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NASAs Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth nasa.gov
839 points by randomname2  1 day ago   288 comments top 35
throwaway_yy2Di 1 day ago 3 replies      
To help out anyone trying to search for stuff,

* This exoplanet is now "Kepler-452b" (kepler_name),

* In the "Kepler Object of Interest" catalog, it's KOI "K07016.01" (kepoi_name),

* Its star is both K07016 and Kepler ID 8311864 (kepid),

* In the broader 2MASS sky survey, the star has the id "J19440088+4416392"

Sources (catalog search engines),



(edit): Here's a mirror of the Kepler catalog entries -- KIC for the star, KOI for the planet:


Gravityloss 1 day ago 7 replies      
The significance is this: it's very likely that there are a lot more such planets a lot nearer to us. This is because Kepler can only detect planets which lie in the same plane as earth and the star so the planet occults the star.Assuming random distribution, there's probably thousand fold amount of off plane planets.

There are 259 stars within about 30 light years.Communication could be conceivable with such distances...


phantarch 1 day ago 9 replies      
At 2 billion years older than Earth, I can't begin to imagine what kinds of things could possibly be living on this planet. Given, of course, that it's got the right ingredients for life to arise. What if it's suffered huge extinctions recently? What if there's a domineering species out to conquer the planet just like humans? What if there's a society there more sophisticated than us? It's a very exciting discovery.
cstross 1 day ago 4 replies      
I want answers to three questions before I get excited:

1. Does it have active plate tectonics?

2. Does it have a working deep carbon cycle?

3. Has its atmosphere hung on to its hydrogen (that is, has it managed not to lose it all to high-altitude UV splitting and solar wind)?

If the answer to all three of those is "yes" then this suddenly gets a lot more interesting, whether or not we can see any free oxygen in the atmosphere. And while we won't be able to get answers to them using current technology, next-generation direct-observation planet seeking telescopes might be able to deliver within the 15-30 year time scale (if the astrophysicists I know are correct).

aidos 1 day ago 2 replies      
Live audio here http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html?2015-07-...

And slides here (currently on Figure 10) http://www.nasa.gov/keplerbriefing0723

EDIT booooo - audio stream has gone down

EDIT yay!

jpreiland 1 day ago 4 replies      
To rephrase another comment in the other submission - how do we know/can we infer so much about a planet so far away when we are just now getting reasonable pictures of Pluto?

Looking at the images (aside from the artist interpretation), it looks like they're just guessing based on size and location?

guiomie 1 day ago 2 replies      
"385-day orbit" ... Can't wait to have to take into consideration different "year" zone in my code.
ilurk 1 day ago 3 replies      
It feels extremely frustrating to know -- not just wonder but to know exactly where -- that there are planets similar to our own, which have a very high probability of harboring life, yet to be condemned to never be able to take a really close look at it.

No FTL travel, no working cryonics, no mind-upload tech. Just harsh reality.

pi-rat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Now, if only NASA would announce that Kepler-452b is full of oil, we would have warp engines in under a decade.
krschultz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kepler has to be one of the most interesting NASA missions in the last few decades. We always suspected there were thousands of planets, but knowing it is exciting.
king_magic 1 day ago 1 reply      
So wouldn't a good next step be to point a bunch of radio telescopes at this system and start listening?
phkahler 1 day ago 7 replies      
How big is it? They have 2 numbers:

>> Kepler-452b is 60 percent larger in diameter than Earth and is considered a super-Earth-size planet.

And then:

>> Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter and has a diameter 10 percent larger.

I noticed the lack of "b" on that second one, but they seem to be talking about a single planet.

TTPrograms 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anybody know what the path is to performing some kind of spectroscopy on this planet? Detecting molecules that might indicate life - water, ozone?
izend 1 day ago 2 replies      
Due to the diameter being 60% larger than Earth's diameter, Kepler-452b's ESI score[0] cannot be any higher than 0.85.

It might not be the most earth like exo-planet as Kepler-438b[1] has an ESI score of 0.88.



_karthikj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Things like this boosts my thoughts of life out there living alone, discovering/inventing everything from scratch over and over. While we pride ourselves on passing the knowledge generation by generation to be where we are now, imagine if we could learn/share it beyond our planet, solar system, galaxies.... Long way to go!!
FailMore 1 day ago 3 replies      
What's next??? How do we find out if there is life?
lxfontes 1 day ago 1 reply      
if there is intelligent life there and they point a telescope at us right now, they would be seeing earth ~ 500 years ago.

"check out this planet, looks like a promising place once we run out of materials here."

niels_olson 1 day ago 1 reply      
> 1,400 light-years away

Very cool that we can find it, but I don't think we'll be visiting this one any time soon...

stcredzero 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm actually more excited about Mars-like terrestrial planets. Mars is large enough to have geologic activity and ores, yet it's small enough to be quite easy to get off of and into orbit.
scrumper 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had a bigger, older cousin when I was a kid. He was awesome. He showed me his Playboys and taught me how to shoot.

On a serious note, I'm looking forward to the discovery of a smaller cousin. That seems to me to be more promising for life: Stuff in water oceans won't sink as readily, so will be able to absorb more sunlight. Avian species will find life easier going (predicated on a suitably dense atmosphere). Any advanced civilizations will have an easier time getting out of its gravity well, and so on.

nirai 1 day ago 0 replies      
for proportion, studying that planet and its sun is like trying to observe a flea orbiting a ping pong ball floating in space as far away as the moon...
humbertomn 1 day ago 2 replies      
It IS great news... But it's terrible to see the media here in Brazil going like "We're finally close to discover life in another planet" and things like that... And even worse, people sharing like crazy around the internet, without even reading it or trying to understand what really was discovered.

EDIT: typing error

cletus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally I find this discovery rather sobering.

It's becoming increasingly clear that solar systems are quite common. As our planet detection abilities increase to smaller and smaller planets I believe we'll find more and more of those too. Some of these (like this one) will be in the habitable zone of a star. Some of those assumedly will develop life. Some of those will develop sentient life.

I just picture a timeline like Earth's projected on this planet, which of course has no basis in fact. But imagine a civilization that's had 2 billion years of life longer than ours?

That's a really long time obviously. It's hard to imagine that such a civilization couldn't develop automated methods to populate the local space around them. This is one of the counterarguments to life being common in the universe of course. At 1% of the speed of light you could populate the galaxy with autonomous robots in a "mere" 10 million years.

So our inability to detect anything like this gives weight to the argument that no such starfaring civilization exists or that they're less than ~10 milllion years old.

Was there civilization on this planet and it died out for some reason? We'll probably never know.

As these planets mount up (as I believe they will), it'll further strengthen the idea that we're basically doomed (ie the Great Filter) and further suggest we are a mere cosmic blink.

jmilloy 1 day ago 1 reply      
The 385 day year is mentioned. What about hours in a day? Do we know that?
Kiter1 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is the statistical probability that a star will have a planetary disk that Kepler can view edge on and has planets that will occult the star?
rolilink_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the most important issue is:

Are they like us? a civilization that loves going to war and colonize others? that is the most important thing we need to know.

aaronbrethorst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone show me where Kepler-452b is on a star chart?
carsongross 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Where is everybody?" --Enrico Fermi
givan 1 day ago 0 replies      
What are the odds that this is just a sunspot?
yadakhov 19 hours ago 0 replies      
M class planets.
jajaBinks 1 day ago 0 replies      
frade33 19 hours ago 0 replies      
is there one of me?
csense 1 day ago 1 reply      
There was an older article in the #1 slot with well over 200 upvotes and a ton of comments, but I don't know what happened to it? Perhaps the mods removed it for some reason?
sktrdie 1 day ago 3 replies      
cdz0675 1 day ago 0 replies      
Show HN: Bocker Docker implemented in 100 lines of bash github.com
648 points by p8952  3 days ago   87 comments top 26
BonoboBoner 2 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
logicrime 3 days ago 3 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.


tzm 3 days ago 0 replies      
$10M per LoC
WD-42 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice work. Great to see the advanced features of BTRFS put to use.
asdfaoeu 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's also https://github.com/docker/dockerlite . But not sure how current it is.
sandGorgon 3 days 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

arianvanp 2 days 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...

Bocker 3 days ago 0 replies      
joeevans1000 3 days ago 0 replies      
The emperor is wearing fewer clothes.
jenscow 2 days ago 0 replies      
That script is the best description of Docker I've read.
sklogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I honestly thought docker was just a little script when I saw it first, judging on the functionality.
spydum 3 days 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 3 days 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...
kzisme 2 days 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)

cyansmoker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey, I just submitted a pull request for the "exec" command :)
agumonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Persistent data structure FTW.
vacri 3 days 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...
amrit_b 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is incredible.
SFjulie1 3 days 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.

pekk 3 days ago 1 reply      
npx 3 days ago 0 replies      
PostgREST REST API from any PostgreSQL database github.com
482 points by cdjk  2 days ago   203 comments top 26
curiousjorge 2 days ago 3 replies      
The comments are unbelievably negative considering the quality and the range of features this offers. This is extremely useful because I won't have to spend time writing out REST api in order to expose the Postgre data. Often a client just wants to access the data with REST api and to write an entire stack just to serve a few doesn't make sense. There's no expectation that this is going to serve a gazillion requests per minute out of the box, and that's totally fine with me since you shouldn't rely on off the shelf solutions anyways if you were building an architecture of that size, but really question if you are going to have that many requests per second. It reminds me of the customer who claims 'I need this done in node.js to support 10,000 concurrent users' and when asked how many users he has now he replies 'none, but I hope I can reach the number', solving problems he doesn't have yet and complaining that 'php is too slow'.

Some of the best ideas and tools on HN are met with so much negativity it reminds me of Reddit, where the small percentage of people who get off on putting others down so they can feel good about themselves dominate the comments.

Good on you cdjk, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

pilif 2 days ago 2 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.

benkant 2 days ago 11 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.

jister 2 days 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 2 days 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.
xdanger 2 days 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

fica 2 days 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/

weitzj 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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.

restya 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Our Restya stack (open source) is similar to this with tech agnostic approach. We used it to build Restyaboard http://restya.com/board/ open source trello alternative/clone
arturventura 2 days ago 1 reply      
"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.

caseysoftware 2 days 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.

gizmodo59 2 days ago 1 reply      
With Data Virtualization providers like Denodo you can create a REST web service with any relational database very easily..


why-el 2 days ago 0 replies      
Splendid work, truly. The documentation is pure class and the whole library is extremely well prepared for actual use. Kudos to the developer.
rcarmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Haskell, huh? The Force is strong on this one.
McElroy 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.
arianvanp 2 days 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
spacemanmatt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since I'll have to front this with nginx anyway, I may as well use OpenRESTy. I happen to like its REST setup pattern quite a bit.
dylanvalade 1 day ago 0 replies      
After visiting the demo my browser is running spyware.
jawr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this could easily be forked to provide a GraphQL interface to pg.
hliyan 2 days ago 0 replies      
marknadal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, there is a lot of contention in this thread. So first off I want to say congratulations to the author of PostgREST. Getting 2k req/s out of a Heroku free tier is just awesome ontop of all the overhead convenience you provide. Great job, great documentation, all around looking fantastic. You deserve to be on HN homepage.

Second, I'm an author of a distributed database (VC backed, open-source), so I'd like to respond to some of opinions on databases voiced in this thread - particularly in the branched discussions. If you aren't interested in those responses, you can ignore the rest of my comment.

- "You'd have to pay me a million dollars a year to do web development." Don't worry, most webdev jobs are about a tenth of that. If inflation goes up even a little bit...

- "The problem is scaling your database", I can confirm that this is my experience as well. But there is a very specific reason for that. Most databases are designed to be Strongly Consistent (of the CAP Theorem) and thus use Master-Slave architecture. This ultimately requires having a centralized server to handle all your writes, and this becomes extraordinarily prone to failure. To solve this, I looked into Master-Master (or Peer-to-Peer / Decentralized) algorithms for my http://gunDB.io/ database. Point being, I'm siding with @3pt14159 in this thread.

- "Sorry but databases are just a hole to put your shit in when you want it out of memory", I write a database and... uh, I unfortunately kind of have to agree, probably at the cost of making fun of my own product. You see, the reason why is because most databases now a days are doing the same thing - they keep the active data set in memory and then have some fancy flush mechanism to a journal on disk and then do some cleanup/compression/reorganizing of the disk snapshot with some cool Fractal Tree or whatever. But it does not matter how well you optimize your Big O queries... if the data isn't in memory, it is going to be slow (to see why, zoom in on this photo http://i.imgur.com/X1Hi1.gif ). You just can't get the performance (or scale) without preloading things into RAM, so if your database doesn't do that... well what @batou said.

Overall, I urge you to listen to @3pt14159 and @batou. PostgreSQL is undeniably awesome, but please don't fanboy yourself into ignorance. Machines and systems have their limitations, and you can't get around them by throwing more black boxes at it - your app will still break and so will your fanboyness.

eridal 2 days ago 0 replies      
oh I love the silence logo!!

In fact, I think I love any musical reference in software :-)

sz4kerto 2 days ago 3 replies      
wisty 2 days ago 1 reply      
Airbnb, My $1B Lesson arenavc.com
498 points by rvcamo  2 days ago   137 comments top 25
pitchups 1 day ago 5 replies      
It is interesting and a bit ironic that AirBnb accepted funding from YC - who did not believe in their idea [1], and rejected the only investor that not only believed in their crazy idea, but actively sought them out and tried to woo them. Did they go with YC because of its brand, name recognition, or because it offered them better terms?

Of course, it is all counterfactual, but could Airbnb have been as successful had they not joined YC? Recall that PG told them to do things that do not scale - by taking professional photos of rentals in NY - which may have been critical to their early success.

And although PG was initially skeptical of their idea, he quickly changed his thinking about how big Airbnb could become. Revealed in another interesting trail of emails exchanged between PG and Fred Wilson (who also passed on Airbnb). [2]

[1] "In fact, when we funded Airbnb, we thought it was too crazy. We couldn't believe large numbers of people would want to stay in other people's places"


[2] http://www.paulgraham.com/airbnb.html


Edit: spelling

beambot 2 days ago 6 replies      
If it's bad form for a VC to break a handshake deal, it's equally-bad for a startup too... no? Doesn't that reflect poorly upon the founders?

It's so important that YC went through the effort to codify the process: http://www.ycombinator.com/handshake/

napoleond 1 day ago 2 replies      
Let me get this straight: in June 2008, Airbnb got intro'd to a bunch of investors, who all said no [1]. In September of 2008, Airbnb had a $250k round on the table that valued them at 2.5M[2]. And then, also in September 2008 (before YC usually does interviews) they rejected that offer for YC, who ended up giving them $20k[3], with a valuation presumably around $250k?? (Although Brian Chesky says that didn't happen until November, it sounds like they got some kind of verbal confirmation earlier?)

The timeline is weird.

1. https://medium.com/@bchesky/7-rejections-7d894cbaa084

2. https://arenavc.com/2015/07/airbnb-my-1-billion-lesson/

3. http://www.quora.com/How-much-money-did-Airbnb-raise-What-is...

therealarmen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Deck: $2.1B in revenue by 2011

Reality: $500M in revenue in 2014

Moral: Even the most successful startups don't hit their seed-stage revenue projections :)

pjy04 2 days ago 6 replies      
What bugs me is that the founders went back on the deal that was agreed upon in person.
Leszek 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's very interesting hearing a story from the VC's side. One always reads about the trials and tribulations of startups trying to raise capital, but I've never considered that there might be similar issues and competition on the investors' side.
mangeletti 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most interesting takeaway for me is the spreadsheet of stats. I find it highly motivating to see how meager their start was. You hear all the time from startups, "We weren't an overnight success. We worked hard for years...", but seeing stats like these in hindsight really sends that message.
martin_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
If there's one thing I've learned since working at startups and rounds of funding it's definitely:

The deal isn't done until the money is in the bank

sokoloff 2 days ago 4 replies      
Does it strike anyone else as unseemly to share the pitch deck? I get that it's 7 years ago, but still seems like something a little out of bounds to me.
ashleyblackmore 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Over the last seven years, Ive discovered and invested very early in a handful of highly valuable companies (Wish, Lyft, Zenpayroll, Postmates, AngelList, Plated, Styleseat, Klout, etc.) as well as plenty of disasters."

Any middle ground between "highly valuable" and "disaster"?

jmtame 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the fundamental lesson here is speed. What took Paige 3 weeks or more to accomplish took YC 10 minutes, and then they said yes and signed the paperwork. Remember, this was unheard of before YC came along (granted, there's more money involved in Paige's side of things, but even that doesn't matter). Founders recognize this and respect it, and it's going to be what distinguishes the good future dealmakers from the bad ones.

Thanks for sharing this Paige. Excellent write up and valuable lessons learned.

free2rhyme214 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what the big fuss is over this.

Here's the story in one sentence: an angel recognized Airbnb's potential but never got the deal in writing so they used it as leverage for a better offer.

Paige invested in Lyft, Twitter and Postmates. He's doing fine and learned from this.

loahou04 1 day ago 2 replies      
Its an interesting read to hear about other investors who have missed out on deals. I actually tried investing into a startup this year and completely failed due to governmental regulations. Even though i worked my ass off saving for 2 years to have discretionary income in order to invest as i wanted to I did not meet the requirements of being an "accredited investor" and so i missed out on the funding round. I spent at least a month getting everything ready and going back and forth with the founders meeting with them emailing them back and forth to find out from a newsletter that they had closed without me. I guess until the SEC opens it up i'm shit out of luck and am better off going to a roulette table at a casino...
arasmussen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks so much for writing this, I love learning about cases where seemingly concrete rules can be bent. Take a look at Uber who is constantly being told that what they're doing is illegal and their response is essentially "but it's better so the laws need to be fixed". I think that's the same attitude you want when doing everything you can to get back in the deal. Always be optimistic and don't give up to soon.
damonpace 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I remember correctly, Airbnb struggled to raise after YC as well. Sequoia came in and gave them $600k quietly after Greg McAdoo synthesized and reframed the Airbnb vision (See Nathan's Startup school speech from 2013). Why didn't Paige participate in funding after demo day?
jongraehl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some grist for Silicon Valley (Mike Judge's show):

> On a tactical level, I repeat this creative destruction almost weekly as I analyze an individual deal; on an operational level I do it every few months (re-evaluating my deal flow, co-investor network, deal structures, etc.); at a strategic level I sit down almost every year and question my overall philosophy on founders, theses, markets, etc.

[shorter: I don't only regret my mistakes but also try to learn from them.]

Otherwise a well-told story. Thanks.

andreasklinger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why are those metrics considered to be bad?I am obviously judging with hindsight and without daily deal noise here but if i look at them:

* Within the first weeks first revenue

* Within 4 months numbers that by themselves each look promising (40-60% response rate although crap product, good revenue per night, good nights booked, etc)

Personally i dont expect any of those metrics nowadays to be further away than 1.5-2x better

The "only" big q's left is:

* is the market big enough it's worth scaling the quantity

* is that team capable of doing it

I feel like i am missing something here (obviously i judge from hindsight) but what about this numbers is "bad metrics"?

codeshaman 1 day ago 0 replies      
> After 6 weeks of work, I didnt get to invest.

That's supposed to be considered a bummer :).

Hey, at least you still have your money !

In fact, who knows, maybe with your investment, Airbnb wouldn't have turned out that great after all.

Maybe you would have lost your money, which would have reduced your reputation and you would have ruminated over it, got depressed, separated, started using drugs and drinking, get arrested for a drunk mishap, resisting arrest and attacking an officer with a tennis ball, then jail time... the wheel of misfortune once set in motion is hard to stop :).

taylorhou 2 days ago 0 replies      
This happens the other way around as well for founders. Cheers to Paige for the insight and thoughtful conversations we've had. He's most likely got a nice investment in a few future unicorns.
late2part 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey Paige - If I negotiate a potential financing with Arena, and it doesn't work out, will you take all of my emails and publish them as well?
jondubois 1 day ago 1 reply      
If YC hadn't invested, nobody would have ever heard of AirBnb. This is a case where the investor added a great deal of value to the business.

YC is at the center of a large network of investors, startups and bloggers and somehow its investment decisions ultimately influence the habits of technology consumers in general.

I think it was a lose-lose situation for the author.

ARolek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Time kills all deals.
philliphaydon 1 day ago 0 replies      
AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 0 replies      
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would it inconvenience you very much to not use such language on HN?
NASA announces discovery of Earth-like planet with earth similarity index 0.98 nasa.gov
406 points by HerrMonnezza  1 day ago   157 comments top 33
frostirosti 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's 1075 light years away. If there's life there and they looked at us, they'd see vikings colonizing northern France and they'd see the Maya civilization collapse.
BurningFrog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Earth itself is probably at 0.96 by now.
dr_zoidberg 1 day ago 4 replies      
As of now, the content linked says nothing more than the PR announcement from yesterday -- so either the title is misleading, or the OP comes from the future.

(I'm aware he might have other sources for the title, but it's still misleading)

bsbechtel 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm disappointed by the negativity expressed in some of the top comments in this thread. This is an exciting discovery, and the most popular comments here are basically "humanity is destroying its own planet, if this place was anything like earth, the inhabitants there would have already destroyed their planet."
jMyles 1 day ago 2 replies      
Whenever my imagination starts to run wild with the possibility of a huge announcement of this variety, I always like to remember what Terence McKenna said about this: "if aliens were to land on the front lawn of the white house tomorrow, it would not change the fact that the weirdest thing in the universe is DMT."
xamdam 1 day ago 7 replies      
ELI5: until we flew next to Pluto this month all we had is blurry 16-pixel images. How can we get such precise data on something millions of times further?
V-2 1 day ago 1 reply      
This similarity index only measures radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature, so it doesn't mean nearly as much as one would think upon reading the headline
qntty 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here are some other planets we've found with comparable similarity. Note that earth-like similarity does not imply that it is habitable.


TomGullen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there any way at all for us to be able to see oceans/clouds/continents on such planets if we have a hundred billion dollars and built equipment specifically just to look at that one planet?

Or would the star near it just haze everything too much?

Is it impossible to observe a planet in more detail like that without travelling next to it?

jMyles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Searching google news for "earth similarity index" gives me no indication that NASA will make this specific announcement.

Is there a source? If not, it makes sense to change this title to "NASA to make announcement that 'astronomers are on the cusp' of finding 'another earth.'"

haarts 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's interesting to note that the highest ESI so far has been Kepler-62e with a score of 0.83 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Similarity_Index). So a score of 0.98 would seem significant.
afarrell 1 day ago 4 replies      
If there is life on that planet, I wonder if it would be similar enough to host infectious diseases. I know the Apollo team was quarantined when they got back from the moon. As someone living on a continent that has undergone one apocalypse, I hope we have a similar procedure to prevent the spread of spacepox.
rndn 1 day ago 0 replies      
In case you have questions about exoplanets, there is an ongoing AMA by exoplanet researchers on /r/science: https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/3ebavu/science_ama...

(They mention the upcoming announcement, but they dont know know what it is about either.)

Benjamin_Dobell 1 day ago 2 replies      
Apparently there's already a Kepler discovered planet with an ESI of 0.98:


EDIT: Unless that list was literally just updated with ESI 0.98 planet this thread is referring to...

sunseb 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's crazy to think that there may be life everywhere in space and incredible things we haven't seen yet, that our mind can't even conceive.
colordrops 1 day ago 0 replies      
For reference, here are the ESIs of some planets in our solar system: Mercury (0.596), Venus (0.444), Mars (0.697).
chucksmash 1 day ago 0 replies      
For reference, a 195lb human being (who is assumed here to be spherical in shape) has an Earth Similarity Index of approximately 0.001:


_jomo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Accessing this with HTTPS Everywhere and Firefox leads to http://www.ustream.tv/embed/9407922 being blocked, so you don't see anything other than the text.

However, The stream has reached "maximum capacity" at this time.

3327 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can leak some more info:

its 1400 light years awayin habitable zoneand the sun is 8% different than ours (don't quote me on the 8% but its very close in size)

almost_started 1 day ago 3 replies      
It HAD an ESI of 0.98 1075 years ago. By now, the inhabitants have burned through all their fossil fuels and then annihilated each other with nuclear weapons leaving the planet in both a long-term nuclear winter and with a runaway greenhouse effect. Its ESI must be at least 1.0 by now.
mkagenius 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's exciting news. How far is this planet? Does 0.98 mean high probability of water being there?
tilsammans 1 day ago 0 replies      
"This content is not available in your area due to rights restrictions."
waterlesscloud 1 day ago 4 replies      
What's an "earth similarity index"? Is there a definition somewhere?
skapadia 1 day ago 0 replies      
But is it a Class M planet?
tiffanyh 1 day ago 0 replies      
... and humans have a similarity index of 0.98 with chimps as well.
bberrry 1 day ago 2 replies      
Would be awesome if it had a confirmed oxygen rich atmosphere.
ck2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I sense a great disturbance in Hollywood like a screenwriter was just inspired to write something original...
tremon 1 day ago 0 replies      
williamhpark 1 day ago 0 replies      
jneal 1 day ago 0 replies      
pmuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Similarity_Index - Venus has an ESI of 0.44
Pro Rata ycombinator.com
343 points by craigkerstiens  2 days ago   102 comments top 25
grellas 2 days ago 1 reply      
We live in an era where major founder leverage is a fact of life in the startup world. Unlike the bubble era, founders today - or at least those that are among the most talented - have substantial power in determining the direction of their ventures and the investors who most benefit from this are those who win their favor and align their interests along with those of such founders.

YC is an innovative venture capital firm whose model depends heavily on its maintaining credibility with the talented founders who run the ventures it funds. In this sense, it has caught the spirit of the age brilliantly and that is why YC stands out as one of the premier investment firms of our era.

A key element in this approach is for YC to do what it has done all along and that is to take common stock instead of the almost sacrosanct preferred stock that VC firms have always insisted on in the past. This radical innovation in VC-style funding has set YC apart from the pack of VC firms, incubators, and any and all other manner of investor wanting to hitch their wagon to the talented founders who are capable of building successful, massively scaling ventures that seek to transform all of world commerce. Its importance cannot be emphasized enough as a key to YC's success. It has enabled YC both to be in the midst of the fray and to stand above it, all at the same time. It is the founder's ally even while it benefits mightily as an investor.

What then to do after the founding stage to avoid dilution to its initial investment stake without jeopardizing credibility with founders? If YC were to pick and choose in participating in early follow-on rounds, this would selectively help and simultaneously hurt the various founders it works with. Almost by definition, the fact of such an investment would brand some YC ventures as in and others out of YC favor, a result that would prove highly damaging to the aura of goodwill that is not only helpful but absolutely indispensable for YC to maintain with its founders.

So how to maintain that goodwill and still avoid subsequent dilution in the various investment rounds that inevitably follow from the inception of star-quality companies?

Well, you can set up some fixed rules, make such follow-on pro rata investments automatic within the defined bounds that make sense for YC, and use that as a way of extending YC's leverage to help it keep the 7% (or whatever) stake it begins with in each venture.

And that is precisely what YC has done here with its pro-rata program.

Founders usually have no problem with early stage investors being able to participate pro rata in later rounds as long as they are significant investors and as long as such participation does not jeopardize their ability to raise later-stage money on good terms.

YC is of course a significant investor.

As to jeopardizing future funding terms, I believe YC has made a judgment call here that the investors it typically works with will have no problem taking something less than their accustomed full pieces in the later rounds to accommodate YC and will therefore continue to finance YC ventures exactly as before. Hence, no prejudice to founders and no loss of goodwill or credibility among founders.

I believe this is a sound calculation. YC has been able to persuade VCs to deviate from a variety of their traditional rules/requirements as part of being a part of the YC universe. This is just one more to be added to the list. It is a world of increased founder leverage and that means investors who want to stay with the deal flow need to adjust and adapt. I think they will do so here as well.

In a worst case for YC, this might prove a failed experiment. But the downside of the experiment's failing is minimal while the upside in being able to avoid later-stage dilution among a vast group of potentially valuable ventures is huge. Thus, this makes eminent sense for YC for sure and probably for its founders too. As for the VCs who will have to adapt a bit, they will survive and very likely continue happily investing just as before. At least that is how I read it.

frisco 2 days ago 6 replies      
Maybe I'm reading something wrong here, but I think this actually substantially complicates the YC decision calculus. YC today is an overwhelmingly good proposition and so I do think they can add this without turning any off, but this does make further rounds either slightly harder or more expensive.

If a VC wants to own 20% at the end of an A, or 10% after a B, having YC in there with rights to buy back up to their 7% can add real dilution you wouldn't have otherwise wanted or needed to incur. As someone who did a party round seed and had a crowded A, it really does add up; though, it's for sure a first world problem and won't kill you, whereas YC for many companies is when they get serious.

YC is so valuable that this won't turn anyone off at the traditional YC early stage, but I wonder how this will affect things for the "late-early" companies they've been taking more of in the last few batches.

jparker165 2 days ago 2 replies      
This may greatly change incentives for YC.

I've always thought being an LP in YC would be fantastic because of the valuation bump companies get on demo day. Let's say a company could raise money at $5mm valuation, but instead gives 7% to YC, and as a result can raise at a $10mm valuation => (1) founders win by keeping more equity, (2) YC wins by their investments getting cash with less dilution, and (3) post-YC investors pay more (maybe still great investments, but not as good as getting in at $5mm).

But to maintain 7% in companies up to a $250mm valuation, it seems that the vast majority of YC's deployed capital will be in the place of what was previous a "post-YC" investment.

YC should still be in the business of finding great companies, but might not makes sense for them to help get gangbuster valuations at demo day.

staunch 2 days ago 0 replies      
YC has forgone billions by not maintaining their pro rata share in the past. Later VCs got that extra money. Now YC will get it. Seems fair, correct, and much better for the world. They'll do useful things with it. Another very impressive improvement. Keep 'em coming!
coherentpony 2 days ago 6 replies      
What does this mean?

I have zero business acumen and have no familiarity with investing or how new companies work.

memossy 2 days ago 2 replies      
To put this in context YC is pro-rating its 7% to maintain that level until companies have $250m valuation.

YC companies to date have raised $3bn in total so far, with a couple dozen above $100m out of just over 800.

Therefore at most YC would have invested $210m if they'd done this from the start.

It basically adds up to a couple hundred thousand on Series A, 0.5-0.8m series B, $1-2m at series C, then at series D you'd hope to be approaching $250m

Given a propertied fund size of $1bn this makes sense in backing winners probably funding 200 companies a year at $200-300m/year, particularly as major pickup in valuation is A to C

leelin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does that mean YC will fight against the "Major Investor" clauses in funding rounds that only allow pro rata rights to investors who have X% ownership?


Of course, 7% might be enough to overcome the threshold in many cases, but as an angel investors in YC deals, I have lost my pro rata rights following a YC Note/SAFE conversion this way (despite the docs suggesting I am protected).

jacquesm 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't presume to know more about this stuff than the YC people, who are scarily good at it but this is a significant departure from 'our goals are 100% aligned with those of the founders, what's good for them is good for us'.
tyrick 2 days ago 1 reply      
"We will try to do this for every company..." If for some reason this term is not exercised, it will now unequivocally reflect badly for the company. I don't question the good nature and authenticity of a YC "try", but the sentence does naturally express doubt.
brayton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who are the LP's of this follow on money?
jim_greco 2 days ago 1 reply      
The pro-rata provision is only for raises of $100M or more post-money. Is YC only going to do these transactions for post-money between $100M and $250M? Or will you ask to be part of raises below $100M?
ub 2 days ago 2 replies      
I guess this is a way for YC to participate in the upside of the most successful companies without creating signaling risk. But from a pure investment perspective, there's a possibility it might not end up being that prudent. It will all depend on the home runs. If YC can create a few multi-billion dollar companies, this will work out well.
philipodonnell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have noticed this language about avoiding signaling in previous YC announcements and I think its a great thing to be cognizant of. Setting aside the fact that YC itself is an enormous signal, its a sign of maturity to realize that even your inaction is a signal. I imagine there was feedback from past YC classes who didn't receive follow-investments that were suffering more from the absence of YC than simply the lack of those funds.

Once you realize that you could either stop funding companies after graduating altogether or invest in all of them, both of which remove the signal. With the funds they have, clearly there is considerable risk tolerance for the latter.

lpolovets 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just curious, will this change how SAFE docs are structured? IANAL, but right now SAFEs make it challenging for seed investors to get pro rata. That has already been frustrating, and becomes a little more frustrating if YC automatically gets pro rata on top of that. I know it's a free market, and I don't have to invest if I don't like the terms, and so on, but it feels weird for me if YC takes pro rata by default, while their default docs for seed investors are stingy with pro rata rights.
lmeyerov 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this is truly founder friendly. Pro rata is a right given, and 7% changes a lot of the calculus when doing a round that is probably 20% to begin with. Hopefully this goes along with YC asking for less equity, or some other allowance. (IMO, most incubators already ask for much more than they're worth, though YC obviously being a bit different.)
dataker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is the Pro Rata agreement going to work only after receiving further funding or is it once you join the program?

Couldnt that keep outside investors away?

thomasrossi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't see the reason to send no signals. There must have been at least one situation where investing in a followup was bad. Declaring a strategy like that is puzzling, I assume they have run a simulation
1arity 2 days ago 0 replies      
So cool. YC is revolutionizing itself these days. YC Fellows, Pro Rata. Many things people have suggested they might or would do are now coming to pass. What's next ?
foobarqux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is the cash coming from the new growth fund that YC raised recently? Does that fund have non-YC LPs?
cfarm 2 days ago 0 replies      
What do early stage founders think of this? Like, hate, neutral?
snakeplinkskin 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is the official success & failure rate for Ycombinator companies? What percentage of companies succeed?
cdelsolar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can this be applied retroactively?
jsprogrammer 2 days ago 1 reply      
SandersAK 2 days ago 1 reply      
an announcement internally would have been nice...
loumf 2 days ago 1 reply      
iLoo wikipedia.org
353 points by vezzy-fnord  2 days ago   56 comments top 22
doque 1 day ago 2 replies      

 The i-Loo featured an internet-enabled monitor on the cubicle wall and a special printer that would allow users to print information on a standard toilet paper roll.
I would have loved to see that product pitch.

netcan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Near where I grew up, a petrol station toilet functioned as a de facto public toilet for passersby. The owner must have been a lilt eccentric.

Anyway, when you turned on the light a little disco ball would light up and some high energy pop song would play: "I Want to Break Free," "YMCA".. something like that.

It was the talk of the town.

iLoo seems like a bad idea, but for an unconventional marketing campaign, doing something with festival toilets is not a bad idea. If you've seen Better Call Saul's talking toilet, that would be a particularly impactful approach.

MrBuddyCasino 1 day ago 3 replies      
Combining keyboards and festival toilets, the two dirtiest things known to mankind, only seems logical. This could have spawned new lifeforms.
Kliment 1 day ago 2 replies      
At the CCC Camp there is something called the Datenklo (Data toilet) where they use festival toilets as weatherproofing for network equipment.
amelius 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it is just Microsoft's way of making fun of Apple's product naming convention.
em3rgent0rdr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Way ahead of its time. Nowadays everyone uses the internet while on the toilet.
kristopolous 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yet another great innovation crushed by unimaginative soulless beauracrats.
icanhackit 1 day ago 0 replies      
The flush servo is connected to a Windows ME box via serial. Fuck.
louithethrid 1 day ago 2 replies      
Im sorry but you need to register a toilett paper license first at microsoft.com. Do not support unclean behinds! Report people doing the crapwalk!
bunkydoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Forget Dr. Who's 'Tardis' - Call this the 'Turdis'
tempodox 1 day ago 1 reply      
... cancelled because it would do little to promote the MSN brand.

It would have promoted the brand to be sure, just not in the direction they wanted.

I wonder if they were inspired by Apple to use an iName. But then, internet was the best excuse ever for the ridiculous leading vocal.

thedogeye 1 day ago 0 replies      
The lines for the bathroom at our office are so bad, I actually want to block the wifi in there so people will hurry up and get off the can...
mung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Was the latest in a long line of shit products.
personjerry 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's pretty damn innovative for Microsoft. It's a shame they didn't have the balls to stick to it. That could've been the first step to electronics in all sorts of places, maybe even would've led to Microsoft spearheading IoT.
panglott 1 day ago 1 reply      
It needs a Kinect.
doozler 1 day ago 0 replies      
How have I never heard of this before?! In a way I think it was brave of Microsoft to try something like this, something so out of the box for the company.
circa 1 day ago 0 replies      
and here I am thinking it was the next version of HP's iLO - http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/servers/ilo/integrated-lig...
jstoiko 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if anyone who has worked on the project dared listing it on their rsum. I would :)
aruggirello 1 day ago 0 replies      
aaron695 1 day ago 2 replies      
gadders 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related, but I remember reading a "Top Tip" in Viz (which is an adult comic - think Onion but more English and stupid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viz_(comics)) which was along the lines of:

When at your friends house, subtly announce to them that you need a poo by asking for their wifi password.

kluck 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Verge's web sucks lmorchard.com
302 points by mbrubeck  23 hours ago   124 comments top 23
insin 16 hours ago 3 replies      
> We keep things like Adblock Plus at arm's length for plausible deniability - but everyone I know uses it.

I wish this had been included in the main body of this post, with some metrics; everyone you know uses it because it makes the web suck so much less.

Loading The Verge's article in a Chrome incognito window: 19.6 MB transferred, finished in 41.9 s, huge ad covering the entire page above the developer console I had open to watch things load.

Same article in a new incognito window with Adblock Plus enabled: 1.5 MB transferred, finished in 16.94s.

Screenshots: https://twitter.com/jbscript/status/624535428620791808

mr_sturd 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Nilay Patel has the audacity to say that the mobile web sucks[0]. No. It's just your website that sucks, mate.

[0] - https://www.theverge.com/2015/7/20/9002721/the-mobile-web-su...

danboarder 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Wow. From the article, an example post on the Verge "downloaded 12MB - a little over 7MB in that is JavaScript" and a refresh of the page with things cached still downloaded 8MB again.

And key here -- the article HTML content itself was 75k, the rest is ad network Javascript. (apparently over 20 different companies)

I don't like tracking scripts either but why can't the ad networks get together and create a shared script instead of so many that seem to be redundant?

wiremine 15 hours ago 2 replies      
As a consultant, I only see web site producers making an effort to curb poor web practices when Google forces them to: Google's move to boost mobile-friendly design in the rankings has driven us a TON of responsive design work.

I wonder if that is going to be what it takes to fix today's bloat problems: Google takes the hammer to sites that too much advertising cruft. Otherwise, I don't see business makers seeing much of a reason to fix it on their own.

josteink 20 hours ago 5 replies      
After reading this article, I decided to try reading the verge in a more "limited" browser which doesn't support endless Javascript and too may advanced features:

Emacs built in web-browser, or "eww" (that's its name). It's sort of like Lynx or w3m, except you can click things and it shows actual images!

You can see it here: http://imgur.com/FqJVB0U

You know what? The site and all content loads instantly. It may not be beautiful, but it works a hell of a lot better and is just so feather light it feels surreal.

Maybe I'll seriously start using eww for more stuff. This was surprisingly nice.

mdevere 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The Verge has some interesting long-form from time to time but it's subsidised by endless clickbait and empty 'conversation-starter' content.

Not to mention their recent move to close Comments being a cynical strategy to get people using their forums.

Realise that's OT but wanted to get it off my chest.

oliyoung 21 hours ago 5 replies      
These guys (ie Verge) are going to have a really really tough time when iOS9 lands


Yhippa 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> Believe it or not, the Content Services team at Mozilla is thinking about way more than just "plunking ads into Firefox". Like, what if we actually accepted the fact that ads are a way of funding the web at large, and browsers themselves offered built-in mechanisms to support advertising that respect privacy & performance? Yeah, that's a bit of a change from browsers' traditional neutrality. But, it could be a better deal for publishers and users together.

I'm curious as to how that could ever be done. I feel that it's almost impossible without somehow getting user information. I feel the trend is that ads are going to continue to be tuned to people and aspects about them. Maybe fully homomorphic encryption can do that without violating privacy but that's a long way off.

> Here's another idea: Almost a year ago, I heard the notion of "Subscribe 2 Web" at Mozilla. The gist is that you're worth about $6.20 per month across publishers via advertising revenues. What if you paid that much into an account yourself every month and used a mechanism built into your browser to distribute that money? Yeah, it's micropayments, but I find it interesting that these folks came up with a specific dollar amount that doesn't sound terrible.

It exists. It's called Contributor by Google: https://www.google.com/contributor/welcome/. If anybody needs an invite please let me know.

dvh 20 hours ago 2 replies      
After I started working on my own RSS reader, I started converting more and more website to RSS feeds (e.g. twitter, youtube, all news site) where I only extract interesting bits. It's faster and cleaner, not to mension no ads.
manigandham 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem is shared between publishers and ad networks.

Sites are loading up on anything and everything to offset costs and it's only getting worse with adblock. And ad networks are just built with poor engineering and no attention paid to the user's experience. It's too easy to whip up a basic ad server and just load a dozen more tags on a page with the focus being volume and clicks. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way to fix things because of the way money flows.

Disclaimer: I'm the founder of a digital ad network.

rossjudson 20 hours ago 0 replies      
And it has for a long time (in terms of page performance):


Lagged2Death 14 hours ago 0 replies      
...it downloaded 12MB - a little over 7MB in that is JavaScript!

7MB was about the install size of Microsoft Windows 3.0, a complete (if crummy) OS.

devioustree 12 hours ago 1 reply      
At lot of replies to that Verge article seem to be addressing the click-bait title and not the content. The content is concerned with why an old Macbook (with comparable specs to a new iPhone) will handle the web much better than said iPhone.
krstck 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember that beautiful, amazing time when pop-up blockers had forever defeated those obnoxious and intrusive ads? My timeline could be off, but I'm thinking somewhere around 2004-2006, when Firefox was really picking up steam. I feel like the current web is in some kind of alternative universe where we've been shifted back in time over a decade. I have to use Ublock and Ghostery to make the web even remotely usable.

Perhaps websites just need to die altogether, and instead we'll just use APIs. You choose how to render the content in your browser according to your desires. Oh wait....RSS.

ised 13 hours ago 1 reply      
"263 HTTP requests"

Seems reasonable. bwahahaha!

Shall we discuss the number of DNS requests?

And how many of those offsite servers are using something convoluted like Amazon for DNS? (which I find is more and more prevalent thanks to AWS)

The blog author, e.g., is using Amazon for DNS.

Alas, for each and every name, this adds more than a few lookups to what could be a 1-2 request process. Amazon uses multiple levels of indirection.

This dance is not of much consequence in the case of a single name.

But in the aggregate, e.g., many names requested from one overloaded site (such as one author singles out) after another, it does add up.

This also creates a larger margin for errors (failed lookups getting retried and timing out, again and again... while the user sits and waits).

mike-cardwell 17 hours ago 2 replies      
That article gets a score of 15% on Google PageSpeed -


Grue3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, it's that site that's mostly known for posting inaccurate information about Android and closing off comments because people called them out on it. Why would anyone even go there anymore? They haven't published anything worth reading in ages.
vinceyuan 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I did the same thing several days ago. But after 30 seconds, the web page did not finish loading. It has downloaded 7+ MB. I closed it.
justuk 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The great thing about advertising is it funds you no matter if you are famous or not. Bad thing is you have to live under their corporate censorship and all the baggage that goes with using third party sellers (privacy and inefficiency).

To use some of the examples in the article, not everyone can rely on national license fees (BBC), corporate sponsorship (NPR), consistently making a loss (The Guardian), search engines (Mozilla), having a legacy business (CNN) etc.

leni536 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's kind of funny to open up Verge with both uBlock and uMatrix enabled only allowing only 1st party scripts. First I thought that I have to enable some js to view the article, but then I noticed the small scrollbar and scrolled down.


forty 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I found it quite funny that this article ends like this https://imgur.com/SpEp9UF :)
yuhong 9 hours ago 1 reply      
browsers themselves offered built-in mechanisms to support advertising that respect privacy & performance?

I wonder which kinds of proposals you would suggest. It should also cover analytics.

wtbob 13 hours ago 0 replies      
And people laugh at me for disabling JavaScript!
Okay, Feminism, Its Time We Had a Talk About Empathy (2013) medium.com
287 points by traverseda  14 hours ago   308 comments top 28
vonklaus 14 hours ago 7 replies      
This was awesome. Not because it dispels a meme that is negative in the industry, not because it is some sort of proof a woman can succeed in tech, or any other of this tropic nonsense. It was such an amazing message that was totally gender neutral:

"I like building things because I am curious and I pursue knowledge for its own sake"

With all the confirmation bias and name calling (which I am certainly guilty of from time to time) it is refreshing to hear someone talking about how they just want[0] to focus on building something exciting and not focusing on politics.

[0]this originally said "both sides to shut up to they can get back to building and hacking.", which was not meant literally, but to convey the sentiment the edited section now reflects.

edit: If you strongly disagree with me, and I am being sincere here, I can promise your energy will be much better spent building/doing/creating/enjoying something than engaging in a debate with me. If you are up to the challenge, go out and do. If you take some time to go out and do something awesome and you still feel like you would like to converse, I would like to talk about your projects/etc and my email is listed.


[final edit:] I have been doing a lot of thinking about cultural problems. I have began a change in perspective that has lead to personal growth, asking not why something matters but when/contextually something matters. Maybe whatever is being argued down thread is the single biggest issue you find fault with in our society or maybe it is the 5th, 10th issue, etc. I can only reiterate that "creating" will better your cause but this is not the context or the "when". Go start a scholarship, teach people to code, work on a product, call your senator, etc. Doing something is much better than talking about something and if there was a place to reasonably have meaningful discourse, I assure you this is not that place.

justuk 14 hours ago 3 replies      
To work in technology, especially programming, you have to put a heck of a lot of effort into the subject. If it's not some legacy technology then that also means learning constantly (on your own initiative). That's what I like about programming, it rewards knowledge and ability - whereas other careers reward other attributes.

I look at the Twttier-style feminists (I don't mean the traditional equality types, but the extremists) and can only think that they are doing it for their own gain. If they really wanted to participate in their targets of anger, they could just do what everyone else does: work hard at a hobby for years, even decades, and maybe, just maybe they too could dominate the field.

gmarx 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to join an existing group with an existing culture, you don't get to say "here I am; now change your culture to suit me". As an older gentleman(?) it's bizarre to see how traditional nerd hideaways such as programming and comic books have evolved into cool things that the cool people now feel entitled to participate in...you know, if we could just get these spergy nerds to act like cool, or at least normal people.
geofft 14 hours ago 3 replies      
This is from 2013. It seems like a response to something, possibly one of Shanley's essays that's now no longer on Medium; I can't help but feel that I'm missing context as I get towards the end.

This also seems like a straightforward example of how mainstream feminism is bad at intersectionality. Arguably both sides in this discussion are not great at it: I feel like there's probably a good answer that involves neither belittling people for having different reads of social interactions nor asserting that everyone else should read social interactions the way you do.

I wonder what the people in this disagreement would say today. I think tech feminism has been getting more aware of intersectionality of late, so I'm curious if the problems the author identified about have gotten better.

krstck 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of Meredith. She's one of the few "women in tech" (yuck) that I feel like actually speaks my point of view and articulates how I feel about all of this. My impression is that most of the people that spend their time pontificating about women's issues in this industry are doing so from the outside, and I kinda resent that.

This article by Susan Sons is also good: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/girls-and-software

kohanz 14 hours ago 5 replies      
> There had been interest, but one of the committers had dismissed the idea out of hand because a woman had proposed it.

It blows my mind that this stuff still happens. In the OSS world of all places. I can't even compute how someone can apply such "logic".

et1337 14 hours ago 4 replies      
The only problem I have with feminism is that it's often a movement against men, and not for women. I think they would be a lot more successful doing things to encourage women rather than disparage men. Meredith would not have had to write this article.

Of course, it's a lot harder to be positive rather than negative.

emodendroket 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know how much sense it makes to argue with "feminism" since it's an umbrella that covers a bunch of different schools of thought that have pretty serious disagreements among each other.
Kenji 13 hours ago 3 replies      
There had been interest, but one of the committers had dismissed the idea out of hand because a woman had proposed it. It was the funniest thing Id heard in monthsI literally doubled over laughing at how nonplussed he must have been to see it not only implemented, but implemented to rousing success.

Now that's a woman I respect. Instead of whining around, she just implements it. Suckerpunched the misogynist.

You will see how much easier your life becomes if you stop complaining and start doing. That's also how you earn respect.

fndrplayer13 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Her experience is certainly very interesting and unique. There's a bit of intersectionalism going on here, though. The experiences of a non-autistic woman in technology, I would imagine, are dramatically different from an autistic woman. Just by the very nature of social intelligence.
cpncrunch 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this just an issue in the USA, or perhaps just radical San Francisco? In other countries men and women tend to work together quite happily in SW development jobs without all of this nonsense.
phinkle 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree that overwhelmingly the experience for most "women in tech" is positive because we also love technology and building things, but its the small things that really make a difference. I think (although I can't speak for her) the author also experiences these small differences, like when her idea wasn't taken seriously because of her gender. Sometimes these things are easy to miss, but once you are on the lookout its a slippery slope to thinking that almost everything happening to you is because of your gender and its good to call people out on that. I have certainly misjudged actions, but there have also been times when people were discriminating against me because of my gender and those are the thing that we really need to have a conversation about. Sometimes these ideas or comments are minor and we can get past them like the in the author's case, but sometimes they have an impact. For example when I was taking APCS in high school, my programming partner (Asian male) was asked to join the UIL team and I was not, even though we were at the same skill level. There could have been other reasons that I wasn't asked, but since we both turned in the same assignments and had similar interactions with our old, southern teacher, I doubt it.
stcredzero 13 hours ago 4 replies      
The author is a friend of mine. What I say below is something I've discussed with her.

I think the last great frontier for humanity's "waking up from history" is awareness of group psychology, particularly the psychology of the "other." Ironically, as noted by GCP Grey, widespread access to the Internet has actually made such group psychology worse.


One of the big problems with an awareness of what Noam Chomsky called "irrational jingoism," is that currently society is made out of it. Our organizations and social norms and structures actually use the natural jingoism built into Homo sapiens in order to increase group solidarity.

The cognitive distortions that come out of such group psychology are a big problem online. It's been noted that if you go far enough in either direction of the political spectrum, things start to look the same. Historically, both extremes become militaristic and convinced of a duty to righteous aggression. I would invite hardy and curious souls to plumb both more militant feminist and more militant Men's Rights groups online, and witness firsthand the degree to which both sides can be eerily reminiscent of each other in tone and self-righteous attitude. (For example: Intolerant "you're with us or against us" attitudes.)

As 21st century citizens, we should already be aware of "bait and switch" tactics. We should also be savvy about the psychology of online groups, and be able to read when a group has started to cross a threshold and becomes driven by positive feedback cycles of outrage to garner more attention. We should recognize when the ideology of whatever movement has been thus hijacked to become hateivism. (EDIT: To clarify, what I refer to as "groups" are small-granularity, as in a few person's social networks, not everyone who identifies with a particular label!)

To clarify: my issue is not with either side of any debate. There are a few ideas on both sides of the issue I would agree with. My chief concern is whether the groups in question are self-aware concerning their own group dynamics. Such an organizational awareness was perhaps the chief accomplishment of Martin Luther King Jr. and his compatriots, though there seems to be no awareness of this particular accomplishment in the culture at large.

EDIT: I should clarify what I meant by saying "made such group psychology worse." Creating virtual meeting spaces and virtual online groups is far easier and far cheaper than organizing face to face groups, and the same communication resources also make it easier to facilitate such meetings in person. Much good has come of this. However, it has also created far more opportunities for the incubation of distorted mob psychologies. Often these take the name of some cause or ideology but are distorted in a jingoistic direction.

As 21st century online citizens, we should be as aware of such "bait and switch" with the labels of ideologies as we are aware of the same tactics with regards to name brands. We should be as savvy about the intellectual provenance of an online group's teachings and its actual practices as we are savvy about online shopping or choosing which Kickstarter campaigns to support. If just about anyone can set up shop online as an "activist," doesn't this create the same situation that arises when just about anyone can set up a web store? (Isn't this the same economic situation as with travelling medicine shows?)

From what I have seen online, people are often remarkably unsophisticated about evaluating distortions in their particular group's interpretation of ideologies or activist programs, and largely blind to their own group dynamics. This is especially true when "othering," stereotyping, and group hatreds have taken hold. Most importantly: It is just as true online as it is in-person.

icanhackit 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Meredith makes some interesting points. What I think is missing on both sides of the conversation is that guys will attack whoever they can - male or female - and the things they'll do or say tend to be what will make you feel the smallest. People are hierarchical and like to probe where they sit on the imaginary ladder of life by having a dig at those in their proximity. Meredith alluded to an interesting point towards the end of the post - not to confuse the motivations behind sexual assault/rape with the culture of insulting people for the purpose of securing a place on the social ladder. When a guy makes fun of another's dick-length or orders a female to get back in the kitchen the same thing is happening: making them feel small or ineffectual so that they'll consensually walk down a few rungs of that horseshit ladder.
geon 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Interesting that she is autistic. Autism is apparently more common among boys than girls. Could this be one reason why tech attracts more men than women?

Arguably, a slightly autistic personality is helpful for a programmer. Possibly it could also be a big reason for many future programmers to turn to tech in the first place, where you deal with strict, deterministic rules instead of emotions.

This would obviously not excuse misogyny in tech, but could help explain the gender imbalance.

lsy 14 hours ago 5 replies      
I understand the author has strong feelings about her innate tactics for avoiding misery, but the ultimate thrust of her "amelioration patterns" are variants on "toughen up" or "don't feed the trolls", both of which assign responsibility for the problem to victims of misogyny, not perpetrators.

The author got lucky and doesn't, or can't, feel bad about misogyny. This isn't true for everyone, nor should it be. I agree with the "feminists" that it's counterproductive to say that if more women were like you, misogyny wouldn't matter so much. Talking about "good" experiences as models is only productive when the difference between your experience and others' is the behavior of potential perpetrators, not the behavior of potential victims.

unoti 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Groundless discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, and all kinds of other factors happens all the time, and it's a real bummer. The simple fact is that people take all kinds of shortcuts in making decisions, and very little of the workplace is an actual meritocracy.

When I first entered the workplace as a programmer, I was not taken as seriously as I might have been because I was so young. I got my first programming job at 16, and even when I started doing major consulting gigs across the country at 19, I looked really young for my age. One client remarked, upon meeting me, "You don't look old enough to operate a car, much less our computer." It was always a challenge for me to get people to evaluate my ideas based on their merit rather than their source, and to evaluate me based on my work product, rather than where they were at in their career when they were my age.

I have worked for myself for many years now, but if I sought employment elsewhere, I'd probably face some difficulties because I'm much older than the average developer, and people would assume that I'm stuck in old technologies as many professional developers my age are.

But the truth is that unfounded discrimination happens all the time in the workplace, for all kinds of reasons. Almost nowhere is a true meritocracy. At one place I worked, even when I was at the perfect average age for software developers, and white, and male, even then I was cut out of the circle of the key developers. It was because the developers, owner, and key management liked to stop working many days around 10:30am and start drinking heavily, maybe stopping back by the office briefly some time in the afternoon, then go back to drinking steadily the rest of the day until 6 or 7 pm. I didn't really do that with the same kind of endless enthusiasm that they did. I didn't fit in very well.

If you find a group of people that accept you the way you are, and evaluate you based on the work you do, you've found gold. If mere excellence is the currency of the realm, and all they want from you is to be the best you can be, then that's a glorious place to be. But finding such a place is very rare. It's hard to find that in a workplace, a church, a group of friends, or anywhere. And if you're struggling to find that, it's not entirely because of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation-- it's mostly because of people's basic nature.

daveloyall 11 hours ago 2 replies      
NB I haven't read all the comments on this page and I apologize if somebody already said this...

NB I don't have the correct language to express this idea. I'm even concerned that I might be flat out misunderstood. Consult my own comment history to know where I stand.

NB I haven't heard of the author before nor read the apparent criticism.


The author is a hardcore coder on the autism spectrum and thus fits in well with the "nobody cares about your gender, race, nor creed--show me the code!" meme.

The author asks her critics to cease putting her down to push their own agendas. Okay.

But uh... Back to that meme. Is there any chance that the author is perhaps... A coder first and a person with a gender second? That's what the meme is about, right? In text mode, we're all just text generating entities, idea makers. (It really is beautiful--I grew up on IRC myself.)

But look, the internet isn't just textmode anymore, and it doesn't exist just in cyberspace anymore. Decisions coders make affect the--blah blah you all know this, software is eating.

So, maybe, just maybe, the hardcore-on-the-spectrum-practically-deterministic-themselves folks shouldn't be the only ones with commit-bits, hm?

I'm tired of writing this. To sum up: I'm glad for the author's successful life as a coder and yes folks should stop attacking her, but no, the existence of the author nor a hundred thousand more of her does not solve the "tech needs women" problem. Because--back to the meme--it's not really women we need. It's heart.

Because software is eating the world, "Made with love" needs to more than a marketing slogan. We need more coders that are emotionally brilliant! There is a large technical debt around "how software will alter the course of human history" and frankly it terrifies me that so many emotionally stunted devs are the primary authors.

Annnnnd there go my points. ;P

empressplay 14 hours ago 1 reply      
needs (2013) added to the title
xtx23 13 hours ago 1 reply      
the author is just too sensitive in online discussions. One could simply dismiss your idea for being a nerd, gay, or sounds like a woman even if you are a guy. There is nothing that excludes a guy from the same snub behavior thrown by trolls. It is a community issue, not a man vs. woman issue. In fact, on the internet, you can't even be sure that it is a guy trolling a girl, but thinking makes it so.

Empathy is about seeing it both sides. It's not about everyone else making you feel welcome and comfortable.

mcguire 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So, let's see here; Meredith Patterson has:

* "...posted an idea for a new feature to the developers mailing list for an open-source project...[but on list she had no access to, it was] dismissed the idea out of hand because a woman had proposed it." The feature only became available because she had the opportunity to implement it in such a way that it became a "rousing success". (I should stop right here because that's about as damning an incident as I can come up with.)

* "...called the police in a foreign country to report an attempted rape at a conference, and argued with them when they told my friend that nobody would consider it assault since theyd both been drinking."

* "...thwarted a wannabe PUA at a conference completely by accident" by "a blazingly single-minded focus on whatever topic I happen to be perseverating on at the moment".

Now, I don't want to seem to be saying that she's wrong to feel as she does, or that her experiences are somehow invalid, or that she's in "denial" as some idiot put it. I'm not. Really. It works for her and others, and I think she would admit it doesn't work for everyone.

On the other hand, I don't think her suggestion of, "What Ive got, and what I wish the rest of the 'women in tech' community who rage against the misogyny they see everywhere they look could also have, is a blazingly single-minded focus on whatever topic I happen to be perseverating on at the moment," is a workable approach.

Most of the people I know can't ignore those sorts of things and can't be satisfied "...literally [doubling] over laughing at how nonplussed he must have been to see it not only implemented, but implemented to rousing success." Most of the people I know don't want to.

(Ok, here's an internet-reasoning hypothetical for you: I know a lot of geeks who use the term "sportsball"; I believe many of them have this sort of antipathy because they faced some kind of abuse from the sportsball players of the world. Would you, assuming you're one of such, be willing to ignore that abuse because you were passionately interested in baseball or (American) football---both of which have fascinating statistical stories to tell, by the way?)

Now, me, I'm a right cranky, misanthropic rat-bastard and I can certainly single-mindedly focus on whatever interests me at the moment (early Mesopotamian and Near Eastern history, abstract algebra and programming languages, and natural language processing at the moment, fwiw), but I don't want to hang around a community that is casually abusive to anyone, even if it isn't me. And, damn it, maybe I want the goddamn feature that didn't get implemented because the idea was dismissed because of who suggested it.

I notice from some of the other comments that there are those who believe that the single-minded focus is the royal road to success in tech. It's not. How many people do you know who have the focus but aren't successful? (This isn't really an example because he is successful enough that you know his name, but has anyone read Chuck Moore's blog lately?) And how many people do you know who are successful but aren't especially focused---maybe because they didn't have to swim upstream against incidents like Patterson's? (Anyone remember the old Ruby community?) Further, by the way for those of you in the startup community, you probably don't want total focus on tech to be the ultimate. People like that are very easy to take advantage of.

killface 8 hours ago 0 replies      
michaelochurch 12 hours ago 3 replies      
If we want to have a meaningful discussion about sexism in tech, it's time to talk about what we're up against, and it involves all of us: not just women and minorities. If it doesn't involve us now, it will in 20 years when we're two decades older, because ageism is just as much of a problem in the tech industry as the other "isms".

There isn't an above-baseline sexism among long-term professional programmers. Sure, there are bad apples, but the culture that you'll find at a gray-haired research lab or even a more traditional, supposedly conservative, enterprise shop is not nearly as exclusionary as the supposedly progressive and new Silicon Valley culture.

By stereotype, you'd expect 60-year-old men writing elevator controllers in Indiana to be far more sexist and exclusionary than 25-year-olds in California. It ain't true. First of all, someone who's 60 now was born in 1955 and has no meaningful memories of the bad old days; by the time he or she was starting a career, women were already in the workforce and it was accepted by many as a good thing. Second, if you control for education, the age vs. exclusionary behavior correlation goes away. Third, most people actually get more mature with age, and while there are some who mature at a lesser rate than society advances and become the "racist grandparent" trope, I don't think that it's the norm. (Also, American society's rate of advancement has slowed in the past 30 years compared to the 30 before that, but that's another topic.) Fourth, anyone who thinks the dominant Silicon Valley culture is still liberal has been asleep for 20 years.

That's not to say that private sector tech doesn't have a sexist, exclusionary culture. It does. It doesn't come from the programmers (although there are individual programmers who are assholes and keep it going). Rather, it comes from the mainstream business culture (MBA culture) that colonized us. In fact, the sexism of the Damasos (see: https://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/vc-istan-8-t... ) who are sent West to boss nerds around is a lot more severe than that of the mainstream MBA culture. Banks might make it harder for women to advance; venture capitalists, on the other hand, will outright hit on them and threaten to "pick up a phone" and make them unfundable if they don't acquiesce.

You know how when a criminal gang kicks out some of its underperforming members and they form a new gang, the upstart young gang is typically more violent than the one it splintered off from? The sexism of the VC bros and the Spiegel types they fund is analogous. The demigods of the Valley are people who got kicked out of mainstream business culture because they weren't smart enough to do statistical arbitrage at hedge funds, so they were sent West to man this colonial outpost (from the MBA-culture perspective) called Silicon Valley. As MBA-culture failures, it's not surprising that they amplify some of that culture's worst traits, and that they've created a dominant culture in Silicon Valley that is (a) very negative and (b) far worse than the more superficially conservative (no sandals at work) but generally professional culture you see in more traditional companies, including the ones doing (say) hardware work and low-level programming, the latter of which seems to be the OP's interest.

She had a positive experience because she was hanging around Real Technologists, who aren't nearly as sexist as the Silicon Valley wunderkinder. The Shanleys of the world aren't complaining about 55-year-old men who still say "Oriental" (meaning no harm, and not holding racist views) but are generally professional and not very sexist (many are married and have daughters). They're complaining about 22-year-olds who get funded to the gills because they were in the same rape frat as a leading VC, and who go on to create horrible work cultures.

detcader 13 hours ago 0 replies      
astazangasta 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I like how you put 'evolutionary psychology' and 'scientific' in the same sentence as if they are at all related. Few modern fields are more full of baseless speculation and supposition, lack falsifiability, etc.
debacle 13 hours ago 0 replies      
CoreSet 11 hours ago 0 replies      
marijn 14 hours ago 1 reply      
LinkedIn quietly removes option to export contacts venturebeat.com
302 points by QUFB  1 day ago   125 comments top 22
takee 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's fairly easy to come up with a long list of shady practices that force me to not trust LinkedIn:

1. To start with, they sneaked in the request to access all your email contacts and constantly spam them in your name which can be embarrassing at times to say the least.

2. Their mobile apps do the same with your phone contacts, cleverly hiding the checkmark (in smallest font) to disallow the uploading of contacts. I have unknowingly let them look through my contacts at least two different times prompting me to never install their app again.

3. Letting others know that you viewed their profile. This is fine as long as you know about this feature but I bet that a bunch of us were taken by surprise in the early days to find out that our "online research" on someone was not private unless if you're incognito.

4. Charging you beyond the free trial period without any email or notification about it. I agree that many businesses do this but some of them like Amazon and Netflix are nice enough to allow you to disable the future payments before the trail ends. Also they tend to notify you about the payments.

5. Letting people have access to my email and other contact info even when I haven't accepted their request to connect. This may have been fixed with the recent change but may just have been one of those hidden features that led to their popularity with the recruiter world in the first place.

I am sure I missed out a bunch of other things here but these are the reasons why I can never trust LinkedIn.

phil_s_stein 1 day ago 4 replies      
Linked In spammed me once when they reached some sort of milestone. The email had no remove-me-from-this-list link or way to tell Linked In that I didn't want to receive emails. I found the CEO's email address and forwarded it to him, asking him to remove me from the mailing list. He sent back a nasty email and deleted my account.

I've not looked back and my life is exactly as it was, minus a few unwanted emails.

lemevi 1 day ago 8 replies      
LinkedIn has never been interesting to me for anything other than looking at what past coworkers have been up to. I've never once had an experience where LinkedIn led to a job and in fact after I deleted my account my recruiter email volume dropped by an order of magnitude. I've also read that potential employers search candidates LinkedIn contacts to see if there are any existing employees and if so ask them about the candidate. Governments, employers, media, LinkedIn itself and malicious types frequently use all that personal information people add on LinkedIn to cause harm.

The users are what is for sale on this site. I'm not a LinkedIn user, it's not worth it.

ryandrake 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure I share the experience w/LinkedIn that apparently the majority of HNers have. I get very, very few recruiter messages through LinkedIn. The ones I do get are thoughtful and do a very good job of matching skill-set, background, etc.--they have obviously read my profile and are not just fishing.

This has not always been the case. I used to get the hated torrent of "I see you have 12 years of development experience, how about this entry level position!!!" crap, but I haven't seen one of those in a long time. Either recruiters are getting better, or something I put in my profile has quieted down the garbage.

Either way, I don't think there's much that I've put on that site that I'd feel the need to "export" so the topic of this article seems to be a non-issue. You folks don't have alternate copies of your resume and contacts somewhere?

itgoon 1 day ago 2 replies      
Huh. It seems I'm the only one here who finds value in LinkedIn.

Yes, it has led to actual, paying jobs. It takes some management on my part, but it's a lot easier than hunting around from site to site, or going to meetups, or any of that other stuff.

Do I get spammed? Sure. That's why I have a specific email account for them. Some of the spam is quite informative. I learn about openings early on, and can often find the hiring company by taking the text of the spam and searching the various job boards.

I get genuine requests, too. I take the time to respond to those just as genuinely.

For all the talk of the importance of networking around here, I'm kind of surprised at the antipathy. It's very low effort, just a few minutes a week.

I regard a lot of the complaints as symptomatic of the overall industry. I finally started going to meetups, and the signal-to-noise is just as bad, if not worse.

eonw 1 day ago 1 reply      
actually, this feature was being exploited by spammers. a pending contact was still exportable.... so you add thousands of people, then export the list and send them email. easy way to gather targeted business email addresses that are worth money.

as much as i may or may not like linkedin(i dont much), i think this little bit of info is useful when judging the reasoning behind the decision to turn it off.

richerlariviere 1 day ago 0 replies      
I deleted my account 6 months ago. LinkedIn is untrustable.
curiousjorge 1 day ago 8 replies      
why hasn't anybody disrupted linkedin yet? what would you like to see instead of linkedin? snapchat for business professionals?
zeeed 1 day ago 3 replies      
They changed a process to make it slower?! o.O

3 days sounds an awful lot as if human intervention were required. What purpose would this serve?

tubelite 1 day ago 0 replies      
FYI: You can't export contacts from Facebook either. The API no longer supports getting the entire friends list (restricted to return only those friends who have also installed the same app).

There is a "download all my facebook data" option, but that only gives you a plain "firstname lastname" list. No contact information there either.

nileshtrivedi 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This link seems to still work for exporting CSV of contacts, including email addresses: https://www.linkedin.com/addressBookExport
tdkl 21 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the main issues I had with LI personally (beside the already posted dark patterns) was the 3rd party scrapers who used the LI API to recreate their own listings with LI data. So this means if I changed the data on LI, the scrapers wouldn't update their own copies of the site. Even when I deleted my LinkedIn account I had to hunt down separate sites and go through emailing adventure to get the data removed.

I want to be in whole control of my public data, that's why getting a domain and posting a blog is maybe more tedious but better at the end.

zeeed 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I requested my data when I commented first on this thread and just got the notification that it was ready. So it was 21h for me. Still way too much, but it's less than three days...
shiv86 1 day ago 2 replies      
Linked in is the king of dark patterns and practices. I was foolish enough to sign up for a free 30 trial period (of course handing over credit card details with the expectation they wont just automatically charging me and seek my permission before charging). I didnt check my cc statements for a few months and there you have it ...linked in charged me every month after the trail period ended.
toomuchtodo 1 day ago 3 replies      
Are there any tools out there that can create something akin to a LinkedIn profile for static hosting? Something like Jekyll?
georgemcbay 1 day ago 5 replies      
LinkedIn is a worthless piece of spammy shit of a website these days. I haven't bothered deleting my account but I haven't logged into it in like a year now and any mail I get from them that somehow makes it through the filters is reported as spam.

I can only surmise they made this change to make it harder for (more) people to bail because they know how dreadful using their site is now and this is an easier "fix" than a Dominos-style mea culpa and positive changes.

rickyci 1 day ago 0 replies      
you have to go to Connections and search a 1st connection name before seeing his/her email and contacts. You won't see that if u go straight to the person profile. What was previously a 1-click process is now more like a 3-click process. A resultant of Linkedin seeming to be incredibly agressive on monetizing?
toephu2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stuff like this is why I never signed up for LinkedIn in the first place.
Animats 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Did they remove that option even for paying users?
pauljarvis 1 day ago 0 replies      
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 0 replies      
I only use LinkedIn to find former coworkers and classmates. After that I email them directly.

However I get lots of connection requests from recruiters. I always accept them. I figure that greatly dilutes whatever value linkedin might have once had because most of my connections are recruiters who wadte their time on me because I dont log in a whole lot.

kolev 1 day ago 0 replies      
How Berlins Futuristic Airport Became a $6B Embarrassment bloomberg.com
285 points by adventured  1 day ago   203 comments top 32
germanier 1 day ago 2 replies      
They seem to completely miss the story about Imtech's involvement that broke this week which sheds some lights on this catastrophe and is a tale of corruption: http://www.zeit.de/2015/29/imtech-flughafen-berlin-ber-verzo...

Unfortunately I'm unable to find an English-language article on that at all. There is only this Imtech response: http://imtech.com/EN/corporate/Newsroom/Highlights/Imtech-re...

therobot24 1 day ago 2 replies      
> "Professor, let me understand this," Loge said. "You are talking about having 800 people wearing orange vests, sitting on camping stools, holding thermoses filled with coffee, and shouting into their cell phones, 'Open the fire door'?" Loge refused the airport an operating license. Schwarz stood up and walked out without another word.

Easily the best part of the article.

bluecalm 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is a joke in my country (Poland) about every little town needing:

-an airport

-an aquapark

-a huge sport stadion

All of them as a way to transfer some state/town money to political cronies. The sad part is that some of those make sense as an infrastructure improvement (most doesn't though, at least here) so it's easier to sell the idea to people. The way the business is done is to just pay 30%-50% more than it should cost and pocket the difference.

jandrese 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is exactly what you expect to happen when you're redesigning the building in the middle of construction. If the project manager can't say no then it's pretty much guaranteed to be a disaster.

On the plus side, it seems like they've finally found someone competent to fix the mess and move the project forward.

sillygeese 23 hours ago 4 replies      
If you're in a position to hand out $5B of other people's money, do you think some people might want to bribe you to get it?

What if you can only hand out $1M? Will someone still want to bribe you? -Of course, but he'll be a "smaller player" then.

All public spending involves some sort of "corruption" [1] because it's always other people's money being spent, and there's always someone in charge of spending it.

If you could pay $10 to get $100, wouldn't you do it? A bribe is an investment, and the tax money received in exchange is the ROI.

[1] I put "corruption" in quotes because it's just the system working as intended. If the system were actually corrupted, it would somehow start working for the masses' benefit instead.

Think about it. How do you benefit from someone else spending your money for you? Your money serves a means towards an end for whoever spends it, meaning he will be trying to benefit from spending it.

schoen 1 day ago 2 replies      
When I last visited Berlin, I heard a joke about the airport's problems that I thought was very funny:

"Niemand hat die Absicht, einen Flughafen zu errichten!"

('Nobody has the intention to build an airport!')

Context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall#Construction_begin...

nsns 1 day ago 5 replies      
But is it only BER?As mentioned int the article - what about Stuttgart 21 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart_21) etc.?

It is possible that these sites exist as new financial "loopholes", transferring tax-money from the government to private contractors without much oversight.

stffndtz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am a german living in Berlin - and let me tell you, I feel deeply ashamed. Not because I am german, but because I have the impression that a lot of people involved, especially our once-so-admired former mayor Klaus Wowereit, are obsessed with money, and got caught in a swamp of corruption and were misleading the public.

A year ago or so, it turned out that the folks responsible for all the mess (none of the board of course) we not to be found, because they were supporting a system were a subcontractor could hire another subcontractor and so forth, making it impossible for anyone to get a grip on what is going on. And that is not what I would expect from a billion dollar project run by some of the most trusted politicians and executives in our country.

I flew home from Budapest a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised to see that we were using the actual airstrip of BER. The flight was supposed to go to SXF (Berlin Schnefeld), but instead we landed on the new airstrip, driving by the not-yet-finished new airport. Can anyone tell me why?

There's more to it though - starting with corruption [1] and going all the way to REBULDING the whole thing [2].

I'll stop here now - but I hope that there will be a lot more of critique towards those who made this a completely embarassing desaster.

[sorry guys, links are in german. I'll try to find english ones][1] http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/berlin-schoenefeld-korrupt...[2] http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/acht-milliarden-euro-b...

CurtHagenlocher 1 day ago 5 replies      
"At the very moment Merkel and her allies are hectoring the Greeks about their profligacy, the airports cost, borne by taxpayers, has tripled to 5.4 billion."

So, which country does Germany want to borrow money from in order to cover the wasteful spending?

Jean-Philipe 1 day ago 2 replies      
As somebody from Berlin, I'm always happy when my hometown is on HN! Makes me feel proud.
ghshephard 1 day ago 4 replies      
I realize that higher standards of fire and other safety measures make these systems more complicated, but you would think that with all the technology we have today for planning, engineering, communication, documentation, modeling and simulation - that these types of fiascos would become rarer and rarer.

I wonder if anyone has looked at large scale projects like these over the last 100 years and determined what implications (if any) technology has had in reducing these issues.

philfrasty 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the current running gags in Germany :) Simply make a reference to that airport and something that will never work and you are good to go.

Edit: one of my favorite articles on that topic (German) http://www.der-postillon.com/2012/08/neue-zeitform-futur-iii...

smhg 1 day ago 3 replies      
This reminds me of the immer funny David Zuelke explaining the difference between "North Germany" and "South Germany" to a group of non-Germans. It was at an after-phpDay drink a few years ago.

According to him, you can find the famous German Grndlichkeit in The South, with The North being the exact opposite. He used the Berlin airport as an example: "it was an endless failure". This was in 2011 or 2012. I wonder how strong opinionated South-Germans like him look at this today.

I think for non-Germans the difference in Grndlichkeit is probably not noticeable :)

coldcode 1 day ago 3 replies      
Building an airport always is. Often it takes more money and a few decades to appreciate it. D/FW airport was a nightmare when it was built but it's pretty nice today. Denver's airport had tons of issues as well.

Then again this seems on a much higher level of disaster, but should be familiar to anyone building large government software systems.

qwtel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bent Flyvbjerg studies these "megaprojects" and offers various explanations why a) they are being conducted in the first place despite the fact that b) they are usually any combination of over budget, behind schedule or below expectations in terms of their benefits.

Here is an interview with him on EconTalk about the subject:http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/05/bent_flyvbjerg.html

mschuster91 1 day ago 0 replies      
All I do is remembering EDDM, Munich's airport, which was finished on the day it was supposed to - and even better, they moved the entire technology of the old airport in a single night (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flughafen_M%C3%BCnchen#Inbetri...).
codeshaman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Bribe the inspectors and open up on time - then somehow patch the problem later. Everyone wins.That's what they would do in a lot of places in the world.

If a German airport, with a huge budget, has 150.000 defects of which 85k are serious, then what about airports in other countries, which don't make use of the world-famous german high quality standards ?

What about airports in countries were things are solved with a bribe, a handshake and an evil smile ?

frik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I saw a ZDF TV docu about Berlin Airport last year. Very low-ceilinged halls and rooms means the cannot integrate gas purge and fire safety pipes and equipment. It seems so serious that an international experts in the docu suggested to rebuild parts of the airport buildings. And it seems weird that the airport will be already too small for the passenger traffic in 2017. Given that it should replace the former largest airport in the world Berlin Tempelhof and two other airports near Berlin. Several politicans have already been replaced because of scandals and multi-year delays. Shop space was already leased in ~2011 and employees already waited to begin their new work. It seems really a lot has gone wrong with BER. It would probably be cheaper to blow up the already too small buildings and build completely new ones or reactivate Tempelhof.
jkldotio 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also the guy who designed the smoke extractor system wasn't actually an engineer. Stern broke the story last year.[1]

My German is pretty basic, but "Geschasster BER-Planer war nur technischer Zeichner ... Doch di Mauro ist kein Ingenieur, wie angenommen wurde" amounts to "Ousted BER-Planner was only a technical draftsman ... but di Mauro is not an engineer, as was thought".

[1] [German] http://www.stern.de/wirtschaft/news/stern-exklusiv-geschasst...

venomsnake 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder what kind of austerity will be imposed on the poor Berliners for wasting so much money /s
lazyant 12 hours ago 0 replies      
More embarrassing is to build an airport with no demand and have it abandoned several years afterwards without any flights. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CastellnCosta_Azahar_Airport
netcan 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why do airports always need to be so ambitious? Usually the simple airports are best anyway.
nomailing 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good to hear that the pirate party member Martin Delius is the head of the parliamentary committee leading the investigation. I'm wondering if we would be that informed if a member of another political party would be in charge, because one of the main programmatic points of the pirate party is transparency.
Kenji 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't understand why the state funds airports. If people want airports, there is a demand, and that demand is either big enough to fund an airport and is satisfied, or it isn't because people don't want to spend that kind of money. Seems to me like something the state shouldn't be involved in.
Tomte 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite feature of BER is that they have to run ghost trains through the subway tunnel underneath the airport.

Because if nothing moves inside, no air circulates and they get a mold problem.

ChrisArchitect 1 day ago 0 replies      
some discussion about this a few months ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9658581

and this: http://istderberschonfertig.de/

x0rg 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is what happens with many software projects following crazy customers and waterfall approaches. Clearly we never speak about 6 billion, but hey, shit happens...
a3n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given our various economic and political systems, is it just not possible to build something this large and complex, and have it all ready to go on the same day (whether on time or late)?

I wonder if it would be better to build and contract these things in stages, in blocks of usefulness.

anishkothari 1 day ago 1 reply      
I didn't read the article (too long and it's late) but something caught my eye.

If you keep scrolling down, you hit the next article and the URL changes. How did they do that? Kudos

unreal37 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love that there's 150,000 defects, 80,000 of them considered serious.
agumonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ridiculing Spain stillborn airports.

<... and in the end Germany wins>

wahsd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Postgres CLI with autocompletion and syntax highlighting github.com
291 points by dmmalam  1 day ago   44 comments top 21
bajsejohannes 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author also recently completed a kickstarter for the same thing for MySQL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1839007321/mysql-cli

It's been in private beta for backers for a while. I forget when it's going public, but I don't think it's far away...

sgt 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like the idea. It lacks some important functionality e.g. \x does not work. This is a feature I use regularly in the psql command line tool.

Also, I'm not sure if it's a bug, but with Smart Completion set to off, it still auto completes as you are typing. This can get annoying after a while. Lastly, if you type ';' followed by enter, the program crashes.

barosl 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the record, the standard psql already supports auto-completion, albeit with much less pretty interface (a common readline-style horizontal candidate listing). Syntax highlighting seems great, though.
VeejayRampay 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perfect project for an animated gif in the README (if that's possible), would have been better to showcase the product.
LukeHoersten 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using this for a while and it's great. The author is also excellent at running open source projects. Great mentality. I thought this was posted to HN a while ago but I could be mistaken. Definitely worth the re-post if it was.
pmontra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using it for months, it's definitely an improvement over psql. I recommend it to everybody.
limaoscarjuliet 1 day ago 1 reply      
Informmix isql tool used to have a form mode, where one could:

* select table or form from a list, hit enter

* then a form with all fields would show up

* one could populate some fields with query condition, e.g. name = 'xyz'

* then hit enter and tool would run a query

* then one could navigate prev/next through the results.

I was not fond of this, but some folks in the office still swear by this and ask if they can have a tool like that for postgres. I sent them to psql, but just typing SQL gives them heartburn.

I must admit some of them were quite faster with isql than with psql. This tool helps a bit, but still hoping for the form mode.

man5quid 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been using this in production for a few weeks now and I quite like it. A real improvement over most of the CLI interfaces I have even with my expanded and frankly bloated .psqlrc.
krick 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great! I'm thrilled to finally see something like this.

I have a question, mostly about MySQL version of it: have you made some effort to natively support SSH port-forwarding/tsocks with this client? Because my experience is that it really works bad with the default client. But, TBH, I don't even know how much it depends on the client/server-side.

fsiefken 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Realy nice, thanks! What would be the added value of this compared to using vim handling autocompletion and syntax highlighting for editing queries and tmux for the output?
pi-rat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, well done! So much better than psql, thanks!
vamega 1 day ago 1 reply      
What emacs mode is that in the screenshot?
bosdev 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is wonderful. I have struggled with the lack of real readline compatibility in the PG CLI, this is a huge upgrade.
ochoa 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Off topic: what did you use to create your terminal gif's?
Mister_Snuggles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, that looks incredible!

I haven't tried it yet, but I seriously need to now.

clessg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great work. Is there a way to issue multiline commands?
shazeline 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any way to set tcpKeepAlive=true, ssl=true, and specify a sslrootcert (for Redshift use)?
cel1ne 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally, I almost started writing something like this myself a couple of times.
Animats 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Autocompleting DROP TABLE or DELETE is probably not a good idea.
brightball 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks great!
abledon 1 day ago 0 replies      
How Apple Influenced The Labels To Shut Down My Music Streaming Startup medium.com
300 points by meeper16  2 days ago   93 comments top 18
dxhdr 1 day ago 4 replies      
I read this half asleep and a little inebriated but it seemed to evolve into some kind of bizarre self-aggrandizing pitch on how this Kasian Franks is a super-human with deep hard-to-duplicate knowledge and insights spanning multiple important and lucrative industries. Almost some kind of cred piece bolstered by his proxy encounter with Steve Jobs. Weird.
guelo 1 day ago 4 replies      
They were crawling the web for mp3s the same way that Google does. Though admittedly Google hides the mp3s much better nowadays then they used to. And the web is way more balkanized into all these corporate walled gardens so there are fewer free roaming mp3s on random websites as there used to be. But technically it was a search engine the same as Google.

It always bothers me that this area of the law seems to be entirely based on judges' interpretation of the purpose of a UI. A UI is illegal if it guides the user towards the illegal action. If it is possible to perform the illegal action but the user has to put in a little thought into how to accomplish it then the UI is legal. Google can't have a file-type search box with an mp3 option but if users know the right incantation they can achieve the same thing. So we have lawyers telling us how we can build UIs. It seems wrong and like a dangerous slippery slope.

dangero 1 day ago 1 reply      
I kept waiting for the payoff, but the article never gave proof that Steve Jobs was behind it. Sounds to me like what happened is that Steve when negotiating with Warner Brothers said something like, "How can you charge us those rates for your music when I have a whole list of places online that have it for free?" At which point Warner said, "We'll take care of those. So the rates can stand."
npp 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article reminds me of a lot of what Dalton Caldwell spoke about in his talk about why not to start a music startup at a Startup School in the last several years.

This business seems to have been run and have proceeded horribly, for the exact reasons that Caldwell and everyone else with experience in that area seems to be extremely familiar with.

Is there anything legitimately interesting to the "Apple" and "Steve Jobs" parts of this story other than the usual clickbait?

lectrick 1 day ago 0 replies      
So they intelligently crawled the web for music files to download which were... not purchased.

The reason why they failed is because they, like many others, were "nebulously/quasi legal." (You know what was ALSO awesome yet not legal or respectful of creator pay? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiogalaxy .) At least Apple was trying to make it all legit. They did start with DRM (note: no longer the case for years) but this was to make the record companies more comfortable with it.

The reason why SeeqPod was sued is because Warner Music (and others) had a case. It was not a purely frivolous, harassing lawsuit.

72deluxe 1 day ago 1 reply      
" If I could compile and debug kernel issues along with X11 X86Config files with assistance from a good friend at the QNX-based Caprica Internet in LA and the 2-person Slackware helpdesk on the East Coast every few days then Id be able to continue to test NCSA webserver over SLIP and PPP to deliver electronic faxes with a web interface for the Mosaic Browser for a sugar company in Marin County to save them a few thousand a month in fax fees to China. "

How does one "debug" X11 config files? I had to do that when it hated my monitor and rubbish graphics card but that sentence appears like complete and utter rubbish.

EDIT: For clarification for those disposed to downvote, looking through an XF86 config file is not rocket science.

milesskorpen 1 day ago 1 reply      
". I also spent time through the years developing algorithms and predictive analytics associated to uncovering patterns in historical stock market data. "

A bizarre comment did he expect to see it coming? How does this relate to the story at hand? "Somehow, even someone as sophisticated as me, didn't see the downturn coming" ... if he could predict any kind of change in the stock industry better than investing professionals he wouldn't be running a questionably-legal streaming startup.

JustSomeNobody 1 day ago 1 reply      
"We had 50M monthly active users and 250M searches every month. Steve Jobs told the labels, including Warner Music, to sue us. So they did and for $40B. How do I know? I know because Steve Jobs gave them a list of music streaming sites that were competitive threats to iTunes, and told them to take care of it."

Citation needed. Or did I miss it amongst the self-aggrandizing?

musesum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I saw Kasian Franks speak at a meetup in Oct 2007. A friend suggested that I check out SeeqPod since I had worked at an earlier music streaming startup. As I recall, he made a negative comment about the labels, near the end. His position seemed precarious. Warner sued a couple months later.
brianmcconnell 1 day ago 1 reply      
TL;DR Music technology startups suck.
amelius 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hint: when you start a service solving a very generic problem, you have a big chance of being outmaneuvered by a competitor.
jevgeni 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whoever uses "analyzation" publicly deserves to have a failed start up.
phkahler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Being a search engine for independents seems like a good idea. It's another area where eliminating anonymity can help. The problem for someone in that business is people putting stuff they don't own into the system and getting them sued. By making people more accountable that problem should go away.

People on the web today are not really anonymous and not really identifiable either. I think we need to fix both of those problems.

Libermentix 1 day ago 0 replies      
I actually like the second part of the article a lot more intriguing where he talks about his and the company's personal background. It's these stories that inspire to start a company.
tantalor 1 day ago 3 replies      
sosborn 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Apple knows that they can't compete in the market

Have you been paying attention at all the past 10+ years? Please explain they success they have had and how it came from their courtroom escapades.

billpg 1 day ago 0 replies      
JohnyLy 1 day ago 4 replies      
Sandra Bland arrest video has continuity problems, anomalies latimes.com
261 points by lisper  2 days ago   316 comments top 24
fixxer 2 days 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 2 days 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?
ansible 2 days 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?

genericuser 2 days 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.

roghummal 2 days 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.
leereeves 2 days ago 22 replies      
Has anyone here been pulled over for failing to signal a lane change?
xyby 2 days 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.

ck2 2 days ago 6 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.

IanDrake 2 days ago 5 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.

cjdulberger 2 days ago 1 reply      
Self-driving cars cannot get here soon enough. Police interactions as a result of driver error will be obsolete.
jvandonsel 2 days ago 0 replies      
What, no timecode? Has it been removed?
ytdht 2 days ago 1 reply      
looks like they edited out another 3 minutes... original, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBh3wzXd3vg, new one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaW09Ymr2BA
techbio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who is accountable? Names. I imagine no one here is for abuse of power. How about use thereof?
marincounty 2 days 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.

dudul 2 days ago 2 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.

DanielBMarkham 2 days 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.

anti-shill 2 days ago 1 reply      
nicboobees 2 days ago 2 replies      
chmike 2 days ago 0 replies      
justwannasing 2 days ago 4 replies      
mdavidn 2 days ago 2 replies      
DangerousPie 2 days ago 5 replies      
logicrime 2 days ago 2 replies      
Handwriting Generation with Recurrent Neural Networks toronto.edu
261 points by cjdulberger  2 days ago   80 comments top 12
Aqueous 2 days ago 6 replies      
In both this demonstration and the demonstration by Google of image generation by neural networks (http://www.popsci.com/these-are-what-google-artificial-intel...) you can see hints of organic, naturalistic behavior emerging from artificial networks. Is there any doubt that such networks can simulate even more complex aspects of our cognition? Isn't the writing on the wall (no joke intended) with regard to the Strong AI hypothesis? Or at least a stronger weak hypothesis.
Animats 2 days ago 7 replies      
That's cute. At last, the forgery app.

The killer app in this space will be when someone figures out how to extract a vocal model from existing recordings of singers. Vocaloid already synthesizes singing quite well, but a human singer has to go into a studio and sing a long list of standard phrases to build the singer model. The next step will be to feed existing singing into a system that extracts a model usable for synthesis.

The RIAA is so going to hate this.

comex 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's interesting that the network will sometimes misspell words:


The input was copied from the instructions - "Type a message into the text box, and the network will try to write it out longhand". But you can see it skipped the "e" in "Type" and added an "h" after the "w" in "network", and pretty clearly spelled "to" as "du".

It also tried to cross the first vertical line of the "w" in "network" in lieu of adding an actual "t" beforehand (which is arguably an idiosyncrasy a human's handwriting might have, if a rather odd one); and stuck a big phantom stroke/letter between "T" and "y".

m0dest 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting because handwritten notes are seen as one of the last symbols of human authenticity. The unique drawing of each letter seems to prove that a human invested time and thought in directly communicating with you. There was no copy-paste. There was no form letter. This was not a bot. And, based on the length of the note, there was provable effort involved. Both a Turing test and a proof of work problem. The world's oldest Captcha.

And so begins the devaluing of that proof. Just like when marketers started reproducing the "signature" on every sales letter with blue-colored toner, mimicking the authenticity of a hand signature.

I don't write handwritten letters, and I don't romanticize the past. But our dwindling ability to assess the authenticity of incoming communication is slightly unsettling.

Rexxar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very strange results with rare Unicode characters (I used " ")


prajit 2 days ago 1 reply      
I implemented this system for the final project of my computer vision class. Couldn't get it to work by the deadline, but I'm very familiar with this paper. Happy to answer any questions.
fallinghawks 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm curious as to what happened here:

Text entered: this is a test of handwriting generation

Style sample #1 selected.

All other settings at default.


Edit: I've tried a couple other styles and haven't duplicated this craziness.

Retr0spectrum 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what happened here[0]? The input text was "This is a test. Reeeeeeeeeeeeee!", and I chose the third style.

[0] http://i.imgur.com/6B9JkjC.png

Trufa 2 days ago 0 replies      
VERY impressive demo but I find it kind of funny the extra effort it takes to produce a "worse font".
panic 1 day ago 0 replies      
ChrisGranger 2 days ago 1 reply      
You could use this in conjunction with something like Cleverbot to create a virtual pen-pal who sends you snail mail letters.
hayksaakian 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is really cool!

I could see it being used in games to generate hand written notes from data files.

F21 Thread Screen f21threadscreen.com
285 points by s0rce  2 days ago   67 comments top 27
mattiasgunneras 2 days ago 6 replies      
Happy to see our screen here on hacker news! figured I'd post the behind the scenes video here too since it could be of interest to someone on this site.



startupfounder 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is very cool, the integration of hardware, software, social and marketing is perfect. Many hours spent putting all the pieces together and testing and tweaking, but it makes me wonder if we are wasting talent?

I love what BREAKFAST does as much as the next person and they are an extremely talented team, but all of this amazing technology and innovation is going towards selling products for a brand that totally disregards factory workers wage rights so much so that F21 were "sued by the United States Department of Labor for ignoring a subpoena requesting information on how much the companys suppliers pays the workers who make its clothes"[0]

This reminds me of the recent article posted on HN "Web Design: The First 100 Years"[1]. How many of these underpaid factory workers are the greatest minds of our time? "We live in a world now where not millions but billions of people work in rice fields, textile factories, where children grow up in appalling poverty. Of those billions, how many are the greatest minds of our time? How many deserve better than they get? What if instead of dreaming about changing the world with tomorrow's technology, we used today's technology and let the world change us? Why do we need to obsess on artificial intelligence, when we're wasting so much natural intelligence?"[1]

[0] http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15799

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9920121

jccc 2 days ago 0 replies      
(Just for the benefit of anyone not familiar with the book, and meant only as appreciation, not criticism.)

"Then the gas-lights guttered in their copper rings, and the orchestra swung into a flat rendition of 'Come to the Bower.' With a huff, the limelight flared, the curtain drew back before the kinotrope screen, the music covering the clicking of kinobits spinning themselves into place."



llamascript 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if their programs are ... Multithreaded?
Grue3 2 days ago 0 replies      
This feels like one of these Minecraft projects where somebody recreates a computer screen with redstone blocks, except in real life.
jjhale 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like it was inspired by Devorah Sperber:


dperfect 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any technical significance in the "fade out" sequence that happens between the "F21" image and the next Instagram photo? It looks like once it gets to full black, a few pixels are "stuck" (or slipped I guess), and then something seems to detect that and correct the pixels, so I'm wondering if it's a kind of routine to zero out the pixels, or just an effect. The pattern seems to be roughly the same on each run, suggesting that if it is a self-correction algorithm, it's not persisting the offset/correction (or if the same pixels keep slipping each time, perhaps the algorithm could account for that by rolling those at a different speed).

Either way, this is really cool! I'd love to work on something like this as a job :)

tantalor 2 days ago 2 replies      
Those are bands, not threads.

Threads are 1 dimensional; bands are 2 dimensional.

jcwilde 2 days ago 2 replies      
Seems some pixels are not displaying correct colours on the live feed (most visible as white pixels when displaying the black background of the F21 logo).

I guess the spool belts have run out of alignment? I would have guessed they'd have implemented closed-loop positioning for the colour-belt, but it appears not to be the case.

xenadu02 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the kind of marketing stunt I can appreciate. Does anyone know if they only built one machine or will they deploy them at multiple stores?
ape4 2 days ago 0 replies      
Of course the first computer was a loom.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom
odiroot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Streaming is not available in Germany.
dev-da0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, reminds me of the graffiti robot for some reason . [0] Would be a neat follow on project to rapidly "print" via an actual loom to weave an entire fabric panel as the display. The thread aspect is neat however it comes off as an e-ink shortcut. It's quite an engineering feat that the majority of it works reliably as it appears (only a few dead "pixel" of thousands).

0. https://youtu.be/qK0rrWFQKlQ

ricky54326 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, that's awesome! I always love seeing these types of things that are live.
kbenson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I assume they have some moderation of the images selected for display by the hashtag, otherwise that's a prank just waiting to happen. :)
Lanzaa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very impressive. I'm sure people here would love to hear more about the challenges you faced and what kind of things were surprisingly easy to get working.

It looks like you followed the basic design of a Van de Graaf generator, so I imagine you had a very difficult time with static eletricity.

How did you handle alignment of the colors? Maybe a gray code and optical sensor on the back side of the bands?

mhb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also see Peter Wegner's Monument to Change as It Changes at Stanford:


One video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHf2sezptLU

lusterdome 2 days ago 1 reply      
cool, but maybe they should invest the money in fair labor practices instead.
xigency 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping this would be on public display somewhere.

Still, I submitted a picture of Ada Lovelace.

thirdreplicator 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't get it. What does it do and how does it work? The videonis cool but the website is sparse on details.
vvpan 2 days ago 0 replies      
This here is content marketing.
mkoryak 2 days ago 0 replies      
what is preventing someone from goatse'ing this thing ?
eludwig 2 days ago 0 replies      
So excellent. It's a bit akin to a visual version of a Melotron.
kevin_thibedeau 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't find an address anywhere. Is this publicly viewable?
peterwwillis 2 days ago 1 reply      
It weighs thousands of pounds (of aluminum!), using a 600-pound custom frame and an even more massive support structure, using 6,400 thread spools, comprising over 200,000 custom parts, and requires 24/7 temperature and humidity control, all to display an 80x80 pixel 0.02k color image. This took a year and a half to build, and it will only run for one week.

Kudos to the marketing department for giving BREAKFAST (WHY IS IT IN ALL CAPS?) employees a super fun job for a year and a half, but holy cow, this is a huge waste of time and money. They could have gotten more out of Facebook ads.

antimora 2 days ago 0 replies      
spot 2 days ago 3 replies      
Amazon Is Now Worth More Than Wal-Mart wsj.com
262 points by ryanmonroe  9 hours ago   215 comments top 21
kumarm 8 hours ago 20 replies      
I am surprised this is not talked about more:

Amazon Full Time Employees: 154,100

Walmart Full Time Employees:2,200,000

(Based on Yahoo Finance Company Profile Stats)

There is a growing need for Human's to work Lesser Hours going forward rather than more Hours.

Animats 7 hours ago 4 replies      
WalMart revenue: $482bn.

Amazon revenue: $89bn.

Amazon is only worth its current market cap if it can increase sales by at least 5x. Which it probably can, but it will take some years.

Wal-Mart is expanding into grocery stores, with their "Neighborhood Markets". (They mean big supermarkets, not convenience stores. Typical size is 45,000 square feet.) Wal-Mart has 40 square miles of floor space worldwide.

theseatoms 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Not if you include debt, in addition to equity.


WARNING: paywall

krstck 8 hours ago 6 replies      
One interesting thing is that Amazon is almost approaching Walmart's bad reputation in terribleness for employees. (Maybe not software devs, but perhaps warehouse contractors.) Is this kind of ruthlessness essential for such a huge company to be so profitable?
fahim305 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This was a long time coming. 20% growth on a business that is approaching $100B revenue (and probably 2-3x that in terms of GMV, a better measure of its size and dominance), and AWS continues to grow as does the digital side of the business. The crazy thing is that they still have low market share in several of the retail categories that its in (apparel, grocery, several product lines even in home, health & beauty, electronics, etc.)

Their achilles heal though continues to be browsability and searching. It is obviously a great place to go if you know exactly what you want, but continues to be a poor experience if you are browsing for an item or don't know what you want. There continues to be duplicate listings for the same items (some listed by 1st party and some by 3rd party), and it is very tough to browse items. Once they actually figure this out and implement, that's when this will really become game over (at least domestically)

brudgers 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I am finding myself using Amazon less and less. For years it's been my goto for long tail items and books, but over the last few years it's algorithms have segmented me into the "show high margin prices" bin to the point where I pretty much see prices that are competitive with my local big box and Amazon jacks up the shipping on anything in the first few pages. I guess I shouldn't have used that $30 credit for getting one of their credit cards a few years ago...or paid it off each month, because now Amazon's first order of business appears to be clawing all my previous savings back.

Not that I take it personally. Amazon went down the path to breaking trust when they came up with Prime. What does it say other than give us money so we won't charge you more. Time, gravity and a slippery slope mean that logic ultimately becomes dominant without heroic efforts of corporate culture. Sponsored ads don't create a culture to help anyone within who might be trying to fight the slide. Hell, Amazon is even in the textbook rental business screwing college students.

The problem for Amazon is that they don't have good locations locked down. Six letter .com domains aren't prime real-estate. All they have is the quality of the sales experience, and the more convoluted shopping for value becomes the better competition looks.

MaysonL 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course, the headline is wrong. Walmart is worth about $50 billion more than Amazon. Compare their enterprise value, not their market cap.
pmm621 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1997 "Lee Scott, the future Walmart CEO who was then running logistics told Dalzell (who Amazon was hiring) that Amazon was a novel idea but that it had limited potential. Don Soderquist, Walmart's COO, said that because Amazon didn't store its own iventory--at the time, it just ordered it from distributors and then quickly shipped it back out-- the model would hit a wall once it got to $100M in sales.

(from "The Everything Store" Bezzos' biography)

mullen 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I just don't understand why Amazon.com stock is so high. Bezos has stated time and time again that he intends for Amazon.com to never make a profit and to never pay a dividend, always folding all of the earnings back into the company for future growth. There is no logic to its value.
ryandvm 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Wal-Mart's Q4/2014 net income was 16,363,000 and they have a P/E of 14.6.

Amazon's Q4/2014 net income was -241,000 and they had a P/E of, well, they didn't.

I think Amazon has been one of the most innovative companies of the last decade, but Amazon is going to be a much less attractive consumer option as they start transitioning to business models that require them to actually profit.

I could steal all the lawn mowing business in town if I were willing to mow lawns for free...

blackaspen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This has been writing on the wall for a while.

While both companies have their pitfalls, it's certainly interesting to continue to watch e-commerce's rise.

fixxer 8 hours ago 9 replies      
Call me old fashioned, but I "value" profitable companies more than unprofitable ones. Amazon had a net loss of $241m last year[1], while Walmart had a net profit of $16b[2].

[1] http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=AMZN+Income+Statement&annual

[2] http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=wmt+Income+Statement&annual

kin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who shops at both Amazon.com and Wal-mart, this makes me happy. Now, I don't know if their worth translates to more success but all I know is that my experience with amazon is always pleasant and convenient whereas my experience at Wal-Mart is almost always unpleasant and inconvenient.
neel8986 4 hours ago 0 replies      
On a side note currently three biggest companies by market cap are Apple, Google and Microsoft leaving behind the likes of exxon and berkshire. This is truly a rare event when all top three are tech.

Either a glimpse of a bubble in making or tech truly is the new oil.

jimbokun 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This article I found linked in the side bar reflects my thoughts on Amazon's valuation pretty well:


_raisin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All thanks to the fire phone...
bunkydoo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon should try their hand at brick and mortar. I would love to see less Wal-Marts
simonebrunozzi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, it is no longer true as of now. AMZN stock went down a bit after a day of trading.
dfar1 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if amazon would look like a walmart if it had a physical store.
ck2 8 hours ago 4 replies      
codemac 8 hours ago 7 replies      
Universal asks Google to take down for piracy chillingeffects.org
261 points by davidgerard  17 hours ago   68 comments top 14
yread 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Already submitted and discussed yesterday


TLDR; there is a sharing program which installs web service on localhost:4001 that handles sort of magnet links

yason 15 hours ago 8 replies      
This underlines the craziness of copyright and intellectual "property".

If DMCA claims were expensive, companies would bother requesting takedown for the most profitable movies/albums/games only and they wouldn't go on autopilot, claiming whatever they think might infringe their copyrights. But then the garage bands and individual artists/musicians would be left out of the game completely, they couldn't use DMCA to take down their music.

On the other hand, how do you prove you are the author unless you have lots of money for lawyers? If you say "I composed this song at home, and published it under CC licensing" and MAFIAA say they represent the copyright holder, is it not clear who owns what?

If there was a digital notary service where you could digitally sign and timestamp a file, that might help a bit. But the downside is that people could take public domain works or someone's un-notarized works, claim ownership, have it stamped and they would begin to hold a stronger position pretending to be the author.

I think this is somehow similar to how indigenous people wondered how the white man could possibly think of owning forests, rivers, and land. They considered Earth unownable, not belonging to anyone but rather people belonging to the Earth. Similarly, natives to the digital world wonder how somebody could possibly think of owning bits, numbers, and copyable files.

tomkwok 16 hours ago 2 replies      
In another DMCA take down request [0], Universal included a URL to an entry on IMDB.com, which is obviously a legitimate site.

Now that's not so funny.

[0]: https://www.chillingeffects.org/notices/10951315

gnu8 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Where are the criminal charges for purgery? This kind of abuse has gone on long enough. We need to start sanctioning every DMCA claim that has the least error in it. Every copyright agent should be living in fear of having their company fined and being jailed personally whenever they send a DMCA claim.
codeshaman 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Do they still actively issue these takedown requests, even when faced with the fact that it has zero effect on weather the movie is pirateable ?I mean, I can download any movie in a couple of minutes from one of the torrent sites that I usually use anonymously.I do this because it's convenient and because I seldomly watch the movies till the end - many of them are not interesting enough to keep me awake.

I stopped pirating music since Spotify came along - the price is right and the selection is good enough to keep me engaged for several lifetimes.There is no such thing for movies.

Maybe iTunes, but I'm not willing to pay their price and the selection is far from complete.

So instead of paying lawers and acting like clowns, these guys should invest in a startup which is the Spotify for movies without all the jurisdictional limitations that usually come with such services, because their lawyers are busy fishing pirates on

venomsnake 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone index the chilling effects DB ... it seems like a great place to find content ...
sudioStudio64 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I love this story. I believe that the Church of Scientology did the same thing a long time ago in the early days of the internet.
josteink 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Now if that doesn't start raising some questions, I don't know what will :)
PaulHoule 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It reminds me of the time that I unloaded the loopback driver...
x5n1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
i run can i sue these geniuses? this has caused trillions of dollars of economic loss to my business.
sarciszewski 13 hours ago 1 reply      

The lawyer sending these automated DMCA searches tagged their own computer, implying they were pirating the movie.

That's hilarious if it's true.

shashwat986 15 hours ago 0 replies      
And Universal isn't alone:


EDIT: Also, Universal's been doing it LOTS of times before too (via above link).

smanuel 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Google, you can take down, but please leave localhost alone.
ousta 15 hours ago 1 reply      
JRuby 9000 released jruby.org
262 points by headius  2 days ago   114 comments top 12
aurochs 2 days ago 4 replies      
JRuby is a great idea.

It has one pitfall which consistently stops me from using it though : poor support with newer releases of Rails, usually due to the Active Record stack not working well with the AR JDBC adapter.

I know some work was being done on a JRuby version of the standard pg gem (without the need for JDBC) which would be fantastic if it was completed and working.

Freaky 2 days ago 5 replies      
Concurrent threads using magic regexp vars like $1 stomp all over each other, quite nasty: https://github.com/jruby/jruby/issues/3031

Stumbling over a serious race condition in the first 5 minutes of trying it with real code makes me a bit wary. All the performance in the world isn't much good if it's randomly wrong :/

Scarbutt 2 days ago 2 replies      
JRuby 9000 now uses native operations for much of IO and almost all of Process. This makes us the first POSIX-friendly JVM language.

Did they achieved this via JNI?

magicdream 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're using JRuby in some core projects and it's great. From my experience (moved 2 high load projects to Jruby) transition to JRuby from Ruby is not just changing Ruby version. But often you spend around 1-2 weeks to move medium size project on it, change some gems and configure Java options to not have out of memory errors.So it works fine, I'd not say that it works much faster than latest Ruby. But I think that main reasons why you should switch are multithreading and Java libs. We switched because of we was need to use latest Java libs for Kafka. But the main disadvantage is that sometimes when you need to deal with Java objects you need to think about object data type casting (from Ruby object to Java and vice versa). And this is extra actions, extra memory usage.

I'm very happy to see JRuby 9000 and hope we'll upgrade soon.

flowerpot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've actually found JRuby to be very handy when it comes to packaging. Using warbler I can generate a jar file and then using the javapackager I can create self contained packages for all the major platforms/package managers: windows (.exe/.msi), linux (.rpm, .deb), osx (.dmg). Way more painless than packaging a ruby runtime. I've tried traveling ruby, but have not had the same seamless experience. Especially when it comes to multiple platforms. However, packaging with java, jruby and my application usually turn out to be quite large. Around 80Mb for a CLI and the startup time for short running programs like CLIs using JRuby can be quite long.
mataug 2 days ago 1 reply      
Damm, I so wish Jython improved like this too. I've been thinking of helping out.
rf3000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic news! Very excited about seeing the Ruby ecosystem advance.
kul_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
So why does JRuby never got as much traction as other jvm langs like clojure, scala, groovy? I have heard good things about the ruby syntax, top that you get unparalleled powers of jvm like gc, cross platform, libs and much more!
lgleason 2 days ago 0 replies      
Big thanks to the Jruby team!
gary4gar 2 days ago 10 replies      
is it faster than MRI?
fokinsean 2 days ago 3 replies      
joegyoung 2 days ago 3 replies      
Amazon Web Services revenue rises 81% year over year wsj.com
246 points by vizzah  1 day ago   140 comments top 12
fnayr 1 day ago 5 replies      
36% of Amazon's operating profit is now from AWS. That's crazy!
afarrell 1 day ago 4 replies      
I wonder how much of that is people forgetting to shut down unused EC2 instances
ksec 1 day ago 5 replies      
Off Topic, Previously I was always put off by Amazon's design. You can click on anything Amazon related, AWS included and see some fugly UI and layout.

And i got to check AWS again and i am pleasantly surprised things have improved dramatically!

sudhirj 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Can someone explain how Amazon is different (in investor mindset, not legality) from a Ponzi scheme? It seems like retail companies (and even some startups) exist solely by churning investors with new money. Everyone invests based on expected profit at the end of the rainbow, and a lot of money is made selling to the next set of investors who want to carry on rainbow-chasing.

If Amazon were to stop and start making a profit, wouldn't they immediately be undercut by the next generation of quasi-ponzi companies who are now willing to sacrifice short term profits?

sker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting that it rose about the same amount as Microsoft's cloud revenue which was around 90%.

Anyone has numbers for Google?

downandout 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm trying to understand why large companies use AWS for their primary infrastructure. Both AWS and Azure are obscenely expensive when compared to buying servers and colocating them somewhere. The cloud model works well for bootstrapped startups, but anyone with the resources to buy and manage their own servers is crazy if they use AWS or Azure as their primary server platform.
brwnll 1 day ago 0 replies      
The drop in operating profit from Q1 to Q2 2014 of about 50% (~$100m) made me look into some of their acquisitions being made for AWS.

Might be able to get more clarity into what they are paying for these undisclosed acquisitions prices, assuming their cost for constructing data farms stays relatively constant.

- Peritor (Ops, Mar 2013)

- ClusterK (Apr 2014, $20M-$50M)

- Amiato (NoSQL, May 2014)

- 2lemetry (IoT, Mar 2014)

- Annapurna Labs (Jan 2015, ~$370M)

- AppThwack (Mobile testing, Jul 2015)

gargarplex 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it will only continue to grow (for the next 5 years).
_pmf_ 15 hours ago 0 replies      
"Bezos ... Click Here For 100 Reasons Why Shortsighted Silicon Valley ADHD Investors Hate Him"
jasondc 1 day ago 8 replies      
It's only a matter of time before they split AWS from Amazon, just wondering why they're waiting so long.
x0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
But is it even profitable? Operating profits don't include capex. And data centers full of xeons are expensive.
Fratercula 1 day ago 1 reply      
now thats some nice growth!
Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4M cars after Jeep hack bbc.com
213 points by vvanders  12 hours ago   263 comments top 21
tinco 11 hours ago 7 replies      
This is a terrible decision. On such a short timescale, they'll only be able to fix the particular bug in their infotainment system. The real problem as everyone has pointed out is that the car control and infotainment should not share channels. There should be a physical gap between them and if really necessary a very tightly controlled message bridge.

The real fix will require much more intervention than just a firmware flash at the garage.

We'll see at Def Con how much Chrysler really screwed up.

jacquesm 11 hours ago 11 replies      
> The company added that hacking its vehicles was a "criminal action".

I don't think that's the case, but I still commend them for doing a recall this quick.

Shooting the messenger seems to still be quite a strong reflex for corporations faced with bad news. The way to look at it should be that these guys did Fiat-Chrysler a service. After all, it's not only security researchers that have the ability to write code and that have prolonged access to a vehicle to test.

They seem to be mistaken about the time to write the code, after all, you can write the code and test it on a different vehicle than the one you intend to crash.

Law enforcement typically won't analyze the firmware of all the computers in a car after a single vehicle accident (and it would probably be quite possible to erase the evidence once the car has been given a command sufficient to kill the occupants).

jameshart 11 hours ago 8 replies      
I see a lot of people thoughtlessly applying computer-security mindset here to vehicle-safety. They're really not the same thing, because they are handling very different risk models. Vehicle safety is about "how will this system perform under typical conditions when something goes wrong?". Computer security is about "how will this system perform if a smart asshole tries to abuse it?". Vehicle safety generally doesn't concern itself with deliberate sabotage. You won't see a product recall for a car because "under some circumstances, a criminal might cut the brake cables". What Chrysler are doing here is, though, effectively that, and why they have to do that for a computer security issue is interesting.

We're all used to the idea that if you put a computer on the internet, it will come under attack. People will try to snoop on the data it handles, or subvert it to use it for their own purposes. So why do we then move on to assume that, if such a system is attached to something safety critical, that those same people who will attack the computer to get at its data or processing power will now move on to attacking the brakes, or the engine, and try to kill people?

Most vehicular crime isn't homicide, it's acquisitive - people will attack vehicle security systems to steal the car, or get access to valuable contents. Sabotaging the vehicle to kill the driver is way down the list.

As a society we tend to assume that physical security is not the only thing that stops random strangers from trying to kill us. We do not all drive around in armored cars in case someone decides to shoot at us from an overpass. We don't all sweep under our car with a mirror for bombs before we get in and start the engine.

And it's certainly not a failing of Chrysler's engineers to adequately consider customer safety that they sell Jeeps which are not bulletproof and which have exposed frameworks on the underside where bombs can be attached.

So why is it that we're so quick to assume that because a safety-critical computer system is exposed to the internet, that this is the worst thing ever?

Is it that as far as physical security of your Jeep goes you only have to trust the people in your neighborhood, but for internet security we have to trust the whole world?

dsfyu404ed 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Just an FYI for everyone on the "segregated systems" bandwagon:

If a compromised device can talk on the CAN bus it's game over since (pretty much) everything listens on that bus so you can't (without a lot of time and effort, implement a way to) pick and choose systems to segregate while maintaining wireless connectivity to those critical system.

Vehicle manufactures get a huge data set sent back to them by vehicles. They use this for stuff like correlating part failures to operational conditions, determining which intermittent wiper setting people use as well as improving the logic for the operation of critical systems (e.g. if my last inputs were $stuff then don't upshift). I wouldn't be surprised if they sold the data as well. McDonalds would love to know where and when people start looking for food. insurance companies would love to have more variables to correlate to risk trivial (e.g. $color cars with $trivial_feature get in accident that cost $really_small_percent $more_or_less than $other_color

To segregate systems you need to be able to pitch to the bean-counters that the cost/benefit of whatever degree of segregation you're proposing beats the cost/benefit of whatever plan the next guy is proposing. These data sets are incredibly valuable to many different parts of the company. The people doing marketing and customer facing stuff would be at a severe competitive disadvantage if they had to wait months (first oil change) o get real world data on feature usage after a re-design.

Sure you could download it at service time..."but we already have a system that does it in near real time, can't we just secure that?"...

TL;DR: Segregating systems involves more than having the engineers wait a few months to figure out if their new tune solved the problem.

skimmas 12 hours ago 7 replies      
One got to love bright minds who ever thought connecting any relevant part of a cars control mechanisms to the internet was a good idea.
rasz_pl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In other news Apple just hired Doug Betts, former FCA 'quality' boss




because nothing screams quality like a 'decided to leave one day after yet another drop in Consumer Report rankings' and 1.4m car recall!

gandalfu 12 hours ago 4 replies      
From the press release: http://www.media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=16849&mid=1

"No defect has been found. FCA US is conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution."

What the hell?

tantalor 11 hours ago 4 replies      
The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorized, constitutes criminal action.

The WIRED story's hackers presumably were authorized by the vehicle's owner or operator, so the demo did not "constitute criminal action."

bradgessler 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The good that comes out if this is that somewhere in the management chain people will feel justified to increase security investment by saying, "remember the Fiat Chrysler recall?"
jasimq 12 hours ago 1 reply      
discardorama 11 hours ago 2 replies      
If researchers really want to underscore a point: hang out outside the IIHS testing facility, and when they're testing the vehicle in question, then mess with the systems.

Maybe IIHS needs to include "remote hackability" as a criterion in their testing?

LoSboccacc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> The company added that hacking its vehicles was a "criminal action".

screw that attitude.

I hope government will make the equivalent of whistleblower protection for security researchers that report exploitable flaws, because it's the only way to increase security over time.

i.e. I'm scared as hell that planes are allegedly hackable but researchers aren't really talking about it nor testing it properly because fear of lawsuits.

ryandrake 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Auto companies' lax attitudes towards systems security will change when insurance companies start considering such security vulnerabilities as safety issues and adjust their existing safety ratings appropriately.
JustSomeNobody 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Do we really need our vehicles to have so much technology?

I know I'll get down voted, but it has to be asked.

blahblah3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow connecting cars to the internet? Sounds insanely dangerous. Not everything should be connected to the internet or "smart".
cmurf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
At RSA I was at a car hacking session, and the big take away I got is how some of these systems have none upgradable firmware, and today's designs sent for manufacturing now aren't due for 2017-2018 model year cars. So some of these vulns could be baked in, in a way that have expensive work arounds because the car manufacturers have been so feature driven rather than security conscious. It's the car equivalent of bloat/crap ware on phones. Features that drive up selling the customer. The cars that have OTA firmware updates (BMW was one example) are able to push out fixes faster, and with more complete coverage than recalls so it seems sane to me to make it mandatory such "smart cars" can be OTA updated.
mizzao 7 hours ago 2 replies      
So despite the huge uproar at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9921557, it turns out the end did justify the means.
fauigerzigerk 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Auto makers will have to make sure that they can update their software remotely or this going to become really expensive very soon.
curiousjorge 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Why does Jeep in particular have so much issue with quality assurance? The most memorable is the SUV rolling over in a simple test a couple years ago which have been fixed but it's quite worrying.


nissehulth 11 hours ago 1 reply      
They claim that only US cars are affected. Is this because liability costs are much higher in the US or is there really a different software used in the rest of the world?
pasbesoin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Based upon my own experience (in another industry), I have no doubt that there were knowledgeable people internally who warned them of this -- if they were not fully cowed by the bureaucracy.

I have zero sympathy for the manufacturers. I only hope that, if they decide to go on a witch hunt, they actually seek and punish the morons in power who, most likely for self-serving purposes, let this slide.

This also should raise a ringing cry to rein in DMCA et al. uses that seek to outlaw such research. In this case, the manufacturer has obviated their authority in the matter.

YC Backs Portable Coffee Stand Called Wheelys (YC S15) to Take on Starbucks techcrunch.com
222 points by kevin  1 day ago   231 comments top 49
fahim305 1 day ago 8 replies      
While it is sexy to brand this (especially for media) as a 'threat' or 'will take on' Starbucks, that should not be the focus and it should instead be about delivering maximum value to its customers, which are likely going to be different customers than Starbucks customers. Starbucks customers go there for the customer experience, not for the coffee - there is better and cheaper coffee elsewhere, even McDonalds (literally).

I hope they are laser focused on their demographic and who their customer is rather than try to be the universal solution to coffee. A challenge will be how do you deliver the same exciting experience on a coffee stand without having the focus becoming operations and churning out coffee as quickly as possible. Most people can probably grab coffee at work for free if they wanted to but they choose to go to coffee shops for the "cool factor", and to feel like they are taking a break from their normal routine. If the person(s) running the stand need to be super friendly, engaging, fun, etc. if this is going to really take off, and experience shows us that is no leap of faith as you operationalize and expand locations so quickly.

tomasmazetti 1 day ago 10 replies      
Hi, my name is Tomas Mazetti. I'm one of the founders of Wheelys. I also like the outdoors, though not unreasonable so. I am from Sweden, home of the swedes.
zxcvvcxz 1 day ago 7 replies      
> Then, he met his co-founder Maria De La Croix, through a feminist organization. As part of that movement, they protested the average pay gap between women and men by burning the extra wages he hypothetically earned because he was a man.

Wait what? Hasn't this common misconception been debunked, or at least to be shown to be very insignificant when controlling for obvious variables?







idlewords 1 day ago 3 replies      
"The Wheelys 1.0 is 100% powered by the sun, natural butane gas and your own body- making it's not only CO2 neutral, but carbon footprint negative"

What's the source of the butane? I can't seem to find more info on their site.

dsuth 1 day ago 2 replies      
This appears to be offering a fundamentally different experience from Starbucks, whose business model, as I understand it, is to offer a bunch of weird, vaguely coffee-related drinks, but more importantly, space to sit down and drink them. With Wifi.

There are several variations of these running around Australian cities, however they still don't compete directly with cafes, as they provide a different service.

triangleman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is anyone else here immediately turned off the moment a company mentions "carbon neutral"? I'm willing to look past it as a standard marketing slogan, like "natural", "fair trade", etc., but it stands out as a particularly unfortunate bit of language in almost all cases.
erikpukinskis 1 day ago 4 replies      
Any time someone says something has zero carbon footprint I know instantly they're full of it. No carbon was burnt in the fabrication of your brand new aluminum coffee cart? Ok.
defen 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't understand how a pour-over coffee cart is going to scale (scale in the sense of one cart serving many customers quickly). It takes 2.5 - 4 minutes to make a pour over coffee, assuming the water is already boiled and the coffee is ground; and there is a limit, just based on physical space, to how many you can have going simultaneously in one cart, right?

The Philz truck in San Francisco seems to handle this alright, but they have 3 people making the coffee and 1 person taking payments, and they're charging 4+ dollars per cup for a known/cult brand.

farnsworth 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool, it's not just a portable coffee stand, it's a company that sells cheap portable coffee stand franchises and (appears to) make franchising really easy - http://www.wheelyscafe.com

I want to know whether there are any in Seattle. It would be nice if there was a map of active Wheelys on their website.

Keverw 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Watched the video... Why do they have a guy screaming in the middle of the video. So annoying and unprofessional, and I'm listening with headphones.

But anyways, seems like an interesting idea and concept. But looks like no free Wi-Fi or a place to sit, which I know some people love that about Starbucks.

callmeed 1 day ago 3 replies      
I really like this and I'm interested in buying one and having someone run it here in my area.

What I'm not clear on are the coffee/food costs and margins. The FAQ says you can make $250-600/day. I assume that's gross. It doesn't say what it costs to order the beans, etc. Hopefully the costs are exploitative.

Does anyone know what standard margins for coffee/casual food is?

pyrocat 1 day ago 0 replies      
So... it's a coffee cart? Everything old is new again. edit: bonus video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c59xce_nW5w
shoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone fortunate enough to be living in a major Australian city, I am perplexed by Starbucks [1]. It didn't catch on here as we already had something better.

One of my favourite cafes is run out of a re-purposed electrical closet in the CBD, with a few nearby tables. They have good coffee. You don't need much space.

Wheelys seems like a pretty reasonable idea. Good stuff!

[1] http://munchies.vice.com/articles/this-is-why-australians-ha...

kylnew 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given some of the pessimism in comments about this idea, a certain XKCD comes to mind - https://xkcd.com/1497/

I'd be really interested to see one of these in Toronto

netcan 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mazetti has a background in quirky projects. He and his team once illegally flew into Belarussian airspace and dropped several hundred teddybears carrying pro-democracy messages out of a plane

Woah! This is a pretty hardcore version of #4 here: http://www.paulgraham.com/founders.html

oliv__ 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great but are you allowed to just set up shop anywhere you want in a city like that?
DrScump 1 day ago 4 replies      
"Most cities in the world allow for non-stationary selling. That means as long as you keep moving you won't be needing a permit."

Hardly. Many cities (essentially every city in the Bay Area, for example) either outright ban peddling on public property or thoroughfares or requires a license for it.

jcr 1 day ago 0 replies      
kevin, as YC design guru, do you think a large sign on the top would be wise?

I was thinking of something like a two sided /\ sign on top would increase the amount of signage, and increase the height of the signage. A large sign on top that reads "COFFEE" or similar and can be read from a block away might be advantageous. And if need be, it could fold __ flat when not in use (or when local signage laws prohibit it).

hyperpallium 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Most YC startups do something new, enabled by new technology - typically the internet.

Does this startup rely on some technological development that meant it wasn't posible before? eg in making the whole thing small enough; "pour over" coffee (whatever that is); eff/cheapness of solar panels etc?

NB not necessarily a selling point itself, but something that enables one.

prawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could easily rebrand and repurpose this at times to work at events or serve a different product category - popcorn for outdoor cinemas, alcohol for private functions like weddings, cordials/lemonades, corn on the cob, etc. Use magnetic or stick-on signage when required. Have portable seating to lay out nearby.

Friend of mine bought an old caravan for under $1k and was selling homemade lemonade at street events for a while. Was making hundreds each night, then renting the caravan out for private functions on weekends.

Someone entrepreneurial could buy a few of these and set some keen uni kids to work running them for profit share.

adamio 1 day ago 1 reply      
How many Starbucks customers buy just coffee?

This is shown to be a hit in European cities, where just based on a guess espresso and coffee is more popular. The majority of Starbucks customers are probably buying mixed specialty drinks.

Watching a Sbux barista make just a few drink, they probably go through a gallon jug of milk in minutes at peak times. How much fresh chilled milk can this cart hold? Not saying there's no market, but taking on Sbux seems a bit mis-targeted.

scottm30 1 day ago 1 reply      
Typo on the front page..."Order the new Wheelys 3. Before it's to late".
Shivetya 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Two hundred a day for a well traffic area does not look like much profit, let alone that appears to be before taxes, fees, and other such expenses. This is for a business that would be very dependent of location but also weather.

Have these been used inside of enclosed shopping centers/malls? Is the kiosk size cost many of those charge worthwhile to a business such as this? How about at airports? How are small setups like this treated by cities with regards how some do not seem to care for food trucks?

bootload 1 day ago 2 replies      
"More importantly, Wheelys is about pour-over coffee rather than the Italian-styled coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos that many popular U.S. chains now use. If you like the taste of coffee beans, pour over tastes way better,"

Lots of effort in sales but what about the end product, coffee? In my home town, Melbourne, where the locals are raised on expresso, Starbucks was run out of town. [0]

Wheely appears to be a trojan brand for expanding other products as well as coffee at the expense of existing franchises in fixed locations. An Uber for fast food products.

[0] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-08-07/32188, http://munchies.vice.com/articles/this-is-why-australians-ha...

erikb 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Taking on Starbucks would mean having nice seats and free wifi. Starbucks is not a coffee company. Coffee is just how they get you inside and start spending money. Or maybe that's different in LA. In Germany there are many shops where you can take a coffee to go with about the same quality as Starbucks but 20-40% cheaper. People only buy Starbucks if they plan to sit in a Starbucks.

Never the less, I think Wheelys can take on Coffee2Go companies without problems.

rajeemcariazo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this will not make a big impact in developing countries like ours because carts are common.
vonklaus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Man, part of me thinks this is a terrible idea for a host of reasons but the founders seem really brand-centric and financially savvy. I wish them the best of luck, it is clear success is possible, maybe even likely, but the magnitude is an open question.
skatenerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it's funny that there are portable coffee stands all over parts of Southeast Asia.

I wonder if most people realize that the "innovation" involved has to do with franchising and finances, rather than the fact that it's a cart that sells coffee.

raverbashing 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Starbucks is not popular because of the coffee

Starbucks is popular because of other factors. For example, not shooshing students that go there to use their wifi (which is usually good)

Maybe the corporate aspect of it even improves this aspect. Nobody will give a f if I'm there (as opposed to a mom and pop shop)

Also the "you know what to expect" factor of chain places also plays a huge part. And as McD is probably beginning to notice, if I go there a couple of times and I have a bad experience, I'm not ever coming back.

dubcanada 1 day ago 0 replies      
I keep looking at it debating all the issues I see with this product. But then I keep wanting to buy one...


dpflan 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a distinct disadvantage for not being able to function during almost all seasons and weather conditions.

YC also backs the bike startups ViaCycle and Vanhawks, and Wheelys represents the use of bicycles in business. In a future with safe autonomous cars, does that make it safer for a bike culture to really take off? And YC can be at the center of a drastic shift to the next evolutional step of the bicycle.

mywacaday 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this guy who calls to my office building every day. The van does a few locations each day,http://mrcotton.com/.He has a few vans on the road, allowed him to pack in his banking job.
hibala 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really so nice to see this kind of business. Kudos to the whole team. I personally feel that you can't take on starbucks, as starbucks is not juz about coffee, but also an place to sit, meet with people along with coffee. So wheelys got to do something about that, at least couple of seat for customers to sit down and have a sip.
a_lifters_life 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the concept actually. Its almost like what food trucks have done to some brick/mortar companies. I dont think this will take on starbucks, but appeal to a millenial userbase.
thenomad 18 hours ago 2 replies      
"a mobile greenhouse where you can grow your own coffee beans"

I'd be fascinated to learn more about the tech behind this. Last time I looked into growing your own coffee, the summary was "don't".

hukep 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It is a great idea for the take away customers. I'd love to see if the society and market will accept this system. The world changes everyday. Don't worry to create something new.
aet 1 day ago 0 replies      
28 seconds to start a Wheelys? It takes longer than that to make a pour over coffee...
reilly3000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Portland will devour Wheelys.
7Figures2Commas 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the United States, franchising is regulated by the FTC and state agencies. Wheelys makes multiple references to "franchise fees" on its Indiegogo page but I did a search in California, which requires registration, and could not find any franchise disclosure document associated with this company.
ytdht 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next will be the Airbnb for coffees... and meals, perhaps.
Vecrios 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the idea. I see it become a huge success in highly populated cities (e.g. New York).
antonius 1 day ago 3 replies      
Besides their newly released app, what's proprietary about this business? What would stop a big coffee company from replicating this at a cheaper cost?
esaym 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Man this is sweet, totally thought about buying one. I'd run my own roasted coffee through it though.
finkin1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a map of that shows where all of the Wheelys are in real-time? I'd love to see one in Boulder!
prapam2 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like the Tea stalls in India but better designed.
rorykoehler 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only reason I ever set foot in Starbucks is for wifi and a seat to work from.
eonw 1 day ago 2 replies      
i hate to be a pessimist, but i really dont see this going far, for a plethora of reasons... but for their sake, ill hope i am wrong.

grow your own coffee beans on the cart? yea right, that cart will grow enough beans in a whole year to make a days worth of coffee, if you are lucky.

too many, new-agey buzz words for me in that article, along with a LOT of misleading info... building out a small cafe doesnt even cost 100k, let alone 800. and starbucks doesnt pay minimum wage, they offer college assistance and health care. so your own cart doesnt really compare straight across for an hourly wage comparison to be fair.

ericfrederich 1 day ago 1 reply      
$30 Aeropress is all anyone should need
philliphaydon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Today, 30 years ago, Commodore introduced the Amiga amiga30.com
217 points by pdknsk  2 days ago   79 comments top 29
ThomPete 1 day ago 7 replies      
For a 41 year old man like me and many of my generation the influence of Commodore was life altering.

It was the Apple of it's time, better in many ways than Apple itself with so much potential. Seeing Defender of the Crown for the first time, or using Deluxe Paint, or ProTracker. You just felt like living in the not evenly distributed future where you were in the forefront and everyone without an Amiga was years in the past.

The innocence and magic feeling of all this at the time, unexplored possibilities an amazing time I hope every generation gets to experience in their own way.

yason 1 day ago 3 replies      
Amiga was like Tesla (the car) is now.

Not that it was (is) blazing fast and technologically advanced in comparison to other models but the fact that it seems to have come from a whole another plane of technology.

Surely it helps to have multiple special-purpose chips onboard as it helps to have dense battery pack worth of 500km baked into the chassis. But that's not the thing.

What a 32-bit pre-emptively multitasking operating system with modern library stacks and system services for building user interfaces and applications was to old machines where you poked memory addresses directly to draw something on the screen is quite akin to what an internet-connected fully electrically powered and from-the-ground-up architected smart&mobile device-on-wheels is to clunkers primarily designed to host an oily, fire-burning engine and an appropriate steel drivetrain, with a passenger cabin retrofitted wherever there's space left from the mechanical components.

You could write high-level code and put that space ship spinning on the screen, and still have it rotate more smoothly than in any of the machines from preceding erawhere no operating system or user interface was messing in the way. That was like having the cake and eating it too. And yet you could switch to "insane mode" by suspending the operating system and commanding the special chips directly, and do things people couldn't even imagine on 8-bit machines (and for the most part, on 16-bit machines too).

Amiga had elements so modern that it almost lasted till the end of the 90's, except for cpu power and marketshare. Considering it was born in the early 80's when 8-bit cpus could beep and produce blocks of color on the screen and died (for all practical purposes) in the internet era, that's one long stretch of time where it made the difference.

nsxwolf 1 day ago 3 replies      
In 4th grade a friend got an Amiga. He boasted that it had 4096 colors, and we ridiculed him mercilessly. There aren't that many colors! Can you name them?

We had our Apple IIs and TI-99/4As with their 16 colors or less and couldn't imagine anything greater.

Then we went to his house and saw Defender of the Crown, and we were humbled.

mrbill 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was 13-14, and a member of Telenet's "Net Exchange" BBS, which existed to support members of its "PC Pursuit" [1] service. I dialed in via a backdoor on one of Telenet's 800 numbers, using (at first) a 300 baud modem on a HP 110 laptop.

I got to be friends with a number of the folks on the system, and at the time, my main system was an Atari 520STfm (it was all we could afford). A bunch of the guys on the board took pity on me, took up a collection, and (secretly) called my mom. A month or so later, a Very Large Box arrived in the mail.

The guys had gotten together with one of their own who owned a computer store, and bought me a used, but well-equipped, Amiga 1000 system, along with an adapter that let me use my Atari monitor with it. The letter that came along with the system said "No smart kid should be without a decent computer. All we ask is that you do the same for someone else when you're able." It made my mom cry.

I used that system every day. Took it to school to show off a couple of times (we were using PS/2 Model 25s there, in comparison). It was used to do titling for the public-access news show my media class produced, among other things. It was my main system up until I had to "upgrade" (blech) to a 386sx-33 so I could run 1-2-3, Wordperfect 5.1, and DBase III+ for college classes. Over the years I acquired numerous A2000s, an A3000 or two, and even an A4K, but nothing beat the fun of firing up that A1000 back in the day.

I turn 41 this year, and have had a great 20+-year career as a UNIX/Linux systems administrator. I'll never forget those guys who pitched in and helped out some kid living in a tiny rural Oklahoma town - they really helped get me to where I am today. To continue the tradition, I build and give away at least 2-3 computers a year to people who are less fortunate. It's the least I can do.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telenet#PC_Pursuit

foobarge 1 day ago 1 reply      
One can read "The Future Was Here", to learn more about the platform and its contributors. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/future-was-here - there's also an accompanying website: http://amiga.filfre.net

Note that the Platform Studies series (http://www.platformstudies.com) has exciting upcoming stuff.

morsch 1 day ago 3 replies      
There's a YouTube channel with excrutiatingly in-depth Amiga repairs: https://www.youtube.com/user/RetroGameModz/videos

He goes down to the circuit level, including within microchips, identifies problems with all kinds of tools including spectrum analysers, and shows off some (to me) amazing soldering skills.

Here's a four hour (I kid you not) video of the repair of an Amiga CD32: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZK3Rmerg1I

branchless 1 day ago 1 reply      
Got my amiga 500 down from the loft about a year ago. It had lay dormant for at least a decade. Plastic had yellowed. I plugged it in and turned on the power switch, expecting to hear a fizz/pop and declare it dead. It booted up fine. And ran kick-off 2.

Seems the only thing to degrade in those 10 years is my reaction time.

tjr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was about 12 years old. I had been engrossed with both the family Apple IIe computer and the fleet of Apple computers installed at my school, learning how to write BASIC programs. Wandering through the local shopping mall with my dad, we saw in the window of a software shop an Amiga 1200 running Lemmings.

I was awestruck. I started getting copies of Amiga-related magazines, and saw these amazing three-dimensional pictures of things like balls and rubber ducks. It was like gazing into the future.

Thankfully, my dad was likewise impressed, and within a few months we received delivery of a shiny new Amiga 3000. In anticipation of continuing my pursuit of programming, we got a compiler for an Amiga variant of BASIC, but I ended up focusing on two-dimensional graphics with Brillance, three-dimensional graphics with Imagine, and video editing with a variety of tools.

A friend at school picked up an Amiga 2000 and joined the multimedia production fun. It might be a good thing that we didn't have YouTube back then, as we likely would have published all sorts of embarrassingly poorly-done animations and videos. We persuaded our school to buy its own Amiga computer for us to edit the student newsletter on, but we both left the school the following year, and it was reported that the Amiga got shoved into a storage space, never to be used again.

I tried hard to persuade anyone who would listen to get an Amiga. The IBM-clones and Macs of the day just seemed so flat-out inferior, I couldn't imagine why anyone wouldn't want an Amiga if they just realized what it could do.

I suppose I would have been happy to still be using the Amiga to this day, except that, after the demise of Commodore, it became increasingly (but not surprisingly) clear that support for the Amiga platform was dwindling. Some users have heroically clung to the Amiga even to this day, but even by 1996 or so it was looking prudent to move elsewhere.

Like remembering a corned beef sandwich from a deli you visited twenty years ago, I might be remembering the Amiga greater than it actually was. But even after thirteen years of using modern Apple computers (and iPads and iPhones and what-not), I still feel there was something magical about the Amiga that has not been captured in anything else.

Or maybe the Amiga captured something magical in me.

jcr 1 day ago 1 reply      
The "Viva Amiga" film project doesn't seem to be finished yet, butaccording to their July 3, 2013 blog post, they interviewed Tim Jenison,the creator of the Video Toaster [2], and the current NewTek CEO, JimPlant. That alone will be interesting.

Even if you aren't old enough to remember how the whole world somehowoverlooked the amazing capabilities of the Amigas, it's an interestingand humbling historical lesson in how the best tech does not always win.

[1] http://vivaamigafilm.blogspot.com/2013/07/newtek-and-video-t...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Toaster

ice303 1 day ago 0 replies      
My first contact with a A500 was in a friends house. I was amazed by the graphics and the sound.At that time, I had a ZX Spectrum 48k, and had to save money for about 2 years to buy it. never had the money to buy a Amiga.Last month, got myself a A500 and I'm discovering a whole computer world that I've missed.
mgkimsal 1 day ago 1 reply      
One interesting memory that I still have trouble explaining to people - multiple video modes on the same screen. I remember having a 640x400(ish) 256 color screen, then pulling it down halfway and having a 320x200(ish) workbench screen behind it. "Huh?" is what I usually get. Then "why would you want that?"
pezz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Need to add to the Amiga love anecdotes.

- My first Amiga was an A500, eventually ended up with a chip RAM upgrade, an A520 20MB hard disk and some extra Fast RAM.

- I owned several Amigas in the early 90s, but I actually cried when I sold my A1200 to buy a 486 DX2 66! Why you may ask? Doom. It changed everything.

walkingolof 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you want an excellent book about Commodore:


toyg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got an Amiga 500 the following year (or 2 years later? I can't remember). I was a kid, so 99% of my time was spent on games; most of my friends had a C64 or a ZXSpectrum, so basically they queued to come to my house...

My father went on to use Logistix extensively in his work, and even to compute results for some school election -- printing tons of pie charts with a dot-matrix.

He also used some graphic effects software (3dtext? Videotext? Can't remember). Because we did not have any video equipment or laser printer, he ended up taking pictures of the screen with his Reflex and then have them printed on actual slides. His colleagues were in awe. Now I can't believe he went to all that trouble!

By the time I actually paid some attention to the manuals and tried my hand at Workbench stuff, Amiga was on its way out. I ended up using an IBM emulator to run WordPerfect, and then just moved to a Windows 3.1 laptop; by then, "real" games had moved to consoles anyway.

LBarret 1 day ago 1 reply      
The real question : Where do I download a dvd image with an emulator and 1000 games to replay my youth ?
emptybits 1 day ago 0 replies      
I loved my Amiga A1000. I forgave the early, buggy floppy-based firmware (Kickstart) and OS (Workbench). I think this experience tempered me for a life working with good-intentioned but buggy operating systems. :-)
ezy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Often the software and OS APIs on that system are glossed over in favor of the hardware or the graphical shell. The Exec[1] was a marvel at the time -- and in some ways, still is. I don't know how much ARexx[2] preceeded AppleScript, but it was also, something that other OSes seldom got right.

It took other user-oriented operating systems about a decade to catch up, and in fact, the hardware everyone raves about in the Amiga fell behind far sooner than the system software.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exec_(Amiga)[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARexx

gdubs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fun fact: Comedian Dana Carvey's brother Brad Carvey built the first wire-wrapped Video Toaster -- arguably the Amiga's "Killer App", which spawned Lightwave3D and powered the visual effects of countless 90's science fiction shows (as well as some film work). In Wayne's World II you can spot Garth wearing a Video Toaster t-shirt to their music festival.
vanderZwan 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a very nice interview on Tweakers.net taken on the Amsterdam Amiga day, with many influential developers:


RJ Mical and Dave Haynie are interviewed, who did hardware development for the Amigas, as well as Mike Dailly (creator of Lemmings) and Allister Brimble (composed for some well-known games of the platforms).

Lot's of Dutch inbetween explaining the historical significance, without subtitles, but probably worth a listen to just for what these guys have to say about the platform.

jcadam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember when we upgraded the family computer from a (second-hand) Apple ][e to an (also second-hand) Amiga 500.

I had gotten my start programming in BASIC on the Apple ][, and was blown away by the stuff I could do using AMOS on the Amiga.

The Amiga 500 was eventually replaced by a new Amiga 1200. Sometime after the end of Commodore (I must have been 14 or so) my parents bought our first PC, a 486 (the latest and greatest at the time) running DOS / Windows 3.1... it just wasn't the same.

Paul_S 1 day ago 0 replies      
I missed out on the Amiga, going straight from 8bit Atari to x86. I used a A500 but never owned anything made by Commodore. I still find it fascinating and the Deathbed Vigil video was a great but melancholy watch. I never programmed for the Amiga but like everyone else I was always impressed by what the Amiga demoscene could do.

An unfortunate clash for the opening weekend with quakecon dates.

bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm reading "The Future Was Here" and it gives an excellent dive into the guts and history of the machine. I've really come to a new appreciation for how this crazy machine worked. Highly recommend this book for anybody with more than a passing interest in this legendary machine.
gleegum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still have my Amiga 500, working. Some years ago I built this 'website', imagining how an Amiga comeback would be: http://darioportfolio.com/amiga/
justuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Been reading about modern Amiga hardware recently like the upcoming X5000 with Amiga OS 4.1. Almost tempted to try it. I forced myself to use Windows, OS X and various Linux for years, but they never felt right.
Banzaaaai 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazed at an Amiga 1000 of a friend.Amiga 500 then A4000/40/RetinaZ3.
shawndumas 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am so going to this! My 13yo son is going to be so excited to attend.
expertentipp 1 day ago 0 replies      
kirk21 1 day ago 0 replies      
nirai 1 day ago 1 reply      
rm -r fs/ext3 lwn.net
214 points by JoshTriplett  2 days ago   92 comments top 11
malkia 2 days ago 3 replies      
First I thought, what about people with ext3 installed - then I've found this post - http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1996708

"no fstab changes required. The ext4 driver has been able to registeritself as ext[23] for quite some time now, so it's transparent.

Many/most distros have been using the ext4.ko driver for ext3 & ext2 foryears. You may already be using that on some boxes, and not even know it.;)

-Eric (Sandeen)"

Some more techincal information here: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.file-systems/97986 thanks madars for the correct url)

rayiner 2 days ago 6 replies      
Obligatory "I feel old" post: Feels like not that long ago I was wondering whether to patch my kernel and upgrade to the experimental ext3.
ryen 2 days ago 1 reply      
> For a while, some thought that might be a filesystem called reiser4, but that story failed to work out well even before that filesystem's primary developer left the development community

This was a nice toungue-in-cheek for Hans Reiser going to prison

nickpsecurity 2 days ago 7 replies      
Reading the comments, I'm guessing I was the only fan of SGI who saw supercomputers used XFS (or variants), figured it would handle my lowly workloads, put it on my machines, worked around its few weaknesses, and just never thought of filesystem choice again aside from boot partition.

Still my favorite filesystem for what was my favorite supercomputing & NUMA company.

cbhl 2 days ago 2 replies      
I feel like, a few years from now, a new kernel developer will wonder why there are ext2 and ext4 modules but not an ext3 module, and this will be the answer.
MBCook 2 days ago 2 replies      
I had completely forgotten about the whole reiserfs saga: v3, v4, creation of ext4, ZFS comparisons, then the trial.

The file system wars were an interesting time.

God I've been reading LWN forever. I had already been reading for many years when that stuff was going on.

trengrj 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can anyone share a non-paywalled link? I'm getting "subscription required" from LWN.
mc808 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's not clear why they don't remove both ext2 and ext3. From the article it sounds like they're equally redundant but harmless other than taking up space in a directory listing. Does ext2 have "features" (read: potentially useful bugs) that are no longer present in ext4?

Edit: Ahh. Looks like I missed "good filesystem for developers to experiment with."

blinkingled 2 days ago 0 replies      
Note that ext4 FS driver can mount both ext2 and ext3 filesystems on its own. So this isn't that big a deal.
roel_v 1 day ago 1 reply      
Isn't there a rule against submitting paywalled articles?
davidgerard 1 day ago 1 reply      
> For a while, some thought that might be a filesystem called reiser4, but that story failed to work out well even before that filesystem's primary developer left the development community.

Well, not so much "left" ...

Storage for Photographers, Part 2 paulstamatiou.com
196 points by PStamatiou  1 day ago   165 comments top 29
NateDad 1 day ago 9 replies      
Everyone needs to check out https://smugmug.com - for $40 a year you get unlimited photo and video uploads (yes, RAW files are ok). It's like flikr with no ads, only your own stuff on the pages, super customizable (with a power account - $60 a year - you can point your own URL at your account and no one even needs to know the files are on smugmug.

It's a site designed for professional photographers that also happens to have kickass features for casual photographers as well. There's even lightroom plugins to upload directly to smugmug.

One of the best features, in my opinion, is the customer support. They respond within a couple hours. They're super nice and knowledgeable.

I've had an account at smugmug for nearly a decade, and would never go back to free services. Google photos is nice, but the size limitation is definitely a problem for prolific photographers.

(I don't work for smugmug nor do I know anyone who works there, I just love their service.)

jly 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great article...lots of comments here about how you shouldn't keep that much data. I agree with that for hobbyists, but this is pretty relevant for professionals where the option to cull doesn't extend that far and there are business reasons for retaining terabytes of photos for an extended period. Additionally, next-gen cameras with 40-50MP RAWs are right around the corner.

I use a similar combination of home-built network storage (no RAID - just manual multiple backups) and glacier for offsite redundancy. Dealing with images as a business, I typically only work on a couple shoots at a time so syncing across devices is not a big concern, but long-term archiving and redundancy is.

calinet6 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just a +1 for the Synology NAS products. I'm frequently amazed every time I use it how clean the UI is and how they basically implemented a full window manager for the underlying Linux system in a web app. It's exactly what a NAS should be: powerful and flexible, yet easy to set up and use, but rock solid even if it just sits there. Lots of great things to say about using it in nearly exactly this setup for about a year now.
Obi_Juan_Kenobi 1 day ago 6 replies      
> Where on earth do normal people store that much data?

They don't.

Normal people realize that keeping that many photos is a negative value proposition; it's a burden rather than an asset. Rather than trying to hold on to everything, they choose what is actually worth revisiting. This could mean they're a little more selective with the shutter, or they only keep the photos they like.

By all means, keep everything if you want to, but I find it troublesome that storage is considered the problem, rather than making no attempt to cull images. Clearly a great deal of effort has gone into these images to make his various travelogues, so the effort to see which ones make the cut has been done already.

That said, it doesn't seem like a NAS was even needed here. Any reasonable PC MoBo is going to have 6 SATA ports, so you can quite easily make a 4 drive RAID 5. Personally, I just RAID 1 a couple 3TB drives and call it good.

Veratyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, that was an amazing article. So comprehensive!

A few things I'd like to add though:

- Mylio (http://mylio.com) is very helpful for syncing your collections across things. Not for everyone but it's worth a look to see if it works. Best thing for me is that it's peer to peer so I don't have to upload my collection to a cloud service to access it on all my devices. It does offer cloud but it's end to end encrypted (allegedly). Best thing is that it lets you configure whether you sync previews, thumbnails or originals to each device and even which photos to sync. Really handy if you want a new shoot on your phone to play with on the train or something.

- You can use Google Drive to get your photos into Google Photos. This lets you keep a bit exact backup in Drive while using your quota for Photos as well. Further, Google Apps for Work Unlimited, through a glitch or deliberately I don't know, offers unlimited Drive storage to accounts even with a single user in their organisation. I pay $10/month for unlimited Google Drive storage. It's advertised as being 1TB for single users so I'm not sure if this is a bug but thought it was worth mentioning.

- Google Photos will (quite helpfully) use the JPEG previews you embed in a DNG photo so if you tend to touch up things in Lightroom, embedding them will ensure that Google Photos displays things in the same way.

Really though, this was an amazingly comprehensive article. Thanks for posting!

magic5227 1 day ago 6 replies      
As a side note I think this brings up another interesting problem than just dealing with the storage, which is, how to enjoy so many photos in a lifetime.

Personally, I decided to severely restrict how many images I keep after a trip, so I'm more likely to actually view them years from now.

alkonaut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Storage is cheap. Backup is easy (if you trust the cloud).

Keep as many TB local storage as you need (a non pro should probably be fine with a few TB for stills of you cull the imports of near-duplicates and OOF shots etc). Spinning disks cost next to nothing and are good enough.

Then, if you want, use one or more means of local protection, such as mirrored local disks or sync to a NAS, preferably at a remote location to protect against theft and fire but local is ok if you must. If you trust your backup service and you have a very good internet connection you could skip this step and just use a few TB of local storage.

Last and most importantly: have a proper backup. syncing to a copy isn't backup. A backup from which you can restore any file from history, after you corrupt it or accidentally delete it (you will do this, and it will happen many more times than you suffer from a disk malfunction or burglary). Even your own carefully crafted backup solution will fail. So plan for that too (by using a 3rd party service too).

There are several very cheap providers of unlimited backup of this kind, for example CrashPlan. Regardless of whether I used proper backup to a remote storage, I'd still make sure to also backup to a cloud service, or even backup both the PC and the NAS to the same service (at no extra cost if it's an unlimited service such as the CrashPlan 10 computer family plan).

knurdle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great article, I've had a similar setup for years now.

An 8 year old readynas that's still running, it's really slow but it works. I do a sync with that and a local desktop with a big external drive. And then I back up that local desktop to crashplan.

I have a comment about the drives, I generally like purchasing different manufacturer drives for my NAS when I'm buying them in bulk. I always worry about multiple drives from the same batch failing around the same time. It's happened to me before so now I'll buy similar capacity drives but from different models or mfrs.

dperfect 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The bad news is that I have over 1TB of photos and the next pricing tier after 1TB ($9.99/mo) is 10TB and that costs a whopping $99.99 per month. So I use Google Photos with the free compressed setting. I don't actually mind since I have my own file backup solution and I use it more for that added layer of intelligence, convenience and utility.

I've tried doing as suggested here, but here's the problem: if it's too expensive to store your RAW images on the cloud (which it is for most people), then your cloud photo library is really just a proxy of your library. That's not to say it isn't useful, but unless it's synchronized both ways with the original files, you're just asking for disorganization - from my experience anyway. You have to be careful and basically only touch the originals to let changes propagate one-way to the cloud proxy.

If it isn't hosting your RAW files, then it doesn't fill the role of a backup, and if your edits or tagging on the cloud aren't applied back to your originals, then any time/effort you put into organizing and editing your library on the cloud is somewhat wasted.

To be honest, I do use Apple Photo Streams for something similar - but I just treat it as a convenience for low-quality output/viewing of recent photos, mostly from my phone. Even then, the Photo Stream part is still a mess. My main library resides on a NAS (as in the article), is backed up to 2 low-cost cloud backup providers (still much cheaper than hosting a single RAW copy on Google Photos), and I use Lightroom for all actual editing and tagging since it applies to the authoritative library.

My point is - I too look forward to the day where at least one copy of my full library can be hosted on something like Google Photos in the cloud, but we're still a ways off from that being practical. Google Photos can be a convenience in some ways, but at current prices it really doesn't fit what I'm looking for.

jupiter909 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading these comments it makes me think that what is being show here in many of these responses is one of core issues with the software world at large.The issue is that of "It's not the way I do it therefore no-one should do it like that." If a person wants to hold on to and horde masses of data then that is their prerogative. To give suggestions on how one would do it from their own view is acceptable but to outright dismiss another persons wants and needs is very myopic. One could even view the building of the data storage systems as a hobby in itself and the act of doing so and documenting it will be of use to others, even in other industries.I know of some professional photographers who have really poor data setups as they are very not that tech savvy so linking them to an article like this is very helpful.
rsync 1 day ago 3 replies      
"Well let's put aside the disk failure issue. Modern 4-drive NAS systems can tolerate a lost drive and alert you promptly to replace it. You'd have to have pretty bad luck to lose more than one drive at the exact same time."

Very interesting and well thought out posting, but the above quotation represents a very, very naive understanding of how these arrays work with large, multi-TB hard drives.

In fact, the reality is exactly backwards to what he has written here: with multiple terabytes of data on the array, a single drive failure results in a long, intensive rebuild process that can serve to hasten the failure of the remaining drives.

I am not anti-NAS - I use them myself for critical data - but with 3 and 4TB hard drive, I would only use raidz3 (or equivalent) at this point (and preferably with 12 or fewer drives in the array).

ksml 1 day ago 0 replies      
Slightly off topic, but since no one else had mentioned it, just wanted to say the rest of his blog is incredibly well done (at least on mobile.) Clicking through to his "Greece" link (http://paulstamatiou.com/photos/greece/two-weeks-in-greece/) was a great decision. Great photography, great layout/design, and good UX overall (I love how it tells a story, and keeps track of what you've seen
fencepost 1 day ago 0 replies      
The thing that kind of jumped out at me was the RAID5 configuration - I can't imagine doing that with 3TB drives unless he really does have everything on there also backed up to another location.
ScottBurson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I considered a NAS, but I had a Linux server already, so I just upgraded it with 6 4TB drives and installed ZFS [0]. I'm using raidz2, which is doubly redundant like RAID-6. For long-term backup I just got a BD-R drive with M-Disc support [1]; haven't tried it yet.

This still makes more sense to me than trying to store it all in the cloud.

[0] http://zfsonlinux.org/[1] http://www.mdisc.com/

jscheel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Culling is an important part of the photographic process. However, far be it from me to tell another photographer what they should and shouldn't keep. We all have our quirks. Good luck convincing me to delete even a blurry photo of my daughter :) Storage is still a huge problem for photographers. There has got to be a better/easier solution than even this process. It's still outside the realm of a lot of photographers' skillsets.
uptown 1 day ago 0 replies      
For any photographers looking to self-host their collections, I strongly recommend taking a look at Koken. Paul mentions it in his article. Unfortunately, they're looking to sell the company - so I'm not sure how long their product will be around, but it's a great solution for self-hosted photos. http://koken.me/
akeck 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love the detail in this article! Recently, my uncle passed away, and I started thinking about the legacy of my photos (27k). The system the author describes works for him and he understands it in detail, but I wonder if anyone else in his family does. If (when?) he passes away, his heirs will not have enough free time in rest of their lives to evaluate his stored media. Likewise, does he have enough free time left in his life to view each of his media objects at least once more? One reason why our generation will "go dark" historically, may be that our heirs, facing terabytes of our data to review, on top of their own data, will simply walk away from the task and delete our data.
distantsounds 1 day ago 3 replies      
If you're willing to pay for Amazon Prime, you get unlimited cloud storage for all your photos. RAW included. The only method to upload/download is via the clunky web UI, but if reliable storage is what you're after, it's a pretty hard bargain.
fxxxit 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a little i3 NUC with 2TB HDD. I quickly go through my photos when I upload them and then they go directly into my OneDrive folder which will sync while I sleep. 10TB (soon to be unlimited) storage because I have Office 365 means I never worry about running out of space.
Amanjeev 1 day ago 3 replies      
Has anyone used http://www.drobo.com? What are the views when compared to Synology?
clintonb 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Ever since my first iPhone in 2007, I've been keeping every mobile phone photo and video I've taken.

Have you ever considered deleting some of the photos or videos? I shoot headshots along with my personal projects (RAW files are 20MB+), and I don't generate anywhere close to 1TB of data per year. This is primarily because I only save what I need or think I will need later.

JimmaDaRustla 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice article!

Wondering why a custom built solution was such a pain to maintain to the author - he mentions updates, but once you have a working system, no real reason to update unless there is a feature or security issue that needs to be addressed.

aaronbrethorst 1 day ago 2 replies      
AbeEstrada 1 day ago 0 replies      
My storage solution is Blue-ray discs + External HDD + AWS Glacier. Once I use the RAW files, I rarely need them, that's why I store them in Blue-ray discs as a backup.
trwhite 1 day ago 1 reply      
magic5227 1 day ago 1 reply      
beachstartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
i'm so glad i wasn't born with the digital hoarder gene. apparently my absolute-zero proclivity to hang onto photographs and other media is extremely rare. i'm just not into it. i'll snap some stuff on my phone to share with my close friends, and then let it get deleted or whatever. i don't upload it to socialmedia. i just don't give a shit, to be honest.

we're surrounded by this stuff day in and day out on every screen we have, i make no effort to keep any of it longer than a few weeks. in fact i have a problem getting rid of old photos, somehow they seem to follow me around on device to device through no fault of my own! they're almost like viruses.

imaginenore 1 day ago 4 replies      
coldtea 1 day ago 0 replies      
Show HN: Showgoers Watch Netflix with friends remotely showgoers.tv
218 points by eremzeit  8 hours ago   63 comments top 25
gfodor 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Cool stuff -- at AltspaceVR we support the same concept with Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, etc, but as avatars within a virtual space (ideally in VR.) You can hang out while watching netflix with voice chat, body tracking, etc. This was a big challenge for us to get working well, so I can sympathize with the authors :)


Just install our browser plugin, go to a netflix vid, hit "watch in AltspaceVR", and you'll have a virtual space dedicated for that netflix movie.


chubasco 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The Netflix app on the Xbox 360 used to do this. And you and your friends could put on your headsets and watch the same thing on Netflix while chatting.
wcummings 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The far less polished solution I came up with for syncing viewing with my friends: https://github.com/wcummings/vlc-irc-rc
rory096 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As I said over on /r/netflix, great app, and the implementation is hands down better than rabb.it's RTC method.

Did you start after Netflix switched to HTML5 video? I'm curious how you might've dealt with the old flash player- I basically gave up on any actual control of Netflix in my side project because it was too black-boxy.

bomatson 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of when my wife and first started dating long distance - Skype screen sharing movies was our jam
stephengillie 7 hours ago 1 reply      
In the tradition of declaring something new as "X for Y", I declare this is "Cytube for Netflix". Or it will be, when you add chat functionality.

It's a really neat idea, and it's basically second-best to watching a video in the same room as someone else. It's really fun to watch shows with other people, have discussions about the show, and share the experience.

References (I didn't make these):



vsakos 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently made a similar desktop app to watch movies with my gf. It has only video sync and text based chat.

Check the screenshot: http://i.pics.rs/64I0n

Maybe I will open source it when it's done. Btw I used Qt and libVLC.

kristopolous 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a web app to do this a few years ago (2011?) For thematic music video content at http://80smtv.com/#80smtv (still up but a ghost town).

Here's the source (https://github.com/kristopolous/emptyv) ... most of it was written during the 3 or so weeks that it had lots of traffic, coming from all places, Poland.

I worked hard on the anarchistic anonymous vj feature as a social experiment. It was interesting but not traction building.

One day I'll build something that can sustain traffic. One day...

tthayer 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Does this do something like rebroadcasting the stream, or does it merely sync your place on a show using their own Netflix account?
camilo_u 5 hours ago 1 reply      
There's another solution called https://rabb.it/, but it also has HBO, Hulu and a bunch of other stuff, seems like a better alternative.
ndesaulniers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
click170 4 hours ago 1 reply      
For plex users, if your friends can access your plex server, this is trivial.

One of you starts watching a movie, the others start watching the same movie and it asks them "would you like to resume from X". Just say Yes and you're all watching the movie in sync.

I love that you can do this with Netflix now though, this seems like one if those features that could have (was?) In the original release.

tantalor 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Add support for http://www.google.com/cast/ and I'm in.
deckar01 4 hours ago 0 replies      
We used to watch TV with my grandma over the phone.

Instead of commercial breaks they could have intermissions like old movie theaters allowing people to smoke and chat.

brickmort 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The concept seems very similar to Rabbit: http://rabb.it
lawl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Heh, I had the same idea for a while, but using HTML5 and streaming it to friends directly via P2P. But I was too lazy to implement it and afraid of getting into troubles with the MAFIAA.

Just using netflix is definitly suitable for the masses too :)

BHSPitMonkey 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What happens when one client stops to buffer?
mdevere 4 hours ago 0 replies      
you should also check out Let's Gaze. https://letsgaze.com/#/

it works for YouTube and local files.

enedil 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If only Netflix was avaliable in Poland...
booruguru 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there anything like this for VLC or some other desktop video app?
s369610 6 hours ago 0 replies      
just add webrtc voice chat to complete the experience
jstx 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this OSS? If not, are there any plans to add Plex to it?
dhruvarora013 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Love it! You should OSS this!
JCordeiro 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool. Thanks for sharing :D
ripaujla 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is Nice, Will use.
A call to PHP's mt_rand generates only odd numbers 3v4l.org
202 points by ComputerGuru  16 hours ago   110 comments top 9
Stormcaller 15 hours ago 5 replies      
Because max value should be "mt_getrandmax()" instead of "PHP_INT_MAX", it just gets a 32 bit number then scales it up.

see: http://php.net/manual/en/function.mt-rand.php

Under caution:

The distribution of mt_rand() return values is biased towards even numbers on 64-bit builds of PHP when max is beyond 2^32. This is because if max is greater than the value returned by mt_getrandmax(), the output of the random number generator must be scaled up.

edit: this post went from 5 points to 1, which I don't care about(in ~500 days I posted less than 10 times and I have ~35 points), but who downvotes documentation, seriously? -_-

_yy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Quoting a Reddit comment (https://www.reddit.com/r/lolphp/comments/3eaw98/mt_rand1_php...):

The problem is way worse than you think. Check out what this looks like when printed in hexadecimal: http://3v4l.org/XVTgS

Basically, what is going on is that PHP_INT_MAX is 2^63 - 1. mt_getrandmax() is 2^31 - 1. The way mt_rand() makes a random number when the limit is too large is that it makes a random number in the range [0,2^(31)), then it scales it to be a number in the range [0,MAX-MIN), and finally adds MIN.

So in your case, it scales everything by 2^32 and adds 1. Which is why the numbers are* extremely non-random. [See my other comment in this thread for a more detailed explanation and some more test scripts that prove this is what is happening.](https://www.reddit.com/r/lolphp/comments/3eaw98/mt_rand1_php...

sarciszewski 14 hours ago 1 reply      
And that's another reason why it's a good thing that PHP 7 (coming out soon!) has a new function called random_int() which provides an unbiased distribution of integers powered by a CSPRNG (yes, it uses urandom, in case anyone asks).

My employer is leading the effort to expose a compatible interface in PHP 5 applications so developers can add one line to their composer.json file and start writing code for PHP 7. It's MIT licensed and should nearing its 1.0.0 release soon.


beefhash 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Using a loop of that length (for ($i=0;$i<10000;$i++)) on a site allowing people to execute code, and then linking it to HN effectively amounts to a do-it-yourself DDoS. I don't think I wanna be the host of that site right now.
dantillberg 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I believe it's also generally an anti-pattern to do things like "num = rand() % max" or "num = rand() & bit_mask" where rand() returns an integer from a pseudo-random number generator, right?

PHP may not do a very good job at ensuring an even distribution throughout the space of possible integers, but for PRNGs in general (especially the quick & dirty ones), the worst place to grab bits from is the least-significant bits.

(my source is that I hung out with a copy of Numerical Recipes in college; Numerical Recipes has a nice chapter for learning about PRNGs, along with example code for a number of implementations)

MrDosu 12 hours ago 3 replies      
This is why you read the documentation. Don't deduce what a method does purely on its name and your common sense, you are probably wrong...
deckiedan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It's because there simply are more odd numbers than even numbers...


Retr0spectrum 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The bug works for me on PHP5. Are you on a 32-bit machine? Your values would suggest that you are. See Stormcaller's comment for an explanation.
InfiniteEntropy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Snowden Meets the IETF mnot.net
203 points by kazuho  2 days ago   74 comments top 4
s_q_b 2 days ago 6 replies      
The more I consider the ramifications of these news reports, the more I realize we need full decentralization and total encryption.

We have the tech: Strong encryption, Tor-like relays, and the blockchain. What we need is a way to make services based on these technologies not just as easy to use but easier to use for the average Jane.

If the internet as we know it is to survive, we have to crack this nut.

Panino 2 days ago 4 replies      
It must have been an exciting surprise for attendees.

I'm glad Snowden said DNS should be encrypted. From the tweet stream provided by @conflictmedia, that was tied for 1st for most re-tweeted, along with making the Internet for users, not spies. (It should be noted that DNSSEC is not encrypted.)

Too bad his appearance wasn't recorded, but HUGE thanks to Niels ten Oever and Rich Salz for tweeting major points!

frankNo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, luckily for humanity this is exactly what I've been coding full time since December of 2014,dedicating my life to. I have been designing it for many years.

My vision iscomplete and planned, all the way until The World Brain! See:https://sherlock.ischool.berkeley.edu/wells/world_brain.html

The first layer, MORPHiS, is a global secure encrypted distributed datastorethat deprecates bittorrent, email and the web so far and is slated forrelease at the end of this Month!

Seehttp://reddit.com/r/morphis for details.

Sorry for reddit; it is because I keep getting shadow banned here for being proSnowden, Etc. Do not worry, MORPHiS is designed to deprecate hacker news! Anyways, the website is morph.is but doesn't launch until the 31st of this month. Read the only article in the /r/morphs subreddit for lots of details on MORPHiS!

Peace all!

justwannasing 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find it interesting that people now consider Snowden the authority and source for all these things.
Examining Microsoft Edge Browser Performance anandtech.com
190 points by dwgirvan  3 days ago   132 comments top 21
vmarsy 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.

skrowl 3 days ago 1 reply      
No amount of speed matters until you have extensions. Without uBlock, it'll just be an ad filled mess.
DigitalSea 3 days 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).

citalan 3 days 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 3 days 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.

ajitkolathur 3 days 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.
bztzt 3 days 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.
GnarfGnarf 2 days 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.
itsbits 3 days 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- 3 days ago 3 replies      
Are they really going the completely disregard Linux users?
mistermann 3 days ago 0 replies      
aesthetics1 3 days ago 0 replies      
ilaksh 3 days ago 0 replies      
What matters is HTML5 compatibility which is lacking.
benaston 2 days ago 1 reply      
aesthetics1 3 days ago 1 reply      
dgcoffman 3 days ago 1 reply      
pippy 3 days ago 1 reply      
0xFFC 3 days ago 1 reply      
joshstrange 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sell it or run it, there is no middle ground jacquesmattheij.com
186 points by jacquesm  2 days ago   146 comments top 22
netcan 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a counterintuitive point, and I think mostly gets glossed over in a lot of high level thinking. For example, if you're reading some generic advice about valuing a small company, it will usually point out that "profit" needs to be expressed net of the owner/manager's salary, the salary a buyer would need to pay someone to be General manager of this business. Economics textbooks do something similar.

This might give you the impression it's normal to hire general managers for businesses. In reality, it's rare that a "small company" (say a turnover of $1m-$10m, for a typical software or services company, or even 10X that) does this.

A clean break between ownership and management is a difficult thing.

Jacques does an admirable job of breaking it down in a way that gets the message across. To go further, I actually think it could be a great topic for an out-of-the-box young economist to take on. Like a modern Ronald Coase's "Theory of the Firm." It's got tentacles in a lot of interesting questions. The unpopularity (these days) of "adult supervision" investor supplied CEOs, for example. The relative obscureness of SMEs as an investment class outside of high risk VC for another.

It would be very unusual for someone to put his/her net worth (say $2m) into a small business unless they can run it. Does an economist-ic explanation exist?

crazygringo 2 days ago 4 replies      
What size company is he talking about -- 5 employees? 15? 50? 500? 5,000? Public companies are certainly run with ownership being different from management.

But if we're talking about a 15-person company, the author says:

"This means that before long there will be a general feeling of resentment, after all if you (and possibly your co-founders, also lying on the beach) are going to receive all or at least a very large chunk of the profits then why do all the hard work?"

That big chunk of profits comes from the fact that you took the initial risk, you worked the endless hours at the beginning, you created the whole thing in the first place. Why on earth should they resent you continuing to take your fair share of the fruits of your previous labor? If they have a problem with that, the problem isn't with you, it's with capitalism in general.

You do need to make sure everyone continues to be appropriately invested in the company, including the new CEO. But the idea that you should either run a company or not own it at all is ludicrous -- taken to its logical conclusion, this means investors shouldn't exist!

jasonkester 2 days ago 5 replies      
One way to work this is to have the person who replaces you be "you, but only a few hours a week".

That is, automate your business to the point that it takes substantially less than one full time person to run it. Kill off all manual recurring tasks, automate all the common customer service interaction, get the infrastructure ticking away so that it stops routinely blowing up on you. Get things down to just a handful of customer emails that actually need a human response, then book that flight to Ibiza.

They have wifi, I imagine. Run your business over coffee in the morning, then go off and live your life.

ThomPete 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yet I know several founders who do exactly that and with great success.

I think it comes down to what kind of business, what your business is based on (IP, network, patents, technology, marketing) and if you are the kind of person who understand how to hire the right people and delegate the right kind of jobs.

There is always a middle ground.

brudgers 2 days ago 1 reply      
The missing piece if the puzzle is that the road to passive income is passive investment. Cashing out and investing the proceeds in suitable syndicates is the what is likely to work. If you retain significant equity, you didn't cash out and you've got a passive investment portfolio with no diversity.
JoblessWonder 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently working for a smallish family-owned company and I'm tempted to forward this to the owner.

He doesn't want to retire but also doesn't want to commit to the time requirements of the day to day operation of the company. This wouldn't be a big deal because he has set himself up with some great managers and a solid foundation.

However... about once a month he gets an itch and decides to get in the middle of the smoothly running operation he spent decades creating because he "wanted to help." It just causes chaos and anger by the people running the company for him the other 25 days each month.

jseliger 2 days ago 7 replies      
Incidentally, this is also true of renting a condo or house you own. A couple friends have attempted to rent their condo or house and move somewhere else. This has never worked out well. It is possible to hire a company to manage the condo or house, but that is expensive and the profits never quite arrive.

I have seen a couple friends successfully rent places they live near.

URSpider94 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't agree that it's this black and white, but it's likely to be true for most small-scale companies.

The way I always describe it to people is that salary != profit. Let's say that you are making $100k a year running your company. How much would you have to pay someone else to do your job with the same level of effectiveness? If it's $50,000, then you're making $50k a year in profit for being the owner. If it's $150,000, then you are actually giving up $50k per year for the privilege of being your own boss.

It's certainly possible to be a non-participating owner and make a good profit on a business. This is what Warren Buffett does with Berkshire Hathaway -- he buys profitable, well-run companies and usually keeps the former owners on to continue operating them. Doing it from the other direction is much tougher, because you either need to make yourself redundant or hire your replacement.

hobofan 2 days ago 2 replies      
I might be missing something here, but isn't hiring somebody new to do your job exactly what the new owners of the company have to do if you sell it? Maybe this will be delayed by golden handcuffs, but sooner or later it has to happen.
tomkin 2 days ago 3 replies      
Has everyone forgotten about the "family owned business" or the business where you just keep it? I feel like I'm saying something foreign, where it shouldn't be foreign at all. Why does everything have to come down to selling the company

Here's my point: Everyone believes in growth. And everyone believes in small business, but people also believe capitalism is fine the way it is.

And we can believe all of those things at once, and wonder why we have poor people in our society, cheque cashing stores and inequality.

You can believe in those three ideas all you want, but they don't believe in each other.

krigi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked at a company in this situation. Revenues were stagnating and senior employees started leaving. The non-CEO partner was uninvolved and kept pressing for a sale at all business meetings. The atmosphere at the company was pretty dreary.

The CEO remedied this situation by choosing a new CEO from within the remaining senior staff, while giving himself a new position of chief product officer/biz dev.

However, this was all merely a title swap, as the ex-CEO kept tight hold over the finances. So a weird power dynamic formed, as the new CEO was essentially effete. Anything that incurred a cost had to be discussed with the ex-CEO. The new CEO enacted a rigid fiscal policy by reducing headcount and the expenses under his immediate control. Morale fell and the new CEO eventually resigned.

The company is still in existence, and the owner is considering selling it now. Hopefully it's not too late.

Vivtek 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the exact same lesson I learned, painfully, with rental property. I think it probably applies to everything. In my case, despite owning property in a college town (which you would think would be a sure win), I lost a lot of money and experienced a lot of stress, and finally came to realize that I could either be a landlord, which requires personal skills I didn't have at the time (I think I might have gotten mean enough now - age helps), or I could just sell the damn thing and walk away. Doing the latter was a good move. I wish I had done it a couple of years earlier.
Xcelerate 2 days ago 1 reply      
> if you (and possibly your co-founders, also lying on the beach) are going to receive all or at least a very large chunk of the profits then why do all the hard work?

So... basically the stock market?

SG- 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm seeing this exact thing at a restaurant I work at during weekends. Owner shows up once a week to drop off pay checks and lives in another city (1.5 hours away).

All those points pretty much apply.

voidlogic 2 days ago 2 replies      
>take off to Ibiza and watch the money roll in while lying on the beach. Passive income if there ever was, it seems such a good idea!

I wish the blog author would have addressed the employee-empowered hands hands off approach suggested in 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. That book seems to suggest (mostly) passive income approach is possible if done right, but this blog doesn't address that alternative to its suggested bad-outcomes.

anfedorov 2 days ago 1 reply      
What about moving to a board position, like Bill Gates or Alexis Ohanian? You're still part of the company, but don't have to worry about day-to-day...
shin_lao 2 days ago 0 replies      
This means that before long there will be a general feeling of resentment, after all if you (and possibly your co-founders, also lying on the beach) are going to receive all or at least a very large chunk of the profits then why do all the hard work?

If they like their job and you redistribute a good share of the profits, I don't see how this can happen.

sampo 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Why not hire someone reliable to run the company

I remember reading a blog post by Derek Sivers, of CD Baby fame, how he did just that. But I cannot find it now.

angersock 2 days ago 1 reply      
...after all if you (and possibly your co-founders, also lying on the beach) are going to receive all or at least a very large chunk of the profits then why do all the hard work?

This same resentment may (will) occur with early employees if the cofounders are part time. Have same issue at current company.

ForHackernews 2 days ago 2 replies      
antidaily 2 days ago 0 replies      
justonepost 2 days ago 0 replies      
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