The weekend before his death, our house was filled with people who worked up the courage to come say goodbye, he sat among them in the living room and took a few minutes in person with everyone as much as his state allowed. I sat on his bed as he was treated with euthanasia, which was one of the most intense experiences of my life. I still miss the man every day, but because of the process we had together, I have nothing but fond memories of the times he was still there, including the very hard periods of time that come with a disease like this.
This turned into a bit more text than I intended but my point is this: If you ever have a choice in the way you are to die, take heed of the points in this story. It may seem brutal at times to be as honest and open as you can about such an intimate process, but having gone through it once, I have absolutely no regrets. I wish Pieter and his loved ones all the best in the coming times.
I am saddened to see you are so young.
> ... and enforce the barbaric torture of decay and failure. It's especially relevant for cancer, which is a primary cause of death
I'm glad you find yourself somewhere enlightened. As someone who watched his father die of cancer over 2.5-3 years in the UK it almost robbed me of my father for a while. The last six months were brutal. He was either away with the fairies on Morphine, or in his increasingly rare lucid moments, pleading with NHS to reduce his dose. He chose pain and lucidity over a zombie state yet was often denied that choice as the system sought to reduce pain above all. He made it plain when he could, many times during the end months, that he didn't want to play this game any more.
Post death, our memories were of the brutality, of the incoherent husk on drugs who had had enough long since, of the ever increasing dosages and tripping in the system's wish to reduce pain, of the morphine smell. Of being increasingly worn down by it. It was harder in those early weeks after death to remember the real man, so defined by his mind, intelligence, humour and practical jokes. I still miss my best friend.
The UK is no nearer enlightenment on this topic today than 20 years ago when my father died. The views of those claiming a hotline to god, in our increasingly atheistic country, were exceptionally hard to hear, yet always sought in any media discussion of euthanasia.
I am thankful your children and other family will have the blessing of kinder memories.
Thank you for your words
Take care /u/PieterH.
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieter_Hintjens2. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=115208883. https://twitter.com/hintjens
> My first free software is from 1991. I realized the power of community gradually from 2005 when fighting software patents in Europe. I refined and tested the techniques in the ffii for projects like digistan. I saw the failure of money and power in amqp. In zeromq it took years to find the right patterns. I documented much in culture and empire.
This earned my respect beyond words:
> "There's this experimental cure people are talking about." This gets the ban hammer from me, and happily I only got a few of those. Even if there was a miracle cure, the cost and stress (to others) of seeking it is such a selfish and disproportionate act. With, as we know, lottery-style chances of success. We live, we die.
And this is just awesome: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11521249
"I'm sorry to hear this, Pieter. I don't have a question, but would just like to wish you well"
> Excellent question! (can you tell I'm bored in a hospital)?Well, it all started when I was about three, and I discovered ants. Fire ants, to be specific. Biting me all over cause I'd chosen to hide right on top of their nest. There's a lesson there.
Thanks, Pieter. For everything!
If you'd like to thank Pieter more directly, he's accepting Paypal donations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Well this is really kind. Yes, I'm pretty broke and have three young children who will be semi orphans. Cue violins.Happy to receive on PayPal at email@example.com. I will give my family the keys to that so they can put it aside for ma wee bairns... Thanks for suggesting this.
Thank you Pieter, and godspeed on your big journey, whereever it will take you.
I couldn't agree more about euthanasia, I've always envisioned a Dia de los Muertos style party for when I go :). I would much rather go when people have a chance to see me happy and reminiscing like you mention. I would say thank you for your work, but I know there's much more to you than that!
What a legend.
A great write-up on his theory of model-driven development and the tech that underpinned most of iMatix:
Their website is a slide-show demonstrating their amazing work:
Generating servers from state machines and such:
SMT kernel for portable, multi-threaded, fast code:
Web server (old and new) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xitamihttp://xitami.wikidot.com/main:start
One of best middleware ever http://zeromq.org/
But it has huge implications for us in the very soon battle for understanding if turing-complete high-level-abstracting machines would experience "consciousness" like we do. In terms of medical care, rights, and other aspects for thinking entities.
And Pieter, if you are reading this, I wish you well in whatever lies ahead for your mind, and for your actions which will surely echo through the sands of time for people. Because like you said, even if life is indeed finite -- that we take a sensible approach, our legacy should be able to give us comfort that our actions do get magnified by time -- so do what you love, and it will speak through future generations.
Thanks for posting and thanks to Pieter for writing.
i) "One tactic I used was to take the cult techniques and reverse them"
ii) "We create culture by sharing" (extends to a successful project being a culture, a share-alike licence, and a name/domain which of course can be forked)
There are many others - his writing introduced me to Conway's law (was b) - "A software system mimics the structure of the organization that produces it ") - I've only read part of his work, time well spent and good to discuss with programmers and non-programmers - he made me think
Only thing I missed in your post is a snappy remark to alternative medicine (not expiremental, mind you); would have made it perfect. That stuff usually conflicts with the actual treatment and even if it doesn't and people survive they say it is because of the alternative junk instead of the actual treatment they conveniently forget to mention they took as well. You know, these sites that claim it's true and proven linking to multiple studies showing it...performed by themselves and published on their own website only.
I wish you the most with the time you have left but have no doubt you will make it count.
Well, one thing left.
This is Bob.
Bob is dying.
Bob doesn't whine or bitch about life being unfair.
Bob is one tough motherf*er.
Be like Bob.
P.s. If you think the stick figure sucks you should see my real drawings.
His series of articles on psychopaths and the havoc they wreak is well worth reading, even if it takes a while to take it all in.
My best lesson I learned on programming from Pieter was to use code generators effectively. The advantages cannot be overstated.
Thank you Pieter, you will be missed.
If I ever have to die of some horrible disease I want to go on my terms and do exactly like op.
Death is coming to all of us. We all die. Death of some, however, will be a big loss. You, sir, are among them.
As the younger nephew, I didn't feel as much responsibility to be involved with the logistics (it felt more awkward to me but I think it was comforting to the children, spouses etc). So instead of joining in on the doctor/prognosis conversations and later the funeral arrangement/what to do with the house stuff, I just sat and talked to my uncles instead.
I had known both of them my entire life but I realized I knew almost nothing about them. All our interactions were just uncle to nephew, family occasions kind of stuff, but by this time I was an adult (just barely), and all the sudden we were just two people talking and I learned more about them in a 20 minute session than the prior 20+ years. Some other family who were on the periphery of the conversation confided later that they regretted not having those moments while they had the chance. I didn't even talk that much, just enough to make it a two way conversation, but I found my uncles both were very at peace but wanted to reminisce and tell stories they probably hadn't told anyone in decades. One uncle told me about joining the military during Korea and having gone through all the training and finally being sent all the way there to have the war end practically the day he got there and he ended up being sent right back and what a strange conflicted experience it was for him.
I've started visiting with my other elderly family a lot more since then and have had some similar conversations that didn't require anyone being terminally ill, but somehow that seems to make those conversations a little easier.
I can definitely agree with the piece, especially about what to say and what not to. I'm not expert by any means, I just did the only thing that felt natural whatsoever: just talk to them like a person and let what happens happen. Granted I had the benefit of the fact that they were well taken care of by their children and others, otherwise it would have been much more difficult.
May your wisdom and compassion live on in your children and in all the other people you have influenced.
I'm not sure how long you'll keep on reading stuff, but rest assured me and many others will cherish the very fond memories of collaborating with you - you've always had a sharp wit and a practical sort of unconventionalism that gets things done. We have much to thank you for.
We worked together on Digistan and the "The Hague Declaration", which I helped host in The Hague - and I think it still is a strong statement that is worth repeating. People can sign that declaration:
I'm very much saddened to hear about your disease - and deep respect for the way you handle this unannounced change of plan. I hope your remaining time will be spent with those you love looking back on a rich life where you've left the world better than it is - and got the max out of it. I'll send you an email, so that when your kids are older and want to know about the things you've done they can contact me. Take care, my friend.
As for the euthanasia, my wife's aunt died of cervical cancer and it was very rough, not only on her, but on her entire family. It's not an exaggeration to say that they likely all have PTSD from the experience. I'm not a proponent of euthanasia but I can see the appeal. It probably depends a lot on the individual situation.
Reading what Pieter just wrote makes realize that I lack fortitude in one aspect: compassion. Pieter's words confirms to me that one needs to wield formidable muscles in the compassion department for one to be at peace and be ready to die.
Great man, Pieter.
Thank you for everything you've done as a blog writer and as a member of the open source community.
Thank you Pieter, you're truly a giver till the last drop, and a model to follow!
I think this is a great request: "Find a moment in your own jurisdiction, if it bans euthanasia, to lobby for the right to die in dignity."
Goodbye Pieter, go happy knowing that you've put in your kids much more than DNA, they're set for an awesome journey!
Then again, as you demonstrate, we need not focus on the things we cannot change. Spending time with regrets is time wasted. Thank you!
This approach is also fully compatible with the idea that life itself is a "terminal disease".
In my opinion, this is a great loss to the world of programming.
Apparently the cost finally dropped below $1kUSD this year
Euthanasia is bad from a practical standpoint, and an evil, because:
1. Objectively speaking, euthanasia is suicide, and the killing of an innocent person. If Schwartz killing himself (out of despair for his future, fear of suffering in prison, or otherwise) was a tragedy, why is Pieter's upcoming suicide not a tragedy? Is it because his certain death is closer? (This view promotes the idea that a "disabled" life, where one is "unhappy", or must be cared for at great expense, or is suffering, or (extrapolating) is cryogenically frozen, is not valuable in and of itself; but it is.)
2. Suicide increases the risk that friends and family will commit suicide. A search will yield numerous studies: "2.1-fold increased risk of committing suicide", etc. If you kill yourself, you are indirectly killing the people closest to you.
3. If you are against the death penalty because we might execute an innocent person, you should be against Euthanasia because we might kill a non-consenting person. This is already the case:
> "these laws and safeguards are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions ... about 900 people annually are administered lethal substances without having given explicit consent, and in one jurisdiction, almost 50% of cases of euthanasia are not reported ... some jurisdictions now extend the practice to newborns, children, and people with dementia. A terminal illness is no longer a prerequisite." 
Please, when you hear someone speak in flowery language about the dignity of choosing death, take a moment to evaluate what they are actually suggesting, and to research why people are opposed. Many seem to think that the only people against euthanasia are the religious whose reasoning is roughly "well, my religion randomly chose to mark this as evil, therefore it is", which is just not the case.
(...finally, this is likely a very poor protocol for dealing with death - people deal in different ways, and not all people will look back fondly on having to smile all the time, or on expressing "false" hope and being told that, actually, objectively speaking, they should not have hope. Also, a totally minor point, but we are not like Lego houses - we do not need to be utterly destroyed for others to live.)
I am stealing this.
I don't know this man, but I love him. I will remember this to my own demise.
I will look for a political group that is for a humane way of dying, and ask what needs to be done.
My father died in extreme pain. For three days he was in hell. His last words he spoke to me, "when will it end?". I didn't have an answer. My father's death kinda ruined my life. Even though we had our differences; every day since that day in January, 11 years ago, I think about how he suffered, and part of me died with him.
It's so pathetic that we as a society waste so much time and energy on non-essential stuff instead of curing major killers. Yes, cancer is a hard one to beat (each cancer being different, too), but we've done even more complex things as humanity. I really don't think curing major diseases has ever been a top priority of our society! I hope one day soon people finally realize that diseases are not what other people get (the arrogance of the healthy), but what we all will eventually!
The really unpleasant truth is that if we as a society began doing serious focused R&D on these life-threatening diseases earlier, the OP and many others wouldn't have to die.
But we didn't. Enjoy marketing your mobile apps until cancer suddenly makes you rot away.
So, what's up with the dates?
First, the article date:
> wrote on 22 Apr, 05:43 (4 hours ago)
Then later in the text:
> and on 25 April my oncologist confirmed it was cancer.
Seems like someone is a secret time traveler...?
In the context of this article, no, I don't have to wonder. He expresses very well why he doesn't want to entertain such longshots.
Here's a random idea that might have more potential: create an adblocker browser plugin that also colors URLs based on how slow they are expected to load, e.g., smoothly from blue to red. The scores could be centrally calculated for the top N URLs on the web (or perhaps, an estimate based on the top M domain names and other signals) and downloaded to the client (so no privacy issues). People will very quickly learn to associate red URLs with the feeling "ugh, this page is taking forever". So long as the metric was reasonably robust to gaming, websites would face a greater pressure to cut the bloat. And yet, it's still ultimately feedback determined by a user's revealed preferences, based on what they think is worth waiting how long for, rather than a developer's guess about what's reasonable.
Thirty-five times! Apollo software got us to the moon. Doom wasted millions of man-hours on a video game.
My point of course is that these comparisons are not actually that illuminating.
Are web pages much heavier than they need to be? Yes. This presentation very capably talks about that problem:
Does comparing web pages to Doom help understand or improve the situation? No, not any more than comparing Doom to Apollo memory size helps us understand the difference between a video game and a history-altering exploration.
I have taken a lot of inspiration from http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/ and http://bettermotherfuckingwebsite.com/
Of course the size will differ depending on the site's purpose, but I feel like most web pages could stand to loose a lot of weight.
EDIT: I have a guide to setup a similar blog/site here
1) How do the numbers come out when you exclude images?
It's valid and good to know the total sizes, including images, but that can hide huge discrepancies in the experienced performance of a site.
For example, a page with 150KB of HTML/CSS/JS and a single 2.1MB hero image can feel very different from a page with 2MB of HTML/CSS/JS and a few 50KB images.
If we're just interested in total bandwidth consumption, then sure, total size is a good metric. If we're interested in how a user experiences the web, there's a lot of variability and nuance buried in that.
2) What device and methodology were used to take the measurements?
In this age of responsive design, CSS media queries, and infinite scrolling/deferred loading, it really matters how you measure and what you use to measure.
For example, if I load a page on my large retina screen and scroll to the bottom, many sites will send far more data than if I load them on my phone and don't scroll past the fold.
I only skimmed the article and didn't dig in to the references. These questions may be answered elsewhere.
Times change, and 20 years in tech is equivalent to several geological ages.
If anything, it cannot really be underestimated how some developers were able to craft such compelling gaming experiences, with the limited resources available at the time.
My personal favorite as "most impressive game for its size":
Try visiting Apple's website for example. I can't see how you can have a small page weight if your page includes several images that are meant to look good on high quality screens. You're not going to convince marketing and page designers to go with imageless pages.
Doom's original resolution was 320x200 = 64K pixels in 8-bit colour mode. Even an Apple Watch has 92K pixels and 24-bit colour (three times more space per pixel) now, and a 15" MacBook display shows 5.2M pixels. The space used for high quality images on newer displays is order of magnitudes higher to what Doom hardware had to show.
The Website Obesity Crisis
Heres the video of the talk if you prefer to hear him speak:https://vimeo.com/147806338
Every discussion about the web will continue to be a mess until we clarify what we're talking about.
Let's try rephrasing the title a couple times.
Rephrase 1: "The average size of a webapp is now the average size of a Doom install".
Response: Interesting, but not bad! Heck, some webapps are games. "The average size of a web game is now the average size of Doom" isn't a sentence that damns the web, it's a sentence that complements the web! (or would if it was true, and it might be for all I know)
Rephrase 2: "The average size of web document is now the average size of a Doom install".
Response: Well this sucks (or would if it was true -- still we don't know). Simple documents should be a few KB, not the size of a game.
Basically our terminology is shot to crap. Imagine if 19th century engineers used the same word for "hand crank" and "steam engine". "Hand crank prices are skyrocketing! What's causing this massive bloat!" Whelp, that could mean anything.
The best solution: web browsers should enforce a clear distinction between "web documents" and "web apps". These are two different things and should be treated separately. This won't happen though, which leaves us (the rest of the tech community) to explore other options . . .
1,000,000 * 10 / 2250 = 4444 web pages a month
4444 / 31 = 143 web pages a day at most on mobile.
While it is somehow acceptable, I don't see data plans getting cheaper yet the size of the average webpage is raising fast.
It doesn't seem like most websites have heavily invested in using HTML5 offline capabilities or actual mobile first design either, something easy to check with chrome dev tools.
Also let's talk about ads : Polygon.com a site I visit often , first article on the homepage with an Iphone 5 :
- with ads/trackers 1.5mb- without ads 623kb
More than half of the load is ad/tracking related. This isn't normal.
Oh, and you need a loop? \adds underscore.js\
Groove Basin  is an open source music player server. It has a sophisticated web-based client with the ability to retag, label, create playlists, stream, browse the library, chat with other users, upload new music, and import music by URL.
I just checked the payload size of a cold load, and it's 68 KB.
I'll just keep doing my thing over here.
and the video it refers to https://vimeo.com/147806338
I suggest that at the moment, we have basically two camps of website, with rough, fuzzy boundaries.
1. A place where someone sticks up an insight, or posts a wiki page, or whatever, to share some thought to others (if anyone actually cares). The blogs of many users of HN. Hacker News itself. Wikipedia. The Arch Linux Wiki. lwn.net. Etc. The sites are very roughly concerned with 'this is what I care about, if you do, great, this is useful to you'.
2. Commercial web sites that employ sophisticated means to try and enlarge market share and retain users. AB testing. 'Seamless' experiences which are aimed at getting more views, with user experience as an afterthought (a sort of evolutionary pressure, but not the only one).
Complaining that camp #2 exists is strange. It's a bit like lamenting the fact that chocolate bars aren't just chocolate bars, they have flashy wrappers, clever ingredients, optimized sugar ratio, crunchy bit and non crunchy bit, etc.
It works! A snickers bar is a global blockbuster, and 'Tesco chocolate bar' is the functional chocolate bar that just does the job, but will never attain that level of commercial success, it serves a different role.
My personal view:
Fundamentally what I want when we click a link from an aggregator, is an 'article.txt' with perhaps a relevant image or two. Something like http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/ maybe.
But if a site actually does that, a website like The Guardian, I'd fire up wget, strip all the advertising, strip the fact it's even The Guardian, and read it like a book. If everyone does it then no-one makes any money, site dies.
So what we actually have is this constant DRM-style race to try and fight for our brains to get us to look at adverts. It's not about jQuery, it's about advertising, branding, 'self vs other' (the integrity of a company as a coherent thing), etc.
I don't know what the answer is here. I think this is why I find concepts like UBI so appealing - I find it kind of alarming that we seem doomed to infect more and more of the commons with commercialization because we haven't found a solution to keep each other alive otherwise.
I wonder how much of the problem is due to bloated templates.
Minifying JS and CSS, compression, CDNs and caching won't keep your browser from having to render all the stuff.
The stewardess on a new jet airliner:
- Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard of our new airplane. On the second deck you'll find a couple of bars and a restaurant. The golf course is on the third deck. You're also welcome to visit the swimming pool on the fourth deck. Now - ladies and gentlemen - please fasten your seatbelts. With all this sh*t we'll try to take off.
This video shows how we do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4LbUv5FsGQ
This document gives some results (like a GMail client that is 100X smaller): https://docs.google.com/a/google.com/document/d/1Kuw6_sMCKE7...
Wow. That's nice to see actually.
So indeed, there is a huge optimization opportunity of having a stricter error model.
Also, I'm really wondering how much battery could be saved when surfing such pages.
Also I'm sure there is a lot of potential going in the pre-parsed document model. But that's a next level kind of engineering I guess.
Doom isn't in true 3D, its an advanced raycasting engine. The levels are all 2D, there are no polygons, you can't look up and down. Doom has been ported to a TI Calculator. Lets maintain some perspective here.
It's actually better to show the user some progress bar, than the standard browser's "Waiting for yoursite.com".
You can get away with a lot without jQuery, while still having clean-ish code.
Locally I see so many companies building good looking but horrendously optimized websites for their clientele who don't know enough to ask for it.
The last company I worked at were building a local search engine and were displaying thumbnails whilst loading full size pictures which were hot linked from businesses websites. With an auto loading feature at the bottom of the page by the php backend, an initial 5-6 Mb page load could turn into 30+ Mb within a few seconds of scrolling. Add to this no gzipping and caching was not properly configured either.
I tried my best to get some changes going but the senior (and only other) dev wouldn't allow any modifications to the current system "for the moment". It was a bit frustrating to see so many easy fixes ignored.
Bundlers like Webpack already import JS in a modular structure. I'm wondering if we could do some profiling into popular npm module combinations (I know many people using React + Lodash + Redux Router, etc), bundle them up, and have Webpack load in those combos from a CDN via <script>?
Now this would probably require some work on webpack's end (the __webpack_require__(n) would have to be some sort of consistent hash), but at least everyone who blindly require('lodash') will see an improvement?
I kept looking for a "minimal" blogging platform, but they all had too much bloat/JS/etc. I guess minimal means different things to different people. I ended up just writing my own. The biggest post I have is 7.41 KB.
I used to be interested in front-end design, but since it's the industry standard to use $latest_framework, instead of tried and proven practices, I've given up on that idea.
Isn't that that the top websites have a lot more ressources available to improve asset management, cleanup and refactor?
Sure, if man hours were free, we could trim it all down to (my rough guess) about 1/10th the size. But at $100 or even $10 an hour its just not worth it. Pay the GBs to your carrier, spend $50 more on a better phone.
Also:You can't use average page weight when you are just looking at the top ten. That downturn could represent a single website; all others could be increasing in size.
As for why it's getting so insane, probably either:
1. Frameworks, since most people don't remove the code they're not using. For Bootstrap or Foundation, that can be a lot of extra code.
2. Content Management Systems, since stuff like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, any forum or social network script, tend to add a lot of extra code (more so if you've added plugins).
3. The aforementioned tracking codes, ads, etc.
Everything is sales.
If cleaner, 'purer' sites made more money you bet the average web page would be 10kb.
It's all about what translates to more sales. As such, you won't ever see a return to more traditional websites. Look at Amazon with it's virtual dress models, heavy as hell, but they most certainly land more sales.
1) This is an irrelevant statistic.
2) Even if this were true it's not that big of a deal.
This is irrelevant because most people don't browse the average web page. They browse the top few sites on the internet and that's it. A more relevant statistic would be what have the sizes of the top 50 sites been over the last 15 years. I imagine they still may have grown on average, but download speeds have also grown over that time. Especially on mobile.
Even if we accept the premise that web sites as a whole, including the most popular ones are all growing and are now an average of 2.2MB each. Who cares? 2.2MB is nothing in 2016. Even on an LTE connection that's probably between 4 and 1.5 seconds to download the full page. And a lot of that size is probably in ads, which nobody minds if they load last or not at all.
Lastly, this is a self fixing problem. If a site is too bloated, users will stop going to it.
But I would propose that a lot of this increase in size is due to users (especially mobile) having higher and higher resolution displays, which necessitates higher resolution content, which of course is bigger.
"This new re-design gets us down to 0.4 Doom installs without sacrificing any of the visual elements."
It's not really surprising in a world where a graphical driver is > 100 MB (Nvidia driver for Windows).
Although I get really annoyed when I visit a blog post whose page is 100x larger than Dostoevsky's novels in .txt format. On my blog (https://pljns.com/blog/), JQuery and genericons are often my largest file transfers, but I still clock under 500kb.
The whole market is overvalued, not just the tech unicorns.
* Tick-tock is dead.
* 10 nm is severely delayed.
* EUV is severely delayed.
* Significant layoffs in R&D
* The ITRS roadmap is vaguer than it's ever been.
* Giant mergers are up (Intel+Altera, KLA+Lam, etc.), concentrating the industry more than ever.
* And ultimately: A 5-year-old PC still works just fine.
When I say this is the end of Moore's Law, I'm not trying to be dogmatic. Of course there will still be a semiconductor industry and of course there will still be amazing technological progress. But it seems the rate of that progress is slowing, and now the industry is adjusting.
My friend's story gave me the impression of Intel being a highly dysfunctional company. My friend was sad to leave Intel, but I think it was good for him in the long run.
For those about to be laid off from Intel, I hope it also works out for you.
> Shares of Intel were halted after the bell Tuesday as Intel announced it would cut 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce
> The technology company also said the CFO would step down
The Windows ecosystem has become corrosive to any industry or company it touches. We now see the end results of supporting a closed-source legacy platform is 12,000 jobs at Intel due to the lack of excitement and innovation in the PC space. Perhaps Linux will revive the PC market but in the meantime Intel and their peers at nVidia/AMD have done little to make that a reality in the mainstream sense.
So I'm assuming their inability to find 'talent' is no longer an issue? Same as Microsoft, IBM, and the numerous other big corps that have had massive layoffs recently, while also claiming an inability to find enough US tech workers?
Now, not so much. I can put a SSD and more RAM in my eight-year-old laptop and make it work just about as well as a new one.
I can switch off the old HP DL380/G5 boxes in my colo, hand them over to the steel recycling guy, move the data to some cloud service, and come out ahead electricity bill vs. cloud bill. I'm not buying many processor chips anymore. Neither is anybody else, except maybe the cloud services. And their bargaining power makes Dell and HP look like the guys in the white-box computer shop down the street.
The processor chip rocket ship has entered orbit; its occupants are now in microgravity. Some other rocket ship will be the next big ride.
It's too bad those folks are out of work. It's too bad plutocrats always behave as if les bontemps rouleront toujours.
It seems skylake is doing really well.
Is it mostly electrical engineers working on the processors or sales and marketing people ?
Oh, the horror.
- Also cuts full year margin guidance, sees 62% down from 63% before
- Generated $4 BN in cash from operations, of which it spent $1.2 BN on dividends, $793MM for buybacks and saved the rest for severance
- Notable difference in GAAP vs non-GAAP: GAAP Net Income: $2.046BN (missing expectations), non-GAAP Net Income: $2.629BN
I'd always love to talk to Intel people from the hardware security projects (SGX, etc.).
Where have I heard this before? I think in a little book called the "Innovator's Dilemma". Can anyone predict what happens next?
I wonder if Intel will try to push Atom into "Core i3" and make single-core Core i7's next to "increase profitability". They've already started making dual-core Core i7s - I mean how ridiculous is that idea?! Isn't a dual core Core i7 supposed to be a Core i5? Do their brands still mean anything anymore?
Intel really missed out on mobile and with PC sales rapidly declining it looks like they are going to refocus on enterprise and data centers. ARM and NVIDIA/GPU computing are also expanding rapidly in those areas and that will pose a major threat to Intel.
Couldn't they have predicted this sooner?
Increasingly the footprint of hardware is becoming sparser, replaced by software, etc.
It is time to make the push to make hardware open source mainstream from the point power hops on to where software picks up.
There are many, many really good reasons to do this, but in the end, to me, it will define how free the world is.
These arguments always remind me of people claiming that certain professions are not paid enough. They forget that there is a market for labor and in this case the labor is finding vulnerabilities. People will either be willing to work for the posted price or not. In the case of pen testing facebook I'd be willing to bet there are plenty of people out there looking for bugs who aren't even really concerned with what the final payout is going to be.
Yeah, they could have gotten completely owned if he didn't report this. But to him reporting it and getting 10k in compensation was sufficient. Why would facebook pay him a million if he was willing to take 10k?
Part that jumped out at me, aside from obvious goodies, was this:
"FTA is a product which enables secure file transfer, online file sharing and syncing, as well as integration with Single Sign-on mechanisms including AD, LDAP and Kerberos"
"...web-based user interfaces were mainly composted of Perl & PHP... PHP source codes were encrypted by IonCube... lots of Perl Daemons in the background"
Wow. That inspires a lot of confidence in the "secure" product. I'd have doubted Facebook relied on such a system had I not known they built their empire on PHP. We all know its reputation. Their "secure, file-transfer appliance" fits right in.
Shameless plug but if you like that kind of articles I suggest signing to my newsletter: http://bugbountyweekly.com. A free, onceweekly e-mail round-up of news and articles about Bug Bounty.
Looking at how egregious their security mistakes are they dont appear to take security seriously.
This is the same company that (last I was down there) had a billboard on 101 that says "Secure".
Many echos of oracles "unbreakable" ad campaign while being an aggressively bad at security company
How does setting up a shell and collecting credentials and then downloading them later give you a pat on the back?
Is this some kind of a joke?
(Moderators: Could you remove the #dropdown part from the URL please?)
Edit: The two post seem to have been merged by the moderators. Thanks!
PS: for the sake of sharing http://bootswatch.com/
Let me know if I should update to Bootstrap 4 and continue development. Feedback is welcome!
I really want the flexbox support.
Many of the "API" changes in Bootstrap 4 are subtle class name differences, like using pull-<size>-right vs pull-right. I think your interactive examples are a lot more helpful for seeing this quickly vs. the official docs (and the official docs are pretty good too).
A nice idea and execution. Bookmarked!
Does versions of Bootstrap 2 and 3 exists or are planned?
I think Bootstrap 4's documentation is even harder to navigate than Bootstrap 3's. It's very frustrating, but this cheat sheet will help a lot.
links from each section to the official docs on that element would be awfully nice.
I don't think I'm being too extreme when I say that, apart from maybe PBS, there is no reputable source of news in America. If you don't believe me, pick a random story, watch it as it gets rewritten a million times through Reuters, then check back on the facts of the story one year later. A news story gets twisted to promote some narrative that will sell papers, and when the facts of the story are finally verified (usually not by the news themselves, but lawyers or courts or whoever), the story is dropped and never reported on again.
Again, if the only thing a reporter had to do was read the report to find the facts of the case to verify what is and isn't true, what the fuck is even the point of a news agency?
Good for Motherboard to wait and check. Unfortunately this means we will see this article now in all the outlets that published the previous one with a hand-washing disclaimer ("remember that article SOMEONE ELSE wrote that we talked you about last week, well...")
>So while Apple is nominally responsible for recycling a 90 million pounds of e-waste, very little of that is actually iPhones, and very little of that is actually being done by Apple. In Washington State, for example, Apple products made up just 1.78 percent of the total weight of e-waste recycled in 2014. In Oregon, Apple products made up 1.65 percent.
The author wants to argue that "very little of that is actually iPhones, and very little of that is actually being done by Apple" but the example he uses for that doesn't really show "very little", but rather a huge percentage of recycled e-waste being Apple stuff.
While the statement that "very little of that [apple products recycling] is actually being done by Apple" is compatible with the example, the example doesn't really prove that "very little of that is actually iPhones" as it's supposed to.
And even the implication that the numbers are small doesn't follow -- 1.65 to 1.8 percent of the total e-waste in a state is nothing to sneer at, considering Apple is just one among tens of thousands of companies making electronics, and compared to things like TVs and such, theirs are tiny and weight little (a fact admitted elsewhere in the article).
It's like they're trying to make it hard to compare things numerically on purpose, so you have to read and believe the conclusion in their verbal narrative.
> Gold 2204 [lbs] 
So is the Vice story trying to claim that "take back initiatives" aren't run by Apple? This
Stupid, stupid, stupid and naive :)
Various media sites claimed apple recycled $40 million worth of gold from iphones, they were dead wrong.
What actually happened is that Apple is under statutury obligation to recycle a certain weight of e-waste depending on it market share or weight of electronics sold (depending on state laws). The e-waste doesn't have to be of the manufacturers own products.
Apple paid third party recyclers to recycle mostly CRT's and PC's (iphone have hardly any gold and are much more valuable refurbished, In fact, phones and tablets often dont count toward the overall recycling requirements in many state laws.) and probably incured a loss rather than a 40 million windfall as claimed in news articles.
Original Article: 1500 words (~8 minute read)Summary: 114 words (less than a minute)
The articles goes in to some more detail and analyzes the mandatory recycling laws deeper as well. There is also some commentary of how many other sites got it very wrong and overview of the e-waste recycling industry. Reading recomended if you want gain more knowledge on this.
If you'd like such summaries for all articles before you read them check out: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11535695
How can these places claim "freedom of the press" without having to prove they are "press" or what "press" even is?
I love that they picked this day to make an announcement.
For one thing, decriminalization is easy to do. Simply revoke the current criminal laws. The bill would be passed quite quickly. Which would then buy time to figure out a bill for legalization.
Why is this important? Despite popular belief, simple possession laws ARE upheld in Canada, but the people charged are disproportionately minorities and poor/homeless people. IIRC, there were 40 000+ criminal charges for simple possession last year in Canada. That means thousands of citizens who are now burdened with a criminal record, making job searches difficult and border crossings into the US.
So while laws for legalizing pot are getting figured out in Parliament, more people keep getting locked up for simple possession.
You have to be genuinely, deeply sick in Australia to be allowed to puff a joint. It's like living in the 1950's. So strange that Australia follows the world so quickly towards becoming more conservative and is so incredibly slow to become less conservative, even when our cultural leader, the U.S.A. is headed that way.
Decriminalization is of little use to the chronically uncool.
How do they get out of this? I've read that this is a big holdup in US federal drug law reform.
If you don't want it to be banned, you're welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and give us reason to believe that you'll only post civil, substantive comments in the future.
I've been to Vancouver and it wasn't a very pretty sight.
The amount of homelessness and crime is 10 times more what I've seen anywhere else in North America.
There's an entire section (several blocks) in the Downtown area that's full of homeless people and the streets smell like urine.
Shops even in areas far away from downtown put posters on their windows saying they don't hold cash overnight. i.e. please thieves don't break in at night because you will not find any cash.
At the same time, Marijuana seemed like it was very easy to obtain, and for free too! There plenty of shops that give it away for free "for medical purposes". Some of them even advertise that they have a doctor who will prescribe it for you in case you don't already have a prescription!
I know correlation is not necessarily causation but easy access to Marijuana was the only significant difference between Vancouver and all the other cities I've visited in North America.
Github repo (Its MIT licensed): https://github.com/kanflo/aaduino
What I really liked about this approach is that it makes packaging the "Arduino" inside a common battery holder very easy. Maybe one or two holes are needed to connect sensors and you have a pretty nifty enclosed "Arduino". What we now need is someone to build a battery enclosure with exposed poins. Anyone from Adafruit, Tindie, etc. here? :)
With the low price of something like the Pi Zero which is running a full version of linux, or something like the Esp8266 which can run many different languages, you're basically paying shipping costs. What benefit does arduino have in this future, other than a large existing network, which I understand can't be overlooked as a strength.
Everything seems to have disappeared. What happened?
This would be a great way to prototype a simple wearable project that doesn't use wireless radios.
See for more info on this: http://www.digitalsmarties.net/products/JeeNode
I appreciate what arduino has done, but at some point it's too much.
Am I missing something, or is this just your average TC article?
I guess this serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the power of a well-known brand and what happens when you lose control of it.
I read that with a Boston accent
Kinda wish I was better at stuff like this, maybe I should begin playing around with my Arduino again.
Edit: well that didn't work. URL changed back from http://johan.kanflo.com/the-aaduino/.
(We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11538219 and marked it well off-topic.)
There will be an environmental impact, but it will be from hundreds of millions of humans not getting malaria and climbing their way out of property, not from the lack of mosquitoes in the ecosystem. It's still a significant problem, but our current solution of "let all the poor people die" is not a good one.
Granted, we can never be certain about it. We're not deities, we're still limited by information theory and epistemology. But we're pretty damn sure. Way more than we need to be to go save half a million people a year.
Do we actually understand Mosquitos role in the planet's eco system?
Let's kill all of the mosquitos because we find their presence unpleasant. Well, that's done and...oh, shit. Turns out there was a value to mosquitos after all. Anyone think to save some of that DNA?
Perhaps after a period of rapid upheaval, humanity develops the technology to capture and control those super powerful flora and fauna, and use them for our own devices.
Then we can finally become Pokemon trainers.
Also you may think that most organism causing diseases are bad, but they can be actually useful in your own organism most of the time, and only trigger a disease once their population is out of control or when your body is not tuned correctly anymore.
Killing everything that seems to affect us in a bad way could snow ball into terrible consequences. Not to say I'm not glad that the plague is out of the picture, but everything is not "plague-level".
BTW: I have malaria. I hate mosquitos. I still believe we should not eradicate mosquitos.
(not my story, I read it in a history book about India)
Not only will this be good for the millions of human children who won't die, but we'll gain a better understanding of ecological principles at which we can now only guess. This isn't the last species we'll want to change, but there may only be a few we want to eliminate this way. The knowledge gained in the anti-Anopheles project will be useful for less destructive efforts as well.
If there's a fly in my room, buzzing on the window, I would open the window and let it fly away. If there's a big ant or a spider or a bee on my foot, I'd wait for it to explore me and then go on its way (although I'm scared of spiders and allergic to bee stings).
But even a hardcore flower sniffing fly kissing hippy like myself has his limit. And that limit is called The Mosquito.
I've sent so many bad vibes towards this species that they'd stopped biting me years ago. Even so, I still hate them for the sleepless nights and for the crazy, bad, aggressive thoughts that they've spawned inside my mind with their evil buzz.
One of the worst things about them is that it takes just one slap - 50 ms - to transform a living, buzzing mosquito into a bloody spot on the wall. They don't even have time to understand wtf has happened to them !
One moment she's like "Yeah! Who I should suck next?!" and next moment she's mush.
No pain, no regrets, no suffering. Nothing !
Yet I have to live with the memory of the suffering it has caused me my entire life.
Maybe we should design mosquitoes with more advanced nervous systems - optimized for feeling pain and suffering - and make their bodies more resistant and stronger, so that humans can torture them properly.
This "let's interbreed them with sterile males" sounds like a really soft and humane (?) punishment - give them lab grown mosquito studs so that those bloodsucking bitches can have a good sex life ? What kind of revenge is that ?
No! They must suffer !
Oh my, you see what thoughts they've spawned in me ? Otherwise, I'm pretty peaceful..
One (single) notable role mosquitos played was stopping early settlements from inhabiting and destroying much of the world's rainforests... "nature's Viet Cong".
While we're at it, get rid of ticks.
Last year my daughter got bit so badly that both of her legs looked like she had a huge rash. It was just a string of mosquito bites combined with a sensitivity to them that exaggerated an already rough problem.
All that said, I'm not sure I'm pro-extermination. We have a lot of bats that come around and eat the mosquitos around dusk. I'm sure they'd find other things to eat, but I like seeing them skim the pool for a drink and then eat a few dozen skeeters while they dart around. I also don't like people playing god with this type of stuff. The butterfly effect is real, and if we exterminate them all, we won't know what the effect is until it's already too late. Realistically, the earth adapts to whatever we do to it. Long after we're gone, there will be tons of interesting life forms. That still doesn't make me any less uneasy about it.
I don't know.
"What does it mean in practice to hold a philosophy that declares that pristine nature has intrinsic value in itself, and that regards Man and his activities as intrusive threats to the so-called ecological balance?
I have discussed the history, meaning, and basic premises of environmentalism previously, in my monograph The Green Machine and in my recorded talk "Green Cathedrals." I also explore these issues on my ecoNOT.com website.
But here I want to focus on the consequences of accepting core environmentalist premisesspecifically, their deadly impact on human life."
Those who object to the eradication of mosquitoes are stating pretty clearly the value of human life according to their philosophy.
Such a strategy might be more feasible than total extermination anyway since eliminating mosquitos in unpopulated regions would probably be the most expensive part of such a project due to the lack of infrastructure in those areas.
Of course, once the mosquitos return, you still have to deal with those annoying bites....
Mosquitos are food for birds and bats. I think that talking to bird and bat biologists would be the best idea.
If so, why do we care about the "ecological" impact of mosquito species that feed on humans? If anything, the ecosystem is unbalanced given the human population and the amount of mosquito food sources.
It's sort of like the people who react to robotics with concerns that the robots will go rogue and turn on their creators. Yeah, this is like a 90% probability event in movies, but that does not make it a reasonable thing to worry about in the real world.
Yeah, of course we should carefully think through the consequences before acting. That's what is happening. But if the mosquito experts say the ecological impact is likely to be negligible, then it probably will be. These guys are experts. Species go extinct all the time, and life goes on because it's pretty robust.
I'm not saying scientists are all knowing and can foresee all side effects, though I suspect if they are willing to state a view like that with confidence, they won't be far off. What I'm saying is the ZOMG BIRDS EAT MOSQUITOS and WHAT IF WE INFECT OURSELVES AND GET WIPED OUT talk is a little silly. Cool it there, Spielberg. ;)
Mosquitoes aren't even "responsible" for those diseases... Maybe we should invest in proactive body defenses against virus instead of just killing some random things.
Even if we just kill those mosquitoes species you know what? Nature evolves. Other mosquitoes and viruses will come. Do we kill them too?
1) That quote "Life would continue as before or even better." is not even the conclusion in the Nature report. It's in the fifth paragraph of the first part out of the three part report. I guess this author just stopped here and failed to read the rest parts of the report for his conclusion?
2) The other two parts of the reports talk about the mosquito biomass and its impact to arctic tundra ecosystem, food chains and even cacao pollination.
3) The original author Janet Fang actually concluded the report by quoting entomologist Joe Conlon "If we eradicated them tomorrow, the ecosystems where they are active will hiccup and then get on with life." And the more important part is the next sentence: "Something better or worse would take over."
The key is that there is a high probability something worse would take over when you tried to mess Nature's arrangement in the past 100 million years abruptly. As noted by other HN user, Chairman Mao also thought getting rid of sparrows was really a good idea.
 These are some examples, I am not endorsing these guys just found them for folks who were wondering what I was talking about -- https://www.megacatch.com/
 http://www.intellectualventures.com/inventions-patents/our-i... -- if only someone other than Intellectual Ventures had built it ...
If you believe in such a cause, and honestly believe the downside was zero, and you have the tool to do the job... What is holding you back? That's an honest question and I'd love to hear their responses.
> GEM technology is a process of achieving sustainable mosquito control in an eco friendly manner by providing artificial breeding grounds utilizing common household utensils and destroying larvae by non-hazardous natural means such as throwing them in dry places or feeding them to larvae eating fishes.
Process in short - http://www.appropedia.org/GEM_mosquito_control#Modus_operand....
First massive reduction, to test wether the Eco-System can handle it short term.
If yes, eradication until the diseases have vannished.
Measurement if the ecosystem handles it.Reintroduction if needed.
> The ugly situation on the ground does not call for Integrated Mosquito Management; it demands a program of Total Mosquito Destruction.
> were left to wait and watch swarms of evil on the wing, mating in midair, and landing on our shores. An enemy has made its way to the nations borders. Now is not the time for soft responses.
"Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his partners."
My wife is pregnant now, we live in Southern California, and I feel fairly powerless to do anything except ask my wife to DEET up, be on the lookout for freestanding water, add screens, and pray.
Possibly responsible for most heart failures in people under the age of 50.
"Tabarnak! we would have won if we had some damn mosquitoes!"
Yeah ok, just mosquitoes, but it made me think of the angry emperor.
Because it's probably easier than just preventing mosquitos.
People are far more destructive to the environment and have been around for far less longer than the mosquito, which has been here since the beginning.
At least something like a mosquito is honest about its intentions. It wants to have a handy blood meal from you. A human, on the other hand, will engage in varying forms of deceit, deception and then probably fuck your mother behind your back, before they sucks you dry.
Which one would you rather have around? Something to think on next time your get bit by one.
I don't know if the story behind the facebookcorewwwi.onion domain name itself has been talked about much, but we wanted a memorable name for the domain so we took a new cluster that hadn't been put in production yet and threw something like 500k cores at brute forcing onion names till we had a memorable domain name. Alec had a script that looked for hashes that started with facebook and then he picked the one that seemed to fit the most. And that's how we have facebookcorewwwi.onion now.
I do not trust your company, and I think you are bound to act unethically in the future. But I do not ask you to become a trustworthy ethical company. Mess with the accounts of my friends all you want. I just want to be invited to the next BBQ. People have stopped using e-mail for announcing these social events, and _all_ use Facebook. Could it be possible for me to not be on Facebook, yet still stay up-to-date on what my friends, or hell, even my parents now, are doing? A more advanced social graph API that hooks into email, RSS, Twitter, whatever... ?
I'm sure you also have my email-address from the address books of my contacts, so you could verify me.
As one of your longest non-users (I remember when TheFacebook required a Harvard-email for invite), please let me become a semi-user. It won't pay you a dime, but it will make the world a better place.
So, I wasn't able to login via TOR via the purposefully created .onion address. Also, sent an issue report via non-TOR login about this, but never got any response.
Note also that this seems to mean to me, that there may be people who are cut off from FB via TOR same as me, but who don't even have a way to notify FB about the fact. And thus not having any chance of having the bug fixed.
You don't get mobile notifications this way, so I just get my notifications via email instead. And I uploaded my public PGP key to Facebook, so the emails they send me are encrypted. Getting notifications via email also means that Facebook doesn't even know if or when I've read a particular notification.
To read those encrypted emails on my phone I use K-9 Mail with OpenKeyChain. My Yubikey Neo acts like a smart card reader to my phone over NFC so I don't need to give my phone direct access to my secret PGP key.
This setup works for me because I try to limit my Facebook usage, keep my number of "friends" on there to a minimum, and lie to Facebook whenever they want me to explicitly supply information.
in theory the only thing you're leaking over a plain https is, "Hey this guy has friends." (this connection is visiting facebook).
meanwhile in theory I'd expect facebook to leak everything else on their end, because come on. I have next to zero expectation of privacy on facebook.
by that I mean you think people are planning terrorist plots over facebook? come on.
so I find the mashup of tor with facebook to be kind of bizarre.
Google Chrome will no longer support HTTP/2 on vanilla 14.04 after May 15th , even if you're using the latest official upstream NGINX packages. This is because 14.04 ships with a version of OpenSSL that does not support the ALPN extension (prior to OpenSSL 1.0.2 you're limited to NPN, now deprecated). There was a bit of back-and-forth about the exact date, as the change was originally scheduled for earlier. However, Chrome decided to specifically push back the date so that there would be an Ubuntu LTS release available with the required support . If you're still stuck on SPDY, that's going to be dropped too, so there's really no good reason not to simply use HTTP/2 at this point.
1) If you use the nvidia drivers from the graphics-drivers PPA, starting the default non-root X server will hang with no graphics output. Installing xserver-xorg-legacy fixes this.
2) LXC+Linux 4.4 seems to be very broken: https://github.com/lxc/lxd/issues/1666#issuecomment-21290311...
3) Pulseaudio now uses shared memory and playing audio inside a firejail will break the pulseaudio server: https://github.com/netblue30/firejail/issues/69#issuecomment...
No need for bash scripts, custom watchdog and daemonise tools, etc.
A welcome and saner default. I'm thinking of moving back to Ubuntu from LinuxMint (I was thinking of Arch as well but not too confident of being on the bleeding edge).
A few weeks ago I had to dig up an old 12.04 machine and bring it back to the modern age. Much to my surprise, I was able to upgrade it all the way to 15.10 with minimal hassle. While the normal apt repos were dead for 12.04, Canonical keeps around an archived mirror. So you just edit the sources file to point at the archive, and then you can upgrade from there. Impressive.
Not that Canonical/Ubuntu don't have their warts. The Amazon fiasco, Unity, their cloud services, etc. And at the end of the day it's still Linux, with all the problems that brings. But, all things considered, I rate Ubuntu as the best of the bunch and feel grateful for the gift they give to the community.
Always worth a read before you fire up the installer...
Now, I would love to know, if I'm a maintainer of Foo (and you can get it today via `apt-get install foo`), how will I be able to start packaging using snap rather than relying on deb packages that come from debian? I'd love any feedback, cheers!
Inused to hate on Ubuntu, but on my 2014 Macbook Pro, it was the one distro that "just worked", and since I mostly run debian servers, I figure Sticking to the similar ecosystem reduces mental load of switching.
I still have my issues with Shuttleworth and Canonical, but hey, it's linux, so I can remove the crap I dont like (unlike some things, staring at you windows 10).
The security of the MD5 has been severely compromised, with its weaknesses having been exploited in the field, most infamously by the Flame malware in 2012. The CMU Software Engineering Institute considers MD5 essentially "cryptographically broken and unsuitable for further use". 
Cephfs v10.2.0 Jewel: "This major release of Ceph will be the foundation for the next long-term stable release. (...) This is the first release in which CephFS is declared stable and production ready!"
I think this is just an issue if you are doing 3D graphics work or gaming.
but it seems even Ubuntus Server are not speedy today (Atlas server are also slow)
(Update) it seems I'm getting an error with it :/
The guest machine entered an invalid state while waiting for it to boot. Valid states are 'starting, running'. The machine is in the 'gurumeditation' state. Please verify everything is configured properly and try again. If the provider you're using has a GUI that comes with it, it is often helpful to open that and watch the machine, since the GUI often has more helpful error messages than Vagrant can retrieve. For example, if you're using VirtualBox, run `vagrant up` while the VirtualBox GUI is open. The primary issue for this error is that the provider you're using is not properly configured. This is very rarely a Vagrant issue.
For some reason these are not linked yet from the 'Downloads' page at ubuntu.com.
So 4k resolution support is becoming recognized here?
> Transport minister Robert Goodwill admitted authorities had not yet confirmed whether what struck the Airbus A320
> Mr Goodwill also dismissed calls for tighter rules on drone use to protect against terror threats insisting current rules governing drone use were strong enough. He said it would be much easier for terrorists to attack airports on the ground with rucksacks or car bombs than orchestrate the attack from a drone aircraft.
> He warned that any moves to enforce geo-fencing rules would be vulnerable to being hacked by "somebody who could get round that software".
> "And indeed the early reports of a dent in the front of the plane were not confirmed - there was no actual damage to the plane"
> "the pilot has a lot of other things to concentrate [while landing] on so we're not quite sure what they saw so I think we should maybe not overreact too much."
This is a sane, rational response.. I am just not used to hearing it come from government officials. This should be a model for the type of responses that government officials have to these types of situations.
That said, I still think it's a good idea to implement. It will make it easier for casuals like me to quickly be warned when I'm venturing into forbidden areas. Sure, I could ignore it or hack around it, but at least it's an easy to implement safeguard that will keep most people away.
This is an amazingly flimsy basis for a headline.
Is there any advance in drone tech to make it quieter? Any time I've been near a drone in operation, the loud buzzing hits a particular psychological frequency (probably the "it's a large flying insect!") that stresses me out.
I don't think I'm alone in this. Other animals seem to dislike drones.
I think most of us animals would mind them less if they were more pleasant-sounding, or closer to silent.
Hitting a commercial jetliner with an off the shelf drone is impossible--especially at that altitude. With $8K it becomes feasible, but I'd put the level of difficulty at about the same as driving a Bugatti Veyron at 70mph in reverse and executing a j-turn (think Hollywood 180 spin) into a tight spot between two SUV's at the grocery store--3 times in a row.
As rare as plastic bags are at 1700 feet, if it was a sunny day in London in an area with a lot of jet traffic, then it was in all likelihood a bag that was kicked up by a car, caught a massive thermal and managed to get blown around by jet traffic.
(1) Fly fixed wing RC in excess of 180mph weekly and have flown quads for 3 years.
For drones, they have systems now that they can deploy to take them down immediately. http://www.skysafe.io/
And please, leave the rest of us who live/visit nowhere near airports alone.
This is just D&D is the devil panaroia for 2016
1000s of 'near misses' and no hits is a industry that plane lies.
Often, engineers or inventors would create something and then scientists would have to explain why it happened. In the last few generations, physicists and mathematicians would come up with theories and engineers would have to build equipment to test those theories.
The EmDrive is one of the rare modern situations where someone has engineered a device that shouldn't work according to what we know and the scientists are having to come up with the explanation.
Personally, solving a mystery is more exciting than purely intellectual theories and the EmDrive has created a very interesting mystery.
That's a misleading statement. I'm passingly familiar with a few of the experiments they're referring to, and none of them both produced significant results and were performed by groups which seemed un-suspect. I'm not aware of any peer reviewed paper on this stuff, and I don't personally know any non-laypeople who believe there is anything actually remarkable happening here.
 fixed some grammar
"In this scheme there is a minimum allowed acceleration which depends on a Hubble scale , so, if has increased in cosmic time, there should be a positive correlation between the anomalous centripetal acceleration seen in equivalent galaxies, and their distance from us, since the more distant ones are seen further back in time when, if the universe has indeed been expanding, was smaller. The mass to light ratio (M/L) does seem to increase as we look further away. The M/L ratio of the Sun is 1 by definition, for nearby stars it is 2, for galaxies it is 50, for galaxy pairs it is 100 and for clusters it is 300. As an aside: equation (11) could be used to model inflation, since when was small in the early universe the minimum acceleration is predicted to be larger." (http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0612599v1.pdf)
If an effect was stronger in the early universe, you'd expect to see a big correlation between the effect size in a galaxy, and that galaxy's redshift z. It wouldn't make any sense to say that "galaxies" have a ratio of 50, since there are galaxies at every redshift; many are nearby and have redshifts of almost zero, while the Ultra Deep Field galaxies have very large redshifts of up to ~10. If the number is really the same for "galaxies" in general, that means there's no distance dependence, but McCulloch doesn't seem to realize this. He seems to imply that nearby stars have a higher mass/luminosity ratio because of their distance compared to the Sun (?!), but the time-delay effect for anything in the Milky Way is negligible (< 0.0005% of the universe's age). In reality, nearby areas of space will have higher ratios than the Sun just because they contain many objects which, unlike the Sun, don't emit much light (red/brown/white dwarfs, gas and dust, etc.). Likewise, he seems to imply that "galaxy clusters" are farther away than "galaxies", but most galaxies are part of clusters, and we can observe both galaxies and galaxy clusters at both small and large redshifts.
It would be interesting to see how the theory behind the Unruh radiation works with "The quantum vacuum as the origin of the speed of light" (http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.6165#)
Or also MOND (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics) Which also has predictions based on very low accelerations.
It seems like the theories could be related.
(says an ex Nuclear physicist who's now doing computers).
The one YouTube guy discovered the beaded-chain lifting effect, and then it had to be studied to find out what was going on. Obviously that was an easily reproduced experiment.
So with this thing, we must find conclusively the unmeasured heat or ions or whatever and show a repeatable method for such mistakes. That is my opinion about science, of course I probably lost most scientists with my first sentence.
By extension, I think this is the most interesting article I've seen to date on the EmDrive: it seems to have a basis in a fairly non-controversial result of GR, which in turn is something which nicely explains an otherwise bizarre physical phenomenon. And, to top it off, there are a number of falsifiable predictions which are within our ability to test. I'm interested in whether any of my assumptions are wrong.
A working reactionless drive isn't just extraordinary. It's utterly mind-boggling. The least interesting thing is that it's a free-energy device.
It requires breaking spatial symmetry. If it works, it's not some edge-case theoretical law that's being broken. It's the geometry of space.
Maybe Hawking and Milner should be considering this for Starshot?
> ... (McCulloch) proposes a constant term that modifies the acceleration corresponding to the inertial mass. He says torsion balance experiments can't detect it because torsion balance experiments measure differences in acceleration. But he's wrong because since it's a constant term he "predicts", it should manifest in the Eotvos parameter. Torsion balance experiments have gone well beyond the limit to detect this. But it's irrelevant because he completely misunderstands all the theory he bases this on.
But the minimal measurement results I've seen are not compatible with the radiation pressure multiplied by some large factor for the Q of the cavity, which seems to be the claim from some. That really would violate our understanding of conservation of momentum, rather than violating our assumptions about where the momentum goes in this experiment. And that seems to be ruled out experimentally so far.
So the EmDrive glitches the universe size? This is hilarious.
McCullochs theory could help to change that, although it is hardly a mainstream idea. It makes two challenging assumptions. The first is that photons have inertial mass.
When I was taking college physics, there was a question on the exam about radiation pressure. I missed that day, so had no idea how to solve it. "a 5mW laser is reflected off a mirror (perpendicular) what is the force exerted on the mirror"? Later looking it up in the book there was a page on this and a derivation using electromagnetic theory. In the exam however, I decided to convert 1 second of laser energy to mass, bounce it off the mirror at speed=c, compute the force and change in momentum (over change in time which was 1s). I got the right answer of course.
The logic is simple. If we can convert back and forth between matter and energy, any experimental setup must obey conservation of momentum and it's CG must not move. So a laser inside a closed spaceship would actually be tranfering mass (as energy) from one end to the other. The net effect must be the same as if that mass was moved any other way.
I derived a general expression for radiation pressure after the exam and it's identical to the EM one from the book. Photons behave - and must behave - as if they have mass with a velocity of c. By the same reasoning, gravity must bend light rays, though I have not compared this prediction to that of relativity.
Edit: These so called "laws" are laws in our minds and things like EmDrive show us that our minds can expand forming new "laws".
as everything does :) I think it is quantized at all levels, it just becomes noticeable at low levels as usually.
She's currently dealing with two overlapping regulations, one from the state, the other from the city:(1) All electrical outlets must be placed less than 18 inches from the edge of a countertop, to make them accessible to people in wheelchairs
(2) A countertop must have an outlet every 18 inches, or less.
They're getting held up in permitting because there is a no constructible L-shaped countertop that satisfies both of these constraints. The best part, nobody on either side seems to care much, they're "just doing their job"...and housing isn't getting built.
I'm not sure what to make of this, other than that it's the newest brilliant "innovation" from the place that banned happy meal toys, and outlawed plastic bags.
If there's one thing we really understand, it's complexity: why it sucks, how to avoid it, and how piling on rule after rule can make the legal code "unmaintainable" (sound familiar?)
Any new builder will see her housing development costs go up, and given the short supply of housing, will then cause RE prices to go up on all new housing. This system therefore benefits existing landowners who were able to reap higher gains on existing buildings and helps create a moat on new housing development by making it less financially lucrative.
Also, just in case anybody is curious, most solar panels are not a good economic investment for an investor. In an optimistic case, they may pay for themselves in 7-10 years but the value of the asset itself depreciates so quickly that it isn't worth the risk financially or in on-going maintenance costs.
I do think that carbon reduction is pretty essential, but it's so essential that I don't think we can waste our money on low yield actions. I'm not saying this strictly is, I'd have to read about it more, but I'm not optimistic that mandating very specific technologies will be a good approach.
When I plan to buy a house I'll seriously consider installing solar, but id almost want to tear down any installation forced on by the city. If it's your property it should be up to you to consider what you want to add to your domicile. Maybe I don't want the upfront cost of solar, or maybe I planned on other renewables.
Put solar on all your city buses, put solar on all city buildings, etc. Don't force solar on homeowners who never wanted it.
I've lived in many US cities and WoW San Fran is a shock to the system!
Would it not have been sufficient to offer tax incentive carrots instead of making it a requirement?
Another great example is homelessness. Homelessness is actually something which should be addressed at the Federal (for Veterans) and State (for people who should receive medical help) levels, not the city. Oh well.
The end result of this solar initiative will be to increase costs for the poor. The 'real' solution is for CA gov't to stipulate that all dwellings of X and Y quality that receive Z amounts of sunlight are required to offset A% of their annual energy consumption with Solar/wind energy. You can either build it on your own home or buy a share in a solar/wind farm.
I thought the problem was that they have a lot of architecture preservation and not enough new office and residential construction.
Similar to Boston and Manhattan, mature cities where there isn't that much new construction, so this kind of ordinance seems more symbolic than practical.
That said might be a huge opportunity for a microgrid company to set up panels, smart meters and batteries in buildings, and then just have a single meter at the perimeter.
Remember when Calirofrnia sued the US Government over climate change? They've been doing a whole lot of not much for some time.
Learn more here: https://www.wundercapital.com/
Nevermind that the parent poster wasn't saying anything negative about this policy besides that it detracts interest/investment in rectifying issues that would have a far larger environmental impact for a lower price.
The relevant facts here: America is bad and Americans hate the environment. Let's invest in the basic environmental amenities guys!
25 years ago? Lets go even further into the past with our nationality shaming. Let's draw some other parallels from Germany's wonderful past actions.
Americans have a lot to learn.
James Comey, director of the FBI, said on Thursday that the cost was worth it, but added that an accommodation needed to be made with Apple and other technology companies in the future, as paying outside technologists to find ways to access highly-encrypted messages on phones used by terrorist suspects was not scalable.
One thing Ron Paul did in Congress years ago, after one of those stupid lets spend taxpayer money on a bunch of medals proposals or something, was to rephrase that expense: he challenged Congress to simply donate a percentage of their own salaries to make it happen. After all, if it was so wonderful (echoing all the things other Congress members had stood up and said about the idea before then), and so worthwhile, surely they would personally not mind chipping in something, right? Predictably, a very small number of congresspeople were suddenly willing to go quite that far.
Specifically, I live in the UK and one of the complaints law enforcement has is that US companies can (and do) totally ignore valid court orders because they don't apply in the US (reddit being an arbitrary concrete example).
So, what would be the impact of GCHQ setting up a scheme where you can sell vulnerabilities to them (assuming they do the legwork to make it legal)? Would it violate some kind of trade agreement? I assume at minimum it would harm diplomatic relations given the pressure the big companies would exert on the US to push back.
Government Technocrats: We need bigger and more powerful warheads to protect us from the Soviets.
General Public: OK we'll learn Duck and Cover.
Sensible Few: Is risking the destruction of everything we're trying to protect worth it?
Government Technocrats: We can't look our children in the eye ... yadda yadda yadda.
Sure they can go to congress and push for increased funding or whatever for their top cases. Which gives congress a tangible budget number that could be "saved" by passing a law, but politics/congress doesn't really work this way - spending money benefits the administrating critters, the FBI, and the contractors doing the work.
Furthermore, $1M is essentially a small amount and obviously "worth it" for the major sensational events that they'd use to push through backdoors. So it seems they're actually giving up ground by having to move the argument to the urgency for backdoors in cases that aren't worth $1M.
I can see the argument playing for fiscal-primacy authoritarians who would take this as an example of government waste, but they'd already support government backdoors and I don't see this riling them up enough to be worth it.
It seems like a dead-end for propaganda purposes. What am I missing?
Maybe they're just trying to salt the earth so that their technical success in this case does not hinder them arguing for backdoors next time?
Since I can't read the article, from anyone that can, how did they come to that figure? Is that just the cost of the exploit or..?
Seriously, we need to just ban domains that do that (full paywall after 1st paragraph) - it's not really sharing any content with the community.
git push origin --delete $(git branch --merged origin/master -r | grep -v master | grep origin | cut -d/ -f2-)
EDIT: And another thing. Turn all your Git aliases into shell aliases (e.g. "git status" is aliased to "git st" is aliased to just "st" on my system) with this one weird trick! https://github.com/majewsky/devenv/blob/2c4252d37597617a493f...
However, not on board with the hate for rebase. If it's your feature branch and you aren't sharing it with others, I'd much rather get a cleaned up PR than one filled with junk commits because the author was afraid to rebase.
Squashing a merge commit is a perfect way to reintroduce old code back into master.
Squashing onto a merge commit is great way to lose changes. It's been a while since I have tried this, but creating a didactic repo if fairly easy. Create a repo with two feature branches, a file on each of master and the feature branches, merge featureA to featureB, make some changes or delete a file, `commit --amend` on the merge, and merge featureB to master. Then use `git cat-file` to look at those commits and commit trees. I've seen mysterious things such as simple as unreported changes to files mysteriously being deleted from the repo.
git commit --fixup=<commitref> git rebase -i --autosquash HEAD~5
git checkout -
How do you guys feel about these in git commit messages?
[alias] ll = log --graph --oneline --decorate --date=short --all --pretty=format:'%ad %h %Cgreen%an %Cred%d %Creset%s'
git diff --name-only | uniq | xargs $EDITOR
and this one to open files with conflicts
git diff --name-only --diff-filter=U | uniq | xargs $EDITOR
git add $(git diff --name-only)
I rather use Git Extensions on windows and on mac Git Kraken. For beginners I think it would be better to use GUI tools.
Existing paying customers? Why would you spend money to acquire customers that you've already acquired. You had your reasons for signing up for DO, and apparently, the lack of a $10 credit wasn't one of them. And we all know this is a flimsy firewall to breech anyway - a different e-mail address that - if you're really feeling saucy - you could have delivered to an SMTP daemon on your existing droplet.
Promotions are by definition a form of publicity or advertisement, and if you're already a customer, you're already a customer, know what I mean? Why advertise "hey, check us out" if you've already checked them out and signed on the dotted line.
If you feel really, really, really burned by this, do what other cost-conscious consumers do, and whenever you see a box "promo code" on a signup form, Google "example.com promo code" (substituting the actual domain name, obviously) and see what you can find.
I do not understand, even a little bit, the amount of outrage over the fact that you want a company to spend advertising money (that's what a promotion is budgeted to) to advertise to an existing customer. Not unless you feel that DO isn't worth it already, that is, and in that case, what the hell is $10 going to do to change your mind?
This type of promotion really aggravates me. I'm not just saying this only about the announced GitLab/DigitialOcean partnership, but rather as a general comment as I see this customer acquisition ruse quite a lot elsewhere too.
I spend money with DigitalOcean. I don't feel particularly rewarded for my loyalty when I can't enjoy the same promotion as some new customer, who may never spend another cent with DO.
We have a single giant whose products are used by the masses(Google/Uber/Github-in this sense) which had customer-focussed /domain-oriented paths but seem to have lost it midway, and then we have smaller/modular companies who are more focused to the domain improvement in itself (DDG,Lyft,Gitlab) who partner up with other specialised companies(Yandex/Didi Kaudi/DO) to remain customer-focussed /domain-oriented.
In the meantime the consumers get to choose between what the world chose and what could be a more sensible decision.
"GitLab Runners do not offer secure isolation between projects that they do builds for. You are TRUSTING all GitLab users who can push code to project A, B or C to run shell scripts on the machine hosting runner X."
Seems like a very strong reason to use one's own paid DigitalOcean instances for runners instead of using the free shared runners, at least for commercial projects. I was wondering if anyone from GitLab could expand further on this?
Wow, I hope that doesn't get abused and taken away.
Prior to this we were with CircleCI, and before that Travis CI.
In any case, we just had things like fuzzy logic, SVM's, primitive ANN's, and so on. I could describe and illustrate the patterns with ease but couldn't encode them into an algorithm for the life of me. That the modern tech created in the image set some of the same exact patterns my brain spotted is pretty amazing. The researchers also have a ton of training data to better illustrate NSFW and SFW. That they're throwing in lots of SFW is very smart as it's easier to bias this topic than most.
All I can say I keep up the good work. Been neat to see an insurmountable-on-Pentium2 problem get stomped by the CNN's. I still want to see them applied more to hunting source code defects, host forensics, and intrusions.
A classifier isn't human judgement by itself, and you need to be aware of how people view something in context. Good training images are also critical (one of the reasons why hell broke loose above were some people mastectomies were more likely to be censored than others)
Though I will admit I am very curious what happens if you throw a Robert Mapplethorpe at it.
Then everyone got censored, then the group got banned, then facebook got slammed by cancer groups and cut a deal with them to rehost cancer support groups as long as everyone stopped sharing mastectomies directly to facebook because Facebook could not specially moderate and alter feeds for those thinking about or dealing with prophylactic mastectomies. However, this issue still pops up ALL THE TIME for them on Instagram
The image has a surprising history. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenna for the basics.
https://www.facebook.com/images/fb_icon_325x325.png is classified as "cross", "no person", "Resurrection", "spirituality", "symbol", "religion", "god".
In all seriousness, I found this pretty interesting, as I've been toying with using RNNs to classify NSFW images on my icon conversion site. The biggest issue that I've run into is that "icons" are squarely in a different class that photographic images. For some reason the *NN networks that I've toyed with break down on classifying icons because they aren't able to easily correlate a stylistic interpretation with a real item. It kind of makes sense given how they work, but there's got to be a way to work around it...
 EDIT: I did not find my original link, but here is a similar paper http://www8.cs.umu.se/education/examina/Rapporter/NaeemAshfa...
I don't think though that men can create neural nets that simulate the brain of woman ;-)
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11530336 and marked it off-topic.
For example, basic product choices like "every message highlights a room for attention" creates, for me, a feeling of "farmville for corporate communications." There's always another channel to click, another few sentences to read. This makes Slack very engaging at first, and makes it highly successful at lodging itself into organizations. And that's great, because Slack's a far sight better than email. But this rapid-fire feel encourages synchronous communications, and everyone quickly learns that @-mentions and DMs get quicker responses. That in turn leads to communicating with individuals instead of teams (or instead of searching issues, or Jira, or a wiki, or whatever). I don't think chat has to be this way; product decisions can encourage a more thoughtful question and answer flow.
I think that Chat may be like product management: the product opinions matter quite a bit, and teams have varying styles, so there's room in the market for several different products. Slack does a great job for a certain communication style, but it's not the only style out there. I hope some competing products with different opinions gain enough traction to keep them honest.
1. The best use of slack is the free edition which has limited history. Once this lack of history is made clear, people use it simply for online pings. Since notes, files and everything will disappear, people will automatically put the effort to put those things in the right tools (wiki, bug tracker etc).
2. Don't expect people to be online. It's the same as irc. If people are there, they are expecting to be interrupted / they are feeling helpful at that moment.
3. Integrations.. are a gimmick. There is really no value in knowing someone commented on some github issue instantly. Or someone committed something. Use integrations only for firefighting. But because of 2) use this carefull because you shouldn't expect anyone to be around. Paging/sms/email is best for this. After all, these are already used and it's not slack makes these obsolete.
- Fantastic product
- which genuinely helps people
- which has evolved and matured in an impeccable manner
- which has, as far as Im aware, never failed critically (no data loss or security breaches hell, they are so proactive that 1Password saves multiple DB backups for you just in case they eventually mess up)
- which sports good and native apps for all major platforms, including icky ones Im sure the founders dont prefer. (They have this in common with WhatsApp!)
- Helpful, knowledgeable, and quick support
- Didnt shut the company down after 2, 3, 4, or 10 years just because they werent on track to be a billion dollar company in the next few quarters
Whatever culture these guys have? Copy that.
I'm seeing this across numerous open source project communities, and it's really infuriating. B/c these communities are not paying Slack, they don't have access to archives, and of course it's all invisible to Google. So a valuable Q&A that might help thousands of people over many years were in on a public forum winds up helping...the handful of people who were in the channel on the day it happened.
> Slack forced me to evaluate things very fast and respond quickly, otherwise I would miss my opportunity to join a conversation before it moved onto something else.
> Then there was the fact that we had so many channels and direct messages and group chats. It multiplexed my brain and left me in a constant state of anxiety, feeling that I needed to always be on guard.
> And I had to read everything. I felt that I had no choice as often decisions would be made in Slack that I needed to know. And in other ways it was simply an addiction that needed to be fed.
Blaming the tool for this kind of behavior would be comical but for the fact that it's actually scary scary to see someone with this little self awareness. At least he got the "addiction" part right.
Reality check. My company of ~80 people uses Slack (sparingly) as a slightly better alternative to gchat/Skype. We have jira for issues and a wiki for persistent knowledge. No one here likes being interrupted or always being on guard for the next chance to participate in a conversation. So we just don't do it and Slack has yet to force us to.
Not once have I heard a colleague criticising Slack. Every startup I know is using it and praising it.
When I work with some people who still use email to coordinate in situations where I usually use Slack, I find it to be maddeningly time-wasting. Email is terrible for group conversation.
It strikes me that there must be some more general for the Slack criticism. Perhaps the hype cycle effect? Or the inevitable fact that at least some companies will use a tool ineffectively, given enough adoption?
To anyone who hasn't already used Slack - I'd recommend a trial, especially if your organisation has a culture of group discussion via email. I've found it to be an excellent tool, particularly when coordinating remotely.
If enough Slack interruptions happen, it will hopefully become clear that I just need to close the app in the midst of the pomodoro, only opening it on breaks, and even then only to triage to do items for future pomodoros. If not, then simply continue down that path.
The trick would be to get everyone to buy in to protecting their own time to focus. That requires a very disciplined culture indeed. One that values balancing people's ability to create with clearing other people's obstacles and above all else encourages every person to participate fully in the governance of their team.
Most of my Basecamp interactions come from the emails that are sent on every thread change. It almost seems to be a proxy between conversation and email, which is counterproductive to its goal.
The key issue in this article is about the lacking of separation of concerns in Slack. I may be missing something, but it seems to be diametrically opposed to Slack's "always-on" structure. I would argue that Basecamp tends to devalue workplace communication through impersonal Basecamp-templated emails which often hide the original sender and thus any sense of urgency that would otherwise be generated. We have so many fantastic tools, but often email seems to be the unsung, yet essential, hopper for all of our notifications. For workplace communication and general project discussion, just email (under the right direction and guidelines - along with supplemental direct chat) strikes the perfect balance between urgency (or lack thereof), the ability to compartmentalize, and personal touch, without interfering directly with work by breaking concentration.
You need to live mainly in one channel (the equivalent of the physical open office), and go to the other channels when called in, or when you have a bit of down time to check what's going on there. Like the buildings where we used to work, you do not need to visit every room.
Chat, group chat, video conferencing are nothing special. These applications are commodities and included with so many other apps. Eg. if you use Google Apps/Mail you get the fantastic Hangout for free, working on all devices.
Moreover, every time I login Slack it feels so crowded. If you want to change something you have to navigate through a forest of settings here and there.
Finally, chatting and being messaged is the best thing to get out of flow and to get ADD. Messaging is great, group messaging too but use it rather for important stuff.
If you don't have threading, you lose the one best feature of those new chat solutions, the single advantage they have over decades-old IRC: conversations at least slightly detached from time. On Slack, you have to be there all the time in order not to miss things or to participate in just about any conversation. If you aren't, soon it will be too late and no one will know what you're replying to.
As for other advantages, I noticed that one of the biggest uses is file exchange. If there was another simple way to just drag&drop a file somewhere and have people access it, those chat apps would see less use. But there isn't.
I haven't seen the bad effects in our company. Perhaps they occur at larger company sizes.
I worked at a large company where seemingly every day we would get several "someone has left the lights on in their blue Honda" type emails sent to everyone in the company.
Thankfully now I work in a small one without a carpark.
E.g. if there are decisions made without you, let them. Offline there are also many conversations and decisions you are not a part of just because you were so unlucky that you haven't been there at the time. But in an offline or private-chat conversation you can't look up afterwards what each person said exactly, you have to rely on hear-say. So in fact if you accept that decisions are made without your participation (it's called "trust in your team") then using a good chat tool is an advantage.
E.g. 2: People don't use your QnA software or wiki and instead use chat. Maybe instead of convincing them to use the other tools you can learn and teach others how to use the search function of the chat efficiently. You may find that you don't need a QnA software when all the questions and answers are searchable in the chat software. Here you can safe the cost (money, admin, learning time for new guys) of one software.
E.g.3: You want tickets and tickets are really important to link activity like commits. I'm not sure but I would assume that it's possible to find a chatbot which creates tickets for you from your chattool, writes comments to them and gives you back the ticket-id to use it in your commits. Then you also have a kind of log for how a discussion and the creation of a ticket where interlinked with each other, because you see the 'hubot create ticket "debug problem"' in the middle of a conversation happening. More context for free.
To change others the first thing we need to do is change us, and that is admittedly even harder.
This is where the article lost me. How are Slack notifications different from those in other services? I'm just not getting it.
To me, this is an example of somebody wanting to love something.
The constant policing they mention at the end was probably enough overhead for them to consider alternatives, though I don't understand what they mean with this quote: "Furthermore, Slack was not designed for the deep, meaningful conversations that are needed to move 1Password forward."
On the surface, it sounds like a people/culture problem, but I'm sure there were other factors at AgileBits that contributed.
And even if we had been successful in changing peoples behaviour, the lack of threading made it very difficult to have meaningful, deep conversations about complex subjects anyway. Before you could even fully understand the problem being discussed (let alone find a solution), someone would invariably start a new conversation or reply to a previous discussion that happened earlier in the channel.
Threaded, asynchronous discussions with notifications when someone actually replied to your message are much more useful.
And they can also be freaking decentralized and end-to-end encrypted! Woot!
I am building something like this. Anything like that exist?
It's also, you know, private.
> When someone would report an issue in Slack, wed point out the appropriate JIRA or GitHub project where that should be reported.
This got me thinking: Part of the problem is that the attention of others is a commons -- a vast wealth that we each have an interest in extracting from, but which takes a toll collectively.
Perhaps there's a way to internalize for a "consumer of attention" their attention-cost externality. So if certain people are extracting too much from the commons in the form of "@person" and "@everyone/@channel" messages, perhaps a bot could randomly ping them with noise messages in proportion to their attention-grabbing actions, to make them feel some of that pain and adjust accordingly without policing :)
Biggest complain for me is that the Slack UI gives too much weight on the fact that someone has talked on a channel. This makes me feel like I should be reading that, even though it might not have anything to do with me. This creates a whack-a-mole situation where I end up constantly jumping between all channels so that I wont miss anything.
Another thing that I really liked on Flowdock was that discussions had separate threads. Especially on channels that weren't your main focus but instead you were invited to in order to discuss some specific thing you could follow just the discussion about that thing and everything else can be filtered away. This also makes it easy to know what any comment is about, since you can easily read the whole discussion thread without having to skim through the whole channel. This works great even if the messages have days or weeks between them. (Instead of having just the direct mention as a point of interest you end up following the thread that you were mentioned on and you might keep following it for longer time, even after the highlight is weeks old)
There was a major annoyance with Flowdock as well. At least when I was using it there wasn't a search that covered all channels. You had to either know what channel the thing you were searching on had happened or you had to one by one go through all channels and do a search on each one of them separately.
Main point here is that Slack fails to keep my attention on the things that are relevant to me and instead seems to suggest that everything is critical to me. This makes it feel like addiction instead of a tool that would be useful all the time.
I have not worked with these, but did try Sococo briefly. The way this would work in slack is you could opt-in to voice on a certain channel for collaboration intensive work. Might be a horrible idea I'm not sure.
I guess you could use /call this way? Hmmm... didn't think of that.
The solution to this guy's problems are to chill out.
The problem isn't the tool. The problem is people. Giving people more and better ways to communicate creates more noise, not necessarily more signal.
Constraining communication to channels that only allow signal feels bureaucratic (complete form 31/b to request new business cards and send to purchasing no later than the second week of the month).
There's a happy medium (pun intended) somewhere between the two.
Slack/chat communication, instant, receiver feels overwhelmed.
The problem is not email or slack, it's the method in which we communicate. We need to make sure we use the right tools, as the author mentioned, knowledge bases, email, chat etc at the appropriate times.
The problem is not Slack per say, it's using Slack for all communications.
Email could handle much more automation, and be friendlier to on-demand inclusion in discussion threads, but AFAIK, it doesn't support a standard way to provide:
1. End-user controlled behaviour.
2. Whole-thread forwarding initiated by the end-user.
#1 would require a way to allow stantard plugins to be written, either by sysadmin or end-users. (Obviously, the capability and authorization of each would be different. End-user ones would only be allowed to touch end-user own emails.)
#2 would allow easier evolution of email threads.
I'm not talking about proprietary extensions to a particular SMTP implementation. I'm talking a standardized protocol addition to support these scenarios.
Am I missing something? Were changes to SMTP ever attempted?
If someone has to send me an IM to get an answer to something about our product, and I can't link the answer to them by just searching our wiki (or documentation if it's user-visible), then I file a note to add it.
I haven't ever felt the need to berate someone for asking me about easy to find information, because someone who isn't at least slightly embarrassed to have their question answered by a link to a resource they could have found on their own in under 30 seconds is probably going to have enough problems in other areas.
I think Dave (the author and founder of 1password) is feeling the same thing I'm feeling as a CEO. It's a kind of weird anxiety that creeps up on you as the company scales and you feel like you're always-on from the moment you open your eyes to the moment you close them at night. I think it's a symptom of a virtual office and team. A real office on the other hand would provide that very real sense of driving home in the evening that gives you a very solid separation from work, the team, the opportunities and the issues.
To be clear: I'll never go back to a physical office, both for my own benefit and that of my team's.
I became aware of this problem with being always-on recently. I also started giving rather short unvarnished answers to questions on Slack and I realized something had changed. I've put it down to having no sense of quiet time. I don't mean not having any 'quiet time' but having no 'sense of quiet time' because someone might have messaged me. So even if I set myself to away, I'm still checking in just in case I dropped the ball because someone is waiting for a reply.
I've changed two things so far to try and fix this:
- Taking long walks (in addition to my regular bike rides) with Slack off. - I still code, so I turn Slack off and set my alarm for 1.5 hours from now or whenever I need to be back on. Then turn Slack off.
Things I'm considering:
- Banning Slack after a certain time at night (for me personally). Perhaps 8pm. - Banning Slack for myself until I'm "on" in the mornings.
Being a remote team I see Slack as absolutely essential and I don't think we could do without it. We are very productive via slack and we share music, jokes, news, ideas for blog posts and many other things via Slack. We also do our voice calls via Slack and we don't use video on purpose because it's distracting. So for us, Slack won't go away any time soon. I think if you can manage it, it's an amazing team platform.
On a broader note: I think digital addiction is a real problem. I think it's subtle and it involves checking the same thing more than 20 times a day in a non-productive obsessive way. Think Facebook, Reddit, Hacker News, hitting refresh on a SaaS thing that gives you a quick endorphin or adrenaline rush and of course Slack. I think the symptoms are subtle, the behavior is widely accepted as normal and it's destructive in several ways.
So I think it's important to develop a discipline that allows us to exist online safely, productively and in good health. I think what this discipline is is just beginning to emerge in our culture because the problem of digital addiction and being always-on is only beginning to be recognized.
Also it is completely unacceptable to call this checking a tool beyond your shift/work a culture and it is indeed a bad practice setup by lead/ceo to keep everyone working all the time. The companies pay you for your time, so unless u get paid extra allowance to check these tools after hours please do not do it. For emergencies situation let people SMS and if no response in 15 minutes then call and that too have roaster who will be on call in which week or month.
It is a job of the leader/manager to ensure people have work life balance and they should setup internal polices and procedure to ensure people don't get to appreciate the one who is always on rather the ones who contribute with in the work hours. The management should make a culture of people talking about it so that it does not become forceful as people start doing this always on and others fear that they would be considered contributing less if they don't be online hence everyone stays on line for no reason.
For a company like 1Password there is absolutely no reason to be online all the time except for the support folks(and they too with in thier shift and have enough people to cover 24/7) and dev's can be engaged on call as required. All they need is setup couple of core hours every body is online to communicate and status update. Even geo diverse teams you can have core hours that ensure everyone is online for about 1 hour or 2 at the same for each team , if it is absolutely necessary.
I wish startup ceo's understand this and account that 8 hours a day is what person can reasonably put in work and if you need more hours it is going to cost business and that is part of the budgeting process. If you can't afford that then you are not yet ready to start the startup or do it it yourself. For god sake it is 21st century and if you are going to change the world first change your mindset and change the your company and make it a first class and make it 22nd century company where employees are not exploited because they can be(in the name passion, happiness, blah blah blah).
I don't get it, and I'm concerned about the following:
1. proprietary service with no interoperability and high potential for loss of records
2. important technical details/arguments hidden in a chat log and not made part of a ticket/commit/comment
3. removal of async communication leading to more interruptions and less async emails one has thought about before responding
4. teams boasting the use of 10 or more channels
There are other issues with relying solely on Slack and killing off email, but these are the most important ones that always come up when I'm confronted with a Slack-only team.
I've had the same issue with IRC, so it's not my kind of communication medium to monitor 24/7, whereas I love bulk responding to emails and often ponder about a response for a while.
If there's something urgent, one picks up the phone, and usually one thinks twice before calling (interrupting) someone.
Using proper email threads, ticket discussions, etc. give you an electronic trail of the technical decision, and that's also why Fossil's inclusion of a distributed ticket system is such a great idea. Two years later, you can easily inspect how the code evolved and why it did in a certain way.
How do dev teams cope with Slack? I couldn't work without async email and use real time communications (text or voice) only on demand, in order to limit interruptions.
IRC for chitchat / asking questions (PMs and highlights so there's no immediate need to respond)
Jitsi / IRC for meetings or small team collaboration.
Jira for bugs
Wiki for documenting design decisions and future work
... Why. Why would anyone (not maliciously) consider this desirable behaviour?
Unfortunately "let the user decide" is not the best answer if you want to link to something like "terms and conditions" in the middle of a sign up flow or something. If the user doesn't know how to open it in a new tab on their own, this can be extremely frustrating I'd imagine.
Not my problem anymore, but I never even considered this.
EDIT: 2013 to be exact.
As the browser I use, Opera 12, also treats all links manually opened in the new tab as if they had target="_blank", giving them opener access, I decided to remove the window.opener altogether by replacing the "opener" string with "opera" in the opera.dll. This way it gets overwritten by the normal window.opera variable and is essentially hidden. So far I haven't encountered a site legitimately relying on this behavior.
It could be worth checking out if you want to avoid experiencing this security issue yourself (but I offer no warranties) or if you want to see if it would break any site you visit if browsers would enable the behavior by default.
RFS on Jamaica at 10: " The very occasional physical attacks on journalists must be offset against this, but no serious act of violence or threat to media freedom has been reported since February 2009, a month that saw two cases of abuse of authority by the Kingston police."
Or even Ireland at 9: "... defamation lawsuits are common. Finally, interviewing police sources has been virtually impossible since the Garda Siochana Act of 2005, which bans police officers from talking to journalists without prior authorization."
Not a little biased are we? Amnesty for murdering journalists isnt my idea of freedom of the press, nor are defamation law suits, or a prohibition against interviewing the police.
The ranking for Slovakia at 12 seems at odds with its description "Defamation is punishable by up to eight years in prison, the harshest penalty for this offence in the European Union. Many legal actions have been brought by businessmen, politicians and judicial officials. Prime Minister Robert Fico initiated several during his first term. Censorship was tightened in 2014 by the adoption of a regulation limiting the number of journalists with parliamentary accreditation, restricting their movements within the parliament and banning them from photographing the personal property of parliamentarians."
Without a free press & whistleblowers democracy cannot function.
It is clear from the last five years of leaks that elected governements around the world feel they must act in secret because they suspect the electorate would not approve.
Without much more oversight this will worsen.
Free Chelsea Manning. Pardon Edward Snowden. Drop the inditement against Julian Assange. Offer sanctuary to Mossack Fonesca's whistleblower. Lead by example.
Surprising to see that Singapore is at 154 and there is Eritrea below North Korea.
I am starting to think of them as just another irresponsible NGO.
Also, going through the methodology, I couldn't figure out which Indian languages are included in the survey, so, its quite possible that a major chunk of the Indian media was left out from the survey just because the translations were only in Hindi (thats my assumption).
It partly looks like political maneuvering to get more question time in them. I wonder how other countries do it. I heard there are "first question rights" and "first rows" in the US also, so old hands like Helen Thomas had advantage.
These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America
Note this article is from 2012.
1. What factors were used in deriving this list?
2. Who funds this project?
I can't find it anywhere on their site.
Protocol Buffers (and I think Thrift, and maybe Avro) are sort of like C or C++: you declare your types ahead of time, and then you take some binary payload and "cast" it (parse it actually) into your predefined type. If those bytes weren't actually serialized as that type, you'll get garbage. On the plus side, the fact that you declared your types statically means that you get lots of useful compile-time checking and everything is really efficient. It's also nice because you can use the schema file (ie. .proto files) to declare your schema formally and document everything.
I think this is a case where "strongly typed" isn't the clearest way to think about it. It's "statically typed" vs. "dynamically typed" that is the useful distinction.
Some of the benefits over JSON:
* Real date type
* Real binary type - no need to base64 encode
* Real decimal type - invaluable when working with currency
* Annotations - You can tag an Ion field in a map with an annotation that says, e.g. its compression ("csv", "snappy") or its serialized type ('com.example.Foo').
* Text and binary format
* Symbol tables - this is like automated jsonpack.
* It's self-describing - meaning, unlike Avro, you don't need the schema ahead of time to read or write the data.
There is no need to have a null which is fragmented into null.timestamp, null.string and whatever. It will complicate processing. Just because you know the type of some element is timestamp, you must worry whether or not it is null and what that means.
There should be just one null value, which is its own type. A given datum is either permitted to be null OR something else like a string. Or it isn't; it is expected to be a string, which is distinct from the null value; no string is a null value.
It's good to have a read notation for a timestamp, but it's not an elementary type; a timestamp is clearly an aggregate and should be understood as corresponding to some structure type. A timestamp should be expressible using that structure, not only as a special token.
This monstrosity is not exhibiting good typing; it is not good static typing, and not good dynamic typing either. Under static typing we can have some "maybe" type instead of null.string: in some representations we definitely have a string. In some other places we have a "maybe string", a derived type which gives us the possibility that a string is there, or isn't. Under dynamic typing, we can superimpose objects of different type in the same places; we don't need a null version of string since we can have "the" one and only null object there.
This looks like it was invented by people who live and breathe Java and do not know any other way of structuring data. Java uses statically typed references to dynamic objects, and each such reference type has a null in its domain so that "object not there" can be represented. But just because you're working on a reference implementation in such a language doesn't mean you cannot transcend the semantics of the implementation language. If you want to propose some broad interoperability standard, you practically must.
They both have self-describing schemas, support for binary values, JSON-interoperability, basic type systems (Ion seems to support a few more field types), field annotations, support for schema evolution, code generation not necessary, etc.
I think Avro has the additional advantages of being production-tested in many different companies, a fully-JSON schema, support for many languages, RPC baked into the spec, and solid performance numbers found across the web.
I can't really see why I'd prefer Ion. It looks like an excellent piece of software with plenty of tests, no doubt, but I think I could do without "clobs", "sexprs", and "symbols" at this level of representation, and it might actually be better if I do. Am I missing something?
Several years ago, I wouldn't have imagined this possible and I'm a little bummed that I left before it happened.
Like leef said above, I'm glad to have Ion as an option again.
And where does Ion fit here?
Any character may be escaped. If the character is in the Basic Multilingual Plane (U+0000 through U+FFFF), then it may be represented as a six-character sequence: a reverse solidus, followed by the lowercase letter u, followed by four hexadecimal digits that encode the character's code point. The hexadecimal letters A though F can be upper or lowercase. So, for example, a string containing only a single reverse solidus character may be represented as "\u005C". [ snip ] To escape an extended character that is not in the Basic Multilingual Plane, the character is represented as a twelve-character sequence, encoding the UTF-16 surrogate pair. So, for example, a string containing only the G clef character (U+1D11E) may be represented as "\uD834\uDD1E".
U+HHHH\uHHHH4-digit hexadecimal Unicode code point
Looking at the code, it looks like the above JSON will parse:
1. Main parsing of \u here: https://github.com/amznlabs/ion-java/blob/1ca3cbe249848517fc6d91394bb493383d69eb61/src/software/amazon/ion/impl/IonReaderTextRawTokensX.java#L2429-L2434 2. which is called from here, and just appended to a StringBuilder: https://github.com/amznlabs/ion-java/blob/1ca3cbe249848517fc6d91394bb493383d69eb61/src/software/amazon/ion/impl/IonReaderTextRawTokensX.java#L1975
This is just one of those things that the first time I saw it in JSON/JS a part of my brain melted. This is all a technicality, of course, and most JSON values should work just fine.
No need for a new protocol when doing it that way for basic things, if you need more binary (busy messaging/real-time) there are plenty of alternatives to JSON.
I love the simplicity of JSON, so do others and it is successful so many try to attach on to that success. The success part was that it was so damn simple though, most attachments just complicate and add verbosity, echoes back to XML and SOAP wars which spawned the plain and simple JSON. Adding complexity is easy and anyone can do it, good engineers take complexity and make it simple, that is damn difficult.
What? This means their "arbitrary-precision decimals" are actually isomorphic to (Rational x Natural).
So now not only do we have the problem of redundant and mutually incompatible protocols (cue obligatory xkcd), but that we have so many such protocols that name collision is becoming an extra problem.
This really looks like a NIH specification.
- IonValues are mutable by default. I saw bugs where cached IonValues were accidentally changed, which is easy to do: IonSequence.extract clears the sequence , adding an IonValue to a container mutates the value (!) , etc.
- IonValues are not thread-safe . You can call makeReadOnly() to make them immutable, but then you'll be calling clone since doing anything useful (like adding it to a list) will need to mutate the value. While it says IonValues are not even thread-safe for reading, I believe this is not strictly true. There was an internal implementation that would lazily materialize values on read, but it doesn't look like it's included in the open source version.
- IonStruct can have multiple fields with the same name, which means it can't implement Map. I've never seen anyone use this (mis)feature in practice, and I don't know where it would be useful.
- Since IonStruct can't implement Map, you don't get the Java 8 default methods like forEach, getOrDefault, etc.
- IonStruct doesn't implement keySet, values, spliterator, or stream, and thus doesn't play well with the Java 8 Stream API.
- Calling get(fieldName) on an IonStruct returns null if the field isn't present. But the value might also be there and be null, so you end up having to do a null check AND call isNullValue(). I'm not convinced it's a worthwhile distinction, and would have preferred a single way of doing it. You can already call containsKey to check for the presence of a field.
- In practice most code that dealt with Ion was nearly as tedious and verbose as pulling values out of an old-school JSONObject. Every project seemed to have a slightly different IonUtils class for doing mundane things like pulling values out of structs, doing all the null checks, casting, etc. There was some kind of adapter for Jackson that would allow you to deserialize to a POJO, but it didn't seem like it was widely used.
Why not "com.amazon.ion", like thousands of other existing packages?
It's funny how so many obvious things are all but obvious when you think a little bit more about it. Interesting read on the subject: https://sandstorm.io/news/2015-09-24-is-curl-bash-insecure-p...
(I don't want to enter the `curl | bash` good or bad rabbit hole; just that the topic cannot be just dismissed as "obvious")
Taking RVM for example. Their instructions are to run this: `curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable`. The script that is executed is 887 lines long. The installation is "complex", requiring a lot of different stages. Now, the solution to this is "Use a package manager". Sure, that works in a lot of cases. However, when you have something like RVM which is used across several major operating systems, and hundreds of different flavours, each with their own quirks and package managers it suddenly gets difficult to manage each of these.
The problem we face is, how can we make it easy to install something, while still being safe and maintainable?
Breaking this down further, there are 2 issues to solve. The first is "How do we ensure what we download is what the maintainer says that we should download?". I.e. How do we make sure there are no malicious injections. That one is simple. Use SSL.
The second issue is, "I want to install this thing but I don't know if I can trust the installer". Are you crazy!? This isn't an issue. If you don't trust the installer, you sure as hell can't trust the product. If you don't trust either of them, then you automatically don't trust the other and shouldn't be installing it.
The result is that, yes, people can maliciously serve up code when you pipe the output of curl through bash without you realising. However, this is no different than blindly trusting and installing a script.
Please enlighten me :)
While this is true, how is this any different from installing using apt-get/dpkg/rpm ? I have never looked into any package I install. In fact, those things are worse because they require root unlike curl | bash.
At the end of the day it's about trust. If you trust the author(s), you would install it. I trust my distribution/browser/OS and I install things they want me to install it. So, if a project suggests "curl | bash", I would do it when I trust the project.
I think it can be prevented by `tee`ing bash :
$ curl -s https://localhost:5555/setup.bash | tee bashsleep 3echo "Hello there :)"
> bash -c 'S="3bceab0bdc63b2dd7980161ae7d952ea821a23e693cb74961b0d41f61f557489";T="/tmp/gut.sh";set -e;wget -qO- "https://www.tillberg.us/c/$S/gut-1.0.3.sh">$T; echo "$S $T"|shasum -a256 -c-;bash $T;rm $T'
This downloads the file to /tmp/gut.sh (which hopefully works on your system), then checks whatever file was downloaded against the hash specified (which hopefully works on your system), then executes it, then deletes it.
I think that `shasum` is a pretty widely-available utility among Linuxes and OSX, though not universal, but it occurred to me that it would be really awesome to have a program that was more purpose-built to only execute shell scripts that matched a particular hash, a la:
> curl https://www.tillberg.us/c/blah/gut-1.0.3.sh | shverify --sha256 3bceab0bdc63b2dd7980161ae7d952ea821a23e693cb74961b0d41f61f557489
Obviously, many other systems are more "secure" than curl-bashing, but curl-bashing is very convenient, and adding some sort of common utility to support it could mitigate the most obvious security issues.
A few comments, however ...
> ... we had to go to the dark side to be able to confront the threat posed by bad guys. We had to adopt their methods for ourselves.
He's using "we" there in reference to the government. But it can also be read with "we" as you and me, and "bad guys" as the government ;) But then, I claim a broad "right to be left alone", one that doesn't concede any state monopoly on power.
> ... you cant opt out of governmental mass surveillance that watches everybody in the world without regard to any suspicious criminal activity or any kind of wrong doing.
Well, sure you can ... as he goes on to explain ...
> You would need to act like a spy to pursue a career in a field like journalism because you are always being watched.
... and ...
> Instead of changing your phone to change your persona divorcing your journalist phone from your personal phone you can use the systems that are surrounding us all of the time to move between personas.
Right! Compartmentalization is for sure the way to go. There are numerous personas like Mirimir. Maybe I make it too distinctive. But I have no meatspace identity that goes on like Mirimir does. And Mirimir, ve has lots of vis personas. So hey, let's create a tangled morass of overlapping personas ;)
I guess so? Not me though. Snowden literally only proved what I had learned on my own.
> But we were confronted with documented evidence in 2013 that even what most people would consider to be a fairly forthright upstanding government was abusing these capabilities in the most indiscriminate way.
Um. Who thought this? Ever? Since the 90s.
What's with 'we?' The various classes of technologists that I've been a member of - from the teen hax0r BBS days thru the crypto lists and Usenet groups to actual working professionals have absolutely believed this. It takes a truly spectacular amount of naivety to believe the contrary.
I have a deep and profound respect for Snowden, who has certainly sacrificed any possible semblance of a normal life in his native culture and likely narrowly escaped a worse fate, something he must certainly have known was a risk. It is his very naivety that made him such a perfect whistleblower : he's in there looking around and he's like "Holy crap! These guys are into some profoundly bad shit! I have to tell everyone!"
There's probably a hiring policy moral for black ops shops in there somewhere.
The terrorists are significantly different than many other criminals. In the sense that terrorists are not mainly driven by personal and earthly goals but they are driven by the goals set by their ideologies. Thus terrorism (inspired by hate ideology or religion) is significantly different in a very important respect from other crimes; that is, the terrorist(s) generally find support and shelter amongst large number of otherwise normal citizens inspired/driven by the hate ideology or religion whereas a murderer or a pedophile generally doesn't find such shelter.
Tell this Snowden to do (or at least talk) a little bit about the dire situation of people's freedom in the country he has chosen to flee to, namely, Russia. And the people who are criticizing US way too much should do themselves a favor by looking at countries run by tyrants like China, North Korea, most Islamist countries and Cuba. The way the Chinese government does the mass surveillance of its citizens on the Internet and the way the communists have installed the reward/punishment system based on it will make you realize that what is happening in US is hardly even annoying.
I am not to say that US is innocent person but it has been receiving criticism way too much.
Like Schell and Karger said for 30 years, what we need is to start deploying high-assurance security practices, protocols, systems, methods... everything that's proven to get the job done in various ways. We need them deployed pervasively. More private protocols and encryption by default, too, but who gives a shit if it runs on systems so insecure it doesn't need backdoors?
Let's go back to 1960's moving toward the 70's and 80's on hardware stuff. Burroughs stuff was tagged so everything in memory was code or data, pointers protected, arrays bounds-checked, arguments checked on function calls, and OS tried to isolate apps from each other. Some LISP machines had GC's for memory management. System/38 had capability-security & built-in database. Solo had safe concurrency at OS level. One had read-only firmware you couldn't change without physically moving it with a nucleus that handle protected functions that OS's built on. Two implemented a secure, Ada runtime that enforced the language's safety properties. SAFE (crash-safe.org), Cambridge's CHERI, and Sandia's SSP/Score processors follow these traditions.
Now let's look at how Schell et al said to do assurance. Precise, math/flowcharts/whatever description of functional and security requirements to avoid ambiguities & resulting vulnerabilities. Similar for design with attention to simplicity. Implementation in safest language you can with simpler subset and style easy to analyze. Every module proven to match a requirement/spec so no subversion (well, a start on it...). Strict modularity, layering, and interface checks all over the place. Success and failure states modeled then shown to follow a precise, security policy. If you can't state it precisely, then you can't secure it because you don't know what security means for you. Code review, tests of each function, formal proofs if possible, static analysis if possible, covert channel analysis of info flows, configuration management that assumes malicious developers, source to object code verification, trusted distribution of HW/SW to customers, onsite verification/generation from source, and configuration guidance. All of this independently verified by at least one set of professionals that know what they're doing.
That was security in 1970's-1980's. Far from red tape some here claim, every method above was proven by researchers, field users, and pentesters to catch serious problems. The only dispute was what caught most and where to spend most money. Even those questions had decent answers. Well, plus specific design and modeling decisions but INFOSEC was in infancy & that was evolving. I'm talking assurance activities: getting it done right whatever it is. Fast forward today to find that all the problems Schell, Karger, etc predicted have happened and consistently in systems that don't use those methods whereas systems that do avoid many more problems.
So, here's the solution: raise assurance of our systems across the board using methods that go back to 1961. That's right, Burroughs engineers were doing a better job on security before that was even a thing just trying to improve reliability. This is 2016. We have better specs, better languages, better static analysis, easier formal tools, automated test generation, tons of sample code, fast dev machines... you name it. There's no excuse, outside willful ignorance or apathy, for security-focused developers (esp in FOSS) to not use everything at their disposal that's proven to work at reducing risk. Even less excuse for the stuff they make to still be less secure than tech from the friggin 60's and 70's.
Shout out to the exceptions that are trying to do it right. Groups like GenodeOS, Dresden, NICTA/OKL4, Carlisle's IRONSIDES DNS, Bernstein's stuff, Galois, JX OS, ETH, INRIA, Secure64, Sentinel HYDRA (minus bodacion crap lol), Combex, and even NativeClient since they knocked off OP browser. Enough stuff like this and NSA will be begging us to ban INFOSEC books and shit since their info will dry up haha.
They've been doing this for many years before Snowden and will continue long after any new laws are passed to give us the impression of an improvement.
US proxy it is then!
I think the other part which he hasn't discussed is the rise of Cloud companies like Google, Facebook. We should really be working towards an internet where people can keep the data to themselves and decide how it gets used. But now, the default is for these corporations to own all the data.
Of course, govt can still access the data (which is what snowden is talking about) but that is a different problem.
>You are receiving this error message because your ip (18.104.22.168) is listed in the StopForumSpam.com database.
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It's kind of ironical that they are quoting Snowden and their own site blocks Tor.
E: didn't HN used to have markdown quoting?
This is the classic Snowden formula. Establish a false premise that has no faith in the government or constitutional rights, then continue to paint a picture of a dystopian future.
This guy should be writing sci-fi novels...
[edit: I predicted at least 5 down votes as I typed this. Don't disappoint me ;-) ]
"Liberty and justice for all."
Looks around carefully. I spent some time contracting in DC, and the conclusion I came to is that there are three main types of people around the government and financial centers of power.
1) Those who are aware of the coming shitstorm and the complete corruption and subversion, and are just trying to "get theirs". This usually ends up in a "I got mine, fuck you" attitude. They don't push back because they know they would get punished for it, so they instead use their knowledge to further their career at the expense of their duty, and principles. They know, but don't care (enough to risk anything) about the status quo.
2) Those who know about the situation, and agree with it. These are usually indoctrinated extremists on either side of the spectrum, neocon, ultra-lib, the kind of people who now think capatalism in it's current form is the best gift from god and they speak of peace while selling massive amounts of weapons to dictators they setup all around the world. They know, and they care (for the wrong things), and actually perpetrate many of the abuses of the system.
3) Those who are too ignorant or stupid to know, or the slightly modified, those who have an idea about how bad it is but would rather stick their head in the sand and pretend reality doesn't exist. They don't know and don't care.
Don't tell me where all the true patriots went. I have told my friends, that "I know not one brave soul, not one." (keep in mind I'm not talking about media figures, like Snowden, Manning, Drake, Binney, Tice, Edmonds, all of whom I do consider brave souls) To me, that is the real problem I faced when I had my Descartes reset, in that I started to realize that while I still believe in the power of an oath, and the duties that come with them, the majority of the people around me and in positions of real power pay tons of lip service to principles, but never actually do them. Personally, I think this is causing a kind of mass cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization that we have yet to realize the full impact of.
When I think about the leadership traits I learned in the Corps, and how little of them I see in our leaders, I fear for the future of my country.
(in case anyone is wondering, they are: Justice, Judgement, Dependability, Initiative, Decisiveness, Tact, Integrity, Enthusiasm, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, and Endurance.)
But I can never get a discussion deep enough going on about how the rule of law is implemented there.
"In our conversations, Kidney reflected on why that might be. The oft-cited explanationscampaign contributions and the allure of private-sector jobs to low-paid government lawyershave certainly played a role. But to Kidney, the driving force was something subtler. Over the course of three decades, the concept of the government as an active player had been tarnished in the minds of the public and the civil servants working inside the agency. In his view, regulatory capture is a psychological process in which officials become increasingly gun shy in the face of criticism from their bosses, Congress, and the industry the agency is supposed to oversee. Leads arent pursued. Cases are never opened. Wall Street executives are not forced to explain their actions."
Basically, regulators don't have the balls to go after the big guys.
they are inept and impotent.
2) US elections are so dominated by advertisement, expensive campaigns and donations that there is no way a politician can actually do what they tell voters because at the end of the day they have to satisfy donors otherwise they can't get money to run elections. There has been studies that show American politicians are mainly aligned with the wishes of the rich rather than people who vote on them.
That is just two big points, which makes the US stand out of many other western democracies, and there are multiple others.
My other objection is that Boaty McBoatface, somehow represents the will of the people. No it doesn't. It represent the will of people who bothered to vote on an issue most people likely don't give a dam about. If a choice was demanded of the whole population then Boaty McBoatface would never have won.
Whenever there is an issue most people don't have a vested interest in or think is very important it is likely that whoever wants to stirr up stuff or make some fun are going to win, because nobody else has any incentive.
This is of course a major issue with democracy. When you let people make decisions on things they don't really care about then they will make poor decisions. Democracy shouldn't make everything a choice, but rather be about choosing people you think will make good choices on your behalf.
After gaining the #1 position the organization decided to withdraw the name from the polling, causing more controversy about this digital process.
"Imagine Boaty McBoatface sailing into the world's iciest waters with the wide-eyed fascination of a child. Observing global challenges that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, Boaty McBoatface absorbs new facts and ideas without the jaundiced and prejudiced views of older research vessels while providing fresh perspectives and iron-clad observations of data regarding global warming, the melting of polar ice and rising sea levels."
I think it works!
I think refusing that name would be not just be 'anti democratic' -- it's just be very un-british, because as a foreigner, that's /exactly/ what I'd expect the british to come up with as a name, just for a smirk, and that's something I like about them!
As a sideline, what is democracy even? Democracy via elections would be oligarchy to ancient Athenians, who prefered democracy by lot anyway.
executive powers originally designed for extenuating circumstances are being used on one side and the other: to select delegates in an election, to get around a stonewall Congress in Washington, to name a boat in England. Where they aren't used, there is pressure to use them: to avoid a Brexit disaster, to stand up for a comedian's right to free speech in Germany, to respond to terrorist threats in France and Belgium.
I have to wonder if this is the Internet doing to Democracy what it is doing to Capitalism : breaking fundamental assumptions of how the world works. Information and opinions work very differently, now. We are part of much larger social herds, governed by different forces, with much faster (and more selective) information transfer. Populism is a different beast today than when Berlusconi ran in the 90s. Maybe it's time you disrupt democracy.
Second - even proper referendums are usually advisory, i.e. the outcome isn't bindnig for legislators. I don't see a democratic problem with that either unless legislators would go against a strong public opinion, repeatedly.
You say it's going to be doing important research? Great! Add a social media presence, pull in people with the "funny name" and keep them for the exciting and interesting research.
But you're not going to that, because you're too important for that, ... because you're snobs.
So it's no suprise that the best objection I've heard to the name so far is that it's stupid because the vessel is clearly a SHIP, not a BOAT.
Surely it's closer to compare it to a referendum: in which, the public majority agreed on an answer that the establishment didn't like, and will now renege on.
If a majority prefers pepperoni pizza but will eat basically anything, don't be surprised when the representative orders vegetarian. The vegetarians care far more about the exact type of pizza that's served and are more likely to change which representative they vote for in order to get what they want.
"tyrannical" because a group that got a boat, asked some people what their thought on the matter was, and then said "no that silly"?
"What happened to disapproving of what you name your boat, but defending to the death your right to name it" and now this is infringing on free speech as well?
Also, the "Sosumi" alert sound introduced in MacOS 7 is short for "So sue me", referencing the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer lawsuit.
Here's hoping that the authorities relent.
Edit: Or maybe it's all part of the plan. Let us all down by hinting that they're not using the name, then announce a change of heart. The internet would explode.
I'm not a fan of grover norquist but I think it is unfair to say our representatives should be free to disregard the pledge they so publicly made when they were campaigning. Yes, we expect our representatives to go against their platform in extreme cases for the greater good but I'd say if that happens, the representative must turn right around and resign immediately from office and not run for office again.
No, it doesn't matter if the cause was an "obstructionist" Congress. It didn't matter with George HW Bush and it won't matter now.
Can you imagine if we had a referendum for independence of Scotland and had Cameron said "nah jk" after the results came in favor of Independence? Or if he started attaching new conditions to the promised he made Scots to vote no? "Oh we will get right to the issue of devolution but we must make sure Scots can't vote in England only legislation" but then who didn't they say that when campaigning?
Imagine a system where there was a yearly pie eating contest to determine the king for a year. Would it be OK for the current winner to abolish the contest and make the position hereditary? Of course not!
Similar issue: when the new Wembley stadium got a new bridge, there was a voting for the name of the bridge. The german football (soccer for my american friends) player Dietmar Hamann scored the last goal in the old stadium, and german football fans tried to overrun the election to force the englishman to name it "Dietmar-Hamann-Bridge", a slap in the face for every english football fan. Although Hamann won the vote, the bridge got the name White Horse Bridge (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Horse_Bridge)
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
It seems to be an attack on the fundamentals of modern governments, that the legitimacy of the government follows from the will of those governed. Because those governed can't be bothered.
So, what's your next suggestion, then?
Personally, as a random human and as a scientist, I have no problem with Boaty McBoatface, although I know a lot of the stuffier set who would regard it as ridiculous and insulting, and might reflect those feelings on the work done aboard the ship. (I also feel those people should be vetoed.)
Interestingly, the name Vegemite itself was also originally "crowdsourced" back in the 1920s , so the effort had some tradition behind it. Perhaps "Vegemite" also sounded really silly back then.
I think (but not sure) that it's still for sale in Australia... in any case it is/was delicious, regardless of the name.
One reason that democracy works vastly better than authoritarian government is that the public agrees on a lot of things. For instance, the public in the US disapproves of governmental corruption, and so it is far lower than in authoritarian countries like Putin's Russia.
Oh, and if the authors think that informing the public doesn't work, then why are they working for a media organization is, guess what, informing the public?
I know it is silly and childish, but that would be so awesome. That joke would never get old.
Or how about toys, educational videos, educational cartoons, educational books featuring Boaty McBoatface and friends.
This is a Scientific Research Vessel that people could really fall in love with, and instead of capitalizing on that possibility, they'll give it a name like the Hawking. Nothing against Hawking.
Just imagine being the parents and losing to McBoatface. Have it named after the kid with Mcboatface be the nickname.
Second, everyone, including the government is making it sound as if this is a "terrible name", just because it's out of the framework they imagined it to be. But I think this is a great name and has brought nothing but popularity to the project being done on that boat.
It's five year mission...
Let's not kid ourselves... Democracy is no perfect ideal to aspire after. See:
Let's also consider what Bastiat had to say:
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right from God to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right its reason for existing, its lawfulness is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force for the same reason cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups. Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces? If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.
In fact it clearly states they can only retain stuff long term if the DOJ notifies them explicitly that they have a continuing litigation/preservation hold necessity (which is usually not the DOJ doing it,but say, a civil lawsuit that carries with it preservation obligations).
It also makes further clear that in all cases, the only people with access to most of any retained data is system administrators, not investigators, and that it can't be used for investigative purposes.
It does say general querying is allowed, but only people explicit 702 access rights are the ones who must be making such queries, or making such decisions. In all cases all records of who accessesd what with what query terms and their access level are explicitly logged, etc.
It also explicitly states that information acquired under section 702 will not be introduced as evidence against a person in a criminal proceeding, without1. Explicit approval of the attorney general2. in criminal cases related to national security crimes
In any case, this is not new, this viewpoint is something going back to FISC precedent from 2002.
So it's not like this just happened.
Additionally, the statute is pretty clear here.
It says:"(h) Minimization procedures, with respect to electronic surveillance, means
...(3) notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), procedures that allow for the retention and dissemination of information that is evidence of a crime which has been, is being, or is about to be committed and that is to be retained or disseminated for law enforcement purposes; and"
So again, nothing new here, this has been law for quite a while.
In short, i may hate a lot of things about FISA/FISC/etc, but i think the EFF is stretching to say this is a new problem, or to blame the court for it.
Their previous defense was that "collect" meant to actually inspect the information.
I want reporting, not advocacy. The better of the mainstream press outlets are balanced to a fault but get the interesting details wrong or leave them out altogether. The fringe outlets target their core audience with lots of spun details and a lack of opposing viewpoint.
EDIT: If anyone can get past "lefty vs righty" and answer my core question I'd really appreciate it. This is a genuine query for information, not a clever way to troll.
As I understand it, PRISM is not a thing that lets the NSA willy nilly search the internal networks of companies they've onboard,
It is instead a thing for companies who would be the target of large volumes of these requests just because of their size to upload the data they're legally required to because of NSL or similar, in a rapid fashion.
Is this assessment correct?
This is not going to be a popular opinion, but I think a compromise is necessary. There is no way to stand up to the train of data collection. For one, the public being afraid of this and that will demand to be protected at all costs, no matter how small the threat. The more scandalous the news cycle gets, the more panic we will see. And then the technology improves so fast, soon enough publicly installed video cameras will track everyone, and all within the constitutional framework.
A middle ground would be to create the fourth branch of the government that is tasked with data collection, but will only give it up on court order. Orders may be for individual incidents based on reasonable cause, or for data-mining, based on a judgement of proper scope.
'Nothing to hide' privacy naysayers imagine innocence a perfect defense.
In practice a prosecution presents select facts in the order best suited to convict.
Under mass surveillance they have all the facts; the defense only has what one still possesses/ remembers.
With such resources, enough well cast aspersions could convict anyone of something.
Counter intuitively innocence can be harder to defend as the guilty will have prepared alabis. (part2 @)
Lawyers advise their clients not to talk freely to police for very good reason.@
I'm counting on you lot at HN and beyond to create the technology allowing widespread encryption that makes such surveillance moot.
If the judges and politicians had half a brain, they'd understand that they, and not us, will be the first to experience the downsides of a security state gone berserk.
> A protein as a standalone infectious agent stands in contrast to all other known infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, all of which contain nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, or both)
In my layman's understanding, they're like this bizarre edge case in the way proteins interact. Of all the myriad way a protien can fold, it happens to find one that induces the same malformation when it interacts with another protein. To me, it almost seems like as much of a mathematical/geometrical problem as a biological one. In any case, very interesting from the perspective of emergent behavior in complex systems.
"You Can't Kill What's Not Alive: Prions cannot be destroyed by boiling, alcohol, acid, standard autoclaving methods, or radiation. In fact, infected brains that have been sitting in formaldehyde for decades can still transmit spongiform disease. Cooking your burger until it is well done will not destroy the prions!"http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/molecules/prions/
"Eating human brains helped Papua New Guinea tribe resist disease, research shows."https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/10/brains-helpe...
Original name for the prions was "trembling in fear" - or Kuru:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease)
This is not quite correct, the disease is believed to be transmittable to humans, but we're not in the practice of eating deer brains, so there are no confirmed cases. All of the states with CWD have advisories on reducing the risk with consumption. Eg: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/deer-carc...
Given that we don't really know how CWD is transmitted among animals it is still pretty worrying.
Apparently it's been shown that spiker monkeys can contract it but it hasn't (yet) been shown to be transmitted to humans.
If anyone knows any other good resources or intros, please share as well.
Or am I misunderstanding?
As far as I know, sporadic CWD is relatively uncommon, but given CWD is caused by the PrP protein, and there are a number of known mutations in PrP which can increase its likelihood of undergoing prion-conversion, I'd hope they're going to sequence this animal's PrP gene to see it it shed's some light on the etiology.
Irrespective, this could still mean that CWD is now endemic in Europe.
Updated for clarity and extra info/context (thanks pbhjpbhj!)
CWD: Chronic Wasting Disease (deer-based prion disease - main topic of article)
PrP: The specific prion protein involved here. Note that (confusingly!) prions are both a 'class' of proteins but also refers to a specific protein (PrP).
Prions (class) are proteins which can exist in one of two states. In their soluble form they're happy-go-lucky proteins that are monomeric (i.e. exist as a single unit). However, these soluble-form prions can undergo a conformational change (re-arrange their shape) into a different conformation (the infectious form). The infectious form of the prion can do two specific things: 1) Aggregate (so all the previous soluble prion proteins get stuck into a big wad of protein) 2): Catalyze the conversion of soluble-form prion into the infectious form. Herein lies their infectivity - you get an exponential growth in the number of proteins in the infectious state.
Prions (PrP) is a specific protein found in many higher-order multicellular organisms that is the SPECIFIC protein that causes a range of prion diseases (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), BSE [mad cow], CWD, Scrapie etc). There are species barriers to these diseases, even though the proteins are pretty similar (i.e. humans cannot catch CWD from deer, even though the PrP protein misfolds in CWD and the same human version misfolds in CJD). These species barriers are convenient (!!) but very poorly understood, which is somewhat concerning.
Finally - it's worth point out prions aren't always bad. Fungi use them as a mechanism to facilitate non-genetic heritability/diversity , and we're increasingly finding examples of prion-like mechanisms that facilitate fast and irreversible signalling in cells (e.g. in the inflammation response )
 True, H. L. & Lindquist, S. L. A yeast prion provides a mechanism for genetic variation and phenotypic diversity. Nature 407, 477483 (2000).
 Cai, X. et al. Prion-like polymerization underlies signal transduction in antiviral immune defense and inflammasome activation. Cell 156, 12071222 (2014).
If your product is easily cloned by Amazon, and you cannot afford to sell it for less than Amazon, then you do not deserve to have the dominant market position.
A good, sustainable product is more than just marketing and engineering. It must also be defensible, meaning you need to have an advantage in either product-development (patents, expertise, first-mover advantages) or supply-chain (exclusive manufacturing contracts, access to greater economies of scale). It's almost impossible to beat Amazon in the supply-chain economics, unless you have a highly specialized product and deals with the manufacturer, so you are left to compete in product development. Your product needs to be sufficiently innovative and defensible in order to avoid Amazon cloning it.
Want to write an app that people use on their phone? Awesome. Become an Apple Dev or a Droid Dev. It's the lottery: the providers love you playing, but only about 1-in-100 make it, and "making it" is not about quality. The garden is too big to be manually cultivated, so the winners are the ones that can play the algorithm.
Have a site online you'd like people to visit? If you're advertising it, you're going through Google or Facebook. Just be sure you don't accidentally flip any yellow flags with them. If you do, they can yank your advertising and you're talking to a robot trying to get it back. Unless you're big, of course. Or you can play the algorithm.
How about if you sell a physical product? What if you've been selling it for years? Well, you gotta go to Amazon. They own internet product sales. But guess what? If you switch to a provider, you don't have an email list, you don't have a unique internet address, you don't provide a unique experience, and whatever you do has just become a commodity. And we're back to the algorithm thing again, because if you can source, package, and sell it on Amazon? Somebody else can too. Probably cheaper. Maybe it has high quality parts. Maybe not. There's far too many products for Amazon to manually curate, so you're back to worshiping the algorithm. The algorithm provides traffic, it provides recommendations, it provides an indication of quality text content -- it provides sales.
Make a mistake in the old brick and mortar days? Go change your sign. Deal with complaints through the BBB.
Make a mistake now? Sure, there's recourse. Sometimes. It's all about the algorithm. And we can't tell you what's in the algorithm, because if we did? Everybody would be gaming it. Like they are now.
The algorithm rules all.
Cross it and die.
For a niche product it seems a little odd that Amazon would make their version half the price. Then again, they may argue that theirs is a 'budget' version, and thus it doesn't compete with the original.
CVS a pharmacy in my area does something like this. The slot on the shelf for the brand name product you want is usually empty. The generic CVS brand of that same product is fully stocked right next to it. I sometimes just go to a non-chain pharmacy just so I can get the brand I want.
You go make your stuff in China it's cheap, they have the factories, the facilities. You do well.
Once they, in China and at Amazon, notice that what you're doing is selling quite well they make the same thing and cut you out.
Half their success at breaking into new business is consumer trust / lock-in. ('they already have my address & payment info, let's do business with them again').
The situation isn't as nice for their merchant customers; this is amazon's achilles heel. Companies like crowdsupply are the leading edge of a trend to use logistics & sales smarts to help merchants rather than compete with them.
amazon has ridden the wave of consolidation until now, but let's cross our fingers that the tendency will toggle to diversification.
I'm not being rhetorical, I'm actually asking.
"Company Makes $70M Selling Random Stuff on Amazon" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11186289
I also remember another somewhat 'recent' article about a secretive company doing what AmazonBasics is doing now but I can't locate it.
You know how to combat that, keep the price the same, and make a name for yourself as the best laptop stand around.
People still buy all kinds of US made products even though there are China made versions for 50-70% off.
btw. on the german website the amazon basic thing looks very different when I search for laptop stands (only a direct search 'AmazonBasic laptop stand' would give me the thing in the news and actually even then there is another competitor that isn't Amazon and 10 cheaper than the Rain Design). it is more close to a product by hama which was there LONG LONG before the Rain Design product. Also Rain Design has sometimes flaws. According to buyers, sometimes you get scratches or rough edges. For 50 bucks thats definiv a NoGo!
Episode 586: How Stuff Gets Cheaperhttp://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/11/28/366793693/episo...
If you sell a product on amazon and they decide they want in, you are forced to give them your source or they terminate you. Then they go to your source (or more likely their source) and buy in bulk then undercut you or minimise your listing... and so you are priced out of the market.
And how do you best do that?
Build your own channel and don't depend on Amazon.
There's a reason that in the long run economic profit of firms is theoretically 0. If you're making substantial margin off a product, and doing so in volume, other companies will naturally want to compete with you to sell it. You either have to innovate faster than them (and thus win customer loyalty) or get into a brutal price competition which pushes both your profits to 0.
Keeping your products off Amazon isn't even a defense against this. It's hard to keep a lucrative product secret for long. Cash cows eventually moo.
Your margin is Amazon's opportunity. Get used to it.
Color me shocked.
The Internet has gone from a place with a high barrier of entry (and the interesting characters that self selected for that barrier), to an all encompassing entity with a load of moralisers, businesses and governments fighting over the ability to call the shots.
In its current state, I think it's better to take a step back. View the Internet as an occasional tool for getting things done, rather than a place to live within and rely upon. Let the masses have their addictions fulfilled, while technology enthusiasts move on and enjoy real life.
Social media tries to use it as a "civic compulsion." They say: Hew to our ideology, or you're not allowed to have an online presence. We will shame and destroy your online persona. So much of our culture and commerce is online and digital, this may well feel like banishment to many.
The same progressive movements that railed against the thought control, coercive pressure, and shaming methods of the church and the old cultural establishment have sprouted online movements of predominantly young people who use silencing tactics, banishment from civic organizations, and coercive shaming to further their agenda.
I find this a damn shame, because I count myself as a progressive and across the long arc of history, this only delays substantive progress. It's like trying to invade and occupy a country by holding land with troops. It's expensive, causes great collateral damage, and it turns many potential allies against you. It can "work," but only when you utterly rout the opposition, and even then, it often just plants the seeds for the next set of conflicts.
True activism can't just stop at demonstrations and resignations. It doesn't stop with committees or legislation or court cases. The end goal is to win hearts and minds. Beware of those who say they're winning hearts and minds, but backing it up with coercion. Beware of power, even limited contextual power. Power that lacks self awareness can be locally perilous.
(Really, is that stuff really about justice, or is it about the pleasure of watching someone get their comeuppance? And has our culture degraded to the point where a large fraction of intellectuals are unaware of the difference?)
I like to live a minimalist lifestyle at home and prefer owning as few things as possible. I know many others feel this way too. However, with the internet and computing, ownership is abstract. I become overwhelmed and anxious under the deluge of files, apps, notifications, settings, and upkeep required for it all. I know I am not alone in this. Below is a quotation I loved from Deep Work by Cal Newport:
"These services arent necessarily, as advertised, the lifeblood of our modern connected world. Theyre just products, developed by private companies, funded lavishly, marketed carefully, and designed ultimately to capture then sell your personal information and attention to advertisers. They can be fun, but in the scheme of your life and what you want to accomplish, theyre a lightweight whimsy, one unimportant distraction among many threatening to derail you from something deeper. Or maybe social media tools are at the core of your existence. You wont know either way until you sample life without them."
Newport, Cal (2016-01-05). Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (p. 209). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.
> Well maybe they should consider this for a moment. Who most wants you to stay on the grid? The advertisers. Your boss. Human Resources. The advertisers. Your parents (irony of ironies once they distrusted it, now they need to tag you electronically, share your Facebook photos and message you to death). The advertisers. The government. Your local authority. Your school. Advertisers.
Really? "The man wants you on the internet, so you should stop!" If you avoid the internet just because of this, you're still letting the advertisers, your boss, "the man" make your decisions for you, rather than coming to your own conclusions..
> Remembering what I was like at fifteen, I wriggle pleasurably at the thought of how it would feel in 2016 to tell a teacher that, no, I couldnt possibly e-mail my homework, because I dont have e-mail:
> Im not on your email, miss/sir.
> Dont be absurd, Stephen. Email me the essay as soon as possible.
A bit of a strawman here, isn't it? In what situation would a teacher ever demand you send an assignment ASAP instead of on the assigned due date? And if it's because you've missed the due date, what right do you have to act difficult and decide the medium over which you turn it in? Either accept the failed grade, or play by the rules of the person who is accommodating you.
Self control when it comes to technology is great and all, and if you feel you need or want less than the average person, that's fine. But thinking you're better than everyone else because you refuse to use a tool some people use incorrectly?
edit: this is from http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm
The radical alternative now must be to jack out of the matrix, to go off the grid."
This is awfully regressive, but not only that; it's also foolish. If his point is that by going 'Off The Grid' you can escape these people, he's out of luck- these people are AFK as well as online. Try walking through a major city without seeing a single advert.
If you want to get away from all the shit on the internet, the only way is forwards, not backwards.
These days, I'm realizing more and more that it doesn't sound that crazy in this increasingly dystopian world.
I don't know where he gets this idea. Both the Comp. Sci. and Engineering schools at my university require that all students have a laptop capable of running software related to the coursework (financial aid is available specifically to help meet this requirement). The university also supplies plenty of computer labs. If I insisted on turning in all assignments on paper, I would be laughed at and given failing grades until I was kicked out of school.
The modern world absolutely can and will force you to have an online presence.
If it really has to be there, it would (to my eye) look better to lead with it, i.e. "Stephen Fry: Off the Grid".
It makes me wonder whether a better approach to disconnecting is to set quotas, essentially saying something like "I would like 2 tweets and 1 blog comment to make it to my attention daily -- hide everything else from me for my own sanity."
Well, obviously, and for every generalization concerning a whole generation, you're not, and you're not supposed to be, a person. There's a time to talk of people individually and as persons (e.g. in personal relationships, workplace, etc.) and times to generalize and talk about their collective patterns of behavior.
And those names are not always coming from journalist hacks without "acute cultural observation, sympathy or understanding" either. E.g. "Generation X" came from a member of said generation itself, Douglas Copland, trying to describe how it is for him and his friends.
In any case, "Generation ___" is just a convenient handle to talk about many people together -- its usefulness comes from whether it describes something statistically useful, not from whether it caters to the individuality of each unique snowflake person (and of course most just delude themselves that they are that, while following very similar paths with their generation for most things).
>my proudest boast would be: My friends and I, we disappeared ourselves. No social media, no email, no chat, no wifi, no selfies, no SMS, no smartphones. We did it. We did this thing. We Got Off The Grid.
I'd say this again underestimates how many people are "off the grid" (even if they have internet at home) and don't participate in the whole social media/chat/selfies/etc thing.
This memory of the internet still lives. There are many nooks and crannies that are hard to find as they do not show up on facebook, reddit etc. Lots of independent, wacky, controversial, illegal and subversive sites are alive and kicking.
In the earlier days, I suppose due to lack of volume, it was a lot easier to find these places.
"durr hburr technology is bad fire is scary and thomas edison was a witch"
email is fine once you have filtered out all the spam and dicks who put everyone on cc.
I love music, but I wont be going back to vinal anytime soon, my mp3 collection is fine and much more convenient. Yes MP3 may have cheapened music and there maybe something about removing it from the sleeve, putting it on the turntable and turning it over after 20 minutes but that person is not me.
Same with books, I love reading books, but I am as happy (if not more happy) to do it on a kindle as a 'real' book from the library.
A cell phone is convenient if left on silent or turned off when in company and not continuously checked
I would still want google and wikipedia to do my job and I would still want hackernews to ensure I can see and click on articles like Mr Frys if I so desire, again these should be on-demand not continuous.
I have some beautiful countryside outside my door and I am very happy to step away from all this and into it as often as I can.
One of the better discussions of this topic is Vi Hart's explanation of Edmund Snow Carpenter's "They Became What They Beheld".
 almost certainly written with Marshall McLuhan
Is that an insane idea?
The ad midway probably has something to do with numbers, where 10,000 is better than 100.
A reporter asked a Girl Scout whether the cookies they were selling were healthy. She just said, "Don't eat the whole box."
Technology is like relationships, they get better after you develop good boundaries. If you can't trust yourself with cookies, don't keep cookies in the house. But really, you should just work on not being a slave to food. Or Facebook.
Nothing about technology actually keeps you from interacting more deeply with others. You do that to yourself. You can't blame food for making you fat.
A very unrealistic assumption.
I respect what he's getting at, but this is all sorts of backwards for someone who wrote an earlier paragraph about escaping the eye of advertisers (and presumably surveillance)
During my off-grid time, I found I was more productive in terms of thinking and getting my side projects done.
I was able to read more paper books as well as just enjoy life and nature.
Logans Run, Zardoz, Soylent Green, Fahrenheit 451
Ah Zardoz Nothing beats Sean Connery running around in weird sci-fi shorts. Also, Beethoven.
Read your terms of enlistment, soldier. They can and they do.
How does handing in an essay on paper 'fight the power'? Paper is just as corrupted as the Web. Anecdote: a couple of years ago, before a long coach journey, I decided to buy a pen and paper so I could pass the time writing, drawing, mathematical playing, etc. In the centre of a large city (Birmingham, UK) it took me about half an hour to find anywhere which sold blank paper rather than pre-printed magazines/newspapers/books/etc. (I eventually found some in Poundland; an underrated shop IMHO). I nearly missed the coach.
Rejecting technologies, like email, is self-flagellation. Whether a teacher can or can't force a student to have an email address is irrelevant; all that's needed is to SMTP the server with a syntactically-valid FROM address, like "email@example.com". There is no requirement for that address to even resolve, let alone for it to accept mail and make it available to you. So what if you get marked as spam, that's always a hazard even from established providers.
Likewise, if someone wants to make something available to you via email, there's nothing stopping the use of a one-time-only address, e.g. mailinator.com or something similar with a password, that disappears after 24 hours.
To refuse email in such a way is like refusing to write English in left-to-right order; or using a fountain pen full of invisible ink: it's petty and silly, which is fine if that's your intention, but as a serious statement it achieves nothing.
In contrast, refusing control by "The Corporation" is definitely a Good Thing (TM). It's why I've never used Facebook, Bebo, or any of those other register-to-view silos and never will. It's why I deleted my Twitter account after their chilling meeting with the UK government after the 2011 riots. It's why I host my own blog, Git repos and anything else I would miss if it were deleted. It's why I use only FOSS software, on machines which require no driver blobs or proprietary BIOS (except for the GSM driver on my OpenMoko; I'd be glad to hear of any alternatives). It's why I download videos from YouTube, iPlayer, etc. to watch in the ways that I want to (which may be several decades after those services collapse). It's why I use ad blockers, NoScript, hosts file blacklists, etc. It's why I only turn on my smartphone (OpenMoko running Debian) occasionally, when someone asks me to expect a message from them. And so on.
It's often said that technology is neither good nor bad, only its uses are. Ignoring the "bad" uses of technology doesn't require abandoning the technology itself. The article decries "digging up Wikipedia and planting cabbages over it", but there are also many other areas of the Web which aren't "bullying and wheedling and neediness.. invisible selling... loveless flirting and cowardly mocking... unbearable long silences and the ceaseless screaming chatter... vengeful rivalries... frenzied desperation and ...wrenching loneliness.". Does "jacking out" make those things stop? No, it's just ignoring them. So why not just ignore them without "jacking out"?
Did the youth of the 1950s rebel against authority by hammering on harsichords in their stagecoaches? No, they blared the sound of electric guitars, transmitted via radio, from cars. Refusing to conform to the new normal by staying with the old normal isn't being rebellious; being rebellious is using the new to create some unfathomable anithesis of normal. That's what I love about Open Source, on top of the fundamental rights provided by Free Software: the bazaars surrounding the cathedrals. Yes, FOSS gives us LibreOffice to file our tax returns; but it also lets us connect a GPU-backed deep learning library to a 3D-printed robots, via software-defined radio running on openly-programmed FPGAs, so we can.... I don't know, because it's so new!
When studying Physics as an undergraduate, our lab sessions gave training on how to analyse experimental results using Microsoft Excel. I refused to participate, claiming that the scientific process should not be beholden to the unknown inner workings of a proprietary, black-box application with an exclusionary EULA and known bugs. I performed all of the required analysis on the course using Gnumeric and Python instead. Whilst still quite petty, I still believe that was still a far stronger message than not using email from a residence with broadband-connected computers.
On to other news ...
How about #Microsoft releasing and open sourcing .NET Core http://docs.asp.net/en/latest/conceptual-overview/dotnetcore... and https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/dotnet/2014/11/12/net-core-...
(?) Where has our community gone :/