hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    27 Jul 2015 Best
home   ask   best   4 years ago   
NASAs Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth nasa.gov
848 points by randomname2  3 days ago   292 comments top 35
throwaway_yy2Di 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 2 replies      
"385-day orbit" ... Can't wait to have to take into consideration different "year" zone in my code.
ilurk 3 days 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 3 days 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.
king_magic 3 days ago 1 reply      
So wouldn't a good next step be to point a bunch of radio telescopes at this system and start listening?
krschultz 3 days 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.
phkahler 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.



FailMore 3 days ago 3 replies      
What's next??? How do we find out if there is life?
_karthikj 3 days 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!!
lxfontes 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
The 385 day year is mentioned. What about hours in a day? Do we know that?
Kiter1 3 days 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_ 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone show me where Kepler-452b is on a star chart?
carsongross 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Where is everybody?" --Enrico Fermi
givan 3 days ago 0 replies      
What are the odds that this is just a sunspot?
yadakhov 2 days ago 0 replies      
M class planets.
jajaBinks 3 days ago 0 replies      
frade33 2 days ago 0 replies      
is there one of me?
csense 3 days 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?
cdz0675 3 days ago 0 replies      
sktrdie 3 days ago 3 replies      
Show HN: Bocker Docker implemented in 100 lines of bash github.com
655 points by p8952  5 days ago   87 comments top 26
BonoboBoner 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 1 reply      
logicrime 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
$10M per LoC
WD-42 5 days ago 1 reply      
Nice work. Great to see the advanced features of BTRFS put to use.
asdfaoeu 5 days ago 0 replies      
There's also https://github.com/docker/dockerlite . But not sure how current it is.
sandGorgon 5 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 4 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...

joeevans1000 5 days ago 0 replies      
The emperor is wearing fewer clothes.
Bocker 5 days ago 0 replies      
jenscow 4 days ago 0 replies      
That script is the best description of Docker I've read.
sklogic 4 days ago 0 replies      
I honestly thought docker was just a little script when I saw it first, judging on the functionality.
spydum 5 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 5 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 4 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, I just submitted a pull request for the "exec" command :)
agumonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
Persistent data structure FTW.
vacri 5 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is incredible.
SFjulie1 5 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 5 days ago 1 reply      
npx 5 days ago 0 replies      
In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided me washingtonpost.com
572 points by webmonkeyuk  1 day ago   272 comments top 37
sudioStudio64 1 day ago 5 replies      
I, for one, get tired of the constant refrain of hero worship while these guys say that there number one job is to get home safely.

They are afforded terrible powers to intervene in, and disrupt, someone's life. That trade is made under the assumption that they do a dangerous job.

A benefit is afforded to them due to the responsibility that they bear.

Obviously, they want to have as much power with as little danger as possible. They want to maximize the benefit the receive (largely being above the law and a middle class existence) and minimize the repercussions of what they owe for it (possibly being in danger).

Its the same in other areas of American life where elites have abdicated their responsibilities but have become accustomed to the benefits afforded them to the point that they think it's owed to them. That has to change.

EDIT: for clarification and spelling.

jxm262 1 day ago 8 replies      
This is a really well written article. This also echo's alot of the sentiment that many people have. I remember reading recently about the differences in police training from Germany vs the US. One of the things that stuck out at me was the huge amount of hours they spend training to "not" shoot, and learning how to de-escalate situations. It's no wonder we have so many issues here in the US, it makes me sad.
downandout 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Rhoads defended the procedure, calling the officers actions on point. Its not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me."

That is dereliction of a police officer's duty. The entire purpose of a police force is to investigate potential crimes, and then, if it is determined that a crime has occurred, to arrest those involved. This man, a shift commander, is literally saying that their policy is to shoot first and ask questions later. He should, at a minimum, be fired. Additionally, if he has actually structured his department in a way that has officers arresting people without prior investigation, he and all others carrying out this policy should be criminally prosecuted for false imprisonment.

maehwasu 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Two years ago, I was in the US for a month and volunteered to chauffeur two Chinese students to a Celtics game as an outing (I was working for a homestay/education consulting company at the time).

On the way back at night, driving through a small town in central Massachusetts, I passed a cop car, going at the speed limit. The cop immediately pulled out and began tailing me, but did not turn on his lights.

I tried to maintain a constant speed, a couple miles above the 35 mile per hour speed limit, since I know cops treat excessively slow speeds as an indicator of drunk driving.

Eventually, after 15 minutes of being tailed, I hit my foot a bit too heavily on the gas, and went to 45 miles per hour. He instantly turned on his lights, and pulled me over.

The officer was extremely skeptical when he got to the car, especially since the name on the car's registration was my company's, not mine, and I had two minors in the back. After some questioning and prodding about where we had been and what we had been doing, he let me go with a warning.

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had pulled over in the same situation, but black. The officer was serving no sort of duty except to troll for problems where none existed.

I haven't returned to the US since: it turns out there are many places I can live where I don't have to have nerve-wracking interactions with hostile law enforcement, ever.

whoopdedo 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Its not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me.

When a man's job depends on him apprehending suspects, then he will find a way to create more suspects for which to apprehend.

suprgeek 1 day ago 1 reply      
In the US the Police are a "Guns & Badges" Culture thru & thru. Only the truly "macho" are regarded with respect.There is no concept of de-escalation.

The bigger problem is that the policies & incentives are built to reinforce this. They get promotions/assets based on forfeiture laws, weapons based on Pentagon Surplus & publicity based on Shootouts. No one ever got promoted for not shooting a (potentially innocent) suspect. Very very rarely does a cop get prosecuted for pulling a gun or inflicting other violence.

SO put a bunch of arrogant, power seeking people in a system which glorifies violence & rewards forfeitures. What else do you expect?

joesmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
"I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety cant always come first. That is why its service. Thats why its sacrifice."

I think that sums it up well. Many police officers do indeed act like they don't understand the risks or even purpose of their own jobs. Policing has become an end in and of itself. It's no longer about protecting and serving but about policing and arresting and jailing. It doesn't matter if there is no crime, people will be arrested. It doesn't matter if there is serious crime, low-level offenders will be the primary target. And of course, nothing is more important than officer safety. These officers are cowards who should be ashamed of themselves. They don't have an altruistic bone in their body and probably wouldn't lift a finger to save a baby out of a burning building. It is the citizens' lives that matter, that the police are sworn to protect. It is the citizens they serve. But that indeed has been lost.

Given all this, is it any wonder that much of the population no longer trusts police, many from negative personal experiences? The author is right. Until there is a huge shift in the way police treat citizens, this problem of trust will get worse. For many, it is a problem of hate, and in many cases, rightly so.

Yet the police and many other people insist that the change has to come from citizens. If only we give up our guns. If only we give up our freedoms. These things just make the problem worse by blaming the victims and forcing the citizens to give up even more for the well being of the police.

There is no movement from the pro police camp, and it's been their turn for decades now. Until there is, hate and animosity from the community will continue to grow.

rayiner 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm both disappointed and not all that surprised. I grew up here, and this is the product of something that has been brewing for twenty years.

The citizens here are to blame. The police are just giving the public what it wants. It's a county full of McMansions and extreme paranoia. Lots of upper middle class people terrified that their fragile existence might be upset by [Mexican immigration, terrorism, <insert fear here>].[1] I'm not sure if 9/11 was a turning point per se, but planes crashing into the Pentagon in neighboring Arlington didn't help.

It wasn't always like this. When I was growing up you'd almost never see a Fairfax County cop. Vienna was always a police state, but the small-bit speed-trap kind. Today, there are cops crawling around Tysons (where the biggest danger is rowdy teenagers).

[1] It's notable that this story takes place just across the Potomac from where those parents got in trouble with the police for letting their kids walk home less than a mile from school.

Retra 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm confused as to why a report of a squatter requires any kind of raid to begin with...
ghufran_syed 1 day ago 3 replies      
I sometimes find ex-military folks analogies between their wartime service and situations in civilian life rather forced, but this analysis is exactly right. I used to ask myself why the Israeli Defence Forces would risk innocent palestinian civilian lives to kill the terrorists who hide among them by using drones or airstrikes instead of the kind of techniques they would no doubt use if the terrorists were surrounded by Israeli civilians. The simple answer is that the life of an Israeli civilian is considered (by the IDF) to be worth more than that of a palestinian civilian.

The same was clearly true in the United States' early approach to counter-insurgency in Iraq, as described in this piece, where the life of an American soldier is clearly much more valuable to the US Government than those of the Iraqi civilians we went to 'save'.

The sad thing is the comparison I would always quote was "what would the police do in the United States, if you had a dangerous criminal surrounded by civilians?" They probably wouldn't use an airstrike, they would probably use some other technique with a higher risk to the police, but a lower risk to the civilians they are sworn to 'protect and serve'

This article (and lots of other data) suggests that is changing: if everyone is a suspect until proven innocent, there is no need for police restraint. The worse that can happen is a dead 'perp' I guess...

gokhan 1 day ago 2 replies      
> The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers personal security.

This seems like the thing police forces need to change in order to fix the situation.

sago 1 day ago 1 reply      
"nothing ... is more important than officers personal security"

I'm not sure this is true. If it were, why would they put themselves into potentially violent situations? It seems to me the priorities are

1. Make the arrest.2. Officer safety.3. Public safety.4. Justice.

In that order. They are related, to get 4 you sometimes need 1-3. But not always.

'Militarised police' is correct, because this corresponds exactly to what we'd want of our warfighters.

1. Carry out the mission.2. Be safe.3. Keep 3rd parties safe.4. Be ethical and moral.

It's a far cry from 'to protect and serve'. Personally I'd be happy with a squatter in an empty apartment getting away more often in return for not deploying an armed raid with no confirmation based on a single report.

e12e 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> He explained that it was standard procedure to point guns at suspects in many cases to protect the lives of police officers. Their firearm rules were different from mine; they aimed not to kill but to intimidate.

That's nuts. At least they haven't gone that crazy in Norway - the police instruction on firearms are still: "Only aim at someone you're authorized to kill" -- eg: someone posing an immediate threat that can't be avoided by de-escalating the situation (so it's not enough for someone to threaten to kill a police officer, if that officer can easily back away and secure the area/wait for backup -- but more along the lines of someone aiming a gun at someone).

And this makes more sense to me too: Everyone is entitled to self-defense if they fear for their life -- if someone threaten you with a deadly weapon -- be that a knife or a gun, it's entirely rational to try and kill them in order to save yourself. You might of course serve out the rest of your life in prison if you make the wrong call -- but you'll be alive.

Just because someone is a cop, doesn't mean they can't be(come) a murderer. This is why it's so important for police to practice restraint. They work for us, not against us after all (or should, anyway).

brownbat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Virginia is a special puzzle.

For Violent Crime in 2011, it ranked 46th of the 50 states. Property Crime was 43rd.

The Federal & State Incarceration Rate was 13th, and general funds spending on corrections (2008), it was ranked 11th highest.

Sometimes Europeans are alarmed by the high US incarceration rates, with our 700-800 per 100,000 over twice most other countries. If you want your eyes to just pop out of your head though look at the state by state numbers. (The US is a big place, and all social trends are not perfectly distributed.) Louisiana incarcerates over 1400 of its 100,000, four to fourteen times most other countries. The one thing you can say for Louisiana, though, is that it also has over double the national murder rate. So maybe it has other endemic problems that are running both numbers up simultaneously.

Virginia's up there in incarceration with 900-1000 per 100k, but it doesn't have the violent crime stats that could even attempt to excuse it. It has below average homicide and violent crime rates.

It's a high incarceration state for no damn reason.

Some resources:





jessriedel 1 day ago 1 reply      
This discussion of strategies for reducing the use of force by police is more constructive and sensible than most on this issue:


rogeryu 1 day ago 4 replies      
This reminds me of Sandra Bland who was put into jail for three days because of improperly signaling a lane change. Police in the US is totally out of control it seems.
DominikR 1 day ago 4 replies      
I once used to believe that the problem in the US is that guns are so widely available, but today I'm not so sure about that anymore, because there are many very safe countries that rank high in number of guns per capita like Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Canada and Germany.


In Switzerland every male has a military type machine gun and two magazines at home and in my country, Austria, there are regions that rival Texas in terms of gun ownership.

Today I tend to believe that this might be a problem of city planning (and preventing ghettos). The US has cities that are much larger than the largest cities in the countries cited by me. But I might be wrong here.

Anyways, I do not doubt that police in Austria and Germany would act no differently than in the US if they had reason to expect that they could be shot every time they stopped a car. Thankfully this is not the case.

excitom 1 day ago 1 reply      
I feel like if the author had been black he wouldn't be around now to write that article.
roymurdock 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the majority of cops become more empathetic after reading pieces like these and take extra precautions not to become those cops under public scrutiny?

Or do they just get even more set into the us vs. them and we know what's better for the dumb masses mindset?

I would love to hear an actual cop's opinion on how the recent media coverage has affected his/her individual performance and the overall performance of the police force in general.

c5karl 1 day ago 1 reply      
The chief of police has posted a response: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/a-message-from-the...
rbcgerard 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It blows my mind that the police would not check with the management office security guard as to whether the unit was currently occupied...what if it had been rented that day?

this feeds into a problem that is a corollary to the above, which is the whole see something/say something mentality with no repercussions for those that call the police on others...

curiousjorge 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read these type of people walk the fine line that separates criminals, the propensity for violence and murder while wearing a uniform doesn't fix psycopathy. Not to say all police officers are built this way, and certainly there are elements that I can observe as an outsider that makes American style policing to be particularly and overwhelmingly lethal and excessive. I have a hard time buying the liuetenants response that this is the norm. What kind of fucked up policy allows guns drawn officers with questionable safety margin to kick out a suspected squatter? It raises even more questions like, what if the author was African American? Or maybe he had tattoo on his face? If people wearing a uniform are free to choose a response in their own thinking, how much of past fatalities by police force were caused by trigger happy and blood thirsty individuals that are clearly psychopaths? How can the public trust enforcers who more than coincidentally use excessive force before the usual buckshot is laid out? It must be truly terrifying to be American, and stories like this makes me inclined to keep my Canadian citizenship. Not taking the higher ground, we've had exactly such police brutality, but almost in most cases they've resulted in criminal conviction. On the other hand a super lax and incompetent police force like those in Korea or Japan is equally frightening, but much less than a trigger happy, God knows what type of disorder suffering badge wearing individual will react in high stress situations, especially one that is escalated entirely by themselves.
lectrick 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Every time you aim a gun at an innocent persons' head without first doing due diligence before escalating, you increase the chances of an accident or misunderstanding which results in an innocent person dead.

Which we hear about all the time. So WTF?

In any event, why would a squatter merit such a hostile response?

droithomme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why would they sent an assault team to look into a report of a squatter?
jowiar 1 day ago 1 reply      
FWIW Fairfax County, VA is about as rich, white, and suburban place that you can find in the US.
dmourati 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This story could have easily ended much worse if the Iraq vet had armed himself against the intruding police as suspected home invaders.
nchammas 1 day ago 0 replies      
The author's recommendation that the police build up community relationships to increase trust and reduce unnecessary confrontation reminded me of a book, Fixing Broken Windows [1], that made a similar recommendation for what it called "community policing".

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Fixing-Broken-Windows-Restoring-Commun...

joeax 22 hours ago 0 replies      
To understand all of this, a great FB page to follow is CopBlock (disclaimer: not affiliated with them but a great news source). The way the police in America act today is borderline Orwellian, or perhaps it's already crossed that line.
dunkelheit 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Can this be the consequence of liberal gun ownership laws in the US? When anyone police interacts with can carry the gun it makes perfect sense to act as if they did. Hence excessive violence in trivial cases.
vaadu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I live in Fairfax county. It has some excellent officers but the dept is atrocious when it comes to transparency and honesty with the citizenry.

The officer involved shootings of unarmed people are consistently swept under the rug.

pasbesoin 1 day ago 1 reply      
There was no report of anyone being harmed -- of any violence occurring. The police escalated the situation to a violent confrontation.


P.S. If they had raised a sudden firefight, where might some of the resulting rounds traveled and impacted, particularly in what might be a fairly population-dense apartment building(s) setting?

calibraxis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now that whites are far more directly endangered by police, one sees articles like this pop up all the time.

"In a very real sense, the 'middle class' is not an economic category, it's a social one. To be middle class is to feel that the fundamental institutional structures of society are, or should be, on your side. If you see a policeman and you feel more safe, rather than less, then you can be pretty sure you're middle class. Yet for the first time since polling began, most Americans in 2012 indicated they do not, in fact, consider themselves middle class."http://gawker.com/ferguson-and-the-criminalization-of-americ...

The author still argues in favor of policing. (Just like he doesn't question whether he had any right to invade another country.) Advocating that police return to his side, against the common domestic enemy.

snambi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably the best article I read this year!
graycat 1 day ago 0 replies      
The solution in the US is supposedto be US democracy.

A first step is freedom of the press so that citizens can become informed.

A second step is for problems to beexposed in the press as in the OP.

A third step is for citizens in thearea with such problems to informtheir elected officials that the policeneed better supervision to solve the problems.

Fourth, with enough concern from votingcitizens, the political supervisionof the police needs to tell the policechief, etc. to clean up their act.

If problems continue, then the mayor,etc. needs to get the Chief of Policea new job, say, cleaning the sidewalkswith a toothbrush -- "Get'm nice andclean, now, y'hear. Good to see youdoing well at the work you are bestsuited for.".

With more concern, lawyers, includingthe local prosecutors, can bring legalcases against the police. As inBaltimore now, a few serious legalcases against the police can calm down the whole police force like a fewmillion pills of Valium.

Net, via our democracy, the power,essentially all of the power, reallyoverwhelming power, is fully in thehands of the voting citizens. Allcitizens have to do is find a sympathetic candidate and pull a leverin a voting booth.

With any kind of serious activityby voting citizens, police arrogancecan disappear like a snowball in a hot July in Vegas.

The police need to be worried now:Somewhere in the US is a billionairewho believes in the US Constitutionand is ready to spend a little moneyto set up police sting operations,have hidden cameras recording everything,make a really big public story about theabuses, have teams of lawyersfilling the court dockets with everylegal case they can come up with,and then organizing some politicalactivity to get the politicians onboard.

The story for the police? Simple:Clean up your act on your own or the voters,politicians, and lawyers will do itfor you.

Too much of the police have talked tothemselves too much and talked themselvesinto believing a lot of nonsense reasonswhy they should treat the citizens likedirt. Well, that treatment and thosereasons won't cut it, not for even a minute,once the sunlight shines on the situation --instead, voters, politicians, and lawyershave the power, overwhelming power, and will stop the nonsense.

puppetmaster3 1 day ago 0 replies      
hackaflocka 1 day ago 1 reply      
kelvin0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
PostgREST REST API from any PostgreSQL database github.com
486 points by cdjk  4 days ago   203 comments top 26
curiousjorge 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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.

arturventura 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
With Data Virtualization providers like Denodo you can create a REST web service with any relational database very easily..


McElroy 4 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.
restya 2 days 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
why-el 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Haskell, huh? The Force is strong on this one.
arianvanp 4 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 4 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
After visiting the demo my browser is running spyware.
jawr 4 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this could easily be forked to provide a GraphQL interface to pg.
hliyan 4 days ago 0 replies      
marknadal 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
oh I love the silence logo!!

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

sz4kerto 4 days ago 3 replies      
wisty 4 days ago 1 reply      
Airbnb, My $1B Lesson arenavc.com
499 points by rvcamo  4 days ago   138 comments top 25
pitchups 3 days 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 4 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 days ago 6 replies      
What bugs me is that the founders went back on the deal that was agreed upon in person.
Leszek 4 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 4 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_ 4 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 4 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 3 days 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"?

loahou04 3 days 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...
free2rhyme214 3 days 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.

jmtame 3 days 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.

arasmussen 3 days 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 3 days 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?
andreasklinger 3 days 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"?

jongraehl 3 days 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.

codeshaman 3 days 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 4 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Time kills all deals.
philliphaydon 3 days ago 0 replies      
AndrewKemendo 3 days ago 0 replies      
jacquesm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would it inconvenience you very much to not use such language on HN?
Receiving Weather Satellite Images With An 8 Dongle mattg.co.uk
482 points by mmastrac  1 day ago   52 comments top 17
olympus 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author mentions that he used "A 2 metre bit of wire jammed in the screwhole at the base of the tiny antenna" to try and get better reception. While the signal he is receiving is in the 2-meter band, a monopole antenna works better if it is 1/4 the wavelength, so he might actually get better reception with a 0.5 meter length of wire. What he created is usually called a "random wire" antenna, and may deliver acceptable performance with a strong signal.

But the NOAA satellites (and quite a few other satellites) use a circularly polarized signal, and for just a tiny bit more money (perhaps the cost of the dongle) you can make a MUCH better antenna for circularly polarized signals. Some designs are just helixes made with coax cable, some are just a couple of wires in an x-shape.

Google is your friend, and building an antenna is a fun cheap weekend project and will greatly enhance your results when hunting for satellite signals.

P.S. if you make a circularly polarized antenna and you discover that you made a LH polarization instead of the RH that you wanted (or vice versa), just turn the antenna upside down. It may behoove you if you are planning on listening to signals with both polarities to construct one that is easily flipped over.

Fizzadar 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is awesome; am ordering a dongle right away!

Did some digging and there's a whole load of things which can potentially be picked up, including dead satellites [0]. RTL-SDR.com has a whole load of awesome looking tutorials [1].

[0] http://www.rtl-sdr.com/receiving-dead-satellites-rtl-sdr/[1] http://www.rtl-sdr.com/category/tutorial/

MrBra 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great, just recently I became passionate about anything relating to radio theory and transmission and I had learnt about these dongles and was ready to get one.

But before that, I decided I wanted a proper "hardware radio", and bought myself a portable wide band radio receiver [1] (great value for the price, I advice it). Then when I was about to get one of these dongles, as usual and as for the above radio, I got sucked into the reviews suggesting this or that other model for better sensitivity or extra features. Now I understand the price range for these cheap sticks is just in the order of a few tenths at maximum, but maybe there is a chance anyone has investigated a bit more on the available choices already?

For example.. the one that has been written about in the article has 4 stars and 159 reviews while the first alternative in the "Amazon recommends" box has some 940 reviews and same 4 star score for just +2 (but I'm not even sure they do exactly the same things.. sorry). So, just wondering, maybe someone has already gone through this search and can recommend the best one to get?

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Tecsun-PL-660-Portable-Shortwave-Singl...

RobotCaleb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did this a few years ago with a similar dongle and a homemade antenna. It's a pretty cool thing to see something you cobbled together receiving real-time messages from space.


yardie 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I did something similar using the same libraries and all using a Raspberrypi and DVB-T dongle [1].

Then I configured the tcp server, rtl_tcp to forward the packets to my workstation. This allowed me to put the Pi in a location more suited to receive transmissions, i.e. not next to RF emitting servers and power supplies. Then, using Gqrx with remote server, I analysed the results.

[1] https://www.joechin.com/raspberry-pi-and-sdr-getting-started...

nly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Last thing I used my R820T for was decoding POCSAG[0] messages here in the UK. It's a paging system, and the messages seem to be broadcast nationwide in the clear. Seems to be mostly used by the NHS and vets. I got kind of depressed reading about dying pets.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POCSAG

amelius 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand these signals are not encrypted, for commercial reasons.
fsiefken 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice hack! I wonder what other useful common digital signals can one record with a dongle? Time and date, teletext (which includes weather forecasts and news) I am aware of. There is also project Lantern & Outernet which might deliver 20 MB of data to all continents through nanosats next year. What other digital signals are transmitted?
fosk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would expect the communication to be encrypted, or is it supposed to be open to the outside world?
dm2 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Free fast shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251240985308

Most of them seem to have the same two chips in them, RTL2832U and R820T. Does anyone see an issue with this item I linked to? Some people were mentioning quality issues with generics.

jodrellblank 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a Reddit for software defined radio, using the cheap Realtek RTL2832U devices.


kenrikm 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can use the same dongle to tap into ADS-B signals to get realtime ATC and display it on a map. Also, it's interesting to just sit and listen to SFO ATC audio channel.
weinzierl 21 hours ago 1 reply      
There is also OsmocomSDR[1] which is an excellent starting point into software defined radio.

[1] http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

SoulMan 19 hours ago 1 reply      
All I have done till now is tune to local FM stations. I would like to tune to AM SW stations all over the world. I think buying a 50 USD RF up converter is the only option ?
exo_stack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if that would work on a commercial jet @ 30K feet. Would be an interesting test.
ma5ter 17 hours ago 0 replies      
done this few years ago http://imgur.com/a/3GELZ
jafingi 20 hours ago 0 replies      
NASA announces discovery of Earth-like planet with earth similarity index 0.98 nasa.gov
408 points by HerrMonnezza  3 days ago   160 comments top 33
frostirosti 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Earth itself is probably at 0.96 by now.
dr_zoidberg 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.
_jomo 3 days 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.

colordrops 3 days 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 3 days 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:


3327 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's exciting news. How far is this planet? Does 0.98 mean high probability of water being there?
tilsammans 3 days ago 0 replies      
"This content is not available in your area due to rights restrictions."
waterlesscloud 3 days ago 4 replies      
What's an "earth similarity index"? Is there a definition somewhere?
skapadia 3 days ago 0 replies      
But is it a Class M planet?
tiffanyh 3 days ago 0 replies      
... and humans have a similarity index of 0.98 with chimps as well.
bberrry 3 days ago 2 replies      
Would be awesome if it had a confirmed oxygen rich atmosphere.
ck2 3 days ago 0 replies      
I sense a great disturbance in Hollywood like a screenwriter was just inspired to write something original...
tremon 3 days ago 0 replies      
williamhpark 3 days ago 0 replies      
jneal 3 days ago 0 replies      
pmuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Similarity_Index - Venus has an ESI of 0.44
The Battle for Wesnoth needs help wesnoth.org
386 points by mproud  1 day ago   143 comments top 22
rdegges 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow -- I've spent countless hours over the years playing this games -- it is one of the best turn-based strategy games (like civilization) to ever be made, IMO.

Back in the day, I used to play this on my linux computer in my room with my brother -- it was one of the games that got me into coding / development in the first place.

I hope they find some good developers to carry the game onwards! It'd be a shame if such an awesome, free game ended up going extinct.

<33 drakes!

nly 1 day ago 2 replies      
So far we've had one major thread calling for a rewrite in a new language, one calling for a new license, and one insinuating the devs should accept the project is done and move on with their lives.

Is it any wonder open source gaming struggles with this kind of broad negativity?

kazagistar 1 day ago 6 replies      
Why does the game need to keep advancing? Most games in the industry are written, released, and finished. The best have a timeless nature, still excellent even though they haven't been changed for decades.

Battle for Wesnoth is an excellent game. But declining interest seems to indicate that maybe it is just finished?

meric 1 day ago 0 replies      
I first started playing Wesnoth from version 0.5.0. Countless hours 'programming' in WML introduced me to software engineering. Back then I looked at the C++ source and wondered when I'd be skilled enough to contribute. Reading this, is making me consider returning to Wesnoth once again after years of not having looked at it. Wesnoth is still filed neatly in my bookmarks folder.
copsarebastards 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think a lot of these older open source projects have a tough time because they use C++ so extensively. There are plenty of people who "know" C++, but it's not a language many people can be productive in. The argument for using C++ is that it's faster and uses lower memory, but that's not actually true for naive implementations: C++ allows lots of tricks for speed and memory efficiency, but it takes work to make it actually more efficient. These days I tend to think that it's easier to write first in a higher-level language and optimize from a position of knowing where your bottlenecks will be than to write a low level language like C/C++ efficiently from the beginning, not knowing where the bottlenecks will be.

I'm not saying that a rewrite is the answer, however.

smoyer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not much of a game player but I find the mechanics of building a game engine indescribably cerebral. I'm probably a bit rusty with C++ but my years (and years and years) as an embedded systems programmer taught me a lot about optimizing software to minimal resources. I'm going to take a look at the engine and see if it warrants some of my kind of love.
johnchristopher 1 day ago 4 replies      
I am trying to download the latest release (1.12.4a) but I am caught in a never ending loop http://sourceforge.net/projects/wesnoth/files/.

Edit: okay, sourceforge is broken for me for any download, no matter the browser.

Let's consider that my sourceforge rant of the week.

seasoup 1 day ago 1 reply      
If it's got a big fan base they should crowdfund something so they can afford to hire new devs.
losername 1 day ago 1 reply      
here's the (official?) list of open bugs http://gna.org/bugs/?func=browse&set=open&group=wesnoth not on github or the forums
prottmann 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the most companies your specified reasons are used to start with a clean fresh new Version 2.

New System, new Language, use the good parts rewrite the bad parts.

And new Language would make it more interesting for "younger" developer that start with e.g. Rust / Go / Whatever. (That did not mean the code will be better)

paradite 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Battle for Wesnoth was the first game I that I installed and played after getting Ubuntu. I consider it the best game available on Linux platform (maybe except Braid). Sadly I am not equipped with enough C++ or Python knowledge to contribute.
McElroy 1 day ago 1 reply      
They should do a kickstarter and then they can use the money to have more time to develop the game or to hire people as good as they are looking for.
tomcam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't this a textbook case for crowd sourcing?
mcv 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is that game still not finished? Maybe everybody is happy with it and moved on to something new?
entelechy0 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd like to explore the possibility of contributing to its development and maintenance. I may not be an "experienced" C++ programmer, but I am an experienced programmer looking for more experience with C++.
nims11 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wesnoth brought me into turn based strategy. Game mechanics and elements aside, the story in various scenarios were surprisingly captivating. I could imagine myself role playing as the protagonist.
deevus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how much work it would be to get the basic game working using Unity with the assets already available...
Sir_Cmpwn 1 day ago 5 replies      
Out of curiosity, I dug for info on you a little bit after reading your comment. Found your Github: https://github.com/rdegges?tab=repositories

Two things are clear:

1 - you have time to be prolific in open source

2 - you have significant Python skills

Seems like you fit the bill for what Wesnoth needs! Why not step in and help yourself? I don't want to come across as calling you out here - I'm genuinely interested in learning why, because I maintain many open source projects myself and I want to know some of the reasons why skilled programmers who appreciate projects don't contribute to them.

caf 1 day ago 4 replies      
If you build a component yourself and own all the copyright in that component, then the fact that you've contributed it to a GPL project doesn't stop you from using it in your own products as well, or licensing it again to someone else under a different (non-exclusive) license.

In fact in this situation you would be better off with Wesnoth as GPL rather than MIT, because that way your closed-source competitors can't use your component in their games.

enraged_camel 1 day ago 4 replies      
wildster 1 day ago 1 reply      
a3n 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Verge's web sucks lmorchard.com
334 points by mbrubeck  2 days ago   131 comments top 24
insin 2 days ago 4 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 5 replies      
These guys (ie Verge) are going to have a really really tough time when iOS9 lands


dvh 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
And it has for a long time (in terms of page performance):


Yhippa 2 days 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.

Lagged2Death 2 days 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.

vinceyuan 2 days 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.
mike-cardwell 2 days ago 2 replies      
That article gets a score of 15% on Google PageSpeed -


devioustree 2 days 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.
Grue3 2 days 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.
ised 2 days 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).

krstck 2 days 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.

justuk 2 days 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.

forty 2 days ago 2 replies      
I found it quite funny that this article ends like this https://imgur.com/SpEp9UF :)
leni536 2 days 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.


yuhong 2 days 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.

udkl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I concur ... The verge has been out of my feed for a long time .... their site feels 'heavy' and filled with distractions ...
wtbob 2 days ago 0 replies      
And people laugh at me for disabling JavaScript!
iLoo wikipedia.org
354 points by vezzy-fnord  4 days ago   56 comments top 22
doque 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think it is just Microsoft's way of making fun of Apple's product naming convention.
em3rgent0rdr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Way ahead of its time. Nowadays everyone uses the internet while on the toilet.
kristopolous 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another great innovation crushed by unimaginative soulless beauracrats.
icanhackit 3 days ago 0 replies      
The flush servo is connected to a Windows ME box via serial. Fuck.
louithethrid 3 days 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!
tempodox 3 days 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.

bunkydoo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Forget Dr. Who's 'Tardis' - Call this the 'Turdis'
thedogeye 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Was the latest in a long line of shit products.
personjerry 3 days 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.
doozler 3 days 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.
panglott 3 days ago 1 reply      
It needs a Kinect.
circa 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if anyone who has worked on the project dared listing it on their rsum. I would :)
aruggirello 3 days ago 0 replies      
aaron695 3 days ago 2 replies      
gadders 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pro Rata ycombinator.com
343 points by craigkerstiens  4 days ago   102 comments top 25
frisco 4 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.

grellas 4 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.

staunch 4 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!
jparker165 4 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.

coherentpony 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Who are the LP's of this follow on money?
jim_greco 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 4 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 3 days 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
What do early stage founders think of this? Like, hate, neutral?
snakeplinkskin 4 days ago 0 replies      
What is the official success & failure rate for Ycombinator companies? What percentage of companies succeed?
cdelsolar 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can this be applied retroactively?
jsprogrammer 4 days ago 1 reply      
SandersAK 4 days ago 1 reply      
an announcement internally would have been nice...
loumf 4 days ago 1 reply      
Okay, Feminism, Its Time We Had a Talk About Empathy (2013) medium.com
297 points by traverseda  2 days ago   326 comments top 29
vonklaus 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 1 reply      
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 2 days 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 2 days 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.

Kenji 2 days 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.

emodendroket 2 days 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.
fndrplayer13 2 days 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 2 days ago 2 replies      
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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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.

osahal 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the risk of over simplifying matters, what do you expect from people who see the world in black and white. Many of the feminists who say this (the third generation feminists with a cacophony of radical ideologies) read very specific material, mostly of the blogs variety, and live in their own bubble where their own reading material and friends reflect only their views. Add to this that difference of opinion and reflection are not entertained, this would imply that you have less than total belief in articles of faith and leaves you open to labels that are often applied to heathens. All that can be done with these people is to not get offended by them and let them work out for them selves why things are not always so black and white.
unoti 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 1 reply      
needs (2013) added to the title
xtx23 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
michaelochurch 2 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
astazangasta 2 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
CoreSet 2 days ago 0 replies      
marijn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am an 18-year-old techie/student. I have leukemia and need your help github.com
310 points by mehrzad  3 hours ago   51 comments top 25
shykes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Mehr, I registered last year after someone very close to me was diagnosed and treated - now in remission. I added myself to your list, I hope it will help.

Here are a few things I learned after being closely involved with someone else's treatment. You may have heard all this already, sorry if I'm stating the obvious. But it never hurts to remember!

First: the treatments have gotten incredibly better in just a few years. The science and engineering in this field are progressing at a rate comparable to software. I also learned that age is an important factor: the younger you are, the better your body will react to chemo and transplant. And you live in the US, which has access to the best staff and equipment in the world.

Second: never forget that you can play a really important and active role in your care. Don't be passive! Do research on your own, don't hesitate to make doctors repeat themselves or explain in more detail, and approach the whole thing like teamwork: your doctors and nurses are one half of the team, and you are the other half. Yes, they know what they're doing. But nobody will be more invested in this than yourself. And remember that your state of mind has a true impact on your body.

I hope this helps... Good luck with the search and the treatment.

danielna 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Hi Mehr,

I'm a leukemia survivor (AML) and was diagnosed when I was 21 and in undergrad, roughly 8 years ago. I started www.cheekswab.org in 2012 to educate people, especially ethnic minorities, about the exact complications facing minorities who need bone marrow transplants. I also wanted to fill a need that I saw around direct communication around what it's like to be a donor, what the statistics are, what the process is like, and interviews with real people who have gone through the donation process recapping their experiences. I haven't done much with Cheekswab in the last several years but my new years resolution for 2015 was to figure out a path forward with it.

I live and work in NYC as a software engineer and have a lot of experience running these sorts of drives, particularly on college campuses. Feel free to reach out to me if you'd like to talk, whether about leukemia or bone marrow drives: username at gmail.

god_bless_texas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I joined the national marrow registry in 1995 while at Fort Benning doing Army stuff. Donated in 1997 to a girl with leukemia. They did the procedure where they drilled into my iliac (sp?) crust.

It hurt like hell for 12 hours and then I walked around Washington DC with a rucksack and gear to see our nation's capital. At the time it was a specialized process that Georgetown University was doing.

I matched again in 1998, but this time it was not a close enough match.

I cannot emphasize enough how seriously I would go back right now and do this all over again, even once a month if I had to. You're saving a life.

Statistically everyone has plenty of matches, but the problem is that your blood has to be in the registry so they can test and know. Join the registry, if not for the life you save then the wonderful happiness it will bring for helping a fellow human.

Mehrzad - friend - I do hope you find a match. I'll be thinking about you.

chimeracoder 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There are a number of people who are asking about countries besides the US. Because of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide[0], it doesn't matter where in the world you are and where you register, as long as you register with an organization which shares their info with the BMDW.

OP, in case you haven't thought of this already: CISA is the Columbia Iranian Students Association. They may be able to help you reach out to other Iranian friends and family. Turath is the Arab students association; that may be worth a shot too. Great Neck is right nearby, and there is literally a 100% chance that someone at CISA is from Great Neck and will be able to get the word out to the Persian community there.

You're from LA so I'm going to guess you're either from Beverly Hills or are in touch with the community there, but if not, someone at CISA will definitely be as well.

[0] https://www.bmdw.org/

danso 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Good luck with this project. I highly suggest using Google Forms...I don't think the Github/fork model is especially efficient for a signup list.
jcr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
First of all, you should put contact info in your github profile, and inthe "about" section of your HN profile (the email field is only visibleto you). Many prefer to discuss health matters privately.

The issues you face as an ethnic minority are severe. More than 15years ago, it was an expensive and error prone nightmare to attemptdoing an international search across all (or relevant) country specificdonor databases. Hopefully things have gotten better since then.

If memory serves, there was a national marrow donor database in Iran.Hopefully, you have friends or family who know Persian well enough tohelp you find it.

If you are unable to find a donor match, you might want to consider acord blood transplant. In short, they use stem cells harvested from cordblood to rebuild your bone marrow after ablative chemo. It was a highlyexperimental treatment method more than a decade and a half ago, but itdid have a number of successes, and the state of the art in treatmenthas most definitely improved since then. Yes, my knowledge of leukemiatreatment research is badly outdated.

phantom_oracle 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Stupid question but something that bothered me about bone-marrow...

Is it something that is limited in quantity and once it is gone it has left your body completely? (it won't regenerate to previous levels)

Perhaps any experts can shed light here and help break any misconceptions about this.

christiangenco 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
I have a stupid question: what do I actually need to do to be registered? Like, am I going to be driving somewhere to have a needle stuck in one of my bones, or do they just draw blood, or do I just... give someone my name?

I'd totally do this if it was laid out in a super simple way, and wasn't going to cause me significant long term harm, pain, or risk thereof.

jxm262 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just sent a PR. I actually joined the registry a couple years back on a whim. Thought it would be a good way to help people, although I'll be nervous as hell if actually called up to donate :)
berdario 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Question: I subscribed to a bone marrow registry a couple years ago, but now I relocated to another country. Should I register again? (both countries are in the EU)

I guess that if I'm compatible I will still be notified by the registry in the old country (or at least, my family will be notified)... and it'll only be a bit of an hassle to handle the donation, but it shouldn't be terribly urgent to resubscribe, am I right?

pcr0 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Best of luck.

For maximum effect, I'd suggest making an analogue website to go along with the project because at present this initiative is limited to tech people.

arjn 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hi Mehr, I'll be happy to sign up. I hope you find a match soon.
blazespin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I know this probably can't help you (Canadian, not Iranian), but what would you recommend for Canada? I found this on your links https://www.blood.ca/en/stem-cells?utm_source=onematch&utm_m..., but they say stem cells and up to age 35.
chrismartin 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What percentage of patients in your situation are able to successfully find a match? I'm guessing it depends on how many registered donors share your ethnicity. Do you have access to any donor registries in the Middle East, where you are more likely to find a match?
nicolethenerd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Joined the registry in 2012, but your post prompted me to make sure they had my latest address info.Good luck w/ everything! I hope you find your match!
middleclick 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I am Canadian but of Middle Eastern/Indian descent. How do I help you?
roflchoppa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hey Mehr, I got joined the bethematch fund in high school about 5-6 years ago, do i need to update my screening, or anything like that?
comboy 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Great idea. Perhaps to avoid conflicts it would be better for everybody to have a separate file in predefined format?
anon3_ 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck. You have my moral support. I hope you have your own personal support network as well.

I wish you the best of luck in your treatment.

Get healed and get back to the front!

dippyskoodlez 2 hours ago 0 replies      
PR submitted, I just got my confirmation e-mail a few weeks back :)

Good luck!

luckoftheend 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Genderless no form factors as an option
alexkadis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Added my info - registered with GiftofLife back in 2011.
rokhayakebe 2 hours ago 2 replies      

The US Iranian community is big, if you have flyers or if you could create a simple one pager, I will print and drop it at 5 or 6 Persian stores around the area I live in (Orange County). There are many Persians here, you never know.

Feedback for anyone running a Donor Match site.

You would think that someone who is willing to help save lives would spend 5 minutes registering, but not always.

I went to the site and they are asking me all sorts of questions (just 4), which are COMPLETELY legit, but all I want is to give some information to say I am willing. If I match someone you can email or call me for more information, educate me and such. I may still end up being a 50/50 Yes, but at least I have shown my willingness to help.

When you ask a question such as "Do you understand all the implications, etc..." what I am supposed to think? I am thinking let me go and research the implications because I am not aware of all of them, or even 2 of them.

spoiledtechie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
signing up, hopefully, I can help someone too.
MichaelCrawford 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cancer runs in my family; quite likely it will get me in the end as well.

My own experience with other life-threatening illnesses yields the insight that if you are to survive, it is your mind that will enable you to do so. If you cannot overcome the mental challenge, no amount of medicine will help you.

A close friend once rang up the US Olympic Bicycling coach to inquire as to how he might make the team:

 "Ride 120 miles every day for the next since months. Call me again after that."
My friend could ride a lot farther than 120 miles in a day; he really was that good. Even so he did not even try because he was intimidated by the prospect of working so hard for so long.

LinkedIn quietly removes option to export contacts venturebeat.com
309 points by QUFB  3 days ago   125 comments top 22
takee 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
I deleted my account 6 months ago. LinkedIn is untrustable.
curiousjorge 3 days ago 8 replies      
why hasn't anybody disrupted linkedin yet? what would you like to see instead of linkedin? snapchat for business professionals?
zeeed 3 days 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 3 days 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 2 days ago 0 replies      
This link seems to still work for exporting CSV of contacts, including email addresses: https://www.linkedin.com/addressBookExport
tdkl 2 days 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.

shiv86 3 days 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 3 days ago 3 replies      
Are there any tools out there that can create something akin to a LinkedIn profile for static hosting? Something like Jekyll?
zeeed 2 days 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...
georgemcbay 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Stuff like this is why I never signed up for LinkedIn in the first place.
Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did they remove that option even for paying users?
pauljarvis 3 days ago 0 replies      
MichaelCrawford 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Postgres CLI with autocompletion and syntax highlighting github.com
302 points by dmmalam  3 days ago   44 comments top 21
bajsejohannes 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
Perfect project for an animated gif in the README (if that's possible), would have been better to showcase the product.
pmontra 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using it for months, it's definitely an improvement over psql. I recommend it to everybody.
limaoscarjuliet 3 days 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.

LukeHoersten 2 days 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.
man5quid 3 days 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 3 days 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.

pi-rat 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, well done! So much better than psql, thanks!
bosdev 3 days 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.
vamega 3 days ago 1 reply      
What emacs mode is that in the screenshot?
fsiefken 2 days 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?
ochoa 2 days ago 1 reply      
Off topic: what did you use to create your terminal gif's?
Mister_Snuggles 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, that looks incredible!

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

clessg 3 days ago 1 reply      
Great work. Is there a way to issue multiline commands?
shazeline 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any way to set tcpKeepAlive=true, ssl=true, and specify a sslrootcert (for Redshift use)?
cel1ne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally, I almost started writing something like this myself a couple of times.
Animats 2 days ago 2 replies      
Autocompleting DROP TABLE or DELETE is probably not a good idea.
brightball 3 days ago 0 replies      
This looks great!
abledon 3 days ago 0 replies      
How Berlins Futuristic Airport Became a $6B Embarrassment bloomberg.com
289 points by adventured  3 days ago   204 comments top 32
germanier 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.

schoen 3 days 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 3 days 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.

sillygeese 2 days 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.

stffndtz 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 2 replies      
As somebody from Berlin, I'm always happy when my hometown is on HN! Makes me feel proud.
ghshephard 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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

codeshaman 3 days 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 ?

mschuster91 3 days 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...).
venomsnake 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder what kind of austerity will be imposed on the poor Berliners for wasting so much money /s
frik 3 days 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 3 days 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...

lazyant 2 days 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 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why do airports always need to be so ambitious? Usually the simple airports are best anyway.
nomailing 3 days 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 3 days 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.
ChrisArchitect 3 days ago 0 replies      
some discussion about this a few months ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9658581

and this: http://istderberschonfertig.de/

Tomte 2 days 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.

anishkothari 3 days 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

x0rg 3 days 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 3 days 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.

unreal37 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love that there's 150,000 defects, 80,000 of them considered serious.
agumonkey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ridiculing Spain stillborn airports.

<... and in the end Germany wins>

wahsd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Amazon Is Now Worth More Than Wal-Mart wsj.com
293 points by ryanmonroe  2 days ago   243 comments top 22
kumarm 2 days ago 21 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 2 days ago 5 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 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not if you include debt, in addition to equity.


WARNING: paywall

krstck 2 days ago 7 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 2 days 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)

MaysonL 2 days 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.
brudgers 2 days 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.

mullen 2 days 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.
pmm621 2 days 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)

ryandvm 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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.
jimbokun 2 days ago 0 replies      
This article I found linked in the side bar reflects my thoughts on Amazon's valuation pretty well:


TrevorJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think AMZ's endgame is to own the whole pipeline end to end.Using third party sellers has been a good way to get the scale underneath them but 10, 15 years down the road I fully expect the most profitable and in demand items will be sold direct by amazon itself.
neel8986 2 days 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.

simonebrunozzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, it is no longer true as of now. AMZN stock went down a bit after a day of trading.
bunkydoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazon should try their hand at brick and mortar. I would love to see less Wal-Marts
dfar1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if amazon would look like a walmart if it had a physical store.
_raisin 2 days ago 0 replies      
All thanks to the fire phone...
ck2 2 days ago 4 replies      
codemac 2 days ago 7 replies      
How Apple Influenced The Labels To Shut Down My Music Streaming Startup medium.com
302 points by meeper16  4 days ago   93 comments top 18
dxhdr 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
TL;DR Music technology startups suck.
amelius 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whoever uses "analyzation" publicly deserves to have a failed start up.
Libermentix 3 days 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.
phkahler 3 days 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.

tantalor 3 days ago 3 replies      
sosborn 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
JohnyLy 3 days ago 4 replies      
Sandra Bland arrest video has continuity problems, anomalies latimes.com
263 points by lisper  4 days ago   318 comments top 24
fixxer 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 22 replies      
Has anyone here been pulled over for failing to signal a lane change?
xyby 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
Self-driving cars cannot get here soon enough. Police interactions as a result of driver error will be obsolete.
jvandonsel 4 days ago 0 replies      
What, no timecode? Has it been removed?
ytdht 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Who is accountable? Names. I imagine no one here is for abuse of power. How about use thereof?
marincounty 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
nicboobees 4 days ago 2 replies      
chmike 4 days ago 0 replies      
justwannasing 4 days ago 4 replies      
mdavidn 4 days ago 2 replies      
DangerousPie 4 days ago 5 replies      
logicrime 4 days ago 2 replies      
Handwriting Generation with Recurrent Neural Networks toronto.edu
264 points by cjdulberger  4 days ago   80 comments top 12
Aqueous 4 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 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
Very strange results with rare Unicode characters (I used " ")


prajit 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 4 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
ChrisGranger 4 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 4 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  4 days ago   67 comments top 27
mattiasgunneras 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if their programs are ... Multithreaded?
Grue3 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like it was inspired by Devorah Sperber:


dperfect 4 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 4 days ago 2 replies      
Those are bands, not threads.

Threads are 1 dimensional; bands are 2 dimensional.

jcwilde 4 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 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
Of course the first computer was a loom.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom
odiroot 4 days ago 0 replies      
Streaming is not available in Germany.
ricky54326 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, that's awesome! I always love seeing these types of things that are live.
dev-da0 4 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

kbenson 4 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 4 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?

lusterdome 4 days ago 1 reply      
cool, but maybe they should invest the money in fair labor practices instead.
mhb 4 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

xigency 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping this would be on public display somewhere.

Still, I submitted a picture of Ada Lovelace.

thirdreplicator 3 days 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
This here is content marketing.
eludwig 4 days ago 0 replies      
So excellent. It's a bit akin to a visual version of a Melotron.
mkoryak 4 days ago 0 replies      
what is preventing someone from goatse'ing this thing ?
kevin_thibedeau 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can't find an address anywhere. Is this publicly viewable?
peterwwillis 4 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
spot 4 days ago 3 replies      
Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4M cars after Jeep hack bbc.com
248 points by vvanders  2 days ago   288 comments top 24
tinco 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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?

bborud 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been spending a bit of time over the last couple of months reading up on CAN, OBD2, system architectures for automotive systems, attack vectors, various forms of CAN-attacks, building stuff that interfaces with CAN buses, writing software, figuring out how things work etc. And I have to say that many of the comments in this thread are frighteningly uninformed.

I know this is supposed to be The Magic Kingdom where people are only supposed to say positive things and eat happy pills all day, but would it kill people to at least try to read up about the things they so willingly share their "insights" on before posting here?

At the very least, try to understand how CAN works before spouting nonsense grounded in uninformed assumption. Uninformed opinions are not helpful. They just pollute the discussion.

skimmas 2 days 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.
dsfyu404ed 2 days 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.

gandalfu 2 days 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?

bradgessler 2 days 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?"
tantalor 2 days 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."

jasimq 2 days ago 1 reply      
discardorama 2 days 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?

blahblah3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow connecting cars to the internet? Sounds insanely dangerous. Not everything should be connected to the internet or "smart".
ryandrake 2 days 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.
rasz_pl 2 days 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!

LoSboccacc 2 days 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.

JustSomeNobody 2 days 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.

cmurf 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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?
satyajeet23 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you have to update software in person, you shouldn't be in the software business.
bithead 1 day ago 0 replies      
>"I wonder what is cheaper, designing secure cars or doing recalls?"

Ever the enduring question

pasbesoin 2 days 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.

Deep learning neuralnetworksanddeeplearning.com
268 points by joeyespo  12 hours ago   21 comments top 6
idunning 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I was really impressed that the author included this caveat:

> A word on procedure: In this section, we've smoothly moved from single hidden-layer shallow networks to many-layer convolutional networks. It's all seemed so easy! We make a change and, for the most part, we get an improvement. If you start experimenting, I can guarantee things won't always be so smooth. The reason is that I've presented a cleaned-up narrative, omitting many experiments - including many failed experiments. This cleaned-up narrative will hopefully help you get clear on the basic ideas. But it also runs the risk of conveying an incomplete impression. Getting a good, working network can involve a lot of trial and error, and occasional frustration. In practice, you should expect to engage in quite a bit of experimentation.

There is a lot of "magical thinking" amongst people not actively doing research in the area (and maybe a bit within that community too), and I think it at least partly stems from mainly seeing very successful nets, and never seeing the many failed ideas before those network structures and hyperparameters were hit upon - a sampling bias type thing, where you only read about the things that work.

jcr 11 hours ago 1 reply      
As a different chapter, this is not exactly a dupe, but it's not thefirst time links to parts of this book have been posted. Over the lasttwo years, there have been a lot of HN discussions on the variouschapters of this book. Here are the ones with comments:

16 days ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9863832

8 months ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8719371

a year ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8258652

a year ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8120670

a year ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7920183

a year ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7588158

two years ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6794308

return0 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's worth reading Nielsen's essay "Will neural networks and deep learning soon lead to artificial intelligence?" which was added today


thearn4 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I've sort of run adjacent to the field of machine learning in the last few years, but haven't really dove in to the existing literature. This seems to be a pretty interesting overview.

Out of curiosity, do many implementations of convolutional neural networks take advantage of FFT, DCT, or some other fast orthonormal transform to compute the transition between layers, or are the kernel sizes small enough that there isn't a great advantage to that?

billconan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the best neural network tutorial out there. I have been waiting for the missing deep learning chapter for so long, and it finally comes!

my reading for today, thanks for sharing!

buserror 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Show HN: Showgoers Watch Netflix with friends remotely showgoers.tv
281 points by eremzeit  2 days ago   79 comments top 28
gfodor 2 days ago 5 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 2 days 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 2 days 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
stephengillie 2 days 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):



bomatson 2 days ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of when my wife and first started dating long distance - Skype screen sharing movies was our jam
kyle_martin1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in a long distance relationship and have been working on a project to do just this! I've been thinking about open-sourcing it.

I have video chat, a synced shared web browser, and support for Netflix & Hulu.

If anyone is interested: https://www.distanceflix.com

rory096 2 days 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.

vsakos 2 days 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.

tthayer 2 days 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?
brickmort 2 days ago 1 reply      
The concept seems very similar to Rabbit: http://rabb.it
kristopolous 2 days 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...

flurdy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds a good idea, social TV in general sounds good, but think I just would find it annoying. "What, another toilet break!".

Zeebox/Beamly also had/have some good social features but I think they even struggled for people to actually use it. After the initial curiosity people just want to veg in front of the box. I think. http://beamly.com

camilo_u 2 days 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.
chenja 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea. I used to always just count down so we could start Netflix at the same point, and then sync up after a bit by pausing and restarting occasionally, this is a very elegant solution!
tantalor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Add support for http://www.google.com/cast/ and I'm in.
click170 2 days 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.

BHSPitMonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
What happens when one client stops to buffer?
lawl 2 days 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 :)

deckar01 2 days 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.

mdevere 2 days ago 0 replies      
you should also check out Let's Gaze. https://letsgaze.com/#/

it works for YouTube and local files.

booruguru 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there anything like this for VLC or some other desktop video app?
jstx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this OSS? If not, are there any plans to add Plex to it?
s369610 2 days ago 0 replies      
just add webrtc voice chat to complete the experience
JCordeiro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool. Thanks for sharing :D
dhruvarora013 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love it! You should OSS this!
ripaujla 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is Nice, Will use.
enedil 2 days ago 0 replies      
ndesaulniers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why Debian returned to FFmpeg lwn.net
254 points by vezzy-fnord  1 day ago   98 comments top 13
zimbatm 1 day ago 4 replies      
Michael is just amazing. I once had a bug with ffmpeg which he helped me pin down on IRC and then produced a patch for it immediately.

I was disappointed of how aggressive the libav guys where during the fork. They changed the content of ffmpeg.org (which they had legitimate access to) to claim that libav was now the new name of the project. Then they replaced the ffmpeg package in Debian with their own version.

It's entirely possible to maintain both packages in Debian with the alternatives framework. This whole false dichotomy and calling ffmpeg the fork is not helpful in my opinion. So I'm glad that ffmpeg is getting it's package back. Forks are good and should stand on their own merit instead of doing politics like that.

gus_massa 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't like how they interpret the table with the numbers of commits.

I tried this criteria, I divide the committers in three groups:

A) Michael Niedermayer

B) People with more commits in FFmpeg, i.e. Clment Bsch, James AlmerCarl, Eugen Hoyos, ...

C) People with more commits in libav, i.e. Vittorio Giovara, Martin Storsj, Anton Khirnov, ...

(I supouse there are other commits from people outside the published table, but they are few.)


 libav FFmpeg A) 46 1831 B) 37 1071 C) 1074 856 Tot: 1157 3758
An alternative interpretation is that if tomorrow Michael Niedermayer is hit by a bus, the other committers of FFmpeg still make almost the same numbers of commits than the committers of libav (even ignoring the ported commits).

Complete table:

 Developer libav FFmpeg --------------------------------- Michael Niedermayer 46 1831 --------------------------------- Clment Bsch 179 James Almer 155 Carl Eugen Hoyos 150 Andreas Cadhalpun 21 114 Lukasz Marek 98 Paul B Mahol 93 Ronald S. Bultje 85 wm4 16 83 Christophe Gisquet 66 Benoit Fouet 48 >>>Subtotal 37 1071 --------------------------------- Vittorio Giovara 294 294 Martin Storsj 253 252 Anton Khirnov 206 197 Luca Barbato 131 113 Diego Biurrun 72 Rmi Denis-Courmont 32 Hendrik Leppkes 17 Himangi Saraogi 16 Gabriel Dume 16 Federico Tomassetti 14 Peter Meerwald 12 Janne Grunau 11 >>>Subtotal 1074 856 ------------------------------------ >>>>>>Total 1157 3758

andmarios 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a Gentoo user, libav only gave me trouble. It was incompatible with many packages, whereas ffmpeg was with none I encountered. The switch to libav was horrific and I never managed to resolve all the issues it created with my system. For some months, updating my system was a herculean task due to libav causing constant and largely unsolved trouble. I was really happy to see Gentoo return to ffmpeg. Everything works smooth once again.

I can't comment on code quality, project management, etc and frankly I don't care. If one library causes problems to every bit of my system, it should stay off until it is on par with the library it tries to replace provided that both libraries use a free software compatible license.

jacquesm 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Forking an important project like ffmpeg in a hostile manner is fraught with danger. More often than not these forks are not for technical reasons or philosophy, they're simply about ego. In a way it's like a me-too project but starting of the back of the contributers to the pre-fork one.

This kind of behavior is lethal to open source projects, end users will end up fragmented across the two versions, package maintainers for the various distros have to make tough choices and everybody loses.

Forking a project should be reserved for when a project becomes - by some objective criteria - abandoned and there is enough support for the project to continue. Then and only then should a project with a large amount of traction be forked.

Forks are both the greatest thing in the open source world and the most annoying thing at the same time, they have the potential to rescue projects but more often than not they're used to kill projects.

Really happy to see ffmpeg back, and I hope that the people that the majority of the contributors to libav switches to directly contribute to ffmpeg so that there will be an end to all the duplicated effort and wasted resources.

0x09 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Libav on the other hand rather focuses on clean implementation and let's say better designed APIs.

This is weird to hear as a consumer of these libraries. When people ask why I prefer one or the other for my own use cases, I tell them that FFmpeg has the better API and the better format support (specifically vastly more pixel formats/depths in its lossless codecs). But regarding API, at least the parts that concern me, FFmpeg is a bit fuller and requires less boilerplate. libav* have a large surface area, so even minor affordances like avformat_alloc_output_context2 and avcodec_find_best_pix_fmt_of_list are helpful.

To be fair to Libav, due to being "downstream" FFmpeg has benefited greatly from their improvements, e.g. AVBuffer and the redone AVFrame management on top of it. They absolutely deserve credit for improving the API. But FFmpeg's API being effectively a superset of Libav, as a plain old user of the libraries it doesn't really make sense to target the latter.

That's to say nothing about the politics or people involved in the projects, it's just a matter of practicality.

callesgg 1 day ago 2 replies      
In almost every use case i have i have, libav has not been able to fulfill my needs and i have had to get rid of libav and install ffmpeg.
crystalgiver 1 day ago 3 replies      
Yet another instance of "worse" is better: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worse_is_better
jtchang 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't think the single developer argument should be too much of a concern in an open source project. I saw Michael of ffmpeg had a lot of commits. In my experience with both closed and open sourced projects this is usually the case. There is one person that wrote the majority of the code.

The great thing about open source is that even if they step away it's not like the code is going anywhere. To an end user of ffmpeg it would still continue to function.

I personally had no idea ffmpeg was forked to libav until one day I tried to install it in Ubuntu and was like...wtf. Then I installed libav and went about my day.

laurentoget 1 day ago 2 replies      
Am i the only one who is amazed that the library which is supporting a huge share of all video playing on all linux machines appears to be pretty much written by one person?
MicroBerto 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Would anyone be willing to provide a few commands for Ubuntu 14.04LTS that would install everything I need/want from ffmpeg and completely purge my system of libav?


wmantly 1 day ago 0 replies      
About time, libav has never meet my needs.
cookiecaper 1 day ago 2 replies      
https://github.com/mpv-player/mpv/wiki/FFmpeg-versus-Libav gives an interesting perspective. Libav sounds like it's strict about good software practices and merciless in its exclusion and deletion of "bad" code. This may make a cleaner, more sustainable product over the long term, but it makes compatibility a nightmare now, which is probably why distro managers are increasingly interested in swapping libav back out. Perhaps if they had a more steady, formal release cycle it wouldn't be annoying and they'd have been able to maintain their position in the distros they got to carry them (I think almost all of them have reverted to ffmpeg as the default now). Since libav aggressively deletes old stuff and painstakingly reviews each patch (according to this article, no direct experience), they don't merge a lot of "new stuff" from ffmpeg.

ffmpeg has maintained compatibility, making it really easy for downstream users and distro maintainers to keep going, whilst continuously adding new features and improvements, including aggressively merging those placed in libav (I guess as long as they aren't deletions or cleanups?).

I feel like there's a lot to learn in this whole drama and that it hasn't been very deeply explored. libav team originally claimed that ffmpeg's leadership had gone dark/fallen off the map, but they sure came back quickly to express discontentment at the mutiny. libav team undoubtedly has talented people working on it (wasn't DarkShikari on the libav side of the schism?) and libav/ffmpeg share a lot of goals. You'd think they could come to some type of compromise less onerous than this entire saga has been. IMO it's a failure from all sides that this fork was even a thing. A phased, unified, slow, and well-managed release process like Python 2 -> Python 3 might have made all of this unnecessary.

rsync 1 day ago 1 reply      
Universal asks Google to take down for piracy chillingeffects.org
266 points by davidgerard  2 days ago   68 comments top 14
yread 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone index the chilling effects DB ... it seems like a great place to find content ...
sudioStudio64 2 days 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 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now if that doesn't start raising some questions, I don't know what will :
PaulHoule 2 days ago 0 replies      
It reminds me of the time that I unloaded the loopback driver...
x5n1 2 days ago 0 replies      
i run can i sue these geniuses? this has caused trillions of dollars of economic loss to my business.
shashwat986 2 days ago 0 replies      
And Universal isn't alone:


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

sarciszewski 2 days 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.

smanuel 2 days ago 2 replies      
Google, you can take down, but please leave localhost alone.
ousta 2 days ago 1 reply      
JRuby 9000 released jruby.org
264 points by headius  4 days ago   115 comments top 12
aurochs 4 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 4 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 4 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 days ago 1 reply      
Damm, I so wish Jython improved like this too. I've been thinking of helping out.
kul_ 3 days ago 2 replies      
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!
rf3000 4 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic news! Very excited about seeing the Ruby ecosystem advance.
lgleason 4 days ago 0 replies      
Big thanks to the Jruby team!
gary4gar 4 days ago 10 replies      
is it faster than MRI?
fokinsean 4 days ago 3 replies      
joegyoung 4 days ago 3 replies      
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Modern JavaScript Tooling reactkungfu.com
260 points by voter101  16 hours ago   93 comments top 17
iandanforth 11 hours ago 4 replies      
There is a fairly important point that is missed by this article. You do not need build tools to write JavaScript and depending on which tools you use there are significant drawbacks to using any them.

Before you dive into the world of build tools and process management I urge you to write unminified, ES5 (aka the JavaScript that runs without transpilation today) until it hurts.

Write unminified JavaScript and watch your page load times.

Write ES5 and time how long it takes you to complete projects of a given size.

Write reactjs code but use the JSXTransformer. Watch page performance. Watch how many times you reload the page in a given sitting.

It's really only when you find yourself with a problem that you can quantify that these tools start to make sense.

Discover for yourself why these tools exist or you'll waste a ton of time learning the newest thing and in the end not have gained much at all.

joesmo 12 hours ago 6 replies      
"The biggest weakness of such small tools approach is that it is hard to learn what to use and how to configure it."

No. By far the biggest weakness of such a small tools approach is a Balkanization of development tools that generally refuse to work with one another and often don't work very well by themselves. One library I really wanted to try was using Browserify but I wanted to use brunch/bower because my workflow was already in brunch. Even with the brunch-browserify plugin this wasn't possible. After wasting two days on it, I gave up and just used Browserify by itself. Another couple of hours it was actually working. This is typical. On another app, I use gulp. Another piece of garbage that claims that when you run a command 'gulp watch' it will automatically rebuild your assets. It won't.

These are only three small projects, each using a different build tool: browserify, gulp, and brunch + bower. None of them are compatible with each other and it's unlikely they will ever work together in one project without hours or days of trial and error. If there was one monolithic (or not) dependency / build tool that actually worked, I'd much rather use that, and it would be a much better approach than having a whole bunch of small crappy tools that don't work together.

tl;dr: Not only is having multiple tools doing the same thing in this area not appealing, it just leads to developers wasting massive amounts of time and "what the fucks?" working with half a dozen tools that do the same thing and do it poorly.

hex13 14 hours ago 6 replies      
We talk about "modern JavaScript tooling" but year after year, the list essentially stays the same.

Maybe few new players have appeared (Gulp, WebPack, Babeljs) but they do exactly the same thing that the tools we had before (e.g. Grunt, Browserify, Traceur).

It occurs to me that "modern JavaScript tooling" is growing only vertically (better tools to build, better tools to modularize, better tools to transpilation), but not horizontally. If we see some "brave new tool" on the scene, this tool will do exactly what previous tools did, only better.

I would like to have some decent tools for:

* analysing of project structure (e.g. dependencies between modules, graphs, trees etc.)

* code visualising (not toy! Gource is beautiful, but pretty useless. JSCity... I also don't see much use of it. I would see something that would allow me to draw some useful information from code visualisation. Something that would allow to understand better. But I see only beautiful animations and abstract 3D scenes)

* maintaining code (something that would allow me to conduct massive scale refactoring, or automatically convert code from one framework to another etc.)

* better editors for HTML/CSS, maybe even some decent WYSIWYG

Okay. Plain build systems and transpilers also are super useful. I think that Gulp, Babel.js, Browserify etc. are greeeat. But I think we need more. Something different. There is still room for innovation. Projects grow bigger and I think that we need something that helps us

* to understand easily new codebase

* to navigate codebase, conduct semantic search etc.

* to maintaining, refactoring etc.

I feel that some important tools are missing, not created yet.

mbrock 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I think it's good to note that you don't actually need a single one of these tools to make functioning software. You can pack your scripts with cat and download libraries with wget and use regular old JavaScript without transpilers. When you have a problem with this, you can use tools... But you don't have to top-load every project with a whole suite of complex tools just for the sake of it.
heidar 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to get started with this stuff but you're feeling lost or overwhelmed then the free SurviveJS - Webpack and React book is a nice place to start! It covers many of these tools. http://survivejs.com
tete 15 hours ago 7 replies      
Gulp is really great and better, than Grunt, but sometimes make seems to be a good choice that people forget about.
deckar01 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Another tool that becomes useful as your npm dependency list grows is npm-shrinkwrap. It is too easy to get large projects into a state that the existing developers can build and test, but break in production builds and for new developers. Being able to strictly version dependencies and control minor package updates can save you from debugging bad builds and losing new contributors. It's not a silver bullet, but can save you some frustration when packages deviate from proper versioning practices.
eibrahim 6 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion Ember JS is the best framework out there. It's instantly productivity and everything just works out of the box. No worry about tooling and such. If you are coming from Ruby on Rails or similar platforms, ember JS is your best bet.
applecore 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The very good thing about module bundlers versus transpilers and task runners is that changing a single file doesn't result in a complete rebuild of the project; since the bundler maintains a model of the dependencies between files, it only needs to recompile the files that matter.
k__ 15 hours ago 1 reply      
With NPM and Webpack you can get pretty far. With all it's plugins an loaders you're pretty much set.
devNoise 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This a good overview of some popular tools for JavaScript development.

The thing that gets me about modern JavaScript development is the amount of modules you download to build your code. Currently I'm going through a PluralSights course for Gulp.js. Just to help me build and test my code, over 240MB of modules were downloaded. I'm starting to understand the benefits of all those modules. The thing that gets me is that the process makes you download all those modules again for the next project.

talles 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Does webpack started to be more popular than browserify?

I'm starting to see people talking more about webpack than the former...

if_by_whisky 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A popular opinion seems to be that none of these tools are necessary-- if you don't use any tools then how do you write unit tests?
kriro 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Very useful. This will be required reading for all our students :)

I created a react/grunt/browserify/babelify (+bootstrap) starter repo to clone from github for them but think it's still confusing. This provides much needed background information in one bundled place (even though the stack is slightly different and only mentions grunt).

jebblue 12 hours ago 0 replies      
erokar 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Lost in the Bazar...
fiatjaf 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon Web Services revenue rises 81% year over year wsj.com
250 points by vizzah  3 days ago   141 comments top 12
fnayr 3 days ago 5 replies      
36% of Amazon's operating profit is now from AWS. That's crazy!
afarrell 3 days ago 4 replies      
I wonder how much of that is people forgetting to shut down unused EC2 instances
ksec 3 days 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!

sker 3 days 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?

sudhirj 2 days 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?

downandout 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it will only continue to grow (for the next 5 years).
_pmf_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Bezos ... Click Here For 100 Reasons Why Shortsighted Silicon Valley ADHD Investors Hate Him"
jasondc 3 days 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 3 days ago 1 reply      
But is it even profitable? Operating profits don't include capex. And data centers full of xeons are expensive.
Fratercula 3 days ago 1 reply      
now thats some nice growth!
Plasma Mobile plasma-mobile.org
234 points by jbk  1 day ago   137 comments top 26
jbk 1 day ago 3 replies      
So, there is not much information on the website yet, but this is basically a full stack for mobiles, based on Wayland and Kwin for the UI and Ofono for the phone part.

The reference implementation is based on Ubuntu Touch, and use libhybris to get hw support. However, it's different from UT, by the fact that it's not using Mir, but Wayland directly through Kwin.

It seems to run Ubuntu Touch applications, X11 applications, KDE/QML ones and Jolla/Sailfish/Nemo ones. They seem to have Android apps on the roadmap too.

Except the drivers (through libhybris), everything is open source and numerous KDE/QML apps can run without modifications. It can also run without libhybris if you have kernel DRM.

The distribution is based on Kubuntu, and so far it works only on the Nexus 5.

maheart 1 day ago 1 reply      
So much negativity in this thread. Where's your hacker spirit? It might not yet be as feature-rich or polished as Android or iOS, but this is a very hacker-friendly project!

I for one am really excited about this. I wrote about why on reddit[1].

Keep up the good work devs!

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3ejo62/plasma_mobile...

wvh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Exciting stuff. I think it's important there is a solid open-source stack on mobile, even if most people won't leave iOS or Android behind. Is there any cooperation with the Jolla or Ubuntu folks, perhaps through the Mer project or common Qt development? It would be good to avoid duplicate work.

Have you been thinking about the hardware problem in the long run? Jolla has apparently decided to leave the hardware business; I'm not sure where open-source mobile developers will get (guaranteed) hardware for their systems in the future.

arianvanp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Awesome project. I pitty the negativity here because I always think it's good to hack around with new ideas and techologies, as it will catch many bugs and give possibilities to fix them. Speaking of Wayland, is it stable enough yet? I heard Gnome now fully supports it, which is neat. I wish XMonad would be ported to wayland though.
afro88 1 day ago 3 replies      
Free OS on your phone is great and all, but it's got that quirky linux UI problem where usability is an after thought to "me too" features.

For example, I can't read any of the text on the phone image on the front page, and physically the image on my screen is bigger than my iPhone. So the text is unreadable in the OS by default?

sharms 1 day ago 0 replies      
For something that is in the early phases this looks amazingly functional and performant on a Nexus 5 (Android itself had a bit more latency when I had the phone).

No reason for the crowd here to be so cynical, clearly they do have designers. For those holding the Apple flag, just compare the UI differences from Pixelmator and Mail.App to see there are many inconsistencies and that is fine, because different apps do different things.

jafingi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty interesting project. And it looks great. I understand that it's work in progress, but it really need to support more devices, even in this phase.

Looking forward to seeing how this will work out! A replacement for Android is much appreciated.

etrautmann 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it supposed to be obvious what these components are? "What is a plasma phone?"

"Plasma Phone OS (or simply Plasma Phone) is a complete software stack for mobile devices and includes the following libre technologies:

Plasma Mobile (a Plasma-based shell), KWIN/KWayland, Voicecall, Ofono, RIL, OHM, Telepathy"

Aside from Voicecall, I have no idea what these are or why they would be desirable in a phone.

deckar01 1 day ago 0 replies      
That video intro needs some serious work.


- Add narration

- Keep the video under 3 minutes

- Use an attractive pair of hands in the demo

- Stick to high level features

The most important suggestion is adding narration. I had no clue why I was being shown some of these apps.

wz1000 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great. I really look forward to seeing where it goes.

As an aside, KRunner is the best, most powerful and useful launcher I have ever used.

honest_joe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks great. Would I want to use it ? NopeIn order to succeed it needs to come in a polished product form.

But still gl and keep hacking.

RivieraKid 1 day ago 7 replies      
I've lost all hope in the KDE project, they simply don't understand UI / UX design.
abrowne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Krunner is my favorite part of KDE. Glad it's part of this project.
kzhahou 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are we saying "libre" now, not "free"? Just want to keep up with the latest lingo.
zanny 1 day ago 1 reply      
So nobody is talking about Plasma Active.


Some history, Plasma Active is about five years old now and its development coincided with a would-have-been-crowdfunded-toay tablet called Vivaldi that was supposed to be an open hardware device that never panned out because costs got out of control and interest waned.

It was based on Mer, rather than Kubuntu, and Qt4 rather than 5. Today it looks like a colossal wreck, and all the "Active" app UIs developed for it are all complete wastes of code and time today because QML was not mature enough when they made that "first attempt". Today there are common themed QML elements called the qt-quick-controls that everyone can use to build UIs that adapt to every devices native toolkit, while still supporting animations and flow elements and all the nice graphical perks hardware accelerated UIs allow.

Its been basically dead in the water for over two years, since the tablet project went belly up, and there even used to be a "Kubuntu-active" fork of Kubuntu that the project was maintaining as a way to try out the Plasma Active desktop on top of a Kubuntu core. The shell from Plasma Active did eventually see use in its adoption as the "netbook" interface found in Plasma 4 near the end of its lifecycle.

So you definitely want some post-mortum on the last KDE mobile attempt and you also want to consider how Plasma Mobile might succeed or fail in a similar vein.

Why did Plasma Active basically never do anything? Number one, no device support. It was not targeting phones at the time, and was instead looking towards tablets, but it never even ran properly on a Nexus 7 and those only turned up while it was on the decline. Without hardware, software is useless. This time around Plasma Mobile is shipping for the Nexus 5 out of the gate, a significant improvement. If they can make images for popular dev phones for a while, they will certainly have more potential devs than Active ever did, which pretty much amounted to building and running the shell in a child Kwin to tinker with, but never use on an actual device.

Number two, its UI was a wreck. This was before the KDE VDG, Breeze, and Material Design were a thing, so Plasma Active was built on ugly Oxygen and Active Apps were made with effectively prototype QML1 where you had to write your own button class. As a result, all the apps not made for Active (and most weren't, since it was dead in the water) were their desktop versions and unusable on small touch screens, and all the Active apps looked like you drew some rectangles on a white background you could click because that is literally how you made buttons in QML1.

Plasma Mobile does improve on this as well. Breeze, the new KDE theme, beats the pants out of their older defaults. They now have a KDE font, and a KDE icon theme meant to encompass everything, that are all consistent. they now have their visual design group making mockups and directing design for new apps and old, though there is an obvious schism between designers making mockups and anyone actually implementing them - there is an amazing Muon design that was never implemented into the final product which looks and feels like butt. And not a single core KDE app in the KDE Software releases is shipping a QML2 powered UI that is meant for mobile that uses a common design language like Material. It means all the core KDE apps - Kontact, Dolphin, whatever web browser you want to use (Rekonq is dead, Konqeror is a zombie, and there are several new projects out there - for mobile, you might be able to get away with a dumb qtwebengine wrapper), Amarok (which also has another amazing VDG UI floating around that is still unimplemented), Dragon Player, etc. They all need mobile UIs, none of them have them now, and you wouldn't even want to make a mobile UI, you would want to make adaptive UIs - you would want all these programs to be able to scale from phone size to desktop size and readjust their layouts accordingly, because that is what QML2 is really good at. Its also a complexity nightmare, if anyone has tried a responsive website, albeit QML2 does so much of a better job equipping you with the tools to do that its almost not comparable.

Lastly, Plasma Active never had an app store. At all. Muon was still in its infancy back then, so you were using... Apper. Which is basically a worse Synaptic package manager, and Synaptic does not belong in the same room as a mobile phone UI. The newer appstream infrastructure and the future xdg-app tech should be great when it lands, but like I said before Muon is still a mess, though maybe that responsive adaptive UI redesign will also bring the VDG designs to the forefront finally and make it really great.

But Plasma Mobile supporting Ubuntu Touch Apps, Sailfish Apps, Firefox OS HTML5 apps, and Android apps with slashtik will definitely solve the app problem. Security might become a problem, then, though. You are now mixing debs, click packages, apks, app manifests, and RPMs from Sailfish on one system. Sounds like a giant mess. So do you just containerize everything? Good luck with that limited mobile phone storage and memory size. How does apparmor integrate with that mess? How about how Muon integrates knewstuff content from kdelook and kdeapps - those are literally just zipfiles it extracts into predetermined locations.

A lot of questions, but as long as they don't go over their heads and stay within their manpower - which if Active is any indication is that you really just need a core base working great before trying to take over the world - it should have much more potential than the last KDE foray into mobile.

The dream, of course, is that Sailfish / Ubuntu Touch / Firefox OS all eventually rebase off Plasma Mobile and just provide their own UI shells over it, so that all the major open source mobile players are working in one ecosystem rather than working in their own trees at their own companies not trying to play ball with the competition. Good luck with that one.

amelius 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought this was about a phone with a plasma screen :)
jasimq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Name (todo) is pretty funny
tdkl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cool, another mobile OS who's finished like Android from 5 years ago.
PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great, a phone that supports telepathy. Just w3hat I've always needed.
davelondon 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm sure the remarkable similarity to the www.spotify.com/uk homepage is just a lucky coincidence: http://imgur.com/zPfdFX8
RivieraKid 1 day ago 2 replies      
Giorgi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Exuma 1 day ago 0 replies      
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      
jasimq 1 day ago 0 replies      
legulere 1 day ago 5 replies      
       cached 27 July 2015 04:11:03 GMT