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Instagram's Million Dollar Bug exfiltrated.com
1159 points by infosecau  8 hours ago   413 comments top 49
1
secalex 6 hours ago 34 replies      
Thank you to everybody who cautioned against judgment before hearing the whole story. Here is my response: https://www.facebook.com/notes/alex-stamos/bug-bounty-ethics...
2
tptacek 7 hours ago 11 replies      
In stories like this, try first to remember that Facebook isn't a single entity with a single set of opinions, but rather a huge collection of people who came to the company at different times and different points in their career.

Alex Stamos is a good person who has been doing vulnerability research since the 1990s. He's built a reputation for understanding and defending vulnerability researchers. He hasn't been at Facebook long.

To that, add the fact that there's just no way that this is the first person to have reported an RCE to Facebook's bug bounty. Ask anyone who does this work professionally: every network has old crufty bug-ridden stuff laying around (that's why we freak out so much about stuff like the Rails XML/YAML bug, Heartbleed, and Shellshock!), and every large codebase has horrible flaws in it. When you run a bug bounty, people spot stuff like this.

So I'm left wondering what the other side of this story is.

Some of the facts that this person wrote up are suggestive of why Facebook's team may have been alarmed.

It seems like what could have happened here is:

1. This person finds RCE in a stale admin console (that is a legit and serious finding!). Being a professional pentester, their instinct is that having owned up a machine behind a firewall, there's probably a bonanza of stuff they now have access to. But the machine itself sure looks like an old deployment artifact, not a valuable asset Fb wants to protect.

2. Anticipating that Fb will pay hundreds and not thousands of dollars for a bug they will fix by simply nuking a machine they didn't know was exposed to begin with, the tester pivots from RCE to dumping files from the machine to see where they can go. Sure enough: it's a bonanza.

3. They report the RCE. Fb confirms receipt but doesn't respond right away.

4. A day later, they report a second "finding" that is the product of using the RCE they already reported to explore the system.

5. Fb nukes the server, confirms the RCE, pays out $2500 for it, declines to pay for the second finding, and asks the tester not to use RCEs to explore their systems.

6. More than a month after Facebook has nuked the server they found the RCE in, they report another finding based on AWS keys they took from the server.

So Facebook has a bug bounty participant who has gained access to AWS keys by pivoting from a Rails RCE on a server, and who apparently has retained those keys and is using them to explore Instagram's AWS environment.

So, some thoughts:

A. It sucks that Facebook had a machine deployed that had AWS credentials on it that led to the keys to the Instagram kingdom. Nobody is going to argue that, though again: every network sucks in similar ways. Sorry.

B. If I was in Alex's shoes I would flip the fuck out about some bug bounty participant walking around with a laptop that had access to lord knows how many different AWS resources inside of Instagram. Alex is a smart guy with an absurdly smart team and I assume the AWS resources have been rekeyed by now, but still, how sure were they of that on December 1?

C. Don't ever do anything like what this person did when you test machines you don't own. You could get fired for doing that working at a pentest firm even when you're being paid by a client to look for vulnerabilities! If you have to ask whether you're allowed to pivot, don't do it until the target says it's OK. Pivoting like this is a bright line between security testing and hacking.

This seems like a genuinely shitty situation for everyone involved. It's a reason why I would be extremely hesitant to ever stand up a bug bounty program at a company I worked for, and a reason why I'm impressed by big companies that have the guts to run bounty programs at all.

(and, to be clear, a friend, though a pretty distant one; I am biased here.)

3
dsacco 7 hours ago 11 replies      
As a security researcher and engineer, I'd like to point out the following, without taking sides:

1. Facebook is not going ballistic because this is a RCE report. They have received high and critical severity reports many times before and acted peaceably, up to and including a prior RCE reported in 2013 by Reginaldo Silva (who now works there!).

2. The researcher used the vulnerability to dump data. This is well known to be a huge no-no in the security industry. I see a lot of rage here from software engineers - look at the responses from actual security folks in this thread, and ask your infosec friends. Most, perhaps even all, will tell you that you never pivot or continue an exploit past proof of its existence. You absolutely do not dump data.

3. When you dump data, you become a flight risk. It means that you have sensitive information in your possession and they have no idea what you'll do with it. The Facebook Whitehat TOS explicitly forbid getting sensitive data that is not your own using an exploit. There is a precedent in the security industry for employers becoming involved for egregious "malpractice" with regards to an individual reporting a bug. A personal friend and business partner of mine left his job after publicly reporting a huge breach back in 2012 (I agree with his decision there), and Charlie Miller was fired by Accuvant after the App Store fiasco. Consider that Facebook is not the first company to do this, and that while it is a painful decision, it is not an insane decision. You might not agree with it, but there is a precedent of this happening.

I'm not taking sides here. I don't know that I would have done the same as Alex Stamos here, but it's a tough call. I do believe the researcher here is being disingenuous about the story considering that a data dump is not an innocuous thing to do.

I'm balancing out the details here because I know it will be easy to see "Facebook calls researcher's employer and screws him for reporting a huge security bug" and get pitchforks. Facebook might be in the wrong here, but consider that the story is much more nuanced than that and that Facebook has an otherwise excellent bug bounty history.

Edited for visibility: 'tptacek mentioned downthread that Alex Stamos issued a response, highlighting this particular quote:

At this point, it was reasonable to believe that Wes was operating on behalf of Synack. His account on our portal mentions Synack as his affiliation, he has interacted with us using a synack.com email address, and he has written blog posts that are used by Synack for marketing purposes.

Viewed in this light (and I don't believe Stamos would willfully fabricate a story like this), it is very reasonable to escalate to an employer if they seem to be affiliated with a security researcher's report.

4
biot 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Summarizing what I've seen here in analogy form:

 Researcher: "I found a way to unlock your door" Facebook: "Thanks, here's $2500. We've now fixed the problem." Researcher: "Oh, BTW when I unlocked your door I rifled through your stuff and found your passport, your banking details, and a lot of personal information. I've kept copies of these. I also found the keys to your car and looked inside, where I found a box in the trunk. That box contained sensitive documents including an employee badge / proximity card. I used this card to gain access to your workplace. In doing this, I also managed to get into the janitor's closet which had a set of keys. I used these keys to get access to the complete building and took a look at all the HR files and rifled through a bunch of corporate contracts." Facebook: <gobsmacked> Researcher: "Can I have my million bucks now?"
Where the researcher stepped over the line is using the door attack to escalate further attacks. It's little different than finding a way to reliably impersonate Mark Zuckerberg's credentials in such a way that others will 100% believe it. That finding is worthy of a reward. But then using that vulnerability to social engineer others to reveal passwords, using that as a launching point for mounting further attacks is going way too far.

5
daveloyall 7 hours ago 6 replies      
In my opinion, the author is feigning shock...

He claims to have downloaded the content listed below. And he is surprised that Facebook responds coldly? Note the string "private keys" in this list... Doesn't the author know how long it will take them to recover from this breech? How much it will cost them?

On the other hand, it does sort of re-enforce the idea that he should be paid handsomely, doesn't it? :)

 * Static content for Instagram.com websites. Write access was not tested, but seemed likely. * Source code for fairly recent versions of the Instagram server backend, covering all API endpoints, some image processing libraries, etc. * SSL certificates and private keys, including both instagram.com and *.instagram.com * Secret keys used to sign authentication cookies for Instagram * OAuth and other Instagram API keys * Email server credentials * iOS and Android app signing keys * iOS Push Notifications keys * Twitter API keys * Facebook API keys * Flickr API keys * Tumblr API keys * Foursquare API keys * Recaptcha key-pair

6
tptacek 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Alex responds:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/alex-stamos/bug-bounty-ethics...

Critically:

At this point, it was reasonable to believe that Wes was operating on behalf of Synack. His account on our portal mentions Synack as his affiliation, he has interacted with us using a synack.com email address, and he has written blog posts that are used by Synack for marketing purposes.

Alex's timeline seems like it matches what I wrote earlier:

https://news.ycombinator.com/edit?id=10754627

7
benmanns 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the solution here is to pay $100k+ for RCE exploits and explicitly forbid pivoting access after the first vulnerability is discovered. Facebook offered $2,500 for a security vulnerability that could do much greater damage. What kind of vulnerability is a "million-dollar bug" if not RCE? How would you possibly have a "million-dollar bug" that is a single-point-of-contact bug and how would you verify that Facebook is paying you fairly? They didn't seem to in this case.
8
tshtf 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Note to self: Don't report any chained attacks to any large companies bug bounty programs. Alex Stamos contacting the employer of the bug reporter is completely out of line.

This is the fastest and easiest way for Facebook to stop good submissions to their bug bounty program.

9
danso 8 hours ago 2 replies      
So if I'm reading this correctly, this massively compromising attack was made possible by doing a little research? e.g. Knowing about one of the admin services used by Instagram, looking in that admin's public repo, and musing whether Instagram had bothered to change the secret key from the default entry in the repo?

We'll probably never see a post mortem on this but it'd be interesting to hear how this got moved to production...: was the Sensu admin panel a nice scaffold for internal use and by the time they decided to make it remote, everyone just assumed the secret key had been changed at some point?

10
nathanvanfleet 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Sort of an interesting conflict these bug bounties create. You have someone who wants to hack as deeply as possible to have a bigger bug bounty based on stated rules, but at the same time they will invalidate your bounty if they arbitrarily determine it as too much?

I imagine the initial report by his friend that the server was accessibly would not be a very high paying bounty compared to one accessing the server. But how deep is too deep?

11
joslin01 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The thing that gets to me is the lack of gratitude on Facebook's end. Instead, they turn him into the villain for breaking imaginary rules. What would have been the harm in slapping him on the wrist and giving him some sort of reward for exposing a huge vulnerability? Instead, they eat the reward and shit on the guy who produced it. Real classy FB.
12
ctvo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
October 22nd: Weak passwords found and reported. Also grabbed the AWS keys from the config file.

October 24th: Server no longer reachable. Tested keys and they still worked, assumed to have went on a download spree.

Seems like this is the biggest issue with how Facebook handled this case. No one looked to see what Wes accessed when he logged in with the weak credentials? No one realized he could have accessed the AWS key?

To treat what Wes found as a minor bug and then fuck up like that is sort of hilarious.

13
shawn-butler 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow what happened to Instagram?

Facebook really needs to go the way of myspace if they keep this sort of behavior up.

How can a CSO at Facebook legitimately tell a CEO of another organization that a vulnerability of "little value" was found when the researchers has your signing certs? Does he lack relevant info or is he just incompetent?

This is tantamount to mafia tactics. Hint, hint, we're facebook so get your people in line or else.

14
onewaystreet 7 hours ago 2 replies      
> With the RCE it was simple to read the configuration file to gain the credentials necessary for this database. I connected and dumped the contents of the users table.

This was his mistake. This is a huge no-no. You never dump data unless you have permission. It's against the terms of most bounty programs.

15
dperfect 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not only did this person make several large and irresponsible mistakes in the process of uncovering and reporting the bug (dumping tons of private user information without permission, going far beyond simply discovering and reporting the bug, etc.), but they also keep referring to Ruby ("running Ruby 3.x, which is susceptible to code execution via the Ruby session cookie") as the vulnerable piece, when in reality, it's the version of Rails that had the vulnerability.
16
phantarch 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How likely is it that this sort of a thing stopped being a technical item of discussion and turned into a political one by the security contacts at Facebook?

I'm always curious about what sort of internal pressures would lead people to take a well-reported bug that the author did not take malicious action on and blow it up to the point that the CSO is getting involved.

17
zupreme 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ridiculous.

This is why many security professionals become disillusioned with bounty programs. This story is not uncommon at all.

Bounty programs, while presenting a tempting incentive to practice one's skills are a very poor income strategy.

You are essentially working, unpaid, for organizations who are just as likely to ignore you (or report you to law enforcement) as they are to pay you for your findings.

No wonder so many young talented security pros are easily tempted to trade their findings for the safety of a crypto transaction with an anonymous buyer than they are to submit them through official channels.

18
tptacek 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Wait a sec.

Look at his timeline again.

He tested the AWS creds in October.

They shut the server off on October 24.

He reported the AWS creds in December.

Did he tell them about the AWS creds before then? His mails don't say that he did.

If he didn't, why didn't he?

19
Animats 7 hours ago 3 replies      
The initial bug in Ruby/Rails is striking in its stupidity.[1] You can send something to Ruby/Rails in a session cookie which, when unmarshalled, stores into any named global variable in the namespace of the responding program. It's not a buffer overflow or a bug like that. It's deliberately designed to work that way. It's like doing "eval" on untrusted input. This was on YC years ago.[2] Why was anything so idiotic ever put in Ruby at all?

Something like this makes you suspect a deliberate backdoor. Can the person who put this into Ruby/Rails be identified?

[1] http://robertheaton.com/2013/07/22/how-to-hack-a-rails-app-u...[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6110386

20
kirankn 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
@secalex I believe that the researcher clearly fulfilled the primary objective of bug bounty programs by exposing a weakness of yours which you, inspite of having large and competent teams, weren't aware of and had not sealed yet. And he did nothing to use that information with a malicious intent.

Your actions are detrimental to your relations to such good mannered external security researchers who are helping you keeping you infrastructure safe from the bad guys. You should have been a little more sensitive and a lot more generous that you have been.

21
mef 3 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting decision on Alex's part to only pay the $2500 for the RCE bug.

On one hand, this signals to anyone else who might want to disclose security issues that Facebook bounties don't pay out anywhere proportionally near the full potential damage impact of the issue.

On the other hand, if they pay out a lot more now, they're signalling that if you find a vulnerability, you need to dig deeper in order to have insurance in case Facebook gets stingy.

Probably the best outcome would have been to pay out a more proportional bounty, even though Wes' exploration was beyond what's generally acceptable, so that Facebook's bounty program reputation is preserved.

That or press criminal charges to discourage any other researchers from going over the line.

22
aioprisan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is as clear cut a case of full exploit with escalation of privilege all the way to full services source code read access, SSL private keys, full admin AWS credentials, services API keys from Twitter to analytics, email server logins, the list goes on.. all of this without even looking at a single user profile or violating user privacy, and it's not a legit security bug? This has to be worth more than $2500, and I think Facebook sets a bad precedent where folks won't disclose big security issues because of how unclear the TOS are, so that they can avoid embarrassment.
23
shaunol 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If companies are going to keep trying to get out of paying bounties for insane vulnerabilities like this, white hat researchers will just move onto something else, leaving the bounties to be paid out by the black market. Bounties aside, contacting his employer is a disgusting move.
24
ryanlol 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The fact that Alex Stamos from Facebook contacted this researchers employer talking about potential lawsuits to threaten the employee via a proxy is probably the single most damning thing in the entire article.

That to me is entirely unacceptable, if you want to threaten someone then have your legal team send them a cease and desist. Don't go after their livelihood.

25
Pxtl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On the one hand I got a little squicked in the story when he started cracking passwords, but on the other hand I kind of assumed that bug bounty systems would want the tester to find out how deep the bug goes. Otherwise the depth of your security isn't being tested.
26
adrianmacneil 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When reading the author's article, it would certainly be easy to grab the pitchforks. It is actually a pretty interesting/useful vulnerability that some low-level AWS keys were able to be escalated to some highly privileged keys, and that none of these keys where IP-whitelisted.

However, the biggest issue I see here is that the author (in their own timeline at the bottom of this post) says that they discovered the AWS keys on October 24, yet they did not report this to Facebook until December 1 (in the meantime, they were having various discussions with Facebook about whether their other submissions were valid). That is seriously concerning behavior, if you find come across some live AWS keys this should be reported immediately, you should absolutely not just sit on them for over a month as if they are some sort of bargaining chip.

27
piker 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Posting this write-up might be the last thing the researcher should have done--from a criminal liability perspective. First, the negative press might serve to piss off Facebook (who could have some perspective we are not privy to here). From Facebook's angle, the criminal aspect here may be a much closer issue, and this write-up could serve as the tipping point. Second, as a party admission, this post is could very well be admissible against the researcher at trial. Without a doubt, it can be used to contradict any testimony he might provide in defense of his actions here. (So, you HAD read the ToS, correct?) Even without Facebook's "pressing charges", a US Attorney with political aspirations might just decide she has enough here to move forward against the researcher in an effort to appear "tough on cybercrime". This whitehat stuff is murky territory for sure.
28
joeyspn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's clear to me after reading between the lines of both sides of the story, that Instagram/FB sec team screwed up not acknowledging the severity of the bug and paying accordingly to the researcher.

Why get mad about a "low level bug"... I mean, if you can dump private user pics from a photo sharing app, how is this low level? really?

It's also pretty clear that the researcher shouldn't have dumped data although most likely he reserved this hidden card for later since he was expecting the lowball... but there are smarter ways to reply to lowballing.

IMO poorly managed on both parts.

29
Zikes 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Facebook's calling his employer could be slanderous, possibly even criminal harassment.

Between stories like this demonstrating companies' apparent lack of understanding of whitehat infosec, and Weev's incarceration demonstrating the American legal system's apparent lack of understanding of whitehat infosec, it's hard to believe people still participate in such endeavors.

30
arbitrage314 7 hours ago 1 reply      
If accurate (which it seems to be), a very disappointing handling by Facebook.
31
danra 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see how the CSO's response makes sense for Facebook's security interests. As CSO, it is in your interest to allow a researcher to exploit an RCE to its furthest. Otherwise, you would only ever allow researchers to inoculate your outest layer of protection, while leaving any inner level untested and thus less secure.

If indeed only credentials and technical information were obtained, all aimed at finding more security issues, Facebook should be thankful for finding all the vulnerabilities across all their security layers.

32
kunle 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If accurate, seems like a pretty counterproductive way to handle this.
33
spicyj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Alex Stamos (Facebook CSO) just posted an official response:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10755060

34
ianhawes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see a service where a company's source code/database/confidential info is placed in escrow pending the payout from a bug bounty. Or, perhaps more likely, some sort of 3rd-party arbitration.
35
AVTizzles 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Why call the CEO and not his Mom?
36
mml 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Bad form on Mr. Stamos' part.

edit: if it's indeed true, but I have my doubts that's the case. Hard to say either way.

38
henley-cs 7 hours ago 0 replies      
that's a lot of posturing on both sides. FB had some severe vulnerabilities that the author certainly pointed out. And the author could have read the bucket contents without downloading them. FB clammed up. The author overreached. Neither ends up really winning anything here. Tis a shame.
39
giancarlostoro 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I really don't want to imagine what would of happened if he wasn't part of the bug bounty and instead after malicious intent how bad things would of gone.
40
redditplebs 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the sites' down.Mirror/Google cached page: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vR9o3UY...
41
ishanr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's really simple. This is the beginning of the end of Facebook. With their fake clicks on their ads and what not.
42
eecks 7 hours ago 1 reply      
imo Facebook should be grateful for people like this instead of burning them
43
bsmartt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I thought their stack was django?
44
guard-of-terra 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Once again we see how people act hard-ass in sight of gaping vulnerability in their system. Be it law system, computer system or moral system, you will see denial and intimidation.

We should have "pastebin hat" list and Facebook should definitely be on it.

The problem with humans is that they will rather go extinct over such things than behave properly. You could try to teach us by painful example but death will probably come first.

45
joshmn 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> Ruby 3.x

Rails 3.x

46
twerkmonsta 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it normal for security researchers to use Windows for their OS?
47
maemilius 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one mildly annoyed that the author constantly conflated Rails and Ruby?
48
blazespin 4 hours ago 4 replies      
In general, if you have a green handle, you shouldn't be commenting on things like this. Otherwise we'll have sock puppets galore muddying the waters.
49
dang 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Please don't do this here.
The first person to hack the iPhone is building a self-driving car bloomberg.com
917 points by bcg1  1 day ago   444 comments top 62
1
jpfr 1 day ago 24 replies      
Prototypical case of the 80/20 rule. He has implemented the happy case. But that system is nothing people realistically would want to drive their cars.

What he did is impressive. But the results are not that outlandish for a talented person.

1) Hook up a computer to the CAN-Bus network of the car [1] and attach a bunch of sensor peripherals.

2) Drive around for some time and record everything to disk.

3) Implement some of the recent ideas from deep reinforcement learing [2,3]. For training, feed the system with the oberservations from test drives and reward actions that mimick the reactions of actual drivers.

In 2k lines of code he probably does not have a car model that can be used for path planning [4] (with tire slippage, etc.). So his system will make errors in emergency situations. Especially since the neural net has never experienced most emergencies and could not learn the appropriate reactions.

And guess what, emergency situations are the hard part. Driving on a freeway with visible lane markings is easy. German research projects autonomously drove on the Autobahn since the 80s [5]. Neural networks were used for the task since about the same time [6].

[1] http://www.instructables.com/id/Hack-your-vehicle-CAN-BUS-wi...

[2] http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.02971

[3] http://arxiv.org/abs/1504.00702

[4] http://www.rem2030.de/rem2030-wAssets/docs/downloads/07_Konf...

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_Prometheus_Project

[6] http://repository.cmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2874&c...

2
paragpatelone 1 day ago 4 replies      
"His self-funded experiment could end with Hotz humbly going back to knock on Googles door for a job."

The biggest thing here IMO is this is self-funded. Any startup trying to do what he is doing in this environment would have raised $50 Million, hired 100's of engineers from top notch schools, become accepted in YC, and have Marc Andreessen, Paul Graham, Sam Altman and all singing their praises.

Kudos to him for being self-funded.

3
thedz 1 day ago 16 replies      
> I understand the state-of-the-art papers, he says. The math is simple. For the first time in my life, Im like, I know everything there is to know.

Yep, he's still in his twenties.

4
1024core 1 day ago 1 reply      
Like most hard problems, it's easy to pick off the low-hanging fruit and claim that you have solution.

Self-driving cars (in some form or the other, under some loose definition of "self" and "driving") have been around since the 20s. But it still remains a vexing problem.

It is quite easy to program a car to stay between 2 cars and follow the car in front. It is quite another to have the same car drive on (a) a road without lane markings; (b) in adverse weather conditions (snow, anybody? Hotz should take the car to Tahoe); (c) in traffic anomalies (ambulance/cop approaching from behind; accident/debris in front; etc. etc.); and so on.

No offense to GeoHot, but I'd love to see his system work in rush-hour 101 traffic; or cross the Bay Bridge, where (coming to SF) the lanes merge arbitrarily.

The key challenges are not only to drive when there's traffic; but to also drive when there's NO traffic, because lane markings, etc. are practically nonexistent in many places.

Having said all that, I still admire his enthusiasm and drive(no pun intended). Tinker on!

5
ixtli 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's somewhat frustrating that he continues to get the credit for "hacking the iphone" when he was neither the first nor the only person on the project. The "iPhone Dev Team" was a group of five to ten people who built tools to jailbreak the phone and unlock the radio. If anything, the first person was a guy called Nightwatch who was also associated with various .tif exploits to unlock the PSP. As near as I could tell at the time he worked in some capacity for a South American university. Geohot worked only on the baseband unlock and was forced out of the closed discussions when he released exploits before everyone had time to prepare. This is important because some peoples participation in the project could have potentially affected their employment. Luckily I don't know that anything bad happened, but suffice it to say the kid is not a team player.
6
pjc50 1 day ago 3 replies      
The 21" monitor portrait-style in the car is fantastic.

The testing of a hacked-together system on the public road is not. He probably won't kill anyone, but if he were to I suspect he'd get the book thrown at him in the way that everyday death-by-DUI drivers don't.

Actually I'll go futher with this criticism: we've just seen drones being FAA regulated because users were unable to refrain from doing dangerous or nuisance things with them, such as flying near airports. DIY self-driving car research is similarly likely to damage the concept if it goes wrong.

7
reneherse 1 day ago 0 replies      
For comparison, a similar hacker spirit underpins Tesla Motors propulsion tech: Back in the early 2000's, there was a young engineer driving around Palo Alto in a brilliantly hacked electric Porsche 944, which would do about 130mph on the highway.

His name was JB Straubel, and nowadays he's Tesla's CTO.

Best of luck to Hotz!

8
jaybosamiya 1 day ago 7 replies      
> The last people with jobs will be AI programmers

Geohotz makes a decent point. The way the industrial revolution reduced manual labour, and made thinkers and tinkerers much more valuable, the advent of AI (true AI, mind you, not the tiny stuff that we currently assume) might actually make us obsolete. It is a peaceful and yet terrifying thought.

9
rhema 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Amazed, I ask Hotz what it felt like the first time he got the car to work.

>Dude, he says, the first time it worked was this morning.

I can't tell if this is a joke or unbridled hubris. Either way, self driving cars seem like a new hacker space.

10
hamhamed 1 day ago 3 replies      
> Frankly, I think you should just work at Tesla, Musk wrote to Hotz in an e-mail. Im happy to work out a multimillion-dollar bonus with a longer time horizon that pays out as soon as we discontinue Mobileye.

> I appreciate the offer, Hotz replied, but like Ive said, Im not looking for a job. Ill ping you when I crush Mobileye.

> Musk simply answered, OK.

I have to agree with Elon here, Hotz is such a good fit there. But Hotz knows best, if he thinks he can take down Mobileye then he did the right decision, sucks that Tesla wouldn't back it. I'm sure other car companies would buy Hotz's software

11
antoniuschan99 1 day ago 1 reply      
He seems like a pretty cool and level headed person. If you watch the video, they're working on phase 3 of car automation which is basically when you're on the highway (or on the smaller roads) and the car takes over for you. It seems like google is working on phase 4, which I feel is basically too far off (no reason for us to need cars that can drive themselves without anyone in it). Also, Tesla, Mercedes, those are all phase 3 (Autosteer).

Also pretty cool he's working in his garage :P.

12
deftnerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
@imgeohot - Before launch, you should look into a communications protocol between the vehicles. It appears to me that the new LiFi standard might be perfect. You might be able to use the laser range finders themselves to communicate between vehicles.

What to communicate? I'm not sure, to be honest. Road conditions or notifications of the position of obstacles is one obvious thing. Advertising the current version of the software and pushing signed OS upgrade binaries is another. Voice/Video chat with other vehicles in range would be cool, as is media syncing and discovery.

Building in some kind of Bitcoin based payment protocol would be fun too. You could load your cars Bitcoin wallet with some funds and tip cars around you all over the LiFi.

I'm not saying you need to build all that stuff, just put in a good hackable messaging protocol into the system before wide release :-)

Great work man. Good to see people with a good hacker ethos accomplish really cool things.

13
iblaine 1 day ago 2 replies      
>The smartest people I knew were in high school, and I was so let down by the people in college.

He seems like a good person to get into business with. He's so non-judgmental. Reminds me of myself and all the stupid things I said to VCs in my 20s.

14
blinkingled 1 day ago 1 reply      
>At Google, he found very smart developers who were often assigned mundane tasks like fixing bugs in a Web browser; at Facebook, brainy coders toiled away trying to figure out how to make users click on ads.

I'm not sure those two are equally horrible though - fixing complex bugs requires using lot of skills and the high you get when you finally nail it is nothing to miss.

Getting people to click on ads though - that's genuinely depressing.

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hias 1 day ago 4 replies      
Sorry, but how can this be legal?With his homemade solution, he is not only endangering himself but all the other people in the cars around him.

Usually before you are allowed to use something like this on a public road your stuff has to be tested and approved by the state. At least this is how it is in Europe, does this not matter in the states?

16
hellofunk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know what's going to happen with this project of his, but this certainly is an interesting article:

>Sitting cross-legged on a dirty, formerly cream-colored couch in his garage, Hotz philosophizes about AI and the advancement of humanity. Slavery did not end because everyone became moral, he says. The reason slavery ended is because we had an industrial revolution that made mans muscles obsolete. For the last 150 years, the economy has been based on mans mind. Capitalism, it turns out, works better when people are chasing a carrot rather than being hit with a stick. Were on the brink of another industrial revolution now. The entire Internet at the moment has about 10 brains worth of computing power, but that wont always be the case.

17
tmalsburg2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Surprised that no one else commented on this: It is completely mad and irresponsible to test a self-driving car on a public highway especially since the one who has built it admits that he has no idea what it is doing. Hotz is putting other people's lives in grave danger and everyone is applauding him for that.
18
dangirsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I met Hotz at SpaceX, and can assure you he's not as cocky as this article makes him out to be.
19
ericjang 1 day ago 0 replies      
During my internship at Google I watched Hotz give a talk on QIRA and his Pwnium exploit.

George Hotz working his magic on the computer is the most fucking legit thing I have seen in my life.

20
dkns 1 day ago 0 replies      
Absolutely exciting stuff. Imagine if you have 100, 1000 or 10000 cars each with deep learning software on board. Have them all upload data after each drive to central repository and download updates from other cars. You might start without stuff like 'react to that deer that just jumped on the road' but when you have 10 000 or 100 000 cars that learn and share their knowledge between them you'll quickly learn a lot of corner cases.
21
nascentmind 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats geohot. Come up with a good development framework for people to build on and it would be awesome. This is good innovation and engineering.

Like the article said it sure beats writing code to make people click ads or fixing some obscure deadbeat bug in some useless software which nobody uses.

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tragomaskhalos 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Hold this, he says, dumping a wireless keyboard in my lap before backing out of the garage. But dont touch any buttons, or well die."

Quality.

23
erjjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
Self-Driving cars are very exciting but we know it can be done - super cool that Hotz got this working. Now he could really impress the community if he could solve 6 additional concepts http://gizmodo.com/6-simple-things-googles-self-driving-car-...
24
pyoung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like the car he is using already comes with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist[1]. Can someone with more knowledge on the subject chime in on how/what he is doing that improves upon those?

[1] http://www.acura.com/Features.aspx?model=MDX&modelYear=2016&...

25
michael_h 1 day ago 3 replies      

 He thinks machines will take care of much of the work tied to producing food and other necessities. Humans will then be free to plug into their computers and get lost in virtual reality.
Well, that's an astronomically depressing future.

26
dvh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I always thought default Ubuntu WM is only used by the people who don't know how to change it.
27
hcrisp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I dont care about money, he says. I want power. Not power over people, but power over nature and the destiny of technology."

This has echoes of J.R.R. Tolkien:

Anyway all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the Machine. By the last I intend all use of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents -- or even the use of these talents with the corrupted motive of dominating: bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills. The Machine is our more obvious modern form though more closely related to Magic than is usually recognised. . . . The Enemy in successive forms is always 'naturally' concerned with sheer Domination, and so the Lord of magic and machines.

28
SuperKlaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
"George Hotz will be a panelist at Bloomberg Businessweek Design 2016 on April 11, 2016."
29
edward 1 day ago 0 replies      
30
Wonnk13 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can anyone recommend a AI/economics book regarding the implications of a population where jobs are no longer necessary?
31
RIMR 1 day ago 1 reply      
This the same guy that Sony wanted to put in prison for figuring out how to run code on the PS3...

That stunt is also what lead to a coordinated attack against PSN that took the service down for more than a month.

32
quantumgoo 1 day ago 1 reply      
If it passes the written and driving tests at the local DMV, should the car be given a driver's license?
33
pfista 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it really the best approach to only train from real world scenarios without any programmed constraints? Most humans are terrible drivers and there's a reason so many people die every year in car accidents. It seems like his approach might be more organic but it'd also be really hard to provide training data around emergency situations as others have mentioned here.
34
politician 1 day ago 1 reply      
If a self-driving car is designed around neural networks, then does that remove the liability dilemma introduced when such a car is involved in an accident? The car panicked and crashed.

If we could move the liability to the car itself, then maybe we could just add the car to its own insurance policy, you know, as if it were a dependent, like a teenage driver.

35
macawfish 1 day ago 0 replies      
This one takes the cake for me: It scares me what Facebook is doing with AI, Hotz says. Theyre using machine-learning techniques to coax people into spending more time on Facebook.
36
iamleppert 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can we get some third party verification here? I live in Potrero and would like to take a ride in his car, or at least help out with his project... hit me up man!!
37
nojvek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really like his 4 stage definition of self driving car. I don't really care about the fully autonomous like the google car. I've driven the adaptive cruise control VW in europe and that was an amazing experience. The only thing missing was lane control which this guy has done. Personally, where self driving really shines is long trips on the highway. All I really want is smarter cruise control that can stay on one lane and not bump into anything, and ideally send an alarm if it thinks it needs help.
38
samlittlewood 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting to see an nvidia shield box on his shelves [0] - I've been playing with one, and the Tegra X1 SoC in there is an absolute beast. Nvidia are pushing this chip for automotive, supported by freely available learning and vision toolkits.

I'd not be surprised to see some interest and support from nvidia on this (if not, then they should REALLY look into it).

[0] http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-george-hotz-self-driv...

39
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pakled_engineer 1 day ago 0 replies      
His AI strategy that doesn't use IF statements sounds influenced from the Sussman & Radul paper the Art of the Propagator. In this related course you also learn how to program AI decisions based on pattern matching like him giving space to a cyclist and the AI later doing the same https://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/gjs/6.945/
41
Allamaprabhu 18 hours ago 0 replies      
But my intuition say. Google has fairly large amount of data. Their cars drove much distance than his leading them more space to test. More data to test more intelligent systems will be.
42
joe563323 20 hours ago 0 replies      
43
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I know everything there is to know.

Except the law when it comes to exceptions for being in control of your vehicle at all times. Somebody take this guys license before he kills someone due to a divide-by-zero. Testing this in an abandoned parking lot would be ok with me (probably still against the law but fine). In traffic is a definite no.

44
giancarlostoro 1 day ago 0 replies      
He does a bit of interesting projects, hacking the iPhone, Android and even the PS3 to the point of being sued by Sony [1]. Geohot has potential, so it will be interesting what we see him accomplish, hopefully some company doesn't swoop in and ruin his progress.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iUvuaChDEg

45
mandeepj 1 day ago 0 replies      
> In the coming weeks, Hotz intends to start driving for Uber so he can rack up a lot of training miles for the car.

Really? I did not expected this from him. Why don't he put his sensors\cameras\kit on few other hundred\thousand cars and pay them some money or get some early adopters.

46
bparsons 1 day ago 1 reply      
Good to see smart people working on something actually useful, and not another group chat or instagram clone app.
47
devy 1 day ago 0 replies      
The article mentioned Elon's delaying tactic. I wonder what would happen if Hotz's idea/project was bought out by Tesla.
48
myztic 1 day ago 1 reply      
(This is completely Off-Topic but it's been bothering me for such a long time now and I never got sufficient answers)

Why am I seeing Ubuntu on Screens of developers, experts, et cetera in Cover Stories such as these, most of the time with the 100% plain Ubuntu Desktop with all the craziness that comes with it?It feels like this is the case 90% of the time. Two more (recent) examples I can remember:

1) Fyodor (Guy behind nmap) running plain Ubuntu on a Notebook while giving a speech at a conference

2) Developers at Honda (Video was an Asimo promotional video) running plain Ubuntu

Since in my personal opinion Ubuntu is not the technically superior choice in these cases (though that can be debated), it can not simply be explained with it being backed by a company, there being support you can buy for the system if you need it.

What motivates technically extremely skilled people to use "Plain Ubuntu" instead of one of the many alternatives?

I really don't understand, please enlighten me!

(I actually think it's worth "spending" some Karma on this if I for once get a satisfying answer)

49
Grazester 1 day ago 1 reply      
Geo Hotz amazes me!!With that said, can he be prosecuted for using his driverless car on public roads without a license to do so?
50
lavezzi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Probably best that he's working on his own, doesn't seem like the kind of guy you'd want to work alongside.
51
J0-onas 1 day ago 1 reply      
So how does his technology/software react on dangers? The video only shows how he keeps his lane...
52
daemonk 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks like he has various sensors for gathering driving data. But how do you really know when you have gathered enough dimensions of data in this situation? How do you train for edge cases?

I imagine there will still have to be some hard rules in case the AI encounters edge cases.

53
JustSomeNobody 1 day ago 3 replies      
So its more a fancy autopilot than a self driving car.
54
dominotw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would be interesting to see demo that is not just car self-driving in a straight(ish) line.
55
pedrodelfino 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a cool article!
56
mschuster91 1 day ago 0 replies      
The fuck. Hotz is awesome... The only coder with a skillset so diverse yet immersive I know is Fabrice Bellard. I'd love to see them on a team together... probably will invent true AI O.o
57
et2o 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love this guy's personality.
58
ginsmar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great!
59
kevando 1 day ago 0 replies      
> 99%
60
ck2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really liked Hotz until he went to work for the dark side (google's android security) and decided to make smartphones harder to root instead of easier.
61
frik 1 day ago 2 replies      
He must have rich patents or a sponsor. The Lidar isn't cheap (50k).
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samfisher83 1 day ago 0 replies      
The guys hacked the PS3. That guy can build a self driving car.
Philips reverses decision to close the Hue Platform meethue.com
436 points by alaaf  1 day ago   162 comments top 18
1
mdip 1 day ago 10 replies      
A point brought up in the replies to their forum post warrants repeating: They claim that they were concerned about the quality of their brand being eroded by third-party bulbs that didn't reproduce the same quality experience that first-party/certified bulbs did.

They had the solution available to them from day one. Since they can clearly identify third-party bulbs, they could have simply presented a warning along the lines of "We've detected you're using bulbs that are not certified by Philips. For best results, we recommend using only certified bulbs (link to purchase here) and cannot guarantee a quality experience with the bulbs you've purchased. Click "OK" to continue."

2
mdip 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm glad to see they've reversed the decision. It was the only reasonable choice they had with such an immature market that could have them dethroned as the leader very quickly. Their reasons for lock-in made no sense. For a product like this compatibility is a feature and many people chose the Philips products because of the ecosystem of compatible products available, the ZigBee protocol and third-party light bulbs.

I'm sure that third-party products were causing problems, however, wholesale blocking of them via software update is a terrible solution. They, literally, turned out the lights on their customers. Meanwhile, I'd be willing to bet support costs immediately spiked -- people call support when things don't work and they just pushed out a solution that increased rather than decreased that.

Unfortunately, I think they've bruised their reputation quite a bit with this move. It's now delayed my purchase of such a product until I am convinced that they have a solid third-party certification program in place (with very low licensing fees) or (even better) a guarantee with the product that they won't try this again when the market is more mature and they have the option of ignoring complaining customers.

Their competitors could see a rise in sales by taking advantage of this blunder and committing to open protocols. I haven't looked at the landscape in this category, yet, and had just assumed I'd be buying the Philips Hue eventually, but they've motivated me to do more research.

3
themartorana 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow. Most companies are deaf to user outrage. The original decision wasn't fantastic, but I understand the whole "Friends of..." certification route.

At least in the future they'll be able to stick to "if it's not certified by us..." for customer support, which was likely the original impetus (along with a desire to cut off cheap alternatives to their devices).

I'm not mad at this at all.

4
HarryHirsch 1 day ago 4 replies      
Compare this with Ethernet. You plug it in - and it just works. No 3com/Realtek/Intel certification required. As a user I may be shielded, but I believe there are no interoperability issues between Cisco/Juniper/Brocade switchgear either.

With this as the background, it's surprising to see a large crowd defending the equivalent of Ford-branded gasoline.

5
DiabloD3 1 day ago 5 replies      
The thing is, to me, the fact that they ever decided to do this in the first place means I will never buy Philips smart home products ever.

They have proven they can't be trusted with this sort of power, and that is a one way trip. You don't come back from that, you don't get back off my list.

6
anc84 1 day ago 1 reply      
They can still control it and reverse the reversal in the future. You are at their whim. It is not user-friendly unless it is free software (and hardware). Amazon can still remotely remove books and no one bats an eye. This is just an issue because at the moment these kinds of home automation are per-dominantly "nerd" territory while e-book readers are already mainstream.
7
sismoc 1 day ago 2 replies      
I won't be so quick to "roll-back" my decision to boycott their products.
8
ohitsdom 1 day ago 3 replies      
"We underestimated the impact this would have upon the small number of our customers"

Do they really believe it is a small number of customers that use non-Philips light bulbs? I mean, good for them in reversing the decision, but the damage is already done (check out Amazon reviews for one) and it should have been easily foreseen.

9
nichochar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really respect philips for having the humility to come back on a decision like this. As someone who already owns hue and has bought into the ecosystem, this makes me want to promote their brand further, and I will.

Hat down to whoever made this happen over there! The world is better when things are open.

10
tomlongson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this had anything to do with the flood of negative comments to their Amazon product pages?

3/5 stars: http://www.amazon.com/Philips-455303-White-Starter-Generatio...

4/5 stars (previously 4.5/5): http://www.amazon.com/Philips-456210-Ambiance-Starter-Genera...

11
gedrap 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of the people are talking about how important integration and interoperability is. I agree with it, however, a lot of work has to be done to achieve it.

In order to do it properly, there should be standards that major providers agree upon making integration much easier and predictable. That takes plenty of time.

Then you probably need some walled garden to control the experience. Approved apps, approved 3rd party providers, etc. If some crappy app is released, regular users won't blame the developer but the platform, as it was discussed in great details in other threads. We need to get out of the HN bubble. Seriously. We forget that a computer is a device to watch porn and browse facebook and that's about it for A LOT of people. Chances are, it will cause a wave of anger in communities such as this one (where there's a strong sentiment for open systems).

This work has to be done be a number of large providers (read: long processes) and followed by startups popping up and disappearing now and then. This stuff always takes time.

12
donkeyd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Second large company this week to rollback a change after public outcry, with Valve rolling back a change in CS:GO. I hope their marketing people take a lesson out of this.
13
vilts 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds exactly like the FTDI FT232 "serial killer" saga all over again.

They got many people very pissed off and probably never buying or building products with their chips again.

14
sneak 1 day ago 3 replies      
The funny part is that they claim to have broken their customers' previously working functionality in good faith.

Who writes these things, and why do their supervisors allow them to keep working there?!?

15
toppy 1 day ago 0 replies      
How many developers does it take to change Philips lightbulb?
16
Nilef 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any recommendations for third-party lights?
17
josscrowcroft 1 day ago 0 replies      
"We fucked up, but we don't want to admit it."
18
revelation 1 day ago 3 replies      
Not sure why people are screaming "boycott". Philips never advertised their system as being compatible with third-party lights. The fact that they use an open protocol to communicate with their own lights doesn't change this.

It's like connecting to your office chat with an IRC client because you figured out that's what they are using under the hood. Why would you scream bloody murder when one day your IRC client stops being compatible with it? They never advertised this to begin with!

You can't exactly demand functionality that you were never sold.

Chemical clears Alzheimer's protein and restores memory in mice nature.com
438 points by coris47  16 hours ago   136 comments top 13
1
blisterpeanuts 13 hours ago 5 replies      
This is heartening news; if not a cure, at least it suggests a promising avenue for future research into this terrible condition.

This LiveScience[1] article is an easily read summary that also mentions a critique of the approach.

Given the unfortunate history[2][3] of falsified Korean scientific research, it would be prudent to withhold judgment until these results have been reproduced in other labs around the world.

1. http://www.livescience.com/53019-epps-chemical-washes-away-a...

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/world/asia/27clone.html?_r...

3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/0...

2
andy_ppp 15 hours ago 6 replies      
Wow, you can buy some EPPS (the chemical in the article) here for 39.20?

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sigma/54465?lang...

Looks interesting research but I'm sure this stuff probably can't be that good for you!

3
eveningcoffee 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The title is "EPPS rescues hippocampus-dependent cognitive deficits in APP/PS1 mice by disaggregation of amyloid- oligomers and plaques" and it does not say that it reduces memory, it says "EPPS reduces A-aggregate-induced memory deficits in mice" but they also say that "We observed substantial rescue of working memory deficits in A-infused mice by EPPS treatment".

Of course this is only small part of the paper and I have no training to appreciate it more.

4
plg 14 hours ago 4 replies      
it's a great day for mouse health
5
nashashmi 14 hours ago 5 replies      
I am having an epiphany. Maybe this "Alzheimer protein" is supposed to be the brain's defenses to something much worse. Maybe this protein is a "reaction" similar to skin rashes when it absorbs poison ivy's urisol.

If Alzheimer was simply a deficiency of nutrients, I wouldn't think this way, but if it really is a protein that "can be cleared", why did it get there in the first place?

6
keeptrying 12 hours ago 1 reply      
There have been at least 3 previous solutions for AD in mice which have never panned out in humans.
7
midnitewarrior 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, they've prevented Alzheimer's in healthy mice, and restored memory function to sick Alzheimer's affected mice. The treatment is non-toxic at ridiculous levels too.
8
daveguy 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I would like to point out that the main study described in this article is not the "inject aggregated amyloid beta fibrils" that is described first. That study was a preliminary study that prompted the main study which uses genetically altered mice.

The test for alzheimers for the first study (previously reported but summarized again) was to quantify how much the mice deviates from solving a maze that they have been trained to solve.

In the first they injected amyloid beta aggregates into mouse brains and found that EPPS administered orally at 30 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg restores the ability of the mice to efficiently solve the maze.

Next they tested toxicity quantified the amount of EPPS that passes the brain/blood barrier. For toxicity they found no signs of toxicity at 2000 mg / kg (20x dosage). For blood/brain barrier, as you go up in blood concentration you should go up in brain concentration if there is a good penetration from blood to brain. If the barrier is high then you immediately get high blood and low brain concentrations. The point where there is no longer a significant increase in brain concentration when increasing blood concentration is used to determine effective dosage concentrations. They found that at 100 mg/kg they were starting to see increased blood/brain ratios so they targeted 10-100 mg/kg for the next study.

MAIN STUDY (which included identifying the dosage level) used mice that were engineered to "get Alzheimer's" starting around 5 months of age because they produce a human gene (transgenic) that is a precursor to form the AB plaques. This transgenic model is established and the mice showed the expected amyloid beta plaques and had difficulty solving the maze at 10.5 months as expected.

Starting at 10.5 months they gave oral doses of EPPS at 10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg and monitored maze solving along with several additional tests: likelihood to freeze when presented with negative input (fear conditioning) and ability to find hidden platforms when swimming (water maze). Both tests improved significantly to the wild-type (no Alzheimer's) level when taking EPPS. They also did dose dependency at .1 1 and 10 mg/kg. There was a steady improvement at higher doses.

They also took slices of the mouse brain and tested whether or not the neurons responded differently to electrical stimulation. They found no difference in wild-type (WT, non-genetically altered) or transgenic (TG, altered) response to electrical stimulation with and without EPPS. This hints at no difference in neural activity with or without EPPS. They also gave EPPS to WT for the behavioral tests and did not see a difference (although that was not shown in the behavioral test figures).

They also took slices of the brain and stained them with a fluorescent dye to show the Alzheimer's associated plaques. There is a significant quantifiable reduction in plaques in the treated mice.

They used several other techniques to confirm that they were actually AB plaques and they disaggregated by a specific site of activity. I won't go into those specifics, but to say that this was a VERY well designed and executed study across multiple lines of inquiry and all of the lines of inquiry point to the same conclusion:

EPPS rescues hippocampus-dependent cognitivedeficits in APP/PS1 mice by disaggregation ofamyloid-b oligomers and plaques

And that's why it's a Nature article.

9
reasonattlm 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If you go digging around you'll find dozens of other similar results in the past five to ten years for dozens of various compounds, some of which produce larger effect sizes than this one. This is nothing to get excited over.

It is interesting the way in which various groups leap upon some research reports but not others. The challenge is always having the context for the broader state of research to understand whether it is meaningful or new or not.

The present mainstream view of Alzheimer's is that amyloid (and tau) clearance is the way to go. Immunotherapies are the most developed tool, but that is so far proving to be hard - it is too early to say whether failures in clinical trials are because it is hard or because amyloid clearance isn't as useful as thought in this condition. Which could be for any number of reasons including that amyloid-related biochemistry is the problem, but clearing a particular variant or stage of its aggregation doesn't touch that problem area.

Amyloid levels in the brain are in fact highly dynamic on a very short timescale. That Alzheimer's develops slowly supports the view that the condition is a slow degeneration of natural clearance mechanisms, such as the filtration performed by the choroid plexus, or the more recently investigated peristaltic passage of fluid out of the brain by other channels. E.g.:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245362/

On that latter point, the Methuselah Foundation just a few days ago seed funded a startup company that will investigate whether reversing the degeneration of peristaltic fluid passage with aging will improve clearance and thus stop the progression of Alzheimer's. It's based on as yet unpublished work by Doug Ethell at GCBS Western who presented at Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2015 ( http://www.sens.org/files/conferences/rb2015/RB2015-Program.... ), and has the merit that it should be a fast failure if the theory is wrong, unlike many of the other efforts in Alzheimer's research.

10
aantix 12 hours ago 1 reply      
A slightly unrelated question; are there any companies out there that are working on a replacement for mouse models in disease research?

I'm think more in terms of computer simulation?

11
antidaily 12 hours ago 0 replies      
BUT it makes for pet chimpanzee super smart and and ruins human civilization, setting up en epic battle between apes and men.
12
openbsdway 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps Pinky can now stop asking Brain what it is they will be doing tonight!
13
heimatau 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Ginkgo Biloba [1] is very solid at helping preventing Alzheimer's, even in some cases slowing it down when it's already occurring. Lots of research on the benefits of Ginkgo. Yet most don't know about it.

[1] https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ginkgo+biloba+alzheimer+site%3A.ed...

How Product Hunt really works medium.com
673 points by brw12  2 days ago   218 comments top 52
1
phantom_oracle 2 days ago 4 replies      
Nothing can hurt a well-meaning first-time founder of some useful side-project business then to learn that a non-entity like Product Hunt is a rigged game where the inner circle are simply gaming the system for their friends and people whom they benefit from and will benefit.

From "top 3% of coders" to "your product will get 1st spot if you scratch our back with a small slice of the pie or counter-promote our product with yours" to "we will only invest in you if you get referred through an acquittance of ours", the game surely does feel more rigged each day.

The upper echelons of tech sure does share more similarities with high-finance then they would like to admit...

2
minimaxir 2 days ago 6 replies      
Speaking of "PH is rigged by insiders," it's worth noting that a "top user" is selling a book on how to best pander to the PH userbase: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00TP3MFHE/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?qid=...

This is an odd racket, to say the least.

Re/code wrote a relevant article a few months back (http://recode.net/2015/06/18/product-hunt-the-startup-kingma...) about Product Hunt elitism, which I was interviewed for and the response from the PH team to the article was essentially "haters gonna hate." It's disappointing that nothing has changed since then, and arguably, things have gotten worse.

3
birken 2 days ago 8 replies      
Hacker News is a long-running, open, inclusive startup community that is subsidized by a related business, doesn't sell anything, and has proven time and again to do things good for the entire startup community.

Product Hunt is a new, closed, exclusive startup community run by a for-profit company that will eventually have to start selling you something.

Not sure why people complain about PH so much... just don't use it. There already is a perfectly good community of startup people out there that has much more incentive to stay "pure" than a for-profit one. Sure, HN isn't perfect, but fundamentally it is always going to be better than any for-profit communities.

(And also this obligatory comment: If you want to build a successful company, stop wasting your time browsing startup communities and spend your time talking with users and building your product)

4
OoTheNigerian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Below is a mail I sent in response to a Recode article in June about Product Hunt. Summary : horribly elitist and what the Valley should avoid becoming.

I'm almost never harsh to a fellow founder but I thank God Ryan Hoover doesn't weild much influence. Wrong hands to expect equity or fairness.

--

Hi Carmel,

I'm following up with you about your post on PH.

Summary,

There is insane bias towards outsiders of the club. Here is my case in point.

I submitted my startup https://callbase.co up to FIVE times and it was never approved. However aircall.io a competitor has made the front page TWICE in that period.

Of course having a handle @OoTheNigerian does not help :D

As at the time my second submission was being rejected, Mattermark's Newsletter was making the front-page as a product (1 of 5 http://www.producthunt.com/tech/mattermark-4#!/s/posts/matte...). Yup, ridiculous. (i have absolutely nothing against the great work Danielle is doing).

This is one of several.

I sent Ryan (copied) a stongly worded email after several ignored ones and he "offered" to allow mine through on a weekend. Lol.

This is just a case in point how hard outsiders (I live in Lagos, Nigeria) find it in the quest for success. Silicon Valley is a meritocracy but you have to be seen first to be considered. No?

Of course, it is his platform and can do whatever he wants with it. However, it should be clear to him what he is doing. Perpetuating the cycle of the powerful being more powerful.

It would be nice to see the demographic representation of his all powerful voting clique.

After reading this Ryan may (or not after seeing this) now go posting about us when we may be asleep or not ready.

Great write up BTW!

5
brw12 2 days ago 3 replies      
Interested in your thoughts, HN. I tried to write from a place of compassion and not be all haterating.
6
mootothemax 2 days ago 3 replies      
Surely if your app's sole source of success is a spending a short amount of time on some website's front page, you have bigger issues with your business strategy?

Go back a few years and everyone used to talk about their struggles getting featured on TechCrunch; I didn't believe it was make-or-break back then either.

7
tptacek 2 days ago 4 replies      
The only time I ever hear about Product Hunt is in the once- in- a- blue- moon posts like this I see about it on HN.

Do people take PH seriously?

8
sparkzilla 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am so happy to read this article and I commend Ben Wheeler on bringing it to light. I had written a similar article in July but did not publish it as I was promoting a new version of my site. I was afraid to speak out because I believed it would hurt my chances of getting funded. I should have gone with my convictions. I have now published it. [1]

Ryan Hoover has not only outsourced VC product discovery, he has outsourced its class system too. It's incredibly disheartening to be outside the loop, trying to get your product noticed, and submitting it to what you think is a free system only to have other products by well-connected insiders block it out.

When I saw Hoover and Jason Calacanis congratulating each other on Twitter I knew immediately what was going on. Despite multiple emails, Hoover wouldn't even give me access so I could comment on competing products. I'm glad this is coming back to bite him and his investors too -- they went along with it.

I don't expect anything to change because sites are a reflection of the personality of the people who run them and Hoover has already shown he is completely corrupt. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

[1]http://newslines.org/blog/the-new-gatekeeper/

9
throwaway415 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was initially really excited to learn about Product Hunt and what it meant to the existing ecosystem: Diversity.

An independent contender in the war for eyeballs/voice in the hacking/tech/entrepreneurship community -- how exciting! I would imagine while their motivations might be similar to what YC wants with HN (distribution, influence), they could possibly open up and serve new members in the ecosystem that aren't, can't, or don't want to be a part of the HN/YC pipeline.

Building a working group of heterogenous independent sources to serve new and exciting topics is important to breaking out of the echo chamber we so often create for ourselves within tech. I was hoping Product Hunt could bootstrap the entire venture, stay clean, and true to the spirit of a meritocracy.

Then they went through YC, and now I see the same "influencers" there as I do here, with the same system in place to promote their own vested interests. It just makes me slightly sad that the pressures of succeeding create collusion among players in this market, thereby perhaps obscuring the potential for new/interesting/different emergent technologies/startups to thrive.

Among my peers, over time PH has become less of a community set out to serve the good of the people, and instead has become more of a pipeline for quick sales or testing new ideas, leaving a feeling of what can only be described previously as the "Tech Crunch of Initiation".

Product Hunt has essentially supplanted Tech Crunch in the YC/TC relationship of yesteryear, albeit to an even more perilous extent. Products are no longer vetted by working professional journalists, whose obligation should be to the consumer and not the producer, but rather by the very product's investors, advisors, and "insiders".

We therefore must ask what is the value-add here? Is it truly a wonder that it proves marginal, and perhaps even detrimental, to the long term success of the startup community as a whole?

10
sagivo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got to be #2 in product hunt featured list few weeks ago. a random dude saw my post here at HN about launching a beta and published it there. no inside connections, no promotions, and unfortunately - no preparations. we got ~5000 visits in a day and didn't really used the spike for anything special. we lost most of the momentum the next few days and when we were ready to better UI/Flow it was too late.
11
sharkweek 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't visit Product Hunt much, but I do follow their founder on Twitter.

He seems like a super well-intentioned person, so I'm surprised to read all of the commentary here on HN. Am I being duped by some Product Hunt scam that I'm completely oblivious to?

12
wuliwong 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a similar experience and I guess I am naive because I did let it bother me.

Someone submitted my site to PH a couple months ago, it got up-voted 20+ times in that "upcoming" area but never was moved to the front page. I believe it ended that first day with more up-votes than some of the products that were featured.

I reached out to the PH guys on twitter and they told me to get more people to vote for it or something to that effect. I noticed a few of products jumping straight to the front page without the upcoming purgatory.

I have read a number of comments writing these issues off to the fact that PH is a "for profit" company. I think that is a bit too jaded an opinion to have no expectations for this to ever be different. My understanding is that Reddit does not suffer these same issues. I think a for-profit venture could actually benefit greatly by being transparent. I think it would take founders that are looking further down the road than the PH guys appear to be and not getting caught up in the immediate gratification of glad-handing and being part of an 'inner elite.'

Full disclosure, I still look at PH pretty regularly. :-p

13
ryanSrich 2 days ago 4 replies      
It always surprises me when people get bent out of shape when they learn that blogs and forums are rigged to favor a certain group of people. There's A LOT of money to be had and if you think places like Product Hunt, Reddit, HN, etc. aren't all being rigged in some way, you're naive.
14
exolymph 2 days ago 1 reply      
Apparently I'm not cynical enough, because I was surprised by this. Does Reddit's front page work the same way?
15
onewaystreet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Startup founders care way too much about getting featured on HN, PH, TechCrunch etc. If you look at the successful startups of that last few years (http://techcrunch.com/unicorn-leaderboard/) many of them were successful before they were even noticed by the technorati. Unless your product is specifically targeted to these people, you are wasting your time.
16
cromwellian 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think Product Hunt merely reflects the way things work in SV. SV is not a "meritocracy". Really shitty ideas get funded and acqui-hired all the time based on insider connections. You think Marissa bought Polyvore for $230 million because it was a rocket ship?
17
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 2 replies      
PH is more like a collaboratively edited magazine where the founders have selected a large group of friends to act as a top level filtration system for "products".

Mostly what they're selecting for is "is this of interest to our audience" - of which said audience is currently mostly free tech / designery / social type things (even as they start to add more categories).

While it's nice to be featured, it's quite unlikely to bring you a large amount of traffic and/or signups. A submission to a decent sized sub-reddit will likely drive 2x the traffic that ProductHunt will, a submission to BetaList more signups and a front page HN post 10x.

If there's a reason to get featured it's to try and get some feedback from the community (if they're your audience) as they tend to be quite helpful.

18
marshray 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had never heard of Product Hunt. If I had heard of it, in the absence of information to the contrary, I would have assumed it was corrupt.

It appears in this instance my general cynicism of all-things-Marketed is confirmed.

But what would an alternative world look like? Is the industry trapped in some product placement local minimum?

What if we could trust online reviews by default? Would the same industry make more money or less, or would it just go to different people?

Often, defenders of invasive advertising say "it informs people of products which are relevant to their interests". Shouldn't then advertisers promote integrity in their other Marketing venues as well?

19
zenlikethat 2 days ago 0 replies      
The solution to this is easy. Don't visit Product Hunt or treat it as having so much value. It won't make or break a product.
20
joshmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had three products I wanted to push on PH and since I'm not in anyone's inner-circle / e-friend I was promptly told I had to find someone who was in order to gain access.

It's like a boy's club where they pass around the neighborhood bike for everyone to ride, only to find another one after they're all done riding it.

Even more so, I've seen more "here's a landing page, we haven't even a git repo yet, just trying to validate the idea, so give us your email" shit on PH than I would on Reddit.

21
odbol 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to mention that Product Hunt violates their own rules all the time: I see plenty of posts for big companies like Microsoft announcing products that arent available yet (e.g. Hololens, Windows 10 before it came out, etc), even though their FAQ explicitly states that the product has to be available to the public at the time of posting.

Really what should tip people off even more is the inability to comment. If the viewers of the site cant actually interact, since commenting is only allowed for approved" users, they should realize that the whole thing is just a scam.

See any ads on Product Hunt? See any monetization strategies? Oh wait, the whole website is an ad, and only those in the know or those who pay will get featured.

22
nl 1 day ago 0 replies      
What someone should do is create a ProductHunt competitor, and geo-block California. Nothing like faux-exclusivity to encourage adoption ;)
23
oelmekki 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Hate everywhere, for a change...

I don't get why people think PH owes them in any way. Yes, it's all about curation. But yes, anyone could post there, provided they have a good product and they socialize a bit.

And this is what this is about. To me, PH is a social network for founders. They show off their project, discuss it and get feedback.

To all the people blaming how it's not egalitarian: would you create a twitter account, avoid engaging with anyone, then complain nobody is following you?

The same applies than in any social network: if you want people to get interested in what you're doing, start with being interested in what they're doing, and chat, a lot.

24
volaski 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my experience, the OP is correct about one thing, it's waste of time to post on upcoming on PH. However this is nothing compared to how opaque Hacker News is. If your product is novel enough and reach out to these "insiders" beforehand (or even afterhand), I don't think you have trouble getting to the front page on PH, whereas on HN I see tons of people reaching front page by asking for upvotes from friends. The only difference is PH is--ironically--transparent about its opaqueness, whereas HN is opaque about its transparentness. To elaborate, on hacker news everything looks transparent, and to certain degree it is (you can find the raw stream under "new" tab), but the ones that reach the front page are not always there because 100% of the community decided so, there are many hidden things going on in the background that most people don't even know. Whereas all you need to do to get featured on PH is to reach out to these "insiders", to guarantee you reach front page on HN you need to get people to upvote you. I feel that PH is much more democratic than HN since everyone gets same chance whereas on HN the people with already existing audience wins.
25
lsniddy 2 days ago 5 replies      
One of my products was featured on product hunt in it's early days (no idea who submitted it). I remember thinking then - "well, cool, but people looking for new products are not really my target market."

Has anyone seen any value come from PH?

26
kilimchoi 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing this article fails to mention is that YC startups automatically get featured on Product Hunt. This probably has to do with the fact that YC invested in Product Hunt.
27
aagha 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to read all these comments about PH over a year after previous posts (0,1) about PH's transparency. @rrhoover's comments are especially interesting as they indicate that PH is interested in moving to a more open and democratic (and diverse) promotion platform. Over two years later, it seems its still moving in the wrong direction.

0 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7980403

1 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8047647

28
nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
This really feeds into my cynical attitude and sentiment that we are part of a rigged system. I've been trying to stay positive about technology and startups, but honestly it is everywhere. Tech news, advertising, fundraising, hiring.

Finance and the stock market is rigged the same way. A select few (the rich) get inside info, reporters and analyst write and give positive/negative spin on companies and profit, traders screw their customers, it is everywhere. Different market, same behavior.

29
nedwin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hoover et al can build their product however they want, just be honest and consistent.

Looking through old threads I found this cracker of a post in reply to Ryan about their "anti voter ring policy" - which his tweet seems to counteract. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9932641

30
tomasien 2 days ago 2 replies      
Startup advisors regularly take stakes in the full %'s? Since when? We have tons of advisors none of them have ever asked for a stake.
31
AndrewKemendo 2 days ago 0 replies      
So in other words, the same way everything in the "startup" world works: It's who you know.
32
hoodoof 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like its a mistake to hide content behind "see all" and arrow right buttons. I feel like people look at what is shown to them and they are willing to scroll down but far fewer people are likely to go to the trouble of pressing a right arrow or "see all" button.
33
jbob2000 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is how I think Shark Tank and Dragon's Den work too. The "sharks" all parade their new products on TV under the guise of entertainment, and throw in a couple silly/heartwarming ideas and people.
34
stahlkopf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always imagined sites like these are run by a small circle of insiders, who essentially sponsor or promote specific products. I find it hard to believe the promotional buzz and hierarchy of an entry into a site like this completely natural.
35
brw12 1 day ago 0 replies      
Follow-up: Open letter by the fictional "Liam Cooper", or how @ProductHunt might respond to recent criticism.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10745098

36
sixQuarks 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "products" that appear in the top placements of Product hunt these days are laughable. They're mostly features, not products.
37
forrestthewoods 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been visiting HN daily for 4 years. I've never heard of Product Hunt. Is it actually that big of a deal? I'm sure it's been on the front page here and I've missed it. But apparently not all that often?

Or maybe this is a case where now that I know the name I'll see it everywhere. Funny how that works sometimes...

38
dilap 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, Product Hunt is a curated platform. I think it's always been pretty transparent about this?
39
callmeed 2 days ago 0 replies      
> That first submission is it ... it will end up on an internal list of products ineligible for future consideration.

This can't be entirely true. I see featured posts on PH that are nothing more than "Version 2" of some previously featured "products". But the links go to the same place.

40
chanux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anybody know how to delete a product hunt account?

PS: Apparently you have to email hello@producthunt.com

41
hoodoof 2 days ago 0 replies      
The worst thing about Product Hunt is that I just don't find many of the products very interesting.

Oops having read the article - wow - Payola Hunt! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola

42
altonzheng 2 days ago 0 replies      
How effective is posting something to product hunt really though? I mean, you are basically sharing it to the same silicon valley tech community who live a life very divorced from the majority of people.
43
api 2 days ago 2 replies      
PH strikes me as a vanity metric. Does it really get you noticed that much?
44
quintin 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that not many readers will Recommend this article on Medium but has 146 upvotes on HN speaks of the circle that Ryan has and pros of the anonymity that HN provides.
45
chinathrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: it's mostly rigged by some users with privileges.
46
aagha 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of anger here for PH, but why not the people that back it? The Angel investors are listed on their site [0].

Are some of these folks so powerful that if you tweeted at them that they're backing a corrupt bro-club you'd lose any chance of funding?

0 - https://www.producthunt.com/about

47
Angostura 1 day ago 0 replies      
The parallels with the whole Digg v4 debacle seem quite pronounced.
48
varunjuice 2 days ago 0 replies      
Product hunt is native advertising.
49
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
So it's not perfect and helps to know someone. Welcome to the real world!
50
artur_makly 1 day ago 0 replies      
How Meta is this?
51
anon8418 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel the point of PH is not to create a real business in the sense of earning money by selling you a product or service, but rather to establish personal brand equity and influencing power of the management team.

This can be useful for future projects (such as finding funding), to increase their standing in the SV community, and to establish themselves as marquee valley power brokers.

In this sense, it doesn't make much sense to add more transparency and voting control to ordinary users.

This is pure speculation and assumes the worst. So take this with a grain of salt.

52
intrasight 2 days ago 0 replies      
And since not I nor anybody that I know has ever heard of or used Product Hunt - why do I care?
Fed Ends Zero-Rate Era bloomberg.com
423 points by lpage  1 day ago   346 comments top 26
1
roymurdock 1 day ago 18 replies      
Fed raising interest rates 0.25% and setting a goal of "normal" 2% by 2018 means little to nothing. Market already priced the miniscule rate hike in as the move was widely expected, and move did nothing to assure markets that the Fed is in control, or set credible, measurable goals for future hikes.

Fed can continue to push on the supply side of money at the bank/institutional level all it wants. We need the Federal government to stimulate aggregate demand at the consumer level. How? Investing tax dollars in a smarter manner. Not raising the interest paid out on short term bonds so that institutions are incentivized to keep even more money in bonds rather than putting them to work in the economy.

Monetary policy needs to work hand in hand w/ fiscal policy. I feel bad for the Fed...its decisions are largely restricted and inconsequential when gov spending is broken, yet it receives all the attention and the blame.

2
randomname2 1 day ago 4 replies      
Analysis from TD on how banks (Wells Fargo, US Bankcorp, JPMorgan, M&T, PNC, Citi) rushed to hike the prime rate to 3.50%, and forgot to increase the deposit rate:

As CNBC reported [1], "a change in the federal funds rate will have no impact on the interest rates on existing fixed-rate mortgage and other fixed-rate consumer loans, a Wells Fargo representative told CNBC. Existing home equity lines of credit, credit cards and other consumer loans with variable interest rates tied to the prime rate will be impacted if the prime rate rises, the person said."

The good news: the rates on mortgages, auto loans or college tuition aren't expected to jump anytime soon, according to AP, although in time those will rise as well unless the long-end of the curve flattens even more than the 25 bps increase on the short end.

What about the other end of the question: the interest banks pay on deposits? Well, no rush there:

"We won't automatically change deposit rates because they aren't tied directly to the prime," a JPMorgan Chase spokesperson told CNBC. "We'll continue to monitor the market to make sure we stay competitive."

Bottom line: for those who carry a balance on their credit cards, their interest payment is about to increase. Meanwhile, those who have savings at US banks, please don't hold your breath to see any increase on the meager interest said deposits earn: after all banks are still flooded with about $2.5 trillion in excess reserves, which means that the last thing banks care about is being competitive when attracting deposits.

[1] http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/16/wells-fargo-bank-announced-we...

3
chollida1 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nanex, an account that follow market micro-structure, had an interesting tweet that showed how the liquidity on 10 year Treasuries just dried up prior to the announcement.

https://twitter.com/nanexllc/status/677202959030083584

I'm surprised this story has gotten so many votes so fast. This rate hike was widely predicted, as intentionally as the fed could by law so that they don't impact the markets too much.

Alot of people think this is the first of a few small rate hikes we'll see in the next 12 months.

IMHO, this is good news for the US economy,

- it will help give the the fed some wiggle room/ammunition to soften the fall when the next recession hits

- a slowly raising rate could stimulate the economy by convincing companies to spend now on large projects rather than wait, ditto for housing/consumers

Having said all that, keep in mind the rate hike is only 0.25% upping the overnight rate to 0.3% so this is likely to have an almost negligible impact on the every day consumer.

4
noname123 1 day ago 1 reply      
Curious if anyone knows what is the average VC fund return for the time-span of 2010-2015 for the past five years?

Suppose if Fed plan to gradually raise interest rates to 2.0% to 2016 year's end; and with that corporate investment bonds, municipal bonds yield also rising to match and go beyond that baseline.

Then, how attractive would VC funds be for mutual and pension funds in relation to other investment alternatives: a) bonds, b) publicly-traded companies following general market trends, c) REITs, d) commodities and precious metals?

For comparison, major Internet IPO's since inception:

GRPN (-87.97%)

TWTR (-42.23%)

FB (+176.6%)

BABA (-10.02%)

ETF Tracking since ETF inception:

SOCL (ETF for Global X Social Media) (-38.8%) vs. SPY (+62.93%) vs.TLT (+1.85%);

FDN (ETF for DJIA Internet Fund, but distorted to contain established Internet companies; GOOG) (+267%) vs. SPY(+65.62%) vs. TLT (+44.18%)

5
SeoxyS 1 day ago 6 replies      
This could have wide implications for the startup community. A lot of people think that the current really high late-stage startup valuations, and the money pouring into the seed stage is an effect of the low interest rates. With no way to get any decent yields with these rates; it incentivizes institutional money to chase returns in alternative investment classes.
6
downandout 1 day ago 2 replies      
This will have an impact on the flow of money to VC's, which will have an impact on the flow of burnable cash to unprofitable startups. No more $1.5 million rounds for apps like Yo [1] (the investor community should be embarrassed and horrified that this kind of thing was getting financed anyway).

Winter is indeed coming for those that don't have a business model, and that's a good thing.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/yo-raises-15-million-at-a-5-1...

7
lpage 1 day ago 1 reply      
This was very much in line with expectations, ergo the muted reaction in the markets. It's worth noting that the Fed used gradual in lieu of measured to describe the increase. Measured implies a steady series of increases (announced every few meetings until the target rate is reached) versus a gradual approach in which there's a long term number in mind but no strict mandate on getting there - a dovish tone.
8
myth_buster 1 day ago 2 replies      
Would this end up being the pivotal moment of this decade? There is already speculation of recession in the 12-18 month time frame[0] and the energy sector [1] is going downhill since April. I'm seeing some cities and suburbs expanding unlike anything in a while but how much of that could be sustained?

To word it differently, did the Fed blink or are the underlying indicators where they want it to be?

[0] Given the cyclic nature of recessions, we seem to have artificially delayed it a bit.

[1] https://www.google.com/finance?catid=us-TRBC%3A50&ei=jLpxVtG...

9
javiayala 1 day ago 7 replies      
Hi HN, can someone please explain what are the implications here for the average-Joe?
10
irln 1 day ago 1 reply      
It will also be interesting to see how much of the FED Assets [1] will need to be sold directly or indirectly in open market action to get to their target rate.

[1] http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/Current/

11
johnz133 1 day ago 2 replies      
It'll be interesting to see how this affects the lending models spawned from low interest rates.
12
huac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Markets predicting and 'pricing-in' Fed actions is not evidence that this rate hike is meaningless.

But if you want to feel pessimistic about the hike, here's the corresponding Zerohedge 'article': http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-16/fed-hikes-rates-unl...

13
nkassis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was thinking about this earlier and I have a question about inflation. Could increasing the interest rate cause inflation to rise a bit in the near term?

My reasoning for this is that given that banks were borrowing at near zero, could they have had no real reason to put all the borrowed money to work since it wasn't costing them anything to hold it in reserve for later when the rates did increase? Now that the rates are increasing would they not have to use the money a bit to ensure they stay ahead of the interest rates. I was also thinking that there is a threshold at which banks wouldn't have any more money that is just sitting there and having to borrow at higher rates reduces their demand for new funds from the fed thus undoing this initial effect to the hike.

Hopefully this isn't completely naive. Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding how the fed and banks relationship works.

14
jayess 1 day ago 0 replies      
Markets are cheering central planning and price fixing. Yay!
15
seansmccullough 1 day ago 1 reply      
Finally! In 2-3 years bonds will actually yield something.
16
narrator 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is this going to do to interest payments on the national debt? Will this put a squeeze on spending? Cause tax increases? Or will it be business as usual and the fed buy as many bonds as needed?

In the latter case, I think that will cause inflation to pick up unless we can export it all out the trade deficit.

17
randyrand 1 day ago 0 replies      
So this helps people with savings in certain types of investments, right?
18
enahs-sf 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does this mean that buying a home in San Francisco, where 1/4 of the homes sold are all cash, just got a little bit more difficult?
19
marcusgarvey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep an eye on emerging market bonds and high-yield bonds. The latter was already looking a little shaky prior to today.
20
carsongross 1 day ago 0 replies      
To modify Andrew Jackson: "The Fed has raised its funds rate; now lets see them enforce it."
21
panglott 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why can't we just have a boom?
22
peignoir 1 day ago 0 replies      
making some reserves for the next crisis?
23
joe-mccann 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sell volatility (VIX)
24
daodedickinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Need is the construction of the world order; satiety is the universal conflagration. (Kahn translating Heraclitus) If you want to stoke consumer demand in a country where the poor have massive televisions and cable, maybe notch up the bullying of people wearing cheaper brands and carrying fake designer brands and charge 30 grand for VR headsets but advertise them during the Super Bowl? I dunno. I've never even had a real job and there aren't any gadgets I want and I want to get more crap out of my house than I want to add. Eliting schooling for hypothetical kids I'll probably never have is the only big ticket purchase I can seem to summon strong desire for.
25
chad_strategic 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unicorns can't exist in ZIRP. (Zero Interest Rate Policy)
26
gotchange 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fed => Wall St. Bankers => Private Eguity/Venture Capital => Silicon Valley => Start-ups (disruption in labor market & layoffs) => leaner corporations and more profits $$$ => Wall St. Bankers => PE/VC ad infinitum

You get the picture by now where's the Fed's loyalty lies in this reverse Robin Hood wealth redistribution scheme. Isn't capitalism wonderful?

What You Believe Affects What You Achieve gatesnotes.com
405 points by pykello  1 day ago   141 comments top 31
1
codeshaman 18 hours ago 9 replies      
I have the book, started reading it about a year ago and stopped halfway, because my bullshit cup got full.

The reason I think this book is nicely packaged bullshit is because it presents exceptions as rules and then tries to build a theory out of it.

I wish it were as easy as Dr. Dweck describes it, but there are gotchas.

I can agree with the distinction of 'fixed' versus 'growth' mindsets (although... .. how do you measure that?), but that success is guaranteed if you believe and try... Not necessarily. Ask 9 startup founders out of 10.

Not achieving "success" (failing) is rarely free: it leaves emotional and physical scars.. Repeat it a couple of times and you're either dead or on your way there.

No, success is not guaranteed even if you try many many times times, even if you train a lot and believe a lot.

In fact, the rule is this: No matter how hard you try, you might still lose. Sorry about that.

And the reason for this is not mindset - the reason is your definition of success. If you try to win at the wrong game, you will probably lose at it. So pick your game wisely.

Of course, a fixed mindset will only land you some semi-boring job, a family, a couple of kids and a lot of mainstream entertainment.. I guess that's the definition of "failure" these days... But is it ?

*

By the way, if you want useful advice about how to be successful in life, Bill Gates is a very bad choice. It might be counterintuitive at first, but think about it ... As a bird, is it smart to fly around with your mouth wide open in order to catch food... because that's what the whale does ?

2
jondubois 22 hours ago 6 replies      
I think this is an inversion of cause and effect. The reality is much less inspiring; It's "What you achieve affects what you believe" not so much the other way around.

I know this for a fact because as I become more sceptical/pessimistic over time, my achievements increase. If I was a blind optimist, I would probably fail as soon as reality reared its ugly head.

If someone is really lucky throughout their lives, they will have an optimistic view about the world and the people around them.

Unfortunate people might find a statement like this offensive because they know for a fact (based on their own experiences) that this isn't true - It's almost like saying "It's your fault for being poor; it's all in your head!".

3
thewarrior 16 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a bit late but this should be noted :

"Bill Gates: No. I think after the first three or four years, it's pretty cast in concrete whether you're a good programmer or not. After a few more years, you may know more about managing large projects and personalities, but after three or four years, it's clear what you're going to be. There's no one at Microsoft who was just kind of mediocre for a couple of years, and then just out of the blue started optimizing everything in sight. I can talk to somebody about a program that he's written and know right away whether he's really a good programmer."

http://blog.codinghorror.com/how-to-become-a-better-programm...

So Does Bill still believe this or is he a hypocrite in hiding ?

4
shardinator 21 hours ago 2 replies      
There's an important idea I feel is being missed. Something can be true "in distribution" but not true in a "pathwise" sense. That means, over the long run, for most people, on average x is true. But for specific individual and/or specific time frame it can be very untrue.

Point being I can say to you "adopt a growth mindset", you do it, but it doesn't work and life throws you 'a curve ball' again and again. Doesn't mean my hypothesis was wrong, and doesn't mean you didn't follow through properly. We can both be right in this case.

All it means is, we should act as if our actions/thoughts count, but accept it as a fundamental property of the universe that they may not 'bear fruit'.

All we can do is embrace the chaos^

^ as in chaotic systems

5
matthewbauer 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This is interesting in the context of American History. Basically, a majority of settlers were Calvinists. A big part of Calvinist belief was "predestination" which basically holds that a person's destiny (heaven or hell) is determined by God before they are born. This would seem to me to reinforce a "fixed mindset". Paradoxically, out of that same belief system came the "Protestant work ethic" which depending on who you ask made America the greatest country on Earth. I think that one could argue that the "fixed mindset" enabled a sort of wishful thinking attitude: believers though they were predestined so they focused on growth and self improvement over the usual Catholic traditions (which focused on a growth mindset in religious observance while having a more fixed mindset in practical work ethics).
6
dev1n 1 day ago 3 replies      
Gates speaking about the "fixed mindset" vs. "growth mindset" reminds me of this [1] article by Aaron Swartz.

[1]: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweck

7
choxi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe everyone should have a growth mindset, but the paper from Dweck is popularized and interpreted a little too loosely. The stricter interpretation is less compelling:

In the Bloody Obvious Position, someone can believe success is 90% innate ability and 10% effort. They might also be an Olympian who realizes that at her level, pretty much everyone is at a innate ability ceiling, and a 10% difference is the difference between a gold medal and a last-place finish. So she practices very hard and does just as well as anyone else.

According to the Controversial Position, this athlete will still do worse than someone who believes success is 80% ability and 20% effort, who will in turn do worse than someone who believes success is 70% ability and 30% effort, all the way down to the person who believes success is 0% ability and 100% effort, who will do best of all and take the gold medal.

It might seem pedantic, but I worry that propagating this loose interpretation will lead to many people believing their positive "growth" attitude, and not years of concentrated practice, is enough to grow.

From: http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/04/10/i-will-never-have-the-a...

8
hcarvalhoalves 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this maybe a western cultural bias, that somehow God blesses you with talent and that's it? Some residue from aristocracy?

When you look at things like Japanese martial arts, it's all about learning from someone more experienced and lots of hard work. The limiting factor is your endurance, and the general sentiment is that "if someone learned before me, I can too".

9
karmacondon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Love this idea, but I do not recommend the book. It's clearly a science article that has been stretched into 250 pages. Same idea, repeated repeated repeated.

I highly recommend a summary, unless you think you'll benefit from reading twenty examples of the same concept. It's one of the few books that I started but didn't finish this year.

10
Simp 18 hours ago 2 replies      
>When I was visiting with community college students in Arizona, one young man said to me, Im one of the people whos not good at math. It kills me when I hear that kind of thing. I think about how different things might have been if he had been told consistently youre very capable of learning this stuff.

Couldn't agree more with this specific example. But you shouldn't ignore reality either. A man with no legs is not going to win the 100 meters at the Olympics. Understanding where your potential lies is important for deciding where to invest your effort. That doesn't mean he can't improve at all though.

Especially in things like math, there is a popular belief that you need some kind of 'math gene' to be decent at it. There is little evidence that there are math specific genes beyond general learning ability.

[Same genes 'drive maths and reading ability'] http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28211676

Sadly, in a lot of cases this will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where you will stop trying to improve your math skills because you weren't "made for it".

But that's really more a problem of a false belief that these things are set from birth. A blind belief in 'I can do anything i want despite the situation or environment i am in!' isn't going to help anyone. I would advise the runner with no legs to invest his precious time and resources in something other than trying to win the 100 meters at the Olympics.

11
devonkim 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You know what's worse than thinking you're not capable? Others telling you you're capable and despite your best efforts you fail to meet these expectations whether those reasons are within your control or not. This is putting a carrot on a stick in front of a lot of kids potentially and saying "you just need to believe you can do this and try real hard, gosh anyone can do it!"

Expecting a person with severe learning disabilities that they can go work at a top HFT shop or a paraplegic that they'll be able to beat the world record for a 100 meter dash is the kind of goalpost that is being set for many children that are born disadvantaged. Bill Gates may have been studying what keeps the world's poor the way they are for a long time but there are a lot more factors that keep people down than just simply motivation.

Part of why I haven't started a company yet is out of fear of kind of literally destroying my life and others around me. The sheer amount of work that you put into a company is one thing, and not having the closest people you know be supportive of the work you do puts you into a position where you must either be so secure that failure is not a problem or that you must succeed on a first try.

Reid Hoffman's tips on when you DON'T want to start a company come to mind. Some of those criteria include "if you cannot get another job" or "you will put yourself in harm's way by doing so" (paraphrased, can't find the slides he had). So for the poor, despite having not much to lose in theory, they do have everything to lose in that their lives are all they can give up in the absence of capital or remarkable domain knowledge / skill advantages. Risk tolerance for the poor is actually very low thusly.

12
known 23 hours ago 0 replies      
There is no intrinsic motivation.http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/inmotiv.htm
13
jgord 1 day ago 1 reply      
The central idea seems so important, with so much benefit to education if it were true, that it would justify a large scale rigorous experiment [ just as a new kind of promising medicine would be trialed over a wide sample ]

Maybe schooling is stuck in a local maximum, because we don't do things like this, because its not socially acceptable to 'experiment with our childrens education' ?

14
shin_lao 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Another way to view it is that the biggest limits in your life are the ones you set.

I'm perfectly aware that some people start with huge disadvantages in life, but whatever your starting point, you can end up much higher. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

15
personlurking 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Energy flows where attention goes"

Above is another line, like the one in the title. On one hand, it's obvious because if you focus your attention, for example, on building a computer, of course your energy goes in that direction. On the other hand, if you don't realize your attention (ie, thoughts) is on certain matters, you may be expending energy on that unknowingly. Of course, if you're a generalist and your attention goes everywhere, your energy is following suit.

16
buro9 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the same about the language we use.

Or rather, I think... "What we hear affects us, and we hear ourselves.".

This is an extension of the "surround yourself with positive people" thing, in that I believe it's important to be positive, kind, generous, as the language and tone that we use to express we hear constantly and those words, that tone, shapes our thoughts, mood, aspirations.

It's important to be mindful and to be the person you want to be. By doing so, we frequently are that person.

17
dmichulke 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't fail 90% of the time, you're not aiming high enough Alan Kay
18
huuu 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I did not read the book, but I think the book is not about becomming succesful but about getting to know your potential. Success and potential are related/connected but there is a huge difference.

Being able to help out your neighbor isn't connected to success in our society. I think a lot of posters in this thread don't realize the destinction between potential and success.

19
metafunctor 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, take this to the second derivative. You can learn to learn faster and more efficiently. You can set yourself up for success. You can start small, and gain momentum from there. You can learn to hack your motivation.

Will this guarantee success and a happy life? Of course not. But it will greatly increase your chances.

20
NumberCruncher 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it is easy to praise growth mindset if you are the one who wants to learn and wants to get better through failing. But what about the other side of the coin?

Just imagine you are a teamlead and one guy in your team tells you "hey, I have found 2 new ways how not to impelent Feature X. May I work on feature Y and use the knowledge I gained fucking up feature X?"

Or you have a project team and the profect manager tells you "Hey, I found one new way how not to manage a project, how not to deliver on time and how not to motivate people. May I manage your next project and maybe waste an other million dollars?"

In my experience situations like these end badly...

21
hv23 18 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a good episode on the podcast "Invisibilia" discussing this topic of expectations influencing/shaping reality: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/544/b.... Some pretty fascinating stories in this one; well worth a listen! I believe Dweck is referenced/interviewed early on in the episode.
22
popee 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I only know that if you have strong Will you can achieve many things. Personally, the difference between Wish and Will is when you decide to achieve what you wish.
23
_navaneethan 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The same thing [Derek Sivers] explains with amusement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYTN7yVYbeg

Fortunately, yesterday night I was listening it.

[Derek Sivers](https://sivers.org/)

24
tcannon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting contrast, stories like this compared to the stories about how everyone who is successful feels like they are a fraud.

Maybe my study will be of note: If you believe headlines, you should read more.

25
god_bless_texas 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Takeaway from this: I'm imagining Bill Gates practicing his fadeaway jumpers.
26
jqm 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Ya, but... are some people more genetically predisposed to have growth mindset? :)
27
gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, if you read title, then you can safely skip the rest of it.

It's a good summary of an essence :)

28
devinhelton 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone explain to me what claim Dr. Dweck has demonstrated that is both novel and true? I have read a bunch of articles about her work, but it all seems to me like she has framed "growth mindset" against a strawman.

It seems blindingly obvious to me that ability in most fields is a function of both genes and effort. Genes shape how fast you improve with effort, and where you plateau. Genes shape the curve of the achievement-to-effort graph. Effort determines where you are on that curve. Effort determines how much of your potential you actualize. This dynamic is true in basketball, math, golf, painting, speech-making, guitar playing and virtually every other complicated human endeavor.

Some people need to be told, "You have are naturally gifted in this field, stop being so hard on people who are not as good as you, they are doing the best they can."

Some people need to be told, "You are naturally gifted in this area. You have a responsibility to work extra hard in order to maximize your gifts. If you work your butt off, you have the potential to be truly special."

Some people need to be told, "This stuff might not come as naturally to you. You're going to have to work extra hard to keep up."

Some people need to be told, "Look you have been practicing harder than anyone, and honestly, I just don't think you have the raw talent to be a professional in this field. You can do it for fun, but be realistic about your career choices."

Some people need to be told, "Look you can't say you are bad at painting/writing/music/math/etc. You haven't even tried to learn it. This stuff is not natural for most people, there are books and youtube videos that can show you how to do it. You need to build step-by-step. Practice one technique until it is in mental memory and then add more complexity. Unless you're mozart, you don't just start from day one being able to produce great stuff."

It seems that as a culture, there are mistakes in messaging going both ways. For example, the premise of the "No Child Left Behind" education law was silly. There is in fact a bell curve with regards to natural academic aptitude. For instance, if you are in the bottom ~20% of that curve, it is nearly impossible to learn algebra. ( for some articles from a real teacher who is trying to teach algebra in the field, read: https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/algebra-an... and https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/noahpinion... ). Someone in the middle of the bell curve can learn algebra, but if they try to go into a career that involves advanced quantitative or logical skills, they will be competing against those who both have a natural aptitude and an economic incentive to try hard. The person with normal aptitude will likely lose that competition. So it might not be good advice to tell that person to double-down on math, even if they could make themselves better.

On the other hand, I hear a lot of smart friends say stuff like, "I'm just bad at math" or "I'm just bad at painting." In many cases, they never had good teaching, or they never tackled the problem aggressively. They never tried to learn incrementally, by building muscle memory on a simple technique and then adding more complications. They started with the hard stuff, and when it did not work, they just assumed they were bad at it. For people like that, a "growth mindset" can be helpful.

All of this should be pretty darn obvious. I don't really gather what new, credible information Dweck is adding to our understanding of how learning, motivation, and achievement works.

29
marklgr 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Growth mindset does not imply you can achieve anything, just "you definitely can get better". Perhaps overconfidence can become a risk, but it seems a much lesser evil versus the cost of believing the opposite: "Here is your definitive level, for ever (don't bother)".
30
xyzzy4 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well the problem with the growth mindset is that ultimately you die, so your growth does a nosedive eventually.

If something excites or intrigues you, then do it. But don't delude yourself that your personal growth really matters.

31
jasey 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Mindset is everything (at-least extremely important for any level of success in entrepreneurship and most other things)

Most entrepreneurs solving ambitious problems look crazy to outsiders. Hence the famous Steve Jobs quote

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

Look at what the Gates, Jobs and Musks of this world have achieved with their 'anything-is-possible' mindsets..

Btw, for those who are interested in this stuff I've created an app to help people develop a growth/positive mindset at http://positivethinking.net

Move Fast and Fix Things githubengineering.com
523 points by samlambert  2 days ago   90 comments top 20
1
jerf 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'll highlight something I've learned in both succeeding and failing at this metric: When rewriting something, you should generally strive for a drop-in replacement that does the same thing, in some cases, even matching bug-for-bug, or, as in the article, taking a very close look at the new vs. the old bugs.

It's tempting to throw away the old thing and write a brand new bright shiny thing with a new API and a new data models and generally NEW ALL THE THINGS!, but that is a high-risk approach that is usually without correspondingly high payoffs. The closer you can get to drop-in replacement, the happier you will be. You can then separate the risks of deployment vs. the new shiny features/bug fixes you want to deploy, and since risks tend to multiply rather than add, anything you can do to cut risks into two halves is still almost always a big win even if the "total risk" is still in some sense the same.

Took me a lot of years to learn this. (Currently paying for the fact that I just sorta failed to do a correct drop-in replacement because I was drop-in replacing a system with no test coverage, official semantics, or even necessarily agreement by all consumers what it was and how it works, let alone how it should work.)

2
cantlin 2 days ago 2 replies      
The strategy of proxying real usage to a second code path is incredibly effective. For months before the relaunch of theguardian.com, we ran traffic to the old site against the new stack to understand how it could be expected to perform in the real world. Later of course we moved real users, as incrementally as we possibly could.

The hardest risk to mitigate is that users just won't like your new thing. But taking bugs and performance bottlenecks out of the picture ahead of time certainly ups your chances.

3
mwcampbell 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is tangential, but given the increasing functionality and maturity of libgit2, I wonder if it would yet be feasible to replace the Git command-line program with a new one based on libgit2, and written to be as portable as libgit2. Then there would be just one Git implementation, across the command line, GUIs, and web-based services like GitHub. Also, the new CLI could run natively on Windows, without MSYS.
4
rcthompson 2 days ago 2 replies      
How does Scientist work with code that produces side effects? In the example, presumably both the new and old each create a merge commit. Maybe these two merge commits are done in in-memory copies of the repo so that the test result can just be discarded, but what about in the general case where a function produces an output file or some other external effect?
5
smg 2 days ago 5 replies      
I am trying to understand why the new merge method needed to be tested online via experiment. Both correctness and performance of the new merge method could have been tested offline working with snapshots (backups) of repos. Could a github engineer shed more light here?
6
clebio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like the biggest takeaway is "have good tooling and instrumentation". I'm working with a complicated legacy production system, trying to rebuild pieces of it, and we have little or no instrumentation. Even _introducing_ such tooling is a potentially breaking change to production systems. Ach schade.
7
daveguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool. I like this parallel execution of the original version and the update with comparisons between the two. They use a ruby package developed in house that has been made open source, Scientist. Does anyone know if there is an similar type package for python (preferably 2.7) development? It seems like an interesting area in between unit tests and A/B tests.
8
eric_h 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Finally, we removed the old implementation which frankly is the most gratifying part of this whole process.

On average, I get much more satisfaction from removing code than I do from adding new code. Admittedly, on occasion I'm very satisfied with new code, but on average, it's the removing that wins my heart.

9
_yosefk 2 days ago 0 replies      
TIL that github used to merge files differently than git because it used its own merge implementation based on git's code, to make it work on bare repos. Showcases a benefit of open formats and open source, showcases a downside as well (I'd never guess it might merge differently.)

It's a good thing nobody contributes to my github repos since noone had the chance to run into the issue...

10
danielsamuels 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish they would add the ability to fast-forward merge from pull requests. I know many large projects (including Django) accept pull requests but don't merge them on Github simply because of the mess it makes of the history.
11
nod 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is inspiring reading. One may not actually need the ability to deploy 60 times a day in order to refactor and experiment this effectively, but it's clearly a culture that will keep velocity high for the long-term.
12
netghost 2 days ago 2 replies      
For operations that don't have any side effects, I can definitely see how you could use the Science library.

I'm curious though if there are any strategies folks use for experiments that do have side effects like updating a database or modifying files on disk.

13
blt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Github sounds like a great place to work.
14
abritishguy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, strange that people weren't reporting these merge issues when they were clearly impacting people.
15
__jal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing really to contribute or ask, other than to say that I really enjoyed the writeup. Although I have nothing coming up that would use the code, the new library sounds really neat. Kudos!
16
openfuture 1 day ago 0 replies      
Humans will always reverberate around truths like this.

The emphasis shift on breaking vs fixing looks like a good example of how fashion trends in tech create artificial struggles that help new people understand the "boundaries" of $things.

Fashion's like a tool for teaching via discussion

Edit: I'm just commenting on what I percieve as a fashionable title not the article.

17
dlib 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting, definitely gonna try this out as I have seen similar use-cases.

Any change Github is at anytime going to show the specific merge-conflicts for a PR that cannot be merged?

18
jcchee88 2 days ago 2 replies      
When running with Scientist enabled, doesn't that mean you will add both the runtime of the old/new implementation instead of just one implementation?

I could see this begin ok in most cases where speed is not a concern, but I wonder what we can do if we do care about speed?

19
cmrx64 2 days ago 4 replies      
Does anyone know what an "O(n) issue" is? I can think of a few possible meanings in the usage here, but I've never heard it before and they all seem wrong.
20
yarrel 2 days ago 0 replies      
The word "debt" is not just a financial term. There are debts of gratitude, debts to society, debts of honour, and so there are also technical debts.

Objecting to the name "technical debt" on the basis that it is not the correct financial use of the term is like objecting to the name "work day" on the basis that it isn't measured in joules. It's a category error.

Netflix socks detect when you've dozed off and pause your TV show netflix.com
439 points by ChrisArchitect  1 day ago   188 comments top 36
1
floatrock 1 day ago 8 replies      
I RTFA, I know this an arduino-based DIY hobby project. But if something like this ever comes out for real, the ability to doze off and pause your TV show will be a trojan horse...

You've seen those charts where people use their smart watch to record their heart rate during the game of thrones finale? (No? Here you go: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/08/13/what-game-of-thrones-... )

Sure, downloading the Netflix pause-your-stream-when-you-fall-asleep app is comfortable, but it also provides a treasure trove of audience response data. Forget focus groups, now you have the real-time emotional response of many thousands of people A/B testing your original content in real environments.

And this ain't old-media Nielson, this is biggest-user-of-AWS technology-first Netflix.

2
bpicolo 1 day ago 6 replies      
I'm mostly sad that Netflix detects nothing and pauses my show anyway after a couple episodes. : (
3
JeffreyKaine 1 day ago 4 replies      
But let's be serious here... WHO WEARS SOCKS TO BED?!
4
entilzha 1 day ago 1 reply      
My cheap/effective solution is doing a

 $ sleep x && pkill Chrome
if I think I might fall asleep after x seconds.

5
cafard 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Thomas Pynchon's novel V, there is a fellow who has a switch on his skin that detects whether or not he is awake (by the resistance? I forget), and so controls the TV. Judging by the Wikipedia article, this is Fergus Mizolydian; I don't have a copy lying around the office.
6
OJFord 1 day ago 0 replies      
By IR? So this is for 'smart TV's' or bluray players etc. with Netflix on them - and those with IR.

Hmm. I was too hopeful for a Sock API.

7
cwt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most of the people I know who watch Netflix at night want it to keep playing after they fall asleep.
8
emerongi 1 day ago 2 replies      
Instead of flashing an LED, the socks could warm up. That way, if the socks start getting warm and you're still awake, you can react to that, but if you're asleep, your feetsies will be nice and warm.

But this would be hard as a DIY project.

9
matt_heimer 1 day ago 0 replies      
The website, http://makeit.netflix.com/ asks for us to submit our own ideas. Most of the things I think would be cool to do with Netflix involve having some form of API access to its catalog or apps. IR socks are not Netflix socks.
10
dheera 1 day ago 0 replies      
I suspect something more accessible to the general public could be done with the heart rate sensors and accelerometers already in Android watches, Apple watches, and Fitbits.
11
11thEarlOfMar 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought NFLX was up today due to the Fed raise. Glad to know it was the socks.
12
ubercow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Was sad to read that there's nothing Netflix specific here. The hidden requirement is your box running Netflix has to support receiving IR signals.

For example, I use an Xbox One, which to my knowledge doesn't have an IR receiver.

13
CaseyM 1 day ago 5 replies      
What about socks for truck drivers to detect if they are dozing? Have them set off a phone alarm, etc. Better yet, can FitBit, etc. detect dozing and use the vibrating alarm to alert?
14
emeraldd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ok ... so how do you wash them without blowing the electronics?
15
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
Aren't there systems for that already? Vizio's connected TV watches you, with a camera. Kinect watches you, with cameras and LIDAR.

Orwell saw this coming. Winston Smith watches his exercise program: "6079 Smith W! Bend lower! You're not trying."

16
pingou 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's cute, but is it a joke or something more serious ?

I don't see any use for it, except perhaps saving bandwidth.

Surely it must takes some time for the device to find out that you're actually sleeping, then you anyway have to rewind back to the point you stopped watching, so I don't think it makes a big difference to go 10 minutes or 1 hour back.

17
njharman 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought title meant some socket library or socks proxy? Came here to mention how, out of context, people would be confused wondering what Netflix foot underwear has to do with networking.

Only to realize I was the fool. ;)

18
potassiumk 1 day ago 0 replies      
lazy-ass first world problemsGood lord, what hackers have become...
19
Zekio 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is pretty damn awesome!
20
TeMPOraL 1 day ago 0 replies      
They refer to the method used as "actigraphy", which apparently is commonly done with wrist-watch packages. Sounds like an idea for a Pebble watchapp!

[0] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actigraphy

21
schwap 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe netflix could consider partnering with SparkFun for some of this stuff... the colours even match already.
22
pla3rhat3r 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm more afraid if it knows I'm doing something else.
23
ljw1001 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who says Silicon Valley isn't solving the really important problems any more.
24
fmax30 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Quick Question: Who is responsible if the battery blows up and you have burns on your foot ?
25
jchendy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are these instructions thorough enough for somebody with no hardware experience? How long might this project take for such a person?
26
marshray 1 day ago 1 reply      
I found this part rather ominous:

However, there are ways to increase your socks accuracy. More on this later.

27
mesozoic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great invention for narcoleptics.
28
pknerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
For a moment sounded like a April fool joke
29
kbart 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, this isn't a joke?
30
whacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
webcam + motion detection would be a way to do this without additional hardware.
31
markm248 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your move Slack.
32
peterwwillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is clearly overengineering. All you need to do is hack your kinect to look for eyeballs; no eyeballs for a minute? Pause the show.

Might not work if you have cats.

33
potassiumk 1 day ago 0 replies      
first world problems....
34
idop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Featuring auto pause and nail fungus.
35
joncp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Or Netflix could just prompt the viewer to continue to the next episode.

...but then they wouldn't be able to sell you special socks.

36
anonymfus 1 day ago 4 replies      
Please don't use Netflix and other paid streaming services. By doing this you support Digital Restrictions Management development and finance copyright lobby.

https://stallman.org/netflix.html

If you want to watch their shows too much, download them illegally via file sharing services. They can arrest a very limited number of people, and by engaging in such activity you lower other people's chances to be persecuted.

Martin Shkreli Arrested on Securities Fraud Charges bloomberg.com
375 points by choult  17 hours ago   288 comments top 33
1
dang 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The curiosity being gratified here cannot remotely be called "intellectual".

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

2
gizmo 16 hours ago 16 replies      
It was alleged that Martin Shkreli harassed an ex-employee, including spouse and their children. Quoted: "I will see you and your children homeless"[1], in a sworn affidavit.

Although Shkreli never explicitly denied it, he had implied the accusations were false. Until yesterday, where he bragged about it during an interview with DX:

 Im definitely the real fucking deal. This is not a fucking act. I threatened that fucking guy and his fucking kids because he fucking took $3 million from me and he ended up paying me back. He called my bluff. He said, Youre not fucking going to go after me. [I said] Yes I motherfucking will. I had two guys parked outside of his house for six months watching his every fucking move. I can get down. I dont think RZA knows that. I think he thinks Im some powder puff white guy CEO thats got too much money. No. No, no, no.
Not the kind of behavior you'd expect from the CEO of a publicly traded company.

[1] http://mic.com/articles/125657/turing-ceo-martin-shkreli-wan...

[2] http://hiphopdx.com/interviews/id.2825/title.martin-shkreli-...

3
bedhead 16 hours ago 9 replies      
Quick reminder that he was arrested for SECURITIES fraud - this isn't related to drug prices. Feel free to read the lawsuit filed against him by his former company to understand why Martin got arrested.

The guy is a pure sociopath. I had long ago predicted this day would come and it's quite nice to see. Will be happier when he's convicted and sentenced.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1438533/0001193125152...

4
jacquesm 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Shkreli is a total asshole but let's not forget that large pharmaceutical companies use the exact same strategies on many drugs only with prices lowered just enough to stay this side of outrage. Life is 'priceless' and people will pay anything to extend their lives so if all that stands between you and the grim reaper is a patented molecule you can bet that that molecule is an expensive one. Whatever the market will bear is not always something reasonable.
5
nomercy400 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Convenient.

To have the guy that abused the system to such extremes that the people and media noticed it, pressuring government to regulate, be taken into custody for something unrelated to this. As if they couldn't have found this a year ago.

It really sounds like "let's find some dirt on this guy".

6
patorjk 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Given this guy's character, it's not too surprising. Not only is he greedy, but he seems to take a lot of joy in trolling people. If you look at his twitter feed, he gushes about buying the only copy of Wu Tang's previous album and talks about putting holes in the discographies of other artists. Last week he had a public poll about who he should solicit for a private album. It seems like he takes a lot of glee in riling people up.
7
aikah 16 hours ago 2 replies      
> Prosecutors charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where hed been chief executive officer, and sued by its board.
8
brudgers 13 hours ago 1 reply      
We're not meant to cheer this as a win for financial fair play. It's meant to evoke our self-righteousness. It's prosecutorial discretion with the same logic that this community decries when applied to other people whose violations of law or social mores we find more sympathetic.
9
dnautics 11 hours ago 1 reply      
am I the only one bothered by this? As a bit of a disclaimer, I am disgusted by what Shkreli is doing in the pharma business (if anyone doubts this, I run a nonprofit dedicated to the opposite of what he's doing).

But what it says is that the SEC is motivated by sometimes petty reasons to go after people that are indirectly related to actual commission of SEC violation. Which of course, every CEO makes pretty much every business day. If the SEC were neutral, why didn't they find and eliminate Shkreli before social media got all hot to trot on hating him? The SEC is basically saying, well, he's unpopular, we have the power to take him out, let's do it.

Something about that seems wrong to me.

10
sergiotapia 15 hours ago 1 reply      
He was live streaming last night on YouTube from some hotel. Even gave out his cellphone number and was taking questions about investing and whatnot. Was he arrested this morning? He was streaming at around 3am, 5 hours ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-4D6yj-cR4

11
wanda 16 hours ago 1 reply      
What kind of person would think that they could get away with such blatant extortion and embezzlement? In this day and age?
12
toxoid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if he will be able to afford Daraprim when he gets out of jail...
13
mtalantikite 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Hopefully this makes Bill Murray's job a lot easier: http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/11/9890908/rza-bill-murray-w...
14
genieyclo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
And just yesterday he was about to bail out Bobby Shmurda from jail for $2 million.

http://hiphopdx.com/interviews/id.2825/title.martin-shkreli-...

15
meesterdude 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Best news of the day! Glad that little dipshit has some justice coming his way. But lets not forget, there are many, many more people just like him
16
padseeker 11 hours ago 1 reply      
How will his arrest affect the price of the drug? That is really the only I care about.
17
AKifer 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The price of flying too high, there's a reason big pharma executives rarely show in the front media.
18
zghst 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty sure some Feds were looking to pin him after his story broke earlier this year. Protip: Be a quiet or unknown capitalist oppressor
19
jaboutboul 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They only arrested him because he was about to bail out Bobby Shmurda and the feds don't want Bobby Shmurda out.
20
ehosca 15 hours ago 0 replies      
when is he running for president?
21
ninjakeyboard 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, so he bought a million dollar record and then stole money that he gouged sick people for to pay it off? If he just kept the drugs at the same price and didn't buy the record the world would be a better place and he wouldn't be going to jail. I thought he said he did the price gouging for the shareholders, not for WuTang.
22
talideon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
23
MrPatan 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Couldn't have happened to a nicer chap.
24
adamsea 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What goes around comes around
25
MrZongle2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"The password is...schadenfreude".
26
DominikR 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree that if the allegations are true, Martin Shkreli is an immoral person to say the least, but I wonder about one thing:

The whole conduct of the prosecutors doesn't look impartial to me. It seems as if someone was vilified by the media and next thing you know he is arrested and charged with fraud in an unrelated case.

As if this was still a society where you had to slaughter the occasional sacrificial lamb to appease the anger of the people.

27
powertower 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to see what he does in his spare time -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gjB1PSXv_oAUSAQ16S0fA
28
jacquesm 16 hours ago 0 replies      
That conclusion seems to be un-warranted from the information presented here.
29
gotchange 16 hours ago 3 replies      
What do they say about karma?
30
BrandonBradley 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope Wu-Tang and/or Bill Murray make a move. Right now!
31
alistproducer2 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I started a GoFundMe to support Martin. Please donate so we can keep him stocked with Vaseline while he's doing time in federal prison.
32
SwellJoe 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This guy seems more and more like a comic book villain every day. The next step, I suppose, is when he's sentenced to spend eleven days in a minimum security prison and he falls into a vat of industrial chemicals while working in the laundry. It turns him even whiter and he takes on a silly name, and disappears into the night, embarking on a spree of ne'er-do-wellery.

Then again, he's already screwed over a lot more people as CEO of a pharmaceutical company than he probably could as a super villain. It takes the efficiency of capitalism to achieve real evil, I guess.

33
bko 16 hours ago 10 replies      
I don't know the details of this particular case but whenever I see a very public figure arrested, no matter how reviled, I grow a bit concerned. Despite being sleazy and unethical, his raising of drug prices was not against the law. Financial law was written purposely vague such that it can be used a hammer to arrest those who dissent from the will of those in power.

Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister of Ukraine was convicted of "embezzlement and abuse of power". Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of Wikileaks is facing extradition. Elliot Spitzer, former attorney general, was ousted from power due to a prostitution scandal that appeared targeted.

Whatever you think about US health care and drug prices, we should not rely on a system that requires individual actors to be good people. We should strive for a system that does not require moral actors to function.

Of course I could be wrong. Shkreli arrest could be legit and be purely coincidental to the outrage that he has drawn.

Congress has added CISA to the federal budget bill theverge.com
565 points by fisherjeff  1 day ago   121 comments top 22
1
kossTKR 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why is this not getting massive attention here on Hackernews? Right now a post about a dude hacking together a selv driving car has garnered 5X the amount of votes on this post (not that the other post isn't interesting).

Remember that:

Apple, Reddit, Twitter, the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, and other tech firms have all publicly opposed the bill. And a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts all signed onto an open letter opposing the bill in April. Even the Department of Homeland Security itself has warned in a July letter that the bill could flood the agency with information of dubious value at the same time as it sweep[s] away privacy protections.

http://www.wired.com/2015/10/cisa-cybersecurity-information-...

Isn't this massive news?

I mean the bill in itself is horrible policy making, but the way it's being snuck in is scandalous in its own right.

Have i misunderstood something?

2
ccvannorman 1 day ago 2 replies      
985-222-CISA

If you live in the United States, this phone number connects you with your congresspeople and senators in order to make your voice heard.

Citizens stopped CISA before, we can do it again. Don't lie down.

3
disposition2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like it is actually worse than CISA...

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151215/06470133083/congr...

4
CM30 1 day ago 12 replies      
Probably a silly question, but is there a reason all these 'additions' are being snuck into bills and what not? Why does the system allow members of congress to add unrelated extras to bills in the first place?

Wouldn't a simple fix for things like this be 'only allow a new law proposal to be about a single topic and nothing else'?

5
dude3 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is interesting too

TEMPORARY H-1B VISA FEE INCREASE.Not-withstanding section 281 of the Immigration and Nation-ality Act (8 U.S.C. 1351) or any other provision of law,during the period beginning on the date of the enactmentof this section and ending on September 30, 2025, thecombined filing fee and fraud prevention and detection feerequired to be submitted with an application for admissionas a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) ofthe Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)), including an application for an extension of such status, shall be increased by $4,000 forapplicants that employ 50 or more employees in theUnited States if more than 50 percent of the applicantsemployees are nonimmigrants described in section101(a)(15)(L) of such Act.

6
MrQuincle 1 day ago 0 replies      
Welcome to the rest of the world. We're being eavesdropped legally by your congress for ages. :-)
7
tmaly 1 day ago 3 replies      
it would be great if we could have all these bill changes in a git repo with commits from the representatives that added them. open source gov.
8
tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Since it's linked upthread: Techdirt is one of the least trustworthy sources on the Internet for information about Internet law.

(Here's a summary of CISA I wrote a few months ago on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10454172 )

Today (and yesterday), Techdirt claims the following changes to CISA:

1. Removes the prohibition on information being shared with the NSA, allowing it to be shared directly with NSA (and DOD), rather than first having to go through DHS.

2. Directly removes the restrictions on using this information for "surveillance" activities.

3. Removes limitations that government can only use this information for cybersecurity purposes and allows it to be used to go after any other criminal activity as well.

4. Removes the requirement to "scrub" personal information unrelated to a cybersecurity threat before sharing that information.

'yuhong helpfully posted a link to the revised bill attached to the budget bill.[1] I compared it clause for clause to the version that passed the house. That is 10 minutes of my life I will never get back. Unsurprisingly, only one of Techdirt's claims is true (but worded misleadingly). The other three are simply false.

Here's the breakdown:

<strike>1. The "CERTIFICATION OF CAPABILITY AND PROCESS" part of Section 107 now allows the President, after CISA has been started by DHS, and after publicly notifying Congress, to delegate to any federal agency, including NSA, the authority to run the process described by the rest of the bill. The previous version required DHS to run the entire process. Techdirt isn't wrong about that change. Techdirt is wrong to be confused about why NSA would be a designated coordinator for threat indicators under CISA (NSA houses virtually all of the USG's threat intelligence capability; no other department has comparable expertise coordinating vulnerability information).</strike>

I was wrong about this; the new bill specifically disallows DoD or NSA from running the CISA portal.

2. The bill doesn't change the authorized usage of cyber threat indicators at all (nor does it change any of the definitions of threat indicators, vulnerabilities, and so on). The few places I found changes at all actually improved the bill (for instance: Section 105 5(A) no longer allows threat indicators to be shared to investigate "foreign adversaries").

3. CISA has always allowed the USG to use cyber threat information in law enforcement pertaining to a specific list of crimes --- that is one of the ways CISA is significantly worse than CISPA. But Techdirt suggests that CISA can be used by the DEA to investigate drug crimes. You cannot have read the bill and believe that to be an illustrative example, because drug crimes aren't among the listed crimes: fraud/identity theft, espionage, and protection of trade secrets. It should not surprise you that the list of applicable crimes has not changed in the budget bill version.

4. The new CISA act retains all the "specific person" and "technical capability configured to remove any information" language regarding personally identifiable information in "cyber threat indicators". The "scrub", by the way, has always applied to private entities (Techdirt may have tripped over themselves to write this bullet point, because the new bill clarifies "entity", "federal entity", and "non-federal entity", and so the scrubbing language now reads "non-Federal entity" --- but the original bill defined "entity" as "private entity"!)

[1]: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20151214/CPRT-114-HPRT-R...

9
j_s 1 day ago 2 replies      
Any specifics on which congress-people are responsible for this?
10
ccvannorman 1 day ago 2 replies      
News flash, privacy is going to (keep) getting worse before it grts better. This is why the instant someone invents a totally secure and private way for me to exist online, I'm going to dump a truckload of money down their coffers.
11
newman314 1 day ago 3 replies      
So can someone please help explain to me how this is permissible?

Taking this to extremes, why would politicians not sneak every crazy wild idea that they have onto this bill if it's a must-pass bill?

12
profeta 1 day ago 0 replies      
and the people that did that will go largely unpunished in any way and continue to receive the same votes as always.
13
pnathan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rolling in a little late here, I am actually wondering what substantive rationale exists here. There are super competent people in the government, and they do percolate information out to Congress. So I don't think it's fully appropriate to call the Congress-critters chumps (although it's a national pastime), and I do also wonder what the effective means of altering policy are(No, I don't think the EFF is being effective).
14
Zikes 1 day ago 0 replies      
So now they're legally allowed to do what they've already been doing without oversight anyways, which they were legally never allowed to do in the first place and still aren't legally allowed to do due to Constitutional restraints.

I don't like to sound defeatist, but honestly what does this change?

15
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 0 replies      
As I understand it, by slipping it in on an Omnibus budget bill, leaders get to add in bullshit that nobody in their right mind could defend on the floor and then expect an up-down, yes-no vote on the entire budget, including the add-in, by the membership.

In addition, because it's a budget bill, regular conference committee rules don't apply. The idea was that having conference committees dicker over each line item would be a great way to prevent both houses from agreeing. So the "fix" they made for money bills can be used for cyber-surveillance bills too.

I may have missed the details. Apologies if that's the case. If this was added to the Omnibus, the reason why was obscurity. My misunderstanding of the details is a prime example of voters not being able to track who's responsible. That's the point.

16
ck2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know the origin of the word "scumbags" but it seems to fit perfectly here.

Can you imagine sitting across from someone you are negotiating with and you are about to sign and they slip a sheet of paper inbetween the document, making you agree to it?

Of course not. But what you'd never do to a fellow american in person, congress is more than okay with doing to you without you being there or realizing what is going on.

Lowest of the low.

17
beatpanda 1 day ago 0 replies      
P.S., the reason you don't see as much wrangling or dramatic threats to shut down the government over this budget bill is because a bunch of stuff like this was loaded into it. Because Congress is under enormous pressure by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to undermine computer security in the name of "safety", but they can't be seen doing it because it's extremely unpopular.

What will be interesting is if all the riders on this budget bill are so unpopular that the voting public demands a government shutdown.

Personally, I think everyone here is better off spending time writing software to make surveillance less practical. Even if the U.S. government is nominally constrained by laws (they aren't in practice), there are plenty of other actors in the world that aren't governed by any constraints and will monitor all electronic communications up to their technical capacity to do so.

If you care about privacy and information security you need to be working on tools to make it impossible for surveillance to occur, not petitioning a Congress that is dead-set on screwing you.

18
micwawa 1 day ago 1 reply      
So if I delete my YikYak account today will I still be employable in the future?
19
collin123 1 day ago 0 replies      
:( ugh not again
20
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
There have been close to a dozen posts about this. We merged the threads that had comments.

If another article is significantly more substantive, let us know and we can change the URL.

21
MrZongle2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't you get it, America? Your masters want this. Why can't you have the good grace to let yourselves be observed and controlled without raising such a ruckus?

/s

22
imglorp 1 day ago 0 replies      
"So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause."
I included emoji in my password and now I can't log in to my Account on Yosemite stackexchange.com
386 points by gdeglin  2 days ago   144 comments top 18
1
Twisell 1 day ago 4 replies      
And this is a perfect reminder that you should never try some crazy things on your only administrator account on your production machine.

Had he test his point on a dummy account : delete account = problem solved

2
OSButler 1 day ago 4 replies      
A client once had an issue where his account got compromised and everything pointed to having his actual login details leaked.His password was something like his username plus an assortment of random characters. It turned out that the system his account was on basically ignored everything after the 8th character, so that you were able to login with the username as the password.

Also, during the early days of inline password generators, there were cases where the suggested password was incompatible with the associated system.

3
bhaak 1 day ago 3 replies      
Such problems are the reason why I never use anything but ASCII letters as passwords (if the system doesn't enforce arbitrary password policies). I'd rather have a longer ASCII-only password than a shorter one I might not be able to input.

There's also the issue that often you are not sure what keyboard layout is current enabled and even such unsuspicious characters like ! or # are on completely different locations on different keyboard layouts (then there's the z-y swap on German derived keyboards and have you ever had a look at a French keyboard layout?).

You can never be sure if a system locks you out after failed attempts, so I want to be sure that there are as few error sources as possible.

4
minikomi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hmm. Not really related, but now that it seems to be fixed - I discovered that using an equals sign in your name was enough to be "locked out" of Airbnb - it wrecked the cookie & every page would return 403. No bug bounty though haha. Guess it wasn't enough of an "attack vector" to try and convince someone to change their name.
5
Johnny_Brahms 1 day ago 4 replies      
I have had something similar bite me, although mine was easily fixed. I used swedish () characters for my disk encryption password. This worked fine, until I did a dist-upgrade and had my boot keyboard reset to US QWERTY (using a custom swedish version of capewell-dvorak).

The solution for me was to stick on LTS distros.

6
golergka 1 day ago 0 replies      
On one hand, I want to leave a witty comment in the line of "play stupid games, win stupid prizes".

On the other hand, I'm sad that I didn't try to do that myself.

7
paines 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many Linux installers suffered for years the situation that you would enter you password in the setup process with a different keymap than the one you got once the system then loaded, e.g. y-z were mismatched cause I was using QWERTZ instead of QWERTY. I think I saw something similar lately with on of the OSX'es.
8
grapeshot 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Chrome password manager still crashes the entire browser when trying to save any password with emoji in it on Windows. Firefox works perfectly fine.
9
socket0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, the account is now secure. Objective achieved?
10
msftie 1 day ago 0 replies      
In college I worked at an Apple store. One day while on break in the back of the store, I changed my company account password to a lengthy sentence, something at least 30+ characters. The system accepted the change.

When I tried to log in to the timeclock application again using the password, it threw Null Pointer Exceptions (it was a Java app, incidentally). In order to get back on the clock and get paid again, I had to reset my password -- but entering my current password into the "old password" field caused the system to throw more Null Pointer Exceptions.

I called Apple IT to do a manual reset of my password, and after explaining my situation, the response a very cold, concise and condescending "why would you do this..."

11
r00fus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a time in France when someone at a customer site complained they were locked out of their laptop - his Win NT4 laptop had a QWERTY keyboard but he put his password in french using the keyboard switcher in the OS. Back then Windows didn't allow you to change keyboard type at the login screen - it kept what you were using when you logged off...
12
BorisMelnik 1 day ago 1 reply      
Was really surprised to see such a great solution and walkthrough. I had no idea Mac's had "unicode text input" software on default machines. I wonder why Window's hasn't upgraded charmap.exe over the years?

Ok and hear me out on this: a startup idea based on emoji passwords that encodes/decodes emojis into their hex/binary equivalent. takers?

13
TazeTSchnitzel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used as my password during (what Americans would call) middle school. Alt+numpad works on the Windows XP login screen. It never caused me any trouble.
14
nkrisc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sure it's a silly thing to try, but this is entirely an oversight on Apple's part and is squarely their fault. They had the power to make this situation impossible and they didn't.
15
coldtea 1 day ago 0 replies      
You try to make things idiot-proof and they bring in better idiots.

1) The user tried to see if emoji can be used for the password.

2) Without checking on the web/forums/etc first.

3) On their main user account (not a disposable one).

4) With FileVault turned on.

I can't even...

16
RUG3Y 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the funniest thing I've read in a while.
17
DonHopkins 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can use Emoji characters in Wifi network names. My network name is [POOP]. See what kind of fun you can have at the airport by making an ad-hoc network called [AIRPLANE][BOMB].
18
drdeca 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had problems when I set my admin username on my windows laptop to when setting it up for the first time. It wouldn't let me do things which required admin, iirc.
Why Python 3 Exists snarky.ca
364 points by cocoflunchy  13 hours ago   224 comments top 20
1
andrewstuart 12 hours ago 10 replies      
IMO one of the reasons for all the angst is that .encode() and .decode() are so ambiguous and unintuitive which makes them incredibly confusing to use. Which direction are you converting? From what to what? The whole unicode thing is hard enough to understand without Python's encoding and decoding functions adding to the mystery. I still have to refer to the documentation to make sure I'm encoding or decoding as expected.

I think there would have been much less of a problem if encode and decode were far more obvious, unambiguous and intuitive to use. Probably without there being two functions.

Still a problem of course today.

2
onesixtythree 12 hours ago 13 replies      
From the outside, Python 3 seems like a much better language. I don't have strong views of its object system (I avoid OOP as much as I can) but it seems like the string/bytes handling is much better, and I'm also a fan of map and filter returning generators rather than being hard-coded to a list implementation (stream fusion is a good thing). Also, I fail to see any value in print being a special keyword instead of a regular function (as in 3).

What I don't get is: why has Python 3 adoption been so slow? Is it just backward compatibility, or are there deeper problems with it that I'm not aware of?

3
tzs 10 hours ago 2 replies      
In the Reddit discussion of this, someone linked to this criticism [1] of Python 3's Unicode handling written by Armin Ronacher, author of the Flask framework.

I am not competent to say whether this is spot on or rubbish or somewhere in between [2], but it seemed interesting at least.

[1] http://lucumr.pocoo.org/2014/5/12/everything-about-unicode/

[2] Almost all of my Python 2 experience is in homework assignments in MOOCs for problems where there was no need to care about whether strings were ASCII, UTF-8, binary, or something else. My Python 3 experience is a handful of small scripts in environments where everything was ASCII.

4
danso 12 hours ago 3 replies      
> We have decided as a team that a change as big as unicode/str/bytes will never happen so abruptly again. When we started Python 3 we thought/hoped that the community would do what Python did and do one last feature release supporting Python 2 and then cut over to Python 3 development for feature development while doing bugfix releases only for the Python 2 version.

I'm guessing it's not a coincidence that string encoding was also behind the Great Sadness of Moving From Ruby 1.8 to 1.9. How have other mainstream languages made this jump, if it was needed, and were they able to do it in a non-breaking way?

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1162122

5
Animats 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Unicode worked just fine by Python 2.6. I had a whole system with a web crawler and HTML parsers which did everything in Unicode internally. You had to use "unicode()" instead of "str()" in many places, but that wasn't a serious problem.

By Python 2.7, there were types "unicode", "str", and "bytes". That made sense. "str" and "bytes" were still the same thing, for backwards compatibility, but it was clear where things were going. The next step seemed to be a hard break between "str" and "bytes", where "str" would be limited to 0..127 ASCII values. Binary I/O would then return "bytes", which could be decoded into "unicode" or "str" when required. So there was a clear migration path forward.

Python 3 dumped in a whole bunch of incompatible changes that had nothing to do with Unicode, which is why there's still more Python 2 running than Python 3. It was Python's Perl 6 moment.

From the article: "Obviously it will take decades to see if Python 3 code in the world outstrips Python 2 code in terms of lines of code." Right. Seven years in, Python 2.x still has far more use than Python 3. About a year ago, I converted a moderately large system from Python 2 to Python 3, and it took about a month of pain. Not because of the language changes, but because the third-party packages for Python 3 were so buggy. I should not have been the one to discover that the Python connector for MySQL/MariaDB could not do a "LOAD DATA LOCAL" of a large data set. Clearly, no one had ever used that code in production.

One of the big problems with Python and its developers is that the core developers take the position that the quality of third party packages is someone else's problem. Python doesn't even have a third party package repository - PyPI is a link farm of links to packages elsewhere. You can't file a bug report or submit a patch through it. Perl's CPAN is a repository with quality control, bug reporting, and Q/A. Go has good libraries for most server-side tasks, mostly written at Google or used at Google, so you know they've been exercised on lots of data.

That "build it and they will convert" attitude and the growth of alternatives to Python is what killed Python 3.

6
rkrzr 11 hours ago 1 reply      
IMO the biggest reason to use Python3 is its concurrency support via async + await.

Fixing the unicode mess is nice too of course, but you can get most of the benefits in Python2 as well, by simply putting this at the top of all of your source files:

from __future__ import unicode_literals

Also make sure to decode all data from the outside as early as possible and only encode it again when it goes back to disk or the network etc.

7
BuckRogers 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I chose to port from CPython2 to PyPy4, rather than to CPython3. It just made more sense. I for one see no value in Python3 (unicode has been supported since 2.6). My reasons for migrating to PyPy4 instead of Python3-

1) It was easier than porting to CP3.

2) It gave me a tangible benefit by removing all CPU performance worries once and for all. Added "performance" as a feature for Python. Worth the testing involved.

3) It removed the GIL. If you use PyPy4 STM, which is currently a separate JIT. Which will be at some point merged back into PyPy4.

So for me, Python3 can't possibly compete, and likely never will with PyPy4 once you consider the performance and existing code that runs with it. PyPy3 is old, beta, not production-ready, based on 3.2 and Py3 is moving so fast I don't think PyPy3 would be able to keep up if they tried.

Python3 is dead to me. There's not enough value for a new language. I'm not worried about library support because Py2 is still bigger than 3 and 2.7 will be supported by 3rd party libraries for a very long time else choose irrelevance (Python3 was released in 2008, and still struggling to justify its existence...). My views on the language changes themselves are stated much better by Mark Lutz[0]. I'm more likely to leave Python entirely for a new platform than I am to migrate to Python3.

PyPy is the future of Python. If the PyPy team announces within the next 5 years they're taking the mantle of Python2, that would be the nail in the coffin. All they have to do is sit back and backport whatever features the Python2/PyPy4 community wants into PyPy4 from CPython3 as those guys run off with their experiments bloating their language. I believe it's all desperation, throwing any feature against the wall. Yet doing irreparable harm bloating the language, making the famous "beginner friendly" language the exact opposite.

I already consider myself a PyPy4 programmer, so I hope they make it an official language to match the implementation. There's also Pyston to keep an eye on which is also effectively 2.x only at this time.

[0]http://learning-python.com/books/python-changes-2014-plus.ht...

8
echlebek 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
The Go authors have solved this problem thoroughly. When working in Go, I usually never have to think about this.

https://blog.golang.org/strings

9
makecheck 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Since I'm trying to keep a small footprint, I rely on the system version of Python on Mac OS X, which is 2.7.10 now.

To use anything newer, I'd have to ask users to install a different interpreter, or bundle a particular version that adds bloat. There's no point. The most I've done is to import a few things from __future__; otherwise, my interest in Python 3 begins when Apple installs it.

10
Scarbutt 12 hours ago 7 replies      
Since python3 is not backwards compatible with python2, why didn't the python devs leverage the opportunity for creating a more performant non-GIL runtime for python3?
11
rdslw 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I love when people with native english skills write monsters like this: "If people's hopes of coding bug-free code in Python 2 actually panned out then I wouldn't consistently hear from basically every person who ports their project to Python 3 that they found latent bugs in their code regarding encoding and decoding of text and binary data."

This should be under penalty ;)

Anyone to divide it into few simpler sentences?

UPDATE:And another one from our connected sentences loving author:"We assumed that more code would be written in Python 3 than in Python 2 over a long-enough time frame assuming we didn't botch Python 3 as it would last longer than Python 2 and be used more once Python 2.7 was only used for legacy projects and not new ones."

12
euske 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Python3 personally. It's new and better but a different branch. I'm annoyed by people abbreviating it as "Python" and treating it as a substitute for Python2. In my opinion, the "Python" name should be exclusively used for Python2, and Python3 should've been always used as one word. The whole Python3 situation caused unnecessary confusion to the outside (non-Python) people, which I think could be avoided.
13
diimdeep 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Str is tip of the iceberg. Python before 2.7 and current Python is completely different language semantically; methods, functions, statements, expressions, Global interpreter lock behavior.. This is sad that this blog post and discussions around it didn't mention anything about it.
14
collinmanderson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems to me if bytes/unicode was the only breaking change we would probably be over the transition by now.

There are a lot of other subtle changes that makes the transition harder: comparison changes and keys() being an iterator for example. These are good long term changes, but I wish they weren't bundled in with the bytes/unicode changes.

15
cft 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We migrated to Go from Python 2, since instead of incompatible Python 3 we needed faster Python 2 replacement.
16
henrik_w 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a pretty good explanation of unicode in Python: http://nedbatchelder.com/text/unipain.html
17
niels_olson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How long is the transition going to take? Serious question. Because I'm rather tired of starting new work and finding some module that drags me back to 2.x.
18
PythonicAlpha 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The reason, I still did not port to Python 3:

(and yes, Unicode in Py2 is a mess ...)

They just broke to many things (unnecessarily!) internally. Particularly they changed many C APIs for enhancement modules, so that all of them had to be ported, before they could be used with Python 3. They did not even consider a portability layer ... why not??

Some (not all) of the bad decisions (like the u"..." strings) they did change afterwards, but than it was a little late.

So many modules are still not ported to Python 3 -- so the hurdle is a little to high -- for small to nil benefits!

So, the problem (from my side) is not Unicode at all ... just the lack of reasonable support from the deciders side.

---

Maybe, some time later, when I have to much spare time.

19
mathgenius 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Ok, fine. Can we have the print statement back?
20
gnrme 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I think this is the primary reason why some scripting languages end up in the education space (as a tool for learning), while others go mainstream and ubiquitous in the commercial space. Breaking stuff between versions is a headache and expense for everyone except the most superficial users.

The 'there should be one and preferably only one obvious way to do it' rule sounds like another reason. It's like being asked to choose between a perfect general use knife or a Swiss army knife.

Flint, MI: So much lead in childrens blood, state of emergency declared washingtonpost.com
403 points by uptown  2 days ago   320 comments top 21
1
rickdale 2 days ago 9 replies      
I'm glad to see this on HN. Flint is often a forgot about place in the world. I grew up there and now live outside of Flint. My dad was murdered there.

But I always think Flint is prime for opportunity. The people need basic essentials, water, food, shelter. But the infrastructure to build factories is there. Power, train lines, the whole deal. It's really a shame. The sad part is, the people are still hell bent on supporting the companies that destroyed the town. Michigan in general is like this, its why they don't allow Tesla vehicle sales.

Growing up my family owned a junkyard and the Flint river ran behind it. It was disgusting. Some of the guys would wade through it on their way two and from work. It was a shortcut, but you had to be a true animal to go that route.

2
russdill 2 days ago 3 replies      
The one thing I don't see is the lead levels of the water supply. Doesn't the EPA have limits on that and isn't it an easy thing to test?

It is true that different water supplies will have different levels of contaminants (lead, arsenic, etc) but can all be within EPA limits. Switching to a water supply with a higher level of contamination will increase exposure. The medical study seems to look at the percentage of children below 5g/dL before and after the switch. It goes from 2% to 4%. So with the old water supply, a certain percentage of children were already being exposed to elevated levels of lead. Switching to a water source with higher lead levels will push more children who are being exposed to lead through other sources to above the 5g/dL mark. However, this would seem to indicate that the primary source of lead for these children above 5g/dL is something other than the water.

3
yummyfajitas 2 days ago 7 replies      
So Flint has failed to govern itself - hardly the first time - and now children are poisoned. The city apparently now expects the rest of the country to pick up the tab for the cleanup of their mess.

At some point it should become necessary to recognize and acknowledge that self-government has failed and must end. I'd suggest some form of a city death penalty - declare the city dead and give the locals a one-time offer of relocation assistance to an approved list of better places. The city government, and anyone who remains, are officially on their own.

We've known Flint (and many similar cities) are doomed for decades. Why do we keep them alive as zombies rather than just help the humans and let the municipalities die?

4
a3n 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Through continued demonstrations by Flint residents and mounting scientific evidence of the waters toxins, city and state officials offered various solutions from asking residents to boil their water to providing them with water filters in an attempt to work around the need to reconnect to the Detroit system.

Can you boil lead out of water, or does it just become more concentrated?

5
nashashmi 2 days ago 4 replies      
I just took a look at the Map of Michigan. I realized after zooming into Flint to try to understand where the water was coming from that Michigan has many, many bodies of water scattered all around the place. Plus they are right next to the world's biggest lakes.

And yet they never took care of their water supply? The one state with so much fresh water has little regulation on keeping water protected.

I keep wondering why its been prophecied that the world in the end will wage war over water, not oil. And now I am beginning to understand.

6
ionforce 2 days ago 4 replies      
What institutional failure led to this? It seems like this has been a long time coming. Why has the leadership of the area allowed this to happen?
7
golergka 2 days ago 1 reply      
The fact that this kind of isse will generate publicity after just a year, and that citizens will actually care enough to fight for their rights, and that mayor will feel fallout because of that it makes me feel so jealous of US.

Americans that cry about how the system "doesn't work" really don't have a clue about how this would turn out in other countries.

8
artlogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are interested in a detailed breakdown of everything that's been happening over the past year or so, I would suggest reading Michigan Radio's excellent coverage: http://michiganradio.org/term/flint-water

Full disclosure: my wife works as a reporter Michigan Radio, but generally doesn't cover Flint.

9
jhallenworld 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been trying to understand what the heck happened, since pH management has been standard part of water treatment forever. I mean did they not bother to consult with any water supply engineers first?

It all looks like a game between Emergency Managers appointed by the governor to see who can save the most money fastest.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2015/10/24/emergenc...

10
jostmey 2 days ago 2 replies      
Someday Silicon Valley may be left in the same disarray and disrepair. Jobs can be outsourced and bright people lured away to work on new things.
11
usefulcat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Was looking at a map of Flint and noticed that the City of Flint Water Plant is right next to three metal scrap yards.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/43%C2%B003'25.2%22N+83%C2%...

12
cakes 2 days ago 0 replies      
This story has been building up and up for a while now, Michigan Radio has several stories/reports/etc.

http://michiganradio.org/term/flint-water#stream/0

13
elorant 2 days ago 6 replies      
The article failed to explain how the river got so toxic in the first place.
14
cowardlydragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
So... Flint is the new libertarian dreamland where no regulation exists?
15
rayiner 2 days ago 5 replies      
What led to this particular situation was apparently rate hikes in the Detroit water system, which caused Flint to switch to using the Flint river as their water source last year. Beyond that, water systems all over the country are in bad shape. Because water rates are subject to public control, they are far too low and there is a huge under-investment in water systems:http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/drinking-water/...
16
whitehat2k9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hmm, so in addition to their existing problems with acute lead poisoning, they now have to deal with chronic lead poisoning.
17
purephase 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know the extent that the surrounding townships would be impacted by this? My parents live just outside of Flint, but the article only mentions that Flint is impacted.
18
JuanaMango 2 days ago 0 replies      
If what they say about lead levels decreasing IQ is true not there is not much left for Flint to do.
19
paulajohnson 2 days ago 1 reply      
So in ten years time someone is going to kill someone and blame it on the lead he was poisoned with when he was a kid. What would the just result be in such a case?
20
EliRivers 2 days ago 3 replies      
I particularly like the comments to that article stating that only "liberals" believe the water supply is heaving with lead. The ridiculous political bun-fight infects everything, it seems. It's a mental disease.
21
twoquestions 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why should the Michigan state government care about this? Flint is a bunch of liberals, and the State government is Republican.

The Snyder administration will certainly pay a heavy price for "giving free handouts" to the Democrats in Flint, all to remedy a problem that many Republicans don't believe exists.

EDIT: wording

Angular 2 Beta released angularjs.blogspot.com
415 points by javajoshw  2 days ago   260 comments top 36
1
DigitalSea 2 days ago 6 replies      
Congratulations to the Angular 2 team on shipping before Christmas. The estimate was originally somewhere around early 2016, so this is a huge deal for them to get this out before the year was up. Unfortunately, Angular 2 launched into beta too late. In the amount of time that Angular 2 has taken to get to beta, ReactJS has slaughtered the front-end market share (in a good way) and completely taken developers by storm with its simplistic component based approach.

Unlike React, Google does not really treat Angular as a first-class citizen because they have such split focus and conflicting React like library for web components called Polymer. They provide some resources, but nowhere near the amount of resources that Facebook throws behind React and React Native.

Now lets talk about the fact that the Angular 2 project got off to a shaky start and I know they actually rewrote various parts from scratch more than once (hence why it took so long to reach beta, approximately 2 years). That horrible templating syntax needs to be mentioned, the decision to use square and rounded brackets for binding events/data and using things like asterisks in my opinion makes Angular 2 fall into the same trap that Angular 1 did in regards to developer accessibility.

I am really loving TypeScript these days and I think the decision to support it as a first-class citizen out-of-the-box was a good one (the partnership with Microsoft definitely paid off). But with that said, I think Rob Eisenberg (of Durandal fame) beat the Angular 2 team to the punch in the small space of a year in releasing his framework Aurelia (http://aurelia.io). It is what Angular 2 should have been in my opinion. Nice syntax, convention over configuration and a breeze to use.

2
segphault 2 days ago 0 replies      
Angular 2 addresses a lot of the serious shortcomings in Angular 1.x. The Angular 2 approach to components and encapsulation feels cleaner and less complicated than the previous mess of services, factories, and directives.

Though initially skeptical of Typescript, I've found that Angular 2 really benefits from the advantages of having a coherent object model and optional type safety. Typescript never gets in the way, you can selectively use type declarations only where you want to use them. It's often helpful to leave them out while prototyping and then add them later when you want more robustness and easier debugging while you are working on writing the glue code and application logic that connects your various components.

As other posters have noted, you're still saddled with a lot of the artificial complexity and odd terminology that is pervasive in Angular 1.x. There are also bits and pieces of the library ecosystem, particularly the routing engine, that are over-engineered and painful to work with in practice. But, in general, I find version 2 much more intuitive and easier to reason about than version 1.x. Key features like data binding are much saner and behave more predictably.

I've never particularly liked Angular or React (my personal preference right now is for Vue or Polymer), but I think Angular 2 is a solid improvement over its predecessor. More significantly, I think the improvement is substantial enough to justify the team's decision to do a clean break.

3
sjclemmy 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've just started working on an app using Angular 2 and Ionic 2.:

1. TypeScript - It's really nice to be able to use a typed version of JS, although it does feel like I'm writing C# sometimes! It supports lambda syntax / ES6 which is great.

2. Annotations seem a bit clunky, not really sure what the point of them is.

3. Absolutely love the functional reactive / RxJS stuff they've incorporated - it's going to make it VERY easy to write really powerful apps.

4. It's a million times easier to develop with than angular 1. $scope.apply anyone?

4
yonibot 2 days ago 7 replies      
When people point out that Google is behind Angular, they fail to mention that the level of investment is nowhere near that of Facebook in React.

I've been loving using React. Building in components is fantastic, and it just feels like writing Javascript. That's a win in my books.

5
morley 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm curious what Angular 2 is like for developers who normally write React? I hear 2 is a lot better than 1, but I'm still turned off by the amount of Angular-specific terminology, whereas most of React terminology is not necessarily React-specific.
6
paublyrne 2 days ago 4 replies      
I am in Germany and this link forces a redirect to angularjs.blogspot.de because of my location (which is a version of the blog in German, which I don't read).

No simple way around this, and no link I can see to go to .com instead. That's quite frustrating.

7
interdrift 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a C# developer. I have been patiently waiting for angular 2.0 with the hopes of switching my stack to TS.Node + Angular and I'm really excited about trying this!
8
estsauver 2 days ago 4 replies      
I had a really painful time trying to contribute to the angular 2 project. I get the impression that the developers actively working on this are working with discussion mostly internal to Google.

It's a shame, because it does seem like both a very powerful and nice approach to building SPAs that I would love to contribute to.

9
cdnsteve 2 days ago 9 replies      
How many Angular folks are sticking with native ES6 and babel vs TypeScript? Angular is clearly directing folks to TypeScript. I don't want to have to use TypeScript on front-end and ES6 + Babel in Node. Trying to pick one.
10
javajoshw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Video of the team announcing the Beta release. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WitNPCLSZr0
11
haxa 2 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone has the experience working with NativeScript and Angular 2? How's it compared with React Native? And is there any chance this will evolve to a viable alternative to developing native apps using web technology?
12
_alexander_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks promising... But personally I dislike TS., and I know that it not required for Angular 2..., Now I prefer ES6 + babel, maybe in future I'll change my attitude to TS.
13
dtm5011 2 days ago 1 reply      
The incremental upgrade path is disappointing.

Step 1: Include the Angular 2 and ng-upgrade libraries with your existing application

Is anyone with a serious application actually considering this? It would have been nice to include only the pieces of Angular 2 that you actually use. Instead, we have to ship both libraries, our application code and an additional plugin down the wire? I don't see this upgrade path as a legitimate option for anyone who cares about page load times.

14
thoughtpalette 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excited to finally start playing around with this.
15
KuhlMensch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've played around with Angular 2 quite a bit the last few weeks. These are my (early) views for anyone interested:

* Templating syntax is intuitive after an hour or two

* Decorators are great! (sidenote: Warning Babel6 decided to remove them until the spec settles down)

* Typescript I'm undecided about. Its a bit of a pain to work with and tooling is still early days e.g. if you want to import a single js file/lib, you create a Type definition file (.tds) just for that. And if you don't want to document every interface in that .tds, then you can give it an "Ambient" aka "whatevs" definition. But in that case it will not be retain its semantics.

* The new component router wasn't ready for prime time 2 weeks ago. I doubt that has changed. And frankly, I feel a bit uncomfortable with how magical it is. That could change though, I know allot of effort is going into it.

* One of the best things is losing many of the hacky artifacts of Angular1 (pseudo-modules system, 9 types of component, config phases etc etc)

* IMHO the lack of opinion built into the framework will still cause allot of foot-shooting around the globe, especially compared to Ember or Aurelia.

That said, if I was going to start a large enterprise project right now, I'd SERIOUSLY consider the core being written in Angular 2 + Redux. I'd have to revisit Ember before I had that decision though, its been over two years ...

16
doczoidberg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recommend Angular CLI for new users: https://github.com/angular/angular-cli

It is based on ember CLI and helps a lot scaffolding new projects.

17
polysaturate 2 days ago 2 replies      
The only thing I haven't really seen on their 'Quick Start' and 'Guides' site is any examples that show retrieving data from an API. Are those out there and I didn't see them?
18
blisterpeanuts 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty cool. I've just been learning about Angular 1, so I guess the thing to do is start using Angular 2 as soon as it's available and not bother with the ngForward tool?

I'm looking for tools that will help me create web apps with rich client experiences. I've read the critiques of AngularJS here and it sounds like it does have some limitations, but still a very good framework for corporate web apps with moderate user base and small # of browsers.

19
nikon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone have an upgrade plan for 1.x?

I work on a rather large Angular 1.4 codebase daily and while this is good news, I'm not sure how we'd ever upgrade to be honest.

20
Omnipresent 2 days ago 2 replies      
Resources for learning Angular2?
21
knes 2 days ago 0 replies      
We had a look at Angular 2 at Pusher since a lot of our customers are using Angular to build app. If you want to check out a quick tutorial and see some actual working angular 2 code in action , you can go to https://blog.pusher.com/real-time-apps-angular-2/
22
_alexander_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
Angular size really impressive:

angular2.min.js - 568K

Version 1.4.*

angular.min.js - 148K

File size really increased (Angular1 * 4 == Angular2), if compared with first version. Something went wrong.

23
danpeddle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Server side rendering is mentioned in the post - for me, angular 1.x was a dead end because it did not run on the server (disregarding the confusion around services, factories etc, and all the horror in templating logic, debugging it etc) - can anyone give some insights into what this is like?

I've previously written & been part of teams for a few non-trivial 'full stack' js apps that run both on the client and server, and react's abstraction from the DOM is perfect for such things. Wondering what the 2.x approach is here.

As an aside, seems to me that the days of running JS purely in the client are coming to an end, for projects when developers can have a free hand on the tech stack.

24
chvid 2 days ago 1 reply      
Angular2 wants dependency injection and for that to work well it needs named interfaces and thus ends up with TypeScript as its first citizen language.

This is fair choice but it shows the background of the designers of Angular and that they in some sense really don't grok JavaScript.

Here is a blog from mr. Ruby-on-Rails explaining why DI is a stranger in the Ruby world:

http://david.heinemeierhansson.com/2012/dependency-injection...

With some parallels I think.

25
SureshG 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those of you who are using Dart, https://github.com/ng2-dart-samples has many Angular 2 demos and samples and it's pretty nice ;-)
26
rsuelzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use both react and angular. At work we lean toward angular because of the overhead of having to train design teams with no real JavaScript backgrounds how to work with jsx.

That being said, I use both react and angular. Angular is a full library that solves all of my problems, even if the solution isn't what I would consider ideal. React forces me to do a lot more work to get something running as it is not a framework. It is a tradeoff of time versus flexibility.

27
snickmy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Angular 2 is late to the party. The user base of Angular 1.x has already moved on.

I wish the success of a web framework was a bit more about the technology nature of it rather than the market adoption and hype.

28
moogly 2 days ago 1 reply      
Trying to find info on their packaging story. Last I heard the official tooling seemed to be moving off systemjs+jspm in favour of WebPack, but I don't see any clear info on this; does anyone know?

We've started experimenting with systemjs and really like it (though support is a bit limited right now, plus it not really liking PhantomJS/karma), and we want to modernize our Angular 1.x app packaging/loading/bundling, but don't really want to do needless work if we have to move to another solution for Angular 2.x.

29
nezo 1 day ago 1 reply      
The whole angular.io documentation is telling me "well f*ck you vanilla JS user, go learn TypeScript and come back"
30
halayli 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any suggestions for a good material UI framework that works well with Angular 2? Unfortunately, angular's material framework only works on 1.x so far.
31
Halienja 1 day ago 0 replies      
New Project - Angular2 OR React and why?
32
noahjcz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe I'm reading wrong, but Rx.js seems to be 70k minified. Seems like a giant dependency for a mobile-focused framework...
33
awqrre 2 days ago 0 replies      
I probably will get down-voted seeing all pro-Google comments but what I don't like about frameworks like Angular is that it obfuscates HTML...
34
rw2 2 days ago 10 replies      
Uh did Angular not get the memo that people hate the new syntax and typescript?

This is how you turn the most popular javascript MVC framework to nothing.

35
tvararu 2 days ago 0 replies      
> While you can upgrade apps in a "big bang" approach where you halt production until everything is rewritten

That is some very unsound advice. I find it worthy of ridicule that it's being suggested as a possibility.

The upgrade path was very necessary to address the huge amount of breaking changes.

36
revelation 2 days ago 4 replies      
That's Google for you, having to present your exciting MVW toolkit on the crash accident of a website that is Blogspot.

Right now, there is a massive cookie consent form blocking my view of the actual article.

Slack Platform Launch slackhq.com
365 points by thejosh  2 days ago   216 comments top 35
1
cromwellian 1 day ago 11 replies      
Facebook F8 all over again in the sense of startups throwing the success or failure of their company onto a proprietary centralized system that can block or cut them off for any reason.

Or rather, another incarnation of IRC chat bots, email listservs, and stuff that's been around forever as commodity autoresponders, only now it's worth millions in investments to write the equivalent of a weekend hack IRC bot because of artificial scarcity imposed by a non-open platform.

2
abrkn 2 days ago 4 replies      
Every program attempts to expand until it has an app store. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.
3
chuhnk 2 days ago 10 replies      
I feel like the world has lost it's mind slightly. When a 2 year old startup launches an $80m fund. I mean I understand they want to be a platform and can see the strength in funding projects that will empower a platform model but still. This is the point at which I think we're really in a boom heading in that bubble direction, and I was never one to fall in to the trap of calling it a bubble before. Love slack, love the platform play, but my God this is getting crazy.
4
thatindiandude 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't think it's reasonable to say we're in a bubble because of a $80M fund around developing for a new platform. Few companies truly become platforms, and it's a misnomer to call it a bubble if this only happens to one company. It takes a lot of money or momentum to develop one. Facebook had by far the most compelling one in the last ten years, and the obvious incentive there was it's >300M users at the time. The case is less compelling for a B2B platform like Slack, but it makes sense as many of these investors also invest in B2B startups that can gain huge visibility through the Slack platform.

By having six investors in the fund, each fund can mitigate risk of Slack's platform not getting traction while lowering the barrier for developers to enter. This slideshow by A16Z outlines why the venture capitalists (including some on the list of Slack fund contributors) are tightening their belts around investing and telling companies like Slack to generate reliable business models rather than IPO prematurely.

This premature IPO behavior was the reason for the last bubble, and I think this investment fund is proof that we are NOT in a bubble. The new strategy for these investment funds is to allow their startups to generate revenue on a much more stable basis without the need to go public (and get cash for equity) for this to happen. Most B2B companies would eventually benefit from a recurring-fees model built around the Slack platform, and this enables smaller, fledging companies to scale much more quickly towards long-term cashflow positivity.

In all, the kings of tech companies are those that find some sort of platform or natural monopoly. Slack may be next in line to follow Airbnb, Uber, Twitter, Facebook, and Google respectively. Overall, by allowing a method to build these platforms while not going public, investors increase returns for their companies in the short AND LONG term while maintaining a course of innovation!

5
nubela 2 days ago 5 replies      
Please guys, no. Don't build your startup on top of another platform. Remember Facebook? Remember Twitter? That 80M is a farce by the VCs that actually re-contributes back into Slack, not so much for you.
6
adamseabrook 2 days ago 2 replies      
No need to build your entire startup on Slack but a solid integration can drive serious initial revenue for your startup especially if you do not get a lot of direct traffic. "One click install" is what helped Woocommerce and others get massive growth on the back of Wordpress through top exposure in the plugin directory.

Slack is still very much at the bottom of the growth curve. I have seen electrical contractors who need a way to chat with onsite workers at various projects switch from using WhatsApp/SMS to Slack. If one click job scheduling apps start appearing in the Slack App Store they will be quickly adopted by these businesses. I would be surprised if Slack or something like it has not completely wiped out internal email in 5 years.

7
martin-adams 1 day ago 0 replies      
So if I build something on top of this that actually turns out to be popular and turns a good profit, what is to protect me from Slack then building it in the core product that cutting me out or shutting me down?

Not much I guess. Twitpic anyone? [1].

1. https://blog.twitpic.com/2014/09/twitpic-is-shutting-down/

8
jaksmit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kind of funny for people to say that a new startup launching a fund means there's a bubble. That's exactly what Twilio have been doing even since 2010: https://gigaom.com/2010/09/23/got-a-twilio-based-app-get-som...

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/01/twilio-and-500-startups-lau...http://recode.net/2015/05/20/twilio-launches-50-million-deve...

9
pkrumins 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know how you can apply for a Slack Fund grant?

I'd love to create a Browserling integration. Browserling (www.browserling.com) is a live interactive cross-browser testing service and this integration would let you embed a live browser directly in Slack.

Use case: Let's say a user reports a bug in IE10 on Windows 7 in your webapp. You just use `/browserling windows7 ie10 URL` command in Slack and that will embed a real interactive IE 10 on Win7 that runs your webapp at `URL` directly in Slack.

10
altonzheng 2 days ago 1 reply      
Slack is great and all, but I personally don't feel like it's revolutionary. It's just an iterative improvement over a chat client, nothing groundbreaking there.
11
fideloper 2 days ago 2 replies      
2 points:

1. Remember when Dropbox was dumb, because rsync? (Bunch of naysayers here citing fee alternatives).

From what I'm seeing, bots and integrations are great and here to stay.

Businesses will gladly pay money in exchange for time and complexity not spent rolling your own.

2. This seems like a boon for us happy slack users!

12
raymondgh 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's 80M against the commoditization of hosted chat. Smart way to put up barriers to entry.
13
spdustin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Their dev blog post [0] mentions an AWS Lambda Blueprint to go along with a chatbot framework (BotKit) and an "Add to Slack" workflow. This (AWS Lambda) is a smart move; it reduces the friction of writing a quick integration with Slack considerably, making it almost a commodity-level feature. This bet on AWS Lambda will likely be a big deal for general AWS Lambda adoption, given how insanely popular Slack integrations are.

[0]: https://medium.com/slack-developer-blog/launch-platform-1147...

14
chopete 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is yammer all over againhttp://i.imgur.com/DKODqy3.png

I can't help but post this based on my experience pitching to vendorsto join an app store.

Slack CEO: Yammer made $1.2B. We need to make $12B. For that I need to makea hit song with 10,000 background dancers with me on the stage.

Board: How much can you pay each dancer?.

CEO: $10/hr

Board: Ok. Announce an App Store.

You are already a hero and there are hundreds of them to jump on stageto dance with you in that 5 minute song.

CEO: Now you are talking!

15
anonfunction 2 days ago 2 replies      
Really like the announcement of botkit[1], I was just looking at adding a vote bot to our slack and only found a really old example that ended up not working.

1. https://github.com/howdyai/botkit/

16
brightball 1 day ago 1 reply      
I summarize Slack this way generally:

- If you've never used Hipchat, Slack is completely revolutionary.- If you've used Hipchat, Slack is still cool...and then you see the price comparison and ponder...WHY?

17
asbromberg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting, could this be the beginning of something like WeChat for businesses, where every business function you think of can just be completed on Slack? I doubt there's anything about the U.S. market that makes these non-open / corporation controlled platforms undesirable (as some other comments suggest); after all, Windows dominates the business landscape. Its just a question of whether Slack can go from convincing start ups x,y and z to use these apps, to convincing Fortune 500 companies to take the plunge.
18
kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've never used slack and don't know what types of apps they want to integrate but it seems like a disruption of a nice chunk of a market that ERP vendors have ventured into (the job productivity/project management etc. branch). That sounds good because quite frankly often the stuff ERP vendors offer in that space is somewhat lackluster "well we have to be in this area" material.

I think the slack platform could eventually branch out into more traditional ERP areas (accounting, production etc.) and it could be an interesting potential shift from "everything from one hand" to "let's configure our ERP from different services"

Building a platform like this is nontrivial and there's tons of problems ahead but I like the general idea.

19
thallukrish 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel an App ecosystem definitely helps to expand the functions. However I also feel it is opposite of a nimble app which does one thing clean. In general we have always had this conflict and it is difficult to choose to stay lean and simple especially when you decide to grow and scale to engulf everything. Its almost like 'Let me grab as much as I can before some one comes' sort of thinking. Only the market can prove if this is the right thinking in the long run. But when you see it in the short span, you do not have much choice.
20
ihuman 1 day ago 0 replies      
How does BotKit compare to slack-client[1]?

[1] https://github.com/slackhq/node-slack-client

21
hayksaakian 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can someone who uses slack comment on the value over skype for example?

It seems like text chat is hard to get wrong, and with so many options, I wonder why (real) people choose slack specifically.

22
bhuga 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if this comes with an initiative to fill in the gaps in Slack's administrative API so addons can be created around that, too? I'm working with SlimerJS to audit message retention and a few other settings.

Slack has a great core experience and I understand why it's doing so well. But it's weird to see an $80m fund to invest particularly in Slack addons when a lot of existing features don't yet have API support.

23
dblock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Slack team did a great job with this.

Here's a fresh integration with Slack Button in Ruby, https://github.com/dblock/slack-bot-server serving a "Hello World" bot. Hope it helps someone.

24
mark_l_watson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used Slack for a few months this year. A customer didn't use email, preferring Slack. Slack is an awesome platform, but I missed the asynchrony of email. When I code I like to have 30 to 40 minute uninterrupted work periods and I found an always on Slack took me out of the flow. Using Slack with specified "turn it off" quiet times would solve that issue however.
25
adoming3 2 days ago 1 reply      
The fund is a great play for Slack to become the next enterprise app store. A welcome alternate to the Salesforce AppExchange IMO.
26
mikemockup 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice move by Slack and great opportunity for slackbot developers. We discover zero interfaces and just launched analytics bot http://www.brobot.io You can use it with Google Analytics, Mixpanel, New Relic.
27
jim-greer 1 day ago 0 replies      
In this thread: a lot of people who haven't used Slack attacking it...
28
djhn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Evernote had a developer conference. They wanted an ecosystem, and kind of had a platform. They bought sucessful apps.

Past tense! Much better/realistic parallel, than Facebook F8.

29
nikon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wonder if their stack is still PHP/MySQL etc?[0]

[0] https://twitter.com/SlackHQ/status/426469205005705217

30
tangled_zans 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've never used Slack, but people keep saying that it's good because of the apps. What sort of apps are those?
31
JohnDoe365 1 day ago 0 replies      
I definitely witter a new IT bubble
32
viach 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like SHOW HN will be crowded more than often after this weekend.
33
BrainInAJar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Christ, they just don't get it... What we need isn't "apps for Slack" what we need is onprem Slack. Because sending confidential information to "the cloud" is all kinds of stupid and potentially violates a bunch of laws
34
ossreality 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sorry, I've scoffed at other valuations and investments, but I'm just completely beside myself. Why does a chat room need "apps"?

It's kind of weird actually. There's two sorts of people that defend these announcements, I've found:

The first thinks that they are going to build an "amazing" platform some day and that they'll follow this model for "growing revenue". So of course they defend it.

And then there's the second group that has some "great idea" who plans to build on Slack's platform. Personally, I look forward to 2 years of stories about how Slack was unfair to them, or changed the rules on them, or broke an API. Or didn't review fast enough, or any of the other complaints that pop up monthly about other closed platforms.

35
beyondcompute 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why not fix all the bugs that are there before lunching new products/features?
Telegram gains 1M users after Whatsapp ban thephonesgsm.blogspot.com
267 points by sultansaladin  18 hours ago   248 comments top 20
1
pqdbr 16 hours ago 30 replies      
I'm a judge in Brazil. Even tough I'd pray to not be the one that had to give such an impopular order (affecting more then 100 million Brazilians - WhatsApp is really a hit here), we have laws in this country and we must prosecute criminals.

Mark's talk about privacy is, in my opinion, totally misplaced. No right is absolute, and that includes the right to privacy. Criminals, for example, simply don't have it. This is not me saying; this is our Constitution saying it (and the Constitution of every Western country that I know).

We are biased to see all measures against privacy with bad eyes, specially after Snowden. But that's because you are good people and see the matter with those eyes, not with the eyes of a criminal. Do you guys think that pedophiles, terrorists and drug dealers have the right to privacy ? I don't.

Also, what the NSA was (is?) doing is a complete absurd, with no judicial oversight, mass collecting everything they can get in secrecy. This has nothing to do with what we have here. In Brazil, only a judge can authorize someone to be wiretapped, it can only be done in criminal cases with jail time (no civil cases). Also, the judge must specify a single phone number or single e-mail account and the decision must be reviewed every 15 days, otherwise it expires. Also, there's a national database of wiretaps that every judge must feed by the end of the month, specifying how many wiretaps there are currently running.

WhatsApp and Facebook are not, by any means, above the law. If they want to provide a communication service here, the law is clear that they must abide by judicial orders that allow wiretapping in very specific cases.

2
caio1982 17 hours ago 3 replies      
What really happened: a drug smuggler with ties to a major criminal organization had been investigated and sentenced several months ago and since July Facebook and WhatsApp folks had not complied (actually they simply ignored all requests) with some users data the justice demanded to keep prosecuting the guy and his associates. Allegedly, according to the new https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Civil_Rights_Framewo... if a company does exactly what they did, they can be temporarily blocked by a court decision as some sort of punishment for obstruction. Mark Zuckerberg complained saying it was just one judge who ordered this but AFAIK the block was requested by PA's office.

To be fair, some Brazilian judges are pretty stupid and have no idea how the internet works so it's quite possible the original users data request was super broad and that's why Facebook and WhatsApp just ignored it. On the other hand, it's only through very effective wires and digital data examination in recent years that the Brazilian justice is finally putting some big sharks into jail. That's why I have mixed feelings about all this (and I'm a Telegram user myself).

Source, in Portuguese: http://gizmodo.com.br/investigacao-trafico-droga-bloqueio-wh...

3
soneca 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A superior ranked judge ('desembargador') just revoked the ban. And said (my translation):

"In face of the constitutional principles, it does not seem reasonable that millions of users are affected in result of the company (whatsapp) inertia"

In portuguese:

"""em face dos princpios constitucionais, no se mostra razovel que milhes de usurios sejam afetados em decorrncia da inrcia da empresa"

The judge also said that a fine would be more appropriate.

source (in portuguese): http://g1.globo.com/tecnologia/noticia/2015/12/whatsapp-just...

4
etiam 18 hours ago 5 replies      
Shame they went there instead of to Signal, but I guess it may still be a marginal improvement.
5
dheera 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I miss the days of ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, Zephyr, Gtalk, Facebook's XMPP, and all those other messengers. They had relatively open or decipherable protocols, and on almost all OSes there were at least a couple decent applications that allowed you to login to all messaging services using a single piece of software. I could even write gateways and plugins to use NLP and autoreply, encrypt messages, and all kinds of other awesome things which I can't do anymore.

It seems like we've taken a step back in technology.

6
lenlorijn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook/Messenger is sending a message to Brazilians stating they're working to get WhatsApp back up and suggest to use Messenger while WhatsApp is blocked. https://imgur.com/kx4B3na
7
hamhamed 18 hours ago 0 replies      
When startups say being lucky was a big part of their success..I guess this is what they meant
8
pedrodelfino 18 hours ago 8 replies      
I am from Brazil and I can say: we are almost becoming the new Argentina.

And this is quite interesting because Argentina is becoming the new Venezuela (at least they were, but few weeks ago they had elections and the left wing lost). And Venezuela clearly is becoming the new Cuba.

9
jdahlin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure that the phone operators were very happy to comply to ban, they hate WhatsApp. When WhatsApp first got popular here it ended their very lucrative business of SMS and more recently they introduced VOIP calls which considerably cheaper than normal phone calls, especially long distance.

Three of the major phone operators (Vivo, Claro, TIM) implemented the ban, while the fourth (Oi), did not. The CEO of Vivo, one of the major phone operators, came out a couple of months ago saying that WhatsApp is "piracy", since they are not affected by the same regulations as the normal phone operator.[1]

[1]: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2015/08/1666187-whatsap... portuguese)

10
rplnt 18 hours ago 3 replies      
These messaging apps are worse than... well, I don't know. This is as bad as it gets. Bicycles maybe? Incompatibility, fragmentation.. the worst thing you can have for application that is supposed to be used for communication.
11
junto 18 hours ago 0 replies      
All of this is good. The more competition the better. Pity they aren't all compatible. Then we might actually have an real email killer on our hands.
12
hidingfromherd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps I'm being hard-headed here, but I don't understand the need to debate secure communications here, beyond the benefit of opening doubt in the minds of those ignorant of the underlying physical process.

This boils down to the fact (for me, and by proxy, my community) that I (and by proxy, my community) will not use insecure communication because someone or someones wants me to do so.

Shake your fist, rattle your sabres, put me in your sights, it will not change my (and by proxy, my community's) resolve.

And if I (and by proxy, my community) is to be prosecuted for using secure channels, then I (and by proxy, my community) will resort to steganography. Exact circumstances aside, there's no getting around the effects of a dedicated mind and an overwhelming power (of math) on my communications' transit.

The only means by which a paternal element can mediate the policies of my interactions would be to mediate the interface by which I (and by proxy, my community) communicate (in this case -- electronic/digital computer<->human), and enforce this with vigilant, and economically costly violence.

This matter-of-factness is similar to that in traffic stop interactions. I'm not happy that men with guns can systematically stop my transit, search my belongings, and steal my assets (at least in Texas), with ex post facto logic applied to the inherent justice, and I have no way of stopping this. The exact circumstances aside, there's no getting around the effects of a dedicated mind and an overwhelming power on my transit.

So I work around it, I try not to get stopped, and I deal with it when I do get stopped. I don't shake my fist or pout, beyond for the benefit of opening doubt in the minds of those ignorant of the underlying physical process.

13
Grazester 15 hours ago 0 replies      
So what does this tell us about Telegram?Are they willing and able to provide the authorities with the relevant info should a request such as the one made to whatsapp be made to them?
14
nasir 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how regulations can influence you're business. Unrelated to this, but in corrupted countries a relative of the guy in the government can easily kill your business by asking him to ban yours or promote his!
15
lordnacho 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Would it be possible to get the messages if FB/WhatsApp decided to do so? I heard they started doing end-to-end encryption, with the keys only on the user's phone.

Also, if you've designed a system like this, could you also design one where you'd be unable to comply with the shutdown order? I suppose one of the Bitcoin related message services would be like that.

16
Dolores12 14 hours ago 0 replies      
So facebook\whatsapp is criminal in Brasil because they broke the law.
17
kamilszybalski 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. Merry Christmas indeed.
18
AndrewKemendo 14 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm a judge in Brazil.

Your comment history says otherwise: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4167143

Seem to be a run of the mill dev to me. I'm surprised you got as many credulous responses as you did.

19
dang 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Please post civilly and substantively or not at all.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

20
dataker 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Interestingly, Fitch downgraded Brazil's Debt to junk yesterday.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/057c1240-a40f-11e5-b73f-95454...

Anti-technology culture tells a lot about an economy, group or nation.

LibreOffice as a service offers alternative to Google Docs, Office 365 infoworld.com
225 points by Garbage  1 day ago   139 comments top 14
1
lucb1e 1 day ago 5 replies      
From the demo I saw, it worked as well as watching 1080p YouTube in a third world country. Someone figured it was smart to do server-side rendering and load your document as tiles using a technology designed for maps (the same as used in OpenStreetMap, and there it works well, because that's actually a map and not a document). The person argued WiFi was bad, but when typing on a 100mbps symmetric connection there was still a noticeable delay between my keystroke and it appearing on screen.

Edit: to everyone saying they also can't watch YouTube 1080p without lag/buffering/whatever: perhaps it's not perfect anywhere outside the third world, but I could imagine that there it would suck even more. It's just a comparison, not a research paper.

2
DiabloD3 1 day ago 4 replies      
To those claiming that Office 365 somehow promotes web apps as your real apps... that isn't entirely true.

My company (the one I started, hi) uses Office 365, and all three of us use Office 365's full office suite, the actual real desktop app one.

What we use Office 365's cloud stuff for is their Exchange cluster (oh God, so delicious), and for OneDrive for Business (ie, what used to be Sharepoint).

Browsers just aren't fast enough to handle web apps that large (not picking on Office 365's web apps, anything that big just sorta murders browsers), and I don't think they ever will be. This isn't something you can solve when your only tools are HTML, CSS, and JS.

3
sandGorgon 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is wasted effort IMHO. The killer app of Office is Excel and NOTHING has come close to replacing it.

In India, almost all laptop manufacturers give the option of preloaded Ubuntu. Yet people choose to pay for Windows - for either Excel or Photoshop.

I would pay a large sum of money for a compatible spreadsheet. It is well worth doing a startup around.

Everything else - Word or PowerPoint already has reasonable substitutes. Even if it is as simple as a PDF doc.

But there is no substitute for Excel.

4
kriro 1 day ago 1 reply      
In principal I like this idea a lot. Office as a Service but in freer...sign me up.

As an aside I use LO as sort of a middleware for document conversion via PyOO (start headless LO, convert/load/creat documents etc. via Python script). I think UNO is rather complicated to use at least I struggle everytime I try to read the documentation (possible that I'm too dumb). I hope LO as a service helps make this use case more interesting and thus leads to more documentation and PyOO like libraries.I feel like there's some potential to get LO into more widespread use by improving/advertising the "headless LO" more.

Oh I'm building this webservice...yeah sure upload your files as Excel or Calcs...we can use that and create nice Calc documents from either one.Powered by LO.

5
stephenr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is there still not a reasonable quality, open-source browser based 'office' app? Open Document is all XML right, so it's not like a browser can't read/write the format because its some binary blob..
6
hunvreus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I quit using Microsoft Office over a decade ago. The last few years, I relied on LibreOffice but couldn't stand the regular crashes, bugs and overall frustrating user experience.

I gave Google Docs another go and I must say I was surprised at how much better it was from 3 or 4 years ago. It was good enough for me to consider using Google Drive; me and my team are now using it for everything and couldn't be happier. We actually ditched Dropbox in the process.

Box, Dropbox, Microsoft and other players in this segment of enterprise productivity software should be worried. I'm happy to pay for it and wouldn't run a company without it.

I think a LibreOffice SaaS would have a hard time competing on features with Google Docs, let alone price.

7
rwmj 1 day ago 1 reply      
My company did this back in 2000 using StarOffice which was the precursor to LibreOffice (via OpenOffice). Some screenshots[1]. What's interesting is that the numbers don't add up - it's hard to make a profit even at high subscription rates when you have to pay for all the hardware involved. Anyway, I hope they know what they're doing.

[1] https://rwmj.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/officemaster/#content

8
bobajeff 1 day ago 2 replies      
It would be cool if they made a client side version of this using Emscripten.
9
ucaetano 1 day ago 5 replies      
It's a bit sad to see LibreOffice struggling to maintain relevance when the market it tried to address suddenly became [nearly nonexistent] irrelevant.

It reminds me of all those hundreds of early 20th century battleships that suddenly became completely irrelevant when the Dreadnought came by.

[Edit: replaced nearly nonexistent with irrelevant to make my point clearer]

10
niutech 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are already WebODF (http://www.webodf.org), used in ownCloud Documents, and OnlyOffice (http://onlyoffice.org
11
rullelito 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't stand LibreOffice, it's so slow compared to Office.

So I don't have high hopes for this thing.

12
mark_l_watson 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a Linux user, I really like the web versions of the Office365 apps. The functionality is good for situations when I need to work with other people's documents and not taking up disk space for installed apps is a fine feature for the new world of SSD storage on laptops.

I also find Google docs handy to use, even though I use markdown stored in the cloud for writing my own content, managing research notes, etc.

I like the idea of being able to self host cloud services but ownCloud and LibreOffice face stiff functionality competition.

13
moonbug 1 day ago 0 replies      
And I thought it couldn't be possible to make LO any more infuriating to use. Well done guys, trebles all round.
14
unixhero 1 day ago 3 replies      
Besides dude. Referring to poor countries as belonging to the third world implies that a second world exist. The second world collapsed with the Soviet Union and does not exist any longer. The preferred nomenclature is developing countries.
ReactOS, a 17-year quest for an open-source Windows, has a new release candidate yahoo.com
224 points by Fjolsvith  1 day ago   169 comments top 11
1
SwellJoe 1 day ago 10 replies      
I've always been strangely fascinated by this project. I don't understand it. I appreciate the technical skill involved, and the amount of effort expended. But, I can't imagine working on it.

From my perspective, Windows is an inferior system to any UNIX-based system on almost every front. It has a very strong application ecosystem, but technically it's unpleasant to work on (for me). So, given that, if there's something I want an OS to do that Linux can't do, I would be motivated to work on making Linux able to do that thing so I could do that thing on an Open Source OS I enjoy using, rather than work on replicating Windows so I could do that thing on an open source OS I don't enjoy using.

But, it seems there are people who genuinely enjoy Windows more than Linux (or BSD), and are willing to work for 17 years in pursuit of being able to run an Open Source Windows version. I admire them for it, but still can't understand it.

2
giancarlostoro 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is one OS I've kept my eye on forever, though it feels as though Microsoft will go open source before ReactOS can catch up if anything. I wouldn't mind if certain parts of Windows were open sourced, or replaced by open sourced alternatives at least, not all of Windows. We saw this happen to the Open Live Writer.
3
secfirstmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone working on digital and physical security for human rights defenders in the field, I've followed this project closely. I would love to have a version of TAILS which had the Windows friendly attributes of ReactOS. Unfortunately, far too often the people most at risk just cannot really make the leap to a Linux based system, so a free, locked down version of something like ReactOS mixed with many of TAILS features, would be awesome. I know TAILS have tried to mirror some of the visual features but realistically it will never be the same.
4
wila 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok, played with it in a virtual machine. Good to see they are making progress.

My experience so far from today's experiment run, .. it still is quite unstable, saw several BSODs (about 7 of them varying from processor locked to the real blue screen) Most of the times I lost data during the crash. Files disappearing etc.. Good part is that it reboots really fast.

VMware Tools installed -albeit complaining- and I could use VMware shared folders which was convenient.

Of course this is a release candidate and we are not at 1.0 so stability really isn't a promise.If they manage to get it more stable then it is starting to become usable.

5
dustinupdyke 1 day ago 6 replies      
A serious question: When will we see a truly new OS built from the ground up? If there is a space where there seems to be little innovation it is in the space of new OS paradigms. Flavors of Windows or Linux - are there really any commercially ready alternatives today or in the very near future?
6
jamesu 1 day ago 1 reply      
ReactOS may be impressive from a technical standpoint, but judging from the release candidate its still got a long way to go in terms of stability. While I was able to install it after puzzling over the correct hardware options, it still hanged during installing drivers at boot.
7
sutro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quixotic is a characteristic I appreciate more and more in software projects as I get older, as my own efforts seem to increasingly tilt at windmills.
8
collinmanderson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think ReactOS is still targeting XP/2003? The way things are going, Microsoft may open source Windows before ReactOS catches up, likely with a more permissive license.
9
ant6n 1 day ago 3 replies      
At this point, I wonder whether it wouldn't be easier to bundle linux and wine together.
10
blisterpeanuts 1 day ago 8 replies      
An OEM Windows 7 disc is under $50 at Amazon now (down from $80 which is what I paid a couple of months ago). At a certain point, why not just buy the real thing and not have to fuss so much about compatibility? Almost every recent Mac can bootcamp Windows now, and Linux can also dual-boot, or else maybe install it to VirtualBox.

That's also why I've stopped updating my Crossover for $40 every year or two. Basic laptops and desktop boxes are so cheap these days that it becomes a question of whether your time is worth fussing around with compatibility software.

11
subinsebastien 1 day ago 0 replies      
If ReactOS provides a Windows 98/ME like interface and icons and rest of the UI/UX, I would definitely donate to the project and will install it on one of my home computers. I love when software reminds me of my childhood. :)
Compiling to WebAssembly: Its Happening mozilla.org
231 points by mnemonik  10 hours ago   162 comments top 25
1
c0nfused 9 hours ago 8 replies      
Web assembly always makes me a little sad. It feels like we are going back to flash only it won't be bad this time, I promise, no really.

I always feel like the most obvious use for it is to start writing truly hateful and abusive code.

I'm sure this is because I'm getting old.

2
andrewchambers 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Web browsers are turning into giant, poorly designed operating systems. My current operating system can already run binaries, this is reinventing the wheel in a massively over engineered way.
3
klodolph 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like the modern trend, and I like it. I'm going to compare this to the recent developments with OpenGL and Vulkan. With OpenGL, you ship textual source code for your shaders written in GLSL, and you have to hope that the compiler on your client's machine does the right thing! With Vulkan and SPIR-V, the compiler is taken out of the equation, and you can use whatever language you want to write shaders, validate them ahead of time, and ship the validated binary blobs to the client. Incidentally, I'm looking forward to WebGL 2. I really miss being able to use texture arrays, integers, and instancing.
4
wilg 8 hours ago 1 reply      
In the recent press tour about Swift, Apple seems to be really gung-ho about people using Swift everywhere.

Since Swift is built on LLVM and there's direct LLVM support for WebAssembly, I wonder if Apple will get behind WebAssembly so they can get Swift in the browser.

5
jacobolus 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there (or are there any plans to add) a WebAssembly -> asm.js compiler, so that I can write some code by hand in WebAssembly and still get it to run fast in old browsers? Or are there features of WebAssembly that would be impossible to add in asm.js?

The reason I ask is that asm.js is really painful and cumbersome to write by hand and wasm seems substantially nicer, but I only have small bits of numerical hot loops which I want to use wasm/asm.js for, and I have no desire to bring a bunch of code written in C into my little project.

6
vvanders 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Exciting stuff. Just further solidifies in my mind that C/C++ is one of the few languages that will run everywhere.
7
wilg 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Does code written in WebAssembly have access to the DOM somehow? How will that work?
8
saosebastiao 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anybody know if there are plans for an API for garbage collection? The WASM spec as it currently exists seems to be only useful for non-GC languages, and it would be a shame if we ended up shipping a new GC implementation for every page that we load. Perhaps something that would allow compilers to tap into the native JS GC?
9
eecks 8 hours ago 3 replies      
WebAssembly lets people write in C++, Ruby, Python, etc and for that code to work in the browser like Javascript does at the moment. Am I correct?
10
kalsk 6 hours ago 7 replies      
This sounds like an odd question, but I honestly need somebody to explain this to me...what is the motivation behind the modern trend to put everything on the web? Is there something you get by running your program from a browser that you don't get from downloading and running an elf or a text file, or is this entire trend based around appealing to users who don't actually know how to use their computers?
11
jokoon 8 hours ago 1 reply      
So does it just do what NaCL was already doing, or at least is the objective the same?

I'm more worried about more specific things like hardware access (GPU, mouse inputs, networking, windowing)

It seems wasm runs at native speeds and take full advantage of optimization, but can it really be a solution fits all? There must be some things wasm can't do. And so far, since JS did almost everything, I don't see the point of wasm if it can't do what other language can.

12
exabrial 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool, but why not just use, you know, Java bytecode? Existing toolchains, compilers, runtimes, virtual machines could all be reused I'm sure. Actually there are a hundred different great virtual machines that could be used... Why, yet, another?
13
n00b101 7 hours ago 2 replies      
So the current toolchain involves using emscripten to generate asm.js and then using binaryen to convert asm.js to WebAssembly. Unfortunately emscripten depends on a fork of LLVM (FastComp), with no plans for a proper LLVM asm.js backend.

Are there plans for a properly WebAssembly LLVM backend that does not depend on forking LLVM (like emscripten)?

14
geon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any progress on making the compilers utilize the js gc instead of including their own entire runtime?
15
shurcooL 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm very interested in compiling Go to WebAssembly. Based on what I read, it seems that so far you can primarily try it with C/C++ code.

If one were to build a Go -> WebAssembly compiler, what are good routes to take? I can see there's going to be multiple possibilities.

16
tevlon84 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Alon,

thank you for sharing. I am a Computer Science Master student and i would like to contribute to the development. The git looks really full and i don`t know where to start.

17
tuyguntn 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Does this mean anyone can write Python to wasm converter then run it on browser, looks like LLVM backend?
18
al2o3cr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
WebAssembly sounds interesting, you could use it to write little apps that embed into a page.

And call them "applets". Nobody's ever done that before, right? :trollface:

19
ajarmst 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry, but I'm not following. What's the problem this is supposed to solve?
20
hDeraj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I see WebAssembly this way:

WebAssembly is to JavaScript what WebGL is to Canvas

21
currentoor 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm hoping for a day where I get two threads in my JS runtime. Now that would be nice...
22
iandanforth 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My experience is that the barrier to entry for JavaScript is not that it's a new language, but that you have to learn async thinking and are restricted to a single thread.

Does WebAssembly address either of those points?

23
mei0Iesh 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally! Maybe now someone can build a web app that enhances the reading and discover of documents. Each browser could be a repository of text files, each with an address, so you can have words in the text pointing to another document's address.
24
yoavm 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I suspect too many web applications are going use WebAssembly to obscure their code and the way they work, thus making it impossible to learn by studying their code. As someone who learned programming mostly by looking at other people's code, I'm afraid the web will change in a way that would make it a lot harder to do so.
25
etiene 7 hours ago 1 reply      
YES YES YES!!! OMG! THANK YOU <3 <3 <3 I've been waiting so long for this!Maybe my dream of running native Lua on the browser will come true?Will I already be able to run Lua's interpreter now? :D :DGonna look deeper into this as soon as I have time, omg so excited <3
Brazilian Judge Shuts Down WhatsApp for 48 Hours techcrunch.com
220 points by NN88  1 day ago   162 comments top 27
1
hcarvalhoalves 1 day ago 5 replies      
The news is misrepresenting what is actually happening.

A judge ruled for a 48 hour ban of WhatsApp from telcos to try to coerce WhatsApp into releasing private chat information for an ongoing criminal investigation (wild guess: they want information from politically exposed actors due to the recent corruption investigations). There are precedents, and that's a tactic local judges are using to try to get cooperation from international private companies.

This is the actual fact, but the article is conflating that with Marco Civil and other regulatory attempts that have nothing to do with this particular court ruling.

TL;DR TechCrunch publishes unchecked, alarmist news.

2
tabacof 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is insane, this judge must be on a power trip. WhatsApp is now part of Brazilian social life and economy. Everyone here is part of many groups of friends, family or workmates, that is where most instant communication happens.

In my company, our deployment engineers, who usually are on very remote places with bad and unreliable internet, rely on WhatsApp. I'm not saying this is the best practice, but this is simply the way Brazil works right now. Even the mobile phone companies offer plans with free WhatsApp connection, because that is what most people here care about. Another example: In Brazil, 9 in 10 doctors use WhatsApp to talk to patients (http://www.cityam.com/230372/digital-health-wearables-and-ap...).

To disregard all the people and businesses that rely on WhatsApp for whatever reason is unbelievable. But this is not without precedent, once another Brazilian judge blocked YouTube for a whole day because it refused to take down a celebrity video.

This says a lot about the over-sized, inefficient, and stupid state we have, always meddling and intervening.

3
rmdoss 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can confirm whatsapp is down for some friends in Brazil.

However, the real reason is not for what Techcrunch is saying.

The issue is that WhatsApp didn't want to cooperate with the federal police and release chat information from some criminals. According to some sources there, they followed all due process and WhatsApp ignored.

As a retaliation, to show that WhatsApp has to comply with Brazilian local laws when storing data from Brazilians using the service in Brazil, they banned WhatsApp for 48 hrs.

A lot less alarmist.

4
reubenmorais 1 day ago 3 replies      
Telegram reports 1.000.000 new users 4 hours after the block started, 1.500.000 new users 1 hour ago: https://twitter.com/telegram
5
jrapdx3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never realized that the political scene in Brazil was as crazy as the article portrays. Makes the US election campaigns look downright tame. As bizarre as some candidates' ideas seem to be, hard to imagine how judges or US congress would get away with attempting the same things.

If provisions like those in the article persist, predictably the predominantly young users of social media will protest loudly, I would think the resulting unrest would be too big a liability for the judges and politicians.

A while back I knew a guy who worked for a US company involved with setting up inventory and telecommunications software for businesses. Having traveled to Brazil to assist with installing the systems, he described the extremely convoluted regulatory environment down there, and how difficult that made it to get anything done.

While the whole affair is hard to understand, the basis for picking on particular targets (e.g., WhatsApp) doesn't make sense. Unless all such services are banned it only punishes the particular providers for no good cause. Speculating out loud about their target selection is unproductive, but possibly someone has more actual info about it.

So I guess like politics anywhere, what they do know well is how to shoot themselves in the foot. Until it's realized what they've done it will cause a lot of trouble for legitimate enterprises, let alone the massive population so negatively affected.

Edit: In the time it took me to write this comment, a bunch of people have add comments about the situation. Wow, that was fast...

6
misja111 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm confused. As far as I know WhatsApp does not archive any messages on its servers. Messages are only kept there temporarily until they are delivered to the recipient and then they are deleted.

This is also what WhatsApp states in its legal documentation: https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/ : "The contents of messages that have been delivered by the WhatsApp Service are not copied, kept or archived by WhatsApp in the normal course of business."

Furthermore, messages are end-to-end encrypted. So how could WhatsApp comply to the judge's demand?

7
rccrv 1 day ago 1 reply      
It wasn't Congress that decided that.

It is a single judge that gave an order to block the service for 48 hours.

It can be reversed if another judge decides the "liminar" (I don't know how to say this in English, it's a temporary decision) shouldn't been given.

8
graeme 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's crazy. I was in Brazil for a month. everybody was on whatsapp. Facebook a distant second for message volume.

SMS wasn't even on the radar.

9
silveira 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm in the US and my family is in Brazil. I relly on WhatsApp over 3G/4G to comunicante with them as they are usually without access to faster internet (DSL/cable). I read about the blockage a few hours ago and made me concerned because if anything happens that's the most reliable channel I have.

Then I receive a message from my brother saying he was going to the hospital (on WhatsApp, just before they cutted it off). Fortunately he had time to tell me he is fine.

My other brother is in a ship, almost same connectivity problems.

I know that there are workarounds, other applications, vpns, IP masking etc. But WhatsApp is something that my parents and brothers can use.

10
NN88 1 day ago 0 replies      
500,000 users signed up for Telegram in 3 hours

https://twitter.com/telegram/status/677278277657055232

11
kbart 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Terrible news, but it proves once again that we need decentralized, end-to-end encrypted OSS communications to be safe.
12
fernandomm 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The real reason is that WhatsApp refused to provide information about a PCC member.

PCC is the largest criminal organization in Brazil. It's involved in several criminal activities like drug dealing and gun trafficking. It was also responsible for "closing" Sao Paulo city some years ago forcing people to stay at their homes as well as killing hundreds of cops ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primeiro_Comando_da_Capital ).

The judge tried to obtain the information from WhatsApp for several months but it was simply ignored. Blocking WhatsApp was one of the last options that she had to try to obtain the information.

Here is more information from a reliable source ( it's in portuguese ): http://www.conjur.com.br/2015-dez-16/bloqueio-whatsapp-pivo-...

13
necessity 1 day ago 2 replies      
From someone living in Brazil, this article is a clickbait full of misinformation.

First off, we are nowhere near "shutting down social web". WhatsApp was shutdown by a court order because they did not comply with a subpoena to hand over information from a user in July and August. I recently submitted a link with a local (Brazilian) newspaper explaining the issue.

>If Brazils conservative Congress gets its way, theyre going to take down the entire social web as we know it, with bills circulating through the legislature to criminalize posting social media content and to allow the government to spy on its citizens.

Conservatives are not the only ones trying to censor the internet in here, absolutely every politician wants it.

>Its an about-face from last year, when President Dilma Rousseff approved Marco Civil, a groundbreaking Internet Bill of Rights, as a response to the Snowden revelations that the NSA was spying on Brazil. The landmark bill, Brazils first internet legislation, protects net neutrality, user privacy and freedom of speech.

On the contrary! Marco Civil threatens user privacy (more below), and the "net neutrality" part has lead to just the same that happened today: Mobile companies were forced to shutdown their "free WhatsApp and Facebook" plans, making millions get blocked from WhatsApp[4]. Anyway, back to the privacy issues, article 11 of the text[1] is the more worrying one. Some highlights:

2 A autoridade policial ou administrativa poder requerer cautelarmente que os registros de conexo sejam guardados por prazo superior ao previsto no caput. 4 O provedor responsvel pela guarda dos registros dever manter sigilo em relao ao requerimento previsto no 2

It says basically that police can require records of visited CONTENT without a court order and the ISP is required to supply that without informing the user. Somewhere else in the text it forces ISPs to store user history for a year. If the text really wanted to protect user privacy it would say something about cryptography, which isn't mentioned anywhere in the text.

Article 2 says there must be a "social purpose" for websites and that gov. may take websites down if it feels it doesn't serve the public interest. Brazilian govt. already has a history of censoring YouTube and Facebook videos involving politicians, judges or celebrities[5][2][3].

[1] http://www.camara.gov.br/proposicoesWeb/prop_mostrarintegra?...

[2] http://oglobo.globo.com/tecnologia/para-nao-sair-do-ar-no-br...

[3] http://www.conjur.com.br/2012-ago-08/google-retirar-ar-video...

[4] http://gizmodo.uol.com.br/tim-claro-twitter-gratis/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PYQktiGLhw

14
outworlder 22 hours ago 0 replies      
To put this in perspective, it would be as if a single judge in the US managed to shutdown all SMS for 48 hours, in the whole country. ()

Because, you see, SMS is too expensive in Brazil. So people resort to WhatsApp instead.

() It doesn't matter if SMS is not controlled by a single company, the block has to be enforced by all internet and cellphone operators in the entire country.

15
jld89 13 hours ago 0 replies      
WhatsApp didn't break any US laws. If whatsapp doesn't follow Brazils laws it can't break them. However Brazil is in its full rights to ban it if it considers it isn't coherent with the local laws.

It's simple really.

16
ex3ndr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Right now we (https://actor.im/br/) are trying to launch free and open alternative to WhatsApp/Telegram with Open Source community in Brazil.
17
speeder 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am from Brazil, and although bizarre decisions happened before, I can say that this time they actually went through with it, and I can't talk to my psychologist (I only communicate with her with WhatsApp, I never considered that the government would ever actually shut it down).

As for the article it is one of the most bizarrely biased articles I ever read, spouting some information that are outright lies.

Example: it says that Marco Civil law was an example of the congress favouring internet openness, that is an outright lie, the judge that banned WhatsApp for 48 hours, used Marco Civil to do it, if Marco Civil had never passed, WhatsApp would not be banned today.

Another innacuracy is saying that it is a "conservative" congress dominated by "evangelical extremists" and "military apologists"

The biggest bloc in the congress was allied with the leftist president in the elections, and still is mostly allied with said president. (the exception is "PSC", that is a socialist christian party, they tend to ignore the president wishes a lot, still it is 13 deputies out of 79 in that bloc)

Second biggest, is indeed right-leaning, but their policies resemble US democratic party of the 90s, instead of true conservatism.

Third bloc is dominated by a party with no political leanings to left, or right (they only do whatever it takes to stay in power, and have left and right politicians in their ranks). The vice-president is of that party, and they are in "opposition" only because they want the vice-president to take over.

Fourth is PT, with 59 seats, it is the president party, and is named "workers party" and has many outright communist people in it.

Next 3 groups are socialist, then there is the democrats party, that has policies like US democrats, then the rest of the parties are mostly socialist too.

In total there are from 512 lawmakers, 108 are "conservative".

Also, I've been following the votes on the Uber ban on Brazil, almost in all cases left wing parties that voted to ban Uber (and some even proposed to not only ban Uber, but make a law that make apps that call regular taxis to send lots of personal information to the governmens, including full GPS-tracked route of the person while inside the cab).

Meanwhile the big bloc that is "conservative" (the one that on my list is on the second biggest bloc in the congress) is the one that regularly vote against laws that restrict freedoms.

Still, our congress is awful, and is indeed proposing (and sometimes passing) lots and lots of bullshit laws.

18
gjrlkgrelmgr 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you go ahead and read the article, you'll realize that it's more about Facebook complaining their business will be more heavily regulated in Brazil than outright censorship.
19
threatofrain 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this mean it's illegal for a company to create a zero-knowledge communication network in Brazil? Or encryption without backdoors?
20
milkers 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It even didnt happen in Turkey. The country which loves bans.
21
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use XMPP + Jingle. How are they going to shut down that?
22
HaseebR7 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's up with capitalizing every first letter ? I thought "Whatsapp Tonight" is some new service Whatsapp is providing that I didn't know of.
23
expadaden 19 hours ago 0 replies      
you can always use temporary free and reliable vpn provider to unblock WhatsApp or any other websites and apps.... try https://www.hashtagvpn.com
24
free2rhyme214 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Time to switch to Telegram!
25
bitJericho 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazing how easy it is to tell a tc article by the title. When is hn going to ban tc?
26
bbarn 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the place the Olympics are going to be this summer. I can't help but hope the people use it as a stage to protest, but would imagine the media would largely ignore it.
27
dmingod666 1 day ago 0 replies      
Switched to hacker news a year back, Never visit techcrunch.. Best decision. On an unrelated note, just hate their 'apple is the center of the universe' line of thought..
Show HN: Fieldbook: Lightweight Database with a Spreadsheet UI and a REST API fieldbook.com
284 points by jasoncrawford  12 hours ago   81 comments top 20
1
toisanji 10 hours ago 7 replies      
I would use an open source version of this immediately.I've written several hacked up projects using google spreadsheets and it works, but its unreliable.I would not want to use a smaller 3rd party service as I would be afraid of the service getting shutdown or neglected.I would be much more inclined to use and pay for this service if they also open sourced it. Maybe run it like wordpress, they make a lot of money :)
2
benbernard 11 hours ago 7 replies      
Hey Folks!

I'm the CTO of Fieldbook, we're really proud of what we've built here. In particular, I really like our API explorer that allows you to run real node code right in the browser to explore our API. (And see our realtime updates in action on the same page). That feature is powered by Tonic (https://tonicdev.com)

Its mad fast to setup a database with a REST api with Fieldbook, and we'd love to hear what you think / what could be better / etc.

3
tlrobinson 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Neat. How does this compare to Airtable? https://airtable.com/
4
snehesht 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's an interesting idea, However if it's not self-hosted then I think their reach of customers is very limited. We all know most of the businesses run on spreadsheets and most of them don't want to share that information with anyone.Unless you handle this problem with run time encryption or provide a self-hosted version It's difficult to land lot of customers.
5
thetmkay 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using Fieldbook a little bit, and even playing around with their API.

It's a great product I'm going to use more. Big fan - there have been several side projects where I've wanted to use Google Sheets as a prototype DB - with the simpler API and better relationship model, I'm going to use Fieldbook from now on.

6
dsr_ 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks very nice. But I can't integrate it into a project if I can't guarantee that it will run even if Fieldbook-the-company changes business models next year. When can I deploy a self-hosted version, and how much will that cost?
7
PhilWright 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The user interface looks beautiful and I like the innovation for the group/sorting/filtering. Allowing all three to be defined using drop downs within the single area is really neat. Fast to add and compact in space.

How does it handle data types? Can you put any type of data into any cell? If I want a column that is numbers is there anything that stops a user adding a string to one of the cells by mistake?

8
nekitamo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Can multiple people edit the same spreadsheet at the same time? If so, are their changes displayed live?
9
asp2insp 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks excellent! I recently started writing something similar for my phone since I needed something more flexible than the standard todo/gtd apps. Do you have plans for a 1st party mobile client?
10
auston 11 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks really awesome. Can you lock columns or rows to prevent people from changing them?
11
orliesaurus 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
is this a bit like sheetsu?
12
jasoncapriati 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used Fieldbook a few times. It is incredibly neat.
13
tyingq 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like the beginnings of a QuickBase competitor, which would be welcome...Intuit's pricing model is terrible.

I had high hopes for DabbleDB before Twitter bought them and shut it all down.

14
oceanallin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The UI is just gorgeous IMHO.

Can you share which frameworks you used ?Did you use a template for the front page ?

15
Im_a_throw_away 7 hours ago 2 replies      
That looks like a really well made product, awesome UI!

What are some real world use case for using fieldbook?

16
cpr 9 hours ago 2 replies      
How does this differ from DabbleDB, which seemed to have all this and more?

(Sadly went nowhere and subsumed by Twitter.)

17
teamrating 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Its not that difficult to use Google Spreadsheets as a database - here's an app I put together in a couple of hours to allow people to rate players after a soccer game - currently used by a reddit sub:

http://www.teamrating.com

18
marvel_boy 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone remembers similar product DabbleDB? Or I'm too old?
19
DHJSH 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be nice to get something modern to replace what people used to do with FileMaker. This may be it.
20
m0rganic 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: early Kinvey engineer here.

Doesn't sound too far off from Kinvey and Parse except for the fact that MBaaS services have been around a lot longer and have much more robust mobile and web SDKs.

Pebble Seizure Detect github.com
300 points by ingve  1 day ago   46 comments top 19
1
vvanders 1 day ago 1 reply      
Always warms my heart to see technology re-used in interesting ways that can help people with a medical condition.

Way back(~2004) I was working for UPS. One of our package loaders had a BlackBerry, back when only suits had them. He was mute and since he couldn't speak he used the BB for all of his communication. Here I was just geeking out over smartphone tech(Kyocera 7135, woo!) and he was able to have his whole life changed in a fundamental way with tech that was conceived for business productivity.

2
TeMPOraL 1 day ago 2 replies      
Absolutely great; thanks 'ingve for posting it.

One thing that IMO should be modified is the dependency on Twilio. I don't know how it is in the US, but Android users in Europe should not need an Internet connection for sending text messages - the phone is capable of doing it by itself. I think it's more common to be without Internet access but with mobile service than the other way around.

EDIT: submitted the suggestion as a GitHub issue.

3
NamTaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
My partner died 3 months ago, presumably due to complications of a tonic-clonic seizure. She was in the room next to me with a door closed because she was feeling unwell with a headache for the two days prior and so was dozing in bed. I was either doing the vacuuming or playing a video game at the time. This technology may have allowed me to save her as I would've seen/felt the text message and been able to provide first aid to her immediately.

For those of us who have to live with a loved one who suffers seizures, thank you to the author for making this and thank you ingve for sharing it. Hopefully it can avert a tragedy like mine for someone else in the future.

4
jon-wood 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing I really liked here was the run through of failure modes in the readme, its refreshing to see the limitations of some software listed up front rather than glossed over.
5
etjossem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Although my epilepsy is well-controlled, a breakthrough seizure is still a possibility. An app like this could really help me out of a tough spot. Cheers to you for building it!

For many patients, it's important to record how long their seizures last - to escalate/911 if needed, and also after the fact to aid diagnosis and treatment. I could see this app playing a role there too. After the event, the Pebble might prompt the wearer/responder whether to log it as a seizure, which would (mostly) automate the seizure log recommended by Epilepsy Society.

6
MrSourz 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to me that I've now seen two projects for Pebble built around this concept.[1] I think this is in part due to the approachability of developing on Pebble's platform. They've got a really great cloud IDE [2]

[1] now on iPhone too http://neutun.com/[2] https://cloudpebble.net/

7
PbblSzrDtct 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi all! I am the author of this software. I didn't submit this to Hacker News -- someone else must have! Thank you, whoever you are. I'll try to answer the other questions in the thread now.
8
neves 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations!!! It can't see a better use of technology and open source than this one. I'm really touched.
9
gchorba 1 day ago 1 reply      
Awesome work, best write up of this type of project I have seen yet.But its been done before:https://github.com/OpenSeizureDetector/OpenSeizureDetector
10
wyldfire 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is pretty cool, good job!

 // A sqrt function I got from the web that uses integers only (since Pebble emulates floating point math)" [1]
Pebble has a soft-float implementation? So is this integer sqrt approximation is faster than the soft-float one?

[1] https://github.com/PebbleSeizureDetect/PebbleSeizureDetect/b...

11
whyleyc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks for putting this out there - looks fantastic for hackers like me with partners who suffer from epilepsy.

If you are interested in wearable tech and epilepsy you should also check out the "Embrace Watch" [1] - It measures electrical conductivity across the skin of a person wearing the watch and is able to use that as a proxy for heightened electrical activity within the brain (which can be indicative of a tonic-clonic seizure). It pairs with phones to send SMS messages to nominated contacts as alerts.

It was developed out of MIT and is now being commercialized. I'm currently waiting to take delivery of this watch (from an IndieGoGo campaign last year), so can't speak to its effectiveness but I have high hopes, particularly since it doesn't just rely on motion. Motion detection is helpful, but by then it is too late for the person having a seizure as they have no warning to make themselves safe.

[1] https://www.empatica.com/embrace-watch-epilepsy-monitor

12
muglug 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is amazing, and very important this year I lost a friend to a seizure that might not have been fatal had they been found sooner.
13
codeulike 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is great.

There are commercial devices that work along similar lines, such as http://smart-monitor.com which is bought as a $20 per month subscription. But something open running on a platform like pebble is much more interesting.

14
bucma 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is really cool.

My wife died of a tonic-colonic seizure 11 years ago. Something like this might have saved her.

15
deelowe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hrmm... Real time health monitoring could finally be the truly compelling reason to wear smart watches.
16
noir_lord 1 day ago 0 replies      
My previous partner used to suffer seizures of this type, this would have been incredible as often the only way I knew she'd had a seizure would be if she text me after she'd recovered, that was a terrifying thing considering they could hit at any time and any where.
17
n00b101 1 day ago 1 reply      
How is development/testing done for this software? Is there a test data set of seizures to test against?
18
chaqke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've heard several mentions of this over the years as one of the better use cases for devices. Sometimes it takes having a problem really close to your life to drive that devotion - I'm glad someone spent the time and effort to solving this.
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MrZongle2 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a father of a child with epilepsy* and who has observed many tonic-clonic seizures, I'm horrified by the thought of being an independent adult who would have to deal with them on a regular basis. So I can't upvote this enough; I feel as if epilepsy is one of the red-headed stepchildren in the age of AIDS awareness and pink-colored campaigns everywhere.

Kudos. This is awesome.

* More specifically, Myoclonic Astatic Epilepsy (MAE), which he appears to have been lucky enough to have outgrown, though I don't know if saying he "had" epilepsy (past tense) is accurate (or even relevant to the discussion).

Sheryl Sandberg Says an MBA Doesn't Matter in Tech bloomberg.com
206 points by jackgavigan  20 hours ago   134 comments top 32
1
c0achmcguirk 16 hours ago 12 replies      
I'm a developer at a financial services company. I was content to be a developer and let the "business" folks define our stories and I'd just code them. I never understood the application I was building on a deep level--it was always superficial.

A friend convinced me to take a few MBA classes at a local university. The first class was accounting. It opened my eyes to understanding what our product and business owners were saying on my projects at work. Now I could understand the "why" behind the screens I was building! I asked questions that made them re-think their screen mockups. Since then I've graduated and taken classes in Finance, Leadership, Economics, and my favorite: Strategy.

I use more knowledge from my MBA in my coding career than the stuff I learned in my undergrad in Computer Engineering.

In my experience, an MBA doesn't make me a better "coder." But it has given me confidence and competence in my interactions with customers and the leadership team. I'm very glad I took the time and effort to pursue my MBA.

2
eitally 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I've never worked with MBAs before, in all my tech career, which included stints as a programmer and then a long period as a manager/director where I was in a much more business-oriented role. I always had a preconception that "MBA" essentially meant "management consultant", those high-priced guys who were paid to support bad news the CEO didn't want to seem came from himself. Restructuring advisement is certainly a valid role business consultants fulfill, but it's definitely not the only one, or even one of the more common ones.

I joined Google this summer and I have 2 ex-consultant MBAs in the team I'm managing, along with a third employee who is ex-BCG-but-no-MBA. They are awesome. They freaking rock at analysis, and are highly skilled at asking good & pointed questions to help nail down business opportunities & good/bad ideas. Two of them have technical BSes (EE & CS) and are fantastic PMs: well organized, analytical, strong communicators, outgoing, and perhaps most importantly, they know when they're weak in an area and how to recruit complimentary team members.

This by no means should be considered advice that everyone needs an MBA, that all MBAs are equal, that all tech PMs need an MBA, or even that all Google MBAs are good at their jobs, but MINE ARE, and they'd be much less proficient if they hadn't spent that extra two years in business school (along with tech internships both years). Just like everything else, people need to set goals and work appropriately to achieve them. For some individuals this will suggest an MBA; for many others, not so much.

Honestly, the biggest piece of business school advice I'd offer anyone is that if you can't get into or afford a top tier school, don't bother paying a school at all. Just try to DIY it the best you can. The gap between what students get out of the tier 1 programs and everything else (with a few notable exceptions) is immense.

I'm not counting exec MBA programs at all. They're specifically targeted at people who are already execs and just look to amp up certain skills (M&A, international development, etc).

3
ryandrake 12 hours ago 2 replies      
> Sandberg suggested a career in tech might not even be necessary to catch Facebooks attention. We don't look for a specific background or skill-set when we make hiring decisions, she wrote. As my friend and Instagram COO Marne Levine says, we hire athletes and cross-train them.

From a randomly selected job posting on Facebook's web site:

 Requirements B.S. or M.S. Computer Science or related field Experience building high-performance, large-scale server applications and reliable software Expert knowledge developing and debugging in C++ End-to-end experience in online ad serving and background in online advertising/auction theory strongly preferred Knowledge of Perl, PHP, or Python a plus Knowledge of Hadoop/MapReduce a plus

4
rayiner 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm always skeptical about stuff like this. Sandberg's springboard into her career was two-fold: working at McKinsey after HBS, and working under Larry Summers, who was her thesis advisor at Harvard UG. She went to Google as a VP after her stint in government.

There is a huge "getting your foot in the door" advantage to that credential. I can totally believe she didn't use much of what she learned at HBS in what she did at Google. But would she ever have gotten that VP job at Google without that sterling resume?

5
n3on_net 18 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder if she would still become COO of Facebook without Harvard MBA and all the oportunities resulted from it.

MBA is probably really not necessary, but if you have the oportunity to do one on a top school, it may open some doors and expand your network. At least it has no negative effects (if you can efford it).

Especially if you have technical background and want to move to management position. It simply diversifies your background and strengthens signaling.

6
swingbridge 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Honestly the MBA has always mostly been an advanced degree for people who didn't get an advanced degree in a real subject. Lets people tick the 'grad school' box. The real world value has always been quite questionable and yes I'd agree here that in tech it's mostly useless, if not actually even a disadvantage.

For what's it's worth nearly all the excellent executives I've met over the years didn't have an MBA and nearly all the worst ones did...

7
anjc 11 hours ago 3 replies      
It confuses me endlessly that MBAs should be so misunderstood by so many people, it being suggested that they are only good for networking, that people with MBAs are cold and evil, and so on. They're simply a course which teach you the fundamentals of several areas which are relevant to business. It'd be like saying that a degree in CS would be superfluous for somebody who wants to program. If you love programming, then you'll get value from every aspect of a CS degree. Likewise for an MBA and business. Also, truly they only teach the fundamentals. An MBA's exposure to marketing/accounting/management would be far more diluted than that of an 18 year old who pursues a degree in one of these specific areas, so I'm not sure why people seem to be so threatened by the MBA.

It's also funny to read in the article that Thiel has said MBAs are useless, because his books are a joke when compared to the most basic business courses. It's also laughable that Sandberg would say this, having already gotten an education from a place which has been central to business trends globally for decades. It's likely that Facebook et al would not exist without HBS and similar institutions in the US.

8
noir-york 16 hours ago 0 replies      
> She said her MBA helped her get a basic sense of business, which might be instrumental for some people and in some situations, but dismissed the notion that the training would offer a leg up at Facebook.

My background is economics (and political philosophy) - and I work in tech - first as a programmer, the product manager, and now as founder: knowing economics has been useful in my roles as PM and founder.

Everyone should know some basic economics - micro-econ concepts such as marginal utility, producer/consumer surplus - as its useful for business.

And everyone should know basic macro stuff (interest rates/GDP/etc) because in a democracy it pays to have informed citizens.

An MBA, however, is overkill.

9
efraimip 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree 100% with Sheryl.I'm a 7 time serial entrepreneur.built a few big ones.the only bad/failed ones were because of MBA leaders in the company.the only good ones were with techies leading who learned through experience the practical application of scientific business practices.

99% of all top tech company CEO's are techies who learned practical business through experience --- and are not MBAs.

Sheryl Sandberg knows exactly what she's talking about.MBA was designed for corporate middle management.No need for that in a startup - especially at founder level.

Now I invest in startups. I do not invest in MBA founders. I'm doing very good investing.

Its simple. Every logical argument says the same.

10
xivzgrev 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Then why do several prominent tech companies have MBA preferred in their business job postings? I noticed maybe 9 months ago during a job search.

I also have a friend who is MBA and works at FB. They have a whole formal program set up for them.

So while it may not be advantangeous per Se I think companies do use it as a proxy for character traits or pattern of achievement. Because of that it is an advantage. Even if not if they have a formal Recruiting program then IT is an advantage.

11
marcus_holmes 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm in startup tech, I have an MBA, and I agree. The qualification itself is largely irrelevant.

More to the point, most of what I was taught in my MBA course is irrelevant to a bootstrapping startup using Lean/Customer Development methods.

12
stvswn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is it that every couple of weeks the tech world has to re-adjudicate the MBA argument? Is it just a fun debate? Why do so many people care about other people's degrees?

I have an MBA, I normally go around saying it doesn't matter. Mostly it's because bragging about your MBA is douchey, and we know it. I don't feel like people I work with care either way.

13
asfandyaar 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess an MBA is more for networking and opening doors, and not necessarily for important job skills.
14
thedogeye 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Taking two years out of your life to study business full-time will improve your business judgement. That this is controversial always surprised me.
15
therealchiko 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Sheryl might be missing the point that it depends with where you're coming from. Career paths differ and I think it's hyperbolic to reduce it to one "true" way and discredit some things from a privileged position.

A lot of top execs do have the credentials often dismissed so I'm not personally sure they'd be there without that kind of education.

The value of attending business school (assuming it's a top school) might be more related to "outside" factors such as more opportunities, tapping into good networks and of course, involvement in different disciplines with all the resources you need to grow your thinking and expertise.

What I am concerned about is that some statements can easily be taken the wrong way by people who honestly would benefit from MBAs. Facebook not choosing or using an MBA as main criteria is fine, but Facebook is not the only company that matters and i'm sure having an MBA does also not discredit you in their eyes.

16
the_watcher 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The biggest value an MBA provides (and this is not me claiming it does or doesn't provide other value) is that companies recruit out of them. If you are looking to make a career change, it can be tough to get considered for roles you might do well in, given your lack of experience, but companies are demonstrably more willing to hire into roles without relevant work experience if coming from a solid MBA program.
17
DannoHung 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Corporations are legal constructs that require specific domain knowledge to correctly administer and develop. MBAs are ostensibly targeted at that (in the same way Computer Science degrees are ostensibly targeted at teaching you domain knowledge to think and reason about the specific mathematics that underlie computers and software).

What you get out of them and their utility probably is very contextual in the same way any degree is.

My suspicion is that for many roles and at many times in a technology business, the utility is low, but that for some roles at some times, it is quite high.

Ultimately, the thing that's might be funky is that if you hire someone for their expertise in domains pertinent to MBAs, you are putting them very close to having control of the legal construct of your business. Like a sysadmin, you need to place a lot of trust in them to ensure they are doing their job correctly if you don't have the domain knowledge to provide careful oversight.

18
davnicwil 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Aside from the value of the degree itself, can anyone attest to the usefulness of any particular knowledge gained from doing an MBA, particularly around running small companies and startups? If so, any recommendations for resources, books etc?

This whole issue (usefulness of MBA in tech management) sounds very similar to the usefulness of CS degree in development issue. We can talk all day about the effect the CS degree has on getting jobs in the first place, but putting that entirely aside, as a developer with a CS degree, I can certainly point to some very useful things for the job that I learned in the course of doing the degree, and I could tell somebody without a CS degree what those were and where to read about them. Ignoring the entire issue of whether or not the 'piece of paper' would help them in their career, this knowledge certainly would.

If anyone (MBA or not) has any such advice, I'd be very grateful to hear it!

19
germinalphrase 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a common perspective in this thread that XYZ skills/knowledge are useful to understand (even if one's not seeking the social signaling associated with a top tier MBA).

Can anyone post some favored texts/resources for self-directed learning?

What do we include in the HN home-brew MBA?

20
jheriko 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this depends on the kind of person you are, as well as the field you are in.

If you can learn things for yourself effectively then there are a whole range of degree level courses which are completely unnecessary. In fact, not wasting your time with them, can be an advantage of its own...

Although even then... its always good to have others with experience teaching you. Regardless of the subject matter.

There is no 'rocket science' in business and there is plenty of material available to learn from.

21
mercurialshark 14 hours ago 0 replies      
As many have noted, it's not necessarily 1:1 useful in the context of advanced skills training. However unsavory, many mid to large tech companies have a relatively high concentration of engineers who later received MBA's in very senior positions. So yes - the cliche that it's a way to climb the corporate ladder can still ring true for tech, if the tech company you want to work for is structured in the conventional way.
22
onesixtythree 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I have to disagree with this claim. Leverage matters immensely. The truth about "merit" is that no one knows how to assess it, so people judge based on external leverage and status, and having an MBA from a top-5 school gives a person a huge advantage.

If you're a walk-on for a $250,000-per-year sinecure, then they're going to give you a real tech job, and not some lowly code-the-stories position.

23
samfisher83 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Would she be where she is without her Harvard MBA? Its not all about the education. Its about the doors it opens and the connections you make.
24
pbreit 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, it matters. It can easily be a hindrance because the thinking required by large business, consulting and wall street is quite different that that required to get a business off the ground.
25
xacaxulu 16 hours ago 0 replies      
In a tech consultancy, especially if you are in the payments space or do any work with financial institutions can be very helpful. Closely defined, yes it doesn't seem helpful in tech alone but we work in/for businesses and our software solutions are often used by business. Understanding overarching business drivers is very helpful.
26
secondbond 18 hours ago 0 replies      
To be honest, you don't need MBA in management too.
27
oldmanjay 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think of Sheryl Sandberg as an ad exec who happened to get into tech at the right time. I'm not really aware of any technical bona fides, just the usual executive ability to extract money from technical processes for personal gain.

Am I missing something?

28
allsystemsgo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have 3/4 of an MBA. Stopped with just an MS in IT Management. I could finish it but, didn't seem that useful.
29
ramanamit1234 11 hours ago 0 replies      
People need a general business understanding for most jobs, even government jobs.
30
harryf 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Once could make the argument that having an MBA is actually a hinderance in tech...
31
gtpasqual 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people with a top-tier MBA would never wanna work in tech.

Sure, it may seem interesting to be an executive in Facebook, but that is not nearly as lucrative (and interesting) as working in trades or billion dollars deals in finance.

32
kabouseng 18 hours ago 4 replies      
>> "Sandberg suggested a career in tech might not even be necessary to catch Facebooks attention. We don't look for a specific background or skill-set when we make hiring decisions, she wrote. As my friend and Instagram COO Marne Levine says, we hire athletes and cross-train them.

So how does one interpret this? It sounds like she doesn't really have a good idea as to what makes a great employee, and falls back to magic catch phrases, altough this is probably an industry (actually multiple industries) wide problem currently (How to identify a great employee a-priori).

So if she doesn't really know what makes for great employees, is her advice about MBA's really relevant then?

IMHO yes MBA's have a bad rap, but just like everything the knowledge you gain from a MBA program can open your mind to thinking about problems in a whole different way. A lot of techies have no concept of how the business side of the industry works, and it would not be a bad thing to understand it. But you can also gain that awareness from a couple of good books on the subject, not just from attending a MBA.

Just for completeness the other advantage of a MBA is the network, which is another discussion. (Of value for the person, not necessarily for the business, which is the point of the article)

There's Math.random(), and then there's Math.random() v8project.blogspot.com
218 points by v33ra  15 hours ago   96 comments top 14
1
ifcologne 14 hours ago 4 replies      
A worth to read article by [Mike Malone](https://medium.com/@betable/tifu-by-using-math-random-f1c308...) explains the problem with Math.random() in more detail.

Quoting Donald Knuth / The Art of Computer Programming:

> Many random number generators in use today are not very good. There is a tendency for people to avoid learning anything about such subroutines; quite often we find that some old method that is comparatively unsatisfactory has blindly been passed down from one programmer to another, and todays users have no understanding of its limitations.

2
zeveb 12 hours ago 5 replies      
It seems to me that defaulting to a non-CSPRNG these days is a premature optimization: for many purposes a decent CSPRNG (e.g. Fortuna) is fast enough, and avoids all the pitfalls of a non-secure or poorly-random generator.

Maybe it's time to have Math.random and equivalents call a CSPRNG, with a Math.insecurerandom when performance matters?

3
dspillett 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Do be sure to note the mention that the new algorithm is not considered a cryptographically secure PRNG.

Also because the specification has very little by way of requirements in that regard, no matter how good some implementations may be you should always assume you code may end up being used in an environment where Math.random() is no better than the worst generator you can think of.

If you need specific properties in your PRNG then you still need to provide something in place of Math.random().

4
nraynaud 13 hours ago 2 replies      
>"Please keep in mind, if you find areas of improvement in V8 and Chrome, even ones thatlike this onedo not directly affect spec compliance, stability, or security, please file an issue on our bug tracker."

Worst idea ever, this not-a-real-bug got a correction in just a few days without even being in the bug tracker, while there are real bugs stalled for years in the tracker. Writing a blog post and making a lot of noise on the internet works way better than using the bug tracker.

5
nathan_long 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I wondered how the "static" visualizations were produced, then noticed the link under the image: http://bl.ocks.org/mmalone/bf59aa2e44c44dde78ac

There you can see the code and watch it run. Neat!

6
Someone1234 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This article[0] hints that Microsoft's Edge browser might also being using MWC1616, or something else that has a lot of the same limitations. Hopefully they jump on the xorshift128+ ship.

[0] https://lwn.net/Articles/666407/

7
dvt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Somewhat related, I wrote a blog post about (P)RNGs a few years ago: http://dvt.name/2010/clock-drift-hardware-prng/. It's interesting to se V8 favor accuracy over speed.

I'd think that having a "secure" random number generator isn't that important of a deal given the fact that all code runs client-side anyway (so why the need for cryptographic security?).

8
blixt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For people concerned with cross-browser reproducibility as well as resuming a PRNG between sessions (e.g., to reproduce random sequences in replays or multiplayer), check out arbit, an NPM package I made. It performs close to Math.random and uses floats for state internally for max resolution (i.e., length and number of unique sequences):

https://github.com/blixt/js-arbit

I would also recommend running the provided DieHarder test, which is crafted to measure the quality of PRNGs.

9
evilpie 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Jan also wrote about this http://jandemooij.nl/blog/2015/11/27/math-random-and-32-bit-... in the context of Spidermonkey.
10
jakub_g 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion (from one month ago) on the referred article with discovery of the bug:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10598065

11
mring33621 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty sure I saw the 'After' picture in the mall, circa 1992. If you cross your eyes and look 'through' it just right, you'll see the sailboat.
12
jacobolus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there an explanation anywhere of what technical or other criteria they used to pick xorshift128+? I havent seen any from the handful of blog posts, etc. Ive seen about the change. [...] having understood the problem and after some research, we decided [...] is hardly a persuasive analysis.

Were any professional experts on PRNGs asked for advice?

13
stevebmark 11 hours ago 3 replies      
The first one looks more random to me? It has more runs. There was some article (can't remember the source) about generating a random coin flip - the way to tell the difference between a real physical coin flip and a computer is that the real physical flip will have a lot of runs, like 10 times in a row where you get heads. A computer random will attempt to "even out" the spectrum. The two images presented in the article looked similar to these but were reversed, true random looked more like a pattern, while computer generated random looked more like even noise.

TL;DR long strings of repeated results are a sign of true randomness. Am I misinterpreting the relationship between that and this article?

14
cdnsteve 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This kind of stuff seems scary to me. One JavaScript engine decides to use this algorithm, another that. This type of change could lead to higher potential of bugs and unexpected behaviour, the average developer just can't figure out when say, using Firefox or Chrome for testing.

When algorithms are getting tinkered with behind the scenes, this leads me to believe there's still way too much churn in the JS space.

Holiday Gift Ideas from Y Combinator ycgiftideas.com
197 points by t-3-k  8 hours ago   113 comments top 34
1
jl 4 hours ago 8 replies      
Rather than responding to everyone's complaints about the site: I whipped this together in less than a day, I was mostly focused on content, no one at YC who usually makes beautiful designs was available to help, I can't program, I'm using Strikingly, this is version 1.

I'm happy to get feedback, but please go easy on me. We will plan much further in advance next year and make it easy to scroll through ideas and look beautiful and not be annoying in the countless ways it seems to be currently :)

2
jl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry, not sure what happened but right after I launched this, my computer crashed! My blog post: https://blog.ycombinator.com/holiday-gift-ideas-from-y-combi...

This was a lot of fun and came together really fast given the time constraints. Colleen was amazing and did the write-ups quickly. I've been working frantically to get this out. Still needs work though. Please send comments. But first, I need to go drink some water as I haven't left my desk in many hours.

UPDATE: as I suspected, my inbox is exploding with emails from other YC startups with gift ideas. Will update as fast as I can.

3
trevmckendrick 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand any of the negatively about the items or the site.

I just sent the site to my mom. She could pick anything and it'd be a great gift, it's that good.

4
karmacondon 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great idea, but it seems like it would be more effective if there were fewer items listed. It took me quite a bit of effort to go through the list from top to bottom.

An unsolicited suggestion: Maybe it would be best to have to "Buy From YC Companies" page or something like that, and then just select 6-8 of them on a separate "for the holidays" page. At least that way an everyday consumer could quickly scan the list without having to read 20+ startup descriptions (which can be tiring, even for the hn crowd).

Personally, I thought it was worth the read. I had no idea that many of these companies were YC backed, or that some of them existed at all.

5
run4yourlives2 6 hours ago 9 replies      
I look at this site and a part of me thinks that there is a segment of the population that is seemingly incapable of doing very basic things like sleeping, cooking or buying clothes without being handheld by the computer in their phone.

I'm being a little overboard of course, but I really wonder how dependent we will be on our machines to survive at all in a generation or two.

6
colmvp 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Some great ideas here.

I really like Level Frames. Will definitely use them in the future for my space.

The site makes me wish YC kept a publicly filterable curated list of products from YC companies that included these things like pretty images and a tagline that captures exactly what the company does.

7
janus24 7 hours ago 0 replies      
In France we almost have the same thing, it's call Nol de la French Tech [1] (Christmas of the French Tech). It's been three years now and it's wonderful to find Made In France christmas gift !

[1] http://noeldelafrenchtech.fr

8
abuehrle 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Oh man, Pantelligent is the perfect gift for one of my family members, but it's backordered until next year! Such a bummer. Wish I knew about it sooner.
9
socialist_coder 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It pains me to see so many "first world problem" solvers. Nothing can illustrate the problem of the startup tech industry not tackling "real problems" like this list.

And hey, I can't even talk; I make freemium mobile apps so it's not like I'm solving real problems either.

It just sucks and I wish it was sexier and more profitable to go after real problems rather than silly stuff like e-sheets or digital frying pans that perfectly cook your grass feed beef steaks.

10
secondbond 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Fantastic. I am surprised to learn that people gift condoms too for christmas.
11
taneem 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be fairer to the companies at the bottom of the list if you had the list randomly resort itself with each page load, instead of being rendered in alphabetical order.
12
physcab 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for putting this together. I peruse HN pretty much everyday and I haven't heard of half of these products. Pretty neat.
13
bdegman 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Wish this was posted a week ago :)
14
caskance 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading the description of Memebox after it caught my eye while scrolling was by far the largest disappointment I've had today.
15
duck 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Honest question - how does something like Level Frames (and lots of others I see here that I've never heard of) meet this definition of a startup - http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html?
16
darrelld 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The LeTote link is broken. Goes to ttps//letote.com/gift_cards

:)

17
sotojuan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
give me tap! looks perfect for me. Guess I'm getting myself a small gift.
18
cpach 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. So many YC companies I had never heard of!
19
hn9780470248775 7 hours ago 3 replies      
SkyMall is back!
20
lkfnlkewmf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Isn't what sirum is doing illegal?
21
bduerst 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Can you print the Spark Gift out at all?

This is perfect for a gift exchange.

22
__jal 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Typo on the Pebble ad. "...models are 20% just"
23
kissickas 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool idea, some great products there.

But why would pre-order only items be included in this time-sensitive list?

As a side note, I am shocked at how non-HN-user-friendly most of these sites are. I saw an insane number of tracking scripts blocked and most were rendered completely unusable without JS.

24
thesimon 6 hours ago 1 reply      
SparkGift seems to be for US-residents only. Does someone know an alternative for Europe?
25
vacri 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As an aside, gift certificates/cards aren't particularly suitable for a 'gift idea' list. Gift cards are what you give when you can't think of anything.
26
simplexion 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't bother with that automatic device. It is very expensive for a bluetooth odb2 device. You can buy them for bugger all on Amazon and buy the Torque app for $5.
27
teddyh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of the pictures are ridiculous:

The Pantelligent picture just shows a picture of a box with Pantelligent written on it, not the actual product.

The uBiome one is straight-up meaningless clip-art (of a robot holding a wrapped present) with the company logo badly pasted on. Sure, the nature of the product makes it hard to get a picture of it, but the clip-art could most certainly have been chosen better.

The Craft Coffee one only shows pictures of text-only ads for the product, not what you would get when you actually subscribe.

28
yoodenvranx 6 hours ago 7 replies      
Sorry for ranting, but this type of modern webdesign and "user interface" is _horrible_.

Who in their right mind thinks that putting a button called "Show me the list" dead center of the page? Hey guys, I have a novel idea: instead of adding a button, just _show_ me that list!

And do you know what happens if you press that button? The website scrolls down a ~300 pixels and then you can see the first 1.8 entries of that list!? F*ck this shit! You have ~900 vertical pixels at your disposal and all you manage to do is to show me TWO lousy items?

I actually tried to scroll down the list and it took me FORTYFOUR (!) scrolls of my mouse wheel to reach the end of the page. 44 scrolls to see a list of just 40 items?! This is horrible! In what world do you live if you think that this is a good user experience.

There is a lot of stuff killing the web right now, but one of the things nobody ever talks about is this horrible "modern" design which is nothing more than a wasteland of white padding, waste of space, way too large fonts and oversized picture banners which take way too much bandwidth too load.

In my opinion we should introduce a whitespace-to-content or padding-to-content ratio which punishes bad webdesign.

Another offender for this is medium.com. Yes, it has good content, but you have to hunt for it in the wast amount of padding and oversized images.

Just go and have a look at the mediums frontpage. What do you see? A few words, two buttons and a large image. In order to see any content you have to scroll down and even then they manage to only show you 2 items at the same time. If you want to see more you have to scroll constantly.

/rant

29
ColinWright 7 hours ago 2 replies      
31
notliketherest 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This website design makes me feel queasy.
32
praveenster 7 hours ago 0 replies      
L better not a beta product.
33
therobot24 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> Eight is a smart bed cover that learns about you and improves and personalizes your sleep experience -- you can even program one side of the bed to be a different temperature than the other. Starting at $249, Eight is available now for pre-order and set to ship in April 2016.

LOL wut?

After scrolling through the rest, this has to be one of the best collections of first-world problem junk.

34
lquist 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Honest question: Are you serious?

What kind of person thinks to themselves, "Man, I really wish I had a gift idea list based on a particular financial investor."

Let's Create a Better Product Hunt docs.google.com
214 points by BetterLaunch  2 days ago   98 comments top 25
1
minimaxir 2 days ago 5 replies      
As the person who started the Product Hunt beatdown last thread, and would like nothing more than to see a good PH competitor, I regrettably have a few issues with this.

1. The hypothetical example you give about the Financial Times writing favorable stories for investors is an example of conflict of interest, which is a different issue than the elitist exclusivity discussed last thread. (And much more gray)

2. As noted in the previous thread, both Reddit and Hacker News are transparent in terms of submission moderation, which is what is being proposed here. (Albeit less modern)

3. Having an anonymous account post this Google Doc does not build trust in that you could build a competitor. There is more to building a link aggregator ranking system than following a Rails tutorial.

4. Having random people come together to build an idea just because they can doesn't work well. That's why Idea Sundays stopped on HN.

My dream startup would be an optimized link aggregator; the use of upvotes as a statistic for quality is why I spent so much time doing data analysis on Reddit and HN data. But this isn't the way to build a competitor.

2
volaski 2 days ago 1 reply      
The problem with these criticism is that they seem to be coming from people who have no idea how Product Hunt works. If you have ever actually had your product featured on PH you would know better than this. Here's how Product Hunt works:1. There are many of those so called "Insider" users.2. Then there is a 2nd tier group of users who can comment.3. Then there's the rest.

The tier 1 group is not as small as you think, and they are pretty diverse group of people from all around the world. When they post something, it goes up straight to the featured page. There is no censoring. They are definitely not paid by producthunt the company to submit these new products, they're merely users sharing what they discover. Their main incentive for posting on product hunt is to be the "first one" to discover a cool new app and share it with others. Now if you understood this, think about how ridiculous all your speculations are.

3
dewitt 2 days ago 4 replies      
I think that people here are way overestimating the importance of Product Hunt.
4
flashman 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like an unnecessarily negative way to pitch a positive service:

* anyone who missed the story on HN today would have no idea what this was about,

* leading with accusations that PH is an "elitist/bro community" is needless antagonism, but most of all,

* you're pitching a non-conflict of interest alternative to PH without revealing anything about yourself.

5
Alex3917 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think this is going to work. First, ProductHunt and HN are both basically fine as is. Second, the root cause of any issues that both have is basically the same -- almost no one reads or votes on stories from the new page, and the handful that do have all sorts of biases. The reason these communities are able to function despite this is that they have a combination of paid staff and trusted volunteers.

Third, the only way to significantly improve upon these sorts of communities would be to build them on the block chain. But the technology to do that doesn't yet exist.

6
touchofevil 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm working on a Product Hunt competitor at the moment and I'm looking for a technical co-founder. If anyone is interested, please email or DM me on twitter.
7
VeilEm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I keep seeing these references to money raised in the < $10 million range as if it were a big deal. $6 million dollars is a lot of money for an individual, but for a business it's not, especially not in the San Francisco area.

At $6 million you can hire and pay for about 10 to 15 people for a few years at a competitive salary and work from a not completely terrible office.

I'd like it if these posts weren't spreading "$N Millions of dollars!" fud so much as if it were some terrible wasteful thing. This is not someone's personal spending money that they're buying maseratis with, the founders do not get to use this money to buy themselves nice cars. It's not a life changing event, it's simply an opportunity to build a business.

8
nipponese 2 days ago 2 replies      
The web app behind PH is trivial. You still need a human to curate and build hype around the thing, and therein lies the problem. PH is rigged because Silicon Valley is rigged.
9
kumarski 1 day ago 1 reply      
My number one problem with producthunt, keeping in mind that I still love producthunt for the amount of traffic and customers it got us, is that you can't say anything negative in the comments.

Even if it relates to bad science, bad product, etc....

It's all very 'kumbaya' positive, which is fine.

That being said, I think ProductHunt will be sufficiently difficult to replicate.

10
yalogin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why is Product hunt such a big deal? Is it bigger than Techcrunch or some of these tech sites? Honestly, have not heard of it till now. This whole trip is just giving it more publicity.

I seriously want to know why someone should care about Product Hunt and what its impact and/or place is in the tech world.

11
benologist 2 days ago 2 replies      

 helps startups get their 15 minutes and puts them onto the path of success.
Has there ever been a startup whose success was because of a PH/HN/Reddit submission?

12
mwilcox 2 days ago 0 replies      
We already have one: Hacker News
13
codesushi42 2 days ago 0 replies      
How to build a better PH?

Revert to the old PH design. I hadn't checked the site for > 1 month. There is an incredible amount of noise and bloat in the new interface. And it needlessly looks too much like Kickstarter, which arguably has discoverability problems of its own.

14
andrewstuart 2 days ago 0 replies      
OK here is the business model for an "alternate PH":Organic listings, everything gets listed as long as it is not already seen, non-biased voting moves things to the top on a given day. Voting accounts must come from LinkedIn to at least have a chance of being authentic. Founders may choose to embargo their launch so their company isn't listed until they are ready.Revenue comes from paid listings where startups can pay more to have their startups listed on the right of the page, unconstrained by all the rules above that apply to organic listing.
15
thecupisblue 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is like the "we can't get into the cool club" kids starting their own "even cooler cool club". Life isn't fair, deal with it.
16
processing 2 days ago 0 replies      
If it attracts the same audience that upvoted a link shortner to the top post of the day - that adds your own branded image on links - please call it quits. Also can you ghost ban posts that have 20 people saying how awesome the app is? or maybe just call the site astroturfing.com.
17
lowglow 1 day ago 1 reply      
I tried building something similar on https://techendo.com I'm working on a refactor right now that serves a very cool experience. You can still sign up and give me some feedback.
18
untilHellbanned 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why was this `[Dead]`, preventing people from commenting? High level of irony on that.
19
altonzheng 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like that the intention behind this, but it seems so naive to me. What's preventing it from going down the path of product hunt... which I'm sure had a similar mission early on.
20
ilovefood 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on something, but I have troubles naming it. If someone has an idea just shout. It will be on Github
21
tim333 2 days ago 1 reply      
I just put up http://productvote.co

Just a Meteor Telescope app on Heroku at the moment. Any thoughts?

22
widgetic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's do it. Let's change the blue button from "GET IT" to "HAVE A LOOK"!
23
l33tbro 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome that you're stepping up to this chalkenge. Stuff like this is what I truly love about the internet.
24
intrasight 2 days ago 0 replies      
Your brain + Google search = best Product Hunt
25
zerocrat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great initiative. I signed up. Producthunt is now forever flawed. Hopefully we can build a more open community together.
Everyones been rejected these are our stories rejected.us
224 points by jon_kuperman  2 days ago   200 comments top 37
1
lkrubner 2 days ago 3 replies      
I love this, but it could go even further:

Blaine Cook was "rejected" from Twitter after years of hard work. But he faced an insane scaling problem, and most of us would look bad if we faced the same set of problems.

Steve Jobs was "rejected" by Apple after years of hard work.

Or my all time favorite:

John Lasseter was fired from Disney because he was too enthusiastic about cutting edge digital animation (rather than the traditional animation techniques for which Disney was famous), then he became head of Pixar, which got bought by Disney, and which took over Disney's animation, and so now he is head of animation at Disney. They fired him, but now he is back, and now he is in charge, because he was right.

Lots of great people do great work and then get fired. Getting fired doesn't mean they were wrong. Sometimes it simply means they were too right, and nobody wanted to hear it.

2
msoad 1 day ago 4 replies      
I was rejected by Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Skype and many more companies. I got rejected by Apple 3 times and two times with Facebook and Google.

I'm now working for Google.

One thing I can tell for sure, specially after interviewing others. It's all random. Most of interviewers make their mind about the candidate in seconds. If you are a charming person you have a good chance. If you are not a very likable person you have a very small chance.

3
laotzu 1 day ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of an old zen tale:

>There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. Such bad luck, they said sympathetically. Maybe, the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. How wonderful, the neighbors exclaimed. May be, replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. Maybe, answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the sons leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. Maybe, said the farmer.

The point being that when you become so upset with being turned down for a certain job you are setting yourself up to be let down by missing the big picture. The reality of the big picture is you have no idea how something that might seem like a great success might lead to great failure, or great failure might lead to great success.

4
sarciszewski 1 day ago 5 replies      
Eventually these folks got accepted though. I guess that's the moral we're supposed to take away from this: If you get rejected a lot, but you keep trying, you'll eventually be accepted?

If so, that's bullshit. The only reason we don't see any examples here of people who never get accepted is because they're invisible to the industry. Many of them probably ended up committing suicide or switching careers. (I've contemplated both more than I care to admit in polite company.)

We can't all be winners.

(But by that logic, we can't all be losers all the time either. You're probably somewhere in between both extremes.)

5
neofrommatrix 1 day ago 4 replies      
I recently interviewed at very hot container startup. I had 1 phone screen, 6 on-sites, and 2 follow up phone calls. I did well in the phone screen to be invited onsite. Apparently, I did great on the 6 interviews onsite and then they wanted to have a follow up phone call with a manager (30 mins). That was positive too. But, the last phone call was set up with the SVP who determined that I was not a good "culture fit" after 30 mins on the phone. This in spite of me having had wonderful technical conversations and interviews (including coding) - which I apparently rocked- with 6 engineers and 2 managers, and having very highly relevant experience working in the cloud (orchestration and networking). The SVP just swooped in and decided I was not a good fit.

I simply don't get interviews these days. Sigh! On to a better company.

6
kzhahou 1 day ago 2 replies      
Companies keep files on candidates, which generally makes sense for tracking purposes, but they can be counter-productive at the big companies.

I go in and apply. I meet with 6 people out of thousands, representing 1-3 teams out of hundreds. It doesn't work out, for any of <n> reasons, some of them just luck of the draw. But now my interview is in the system and will be forever referenced. I'm given a polite but non-informational "it's not a fit" and sent off to a competitor.

Idea: Big companies shift to lighter-weight interviews which aren't considered final. If you're good enough to make it to on-site and it doesn't work out (but there was lots of reasons to think it would have), then you get happily scheduled for another round in a few weeks or whenever, and Company tries to not leave you with a stigma of rejection.

This frequently happens with executive recruiting, but not at lower levels. At least, I haven't seen it. Instead we get so many stories like on this website, where it should have been obvious just by CV/portfolio alone that they were awesome developers.

7
jondubois 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interview processes are more about social skills than technical skill (even in engineering interviews).There is a huge amount of randomness involved - Maybe the HR person just didn't like your face!

It's mostly about understanding the company culture, reading the interviewer's face and trying to figure out what they want to hear as you go along (of course technical skills are a prerequisite).

The only time I didn't get an offer was because I asked for too much money.I think asking for more money is a good idea though; it weeds out all the frugal companies.

I think that if your success rate is 90%, it means you're not charging enough.You need to bring the price up and allow the success rate to drop - Then the average quality of offers will go up.

8
napperjabber 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have to say, after inheriting a code base from Max(@mxcl), its sad that anyone would reject him. Hes pretty much the guy that gave me the first sane introduction to cacoa programming. - That being said, I was rejected from a company because I hadn't used binutil in python. - I find I can pass any interview with a confident low voice more consistently than by showing my technical expertise. - People are interested in how well you assimilate into the culture of the workplace. Sometimes, that workplace culture needs to evoluve to include a more eclectic dev-background, or they risk alienating talented people. Alas, sometimes that evolution is not nessicary or its just to early for the company. - I've seen this happen to good devs and I've been on the receiving end of it. - Hiring isn't fun; you have to find someone who understands who you are. Inheriting trust is a lot faster then building trust and I find most companies don't have the time (sometimes ability ) to build that trust.
9
fffrad 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's interesting how in our current time, if you work at Twitter, facebook, google, or a famous start up, it is synonymous to "I made it".
10
5h 1 day ago 0 replies      
It happens the other way around also.

In an interview for a CTO type position a while ago, the only technical member of the interview panel was visibly aghast that I had never made a bootstrap theme - which, despite me explaining where that sort of task fits into the webapp ecosystem to the others, had already rubbed off on the rest of the panel. The extensive team/project building portfolio presented was irrelevant.

I thanked them for their time and didn't call back as I've had my fill of toxic work environments out there.

11
hmate9 1 day ago 2 replies      
The reason why there are so many rejections is because companies are trying to minimse the false positives instead of minimising the false negatives.
12
cryoshon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Being rejected from the top tier of technology companies and then landing in another top tier company doesn't seem so much like a genuine expression of angst over rejection but rather a bitter leer. But sure, the way work rejection is delivered is typically insensitive, and getting rejected sucks-- companies have no compassion for assets they don't want to use, and it's dehumanizing to realize you are utterly replaceable and plentiful as far as they are concerned.
13
s3nnyy 1 day ago 2 replies      
I live in Zurich and I used to code for a living. Now, I hire engineers for different startups in Switzerland.

As I got deeper into IT-recruiting, I realised that candidate filtering at the top of the funnel is fundamentally broken. Especially in Europe companies expect a CS degree and don't appreciate self-taught skills as much as in the US.

I am trying to change this. If you look for a tech-job in the most liveable city in the world, check out my story "8 reasons why I moved to Switzerland to work in IT" on http://medium.com/@iwaninzurich/eight-reasons-why-i-moved-to... or send me a mail to the mail-address in my HN-profile.

14
andrewstuart 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm a recruiter and I sometimes say that "recruiting is the business of rejection".

At any given moment I might have between 5 to 20 possible jobs that I'm searching for people for. In a given week I might receive 1,000 applicants.

It is incredibly hard to get anyone into a job and often great people are rejected for various reasons.

The Business of Rejection - that's recruiting.

15
tofupup 2 days ago 2 replies      
Being rejected a few times this week, this makes me feel a bit better. For one interview ... my brain decided to take the day off ... nerves I guess ... it was not pretty. Any who (sic) ... the show must go on ... back at it tomorrow morning wish me the best.
16
paulftw 2 days ago 1 reply      
Twitter - where most of these rejected people ended up?..
17
steven2012 1 day ago 1 reply      
Someone I know at Facebook said that they have something called "Overheard at Campus" or something like that, where people post funny things they hear on campus. They said that recently one of the posts was: "I am going into an interview. I am pissed. It's gonna be a reject from me." Which pretty much underscores how interviewing appears to be these days, especially at a company like Facebook.
18
fensterblick 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you for this site! I am going through the interview process now and there are times where I feel like a fraud. Some call this impostor syndrome. It's encouraging to read others who have travelled the same path I've been on.
19
jdoliner 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I was rejected at Amazon and other companies with no technical interviews because I wasn't a Java engineer.

That one seems pretty legit to me.

20
copperx 2 days ago 4 replies      
It's interesting how all these top companies insist on JS expertise, I didn't know that it was so important for an interview and that's something I need to work on.
21
spooningtamarin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love how Facebook HR rejected one of my acquaintances and then after he asked "Why?", the recruiter sent an email that was something along these lines: "Ok, may I schedule a technical interview in a week?".

Eventually he ended up being an engineer there.

My experience and rejection also indicated there's something arbitrary random going on in the interview process. Once a recruiter from Google commented my grades with a serious attidute, saying I should keep them as high (I was still a student) and I immediately realised that grades weren't even checked because my grades were horrible (GPA<3, ridiculous bible theology social classes ruined it for me) and if they cared I should get them higher.

22
lordnacho 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems to me like that best predictor of whether you'll get the thumbs up is social cues, rather than anything technical.

I went to an on-site at a major company, and there was a guy who just wouldn't smile. He also led me down the wrong way on the tech part, which is easy when you make zero facial gestures and talk like a robot. I figured it out eventually, it wasn't hard, but he dinged me.

With the other people it was just a breeze. We chatted about various low level performance things, about how the work environment is, and so on. The tech parts were easy, because you could tell whether you'd actually understood the problem correctly.

23
ryandrake 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd guess that over my nearly 20 year career, I've been rejected from more companies than most HNers have even applied to. I've listened to tons of employers tell me what they think I'm not capable of, and that was back when you would actually get personalized feedback from a failed interview. My grades, my lack of a "prestigious" education, my technical skills, my people skills, my background, my previous employment history, my potential, and, of course, the catch-all "cultural fit" have all been used as reasons that Company X was sure I'm an idiot. I don't let interview rejections bother me for even a millisecond anymore--it doesn't mean anything whatsoever, and I'm convinced getting hired at any given company is more of a dice roll than anything else.
24
hacknat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just want to confirm the sentiment about how subjective interviewing is. I recently switched to using a coding challenge instead of a traditional interview loop. I would take candidates out for coffee pitch them the team and position, ask them some questions about themselves and then explain how the challenge would work. The first time I did this I decided to give everyone the challenge, even people I was sure were going to eat it, just to give myself some good data about how tough the challenge was and if it needed to be tuned. I was shocked by how bad my tech-radar really was. Not so much on the upper end, I can spot the winners still. However some of the people who I thought would eat it did a lot better than I thought they would. It made me realize how subjective interview loops really are, with little to no chance of the interviewer to be shaken out of their biases if they don't want to be. Not that coding challenges are perfect, but I'm never going back. I will refuse to participate in interview loops now - on either end.
25
danharaj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was rejected for grad school after submitting half-hearted applications and now work as a fullstack Haskell developer. I didn't even know I would find it as satisfying as research.
26
andersonmvd 2 days ago 0 replies      
May be unrelated, but this is like my howihacked.info project that I launched three days ago, but with a different design and story focus. Anyway, I'm happy for that and these stories are cool as well. I'd suggest the story of the WhatsApp founder that wasn't hired by Facebook. Kudos :)
27
saurabhjha 1 day ago 0 replies      
The tiny 1 hour slot is not enough to judge candidates. As an interviewer, the best I can do is check if they communicate their ideas well and have they got done something interesting on their own.

It is sad that we still have to follow this broken process because of lack of any viable alternative.

28
f0rgot 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a current job seeker, this is doing wonders in helping me keep my head up.
29
kelvin0 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems to me chasing 'high profile' Tech company employment is setting yourself up for failure. Competing against thousand of applicants should not be viewed as 'failure' it's a mostly a number's game. Not saying you shouldn't apply to these companies, but you should also consider your odds and adjust your expectations accordingly. Also, we seem to identify way too much with the company we work for ... taking a step back from that helps balance your outlook.
30
jqm 2 days ago 4 replies      
Looks like (so far) nearly half the people shown wound up at twitter. Apply to twitter first?
31
arethuza 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many years ago I had an interview for a job I really wanted - all day event with chats with multiple people including the CEO. Pretty sure it was my chat with the CEO that killed my application. I was absolutely gutted.

8 years later the same chap was the first angel investor in the startup I co-founded and worked with us as Chairman for a number of years before the company was acquired.

I never did ask him if he remembered rejecting me!

32
devsquid 2 days ago 3 replies      
Getting turned down always feels shitty, but I try hard to not take it personally.

The whole you rejected me, but haha I'm better off comes across as pretty self-centered and entitled.

-edit- removed question,more

33
rekoros 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rejected in 2009 != rejected in 2015

You have to consider the time dimension and boom-bust cycle.

"I showed up at the store and they didn't let me in."

"Because it was closed!! You showed up at 3am!"

34
pinkunicorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't help noticing that a lot of people are from Twitter.
35
altonzheng 1 day ago 0 replies      
To be honest, this wouldn't make me feel much better after a rejection. I already know the process is sometimes arbitrary and up to luck.
36
aikah 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Oh no, highly skilled mostly white males experiencing temporary setbacks,

Here comes the racist right here. people get rejected all the time even when they are white, in fact, most of the people that get rejected for a job are white. I think you do not fool anyone anymore with this kind of narrative. It's tough for everybody, so don't make it about race or gender. Stop complaining and try harder.

And FYI, I'm black.

37
dang 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News. We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10743094 and marked it off-topic.
Martin Shkreli indictment [pdf] bloomberglaw.com
159 points by rayiner  10 hours ago   162 comments top 26
1
JayHost 9 hours ago 13 replies      
My first reaction to his arrest was joy and then I saw comments about him getting "beat up in jail" to put it lightly.

People who say those kinds of things are no better than him. Possibly worse.

The solution to dealing with people like him is to be able to separate them from society or fix the system so it can no longer be exploited so "easily".

He may have hurt a lot of people but it's been through proxy as far as we know. Like Drone strikes, if you can't see the damage you're doing you can't feel guilty about it.

Like Morgan on the Walking Dead. I do believe Martin is a good guy on the wrong path.

It's easy to come together to have shared hatred for this guy and it's hard to realize

I can do better as a human being with empathy towards someone who is broken; sad and probably doesn't understand why people hate him.

He's just being "successful" as it was always defined to him.

Like the Boston Bomber. Getting "Revenge" does not stop the perpetual cycle violence and misbehavior.

The Wolf of Wall Street was a glorification of this type of behavior and a lot of people saw Jordan in that movie as a "Hero"

2
the_hangman 9 hours ago 3 replies      
> On or about December 2, 2010, Investor 1 [...] asked SHKRELI in an emailabout, inter alia, the fund's assets under management and the names of its independent auditor and fund administrator. SHKRELI told Investor 1 that MSMB Capital had $35 million in assets under management and that the fund's independent auditor and administrator were Rothstein, Kass & Company, P.C. and NAV Consulting Inc., respectively. At the time of this representation, MSMB Capital did not have an independent auditor or administrator, and SHKRELI had lost through trading the approximately $700,000 that had been invested by the four Capital Limited Partners. In fact, as of November 30, 2010, the value of assets in MSMB Capital's bank and brokerage accounts totaled approximately $700.
3
danso 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Seriously disappointing news.

Shkreli seemed like such an obvious troll in how he defended his price gouging by saying that a CEO's role is to maximize profit for the benefit of shareholders...and yet did so in such an unnecessarily obnoxious way that if he truly were the uber-capitalist, he would know that bragging and drawing attention to what an asshole you are does not achieve the true capitalist goal. I would've bet money that in a year, he would reveal that his act was just a trolling piece of noble performance art to raise awareness of how evil corporations could be.

I'm holding out hope that getting arrested and indicted is still all part of his greater plan, though if so, it's a bit more elaborate than it needs to be, IMHO :)

4
elevensies 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a lawsuit a little while back [August], Retrophin, Inc. v. Shkreli, and reading the complaint it seems to be basically a litany of fraud, so wouldn't be surprised if these charges had a bunch of overlap with the earlier lawsuit -- although I haven't yet read the indictment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-17/retrophin-...

PDF of complaint: http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/download.html?id=214847399&...from: http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/2mxis2kze/new-york-southern...

Edit:

The Retrophin complaint also contains more detail about what happend with Merril Lynch:

24. Shkreli also had to contend with Merrill Lynch, which had sued him and MSMBCapital in connection with the Orex Trade (the Merrill Lynch Arbitration). Shkreli andMSMB Capital had entered into a settlement agreement with Merrill Lynch that required Shkreliand MSMB Capital to execute confessions of judgment in favor of Merrill Lynch. Theconfessions of judgment would not be filed if Shkreli and MSMB Capital timely paid the agreeduponsettlement amount. Shkreli funded the Merrill Lynch settlement and avoided the filing ofthe confessions of judgment by causing a $900,000 investment in Retrophin equity securitiesmade by MSMB Healthcare to be recharacterized as a loan, causing the loan to be repaidwith interest, and using the loan proceeds together with other money taken from Retrophin topay Merrill Lynch. See generally 47-58, infra.

5
steveplace 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope the investigation has been ongoing and didn't start as the result of political pressure.

Edit: No need to hope anymore. Grand jury started in January and investigations ongoing since 2012.

6
danielcampos93 9 hours ago 3 replies      
What I'm curious is how this affects the Wu Tang Clan's album he bought?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/10/business/media/martin-shkr...

7
kstrauser 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm very conflicted:

1) "Innocent until proven guilty" and "wow, that timing sure is convenient".

2) LOL. grabs a bucket of popcorn

8
eljimmy 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I watched his stream on Twitch about a month ago and he came across as a nice guy. Viewers were asking him for career path, post-secondary education, and bio-tech advice. He was responding to questions politely and seemed to be pretty chill.

From what the media reports on him and what I saw on Twitch, seems as though he may have a bit of a Jekyll-Hyde type personality.

9
drawkbox 8 hours ago 0 replies      
He was too loud about it and it was good to see how messed up the pricing game is in pharma from it. It brought tons of attention to it.

They want to sweep him under the rug and make everyone believe this is fixing something. This arrest is akin to Martha Stewart getting one of the few indictments from insider trading after events like Enron went down.

It is a show, it is a game, he played it too loudly. He became the public fall guy show piece in my opinion. Going after him for a multi-year SEC investigation right when he made another big price change? Too much attention was brought to drug pricing and controls, and they had something on him.

10
chriscappuccio 9 hours ago 3 replies      
The indictment makes it obvious that this started long before Daraprim was in the news. I'd say this isn't politically motivated, at least not for that reason alone.
11
davesque 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Interesting that the crime which was "serious" enough to motivate law enforcement was theft of capital, NOT drug price gouging. It had nothing to do with Daraprim. Of course, Mr. Shkreli's recent popularity in the headlines may have greased the wheels of this investigation a bit.

Update: As has been pointed out, this comes as no surprise since this kind of price gouging is perfectly legal.

12
dustingetz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't Martin doing exactly what the rest of the pharma industrial complex is doing - extracting money from insurance companies by working the healthcare system? You can't personify the pharma industrial complex, Pfizer doesn't have a human face or name, but Martin does, so we direct our hatred of the complex at him. Am I wrong? Misplaced hatred does nobody any good, and none of the social media commentary I've seen has expressed a nuanced understanding of why singling out Martin is justified.
13
chad_strategic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I know everybody is happy to see Martin in Jail. (I'm indifferent)

It makes you feel good, you feel justice has been served.

But let me give a harsh dose of reality, if he is going to court/jail, shouldn't most of the Wall St. bankers be in jail.

Including every bodies favorite banker John Corzine. http://www.newsweek.com/stalking-jon-corzine-317733

So before you feel good about feeling good, let's not forget that many bankers walk free in society and this is more of click bait story, just saying.

14
lquist 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Honest question: why is this of interest to HN outside of schadenfreude?
15
roddux 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Posted earlier with a slightly easier-to-digest summary at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10753102

In short, he was arrested for securities fraud. This isn't related to his price-hiking antics, rather it involves his work running pharmaceutical companies and lying to investors.

16
livingparadox 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who need it translated from legal, I found this article which helps explain it a more concise way.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-crime-shkreli-idUSKBN0...

17
datashovel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
While I can't argue the indictment is a bad thing, I think at best it helps point out that, as long as you're not "too big", government is more than happy to go after you.
18
CPLX 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When they indict your lawyer too you know you really fucked up.
19
sakopov 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who thinks that this guy needs psychiatric attention, not jail? Every time i saw an interview conducted with this man he seemed like a complete psychopath.
20
micwawa 8 hours ago 1 reply      
When dealing with sociopaths, you have think of them like diseases and not even begin to attempt to relate to them in human terms. Saying "I'm glad that Skreli went to jail" should be stated with the the same joy or sense of justice as saying "I'm glad Ebola was contained." Saying something like "I hope Ebola learned their lesson, hahaha" shows that you don't understand Ebola. There's a lot of wealthy sociopaths out there. I hope this story calls attention to this and raises a bit of "sociopathic awareness"
21
ohazi 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Add a [PDF] tag?
22
draw_down 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Does the gleeful reaction to this bother anyone else? It's understandable in a way, but it grosses me out.
23
jqm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Cynical me has to wonder if this has less to do with stealing and more to do with getting the plebs riled up to the point they start wanting to shine a light on the whole ecosystem. Powerful people in government and industry are... well, not the kind of people who take lightly to having their loot threatened.

Note to self: if you ever take up stealing as a primary business, do it quietly and don't attract attention to your fellows.

24
foobarqux 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny thing is, Shkreli has more in common with a startup founder-CEO than with Bernie Madoff.
25
mahouse 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The ones here being happy at this guy being indicted are the ones that defend economic libertarianism later for the sole reason that it allows them to pay less taxes, regardless of what's in the public interest. Disgustingly selfish.
26
iamreverie 9 hours ago 0 replies      
good. let the bastard rot.
Google to Make Driverless Cars an Alphabet Company in 2016 bloomberg.com
160 points by T-A  1 day ago   72 comments top 11
1
nugget 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't understand the pessimism in this thread. Google owns two of the most important pieces of the puzzle: maps and the mobile OS/app store in 80% of people's pockets. Not to mention lots of software and hardware IP related to autonomous vehicles. There are plenty of car companies in the world who can provide car frames, windows, leather seats, four wheels, and yes even an electric engine. I see Uber, Google, Apple, and others going head to head in this market, ultimately to the great benefit of consumers as transportation prices plummet. Imagine an airport run from 3rd and Market to SFO costing $15 (technically only $13 after 20% discount for paying with the UberRewards Capital One Visa Card), or a 4 hour trip (time to watch a long movie and send some email) from Santa Monica Pier to the Las Vegas Strip for $50 (or for a limited time, $55 if you stop at the selected partner gas/charging station for pre-paid lunch and bathroom break) - it will happen and sooner than most think.
2
jhulla 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can someone with knowledge answer questions about the current state of autonomous cars:

1) What do these cars do in ambiguous driving environments: construction zones, poorly/under relined lanes, freshly paved roads, hazards, dark/rainy roads where camera images are useless, etc.

2) How do these cars handle system failure while driving? Blown tire, engine failure, etc.

3) Is there "Moral Decision Engine" code in current generation cars? E.g. person runs out in front of an autonomous car, the car chooses to spare the person by veering off and hitting some inanimate object. I can imagine a class of accidents in traditional hands-on cars where a driver hurts himself in order to avoid harming a pedestrian. Is such moral logic hard wired into autonomous cars?

3
msoad 1 day ago 0 replies      
More precisely, Alphabet wants to make Google Car an Alphabet company
4
stuaxo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looking forward to a few years time when they rename the company Google again.
5
visarga 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It's been years since the Google car has been in research. I've seen a video of it, perfectly driving a blind man in 2012. It was amazing, but now it's almost 2016 and I know nothing new.

What have they been doing over the last 3 years? I even tried reading their blog, but they only report on building more prototypes or driving more miles. It's a blackout of actual information about their challenges and achievements. When will they be confident enough to launch it, or at least talk about it?

6
tokenadult 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Associated Press article about the California Department of Motor Vehicles proposed new rules for cars with autonomous driving features[1] suggests one reason to be pessimistic about the vision of rentable self-driving cars becoming a reality as soon as Google would like. (I would like it to be a reality soon, too, but I have to wait for what the technologists and regulators involved can do together to make that a reality for me.) A company that rents out rides to paying riders has to have a market to operate in, and any state could (and, if California is an example, maybe would) regulate that company in ways that might not make it a feasible business. A follow-up article on this news[2] says that Google is "disappointed" by the newly announced California rules.

[1] "California: Self-driving cars must have driver behind wheel under DMV proposed rules" (16 December 2015)

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_29262037/california-s...

[2] "Google 'disappointed' by proposed restrictions on driverless cars" (16 December 2015)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2015/12/16/google-di...

7
77ko 1 day ago 0 replies      
As Alphabet moves out projects from Google, does that make Google a less interesting place to work at?

And introduce more bureaucracy as now Google Car has to negotiate with Google for access to AI tech, computers, maps etc instead of just using whatever they can?

8
return0 1 day ago 4 replies      
How will driverless cars deal with crime? How is a passenger going to get away from a car chasing to rob him? How will a self-driving car truck run away from thieves in the highway?
9
james33 1 day ago 1 reply      
C is for Car?
10
hellbanner 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're suggesting there's a difference between big business and government?
11
vonmoltke 1 day ago 3 replies      
> like Tesla, which loses ~$4K on every Model S they sell

Could we please stop parroting this blatant falsehood? Their net loss for a particular operating period, when amortized over all the vehicles they sold in that period, came out to ~$4,000 per vehicle. That is not, in any way, shape, or form, the same as losing that money on each vehicle sold.

       cached 18 December 2015 05:11:03 GMT