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Pixar in a Box Khan Academy pixarinabox.org
749 points by beneater  4 days ago   65 comments top 11
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britcruise 4 days ago 9 replies      
Hey HN! My name is Brit Cruise and I'm the lead content developer on the Khan Academy side of this equation (working alongside Tony DeRose from Pixar...plus a village of others), if you have any specific questions about this project I'll be happy to answer as best I can.
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gdubs 4 days ago 3 replies      
I brought a computer graphics textbook into my high-school math class and asked my teacher if he could help me figure it out. His response was that I needed to pay attention to the current lesson plan, and would need to get through trig, then calculus before we could approach the book.

What's amazing about this video series is that they have actually captured the elements that _can_ be taught to kids of various ages and skill levels. Man how I wish there were a resource like this when I was younger.

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jameshart 4 days ago 0 replies      
Love this. So important to show kids that there really are applications for the stuff they are learning in math classes, and computer graphics are such a direct way to see that connection. As a kid, I think the main reasons I cared about things like equations of motion or trigonometric functions were because I was using them to do stuff like animate bouncing balls.
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pcote 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think the name "Pixar in a Box" sounds like a neat play on words on the term "Particle in a Box" from quantum mechanics. Sometimes, it's called an "infinite potential well".

So the title appears to come from the suggestion that there'a a well of infinite potential in terms of creative usages of math in computer animation. Or at least that's what I read into it.

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ginko 4 days ago 3 replies      
It's interesting that the Rendering chapter only covers ray tracing, while most classic Pixar movies were actually mainly rendered using the Reyes algorithm, which is a form of rasterization.
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ChicagoBoy11 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wonderful initiative -- wish this was around when I was in school.

Any projects in the works to tie this into Khan Academy's CS offerings? I work at a school which is about to pilot a programming class with 3d animation, but I found the content which you guys have put up to be far more engaging. If there were an accompanying suite where students could code and render an entire scene (especially if some Pixar assets were included!) it would absolutely be incredible and a great resource, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate one second to transition our course into it.

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anjc 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's odd that people in the comments seem to think this is for kids. It surely isn't intended to be for children, right?

Great lessons.

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JabavuAdams 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice! I was just thinking about using CG as an enticement to teach linear algebra. Basically, turn the curriculum upside down: here's how you rotate an object ... a point is a vector .... here's a matrix ...

That's how I learned it.

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ausjke 4 days ago 1 reply      
Love Khanacademy, I wish I can bookmark course like this for later viewing, could not figure out how to do that yet. I'm a coach there but like to bookmark course for myself once a while.
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danielrw7 4 days ago 0 replies      
FYI the image formatting is off on mobile chrome. http://imgur.com/0dyvQJP
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anderspitman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Khan Academy got me through calc III and diff Eq
Phoenix 1.0 phoenixframework.org
787 points by arthurcolle  3 days ago   218 comments top 44
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lpsz 3 days ago 8 replies      
If you were choosing today, would you recommend choosing Elixir over Go for web/back-end development? Would you say Go is more suited for high-performance command-line tools, and Elixir for long-term running stuff?

I'm an indie developer building such a back-end (social networking/chat space), have full choice of language. Started using Go earlier this year and mostly happy with it.

Should I switch to Elixir in my next iteration? Would it make me more productive, or save me from various deployment hurdles in long-term?

(Please don't take this as one of those mostly aimless "Hey, is Ruby or Python better?" type of questions. I hate those myself. I'm going to be investing thousands of hours into Go at this point. Hoping for some serious pro-vs-con discussion, hoping people who have architected something big in either language could chime in -- such is the major plus of asking on HN.)

I tried Googling, and the best/most recent I found was this thread. [1]

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/elixir/comments/3c8yfz/how_does_go_...

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oomkiller 3 days ago 3 replies      
After spending nearly 7 years in the Ruby and Rails ecosystem, I changed jobs and have been working in with Elixir and Phoenix for nearly 3 months. I have been very satisfied with the process. The community is amazing, the tooling is unbeatable, and the quality and availability of open source libraries is great, especially for such a young project. The future looks very bright for Elixir and Phoenix!
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houshuang 3 days ago 1 reply      
Phoenix and Elixir are really great tools. I spent the summer building a bunch of interactive components for an EdX MOOC (https://imgur.com/a/rAXVz), and got to try out a lot of Phoenix capabilities (channels/websocket support is great!), but also using underlying Elixir/Erlang libraries for task-queues, email sending and receiving, etc. Super stable, never able to get our server above a few percent of CPU :)
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djm_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the whole team!

It's also worth noting that Ecto [1], the core-maintained Elixir ORM-like package, also hit v1 earlier this week and has backends for dealing with: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MSSQL, SQLite3 & MongoDB.

[1] https://github.com/elixir-lang/ecto

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ffn 3 days ago 3 replies      
This is awesome! I've been working with Phoenix for a bit now, and aside from the fact hex/phoenix doesn't yet have all the libraries that rubygems/rails have, Phoenix has blown my expectations out of the water. For such a big and complex framework, the entire functional plug system (functional is love, functional is life) makes the whole thing easy to grok in a way utterly unimaginable in a traditional rails framework.

By the way, in case core team is reading, what's the motivation behind removing infer_model_view from the render functions?

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wiremine 3 days ago 2 replies      
If you're new to Elixir, I highly recommend Dave Thomas' book "Programming Elixir"

https://pragprog.com/book/elixir/programming-elixir

From the website:

"You want to explore functional programming, but are put off by the academic feel (tell me about monads just one more time). You know you need concurrent applications, but also know these are almost impossible to get right. Meet Elixir, a functional, concurrent language built on the rock-solid Erlang VM. Elixirs pragmatic syntax and built-in support for metaprogramming will make you productive and keep you interested for the long haul. This book is the introduction to Elixir for experienced programmers."

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pbreit 3 days ago 7 replies      
When people choose to build on a more esoteric language such as Elixir (and to lesser extent Erlang) is it because what they want to do simply is not possible in Ruby/Python/Go/JavaScript/etc or just less efficient, elegant, productive, etc?
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jonathonf 3 days ago 2 replies      
Ah, this is great. Hopefully now there won't be updates that alter syntax and functionality with quite the same frequency! (check the 'Upgrading from...' posts)

I'm pretty excited about Elixir and Phoenix. Building on Erlang's OTP should mean scaling can be fairly transparent.

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chrismccord 3 days ago 0 replies      
My NDC Oslo talk gives a nice overview of the framework, Elixir, and its Erlang roots for those that want to evaluate the stack before jumping in https://vimeo.com/131633172
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aren55555 3 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW the URL should probably be updated to http://www.phoenixframework.org/blog/phoenix-10-the-framewor...

http://www.phoenixframework.org/blog seems to point to the most recent post.

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shaunxcode 3 days ago 1 reply      
What is the "tooling" (https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/exQlE8JZQ2O2DaLm6cEA) specifically called?

(edit: it is ":observer.start()" from inside iex (elixir repl) http://blog.plataformatec.com.br/2015/06/elixir-in-times-of-...)

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elevenfist 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone break down how phoenix compares to meteor? Advantages/Disadvantages? Let's say I'm a CS grad, not a layman.
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jerelunruh 3 days ago 3 replies      
I primarily use Django REST Framework for APIs... has anyone moved from Django to Phoenix and can give a report on how the developer productivity compares currently? If it's not there yet I'm sure it will get there as the community grows but how is it now?
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tortilla 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Great work Chris and Jose and everyone else.

Getting my feet wet with a few side projects and am really loving Elixir and Phoenix. Performance is great and I don't miss too much compared to Rails. I still love Ruby and Rails, but will most likely default to Phoenix/Elixir for most future projects.

15
rdtsc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great work Chris, Valim and everyone else involved.

I like the screenshot of htop on the front page with all CPUs working along. And a shoutout to the Erlang's Observer tool as well, to inspect the running system and show process dependencies.

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mands 3 days ago 7 replies      
Slightly off-topic, but can someone familiar with both Elixir and Erlang explain what Elixir provides in comparison to Erlang.

I'm looking into using Erlang for a new project that requires extensive scaling and concurrency and am coming from a functional background so may be more comfortable with the traditional Erlang syntax. However it seems that perhaps more development and activity is happening on the Elixir side of things and it may be more productive in terms of tooling, libraries (such as Phoenix and Ecto), and support.

Thanks!

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happyfriend 3 days ago 5 replies      
Does phoenix require javascript, or just this announcement page? I see a big block of text mixed with json... Not so good for noscript users and search engines that don't load JS.
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skrause 3 days ago 2 replies      
If this framework gets too popular they'll probably rename it to Firebird. Let's just hope there isn't already another open source software called Firebird.
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mccada 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is fantastic. I'm hoping for some book releases in the near future now that the framework has reached version 1.
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digitalzombie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Man I went to an Erlang meeting a year ago and all the people there were talking about how to get Erlang to be popular.

I basically said look at Ruby, it shot up because of RoR. All erlang needs is a good hype web framework.

Everybody in that room was like nope, the people can't see the power of Erlang and Erlang only solve a niche problem or that web framework isn't the answer.

Uh huh. Phoenix is evidence that programming language needs a good framework and a big user base that are hype about it. Sadly I don't see Erlang going to get momentum as Elixir and I think it's a good thing. Erlang can do it thing and Elixir can bring in more people on to the Erlang VM (BEAM).

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cpjk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations to the whole team! Thank you for all your hard work! Phoenix has so far been a joy to work with.
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msandford 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does Elixir have any kind of signal processing capabilities ala numpy/scipy for the Python ecosystem? I'm doing some stuff right now using a django/nodejs hybrid system (glued together manually) and I'd love to be able to do everything in one language. But the DSP support (seemingly) isn't there in the javascript ecosystem yet.

I'd really love something built on erlang because of all the theoretical problems that just don't happen because of the way it's built.

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ChuckMcM 3 days ago 2 replies      
Getting to 1.0 is really awesome. Although I have a lot of 'framework fatigue' at this point, what would be really helpful for me would be why this framework is better than the dozen other frameworks along any number of axes, say "time to develop", "spinning up new developers", "obsolecence protection", anything which would provide a compelling story why this instead of Angular or React or Bootstrap or Eve or anything else for that matter.
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agend 3 days ago 0 replies      
reading the comments it's pretty clear that phoenix + elixir - it the best thing since sliced bread. Usually it takes years and couple of versions - to make it tick. But here - boom - 1.0 - everything works great - pretty impresive
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akoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow,excited to see this. I'm following phoenix since its 0.10 days and i'm proud to say it has come a long way. Using phoenix source for tips and guidance while im developing a web framework for Erlang (Entirely for learning purposes). Amazing work team Phoenix. Hats off to you!
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techpeace 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on hitting 1.0.0! Thanks for all the hard work. The Elixir community is producing some really exciting stuff.
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krashidov 3 days ago 1 reply      
Are there any libraries to help with authentication in Phoenix?

I couldn't find anything in the docs.

28
anderspitman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Man, we really are spoiled with some great languages and frameworks these days.
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bra-ket 3 days ago 1 reply      
not to be confused with https://phoenix.apache.org/ distributed database
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thunderbong 3 days ago 0 replies      
Without javascript enabled this site is totally garbled. Since rendering is so dependent on javascript maybe a noscript will help
31
tiffanyh 3 days ago 1 reply      
Should there be concern using Phoenix given the low performance rank of it on the Web Framework benchmark? [1]

[1] https://www.techempower.com/benchmarks/previews/round11/

32
thirdsun 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been getting into serious production-ready web development for some time now and Rails has been the tool that kicked things off for me. However Phoenix and Volt are alternatives that have been on my radar recently and really caught my interest. Glad to see it reaching this milestone. Congratulations!
33
gjaldon 3 days ago 0 replies      
In case anyone's interested, there's some screencast tutorials on Phoenix http://phoenixscreencasts.com/ - Not much episodes yet though :)
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andersonmvd 3 days ago 0 replies      
As Jose was one of who contributed the most of RoR code and now is focusing on Elixir/Phoenix, will the RoR community move to Elixir/Phoenix? I think so, as Rails 5 doesn't seems to be that promising as one discussion here took place
35
jdoconnor 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great news. Side note: with a name like Phoenix, would it make sense to start at 2.0? :)
36
dodyg 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic. It is now on my list to learn.
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vippy 3 days ago 1 reply      
Then you have to learn Elixir though.

Disclaimer: My needs are currently best served by isomorphic React.

38
beginrescueend 3 days ago 0 replies      
Way to go! Great work, team.
39
devty 3 days ago 0 replies      
very excited to see the development. hope to see many apps built using phoenix.
40
amelius 3 days ago 1 reply      
How would this compare to the NodeJS ecosystem?
41
yellowapple 3 days ago 0 replies      
The screenshot there seems to imply that Phoenix uses 6GB of RAM and pegs two CPU cores for one controller action and the rendering thereof ;)

Congrats to the Phoenix folks; I'm pretty sure it's the first Elixir framework to hit that 1.0 milestone, and that's a pretty big deal.

42
arca_vorago 3 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone gotten Elixir and Phoenix talking with VoltDB via JSON/BSON or anything else? That's something I've been working on but got distracted with other projects.

Loving Erlang/Elixir/Phoenix, I really feel it is going to scale very well.

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toephu2 3 days ago 0 replies      
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RGamma 3 days ago 1 reply      
Chrome will begin pausing many Flash ads by default on September 1 plus.google.com
461 points by cpeterso  3 days ago   170 comments top 21
1
phamilton 3 days ago 3 replies      
For anyone interested in the definition of "essential", see the source code:

https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src.git/+/master/... See constants)

and

https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src.git/+/master/... See ShouldThrottleContent)

TLDR, essential content is either:

1) On the same domain as the page

2) Considered "Large" (at least 298 x 398, certain aspect ratio, minimum total area), with an exception for tiny content (likely transport plugins).

2
archon810 3 days ago 4 replies      
The irony is that while they recommend converting ads to html5 (or auto convert them with swiffy), the performance goes to shit as well, arguably even worse than flash would have been, at least on mobile.

- http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/25/google-now-automatically-c...

- https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=467709

- https://plus.google.com/+ArtemRussakovskii/posts/MtcZGJprWje

3
pjmlp 3 days ago 3 replies      
I can already disable flash ads. Good luck disabling HTML 5 ads without browser plugins support.
4
jakob223 3 days ago 2 replies      
I use chrome with all plugins disabled unless I right-click to run them, and the only one that I regularly have to enable is the PDF viewer. I find it a much more enjoyable (and faster) browser experience and have no need for an ad blocker because flash ads are the only ones that really annoy me. I think it's a great idea to disable non-essential flash by default.
5
shocks 3 days ago 6 replies      
I've had pretty much zero consequences from disabling Flash globally in all my browsers.

Where is Flash still essential?

6
dang 3 days ago 0 replies      
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kfor 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think this is actually a benefit for consumers, but this just seems like an invitation to an antitrust suit.
8
arghbleargh 3 days ago 1 reply      
So... can somebody explain what the difference between "essential" and "non-essential" Flash content is, and how Chrome can tell the difference?
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cyberjunkie 3 days ago 2 replies      
"Google's reasoning for the move is largely performance-based, apparently"

Now if only they can start optimizing Chrome urgently, that'd be just great!

10
EarthLaunch 3 days ago 1 reply      
Embrace, extend, extinguish? I remember when Chrome first integrated Flash into its browser rather than requiring it to be a separate install.
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dogma1138 3 days ago 2 replies      
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taco_emoji 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wish they would do this for animated GIFs...
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illumen 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is this anti competitive?
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kin 3 days ago 1 reply      
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skynetv2 3 days ago 0 replies      
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vacri 3 days ago 0 replies      
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sharmadwivid 3 days ago 0 replies      
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estel 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure you replied exactly where you intended to
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ablation 3 days ago 7 replies      
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HazonS 3 days ago 0 replies      
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kuschku 3 days ago 3 replies      
Oliver Sacks has died nytimes.com
489 points by aburan28  1 day ago   37 comments top 13
1
leothekim 1 day ago 4 replies      
His last op-ed in the NY Times: http://nytimes.com/2015/08/16/opinion/sunday/oliver-sacks-sa...

"And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of ones life as well, when one can feel that ones work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.

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reuven 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sacks was clearly a great doctor in many ways. But he'll probably be better known, and remembered, for popularizing science and medicine in a way that we rarely see: He describes people's symptoms carefully, but also sympathetically. He treats patients using science, which is supposed to be dispassionate, but does so with what's obviously a great deal of care. And he reveals science to us, not as a cold set of rules that govern the world, but as something that provides us with an infinitely large number of wondrous, almost miraculous, combinations of events.

Sacks articulated -- perhaps not explicitly -- that science isn't merely reductionist, cold, logical, and unemotional. He loved learning new things, and was clearly overjoyed to learn, understand, and appreciate the amazing universe in which we live.

It has been many years since I read, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," but I remember loving every page. His later books aren't as famous, but his writing continued to be enchanting and inviting, even when the subjects weren't necessarily my cup of tea.

We in Western societies tend to shut down discussions of death, and what it means. The writing that Sacks produced over the last year have been some of the most poignant, chilling, and inspiring essays that he produced. It's sad that he's gone, but I'm grateful that he shared so much of his work, and his life (and ultimately death) with all of us.

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brianclements 1 day ago 0 replies      
My religion is nature. Thats what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me. -- Oliver Sacks

Oliver now gets to take all the elements he borrowed, and that he loved so dearly, and return them back to the stars from which they came. His spirit has dissolved now into it's new form as a complex abstract of memories, ideas, and collective appreciation, where it will now live alongside nature; it's original muse and creator.

4
akbarnama 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/opinion/my-periodic-tab... "Times of stress throughout my life have led me to turn, or return, to the physical sciences, a world where there is no life, but also no death."
5
dragly 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's sad to hear that he died. I just started reading his book, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". It's an extremely interesting book about the case stories of some of his most interesting patients. The book gives a lot of insight into the lives of patients with the strangest brain dysfunctions, and puts into perspective many of the things we take for granted, such as how we recognize facial expressions, our own body and more. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's interested in neuroscience or even artificial intelligence.
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steve_g 1 day ago 0 replies      
And he could squat 600 lbs, when he was younger of course.

https://media2.wnyc.org/i/620/599/l/80/1/Sacks_Lifting_dr_sq...

That's not a trivial weight.

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ablation 1 day ago 0 replies      
A great loss, made no less shocking for all its foreshadowing due to his illness. The knowledge he shared through his work and his books have had a lasting impact on my life and the lives of others. Would that we all leave such a legacy.
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danieltillett 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is always sad when a person curious about the world dies. He provided me with many stimulating hours of reading and for that I will miss him.
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noobie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am sad he died but I am so glad he'd lived.
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alayne 1 day ago 0 replies      
I liked this little personal piece about his desk/apartment http://sciencefriday.com/video/11/09/2012/desktop-diaries-ol...
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DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
His autobiography, which he read on BBC Radio Four, was fascinating. Especially hos description of his addiction to drugs and his recovery.

[1] sadly not still available. It's proba ly around from other sources. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062jsmz

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jane_is_here 1 day ago 1 reply      
Windows Certificate Manager does not display the complete trust list hexatomium.github.io
387 points by svenfaw  2 days ago   98 comments top 10
1
geographomics 2 days ago 1 reply      
You can also use certutil to grab all the trusted root certificates from the Windows Update server:

 certutil -generateSSTFromWU roots.sst
Then open roots.sst (which defaults to viewing in certmgr) and it will show the whole lot. Or use certutil -syncWithWU to get all the certs individually.

Alternatively: download http://ctldl.windowsupdate.com/msdownload/update/v3/static/t... [1], extract the authroot.stl file (which is in PKCS#7 format), use 'certutil -dump' to list all the subject key identifiers therein, and then download them from the same location as authrootstl.cab by appending ".crt" to the identifier.

Windows is not lying about anything, you just need to look in the right place.

Also, if you want to examine the CTL list that Windows is currently using - which should be identical to the one above unless it's brand new or there has been a problem downloading it - this will extract it from the registry:

 powershell -Command "[IO.File]::WriteAllBytes('authroot-local.stl',(Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\AuthRoot\AutoUpdate').EncodedCtl)"
Then use 'certinfo -dump' or whatever you like, it's exactly the same format as the downloaded authroot.stl. This is the same registry data that the OP's CTLInfo tool examines.

[1] as specified in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2677070

2
brudgers 2 days ago 2 replies      
One feature of Windows is defaulting to not showing messy complexity to the user. The other feature is defaulting to backward compatibility. Combined, this means that Windows often has more than two data stores for some aggregate feature [e.g. web browser security, software configuration etc.] as new versions of Windows implement these features in more robust ways.

So yeah there are two or more places where certificates are stored. Typical users only care about the abstraction of web security so that's what Windows surfaces. Application developers should choose the new store for new applications. Existing applications can use the old method. System administrators and security consultants should make themselves familiar with all the documentation and double their rates.

Bloggers, however, are still free to write linkbait headlines using the Windows bashing meme.

3
TazeTSchnitzel 2 days ago 4 replies      
Windows isn't lying. Microsoft openly lists what certificates Windows includes on their site. The fact the root certificate store on your machine only lists certificates it actually contains is to be expected.

This is just a UI failure.

4
iancarroll 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in seeing new roots, Microsoft has started posting all updates to the cabfpub mailing list:

https://cabforum.org/pipermail/public/2015-August/005847.htm...

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Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
What seems to be happening with Windows is that Microsoft is making the machine more a slave of their services with each new release. It's as if they're trying to catch up with Chromebooks, which are totally slaved to Google. Especially since Windows 10 is free with ads. Treating the local certificate store as a cache to the main certificate store at Microsoft HQ is consistent with this.

How difficult it is to hijack the link between the local and remote certificate stores? That's a potential attack surface. It's not hard-coded; it's a registry key (Software\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\AuthRoot\AutoUpdate). The default URL is "ctldl.windowsupdate.com".

So what protects that domain from being hijacked via DNS poisoning? It ought to have a valid SSL cert, right? Well, no. Go to "https://ctldl.windowsupdate.com/":

 ctldl.windowsupdate.com uses an invalid security certificate. The certificate is only valid for the following names: a248.e.akamai.net, *.akamaihd.net, *.akamaihd-staging.net, *.akamaized.net, *.akamaized-staging.net (Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)
Uh oh. Am I missing something, or are root certs downloaded over an unsecured channel?

6
nota_bene 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't the first question to ask "Can I trust Windows?" (and the answer "no", for all the obvious reasons)?
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wfunction 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this really true? When I navigate to https://certplusrootcag1-test.opentrust.com/ I see the root certificate is "Certplus Root CA G1", not "OpenTrust Root CA G1"...
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Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Edge browser doesn't display certificate data at all. This has been discussed on the CAB forum mailing list recently.
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FreeHugs 2 days ago 4 replies      
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benevol 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hack: A typeface designed for source code sourcefoundry.org
509 points by erickhill  2 days ago   240 comments top 63
1
dogas 2 days ago 9 replies      
Hack is DejaVu sans mono. Below is a gif I took switching between DejaVu sans mono and Hack. Aside from line height I fail to see the difference.

http://gfycat.com/SomberUnitedGermanshepherd

2
bitwize 2 days ago 3 replies      
No one has yet mentioned the ultimate hacker font -- Glass Tty VT220:

http://christfollower.me/misc/glasstty/

Then there's UW ttyp0 for those who still prefer their fonts bit-mapped:

http://people.mpi-inf.mpg.de/~uwe/misc/uw-ttyp0/

And UniVGA, an emulation of the VGA font that provides much of Unicode (useful for a little Turbo Pascal nostalgia trip with an appropriate color theme, or the FPC IDE):

http://www.inp.nsk.su/~bolkhov/files/fonts/univga/

3
klausa 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'm slightly surprised that almost nobody here uses Menlo or Monaco, even though several screenshots in the thread are clearly made on OS X.

I'm curious why that's the case. Do people generally dislike the system-provided fonts or are the alternatives considered "better"?

4
bberrry 2 days ago 18 replies      
I desperately want to find a new code font to love but I always return to Consolas.
5
pluma 2 days ago 6 replies      
Since everyone's mentioning their favourite code fonts -- any love for Ubuntu Mono? I know it's not trendy to like the OS default as a non-Apple user but I find myself always coming back to it when I see it in comparisons.
6
FranOntanaya 2 days ago 2 replies      
I use Hasklig, even though on a different language. I love having ligatures for common symbols. I should pick up fontforge again and adapt it to PHP

https://github.com/i-tu/Hasklig/

7
falsedan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've use the same page[0] for the last 4 years to decide on which font to use for coding on new machines. I see Hack has been recently added!

[0] http://www.slant.co/topics/67/~what-are-the-best-programming...

8
doodpants 2 days ago 1 reply      
When using a text editor or IDE that does not allow the user to adjust the line spacing (aka "leading"), my choice of programming font for the last 1.5 decades has been Lucida Console. It has tighter line spacing than any other monospaced font I've seen, thus displaying more lines of code within a window of a given height. Every time I hear about a new font designed for source code, I try it out, and am consistently disappointed at how far apart the lines are spaced. I haven't tried Hack, but looking at the screen shot it seems no better than other fonts in this regard.

Font designers never seem to consider tight line spacing as a potential selling point, and that makes me sad. :-( In fact, wider line spacing is sometimes touted as an advantage, for readability.

9
teamhappy 2 days ago 5 replies      
Comparison with Fira Mono at 12px: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/140470

I'll stick with Fira.

10
rwinn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another coding font worth mentioning is Anonymous Pro

http://www.marksimonson.com/fonts/view/anonymous-pro

11
rkuska 22 hours ago 0 replies      
As a python developer I use only fonts which inserts tiny space between two and more following underscores.

See in __call__ methodhttp://sourcefoundry.org/hack/assets/img/mockup/python-sourc...

12
unfamiliar 2 days ago 9 replies      
Why does source code have to be shown in fixed width? I've been using non-fixed width fonts for about a year now and I find it much nicer on the eyes. The only downside I've found is that sometimes things don't line up quite as nicely, which is purely cosmetic.
13
Aardwolf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks good, but the font of the webpage itself could use some improvement.

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

Why do w, x, v, y look darker than the other letters there?Why are the S, z and g missing part in the center?

14
dennist 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hate it when sites like this change the normal scrolling behaviour. I use the trackpad on my MBP and on sites like this scrolling accelerates too quickly and gestures like going back don't work in chrome.
15
auganov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Pragmatapro is my fav http://www.fsd.it/fonts/pragmatapro.htm (since everyone is posting theirs).
16
hharnisch 2 days ago 1 reply      
I still like Source Code Pro better (yes it's free too) https://github.com/adobe-fonts/source-code-pro
17
sagichmal 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice. Reminds me of http://input.fontbureau.com, a little bit softer.
18
s9w 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hack and others compared: http://s9w.github.io/font_compare/
19
alexggordon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using Anonymous Pro[0] for as long as I've known about it. I think I think Anonymous slightly more than Hack. On a different note, while this might sound like a silly gripe, I really don't like the "r"s in Hack. They seem off.

[0] http://www.marksimonson.com/fonts/view/anonymous-pro

20
CharlesMerriam2 1 day ago 1 reply      
We see another pushing of 'the great programming font' from time to time. But rarely see innovations like special glyphs from multi-character tokens, +=, ++, /*. We see the same, boring, single rendering glyphs for parenthesis and brackets without regard to the depth level of parenthesis. You would think a more savvy font designer could do something eliding color and font rendering to produce a font the would help quickly understand code.
21
tomelders 1 day ago 1 reply      
As with most typefaces, i fail to see how this is better than Comic Sans.
22
be5invis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well, Hack and many other fonts like SCP is a bit too wide for Asians, since they may mix source code with like this. That's why I made Iosevka [1].[1]: http://be5invis.github.io/Iosevka/
23
xj9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone use Hermit[1]?

[1]: https://pcaro.es/p/hermit/

24
blt 2 days ago 5 replies      
Now that I have a 4k monitor, I notice how unrefined the shapes of most programming fonts are. Of course this is on purpose and the right choice for typical resolutions, but it would be cool if someone designed a bit more elegant monospace font for 4k displays.
25
tmycnw 2 days ago 0 replies      
6-7 years ago I bought the Essential version of the PragmataPro font (http://www.fsd.it/fonts/pragmatapro.htm). And although in the intervening years I have tried dozens of other fonts, I have always come back to the PragmataPro. It is now available for 19 euros (~$21). I bought the essential version for $70 back then.

I personally use it aliased. The font looks a little dense with anti-aliasing on. But I never liked anti-aliasing anyway, especially on low-dpi screens.

26
meIias 2 days ago 0 replies      
For coding I highly recommend M+ 1mn, a lot of thought seems to have gone into the design of this typeface.

http://mplus-fonts.osdn.jp/

27
i336_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since everyone's mentioning their favourite fonts...

Some time ago I discovered the IBM OS/2 VIO (console/terminal/monospace) font converted to PCF for use with X11.

A screenshot and an archive can be found here: http://www.karasik.eu.org/fonts/

I haven't used this resource, which has (aparently) the same font data converted to BDF: https://github.com/dk/ibm-vio-os2-fonts

I'm on a spare (unconfigured) PC at the moment since my main systems were taken down for abrupt maintenance, but it's currently the default font I use in my terminals, text editor, etc. It looks a LOT softer than Fixed (the default X11 font)!

28
Shengbo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recently switched to Roboto Mono Light and I love it so far.Looks really clean on retina screens.
30
andmarios 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice font. I really appreciate that it supports non-latin alphabets. Even though it seems that these alphabets come from the original font (deja vu maybe?) and hasn't been much worked on, it still is extremely useful!

Some critic:

The small i seems a bit funny to me. It is like a greek iota () with a dot on top. Also it is a bit tall font. Whilst that makes text/code more readable, on the same time it let you see less lines on your terminal. My main mono font (Liberation Mono), lets me see comfortably 51 lines in a full screen terminal on a 15.6" laptop. Hack font only shows 45 lines (11% less code :p) at an equally acceptable size.

31
ivan_burazin 1 day ago 0 replies      
This started quite a conversation, looking at the stats in Codeanywhere it seems at a first glance that Inconsolata is the most used (although true this is the default font). Will do a detailed analysis and report my findings :
32
Gikoskos 2 days ago 4 replies      
I've never thought about fonts in coding environments before; you guys must be very experienced if you're thinking of stuff like that.

This is what my editor(Kate) looks like, is this a good font or a bad font? http://i.imgur.com/QtP1csu.jpg

33
disposablehero 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just a bit of feedback (bias: I'm used to Monaco for Powerline)

The lowercase 'a' is much better than Monaco.

The tilde and lowercase 't' seem harder to see than Monaco.

People see characters differently, so some things which make it harder to see for some are easier for others.

Make one want a website which generates a custom font based on each person choosing the most visible variant of each glyph.

Hack: http://screencast.com/t/nnGD3Wm1M7Z5

Monaco: http://screencast.com/t/65hJcI43XT7

34
white-flame 1 day ago 0 replies      
This font does not work well at all in small font sizes, at least in Emacs. (ttf, linux mint, no font hinting)

At 4 & 5 point font sizes, there is a TON of whitespace around each character, destroying the text density and visible flow. Though it might be an Emacs rendering quirk as it never quite appears exactly the same as system fonts otherwise.

Liberation Mono is still works the best for me at those font sizes, still being legible and leaving enough pixels varying between similar characters to distinguish them.

35
totony 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for a programming font, you might like this old relic: http://www.bok.net/MonteCarlo/
36
kbd 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been using Proggy Tiny for literally over a decade, I wonder if there's any font that can beat it for me.

Does anyone know of an easy way to compare two typefaces and see how they look when rendering source code?

37
ninjakeyboard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Probably an uninformed response, but this looks a lot like menlo to me. Edit: People compare to DejaVu sans serif - which is almost identical to menlo as well: http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2009/10/the-compleat-menlov...
38
ramgorur 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like luculent, it's quite thin and you can stuff lots of texts in a small terminal, very useful if your laptop is small, and underscore is also thick.
39
ksrm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fantasque Sans Mono is my font of choice: https://github.com/belluzj/fantasque-sans
40
jfb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the typeface, but I wish Hack had other weights; I find their normal weight far too heavy. I use Source Code Pro Extra Light (in Emacs and the terminal, on OS X) on my low-DPI display and it's pretty good.
41
Kequc 2 days ago 2 replies      
On OSX put the ttf's into your ~/Library/Fonts directory. I've switched, Atom looks subtly different, but I'm surprisingly comfortable with it. Looks good.
42
kozukumi 2 days ago 1 reply      
While on the subject of fonts could an expert answer a question for me - on Windows (10 if it matters) should I install the ttf or the otf font? Is there a difference?
43
ufo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I found the glyph for zero really ugly and attention grabbing
44
k__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to use Fira Code ligatures on Atom, but they're buggy :\

At the moment I'm using Monoid, but it hasn't as much ligatures as Fira Code.

45
Paul_S 2 days ago 0 replies      
There already is a perfect font for coding - terminus. Not that choice is a bad thing.
46
znpy 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my emacs setup, I use Hermit (a font for programmers, by a programmer)

https://pcaro.es/p/hermit/

47
distantsounds 2 days ago 0 replies      
No Love for ProFont here. I can't get away from using it.

http://tobiasjung.name/profont/

48
jwr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good, but not as good as a) Input Mono Narrow and b) Inconsolata.
49
Plishar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not a fan of the Trebuchet- style lowercase 'i' with the unnecessary curved hook on the bottom. Or the design of zero.

I'll stick with Consolas.

50
ithinkso 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hate that 'i' glyph but otherwise looks nice. I'm more interested in editor's colorscheme in example though. Really nice, anyone has some information?
51
PSeitz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone can compare it to sourcecode pro?
52
piker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm trying this out. It looks really sweet thus far.

Thanks for your contribution. I think you'd be surprised how much of an affect your work will have on the folks who adopt it.

53
oofabz 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am partial to Luxi Mono myself:

http://frammish.org/luxi.png

54
michaelcampbell 2 days ago 0 replies      
The 0 reminds me a bit of the the Jacksonesque Eye of Sauron. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, really.
55
wnevets 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just the default font for sublime text. I've never found a "source code" font worth switching to,
56
forgotusername2 2 days ago 0 replies      
i really love ProggyCleanTTSZ can't see myself switching specially for a font called "Hack"
57
kenOfYugen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Enjoy using it in my terminal and sublime text editor.I slightly prefer it over Manaco/Menlo ..
58
izzle49 2 days ago 0 replies      
might just be me, but looks identical to Deja Vu Sans mono for me on windows
59
jevgeni 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm reading "if" as "lf"...
60
snehesht 2 days ago 1 reply      
try Droid Sans Mono
61
plicense 2 days ago 0 replies      
62
tedunangst 2 days ago 0 replies      
The O looks like a zero, but the 0 has a dot, and therefore doesn't look like an oh. That's not enough? I'm happy if every letter has a distinct form; they don't all need to differ from the common form though.
63
briandear 2 days ago 0 replies      
OS X Command Line Utilities mitchchn.me
500 points by AlexeyBrin  1 day ago   195 comments top 39
1
reuven 1 day ago 11 replies      
This article was nice, but it indicated that you need to change the system preferences in order to change the voice. It turns out that you can pass the -v flag to use a different voice, or "-v ?" to get a list of names.

So you can do

 say -v Samantha Help, I'm trapped in this castle!
or

 say -v Princess Help, I'm trapped in this castle!
But wait, it gets even better: The Mac comes with a number of voices for other languages, such as French, Hebrew, Chinese, and Arabic. And it turns out that the voices will work in English as well, using that country's accent. I just tried it with a few different languages, and was amazed by how well this worked, within reason:

 say -v Sin-ji "Hello, I am Chinese. What do you want to eat?" say -v Thomas "Hello, I am French. What do you want to eat?" say -v Carmit "Hello, I am Israeli. What do you want to eat?"
And yes, I should get back to work...

2
rjeli 1 day ago 3 replies      
pbpaste and pbcopy never really occur in ambiguous situations, so I wrote the following shell script:

 function clip { [ -t 0 ] && pbpaste || pbcopy }
This is easier to type and allows for the following:

 % echo hello | clip % clip hello

3
cstross 1 day ago 1 reply      
A key command is missing: textutil.

textutil is a general purpose front end to the core text engine and is one of the cleanest docx-to-html converters I've run across, with a bunch of file formats supported and charset encoding translations, metadata manipulation commands, and assorted juicy goodness for people who have to mess with word-processed text.

Ironically the only common-on-Apple document format it can't do anything with is that of Apple's Pages word processor ...

4
chimeracoder 1 day ago 3 replies      
For Linux users, `xdg-open` is the equivalent of `open`. The latter exists on Linux, but it will open a socket.

There are a number of utilities that handle copy/paste, but `xclip` is probably the most widely used.

Screenshots can also be done a number of ways, but `scrot` is my favorite. The two most useful flags to pass with it are `-s` and `-d`.

As for `launchctl`, `systemctl` is what you want to use to do the same things.

Note that these equivalents all address the same functionality, but the syntax may be different.

5
guan 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would add caffeinate, which prevents the Mac from going to sleep. It can do this indefinitely, for a fixed period of time, or after a process is done running. You can even specify that process either as the PID of an existing process or by invoking it through caffeinate itself.
6
benihana 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like do harmless pranks on coworkers who don't lock their computers

 yes "lock your computer, numbskull" | xargs say
Just repeats the phrase in a monotone computer voice over their headphones. I only do this to engineers, tried it on a PM once, never again.

7
JoachimS 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can recommend using iTerm2 as the command line app. Apples Terminal has improved. But iTerm2 has a lot of handy features. A great terminal.

https://www.iterm2.com

8
balls187 1 day ago 1 reply      
`say` is one of my favorite little things about OS X. In a couple of my build script, I have throw in a couple random say commands if say is installed on the system. Everyonce in a while a Dev will ping me when their computer speaks to them.

I created a gist that says a random starwars quote in each of the systems supported voices.

https://gist.github.com/balasuar/6bf1c64594780836cfcd

9
alangpierce 1 day ago 1 reply      
One nice application I've found of pbpaste is when I want to count things I find in a browser. For example, to count the (approximate) number of comments in this thread, you can copy all text using Cmd+A, Cmd+C, then run this:

pbpaste | grep ago | wc -l

In this case there are easier (and more accurate) ways, but in other situations you can use it to find the length of a list on the web where it would otherwise be harder.

10
tammer 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is a great intro. Here's my favorite OS X Terminal trick:

. (command period) is a hotkey not defined in the menu for sending BREAK. This is automatically equivalent to ctrl+c in shells, ctrl+g in emacs and ESC in Vim. Similarly, K is short for clearing the screen. These are much more ergonomic than the standards on Mac laptops and wireless keyboards.

11
revicon 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised they didn't mention anything about the command line utilities to manage the mac's airport (scan for wireless networks, list network interface names, etc). I did a quick blog post about these a while back: http://blog.mattcrampton.com/post/64144666914/managing-wifi-...
12
natch 1 day ago 3 replies      
Remove unwanted formatting from text in the clipboard:

 alias pbclean='pbpaste | pbcopy'

13
reubenmorais 1 day ago 0 replies      
And if you'd like to use some of those utilities on GUI apps, don't forget the utility to bind them all: Automator.app. It'll let you interact with terminal and GUI apps in all sorts of interesting ways. For example, you could create a global keyboard shortcut to upload the selected text to a pastebin.
14
mattdesl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice commands. Also 'sips' for batch resizing images.

If you aren't on OSX you can try the following for a simple 'say' alternative. It has some great robotic/singing voices, too.

https://github.com/Jam3/says

15
danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was posted last year and did very well on HN [1]. I remember because it is literally the thing that got me interested in using the command-line as a power user...I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't really understood piping, but curling texts from Gutenberg into `say` was a fun introduction. Now I constantly use open, pbpaste, and pbcopy... learning about screencapture was also extremely helpful for my blogging and tutorial writing, as I've written a few wrappers around it to customize and optimize its output, including auto-uploading it and creating a snippet I can quickly paste into a blog post.

Great list!

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7747982

16
fensipens 1 day ago 1 reply      
say -v cellos "Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum he he he ho ho ho fa lah lah lah lah lah lah fa lah full hoo hoo hoo"

:)

17
wanderfowl 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have fond memories of discovering my college roommate's open SSH connection, and using "say" to great effect.
18
_paulc 1 day ago 1 reply      
The first of these is easier as:

 open -a Safari

19
fmela 1 day ago 0 replies      
mdfind also has a -name option that allows one to search for the query in the filename rather than contents.
20
jmount 1 day ago 0 replies      
A nice complement to the command line "open" command is adding a shell launcher to OSX finder. I have some instructions how to do this here: http://www.win-vector.com/blog/2012/05/enhance-osx-finder/
21
dljsjr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anybody know of a good alternative to "at" on OS X? I know it's there but not enabled by default, I went through the paces required to activate it long ago but it something in Yosemite seems to have broken atrun and I can't find anything about it anywhere online.
22
salgernon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oftentimes I'll have something on the clipboard, so pbpaste | grep is good. But sometimes the thing I want to search for is long, such that I don't want to type it for the grep.

Fortunately, pbpaste takes a -pboard flag for selecting a different buffer. So cmd-e some text to put it on the find pasteboard, then 'pbpaste | fgrep --color -i "`pbpaste -pboard find`"'

I usually have this aliased to 'pbg'

23
tlrobinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also dtrace and some of the included scripts like opensnoop are awesome.
24
baldfat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Non-case sensitive really bothers me with OS X
25
mirkules 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great list, some really useful commands.

One question: What's wrong with "locate"? It is really fast because the file system contents are indexed. As long as you understand that it's not going to pick up the latest new files without running "updatedb" (sudo/usr/libexec/locate.updatedb" in os x) first, it's much better than find if you're doing a quick search.

However, I didn't know spotlight has a CLI. Cool.

26
delinka 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Many a Linux power user has tried to use locate to search for files on a Mac and then quickly discovered that it didnt work."

Rather, that it gives you instructions for getting it to work. How's a Linux power user getting by without following such instructions to turn on one of their favorite utilities?

27
hmottestad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use: open vnc://myServer.local

It will open up the screen sharing app and connect for you :)

28
ss64 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've documented many of these utilities here:http://ss64.com/osx/
29
raldi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Paging mods for headline change. I suggest, "OS X Command Line Utilities"
30
SG- 1 day ago 2 replies      
Anyone happen to know how he's getting archey output to be colour for the Apple logo? my iTerm and Terminal is just in white/black.
31
kuon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
There is also `tmutil` to manage time machine backups, can be handy, especially in scripts.
32
FilterSweep 1 day ago 0 replies      
#6 is the likes of what got us detentions in middle school
33
tomphoolery 1 day ago 0 replies      
34
flippant 1 day ago 0 replies      
35
contingencies 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sadly Xcode3's excellent merge tool seems inaccessible from the command line in Xcode4. Anyone have a fix? http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13163670/how-to-use-xcode...
36
jd3 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great list, not a big fan of homebrew personally, or its creator who seems to be full of himself. I'd recommend pkg_src from joyent[0]. homebrew seems to have a lot of the hip webdev packages, but pkg_src and joyent's repository is the real deal when it comes to hardcore UNIX package management. Some friends have a nice bootstrap for pkg_src on OS X called saveosx[1], too.

[0]: https://pkgsrc.joyent.com/install-on-osx/

[1]: http://www.saveosx.org/

37
scrollaway 1 day ago 4 replies      
What's with all the buzzfeed-level headlines making HN frontpage the past few days?

Not to say this isn't a useful list (for OSX users that is), but I can't possibly be the only one weirded out by this.

38
lewisjoe 1 day ago 1 reply      
39
mistersquid 1 day ago 7 replies      
Why It's Safe for Founders to Be Nice paulgraham.com
397 points by taylorwc  3 days ago   170 comments top 44
1
rgbrenner 3 days ago 11 replies      
I think this depends on the industry (as PG speculated). It works in software and other industries with healthy margins. But in industries with slim margins, you see more cutthroat behavior.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Amazon (for ex) has poor working conditions. Retail has always been a slim-margin business, and most of the companies in it are accused of very similar poor behavior. (I don't mean to pick on Amazon, but it's a recent example. And I know some will say AWS is ok.. but AWS likely has much higher margins than the retail side.. so it does't really change my point.)

Take any industry.. and the chances are the profit margin is a good indicator of the working conditions.

This isn't to mean that those who start retail (or similar low margin) business are mean people.. but I think the lack of profits necessitates cost control and a focus on efficiency... which leads to poor working conditions (since good working conditions cost money) and decisions people will interpret as mean.

2
drhayes9 3 days ago 9 replies      
I don't know, this feels like confirmation bias. When PG talks about founders being "nice", nice to whom? Their VC and advisor? Sure. Customers? Sure, hopefully.

But as we go down the line I'd argue that startups demonstrably aren't "nice": what does Uber pay drivers again? In fact, what startup in the task economy is "nice" to their workers?

When your startup holds meetups at bars, you're not being nice to marginalized groups that don't do well in these settings. When you haven't examined your hiring practices you're not being nice to the people you've "culture-fitted" out of your organization.

I like this vision, and I like the math. I'd just hope founders cast a wider net of niceness.

3
tokenadult 3 days ago 1 reply      
I like to read pg's essays (they are what drew me to HN), but this one needs more examination of whether the statement "Obviously one case where it would help to be rapacious is when growth depends on that. What makes startups different is that usually it doesn't" is really true or not. Some of what I have read in news articles linked to from HN suggests that, say, Groupon or Uber or Airbnb or a variety of other startup businesses may all have done things that look rather rapacious to me to raise their growth rate. Some of those companies are still doing well, and some less so, but the companies we hear about here are all doing better than the companies started the same year that we never hear about, so we need to test pg's proposition by looking at startups that fizzle out soon after they are founded. Perhaps the highest level of niceness is found among companies that never gain high growth rate at all.
4
louprado 3 days ago 1 reply      
My company budgets a small amount for customer appeasement each month. The funds can be used toward discounts, expedited shipping, upgrades, etc. We can usually start every support response with empathy as opposed to protecting ourselves from loss. The result is a focused work environment, happy customers, no burn-out, no venting, no therapy bills, and a reminder to keep things this way by continuously improving the product(s).
5
andyl 3 days ago 1 reply      
As an venture investor, I would prefer my startup CEO's to be nice. Easier to manipulate nice.

As an entrepreneur, I've seen many situations where investors dump the founder, all nice and reasonable while they stick the knife.

 There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill - Working Class Hero, John Lennon
In my experience, most people are nice. But be on guard, and remember that execution and results trump everything.

6
rdl 3 days ago 1 reply      
This doesn't apply completely, IMO, to startups with early enterprise deals. If you negotiate those in ways which are "too un-rapacious", you can be starved for capital, be ignored by the customer (because it's insignificant as an expense...), and turn into a consultancy by necessity.

It's not exactly being power-mad, but definitely putting the interests of your company (which, at the time, might just be you!) first in negotiations. Not being a dick, but being assertive, and having a decent BATNA in negotiations (i.e. being willing to walk away).

I'd totally agree with what pg said here for consumer or low-marginal-cost products. Absolutely disagree for professional services. Disagree moderately for the somewhat-marginal-cost world of enterprise deals (or hardware).

I think there's something more to this which has to do with marginal cost, not just growth curve.

7
brianstorms 3 days ago 1 reply      
If only most venture capitalists were nice, or were looking for nice founders. In my experience, and I've met probably 250 VCs over 20 years, it's not the case. Especially if they've had a few drinks, when the truth is revealed.

There are exceptions, always. But too many are not really that nice. They'll put on an act to pretend they're nice, but they're not.

8
kylec 3 days ago 1 reply      
It seems to be a fairly common pattern for a startup to offer a bunch of stuff for free, or to ask for very little in return. This startup then attracts a bunch of users, and for a while everything's good.

Then the growth starts to slow down. The company needs to continue growing financially, to appease investors and so on, so they start to ratchet up their monetization. User experience and product quality begin to suffer.

By this time the company is usually pretty entrenched, with some combination of having driven all their competitors out of business or by having a strong network effect. Users will want to leave, but they don't have any other viable options.

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spitfire 3 days ago 3 replies      
> Maybe successful people in other industries are; I don't know; but not startup founders. [1]

I don't understand, "startups" are an industry in their own?

Would a food delivery startup not be in the food service industry? A logistics startup not be in the logistics industry?

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mathattack 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The reason startup founders can safely be nice is that making great things is compounded, and rapacity isn't.

So if you're a founder, here's a deal you can make with yourself that will both make you happy and make your company successful. Tell yourself you can be as nice as you want, so long as you work hard on your growth rate to compensate. Most successful startups make that tradeoff unconsciously. Maybe if you do it consciously you'll do it even better.

This captures why I prefer Silicon Valley to Wall Street. In Wall Street the assumption is zero sum - one dollar either goes to me or you, but not both. In Silicon Valley there is the illusion that you, your employees and your customer can all win. Whether this is true or not, it makes for a healthier work environment, and PG helps explain why it is true for startups. (Nobody at Wall Street grows 5% a week)

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aaronbrethorst 3 days ago 1 reply      

 So if you're a founder, here's a deal you can make with yourself that will both make you happy and make your company successful. Tell yourself you can be as nice as you want, so long as you work hard on your growth rate to compensate.
Doesn't this imply that if you have less than a "hyperlinear growth curve" you should be a raging sociopath[1]? Fuck that.

[1] Or, to be precise, "a rapacious, cigar-smoking, table-thumping guy in his fifties who wins by exercising power"

12
luckydata 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe founders are nice to Paul Graham but many of them are total douches to their employees. I don't recognize the industry I work in by his description.
13
__Joker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Generally, people will be nice where they can afford to. I have been to cultures and regions, the developed or more well to do, or having enough resources tend to be more "nicer" toward each other. Competition seems to be get better off peoples niceness. Then seems the meta hacking, when people figure niceness can be a advantage and use it for personal, professional gains.
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rdlecler1 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like an over simplification. Growth is not just the product, but the people executing. A founder who is giving away too much equity and money early may not have the equity and capital to attract all the talent she needs. Maybe she is more understanding about work life balance and doesn't push the team hard enough. But somebody else does, and this is often winner takes all.
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jallmann 3 days ago 0 replies      
Okay, so "being nice" equates to "offer good value at a fair price", eg don't suck your customers dry. That makes perfect sense.

I do think a little bit of ruthlessness is called for, especially when your most important metric (growth) is coming at the expense of your competitors. Examples abound of this -- and I think that it can be enormously beneficial to study companies that have operated in moral "gray areas", both in how it helped them establish their position in the market, and how it hurt them. (More often than not, the "damage" is a rather superficial PR dent...) Look at Microsoft crushing Netscape, Apple playing hardball with everybody (including their supply chain), AirBNB with Craigslist, then skirting hotel regs, Uber in everything they do. For all these companies, from a consumer perspective, it's hard to argue they don't provide "good value for a fair price," even though their business practices often lead to nerd outrage here on HN.

That being said, a singular strategy of "being nice" (eg, offering good value at a fair price) could be enough for winning customers. Often this seems to happen if your product is so far superior that customers (or users) naturally gravitate towards you. That is how Google got big, and seems to be the modus operandi for social businesses (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

In fact, I think the only place where you can get away with not "being nice" is in extremely bureaucratic customer environments where success is dictated by the skill of your sales team -- the realm of Oracle, government contractors, etc. Those are also very interesting to study, but for different reasons.

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somberi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Quoting from Hesse's Siddhartha about a merchant chiding Siddhartha for a rice-deal he did not complete.

"That's all very nice," exclaimed Kamaswami indignantly, "but in fact, you are a merchant after all, one ought to think! Or might you have only travelled for your amusement?"

"Surely," Siddhartha laughed, "surely I have travelled for my amusement. For what else? I have gotten to know people and places, I have received kindness and trust, I have found friendship. Look, my dear, if I had been Kamaswami, I would have travelled back, being annoyed and in a hurry, as soon as I had seen that my purchase had been rendered impossible, and time and money would indeed have been lost. But like this, I've had a few good days, I've learned, had joy, I've neither harmed myself nor others by annoyance and hastiness. And if I'll ever return there again, perhaps to buy an upcoming harvest, or for whatever purpose it might be, friendly people will receive me in a friendly and happy manner, and I will praise myself for not showing any hurry and displeasure at that time."

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verelo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Being nice is difficult even when you try to remind yourself every day, like i do with a post-it that has been on my desk for a year now "Be smart, honest and thoughtful". As a "startup founder" I do honestly try to be nice through considering those three items as often as possible. Having said that, there are lots of examples I can think of where I have not been nice and need to do better.

Lets face it: Founders are often young, trying to move quickly, less experienced managing stress, and regularly making mistakes due to all of these things. Some of the biggest mistakes you make are under pressure, and its often as simple as saying the wrong thing.

Personally don't know startups are any nicer than the rest of the world, but they are certainly smaller groups of people, which means you tend to form a tighter relationship with your co-workers / employees (like it or not). In my experienced that is what creates the accountability to be nice, provides people with context and understanding when something doesn't go to plan and ultimately gives others the ability to say things like "Yeah they're nice guys/girls, but pretty stressed out most of the time", which if you took away the "nice guys/girls" part of that sentence when referencing the founders you would just be left with someone who you would probably not describe as all that nice.

Relationships can truly make up for a lot and there are benefits for everyone involved. Advice i often give to founder is: If you can, invest in becoming as real of friend to the people who you work with as you possibly can. It really does pay back, especially when things do not go as you had planned.

Edit: Spelling.

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sytelus 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think we need to look at this from economic theory point of view. Being nice and being asshole - both have its own cost and ultimately how you should behave depends on what gives you the most gain. The general theory that being nice always works and has zero cost is probably an emotional view.

Sometime back it was in believed that founders ruthless and openly asshole personality often won the business wars. Everyone wanted to be CEOs like Gates, Grove, Bozos, Ellison and Jobs. And it actually worked for them. Despite of them being assholes (as per various well documented anecdotes) they attracted great talents and they pushed people to do seemingly impossible. But surprisingly it didn't worked for vast majority of other founders. I have often thought about this and my theory is that successful "asshole" CEOs had accumulated lots of credit in fame and money. They would frequently be features on covers with giant headline praising them as super humans. This is the credit that shielded them from consequences of being an asshole. Being always nice has a price: You might end up creating environment where mediocre is perceived as being tolerated, transparency gets some hit, the cultural values you want to push doesn't get as much traction as you hoped and you must constantly find creative ways to wordsmith your statements as opposed to just be honest with plain language. As a CEO you want to reduce this price and shortest path to that is just say and do what you think is the right thing regardless of how other person will feel. Obviously doing this has its own cost. The bottom line is that you can pay the cost of being an asshole if you have accumulated tons of media credit by getting featured on cover stories and tons of PR behind you. But otherwise this can sink you.

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adamzerner 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's always been a pet peeve of mine that people depend on the medium of text so much. My impression is that much of this information could have been better communicated with graphs. Better yet - interactive graphs!

The only real reason why someone would stick to text that I would think of is that they don't have the time, skills or resources to use something else. Maybe pg doesn't _personally_ have these things, but I'm sure that there are tons of designers who would love to help him out.

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chacham15 2 days ago 0 replies      
Paul seems to be missing one key factor: that profit can be reinvested into the company to increase growth. The converse is also true: the lack of profit might cause the founders to slow growth because they cant pay the bills. An example of the former was a talk at startup school IIRC where a founder of Stack Overflow stated how they used a lot of money to scale out their servers into different verticals (and conquer new markets before competitors).
21
boxcardavin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing groundbreaking here, just reframing (yet again) how to think about success so that founders focus hard on growth rate. Good stuff.

Sometimes I wonder if PG is targeting/excluding audiences by speaking in a mathy way.

"If he was bad at extracting money from people, at worst this curve would be some constant multiple less than 1 of what it might have been. But a constant multiple of any curve is exactly the same shape."

This makes perfect sense to a native math speaker but takes some effort for others to digest. I wonder if that is deliberate or just the way he talks.

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johnrob 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think this math also explains why equity disputes, often caused by someone wanting 10-50% more, are a waste of effort. Again, it's case of optimizing the weaker multiplier.
23
FreeHugs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't that just "Be user centric first, be profit centric later"?

I often see companies that once felt "nice" become "un-nice" later on. For example, I recently tried to use AirBnB again after some years of absence. It was horrible. In the old days, it felt like a well spirited user centric place. Now they act like a power-drunk, arrogant and dismissive bully.

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fezz 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's all to easy for nice founders to turn into full blown sociopaths. Maintaining empathy, integrity, and balance takes alot of work once things grow (or fail).
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minimaxir 3 days ago 5 replies      
The logic seems chicken-and-egg to me.

> because so long as he built something good enough to spread by word of mouth, he'd have a hyperlinear growth curve.

Startups are not a meritocracy. The marketplace is too crowded, so any startup founder who has an edge will take it. How do you get word of mouth? By "growth hacking" and leveraging privileged personal connections, both of which I've seen happen time and time again from even YC companies.

26
lukego 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is Linus Torvalds a founder who was too nice by pg's critera?

He created something that people want, made it grow, etc, but he let other people capture the value and did not focus on securing a superlinear financial return for himself.

Just musing that "growth" we are talking about is really the growth of the slice of the pie owned by the equity holders in the startup. Being so nice that you let your users or employees capture the value created by the product and don't get your superlinear return would seem to be too nice as a startup founder.

27
ngoel36 2 days ago 0 replies      
But the foundation of convincing investors is to seem formidable, and since this isn't a word most people use in conversation much, I should explain what it means. A formidable person is one who seems like they'll get what they want, regardless of whatever obstacles are in the way. Formidable is close to confident, except that someone could be confident and mistaken. Formidable is roughly justifiably confident.

Does Formidable = Nice?

http://paulgraham.com/convince.html

28
eddd 2 days ago 0 replies      
As much as I enjoy reading Paul Graham's work, this post is quite derivative. This is a specific case of "karma" or general rule "what goes around come around".Not being a douchebag is a virtue in all aspects of life. As some might say, it is practically newtonian.

Of course for a company which has a monopoly in the market these laws don't apply - you don't to have carry about the users nor workers because they have no other place to go.

29
JDDunn9 2 days ago 0 replies      
This formula does not take into consideration game theory. How fast you grow also depends on how fast your competitors are growing. Being #1 in an industry, ends up being a massive difference from being #2.
30
codingdave 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm glad the math works... but to me, the reasons to be a "nice" founder are not financial. Instead, I believe it to be good because it will guide your decisions in ways that build a positive work environment in which creative, intelligent people want to work. That, in turn, will support the growth that is desired for the business.

Not-nice founders will likely build less friendly work environments, which will build poor performing teams, and slow down growth.

Although I cannot prove this, I have to believe that the added growth from a good working environment will at least balance, if not surpass, growth forced out of non-optimal work environments.

31
brudgers 3 days ago 0 replies      
Even if PG is wrong about the effects of behavior, every startup is still likely to fail. So being mean just means odds are a mean person is likey to wind up failing and an asshole.
32
augustl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Meta: Does anyone know more about the "read more" you get on mobile?

http://imgur.com/ULhi9O2

It seems to be JavaScript only so the text is all there ready and downloaded, and hidden with JavaScript.

Is it a page load time thing? Has testing shown that a button like this causes people to be more likely to read the article om mobile? Or something else?

33
bambang150 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yup, we have to motivated to change the world if it is. Otherwise when we all think about the money, the driver of excellence will become less and less. Same thing happened on me when I am driven to make something to get money. I don't want money so I quit. Now I am creating something that people want, not just creating money
34
wkcamp 3 days ago 0 replies      
If someone could answer, when a startup starts to exponentially gain traffic (and the server costs start going up), how does the startup maintain their servers and purchase new instances (say the startup is running EC2 ones)? Will the startup start taking on debt or will it look for funding or both?
35
treve 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's safe to be nice if your start-up has an exponential growth rate. How many start-ups have an exponential growth rate?

Considering that most start-ups are actually not successful, based on his logic it's better to not be nice.

36
justbrowsing01 3 days ago 1 reply      
Human nature is selfish by default.

If you want to get it right, before a startup gets successful, predetermine a fixed % of free equity pool to be shared amongst all employees,and include that as a condition when fund raising.

37
help_everyone 3 days ago 0 replies      
I suppose the leadership team at Uber would be the outlier (at least the media would have us believe)? But then again, perhaps most of them aren't "founders" but hired guns.
38
GCA10 3 days ago 0 replies      
39
abbasmehdi 2 days ago 0 replies      
"to Randall Bennett for being such a nice guy."

Not surprised. The guy is a really that nice.

40
paulhauggis 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice people give up more equity than they should and trust the people with the money.

If you really want personal success, you need to show strength, not be 'nice'. Otherwise, the only person you will be making successful are the venture capitalists.

I've seen this time and time again: many venture capitalists feel that new founders haven't paid their 'dues' and don't deserve to have a share larger than essentially an employee.

There should be statistics on YC companies: What percentage of founders actually end up making a significant amount of any buyout.

I'm guessing it's a very small percentage...

41
larrys 3 days ago 0 replies      
"As I've written before, one of the things that has surprised me most about startups is how few of the most successful founders are like that. Maybe successful people in other industries are; I don't know; but not startup founders."

I know that "old school" world quite well and have for a long long time. There is a big difference between being, in general, fresh out of school working with your peers of highly motivated and typically educated and skilled people (that you additionally socialize with) vs. being in an environment where you have your own money on the line, no margin for error, and people are constantly doing stupid shit that threatens your livelihood. [1] With all due respect to PG afaik he has never operated in this world. But it is a world that does exist and there is a reason for it as well.

[1] Note I am not talking about the corporate world and obviously goes without saying that there are many people running entrepreneurial companies that aren't like the caricature which PG describes.

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martin1975 3 days ago 0 replies      
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sjg007 3 days ago 0 replies      
44
roneesh 3 days ago 0 replies      
BMW: All Models Electric Within Decade nasdaq.com
327 points by Doubleguitars  2 days ago   289 comments top 12
1
mdorazio 1 day ago 2 replies      
Ok, it's important to note that they're not saying all cars will be true all-electric, but rather that they will all have at least some kind of electric assist to increase MPG across the fleet. Even so, that would be very difficult to pull off in just 10 years given how long car design and production cycles are. It's a commendable goal, though.
2
rmason 1 day ago 3 replies      
In Michigan the Big 3 are still funding hydrogen car projects and making primarily hybrids. Industry guys I know are not taking battery powered cars that seriously. They passed a law banning Tesla from having showrooms in the state.

http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/...

http://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2...

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/30/fiat-chrysler-exec-future...

3
exabrial 1 day ago 9 replies      
Really really need nuclear power to actually make this a "clean" technology. And I hope we're paying attention to the environmental impact of lithium mining too while we're at it. And rare earth minerals.
4
hackuser 1 day ago 0 replies      
The climate change deniers may be costing the US a chance to be a center an enormous future industry, clean tech.

The article says BMW's move is in anticipation of stricter environmental laws in the EU. The situation could give Europe or certain regions there a 'first-mover' advantage, if it hasn't already.

Once the 'Silicon Valley' or valleys of clean tech are established, where all the talent, capital, services and infrastructure are and where business is done over a beer/wine/etc, it's not going to suddenly shift to the US when Americans catch up on climate change issues, especially if Europe offers a large 'single market' for this technology. China could also be building an insurmountable lead.

5
gchokov 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am going to miss the conventional engines.. getting old perhaps.
6
yason 1 day ago 1 reply      
To me it is obvious that the way to go would be to abstract out the power source by using an electric drivetrain regardless of the engine. When the car has electric motors connected directly to drive shafts you can eliminate lots of the mechanical linkage and you are also free to redesign and relocate the power source as you wish.

But, most importantly, once you accept the slight inefficiencies in converting energy to electricity and then to radial forces, you are free to experiment with whatever power source you like:

- use batteries like Tesla: you can simply fill with batteries any compartments of the body that you wish. The car runs as long as the batteries have charge.

- use fuel cells if those ever become viable.

- design a small, self-contained turbocharged diesel engine that runs at the optimum RPM to drive a generator when the batteries need charging: put it in the boot or the front bay, but you don't need to consider how it connects with the wheels mechanically, and it can be lighter and doesn't have to support a wide range of RPMs like current engines.

- or maybe linear generator engines powered by gasoline or diesel (like what Toyota has been developing) turn out to be optimal for mobile electricity generation for some period in the future.

- or maybe a low-cost turbine engine hooked to a generator like the Whisper concept car: the engine can burn nearly anything and provides high power output at high RPM that would otherwise be in the impractical range for a car.

But if you combine any power source and a small battery, that allows you to buffer energy and only use the combustion engine to occasionally recharge the battery. You can drive the rush hour traffic or a downtown route using mostly electric power only, and rely on the combustion engine to recharge the battery when parked (but not plugged in to mains) or while driving during longer trips. A reasonable compromise for range anxiety would be to drop down to limited power when the battery runs out and you need to rely on the combustion engine only. You could still reach your destination but at slower speeds.

Nevertheless, the options are quite unlimited. Buffering of energy is more useful than raw power in the future just like an Android phone is more useful than a desktop PC in the general case even if it's slower and runs only a day or so without charging. Only serious usage warrants desktop PCs with stationary power supplies: most online activities can be done with a low-power device that runs on energy buffered in the battery.

7
Quequau 1 day ago 2 replies      
I really wish that BMW would produce a low cost single seat city car that competed more directly with the Renault Twizzy. The i3 is great but for my needs it's honestly way too much and so too expensive.
8
crystalgiver 1 day ago 0 replies      
A fully electric Los Angeles would be encouraging. Paris, Shanghai, and Beijing too.
9
yc1010 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm I would love an electric car and the i8 is beautiful after seeing it local car dealer and drooling

but the price is incredible at north of 120K! you can buy an apartment/home here for that lol, and it wont depreciate as much

So in meantime i will continue to drive my decade old gaz guzling m-sports x5, i now wonder if should hold onto it another 10 years and keep in my garage, decades from now it could be a collectors item for those who want/nostalgic fpr v8 petrol muscle cars.

10
fictivmade 1 day ago 5 replies      
It's going to be interesting to see how car companies adapt to the stricter standards and whether people are willing to give up the speed and power to go electric.
11
london888 1 day ago 0 replies      
Misleading headline slightly...
12
thirdreplicator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Linux workstation security checklist github.com
366 points by signa11  3 days ago   158 comments top 23
1
ivank 3 days ago 6 replies      
Not the soundest security advice I've read recently:

> We recommend that you use the same passphrase for your root password as you use for your LUKS encryption (unless you share your laptop with other trusted people who should be able to unlock the drives, but shouldn't be able to become root). If you are the sole user of the laptop, then having your root password be different from your LUKS password has no meaningful security advantages.

Your root password is much easier to steal than your disk encryption password. Trick the user into running a program that does 'alias sudo=evil-sudo' >> ~/.bashrc, or sniff it from an unrelated X11 window, or use a microphone. A microphone is far more likely to pick up your root password than a password typed once at boot. If the root password is sniffed with a microphone, the attacker might not even have root access to your system over the network. If stolen with evil-sudo or via X11, you might realize you've been compromised before all of your data is exfiltrated. Neither scenario should let the attacker then steal your disks and be able to decrypt all of your data. Unless you follow the advice.

2
wyclif 3 days ago 1 reply      
To all those writing the critical comments: I'd love to read a rebuttal to this written by someone who is a Linux and security professional, and explaining not only what is wrong here but why in addition to best security practises. Thanks.
3
Animats 3 days ago 3 replies      
FireWire is a vulnerability for Linux only because the kernel maintainers want it to be. There's a register in FireWire controllers which controls the address range for which remote memory accesses are valid. It can be set to 0, which locks out that function. The last time I looked, years ago, it was set to allow access to the first 4GB of memory, because the code pre-dated 64 bit systems.

I once proposed setting it to 0. This was rejected because there are kernel debuggers which use it.

4
eoranged 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice checklist, signa11. But there are few moments which I should point:

1. TPM on recent Intel hardware is controlled by Intel Management Engine (http://libreboot.org/faq/#intelme) which basically acts as a hardware backdoor which cannot be disabled or controlled in most cases.

2. About firewalling: It's good to filter out even ping from Internet (it's almost always fine to keep it enabled for lan segment) to make automatic detection slightly harder (LOW). BTW, installing coreboot instead of manufacturer-provided firmware (if possible) also could be good improvement (PARANOID).

3. As for browser(and skype and all the rest of Internet applications) It's good thing to block and audit strange actions such as attempts to access ssh or pgp/gpg keys. By audit I mean set up quite visible and persistent notification. (MEDIUM)

4. Also, It would be great to add links to NSA Linux Configuration guide (http://www.nsa.gov/ia/mitigation_guidance/security_configura...) and CIS Security Benchmarks (http://benchmarks.cisecurity.org/downloads/browse/index.cfm?...).

5
nly 3 days ago 4 replies      
Meh. I have encrypted /, /home and swap. I've disabled Secure Boot, and the TPM, and use legacy boot. I don't really trust my laptop manufacturer to get all this stuff right. I like to keep things simple (which is why I use syslinux instead of GRUB as a bootloader. GRUB2 is ugly as sin to configure)

On the FF extension front I'd like to add: Proxy Selector, Self-Destructing Cookies, and RefControl as recommendations.

6
noja 3 days ago 4 replies      
Nice list, until... install a closed source product that sends backups offsite (SpiderOak). wtf?
7
oofabz 3 days ago 3 replies      
I always install fail2ban so to prevent brute force ssh attacks from getting in. It's popular enough that's it's probably available in your distro's package repositories.

http://www.fail2ban.org/

8
sandworm101 3 days ago 2 replies      
Any security checklist should start with a description both how the machine is to be used and the expected threats models. There are plenty of things in this list that I disagree with, but only because I am looking at different security needs.

For instance: I see no mention of Tor or VPNs. So this workstation isn't concerned with APT-style threats, or anyone else with the ability to manipulate network connections at a high level. And my quick read sees no talk of memory encryption or any of the physical measures for countering cold-boot scenarios.

This is not a workstation for international (China) travel or for protecting against surveillance. It has some good advice, but is certainly not comprehensive.

9
reacweb 3 days ago 1 reply      
For my home computer, sshd is always on. It is configured to disable password authentification. On the firewall, I authorize only two things: ssh port and wakeonlan. If I need to access another port, it is generally enough to open temporarily a ssh tunnel.

I think that you lose most of the advantages of a unix computer if you can not access it remotely.

10
cranium 3 days ago 3 replies      
It may be silly to ask[1] but is there a similar list for Mac OS X?

[1] Silly because, you know, closed source

11
brador 3 days ago 4 replies      
Why can't someone simply make a security wizard for Linux. Like I run the program and it gives me options and changes the settings based on my selections. Why must everything be so manual everytime on Linux...
12
vladimir-y 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a fully encrypted laptop (LUKS, all partitions except boot/efi) and feel quite secure.
13
federico3 3 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: a software "checklist" for desktop users - https://github.com/FedericoCeratto/desktop-security-assistan...
14
linuxkerneldev 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wasn't the Linux Foundation supposed to be just an umbrella org that provided employment to key Linux devs? So that they could be independent from corporate influence and work indepently/freely without corporate interference.
15
616c 3 days ago 2 replies      
SecureBoot!? Hahahah, Linux Foundation marks this as critical?

I am sorry to laugh, but thank God the LF and others fought tooth and nail for some way to have someone other than Microsoft have the key.

But seriously, did anyone else laugh?

16
w8rbt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that they left out Tomoyo as a MAC option. I thought it had a decent following.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOMOYO_Linux

17
Thaxll 3 days ago 1 reply      
Setting SElinux on enforcing mode on a desktop is almost impossible.
18
jeffreyrogers 3 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe if you need this much security just use OpenBSD? :
19
arca_vorago 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is an interesting list, and I don't see anything glaringly wrong ( a few personal preference subjects, but..), so here are my handful of extra tips on top:

1. You can encrypt grub in order to prevent single user mode et al boot attacks. It can also make FDE systems recovery a pita though.

2. They already said it, but GRSEC is where it's at. It's really the future of linux security enhancement, and while you can run it in tandem with SElinux et al, I find it's better to run GRSEC and just fine tune it. You will thank yourself for learning it.

3. These days, you need a HIDS, full stop. What good do logs do if you never know what happens or only check your logs once a week/month/year/never? After spending time trying all the main ones out, OSSEC is my HIDS of choice.

4. SSH: while fail2ban, denyh0sts, et al are all workable options along with the listed option tweaks, what I find to work the best in addition are two things. A) Obscure port. We all know security through obscurity isn't, but reducing scripties bogging stuff down and keeping your logs cleaner helps imho. (it's also the difference between a metric ton of log alert emails and only a few). B) Two factor all the things. I am using the Google pam module, "libpam-google-authenticator". I stopped trusting tor but some friends of mine swear by ssh over tor hidden service.

5. The bottom line is that the linux kernel is out of control at >10mil loc, and 0-days/1-days are prevalent. If you have an internet facing system, it's probably going to get compromised, what you really need is the ability to find out as soon as possible when it happens. What this boils down to is you don't want to lose your data, so you need encrypted backups and verifiable checksums/hashes, so that once you've brought up a fresh system, you can restore data asap. Another thing that factors into this is configuration scripts and management stuff. I really like ansible since it works over ssh/powershell. Can really save a lot of time.

If you really want security, you also need to start and run minimal. I would say self compiled is the best (use flag changes often prevent sploits that otherwise work) so gentoo/slackware/arch would be the best nix distros for this. Beyond that, BSD is still king of the security world imho, especially OBSD, but please give DragonFlyBSD a look. While it's not touted as a "secure" distro, it has a ton of features that make it sexy as hell and it needs security contribs if you have the time. If I were starting a fresh ISP, I would be using DBSD.

For those of us stuck wanting to game and do more fun stuff though, who live in a debian/fedora/ubuntu world, just keeping an eye on logs is really the best you can do. Also keep in mind impact on perf that FDE may have if you are a linux gamer.

Those are my main tips/tricks, but I'm sure both the article and I are missing things, so take it all with a grain of salt.

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okasaki 3 days ago 0 replies      
PaX is not a MAC framework.
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jqm 3 days ago 0 replies      
So.. mostly use SELinux and UEFI?This is NOT the advice I wanted to hear.

Maybe I needed to hear it, but both of these things (last I tried them) were a giant messy pain in the rear end. And from what little I understand, both have parties involved in their creation/promotion (MS, NSA) that might don't have stellar open source/privacy pedigrees.

Maybe worth another look.... IDK. But for now... I turn both off.

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yellowapple 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is heavily dependent on hardware platform (namely, UEFI - and therefore SecureBoot, which is very foolishly being advocated given its limitations - are x86-only). While this might be acceptable for most users, this ignores that non-x86 workstations do still exist.

> Has a robust MAC/RBAC implementation (SELinux/AppArmor/Grsecurity) (CRITICAL)

This is too specific; there are plenty of operating systems with a much better security track record than even GNU/Linux that don't implement MAC or RBAC (namely, OpenBSD), and it misses the point of MAC/RBAC: privilege separation. Really, the goal here is for any given program to only have the minimum necessary permissions required for it to do its job. You can do this quite effectively by keeping running services/daemons isolated to dedicated users with a minimum permission set (this is, in fact, the core of how Android apps are sandboxed), especially when paired with a proper sandboxing solution.

The nice thing about MAC and RBAC is that they have policy implications; when used properly, they can clearly define the level of access some running program should have to a given part of the system. They also tend to go hand-in-hand with fine-grained control over resource access, but it's not correct to conflate access control mechanisms with granularity (you can have a fine-grained DAC-based system or a coarse-grained MAC-based system).

> Use full disk encryption (LUKS) with a robust passphrase (CRITICAL)

Or (inclusively) a key file (preferably one which is password protected).

> Make sure swap is also encrypted (CRITICAL)

Or just don't use swap. Even with encryption, if data can be ephemeral, it should be.

> Set up a robust root password (can be same as LUKS) (CRITICAL)

I very strongly disagree with this. As much as I dislike Ubuntu, it does one thing right: it defaults to disallowing any sort of direct root login (by setting root's password to some randomly-generated garbage during installation, IIRC), requiring all root access to be done with sudo unless the user explicitly sets a root password.

I especially very strongly disagree with the suggestion that the disk encryption password should be the same as any other password, let alone the root password that shouldn't exist in the first place (well, more precisely, should exist but should be entirely unknown to anyone or anything, including yourself).

> Globally disable firewire and thunderbolt modules (CRITICAL)

This, along with the recommendations to not use hardware with such ports, should be marked as (PARANOID). While it's certainly a good idea if you know they won't be necessary, there are plenty of valid use cases for them (particularly on Apple hardware; while Thunderbolt display support is still sketchy on Linux, it's still a very common use case), and such actions meet (PARANOID)'s criteria much closer than they do (CRITICAL)'s.

And really, while FireWire and Thunderbolt do have specific security implications (due to them effectively being hotpluggable PCI and PCI-E, respectively), this should hold true for any port on one's machine. Any connector can be a security liability when confronted with a sufficiently-motivated attacker.

> Configure the screensaver to auto-lock after a period of inactivity (MODERATE)

This needs to be (HIGH), if not (CRITICAL). Why bother with some FireWire jig like what this guide is so afraid of when the machine's already unlocked?

> Installing rkhunter and an intrusion detection system (IDS) like aide or tripwire will not be that useful unless you actually understand how they work and take the necessary steps to set them up properly

None of the things in this guide will be that useful unless you actually understand how they work and take the necessary steps to set them up properly. None of them. Not MAC. Not RBAC. Not grsecurity and PaX. Not SELinux. Not LUKS. Not passwords. Nothing. This sentence is entirely meaningless.

Not to mention that rkhunter should probably be (MEDIUM)...

> SSH is configured to use PGP Auth key as ssh private key (MODERATE)

What? That's a terrible idea. It's as terrible an idea as using the same password for root and LUKS. If one key is compromised, now the other is, too, because they're the same key.

This is really just a waste of effort and time. The normal approach is to just generate two separate keys, and there's no reason to deviate from this; doing so will just make your life harder and less secure.

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known 3 days ago 0 replies      
China Sells U.S. Treasuries to Support Yuan bloomberg.com
299 points by randomname2  4 days ago   204 comments top 22
1
roymurdock 4 days ago 10 replies      
Summary & Speculation:

China sells US treasuries in order to appreciate Yuan relative to USD.

Supply of US treasuries on the market increases.

Demand for US treasuries decreases due to concerns over a large enough Chinese sell-off. Demand for US treasuries increases due to uncertainty over the stock market. Net effect on demand is uncertain.

Assuming worst-case scenario (for the US) in which supply of US treasuries increases and demand decreases: Yields on US treasuries increase as investors with less demand must be compensated for taking on a riskier and more plentiful asset.

Yields rise, and the US government must now service a higher level of debt, pushing the deficit higher. US is forced to re balance spending, stifling growth and economic activity in order to keep debt in line.

Bottom line: This probably won't have an effect on US economy as investors need somewhere to park their money that is not the stock market. Also, the scale at which China is selling off treasuries is assumed to be pretty small ($40bn/mo compared to $3.65tn total holdings).

Now if China initiated a mass sell-off of all of its US treasuries, there would be huge ramifications. But in its current form, this seems to just be one more way for China to slowly unravel its position in US treasuries while playing with the value of the RMB.

2
po 4 days ago 3 replies      
People seem to think this is a problem for the US (and I suppose it sort of is) but may not realize that it's not rosey for China either. The article ends by implying that they want to be doing this to get rid of much of their reserves, but I'm not sure it's that clear. The title here about China 'warning Washington' could be read either as a head's up or as a threat.

The problem for China is that by selling treasuries for USD and then using that USD to buy yuan, they are effectively taking that money out of circulation. This keeps the yuan from dropping and maintains the currency peg but it also removes all of the liquidity in the market. This is not really a great situation. It also makes US manufacturing more competitive.

In the past few days, they have been talking about playing with the reserve-requirement ratio of banks to encourage them to dump money into the market to maintain liquidity. If you tell banks that they can 'officially' lend out more by lowering the required amount of money they must have on hand, they will and then real money has been created.

I feel like they're really just trying to keep the whole thing on the road.

3
Elrac 4 days ago 11 replies      
This article necessarily has a lot of business jargon content, and I'm having trouble parsing it. Could somebody with subject knowledge please summarize the article in terms a simple hacker can understand, and speculate a bit on the possible ramifications?
4
JamesBarney 4 days ago 0 replies      
What happens to the dollar?

For years people railed against China for keeping the yuan artificially lowered by buying U.S. Treasury Bonds. This led to Chinese manufacturing being extra competitive, and a larger U.S. trade deficit.

Now China is doing the opposite. It is selling treasury bonds to buy yuan to artificially increase the price the yuan and everyone is freaking out. It will do the opposite of what is had been doing by causing the dollar to appreciate, and the yuan to depreciate. This will make foreign goods relatively more expensive for Americans, and American goods relatively cheaper for the foreigners. This effect will be most pronounced when the foreigners are Chinese. These will probably be small effects that won't effect anyone's life enough to be noticed.

Whats happens to Treasuries?

Nothing. Short term treasury rates are pretty much determined by the FED. Now even more so than usual because of the FED has it's pedal all the way down on the accelerator at 0% interest. Long term treasury rates tend to be determined what people think short terms rates will be over the long term. What primarily determines the interest rate over the long term is U.S. growth and inflation. So if people think this will cause more U.S. growth, long term treasury rates might increase a little.

5
dageshi 4 days ago 1 reply      
Well pretty much the purpose of those reserves is to maintain their currency peg so selling in order to do so is no surprise.
6
jakozaur 4 days ago 1 reply      
Federal Bank already owns more USA debt than any other country:https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/us-federal-debt...

http://qz.com/384232/guess-who-holds-even-more-us-debt-than-...

At worst Federal Bank will need to print more money (as know as quantitive easing) and buy more treasuries from the government.

7
myth_buster 4 days ago 2 replies      

 Strategically, it probably has been Chinas intention to find the right time to lighten up its excessive accumulation of U.S. Treasuries, he said.
I think that is the crux of it. They are itching to move away from dollar and any excuse to do so is used. This has also been tied with AIIB & they accumulating a large amount of gold to back up their currency to be the base denomination for global trade.

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dataker 4 days ago 0 replies      
For having an idea on numbers/countries, these are good references:

http://www.treasury.gov/ticdata/Publish/mfh.txt

http://www.treasury.gov/ticdata/Publish/mfhhis01.txt

9
norea-armozel 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any economist blogging about this move yet? My question is what are the possible outcomes of this sale for the economy as a whole?
10
jhulla 4 days ago 4 replies      
Sell Treasuries --> USD Cash

What is being done with the USD Cash generated after the sale? Are the Chinese immediately selling the USD Cash to local CNY holders in order to defend the peg? What do they do with it next? Is the new USD Cash leaving Chinese borders? Does it stay in local accounts - eventually to be used to buy up other USD denominated assets?

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coliveira 4 days ago 0 replies      
When it comes to currencies, supply has not such a powerful effect as people think. The value of a currency is determined more by the subjective ability of the government to support the currency, not by the amount of it in circulation. If supply had such importance, large countries like Russia, China, and India would have a great advantage over the USA, because their currencies are currently not in wide circulation. In theory, the US could continue printing money until everybody in the world would be using USD (now, if this would or should happen is another thing).
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beauzero 4 days ago 1 reply      
The big 1.6T question is who is buying them? Right now it looks like they are going to Belgium?
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klean92 4 days ago 1 reply      
Will George Soros enter the fray and break the Bank of China? ;)
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mrits 4 days ago 0 replies      
"China sells to China"
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adeptima 4 days ago 1 reply      
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known 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dollar is pegged to OPEC oil; Yuan is pegged to exports;
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Bostonian 4 days ago 0 replies      
There is no upward trend in 10-year Treasury yields, which are currently low at about 2.2% -- see http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=%5ETNX+Historical+Prices .
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hiou 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think we just learned what that stock market drop in the US was about.
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at-fates-hands 4 days ago 0 replies      
I guess the big story here is that people have been warning they would do this voluntarily in some attempt to punish the US and drive down the value of the yuan and drive up the interests rates so they can continue to undercut US businesses.

The fact they have been forced to do this is another scenario all together. This brings up an important question: What happens when the bidders who are absorbing all this paper, stop bidding? Then what does the Fed with all this paper in a highly liquid market?

Make no mistake though, this is the game the Chinese like to play with their currency in order to keep the value of the dollar high and the yuan low. Back in early 2015, they did the same thing:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/19/trade-...

Federal Reserve data published late on February 18 reveals China dumped about $75 billion in US bonds in the last six months of 2014

Breitbart broke the story last week that Chinas real economic growth had crashed to 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014. We also warned last August that China appeared ready dump part of its $1.32 trillion holdings of US bonds in a scheme to drive American interest rates up; thereby strengthening the dollar and devaluing the Chinese currency.

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gwbas1c 4 days ago 0 replies      
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adeptima 4 days ago 1 reply      
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mactitan 4 days ago 0 replies      
Linear Algebra: What matrices are nolaymanleftbehind.wordpress.com
254 points by lormayna  2 days ago   80 comments top 16
1
jameshart 2 days ago 9 replies      
I actually object a little bit to the claim that matrices are representations of linear transformations. No, matrices are just two-dimensional arrays of numbers. If you then define a specific 'mutliplication' operation on those arrays, and a mapping from linear functions to matrices, it turns out that that multiplication operation is isomorphic to function application. That's neat! But it doesn't mean that that is what matrices are.

If you came up with an isomorphism from matrices to a domain where it made sense to define a different multiplication operation - like maybe placewise multiplication, where

 [a b] * [e f] = [ae bf] [c d] [g h] [cg dh]
then that would be just as valid, but it wouldn't change what matrices 'are'. In fact, because you know how to map matrices to linear functions, it would let you describe an operation to combine two linear functions in a new way and that might lead to some new insight about linear algebra!

It's like how, in school you were taught that you can't multiply vectors together. Yet, in shader languages, it turns out that it's really useful to be able to multiply two vectors just by multiplying each component ([a,b][c,d]=[ab,cd]), so they define that as a valid operation.

2
terminalcommand 2 days ago 4 replies      
I had always trouble with math at high school. I managed to pass in the end, but I never really got it. I think math should be thought like programming. They should present you with a problem and then show you a cool way to solve it. My math classes consisted of memorizing formulas and algorithms for standardized tests. I learned about hyperbolas, matrices, integrals etc. but none of them stuck with me. One of the few things I remember is basic trigonometry, because we used to do practical stuff like getting an angle from the ground and length from the building to calculate a person's height.Moreover, I think math seriously needs a REPL. At my math exams(not tests, written ones) I never could calculate the solution right, I would always make a mistake. We need to acknowledge the fact that we are human and humans make errors. We need to teach high school math in a hackable, practice-oriented way. The current math curriculum excludes pupils who think different. If you can't solve it in the traditional way, you're doomed. But you're actually smart and can understand math if you learn it by doing, hacking, programming.
3
opposite_moron 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know many have experience with Gilbert Strang's Introduction to Linear Algebra textbook and course (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-06sc-linear-algebr...), but I thought it would be useful to mention them here. I've found his explanations to be very intuitive.
4
cousin_it 2 days ago 3 replies      
So, matrices are a convenient way to write down linear transformations. But then the student might ask, why study linear transformations at all? Just because they have nice properties? Why this particular set of nice properties, and not some other set? As a rule of thumb, a good math explanation shouldn't start with axioms and claim that they are "nice". First give some intuitive examples, and only then say which axioms they satisfy.

For linear transformations, one possible avenue is start with the notion of derivative. If we take a real-valued function, its derivative at a particular point is just a single number, which represents the function's rate of change. But what if we have a function that accepts, say, two real numbers and outputs three? It turns out that the natural generalization of "derivative" to such functions is a rectangular array of numbers:

 dy1/dx1 dy1/dx2 dy2/dx1 dy2/dx2 dy3/dx1 dy3/dx2
If we know these numbers (and nothing else), we can linearly approximate the values of a function near a particular point, with at most quadratic error.

Now let's say we have two functions. The first one takes two numbers and outputs three, and the second one takes three numbers and outputs four. If we compose them together, can we find the derivative of the composite from the two simpler derivatives by some kind of chain rule, like the one we have for ordinary real-valued functions? It turns out that yes, we can, if we replace the product of two numbers with the product of two matrices (defined in a particular way).

Now it's easy to explain what linear transformations are. They are just multidimensional functions whose derivative (matrix) is the same at every point. They are just like one-dimensional linear functions, whose derivative (number) is the same at every point. (For convenience, people also say that every linear transformation must take the point (0,0,...) to the point (0,0,...), so that matrices correspond one-to-one to linear transformations and vice versa.)

If you want to work with linear transformations effortlessly, there's a lot more intuition to develop, but this should serve for the basics.

5
dahart 2 days ago 2 replies      
Matrices are axes. Vectors, or points, side by side. It wasn't until graduate school, after years of math and OpenGL that What that meant really sunk in and I really got how and why matrix ops are made of dot products.

The article is right in my case, I didn't learn the intuitive understanding at first, and it could have been taught that way. It is also well written, for people that know math, but I also feel like the article describes math using more math, and that the point could be better made with a picture or two. There's something about just seeing the correspondence between matrix rows, or columns, and the axes of a space, or transform, that finally helped it all sink in for me.

6
liamconnell 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not to be a smartass, but some might find this point of view interesting:

Mathematics never pays attention to what objects ARE, but rather what they DO.

7
edtechdev 2 days ago 0 replies      
See also

http://betterexplained.com/articles/linear-algebra-guide/

But to me, it's better to start with a context, a purpose for using matrices & linear algebra first, and learn what and how to use matrices in that context. The contexts that helped me included 3D graphics/games and later circuit simulations.

8
nimrody 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gilbert Strang's "The Fundamental Theorem of Linear Algebra" is very well written and expands on the topic of matrices as mappings.
9
craigching 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bengio's deep learning book has a nice linear algebra refresher if that's what you need: http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~bengioy/dlbook/
10
mxfh 2 days ago 0 replies      
In general I find it helpful in understanding mathematical concepts and notations to learn about their history as well. What sort of problems they were meant to solve in the first place and what were the methods used before that.

http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/M...

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z3t4 2 days ago 3 replies      
As a programmer I see matrices as an abstraction layer. Without them, formulas for 3d calculations get very long and error prone.
12
trampi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great posting. I will definitely share this when someone has trouble with understanding what matrices are used for.
13
pmalynin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, what you see as matrices (that is the array of numbers) is underneath a function f: N x N -> F(Where F is a field of your choice, or a ring if you so desire). So its a function that takes two natural numbers (i.e. column and row) and outputs a number.
14
snake117 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't done anything linear algebra related since my high school Algebra II course. This was really simple for me to follow so thanks for posting. Its a shame that the authors don't update it, they have same great content and I would've definitely followed it.
15
ivan_ah 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is more interesting to me is that linear functions: \mathbb{R}^n --> \mathbb{R}^m turn out to be useful when applied in many, many different problems areas. Call this "the unreasonable effectiveness of linear operators" if you will.
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elektromekatron 2 days ago 0 replies      
I learnt this from looking at code for old 3d engines, where you have to first make up your matrix functions, but then also unroll them for optimising stuff like rotations round a single axis.
Your Job as a Founder Is to Create Believers josephwalla.com
268 points by guiseppecalzone  4 days ago   157 comments top 34
1
riebschlager 4 days ago 15 replies      
I worked for a stretch at a startup where I was asked to "believe". The company's core values were made into wall artwork and recited aloud at staff meetings. It was all eerily similar to my Catholic upbringing. Including the guilt. "Oh, you want to leave work at 5? Yeah, that's fine. I just thought you really believed."

You have to be a little insane to start a company, I totally get that. But you're truly doing yourself a disservice if you're attempting to amass a legion of followers.

A good developer might not give two shits about your carefully crafted mission statement, but she'll do some kick ass work. Isn't that good enough any more? Why is "startup culture" so obsessed with maintaining the appearance of success rather than focusing on creating something amazing?

2
victor9000 4 days ago 2 replies      
In order of priority, your responsibilities as an employee are:

 1. To yourself and your family 2. To your career and professional development 3. To the company
Don't ever sacrifice 1 or 2 for 3 because the company will not do the same for you. Part of meeting responsibilities 1 and 2 is making sure that you are fairly compensated for your work product and for the value you provide to the company. If you are not being fairly compensated for your work then you should make some effort to rectify this imbalance. If your efforts yield no fruit then you should walk away. Capable employees are too valuable to be squandering their potential drinking kool-aid for the benefit of others.

3
digisth 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think his point is one that seems obvious, but isn't always. First, you should believe in your product, then your job is to get others to do so. Treating people badly, not paying them, lying, etc. are all terrible and we should not ever praise those parts, but that doesn't mean his overall point is wrong at all. There are a few things going on there:

1) If you as the creator don't believe in it, you're probably going to have more trouble convincing others that it's worth using, unless you have some kind of interesting personality quirk.

2) The value of something - and it may be very valuable - might not immediately be obvious. AirBnB, for example, sounded insane to many people before it caught on. The founders had to believe in it, and they had to convince others to do so.

3) For things which are purely subjective (and I know some do find this distasteful, for sometimes good reasons), convincing others of its value is the entire point. Think about things like fashion, music styles, toys / novelties of various kinds - even certain kinds of technologies which only shuffle the deck in terms of functionality / UX may need to have users convinced. The effects of this one can be net positive (something starts out looking like a fad, turns into incredibly useful thing [Twitter]), net negative (unhealthy fad diets), or neutral (Webkinz? Furbies?), but even if you hate these things, you can't wish them away or deny they exist.

4
beeperbot 4 days ago 1 reply      
The anecdotes are totally useless. You could replace "For 999 days [the airbnb founders] didn't see traction. But, they believed." with "For 999 days [the airbnb founders] didn't see traction. But, they brushed their teeth." and walk convinced that dental hygiene is somehow key to success.
5
govindkabra31 3 days ago 0 replies      
I find it wrong that the author is using other successful companies as examples that they were built on "belief".

No, airbnb founders did not believe. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg did not believe either. Nor did Larry page.

They got there by learning from user, questioning their "belief" and iterating.

Nate: '... so I at this point decided to move to Boston. Had other priorities in my life. And pace suddenly slowed down .... Have you told Michael that I am working on other things?'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya0I6oz7q9U&fea...

Mark: '.. well, it does not have to be anything more than a college friend website. That is a great product.' https://youtu.be/aQ5otpv6kTw?t=252

Larry page: ... tried multiple times to license their technology and later sell the company for a few millions and later for a few billions. The gap in their asking price and market offer kept them going.

6
pavlov 4 days ago 3 replies      
Corollary: "Your job, as a startup employee, is to drink the Kool-Aid."
7
sparrish 4 days ago 0 replies      
Your Job as a Founder Is to Create a Product People will Believe
8
unabst 4 days ago 0 replies      
When I read posts like this, I used to think I needed to be more persuasive and crafty with how I presented what I was selling. I thought I lacked the skills of a good salesman, so to speak. Then I read somewhere that the greatness of a salesman begins at the products they choose to sell. They're great not because they can sell anything. They're great because they efficiently choose to sell the products that sell themselves.

As it turns out, great sellers aren't in the business of convincing people. Persuasion is the craft of a mediocre salesman.

Hence, I think this is more accurate:

"Your Job as a Founder is validated by the believers you create."

There is always something in between, such as a vision, a demo, a product, an experience, a great speech, revenue, and so on. But founders don't create believers per se. They generate them. I feel this distinction to be quite important.

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brianstorms 4 days ago 0 replies      
Your job as founder is to create customers.
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troels 4 days ago 1 reply      
And here I thought my job as a founder was to find a business model that creates value.
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minimaxir 4 days ago 0 replies      
The emotional appeal of "creating believers" doesn't work when investors want clear, quantitative results and returns on their investment. That's why "growth hacking" with intrusive modals and misleading marketing is an industry in itself in 2015.

Airbnb, Evernote, and Twitter are outliers from a nicer past.

12
ksenzee 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is idlewords's concept of investor storytime[0]. The only difference is that here, the author thinks it's a good thing.

[0] http://idlewords.com/talks/internet_with_a_human_face.htm#ad...

13
mikejholly 4 days ago 0 replies      
Companies aren't about religion, they're about creating products people pay for. Fin.
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DrNuke 4 days ago 1 reply      
motivational sh*t is the signal things will end in tears
15
dagw 3 days ago 0 replies      
The other big problem about having company values is that people might expect you to live up to them. I once took a job at company largely because I really liked their espoused "values" and "mission statement" and I "believed" in the same thing they claimed to believe in. Compared to the last place I worked it all sounded like a massive breath of fresh air.

Anyway didn't take me too long to realize that all those claimed values where just empty words and the new place was exactly like the old place, and that certainly wasn't good for my moral.

16
jsprogrammer 4 days ago 4 replies      
I've been working on a theory that corporations are actually cults.

This is excellent validation.

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ElHacker 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sure, believing in your startup as a founder goes a long way. Keeps you motivated in coming back to work at it and walk the extra mile. But is not the founder's most important task to convince the press, investors, partners or even a team to believe. A mindset like that is only looking for acceptance in the external world.

The truly job of a founder is to focus on what really matters: user satisfaction. Working on the features they need, creating a 10x quality product, being the best at the specific area your startup is aiming at. Everything else will follow.

18
Disruptive_Dave 4 days ago 0 replies      
For some reason the following quote came to me while reading this: "Our task is not nurturing enthusiasm, but overcoming indifference." (Believe this was from an older Wieden + Kennedy pitch deck.)
19
endlessvoid94 3 days ago 0 replies      
I heard one of the current YC partners speak a couple years ago at a student conference and this person phrased things really well. There was a question from the audience, something like "how do you know when to quit?"

Their response: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And try again. And keep trying. But don't be a damn fool."

20
parallel 4 days ago 0 replies      
Your job as founder is to create revenue.
21
known 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." --George Bernard Shaw
22
rootedbox 4 days ago 0 replies      
He has a point.

blind faith vs. logical rational ... being in the in the first business of selling to people(or employees) that work off of blind faith has always been way more profitable in at least power, and sometimes even money.

23
brayton 4 days ago 0 replies      
Growth creates believers
24
pbreit 3 days ago 0 replies      
I might phrase it "...to _find_ believers". You run into a lot fewer problems if you merely search vs trying to convince.
25
smacktoward 4 days ago 6 replies      
Wow. From one of the linked articles (http://www.businessinsider.com/pandora-didnt-pay-50-employee...):

In the run up to its 2004 Series B funding Pandora was running on financial fumes. Pandora wasnt able to pay its employees for an astounding two years between 2002 to 2004 while it worked on producing a viable commercial product. Not paying full-time employees is very, very illegal in California, where Pandora is based.

We had no idea we were breaking the law," Westergren said.

Over that period, Pandora accumulated $2 million in back wages owed.

How this story did not end with Pandora getting nuked from orbit in a court of law, I have no idea. And the bit about Westergren having "no idea we were breaking the law" (wink, nudge, say no more, guv!) is the perfect cherry on top.

I guess we're supposed to celebrate not paying your employees for years as some kind of Triumph of Entrepreneurialism, though. And I suppose it is, if you're Tim Westergren! (Not so much if you're one of the employees who he essentially strong-armed into loaning him tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars at zero percent interest, but who cares about them.)

26
bkurtz13 4 days ago 0 replies      
The advice in this post seems like it could undergo a minimal rewrite and apply even better to cult leaders.
27
nsxwolf 4 days ago 2 replies      
Sounds good. What JS library should I use to do that?
28
alcasans_head 4 days ago 0 replies      
So running a startup is like running a cult? Makes sense
29
Kinnard 4 days ago 1 reply      
30
ryanSrich 4 days ago 1 reply      
This can also be read as "Your Job as a Founder Is to Create Believers So You Can Pay Your Employees Like Shit".
31
kluck 4 days ago 0 replies      
It seems all rather obvious: Of course you have to believe that what you do makes sense in order to feel at least a bit of pleasure doing it. Everything else is just a job.

What I am worried about is that maybe it is sometimes taken too far, into some kind of religion at which point it is destracting from the actual practical goals of the company.

32
graycat 4 days ago 0 replies      
33
idlewords 4 days ago 1 reply      
tl,dr to more effectively lie to others, learn how to lie to yourself
34
Animats 4 days ago 1 reply      
Teslas Model S P85D Scores 103 Out of 100 on Consumer Reports Ratings System techcrunch.com
213 points by chriskanan  4 days ago   215 comments top 12
1
dmix 4 days ago 4 replies      
This is offtopic but the video of peoples reaction using the 'insane' button in the Model S P85D was some really great marketing for Tesla:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpaLgF1uLB8

The feature is a novelty but it makes for great social media bait. I never share links about cars with family/friends but I felt compelled to this time. It's entertaining because the car is completely silent while it pins them back in the seat - and people are having very honest reactions to the experience.

2
rsync 4 days ago 8 replies      
""They have an interesting rating system. It ends up representing the fact that all this performance and fuel efficiency comes out of a car that can seat 7 people. The variant that does 0-60 quicker and gives you AWD gives you better energy consumption. Things like these are what blew up their scale.""

A few weeks ago (a month ago ?) BMW released the spec sheet / announcement for the new 7 series. And it's just sad.

I'm not even sure who it is for ... people who don't use the Internet ? People who don't read news ? You've got a car that is substantially better in almost every conceivable category (it generates all wheel drive with two different motors, for instance) ... and the press release for the 7 series is going on and on about how advanced their new engine is and bragging about their (laughable, in light of the model S) 0-60 time.

Basically it's 20 pages of "blah blah not electric blah blah". It's painful to look at.

OBLIGATORY: Not a huge Model S fan, at least in terms of size (not really a full sized four door) and interior appointment (which is amazingly sparse and devoid of options compared to 7/A8/S) ... and further, would much prefer a 7 series or Panamera on a fully-electric platform. But we don't have that, so I guess we have to settle for "the best car we've ever tested".[1]

[1] http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/27/teslas-p85d-is-the-best-car-c...

3
chabby 4 days ago 4 replies      
Just my 2 cents: I've driven both a P85D and a 2014 Porsche 911 4S cabriolet fairly extensively. Guess which one I decided to buy?

The Porsche. These might not be two cars that are commonly cross-shopped, and the Tesla does beat the Porsche to 60 mph. Still, the Porsche was clearly the winner in just about every other way in my estimation. Anyone else have a similar experience?

4
mschuster91 4 days ago 1 reply      
What I'd really like to see, and Tesla is already beginning to do it, is modular, upgrade-able cars.

Like, a new engine, better in-car entertainment, better sound system, seat-heating, cruise control, distance control, semi/full automatic driving... if I could e.g. buy a stripped down Tesla as a student which I can then (given, of course, I don't crash it) upgrade over its lifetime as I put some money aside, instead of having to buy an entirely new car when the old one is still perfectly functioning.

5
tw04 4 days ago 2 replies      
I get that the Tesla is awesome, but it seems pretty frigging ridiculous that to give a car 103 out of 100 when it only has a range of 200 miles.
6
3327 4 days ago 1 reply      
what a bullshit report. I mean I like tesla but this report starts with bullshit and ends with bullshit.

103/100 ? 200 mile range?

7
thecolorblue 4 days ago 3 replies      
Did consumer reports review a Model S 70D? I would think that would be a more practical car for consumer reports to review.
8
amalag 4 days ago 2 replies      
So did they take affordability into account?
9
lloydde 4 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like all the news has overloaded consumerreports.org. And I need a new clothing dryer!

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/consumerreports.org.html

10
drzaiusapelord 4 days ago 2 replies      
How can you exceed your max value? This has always bothered me, its pretty much admitting "We kinda pull numbers out of our butts." When I see this in other media, like movies or games, it seems to be a direct response to hype or personal politics. Maybe CR is overly green and wants to promote EV's? Reminds me of when Obama got a Nobel Peace prize for things he will do in the future.

Also, the Simpsons did it first:

Tralawney:Listen, we've been meaning to have a talk with you aboutyour reviews. Everything's a rave! Nine thumbs up, whatthe hell is that?

Homer:I've given out my share of bad reviews

Beaumont:Oh, the only bad review you gave was to a slice of pizza youfound under the couch.

Homer:It lost some points because it had a Hot Wheel on it.

11
dragontamer 4 days ago 4 replies      
That is frankly ridiculous.

Tesla's previous car getting 99/100 (which never happened before) wasn't enough, so now they push 103/100?

I understand that its a great car, but if the consumer report scale is out of 100, then it should stay out of 100. Pushing their scale beyond the boundary causes a "Spinal tap" situation and I fail to take the review seriously anymore.

It goes up to 11 belongs in comedy movies, not serious reviews.

12
buckbova 4 days ago 1 reply      
Does this Tesla S still overheat on a lap of Nrburgring?
Moving forward with work on the D language and foundation dlang.org
286 points by signa11  3 days ago   126 comments top 18
1
rdtsc 3 days ago 5 replies      
Of course if you don't know who Alexandrescu is, here is a C++ fantasy map that was circulated a few years back (it is funnier if know C++) and well, Alexandrescu has his own castle there:

http://goldns.ru/cppmap-2012.png

2
andralex 3 days ago 9 replies      
This is he. AMA!
3
nnq 3 days ago 3 replies      
Awesome, and congrats to AA! We have an all out languages war ahead with D vs. Rust vs Go. I'm sure tons of innovations will come out of this that will benefit us all!

(Yeah, I get it that the languages target different niches in theory, but there will be significant overlap among the people who use them, I'm sure...)

4
krylon 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have looked at D repeatedly over the last couple of years, and I really hope it will become more popular.

It looks pretty much like what one would want C++ to be like if one were to start over again, free of the need for backwards compatilibity with C (at the syntax level)

I haven't had the A-Ha moment with D, I have to admit, not the way I had with Go. Right now, Go feels more aligned with the way I tend to think.

But I still think that D is a brilliant language that people will come to like if they are not tied to the ground by legacy code they have to maintain. I don't think D will ever replace C++, but if Alexandrescu is behind it, that might go a long way.

5
yawniek 3 days ago 0 replies      
great times ahead for D!

for those now interested in the D language one must recommend Ali ehreli's free book that now is also available as print:

http://ddili.org/ders/d.en/index.html

6
claudiug 3 days ago 3 replies      
What a bold move. There are other in the OS communities, languages guru's that are working 100% on the language?

Matz is working only on ruby at heroku?Guido, is working full time at dropbox?

I think this is huge lose for Facebook and a big win for D lang comunity

7
gozo 3 days ago 3 replies      
Don't miss to click around a little (but probably not too much) on the D forum. It's super fast, but also somewhat annoying (at least in chrome) since it flashes when reloading. Is there a write up somewhere of the stack (etc.) behind it?
8
romaniv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Somehow I find this more inspiring than most commercial success stories. Deciding to work on ideas instead of working for a large or small company. I sincerely wish the best to the D Foundation.

(I'm an occasional lurker on D mailing list and proud owner of the D book. That mailing list, BTW, taught me a great deal of things about a whole bunch of programming languages.)

9
slipstream- 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, this looks like interesting times ahead for the D language. Hopefully this is a good thing, I've loved D since I first came across it. :)
10
bowlofstew 3 days ago 0 replies      
That is an incredible loss for Facebook. Congratulations to the D foundation and community though!
11
misiti3780 3 days ago 0 replies      
I remember reading this book when I was using C++ a lot and being blown away:

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Design-Generic-Programming-Patt...

Unfortunately - I changed jobs to work on some start ups and said bye to C++ for Python, JS, etc and never had a chance to really use the concepts

12
thawkins 3 days ago 0 replies      
What activities are running to get some more infrastructure support for D. I keep tryimg to bring up a workflow on it, but get hit by a lack of support for things like editors/ide's and package managers.

Will the foundatiom be sponsoring development of plugins for popular ide's like atom, netbeans, intelij, eclipse etc.

13
aswanson 3 days ago 1 reply      
I want to learn D, Rust, Go, Android, Rails 4.x, Objective C/Ios, D3.js, C++11, Lisp, Smalltalk.... Good luck with that, me.
14
dbhattar 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is indeed a very courageous decision on AA's part to leave a secure job at Facebook to join D Foundation. But I am pretty sure, if at some point in future AA decides, FB will be very happy to have him back.
15
err4nt 3 days ago 1 reply      
I know a little JavaScript - what's the best way for me to tinker around with D and see what it offers? I'm curious!

Even if I just built something simple in both languages it would be a fun exercise.

16
acrodrig 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck! I have been wishing D well for many years now and I hope your steering of the foundation will take D into the forefront of programming.
17
jahnu 3 days ago 1 reply      
18
_pmf_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive theatlantic.com
223 points by samclemens  2 days ago   123 comments top 28
1
boken 2 days ago 6 replies      
It is most telling, to me, to hear people (none of them made from straw) admit that writer's cramp is part and parcel of a single session of taking notes or writing an hour-long exam. Professional copyists and secretaries in the early 20th century weren't biting down on their lower lips to push through the pain every time they put pen to paper during ten- and twelve-hour workdays. They just used better tools for that job (leak as the tools might do) and were taught how to write with focus on posture and movement, not on letterforms alone.

I don't strictly use the letterforms or all the best practices of the Palmer methodsee the article for a linkbut using a Palmer book as a guide, I managed to teach myself to write with a relaxed grip and no movement in the fingers or wrist, and I can go for hours now and walk away with no more discomfort than the stiffness of sitting without relief.

It is hard to write like this using most ballpoints because you do need to exert more force to get a consistent line out of the things. You don't need a fountain or dip pen, howeverjust a soft-leaded pencil (try an art supply shop), a good rollerball pen, or some gel pens. None of these write as effortlessly as a fountain pen, but neither do they require the kind of cramp-inducing force that a Bic pen does.

I've read mid-century materials on this topic before. My sense is that this isn't a new argument so much as a forgotten one.

2
kctess5 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've almost exclusively used fountain pens for about 5 years now, and it's been amazing. Modern fountain pens don't generally leak much, and they are SO much better to write with than a basic Bic/generic ballpoint. The primary difference is that you don't have to push down at all which saves your hand from a huge amount of stress after a long writing session. I really don't understand why more people don't use them these days. Another bonus is that you can choose from a very wide variety of inks, so you can change it up whenever you feel like it.

My daily driver is currently a Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Stainless Steel ($65), which looks fantastic and is a great performer. I highly recommend to that anyone with large hands, because it's definitely not small. I also recommend the Pilot Metropolitan (~$12) [1] and the Waterman Phileas (~$50) all of which I have used extensively for class notes.

If I don't have one of my FPs for whatever reason, then I have been known to go for smooth "roller ball" pens as well - they use more lubricated ink than standard ball points and require less pressure, so they generally feel like mediocre fountain pens.

[1] https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pilot-mr-fountain-pen

3
bambax 1 day ago 2 replies      
In France everyone uses ballpoints, and yet everyone writes cursive, so I very much doubt there's any connection between the two.

The weird handwriting of Americans certainly has to do with how they're taught, not what they use.

I have three kids that are currently learning to write (aged 6, 7 and 10) and a great deal of time is spent forming nice, cursive letters (copying lines of frequent letter pairs to lean how to join them properly and nicely for example).

I'm not saying this is good or bad (I like cursive and am happy my kids are learning it, but would like they would also learn to touch type, which isn't taught in school), but I am saying that you write how you learned to write...

4
fabian2k 1 day ago 6 replies      
Discussions about cursive writing on the Internet confused me quite a bit until I noticed that there seems to be a pretty large difference between what I learned in Germany and what people in the US learned.

What children learn in Germany for at least a few decades now looks like the following: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Vereinfachte_Ausgangssch...

From what I understand, the cursive script that was taught in US schools was much more complicated with lots of little flourishes. The simplified cursive script seems a lot more practical to me, and I wonder if that is a factor in the the decline of cursive writing. The negative reactions to cursive writing I've read on the internet from people in the US seemed a lot stronger than anything I've ever heard from Germans.

5
Grue3 1 day ago 2 replies      
I call bullshit, in Russia people still write in cursive long after introduction of ballpoint pen, because that's what people are taught in school. It also happens to be much faster than print, regardless of the writing implement, so that helps too.
6
vsbuffalo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love fountain pens and highly encourage everyone to try them (with a good notebook helps). First, ballpoint pens are wasteful 1.6 billion pens a year are thrown away[1]. Fountain pens are reusable, ink is comparatively cheap and lasts forever, and finding your ink is a fun and personal experience (I really like the "bulletproof" Noodler's inks which are waterproof, bleach proof, etc.). Fountain pens last forever which is why folks still hunt around for 40+ year old used ones.

Second, it really does make writing fun. I hated writing my handwriting is messy, it's slow, and it's not as easy as typing. As the article argues, a good fountain pen makes it much, and in my experience much more enjoyable.

Third, it doesn't need to be expensive. Get a Lamy Safari (EF), a Lamy converter and a bottle of Noodlers ink. I also love my Faber Castell Loom[2] (it's the smoothest pen I own), and I carry around a Kaweco Al-Sport[3] everywhere (it's the perfect pocket pen).

[1] http://www.epa.gov/superfund/students/clas_act/haz-ed/ff06.p...[2] http://www.gouletpens.com/faber-castell-loom-metallic-orange...[3] http://www.jetpens.com/Kaweco-AL-Sport-Fountain-Pen-Fine-Nib...

7
jonah 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you want to try fountain pens but don't want to spend $$ on a nice one at first, check out the Pilot Varsity line.[1] They're cheap and disposable and seem to write pretty well. (I'm no expert on fountain pens though.)

I use them for note taking at meetings and whatnot. You do want a fairly fine/tight paper to write on though - the same as any other liquid-ink pen.

[1] http://pilotpen.us/categories/fountain-pens/varsity/

8
jacobolus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice HN discussion about handwriting from a few years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2500864

I like this comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2501152 a partial quotation:

> Almost all US schools have standardized on forms of looped cursive (e.g. Parker Penmanship, Zaner-Bloser) -- a set of letterforms designed not for handwriting, but for the movable type printing press! Looped cursive was made to be attractive with the fewest unique joins possible so that printers needed to stock fewer pieces for their movable type presses. Looped cursive is slower, less legible, and more difficult to learn than forms of writing actually made to be written (such as cursive italic).

9
colinsidoti 2 days ago 13 replies      
Any lefties here? I'm a lefty and feel stuck with the basic ballpoint because any other pen I try ends up with everything smudged. Not sure if that's just poor form on my part.
10
rmason 2 days ago 2 replies      
I learned cursive writing in first grade in 1958 (in Detroit) and we were already using ballpoint pens. But the desks we used had working inkwells, emptied of the ink, so I'd guess the change was fairly recent because a few years later the inkwells had been removed just leaving big holes in the desks where they'd resided.

The biggest thing back then was that I was left handed and the teachers forced me to write right handed. My mother ended up getting me 'permission' to write left handed and I have been happily ever since ;<).

11
jane_is_here 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a nice Baoer 79 Montblanc Starwalker clone that I paid under $4 for ( delivery included )Here is someone's review http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/240914-baoer-7...

If you prefer something larger,the Jinhao 159 is a clone of the Montblanc Meisterstck 149 http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/216230-jinhao-... and is under $6 on ebay

12
ryandrake 2 days ago 3 replies      
Is there even a point to learning cursive anymore? Seems like a waste of time if they're still teaching it to kids. I can't think of any practical purpose for it. Knowing cursive is about as useful as knowing how to use an abacus.
13
cheetos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned felt tip pens as an alternative to fountain pens.

The Paper Mate medium point felt tip pen is my favorite writing tool. It provides a good-looking and effortless stroke and you can buy them pretty much anywhere.

14
fsloth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fountain pens rule. But the problem with acquiring them is that nowadays a lot of fountain pens seem to be made to look fancy and not to write well.
15
drakonka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned this when I bought my first and only fountain pen last year. The difference in writing experience is amazing - I take so much more notes now, and actually carry a notebook with me.
16
WhoBeI 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sustained fine grained and fluid hand movement is more difficult to learn then drawing a sequence of geometric shapes and a lot more challenging to read. School should be about understanding ideas and the value of critical thinking. Using or requiring the use of an inefficient presentation method does not help with that mission.

I suppose the mass move away from cursive writing started with the printing press. By simplifying the symbols we gained a powerful tool to spread the ideas they convey. This has just become more true with the computer which, much like the printing press, has a much easier time with distinct disconnected symbols.

I believe it's more important to learn how to write and express your ideas using all available technologies then spending time learning the particulars of one.

The hammer doesn't need to be beautiful to build a beautiful house it needs to be efficient. Writing does not need to be elegant to convey a beautiful message.

17
muddyrivers 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my hometown in the 80's, elementary school kids were not allowed to use ballpoints. Fountain pens were allowed from the 3rd grade. Before that, wood-based pencils only. Even mechanical pencils were forbidden. It was said that ballpoints and mechanical pencils, especially the former, would have very negative effects on developing one's handwriting.

This was the case for Chinese, in which a good handwriting was highly regarded. As far as I know, there are no studies to prove or disprove the claim. It was true for me personally and for my classmates. I could execute many handwriting forms in pencils and in fountain pens easily while extremely hard, if ever possible, in ballpoints. After using ballpoints for a pretty long period, I couldn't write as well even if I picked up my fountain pens again. It had to take some time and some writing to get it back.

18
mcguire 1 day ago 0 replies      
"And since the thin ink flows more quickly, I have to refill the pen frequently."

While technically true, that fountain pens will use more ink, keep in mind that (a) ink is cheap, (b) refilling is easy, and (c) some[1] pens have a larger ink capacity.

[1] http://asapens.in/eshop/fountain-pen/gama-ebonite-pens/gama-...

19
rodgerd 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is rubbish. Ballpoint pens had long been in existence before I went to school, and I learned cursive. My daughter's French classmates are all, today, taught superb cursive handwriting.
20
Htsthbjig 1 day ago 0 replies      
21
TazeTSchnitzel 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is why I started using Uniball Eye pens. They require so much less pressure, it's quite a relief for my hand. And when I picked them up, I started using cursive again in my handwriting.
22
ctdonath 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Apple Newton was the last chance for cursive. Having two, I found that was the easiest and most accurate handwriting input. Alas, "egg freckles" rued the day and no more tech used cursive input.
23
philip1209 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love fountain pens. Like automatic watches, they create a certain attachment and appreciation for function.
24
anigbrowl 2 days ago 2 replies      
...in America.
25
scholia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has anybody switched to writing on a screen as a regular thing?
26
hinkley 2 days ago 0 replies      
What about gel ink?
27
CurtMonash 1 day ago 0 replies      
28
guard-of-terra 2 days ago 3 replies      
FCC considering a proposal to lock down devices with a modular wireless radio libreplanet.org
209 points by thejosh  2 days ago   132 comments top 10
1
Chirael 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sounds like another battle in the "coming war on general purpose computing" http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html
2
thinkpenguin 2 days ago 2 replies      
From the down link:

Take Action Now!

The FCC is asking for comments on this proposal. The most important thing you can do is comment on the FCC's proposal and tell them you want to be able to control your computing devices. Will you do this?

Comment deadline extended to October 9.

Instructions:

1. Go to the Federal Register and press "Submit a formal comment" (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/06/2015-184...)

2. Start your comment by respectfully asking the FCC to not implement rules that take away the ability of users to install the software of their choosing on their computing devices. Additional points of emphasis you should consider adding:

- Wireless networking research depends on the ability of researchers to investigate and modify their devices.

- Americans need the ability to fix security holes in their devices when the manufacturer chooses to not do so.

- Users have in the past fixed serious bugs in their wifi drivers, which would be banned under the NPRM.

- Billions of dollars of commerce, such as secure wifi vendors, retail hotspot vendors, depends on the ability of users and companies to install the software of their choosing.

3. Enter your name and address. This is a public comment and your personal information provided will be publicly available.

Once you've submitted your comment, make sure to encourage others to submit comments opposing these restrictions on computing devices. Use the #SaveWifi hashtag on Twitter or your favorite microblogging services.

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https:/...

3
guelo 2 days ago 3 replies      
FCC should be working to massively expand the unlicensed ranges instead of clamping it down more. The amount of innovation and economic activty in the unlicensed bands is massive. They should be working on taking back the TV HD and SD frequencies and leave the tinkerers alone.
4
jdiez17 2 days ago 2 replies      
The link doesn't load (connection timed out), so I'm only going by the headline - do they also want to "lock down" software defined radios, like the HackRF?
5
gopowerranger 2 days ago 4 replies      
People aren't paying attention to what this is for. It's to prevent people from modifying RF devices, transmitters, from operating at power levels and frequencies, or other technical things, from interfering with other devices and outside the bounds of their intention. It's to protect devices from interference that was prevalent in the days when radio was first invented, and for decades afterwards.

This is a good thing.

6
ignisf 2 days ago 1 reply      
7
duhast 2 days ago 1 reply      
Will this affect Google Ara project?
8
guard-of-terra 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why would it affect your PC? Should not they just lock down wi-fi module if they want?

I fail to see much difference between installing alternative OS on your PC and installing third-party software.

9
ck2 2 days ago 1 reply      
10
SCHiM 2 days ago 2 replies      
Ubuntu continues to rule the cloud zdnet.com
187 points by reddotX  3 days ago   144 comments top 13
1
codewithcheese 3 days ago 10 replies      
A big reason why it dominates the cloud is tons of web developers use Ubuntu as their desktop Linux of choice. It's really very convenient to develop and deploy on the same OS. I don't think its accurate to say "The desktop is a nice add-on, but it's not Canonical's focus nor should it be."
2
dijit 3 days ago 3 replies      
So, before I knew what linux was (and was teased on various forums) I ordered some free CD's from Ubuntu. (I didn't have the internet at home). (eventually I got them; ubuntu 5.04 I think [Horny Hedgehog from memory])

When I received them I was pleased, everything worked.. well, not everything, but it sorta worked! I had a desktop environment and a command line and I felt a small sense of accomplishment because I'd navigated the strange menu's safely before anakonda or full-framebuffer installers...Because of the peer pressure I learned about how to do my bits, and I carried on.

Later in the year I found fedora, and Blue is a nicer colour than brown (I was young and fickle) but it was less user friendly, so I committed to learn that and get off the "Noob Friendly" Ubuntu OS.

Many years later I got a small laptop for my mother, at this stage in my life I was "awoken" and I knew the power a machine could hold if it ran linux, so I put ubuntu on it- She's not the most technically apt lady in the world but was able to do most things with ease, and I put that down to having a "Good UX outside microsoft" (since most people who learn the microsoft way are generally committed to a mindset and anything outside of that is pushed away).

A few issues with Flash, some performance hiccups on some websites that seemed to try and avoid supporting linux in strange ways (that I take for granted I know how to bypass) and eventually the machine gave up the ghost.

I bought a new machine and put ubuntu on it (13.10 I think) and she was somewhat less than pleased, the UX had changed, she didn't know what was available anymore, nothing was organised in a way she understood.. and so I installed mint, she's now happy.

So I'll say this for Ubuntu, they put linux in the hands of people who we should really be targetting, it allowed me access to linux acting as a base plate and later acting as a full blown system for someone who was not interested at all in computers. And they pushed a trend for that, so we should all be thankful.

3
MarionG 3 days ago 2 replies      
Debian still dominates the web server market, but Ubuntu is catching up there too: http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/os-linux/all/all
4
geoffroy 3 days ago 6 replies      
I'm not an expert about Linux server-side distros. I'm using Ubuntu Server, I haven't seen any cons for now. Any hint ?
5
jafingi 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sticking with CentOS / RHEL on my cloud servers. Have tried Ubuntu Server, but liking CentOS more. Also, 5 years LTS is just not enough for production environments IMO.
6
dogma1138 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is this surprising? it was and for the most is the only Linux distro that provides actual LTS releases with 5 years support guaranteed for free.

Sure you can buy RHEL, SUSE and some other commercial releases but it costs money, other things like Debian Stable are very new initiatives and only provide support between stable releases 6-18 months.

Ubuntu guarantees security updates for the OS and common components like Apache other's don't.

If you are an organization that's very important especially if you need to comply with various regulations e.g. PCI-DSS.

Ubuntu is also one of only few distro's that is supported across all Cloud providers, it was the 1st distro to be supported on Azure and many of the smaller cloud providers start with Ubuntu or use Ubuntu as the core of their in-house linux guest.

Amazon's AMI might have been able to topple Ubuntu with their Amazon Linux but as it is not available for download and you cannot run it outside of AWS it will never reach any true leadership position, if you can't have it in house for development you will choose something else and the 1st rule of dev op's is deploy what you develop on....

In a few years CoreOS might get a big enough market share but currently CoreOS is too complicated and it locks you into using containers which is an overkill for most cloud deployments these days unless you are huge enterprise. If you are running a small web portal on a 1-5 servers Docker and other containers will just get in the way.

7
brillenfux 3 days ago 0 replies      
I will never forget how the handled the Oracle Java license change debacle. No matter what they are saying now that was a terrible show of ignorance.

They might be a solid choice in the future but as of yet I haven't seen ANY reason to use anything else but Debian or CentOS.

And cloud deployments will abandon Ubuntu for something smaller soon enough.

8
jerrac 3 days ago 1 reply      
Other comments have touched on most of the reasons why Ubuntu is a good choice, or why it would be a bad choice in some situations.

For me, it was the OS I was used to. And, as I've had to deploy a few CentOS and OES servers as well, I much prefer how Ubuntu/Debian configures things.

Apache, PHP, networking, cron, etc. All much easier to configure and harden on Ubuntu than on CentOS. Only thing I've found CentOS does better is starting and stopping iptables, and that's solved with a quick apt-get install iptables-persistent.

Most of this opinion comes from writing Ansible roles that work on both Debian and RedHat systems. Ubuntu was always easy to get right. CentOS always had some weird thing that required an annoying amount of work to work around. (Like it doesn't run Postfix smtpd in a chroot while Ubuntu does. Meaning I had to have different Postfix settings in master.cf on CentOS than I do on Debian.)

9
geggam 3 days ago 0 replies      
When interviewing candidates and you correlate the "only Ubuntu" folks to skill sets it becomes obvious that anyone can use Ubuntu. Even in the cloud. The lowest threshold to entry to the cloud obviously should be the most common.
10
hharnisch 3 days ago 1 reply      
With containerization growing in popularity I suspect this will change. Ubuntu based images are huge and include more features than needed to run basic web servers.
11
toddan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I dont get why cannonical dont invest in development experience. forget the ubuntu mobile bullshit it wont grab the market anyway.

But there are tons of developers out there that use ubunut. They have a great opportunity to create a complete IDE to cloud platform much like visual studio and azure, but with open source tools and a great linux system.

12
Zigurd 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's also Android development driving use of Ubuntu as a desktop OS for developers. I do a enough embedded work that I need to build Android-based embedded systems for some projects. Increasingly, mobile software projects need to be "full stack," too, with purpose built servers for app projects.
13
wtbob 3 days ago 8 replies      
A native hypervisor is coming to OpenBSD marc.info
226 points by mariusz79  9 hours ago   78 comments top 6
1
walterbell 9 hours ago 3 replies      
In addition to a new VMM, why not enable OpenBSD to run as a guest VM on AWS/Xen?
2
BrainInAJar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Great to see more competition for kvm & FreeBSD's bhyve
3
ananomouse 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Was doing some digging into the research. Perhaps someone happens to have a copy of Bill Broadley's 2007 IT Security Symposium presentation/paper?

It was hosted at http://shell.cse.ucdavis.edu/~bill/virt/virt.pdf

4
hapless 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how reusable this will be on the SPARC64 port.

There was never enough interest in Linux/SPARC to make a Xen or KVM port feasible. But OpenBSD's community is a different animal.

5
justinsaccount 9 hours ago 11 replies      
https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=119318909016582

 From: Theo de Raadt > Virtualization seems to have a lot of security benefits. You've been smoking something really mind altering, and I think you should share it. x86 virtualization is about basically placing another nearly full kernel, full of new bugs, on top of a nasty x86 architecture which barely has correct page protection. Then running your operating system on the other side of this brand new pile of shit. You are absolutely deluded, if not stupid, if you think that a worldwide collection of software engineers who can't write operating systems or applications without security holes, can then turn around and suddenly write virtualization layers without security holes. You've seen something on the shelf, and it has all sorts of pretty colours, and you've bought it. That's all x86 virtualization is.

6
nickpsecurity 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Good to see OpenBSD in process of getting one. I previously thought that OpenBSD, or at least Theo, hated virtualization based on this rant:

http://www.tylerkrpata.com/2007/10/theo-de-raadt-on-x86-virt...

Or just x86's virtualization. Nothing different popped in my news feed until now. Has OpenBSD's position changed on the subject of virtualization? And is there a more recent post that explains their position?

13,000 fall into homelessness every month in L.A. County latimes.com
146 points by Futurebot  4 days ago   80 comments top 10
1
delecti 4 days ago 1 reply      
> The latest official homeless count found 44,000 people living in county streets in a three-day period in January, a 12% increase in two years

This means that the number of homeless is up from 39,285 (44,000/1.12) to 44,000 in 2 years. That's an average increase of about 196 per month. So out of the 13,000 falling homeless each month, another 12,804 pull themselves out of it. That's a much more sensible number.

I absolutely think this is a problem that needs attention, but it's not at "the number of homeless is increasing by 13k each month" levels.

2
p_monk 4 days ago 1 reply      
According to a report that came out a few months ago, there has been a 12% rise in homelessness in LA in the last 2 years. [1]

I believe that number is way underreported.

I don't have any evidence to point to. I've lived in Los Angeles my whole life and have spent a lot of time in and around the skid row area since the late 90's.

All I can say is that in the last year, the population on skid row has exploded. I don't know if its due to people being corralled into the area because of development in the Arts District, LA Live, etc, but the radius of skid row has at least doubled in the last year.

A couple weeks ago I drove through the area on a hot Sunday afternoon and I had to pull over because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Block after block after block of streets full of homeless people. Not just the sidewalks, but the streets were full of crowds too. I've been to plenty of third world countries around the world, large and small, but never once have I seen so much misery in one place as I saw in DTLA a couple weeks back.

1. http://circanews.com/news/us-homelessness-recession-1

3
jorgenhorstink 4 days ago 8 replies      
"...and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night." [1]

82,000 homeless on a population of 9,818,605 [2]; 0.835%

I just compared it to the 2012 stats for The Netherlands (highest homeless count in 2012).

27,300 homeless [3] on a population of 16,779,575 [4]; 0.163%

That was a bit surprising to me. It looks like there are 5 times more homeless per capita in LA than in The Netherlands...

[1] http://www.laalmanac.com/social/so14.htm[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_County,_California[3] http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/themas/bevolking/publicaties/ar...[4] http://statline.cbs.nl/Statweb/publication/?VW=T&DM=SLNL&PA=...

4
coderbrew 4 days ago 1 reply      
What is sad, a lot of homeless have serious mental health issues, anecdotal evidence, I seem to see a lot of former military.
5
Kinnard 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how we could get a hold of this actual dataset. Additionally I wonder how it compares to vacancy rates/data in LA County
6
iamleppert 4 days ago 5 replies      
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ilaksh 4 days ago 1 reply      
Are there any apps that A) make it easy for people to host homeless families or individuals, or B) let people offer housing at reduced rent after some type of qualification or just based on a profile or C) allow people to pay into pools similar to Section 8 to sponsor housing and then access funds from them -- sort of like a privatized streamlined Section 8 app.
8
strathmeyer 4 days ago 0 replies      
Continue reading for only $0.99 and get 10 days of Unlimited Digital Access.
9
stefantalpalaru 4 days ago 3 replies      
> The latest official homeless count found 44,000 people living in county streets in a three-day period in January [...]

Sounds like most of those 13,000 newly homeless people are the same every month - falling in and out of homelessness periodically.

> The group's analysis was based on records for 9 million county residents who received public assistance at any point between 2002 and 2010.

How can they have so many poor people when the total population of the county was 9,818,605 in 2010 according to Wikipedia? Do they give "public assistance" to rich people too?

10
kisstheblade 3 days ago 1 reply      
The man who mistook his wife for a hat (1983) lrb.co.uk
215 points by lermontov  1 day ago   25 comments top 7
1
smsm42 1 day ago 2 replies      
It is a part of an excellent book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Mistook_His_Wife_f...which is recommended for anyone who is interested in how the brains work.

Interestingly enough, the article above links to Blindsight book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight_(Watts_novel)which is also excellent and discusses somewhat related topics, though in a fictional setting.

3
qCOVET 1 day ago 6 replies      
Since we are on the subject of brain, does anyone know of a good article on how memory is stored and retrieved? I am always intrigued by the biologics of it ... if its purely electrical, how are these charges stored and isolated away from the rest of neuronal activity ... alternatively, what if life has chosen some bizarre quaternary structure of DNA to store the memory ...
4
mirimir 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Old memories! Around the same time, I read Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind by George Lakoff (1987).[0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women,_Fire,_and_Dangerous_Thi...

5
Excluse 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently went to see Woz speak in Massachusetts and he claims he suffers from an affliction similar to this (the inability to recognize faces).
6
Retra 1 day ago 1 reply      
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socceroos 1 day ago 2 replies      
LSD Line Square Dot Game lalo.li
237 points by franze  3 days ago   70 comments top 26
1
franze 3 days ago 6 replies      
hi, OP here.

coded this game once upon a time for a viennajs (js meetup vienna) talk. added a little bit more game logic yesterday.

homegrown physics engine (buggy as you will find out) inspired to some degree on what i learned via http://annotated-code.maryrosecook.com/circles-bouncing-off-... saw this on HN, decided that it should be a game)

issues:

* sometimes dot gets stuck on a line (strangely this happens more on mobile phones then on desktop)

* sometimes dot vanishes (i suspect a NaN error)

* on windows phone lines can not be drawn sticky (not a clue on how to debug this on a mac)

why did i do it:

* for the love of code

* i like simple games (this is another one of my games http://www.fullstackoptimization.com/bubbles/ )

pull requests / forks welcome https://github.com/franzenzenhofer/lsd

2
andrepd 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's funny how a game featuring literally a line, a square and a dot can make one core in my machine go nearly 100%. Yay webapps!

EDIT: And it does not run at 60 fps.

3
matthucke 3 days ago 1 reply      
A border around the playfield would help - I keep trying to draw lines that extend slightly outside the browser window, and inadvertently do things like grabbing a bookmark from the bookmarks bar above.
4
JimiofEden 3 days ago 1 reply      
Felt like I was mostly playing jezzball. Simply trap it in a box and keep narrowing it down until they touch. Fun!
5
bonobo3000 3 days ago 3 replies      
polygons!

edit: got to level 10 with this approach before giving up. basically, bound the ball into an area towards the goal as soon as it gets there by enclosing it in a polygon. as long as you keep getting it closer, you eventually get it into a polygon with the target - it works out. It will even pretty much guarantee the ball eventually goes through small gaps it needs to to pass through one polygon to another

Seems like a good explanation for how gases work.

6
drd93 3 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest abuse in this game is that the ball can be pushed through the walls with enough lines drawn onto it
7
robbrown451 3 days ago 0 replies      
Surprisingly addictive for such a simple game. Too bad the acronym didn't spell out "cocaine" or something.

Nice work. If you wanted to spiff it up, you might change the dot to a basketball and the square to a hoop. And add some satisfying sounds. Bouncing on the rim and having the net move in a plausible way would be some work for you. :)

8
hellofunk 3 days ago 3 replies      
Forgive me but can anyone summarize how to actually play this game?
9
kachnuv_ocasek 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can't wait till someone makes an AI for this.
10
f00644 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is the best game i've ever played in my life! super addictive!
11
lawlessone 3 days ago 0 replies      
I broke it, the ball stuck on the line
12
errozero 3 days ago 1 reply      
Cool little game, even better that it's made without a framework. Maybe you should add a facebook opengraph image so it looks a bit more attractive when shared.
13
A010 3 days ago 6 replies      
Level 3 and it's impossible:

https://i.imgur.com/OOu7rsn.png

14
atrilumen 3 days ago 1 reply      
A lovely little game with no instructions. Seems to be working out a bit better for you than it did for me (http://luciangames.com/oware).
15
rch 3 days ago 2 replies      
If you draw the line while intersecting the dot, the latter gets trapped on the former.
16
werber 3 days ago 0 replies      
This game is addictive, would be pretty cool if you went head to head with a random person and you both were trying to get the ball into your own box. great work!
17
thomasfoster96 3 days ago 0 replies      
Works great on my iPhone, which is a surprise. Well done!
18
enahs-sf 3 days ago 0 replies      
it's a good thing everyone will be at burning man this weekend so i can get to higher levels before they do :
19
edem 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do I need to be on LSD to enjoy this? :)
20
vblord 3 days ago 0 replies      
very fun game. thanks for sharing. I like when it gets caught on the line and bounces back and forth
21
verytrivial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fun! What about a limit of N lines, e.g. oldest removed first (maybe color-coded by age?)?
22
profinger 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love it! Interestingly enough though, the ball goes through line intersections.
23
calebm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Surprisingly fun :)
24
dgerges 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very fun :-) thank you
25
willthefirst 3 days ago 0 replies      
really great. so simple but immediately entertaining.
26
el3ctron 3 days ago 0 replies      
this game is my perdition!! hahhaha
DC appeals court lifts injunction against NSA phone records program washingtonpost.com
167 points by Clanan  3 days ago   116 comments top 9
1
pdabbadabba 3 days ago 3 replies      
Tl;dr: The plaintiffs/petitioners presented only a tenuous case that their records were actually collected, which reduced their perceived likelihood of success on the ultimate merits of the case enough that they were not entitled to a preliminary injunction.

Let's unpack that a little bit. This is not a final ruling on the merits of the case, and it does not have anything (directly) to do with the 4th Amendment. Plaintiffs had moved for a preliminary injunction before the district court that would have stopped the program well before the ultimate outcome of the case. For obvious reasons, the standard for evaluating such requests is high. One of several factors used for evaluating such a motion is likelihood of ultimate success of the merits.

In order for plaintiffs to ultimately succeed, they have to convince the court that they have actually suffered an injury by having their own call records collected. They need to have been injured in order for the court ultimately to have jurisdiction. At this point, the DC Circuit concluded that they do not have any specific evidence of this (and, in fact, some of the indirect evidence weighs against them). So, the DC Circuit concluded that they were not so likely to ultimately succeed that it should give them the injunction they wanted before the ultimate outcome of the case.

This is not a good sign for a plaintiffs' case, but its important to emphasize that this is an early look at it with, necessarily, the benefit of only a small amount of evidence. The case will continue in the district court which will, among other things, try to determine whether the plaintiffs were actually injured.

Of course, the predictable outcome of that inquiry is that the NSA will invoke various legal privileges against disclosing the evidence necessary to actually make a determination, ultimately rendering plaintiffs' case impossible to maintain.

2
disposition2 3 days ago 2 replies      
Didn't the NSA delay sunsetting the program for a few months (because it was a legal option given to them by the court)? Convenient that this injunction occurred before the sunset date. Once again disappointed to see the court side against the 4th Amendment.

Edit: and this is rather unfortunate...

'It is entirely possible that, even if plaintiffs are granted discovery, the government may refuse to provide information (if any exists) that would further plaintiffs case. Plaintiffs claims may well founder in that event. But such is the nature of the governments privileged control over certain classes of information. Plaintiffs must realize that secrecy is yet another form of regulation, prescribing not what the citizen may do but instead "what the citizen may know."'

Edit 2: nevermind that the entire states secret clause that the courts are so often to back up is based on the government trying to save face and not admit wrong-doing.

3
TallGuyShort 3 days ago 3 replies      
This all seems rather academic. Is there any reason to be reasonably sure the NSA wouldn't just do it regardless of what a judge said?
4
peterkelly 3 days ago 2 replies      
From page 3:

> "NSA may access it only after demonstrating to the FISC that a 'reaonable articulable suspicion' that a particular phone number is associated with a foreign terrorist organization'".

Shouldn't this say "associated with a foreign terrorist organisation, or the UN"?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/17/un-att-nsa-spy-...

5
Floegipoky 3 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried to use probability to cut through this cloud of bullshit that the government keeps spewing about the plaintiffs not being able to prove that their records were collected? If you put 100,000 names on that lawsuit, there's no way they can say that none of them got caught in the dragnet.
6
graiz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Does a plaintiff need to suffer injury if their constitutional rights were violated? Wouldn't this be closer to a class action since there's broad injury and violation?
7
AdmiralAsshat 3 days ago 1 reply      
So under what circumstances, according to the court, can a citizen actually claim injury from such a program?
8
DannyBee 3 days ago 0 replies      
For those of you who want to argue about standing here, your argument is with the supreme court, not the lower courts :)

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/clapper-v-amnesty...

9
kinghajj 3 days ago 0 replies      
One billion people used Facebook in a single day facebook.com
192 points by gwintrob  4 days ago   187 comments top 26
1
ajkjk 4 days ago 7 replies      
I hate stuff like this:

"A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.Thank you for being part of our community and for everything you've done to help us reach this milestone. Im looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together."

It reeks of dishonesty. This kind of faux gratitude is ubiquitous in our corporation-heavy culture, and being continually exposed to it is part of what has led me to take most things unseriously - because it feels like no one who's serious is honest.

2
ljoshua 4 days ago 7 replies      
I'm curious to know what the metric is actually measuring. Is it one billion people that hit Facebook.com or used the mobile app? Or is it also counting people that might have triggered a hit just by browsing around sites with Like buttons on them while logged in, but didn't actually use Facebook?

To some extent it doesn't matter because it's just such a massive and impressive number, but I'd be curious to know.

3
peterjlee 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats to Facebook!Instead of poking holes to that number or saying something negative, I'm just going to say Congrats.
4
benwerd 4 days ago 3 replies      
Which means at least as many people used the web. Good going, Internet!
5
guelo 4 days ago 1 reply      
To me it's sad and scary for humanity that one profit seeking corporation has managed to wedge itself in the middle of all our relationships. In my ideal world Facebook would be run by a benevolent nonprofit, ala Wikipedia but more democratic.
6
TazeTSchnitzel 4 days ago 4 replies      
When the Facebook hack comes, it will be devastating.
7
nabaraz 4 days ago 0 replies      
There are 3.20 billion internet users which is 44% of 7.2 billion (1)

1 billion facebook users is 1/3 (32%). That is very impressive.

1) http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/

8
myth_buster 4 days ago 1 reply      

 used Facebook in a single day
Just to clarify, is that fb.com, messenger, whatsapp, comment widgets etc combined?

9
acct123 4 days ago 0 replies      
Just to put this in perspective:Population of USA is about 300 million and Europe is about is 740 million. Together it is slight above 1 Billion, but Facebook had 1 Billion unique visitors in 1 day!

That is just mind-boggiling.

10
weavie 4 days ago 3 replies      
To give you an idea of how big one billion actually is, (assuming you count once per second) it takes over 11 days to count up to 1 million.

It takes over 31 years to count up to 1 billion.

11
tomvbussel 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how they got that number. If getting Android notifications counts as 'using Facebook' then I'm one of those one billion.
12
civilian 4 days ago 0 replies      
Given that the Daily active users (DAU) averaged at 968mil for June 2015, this isn't too surprising.

http://investor.fb.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=924562

And this is a quarterly report. I don't think they can BS on this kind of thing.

13
smaili 4 days ago 3 replies      
Regardless of whether this includes real people or not, that's still quite a bit of load that they're able to handle.

Have other services like Google or YouTube reached this milestone as well or is this an overall first for any site?

14
brayton 4 days ago 3 replies      
What are the next closest products in terms of single day user count?
15
lifeisstillgood 4 days ago 3 replies      
As astounding as this number is - and the longer I think about it the more mind blowing it gets - Facebook is all-but the single-point-of-failure for an Internet that was designed not to do that.

I look forward to the day we build these new protocols (sharing, social graphs, even search) in open distributed ways - the day Facebook becomes AOL in other words. I'm just not sure how.

And if I was any non-US culture-aligned country, I would be wondering how to build that replacement - this is like television in the 1950s, but everyone around the world is watching NBC.

But boy does 100bn dollars look cheap now.

16
listingboat 4 days ago 1 reply      
If this is logins, that's 1 million logins every 86.4 seconds on average
17
alan_cx 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are users of sites which use facebook authentication included?
18
hanniabu 4 days ago 1 reply      
That comes down to an average of 11,574 logins a second...
19
furyofantares 4 days ago 4 replies      
And how many robots?
20
sombremesa 4 days ago 3 replies      
21
cft 4 days ago 2 replies      
22
lexcorvus 4 days ago 0 replies      
23
jgalt212 4 days ago 1 reply      
24
mamon 4 days ago 0 replies      
25
hsnewman 4 days ago 0 replies      
26
JoeAltmaier 4 days ago 0 replies      
Lock freedom without garbage collection in Rust aturon.github.io
231 points by aturon  4 days ago   90 comments top 12
1
kbenson 4 days ago 3 replies      
Let's see, a TL;DR, then a table of contents list, then straight to benchmarks...

This man knows how to get right down to business.

2
vvanders 4 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome stuff.

I'll echo that Rust really does seem to be something new and exciting in the native land of languages.

I feel like it's still got some rough spots(around FFI and just some APIs still being unstable) but there's so many things to like with the current direction.

3
unfamiliar 3 days ago 1 reply      
For each use of unsafe in Rust code, presumably the developer sees some safety guarantee that the compiler does not understand but that he thinks will guarantee that the code is indeed safe. Can anyone shed light on what form these guarantees (that are not seen by the borrow checker) take, and whether it will be possible in future Rust versions to write such code without unsafe (either by improvements to the borrow checker or implementation of an additional safety checker)?
4
rcthompson 4 days ago 3 replies      
Isn't there theoretically a risk that one thread could hang indefinitely while accessing (or holding a reference to) the data structure, which would prevent the epoch from ever advancing and prevent all memory from being reclaimed?

(On the other hand, I'm not sure what guarantees GC-based lock-free data structures can make in the same situation.)

5
anarazel 4 days ago 1 reply      
The epoch based approach basically is on of the many variants of RCU (as e.g. used by the Linux kernel - thoroughly documented on lwn.net BTW).

It does mean that a stuck or killed process can cause rather noticeable pain. With a GC you usually have a upper bound of the amount of memory one stuck process can prevent from being reclaimed, not so with a generation based approach.

On the other hand it dies often voids concerns around ABA style problems.

6
ahh 4 days ago 1 reply      
Very nice. RCU like this can be very effective (we have a custom per-cpu version based on https://lwn.net/Articles/650333/ here, which scales better than per-thread versions for obvious reasons.) I'm glad to see more wide use of the techniques.
7
steveklabnik 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm extremely excited about posts/libraries like these. They really show off the unique powers of Rust in a way that's a bit more compelling than "Rust is just C++14 with a bit stronger guarantees and more clean semantics."

Also worth noting, and something I missed when I read the draft of this post: this isn't just an implementation of a lock-free structure: it's a whole library, Crossbeam[1] that helps you implement your own lock-free structures.

 > In general, its possible to take lock-free algorithms off the shelf (the > ones on the shelf generally assume a GC) and code them up directly against > Crossbeam in this way.
1: https://crates.io/crates/crossbeam

8
imh 4 days ago 4 replies      
I've been something wondering something for a while now. Rust is supposed to be a kind of C/C++ replacement, right? But the last I heard it's still much slower. So what's the roadmap to speeding it up? Googling for it failed me.
9
merb 4 days ago 2 replies      
as browsing the api docs I kinda like lots of things from rust however, how is the portability ie. target windows/linux/mac at once? is it easy to cross compile?is it easy to include c/c++ header files and use them?kinda like to link with nuance c sdk
10
sbahra 4 days ago 1 reply      
Stand-alone EBR also available at http://concurrencykit.org
11
klickverbot 4 days ago 7 replies      
12
littlewing 4 days ago 2 replies      
Applications for YC Winter 2016 are now open ycombinator.com
167 points by kevin  4 days ago   62 comments top 18
1
CanadaKaz 4 days ago 6 replies      
In case anyone is looking for an example of an application and a video, here is my company's successful application and video from the S14 batch.

http://www.withkash.com/blog/2015/08/27/applying-to-yc-part-...

2
Danilka 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here is how I gave up on YC https://medium.com/@danilka/how-i-gave-up-on-yc-d0935da5cf44

P.S. YC is great and everyone should apply. Even the application itself will help you.

3
beambot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sample of a successful application, video, and tips (Lollipuff, W13): https://www.lollipuff.com/blog/102/lollipuffs-ycombinator-ex...

This may be especially useful for teams who wonder, "How much traction do we need," as we had some evidence of an unmet need and a MVP implementation when we applied.

4
orthoganol 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is it a flag if I truly do not have a Facebook or Twitter? (noticed the application asks for your handles). I'm still sociable, and still in my 20s, it's just they are too distracting, I don't like broadcasting my personal life, and I prefer lightweight messaging apps... I just hope if YC sees that they don't think "Uh oh, somethings wrong here..."
5
brayton 3 days ago 0 replies      
Found it interesting that even before people apply they need to mention "Only founders can come to interviews if invited or attend batch events if accepted." I can imagine YC has had a ton of problems with everyone wanting to see their speakers. Or maybe Quora decided to bring their whole company to every YC event.
6
submitapp 4 days ago 3 replies      
Hello,

How early stage can the applications be?

Do we have a chance with no users, or no significant growth?

7
mrdrozdov 4 days ago 1 reply      
When will the next fellowship applications be released?
8
ycquestion 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am in the interesting situation that I am currently exploring two different ideas with two different groups of people. Both ideas are in completely different spaces and I am not sure yet which one I think is more promising. Due to the very different nature of the ideas it's currently easy for me as the potential, technical co-founder to divide my attention between those. Would there be any issue if I applied independently with both separate teams? Obviously I wouldn't be able to follow through on both if they got both accepted, but that scenario seems extremely unlikely to me.
9
someear 3 days ago 1 reply      
Any benefit to applying early? I know previously it was always said there was, but in Spring I remember sama saying they'd only start looking at them after the deadline.
10
dvt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Once upon a time I applied and was deemed unworthy. I kid, of course; it's a difficult road but immensely rewarding -- whether or not you get in.

Good luck to everyone!

11
moubarak 3 days ago 0 replies      
I suggest this time around YC picks a handful of apps and sends them feedback. It'll be like the next best thing to getting an interview. i don't see how unfair it is. they're already selecting a handful for interviews.
12
DrNuke 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is the Requests for Startups http://www.ycombinator.com/rfs/ anything new here? Very interesting, will spread the word.
13
ianhawes 3 days ago 1 reply      
Slightly off topic, but are the documents created by YC for YC companies open source? Specifically, the agreements beyond just the Articles of Incorporation?
14
vit05 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great for a deadline. If we have a great product and a lot of feedback from our user in the last week, definitely we will send the application.
15
mojuba 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone comment on whether there is still age preference/discrimination at these YC events?
16
jsudhams 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a way apply for multiple products? I hate waiting for a season for every idea.
17
whitenoice 3 days ago 1 reply      
How does it work for an immigrant worker in the US? do they need to have a green card?
18
sparkzilla 4 days ago 3 replies      
Waste of time. We won't be applying this time.
Government officials in Amherst, VA can now require employers to fire ex-cons washingtonpost.com
168 points by thaumasiotes  6 hours ago   143 comments top 25
1
joshstrange 3 hours ago 3 replies      
This makes me sick. I work in the corrections industry and regularly encounter people that use the "they are criminals" justification for any/everything they want to do. People don't seem to understand the whole "paid debt to society" notion and it worries me because I was more or less brought up believing this and I worry for the future as more and more people seem to think this way...

I work in part in reentry, these people are trying to get their lives back together yet people want to treat them like bad behaving children instead of the adults that they are. I'm not saying they are fully functioning adults, most of them are just dumped out of the prison system and need a great deal of help to get back on their feet (find somewhere to live, a job, etc) but treating them as less-than... I can't think of a worse way to approach this problem. Thankfully the company I work for is largely part of the solution and not the problem or I couldn't bear to work in this industry.

2
tgflynn 6 hours ago 8 replies      
There used to be the notion in this country that after a person was released from prison they had "paid there debt to society" and should therefore be able to go on with there life. How did we get to a place where no one seems to believe this anymore ?

I would think that a punishment for a crime that includes forced destitution for life independently of the nature of the crime would be considered cruel and unusual. But the Bill of Rights doesn't seem to be taken seriously anymore either.

3
gwright 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> The County issues business licenses for the privilege of doing business

Never mind the issue of ex-cons, the premise that freedom of contract and association (i.e. gather a group of people to engage in commercial activity) is a privilege granted by the government is arguably unconstitutional.

There are reasons to regulate but the default position should be that you have a right to engage in commercial activities and that right should only be restricted via due process (such as the levels of scruitiny employed by the Supreme Court).

4
dredmorbius 6 hours ago 2 replies      
How does this not violate due process and equal protection?

Edit: Hell: add the Fifth amendment (double jeopardy, due process, just compensation), Eighth (cruel and unusual punishment), Ninth (generally), Thirteenth & Fourteenth (if one cannot work gainfully, what options remain, equal protection), and Fifteenth (statistically given crime and conviction statistics)?

5
ichamo 5 hours ago 3 replies      
As an ex-con, these kind of attitudes really concern me! Hoping when I graduate university I can find a job somewhere that will be willing to overlook my teenage years.
6
jeffmould 3 hours ago 1 reply      
IANAL, but I highly doubt this would hold up in court by any means for several reasons:

1. Virginia is a "ban the box" state, meaning it is state law that the state or government contractor cannot ask about a criminal background until a formal offer of employment is on the table. Unless of course the job requires prior to extending the offer (i.e. schools can't employ sex offenders, law enforcement jobs don't want convicted felons, etc..).

2. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits job discrimination on a criminal background when it comes to race or nationality.

The law seems to have been written with a very broad pen. While I understand there are certain businesses that should not be run by certain convicted felons (i.e. you don't want a daycare center run by someone convicted of molesting children), this law seems like it was written to solve a specific problem and needed a very general approach. Comparably, many states/cities do have restrictions on the types of licenses an individual can get based on their background (commonly referred to a collateral consequences of a conviction - http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/). For example, some states prohibit the issuing of a real estate license to individuals convicted of fraud.

I don't know if it is a coincidence or not, but this ordinance came into effect a month after the governor of Virginia signed the Ban the Box law.

7
crb002 5 hours ago 0 replies      
IANAL

Hold them accountable under the Hobbs Act for obstructing interstate commerce via extortion of business licenses? http://extortion.uslegal.com/anti-racketeering-act-hobbs-act...

Not to mention a local "business license" is shady. It seems like a major restraint on first amendment freedom of association.

8
dataker 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would anyone support this?

If you're in the left and believe in equality, it's disgusting.

If you're in the right an believe in freedom, it's disgusting.

9
ascorbic 5 hours ago 5 replies      
Is it common for jurisdictions in the U.S. to require licenses to do any kind of business? Seems pretty crazy. In the UK there are very few businesses that require licenses. Mainly ones involving alcohol or gambling.
10
dogma1138 6 hours ago 1 reply      
While I'm perfectly fine with employers not hiring ex-con's under certain conditions for example not to hiring sex offenders (actual ones not a guy that was caught peeing in an ally) in schools, or some one who was convicted for financial fraud in banks or an investment agencies.

But unless other wise mandated (mostly sexual offenders stuff) It's up to the employer to make that decision, what right does a government has to force a private employer to fire their employees on any count?

11
nostrademons 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Curious if you could get around this by incorporating in a different state and then employing yourself. With Clerky or any of the numerous online LLC generators, incorporation is only a few hundred bucks. Then your employer isn't subject to this clause because it's located in Delaware rather than Amherst County, VA, and anyone who employs you contracts with the corporation, so they aren't liable either.

A C corp (a la Clerky) would still be a bit of a pain because you're subject to all the regulations & double taxation of a corporation, but I believe an LLC gives you pass-through taxation with little administrative hassle.

12
nevdka 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The idea of needing a licence to run any business seems absurd to me. In Australia, you need to register for an Australian Business Number, but that's for tax purposes, and it's cheap and easy to do online. Even forming a corporation costs less than $500 and a few days waiting. (literally - it's 2 days after the government receives the application form)

There are restrictions around certain trades (electricians, doctors, etc), but they're the exception, not the rule.

13
Blackthorn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Some days, as a corrections industry volunteer (I teach computer science), I feel like the battle isn't just uphill, it's up-mountain. Ugh.
14
bcheung 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Take away someone's means to legally provide for themselves and only illegal means remain.
15
markbnj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>> So if you have a felony conviction, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude e.g., petty theft or making a false statement

Ironically, these are just the qualities that make you most suited to be a municipal politician.

16
x5n1 5 hours ago 0 replies      
These sort of laws create the sort of circumstances you hear about in the news. I wish them the best of luck with their lives, pushing these sort of laws on felons who then have nothing to lose. Freedom for the win, amirite guys?
17
geomark 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Another example of the tyranny of petty bureaucrats.
18
kylehotchkiss 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Why would you want to live or work there? (I live 15 minutes away from amherst.)

This is the same place conspiratists say Disney is building a theme park. Nothing to see here, really.

19
Spooky23 3 hours ago 0 replies      
20
squozzer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Normally I whip out my Peter...Turchin and talk about how structural-demographic theory could predict the increased marginalization of vulnerable groups as societies reach their next crisis point.

The truth of this problem however is probably more prosaic. Someone in Amherst has somehow gotten under the skin of the mayor or city council - probably refused to contribute to a campaign or hire someone's dumbass relative so now the target gets to enjoy the benefits of "civil society" or whatever half-assed rationale finds its way to the local rag.

21
mschuster91 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome to America, where the point of putting someone in jail is the vile intention of pure revenge instead of resocialization.
22
api 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. So let's make absolutely sure that people who have made mistakes in the past can't get their lives in order or do anything legitimate.
23
thaumasiotes 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I'll cop to punching up the title of this. But I actually view it as highly significant that the law at issue forbids ex-cons from employing themselves just as it forbids other people from employing them. (Actually, it allows but doesn't require the government to prevent them from doing any of those things.) The only option left is subsistence farming. The original title is missing that. Was my title misleading? :/
24
sankyo 5 hours ago 2 replies      
25
mindslight 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Office UI Fabric github.com
192 points by BobNisco  11 hours ago   57 comments top 16
1
mbesto 10 hours ago 4 replies      
> Does not support IE8. [0]

Thank you MS, this is well-needed ammo.

[0] https://github.com/OfficeDev/Office-UI-Fabric/blob/master/gh...

3
untog 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The key part:

Fabric solves many of the same problems that other front-end frameworks do, in a way that is specific to Microsoft. We have our own design language and interaction patterns that all Microsoft apps share.

This is specifically designed for people to make add-ons to Office 365 that look like they belong as part of the software. While I don't doubt you could use it standalone, I don't see MS advocating that you do.

4
tajen 7 hours ago 2 replies      
How legal is it? Ok it's MIT license, but if I use a UI design, do I infringe on Microsoft's imtellectual property? Is UI design copyrightable? I have the same question for another UI framework, which by default comes with the creator's design guidelines: Is it enough to change the color of the header to avoid brand confusion and be safe from infringement?

From what I can gather, UI design patents actually exist. However Apple won against Samsung but lost a case against Microsoft, which demonstrates that it's still important to patent UI functionnality (such as the bounced scroll) in addition to the graphical elements. http://patents.stackexchange.com/questions/4020/protecting-a...

Any further answer is welcome.

5
paulojreis 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks good and seems well built.

However - like Bootstrap - it has this kind of mark-up that I'm starting to strongly dislike:

 <div class="ms-Grid-col ms-u-sm6 ms-u-md8 ms-u-lg10">Second</div>
I get that this - like Bootstrap - is nice to get a quick start and start deploying but, as thing grows, it gets harder and harder to maintain.

I'm not all for a semantics panacea but this is hard to read and, I imagine, harder for the browser to parse. Nowadays, I'd rather be very dumb with CSS (just one class) and let SASS handle the complexity.

In this case, I'd create a class with an adequate and meaningful name and, in SASS, do the composition they're doing in the class attribute - @extend the needed column definitions per media-query. I like the idea of having the class/style composition duty done at SASS compile time and not by the browser at runtime.

6
ckluis 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks like it could benefit from a parent site explaining/showcasing all the features. What I could see so far looks like a big step up for many LOB applications.
7
donutdan4114 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Built with LESS...

What's the current state of SASS vs. LESS? It seems like a lot more CSS frameworks are using SASS and it has more plugins, tools, mixins, etc. But I haven't kept tabs on it in a while.

8
gapchuboy 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Naming hell again by Microsoft.

Why fabric?

Windows Server AppFabric https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Ff384253(v=Azure.10...

Azure has App fabric and fabric controller.

9
aaronbrethorst 10 hours ago 5 replies      
The fourth and fifth results on Google for "fabric" are:

 Fabric - Twitter's Mobile Development Platform https://get.fabric.io/ With Fabric, you'll never have to worry about tedious configurations or juggling different accounts. We let you get right into coding and building the next big app. Welcome to Fabric! Fabric documentation www.fabfile.org/ Fabric is a Python (2.5-2.7) library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks. It provides ...

10
rw2 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is there no demo website? No front-end framework should be without a component (listing each component) and a demo section. This is shoddily done compared to Google's material lite.
11
nailer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I posted earlier in this thread that this looks like the first time you can use Segoe UI legally in a web app: that's wrong. Fabric CSS doesn't actually include the webfonts.

https://github.com/OfficeDev/Office-UI-Fabric/blob/master/gh...

12
urs2102 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This would definitely benefit from having a link to a demo or at least to a webpage implementing the compontents rather than asking users to download and then go through a process to try out samples to view them.

On the positive side, it's good to see no support for IE8.

13
metaphorical 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Any demo link?
14
toolz 10 hours ago 2 replies      
15
CephalopodMD 7 hours ago 2 replies      
16
brokentone 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Ashley Madison founder steps down bbc.com
148 points by speg  3 days ago   150 comments top 13
1
seren 3 days ago 13 replies      
It seems the revelation there are no women on AM is far worse business-wise than the security breach (Maybe not legally). How can you go on as a business if your business model has been exposed as totally fake ?

I would also add, that by extension, there is no reason than competitors like gleeden.com have a different men/women split.

2
s_dev 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've gone from viewing the people in the database as maliciously motivated cheating jerks who deserved their outing to complete lame asses I simply feel sorry for. Very few of the women on the database were actually real. They charged for deleting data and never did. Every successive revelation makes the AM users look like chumps and AM employees look like incompetent fools.

I would have thought such a security breach would have taken down the entire business model but nope they're still going. I'm sure a lot more senior staff will have to step down in order to rebrand at some point so they can distance themselves from this disaster.

3
chatmasta 3 days ago 5 replies      
I wonder how many new signups they've gotten in the past 2 weeks. Does "any press is good press" apply in this case?
4
JeremyMorgan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I figured Tinder would be putting these folks out of business anyway. It's like Netflix vs Blockbuster.

The hack and exposures, combined with the revelation most of the accounts are men.. yeah they won't make it another year.

5
throwamay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sure he's gone, but he'll have to pay $19 to have his corp email account deleted.
6
am-user 3 days ago 2 replies      
Throwaway because obvious (BTW, it would be really cool if HN had a way of allowing anonymous posts not linked to your primary account without creating a 1-time account that just clogs up the user table).

I am an Ashley Madison user, although probably not typical in any respect. And yes, my details are in the leak. Me and my wife grew up and married within the mormon church, complete with its absolutely distorted view of human sexuality. After leaving mormonism, we came to realize our sexual maturity had been stunted and wanted to experience new things...we now have a somewhat open marriage. We set a few ground rules because we do love each other and didn't want to break up, but then we set out on our quests to find other partners.

I tried the tinder thing, and that was okay. I tried just going to bars, and that was okay. I came away feeling a little skeezy, despite being completely honest with my wife, because I had to be dishonest with the girls I was meeting...nobody in those situations responds well to "Oh, by the way, I'm married", no matter how clear you are about it being okay with your wife. I also grew tired of hookups and one night stands very quickly. I wanted to meet women that occasionally wanted to meet up, but were okay with the fact that I had a family life and couldn't just run away any time either of us wanted some. Tinder and bars were definitely the wrong target market.

While I was doing this, my wife skipped straight to Ashley Madison. Put up a few pictures, and within seconds she was getting more messages than she could read. Like literally 500+ messages a day. She tried to filter them by stating explicitly on her profile what she was not interested in (specifically, out of shape or over 45yo). It didn't stop them. Most of the messages could be described as follows: Shrivelled or obese old men (my wife is 29 btw) well over 45 (including several senior citizens), accompanied by unsolicited dick pics, and messages about how they could last all night long or whatever. Some men were a lot closer to what she was looking for, but after filtering out all the garbage she didn't feel up to the task of trying to message back. She decided to ignore the messages and try messaging men herself. They either didn't respond, or they messaged back asking if she was a fake profile. She eventually was successful in finding what she wanted, but it was pretty significant effort.

I grew frustrated with the expectations of tinder and bars, and reluctantly decided to try AM. After seeing my wife's experience, I knew I was in for a sausage fest competition, but I also learned quickly what was a turnoff to women and I am pretty attractive myself, so I thought I had a chance. My perspective from the guy's side? For the most part, it is an extremely expensive scam. A single message will cost you $1-2 depending on the points package you bought (women don't pay for anything). If you want a priority message, it costs double that. All you get with a priority message is a guarantee that your message will not be buried in the 500+ message/day inbox of the woman you are trying to message. It can still get buried, but it only gets buried under other priority messages. I had 20+ messages a day from other women (or, more accurately, profiles of women). It was very obvious that most of them were fake, so I didn't bother with the obvious ones. Some of them were less obvious fakes. Some of them were scams to get you to sign up for other sites, or paid "background checks" from women who "just want to be safe". And occasionally, I got messages from actual women, but I never was interested in them.

I did have some success with talking to and meeting actual women. Based on my experience, I would estimate that 1000 is a pretty low estimate for the total number of active women on the site. I would probably ballpark 100-200 in my metro area, at least between 20-40yo. And here's another surprise...about half of them were single. In fact, all of the women I ended up meeting in person were single. But yes, it was quite obvious that the vast majority were completely fake.

I actually feel like I enjoyed my AM experience, but can totally understand why you wouldn't if you aren't comparatively young and attractive. For them, I guess you could blame it on AM being a scam site as much as you could blame it on having inflated expectations of what you could get out of it. I mean, if you are 50+, overweight, and have no clue how to talk to women, of course you aren't going to land a date with a 20yo hotbody. And yet it happened...thousands of men threw away their money in an attempt to hook up with my wife. I'd estimate AM made at least $5000 from my wife alone, in the two months she was active on it.

And then there is the leak problem. I wasn't worried about my wife finding out, and I'm not worried about divorce...but I am worried about my extended family finding my email address, because they are all super judgmental mormons (albeit with naive kind hearts). I have had to come up with a cover story with my wife if they approached her about it. My life won't end if they find out...it just will just become a lot more tense with my extended family. I also now have to worry about moral crusaders in background checks and other situations...I get the opportunity to tell people my situation is different while they smile, nod, and judge me as a sleazy cheater. That sucks. Add to that the fact that we couldn't delete our profiles without paying a ransom, and it totally sucks. And while the majority of the active users were likely men trying to cheat on their wives, there were tons of people just like me, as well as other situations (including single people, homosexuals, polyamorous, etc.) where they weren't cheating but they did want something direct and discrete.

TL;DR: Not a complete scam, just mostly. The site really was mostly a bunch of desperate men talking to bots and getting ignored by women, and paying out the nose for the privilege. And Avid Life Media is a pile of shit company that deserves their inevitable bankruptcy. Their executive team is both nefarious and negligent and should be burned at the metaphorical stake. I hope they shut down the company before the picture data gets released.

And maybe have some empathy for the users that got caught up in the leak, because all you have is proof that they signed up for a website, but you don't have any clue as to their situation nor intentions.

7
dixx 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is so strange!

How can a business with 30+ million male users looking for sex outside marriage exist for 14 years while the site has no female users except for bots!!! Are you saying all those people were stupid enough to not realize they were not going to get laid(and kept paying too)?

It seems when you have advertising money and a cost structure that let's you make money and stay alive, you don't even have to have a real product! It makes sense to invest on people not ideas!

I wonder how many other BIG companies are pulling the same tricks to get unrealistic valuations (Twitter and Uber, they are not worth that much, especially Uber)

8
0x4a42 3 days ago 1 reply      
This saga is getting better than Dallas. Someone should port it to TV.
9
logfromblammo 3 days ago 3 replies      
I simply cannot fathom why anyone would sign up for a site that specializes in extramarital relationships instead of a general-purpose dating website or culture-specific or orientation-specific dating website. I just don't see what value it adds beyond putting "married, looking to swing/cheat" in your profile.

They say you can't cheat an honest man. So if you want to cheat someone, you might as well advertise to cheaters.

10
gregmolnar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Many known, but now there is proof :)
11
kstenerud 3 days ago 1 reply      
12
octygen 3 days ago 1 reply      
13
selimthegrim 3 days ago 0 replies      
Chip samgentle.com
248 points by sgentle  4 days ago   36 comments top 18
1
fein 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoy content like this on HN. No opportunity for vitriolic spats between dissenting opinions; just a cool thing that we got to see today.
2
frikk 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is a pretty fascinating pattern to watch once it settles. Does it have a name yet?

Some observations:

* The basis of stability seems to be horizontal and vertical alternating black/white lines.

* There are two obvious areas of activity: A region of 'chaos' and a region of 'order' (parallel lines).

* The parallel line region supports various gliders of various sizes. The smallest is a single pixel of change moving across a line, changing white to black or vise versa), the largest takes up 7 pixels at a time (in an area of about 7x12 it looks like). Interestingly, the larger one "moves" faster than the others. I think I see gliders of 1, 3, 5, and 7 pixel height. There may also be a mutation of the 7-pixel glider that causes it to go even faster (looks like it has an extended head compared to the other)

* The gliders interact with one another, either combining forces, neutralizing each other, or changing states to a glider of a different size (usually to a size smaller than the larger of the two)

* The gliders originate from the merger of the horizontal and vertical areas, starting (and ending) their life where the two regions collide

* When two gliders of the same size perfectly collide with one another, they completely neutralize. Any offset in size or orientation causes a smaller glider to spin away (likely representing the 'difference' in 'energy' between the two, whatever that means)

* There's also a 'blinker' that occurs when two alternating lines meet one another

* It appears to be a class IV cellular automata (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_automaton#Classificat...)

Fascinating stuff. And so simple! Thanks for sharing the source.

4
Animats 4 days ago 0 replies      
Everybody knows Conway's game of Life, right? [1][2]

[1] http://www.conwaylife.com[2] http://www.cuug.ab.ca/dewara/life/life.html

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markbnj 4 days ago 2 replies      
Quite cool. Must not stare any longer. Must work.

>> Do you say "made" or "discovered" with cellular automata?

Discovered feels more appropriate, but I think they end up being the same thing.

Have you documented the system's rules anywhere other than the source?

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zitterbewegung 4 days ago 0 replies      
2d cellular automata is quite vast. golly is a good tool.

http://golly.sourceforge.net

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pshc 4 days ago 1 reply      
It could be Snow Crash. Memetic hazard, avert thine eyes!
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orangea 4 days ago 1 reply      
The embedded video at https://samgentle.com/posts/2015-08-21-universe-tuning doesn't work (it says it's private)
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alexholehouse 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently building a 2D/3D simulation engine as part of my PhD - it's uncanny how incredibly simple physical principles generated output that has the "look 'n feel" of organic phenomena.
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pavel_lishin 4 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone help me understand what the rel() function does?
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mccracken 4 days ago 0 replies      
Uncaught TypeError: Failed to construct 'ImageData': Illegal constructor does not work
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valera_rozuvan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks to me like a constantly evolving maze. A shifting maze? Anyone watch the movie Cube (Cube is a 1997 Canadian science fiction psychological horror film, directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali)?

This looks like a version of Cube, only in 2D.

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pavel_lishin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone else notice the DNE?
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api 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bet it's Turing complete. Many CAs are, and this one smells of it. :)
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cpg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Try erasing the "Do not erase" sign by clicking it with your cursor "eraser". Cute :)
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glax 4 days ago 0 replies      
It Gave me nausea watching it.

Should have epilepsy warning.

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jsprogrammer 4 days ago 0 replies      
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vectorpush 4 days ago 2 replies      
I wouldn't be so sure... it is written in coffeescript after all. God forbid.
       cached 1 September 2015 04:11:02 GMT