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YC Fellowship ycombinator.com
978 points by mattkrisiloff  1 day ago   364 comments top 87
hydandata 1 day ago 3 replies      
For me, the key is that they are even considering remote. I think that really is the part that is needed to get to another 10x. I am not saying remote work is intrinsically 10x better in quality or quantity, I am thinking about it more from the point of view of people who cannot or will not travel, new people that can be reached this way.

Take myself for example: I do have this thing that I am working on.. but I also have a wife and a daughter whom I adore, and I would hate to go away from them for any period of time. Having my wife close, playing with my daughter, these are the things that keep me going, not some dream of jets and fancy cars. I already have a job that I like, I am not running away from anything, I just want to do something better, because I know I can. I already work mostly remotely, and there is no going back to old ways for me. If I ever found anything, it will be remote and remote only.

Maybe there are fewer people who really get remote work, but in my personal experience, it is an absolute joy to work with them. And is it not repeated over and over again that you should not pursue something you do not believe in?

I have never considered applying because of the travel requirement, but now I am really tempted.

dean 1 day ago 8 replies      
This is a good idea and a great opportunity for many people. And I think it's fantastic that YC is doing this. However, I can't help feeling it really is intended for young people recently out of school, who have no other immediate financial obligations.

I would really love to see an option for people who are not in this group. Let's imagine someone who is married, with a couple of kids and a mortgage. Right away, YC Fellowship is not feasible.

If you really want another ten-fold increase in the number of startups, tapping into an older demographic could do it -- just because it seems to be a largely untapped resource. We're talking about people with years of experience working in the real world, on real products. We're talking about years of domain expertise, in all kinds of domains. We're talking about people with ideas, and the expertise to execute on them. And all this potential is being left on the table because they typically can't afford to quit their jobs for 3k a month (based on a two-founder team in YC Fellowship).

But if each founder had enough funding to be able to handle their financial obligations, and work full time on their startups, for a year, I think that would break open the flood gates, and you'd see a huge increase in viable startups.

There must be a sweet spot in terms of funding/equity for this scenario, in order to make it beneficial to everyone involved.

FiatLuxDave 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have to say that I love this idea. It addresses the biggest deficiency in the typical Silicon Valley VC funding model, in that it requires moving to Silicon Valley. It also bridges the gap in low-level seed funding which stops many ideas from becoming reality. Perhaps you could call this "catalyst-stage funding" since it will probably reduce the activation energy for getting many ideas started (to use a physics analogy).

So, in short, go YC, you rock!

That said, I have a few questions:

1) Any idea of how many slots are open for this round? I expect you will get many more applications than YC normally gets.

2) Some teams may have members with families who won't want to move to SV and will work remotely. Other teams may have members who can and want to move. Some teams may have a mix. What are your thoughts on splitting a team, having some remote and some in SV? Would this provide advantages over having no one in SV, or would splitting the team have so many downsides that it would be better to be all remote?

3) For a team that already has a prototype and is beginning to work on getting customers, but is not able to relocate, would YCF be a good choice?

cperciva 1 day ago 3 replies      
targeted at teams that are very, very early.

How about a version of this for companies which have been around for a while?

Seriously, it doesn't sound like Tarsnap would fit into this program at all, but I'd love to be able to participate in something "lighter-weight" than YC -- something which, like the YC Fellowship, would allow me access to advice and contacts without taking funding or relocating.

Of course, I'm guessing the YC Fellowship are largely a recruiting tool for YC ($12k is a small price to pay for the opportunity to extensively vet candidates prior to offering them a YC investment), so it wouldn't make sense for YC to invite me into that particular structure; but I'm not looking for money and I'd like to think that I could help YC by being "part of the family" and being someone companies could be pointed at to help with questions relating to my areas of expertise.

drsim 1 day ago 3 replies      
I started my first business (web design) at 15 with a 1,000 grant from The Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust. It was a very significant amount for me. Without it I wouldn't have been able to start.

My family were on income support so the money went straight on a PC, internet, phone line, business cards and public transport to reach my clients to pitch them. Thankfully I still lived with my parents: no rent until I was earning.

$12k is a very substantial amount for an underprivileged kid who's making the Airbnb vs. large corp choice.

My grant was (lightly) means-tested. Did you consider means-testing as a way to make more of an impact past the ideological one?

katm 1 day ago 28 replies      
Kat from YC here. Sam, Matt Krisiloff and I are happy to answer any questions about the Fellowship. You can also send questions to fellowship@ycombinator.com.
arihant 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm not sure why it is repeated over and over that 12k is small sum of money.

12k can easily pay off 2-3 months rent, server costs, marketing stuff, even a few flights. That's mental peace for 12 weeks to build something with 100% focus. That's an extremely high value priviledge.

This should make sense for a lot of startups.

pilingual 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is exactly why Y Combinator is the best. This is what leadership is (and what those other accelerators do, is follow the lead).

> but as always well consider solo founders too.

Please be extremely open minded about solo founders. I feel that is one consideration that hasn't been adapted with the changing tech landscape.

tinkerdol 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Note to the organizers -- this sounds awesome, and I'd even love to apply, but something announced now is too short notice for a round that starts in September for those of us living in Germany and who currently have jobs (maybe this applies to all of Europe? Not sure).

I have a work contract through the end of December and must give at minimum three months notice to my employer if I leave before then, in order for them to have time to find a replacement. And three months is the legal bare minimum; better to plan more like 6 months out. Pretty sure this is the standard timeframe throughout the country, if not continent.

Just a heads up -- I'd guess there are at least a handful of others in my position.

aacook 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're like me and prefer to draft writing elsewhere, here's a Google Doc you can copy with the questions and word limits:https://goo.gl/K5M3LM

Update: Document is fully public now.

colinbartlett 1 day ago 1 reply      
A very interesting proposition! I am thrilled to see this kind of model come to life.

> Selected teams are strongly encouraged to move to the Bay Area for the program, but its not required.

I wish it wasn't so strongly encouraged. To move anywhere on a whim for 8 weeks is crazy to me, especially since the processes and tools for remote work are so readily available. It's becoming increasingly important to know and understand how to work with team members and stake holders all over the globe, so why not encourage that mindset from the very beginning?

jordigg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't underestimate that 12k + YC network and help. Most unicorns that came from the YC program started with 20k not long ago.Too much money can kill a small and inexperienced team, be lean, scrappy and bootstrap to prove then raise to grow.
will_brown 1 day ago 0 replies      
> "...kickoff and end events in Mountain View where teams will present to the YC community. We'll fly out remote teams for those."

YC community? Is this going to be like Demo Day but without investors? I know this is an experiment, but what is envisioned here? Is it envisioned that the Fellows will/will not be ready for funding at the end of the fellowship...or completely unknown at this point?

Starting with idea/prototype where are Fellows expected to be at the end of 8 weeks?

nostrademons 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could you clarify what sort of access to YC office hours fellows get? Will they be able to sign up for office hours with any of the partners, or will all contact have to go through a single dedicated partner (and if so, which partner is handling this)? The blog post implies that there's "a dedicated partner", but the FAQ implies they get normal access to "YC partners" and office hours.
heynk 1 day ago 3 replies      
The announcement's discussion of 'good founders' led me to view this as supporting individuals, as well as teams. In contrast to YC's stance on only really exceptional solo founders, could this program be more tailored to a solo founder, perhaps still looking for a co-founder?
ghshephard 1 day ago 2 replies      
So, I read through the description three times. And I'm puzzled as to what the real differences are between a YC Fellowship, and traditional YC investment.

Are the key differences - that the Fellowship is a grant, not an equity investment (for $12K, rather than the larger YC investment), that it lasts for only 8 weeks, and that the Fellowships aren't required to move to the Bay Area?

tajen 1 day ago 4 replies      
> $12000

France gives you a lumpsum of your unemployment benefits if you start a business. If you were paid an average engineer salary, 2200 net pm, it makes 42000, and it's called ACCRE. The condition is to be fired, and not on our heavy fault. Most of my friends negotiate giving cash to their employers to get fired, so they could get ACCRE.

There are other grants (e.g. 6000 for being a woman) and loans (28000 for being a woman, and others named CIR if you employ PhDs). For all of that, you don't even need to have a good project, as opposed to applying to YC.

What I mean is, YC isn't targetting France, or is it?

martinlee18 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We are not actively searching for investments yet, I think the YC Fellowship could be a great opportunity to get advices and contacts.

But I'd need some feedback: do you think we could be eligible for the fellowship?

Here are some details:

- startup in the SaaS space (collaboration tool for remote teams)

- 2 founders + 2 full time employees

- money: 300K USD from a previous exit by the founders

- private alpha in jan 2015, public beta since may 2015, service is still free for everybody (so: no revenues :)

- few hundred users

I'm not sure about the "no money from investors" requirement, what do you think?

sandGorgon 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure about the US, but in India this would be huge. The early stage ecosystem is fairly broken, but the startup scene is crazy hot - everyone is doing a startup and the talent pool is huge.

Early stage investors put around 20-50K USD and take 30% of equity (yes equity - convertible notes are shunned in India).

A USD 12K grant and the YC cred, would go a long way in rebalancing the ecosystem.

I personally believe that early stage pre-prototype money is so easy in the US... or the Kickstarter ecosystem is so effective (cant do a kickstarter from India).... or the university aided startup infrastructure is so mature, that this would not materially impact as many people as it would in India/Asia.

chadnickbok 1 day ago 1 reply      
What kind of progress are you expecting teams to make during the 8 weeks?

How greatly do you anticipate this program impact getting into the "real" YC winter batch? Do you expect that after 8 weeks most good startups would be "ready" to be accepted into the winter class?

Do you expect that after completing the 8 weeks, teams will be ready to raise funds?

ascribd 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of focus on $12K that I think is a red herring. This isn't a substitute for seed funding, it's not masquerading as a full-fledged accelerator, it's a chance to borrow some of the momentum of an organization that seems to have a pretty remarkable record at moonshots.

I've been working out of Denver and Vegas for several years now and the timing of this couldn't be better. After all, why iterate on the same dimension over and over and not try something new? I turn 50 on July 27. I've been working on fun projects for pretty much all of my adult life and I have better things to do than worry about things I can't control.

mattkrisiloff 1 day ago 1 reply      
The application form was getting hit pretty hard -- it's temporarily offline while the Submittable team migrates it to its own server. Should just be a few minutes -- will update when it's back up!

Edit: The application servers are back up! Look forward to reading your apps :)

staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
This could shift how technology is funded on a scale much larger than YC already has. Teams probably need more like $50k, but even $12k is going to be the difference for some great people. Congrats to YC for pushing things forward, again. Let a million flowers bloom!
markm208 1 day ago 0 replies      
Was there any reason why this wasn't timed for the summer months?

It seems like a lot of entrepreneurial college students would love to spend their summer working on their ideas. Perhaps it just came together at this time but in hindsight I wonder if summer is a more logical time since students have the free time anyway. The 12K would allow them to easily live/eat too.

I can even imagine involving college professors and students. Then it might disrupt entrepreneurship education in higher ed.

TheMakeA 1 day ago 3 replies      
This seems really close to what YC started as. Why the spinoff?
TylerJay 1 day ago 1 reply      
If anyone is looking for another person for their team or wants to join a team, consider me! If you're interested in discussing further after reading this, send me a message and we'll talk.

I am currently self-employed as a startup consultant and freelance web developer. I have extensive Computer Science, Sales, Account Management, and Customer Success experience and have successfully started 2 small businesses in the past with revenues of a half-a-million dollars combined. The last company I worked at had 14 people and negligible market saturation when I joined. I was instrumental in growing it to the #1 most used software system in its industry, with over 200 employees and a valuation increase of 20x (2000%) over 3 years.

I am comfortable working in both a programming/product role or on the business end of thingswhatever will best serve the team. I have two ideas for which I have already done market validation, but I'm perfectly happy to go with your idea instead if you can sell me on it.

If you think I'd be valuable to your team, or if you think you'd be a valuable partner or member of my team, send me a message. Let's talk. Cheers

throwaway69283 1 day ago 3 replies      
(Posting from a throwaway account)

> for some people, [YCF] may be the difference between going to work at a big company and starting the next Airbnb

This is me. I applied to the YC summer batch and was rejected (I applied late, as a single founder, with only an idea). I've tried to push ahead anyway with my idea/startup and built a small prototype, but in the end decided to find a job. I have just now gotten a job offer from big G.

YCF looks really interesting to me. What should I do? Accept the job at G and then if accepted to YCF quit my job after 1 month? Any advice is appreciated

hbhakhra 1 day ago 3 replies      
What about a situation where one cofounder is willing to go full-time with this YC Fellowship but the other would only work part time? How does that work out?
cwal37 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really interesting, and seems like a great opportunity for people in a position to take advantage of it. Particularly the ability to work remotely. An 8-week relocation could have been a major sticking pint for many groups.

If I wasn't tied down at my job for the foreseeable future I would jump at this chance to go hard on an idea out of my "future/dream projects" design docs folder that I only get to sporadically put time towards.

pkfrank 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another great initiative from YC, which I'm sure will yield incredible access to talented entrepreneurs. Surely there will be signal-to-noise issues, but if any group is equipped to sift through for (and help develop) talent, it's YC.

$12k is not a lot of money in the grand scheme, but it is a huge grant to many talented founders/teams who otherwise wouldn't be able to take this leap.

bozoUser 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi Mat and Kat, thanks for this wonderful initiative. Two qs.

1) This line: "Well encourage but not require that Fellows later apply to Y Combinator." Will this lead to YC fellowship being a pre-req to get into YC in the future years?

2) Will this garner similar scrutiny of getting into YC? if not can you share a few major differences in the selection criteria?

sbuccini 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you foresee this being available at other times in the year, like the YC program itself? A winter fellowship would be ideal for me.
adamzerner 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is there a catch? What does YC gain from this? A larger pool of applicants to chose from for YC? Or is this philanthropic?
meteor 1 day ago 0 replies      
$12k might not seem to be a lot of money for many. But, from the place where I come from(India) it really means a lot. We are a team of two at concept stage. We have around $20k in savings. Assuming a worst case that we don't make any revenue for an year, we would need an other $30k for our runway. I was thinking about raising this money from F&F round. But now, applying to YC seems to make more sense to me. Though the money will not cover our expenses for an year, I am excited about the acquaintance we will be gaining through this program.
taway19 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is my throw away account for privacy reason. I would like to have some advice about my career path (and to echo Sam's post regarding "it may be the difference between going to work at a big company and starting the next Airbnb")

I am a 22 software engineer working at Facebook right now. With the current stock raise, my annual compensation comes out to be a bit over 200k/year before bonuses. I am much more excited about the start-up scene and building product. But to throw away that non-trivial income away is a really tough decision. I am wondering if anyone has done it before or if you have a more general advice. Much appreciated!

vinceyuan 23 hours ago 1 reply      
[off-topic question] I know YC asks the oversea team which got YC investment to move to Bay Area. But how do they deal with the visa? I don't think all of them have H1B or L1 visa. I heard a team moved to Bay Area with B1/B2 visa. Is it legal?
yumraj 1 day ago 1 reply      
I find it interesting that people are finding issue with the $12K. Personally I have kids and mortgage and I will be applying with my healthcare startup which as it happens is in very early stages.I would have applied even if there was no $12K since, YC is not taking any equity in this case, and, is providing access to its network which is worth much much more than $12K to me.
mceoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
In one of his essays, PG wrote about the paradox of knowing that the success rate of YC companies indicated that YC could absorb a lot more risk, yet was unable to do so because spotting good ideas that look like bad ideas (or bad ideas that could become good ideas) was incredibly difficult. I believe that critique has been sufficiently answered.
ejcx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I only hope that YCF get's back to those accepted and denied quickly.

I see this as a great program for students and if they wait too long, students may end up in an awkward position where they are unsure whether they should drop out for the semester, without hearing anything back from YCF.

I think it's a great program. $12,0000 is a lot of money to sit in your apartment and hack for 2 months on whatever it is you want. Great idea.

vkan 1 day ago 0 replies      
How would YC validate on if the company has received any funding (angel, seed) yet ? Is it not hard to validate as one of the requirement is for a company to apply with no funding?
shaaaaawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love to see YC branching out to those unable to migrate to SF immediately. As someone that's been through other incubators and been extremely underwlemed by my experiences; this is a fantastic idea. I know YC is open to all types of ideas and companies, but there is obviously a concentration on software/hardware related ideas. I'm curious if YC has funded any non-hardware/software startups? Any examples?
ryanSrich 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow. I am super impressed that this is being allowed remotely. I really hope this is foreshadowing a shift in being more supportive of remote teams for the larger YC program.
dschiptsov 1 day ago 1 reply      
BTW, there are places, like Nepal, where $12k could buy a lot more for a team.

Kathmandu could be a hub for backpacker coders and small teams. It is an ideal place for coding camps and sprints - rentals are cheap.

Also it is an education hub of a small country, so there is no shortage of English speaking CS students.

Nepal needs new visitors after earthquake.

sombremesa 1 day ago 0 replies      
How does this work with founders who are on a visa that does not allow them to work in the U.S.? Does YC sponsor visas for them?
nsheth17 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do teams have to pay taxes on the grant money? I'm asking because I know prize money from things like hackathons are taxed.

$12k can last 2 months full-time for a team of 2 ($3k/mo/founder). But if there are taxes, taking home only 65% of $12k ($8k, or $2k/mo/founder) would probably not be enough, at least not in or around major cities.

ratsimihah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I submitted my application for my artificial general intelligence project, see you guys soon!
zodiac 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are the questions different from regular YC applications? I don't see the "Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage" question I've read about
pyb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are any startups around London, or Paris, interested in trying for a local group ? In which case, it could make sense to staple applications together.Please contact me (see profile), including your answer to "Please tell us in one or two sentences about the most impressive thing that each founder has built or achieved."
rjbwork 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this would be a really cool thing to take part in for a couple of months after leaving my current job. Not that I plan on doing that any time soon, but I think it would be the perfect time to do so. Hopefully this succeeds and YC decides to do it on an ongoing basis.
curiousjorge 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is fairly aligned with what I described before, making tiny bets or investments across large number of individuals or startups.

Having said that $12,000 is too small of a figure to make a realistic impact. Rather it would be better to focus on boostrapping and making that amount every month, and continually reinvest in your business.

RandomBK 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow! It's good to see YC sticking its neck out to grow the startup community. I have a quick question though: as this is a remote program, will you be willing to consider candidates living outside the United States? My team and I are in Canada, and are currently unable to move to the States.
usernames_suck 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a great idea. I would apply, as I'm actually planning on launching in the coming weeks, but I'm a solo guy. I'm also going back to college next month; which necessarily isn't a bad thing, as my startup is aimed towards college kids.
hkmurakami 1 day ago 1 reply      
This reminds me a lot of government entrepreneurship grants (ex: Singapore) that similarly have few strings attached, if any. I'm not sure if I've ever heard of any such things in the US (other than those related to science research spin outs), so this seems to fill a needed gap.


ismail 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome.

YC reputation has grown in the last few years. Raising the bar quite high, making it much harder to get in at the earliest stages. I believe this is the reason for this.

lhfaria 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Will YC Fellowship companies be more keen to be accepted to the YC traditional program?
Tunecrew 1 day ago 0 replies      
A silly question, but do you have exact dates for kickoff, etc? This is both awesome and serendipitous, but I have a family wedding in roughly mid-September :)
omouse 1 day ago 1 reply      
Definitely will be applying to this; I was going to apply for the regular funding cycle as well (still will apply because I want a few more months of my own time to work on an idea).

Glad to see YC experimenting with new ideas :D

mafuyu 1 day ago 0 replies      
My school requires a financial commitment by mid-August so unfortunately, I'm not able to apply without taking a risk. Something to consider if you continue with the program.
Katk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quick on the funding constraint. I've raised money on Kickstarter recently and am still in prototyping phase. Would I be able to apply? Thanks so much. :)
tuberry 1 day ago 0 replies      
YC is so great at pushing VC in the right direction. Thanks for doing this.
josher 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is exciting, and appears to be just for me.

One of the hardest things to do is get enough past the idea stage to get to a prototype to attract an investor. A little cash can make that happen a whole lot faster.

wwwarsame 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great. Doing YC remotely sounds like a good plan for founders with children and a job that won't allow them to take time off.
mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Commenting on just the first couple of lines: I'd say that what YC has contributed to, is to change the definition of what a startup is - which has had a multiplying effect.
hasenj 1 day ago 1 reply      
What qualities do you look for in founders? Is it the same set of qualities you look for in the normal YC application? A little bit more relaxed? A little bit more strict?
ohitsdom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great program, well done YC.

Also a good case study on what makes a good intro/landing page for a product. Quite a few "so how is this different" questions in these comments.

gargarplex 1 day ago 0 replies      
A truly incredible opportunity. Thank you for your leadership.
guiomie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why is there a requirement of having a video ?
hmexx 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds similar to my HN proposition from a couple years ago, only 10x better for the applicants. Damn you Ycombinator! :)
beatpanda 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really wish Sam Altman et all would stop both encouraging and requiring teams they fund to move to the Bay Area, because it is distorting the life out of the economy here and ruining the lives of everyone not employed in the tech industry. And before you ask, no, the attendant increase in service industry jobs does not balance out the damage done by the software industry. There are other places that need the economic boost, and we're full. Thanks.
fivedogit 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great. It's the natural evolution of going earlier and earlier into lifecycle of a startup (or even idea).

As a next move, I'd like to see them go "pre-team" and put talented individuals with complimentary skill sets together behind a single idea.

ncodes 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a great. Finally, early stage ideas can get some support. Good one YC.
longv 1 day ago 0 replies      
Flying to Bay Area is still recommended. The odd for an application out of U.S is low.
wiseleo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you, this is ideal for my product. I am going to submit the application as soon as I am done with the video.
vishalzone2002 1 day ago 3 replies      
can people working on side-projects/ideas while having a Full time job take part in this?
s73v3r 1 day ago 4 replies      
Any mention of health insurance, or other things like that? One of the biggest reasons people do go to work for large companies instead of starting their own business is things like that. Without them, you're really only targeting the young kids right out of school, most of whom (but not all) don't really need that much in healthcare.
mrchess 1 day ago 0 replies      
The "Save Draft" feature does not work on Submittable. FYI
acpmasquerade 1 day ago 0 replies      
going thru the comments, its seems that the remote consideration is going to be the charm as well as the biggest challenge.
dspoka 1 day ago 1 reply      
How important is it for this Fellowship to have a flushed out Business Model?
csmajorfive 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think your math is wrong.
larrys 1 day ago 2 replies      
12k gets them first dibs on an individual and/or a team ... a smart idea.

Essentially a variation of Cialdini's "reciprocity" principle (among others..)


People are free to do whatever they want with the grant and not go any further with YC but it's obvious that the good will and grant will cause a large percentage of them to not do that.

mattkrisiloff 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, absolutely. Teams will be encouraged to apply, but it won't be a requirement.
billconan 1 day ago 2 replies      
this is great, but the real obstacle for me is the green card. I'm on h1b, can't do anything. :(
rokhayakebe 1 day ago 0 replies      
YC is an entire team and as with every great team, the most influential work is being done by people we shall never know. Kudos to everyone there.

That being said, this Sama is one freaking impressive DOer. From the time he came in to now, this feels like the YC you would expect 10 years from now.

Preseed 1 day ago 0 replies      
We will be applying with www.todoed.co and www.myidealist.co
dj_doh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Golden. Neat idea!
achow 1 day ago 0 replies      
I compiled some Q&A from YCombinator partners that were relevant for me.

Is this US-only?

Nope, welcome to apply from anywhere. But..

Unfortunately we don't have the bandwidth to get involved with visas before or during the program :( If you can't do it from the Bay Area though, you can still apply to do it remotely--we want to try working with remote teams!


"We encourage you to come to Mountain View if you can make it, but remote interviews over video chat will be okay too ..." For remote teams with viable ideas that YC is interested in funding, how remote can such teams be? Can teams apply from outside the US; from Europe, Asia or Africa?

Yes absolutely. Teams from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. We just ask that you have a strong internet connection that allows for clear, reliable video chats.


How many teams are you hoping to accept into the fellowship for the first round?

About 20 -- we want to keep it a small experiment for this test batch.


What are key differences b/w the fellowship and the YC incubator?

It's a 12k equity-free grant, it lasts for 8 weeks, you can do it remotely, and it's primarily meant for idea and prototype-stage companies. No dinners and no formal Demo Day, but there will be kickoff and end events in Mountain View where teams will present to the YC community. We'll fly out remote teams for those.


Will we have to pay taxes on the grant?

If youve already incorporated, you shouldnt have to; as long as you are spending the grant on expenses for your business, you should be able to write it off. If you have not yet incorporated, you will have to pay some taxes. Well go over this in more detail with accepted teams.


What kind of progress do you expect founders to make by the end of the Fellowship? Put another way, if the goal of participation in Y Combinator is for companies to build enough traction to become top-tier candidates for an institutional fundraise, what is the outcome that participants in the Fellowship should hope to achieve?

We'd like teams to make as much progress as possible during the 8-weeks of the fellowship. If you have a prototype, that would mean launching and getting your first customers. If you're at idea stage that would mean building a prototype and talking to users. At the end of the 8-weeks we hope the teams will be ready to apply for YC W16 (it's not a requirement -- but we'll encourage it).


What qualities do you look for in founders? Is it the same set of qualities you look for in the normal YC application? A little bit more relaxed? A little bit more strict?

It's the same. Read this: http://www.paulgraham.com/founders.html


anon1385 1 day ago 1 reply      
>We understand that $12,000 is not a lot of money, and this wont make sense for everyone. But for some people, it may be the difference between going to work at a big company and starting the next Airbnb.

Maybe if the founders of AirBnB had been given $12,000 they wouldn't have needed to make money though illegal spamming.

Web Design: The First 100 Years (2014) idlewords.com
901 points by jmduke  1 day ago   209 comments top 41
thaumaturgy 1 day ago 12 replies      
If Maciej hadn't written this, I would still feel alone in how I see the technological world. I really can't express how grateful I am that this exists.

There is a vast, vast gulf between what the majority of software developers seem to think users want, and what users actually want. And this isn't a Henry Ford "they wanted faster horses" sort of thing, this is a, "users don't just hate change, they resent it" sort of thing.

I work directly with end users. It's mostly over email now, my tech still works with them in person, face-to-face, in their business or home. We get so many complaints. So many questions: "do I really have to upgrade this?" "I liked this the way it was." "It worked just fine, why are they changing it again?"

Every time I try to argue on behalf of my customers, here or elsewhere, it gets ignored, or downvoted, or rebutted with, "but my users say they always want the latest and greatest..."

There are 100 million people in the United States alone over the age of 50. How much new software is designed for them? How much new software exists merely as a tool, comfortable with being put away days or weeks at a time, and doesn't try to suck you in to having to sign in to it on a regular basis to see what other people are doing with it? How much of our technology -- not just software, but hardware here too -- is designed to work with trembling hands, poor eyesight, or users who are easily confused?

There are over a hundred million people that don't understand why your site needs a "cookie" to render, that can't tell the difference between an actual operating system warning and an ad posing as one, that aren't sure what to do when the IRS sends them an email about last year's tax return with a .doc attached. (That one happened today.)

For these people, the technology most of us build really really sucks.

And that is a growing demographic, not a shrinking one...

dcposch 1 day ago 4 replies      
The first half of this talk is excellent. The story of air travel--how the engineers of the 60s thought that we'd have supersonic jets and flying cars within a few years--that's a great cautionary tale. Evolutionary biologists call it Punctuated Equilibrium: the idea that progress comes in spurts. The warning--that the evolution of computer hardware and software might be radically slower over the next 50 years than it was over the past 50--seems timely and reasonable.

The second half is not excellent. Bad mental habits and weak arguments are on display.

* Imprecision. Specifically: choosing sentences for their "punch", like a bumper sticker, without caring whether they make sense:"There is something quite colonial, too, about collecting data from users [...] I think of it as the White Nerd's Burden."

"It's a kind of software Manifest Destiny."

...cool story, bro

* Excessive negativity. If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading Everything is Problematic -- it really helped me understand where people like Maciej are coming from. http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/

* Disrespect. "Google works on some loopy stuff in between plastering the Internet with ads." I guess 40 years ago he would have said "AT&T works on some loopy stuff in between sending you phone bills".

Organizations like Bell Labs--or Google X--are treasures, and as engineers we should be glad they exist.

In short: haters gonna hate

csirac2 1 day ago 3 replies      
Around 2012 I worked with a team migrating some content from a very large static HTML site dating back to 1992. We scoffed at the awful ad-hoc nature of it all, just a pile of static hand-coded HTML pages.

But the 2002-2005 stuff had aged much worse. At some point there was fancy site generator that had used javascript for everything, and the javascript apparently only worked properly in IE6. So most of the navigation was busted in a modern browser, and needed special scrapers to parse out what should have been plain old <a href...> tags.

Now, I regularly think back to that crusty old HTML3 static site that had sat there for 15-20 years and think: I wonder if my AngularJS/D3.js/jqGrid/etc. single-page app will even load in a browser 20 years from now, let alone perform as originally intended...

rtpg 1 day ago 3 replies      
The little bit about people believing the "AIs will take over the world" non-sense is gold.

I am still shocked that Elon Musk seriously believes in the pseudosciency "well Google has gotten better so obviously we will build a self-learning self-replicating AI that will also control our nukes and also be connected in a way and have the capabilities to actually really kill all humans."

Meanwhile researchers can't get an AI to tell the difference between birds and houses.

EDIT: I looked a bit more into the research that these people are funding. A huge amount of it does seem very silly, but there is an angle that is valid: dealing with things like HFT algorithms or routing algorithms causing chaos in finance or logistics.

manachar 1 day ago 3 replies      
This comes across a little like "get off my lawn", but you got to admit, the web has gotten pretty awful in the last few years.

I enjoy my time online less and less as more content is stuffed into single-page app walled gardens that load massive quantities of cruft, ads, and tracking code. I almost preferred the flash-era.

It seems that the goal of the web as being user-centric has taken the back seat to trying to convince the user that they're just a passive recipient of crafted experiences whose only purpose is to click ads or open their wallet.

sangnoir 23 hours ago 1 reply      
It is hard to figure out when exponential growth will end while you are in the middle of it.

Linus said something relevant to this in a recent interview on Slashdot[1], answering a question on dangerous AI. To paraphrase him: people are crazy to think that exponential growth lasts forever. As impressive as it may be (at the time), it's only the beginning of an S-curve.

I've extracted a small part of his answer below. I think the whole interview is worth reading (it's a general interview, not AI-specific)

... I'd expect just more of (and much fancier) rather targeted AI, rather than anything human-like at all. Language recognition, pattern recognition, things like that. I just don't see the situation where you suddenly have some existential crisis because your dishwasher is starting to discuss Sartre with you.

The whole "Singularity" kind of event? Yeah, it's science fiction, and not very good SciFi at that, in my opinion. Unending exponential growth? What drugs are those people on? I mean, really..

It's like Moore's law - yeah, it's very impressive when something can (almost) be plotted on an exponential curve for a long time. Very impressive indeed when it's over many decades. But it's _still_ just the beginning of the "S curve". Anybody who thinks any different is just deluding themselves. There are no unending exponentials

1. http://linux.slashdot.org/story/15/06/30/0058243/interviews-...

Animats 1 day ago 3 replies      
Well, the biggest current problem is that everything had to be redesigned for fat fingers and small screens. The worst expression of this was Windows 8, which made desktops look like tablets, and was rejected by the market.

Then there's cutesy web design; Flash ten years ago, "material design" now. Just because you can animate everything doesn't mean you should. (Annoyingly, the one browser thing that ought to be animated isn't. When you click on a link that exits the page, nothing happens until the new page loads, often leading to unnecessary double clicking. The browser should blank the old page, or grey it out, or dissolve to the new page, or do some kind of transition.)

As for the big stuff, the AI-driven future is going to be interesting. The big threat, as I point out occasionally, is not Terminator robots. It's Goldman Sachs run by a a machine learning system optimizing for maximum stockholder value.

Animats 1 day ago 2 replies      
"The White Nerd's Burden" - must use that one. Kipling's words almost fit:

 Take up the White Mans burden Send forth the best ye breed Go send your sons to exile To serve your captives' need To wait in heavy harness On fluttered folk and wild Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half devil and half child Take up the White Mans burden In patience to abide To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple An hundred times made plain To seek anothers profit And work anothers gain Take up the White Mans burden And reap his old reward: The blame of those ye better The hate of those ye guard The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah slowly) to the light: "Why brought ye us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night? Take up the White Mans burden- Have done with childish days- The lightly proffered laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise. Comes now, to search your manhood Through all the thankless years, Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!

flohofwoe 1 day ago 2 replies      
From the article:

Soviet engineers lacked the computers to calculate all the bending and wiggling the wings would do if you hung the engines under them, so they just strapped engines on the back.

This sounds like a myth to me, is there any evidence that missing computer power was the reason for tail-engine-designs? There have been a number of western civilian jet planes from that era with tail engines too (for instance the Boeing 727). AFAIK the wing-mounted engines won in the end because they are easier to maintain, which might not have been such a strong factor in the 50's and 60's.

I find it more likely that Soviet design bureaus didn't pay much attention to operating efficiency and put more effort into building planes that can operate from 'rougher' air strips, etc. But I'm not an aeroplane expert.

kevin_thibedeau 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Another nice parallel with the 747/2707 is that the Core line was derived from the Pentium M which was done by Intel's B-team in Israel while the big boys got to work on the future with Itanium and P4.
mozumder 1 day ago 5 replies      
I love this so much. So glad someone wrote this!

I really can't believe how "into" tech people are. It's just a boring tool for your life, not an end-goal in itself.

BTW I feel the only leading company that is aligned with this vision is Apple.

jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be more than happy to contribute to the sustained applause, this echos just about all of my sentiments about the web.

And it is a call to action, not just a 'nice to read' piece.

So, what are we going to do about it?

scottfits 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This was a great read. In my mind, it reminded me of the true underlying simplicity of everything on the web. He's right--we are riding the shockwaves of the computer revolution and its fizzling down. The transistor is getting smaller (I think Intel's newest one is 7 nanometers) but soon we won't be able to physically make it any smaller. Does this mean the computing revolution is over? No. I think it just means the future is going to be about combining computing with other fields like medicine, the arts, and so on.
dghf 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Software forever remains at the limits of what people will put up with.

That needs immortalising. Cegowski's Law?

nly 1 day ago 2 replies      
This guys dig at AI is a little conflicted with the exponential hangover idea. Sure we can only simulate a 300 neuron worm right now but, if we every achieve a computationally bound solution and experience exponential growth at a rate similar to Moores Law, in 50 years we could be watching real AI cat videos on Youtube, complete with awful UI controls that customise the feline personality in realtime. Oh, in Javascript of course.
_mgr 1 day ago 0 replies      
"We see a whole ecosystem of startups and businesses that seem to exist only to serve one other[sic]"

This line should have "...with ads" appended to it. Or "...Javascript Frameworks".

hrayr 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems to be an older version of the talk.


mwcampbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
He criticizes his second vision, the Silicon Valley vision of software eating the world. But where I live (Wichita, Kansas), Uber is actually better than the conventional taxi services. As in, when uber was temporarily shut down in Kansas and I tried to call a conventional taxi to my home, I waited over half an hour, it never showed up, and I had to cancel. So the second vision resonates with me, and I don't even live in Silicon Valley. What am I missing?

Edit: It's not just one anecdote. TO quote the OP:

> We started with music and publishing. Then retailing. Now we're apparently doing taxis.

Yes, and software has made each of these better. The vision of software improving the world seems to actually be working.

ucaetano 1 day ago 1 reply      
"What is the web actually for?"

I'm surprised he left out "porn"...

vixsomnis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the web (www) won't change much at all, but that doesn't mean the way we interconnect with others won't.

This seems ultimately shortsighted. Human "progress" (increasing interconnection -- such as urbanization and population density) has been growing exponentially[1] since the birth of agriculture allowed humans to form societies.

Relative to this kind of momentum, the web is only a hint of the interconnection and globalization to come. The web may stagnate and become self-serving (as opposed to being useful), but this has no bearing on whether we'll eventually be able to simulate a human brain in its entirety or reach some {uto,dysto}pian future where all of our consciousnesses are somehow woven together.

I'm not saying that technology will be our salvation, but the graphs and trends don't lie. We are at a very interesting time in human history: we are either going to continue interconnecting exponentially or there will be some catastrophic event. There's no room on those curves for a plateau.

Whether humanity passes the torch of technological innovation to AI (voluntarily or coerced) or we suffer a self-wrought apocalypse, I don't know, but there is certainly reason to fear the changes the future will bring.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/human-progress-charts-2011-3?...(This link isn't specifically tied to my argument. It's just the first set of graphs I found illustrating the long-term growth of humanity.)

rsync 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What a nicely designed website. Readable, usable, doesn't peg my CPU or do weird things as I scroll.

I viewed the source and it is clean and readable - no evidence of some lame IDE sticking in forty &nbsp;'s or twnety nested tables just because you wanted your column two pixels to the left.

I wish more of the web looked like this and it makes me happy to see that some smart folks value design like this.

vlunkr 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This is my favorite: "The world is just one big hot mess, an accident of history. Nothing is done as efficiently or cleverly as it could be if it were designed from scratch by California programmers. The world is a crufty legacy system crying out to be optimized." Sadly this is the way I think sometimes.
TexMitchell 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The presentation is available for viewing here: https://youtu.be/nwhZ3KEqUlwI must say I think the written one is better. It has additional information that I found interesting.
emehrkay 12 hours ago 0 replies      
As a web developer I read this and think "progressive enhancement." HTML & CSS are designed in a pretty decent way: ignore the stuff it doesn't understand. The second half of this article makes me want to do better. Write better software, create things that matter and will last long(er).

Very entertaining and funny article, btw.

kleer001 21 hours ago 0 replies      
>The first group wants to CONNECT THE WORLD.>>The second group wants to EAT THE WORLD.>>And the third group wants to END THE WORLD.>>These visions are not compatible.

Correct. Just as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc are not compatible. But just let's looks around, there's lots of incompatible things going on. The future can never be evenly distributed. So, parts of all these futures will live on in stumbling synchrony. And I say they're all driven by internal logic and pure fan-boy squeee.

> There's no law that says that things are guaranteed to keep getting better.

This seems like it should be written in stone and placed over the mantle.

veddox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally a technology prophet who doesn't prophesy digital utopia! Although I can't imagine that everything he says is correct (purely statistically speaking), I do think that if anybody reads this in twenty years he/she will recognize his/her present fairly well.

P.S. Is this page being archived anywhere?

ccanassa 1 day ago 1 reply      
The "is good enough" mentality might be true if you are talking about browsing Facebook, reading email, etc. But other areas of the technology are still very far from being "good enough" and still pushing technology forward. The gaming industry is one great example of this.
stasm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maciej makes a great point about diminishing returns. We're quite good at extrapolating trend lines and yet we're terrible at predicting the future because it's very hard to guess where optimizations will happen. The 'good enough' seems to be the bane of any futuristic outlook. Technological progress seems to obey the laws of friction; it behaves like light which refracts when it enters a denser substance.

I'm still learning to embrace the 'good enough.' For instance, minimalism only works if it's good enough for the users. I feel like this predicate is often forgotten and we end up with designs which are minimal for their own sake.

metasean 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm glad I have Pinboard to save this article to [1]. And hopefully it will still be at the same url in 8 years [2].

[1] The author of the article runs Pinboard.in

[2] From the article, "What I've learned is, about 5% of this disappears every year, at a pretty steady rate. A customer of mine just posted how 90% of what he saved in 1997 is gone."

Totient 1 day ago 1 reply      
I agree, and disagree with the author.


> This is the correct vision.

I would say this is a correct vision, which I happen to be in favor of.

But I don't understand why it has to be an "us vs. them" dynamic between this and the "BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN CONSTRUCTION" vision.

Even in strawman form, I'm unapologetically in favor of it. I do want it to go right. I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon - I think human-level AI by 2075 [1] is wildly optimistic - but I hope it does happen eventually, without wiping out everything we hold dear.

> I'm a little embarrassed to talk about it, because it's so stupid.

My first thought was "Try describing the internet to someone 100 years ago - your claim that there is going to be an interconnected global network of electricity-powered adding machines that transport pictures of moving sex by pretending they are made of numbers is going to sound stupid."

But if you want to make fun of Elon Musk because "Obama just has to sit there and listen to this shit", what about:

Shane Legg: "If there is ever to be something approaching absolute power, a superintelligent machine would come close. By definition, it would be capable of achieving a vast range of goals in a wide range of environments. If we carefully prepare for this possibility in advance, not only might we avert disaster, we might bring about an age of prosperity unlike anything seen before."

Stuart Russel: "Just as nuclear fusion researchers consider the problem of containment of fusion reactions as one of the primary problems of their field, it seems inevitable that issues of control and safety will become central to AI as the field matures."

Or freaking Alan Turing: "There would be plenty to do in trying to keep ones intelligence up to the standards set by the machines, for it seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powersAt some stage therefore we should have to expect the machines to take control."

> But you all need to pick a side.

I don't want to pick a side. I'm in favor of connecting the world now, making it better for everyone. I'd also like to see the world get much better in the more (hopefully not too) distant future.

[1] http://www.nickbostrom.com/papers/survey.pdf

jodrellblank 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a slight difference in that we don't have supersonic animals on Earth, we don't see any interstellar spaceships, and we don't see anything even remotely like that - no animal metabolism that compares to the scale of the controlled energy release of a rocket engine or a nuclear power plant - but we do see much much better information processing systems than our current computers, and they are very energy efficient.

They are built of meat and not exotic superconducting Buckywhatever, they are limited by constraints on heat dissipation and oxygen/glucose supply - problems which are easy to work around with electric pumps, heat pumps and industrial food supply - and by a historic need for sleep.

Maybe exponential progress has to slow, but can we dismiss intelligent non-humans in the same way we can dismiss space stations or interstellar travel?

Space stations are a cost. Free workers is a saving.

Shouldn't we expect human technology will approach animal intelligence in one substrate and design or another? And then surpass it a little by removing some of the obvious constraints?

tempodox 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yay, I couldn't agree more. Those truths are seldom mentioned, and even more seldom so many of them at a time.

If only I could find out who held this talk, there doesn't seem to be any hint or signature.

acqq 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was not obvious at the start to me, it was written by Maciej Ceglowski:


the guy behind Pinboard!

dwaltrip 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was an interesting article with some well made points.

However I think there is a fundamental difference that is being overlooked here. Whoever invents the next user interface paradigm can do so with essentially zero cost (assuming they own a laptop). The same cannot be said about inventing the next paradigm of travel.

TeMPOraL 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think Maciej is actually confusing two different groups of people/concepts, conflating them both under the same label of "Vision 2: FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE".

One group wants to actually fix the world with software (or technology). The other wants to monetize the living shit out of it. A big part of the startup ecosystem is the second group. A fridge that tracks its content is a very useful piece of technology (that is also nowhere to be bought, by the way). A fridge talking on Twitter is someone's attempt at selling more fridges.

The products 'idlewords is criticizing are not made to be useful, they are made to be sold at a profit, which often goes against usability. It's clearly visible in the IoT sphere. Most of the popular devices are just toys sold to gullible, who have no idea how to use them to better their lives. A lot of this stuff shouldn't be even web-connected, especially not to a third-party server. It's all done because the company is making more money on your data than on selling the devices themselves. A tell-tale sign of company not really designing a tool but just trying to monetize you? No ability to export your data for your own analysis, or to hook up to the data stream at the same level of access as vendor's app has.

Please don't confuse people trying to fix the world with software with people trying to make a buck while telling you lies about fixing the world.


As for technology being "good enough", I think that being good enough is a state, not a goal. Anything there is is always good enough for whatever people are doing with it. Fixing the world is a goal (which I support). Creating better future is a goal. What we now have is mostly people blindly following potential gradients set by markets, like water flowing downhill.


I'm not going to comment much on "Vision 3", because the description seems - to put it very nicely - not well thought out, and just a regurgitation of popular media biases. I'll just leave a FAQ from people believing in AI risks that addresses them [0], as well as some quotes from real AI researchers that also believe in AI risk [1] (the media seems to paint the picture that there are no prominent figures in the field who hold that opinion). Also [2] may be of interest.

[0] - http://lesswrong.com/lw/meq/top_92_myths_about_ai_risk/

[1] - http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/05/22/ai-researchers-on-ai-ri...

[2] - http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/05/29/no-time-like-the-presen...

MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 2 replies      
I often ask other coders to contemplate "What software that we write today will still be in use 10,000 years from now?"

That I am unable to answer that question is a primary reason I write English text rather than code the last ten years.

zubairq 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with this article. Old things are sometimes the best:


Jean-Philipe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well written, fun to read. Thanks!
nulltype 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you like this dude (or maybe if you don't like him) you can help send him to Antarctica: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/431908798/send-idle-wor...
baddox 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The Concorde entered commercial service and safely ferried douchebags across the Atlantic for 25 years.

Why this? I mean that seriously. Forget that it's unnecessary. I don't even get the stereotype being referenced.

Cerium 1 day ago 1 reply      
As soon as I saw the simple design I was hoping that the design would 'improve' as I scrolled down the page.
Grooveshark co-founder, 28, found dead in home gainesville.com
914 points by cnnrjcbsn  1 day ago   135 comments top 44
tmountain 1 day ago 2 replies      
I worked with Josh for over five years at Grooveshark. The day I applied for the job, he spent several hours pitching the company to me with rampant enthusiasm in hopes that I'd take a risk (and a huge pay cut) and come work with the team.

From the day I took the job, I watched Josh tirelessly run through his pitch time and time again, always with the same attention to detail, and the same level of genuine interest in getting to know each candidate. He was frenetic and unflinching in his desire to succeed.

Josh cared about his team, and he never let the negative chains of events that plagued Grooveshark over the years get the best of him. He kept a sticker on his desk that said, "this too shall pass", and even in the worst times, he'd give a wry smile and crack a joke to let everyone know that things weren't as bad as they seemed.

I spoke with Josh at a bar downtown about two weeks ago, and he was again in good spirits. He had a new idea for a startup that he was preparing to begin work on in earnest, and he seemed genuinely excited about his path forward. In talking about Grooveshark, it was evident that closing that chapter in his life was a weight off his shoulders.

Needless to say, I'm extremely sad to see Josh go. He was a dear friend and a hell of a human being. He opened countless doors for hundreds of people and helped create a true startup community here in Gainesville. Josh, you will be sorely missed.

jkimmel 1 day ago 5 replies      
My step-sister dated Josh for a while when I was growing up.

My few memories of him consist mostly of Josh explaining technology to me at the dinner table in slow, careful words so that a middle school kid could understand. I remember him laughing with me about the crazy/terrible things I had done to overclock my Android Dev Phone 1 at a time when no one else I knew thought that was interesting. I remember feeling really cool when he hooked me up with free Grooveshark premium to be nice.

It's strange. I haven't seen or heard from him in nearly a decade. He stopped dating my step-sister years ago. He likely wouldn't have remembered my name if you asked him.

Still, I feel like a friend is gone.

Shrugs 1 day ago 1 reply      
I interned at Grooveshark two summers ago; Josh incredibly changed my life for the better. The Summer with the Sharks program was transformative and catapulted me out of Louisiana and into the world of tech. He's such a happy and charismatic personality; the company outings, like going to Disneyworld, are some of my best memories.

Talk about a life gone too soon. I'm pouring one out for Josh tonight.

aagha 1 day ago 0 replies      
This news both both shocking and painful.

When I started my company, Josh was the first person to take a chance with our nacent technology.

When Grooveshark recently shut down, I sent him a note telling him how sad I was to hear about their great service being shut down, and referneced roosevelt's The Man in the Arena poem.

Josh wrote back:

> Thanks man I appreciate the kind words and also absolutely love that quote.> Were not done yet Groovesharks chapter is over but Im at least happy to be free of the dark cloud and excited to move onto new things.> Onward and upward> This is my personal email address by the way, so please do keep in touch.> Best of luck with everything at Metrical hang in there.> Josh

Always positive, supportive and kind, he was a mentor to me despite our considerable age difference. I'll miss him.

pvnick 1 day ago 0 replies      
Josh was an incredible man. He was an inspiration, and everybody that knew him admired him. Always friendly and helpful to everyone. He supported me professionally both while I was at Grooveshark and after I left, and I owe so much to him. This is very sad to hear.
ladybro 1 day ago 0 replies      
To say that Josh had a positive effect on those around him is a severe understatement. I only conversed with him a few times over the last two years, but am left with a heavy heart this morning after seeing the pain of the Gainesville community.

My heart goes out to his girlfriend and all of those with tears running down their cheeks since last night. Rest in peace, and thanks for all you have done.

MyNameIsMK 1 day ago 0 replies      
When will we realize that as entrepreneurs, founders and creators that we have to support each other?

Let's have an open door policy when a fellow entrepreneur reaches out to us to ask for help, advise or just wants to talk to someone who can relate to what they are going through in starting, running and growing a new business or just life in general.

There are those in our community who wake up and live breathe and are motivated by a mission to make an impact in the world. Its not all about the money. The true leaders of our generation are motivated by being of service to others.

It costs no money to make a friend in your own community and let's not try to be so cut throat. We are the ones fighting giants who are failing every day to adjust their strategies to adopt to a new generation who could care less of "how it's always been done."

RIP Josh. You will be missed by everyone.

beat 1 day ago 2 replies      
Keep in mind that there are health conditions that can kill seemingly healthy young adults instantly - aneurisms, heart attacks, brain cancers, and others.

I'm reminded of one of my dogs dying of hemangiosarcoma - a cancer of the blood vessel linings that thankfully only happens to dogs, not humans. In many cases, the way we find out a dog has hemangiosarcoma is that the dog suddenly just drops dead. (In Rubu's case, it was three weeks from the first symptoms.) There are similarly fast and deadly cancers in humans.

udev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad news.

Josh created a service that was a pleasure to use. I discovered so much music using it.

When Grooveshark closed, I moved to Spotify, which, IMO, has a very long way to go before it becomes what Grooveshark was in terms of music diversity.

jmtame 1 day ago 0 replies      
As soon as I read the headline I was scared to read Josh's name in the article. I had the opportunity to interview him for a book, and I placed his interview at the very beginning of the book because I personally found it one of the most interesting. At the end of that phone call I thought to myself: if I was in Florida I would love to work with this guy. RIP Josh.
prajjwal 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I were to list all the great bands/music I discovered on Grooveshark, and all the music from my childhood that I rediscovered, I would surely run into some kind of comment length limit here.

RIP man, your work touched lives.

goeric 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just awful. My condolences to his family and friends. Josh accomplished more in 28 years than most do in a lifetime, yet he had so much of his life left to live. Life is precious, and we can't waste a second of it.
djfm 1 day ago 8 replies      
"toxicology results would be done in two or three months"

This seems like a long time, is it normal?

israellot 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Now hurry up and move to the US so you can come hang out and meet the team! ;-)" These were Josh's last words to me on an email.
efuquen 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's no small understatement to say that I, and countless others, would not be where we are today without Josh, his mentorship, and his kind spirit. The world is a little darker today without him, but his influence will make it shine brighter still. Thanks for everything you taught us Josh, I hope you've found peace.
VaedaStrike 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad. Grooveshark always allowed me to find stuff I had a hard time finding otherwise. Good memories with my son when he was between one and two dancing in our little apartment living room to music from grooveshark. Condolences to family and friends. I don't know him, but he made something that has a part of several really good memories.
s_q_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
I only knew Josh through his creation, Grooveshark, and it was truly an excellent company. I was very sad the day it shut down. From those who knew him personally he sounds like a true mensch. I wish I had the opportunity to know you, Josh.

"No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind..."

I'll be saying a prayer and pouring one out for you tonight.

tempodox 1 day ago 2 replies      
... toxicology results will take two or three months.

Wow, for people close to him, waiting for the results, that time must feel like an eternity. Why does it take that long?

HenryTheHorse 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rest in peace, young man.

Grooveshark was a fantastic service and the music brought joy to thousands of music lovers. Thank you.

turingbook 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can anyone explained to me that why Grooveshark did not convert into the same model as of Pandora or Spotify?
schmappel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I never knew him and scarcely used GrooveShark. But reading through these comments it is clear we've lost a wonderful guy. Very sad this happened to him. Rest in peace, Josh.
Jonathanks 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've never known him. I'm not from that side of earth and I never knew about Grooveshark. But I feel I've lost him; we've lost him. With teary eyes, my good wishes go to all who share this loss in substance or in spirit.Rest in peace Josh.
elkhourygeorges 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really sad. I study in UF while Grooveshark was taking off. I never met Josh but Grooveshark was creating a great startup vibe in Gainesville. I kept using it long after I moved to Seattle. Condolences to family and friends.
mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
So sad. Not just the loss for his family and friends, but to lose an entrepreneur with all that wisdom that comes from the experience he had. We may have also lost the several more great startups that he would have created. RIP.
dylanz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ugh :( ... He was one of our favorite customers, and an insanely nice guy. Every time we got new company schwag, we'd swap! We were all a bit floored upon hearing this. My condolences to his family and friends.
blu_jay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad day. I'm good friends with Josh's younger brother and study at UF. It was definitely clear that the two of them shared the same sense of wonder and awe when it came to technology.
matznerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
So sad to hear this, he was a very nice guy and extremely friendly.
itistoday2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Josh taught me that people, above everything else, are the most important part of a company. Sage advice that may seem obvious but too many fail to remember.

I only knew him briefly, but I'm grateful for the chance to have known him. The other commenters are right, he was an incredibly positive person, and he did change Gainesville for the better. A great loss. My thoughts are with his friends and his family.

jMyles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jeez we've lost a lot of good people in the past couple years.
intrasight 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very sad. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family.
israellot 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Now hurry up and move to the US so you can come hang out and meet the team! ;-)"

Josh's last words to me on an email.

markhall 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had the pleasure of talking with Josh on more than one occasion - what a great guy. This is real sad news.
kevando 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn. It really sucks when a death gets clouded with confusion. Such a weird combination of emotion.
traviswingo 1 day ago 1 reply      
"toxicology results will take two or three months."

Did this bother anyone else?

ank_9 1 day ago 0 replies      
R.I.P Josh :(
austenallred 1 day ago 0 replies      
methodover 1 day ago 2 replies      
Fuuuuuuck. Sometimes I think I have a good handle on death, and what it means. Sometimes I think I understand it. Sometimes I think I don't fear it.

Then something like this happens and, just, _fuck_. I don't know how to handle it. Someone my age, doing something very similar to me, just dies. That's it. Story's over.

A few weeks ago I told my CEO that I intended to quit and pursue a dream that I've been wanting to pursue for a long time now. My boss seemed pretty surprised -- it's a really good job after all, with good pay, at a good company. I gave him an argument that began with, "I'm going to die. Not like, I'm going to die soon. I don't have a disease or anything. I don't know when it's going to happen, but it could happen soon." And then I went on to talk about pursuing said dream.

At the time it felt like a really silly argument -- like, I'm not even thirty yet and I'm thinking about how I'm going to die someday. Then something like this happens. And death feels so much closer, so much more real. Like a nightmare just waiting around the corner, ending my story before I'm done with it.

harryjo 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's no need to perform a speculative autopsy on HN; I request the mods dispense strong guidance to posters in this thread.
logicrime 1 day ago 4 replies      
I know the knee-jerk reaction is to assume foul play, but I knew him a little bit and he was as healthy as an ox. Or at least he was several months ago the last time I saw him.

I don't know, but it would shock me to the bone if someone could truly get angry enough at a man like him, to try and hurt him. He knew like we all knew, Grooveshark was never going to last, but it reinforced the point that Napster proved and I think that was always one of the major goals of the project.

That being said, I wish all the best to the Grooveshark family. It's never easy to lose someone like that, it always is hard.

cowpewter 1 day ago 2 replies      
No, there's not a connection. Just two, separate, tragic deaths.

And currently, what is in the Sun article is all we know.

tallerholler 1 day ago 0 replies      
can you expand?
personjerry 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should pay for whomever's music you enjoy regardless of whether they're an independent artist who needs the money.
tallerholler 1 day ago 1 reply      
terrible tragedy.. hopefully it wasn't suicide, grooveshark was a great product
hellbanner 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Lori Greenberg, his mother, said Monday he had no health problems and she was told by police who investigated Sunday night that there was no evidence of foul play, injuries or drugs."

Then.. what the hell happened?

I don't want to play conspiracy too hard here -- could be she's hiding some health issues? but given the recording industry's links with aggressive legislation (TPP, piracy laws), this makes me wonder:

"Several record companies had sued the online music streaming service over copyright violations."

Tell HN: Hello
843 points by wwwarsame  3 days ago   177 comments top 61
technofiend 3 days ago 4 replies      
Mohamed let me tell you about my little sister. She was the opposite of me in that she hated school. Truly hated it. She said she'd never set foot in school again after graduating high school.

But, she wanted to be a police officer, and that required college. So she put herself through school by being a prison guard. My little 5'3" sister running around bossing grown men like it was nothing.

She made it through school and got hired as a police officer. She spent the next five years as a dispatcher. Nobody wanted to put her on the streets. But she persevered and eventually she won the day and became a patrol officer. I dare say except for getting married it was the happiest day of her life.

Don't let anything stop you, man. Smart isn't everything: perseverance counts for a great deal.

bootload 3 days ago 4 replies      
"My name is Mohamed, and I am a jail guard!"

G'day, Mohamed don't make the mistake of defining yourself by your job. You are much, much more than that. You work (and survive) in a Jail? That now makes you 10x better than most nerds on HN in understanding and handling people. Scan HN and the general press and you can see how badly Startups and their users are hurt by this and you'll realise this is a desirable skill. Start from there.

downandout 3 days ago 5 replies      
Before you do this, consider the following question: would you rather spend your time learning to build the Uber app, or learning the skills to build Uber (the company)? Those are two truly different skill sets, and the latter is far more rare and valuable. The ability to raise money, build teams for a variety of functions, budget, and execute on an audacious vision is far outside the realm of most software engineers.

Unless coding is truly your passion, hire someone or find a technical co-founder. Spend your time learning how to plan and build stable, scalable businesses and teams. Your goal should be to build an organization that can employ all of the software engineers necessary to carry out the vision for your business - not to be able to write all of the code yourself.

Alex3917 3 days ago 2 replies      
That timeline would be doable, but Spring 2019 wouldn't be bad to shoot for either. Here is an alternate 3.5 year plan:

- Year 1: Learn to code full time. Later in the year, start applying for jobs as a developer.

- Year 2: Get a job as a full stack dev. Devote nights and weekends to improving your development skills as much as possible.

- Year 3: Get a cofounder, and work nights and weekends on your project.

- Year 4: Go full time, and work for 6 months to launch the product and get enough traction to do YC.

The problem is that if you don't spend any time actually working as a developer, you'll be limited to only doing very simple projects. And also, it's much more likely to work if you can find a cofounder and work with them part time for a while before going full time.

As someone else already said, you'll also need the skills required to create a good product and build a good company, both of which are entirely different.

radmuzom 3 days ago 1 reply      
All the best. My advice to you would be to try and think how you can provide real value to people (which rules out 90% of "startups" in Silicon Valley) and make a positive change in their lives.

This does not mean you have to solve world hunger, it can be as simple as having identified a loophole which allows for corruption in jails and you use technology to close that loophole.

peterjancelis 3 days ago 1 reply      
I hope your MVP will be catering to prison guard or prison management. You probably got some unique insights there that few developers have.
primitivesuave 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Mohamed! I'm really glad you're making a startup. When I started my first startup, I had no idea how to make "mywebsite.com" link up to my actual website - the whole process was a mystery to me. It was like wandering around in a dark room and bumping into the furniture and walls.

I got the business started with just a simple Bootstrap template and PHP form, and it worked great! After around 6 months of learning new things every day through the Internet, chat rooms, etc, all in an effort to improve the website, I felt like one of those days I just found the light switch, and the whole room was illuminated.

Nowadays I can work on my own schedule on coding projects that I truly enjoy doing. Two years ago, I didn't even know what I was capable of building. There were certainly those days where it all feels a bit overwhelming, but like another great commenter pointed out here, perseverance is key.

jnbiche 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck with your endeavors! Regarding learning to code, I'll just reiterate what others have said that Python is an excellent language to learn with (that said, it's not ideal for everything, but it is a great learner's language).

Also, if you haven't already, I'd suggest switching to Linux or OSX and get used to working on the command line. Most developers in the start-up scene will be working on OSX or Linux, and learning how to use the command line will benefit you enormously.

Rogerh91 2 days ago 2 replies      
Welcome Mohamed.

"This place is overwhelmingly full of smart people, and I sometimes feel out of place!"

Don't feel out of place. You may just be suffering from Dunning-Kruger effect.


The smartest people for me are those who can drop all pretensions and learn as much as they can. You're well on your way.

greens231 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Mohamed,My name is Kabir Narain. I started programming in Jan 2014 and recently launched my first app (www.almostfamous.club). Start by making simple websites or apps for the phone that you use. Its daunting at first but in around one year you should be feeling pretty confident of yourself. My email is 1119231@gmail.com Mail me if you need any assistance. Good luck!

PS- i did not go to college or attend any programming courses so believe me, you CAN do it! (i was training as a sea navigator on board merchant ships before that)

trentmb 3 days ago 0 replies      
> This place is overwhelmingly full of smart people, and I sometimes feel out of place!

You and I both- I commend you on your humility and look forward to your success.

wwwarsame 15 hours ago 0 replies      

As suggested, here it is....

Blog at FAVORTEXT.com. I've used Wordpress to generate this blog. It looks weird and things are out of place, but I will tackle this bit by bit as time goes on. This is where I will jot down my journey on learning coding, business development and going from an idea to an MVP prototype.

I wish everyone here who took the time to respond a glorious and wonderful life.

daSn0wie 3 days ago 1 reply      
Intelligence doesn't matter as much as you think:


Comparing yourself to others is always a losing game. Compare yourself to where you were when you started this journey, and you'll see that you've come pretty far.

Get ready for the rollercoaster (emotionally) ride, and good luck!

sureshn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I urge you to read this article before you decide to take the entrepreneurial plunge http://qz.com/455109/entrepreneurs-dont-have-a-special-gene-...
dr_hercules 3 days ago 1 reply      
How about working as an employed programmer first - learn from colleagues - and then after three years reconsider founding a company.

I mean sorry, but if you worked so far as a jail guard then you probably don't have enough experience for you ambitious dreams yet.

Honestly though ... this text seems so generical and naive that I have trouble believing its authenticity ...

hliyan 3 days ago 0 replies      
You've given yourself two years -- that's good, realistic. May I ask what level of knowledge skill in what areas you're aiming for by fall of 2017, and how much time you plan to devote per, say week, for the exercise?

Also, good luck. If you need to be pointed in the right direction, I'm sure a lot of people here (including myself) would be happy to do so during this period.

geektips 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Mohamed , all of the people here given you great advice on the language to learn and tools to use. I think this will be helpful for you https://github.com/ripienaar/free-for-dev
zongitsrinzler 3 days ago 5 replies      
Hey Mohamed.

I am interested in how someone who is not an engineer/investor/etc even came to hear about Hacker News?

maxschumacher91 3 days ago 1 reply      
Dear Mohamed,

do you think you'll be able to use your specific insight into the prison system as a basis for your idea? I bet there are many problems waiting to be solved.

Prisons are big money, especially in the US.

Greetings and all the best for your journey to YC

wwwarsame 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mohamed here....

Wow. Seriously? I wrote this after coming back from work, and went off to sleep (it was around 2AM). I don't know what to say, but thank you to all for taking the time to respond and upvoting this thread. I have never expected this to happen. I will respond to each commentor who specifically asked a direct question as time allows, but for now, I will jot down more about me and why I have the career that I have.

To start, I earned my BSc in Public Health and Safety. After few years in the field, I became disgruntled with my career choice and felt miserable going to work each day. I felt trapped in a rat race full of fake smiles. I had to decide that I will either do this for 30 or so years and retire, or just leave. Well, the decision was made for me and I was fired...ahahah. I wish they could also fire my student debt. The annoyance I felt working in such environment where I was not being challenged enough and not learning much was oozing from every pore on my body, and managers could smell it.

Fast forward, I went off to Africa for vacation and the basic life necessities we enjoy every day such as clean water, electricity and food safety were non-existent. Everything in many parts of Africa are run by NGO's. There were rules that prohibit people from planting their own food! The NGO's want to supply you the food from their end. Being self sufficient is not part of the game for these NGO's. Anyways, I could go on forever about the dire situations in Africa and the corruption from within the nation and from outside agencies, but it will be too long for one post.

Fast forward some more, and I came back home. No job. No savings. My cousin told me to apply for a corrections job. I got it. And guess what? I love it. I use my natural verbal judo skills and empathy to get the job done. It is scary, but ultimately, you either get yourself in hot water or stay out of the hot water as a jail guard. I chose the latter. Long story short, I really enjoy my job and there are multiple ideas and what if's I come up with when I am there. I was always around entrepreneurs. The best entrepreneur I know of personally is my mother. I learned from her the idea that create something people want. In her case, it was order what people want. I always wondered why my mother would order only ladies clothing and jewelry and perfume for women only. Why not men? Because my mother understood these women and their inherent need to change clothes all the time, and she satisfied this by purchasing everything they needed as a wholesale from Middle East. She never bought even once what men want. She stuck to her believe and made a lot of money doing it by satisfying her core customers: housewives. I think we can all learn from people in our lives that made a silent contribution to push you to entrepreneurship, and for me, it was my mother.

I have declared this little blurb last night because I can't stand being the idea guy anymore. I have countless ideas, but I understand the need to learn and become a sufficient partner when I do find a co-founder. The idea I will work on with the online coding bootcamp is from my workplace. I would like to streamline something so redundant that I do every day using technology. There are multiple things I could work on, but I have to start from somewhere first. Off to work for now, again, I will respond to direct questions from certain commentors. Again, thank you.

atroyn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Mohamed

Your goals are admirable, and I think you're on the right path. Do you have some product or company idea in mind already?

The one piece of advice I'd like to give you is, there's no need to rush. There will be plenty more YC intakes, and you'll have tons of good ideas - learning to execute on them by trying a bunch of different stuff is the best way to get there, and to do that you need to give yourself time to learn.

Jugurtha 3 days ago 2 replies      
Welcome, Mohamed..

A little word of advice that I hope will save you a lot of time and frustration:

- Don't wait to complete your training to start your project. Start with the knowledge you have and tweak it over time. If you have no knowledge right now, start by sketching in English. It seems stupid but just the fact of abstracting human needs that seem obvious to us and formalizing them into logical steps will help you tremendously.

- Write code about random stuff you think about. It will be ugly and you'll laugh at it, but you will be lightyears ahead than if you wait when you finish your training to start writing code. It doesn't need to be great, awesomely useful or something.

- Compare yourself with yourself. "..wrote 3,000 lines of Python in a day to build a Segway" made me hate myself. Fight that urge. I know I still am. Reading biographies of great people, seeing what people are actually doing and building makes me feel miserable, incompetent and good at nothing.

- Understand that the points above are for you just in part, they are mainly for myself :)

Here's something to make you feel less inadequate:


Work to get better. When the itch presents itself, you'll have the skills to scratch it.

Good luck.

nailer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome Mohamed! Start small, and use the free resources - try the Learn the Hard Way series. Python is a great language to start with, JavaScript is a little more difficult but you can do more things. Attend meetups too, they'll inspire you and it's nice to be able to speak to people in real life about this stuff.
amirouche 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to say that everything about coding is not startup. There is a life for code outside startups.
kaa2102 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! The journey is long and challenging but totally worth it. Approach the startup world with the intellectual curiosity of a visitor in a foreign country. There are some great ways to learn how to code. Instead, I've found it beneficial to Learn How to Do X to Accomplish Y. There are numerous programming languages, APIs, platforms, devices, technologies, methodologies, etc. Focus on the X that helps you do Y. Udacity, Khan Academy, Coursera, and W3Schools.com offer a great start (some are free) for programming. A good start is learning front end development: HTML, Bootsrap. CSS, Javascript.

Find some like-minded individuals. You can join tech meetups, Google Developer groups, etc. Good luck on your journey my friend! Keep building!

ramykhuffash 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is an awesome post & I'm excited to see the support from HN.

I like how you're giving yourself a solid goal and plenty of time to achieve it.

Quick question - you mention that you'd like to build an MVP yourself, do you know what product you'd like to build or what market you're interested in serving?

richardboegli 3 days ago 9 replies      
MS Access - Learn it first!


The first few reasons that come to mind:

1) To quote a friend of mine, If a 50 year old boilermaker can work it out, then anyone can.

2) MS Access will more than likely be installed on your computer at work.

3) Almost all "startup" type programs will need databasing of some sort.

4) It has macros and modules (VBA - Visual Basic for Applications)

5) As you start to learn Visual Basic for Application you can use this to potentially automate things at work as it available across Word and Excel.

Read these to get started:

Database basics [1]

This article provides a brief overview of databases -- what they are, why you might want to use one, and what the different parts of a database do.

Database design basics [2]

A properly designed database provides you with access to up-to-date, accurate information.

Learn the structure of an Access database [3]

Becoming familiar with the tables, forms, queries, and other objects in a database can make it easier to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as entering data into a form, adding or removing tables, finding and replacing data, and running queries.

[1] https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Database-basics-2C5...

[2] https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Database-design-bas...

[3] https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Learn-the-structure...

naveensky 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Mohamed, Good luck for your journey. It would be really exciting to know more about your journey, I hope you will have time to maintain blog or post more here :)

Again, if you need any tech help, feel free to ping me at @naveensky (twitter) or email in my profile :)


radcam 3 days ago 0 replies      
From Mohamed to Mohamed, i own my iOS app and i can help you with anything iOS. i teach iOS and Swift to non-programmers and CS graduates. I'm not in the U.S. but if you ever need anything hit me up on Twitter @moubarak
SoftwarePatent 2 days ago 0 replies      
Welcome! With your background you might be interested in the YC startup Pigeon.ly. Maybe you could apply to work/intern for them to gain experience. http://blog.ycombinator.com/pigeon-dot-ly-yc-w15-a-startup-f...
Stratoscope 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, Mohamed, this is great. I'm glad I stayed up late enough tonight to see your post. Please feel free to give me a shout via the email address in my profile - I'd be more than happy to kick around any ideas to help you get started.

What kind of computer do you use - Windows, Mac, Linux? I'd like to give you some suggestions for programming tools (mostly free, some you might pay for), but of course the details will depend on which OS you're using.

I second nailer's suggestion that you may want to start with Python for some of your initial learning. It's an easy language to get started with, but also very powerful. Even if you end up using another language later on, your Python skills will remain valuable - it's great for writing anything from little scripts up to large apps.

Ruby is also really nice, you wouldn't go wrong with that either. And of course you'll want to learn JavaScript eventually too, regardless of what else you do. You could start with any of these really, but Python is probably the easiest to begin with. What you really want to start out doing is to get the basic concepts of programming down - and these carry over from language to language.

One suggestion I'll make right away: in every language you work with, find and learn how to use a good debugger. For JavaScript, every browser has a nice built-in debugger. (I like the one in Chrome, but they are all pretty good.) For Python or Ruby it will depend to some degree on which OS you use.

And a good IDE with built-in syntax checking, autocomplete, and all that is really great to have.

Some people will tell you not to use IDEs and debuggers and things like that, as if it were a sign of weakness to use good tools. Or that if you follow Test Driven Development you should never need to use a debugger. Don't listen to them!

I see so many people asking questions on Stack Overflow that they could have answered for themselves in a few minutes if they only knew how to debug their code. Testing is important and you should learn all about it and do it, but debuggers are for more than just fixing bugs. They help you explore and learn how your code works, and what the APIs you're calling really do, in an interactive and visual way.

Here's a Stack Overflow post of mine from a couple of years ago with screenshots of a few Python debuggers:


Don't worry if there's a lot of stuff in those screens; it will all make sense as you get into it.

You'll also want to get into version control sooner rather than later. Most people use Git these days, although Mercurial is very good too. I recommend avoiding the Git command line though, at least at first. You have enough to learn as it is without having to deal with that arcane system. But there are some nice visual interfaces to Git. I like SmartGit a lot and recommend it. It's free for noncommercial use. Or you may want to start with something even simpler like one of the free clients from GitHub.

Again, let me know what OS you're on and I'll make some specific suggestions for various kinds of tools.

p.s. Top of Hacker News on your first post! Not too shabby...

zitterbewegung 3 days ago 0 replies      
You have experience with Jails and guarding things? I would ask you to figure out some type of problem that requires the protection of some type of asset.
Cblinks 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Mohamed!

I doing a coding challenge where I'm building 6 apps in 60 days. Take it one day at a time. The smartest person in the a game isn't always the person who ends up winning. The person who doesn't give up usually wins. You should check out codeschool.com. They have great courses.

felixrabe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hello Mohamed. I'd be very interested to hear about your journey starting today, whatever you end up doing, whether you persevere (what I hope) or not, no matter.

Would you start a blog someplace and post a link here so we can be part of your adventure?

brobinson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do you already have a business idea or two floating around in your head? Just curious.
zyngaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree. HN is really unique in the web landscape. A lot of smart and nice people here. It's a great community that inspired you to take that challenge and that's amazing. Good luck.
vjdhama 3 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome man!! Your humility just inspires me. Ping me (@vjdhama) if you need any kind of help with coding or any aspect of learning for that matter.

I'd be more than happy to lend out a hand.

arisAlexis 3 days ago 0 replies      
maybe your MVP will actually matter to lots of people and become useful for humanity since you are working for this specific sector that innovation is rare.
arianvanp 3 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome. If you ever wanna chat about coding or so. discuss geeky stuff. I'm always idling on IRC (freenode) on the nickname `arianvp`.
sidcool 3 days ago 2 replies      
Good luck dude. I am sure you will rock. Independent of the outcome, your journey is going to be glorious!!
onassar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Eid Mubarek Mohamed. Reach out if I can help with anything product/tech related :)
pknerd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Please create a blog and share your progress with outer world. It can help you alot!
Axsuul 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good luck Mohamed! There's nothing stopping you :)
motyar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Join Github.com, show up, create something, dont tell; show.
darrellsilver 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Mohamed what bootcamp are you joining?
ragavans 1 day ago 0 replies      
justmaintain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Become an entrepreneur instead. You work in a jail, possibilities for content creation in such environments are endless.
ghufran_syed 2 days ago 2 replies      
My daughter and I were in the same position around 18 months ago. Neither of us knew any coding, but we wanted to do a startup. I have an mba and another professional degree and wanted to do a startup, so in theory, I could have tried to find a tech cofounder, but in the end, felt I would be in a better position if I learnt to code. As usual, paul graham says it better than I can, "anyone reasonably smart can probably get to an edge of programming (e.g. building mobile apps) in a year. Since a successful startup will consume at least 3-5 years of your life, a year's preparation would be a reasonable investment. Especially if you're also looking for a cofounder."

I would advise against the bootcamp (unless it's free?), you don't need one as long as you have one or two buddies who code, who can advise you on what to learn and help you when you get stuck, the response to your post suggests that you will have a lot of people who would be willing to help! It might be a good idea to put an email in your HN profile, make it easier for folks to get in touch.

We started with python (udacity cs101), lisp/scheme using the free 'simply scheme' book ( https://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~bh/ss-toc2.html ) together with learning some of the tools like unix command-line/vim/git, then a course on web programming (udacity cs253), while she was doing college full-time, and I was working full-time.

We then started learning rails and working almost full-time on the startup around Oct 2014, and launched v1 of our web app in March 2015. Still working on getting more customers :). Don't be in too much of a rush to leave what you do now: I think it's definitely a good idea to have a 'day job' that pays the bills, while you work on little projects that are interesting to you and help you learn the various technologies, you may well find one of them turns into something a lot bigger.

We also applied to yc (unsuccessfully), which may have been good for us: I think the value of the advice they can give is high, but I now think it's kind of a waste of the opportunity if you're not raising money at the end. We are still figuring out 'what users want', and in hindsight, raising money would have been both difficult to resist, and a terrible idea for us at that time.

Most of the advice yc gives is 'open source', for example, paul graham's essays and books, jessica livingston's book, the yc startup school etc, so you don't need to get into yc to learn what they have to say.

I now think that the best time to go through yc would be after you've internalized what they teach, have made something users want, are growing, and now need funding so you can grow even faster. I think YC fulfilled a different role in the early days when it was so small, but is now so competitive, it's best to think of it a bit like hiring an investment bank when looking to IPO. In theory, they take a chunk of equity in exchange for good capital markets advice that will get you a much better valuation: as far as investment banks go, this is usually self-interested bullshit, but I think would be an accurate description of the value of yc.

Best of luck, and get in touch by email, it would be good to chat!

zalzane 2 days ago 0 replies      
> This place is overwhelmingly full of smart people, and I sometimes feel out of place!

Rule 1: Don't confuse intelligence with experience.

Technological and critical thinking skills can be learned by everyone given enough time and effort. A lot of people dismiss any possibility of becoming technically minded by saying "only smart people can do that", even though they have the potential to gain the same skills.

dheavy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck Mohamed. With your perseverance I'm absolutely certain you'll make it!
cekanoni 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fingers crossed for you man, have a fun learning this is nice motivation.
EGreg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mohamed - I would recommend learning about basic software engineering practices but NOT building your own app. It takes years to become good enough to do that successfully. Instead, learn how to hire and manage developers, especially overseas developers on upwork.com (formerly odesk), how to share equity (read Slicing Pie book) and most of all how to design the user experience, and market yourself to investors (create an online portal for investors that works on mobile and desktop browsers.) Use invisionapp or something similar to show your app to others, and iterate THAT. Your first customers are actually investors and developers!
Alex999 3 days ago 0 replies      
All i can say is "Best of Luck"
sharavsambuu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck man you can do it!
empressplay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good for you! Best of luck.
maqbool 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck Mohamed.
ai_ja_nai 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck!
12jason 3 days ago 0 replies      
Jail guard that must be interesting
owaislone 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck my friend!
MurWade 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hello. good luck. i will be watching you. haha
alouanchi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck man, wish you all the best in this journey.
Hackers Remotely Attack a Jeep on the Highway wired.com
661 points by SpaceInvader  1 day ago   578 comments top 51
tombrossman 1 day ago 41 replies      
Some questions for the researchers, or anyone else who thinks this was okay:

1) Were public roadways and speeds of 70mph absolutely necessary to demo this?

2) What was the plan if the trucker approaching at 70mph hadn't seen the Jeep stalled early and had to swerve or panic stop, possibly crashing and injuring themselves or others?

3) Anyone notify the Missouri State Highway Patrol about this? They may be contacting the researchers with questions about this demo if they weren't consulted in advance.

4) What's the plan if they trigger a bug in the car software of the people they had tested this with earlier? The article mentions them tracking people remotely as they attempt to learn more about the exploit.

I could go on but why bother? In case any of you think this was cool or even remotely (no pun intended) ethical, I'd like to know if you have a problem with letting these two test this on a loved one's car. How about they remotely poke around your husband or wife's car and explore, as long as they promise not to intentionally trigger anything?

If I ever learned this had been tested on a vehicle I was in, I'd make sure this cost the researchers dearly.

EDIT: I've just phoned 'Troop C' of the Highway Patrol at their main number, +1-636-300-2800 and they seemed pretty keen to follow up. The fact that the vehicle was disabled where there was no shoulder, was impeding traffic, and the demo not cleared with them in advance has them concerned. I'm all for testing exploits and security research, but this isn't the right way to do it. And to film it and post it to a high traffic site is nuts.

hoopism 23 hours ago 6 replies      
To recap the facts:

- Man drives car on public highway @ speeds of up to 70mph

- Hackers turn on windshield wipers and fluid to blur view

- Hackers Blare music and obscure any comms link to driver

- Hackers disable vehicle on Highway at location with no shoulder

And there are people who are not only ok with type of experiment but think there should be more of it.

I understand that these exploits need to get attention... but I really can't stop thinking about my wife and kids being behind this guy while he shows how dangerous this can be.

I applaud the person who notified the police.

adamgravitis 1 day ago 11 replies      
So, it's becoming abundantly clear that vehicle companies (autos, jets...) have approximately zero knowledge how to hire software engineers. Presumably they're somewhat more successful hiring mechanical engineers because that's always been their "thing".

It's all well and good for us to chuckle at the terrifying software/systems decisions being made by these teams, but how do we address the root of the problem? It's very clear that entire meta-categories of horrific errors are being made at a very fundamental level. Is this a problem of outsourcing? Of confusing "coders" with engineers?

And how do we solve it? Shame the software team such that they can never get hired in a serious role again anywhere? Professionalize the job into a strictly licensed regime like other branches of engineering?

Whenever I read these types of articles, my main thought has always been, "so who, the hell, wrote the code?" It'd be interesting to know their story.

gortok 22 hours ago 1 reply      
All the researchers and the journalist had to do was to talk to the Highway Patrol and say, "We'd like to test this on a highway; what do we need to do to make that happen?"

That's it. Maybe the State Patrol would say, "Sorry, there's nothing you can do to test this here legally", or maybe they would have said, "Pay for overtime for 10 troopers and you can do it."

The point is, we don't know. We can speculate, but we don't know.

The 'researchers' and journalist elected instead to conduct this experiment on a state highway, in "real world" conditions, without any safety mechanisms in place. Not only is this unethical and dangerous, it is (and should be) illegal.

No one should stop these experiments from taking place; and the CFAA should be amended to allow security researchers to research issues; but the problem I have is the inherent danger in this experiment.

What would we be saying if the journalist had been killed, or a mother and her two kids because of this? Do you think public sentiment would support security researchers if this had turned out differently?

If anyone had gotten hurt, you'd be looking at legislation that strengthens penalties for security researchers; not at legislation that takes security research more seriously.

This was an extremely childish move that had the propensity to hurt our industry more than help it. It is incumbent upon us take safety seriously in conducting these experiments.

We can't count on level heads from outside the tech industry if we aren't willing to show that we care about people's lives and their safety when we're conducting these experiments.

userbinator 1 day ago 2 replies      
All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone.

I think this is the biggest problem. Stop making "smart" cars with all these unnecessary features. Even if you can't resist adding entertainment or navigation, don't ever physically connect those systems to the critical systems like engine and transmission computers except through a one-way (to display information) link, like it's done on airplanes.

I'm happy to have a much older vehicle with none of these "enhancements". It has a physical throttle, hydraulic brakes, and steering linkage for which remote hijacking is physically impossible. I can add navigation and entertainment with a smartphone mounted on the dash. It may not be as fuel-efficient or safe(?) as the cars today, but maybe the tradeoff is worth it. That also suggests there could be a market for new "dumb" cars which have all the modern improvements to engines and safety, but none of these "smart" exploitable features.

(I'm not so paranoid as to get a mechanical EMP-proof diesel though...)

tzs 22 hours ago 0 replies      
DARPA researchers demonstrated this stuff on a "60 Minutes" segment a few months ago [1]. The main difference is that they were in a large empty parking lot so as to not unethically put non-participants in danger.

That work and earlier work (including that shown in the 2014 Black Hat presentation by the researchers in the present article) drew interest of the Senate [2]. Senator Markey's office produced a detailed report, and has called for the NHTSA and the FTC to develop standards to deal with these issues (and also the numerous privacy issues modern cars raise) [3].

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/car-hacked-on-60-minutes/

[2] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-ed-markey-on-safety-privacy-...

[3] http://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2015-02-06_Markey...

tantalor 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Lot of comments here are accusing the "hackers" of negligence, but do not forget the writer, camera crew, and editors of WIRED were fully in control of the demonstration. This happened in the context of journalism, not security research. Blame WIRED if you think they screwed up, not the folks behind the computer.

It was up to WIRED to ensure the safety of the demonstration, and evidently they failed given this passage,

After narrowly averting death by semi-trailer, I managed to roll the lame Jeep down an exit ramp

Seems to me they should have at the very least had a chase car trailing the demo car with a sign, flashing lights, or flags to alert nearby drivers.

jblow 22 hours ago 5 replies      
This discussion is going insane.

I see lots of people arguing about the safety of how these guys conducted the hack. Okay, sure, there is probably an issue there of some degree.

But it's a very small issue compared to the fact that hundreds of thousands of vehicles are arbitrarily hackable right now, with more rolling off the assembly line all the time, and people are driving these around right now.

Why is most of the discussion here about the minor issue? Why is everyone so eager to derail discussion from the major issue? I thought HN was trying to be a reasonable place.

adamtj 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Should hackers actually kill somebody, I struggle to find a reason why the relevant automotive engineers and their managers shouldn't be charged and convicted of negligent homicide, or worse. After all, somebody had to make the decision to connect a radio receiver to the CAN bus. Others are aware of the wireless and choose not to remove it.

To be a professional is to have a duty to refuse to do stupid stuff like this, even if it's legal and even if your job depends on it. But is it legal? Why would we need any new laws for this? Connecting a wireless receiver to the same network that controls a car's brakes and steering seems to me like reckless endangerment. No need to wait for innocent people to die.

If history has shown us anything, it's that we cannot rely on software to separate two systems sharing a network. Only physics can do that. If we must have wireless for entertainment, then the entertainment and vehicle control networks must be air-gapped.

This seems blindingly obvious to me. What am I missing?

uptown 1 day ago 3 replies      
"...whether the Internet-connected computers were properly isolated from critical driving systems, and whether those critical systems had cyberphysical componentswhether digital commands could trigger physical actions like turning the wheel or activating brakes."

Shouldn't this be the most basic design consideration for any company building autos? The liability from litigation should bankrupt any company that doesn't prioritize this.

jblow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given that cars get recalled all the time for "this one part is kind of flimsy and might break 3% of the time", I am not sure why "some guy in China can drive your car off a cliff" is not grounds for an immediate and full recall.

If you talk to auto manufacturers in a way that they understand, they will understand.

cromulent 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Previous research on this topic from 2010:


Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile

"Even at speeds of up to 40 MPH on the runway, the attack packets had their intended effect, whether it was honking the horn, killing the engine, preventing the car from restarting, or blasting the heat. ... In particular, we were able to release the brakes and actually prevent our driver from braking; no amount of pressure on the brake pedal was able to activate the brakes. Even though we expected this effect, reversed it quickly, and had a safety mechanism in place, it was still a frightening experience for our driver."

floatingatoll 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Please take a moment to write the NHTSA about this hack and ask them to issue a recall for the affected vehicles.


ak217 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Toyota, in particular, argued that its systems were robust and secure against wireless attacks."

That's what they said about unintended acceleration. It turned out they were lying. http://www.edn.com/design/automotive/4423428/Toyota-s-killer...

Animats 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very serious, because it can be used on a large scale and has terrorism potential. This could be used to kill people or disrupt an entire city. Where's Homeland Security on this? This is their job.

Meanwhile, do not buy a Chrysler product with the "connectivity group". It's an option that costs about $500-$600.

hoopism 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow. Just because you are savvy enough to do the research does not make you a researcher. These two really need to rethink the way they are "testing" this and perhaps educate themselves on ethics in research.

Their judgement collectively was worse than a pack of 5th graders with high grade fireworks.

laacz 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm baffled (reporting ethics aside).

One would think that car industry would be the one which has learnt about road safety the hard way. That experience should have manifested into extreme caution when adopting and implementing anything new, open and complex.

Sadly it is starting to look that everything they learn, they do by trial and error. Not by doing those things we take for granted from engineering and IT perspective.

superuser2 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Every single highway crash involving a loss of control is now potentially a high-end assassination, including those that have taken place in the last few years.

How many people do you think will be murdered this way before investigators and the justice system catch up?

Tekker 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not going to comment on the question of whether or not the highway patrol should have been called or not - just say I understand where poster tombrossman was coming from.

However, I fully agree this was a ridiculous stunt. They could have gotten the same results by demonstrating (on the highway, if they insisted) the air conditioner going full blast, the radio, and the picture of the hackers on the screen. Anything else (cutting transmission, obscuring visibility) should have been saved for a safer environment. The point still would have been made.

And it's got nothing to do with the vehicle and driver itself (though I wonder how the hackers knew the exact driving situation - was it plastered with cameras?) - what if two unrelated vehicles got in an accident for some reason and the test driver had to get out of the way, but couldn't?

And to make it worse, the cranked radio made it hard for the tester to communicate with the hackers. Very dangerous stunt.

Also, and I know it was unrelated to this particular hack, but if the UConnect recognizes voice commands (I assume so), and sends it back for processing, then might it not also be able to bug (eavesdrop) on the car's interior?

Many disturbing revelations came out of this, and I applaud them for making it known, but I criticize them harshly for the cavalier way they endangered public safety.

otikik 22 hours ago 1 reply      
When I studied real time systems, it was clear that critical systems (in this case the brakes, accelerator, wheel) needed to be in a physically separate network from non-critical ones (music, air conditioning). I guess it must be cheaper to build all in a single network, but it sounds irresponsible.

Also, this test should not have been done in a public road. That was irresponsible.

bluecalm 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is scary. Malice or incompetence I think it's unacceptable for systems handling the breaks and other crucial functions of the car to be anywhere close to interacting with internet connection.I am going to stick to old style cars for a while. This is really scary.
Kliment 1 day ago 1 reply      
So if I'm understanding this correctly, the initial vulnerability is remote-exploitable and relies on a firmware patch. Why wouldn't the manufacturer use the same exploit to patch all affected vehicles rather than calling them in for service?
jkot 23 hours ago 1 reply      
> The most disturbing maneuver came when they cut the Jeeps brakes, leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the 2-ton SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch

I was in that situation. No brakes, high rocks on one side, 100 meters cliff on other side, 20km of downhill in front off me. I guess I will not be buying Jeep anytime soon.

AustinDizzy 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Does Wired really wonder why so many of their readers have ad blocking software? [1] I can't even read the article on their website because every ad I see is covering up some sort of text of the article. None of the ads have a close, hide, or dismiss button either so I can't just go and hide them.

[1]: http://i.imgur.com/IZymUKm.png[2]: http://i.imgur.com/C7LiA60.png

peeters 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like, public safety aside, people should be mad at these researchers because they give credibility to every ignorant politician, prosecutor, or journalist out there who says that all hackers threaten the public good. How are you supposed to draw a line between blackhat and ethical hackers when the "ethical" ones endanger public safety all the same?
keso_77 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it. Everyone seems to be either upset at the researchers for their test or defending them.Why is no one upset at car companies putting tech in our cars that allows for remote shutdown of said car. Is this what we bailed them out for?
spaceisballer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well luckily my Chrysler despite only being a year old does not have this connectivity. It does have Uconnect which I despise, I keep contacting Chrysler to demand that they offer the ability to use Apple Carplay or the Google equivalent. To be fair there has yet to be a vehicle that has a nice easy to use controls for radio or media.
themgt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
As big of dicks as these researchers are, I just have to say, to anyone out there working on software to run cars, airplanes, robots, other mobile vehicles ... some day, within the next 5 or 25 years, it's pretty likely some nut job is going to use an exploit take control of one or more of these vehicles and crash them/use them as remote-controlled / swarm weapons, possibly killing lots of people.

If you're writing that software, make sure you do a really, really good job on security. Because no one wants to be the guy 'git blame' shows wrote the exploitable feature that led to ??? deaths.

The industry really should have stringent standards that prevent ridiculous breaches like this, I would say as well as simulators (or physical demo vehicles) available online/open source that people can pen-test against and win prize money. And maybe write all the code in Rust?

yodon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hopefully people selling armored cars and armored trucks have good pen testers on their teams. Run flat tires and armor-plated doors don't help much if an attacker can shut down the engine and open the doors remotely.
andrey-g 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I recall that last time they used a piece of hardware to connect to the CAN bus via cellular. Are they now able to control the CAN bus via the infotainment system? Does it have it's own cellular transmitter?
tdicola 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hah, I found it really funny as I scrolled down there's a big ad for a Fiat in the article: http://i.imgur.com/rSyYPO4.png Fiat owns Chrysler who owns Jeep... maybe not the best marketing idea to advertise your cars in an article about exploiting them with potentially catastrophic results.
ianhawes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I own a 2015 Jeep Cherokee and have poked around with Uconnect and the API services it exposes. Theres a whole new world of exploitation (and eventually modding) that is coming.
anfedorov 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The two researchers say that even if their code makes it easier for malicious hackers to attack unpatched Jeeps, the release is nonetheless warranted because it allows their work to be proven through peer review.

Huh? If they have a video of their turning a care off remotely, do they really need peer review of the details?

MikeNomad 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Good research by the hackers, stupid execution.

Calling the police was indeed the right thing to do.

Maybe next time, the hackers can test on the vehicles driven by the car executives, while they are driving, have their family in the car with them, etc.

Can't wait to see that comment thread...

gregpilling 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok, so if the Dodge Dart and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta are built on the same platform , do they share the same vulnerability in the computer systems?

or is it more about the Uconnect than anything else ?

thetruthseeker1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Research can be done to drive a point without making that into a drama. you can demonstrate the science without the hollywood so to speak. I think what was done here could have been demonstrated without the risk that was taken. I think the risk that was taken was poor judgement.
asd 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm willing to bet FCA wil recall all of these "UConnect" enabled vehicles within a month to patch this. This will blow up fast.
jbombadil 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck trying to hack my 1971 Volskwagen.
a3n 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think a basic idea should be: panic stops disconnect all wireless access.

Which will probably result in lots of calls from people after they avoid hitting a dog. But still.

davesque 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It's weird that they said the demonstration wouldn't be life threatening when it actually was.
eam 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything connected on the internet is hackable. We've seen this time after time, so I'm not surprised.
upofadown 22 hours ago 1 reply      
That was a lot of uninformative text to plow though...

Apparently someone has found a remote exploit that affects some model of Jeep. It requires an attacker to find the IP address of the Jeep. Which implies that a Jeep has an IP address. The communication between the Jeep and the world is something called Uconnect.

metafunctor 22 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a patch available for this already: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/patch-chrysler-vehicle-now-wire...
a-dub 20 hours ago 0 replies      
meh. cars stall all the time. if they hadn't gone for the freakout factor with the reporter, there wouldn't be high profile press, embarrassed automotive executives and politicians scrambling to get a handle on the issue.

the real issue is that the automakers are producing fundamentally dangerous vehicles and the federal government is allowing it. these vehicles could be exploited maliciously to cause serious physical harm or death.

this is actually a problem. not some onetime stall of a jeep on the highway.

mfukar 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Surprising the comments critical of how the test was performed publicly equate exploitation with guns:

> How about they remotely poke around your husband or wife's car and explore, as long as they promise not to intentionally trigger anything?

> Calling the cops on a loud neighbor might not be acceptable, but calling the cops on a neighbor firing a gun in the general direction of your house certainly would be.

> Anyone could shoot up a public place... should amateur researches be showing up in malls with firearms to test preparedness?

The lack of sound judgement _and_ arguments is astounding.

siliconc0w 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Last wired on this was kinda bullshit - they let the researchers install a system on the CAN bus. Was this a legit wireless takeover?
rebootthesystem 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I revisited this thread and thought: How would I go about running these tests and creating awareness for this issue?

A dynamometer would cover the vast majority of what they wanted to show. There was no need to create the danger they created with this vehicle. They really didn't know how the driver would react, "don't freak out" guarantees nothing. A professional driver (like a stunt driver) would have been far more appropriate.

The business about disabling the breaks should have been done a pile of hay bundles or something like that in front of the car.

For exposure they could have contacted any number of TV stations or networks who would have jumped on this immediately.

In all, the choices they made were reckless, stupid, dangerous and potentially criminal. I don't doubt their tech credentials at all. They are tech-smart people, no question about that. However, they have proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they are poster children for that stereotype of socially clueless engineers and/or the other stereotype of scientists/engineers who are so into what they are doing that they are completely blind to the idea that they could seriously harm people through their careless actions or inaction.

joncfoo7 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Did anyone bother to read the full article? If so, you would find out that it was a [somewhat] controlled experiment.

> To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while its being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Millers laptop in his house 10 miles west.

> Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldnt do anything life-threatening.

> Then they told me to drive the Jeep onto the highway. Remember, Andy, Miller had said through my iPhones speaker just before I pulled onto the Interstate 64 on-ramp, no matter what happens, dont panic.

dang 21 hours ago 7 replies      
> leftist ... leftist ... Leftists ... leftists ... leftists ... leftists ... the leftist brain ... leftists ... leftists ... leftists

We've detached this subthread and marked it off-topic.

bluedino 23 hours ago 3 replies      
>> The attackers PC had been wired into the vehicles onboard diagnostic port, a feature that normally gives repair technicians access to information about the cars electronically controlled systems.

Is this even really considered an issue?

daveloyall 1 day ago 6 replies      
So, a HN commentator apparently called the cops on these guys after reading the Wired article.

Several commentators more or less agree, arguing that performing these tests on the I-40 was criminally negligent.

Stop right there. Grow some balls. These guys are elite, their demo was badass, and I've done stupider things on I-40 for no reason.

And wtf you called the cops? head in hand

Show HN: Bocker Docker implemented in 100 lines of bash github.com
593 points by p8952  17 hours ago   81 comments top 25
BonoboBoner 9 hours ago 2 replies      
You published it? You should have gotten a "micro-docker"-like hashtag trend going and then pitch your idea to VCs. The main "Lighter than Docker" startup would be valued at around 5-7 billion right now.
tobbyb 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Just playing with this in a VM with an attached btrfs volume, a complete revelation. 96 lines! And it's actually pretty functional. This takes keeping it simple to a whole new level.

The Wheezy image I use with LXC worked well enough, the minimal alpine image not so well, apk complaining about its database.

User name spaces support would be nice, then we can play with unprivileged containers.

And Overlayfs would be a nifty alternative to btrfs, it's in kernel 3.18, and 4.04 adds support for multiple lower layers. But this btrfs implementation is cool too. Cgroups support will be somewhere on that list too.

Cgroups and namespaces is in the kernel. General Linux ecosystem for networking, storage and distributed systems is already extensive. The possibilities are endless.

So now LXC, Docker, Rkt and Nspawn have Bocker for company.

vezzy-fnord 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Using btrfs subvolumes as the image format, that's a nice touch. On the same road as the hypothetical systemd packaging system (not that I'm very enthusiastic about that).

The network, PID and mount namespaces are the ones unshared, plus a private /proc.

I like tools like this because they're reality checks on how the basics of Linux containers are just a few essential system calls, and particularly that they're limited.

tlrobinson 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's a proof-of-concept implementation of "docker pull" in bash (YMMV, I think it has broken since I wrote it): https://gist.github.com/tlrobinson/c85dca269f4405ad4201
anh79 11 hours ago 0 replies      
When I first saw the HN title, I was so stunning. Weird, it's not my tool https://github.com/icy/bocker ;)

The author of "bocker" (not my bocker) has a great idea. I would learn from the script. Docker is not magic anymore.!!

eatitraw 15 hours ago 1 reply      
logicrime 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Holy crap! I've been keeping up with the hype, yet having never used Docker and never needed it yet I can't help but become more skeptical now that I know that it's features aren't more complex than a little bit of bash.

People give bash a hard time, but things like this really give me that warm, fuzzy feeling.


kzisme 1 hour ago 1 reply      
As an entry level developer - how does someone go about re-writing "x" in 100 lines of "x"?

Is there a certain process that goes into developing something like this, and why is this a popular thing to do? (writing an existing software in lesser lines)

arianvanp 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Add support for GPG-signed `btrfs pull` and `btrfs push` and I'm totally sold! I've been working on something similar to this but on top of systemd-nspawn, which already does some stuff for you.

systemd-nspawn is nice because I run systemd in all my containers and thus allows me to easily do logging etc.

I don't really dig the docker-microservices mantra that much. I just use them as glorified VMs I guess.

(And yes, you should run an init system in your containers [0])

[0] - https://blog.phusion.nl/2015/01/20/docker-and-the-pid-1-zomb...

tzm 14 hours ago 0 replies      
$10M per LoC
jenscow 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That script is the best description of Docker I've read.
WD-42 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice work. Great to see the advanced features of BTRFS put to use.
asdfaoeu 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There's also https://github.com/docker/dockerlite . But not sure how current it is.
sandGorgon 16 hours ago 2 replies      
not sure if you ever saw this - https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=CoreOS-B...

it might be interesting to see a version of your script using overlayfs

Bocker 16 hours ago 0 replies      
sklogic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I honestly thought docker was just a little script when I saw it first, judging on the functionality.
joeevans1000 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The emperor is wearing fewer clothes.
spydum 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm missing something, what actually "executes" the command hereecho "$2" > "$btrfs_path/$uuid/$uuid.cmd"

Is something watching for .cmd? Is this some behavior of util-linux (for which, my few seconds couldn't find solid documentation on)?

e12e 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice. As I just started playing with zfsonlinux, I'm tempted to "port" this from btrfs to zfs... Should allow for migrating "images"/snapshots with zfs send...
agumonkey 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Persistent data structure FTW.
amrit_b 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is incredible.
vacri 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting work. And 10% of those lines are simply closing braces which can be collapsed to the previous line, and half a dozen lines can be reclaimed from the help function...
SFjulie1 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I thought puppet/chef were the pit of the devops ridicule. Then I not only saw this, but also positive reactions to a readable code in which you have :

 echo 'nameserver' > "$btrfs_path/$uuid"/etc/resolv.conf
This is wrong on so many level that I don't know where to begin with.

npx 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone wants to earn some huge brownie points with me (and who wouldn't), you could implement a PaaS on top of Joyent's Triton system[1]. Purely in terms of the cost structure you could offer with such a PaaS, this could be a Heroku killer. Huge bonus points if it's totally open source!

1. https://github.com/joyent/sdc-docker

pekk 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, Docker in 100 lines! It runs as root? Oh. It is written in bash? Oh. It needs a ton of manual setup? Oh. It doesn't actually implement the package format which is most of the point of Docker? Oh. So is it that easy to reimplement Docker? Despite the obvious snarky intent, it appears not.
Dropdowns Should Be the UI of Last Resort lukew.com
531 points by mathattack  2 days ago   229 comments top 25
anc84 2 days ago 4 replies      
If you want to see the images in actual 1:1 resolution, here is how:

* Click on the image in the text.

* Click on the image in the tweet.

* Right-click on the image in the pop-up.

* Open image in new tab.

* Change the "large" at the end of the URL to "orig". Load that URL.

Congrats, you now see a huge (blurry upscaled) image that you can actually read. You are out 3 times the network traffic that was needed. Why would anyone link to their own tweet just to show an (already thumbnailed) image in an article is beyond me. And don't even ask me about my thoughts on Twitter's UI, showing a tiny version of images when you click on them is not sane.

deanclatworthy 2 days ago 6 replies      
There is a small irony that when reading an article about mobile UX, the website has disabled zoom meaning I can't actually see any of the images in the article.
userbinator 2 days ago 6 replies      
IMHO the best option for inputting a small integer value is the combination of a text field and a stepper, which has been around for a long time and has its own name (for touchscreen operation, the +/- buttons could be made larger and horizontally, like the steppers shown):


For dates, a calendar control would probably be appropriate.

I'm a bit puzzled as to why dropdowns are a "4 tap operation" - once to dropdown and once to select, with possibly some intervening scrolling if it's a lengthy list. Where are the extra 2 taps coming from...?

justuk 2 days ago 4 replies      
I dislike the way mobile has become the new lowest common denominator for web development. It used to be IE6 because it was antiquated but now it's anything with a touch screen - mainly thinking how hover has been relegated to visual effects even though it's fine on non-touchscreens.
kalleboo 2 days ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of one of my pet peeves about the iOS UI - the date picker control. Yes, the scrolly spinners are a very cute UI and look awesome. But it'd be 10x faster if they'd just give me a number pad and let me hit the 8 digits rather than scroll up and down to get it just right.
brudgers 2 days ago 4 replies      
GUI's embody micromanagement as a virtue. GUI's in general should be a last resort. Computers are supposed to do our work automatically. Barring that, by delegation. Making rounded corners and gradients is easier than making something useful. that's why it gets so much attention.


vortico 2 days ago 4 replies      
>4 tap operation

Click dropdown, select item


Click +, click +, click +, click +, click +, click +, click +


Aoyagi 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who browses used cars market on a smartphone very often, I'm OK with dropdown menus. They take up less space and I prefer to see everything at glance instead of seeing some fancy control schemes.
aembleton 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is the case for mobile phones. On a desktop or laptop, the dropdowns are preferable because most browsers will let you select the day, month year using your keyboard.
bbx 2 days ago 0 replies      
The main misuse of dropdowns is as an alternative to a few (or even just two) radio buttons. [1]

The only possible reasoning I can see is the flexibility it provides for I18N.

[1] http://jgthms.com/dont-use-dropdowns-for-a-few-items-only.ht...

mschuster91 2 days ago 1 reply      
The advantage of dropdowns is their integration in the browser UI - which means stuff like VoiceOver works just fine.
staz 2 days ago 2 replies      
When I click on an image on the page to zoom on it, it redirect me to twitter, then I have to click on it again, why ?
adamzerner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bret Victor talks about the inadequacy of normal form controls in Magic Ink - http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/#p169.
kraig911 2 days ago 0 replies      
So I do UI dev lately in liferay (I've done a lot of UX though too) and trying to accomplish what is so easily stated by Luke in say Alloy/Spring from a back end developer who doesn't have the 'resources' to incorporate fuzzy search et al I feel all this rage. But then there's nothing I can do about it :(. Sucks having to bill hourly and not be able to bill the time to a client for 'nice-ities' such as this advise. Clients just don't see the benefit.
ivanhoe 2 days ago 3 replies      
This really depends on the situation: imagine something as classic as a birthday selector, what would you use for a year selection? The only applicable alternative is a slider control, but such a slider with a 100+ values might be very hard to use with the needed precision. Another common example would be a list of countries (or any long list of words actually), you can't use a slider there, it would be very counter-intuitive, and all other alternative controls would take too much space.
dabernathy89 2 days ago 0 replies      
I won't say you should never use switches... but so many people do them poorly. I come across so many examples of switches where it's impossible to tell which position is "on" or "off". In many cases checkboxes should be preferred. Heck, you could even put a little "check" on the switch if you want to.
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
The article glosses over the two hard selections - from/to airport, and date. For both of those, the number of options is large. The author offers no advice on that hard problem. His suggested UI would seem to force the user to bring up a keyboard and type airport codes.
hit8run 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would be good if the browsers could offer more sane styled default elements. Why do I have to create a iOS like switch myself!? This is so often needed and a classic checkbox is not sufficient from UI perspective.
mkagenius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lot of the advice would break and you will have to resort to dropdown depending on the use case, so its better to let the use case drive your design than some hard and fast rule against dropdowns.

I refer to this article while designing for mobile - https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/UserEx...

akurilin 2 days ago 3 replies      
On that note, is there a really basic caveman-friendly resource out there for UX-illiterate developers like me to help us make decent user experience decisions? A best practices text, or a guide for how to avoid the most obvious usability mishaps?

I've had to "teach" myself most of this stuff by looking at other people's UX, but my results are still "meh" at best. Help! :)

devy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Visit njtransit.com on the mobile phone, you will see they use dropdowns for station names and locations extensively. Some of the dropdown has a few hundred items there. Their site (njtransit.com) is probably the worst and yet one of the largest public transit company site in the U.S.
seattle_spring 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dropdowns and modals
tempodox 2 days ago 0 replies      
What the hell is idertion?
geniium 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice article
fgtx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just read (two times) that "Dropdowns should be the UI of Minority Report". Guess I need some sleep.
The self-hating web developer joequery.me
371 points by dumindunuwan  3 days ago   195 comments top 53
patio11 3 days ago 7 replies      
There are few things in life more important than choosing one's peer group well. The Internet gives you many more options than we had available prior to the existence of it. Choose wisely and re-evaluate that choice periodically to see whether your peer group continues to represent your goals and values.

Why? Your peer group literally gets arbitrary code execution on your brain. (It's a flaw in MonkeyBrainOS 1.01 which we haven't patched yet.) You'll tend to find yourself valuing what they value. You will tend to find yourself achieving outcomes strikingly similar to their outcomes.

Given this, picking a peer group whose values are not your values and whose outcomes are terrible is a poor choice.

There is some cognizable peer group of "the most misanthropic 10% of commenters on Internet threads about programming languages." The majority are not professional programmers. Most are not very happy people. You can generally tell a lot about what a person values by what they spend their time doing; someone who professes to value the great intellectual challenge that is Real Programming but actually ships comments which make other people feel bad probably, to a first approximation, values making other people feel bad.

If you do not also want to grow into a values system where making other people feel bad is the highlight of your day, consider choosing a better peer group, where e.g. feeding one's family through honest labor is valued and having very loud opinions about NodeJS not so much.

austenallred 3 days ago 9 replies      
The "language hate" in programming is truly cancerous.

I know several people who started programming only to get twisted and turned around by experienced developers saying, "Don't learn PHP" then "Rails is a joke and doesn't scale well." I talk to them a week later, and they're trying to build a simple web app in functional Haskell, and their environment is all messed up because they are using a zsh configuration they don't understand and github is telling them to put stuff in their .bashrc.

Especially when you're getting started, it just doesn't matter. Open up a text editor - it doesn't matter if it's vim or emacs or notepad, and start building something - it doesn't matter if it's PHP or Node.JS or Rails or LISP. Just do stuff. Then take on the next challenge, and grow from there. You don't start out hacking the Linux kernel.

Momentum is the thing that truly matters. Learning and creating is like a conveyor belt - if you stop the conveyor belt to move the things around and make sure that you're doing everything right, progress stops, and you're probably going to do more harm than good. Keep the conveyor belt running at all costs.

Discouraging that momentum because the language isn't "good enough" is like telling someone who is learning to ride a bike that they should jump on a motorcycle. No one would question that motorcycles are better than bicycles, but you probably don't want to start on one.

My general rule of thumb is that if you don't know why something is better yet, you should generally avoid using it. If you don't know how to write CSS, you don't need LESS or SASS or Gulp or Bower or whatever. Once you write a project in CSS, the need for SASS becomes obvious, and you appreciate it.

Of the several programmers I know, I don't know any who started out writing machine code. Most started out writing PHP (some Java), but they got the ball rolling and learned quickly.

skrebbel 3 days ago 3 replies      
For all of those who, like the OP, believe web dev isn't real programming:

 - it is - uploading WordPress isn't web development
I worked in embedded systems for a few years, and let me tell you, the quality of people is exactly the same as in web dev. They do pointer arithmetic all the time (way too much), we pass functions to functions all the time (way too much). They use ancient compilers and tools, we invent a new frontend build pipeline every week. They build systems that are so badly structured that they take a night to compile if you change one line. We willingly make WordPress plugins. And the list goes on.

I walked away there because I strongly prefer learning a new frontend build pipeline every week over using ancient compilers on piles of legacy code. In many ways, web dev is where the edge cuts. But neither is better or worse, and there's fools and geniuses everywhere.

pmichaud 3 days ago 4 replies      
Yeah, modern web development is actually really fucking hard mainly because you have to know so many different things. To build an application from scratch, and do it well, you have to have deep knowledge of, let's see...

* At least one server side language

* Probably a server side framework



* Maybe a preprocessor language like SASS or CoffeeScript



* Probably a SCM like Git

* At least one server, which means the server software itself, like Apache or Nginx, the server for your language like phusion passenger, probably an OS that you're not familiar with

* a whole slew of build tools and the like relevant to whatever ecosystem you're in

And more shit I'm not thinking about (oh, all about images types and compression). And that's just basic stuff, not even considering setting up a database server or, heaven forbid, a cluster. Or anythging like redis, or a queuing system or redundant hardware.

That's not nearly a comprehensive list, but I think my point is made.

It's true that generally web dev is less mathy. I personally scratch that itch with graphics and game programming, but web dev is a hairy beast, so don't let anyone get you down about it.

Xophmeister 3 days ago 1 reply      
Like many here, I don't believe in the OP's premise that web development isn't real programming, but likewise, I really hate it too! When I have to do it, I much prefer getting involved with the backend-side of things; I loathe frontend development. My main reasons being:

1. The framework churn at this point is beyond ridiculous. In my last/current project, I just gave up and wrote everything by hand with a bit of jQuery for DOM manipulation. It may not be pretty, it may not scale, but it actually works, it took me maybe a day-and-a-half (rather than the weeks of time I've lost experimenting with Framework X) and it will be tractable when I (or some other developer) comes back to it in the future.

2. Ultimately, by in large, web development is just making CRUD applications. Having to go through all that pain and not having much to show for it at the end (in terms of novelty) is kind of soul destroying! When one writes, say, a command line tool, that's ultimately more about manipulation. In my mind, doing creative things with data is much more interesting than simply providing a means to store it.

sombremesa 3 days ago 1 reply      
Web development is real software development. The people who say or think otherwise usually just don't know any better.

That being said, there are different tiers of software development (including web development) in general. Most developers are actually abysmal at architecting good software. This might be down to a number of things - time pressure, lack of experience, lack of skill, apathy, "life happens" etc.

Anyway my point is, abysmal software is everywhere. Thankfully, customers don't mind. If your software is important, you'll write tests.

kisstheblade 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most often the technology isn't the most important thing in "web development". Understanding the customers needs (often better than the customer) and implementing them is the point.

Of course technology is important but just using sane (and proven) technologies that all on the team understand is often the best way forward. Wery seldom the problem with custom business apps is the technology or "webscale" issues etc which get all the attention on eg. HN. When creating apps which will be usen for maybe 10+ years using the most hip language or framework isn't so smart when considering maintainability. Eg. Java/PHP/mysql are all etremely well understood and work wery well.

I've been doing this kind of development for about 15 years and not once has an application eg. needed to be clustered in any way for performance reasons (for HA reasons maybe).

Arun2009 3 days ago 1 reply      
There are a couple of problems that I see with the entire premise behind this article.

1. Web development can be challenging. Writing a simple blog or wiki system in PHP might be "easy", but creating a wordpress.com or wikipedia.org is a whole different ballgame. Latency, scalability, architecture, high availability, manageability, security - the challenges are endless.

2. I don't understand why software developers tend to value the "difficulty" of the technology used in a product over the utility of the final product to end customers. Creating a web app in PHP for sharing daily tidbits in your friends' lives may not be as challenging as writing a compiler for a functional language like Haskell, but its end value may far eclipse that of the latter. Facebook and Twitter after all started as fairly simple applications but are multi-billion dollar companies now. I would even say that there is a certain unix-like elegance in using the easiest, simplest technologies to create the maximum returns in terms of utility to humans. And that, IMO, is far from being a "brain-dead" skill.

signaler 3 days ago 0 replies      
A web developer wears many different hats. These days you have to be a real polymath to make really beautiful and functional websites. I never enjoyed the limiting belief that web development is some symphony of JS+HTML+CSS in the browser. It's more than that, and it is multi disciplined. Elements of WebPerf, Browser Engine quirks, progressive enhancement, A11Y, Design, UX, build scripts, templates, design patterns, server backend, frontend, bothend, mobile/handheld, analytics, rendering engines, etc

The list could go on for some length.

Not to mention the various principles borrowed from 'real' software engineering canon, like D.R.Y, K.I.S.S, etc.

In terms of proficiency and confidence, you should look up the DunningKruger effect


And its ugly cousin:


enobrev 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've always been a fan of collecting money for solving problems and letting others worry about whether what I'm doing qualifies as "real" programming. Knowing how to listen to potential clients has gotten me a lot further than worrying whether PHP is a real programming language.
dack 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've definitely had these feelings too - sometimes still do (the feeling of struggling with a problem i assumed should be easy). I also tend to naturally spread out my knowledge a little too thin on various projects and not really make meaningful progress on any of them.

Two things have helped for me - one is to have a useful project in mind for the thing you are learning, so you have a payoff at the end. The other is digging into the details of the thing to really understand the subject - and make a mental note that you're implicitly committing to struggle and frustration in exchange for the reward of knowledge. If you aren't willing to struggle you won't get very far in any subject. It's great to have the initial interest/spark, but perseverance is what really changes you as a programmer.

therealmarv 3 days ago 1 reply      
I worked several years in my early programming career in a big software company who developed mission critical software: traffic control software. You think they are bad ass programmers? You are totally wrong... the system (btw it was often Java or C based) we programmed on was so complicated that you need at least half of year day to day experience to know what you are doing there. And most frustrating part: There was no inner beauty in this beast! At the end you see a lot of ancient stupid code with the same stupid and dangerous ducktape as everywhere else. And the programmers there are no bad ass elite programmers... I would even say that many of them are below average young programmers because they worked several decades in their highly specialized area and have no clue about other technology (they will never be e.g. web developers). The most significant difference is that the whole building process: First there is a lot and a lot of specification (this sucks so much), then they adapt one ancient industrial system to this specification (this sucks maybe even more) and to get this thing ready for mission critical usage they do more than everywhere else Quality Assurance: Test, evaluation, verification, test, evaluation, test, evaluation, test, test, test... this sucks too. So after maybe 3-4 years they are ready and ship... and guess what... it is tested again. I'm happy I left this area... they are also very strict with software you could use, so the innovation process is F* slow there.

My advice: Change your inner attitude and thinking about programming. And the most important part: Do not care about what people think... only care about yourself. I've seen so many programmers (and I hate this attitude) who think they are so much more bad ass because they program in this and this language or area... so what? And why? I don't care and I do not need to compare myself with them.

Udo 3 days ago 1 reply      
The motivation behind developers dissing each other for their chosen field of work and their tools is absolutely puzzling, and it does real harm. Nobody would assert that printf("hello world!"); epitomizes systems programming, yet print($foo); is apparently considered synonymous with web development and lowest of the unspeakable arts.

Inept programming can be found all over the place. A newbie program doesn't magically get better because it's a kernel module written in C, anymore than it gets magically worse because it's a guestbook script written in PHP. The astonishing thing is this goes arbitrarily deep in the tech taxonomy tree: Ruby on Rails is considered a pro-grade environment, even though it's partially focused on mitigating newbie mistakes. PHP is considered a beginner-grade toy, despite the comparatively vast expertise one needs to write correct code in it. The web is a stupendously complex thing to write software for, there is nothing low or trivial about it.

When I was relatively young in the late nineties, my contact to other programmers was extremely limited. I was working at an ad agency, where I developed and maintained an in-house DSL for web programming. When the second full-time developer was hired, their first move was to diss pretty much everything I had made. "How can you write a web framework without regex?" "A document-based database? Abomination!" "A stateless server? That's crazy, why didn't you write a persistent app server?" "A real programmer uses Emacs"

Over the years, this mode of interaction still exists. Most people avoid it by hanging out only with developers who use the exact same stack they do, and when the winds shift they all switch together and pretend the old tech never existed. We had the chance, as a programmer subculture, to leave this ridiculous and arbitrary in-group/out-group stuff behind, but instead we embraced it and turned it up to eleven.

allan_s 3 days ago 1 reply      
Also one of the question the OP has not answered, and that I've seen a lot of people asking themselves is

How one does leave web development.

I'm graduated from an engineering school, were most of my classmates were doing smallwebsites/wordpress plugins etc. on their freetime for the easy money (as anyway it's very rare, if not impossible, to find a freelance job as a student on embedded system)

To the point that when they're graduated, as they've accumulated experience in web development, they find a job in it. And later they get defined as a "php developer" , though we did learn about data structures etc.

Then HR will discard your resume when you apply for a embed system or other non-php related job, because you got nothing marked with it on your past experiences (even if you had worked on some arduino on your freetime).

So how one does the conversion ?

 * create/participate to open source projects in the field you're interested ? * try hard to find a job that involve both, so that internally you can try to make the transition ? * remove the PHP experiences from your CV so that you're just a "junior"?

pascalo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have been in the business for 15 years now.I started as the guy that did the table-and-frameset static websites, and if I look back now there's a myriad of things that I had to learn and 75% of that I have probably forgotten again.The myriad of protocols, languages, frameworks, toolkits that you have to keep up to date with. Fashions in what the devs think is cool and what the customers ask for.

The most amazing thing to me however is what the browser and web technology now allow you to do. The way I see it, browsers are not document viewers anymore, they are akin to operating systems, and the web dev skills you have let you make awesome stuff you'd never dream of 10 years ago.

I have been tinkering with packaged chrome apps and UPNP, and in my mind it's nuts that I can do this, me, the humble web developer.

So to echo one of the sibling posts here: Just go and build something. Doesn't matter what. In the end what matters is whether people use your software or not. If you blogged and it made a difference, don't let anybody rubbish that for you. You're already a cut above the rest.

yomritoyj 3 days ago 1 reply      
In intellectual pursuits like programming, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that only intellectually hard things are worthwhile. Which in turn leads us to think of an intellectual ladder with mathematics at the top. This causes us to disregard the creativity and effort required to produce useful things (such as websites) even when no intellectually hard problems need to be solved. I think this is a toxic frame of mind for anyone who is not a mathematician.
ctvo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm constantly impressed by people who have true, in-depth knowledge of any space.

If you're world class at HTML / CSS, know the specs intimately, know the differences and quirks in rendering engines and can explain why IE8 renders a selector differently -- that's impressive. That's also very valuable.

That wouldn't be considered real programming by a lot of folks. Who cares.

I've found that going broad is fun, going deep is hard. If you find yourself seeking challenges, there's often little need to branch out. If you dig deeper, you'll run into highly technical, hard problems really quickly. You also gain expertise few people have.

Animats 3 days ago 2 replies      
That's sad.

Web development is hard for all the wrong reasons. There are so many layers of bad, half-broken stuff to deal with, encapsulated in new, half-broken stuff. Worse, it has fads. Sign: "It has been [0] days since the last new Javascript framework." Web developers must run very hard to stay in the same place.

It's hard to get excited about this, when in the end, the result is usually a web page which could have been displayed faster in HTML 3.2.

dempseye 3 days ago 0 replies      
If it's any consolation, "real programming" doesn't have any prestige either.
keithpeter 3 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I'm a civilian

If you generate value for an organisation by making a Web site work for them then I think you are a programmer!

By the same token, if someone could lose business/data as a consequence of a serious software error on a system you have implemented, then you are certainly a programmer and you have a lot of responsibility.

wedesoft 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not about being able to do harder and harder things. It is about making hard things easy. When you help others like that, you will realize the value of your work.
phantom_oracle 2 days ago 0 replies      
To the person who authored this piece of text that will apply in X-odd decades from now, I hope you inspire every coder in 2035 who is "starting out programming" to say:

Fuck your functional, static, super-fast, super-optimum, super-niche, super-scalable, super-everything language that only 64 other people in the world are using, that barely has any auth wrappers because your bus-factor of 2 prevents you from doing anything else except optimizing your compiler to be "almost as fast as C". I will learn my shit-hole language that the dickwards at GooFaceZon and the asswires at redundant CS colleges refer to as "a mistake of a programming language" because frankly ...

My shit-hole language will do many important things, among others:

- Make me productive

- Pay my fucking bills

- Allow me to learn, because I understand shit at this level, was not born a savant and don't dream in code (whatever the fuck that is)

- Allow me to live beyond the screen, because having a family, going outside and letting the sun touch your skin sometimes is good

So fuck it all, and fuck it all true and well. If COBOL and VB6 aren't dead, long live WordPress!

Gibbon1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just have a small comment about the difference between professionals that went into the profession via the front door, college, certs, etc. And those the went into though the back door, learned on their own because someone somehow decided to pay them. Generally the latter are people that get some satisfaction out of the trade. But there a lot of professionals that went to school to become X and found they hated it once they got out. Yet they owe all this money, and they can't see any other way to earn the money they are used to. These people are usually very unhappy people.

The others that are generally happy with what they do, and aren't the type of people that like playing power and status games with what they see as the lesser races of programmer.

To the point, if you find a career you like, that's like hitting a home run in life. Letting unhappy people convince you to give that up is really terrible.

sklogic 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing really changed since the times mocked by http://web.mit.edu/humor/Computers/real.programmers
OliverJones 2 days ago 0 replies      
This author wrote, "PHP was a terrible language, and PHP developers were terrible programmers. JavaScript was a terrible language, and JS developers couldn't perform asymptotic analysis to save their life. Web developers don't have degrees and it shows in their code. Drupal/Wordpress developers are an absolute joke."

What a crock! What a good reason to stay away from online forums like reddit! The userface of any software, done well, is painstaking and valuable work. It's a poor craftsman who blames his own tools. It's a freakin' troll who blames other peoples' tools.

This has been going on since the beginning of the computer industry. Real mean program in machine language: assemblers are for wimps. COBOL? feh.

This is nonsense. By this reasoning, Michaelangelo was incompetent because of his choice of painting materials.

I hope Joel's article will be seen by lots of people, and that our trade can mature.

hyperpallium 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been affected by this recently. I used to focus on the outcome, on real problems solved; on value created, to help people - not impress them. An outcome/engineering approach focusing on ends, not means (maintainability etc is a result, though logically secondary to the thing itself).

Helping people is way more satisfying than impressing them.

For example, youtube and facebook have helped many people, even though they use PHP. And PHP has helped a lot of people, by being simple and effective (I've always thought templates are a simple but brilliant idea).

As a learning method, it's not about getting a comprehensive, deep understanding, but actually doing something useful, and just learning what you need for that. You get satisfaction along the way, and the pieces come together, giving you a lead for comprehensive understanding - if needed.

[ PS Personally I got turned off webdev years ago by tedious browser-compatibility - though I understand that's long been solved by platforms like jquery etc. Also, it needs more visual design aptitude than I have... ]

kayoone 3 days ago 0 replies      
Imo web development in the open source field is a lot more complex than say developing in a strictly Java or .NET environment.Let's face it, most .NET or Java programmers are building some kind of CRUD app too.Over 10 years ago i have started with PHP and Perl, going from horrible spaghetti code to full fledged Symfon2 apps that use abstraction layer upon abstraction layer. I have written NodeJS servers that analyze event streams of hundreds of servers and push realtime statistics to AngularJS frontend apps. These days i am building apps in React and am exited for the prospect of React Native. I have also worked in C# and Unity3D for game programming and built realtime multiplayer 3D action games. At heart, i consider myself a programmer who uses the right tool for the job and i work primarily on the web. I am still proud of it because it's one of the most vibrant fields of tech to be in and companies pay good money for my work.Even though i did lots of PHP in my life, i never ever touched the code of Wordpress or Joomla or similar though.
nicholas73 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny, coming from an electronics background, I can understand the stack down to the metal. But from my point of view, the further away from the metal you are, the further you are away from monkey work.

The author could not have flipped things more on its head to me. It's ALL monkey work, in that it's a lot of tedious glue work and calculations. Except the higher level you are, the easier it is to be executing your vision, rather than meeting some spec.

You are a lot more likely to come up with a webapp business idea, than you are going to have the opportunity to design the next CPU or what not.

Business matters aside, I also find coding challenges to be more like puzzles, whereas circuits to be like a stack of math problems. If you don't like being a code monkey try being a (used) human calculator!

Grass is greener, I suppose.

afarrell 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is easy to write shitty code as a web developer and get something to work, however unmaintainably and unprofessionally. That doesn't make it any easier to write excellent, clean, and extensible code. In fact, it makes it harder because you're more likely to find yourself in an organization which has been able to survive without being able to write clean and professional code.

Branching out into other domains can give you insights if you find them interesting, but if you do in fact care about web development, focus on taking pride in what you build as a web developer.

gitaarik 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's sad some people tend to think as being a programmer is all about programming. You have to focus on the goal: the product that you are creating. Then you decide what's the best tool to make this product, and it doesn't matter what field that belongs to. If it helps you make the product you want to make, then it's good.

Of course you might get bored creating a certain product at some point because it's become too easy for you. But as long as you don't reach that point, don't rush yourself. I would say.

Roboprog 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the end, language choice is up to your employer for most jobs. Don't sweat it.

Back in the 80s when I was in uni, the only job I could get in the area was in a language called dBASE (later Clipper). Nothing like the "real" languages we learned in school. BUT, we got stuff done, quickly, to allow entry and reporting against the data kept on the "real computers". A few years later, after graduation, at that job, I got to see a "C" program somebody wrote to tie into one of the systems I did to speed up a batch process, as I needed to fix a few things in it. It was a real enlightenment to see how bad the code was (in some ways). I didn't feel so bad about what I did after being able to fix this "expert" code.

Don't let the bastards get you down, as they say.

PS - I've been a Java programmer for the last decade, but I'm doing Angular on an overhaul project at my latest job. I like Javascript (feels like the rich, "local", UI stuff I did in the 80s, all over again), but CSS is hard. Don't feel bad about "only" knowing web page stuff.

and ... many other posters already mentioned the primary importance of simply earning a living, honestly.

ihsw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly I think the author wouldn't have such a crushing sense of inferiority if providing for his family wasn't an issue.

I'm very serious about this -- few people can handle the Sword of Damocles[1] hanging above their hands, those impossibly high stakes, that not only are they intimidated but they're paralyzed.

It's a deer in the headlights moment, except instead of being in an instant it's experienced over the course of days/months/years.

Morbid fear of failure can be crippling, even if you're more than capable of completing the task, and failing so consistently -- in the case of the author -- can actually have a damaging effect on your capacity to do such work. You regress.

How does one handle such situations?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles

niix 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can relate a bit to this article. Although, I never find myself "hating" what I do per se, but I definitely find myself looking for something more "difficult". I've done the same as the OP, bought C books, read a few pages, wrote some example apps, etc. But I quickly lose interest.

I work as a "software engineer" by day, which is basically a glorified title for a guy who writes a ton of JavaScript. But I like to put a positive spin as to why this profession is so easy: Maybe it's easy because I've been doing it for so long. Maybe it's easy because I really know what I'm doing.

I find it important to always challenge yourself and continue learning. Honestly the JavaScript community is great for that, hell every couple of days there is some new framework to learn.

Overall, it is sad how down the OP is on his self, I hope he can find his way again. Programming is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had, and I wish everyone could see that same enjoyment.

wmt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Damn. The thing is, web programming is real programming. I work with low level system security components, and before that worked on medical software, i.e. what the author considers "real programming". However, during the IE 6.0 era I also did multiple corporate internal web UIs with PHP, ASP and JS, and projects on those platforms can be just as demanding as high performance low level C projects.
roflmyeggo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems a little bit rash to differentiate web development from "real programming" with such a binary lens.

There are both good and bad web developers, just as there are software engineers.

If one wants to learn more about software engineering then of course there is nothing wrong with that, however it strikes me as odd to pursue it solely for the "higher prestige" that it carries amongst the programming forums.

tracker1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know that I agree with the article's premise... while I feel for the author, and even the referenced poster in reddit... I have to say that I love web development. I started out very early on in the Web, I wanted to create interfaces and applications that people used. I'd spent time on BBSes before/since, and just want to create a usable system.

I started out with design work. I learned JS because I wanted to accomplish a given task... I read a big book (JavaScript Bible, 1st edition iirc), over a weekend, and applied that when I got back to work monday... over time, I became more interested in the backend... SQL, livescript, (now classic) ASP, VB5/6/COM/DCOM, and then C# when it came out.

The .com bust, while painful was actually a great learning experience for me. I knew C# was the next step out from VBScript/ASP, but I was unemployed... I managed to get the cheapest/complete book on C#, and without VS was stuck using the command line interfaces. It was a really interesting, and challenging experience. By the time I finally got to use VS2003, I really didn't care for it, but VS2005 was decent.

Since then I've dabbled in C/C++, F#, Perl, Python, Ruby and a few others... I've had Go on my radar for a while, but haven't had a use case for actually trying it yet. I've also spent the past 4-5 years advocating for NodeJS usage. I find the development paradigm it offers, and the constructs you can acheive (more functional composition, less classes) are closer to my mindset.

In the end I like knowing how different softwares work together, how the data is stored... to some extent, I don't really want to know the details down to memory access and drivers. At this point in my life, I have an understanding conceptually, but practically I don't care so much. I now know enough to not even hit certain bottlenecks, while not prematurely optimizing for others.

It's something that simply comes from experience and understanding that you can't know everything, and just trying to continue to learn and try new things. I get imposter syndrom like anyone else, but I understand that it's all part of the process.

seige 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wish you nothing but the best in your journey back to confidence. I have been there too and occasionally my mind gets tripped in the same thoughts again, but I realized that web dev is the only thing that I know that let me builds what I want to build. It might be easy for some but it is effective for me.
RaskalFloots 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know what I love about PHP? My six-figure salary. If you're making more than $150 grand or doing Haskell, I'm willing to listen. Otherwise, I care less than a squat about anyone's opinion of PHP.

I'm not pretending to be Alan Turing or Bill Gates or whomever, but I make a very good living, provide a valuable service, and I'm grateful for it.

brightball 1 day ago 0 replies      
After reading this, I felt like I needed to writeup my thoughts on the matter in a more permanent form than the comment section.


_navaneethan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a Python/Django developer. I love my learning and work in Django web development.

Aren't you injecting me a negative thoughts?

From web development, try to go for scaling multiple architecture machines, or go for big data processing or go for Arudino, you have plenty to explore..

I personally feel, there is nothing wrong to switch the work, as long as you have the desire to obtain the specific label in that area and dedicating yourself for it.

amirouche 3 days ago 0 replies      
dandrews 3 days ago 0 replies      
In re: the vast number of available programming languages... not really a new problem. I've always been amused by the "Tower of Babel" illustration on the cover of Jean Sammet's 1969 book, Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals.


atlih 3 days ago 1 reply      
I find web developers in general more knowledgeable. Sure they are not working in low level programming, but those that are working in low level programming often don't know what DNS, FTP or SQL is.

Remember that those who work in low level programming had nothing to do with writing the language or building the compilers. They just got a degree and started working.

ishanr 3 days ago 0 replies      
One reason for this is also that there are not many intermediate books on web dev. There are beginner books and then there are advanced books. Once you know the basics its a bit difficult to advance on the path without proper guidance. So you turn to other places and that is where you see the crazy linux hacking and you think OMG! this is real programming.
leke 2 days ago 0 replies      
That was a great read and something I've experienced myself. It's nice to hear I'm not the only one with doubts about my abilities. Hopefully, it's these doubts that will empower us to become much better at our profession, so good luck to us all.
SiVal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Okay, Joe,

I had to drop out at age 20 to financially provide for my mother (who was experiencing a major depressive episode and could not work)...

It's possible that you are experiencing the same thing. I have no qualifications to offer in this respect, but don't take this possibility lightly.

...and my two younger siblings (ages 2 and 6 at the time). ... There I was at age 20 providing for a sizable family... being a good son for my mother and being a good brother for my siblings. I was performing the role of the man my father and my siblings' fathers refused to be. I was entering the workforce as a real programmer. I was proud.

Oh, and rightly so! A real man is someone who steps up like this--someone like you--not someone who implements file systems in assembly.

So here is where I might have some qualifications to offer. I've been a pro developer since before you were born. I've done orbital calculations, nuclear weapons effect mitigation, realtime hardware, done standards committee work...in so many languages (Fortran, Lisp, C, C++,...up through Swift), but there have been times when the development platform I've chosen has been one that was held in low esteem by a lot of programmers (BASIC, Perl 4 CGI years after Perl 5 w/mod_perl was common), or not even considered programming at all (e.g., Excel, FileMaker).

I chose these as the best tools for the particular job under whatever normal or bizarre circumstances existed, and whatever tool, X, I was working with at the time, I was known as "the X guy" by my coworkers. And those coworkers have changed again, and again, and again, so remember me as an X guy, others a Y or Z guy.

I eventually learned to just focus on being as valuable as I could. Usually, what people need most from me is not arcane physics or CS knowledge (darn it! I worked hard on that) but just my ability to find them a solution that is most helpful to them. The most helpful solutions are usually not technologically impressive, as it turns out. I'd rather build them some microservices in Go but sign them up for SquareSpace instead and fill in a template.

Turn your attention, not to other programmers, but to the people you can help with your skills and to their problems. Try to get a lot more of your professional satisfaction from being useful to people who need you and less from how elite you think you are perceived to be by other programmers.

Web dev gives you all sorts of ways to be extremely useful to people. Do it. Feel good about solving their problems and let it motivate you to keep improving your ability to come up with valuable solutions. Yes, I understand that building yet another CRUD web app to sell dog food or whatever doesn't feel like curing cancer, but those people are trying to support their families, too, and it's not easy, and they need your help.

At the same time, yes, I can relate to a personal desire to do technically demanding work (but do it for the personal satisfaction of taking on the challenge, not to impress other programmers), but the way most people get into that is not usually to get an advanced degree. They prove themselves valuable at less technically demanding work, work on side projects in areas that interest them to develop new skills and, at some point, they spot an opening to utilize (make useful) those new skills for their employer. If it works out, their job responsibilities might change. Do it again and again, and eventually they will change.

I hope that turning your focus toward the people who need you and away from other programmers can help restore your self-respect and motivation. Good luck.

amelius 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have two problems with web programming. One is that the tools (e.g. HTML, CSS) seem to be designed for non-developers.

The other problem is that it is really, really hard to build a business on intellectual work, since eventually all good ideas end up as open source.

timvp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good article. Web development is not the same as embedded development of course but it is also not just 'generating' CRUD applications with some js/css to make it nice.

Hope to see him succeed in his reinvention of his career :)

vivainio 3 days ago 1 reply      
For something fun yet with that elusive 'real programming' edge, play around with Rust.
kukabynd 2 days ago 0 replies      
one of the best posts and threads recently, thanks for sharing everybody!
vdaniuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is a simple path to the professional satisfaction for programmers who work primarily with web development. Learn a little marketing, a little entrepreneurship and make your own side projects. For fun, profit or social good. None of the arrogance or denigration won't touch you then.
jqm 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like web development but have to admit I do look down a little on people who are able only to click some buttons and get WordPress running and then people consider them "programmers".

Likewise, people who are able to drag some stuff around in MS Access and are considered "programers".

It's not necessarily the amount of skill and effort involved (although admittedly that is part of it), it's the fact that, in my experience, soon enough these "click and drag" type systems usually break. When they do, the button clickers often don't have the skills to fix them. This is, in my opinion, the refining fire that separates "programmers" from "Next" clicking hacks. And often it would have been, in total, more efficient just to learn a bit of real programming in the first place rather than to fix the messes created by "easy" systems. I'm not complaining because I've made money fixing problems button clicking "programmers" created but couldn't fix. In MS Access, in WordPress, in Sharepoint, in Lotus Approach, etc.

It's better to take the time to learn how to code. PHP isn't my preference, there are better languages, but it's probably OK. Oh, and I don't worry about what people think of web developers. Their opinion doesn't really matter. But button clickers as opposed to coders... there is a real difference and it shows up soon enough.

Last point, OP messed up by ordering a bunch of books. He should have ordered just one. Don't try to drink from a fire hose. You will get knocked on your ass and all wet, and you won't even get your drink. Also, besides learning, you have to keep producing. Even if it's boring and some people don't respect you. A certain level of income take precedence to learning. If you don't have it then the learning is done because you can't fund it. So... priorities.

dummy7953 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's proactive and reactive aggression. Proactive aggression is the typical bullying of others based on what programming they do. It's basically just another way to pat yourself on the back, and people eat that shit up.
Kubernetes V1 Released googlecloudplatform.blogspot.com
350 points by Oletros  1 day ago   98 comments top 13
StevePerkins 1 day ago 5 replies      
Can anyone recommend a good "Consultant's", "Solutions Architect's", or "Top-Right Quadrant on a Silly Gardner Chart" overview of how Kubernetes competes or cooperates with Mesos? It feels like there's quite a bit of dense conceptual reading you have to plow through before you can even start to talk about what these things do.
geku 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Getting started with Kubernetes is pretty easy and I wrote a guide to quickly run it on your local machine:https://www.cloudgear.net/blog/2015/5-minutes-kubernetes-set...

It's not up to date with Kubernetes 1.0.0 but I'll update the images as soon as the final version 1 is tagged.

jcastro 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're using Ubuntu we've got a bundle of Juju charms for those who want to get up and running:

- http://insights.ubuntu.com/2015/07/21/introducing-kubernetes...

- https://jujucharms.com/u/kubernetes/kubernetes-cluster

PRs and comments welcome!

nickbauman 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've found that Kubernetes is a big hammer. If your problem can be backed by a web app, you should start with AppEngine. If you need specialty library support or wider computational space per instance, you can move your AppEngine app to ManagedVMs (which uses Kubernetes under the covers). If you need special, "grid-like" services where you need exquisite control over the entire stack, only then does it make sense to use raw Kubernetes and Docker. And you will spend a lot of time getting it right.
rjusher 1 day ago 3 replies      
I might come across as ignorant but what is the relationship between Kubernetes and Docker, because when I was reading the article I tought of it as a Docker competitor, but further down in the comments, there is one that says they do different jobs.

And that confused me.

Oletros 1 day ago 0 replies      
And related to that, CoreOS has launcehd a preview of its Kubernetes comercial platform [0]

[0] http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/21/coreos-launches-preview-of-...

kordless 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wercker has a post on continous integration for containers to Kubernetes which Micha, their CEO, did back in June: http://blog.wercker.com/2015/06/23/Deploying-minimal-contain..., which uses Google's Container Registry for pushing images.

If anyone is interested, I just wrapped up a similar post for deploying containers to Giant Swarm from Wercker, no Docker required: I just got done doing a continuos integration post for containers using Wercker and Giant Swarm: https://github.com/giantswarm/swarm-wercker.

arianvanp 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm hoping for ACI support soon so that I can use rkt instead of docker. :-)
smegel 18 hours ago 2 replies      
> containers scheduled < 5s on average

That seems awfully slow for a fancy chroot. I use KVM to bring up WinXP snapshot VMs in around 2s to a running state...maybe they mean 5ms?

alanh 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Is Kubernetes pronounced "koo bur NET ease" or am I way off?
wereHamster 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's with the recent adoption of the .io TLD @ google? cncf.io, gcr.io, ...
barkingcat 21 hours ago 1 reply      
how do you pronounce that word?
jacques_chester 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting to see IBM placing a bet each way by joining the new foundation, seeing as they're already in the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Edit: and I see the Cloud Foundry Foundation logo on the Cloud Native Foundation homepage. It's Foundations all the way down.

(Disclaimer: I work for another CFF member, Pivotal).

Woah that is some wild postgresql twitter.com
332 points by prawn  1 day ago   44 comments top 14
Xophmeister 1 day ago 1 reply      
Whenever the PostgreSQL Mandlebrot comes up, I always show off my Oracle version. It was written independently (i.e., I didn't port the PostgreSQL version; I didn't know about it at the time) and I documented the process:


Of course, it comes with a hefty dose of proprietary functionality. I think the newer versions of Oracle support recursive CTEs -- but fortunately, I don't have to deal with Oracle any more, so it's dead to me ;)

jkire 1 day ago 2 replies      
The SQLite documentation has a wonderfully titled section "Outlandish Recursive Query Examples" [1], which includes computation of a Mandelbrot Set.

[1] https://www.sqlite.org/lang_with.html

growse 1 day ago 2 replies      
I thought about collecting some of these in the past.

Fun thing to do, put this in a `.ps` file and send it to a printer. Should think for a bit and then print a mandelbrot:

 %!PS-Adobe-2.0 51 .5 551 { /x exch def 111 .5 721 { /y exch def y 521 sub 201 div x 301 sub 201 div 1 index 1 index 31 -1 1 { /n exch def 1 index dup mul 1 index dup mul 1 index 1 index add /d exch def sub 4 index add 3 1 roll 2 mul mul 2 index add d 4 gt {exit} if } for pop pop pop pop n 31 div setgray x y moveto .5 0 rlineto 0 .5 rlineto -.5 0 rlineto fill } for } for showpage
I had a TSQL one as well, not mine though: https://www.growse.com/2009/05/01/odd-ways-of-making-a-mande...

ThePhysicist 1 day ago 1 reply      
Recursive common table expressions are indeed very powerful! You can even solve the eight queens problem in them:


As others have pointed out there is a really nice section on CTEs in the SQLite documenation as well:


stdclass 1 day ago 0 replies      
alexggordon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I always loved Snowflakes[0] in postgresql. That said though, almost anything could be visualized in postgresql because of the awesome geometric[1] functions that are natively supported. Someday when I'm bored, I might try doing something like the Mona Lisa in postgres.

[0] http://explainextended.com/2013/12/31/happy-new-year-5/

[1] http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.0/static/functions-geometry...

mhd 1 day ago 3 replies      
Any sufficiently Turing-complete system will be used to draw the Mandelbrot set.

After that, we move on to Zawinskie's law.

coob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's the slides of the source for this, including loads of other cool things that can be done with PG:


timtadh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another cool thing you can do is solve the 8-Queens problem. There is a great write up at : http://www.andreas-dewes.de/en/2015/queens-of-the-data-age-a...
chucky_z 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out the pie chart...


The Mandelbrot is awesome, but the pie chart is some next level stuff. You can even make it colored.

piratebroadcast 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone ELI5 this? And what is the image on the right? Thanks!
aidos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still haven't taken the time to grok Recursive CTEs. I think it's mostly my internal set theorist putting up the fight :)
UserRights 1 day ago 6 replies      
very nice, indeed.

it would be very impressive, if postgresql could generate it's own CRUD interface (select option: angular / react)

so much tedious frame-work could be just dropped.

vander_elst 1 day ago 0 replies      
that's nasty!!
Spraying Magnetic Stripe Cards with Iron Filings tetherdcow.com
308 points by charlieirish  1 day ago   73 comments top 14
Animats 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Yeah, the ShooTag thing is totally bogus.

Viewing magnetic recordings with magnetic particles used to be a standard maintenance tool. It was used to check tape drive head alignment. There was a liquid with iron particles in suspension into which you could dip a strip of tape. When the solvent evaporated, you could see the data tracks. A non-destructive version was a hand-held viewer, with a window on top and a thin plate on the bottom, filled with a fluid containing iron particles. You could press this against a tape and view it.

These were sometimes used in data centers during the transition from 7 to 9 track tape drives, when an incoming tape had an unknown format.

nkurz 18 hours ago 3 replies      
A beautiful story about the inner workings of a patent-pending species-specific insect repellent based on a small strip of magnetic strip. As one might guess, it involves encoding the words "FLEA" and "TICK" on the strip. Or maybe "AELF" and "KCIT" to properly actuate the quantum polarity? The story was written in 2010 while the patent was still pending. But surely it's been rejected by now. Nope. Also as one might guess, the patent was granted by the USPTO with the the main claim intact: https://www.google.gg/patents/US8382001

Have you ever thought to yourself "Sure, this advertisement says 'patent-pending', but that only means that someone was able to scrape together enough money to file a patent. It's not like someone has vetted the technology and actually granted them a patent." Well, now you see that you can safely shorten that to "Sure, this advertisement says 'patented', but that only means that someone was able to scrape together enough money to file a patent. It's not like someone has vetted the technology."

This is probably not surprising to anyone who understands the role of patents. They aren't designed to act as evidence that a technology is useful, or even possible. Instead, they are designed to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", which seems to be interpreted as to "create a secondary market for dubious patents". I was surprised though to see that they had been granted a second patent, covering the ornamental design of the tag: http://www.google.com/patents/USD626704

I was aware that design patents existed to cover essential innovations such as the rounded corners of a "portable display device" (http://www.google.com/patents/USD670286), but I hadn't realized how broadly they could be applied. Is there a threshold that needs to be exceeded when determining how much the grant of a design patent will "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"? Or can one expect to receive design patents for any design variation you can dream up?

DanBC 19 hours ago 0 replies      
You used to be able to buy magnetic field viewers to inspect tape. Here's a picture of one: http://nickapedia.com/2011/02/21/back-to-the-geek-future-coo...

Another fun thing you can do is put the iron filings in a jar with mineral oil. Give it a good shake, then put a strong magnet on the side. You'll be able to see the magnetic field in 3D.

3JPLW 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Don't miss the comment where they decode the ShooTag magstripe to contain the DEC-SIXBIT ASCII strings "FLEA" and "TICK": http://www.tetherdcow.com/another-science-experiment/#commen...

Sure to repel them, that.

Also, note (2010).

Others 19 hours ago 7 replies      
What I'm confused about here is why the ShooTag actually has any data on it at all. Surely it would be cheaper to just make part of the plastic card black, instead of actually going to the trouble of encoding something on it.
luck87 1 day ago 2 replies      
For the same reason, the ferromagnetic nature of the magstripe, it is possible to read, store and playback the data information on the stripe. You need only few $ for the reader or a simple Square reader. This is an alternative solution to spoof Magnetic stripe cards on Android: http://cosmodro.me/blog/2011/mar/25/rhombus-square-iskewedi/
stephengillie 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It might be interesting to perform this same experiment with a Coin Card. It would be cool to see the patterns shift as it remagnetizes its bars.
madez 7 hours ago 0 replies      

 Will this interfer with their invisible fence collars?

 I wouldn't know the answer to that for sure - but would not hesitate to use with an invisible fence. This is not an electric type mechanism but rather one of kinetic energy - thus based on the dogs movement...as they move they create body energy and the tag works to keep critters away...not related to any electrical devices etc. I believe on the Shoo Tag site you can reach out to them and there are FAQ's, I'm sure they can clarify 100%.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/interfer-their-invisible-fence-collars...

Where, again, was the possibility to opt out of being human? I really shouldve had been paying more attention.

codezero 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In one of my experimental physics courses we built a circuit to digitize the data on magnetic cards. It really blew my mind when I realized how it was designed to allow variable swipe speeds. If you think about it, it's very cool.
omgitstom 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Metal filings can wreck havoc on your lungs / eyes - please use safety precautions if you are attempting this at home
mgrennan 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Nothing new here. I was doing this back in the 80 to check on the alignment of 8" floppies and backup tapes.
atamyrat 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You can use laser printer toners to get same effect! They are magnetic as well and might be easier to get.

It's also easy to get better contrast - apply transparent tape to magnetic strip, remove the tape and put it on top of white paper. You can clearly see strips.

PirateDave 19 hours ago 0 replies      
When he pulled the ShooTag out I thought he was totally going to write the card data to it. Nonetheless, interesting article.
pbreit 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a learning here that something so simple and reliable can work so well for 60+ years despite constant ridicule from in-the-know tech and supposed "insecurity"?
Dragula: Simple drag and drop github.com
338 points by bevacqua  2 days ago   52 comments top 18
krat0sprakhar 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're using React and need DnD in your app, Dan Abramov's library is the bee's knees - http://gaearon.github.io/react-dnd/

I've been using it exclusively in a complex react app[0] for the past 3 months and I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever.

[0] - https://github.com/prakhar1989/react-surveyman

SeanAnderson 2 days ago 1 reply      

I tried out your demo page and (literally!) the first thing I did had a bug in it. Just bad luck?

There's an off-by-one error while dragging an item from the left container to the right container, but only when my mouse has just entered the right box. If I continue dragging my mouse horizontally then the item's drop placeholder corrects itself.

Screencast: http://screencast.com/t/Jw3No0wryqJ

babby 2 days ago 2 replies      
How does this compare to Sortable?


lux 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really easy to use!

A tree mode would be awesome, where you can drag elements to be children of other elements as well as siblings.

Leftium 2 days ago 1 reply      
Cool. Does Dragula support nested containers?

I've been looking for a library that supports nested containers. For an example of drag and drop with nested containers see https://www.bkmks.com/

bstamour 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does Rob Zombie know about this? :-)
usaphp 2 days ago 1 reply      
It looks great! I would suggest adding an option of a delayed event, this way if you want to trigger a drag event you have to hold pressed for a second or so, this way it won't interact with touch scroll events of my phone
dheera 1 day ago 1 reply      
The one thing I don't like (i.e. inconsistent with the UIs of most OSes) is that if the user drags something to a valid target, and then before the mouse is released, drags it off that valid target to an invalid target, and then releases the mouse at that point, the valid target is triggered. What should happen is that the entire drag-and-drop operation should be cancelled, as if the user dragged straight to the invalid target and released.
zuxfer 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is simplicity at its best. Good one.

Also resizing is one thing you can look into. Grid kind of a thing. That makes it a complete package.

rawnlq 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe include a comparison with popular libraries like jquery ui draggable?
jscholes 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does Dragula implement keyboard accessibility?
shultays 1 day ago 0 replies      
Didn't work at first for me.

Google chrome 43.0.2357.134 m, windows 8.

I see the hind icon but trying to drag selects text/elements instead.

I refreshed page and it started working.

_mikz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why not HTML5 drag&drop ?
hammerbrostime 2 days ago 1 reply      
Request: Make it so that it works well in scrolling areas too. This has been the major deficiency in most drag and drop libraries that I've tried.
uberneo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any AngularJS binding for it ?
Timucin 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a terrible name. =)
hacker_9 1 day ago 2 replies      
How did this make the front page? Isn't this just jquery.draggable()
jhildings 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks quite similair to http://gridster.net/
How Instagram closed my account and gave it to a football celebrity medium.com
336 points by javiercr  2 days ago   104 comments top 24
xenadu02 2 days ago 6 replies      
GitHub did the same thing to me. Changed my SSH keys and renamed my account. I used to have "rbishop", now some other developer has it.

No notice, no communication, nothing.

When I contacted the person at GitHub who did it he refused to answer any questions or explain anything.

So watch out... If you have the same name as an employee's drinking buddy, prepare to have your account removed without notice or explanation.

tristanho 2 days ago 5 replies      
From the Instagram TOS[1]: "5. We reserve the right to force forfeiture of any username for any reason."

Not saying that this isn't terrible customer service by Instagram, and they definitely should have given better notice, but when you agree to these terms of service you accept that THEY OWN your username... You signed up for this; it shouldn't be a surprise that they actually have these terms for a reason.

[1] https://help.instagram.com/478745558852511

javiercr 2 days ago 4 replies      
I am not the author of the post but I thought it was interesting because it's related to something I've been thinking for a while: the "namespace" for humans is quite limited.

World's population grow fast and practically no new first or last names have been introduced in the last years, therefore the chances of having another person with your exact same first and last names and more exposure than you is growing exponentially. Plus, thanks to the Internet, if someone with name X does something "remarkable" that name X will be associated to that individual forever, creating a "digital shadow" over those future individuals with the same name.

I remember someone who had my exact same first and last name, and he had bought the domain [fist_name][last_name].com ... The annoying problem was that person was also a developer and his website was awful. I was always worried that someone could google me, find his site and, as he was a developer too, think that poor site was mine.

ryanlol 2 days ago 6 replies      
The modern policy of no customer support by these services is a little worrying.

I'm in a similar situation with google suspending my gmail account because I tried to make play store purchases while traveling (apparently this is a "suspicious access pattern").

Now I'm out 5 years worth of emails and have no way of contacting google (Despite being a paying google apps customer and registered on their payroll system). Frankly, I'd rather like to be able to pay to receive some support from these companies.

Oh well, at least they made my emails bounce.

tl;dr why don't web companies offer paid support to their users?

planetjones 2 days ago 2 replies      
Terrible stuff by Instagram. Iniesta the footballer already has a very successful (5.4 million followers) account on Twitter using the handle andresiniesta8. It looks like versions 1-7 have been deleted. However the guy who wrote the article already has a Twitter account using ainiesta, which clearly isn't one of these imitation or mock accounts. The footballer hasn't moved Instagram handles, but it does look like Instagram are directing the author's alias to the footballer's existing account. Awful.
covercash 2 days ago 0 replies      
This happened to my friend's wife a few years ago - an Instagram employee hijacked her username: https://medium.com/@behoff/they-say-nothing-will-change-5c54...

After being picked up by some of the bigger tech sites, they returned the username to her.

tzs 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Instagram FAQs on their site say that account names are first come, first serve.

They say that if the name you want is on an account that seems inactive you should consider periods, numbers, underscores, or abbreviations to come up with an available name.

They say he violated their terms of service. I took a quick look at the TOS, and don't see anything that having the same name as a celebrity and using your name for your Instagram account would violate. I suppose it is possible that he violated some other term completely unrelated to this whole name thing, and that's why he got kicked off, and then they gave it to the football player even though the football player already had an established, verified, active Instagram account using the same name he uses for his verified Twitter account.

There is one TOS term that his name could be construed as violating, if one were take a ridiculous reading of the term. That's Basic Term 12: "You must not use domain names or web URLs in your username without prior written consent from Instagram". The football player has the andresiniesta.es domain. If we take "domain name" in the rule to include the domain name with the TLD portion removed, then any username with the string "andresiniesta" in it would be covered.

ceasarby 2 days ago 3 replies      
I went to Instagram address he mentions and looks like all photos are still there. I'm not sure how designer guy looks like, but it's definitely not football players' headshot:https://instagram.com/ainiesta/
e_proxus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had a similar thing happening to me. Friends were traveling and shared their photos on Instagram, so I decided to log in to my old account which I hadn't accessed in a few years.

On the web page, it says "Your username or password was incorrect." Upon trying to recover my password with my email address I get "That e-mail address or username doesn't have an associated user account. Are you sure you've registered?" When trying with my username instead I get "Sorry, this user is not active."

I decided to try to login with the app, and there I got a message basically stating that my account was disabled because of not following the Terms and Conditions (same as OPs, don't remember the exact wording in English). They don't tell you what you did to break those conditions. They do tell you however, that there is no possible way to contact them or to get your account back. All your images are gone, your friends can't follow or contact you again and there is no way you can reactivate the account or get access to the user name. No email was ever sent notifying me of this happening, ever.

Worst "customer" experience ever.

Fastidious 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming Instagram is behind this, it is bad business to do that. Instagram by itself is nothing, it's users are what made the service, and showing a lack of respect for them it is their worse publicity.
z3t4 2 days ago 1 reply      
One part of Internet's success is that it's decentralized.

startup idea: Make it easy for "normal" people to have their own "Instagram" or blog.

davidcollantes 1 day ago 0 replies      
He got his account back. Instagram is sorry[0].

[0] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33592599

notjimhalpert 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems like he should be at least notified before they seized his account, though.
leeleelee 2 days ago 1 reply      
If we operate under the assumption that with free services like facebook, twitter, instagram, gmail, etc -- can and will delete our content and revoke access to the service without warning at any point in time -- doesn't that make the service somewhat useless?

Most users operate under the assumption that there is some sort of guarantee that their account will continue to exist and they will have a consistent day-to-day experience. That is a BIG part that makes the service actually "useful".

shkkmo 2 days ago 1 reply      
The thing I find oddest here is that the his friends are now set as following the new account of the football player. Seems like at the very least there is a bug that needs to be fixed there.

I restrict access to my instagram account to approved followers. Now I wonder if someone could take over an handle of one of my friends and then have access to my posts.

planetjones 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like he's back in business:

5 hours after writing this article, my account has been restored, but still no news from Instagram about what happened or an apology.

_pdp_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well my twitter handle is @pdp and there is a political party in Nigeria also named PDP. There is also this thing called "personal development plan". In other words, I need twitter spam filter because people don't know the difference between @ and #. Anyway, if you don't want to get in trouble just come up with a super unique username. Do the same for your personal site and your business site.
fixxer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, I'm not going to sign up for Instagram. Wankers. Smells like desperation when companies are willing to alienate their core like this.
cordite 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is shameful that it was done, but at the root, it seems to come down to: what is the product, and who are the users being swapped to who is the product, and what are the users.

Free services seem easier to hit critical mass with a low barrier to entry, yet unless it is a paid-by-end-users service, end users seem to get trampled like this.

Zaheer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same thing happened to me. The trend of larger online services having non-existent customer support worries me.
giancarlostoro 2 days ago 0 replies      
What really weirds me out is why didn't they go for his full name instead of a shortened version? If it was the PR team, they could have a better time telling people to follow him on Twitter (edit: I mean Instagram) based on his full name wouldn't they? Weird.
ypcx 2 days ago 0 replies      
And this while thousands or more spam bot accounts are added daily, and while Instagram could easily ask or force the user to change is handle. Anyway, good to know.
intrasight 2 days ago 1 reply      
Get a new Instagram account. It is a free service.
oldmanjay 2 days ago 2 replies      
The hyperbole of the talk of violated rights took my sympathy about down to zero. It's a shitty move on Instagram's part to be sure, but I don't think even the most European of Europe's governments defends the right to the Instagram account name of your choice.
What happens when you talk about salaries at Google wired.com
325 points by awjr  1 day ago   359 comments top 42
chasing 1 day ago 10 replies      
This is not journalism. Do not treat it as such.

Molly McHugh and Wired need to reach out to this woman and ask a few questions. They need to reach out to Google and ask a few questions.

Otherwise, this information is just a shade better than useless. There's a lot of detail missing in these tweets. There's a lot of handwaving where the audience is essentially invited to fill in the blanks with whatever stereotypes -- good or bad -- they feel like.

It irritates me immensely that this story is now out there and getting to be a Big Deal -- and there's no actual journalism to attempt to get to the bottom of it. How time consuming could it possibly be to send a few e-mails, hop on the phone, or go dig up someone you know who works at Google and might shed some light on this?

Maybe Erica Joy is right. Maybe there's a huge problem at Google regarding sharing salaries. Maybe something illegal or, at least, immoral/hypocritical is going on. Or maybe Erica Joy is misunderstanding something about how Google works. About how peer bonuses work, for example. Or maybe some combination of both.

But unless we want to go dig up that information on our own, we just don't know.

Good job, Wired.

deadmik3 1 day ago 6 replies      
Was stringing together a couple dozen tweets really the best format to share a story like this?

There is a lot that's left out. Once she vaguely mentions that another employee who was "involved" was still getting all of his peer bonuses (which may or may not have been PB's for his "involvement", we don't know), the whole thing just crumbled into a victim story for me. OF COURSE the MALE coworker can do WHATEVER HE WANTS, as long as we don't actually have any details about it.

Also, generally shit will hit the fan if you tell anyone to fuck off, especially if they're your manager. Again, we don't know that she told her manager to fuck off for being racist (??) because this is a terrible story told in a shitty format. But it's implied. Just like everything else in this "article".

tl;dr she got exactly what you would expect when you're intentionally stirring shit up at any company. I'm not sure what she expected.

sergiotapia 1 day ago 5 replies      
Other side of the story: https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/3e05wg/what_hap...

Either way both are completely unverifiable. Take both with a huge fistful of salt until both parties are interviewed and quoted and research is done into what happened.

bronxcoder 1 day ago 12 replies      
I hate that wage disparity is being heralded as a gender issue. It's really a negotiating problem. My coworker and I were hired together, same position, same experience, and offered the same salary. When I was offered the position, I asked for $15,000 more and they gave it to me. My coworker didn't ask for more and is therefore now making $15,000 less than me. After six months, I asked for a raise of $5,000. He never asked for a raise. So now he makes $20,000 less than me.
dataker 1 day ago 1 reply      
>"Don't you know what could happen?"

>Nothing. It's illegal to retaliate against employees for sharing salaries.

This answer in fantastic and I wish more technical people learned with this.

As a programmer, some managers assume(often rightly so) that you have no clue about laws, finance and business in general.

amelius 1 day ago 5 replies      
Google is a company that wants to have access to all the information in the world.

But if somebody rightfully publishes some information that is sensitive to Google, look what happens...

tempodox 1 day ago 3 replies      
The article format is completely busted by Twitter's display rules and made unreadable. In this case, formatting the text in a readable way would probably get you sued. Those tweets belong to Twitter now and are good for nothing else but ferrying ads. I won't have my time wasted by trying to read that crap.
bakhy 1 day ago 2 replies      
i hope things like this serve as a wake up call to all young talents willing to sacrifice their lives for these companies, enamored with some idealized visions of what they are and do.

a company is a company. an agent for making money, first and foremost. any positive change they bring is a side-effect, and due to their ever greater power they must constantly be policed, at least by releasing unpleasant information like this.

aswdeffr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Googler here on a throwaway. I personally know Erica and followed her career. it is quite frankly bizarre to see her biting back against Google given the opportunities she was given.

Erica was a tech stop employee, which is Google's help desk. in terms of technical ability, hiring standards for tech stop are lower than for SRE, where she ended up. every non-erica tech stopper, including me, who wants to transfer into the technical side of the org is required to pass a full suite of interviews, same as an outside candidate. it would be obvious from examining her submit history that Erica is not really meeting this bar. and yet a door was opened into SRE somehow.

she stayed a few months in SRE, underperformed, and spent a lot of time ranting on internal platforms. again, this is verifiable because commits at Google are public. she chose to join a team of about 50% women working under a female director, so I have a hard time believing discrimination is the major factor here. now she is gone and believes she was wronged and is telling everyone so. the similarities to michaelochurch are strong.

srj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Managers evidently aren't supposed to approve more than one peer bonus for the same single act. I work at Google and hadn't heard of that policy before (then again, I'm not a manager) but it came up in an earlier thread.
Anderkent 1 day ago 3 replies      
So here's a devils advocacy for not having transparency around money:

On average everyone thinks they're above average


Two people of equal value and skill will both think they're better than the other person, and thus deserve higher compensation. How do you reconcile that with salary transparency? Seems like you'll be making more people unhappy.

Would wages turn into status goods, where both of those people continuously ask for raises because in their view they're underpaid, and eventually get denied, which will probably offend them and cause them to leave?

Secondly, does this actually solve any problems that simple backchannels between employees don't? People already talk about salary at lunch breaks or over coffee; the advantage is that those are private conversations between friends, rather than your salary being broadcasted to everyone for them to judge. What problem does this actually solve?

littletimmy 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is important that things like this come out into the open.

When the typical doe-eyed college senior steps into the real world and is tempted to drink Eric Schmidt's kool-aid about changing the world (and how the honor of working at Google offsets the lower wage), such disclosures will help him understand that Google is just another money-making corporation. No more, no less.

fridek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not that it matters and it was already said elsewhere, but peer bonus can be awarded only once for one thing. And it makes sense in a 50k+ company, where some social interaction happens and a single person can become peer-bonus-celebrity easily. It's not a good thing to incentivize :) Also if I were a manager sifting through some kind of peer bonus app I'd too be tempted to mark all as rejected after a while.

There was a book recently, Work rules! by Laszlo Bock who happens to be a head of people operations. He describes exactly those inequality patterns. It's nothing unusual, some of it is accepted (some people earn more for their higher value) and some not (woman not asking for a raise so easily). Seriously, just go and read a book, not some stream of contextless tweets gathered together.

mdesq 1 day ago 0 replies      
These big tech companies only love "transparency" when it's other people's data they want to look through.
throwaway345r 1 day ago 0 replies      
Collecting evidence is the right way to approach situations like this. However, when the position is so politically entrenched, extra care _must_ be taken so that opponents cannot dismiss the data due to poor collection practices.

Unfortunately, that care was not taken in this case, and of course, you see opponents dismissing the data. The worst part is that this effort may actually prevent proper data collection in the future: "remember what happened last time we did that?"

emirozer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be better to __try__ to create a global movement within the industry for employees to feed accurate data to glassdoor?

Sidenote: Most of the people around here knows glassdoor but i have worked with a lot of people who never heard of it..

thesch 1 day ago 3 replies      
a thing bothered me yesterday and it's still bothering me today and so now i want to tell a story.

One Sunday, some former coworkers & I were bored, talking about salaries on the internal social network instance. A spreadsheet was created. we put our salaries in the sheet, realized that it was created on a public to the world spreadsheet, so I copied it to internal. I then put a form on it and posted the link to the form and the spreadsheet on my internal social network account.

It took off like wildfire.

It got reshared all over the place. People started adding pivot tables that did spreadsheet magic that highlighted not great things re: pay. I did some general housekeeping stuff to the sheet (normalizing the gender field where it could be, exchange rate stuff, that sort of thing).

More reshares.

More people adding pay.

It became a thing.

I was invited to talk to my manager on Mon or Tues. Higher up people weren't happy. She wasn't happy. Why did I do it? "Don't you know what could happen?" Nothing. It's illegal to retaliate against employees for sharing salaries. "Wellll....".

Meeting ended.

Sheet kept going.

People were thanking me for it. They were also sending me peer bonuses. here's how peer bonuses work @ former co:

If you did something good, someone peer bonuses you, you get $150 net in your next paycheck. An important thing I learned during that time: peer bonuses are rewarded at managers discretion. My manager was rejecting all of them. Wasn't sure if this would be good for the company. Wanted to see what the outcome was. Mind you once a PB is rejected, that can't be undone.

Meanwhile, one of the other people involved, a white dude (good friend I won't name, he can name himself if he wants), was also getting PBs. His weren't getting rejected. I told him mine were. He was pissed. Wanted to tell everyone what was happening. I declined. A smattering of people knew what was going on. Backchannels being what they are at former co. (lol IRC #yallknowwhoyouare), it got around. Rejecting PBs was so unheard of, ppl didn't know it was possible. There was outrage when they found out. Shock that I wasn't talking abt it. Meanwhile, spreadsheet still going, getting spread around, pointed questions being thrown at mgmt about sharing salary ranges (hahah no). Most people agreed that it was A Good Thing. PBs kept rolling in. Rejections kept rolling out. One PB eventually got approved. Way after everything died down. Because the person worded it in a way that was vary vague. Any that were outright about the spreadsheet got rejected. 7 total in the end I think?

Higher ups still pissed. Some I used to support as an exec tech would pointedly not interact w/ me anymore. _()_/ Before I left, about 5% of former co. had shared their salary on that sheet. People asked for & got equitable pay based on data in the sheet. The world didn't end. Everything didn't go up in flames because salaries got shared. But shit got better for some people.

I explicitly gave ownership of the sheet to someone else before I left so it couldn't be taken over by mgmt when I was gone (can happen).

I am thinking of this because of everyone celebrating the fact that Google put Ida B. Wells in the doodle yesterday. Ida B. Wells was great. She did stuff to affect change of such a magnitude that if I'm half the woman she was, I'm doing pretty good. I don't claim to come close, but from time to time, I do stuff that will make things better for people at the expense of the establishment. I'm a pretty big believer in justice and fairness and will fight for both if necessary. Fighting for justice & fairness INSIDE Google doesn't go over well. Salary sharing is only 1 example. Blogger porn. Real names. Many others. Shit WILL hit the fan if you tell a racist (a well documented racist) to go fuck themselves though. In defense of the racist, obvi. So sure. Rah rah, Google did an Ida B. Wells doodle. Guaranteed that if Ida Wells were alive & working at Google today, there'd be many private calendar meetings focused on "her future" there.

tl;dr the sharing of one doodle does not a bastion of support for justice and civil disobedience make.

netrus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sooo ... it would be great to get a look on that sheet ;)
FilterSweep 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most employees at large companies are just cogs in a machine. At Google, they are lab rats.
okamiueru 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't the reason why Erica Joy no longer works at google highly relevant? If she did this during a contract termination notice period requested by google, the reason for the termination might have something to do with whomever had any say in denying the peer bonuses. Which seems to be the whole point of the article, as the rest is pure speculation.

She did however mention that one bonus passed through, arguing it was too vague to be given because of the spread sheet. Hm.

marknutter 1 day ago 0 replies      
She shouldn't have been reprimanded for creating the spreadsheet. Upper management is always terrified of information they don't control.
jaawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is unfortunate that a large amount of the discussion is being distracted by the stringing-together-tweets thing. Yes, it was lame to do that, but isn't it more worthwhile to talk about the content?

I think most of us probably work at a company that discourages salary transparency (most people do in general). I think we could have a more valuable discussion about how our experiences compare/contrast to the content of the tweets, and save the "omg a bunch of tweets are not an article!" comments for when someone writes a blog post about that and shares it on HN.

vinceyuan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It's very common that people with similar skills have different salary, especially in a big company.

Big companies have the rules in salary increase rate for the current employees, but are willing to pay more to hire new employees from other companies.

For example, A's salary is $5000 and yearly increase rate is 5%. Two years later, A's classmate B is hired. B's salary is $6000. A's salary is $5512.5.

Similar thing happened to me. Luckily I got an exceptional salary increase years later. But eventually I left that company after 6-year service.

deskamess 1 day ago 1 reply      
For some reason I was under the impression the spreadsheet was set up to detect gender/ethnicity based inequality in salaries. Not sure where I got that impression as the tweets do not mention it explicitly other than suggesting that some people asked and got increases.

At the end of the day, this is what I am curious about - was there inequality in pay, and if so, what was the difference.

something123 1 day ago 2 replies      
The problem I see sharing salaries is that people tend to overestimate how good they are. So inevitably everyone will have salary envy and no one will be happy.

It also would make explicit who is most valuable to the company.. which can be dangerous

danielweber 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Salary sharing is only 1 example. Blogger porn. Real names. Many others.

I can't tell from context whether she was supporting or stopping "blogger porn" and/or "real names."

Aoyagi 1 day ago 0 replies      
You've just given their analytics bunch of traffic from HN which looks like it came from Twitter. :P
seqizz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't be evil (with exceptions).
icedchai 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is nice and all, but where is a link to the actual spreadsheet?
paulhauggis 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is exactly what happens: jealousy and people thinking that they somehow deserve the money more than the person making more...blaming of on "sexism"
fleitz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where is the data? Or at least a summation of it? What was the discrepancy? Was it adjusted for experience?
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am struggling with the response to this. My questions are

1. Does the spreadsheet really cover 5% or so of google employees? If so it has pretty decent statistical validity despite selection bias etc?

2. Is the spreadsheet accurate, or at least will the reporting differences cancel out?

3. Assuming the above two are correct, and it seems fair to say yes, then whether she used Twitter, or is grinding an ace is totally irrelevant - Google has a fair pay problem, and really needs to deal with it.

On a personal note, a company is not a market. Class's theory of the firm says it eschews market discipline to achieve more efficient allocation of hard to judge resources. and as such I do not believe that saying "negotiate better" is a valid option for a company of this size. It's bad for everyone but the good negotiators.

dharma1 1 day ago 0 replies      
link to the spreadsheet?
yc1010 1 day ago 6 replies      
Can someone please tl.dr this

First we had articles spread over dozens of pages for the laugh, now we have articles split into 160char segments, grrrrrr

dudul 1 day ago 0 replies      
That may be shallow, but I can't take her seriously because of the medium she picked to convey her story.

This is unreadable.

IanDrake 1 day ago 3 replies      
>capitalist money obsessed techs

OK, that's me. I like to eat and have shelter and some nice stuff too.

Just curious, what charitable organization built your computer and its parts? I bet it was built by capitalist swine.

littletimmy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree. Google should become a non-profit.
dbg31415 1 day ago 2 replies      
So... here's A problem with this.

Are you verifying that the users are actually who they say they are when they share salaries? What if I were to go into the form and say that I was you, and that you made a billion dollars more than everyone else. Would that cause drama?

This just seems like a horrible idea. Feelings will be hurt. Productivity will be lost. Someone will quit. Maybe someone will benefit, but it's almost certainly not good for your team or your company.

People agree to work for salaries. They put down numbers like what they earned at their last job, or what they are looking for in the new job, and then employers make offers based on that. If someone agreed to work for a number, and is getting paid that... why make drama?

nicboobees 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nothing good comes from knowing other peoples salary. Only jealousy, resentment, unhappiness, and greed.
zyb09 1 day ago 2 replies      
To be honest, what exactly did she want to accomplish with this? Where I live people are very hesitant of sharing their salary and doing something like this would be considered very rude. All it can possibly lead to is drama about salaries. Drama about why some people getting payed more then others. Should Google now start paying each and everyone exactly the same until everyone is happy? No of course not, it's no secret companies have different salaries for different employees. What matters is that YOU feel ok with what you're getting payed, not what others are earning.
murbard2 1 day ago 1 reply      
What happens is that your spreadsheet won't be properly adjusted for all factors, people will look for bias, claim discrimination, and get a big bully to fine your company (and look caring and compassionate while doing it)
PostgREST REST API from any PostgreSQL database github.com
293 points by cdjk  10 hours ago   135 comments top 20
benkant 6 hours ago 10 replies      
This is good work and if I ever did web development, it would be like this. Why people in the web world don't use stored procedures and constraints is a mystery to me. That this approach is seen as novel is in itself fascinating.

It's like all those web framework inventors didn't read past chapter 2 of their database manuals. So they wrote a whole pile of code that forces you to add semantics in another language elsewhere in your code in a language that makes impedance stark. PostgreSQL is advanced technology. Whatever you might consider doing in your CRUD software, PostgreSQL has a neat solution. You can extend SQL, add new types, use PL/SQL in a bunch of different languages, background workers, triggers, constraints, permissions. Obviously there are limits but you don't reinvent web servers because Apache doesn't transcode video on the fly. Well, you do if you're whoever makes Rubby on Rails.

The argument that you don't want to write any code that locks you to a database is some stunning lack of awareness, as you decide to lock yourself into the tsunami of unpredictability that is web frameworks to ward off the evil of being locked into a 20 year database product built on some pretty sound theoretical foundations.

Web developers really took the whole "let's make more work for ourselves" idea and ran with it all the way to the bank.

You'd have to pay me a million dollars a year to do web development.

pilif 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Contrary to many other "expose a RDBMS schema as an API" solutions, this one is interesting due to its very close tie-in with postgres. It even uses postgres users for authorization and it relies on the postgres stats collector for caching headers.

I also very much liked the idea of using `Range` headers for pagination (which should be out-of-band but rarely is).

I'm not convinced that this is the future of web development, but it's a nice refreshing view that contains a few very practical ideas.

Even if you don't care about this at all, spend the 12 minutes to watch the introductory presentation.

xdanger 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
How about http://pgre.st/ ?

it does same kinda stuff + capable of loading Node.js modules, compatible with MongoLab's REST API and Firebase's real-time API

jister 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm sorry but why would I go through HTTP to query data? Why can't I just hit the database directly without the overhead of HTTP? Does a cleaner and being more standards-compliant worth the overhead of passing through HTTP?

And what happens when you start applying complex business rules that needs to scale? So many questions about this approach...

CloudLeaper 6 hours ago 4 replies      
What is the use case of wrapping Postgres with REST? I can't think of many apps that don't require custom logic between receiving an API request and persisting something to the database. Is PostgREST trying to replace ORM by wrapping Postgres in REST? Or am I missing something. When would one use this tool. My naive perspective needs some enlightening.
fica 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Would be cool to put Kong [1] on top of the API to handle JWT or CORS [2] out of the box.

[1] https://github.com/mashape/kong

[2] http://getkong.org/plugins/

caseysoftware 2 hours ago 1 reply      
APIs require more than database access, security, and nice routes. Those are all necessary but a good API also includes flows linking things together so you can progress through higher order processes and workflows. You need to make sure that you're actually providing user value.

CRUD over HTTP (or an "access API") should be a first step, not your end goal.

weitzj 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Could maybe somebody of the older experienced people comment whether this is a good idea?

I find it intriguing, but maybe I am just one generation behind and you were to say:

"Been there done that. This strong dependency on the database was really not a good idea in the long run because... "

bni 4 hours ago 2 replies      
What about when changes are made to the schema, wont the API just be changed in that case?

Wont this lock you in with very hard coupling between your db schema and public REST API?

CookWithMe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks really cool. I was first thinking it saves the JSON with the new Postgres JSON support, but saving it as relational data is even more impressive!

I'd say if the OPTIONS would return a JSON Schema (+ RAML/Swagger) instead of the json-fied DDL, it would be even more awesome. With a bit of code generation this would be super-quick to integrate in the frontend then.

gizmodo59 4 hours ago 1 reply      
With Data Virtualization providers like Denodo you can create a REST web service with any relational database very easily..


arturventura 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"It provides a cleaner, more standards-compliant, faster API than you are likely to write from scratch."

If you are using this as a web server persistence backend, I would agree with the first, more or less accept the second and reject the third. HTTP + JSON serialisation are way slower for that kind of job.

If you are just exposing the database using only the Postgres, in that case is interesting, however, I have concerns about how more complex business logics would work with such a CRUD view.

McElroy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Between this (yes, I know it's 3rd party) and the support for JSON, PostgreSQL seems to be eating into the market of the NoSQL databases every day. I like that. I like that because the fewer new things I must learn, the more time I can spend on the things I find interesting.
rcarmo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Haskell, huh? The Force is strong on this one.
arianvanp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I see currently only "flat" urls are supported. are there any plans (and is it even possible in postgresql) to add dynamic views? so that `/users/1/projects` is a dynamic view, dependent on the $user_id ? . That'd be rad
hliyan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the JSON JSON API [1] compliant, perchance?

[1]: http://jsonapi.org/

jawr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this could easily be forked to provide a GraphQL interface to pg.
eridal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
oh I love the silence logo!!

In fact, I think I love any musical reference in software :-)

sz4kerto 6 hours ago 3 replies      
You should be aware that this is a _bad_ pattern for anything more serious than a university homework. Instead of exposing functionality that you can guarantee and that's required by the clients, you expose your database schema, essentially tightly coupling the DB with the clients.

I know it's tempting to do that, but spend some time thinking of your data and what do you want to expose.

wisty 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Example is broken. It's returning a JSON doc, so if you leave it then return, some browsers will just return the cached JSON (as text).

Should add some header to say that it's JSON, or add a .json file extension for the main page data.

Very interesting project though.

Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner Announce $100M Initiative to Seek ET scientificamerican.com
286 points by saticmotion  2 days ago   222 comments top 20
agentgt 2 days ago 5 replies      
One of my favorite topics is the Fermi Paradox and consequently the Great Filter (which someone already discussed).

One of my favorite explanations is that there are other ET out there but they are two engrossed with their own entertainment to "give a fuck" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox#They_tend_to_iso...). I find it amusing and ironic while also seriously consider it a possibility.

From wikipedia:

It may also be that intelligent alien life develop an "increasing disinterest" in their outside world.[71] Possibly any sufficiently advanced society will develop highly engaging media and entertainment well before the capacity for advanced space travel, and that the rate of appeal of these social contrivances is destined, because of their inherent reduced complexity, to overtake any desire for complex, expensive endeavors such as space exploration and communication. Once any sufficiently advanced civilization becomes able to master its environment, and most of its physical needs are met through technology, various "social and entertainment technologies", including virtual reality, are postulated to become the primary drivers and motivations of that civilization.[72]

aka Star Trek holodeck.... the best drug in the future.

nogridbag 2 days ago 3 replies      
Please excuse my complete ignorance - this is something that continues to perplex me no matter how many times I hear it explained and I may sound like a complete idiot here. Can someone explain how this would work in layman's terms?

Let's say that life on another planet 150 million billion miles away wanted to send us a message. So that's 25,000 light years away. They send us one single 1 minute duration message at t=0 and that message travels at the speed of light as an example. And let's just say t=25000 happens to be today. Does that mean that we have a one minute window to intercept part of the message otherwise it's lost?

If so, let's say the life on that planet was persistent and continued to send messages continuously directly to us and no other planets for 500 years. Then I would assume we have a 500 year period to play with. If they started sending signals let's say 10,000 years ago, it seems we have absolutely no chance to receive the message unless this program is operational for the next 15,000 years or so. But our odds of receiving an intelligent signal is vastly higher simply due to the number of planets in our galaxy. Is my understanding remotely correct?

melling 2 days ago 7 replies      
I wish someone would instead come up with a project to really capture the public's attention about space exploration. More interest means more funding. The U.S. Budget is measured in billions. The New Horizons project, for example, only cost $700 million.

The Lunar X Prize might have been that project but it doesn't seem to be making progress:



jahnu 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hawking wants to find them, but seemingly not reveal ourselves...


codeshaman 2 days ago 9 replies      
A very noble endeavour indeed, but I still don't get it.

So let's say that by examining the petabytes of data that's received from the telescopes, at some point a signal is detected.

Let's say that somehow all the competing scientests and skeptics, religious and opinion leaders magically and peacefully agree: the signal is from an inteligent life form. Somewhere close, just a couple of hundred light years away ...

Then what ?

Do we build rockets to travel there ? Do we 'tune-in' and decipher the signal ? Do we send them our own signals in the hope that they are listening ?

codeshaman 2 days ago 3 replies      
If we really believe in scientific progress, then we must accept that, compared to some time in the future, our current understanding of the Universe is akin to people thinking the world was flat some time in the past.

Maybe the Universe's scale compared to our physical form has a purpose. Maybe it's intended to not be traversed physcally. Maybe that's the most obvious conclusion an intelligent life form might draw from analyzing it's scale ?

Maybe in the future we will understand it just like the aliens we're looking for did a long time ago - that the way to communicate in this Universe does not involve physical travel or physical signals.

Just look up some pictures of Pablo Amaringo - a shaman making drawings of his trips on ayahuasca. Notice the 'aliens' and the galaxies and the the distant worlds that he is visiting while tripping.

Anyone who has been on powerful psychedelic trips would agree that there is a lot of stuff to explain there, besides just the brain reaction to a chemical. Stuff like traveling through time, out of the Universe, into the microcosmos, before and after life, etc.

People did this for thousands of years - they used terms such as 'spirits', 'beings' and 'gods' to describe who they made contact with.

But what if those substances are more than just intoxicants, what if they really trigger some unknown mind-space-time gateway which we haven't yet tapped scientifically, which makes space and time travel possible. What if we could approach this scientifically and actually make these trips predictable and repeatable ?

What if the aliens are actually just high tech savages using advanced psychedelic drugs + mind machines to travel and explore time and space, while sitting in a forest around a fire ?

We should start exploring the inner space just like we are exploring the outer space. When will we see $100m invested in that ? :)

dogma1138 2 days ago 1 reply      
Didn't Hawking said that actively looking for ET was reckless and dangerous and that any contact with a more advanced civilization will end up like the colonization of America with us being the natives?
rdl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow. Thank you, Yuri!

I suspect even if this is unsuccessful at finding ET, it will do lots of awesome other things.

And if it is successful in finding ET, then it's probably the most significant possible discovery.

Tepix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing initiative! I wish we had more of these. And it's coming right after "Armada" by Ernest Cline was released, which deals with aliens.

If the livestream is overlaid with page elements for you as well, try this URL:


z3t4 2 days ago 1 reply      
If we ever receive radio from another world, they're probably already extinct.
webwielder2 2 days ago 4 replies      
Wow, a colossal waste of money. Space is far, far too vast and the time scale of human civilization far, far too small. To think of what other good uses that time and money could be spent on (that goes for SETI too)
rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting that SIGINT tools (zero sum at best, and probably negative sum) are basically going to be useful for something which extends the ears of humanity in a positive way.
brock_r 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can a satellite "orbit" so that it imitates a star?

Or would it have to "stand still" out there, which would make it fall back to earth?

hgfischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think Giorgio A. Tsoukalos would be the best choice instead of Stephen Hawking, who is against finding ETs.
thebouv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny enough, I wonder what the numbers would hit if they crowdfunded something like this? I think the number would be surprisingly high.
ohitsdom 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like a huge waste of money to me. If you're interested in ET, why not invest in the space industry to advance our capabilities? It'll be hard to interact with ET when as a society we are essentially[0] earth bound.

[0] http://howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com/

k8tte 2 days ago 4 replies      
one week Hawking warns about skynet-style AI. next week he insist of us go hunting it. good troll?
queryly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think there is ET. The probability that atoms fuse together to construct a organism that is capable of turning sun into bio-energy and multiplying itself just by chance is too small to have two civilizations in this universe.
rokhayakebe 2 days ago 0 replies      
For now I am more interested in terrestrial life which cannot be perceived with our senses alone. Are there others roaming around next to me, but we cannot perceive one another with some additional tool?
pinkskip 2 days ago 1 reply      
seems legit :D
A Man Who Flies Around the World for Free rollingstone.com
282 points by aaronbrethorst  1 day ago   171 comments top 20
saryant 1 day ago 7 replies      
I spend more time than I should in the churning/FF communities (all of which are centered around FlyerTalk). It's fun. Ben's blog is one of the few I follow, most aren't that great. Frequent Miler is a solid resource, as is Wandering Aramean, but nothing beats being active on FlyerTalk itself.

In the last five years I've managed to earn and spend about 1.5 million miles and points, with maybe 50k airline miles from actual flying and ~400k points from actual Hilton stays. Between churning, manufactured spend and promotions I'm able to do 1-2 international trips a year in first class, staying at good hotels. I mostly travel to Asia and get great value out of free flights on Singapore, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

It's an awesome hobby if you: a) have time to kill b) are single and c) have an insanely flexible schedule.

I used US and BA miles earlier this year to fly to Malaysia and Thailand for free (well, plus taxes) in first class, spending five weeks between Hong Kong, Penang, Koh Lanta, Beijing and Tokyo.

Drinking $300 champagne at 35,000 feet on a flight you didn't pay for is a rather fun feeling...

post_break 1 day ago 3 replies      
Don't you have to worry about radiation at some point? I mean flying 300 days out of the year has to add up.
akavel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I seem to have missed something, in that I don't get one moment of the story; given:

in April 2011, he received a certified letter from United, cheerily informing him that because he had taken advantage of the system his frequent-flyer account was permanently suspended. He was banned from flying, he recalls the letter saying, unless he paid the company $4,755 the amount it claimed as losses through Schlappig's techniques. [...] Schlappig has repeatedly offered to send United a check but has gotten no response.

-- so, how he continued the Hobby afterwards? Did he switch to a different airline? Can anybody help me understand?

glup 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone else find this "hobby" somewhere between low-grade morally questionable and a completely banal use of above-average problem-solving skills? Upper middle class man-children with disposable income can, I'm sure you're surprised to find out, game overenthusiastic corporate behemoths?
imjk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ben's only one of a growing number of high-profile frequent flyer bloggers: http://pointsbuzz.com/. As most of the strategies they promote for amassing ff points revolves around gaming sing up bonuses for credit card fees, the bloggers make money from affiliate fees for credit cards they promote. The airlines don't mind because they sell their miles to cc companies and gain customer loyalty. The credit card companies don't mind because they buy the miles for cheaper and use them as an incentive that is cheaper than the lifetime value of the customer.
wehadfun 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't get the appeal of flying first class just for the "fun" of it. You can sit in a comfy seat, drink overpriced alcohol served by an attractive lady at your local Mens club with much less hassle. Flying first class is cool if you actually have to travel but just for the hell of it.
roflmyeggo 1 day ago 3 replies      
These type of communities tend to remind me of the "extreme couponing" crowd and the like.

Sure you can get some free stuff, but at what price? What if you took that time and invested it in bettering your skill sets, etc.?

ackalker 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Tough chance of any youth from my country trying to compete with him.Our government has imposed tough regulations on credit card ownership in order to curb personal debt.

Those who apply for a credit card must be 18 years or older and provide proof of stable income >= $2000/month before banks will even consider the application. Also, all credit cards are registered at our national credit registration office with their max withdrawal counted towards personal debt risk, so applying for or owning more than just a few CCs at any single time is very unlikely unless one has a very well paid job or other sources of income.

verbatim 1 day ago 3 replies      
> United offered coupons to passengers worth $200 or $400.

I'd be pretty surprised to see that now. On my last long United flight, which was 6-7 hours overseas, my in-flight entertainment system was broken, and they gave me a $25 voucher. I was not impressed.

intrasight 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder what will be the long-term affects of all that high-altitude radiation exposure. I guess we'll have to check back in with him in 20 years.
hobo_mark 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is any of this (realistically) applicable if you are european? We're still reluctant to use credit cards at all here.
robotresearcher 1 day ago 2 replies      
I use miles to get flights a couple of times a year. A 'free' long-haul flight economy class costs me $700-800 in taxes, which can not be paid in points. How can these out-of-pocket charges be avoided?
pingec 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish us Europeans could do that :(
swang 1 day ago 1 reply      
Doesn't this slam your credit rating by taking out so many credit cards? Or does he (and other people who do this) not care?
mavhc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like he's causing a lot of pollution
iamleppert 1 day ago 2 replies      
Kudos for him doing what he wants, but why?
comrade1 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is a bad customer. I'm surprised the airlines just don't ban him.
kzisme 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty damn cool
rugatelstvo 1 day ago 1 reply      
It also helps to have a passport that lets you do that.
fennecfoxen 1 day ago 2 replies      
Once upon a time a nerdy young boy in a Catholic high school was obsessed with airplanes. He started flying around the country collecting frequent flyer miles, reporting small problems with the plane, and getting lots of $200 "apology" vouchers and stuff. It was fun.

Today he has a big fan club, runs some airfare-hacker forums and gives interviews to magazines with no journalistic credibility or fact-checking whatsoever (cough cough). Airfare hacking today is harder than it used to be, and you can't even defraud the US Mint by ordering dollar coins on your credit card (with no fee / free shipping), but you can still get lucky with mistake fares and/or pay people to violate all the terms and conditions and fly in your name, if you're sneaky about it.

Why I am pro-GPL dustycloud.org
274 points by paroneayea  22 hours ago   361 comments top 23
TazeTSchnitzel 21 hours ago 13 replies      
It's worth remembering why the GPL was invented.

Stallman had a printer which had proprietary drivers, and he wanted to fix an issue with the driver. He couldn't. He created the GPL so that, in future, people wouldn't have this problem.

Stallman created the GPL because he cared about user freedom.

bcg1 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Christopher Allen Webber is a FLOSS hero and in my opinion deserves the utmost respect, although I suspect he is probably too humble to agree with that.

I concur with everything he has written in his post... but one thing I'd add to the points he made is my annoyance with the implication made by many that proponents of permissive licensing care about freedom more than people who use copyleft licenses.

People who really care about freedom care about it for EVERYONE, and licensing that maximizes freedom for everyone trumps the "strings attached" in that regard, that is such a simple thing to see that it challenges credulity to think that someone who cares about freedom could say otherwise.

If you want everyone to use permissive licensing because you want to use free software inside of locked down programs you produce and are frustrated that great copyleft software doesn't let you do that, fine. I can respect that position because I've experienced the same problem. But please get over it and find some non-free solution to your problem, instead of trying to undermine the ideology of people who actually care about freedom just because you are jealous of the quality of software that has that ideology attached to it.

tdees40 21 hours ago 16 replies      
I work in industry. Anything GPL is a non-starter. I totally understand and appreciate the concerns, but at BigCorp GPL doesn't play.

edit: I'm well aware that some people don't want industry using their code. Great! But that's really limiting the scope of who's going to get involved, and it's probably going to make it harder to get a sufficient community involved to help your project achieve liftoff.

beering 21 hours ago 1 reply      
A few years from now, when you want to hack on some new gizmo and you find out that the toolchain is a pile of proprietary blobs that only work on Windows and an old version of RHEL, you can thank the "pro-user" supporters of clang and its non-copyleft license.

(I think this is already happening with GPU toolchains but that's not my field.)

hasenj 20 hours ago 5 replies      
I think the GPL is a little outdated in that it misses the point on what really matters to ensuring the user's freedom.

I think having an open source application is useless to the end user. I mean really useless in and of itself.

What really matters is standarizing the data format and providing tools to convert/export to various other formats.

Say I'm using application X as a free-software word processor. Two years later I decide I'm done with it, for various reasons it's annoying. I want to migrate to some other application Y.

Also suppose that X hasn't been in development for over a year and no one is maintaining it.

Also suppose X is very complicated and no one understands how the code works.

What do I get as a user? What benefit do I get from X being open-source? Almost nothing.

On the other hand, if X came with tools to "liberate" data from itself, and had its data format extensively documented, then I could get some real benefits.

The only thing open source does is allow developers to collectively work on infrastructure tools. Such as git, etc.

smhenderson 21 hours ago 2 replies      
There is no reason to pit permissive and copyleft licensing against each other. Anyone doing so is doing a great disservice to user freedom.

Or, IMHO more likely, has an agenda that benefits from permissive licensing.

jbandela1 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I think the GPL license actually makes user freedom worse by encouraging developers to release software as web apps instead of as client applications. This is because a web application that uses GPL software is not required to release its source code whereas a client application would be required to release its source code.

The difference in user freedom between web apps and client apps is much bigger than the difference between a GPL client app and a proprietary client app. With a client app, even a proprietary one - the user at least in theory can see exactly what the application is doing and what data it is transmitting where.

So for the average user - GPL has encouraged loss of user freedom. Of course this doesn't affect Stallman because he does not use any web apps.

smhenderson 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like a lot of the comments in this thread are conflating permissively licensed software with closed source software.

If you want to write software and keep it closed so you can make money off it I don't necessarily love the idea but I can respect it.

But we're not talking about closed source here, just the difference between the GPL and permissive licenses like BSD, MIT, etc. I don't see how creating a killer app and releasing it permissively guarantees a developer an income. The opposite is the obvious effect. On the other hand using the GPL as your public license and negotiating a private license with a company like QT does seems like a logical way to provide user freedom, enjoy feedback and improvements from the community and still allow for a revenue stream.

It's definitely a tired argument at this point so I was actually pretty happy when the author went out of his way to reiterate at the end of the article that there are benefits to both approaches, why can't we all just get along...

amirouche 21 hours ago 0 replies      
BSD was not meant to shape a future, it was created to maximize the reach of its software through devaluation.

GPL was created to shape our future and continue to do so. Not just the forseable reach of our little lifes and immediate surroundings (if any).

I see a lot of people looking at their immediate needs. IMO We need need to give time to Time. The problem is not FLOSS licensing or software. This is mostly a solved problem.

asgard1024 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I sympathize with the author, even though I work at a corporation that doesn't like GPL.

I think big part why the GPL has been lately out of fashion is that many developers work for (big) companies, which of course (as correctly stated) benefit lot more from BSD than GPL.

These developers naturally want to use the great software at work they do or use as a hobby, so they are willing to compromise with the powers at be (business leadership) and release their software under a more permissive license (or pressure their peers working on OSS to release it under more permissive license).

Of course, if these developers acted really rationally, they would collectively rise up against such demands; but then they could just establish some sort of anarchist/libertarian/communist (depending on your leanings) commune where everything is fair and just.

So I think it's a lot of small pragmatic decisions that ultimately lead to irrational results.

awinder 19 hours ago 0 replies      

 > To return to the arguments made last night, though copyleft > defends source, in my view this is merely a strategy towards > defending users. And indeed, as in terms of where freedoms > lie between those who make use of the source and code side of > things vs the end-user-application side of things, one might > notice a trend: there are very few permissively licensed projects > which aim at end users. Most of them are stepping stones towards > further software development. And this is great! I am glad that > we have so many development tools available, and it seems that > permissive/lax licensing is an excellent strategy here. But when > I think of projects I use every day which are programs I actually run > (for example, as an artist I use Blender, Gimp and Inkscape > regularly), most of these are under the GPL. How many truly major > end-user-facing software applications can you think of that > are under permissive licenses? I can think of many under copyleft, > and very few under permissive licenses. This is no coincidence. > Assuming you wish to fight for freedom of the end user, and ensure > that your software remains free for that end user, copyleft > is an excellent strategy.
This was the key paragraph from my reading anyways. This is not an argument for / against whichever license, it's an argument that different types of code and projects have different licensing trends, and those probably align with how the code is going to be used and the audience that it's targeting.

llllllllllllll 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this quote from the article is what is all qbout."In Shane's talk last night, he argued against copyleft because software licenses should have "no strings attached". But the very strategy that is advocated above is all about attaching strings! Copyleft's strings say "you can use my stuff, as long as you give back what you make from it". But the proprietary differentiation strategy's strings say "I will use your stuff, and then add terms which forbid you to ever share or modify the things I build on top of it." Don't be fooled: both attach strings. But which strings are worse?"
dzsekijo 18 hours ago 0 replies      
What bothers me both about the article and the comments here that they speak in the context of the pro-GPL/anti-GPL debate, but what actually gets discussed is lax vs. copyleft FOSS licensing.

However, the two topics are not the same. I, for one, like the idea of copyleft licensing (for cases where its appropriate), but don't like GPL. GPL has taken the status of "the real copyleft license", but indeed it's an abuse of the idea of copyleft.

Here's why: create the Merry Mermaid Public License (MMPL) as follows: take the text of the GPL and replace all occurrences of "GNU General Public License" with "Merry Mermaid Public License". Also remove all references to FSF and refer to yourself / another non-profit whenever a legal entity is to be named in the text. MMPL will be essentially the same as GPL, just called differently. However, GPL will condemn MMPL in the sense that the two won't be compatible. You can't mix and distribute code bits where one is GPL and one is MMPL licensed. An aggressive monopolist drive is built in to GPL as it decrees incompatiblity with other licenses not on base of licensing conditions, but on base of not being originated from the FSF.

ggreer 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The author gives good reasons for preferring the GPL to BSD-style licenses, but it seems to me that there's an even better license for his ideals: the AGPL.[1] It fulfills the same purpose as the GPL, but it fixes loopholes such as running code on remote servers (most website back-ends).

I've yet to hear a good argument from ideals that prefers the GPL to AGPL. The latter really does give people more freedom over how they can use and modify software.

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

err4nt 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm very grateful the GPL exists, but I don't like the viral clause of the GPL. I find people sometimes aren't able to use GPLed code in their projects which defeats my purpose for putting it under an open licence in the first place.

Lately I just release stuff under MIT which says you're free to do anything but remove the copyright notice, or sue me because you used my code. Other than that it's free for nearly any purpose.

lucozade 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm torn. I understand the benefits of enforcing user freedom. But it's not clear to me that users aren't better served by the ubiquity of re-use that the more permissive licenses have encouraged.

For example, permissive licenses have helped with the walled garden that is iOS. But would end users be better off if we hadn't had iOS? If it were GPL'd, sure, but in reality it would never have been. So is its existence, and the competition it fostered with Android, net beneficial to users?

Maybe more concretely, I feel that the deliberate hamstringing of GCC wrt a published IR to be, well, wrong. Again, I understand the arguments and I appreciate the reasoning but it's not clear that the end user is best served by this.

For me, at least, it probably comes down to the simple statement that, as much as I value end user freedom, it isn't always the most beneficial thing for the end user.

On a different day, mind, I'd probably argue the other way...

yellowapple 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I think this article (and possibly the speaker the article responds to; I haven't seen any transcript or recording yet) misses one of the bigger poitns of permissive licensing: the ability for virtually any free software project to reuse your code. As a developer writing a library or somesuch, my concern is often whether or not I'm locking a large number of projects out of making use of my code. Yeah, this means that proprietary software can use it, too, but at least I'm credited for the work (as per the terms of most copyfree/copycenter licenses) and other FOSS projects have the same ability.

This isn't to say that copyleft is automatically bad, but rather that consideration for the general development ecosystem is a worthwhile consideration. If you're a Perl hacker, for example, you're probably going to use "the same license as perl itself" (GPL + Artistic License) or perhaps the Artistic License 2.0 because those are the norms of the Perl community. If you're a Ruby hacker, you're probably going to use the MIT license because that's the most common. If you're writing an Emacs package, you'll probably release it under the GPL. If you're writing an Erlang module, I'd reckon the Apache license nowadays to be the new baseline.

This is also affected by which operating system you're targeting. BSD folks will tend to lean permissive, while GNU/Linux folks will tend to lean copyleft. Windows and OS X folks will tend to lean proprietary or permissive.

In other words, what license to pick really depends on the norms of the platform you're writing for. There's no "wrong" answer here unless the license you choose excessively impedes reusability by the broader community you're operating in, in which case you would be wise to adapt accordingly.

nickpsecurity 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The first half of the article was good and balanced. I especially like the distinction in lay terms: copyleft to push freedom; non-copyleft to push adoption. That's a great way to describe it to a person contemplating what license to choose. Then, the article goes in a different direction that embodies negative qualities that author critiqued in the related presentation. Let's address a bit of this from my pro-consumer, pro-security/quality, pro-OSS, anti-copyleft perspective. Mentioned that just so my bias is clear upfront and why I push adoption-oriented licenses (esp for open hardware & high assurance).

re stepping stone. Yes, this is the common goal of proprietary use of anti-copyleft software. IIRC, copyleft software got its start using the architecture, languages, tools, and platforms of BSD and proprietary offerings. So, even GPL proponents build on existing work. Anyone wanting an open, free version of a given enhancement can similarly produce it starting with the same stepping stones.

re open to closed. We saw this happen with Apple App Store, the QNX source reversal, attempts to combine open code with DRM, and so on. This is bad. However, it almost exclusively happens with companies whose licensing, TOS's, SLA's, etc allow for this sort of thing. That's where the problem is. Avoiding such companies, selecting safest licenses, and/or ensuring certain conditions are perpetual in contracts/licenses are easiest solution. GPL is actually a successful implementation of my claim, although it wasn't good enough. Affero corrected a major deficiency and more evolutions will probably follow. Many more licensing schemes can happen to reduce negative impact of business participation while empowering users.

The common theme in most gripes is what the companies do. The reason we have this problem is that users almost exclusively do business with scumbag companies. They don't care about terms. They don't care about its ethics. Prior abuses rarely make them change companies (see Microsoft and Facebook). They don't try to leverage their buying power to force (existing) or incentivize (startups) companies to negotiate something that's favorable to them and future-proof in main risk areas. Like the old saying, the only thing that was necessary for triumph of evil was that good people did nothing [while evil kept its eye on the ball and its hands/feet in a sprint].

A lot of these problems can be avoided by simply investing in the right organizations. People who pick up Microsoft's server operating system are in for more schemes than those that used FreeBSD with commercial support. Certain small companies behind IDE's and libraries have had great terms for their users for years with minimal hassles unlike the mess that's Microsoft's development tools. Services provided by non-profits, cooperatives, and companies simply focused on customer satisfaction have done great compared to race to bottom in cost or highest shareholder earnings that get many others scheming on customers. Pick the right people/companies/tools, maintain an out to avoid lock-in (open formats/API's help), and invest in that. Double down on it if they use permissive licenses and re-invest back into their communities.

In the end, this is more a problem of incentives than purely a legal one. People trust companies that don't care about them. They get screwed. Stop doing that. Do plenty more of the opposite. On top of it, explore alternatives [1] to popular source-sharing models in case business opportunities arise. Get momentum going in directions other than companies that do lock-in and lock-down. After all, I've done a lot of business with proprietary companies and have mostly avoided being boxed in. Same goes for FOSS use. Imagine that... All about what you use, how, and from whom. Sacrifices will need to be made, though, and now we're getting back to user demand (incentives) driving the negative practices.

Outside a niche, I don't see it happening because market as a whole won't take responsibility to make it happen. The problems are market's fault, as usual. Good that niche commercial, OSS, and FOSS have given us plenty of good stuff to work with. I encourage all of them to keep at it without a need to fight with any. I avoid GPL strictly for economic reasons: certain investments don't happen, esp high assurance or ASIC development, unless they can recover the cost somehow. Additionally, companies adopting high quality components makes stuff more robust over time. Finally, making money allows them to fight inevitable patent suits that will attempt to put them out of business and create more patents for defensive use. So, for economic reasons, I oppose the GPL in some spaces while respecting it and being neutral in others. My OS is GPL, for instance, and I'm grateful to its developers & community. :)

[1] https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/05/friday_squid_...

0xdeadbeefbabe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want freedom don't involve any lawyers. 's why the Trex ate the lawyer first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMzfrod7hcE
gress 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This makes the usual false dichotomy between 'users' and 'developers' and positions GPL advocates as freedom fighters.

Also as usual, there is no mention of how a GPL based economy can work. The reason the GPL is not loved by developers as much as the freedom fighters would like is because we need to earn a living. If GPL advocates can address that, they would be able to stop wasting time with these rants.

anon3_ 22 hours ago 6 replies      
> there are very few permissively licensed projects which aim at end users.

Lack of citation and data noted. I'm assuming good faith and going to approach this as I would a fellow colleague :)

I'm also going to assume you perhaps haven't been introduced to the vibrant ecosystem of permissive licensed software.

The article also doesn't mention how GPL is a show-stopper at some companies where we are building proprietary solutions.

Oracle, IBM, Sony, Apple, Microsoft, Boeing all are monetized empires that profit not just from binary blobs, but from providing a superior product. Also, being the patent holder is lucrative.

How do you intend on running a business and feeding your employees, let alone making investors happy following the virtues of GPL? Consulting and support only goes so far.

> Most of them are stepping stones towards further software development.

Ever hear of DragonEgg? (GCC was used to bootstrap LLVM/clang in it's early days.)

Devs use GPL software to write permissive software. Sometimes they do so because they have no choice but to reinvent the wheel because of GPL's rules.

arunc 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Free as in "Freedom".
zobzu 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My name is zobzu. I fight for the users, and I'm standing up for the GPL. (seriously tho, same license by default, same reasons - feel free to downvote, it won't change my licensing choices)
See what Hacker News looked like on the day you joined bemmu.github.io
237 points by bemmu  3 days ago   99 comments top 56
tomkwok 3 days ago 6 replies      
View page source.

 <script> $(function () { var = new Firebase("https://hacker-news.firebaseio.com/"); var = "http://news.ycombinator.com/"; $("#").hide(); $("form").submit(function () { .child("v0/user/" + $("#username").val()).on("value", function() { var = .val(); if ( && .created) { var = new Date(.created * 1e3); var YYYYMMDDhhmmss = .toISOString().slice(0,19).replace(/[-T:]/g,""); var = "https://web.archive.org/web/".concat(YYYYMMDDhhmmss, "/", ); $('body').fadeOut(); location = ; } else { $("#").show(); } }); return false; }); }); /* ASCII art omitted to save space */ </script>
Wow, non-latin characters for variable names.

And if you'd like to learn some Chinese, here is the definition of all Chinese characters appeared above.

 = fire = error / mistake = time = result (a term / expression with figurative meaning) = fruit = human / person

My pick: 'HNSearch old HN search engine will be shut down later today'.


jrockway 2 days ago 3 replies      
8 years! It was still called "Startup News" back then. The front page when I joined looks very much like it does today -- a few articles about Google (6!), some startup-y articles, some politics, some business-y articles, some pure programming articles, etc. A good mix, but things are still pretty good today.

I remember exactly why I joined, incidentally. With increasing regularity, /r/programming was making me very mad. I would post a detailed correct answer to someone's question, only for some troll to immediately reply with some insult and "proof" that I was totally wrong, even though the proof was totally wrong. It happens once, fine. It happens every single time I comment, I'm out. I have not been back in 8 years.

I will admit this happens from time to time on HN, which is unfortunate because I like to comment and really only know what I'm talking about when it's programming-related. But it hasn't made me mad enough to leave, only to nostalgically think back to the good-old days.

(I did start using Reddit again, too, but I only read unpopular subreddits. I can handle /r/AskReddit for some time killing, but things like /r/flying and /r/amateurradio are very pleasant communities with enough activity to be interesting a couple times a week. /r/anime is infuriatingly stupid, /r/awwnime is much more tolerable.)

542458 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ha! This is really cool. A few interesting things on mine:


"Code.Google.com now supports git"

Google code got the axe earlier this year.

"Michael Arrington reportedly to launch CrunchFund to invest in startups"

The rumours turned out to be true.

"Court OKs Airport Body Scanners, Rejects Constitutional Challenge"

They're everywhere now!

"Italy and the euro: On the edge"

Good guess, but turns out Greece is a bigger problem.

japaget 2 days ago 0 replies      
It only approximates the date you first joined. It uses https://archive.org/ the Internet Archive) to load the archived page nearest to (or nearest before?) the date you joined. Since the Internet Archive does not mirror HN every day, the page it will show you may differ by a few days from your exact signup date. It so happens that I joined on March 11, 2009 but I was shown the page for March 10, 2009 instead. You can use http://www.waybackhn.com/ to get a list of the top stories on the exact date you joined HN.
hga 3 days ago 2 replies      
I joined 8 years ago, and the topic selection is not markedly different in nature, which I find remarkable. Then again, there's a reason I'm still here and not e.g. Slashdot, which I started following even earlier.
bootload 3 days ago 1 reply      
"The reason I chose today to drop out was because of a conversation I had with pg last week. He said bluntly that Octopart's chances of getting funding were worse if I stayed in grad school."

Classic. Top story the day I started, "I Dropped Out of Grad School Today" @sam (octopart) [0],[1]

[0] https://web.archive.org/web/20070221033032/http://news.ycomb...

[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20070223035643/http://octopart.c...

Todd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Clever idea. Top item on mine:

My YC app: Dropbox - Throw away your USB drive (getdropbox.com)


Edit: Look at the stats! 27 points kept it at the top after 8 hours. How things have changed.

edw519 3 days ago 3 replies      
Doesn't work for me:

Sorry, your username was not found. Maybe you have never submitted or commented anything.

 user: edw519 created: 3070 days ago karma: 72254 about: Free ebook, "The Best of edw519": hn.my/edw519 twitter: @edw519 http://twitter.com/edw519 e d w 5 1 9 a t g m a i l https://hn.algolia.com/?query=edw519&sort=byDate&prefix&page=0&dateRange=all&type=comment 5,008 results

bambax 3 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently I joined the day PG and Jessica got married:


I wasn't at the wedding! ;-)

noenzyme 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think a cool derivative work would be to see today's HN but filtered to only see activity of people who joined before you.
BCM43 3 days ago 1 reply      
Cool, top story for me was "Experiment: No Comment Scores"


cbaleanu 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great! Reminds one of just how fast time flies.Melancholy aside, this[0] was #1 on the day I finally created an account.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4220353

rossriley 3 days ago 0 replies      
Plus a change.

This was top story for me. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=211630

cwp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow. I knew it's been a long time, I didn't realize I joined so near the beginning. Mine has "Why we made this site" submitted by pg.
ismail 2 days ago 0 replies      

Some interesting things on mine:

Does Apple's Steve Jobs have cancer again? (alleyinsider.com)


Toyota Announces New 516-Mile Range Fuel-Cell/Electric Hybrid


Interesting to note how HN has grown since then. Much more people on, though content has stayed similar.

In retrospect Jobs did still have cancer, and the Toyota hybrid was not much of a game changer.

thomasreggi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome. One of the first posts was "Google Removes http:// from Chrome". I remember that!
burger_moon 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is neat. Good job.

I'm a pretty big fan of one that got posted here about a month ago, waybackhn. It chooses random day/months/years and shows the front page for either. I've spent a lot of time reading through old stories and comments from years before I got into this field. It's opened up my mind a bit to see what people were talking about years back.

joshstrange 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oddly enough on my first day the OP of this post (bemmu) first posted (I assume) about his Candy Japan business (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2745694). Funny how that works out.
larrykubin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, I guess I showed up pretty early. I still remember going to Startup School in 2007 and being so excited and inspired that I quit my job a few months later.

Note: I probably should have stopped following startup news after the first year or so, I don't think anything I've read after that has been that beneficial, it's just an addiction at this point. I went to Startup School for a second time in 2008 and realized that I didn't need to be there, I was trying to recapture a feeling -- but after the initial inspiration I just needed to get busy.

Why we made this site

34 points by pg 5 hours ago | 7 comments

Odeo up for sale (so they could focus on this Twitter thing)

17 points by beau 11 hours ago | discuss

Web 2.0 is a bubble for 3 reasons

12 points by xyzzy 16 hours ago | discuss

Startup School 2007: 3/24 at Stanford

26 points by phyllis 1 day ago | discuss

bsbechtel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting! Meteor.js, which I've been using on my latest project, was debuted the same day I joined :-
Jimmy 3 days ago 0 replies      
One of the links from my page:

"MySpace v. Facebook: It's Not a Decision. It's an IQ Test"

Yeah, I joined a while ago.

jedberg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm amused that a top post when I joined was "How long did it take you to figure out that the up/down arrows next to the links are for voting?"

FYI this was 8.3 years ago, which was about 200 days in, but very close to the public launch I think.

lcfg 3 days ago 0 replies      
These throwbacks have a way of being very topical. 12th item on Hacker News that day for me is "The Next SourceForge": "SourceForge has been rethought, reimplemented, and rejuvenated."
cellis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Startup News new | comments | jobs | leaders | submitlogin


Your bank has a REST API now (wesabe.com)14 points by dawie 5 hours ago | 3 comments


Facebook: $6 Billion? Nah. [John Battelle] (battellemedia.com)10 points by aston 4 hours ago | 5 comments

scelerat 3 days ago 0 replies      
Four front page stories about why the lucky stiff's abrupt reclusion.
msutherl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Turns out this enduringly useful text was on the front page when I joined: http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/be-consultant.html

Bonus, also interesting: http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html

Semiapies 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just get "Unknown" with this name. Are they mis-formatting the request or something?


ETA: Nevermind, archive.org just has a bad snapshot or something for that day.

rglullis 2 days ago 0 replies      
First link of mine seemed interesting at the time, but I guess it was one of those YC duds: https://web.archive.org/web/20070405032412/http://news.ycomb...
ryanmarsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
11. What Every C Programmer Should Know About Undefined Behavior #2/3 (llvm.org)

LOL, some things change, some things stay the same

minikomi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice one. Seems the day I joined was just 4 days after the big Tohoku Earthquake. Things were quite strange in Tokyo those days..
driverdan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Story with most votes for me was about terrible Google customer service in 2009. Some good discussion that's relevant today. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=790800
blhack 2 days ago 0 replies      
peteretep 3 days ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin hit $4!
janoelze 3 days ago 0 replies      
December 1, 2011. The frontpage was filled with the Carrier IQ thing unfolding.


Brajeshwar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. But you need to sanitize the username case-sensitivity.


PakG1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny how the day that I joined so many years ago, people were debating whether or not Google would buy Twitter, and today that debate has been resurrected again so recently.
djyde 2 days ago 0 replies      
See what Github looked like on the day you joined http://djyde.github.io/github-cakeday
agotterer 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a day. Highlights:

- what happened to pownce

- Amazon Dynamo white paper announced

- justin tv got funded

- Microsoft to open source .net framework

Thanks for making this. It appears the search is case sensitive, might be worth fixing.

waterlesscloud 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Tesla Says It Is Now Profitable, Ships 109 Roadsters In July"


slamus 3 days ago 0 replies      
Show HN: thefacebook.com

Just joking :)

rozuur 2 days ago 0 replies      
So I haven't commented or submitted anything
DiThi 3 days ago 1 reply      
Neat, exactly the same :P

It's wrong by one day. The page with my first comment didn't exist until the next day and I registered to write that comment.

HeyLaughingBoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this!

The quality of the front page was either much better back then or that was just a lucky day!

epmatsw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Huh, I joined the day MegaUpload went down. I don't remember, but I expect that those are probably related.
txutxu 2 days ago 0 replies      
The day I did join I was stupid and did use my memory for the password.

Latter I did create another account, yes.

joeblau 3 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of SOPA stuff was going on which explains why I made the Stop SOPA awareness banner browser plugins!
corford 3 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently I joined (after lurking for ages!) on or close to the day Steve Jobs passed away.
captn3m0 3 days ago 0 replies      
I joined the day Stripe launched. I was a lurker for a long time, though.
endlessvoid94 2 days ago 0 replies      
Obligatory "I joined on the first day" comment, w00t
jozan 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool and simple. :)
BenoitEssiambre 2 days ago 0 replies      
"browser stats: IE8 passes IE7 (arstechnica.com)"


ashwath 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is very nice!
JimmaDaRustla 1 day ago 0 replies      
jumperabg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't commented on anything :( :D
bluehazed 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Google reader is dead"
noobermin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else get a 404?
Sandra Bland arrest video has continuity problems, anomalies latimes.com
237 points by lisper  8 hours ago   231 comments top 22
fixxer 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Nothing about this adds up. The video is flawed during both the arrest and around the time of death. Given her activities, saying this warrants further investigation is a gross understatement.

The willingness of police to label death a suicide never ceases to amaze me. I was on the beach down in Florida a few years ago and found a dead girl with her hands tied. Cops showed up and immediately assumed suicide. Turns out she had drug issues and had a history to support the assumption, but no reasonable person would approach a situation like that with such strong priors.

I'm not saying every crime scene is out of a Hollywood movie with a serial killer lurking in the shadows, but I would have really liked to see zero prior beliefs at that point. I'd sleep better knowing the people out there in charge of "serving and protecting" the general public viewed their occupation as a search for truth rather than some perverse version of The Office with guns.

rogeryu 6 hours ago 3 replies      
The third video shows cars disappearing. It looks like they want to hide something. I see several episodes where nothing happens, no cars and no people in view. Why not copy those moments? Or is this done on purpose by an editor who cannot disobey an order (to make parts of the video disappear), but can sabotage the result by playing stupid?
genericuser 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So lets look at what we have in terms of video / audio.

1)Repeated unimportant segments of video.

2)A fairly good sounding audio track.

3)An audio track which is not the same length of the video track.

4)The video issues do not start happening till over 20 minutes into the uploaded video, and then happen at multiple times over the next 15 minutes.

What can we conclude about the video? Well I can't conclude anything, but I sure get a lot of questions.

Could this be an issue with the recording of the video stream? I don't know seems like we might have some experts here on video recording equipment here that might be able to say if this is a type of problem that is even possible, maybe even some with knowledge of the type of equipment used in police dash cams.

Has anyone seen anything like this 'just happen' in digital video before? I haven't but my experience is limited. Anyone else?

Why is the audio OK but the video is bad? Well audio and video could be recorded separately, and if they weren't they are not hard to separate, and audio is much easier to edit.

Could the video of been edited? Well sure it was probably at least cut for upload. If it was edited the editor really sucked.

If the video was edited, why would the video be edited? Maybe it was cut to remove something that happened in one of the frames somewhere during one of the repeats. Maybe the audio was edited too and it was edited to more closely match the audio length (matching just as well as the video was edited). Maybe someone started editing the video to hide something in a missing segment and didn't finish or get to the audio before it was uploaded.

What other things besides editing and recording failure could explain the video issue? I don't know.

Do we have any experts here who given the available youtube video on the Texas Department of Public Safetys youtube page could do analysis on a more in depth level than watching it? I don't know but I think this question is why I see this belonging on Hacker News.

ansible 5 hours ago 4 replies      
There are some evidence recording systems that are supposed to be tamper-proof. So the video while being recorded is digitally signed, and then the officer's recording system uploads it securely to the police servers when back at the station. This is to maintain a complete chain-of-custody, so that when used as evidence in court, it can't easily be dismissed or disregarded.

This one... is apparently not? What's going on here?

roghummal 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Edits in the middle should've been in NFO. Runtime is short. Good effort w/ the source. For a cam A3/V3.
xyby 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
At what point are video and sound getting out of sync?

At 12:50 the policeman slams shut the door of her car and it is in sync with the audio.

At 25:55 the same door gots slammed, but no sound is to be heard. Maybe because the policeman is carrying the microphone? Is he that far away?

At about 48:00 the door of another car gets slammed. Its clearly on the audio, but about 1 second too early.

cjdulberger 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Self-driving cars cannot get here soon enough. Police interactions as a result of driver error will be obsolete.
leereeves 6 hours ago 21 replies      
Has anyone here been pulled over for failing to signal a lane change?
ck2 6 hours ago 7 replies      
While it is never a bright idea, it is certainly not illegal to be rude to a police officer. Assaulting them certainly is but no-one is claiming that in this case.

What this is, is an ultra-common case of yet another cop "escalating everything always" because there is no downside for them to do so. They do it because they can, because they are taught power and control over people is everything and the slightest challenge should be met with extreme force.

She should have never have been ordered to get out of the car, so this was a false arrest.

jvandonsel 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What, no timecode? Has it been removed?
IanDrake 2 hours ago 4 replies      
If an officer says "Get out of the car please." You can ask if it's a question or an order.

If it's an order, get out of the car. White, black, asian, or hispanic, once that order is given, you're getting out of the car one way or another.

If you really think the order was given unlawfully, take it to court where these things can be debated.

techbio 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Who is accountable? Names. I imagine no one here is for abuse of power. How about use thereof?
dudul 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Instead of teaching kids how to code at school we should teach them law and what police officers are allowed and not allowed to do when pulling you over or showing up on your property, etc.

I have no clue if the cop was right when he said that he has "every right" to ask her to put down her cigarette and step out of her car. Cops pull this shit all the time betting on the fact that citizens have no f-ing idea what they actually can and can't order them to do.

"I will light you up!", just for that this guy deserves to be fired.

marincounty 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I bought two cheap dash cams from Amazon. They shipped from China. They were 14.99 each. You get a cam, suction cup, and cig. Lighter plug. I bought two because I keep one in the in the car in case one breaks.(you need to buy a sd card). It's been a year, and no pullovers? The cam is holding up just fine. It loops. You will forget it's there. It goes on when you start the car. It will stay on when the officer tells you to turn off the vehicle.(need to program it though).

Cops have stopped pulling me over for no reason. Before the cam, I was getting pulled over for driving an old car, or I was driving between 10 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.? I wish I had these cams when I was younger. Could have saved a lot of pointless questions, and aggravation?

I'm a white guy who's been pulled over so many times for no reason--I lost count; I can't imagine what minorites have to go through? We should be able to drive without that constant fear of harassment. Harrasement is being pulled over for made up reasons? Cams have helped in my world. They have worked so well, I thinking about mounting a rear cam? "See them coming and going?" Sorry, if I sound jaded, but I live in a low crime area. Cops have become revenue collects here.

DanielBMarkham 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The implication here seems to be that the dashcam video was re-edited before being released to the public.

If true, oddly enough, I'm not sure a crime was committed, although it sure feels like somebody should go to jail. But I am not sure. Is there a law that says that everything the police releases to the media concerning possible court cases must be the same evidence that will be presented at trial? Or are they free to spin and edit things however they like? I believe they are.

Assuming this line of reasoning, the LAT may have jumped the gun by releasing the story when it did. It would have been much more interesting to have let the video stand as a Press Release, then see if they tried to use it in court, then run the story. As it is now, we'll never know how that scenario would have turned out.

mdavidn 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The video and audio tracks were recorded separately, and the dash cam skipped backwards during playback.

The officer's behavior was deplorable, but I'm not convinced the video was doctored.

justwannasing 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Why is this on HN? How does it relate?
chmike 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Could the dashcam video have been (amateurishly) edited to hide car's plate so that people present on the spot can't be harassed by journalists, etc. ?
DangerousPie 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Having watched the two short videos I really don't see any obvious things they could have hidden there. The audio (which I presume is the important part) appears to keep on going, while a short segment of the video repeats. They also mention in the article that "The audio ends more than a minute before the video images do. "

So to me this just sounds like some small parts of the video got repeated by accident, leading to a slightly "extended" video that becomes out of sync with the audio.

But maybe I'm being too naive here, I don't actually know the backstory of this.

nicboobees 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Would it be so hard for her to just do what he asked instead of blowing things up...

I really don't understand the absolute lack of respect some people have for the law and other humans. Is it that hard to be civil?

logicrime 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I really, REALLY want the cops to be at fault here, but I just don't know about this one. The sound seems to be mostly intact, unless there is some kind of offset because it does crackle and spit at one point. A lot goes on between the suspect and officer ON camera and I wonder what could've possible happened off camera bad enough to warrant being hidden when what's on the camera is already there. I mean, this guy pulled her out of her car and threw her on the sidewalk because she got a bit snarky over a ticket.

Another concern is the absence of a timestamp. This I'm not as worried about because they probably cropped it out. It's definitely understandable, especially for public-facing video to crop out some of more sensitive metadata like time, officer info, car info, etc. It's not nearly as concerning as the video itself.

Then there is the case of the actual jumps themselves. What makes me doubt is that they aren't just jump cuts, there's some stutter and back and forth motion for each cut, and there's also some video artifacts for each one.

I despise the police, I really do. The very idea of police is repulsive and disturbing, in my opinion. That being said, I think LA Times is definitely suspect here for such a bait-y headline over what looks to be an actual video issue. I mean: "arrest video has continuit problems, anomalies"? No shit, the video is messed up. It also has the entire dialogue between the two leading up to the arrest, it even has a whole other stop from another time!

I just don't see the possibility that they are hiding something, when there is so much on tape already.

Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 Available for Download msdn.com
263 points by runesoerensen  2 days ago   120 comments top 26
JohnTHaller 2 days ago 4 replies      
Note that the "comparison" page offers near-zero guidance on whether you're allowed to use the Community edition, to the point that it's really not a comparison at all: https://www.visualstudio.com/vs-2015-product-editions

The community edition is free for individual developers, developers creating open source projects under an approved OSI license, or for up to 5 developers in an entire organization. Basically, it's not for production use by companies with more than 5 developers developing proprietary software. At least from my quick reading of the license: https://www.visualstudio.com/support/legal/mt171547

UPDATE: Community also excludes any organization with 250+ PCs or $1,000,000 or more in yearly revenue. (credit: icegreentea)

runesoerensen 2 days ago 2 replies      
There are more details about the .NET 4.6 release on the .NET blog [1]

[1] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dotnet/archive/2015/07/20/announcing...

math 1 day ago 1 reply      
For me, .NET Core and ASP.NET 5 are the most exciting things going on in this space at the moment. On Linux, it's all still too buggy to be usable in beta5 (the version shipping with VS2015), but the vibe I'm getting from the weekly standups is they are going to start prioritizing this very soon and it's going to be very usable on a 3-month time frame.
iolothebard 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love how the VS2013 update 5 is 6.1GB where you can download the full version of Ultimate with update 5 and it's only 4.8GB.

1990s me would be blown away that VS could be this big. I'd be even more impressed that my work fiber downloaded it at 10.2MB/sec (yes MB not Mb).

WorldWideWayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
Warning to anyone using Windows 2012 Server R2 as your workstation - if you install Microsoft Emulator for Android, it enables Hyper-V which will cause your video drivers to no longer work since Hyper-V replaces your video card with a virtual one (or something like that).
zuck9 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's the direct download link for the English Enterprise edition which I'm downloading using wget:http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/4/7/647EC5B1-68BE-4...
ifdefdebug 2 days ago 3 replies      
Visual Studio 2015 Community:Full-featured Integrated Development Environment for building Web, Windows Desktop and cross-platform iOS, Android, and Windows apps [1].

... cross-platform iOS, Android, and Windows apps? That's new, isn't it?

[1] https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/vs-2015-product-...

EDIT: Err, sorry, the page changed since I wrote this comment, the quoted statement is gone...

EDIT2: Looks like the page is flipping between two versions as I hit the reload button, probably a mirroring problem. I apologize the noise.

euroclydon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am so scarred from trying to develop an ASP.NET vNext website using the VS 2015 preview releases. The project templates never synced with the tagged code in github, and there were endless bugs. Is it stable now? By that I mean, can I reliably override one of the ASP.NET vNext libraries from source?
locusm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do any versions do away with having to login? Spent a weekend on Moreton Island last year and was unable to login, hence unable to do any work. The Partner Edition sucks for this reason.
rottyguy 1 day ago 7 replies      
Has anyone done anything interesting with Roslyn to date (v1 is mentioned in the notes)?
isxek 2 days ago 4 replies      
The provided link is for those with an MSDN subscription. I'm waiting for the Community Edition to appear.
snoman 1 day ago 0 replies      
One subtly awesome thing here is that with ryujit being a part of 4.6 then you can do simd in .net without any hacky pre requisites and workarounds.


mhomde 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm really loving how the refactor and generate stuff has developed over the years. It is such a different experience these days and I'm probably at least five times as productive as a result of it.

First we had no refactor tools at all, and how we survived I'll never now

Then basic refactor tools where introduced. You could call up a dialog to do explicit refactoring.

Then the generate functionality was introduced and you could start doing things like typing out a class name that didn't exist, right-click and generate a class and file with that name.

Now everything been taken to the far end. I can just edit parameters, types etc directly in the editor, a light bulb will appear, I click it and choose how it will apply refactoring regarding my changes. If I want to change the type returned from a method inherited from a base class I can just edit it in the derived class and have it apply it on the base class.

Same with generate, just type a lot stuff like you want it to be, a light bulb will appear and it generates everything with correct parameters and all.

If I want to break stuff out of a blob class to a another class called by the original class, I just highlight the methods in the editor and chose "create new class" and it will add initialization for the new class, a field or property for it.

Sometimes when I need to split a class in two there really isn't any good refactoring tool. So what do you do? Copy the class and rename it so you have them side by side in the same file. Eliminate the fields and properties for each that you don't want in either. It will now highlight all the code you've broken. Now delete and change all that has been highlighted. Then just click the light bulb and choose "move class to file named whatever.class". Voila! It's such a streamlined process.

Or just things like Ctrl-clicking something to navigate to it (or pressing F12). Or quickly finding what code calls a method. Or snippet templates like ctor or prop.

To put the cherry on the cake I can press Ctrl-M+Space and Ctrl-M+Z to have the Code Maid plugin reorganize the code and normalize white space.

Seeing, doing and navigating has all come together so nicely and totally changed the way I code. It has made constant and continuous refactoring feasible and effortless. The only downside is that I'm not always sure where Visual Studio ends and Resharper begins :)

The thing I miss though is unit testing being as "on-the-fly" and integrated into the editor. I'd love to be able to write mini-tests as annotations to methods and have VS highlight when it breaks them.

... and maybe continuous background compiling and "live-updating" of apps :)

chinhodado 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if the RTM version will be able to upgrade to the full version once it is released? Also, will it be able to install updates later on?
merb 1 day ago 1 reply      
The news says nothing about 64-bit Support.That's definitely the first Visual Studio that has a 64-bit Version.
oferzelig 1 day ago 1 reply      
VS 2015 is version 14.0. VS 2013 is version 12.0. What happened to version 13.0 ?
karpodiem 1 day ago 2 replies      
as a newish dev (eventually I'll work my way to vim), I really enjoy using Visual Studio, and my wallet is very happy that they decided to release a Community edition.

Microsoft has been making some great strides lately - keep it up!

Olivier26 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any idea for the availibility of the Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio 2015?
sixbrx 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't see upgrade pricing mentioned anywhere - If one already has Visual Studio 2013 Pro with MSDN (active), is it necessary to repurchase to get 2015?
richerlariviere 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hope they plan to bring Visual Studio on Mac OS X
highmastdon 1 day ago 4 replies      
Too bad this does only contain the preview of .NET 5. I hoped this release would bring a more stable version of .NET 5
rzw 1 day ago 0 replies      
+1 on everything. Little disappointed @Test coverage as it is not available in Community!
mariusmg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Installing the enterprise version now. Hopefully it works fine side by side with 2013.
slickwilli 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's the eq. for my MSDN Ultimate? Enterprise?
moron4hire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't seem to have licenses available for BizSpark accounts yet?

EDIT: If I check my email, I get an answer

 All BizSpark members who have an active Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN subscription will see that their subscription has been automatically converted to Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN when Visual Studio 2015 is released.

Announcing TypeScript 1.5 msdn.com
248 points by pingec  1 day ago   84 comments top 12
unklefolk 1 day ago 12 replies      
I would be interested to hear other folks experience with TypeScript. We have move virtually all of the project I work on over to TypeScript but I am not seeing metrics improve (less bugs, quicker to fix etc). Gripes include lots of boilerplate TypeScript being generated and another learning curve for new starters (nearly everyone knows JS).

What are other folks experiences? Has it helped or hindered?

moonchrome 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think the critical point for TypeScript will be 1.6 with async/await - at this point it goes from "nice I have types now" to "OK this solves most of my problems with JS".

Looking forward to Angular 2 and TS 1.6

pluma 1 day ago 6 replies      
Considering Babel solves most ES2015/2016 needs and has support for flow, what does TS still bring to the table for people who aren't using Visual Studio?

Serious question. I last looked at TS when it had plenty of warts (e.g. verbose metadata to make imports work, no real JS API) and since switched to Babel via JSX+harmony. Flow integrates nicely and seems to be better at understanding implicitly typed (legacy) code, too. TS's main selling points seem to be VS integration and Angular's blessings.

michaelwww 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I was coming up as a programmer I had a manager who took a "belts and suspenders" approach to software development. Adding types to JavaScript is not necessary, but I sleep better at night knowing my code is that much closer to being correct.
euroclydon 1 day ago 3 replies      
I just started a new project. We were using TypeScript for some important client side communication libraries which had no UI. This new project has a lot of UI. I chose Babel since it has built-in support for JSX -- that seemed like a bigger win than type safety.
tkubacki 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone has Dart vs TS comparison ? I'm heavy Dart user - interested hearing someone having experience in both.
jbigelow76 1 day ago 2 replies      
I consider myself at best a mediocre JS developer, that wants to get better. I'm interested in TypeScript but worry it would hinder my ability to improve my knowledge of the core language. I want to know how ES6 improves the language, not how TypeScript's syntax of ES6 improves the language. I know I could use regular JS files with TS but if I don't want to do any transpilation that seems redundant.

Has anybody else felt that way and did you go forward with TS or stick with vanilla JS?

aliem 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope we don't go back to alerts to handle exceptions: http://i.imgur.com/ZzvGrsO.png

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

On a more serious note I'll have to see ho it works out phasing it into an existing, old, hacky (in many sad places) project

cfontes 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those looking for a place to learn it


I am not realted to this site in anyway, I am just using it.

verusfossa 1 day ago 1 reply      
What I would love to see is JSdoc annotations being output from the Ts->Js step. I already add types to everything, my api documentation should be simple to generate per function. Would be DRY and another feather in Typescript's cap IMHO.https://github.com/Microsoft/TypeScript/issues/10
akst 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I first tried typescript I was disappointed with the lack of support for ES6 features like destructuring assignment, template strings, and other things I had in coffeescript.

It's nice to see that this will soon change! I'll be interested to see how some of my projects in ES6 will translate to typescript.

kolev 1 day ago 2 replies      
I really hate this part:

I hope JSX is native in 1.6, too.

The old suburban office park is the new American ghost town washingtonpost.com
238 points by chwolfe  1 day ago   338 comments top 34
pmorici 22 hours ago 9 replies      
I think this article perhaps misses the real story. That being, office parks first built in 25+ years ago are reaching an age where their long term leases are expiring and they need to be renovated for the first time since being constructed to attract new tenants.

While it makes sense to renovate an old factory and turn it into trendy office space with exposed brick and vintage architectural details from decades past you have to wonder what the fate of more recently constructed buildings will be. It's hard to see any situation where the 90's office park building will ever be valued for it's structural appeal to the extent that people will want to gut and remodel it instead of bulldozing.

bunderbunder 22 hours ago 14 replies      
I think suburbia might be a victim of its own success.

As people moved out to more widely-dispersed communities, that caused commuting all the way downtown for work to be increasingly problematic. So of course that encouraged demand for business to also move out to the suburbs.

Eventually things got so dispersed that people had to start driving everywhere. Roads got congested. It became increasingly common for people to spend 1/5 or more of their free time behind the wheel. Attempts to relieve the congestion inevitably require frequent road construction projects, which only increases everyone's sense of frustration.

I think it's pretty plain to see that nobody actually likes this state of affairs, and also that continuing the suburbanization trend would only continue to make it worse. Maybe there was a period back during the baby boom when the suburban lifestyle worked out really well (from a happiness perspective; let's forget about the economic and environmental cost for the sake of argument) for the first people to adopt it, but it's a lot harder to see the attraction now that the wide open spaces have become crowded with cars and parking lots.

macNchz 22 hours ago 6 replies      
My girlfriend worked for a 'beltway bandit' in Rockville Maryland for a while after college, exactly in the midst of the office parks described in this article. Everything about the environment of metro-DC suburban Maryland was absolutely repellent to me. Miles and miles of office parks, housing developments and strip malls, over and over and over.

I couldn't stand the idea of having a daily routine of sitting in 8 lanes of traffic, finding a spot in a sea of parked cars and spending the day in a faceless office building, surrounded by other faceless office buildings yet entirely isolated in a corporate campus. I definitely see the appeal of suburbs for certain lifestyles, but I think that a suburban home with a commute into an urban office would be very preferable to working in an office park.

The only redeeming feature of my girlfriend's office park workplace was that she, as a very junior employee, had a private office to herself. I've dealt with the frustration of a number of loud open offices at NYC tech companies, but I'd never give up a downtown office space explicitly for a private space in a giant soulless office building in the suburbs.

dade_ 23 hours ago 4 replies      
Thomas Jefferson is to blame and not one mention of taxes? I would be really surprised that some research wouldn't find that many of these office parks are built outside of the borders of major cities to avoid paying taxes, or were provided incentives by neighbouring municipalities to build further out and pay lower tax. The lower cost is attractive and allows the company to operate in a big shiny building that immediately lends credibility to the company. Further, there is no mention of ample amounts of free parking. I think this article is very lacking, the for lease signs on suburban office parks across much of North America isn't really a mystery.
stephengillie 23 hours ago 6 replies      
> There are 71.5million square feet of vacant office space in the Washington region, much of it piled in office parks.

> Last year, federal agencies vacated 7,315buildings, abandoning 47million square feet of office and warehouse space, Federal News Radio says.

So the amount of vacant space in the area tripled last year, going from 24 million SQFT to 71.5 million SQFT?


> Another 1million square feet of office space will flow onto the market over the next seven years, as Marriott International moves out of its Bethesda office park

Where are these companies moving to? Are they moving out of these office parks and into city centers? This article only tells half of the story.


> With its space-hungry bureaucracies and contractors, Washington became a colossal hive of office parks, especially during years of government expansion most recently the post-Sept. 11, 2001 period, when the military ramped up and the national-security apparatus spread along the Dulles Corridor.

> The U.S. government hasnt signed any major leases this year, ... but it maintains 98million square feet in the District alone (411 million if you throw in Maryland and Virginia).

Is the government portion of this solely from governmental contraction and shrinking of programs?

roneesh 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't try and ascribe a single reason here. Architecture, urban planning, the rise of the creative class, high-speed internet, remote work and America's burgeoning reckoning with it's awful racial history are all at play here. The life and death of an American city can have no single story, because a city is only a composite of American stories
Tiktaalik 22 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm curious amongst urbanite hackers here:

How many would turn down a job at Facebook, Google, Apple or any other company primarily due to their suburban office park nature?

Could you see yourself choosing a poorer quality job from an urban company over a better suburban company?

Right now I'm a 15 minute bike ride away from my downtown employer. It'd be pretty hard to convince me to give that up. I've done a 30 minute bus commute to the suburbs and that wasn't very fun. I can't imagine doing a 1 hour plus commute.

swalsh 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My ideal would be a house on a lake, it would have a sufficient space for my son to play outside, and It would also have a high speed internet connection, which I could use to work etc.

Before there was telecommuting, there was commuting. What people with families ultimately want is more space. Grilling out, kids in the sandbox, etc. It's all focused on spending time with kids.

Commuting enabled this "country like lifestyle", while keeping the "city benefits" of a good job, and easy access to decent restaurants. As traffic grew though, the definition of commuting changed. This is where office parts came from, and it's also where chain restaurants came from. Going downtown was not an option any more for shopping (parking!? argh). But there's this mall just a mile up the road. Of course with a limited audience of families (the single people still saw the benefit of living in a city), with limited time and money. Chains are great answers.

Dirlewanger 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice article, but the jab at Jefferson is completely inane. Soooo many other nascent societal/cultural forces at work in the 1800s/early 1900s that coalesced into the suburban office park. Without knowing the context of the quote, it seems even Jefferson was off in directly equating corruption with the centerpiece of human civilization. It's also a seemingly colloquial letter to a friend. I'm also probably reading too much into this now.
patmcguire 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Saw an article a while ago that about how one of the big retail/office buildings in St Louis has emptied out almost completely, and now there's just a tech incubator sitting on 12 abandoned floors:


Never can build where there's demand, though.

JosephHatfield 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Those buildings may be practically abandoned, but the new Pike & Rose development only two blocks away appears to be doing quite nicely, and work has already begun on a new development project near what used to be White Flint mall. I live right on the edge of this area, and it seems far from being a ghost town.
akgerber 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The building featured here seems like a false example of blight, since it's in an area that's seeing major redevelopment. The same is true of the mall alongside it, which has been reckoned as a 'dead mall' in other articles, but only because it's being rebuilt into a urban neighborhood:https://b256ec319b64095c3d1d-e19f06f73efdb5028989d1916204cd7...

I would guess that the owners of the office buildings in question here are warehousing it until the area becomes more desirable.

mschuster91 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Bit unrelated, but this website crashes Chrome on my Android phone, crashes the WebView inside my HN reader app, and brings my aged netbook to its knees. Oh, and my company MBP's fans blast on full until I close the page.

What the fucking fuck is this thing doing with the RAM/CPU of my system? For heaven's sake, it's a load of text with a couple of pictures.

20years 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I would love to see stats on where these companies are moving to. Are many of them transitioning into remote teams? Did some go out of business? Are they moving elsewhere?

Does anyone have stats on this?

New business formations are on the decline (http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/009854.html) and more businesses are closing shop each year than are forming (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/05/u...).

Are these some of the reasons we are seeing vacant commercial buildings in a lot of areas?

"I think, as with many other things, our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban"

I do believe that to be true. I wonder if some of these can be turned into more modern co-working spaces that can be rented by the desk. Add a coffee shop, gym, etc into them and I think they would appeal to the younger generation, smaller service type businesses and start-ups. Just a thought.

pappyo 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I see this as a buy low opportunity for those that could afford such a thing. Let me paint a picture of the future:

- In five to ten years, 20 and 30 somethings of today who have mostly flocked to metropolitan areas don't leave when they are at the age of starting a family. The lack of space is still trumped by the a near zero commute and the cultural landscape that surrounds them.

- Right around that time, self-driving car services (Uber sans drivers) have started making serious headway in metropolitan areas. Traffic within the cities have drastically reduced due to less cars on the road and less need for parking. (So that cab ride across town that once took 35 minutes, now takes nine).

- With the reduction in traffic, corporations never changing urn to save a buck, and the next crop of 20 and 30 somethings that want to create their own identity, businesses start snatching up these industrial park cemetaries. More space, less money, room to grow. They no longer have to worry about employee parking. The commute out to the building is only 15 minutes (where it used to be a full hour +). AND YOU GET YOUR OWN OFFICE!!!!

In a sea of community work spaces, "YOUR OWN OFFICE" is the shiney fish.

- And of course, once one business successfully implements this strategy, the rest of sure to follow.

Brass tacks, these office parks are dying because of increasing traffic and fuel costs...and that's really it. If we do wind up living in a world where people don't own cars and the self-driving car startups of today eliminate tomorrow's traffic, no doubt these cemeteries will see a second coming. If I had the funds, I'd wait for the industrial park real estate market to bottom and then start snatching up property.

Scuds 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The only walkable food options in an office park might be a cafeteria, which I find to be depressing, more often than not.

The only option is to get in your car and drive somewhere, just like everyone else does, which means the lunch rush is just more sitting in traffic.

astrocyte 22 hours ago 7 replies      
All of this works in cycles. There once was a time when people were flocking to the suburbs. Now, it is fashionable to live in the city. This too will pass when people (a generation maybe) comes to understand the little value obtained from all the chaos and activity.

What are people chasing? Technology has made it easier to be in touch and socialize w/ people beyond physical geography. Transportation is getting better. Yet, people are centered on cramming into cities. The concrete jungle... Living among all the action but having no time to enjoy it because you're too busy busting your ass to pay for the insane cost of the 'privilege'.

I used to live in Mountain View, CA and knew more about San Francisco and the cool things than most of my friends who lived in the city. Many times, I could get to places in the city faster than friends living in it.

What's the allure? When I think of California, I think of the beautiful outdoors and geography... Not cramming into a concrete jungle.

Hey look, I live in the city. I don't have a car. I pay a company to clean my place. I pay a company to do my laundry. There is no parking available for friends visiting me. I can't host anything at my place because its so small. I have to do all of my get together events 'out'.

The city generally provides the illusion that you are part of something that's bigger than you really are. Young people haven't formed a clear definition of this. So, they flock to the city which provides it in 'instant' form. This changes when a generation after realizes the cons of one thing and seeks out the pros in another. Or, when you get older and wiser.

As the saying goes, a smart investor is selling when everyone is buying and buying when everyone is selling. With all of the distractions of technology around me, I desire peace and quiet when i am at home. When I want noise and chaos, I go to the city. The big thing is, I have a choice in the matter and live by the beat of my own drum.

When you are young, you have no sense of this 'beat'. The city provides a steady one. Will the youth be able to maintain affordability of the city? How long will this cycle last?


Arcade Fire - Album (The Suburbs) 2010

Choice song (Suburban war)

jamespitts 21 hours ago 2 replies      
These emptying office parks presents an opportunity. Certainly the larger ones contain infrastructure that can be repurposed, and the asking prices is decreasing. In the next downturn, the cost of purchasing a park will go down even more.

Perhaps the larger parks can be repurposed into something akin to a village. Reformat the buildings into something more traditional, apartments on the upper floors, offices and stores in the bottom, etc. Add more buildings to create more continuity. Let people be creative, let the fabric emerge.

Now in any given area, each of these potential villages is quite isolated from another. Still, pedestrian connections can be forged and inter-village transportation arranged.

Over time, we can heal this anomaly.

norea-armozel 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's articles like these that make me wonder if the current paradigm of centralized production in general is a fluke. Before the industrial revolution there were a handful of cities that were big and mostly for political (cities where the sovereign reigned) or economic reasons (trading). But now, we seem to be overbuilding because that's what we're use to. The suburbs are just an extension of the same phenomenon where the ability to subsidize transportation costs via centralization of production has made this possible. Obviously, the steadily rising price of oil is slowing the growth, but in many ways if the societies before the industrial revolution could have kept the same inventions of production at the local level perhaps things wouldn't be as disjointed as they are. Imagine smaller towns and cities with the same tools of production, but not to the current scale as we experience. Only a handful of modern situations would warrant a big foot print (datacenters and certain factories come to mind), but those would exist in the regions and cities that make economic sense. Today, it just seems like everyone wants to go Stalinist/Soviet big with everything.
forthwall 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Even Silicon Valley has these abandoned SOPs, just look at South San Jose. Most of these offices have been vacant for years.
tosseraccount 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Then how come office vacancy rates are way down and rents way up?


U.S. office vacancy rate fell to 16.6 percent in the first quarter from 16.7 in the fourth, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009

Washington D.C. remained the tightest market, with a vacancy rate of 9.3 percent. New York followed at 9.6 percent.

What happened at 6116 Executive Blvd in Rockville, MD is that the big fat Federal client moved even farther outside the beltway to new digs in Gaithersburg, Maryland (to another, newer office complex.)

New place is one of those "faux green" buildings where everything like the light switches, blinds, faucets and toilets don't work intuitively if they even work at all. They have to mow the roof so at least you can feel Eco-conscious as you flush 3 times.

Old place was close to Whole Foods and walkable to the metro(subway). New place is close to Subway(sandwich shop).

If the Washington Press wants to bemoan the old office space situation at NIH (National Institutes of Health), then they should ask about having NIH tear down the fortified walls they built around their beautiful Bethesda campus because of "9-11 terrorist threats". The old NIH used to look like a friendly college campus. Now it looks like a gated community with TSA style security theater.

cestes 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Hah! I had a gig in that building (6116 Executive) when I was a consultant... writing billing systems for a phone company right after the Bell breakup.
jonknee 22 hours ago 0 replies      
A little more about Marriott's move:


> I think its essential we be accessible to Metro and that limits the options. I think as with many other things our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban. That doesnt necessarily mean we will move to downtown Washington, but we will move someplace.

Sounds like the trick is to try and get a sweetheart incentive package by a town that is close to the Metro.

matt_s 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if any of the real estate owners have considered applying for a dual-zone - residential and commerical. Then rehab the building into part offices for smaller businesses and apartments of some kind.

If you get enough of these clustered together then you start to have little urban-like communities instead of miles of office parks. Sprinkle in restaurants, dry cleaner, gym, etc. and you might attract enough tenants to turn it around. Better than being vacant.

michaelvkpdx 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The Valley will be the next great ghost town. 30 years from now, most of the current offices in SJ, Mountain View, and Palo Alto will be abandoned because people will be sick of the suburban lifestyle.

Plus earthquakes.

I'm looking forward to random shots of wildlife from the marshes infesting FB's abandoned old Sun campus in 2050.

Bostonian 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I see lots of suburb-bashing on this thread. Lots of people like having their own yards, where they can garden, have a barbecue, put a swimming pool, or simply have some space of their own. When you have little kids it's a relief to have your own home and not have complaints from your neighbor downstairs that your kids are making too much noise.
Animats 20 hours ago 0 replies      
US manufacturing employment peaked in 1977. When do we hit "peak office"? With all this IT technology, office employment ought to start declining at some point.
MindTooth 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Crashes Safari on my iPhone 6 Plus (iOS 9.0). But have experienced it on more site recently. Is it all the JavaScript libraries?

Sad when I wanted to read it..

nickbauman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the worst working experiences I've had in recent years was working in a first ring suburb in one of those office parks. Everything was falling apart. Even the nicer parts of the building had a strong "faux-opulence" feel. The firm was a publicly traded tech company. About a year after I left their biggest customer left and eventually they were delisted. Coincidence?
bingobob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
anyone else notice this page is 12MB because the two thumbnails images are 6MB each
michaelochurch 23 hours ago 0 replies      
On Silicon Valley:

Yet Facebook, Apple and Google companies that brag about their forward thinking are trying to reinvent this template of the past. They have commissioned high-profile architects to design versions of the ultimate office park in Silicon Valley, an hour-plus shuttle ride from San Francisco. [...] They will be movable, lightweight structures instead of blocky concrete buildings. Anything to attract brilliant minds and assure employees that theyre living in the future, not a glorified version of the past.

cletus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
So I have an anecdote here.

I work for Google in the New York office. For those of you that don't know, several years ago Google bought the former Port Authority building in Chelsea for ~$1.9B. It is I believe the second largest office building in Manhattan by square footage of usable area.

Google's presence here has steadily grown in the almost 5 years I've been here at least tripling in size. I live in the area and honestly it's amazing. Having no commute of any kind (unless you count a 5 minute walk a commute) is life-changing. Being in a dynamic, interesting area is a gift.

For those that want more suburban lifestyles, there are a plethora of options <1 hour from the office in Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester. Most people I know who are married and do this have just one car since public transit is sufficient to get to and from work (only a madman would choose to drive into Manhattan).

Contrast this with our headquarters in Mountain View. Actually, it's not even accurate to say that anymore as it now encompasses some of Sunnyvale and I believe we have or will have a presence in Redwood City and other places.

All of this is essentially low-to-medium density office parks surrounded by a sea of parking space.

Some commute in on Google buses. Those who want a more urban lifestyle life in SF and spend as many as 3 hours a day or more on the bus for the privilege.

Living near campus is expensive and, well, boring. There are no cheap options. Compare this to NYC where you could buy a cheap (<$200k) apartment in say Jackson Heights or Sunnyside (in Queens) and be 30-40 minutes from the office.

Because there are thousands of people in the NYC office, certain things become possible. You get a wider range of cafes (there are more in MTV but they're far more spread apart). Certain social activities can thrive within the office that seem to falter in MTV due to the much lower density.

So it's actually an amazing office to work in and honestly I'd probably have to kill myself if I were forced to relocate to MTV (well OK, maybe I'd just quit...).

My point here though is that office parks are a depressing and unsatisfying experience for any company or employee. They're not desirable in any way, even the high end tech campuses of Silicon Valley are just glorified office parks when it comes down to it.

Honestly I don't know how any in the Valley does it. Maybe it's different if you get to work in SF but even then you have to contend with finding and paying for a place in SF. And if you need a bigger place (eg you have a family) then you just don't have the options you do in NYC.

As for the lower end of office parks, technology has to be a factor here. With the ever-cheapening cost of bandwidth it becomes even easier to chase ever-cheaper real estate with ever-more-mobile low-paid office jobs doesn't it?

JulianMorrison 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Needs more vertical farms.
ChrisNorstrom 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I work at one. A nice one. Honestly it's all because of the drive and location.

- Office parks are usually built away from people and this creates a "long drive to work". Americans are tired of driving and traffic. Office parks are not usually built near busy residential areas, they're built farther out on empty or industrial or rezoned land. No one is going to pay $30-75 million dollars to buy up 120-300 homes (average going price is $250,000 offered per every $190,000 home to get the owners out), then pay millions to bulldoze the homes, then pay millions to build the office park. No. They will go out in the middle of no-where and offer $5-10 million to a farmer and build on his land instead. It's cheaper but this creates quite a drive.

I also used to work as a courier and I -> HATED <- industrial/office park runs. They used up a ton of gas, a lot of cul de sacs, endless stop signs, and made me drive out in the middle of no-where. Most industrial/office parks of them are like that. It can't be helped due to regulations and zoning. Office parks aren't as bad and usually closer to civilization.

- The cost, how does $7,000 a month sound for an office space smaller than a 2 bedroom house?

- The US recession shut down a lot of businesses in premium locations and this opens up opportunities for new tenants to replace them and start their business closer to their homes, instead of paying exuberant prices to rent space in an office park.

- They are soulless. Bland. Grey. Corporate. You will feel like a drone working in one. They do not allow the type of customization and construction that people take on when they own a building.

===== Office parks are great if... =====

- The city expands and engulfs the office park, surrounding it with residential areas, apartments, and hotels.

- They're located near a highway AND near a residential area. This makes them accessible to both local residents and distant workers..

Complete Course on Machine Learning computervisiontalks.com
257 points by weeha  1 day ago   36 comments top 10
gamapuna 1 day ago 2 replies      
rugatelstvo 1 day ago 7 replies      
I am under the impression that to learn statistics one must first have a working knowledge of probability theory which rests upon grad level math analysis. Can machine learning be studied without any of that?
joshvm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some nice courses there, also check out Dan Cremer's lectures on variational methods for computer vision if you're interested in that sort of thing. There's also a nice series on computer vision for special effects.


phunehehe0 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just want to shout about this very comprehensive course by Caltech professor Yaser S. Abu-Mostafa http://work.caltech.edu/telecourse.html
chrisdbaldwin 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the videos in the link are cut short, and the full videos are much better. Here's a link to a playlist of the full lectures:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZSO_6-bSqHQmMKwWVvYw...
anacleto 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's really nice. Dan Cremer is impressive.

Here's a great Laboratory on Amazon ML for Human Activity Recognition (w/ Python). https://cloudacademy.com/amazon-web-services/labs/aws-machin...

Totally worth a look.

yla92 1 day ago 4 replies      
A bit off topic : what are the best recommended way/resources to learn linear algebra and basic probability and statistics ?
ericmo 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Smola's ML book, and it's great to see a full-depth ML course online, I'll certainly watch some videos. Other than that, the audio quality could be better.
btown 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like his teaching style, but it seems some of the lecture videos (1.3, for example) are cut off - very frustrating! For anyone watching nonetheless, I recommend going into YouTube and changing the speed to 1.5x.
zablocky 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have anyone seen some and can tell if the material is well explained?
Sorry to burst your bubble economist.com
219 points by prostoalex  2 days ago   178 comments top 18
derf_ 2 days ago 4 replies      
"According to two new papers, the crucial variable that separates relatively harmless frenzies from disastrous ones is debt."

Also according to, like, Irving Fisher in 1933: https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/docs/meltzer/fisdeb33.pdf

"I venture the opinion, subject to correction on submission of future evidence, that, in the great booms and depressions, each of the above-named factors has played a subordinate rle as compared with two dominant factors, namely over-indebtedness to start with and deflation following soon after; also that where any of the other factors do become conspicuous, they are often merely effects or symptoms of these two. In short, the big bad actors are debt disturbances and price-level disturbances."

Retric 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know if the 1929 stock market crash was really the start of the great depression. It seems like the real issue was far more widespread and the stock market simply accurately reflected what was going on.

Even just the timing is suspect as many indicators started to fall in the 1928 while the market was still going strong. IMO, if you want to point out just one thing it was probably waves of bank failures which created and sustained a deflationary spiral.

zitterbewegung 2 days ago 2 replies      
You know it's bad when the Economist says debt is a problem :( . If Zero Hedge, Seeking Alpha, and the Economist start agreeing things start getting scary :(
kitcar 2 days ago 6 replies      
On a related topic, can anyone point me to articles / research related to how bubbles continue to inflate during recessionary periods? From my uninformed/simplistic viewpoint it seems like the two are opposing concepts (i.e. popped bubbles lead to recession), other then the fact that governments use low interest rates to try and dig themselves out of recessions, and cheap money tend to fuel bubbles. The reason for my interest is this seems to be what is happening in Canada right now ( see http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-house-prices-35-ove... + http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Johnstone+Canada+recessio... )
netcan 2 days ago 4 replies      
Here's something I don't understand. It's probably more relevant to a country Greece's size than the US:

Why isn't consumer banking more international, like every other major industry?

In Greece, interlocking government & bank failures have brought down the country and it's causing this seized up state. People are now afraid of leaving money in a bad banking system. So banks have no deposits, and can't provide financial services. But, if Greeks had easy access to large & stable foreign banks they wouldn't need to worry about the sorry state of Greece's own banks.

I mean, if Greece's local canning industry had collapsed they would be buying foreign canned goods and everything (at least on the consumer side) could continue undisturbed.

What is the big advantage of a local banking industry anyway?

deevus 2 days ago 2 replies      
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as though Australia is in for a disaster when the current housing bubble bursts. Median house prices in Sydney are around $1M, which is shutting out the majority of people in the 25-44 age range from buying their first home.


acjohnson55 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, this reminds me a lot of the view espoused by Bill Janeway in Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy [1], which, among many other things, studies the history of business cycles. It's a great book.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Doing-Capitalism-Innovation-Economy-Sp...

somberi 2 days ago 0 replies      
This hit a chord with me:

"Be it tulips, land, housing, derivatives or shares, they find that the consequences of a bursting bubble depend less on the type of asset than on how it is financed. High leverage is the telltale sign of trouble..."

I see this today not just in the Valley but elsewhere in the world too (witnessed it in India and Sub-Saharan Africa). When wealth sloths in a 1% interest rate economy, it gets restless to find better results, often with disastrous results.

bobbygoodlatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming one agrees that debt is the problem and we're on the brink of a crash, how would you protect your assets?
brock_r 2 days ago 1 reply      
Funny the 2008 housing bust wasn't specifically mentioned. I'm still walking funny from that.
crimsonalucard 2 days ago 1 reply      
So is the US in a bubble or not? If we are, why? If we aren't why not?
api 2 days ago 0 replies      
Two words: student loan.
7Figures2Commas 2 days ago 3 replies      
The notion that bubbles are not all equally bad, and that bubbles fueled primarily by debt tend to be the worst, seems reasonable on the surface, but it's not always so easy to separate bubbles into two camps: those fueled by exuberance and those fueled by debt.

Margin debt, for instance, has increased significantly in China[1] and in the US, stock buybacks financed by debt offerings have been a prominent feature of the current bull market[2].

Central banks have taken so much unprecedented action since 2008 that it requires a lot of faith to rely on analyses of past bubbles to predict what will happen when the current ones burst.

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-13/china-walk...

[2] http://fortune.com/2015/02/11/stock-buyback-binge/

ilaksh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Economics discussions are like a bunch of 1980s mechanics talking in a garage. Or nuns discussing their faith.

The fundamental technology and premises are outdated.

You can't just have one number to try to track everything while 'externalizing' all the stuff that matters, like human and environmental health. And in our high tech world, relying on lawyers and politicians rather than building automated systems is dumb.

michaelochurch 2 days ago 3 replies      
I think that this article is basically right, but would add that bubbles are generally dangerous based on what they represent, financially and culturally. If Bitcoin hits $1,000 again, it's not innately dangerous (unlike housing, no one needs Bitcoins to live). It might represent a bad thing, like the collapse of a currency.

We're still in a housing bubble (although not as much as one, and one with a sharper geographic profile) but what's propping it up now is industrial decline and extremely lopsided job availability. Much of the country is starved of economic activity while a few metropolitan areas (e.g. New York and the Bay Area) have healthy job markets but extreme real estate costs.

All of that said, I have no way of predicting how that bubble will resolve or when it will crash. We could see it happen in 2 years or in 25, and it will probably vary with geography (just as Vegas and Florida got hit hard in the last one, but the Bay Area and Manhattan remained unscathed). Housing bubbles are weird because there's so much corruption (foreign money, NIMBY regulations) involved that makes them political and therefore unpredictable.

The 2001 tech crash didn't do a lot of damage to the rest of the world (9/11 did far more). The 2008 crash is still being felt in Southern Europe. I can't predict how much of an effect the ~2017 VC-land crash will have. To be honest, the numbers don't look that bad; when Silicon Valley drops a turd like ZNGA on Wall Street, the Street usually reacts with proper skepticism. So I think that this one's going to be relatively limited in terms of its impact on the rest of the world. I don't like what it represents about our society, and what it may continue to represent, because that is corrosive. The truth about VC-funded startups in the Bay Area is that 98% of that stuff has nothing to do with creating new value, but with devising ways to profit from widespread organizational decline.

x3n0ph3n3 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone see an author attribution to this article? I can't find one anywhere.
jkldotio 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have flagged this because it's paywalled.

edit. unflagged, apparently that's against the rules (that I disgree with but will follow)

hartator 2 days ago 1 reply      
They might need to focus a lot more on public debt that has been growing steadily for the past decade everywhere in the world. This might be the next bubble and it might be way worse than 2008...
The Gluglug GNU/Linux laptop with libreboot firmware gluglug.org.uk
224 points by weinzierl  2 days ago   99 comments top 13
weinzierl 2 days ago 3 replies      
In contrast to the Purism machines the Gluglug has free firmware. As far as I know this is the only commercially available solution with free firmware. It's also the laptop Richard Stallman uses.
shmerl 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wish more common laptops would have replaceable firmware, like Lenovo and the like. Having all those blobs with who knows what is very annoying. Especially when that firmware starts behaving as if it owns your computer, and refuses to boot because "WiFi card is not authorized" or some other such idiocy.
jszymborski 2 days ago 4 replies      
Very neat, but it's specs are a little lack-lustre:

Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz processor or higher

Graphics: Intel GMA 4500MHD

Screen: 12.1" 1280800 TFT LCD

Gigabit ethernet as standard

Ports: 1x VGA, 3x USB 2.0, 5-in-1 card reader, 1x Headphone, 1x Microphone, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x ExpressCard/54

Size: 11.6 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches

Weight: 1.7 Kg

Upgraded with an 802.11n wireless card (Atheros AR5B95, AR9285 chipset), ensuring full compatibility with free drivers in Trisquel GNU/Linux-libre.

alfiedotwtf 2 days ago 2 replies      
I want something like this, but for a phone. The Freerunner was the closest thing to an open phone, but the call quality made it unusable (speaker hissing and other noises).
ubercow13 2 days ago 4 replies      
>no proprietary software of any kind

Does this include the CPU microcode?

yitchelle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Am I being too cynical when I say that the laptop you and I use will never be a 100% totally free. There will always be a blob on some sort in there. The most obvious one is the processor. With my naive knowledge of processor implementation, it's functionality is implemented in code more primitive than microcode. Is the source for this available for inspection?

There will be plenty of other devices in the laptop where its implementation domain is blurred.

Having said that, the Gluglug is a shuffle in the right direction.

leni536 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always thought that it would be nice to handle your essential private keys (PGP master key, large bitcoin wallet) on a fully free hardware. Of course free software still can be compromised but at least you could be certain to a degree that your hardware doesn't come compromised out of the box (sure, you have to trust your "fully free hardware supplier" here).
fixermark 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks good, but it's a bit pricey for my tastes and that hardware is an unreliable brick of a machine.

I'd love to see someone hit the market with a working Linux-ready netbook. I used to have an Acer One cobbled into that state, but the lack of direct support from the vendor meant that things like power management and sleep-on-lid-close never quite worked right. It's the little things you miss when you go off the vendor's book on operating system choice.

On the other hand, the stock Vista on that machine was dog-slow. Being able to strip down the crap from the UI and run much faster was a Godsend for hacking around on projects while away from the desk.

pionar 2 days ago 1 reply      
The HTTPS connection uses a self-signed cert?
Buge 2 days ago 1 reply      
It appears to be down.
sneak 2 days ago 2 replies      
Looks like a case design from the 90s. Do people really think laptop industrial design peaked then?
avarsheny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now I know why HURD will release in 2050
GutenYe 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really, They should use a Chinese supplier to do the production.
Online Cheating Site AshleyMadison Hacked krebsonsecurity.com
206 points by albedoa  2 days ago   346 comments top 36
MertsA 2 days ago 3 replies      
Not too surprising. Security in the past has been worse than abysmal on that site. I had a friend that jokingly made an account and sent me a link to his profile. However, that link was also his entire session. Once in the profile section it would let you change the password without knowing the current password. And the last kicker, the change password box had asterisks in it on page load and a quick "view source" revealed my friend's "not joking" password all from a link that didn't look too important.

In summary:

 1. Having a session id just stored in a GET variable for (most?) pages. 2. Use of http on profile edit page. 3. Allowing password change without reauthentication 4. Storing of all passwords without any form of hashing. 5. Sending passwords over http every time the profile edit page was viewed 6. Very easy for a user to accidentally share confidential data.
I want to say this was back in 2008 and the site was launched in 2001. I can't imagine that they are making any of these mistakes today but if the past incompetence has any relevance then this security disaster was a long time in the making.

ulrikrasmussen 2 days ago 1 reply      
I see a few comments sympathizing with the vigilantes behind this, implying that the exposed users had it coming. I am a bit sickened by this attitude, for several reasons. First of all, adultery is not illegal in the countries where most users of AshleyMadison are presumably residing, and even if it were, people could have used fake names which could implicate someone not actually associated with the site. This could destroy lives!

Second, performing your own vigilante punishment by outing people who you feel are not living up to your own personal moral standards has no place in a developed society. It is not your right to destroy a family, not to mention one where every member is a stranger to you, by outing one of its members as a cheater and at the same time putting all other members of the family on public display.

jdalgetty 1 day ago 13 replies      
It get's me that so many people are basically saying it serves these people right for using the service.

I don't think that it matters that this is a "cheating" site, your privacy should still be guarded and it's not fair that all these people are being exposed.

Secondly, I'd wager that many of the users sign up to use Ashley Madison for the thrill of the idea and probably aren't actually cheaters themselves or hooking up with other cheaters. A lot of the users are probably into the idea of roll playing or something similar.

It's just too bad because I think due to the nature of the site a lot of people's private information is going to be leaked because this hacking group thinks they are doing something righteous and justified.

tenpoundhammer 2 days ago 3 replies      
The possibilities are endless, I imagine someone will make this data easily searchable and journalists will be digging through to found anyone of notoriety that was dumb enough to sign up with their own names and credit cards etc. This hack could create a ton of news stories, including record divorce rates.

I'm curious as to how the ashley madison admins are killing these links? DMCA takedowns? What's the mechanism for this?

rm_-rf_slash 1 day ago 4 replies      
If you're going to cheat, expect to be caught. If your search for sex involves putting any personal information online, definitely expect to be caught. If you don't want to be caught, be careful, use pseudonyms, and protect yourself from tracking.

Or just ask for a divorce.

coldcode 1 day ago 2 replies      
People get hacked all the time but the data these folks failed to defend is almost as bad as what the Feds lost. You can always repair your credit, get new cards, even replace your money but you can never ever get back your reputation or your family or the respect of others if you lose that. But giving such a site this type of information (even if you were only curious) is just asking for it to become public. The consequences can range from embarrassment to divorce to losing children or even getting murdered. Whatever the thrill it's not worth the risk.

I don't know how to implement such a thing, but failing to protect people's information seems like it should be prosecutable. Maybe it's an impossibility but I don't know how else to make people care about protecting private information.

heimatau 2 days ago 0 replies      
So much for this. "AshleyMadison has become the last truly secure space on the Internet." - AM's PR team. Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153447889029655
jpredham 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also worth noting is the continuing evolution of the motivations behind hacks. The impact team made a seemingly moral (subjectively, not objectively moral, of course) when they could have likely blackmailed these users for money or influence.

It's interesting to try to guess how these factions, each occupying some point on the political/idealogical grid, are going to look like in 10 years. My guess would be that we begin to see more competition between them as well as an increase in internal organizational structure.

Gustomaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if it would it be illegal to look at and/or download this information once it is publicly available? I guess this would vary by country a bit. Would this count as 'possession of stolen goods' type thing? Seems likely, though catching people or having the will to is another thing.
sp332 1 day ago 2 replies      

> Do you know what some men do when they find out their wives have been cheating? They beat them. They kill them. They don't just leave. Also, users of Ashley Madison could lose their jobs. You know, their support system that allows them to take care of their kids. Millions of people being revealed for committing adultery isn't anything to rejoice about. This is not the way to handle such a situation.

sandycheeks 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most private investigators must be spending their Sunday night trying to get everything they can on this. They can and will make money on this data.

EDIT: Spelling

curiousjorge 1 day ago 0 replies      
the company was working diligently and feverishly to take down ALMs intellectual property.

I don't think the CEO understands how extortion works on the internet. If anything, their failure to protect it's users will result in a lot of divorces and sad kids. Even people who probably signed up out of curiosity is going to have a tough time explaining it to their spouses. The only option here is to shut down AM, but that seems unlikely given their history.

CEO thinks it's an inside job boy we've heard this line over and over after a massive leak. Hacking Team used it. Sony used it. It's not even taken seriously anymore. If a former employer is being scapegoated, he's about to make serious bank by suing his employer. There's no way to prove or even attempting to question him would immediately be liable for defamation.

If it is true that "powerful and rich people" are now going to have to divorce, give up have of their wealth to their spouse, I think ALM has bigger things to worry about in the form of class action lawsuits. The only outcome that makes sense is for AM to shut down.

JohnTHaller 2 days ago 0 replies      
Krebs is down again, so here's a link to the Washington Post coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/20...

TL;DR: Hackers took basically all data from cheating site AshleyMadison.com and what the hackers claim is a human trafficing/prostitution site EstablishedMen.com, have released some of real names/addresses/photos/profiles, and are threatening to release all 37 million personal records if the company doesn't take both sites offline.

Jugurtha 2 days ago 11 replies      
As much as I admire and respect the United States and its people, I can't be but amazed by the reactions to sex stories.

I have the impression that you can get away with anything, except sex. You can get away with incompetence, dilapidating tax payers' money, corruption, invasion of privacy, aggression on sovereign countries, authorizing torture, brutality, injustice. Big deal. Few care, and if they do, there are no consequences and no appologies. But God help you if your sex life is slightly different than what people say should someone's sex life be, it's the end of the world.

I found the whole Tiger Woods thing to be incredibly stupid. Appologizing to people you don't know because you slept with someone else than your wife. How exactly did several million people became part of the family?

I don't know why, but sex seems to be such a big deal in the U.S. media. You can shift the country's attention from something really important because the President enjoyed oral sex. Nevermind recording a conversation you're having with your friend.

Really.. How important is it to the nation which person is the President having sex with? It puts important things (like "Is he doing his job well?") to the background. "He's utterly incompetent, but he's never cheated on his wife and he's good people". Why would I care if he's having orgies if he's doing the job he was elected to do: doing everything for the interest of the people and the country.

Petraeus comes to mind, too. I mean a four-star General. Highly decorated. Going down for an extra-marrital affair. Seriously? Everything else he's done has the same weight and importance as "this"? The only thing it should have impact on is his family life, why should his career and public image suffer? Isn't this invasion of privacy from the public? And if we can tolerate this, shouldn't we tolerate that the Government spies on us and exposes what we do, in the media. Your dirtiest little secrets.

How come this phoniness and hypocrisy goes accepted? Politicians boasting "family values" shaming others for cheating while they themselves cheat. Boasting "family values" as an argument against same-sex marriage while you cheat on your husband/wife?. People pulling religion and abstinence stunts only to be discovered to be human after all and enjoying someone's body from time to time...

Why can this be used as ammunition by people who do it themselves, and how can the public opinion fall for these shaming campaigns by people who aren't clean from them.

How come whenever it's about cheating, it's mostly the men politician? Do you mean women don't cheat?

I simply don't understand how a country as developed as the U.S. can have the priorities organized in such an interesting way: 1- What X's sex life. 2-Everything else. Is it normal that people behave like 5 year olds seeing a vagina for the first time.

flippinburgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cheating is not cool, but acting like all of the users of that site "deserve it" is such a horrendous broad stroke. It just reeks of White Knight BS. Every last person on earth struggles with balancing their own inner desires against the expectations of the society around them. Some are better at this than others. I'm glad some of you are such perfect little angels that you feel that wrecking other peoples live is ok. I've been cheated on before. It was fucking god awful but I wouldn't expect that the other person's life be destroyed as a result. Relationships are WAY more complex than some holier-than-thou promise that people make to one another.
duncan_bayne 2 days ago 2 replies      
The one group of people for whom I feel exactly no sympathy in all of this is the owners, investors and employees of AshleyMadison.

Anyone who creates a site specifically to encourage and facilitate adultery deserves everything he or she gets.

beedogs 2 days ago 3 replies      
It couldn't have happened to a more deserving site.
Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
Waiting for the names of politicians with accounts to appear in the press.
jjuhl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't get why people get so worked up over this.Yes, people have afairs; so what? It's fun and everyone likes to have a bit of harmless sex with new people once in a while. No big deal.
barbs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Where was the information published? Couldn't find it anywhere...
ArtDev 1 day ago 1 reply      
I may not like the idea of the site, but it wasn't until I started seeings ads for it, that I started hoping for its downfall.

My wish was granted!

kendallpark 1 day ago 2 replies      
What a blow for this company. What is the more ethical decision for a company in an ethically questionable business: shutting down the site and letting the hackers have their way, or allowing the hackers to release tons of private data?

I feel a class action law suit on its way...

emmapersky 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems that no one is making the distinction between actually having an affair and simply the fantasy of it that most of these members probably engage in.

I would guess that of those 40m members only a small handful have ever engaged in an affair through the site.

miesman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps it's a weakness on my part but it's difficult for me to see this as anything other than karma
rbanffy 2 days ago 0 replies      
joeevans1000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently, there is data from all around the world. I hope it's realized that some countries punish cheating by corporal punishment or worse. If the data is published, I hope the data of users from those countries are removed.
killface 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assholes attacking other assholes online? Meh, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Some of them will get what they deserve (personal opinion, of course), on both sides.
amyjess 2 days ago 0 replies      
Krebs has a bunch of information on this: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/07/online-cheating-site-ashl...

It's recently been updated with a statement by ALM.

markgavalda 1 day ago 2 replies      
Let the bitcoin extortion begin... :-/
cm2187 2 days ago 1 reply      
Another nail in the coffin of the confidence in the IT industry. It starts to look more like a porcupine than a coffin now.
MeNotMe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two points:

1. Encrypt all database data, decrypt in application.

2. If you only do perimeter defense, you're doing it wrong.

fapjacks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cross-referencing the dump from this hack with the OPM dump containing a list of everyone with TS/SCI clearance... Now that is a very handy bit of information.
evandrix 1 day ago 0 replies      
so where's the leak @? .torrent / pastebin ?
dummy7953 1 day ago 0 replies      
Someone's getting a divorce for Xmas!
ocfx 2 days ago 4 replies      
Good. I hope the company goes bankrupt. People murder other people and kill themselves over shit like this.
If David Cameron bans secure encryption he can't intercept mythic-beasts.com
197 points by rabbidrabbit  3 days ago   95 comments top 19
SCdF 3 days ago 1 reply      
Honestly, it sounds kind of relaxing. Good excuse to get some sunshine.

On a more serious note, I can't help but think David Cameron is employing the technique of attempting something extreme so that he can do something less extreme (but still really bad) later with less oversight. Of course you can't ban strong encryption. His advisers know that, he knows that, _everyone_ knows that.

It will be very interesting to see what actually gets put (or attempted to be put) into law. Right now it's just a whole lot of unrealistic noise.

mike-cardwell 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's pretty clear that the UK government doesn't have the power to ban encryption. This is just a distraction so that we are happy to accept whatever "less bad" proposals they come up with to increase their surveillance powers. I can't help but feel that peoples dislike of Cameron is a pointless distraction too. This is not Cameron. This is government. We will still be having this same discussion in 50 years, unless some miracle technical advancement makes it moot.
steaminghacker 3 days ago 2 replies      
There won't be a ban, it will be licensed. Big companies like banks etc will get their licence right away, so your secure banking will be fine. Routers will still have wifi encryption because they'll have a licence.

The licence will be implemented as a fee for a digital certificate that properly authenticates.

So, you're a small startup with an idea for a secure messaging app. want a licence. no problem, its 10M. have you got the money handy?

cfstras 3 days ago 0 replies      
Happily looking forward to being rick-rolled, I click the YouTube link. It fails, telling me the German content mafia doesn't allow YouTube to display the video due to licensing issues.


danpalmer 3 days ago 3 replies      
As far as I remember (and I may be wrong), the specific quote from David Cameron was about banning encryption that can't be backdoored, so that the government can look at things if they need to.

Obviously I'm completely against that, because once there's a backdoor, it's all too easy to collect by default, instead of only when "needed".

With this clarification though, lots of this tech would still work. Most things based on TLS will continue to work, if every computer has to have a government CA certificate installed to allow MITMs. Hopefully HTTP Public Key Pinning will become more prevalent if this looks likely to happen.

c0g 3 days ago 3 replies      
Except Cameron wants to backdoor end-to-end encryption like iMessage/Whatsapp, rather than mess with something like SSL. With SSL they can just get a warrant (or you know, don't get a warrant) and look at the server, where everything is in plain text.

One possible way to backdoor it might be mandate that companies keep copies of the encrypted messages, tagged with a device ID. Then to decrypt you need to get the person's phone, which is a clearer analogy to getting a warrant to search someone's house to look for things they have stashed.

DanBC 3 days ago 0 replies      
The UK Crypto mailing list has some discussion.


EG: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/pipermail/ukcrypto/2015-Ma...

But there's quite a lot of useful discussion there.

aembleton 3 days ago 2 replies      
9:15 : Think this is all a bit bizarre so phone colleague on mobile, she answers to say that shes having lots of problems too.

Mobiles are encrypted too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A5/1

giancarlostoro 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why do we still have politicians trying to pass laws in technology if they don't understand it at all? Really we need to change how laws affecting technology are approved or something. It's always the same thing, some politician is passing some law affecting technology in what seems like the most absurd approach.
KaiserPro 3 days ago 0 replies      
So what are we going to do about it?

We've spent the last year running twitter campaigns, but the people that matter (voters, well tory voters) don't do social media.

This means that you need to write a letter. Yes a real letter, not a fucking email. Write a letter to your MP, then a local Lord.

Then you need to write to your boss, tell them that the cost of business will go through the roof (if you're able to do business. )

Then start looking at jobs abroad. Because no doubt there will be a twitter campaign, meaning that nobody actually bothers to engage in how the democratic process actually works.

keithpeter 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a very happy customer of mythic-beasts. They do insist on sftp/ssh/tls &c for all connections which is probably wise.

I hope this gets the idea across to influential civilians (i.e. non-techs). Humour can work quite well in the UK. The HGTTG references may be lost on the younger ones though.

kuschku 3 days ago 1 reply      
The most unrealistic part is

> Youtube fails to load with a secure connection error.

YouTube still refuses to use anything more recent than RC4 encryption, so, if Cameron would ban all secure encryption, YouTube would probably still work.

bit2mask 1 day ago 0 replies      
The rhetoric of "not allowing a safe space for terrorists to communicate" is complete bullshit.

Terrorists can communicate using a book cipher or pick from any of a huge number of other options. The kind of terrorists we should actually be concerned about (competent ones) will already use extra measures such as this in conjunction with strong encryption.

This is totalitarianism.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone." - David Cameron.

rysiek 2 days ago 0 replies      
The ban is not about encryption: http://rys.io/en/149

Of course they can't expect to effectively police the ban if it's put into law. But they don't have to. Everybody will encrypt anyway and that's fine, because once they want somebody put away, they will be able to simply by saying "that person broke the Snooper's Charter by using SSH".

It's not about banning encryption, it's about having a convenient law to put tech-savvy people away.

lalm 3 days ago 0 replies      
SSL can be intercepted though so it wouldn't be the target of this theoretical ban.
Zigurd 3 days ago 1 reply      
Suggestions like banning strong encryption is a form of ritual abuse. It is meant to get the public used to the idea of pervasive surveillance. That pervasive surveillance will be carried out through a continuation of what existed before the Snowden revelations, which was a successful Straussian confection of fake freedom, carefully managed.
ackalker 3 days ago 1 reply      
One-time pad encryption, implemented correctly, cannot be broken or backdoored.There is the matter of key exchange of course, but that is as old as the use of covert communications itself.Anyone who cares enough about their communication remaining secret will find a way of exchanging keys for which any attempt at interception by a government entity is entirely impractical.
joesmo 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's to stop people from using strong encryption on their own, illegally, end to end? It's not like this is the first time the government has inserted itself in between people's legitimate communications and intercepted them with no recourse. If you assume that that is the default state of being (and except for a few small governments, it is), then you realize that the short periods of time where people could communicate freely and privately using networks outside of private in-person meetings have been lapses in government surveillance more than anything else and minor moments of relief for those who want to communicate privately. Governments will spy. That is a given. They will try to remove privacy. That is a given. Regardless of any laws and especially when it's as simple and undetectable as making some database queries.

I'm not defending any government's actions to remove privacy and spy on its people. Quite the contrary, once one has accepted that as inevitable, it's easier to move on. The need for human privacy is also, IMO, a fact. Some may dispute that, yet there are true, the only other option then becomes to go around the law. An unjust law must be broken. And it will. The worse the government gets, the more it will be broken.

I don't see why people in the UK and elsewhere couldn't get copies of software that still had strong encryption despite the idiotic laws. After all, it's just as easy to click one link as another. Will the UK be monitoring traffic for actual binaries and source code? Will the arrest people that use encryption they can't break? Will they arrest people for sending garbage data that looks like encrypted data but isn't and therefore can't decrypt? As the government gets more totalitarian, I think we will see even regular people training themselves in encryption and its proper uses. It's inevitable as people have more and more to lose. Once life, limb, and property are at stake, people either become competent or become victims, and people are generally a lot more competent than they appear when high stakes are on the line.

Of course, UK companies will be hurt. They won't be able to do a lot of business internationally. UK citizens will have their information stolen in massive data breaches. Bank accounts and identities will be compromised. Many accounts that are not with UK companies will be compromised because of password reuse. Cameron doesn't have to ban ALL strong encryption. Whatever systems he bans it in, will be compromised. That's inevitable. At the same time, the people don't have to put up with it. Stop online banking with banks that don't use strong encryption. Request paper bills. Clog up phone lines. Pay in cash if possible. These are all things a regular person could do in the event that strong encryption is banned that if done by even a small percentage will increase costs quite a bit. It may not get the law reversed, but it might get companies on the side of people if they have to cut paper bills again at a 10-100x cost over electronic ones, for example.

tl;dr: Governments will spy and people will use strong encryption regardless of the law as privacy is a human right and oftentimes necessary to survival. Businesses and convenience will suffer greatly.

tome 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good old Mythic Beasts. Very happy customer here!
Chicago fires investigator who found cops at fault in shootings wbez.org
177 points by sp332  2 days ago   106 comments top 10
Zikes 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's time we recognized that we are essentially second class citizens, after police.

They are consistently able to commit crimes without being prosecuted. They can use their position and influence to target and harass their personal enemies. When they are prosecuted for a crime, the sentencing is consistently far less than a non-LEO offender's.

And there's no more recourse for us. When a police officer shows up, there's nothing you can do, and no way to predict what will happen. If they're in the mood, you can be beaten, pepper sprayed, tazed, bitten, or shot, for any offense no matter how minor or imagined.

ClayM 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is pretty much all you need to read:

Daviss termination came less than two weeks after top IPRA officials, evaluating Daviss job performance, accused him of a clear bias against the police and called him the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS, as officer-involved shootings are known in the agency.

Since its 2007 creation, IPRA has investigated nearly 400 civilian shootings by police and found one to be unjustified.

shostack 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I speak for all Chicagoans when I say "what were you expecting?" This is in a state where of our last seven governors, FOUR ended up in prison. That's a whopping 57%. There's a joke that our politicians have an "orange parachute" when they leave their jobs.

When you add in all the other police issues over the years, you end up with not a single Chicagoan surprised at this outcome. The state and the city are corrupt beyond belief.

Despite the cost to the tax payer, I'd love to see this guy sue the crap out of everyone involved. Of course, that's a risky move because you know, something could happen to him.

jMyles 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reading about the internal administrative process in large municipal governments is like learning about business in an alien culture.

I can't imagine a healthy, successful organization of any kind making such an inane and chilling statement:

> The spokesman said there would be no interview and sent this statement: This is a personnel matter that would be inappropriate to address through the media, though the allegations are baseless and without merit. IPRA is committed to conducting fair, unbiased, objective, thorough and timely investigations of allegations of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.

> The performance evaluation covered 19 months and concluded that Davis displays a complete lack of objectivity combined with a clear bias against the police in spite of his own lengthy police career.

digitalneal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lotta people here talking like they understand Chicago politics.

The people who investigate these incidents were appointed to investigate them because City and State agree'd that CPD was unwilling to investigate the misdeeds of their department.

So they setup an Independent review board. Which sounds nice and independent but...(Mayor and CPD friends filled it with former CPD brass or family of former CPD or former consultants to CPD)

Now they are firing investigators because they don't give reports that appease the department.

This is just another feather in the hat of police corruption rolling thru Chicago.

justwannasing 1 day ago 9 replies      
Gonna give you guys a few quick blurbs.

First, a chief of police was interviewed on CBS News a while back. He said there are thousands upon thousands of police interactions with citizens every day but all anyone ever hears about is the one bad one that happened one time.

Second, and this might sound off-topic but I hope you get my point. I was helping a guy move, a few months back, along with one of his friends who's a rookie cop. This took place over several days. Each day, we rode in a truck a coule of miles and, along the way, he would occasionally say, "Expired plates. Expired plates." cause we couldn't go a mile without him finding one. And not just by a month or so but, in one case it was almost a year.

Which brought up racial profiling, as you could imagine. He said, "There is no race indicator on a radar gun." And "When I see something go wrong and I light it up, I can't tell who I'm pulling over, much less what race they are, until I get out of the car. And I don't care. You could look at my ticketing and arrests for the few months I've been on the job and say I do racial profiling cause most of them are [insert what you know it is] cause, from what I can tell, most of them do the things that get them tickets or arrested and put in jail."

I think of that every time I see an article, here on HN, and the comments by people trying to blame the cops for everything as if they're against us.

EDIT: As I pointed out, right away, the first two commenters entirely missed my point.

vaadu 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is why all officer involved shootings should be investigated and prosecuted(if necessary) by people with no skin in the game for any outcome.
imglorp 1 day ago 0 replies      
And this is why a democracy needs independent checks and balances at every level.
backtoyoujim 1 day ago 1 reply      
to wit from the article:

The performance evaluation covered 19 months and concluded that Davis displays a complete lack of objectivity combined with a clear bias against the police in spite of his own lengthy police career.

That is a serpent choking down its own tail.

drzaiusapelord 1 day ago 4 replies      
Even though liberals will deny this, the main issue here is that police unions are completely out of control and have this kind of power. The Independent Police Review Authority is full of union stooges, ex-cops, etc and is designed to protect cops.

The real question is when will we start having the political will to question public sector unions? They seem to only make city services more expensive, more corrupt, and in the case of cops, lead to legalized murder.

Decent piece on how this board and the union work to protect bad cops. You just can't expect the police to police themselves.


Now a WBEZ investigation raises questions about just how independent the agency is. City records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that IPRAs management now includes six former cops officials who have spent most of their career in sworn law enforcement. Those include the agencys top three leaders.

Examining Microsoft Edge Browser Performance anandtech.com
183 points by dwgirvan  18 hours ago   121 comments top 21
vmarsy 17 hours ago 4 replies      
Benchmarks are good but the overall experience is what matters the most. I'm really impressed by the startup time of Edge. I type some query in the Cortana search bar and press Enter, it launches Edge extremely fast. So far I really love the performance.

However to make it my main browser I'm still waiting for adblocking extensions. I browse with a few tabs opened, one of them start randomly playing an ad video, at least it shows the sound icon on the tab so I know which one to kill.

I also noticed a few UI problems: When pressing the back button with "Ctrl" on, it does not open the last page in a new tab. Surprisingly, I use this feature very often on Chrome & Firefox. Sometimes when opening a new tab, the focus is not in the address/search bar, forcing me to click on it (or pressing Tab until I get it)

cwyers 17 hours ago 2 replies      
What I'd like to see are benchmarks that involve visiting some sample of sites out of the Alexa top 100 and performing standard tasks (reading Gmail, finding a certain thing on Amazon.com, etc.) I know that's dependent on things like network conditions, so you'd have to run it a lot of times to get meaningful results, but it'd still provide a more meaningful result than a lot of synthetic benchmarks.
kyriakos 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Running on a 7 year old HTPC with 2gb ram edge feels extremely smooth compared to chrome.

They should do benchmarks on lower end systems, such as atom based tablets.

GnarfGnarf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Edge is not ready for prime time. I have a desktop app that does the OAuth dance redirecting to localhost. Edge didn't respond correctly, whereas Firefox, Chrome and even IE handle it OK. Even if I make IE the default browser, control is still handed over to Edge.
skrowl 12 hours ago 1 reply      
No amount of speed matters until you have extensions. Without uBlock, it'll just be an ad filled mess.
DigitalSea 15 hours ago 2 replies      
As great as Edge is in the benchmarks, the engine beneath seems to be solid, the browser is shipping in a half-completed state. The lack of support for extensions I think is going to do more harm than good. I don't get the rush to release Edge, wouldn't it have been better for Microsoft to just hold off a couple of more months until the browser was ready feature wise?

I haven't been using the Windows 10 development builds, so I have yet to use Edge. As a front-end developer, I am excited we are getting a browser that seemingly supports all of the essentials (and prefixless too).

ajitkolathur 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the most interesting feature is the ask cortana feature, http://www.thewindowsclub.com/enable-cortana-in-edge-browser, it performs reasonably well on most queries and is pretty fast. Especially useful when reading articles where you have no clue about some of the people mentioned or phrases and expressions being thrown around.. Highlight the phrase and hit the ask cortana option in the menu.
citalan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm excited to try out Edge, from what I've read it looks like a great browser but the key feature in Chrome that keeps me from switching is the shared history. I use Chrome on my Android phone and tablet, and on my desktop and laptop so all of my browsing history and currently open tabs can be accessed from any device. I rely on this day-to-day, particularly the "Recent Tabs" option from other devices.

Until another browser implements that (and supports Android phone / tablets), or I can find a third-party service that seamlessly offers the same options, I can't see myself switching from Chrome any time soon.

bepotts 17 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder how much the Edge's performance will affect the average person's decision to use it or not. Browsers one up each other all the time and I'm sure Google's next major Chrome update will show improvements over the Edge.

Renaming your browser won't change peoples' memory of Internet Explorer, even if Microsoft built Edge from the ground up. The average person is still going to be thinking IE when they see it.

Without extensions, I personally am not leaving Chrome - even if it's a resource hog. But it is nice to see how Microsoft is changing their behavior. Competition between products is always a good thing.

bztzt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
These benchmark articles frustrate me because I rarely feel they tell me anything. What do the benchmarks actually measure? When one tested product benchmarks as better/worse than another, what specifically is happening to make it better or worse? I feel like a good technical reporter ought to be able to dig deeper, do some investigation and provide real insight.
benaston 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If Edge is not on approximate feature parity with Chrome (it isn't), then the benchmark is meaningless.
itsbits 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I started using Chrome because it is fast in startup, load. But its not the case anymore. Still I am using Chrome coz of awesome developer tools and Chrome extensions.
liviu- 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Are they really going the completely disregard Linux users?
ilaksh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
What matters is HTML5 compatibility which is lacking.
aesthetics1 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm worried about a few things:

Where will Edge take us? Is Edge replacing IE, or is it parallel?

I feel like this is going to cause confusion. Why did they choose a modern evolution of the Internet Explorer logo (Blue "e" with an orbit)? Everyone is going to expect that this is the new Internet Explorer. ActiveX plugins don't work - are you using Internet Explorer? "Yes! The blue e!" Eek.

If IE is going to co-exist alongside Edge, I feel that we will just be forced to support another new browser.

Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/927/

aesthetics1 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Something about the icons used in Edge feel unfamiliar to me. The back, forward, and refresh arrows even feel alien. I think they have deviated away from recognizable icons for the rest of the toolbar too. Something just doesn't feel right
dgcoffman 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Still can't calculate height or fire mouseLeave events correctly.
mistermann 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is all I need to switch:

1. Actually work (strangely, current IE can't accomplish this on some of my machines)

2. Tree Style Tabs

3. Support for popular ad-blockers

4. Easy on memory (including ability to unload a tab and actually release that memory, something FF can't seem to figure out)

5. Don't constantly take a 45 second timeout with lots of tabs open (like Firefox)

pippy 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Microsoft are coming out swinging at Google with their latest browser and Operating System. Their Cortana search feature is impressive, and very well integrated.

Even Windows 10 isn't shying away with a search field located in the main task bar. These features are there to try and chip away at Google's search dominance.

It will be interesting to see if it works. If Microsoft makes a browser people want to use, Chrome will be in trouble. Chrome might end up like Google Maps on iOS.

While many seem to be welcoming a 'new Microsoft' with their open source efforts, it seems they still don't shy away from trying to kill off competitors by leveraging their Operating System monopoly.

0xFFC 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I definitely will be one of who which will switch from chrome to edge(or any other viable competitor) very soon. The ridiculous path chrome team have chosen for their path is enough for me already.I have said this so many times, I don't want another OS on top of my OS.I just want a Browser , not an application-platform which uses my 3 GB of ram for apps and extension.Even when I delete all app and extension there is certain amount of overhead.

Chrome team can offer two distinct version , lightweight without extension and app support and super fast start time , and complete version.

Chrome turned to new JVM recently.just instead of java you developer should use Javascript.

I know this is google policy to push people to net (because it means more profit for google) but I don't want some company dictate what should I do.and at least with edge I have super fast load time and lightweight browser.

joshstrange 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Benchmarks are largely useless, everyone makes up their own and none of them translate into how it FEELS to use a browser IMHO. Great they made some stride but so did every other browser also they don't have extensions yet and won't at launch which is a nonstarter.

I used it VERY briefly in a WIn 10 VM (not to use it, just to go download some tools) and wanted to pull my hair out. Little things here and there that were a constant reminder that microsoft just is bad at browsers. Sure they can piece together something that can access the web but it's not an enjoyable experience. I had to go and download chrome because apparently browsing around online, having multiple tabs open, and downloading files was a little too much for Edge to handle. I'd say it was the number of ads on the sites I was going to but I went to the same sites in Chrome without an adblocker (Vanilla Chrome) and it handled it without a sweat. This is by no means a complete test but I really wanted to try Edge and it felt like it was actively working against me and unable to deal with websites that I might have to go to from time to time that are covered in ads.

We will see what Win 10 ships with and what Edge looks like after extension support is added but I'm not holding my breath for the IE/Edge team to put out anything beginning to look like a real browser. Lastly no cross platform support? Fuck off, don't expect me to test for it at all. And no, VM's are not acceptable for testing. Don't misunderstand me Apple sucks with Safari and their lack of browser choice (and engines) on iOS almost as much but at least webkit is sane. Not to mention you can test webkit on Windows but I do agree it's not the same as Safari. That said Safari is a LOT closer to FF/Chrome than IE/Edge is to FF/Chrome which reduces needed testing substantially.

       cached 22 July 2015 15:11:04 GMT