda balsy, though, to get client's admin ids, and then use that to go after their data.... and then when this is cut off, to complain about it.

Especially given the entitled and, if ADP is being honest, dishonest way they portrayed the events.

17
beachstartup 21 hours ago 1 reply      
i posted this yesterday, but the top three reasons i didn't go with zenefits (not that it matters because apparently they are taking over the world):

1. sales people were pushy dickheads that implied i was wasting their time by re-scheduling their demo due to emergency client issues, when i am their prime audience - an overworked, underpaid, understaffed startup founder.

2. they couldn't articulate how they integrate with my payroll service. it was a bunch of hand waving and "trust us". unfortunately i know how technology works and i'm not going to "trust" anyone unless they have a well defined solution.

had i known i was supposed to give them my administrator login information, it would have been a non-starter anyway.

3. the fact that their business model was basically to take business from existing insurance brokers seemed a little lame to me. why can't i just pay for your services?

18
at-fates-hands 22 hours ago 4 replies      
"but it was pulling sensitive information, including unmasked Social Security numbers and employee banking information"

Did ADP just admit they keep SSN and banking information in plain text on their servers???

       cached 10 June 2015 15:11:03 GMT