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Mozilla Will Stop Developing and Selling Firefox OS Smartphones techcrunch.com
522 points by kevining  2 days ago   319 comments top 53
gkoberger 2 days ago 17 replies      
Firefox appeared at a time when there was huge potential being stifled by a stagnant monopoly in the space, and people were desperate for something good. It filled a real need, and people loved it.

FirefoxOS appeared at a time when there was huge potential being actively being pushed forward and innovated on by the two largest tech companies in the space, and people already had two great options to choose from. It filled no real need, and nobody wanted it.

For Mozilla to stay alive, they need to pick a space that is currently desperately needed but being ignored by large corporations and the government: privacy and identity. Mozilla could be the champion of the Snowden era, yet instead they're distracting themselves with IoT, VR and other shiny new toys.

(And yes, I realize that users don't care about privacy. But nobody cared about web standards, either: it's all about packaging. That's Mozilla's strength.)

Mozilla is a non-profit with a mission (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/manifesto/). It's time they start acting like one again.

johansch 2 days ago 5 replies      
Most of you are probably not aware that Opera Software (where I spent a decade on Opera Mini/Mobile) went down the same rabbit hole around 2002-2006, spending many many man-years building a web-based (pre-smartphone) phone UI platform using web technologies. The product name was "Opera Platform". Here are some screenshots:


It failed for the same, predictable reasons: Yes, there are many web developers in the world compared to the number of (in this example) embedded rtos UI C/C++ developers. However, on resource-constrained platforms (as phones tend to be, since they are battery-powered) it's really hard and requires brilliant developers to be able to build web-based UIs that can compete in performance with non-web-based UIs built by (in comparison) not-so-brilliant developers.

And on top of this, Mozilla decided to shoot for (super) low-end devices as their main target - presumably because their bizdev people had spotted a theoretical opportunity, but failed to connect with engineering, or vice-versa. The first time I saw that I just laughed out loud, to be honest.

They actually have a time-honored tradition of following in the footsteps of Opera when it comes to ways of making money. Those sponsored tiles introduced in Firefox last year? Opera did that in 2008/2009-ish. (Not to mention the concept of a graphical speed dial on the new tab page itself...) That Google search field to the right of the URL field? Opera pioneered that business model in 2001 - followed by Mozilla and Apple half a decade later. Sorry, I get carried away. :D

gedrap 2 days ago 2 replies      
It was interesting to follow this experiment but have to admit it was against the odds since day 1 (and it's especially easy to say so in retrospective).

In terms of regular users, there are tons of dirt cheap chinese no-name android devices that more or less work. For 100 euros, you can get an acceptable Android phone from a major manufacturer (LG, etc). FirefoxOS was competing in a similar price range, however offered much less to the end user. I guess it's fair to say that it didn't deliver any extra value.

When I was using FirefoxOS and poking around the code base, I saw potential in their web-first platform as an introduction to programming. It's much easier to write some basic HTML, CSS and JS than to figure how to do the equivalent in Java for Android, etc.

However, things like ionic or phonegap and reasonably good, and it's hard to compete with them as they produce something fairly acceptable and available to run on the vast majority of the smartphones.

At the end of the day, I really appreciate Mozilla's work on this project. Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to the project. You are amazing people :)

Animats 2 days ago 3 replies      
A few days ago, it looked like they were ditching Thunderbird so they could concentrate on their phone products. What's left besides Firefox?

- "WebMaker", whatever that does.

- Rust.

- The $60 Mozilla hoodie.

- Their world tour of meetups.[1]

- The really fancy headquarters overlooking SF bay.

A tight focus on Firefox might be a win. I'm looking forward to an all-Rust browser.

[1] https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/contribute/events/

Apocryphon 2 days ago 0 replies      
So it seems like Firefox OS itself will continue to be iterated upon, it's just that Mozilla will no longer try to use it as a means to create a third commercial way as opposed to iOS/Android: http://firefoxoscentral.com/2015/12/firefox-os-is-dead-firef...
sp332 2 days ago 3 replies      
Remember, the point of Firefox OS was not to challenge or take over the market with Firefox OS devices. It was to develop web APIs for phone things, like the dialer, video, voice, accelerometer, etc. And they succeeded! That's why the statement says "We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform". Other browsers adopted the tech, and all phone browsers are better off for the project. That's a win.
hardwaresofton 2 days ago 0 replies      
tldr; sad but ultimately no problem, it's just up to the open source community to maintain b2g (boot2gecko) now. It's already a more-than-functional platform, excited to take part in porting it and maintaining it from here on out, because I'll still be using it.

As a person that runs FirefoxOS on my main phone (LG Nexus 5 running FFOS v2.5), this sucks to hear. I used to own a Flame which was the developer reference phone and basically the best ffos phone you could buy except the fx0 which is for sale only with contract in japan (or very very expensively otherwise), and it was pretty good phone, and got better with every update.

However, as far as FirefoxOS (aka b2g/boot2gecko) itself goes, it's open source, so it's got a life of it's own (though it may be significantly less contributed to from now on) -- and I'm totally OK with that. I will continue to run FirefoxOS because it still does the things it should (makes calls, text messages, use apps) -- and can be (relatively) easily ported to existing phones (some flagships).

Sad day, but also kind of fine, because they did what they set out to do, and I'm running this OS on my phone, and it's verifiably not garbage (I think it's great). Looking forward to a leaner, meaner, faster Firefox on my desktop -- I'll be getting my hands dirty with FFOS on my phone in the meantime.

kevining 2 days ago 4 replies      
Mozilla is shifting to use their web platform for connected devices and IoT efforts. The IoT space is a mess right now and I think that Mozilla could do a lot of good there.

I think that Firefox OS as a phone operating system will always be available for hackers to port and install on their own devices.

Apocryphon 2 days ago 5 replies      
Guess it's up to Canonical to make Ubuntu Touch a viable open source smartphone OS - are there even devices running it that are being sold in the U.S.?

Did not expect that Sailfish OS would outlive Firefox OS.

dcw303 2 days ago 1 reply      
Linux as a platform took off because it was possible for a smart user to install it on hardware they already had.

If there had of been a way to install Firefox OS on an iPhone or Android phone, I would have certainly tried it out. Mozilla really needed to target power users, but it was just too hard to get hold of the hardware - both hardware availability and the stupid state of carrier contracts are to blame here.

I don't know that Mozilla's business model works if they are not bundling their software to a licensed phone, but it's a shame that the mobile platforms can't be opened up the same way desktops are.

daleharvey 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the headline is fairly misleading, Firefox OS is not cancelled and development will not be stopped. The strategy of trying to push distribution via carriers has not worked so we will no longer be doing that. The "Firefox OS" team was renamed to "Connected Devices" to reflect the fact we are not only building a smartphone, TV's are already being sold and other factors (iot / wearables etc) are being looked into.
Rapzid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something that has been on my mind.. A lot of commenters keep saying there are two good options out there, but really the choice is more "iPhone. Yes or No?". If you don't want an iPhone you are going to end up with an Android device. I can't put iOS on my nexus 5.

There is a space there for another OS that you can put on your non-iphone. I just don't think that's Mozilla's space to fill. Really, in all practicality, this is a space Microsoft needs to fill. It's almost like the world is waiting for them to step it up. Their new open source strategy is going to produce some big plays along these lines; .net in particular. Think about the native and multi-arch work being done for it.. ARM for Windows10 and .net; where is it all going you think?

I can tell you that if I could load up Windows10 on my nexus5 even if just for a test drive I certainly would.

wiremine 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is anyone actually surprised by this announcement? It feels like Mozilla tries a lot of things, but rarely gets traction on any of them.

Mean while, Firefox isn't getting that much better and seems to be loosing marketshare.

What's the long-term plan?

pjmlp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the work of Mozilla in the browser space, Thunderbird, Rust and online freedom.

Having web pages as native apps goes back to Web Widgets on Series 60 phones, followed by WebOS.

On the Series 60, almost everyone favoured native Symbian and J2ME apps to web widgets.

WebOS sadly failed to gain major traction.

Windows Phone and Android devices can be obtained by fairly low prices and have the advantage of native apps, Webviews besides the browser. On Windows Phone the WinRT is exposed to packaged web apps.

So although I respect their efforts, I never really understood the effort, given that they were under the same OEM constraints as Android and the reviews of the available devices weren't that great.

AdmiralAsshat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good. I can't remember anyone other than Mozilla actually being excited about Firefox OS. It seemed like a massive sinkhole on the company's part that drew resources away from the development of the browser.
spinchange 2 days ago 3 replies      
I always wondered why they didn't try a tablet first. Like the Chromebooks, but in tablet form, heavy on Firefox branding. Maybe this too is something that would've been an 'also-ran' or market failure, but I still want one even as I type this.
hackuser 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is the future of Mozilla and of open platforms?

1) Without FirefoxOS, what is Mozilla's future on mobile devices? The Firefox browser, while I think it's great, has very low adoption on mobiles. I'm not sure content-blockers are enough, and they now need the platform owner's cooperation to get their product in front of users (i.e., to get into the app store and to be compatible with the user systems).

2) Without a future on mobile devices, what is Mozilla's future? How influential can they be while playing no role on the most popular Internet platform?

3) Without a player on mobile devices, what is the future of open platforms in general? On the desktop there are several mature operating systems and ecosystems but what is there on mobile? Can open platforms be relevant without a presence on mobile? Where are the BSDs for mobile? GNU tools? Vim?

There are Android forks, but they depend on the continued generosity of the market leader (to release AOSP, a version of Android designed for that purpose). And having looked around for a good option, I can report that the various forks are unambitious, provide little to differentiate themselves from Android, and their organization and support don't inspire confidence.

pmontra 2 days ago 0 replies      
> We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.

This doesn't necessarily mean that Firefox OS is over. It means that it's over on the phone but it might move to those "connected devices". I bet Mozilla will release a more precise statement soon.

benlower 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm saddened by this because I am not a fan of the current state in mobile where everything is an app. I liked their idea of having 'apps' be about the open web. Sure, native apps can be great but I don't want to be locked in to anyone's proprietary platform.
tacojuan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bought one of the Fx0 phones last month.

Sad to hear this news. I wanted to move away from Android and iOS, and saw FFOS as the only viable option.

They should've mass produced whatever the developer phone was, the Flame I think? Sell it to consumers as a flagship, supported by Mozilla devs, and community devs...

listic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like Smart Feature Phones won't materialize :( https://youtu.be/JIiIjjIsuzc

Though they aren't quite saying that, I guess there'll be no new Firefox OS Smart TV's, too? http://www.techradar.com/news/television/6-best-smart-tv-pla...

anonyfox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thunderbird: stopped.

FirefoxOS: stopped.

Rust: as nice as the language is, I can see it become irrelevant in the rise of Swift (and tons of developers already using and praising it).

so the last thing that remains is the very core of mozilla: firefox. But then version 42 hit me, disabled the support for custom themes, leaving me alone with a crappy UI I can't stand any longer to the point I uninstalled Firefox forever.

As others have already mentioned: from several sessions of customer development out in the streets, I can confirm that privacy is something that no-one has really interest in, let alone pay a penny for it nowadays.

I'd love to know what Mozilla's vision of the future is, given that the points above are real and Firefox itself becomes more and more an awful "me too!" of other, better browsers.

newscracker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was waiting for a Firefox OS phone with great hardware, but that didn't seem to materialize (AFAIK). Making both high end and low end phones together, perhaps in different volumes, could have helped. Focusing only on the extreme low end with poor hardware was probably a mistake.

While I'm unhappy that Mozilla is not going to focus on Firefox OS smartphones, I do consider this as an experiment that organizations like Mozilla ought to do. I'm sure there were a lot of things accomplished (like some mentioned in the comments for phone APIs) and a lot of things learned. These will in turn help other initiatives.

Now, please put Thunderbird back on the development track with the same priority as Firefox. :) And while you're at it, we want Persona too! :)

Mikeb85 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hate to say it, but good. Firefox OS was going in a backwards direction. The UI was designed for low-res screens, and it ran mostly on hardware barely better than the iPhone 1, except with JS.

Something like this could have been the future if Webassembly was ready for prime time - you could have 'native' apps all running on top on Firefox, on top of the Android/CM base.

Anyhow, hopefully Mozilla refocuses their efforts on Firefox, Rust and Webassembly, and regain relevance.

jbiddy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hugely disappointing. Actually love my Open C once I upgraded it to FxOS 2.2

Dear Mozilla,I hate IoT devices. I don't want them. They are security exploits incarnate. At least a phone is useful, why the hell do I really need a microwave with an IP address? I don't.

endemic 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised this project didn't pivot into something more like ChromeOS. The market there, as proven by Chromebooks. As others have mentioned, Mozilla could have played up the security/privacy aspect of a "Firefox-book".

As a smartphone OS, I don't see what problems Firefox OS solves. Both iOS and Android have great browsers, and can pin webapps to their homescreens.

BinaryIdiot 2 days ago 2 replies      
That's too bad but like everyone else said pretty obvious what the outcome would be.

I wonder what a third player in the mobile OS market would look like and if it's even possible at this point. Microsoft is basically number 3 at this point, right? Yet they have so little market share that companies are activity leaving their marketplace.

I wonder if the next mobile OS isn't an OS that requires apps to survive but, instead, offers a crazy amount of integration experiences. For instance if someone came up with a way to unify how to call a car then integrate that directly into the phone (so ultimately it wouldn't matter if it was Uber, Lyft or even yellow cab).

Maybe not the best example but I'm getting the feeling creating a phone that needs apps to be highly functional is simply not possible at this time and another angle is needed to break in.

giancarlostoro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I must say I'm not entirely surprised, though part of me wished they had gone through with it, would of been interesting to have more than just 2 options for a phone. I am reminded of PalmOS though for some reason, similar project if I remember correctly.
efes 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really wanted them to merge themselves in as an alternate userland mode for cyanogenmod and any other AOSP. I'm not sure if microsoft's investment in cyanogenmod was a response to those kinds of possibilities..
SwellJoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was always waiting for a credible Firefox OS phone in the US; ready to buy immediately on arrival. Nothing ever arrived. The phones were weak by Android phone standards, expensive by low-end Android phone standards, and often didn't support all of the bands of my carrier and so would have had less connectivity in remote locations.

I'm disappointed, though. I looked forward to a more open phone built by an organization I trust. Google is barely OK. Apple is not even that. Microsoft is improving, but still out of the running in terms of openness.

zdkl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm writing from my buggy, crashing ZTE Open C... And this is the final straw: I've had it Mozilla.

It's not me, it's you. You were the symbol of informatics progress in the right direction, but now you're just another pusher of one size fits all crapware. Hope this changes again because we need a good guy in this space.

Now to finally remove the slow, crashing behemoth that has become Firefox...

fiatjaf 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's a shame and awful. Web apps should really be winning this fight against "native". Firefox OS was our greatest warrior. Or wasn't it?
issaria 2 days ago 1 reply      
Two days ago when Mozilla discontinues Thunderbird, people cheering "oh yeah, finally they can focus on firefoxOS", the same people are yelling Mozilla should focus on their mission (the browser)?

Not to mention rust, it's adoption is nowhere comparable to Java, see what happened to Sun, I would boldly say Mozilla's mission has completed.

erikpukinskis 2 days ago 0 replies      
A federated web payment infrastructure would be the holy grail Mozilla could build a life around.
ausjke 2 days ago 2 replies      
Lots of headlines at HN from Mozilla these days.

Tried Firefox OS emulator and it's fine, but not impressed enough to actually to get a real device.

Yes they better focus on privacy/identity and revamp Thuderbird to make it a unique product.

CrackpotGonzo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone know the status of the smart feature phone os they were talking about a few months back? I can't find anything on it but am interested in the project.
ionised 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well that sucks.

I desperately want to drop Android and was hoping Firefox OS would continue to mature and improve.

xylon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I never knew Firefox OS existed. Maybe they should've marketed it better?
Patronus_Charm 2 days ago 0 replies      
It was doomed from the beginning, already such a crowded space. Firefox OS had no chance at all.
selvan 2 days ago 0 replies      
FFxOS kernel is a fork of android kernal, but optimized to run on small memory footprint (128 MB RAM). Its speed on 128 MB RAM devices is commendable. Javascript is the only and primary development language for FFxOS & we get to access all hardware devices (Bluetooth, wifi, camera, etc ) via Javascript.
coldtea 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny, I just advised for that in a HN thread.

I guess the writing was on the wall of course -- but in case they just heard me and decided to stop it: please guys prioritize a native-UI on all platforms, servo based release for 2016.

znpy 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's high time Mozilla gets its shit together.
rasengan0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone remember the Facebook phone?
chris_wot 2 days ago 2 replies      
Got to ask: what is the point of Mozilla?
msh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sad, but properly to be expected.
contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
They failed because they missed the great opportunity of promoting ad-hoc and mesh applications in their API and security model as first class citizens.
aswanson 2 days ago 0 replies      
When did they start?
ramanamit1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
Money well wasted.
niij 2 days ago 0 replies      
Could have seen that being a flop from outer space.
devilirium 1 day ago 0 replies      
draw_down 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope they can figure out something to keep them afloat. Mozilla seems directionless lately.
scott_karana 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Our mission is to promote openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web.

How is Firefox OS contrary to that, exactly?

I agree that they could use better focus, but FirefoxOS was entirely within their stated scope. (Even if it was a strategic blunder)

ForHackernews 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, this comes as a huge surprise to no one.
Who Y Combinator Companies Want triplebyte.com
661 points by Harj  2 days ago   525 comments top 65
ryandrake 2 days ago 25 replies      
> "Weve seen that most engineers only have the stomach for a limited number of interviews. Investing time in the wrong companies carries a high opportunity cost."

I suspect in addition to not having the "stomach" for an unlimited number of interviews, they don't have the vacation days to burn for them. Let's say you are working already and have 10 days a year vacation (pretty standard). With these ridiculous all-day interviews, you have the ability to waste that vacation on a maximum of 10 companies, and that's if you choose not to take any "real" vacation at all during the year.

In an environment like today, where every company is ostensibly hiring yet overly picky, a job candidate potentially will waste their entire PTO balance on interviewing with companies serious about interviewing but not serious about hiring.

throwaway456789 2 days ago 15 replies      
I'm an "enterprise" programmer because I write in Java... I'm also older than the average age of a start-up employee (late twenties). I've never written a line of Ruby, and I've never written object oriented JavaScript or used Node.js.

However, I'm a really good programmer. I just happen to write the majority of my code in Java. If tomorrow we decided to use a new language, I could pick it up in a few days... I have a feeling the "enterprise" thing is just veiled age-ism. Anyone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but at this point, it's literally impossible to learn every new technology. And anyone whose worth their salt should be able to learn a new environment and programming language without too much trouble.

I have a feeling that the enterprise thing is just a way for these employers to screen out the older, more experienced programmers.

This will probably get this throwaway banned, but Michael O'Church (who I am not) writes a lot about this on his blog. I tend to agree with him.

Fiahil 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Almost no one passes all their programming interviews. This is true because of randomness in many interview processes (even great people are bad at some things, and an interviewer focusing on this can yield a blocking no).

Reading this is somewhat reassuring. I've been over some interviews lately and I had some trouble getting past the tech phone screen.

One particular rejection was very frustrating, because I've spend quite some time preparing for the interview. Failed the first one. Got a second chance. And I knew it was over about 5 minutes after it began. "Can you write an algorithm that would sort efficiently this k-sorted array with a complexity strictly inferior to O(n log n)?". Yeah. No. Neither my job nor my hobbies includes sorting almost sorted arrays of integers, and O(n) complexity calculations.

It really seems to me that, being hired by a tech company is just completely random. Tech interviews in general are completely random. "Just a numbers game"

xiaoma 2 days ago 1 reply      
So... I worked with over 50 engineers prepping for their first SF/Silicon Valley tech interviews. And I worked at Groupon, interviewed at a bunch of YC companies (including one where I took a job).

In my experience pretty much nobody is taking Ben Horowitz's advice from The Hard Thing About Hard Thingshire based on strength instead of a perceived lack of weakness. Instead everyone seems to be looking for candidates who fill out all the boxes and have zero thumbs down in interviews. That coupled with extreme risk aversion means long interview cycles, and huge amounts of wasted time for some of the most talented employees and founders on the planet.

moron4hire 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is why I don't really interview my sub-contractors. If I run into someone at a meetup that I think seems smart, I ask them if they'd be interested in picking up a small project. If they accept, I... give them a small project. No resumes. No demeaning interrogation. Straight to work on something real. And I pay them.[0]

If they do well, I give them another one. If they don't, I tell them I'm sorry but I don't have any more work for them.

Thinking more deeply on the issue, I think I want to know as little about a potential candidate as possible.[1] I don't want to bias myself against them. I've had a lot of bad experiences in my career and I'm sure I'm not perfect at keeping my prejudices to myself. I want to get people into the chair as soon as possible, get them working, and judge from the work. Once I see work getting done, it's really easy to ignore everything else.

[0] I don't think I can even make someone do an "interview assignment" for free. I'd be receiving something of value--their labor--but I'd have no accounting of it for taxes and I have no desire to try to figure out how to keep track of something like that.

[1] Yeah, I'll say this probably includes whether or not they have any experience with programming. If they can't do the job, we'll find out soon enough. If they can do the job to a satisfactory degree, why do I need know how long they've been doing it before? Give people a chance to surprise you.

fredliu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not a java programmer (my knee jerk reaction to quickly bang out an MVP would mostly be python), but this negative attitude towards Java seems unfair. There's a lot more to the Java universe than just enterprise Java. There are companies using Java that do cool stuff at large scale, and very reliable. Netflix is heavily Java, and nobody would (at least I wouldn't) argue that their tech is dull. Even if you are looking for pure hip factor, there's things like vert.x, and all these other JVM languages, which are not Java per se, but one of the selling points of those languages is it can utilize tons of libraries in the java ecosystem if needed. The last argument against java would be its verbosity and productivity (lack of), but I'd argue Java has one of the best IDE support among all languages, which helps alleviate the problem significantly.
lewisl9029 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a "Product Programmer" myself, I find it highly ironic that despite the fact that there is apparently more demand for product-focused developers than technical-focused ones, the interview process for most startups is overwhelmingly technical-focused.

If you're looking for product-focused developers, please consider tuning your interview process to evaluate whether or not candidates can build great products, rather than following the herd and grilling them on obscure algorithms and data-structure problems, which has a rather high chance of weeding out the kinds of product-focused developers that you're looking for in the first place.

cogware 2 days ago 11 replies      
"Two large YC companies (both with machine learning teams) have told us that they consider interest in ML a negative signal."

I wonder why this is?Since ML/AI are currently "hot" those programmers may be trend followers? Or maybe interest in ML is correlated with being a junior programmer (those that are more senior specialized when ML/AI were not so cool and consequently are in different domains)?

Mc_Big_G 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've had 10+ interviews in the last month and it's really a shit process. First of all, I'm terrible at technical interviews. There's just something about being in that "we're watching your every move" environment that makes me freeze. I found myself literally reading the same for loop line over and over again, not even trying to comprehend it, but rather zoning out on it as my brain continued to focus on what I thought the interviewer was thinking. This, of course, gets worse as the seconds tick on and I've said and done nothing. I also perform terribly when I'm given a take-home "test" with a time limit. The pressure to finish on time overwhelms my thought processes. Then you have the asinine binary tree questions for a front-end web dev position or the "tell me what's wrong with this horrible, obfuscated code". If I have to work on code like that, I don't want to work there.

I had multiple interviews where I was either being video recorded (karat.io) or on a skype call with multiple developers "evaluating" me. This is a toxic environment and I knew in the first few mintutes I didn't want to work there.

I have a portfolio full of sites that I've built and I can tell you with confidence that my portfolio didn't matter even a little bit. Not one employer looked at my github account (not that it's impressive, but that says something).

The best way to get a job is through your network. A previous freelance client was hiring and pursued me aggressively. Why would they do that if I'm a shit developer as thought by my various interviewers? The experience of "interviewing" with a company that knows my work and shows a genuine enthusiasm for having me on their team is so night-and-day different from every other interview that the decision was easy. They gave me what I asked for and treat me like a valued employee.

RyanZAG 2 days ago 1 reply      
The pattern matching issue with Java or C# is interesting, since all these companies generally do want mobile. So I guess the humorous point of advice for that: replace all occurrences of Java on your CV with Android, and C# with WinPhone, and you'll probably bump your chances of getting passed the pattern matching.
api 2 days ago 5 replies      
> "Second, companies dislike programmers with enterprise backgrounds. Our data shows that companies are less likely to hire programmers coming from Java or C# backgrounds."

This I totally understand. Enterprise software is systematically horrible in almost every way: terrible UI/UX, insane degrees of over engineering, high footprint, high cost, and usually at least two to three generations behind on every technological trend. Of those traits I can't stress over-engineering enough... it's epidemic everywhere but most of all in "enterprise" where you'll see insane things like simple web application servers that use gigabytes of RAM and XML schemas that lead to ten-page-long messages to do trivial things. (The use of XML at all is usually a smell unless the domain is very HTML-like such as word processing... and even there extending Markdown would be better in every way.)

It doesn't have to be that way. Those facts reflect the management pathologies that exist in large companies and governments where you have a lot of people managing software projects who don't know anything about software... lots of "pointy haired bosses." You also have a lot of dumb requirements in those areas that twist things out of alignment with what users actually want. Startups very often have the luxury of ignoring stupid requirements unless they have to interoperate with legacy stuff.

It's so bad that I've actually heard people advise startups to pass on some enterprise revenue if they can afford it (pass on REVENUE!) if it might lead them down an "enterprisey" path, since doing so would in the end result in a systematically inferior product. If the systematic diseases of enterprise are that extreme (and I think they mostly are), then I understand the desire that some startups might have to also systematically avoid developers with enterprise backgrounds.

That being said and while I do understand, I think this underestimates the versatility of a good developer. A good developer might have gone into an enterprise job because they need the money but they might be otherwise great at what they do. You can find some great developers by offering to rescue them from enterprise hellholes. Sometimes that alone is all they need to inspire a ton of motivation and loyalty. I mean, you just dragged them out of hades. They're gonna love you.

buro9 2 days ago 0 replies      

 The Product Programmer and Technical Programmer profiles are identical, except one is motivated by product design, and the other by solving hard programming problems.
This is great.

I've struggled with trying to define the difference between the great systems engineers I meet and the engineers who make great products (sometimes at the expense of all elegance under the hood).

This sums it up nicely... it's where the focus is. I'm surrounded by engineers focusing on systems programming, but I don't think of myself as similar to them, I've always been end user obsessed and customer focused. It's nice to see this difference acknowledged.

soham 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Ammon/Harj, Thank you for that effort and laying it out. Very helpful.

Just so the readers don't miss the context: By definition, most companies referred here, I'm guessing, are startups. And startups will definitely want more product-focused engineers, in order to keep moving fast.

Interviewing in general, is closer to a date, than it's to a standardized test. The smaller the company is, the more pronounced that characteristic is. For even slightly larger companies, it's a different story.

When I was a Director of Engineering at Box, the engineering team was tasked with hiring 25 engineers in a single quarter. For several quarters. When hiring at that scale, it's hard to hire based on personas and elaborate preferences. At that point, process is more important. Anyone that meets a consistent process gets hired. There are always biases at resume selection, but those are only to benefit the later process, and not so much of a preference.

[About us: http://InterviewKickstart.com]

jenshoop 2 days ago 1 reply      
This was a great point: "Theres more demand for product-focused programmers than there is for programmers focused on hard technical problems." A very talented programmer from Dropbox once told me that if I wanted to attract top engineering talent, I needed to be able to show the engineer "a problem that no one else has solved yet." This totally changed the way I wrote my job descriptions and conducted interviews. Led to great outcomes, too.
lackbeard 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is interesting data.

I liked what Joel Spolsky said a long time ago. Basically that companies should want two types of engineers. 1. You want a few who are experts in the company's tech stack. 2. The bar for everyone else is just that they're smart and they get things done.

I guess the core problem is that we don't have a good objective measure of the latter. (Maybe an IQ test for smarts, if that wasn't political incorrect, but I don't know how you'd show definitively that you "get things done" in an interview.)

js8 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds of psychological study about superstition. They studied fishing habits of South American Indian tribes; the tribes that fished in lakes, had consistent and reasonable rules about when/where to go fishing. However, the tribes that fished in the ocean, where you cannot predict the catch, had rather random and superstitious rules about when/where to go. This is due to our brains seeing patterns in randomness.

Also, it's perhaps understandable why companies don't want to reveal their preference. If you do it, you open yourself to being gamed. I think it's also better to have unreasonable requirements (looking to give genius programmers some boring product work) than be sorry. Again this happens in absence of actual test (other than wait and see) of who is a good candidate. Females do the same thing when mating.

iopq 2 days ago 1 reply      
> He solved hard algorithm problems like they were nothing

That's mostly practice. When I did webdev I was really shitty at algorithms because there were no algorithms in my daily work. When I did some Baduk AI programming I started being much better at algorithms since I was implementing some custom algorithms myself.

If you are interviewing someone for a web dev position, it's kind of ridiculous to screen people by their ability of merging sorted arrays or whatnot.

steven2012 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is the point of interviewing through TripleByte and going through their interview process, if I just have to interview with the YC company again? It's something I would completely avoid. I already know that almost 100% of the companies I send my resume to will respond, so what is the point of adding another set of interviews, which as the article points out, only adds a random level of success.
exelius 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well, consider that there are well documented academic studies (that I can't be bothered to look up right now) showing that most hiring processes are no better than throwing darts at a board with regards to retention rate, employee success, and every other measure of success of the HR process. The only thing that is remotely effective are IQ scores, and even then it's only a weak correlation.

So regardless of what the companies want, it's near impossible to accurately judge someone in an interview process. Even if you know what you want, it's very difficult to assess how someone is going to perform in a job through an interview process. The main benefit of interviews IMO is to help managers "buy-in" on hiring decisions.

jphelan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had such a disappointing experience with Triplebyte. I take their automated test and everything is hunkydory. After that they gave me a very ambiguous technical interview live-coding session without an interviewer. It seemed like an unreleased feature or a trial a/b test variant. Even now I go back and they've removed every reference to a "programming challenge"!

Anyway, the problem involved writing a tree generation/traversal along with a little equation parser and a lot of string parsing (I think, at least). I was really uncomfortable because while it said "we will run this code" I didn't know what their expectations where (In what environment are they going to run the code? Is underscore ok? They said "you can't use built in eval" so do they really want me to write my own eval? Do they care if I look on stackoverflow for string parsing stuff?). I only had an hour for a difficult problem and I spent most of the time wondering what they really wanted and stressing out about little details that wouldn't consume ten seconds of thought on the job.

I've interviewed a lot and I'm pretty confident from a lot of experience whiteboarding code or typing up an answer on the spot in interviews, so this was very frustrating and I found it to be disrespectful of my time.

sloanesturz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would love to see this kind of analysis (i.e. Junior Programmer vs. Child Prodigy vs. Rusty + Experienced) as it applies to hiring women. Are there biases against women with different experience and different "culture fit?" Would be a neat way to apply your data and your company contacts.
swalsh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Former C# programmer here, in my most recent job hunt I rewrote my resume. I talked more about the value I provided for my company/customer (what the code did) rather than how I wrote the code. I'd say my results improved significantly in terms of getting my foot in the door.
a-dub 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I look to hire a lawyer, I'm going to evaluate potential candidates by asking them to write statutes from memory in full on a whiteboard under time pressure, because I really want to see how well they think on their feet.

As a forward thinking technology executive, I am certain this strategy is correct, because Google does it.

dlwj 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Employees these days have a paradoxical role to fill. On one hand, the value in an employee is the ability to solve a problem. On the other hand, they have to market themselves as passionate people. The only way to do so is to exclaim interest in interesting subjects which often are directly tied to company concerns.

Say a company needs good testers. I would find it very hard to sell myself as a passionate tester. Instead I would say something that's actually interesting to me like AI or machine learning.

In order for something to be interesting, it has to be somewhat unknown. How can you be interested in something you have completely mastered and know everything about. It just becomes process for you.

lewisl9029 2 days ago 3 replies      
I apologize for being completely off-topic, but I find it completely ridiculous that we have to scroll past half the page to see the next highest-level comment.

Are there any plans for implementing collapsible comment threads?

tdaltonc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like the ontology of programmers. Are there any other efforts to do this? Anything data driven or externally validated?

Given what a big role personas and demo/psycho-graphics play in marketing, I'm surprised that I haven't heard more about then in the context of hiring and managing.

bluecalm 1 day ago 0 replies      
The discussion about interviews comes down to a fact that if you setup your interview as a test where you position yourself as a chooser you will attract people who need you more than you need them. The best people are going to pass as they have enough options elsewhere.

For example I would be very happy to interview for Google 2 years ago and endure the process. Today I could sit with them for an hour and talk about stuff while sipping coffee. I have more opportunities than I can pursue anyway so spending hours solving mazes like some kind of a lab rat is not something I am going to spend my time on.

I am not a top expert in what I do but I can write and ship code. People like me (and especially ones better than me) will just not show up for your "process". Either you pursue them or you won't meet them. You will only get people for whom you are so attractive an option that they are willing to donate several hours or a whole day to have a low % shot. Those will not be the best programmers as the idea of paying to get evaluated is not something people with options entertain.

minimaxir 2 days ago 2 replies      
For a blog article under a data subdomain, there's surprisingly few numbers and quantitative analysis, which is disappointing. And one matrix of survey data as the only visualization.

I get that startups do not want to reveal their competitive advantage, but there has to be some give-and-take. Taking an analysis on blind faith alone is frustrating.

datashovel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the recruiting problem in technology in general is that programmers don't meet and interact with enough different types of programmers in work settings, so they really don't know what they want or what they should be looking for.

I'd suggest everyone start doing this instead:

For anyone who meets basic criteria / filters, hire them at least part time, and put them to work. If they don't make the cut 3 months later (based on some objective criteria) let them go. Then after you've done all your recruiting like this maybe 1-2 years later evaluate what your team consists of.

It's not even a question in my mind. I'm not 99% sure. I'm 100% confident the team will not look like the recruiting team originally envisioned it would look before they started hiring.

EDIT: And I'm 100% confident those teams will consist of an overall better quality of engineer, and putting out higher quality products, than they would've ended up with if they stuck with trying to find what they believe to be the right "culture fit" or some concept of what a "prototypical engineer" is / should be.

sremani 2 days ago 1 reply      
>>Ruby or Javascript. (The C# pass rate is actually much lower than the Java pass rate, but the C# numbers are not yet significant by themselves.)<<This makes me sad. I do not know who the caricature here is, the Enterprise programmer or the YC companies.
ditonal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep all these spurious rejections and arbitrary hiring processes in mind next time pg or BigTech's lobbyists bemoan the desperate shortage of great programmers.
mercurial 2 days ago 3 replies      
> The company told us they valued process more than raw ability, and hed not written tests during the interview.

Who the hell writes tests during an interview?

bjacks 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'd really like to know what it is about a resume or in an interview that makes someone seem like more of a 'product programmer'.

Is it the particular things they have worked on at other jobs, i.e. their experience, or is it the way they talk about what they want to build?

I'd be really interested to hear how I can make myself sound like more of a product programmer.

superuser2 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is oddly reassuring. Imposter syndrome is practically guaranteed when there is a 99% chance that you only got (or could only get) a good job by a failure of the interview process, since so many companies proclaim to only hire the top 1%.

Goes to show that there is a far-greater-than-1% chance that you're legitimately in somebody's top 1%.

karmacondon 2 days ago 1 reply      
When it comes to hiring, I think that the team is more important than the individual. As the beginning of the piece stated, it's not so much about individual characteristics as it is culture/process fit. I think the main takeaway for applicants is not to take interview rejection personally. Even if you do everything "right", you still might not be what they're looking for.

Ultimately, I don't think that individual programming ability matters that much. It's extremely rare for the technical talents of one person to turn a company around. Some people can inspire others and turn dysfunctional groups into great teams, and there's never enough of that. But said great teams are ephemeral, like sports dynasties. All a company can do is try to avoid toxic employees and hope that the magic happens.

staunch 2 days ago 0 replies      
"I remember the first time I interviewed for a front-end programming position and got asked how to do something in JavaScript on a white board. The specifics are vague, but its crystal clear how stupid it made me feel and how little it had to do with the actual job."


> "The only reliable gauge Ive found for future programmer success is looking at real code theyve written, talking through bigger picture issues, and, if all that is swell, trying them out for size."


lazyant 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, random.

Also the company interviewing the first candidate, couldn't they just told him that they wanted testing?

darkerside 2 days ago 1 reply      
I couldn't help noticing that "Strong Junior Programmer" stands out from the rest. It as a category suffers from juxtaposition with "Child Prodigy Programmer". The "Strong" prefix sounds like a meaningless qualifier that only serves to blunt the label of "Junior". I have to guess that the reason companies select out of this category is that the candidates are perhaps not qualified.
krmmalik 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really liked how this analysis was done. Though i dont work in recruitment i have to work with CEOs often and notice similar approaches to hiring for other job roles as well. Way too similar in fact. I'd love to meet a recruitment company that is taking the same approach as TripleByte or perhaps TripleByte will aim to address other fields at some point. Either way its exciting.
Jemaclus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some companies reject people based on green card status, because they don't have the resources to sponsor them. Some companies have specific salary ranges, too. Are those factors considered during your analysis? You seem to be focusing primarily on what companies want, but sometimes what they want and what they can accept are two different things. Thoughts?
Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
This data needs to be related to the size and stage of the company. That YCombinator companies want UI people with application development experience reflects the YCombinator startup approach - it's all about the cool demo.

The requirements may be different in the later-stage companies. But most of the startups never get there. So looking at recruiting goals on a per-company basis from a VC pool will generate a bias towards the skills needed for the cool demo. What Lugg needs are people such as the article suggests. What Uber needs at its current scale is quite different. Uber will hire far more people than Lugg, but it's weighted the same in this model.

jonathankoren 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The types of programmers that each company looks for often have little to do with what the company needs or does. Rather, they reflect company culture and the backgrounds of the founders. "

THIS. In other words, the good ol' boy system still exists, only under the moniker of "meritocracy."

bro-stick 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a subtle danger in only selecting candidate (people) whom think, act of look like you... the venture may end, not for a lack of talent or capability, but for a lack of ideas or questioning the normative, cultural convention.

Hire tortoises, hedgehogs and hares, introvert and extroverts, peacemakers and activists ... so long as there is respect, civility and productivity, because it's the "pulling" away from the center of gravity and institutional momentum that leads to exploring other great opportunities of venture successes that weren't originally founders' core product.

gizi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am growing less and less negative about recruiters. They can be a bit pushy, but I think that recruiters can learn how to modulate and not exaggerate. If a company wants good candidates, it will have to go to them, because the good candidates will not come to them. Good candidates are usually already too busy to bother. That leaves the company no other choice than to appoint a recruiter and try to take the initiative in contacting the good candidates anyway.
cageface 1 day ago 0 replies      
So companies want people that can build and ship products, and hire for them based on their ability to solve tricky CS problems on a whiteboard?

Something seems amiss here.

Joof 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well if people really want product-motivated engineers, I'm going into the video games field. Also becoming a game designer.

I guess the ideal place for the technically motivated is in large companies like Google/Microsoft or in open source. Should we get a masters and find something more suited to our interests? I'm not sure what the answer actually is.

abrbhat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess the reason that product programmers are most desirable is that most founders are product programmers themselves.
dennisgorelik 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a good reason why startups prefer Product Programmers:

If you focus on product, then you have strong feedback loop in your design and development cycle: you regularly see how users interact with your product and improve.

If your focus is on technology, then there is almost no real feedback and you are likely to optimize something not very valuable.

pcmaffey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are you analyzing performance / satisfaction after getting hired? Would be interesting to see distribution across types.
abvdasker 2 days ago 0 replies      
> "Reading bios of founders and applying to companies where the CTO shares your background is probably an effective job-search strategy"

My takeaway is basically that in an organization of sufficient size founders should have little or nothing to do with technical hiring.

joshavant 2 days ago 0 replies      
It feels like this article contains a huge amount of bias. To sum it up in a sentence... of course 'founders' all want 'product programmers'!

Ask only tenured, hands-on CTOs, and I bet that table would come out much different.

thaumasiotes 2 days ago 1 reply      
> We do our interviews without looking at resumes (in order to find great people who look bad on paper)

They don't ask for a resume, but the first thing that comes up in the interview is "where have you worked in the past, and what did you do there?"

j2kun 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am very interested in which of these companies are the outliers. What is the one company in the table that expressed a dislike for product-focused programmers? Which are the few that like academic programmers?
staticautomatic 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's what your data "show." Not what your data "shows." I am always skeptical of the analytical competence of someone who uses incorrect language to describe their own work.
yks 1 day ago 0 replies      
In this thread people stress how it is important to learn new things.And then how showing interest in a new thing (Machine Learning) is a red flag.Go figure.
etr71115 2 days ago 0 replies      
> "To that end, weve spent the last two months doing detailed interviews with CTOs and lead recruiters at the top 25 Y Combinator companies."

How were you determining which YC companies were top?

axplusb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would be interested in A/B comparison of company responses according to immigration status (i.e. whether or not a candidate needs visa sponsorship). Any data available?
UK-AL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Enterprise programmer bias? Could be higher salary expectations?
natmaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why does this contradict the myth that silicon valley is ageist and only wants to hire fresh college grads?
dustingetz 2 days ago 0 replies      
How does compensation play into these results? The 9 categories will have very different comp profiles
DrNuke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pattern here is you are better if you start up instead of looking for a job. I've seen many and many mediocre engineers becoming employers just to spare themselves rejection.
pron 1 day ago 0 replies      
So someone programming in Java at IBM or Oracle with a mostly academic experience would be all but completely unhireable by YC companies.

Incidentally, it was precisely that kind of programmers who built Watson at IBM, possibly the most impressive software of the past decade, which is not only both academically and technically challenging, but also brilliantly packaged and marketed and probably very lucrative to boot.

The exact same is true of the Graal team at Oracle, who have made what is probably the biggest breakthrough in compiler technology in the last decade, and might well power many important technologies in the near future (Ruby, server-side JS, R) as well as commercial Oracle products.

sytelus 2 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest issue in interviewing is the bad inexperienced interviewers. It's very very hard to be a good effective interviewer and in my experience even otherwise very smart programmers are not great at this. Here's few things that would help to find better match and eliminate lot of false negatives:

1. Pre-filtering should be based on candidate's public contributions at places like GitHub, StackOverflow, Wikipedia etc. Pre-conceived notions of someone being C# or academic is just simply bad.

2. Don't ask question that you didn't had to solve doing your job. It's absolutely the hardest part for interviewer to come up with great questions that distill the problem they had solved on the job in to something that can be described in 10 mins and worked on in about hour. Most interviewers are unable to do this and fall back to puzzles stolen from websites or coworkers like them. If you are not smart enough to form the great question using actual problems in your job than you have no business being an interviewer.

3. Don't do 45 minute interviews. That time is too short. Candidate has already taken a day off, there is no reason why you should limit each interview to 45 mins and make candidate rush. Countless great candidate get eliminated because they fall short of 15 mins, do longer initial chit-chat or just take one wrong turn.

4. Strongly discourage interviewers to look for exactly the right answers. Again hard to do than said. Most candidates that sail through problem have very likely practiced similar problem to death. The bad interviewer than penalize candidates who hadn't practiced that same problem VS who luckily happened to do so. Ultimately you are required to eliminate 80%-99% of candidates and this comparison is so handy that interviewers fall for it despite of knowing it.

5. Good interviewers knows the trickiest part of the problem and are willing to help out candidate without penalties. Bad interviewers considers any hints or help as sign of weakness and are mentally subtracting points. If you are an interviewer who thinks that your job is to give problem, sit back and watch the show then you are wasting everyone's time. Good interviews are lively discussion, two way conversation and in fact a collaboration.

6. Bad interviewers ask seemingly easy problem but that has chance of making a big tricky mistake or omission. Interview turns in to sport spectacle to see if gladiator candidate was able to duck the fire from the dragon that was behind him. Good interviewers make sure problems are real problem and not a competition to set up traps that everyone easily falls in to.

It's kind of bizarre that most companies claim that they have huge headcount to fill and they don't find talent while their "rejects" have already been having great jobs at great companies with nice history of career growth and compensation raises. The real problem is bad inexperienced interviewers who have been molded to ask same puzzles they had been asked and have been trained to have expectation for candidate to magically arrive at correct answer with error free compact code under 30 minutes. It's utter nonsense. The result is that most candidates now keep working on puzzles for months which has little relevance to actual problems in job and not even a remote indicator of candidate's passion or ability to take initiative or collaborate or ship something in real production consistently.

facepalm 1 day ago 0 replies      
"interest in ML as a negative signal"

Why, though? Is it because a candidate would be too interested in other things than focusing on mundane web development? Passionate about programming doesn't square well with passionate about ML, because the latter is not so much about programming?

reitanqild 2 days ago 0 replies      
Patently false. Just because you get hired every time you have experience with a companys tech stack doesn't mean a lot of us has to jump through a lot of hoops without knowing why.

Me? I have wondered if I should make job applications a hobby regardless if I want a new job right there or not.

(oh, btw: I have had good work, without time between since 2007, when I had a few weeks between two jobs. I'm just so tired of wasting time on the recruitment process.)

Focus by Firefox, a Content Blocker for iOS mozilla.org
442 points by special_guest  2 days ago   255 comments top 36
st3fan 2 days ago 9 replies      
We just pushed the button on stage at the Mozilla All-hands. It should by live in most countries now.


Ask us anything you want to know about this product.

Also, keep an eye on the Github repo.


We are still watching the Keynote but will flip the switch soon.

panglott 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Currently, Focus by Firefox only works with Safari, not Firefox for iOS. This was not our choiceApple has chosen to make content blocking unavailable to third party browsers on iOS. We are exploring how we can provide this feature on Firefox for iOS and will deliver it as soon as its possible."

The main reason I went back to Safari after getting Firefox for iOS.

inglor 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm so confused here - I thought Apple added the ability to create content blockers to reduce revenue on the web so that more content providers resort to ADs and they get a bigger slice of the pie.

Why would Mozilla help them in their goal? Wouldn't it mean less reliance on the web and less Firefox in the long run?

What am I missing here?

profeta 2 days ago 1 reply      
Spending so much time on a platform that you have no control and is sure to undermine you is a waste of open source project resources. Specially one that is handled indirectly such as mozilla nowadays.

if it were users submitting patches or bugreports, by all means! Spend all the time in the world to make your IOS experience better. But people donate, and the people living off that money choose arbitrarily to spend those resources on IOS, that is just plain irresponsible.

donohoe 2 days ago 1 reply      
...and they don't provide a link!? Oh well.

Still, I welcome this move from Mozilla. Been wondering what to use since 'Peace' was removed.

CPLX 2 days ago 2 replies      
If I may be permitted a n00b question, what are the advantages and disadvantages if any to having more than one content blocker enabled? When I installed this didn't have to disable Crystal, which I already had. Do they just sort of function in series?
lowpro 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Apple doesn't abuse its power" only allows a Firefox content blocker in safari
bennyg 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those saying they can't get it - give it time to propagate through the App Store server caches. Usually it can take a couple hours from a "Ready for Sale" to actually being visible in different regions.
byoogle 2 days ago 2 replies      
As the original developer of Disconnect, on which Focuss blocking is said to be based, I (with my development team) created a new, open-source ad blocker for Chrome, Opera, and iOS called Adblock Fast (http://adblockfast.com/ and https://github.com/rocketshipapps/adblockfast on GitHub) because I think Disconnect became abandonware after I left the project a year and a half ago there was one commit made to Disconnect in 2015 (https://github.com/disconnectme/disconnect/commits/master).
newscracker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Questions to the people from Mozilla who're here. How or why is this different from efforts like Privacy Badger (from EFF)[1] when you look at what gets blocked, the methodology used to update the blacklist, etc.? Was there any collaboration with other prominent players working in this area (I only see that you're using disconnect's list)?

Please note that I'm not talking about implementation details like the creating and maintaining a content block list for Safari vs. a browser extension on the desktop.

[1]: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

deadowl 2 days ago 2 replies      
They're now favoring Firefox branding over Mozilla branding?
srameshc 2 days ago 4 replies      
Pardon me as I don't understand this blocking analytics or ads thing yet. Wouldn't a small web business which relies on Ad money be killed with this move ? Wouldn't someone who wants to provide content for ad money eventually have to pay Apple some cut for displaying ads on app. Wouldn't it drive the prices of ad as a result which would hurt small business who looks at internet advertising for their growth strategy ?
newscracker 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who don't want to wait till this propagates through the App Store CDNs, try


Or tryhttps://itunes.apple.com/{countrycode}/app/id1055677337 with the two character country code for your country put in the {countryside} placeholder

For example, it would be

https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/id1055677337 for Germany

https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/id1055677337 for France

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/id1055677337 for India

and so on

perseusprime1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Crystal is messing it up these days as I see ads these days with Crystal enabled. I think they are taking money to let ads through. Will Firefox do the same if you get money from Google?
viach 2 days ago 2 replies      
> This was not our choice Apple has chosen to make content blocking unavailable to third party browsers on iOS

Like, the Firefox authors can't block content in their browser because Apple?

falcolas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone with knowledge care to compare and contrast this with Antelope [0]?

[0] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/antelope-free-adblocker/id10...

TurboHaskal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can it block 7254k images as well?
vishaldpatel 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! If there was a similar blocker for Mac, I'd totally use it. Although, I'm not sure why it is called "Focus".

But hey, this way I can share my Firefox plugin called Focus ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/focus-by-caba... ) - it lets you block websites so you can focus on your work :). Also available for Chrome ( https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/focus-by-cabana-la... ) =)

vitd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Note that if you search for "Focus" in the app store, you won't get any relevant results in the first several dozen apps. I did "focus ad blocker" and that found it.
muddi900 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently content-blocking is not enabled for iPad 4th Gen, because I can't any of the apps. A thoroughly useless device.
free2rhyme214 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is totally aimed at Google haha
blondie9x 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like AppStore is still updating this in inventory. Might take 30-60 minutes more before we can download.
zymhan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Searching for it in the app store on my phone returns nothing. I had to message myself the link to get to it.
jccalhoun 2 days ago 1 reply      
They can't build it into firefox on ios but how about building it into firefox on other platforms?
s73v3r 2 days ago 1 reply      
So basically, this is going to lead to a rise in "Sponsored Content".
thepumpkin1979 2 days ago 3 replies      
I can not find it in the Colombian appstore, is it available worldwide?
b15h0p 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can not find this on the german App Store. Does anybody have a link?
nv-vn 2 days ago 0 replies      
can somebody explain why they need to use the Apple APIs to block content in their own software? will apple simply not allow them to put it on the app store otherwise?
processing 2 days ago 1 reply      
"focus must be enabled in settings"

Where in settings is it enabled?

nathancahill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Title should be "iOS" instead of "IOS" (Cisco's router operating system).
gnu8 2 days ago 6 replies      
Why is it Focus by Firefox and not Focus by Mozilla? Mozilla is the name of the company, Firefox is the name of one of Mozilla's products. So a software program was created by another software program?

This type of illogical branding is becoming typical of Mozilla these days. It's a shame because the web really needs browser leadership from an organization that isn't a multinational corporation.

dan1234 2 days ago 4 replies      
A 7MB png on that page (4418x3206) - that'll be the first thing I want to block
kdamken 2 days ago 5 replies      
Sounds neat. Would really enjoy installing and trying this out.

However, I can't for the life of me find it. Here's what I tried:-Searching for "focus" in the app store. Unsurprisingly, a thousand things came up that were not this.

-Searching for "focus firefox". No results.

-Searching for "focus by firefox". No results.

-In hopes that the article might have a link to the app in the app store, going to that in my phone's browser. No Luck.

-Googling "focus firefox" and looking in various news articles. Found a link in venture beat but it said the item I'm looking for isn't available in the US store.

Hopefully it will be easier to find when it gains some traction?

anc84 2 days ago 2 replies      
And why I would never buy an iOS device.
kdamken 2 days ago 3 replies      
If Nick is really the one who wrote that piece, it's sad that the Vice President of Firefox doesn't know about image resizing and optimization.
oneJob 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about a button that lets me choose a FireFox build using 100% OSS and which includes zero built-in user data capture technology?
After a ten-year hiatus, NetHack 3.6 nethack.org
450 points by Alex3917  3 days ago   128 comments top 24
pmoriarty 3 days ago 8 replies      
Fans of nethack and other roguelikes should try Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (DCSS).[1]

You can play or watch games in progress by:

 ssh joshua@crawl.akrasiac.org
Use the password "joshua".

It's also available as a standalone program you can run on your own machine.

DCSS has some made some great innovations, such as fantastic use of color and auto-explore, tons of really unique gods and races, it's scriptable(!) in Lua, the list goes on and on...

[1] - http://crawl.develz.org/

sohkamyung 3 days ago 2 replies      
I like this change, adding Terry Pratchett quotes:

"At the time of his passing this year, the DevTeam decided that it would be a fitting tribute to take a number of our favourite quotes from the various Discworld novels and incorporate them into the game. Being the way we are, we did a little more than that. There are now a huge number of quotes from many of the Discworld novels in the tribute file, but this doesn't mean that we wouldn't accept new submissions from other Pratchett fans."

itburnswheniit 3 days ago 2 replies      
Play once for fun, the next 1000+ times for revenge.
reidrac 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm happy NH is still being developed with new releases, but for me... the rogue-like event of 2015 is ADOM hitting steam:


I know this post is about NH, but some might find this interesting anyway.

roghummal 3 days ago 2 replies      
You can play* or watch games in progress by:

$ ssh nethack@alt.org

It's also available as a standalone program you can run on your own machine.[1]

You can follow milestones, defeats, and victories at #nethack@freenode. See NAO[2] for more information!

* NAO currently runs NetHack 3.4.3.

[1] - http://www.nethack.org

[2] - https://alt.org/nethack/

andrewstuart 3 days ago 1 reply      
I nearly got fired cause I played so much nethack at work in the early 1990's.
losvedir 2 days ago 6 replies      
Are there any good versions of NetHack (or similar) for Android? I've never played and it sounds like I'm missing out, but the only time I really feel like I could put in some hours would be on the bus or train or something.
jl6 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a source of md5sums for the release tarballs that is independent of Sourceforge?
copperx 3 days ago 12 replies      
Hi. I'd love to try NetHack but the game seems incredibly complex. Is this true? does it have a huge learning curve?
hellbanner 2 days ago 0 replies      
balakk 2 days ago 0 replies      
My first ascension, 12 years ago.


What a beautiful game.

FD3SA 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lineage the Bloodpledge, a hugely successful korean MMO was heavily based on NetHack [1]. It is still one of the most widely played games in the world (mainly in South Korea).

The article below does an excellent overview of its history and inspiration from NetHack.

1. http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/07/the-game-archaeologist-tr...

paraiuspau 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh man, i felt it in my water, i checked the site every day for 2 or more weeks, didn't this morning, came on to hn, and lo-and-behold...
Turbo_hedgehog 3 days ago 1 reply      
Curious that they are still on sourceforge.
roghummal 3 days ago 0 replies      
menucolors! pickup thrown! sortloot! use_darkgray! And many more!

Merry Christmas everyone! Awesome :)

--rog hum mal

SwellJoe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, I sure hope they didn't rush things. Great games take time.
kyberias 2 days ago 1 reply      
The git instructions [1] result in git asking for a password (on Windows).

[1] http://www.nethack.org/common/git.html

Isamu 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think I last played this on my AT&T Unix PC 7300.


Andaith 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone have any experience playing NetHack on a Nintendo DS? What's the experience like?
josephcooney 3 days ago 0 replies      
I got terrible wrist pain as a 10-year-old playing nethack on an Amstrad 1640 8086.

But totally worth it.

Ascii art never looked so 'cosmic'

jbellis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't played in twenty years. Is Gehennom still ridiculously tedious?
poofyleek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thought nethack went rogue but apparently not.
riffraff 2 days ago 1 reply      
this is great, but I wish there was a QT Tile version, as much as I know the term version is The True UI, I still prefer graphics.
ilaksh 2 days ago 0 replies      
How to build on Ubuntu.. for God's sake, why isn't there a script or a configure? I am trying to figure out the sys/Install instructions, getting nowhere.

Why didn't they just make it public on github, and use their issue tracker?

EDIT: actually the sys/Install/NewInstall.unx instructions worked for me, at least it is starting to make.

We ditched Google Analytics spideroak.com
486 points by felipebueno  2 days ago   257 comments top 34
eponeponepon 2 days ago 20 replies      

 It took us only a few weeks to write our home-brew analytics package. Nothing super fancy yet now we have an internal dashboard that shows the entire company much of what we used analytics for anyway - and with some nice integration with some of our other systems too.
I never quite grasp how the above isn't just a matter of intuition to anyone working in the tech sector. Google Analytics thrives on developers' laziness in my opinion.

And to echo other posters: SpiderOak deserve thanks. If I find myself with any need for a service like theirs, I know I'll be looking at them.

Veratyr 2 days ago 9 replies      
Not strictly on topic so I apologise if this is unwanted but I thought I'd share my experience with SpiderOak in case anyone here was thinking of purchasing one of their plans.

In February SpiderOak dropped its pricing to $12/month for 1TB of data. Having several hundred gigabytes of photos to backup I took advantage and bought a year long subscription ($129). I had access to a symmetric gigabit fibre connection so I connected, set up the SpiderOak client and started uploading.

However I noticed something odd. According to my Mac's activity monitor, SpiderOak was only uploading in short bursts [0] of ~2MB/s. I did some test uploads to other services (Google Drive, Amazon) to verify that things were fine with my connection (they were) and then contacted support (Feb 10).

What followed was nearly __6 months__ of "support", first claiming that it might be a server side issue and moving me "to a new host" (Feb 17) then when that didn't resolve my issue, they ignored me for a couple of months then handed me over to an engineer (Apr 28) who told me:

"we may have your uploads running at the maximum speed we can offer you at the moment. Additional changes to storage network configuration will not improve the situation much. There is an overhead limitation when the client encrypts, deduplicates, and compresses the files you are uploading"

At this point I ran a basic test (cat /dev/urandom | gzip -c | openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -pass pass:spideroak | pv | shasum -a 256 > /dev/zero) that showed my laptop was easily capable of hashing and encrypting the data much faster than SpiderOak was handling it (Apr 30) after which I was simply ignored for a full month until I opened another ticket asking for a refund (Jul 9).

I really love the idea of secure, private storage but SpiderOak's client is barely functional and their customer support is rather bad.

[0]: http://i.imgur.com/XEvhIop.png

buro9 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why not move to push GA data server-side?

Trivial to set-up, immune to adblockers affecting the completeness of data, prevents the write of tracking cookies, leaves data and utility of the GA dashboard mostly complete (loss of user client capabilities and some session-based metrics).

This is the route I'm preferring to take (being applied this Christmas via https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyga ).

One may argue that Google will still be aware of page views, but the argument presented in the article is constructed around the use of the tracking cookie and that would no longer apply.

I'm shifting to server-push to restore completeness, I'm presently estimating that client-side GA represents barely 25% of my page views (according to a quick analysis of server logs for a 24hr period). I'm looking to get the insight of how my site is used rather than capabilities of the client, so this works for what I want.

oneJob 2 days ago 2 replies      
How about open-sourcing your product before worrying about improving other products? SpiderOak has been "investigating a number of licensing options, and do expect to make the SpiderOak client code open source in the not-distant future" for a very, very long time now. It's no trivial thing to have a closed source client for a "zero knowledge" service.


EDIT: I'd welcome discussion, in addition to your up/down votes

cm2187 2 days ago 1 reply      
The other thing is that google analytics is on many adblockers lists, precisely for that reason. As adblockers are getting widespread, the analytics is going blind.
nateberkopec 2 days ago 4 replies      
An open-source, self-hostable solution providing 80% of common Google Analytics functionality seems doable to me.

Is there anything out there in this realm? If not, why not?

trebor 2 days ago 1 reply      
To any of the SpiderOak team: thank you.

It's more than just the tracking cookie, though. It's also about Google aggregating all its website data into a unified profile. The data they have on everyone is frighteningall because of free services like GA.

c0achmcguirk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Spideroak user here. I stopped using Dropbox and started using Spideroak about a 18 months ago. I really like the product. It's not as good as Dropbox in some ways (like automatically syncing photos from my phone) but it really is easy to use. I still have a mobile client on Android and I can keep my files in sync across multiple computers. I pay for the larger storage size and I'm not even close to using it all.

It syncs fast too. Just thought I'd share my experience with people.

eljimmy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it just me or is this a click-bait title with hollow content?
lukeqsee 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Like lots of other companies with high traffic websites, we are a technology company; one with a deep team of software developer expertise. It took us only a few weeks to write our home-brew analytics package.

I'm a little curious why they decided to go this route instead of using one of the open-source solutions. Aren't there good solutions to this problem already?

rogeryu 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm doing my part. I'm moving to DuckDuckGo for searching more and more. It's a process. Google does have better results. For work I still rely on Google, for private stuff I use https://duckduckgo.com/

And for the sake of ducks, I'm eating less meat as well. No more chicken - too much antibiotics, and as little meat as possible, only when it's worth it, so great taste and good quality.

cpncrunch 2 days ago 2 replies      
>why does Google and their advertisers need to know about it I would ask

Google is pretty clear about this. The only reason they track you is for advertising, and there isn't any evidence of them using the info for anything else. In fact there is a lot of evidence pointing the other way, such as their insistence on encryption data flowing between their datacenters.

This is Google we are talking about, not Kazakhstan, China or Russia.

kordless 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Sadly, we didnt like the answer to that question. Yes, by using Google Analytics, we are furthering the erosion of privacy on the web.

The only thing "wrong" with using an analytics service to better understand your customers is that it places all knowledge of visits, including ones that wished to be private, in a centralized location. This can be useful in providing correlation data across all visitors in aggregate, such as which browser you should make sure your site supports most of the time.

In other words, there exists some data in aggregate that is valuable to all of us, but the cost is a loss of privacy for smaller sets of personal data.

If individuals don't want certain behaviors analyzed by others, then they shouldn't use centralized services which exist outside their realm of control. These individuals would be better off using a "website" that is hosted by themselves, inside their own four walls, running on their own equipment. A simple way for SpiderOak to address this is to put their website on IPFS or something similar.

I appreciate the fact that SpiderOak is thinking about these things. It's important!

eridal 2 days ago 5 replies      
Kudos for this!!

it's interesting that still there's meta, probably leftover

 <meta name="google-site-verification" content="pPH9-SNGQ9Ne6q-h4StA3twBSknzvtP9kfEB88Qwl0w">
EDIT: wow, thanks for your answers guys!! so nice to see Cunningham's law in action ;)

ksec 1 day ago 0 replies      
To me, it is the cost that matters. Most other Analytics cost $30 - $50 / 1 Million Pageview / Datapoint. To me this expensive. Even when you scale to 100M it will still cost ~$20/Million.

Piwik doesn't scale. At least it doesn't scale unless you spend lots of resources to tinker with it. Its Cloud Edition is even more expensive then GoSquared which i consider to be a much better product.

What we basically need is a simple, effective, and cheap enough alternative to GA. And so far there are simply none.

rbinv 2 days ago 1 reply      
> It took us only a few weeks to write our home-brew analytics package.

Unfortunately, there's no way to replicate what Google Analytics currently offers (for free!) within a couple of weeks (or even months). Not with big data sets. Yes, GA does enforce sampling if you don't pay for GA Premium, but the free edition is still one of hell of a deal (if you don't care about privacy).

If you only use Google Analytics as a hit counter, sure, you can do that yourself within a couple of minutes. The advanced features are way more complicated, though (think segmentation and custom reports).

This also begs the question: why not use Piwik?

api 2 days ago 0 replies      
Instead of rolling your own look at Piwik. It works very well and is basically a GA clone. I actually like it better than GA in some ways. It's easy to set up and you can run it on your own site so you're not contributing to a global tracking fabric.
sghiassy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't get it. SpiderOak states that they dropped GA because it furthers "the erosion of privacy on the web., but then they just started tracking in house.

How is tracking in house more private than GA? The user is still being tracked.

kevin_thibedeau 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't checked my GA in months since it became clear that Google won't bother doing anything to fix the referer spam problem that makes the stats useless if you don't have a high-volume site. It's not like these abusers are hard to track down but I'll be damned if I'm going to manually add filters to get rid of them every time they come in from a new domain.
patrickfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
For anyone here looking for a really good, free,self-hosted, hackable, open source alternative to Google Analytics that's been around for a long time, please consider Piwik.org.

I've been using it for prob 8-10 years and it has never missed a beat. I use it on all my personal / business sites as well as some client websites that are super high traffic.

binaryapparatus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Analytics, fonts, css. We include it everywhere by default. Then I realized hey we are all giving away too much. My sites now happily run self-hosted piwik, for the last six or so months.

I won't be surprised if in the coming years we hear much more about using google fonts being base to count site access, if there is no analytics in place.

jliptzin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Usually I start with Google Analytics but continue to add to our own in-house analytics solution targeting the specific metrics we're interested in tracking. GA often doesn't provide us with the real insights we're looking for, but it's good for the vanity stats.
justinkramp 2 days ago 0 replies      
It should also be noted that SpiderOak has opensourced many components of their product stack, including Crypton, which is the encryption framework underpinning many of their clients.

The source is at https://github.com/SpiderOak

TheAndruu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Make your custom analytics library into a separate product in its own right and sell it or open-source it!
Something1234 2 days ago 1 reply      
What about awstats or goaccess? Both are great log analyzers, although I like goacess better.



iamleppert 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd hate to be the intern or the guy in charge of keeping that thing running.
qihqi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Random fact: GA cookie is distinct from adwords(google.com) cookie, and it is illegal for Google to join those (not sure if it is even technically feasible).
rwbt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've had good experience with Statcounter (http://www.statcounter.com)
gramakri 2 days ago 1 reply      
At Cloudron, our vision is to allow companies to host their own apps easily. We dogfood and don't use Google. We don't use analytics on our website (a conscious decision). Our emails are based on IMAP servers and we use thunderbird. We selfhost everything other than email (which is on gandi).

We just entered private beta yesterday - https://cloudron.io/blog/2015-12-07-private-beta.html

zachh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any analytics solution that allows for on-prem data storage? Only one I know of is Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture).
pmoriarty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now if they could also just ditch Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple, they'd be getting somewhere.
electriclove 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why not just use Piwik?
sparkzilla 2 days ago 4 replies      
Yet they are still listed on Google search [http://bit.ly/1ICwud0]. I guess it's easy to have principles when it doesn't cost you money.
gvb 2 days ago 0 replies      
The irony for me is that I am mostly invisible to Google Analytics, and thus the companies that rely on GA, because I mostly browse with JavaScript disabled. (When I need JavaScript, I usually crank up an incognito instance of Chrome and close it immediately when done, so I'm mostly anonymous to GA even then.)

When they go "old fashioned" and datamine their web server logs, they uncloak me. :-/

Most violence in the world is motivated by moral sentiments qz.com
369 points by kawera  1 day ago   301 comments top 39
nostrademons 1 day ago 6 replies      
One of the most perennially popular courses at my alma mater was entitled "Murder". It was an exploration of the moral justification behind state-sponsored violence, from capital punishment to war to genocide.

The realization that most violence is morally motivated comes with interesting quandaries when you consider what the response to such violence should be. Say that society successfully develops the norm that violence is never acceptable. What do you do with people who do not agree with this norm? Are you justified in using force against them? Does the state ever have a right to put people to death for what they believe, even if what they believe is that large classes of people deserve to die? What if it's just the threat that someone may wish to do another harm? Are police officers justified in shooting a suspect if it appears that he might have a gun and is reaching for it?

There are also interesting questions about whether you should respect moral norms that are part of your moral code but not part of anothers'. For example, many Native American tribes did not believe in property rights, instead believing that the land and everything grown from it was communal property for the benefit of all; European settlers took this to mean that it was all theirs for the taking. Several of Ayn Rand's books extoll the virtue of selfishness, holding that the only bounds to your conduct should be freely agreed-upon contracts with others: knowing that other people do not hold to this moral code, is it moral to behave selfishly to them until they explicitly defend their rights, or do you have an obligation to consider what's commonly held to be moral amongst people unlike yourself when dealing with them?

There are plenty of implications for startups too, many of whom would not exist without a different conception of social norms than mainstream society.

stcredzero 1 day ago 5 replies      
I find that the most anti-intellectualism, cheap-shot emotional abuse, and stereotyping on the Internet is motivated by moral sentiments through online pseudo "activists" who are really working out their anger and self-esteem issues under the supposed imprimatur of one cause or another. This goes for select subsets of both ends of the political spectrum, and select subgroups on both sides of any hot-button issue.

Attention is the currency of the Internet, and outrage is the easiest way to get it. Underlying most forms of injustice, especially systemic injustice, is the psychology of "othering." Any group that says it is furthering a cause of justice, but which does not go to careful lengths to check the natural tendency of groups to out-group outsiders, is a corrupt doppleganger, buying online social currency with the coin of outrage. Such groups do not heal society, but harm it, regardless of the ideology or cause they espouse.

There is no major cause which is free of such intellectually malformed pseudo-activisism. Neither are there any significant causes that are entirely formed of such. Calling out such hateivism should not be seen as taking or opposing a particular side. Activism worthy of the name should fight such hateivism done in its name. Those who would knowingly exploit such tendencies for more social currency and expanded membership are not worthy of the name activism.

dnautics 1 day ago 9 replies      
What is the opposing hypothesis here? That violence happens in a morally neutral setting? How would you define morally neutral? Could you make a claim, for example, that a bank robber is motivated by morality (the bank robber believes that robbing the bank is the morally correct thing to do - to redistribute wealth to himself?) Under what circumstances would that NOT be the case? Would the bank robber have to say, "well I know this is wrong, but..." (and how would we characterize that "but..." as not just another dimension of morality)?
russnewcomer 1 day ago 1 reply      
A pastor of mine once talked about this in context of Martin Luther and Zwingli ( in context of the Kappel Wars ), and talked about how violence is often the moral outgrowth of those who have grown so assured of their righteousness (in a Christian context) that they felt they could not sin by committing violence. He pointed to Matthew 5:21-26 and 5:38-47 (The Sermon on the Mount) to bolster his argument against violence by Christians, and I feel that it is generally a correct one. (Further strengthened by Romans 12:9-21) Thus, the case laid out in this article is one that I agree with, generally. It's a case long laid out by a succession of Christian Theologians, albeit using different language.
slr555 1 day ago 2 replies      
When I was a theatre student a thousand years ago my teachers used to say every character you play feels like they have the gods on their side. Bad guys (with the possible exception of Iago) generally don't go around thinking "today I'm going to be particularly evil". They think what they are doing is right and will make the world better in some way. That is the challenge with moral relativism, people are very good at rationalizing their violence.
hackuser 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some personal philosophy (as if the Internet needs more):

I always watch out for the dogmatic idealogues, the ones without moderation. You can identify them when they say that the welfare of others, often including their lives, should be sacrificed to the idealogue's cause - and of course the others should have no say in it.

Pragmatism and humility are the wisest forms of morality. There should always be something higher than your ideals and goals, either the ideal of other people's lives and welfare, or their self-determination (whether or not you agree with their opinions), or your humility: Unless you are God, you should hesitate to sacrifice others based on your judgement. For me, that's also the philosophical foundation of democracy.

xupybd 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I liked this article, it went straight to the heart of the issue.

Many take a cheap shot at religion (in most cases Muslims) when they talk about this sort of stuff. But this article talks about morality as the factor.

While moral codes are often a huge part of religions they are also a huge part of other groups of society, such as animal rights groups, labour unions and even criminal organisations.

To me this seems to fly in the face of "the world would be so much better if this group didn't exist" thinking. By not focusing on a particular group, but isolating the mechanism through which this violence happens, I believe this paves the way for a far more constructive dialogue.

Xcelerate 1 day ago 5 replies      
I believe the author's hypothesis is probably correct. It seems the only way to avoid the "well my case is different; violence is justified in this situation because..."-bias is to instill or promote a common moral that "violence is not okay ever". It's the only way you can be sure that you're not falling into the same biases that our "enemies" have fallen into.

The more I learn about cognitive biases, the more I think they're probably the cause of almost all interpersonal conflict in modern society (unfortunately, awareness of this fact doesn't make you immune to the phenomenon).

fein 1 day ago 4 replies      
> because most gun violence is not committed by people with mental health problems. Rather, it is committed by people who feel they are morally right in committing that act.

Is there a reason that delusions of morality don't count as a mental health issue? I don't see these things being mutually exclusive.

tomaskazemekas 21 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the main problems with violence inspired by morality is that many moral systems accept the use of force and thus violence as main course of action to improve the status of the world.

This makes moral systems that propagate principles of non violence, like Ahimsa, worth spreading.

breischl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
>> [mental health checks] will not significantly decrease gun violence because most gun violence is not committed by people with mental health problems. Rather, it is committed by people who feel they are morally right in committing that act.

That strikes me as a non-sequitur. Aren't morality and mental health orthogonal?

For example, if someone believed that his refrigerator is God and it speaks to him via the expiration dates on the milk, that would be barking mad. If he based a system of morality on those messages and it told him that bald people are evil and need to die, then he's got moral justification and motivation in his own mind. But he's still barking mad, and a mental health check would show that, right?

33a 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe for high profile terrorism, but what about the more common petty street crime like muggings? I don't buy that is motivated by some high minded morality. Rather it seems like a rational and greedy calculation made by those with not much to lose.
legulere 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> The commonality was that the primary motivations were moral.

I'm not so sure about this. Humans tend to act first and then construct a reason why they do it. This is used to rationalize the actions through some seemingly higher cause when the behaviour was done because of very mundane things.

Humans certainly always act in a way that they think is best for an extended version of themselves (good for me, good for my family, good for my clique, good for my country, good for humankind, good for the world). But I doubt that this judgement of what is best to do is so often moral. Most of the time it's actually just satisfying urges by our bodies.

rcthompson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have to wonder whether morality is the motivation for violence, or just the rationalization of an act that was actually motivated by something else. This would probably be really hard to distinguish, since all we have to go on is why people said they did things, which could just as easily be their true motivation or their post-hoc rationalization.

If two people are stranded on a desert island with only enough food for one person, one of them is going to die one way or another, and they're probably not going to wait and see who starves first. But when the lone survivor is finally rescued, there's a pretty good chance they'll have convinced themselves that the other one deserved what they got. That doesn't make it an act of morally justified violence. (Yes, this is an obviously idealized and unrealistic scenario, but you get the point.)

jeffdavis 1 day ago 0 replies      
So many things are arbitrarily framed in a moral context that it seems hard to agree or disagree with this thesis.

For instance, we typically think of gang shootings as violence caused by greed or desire for power. But it's also common to frame it as a moral issue, such as "they shouldn't have been operating in my territory without paying" or "they were going to double-cross me".

Why do we take the moral explanation at face value? Just because the ostensible reason is morality doesn't mean that's the real reason. They may have already decided what they were going to do, and rationalized it with morality later.

zth 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is going to be an especially hard problem to tackle, because you have liberals that want to say morality is just a social construct, and you can't say anything is good or bad, while you have conservatives that want their morality channeled through a doctrine that's hundreds of years old.

We need to pick ourselves up from our bootstraps and say morality is tied to the well-being of any conscious system and there's a landscape where you can navigate more 'right' or 'wrong'.

d_t_w 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's an extremely broad title.

If an individual soldier is motivated by their moral sentiment that they are fighting for democracy in Afghanistan and so that Afghan girls can get an education that is meaningless, the motivation of the leaders who took that decision is the primary cause of the violence.

My belief is that Western nations fight wars for economic reasons, but uses a moral argument to assuage the population and provide exculpation to the troops.

We simply do not put boots on the ground or bombs in the air for moral reasons, no matter how it's cloaked.

Uhhrrr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a peer reviewed paper showing their findings? The author is an academic who says he has studied this, but there is no link to such a paper.

I would also note that police usually investigate people who knew the victim, rather than people who were morally opposed to them. But I don't have a peer reviewed study either.

p4wnc6 1 day ago 1 reply      
It could also be possible that most of the time violence is avoided, it is also due to moral sentiments.
laotzu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Marshall McLuhan suggests an alternative theory as to the primary motivation of violence. He claims that violence is a quest for identity:

>"All forms of violence are a quest for identity. When you live out on the frontier you have no identity, you're a nobody. Therefore you get very tough. You have to prove that you are somebody. And so you become very violent. And so identity is always accompanied by violence. Ordinary people find the need for violence as they lose their identities. And so it is only the threat to peoples identities that makes them violent. Terrorists, hijackers, these are people minus identity. They are determined to make it somehow. To get coverage, to get noticed."


McLuhan defines violence very broadly, in the sense that violence means to violate boundaries. Thus he describes giving birth as violence in which the original identity is given to the individual.

Whether it is a political party, nation-state, or terrorist who uses violence, in some way or another they are seeking to establish or defend their identity. The electric media being a catalyst in all of this:

>"Any loss of identity prompts people to seek reassurance and rediscovery of themselves by testing, and even by violence. Today, the electric revolution, the wired planet, and the information environment involve everybody in everybody to the point of individual extinction."

-Letter to Clare Westcott, November 26 1975.

So, the nation-state that has a nostalgia for the "old days" and "standing for freedom" (implying a lack thereof) seeks identity through violence by invading countries "for freedom" and commits other acts of violence to "make country x great again".

Likewise the terrorist who feels their identity threatened, be it religious or sociopolitical, may seek to reestablish their identity through violence. McLuhan also notes the major role mass media outlets play in awarding terrorists and mass murders the identity they so desperately seek via 24/7 coverage and rumination.

>"Terrorism is an invention in which any two-armed people can take over an entire industry, namely television, with the eager cooperation of its owners. Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity."

-Marshall McLuhan, as quoted by Tom Wolfe

guscost 1 day ago 1 reply      
An important clarification: Most violence among humans is motivated by morality. Sounds plausible.
galfarragem 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Most peacefullness in the world is motivated by moral sentiments.

Isn't this valid also?

Moral (of majorities) -> Law -> Peacefullness (status quo)

Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reads like the abstract of a paper. Is there a more detailed paper behind it? This author may be on to something, but there's not enough there to tell.
wpietri 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is where the article goes wrong for me:

> The commonality was that the primary motivations were moral. This means that the perpetrators of violence felt like what they are doing was morally right.

The first sentence is about motivation. The second is about justification.

As an example, I think back to when I was a little kid and fought with my younger brother. My motivations for hitting him would be things like feelings of anger, shame, or urge to establish dominance. My justification would be something like "he hit me first" or "he deserved it" or "he can't talk to me like that".

The motivation was primary, and something I didn't choose. (I did choose to indulge it, of course.) The justification was secondary and situational, constructed to avoid accountability (both internal and parental). Sometimes it was true and sometimes it wasn't, but it was always secondary. As an adult, the justification (and critical examination of it) is part of my gatekeeping of what motivations I indulge, but it's not the motivator.

I think this matters because fixing the claimed justification won't always change the behavior. This quote from a Jon Ronson article gets at why:

"I once interviewed a prison psychiatrist, James Gilligan, who told me that every murderer he treated was harbouring a central secret which was that they felt humiliated. 'I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed or humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed,' he said. His conclusion: 'All violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.'"

wangii 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article is flawed while the original paper might not, if it does exist. In this article, the author didn't mention the core methodology of how he managed to find out the reason behind each violence, by interview, court record, or newspaper? How he interpreted the description of motivation from his sources? How he distinguished motivation and excuse (or self justification)? I think it's meaningless just to state his hypothesis.
infinity0 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The points in the article are all reasonable and better than dismissive attitudes that "[something] is evil" but - where is his actual data and research? He should point to it!
muddyrivers 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Cross-culturally, I looked at why it is incomprehensible to Westerners to kill women for sexual infidelity, yet other parts of the world encourage this practice."

Could the author be more "Westerners"-centric? It is incomprehensible for all the human beings except the fundamentalists from those religious sects.

gepiti 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Moral Sentiments are used to justify violence by the perpetrators. That does now mean their morality is really the driving force of their actions.
CM30 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how much of the percentage comes from dicators motivated by said 'moral sentiments' and the wars they seem to like getting into.

Those are some of the worst examples of ideologues wanting to force their views on others and sacrifice others based on their 'judgement'.

ftwynn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
They say we are all the heroes of our own stories... maybe that should be more strongly considered in the context of these shootings.
swayvil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nah, it's just justified by moral sentiments.
alvarosm 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, well... easy to blame morals when you have none and wouldn't know moral if it hit you in the face. ISIS jihadists have no morals, for example. The article is ridiculous
kelukelugames 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is what I ask myself whenever I feel upset, "Am I over reacting? Am I being overly sensitive?"

This is what I ask when someone else is upset at me, "What did I do wrong?"

Hopefully, these questions prevent me from being too self-righteous. The downsides are that it takes me a while to understand my mistakes, and I don't get to be smug and self-satisfied.

lintiness 12 hours ago 0 replies      
broadcast access is as cheap as the outrage it feeds.
VOYD 11 hours ago 0 replies      
squozzer 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A more fundamental question is why morality - especially the kind that allows for violence against non-followers - exists at all.

I hypothesize that morality was initially invented to subdue the masses into servitude - obey the alpha male, and slay those who do not. The logical next step would be to consider outsiders as disobedient to the alpha male until they accept his rule.

Religions are essentially this principle, with supernatural being(s) as the ultimate alphas, and prophets as their messengers.

Ideologies do away with supernatural beings, maybe replacing anthropomorphic gods with "forces of history", e.g. Dialectical Materialism or Manifest Destiny, and replace prophets with destined / enlightened rulers.

DominikR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always held the belief that almost no one (except maybe for some persons with mental health problems) could cope with consistently acting "evil" according to his/her own internal moral compass.

There's always an excuse or twisted moral justification, which boils down to: Someone acts against my interest so I am right in doing X.

Doesn't matter if that someone is a person, the society, the state, culture or the economic system, there's always something you could come up with to direct your hatred against when life didn't work out the way you wanted it.

puppetmaster3 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be sad that if most of the violence is because someone is stronger and someone else is weaker.

Such as: someone has a weapon, the other side does not.

ilaksh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Propaganda is used to create the moral outrage needed to rationalize the violence needed to acquire the resources.



Chicago and Los Angeles Are Next Up for Google Fiber techcrunch.com
324 points by iamlacroix  2 days ago   216 comments top 35
nkrisc 2 days ago 9 replies      
As a Chicagoan I'm excited, but also worried it will lead to the incarceration of multiple public officials and a raw deal for the city, somehow.
touchofevil 2 days ago 7 replies      
I can't wait for this in LA. I'm currently paying $115 per month for 1Mbps/10Mbps for Time Warner "business class" internet-only service. My company does visual effects work, so I actually have to drive my video files home on a USB drive to upload them since my home connection is 20Mbps/200Mbps for $50 per month. The internet monopoly situation in the US is terrible for businesses here.
WalterBright 2 days ago 4 replies      
Sadly, Seattle bureaucracy has ruined google fiber here: http://crosscut.com/2014/12/google-fiber-never-come-seattle-...
Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's just talk. Google has parts of three small cities wired. Google has never done a big city, or an entire city. Sonic already has parts of San Francisco hooked up with gigabit fiber.[1]

[1] https://www.sonic.com/gigabit-fiber-internet

scott_karana 2 days ago 13 replies      
> Yes, San Francisco has been skipped again and Im going to go cry into my slow internet from Comcast.

I seriously still cannot get over how funny this is.

SF pitches itself as the centre of the tech universe, and yet, it still hasn't "disrupted" its own crappy broadband infrastructure. (Much less the rest of the country's!)

I'm sure there's many good reasons for Google passing them over, but that doesn't keep it from being hilarious.

nosuchthing 2 days ago 3 replies      
LA has had notoriously bad ISP coverage. Most houses in the area only have a choice between one cable provider or going DSL.

Nice to hear AT&T is planning to roll out gigabit fiber in LA as well. http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/12/att-bringing-gigabit...

For some reason Verizon Fios has avoided LA proper but laid out Fiber along the outskirts and in Ventura County years ago.

pasbesoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
AT&T recently announced some initial "Gigabit" deploys in the Chicagoland suburbs. I guess now we know why.

AT&T has been horrible in Illinois, with years and years of dragging their feet as well as reneging on commitments made to the State in return for e.g. tax breaks and rights of way.

Even with their announced Gigabit service, one really faces roughly twice the cost of Google Fiber if one chooses to opt out of AT&T's connection/data spying. And they impose a 1 TB / billing cycle (month) data cap. At the supposed 1 Gbps maximum speed, that's a bit less than 154 minutes of data -- less than 2.5 hours. For the entire month / billing cycle.

It's not difficult to imagine a 4K household easily exceeding this cap, or even a 1080p household with several users.

So... Go, Google Fiber. I don't hold out much hope they'll get out to me, but I'm glad that they may finally be holding incumbents' feet to the fire in a large urban market -- one that is considered AT&T's "home turf", to boot. (The erstwhile SBC headquarters were/are in the Chicago suburbs, and a lot of corporate management/leadership is or has been in the area.)

top1percentduh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
LOL force change with the pocketbook. yes internet is needed for modern use, use phone carrier for banking, bills, and email. disconnect cable, internet, Netflix, and all other streaming and cloud services, games and all the digital crap. Put a digital antenna on TV. Many businesses will quickly lose money and force change back to somewhat affordable rates. In the mean time back to reading, board games, hobbies, parks, exercise, etc.. they don't cost a penny. If everyone disconnected for a few months you would realize that there is life beyond these time wasting distractions. The best things in life are free anyway.
angryasian 2 days ago 2 replies      
If I had to guess, I imagine they would start out around where their offices are in Venice and at least reach to where their Youtube studios are in Playa Vista. Both areas are big for startups along with all new development in Playa Vista.
legohead 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has Google announced San Diego officially yet? My friend said he noticed they were putting up hiring ads [1] there. But their San Diego page [2] doesn't make it sound quite official yet.

[1] https://www.google.com/about/careers/search#!t=jo&jid=137035...

[2] https://fiber.google.com/cities/sandiego/

BuckRogers 2 days ago 0 replies      
I lived in Chicago (proper, not the burbs) for years. The existing city cable provider, RCN, was one of the best I ever had the pleasure of using. It's definitely no Comcast like the suburbanites are stuck with.

The city is too old.. they don't even have all the schematics for all the gas lines and other pipes and wires laid over the centuries. Digging in Chicago is very dangerous and restricted. It will be interesting to learn how they deploy this if it happens.

As for likelihood this goes through, I can't see this ever happening. It's very corrupt, city employees don't want to work too hard, it's running on borrowed time.

Oh, I'm in Austin now. :) Can't say I care to return to the Windy City but this would certainly help pull in migrants other than native midwesterners.

awqrre 2 days ago 1 reply      
How much would it cost for the US government to connect all US households to fiber? about 1 month of war?
hissworks 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd assumed that cities like Chicago with relatively old/dense/complex infrastructure would pose a tremendous challenge to a project like Google Fiber. Happy to have assumed incorrectly, but it does seem a significant jump from mid-sized metros like Provo/Austin/Kansas City.
mc808 2 days ago 1 reply      
Five years ago, I honestly thought everyone in major cities would be using encrypted gigabit mesh networks by now. Maybe in 2020.
skorecky 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really hope this happens. Our current choice of Comcastholes or AT&T's Slow DSL is ridiculous for a city like Chicago.
schwap 2 days ago 1 reply      
Los Angeles will be an impressive feat. The ridiculous number of jurisdictions will generate an ungodly amount of red tape.
mmanfrin 2 days ago 5 replies      
Does anyone know what it takes to start up municipal fiber? There is a dark fiber line about 4 blocks from my house (in Berkeley), I feel that if I got enough neighbors to sign on to helping fund the initial costs of piping a connection to that, we could all get much better internet service -- but I don't know where one would start with that.
davidf18 2 days ago 2 replies      
Congrats to the residents of Chicago and LA for having the local government leadership to work with Google.

I wish I could say the same for NYC where I live.

Despite the fact that Google owns one of the largest office buildings in the city where many engineers and other staff work, there is no Google fiber here.

Sadly, the mayor seems more focused attempting to slow the growth of Uber until the residents vociferously protested.

Now he is trying to ban the popular horse drawn carriages in Central Park -- or ban most of them. Sigh....

intopieces 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm still wondering if Google Fiber is a foundation for Google's ambitions to resurrect their city-wide WiFi plans that stalled in SF years back. Ever since Google-Fi rolled out, I've been more convinced that Google doesn't actually need to wire every home with Fiber, just to put it in enough places and blanket the area with their own fine-tuned data network. Then, charge people for accounts to access it.
r0m4n0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Heard about ATT gigabit coming to Sacramento yesterday (amongst many others). Finally seeing these lazy companies upgrade infrastructure.


drcode 2 days ago 3 replies      
In the current fiber cities, does anyone know if the service made it out of the city limits into the burbs?

(Asking as someone right outside the Chicago city limits...)

jMyles 2 days ago 0 replies      
The top comment is a (seemingly half or less than half-) joking comment about corruption in Chicago.

I have another, related thought:

These two cities are, without any reasonable dispute, centers of horrific police brutality.

Will Google Fiber drive down internet prices (and promote more public wifi) so as to cause a measurable increase in reporting and uploading of high-definition video of incidents?

caycep 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how much of LA will be covered? it is a gigantic area. I do hope they go up to the Pasadena and San Marino areas...
tdaltonc 2 days ago 1 reply      
My start-up is in LA and we're been talking about moving to SF. This will definitely factor in to our discussion.
olivermarks 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm on Sonic 1 gigabit fiber in Sebastopol 50 miles north of San Francisco, one of the reasons we moved north from the city. Sonic are excellent and are building out in San Francisco in small areas.
ojbyrne 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone a few miles from Google HQ, this doesn't mean very much. Mountain View has been on the "potential" list for at least 2 years, with no movement whatsoever.
snowwrestler 2 days ago 3 replies      
I can't understand why Google hasn't picked Alexandria, VA. It's a small, fairly dense, highly educated city with high average household income.

I bet the city government would welcome it. It's pretty much all Comcast right now, and the city is researching muni fiber.

Plus it's right outside Washington DC and plenty of government officials live there. The effect of competition on broadband quality and price would be highly visible to federal lawmakers.

edit: I'm curious why this is getting downvoted.

bfrog 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent, I await an actual gigabit connection and support people that actually know what their doing.
kristopolous 2 days ago 0 replies      
Come capitalism, save us from the vicious tyranny of capitalism!
jdstafford 2 days ago 0 replies      
Baltimorean here. Enjoy it, bastards :D
pkmiec 2 days ago 0 replies      
good for them to do a major city. i'm still waiting for pdx.
azinman2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now Comcast is scared.
ocdtrekkie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I won't mind if my Comcast Internet suddenly gets a free speed boost here! (But I won't sign myself up for an ISP that's primary business is tracking your data.
xigency 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whoo, Chicago.
niels_olson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can we count San Diego as a large LA suburb? Please?
Yahoo to Spin Off Its Core Businesses nytimes.com
326 points by _stephan  1 day ago   280 comments top 41
chollida1 1 day ago 15 replies      
Yahoo had to do this. They had been hanging onto the belief that the IRS wouldn't tax their Alibaba spin out, a belief that they and their tax accountants alone believed.

Most telling is that Yahoo was up after the markets closed on this news. Heck Bloomberg just sent me a note saying the sentiment of the news on Yahoo was very positive, even the machines like this news:)

Sadly this probably means 3 things are going to happen in the next 6 months:

1) The CEO leaves, and is replaced by an interm CEO from a PE firm who will negotiate the wind down of Yahoo.

2) There will be a lot of companies coming to look at Yahoo. If a deal can be done quickly then I don't think there will be layoffs right away. If no deal can be reached quickly then in 6 months I'll bet there is a very large round of layoffs as the company shutters what it can't sell to make the rest of Yahoo look more appetizing.

3) If Alibaba buys the holding portion of Yahoo( Alibaba and Yahoo Japan) then look for Alibaba to seek to acquire the rest of Yahoo Japan.

From teh article:

> Yahoos shift in strategy comes as Ms. Mayer and her husband, Zachary Bogue, are expecting the birth of twin daughters this month

I hope she takes a full year off, if not more. The past 4 years couldn't have been easy on her. It will be interesting to see what she does next.

It's clear she's great at product design and not so good at people skills. Unfortunately, that doesn't fit well with becoming a CEO again.

FussyZeus 1 day ago 3 replies      
Oh just give this poor old dog the old Yeller treatment already. I don't know what's more sad, the fact that Yahoo has fallen from where it once was, or that it's falling so slowly and that it's new CEO, once thought to be it's saving grace, is letting the bleeding continue for seemingly as long as she possibly can.

I can't imagine the morale issues in the trenches of Yahoo, it's gotta be just horrible in there.

3pt14159 1 day ago 6 replies      
So I don't understand one simple thing: The stock is up 120% since Mayer took over. Even adjusting for compounding interest over 3.43 years, this is like 25+% yearly growth. So the core business is crapping out? So what? Why is everyone dumping on Mayer? I don't even think I could fix the core Yahoo business. They have to pay a 50% premium for developers just because it's Yahoo and their core audience is the technically illiterate; a group that is fairly difficult to monetize.
cronjobber 1 day ago 2 replies      
Respect, old boy Cringely actually got this one right: http://www.cringely.com/2015/11/30/soylent-green-now-made-wi...
vonklaus 1 day ago 2 replies      
Paul Graham's What happened to Yahoo[0] is probably just as relevent now as when he wrote it in 2010.

> One of the weirdest things about Yahoo when I went to work there was the way they insisted on calling themselves a "media company.

That was a bad decision then, but at the time content and media were newer on the internet and had value. They don't anymore. Yahoo finance and fantasy sports are nice things to provide, but they aren't a google killer for sure.

Yahoo's core business is media not technology. If the NYT and Wall Street Journal are any indication, media is a bad business to be in.


spinchange 1 day ago 2 replies      
To come in as an outsider and try to save an ailing web giant nearly everyone had already written off is no easy feat. Wall St. is valuing things like Tumblr at zero and so now she has to do a 180 and unwind this company, maximally and efficiently, while pregnant with twins. Naturally we're inclined to armchair QB, but I think the hand she took over when she sat down at the table was bad. While she never went "all in" on a moonshot, that would have been a literal gamble, and she played smart. Wall Street can be inefficient. Core Yahoo is worth more than nothing.
username223 1 day ago 5 replies      
When Yahoo finally dies, my main concern is what happens to the @yahoo.com email address I've had for a couple of decades, and which now lives next to my name in countless address books. Does it perpetually forward to an address I choose? Does Yahoo try to charge for this? Do Russian identity thieves buy the domain and make my life hell?
jonknee 1 day ago 1 reply      
Marissa Mayer and Maynard Webb were on CNBC this morning talking about the spin:

Part 1: https://amp.twimg.com/v/76b8a5e2-9a6c-40c3-9c1b-e2c8bcf91159Part 2: https://amp.twimg.com/v/ce42d263-7b9c-4716-8d06-b320ed243606

Mayer seems completely bored by the whole thing and keeps passing stuff off to Webb as "board level consideration". Doesn't make me excited for Yahoo whatsoever.

crudbug 1 day ago 3 replies      
Yahoo management lacks vision. They had the most popular brand names in social media space, still couldn't innovate.

1. Messenger

2. Mail

3. Flickr

4. Tumblr

pmlnr 1 day ago 2 replies      
The one and only question I need to ask: will flickr stay alive?

The rest had been obsolete for a while anyway.

benmorris 1 day ago 3 replies      
I never understood farming out their search engine to Bing in the first place. Google literally prints money with their adwords search business. Seems instead of attempting to innovate they just threw in the towel and gave up? I just find it hard to believe that Google is the only way you can run a successful search engine.
peteretep 1 day ago 0 replies      
So they're selling Alibaba, but doing it the other way around.
wiremine 1 day ago 6 replies      
Honest question: what has been Yahoo's core business for the last 15 years?
sremani 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ms.Mayer took a very difficult job. There is no sense in feeling for her, she knew what she was getting into and she was paid highly as if she already accomplished a turn around. Every thing said and done, Ms.Mayer will have $400 Million, even if Yahoo as we know is Kaput. It is a demonstration that C-level execs do not have skin in the game any more, they are paid like they already accomplished the task they have set to.
aswanson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yahoo purchased viaweb which made YC possible. The startup community owes yahoo a lot.
voltagex_ 1 day ago 8 replies      
Again I ask, where should I take ~30GB of photos that I have on Flickr? Yes, I have other backups but I need offsite storage. Guess I'll have to budget for it now. Backblaze B2 isn't quite ready yet.
netcan 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure I quite understand.

The article puts Yahoo's Alibaba stake at 31bn. Google finance is reporting Yahoo's market cap as 32.75bn. Does this mean that Yahoo's non-Alibaba value is a rounding error?

zingplex 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's almost as if Yahoo doesn't know what their core businesses are anymore. It will be interesting to see if they come out of this with better understanding of their identity.
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 2 replies      
Certainly the end of the beginning. Yahoo!, one of perhaps a handful of companies, was the first "Internet"[1]. Those companies blazed an interesting trail and brought the mainstream population of the US into the "online" world. That they emerged across the chasm that was the dot.com crash, was a testament to the amount of momentum they carried with them.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for them, but even with Marissa at the helm the biggest challenge they have not seemed able to overcome, was to tranform into something more 'web 3.0' ish.

I would not be surprised in the slightest if Microsoft spun out Bing as a subsidiary, and absorbed the assets and IP of Yahoo! into their own search centered business with a portal attached.

By resizing that combined business to be profitable based on the search and ad revenue I expect the case could be made for that as a long lived entity that remains when Google implodes. And having an already separate (or separable) would allow Microsoft to step away to avoid anti-trust concerns while keeping a partial interest to capture the value appreciation.

[1] the 0th Internet was what emerged right after HTTP started propagating, GNN, bookmarks etc.

ddlatham 1 day ago 2 replies      
What's the difference aside from the tax liability? Either way you wind up with two companies. One with the Alibaba shares, and the other with everything else.
barretts 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any reason I shouldn't see this as a complicated tax dodge? Simply more multinational pilfering from public coffers? Why shouldn't the Alibaba capital gains be taxed?
jackgavigan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought Yahoo's stock price would rise on this news (because it removes the uncertainty that was overshadowing the original Aabaco spin-off plan) but, despite a brief opening spike, the stock is down on yesterday's close.

On the conference call this morning, the management team sounded really downbeat. I expected them to sound positive and optimistic, talking about unlocking shareholder value and focusing on Yahoo Core but they sounded like somebody had died.

As of this moment, the market value of Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan are $32.5bn and $8.67bn respectively, while Yahoo itself has a market cap of $32.37bn.

To quote Matt Levine, "the whole point of Yahoo as a company right now is to not pay taxes on Alibaba. [...] If there was a way to avoid paying taxes on the Alibaba shares that involved burning all of Yahoo's actual businesses to the ground, Yahoo should do that all day long, and then do it again the next day. It would still add shareholder value."

"And the market, right now, is valuing Yahoo as though it will fail in that mission, which is its only mission."

Source: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-12-02/yahoo-is-lo...

kzhahou 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's this mean for a company like Polyvore, acquired a couple months ago?
epmatsw 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder what will happen to their fantasy football product. It's wayyyy better than their competitors
craigasketch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this a harbinger for darker times to come? Or is it simply Yahoo's time finally? I think there is still value in Yahoo it's just expectations vs market reality to me are at odds. I don't know what I'll set my grandma's homepage to now.
aswanson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Watching Mayer on CNBC right now. Really sad, she has that 1000 yard stare look in her eyes.
dothis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you guys think our emails on Yahoo mail are safe after this? I will backup mine as soon as I find the time to do so.

Yahoo has a terrible track record regarding emails. I already lost one due to inactivity. They gave it to somebody else. That somebody probably has access to several of my accounts now. On websites where I used my Yahoo address and then just forgot about it.

joefarish 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's core business is owning Alibaba shares, no?
mmanfrin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wait, so since they can't spin off the Alibaba stake tax free, they're going to spin off Yahoo (and pay taxes on that lesser-valued spin off)? Shareholders would then own 'YHOO' which are basically BABA pass-through stocks, and whatever other company Yahoo becomes?
ShardPhoenix 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The decision not to sell the Alibaba stake, which was reported on Tuesday, was driven by the markets perception of tax risk associated with the Alibaba plan"

It's unfortunate that the tax code is so complex that ambiguous "tax risk" is a thing.

poofyleek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yahoo Core Business valuation is at this point low enough that any one of the Unicorns, e.g. Uber, Airbnb,... could easily afford it. Tumblr could have raised more money to become a bigger Unicorn and could have acquired Yahoo. Absurdity is reality.
ArtDev 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yahoo bought my favorite task manager, and killed it. Yahoo bought Flickr, and has been slowly killing it for years.

Yahoo bought delicious.com, said they were going to kill it, but later sold it. Most of the users that left never came back.

Has Yahoo done anything worthwhile in the last 15 years besides disrupt innovation in a bad way?

clavalle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yahoo is the Motorola of the Internet Sector.

Always playing catch up in an industry that is lead or die. Good to great engineers with failed leadership trying to coast on past success then, when the stuff hits the fan, trying to effect a culture change on a bloated structure. Finally, the sell off.

intrasight 1 day ago 1 reply      
Used Yahoo paid email for several years in the 00s. I've not used Yahoo for anything else. Never did understand what is their business model.
crudbug 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zuck - If you are here .. Buy Yahoo for Max,

Trust me, you will thank me later. :)

pitt1980 1 day ago 1 reply      
what multiple of its earnings was Yahoo trading at at the height of its glory?

given that we now know the postscript (or at least much of it)

did that multiple make any sense?

ebbv 1 day ago 2 replies      
So now Yahoo stock is basically going to be a faux Ali Baba stock. This totally seems like a healthy thing and evidence that there is nothing at all wrong with our market system.
yeukhon 1 day ago 8 replies      
Can someone explain why do business like to create new company? What are the benefits for the financial return other than having a book reporting individual revenue? In the end, aren't they going to be under the same parent company, which, if one wishes, can actually challenge and even overrule the child company CEO's decision behind the scene? HP, Google, now Yahoo.
mgalka 1 day ago 1 reply      
What I want to know is, how has Yahoo lasted so long?

Google has beaten them at search, maps, email, and news. And their homepages is still confusing web 1.0 jumbled mess.

What do people still use Yahoo for anyway?

PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
It might be better if Merissa Meyer took a long maternity leave.
Being homeless a struggle, even with a $100k job offer seattletimes.com
396 points by pessimizer  2 days ago   159 comments top 21
exhomeless 1 day ago 5 replies      
I was homeless for about a year and a half. The first 6 months were spent sleeping on the streets, and when possible, in a shelter - but realistically, in the area where I was, most shelters were not really a safe place to be, and the few that were filled up early. The remaining time, I crashed at a drug dealers house and helped sell in return.

I didn't have much more than the belongings that fit in a mid-sized duffle bag and for a while I mostly survived by cleaning bathrooms at coffee shops before opening hours where the employees didn't really want to do that part of their job - and in return I would get some coffee and a bite to eat. Any money I did get, I saved up.

Once I had access to the internet again, and at least a warm place to sleep at night that I considered safe, I started making contacts on IRC. Eventually I had enough money to relocate across country via Greyhound, a couch to crash on when I arrived and prospects for a new beginning. I quickly jumped from $25k to $40k to $60k etc and am currently at $160k with a whole new life and an amazing career ahead of me.

It's possible to get out of the situation if what got you there isn't addiction or mental illness - the system does little to help, and without being resourceful it's easy to get stuck in that position for a long time. But it can be done. Granted, I never had the ex-con/drug dealer status haunting me in background checks, but I have been upfront in interviews before and still got the job. Greatest accomplishment in life? Escaping homelessness.

sdrothrock 1 day ago 7 replies      
In his case, it sounds like the problem isn't homelessness itself, but:

1. A crappy background check system that reports him as an ex-con/drug dealer when he's been exonerated.

2. Companies using those systems and judging him without giving him a chance to speak up.

Dr_tldr 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is part of the larger tech hiring culture of "it's better to miss hiring someone good than to hire someone who might be bad." The guy in the story is hit especially hard by this, but HR's paradigm of fear/incompetence/inability to manage people after they're hired is a big piece of it.

It's not ever easy for someone classified as an ex-con to get a job, but tech discriminates more than most other professions.

chatwinra 1 day ago 1 reply      
This just backs up why I think Finland's recent move[1] to give every citizen a basic salary is the way forward.

You'd then give everyone that basic level of security and enable them to progress in life. Yes there are potential flaws with the Finnish scheme (some people on benefits may ultimately lose out, and millionaires getting the same amount as poor people) - but crucially it would probably stop most, if not all, of cases like this, where someone can't escape the pull of homelessness even with opportunity there.

1 - http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/finland-plans-to-give-ev...

tuxracer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take someone who has already demonstrated the know how to make money selling illicit drugs and, as punishment, ban them from legitimate employment for life... That must be super effective! /s
crimsonalucard 1 day ago 5 replies      
Why don't wrongfully convicted people Sue for damages and use the lawsuit to get there records purged? I sure there is a reason why people don't in general I'm just not clear what exactly this reason is. Anyone in the know care to elucidate me?
zodiac 1 day ago 3 replies      
Why is he failing background checks if he's never been non-wrongfully convicted? Genuinely curious to hear from anyone with experience on the employer side of this.
alakkadshaw 1 day ago 2 replies      
He could try working as a freelancer, on websites like Elance/Upwork or something and make some money. Then he could use that money move out of the homeless shelter and then look for a decent job.
ommunist 1 day ago 2 replies      
I believe the only clear way for him is to leave the US and land some international job at some place good as Australia or Sing. Yes, the US will loose a good cyber cop. But as you can see here, this is entirely the US systematic problem. Simmons does not deserve to serve lifetime living in the US, struggling for foodstamps.
lisper 1 day ago 0 replies      
I spent two years trying to get a homeless person off the street, and made a movie about it:


imgabe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there charities set up that could help with something like this? I mean it would literally take less than $5k to get this guy set up. A couple suits of decent clothes, a security deposit and first months rent for an apartment, a bus ticket to wherever his job is.

That is a bargain for removing a homeless person from the system. Local governments and shelters should be jumping at the chance to do it.

meesterdude 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there anything we can do for him? I mean this is just nuts.
morgante 1 day ago 5 replies      
One thing I'm curious about is how he actually ended up homeless. Before the conviction, it seems like he was doing very well (BMW, townhouse).

Why did he not have sufficient savings to survive after he got out of prison?

(Not trying to blame him for anything, trying to plan for my own life. I strive to maintain sufficient savings so that I would never be homeless even if I never worked again.)

d_theorist 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems like the conviction is what's preventing him from taking up the job offers, not being homeless.
spyder 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why don't they do the background check before the interviews so they don't waste eachother's time and money just to later have a background check fail. Does a background check costs more than an interview and paying for the flights?
brotoss 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is this article actually about?

That he's getting $100k offers pending background checks and failing them?

Bad title.

pkaye 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder if he could start his own consulting company?
jokoon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Artificial selection at its finest.
Laaw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like this story is more about the struggle being black.
win_ini 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm always happy when the up voting system works and the most useless, least constructive comments make it to the bottom. As the other commenter said - the universe of offensive pen testing is a small one compared to the IT security playing field.
kraftman 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am very pleased to offer you the full-time position of Senior Analyst, Security Compliance, - so why doesn't he take that job? Or are they offering him the job and then by the time he goes to take it they've googled him and changed their minds?
Rust 1.5 rust-lang.org
326 points by steveklabnik  13 hours ago   139 comments top 11
wyldfire 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Congrats to the team!

I recently wrote my first Rust [1] project. Great experience, IMO. I faced a lot of interesting challenges because my use case was a little outside of typical. But I tried to minimize 'unsafe' and I was still satisfied with the results so far.

I know I've only just scratched the surface of the language and I'm looking forward to learning more.

[1] https://github.com/androm3da/libfaultinj

Cshelton 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats first of all!

I love Rust and am using it more and more. I'm very excited for 'cargo watch'. These tools built into the package manager will be so helpful with peoples' first time Rust experience. I think I'm going to say it, Rust has my favorite package management system of any language I've used.

Side Note: I'm also a fan of the 6 week release assembly line Rust has going on. I'm glad that it's staying consistent.

jeffdavis 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I know this seems like a trivial issue, but I've been bothered by the try!() macro for a while. I keep hoping then will adopt the "?" postfix operator to mean the same thing, because it seems to increase readability a lot.

I'm open to other ideas too, but that seemed like the simplest way to get the error handling out of the way.

Ordinarily I try hard not to complain about syntax, but this seems to cause people to use .unwrap() where it's not safe (like a library).

mangeletti 13 hours ago 9 replies      
I've been excited to try Rust for some time now, but I've been holding off, only because I'm primarily developing web applications and I've heard from a few people that Rust is better suited for other tasks (based on the built-ins, packages, etc.?), despite there being at least a few frameworks out there.

What are your thoughts on this? Have things changed? Is the assumption just dead wrong, and Rust is in fact tremendous for web application development?

clessg 13 hours ago 2 replies      
How are compile times now? The one barrier I had to using Rust for anything large was the awful compile times.

Very happy to see the tooling improvements, though. Great work!

BuckRogers 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been writing small libraries in Rust and calling them from Python. Fantastic pair! Congrats to the Rust team.
seren 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a small question : I have installed 1.4 through rustup.sh.

What is the clean way to upgrade to 1.5 ? I don't think there is some kind of 'rustup.sh upgrade' Delete 1.4 & reinstall ? Or downloading rustup 1.5 will apply a clean install on the existing one ?

hatsunearu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
cargo install is by far the most interesting one in terms of usability. I was wondering how to write deployment instructions for my binary program written in Rust; it's kinda clunky to say "here, open target/release/my_program or copy it to /usr/share/bin"
devy 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Homebrew's Rust receipt is still at 1.4 :(


zaczac 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this coincident with Go 1.5 release?
mbrubeck 12 hours ago 8 replies      
Sadly, this isn't even unusual. Open source developers as a whole are 90% male or more; some older surveys found the number higher than 98%. http://readwrite.com/2013/12/11/open-source-diversity

As a long-time member of the Rust community I am seeing this changing over time, but much more slowly than I'd like. Rust is a very friendly community; we have an actively-enforced code of conduct (which has been in place since the project started >5 years ago); and some people in the community have recently put resources into things like sponsoring women and minorities to go to the first http://rustcamp.com/ conference. The RustCamp CFP had a blind review process to help avoid bias. The Servo team is currently sponsoring an Outreachy intern. And we are definitely looking for more ways to be as welcoming as possible to everyone.

Show HN: Jukedeck create unique, royalty-free music for your videos using A.I. jukedeck.com
391 points by edrex1  1 day ago   200 comments top 43
modeless 1 day ago 7 replies      
To me the exciting thing about automatic music composition isn't royalty-free prerecorded music, but the potential for real-time composition. Imagine a video game where your actions instantly affect the music, not just by splicing together prerecorded clips but actually by having new music composed and performed in real time. Or, somewhat more fancifully, imagine a set of headphones that play a continuous soundtrack for your life based on what's happening around you.

Is Jukedeck looking into real-time composition?

rockarage 1 day ago 9 replies      
This is a business I know well. Jukedeck is an example of how founders and investors do not conduct appropriate market research. There is a limited market demand for low-cost royalty-free music for videos. One could argue there is an oversupply* of royalty-free music relative to buyers. The quality is not good enough to disrupt the billion dollar Production music industry that is top heavy, a relative small amount of creators at the top get the majority of the money, the rest compete for the little that is left. Jukedeck has raised enough money ($3million #) to be around for a few years if they control their burn rate. But Jukedeck in its current form, is just another music startup destined for the Deadpool. (http://techcrunch.com/tag/deadpool/)

* http://lmgtfy.com/?q=royalty+free+music# http://www.businessweekly.co.uk/tech-trail/investment-tree/d...

iraphael 1 day ago 6 replies      
According to their pricing page ( https://www.jukedeck.com/pricing ), you can use the track free of royalty, but if you want to actually own it, you have to pay $199.

But this falls kind of in a gray area. If the AI created the tracks, why does the company own the copyright (and thus, have the right to sell it)? In December 2014, the United States Copyright Office stated that works created by a non-human are not subject to U.S. copyright (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_selfie#Copyright_issues ). So, in theory, AI could also own copyright.

Moreover, do they actually check every newly generated track to make sure its not too similar to previously-sold tracks?

Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
It sounds like one of those recursive ANN things. On the scale of seconds, it's quite good. But there's no higher-level structure. For "folk", this is obvious; for ambient, you'd probably never notice.

The goal for this technology is to beat the two guys who write most popular music.[1] Another few years.

[1] http://nypost.com/2015/10/04/your-favorite-song-on-the-radio...

minimaxir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Relevant context: Jukedeck recently won TechCrunch Disrupt London.


ianstormtaylor 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is incredibly cool! Really well done. The entire experience with creating and listening to the tracks feels really good. I'm going to be using this for my next product demo video.

It's crazy how good the tracks sound.

One thing that would be nice is the ability (like some others have stated) to tweak the generated sound. For example, there might be a lull at 0:24 but given my video it would be best for the lull to be at 0:52 instead. Would be cool if the layers/pieces were moveable a bit to make it perfectly fit the content it's paired with.

Anyways, congratulations!

mentos 1 day ago 1 reply      
Feature Request: Allow playback of the track that has a row for each of the instruments that you can mute/unmute to isolate. Then allow regeneration of a specific instrument within the track.
flippyhead 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If I take the buy the copy right option, does it mean that the AI won't ever produce the same song again? And how do you handle not occasionally producing duplicate songs when someone else enters similar settings?
Bedon292 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it would be pretty cool to have this as a streaming service. Let me listen to it as it is generated, and then slice out pieces if I really like them.
dharma1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't personally like the music, reminds me of Band in a Box, but the execution is good. Wonder what the stack is - LSTM creates the midi tracks, linux based DAW with pre-set instrument/effect chains bounces that into an mp3?
tristanho 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow - sounds really good and took about 30s to make:


Awesome idea and execution, quite jealous I didn't think of this!

solyaris 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Short answer:I'm sorry, I'm against the tech/business approach of this project.

Notes:I'm an ambient electronic music maker (and software maker too). I saw a lot of similar projects since Brian Eno's generative music project. I have been also interested in making algorithmic music (using some AI/artificial neural network schemas), using amazing Supercollider, for a while.I never achieved interesting results, in terms of "deep energy" instead "embedded" when music is made by "special" humans (so called "artists"). Full stop.

Experimenting soundscapes CREATION, in recent years I was back to what I call (along with Steve Roach): "analogic approach": sonic seeds as analogic waves (electro-acoustic) -> (digital) elaborations made by human(s) artist. No MIDI. No "samples" usage as-is. No presets.

I could call the musical secret as a case of human intelligence: "search and discovery" of unknown.Because, this is the point, music is discoveryng of mistery.

BTW, I do not want to enter in the loyality-free / real-time composition topic. So long discussed for so many years among electronic music communities!Good music, is like science inventions: come from "singularities".

That said, an interesting point, for me, is the fact Artificial Intelligence could help musicians to make music. Ok, but this is another story, another vision of what music is, for humans,for machines


lux 1 day ago 1 reply      
Would be awesome to be able to make small edits (lower or replace an instrument), but congrats on the solid execution of a cool idea!
philippelh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was wondering, what would happen if the algorithm create an existing riff and use it in a composition? Gotye use a riff from "Luiz Bonfa - Seville" in "Somebody I Used to Know" and it costs him 1M$
Schwolop 1 day ago 1 reply      
For context - I'm building autonomous Escape Rooms that react to the player's actions. We currently have several long tracks that fit various sections of the games, and we switch between them at story junctures, by playing loud sound effects that mask the transitions.

I would pay in the order of thousands of $ (pounds in your case...) for this system running locally in my network, and in what I would call 'continuous mode'. By which I mean, I give it initial conditions and the track just evolves continuously forever[1].

Ideally, I could then send additional configuration messages and have it evolve further. e.g. Start with ambient/sparse. After a few minutes, I send a command to transition to ambient/sci-fi. Then later, to electronic/aggressive, with a seamless transition between. Even better if I can have a command that is essentially "react to this message", and it does something like a cymbal clash or whatever is appropriate for the settings.

I've done improvised theatre shows before with a jazz band that did all this for us, and it was AMAZING! Being able to do it with an automated system would be a game-changer for my business. I've been considering writing it myself, but it would cost at least tens of thousands of dollars worth of my time, and our current solution is sufficiently adequate that I'm not ready to do so yet.

[1] Ironically, given your current business model, I'd actually have almost zero interest in retaining the music after it's been played.)

On a positive note, I really enjoyed all the tracks I did make!

xs 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I first read the headline this is what I was hoping for. Auto generated, upbeat, electronic music, that continuously changes, which I can listen to it all day while at work. I need music playing all day, and these days I've been trying to find electronic music that is non-memorable yet upbeat so that it's motivating but not distracting.

Instead I got a 5 minute long song. For my needs, I'll stick with soundcloud "Dj sets" which seem to go on for a few hours each.

thom 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is cool, but I can't help but pine for the day in 10 years time when someone can do this for photorealistic images.
cleansy 22 hours ago 1 reply      
This could replace my spotify subscription at all. It's exciting to hear a song that I and a software have made for the first time and maybe I am the only one who ever listens to it*.Michael from Vsauce talked about 'will we ever run out of new music?' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAcjV60RnRw
Dwolb 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Really cool product! Lots of good feedback on the page so I'm sure that's exciting.

A lot of people are mentioning video games, but another interesting use case for real-time streaming would be for running. There's tons of data on my smartphone that can help inform where the music might want to go next. Would definitely be cool to have my own personal band synced with my body's running rhythm.

qq66 1 day ago 2 replies      
The output is interesting... decent enough for an ambient background track! An interesting Version 2 would be a way to construct a song for a particular video (perhaps ingesting the Adobe Premiere project file)... Making sure the downbeats are synchronized to visual cuts, being able to switch moods when the video calls for it, and perhaps even tweaking the video timing to match the rhythm (a Premiere plugin could allow the editor to specify an approximate end time for a clip, and Jukedeck could tweak the length to be an exact number of beats).
mfrenchy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool app. I can definitely see it being useful.

On a side note, please minify your app.js file. It's 4mb and took forever to load. I almost left the site due to that.

colmvp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Honestly, I spent a good amount of time on it trying to think how to create a video that matched the music I was 'creating.' I also saw myself creating a long song just to play in the background. Cool stuff.
z3t4 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I would like a medieval genre! (for fantasy RPG's)
z3t4 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Make a top list with the most shared and liked music!
dkroy 1 day ago 1 reply      
No need to search soundcloud or google for background music for your youtube vlog or intros. It's kind of nice that you can even slice to size right off of the bat. This does seem like a time saver for that market. Either way cool idea!
soperj 1 day ago 2 replies      
It'd be interesting as a musician that often plays just by myself if I could record and upload it somewhere and have something to add accompanying music. So say a guitar track, and have an "AI" that could add drums & bass that fit the timing.
joeyspn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Add MIDI export and I'm sold...
Zekio 1 day ago 1 reply      
The music it generates in Electronic - Aggressive - Drum and bass - 130-135 bpm could replace my spotify subscription, pretty good stuff and when you get tired of a track, you just generate a new one that you can download Awesome!
cian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice work, really look forward to listening to some of what this creates!!
lectrick 1 day ago 4 replies      
Does anyone (perhaps a music theorist) know what rules determine what notes sound well following each other/together?

I find an interesting parallel between 1/2/4/8 repeating beats/parts in songs, and binary...

usefulcat 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I were doing this, I'd be interested in finding ways to find out more about what people like and don't like in the generated songs and then use that to improve the algorithm.
afro88 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is so awesome. Does anyone remember Algomusic? It was a PD program for Amiga from the early 90s that did generative rave tunes. This reminds me a lot of that, in a good way. Great job!
MzHN 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Now you just need to add a prose generator and a singing voice synthesizer and you can produce the next hit songs.
kafkaesq 1 day ago 2 replies      
Will look forward to drilling down into your samples, once the site stops getting slammed. In the meantime, you may want to replace the live auto-generation demo with a genuinely random (i.e. non-upvoted, or otherwise curated) pre-generated samples (that is to say: fairly representative of your automatic generative process, even though they happen to be pre-recorded).

Being as every second is precious, to a first-time user of your site. And as we know, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo."

beyti 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It is becoming so easy (freakishly creepy easy) to become a music artist this century.
udev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Brilliant execution! Congratulations!

My Folk song sounded pretty cool, and couldn't help but imagine some video game action that would fit the music.

lfowles 1 day ago 1 reply      
Note: Some of your pages don't have titles, making me wonder if they ever finished loading when I see the tab!
blazespin 1 day ago 1 reply      
One problem is that you might want to make it so you can hear a sample before it consumes your quota.
biot 1 day ago 2 replies      
Your logo/favicon is brilliant, combining the J and D of jukedeck and shaped into a musical note.
MikeNomad 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does Jukedeck's output differ from Koan > Noatikl ?
icefox 1 day ago 1 reply      
Feature Request: be able to take an existing generated track and change its length.
anentropic 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I want the inverse
Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius? wired.com
394 points by mkuhn  2 days ago   151 comments top 44
Analemma_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
So far there have been multiple Satoshi Nakamoto reveals which, of course, never panned out. To their credit Wired is hedging their bets, saying Wright could be a determined hoaxer and even providing some countervailing evidence to their own theory. Good journalism, that.

Having said that, I looked over the article and this seems to be the most convincing Satoshi Nakamoto theory thus far. There's no need to jump to any firm conclusions yet though: I'm certain the Internet will conclusively prove or disprove this over the next few days.

cba9 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apparently Gizmodo has been investigating this for even longer (!) and has a lot of other evidence for Wright=Satoshi too: http://gizmodo.com/this-australian-says-he-and-his-dead-frie...
dvydra 2 days ago 2 replies      
Aaaaand the Australian police just raided his house: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/09/bitcoin-fo...
RockyMcNuts 2 days ago 1 reply      
Also Gizmodo was separately leaked to, it seems, has a bunch of screenshots


if it's a hoax, seems like an awfully long and meticulous one.

[edit - Dang this fell off front page fast! Thought this one was going to be almost Steve Jobs in terms of having a life of its own]

calcsam 2 days ago 4 replies      
Worth noting that the main source on this is Gwern (https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=gwern). Gwern, care to comment?
btym 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The PGP key associated with Nakamotos email address and references to an upcoming cryptocurrency paper and triple entry accounting were added sometime after 2013"

Why is this not at the beginning of the article? That's pretty strong evidence that this is a hoax.

tlrobinson 2 days ago 1 reply      
This looks more like a trail of deliberately planted evidence to make us think he's Satoshi.

The email/tweet/transcript quotes almost suggest sort of multiple personality disorder where he believes he's Satoshi.

zmanian 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if Steven Wright has any open source code that we could review.

While it seems plausible that he would obfuscate his styleometry, it would be interesting to do a comparison with early Bitcoin.

The early Bitcoin code is super awkward.

CyberDildonics 2 days ago 2 replies      
If someone wants to prove they are Satoshi Nakamoto all they have to do is sign a message with the private keys from the genesis block. Until then it's a little pointless to guess.
robotcookies 2 days ago 0 replies      
He seems obsessed with being Satoshi. And the article itself said he made edits to insert bitcoin related entries into past writings. I'm sure he's a very smart guy but he's also one of the last people I'd think was Satoshi.
norea-armozel 2 days ago 4 replies      
Why is it important to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is/was? It seems like all this desire to know the person defeats the point of the pseudo-anonymity here. I assume it's meant to keep people focused on the idea of the crypto-currency and less on any specific ideology SN may espouse. But that's just me.
gregmac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Motherboard seems to think this is a hoax[1].

In sum:

* Only one key, the Original Key, is actually known to be associated with Satoshi.

* The Wired and Gizmodo Keys that supposedly lead back to Satoshi werent previously known to be linked to Satoshi, and their 2008 creation date could have been faked.

* Both keys use a longer and less-common key size than the Original Key.

* Both keys use a list of cipher-suites that dont match up to the Original Key, and werent added to GPG until 2009.

* The Wired key was retroactively added to a 2008 blogpost sometime between 2012 and 2014, as noted in its story.

* A core Bitcoin developer whos been involved from nearly the beginning looked back at 2011 chatlogs referring to fake Satoshi keys on keyservers, and found no reference to either the Gizmodo or Wired keys. He thinks that those keys werent yet uploaded to the keyserver in 2011.

[1] http://motherboard.vice.com/read/satoshis-pgp-keys-are-proba...

elif 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish people would respect satoshi's wish of anonymity.

Having probably the only concentration of wealth over $100M not guarded by a full security detail, it could very well lead to not only his own harm, but perhaps his family members being kidnapped, etc.

That is not even to mention the bilderberg/rothschild/etc. type of people that probably aren't big fans.

slantedview 2 days ago 0 replies      
Watching the video:

"I've got a couple doctorates... I forget what I've actually got these days".

It's hard to take seriously someone who is trying this hard not to appear self-aware.

DaniFong 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anybody have access to Craig Steven Wright's papers? Google Scholar only turns up a single patent application (apparently a patent on a registration server -- vaguely related to bitcoin but without the decentralized aspect-- and very ideologically misaligned...)

I've seen people want to mysteriously associate themselves with something large before. This could be an example of it.

cornchips 2 days ago 0 replies      
he is actively deleting himself from the internet; his several blogs (gse in particular as it was posted here a few weeks ago, but there are more), his youtube channel and any reference to him.

i doubt this is speculation as the actions definitely show he is trying to hide something (his original writing from analysis). this is also apparent in his replies to wired.

also, it sucks that this kind of content is being cleared. i found it interesting and hope it will make it back. please put it back craig.


the following quote is quite odd; anyone have any clarity?

About 20 years ago, I was at the launch of Alta Vista. It was the first big commercial search engine. Back in the early '90s everyone told me how much of a coo-coo [crazy] I was for wasting all this money to be part of something thats a bloody piece of computer code," said Wright. [1]

[1] http://www.cio.com.au/article/549278/bitcoin_safe_/

wityak 2 days ago 1 reply      
If Satoshi is Wright, and he really wanted to remain nameless, he almost certainly would not have shown up to the Bitcoin Investors Conference. Poor op-sec.

That said, the issue with outing him is that he could hold more sway over the direction of BTC than if it were a truly decentralized currency. Not sure this if that's in the best interests of BTC.

3301cicada 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to follow him Twitter, G+, Blogspot and LinkedIn. Within minutes of the article being published all his accounts have been out (disconnected?). Only LinkedIn is still up.
swang 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find it eerily odd that that pencil making article was posted on HN a couple of weeks ago.
maaarghk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I came here to say "oh god not again", but then I read it and found out gwern was involved in the investigation. Suddenly it's quite interesting. :)
wityak 2 days ago 1 reply      
Gizmodo now chiming in and saying Satoshi was 2 people, but basically confirming the Wired article on Dr. Wright.


vessenes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most of the 'evidence' seems to have been added in 2013, a year when prices hit nearly $1,000 per coin. Maybe it's Mr. Wright, maybe not.

But, it's quite credulous to say "Oh, what an unusual and determined person it must to be to think of claiming to be Satoshi in 2013."

hindenburg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be fun if we could set up a prediction market so that we could all place bets on whether Mr. Wright is or is not an inventor of Bitcoin?
hackuser 2 days ago 0 replies      
Trying to identify one member in a population of 7 billion, you are likely to find many more than one very persuasive false positive.
AlyssaRowan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps it's just me, but I find the - repeated - attempted unmasking of a cypherpunk nym adopted with good cause and reason for the creation of a very disruptive technology terribly disrespectful, although perhaps inevitable.

"Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask." (Well I can see that.) "Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is." [-V, 2005]

kelvin0 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm really wondering why the author of bitcoin would hide their identity? Don't want the attention? Plenty of innovative people are simply footnotes in history. Or is the true origin of this digital currency a dubious agency, who if revealed would stop people from wanting to use it?Is it a second try at Amero?http://forextrading.about.com/od/forexhistory/a/amero_conspi...
chollida1 2 days ago 1 reply      
This feels like a really weird story, on one hand I've wanted to know the answer to this forever and on the other hand, this doesn't really seem to be a story at all:)

So what does this mean for bitcoin, anything?

pen2l 2 days ago 1 reply      
gwern, should we really be doing this? Why not leave the guy alone? Obviously he does not want to be found out... let him have his peace!
nickpsecurity 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Newsweek one made more sense than this one. Especially him saying he wasn't involved in it any more. Imperfect English wouldn't make me think I worked on a project called Bitcoin, which also doesn't even sound like most tech. He certainly issued a rebuttal but would if it was true or false. Same for the email saying he's not Dorian. Meaningless.

So, she might be wrong or right. Who knows. That story wasn't convincing mainly due to how it was presented. I think this guy is onto something about that:


So, now we have a new one with leaked emails and blog posts. The writer is wise enough, as Analemma noted, to mention it could be a hoax with some indications of that. It's actually the first thing I think given the two source are both huge red flags, one already has editing, and they center on a sort of egomaniac. An egomaniac who also has financial conflicts of interest and major investments in Bitcoin that might benefit from a false reveal. I'm not buying it until we have good external or first-hand data tying him to Bitcoin like prior work attempted.

The trust chain and leveraging Satoshi's stash without directly moving it is good thinking, though. I predicted that in private conversations as a significant possibility. Learned the trick from Wall St where they have all kinds of ways to make money on less money or static assets. Hell, they even make money on non-existent assets lol. A person sitting on a Bitcoin fortune able to prove it without it being published could do a lot of the same stuff.

myth_buster 2 days ago 1 reply      
Craig Wright's home raided by Australian police[0].

[0] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/09/bitcoin-fo...

grubles 2 days ago 0 replies      
"comparisons of different archived versions of the three smoking gun posts from Wrights blog show that he did edit all threeto insert evidence of his bitcoin history. The PGP key associated with Nakamotos email address and references to an upcoming cryptocurrency paper and triple entry accounting were added sometime after 2013."
bishnu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, this is compelling stuff. Certainly moreso than the easily-dismissed Newsweek story.
mjbellantoni 2 days ago 2 replies      
"As Wright told the Bitcoin Investors conference, hes applying that second machine towards the mysterious task of 'modeling Bitcoin's scalability'[.]"

If he is Nakamoto, I wonder if he's using this computing power to test strategies for divesting of the "nine-figure fortune" of coins which is assumed to be controlled by Nakamoto.

agorabinary 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why do we care? How does knowing the identity of Satoshi advance Bitcoin in any way? If someone wants to stay anonymous...
BenoitP 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll believe it when I see something here:https://blockchain.info/fr/address/1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SL...
moomin 2 days ago 2 replies      
They don't seem to have spotted that the second "perplexing" email is a word-for-word quote from Neuromancer. Which is particularly funny given that they managed to figure out the William Gibson reference.

I had to explain to my wife why I was laughing so hard.

oldmanjay 2 days ago 0 replies      
It almost feels like this is a double bluff designed to confuse and discredit pursuers.
swairshah 2 days ago 1 reply      
this twitter account just got deleted https://twitter.com/dr_craig_wright
perseusprime1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this the same Dave Kleiman who is the Microsoft MVP?
JustSomeNobody 2 days ago 0 replies      
The NSA has nothing on these wannabe journalists. Good grief, why can't someone's identity remain private even when they make something popular?
symlinkk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why, because Gwern and Greenberg wrote it? Give it some time to pan out before you jump to any conclusions.
stephaneh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Satoshi is very probably Nick Szabo...
webkike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lets be clear: This is not an article you should write, or should have been written.
kleer001 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would submit that posting this drivel on HK is unnecessary.

I'm all for real Bitcoin news, even about whats-his-face in Japan or interviews with old cypherpunks. Or new forks or new coins or ponzi schemes or silly lost hard drives even.

But this article is unfounded clickbait nonsense. Whomever the real SN is has done good security work on their identity and won't be found unless they want to.

Choosing an HTTP Status Code racksburg.com
436 points by wtbob  2 days ago   119 comments top 32
parent5446 2 days ago 5 replies      
Some things I don't particularly like in this diagram:

* I don't consider 307 and 308 to be irrelevant. Even if many browsers today are safe against method-change attacks, it's always better to be explicit.

* I don't see why 304 would only be used if "implementing a web server". Many web applications do their own Last-Modified or E-Tag checking behind the web server (and for good reason).

* There are also non-webserver reasons you'd use 408 and 413.


 > I dont find this argument compelling, if for no other > reason than this: in a world where everyone is moving > to HTTPS, weve forbidden any proxy or caching nodes > that are not under direct control of the server.
What? Even if you are controlling the cache, I don't see why you would want to make your job more difficult by having to explicitly control it when HTTP can do much of the job for you. (Not to mention there are cases, specifically AWS and cloud services, where you wouldn't have direct control of your proxy cache, but are still using HTTPS.)

Otherwise I'm glad to see some people still think using a variety of HTTP status codes appropriately is a good idea. It makes services easier to use and more intuitive.

TheAndruu 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hard to get behind an argument on status codes being pointless when the article itself cites the usefulness of wisely chosen status codes, such as "201 Created, 429 Too Many Requests, and 503 Service Unavilable".

I've created and used many a RESTful API and can vouch the ones that just return 200 even in cases of error are a big pain in the neck.

This is usually done (IMO) as a shortcut on the hand of the service provider, lack of knowledge on the conventional codes that should be used, or for the sake of more flexibility when endpoints change.

However, all of those reasons just push more work onto the service consumers. Lack of standardized status codes means the consumer must have customized error detection, which is more susceptible to changes as the provider pushes out updates.

peteretep 2 days ago 5 replies      

 > Im not completely sure they do matter. > Theres a lot of smart people at Facebook and they > built an API that only ever returns 200.
This is the best bit of the article.

Most (many?) APIs, whether or not their authors call them REST, are single URL APIs that you throw JSON/YAML/whatever at. If the caller is going to get back a serialized status message (["Not found"]), then the HTTP request was successful, and it should return 200.

I'm not sure why people insist on spreading their APIs out between the transport and content layer.

Asmod4n 2 days ago 2 replies      
I can only recommend webmachine here, https://raw.githubusercontent.com/webmachine/webmachine.gith.... (it starts at b14)

This is actual code drawn out as a state diagram.It's officially available for Erlang and Ruby.(Disclaimer: I am one of the "maintainers" of the Ruby version)

andreineculau 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's good to see more diagrams/flowcharts on the matter, but beyond that - for those that understand the power of abstraction between layers, but you think there should be a simple straightforward to spit out the correct http status code while you worry about the semantics alone: https://github.com/for-GET/http-decision-diagram

* an old PoC in NodeJS exists that reads the states/transitions from a JSON file and calls the correct callbacks in the correct order. Implement the callbacks (semantics) and you're done.

Disclaimer: I'm the author.

rplnt 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really love Atlassian APIs. JSON request gone wrong? Here you have an error in XML! But I geuss that's expected when your documentation only has XML examples.

What about a request for non-existing resource (a file)? That's a 200 OK with an HTML for you! Also, the content of the HTML is "<h1>200 OK</h1>".

Luckily most of the functionality in their products is not implemented through the APIs...

daurnimator 2 days ago 2 replies      
Useful resource for status codes: https://httpstatuses.com/ which I always remember better as http://httpstatus.es/

More humourous alternative: http://httpstatusdogs.com/

3pt14159 2 days ago 3 replies      
Edit: This comment comes off as overly critical. I really do love these diagrams, I've just had this argument so many times with people I find it frustrating.

I completely disagree with this part of the diagram:


If the resource is secret then the entire guessable path should return a 401 or a 403, not a 404. Knowing whether something exists is a privilege that a user needs to authenticate in order to gain. This isn't just an academic distinction. Github does 404s for unauthenticated requests and python's default http client (at least for python 2) doesn't send credentials unless it hits a 403 or a 401. Since github sends a 404 you have to hack around the language.

404 means Not Found. But that isn't true. The real status code is Forbidden and it should be used on all possible urls that follow a guessable pattern.

aaronbasssett 2 days ago 1 reply      
In general terms:

* 2xx - We've got it!

* 3xx - They've got it

* 4xx - You fucked up

* 5xx - We fucked up

mnot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not bad. The ordering of 4xx status codes isn't that deterministic (often, it's situational), and last time I checked, Twitter uses 429 instead of 420 now (they like standards).
ungrim97 2 days ago 0 replies      
The for get http repo already looks to provide a http status flow diagram at https://github.com/for-GET/http-decision-diagram.

Its a version 4 currently

Sujan 2 days ago 2 replies      
That's gold:"Are you rage-quitting the internet? ---Yes---> 410 Gone"
mkobit 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the first time I have really noticed the '405 Method Not Allowed' code. This makes it seem like you should explicitly handle every verb, when in cases before I have just left them unimplemented (which typically just results in a 400). Is it considered a best practice to handle all of these other verbs with a '405'?
cletus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of the comments here are positing a false dichotomy. The choices aren't between returning 200 with an error code and returning an HTTP code for each error.

I've gone down the path of trying to shoe horn every error condition into a separate HTTP status code and (IMHO) it's a Big Mistake [tm]. You really are confusing transport and application layers and the transport layer simply doesn't have enough codes for what you need.

When something obviously fits into an HTTP status code then sure, use it, particularly when it'll mostly make your client do something sensible.

But you just can't get away from needing error codes that go beyond HTTP status codes for any moderately complex Web application.

jalfresi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I seem to recall that this flow chart covered all the bases pretty thoroughly:


enobrev 2 days ago 0 replies      

 "the existing status codes are much too general for a modern website/API... why worry about spending any time on a redundant, not-as-useful HTTP status code? When pressed for a reason why it is important to use specific status codes, a common reason cited is that HTTP is a layered system and that any proxy, cache, or HTTP library sitting between the client and server will work better when the response code is meaningful. I dont find this argument compelling, if for no other reason than this: in a world where everyone is moving to HTTPS, weve forbidden any proxy or caching nodes that are not under direct control of the server."
I do find this reasoning to be perfectly valid and have implemented many APIs accordingly for quite some time. It has a lot to do with the first place to look when something goes wrong. Does the 404 mean I mistyped the URL or that the Application can't find the Resource? Did the endpoint crash or did I mess up the rewrite in the nginx config?

That said, Michael's counter-argument is well worth consideration. I've generally left HTTP status codes and Application status codes completely separate for any sizable project, but I find this article and argument worthwhile and will continue to reconsider, as I generally do upon every new project, whether using HTTP status codes to represent general application state is worthwhile.

The original point regarding complexity is most important to me, but Michael's diagrams do an excellent job of showing how Application state can be considered an extension of the Protocol in specific cases.

cel1ne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Slightly off-topic, but I found this article useful when implementing a REST-API:


It has a section about status-codes: http://www.vinaysahni.com/best-practices-for-a-pragmatic-res...

lukiebriner 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with parent5446 - there are various codes that although they are usually only used by web servers, they are also used in some REST APIs, including mine.

e.g. I return 304 when people query an image 1) Because it is not a static resource but is pulled in from another server and 2) It will never expire because if it changed, a parameter in the URL would also change.

virmundi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been down in the weeds a bit when it comes to authorization. Every resource in my system has its group information in an attribute {:rights {:c [..list of groups], :r [..] :u [..] :d [..]} ....rest of resource...}. In parallel with the resource as above, there is an index table for all of the resources in the system. When a resource, our group of resources is queried, I filter the index table with the groups for the current user and join to the resource table. I can only bring back resources for which the user has rights for the operation.

This means that I can't ever have a 403. All I can return is a 401 or 404 or a 200 with an empty list. I kept fretting about this. Now I feel better. #how-i-stopped-worrying-and-learned-to-love-the-atomic-codes.

justizin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone who thinks 304 Not-Modified is mostly-irrelevant in 2015 is mostly-irrelevant.
joveian 2 days ago 0 replies      
After looking at magic getopt yesterday I noticed Colin Percival's "The HTTP 500 Soltion" article:http://www.daemonology.net/blog/2015-11-27-the-HTTP-500-solu...

I tend to agree with that and even more so looking at these flow charts. Complex error handling is an easy source of bugs. At the very least, return codes should be limited to the minimum information needed to prompt the desired action in browsers, proxies, and search engines.

Cakez0r 2 days ago 2 replies      
What if you need to communicate an error reason with your status code? E.G. distinguishing between Forbidden because you don't have some permission and forbidden because you're not friends with some user.
MichaelGG 2 days ago 0 replies      
>Postel's law states that one should be conservative in what one does, but liberal in what one accepts from others; this is great advice for life, but terrible advice for writing software.

This perfectly sums up what I've tried to say about this "robustness principle" for years. Fantastic.

SIP inherits these status code ideas, plus adds super-neato whiz-bang headers, like "Retry-After", that allow comments. Their actual example is "Retry-After: 300 (in a meeting)". It's beyond delusional.

Except.... someone read the spec. They see Retry-After. They then implement it in some big iron that connects to the PSTN. Little SIP VoIP provider comes along, passes along this dumb header, Retry-After. Suddenly, big switch guy is pissed, as Verizon has disabled all his lines as "Retry-After" gets translated into "shutdown trunk" or something. Awesome. Really a round of applause for the IETF there. (You have got to know that these headers came about just sitting around thinking shit up, vs actually trying to implement telephony. That's why SIP says it might be used "to run a chess game", but has a mandatory "Call-ID" field. Oops.)

blowski 2 days ago 1 reply      
What code should I use when a user submits an invalid value over a form? Most of the time, I see 400 or 422, or even 403. I've also seen people say it should be 200, because the HTTP request was successfully handled.

It seems like such a common requirement, I'm surprised there's no agreed standard.

rix0r 2 days ago 4 replies      
I hate that "Too Many Requests", or "Throttled", or what have you, is a 4xx status code.

It renders simple middleware logic like "retry on a 5xx, don't retry on a 4xx" invalid.

If you'd call it "Server Over Capacity" you could just as well argue for a 5xx code.

ap22213 2 days ago 0 replies      
An API is an interface. Like all interfaces, an API has an 'audience'.

Generally, the successful team will try to make their interface as usable as possible to that 'audience' (considering diminishing returns).

IshKebab 2 days ago 1 reply      
Rather than saying what error code I should or shouldn't use because of an out-dated loosely followed spec, maybe tell me based on what modern browsers do.
ColinWright 2 days ago 0 replies      
See also: HTTP flow chart ready to print [pdf]


victorbojica 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not that shocking that this news has made it to the top here. It is very difficult to choose the right code, tough it might sound simple...
latenightcoding 2 days ago 1 reply      
BRB adding 418 I'm a teapot status code to all my web apps
myth_buster 2 days ago 0 replies      

 4XX response > Is the user being throttled? > Are you Twitter? > 420 Enhance your calm.
A weed reference?

mstade 2 days ago 1 reply      

 > Coda: On Why Status Codes Matter > Im not completely sure they do matter. > Theres a lot of smart people at Facebook and they built an API that only ever returns 200.

Google, D-Wave, and the case of the factor-10^8 speedup scottaaronson.com
306 points by apsec112  1 day ago   106 comments top 10
calhoun137 1 day ago 4 replies      
I found this remark from the linked pdf[1] very interesting:

"...it has also been shown that for the class of problems used in initial benchmarks,the performance of the devices also correlates well with a classical(meanfield) approximation of quantum annealing [4],which raises questions about whether the devices can outperform classical optimizers."

In other words, if you ran a simulation of this device on a normal computer and gave it the same problem to solve, you will get basically the same efficiency.

[1] http://www.scottaaronson.com/troyer.pdf

Fede_V 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Scott Aaronson is fucking awesome. Whenever there's a new paper claiming breakthroughs about quantum computing or P=NP, I go to his blog and wait for him to clearly explain it.

He is the very rare case of a top notch scientist with a gift for explaining things well.

bhouston 1 day ago 3 replies      
It isn't that clear but Scott Aaronson did make an admission in this article that I do not believe he has made before -- he admitted the D-Wave compute exhibited quantum effects:

"As far as Im concerned, this completely nails down the case for computationally-relevant collective quantum tunneling in the D-Wave machine"

I believe many of his previous blog posts had argued strongly that there was no proof of any quantum effects in D-Wave computers, but I could be misremembering.

sytelus 7 hours ago 1 reply      
While Scott Aaronson is highly respected, I think we are rushing in to put down D-Wave guys. They seem very conservative in their claims. We should celebrate that we have come even this far that we are actually constructing these machines that were just research fantasies few decades ago and are at a point where we can even think about doing comparison with best we have built. I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks D-Wave or other QC will replace classical machines in next 5-10 years period. It's the progress that we need to be positive about and build on each other's work.
coldcode 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain this to those of use who have no clue what these calculations are good for? If this machine is faster to do something, what would you use that something for?
adrianbg 1 day ago 1 reply      
D-Wave's computers work as intended and exhibit "computationally relevant quantum effects" but we still don't know whether the strategy they are using will ever yield practical advantages. Other groups (Google, University of Maryland) seem likely to achieve genuine quantum speedups over best-known classical algorithms within the next few years.
touchofevil 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm wondering if this will allow for a huge speed up in 3D rendering? Specifically, unbiased Monte Carlo ray-tracing / path-traching renderers like Maxwell Render. Does anyone know of any work being done in this area of Quantum computing?
biot 1 day ago 2 replies      
The phrasing of "factor-10^8 speedup" threw me for a bit. Is that a negative speedup, meaning it's significantly slower? No, it's actually "10^8 faster".
lovelearning 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Any book that gives an overview of quantum computing to a programmer? A sort of "thing explainer" for quantum computing?
arthurcolle 1 day ago 1 reply      

"Finally, on the special Chimera instances with the tall, thin energy barriers, the authors find that the D-Wave 2X reaches the global optimum about 108 times faster than Quantum Monte Carlo running on a single-core classical computer. But, extremely interestingly, they also find that this speedup does not grow with problem size; instead it simply saturates at ~108. In other words, this is a constant-factor speedup rather than an asymptotic one."

Why Go Is Not Good (2014) yager.io
408 points by kushti  1 day ago   433 comments top 56
joshbaptiste 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7962345 << 527 days ago, 356 comments
cmrdporcupine 1 day ago 17 replies      
While many of these points (on generics especially) are completely legitimate, this article will fall on deaf ears. My impression of the Go community (both within Google and outside of it) is that there is a very ... moralistic? .... sense of "You don't really need that, we know best" going on.

It aims to be a pragmatic language. But IMHO the anemic nature of the type system is a practical handicap that they have made a point of pride out of not addressing. It leads to boilerplate code and fragile code.

I am no academic language snob -- I like Rust, and have been known to like me some C++ templating, sure, but I can understand a critique of complicated type systems that laypeople cannot understand. But after my brief exposure to Go, I was very very frustrated. I don't think it really solves the problems it says it's solves.

evmar 1 day ago 6 replies      
This sort of gratuitous takedown is unfortunately crack for HN -- pages and pages of "here's how this popular thing is not like this other thing I like", without any thought given to why things are they way they are. Go is missing a lot of my pet features too but I know its authors are smart so I don't just immediately jump to assuming they don't know what they're doing.

Thought experiment: write a proposal that works through adding algebraic data types (or even just special-case the error handling as option types, if that is easier) to Go. I've tried it; I found that doing so brings up a bunch of other problems that don't make it an obvious solution. (E.g. you'll want a "match" operator. And then that means you need all statements work as expressions. And you'll have to change how zero values work, which are pervasive throughout the language.) And I really like algebraic data types in Haskell.

At some point if you really want Haskell you should just use Haskell. Or Rust. And then you will find out that those languages have problems too, and you will understand that engineering is a question of tradeoffs, not of feature checklists like this blog post.

fixermark 1 day ago 7 replies      
"Go does not support operator overloading or keyword extensibility."

Very much working as intended, I believe. Experience from languages that support those features has shown that what we gain in the very few situations where those extensions make sense (such as defining mathematical operations on vectors using the same symbols that are used in vector mathematics), we lose in too many developers thinking they have a clever shortcut that an existing operator would be perfect for, to the detriment of readability and comprehensibility.

This is also the era of code-analysis-by-search-engine, and operator overloading harms that feature significantly. If I need to find all instances of vector addition in my code and I'm searching for '+', I'm going to have a bad time.

the-tomster 1 day ago 3 replies      
The author says that "all the problems listed here have already been solved" by Rust and Haskell. Great, so let's stop complaining about Go and use those languages instead.

Go has specifically rejected the complexity that these features introduce, both in the implementation of the language and the writing of programs in it. If you want those features, just use a language that has them. Some other people might not care about those features, and prefer the simplicity of Go, and that's fine too.

Zikes 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like Go. It's fun, it's fast, and it's introduced me to a lot of programming concepts I had never used before.

The one thing that seems to be missing from these discussions is that Go fits in an unexpected niche. I come from a web development background. I grew up on Perl, ASP, PHP, and Javascript. I dabbled a bit in C in college, but I always felt like I was fighting to avoid shooting myself in the foot with it. For me, Go was a huge step up, with an extremely friendly and approachable syntax, comprehensive standard library, and great toolsets.

On the flip side, we've got a bunch of C/C++/Java developers who would rather compare it to what they've been using for decades. I've no doubt it's missing a slew of very important features from that perspective. Go does seem to be capable of many of the same things as those languages, so those criticisms are likely valid, but for those of us that aren't trying to use it as a low-level systems language it's still pretty great.

Go could probably be improved in a lot of ways, but at the moment it serves my needs really well. For me, Go is good.

aikah 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I like Go

Me too, and that's precisely why I kept complaining for a time about these exact stuff until I moved on to something else.

People don't complain about the stuff they do not use, they actually complain about the stuff they have/want to use everyday. But that's a good thing for the remaining users on go-nuts, most people that complained moved on, which means that a good chunk of them stopped using Go. I really really wanted to use that language, the "you don't need that in Go" patronizing tone on the mailing list made not want to use it anymore.

pbnjay 1 day ago 3 replies      
Go's biggest strengths for me around the tools and ecosystem, and code readability. I very rarely find myself wanting generic code, and when I do using empty interfaces make the code difficult to read.

I don't want to start an imperative-vs-functional war or anything, but I've noticed many of the people complaining about Go seem to be functional programming aficionados. Is this because of how much they like embedding and abstractions, or is it because they're trying to put the square Go peg into the round FP hole?

iffycan 1 day ago 1 reply      
As feedback on the article itself, I kept getting confused. The author describes a wish:

> If I write a function to sum a list of numbers, it would be nice if I could use it on lists of floats, lists of ints, and lists of anything else that can be summed.

I agree with the author and continue reading, expecting to see an implementation of that function in each language. I keep reading and re-reading to try to figure out how the first two code samples (Rust and Haskell) are summing a list. I feel like an idiot, because I can't figure out how that code is possibly summing a list. Thankfully, the next paragraph explains it, but a heads up would have made it more clear.

The article continues with pairs of Rust and Haskell -- as a reader, I'm thinking, "Yes, yes, but show me how this compares to Go." Finally, when I get to `Go's Solution: interface{}` I feel like I'll be able to compare the languages... but instead of implementing an already-mentioned problem, a new problem is introduced:

> Let's say you wanted to write a function that printed a hash code for objects that could be hashed.

As a reader, I have too many things in my head now.

I think the author probably has valid points to make, and I will now finish reading the article. Hopefully some of this feedback is helpful (I'm not trying to be a jerk).

grabcocque 1 day ago 2 replies      
My essential issue with Go is how much it feels like cargo cult language design. Compared to other emerging languages [Rust, Clojure, Elixir, Julia...], it feels inconsistent, half-baked, uncertain what it's for or where it's going.
tjholowaychuk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think this post neglects the fact that one of Go's biggest strengths has almost nothing to do with the language. A huge portion of every-day logic is implemented very well, and very consistently in the stdlib.

Personally I don't want to go pick through half-baked third-party packages, mix and match concurrency models or GC. I have experienced enough of that in Node and it's not pretty. Having it all consistently implemented in the stdlib is a great feature.

Go not being cute was also something I found attractive, I'm not particularly worried about how much I type, because typing has never been a bottleneck. I prefer that code is easy to comprehend. My biggest problem with Go as a language is the arbitrary nature of some aspects when it comes to assignability etc.

When Rust or Haskell can say the same I'll definitely invest in them but until then it's just not a problem. I don't think it's about one language being academically better than the other, it's what is best right now for the job you're doing. I want those languages to do well of course, more options the better, but for now Go ticks the right boxes for a lot of people.

bfrog 1 day ago 0 replies      
After having been the primary author on a large go program, I'd personally never choose it again. It fails to help solve several major issues where other language like swift and rust seem to solve them wonderfully.

Just looking at the Option<> type in Rust alone makes you wonder just how many places have you really forgotten to check or write tests to verify you check for nil values. Probably too many. That one thing is enough of a win over most languages today that I'm sold on the concept entirely.

Can we all agree to raise our pitchforks and torches in the general direction of the terribleness that is null?

And how would someone implement Option<> if not for type generics. Because of the lack of type generics in Go your stuck writting run time tests for things like type conversions and nil value checks. A complete waste of precious developer time. Thats the real loss. Time.

issaria 1 day ago 2 replies      
This post seems to rising from ash. Definitely saw it on HN year ago.

I don't want to say the word "perfect language", but there is no such language that can meet the demands of every nerd on the planet, the goal of the Go programming language is stated clearly, compiling speed overweight the needs for generics, that's why LLVM is not considered for the go compiler.

Also the language is considered feature complete, if one doesn't want to met with "angry pitchforks", do the homework, e.g. the generics topic has been picked up over and over, that it's not funny anymore, if you are interested, the amount of debate online can take days to read.

AYBABTME 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can we get over "it doesn't have feature XYZ"? Everybody knows it doesn't have generics and that it would be convenient. Doesn't make the language intrinsically bad.

There should be a point where a problem has been talked about ad-nauseum. I think people saying this will fall on deaf ears misunderstand that the Go community has been there, done that. We all know it, we'd like to have it and the Go team knows about that, and they stated why it's not there yet (because the tradeoffs available to them aren't interesting enough to make a decision with either implementation).

Until this changes, I think we can all just get over it.

Kapura 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've used Go for a few projects and I think that people who point out all of the things that Go doesn't have and Go doesn't support misunderstand the language.

The problem is that most big languages today are hammers, and they can are used to hit all sorts of nails to fasten all sorts of unholy planks together. Go is a screwdriver. Still good for construction, but you need to be using it in the correct way and you can't wail away at the problem the same way you're used to. Hammer people try to pound the screw in and get frustrated at the resistance they encounter. Perhaps they should instead ask themselves why the choices have been made, what possible benefits come from using a different tool. And you know what, maybe they just prefer hammers. Nothing wrong with that.

andrew_wc_brown 1 day ago 3 replies      
Go is good enough when you're switching from Ruby to Go and all you do is build web-applications.

* Its forced syntax stops syntax wars.* Compiling down to one binary makes deployment easy.* Its has concurrency out of the box.* Its insanely fast.* A strong community to hire developers easily enough.

Does Haskel/Rust have the same criteria? Shurgs

joined 1 day ago 4 replies      
If anyone is looking for the article publishing date (no indication on the site), archive.org made the first snapshot on June 2014.
jmquigs 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are some things I like about Go:

1) really fast compilation speed

2) goroutines

3) gofmt

But I learned F# after learning Go, and it felt like I was walking out of Plato's cave. Its hard to use a Go-like language after using the ML-style features described in this post.

Most modern static languages shift the debugging from run-time to compile-time, which is a huge win in my opinion, but Go does not do this. You don't even need to go "pure functional" to get the benefits (as in Haskell), Rust/F#/OCaml are fine.

mydpy 1 day ago 2 replies      
When I first learned Python and Scala, they 'hooked' me practically instantly. As my ability with these languages matured, I learned their strengths and weaknesses, and (try) use the tools where their strengths are complimented.

Trying Go had practically the opposite emotional response: It didn't take long to get a bad taste in my mouth while using the language (a lot of, where is feature X from my favorite language, and why does the Go approach feel so jagged by comparison?), and as I read blogs like this that emphasize the weaknesses of the language, I don't feel compelled to write anything using Go.

With so many options, why bother with Go? Am I missing something?

fixermark 1 day ago 2 replies      
For me personally, it's not what the language offers syntax-wise but what I can do with it.

I was excited about Ruby because of Rails; only after working with it did I pick up a book on Ruby itself and come to appreciate the cleverness of block arguments (Ruby's insight, that functions that accept another function as an argument almost always accept at most one, so special-casing the syntax for that to make it clear, was really quite clever). And then I migrated away from using Ruby when I started to care about execution speed and couldn't escape the feeling that I was investing more time keeping up with the framework changes than I was writing my program.

For Go, I can write fast web servers in it. That's what I want, and it shines for that use case. I haven't looked at Haskell for that use case yet. Rust is still figuring itself out in that space (http://arewewebyet.com/). Go, in contrast, has a very solid commitment to backwards compatibility until the major version number changes.

So my general take on Rust and Haskell, specifically, is "Wake me when it's cooked."

teps 1 day ago 3 replies      
The author list features, shows you can't solve them easily with go and then conclude that go is not good.

With similar argument, I could list every feature of xml, show that they are not easily solvable with json and conclude that json is not good.

tuyguntn 1 day ago 1 reply      
If there were GOOD language then all other languages will be dropped. Every language has its own disadvantage, but it doesn't mean its not good, thats just trade-off.

For me main selling point of golang is small lightweight threads with event loop. You write sequential blocking code and you get concurrency built in.

jkaptur 1 day ago 0 replies      
Using the author's standards, adding features to a language is always a good idea.

> All well-written code is easy to read, and most poorly-written code is hard to read. Obviously Go can't change that.

I completely disagree. Languages with lots of features can make poorly-written code vastly more difficult to read.

lohengramm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the article. It is well written and very informative. However, one could just omit the word "Not" in the title, becoming "Why Go Is Good", and it would still be a valid article.

In short, the author just points out features that Go could have but doesn't, which is not a good argument for saying that Go is "unconditionally" bad. All those missing features are missing on purpose, they are not bugs nor there is some kind of inherent defect in the language.

To me, the only two things that really bother me in Go are: 1) sometimes, the lack of generics, particularly when dealing with data structures and 2) the lack of a proper and official dependency manager. (The go tool has so many officially supported auxiliary tools, why not also a dep manager supporting versions etc.?)

steven2012 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hate blog posts like this.

It sounds like the author wants to turn Go into Java or Haskell. If that's what the author's preference is, then just use Java or Haskell. I don't even use Go, but to me this post is simply just whining, but the author doesn't appear to understand the fundamental reason of how or why Go was designed.

The creators of Go made opinionated decisions on how the language would behave. Generics weren't left out because of oversight or accident, that was a conscious decision. Everything in his list was a conscious decision. Go is one of the most opinionated languages out there, and it's definitely not flexible to do whatever everyone wants. If you don't like it, then use another language. It's pretty simple.

tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was not sure about Go, but I tried it out, and I like the language. It was easy to learn, has a good tool chain, it has a good standard library, and the community produces code for things not available in the standard library. I have traditionally used Perl for most things, but Go fills a nice spot for small servers on the backend. I think if you need generics for your project, C++ and Rust are waiting for you to pickup and start using. If you want embedded programming, C is there for you to pick up. If you want fancy type systems, Haskell is there for you to pick up. No one language can be everything to everyone. Choose the tool with the features you need.
iand 1 day ago 0 replies      
Subtitle: "Go is not what I want it to be"
fideloper 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most of these arguments seem to be arguments between the pragmatism vs purity camps.

I've switched between these camps before, and the lesson I've taken away is to use each when needed. (Altho I personally err on the pragmatic).

polymathist 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a small discrepancy in the article:

> Go supports the := assignment operator, which works like this ... All this does is look at the return type of bar(), and set the type of foo to that.

This is a misunderstanding of the := operator and how type inference works in Go. If you look at the language spec (https://golang.org/ref/spec#Short_variable_declarations), you can see that the := operator is nothing more than a shorthand variable declaration.

x := "foo"

is shorthand for (and functionally equivalent to)

var x = "foo"

Type inference is orthogonal to the := operator and is a little more powerful than the author implies. For example, Go is able to infer the type of literals, including inferring the type of a numeric literal based on the presence of a decimal point or the symbol for the imaginary number, i (complex and imaginary numbers have native support). It can also infer the type when you assign a variable to an element in array, slice, or map or when you receive from a channel. Of course it can also infer types for values inside of a struct, map, slice, or array and for keys in maps. The only obvious difference I see between type inference in Go and Rust or Haskell is that in Go you must always define the return types for functions, but there may be more differences I am unaware of. See this playground example for a demo of a few different ways that types can be inferred in Go: http://play.golang.org/p/8ep340vLky.

(edit: formatting)

brianolson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another "Go isn't Haskell/Rust" rant. I agree Go lacks macros/templates/generics and should fix at least one of those, but mostly this is a bunch of whining wishing that Go was Haskell or Rust.
Depado 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe we should stop fighting over languages and focus on the things you can create with them ? I honestly see no point in creating blog posts about "Why this language sucks". It's quite always a subjective point of view, and the whole goal of this kind of article is generally to drag people away from a language.

People are using Go. They create content with Go, they create amazing stuff, sometimes they realize that Go isn't the best language to create this or that and so they switch to something else. What's the point there ? If a language doesn't fit your exact use cases, then it's a bad language ?

Stop the impossible standards of the perfect language. Real languages have flaws !

pmilot 1 day ago 3 replies      
I like this article and I agree with most of what was said there.

Against that type of point-by-point criticism, fans of a language will usually use the argument: "but that language was not designed for that!". Then the question becomes: What was that language designed for? My impression was that Go was meant to be a slightly higher-level systems language with better constructs for concurrent programming. With that in mind, it seems to me that Rust is just a "better Go".

karmakaze 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I like Go. I use it for a number of things (including this blog, at the time of writing). Go is useful. With that said, Go is not a good language. It's not bad; it's just not good.

It's all right there. Go has good uses. But it's not good for some things including as an example for a 'good' (for some definition of good) typed language.

Also Go has generics: array/slice, map, channel. You just can't create others.

romanovcode 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried Go, didn't really impressed me. I don't see any reason why now one should choose Go over C#, for example.
crimsonalucard 1 day ago 1 reply      
Imagine a flawless gemstone with a permanent stain on one of the edges. This is go, and this is why people complain endlessly.

The creators of go only look at the gemstone from a single angle. So they never see the stain and they really don't care. When people complain to them, they just tell the complainers that they're looking at the gemstone from the wrong angle.

sesteel 1 day ago 0 replies      
High level programming languages exist, first, to help us instruct computers on how to process data and second, to allow us to communicate with humans on how we intended to have the computer process data. For the most part, Go works well in both of these cases. I appreciate the fact that I can read other people's code and understand what is going on.
poofyleek 1 day ago 0 replies      
These points are valid but miss the point of Go. To judge Go, as any language or tool, one must program in it for a while -- say a year or two -- and build substantial programs that serve specific needs. The outcome of such experience is clear indication of a tool's usefulness. I started as a very skeptical user of Go. Now I cannot live without it.
poorman 1 day ago 1 reply      
The blogger has completely missed the entire purpose of Go. I suggest anyone who actually wants info one way or the other to read the Preface in Alan Donovan and Brian Kernighan's "The Go Programming Language". You will then understand why Go is the way it is and why all the negative points (in his mind) this blogger listed, are not in the language.
frik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go is pretty good for various use cases. Before that, one coded web services and server tools in C, C++, Java, etc. - nowadays Go is ideal for the task. It has the advantages of Java (JIT, strings, higher level concepts, inbuilt concurrency, etc), is fast and shares the simplicity of the C syntax.
tomasien 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is the most HN headline of all time
jwatte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go is a perfectly fine incremental refinement on the Perl model.

What the Go cheerleaders lack is actual experience of most of the alternatives over significant time.

I have code in production based on Go, and C++, and Haskell, and PHP, and Erlang, and Python, and JavaScript, and probably others. Go doesn't really stand out, at all. If I had to pick one, I'd pick C++. If I had to add another, it would be Haskell, unless I needed front end which forces JavaScript.

Go is probably ahead of PHP, though, so that's something.

skybrian 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think the answer for people who want this sort of thing is to write a Go++ that compiles to Go. If it's a good enough solution then it will convince the community to move forward, at least on some features.
amelius 1 day ago 1 reply      
The ugliest part of Go, imho, is that in some situations it may appear as if nil != nil. See for example the confusion in [1], and for an explanation, [2]

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21460787/nil-slice-when-p...

[2] https://golang.org/doc/faq#nil_error

Merovius 1 day ago 0 replies      
TIL that go is not good, because it's not rust. Also, yes, go has the ability for isolated unsafe code. Namely importing the unsafe package and using that.
bluepill 1 day ago 2 replies      
there we Go again.

why spend time writing about something you don't like? Is it a therapy for programmers with strong opinions?

talles 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Go has the null pointer (nil). I consider it a shame whenever a new language, tabula rasa, chooses to re-implement this unnecessary bug-inducing feature.

I agree that all points in the article are very debatable. But this one I'm yet to see the counter-argument.

bribri 1 day ago 0 replies      
A language that someone could learn in a few days and can immediately start being productive writing fast concurrent code is interesting. And it is good.
anotherevan 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I was of a more petulant nature, I'd be tempted to register the domain doesgohavegenericsyet.com and just put up a web-site with a big "NO".
platz 1 day ago 0 replies      
> no runtime overhead from generic programming.

Not really the full truth, since the monomorphic version in haskell can possibly be unboxed reducing a level of pointer indirection.

72deluxe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very informative, thanks! Looks like I'll be sticking with C++11 onwards from now on, despite its flaws and the ability to do dangerous stupid things. Even better, it is backwards compatible so there is an abundance of usable existing libraries for it. (On reflection, it can do dangerous stupid things but in truth it would be entirely my fault for doing dangerous stupid things, so best not blame the language for my stupidity).

A very informative article though, thanks!

aftabh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I might have taken the content of this article more seriously if it had been titled something like "Why Go Is Not Good for Embedded System Programming" since the original author of the article seems to have more experience in embedded system's domain[1].

Also, the article say "Go is a regression from other modern programming languages" and I find it amusing that a significant numbers of people here taking the article and its claim seriously when it is coming from a student[1] who just finished his 'Computer Programming' university course in Fall 2014[1] (one of the reason, other reason is mentioned in the next paragraph). Don't get me wrong here: I'm not saying that you can't say anything significant when you're a student; what I mean here is that one needs to come up with more detailed explanations and with many more examples which are valid for a wide range of scenarios and use-cases when you make a general statement about a programming language which has been created by some of the highly-respected experts in the field of programming language. The list of problems mentioned in the article are important but they're not very critical for the kind of the system development that Go language has been designed/developed for[2].

Since Go language has been developed for system programming, the term 'system programming' is not restricted to embedded system only (as few people have already mentioned it in different threads here) which are mostly limited to one component (or small number of related components working together). With the advent of internet and IoT, we are forced to develop very large software systems (read, software systems as infrastructures) in order to make next generation of internet and IoT applications possible and usable (talking from business perspective). Development of these new large scale systems bring different kinds of theoretical and practical problems like complexity, concurrency and inefficiencies in system development process (for example; code compilation of large codebase and running regression test suits). And, Go has been specifically build for this new kind of large scale system softwares[2] (competing/working along with some other programming languages in this area).

Here, I would read the initial set of high-level problems which forced Rob Pike and his team to create a whole new language[2], instead of only considering issues/problems which one face while developing a single machine software/hardware program (as I've already said that they're important but they're also not everything). Once I know the strength and weakness of a programming language, I know when I should (or should not) use it, under what circumstances it's the right tool and what advantages/dis-advantages I've to trade off when I use it.


[1]- http://yager.io/resume.pdf

[2]- http://commandcenter.blogspot.de/2012/06/less-is-exponential...

DubiousPusher 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not switching to a language without a mechanism for type safe generic programming any time soon. But I will say, the simplicity of Go probably makes it much easier to keep the compiler fast and reliable.
pinn4242 1 day ago 0 replies      
Serious here--what is the color between black and white?
insulanian 1 day ago 1 reply      
When one mentions Go, I imagine the crowd.When one mentions Haskel/OCaml/F#, I imagine an artist.
erjjones 1 day ago 1 reply      
Go is "trendy" and will fall right in line with Ruby on the trendy block. They'll have block parties together and "Go" swing dancing. Wait, that was a fad too and a pun.
gendoikari 1 day ago 1 reply      
We'll see in the next few years... We'll see...
How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street kotaku.com
345 points by bufordsharkley  2 days ago   187 comments top 34
bitwize 2 days ago 16 replies      
I'd rather a million Elmo-centric Sesame Street episodes than even one episode of Barney or Caillou.

That said, every kid needs some old-school, Elmo-free Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. (No, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" is not the same; it's insipid and dumb by comparison.)

Also, back in the day, Square One TV had a police-procedural parody called Mathnet that was still loads better than network TV's attempt at a mathematical-cop show for adults (Numb3rs).

It literally couldn't get any better for a kid than PBS in the 70s or 80s.

jMyles 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why folks think this is out-of-place on HN. It seems on target to me.

It is evidence of an emergent media phenomenon (albeit a slow one) - that a single character on an iconic platform changed its dynamic enough to cause its identity to come into question.

Because Sesame Street leveraged novelty and maturity, the emergence of a cutesy, immature, "it's all about MEEE!" type of character represents a sort of test case, and in this case, the evidence is that the show changed as the result.

brandonmenc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I LOVED Sesame Street, but have always hated Elmo - for exactly the reasons detailed in this article - and I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Fortunately, I'm old enough to have watched Sesame Street before Elmo took over.

As an aside, I wish someone would revive The Electric Company.

BinaryIdiot 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a father I agree Elmo is essentially the never ending toddler who does too much on his own on Sesame street. He really does need someone a little more mature than him to help teach him lessons.

But having said that I've watched far too much Sesame street and yes Elmo usually gets more time than the rest but not always. The author paints a picture like Elmo always gets most of the time but the truth is he isn't played THAT much more than the others. Even in the hurricane episode that is cited in the article Big Bird was on screen longer than twice the time of any other monster.

So yes he needs to be downplayed a little bit but the article is over the top as well. In fact watching many of the episodes in the past 5 years and you'd think Abby was gunning for Elmo's spot; she gets quite a lot of screen time especially with fairy school.

djcjr 2 days ago 1 reply      
To my mind, Jim Henson's death and the resulting loss of his voice, puppet characters, and leadership, dealt a blow to Sesame Street from which it has not really recovered.
DigitalSea 2 days ago 0 replies      
I completely agree. I can not stand Elmo as a character. He lacks depth and is really annoying. However, observing my 1.5 year old niece when Elmo comes on, you can see why he is the popular Muppet. Kids love his annoying voice and silliness which is why Elmo will continue to be at the forefront of Sesame Street.

I saw the episode where they talked about Mr. Hooper's death. It was the saddest thing I had seen in a very long time. Very emotional and probably the most honest episode ever made.

qq66 2 days ago 0 replies      
The tone is of course hyperbolic as it must be these days, but I do agree that Sesame Street used to have a very interesting adult/child dynamic, which may be gone (haven't watched the show in years). I always loved the interactions between Grover and Mr. Johnson... even as I see myself becoming more like Mr. Johnson every day:


silveira 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently watched "I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story" documentary and I had this impression that the show shifted towards a younger audience with Elmo. I wonder that this was probably related to a bigger audience on this age range.
norea-armozel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hah, I always preferred Grover. Then again Elmo wasn't a thing in 1983.
KirinDave 2 days ago 2 replies      
The number of people who are quick to jump unquestioningly on this and say, "It was better before" are... well it bums me out.

Sesame Street's role in child development has changed radically as the general opinion on how TV should interact with kids has changed. These kids shows have been pushed down the age bracket, appealing to younger markets where demand is a lot greater for the content. Older kids shows? They exist in the spaces between cartoon network hot properties, and do a good job of confronting the complex issues kids will face from 4-12. The same is true of The Mr. Rogers->Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. They're tuned for totally different age ranges and requirements.

I dunno how many of you are parents. I have a 15 month old daughter. A constant chime of the following information is reiterated by child care consulting, doctors, and developmental evaluators:

- Sensory experiences are more important than anything right now.- Emotional stability is more important than anything.- Disregard the advice about "no screen time." Screens shouldn't be a substitute for parenting, but kids can learn to use tablets startlingly early in life and interactive education is provably better than passive education. In some specific subjects, interactive solo play is superior even to parentally guided play.

Let's also not forget: This article is just false. The idea that no one ever corrects Elmo? Totally wrong. Elmo gets a lot of screen time, but over the last year we've seen a huge amount of investment in a lot of other characters. Cookie Monster, Abby's complexity, and most importantly a huge increase in the time humans spend on sesame street talking.

The idea that Seasme Street doesn't touch on tricky subjects is false. Just last week the PBS Kids app rotated the episode on "Minne Myna". It's a two-sided story. On the one hand, Big Bird makes a case to bird court that someone else can't steal his nest just because he left it. "Finders Keepers is a bad rule."

But it's also trying to talk to kids and say it is okay to be sad and that they SHOULD be sad if they lose their homes. The episode is delicately touching on the subject of home eviction. Someone who has never been evicted might not even notice, but anyone who has lost a home will immediately realize what Big Bird's singing about. Big Bird gets a happy ending, but the episode leaves reminding kids that many other birds didn't get their nests back and that it's okay to be sad.

I see so much of these kinds of articles. All I can do is despair as my generation begins to make the exact same mistake as our outrageous parents who had very similar things to say about childhood programming which we all wax nostalgically on now.

poofyleek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Worse are Mr. Noodle and his brother.
doug1001 20 hours ago 0 replies      
my vote for the gold standard of kid's educational tv is "Schoolhouse Rock"Pretty much an entire primary school education just from that handful of shorts--civics ("I'm just a bill") grammar ("conjunction junction, what's your function") and math ("my hero, zero")to this day 100% of my understanding of the US legislative process is from "I'm just a bill"--eg, "yes i am only a bill and i'm sitting her on capital hill"i heard on NPR once that the guy who conceived and wrote those, was/is a jazz musician, and when he would perform in nightclubs, people in the audience would recognize this voice request songs from SchoolHouse Rock.
shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is that why Elmo is an evil Sesame Street Fighter character?


(Inspired by http://www.deviantart.com/art/Sesame-Street-Fight-Elmo-Bison...).

mathiasben 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems there would be a massive market for a Classic PBS Kids channel.
anon4 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most shocking thing to me from this article was that Big Bird is actually male. I always saw her as an older sister character. It could have something to do with the fact that "bird" is feminine in my language. That would also explain why the local translation used the gender-neutral diminutive form of "bird"...
amyjess 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm just old enough to have watched Sesame Street when Grover was a big deal and Elmo had yet to become huge (late '80s), and he was the main character I glommmed onto then. I still don't get Elmo's appeal.
nzealand 2 days ago 2 replies      
Adults are no longer the target audience for these shows.

Malcolm Gladwell touched on this in the Tipping Point.

Sesame Street pioneered the use of TV to entertain and educate toddlers. But a lot of the original content was beyond the comprehension of younger children.

While Elmo is annoying to us, he is perfect at keeping the attention of a young child, and while he has their attention he can teach them things.

austenallred 2 days ago 12 replies      
There is no substance on earth more addictive than Elmo is to a two year old.

In most television shows and movies what people are looking for is somebody that represents them - call it an "avatar" if you must. When kids watch Sesame Street they relate directly to Elmo.

He's younger, smaller, has an insatiable curiosity, and is in a permanent mode of questioning and discovery. He even has similar mannerisms to children - he laughs a lot, has lots of energy, and is frequently confused as to what's happening around him.

The reason the author doesn't like Elmo is because Elmo acts like a two year old. The reason two year olds love Elmo is because Elmo acts like a two year old.

Sesame Street was created for two-year-olds, not bitter Internet pundits.

desireco42 2 days ago 4 replies      
It is very hard to put yourself in position of very young child and issue judgement on what toddlers would like.I couldn't stand Teletubies, I still can't. But young kids are fascinated and my late grandma loved them too. Who am I to judge.
ramanamit1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
My kids, 7 & 2, have never seen Sesame Street. I used to watch it in my youth. My kids jump to Netflix or Mickey Mouse clubhouse on YouTube. May Elmo did ruin SS?
marshray 2 days ago 1 reply      
So Elmo is basically the Jar Jar Binks of Sesame Street.
gefh 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love the internet. I love that someone wrote a whole article on something so arbitrary.I'm not sure why it's on HN though.
rjbwork 2 days ago 1 reply      
A great article, but why is this on Kotaku? I thought they were a video game/geek culture publication. It seems to have far more depth and thought put into it than most of their tripe as well.
leoc 2 days ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: Elmo is the Wolverine of Sesame Street.
Shorel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are you telling me Cosmos was not a kids show ?
webkike 2 days ago 4 replies      
As with literally every article written by kotaku, oh my god I just don't care
Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
"I remember a storyline years ago that perfectly encapsulated this: Episode 3280, Season 26."

Too much detail.

guelo 2 days ago 3 replies      
Republicans killed funding for public TV so now the shows have to earn their own money which means the primary concern is no longer teaching but how to make money via toys and DVDs, etc. which leads to finding the most addictive character and making him a star. Because capitalism ruins everything.
n0us 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just waiting for the follow up clickbait

"Sorry Kotaku, acutally ___insert controversial person___ ruined sesame street"

vinceguidry 2 days ago 1 reply      
I liked the treatment of Sesame Street as a microcosm of celebrity. Of course the show would find the very first popular chord it hits and then jam on it with all the subtlety of Nickelback. There's way too much money in that, emotional maturity is bound to take a back seat.

I can understand the lamentations, but really, if you were expecting your kids to learn the hard lessons of life from television programs, you deserve all the tantrums you get.

grogenaut 2 days ago 1 reply      
Summary: These things I loved as a kid are now slightly different and therefor RUINED. In an unrelated note, get off of my lawn you damned kids.

Seriously, more hard hitting journalism by the folks that brought us "Snaktaku reviews the Big Mac" and "We really pissed off some game devs and had to buy our own copy of games" authors.

ksenzee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Clickbait would be "You'll never believe which character ruined Sesame Street" or "10 reasons we hate Elmo". This is more of a "I have a thesis, it's not simple enough for a headline, but here's what the article is about" type of headline.
hendekagon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never liked Big Bird. What a twat.
thedavinci2000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Horrible Rant: As a kid of the eighties You could say that I was their target audience and yet the show never appealed to me. It always gave me the creeps. Somebody else here mentioned Mr. Rogers and that one is even creepier. I felt like it was trying to lure me to his neighborhood to do bad things to me.

Sorry but to this day I still cannot see the appeal of these shows. Why did you like it?

The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation mpg.de
303 points by aurhum  11 hours ago   65 comments top 15
sawwit 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is a time lapse video of the 9 year construction, quite fascinating to watch: http://www.ipp.mpg.de/115632/zeitraffer_w7x

YouTube mirror: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-fbBRAxJNk

A more technical video explaining how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyqt6u5_sHA

ChuckMcM 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool. One of the more interesting things about fusion research is how the expansion of the ability to do complex fluid dynamics has helped design plasma flows. Such designs were computationally infeasible before. The inter-related requirement of computation and understanding on the delivery of viable fusion solutions has been, in my opinion, the unseen anchor of fusion.
ericHosick 9 hours ago 4 replies      
It seems like they've done all of this at a surprisingly low cost.

1 million assembly hours at 370 million project cost = 370 Euros/hour (assembly + management overhead costs).

PuffinBlue 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Site was down for me so, mirror:

Fullpage screenshot:


Google Cache:


drmeister 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is absolutely awesome. So many people coming together to design and construct such a complicated experiment. Excellent work and let's hope it teaches us how to do fusion.
mmanfrin 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I feel that rarely does real life look more sci-fi than science fiction, but the design of this device is out there.
borgchick 1 hour ago 0 replies      
When I was growing up, this is the sort of stuff I dreamed we, humanity, would be doing in this day and age. This is the stuff Star Trek is made of (probably inspired by). Despite all the madness in the world today, I am glad some others share my childhood dream.
hughes 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I understand that this is not meant to ever be a power-generating device. It is meant merely to demonstrate that it's possible to sustain a hydrogen plasma for 30+ minutes.

Is there any idea what scale of power generation we'd eventually be able to make with a system of similar size in the future?

sevensor 9 hours ago 0 replies      
funkyy 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anyone explain tl;dr style how this will produce clean energy? I understand the idea, but how fuel is being produced because it sounds they use small quantities of helium which is easily accessible?
bhz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. So complex and tightly packed. I wonder if they have any information on how serviceable the unit is, or what its operating life-cycle might be. In any case, a fascinating achievement, this is a historic day certainly.
humanfromearth 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Great achievement. Let's hope we see first fusion reactions and then sustained fusion soon.
penetrarthur 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Cheaper power will make bitcoin mining profitable again.
davesque 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Very exciting.
geuis 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Site got hugged to death. Needs a fusion powered server.
Cortana available on iOS and Android windows.com
251 points by dalanmiller  1 day ago   124 comments top 24
probably_wrong 1 day ago 14 replies      
I want to like Cortana, I really do. Unfortunately, it's linked to my phone's default language. So even though I could speak English, Cortana will not talk to me because my phone's interface is in Spanish.

That is something I can understand - maybe there are development reasons why second language voice recognition is not possible. However, every time I update my OS, Cortana is added to my main screen again, perhaps to remind me of the wonderful times we could have together if only I changed my phone's main language.

It shouldn't be too hard to add an extra "if" somewhere in the installation process, right?

untog 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can anyone that has used Cortana say how it compares to Google Now? The Google Play preview screenshots show a lot of great stuff - flight tracking and so on - that Google Now already has. I'm not wedded to Google by any means (in fact, I like the idea of diversifying the services I use) but I'm not seeing huge pluses to Cortana yet.

Irrespective, Microsoft has really been impressive lately. If I were in the market for a new laptop I would be strongly considering a Surface Book - I imagine Cortana on my phone would be a great addition if I had one.

arca_vorago 1 day ago 0 replies      
"They have lost the right to manage software, so we the creators, will manage it for them - on a perpetual plan."

I hope we drive creators like this out of business. You don't get to make decisions like that about the user and if you do you should be punished in your wallet and with public denunciation. This is the reason RMS was and is right about GPL.

I am increasingly convinced that people need to start open-sourcing their life now before it's too late and they get too locked into and used to the proprietary walled garden ecosystems.

geoffpado 1 day ago 2 replies      
Since I couldn't find the iOS link anywhere (even on their main Cortana page), here it is for everyone else:https://appsto.re/us/hTM2-.i
KirinDave 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using Cortana a lot because of my Surface Book being my primary dev laptop.

I like it. In particular its recording, geofencing, and exposure of reminders is just MUCH more reliable than Google Now, which was previously my go-to for such tasks.

dharma1 1 day ago 6 replies      
do Siri, OK Google or Cortana offer any API's for 3rd party apps? So that I could do things like get X app to do Y with voice commands?

Either when I've got the app open/focused, or even when the app isn't running?

herbig 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The Android app is really choppy and slow, I couldn't get the voice search to work, and uses Android design themes/elements from four years ago.

I also had to create a Microsoft account in order to check it out for the 5 minutes I did so before it was summarily uninstalled.

edgyswingset 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just tried it out on my Nexus 6. Scrolling the "home" list feels sluggish to me, as does the "Notebook" feature. Is this written in something like Cordova? I certainly hope not.
LargeCompanies 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's on-boarding process needs to consist of entering an email address/password for account creation only and or a social sign in option.

After going through a frustrating sign up with many screens and processes I was able to use Cortana. There I realized if it's not built into the phone it's going to be hard to delight users and or compete with each devices' built in assistant. I use Siri daily and she is useful when driving to control what Apple Music plays and other quick requests/actions.

I'm looking forward to trying Facebook's assistant .. hopefully it gives Siri a run for it's money and more!

giancarlostoro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really excited about this, because it gives us another option that isn't constrained by specific platforms. I know there are complaints left and right, but we have to bear in mind it's only just been released, Microsoft is competent enough to fix the warts. Hopefully they're quickly responsive during these crucial moments of the apps release. I'm going to install Cortana and leave it on my phone even if I have to avoid using "her" for a little while. Though I hope that's not the case.
MitchellKnight 1 day ago 0 replies      
I purchased Nokia with Windows Phone 7 expecting the same kind of OS updates that I got as an Apple user. My iPad 2 (from 2011) is on the latest iOS version. Instead Microsoft abandoned Windows Phone 7 users. It's mildly annoying that I can get Cortana on my iPad now but not my Windows Phone device.
bst287 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there any clear benefit to using Cortana over Siri?
ajp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone know if it's possible to install this or the Arrow launcher without installing Google Play Services?
Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cyanogen integration? Will this mean default Cortana install on Chinese phones?
dackbuut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does this mean I can use cortana from my band via my android phone?
chris-at 1 day ago 0 replies      
It won't let my peek without asking to create an account :(
Zekio 1 day ago 1 reply      
still not available in a ton of countries in EU like denmark
mderazon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why are both Cortana and Siri considered females ?
CosmicShadow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wish it worked on my BlackBerry!
geuis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Giving this a shot because I've always liked Windows Phone as a different experience from iOS and Android. I'm on a 5s with iOS 9.

Maybe the cortana servers are over loaded, but none of my questions are even being registered. All that happens is the app just keeps showing recommended news articles.

Finally got it to recognize a weather question. But I have headphones plugged in and somehow the app plays through the iPhone speakers instead of my headphones. I didn't even think that was possible.

Even speaking loudly and succinctly, the voice recognition only catches parts of a sentence or starts searching after only getting a single word like "what" or "who".

Gonna pass on this for now.

melling 1 day ago 2 replies      
No way to say "hey Cortana" even if the app is open? Personally, I'm looking for an app where I can say "take a note" then spend the next 15 minutes saying my notes into my device with having to touch the screen.
fweespeech 1 day ago 2 replies      
How about you let me strip it completely out of Windows 10 instead of just turning/disabling it mostly off?
mikeash 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks nice. Too bad I can't try it out without signing in.
guelo 1 day ago 3 replies      
Went to install it on Android until I saw the list of permissions:

 - Device & app history - Identity - Calendar - Contacts - Location - SMS - Phone - Photos/Media/Files - Microphone - WiFi connection information - Bluetooth connection information - Device ID & call information

Europe Remotely EU-friendly remote dev jobs europeremotely.com
272 points by dabrorius  19 hours ago   152 comments top 14
scalesolved 17 hours ago 4 replies      
I think a lot of these job postings would have a lot more success if they showed salary ranges, in fact that just applies to all job postings.

Why apply for EU remote working (if living in the EU) when you can remote work for a US based company? The timezone is off but programmers should be able to work autonomously and independently.

ned 18 hours ago 7 replies      
When you are full-time employed, remotely, by a european company, and living in another european country, does anyone know :

do you set yourself up as a freelance consultant, and pay your healthcare and retirement fund yourself?

or do you let the company pay that for you in the country they are based in, and somehow benefit from that?

How does it work exactly for these social benefits that are very important in the european welfare model?

davidroetzel 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Thanks! This is really nice. I find it frustrating to browse remote job ads only to find out at the end, that they mean "remote, but US only".

(Of course I can understand why US companies make this restriction, I just wish other job boards would help them make this more clear up front.)

tallanvor 18 hours ago 4 replies      
The first item on the list is "I Will Teach You To Be Rich". That, to me, is a sign that I won't find serious opportunities on there.
trymas 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> You should be (or have a strong desire to become) a HTML5 geek, JavaScript nerd and CSS wizard.

I had to double check if I am reading a job ad or hipster blogger's about page.

Though, the site itself is great, there are indeed many 'remote' job ads, though somehow by default many are 'remote in USA', so it's great value.

ameen 16 hours ago 12 replies      
As an Indian, I doubt I'll qualify for work in these companies. The problem for non-EU, non-US devs wishing to work remotely [1] is that most companies can't legally employ you or aren't willing to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to employ you.

I'd subscribed to a remote-only jobs board and the issue was that either I didn't qualify for work due to my residency, or the company never really responded.

I would say if these issues didn't exist most companies wouldn't have to import a workforce from elsewhere. Most third-world countries have a decent quality of life that we wouldn't have to transplant ourselves & be harassed by less-qualified xenophobic residents just to work and pay obscene taxes (by third-world standards) that in the end does serve them.

I'd love for the EU and the US to become more Anti-immigrant (thankfully it's rising) and for the populace to wake up once the industries that kept them at the top move out of there.

[1] - Most of us speak fluent English and are aware of western cultural sensibilities & work ethics (thanks, Hollywood! & outsourcing firms). Our skill level isn't to blame either since we adhere to industry standards in code-quality, best practices, design patterns, etc.

I'm Westernized, loved America & the U.K. when I visited them and the people were awesome, but thanks to nationalities and nationalists the U.S. has imposed these arbitrary impediments designed to keep away those willing to move from their native countries to further their careers.

manuelflara 18 hours ago 3 replies      
This is awesome.

One observation: maybe in this case, including the number of subscribers is actually a deterrent for getting people to subscribe. I'm talking about the "Join over 1100 subscribers." line.

You may be triggering a "damn, I'm going to have to compete with that many other developers for the same handful of jobs?" response instead of the usual "If that many people trust this guy with their email, it must be OK for me to give it" one that this best practice suggests.

jtheory 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Note that to submit jobs, here's the link: http://europeremotely.com/submit_job.html

(I started writing this as a question but found the answer myself in the footer links...)

We're based roughly around London time -- though we now have developers from Costa Rica to Bangalore. Bangalore was easy, though, and US timezones were harder. The gap in timezones there is big enough that it took us a while to jump that successfully (and people working in US timezones still need to be fairly independent), so I imagine it works similarly in the other direction (US-based companies hiring EU-based remote workers)... once the gap is more than 3-4 hours you either need an established core of senior full-stack people in that timezone range, or just proceed quite carefully and offer extra support.

mberth 9 hours ago 0 replies      
How are you filtering these jobs? Six jobs in a week (the interval between emails) seems a bit on the low end to me. Maybe you apply very strict criteria for including a job on the list?

I couldn't resist and applied a similar filter to the jobs / gigs I found for my own service, SendGigs. I require one of the the tags full-time or salary, and exclude everything that is tagged US-only. Then I'm left with 20 jobs, see https://www.sendgigs.com/2015-12-10

So at least to me it looks like there is a lot of remote opportunities for non-US developers. And it is getting better with more and more companies figuring out remote work.

ruirr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
How about remote admin jobs? I have quite a few free time, and would easily take a 2nd job remotely.
owenwil 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great! Would love something like this for broader roles in the tech field, though
zlw 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great. Thanks for sharing. Is there a Japanese version?
crypt1d 19 hours ago 1 reply      
A section for devops would be nice as well.
lifeisstillgood 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I very nearly managed an application from my iPhone

The Elixr position had a "apply with LinkedIn" which worked surprisingly well (must look into how, that seems a sellable app), and I almost had an online CV to upload. Almost.

Reported Bitcoin 'founder' Craig Wright's home raided by Australian police theguardian.com
287 points by laex  2 days ago   146 comments top 25
Mtinie 2 days ago 7 replies      
From the article:

> Guardian Australia understands the raids are not related to the claims that Wright may have been involved in the creation of bitcoin, but are related to an Australian Tax Office investigation.

So the story is that the Australian Tax Office just happened to be running an investigation looking into some facet of Craig Wright's finances. An investigation that apparently revealed some sort of abnormality, resulting in a raid on a property connected to Mr. Wright...

...18 hours after a major technology publication "outed" him as the possible person behind "Satoshi Nakamoto".

Welp, that looks completely coincidental to me. /s

epaga 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here is an Amazon comment left by Wright. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CVvsxDOVAAANOD-.png:large

"Silicone" Valley? "Assumed to the centre of everything"?

Color me skeptical that this guy is Satoshi.

(source: https://twitter.com/kashhill/status/674393417019883520 )

peterburkimsher 1 day ago 3 replies      
"I do not want to be your posterboy. I am not found and I do not want to be."

Why oh why can't journalists just respect his wishes!

"People love my secret identity and hate me."

It certainly seems that the Australian police aren't on particularly good terms with him at the moment.

If the Australian government takes control of the Tulip Trust bitcoin stash, the world has to deal with a cryptocurrency being managed by politicians.

Whoever gets them, I hope that the bitcoins remain off the market until at least 2020 as Kleiman wanted.

Which makes me think - could the bitcoins from Kleiman be considered "inherited", and thus subject to inheritance regulations?

Another hypothetical thought: when the original bitcoin creator mined the first bitcoins, they were worthless. They only gain value if someone else projects value onto them. They're not being used. Imagine they're a form of trading derivative (e.g. stock options): the right to trade in future. Are those taxed? Anyhow, it seems very complicated, and confiscating personal computers with a whole host of other files seems extreme.

theGimp 1 day ago 3 replies      
Once again, you have a journalist ruining a person's life by claiming they created BitCoin.

Wired better be able to back it up.

cba9 1 day ago 2 replies      

"Under the scheme, a company which turns over less than $20 million is eligible to apply for a cash rebate of 45 cents for every dollar spent on research and development activity.

According to a press release in May, 2015, DeMorgan Ltd succeeded in its application for the rebate.

That means DeMorgan were able to prove to AusIndustry that it had spent $120 million on R&D activities in the 2014/2015 financial year, all while turning over less than $20 million. A 45 cent rebate on $120 million works out to $54 million."

Uptrenda 1 day ago 0 replies      

It seems like when you put everything together that Craig Steven Wright + Dave Kleiman + unknown associates = Satoshi. This honestly seems like a much simpler conclusion to me than the alternative which is that someone (whether a group or a person) went to the trouble of concocting extremely elaborate and convincing evidence for the purpose of framing Wright as Satoshi.

Hopefully the media didn't out the wrong guy this time (although in retrospect: I'm not even sure why Gwern thought it wise to send the leaks to the press. I would have thought that he would sympathize with Satoshi wanting to stay anonymous given that he writes under a pseudonym himself...)

kanzure 2 days ago 2 replies      
I fear gwern has gone off the deep end on this one, situation is getting ridiculous: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/3vzgnd/bitcoins_cr...
sgt 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't understand - why would they raid his house? Is he suspected of dodging taxes? But as far as I understand, most tax evaders don't get their houses raided at first. It makes sense to first contact the person and/or send a letter.
sr_banksy 1 day ago 2 replies      
So... this was a tax raid? Quite a harsh response, considering the rules were drafted 12months ago... What are the money laundering measures that caused Aussie banks to disown Bitcoin? Maybe that could shed light on the motivations behind the raid?
tlrobinson 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Guardian Australia understands the raids are not related to the claims that Wright may have been involved in the creation of bitcoin, but are related to an Australian Tax Office investigation.

Seems like a hell of a coincidence for these two things to happen on the same day...

catweasel 2 days ago 0 replies      
In case anyone is interested in the ATO's treatment of crypto currencies - https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Tax-treatment-of-crypto-c...
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Earlier, extensive discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10699846.

Since this story contains significant new information, it doesn't count as a duplicate.

mankash666 1 day ago 1 reply      
I see no mention of a crime in this article. If he did create bitcoin, he should be celebrated.
mxxx 2 days ago 1 reply      
So if the popular theory that he's faked a lot of the evidence to make himself look like Satoshi is true, it would appear he didn't entirely think his plan through...
tim333 1 day ago 4 replies      
The guy introducing himself - seems quite plausiblehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdvQTwjVmrE&feature=youtu.be...
headgasket 1 day ago 0 replies      
cmon. Not a chance. Dorian had at least the name. I suspect this guy could not write C++ that even compiles to save his life. He's an IT expert with a long list of acronyms that sell threats models to the government. As to why the fakery... no idea. My best guess for SN stays an alternate schyzo personality of John Nash. He had prolly forgotten himself hence the lost bitcoins.
shiado 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wasn't it the case that Satoshi Nakamoto published PGP keys early in the days of Bitcoin? Shouldn't the issue of an individual claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto be trivial to solve?
jv0010 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's say there is a tax related issue or governmental issue with wright? Still very coincidental now also what is interesting is that the government has released In the last few days an innovation agenda where there are a few benefits in the startup / tech sector. So much coincidence :/
bammmmm 1 day ago 0 replies      
statistics on the timing of satoshis original forum posts: http://i.imgur.com/58l7W05.png

could be australia, no? probably the deadzone is a bigger tell than where he posted. Ostralia is about UTC +10h? no posts between 4 and 8am is believable.

ketralnis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Whether he is Satoshi or not, the only rational thing to do at this point is say he is not
facepalm 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a weird ass article, I mean from the guardian - writing paragraph over paragraph of gossip from somebody who barely knows the man (their landlord), because somebody has not paid their taxes on time?
amix 2 days ago 2 replies      
The bitcoins that Satoshi Nakamoto own are worth about ~400 million USD. There are also a ton of coins missing from Mt. Gox and Silkroad. Maybe its all related somehow? Anyhow, it's clear why the authorities would be interested: potentially there are hundreds of millions of USD on the line.

This said, this is horrible for Craig Wright if he is innocent...

hartator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Innovate they say.
transfire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Repeat after me "I will not disrupt the NWO."
gizi 2 days ago 2 replies      
What would be the problem if he were Satoshi Nakamoto? He'd rather deserve the Nobel prize.
The Content Marketing Handbook priceonomics.com
278 points by gedrap  1 day ago   51 comments top 11
michaelbuckbee 1 day ago 8 replies      
One assumption that goes more or less unchallenged is that "content marketing" == "writing blog posts". It's what they are really good at and what they've optimized and hired for.

However, for developers, I think there is a much easier path in the form of building online tools and mini experiences that just destroy "blogging" in terms of ROI and traffic generation.

This is things like WPEngine's speed test, Site Checker's, Buffer's Pablo Image tool, ForAGoodStrftime.com, etc. purposeful, useful tools that people love to share as they are genuinely helpful.

paxtonab 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm normally skeptical about these types of articles (every SEO website has one) but the intro is very interesting, and they hit on some fundamental issues with content marketing right off of the bat i.e. every company blogs because they "have" to, but very few get traction out of it.

The other issue they hit on was that half of the companies that pay for their service never actually published anything. To negate this they decided to "make content for companies based on their data and then just charge them based on the performance."

While they are still charging for the content, I really like the concept of paying for performance (and not in some shady black-hat SEO way that gets your website banned from Google). No content marketing firms that I have ever worked with have even had this as an option...

colmvp 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Facebook is the New Television

> The phone has replaced the television set, and Facebook is the channel guide that tells you what content to consume.

This popped out to me given that this article (http://nautil.us/issue/31/stress/is-facebook-luring-you-into...) about social media effects on mental health popped up on HN today and still lingers in my mind.

ilamont 1 day ago 2 replies      
Like almost every successful content marketing campaign weve ever run, at first nothing happened. But gradually, after hitting the front page of Hacker News, the post got in front of the right people. An industry blog called Skift, which focuses on travel technology, wrote about it. Larger blogs like Lifehacker, Gizmodo, and GigaOm wrote about it. Then the big guys started covering it: CNBC, The Financial Times, TIME, Businessweek, and The Huffington Post all wrote about our study and gave a nod to Priceonomics.

There are several examples of Hacker News providing an early boost to Priceonomics, after a blog post floated to the top and a journalist (or several) noticed. The inbound links helped them vault to the top of Google SERPs for certain terms, and they were able to build a business around helping other companies do the same thing--getting inbound links (and social shares) by publishing unique information.

They give a few examples, such as this one:

This same strategy can be applied to any industry. Say you own an ice cream shop. You know how many ice cream cones you sell per day. You can also look up the average temperature of each day. Create a chart with temperature on the x-axis and ice cream cone sales on the y-axis, and youve got excellent, data driven content.

Another content marketing tactic: Use stories:

One of the core tenets at Priceonomics is that everyone has an interesting story. Every person you come into contact with on a daily basis has a deep-rooted story about heartbreak, triumph, tragedy, or comedy.

The part about all of this that I find a little hard to swallow is the connection between publishing interesting data and stories and getting major online news sites and MSM to cover it. One of the examples mentions sending out an email to 50 Apple blogs about a Priceonomics blog post on depreciation of old iPhones, and no one responded. Then they contacted Josh at TechCrunch, who had covered Priceonomics launching a month before, and he wrote it up, with scads of follow-on coverage coming soon after. I think practically anyone else publishing the same bit of information would have been ignored.

To me, this suggests that luck, media connections, and submitting the right link to HN at the right time are key factors in early content marketing success. For organizations that don't have these benefits/skills, how much will the Priceonomics content marketing formula help them?

NIL8 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Content aside, I am amazed that they didn't force the reader to click through to a hundred different pages to read all of the content, like so many other sites do. Good job.
wwickey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Love Priceonomics blog posts. Always high-quality. Always interesting.

I've also been using Tracker since the soft launch. It's a nice clean snapshot of day to day blog performance.

I'm interested to see how the Priceonomics Data Studio concept mentioned in the handbook intro works. It sounds like a good idea, but I do think there will be challenges with outsourcing the Priceonomics content marketing strategy to other businesses.

Someone from Priceonomics can chime in here, but it seems like they have the luxury of identifying diverse topics that are likely to go viral, then go out and acquire data specifically for that topic, tell a story, then move on to the next topic (and perhaps even a different audience).

Other businesses are less flexible. They have to start with a limited amount of data, then use it to tell many stories, week after week.

Not saying it won't work. I'm sure it will. Just interested to see how the data gathering, analysis, and storytelling sides of things all come together in the Priceonomics Data Studio offering.

pidg 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Some interesting stuff, although confusing how it keeps conflating PR and content marketing. They're very much not the same thing.

There seem to be swathes of this article that are about online PR and getting coverage from tech journalists, rather than actually doing content marketing.

Anyone looking for real content marketing advice should check out resources like Moz and the (excellent) Content Marketing Institute blog.

patrickfl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow amazing post, did not have a chance to read yet but this is definitely "print worthy" material. What I mean by that is when I run across really good posts, I print them so I can read on paper outside etc.

Anyway, I did a skim and found this excerpt:

"You should write about information."

And can really relate to that. I've been blogging for about 7 years now, mostly failing but the last year I've had a few big "hits" even one here on HN.

Almost every one of my blogging successes were data driven. What I mean by success is they went viral on their own without any artificial boosting other than basic sharing with my followers.

gk1 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a good overview and closely matches what I've been telling (and putting in place for) my clients.

It does lean a bit too much to the data side, which isn't surprising since that's what _they_ know and understand well. However, don't take that to mean that every blog post has to be about data and must contain some kind of chart.

Anecdotal stories, how-to's, and personal realizations can all make for very interesting and successful articles.

kevindeasis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very insightful, because of this article it's easier to connect the dots for a content marketing newb like me.
cryoshon 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty good piece, but it did surprise me that they are casting themselves as non-"traditional" PR while espousing more or less verbatim the genera of paths to success in public relations as outlined by the father of PR, Eddie Bernays. Most of the ideas discussed here bring 21st century updates and explanation of platforms and propagation of information for profit, but are comfortably within the Platonic forms espoused in Bernays masterpiece, Crystallizing Public Opinion, [0] which I highly suggest anyone interested in content marketing in this style to read.

[0]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193543926X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=...

No Matter What the FBI Says, Compromising Encryption Is a Technical Issue eff.org
239 points by DiabloD3  1 day ago   91 comments top 6
Briel 1 day ago 5 replies      
Federal agencies didn't flag the San Bernardino killers despite the fact they apparently considered an earlier attack, had connections with known radicalized persons, was radicalized for many years and other serious warning signs.

Having access to encrypted communications is just going add a lot more information to monitor and thus more noise to filter out for federal agencies, who are already bad at catching the red flags.

The answer here isn't MORE surveillance, it's more TARGETED surveillance ie devising much more precise warning patterns to look out for. For example, the San Bernardino killers apparently took out a massive loan and emptied their bank accounts prior the attack.

austenallred 1 day ago 9 replies      
Can someone explain to me how a proposed government backdoor into encryption would work? Is every creator of encryption software supposed to build in a master key and hand that over to the FBI?

I ask this in all seriousness, as I cannot fathom how such a system would be implemented, even disregarding the Constitution and the willingness of those creating the software.

sobinator 1 day ago 3 replies      
I watched Comey's entire hearing today. The article here is accurate, but I think that it takes an strongly opinionated view of Comey's guarded and yet honest responses.

Comey knows that the solution to this problem won't be solved with legislation, which is why he isn't going to expend his energy trying to accomplish what the EFF suggests as a solution. One good thing to consider is that the EFF and the FBI both recognize that encryption can be an evil thing and that actions need to be taken to protect the citizens and the government that serves them.

With respect to the debate I'm seeing here in the comments, it seems like, to me, that there is a considerable amount of misunderstanding. What was discussed today wasn't the issue of mass surveillance, but of how or even IF these companies that offer secure communication services could aid in FBI investigations. That is both a technical and a non-technical issue. Comey calls it a non-technical issue simply because he thinks the solution ought to be left to the technical people at each company, and that in principle, regardless of encryption strength, these companies should offer a way to help the FBI in these exceptional instances. I think people here are seeing one or the other side and not realizing that Comey is aware of both.

mrsteveman1 1 day ago 3 replies      
If we're going to have an argument over who needs to change their "business model" so the FBI's anti-terrorism mission is easier, gun manufacturers and sellers should be at the top of the list, not software companies.
dcw303 1 day ago 1 reply      
> the FBI will rely on backroom pressure to make companies compromise encryption, or even eliminate business models it doesnt like.

What does this imply for FOSS? I can't really see the feds organizing a sit down with the maintainers of the hot new crypto algo repo hosted on Github.

api 1 day ago 5 replies      
"It turns out that somehow, Comey believes that the question of whether to ban encryption without backdoors is not a technical issue. He told the senators that plenty of companies provide services online while still maintaining the ability to read their users' data, and that plenty of smartphone manufacturers can unlock encrypted phones. Thus, he concluded, its a business model question."

If you read between the lines a bit, it's clear that what they want is encryption to/from cloud hubs where data is stored using escrowed keys (a.k.a. server-side "encryption"). Many services already more or less do this, so the goal would be to push the entire market in this direction and then eventually to outlaw or otherwise restrict systems that do not work in this way.

This fits in with the dumb terminal / mainframe model of the Internet being pushed to varying degrees by most of the tech giants these days and with Amazon's vision for IoT.

It's stupid and naive to claim that there is some technical barrier to what the FBI wants. It's actually quite easy if we apply a bit of government pressure to push the Internet even further toward the "put everything in the cloud" direction it's already going. Anything in the cloud is almost by definition backdoored.

Atlassian gets IPO share price of $27 businessinsider.com
237 points by prostoalex  11 hours ago   132 comments top 16
rifung 10 hours ago 6 replies      
It's refreshing to see a tech company IPO that isn't VC backed and actually can sustain itself with its profits.

Maybe I'm just naive but I find it strange how so many companies focus so long on acquiring users and not on making money, thus forcing them to continue to get outside funding. For something like Facebook I can understand how this makes sense, but it seems as though this strategy is currently the norm rather than the exception.

richardlblair 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Has anyone looked at the prospectus? The founders are going to do very well.

Michael Cannon-BrookesShares - 69,732,090Percentage - 37.7%

Scott FarquharShares - 69,732,090 Percentage - 37.7%

Well done, gents. Well. Fucking. Done.

myth_buster 10 hours ago 0 replies      

 Atlassian was founded in 2002, but it hasn't taken any outside investment. The last two funding rounds from Accel and T. Rowe Price were done to let employees sell some of their shares, and Atlassian says the cash wasn't used for operations.
That's impressive!

Pre-IPO discussion https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10708908

phantom_oracle 9 hours ago 3 replies      
This is interesting because the valuation is:

- Either driven partly by what Slack is valued at (and then you add the other parts of Atlassian to get its total value)

- It really is this valuable, which would make Slacks billion-dollar + valuation a lot more legit than when people were nay-saying about it

- Just investors throwing money around because money is still 'cheap'

I still think that some savvy retail investors understand the tech market a lot more better now. This company is not burning through cash and shooting for super, super long-term growth (Twitter and it's ilk) so this feels more like a Microsoft listing than a Facebook listing.

Good on them for building something legit and something people would pay for (instead of advertising revenue).

medlazik 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe HipChat will finally have chat notifications on iOS [0]. A messaging app. Probably one of the many reasons people migrated to Slack.

Meanwhile, latest update reads: "New: Scumbagify support! Prefix any emoticon with (scumbag) to show how you really feel"


ghuntley 8 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a global hackathon going on right now at Atlassian. Keep a eye on https://twitter.com/hashtag/shipit33

Memorable tweets so far:

1) Founder of the company last night calling it quits and heading out for a beer. https://twitter.com/mcannonbrookes/status/674734326571921409...

2) Insanely clever marketing by the jira team: https://twitter.com/Atlassian/status/674964465717260288

Reply with your favourites! ;)

neals 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Tech IPO's of any kind always have my interest, but I have a hard time finding out what IPO is happening and when it is happening.

How do some of you track these things?

azinman2 10 hours ago 9 replies      
How much could they grow? It's not clear to me, unless they suddenly have much more ambitious plans and new categories of product, how big the market is that can sustain infinite growth over time for them. The market is very specialized for them, and if they try going after non tech their products directly then go up against many other players already entrenched (and it's not like JIRA is some shiny beacon of ease and apple-like perceived simplicity -- if they rebuilt from scratch maybe they'd have a better chance)
jbrad7354 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I like Atlassian and we use JIRA, Confluence and Stash.

Do I think Atlassian is worth $6bn? No. I planned to buy ~100k in stock at the open, saw the $27 open price, and cancelled my trade.

Is this a nice result for the founders? Yes. :)

Starting price on IPO day means little. It was flat the entire day. The way to judge these is in a couple of weeks (2-3 weeks) to see where the market really values it. See RACE for an example. That had a stronger IPO day "pop" and... here we are. :)

cooperadymas 7 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who knows relatively little about how the stocks works, and this stage of a business' lifecycle... what benefit does Atlassian get by going public?
jarjoura 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As a side question, I wonder if this means GitHub will go for their own IPO.
michaelcampbell 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The ticker is TEAM for those wanting to play along at home.
rrtwo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone please explain what would be the reasons for Atlassian to IPO? Is it to return money to investors? fund new things (such as?)?
pkaye 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting that it seems they IPO'd in US though they are mostly located in Australia? Can employees in other countries cash out on their stock options or are they compensated in different ways than in the US?
bjacks 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Once a company has gone public is it common for lots of staff who have stock to quit?
gohrt 9 hours ago 3 replies      
On the one hand, it's great to see a company do so well making solid basic development tools.

On the other hand, I recall that everybody hated using JIRA. It was sooo slooow and so many little input boxes in the UI. Has it improved in the past 5 years?

How to Get Good at Chess, Fast (2013) gautamnarula.com
253 points by andyjpb  1 day ago   63 comments top 17
b_emery 1 day ago 3 replies      
How to get good at anything (cribbed from the excellent Talent is overratted)

1) Practice just above your level (enough to be difficult and stretch, but not demoralizingly hard). Get a coach to help you find this range. Do this as many hours per day as you can tolerate, and the number you can tolerate should go up over time.

To quote the book, practice:

"It is activity designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher's help; it can be repeated a lot; feedback on results is continuously available; it's highly demanding mentally, whether the activity is purely intellectual, such as chess or business-related activities, or heavily physical, such as sports;"

2) Be clear about your goals and motivations. These will help you get through the difficult hours in 1)

The book is excellent and lays out the basics about getting good at anything. (Notice that I'm not saying anyone can be world chess champion. The book argues that it would be highly unlikely that any chess champion would get that way without applying these principles.)

A lot of what is discussed here is the what and how to practice. These are very valuable questions that I gloss over by saying, find a coach. Presumably a coach would know this. Knowing what to practice, and designing practice is a skill in itself.

cven714 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stuck in the mid 2100s. The main difference I see when I play 1800s, and most levels beneath that, is still tactics. A 1200 lets you fork their king and queen. An 1800 goes into a variation that lets you fork their king and queen 3 moves in.

I make the same kinds of mistakes, allow positional concessions or just straight-up blunder because I overlook tricks in the lines I thought were safe.

Building up that mental repertoire of tactical and positional patterns by solving puzzles and reviewing well played games is essential, no matter what level. It's like building a huge in-memory cache of correct answers so you quickly solve problems at the board.

civilian 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're someone who enjoys intense strategy games like Chess (and Dominion and other modern euro board games), but you're disappointed in Chess for some reason or another, I've got a game for you--- Go. Here are some chess players speaking about Go:

"While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go." -- Edward Lasker, chess grandmaster

"Chess has only two outcomes: draw and checkmate. The objective of the game . . . is total victory or defeat and the battle is conducted head-on, in the center of the board. The aim of go is relative advantage; the game is played all over the board, and the objective is to increase one's options and reduce those of the adversary. The goal is less victory than persistent strategic progress." -- Dr. Henry Kissinger, quoted in Newsweek, 11/8/04

"What's happening with chess is that it's gradually losing its place as the par excellence of intellectual activity. Smart people in search of a challenging board game might try a game called go." -- former Wold Correspondence Chess Champion Hans Berliner, The New York Times, Feb 6, 2003

Learn to play: http://www.usgo.org/learn-play

The Seattle Go Center has events multiple times a week: http://www.seattlego.org/

xyzzy4 1 day ago 4 replies      
Well the biggest obstacle to getting good at chess is finding a solid reason why it's worth pursuing, as opposed to getting good at something else (or doing nothing).
SeanDav 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started playing chess at a fairly young age (5-6) and moved into competitive chess vs adults at age 8 and playing near national level at around age 12. In all that time I never read a single book about how to play chess, or try memorize openings. What I did do is play a lot of competitive chess and discuss strategy / tactics at every opportunity with strong players, both in terms of my own games and also in general.

The original article pretty much nails it as a guide, in my opinion. Highly recommended.

onion2k 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've played chess casually for years, and my main observation is that no one actually wins if both players are reasonably well matched. The balance tips when a player makes a mistake that leads to them losing. Consequently, the only thing you really need to do to not lose is to make sure you don't make daft blunders, and to recognise when your opponent has. I'm pretty sure it's different at higher levels where people don't make those errors nearly so much, but if you're just starting out, rather than trying to win just remember to not screw up.
ColinWright 1 day ago 0 replies      
The massive discussion from two years ago is interesting:


erikb 1 day ago 0 replies      
He only mentions it indirectly but two things are crucial to your game as well, and you should spend significant amount on that:

1) Get good ressources. He mentions a few books, but they may not be best suited for you. There are also a lot of other tools, like training websites, programs, video guides, classes. Reason is: Instead of experimenting out the best path through some ideas, you can read about them and get that realisation much faster. Having better ressources and knowing how to use them may cut 80% of your time to achieve a certain goal.

2) Find the right better players. Not everyone that plays better can also transfer some of that to you. And some people are simply just not right for you.

Where books etc are the way to learning the right thing (instead of everything), the right teacher is about giving you better feedback. You can only see your own lacks and mistakes so far. A lot of your stupidest mistakes you simply don't even see as a mistake. For instance, one of my major problems in hitting (kung fu training) was that I slightly lean back while stepping forward. How could you even realise that without a teacher/experienced friend?

Find good resources, find good teacher, learn from the mistakes/experiments of others what is the right path, then do it a lot, then get feedback from the right person, then continue exercise and feedback sessions for a few years. Recipe to learn anything.

kenoyer130 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Chess and Programming - You have to be smart enough to understand it and dumb enough to think it matters."
PaulHoule 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you want to revive Chess you should play Chess960.

It was such a bummer for me to explain to my son that you don't really have a choice of moves in the opening...

A little study of openings definitely improves your games, but in ordinary Chess the opening is about as interesting as bowling or watching golf on TV.

nikdaheratik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Started playing at a young age. Got really obsessed again for a few years in college when online play was first coming out (Yahoo! Games, FTW), but it's not something I've played for awhile. The advice is sound, especially the "just study one set of openings and know it really well".

However, Chess is less fun than alot of other options because it does take more practice to get really good and it's less social than board games (e.g. Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, etc.), card games (Poker, Hearts, Bridge), or online video games.

The plus side is the logical planning and longer term strategy boost from study. The downside is that it's not going to help social interactions as much and alot of what it teaches is contrary to alot of what you need to pick up now, which is how to navigate among many different groups some of whom may be working for or against you. In many ways, running a raid in an MMO teaches you more useful skills than what it takes to get a really good ELO rating.

V-2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm rather mediocre (1700ish on Lichess), but I feel one can't really improve without playing long games. Blitz is addictive and doesn't require cutting a committing chunk of time out of the schedule - but it remains a game of chance, I believe it even develops some bad habits such as guessing, or gambling moves (bet he won't notice that...). What do you think?
cybertronic 1 day ago 2 replies      
What would be a right way if I just wanted to play very aggressively, you know, to impress or scare friends? :-)Lots and lots of tactics/puzzles? (SFMBE)
Jabbles 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have an estimate for how much time "50 puzzles a day" takes? Surely if the puzzles are actually stretching you, they'll take a few minutes each? Is 50 realistic for an amateur player?
FireBeyond 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangential, but:

1) best app for Mac (once upon a time I'd care if it was pretty, but not so much now) for computer chess?2) best communities for 'beginner-enthusiast' and online games?

kushti 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would like to know how to get from 1800 to 2100, fast. I'm stuck at 1800 level for many years(I'm not an active player though).
HardDaysKnight 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have no idea why this article is so popular. It claims to show the way to get better at chess by the doing the following: 1. Study the opening, 2. Study the middlegame, 3. Study the endgame, 4. Study your own games, 5. Study master games, 6. Play OTB, 7. Study tactics, 8. Use "psychology," meaning, don't be afraid and never give up. Along the way a few books and other recommendations are thrown in.

This is all rather trivial stuff.

While, I don't disagree with everything that the author says, I think that it should be acknowledged that his claim is pretty much unfounded. There are those who have not done any (or all, or much) of these things and their rating is above 1800, and there are those who have done all of these things and their rating never comes close to 1800.

Beyond that the author does not seem to be aware of the well-known debate on this subject.

There are at least, broadly, two views on chess improvement. One side, as represented by Silman and Aagaard, argues that chess "meta-knowledge" is key. A player must first look at the characteristics of the positions (e.g., understand Silman's imbalances), and with this understanding, and only then, can a suitable move be found. This group usually advocates a "thinking process" as well. The other side, as represented by Watson and Hendriks, argues that it is only the moves themselves that are important, and the correct move in many cases contradicts the "rules" of strategic analysis. For this group, only "concrete analysis" of a position (i.e., looking at the moves without prejudice) has any possibility of leading to a good move. In this "concrete analysis" group, at least Hendriks (if I understand him correctly) argues that in a tournament situation where there are significant time restrictions, and experimentally moving the pieces is not allowed, only knowing the position itself, or similar types of positions, can help the player find the correct move.

So, we have the "meta-knowledge" group advocating the learning of strategic and tactical ideas, and then applying that knowledge to a given position with proper thinking technique. Accordingly, this group believes that if you want to improve your chess, you need to learn more strategic and tactical ideas, applied with an improved thinking technique.

And we have the "concrete analysis" group advocating the learning of the correct move in specific positions. Accordingly, this group believes that if you want to get better at chess, then you must learn many hundreds, even thousands, of positions.

The truth is probably somewhere between the two extremes. My own experience is that as far as tournament OTB play is concerned, I have benefited more from the concrete analysis approach than anything else.

New Style of Police Training Aims to Produce Guardians, Not Warriors washingtonpost.com
213 points by tokenadult  9 hours ago   156 comments top 29
eagsalazar2 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have a friend who went through the Seattle academy training then left the SPD after a year. He said this attitude runs very deep. Citizens are seen as the enemy and it is a bunch of insecure, macho dudes who get off on intimidating people.

I think some of the reason people disagree on this subject is that police across the country vary a lot. In SF where I live now police are, to most people anyway, pretty good. Growing up in Seattle and living there until I was about 35, I was harassed and intimidated many many times.

darkr 6 hours ago 5 replies      
My first experience of American policing in action was at a hotel in Gainsville, most of which was booked out to people attending the same punk rock festival. There was a whole bunch of people hanging out by the pool in the summer afternoon, playing music of a ghetto blaster, drinking out of kegs and just generally hanging out. I think someone may have let off a firework; but the general scene was on the mellow side of rowdy.

Around 8 or so police suddenly burst out into the patio, guns drawn, shouting at people, throwing them face down onto the floor and handcuffing them. The whole thing would have been farcical if there wasn't such an underlying threat of mortal violence.

Contrast to a scene in Whitechapel, London a couple of years later; a roof party on top of a tower block. Considerably larger sound system and bigger crowd. Unsurprisingly, around 3AM one of the residents made a noise complaint.

Couple of bobbies turn up, as usual, unarmed apart from the standard issue baton; ask to speak to the organisers, give it bit of "well well well, what's going on 'ere then". Some banter ensues and a polite but assertive request to turn down the music and disperse is made, which is duely acknowledged and the party winds down/moves elsewhere.

exelius 8 hours ago 12 replies      
I see a disconnect between what the public believes the job of the police is and what police officers believe the job of the police is.

In my mind, police officers sign up for a dangerous job knowingly - that's why they're revered as heroic by many in society. They are willing to put themselves at risk to protect society from harm, and that's noble.

What most police academies teach is the opposite. They teach officers to put their own safety over that of everyone else. They talk in terms of "reducing officer casualties" and "overwhelming force". This is not a heroic police officer sacrificing himself for society; it's jackbooted thugs threatening, terrorizing and killing the very civilians they are supposed to protect. Turns out it's really hard to tell a bad guy from a good guy by looking at them, so they play it safe and treat everyone like a bad guy.

Not every officer thinks this way, but it's common enough that it leads to a lot of police shootings. IMO a police officer should be more willing to take a bullet than put one into someone. I realize body armor isn't foolproof, but the job is inherently dangerous and the officer goes into it knowing that - something a person on the street doesn't get.

stcredzero 3 hours ago 1 reply      
My ex-girlfriend's uncle is an honest man, has a stable job, is in a stable marriage with a wonderful woman, and has two kids. At the time of this story, his kids were in High school and on the junior varsity and varsity football teams, and were getting good grades. He and his family are devoutly religious. In his family, young men are expected to be celibate until they get married. He lives in a small river town in Louisiana.

The police officers of his town are almost all white, and this is how they treat him: If they see him and his sons conversing in a parking lot, it is assumed that they are planning to break the law, and they are always told summarily to leave. They could talk to him and be civil. They could even ask him for useful information. However, they only see young black men who might be perpetrators.

I've also seen the police of this town herd crowds of black people on 4x4 vehicles like cattle on the 4th of July. They were clearly afraid of the crowd, which mostly consisted of high school students. Kids, really!

There are American police who are afraid of their citizens, and only see them in terms of their ethnicity and potential danger. Something is very wrong here!

gherkin0 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> Gone, too, is a classroom poster that once warned recruits that officers killed in the line of duty use less force than their peers.

Wow. That was a thing that existed?

> Alexis Artwohl, a former police psychologist and consultant to the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association...is skeptical of some guardian-style training. Artwohl has co-written a book on deadly force whose promotional blurb begins: In a cops world its kill or be killed.


I hope this new-style training actually has an impact.

kelukelugames 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't cheer yet. This is how Seattle cops react to training. Go to the 1:22 mark. Cop talks about sticking a gun in someone's face as his method of de-escalation.


sahreeg 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Although I am no authority to properly comment on the American police system; having never lived there. I think we should not boil it down to a black-white issue of police training. I definitely agree that training police should not be in the same fashion as military, I think this needs to be coupled with anti-gun laws, and proper education to ever see a true decline in police brutality. After all, being confronted with an armed suspect, will lead to escalation, remove that game changer, and a properly trained police should be able to subdue them.
mcguire 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"In 1986, two FBI agents armed with six-shot revolvers died in a shootout near Miami with bank robbers armed with more powerful weapons, including a semiautomatic assault rifle."

There's quite a bit more to that story.


The bottom line is that one suspect (the other fired only one shot causing no injuries), after receiving a fatal wound, killed two FBI agents and wounded five more.

These are parts 1 and 2 of an FBI training video on the incident:



This incident seems to be so obviously a fluke that it would be hard to find any generally applicable lessons, although as the article points out, lessons have been found from it.

(One was the introduction of the 10mm pistol round and pistols chambered for it---that didn't last too long as the recoil was deemed too heavy for accuracy and the pistols seem to have suffered failures---and then the move to the .40 calibre S&W round (based on the 10mm with a reduced powder charge).)

logn 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> Artwohl compares police work to defensive driving, which is about expecting something bad is going to happen. Its not about dealing with normal traffic flow.

> We should go out there and expect something bad will happen and watch for it, she said. If we are not paying attention, we could die.

If that's how she views defensive driving it might shed some light on her approach to policing.

I don't think defensive driving means expecting that at any moment something horrible can happen. It's more about being aware, anticipating events, preventing problems, and having a plan B. And it's very much part of dealing with normal traffic flow, responding to common road conditions in a defensive way that prevents problems or at least offers you a good response should a problem occur.

femto 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe each officer needs to be reminded of their own roots, in the form of the Peelian principles? It should be an easy sell, as the principles have been "their own" for nearly 200 years. Dating from 1829, they are the founding principles of the London Metropolitan Police Force. In summary, policing is a self-regulation function by the community being policed, not imposed by an external force.


zeveb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wholeheartedly approve of this shift in focus. Yes, police do have to deal with violent and dangerous people, but most people are neither violent nor dangerous (nor ought they be criminals). The police force is not the military; one's fellow citizens are not one's foes.

> The officers were charged with felony assault but acquitted by a jury in 1992, sparking days of rioting and protests.

For completeness, the article really should have mentioned that they were then convicted by a federal court, the Constitution's prohibition on double jeopardy being held not to apply.

Animats 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't a new style of policing. It's Sir Robert Peel's principles of law enforcement, from 1822.[1] The UK still tries to follow those.

The militarization of American police is a reaction to the rise in gun ownership, especially guns with higher firepower. US police have to assume when they approach someone that they may be armed. UK police don't.

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

tokenadult 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The report "From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals" mentioned in the article is available for downloading from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.[1] The report includes a lot of information about police training.

[1] https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/248654.pdf

brandonmenc 8 hours ago 3 replies      
"Policing" and "law enforcement" are different.

Policing: hey, you're not allowed to jaywalk, so stop.

Law Enforcement: here's a $100 fine for your first jaywalking offense.

We have too many law enforcers, too few police.

sremani 8 hours ago 0 replies      
What I like about US or West is, reflect, retrain and retool. That is absolutely missing in other parts of the world.I know it is early and a bit congratulatory, being an Immigrant and having seen the other world, I am happy to call US my home.
stcredzero 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was watching a video, where the YouTuber, who is a cop, was trying out a video-wall computerized training tool for police. One thing that disturbed me was that the simulator was supposed to help police know when to deploy their firearm. However, every single scenario required the use of lethal force. The only question was when to use lethal force.
jessaustin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm no expert, but reading TFA I can't help but think that though this new training is an improvement, it's not going to make much difference. It would take a saintly person not to menace and abuse the public when placed in the position in which we place cops. As long as we rely on the goodness of people, on the availability of "heroes", we'll be disappointed. We'll still have a system that rewards corrupt and brutal behavior while imprisoning people who smoke pot.

This thread is a perfect illustration why. We have numerous comments claiming that police should just put up with serious risks to their lives, which is ridiculous. The risks that e.g. deepwater oil workers face are inherent to current oil drilling technology. Though such workers are paid enough to accept those risks, safety technology is always improving. In contrast, every risk involved in police work is due to arbitrary decisions society has made, which could be changed at any time if we cared enough to do so. It's no wonder that police have responded with a bunker mentality.

Society has invented numerous victimless crimes, many of which attempt to counteract basic psychological and physical drives. Society has outlawed "risky" behaviors rather than punishing actual harms caused by those. Society has given municipalities, agencies, and contractors commercial interest in draconian enforcement. Society has decided to employ multitudes more police than we actually need, so that they are forced to menace the public in order to make work for themselves.

My suggestion for a maxim of policing would be to follow physicians: "first, do no harm". Actually living that rule would be a vast change to current LEO practice.

jessaustin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So far this year, police have shot and killed more than 900 people, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings more than twice the number recorded in any previous year by federal officials.

Surely this indicates the utter failure by any federal agency to track this statistic more than it does exceptionally violent LEOs this year?

unabridged 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The best way to get better cops:Putting multiple cameras on every cop & car, and prosecutors who make it clear they side with the people over the police. Seriously punish any amount of power tripping or harassment of citizens.

It may take a few years, but the people who sign up for police academy will be different. Being a police officer will no longer be attractive to those who want to wield power.

ska 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this more like returning to an "old style"?
kevinpet 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember when the Abu Ghraib and similar revelations came out, I was relatively unsurprised. Military training is to prepare people to fight a war, against a defined enemy, where the general gist of the available tactics all come down to "kill the other guy first". And if you put someone with that kind of training in a situation that calls for police, you're going to get bad results.

I had naively assumed at the time that police were still trained to a different outlook and set of priorities.

hyperion2010 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Far better for the authority of a policeman to come from citizens' belief in the importance of law and respect for their governmental institutions than from fear of deadly force. Even if the rule of law is ultimately guaranteed by force it is a really bad idea to continually confront generally law abiding citizens with that fact, they are going to follow the law anyway most of the time and pointing guns at them is just going to escalate the situation because the one pointing a gun is seen as an imminent threat and 'other.' Dangerous for everyone involved and stupid if you care about building belief in the importance of rule of law.
allworknoplay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of this video that tears down lousy police training during a tough encounter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VeHOkt_o8

I believe they have others, too. Our cops are simply not trained for de-escalation and disarming like they should be.

blhack 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Police need to just behave more like firefighters.

Not only that, but I think that a lot more cops need to be out on foot. Not bikes, not segways, none of that. They should be out walking around, talking to people. IMHO, I should know who the cops assigned to my neighborhood are.

Here's a thing that happened last week that highlights a problem I have with the cops:

At about 1:30 in the morning, my dog starts doing her dog thing and informing me that IMMINENT DOOM is upon us in the form of somebody being outside of the house. I get up and walk to the kitchen to find that, yes, indeed somebody is outside of the door trying to get in, which is a scary feeling. I don't have a peephole on that door, it's the middle of the night, and they aren't knocking, they're trying to get the handle to open.

Now, luckily I'm a pretty huge guy, so while this was scary, it didn't really seem life threatening, (they weren't trying to bust through the door, just trying to come inside, so probably just a very disoriented person). Eventually, they left, and I went back to bed.

A few minutes later, however, we heard a car alarm go off next door, indicating that the person had just moved on to the neighbor's house, which is really sad, because there is an old lady that lives next door, who might not brush off the idea of somebody trying to come into her house as readily as I could.

I go outside and find out that the person trying to come in was a ~20 year old girl who couldn't have weighed more than 110lbs soaking wet. Basically the least threatening person imaginable, but she was trying to get into the neighbor's house.

One part of my life involves volunteering for a group of people who deal specifically with this sort of thing at a big dessert party that lots of people in SF have probably heard of. My mode switched from being worried about the lady next door, to being worried about the obviously confused kid trying to get into somebody's house.

I loudly convinced her to come and talk to me away from the lady-next-door's house (so as to make sure that the lady inside, who I am sure was scared, could hear that everything was alright), and we started trying to figure out where she was supposed to be, and a plan to get her to that place safely. Sidenote: turns out she just has some really shitty friends who more or less ditched her and went home.

While I was talking to her, the cops showed up (presumably my neighbor called them), and I got to see how they would have handled the situation.

There was a guy just riding his bike by the neighbor's house, and the cops started YELLING at him

"What are you doing?"

"Just riding home."

"Huh, why are you here? Why are you riding here? Huh? Why here? What are you doing? Is this your house? What are you doing? Do you know you can't be here? This is an alleyway you can't ride here [EVERYBODY rides their bike in the alley, which is practically a bike path], why are you here? This is illegal. What are you doing here?"

Just started machine-gunning questions at this poor dude who happened to be riding by at the wrong time.

Eventually, they figured out that the girl I was talking to was the person that they were looking for. I explained to them who she was, what she was doing, and where she needed to be.

The thing that absolutely FLOORED me was that they refused to give her a ride home. They wanted to stick this obviously disoriented, possibly drugged, girl into a cab (a fucking CAB! Yikes!), and make her into the cabby's problem (hey, get into this random car and hopefully this drugged up girl will make it home safe!)

Luckily they did NOT do this, because the girl said she didn't have any cash. The ended up calling some sort of non-police-police van who gave her a ride to [hopefully] her house. (It was their Crisis Intervention Team, I think. Like people who show up and talk to people who have just had a traumatic experience, I guess they weren't busy, and had time to give this girl a ride).


Watching the whole thing was just sad to me. Not only was the FIRST response that the cops had to start yelling at some dude, but when presented with a REAL opportunity to improve somebody's safety (this girl), they either didn't want to, or were not allowed to.

Keeping some disoriented girl safe in the middle of the night seems like the cliche of what cops are supposed to be doing, and here when presented with the opportunity, they wouldn't do it.


mindslight 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is akin to trying to stop crime by changing the high school curriculum. We already have civil and criminal legal systems that even police are supposedly bound by. Why not fucking apply them?
jqm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great, but I wonder if without a pay raise if they will be able to fill the ranks.

Cynical me thinks maybe a large number of current cops would do the job for even less, so long as they were allowed to carry a gun and a stick and order people around and maybe even get to shoot them.

So with that approach we get a less expensive police force that is fairly effective (for the privileged class) as it ruthlessly beats and suppresses the unprivileged class. Win-win for the privileged class. Keeping the thugs down at bargain prices.

So now policing gets more expensive? Many cities are strapped for cash at the moment. (Heaven forbid we consider cutting unneeded bureaucrats to pay for better police officers). So higher taxes it is? I'm certainly ok with paying for quality. That is... if I actually get it.

calibraxis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This article shows how far ahead some people (in the Mideast) are:

"They number roughly 6,000 [police] officers, all of them elected; a women-only force deals with sexual assault and rape. (All recruits receive their weapons only after 'two weeks of feminist instruction,' according to Cengidar Mikail, the director of the Qamishli police.)" (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/magazine/a-dream-of-utopia...)

What happens when people dare to think deeper. And they're not only in ISIS' backyard, but the ones beating them.

fapjacks 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Holy smokes we need this so badly in the States!
rms_returns 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of the movie "Demolition Man". For those who don't know, this is a Sylvester Slallone futuristic movie where a thug named Simon Phoenix wakes up from a cryo-prison somewhere around 2032. But LA is a pacifist utopia now, and the cops are all "nicey nicey" without any weapons with them, so who is going to stop Simon now?

I think, as a society, we are progressing towards that kind of pacifist utopia.

Private key for *.xboxlive.com certificate disclosed microsoft.com
214 points by hannob  2 days ago   40 comments top 8
alanh 2 days ago 3 replies      
Personally, this makes for funny timing. As a first-time Xbox (One) owner (who never owned any PlayStation), I was telling a friend with a PS4 how damn buggy everything seemed to be, from setup to games themselves. She said she doesnt have those problems on PS4. Maybe you shouldve gotten a PlayStation!

Yes, but isnt Sony always getting hacked? Maybe the ideal thing would be a PlayStation that uses Microsofts web services!


vortico 2 days ago 1 reply      
That security advisory is the longest possible way to say "Private key for *.xboxlive.com certificate disclosed." In my half-asleep mindset, I was expecting it to include the private key.
wyldfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thank goodness for revocation lists.

It's too bad -- they list "Affected Software" but they don't seem to disclose when the earliest time that xboxlive.com shouldn't have been trusted.

elchief 2 days ago 0 replies      
And that's why you use an HSM kids!
0x0 2 days ago 2 replies      
How come "Xbox" is not in the list of affected devices?
chrisfosterelli 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone elaborate on how this affects non-windows products? If I go to https://developer.xboxlive.com I see a valid certificate, so my non-windows system trusts them. Have they revoked the old certificate?

They only mention the certificate trust list, which I believe is a hardcoded list of certificates that Windows trusts. I understand that they should remove it from there but don't they also have to revoke the certificate for non-windows systems that use the standard verification methods?

zymhan 2 days ago 4 replies      
How exactly does this happen?
chris_wot 2 days ago 0 replies      
One word summary:


Magic Leap raises $827M in Series C techcrunch.com
210 points by mosquito242  1 day ago   177 comments top 27
rsp1984 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've been working on AR and related technologies for almost the last decade and I've been part of the first handful of people working on Google Glass. Bottom line I've seen a lot of promising AR technologies come and go.

My personal take on this is that they may indeed have some very good, if not revolutionary, display technology. However: The big, big obstacle to delivering credible AR is latency. Contrary to VR, true see-through AR needs to have total latencies (device motion --> display photon hits the retina) of no larger than 10 - 15 ms max. The reason is that in see-through AR you're essentially competing against the human visual system in latency and the HVS is very fast.

Moreover the HVS is also extremely good in separating visual content into "layers". Whenever two things in your field of view don't move in perfect continuity with their surroundings (as it is when there AR content overlaid with latency) your brain will immediately separate them from one another, creating the impression of layers, and, in the case of see-through AR, breaking the AR illusion.

So right now I'm a semi-believer. Iff they can sort out the latency problem and deliver stable yet ultrafast tracking in a wide variety of conditions (also by far not a trivial problem) then this has a bright future.

emcq 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's easy to think of reasons why this isn't a sound investment. However, here are some thoughts why this may be sensible:

* This is largely Google's investment to cover possible future success of Facebook's Occulus or Microsoft's Hololens.

* They could have valuable non-tangible patents or employees. This is way past the "acquihire" funding levels, but perhaps the technology itself is valuable. Perhaps they get around that valuation with 100M/year in patent licensing. For perspective, IBM Research provides ~O(1B)/year in revenue from licensing patents.

* Magic leap has a technology that is going to revolutionize entertainment consumption. It could simply be good execution of augmented reality, but I don't think this is sufficient to get the market excited and stop using their mobile devices or TVs to consume a lot of entertainment. It seems like at best here it is a "better mousetrap" than Occulus or Hololens.

I'd love to hear other thoughts why this could be a useful investment.

pqdbr 1 day ago 5 replies      
Magic Leap has a patent application for "contact lenses" technology [1]

Imagine if instead of having to put somewhat ridiculous and obtrusive glasses in front of your face, you could just use contact lenses that had this augmented reality capability.

It would be ... life changing.

[1] http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=H...

mosquito242 1 day ago 5 replies      
I don't know where I stand on this. To be raising such ridiculous amounts, they must have some incredible technology to demo.

If they're anything close to what the second demo video shows, then they're basically building Tony Stark's home computer interface in Iron Man.

sterl 1 day ago 3 replies      
Kinda amazing how these guys are past Series C now and still haven't released a product.
kafkaesq 1 day ago 5 replies      
Glaciers are melting; forests are burning; coral reefs are blanching; ocean levels are rising, water tables are dropping. The ecosystems that sustain our food supply chains are collapsing; those that aren't collapsing, are being poisoned; and the tiny niches relatively immune from these threats are being bought by hedge funds and private equity firms. Our education system is being gutted; so are our retirement plans. Our healthcare system seems to resiliently resist nearly all efforts at meaningful reform. Every movement we make, physical or virtual, is being relentlessly tracked, recorded, indexed and archived by an exponentially growing number of surveillance systems, private and governmental, for perpetuity.

And these guys are getting $1.4b so we can... shoot imaginary robots at the office?

untog 1 day ago 3 replies      
Augmented reality has been the sci-fi dream forever, but I'm really, really skeptical about its applications in real life. Not that they don't exist - the shoot-em-up game demoed in that video looks fantastic. The Gmail app looks horrendous. Worth billions? Depends on the implementation, and a demo video is very far from the real thing. I wouldn't be investing.
oskarth 1 day ago 1 reply      
How can a private investor feasibly do a fixed down-side, small-stakes shorting of Magic Leap? Hypothetically speaking.
kazinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Is this a dagger which I see before me?"

"No, dude, someone is feeding shit into your AR headset! Told you not to open that suspicous 'Thane of Cawdor' e-mail!"

michaelbuckbee 1 day ago 2 replies      
The money flowing into Augmented Reality in general isn't so much about 'augmented reality' as a thing today so much as it's a big audacious bet on it being the next wave of technology that replaces mobile phones.
geori 1 day ago 3 replies      
If this turns out to be the successor to smartphones, then these comments will look like people laughing at the Instagram acquisition.
srameshc 1 day ago 0 replies      
It certainly is a morbid round of funding. But seems like they have a lot of current and future value. Reminds me of the time when DST invested in Facebook and I thought these guys are out of their mind. But if I look back, they are of course much smarter bunch who knows how much they will get back. Similarly many are in it for its potential technology and many are in it for the returns and they all know what they will get.
ljw1001 1 day ago 0 replies      
An $800,000,000 investment in an unknown company called Magic Leap shows that some people have no sense of irony
gavanwoolery 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have reliable sources who have tried the tech. It is real, but many years out from mainstream (5-10 seems like a probable range). However, their first teaser video* is almost definitely fake (if I were to place a bet). It looks like a prerendered video, not an interactive application, or even a static lightfield video.

*source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPMHcanq0xM

Keyframe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Those video look pre-made as fuck. I don't care if it says it's not. If it's not it has some magic tracking going on as well. Would love to hear about that.
karcass 1 day ago 1 reply      
I didn't see in the article -- what was the post-money val?
colinshark 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't get past the fact that the software, in order to interact with the 3D world, will be expensive and cumbersome to make. Also, people (your income) born before AR tech generally don't want hardware on their face.

This, and Hololens, and similar, will fail for a while, and I'm thinking it will be decades. I'm placing my bet now.

angersock 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems a bit much, doesn't it?

This might be the pets.com of the twenty-teens.

Dwolb 1 day ago 6 replies      
Can anyone explain what force is recoiling the shooter's hand in the second video? Or is that gun computer-generated?
sidthekid 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Would this be usable by those who normally wear contact lenses?
amima 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now it would not surprise me much even if they go public (IPO), before releasing the actual product to the market. That would be a nice precedent for the tech startup industry.
dharma1 21 hours ago 0 replies      
last I read was they were getting into silicon photonics manufacturing. Sounds expensive, and very patentable.

Would be great if someone with better knowledge would expand on the engineering challenges they face.

ljk 1 day ago 1 reply      
stupid question: isn't this bad if your eyes are constantly focusing on something so close to you?
gtpasqual 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this doesn't raise any flags, I don't know what else will.
zardo 1 day ago 0 replies      
The rumor back in October was that Alibaba was leading a $1B funding round.
free2rhyme214 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone think Google will buy Magic Leap?
juskrey 1 day ago 0 replies      
The bubble is going to blow hard. Period.
April Zero v3 aprilzero.com
266 points by aprilzero  12 hours ago   74 comments top 26
hunvreus 11 hours ago 7 replies      
Looks sharp, definitely a lot of great work on design.

I just can't seem to see the value in it; what actionable or information do you get out of this? I've tracked my movements with OpenPaths [1] in the past and had fun building a couple data visualizations out of it (I love the fact that others can request access to anonymized data collected by OpenPaths).

I just have no anecdotal or empirical evidence of users putting this data to good use. If anything, folks I've seen using Fitbit/FuelBand could use a bit more exercise and a better diet. People tracking their sleep activity tend to stay late and have poor sleeping habits (for example).

Do you really need a fancy dissection of your every move and interaction to even know what you should be doing with yourself?

[1]: https://openpaths.cc

artursapek 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the most San Francisco thing I've ever seen
vessenes 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Super cool theme. The company seems to be at https://gyrosco.pe/. They lost me at the facebook login, but it made me think about privacy and user-defined privacy a bit.

Gyroscope's pitch says you can share or instead keep everything private. I think a service like this would be a lot more appealing to me (and it is undeniably cool) if the data were kept encrypted on server, and only available on my end device.

I suppose the same thing could be done with some sort of multiparty destination encryption for sharing.

Until then, my data is just getting monetized for any party that will pay gyroscope. Any comments from your team, aprilzero?

desireco42 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
It looks cool, but I still don't see how this site will give me more info then in my example my Basis website. It claims it improves productivity but I fail to see how it would do that, aside me analysing graphs, that tends to waste time...

Anyhow, if anyone has good info that would help me understand this, I would appreciate it.

It is really impressive site.

Cshelton 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I was just thinking about the UI on a lot of shows/movies and how rarely we see any UI like it in the real world. Even those 'FBI databases mainframes...' that a character hacked into do not look anything like that in real life.

This is pretty cool and fits in well in 'Hollywood'. Now I want to find a project that I can actually use a similar UI on haha.

nkozyra 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the UX but I still find the self-quantification data shallow. Time as a measurement of efficiency is inherently flawed, for example.

And there's (as best I can tell) no goal setting nor recommendations for meeting goals based on prior successes and failures.

That's still the big gap in self-quantification. In the mean time we're just making prettier charts.

vikram360 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I vaguely remember seeing the homepage of a quantified self nerd that showed all his live stats - ecg, hydration, activity and stuff like that. I can't seem to find it though. It was absolutely beautiful. Then again, like the other arguments made here, I don't know what one can do
googletron 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is some of the data collected during my work out this morning in the new mobile app coming out soon.


I have been using this product as soon as I could join, then joined the company few months after.

There is definite improvement in my health and focus. As a weightlifter, it's especially useful and awesome to see after a work out. Or whatever you do to keep you active. And if you haven't started make a goal of taking a walk or light jog! That's streaks keep your motivated to improve!

Check out other stuff here at https://gyrosco.pe/myusuf3

Give it a shot and use the data to improve, set short term goals and strive towards them, the differences you will see are incredible.

fieldforceapp 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Big change since v2, congratulations. Any plans to commercialize? Would like to see this applied to athletic team performance monitoring.
wppick 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the direction that this project is going in. I think a future where you can monitor your body in real time and use that data to make decision about what to eat, treat medical conditions in their very stages, maximize energy, etc. I think body chemistry is still a huge unknown area that I would love to see explored. Can you monitor the body and sense DNA damage and possibly be able to attribute it to something that you can change. Can you measure the levels of various chemicals in your body to find an imbalance? Fuck 140 characters, this is the direction the minds of our brightest people should be going in
jm4 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Why in the world would I want to connect this to Facebook? You really need an option to sign up with email.

Other than that... Very cool looking design. Looks like it would be interesting to try. I like the integration with other apps and sensors. Lots of potential.

pookieinc 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Really beautiful work, I'd love to see a technical write-up on how this was achieved and would definitely follow something like that.

I'm interested in joining this, however I don't have such a wrist device. Which tracker would be best for receiving the most accurate data? Is there a recommended tracker (Fitbit vs. Jawbone vs. etc.) that provides more data, so this app can track more things for the user?

Rodeoclash 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Make it work in realtime, add a camera feed and you would have realised the Colonial Marines mission screens from the APC in aliens.


daok 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The UI is very nice, very interesting. I am curious if this could fit with the Microsoft Band.
Glyptodon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks cool and useful, but I'd never want a 3rd party to have that dataset. Could care less about privacy policies. (They're meaningless.)

On a different level, it's very much not clear from the site itself what hardware you need to have to get all the various metrics it's displaying.

ThomPete 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks good, but the real value would be in an AI monitoring you in the background, rather than yourself having to look at your stats.

In other words it suffer a little bit from the hacking in movies syndrome. The real interesting application is the continues monitoring by the system not by me. That kind of defeats the purpose.

ilurk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you still have the previous versions of the site?

I did like the places/travel pages.

avitzurel 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome.

I am not sure this is your target market, but using TrainingPeaks as an integration will solve a lot of problems for athletes and coaches.

TrainingPeaks is the number one tool today for serious athletes, especially ones that have coaches and teams.

sktrdie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What tech did you use for developing the interface? Any framework, library, architecture (thinking React/Flux/Angular) or was it done by scratch?
robbles 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> 1.4 hours on Gyroscopedev:5000

Looks like someone's been working on the dev version :)

DiabloD3 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My only problem with Gyroscope is there is still no alternative logins. I don't use Facebook, and I don't want to make a login for them just to use it.
namelezz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The UI is nice but it runs very slow on my FF.
KenanSulayman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it and I upgraded. Thanks!
Raphael 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, another mystery-meat menu.
chejazi 11 hours ago 1 reply      
How will you measure Glucose levels?
Fastidious 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook account required.
Attack on DNS root servers root-servers.org
181 points by sajal83  2 days ago   90 comments top 14
robryk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I suspect that this might have been a botnet showing off to its potential clients. This may explain withholding of the domain names queried (not to give advertising to the botnet).
rmdoss 2 days ago 1 reply      
The beauty of DNS: No one was affected or noticed the problem. Resolvers just tried another one if they didnt get a response from one of the root servers.
cft 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Source Address Validation and BCP-38." ISPs should validate the source address of UDP traffic from their end customers. This would end most UDP based volumetric DDoS attacks.
bluedino 2 days ago 0 replies      
So what were the domain names queried?
SixSigma 2 days ago 0 replies      
related ?

Day 2: UK research network Janet still being slapped by DDoS attackDNS services appear to be targeted, switching may work


lucb1e 2 days ago 3 replies      
What made this unique now? Was it simply a high load?
Goopplesoft 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why is root-servers.org not https?
Ayaz 1 day ago 0 replies      
They don't mention otherwise but do we know if the attack has happened again since 1 December?
navadavuluri 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is there significance to NTP requests in relationship to DDOS?
ck2 2 days ago 1 reply      
China testing something new? Or maybe some scriptkiddie testing their new botnet?
gawi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Donald Trump's failed attempt to shut down the Internet.
llasram 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bet the observed "random" source addresses are open recursive DNS servers. For this kind of attack they provide essentially free traffic-washing for whatever actual traffic-generation mechanism the attackers have.
chei0aiV 2 days ago 0 replies      
what was the query string?
ajhurliman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Facebook to open-source AI hardware design facebook.com
155 points by kungfudoi  11 hours ago   51 comments top 8
daveguy 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Can we please not call open sourcing a build plan of off the shelf components, open-source "hardware design". I don't think backblaze called their case designs open source hardware. It just doesn't fit when we have open source circuit board designs. How about open-source build specification instead?
vonnik 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm glad they're open-sourcing this, but I have to say that making 8 GPUs work together is not that big of a deal. Companies like Cirrascale are making up to 16 GPUs scale linearly with a blade.
scott_s 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Big Sur is twice as fast as our previous generation, which means we can train twice as fast and explore networks twice as large.

Can a machine learning expert comment on this claim? There are many domains in computing where doubling your compute power does not halve your execution time, or allow you to double the size of your input. (For example, your algorithms are worse than O(n), or you have hardware communication bottlenecks.)

sawwit 9 hours ago 5 replies      
How come they aim for GPU technology rather than for neuromorphic computing ASICs?
chimtim 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this a machine with GPUs? You can order a similar looking design from acmemicro since last 4 years atleast?
guelo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I was hoping it was the AI that was designing the hardware.
nickpsecurity 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Good work FB on another great deliverable for open HW configurations and improved datacenter design! :)
       cached 11 December 2015 05:11:03 GMT