hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    12 Feb 2016 Best
home   ask   best   3 years ago   
Physicists Detect Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right nytimes.com
1509 points by intull  11 hours ago   412 comments top 65
hun-nemethpeter 1 hour ago 5 replies      
According to this paper ( https://dcc.ligo.org/LIGO-P150914/public ) they detected the signal first at Livingston, Louisiana and 6.9ms later in Hanford, Washington. The distance between them according to wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIGO ) is 3002km (Ok, the 3002 km distance is on the Earth). If the gravity wave travel at the speed of light they should detect 10ms later (300 000/3002 sec = 1/100 sec = 10ms ). From these data the gravity travels at 434 000km/sec instead of 300 000km/sec. Almost 50% faster then light... Is there any error in my calc?
ScottBurson 7 hours ago 4 replies      
This made me wonder how far we are from being able to create and detect gravitons. The Wikipedia page on gravitons [0] addresses this question:

Unambiguous detection of individual gravitons, though not prohibited by any fundamental law, is impossible with any physically reasonable detector. The reason is the extremely low cross section for the interaction of gravitons with matter. For example, a detector with the mass of Jupiter and 100% efficiency, placed in close orbit around a neutron star, would only be expected to observe one graviton every 10 years, even under the most favorable conditions. [...]

However, experiments to detect gravitational waves, which may be viewed as coherent states of many gravitons, are underway (such as LIGO and VIRGO). Although these experiments cannot detect individual gravitons, they might provide information about certain properties of the graviton. For example, if gravitational waves were observed to propagate slower than c (the speed of light in a vacuum), that would imply that the graviton has mass [...].

Fascinating! I take it that the question of whether the graviton could have mass is now considered to be well answered in the negative.

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

kkylin 7 hours ago 3 replies      
A conceptual issue that some of the commenters may have missed is that part of the detection is done by matched filtering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matched_filter), in which it is necessary to have a good idea of the signal you're looking for. This detection has built upon analytical and numerical advances in relativity. While people may not know about the prevalence of e.g. binary black hole collisions, they have a pretty good idea of the signal that would result if such a collision were to occur. Similarly with other potential sources like binary neutron star collisions.
losvedir 10 hours ago 9 replies      
> And then the ringing stopped as the two holes coalesced into a single black hole, a trapdoor in space with the equivalent mass of 62 suns. All in a fifth of a second, Earth time.

Am I reading this correctly, that shortly after the detector came online we just happened to observe the exact moment a billion years ago that two black holes collided?

Was that extremely coincidental? Or do these events happen all the time, and so if it wasn't those two black holes it would be two others?

pavpanchekha 11 hours ago 8 replies      
I remember learning about the LIGO experiment back when it was being built, a decade ago, and at the time it seemed so amazing: a giant tube of vacuum, sealed underground and so sensitive that it could detect animals walking nearby, listening to the moving and twisting of space itself I guess we're finally seeing that with immense human ingenuity and the most careful of engineering, the universe will offer its secrets up to us.

This also means that between LIGO and ATLAS/CMS, the last few years have screwed in the final screws on two of the big physics advances of the 20th century: quantum field theory and general relativity are now both experimentally complete, and both look nearly unassailed in their correctness. The next steps for physics look increasingly abstruse: understanding the exceptional cases, like black holes, holography, and the fundamentally computational form of the universe. It's an exciting time, and it looks more and more like we're close to the very bottom, since we have to look so far now to find anything outside our models.

euske 38 minutes ago 2 replies      
I sometimes wonder why tech people like space-related stuff so much. It is a major news indeed and a feat of science and technology, but why is space so popular? Because it's otherworldly, large-scale and kind of making you feel empowered or united? I'm probably more interested in mundane, obscure and humble stuff, so this disproportionate popularity of space-related news is always baffling to me.
scrumper 10 hours ago 4 replies      
From the abstract of the paper, energy equivalent to three solar masses were radiated away in gravitational waves. That's a simply incredible amount!

Possibly stupid question: Given how far away it was, and that the inverse square law applies, would the effect of these waves be visible on the human scale if we were closer? We can see the effects of the compression of spacetime with LIGO after all, so presumably we could?

wslh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
AYBABTME 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
So what does this mean about the future, now? What new capability do we have? What is possible now that wasn't possible before?
stevebmark 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How do the detectors work? In my mind they don't make physical sense. They're saying the distance between the mirrors changes, but I don't understand how that's possible in this context.

Let's say a gravitational wave compresses space. To someone inside that compressed space, there should be no noticeable difference. Light will still flow the same way through the compressed space at the same speed relative to the compression. Matter will behave identically, because both light and matter are part of the fabric of that space. As I understand it, the only way the mirror lengths could change is if space is created or destroyed.

If that doesn't make sense, consider the 2d analogy of drawings living on paper. Assume also that light moves only along the surface of the paper. If you bend the paper, the light will bend with it. But when you bend the paper, the creatures living on the paper can't know it's bent. The fabric of the paper is still identical. Even if some of the paper gets compressed in one direction, it will still have the same amount of particles, so any light travelling through there will hit the same amount of resistance. And stretching the paper, even if you're a drawing on the part being stretched, would have no effect. A 2d creature looking at something 1 foot away, even if the paper is stretched to 10 feet, won't see any difference, because the fabric light travels through is also stretched.

The only way I can see this making sense is if light travels independent of the fabric of space, but it's my understanding that light travels through it, not independent of it?

sytelus 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Better video directly from LIGO/Caltech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrqbfT8qcBc

And here's more detailed from PBS Space:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw-i_VKd6Wo

chrismbarr 10 hours ago 1 reply      
For someone like me who knows next to nothing about this, that video was extremely well produced and it explained everything i was wondering about.
Roodgorf 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Are there any potential competing theories this detection could also support? I'm wondering how much room there is here for confirmation bias, but I suppose that's a pretty hard thing to measure without the benefit of hindsight.
ericjang 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The mechanical and software engineering underlying these research endeavors is breathtaking. The laser apparatus, LISA pathfinder, ELISA - how on earth do they calibrate/debug/test such complex systems?

... and I shudder to think that more often than not, anything I code in C/C++ will segfault on first run.

jcoffland 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder of this means the space version of these antennas, eLISA, will get more funding. Using space seems like a much better way to access long distance laser conduits in a vacuum needed to detect gravitational waves.
ernesto95 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I generally dislike idolatry and pinning mayor scientific advancement on one single person, but honestly, Einstein really was something else.
boardwaalk 8 hours ago 6 replies      
If they build a third observatory, can they triangulate where in the universe the events are occurring?
chejazi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Lost in the transformation was three solar masses worth of energy, vaporized into gravitational waves in an unseen and barely felt apocalypse. As visible light, that energy would be equivalent to the brightness of a billion trillion suns.


ridgeguy 1 hour ago 0 replies      


nappy-doo 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know if G-Waves are effected by velocity, like EM-Waves are?

In other words, if two bodies are moving relative to one another, one emits G-Waves, and one detects them. Are the waves at the detector doppler shifted in frequency by the relative velocities?

brownbat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Einstein wasn't sure at first. It was Feynman who introduced the thought experiment that settled the debate in the physics community:


nilkn 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope Kip Thorne gets a Nobel Prize for this, ideally while he's still alive.
4k 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a question: what does this mean for theoretical physics? (except for Einstein was right) Does it settle any major debates? Does it make any competing theory more or less likely?

Sorry I am not vary knowledgeable on the topic.

brudgers 8 hours ago 9 replies      
I am a bit skeptical of the conclusion given the methods. Here, there's no observable phenomena independent of the test apparatus that corresponds to the proposed cause. The conclusion is circular.

1. Theory predicts gravitational waves when massive objects collide and that the gravitational waves would have an effect that could be measured by the experimental instruments.

2. The experimental instruments measure something.

3. This is considered proof that massive objects collided.

4. Therefore gravitational waves exist.

To reframe my skepticism, the experiment measures something. The conclusion as to what it measures, however, is unsupported by statistical inference or direct experience of a causal phenomenon. That's not to say that what the phenomena measured -- the earth resonating -- is uninteresting or unimportant or even inconsistent with the theory of gravitational waves.

Yet, I don't find the possibility of a geophysical cause -- i.e. that the earth maintains consistent dimensions at a sub-atomic scale -- the many orders of magnitude less likely than gravitational waves necessary to reach a conclusion. In particular, I find natural fluctuation to be more likely because the experiment acknowledges its existence.

For a point of comparison, consider the Perihelion precession of Mercury that provides evidence in support of general relativity. The theory was used to predict the results of an observable event. The experimenters trained their telescopes at a particular location and particular time and observed phenomena consistent with a prediction based on the theory. The same is true of the Higgs. In both cases the experiment is of the form "when X, I will observe Y."

The reasoning here is:

 If X, then Y. Y, therefore X.
It treats an ordinary implication as mutual implication.

amai 7 hours ago 2 replies      
On November 25, 1915 (at the time of WWI) Einstein presented the actual Einstein field equations to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.Almost exactly 100 years later on September 14, 2015 LIGO observed the first gravitational-wave signal.Is that a coincidence?
ttflee 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How could this result be reproduced in an independent repetition, then?
jshelly 10 hours ago 10 replies      
Does anyone else get a bit depressed when you consider how insignificant we are?
wuliwong 6 hours ago 4 replies      
I am not sure why but I am really hung up on the quote Finally, astronomy grew ears. We never had ears before. They are detecting gravitational waves not sound waves.
soneca 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Honest question: there is any example of Einstein being proved wrong?

Was he indeed always right on his theories for phenomenons before they could be proved by experiments; or is that the case that we only hear about when he is proved right?

peter303 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Note this is a stellar black hole merger of several tens of solar masses.Imagine the disturbance of a galactic core black hole mergers of millions of stellar masses. These are probably much rarer, but do occur when galaxies merge.
drelihan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
ok, so some of the best minds on Earth can build a machine to detect gravitational waves from an event 1.3B light years away. This is an incredible motivation for those of us on what is possible with technology in simple terrestrial projects.
programd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The original science paper is here [0]

[0] http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116...

QuadrupleA 9 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing I don't quite understand - how can the "chirp" from LIGO be unambiguously categorized as extraterrestrial in origin? The waveform shown onscreen in the NYtimes video looks like an extremely noisy signal - not sure if that's the actual sampled data or just an artistic rendition. Couldn't there be a variety of physical disturbances that explain a sine-tone sweep like that, given how sensitive the instrument is to physical vibrations?
onetimePete 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Would such a gravity wave cause a tsunami on a world circling the two black holes?
giomasce 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I really wonder what the researcher sitting bored at their computer looking at random data thought when they noticed the interesting event!
amai 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, the list of authors to the paper is three pages long:


meganvito 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
the wave can from two different slits, so one beam travels longer
meganvito 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
the wave can come from two slits, one beam comes later maybe
JabavuAdams 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Where can I find out more about how thermal effects in the LIGO optics are controlled for?

Basically, I want to understand how it's possible to measure a distance change on the femtometer scale.

spullara 9 hours ago 1 reply      
As with most physics experiments for the last 40 years, nothing new was discovered that we didnt already predict. Confirming something widely believed to be true isn't nearly as valuable as finding out we don't understand something. This is actually one of the reasons I dropped out of my physics phd program.
oldo-nicho 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm interested to know how they can be so sure that the change in distance between the two arms of LIGO is attributed to gravitational waves? I would of thought that miniscule movements in the Earth's crust would be a more likely culprit.
jharohit 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who missed the live announcement by the team https://youtu.be/aEPIwEJmZyE?t=27m13s
msie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So does this verification of gravitational waves help with Physics theory-building? Have people really doubted Einstein : the existence of gravitational waves?
hendekagon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone converted the spectrograms given in the paper, or better still the raw data, into sound yet ? Each location in each ear please!
pkrumins 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't wait until this discovery can be utilized to creating some kind of a new technology! Such as time travel!
rdli 10 hours ago 0 replies      
fucsia 4 hours ago 0 replies      
once shot up the outside of one of the antenna arms in Louisiana, and a truck crashed into one of the arms in Hanford

Does this mean an actual truck, a vehicle? Did they accidentally hurt someone?

I liked this quote: The future for the dark side looks bright.

elorant 10 hours ago 6 replies      
Are gravitational waves supposed to be that weak or is it because of the distance between us and those black holes? Do they lose power as they travel through space?
jstalin 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Does gravity move at the speed of light?
pinkrooftop 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Would it be possible to listen for information transmitted via gravitational waves? Would there be any benefit over radio?
xCathedra 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Could someone explain what possible applications this might produce?
swehner 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The "proving Einstein right" part would be more fitting if there was some independent evidence of the collision. As it is it seems to go in circles.

But that's the NYT I guess.

gnaritas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
No they haven't proven Einstein right, they've failed to prove him wrong; that distinction is the essence of science. Theories are never proven right, they can only be proven wrong.
hiphopyo 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Does this bring us any closer to warp drives?
IanDrake 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the speed of light affected by the gravitational fluctuations mentioned in the article?

Or, put another way, is the speed of light only a constant because we measure it in constant gravity?

frandroid 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> The future for the dark side looks bright.

Oh no you didn't.

kamaal 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Tangential question. With blackholes merging, can more and more merge some time in future, creating a net gravitational pull to slow down the expansion of the universe and then may be eventually cause the universe to collapse into that continually merging mega black hole.
known 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyday we're getting sun rays https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays

Why are we surprised at gravitational waves when 2 black holes collided?

exodust 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if gravitational waves are responsible for the video starting automatically without me clicking play.
josephv 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I swear a big bang theory rerun about this was on last night. Sheldon detected waves at the north pole, but they were actually a blender turned on by the rest of the gang. He's embarrassed and goes home. Leonard beds Penny. Decent episode.
oldmanjay 10 hours ago 1 reply      
A detector of this sensitivity seems like a boon for spying. Rather difficult to relocate, fortunately, but it makes me wonder about the future of the technology. No one would have looked at the first computer and envisioned an iPhone.
aabbccdd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm wondering no-one mentioned Electric Universe which is the greatest opponent of this gravitational hocus-pocus religion. It would be much more beneficial to the humanity to focus smart peoples' attention to Birkeland currents or plasma or to the recent experiments of the SAFIRE project. They have several series on their youtube channel:


PayPal CTO Resigns sec.gov
501 points by coloneltcb  3 days ago   119 comments top 19
dangrossman 3 days ago 14 replies      
PayPal's redesigned their UI two or three times in the past decade or so. None of those redesigns have made it to business accounts yet. I still log in and see the same site I did in the early 2000s. I really, really understand that their business is enormously complex, operating in hundreds of different markets, but... you'd think some of the improvements would trickle down eventually. It's a real challenge for their support staff that has to figure out which of several completely different interfaces a customer is seeing before they can provide any help with it.


pizzasynthesis 3 days ago 2 replies      
Adopters of the 'new' PayPal interface can probably attest to the poor quality, redirects and unexplained errors that have been popping up. After talking on the phone with two service reps, one of whom refused to let me talk to a technical expert as to why my email confirmation token wouldn't work and another who had to enable automated billing on my account manually (because it's totally broken in the client interface) I can only conclude the problems are widespread and currently still at large. I'm not surprised they have made a high-profile canning.
jusben1369 3 days ago 1 reply      
The role of CTO varies so greatly from company to compan . Some are hands on making major decisions. Others are almost academic; looking 18+ months out and responsible for understanding big trends et . Not sure which is the case here. Does anyone know?
lossolo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Worst ever support i have experienced. I do not contact support unless there is something i can't operate myself.They just copy paste things from their support FAQ... didn't receive answer to my question ever... Such incompetence.
meritt 3 days ago 1 reply      
Zenefits just canned their CEO (ironically, over a benefits dispute), while their COO steps up to take over that role. Maybe James is leaving Paypal to become COO of Zenefits?
muyfine 3 days ago 3 replies      
New Money needs a New CTO
minimaxir 3 days ago 1 reply      
PayPal had good earnings last quarter (http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/27/paypal-shares-up-on-earning...), so bad performance may not be the reason.
lwhalen 3 days ago 1 reply      
Couldn't happen to a nicer sleazeball. I have nothing but disdain for Paypal (and Square, at this point), their customer service is terrible, their limits (even for businesses) are laughably low, and their processes for increasing the limits are slow, opaque, and unable to be appealed. Nothing but the back of my hand for these chuckleheads, I hope they trip and fall on their megayachts.
lifeisstillgood 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's hard to read between the lines here.

- 2 months is a odd notice period (one would expect three). So was he pushed?

- the role is being split in two from his departure. This usually means the role had more power than was comfortable.

- but it's still twoMonths. Any signs of gardening leave?

free2rhyme214 2 days ago 0 replies      
I switched to Google Wallet. PayPal would take forever to send money and has done nothing for years to innovate. All they do is buy startups (Braintree). I think this is entirely true - when the founders leave, companies stop innovating.
novapioneer 2 days ago 1 reply      

> Hill Ferguson, a top executive and officer who was SVP of PayPals consumer business, has stepped down, he announced in a post on Facebook earlier today. Bill Ready, who was Fergusons counterpart for the merchant side of PayPals ecosystem, is gaining more control and will now run product and engineering for the entire company, a spokesman said in a statement.


> William Ready, the company's Global Head of Product & Engineering, will take over the "payment services functions" currently handled by Barrese,

Is it really that big a mystery what is happening?

bitcuration 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh, finally. For a couple years, I can't pass authentication of PayPal on my iPhone no matter how I tried. While almost all the credit card and banks are now using fingerprint on iPhone, I need a hardware token device to really get in PayPal on iPhone. According to the rep the logic is I can use my phone number to receive 2 factor text code, then why advertised it.

The new web has been continued puzzled me often prompt to go back to old UI for more details. This is in 2015, decades after online banking started and PayPal is not a government agency. However you put it, it doesn't add up.

shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
PayPal is being really obnoxious lately (like banning payments to VPN services and such). Or were they always that way?
systemz 1 day ago 0 replies      
About that Paypal stability... https://i.imgur.com/PCkXnQu.png
pbreit 2 days ago 0 replies      
So who's more senior after this? The new CTO or Bill Ready?
arthurcolle 3 days ago 4 replies      
Tomorrow's top post: Zenefits CEO, Yelp CFO, PayPal CTO team up to Big Data the Internet of Things
bitmapbrother 2 days ago 0 replies      
He was pro "Old Money"
jorgecurio 3 days ago 3 replies      
Is this coincidence or what? Yelp CFO also resigned. Two executives from two different sinking ships.

Paypal is getting murdered by Stripe. Yelp thought it could raise stock prices by buying traffic. Something had to give, someone has to take the blame.

Parker Conrad Steps Down as Zenefits CEO buzzfeed.com
578 points by philip1209  3 days ago   232 comments top 43
speby 3 days ago 11 replies      
This is one of the worst management announcements I have ever read. While on the one hand, I can appreciate the forward-looking nature of making the company better in the future and an acknowledgement of some of its shortcomings (which every company has).

But the worst crime of all is announcing Conrad's resignation and providing zero credit, thanks, or goodwill towards him for being the birther of the company which wouldn't exist in the first place if not for him. Even if he had recently run into trouble setting the company straight or other problems, it's outright shameful to simply skip right over his contribution to making the company what it is and for being responsible for making it happen from day 1.

This crime wouldn't be so awful if it had come from someone who wasn't already a previous entrepreneur himself.

This is pretty sad... Parker probably would have gotten a nicer goodbye announcement had he died.

sergiotapia 3 days ago 5 replies      
I read somewhere that if the new guy writes the memo, it means the old one was fired. If the old guy writes a goodbye, it means he's actually stepping down.

It seems Parker was fired, and not 'stepping down'.

PhilWright 3 days ago 9 replies      
I love the way Conrad gets all the blame and is thrown under the bus...

'The fact is that many of our internal processes, controls, and actions around compliance have been inadequate, and some decisions have just been plain wrong. As a result, Parker has resigned.'

Not much subtlety there. Presumably as COO he had nothing to do with 'internal processes, controls, and actions around compliance' which seems a little odd to me. So what was he doing all day then?

I also like how the company values are instantly changed...

'Effective immediately, this companys values are: ...'

Which is interesting because most companies spend ages coming up with the correct values for the company and it usually involves feedback from employees.

minimaxir 3 days ago 2 replies      
Context on some of the compliance failures: http://www.buzzfeed.com/williamalden/80-of-zenefits-deals-in...
JonFish85 2 days ago 2 replies      
Excellent. I hope this is the first of several CEOs to lose their jobs over a lackadaisical approach to following the law. I cannot stand the attitude that several of the most "successful" startups follow that laws are just barriers to profit, and I think more CEOs (and investors) should be held accountable for blatantly ignoring these laws on their way to many billions of dollars.

Uber, Airbnb and Theranos come to mind first. As much as I want to see the daily fantasy sports put out of business, they at least had the foresight to punch a legal hole in the system to try to create a business (and not to mention they seem to be in the death throes anyhow).

It bothers me that investors seem to be so nonchalant about investing in a business that is in very questionable legal circumstances. I don't really know how to solve it, but it feels like investors do their due diligence (I hope!), but figure that the legal system is slow so there's a good chance that they can exit before any legal ramifications kick in.

neptunespear 3 days ago 1 reply      
This was the guy that publicly rescinded a job offer on Quora, right? What a colossal dick he sounds like.
goeric 3 days ago 1 reply      
This must be a really rough thing to go through, but I am sure Parker is doing what is best for the company at this time (whether it was forced on him or voluntary). Zenefits is the greatest thing to happen to SMB's in years, and I am excited to see it continue to grow.

Maybe Parker will make a triumphant Jack Dorsey-like return when the time is right. Or maybe he'll disrupt another multi-billion dollar industry. Whatever it is, smart people will follow him.

* disclaimer: I am a very happy Zenefits customer

minimax 3 days ago 0 replies      
It kind of sounds like Zenefits is looking at some heavy (multi million dollar) fines, and they're trying to drive the narrative before fines and regulatory actions are announced.
raz32dust 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone notice the top 3 posts on HN are about CXOs stepping down? http://imgur.com/TUKnHpU
cavisne 3 days ago 2 replies      
Super conspiracy theory but I wonder if Sacks saw this coming from a mile out. From Paypal he has heaps of experience with what puts you on a regulators radar. Maybe he saw a naive CEO who would land in trouble soon enough.

Zenefits is a weird mix of wall street sales types and ex Yammer employees, the former might be out the door pretty soon.

philip1209 3 days ago 2 replies      
I predict that Parker will join YC as a part-time partner. This may shed him in a negative light, but it does not erase the things he has accomplished in the last few years. Zenefits became a billion-dollar company that scaled its sales efforts at a record-breaking pace. Startups can learn a lot from him about building a sales machine.
staunch 3 days ago 5 replies      
A classic coup d'tat. This is the danger of taking VC and hiring a COO that clearly wants to be CEO.

1. Wait for a misstep by the current leader.

2. Play it up as a huge problem that could threaten the company.

3. Suggest that maybe someone else could do better.

latchkey 3 days ago 3 replies      
"Effective immediately, this companys values are:#1 Operate with integrity.#2 Put the customer first.#3 Make this a great place to work for employees."

Ummm what were the values before the switch?!?

fblp 3 days ago 2 replies      
That is a well written email announcing the change. I liked the emphasis on vision, culture and focus.
guelo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Trying to operate an Uber/AirBnB style ignoring of regulations can work when you're dealing with hundreds of small time, underfunded municipal governments. But when your regulators are federal and state level you have to straighten the ship real quick if the eye of Sauron looks your way.
feed16 3 days ago 3 replies      
"Our culture and tone have been inappropriate for a highly regulated company"

That might not be a bad thing. It could be precisely because it was inappropriate that Zenefits got ahead.

tedmiston 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Our culture and tone have been inappropriate for a highly regulated company.

> Effective immediately, this companys values are...

Translation: This will no longer be an enjoyable place to work.

halcyondaze 2 days ago 3 replies      
What's with these new values?

Effective immediately, this companys values are:

#1 Operate with integrity.

#2 Put the customer first.

#3 Make this a great place to work for employees.

Did these not exist prior to Conrad stepping down? If they did, and this still happened, they're clearly bad values to hold.

For one, they're unspecific and don't have a clear opposite. No one is going to take the opposite on these, meaning they can't really be values.

No one will proudly state that

#1 Don't operate with integrity.

#2 Put ourselves first.

#3 Make Zenefits at least a mediocre place to work.

Are good values, so the values the new CEO espoused aren't really actionable or value-able in any way.

Anyone have a different take that I might be missing?

CGamesPlay 3 days ago 6 replies      
What happens to founder equity in high-profile cases like this? If he's given up his position at the company as well as on the board, did he keep much of his equity? This has to be a difficult time for Parker.
timrpeterson 3 days ago 1 reply      
YC, you might want to slow down your own growth. Your unicorns aren't fairing well. Gotta keep your game tight.

-says someone who doesn't know much but can spot obvious trends.

philip1209 3 days ago 0 replies      
___ab___ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Move fast and break things (laws included).
newman314 3 days ago 1 reply      
The wording around values is odd. What were the previous values if one of the new values has to do with integrity?
premalshah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Poor zenpayroll had to change their name to gusto. Now it looks like a good move. Distance yourself from the unicorn.
sillysaurus3 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why do those laws exist in this case? What's the danger that they protect against?
jstalin 3 days ago 0 replies      
That internal audit must be a doozy.
pedalpete 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to hearing Parker's side of the story one day. The one thing you can't deny is he built an amazing business, absolutely agree that it needs to manage the regulatory hurdles, but that wouldn't even have been an issue if he hadn't gotten them this far.

Probably not the last we'll hear from him.

tomasien 2 days ago 0 replies      
Zenefits is lucky to have David Sacks for CEO.

But this is an important reminder to Fintech companies: compliance is your life.

selvan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Growth of Zenefits is a dream for many entrepreneurs. Instead of working with legacy compliance related issues, Parker would have chosen to deal with them latter, to focus on the growth. Parker would have driven by excitement of hyper growth. If he had chosen to work with compliance related stuff, not sure they would have gotten this far, this quickly. Is the compliance issue a mistake (or) Is it a crime?. If compliance issue is a crime, did he even aware of that?.
dimva 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the regulations for selling insurance are reasonable and necessary, but it looks like both Zenefits and Conrad will have benefited more from flouting them and getting caught than they would have if they followed the law from the beginning.

It doesn't bode well for regulation and our society in general when flouting the law has a higher return than following the law, even if you get caught.

jusben1369 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is kind of like Uber firing Travis with a "we operate in a highly regulatory space. Compliance is our oxygen and so Travis, who has constantly flouted regulations, is gone"
feed17 3 days ago 0 replies      
Our culture and tone have been inappropriate for a highly regulated company.

This might not be a bad thing. It could be precisely because it was inappropriate that Zenefits got where it is today.

firloop 3 days ago 1 reply      
Conrad stepped down from the board as well. Here's hoping new leadership can bring the company in compliance and turn the trajectory of the company around.
cat-dev-null 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, Zenifits business model was novel for a double-ended marketplace... get suppliers (insurance companies, etc.) to sustain the business.

How do Zenifits compare to Paychex (the old standby of payroll processing) and Workly? What are folks using right now to expedite/automate employee provisioning (& termination) around HR things?

eitally 2 days ago 0 replies      
Theranos should take this as a clear sign of what they need to prepare for if they can't clearly explain the shenanigans they've been accused of, some of which are similarly brazen flaunts of well-established agency/industry regulation.
nacs 2 days ago 0 replies      
From the Zenefits homepage: "Payroll, benefits, time, compliance, and more"

And the article: "Parker Conrad has resigned as CEO of Zenefits, following a number of regulatory compliance failures"

The irony..

namelezz 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's wrong with 2016? Too many resigns.
flylib 3 days ago 0 replies      
no surprise they jumped on the first chance they could to get rid of Conrad
morgante 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Kindly review the HN guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

If you would like to engage in a polite debate over the extent to which it's appropriate for governments to regulate the economy for consumer protection, I'm happy to do so.

I will not, however, engage with ad hominem insults.

dang 3 days ago 2 replies      
We changed the url from https://twitter.com/williamalden/status/696847841294024704 to this one, which gives more info. We can change it again if anyone suggests a more substantive URL.
us0r 3 days ago 1 reply      
"The Zenefits spreadsheet covers 132 unique insurance policies sold or serviced from November 2013 through August 2015."

Is that really all they sold? Utah had pretty dismissal numbers as well. How did they get to multiple billion valuation?

lquist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good riddance. Zenefits is the most bug-ridden piece of software I've ever used. It's completely unusable at times.
andrewfromx 2 days ago 3 replies      
I see this as a case of a brilliant entrepreneur (Parker) tackling the world of health care and winning. I don't view these horrible crimes he's accused of as anything other than tatics from the status-quo and his competition. It wasn't possible to get from point A to point N (where Parker took the company) without breaking these "rules" but he didn't actually break any rules because this is all new territory. Any new business "distrupting" an existing one will anger the people losing money. And they will use their lawyers and try and fight for every last dollar by claiming this "distruption" isn't legal for reason x,y,or z. David is now taking the company from point N to point Z because Parker is tainted. That's fine. I think this was always the plan. And as a shareholder I think Parker is very happy David is now CEO moving to step Z.
SoundCloud could be forced to close after $44m losses factmag.com
567 points by neokya  14 hours ago   318 comments top 71
cmyr 11 hours ago 19 replies      
Soundcloud is absolutely ubiquitous in the electronic music community. I was talking about this with a friend recently who is a programmer and a (relatively) well known composer, and she made the point that soundcloud actually represents a very important cultural document; there is tons of music that has been created in the past 5+ years that exists exclusively there, and it would be a tremendous cultural loss if it were to disappear. This is something I haven't heard a great deal about, and it's something that concerns me about other media platforms like Medium.
strgrd 13 hours ago 10 replies      
I've been a daily soundcloud user for almost 6 years. At some point they gave up on trying to change or improve the user experience. Soundcloud has done nothing to facilitate the growth of users who focus on reposting/finding/sharing/curating content, vs. content creators who upload their own music. There is no way to gain a following or reputation as someone who reposts content on soundcloud -- and even if you have that following, there's no way to communicate to your audience.

In three years, it seems they've just made the UI elements bigger, and added background images for songs and profiles. I was really hoping to see the ability to post text messages into people's timelines. Something to communicate to your followers.

rgbrenner 13 hours ago 5 replies      
Article is bs.

they lost 44m in _2014_. Raised 77m last year. They may need to raise more in 2016.

Nothing else. No other facts. No info on their balance sheet, etc. Doesn't even know if they're growing, what their revenue or losses for 2015 were.

And based on that, Fact thinks that's enough to say they "may be forced to close".

petercooper 13 hours ago 3 replies      
I hope this is just an alarmist headline. SoundCloud is pretty essential in its space, it's one of the few services that lets you natively get audio on to Twitter, the main place musicians share snapshots of their work and remixes, and a key part of numerous podcasts and ways to embed easily shared audio on the Web. This is one startup I absolutely don't want to see go down the pan.
downandout 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I missing something? This report is from 2014. Despite the fact that "SoundCloud was heavily reliant on further capital investment to continue operating in 2015."....it did indeed raise money, made it through 2015, and is still operating in 2016.

It seems that this "report" is coming out now because stories about startup implosions get more clicks these days. It shouldn't surprise anyone that they are and have been losing money. That's why these companies raise such large rounds.

djt 13 hours ago 1 reply      
All my production buddies hate it. They pay full price, your the world and yet Soundcloud take down the tracks that they OWN. With no recourse or apology. Their system has been broken for 5 years at least for the power users in the community.
pavlov 13 hours ago 1 reply      
They raised $77M USD last year. The auditor's statement is just standard boilerplate for a company that's losing money.

Given the involvement of big investors, it seems extremely unlikely that SoundCloud would shut down rather than raise another round or get acquired.

mtalantikite 11 hours ago 5 replies      
Not being able to save tracks for offline use on mobile has been bothering me for a while. Maybe I'm an edge case, but I do a lot of listening while commuting, which means no Internet on the subway here in NYC. That means SoundCloud isn't even an option for me unless I'm at my desk.

Also, I can't save a collection of favorite tracks in any meaningful way. I can favorite them, but they quickly get lost in the mobile UI if I do too much of that. I end up relying on global search every time I want to revisit a song or artist.

Overall it seems like UX hasn't been a top priority for them.

anotheryou 13 hours ago 4 replies      
What do 200 people do in such a company? (serious question, I just wonder how the workforce is usually distributed for a single online product of that size)
crabasa 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Obligatory link to HN story from 16 days ago about SoundCloud being worth more than Spotify:


jfoster 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this article based on anything substantial?

They lost $44m in 2014 but raised $77m in 2015.

The article refers to a report saying SoundCloud is heavily reliant on further capital investment to continue operating. Isn't that just another way of saying they're currently not turning a profit? Wouldn't that have been true of YouTube prior to acquisition?

I'm not familiar with FACT. Looks like it may be a legitimate music industry publication. Looking at the other SoundCloud articles, it seems about 50% of them are in some way negative. That suggests to me that they might have an agenda they're pushing.


prateekdayal 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Having run a music site for 7 years or so I am not surprised. We started before Soundcloud and created a very engaged community for musicians that many paid for.

However I never understood how Soundcloud could justify raising so much money given the revenue potential (from producers) in the space. By the way, the site I ran was http://www.muziboo.com

adinew 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Considering techcrunch article was published less than a month ago it is safe to ignore the article.


mful 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I use Soundcloud for hours every day, and would GLADLY pay a Spotify type premium for it. As others have noted, it has an incredible amount of music that exists nowhere else (including a lot of non-EDM), but it is a great listening platform for many other reasons. The biggest, for me, is that SoundCloud has far and away the best discovery mechanisms. The 'play related tracks' feature is the most effective radio I've found (better than Pandora, light years better than Spotify) and my feed is always full of new songs that I enjoy.

But SoundCloud has one big problem holding it back, in my opinion:

Getting a great SoundCloud experience requires a lot of upfront work. To have a good feed, you need to find and follow a bunch of artists and/or 'like' a bunch of tracks (from when I first started: the default feed, or low-data feed, gets stale quickly, and had many songs that did not align with my preferences). This sounds simple, but it's not, as SoundCloud is designed for discovery rather than building/organizing your music library. For example, there is no library-like simple list view, and you can't filter/sort your 'likes' as you can in Spotify/iTunes. Also, the radio-like features are not immediately apparent, making it hard to bootstrap your SoundCloud preferences by passively listening/liking tracks as you go.

Looking to the alluded future monetization: The ads are infrequent, and not at all annoying. Unless they ramp up the ads, it will not be a big incentive to pay for premium.

There is really nothing like SoundCloud if you like EDM or EDM-influenced indie music (think Miike Snow).

Mizza 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"Forced to close" is a really, really big stretch here.

They have a huge community, play an important role in online music, and have a seemingly excellent engineering team. I'm sure they would be acquired by a major media player long before they ever closed, but I don't see that happening any time more. I bet they'll just double-down and raise more money while trying to develop more subscription revenue offerings to music consumers.

bborud 11 hours ago 0 replies      
They lost me as a paying customer when they decided to allow Universal Music Group to remove content directly. Overnight I just stopped caring about Soundcloud. They might have done more such things to piss off users since then, but I wouldn't know. I, at least, decided it would not be worth investing my time in the site after that.

Apart from that; yeah, it is the Flickr of music -- promising at first, but then a whole lot of non-evolution of the site.

_ak 13 hours ago 4 replies      
> While SoundCloud brought in 17.35m ($15.37m) in 2014, it lost a total of 39.14m ($44.19m). Employee wages during that period also increased 42.5% to 17.9m, meaning that the average wage per employee for that year totalled 79,980.

Wow, that is ridiculously high, especially so for Berlin.

slackstation 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What we need is something that isn't centralized. The problem that needs to be solved is how to pay for the things that you care about but, keep enough in a common pot to not only share the service but, to make systems for discovery.

Soundcloud is awesome. It's needed, it's culturally important but, it doesn't make money. We should stop thinking of things like Soundcloud like business but, more like museums with infinite square footage.

We can pay the artists as patrons directly, we can pay tour guides who show us interesting and amazing things. We have decent micropayments. What's left is the thing that hackers aren't great at, the cultural work of changing public perception.

Most artists just want to eat, pay rent and live well enough to create more art. I love that Soundcloud allowed people to experiment, get good enough to book gigs and then I could see them live.

What we need is a system that does that efficiently. We need a better managerial structure than VCs + Founders. Soundcloud is a pretty solved problem, both technology wise and UI wise. What isn't solved is funding and management.

There are so many services that would be wonderful to have but, will never be $1bn+ exits for anyone.

Twitter should be. IMHO I think it will be eventually.

Every social network gets abandoned once people put up ads. It's pretty crazy that we live in a world where conversation, speech both personal and public are strip-mined for profit.

People will eventually realize that freedom costs something. Thankfully, technology should make that cost in dollars very cheap.

A Facebook scale social network could charge $1/yr and pull in $1.5bn/yr. A decentralized FB-scale network isn't trivial both technically and socially but, it's something that we as hackers should figure out.

A decentralized social network would be a huge win for freedom of speech, thought and information. Facebook already filters everything that people see. It's a centralized, easily subpoena-able entity.

The larger, much harder problem is how do you convince teenage girls to join a service. They are both the heavy users and set the communication norms for the next generation.

The next problem is how do you build something that is wanted by society but, don't do it by setting up a relationship with a VC looking to exit for 100X what they put in.

Once we solve those two issues, social and funding then the world will very quickly become a place where we can build things that are self-sustaining, less link rot, less invasion of privacy, less filtering of thought and speech by centralized powers.

Futurebot 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I really hope this isn't true. I've hosted my own music there for years (and am a paying customers), and almost all of the interesting new music I find is from there.

One thing that might help them is to charge non-creators for some services. Right now there just doesn't appear to be any reason to if you're just a listener.

shams93 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is why archive.org with your own netlabel is a better choice, theyre not for profit so the bar is lower fir their survival. The more we donate to them the better they get too!
krisdol 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought it was supposed to be worth more than Spotify a few weeks ago? [1]

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10965558

greggman 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Soundcloud seems like the only service that allows other sites to use the music data. By that I mean the ability to use actually use the track's sample data for creative coding audio reactive projects like http://vertexshaderart.com

On the negative side, as others have pointed out, they haven't done much to make the site better for various definitions of better. I've found searching fairly lacking. I'd love something that tried to find tracks I'd like (is that something deep learning could figure out?).

Also when searching for music I type in some keyword and then start listening to tracks. The browser gets more and more bogged down the more tracks I listen to. Something about their design is adding more parallel work with each new track clicked on. Maybe that's a browser bug? Eventually I have to refresh the page and then scroll back down to the last track I played and continue the process of listening to tracks.

ajsharp 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, none of this is surprising. Soundcloud has no real revenue model due to a seemingly inability to court rights-holders, and the product is mediocre at best. Soundcloud provided an outlet for the indie and electronic music communities to share and consume music early on, and that has more or less remained their bread and butter to this day. Even if they were charging end-users for access, the viability of it is as a competitor to Spotify and Apple music, at the prevailing market price-point ($10 / month) is slim. Ultimately Soundcloud is a niche product competing against broad market products with no real path to revenue other than somehow bringing mainstream music onboard. And it seems pretty clear that mainstream music isn't interested in collaborating with Soundcloud.
DanFeldman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Losing soundcloud would be terrible. Half of my music discovery is through soundcloud; Though I find myself listening 80% of the time on Spotify instead, moving over once I find an artist through soundcloud.

Soundcloud's mobile app is terrible though, randomly freezing and crashing. Wonder if poor engagement through the app contributed to the this loss posting.

jafingi 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the danish site MyMusic.dk that was founded in 1998, and became the go-to site of danish underground artists. In 2010 it just disappeared from the web, and 12 years of music from 16.000 danish artists were just _gone_.

It reappeared as Bandbase.dk for a while, but then went bankrupt again.

That said, I think Soundcloud has missed a huge opportunity by being market leaders. They could have taken the best from Bandcamp, and earned royalties from each sale. It would make it so easy for indie artists to earn a little money from what they love, and also make Soundcloud money. Instead, artists are putting up 30 second previews on Soundcloud with a link to Bandcamp to buy/download for free.

asabjorn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
As a music consumer I personally want to pay for soundcloud instead of getting ads, which could bring more revenue than ads and be more flexible in prizing, but when I asked soundcloud support for the option they said they had no immediate plans for one. In the end money is king and I don't understand why they haven't explored more revenue options.

Edit: typo

sakopov 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to produce tech/progressive trance back in the day as a hobby (you can checkout snippets from some of my tracks from SC link below) and remember when SoundCloud first came into the picture. It was a great platform to connect with others who dabble in music production and share tips. It has since become the breeding ground for up and coming EDM producers. A really cool place on the web and it'd be a shame if they closed down shop.


sebringj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
SoundCloud is a grassroots thing really necessary for creativity coming out of no where exposing music on an even playing field compared with other services. I love them.

They should not only charge for music uploading but have a premium plan for listeners like myself similar to Spotify. No ads the ability to archive songs outside of normal release windows, something like that.

scosman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
KPMG's statement is pretty standard in any GAAP financial statement. If your company is losing money, it pretty much has to be included. Not many startups wouldn't have it.
javery 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Terrible article and sensational headline - the problem with all the YC guys being asleep right now.
doener 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Just add "could be" to your headline and you can write anything.

There is absolutely no evidence that SoundCloud is forced to shut down and the $44m loss for 2014 is was reported before.

So a VC backup company is still losing money and is still dependent on new financing rounds or loans? Not something totally unheard of.

chrisblackwell 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How many of these services will have to shut down before it's user's will start supporting them? Please give me the option of paying money, and making sure you will be in business for the next few years.
gnrlbzik 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I do not upload any music on to sound cloud, but never the less, it is one of my primary ways of discovery. I would happily pay $2-4 a month to so called get rid of "ADs" and support them.
romaniv 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be happy to pay something to Soundcloud as long as it's not per-song. It's a good service. Really easy to use as a musician and great for finding new music as a consumer.

Hm, maybe they should be selling some "audiophile" subscriptions with ability to tag and hierarchically categorize songs you liked? I would buy that if the price is not astronomical.

But I also think it's really important that the basic usage stays free for people who randomly wonder in from other websites.

brudgers 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Article at Financial Times, SoundCloud to seek more funding in 2016:


This appears to be the basis for the report. Startups tend to post losses. Amazon did for many years. That's because all the money that comes in gets spent to grow.

leroy_masochist 11 hours ago 0 replies      
While I understand the appeal for Soundcloud as a platform for people to get their music "out there" (especially with EDM), I personally don't like the UX at all. The big gripe I have is that the categories are often jacked up. I'm a big metal fan and almost half of the songs in the "Metal" category do not remotely meet that description.....as in, dubstep remixes of Taylor Swift songs and crap like that.
elcct 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember few years ago there was something like forum (or groups) on Soundcloud. It was really nice way to collaborate with other musicians, but they decided to kill it. I lost interest in SoundCloud since... I still have an account, but I am not using it that often. Also how they present tracks is very annoying, so I stopped sharing soundcloud stuff with friends. It actually got me into creating my own service.
spyspy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Almost every city is calling themselves the next Silicon Valley.
pbreit 9 hours ago 0 replies      
That looks like sloppy reporting or at least a misleading headline. Although I guess anything "could" happen.
kolmogorov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
80k average salary is crazy for a Berlin based company. They have a reputation of poaching engineers and granting them crazy salary increases. They then also let them do kind of whatever they feel like with whatever tech stack which may work if you have a money printing service but is questionable for the stage they are in.
kidsil 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Youtube is not making any profit either, I suppose streaming based websites are very difficult to make profitable. Must be the constant growing expenses for servers.
freddref 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It's difficult to discover new music on SC outside of what's currently popular. Maybe it's there somewhere but I find the UI frustrating.
imartin2k 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A few days early this news already circulated on multiple sites - and I had to blog about how the media was covering these "news": http://meshedsociety.com/how-the-media-reports-about-soundcl...
gtirloni 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The report makes it clear that while the company had adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the forseeable future, SoundCloud was heavily reliant on further capital investment to continue operating in 2015.

What's the difference between "operational existence" and "continue operating" here?

y04nn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't expected that, Soundcloud is such a nice plateforme. I thought that they were still growing, there is so much potential, with artists promotion and so on. I also wonder why they never became a selling platform. Is there any company that would buy the service ?
jegutman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe Google or other bigco could buy out of bankruptcy? Is there too much tail liability from some copyright infringement??
mark242 9 hours ago 1 reply      
My obligatory show HN link: https://octave.is is the Vimeo to Soundcloud's Youtube. No crap comments, no ads, no garbage on your artist page.
pindropm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a great cultural and emotional content that these services contains. Shutting these services will cause a big damage to this heritage.

We are trying to solve some of the biggest problems of music industry with PindropMusic


ryan-allen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How much data does soundcloud host?

I can't deal with another mp3.com :( My CD backups of MP3.com in 2001 were damaged and I had lost songs for ever. It was tragic.

ptha 13 hours ago 1 reply      
While SoundCloud brought in 17.35m ($15.37m) in 2014, it lost a total of 39.14m ($44.19m). Employee wages during that period also increased 42.5% to 17.9m, meaning that the average wage per employee for that year totalled 79,980

Seems like a pretty generous wage increase for a company in the red.

speby 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is unfortunate news... I remember seeing this video ( years ago) introducing SoundCloud: https://vimeo.com/1857085

Nostalgic, now.

yueq 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Loss of 44m dollars is nothing in internet industry. As long as that loss contributes to growth!
harel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I will be very sad if they go, as I have my music (from another life) on that service. However, I doubt that will happen. At worst they will scale down their operations and cut costs.
jacquesm 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anybody remember the name of the indie music website that was very popular around 2000 or so? For the life of me I can't remember it.
aw3c2 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone know how big it is in terms of available files and total file size?
blairanderson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
amelius 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Can we have some more data?

How many visits do they have per day? How much data do they stream per day? What is the total amount of data that they serve?

andistuder 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't think FACT interpret the funcials of this Startup very well. A FT article responinding to the same release seems more to the point: https://next.ft.com/content/fcb06850-c66e-11e5-808f-8231cd71...
unixhero 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a strong belief in heartis.at as the new soundcloud and baboom.com as the real marketplace (which disrupts the industry).
Zigurd 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a badly written article. Impossible to tell if the headline is accurate or if the writer made an alarmist guess.
Theodores 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Soundcloud has not done 'peak mySpace' yet:


All seems on the up in terms of interest from people using the search engine. Very enviable curve.

kyrre 8 hours ago 0 replies      
soundcloud charges musicians around $150 for an annual pro subscription and then sends the consumers to bandcamp to buy the music and merch.

doesn't sound like the right monetization approach

ogezi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
it's a great service, they just need to monetise properly.
circa 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That is a bummer. I love SoundCloud and use it frequently.
monkeywork 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What would you consider to be a viable alternative?
EGreg 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't say this about many start ups, but sound cloud has created an amazing experience and interface for publishing sound. I don't know how defendable it is, but they are one of those start ups that definitely needs more capital before they build out their revenue streams. And I think they are going to get it.
beatpanda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I seriously don't understand how this is possible. I was the multimedia editor of a college newspaper in about 2008 and we needed a place to host podcasts. We were looking around for a solution that could serve as infrastructure for audio files, and soundcloud was the only game in town.

It still is, and now, eight years later, podcasts as a business are booming. How are they not making enough money selling their product as infrastructure? Their API is so unbelievably good that even a cash-strapped community college was prepared to pay for their service. Are they really not earning enough revenue to keep it going?

eruditely 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll purchase a subscription service immediately.
dreamdu5t 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The worst part: we all knew this day was coming from many years back. Because we all know but don't want to accept that advertising is the only viable business model on the web.
exabrial 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This blows my mind! SoundCloud is ubiquitous
Yelp Posts Q4 Loss, CFO Resigns nasdaq.com
434 points by praneshp  3 days ago   145 comments top 17
danso 3 days ago 4 replies      
Yelp in 2014 Q4 had revenue $110M and a profit of $32.7M [1].

Its revenue for Q4 2015 is $154M and a loss of $22.2M [2].

I see that there is an income tax expense of $20.3M in 2015 and other depreciation costs...but is this change in profit with growth in revenue typical?

[1] http://www.yelp-ir.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=250809&p=irol-newsArt...

[2] http://www.yelp-ir.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=250809&p=irol-newsArt...

mark_l_watson 2 days ago 3 replies      
The top three stories on hacker news right now are about top management resignations in three high profile tech companies. Earlier, LinkedIn lost 40% of their value in a day. Deutch Bank lost 11% of their value today.

sorry to be off topic here, but these seem like crazy times.

aaxe 2 days ago 2 replies      
A great read before people get on the "Yelp removes bad reviews if you pay" bandwagon: http://screenwerk.com/2016/02/02/reviews-rashomon-plumber-re...
kevindeasis 3 days ago 4 replies      
Wow, there are soo many resignations happening this week! I am stunned. Anyone have articles on how this happened and what it means?
perseusprime11 3 days ago 4 replies      
Yelp is kind of stuck like Twitter. Product is not shaping up well. I am not sure how they plan to grow without improving their product. Their mobile app still kinda sucks
neptunespear 3 days ago 3 replies      
Why is Yelp untouchable by the FTC or DoJ? The company gets up to some really shady stuff but hasn't faced much punishment if any.
kloncks 2 days ago 3 replies      
Serious question.

Yelp's revenue model is a bad conflict of interest. They rank the destinations AND the destinations have to buy advertising too.

What revenue model could they do that would work and not be shady? I can't think of one. Charge users?

ececconi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've replaced Yelp with Foursquare a while ago for finding things around me and trusting reviews. I've found that the character limit and smaller user base of Foursquare makes reading reviews a much more pleasant experience. I also like how there is no star system on Foursquare.
ryanSrich 2 days ago 2 replies      
Honest question. How do you know you're in the middle of a bubble bursting?
bpg_92 2 days ago 1 reply      
These seems worring indeed, are some bubble poping now? Maybe it's just overreacting, but hopefully the trend won't continue.
jorgecurio 3 days ago 5 replies      
What do you predict will happen to Yelp this year?
ratfacemcgee 3 days ago 4 replies      
Yelp, Zenefits and Paypal. What is going on?
feld 3 days ago 0 replies      
He was probably told he has to give the CEO a 5 star rating or he would be fired.

edit: i have no idea if they have an internal person-rating system based on yelp, but i hope so

As far as the recent resignations, it's probably New Years resolutions when people realize they value time over money.

jack9 2 days ago 0 replies      
It aint his fault, so he must have another opportunity.
bcook 3 days ago 2 replies      
Downvoters should be required to cite their reasoning. This would presumaby hinder illogical, kneejerk, emotional downvotes.

We are here to learn & understand (perhaps painfully), not anonymously persecute.

Edit: I did not consciously realize the parent was "logicallee". ;)

dschiptsov 3 days ago 0 replies      
The second dotcom bubble is finally abouy to burst?

Github, Twitter, LinkedIn, PayPal issue and bunch of small ones.

justinzollars 3 days ago 1 reply      
THERE MUST BE MORE TO THIS STORY. -recent paranoid end is nigh HN user.
Show HN: I've been writing daily TILs for a year github.com
793 points by jbranchaud  2 days ago   147 comments top 64
existencebox 2 days ago 3 replies      
Just wanted to say, this is an excellent idea and I'll be blatantly stealing it for myself from this point forward; thank you for putting this motivation in my head by your successful implementation.

I've done a half-assed "important learnings from the last year" retrospective for myself, but your method of keeping it going forward is both far less lossy and more complete.

Putting it on GIT as well seems like a smart choice. Treat it as your "Accessible anywhere" personal cheat-sheet.

ryanmarsh 2 days ago 2 replies      
When I was first learning UNIX many years ago a grey-beard told me to always keep a spiral bound notebook and pen at my side. It was great advice. Jotting down the arcane commands committed most of them to memory, for the rest my black little spell book held the magical incantation for any situation. I've since gotten away from that habit. Perhaps I should follow this fellow's lead.
tfgg 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is great.

As an extension, I was discussing with a friend a while ago how great Stackoverflow is at capturing the contents of expert's brains. Is there a way to achieve that on a broader scale without requiring the question-asking side of things? Say you're a lab scientist and you have a small trick or bit of informal insight, how could you be prompted in the right way to share it?

nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
My favoriate, check if port is in use:


Would be cool, to be able to collaborate and comment on each article. Perhaps, make this entire thing GitHub gists or Wiki?

jbranchaud 2 days ago 3 replies      
For me, this is all about tracking my personal learning. I reference old posts several times a week. I hope others can learn from it as well!
ShaunFinglas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Didn't know what a TIL was until just now.

However I've been doing something very similar for over a year now. Its called a Developer Diary. I can't give credit for the talk that gave me this idea but it's without doubt one of the best changes I've made to further myself.

It's the same idea, except the content is not public. I've toyed with the idea but the content is very rough plus includes some very specific details. That said I host the content so it's always in my browser as plain text files, so able to search and navigate easily. I've blogged about the idea before, but however you do it, make notes. Your future self will thank you.


kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how efficient this would be for non technical stuff. I like to read quite a bit (commute by train) and usually marker and scribble in the books. It's typically business, pop-science, philosophy or history etc...might end up with a list like:

- Visiblity, Feedback, Constraints, Mapping, Consistency, Affordance from Design of Everyday Things

- Maven, Salesperson, Connector from Tipping Point

- 7 years' war cliff notes

I feel like it would get too big soon but it's a nice way of keeping track of the interesting things you have discovered.

I'm also considering putting my entire "Ideas" board and possibly other boards from Trello on Github instead.

Edit: Related question: Is there any way to keep a bibtex file in Github and use it for citations in markup? That would be wonderful.

cableshaft 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been using http://www.devarist.com which was posted on HN back in August last year) to record little tidbits on an almost daily basis, and it's been working pretty well.

If it's something I have to look up I try to make a habit of putting it in there. Then I can do a search for the search phrase I'd normally make and it pops right up, saves me a lot of time looking through the top couple of documents for the nth time.

Devarist has Markdown support also. I've been using it to include little 20x20 icons for each programming language or technology so I can scan through the past pages to see at a glance which technology each note applies to.

That having been said, doing it in Github might actually be better for the public tidbits. Some things you learn kind of need to be kept private though (like your own projects, or pertaining to your job, or pointing out things you have trouble remembering to do).

stygiansonic 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great job, and even better idea for putting it into a git repo!

I've been keeping a sort of "development log" for the past few years where, each day, I write a small blurb about what I've done, but more importantly, what I've learned.

It's a similar idea to this, but obviously a lot less structured. (The use of Markdown was a great idea, btw!)This helps you get an idea for how much you have done if you ever find yourself questioning what you've been doing for the past little while.

olejorgenb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recently found out about `git log -G REGEX` (and -S)

This will filter all commits (ie. lines changed by the commit) by the REGEX and report back the log for those.

With -S, commits with equal number of matches in added and removed lines are ignored.

Flimm 13 hours ago 0 replies      
When I learn something, I ask a question on Stack Overflow and I answer it myself, which is perfectly allowed and encouraged. The advantage with putting it on Stack Overflow is that I get corrections or better answers over time.
methodover 2 days ago 4 replies      
Something I find really interesting is how VIM takes up a huge chunk of the TILs.

One of my personal quirks is I feel like those terminal-based editors consume an undue amount of time and energy to learn and maintain. This TIL seems to give a bit of extra evidence for that suspicion. Simpler options have been available for years now (e.g., Sublime). In those rare moments when you do need to edit files on a remote server, nano is always available.

bittersweet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love this! I started doing this years ago as well via a simple notes dir in my dotfiles (example [1]), and actually wrote a small tool to help me with it [2]. This way I can list all the note files I have (cli, zsh, vim etc) and pretty print them a bit and have search if I can't remember the exact thing :)

[1]: https://github.com/bittersweet/dotfiles/blob/master/notes/gi...

[2]: https://github.com/bittersweet/notes

melling 2 days ago 0 replies      
I keep my org notes in a private repo, which I often edit directly on Github. I organize by topic. e.g. Cooking, Photoshop, Haskell, yoga, drawing, Go, Emacs, vim, etc. I use my two README.org to organize the information. One is for all topics and the second is a much smaller immediate README that I want to view daily. I keep it pruned since the main README has all the references.

I'd like to breakout topics of general interest but I feel that I'd need to be more organized. Last week, however, I did move my Ergonomic Notes (e.g. RSI, keyboards, mice, programming by voice) to a public repo.


I also find it helpful to group topics and create menus in the org files:

Menu: Ergonomic Keyboards | Ergonomic Mice | Programming by Voice | RSI

woodruffw 2 days ago 3 replies      
Great idea!

By the way, minor note on unix/copying-file-contents-to-system-paste-buffer.md:

"pbcopy" is an OS X only utility, but X11 (Linux, BSD) has a rough analogue in the form of "xclip". Just in case you ever switch over ;)

bewe42 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been taking (plain text) notes for many years. My approach is to write down immediately everything I figure out. The biggest issue I have is to retrieve notes effectively. And to be faster creating them. I started experimenting with how to make the whole process better and have built http://codingbrain.com. It's basically a better search, copy-n-paste, history tool that works on local markdown files.

My other idea I'm currently working on is to provide a different kind of bookmarking service that gives you an option to write down what you have learned from that bookmark. I think one of the best way to get better is to always try to repeat from memory what I have learned. The service is supposed to compare my summary with the original content, maybe offer some Anki style repetition training etc

minhajuddin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I extracted a static site out of this and put it up at http://til.zammu.in/ . This kind of content is great for Static Sites as people can easily contribute to them using Github Pull Requests.
TimJRobinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do this with my blog. Every time I discover something unexpected or google something and don't get a good answer I like to write a blog post with that search term as the title and the solution to the problem.

Helps both commit the information to memory and help others in the future. Who said blogging had to be long form posts anyway?

jonalmeida 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool. For one of my internships, every time I learned something I wrote it out with a 'TIL' prefixed and put it in our group chat.

At the end of the internship, I grepped the logs for all those lines but never found anything useful worth re-visiting. :)

xgordon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally I have "knowlede base" document where are useful hints, commands and step-by-step guides how to do something (like: configure/code/export/filter etc.).

Other text file contains useful links with other's step-by-step guide founded on internet.

Github is interesting idea since it's available from my personal and working laptop. Till now i have used google docs/gmail draft messages.

emp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using Notational Velocity for a while in this way. It's wonderful. Synced on Dropbox, my "little black book" is available on any device I have at hand, and instantly searchable.
tieubao 1 day ago 0 replies      
TIL is the cool concept for all people and topics, not just for developers or engineering related stuffs.

I apply the simple way to organize them via Github Issue -- https://github.com/tieubao/til/issues

It's good for us in term of effortless and easy for reference ...

kamaal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. This idea can be extended beyond tech.

Its common for a lot of musicians to keep practice log books. Trying to learn something new every day is an amazing idea, in area of work.

voltagex_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've had https://github.com/voltagex/junkcode/blob/master/Bash/comman... for a while but this is much better.

I have to resist the urge to automate the ToC, though.

Edit: https://github.com/voltagex/til

schnika 1 day ago 0 replies      

I really like the .contain_exactly() matcher for this purpose as well :)

oxplot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been doing this for years but sparingly and in my blog (in fact my blog's heading reads "because I forget simple little things too soon"). Never occurred to me to git it as that makes it effortless to record just about everything. Thanks for the idea.
raddad 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea. As someone who suffers sometimers, as opposed to Alzheimer, I tend to forget. I'll know I knew that at some point, and this list would be just the ticket.

I tell people my memory is excellent but my retrieval tends to suck bad sometimes. Random access memory?

antoaravinth 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great idea. I always had other way to keep my learnings at a single place, for which I have used Anki tool. At times, down the line I open my Anki tool and see those flash cards on how much I really remember. This was very fun to me and also at the same time very good learning.

Git looks to be an awesome idea. Thanks for your efforts.

autotune 1 day ago 0 replies      
You mean I could've scored upvotes by posting my wiki on here? Well better late than never...


StavrosK 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just thought about doing this for learning hardware design a few hours ago. I started dabbling a while ago, and writing down the things I learnt would result in a concise document full of compressed knowledge. I'll probably use a different format (a continuously updated page on my site), but it's the same idea. Thanks for sharing!
0xCMP 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ah yea this is awesome. I like this idea more than how I do my notes[0] because I don't actually do most of my notes in github where this makes more sense to actually commit and know when to commit/push.


donretag 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Pragmatic Programmer book talked about creating a solutions log, which can be consulted at a later time.
dwaxe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was hoping you were a Reddit bot who's been farming /r/todayilearned for the last year.
reacharavindh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been keeping my version of TILs on Quiver and Notes. You've inspired me to organize them together into Github and share. I'm thinking of making Gists for each categories instead of individual files though. Any reason why you created individual files?
deadcast 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow cool idea! I've kind of already been doing something like this but posting little code snippets to my twitter account for later reference. I like the idea of creating a repo like the OP and not having to spam my followers with my random, crappy code! :~) Cheers!
dbailey5 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great Idea! started one too.. decided to hack together a quick script to build my readme https://github.com/drewbailey/til
cevaris 2 days ago 2 replies      
would be nice to auto generate these TIL readmes based off personal stack overflow upvotes.
elwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Smart to put it on GitHub. Works as a nice hack to appear super productive on public profile. My day-to-day commits are all private, so I look slow/lazy to the vagabond internet surfer or startup CTO hiring based on GitHub presence.
franzwong 1 day ago 0 replies      
This idea is awesome that it makes learning more effective by self-explaining what we've learnt, and the result can be referenced by ourselves in the future using the language of our own.
benatkin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. It makes me want to do something like it. How about if instead of putting it in a public repo, I put it in a private repo that I can use as a draft for a blog, so I could use it to gradually build an audience.
topherjaynes 2 days ago 0 replies      
A great reminder that everyday we do learn something and should be thoughtful about documenting it. We often move to fast to realize that what we discovered, to get something down, is unique. Thanks for sharing and keep it up!
__Joker 1 day ago 0 replies      
This, daily TIL, like dairy has for me is nice way of introspection. I find whenever, if nothing else, I think for 5 mins about what I did everyday had immense value for me personally.
macromaniac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been putting each fact I learn as a line in a til.yaml file for the last 6 months. I grep through all my til.yaml files any time I need to remember something. It's been useful.
dxhdr 1 day ago 7 replies      
I don't understand the enthusiasm for this or the rampant forking going on.

Most of these fall firmly under "let me google that for you."

 How do I check my Ubuntu version? How do I split a tmux window? How do I expand a clojure macro?
Repeat for 300 more easily google-able questions...Actually I just realized, maybe I'm too old. If that's the case, here's a great tool: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+do+I+check+my+Ubuntu+version%3F

eecks 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have done something previously in the past but never keep it up that long. I like your layout. Was it all manual? That is - did you have to do the index/readme manually?
destroyer998 2 days ago 0 replies      
That is an awesome idea.
anttuofbodom 2 days ago 1 reply      
I keep writing things down everywhere: OSX Notes, org-mode, Evernote, paper. Having it in one (public) GitHub repo is a great idea!
leonardinius 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great.

BTW I've lurked that concept from you just recently and started doing the same stuff on Sunday. Thanks for inspiration.

ngeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worthy personal cheat-sheet for own and others use. A good idea though.
arvinsim 1 day ago 0 replies      
This just convinced to just don't bother with using github pages and use the README.md file instead
theyCallMeSwift 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most interesting posts I've seen on HN in a while. Great job, keep up the good work!
state 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would be nice to connect this to Twitter and get an update when a new one appears. Have you thought of doing that?
ghjnut 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know this isn't intended to be stackoverflow, but it'd be cool to have a way to get feedback on things.
ymse 2 days ago 2 replies      
Lots of good stuff here. I would appreciate a wiki-style site with short answers like these instead of searching {Google,DDG} and trawling the [stackoverflow] results.

Not all of them are necessarily good practice though. This made me chuckle:

What Is The Current [Git] Branch?

 git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD
(if you're reading this jbranchaud, try `git branch` :p)

feed16 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish technology was simple enough that writing these TILs would be unnecessary.
jsgrahamus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought TIL stood for Threaded Interpretive Language, as per Forth or Factor
dorfsmay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are github issues indexed as well as blog entries by search engine?
gansai 1 day ago 0 replies      
thanks for sharing. I remember seeing a reddit section for TIL which is general. I too had some thoughts regarding the same to publish in my blog.
ausjke 2 days ago 0 replies      
great idea, I use drupal to keep some notes myself, but this is concise and easier to access, when this list grows you may want to add a search button to it?
tarunkotia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing this! Thank you!
vctsg3 1 day ago 1 reply      
What does TIL stand for?
jamesmccann 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really cool repo - nice work!
abrookewood 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a fantastic idea!
jeshan25 1 day ago 0 replies      
love it! great work keep it up!
Google is banning Flash from its display ads theverge.com
435 points by cpeterso  1 day ago   140 comments top 25
Animats 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've blocked Google ads for so long I didn't realize they had been allowing Flash ads.
tyingq 1 day ago 6 replies      
I suppose this means dropping it altogether (like from Chrome) can't be too far away.

My only regret with that would be that we use flash as a way to allow one-button copy to the clipboard (using this http://zeroclipboard.org/).

We had tried non-flash solutions, but none of them worked.

This sounds like it might work https://clipboardjs.com/, so I guess I'll be adding a backlog item to look at it.

pippy 1 day ago 9 replies      
One thing HTML5 lacks is the ability to combine all assets into one file. This makes Flash particularly handy for advertisements. Safari almost got there with its .Webarchive format, and Mozilla experimented with a file format but it didn't get anywhere.
chc4 1 day ago 3 replies      
Silly question: Do people not use Click-to-play? I thought it was enabled in browsers by default now, or at least Firefox.
0x0 1 day ago 2 replies      
How can they continue to allow "video ads built in flash"? Isn't a video flash just like any other .swf, that happens to use the NetConnection, NetStream and Video classes? Or will they supply the .swf part and the advertisers just the .flv/.mp4 part?

Also, what's to stop a "html5 ad" from inlining swfobject.js? They've fallen for malvertising before, so how could they not fall for an obfuscated swfobject.js? :)

manigandham 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great progress. Google being the biggest ad network and going with a complete ban is probably the only way to move things forward but glad to see it finally being done.
codazoda 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've never installed Flash since it was an ad on (or maybe I just disable it, I can't remember). It's ONLY used for ads these days. I avoid the few video sites that use it.
obelisk_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
I haven't had the Flash plugin since 2012 and only a few couple of times I've encountered something I wanted to use which required Flash since when I stopped having Flash. In every case where Flash was required I simply Googled the relevant keywords and found what I was looking for provided by other non-Flash sites.
stanley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprised to see this in the news now. As an advertiser, we received notice from Google around July of 2015 that our flash ads will soon be disabled. Something like a month or two later the change went into effect.
Outdoorsman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't look at ads...that's remiss of me, as some ads probably contribute to my salary...

When I see a three column layout on a client's page, with the right column "blinking" I think, usually, that they're probably barely holding on...just from experience...

smaili 1 day ago 3 replies      
I wonder if people may begin to go back to older browsers for surfing once ads have completely transitioned to HTML5 :-
spacehome 1 day ago 0 replies      
I beat them to this a loong time ago.
k-mcgrady 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone else see this and think "Why the hell didn't they do this years ago?". I was really surprised it was still allowed.
dredmorbius 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically, one of the very few places I find Flash still used, that I miss it, is in Google Finance pages.

They're desperately wanting a rewrite.

eveningcoffee 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should also bad video ads (including their own).
diminish 1 day ago 0 replies      
Flash ads were a good way to target desktop office day time users for some conversion needs. Anyway had to go ..
eyeareque 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use firefox at the moment and do not have flash installed. In the rare occasion that I cannot view a video because I need flash I will fire up chrome to watch it.

Also, I use adblockers.. so I haven't seen a flash ad in ages.

sandworm101 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google does ads?

Honestly, it has been a very long while since I've seen ads. Adblock aside, my phone is so old that any significant ads effectively causes a crash, total non-responsive phone. So I still don't see them.

ksec 18 hours ago 0 replies      
( What took you so long? James. )

The sentence that came across my head when i read the title.

* Quote from the 007 movie Spectre

kmfrk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just in time for the launch of AMP.
beedogs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good, and good riddance. The less Flash on the Internet, the better.
module17 21 hours ago 0 replies      
arrty88 1 day ago 0 replies      
ive been blocking flash since 2012. no biggie.
phpsupport 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Google main focus is ADS
bikamonki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Flash is like DLLs. Enough said.
My Little Sister Taught Me How to Snapchat Like the Teens buzzfeed.com
564 points by jseliger  1 day ago   336 comments top 65
cubano 1 day ago 10 replies      
I am the very proud father of a 14yo girl whom I have turned into an teenaged IT guru over the years.

She learned to read at age 3 using the very well done "Cat In The Hat" desktop program, and since then I have turned her on to everything from Gmail at age 6 to Ableton at 12.

I've decided that Snapchat is where it ends for me/us last year...she needs something to be hers and her friends alone, without "Dad" poking is old-ass nose into things.

I think she really appreciates that I haven't bugged her about connecting and sharing on that platform, and I know deep down it was time.

But boy...do I sometimes miss that 6yo angel sending me cryptic "i luvu" via Gmail.

AaronLasseigne 1 day ago 7 replies      
It's a video game for her. She doesn't look at the photos in the morning, she just responds to keep the chain going. It's like grinding. She has a score, tries to improve it, get trophies, new equipment (I mean filters), etc.
tajen 1 day ago 5 replies      
There's product placement. He namedrops "Treller" and "VSCO". The article isn't "How to upgrade your style", it "How to become a Snapchat user." Even his conclusion is "I'll try more", just like you tell yur teacher when you've failed and you know you'll fail again. I don't doubt the person is authentic, but I wonder how much he has worked with BuzzFeed to tune the article.

Still, 1. Snapchat's design is remarkable for its hidden features that you discover by social-networking, and 2. it's a much more interesting, funny, interactive press release presenting the features of a product than any other start-up I've seen. Next product video I make, I'll make it this way.

gavman 1 day ago 3 replies      
It's amazing that at age 22 I've already seemingly "aged-out" of being an early adopter/power user of new social media (not that Snapchat is new, but I use it maybe once or twice a day and I've never even heard of "Triller" and "VSCO"). My 15 year old sister is always rolling her eyes telling me how to "correctly" use my existing social media apps and I've never heard of most of the new apps she's into.
doublerebel 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm in Seattle, so maybe I'm biased -- but many of my friends and I from 20s to 30s all enjoy Snapchat. The moments are real, time-limited, don't require a reply, aren't faked by filters, and aren't a popularity contest. That makes it a huge improvement over every other social network we use.

It's by far the easiest way to share a picture or moment with friends -- a photo is worth 1000 words and the location/time/velocity overlays add a lot of context. In many ways it's actually one of the most mature popular social networks -- it clearly learned from earlier social network attempts. I don't have to be "cool" to anyone but the relevant people to whom I send a snap.

It feels private enough -- hot girls like to use it and that will get anyone on any platform/club/bar/social location. Sorry to all of you who are using other slower, more ad-ridden networks and missing out.

redwards510 1 day ago 4 replies      
I consider myself an early-adopter. I always try to at least test out new technology, especially if it's what "the kids" are using. But with Snapchat I had a strong reaction of "this is dumb, screw this, I'm too old for this". Plus, no one I knew used it. I guess that makes me old now.
mschuster91 1 day ago 6 replies      
What in holy blazes, 60 gigabytes in a month just for one fucking stupid app?

1) what carrier does that girl have? And at what cost? With German internet prices, we'd look at a 500 per month alone for data, not to mention other data using apps, calls, SMSes...

2) what the fuck, I use Netflix at home quite regularly and rarely exceed 50 GByte (I'm on a 50/5 VDSL so it isn't a lack of speed) of traffic. How many billions of crappy front cam selfies can be shared in 60 GB of data?

state 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's interesting to hear everyone saying 'ah, I'm too old for Snapchat'. At face value I feel that way too, but I think there's something more going on here.

Snapchat strikes me as a really unique modality. It's not really a message type that we can draw some kind of lineage back to PARC or Bell Labs or whatever. Slack follows a familiar pattern of 'oh yeah, that's just like IRC and they had those running on Altos a million years ago'. SMS, yeah that's just chat. And so on...

Was there a Snapchat equivalent back in the dark ages of networked computers? Not that I'm familiar with (although I'd love to see an example). I think that fact points to a meaningful difference between the computer that's in your hand or your pocket all the time and the 'workstation' that's on your desk. A computer that's always with you can deliver different kinds of messages and project different kinds of presence from other people you know. I hope Snapchat is just the beginning of this.

Snapchat doesn't have some kind of physical equivalency like a book or a note on the fridge. I don't think appreciating that is necessarily pegged to age, but more to openness. Snapchat is just legitimately unfamiliar and unusual. From afar, I think that's great.

rememberlenny 1 day ago 3 replies      
My close friend in her mid-20s is teaching a journalism class to high school students, using SnapChat. I've been fascinated by the student's perspective. They all use Snapchat.

One of the most interesting responses I heard what that Snapchat was what they used to connect with people they didnt know too well, but wanted to stay in touch with. For example, if they meet someone, but dont know them too well, they would exchange Snapchat information. It is literally like Facebook was for the last generation.

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
The more things change the more things stay the same...reading this tip:

> BROOKE: Dont Snapchat boys that you like first wait until they Snapchat you.

Reminded me of the movie All About Eve (1950), when Bill says: "What I go after, I want to go after. I don't want it to come after me. Don't cry. Just score it as an incomplete forward pass."

...and of course, everything else in past and modern Western culture that advises women to be the chased.

[1] https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/All_About_Eve

codeshaman 1 day ago 8 replies      
These young people are addicted to their phones and snapchat.

Later on in life, when they 'grow out' of snapchat, they will replace the addiction with something else - some other app, but also food, drugs or sex.

Whatever thing they will find interesting, they will pursue it with the same pattern that they learn with these apps / games.

This future generation will have to find a way to live with all this addictive technology and survive in the real world.

Might well be that Snapchat (and others) will be looked at as we're now looking at cigarettes.

rtl49 1 day ago 5 replies      
I think our distaste for this obvious misdirection of human attention goes beyond mere "kids these days" prejudice. SV startups,"social," "interconnectedness," this nonsense is creating an asinine, infantilized generation: easily manipulated, desperate for social acceptance, incapable of independent thought, and entirely beholden to the whims of mainstream society. This cutesy "adult finds himself going with the flow" motif just further normalizes this endless, pathetic pattern of adults emulating children. Barack Obama and Matt Lauer are taking selfies!? Enough.
JabavuAdams 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Youth is wasted on the young.

I've loved video games since I was about 7. I've made a good living off of video games.

In my thirties, I never once thought "Man, I wish I'd spent more time playing video games in my twenties."

Now, as I turn 40, I wonder how different my life would have been if I'd spent more time doing other things, instead of playing video games.

The process of aging is impossible to convey fully, but it's fascinating to be on the other side, having lived the transition.

dpcan 22 hours ago 3 replies      
"Parents dont understand. Its about being there in the moment."

In WHAT moment? That moment when someone snapchats a snapchat for the sake of snapchatting?

Hey, I have a 14yo son who texts like a maniac and never takes his earbuds out of his ears. He has hundreds of thousands of views on his G+ profile, which is the thing him and his friends are all over. But lately they've moved to Facebook because they follow their favorite Bands' pages.

It's so confusing.

If our parents wanted to know what was going on in our lives, they quietly picked up the other phone on the land-line in the house and eavesdropped.

Now, we have to snoop and lurk on our kids' social profiles, or try to sneak a peak at their texts when their phones buzz.

ISL 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's amazing how much our priorities change as we move through life.

Once we've experienced quantity, quality gains importance. Simultaneously, our need for social acceptance might not diminish, but it becomes far more refined.

Enlightening article.

proc0 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm laughing at all the people that "feel old". This kid is 13! Literally a child. If you're in your late 20's or 30's, you're not old, you're just not a child anymore. Snapchat is nothing that new. It's just communicating with your friends in a different way that before was not possible. It's like texting on steroids. I don't see the big deal, and I definitely don't like the fact that you can't save them. What's the point of data if you can't save it? What if you capture a truly awesome moment? I'm sure they'll come around at some point and add the option to save snaps within a certain timeframe.
l33tbro 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a school of thought that says that people use apps like this not to follow the pleasure principal, but that these platforms provide a brief escape from the neurotransmitters asdociated with anxiety that make us feel bad (1). This actually okay Buzzfeed article (who knew?) pretty much confirms that, only the thesis is distorted by the sample group being excitable teenage girls.

Seeing the film Boyhood reminded me of how fluid your identity is at this age. I think these teens will discard Snapchat forms of communication in a few years, as you change so much in this window. (1)http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/features-issue-...

Griever 1 day ago 2 replies      
I actually caught a glimpse of this behavior a few weeks ago. I was sitting next to a kid who was maybe around 16 years old snapchatting to his friends that our flight was about to depart. He must have taken around 20 selfies, each with a series of seemingly nonsensical emoji's in the span of 3 minutes.

I was staring dumbfoundedly the entire time. It blew my mind, and made me realize how out of touch I am in my 27 years of age.

yongelee 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is pretty stupid. Teens aren't the trendsetters, they're the early adopters. Teens follow their older siblings who are the true trend setters. There's no way a 13 year old determines whats popular, it is older 18-30 cool people who are the true trend setters. Rappers and pop icons for the most part, there are no 13 year old pop icons.
lowpro 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Just to make clear, most teens are NOT this active. Being one and being that most of my friends are still in high school, I'd estimate 1 in 10 are as active as this girl is with snapchat. As far as texting goes, yeah about 1 out of 2 are constantly texting including myself, but it's all to fight boredom. Boredom in school, boredom watching TV. It's like ADD but everyone has it.

But for snapchat, most people are in the 20,000-40,000 range, with some up to 200,000 and some down to 2,000, haven't seen any above or below that.

paxtonab 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best buzzfeed article I've ever read. Might even be the best UX user story I've ever read. Talk about finding an evangelist of your product to talk about what they like/don't like.
snickmy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Eyes opening.How I felt old in my 20s just by reading an article :(
zyxley 1 day ago 2 replies      
> BROOKE: OMG!! 30?? Only NARPs have less than 150.> ME: What the hell is a NARP?> BROOKE: Nonathletic Regular Person. NARP.

Wow, I feel old.

thetmkay 1 day ago 0 replies      
On an semi-related note:

Some of this sounds exactly like Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story".

The way the girls talk to themselves and about other people, it's incredible a 40-year-old Russian male to capture female American teenagers so well.

matt_wulfeck 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel even older. Here I thought people used snapchat just for sending naked photos. The headline for this article made me cringe.
viraptor 1 day ago 1 reply      
So what they're saying is that there are people uploading 60GB data of faces of the same person every month? How does snapchat not have the best face recognition algorithm by now? Even facebook doesn't have so many samples.
tbabb 18 hours ago 0 replies      


I am definitely having this moment right now.

dookahku 1 day ago 1 reply      
I never really understood how snapchat works. I don't know anyone on it, how do I add people? The only snaps I got were from the Snapchat Team itself.
asgfoi 1 day ago 1 reply      
It felt nice when you had to physically meet a person to exchange the latest meme. The physical vicinity adds so much quality to the social experience. I cannot talk to friends the same way over char or even the phone than in person, it just feels weird.
rayiner 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel like these days teens are less tech savvy than people my age (30s). My siblings in law 14-16and they can't craft effective google searches to save their lives.
largote 23 hours ago 0 replies      
40 replies in a minute? The app is so slow it takes like 3 to 5 seconds to even display each snap, and this is on a top-of-the-line phone.
downandout 1 day ago 1 reply      
The thing that stuck out to me was the girl that used 60GB of mobile data, and that even the girl he was interviewing said that bandwidth was a major issue. Depending on her friend's parents' data plan, 60GB could easily result in a bill of over $1,000. It makes me wonder a) if Snapchat is compressing as aggressively as they should, and b) if an in-app mobile bandwidth meter might make simiar apps more competitive.
fencepost 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good lord, why would you want to?

I actually have a snapchat account that I set up to see what was going on at the college near me (public curated "college" story that was being locally advertised for a while), and I have been known to poke around on Minecraft servers on slow evenings when I don't want to think.

That said, the very thought of interacting with any teens actively using snapchat gives me the heebie jeebies in a huge and ugly way. It'd be hard to overstate my desire to not interact with anyone that age on snapchat or really anything else that involves video or photos.

Even without the concerns about avoiding anything that can be even perceived as skeevy, I have absolutely nothing except some demographic elements (country, race, have been known to play stupid video games) in common with snapchatters, and aside from adding in the family element it sounds like neither does the writer. So, unless I'm trying to market to them (which has its own skeeviness factor) it's like wrestling a greased pig - lots of annoyance and nobody's having any fun there.

allochthon 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I am now 40. Reading this article, I felt like an anthropologist observing an alien civilization. So many questions.
whatever_dude 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is terrifying.
quadrangle 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish people wouldn't make all these age-based assumptions. When I was 12, I was already disgusted at the indulgent addictions to superficial social shit that my peers did. I'm sure if I were 20 years younger today, my feelings about this nonsense wouldn't be any different.
2bitencryption 1 day ago 0 replies      
Snapchat is a surprisingly great platform. I'm 23 so I guess I'm pushing the target audience, but all my friends and I use it, and it's probably made keeping in touch with them about 1000x easier.

It's just so simple. It takes sending photos down to its very base level.

pacomerh 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Fortunate are the parents who can live around these new creatures that consume data without actually assimilating anything. I remember I used to feel really guilty when I played nintendo for hours and hours, discovering levels and fighting bosses. Today, I compare it to this...and I feel a little smarter.
lquist 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I had snapchat when I was growing up instead of just AIM! It's one of the new messaging platforms that I am excited about because it introduces a new (mostly visual) means of communication.
Sideloader 1 day ago 0 replies      
"This is a personal, non-sponsored post by a member of BuzzFeed's ad content team."

Um, so it's an ad for SnapChat that SnapChat didn't pay for...or not an ad by a guy on the "ad content team"? If it's the latter why mention it at all (or simply say "this is not an advertisement"). The convoluted language makes me think it is an ad. Anyway...

Yes, tweens are very prolific social media users...they're practically born with the skills in their blood. Ten-year olds are skilfully filming, producing and editing videos, and uploading them to YouTube, that leave people in their 30s and up speechless.

The generations that came of age before about 1998 to 2000ish, when the Internet and digital technology started becoming ubiquitous and taught in schools, are still somewhat baffled by even basic technology. Example...during a dinner in 2014 that included my sister and her boyfriend (who are both in their mid-30s) he notices the customized icon arrangement and screen flip effects on my phone (iPhone, jailbroken) and asks if he can do that on his phone. I ask him if he'd bought an iPhone (I remembered him having a Windows phone) and he says no, pulls out his Lumia and starts fiddling with it. After a moment he asks "so what do I have to do to get that effect?" and I say "that's a Windows phone, isn't it?"..."I think so, but I can jailbreak it, right?"..."jailbreaking is an iPhone thing, I don't think there's a Windows phone equivalent..."oh, it won't work if it's Windows?"..."um, no, you need an iPhone but if you have an Android device you can root it and install customs ROMs which is sort of like jailbreaking"...."cool so I can install Android on this phone (Lumia), right?"... facepalm

Later that evening my sister (who is much more tech savvy than her boyfriend and an advanced social media user) notices that my headphones are cordless. "I never noticed those headphones before, I hate tangled cords etc. "..."yeah Bluetooth is pretty handy"..."is it included with your plan?"..."is what included?"..."the Bluetooth service"..."it's built into the device and...wait, you thought there was an extra charge for using Bluetooth?" "no, um, I was just wondering" facepalm

They are both educated, fairly worldly, middle-class. She has a Masters (arts) and worked at a law firm and he was finishing his PhD (arts). Oh, and they were both surprised to learn they can listen to mp3s on their Windows and Android devices.

I've met other "older" people who are absolutely clueless about basic features and options on their computers and devices (e.g. getting rid of the annoying bloatware that comes pre-installed on off-the-shelf Windows machines, blocking browser ads, connecting and configuring peripherals) but their level of ignorance really surprised me.

I've since noticed a sharp contrast in tech literacy between people who graduated or left high school before the Internet exploded and those who were introduced to it in school. For so-called digital natives like the author's sister, and my 14 year-old cousin, the line between what used to be called real life and social media has dissolved and fully integrating social media into their day-to-day lives comes almost naturally. It's not a new thing...it just is and they use it at an intuitive level...and expect new platforms to emerge and features to continually evolve.

Interesting times for the human animal...

sakopov 1 day ago 1 reply      
I read a lot of "I'm feeling old now." Interesting, because you should be feeling like the fucking Indiana Jones compared to the little drones parents are raising today. This is just very very sad. I'd love to actually comment something constructive about this article but it absolutely blows my mind that parents are OK with all of this.
fiatjaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why anyone would want to be "good at Snapchat". We, as adults, must agree this thing is stupid.
minimaxir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Justin Kan made a post a month ago on the virtues of Snapchat's complexity: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10859860

I'll echo the comment I made there that I am concerned that the teenage-focus will be the lesson startups take away from Snapchat, and that might lead to usability regression for apps as a whole.

jld89 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This is crazy. Just crazy. 60gb. SIXTY. I probably send one snap once a week and I'm 26 so not really old.

Is this really the new generation? Wasting data usage for pictures you don't really look at?

lost_name 1 day ago 0 replies      
NPR did a segment on Instagram that sounds an awful lot like this. See Act One of "Status Update": http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/573/s...
6841iam 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this the behavior of the average snapchat user or that of a power user? That's the key question.
haalia 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well, that was eye-opening. I honestly thought Snapchat was only used to sext off pics of naughty bits.
adamgsteele 21 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the better things I've read on BuzzFeed before...if not the best. I can finally wrap my head around what is Snapchat.
magoon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes me feel old, but I really can't understand Snapchat's interface.
gleenn 1 day ago 0 replies      
The super evil thing is how the feds or whomever has a ridiculously rich facial recognition dataset being served on a silver platter
estomagordo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so terribly worried this might not be satire.
s4chin 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Damn, I'm 20 and I already feel old.
obelisk_ 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does Snapchat have any revenue? If so, how?
taigeair 18 hours ago 0 replies      
So snapchat is their email.
horsecaptin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Being a teen seems like a lot more work than it used to be :(
digi_owl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mayfly comes to mind...
kevinwang 23 hours ago 0 replies      
holy shit i'm thankful that i barely missed being that generation.
imaginenore 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm going to say this. This is fucking dumb, and a huge waste of time. It's orders of magnitude dumber than watching funny cat pictures for hours.

There are so many interesting things around us. If you want to be creative, you have options. If you want to connect with people and have a meaningful conversation, you have options. If you want something funny, you have options. Etc, etc, etc.

These teenagers are literally wasting their life on bullshit.

/rant over

avodonosov 1 day ago 0 replies      
I spend all time online and don't even know what is snapchat...
benbenolson 1 day ago 0 replies      
A Buzzfeed article? On Hacker News? I never thought I'd see the day.
nkg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am thinking about community managers and how they would be able to engage anyone who just collects snap at lightspeed...
eloy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. Buzzfeed on HN.

This article is quite interesting to read, but I still hate to use Snapchat.

purplerabbit 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article is totes orthogonal in awesomeness to the usual stuff on this site. Enjoyed it a lot.
DiabloD3 1 day ago 9 replies      
The most damning thing about Snapchat:

ME: Ive seen how fast you do these responses How are you able to take in all that information so quickly?

BROOKE: I dont really see what they send. I tap through so fast. Its rapid fire.

I closed the tab at that moment. That alone proved Snapchat has no relevancy to anyone, and is a waste of time and money.

lsv1 1 day ago 0 replies      
This probably isn't the best place for this response and I sincerely apologize in advanced for my crude response but... BuzzFeed and this type of social media can fucking kill itself, I believe there is no place for this on HN.
Show HN: Htop 2.0 released, now cross-platform hisham.hm
584 points by hisham_hm  1 day ago   147 comments top 35
_ao789 17 hours ago 3 replies      
gramakri 22 hours ago 4 replies      
melted 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I was just installing an older version the other day on FreeBSD, and having to mount (unmaintained) procfs was quite annoying. So after seeing this link I specifically went to their site to check what they mean by "cross platform". They say procfs won't be needed anymore.

Speaking of which, does anyone know why OpenJDK wants procfs on FreeBSD? Is this a Java thing or a problem with libraries people write using Java?

kinow 1 day ago 10 replies      
I think htop and lua are probably the two main Brazilian contributions to the open source community.
ketralnis 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I really enjoyed this talk[1] by Bryan Cantrill, part of which is about what it took to emulate Linux's syscalls from within SmartOS. It's lengthy, but enjoyable.

One of the applications that they tried to port directly to before the emulation layer was htop, and he has a good rant about what that took because of its use of /proc and how that made porting it very difficult.

Given that, I'm sure this wasn't easy. Kudos!

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrfD3pC0VSs

pcx 1 day ago 2 replies      
Awesome! Installing htop is the first thing I do on my *nix systems. The update is still not up on Homebrew, shouldn't take long though.
lqdc13 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I used to use htop, but switched to glances at some point, because of a quicker-to-find-the-info-you-want interface.
fuhrysteve 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this can get into Ubuntu 16.04 before feature freeze in a week or so..
mperham 1 day ago 2 replies      
htop is an amazing upgrade to plain old top. Thank you for your work on this!
spirit555 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I love htop! I hope homebrew gets it soon. Mine only says version I donated $5 to the developer. Thanks for htop
nodesocket 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Huge htop fan. Honestly probably my favorite unix utility.

Just did `brew update && brew upgrade` but not seeing an htop update. I am still running htop via brew.

Also tried on an AWS server running Ubuntu, same thing `apt-get update && apt-get upgrade` no new htop version available. Running htop 1.0.2.

nograpes 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone got mouse wheel support working on a PuTTy terminal? I've compiled htop from source against ncurses 6 on Ubuntu, but no luck.

I know it sounds like I'm asking a lot for a PuTTy window... but mouse clicks have (amazingly) worked even on a very old version of htop. Just wondering if anyone has done it before pursuing it further.

mixmastamyk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Were they able to improve the conf file and color selection? I remember that was one area that needed work. 256 colors would be nice also ;)
gourneau 19 hours ago 0 replies      
woohoo! ProTip: Even older versions of htop have mouse support. You can click on columns the change sorting for example.
macint0sh 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep! Perfect! Now I don't need to do some kind of magic :) when installing on my FreeBSD servers.Congrats!
GreaterFool 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Wouldn't braille characters also make nicer progress bars? I think they look more dense then a bunch of ||||
AnkhMorporkian 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't suppose this finally allows sorting in tree view, does it? That's been a feature I've been wanting forever.
crazysim 1 day ago 1 reply      
That slide design is really great.
spirit555 22 hours ago 8 replies      
Ok so I know of and have tried top, atop, htop, ntop. What else is out there??
wrigby 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really timely... I just got my new MBP today, so I've been installing all of my standard tools. Luckily I saw this before I used Homebrew to install htop!
zobzu 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh the vtop inspired bar is def cool!

regular top has been catching up though and while htop is different and perhaps still better, regular top does the job for me in most cases.

Florin_Andrei 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favorite top replacement. Keep up the good work!
sina 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My biggest feature request is better search workflow (perhaps like Vim, instead of having to press F3) and ability to filtering/grep the list of processes when searching.

I am installing version 2.0 on my laptop to see if search has changed.

ssatta 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Does that mean that it now works on OSX without root?
mayhew 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the first things I install on any new Linux system. Amazing tool.
sashk 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I gave up to get it working properly on FreeBSD, I see this news. Great news.
BilalBudhani 21 hours ago 0 replies      
htop has always been in my list of tools to install on server. Thanks for this great upgrade.
chrstphrhrt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Woohoo! This is great.
xyproto 20 hours ago 0 replies      
<3 happy top
j2432984 14 hours ago 0 replies      
still no vi keybindings?
niutech 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Still no Windows though.
drvortex 15 hours ago 1 reply      
To be fair, it is still only for POSIX-y systems. Not cross platform in the conventional sense.
ceasos 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Great !! hisam_hm

you help me drop one of my alias function now :D

envof () { sed 's/\x0/\n/g' /proc/${1}/environ}

freebasedgirl 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If it did not try so hard to emulate nmon poorly, I'd use it more.
romanovcode 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Wait, where are the Windows binaries?

Oh, I see. They trying to be smart and say "cross-platform" because now it runs on more Linux distros. That's not smart, that's faulty marketing. And AFAIK it already was running on 90% of Linux and also on MacOS.

Gravitational waves detected by LIGO telegraph.co.uk
444 points by apsec112  16 hours ago   97 comments top 19
kbart 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Oh come on, can't you wait few more hours for an official announcement? It's the third (to my count) "announcement of announcement" today.
madaxe_again 14 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm am really confused as to how Martin Rees has written such a poor article. He's bloody Astronomer Royal. I suspect a ghostwriter.

a) Gravitational waves do NOT "shake the mirrors". They make spacetime contract in orthogonal directions around and within the beam tube (and of course elsewhere) thus causing the light to travel a tiny bit further in the tube, thus causing interference by moving the two beams out of phase.

b) As I posted the other day - what about Virgo? What about GEO600? I feel really sorry for the scientists who've spent decades working on this as part of a global collaboration to now have LIGO take all of the credit for this discovery.

cshimmin 15 hours ago 3 replies      
> On Thursday, experimenters will report the first detection of a phenomenon that has been long predicted

So... this is news before news? I.e. rumor. LIGO is not scheduled to announce results for another 3.5 hrs.

sgrytoyr 14 hours ago 4 replies      
How do they measure (not just calculate, if I understand this correctly) "a distance less than a millionth of the size of a single atom"? That sounds very difficult to do with equipment that is presumably made of atoms.
ascorbic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The live stream has moved, and has now started here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7293kAiPZw
merraksh 15 hours ago 0 replies      
feider 14 hours ago 1 reply      
"This is why its been crucial to have two similar detectors separated by nearly 2,000 miles - one in Washington State, the other in Louisiana - and to seek events that show up in both detectors, thereby ruling out effects caused by local seismic events, passing trucks, and so forth."

Sounds like a good old survival bias ;)Seriously though, what is confidence interval in LIGO?

roddux 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Headline should read: Telegraph reporter jumps gun for ad revenue
bakhy 14 hours ago 0 replies      
i want to take my upvote away from this. seeing the title, i foolishly thought that the conference already took place, and just clicked before reading and seeing that the title is a lie. :/
amelius 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Wouldn't it be much more spectacular if these waves were not detected?
lobster_johnson 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aside, it's hilarious that the announcement was spoiled by Twitter pic of the backroom marzipan cake posted 8 minutes before the announcement: https://twitter.com/marckuchner/status/697802191873114112.
kkamperschroer 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A useful layman's explanation of gravitational waves and the LIGO experiement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tstyqz2g7o
srikar 11 hours ago 0 replies      
anotheryou 13 hours ago 0 replies      
wild speculation or a broken press embargo?

press conference is streamed in an hour here: https://youtu.be/zyo4DFr4D4I

antome 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Any idea on what the certainty is for these results? 5 Sigma?
amelius 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't we have multiple detectors, to determine which direction the waves are coming from? (Like an antenna array can also be direction-specific using computational techniques).

Or are these detectors already directionally sensitive?

ww520 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is huge. The amount of precise measurement went into it is remarkable.
joolze 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Post something not the telegraph.

Seriously, the only thing this article is says: Physicists and astronomers are agog. On Thursday, experimenters will report the first detection of a phenomenon that has been long predicted: bursts of gravitational waves generated by cosmic collisions of black holes.

That is NOT a report, that's someone guessing what the report will be. There's not a single quote from anyone remotely involved in the project. This is a piece of shit summary of a wikipedia entry on LIGO with a clickbait headline.


ck2 15 hours ago 5 replies      
I supposed for now it's impossible to detect the source or even general direction of such waves?

Are gravitational waves also limited to the same speed as light?

Wait, is it the actual fabric of space that is "waving" ? Whoa.

ps. fun fact "razzmatazz" appears in google less than a million times

U.S. tells Google computers can qualify as drivers reuters.com
449 points by apo  2 days ago   182 comments top 18
Flammy 1 day ago 5 replies      
Driver ID J039532 'Joe', a set of learning algorithms, has been licensed to drive multiple vehicles at once from both in vehicle computers and 'his' data-center based 'home'.

Out of the 1000s of instances of Joe running around, in the wild, a handful have gotten into situations where he has had points penalized against his license following existing state law. Joe exceeds his points limit and his license is suspended after 2 days.

... This could be interesting.

ashwinl 1 day ago 1 reply      
The specific letter from NHTSA to Google:


... along with an abbreviation I have yet to see previously:

>> self-driving vehicles (SDVs)

... and their definition of a Level 4 vehicle:

>> Google describes its vehicles as having what NHTSA's May 2013 Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles calls Level 4 Full Self-Driving Automation. According to that Statement, a Level 4 vehicle:

>> is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. By design, safe operation rests solely on the automated vehicle system.

anarchy8 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wow, I'm surprised the legal world is catching up to this so quickly. You would think that the law would be a larger barrier than it has been so far.
rdxm 1 day ago 4 replies      
if you spend any real amount of time on a bike interacting with traffic you quickly come to realize that 99.5% of the humans behind the wheel shouldn't be driving, so it's hard to see where there would be any noticeable difference in quality of operations between human and autonomous.......
lazaroclapp 1 day ago 1 reply      
When Asimov wrote about robots, he imagined them being fully sentient way before getting any legal rights (see e.g. "Evidence"). I don't think before this I would have ever bet on the process going the other way around...
rdlecler1 1 day ago 2 replies      
"It noted existing regulations requiring some auto safety equipment can not be waived immediately, including requirements for braking systems activated by foot control."

I guess you just need a little motorized foot that can control a little brake.

Klasiaster 1 day ago 1 reply      
So and if these devices are hacked to injury people nobody can prevent it or is even forced to take responsibility as it's the fault of the device and not those of the owners/creators?
mrharrison 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been following this closely and think we are headed to self driving cars a lot sooner than we think. Obama has been making sure the regulators have been getting the money, GM is working with Lyft to have self driving cars in Austin. http://popsnip.com/topic/882/Selfdriving-cars-race-towards-o...
andy_ppp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is each car going to have to pass a driving test - how is the inspector meant to know if a computer is checking it's mirrors and indicating correctly!? ;-)
jhbadger 1 day ago 0 replies      
"It own itself?" "Swiss citizen, but T-A own the basic software and the mainframe." "That's a good one," the construct said. "Like, I own your brain and what you know, but your thoughts have Swiss citizenship. Sure. Lotsa luck, AI." -- From William Gibson's "Neuromancer"
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
This isn't a big deal. The NHTSA defined levels of autonomous vehicles back in 2013 They are roughly:

Level 0: manual.

Level 1: some automation, maybe radar cruse control. (available now)

Level 2: smart automatic cruise control plus lane keeping (Available on several high-end cars now. Tesla is at this level, not Level 3)

Level 3: automatic driving good enough to handle ordinary driving tasks and route planning. (Google, Cadillac/CMU have this in test) but driver sometimes has to take over manually.

Level 4: full auto, all road conditions, driver not needed. (nobody really has this yet)

Now, the NHTSA is discussing modifying the federal safety standards so that, when Level 4 is achieved, vehicles which achieve will comply with federal motor vehicle standards.

Whether to allow autonomous vehicles on roads is a state matter. California DMV currently allows this in test, with manufacturer test drivers only, and requires reporting of incidents. Current DMV thinking is to stay with that for three years, see how things are going, then reevaluate. There's some whining about this from Google, but realistically, Google doesn't have the technology to go beyond that yet.

The accident reports are on line.[1] Almost all of them are from Google, and most of them involve someone rear-ending a Google car which was driving cautiously. Except for one incident.

Cruise (YC W14) had a crash with a parked car last month, driving on 7th St. in San Francisco.[2] The report indicates that the vehicle swerved to the left under automatic control, then corrected to the right, then the driver took over manual control, and then hit a parked car at 20MPH. Both vehicles damaged, no injuries. The reported location [3] is across from the SFPD's Southern Station and a popular parking place for police vehicles. They hit a parked Toyota Prius.

I've written before about the "deadly valley": automatic driving good enough that the driver stops paying close attention, but not good enough to drive reliably. Cruise just demonstrated this. You cannot rely on the human driver to suddenly take over from the automatic driving system.

[1] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/auton...[2] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/bc21ef62-6e7c-4049...[3] https://goo.gl/maps/DoNdYSV8cgq

autoreleasepool 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is refreshingly progressive news
khgvljhkb 1 day ago 2 replies      
We who browse HN like the idea of self-driving cars, but does anyone have a nuanced perspective on their usefulness? I don't know much about AI compared to many here. It has been said that things which humans learn at very young age are hard to automate (identifying things you see, walking, social things) while things we learn as adults are easy to automate (accounting, telegraphs, file cabinets).

Car driving definitely contains elements that we learn as kids (seeing things in motion, identifying what is a human and what is a rock) while some things are learned as adults (what does that sign mean, how to count KM/H, how transmission works).

Are we really close to autonomous vehicles on the streets?

jjangsangy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Good to see progress being made on this front! I guess this means that makes the scores

US Gov: +1Google: +1Tesla: +1Uber : -1Robots: 0xffffffff

kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Issuing and revoking AI licenses (driver's licenses or others) seems like a very good use case for the block chain. You can predefine rules for removal etc. There's a bit of literature about automatically executed contracts on the block chain and this use case seems very similar.
rawTruthHurts 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like an open door for all kind of legal tricks for companies, the kind of trick corporate personhood achieved.
ocdtrekkie 1 day ago 2 replies      
Given that statistically, Google's self-driving cars are more dangerous than the average human, and if Google's computers were a driver, it's license would already be revoked, it's a little weird the government is willing to take this step.

Then again, they've contributed to about 200 members of Congress, several senior White House positions are filled by Googlers...

Gmail Will Warn If Message Is Not Authenticated/Encrypted gmailblog.blogspot.com
448 points by AdmiralAsshat  2 days ago   207 comments top 30
jcoffland 2 days ago 12 replies      
This sounds great but Google has been making it harder and harder to run your own mail server even for personal use. I think they would be happy of email servers were only run by a few large companies. They make it sound like they are doing the right thing but really they are bully the industry to do it their way. So many people have Gmail accounts that you can't run an email server that cannot send email to Google.

I've run my own email server for about 15 years. Every now and then I have to drop everything and implement some new technology that Gmail demands I have. Granted SPF, DMARC and TLS are all great technologies but I take issue with Google making the decision that everyone is going to switch, now and with out sufficient warning.

sinatra 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think as HNers, we're focusing too heavily on niche cases (like running your own email server). But, for general public who is still sharing their own (and more importantly, their clients') SSNs, passwords, and other very sensitive information on email, this may be the trigger that educates / trains them to be more careful. I am definitely looking at this as a positive.
Animats 2 days ago 3 replies      
Other mailers should warn about Gmail, with "Your message was scanned for advertising purposes".
vsviridov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool, just spent 20 minutes getting a proper cert from let's encrypt, and setting postfix to opportunistically encrypt outgoing mail.

Used this service to make sure my setup is correct: http://www.checktls.com/index.html

Also, thunderbird apparently does not like Alternate Subject Name for smtp, but with Let's encrypt I can just issue a mail server-specific key.

dcw303 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of things that I question about Google, but forcing their Gmail customers to adopt more secure practices is worthy of praise. They are the biggest free email provider in the world, and they are owning up to a responsibility to ensure their users can work safely.

Those running their own email servers have a similiar responsibility to their own users, even if it's only themselves. You had time to set up the server in the first place, so you have time to make it work with TLS. Now that Let's Encrypt is here there's no excuse to be running an insecure email (or web) server.

jlgaddis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have mixed feelings about this.

> Not all affected email will necessarily be dangerous.

To me, it sounds like they're saying that most of the "affected email" WILL be dangerous -- just not ALL of it -- and that's highly misleading, of course.

Overall, though, I think this will be a good thing if it pushes more organizations ("mail senders") to implement opportunistic encryption for incoming mail and SPF/DKIM signing for outgoing mail.

That seems to be what they're referring to; that is, sending to an MX host that doesn't support opportunistic encryption) and/or receiving mail that doesn't have a valid DKIM signature. Did anyone else understand this differently?

finnn 2 days ago 1 reply      
>If you receive a message that cant be authenticated, youll see a question mark in place of the senders profile photo, corporate logo, or avatar.

This makes it sound like I (the sender) can set the image displayed if I am using DKIM. Is that the case? Or is it only if I have DKIM and have a Google account with that email?

Bino 1 day ago 1 reply      
Good initiative. Question is; what does the TLS icon indicate; is it just opportunistic TLS, or do they do any verification? What, if so? Some private consortium where only members can get a "green lock"?

What's the next step? Do they have DANE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNS-based_Authentication_of_Na... in mind, or some other initiative to get verified encryption such as "TES" https://openbit.eu/projekte/trusted-internet-services/

tomputer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I'm wondering if they also warn Gmail users if a mailserver has TLS enabled with a self-signed certificate. Because i think many mailservers actually support TLS but do ignore certificate verification, because of the self-signed certificates.
jcranmer 2 days ago 3 replies      
Unfortunately, this is the sort of a change that's a red herring for any actual improvements to email security.

The use of unencrypted or encrypted link to the receiving email provider's MX server doesn't change all that much in terms of who can read the email: it's still sitting in plaintext on the recipient's server (as well as the sender's server), and the group of actors who can sniff traffic on the backbone like that is probably just as easily able to get it from the servers.

The authentication feature is even worse. The problem of spam and phishing isn't that email claims to be from important-service@bigbank.com, it's that email claims to be from "Big Bank" <whoisthis@some.really.shady.ru>. It's been noted before that spammers tend to be the most aggressive at uptaking new "anti-spam" technologies like SPF and DKIM, and this sort of validation feature seems like a prime vehicle for exploitation by spammers.

ecthiender 2 days ago 2 replies      
There are really good, albeit few, alternatives:

Fastmail (https://www.fastmail.com/)

Tutanota (https://tutanota.com/)

Riseup (https://help.riseup.net/)

MicroBerto 2 days ago 6 replies      
In my opinion, you should just behave like your emails are public record.

This is the best way of approaching that technology.

more_corn 2 days ago 2 replies      
meh. This doesn't seem very interesting.What would be really interesting is gmail support for public key encryption. They're perfectly positioned to roll out a user-friendly key management system.
michaelmior 2 days ago 0 replies      
For anyone wishing to run their own mail server, check out Mail-in-a-Box[0]. It's relatively easy to set up, comes with a nice Web GUI and they recently added support for automatic provisioning of TLS certificates with Let's Encrypt.

[0] https://mailinabox.email/

jbclements 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll tell you what I want: I want Google to help identify non-DKIM-compliant forwarders. As the operator of (yes, I know) a vanity e-mail domain with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records, I have no problem sending mail to gmail directly; in fact, my outgoing mail uses postmark, so I'm not even directly responsible for my sending reputation.

BUT! It drives me crazy that many of my recipients get e-mail at hosts (schools, mostly) that forward the e-mail with differences (encoding changes, subject changes, etc.) that invalidate the DKIM signature. Since they're forwards, the SPF check is going to fail, too, so the end result is that google shoves it into a spam folder.

I claim that google definitely has the data to be able to identify these bad forwarders--heck, even mail sent from gmail to these hosts will presumably fail DKIM checks on the way back into google--and I'd love to see them contact these domains, or even publish a list of known bad forwarders, so that I can push them to make changes.

kevincox 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm glad that companies are starting to display warnings about insecurity. It used to be that the insecurity was only advertised if something that was supposed to be secure was broken. However not having any security in the first place is often worse. I would like to see this trend continue and start warning everyone about systems that aren't secure.
ck2 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like this idea but worry novices won't understand what a red flag (lock) really means and only assume the worst.
mayerzahid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Agari is on a mission to eliminate email as a channel for cyber attacks and enable businesses and consumers to interact safely.

Create your free DMARC record here: https://app.agari.com/dmarc/record_creator

Here is a webinar with Steve Jones, Executive Director of DMARC.org, John Rae-Grant of Google and Mike Jones, Agari Director of Product Management talking about email authentication. https://www.agari.com/project/webinar-the-authenticated-emai...

euske 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish someone made a better (non-SMTP) messaging standard which is secure, efficient, easier to understand/implement and without a clutter of all legacy stuff (and hopefully with a decent reference implementation!). Spams would still remain, but at least that would free us from worrying about the transportation layer security. (But then we might need to reinvent something like DNS on the way, so maybe that's why that no one is trying this.)
Johnny555 1 day ago 0 replies      
How disappointing, when I read the headline I thought Google was supporting PGP signing and encryption of emails. They could easily do so in their web and mobile clients, keeping emails safe from prying eyes.

Though that would also prevent analysis of emails for ad targeting, so they'd have to do it as some sort of paid project.

Nux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Will encryption via self-signed certs be accepted?
ksk 2 days ago 2 replies      
Its great that Google wants all the lines carrying data from their servers to be secure and tamper proof. It would be interesting to see if they ever support end to end encryption which would lock them out of scanning the data as well.
Tepix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Want to run your own mail server with TLS, SPF and DKIM? Check out sovereign on github. Makes it easier and includes a lot of other useful stuff such as your own calendar and contacts server.
nchelluri 2 days ago 1 reply      
question about this: if i send mail to my IMAP or POP server over TLS, it may still travel to various spots on the journey to its final destination unencrypted using SMTP, right?
tsmarsh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Support PGP already!
wizkkidd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great news!
theandrewbailey 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Gmail has always supported encryption in transit using TLS, and will automatically encrypt your incoming and outgoing emails if it can. We support industry-standard authentication to help combat email impersonation.

> 1. If you receive a message from, or are about to send a message to, someone whose email service doesnt support TLS encryption, youll see a broken lock icon in the message.

> 2. If you receive a message that cant be authenticated, youll see a question mark in place of the senders profile photo, corporate logo, or avatar.

AKA, it operates like the lock in my URL bar right now except in reverse. By the way Google has explained this feature, it seems fairly good to me. At least it doesn't say "this is secure" because, among other vulnerabilities, the remote server admin can still read what is received (as has always been the case with email).

a3_nm 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is interesting but as pointed out by other comments there is great danger of Gmail abusing their position to make life harder for small email providers.

I would be more positive towards this if they gave precise, technical details of their notion of "supporting TLS" and "being authenticated", ideally with a service allowing me to test easily whether my mail server is fine according to them (rather than having to sign up for Gmail to test it).

stock_toaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how long it will be before Google fully cuts Gmail off from the outside world, much like how they turned gchat from a member of the federated xmpp/jabber ecosystem into hangouts and cut it off from the everyone else.

I guess if nothing else, it would probably reduce spam!

pmlnr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm gettin tired of seeing 'mail is hard'. No, it's not.You need to learn it, and there are a lot of knobs and buttons, indeed, but it's not hard, especially not with the plethora of tutorials around.

Sysadmining was never that easy and was never intended to be done by the general public by clicking on a few 'continue' buttons and as the web is evolving, so is mail. Deal with it.

Amazon Lumberyard: free AAA game engine with Oculus and AWS integration amazon.com
438 points by dshankar  2 days ago   177 comments top 25
dahart 2 days ago 3 replies      

57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

thenomad 2 days ago 4 replies      
Digging into the details, it seems this is largely a fork or adaption of the CryEngine, with all the advantages and disadvantages that brings.

As I said about Autodesk's offering, Stingray, I think that even a giant like Amazon is going to have an uphill battle bringing a new game engine into mass use. Having been testing game engines just this week, I'm reminded just how much of an ecosystem has built up around Unity in particular - displacing an engine with that is like displacing Wordpress as the dominant blogging engine.

It's early days yet but they've got some serious catching up to do. For example, it appears that 3D assets can only currently be created in Max and Maya (no Blender, no Cinema4d), as rather than using FBX or similar as an interchange format they're using their own custom formats with an exporter. Most other game engines stopped doing that a while ago, for good reason.

Likewise, the level editor is either underdocumented or feature-light. The docs currently just cover creating terrain and vegetation. I assume that the engine has the capability to handle non-outdoor scenes too, but it's not explicitly documented anywhere I can find in a quick look.

There's also no documentation on non-sky lighting, lighting builds, light types, or similar that I can find. There's one mention that the engine supports Global Illumination, but no details as to whether it's realtime or requires a bake process. Searching for "lighting", "lights", or "light" in the documentation returns no results!

Interestingly, there's a full-featured cinematics system, which means it's of considerable interest to me, but that's very much a minority thing.

I wish them luck and I'll certainly be checking it out, having said all that. Another fully open-source 3D engine is no bad thing.

ascorbic 2 days ago 4 replies      
Note that it's "free, including all source code", but definitively not open source. https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/faq/#Licensing
Grue3 2 days ago 7 replies      
The wording is rather strange.

>free AAA game engine

Doesn't being called that require that there are AAA games developed with it? According to wikipedia,

"In the video game industry, AAA (pronounced "triple A") or Triple-A is a classification term used for games with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion or the highest ratings by a consensus of professional reviewers."

So if it's an engine for games with highest development budgets, why would they care about the engine being free? Clearly choosing a free engine is a cost-saving measure, at which point you're no longer making an AAA game by definition.

julius 2 days ago 3 replies      
The big question for me is: Why an entire engine?

If they were just interested in getting developers, to use their cloud services. Wouldn't they simply release plugins for all major engines? And wouldn't Unreal and Unity be much more interesting targets (based on their usage in the industry), than CryEngine?

markatkinson 2 days ago 6 replies      
I got pretty excited and rushed through the article trying to clarify what engine and language it is based on.

Got a little bleak when I saw CryEngine and C++. As someone who uses C# and Java it's becoming pretty clear I need to start learning C++ if I want to explore game dev.

I realize Unity uses C# but when I compare UE, Unity and CryEngine it really feels like Unity still has a long way to go. The features you get out the box with UE for example are far superior to Unity.

Anyway, I just went off topic. It looks like an interesting option for developing multiplayer focused games.

clebio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Minor nit: the link doesn't once mention Oculus. Only on the FAQ page is that mentioned. http://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/faq/

I mean, the closest thing to a title for this linked page would be the subheading:

> Amazon Lumberyard is a free AAA game engine deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch with full source.

twoquestions 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder why Amazon is going after game developers, as the gaming industry looks like a crowded and low-margin market.

Not to mention the free to try and mature tools that developers already have (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.)

JohnTHaller 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's an interesting ploy by Amazon to get game devs to lock themselves into Amazon's AWS for backend and Amazon's Twitch for streaming.
shadowmint 2 days ago 2 replies      
Some interesting legal stuff with this engine, which their FAQ(1) goes over.

Basically, use it for whatever, free of charge, but not with any other cloud services that mimic amazon's services(2).

Except cloud services for some things, which are fine:

 Your game may read and write data to platform services and public third-party game services for player save state, identity, social graph, matchmaking, chat, notifications, achievements, leaderboards, advertising, player acquisition, in-game purchasing, analytics, and crash reporting. 
Is it a game changer?

Hard to say, but like they say, you can't beat free.

If nothing else, a lot of people are going to download this and have a look at it and mess around with it.

Pretty exciting stuff. :)

[1] https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/faq/#licensing

[2] http://docs.aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/latest/userguide/lumbe...

usaphp 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's funny to see in that video how drastically different work environment is at "gunfire games" studio and twitch. Looks like day and night.
kderbe 2 days ago 0 replies      
My guess is Amazon plans to use this engine for their in-development AAA PC game [1][2] announced last year. Usually the engine spin-off happens after the game itself is released, so I wonder what their motivations are for promoting the standalone engine so soon.

[1] http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/245102/Sponsored_Amazon_i...

[2] https://games.amazon.com/jobs/

jdoliner 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty wowed.The quality of code that's being opensourced lately really seems to be ticking up. I didn't take the time to play with it so I'll be interested to hear the first reactions but it certainly looks pretty good in the screenshots. And integration directly into AWS could really streamline a lot of the difficulty of making online multiplayer games. I suspect this will put a new class of games in reach for indie development which is going to be really cool.
spullara 2 days ago 1 reply      
They recommend using an operating system (Windows 7) for which mainstream support ended over a year ago.
meow_mix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sure it can't be redistributed, but if it could wouldn't someone just repackage it and make it such that you didn't have to use AWS for the servers? Their goal is to make game devs go to AWS, so this makes sense to me
teamonkey 2 days ago 1 reply      
The thing I find weird about this is how Lumberjack is not compatible with any of Amazon's own devices. I would have expected their engine to support Fire tablets and Fire TV, at least.
gravypod 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is this auto-scaling back end system about? How does it work? Does it just launch more nodes in a cluster or does it actually expand the VM that you are running in like expanding an OVZ container.
akerro 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Peer attempted old style (potentially vulnerable) handshake. (Error code: ssl_error_unsafe_negotiation)

I'm unable to connect there from mobile and desktop Firefox.

shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
AWS integration sounds like a vendor lock-in to me.

Other than that, what value does it offer on top of Cry Engine that it uses?

sagivo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's about time we'll have some choice and better competition after Unity3d basically dominated the market.
wilhil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope their webpage isn't an indication of performance of EC2! I keep getting timeouts and errors :(
lobster_johnson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder how suitable this is for 2D development. Anyone know?
Kiro 2 days ago 1 reply      
How does the automatic lag compensation work?
zyngaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
FYI Microsoft.
theworstshill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not even going to try it on principle. Amazon is a big tentacled octopus thats tightening its grasp over any and every area it can. Lets leave Amazon for ecommerce and AWS.
Hacker Publishes Personal Info of 20,000 FBI Agents vice.com
352 points by molecule  2 days ago   171 comments top 23
gargravarr 2 days ago 1 reply      
In a perfect display of schadenfreude, the FBI might now be getting an idea of why people are reluctant to allow them unfettered access to their private information :)

Not really a useful comment, I know, but I had to show my appreciation for this guy for pulling down the FBI's pants!

nmc 2 days ago 3 replies      
What is this??? In the first <blockquote> of the article:

<p>20,000 FBI EMPLOYEES NAMES, TITLES, PHONE NUMBERS, EMAILS, COUNTRY<a href="</p">penis </a><a href="https://twitter.com/DotGovs/statuses/696796442850156545">Feb... 8, 2016</a></p>

Notice the weird <a> tag in the middle.

danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
> After tricking a department representative into giving him a token code to access the portal, the hacker claimed he used the compromised credentials to log into the portal, where he gained access to an online virtual machine. From here, the cybercriminal was presented with three different computers to access, he said, one of which belonged to the person behind the compromised email account. The databases of DHS and FBI details were on the DOJ intranet, the hacker said.

With public facing sites like Amazon -- who have necessarily engineered and refined security solutions to manage a wide surface area of attack from its customer base -- getting successfully social engineered on occasion, I shudder to think what the situation is at a large, multidecade bureaucracy where internal-only legacy technology stacks and access control procedures have probably resulted in a mindset of "oh just put that on a sticky note" workarounds just to get work done.

sanatgersappa 2 days ago 4 replies      
"If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear"
matt_wulfeck 2 days ago 4 replies      
> A spokesperson for the DOJ told Motherboard on Monday that the department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components...

Please don't give us the "we weren't hacked. It was a company we used that was!" Nonsense. I'm tired of hearing this. It's the same thing blue shield said when its/my/your data was pilfered. YOU are responsible for it! If you pass it off to some incompetent third party, then that reflects even more poorly on you!

ryanlol 2 days ago 1 reply      
The meaning of "personal info" sure has been diluted, this is zoominfo level data (in fact, based on a quick look it could very well be scraped from there).
IIAOPSW 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't see the problem. I thought privacy was dead.
noodles23 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every time I check HN, there's a new crypto tool, encrypted databases, and tips on hardening your servers. No matter how secure your system is technically, there is always the requirement to make parts of it "insecure" (in the sense that people buy enterprise encryption, but expect the company that sells it to keep a spare copy of the keys to recover lost data just in case)

The reality in cyber security is that people provide the weakest and easiest point of entry to compromise any computer system. Until the business side and process side of things improve, shit like this will remain common.

azraomega 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is just a dump of their "phonebook". Not even close to OPM hack... Sensationalist article.
a3n 2 days ago 1 reply      
> In any case, a DHS spokesperson said the agency is looking into the reports, though there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.

Except, you know, names. Merely being identified as a person moves you from not existing in the criminal universe to target. From name and other information comes yet other information, comes economic damage, or in this case, possibly life threatening damage.

DamnYuppie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone else notice that Crytobin appears to be down? Wonder if they took it offline because of this or are they simply blocking traffic in the US to it?
ck2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Everytime I see something like this I ask "why was this system connected to the internet in the first place".

Sure an intranet only computer can be compromised as well, usb drive, social engineering, etc. but it is exponentially harder.

Really hoping ICBM systems are not on the internet because some general wanted to monitor them from his smartphone.

aluhut 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder when the moment comes where really secret personal/information is going to appear only on paper again.

I wouldn't want this happening to me.

awqrre 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't that public data? name, country, phone number, email...
hellofunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Guys like this give hackers a bad name.
bamdadd 2 days ago 0 replies      
anyone have attempted to publish these on http://icwatch.wikileaks.org ?
moonshinefe 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find it somewhat interesting that this hacker didn't use this information for leverage, if he's indeed some strong supporter of the free Palestine cause. Instead, he just let it loose and raised the middle finger.

It makes me think either the supposed motivation for this hack isn't what it seems, or it was perpetuated by someone who's incredibly naive. It just doesn't seem to add up.

someonewithpc 2 days ago 7 replies      
That's not what "hacker" means. An Hacker is some person who enjoys tinkering with systems. You mean "cracker".
radius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting that the dataset only goes from A-Je. I wonder what happened to the rest of the data.

Also, I didn't realize the surname Acevedo was so popular...

uptown 2 days ago 2 replies      
Tangentially related, but have the people affected by the OPM hack last year been notified?
max_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thing in encrypted... i don't thinks is harmful to the US gov.
avukich 2 days ago 1 reply      
This guy should be captured and killed. Most FBI agents are very dedicated to trying to protect people and doing something like this should be an act of espionage and dealt with accordingly.
cookiecaper 2 days ago 6 replies      
This is a bummer. Most FBI agents are good people trying to help keep a lid on crime in their country. They don't deserve personal exposure or embarrassment for providing what is obviously a necessary, thankless, and underappreciated service.

I'm waiting for the day that script kiddies do something useful, like emptying out everyone's credit file or deleting all the pending bills in a major hospital system's computer. Embarrassing and/or exposing normal individuals doesn't provide any real macro-level help to anybody.

Why expat Americans are giving up their passports bbc.com
373 points by nkurz  1 day ago   383 comments top 46
timthelion 1 day ago 16 replies      
I am an American living in Prague and will be among those to give up their citizenship. The new FBAR requirements and the recently pushed through changes that require foreign banks to report are really a huge burden. It is a significant legal risk to be an American overseas. The fines are insane for failiure to report, even if you owe no taxes! You can easilly land yourself with a $20 000 - $80 000 fine for having a hundred bucks in the bank and no income. Indeed, it's not just double taxation, it's tripple taxation, because I have to have a special bank acount that is for Americans, and the fees for the "American expat" bank account are much higher than the ones for a normal bank account.

But I think that it is wrong to present this as a taxation issue. I would be fine with paying a percentage of my income in taxes. There are some benefits to being a US citizen, like that the army will rescue you if there is a civil war ;). But the fear uncertainty and doubt that surrounds these new regulations makes it nerve racking to be a citizen. Every expat I know here has nightmares about an audit comming and having all of their assets seized. And it has happened to some of them too! And that legal risk is no longer a form of taxation, because taxes are percentual (the more you earn the more you pay), but when you end up having to pay a fine that is higher than your net worth, that's just robbery.

We used to be a free nation, but thanks to austerity the 'r' had to be removed.

dalke 1 day ago 6 replies      
American citizens have to pay $2,350 to renounce citizenship? What kind of paperwork costs that much? (Or, why not just add more paperwork and charge $100K?)


> 1. Consular officers must confirm that the potential renunciant fully understands the consequences of renunciation, including losing the right to reside in the United States without documentation as an alien.

> 2. Consular officers must verify that the renunciant is a US citizen and they must conduct a minimum of two intensive interviews with the potential renunciant.

> 3. Consular officers must review at least three consular systems before administering the oath of renunciation.

> 4. The final approval of the loss of nationality must be done within the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C. After that, the case is returned to the Consular officer overseas for final delivery of the Certificate of Loss of Nationality to the renunciant.

"Intense"? http://hodgen.com/renunciation-interviews-intense/ gives a report from an interviewee:

> Also, despite what the State Department says, I did not have two intensive interviews, unless two interviews at a window open to view of all waiting in the Passport Section at the London Embassy count. These were to make sure, first, that everything was correct on the (many) forms I had sent in, and, second, that I understood the seriousness of the step I was taking and finally to swear/affirm my renunciation. I thought it was all rather less intensive than it should have been, considering the seriousness with which I had approached it.

The official estimate, reported at https://www.rt.com/usa/183972-fee-renounce-us-citizenship/ , is that:

> the State Department notice gives an estimate of a consular officers time at $135 an hour working for 20 hours.

and confirms:

> The questions are minimal and I didnt spend more than 15 minutes at the window either time. Its not intensive. They ask you: Are you aware of the ramifications of your actions? And Are you doing this of your own accord? she said.

Finally from http://worthly.com/news/cost-renouncing-u-s-citizenship/ I learn:

> Prior to 2010 it was free to renounce U.S. citizenship, but in July of that year a $450 was established.

anothermouse 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am British, and am married to an american. My wife moved to the UK and has never worked since. I had no idea about her obligation to file anything. She's been here for over a decade.

Like a lot of people we use a joint bank account. My salary, and anything else goes in there.

A couple of years ago I sold my flat in central London, and had 400K (600K USD) in there at various points. I have no idea how to bring my wife into compliance, as if I do, she will be expected to hand over 25% of the maximum balance of this account for every year it was undeclared to a maximum of 5 years. I.E. 125% of the maximum balance!

She remains unaware, and I don't file for her. We'd risk losing our house (brought with the proceeds of the previous sale), if I attempt to fix this. I live in absolute dread of the IRS, and what they may do to our happy family.

cbennett 1 day ago 2 replies      
Upset about this issue and want to make a positive difference rather than debating technicalities or simply waiting for the other shoe to drop?

It may be no surprise that FATCA and FBAR present several consitutitional issues. Chief among them are the following:

-As the IRS can unilaterally sign unauthorized pseudo-treaties with foreign governments, the Senates role in ratifying treaties is bypassed

-Fourth amendment: Private financial data is collected indiscriminately

-Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, as well as excessive fines, may be leveraged when compliance is not perfect, and without Rule of Law provisions to ensure any protection for the accused. (My recapitulation of points in [1] )

Thankfully, several large scale legal challenges on exactly these grounds are now underway- by Sen Rand Paul and 6 other expats [2] , and perhaps even more promisingly, by super lawyer Jim Bopp (who took down Mc-Cain Feingold [3]).

You can also donate a small amount to support the latter case: https://fatcalegalaction.com/contribute/Thanks for reading, lets not give up hope, and remain fired up to the correctness of this cause because, in the words of Bopp - The U.S. Constitution protects every citizens liberty and freedom, while FATCA undermines both,

We deserve better!

Signed,An American living in Paris

[1] http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18253...

[2] http://www.taxanalysts.com/www/features.nsf/Features/9D07FB4...

[3] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/5/superlawyer-j...

letitleak 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The US Treasury worked tirelessly to address many of these problems, and most have been resolved. If there are still problems with the law, then I believe Congress should hold hearings to see how it can be improved."

I bet they are wondering how to stay motivated on this one. Well a minor update to the legal system should fix the problem:

Welcome to Congress, we have now designated you a "US Congress Person" for filing purposes.

Being or having been a Members of Congress will require you to file all forms that could be requested of any "US Person".

In cases like FATCA you will also be required to disclose all accounts in your country of residence to meet our test of equivalence for "US Persons" abroad. Banks in the US will now be required to follow all procedures for FATCA for the special case of "US Congress Persons" or face 30% penalties. If Banks are unable to establish whether account holders are "US Congress Persons" they shall pay 30% penalties on all US sourced income.

The penalties for failure to file any form as a "US Congress Person" shall be no less than the highest established for other "US Persons".

Being convicted of some crimes and failures to file may limit your time in office but does not change your status and obligations as a "US Congress Person". If (Ex-)Congresspeople would like to renounce their citizenship they will automatically face the maximum 10 years of continued filing with the IRS as provided by the current regulations. "US Congress Person" like "US Person" can not be renounced separately.

Children of US Congress Persons shall inherit all filing birthrights of being a "US Congress Person".

(edit- fix mis-attribution of renunciation/IRS filing issue to FATCA)

youngbullind 1 day ago 4 replies      
This affects my girlfriend. She has a dual passport but only lived in the US to the age of six months. We are are British but live in Spain which already makes for complex tax arrangements, and this on top of things is just crazy. How the hell does the US think it has the right to tax people who haven't lived there for over 30 years?
rbehrends 1 day ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, at least part of the problem should be fixed when the EU's Payment Accounts Directive [1] comes into effect [2]. It prohibits both discrimination on the basis of nationality (as long as the customer is legally resident) in article 15 and enshrines the right to a basic bank account in article 16.

This does not solve the other problems with FATCA, but it should eliminate at least one practical and very real annoyance for Americans living in the EU.

[1] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A3...

[2] Technically, the directive is to be transposed by September 18, 2016 at the latest, but some member states may be dragging their feet.

josh_fyi 1 day ago 1 reply      
For most tax forms, the IRS says "you have to fill out this form so as to pay the correct taxes."

For FATCA, the IRS says "FATCA targets tax non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts." https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Foreign-Account-...

In other words, FATCA treats all Americans overseas as a priori criminals -- the form is being filled out to "target non-compliance."

madaxe_again 1 day ago 5 replies      
So, I know a us born billionaire who rescinded his citizenship last year to avoid fatca.

He has successfully evaded both the US and UK tax authorities to the tune of half a billion or so, he tells me.

The guy gives crazy amounts to philanthropic causes instead. He doesn't want his hard earned wealth pissed away by clueless bureaucrats.

So. Anyone who tells you fatca has been a success is full of it. It penalises "normal" people, and the evaders keep on evading. Uruguay is where they've all now got citizenship.

smazero 1 day ago 4 replies      
The use of the term "expat" rather than "immigrant" is interesting. I read a piece in the guardian the other day which framed that distinction in terms of white vs non-white (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-...), but it's obviously a bit more complicated than that. I don't think the two terms are synonyms, but they are very close, and once you try to pick apart the differences, I think the distinction does start to unravel.

Thought experiment: think about how the article would have felt had it been titled: "Why American immigrants are giving up their passports". I think it would have felt different, and I wonder whether an American reader might have felt slightly insulted by that change.

I'd be interested to know whether other languages/cultures draw that same subtle distinction between "immigrants" and "expats", or whether it's just some vestigial remnant of the UK's colonial past.

DyslexicAtheist 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just noticed that this year if you open a bank account in most EU places they all ask you if you are a US citizen or have a green-card for the US to tick a box on the account opening forms.

I'd really hate it if my own country would force all the banks in the world to report back to the "mothership" and hence track my every move around the world for what? The IRS? Sure there are also other implications such as total control over the movements of a citizen. Can see why people renounce their citizenship. This isn't freedom any more.

singold 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work at a non-US bank and we can't have US citizens as clients because of fatca.

We would like to have them as clients but AFAICT fatca compliance would cost us a non trivial amount of money for the few (but relatively wealthy) potential clients

arto 1 day ago 3 replies      
For those looking to renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mike Gogulski has chronicled and documented the whole paperwork-heavy process on his blog:


In his case, after submitting the paperwork and burning his passport on YouTube, he chose to not get another citizenship, which means he's now stateless.

pmontra 1 day ago 1 reply      
Every form I see about financial matters here in Italy has a checkbox that I must tick to state I'm not a US person. No financial institution wants to deal with them because of FACTA. An unintended consequence for sure and I hope they'll fix it. Still it's telling about the general attitude of lawmakers all around the world.
Fizzadar 1 day ago 0 replies      
One reason I'll never seek a Green Card or any kind of permanent residency. Such a shame for such an awesome country; I'd love to spend some years living in the US.
mark_l_watson 1 day ago 0 replies      
This story hits close to home. My wife and I had wanted to buy a home in Central America (I really enjoy that area of the world) and live there about 2/3 of the time, but also maintaining a modest residence in Arizona.

We gave up that dream when FACTA became a law. The US government is basically making it as nasty as possible for citizens to live abroad.

Why is the government doing this? I think it is simple economics. Americans spending their social security checks, and savings, in other countries slightly weakens our economy.

We also love living in Arizona, so life is good, but the FACTA laws are nasty shit.

henridf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another scenario:

US Citizen living and working abroad buys a house for X in local currency. Later sells same house for the same amount X in local currency. That local currency has appreciated by 20% against USD in the timeframe. And the IRS computes capital gains in USD, not in local currency.

Net result: the seller owes IRS "capital gains" taxes on 20% of the value of a house that was bought and sold for the same price.

MikeNomad 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't the "I" in "I.R.S." stand for "Internal?"
karlcoelho1 1 day ago 2 replies      
Scared to turning my permanent residency into citizenship now.
peteretep 1 day ago 4 replies      
America is one of the few countries that could get away with this, as being American has such a premium. It'd be nice to see them use their clout to force through legislation that stopped companies from playing silly beggars with their offshore profits if they wanted access to US markets.
toni 1 day ago 1 reply      
Doesn't US have bilateral tax treaties with (at least) Western European counties? And shouldn't such a treaty strive to protect American citizens from paying double taxes?
rbcgerard 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to excessive paperwork, potentially higher taxes, loss of privacy, inability to obtain financial services (bank accounts, mortgages), Americans living abroad also deal with punitive treatment of pensions earned while abroad if they have also earned u.s. pensions and poor political representation...

I'd also suggest those of you living abroad to check out https://www.americansabroad.org/ a political advocacy group (i have no affiliation)

tokenadult 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the article, "In 2010, just 1,006 gave up being US citizens, but since then the numbers have risen every year."

Let's think quantitatively to see if there is really a net trend here. In the most recently reported year, there were approximately 680,000 new United States citizens through naturalization.[1] So barely more than 1,000 United States citizens renouncing citizenship is swamped by several hundred thousand new citizens each year. I am an American citizen who has spent two three-year stays working and living abroad during my adult life. I've read about this taxation issue for decades, and filed United States tax forms from my place of foreign residence, but I've never seen a good reason to renounce my United States citizenship, nor has anyone else in my family.

The most common complaint about United States policies around citizenship that I see here on Hacker News is the complaint that it should be much easier to come to the United States to work on an employment-based visa. (It's more difficult than many participants on Hacker News desire, but settling in the United States with an employment-based visa is sufficiently easy that I know people just in my own social circle here in the Midwest who have settled here from Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Ecuador, Argentina, Korea, and a variety of other countries. Many people would like even more employment-based visas to be available, but they are already available by the tens of thousands.

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/archive/archive-news/naturalization-fa...

letitleak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wasn't familiar with Charles Rangel until I read this article..

For anyone who suspects the US is engaged in a "Buy American" (or else) campaign to sell domestic evasion/financial services, the man who apparently wants to be identified as behind FATCA seems to be the poster child of evasion the patriotic way:


The Worlds Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (bloomberg.com)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10978847

NTDF9 1 day ago 0 replies      
So is America still the land of the free?

It looks more like a prison:- Follow rules (that you are supposed to somehow know)- Forced to take on debts to survive- Hope you don't get penalized or - God forbid you need healthcare

It's a great country for people with money and resources. The common man is just screwed.

personlurking 1 day ago 1 reply      
> "The United States is one of only two countries in the world that has citizenship-based taxation (the other is Eritrea)."

I very recently read that Brazil does this too - that no matter where you currently live or work, as a Brazilian citizen, you have to pay taxes on it to Brazil (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

gyardley 1 day ago 0 replies      
For all the people from HN dreaming of American immigration, be aware that 'US citizens' in this article (any anything else pertaining to taxation) should generally be read as 'US citizens and permanent residents'.

Also be aware that while renouncing permanent residency is much simpler (and you'll be sure to lose it if you're out of the country long enough), you may be exposed to significant tax liabilities for doing so - especially if you're holding illiquid startup stock.

farslan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does this also affect H1B holder that are temporary living outside the US?
sakabaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't that fully a political issue? Current administration want to be tuff on foreign accounts, but some GOP candidates seem to reverse the law.

Ref: http://www.repealfatca.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&idsubmenu=159&...

emiliobumachar 1 day ago 1 reply      
"...foreign banks to identify US citizens among their customers to US tax authorities. The penalty for failing to do so can be as high as 30% of all a bank's dealings with the USA."

So, could any new, small bank start accepting americans as costumers but completely refuse to deal with the USA, not even a tiny transfer, or charge a 50% fee for each transaction?

Would that be legal?

X86BSD 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had questions about this for some time.

1) When you drop US citizenship and become "stateless", what happens? Are you deported from the US since you are no longer a citizen? To where?

2) Are you unable to get health insurance? A job, with no SSN?

This has fascinated me for years but I have never seen anyone write about the real world practical impacts of what happens if you become stateless.

Any links to that information?

TazeTSchnitzel 1 day ago 0 replies      
> [Double taxation] has been the case in the US since the Civil War in the 19th Century

That's a fascinating detail to me, as it explains why the US, and pretty much only the US, has double taxation. I'm guessing they instituted it so Union citizens still had to pay tax even when living in the Confederacy?

maxlamb 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't understand, isn't it easier to get around this by keeping your foreign bank account balance low (less than 10k) and transferring money on a regular basis to your US bank accounts to make sure it stays under 10k?
0x2015 1 day ago 0 replies      
This makes America looking really dam pathetic and makes me less proud to be an American.
peter303 1 day ago 0 replies      
Its a tiny percentage too, less than 1 in 2000 living abroad. A higher fraction dies abroad every year.
pvaldes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how bitcoin could fit in this scenery.
IIAOPSW 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't even have to click to know what this is about. God damn government wants to tax me despite being overseas.

Don't get me wrong here. I love my country but hot damn do I hate our government. HK or UK or Canadian passport would probably be nearly as good but without any of the bullshit.

DCPOS_Anthony 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's an amazing story. I never knew those details.
tsukikage 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, is it time to throw some tea in the harbour now?
VLM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised 10% of the comments are on the topic of Grenada-style evacuation from warzones. The total number of evacuee's vs total number of expatiates over the last couple decades must be a truly microscopic percentage.

I have a long term goal of moving to Canada; better health care system, I love winter sports and weather, etc. I personally know people in Belgium and Sweden and Ireland. Evac sounds very unlikely, and if there were a military invasion, it would probably be the USA doing it, so I'm anticipating coordination would be complicated to the point of uselessness (First cross the front lines of the battle without getting killed to enter the USA sector, then evac? Seriously?).

serge2k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it because of incredibly dumb tax laws?

reads article


Fatca is a pretty gross law.

known 1 day ago 0 replies      
US dollar is a giant Pyramid scheme.http://www.zerohedge.com/print/502779
known 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reasons for giving up your US citizenship aren't officially listed, but one of the main reasons cited is Fatca - a 2012 law designed to target overseas accounts held by wealthy Americans.
crdoconnor 1 day ago 5 replies      
>Her voice cracks and her eyes well up. She is in the process of relinquishing her American nationality. Soon she'll visit the US embassy formally to renounce her citizenship, she says, under duress.

>"I'm very proud of being an American. It's what I am when I look in the mirror.

>"If it weren't for Fatca [the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act] and the decision by the bank, I'd never be doing this. Never ever. It's just breaking me in half."

Caterwauling by the 1%.

sk3l 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you live abroad & give up your citizenship, I think you should sign a waiver clause giving US government release of liability for any security, diplomatic services, basically anything you'd ever ask for. The US is off the hook for your safety and comfort, forever. Perhaps this is already part of the process, not sure.

IMO, depending on where you are living abroad, that might give one misgivings about turning in ones passport.

Just my 2 satoshis.

Why Stack Overflow Doesnt Care About Ad Blockers stackoverflow.com
390 points by smacktoward  2 days ago   165 comments top 27
toast0 2 days ago 4 replies      
> An important part of the QA process is ensuring that not just the creative, but the advertiser is relevant to our audience. Every single ad to appear on any of our sites is vetted by the operations team.* We check copy and content on the ads as well as the landing pages. What we repeatedly ask ourselves in this QA process is quite simple: is this relevant to users?

If other sites did this, maybe ad blocking wouldn't be so prevalent.

vinceguidry 2 days ago 3 replies      
The problem with selectively un-blocking individual sites is that it poses a management problem, plus it wouldn't take many bad ads to come through to cause me to go back to just blocking everything.

I'm sorry, but this really is a case of "this is why we can't have nice things." I would rather give up all premium Internet content than to have to actually manage the problem or any of the purported solutions to the problem.

YouTube would be the hardest to give up, but most of my favorite producers have Patreons and their own video-hosting sites anyway, and I might even be able to eke out a profit helping the rest move too if they needed it. I can simply curate individual "super-premium" content creators and patronize them, leaving the likes of Wired and WSJ to their fates.

I already use TheBrowser and use their micro-payment service, but I only ever put $5 on it, there just isn't that many paid articles. The content industry is extremely insistent on forcing advertising on me, sorry but no. Especially for high-volume news sites, the PITA factor far outweighs whatever insight I get from the news articles themselves.

donretag 2 days ago 4 replies      
StackOverflow does not have to pay editors, they have users that contribute for free. Somewhat tacky of SO to not mention this fact.

Just like traditional writers have publishing statistics, online writers use analytics to calculate how much reach their pieces have. It is sad, but writers count on pageviews, which is why you see many clickbait titles.

WaxProlix 2 days ago 0 replies      
This addresses a lot of complaints people have with ads from a UX perspective, but misses some of the technical reasons that a lot of folks (probably disproportionately represented on sites like SO) have for blocking ads and tracking scripts, which is that they're fucking intrusive, not just on a given experience but into one's life. Since most ad impressions are coupled with some persona creation and event linking these days, it's not as simple as "we want to make ads more relevant and high-quality".
kelnos 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's really great to see that people are paying attention to the problem of low-quality ads.

But I don't want to see ads. Of any quality level, high or low. Ever. I will never turn off my ad blocker, for any site.

I just don't want my day-to-day to be influenced by random companies trying to sell me things. Certainly, I can't avoid it: I live in a city, and walk everywhere I can, and it's impossible to avoid seeing billboards and the like. If I could wear a pair of contact lenses that would blank out real-world advertising, I would. But online ads I can avoid.

I buy things when I want to. If I feel that I have a specific want or need for something, I'll seek it out, and select the brand and model based on research pulled from the most unbiased sources that I can find. Perfect? No, of course not. But advertising is an abomination.

fabian2k 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stack Exchange also reduces the amounts of ads for all users that have more than 200 reputation. This is a pretty easy threshold to hit, and after that only the ads in the sidebar remain. So many of the active SO users will only see a small amount of ads anyway.
lamontcg 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Our belief is that if someone doesnt like them, and they wont click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who wont click on them harms campaign performance."

^^^ so much this.

there's this implied assumption that everyone using an adblocker is lost revenue, but a lot of that is going to be shitty ad impressions that never lead to clicks.

like it or not, advertisers can't actually put a gun to my head and force me to click on an ad and buy anything.

even if its a targeted ad that manages to engage me (coincidentally this did actually happen this morning with an ad from one of the rare newsletters that i've allowed to be sent to my e-mail inbox) then it probably doesn't work the way with me that advertisers want it to. i managed to find a product that i was interested in, but it was too expensive for me. so i did a "brandX vs ..." search on google to find brandY and now i've bookmarked the product their competition sells which seems to be more in line with my budget...

if you want to 'game' my purchasing habits you'd be better off not advertising at all in the classical sense, but instead send your product to review sites and/or just buy reviews in order to saturate google results. however, when all i see is obviously bought off review sites i'll go looking for relevant forums and look for user threads. by far the best thing there is to have a social media presence and have a staffer that surfs through forum sites and answers questions.

plus, you know, just have a good product for a good price to get people talking well about it... i realize that's some fucking crazytalk there though...

jxramos 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos to StackOverflow! Especially the sentiment recognizing "scantily-clad women selling flight deals" as a low quality ad. I'm a married man, I don't need that sort of noise and nonsense in my life. This blog further deepens my loyalty to the StackOverflow community.
fascinated 2 days ago 1 reply      
I thought the actual reason they don't care is that the Careers program brings in much more revenue?
makecheck 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love what Daring Fireball does; simply a paragraph describing some sponsor: who they are and what they do. I find myself reading it every time and even being interested. I can say with 100% certainty that I have never had that reaction to any "traditional" ad however.
ck2 2 days ago 0 replies      

Our belief is that if someone doesnt like them, and they wont click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who wont click on them harms campaign performance.

and you know what, it's not the ad so much that bothers me, it's the 27 trackers added to the page by three ads in adsense and all their roundtrips and javascript lag

I wish we could bring back the days of text ads that were interesting.

Joof 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stack overflow has an interesting difference to most websites: their users provide their content. Users that run ad-block are still potentially valuable.
vitd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can anyone explain this quote to me? They say:

>we permit users to downvote or close ads that they dont like.

Before I used an ad blocker, I noticed that they had a thumbs up/thumbs down icon you could click and choose from why you didn't like the ad. I did this literally dozens to hundreds of times on the same "Azure" ad, and it never stopped showing up until I installed an ad blocker. Is that what he's referring to? If not, what does he mean?

lyschoening 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most of StackOverflow's income comes from their job postings. When I posted a job on SO a year ago, I asked them about Ad blockers. The salesperson told me confidently that they were not concerned because only 'around 5% of visitors' or some other small number used an Ad blocker.

I was, and still am, quite sceptical about that claim. (At any rate, I don't know how to feel about a web developer who does not use an Ad blocker in this day and age.) It began to make more sense to me recently when the Jobs section was added to the SO front page and the new CV was introduced: Their approach now is to help developers and employers actively look up ads/CVs when they are in need of them.

gwbas1c 2 days ago 3 replies      
Honestly, I never wanted to enable ad-blockers. I started doing it because of ads that flash, make noise, slow down the site, obscure content, ect, ect.

I really wish ad-blockers would default to an "block annoying ads only" mode; or some kind of whitelist mode; or even some way to crowdsource so that only annoying ads get blocked.

vuldin 2 days ago 1 reply      
"At this point, its pretty clear that ad blocking is a big deal. A recent study suggesting the advertising industry is set to lose over $22 billion in 2015 alone as a result of ad blockers is setting off alarm bells. That is a LOT of money."

This line of thinking makes me livid. They aren't losing money if they never were entitled to it in the first place. Get used to seeing my adblock, and if you or anyone else is interested in getting any money from me, then your only hope is to focus your efforts on coming up with an awesome product.

bluedino 2 days ago 0 replies      
>> Bret and the ad server team dug in and investigated screen size of every user across the Stack Exchange network and concluded that only about 2% of users would be affected by the change.

While no users might have cared, the meta thread was pretty controversial.


yeukhon 2 days ago 0 replies      
The ads are targeting at the right audience. They are not accepting ads selling baby toys or the next movie discount. That's a huge difference.
captainmuon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ad Blockers wouldn't matter so much if

a) people would self-host ads or b) the target of the ad would host them (but not a third party). You could randomize ad source code and layout such that an ad blocker would have no chance removing it.

An alternative would be c) if there was much more diversity on the advertising market, and every site would serve ads from multiple competing agencies (with different formats and different URLs). This would also make it harder to block, and also make it harder for advertising agencies to create profiles (one of many reasons people block ads).

amelius 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Our belief is that if someone doesnt like them, and they wont click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who wont click on them harms campaign performance.

Okay, so why not then make ad-blockers unnecessary by providing a "don't show ads" option?

glossyscr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wait until Adblock blocks your 'Jobs near you' ad and your other job ad links which is StackOverflows main revenue streampaired with 40% Adblock desktop users.

And you tell us you do not care?

bobby_9x 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's true that if a person just doesn't like them they won't click on them.

However, if Adblock becomes a default install, you will have more and more people never clicking on the ads because they never knew about them in the first place.

I hate annoying ads, but this will eventually make it impossible for small business owners to make a living through ads.

The playing field will be only big corporations, because they can handle ad blocks. The same thing has happened with the music industry over the past decade and it's just repeating in a new industry.

I feel like the new generation is pushing for more government and corporate control.

voltagex_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there any point to running ads on a small site / blog any more?

It's a lot of work to curate your average stream of garbage coming from AdSense etc. I really want to find a targetted ad network from a smaller company who might actually care about individual customers (if anyone knows such an ad network for {food,cooking,photography,travel,restaurants,health} let me know).

irascible 2 days ago 0 replies      
And importantly.. add servers brought this on themselves. If they had catered to users and given them the tools they needed to tailor their experience, they wouldn't be in the situation they are now. Salty tears...
hardwaresofton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sure wish this post covered the financial impact of these decisions more thoroughly.
ttctciyf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I share the dislike of and militancy against ads evinced by some of the posts here.

I started reading the piece thinking "Oh, another marketing guy who's drunk the 'relevant ads are good for people and everyone apart from a few contrarians really likes them' kool-aid.

So I was surprised to read what seems to be a rare example of sane thinking in an advertising person:

 The truth is: we dont care if our users use ad blockers on Stack Overflow. More accurately: we hope that they wont, but we understand that some people just dont like ads. Our belief is that if someone doesnt like them, and they wont click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who wont click on them harms campaign performance.
Yes! I will never click on an ad that somehow gets past my ad-blocking stuff, it is just a big fat waste of money serving me the ad that I will never click on.

Isn't it a bigger waste of money, though, serving me the page that will never monetize because I will never click on the ads?

Let's assume that the only reason for the existence of the site is to make money. Then by blocking ads, I'm signaling my intent to frustrate this purpose. Shouldn't the site just not serve me any pages at all since my intent is clear?

Interestingly, the site-owner's view of the intrinsic (i.e. non-monetary) value of their site figures into this calculation, it seems.

If the site is (at one extreme) disposable click-bait with no substantial content that can't be found at a dozen similar sites, then it's a reasonable assumption that if you disable access for ad-blocking users, they'll just go and get their meaningless content elsewhere rather than enable ads. Since their ad-blocking ways are a good indicator that even if they enabled ads for whatever reason, they'd probably never click on the ads anyhow, it makes economic sense in this case to just dispense with the users.

At the other extreme, if your site is (let's say) a premier source of useful information in some sizable field, it's a good bet that if you force ad-blocking users to enable ads they will often continue to visit your site, either participating in an ad-blocking arms-race that makes it increasingly expensive for you to circumvent the blocking, or capitulating by loading the ads but just never, ever, clicking on them, costing you more money either way.

So even from a purely financial POV, the strategy of just not caring about ad-blocking looks like a win, without having to invoke the nobler-but-woolier considerations about wanting to "make the world a better place for developers."

Other ad-ops people in charge of intrinsically valuable web estate would do well to follow SO's thinking, IMO!

teambob 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does Stack Overflow have ads? I have been running ad blockers since they started
GNU Social, a FLOSS alternative to Twitter gnu.io
368 points by striking  3 days ago   248 comments top 38
jeena 2 days ago 4 replies      
Reading the comments here it seems that people are missing the point by just joining one of those instances.

It is not about just using some alternative to Twitter, the real advantage begins when you host it yourself so that you can own your own content and post whatever you want (not what some company wants you to) and (perhaps) syndicate to other services like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.

I just gave a small talk about all this last week: https://jeena.net/media/2016/IndieWeb-Jeena.pdf

tehmillhouse 2 days ago 10 replies      
Before the site has given me any reason to join, it makes me choose between 7 virtually indistinguishable options of providers with subtle technical advantages and disadvantages.

Ah, GNU projects. Never change.

reidrac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used StatusNet when it was identi.ca for quite some time, specially because back then Twitter really allowed 3rd party clients and with multi-protocol clients was really easy to use both.

When I was using identi.ca it was pretty much about Linux, Open Source, and basically that was it. I never got the same level of interaction I can enjoy in Twitter; but that's not a technical issue, is just that a social network needs people to interact and identi.ca back then (and I suspect GNU Social today) was not used enough to make it interesting for me.

I tried, because you can argue that is silly to complain about not enough people using a social network if you don't start using it yourself; but at some point identi.ca got flooded with bots and people "abusing" the API instead of using the social network, and I gave up.

I love twitter because I can meet people based on common interests (eg, 8-bit computers), and also broadcast about my current projects (not sure who finds that interesting though).

To be honest, things should get really bad with Twitter for me to leave it, but then I don't think there will be a substitute (and if there's one, having my own infrastructure would be very low priority, in the same way I don't host my own XMPP server).

F30 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, can anybody elaborate on the history of and relationship between StatusNet, identi.ca, GNU social and pump.io? It seems like this fragmentation is another obstacle for success, besides the obvious issue of gaining traction.

And then there's tent.io, which appears to be completely unrelated but have similar goals. Is there anyone with insights on usage numbers, development activity etc. of the different projects? In other words: What's the best bet for federated, open source microblogging?

chriswarbo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Like others, I used to use StatusNet back when it powered identi.ca, and abandoned it when they switched to pump.io and everything broke.

I considered running my own StatusNet/GNUSocial/pump.io instance, or even writing an OStatus plugin for the CMS I used to run my site on, but have come to the realisation that such software isn't the right path for federation.

If I were running a popular site with many users, e.g. a forum, then such features might be nice to add. But hosting my own multi-user, dynamic, OAuth-based Web app just for myself is crazy; especially when the only other thing my server hosts is a static HTML site (I had the same realisation that a multi-user, dynamic CMS Web app was also insecure overkill). In fact, I never used to use the identi.ca Web site anyway; I used the XMPP bot until it got turned off, then switched to RSS feeds and a custom posting command ( http://chriswarbo.net/git/warbo-utilities/branches/master/we... )

Unfortunately I've not seen a simple, single-user, no-authentication-required, non-Web-app (preferably commandline) implementation of these protocols (OStatus, Salmon, webmention, etc.) which I could use alongside a standalone, untrusted API endpoint on my server.

I spotted some IndieWeb links on HN a few weeks ago and some of what they say resonates with me, e.g. https://indiewebcamp.com/monoculture Unfortunately, some of their technology seems heavily focused on non-federated, non-FOSS walled gardens which I don't want to be part of (e.g. IndieAuth can use a Google account, a GitHub account, a Twitter account, etc. It claims to support email, but that seems to have died since Mozilla Persona shut down)

Grishnakh 2 days ago 3 replies      
Stuff like this is never going to work, because it suffers from the chicken-and-egg problem. Everyone (who cares about Twitter or something like it) uses Twitter because everyone else uses Twitter. You can make an account on Quitter or Diaspora or any other decentralized FLOSS network, but it'll be useless because all your non-nerd friends (and most of your nerd friends too) won't have accounts there, and will continue to use Twitter and Facebook because that's where all their contacts are. There's not really any way around this. The only thing that can happen is that something will somehow become so popular that everyone will just abandon the current service. This is what happened with MySpace: for whatever reasons, everyone moved over to Facebook, and abandoned MySpace, and now it's a dessicated husk that seems to become a place for bands to advertise and that's about it. This could potentially happen with either Facebook or Twitter, but I'm not holding my breath; the masses have shown over and over now that they're happy to chain themselves to highly centralized, proprietary products and services: FB, Twitter, the "app stores", not to mention all the proprietary software out there that intentionally and obviously uses nasty lock-in tactics.
rocky1138 2 days ago 3 replies      
The https://quitter.se anti-capitalist message didn't resonate with me, so I joined the https://gnusocial.no federation. Much friendlier :)
artlogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
The more interesting thing to do (for this crowd, at least) would be to run your own instance: https://git.gnu.io/gnu/gnu-social/blob/master/INSTALL
akumpf 2 days ago 1 reply      
How hard/easy is it to switch servers and retain @accountname references (i.e. your username)?

When faced with a big list of servers to choose between, my hesitation is that I'll pick one now and realize later that another one is better. For example, I may someday want to host GNU social myself, but if I do so will I essentially be starting over (even if I can retain my data, will my connections still retain a relationship to the new server?).

A nice little diagram and/or technical details page would be much appreciated :)

shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Diaspora* is also an interesting option.

* https://diasporafoundation.org

* https://the-federation.info

Gracana 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a good way to publish to this at the same time as twitter, so I'm already established and can drop twitter when it dies?
mark_l_watson 2 days ago 2 replies      
After reading about GNU Social on HN last night I created an account on the first of the 6 provides, loadaverage.org

I like the service and I am considering running my own server. My account is https://loadaverage.org/markwatson and I am going to start out by cross posting some of the things I post on Twitter and G+ and see where this goes.

When I quit consulting at Google in 2013 the first thing I did when I got home was to write an article on how to use Twitter, G+, and Facebook while preserving some degree of privacy. If alternatives like GNU Social catch on (a big IF), that will be a good thing!

markbao 2 days ago 1 reply      
Neat product but the "familiar user interface" for a Quitter is literally a copy of Twitter. That's not a good look.
motters 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've recently been making some debian packages for GNU Social, if anyone wants to try them out.


In particular it's the qvitter plugin which makes this system really usable, both on desktop and mobile.

teekert 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to be a big Indent.ca fan, it used to run on status.net foss. Apparently now it is pump.io, a foss micro-blogging service.


sspiff 2 days ago 4 replies      
A bit odd to see them all labeled "runs out of Europe". I understand why they do this, but it's not like European hosting is a bullet proof solution for invasive snooping or data requisition.
jtreminio 2 days ago 4 replies      
I was excited to learn that GNU Social is in PHP, but quickly turned off because of the quality of the PHP code.
Jr77 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm beginning to think social media is toxic for society as a whole, do we even really want an source alternative to twitter, should twitter cease to exist?
dcw303 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't get it. I went to gnusocial.no to join, and there's no link to sign up. I eventually found a register link off the help page (not visible on mobile for some reason), and I just get a messsage "Sorry, only invited people can register".

Do they want people to join this or not?

CookieMon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to need a bunch of "Share it on..." icons to annoyingly slap on all of my web pages :D
equalarrow 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wasn't this the initial goal of app.net? I know it's morphed somewhat now, but, if I remember correctly, it came about as a direct response to some Twitter developer in-niceness.
rootlocus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Chrome complains about https://micro.vinilox.eu

"Attackers might be trying to steal your information from micro.vinilox.eu (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID"

rozzin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I run a GNU social hub for granite-staters, in case anyone's interested...: https://nhcrossing.com/
sarciszewski 2 days ago 1 reply      
A PHP project without a composer.json?

Say it ain't so!


mohsinr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am excited about it. We can launch own instance for local community and it will be another good communication tool with full control to achieve the goal.

It could be twitter for XYZ institute or university, or for a MMC internal network ? Or I am missing the point?

leftdevel 2 days ago 3 replies      
What's the value proposition over Twitter?
fatline 2 days ago 4 replies      
what leaves me skeptic about these kind of alternative services like GNUSocial and Diaspora is not much when, if ever, or how they will be able to attract the necessary critical mass of users that makes them relevant. Instead, it what would happen after that. The main two questions I would be interested in would be:

(1) do they scale to the size of, say, Twitter (~400M Daily Active Users, Facebook ~1B DAU)?(2) what would be their business model?

The thing is.. hypothetically GNUSocial is very nice. It's free software, it's an open protocol, you are supposedly in perfect control of your personal data. In theory, there's no reason not to prefer it to the current state of things (if only you could make it appealing to your grandma or 14 years-old cousin).

However, when, for instance, the Justin Biebers, the Lady Gagas, the Obamas join it together with their hundreds of millions of followers, or simply when the tweets per minute reach hundreds of thousand or even millions, can the GNUSocial protocol ensure a reliable and responsive (~ real time) service? And if it does, what's the maintenance and hardware cost for the confederations? And how are they supposed to financially cover for it?

Sure, there are services based on open protocols that have been extremely successful at scaling (e.g., email, or bittorrent), still, they have different requirements than a social network. Can we make an open social network of independent confederations scale? Probably yes, but whether GNUSocial is ready for it or not is an open question (as far as I know..).

In any case, take the example of the email. The protocol is open, there's a "confederation" of independent providers taking part to it. It handles a massive amount of data every day. You don't even have necessarily to store your data on a cloud server. That's great.

Still, at the end of the day everyone uses free mail services (GMail, Yahoo, you name it), heavily maintained by hundreds/thousands of dedicated (and skilled, and expensive) engineers, storing gigabytes of your data (backed up and redundantly replicated over different geographical areas), and financing themselves using targeted advertising. Sure, you can pay your own, trusted, mail provider an annual fee and have (apparently?) complete control over your data. But how many people actually use these services outside of the work environment (where your employer actually covers the cost)? And I'm not talking about the community of hackernews readers. I'm talking about your non-techy friends, your relatives, the random guy/gal you meet at the pub, that is, the people that ultimately are necessary for your service to reach a critical mass.

harijoe 2 days ago 1 reply      
What an irony to use twitter bootstrap to make a FLOSS twitter :)
Lorin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Whatever happened to finger?
atmosx 2 days ago 1 reply      
I just realized that decentralization is awesome for privacy and all, but for social networks sucks big time.
alatkins 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't this what the tent.io guys set out to do? Is that still an active project?
wslh 2 days ago 1 reply      
This software and discussion miss the reason you can't descentralized a twitter clone: analytics. One of the advantages of centralized services is the capability to quickly analyze what's going on from the content of the messages but you can't do that with a descentralized service.
JikkuJose 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is GNU against good user experience design?
JabavuAdams 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ok, so I'm bad at landing pages, but ... I mean, really.
erikb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is that a rebranding of diaspora?
DasIch 2 days ago 3 replies      
Copying the design of Twitter and Facebook. What a great way to make a good first impression and to respect the copyright the GNU project cares so much about. I can't imagine a better way to show everyone just how amazing you are.

The free software community must be truly happy to have such amazing supporters on their side.

Chart Shows Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors bloomberg.com
339 points by sremani  9 hours ago   264 comments top 42
jrmurad 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Most interesting connection I saw: "Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs" <-> "Unemployed, with no work experience in last 5 years"
solutionyogi 9 hours ago 6 replies      
Is it me or the visualization is very hard to follow?

E.g. if you highlight the 'Dancers and Choreographers' section, it's not at all clear that more female dancers marry male welders.

JoeAltmaier 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't seem to be normalized? Lots of folks marry mostly teachers etc. Perhaps because there are lots of teachers out there?
rdtsc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Agricultural workers marry each other a lot. Also lawyers and judges marry each other. Software developers too. But apparently we also like to marry nurses, middle school teacher and accountants. But male and male marriages for software developers are somehow with recreation and fitness workers.

Meter readers don't marry other meter readers too much. Guess,once you define something so narrowly it would present a different picture.

Education related professions seem to marry other education-related professions but in administrative positions (or "other instructors") and somehow also marry various "managers"

And truckers apparently are fond of bartenders, just like dentists seems to like to dental hygienists.

afinlayson 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I guess I should stop using Tinder/OkCupid, and start going to teacher meetings
peter303 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Business Insider has run several articles of the urban college female "problem". With 30% more females obtaining college degrees currently than males plus that males generally dont marry up, there is a surplus of 20-something college females in all metropolitan areas except San Francisco and Washington DC. Good news for guys then.

One silly article tried explain the success of hookup apps is that more desperate females are willing to put out in this environment.

NamTaf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Non-software engineers are really strange:

Mech engineers marry registered nurses

Elec engineers marry teachers

Civil engineers marry teachers

Chemical engineers marry secretaries

Mining engineers marry teachers

Nuclear engineers marry teachers

With the exception of chemical engineers, there's basically no marrying inside the field.

krinchan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The number of professions that connect to registered nurses seems really high. Especially in the gay male community. Huh.

looks at Facebook

Wow. I do know a lot of gay male nurses.

Disclaimer: I don't know of any stereotyping around that, but if there is, I'm certainly not trying to contribute to it.

koolba 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see homemaker (i.e. housewife, stay at home dad, etc) on there. I wonder if it's because it doesn't rank high enough or just wasn't included in the data set. I'd imagine that the higher paying jobs would lean more towards a single income household.
burger_moon 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess it's not much of a surprise how often Truck Driver comes up considering it's one of the largest professions in the US.
exception_e 3 hours ago 0 replies      
An aside: This visualization's UX is rather poor but I'll let Bloomberg slide this time around because their 404 page is incredible: http://www.bloomberg.com/404
pbnjay 8 hours ago 7 replies      
I find it interesting that many of the IT/Engineering/Tech jobs have a high degree of connectivity to elementary/middle school teachers. So the high salaries are helping to balance out the crap salaries.
sremani 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Software developers seem to be incredibly endogamous to me.
justin_oaks 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's funny to notice how people are saying "If you want to get married to a (some profession) then you should work as a (other profession)." We shouldn't think that the correlation implies a cause. This data doesn't track what people's professions were before they were married, or how the professions change over time.

It would be interesting to see how people changed their profession as a result of getting married. For example, when people get married they're probably less likely to have jobs that require a lot of travel.

johnchristopher 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That's funny, I always got the feeling that almost every civil engineer I know were married to nurses, mid school teacher or childcare worker (and the occasional psychologist). Seems confirmed.
quaffapint 8 hours ago 1 reply      
TIL There is an occupation called 'Gaming Cage Worker'
yorwba 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what difference between "Software Developers" and "Computer Programmers" causes the former to marry mostly within themselves and the latter to prefer nurses, teachers and secretaries.
kmod 5 hours ago 1 reply      
At first I found this fascinating -- "data shows that CEOs marry assistants" is a good narrative about gender attitudes towards marrying. But as I played with it, I was kind of bummed to learn: most male professions tend to marry assistants, since there are a lot of married female assistants (second only to teachers for females).

I did a quick search for who male Programmers, Executives, and Janitors marry (tried to pick a diverse set), and then filtered out the top five female occupations in this data (Teachers, Assistants, Nurses, Misc Managers, Salespersons). The remaining results were: male Programmers marry female Programmers, male Executives marry female Executives, male Janitors marry female Janitors or female Maids.

So I whipped up a script that, instead of measuring the absolute frequency, normalizes the data set against how often the target occupation gets married to. ie instead of just counting common pairings, it measures "how much more likely is profession X (compared to the general population) to marry profession Y?".

For male CEOs, the result is: they marry other CEOs. Male CEOs are 12x more likely to marry a female CEO than males in other professions are. They are also 12.6x more likely to marry embalmers! 7x more likely to marry Announcers, 5.3x more likely to marry "Dancers and Choreographers", and 4.9x more likely to marry "Public Relations and Fundraising Managers". They are only 1.2x more likely to marry a Secretary than other males are.

For male programmers, it is similar: male programmers are 20x more likely to marry female programmers than other male occupations are. This is because only 0.2% of men marry female computer programmers, but 3.4% of male programmers do. Male programmers also marry female Materials Engineers (20x more likely), Information Security Analysts (13x), "Surveyors, Cartographers, and Photogrammetrists" (10x), and "Architects, Except Naval" (8x).

I also picked one final way of slicing it: "how many more of these marriages did we see than expected" (expected based on the relation frequencies of the two occupations). This is another way of removing "well we would expect a lot of these marriages", but in a way that is less geared towards low-occurrence matches like CEO-Embalmer. For CEOs, the results are: CEOs, Misc Managers, Elementary and Middle School Teachers, Secretaries, Accountants and Auditors. For Programmers, it's: Programmers, Misc Managers, Other Teachers and Instructors, Software Developers, Accountants and Auditors.

Anyway, this isn't to say that these other ways of looking at the data are any "better", they're just answers to different questions.

I threw up the code in a gist -- sorry it's messy https://gist.github.com/kmod/ee6ac3c029641b39d0b6

jchoksi 6 hours ago 1 reply      
So disappointed. Was looking for the connection that shows who super models marry, so that I may plan my career like wise.
pj_mukh 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a job called "Computer operators"? Isn't that just, Everybody?
neves 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Software developers (men) marry Recreation and Fitness workers (men). Maybe we should use this data to incentive gay men to become software engineers! At least would bring some diversity to my profession.
suneilp 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Changing the font color to black helps usability a lot. Just enter this snippet in the url bar

javascript:jQuery('.job-text').css('color', 'black');

With chrome, you might have to re-enter the 'javascript:' part.

etrautmann 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is absolutely brutal to use. I'd like to search for something specific but can't ctrl-f, and visually searching is useless. Very cool in concept
everlost 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice visualization! Maybe they should have limited the colors to just the primary ones. I had a hard time figuring out the gradients in the middle.
dghughes 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of how it seems celebrities can only marry other celebrities. One exception is women celebrities can marry billionaires.
litmus 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone please explain to me Emergency Management Directors (men) --> Probation Officers (women), overwhelmingly beating out teachers and secretaries. wat.
necessity 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We clearely need quotas for female truck drivers. What an absurd disparity!
GSimon 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Explosives Worker -> Librarians

I guess opposites do attract.

donatj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Strangely I find this more usable on my Android Phone where it presents a list than their fancy annoying graph.
js8 7 hours ago 4 replies      
So Software Developers marry mostly within their own group? How does it stack with the gender imbalance?
EGreg 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Female Models, Demonstrators, and Product Promoters partner with:

Truck DriversMiscellaneous ManagersRetail SupervisorsLaborersRetail, SalespersonsIndustrial, and Refractory Machinery Mechanics

tcfunk 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have guessed Fence Erectors would be most likely to marry Republican Presidential Candidates, but I guess I'm wrong.
sypher47 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Visualization is very terrible
sypher47 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The visualization is horrible
DiabloD3 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This chart is massively unusable.

As a guy, what occupation do I need to be in to increase my chances of marrying a woman CEO?

jordache 7 hours ago 0 replies      
the people behind this are no Mike Bostock..

crap visualization

dba7dba 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I once knew a male high school teacher who was married to a Yale dropout, after 1 year. He told me she had gone to Yale to meet someone to marry well. Apparently common that time, 40 years ago.

Although it didn't quite work out well for her. He was a great msn husband but not a doctor or lawyer...

elorant 8 hours ago 5 replies      
The usability of the page is pathetic. First, the fonts are too small. If you enlarge then you can't scroll horizontally to see the rest of the titles because the lines get in the way. Didn't anyone think to make the graph clickable instead of just mouse-over. And on top of everything we have the heading of the site that floats and gets in the way. Fucking hell. Someone saw the graph and said, wow let's just use it because it looks awesome. Sure it looks awesome if you have a couple dozen labels, not a gazillion of them
dcposch 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Surprisingly many of the comments here have a boorish, misogynistic tone. Please be respectful. This is Hacker News, not r/RedPill
jldugger 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but sort of suffers from a few dominant trends:

- white men without a college degree marry secretaries- white men with a college degree marry teachers

It'd be more interesting to know how occupations shift choices away from other demographic factors.

throwaway8818 8 hours ago 8 replies      
Yoga instructor is missing. That's pretty much the ideal wife (lots of free time, unreasonably fit), and I'd like to know what job to obtain in order to be pursued by yoga instructors.

And DJ is missing. Which prevents us from confirming the hypothesis that DJ's do better than JD's.


Most men seek the JD to make a lot of money which is really just a euphemism for power over women. This means you sign up for four years of college and four years of college debt, ... then three years of law school with its accompanying three years of law school debt...

Over the entire course of this process the person who sought the opposite designation, the DJ, will be pulling more strange each night than the JD will in his entire life, all with a designation he obtained at no cost.

DJ is the actual opposite of a JD as not only are its letters the reverse of JD but it goes before someones name not after. It comes at virtually no cost, requires almost no talent or taste, and lends itself to sleeping in and having anonymous sex with women who not only are not wearing sweaters but likely do not even own sweaters.

Deco Software React Native IDE decosoftware.com
455 points by uptown  1 day ago   107 comments top 42
reustle 1 day ago 4 replies      
This looks really interesting and I'd love to try it, but these "refer your friend to jump ahead in line" tactics are pretty annoying. Stop pushing people to share it before they've even tried it, and let them share it after they actually enjoy using it.
epberry 1 day ago 1 reply      
So I just started developing a react native Android app and a react desktop app in electron and it's actually been a very rewarding experience so far. Some thoughts I have on this:

1. I'd be interested to see the Android emulator and live reload in Deco. I'm using Genymotion and the live reload seems to work about half the time (as in I usually have to save the file twice to see my changes). It also sometimes can't connect to Chrome devtools. At some point I'll dive into webpack, genymotion, watchman, and devtools to see if I can fix these things but it'd be nice to have everything work smoothly out of the box.

2. Speaking of devtools, devtools! I could imagine some really nice UI that wraps devtools directly into Deco but I didn't see that in the video (admittedly I skipped around a little).

3. I love the built in styling bar. Right now styling for me involves having a color palette tab, a CSS reference, and an HTML/React native UI components reference tab open.

4. I have one more problem that could probably be solved with a 10 minute investment on my part: react with electron and react native require different nodejs versions. React native needs at least v4.0 and I believe electron only works with 0.12.9 and below. Currently I switch between them using "n". I suppose this problem is unique to my situation but this is also the kind of thing an IDE could handle with project settings.

Well this kind of devolved into me listing my pain points with React but I'm excited to try this editor and I just signed up for the waitlist!

EDIT: clarification on point #4

iLoch 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is interesting, definitely. One thing people should be aware of if they're new to the React Native environment is that this technology comes built in. It is a big reason why React Native is such a huge success so far. You don't need an IDE and switching to one instead of using your own tools seems like a pretty big negative to me.

Tools such as rnpm allow for automated installation of new extensions (all of which are available on npm).

Extension installation is as simple as:

rnpm install react-native-video

Deployment is now as simple as:

react-native run-androidreact-native run-ios

No XCode, no Android Studio, etc. and you get live reloading, Chrome debugging, etc.

To me this is an ideal workflow, but others may disagree. Some may choose to build IDEs such as this on top of the existing architecture, that's cool too. I just want people who are starting out to be aware that there isn't much new here in terms of work flow efficiency.

petrbela 1 day ago 1 reply      
Guys, this is amazing! I've been looking for something like this for a while and almost ended up building it myself.

What about pricing? Will the editor be free with premium paid services like push to deploy?

mrspeaker 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very nifty! One question I have is that many React Native components that expose native functionality tend to have an extra step in the install process that looks like this: https://github.com/ProjectSeptemberInc/gl-react-native/raw/m... - where you have to drag in and link the library in xcode. Are these types of components handled automagically too?
cbrevik 1 day ago 1 reply      
What exactly constitutes the Deco package registry?

Will I need to submit my React Native libraries to a new registry? Or are you working with something like http://js.coach formerly react.parts)?

whatever_dude 1 day ago 2 replies      
Any info on platforms supported (Mac, Windows, Linux)? I know React Native's toolset is mostly built for OSX with some native tool dependencies (e.g. Homebrew) and am afraid this will be repeated here.
JamesLefrere 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most useful-looking things I've seen on HN for some time, going by the video. It's a step closer to being able to live art-direct (as it were) sitting with a developer.
gorkemyurt 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great! Helps a ton for someone new to react native, lowers the already low barrier to entry. Integration with microsoft code push (https://github.com/Microsoft/react-native-code-push) could be cool.
cridenour 1 day ago 0 replies      
My wife is a designer who has been getting into react-native with me. She would absolutely love this UI. Looking forward to trying it!
skrowl 1 day ago 1 reply      
The screenshots seem to indicate full Apple walled garden. Will this work on Windows?
leesalminen 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm very excited to try this out. We've built one (very simple) React Native application so far and felt like the build chain could use some improvements.

Do you plan on supporting imports instead of require?

rafael-rinaldi 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks way better than things like Framer. Not only the code is more flexible (not a DSL nor their own API) but it's actually a React component that you can use anywhere. The IDE looks rad too.
idle_zealot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I couldn't find anything about supported platforms on the site. Will this target Linux, or just OSX?
phantom_package 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like a really cool piece of software, but I think a lot of it's best features should be unbundled or made available in the IDE you already use.


* Simple package search + install without opening a web browser* React-native hot-reloading* Scaffolding of added components, with required props filled in

I really don't want to use a different IDE, and lose everything I've got in my current IDE - I use webstorm, so this would be Live Templates, key bindings, etc.

That said, I'm really excited to see people building software that makes building react-native apps easier. It's not that it's too difficult right now - rather, it's awesome that the development workflow is so hackable, and that the react-native (and react) ecosystems seem to be evolving so rapidly, and are so willing to try out new ideas.

Anyways, nice work Deco Software, keep it up :-)

lucidrains 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Released an app with react native recently and had an extremely pleasant experience throughout! Two thumbs way way up!
ranyefet 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome! We just released our React Native iOS app ( https://yes.no ) and I will definitely try it out!

Good luck!

joeblau 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty awesome. I really like the import package feature with the scaffolding. That looks like it saves a ton of time on whatever you're building.
petrbela 1 day ago 0 replies      
The left sidebar with Actions, Constants etc suggests use of some specific Flux library. Which one is that? Could others be used, too?
grav 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks nice. Here's hoping you'll do support for ClojureScript and Reagent. Or open source it and let me do it :-
AngeloAnolin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are beta testing only focused on select group of users? Signed up for beta and told there is a waiting line for it.
vhiremath4 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is incredible.
rco8786 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow this is pretty impressive. Good job OP
paste0x78 1 day ago 1 reply      
The beta signup form (#download) is broken in FF. The lower text is cut off. OSX: 10.10.5 FF: 43.0.4
api 1 day ago 1 reply      
You should add support for desktop too, like:


ioab 1 day ago 0 replies      
fascinating video. love the IDE and the great convenient it offers.
esaym 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks good, definitely going to try it out.
dheera 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's hoping for a Linux version ...
marknutter 1 day ago 0 replies      
I apologize that this comment is slightly off topic but does it worry anybody else that people are putting so many of their eggs in the React basket? Considering how fickle the world of front-end libraries can be..
al_chemist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Closed beta and a lot of marketing. Nothing to see here.
googletron 1 day ago 0 replies      
we have been building a few react native apps at gyrosco.pe/apps we have been loving it. Interested to see if we could add this to our flow easily.
sebbean 1 day ago 0 replies      
can i use it?
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11075322 and marked it off-topic.
niftylettuce 1 day ago 3 replies      
OR you could just install react native CLI tools, then use the BUILT IN hot module reloading (which is basically like LiveReload for web editing), and just do it yourself without this bloated piece of thing.

Look how beautiful these docs are:


Now would you rather rely on something that one person made? Or would you rely on a huge group of amazing folks, which would GLADLY help you with your project, such as the folks from Discord channel or ExponentJS on Slack.


underwater 1 day ago 1 reply      
I disagree. This seems to strike a good balance between ease of use and power. It offers a visual tool for layout while still placing the code front and center.
niftylettuce 1 day ago 1 reply      
Haha not really, it's bloated. You end up wasting time dragging a slider when you could just put in a number and enable HMR hot module reloading which is BUILT INTO REACT NATIVE. Lol.
maaaats 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why the hate? I see 8 negative comments from you in this thread. Edit: 13 by the time I finished writing this post.
dang 1 day ago 1 reply      
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11075245 and marked it off-topic.
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11075245 and marked it off-topic.
jorgecurio 1 day ago 1 reply      
So the commoditization of mobile development begins...
frozenport 1 day ago 3 replies      
Android is over 70% of the market.
GantMan 1 day ago 3 replies      
Things I have to say:

* Background noise in your video is annoying.

* Why are you showing your face? I'd rather see your code bigger.

* Using require instead of module imports shows me that this product is going to have trouble keeping pace with FB, Babel, ECMA speeds.

* I'm not in love with adding another IDE

* hello http://getqwikly.com/ all over again

Sorry, but I'm not betting on this horse.

Investigate switching away from GitHub github.com
326 points by kristiandupont  7 hours ago   171 comments top 27
bphogan 6 hours ago 15 replies      
Seems like the issue is... issues. Some projects get so popular that it's a full time job just to respond to issues that lack information.

I've been in software for a long time. There's no tool that solves this problem. People who don't know your software don't know how to report issues. They don't know the keywords or nomenclature to search for pre-existing error messages either.

Switching to another tool won't solve this problem they're having. Typical engineers - they think issue templates will help. No. I'll just fill in whatever gets me past the validation cos I'm frustrated.

This might be unpopular, but you're under no obligation to answer those issues or even have a public issue tracker at all. Turn the issue tracker off if it's frustrating, and use a private issue tracker for the core team. Or find some students that want to break into open source and have them be 1st level triage for your issues. It's a people problem, not a technology problem.

Too many developers forget that software development, even open-source, is 20% code and 80% people. Documentation and support are a huge part of software. And software only goes so far to solving that in my experience.

phasmantistes 5 hours ago 4 replies      
> If we move off GitHub, we will immediately eliminate the random noise we get through issues.

> At the same time, we'll eliminate drive-by pull requests that also need reviewing.

I don't think these are good reasons to move away from GitHub. If your project is truly popular, then the people who are filing these issues will follow you to your new home. You'll get a short period of respite, and then you'll be back where you were before. If your project is only popular because you're on GitHub... then moving off will not only give you a respite, it will also destroy your user base.

This is why full-time software engineering teams have PMs. They act as an API for the engineers: helping others understand what sorts of requests can be made, what kinds of responses can be expected, and turning away abusive/malformed traffic.

It simply sounds like this project is popular enough (and >5000 issues in just over 2 years certainly qualifies as popular in my book) that it needs non-engineering attention. Get someone to join the team who wants to fill in a PM role.

sylvinus 6 hours ago 6 replies      
I can't understand why GitHub isn't responding to the "Dear GitHub" people. They are not requesting huge political changes, it just boils down to a CONTRIBUTING.md and a basic voting system that many alternatives already have. It might take a couple weeks/months to spec and develop but they should at least send some kind of acknowledgement?

Do they actually want all those large open source projects to leave?

makecheck 6 hours ago 6 replies      
One of the most ironic things about GitHub is how it seems to have spawned centrist systems despite being named after a distributed system.

Much like key servers allow people to determine authenticity in a somewhat-decentralized way, there ought to be a similar way of determining the authentic sites for various projects/people or the official places to log issues, etc. Then, the whole network can figure out where to find things, whether or not GitHub or something like it exists, and we can stop asking or expecting GitHub to provide every feature that we need.

As one commenter on the page put it, GitHub is a place for posting a sort of software rsum and is an expected way to determine what people have contributed to. Why? Git itself is decentralized; the whole point was supposed to be that somebody's code might be almost anywhere...and yet, an ecosystem of centralization emerged.

Similarly, when GitHub went down awhile back, all these things were affected. Why? Why did people set up systems that depended on the ability to download from GitHub, for instance?

jcoffland 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I find it really sad when projects grow enough that they start seeing user input as a burden. It's usually the beginning of the end and a sign of the hubris that tends to grow out of popularity. Both the author and GitHub itself are guilty of this. Docker is another good example. They've stopped listening because they have become too smart for users. When your userbase grows you need to evolve your methods not make it harder for users to communicate their needs.
mayank 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Only two of the six requirements listed don't seem to be well supported by Github:

> Must have a way to setup issue templates prescribing what fields are required>Must have ways to organize issues other than labeling (milestones, priorities, etc.)

Sounds like fertile ground for someone using the Github Issues API [1].

[1] https://developer.github.com/v3/issues/

gionn 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe the could just look on how other projects are doing, for example the docker project has a smart bot to harass bug reporter not stating important information in the issue.

Problem solved?

wildpeaks 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My main gripe with Github isn't so much Issues, it's that repos can't be grouped (the closest would be creating a different account per group of repos, but then each repo has a separated Issues and Wiki) unlike at Codebase.

And even more importantly, the pricing per repo instead of storage size makes modular projects too expensive.

Which is too bad because other than those two points, I used to be very happy hosting at Github :/

bch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> We strongly feel that the code and issue tracker need to live in the same location to make it easier to manage and give people one location to visit for all of their ESLint-related needs...

For sake of interest I feel compelled to mention that fossil[0] does have a fully-integrated ticket system[1] (and more[2][3]) that allows code to reference tickets, and tickets reference code. These tickets and full history are first-class artifacts that are part of the repository, so are carried from copy to copy, and updates are transmitted as part of synchronizing repos.

Of course there is more to project management than just tickets, but as a happy fossil user for many years, I do really appreciate the integrated ticket management.

[0] http://www.fossil-scm.org

[1] http://fossil-scm.org/index.html/doc/trunk/www/bugtheory.wik...

[2] http://fossil-scm.org/index.html/doc/trunk/www/wikitheory.wi...

[3] http://fossil-scm.org/index.html/doc/trunk/www/event.wiki

jvehent 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fine grained classification and management of issues is why Mozilla is so reliant on Bugzilla.

Bugzilla is a beast, for sure, and it takes some time to learn how to use it correctly, but few other systems come close in functionalities, and github is certainly not one of them.

Sleaker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
GitLab seems like what they need based on all of their wants. I'm not sure why more people aren't wanting to move over to gitlab, it's great.
mchahn 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If issues are your only problem then you don't need to leave github. You can turn issues off on your repo and use a different tracker.
dhagz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
GitHub needs something like what BitBucket has: they have a "new issue message" that displays to people making a new issue. You can make it say anything you want, so it's a great place for telling users how to submit an issue. Sure, it won't ensure everyone follows your idea of a good bug report/issue, but it's better than nothing.
sorpaas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The thread mentioned that leaving Github would mean losing visibility / discoverability. Just wonder why people rely so much on Github for that. Maybe all we need is a a search engine / directory for open source projects?
hartator 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a bit of irony that they are using a GitHub issue in order to discuss this while this won't eventually fit the issue template feature they want to have:

> setup issue templates prescribing what fields are required [...] What versions are you using?

I feel this is can be solved easily by stating something:

> Please, provide version numbers, system details and steps to reproduce if you want us to take a look at your issue.

until GitHub move forward an official solution, but I am only managing small GitHub repos, not with hundreds of contributors so I can't really relate.

potch 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience, hosting code/issues off of GitHub reduces triage time maintenance burden by reducing the number of contributors.
Kinnard 6 hours ago 1 reply      
robbiemitchell 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As others have noted, Github has an issues API. Create a form that validates against your requirements and creates issues. Create your own issue template page and Oauth the users with Github.
spatten 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Ansible has a nice workaround for this that might partially solve the problem and be less work than migrating away from GitHub. When you submit a ticket it forces you to fill in some required fields. Here's an example of a filled in issue:


They have more info here: https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/devel/CONTRIBUTING.m...

tomcam 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Appears that the list of requirements is inexplicably missing "Free world-class hosting and staggering amounts of bandwidth provided absolutely free" or did I miss that bullet point?
bluetidepro 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this becomes a more common trend for larger products to move away from GitHub. Esp while GitHub fails to continue to iterate on their product in ways the community is asking. This feels very related to the recent discussions around the whole "Dear GitHub" letter: https://github.com/dear-github/dear-github
op00to 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Dealing with the community is hard. Rather than embrace the larger community to scale, they want to insulate themselves from it. Once you start thinking about how to exclude people (and that's EXACTLY what moving away from GitHub would do), the community benefit is gone.
dudul 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't know about phabricator, looks pretty interesting.
CSDude 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Phabricator is really nice, recommended.
musha68k 3 hours ago 0 replies      
ghilint bot for eslint anyone?
programminggeek 5 hours ago 0 replies      
People who were excited about GitHub years ago are slowly walking away. Perhaps it's inevitable, perhaps it's tools, perhaps it's culture/policy.

I'm pretty sure there is some kind of weird tipping point happening where a few start to leave, then many start to leave, then it disappears.

It seems ludicrous to say, but GitHub might be cable tv/mac/whatever, and a new "switcher" movement might be starting. Not sure where people will go, but I don't think they'll stay at GitHub.

hoodoof 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Github hasn't had much time yet to respond to the various recent gripes about unfixed stuff. You should first give them six months to get their act together. You're making a rod for your own back if you go to all the trouble of investigating moving your project now.

Why not just demand an update from Github about which of your issues they are fixing? If you get no response then start investigating options.

Kill Your Dependencies mikeperham.com
342 points by twampss  12 hours ago   188 comments top 48
LukeB_UK 5 hours ago 9 replies      
I disagree, and this quote I've seen floating around the internet sort of sums the idea up to me (albeit with a music analogy):

> I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using premade skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but Im not sure where to go from here. I havent made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.

mwcampbell 9 hours ago 9 replies      
A large number of dependencies is only a problem in environments that aren't amenable to per-function static linking or tree-shaking. These include dynamically typed languages like Python, Ruby, and JavaScript (except when using the Google Closure Compiler in advanced mode), but also platforms like the JVM and .NET when reflection is allowed. Where static linking or tree-shaking is feasible, the run-time impact of bringing in a large library but only using a small part of it is no more than the impact of rewriting the small part you actually use.

Edit: Dart is an interesting case. It has dynamic typing, but it's static enough that tree-shaking is feasible. Seth Ladd's blog post about why tree-shaking is necessary [1] makes the same point that I'm making here.

[1]: http://blog.sethladd.com/2013/01/minification-is-not-enough-...

diggan 10 hours ago 4 replies      
As everything, I think a bit of balance is needed.

You're doing a quick MVP to demonstrate that your idea is working? Fuck it, just throw in dependencies for everything, just care about solving the problem you're trying to solve and proving/disproving your point.

Once you verified it, then go and kill your dependencies. But don't do it just because you want to do it. If in the end the users doesn't benefit from you optimizing your dependencies, why do it? (Speaking from a product side rather than a OSS project used by other projects)

Not sure KILL ALL DEPENDENCIES is helpful, but I'm not sure that MAKE EVERYTHING A DEPENDENCY is helpful either so...

allendoerfer 10 hours ago 0 replies      
To me, this seems more like an argument for optimizing beyond your own stack. Don't kill your own dependencies.

Your app uses to much memory? Improve a dependency, you have now improved other peoples apps, too.

Your app uses to much dependencies in total? Try to get all your first-level dependencies to standardize on the best http-client. (Which he is partially doing with his post.)

Dependencies may have problems, but shared problems are better than problems only you have.

pcwalton 9 hours ago 8 replies      
A lot of apps (old-timey Windows apps, for example) have this philosophy, leading them to reinvent things like crypto and image decoding. Naturally, this leads to tons of bugs, including security bugs.

I would revise this to: Don't bring in more code than you need. But if the choice is between writing something yourself and using someone else's well-tested, heavily-used library, always go for the latter.

simonw 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Another benefit to minimizing your dependencies is security. The less external packages you are using (especially packages without active, security-conscious maintainers) the less likely you are to suffer a surprise vulnerability due to something deep down in your dependency hierarchy.

This goes for client-side JavaScript too. XSS holes are one of the worst web app vulnerabilities out there and could easily be introduced accidentally by a simple mistake in a library. And this stuff is incredibly hard to audit these days thanks to the JavaScript community's cultural trend towards deeply nested dependencies.

ninjakeyboard 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not 100% sure I agree with this as stated. Sure if the functionality is in core lib, use it but... it depends...

Consider these three statements:

- No code runs faster than no code.- No code has fewer bugs than no code.- No code is easier to understand than no code.

For a language like scala where there is no json processing in the standard lib, if there is a json library that is battle tested, then by removing my own json code and leaning on that well tried and tested code for serialization/de-serialization, I've removed a whole bunch of code from my own library. The whole point of having modules as abstractions is to keep concerns neatly tucked in their own places to to increase re-use. By subscribing to the idea that my module should implement all of the functionality it needs, we're loosing the benefits of modularization.

I just went through this exercise myself in a library I maintain - I removed my own json code and put a library in. I removed a bunch of code and made the whole thing simpler by leaning on that abstraction.

rileymat2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"The mime-types gem recently optimized its memory usage and saved megabytes of RAM. Literally every Rails app in existence can benefit from this optimization because Rails depends on the mime-types gem transitively: rails -> actionmailer -> mail -> mime-types."

It seems like this could also be cast as a major success for "semi" standard dependencies.

laumars 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This article would be more accurately written as "prefer the standard library over 3rd party solutions" since all the examples given still required dependencies, but ones that are shipped as part of the language runtime (Ruby in this case).

However when discussing languages with no specific standard library or languages who's standard library is missing feature y, then it's quite understandable to use a 3rd party battle tested dependency. In fact I'd go further and say it would be advisable to use a respected 3rd party library when dealing with code which handles security or other complex concepts with high failure rates.

jowiar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find dependencies to be a very good indicator for how my code should be modularized. That is, rather than pulling a boatload of dependencies into "the application", pull a couple dependencies into a module, and then depend on the module. It makes it very easy for dependencies to be a "well, it gets the job done for now, and I can reimplement that myself if that changes" sort of thing.
Animats 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Avoid shims.

There are lots of libraries that just put one interface on top of another interface. They don't do much actual work. Pulling in shims, especially if they pull in lots of other stuff you're not using, should be avoided.

If the dependency does real work you'd otherwise have to code, then use it.

vinceguidry 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Gems I use fall into three categories.

A lot of my projects are just wrappers around one main gem. Rails, Nokogiri, Roo, API wrapper gems. These are 'project gems'. If they give me problems, I'll re-evaluate the scope of the project and perhaps pick another gem to orient the project around. Once the project reaches maturity, I'll default to fixing the problem rather than re-engineering it unless the problems run deep.

Sometimes I'll use gems like Phoner to handle datatypes that are too tricky to do with regular Ruby. I'll call these 'utility gems'. When I include a utility gem, generally it has one job and one job only, it's invoked in exactly one place in the code and gets included in that file. I can generally replace a utility gem with stdlib Ruby code if I really need to.

I also have what I call 'infrastructure gems'. These are gems like pry, capistrano, and thor that I tend to include in every project where it seems they would be useful. These are gems that are worth getting to know very well because they solve really hard problems that you don't want to use stdlib for. If these give me problems I will do whatever I need to to resolve them and understand why the problem exists, because the costs of migrating off of them would be steep.

The decision to use a gem should not be taken too lightly, but nor should it weigh large on the mind. Be quick to try it out, but also quick to take it out.

adenadel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds of of this article


Apparently Microsoft's Excel team had even written their own C compiler.

EternalFury 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How long did it take anyone to realize this nightmare?Since we are on the path to major discoveries, let's talk about runtime, runtime-dependencies and all that.Every Ruby app ever created is stuck somewhere on the time axis, before its origin.
BinaryIdiot 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a great read that can be applied to node.js very much. I've seen apps that include 10, maybe 20 dependencies but when you flatten out the full dependency tree? Thousands. It's incredible and if one of those dependencies screws up semantic versioning or just screws up in general it can be a nightmare to debug and fix.

This is why every 1.0 product I work on I include every dependency that speeds up my development. In 2.0 the first things to do is prune all unnecessary dependencies and start minor rewrites when a dependency can be done in house (yeah yeah reinventing the wheel is a problem but most npm dependencies are small and many can be recreated internally without issue).

This is even more important if you're creating a library / module. My msngr.js library uses zero dependencies and yet can make http calls in node and the browser because it was easy to implement the minimal solution I needed without bringing in dependencies to support a single way of calling http.

yoz-y 10 hours ago 1 reply      
> No code runs faster than no code.> No code has fewer bugs than no code.> No code uses less memory than no code.> No code is easier to understand than no code.

The dependencies you decide to implement yourself in a minimal fashion are code though. I generally agree with the article, but in the end It Depends

nickpsecurity 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Obligatory essay from PHK on the effect the author describes:


History continues to repeat itself. Fake reuse and proliferation of unnecessary bloat are two of those recurring themes. Fight it whenever you can. The old TCL, LISP, Delphi, REBOL, etc clients and servers were tiny by modern standards. They still got the job done. Strip out bloat wherever you can. Also, standardize on one tool for each given job plus hide it behind a good interface to enable swapping it out if its own interface isn't great.

fixermark 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Incidentally, though the author says this can apply to any ecosystem, finding it applies to Ruby too often is what pushed me out of developing Rails apps. At least at the time I was using it heavily, the Rails space just wasn't stable enough to trust that I wouldn't have to learn an entirely new wheel to get my work done every time I went in to fix a relatively small problem.

"Can I implement the required minimial functionality myself? Own it" is advice one gives if one can't trust the libraries one depends upon to stay healthy, performant, and applicable to your use-case. Nobody'd recommend re-implementing readline or printf; if you have some heavy-lifting mathematics to do in Python, use numpy.

cdnsteve 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Double edge sword.Deps are great! Functionality added quickly.Deps are terrible! They broke my app.

If your app has a long shelf time, the less deps you rely on, the easier to manage from what I've seen.

For some reason Golang feels like it makes sense here. Pretty much everything you need is in core.*Disclaimer, I don't have any Golang apps in prod but I'd love to hear from those that do.

gtrubetskoy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Your programs shouldn't do things you do not understand. You do not have to be an expert in cryptography, memory allocation or b-trees, etc, but if this is what your app requires, then you should take the time to read up on it and carefully research what is out there if you suspect it is beyond your abilities to implement.

If you take the time to do your research, the choice between rolling your own, copying or adding a dependency will become clear. If it's not becoming clear, then you haven't finished your homework. Learning is a good thing, yes it takes time, but it's time well spent, and it's fun above all.

You may discover that this thing that you thought was hard and needed a dependency is really a few lines of code (a good example is a graph implementation). It might even change your career path. At least that's been my experience in the nearly two decades of writing software.

agentgt 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I find this argument sort related to the framework vs library and opinionated vs agnostic.

Being an old fart Java developer I generally prefer things where you can plugin your own implementation (ie agnostic).

That is there is an extreme for killing your dependencies of either extreme copy'npaste OR which every library offers a plugin SPI (ie inversion of control) (or a combo of both).

The problem with the dependency injection above approach (aka Spring prior to Boot) is that you have developers doing lots of custom crap, bloated/overly engineered libraries, increased ramp up time, and configuration hell.

But I still think this is probably better than ole copy'n paste.. most of the time. I do hate dependencies though.

technoir 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If there is an analogue in the standard library you should have a compelling reason to use an alternative. Wish this could be filed under "common" sense. Thanks for articulating and presenting this principle, among others. Great writeup.
giancarlostoro 7 hours ago 0 replies      
One issue I had with Ruby on Rails was getting MySQL drivers to even cooperate on both Windows and Linux. At the end of the day I wound up sticking to Python and other languages instead. I don't mind using any language, but if the language is fighting me due to native dependency hell then I can't really do much. Even to just use SQLite was a bit of a painful experience, yet on Python SQLite works out of the box without any effort on my part (on Windows). Oddly enough.

I'm looking to getting back into Ruby at some point later this year, but I might ignore Rails altogether so I don't miss out on learning a new fun language.

jcoffland 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not only an issue for running software but also a huge issue for compiling/building software. Each dependency adds the potential to break your builds in new ways. As the software your program depends on evolves the risk increases that it will change the way your program executes or cause it to fail to build. Many devs will insist you do not reinvent the wheel by writing things like JSON parsers but you always have to weigh the cost of adding a dependency. It's not free.
jeffdavis 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Your app/library inherits the technical debt of all its dependencies.

There's a natural tension between code reuse and avoiding dependencies. If you can avoid a big dependency by writing a couple hundred lines of low-maintenance code, its probably worth it.

Walkman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a counter example of his reasoning in the Python world. There is a HTTP client library "urllib" in the standard library, but nowadays everyone rather pulls in the external dependency "requests" because the urllib API is terrible.It is mature, well tested, good documented code though.
dec0dedab0de 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like this is advocating NIH syndrome. If a library is going to make my job easier I'm going to use it, unless there is a very specific benefit of doing it myself.
greggman 9 hours ago 4 replies      
This reminds me of an example I ran into yesterday. I haven't used webpack yet but I saw a question on SO of someone wanting to use some package called glslify. I thought I'd take a look and maybe learn webpage in the process.

From the description all glslify does is look for files with the extensions .glsl, .frag, and .vert and lets you get their contents with `content = require(filename)`.

Sounds like it would be at most 10-30 lines of code. Nope

 npm install --save glslify-loader webpack-glsl-test@1.0.0 /Users/gregg/temp/webpack-glsl-test glslify-loader@1.0.2 glslify@2.3.1 bl@0.9.5 readable-stream@1.0.33 core-util-is@1.0.2 isarray@0.0.1 string_decoder@0.10.31 glsl-resolve@0.0.1 resolve@0.6.3 xtend@2.2.0 glslify-bundle@2.0.4 glsl-inject-defines@1.0.3 glsl-token-inject-block@1.0.0 glsl-token-defines@1.0.0 glsl-token-depth@1.1.2 glsl-token-descope@1.0.2 glsl-token-assignments@2.0.1 glsl-token-properties@1.0.1 glsl-token-scope@1.1.2 glsl-token-string@1.0.1 glsl-tokenizer@2.0.2 glslify-deps@1.2.5 events@1.1.0 findup@0.1.5 colors@0.6.2 commander@2.1.0 graceful-fs@4.1.3 inherits@2.0.1 map-limit@0.0.1 once@1.3.3 wrappy@1.0.1 minimist@1.2.0 resolve@1.1.7 static-module@1.3.0 concat-stream@1.4.10 readable-stream@1.1.13 typedarray@0.0.6 duplexer2@0.0.2 readable-stream@1.1.13 escodegen@1.3.3 esprima@1.1.1 estraverse@1.5.1 esutils@1.0.0 source-map@0.1.43 amdefine@1.0.0 falafel@1.2.0 acorn@1.2.2 foreach@2.0.5 object-keys@1.0.9 has@1.0.1 function-bind@1.0.2 object-inspect@0.4.0 quote-stream@0.0.0 minimist@0.0.8 through2@0.4.2 xtend@2.1.2 object-keys@0.4.0 shallow-copy@0.0.1 static-eval@0.2.4 escodegen@0.0.28 esprima@1.0.4 estraverse@1.3.2 through2@0.4.2 xtend@2.1.2 object-keys@0.4.0 through2@0.6.5 xtend@4.0.1 
> 4 meg of source files


update: I think maybe I misunderstood the description. glslify actually parses GLSL and re-writes it in various ways so maybe this is a bad example.

I've seen other though. Like 40k+ lines of deps for an ANSI color library or 200k+ lines deps and native node plugins for launching a browser from node.

Rafert 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Excellent article. I tried to develop on GitLab once but the sheer amount of gems it pulls in (~100 directly declared, 350+ including dependencies if I remember correctly) with a bunch of installation problems made me decide it was not worth the hassle.
tarr11 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like the mime-types upgrade has some sort of hard dependency on Rails 5? I seem to be stuck on 2.99
3minus1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember one nasty bug where someone has included one function from bootstrap.js library and someone else had included the entire library. So both functions were running causing an issue.
surfmike 9 hours ago 2 replies      
if you're running multiple rails processes on a server like this, couldn't you somehow do the initialization in one process, then fork off the new processes? wouldn't that prevent the base libraries from being copied in memory?
spullara 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a huge mistake if applied without care. Building things from scratch necessarily will introduce more bugs, more maintenance costs and leave you with a codebase that suffers from a lack of maturity.
twic 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Does any of this sound familiar:

- Test gems loading in production.

That does not sound familiar! Is this a thing which happens with Rails?

mschuster91 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not just true for Ruby but also for the entire npm ecosystem.

I wonder how much traffic could be saved by optimizing npm packages... probably on terabyte scale at github alone, methinks.

gravypod 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Yes, this is the sort of thing that scares me away from Ruby.

I'm worried this sort of "screw it just add a library" is going to spread further in my language of choice: Java.

In my time doing open source programming on the side, I've found that it has become more common with the advent of things like mvn and gradle to just slather on layers to your stack even for the simple tasks.

Need a function to turn a byte buffer into a string? Download these 3 Apache commons libraries and their dependencies.

I understand if you are relying on a large portion of a library and you need to use it, but why bring an entire library in for one function.

peterwwillis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Perl apps have thousands upon thousands of dependencies. It's intentional - reused code in CPAN means less downloading, more efficient code, and less bugs as the codebase gets refined. An app that relies mostly on dependencies is essentially an app with free support by hundreds of developers. That's the case with CPAN anyway; I don't know how Ruby people do things.

Bugs happen, though. If you see a bug in a dependency, it is your job to report it at the very least, if not make an attempt to fix it. Without this community of people helping to improve a common codebase, we'd all be writing everything from scratch, and progress would move a lot slower.

liveoneggs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
mojolicious does a great job with this, supporting optional dependencies as progressive enhancement (installing EV will speed you up, but you don't necessarily need it)


beat 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have one thing to say about all of this...


PaulHoule 8 hours ago 0 replies      
They should sell sonatype for this.
joesmo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So to summarize, to get rid of an extra 10 (or even 100) megs in Ruby (or 0 megs in some other languages) of memory usage (and disk usage don't forget!) spend weeks rewriting, testing, and integrating your own code instead of using already written, tested, and integrated code. Now, that I've clarified the article's point, how can anyone not follow this "best-practices" advice? </sarcasm>
brightball 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This should be one of the perks of Go since the compiler won't let you include anything that you aren't using.
EGreg 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just thinking about this today. But from the point of view of growinga community around a platform!

Would you want to have one namespace for "official" modules and heavily influence everyone to use them? That's centralization (of governance). But, it's not centralization of a process that requires high availability. So the "drawback" is only that you centralize control and can make certain guarantees to developers on your platform.

When you're starting an ecosystem, you can choose a "main namespace" as yum, npm etc. does or you can choose the more "egalitarian" convention of "Vendor/product" as github and Composer do. I think, in the end, the latter leads to a lot more proliferation of crap, and as the articls said, multiple versions of everything existing side-by-side.

I have to deal with these issues when designing our company's platform (http://qbix.com/platform) and I think that having a central namespace is good. The platform installer etc. will make it super easy to download and install the "official" plugins. You can distribute your own "custom" plugins but the preferred way to contribute to the community would be to check what's already there first and respect that. If you REALLY want to make an alternative to something, make it good enough that the community's admins protecting the namespace will allow it into the namespace. Otherwise, promote it yourself, or fork the whole platform.

ocdtrekkie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
So, I've been writing a home automation system using the .NET Framework (with Visual Basic, I'll wait until you finish laughing).......... Okay.

I've made a point not to add any third parties references and packages I can avoid. I went ahead and got a third party scheduling engine, and the SQLite provider, but beyond that, I'm writing everything else myself so far.

First of all, I'm learning a lot in having to write stuff myself. At the very least, it's a great educational experience. I've worked with a lot of code samples, so I'm not going totally from scratch, but they're all at the very least tailored to my needs.

But for me, the big thing is keeping everything thin. The program loads in milliseconds. Almost all of the reference data for what it's built on is in one place (the .NET Framework Reference). And key, is that the features my program supports are the features I want and need, not the features some dependency has told me to have.

The biggest dependency I have, Quartz.NET, is actually the most confusing part. It's not structured like the rest of my program is, it's documentation leaves some things to be desired, and it does a lot more than I need it to. There's a lot of bloat I could cut out if I wrote my own scheduler, and maybe someday I will.

justaaron 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Eric_WVGG 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, I thought you said dependents Abraham
sksixk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
what's the point?none of them are realistic.

"no code" - well, it's there for a reason."own it" - do i really want to write my own minimal implementation?

i understand that dependency is a pita but this post doesn't provide anything worthwhile.

edejong 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with dependencies is that developers approach it from a top-down approach. The question they answer is: I need an HTTP client, JSON API, monitoring tool, logging framework.

Never do they ask the opposite: what kind of foundations do I need? What elementary blocks do I need to have or learn in order to make a JSON parser in 5 lines of code? Is it possible to do logging without all the cruft? Can I write the library in the same amount of time as I can read the docs? Could the code I write be the docs?

Similar line of reasoning: can I leverage my OS to do scheduling/IPC/monitoring/security? If it can't, should we lobby for better OSes (that might scale over multiple machines?) Does Linux/Docker offer the right fundamentals?

Dijkstra was truly right: the art of programming is the art of managing complexity.

We're ditching the office completely buffer.com
336 points by open-source-ux  2 days ago   254 comments top 40
fredleblanc 2 days ago 15 replies      
I guess I'm the flip-side of this. I work for myself, self-employed, and my office is the best $360 I spend each month. I need separation of space. My 15 minute walk ("commute") adds to the separation of work from home.

The other thing is that there are two small children running around my house. I simply can't work there, or else I'd never get anything done. Our house isn't large enough to have a separate, dedicated office-space. I'd be constantly interrupted.

I like the concept of remote working, even in a shared environment, but if I were working at that company and I no longer had a free place to go do work, I'd be looking for another gig.

p4wnc6 2 days ago 14 replies      
The answer is really simple, and has been well-known at least since the time of the book Peopleware and the studies it cited.

Provide a real office environment for every knowledge worker.

You know ... a door that shuts ... a window ... space to allow your gaze to adjust.

Things that are ... human.

It's really simple.

And before you say it costs too much, it doesn't. The problem is that you're in denial about how much your current offices with open floor plans are costing you. You merely think the cost is equal to the rent. It's much greater than the rent, though, because of lowered productivity, lowered morale, increased superficiality of important inter-worker communication, incessant interruptions disrupting developer flow, more sick time, etc. etc.

If you didn't pretend like those aren't affecting you, and you actually counted their cost, you'd see that the extra cost in real estate for offices is well worth it even in short-term scenarios like 1-year where you're using your start-up runway to pay for it.

Even in San Francisco. Even in Manhattan.

jasode 2 days ago 2 replies      
>Which environment do you prefer, and why?

I don't believe this question is interesting because I think we know that most HN readers will prefer remote working instead offices. It doesn't matter whether it's semi-private cubicles or noisy open floor plans. Offices suck. Commuting sucks too. Probably 95+% would prefer remote work if they could get it.

>Do you think we should have kept our office or closed it?

The more interesting question & answer is how the 100% remote strategy helps your business. Yes, you save $86k/yr in office rent. However, does the remote arrangement boost your employees' productivity so much that it helps Buffer beat other competitors (Hootsuite, Sprout, etc.)? Is the remote productivity enabling the ability of engineers to add features at a faster rate that you noticed subscriptions going way up? Etc.

That's the business calculus that's more interesting to discuss. To be fair, it looks like author Courtney Seiter's background is writing/marketing and not business/engineering so it's understandable if she doesn't emphasize this angle. Also, the blog post is only 4 months old so they don't have a year's worth of financial performance to evaluate its effectiveness.

neya 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to work from my bedroom, in my old home a few years ago. Initially, it felt like the best thing to do. But, as time passed, there were committment issues and potential distractions. Some of them included stuff like answering the door, unwanted guests (and friends) and because it was my bedroom, I just slept more often (no more tiresome 48 hour hackathons).

Then, as time passed, I realized, the distinction between your workplace and your leisure space is an important one. Later, I rented out a moderately expensive serviced office space by one of the local providers and it had served me well. Even the people around you can perceive this distinction and respect your boundaries if you work in an office-like atmosphere that can be perceived.

To be clear, it's not wrong to work from home. IF you have a separate room for your work and you treat it like an office room, it's actually the best way to go (convenience and savings). But if you were in a situation like me where you had to choose between the bedroom and a leased office space, go for the latter and it will definitely add an improvement to your quality of professional life.

jpkeisala 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's nice to read comments here as people are writing they like to work in the office. I also do like it. I am self-employed and in the longer run it is so boring to be alone at home when there is nobody to talk to. Funnily, when I was fulltime I dreamed to work from home.
ris 2 days ago 7 replies      
I can't imagine anything lonelier.
nstart 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi all, I'm currently with buffer in the bootcamp period. I've loved every moment of it. Agree with a lot of the sentiments here, especially the separation of personal and professional lives. Working with the buffer team has allowed me to pick where I work from each day. Some days it's a coffee shop, a lot of days it's a tiny co working space I've found. Sometimes that space gets a little noisy, so I move over to my friend's office. I've got about another 4 places that have open invitations for me to drop in and work from there. So overall, pretty awesome. Would love to answer any questions too :)
otakucode 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why do we have offices to begin with? Because they provided value. Past tense. Sure they were always expensive, but without bringing people together physically, it was nearly impossible to accomplish anything. Humans have a difficulty, rooted in the fundamental structure of our brains, to hold both the benefits and the costs of a situation in mind at the same time. Once we determine that something provides greater benefit than cost, the costs just disappear. It's a pragmatic shortcut, but it falls flat when the underlying assumptions change.

The underlying assumptions have changed. The myriad costs associated with offices are no longer outweighed by the benefits they provide. That's partially due to the development of technology, and partially due to other changes, such as the adoption of productivity-poisoning 'open plan' offices. Our whole setup of how we work is based on manufacturing, and it hasn't been adapted to the very different work being done now. Even though technology has made individual workers so productive that the company can survive an open plan office and still not be able to provide most workers with enough to do to fill 40 hours a week, we still force them to have their butt in a chair for those 40 hours - more often more than that, the majority of which is done solely for appearances sake.

rtl49 2 days ago 2 replies      
A startup with little brand recognition posts a blog entry concerning a topic of general interest to a demographic whose attention it seeks. A predictable discussion emerges with the company as a backdrop. Everyone rejoices that the topic has been broached, because they have well-informed, unique opinions to offer on the subject. Brand recognition is achieved, and because of the photographs of smiling, laid-back young people contained in the blog entry, the impression on the target demographic is a positive one. Everyone forgets it happened, and the cycle repeats again next week.
elcapitan 1 day ago 1 reply      
That sqwiggle tool they use (described here https://open.buffer.com/remote-working-means-tools-use/) sounds pretty creepy. A software taking a pic of my face every few seconds and broadcasting it is almost as annoying as having someone in your back all the time, I think.
EwanG 2 days ago 1 reply      
OK, reading through all this, I'm wondering if there isn't a compromise approach needed. For myself, I go in each morning for a couple hours. If there are no meetings that require my physical presence, then I drive home, and work the rest of the day from there. Sometimes that means home at 10am, others closer to 3pm, and occasionally 6pm. But it means I am available to comingle when it makes sense, available to be run into for at least a couple hours a day, and almost always home before traffic gets bad. It also means I don't mind working past 5 most days as if I was in the office I wouldn't get home until then due to the traffic. Maybe this kind of half and half approach would be ideal for others?
USNetizen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Having worked remotely for over 6 years and then having run my own company, I can easily say that there are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches - office and fully remote. It really depends on the industry and the team.

I have found that offices do tend to improve communication through instant access to people and feedback, whereas remote work sometimes requires incessant scheduling of meetings. Instant messaging and such can help, but it is not as immediate nor is it a replacement for face time. However, working remotely is a great feeling of freedom and control over your personal environment, which can lead to better personal productivity, provided the person has enough discipline to ignore distractions (if the office is one's home).

It is also a personal preference. As a software engineer, I loved remote work because I could code in peace without distraction. However, some personalities could never stand this much solitude and prefer the hubbub of a traditional office, however distracting it could potentially be. I even knew people who worked remotely that would venture outside and chat at length with neighbors just to have that feeling of human contact that is sometimes lacking with full remote work.

That being said, with the industry I work in, my customers expect a traditional office. So, implementing a mix of remote and office time has worked best for us. There are some stipulations, however, for remote work we enforce - such as childcare must be taken care of by someone else (e.g. school, daycare, spouse, etc.) while working remotely and background noise is to be minimized so as to treat it as a true professional environment. Nothing is worse than when you're on a conference call with major clients and hear crying or barking in the background. And I say this as someone with children and pets myself.

mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Our team is remote and we're 9 full-timers with a few contractors in the infosec space and it works incredibly well. I want to add that the main reason to work remotely isn't really about saving on office rental. We take that cash and put it back into our employees home work environment and tools like awesome hardware.

The biggest benefit for us is that our team is able to have a better work-life balance and keep a high level of productivity. e.g. One of our engineers used to have a 40 minute commute either way morning and evening. Now he works from home and can spend more time with his family instead of in his car.

It also lets us hire from all over the World. Our full-timers are all in the USA and we have people in Ohio, Florida, Maine, Washington and Tennessee. So it's a really diverse group but we're also very tight knit even though some of us have never met in person yet. Several in our team work in small towns so they enjoy a slower pace and more quiet time which (coming from a small town myself) I think lends itself to solving complex problems.

I'd agree that it's all or nothing with remote teams or you risk alienating half your workforce.

The best advice I can give any company going remote is to get Slack or an equivalent like IRC. It does a fine job of replacing the day to day contact you have with team members. Also twice weekly all-hands calls to sync up are great - we do voice not video and we go around the room and everyone updates us on what they're working on. In a way we have a greater sense of what everyone is doing than some brick and mortar companies I've worked for.

I think for software businesses remote working will be the way everyone works 20 years from now. It'll take a while for larger companies to make the shift because there is no very large company that does this yet but there will be and they'll prove the model and the imitators will follow.

It's also way better for the environment.

amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that they don't have a very good idea of where their employees are located exactly: http://i.imgur.com/XCHQstM.png
jonesb6 2 days ago 0 replies      
Remote is good for some people and bad for others. At big companies there will be enough of both groups that going one-sided in either direction will hurt some people, and ultimately hurt the company (COUGH YHOO). IMO the best solution is a flexible working environment that can support everybody, especially in large cities where the commute can be an absolute grind in and of itself.
minimaxir 2 days ago 2 replies      
Note: the article was posted about 4 months ago. (Oct 2015)

One apparent consequence of all-remote working for Buffer is that having all the employees meet in real life is incredibly expensive and logistically complex: https://open.buffer.com/remote-work-retreats/

alblue 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tried reading this on my phone, got three paragraphs in and then got slammed with a full screen advert for buffer.com. I mean, what's the point in advertising the site that you are already on?

I have no idea what the rest of the post was about but I'm pretty sure that I never want to deal with buffer.com again.

csomar 2 days ago 1 reply      
we noticed that office space was a not-insignificant element of our overall expenditures each monthmore than we paid for health insurance, or advertising and marketing.

Office space cost them 2.1% of all of their monthly costs.

This is "not-insignificant"

Am I reading this right? If anything, they are under-paying for their office space.

draw_down 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's why: cost!

To be clear, I find it refreshing that they just come out and say it. It seems obvious to me that when you work remotely, you're paying for the office space, and any company that believes the savings in pushing the office-space expense onto the employee outweighs the benefit of holding offices will start moving in this direction. (Since this particular company pays for coworking space, they're not pushing the cost to employees. I'm speaking more generally)

Having worked remotely for a substantial portion of my career, I have found the best for me is a mix of working at home and working from the office. That's my personal feeling, but still I think there are more downsides to remote work than many would like to consider.

jsudhams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish world realizes this makes this happen.... I think for manufacturing work and so on it made sense build cities.. now if we make as much as work from home then the villages and towns will keep its face and continue have facilities and will grow. Cities wont be over crowded, less traffic etc.. i think there is value to coming to office and social network and so on but i also it is based habits so once majority works from home (with video etc..) then it will become norm... In countries like India we can easily tap top talent which is actually women(in the schools).
eugenekolo2 2 days ago 3 replies      
Am I reading this right that 9 people are making an average of ~222K? edit: ~290K
wehadfun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Could some one explain why accounting/legal and payroll would be 5K per month for a company this size? It seems high to me.
agentgt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I too like many others work from home and to complicate it I own my company... so I have very little separation of work and personal life.

But I love it. One of my favorite things is I can play my own damn music as loud as I want!

And yeah It may not be psychologically ideal but humans are pretty adaptable. You just have to develop new habits and behavior.

Some of the things I do to help the work/life balance:

* My wife calls me at 4:30-5:00pm everyday to tell me to wrap up my shit or else... this is pretty critical as I can easily get in the zone and the heads up expectations for some reason works.

* I try to walk every day on the days I don't lift weights

* I have a home gym. And despite what people think you don't need a lot of space. There are so many space saving products out there (like quickly collapsable pullup/dip bars, weighted vests etc).

xupybd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd love to remote work. But I've learned a lot working in the same office as some very talented developers and managers. I'm not sure I'd get that remotely.
benatkin 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like this concept a lot! I'm not sure whether I would give each employee money for coworking space, because I think that would make me feel like I need to choose and commit to a coworking space, since otherwise it would seem that I'm throwing away the money. It would also make it sound like it's compensating for not having an office, which I think is a net win for the people who are going to enjoy working at a company with a remote culture.
serge2k 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Not long after we tallied up every penny of what your money is used for when you purchase a Buffer subscription, we noticed that office space was a not-insignificant element of our overall expenditures each monthmore than we paid for health insurance, or advertising and marketing.

and here is the real point. We can save money.

I think remote options are a great idea. I also think that forcing workers to take their work outside the office is a lousy idea.

snarfy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked from home for a couple years. One thing that made it work was having a separate work computer with a separate desk. If I'm sitting in that chair at that desk, I'm at work. If you have family they need to know not to talk to you when you are at work.
kampsduac 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work at a fortune 500. Most of the dev team I am on work in the same office, but there is zero benefit to going into the office as most customers and project members are remote. The grey cubicle shreds my sole anyway, I love working from home.
sagivo 1 day ago 0 replies      
the more startups adopt the open-office model, the more people want to work from anywhere else.
Spooky23 2 days ago 2 replies      
What do you do if you have a family? I have small kids. No way I could handle working from home.
lazyant 1 day ago 0 replies      
$6k for legal, payroll and accounting? is this normal for a 6 people company? (I guess it depends on if you retain a legal team)
Kiro 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can guarantee that our productivity would drop significantly if everyone at my office started working remotely. Pretty sure this is a bad idea for most companies.
z3t4 1 day ago 1 reply      
I find it funny that payment fees are double the office rent. And they decide to close the office.

There are no reason why payments over the Internet has to cost that much!

galfarragem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working in an office is not the real problem. The real problems are the lack of working hours flexibility and commute time.
eva1984 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good, why should we follow? Nahhhh
bobby_9x 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work for myself and finally got an office after 2 years. It's so much better than working from my home. Less distractions and I can completely separate home/work.

When I was working for someone, I hated working from an office because I had no freedom and the bosses/managers constantly watching me. It was stifling and I felt like I was in a prison.

It's funny how things change.

biztos 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have often wondered what I would do about the Office Question if I started a company, since any company I might start is very likely to be distributed due to geography (mine and my network's both). Usually I end up with the idea that everyone would work from "home," and would be encouraged to use co-working (company-paid) if they wished; and I might maintain a minimal "HQ" assuming it was more than just me at that location; and I'd build in regular face-to-face team meetings into the business plan, say at least every quarter.

The only problem is, I'm not sure I'd want to work that way myself if I were an employee. I think I'd want an office: preferably one to myself.

I currently work from home, and have previously rented office spaces (both shared and not) at my own expense; and at various times I've worked in the HQ, branch offices, and various combinations of all these things, for a few different tech-related companies.

I would probably rent another dedicated office right now, but my rental apartment has a guest room so it seems decadent. But I'm still tempted, and check the listings every couple of weeks.

I would say that for me, working in software development and also doing "creative" work, having a separate space easily made up in peace of mind and probably in productivity what it cost in money. (In a high-rent zone like San Francisco that probably wouldn't hold.) But I found a coworking space too annoying, and probably would not go back to that if I could avoid it.

I found the big advantages to a rented space were, in order:

1. Freedom from distractions (usually; neighbors make noise too).2. Work-only nature of the space, i.e. you go there only to work.3. Ability to set it up as I like (decoration, layout, etc.).4. Got my butt out of the house and out amongst the humans more often.5. Your feelings about Home don't get so mixed up with your feelings about Work.6. You can still opt to work from home when you really feel like it.

Disadvantages vs home office:

1. "Shared resources" (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) might not live up to your normal standards of utility or hygiene.2. Neighbors pay rent too, and are thus unlikely to change their habits at your request.3. Expense (though this is very location-dependent).4. Commute, while probably a good thing overall, eats time.5. Your landlord, like most landlords, may suck.

None of this in any way contradicts the idea of going all-in on remote teams, but it does raise a question: if you're doing it for the competitive advantage of high productivity, might it be better to spend more on offices that are themselves distributed?

(FWIW: Married, no kids, and neither one of us works a 9-5 schedule.)

sebringj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why are people in their own cubicles video conferencing and chatting to others in the same office? Because its convenient and saves time, you on-site proponent hypocrites.

If cost isn't the significant factor to being remote then time and convenience sure is. I have two or three extra hours of productivity not driving into the office (no round trip), settling into a cubicle, chit chatting, picking where to go to lunch and of course avoiding tension headaches and sleepiness from sitting in traffic. I also have time to work out that I didn't before. I'm more balanced in my life. I'm 10 years and going strong remote as a programmer/consultant with tons of energy and free time to do what I want while being highly paid. My wife is at home with me along with my kids and the most driving we do is your typical errands. Cost for me is much lower as we only need one car and I can write off office space in my house.

I have a hypothesis about these studies showing that onsite is better aside from being the business culture propaganda it is: People are generally social creatures and find communication most effective in presence as it strengthens learning via increased dopamine response (reward system), however, the outliers in the bell curve don't need this type of stimulation, in fact it may make them less effective.

Several remote workers I've met over the years along with myself simply don't need that and find video, chat, docs and email more effective in communicating over in-person meetings on whiteboards. As a programmer, I care more about the idea being presented or discussed than the people themselves. I find I personally work much more effectively in my own space and I know the remote teams I've worked with find a similar experience. This is probably the outlier which is why these studies find it more effective to the contrary. It depends on the type of person and that type of person not needing social feedback in-person is more rare. I would say I receive less dopamine overall or find the in-person experience less pleasant because of all the extra overhead (time) needed just to start the day. I simply hate inefficiency and see having to go in as very annoying, it reduces the social benefit to being pointless in my case.

Don't get me wrong, I seem very far from a nerd in person and am very successful socially in general with men and women. I'm the type of guy that tells jokes and has the zinger comebacks always on the tip of my tongue, can get everyone laughing and can communicate very well. The thing is I don't even miss any of this as I can do this on video anyway daily. It is a choice for me to come to the office or not and I simply don't choose to 99% of the time.

I am even thinking the bell curve outliers are starting to move toward the center as older people die off and technology becomes more "real".

anjc 2 days ago 3 replies      
Um, I feel like this will have repercussions in terms of staff churn rate. Office spaces are one of the definers of culture, and culture is one of the main motivators for staff. I'm certain that remote working suits many people, but I doubt that it will allow a sense of 'loyalty' to arise in the worker.
steveoc64 2 days ago 0 replies      
Having a look at the company in question, and the products that they produce. I only got as far as the "Diversity Dashboard" to realize that this organization doesnt actually produce anything.

If you don't produce anything real, then you probably don't need any space to do it in.

Meanwhile, the ranks of the unemployed, the hungry, the homeless, and the disenfranchised continue to grow, as any useful capital that remains in circulation is eaten up by these parasitic sectors of the economy.

Im sure that the country has a bright future ahead, where everyone can make a meaningful contribution - such as serving hot dogs and coffee with a smile, or just helping everybody else establish an impressive social media profile.

The rest of the world will be so grateful that they will continue to purchase our debts, extend additional lines of credit, and provide all the manufactured products, food, and energy that we need (but can no longer produce)

Funding Django is not an act of charity, it's an investment djangoproject.com
351 points by intellectronica  2 days ago   119 comments top 16
dkyc 2 days ago 8 replies      
I think this comment by patio11 is very relevant here:

"We don't donate to OSS software which we use, because we're legally not allowed to.

I routinely send key projects, particularly smaller projects, a request to quote me a commercial license of their project, with the explanation that I would accept a quote of $1,000 and that the commercial license can be their existing OSS license plus an invoice. My books suggest we've spent $3k on this in 2015. My bookkeeper, accountant, and the IRS/NTA are united on this issue: they don't care whether a software license is OSS or not. A $1k invoice is a $1k invoice; as a software company, I have virtually carte blanche to expense any software I think is reasonably required, and I think our OSS is reasonably required.

I would do this more often if OSS projects made it easier for me to do so. Getting me to pay $1,000 for software is easy; committing me to doing lots of admin work over the course of a week is less easy. Take a look at what e.g. http://sidekiq.org/ , which is an OSS project with a commercial model, does. Two clicks gets me to a credit card form. If I actually used Sidekiq, Mike would have had my credit card on file the day that form went up."


travjones 2 days ago 2 replies      
>> "...a solid, stable, secure and powerful web application framework..."

I think this quote sums up Django very well. I would guess that a large chunk of externally facing and internally facing web apps use django (e.g., apps at Mozilla [0]). Anyone have a link to numbers? It would be neat to quantify the prevalence of frameworks on the net. Someone must have done this already.

[0]: https://www.djangoproject.com/weblog/2015/dec/11/django-awar...

miiiiiike 2 days ago 4 replies      
It's like chipping in $10 for a bag of artisinal coconut chips on Kiskstarter, but instead of getting a bag chips you get a mature web framework. And maybe artisinal coconut chips.. I don't know, I've never been to DjangoCon.
iyn 2 days ago 2 replies      
An indirect way to support Django is to use products and/or services of its sponsors: https://www.djangoproject.com/foundation/corporate-members/
brianwawok 2 days ago 4 replies      
Kind of unrelated to the topic.. but I recently checked out Django for the first time ever recently (I know, 5 years late) - and was impressed. It has a lot of the things I like in web development with mostly sane defaults (most insane thing found so far: Closing database connection after each request, really?). Edit - Yes I know you can change config to keep connection open, but as a default for prod mode it seemed rather weird ;)

Still fighting the internal battle that I know I like better compile time checking (ala Scala), but having changes happen so fast in dev is pretty freakin nice...

collinmanderson 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's amazing what the Django Software Foundation was able to accomplish with the recent fundraising. It has greatly increased the project's reliability and stability. Let's keep it up. :)
DanieleProcida 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you rely on Django or another open-source project, can you afford not to help fund it?
mixonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been pondering corporate roles in modern OSS projects for a few months, especially those in projects that have no single owner.

Supporting developers or community members of an OSS project your company uses through employee time or financial means is less of an investment, and more of a hedge. You've picked up a product off the shelf, however that product has a future direction decided by a number of people in a community.

A company that chooses not (through inaction or action) to participate in the project is relying on the existing powers-that be, and their existing influences, to make decisions that will benefit the company. This is a risk.

A company that chooses to participate cannot control a decentralized project, but they can absolutely influence the software and community by choosing what projects to fund, what kind of roles to hire for, what projects to sponsor, and what to publicly talk about. This influence nudges the community in directions beneficial to the company, and ensures the project doesn't head in a different direction.

For example in the last year the Ember.js community has seen an influx of larger companies hiring positions that include OSS time for employees. Large companies sponsoring OSS work is becoming more common. This means the parts of Ember that benefit large company needs (lots of devices, big dev teams) are getting more focus. The transition is exciting and fascinating to observe.

Support OSS projects important to your company, or accept the risk that comes with allowing foundational parts of your business to be managed by others (without your needs in mind).

stefanfoulis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Developing software means you're standing on the shoulders of the opensource giants. Let's feed them from time to time :-)
kmfrk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wagtail is one of the most interesting Django projects at the moment (https://wagtail.io).

A great attempt to make CMSes as useable as humanly possible, which can't be said for WordPress, Drupal, and the usual fare.

danjoc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't help but wonder if Django wouldn't do better with a multi-licensing strategy like MongoDB uses. Asking for donations typically doesn't work out so well.

I see a lot of underfunded open source projects. The whole internet seems to run on them. OpenSSL was one prominent example. I don't think it is coincidence that they are almost always BSD type licenses.

To me BSD licensing just seems like the starving artist living on the good will of a few wealthy donors. Donors who frequently end up steering the project. Multi-licensing seems like a healthier approach.

pankajdoharey 2 days ago 1 reply      
I dont see the point, Rails already solves the problems that Dj-ango is trying to solve again. Rails/ruby combo already solves the problem in a very elegant way. There is no need for another half baked solution that tries to solve the same problem.
tedmiston 2 days ago 0 replies      
Food for thought - As a prospective employee, I'd more likely want to work at a company whose name I saw on the corporate sponsors page (of Django, or whatever framework they use).
cbertschy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I approve this message :-)
booop 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can we see the Django Software Foundation's latest Form 990?
mrfusion 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'd like to see something like celery built in. But easier to use and doesn't need a separate db. Is it possinlble to fund that like south was?
What 50,000 watts of RF energy sounds like through a jumper cable facebook.com
310 points by 2bluesc  20 hours ago   148 comments top 19
tlrobinson 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Even better: some crazy Russian/Ukrainian kids listening to the local radio station through weeds (and occasionally getting some minor RF burns): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82s5Q3GIO9I
connorlee 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Amplitude Modulation, or AM, works by modulating the sound on the "peaks and valleys" of the frequency. If you were to look at the waveform of the carrier frequency, you would see it as variance in the "power levels" of the signal, going higher and lower depending on what's being sent.

Because of how AM works, you can actually hear what's being transmitted by causing an electrical arc. It's the same concept of hearing a "buzz" from high voltage power lines, except in a controlled fashion to produce sound.

luxpir 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A link to the CDN-served file directly, if anyone wants it:


Not the prettiest thing, but there you have it.

estomagordo 19 hours ago 2 replies      
19 comments and not even one mentions that Watt, with a capital W, measures power, and not energy? I'm assuming 90% of posters know this, but it still bugs me.

A modest proposal: "What 50 kilowatts of RF power sounds like through a jumper cable"

exabrial 20 hours ago 3 replies      
So dumb questions:

Why were they shorting out the tower? (What was the purpose of the cable)

What are those rubber things?

What would happen to a bird that landed on the tower (not grounded)

What about a large metal helicopter (if it didn't crash)?

skrpwr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
philh 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Does a tower like this only broadcast one radio station? That's not what I would have naively expected. But if not, why do they pick up that specific one?
carapace 8 hours ago 0 replies      
nielsole 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I was once in a completely empty swimming pool (~25*10 m size) The surface of the pool was completely undisturbed. When I put my head under water I could hear a radio voice. Since I could not rule out the possibility that it was simply audio from nearby speakers that I simply could not hear through the air, I was always wondering whether it would be possible to listen to radio waves in water.
ronreiter 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Wow, can anyone explain this?
madez 18 hours ago 6 replies      
I cant watch this video without an account. A click on the video leads me to the login page. Is there a mirror?
trhway 5 hours ago 0 replies      
so, pedantically, it isn't through the jumper cable - the sound is generated by plasma between the cable and the tower. I think i heard something about "plasma speakers" before.
snarfy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Power transmission lines have a similar effect when they are disconnected. My father was a lineman and told stories of hearing radios, intercoms, etc when working with HV lines.
w8rbt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Never touch or even stand close to an antenna that's transmitting. Even small mag loops with 10 watts of power will cause serious burns if touched.
elaus 19 hours ago 0 replies      
In my home town we have a large broadcasting tower for MW/UHF radio and a lot of the elder people tell stories about how they were able to listen to the radio via the plants (e.g. cucumbers) in their garden
stefanix 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Behind login wall.
gelo 16 hours ago 2 replies      
50000W of RF power is approximately 355kV - if you work out based on that 1W dBm is 7.1 Volts.
ronreiter 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is that an issue?
SixSigma 19 hours ago 2 replies      
nitpick - watts is a measure of speed - joules per second
The curse of the gifted programmer (2000) lwn.net
361 points by nkurz  20 hours ago   164 comments top 25
WalterBright 17 hours ago 3 replies      
> Your tendency to undervalue modularization and code-sharing is one symptom. Another is your refusal to use systematic version-control or release-engineering practices. To you, these things seem mostly like overhead and a way of needlessly complicating your life. And so far,your strategy has worked; your natural if relatively undisciplined ability has proved more than equal to the problems you have set it. That success predisposes you to relatively sloppy tactics like splitting drivers before you ought to and using your inbox as a patch queue.

I hang my head in shame at this. I'm lucky, though, that the other members of the D team talked me into using modern tools like github and bugzilla. I'm grateful for that.

P.S. yes, I really did use email as a patch queue and database.

nkurz 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Here are a few earlier discussions of this email:

 Curse Of The Gifted (2000) 606 points luu 2 years ago 365 comments 

 Eric S. Raymond - The Curse of the Gifted (2000) 243 points vinutheraj 6 years ago 59 comments 

 The curse of the gifted programmer (ESR's email to Torvalds) 95 points semmons 6 years ago 38 comments 

It's interesting to compare the quality of discussion over the years. In this case, I think the more recent ones come out looking pretty good.

ktRolster 18 hours ago 5 replies      
ESR showed his wisdom. That is a nice post. I like this quote:

 > When you were in college, did you ever meet bright > kids who graduated top of their class in high-school > and then floundered freshman year in college because > they had never learned how to study? 
Yeap. I also met a few who thought they were smart, then gained a secret terror that they were secretly stupid because they found CS hard.

Some things you have to work at before you learn them.

optimusclimb 17 hours ago 1 reply      
What an amazing email from ESR.

I feel like I've had the issue he describes happen to me in multiple facets of life, at different points.

College? Check - There definitely was a point where I couldn't cruise and catch up by cramming. High school was a joke in comparison with some of the learning challenges I finally encountered.

Task management? Hah! Todo lists are for old people. I cruised by on this one for a LONG time due to (at least my own perceived) pretty large short-medium term memory before personal life + work life (and moving up the chain) meant that there's no way I'd remember everything that needed tending to unless I adopted some sort of system.

More guilty one? Tests. For better or for worse, I worked professionally in an environment where we a) had a compiler, b) had a QA group, and c) managed to put out a lot of working software without a test suite. It definitely made me finally give in to "code should have at least SOME test suite, if not a pretty comprehensive one" after much kicking and screaming. To this day, in my mind, I harbor feelings that it's possible to pump out largely working (i.e. with a defect rate not much worse off than any other project, because no software is without any) software incredibly faster and make the users/customers/people who wanted the thing built happy WITHOUT writing tests. That said, I also know it's completely irresponsible and not scalable to do so.

henrik_w 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Previous discussion (632 points, 2 years ago, different URL):


And here is a good comment:


From it: "Eric writes using vague generalizations about age and experience; Linus writes with specifics about his experience with the kernel."

And: "Also, compare this message from Linus earlier in that thread https://lkml.org/lkml/2000/8/22/52 with a post of his from yesterday: https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/2/10/575, especially regarding abstraction."

cubaia 17 hours ago 2 replies      
It doesn't seem like this has anything to do about Linus raw talent, or the "curse of the gifted".

Quite the opposite, it seems it was an opinion evolved through experience.


Linus point was apparently about avoiding crappy interfaces when one goes about having common code just because it looks like they do the same thingy.He seems mindful enough that sharing code is hard.


On the contrary, a raw talented engineer would usually jump into the opportunity to refactor and share common code, without realizing when the challenge is above one's ability.

In this aspect, even a few decades of experience in software (fragmented in many separate projects) can be less valuable than a single 5 year stretch in the same code base.

bbtn 17 hours ago 9 replies      
I have seen these people who have "curse of the gifted." One of them is me, another is my step-son.

Problem is people's approach to your gifts, first; your parents. If they say continuously that you are gifted, very smart, very beautiful, adorable etc and you can do anything you want because you are so smart, you are most likely doomed later in life.

Now, my step-son about to finish high school. His mother, always complimented him starting from kindergarten. He was smart all along, did all problems from his mind easily without much effort. His parents and teachers complimented him everyday. He was happy, and proud of himself to be smart, his parents were also proud.

High school required more disciplined work. He couldn't make it, too many distractions around. He was thought to be a very special person when he grow up, but now, he is below average, and sadly, he accepts that even though he had the potential. I see how he will fail more in college, and can't help.

My only difference from him was that he is failing in high school, I failed in university.

I have a small daughter, 4 years old, and I am afraid as hell not to spoil her. She looks very smart and gifted. I always say she is not gifted, she is just normal. I don't want her to be very special person when she grow up, I want her to be happy and healty, that's all. Only thing I am trying to do is not to say her that "she is gifted, she is very smart".

I don't know how to solve his brother's problem. Looks it is very late.

taneq 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know about the specifics talked about here, but he's absolutely right that no matter how much raw talent you have, eventually you will find yourself facing a challenge that you can't beat. And at that point, if you want to keep improving, you will have to start learning the same kinds of engineering discipline and using the same kinds of external aids that everyone else has had to use all along.

I've seen a few people go through this process (and experienced it myself) at various stages in their careers and everyone has a rough patch after hitting that wall. Eventually they admit that what they've been doing is no longer working, and they become better engineers because of it. But it's tough when you're in the middle of it, and for a while your work definitely suffers.

onion2k 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The greatest realisation I've had as a developer is that no matter how much I learn and how clever I think I'm being, I'm always going to be limited by the number of hours in the day. If you want to build brilliant, audacious, complicated applications then you simply have to work with other people because you physically can't do everything yourself.

If you're a "lone gunman" you'll have to accept you're limiting yourself to things you can make in your available, very limited time.

V-2 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This letter reminds me of a historical anecdote (I read about it in some history book, it could be apocryphial though) in which Hitler's generals were faced with some ludicrous strategical concepts of his. But, of course, noone really dared to speak up. And finally one gray-haired general clears his throat and says "mein Fuhrer, I'm afraid you are mistaking Stalin for a genius equal to yourself!"
arethuza 17 hours ago 5 replies      
I knew an incredibly gifted developer who was CTO of a company I joined as VP of Engineering. He was a genius level developer but didn't believe that any of the normal rules of software development applied to him - so no backups of product source code (which of course he wrote all the complex bits), no revision control, no build process, deployments by RAID...

Just before I joined, the CEOs nerves had taken a bad hit when CTO had power cable to only laptop with source for product stretched out at ideal tripping height, he runs to get something, trips over cable, smashes laptop...

Mind you he destroyed my nerves as well... <sigh>

Edit: Prize to anyone who can guess how "Deployment by RAID" worked...

jacquesm 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Thinking is like 4 wheel drive. You still get stuck but in harder to get out of places.
hnhamdani 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This rings bell to me and I tried to applied it myself. "The importance of fundamentals". Some of the hard parts are be honest to myself and admitting it, then re learn everything from scratch. I used to be able to get away with "instinct" but fundamental theory/knowledge is important too.

Pete Carroll preach about it and emphasize it in his team. Elon Musk also talked about the usefulness of sound fundamentals when it comes to learn about any fields of knowledge.

isomorphic 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Linus' gifted-child problems aside, calling Linus out over a refusal to use "systematic version-control" might have had some small role in causing Linus to write Git, if for no other reason than spite. That alone makes this an amazing email.
ktRolster 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how Linus responded? I can't find it anywhere after a quick search, and it doesn't seem to be on lkml.org
mianos 17 hours ago 1 reply      
> "I still worry about what will happen if the complexity of the kernel exceeds the scope of your astonishing nativetalent before you grow up."

It never did and he never grew up. LOL.

hex13 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Seeing this post in context of whole conversation will show that Linus' stance was not that bad:

https://lkml.org/lkml/2000/8/22/12(quote from Linus' post)

`It's true that "simple and tested code means less bugs". And quite often, code sharing will imply that the code gets (a) more complex and (b) has cases that people who make changes will never be able to test.

No, I'm not saying that sharing is bad. Sharing is good. But anybody who makes a blanket statement like "sharing reduces bugs" is full of crap.

Good and clear interfaces reduce bugs. Avoiding complexity reduces bugs. Using your brain before you code something up reduces bugs.

But making a very complex driver that handles ten different variations on the same hardware? No. That does _not_ reduce bugs. It's quite often more efficient to have two people work on two drivers that are independent of each other, than to have two persons working on the same driver. Alan putit well at some point: the way to create working open source software is to minimize the amount of communication needed.`

I think he's veeeeery reasonable in this. This reminds me "Wrong Abstraction" article. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11032296Sometimes it is better to create two separate things than create some weird obscure abstraction which cover all the cases.

pklausler 8 hours ago 0 replies      
That's just one weird e-mail message, a mash-up of Uriah Heep and self-aggrandized condescension.
draw_down 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It is, shall I say, suspiciously easy to recognize oneself in this piece. In doing so, you get to be gifted at the small psychic price of being cursed. (For a narcissist, that's actually a win-win.) I submit as evidence most of this comment thread.

Maybe not every one of us is a hugely gifted reserve of untapped potential. Maybe some of us are just people with shitty habits and a reluctance to change.

known 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Both of them have tons of ego.
aashu_dwivedi 17 hours ago 0 replies      
for those who are curious the whole discussion thread can be read here http://markmail.org/message/kndbnthmmlai2ky6#query:+page:1+m...
0xdeadbeefbabe 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Man they ought to call it the curse of the stupid everyone else.
ryan-allen 17 hours ago 1 reply      
That was an epic read. I've only ever known ESR from his 'edge' opinions but this email feels like a pearl from the wise.

He mentioned code sharing and using his inbox as a queue, was this pre-source control? Stupid question, but does anyone have any context to what it was like when this was written?

dang 6 hours ago 8 replies      
Please keep celebrity flamewars off HN.
jorgecurio 18 hours ago 6 replies      
This kind of toxic snarkism fueled by fratboy within insecure adults produce toxic working culture. Like literally shitting on anything the other person says or does, makes a pretty tough environment to work together.
A Truck the Russians Make for $50K jalopnik.com
293 points by _nh_  18 hours ago   63 comments top 24
Nr7 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Reminds me a bit of this crazy screw-propelled tank which is also Russian made: https://youtu.be/RbDe5dEu07I?t=34
domas 17 hours ago 2 replies      
kbart 16 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a similar all terrain, inflatable tires motorcycle, also made by Russians(0). Of course, when you have roads(1) as in Russia, you simply have to make something like that.

0. http://blog.motorcycle.com/2014/04/01/funnies/russian-2wd-te...

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg_nUf2W6vU

9mit3t2m9h9a 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, there are still terrains where Sherp would need to be carried by DT30 Everpresent http://www.military-today.com/trucks/dt30_vityaz.htm
juskrey 12 hours ago 2 replies      
"The Russians Make The Best Truck In The Universe For $50K"I bet author have not ever owned Russian car.
teekert 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I just got my son this toy (the nano version for 30 eur), reminds me very much of this concept [0]. The little thing is a lot of fun and very robust and maneuverable with its tank-like control (forward backward for left right wheels only). This movie is not mine by the way.


rodionos 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Just watched a piece on it on local TV. The inventor says the machine uses 44 horse power 1.5L engine, a Japanese one. Which is interesting because it it's on par with regular consumer ATVs. Wheel are very light, 800 liters each, hence it's floating capabilities.

In Russia, these are called "" - cone shakers.Hand-crafted small garage ATVs.

ollie87 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Swap that 1.5 litre diesel for the one Renault make that has 110 hp and it'd be great.
josefresco 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I watched this when it was posted on Reddit. I wanted to see this vehicle take on obstacles. The compact platform, high center of gravity (or not?) makes me worry about rock crawling and steep inclines.

Reminded me very much of the movement of a Bobcat loader. I know several guys (contractors) who could rip it up in this thing if it has similar controls.

Animats 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice. For snow and thin ice, that's the right tool for the job. There's a long history of big-tire off road vehicles.For some reason, car-sized ones are rare. There are lots of little open ATVs that can float, but they're for marshes, not Siberia. There are bigger amphibious trucks, sized for military and oil operations. This one is conveniently car sized.

It's skid-steer, so on-road driving won't be great and corners must be taken slowly.

jonah 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The Americans did make the Rolligon which is pretty neat.


William Albee invented the tech but it's now owned by a petroleum production equipment company.http://www.nov.com/Segments/Completion_and_Production_Soluti...

ChemicalWarfare 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This would be a cool toy if you have lots of land to drive it on like you would a quad.

That said - since this is using Kubota engine - you can get an actual Kubota tractor with twice the horsepower in this price range. For 60K MSRP you can get a tricked out top of the line Kubota Mudder which is pretty awesome and way more practical.

aafa 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Price is misleading. Actually $65k base (http://sherp.ru/en/sherp/)Still badass.
sgt 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Any information on the 4-wheel drive system? Is it an electronic limited slip differential or does it have actual differential locks (rear and maybe front)?
nickpsecurity 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Russia to American rednecks: "We bring it from the dirt to icy lakes. Your move."

Seeing it get on a lake with thin ice I was thinking "Oh shit..." Then, seeing it tackle said ice like a boss I was thinking "OOHH SHIIIIT!!!"

kev009 16 hours ago 1 reply      
When you start looking you might be surprised what you can both legally purchase and actually afford on the surplus market. A US military m35 deuce and a half is pretty cheap and would be generally more useful with large payload capacity and able to cruise close to 60mph. The "argo" is a cool amphibious utility vehicle you could throw in the back to go for a swim. Together they might set you back around $15k for nice ones or quite a bit less if you're willing to do some work which is part of the fun. Not new, but just as much fun.
crispyambulance 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I seriously has to look closely... I thought it was an RC toy until you could see the driver !
abc_lisper 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Damn ruskies:) Fucking brilliant with something so simple!
dennisnedry 17 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you get in? It looks like the front panel/window opens up.
alessioalex 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Ghe-O: http://www.ghe-o.com/
ohadron 15 hours ago 4 replies      
I believe the low price tag is a result of 1. Low cost of manufacturing labor2. Less strict regulation. Making this road legal or even just legal in any western country would cost a lot.
lazyant 10 hours ago 1 reply      
what's its use case, other than transporting two people in rough terrain?
erelde 14 hours ago 1 reply      
"Does it come in black?"
PeterTMayer 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Only in Mother Russia... :)
Unsafe Lead Levels in Tap Water Not Limited to Flint nytimes.com
183 points by DiabloD3  2 days ago   134 comments top 6
staunch 2 days ago 6 replies      
Ancient Romans knew that lead water pipes were unhealthy and so they preferred terracotta pipes. It's hard to imagine why the U.S. ever had a single lead water pipe, let alone huge numbers of them.

Updated with a reference for the downvoters:

Sheets of lead were used to line Roman aqueducts (as was cement) and lead pipes to convey water. But lead also was known to be unwholesome and, for that reason, pipes made of clay were preferredas Vitruvius, who wrote during the time of Augustus, explains.

"Water conducted through earthen pipes is more wholesome than that through lead; indeed that conveyed in lead must be injurious, because from it white lead [ceruse or lead carbonate, PbCO3] is obtained, and this is said to be injurious to the human system. Hence, if what is generated from it is pernicious, there can be no doubt that itself cannot be a wholesome body. This may be verified by observing the workers in lead, who are of a pallid colour; for in casting lead, the fumes from it fixing on the different members, and daily burning them, destroy the vigour of the blood; water should therefore on no account be conducted in leaden pipes if we are desirous that it should be wholesome. That the flavour of that conveyed in earthen pipes is better, is shewn at our daily meals, for all those whose tables are furnished with silver vessels, nevertheless use those made of earth, from the purity of the flavour being preserved in them" (VIII.6.10-11).


dmm 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nassim Taleb taught me that the absence of known danger is not the same as safety.

Repeat that to yourself the next time you read your cities water report. It's not "I know my water is safe" it's "I know I don't face these specific dangers. What else could be in the water that they don't test for?"

Look into reverse osmosis.

mc32 2 days ago 2 replies      
If it's a wider problem than just Flint, why isn't it being presented as such by and large in the media and by politicians? Is it because that's where the political shenanigans were caught first, when will it get addressed as the more wide-spread problem it appears to be? Or is it more like an opportunist PR stunt [i.e. "we care a lot about..."] or the issue du jour which they'll abandon after they "address" Flint?
kevindeasis 1 day ago 1 reply      
My hardware guy and I are building fun weekend projects.

What raspberry pi sensors can you use to figure out if our water is polluted, etc.

It should be noticeable, I'm just asking for basic testing. Nothing too crazy.

voltagex_ 2 days ago 7 replies      
If I travel to the US (Let's say Los Angeles, Seattle and New York) how do I know if the tap water is safe to drink? In the EU I normally just ask a local. In Germany it's safe to drink but in the Czech Republic you might be better off drinking bottled water (last time I checked was ~10 years ago, sorry if it's changed).
tn13 1 day ago 4 replies      
You can cheap water testing kits on amazon which you can use. Also not water is 100% safe and it makes a lot of sense to diversify the water sources. We use tap water for cooking, bottled water from different brands at home and workplace. That probably is good enough.

I have tested water at home for lead and pesticides and found it to be safe to drink. [Sunnyvale]

Olbers Paradox: Why Is the Sky Dark at Night? (2000) amnh.org
262 points by fauria  2 days ago   143 comments top 31
snowwrestler 2 days ago 2 replies      
There is one more complimentary answer, which is that the night sky is not as dark as it seems, but our eyes cannot see all the wavelengths of light that populate the night sky.

If we could see deep into the infrared, we might see more faraway stars and galaxies, whose light has been red-shifted by the expansion of space.

If we could see wavelengths in the single cm range, we might perceive a dim uniform glow in the night sky: the cosmic background radiation.

If we could see radio waves we might see all sorts of light sources in the night sky.

dantillberg 2 days ago 1 reply      
A mathematical explanation would involve a comparison of the density of stars throughout the universe with the inverse-square drop-off in light intensity from each.

If you assume for the sake of argument that all stars are as bright as the sun, and that stars have a uniform density throughout the universe (either a finite-but-huge or infinite universe, it makes little difference here), then you could solve for the mean intensity of light throughout, or in our case, "how bright the sky is at night."

The article makes a classic (and really hard to escape! I've seen this sort of thing called a "paradox" on many occasions.) mistake of examining two infinite quantities (infinite stars, up to an infinite distance away) and assuming that they must cancel each other out, that infinity/infinity=1. But not all infinities are the same, and infinity/infinity can work out to 0, or to 0.1, or to pi, or to infinity (as in the case of "# real numbers"/"# integers"), or to anything else; you have to look at the details -- what kind of infinity is it? -- and figure out how they compare.

goodside 2 days ago 6 replies      
"Astronomers have concluded that the universe began some 12 to 15 billion years ago. That means we can only see the part of it that lies within 12 to 15 billion light-years from us."

This is false, because it ignores the metric expansion of spacetime. We can see radiation from objects that are now ~46.5 billion light-years from Earth.

This isn't picking nits. The explanation given here makes it sound like the Universe is a Euclidean volume that got instantaneously filled with stars, at roughly their present density, and that this density is low enough that light from distant stars hasn't reached us yet. If this were true, it wouldn't only explain why the sky is dark now, but predict that it has always been dark. We know this is false: for the first 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with hydrogen plasma and completely opaque to radiation, which we can still see in the form of CMBR. As spacetime expands, energy density decreases, space becomes less light-emitting and more transparent, and light already in transit becomes red-shifted. Our field of vision is still technically flooded with light, as it always has been, but by now the red-shift is so extreme that the light is in the radio spectrum.

rdiddly 2 days ago 7 replies      
Subsequent edit: Assuming the universe is infinite, is where the problem begins. There is no reason to assume that.

Original comment:Is this really not obvious to people? It's about subtended angles - simple geometry. As the Earth's distance from a star increases, it subtends a decreasing angle in that star's "sky." Assuming radiation does indeed proceed radially and in straight lines, at increasing distance the Earth is capable of catching a decreasing portion of that star's radiation. As the distance approaches infinity, the subtended angle approaches zero and the amount of light reaching us approaches zero. The star is just as bright, but most of its radiation goes somewhere else besides Earth.

Imagine building a giant spherical shell around a star. Its radius equals the distance between earth and the star. It catches 100% of that star's radiated energy. Now paint the Earth on the inside of the shell, actual size. It looks, to someone standing on the surface of that star, like the real earth, i.e. a tiny dot. Now divide the surface area of the dot, by the surface area of the sphere (4)(pi)(r^2). That's how much of that star's energy our planet catches. Assuming zero degradation across space.

So imagine you're in a forest of trees the closest of which are 800 miles away from you. You'd see the goddamned sky just fine.

VeilEm 2 days ago 3 replies      
This didn't mention the expansion of space at all. The universe may be infinite in size but we'll never see the light of stars that exist so far from us that they are beyond the distance at which space expands faster than light can travel. That's why we have a dark sky and it will just get darker as more things we see now eventually expand beyond that barrier. One suggested end to the universe is the Big Rip in which all matter eventually separates in this way such that the distance between all matter is infinite:


jcoffland 2 days ago 1 reply      
One answer to this problem is that the night sky isn't dark at all. It's just less bright than during the day. Hear me out. As a species that evolved on this planet under it's particular conditions we perceive day to be bright and night to be dark because of the particular range of light sensitivity of our eyes. Too often science leaves the human observer out of the equation. It lets us feel like gods presiding over our universe but is a big mistake. All that said it's not unreasonable to question why the night sky is not brighter than it is.
paulddraper 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great explanation, up until the last part, which is slightly misguided.

"So even if the universe were infinitely old as well as infinitely large, it would not contain enough fuel to keep the stars shining forever and to fill up all of space with starlight."

If the universe were infinitely old, fuel was consumed, and fuel had finite density, then the sky would be completely dark.Because there would be no starts.

The author is really just thinking "It would require infinite time to receive light from infinitely far away." Which is the relevant answer to the paradox.

grondilu 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've always been puzzled by this paradox. More particularly, I'm baffled that apparently the mainstream explanation involves cosmological arguments such that the expansion of the Universe. Is it really that complicated?

Take Hubble's deep field image, for instance. It was shot in a tiny area of the sky that looks completely black. But with enough exposure, Hubble found that it's actually full of galaxies. Can't I just conclude that if this part of the sky if completely black, it's not because space is expending, but just because our eyes are not sensitive enough?

Olber's Paradox points out that wherever we look at, at some distance our line of sight will meet the surface of a star. But that does not mean that this point will register as a light for our eyes. Our eyes would have to be sensitive enough.

gusmd 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm missing something here and would so happy if someone explained to me. I am sorry if I'm making false assumptions as my knowledge on the subject is very limited.

If the universe started from a single point in space and time (i.e., Big Bang), and no matter moves faster than the speed of light, how could ANY star be more distant from us than light could have traveled in the same time frame?

(I'm assuming no matter is travelling at v > c/2, otherwise my argument would only be valid for things traveling in the same hemisphere of the expansion as Earth)

EGreg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Actually this was the argument that bothered Newton, but about gravity. In an infitely old but finitely large universe, why wouldn't gravity pull everything together? Unless in all directions gravity canceled out.

Similarly, we can ask why the universe isn't filled with light. If the universe was infinitely old then indeed the light would eventually heat up all the matter and penetrate everywhere. But if it's expanding, then the light didn't have time to fill the space-time before it expanded further.

cristianpascu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Or the Universe is neither infinite or as old as it's assumed to be. Although there's strong evidence for it being as old as we (me included as a figure of speech) currently believe it, our belief is based on some fundamental assumptions that can only be strengthen but not proven. At least for the sake of honesty, one must be aware of the nature of this kind of opinions. Science is part of the larger discipline called epistemology, so all the rules valid there, are valid in science too.
jonmccreery 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks like a question that actually looks like two questions; namely, 'is the universe infinite' (and as a side question, what is the actual dimensional and geometric configuration of the universe), and if the first question is true, 'why do we not observe an infinite flux of photons, or really any other type or radiation, bathing our chunk of the universe'.

This one's easy. The first, foundational, assumtion is way easy to knock down, via all the accumulated evidence that we erupted from a singularity 13-some billion years ago. So.. no infinite time.

But we could probably get by with, even with an infinite universe, if we just assume a universal speed, which is most definitely supported by current academic consensus. This is because of the concept of the light cone, which says that you can't be illuminated by things that lie outside your temporal and spacial vicinity, as defined by how long it takes light in a vacuum to reach you. That's a stronger statement than just how bright the sky is... it applies to any conceivable mechanism of information transfer, and it's universally supported by any experiments that we've tried (note: wormholes... possible, super crazy loop hole here... maybe an infinite universe has infinitely many wormholes to pump radiation into our light cone, so basicly multiverse, but we've already talked about the universe having an age).

I see no paradox here, but then again the Big Bang and Special Relativity are pretty new as ideas and we all benefit from the shoulders of the giants we stand on.

Edit: On further reflection, a truly infinite universe probably would park an infinite number of unstable wormholes on top of our neighborhood, but in that case the the fact that our sky is in fact dark just adds more evidence to the pile that we already have that it's not.

3pt14159 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't the issue one of lumens? The light from a star is inversely quadratically related to its distance. Assuming a random distribution of stars across a ring or plate in 3D space we should expect the quadratically growing number of stars for the incremental space. The two cancel and it becomes a ratio of the average brightness of a star (bright) versus the density of stars in space (super sparse).
mnw21cam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am quite amazed that noone has pointed out that in terms of the cosmic microwave background, the sky is not black. The radiation that travels the furthest before hitting us is this background radiation. It only appears to be dim because it has been redshifted a huge amount due to the expansion of the universe since then.

But yes - everywhere you look in the sky (unless there is something in the way), you are looking directly at the intense fire of the birth of our universe. Red-shifted until you can't even see it any more.

DINKDINK 2 days ago 3 replies      
>The entire sky would be about as bright, and as hot, as the surface of the Sun.

Not so according to The Inverse Square Law.[1] If one measures the light flux through a hypothetical sphere drawn around a light source and then doubles that spheres size, the light density must decline or you've broken conservation of energy. [2]

[1] http://bccp.berkeley.edu/o/Academy/workshop08/08%20PDFs/Inv_...

[2] http://www.compuphase.com/electronics/candela_lumen.htm

maskedinvader 2 days ago 0 replies      
isnt the answer that most of the stars are inside galaxies that are for the most part moving away from us and for that matter from each other (due to space itself expanding) with the speed of expansion or their apparent motion away from us proportional to their distance from us. This means most of the star light reaching us is red shifted (due to doppler effect of light) and since we humans cannot see this red shifted light, the night sky appears dark to us. anybody with a physics background can point out where I got this wrong, but I thought this is why the sky is dark.
jdimov10 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't get the "running out of fuel" argument... If the universe (as assumed in the text) is infinitely old and infinitely large, why should there be any scarcity of nuclear fuel?
jonmccreery 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks like a question that actually looks like two questions; namely, 'is the universe finite' (and as a side question, what is the actual dimensional and geometric configuration of the universe), and if the first question is true, 'why do we not observe an infinite flux of photons, or really any other type or radiation, bathing our chunk of the universe'.
amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
An easy explanation is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxJ4M7tyLRE
frogpelt 1 day ago 0 replies      
If there are an infinite number of stars in an infinitely large universe that is infinitely old, how is the nuclear fuel finite?

Help me here.

mjn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can recommend the book Darkness at Night by Edward Harrison [1] for a detailed look at the history of this paradox. An enjoyable read, and ties it in with several closely related historical debates in cosmology.

[1] http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674192713

lutusp 2 days ago 0 replies      
As is often the case, this explanation fails to take cosmological expansion into account. An expanding universe is a cooling one. The explanation is correct as far as it goes, but failing to take expansion into account either dates the explanation or fails to evaluate a factor that's a bit more complex than relying on the finite age of the universe.
kjell 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://twitter.com/5point9billion calls out the inverse: light traveling from earth out towards the nearest stars.

It's a twitter bot that takes a twitter user's birthday, and tweets to them as their "light cone" expands across the universe.

eutropia 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find it odd that so many people seem to have trouble accepting this explanation. Light travels at a finite speed, ergo anything far enough away(adjusted for expansion of space) is invisible, because we've only existed for a dozen billion years. If the universe were infinitely old, then we'd have something interesting to talk about.
mrnobody4 1 day ago 0 replies      
So should the earth heat up over time as more light reaches us or does the expansion of the universe negate that?
mrdufrain 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't it also the case that, because of the accelerated expansion of the universe, some stars are moving away from us at more than the speed of light, and their light will therefore never reach us?
jwally 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stab in the dark:Inverse Square Law + The number of stars in your field of vision can't be infinite.
mixmastamyk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hmm, didn't seem to mention the Inverse-square law, which I was waiting patiently for.
vorotato 2 days ago 0 replies      
what about all the light that doesn't hit us.
pc86 2 days ago 1 reply      
Title fix: "Olbers'" not "Olber's," named after Heinrich Olbers. It is wrong in the linked article's title as well.
dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is mere ray-tracing problem.

What we call bright sky is reflections of Sun rays from particles in atmosphere. What we see is reflected light.

When Sun is shadowed by Earth we see only light reflected by distant object, such as Moon.

The darkness of the night sky is relative - some rays are here, but our visual system is conditioned for days (reflected light), not nights.

The idea that everything should be filled with starts is just wrong. Rays from distant stars were deflected, blocked by particles, etc.

Bokeh a Python interactive visualization library pydata.org
287 points by sonabinu  1 day ago   65 comments top 9
herrkanin 1 day ago 7 replies      
Since I have never really liked Matplotlib I would really like to learn Bokeh, but unfortunately its inability to export its visualizations in SVG or similar formats makes it kind of useless for me as a scientist wanting to publish my results.
jbritton 1 day ago 5 replies      
"Bokeh is a Python interactive visualization library that targets modern web browsers for presentation."

A description of how one gets from Python to a web browser display would be nice. Is there a translation from Python to Javascript somewhere? Is there a Python web server backend? Are there dynamic visual updates or does this thing just generate a static output like a .png file?

codelion 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great library, specially useful for doing streaming visualizations. I gave a talk last year at PyData Singapore about it, slides are available here - http://asankhaya.github.io/professional.html#PyDataSG
blt 1 day ago 2 replies      
Strange name, it refers to the way a camera lens blurs out-of-focus objects (especially highlights) into a disc shape [1]. I was expecting an image processing library.

Bokeh is widely discussed by photography equipment aficionados as one of the main distinguishing traits of different lens designs besides sharpness, distortion, etc.

edit: maybe it is an allusion to bubble plots?

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=bokeh&tbm=isch

MrBra 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ruby is so behind in this... :/ The closest thing I could find, which is only just a proposed enhancement in a github project, is considering adding ploty.js to Flammarion (a new Ruby GUI toolkit using the browser as working window), or maybe Ruby Processing to some extent?
navbaker 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Any chance of getting access to the old tutorials that consisted of scripts with the boilerplate written, but missing the key functionality? I was really enjoying working through them and digging into the docs, then all of a sudden they were taken offline and I was directed to the notebooks.
Niksko 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Bokeh is cool, but I've found that it's method for customizing appearance of graphs is a little unintuitive and clunky.

For example, have a look at this cursory analysis of my Reddit comments that I did late last year. Getting the graphs to look nice felt like pulling teeth at the time.


That being said, I'm reasonably happy with the results. And that pannable, zoomable line graph is pretty fancy and is easy to set up.

bootload 1 day ago 1 reply      
"To use the Bokeh server with python 2.7, you also need to install Futures package."

Does this statement mean it supports Py3 and if you want to use it with 2.7 you need Futures? Or is it only Py2.X? [0]

[0] http://bokeh.pydata.org/en/latest/docs/installation.html

eruditely 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've been playing around with this library and really like it. Python really is that much easier to use than R isn't it? Too bad most on the libraries are still in R. It's strange that there isn't a language written on top of R that is less troublesome to use or learn.
Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available freedom-to-tinker.com
241 points by t3hSpork  1 day ago   19 comments top 9
asafira 1 day ago 1 reply      
Michael Nielsen has a nice intro the protocol, for those looking for another source:


(he has other articles I would recommend taking a look at, too --- check them out if you're interested! )

roymurdock 1 day ago 0 replies      
iamcreasy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the author of this book already had a MOOC about Bitcoin on Coursera.

Link : https://www.coursera.org/course/bitcointech

mgraczyk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read this book when I took CS251 last fall. It is an accessible, mostly nontechnical overview of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. For those interested in reading the book and learning more about cryptocurrencies, I recommend going through the CS251 reading list which includes this book.


jbpetersen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Despite being a little outdated and justifiably overly focused on the computer-science aspects, this is a huge improvement in bringing academia up to speed on cryptoeconomics.
nissimk 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Since nobody has mentioned it yet, Andreas Antonopoulos' book, "Mastering Bitcoin," is quite good.

You can build the ePub from source:


Or get it from oreilly:


kang 1 day ago 1 reply      
I found the book(& course notes) to be interesting but non-technical & little verbose. For those wanting to read technical subject matter I'd recommend the bitcoin developer reference & bitcoin developer guide at bitcoin.org
esseti 18 hours ago 0 replies      
epub or any ebook ready format?
sandworm101 23 hours ago 3 replies      
>> Princeton University Press is publishing the official, polished, and professionally done version of this book. It will be out in summer 2016.

Is this really freely available? I'd much rather see Princeton release this book to the public domain.

       cached 12 February 2016 03:11:04 GMT