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Facebook Messenger begins testing end-to-end encryption using Signal Protocol whispersystems.org
618 points by mayneack  2 days ago   290 comments top 47
alva 2 days ago 15 replies      
From what is written, I understand this to mean that users can select this feature for specific conversations. That not all messages are subject to this encryption.

I am not usually one for paranoia, but is anyone else becoming more suspicious about Facebooks motivations and involvement with gov? This feature is a massive boost for intelligence services dealing with unsophisticated actors. This reduces the haystack significantly, by users self flagging messages that may be incriminating. Multi-millions of FB messages must be sent every day, brute-forcing encryption on all of these is probably not possible. A small % marked as 'secret conversation'? Much easier.

Why doesn't FB just apply encryption on all messages? Surely they have the resources avail. Is it because this feature makes somebody else's job a lot easier?If my suspicions are correct, what sort of threats would this pick up. Are serious threats likely to use FB messages with 'secret conversation' flagged to co-ordinate actions?

Techbrunch 2 days ago 3 replies      
Reasons from not enabling it by default by @alexstamos (CSO @ Facebook):

- FBM is multi-device, and we'd like to see E2E usability improve to support this. For now, pick one device and keys never leave it

- Secret conversations don't currently support popular features like searching message history, switching devices, voice/video, etc

- Hundreds of millions use Messenger from a web browser. No secure way to verify code or store keys without routing through mobile.

"We don't want to disrupt people's current experience."

Source: https://twitter.com/alexstamos

etiam 2 days ago 3 replies      
"End-To-End Encrypted Secret Conversations" in software that is ordinarily used to harvest electronic phone books and rummage through user photos, from a company that made its whole fortune trying to obliterate privacy as a part of human culture?

It's going to be pretty high standards of proof to give this anything that resembles credibility.

sigmar 2 days ago 2 replies      
This article doesn't mention it, but Facebook Messenger will be using the Signal protocol: https://whispersystems.org/blog/facebook-messenger/

also, here is the white paper (from the above post): https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/secret_conv...

r2dnb 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've read the whole thread and I'm surprised that nobody mentionned how easy it would be for Facebook to store the secret keys.

Page 10 of the white paper mentions that there is a remote key stored on Facebook servers which can be used to decrypt the local key. If Facebook still is to be trusted, I don't see what's the deal here.

I think that as soon as you put the words "end-to-end" encryption on a marketing material, you have to be ready to open-source your client. This is the cost that companies aiming to be credible can't escape.

End-to-end encryption without open-source has no value. It is a waste of energy for the company doing that too - or perhaps a marketing cost.

agd 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's worth remembering that this does not protect metadata. It's believed (though not known for sure) that WhatsApp logs metadata for their encrypted messages, and it looks like Facebook do the same here.

If you want to resist mass surveillance this is not a good solution.

SixSigma 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm still sticking with the website version, thanks


Messenger, Facebook

This app has access to:


 find accounts on the device read your own contact card add or remove accounts

 find accounts on the device read your contacts modify your contacts

 precise location (GPS and network-based) approximate location (network-based)

 edit your text messages (SMS or MMS) receive text messages (SMS) send SMS messages read your text messages (SMS or MMS) receive text messages (MMS)

 read phone status and identity read call log directly call phone numbers reroute outgoing calls
Photos / Media / Files

 modify or delete the contents of your USB storage read the contents of your USB storage

 modify or delete the contents of your USB storage read the contents of your USB storage

 take pictures and videos

 record audio
Wi-Fi connection information

 view Wi-Fi connections
Device ID & call information

 read phone status and identity

 receive data from Internet download files without notification control vibration run at startup draw over other apps pair with Bluetooth devices send sticky broadcast create accounts and set passwords change network connectivity prevent device from sleeping install shortcuts read battery statistics read sync settings toggle sync on and off read Google service configuration view network connections change your audio settings full network access

eyeareque 2 days ago 2 replies      
Moxie and team, bravo. You've made the snoopers jobs a whole lot harder.

Your goal of making encryption easy to use by the masses is coming come true. It looks as if PGP's days are numbered.

cdown 2 days ago 0 replies      
jalami 2 days ago 0 replies      
If the messenger is not open sourced, it's trivial for Facebook to add something to the client binary (now, with a flag or at some later date) before the Signal libraries are hit. I'm not saying they are doing so, but without a clear way to verify continually, this is just short of security theater. Then there's Facebook facilitating the key exchange which of course is another blind trust as well as all the juicy meta data. Maybe this will quiet some of the nerves of privacy conscious individuals already on the network, but it seems to me more like a marketing label.

I still find it hard to believe so many people trust what they believe to be private communication with close-lipped advertisement companies.

eganist 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not immediately seeing any insight into whether this covers conversations initiated in-browser. If this does exist, it'd be interesting to see how they've tackled the security of crypto logic in-browser and compare it to what Cyph has in place for in-browser code signing.

Reading the technical docs now (https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/secret_conv...).

Edit: Yep, this seems device-to-device; there doesn't seem to be a web component here. Still useful given how many people use messenger primarily via phone, and I suspect implementation wasn't hard given WhatsApp did it first. It would be neat to see if Messenger and WhatsApp are ever bridged through this.

grandalf 2 days ago 0 replies      
While this is a great step, let's not forget that all FB has to do is track who chooses to use encryption and it can easily use that metadata to aid law enforcement.
ge0rg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now that the Signal Protocol is deployed in so many different places, is there a proper specification of the (current) protocol? (The old axolotl spec and the GPL implementation don't qualify)

What are the licensing conditions / restrictions for using the protocol?

AdmiralAsshat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Genuinely thrilled to see the Signal protocol adopted for Facebook and Google stuff (albeit optionally). Now if we can just get Microsoft and Amazon to hop on-board, we might actually have a shot at getting this standard to be pervasive.
marak830 2 days ago 2 replies      
Last I heard, didn't their messenger app pull a ton of not required permissions on Android?
jswny 2 days ago 2 replies      
As much as this is a step in the right direction, you have to specifically enable encryption for individual conversations in Messenger. This implementation seems a little sketchy to me. They really should just encrypt every conversation automatically. Otherwise, encryption only encourages scrutiny.
znpy 2 days ago 0 replies      
When it was still possible to use the Facebook chat via XMPP I used to use Pidgin as client, and chat securely using the Pidgin OTR plugin.

Message appeared in the Facebook page as "encrypted message".

I guess you hardly can get better than this.

shmapf 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've been wondering about this for a while.

Now both whatsapp and Facebook have this, but surely they have the encryption keys too, or how else would they seamlessly fetch your messages and decrypt them when you get a new phone?

If they do, then what's the point?

em3rgent0rdr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'll use if could communicate with non-Facebook programs implementing Signal protocol.
anotheryou 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be very glad. I keep facebook for the people who don't have any proper IM (and for the in my view much more legit micro blogging on FB).

I'm scared of what will be possible to extract from my chat logs in a few years, but the benefit of being able to IM people that only have FB feels greater right now.

Biggest problem I see so far is the multiple devices issue, but for most it will be just Desktop and Mobile, so why can't you send each message twice, encrypted separately for each device (automatically, not manually)? Does OTR3 have this feature?

em3rgent0rdr 2 days ago 1 reply      
How can I verify my device is indeed running the signal protocol? Messenger is a proprietary app.
myf 2 days ago 0 replies      
dumb question: how do we (know|prove) a message is encrypted with signal when we use facebook, google allo etc. etc.
dang 2 days ago 0 replies      
A user complained that the title was misleading compared to https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/07/messenger-starts-testin..., so we replaced "deploys" with "begins testing" above. If someone suggests a better (i.e. more accurate and neutral) title, we can change it again.
amq 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would still use other means of communication for something really private until this becomes the default, because by opting-in I would essentially mark myself as suspicious.
jsn117 2 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook still keeps the messages, and uses the App to track you. Unless the Signal protocol is against FB itself, I don't see how this is news.
secfirstmd 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder by "end-to-end" do they mean they will be implementing Signal Protocol, that would be a pretty awesome increase in security (for most peoples threat models)...WhisperSystems are genuinely amazing at what they do, they have like less than 5 staff and very little budget but they are literally saving hundreds if not thousands of lives. Any chance some rich HN member will recognise this and open up the chequebook to OWS?
uola 2 days ago 1 reply      
One thing I don't understand how Signal implemented by platform providers is supposed to work with lawful interception? Either it doesn't work, in which case we expect law enforcement to just give up the right to wiretap things with a warrant (which seems unlikely) or it does work and is less private than one would expect.
Sir_Substance 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's great! Since they're thinking of rolling out a (relatively) standard protocol, maybe we could have the ability to message our friends on facebook from other services again?

Ya know, now that it won't be such a pain to support another protocol and all, since they're doing it anyway.

birdmanjeremy 2 days ago 0 replies      
If this is why they are pushing me away from using messenger in the mobile browser, I'm suddenly way less upset.
curiousgal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I downloaded Signal only to find out it doesn't support phones with dual SIM cards when sending unsecured SMS.
xnull2guest 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah no thanks. I don't trust Facebook with anything. I consider any software touched by Facebook backdoored.

They deserve that reputation.

akerro 2 days ago 0 replies      
So what. It's metadata that counts.
sandstrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome news!

They should call it 'private conversations' instead of 'secret conversations' though.

Tharkun 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is worse than useless as it doesn't encrypt browser initiated messages and doesn't work cross device. It's yet another attempt to force FB users to switch to the very shady FB Messenger app. I'm still not touching it with a ten foot pole.
free2rhyme214 2 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook took the same route as Google by providing secret conversations. However you look at this, this is a good step in the right direction. I still prefer Whatsapp and Signal because they both use E2E encryption by default.
em3rgent0rdr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ill try Facebook messenger on emulated android without a google account. Not a chance that I share all my phone contacts and everything else in permissions, simply so I can talk privately with my friends that are stuck in Facebook.
kalsk 2 days ago 1 reply      
How susceptible is this Signal Protocol to a man-in-the-middle attack? Because if Facebook is going to be the man in the middle, then this feature is pointless.
hatsunearu 2 days ago 0 replies      
End to End as in from Facebook user to Facebook user?

This is insane--I thought the whole model of Facebook chat was that they are grabbing all sorts of info from the messages for ads. What the fuck?

DavidWanjiru 2 days ago 0 replies      
Me, if I was working at Facebook, I'd have called it "Private Conversations." But hey, what's in a name?
justcommenting 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos to moxie for building free alternatives that people (Signal) and companies (Signal Protocol) can freely choose.
dylanops 2 days ago 1 reply      
Telegram needs you to opt in too, I though?
awqrre 1 day ago 0 replies      
But the Facebook app and Android still have access to unencrypted messages ...
thefastlane 2 days ago 2 replies      
what's the difference between

- Messenger

- plain vanilla messages i get in Facebook web site

- 'chat' messages, were I to turn on 'chat' in Facebook web site

i'm not asking rhetorically. i honestly can't keep up with all the messaging avenues availabale today...

calinet6 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can't stop the Signal.


jswny 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm really skeptical about this. First of all, Facebook collects more user data than just about any company out there. They make most of their money off of advertising and harvesting user data and metadata. Facebook is just about the last company I'd trust to encrypt data of mine. It's like them saying, "hey, I know we make most of our revenue off of collecting user data but I think we should throw away a huge portion of that."

Additionally, from what I've gathered, they are going to role this out so that you have to specifically tell Messenger you want to encrypt a chat. Why would they not just make encryption universal? If anything, this makes it even easier for the government or other entities to target "suspicious activity." I'm far too skeptical of Facebook and how they are going about this whole process to be happy about it.

eps 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this some sort of elborate trolling?

Can an exact match for a FB-provided binary be recreated from the open source code? If it's a No, then it's back to trusting FB to do the right thing and it doesn't make a slightest difference what exact protocol it's running or if the source was peer-reviewed behind closed doors.

danesparza 2 days ago 3 replies      
So ... no comment on the choice of picture in the blog post? I hadn't heard of Jules Bonnot, but found the wikipedia article illuminating: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Bonnot

This seems like it's a subtle endorsement for using Open Whisper Systems for criminal activities. Is it just me, or does that seem like the wrong image to gravitate towards?

Apollo 11 Guidance Computer source code github.com
637 points by uptown  3 days ago   139 comments top 37
blueintegral 3 days ago 3 replies      
Someone opened an issue: "Check continuity on O2 cryogenic tanks before allowing stir"


js2 3 days ago 5 replies      
elcapitan 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is amazing and contains so many gems.

I think this one is my favorite module:https://github.com/chrislgarry/Apollo-11/blob/master/THE_LUN...


jdimov10 3 days ago 0 replies      
From the code comments:

"This source code has been transcribed or otherwise adapted from digitized images of a hardcopy from the MIT Museum. The digitization was performed by Paul Fjeld, and arranged for by Deborah Douglas of the Museum. Many thanks to both. The images (with suitable reduction in storage size and consequent reduction in image quality as well) are available online at www.ibiblio.org/apollo. "

I mean, I realise that this is the least of the amazing achievements we're talking about here, but yea.. respect :)

sgt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Take note of the KALMAN_FILTER.s source code file. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalman_filter for details. The filter is named after Rudolf Kalman who recently passed away. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_E._K%C3%A1lm%C3%A1n)
sjtgraham 3 days ago 5 replies      
BURN_BABY_BURN--MASTER_IGNITION_ROUTINE.s - https://github.com/chrislgarry/Apollo-11/blob/dc4ea6735c4646...
Animats 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's a simulator, if you want to run it.[1] But it's just a simulator for the computer; there's no spacecraft attached.

There's a mod for Kerbal Space Program which gives it real solar system planets and dimensions. (KSP's world is way undersized so things happen faster.)[2]

There's another mod for Kerbal Space Program to give it real dynamics.[3] (KSP doesn't really do dynamics right; the spacecraft is under the gravitational influence of only one body at a time. This is why there's that sudden trajectory change upon Mun capture.)

Someone should hook all that together and do a moon landing in simulation.

[1] http://svtsim.com/moonjs/agc.html[2] https://www.reddit.com/r/KerbalSpaceProgram/comments/1piaqi/...[3] http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/62205-w...

uptown 3 days ago 3 replies      
Love this line:


ianbertolacci 3 days ago 2 replies      
Have they considered rewriting it in rust?
libria 3 days ago 0 replies      

The 1969 version of "This should never happen".


brendangregg 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's amazing that this is all online now, and easy to browse. Lots of source here too http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/links.html

FWIW, I did performance analysis of the guidance computer and the 1202 and 1201 alarms at the start of my ACM Applicative 2016 keynote: https://youtu.be/eO94l0aGLCA?t=4m38s

Practicality 3 days ago 0 replies      

I want to just leave comments like this and have users be responsible for avoiding said chaos.

EvanAnderson 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to me that the AGC contains an implementation of a virtual machine that is used to perform the higher-level mathematical functions (called 'The Interpreter'). Some details are available in this PDF starting on page 74: http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/NARA-SW/E-2052.pdf

It would be fun to do some research into the embedding of higher-level virtual machines in earlier computers. I'm thinking of 'The Interpreter' in the AGC as being an ancestor to 'SWEET16' in the Apple II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWEET16), or the 'Graphic Programming Language' (http://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/gpl.htm) in the TI-99/4A.

WhitneyLand 3 days ago 0 replies      
In case you're wondering what hardware this source code is for:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was a digital computer produced for the Apollo program that was installed on board each Apollo Command Module (CM) and Lunar Module (LM). The AGC provided computation and electronic interfaces for guidance, navigation, and control of the spacecraft. The AGC had a 16-bit word length, with 15 data bits and one parity bit. Most of the software on the AGC was stored in a special read only memory known as core rope memory, fashioned by weaving wires through magnetic cores, though a small amount of read-write core memory was provided.

stuxnet79 3 days ago 4 replies      
Other than gaining satisfaction from the historical importance of this code is there any conceivable way we can get some use of it - like try it out.

Even setting that aside, what is it I'm looking at? Assembly?

sixothree 3 days ago 3 replies      
What was the development environment like for this code?
hcrisp 3 days ago 0 replies      
"It is correct to say that we landed on the moon with 152 Kbytes of onboard computer memory." - Don Eyles

Ref: http://www.doneyles.com/LM/Tales.html


jonathankoren 3 days ago 0 replies      
I recommend reading Digital Apollo[0] about the development of the computer, and actually the entire man-machine interface of early spaceflight. The machines were made in the milieu where computer mediated control was highly controversial. (e.g. "A machine might work when everything is fine, but will never work in an emergency.") Essentially there was huge argument between pilots and engineers, about how much automation should be done. It was so bad, that pilots even tried to insist on flying the rocket into orbit. (If I recall correctly, in simulations in a centrifuge, only Armstrong was able to successfully not crash the Saturn V in a manually controlled ascent.)

The other recurring theme in the book is the disturbingly short MTTF for flight computers during the mid 1960s. Statistically, NASA had to plan for a computer failure in route to the moon, and so repair-vs-replace became a serious issue. (Yeah, they seriously considered soldering in zero-g.)

[0] http://web.mit.edu/digitalapollo/

fergyfresh 3 days ago 1 reply      
Alright, who wants to make a video game using this source code with me?
emcrazyone 3 days ago 1 reply      
I often wonder about the electronics of 1969 and what was done to mitigate radiation problems.

For instance, the type of memory was called core rope memory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

For anyone interested, XPrize winner Karsten Becker talks to popular youtube blogger David Jones about radiation, extreme heat & cold in space and specifically talks about bit flip and how electronic parts are sourced for such endeavors.


Interesting to me was the "paper work" cited in the interview for space harden components. In other words, people are concerned with stuff falling back to Earth (wouldn't it burn up?) or used for not so friendly purposes (war).

wepple 3 days ago 0 replies      
2.048MHz clock

16-bit wordlength

2048 words of RAM (4k 'bytes'/octets) using magnets?!

36,864 words of ROM

Ok this is a actually a really interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

crocal 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is this what I think it is?


akshatpradhan 3 days ago 2 replies      
If this were to be rewritten in a high level language, I wonder what would it look like?
alehander42 3 days ago 6 replies      
people could've really used a higher-level language compiling to optimized AGC(apollo computer) assembly. Is there any reason why they didn't develop one? It seems it would've helped tremendously with the productivity and verification (and a lot of the explanations and equations would be readable as code, not as an non-executed comment)
lukateake 2 days ago 1 reply      
I will now be adding this comment to all of my code: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE


burnbabyburn 3 days ago 3 replies      
#NOLI SE TANGEREthis should be noli me tangere, shouldn't it?
yeukhon 3 days ago 0 replies      
So how did this guy get the source code and why is he the one publishing it?
nerdy 3 days ago 0 replies      
How about the code apparently marked for deletion? https://github.com/chrislgarry/Apollo-11/blob/dc4ea6735c4646...

I've often wondered many things about the cleanliness, maintainability and style of such code (this particular system, in fact). It's fun to be able to actually poke through it.

strgrd 3 days ago 1 reply      
intrasight 3 days ago 1 reply      
No credit to Margaret Hamilton?
_pmf_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to be entertained really, really well, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sso4HtvJsw

It's an incredibly well done and at times hilarious narration of the moon mission. (Spoiler: contains a part where Armstrong overrides the automatic control and lands manually)

This is probably my favorite presentation ever.

userbinator 2 days ago 0 replies      
Schematics are also available for the hardware it runs on:


The CPU is built entirely from 3-input NOR gates.

j1vms 3 days ago 1 reply      
A less important aside: what license is this available under? Or what's the history behind this source release?

Edit: .s files indicate:

# Copyright:Public domain.

artellectual 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow this is surreal. I can't believe I'm seeing this. It's historical, thank you for sharing.
bitfox 2 days ago 0 replies      
What if you'll receive a pull request?
therobot24 3 days ago 0 replies      
this is super cool, awesome post
vun87 3 days ago 0 replies      
it's amazing they ever got anything to fly
Writing a video chat application from the ground up, part 1 bengarney.com
577 points by kimburgess  3 days ago   54 comments top 18
perplexes 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is wonderful. I read the whole series in one sitting. It actually made video codecs feel way more approachable, rather than some patented black box magic I'll never understand.

It also reminded me of a recent article talking about how you can break audio codecs by guessing which quantizer was used by the packet, then using it in reverse to produce speech! Which I suppose is obvious in retrospect, that lossy codecs are trying to compress data by making it perceptually similar, whatever the domain.

I also appreciated the ties to video game networking. Gaffer on Games has had a long-running series on designing multiplayer networking protocols with UDP and you two approach bit-shaving very similarly (unsurprisingly I suppose - it's a very specific process with its own tools).

Anyway, thank you! I learned a lot.

munificent 3 days ago 1 reply      
My absolute favorite kind of writing is the kind that leaves me itching to try coding something myself since it now seems so much more approachable than it did before. Though I knew a bit about encoding, I never would have thought to build something like this, and yet now I find myself wishing I could carve out some time to try.

Great job!

Sanddancer 3 days ago 3 replies      
If I may, I'd like to inject a plea for sanity here. Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, don't reinvent the wheel when it comes to chat protocols. Right now, on my desktop, I have 5 different windows open dedicated to various chat networks and chat protocols. I have steam chat, a window with my irssi session, a pidgin session with connections to a slack session and an aim session, a telegram session, and a skype session. Yes, implementing someone else's protocols is complicated and sometimes painful, but when you end up needing a half dozen different /types/ of connections, there is something wrong and broken with how we're approaching the whole talk to other people thing.
Someone1234 3 days ago 1 reply      
So all four parts are available, just click on the link in the last paragraph to go to the next.

I love projects/blogs like this, since it is "back to the basics" and we all learn something by better understanding how things from codecs, to compression, and so on work. This one is wonderful and one of the best reads this week.

sim- 2 days ago 0 replies      
While TCP is not ideal for this application by nature of it trying to be a fully reliable stream protocol, one often overlooked advantage of its congestion control is that it allows the stream to play nicely with others. For example, if you develop a datagram-based transport whose data rate results in congestion at some point in the network path, any TCP going through the same point would back off to nearly nothing in an attempt to save the link.

You can be greedy and take the bandwidth anyway at the expense of everything else, but possibly (in some conditions) this may even cause a worse outcome even for your traffic. It's likely better to change your data rate target and drop rarely than to send too much and drop randomly at a higher rate.

fovc 3 days ago 0 replies      
The series was amazing. Could not stop clicking through. I was sorely let down at the end when there was no more to read. Also when it didn't turn into an open-source high-performing P2P video conferencing app :)
ape4 3 days ago 1 reply      
Like the idea of the codec: trying to minimize the error
CorvusCrypto 3 days ago 0 replies      
This intro (and series as a whole) was AWESOME! My background didn't really touch on compression at all and these parts were what I really loved learning from the post. More please! (Any other resources for compression are welcome :D)
lisper 3 days ago 0 replies      
Same story submitted eight hours earlier: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12047710#12050483
dopeboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Really neat. Reminded me of a live stream video conference system I built for an embedded systems course a long time ago: http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~sedwards/classes/2009/4840/repor...

As far as I remember, bandwidth was moreorless unlimited. It was nasty syncing issues I remember giving me nightmares.

ausjke 3 days ago 1 reply      
Are there any code available somewhere and is this Windows-only?
cm3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Regarding overhead of H.264 and VP9, using Intel's QuickSync or AMD's VCE would make sense in a production version, in order to have a fast implementation. That's VAAPI (and maybe VDPAU) on Linux and BSD. The encoders' output will look good enough for video streaming.
fmilne 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for writing this, I learned a lot! Last weekend I started a peer-to-peer group video calling project. Seeing your whole approach made the entire system easier to understand.
Keyframe 3 days ago 1 reply      
imgui is great, but I have a bit of an allergy on C++. There's Nuklear https://github.com/vurtun/nuklear which is a re-take on it, but in ANSI C. It's interesting to see GUI rendering takes so much of your processing time slot, or is it that everything else is so little?
ww520 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is excellent. It's not often to see a technical in depth posting.

The Dear ImGui library looks excellent with simplicity.

felix_thursday 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is incredible. Nice, succinct post, too.
zk00006 2 days ago 0 replies      
Inspired by Silicon Valley?
joncrane 3 days ago 1 reply      
When I read the headline all I could think about was Dinesh from Silicon Valley writing a blog and bragging about his video chat project.
Coursera courses preserved by Archive Team archive.org
490 points by mihaitodor  1 day ago   74 comments top 23
white-flame 1 day ago 10 replies      
It's great that there's a central place for this, at least once it's organized sensibly.

The stupidest, most counter-productive aspect of all these MOOC systems is the artificial schedule imposed on the course. While I've been able to take a couple to completion, I've had to let some by the wayside due to scheduling. Once that happens, you're disincentivized to catch up because of being behind and those that affect scoring. When I've gone back to finish courses that I had to leave by the wayside for the moment, sometimes I've lost access to the materials because the course has shifted to its next "semester". There's absolutely no reason for that. While there are a few courses like music or writing where you are collaborating or cross-reviewing other people's work, most of them are standalone lectures, homework, and tests.

dhawalhs 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those unaware, Coursera shutdown their old platform on Jun 30th [1].

Many of the courses on the old platform are slowly coming back on the new platform. When I built the list [2] of courses on the old platform the course count was 472, now its around 390. Some of the notables that I was excited to see come back are:

Neural Networks for Machine Learning with Geoffrey Hinton [3]

Computer Architecture from Princeton [4]

Programming Languages from UW by Dan Grossman [5]

Introduction to Natural Language Processing by Dragomir Radev [6]

Many of these courses were last offered a couple of years ago. Hopefully more courses form the list [2] start coming back.

[1] https://www.class-central.com/report/coursera-old-platform-s...

[2] https://www.class-central.com/collection/coursera-old-stack-...

[3] https://www.coursera.org/learn/neural-networks

[4] https://www.coursera.org/learn/comparch

[5] https://www.coursera.org/learn/programming-languages

[6] https://www.coursera.org/learn/natural-language-processing

Rondom 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you want to help Archive Team in its efforts to preserve disappearing content and have some bandwidth to spare:Run an "Archive Team Warrior"-Appliance! This way you can help downloading all this content that is about to disappear!

Or do you have some Digital Ocean promotional credits left, that are about to expire? Spin up a (few) VMs with docker-containers running the warrior on DigitalOcean!


peatfreak 1 day ago 2 replies      
You know what would be AMAZING? If there was a Coursera course (or some other MOOC course, books, etc) that explains how archive.org works from the foundational technologies upwards. So, like, you could build your own mini version of archive.org as an exercise. It'd be a fascinating project and could be a great case study in web archiving techniques and information retrieval. Does anything like this exist already?
nym 1 day ago 0 replies      
Archive.org accepts all kinds of donations.


Credit Card, PayPal, Bitcoin. Brewster is an amazing Steward of the Internet Archive.

Video Tour: https://vimeo.com/59207751

sharmi 1 day ago 3 replies      
All the names are 'Coursera Curses' instead of 'Coursera Courses'. Someone there must have been really upset with Coursera's approach :) .
marai2 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is incredible, I was just on the Coursera website trying to go to my old courses to continue from where I've left off, but I couldn't get to them. The link to my previously enrolled courses was taking me to the newer version of those courses which haven't started yet. So I thought I'll search HN because I remember reading that someone was archiving these ... and boom! it's the top link on the front page! Yay HackerNews!!! There is some Voodoo-AI going on at HN!
ipsum2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Archive.org does amazing work, I would highly recommend donating to them if you can.
tgarma1234 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have taken a couple of Coursera courses on R and Stats. They basically give you a brief outline of some topics you might want to pursue more in depth and they give you access to a discussion forum. I haven't found that this method of learning/teaching is very useful. There seems to me to be a huge opportunity waiting to be developed if someone can make a site like that but with more interactive elements AND where the learning/teaching is based on sound educational principles that can be demonstrated to effectively result in skills mastery. As it is now, Coursera is basically skimming cash off of the internet's insatiable google searching for information, like for example someone might google "Learn R" and then fall into the trap of paying $49 for a class that consists of nothing but videos really without having a clue about whether or not the videos really work to communicate knowledge or even whether the videos are touching on anything meaningful. If it hadn't been for the "Johns Hopkins Data Science Course" branding on the class I signed up for I wouldn't have fallen for it I am sure.
govindpatel 1 day ago 0 replies      
How can i use this?Those file are so big. Is there is any way I can download only courses which I want?
philippnagel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to torrent/mirror the data from archive.org? Storing all of it in a central repository seems counter-intuitive to me.
616c 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I will now commit to myself and make it known here:

If I am forced to buy one of these new Coursera certs, I will donate every time to the Archive Team.

RCortex 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if they archived the webpages, assignments, and quizzes too? Or did they just manage to download the lecture videos? I'll try downloading it myself and checking, but I don't have the fastest internet connection.
coderdude 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Has this archive been licensed properly? None of the other comments brought this up that I saw and the site doesn't appear to mention licensing whatsoever (which is very odd). I like archive.org but they've always seemed to have had a whatever stance towards licensing and copyright. Is this santioned or just a wild west effort?
unreal37 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a collection of torrent links of copyrighted material? Is that right?

I guess I'm asking, how is this legal?

avodonosov 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would pay several dollars to keep some courses I took in their original form (even archived form, no new edits or posts). I guess many other course participants would too.

That might be a source of income for coursera, probably enough to cover operational expenses of running the old platform with old content.

Joof 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank god. Geoffrey Hinton's RMSProp for deep neural networks is still cited in papers from his slide on his coursera course (the only place it was published AFAIK). It would be a shame to lose that forever.
suyash 21 hours ago 1 reply      
How to tell which class is it though? The title doesn't give away.
gameofdrones 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome to encouraging bitrot.
satyajeet23 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's really amazing.
reachtarunhere 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is great that someone decided to act on it.
enraged_camel 1 day ago 2 replies      
Maybe I'm missing something here... but where are the actual course titles?
chris_wot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whilst I hate some aspects to MOOCs, the fact is that I spent about $120 to learn the basics if SAP, whereas if I'd gotten "proper" training on the same subject matter it would have cost me thousands.

I'd love to see a site that specialises in user contributed content along the lines of Wikipedia. It's funny though - take SAP as an example: I'd be just as happy reading a book that explains it all better than what is out there right now! A book that assumes you are into technology but have little skills or knowledge of the business processes that SAP gets intoned in, and which gives you a rundown of this before giving a detailed rundown on how SAP implements these processes.

Sadly, no such thing exists, but happily for me I stumbled upon http://www.accountingverse.com/ and http://www.accountingcoach.com/ (no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way) and it turns out they didn't cost anything and I finally "get" double-entry book keeping, financial transaction concepts like the general ledger, journal, accrual method and the fundamental accounting equation. Wish I'd known this earlier to be honest - as I say, I lament that there are no books on SAP core modules that go from concepts to the nuts and bolts of how SAP does things :-(

U.S. Bans Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes from Operating Labs for Two Years wsj.com
416 points by kevinnk  2 days ago   268 comments top 23
bane 2 days ago 3 replies      
I hope that Holmes' bizarre behavior as the issues went public keep her from ever running anything even remotely close to things that matter for people's lives and well being.

Even as the questions were building and the noose was tightening, she would announce a public talk to reveal and openly share information on the company's tech, then mysteriously cancel a short while later -- she did this over and over.

I'm still not convinced that Theranos was meant to be a scam, or at least not a scam in the way most people are thinking about it. But it has definitely produced a similar output, and that makes it functionally equivalent.

I hope, really hope, that someday the true story about all the WTF-ness around Holmes and Theranos comes out.

I've been on the inside of a company like this once and I ran away as soon as I realized the place was up to no good. What still bothers me about my personal experience is that I, even as a person on the inside, still don't know the truth about that company due to all the same weird kind of cult of secrecy things we've seen at Theranos. The truth in these kinds of things, I suspect, lives only inside the heads of the people who run these kinds of organizations and it may not ever be possible to get at what the truth actually is depending on how far down the delusion hole they've fallen.

Real kudos to the press who broke and made very public the stories. This was the media at its finest. Those journalists may have helped save many lives.

kumarski 2 days ago 5 replies      
I've talked to over 100 hematologists.

This business, didn't pass a basic litmus test of objective criticism from people who work in the space.

There seems to be this bravado among founders who believe they're sticking it to all the people who say something's amiss. I think if there's an elephant in the room though, it probably should be assassinated with a huge body of transparent evidence.

deftnerd 2 days ago 4 replies      
Sometimes company leaders have severe problems with ethics. As mentioned in other comments, even YC has had companies that have bundled adware/malware with software, practiced dark patterns, hidden news of security breaches, etc.

I tend to see YC as being more "evolved" than other VC's, but I also think that these problems are more ingrained into the human condition.

YC could consider making funding contingent on all high level company officers attend or participate in some kind of ethics course. It could even be remote.

There could also be penalties built into VC agreements. If a company violates contracted ethical rules, then penalties could include replacement of staff, more shares being given to the VC, low share buyback prices for the VC, etc.

It could also be a two-way street. If YC violates some kind of ethical rule, then they could be punished by having to do something for the companies they represent.

Ethics are important but so far they have just been "best practices" in our industry and not something contracted and enforced.

arcticbull 2 days ago 5 replies      
Hear that? That's the sound of $9B in valuation disappearing :| There is really a thin line between delusion and brilliance.
fnbr 2 days ago 4 replies      
I have no sympathy for her. It's incredibly irresponsible to do what she did- play marketing games with medical technology. Theranos' unethical behaviour has made it much more difficult for future innovation in the medical field, and has potentially cost lives. This sanction is appropriate.

My fiancee works as a laboratory scientist in a hospital conducting patient sample testing, and her and her co-workers take their work incredibly seriously- checking, and re-checking their work, with complex protocols to guarantee the accuracy of their testing. It's disappointing to see that same attitude lacking in Theranos.

joeyrideout 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ouch. Sanctions mean "shutting down and subsequently rebuilding the Newark lab from the ground up, rebuilding quality systems, adding highly experienced leadership, personnel and experts, and implementing enhanced quality and training procedures". There is a chance to appeal, but "such appeals have rarely succeeded in the past". Couple that with an "unspecified monetary penalty" and this looks like a very big nail in the Theranos coffin.

Side note: Anyone else have trouble viewing the WSJ article? I had to read the full text through a private news outlet, even though I tried signing in to WSJ with Facebook :/

Edit: Added a sentence of detail to the last paragraph, for those who still can't see the article.

yeukhon 2 days ago 0 replies      
And she went to Stanford? What a joke. Seriously, I am tired and sick of government and regulators not sending people to trials at all. I was watching Elizabeth Warren's hearing in the Senate on finance issues, and she brings up a good point. Wall Street banks have not been punished hard enough. In case of evident and deliberated fraud and cover up, no one was sent to trial. This is stupid.

FYI, I am not the kind of guy goes around and preach about reform. But this shit is stupid as hell. I think major offense like these should be sent to trial or even requires congressional hearing and congressional punishment.

Animats 2 days ago 4 replies      
The WSJ article and the Theranos press release [1] don't agree. There's no mention of the 2-year ban in the press release. The press release indicates it's business as usual for Theranos at their Arizona lab. Supposedly only their Newark (CA) lab is being shut down.

[1] http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160707006570/en/Ther...

redmaverick 2 days ago 0 replies      
The difference between a startup like Theranos/uBeam and a product based "soft"ware company is that in one case you can make outrageous claims and then use sheer determination, will power and lots of money to make it happen retroactively but you cannot change the fundamental laws of nature.
mkagenius 2 days ago 0 replies      
little more text than wsj (unsubscribed): http://medcitynews.com/2016/07/cms-fines-theranos/
dcgudeman 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder how long she will be able to hold the CEO position?
aabajian 2 days ago 1 reply      
The trajectory of this company is just terrible. They surmounted the most difficult obstacle in healthcare - breaking into existing strongholds (e.g. Walgreens). At that point if there was any doubt that their technology worked they should've used existing tools to run their lab tests. Yes they would've lost money, but they could have used the time to build out their rapid technology or pivoted to a different business model. Getting a contract with Walgreens or any major vendor in the healthcare space is an incredible accomplishment, but such unethical behaviour will make it even harder for future startups to secure such partnerships.
jasonlaramburu 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article mentions that the company's current governance structure may prevent the board from terminating Holmes. Does that mean she is the majority shareholder?
josh_carterPDX 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great example of needing to do more due diligence. Walgreens and all of the investors were swept up by the whole "disruption" rhetoric. They should have spent more time understanding how Holmes and her team were going to handle compliance. It's clear none of that was done. This is what happens when disruption pushes back.
sndean 2 days ago 4 replies      
If they're going to ban her from operating labs for two years, does that mean they think she'll be, in some way, rehabilitated and capable of soundly running labs after that?

Maybe there is little precedent, but that length of time seems a bit arbitrary (and too short?).

rgbrenner 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article says it isn't clear what the monetary penalty would be.. but the letter CMS sent to theranos in March (re the newark lab) proposes a 10000$/day penalty for noncompliance that would continue until the lab is brought into compliance.


Fede_V 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm usually a huge fan of pg, but in his essay about founders, there was one section which I wasn't very comfortable with: http://www.paulgraham.com/founders.html

Specifically, when he talks about naughtiness, he says:

Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That's why I'd use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rules, but not rules that matter.

I have absolutely no interest in trying to play language games - and maybe I'm misunderstanding what pg is saying, but it has always seemed to me that the judgement of whether the rule that was broken was consequential or not is post-hoc. For example: had airbnb gotten in serious trouble and floundered in the aftermath of when they started scraping craigslist for listings, they wouldn't be clever and naughty, but reckless and foolish. Had zenefits managed to grow even more or hire some key lobbyists and get the law changed in time, their CEO would be hailed as a visionary genius that cut through pointless red tape.

Anyway: the reason I brought that up is that a lot of the ethically dubious things that Elizabeth Homes did are very similar to things which a lot of tech companies did at one time or another. Trying to push ambitious young men and women to look at rules and regulations as something they should take pride in hacking and bypassing is a dangerous game - even more so in fields that are highly regulated.

Addendum: part of the original hacker ethic was to ignore stupid rules. For example, we take delight in Feynmann cracking safes at Los Alamos, or finding some clever hack to bypass a pointless procedure. However: I think it's one thing to hack a system to make a point about how stupid it is, but it's completely different if you add a monetary incentive, and suddenly the rules that get broken are those that stand in the way of you making money. The two sets have a fairly small overlap.

Addendum two: in a complex society like the one we live in, we have a lot of dumb rules. I'm not trying to defend them - we should obviously get rid of them, even in healthcare. A lot of economists have written intelligently about how to make the approval process of the FDA more agile.

tardo99 2 days ago 0 replies      
Still waiting for the perp walk...
acosmism 2 days ago 0 replies      
hopefully forever!
abpavel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've personally heard Tim Draper blaming regulation for her downfall. So in the eyes of SV giants, it's us and the government who are delusional, and we should let her do her thing.
dannylandau 2 days ago 1 reply      
Schadenfreude is probably merited in this case, but I for one think one needs to consider that this could quickly spiral down and end up in Holmes taking drastic action that we will all regret. Hope my meaning comes through here.
gravypod 2 days ago 3 replies      
I cant read this article. Can someone provide some backstory? What is Theranos? Why was it shut down?
Mozilla could walk away from Yahoo deal and get more than $1B recode.net
420 points by dblohm7  3 days ago   197 comments top 24
chollida1 3 days ago 4 replies      
Wow, I'm really surprised that I've never heard of this before, not because I'm some sort of all knowing cyborg, but because its not like Yahoo acquisition talk just started last week.

This is a company that's essentially had multiple parts of it for sale for the better part of 4 years and this hasn't once come out.

I'm running through all the Yahoo corporate filings that Bloomberg has indexed and I can't find any link to this clause.

I mean this is a very material issue!

If you are to be a share holder in a company that's trying to broker a 3-4 Billion sale of some of its assets, then knowing that the buyer may be on the hook for an additional 1 billion bill probably means that the asset you thought you owned is probably worth 20-25% less than you originally thought.

Someone isn't going to be very happy with the yahoo leadership today:)

jonknee 3 days ago 5 replies      
Marissa Mayer sure makes some interesting contracts. Remember that she was the one who recruited Henrique De Castro from Google and personally got his contract approved by the board (though curiously withholding his name and exact compensation details). He worked at Yahoo for 15 months and earned a $58m severance. That is in addition to the ~$50m he made while working there. Again, in 15 months.


greenspot 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, Marissa Mayer.

That she agreed on Mozilla's change-of-control clauseso Mozilla can just walk away in case of a M&A deal and still get $1Bis simply disconcerting.

I do not have any insights and why she gave in on this point but I know that one of her main skills and responsibilities in her position is to negotiate well and do proper deals. She had to negotiate this change-of-control clause away or to let Mozilla sacrifice on the payout if they walk away. Moreover and considering that Mozilla doesn't have that many financial potential search partner options (Google has been with Chrome rather a competitor for many years now), this should have been possible, I'd assume with my limited knowledge.

I do not like if random forum guys like me are bashing CEOs, I know that this is the toughest job and I don't want to pass judgement on decisions I don't have insights on. But this is really, really weird and Marissa should have known that this bummer will pop up at the next due diligence and create distrust ('are they more time bombs at Yahoo? lets dig deeper') or just reduce the deal value or just increase deal complexity later.

Maybe she didn't think about M&A at that time and she was rather in a fire-and-forget mode but a CEO is always supposed to think about what happens if new shareholders join, about the next due diligence, heck just about the future of the company and eventually, to keep the company always in a proper and clean state and not leaving time bombs for potential successors.

JoshTriplett 3 days ago 1 reply      
A clause like this could actually make sense for negotiation. Consider the following two hypothetical deals from Yahoo's perspective:

- $375M/year to Mozilla, with the clause to keep paying for 3 more years if Mozilla doesn't want to do business with Yahoo's new owner.

- $450M/year to Mozilla, with no such clause.

The former seems like the smarter deal for Yahoo to make if they want to focus on being successful rather than on being bought. It only sounds problematic if you start focusing primarily on getting acquired.

rdtsc 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Mayer has handed out excessively generous deals to many top execs, such as its chief revenue officer Lisa Utzschneider.

Right. Wonder if she honestly thought this would have fixed anything or she knew the train is headed to the final station and just wanted to be surrounded by a group she picked and the only way to get them to do that was was to buy her friends.

It is always fascinating to watch a company like that, and wonder if executives still privately believe it is a salvageable situation or they just put up a face and ride the gravy train with some nice golden parachute contract clauses. They probably have to use euphemisms and hints with the board and other top level people to convey their suspicion of viability, as they don't want to be negative and just too pessimistic as it makes them look like liars in press releases, but they can't also be completely oblivious either, that looks bad as well.

throwaway6497 3 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like everyone gets to milk the Yahoo cash cow - board, investors, business partners, execs, friends of execs and management except engineers. Yahoo still pays engineers terribly hoping to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. Why don't they just give up at this point and expedite selling. Why bother with all the posturing.
ChuckMcM 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think part of this is how much search traffic firefox can swing on the Internet. Remember that Google and Yahoo (and maybe Microsoft's Bing) were probably courting Mozilla for that contract.

In the context of that negotiation I could certainly see it coming up that Yahoo! might be acquired and Mozilla wanted some assurances if they went with Yahoo!. So neither Bing nor Google has that concern, so Yahoo! is the only one exposed.

strictnein 3 days ago 10 replies      
Honest question: what in the world does Mozilla do currently with $375 million a year?
sesutton 3 days ago 6 replies      
With a deal like that what incentive does Mozilla have to not walk away if someone buys Yahoo? They'll get $1.1 billion dollars for free.
seizethecheese 3 days ago 1 reply      
With $1B from a breakup it seems the dominant strategy for Mozilla could be to develop it's own search engine.
xiaoma 3 days ago 2 replies      
>"There is a lot of hair hidden at the company..."

Is this a normal phrase in the enterprise world? I don't think I've ever heard it before.

AdmiralAsshat 3 days ago 5 replies      
Assuming they walk away from Yahoo, though, whom would they select as their next US search partner? Return to Google?
SubiculumCode 3 days ago 0 replies      
Firefox has a great feature where after typing a query a menu of search engines appears immediately below. Very convenient and allows me to mix up my searches across the search engines very nicely and easily. Yahoo got bilked by Mozilla..and probably the best thing Yahoo ever accomplished.
venomsnake 3 days ago 0 replies      
Could that be her attempt at a poison pill? How the *7"( did the board approve that deal?
jMyles 2 days ago 1 reply      
Everyone here is decrying the decision-making process of the CEO - which obviously is already in question - but I'm left pondering a different perspective.

Yahoo has cash. Sure, they're not Apple in terms of liquidity, but they're not a startup either. Mozilla is - and I may need to solicit your agreement here - a Good Thing for the world.

I'm not convinced that being a Bil in the hole to Mozilla is so bad.

By contrast, there are several companies that are, according to some legal theories that may yet prove persuasive in court, in debt this much or more to governments by dint of their offshore accounting practices.

At which company do you prefer to be a shareholder? One which owes Mozilla a billion, or one which very well might owe an armed, hotheaded, unpredictable entity several billion?

Ultimately, if I'm a shareholder (and I'm not), I can forgive a billion dollars to mozilla more easily than the other Yahoo mis-steps.

bobsil1 3 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft offered $44.6B for Yahoo, was turned down and dodged a bullet.
peterjlee 3 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe with all that money they can buy DuckDuckGo and make it the default search engine? It's a risky move though. If DuckDuckGo doesn't workout, they lose the option of switching to another search partner.
shmerl 3 days ago 1 reply      
I hope Yahoo won't abandon search. We need more competition.
paulbjensen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I could understand a break clause based on change of ownership, but the fact that Yahoo would still be obligated to pay is nuts.

Would Mozilla ever want to exercise this clause? I don't know - I wonder how they would react if Verizon/AOL ends up buying them, given that Netscape was bought by them early on.

schnevets 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow! If they received that chunk of change all at once, it could completely change the company. Imagine an endowment of that size, with the investment income being used for Mozilla's maintenance and initiatives.
homero 3 days ago 0 replies      
Where's this money go? I thought many developers were doing it for free. Yet they can't support thunderbird or persona
ekianjo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought yahoo japan was a completely separate entity from yahoo global, why does the article mention softbank at all?
kriro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a reason why Mozilla shouldn't decline and take the money 100% of the time?
microDude 3 days ago 2 replies      
It is very easy for the user to change the default Search Engine for the browser (to say Google or DuckDuckGo). I would think most FireFox users do this... So, $375M/year seems like a very high price for Yahoo to be paying.Is this just a price war between the few search giants trying to keep competitors priced out of the market?
How Trees Calm Us Down newyorker.com
340 points by Vigier  2 days ago   90 comments top 26
eggy 2 days ago 3 replies      
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but moved out to rural NJ in my thirties. I bought a house on a lake with no motorboats, plenty of black bears and raccoons and lots of trees. I now live in the rice fields of East Java, Indonesia, so I guess you can say I love the outdoors.

I do question the science or numbers in the study as much as I believe the basic premise to be true, however, correlation does not automatically imply cause. People suffering more after trees are removed can also mean that urbanization or development brought factories, or unhealthier air, rodents or any number of other negative factors with it.

I do intuitively relax more, and take great solace in my surroundings, and I do believe it is better for people. I would like to see more research on this; there have been a lot of debacles in the past two years in the social sciences and psychology with statistics and peer review. Some of the studies were taken for granted and are now under the microscope for being inconclusive or just wrong.

Yea for trees! And plants, animals and all that entails!

fratlas 2 days ago 2 replies      
I opted for a lower quality apartment this year because all it's windows face vast green fields or trees. The effects are undeniable - some of my favourite times this year have been spent just sitting on my balcony admiring the greenery.
elcapitan 2 days ago 2 replies      
Having trees in the city is nice, and Berlin has an ok level (at least where I live). But I recently started to do long weekend day hikes in the area around the city, and the effect is even better. The constant change of natural forms while moving really frees up my mind and floods it with new impressions that I don't have on my work days. I used to have a meditative effect from running, but it has become a bit too much routine in that regard.

There must be something about "natural forms" (as in varying, not changing, non-rectangular) that creates that feeling.

jmarbach 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read more about The Biophilia Effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophilia_hypothesis
andrewfromx 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Are trees alive?" is the question to ask yourself. They can seem very un-alive to us humans. But when the wind blows and their leaves move you can see it. They are literally WAVING at you. Think back to when you were 8 on the playground and a friendly kid waved at you. Trees just wanna play. But wait you say, that's just the wind. The tree isn't deciding to move like the 8 year old kid decided to wave his/her arms. OR DID the tree purposely make its leaves in a shape to catch the wind and that movement is 100% intentional. When you see it that way you can stare at trees for hours. Also, every single one of those trees is naked. When you are bored/depressed/lonely just stare at trees and giggle.
mkolodny 2 days ago 2 replies      
From what I've seen living in Toronto, NYC and Montreal, streets with nicer houses/apartments tend to have more trees. Those neighborhoods also tend to be quieter.

Take the example of NYC. The Upper East Side and Clinton Hill are two neighborhoods with a relatively large number of trees. Both of those neighborhoods are two of the most expensive and quiet neighborhoods in Manhattan/Brooklyn.

So it could just be that quiet streets and nice houses calm us down. But then again, maybe having more trees is what causes neighborhoods to be nice and quiet. As far as I can tell, it could go either way.

anilgulecha 2 days ago 3 replies      
One hypothesis is that we've also evolved to associate greenery with healthy land and lifestyle. I can see why these signals from millions of years can have the 1% quoted effect.
cantcopy 2 days ago 2 replies      
All of those saying correlation is not causation did not read the article. The study detected an immediate and neasurable effect from just walking among trees.
aaron695 2 days ago 1 reply      
An office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 per cent.......


kkylin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting finding, but the article at least leaves one with more questions than answers (I haven't looked up the original research).

My own personal experience tends to confirm the main point put forth. Indeed, when we moved to the US Southwest several years ago, I thought I would miss oceans the most (having always lived on a coast). But no, I really miss seeing green -- my first time back east after moving here, the impact of seeing all those trees was really tremendous (& positive).

Having said that, the effect mentioned in the study can also be due to the amount of attention that a city street demands, and a lot of other factors. (Walking down Broadway in NYC in the middle of day just isn't the same as strolling through West Village on a Sunday morning!) Not to mention what other commenters have pointed out, e.g., correlation != causality. Quite likely the researchers have thought about this; I would be interested in what they found.

jrcii 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember an explanation for the calming effect of nature by David Allen of Getting Things Done fame. He claims that the environment is too complex so your mind "lets go" he repeats some of that here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20121027044918-402563-david-a... I'm not sure what the basis of that analysis is, but he could be right. I contrast that with the jail from THX 1138 which doesn't seem like it would be relaxing http://nightflight.com/wp-content/uploads/THX-1138-6.jpg
et-al 2 days ago 0 replies      
National Geographic had a similar article earlier this year if you'd like to read more:

"This Is Your Brain on Nature"


kevindeasis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone notice that the sound and atmosphere contributes to their well-being?
patrickk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently visited an abbey in Killarney, Kerry in Ireland. The monks build an enclosed walkway around a very old yew tree, it was fascinating: http://www.killarney.co/muckross-abbey-killarney.html

Perhaps inspired by a similar line of thinking.

jcl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of the walks took place in June, whereas others took place in January; most people didnt particularly enjoy trudging through the harsh Michigan winter, but their scores jumped just as much as in the summer trials.

I found this the most interesting point in the article. I would have assumed that any psychological effect of viewing trees would be largely due to their greenness, since that is their dominant visual aspect. But, assuming a largely deciduous environment, naked trees in winter would seem to have the same effect. So the effect must be stimulated by something deeper than just raw color.

DennisP 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Berman and his colleagues have zeroed in on the low-level visual characteristics that distinguish natural from built environments. To do this, they broke down images into their visual components: the proportion of straight to curved edges, the hue and saturation of the colors, the entropy (a statistical measure of randomness in pixel intensity), and so on."

I wonder whether these principles could be incorporated into architecture and interior design, so we feel like we're in a natural setting even when indoors.

(Even better with trees visible through the windows, of course.)

nichochar 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can never show this to my mother, she was right all along!
ianai 2 days ago 0 replies      
You mean I don't have some mystical connection to the trees and that it's simply burned into my synapses from eons of evolution?!
JustSomeNobody 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I love walking among the southern live oaks around where I live. They're just amazing trees. There was one that got hit by lightening a couple weeks back and split down the middle. I actually felt empathy for it. These trees are usually hundreds of years old.
wodenokoto 2 days ago 3 replies      
A tree on a street is incredibly expensive to maintain. The tree itself need maintaince from a gardner and the surrounding road and sidewalk needs extra maintenence too.
dgudkov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Claude Monet clearly new something about it.
hyperpallium 2 days ago 1 reply      
> twenty per cent better ... on tests of memory and attention

> five times bigger in people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression

ilaksh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Plant fruit and nut trees. This is vastly more useful than trees for the sake of calm.

See permaculture, food security, urban farming, distributed production, decentralization.

Trees for some zen or aesthetic cause is an elitist and ignorant perspective. Land use in suburban environments is extremely poor. Food sustainability is very poor.

Trees are a good starting point to start researching. But there are much more serious reasons than a warm fuzzy feeling.

amelius 2 days ago 2 replies      
I can see a market for a VR movie/game which allows the user to walk/drive through (or just sit in) a forest :)
known 2 days ago 0 replies      
tedks 2 days ago 1 reply      
Correlation is not causation.

Houses on streets with trees are more expensive. People that can afford to live there are healthier for obvious reasons.

Likewise, people that are put into better hospital rooms are probably just patients the hospital is willing to expend more energy on, because they have deeper pockets/are the right ethnicity/are "respectable people" etc..

Is there any non-depressing source of science journalism left in the world?

Corrode: C to Rust translator written in Haskell github.com
380 points by adamnemecek  2 days ago   120 comments top 18
tinco 2 days ago 3 replies      
Absolutely blown away by the detail of the documentation. The main logic of this project is in a literate haskell file you can easily read on GitHub.


I wonder how readable is to someone who isn't experienced in Haskell. To me reads like a breeze, but I have a project using the exact same parsing library so maybe that puts me at an advantage.

The language-c library he uses is an excellent one, it's a fully spec compliant C parser that's well maintained. I've based my C compiler on it and I haven't encountered any C code it couldn't parse yet. One time I upgraded to a new OSX and Apple added some stupid thing to their headers that broke the parser and a fix was merged within days. This means it takes away the entire headache of parsing C leaving just the actual compiling.

pierrec 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was curious about how this worked so I looked into the source a little (even though Haskell isn't exactly my cup of tea), and WOW... This is just amazing. The most important part of the source is highly educative literate haskell:


kerkeslager 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is the coolest thing I've seen on HN in a long time, and useful to boot. Hopefully this will be a very big help to people moving over to Rust from C for its safety and type-checking. In general I don't support rewrites because, as many experienced programmers have pointed out, rewrites often make many of the same mistakes as the program they're rewriting. But transpilation allows us to keep the code with all the fixes to those mistakes.

In theory I'm a big supporter of Rust. I strongly feel that we should be using stronger-typed languages than C for developing security-critical applications, and from the outside, it looks like Rust solves a lot of my criticisms of C without giving up any benefits of C. A transition over to Rust could be a big win for security and reliability of many systems.

However, I'm reluctant to devote time to learning Rust primarily because it's not supported by GCC (or any other GPL compiler that I know of). I hope the next cool thing that that the Rust community does is to continue the work done by Philip Herron[1] on a Rust front-end for GCC. I know the classic response to this is, "Do it yourself!" but there are too many other areas of Open Source that are higher priorities for me, so sadly this will have to be done by someone else if it happens at all.

[1] https://github.com/redbrain/gccrs

nategri 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is probably the most "Hacker News" thing I've ever seen.
wink 2 days ago 3 replies      
I do get that Haskell is useful to be taken as a tool for these kind of code transformations (at least I have seen quite a few of those) but I am always a bit surprised that people would start such a project in a language that has -per se- nothing to do with either the source or the target language. I know, I know, it doesn't always have to be this way, but I am very much of the opinion that everytime good tools in an ecosystem are written in the language in said ecosystem you get a lot more (and meaningful) contributions.

Best examples: rake (and everything in the ruby ecosystem basically), the amount of people touching ruby c code is very small compared to all the 'standard tools', or cargo.

steveklabnik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thea author wanted me to drop a link to his blog post on contributing: http://jamey.thesharps.us/2016/07/translating-c-to-rust-and-...
DaGardner 2 days ago 2 replies      
as many "transpilers" / compilers, whatever you might name them, it lacks example input output.

I want to see how my new rust code base looks light, does it compile with some heuritics, or just 1:1 C to rust primitives?

loeg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone tried it on some real-world codebases? How about kernel code? It would be very exciting to improve real-world crash safety and security by e.g. converting popular drivers quickly and automatically, followed by a manual pass applying safer Rust semantics.
jswny 2 days ago 1 reply      
Missed the chance to name it "Crust."
DanWaterworth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Time to start sending PRs [1], :P

[1] https://github.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=language%3Ac

serge2k 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Partial automation for migrating legacy code that was implemented in C. (This tool does not fully automate the job because its output is only as safe as the input was; you should clean up the output afterward to use Rust features and idioms where appropriate.)

This was my immediate concern. Is there any chance this tool can produce anything close to clean, safe, idiomatic, rust code?

danidiaz 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's an impressive use of literate programming. By coincidence, I had just read this post by John D. Cook "Literate programming: presenting code in human order" http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2016/07/06/literate-programmin...
haimez 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here we have it gentlemen: HN bingo.
eutectic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there would be any point in using this to fuzz the Rust compiler.

On the one hand, you could use CSmith with a C compiler as a convenient oracle, but on the other you would only be covering a very limited subset of e.g. the type system.

felixangell1024 2 days ago 6 replies      
The name "Corrode" doesn't seem very positive given the purpose of this program...
Mathnerd314 2 days ago 0 replies      
The code has a lot of special cases. Could these be eliminated using machine translation techniques?
cannonpr 2 days ago 4 replies      
I understand the world play, but perhaps it's a misunderstanding of Rusts name origin ?https://www.reddit.com/r/rust/comments/27jvdt/internet_archa...It's after a fungushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_(fungus)
wspeirs 2 days ago 4 replies      
It's too bad this is written in Haskell. I don't have anything against Haskell, it is just not as popular a language as others.[1] Any ANTLR target language would have been a solid choice.[2] This way more of the community could contribute. This is an invaluable tool if we're truly going to see a shift from C (or C++) to Rust.

[1] http://pypl.github.io/PYPL.html

[2] http://www.antlr.org/download.html

Release of IPython 5.0 jupyter.org
325 points by trymas  2 days ago   99 comments top 13
quantumtremor 2 days ago 4 replies      
Glad to hear improvements to the shell ipython interface, especially up/down arrows on pasted code.

The most interesting part of this for me is that IPython 6 will not support Python 2.

>Projects such as Matplotlib and SymPy plan to drop support in the next few years, while a few projects like Scikit-Bio are already ahead of us, and should be Python 3 only soon.

This was also very surprising for the standard reasons, especially for a library like matplotlib. Glad to find Python moving forward. But what will companies stuck on Python2 do? Will libraries like numpy, matplotlib, and scipy all maintain a Python2 LTS?

brbsix 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is going to take some getting used-to. The visuals (specifically the syntax highlighting and code completion) are very reminiscent of bpython.

On the other hand, I'm really happy to say farewell to readline. I've been stuck with readline v6.2.4.1 for ages just so I can have proper linewrap [0]. Of course this breaks virtualenv creation so you end up having to override the system readline [1]. Needless to say, this is well overdue.

[0]: https://github.com/ipython/ipython/issues/3329/

[1]: https://github.com/pypa/virtualenv/issues/4#issuecomment-966...

wodenokoto 2 days ago 1 reply      
> It is important to note that users will always be able to use a Python 2 kernel with the Jupyter Notebook, even when all of our projects have transitioned to Python 3

The way I understand this is that you will need python 3 to open ipython 6, but once running, you can interact with python2 and run and inspect python 2 code.I think that is fine. I can't imagine a modern scientific setup that can't readily create python 2 and 3 virtual environments.

thomasahle 2 days ago 8 replies      
As someone who's never used ipython before, but used the standard python interactive terminal a lot, I'm very impressed!

The best feature I've discovered so far, is that when I want to change a function, I can simply 'up arrow', and I get the whole thing! Not a single line of the function, as in the normal python terminal. And if I write a syntax error while typing the function, it tells me immediately!

Does anybody have other examples of great features in ipython over the standard python terminal?

ppod 2 days ago 2 replies      
There is a particular behaviour in RStudio that I would really love to be able to do in python, but haven't found the combination of IDE/or notebook that will do it yet:

I want to execute through lines with cmd-return, or by highlighting and pressing cmd-return, and then see the change in the variables in a separate pane, like RStudio's environment pane. Bonus points if I can click on table variables in the environment pane and examine them in a separate tab with sorting and searching. Spyder comes closest but the execution part doesn't work as fluidly.

xvilka 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks to ipython, radare2 (reverse engineering framework) now has a very useful python shell with autocompletion: https://asciinema.org/a/16ko4jd1e6kdrqkqjxeu248hm
tbarbugli 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The awkward dependencies on pyreadline for Windows and gnureadline for Mac prompted Thomas Kluyver to replace the old machinery with a brand new pure-python readline replacement: prompt_toolkit."

I was waiting for something like this for years!

ferdinandvwyk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Multiline support - my prayers have been answered! Copying/pasting code and modifying multiline commands from your history was easily the most annoying thing about ipython.
bobwaycott 2 days ago 0 replies      
Syntax highlighting and line navigation look awesome. The big news is this is the last release to support Python 2.x. Oh, and no more readline. Thank the gods.
ericjang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos to the iPython / Jupyter team for spearheading such an important dev-productivity tool. I use your software all the time. I also appreciate the effort to migrate everybody to Python3.
aliencat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to enable vi mode in iPython 5? Since it no longer depends on readline library, putting `set editing-mode vi` in ~/.inputrc file no longer seems to work.
farmerj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Twitching on the floor... blinky blinky cursor, is there no way to make it go away..? looks in the feature list. Went back to 4.
thuruv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Damn, the storm already hit python 2.x. Have to move on.
Announcing Rust 1.10 rust-lang.org
342 points by steveklabnik  3 days ago   75 comments top 9
parley 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm really looking forward to when rustup.rs is stable (atleast for Linux)! I'm trying to push Rust at work, and it's one of those polishy things that would help.

Unfortunately, last time I checked development (on issues blocking the initial stable release) seemed to have slowed as of late, but I should be helping out instead of whining - the Rust community is doing great work!

dikaiosune 3 days ago 2 replies      

Tongue-in-cheek, it's very exciting that distros will now have an easier time patching Rust and producing bugs like this one:


rustc 3 days ago 2 replies      
How's the MIR stuff going on? Is there an ETA on when MIR will land in beta/stable? Will the incremental compilation work start after that?
moosingin3space 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations on the release! `cdylib` targets should prove very helpful for embedding, and compilation from a recent stable version will make it much easier to package.
outworlder 3 days ago 4 replies      
> Rust is implemented in Rust, which means that to build a copy of Rust, you need a copy of Rust. This is commonly referred to as bootstrapping. Historically, we would do this by snapshotting a specific version of the compiler, and always bootstrapping from that

So, does that mean that Rust (has/will have) issues regarding binary blobs in pure free software Linux distributions?

yarper 2 days ago 1 reply      
What amazes me, is all this cool stuff but a Rust process still can't return an exit code [0] without using a workaround.

I actually use Rust in production, and have generally found it very good - compared to the well discussed difficulties with CPP. I will continue to do so, but I think that the edges really need covering off properly before it'll be treated as a serious competitor to CPP (and equally often, Go).

[0]: https://github.com/rust-lang/rfcs/issues/1176

progman 2 days ago 2 replies      
Congratulations! Are there any plans to support bootstrap from source? Currently any install requires a binary Rust compiler.

I like the way how Nim handles the bootstrap. It's always easy, and it also eases ports to other platforms significantly since everthing is coded in C.

dfdfghhhfgh 3 days ago 0 replies      
The marketing of Rust programming language has been excellent. Hats off for having pulled off something like this.
pjmlp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations on the work.

Very nice to see the push for relying only on stable releases while building Rust.

NASA Data Shows Toxic Air Threat Choking Indian Subcontinent bloomberg.com
300 points by rhayabusa  3 days ago   205 comments top 20
chdir 3 days ago 3 replies      
A related story : There's a mega mall in Chandigarh, India that wasn't given approval for a power connection for quite some time (politics / corruption).

Real estate is super expensive & the owners couldn't afford to sit idle and play games with the government so they decided to run the mall from morning till night on diesel generators. That's ~ $4500 of diesel each day, probably 6-8k litres. This is an example of a pollution source that's completely avoidable. I'm not sure for how many years this continued on.

What's worse is that there was no widespread public outrage. Why didn't people boycott the mall that's polluting their city and at the same time put pressure on the government to set things right ?

For a perspective, the city I'm talking about is a modern affluent city, close to Delhi (~ 160 miles). Home to a lot of politicians & celebrities, one of the most well planned cities in the world [1] & one of the cleanest in India [2]

[1] http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/travel/9-most-well-planned...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleanest_cities_in_India

[3] http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130407/cth1.htm#5

wrong_variable 3 days ago 5 replies      
The Irony !

When I went to India, I though to my-self the living standard in the villages were HIGHER then the cities.

The air in the villages were clean - it was much cooler weather due to not being trapped in the congested cities.

The village people though I was crazy to think that their village was a paradise, and everyone wanted to move to the city.

I think its a serious lack of education that India/Bangladesh will not learn easily. A large number of people need to die due to cancer for it be taken seriously, unfortunately.

We are talking about a country where chain smoking is really common !

And no I a person from the sub-continent so I am not being racist, just pointing out some of the terrible facts about why I am terrified of going back.

kamaal 3 days ago 2 replies      
As an Indian when I come back from overseas this the very first problem I notice, especially when I return from a long trip. The problem is far deep than one can imagine.

A city like Bangalore has almost an impossible amount of scooters on roads. Almost every house has at least one, and most homes have easily 1 for every two people staying in the home. And its not like US where there are laws on building homes. People take a 1200 sqft plot and build 4 floors, with 4 families, so at least 6 two wheelers for a small plot of land. This is even possible because auto rickshaws and buses have gotten expensive. Public transport of any kind is expensive, unpredictable and not worth when you look at the overall comfort and economics of having our own scooter.

At the other hand trees are being cut at an alarming rate. The area where I stay, around 15 years back, had a drive where students from an agricultural campus plotted a tree per home. In the time since a countable few trees remain. People cut trees for various reasons, some which are down right stupid. Reasons go like- A big tree will attract birds who will in turn crap on our cars/scooters, or that chirping birds disturb their morning sleep to impossibility of cutting the tree if grows too high.

The garbage landfill are full. So the government often doesn't collect garbage on time. Sometimes even a whole month passes before the garbage is collected. So you have massive piles of trash(Medical and all other toxic waste included) piling right at the corner of the lane. This causes mosquitoes to breed, and then diseases like dengue spread. The most obvious solution people around the place work to is burn the trash, causing all this toxic fumes to now mix in the air and reach almost everyone's lungs in the area.

On top of this comes industrial pollution. Rivers and lakes are being polluted, encroached and destroyed almost everywhere. Bangalore's lakes have almost disappeared. Many remaining are now cesspools. There was a lake which caught fire recently.

India needs something on the lines of Clean air act, and clean water act urgently. Feasibility of implementation remains a problem though.

goombastic 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's good that the government isn't allowing google street view access to the country's streets otherwise the world would see and understand the unmitigated hell that the country has become.
HenryTheHorse 3 days ago 4 replies      
That satellite image of the haze is scary. Scarier still is how the deterioration of air quality in the cities is affecting health. (The WHO estimates ~15 million bronchial asthma patients in India.)

You haven't experienced air pollution if you haven't breathed in the evening air in Mumbai or Bangalore during the rush hour.

j0e1 3 days ago 3 replies      
As someone who grew up in New Delhi, I think the government has taken quite a few steps like passing laws that require all public transport to run only on CNG, mandating industries to be positioned outside the city and more recently having policies to curb number of cars on the road. But the problem of pollution never seemed to improve. Optimistically I've told myself that if those measures weren't taken we would have been in a worse position much earlier. Though that does little good in the long run. Unless action is taken to effect negative growth to pollution I think anything you do won't quite cut it.

To be fair though, like in any Indian metropolitan, there is immense pressure on the infrastructure that takes solving such problems to the next level. The sheer growth in population(primarily due to immigrants from other parts of India) on a daily basis would put any government in a quandary.

_navaneethan 3 days ago 3 replies      
I am from India. Especially from Bangalore. I commute daily 30kms up and down. I am facing breathing polluted air issues. In fact I was looking for good pollution filter masks. But I am unable to get the good one. Since the reviews of them are unsatisfactory

I am trying to come out of this issue at all. At the same time I don't want to leave my lovable tech job.

Anybody experienced the same issues? Any advise ?

astannard 3 days ago 2 replies      
I remember traveling through Delhi and washing my face afterwards at the hotel. The amount of black sooty dirt that came off was startling!
comatose_kid 3 days ago 1 reply      
Traveled to India ~2+ years ago. Landed in Delhi - couldn't make out the city at all from the air due to pollution. We drove to Agra (3 hr drive) and there was smog pretty much the entire way there.

This seems like a promising opportunity for startups to tackle...I wonder if there are any out there, would love to hear more.

dlandis 3 days ago 1 reply      
How much worse is the air pollution in New Delhi compared to a relatively polluted US city such as Los Angeles?
abc_lisper 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not surprised. The last time I was in Delhi, 4 years ago, I couldn't breathe outside the home.
bhewes 3 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of London's Great Smog of 1952 (Dec). It finally pushed the country and city to deal with the air pollution. Hopefully this does the same for the millions living each day in this current mess.
Nano2rad 3 days ago 2 replies      
The NASA data shows particulate matter. The real pollutants are CO2 and other invisible gases. Why concentrate on the visible particulate matter? The real concern is 400 ppm CO2 in air.
ismyrnow 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised the article doesn't mention density of cattle farming. I know it's a complicated issue, but my understanding is that industrial animal production affects climate more than transportation does.



99_00 3 days ago 1 reply      
Do auto-rickshaws still have dirty two-stroke engines?
microcolonel 3 days ago 0 replies      
They should spend a few billion dollars greening the Thar Desert. They need it.
mediumdeviation 3 days ago 1 reply      
So I'm not really sure what happened, but I couldn't read the article because the page ate up more than 1.5GB of RAM on Firefox and caused it to peg an entire core at 100% utilization http://i.imgur.com/j3q686E.png

And if I scroll down a bit more you'll find a web worker spawned by the same page consuming another 120MB of RAM. This is a lot of stuff happening on what is suppose to be just a news article.

lipun4u 3 days ago 0 replies      
NASA doesn't have anything else to do ? Why do they waste money to tell something which none listens ?
hammock 3 days ago 5 replies      
Dare we suggest that air pollution (the old-fashioned kind) is more important than global warming?
exabrial 3 days ago 6 replies      
We can pass all the air regulations in America, but it won't matter one bit until China and India get their act together. China has 100% 24/7/365 smog cover along their population centers. So sick of people pushing overbearing regulation in the USA without even holding these countries accountable!
Has Physics Gotten Something Really Important Really Wrong? npr.org
317 points by danielam  1 day ago   303 comments top 34
Animats 1 day ago 12 replies      
This is Smolin, making his usual, and valid, criticisms of modern physics. Smolin's basic complaint is that there is no experimental evidence for string theory. The math is pretty, and a whole generation of physicists have worked on it, but nothing is experimentally testable. Everything is too small or at too high an energy level. A practical implication is that it doesn't lead to any technology.

Smolin also doesn't like many-worlds, because it talks about unreachable regions. This he considers too speculative. There's a basic problem in quantum mechanics, which leads to Schroedinger's Cat, the Copenhagen Interpretation, and, in the end, many-worlds.[1]

Physics has been stuck on this problem for almost a century now. Philosophy won't help.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation

Xcelerate 1 day ago 6 replies      
I don't think the problem is string theory per se I think the problem is that we're running up on the bounds of what we can test experimentally, and further progress is going to require some really cleverly designed experiments that can probe Planck scale events. Although the greatest physicists throughout history have for the most part been theoreticians, it may be the case that in the future, the greatest physicists will be experimentalists because of the extraordinary amount of creativity needed to design novel experiments that can probe the most obscure corners of reality.

String theory isn't pseudoscience, because it does make testable, falsifiable predictions. In fact, it makes the same predictions that quantum field theory does for the phenomena that we are currently capable of testing (and arguably using a more elegant framework than QFT provides). The problem is that the predictions that string theory makes beyond QFT are currently way outside the realm of experimental assessment. This doesn't make the predictions false if that's the way the universe really is, we just may be incapable of knowing that for a long time. There are a few hints that at least some of the predictions of string theory may be incorrect we have yet to find any evidence of supersymmetry, and many physicists thought the LHC would turn up at least some evidence of this if it existed.

Regardless, I think people get too hung up on buzz-phrases like "is time real?" or "are we in a multiverse?". A lot of these are what I consider irrelevant to science, as the goal of science is to make accurate predictions about the future. If there is another universe out there, it is by definition unreachable from our current universe, so it makes no difference to science whatsoever. Likewise, what is or isn't "real" has no bearing on how accurately one can compute the evolution of some system's state through time.

mstank 1 day ago 8 replies      
As a layman, one thing I don't understand is why we suppose there has to be dark matter and energy in the universe.

I understand that dark matter is used to explain gravitational irregularities when observing galaxies. However, saying 'there is x amount of unobservable stuff there' in order to make our calculations correct seems like lazy science.

Are there any theories that don't include dark matter or energy? Can gravity function differently depending on its location (space or time) in the universe?

jaggederest 1 day ago 3 replies      
So as per usual with headlines in the form of a question, the answer from the article appears to be no. It might be more accurate to title it "Physicist and Philosopher question the empirical underpinnings of physics". There's not really anything here to disprove anything from the current standard models.
empath75 1 day ago 4 replies      
That we aren't capable of experiments that distinguish between various forms of string theories doesn't negate the fact that string theories are already compatible with all the experiments we've already done and are likely to be done in the near future. This is no small achievement. There is no other framework that is even in contention right now.

Perhaps when we have some alternative theory that survives that basic hurdle, we can discuss whether we're wasting time pursuing string theory rather than some other idea.

jokoon 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Logical and structured thinking is good tool when doing physics, because a precise model can be used as a language and communicated and taught, since it's simple.

But those models are correct only in what they describe, they don't completely describe nature. They are just that, models. Every time science has progressed, it's either an "exception to the rule", or a re-understanding of an incomplete theory.

I'm not a scientist, but I vividly remember how a physics professor warned us about the laws he was teaching. Those laws work well, use them, but never pretend that they're universal and that they will be for the next 20 or 100 years.

You can see this problem in quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is being very hard on philosophy and certainty in general. Up to a point, using models might be a limit to physics.

ianbicking 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you disregard aesthetics, what are the questions we're trying to answer in physics, particularly those that involve observable phenomena? I get that string theory replicates the predictions of the theories that preceded it, the critique I'd infer is that it doesn't offer any practical advantages over the previous theories, it doesn't predict anything new that we can observe, and it does not make any problems more tractable (I think the opposite? Ie most problems are far more intractable using string theory)

It seems like there's some lack of imagination here, like physics is "done", there's nothing more to answer, it's all just up to other sciences to answer the rest of the (many) questions about why the world is what it is and how it works. A reset of approaches is interesting, but it still needs to be in service of something, doesn't it?

auggierose 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should take their own medicine. How would one test those three assumptions they make?

As for Mathematics being selectively real, I agree with that totally. Mathematics is just a language we use to describe models and their properties in a most rigorous way. That's all. Can we find a model of the universe from which we can derive all its properties? Unlikely (see Gdel), if so the model would have to be pretty "primitive" and thus too large for comprehension. But so what, we can find great models for certain aspects of reality, and I don't see a limit for how far this can be taken to get better and better models for more and more areas of reality.

erikb 17 hours ago 1 reply      
And yet, that's all the point of theoretical science. To think in ways even if they are not provable at this time. And then experimental scientists come along, look at the theories and then think about how to experiment on them. That's how it works. And I think if they want to disprove any of this they need to show that this system is broken. I need to google but I'm sure everybody can remember hearing a few times in their life that there were scientists like Einstein who had ideas that could not be proven in their life time but could be proven now with modern computers and now we know they were true. We admire that and we need that. And that's the thesis they need to fight if they want to convince me of theoretical science being wrong or bad.
tim333 13 hours ago 0 replies      
While I agree with Smolin that much physics has moved away from experimental observation, especially string theory, I think the three numbered points in the article are wrong.

My take - the only way the universe could have got here from nothing as it were is if it's basically maths and seems real to us. I mean what does basic particle behavior look like - a bunch of maths and not much else, and what exist without needing creating - mathematical patterns and relations and nothing else. Hence from observation it's probably all maths.


1) There is only one universe. - Nah probably all mathematically possible universes seem real to their occupants.

2) Time is real. - Sorta but more like how time exists in a DVD of a movie. Or as some guy wrote "...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one."

3) Mathematics is selectively real. - Nah it's real.

tvural 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shallow criticisms of string theory usually miss how difficult it is to come up with physical theories that don't lead to some kind of contradiction. For this reason, lots of new physics has been discovered by looking at mathematical constraints first and experiments second. The math of string theory is pretty, but more importantly it works out, and this alone makes string theory worthy of some attention. If it's getting too much attention, that's probably more a sign that there are very few interesting research directions left in physics than that all the physicists are deluding themselves.
joslin01 1 day ago 1 reply      
Genuine confusion here -- how can you assert time is real?

From my limited understanding, time is merely the measurement of change. A comet goes from point A to B, and like a screen flickering, it is in a discrete point in space every step along the way. It is time that is introduced when asking ourselves, "how long did it take?" or "when was it at X?" but how can it be woven into the fabric of the universe? If we take reality to be right here, right now, it doesn't seem to exist but rather is a human invention to help us map change.

DrNuke 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Problem with philosophy is that it views all anthropocentric. On the other hand, we are beyond anthropocentrism in modern physics in the sense that sensorial / bodily experience (our way to interact with the outer world) doesn't help any more and thinking / mind abstraction (our special way to represent the outer world) is unprovable because technologies and tools are not there yet. More than philosophy, it is literature to stand up when we need a change of paradigm, in particular science fiction: minds trying to carve skewed views of the universe starting from non-mainstream philosophy. Suffice to say, it will be many more misses than hits but gold is there.
davesque 1 day ago 1 reply      
To me, it's all a matter of the empirical data and the math that attempts to model that data. Those two sides of science have continually bootstrapped each other to the point we've arrived at today.

Quoted from the book in the article:

"Our mathematical inventions offer us no shortcut to timeless truth... They never replace the work of scientific discovery and of imagination. The effectiveness of mathematics in natural science is reasonable because it is limited and relative."

I'm not sure what the authors mean by this. Are we to ultimately abandon our attempts at a consistent, logical explanation of what we see? If so, that's when we revert to un-scientific and, essentially, religious ways of thinking. I'd argue that the pursuit of a mathematical explanation of observations is the work of scientific imagination. Mathematics is merely the most reliable way we've devised of communicating what we imagine to other people. And sometimes the math, itself, sings to you and that drives advances in understanding that are totally valid.

vortico 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was a pretty useless article with no real information or details to counter existing theories. I know the layman usually isn't interested in the details, but you can't just write about nothing. Are there consistent theories with those three features? What are features of existing models of cosmology which will have to be changed if the three features are assumed? The reader will never know.
abpavel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In other news:1. Time Gravitates!Physicists discover stable wormhole configuration by accounting the effect of gravity on time! and then2. First wormhole to another universe successfully created!The final experimental proof of multiverse theory, which grants us access to all 10^500 universes, and any place in our own corner of the world"and then3. Now in portable format, just for $299!

Stop being impatient!

garyclarke27 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with much of the sentiment such as string theory and multi universes are nonsense.Yes math is just an abstraction tool, with mutually understood/ agreed rules , the rules and representations are not exactly true in the real world, users just agree them to assist with communication between users and over time.Time is Not Real, it's an abstraction / quantification of change, but yes change is I think real i.e. the universe is always changing.However his statement- Our ability to map out the history of the universe back to a fraction of an instant after its inception is a triumph - ruined it for me - an absurd statement for a scientist - we have no idea how the universe started we are only guessing it's history, the big bang theory is just a theory, probably no more real than Lord of the Rings.
RivieraKid 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm quite surprised that there's not a consensus about the philosophical framing of physics (metaphysics).

The way I see it:

- Consciousness (perceptions, feelings, thought) is the only thing that really exists.

- There are patterns in what we perceive, for example, when we drop a rock, we see it falls and hear the impact.

- So we develop models to describe patterns in our consciousness. Physics is just a description of those patterns. So the physical world doesn't really exist, it's just an idea in our minds.

lossolo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hm i wonder why someone thought there is some invisible, unobservable dark matter instead connecting gravitational waves with super massive black holes in center of every galactic. It seems for me like a lot better answer to question what is keeping galaxies together if observable mass is not enough.
jnefbebyby 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this book a couple of years ago. About 1/3 (Smolin's) of it is really interesting. The main point about the primacy of Time is that traditional models of physics have an implicit time dimension for the laws, in additional the the time dimension of spacetime. Smolin suggests that the the laws of Physics are dynamical, evolving as a function of the state of the system.
nsuser 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice clickbait title..
lolc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like how they see cosmologists as historians. Observe and describe the past, speculate, and muse about the future :-)
andrewflnr 22 hours ago 0 replies      
"We're tired of the un-proven assumptions underlying modern physics. Here's some un-proven assumptions to get us back on track."

What? How is this helping?

jwatte 1 day ago 1 reply      
You know what's cool?If they can reach better prediction, faster, with that approach, it will strengthen.If they can't, they will be a footnote.At least, if the scientific method is alive and well.
rwmj 1 day ago 2 replies      
That's nice. Have any falsifiable claims been made?
dc2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I very proudly have not clicked the link, because it so such wild click bait, that it would be against my integrity.
andrewclunn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Was expecting pseudo science based on the click-baity title. Instead got a take down of the pseudo science infecting cosmology. Nice.
dschiptsov 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, by producing disconnected from reality abstractions.
HillaryBriss 1 day ago 0 replies      
> ... reification of mathematics can lead physicists into dangerous territory where mathematical "beauty" and "elegance" get substituted for real information about the real world.

If it can happen in physics, it can happen anywhere -- maybe even your neighborhood.

sova 23 hours ago 0 replies      
define event
perseusprime11 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is like Fermat's last theorem. A whole lot of smart mathematicians spent their time solving this theorem instead of finding better things to solve that can benefit humanity.
therestisgone 1 day ago 1 reply      
Clickbait of the year.

Yessss, keep feeding me more of those delicious downvotes.

tamana 1 day ago 0 replies      
NPR is not immune to betteridge's. Physics isn't "wrong" about string theory. String theory is a currently untestable theory, a mathematical model, and that's fine but minimally useful.
mbfg 1 day ago 1 reply      
> There is only one universe

 ok, except what else just has 1 of them
> Time is real

 ask a photon that

Tech job listings are down 40% on several job boards medium.com
289 points by uptown  2 days ago   247 comments top 37
jpeg_hero 2 days ago 4 replies      
I am feeling the chill in the circle of companies I know.

Other thing that should be mentioned: a lot of initiatives at a lot of companies over the last two years just didn't work.

Feels a bit like we are at the tail end of a pretty big macro cycle of tech companies green lighting big initiatives with optimistic mindset and now a few years later the due bill is coming and the bets just didn't pay off.

Maybe a big example would be Twitter: a few years ago they were straight up hoarding engineers; fast forward to now, what did all this amazing engineering talent get them? Maybe nice code but the engineering they've done hasn't been able to increase users.

The reason engineers get paid well is because of their extreme leverage: just a few engineers can pull off amazing results. But you eventually need the results. And if the results are not there, broadly, then there will be a reentrenchmet.

bigtunacan 2 days ago 3 replies      
Disclaimer - This is all gut feeling and anecdotal evidence so feel free to ignore.

I suspect that jobs being posted to smaller niche job boards (such as Authentic Jobs, which I hadn't heard of until this post) is down overall, but this doesn't reflect the state of job availability.

I believe larger job sites are having enough of a network effect that these boards are becoming less relevant. Most tech job seekers I talk to are going one of four routes.

1) LinkedIn (Facebook for job seekers)

2) Indeed (since it aggregates)

3) Direct application (when you know a specific company you want to work for)

4) Recruiters (Let them do the work for you...)

On the anecdotal front (within the past year) I have been contacted twice by recruiters that took me out and bought me lunch to try and woo me to another job and once contacted directly by the CEO of a company who did the same thing. I want to make this point clear; I'm no one special just a regular software dev with 15+ years working experience.

During one of these lunches the recruiter said to me, "It is so difficult to hire qualified developers that I would say there is a NEGATIVE unemployment rate currently."

I have spoke with multiple company owners, CEOs, and others who are in the hiring position and the general consensus is they can't find qualified help.

This is just my experience.

rev_bird 2 days ago 5 replies      
I don't think I buy the premise. "Tech job listings on one website are down 40%" seems more accurate, and is much less scary. It definitely helps that the author mentions that they track their listings compared to their competitors, but I'm baffled as to why there isn't a graph that covers more than a six-month span when the thesis spans years. If this company has job listing data for multiple listing websites that goes back to at least 2014, that'd be interesting data to look at, but it's not here.

Even then, I'm not sure "tech hiring is down 40%" would be a reasonable conclusion to draw -- it's like saying, "the newspaper only had 15 job listings in it, the American economy must be in the toilet."

whamlastxmas 2 days ago 17 replies      
I'm a newer web developer with a few years of full-time experience (and over a decade of hobby experience), but definitely not a "senior" developer. Most job openings I see are for senior developers. I don't really know if this is historically normal, because I wasn't doing much developer job hunting a few years ago.

For the jobs that I have applied to, I would say I am pretty well qualified. I have put a lot of time into my resume to make it clean and legible. I usually spend over an hour writing a cover letter, and I am pretty confident they are interesting, well written, and have a friendly/personal tone without coming across as awkward or over eager.

Despite all of this effort and being pretty well qualified, I never hear back. Not even a rejection letter. Just silence. I have applied to pretty entry-level positions too for which I am overqualified, and also never hear back. Sample size is only about 10 applications, but they were very focused, well matched, high effort applications.

If there is any shortage of web developers out there, companies sure aren't acting like it. It's not even like I would ask very much, I only want maybe $75k since I am currently way underpaid (about ~$50k in a big city).

My guess is that this is just a side effect of unemployment being pretty high (if you look at realistic measures, not the biased official ones). Senior developers are willing to work for less than before because getting a job is harder these days, and less-than-senior developers can't get a job at all because there's only enough spots for the senior level ones.

myth_drannon 2 days ago 6 replies      
I consider StackOveflow's Careers section a good, high quality sample of the job market (mostly US).I have been scraping them for about 3 months now and I see slight increase in job posts.

Here is the data dump:https://github.com/aparij/soCareers-Data/tree/master/new

minimaxir 2 days ago 1 reply      
I call data shennanigans.

There are a very large number of reasons that the number of jobs on a job site could drop, included to but not limited to the fact that people have stopped using OP's very small job site. (It is also suspicious why the OP compared it to 4 other sites which are unlabeled)

That's partially why blogs use large job sites to try so atleast the change is somewhat statistically significant. (but still could be caused by noneconomic issues. From the little bit displayed in the charts, seasonality is in play, which makes looking at a Jan-Jun horizon flawed)

hkarthik 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yup, the signs of a slowdown are there. The smaller startups and companies that use these job boards have cut back on hiring as their revenue growth has slowed down. The next step for them will be layoffs.

The big tech companies are still hiring but being much more selective and limiting how many they hire. By the time some of them start having layoffs, the tech economy will be in free fall for a number of months and it will be too late if you aren't prepared for it.

Many larger companies are starting to put in place policies and procedures that will limit the number of promotions, raises, and bonuses that they give out. These same actions are also intended to expose lower performers more quickly so they can be identified and managed out.

My advice is this: find ways to continue to learn and grow, and keep building skills and making things. Save for potentially long periods of unemployment, and be willing to work very hard to ensure that you're not perceived as a low performer.

Lastly, don't sweat it. These economic corrections are good thing. They can unlock a lot of latent talent, capital, and resources that are being wasted. Just be financially prepared for it and you'll be fine.

lukasm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Disclosure: I work on a startup that provides a tool for referrals (rolepoint.com) as well as SaaS that is used by job boards (rolepoint.io). I also gathered job boards in a quite popular repository https://github.com/lukasz-madon/awesome-remote-job

Couple of things that I noticed

- more channels - There are at least a dozen of startups like TripleByte, interviewing.io

- referrals becomes preferred way of hiring. From small companies where majority of hires are made through personal networks to fortune 500 companies (using an external recruiter is a last resort).

- AngelList, Stackoverflow Careers have matching features and you can learn more about the company.

- This is an employee market. Companies have to proactive to get employees (hence the 'poaching'). Posting something to a job board is not efficient.

- More acquihires by US companies happens in Europe, since they have hard time competing with Apple, Google, Facebook etc.

First two points are backed by data.

xando 2 days ago 0 replies      
It happens that I collect similar data as well. My data range doesn't go as far as years. Although I've just run few quires for past months. Doesn't look like it Stack Overflow would have a reason to complain. But yes AuthenticJobs doesn't look good.

The chart suggests that he compares AuthenticJobs to similar job boards ~200 job post per month. Stack Overflow Careers is a different league. Numbers averages there 1800 posts per month.

Also, I wrote a counting script for Hacker News' "Who is Hiring" and the results suggesting opposite as well. Plese check this chart https://blog.whoishiring.io/hacker-news-who-is-hiring-thread...

Disclaimer: I run https://whoishiring.io I scrape them all.

Private opinion. Statements like his are trying to produce shitstorm in an obvious way. There is no bubble where I stand.

nfriedly 2 days ago 1 reply      
I get "recruiter spam" pretty frequently. I generally respond with something like "No thanks, but I'll pass along your info if I come across anyone who might be interested." And they generally say "Yes please!"

I now have a list of ~300 recruiters email's that I can give out to anyone who is looking for work :)

exelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
No, it's not just you.

Hiring is down across the board; and it is indeed due to poor economic headwinds. Many finance heads are starting to think that all our bailouts in 2007/2008 did were create an asset bubble down the road in equities by providing access to cheap capital, encouraging borrowing for risky investments that are just now starting to sour.

Add to this the slowdown in China, Brexit, Donald Trump, and a volatile oil market and there's just too much uncertainty for companies to staff up right now. Some firms are even quietly issuing preemptive layoffs under the assumption that 2017 is going to be a very bad year a la 2007.

That said, there's still plenty of work for tech workers (someone has to implement those cost savings projects, amirite?). But look for middle managers, marketing folks and sales people to have a bad time as companies look to trim payrolls.

ILIKEPONIES 2 days ago 0 replies      
On the one hand, we've seen some similar patterns as many seed stage companies have struggled to raise an A.* On the other, it's hard to extrapolate anything from such a small dataset.

Anecdotally, I would say it's also likely that tech companies that ARE hiring are shifting their hiring budget to sources that bring in more qualified candidates. AuthenticJobs is one of the better niche tech job boards, but it's still a job board. We see lots of growing companies that are spending less money on older channels like LinkedIn and job boards and instead, spending money on an applicant tracking system, hiring in-house recruiters, and using services like Entelo, TheMuse, AngelList, Hired, etc.

*We run Underdog.io.

lukeHeuer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Authentic Jobs is one of the more old school places that heavily catered to web design type work. A more accurate assessment of this data may be that web design work is drying up, but we've known that for a while. It's hard to say since they don't mention the competitors they are tracking, but they may serve the same shrinking market as well.
juandazapata 2 days ago 0 replies      
"My startup is experiencing a 40% churn" will be a better title for the post.
matchagaucho 2 days ago 0 replies      
The on-demand gig economy is taking over... aka the "Uber for Web Professionals".

Many companies, SMBs in particular, are discovering they don't need to "own the cow to drink the milk".

It's simpler to post tasks to sites like Fiverr than it is to post a "job description" and hire an employee/contractor.

toephu2 2 days ago 1 reply      
FTA: "Junes job report, well above forecasts, suggests the majority of job gains may be happening in areas outside of tech."

Correct, they are occurring outside of tech, in fact you don't need to guess, it says it right there in the report if you read it [1]:

"In June, job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and financial activities."

The largest increase last month was in "Leisure and hospitality" which added 59,000 jobs. This is basically the hotel industry gearing up for summer which is when most Americans travel for vacation. These jobs don't produce any real economic growth. The economy is not recovering.Today what the media failed to mention is that the unemployment rate actually went up 0.2% to 4.9% (although the more accurate number to look at is the U-6 which went down from 9.7% to 9.6%). Also Average Hourly Earnings m/m went down from 0.2% to 0.1%.


distracteddev90 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe this is symptomatic of an industry moving away from job board based recruiting. There has been a significant change in the recruiting sphere and many talent teams are starting to focus more on sourcing and pursuing passive candidates.
percept 2 days ago 0 replies      
While there is still room for other considerations, I was a little more skeptical about the headline until I saw the article's source.

If this had been the usual analysis of one of the large job listing aggregators, then I think more of the arguments made here would come into play, but I give this one slightly more credibility since it's a for-pay and "curated" job site.

So I'll put it in the somewhat-more-interesting category.

Back to the author's points, of course perceptions help frame reality, too.

markbnj 2 days ago 0 replies      
It could also reflect that job boards are becoming less and less useful for employers or job seekers. I recently went through a job hunt and enabling my resume on boards like Dice just resulted in a flood of irrelevant recruiter spam. I'm not being overly harsh here either.

When I landed a job (a good one) it was through a posting on the Who's Hiring thread here on HN, and subsequent email/phone conversations and co-working time.

lawless123 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most jobs sites i have used recently are inundated with recruiters all offering/advertising for the same few jobs rather than the companies that are hiring.
abritinthebay 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can tell the number of people who weren't around for the last non-incumbent election.

Every major election year the job market does this. It's worse when it's an 8 year cycle.

Add into it the uncertainty around Trump and Brexit causing economic worries... it's basically there is less risk, so less VC capital, so less startups.

It's a normal cycle.

kami8845 2 days ago 0 replies      
From my experience the jobs I have found on "Authentic Jobs" have never been from the tech startups that I actually want to work at, since those primarily use AngelList, StackOverflow, GitHub, weworkremotely, Hacker News etc. to advertise their jobs.
sanowski 2 days ago 0 replies      
me551ah 2 days ago 0 replies      
The post should have been 'Traffic to authenticjobs.com is down by 40%'?
leroy_masochist 2 days ago 1 reply      
Occum's Razor might suggest that the reason for this is pretty straightforward -- the downturn in VC funding means fewer dollars of other people's money available for startup salaries.
mathattack 2 days ago 1 reply      
2 observations:

1) There has been some batten down the hatches.

2) There is migration among boards. (Example: Indeed has become much more relevant than during my last job search. As a hiring manager I need to pay more attention to it.)

RomanPushkin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can I request a feature for authenticjobs? Glassdoor rating for every company. It will save a lot of time, and I wonder why nobody has it. Thanks!
swingbridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Lean" is the new black.

With investors focusing more on hard fundamentals like revenue and profit and a lot less on "hype" metrics like user growth, employee growth, number of baristas on staff and such a lot of tech companies have taken the hint and got down to business. That includes slamming the brakes on hiring and in some cases cutting staff. That's not the only force at play, but it's a big one.

DiNovi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I still get an absurd amount of recruiter spam...
jswny 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is it possible that this trend is due to companies taking in more interns and training them as opposed to normal hiring practices?
DailyHN 1 day ago 0 replies      
Posts on http://angularjobs.com are higher than ever. Disclosure/Source: I'm the owner.
alexchamberlain 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how many companies have decided to hire more junior devs, rather than seniors. In an economic downturn, you still need to keep people in your (human) development pipeline.
cmdrfred 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who is that job site with the orange line in the graph, they seem to be doing pretty well.
geori 2 days ago 0 replies      
This might be happening because Angelist is free and has great candidates.
indeedwhynot 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you advertize for a sheep with five green legs, suddenly mother nature will start sending in resums of people who claim to be exactly that. Therefore, job adverts don't work.

What you need, is a resum database in which you can search.

In fact, I would personally never, ever react to a job advert. Thousands of people, who do not have the skill set whatsoever, will react too. That will give a completely wrong impressionof levels of competition that do not exist in realityand drive down compensation for real candidates, who therefore bail out pretty much immediately, or even never react.

Seriously, there is often a good reason why these other people are looking for jobs. It is always the same people looking for jobs. The people whom you really want to hire, are usually not looking for jobs.

You should reasonably assume that people who can really do the work, are already working. The discussion then revolves around why would it be more interesting to work for your company and how much more are you willing to pay for that?

Wisen up and stop wasting your time and money on job adverts.

phaemon 2 days ago 3 replies      
13 points and no comments...
Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings in the United States plos.org
252 points by hunglee2  2 days ago   341 comments top 27
akud 2 days ago 8 replies      
> the probability of being {black, unarmed, and shot by police} is about 3.49 times the probability of being {white, unarmed, and shot by police} on average

What they really need to do is factor in the probability of encounters with police gI've race. That is, we want to know, out of all encounters with police, are they more likely to be fatal if the victim is black?

Without factoring in the rate of police encounters, the conclusion could just be indicating that black people are more likely to encounter the police, which is a problem in itself but is slightly different. That would point more to socioeconomic factors determining the rate of policing in neighborhoods, rather than police racism.

snowwrestler 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some of the comments here are pointing out the questions about data quality etc. that affect a study like this. And those are real concerns, and obviously analytical studies could only be improved if they had better data to work with.

But let's not make the mistake of looking at this study only in isolation. It is a recent addition to a large collection of observations and evidence that support a theory that personal racial bias affects American policing.

The evidence includes other studies, criminal investigations, criminal cases, federal investigations and reform agreements with police departments like Cleveland and Seattle, videos and photos of violent police encounters, and of course decades of stories and statements from minority communities about how the police treats them.

The last one is important because it gets at trust, which is the heart of the issue. Minority communities, many of them, do not trust the police to protect them in the same way they protect whiter/richer communities, and they have stories that explain why not.

If you are depending solely on data-driven studies to inform your opinion on racial bias in policing, then you're implicitly saying that you distrust or reject what minority people and communities say. Why is that? It's worth thinking about IMO.

Which brings us back to the data. Why is it so lacking? You can't answer that question without coming back around to bias, because until recently, it was the police forces themselves who supplied the data, or not, or only part of the data. So discounting the bias reported in this study because of data problems is getting toward begging the question, logically speaking.

The essential question, when it comes to whether you agree that racial bias affects policing, is: what level of evidence will convince you?

jim-greer 2 days ago 1 reply      
This analysis is based on crowd-sourced data on shootings. I'm not saying that makes it invalid, but I'd need to know more about the dataset before trusting the results. It seems hard to have it be complete. The official FBI data has the same problem. We need to require local departments to report all shootings in a standardized way.

Edit: the author acknowledges the incompleteness of the data in the conclusions section. Oddly, he doesn't think that's likely to affect the mean "since the sample used herein is a large and random subset of the to-be-completed data set". That doesn't really make sense to me. How would random sampling of incomplete data improve the results?


chris_va 2 days ago 1 reply      
Finally, analysis of police shooting data as a function of county-level predictors suggests that racial bias in police shootings is most likely to emerge in police departments in larger metropolitan counties with low median incomes and a sizable portion of black residents, especially when there is high financial inequality in that county. There is no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.

With the disclaimer that the conclusion might still be correct, I think looking at the county level is completely absurd. You leave yourself open to the Simpson's Paradox at a neighborhood level.

For argument's sake, let's say that the majority of police shootings happen in poor neighborhoods. Let's also assume, sadly, that the ratio of black/white people in poor neighborhoods is high.

Their analysis would imply that their is a racial bias to the shooting, when in fact, the racial bias could be entirely explained by the demographics. Or it might not, but doing it at a county level completely washes out all useful signal.

vessenes 2 days ago 3 replies      
Analyses like these are always helpful, and often raise lots of questions, maybe even more questions than they answer. As the parent of a black child, I have a personal interest in this data -- the statistic that some counties have 20x higher risks for unarmed blacks is pretty terrible.

In my mind, I tend to assume that criminals, active or former are more likely to be shot at than non-criminals, whether or not they are armed. I'd really like to see the data normalized against prior convictions or in-process-of-a-crime stats; that would help me understand:

1. Is the effect magnified or dampened by some sort of differences in black and white criminality in these areas?

2. Are these shootings happening while people mostly commission crimes, or are they, a-la Minnesota this week, something that appears to be just wholesale adrenaline-based killings by police officers?

JusticeJuice 2 days ago 1 reply      
Factors increasing police shootings- Large metropolitan counties- Low median incomes- High financial inequality- Sizeable portion of black residents.

Factors which did not affect police shootings- Local level crime rates- Race specific crime rates

Crazy takeaways- A black unarmed individual 3.49x more likely to be shot than a white unarmed individual on average across america.- Some counties showing 20x more likely

I'm interested to see this data in relationship to gun accessibility and gun ownership stats. Would less access to firearms affect police shootings? Is there a racial connection to gun ownership and carrying?

I'm not american and the idea of civilians with guns seems just so crazy to me.

bmmayer1 2 days ago 2 replies      
It seems the question we should be concerned with should not be 'is there racial bias in policing', to which the answer would surely always be 'yes' because there's one bias or another in everything human and police are human.

The question we should be concerned with should be: 'How is policing/governance structured in a way that enables or encourages people to act upon their biases to detrimental results?'

The distinction is important because eliminating bias/whateverism will never happen, but making it possible for the justice system to operate fairly given the biases of its constituent members should be a desired outcome.

advisedwang 2 days ago 1 reply      
They talk about comparing probability of {black, unarmed, and shot by police} vs {white, unarmed, and shot by police}. Is this not meaningless without adjusting for relative frequency of black vs white in the community? Shouldn't we be comparing P(shot by police|white & unarmed) vs P(shot by police|black & unarmed)?

Am I missing something from their methodology?

JoeAltmaier 2 days ago 1 reply      
I didn't understand it all. For instance, they admit some results may be due to more interactions with one population or another. I would have assumed to be useful, we'd want it normalized by population or total interactions by group, right? Else this all becomes just a heatmap of population.
enraged_camel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Relevant part:

Across almost all counties, individuals who were armed and shot by police had a much higher probability of being black or hispanic than being white. Likewise, across almost all counties, individuals who were unarmed and shot by police had a much higher probability of being black or hispanic than being white. Tragically, across a large proportion of counties, individuals who were shot by police had a higher median probability of being unarmed black individuals than being armed white individuals. While this pattern could be explained by reduced levels of crime being committed by armed white individuals, it still raises a question as to why there exists such a high rate of police shooting of unarmed black individuals.

chvid 2 days ago 2 replies      
Two concerns I don't see addressed in the study:

1. Whether suspect is unarmed is only known for certain after the incident.

2. Differences in levels of crimes by race.

lettergram 2 days ago 9 replies      
What I think is more horrifying, is the use of deadly force in general. For example, based on a quick Google search, 41 police were killed by shooters last year, while roughly 1,000 civilians were killed.

Police should not be using deadly force unless necessary, 41:1000 seems like some pretty bias reactions on the side of police.

The reason different races are shot at different rates can be based on anything including racism, likely hood to commit an offense, which race is more likely to have mental disease, whether or not it's more difficult to identify facial structure. Blaming race outright is kind of silly, it's trying to simplify a multi dimensional problem that needs all of it's dimensions to reach a conclusion.

omonra 2 days ago 1 reply      
I actually did a similar kind of back of the napkin + Google exercise the other night, here is what I wrote down:


Recent MN incident is definitely horrible and seems unequivocally wrong, no questions about it. It's very sad. It's worse than Garner and totally different scale than other high-profile cases of late. It's the sort of incident that definitely supports claims made by BLM (as previous ones have not, at least to me).

The clear racial implications prompted me to look at the overall country-wide figures to see if the actual stats for last few years reflect the narrative promulgated in the news (black people are disproportionately killed by the police).

1. "... roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic." (http://www.washingtontimes.com//police-kill-more-whites-t/)

2. "There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black."

The ratio of african-americans among cop killers (43% of all incidents) to those who are killed by cops (30% of all incidents) is 1.43 - which does not bear out the claim that they are unfairly targeted as a group (of course this doesn't absolve the individual cops who wrongfully kill innocent people).

The one obvious problem with this analysis is that the set of people who kill cops vs are killed by them are non-overlapping - but when country-wide stats over a few years are considered the numbers would sort themselves out (ie random white guy killed by mistake simply doesn't make the national news).

I'm sorry if this analysis is unpleasant and welcome criticism of why it could be wrong.

aestetix 2 days ago 0 replies      
A few points:

1. "In contrast to previous work that relied on the FBIs Supplemental Homicide Reports that were constructed from self-reported cases of police-involved homicide, this data set is less likely to be biased by police reporting practices."

I'm very interested to see if the full article (which is timing out so I can't check) goes into detail on what the reporting practices are, how they are biased, and how this data set solves those biases.

2. I'm curious how this data compares to the Guardian's study: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/0...

In particular, this database shows that in 2015, while the "per million" count of blacks killed was 7.27 (and for whites was 2.93), the "in total" count was 306 for blacks and 581 for whites. The statistics in 2016 so far are not much better: 3.23/1.41 respectively per million, and 136/279 in total. Ideally this number would be 0 for all counts, but we don't live in that world.

3. This report was published at the end of 2015, and unfortunately we have seen a massive spike in killings since then. Further, their dataset (according to the title) is only from 2011 to 2014. Is anyone working on a follow-up study using more recent data?

jomamaxx 2 days ago 0 replies      
The research is almost useless.

Different ethnic groups commit crimes at different rates - even if their is bias in apprehension/monitoring.

The question they should try to answer is:

'Among interactions with police, how much more or less likely are people to be shot'.

This way, we can ignore the possibility that cops are unfairly focusing more on blacks, and isolate and at least assess how much more likely someone is to die.

It seems that academia even has a problem with trying to get at the truth and heart of the matter.

jxramos 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just read this CityJournal post by Heather MacDonald this morning on the way to work. Search the article for the word "percent" and you'll hit all sorts of provocative stats not commonly heard in the media about shootings and race and police.http://www.city-journal.org/html/chicago-brink-14605.html
etendue 2 days ago 1 reply      

This article is attracting some distasteful comments, generally seems to be headed in a bad direction, and I want no association with it.

andreyk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Exciting to see the R files used to create this are attached and usable by anyone, so this measure can be tracked across time. As much as I can appreciate the benefit of having stories of individual cases of police misuse of deadly force for galvanizing activism and attempts at reform, I am not a big fan of emotional rhetoric as the main justification for a given policy stance. Relatively objective measures of how problematic the situation truly is seem far more practical to me, along with campaigns such as http://www.joincampaignzero.org/.

I am no statistics expert, so just curious, anyone here knowledgeable enough to read into the technical details and comment on how good the study quality seems to be?

rexpop 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Higher Quality Covariate Data is Needed.

> Ecological regression on county-level characteristics is plagued by difficulties theoretically [39, 51]; issues with data quality make it even harder to use county-level data. In the analysis of county-level predictors of racial bias in police shootings conducted in this paper, some of the data were low quality. Notably, the crime data may be biased by the reporting practices of the police, and Florida, Alabama, and Illinois failed to fully release data, which led to the use Bayesian imputation for counties in these states.

I'd like to see BLM take this on as their a demand during their next direct action: better data for Cody Ross @ the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

siegecraft 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like this problem gets framed as a racial one, which it might be, but never as a class one, which it also might be. Adding another factor to the data of "net worth" (a convenient proxy for class) could provide interesting analysis.
NetTechM 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like a really badly done study for multiple reasons. One, as a Hispanic, I would expect there to be a huge jump in numbers of Hispanics being killed in obvious places, Texas, California, Miami, new York. Half of the data is extremely slanted, there is no way that there are even a 10th the amount of anyone else being killed in some of those places (Miami) and yet the numbers are skewed to the point of hilarity towards the other races even in obvious places.
JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 0 replies      
Their abstract claim is pretty strong but doesn't seem backed up by their data. Looking at Table 2, when they throw in additional controls, it wipes out their claimed racial effect.
nomat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would love to see socioeconomic status included in the analysis as well.
nickbauman 2 days ago 2 replies      
US 2015 Fundamentals:

Number of gun deaths: ~13,000

Number of police officers killed: ~50

Number of civilians killed by police: ~1200

Number of white civilians killed: ~500

Number of black civilians killed: ~330

Percentage of blacks in the population: ~13

We have a large death-by-gun problem in the US as compared to the rest of the OECD.

RodericDay 2 days ago 1 reply      
> There is no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.
bdcravens 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm sure you didn't mean it as such, but this comes off with the same air as the "all lives matter" claimants.
grb423 2 days ago 6 replies      
I wish left, right and center could come together just this once to urge young black men to not fight with police. If you feel their authority is unjustified or they are punks then you really need to handle that politically. The police are duly authorized by the state however flawed and racist that state may be, to use deadly force. The are armed with government-issued, free firearms. Fighting with them leads to your death. If that isn't your goal, i.e., martyrdom for political gain then it's a bad idea. Lets urge the young black men to submit to lawful orders and take issue later in a court of law.
Rustls: new, modern TLS library written in Rust github.com
261 points by adamnemecek  1 day ago   99 comments top 10
Perceptes 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm so happy to see something like this in development. Every time there's a discussion about OpenSSL vulnerabilities, the topic of a future replacement written in Rust comes up, but no one was stepping up to the plate. Now we have some real progress towards a safer future.
oconnore 23 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm developing a twitch whenever I see the word "modern" in a software description. It doesn't actually say anything about what you're doing.
rudenoise 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Can anyone comment on how this implementation of TLS compares to the recent ocaml/mirageOS version?

How much does formal verification matter/increase confidence?

Is the rust version easier to integrate with other stacks?


nialv7 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Rustls use ring for crypto, and it seems most of the crypto algorithm code of ring is written in C/assembly. Kind of destroy the purpose?
teddyh 22 hours ago 4 replies      
My application needs RFC 6091, i.e. using OpenPGP keys instead of the usual X.509 certificates. (Why not X.509? Ask Peter Gutmann). This feature is not listed as something they dont support, nor as something they wont support, which is odd. Likewise for DTLS (RFC 6347). These omissions are strange.

Everything you Never Wanted to Know about PKI but were Forced to Find Out (https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/pkitutorial.pdf)

bluejekyll 1 day ago 2 replies      
No support for TLS 1.3? Any reason for this, other than work?
nialv7 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Memory safety issues are not the only vulnerabilities in a cryptography library. A simple example would be timing attacks.

Writing a cryptography library from scratch because the old one has too many security holes? Your implementation is likely to have even more.

We should really concentrate on making one implementation secure, instead of creating more libraries.

EugeneOZ 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad to see zero "unsafe" and "panic" :)
slimsag 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder, will Servo use this?
zmanian 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I can see this being immensely beneficial to environments that rely heavily of calling out openssl for TLS like node and python.
Chasing Cats frontier.com
294 points by TheGuyWhoCodes  2 days ago   86 comments top 25
6502nerdface 2 days ago 3 replies      
I remember back when Slashdot was cool (i.e., 2002), there was a post [0] about a guy who built [1] a cat-door with attached camera and software that could detect whether the cat was carrying something in its mouth, and only allow the cat to enter the house if not.

[0] http://slashdot.org/story/24258

[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20010405175311/http://quantumpic...

RickS 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is great. There's a project that's the inverse as well: http://www.quantumpicture.com/Flo_Control/flo_control.htm

A door that only lets cats in, based on image recognition.

As an aside, I've really enjoyed the particle photon so far. It was a little wonky at first when they didn't have persistent storage of state changes, but now that's up and running, it's flawless. It runs the lights in my house (via a relay just like OP) and has recovered from a few power outages with no attention necessary from me.

byuu 2 days ago 3 replies      
I definitely want this system!

But instead of cats, I want it to detect Fedex and UPS delivery drivers. And instead of turning on the sprinklers, I want it to ring my doorbell so that I know there's a package sitting on my front porch.

nostromo 2 days ago 1 reply      
A guy did something similar, but manual, to keep people from peeing in the alley behind his building.


I bet people would pay real money for a system like this.

js2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Squirrel hunting, also using a water deterrent and Python:


alexandrerond 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had expected information on how to tell cats apart from other moving things. Looks like this can be easily achieved with a raspberry pi, the PiCam and the motion software.
discardorama 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have a problem with my neighbor's cats deciding to pee and poop in my front yard. I decided to go with a few of these: https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-KIT19001-SSScat/dp/B000RIA95G .

They worked reasonably well, but the cats have learned that if they run quickly past one, it won't hiss. So now I'm thinking of modifying them so they use an IR beam, and a beam interruption would trigger the hiss.

The eternal battle goes on.

yoo1I 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like how he's training a neural network to, in turn, train the cats to avoid his lawn.
gerbilly 11 hours ago 0 replies      
How about using wolf urine as a repellent?


aab0 2 days ago 4 replies      
How necessary is the deep model there? It seems like a simple motion detector would work just as well since he doesn't mention using the lawn himself.
pmille5 2 days ago 1 reply      
What did those cats do to him...?
mmanfrin 2 days ago 1 reply      
A similar DIY approach to dealing with cats:


a-seeing-cue 2 days ago 0 replies      
You don't need a fully convolutional network, just a regular CNN for image recognition
addled 2 days ago 0 replies      
And when he gets old and crotchety, he can train the model on children as well.
soared 2 days ago 0 replies      
An SSD for this makes all me and all my HDDs want to cry.
dharma1 2 days ago 1 reply      
wonder if it works at night. This proved to be too much to crack for a Pascal VOC trained model I tried - https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61pY4UVbHxL...
abhi152 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did the Cat's behavior change ?
asimuvPR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do enjoy how overly complicated this is. Wonder what we will be building in five years.
Qwertious 2 days ago 0 replies      
For some reason, I expected this to be a sequel to "Chasing Ice".
dzolvd 2 days ago 1 reply      
So he likes dogs doing their business in his yard but not cats?
jacobsladder 2 days ago 7 replies      
Why does this guy hates cats so much?
danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
The content of this article is pretty cool...but if I had to come up with a HN title that a deep learning process would surmise would do extremely well, it would be literally this. Or maybe "Show HN: How to use deep learning to optimize honey production from beehives"

edit: The title of the submission has been changed; originally, it was something like "Using Deep Learning to Keep Cats off the Lawn"

mnort9 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is gold
anexprogrammer 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why doesn't he just get a dog?
wNk6A23YB 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool project yo. But can you flip a switch or something to make it attract life instead of repelling it?
Investor Day ycombinator.com
257 points by dshankar  3 days ago   88 comments top 20
lpolovets 3 days ago 4 replies      
As an investor, I think this will accomplish a few things:

1) A lot of scheduling friction will disappear. The week just after demo day is usually crazy because hundreds of founders and investors are all trying to schedule meetings with each other, and there are inevitable race conditions that lead to a lot of rescheduling and wasted time. (E.g. I email three founders with 5 possible time slots, and they all reply and ask for the same time slot.)

2) I think this will be great for investors who act quickly and go by their gut. There are plenty of investors out there -- especially those who write smaller checks -- for whom 20 minutes will be enough time to make a quick decision.

3) I'm not sure if this will be great for investors like me that approach investing more methodically rather than with their gut.* I love 1-hour meetings because that's plenty of time for both sides to dig in and learn a lot about each other. Twenty minutes feels very short to me, and I'm not sure if a 20-minute meeting is more likely to save me and the founder from an unnecessary 1-hour meeting, or if I end up having just as many 1-hour meeting -- but now with an extra 20 minutes tacked on.

That said, I don't want to judge this process before I try it at least once, and I'm looking forward to trying it out in August.

* FWIW, there are great gut-based investors and great methodical investors, and I'm not implying either approach is better.

beambot 3 days ago 3 replies      
> ...if Investing/General Partner is not present, the slot will be cancelled.

These seems to be an attempt to reinforce FOMO to force key people to attend demo day. Resorting to these tactics implies a pretty big perceived power imbalance... Eg. is this a reaction to senior partners sending their underlings because of DDay burnout? If so, this could backfire. The senior partners might just not show up (still), and force founders to attend offsite meetings later anyway (in addition to the new DDay meetings). In other words: This might just be a net increase in founder effort without changing the investor-founder DDay dynamic. After all: What do the senior partners gain / lose by this new situation? Not much (aside from FOMO), I'd guess. But the best investors will always be in demand anyway -- whether they attend DDay or not.

DelaneyM 3 days ago 1 reply      
Are investors weighted by their fund's size? Or are founders told the ranking they were given by each interested investor?

I can imagine many firms go into demo day with the resources and willingness to fund 10-20 ventures, whereas others are looking for only one or two.

I would much rather be the fifth choice of the former than third choice of the latter. If I knew my position in the stack I could figure it out for myself, or it could be calculated for me if YC is trying to avoid the negative consequences of making that transparent.

skrebbel 3 days ago 0 replies      
I really like that they cancel slots when no partners of the VC firm are present.
sandGorgon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Depending on how this is organized, this can be a spectacularly BAD idea.

Investors would love it because they now have visual confirmation of who all are the "hot" matches. I bet everyone other than the Sequoias would be straining to look at who the hot startups are...and completely ignore the ones in front of them.

For the long tail of a YC batch - the ones that are not hotly contested - this could be a disaster. Previously, investors would be forced to actually look at a startup and decide in isolation. Now they can simply look at the Big VC.

I can completely see why investors would love this.

One might as well make public the interest match list and rank it by order of "likes" received.

People are perfectly capable of driving up and down the Bay Area. Guess what - we get a few free meals and coffees out of it.

EDIT: guess what, you can bring associates to tailgate Sequoia & A16Z investors.

EDIT2: what you guys might be trying to do is be helpful. For example, this lets you force-schedule investor meetings for startups that had no investor interest and term it as "the AI did it!". But I'm not sure if that will be really helpful ... at the cost of drastically reducing FOMO factor for most other startups.

sachinag 3 days ago 4 replies      
I assume this is using the same or similar algorithm as the NRMP algorithm uses for U.S. residency match day?
chicagoBears76 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a signaling issue introduced at all?

1) can investors see that a startup is not at the venue or at a table all morning and get a feel for demand?

2) can investors gather any information from the matching results to get a feel for demand?

3) is there a chance for investors to send false signals by showing their interest in other startups artificially? Vice versa for startups at all (would require collusion so unlikely)

2 and 3 not so much but regarding number one, will physical observation of the meeting space introduce any signaling oppurtinities be it genuine or fraudulent by either party?

BinaryIdiot 3 days ago 4 replies      
Seems like a solid idea. I honestly thought something like this was already in place so it makes sense. Still though the first thing I thought of is what it might feel like to be part of the statistic few who get zero investors clicking the button (I mean statistically this should happen at least a couple of times due to the batch size, right? Or am I severely underestimating the amount of investors that attempts do demo day?)
loceng 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is extremely valuable data for YC to capture for themselves. I wonder how they might use it other than for a match-making algorithm..
sytse 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is great, it would have saved us (GitLab) a lot of driving around. It is one of those idea's that are very obvious in hindsight but for sure I didn't think of it.
jknz 3 days ago 3 replies      
The stable marriage problem has two natural algorithms that produce a stable matching: one algorithm give priority to women's choices and one gives priority to men's choices.

If the algorithm used by yc to produce the matching for each slot is based on these, which algorithm is used? The one that gives priority to women's choices or to men's choices? A variation that doesn't give priority to any gender choices?

canistr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me a lot of Waterloo's co-op matching system, Jobmine.
koolba 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Using both these ranked inputs, our software will create Investor Day schedules for each investor and each startup, which will take place at the Computer History Museum on Wednesday 8/24.

Sounds like the backend of a dating site for startups and investors.

emagdnim2100 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is almost exactly how some law schools run their on-campus interviewing process (except the bit about actual decision-makers being required to attend). From what I've observed, it works really well. Pre-screening for at least some level of mutual interest can save everyone a lot of time.
cheriot 2 days ago 0 replies      
"all the companies will be set up at tables to meet with you face to face."

A study on speed dating showed an increased opinion from the person that approaches the other. Intentional?

RCortex 3 days ago 4 replies      
From the way they've set this up, it appears to be optimal for investors and pessimal for founders. Anyone else notice the same or disagree? It's in the proof for a particular theorem.
xarien 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested, please swipe to the right...
free2rhyme214 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool. Good to see YC improving.
idlewords 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is so romantic!
chollida1 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't know, your answer very wrong to me.What do you even know about math.

Did you even win the Putnam, if not then please don't be bolder than the parent poster.

Linux debugging tools I love jvns.ca
268 points by ingve  2 days ago   31 comments top 11
gpcz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Another great suite of debugging tools not mentioned is Valgrind ( http://valgrind.org/ ). The default application (Memcheck) can help find memory leaks and off-by-one errors. Cachegrind/callgrind are great supplements to Perf, and Massif can help get a better perspective on memory usage in your programs.

I feel reckless writing C/C++ code if I can't test it with Memcheck.

imiric 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can someone experienced with SystemTap or dtrace4linux comment on why these tools aren't more popular among Linux professionals?

I recently had to debug a memory usage issue at work, and SystemTap seemed like it would be a lifesaver in those and many other occasions. Unfortunately, both myself and my coworkers were inexperienced with it and there wasn't much documentation about it online, so we ended up using a standard profiler to track down the issue, which turned out to be a much slower process.

bpchaps 2 days ago 1 reply      
Instead of strace, check out sysdig. It's significantly more powerful so long as you're willing to install the associated kernel modules:http://www.sysdig.org/
gotsbee 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made an account to say that the person who writes this blog sounds like a great person.
camperman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still love DDD (https://www.gnu.org/software/ddd/). It's really useful for when you want to see what your code is doing to some area in memory.
zenlikethat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Julia's posts are always high quality! Keep up the good work.
hubatrix 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was introduced to Crash, for actual kernel debugging today, you can dump your data and examine it in very detail.
cbd1984 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everyone forgets about ltrace: Like strace, but for calls to dynamic libraries.

It gets you something closer to what the program looks like at the source code level: You get calls to printf (well, __printf_chk on a modern Linux) instead of write, for example. The downside is that ltrace doesn't (and can't) know as much about every single function in every single dynamic library, so, while the names are there, the arguments are typically less convenient to work with and may be incorrect. (For example, it doesn't dereference pointers to print out nice strings, and it might not know how many arguments a function takes.)

oblio 1 day ago 1 reply      
opensnoop -> lsof?
partycoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Taking core dumps, heap dumps and traffic dumps are very powerful ways for debugging. The most powerful tool I have seen lately is rr, the replaying debugger from Mozilla. http://rr-project.org

Personally I also like to extract data from logs with UNIX tools and feed them into csv/tsv files, then process them with R.

x0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Julia is the coolest person.
Judges Rely on a Flawed $2 Drug Test That Puts Innocent People Behind Bars propublica.org
212 points by ohjeez  2 days ago   111 comments top 12
dsugarman 2 days ago 7 replies      
"Suppose a drug test is 99% sensitive and 99% specific. That is, the test will produce 99% true positive results for drug users and 99% true negative results for non-drug users. Suppose that 0.5% of people are users of the drug. If a randomly selected individual tests positive, what is the probability that he is a user?"[0]

33.2% thanks to Bayes Theorem.

If you have a test with 99% accuracy and 1 in 200 people use the drug, someone testing positive more likely than not is not using the drug. If the drug is less popular, that percentage drops further at a fast rate.


dewster 2 days ago 4 replies      
Drilling down, past the entire war on drugs nonsense, past the perverse incentives of plea bargaining, the base problem is our old testament focus on meting out punishment rather than on rehabilitation.

If I kill someone there's probably something wrong with me, and it's in everyone's best interests to repair me. If I know that someone I care about is going to kill someone, I should be able to turn them over to the authorities without having to worry that they will almost certainly be abused and returned in worse shape.

Having the term "fuck you in the ass prison" in the common vocabulary and used semi-humorously or as a reference to the normal functioning of the criminal justice system is exceedingly troubling.

stuaxo 2 days ago 8 replies      
Plea bargaining needs to go, it's letting evidence that wouldn't stand up in court send people to prison.
andrewfong 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Interestingly, we also found that Albritton had pleaded guilty to a 2008 misdemeanor, a D.U.I. conviction in Louisiana, despite breathalyzer results showing her blood-alcohol level at 0.0. When we asked her about this, she said that she had caused a collision by pulling onto the wrong side of a two-lane highway, and because she was guilty of that, she did not protest the other charges; shes still unable to explain why she confessed to a crime there was no evidence she committed."


This. We place too much trust in confessions.

pmarreck 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't see this sort of thing without plugging http://www.innocenceproject.org/ (disclaimer: I donate every month). Here's their Twitter: https://twitter.com/innocence
fisherjeff 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why this wouldn't treated like a field sobriety test - if it's positive, just bring in the suspect and the sample. If, after subjecting it to a more accurate and rigorous test like the mass spectrometer mentioned in the article, it's negative, the suspect should be free to go.

How something like this isn't happening long before a plea bargain or trial enters the picture is just beyond me.

brett40324 2 days ago 1 reply      
"74 percent of the convicted didnt possess any drugs at the time of their arrest"

Whats the solution here?

This is an embarassing failure of the justice system and all involved. Why is it so acceptable for them to do such a bad job?

guard-of-terra 2 days ago 1 reply      
> The crumb from the floor

> Albritton was charged with felony drug possession

WTF guys, seriously? Possession of a crumb on a floor?

It's not a drug test that's faulty here.

rayiner 2 days ago 3 replies      
The field drug tests are indeed a scam, but parts of this article don't pass the smell test.


> Albritton was escorted to a dark wood-paneled courtroom. A guilty plea requires the defendant to make a series of statements that serve as a confession and to waive multiple constitutional rights. The judge, Vanessa Velasquez, walked her through the recitation, Albritton recalls, but never asked why she couldnt stop crying long enough to speak in sentences. She had managed to say the one word that mattered: guilty.

This is called a "plea colloquy." An example is here: http://www.vawd.uscourts.gov/media/1966/guiltypleacolloquy.p.... As you can see, it's a conversation in which the judge must assure herself that the defendant understands the charges against her, understands the consequences, and that the prosecution has facts it is prepared to prove at trial (see question 31).

At least in federal courts, these are very detailed and take quite some time. I don't know how things are done in Harris County, but an insufficient plea colloquy is grounds for having the guilty plea set aside later, so judges have strong incentives to ensure their colloquies are adequate.

So not only is it true that "guilty" is the "only word that mattered," the article's implication that the judge is only interested in hearing the word "guilty" is totally at odds with not only the judge's incentives, but the prosecutor's. What "tough on crime" prosecutor looking to rack up convictions would leave the door open for a conviction to be vacated just because the defendant couldn't get through the colloquy?

habosa 2 days ago 0 replies      
"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" [0]

This could not be less true in today's America. I encourage everyone here to read The New Jim Crow (and books like it). Then you'll see how deep the mass incarceration problem is.

0 -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstone%27s_formulation

Justin_K 2 days ago 0 replies      
Between this kind of stuff and civil asset forfeiture, I'm really disgusted at what our legal system has become. Let's even throw in red light tickets as a bonus. All of this crap comes down building a money machine for the governments that are here to serve us. When will we have a leader with the ability to end the madness?
mslate 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why is the price of the test relevant?
Tech workers think Silicon Valley and startups are losing their luster qz.com
229 points by prostoalex  1 day ago   316 comments top 28
johan_larson 1 day ago 3 replies      
I spent seven years in the Bay area, and found it quite a questionable deal. Not that it was a bad place per se, but it was expensive and the stuff I was doing just wasn't very special.

My sense is that if you are going to go to the Bay area, and put up with those high high costs for everything, you need to make it pay. Spend your weekends doing unusual stuff that you can't do elsewhere. Take jobs that don't exist elsewhere. And if that doesn't sound like your thing, don't go there in the first place.

zallarak 1 day ago 1 reply      
A huge problem in my opinion, is employee equity and compensation. No doubt, VCs are risking their money. But when you look at the system taking a few steps back, you see tons of VCs have made insane mounts of money in the last decade. Enough to buy castles, sports teams, and their own private islands.

Then you look at the swaths of tech workers who were there at the early stage. I've seen multiple large exits in startups. Places I've worked at or have had close friends. People who were there at the seed stage with barely a MVP, who built products, pulled all-nighters, and worked 7 days a week. Upon acquisition, the VCs made 10s of millions, the founders made 10s of millions and the employees got new car money (for 2 years of intense work getting paid well below market).

EDIT: Another interesting point that is a bit too off-topic and lengthy for this comment is that most startups simply don't realize the value of (5+)x engineers. I've worked with people that are astronomically more efficient than entry or mid-level engineers who make 100-130K, yet they make around the same amount. Its very worth it to find these people and pay them 2-3x market and retain them. I'm not talking about algorithms wizards (although these people tend to be decent algorists too), I'm speaking of engineers who can work on all levels of the stack and ship code that is simple and works. They understand business needs and don't get caught up in self-gratifying projects. They use a mix of new and old tools, selecting them for reliability and efficiency.

Noseshine 1 day ago 3 replies      

 > There is more opportunity for tech professionals in more places than ever before, > wrote Terence Chiu, vice president of Indeed Prime by email, citing cities such as > Austin, Boston, Seattle, and New York City.
Or simply from home. I've been working from home the last year, doing coding for a startup idea (for others, not my own project).

Seriously, in the age of the Internet, and of looong traffic jams on 101 and on the various Bay bridges, if an employer insists every programmer has to hang around in that area something is off in their thinking. As someone who did hang around there (during the dot com boom), at several companies and visiting many more as part of the job, it is overrated, especially for programmers. Sure it's better to be around the coworkers everything else being equal - but everything else is not equal. The costs of doing so (not just monetary) is very high.

It's a beautiful area alright, I lived in the Presidio at the end (that's the huge park right next to the Golden Gate bridge), perfect. But not all people can live in the same place... (PS: By the way, the East Bay has great places too! The Oakland hills near the top, for tens of miles, have some of the most beautifully located properties in the entire Bay Area. Plus endless parks and trails and horse riding, etc., not to mention the incredible views. And in Oakland visit Jack London Square and then walk downtown.)

mevile 1 day ago 7 replies      
I don't know what's meant by "tech workers" but as a programmer I can't really think of a better place with more jobs, more events, more everything that matters. All my former coworkers and friends live here. There are meetups all the time. I don't see how it's losing its luster. Yes it's expensive, but I BART in from a place with cheaper housing costs. I don't have to live in downtown SF to work there.
Olscore 1 day ago 7 replies      
Silicon Valley hasn't released a blockbuster app, website or company in a while. Particularly social media companies that upend the rest of the world and the way it functions. The directly consumer facing / social companies really move perception versus other companies that don't interact with the general public. There was also the iPhone 2007 which changed the way the entire world used their phones, and a lot of fallout change with it. I think the media attention seems to have lulled a bit since there haven't been what I'll call blockbuster techs in a while; e.g., some large consumer facing company that changes people's lifestyles. So maybe the glamour is missing. The amount of attention SV received a few years ago seemed to be bigger, with everyone eagerly awaiting new life changing tech that is as obvious as the iPhone, FB, Instagram, YouTube or other very consumer facing and widely used consumer companies.

Seems like Uber and Snapchat were the last game changing companies for how people interact with the world via tech on a large scale. IMO it's lack of media attention, excitement and companies that are very obvious lifestyle changers.

rattray 1 day ago 2 replies      
Note that there may be a strong selection bias here, as not many "top engineers" in the Bay Area use Indeed.

Indeed, Indeed seems to attract the kind of engineers most likely to give the kinds of responses seen in their survey, like preferring large established brands over startups.

This is less likely (in my opinion) to indicate a shift in engineer preferences than it is to reveal the skew of Indeed's userbase.

Disclaimer: I work at Hired, a direct competitor to Indeed Prime, and live/work in SF. (Also note that although our customers often use competitors, they typically cite Indeed Prime as less effective for startup talent than much smaller competitors).

kristopolous 1 day ago 1 reply      
My problems of lonliness and depression went away after I left the bay. It's important that I'm not there. I've seen this happen to others as well.
mmmBacon 1 day ago 1 reply      
These articles seem to be a dime a dozen; always predicting the demise of SV. But SV is to tech as Wall St is to finance and that's not going to change for either of these places anytime soon. A key advantage of SV for me has been great career mobility while being able to set down roots. I've been able to push my career forward by working at different industry leading companies without having to move. This allows my family life to be really stable which is the most important thing to me. I really believe I probably could not have a acheived that anywhere else.
kilroy123 1 day ago 1 reply      
I couldn't be more happy working remote and living abroad now. I have zero desire to go to the bay area. I earn as much as I would back there. But I live in a WAY cheaper city.
pmorici 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love visiting the bay area and there there is no disputing there are a lot of engineering jobs there and probably always will be but for a lot of people the cost of living and in particular housing makes working there a raw deal. It really only makes sense if you are just out of school and can move up the ranks quickly or if you have notoriety and can command salary over $200k per year. For the average mid to late career engineer who is going to get an offer in the $130k - $150k range it doesn't make financial sense.
gorkemyurt 1 day ago 2 replies      
What people seem to miss when they project about Silicon Valley's future is that how existing tech monopolies are becoming increasingly profitable. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Netflix are all literally killing it! If you want to grow your career in any of these big tech companies you have to be in the Bay Area (Seattle for Microsoft or Amazon depending on what part of the company).
eva1984 1 day ago 0 replies      
My thought exactly.Silicon Valley is still top spots for tech hunter, but it is not irreplaceable.

As to the startup thing. The tech bubble hasn't burst, yet. But valuation of startups, big or small, are already taking hits, which means a large chuck of employees' potential salary have evaporated. I would predict that startups are going to have a hard time attracting the best talents out there, on the other hand, they might retreat their appetite for expansion since the growth is slowing.

dkarapetyan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wait, since when have technology workers thought that Silicon Valley was lustrous? The media certainly paints things that way but anyone on the ground floor knows it is anything but. Legacy technology stacks, a revolving door of programmers and managers, incoherent product roadmaps, long hours, shady backroom no-poaching deals, etc.

I mean what sane person thinks any of that is good?

swsieber 1 day ago 2 replies      
With what demographic? They mention ages, but I can think of other things as well.

Maybe its because I have a good job that affords me some freedom, but as a married man soon welcoming a baby, Silicon Valley holds no appeal for me - but then again, tech isn't my life, it's only a portion.

Factors in that statement include cost of living and commute times - both low for me in the Utah Valley.

It probably really does matter that I hate commuting and I'd like a yard.

mathattack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Silicon Valley is great for growing tech. If you want stability, may as well work for a large tech company somewhere cheaper. (Though IBM has proven than stability is illusory) It's also getting to be very expensive for "2 people in a garage". Where Silicon Valley excels is hyper growth.

Try scaling to 100+ engineers in Pittsburgh or Chicago. Try meeting VCs daily I between Series B and C. It's harder everywhere else than in Silicon Valley.

The area also has an energy that comes from high energy educated transplants that is hard to replicate. I've seen it in New York but not as much elsewhere in the US.

pducks32 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently moved to the Bay from Chicago and work at a startup. I had always dreamed about moving to SV and I love working for a startup and seeing startups and famous tech companies emblazoned on buildings around me; but, sometimes I feel like everything is dead. Like am I missing something in the south bay? It seems like not much is happening. Maybe I'm just not used to suburban living but it doesn't feel like the buzzing place I imagined.
ashwinaj 1 day ago 0 replies      
To each their own. When I read such articles I wonder what the motivation is?

Clearly the Bay area, whether you like it or not, is a phenomenal place which has stayed at the top of the tech pyramid since it's inception as "Silicon Valley". It's expensive, people work crazy hours, tech bubble, housing bubble, traffic, bad infrastructure etc. But there's a reason why most major technological developments happen here and not elsewhere.

I'm not advocating that this is a place that everyone would enjoy living, but bashing it for it's negatives and completely ignoring the obvious positives, is IMO disingenuous.

superdupermanhe 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of these tech companies are derivative, there are only a few that are truly innovative that actually results in productivity gains. Most of these derivative tech companies look for incremental improvements for some minor gain in efficiency or effectiveness for the frivolous chase of increasing their total equity value with an entire industry that supports and feeds off this drivel.
20years 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think a lot of mid-level to senior-level developers are starting to realize you can net a lot more and have a better quality of life outside of the bay area.

The low interest in working for startups is also telling imo. Could that be because there isn't a lot of exciting startups currently or is it that developers are looking for more stability?

freestockoption 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel if you haven't figured out where "home" is, you would be a lot more open to the idea of moving. But as soon as you add family to the mix, "home" becomes more defined.

When you're younger, you switch jobs a lot more often to figure out what you want to do and to try something new. I wouldn't be surprised if that extended into moving more often. E.g. I want to try city living, then suburb living, etc.

Funny thing about the Bay Area, though, is that it can get hard to move around because if you've lived here for more than a couple years, you are now renting or owning a place so cheap (in comparison to market prices) that you can't justify moving.

bane 22 hours ago 0 replies      
San Francisco is beautiful except for the city.

More seriously, I've half-thought about moving to the West Coast from the East Coast a number of times. For jobs, the Bay Area takes the cake...but for remote work, there's other places along the coast that aren't cities and are delightfully pleasant -- nobody ever seems to talk about Monterrey for example.

mshenfield 1 day ago 0 replies      
The survey findings have to be taken with a grain of salt - one year of data from one site, and no mention of trying to find a representative sample.
curiouscat321 1 day ago 2 replies      
For those of you in Seattle, what are your thoughts on the Seattle Freeze?
adomanico 16 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who loves living in SF, this is a promising trend!
cloudjacker 1 day ago 1 reply      
a) San Francisco would look like Detroit if it wasn't for the tech industry. Still is the peninsula's largest camping ground.

b) The idea that "tech" is the pinnacle of social status and the industry to disdain over inequality is laughable at best, even if it is true in that area. Being "in tech" flies so far under the radar in New York City and people in that industry earn the same amounts as in SF.

c) The infrastructure in Silicon Valley is laughable. Many startups trying to "change the world" look at the world through a lens of what doesn't function well in Silicon Valley. When the rest of the world, or the addressable market, already has an adequate solution to a problem the Stanford Grad and their Sand Hill neighbors thinks exists. (Random example: Many gas stations on the peninsula don't take credit cards, for reference. Cellular internet speeds on Verizon, T-Mobile, At&t, and Google Fi are pretty slow, startups are still working on clever WIFI solutions not realizing that the rest of the country has cellular data faster than Silicon Valley's wifi)

beatpanda 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I've always wanted to live in the Bay Area, I moved here without any plans to work in tech, and only ended up doing it because it's the best deal being offered.

If you live here and you're anywhere in this thread complaining about how it's overrated and you hate having to be here for work, please, get out. Now. My friends and neighbors are struggling to be in this place for lots of reasons you're oblivious to, precisely because there are so many people who actually hate it here but feel they have to be here for work.

You're not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by staying here. Move. Please.

superdupermanhe 16 hours ago 0 replies      
fleitz 1 day ago 3 replies      
Some seriously bad analysis in the article

'About half of millennial tech workers say its important (26.5%)'

Year-long road trip where it's 70F every day in North America citylab.com
230 points by thebent  2 days ago   140 comments top 34
mmastrac 2 days ago 3 replies      
21C for us non-Americans. That would be a pleasant year's worth of weather for me, given that the winter temperature in my Canadian city can reach -35C in the deepest part of winter.
wallflower 2 days ago 5 replies      
It is almost a cliche but my friends who moved to LA truly do miss the seasons, especially leaves changing colors. It is like living in a giant open-air mall all year long. When nothing changes but the store displays, the seasonal heartbeat is lost. Living in LA, of course, means they can go to the beach all-year long with a short commute though. Snapchat is particularly smart for having its corporate headquarters almost on the beach.
cortesoft 2 days ago 3 replies      
Or they could just stay in San Diego all year round....
thedaemon 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am planning a road trip this year from my home in Alabama across and up to Washington state in late August. I believe I timed it just right! Side note: I cannot stand the heat and humidity here in Alabama this time of year. When it's 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is so high that as soon as you walk outside you are covered in water like you just jumped in a pool..... it's unbearable. I love the outdoors but due to the climate around here I can't do anything during the summer months.
Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's an idea for an app: a program that does this for any desired temperature range. Set it to 65-75F, and you probably don't have that big detour to Alaska. This ought to be a function in travel planning programs.
aab0 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nifty. You could probably turn this into a useful planning tool for RV camper types if you turned it into a constraint-solver or integer programming problem by using RV or camping locations and adding costs for relocation, to get a cost-effective set of trips up the coasts and back down over the year.
Jtsummers 2 days ago 1 reply      
sulam 2 days ago 1 reply      
Or you could just live in the SF Bay Area, and do a mild east/west traverse that doesn't range more than 50 miles. Problem solved.
quotemstr 2 days ago 3 replies      
Am I the only one who prefers rain, snow, cold weather, and darkness?
overcast 2 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest issue with this, is that the average temperatures don't change that quickly, so you're treading pavement in most of these locations waiting for the temps to change. It's a year long road trip in the most agonizingly slow way possible. Neat premise though.
tempestn 2 days ago 1 reply      
In the visualization video it looks like the 70 degree latitude is much more uniform in approximately the eastern half of the country than the western half. In the east it basically just marches northward in a line from winter to summer, but in the west it's all over the place. (And not just on the coast.) Does this have something to do with prevailing winds? Elevation?
jmspring 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm born and raised in the Bay Area (a native, of sorts). Between work and family, I've travelled more than a little bit the last few years. I live on the coast, we used to have some great storms in the late 90s, but nothing impressive in over 10 years.

For me, I need the change of temperature (sure it's between about 8 and 21-25C, but a variation). The lack of light in winter affects me more.

I've been through one Finnish winter and had visits to Tallinn (-30C), Stockholm (-12C) and Munich (0C) one work trip where 0c really felt like I should be wearing shorts.

What I can't deal with is hot and humid. Arrived in Germany about two weeks back, it was 33C and humid. Not enough showers would help not feeling "sweaty and dirty".

I think some variation is useful. I also miss rain.

kirpekar 2 days ago 0 replies      
This can be a nice calculation based on the contour lines. I'm sure there are several local optimal solutions (Bay Area, San Diego) but I'd be interested in working on an elegant "doable" solution (e.g. no more than 200 miles of travel a week)
anabis 1 day ago 0 replies      
The video of a line of red dots moving northward reminded me of Cherry blossum front () in Japan.


thebent 2 days ago 0 replies      
Favorite part about this is June, July, August and September in Colorado. Summertime in the Rockies! Any startups needing an excuse to get away, come visit us :)
murukesh_s 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are in India, you could just stay the whole year in Bangalore. https://www.google.co.in/search?q=bangalore+temperature
11thEarlOfMar 1 day ago 0 replies      
So here's the thing.

It starts in Brownsville, Tx.[1]

In January 2016, There were 2 days in Brownsville where the high was 70, the 13th and 28th.

Even if you say +/- 5 degrees is 'close enough' to 70, less than 1/2 the days in January 2016 fall into that range.

From the 3rd to the 4th, the high temperature jumped 15 degrees from 51 to 66.

On the 2nd, the high was 45 degrees. The 15th, the high was 83 degrees. That's a 38 degree high temperature spread in one month.

So if you really do need 70, spot-on to be happy, you may need to add standard deviation to your criteria.

Here's the chart:

[1] http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/brownsville-tx/78520/januar...

ourmandave 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was looking to relocate a while ago and found a website that gives year round weather for places. Apparently Hawaii is consistently 74 and sunny.

Their summary of pros/cons was you may become bored.

TheMagicHorsey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Needs to be a loop so you can just keep driving the route till you die.
tekism 2 days ago 0 replies      
Watching that youtube clip of the 70 degree temp moving up and down the US really puts thing in perspective, one small tip of the earth's axis and we are all f#$$ed
kyu 2 days ago 3 replies      
I would kill myself July - October... in the middle of nowhere...
Shivetya 2 days ago 0 replies      
damn this would make a great motorcycle route, but keep it towards the higher side of 70 for the naked bikes. High temperatures and summer humidity can side line me as much as below freezing temperatures. I can do below freezing but I get leery of what I find on the road around the next corner. Summer heat can be dangerous as many will ride without jackets which is unsafe and dehydrating
hrayr 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a nice visual depiction of why LA and most of the west coast is so nice year round.
sytelus 2 days ago 1 reply      
On Big Island, Hawaii you can probably find 70-degree weather somewhere anytime of year.
lngermani 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks to global warming you can soon drive anywhere you want in 90 degrees.
coherentpony 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how the route changes as a function of the desired temperature.
justinzollars 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too much time in Texas and they miss September in San Francisco!
codecamper 2 days ago 0 replies      
Driving this far the temperature might become 71.
blacksmythe 2 days ago 1 reply      
Or stay in Santa Barbara pretty much year-round.
dayaz36 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or you can just go to San Diego
bmm6o 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure the writer understands the project. The route is constructed so that the daily high temperature is 70, so most of the time is spent in sub-70 degree weather. If "69 degrees and below makes you shiver like a soaked kitten", you're SOL.
izzydata 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just set my thermostat to 70.
CodeSheikh 2 days ago 4 replies      
Too much free time and money on hands, eh? Good for you mate.
Our nightmare on Amazon ECS appuri.com
262 points by maslam  2 days ago   121 comments top 19
tjholowaychuk 2 days ago 6 replies      
I do think they need to put more effort on CLIs etc, instead of relying on OSS to fulfill this niche, or at very least put more effort into supporting OSS.

Lambda is similar, we have 'Serverless' and I'm hacking on Apex (https://github.com/apex/apex) just to make it usable. I get that they want to create building blocks, but at the end of the day consumers just want something that works, you can still have building blocks AND provide real workable solutions.

I was part of the team migrating Segment's infra to ECS, and for us at least it went pretty well, some issues with agents disconnecting etc I sort of wrote off since ECS was so new at the time.

Another annoying thing not mentioned in the article is that the default AMI used for ECS is not at all production ready, you really have to bake your own images if you want something usable. I suppose this is maybe because there's subjectively no "good" defaults, I'm not sure, but it's a bit of a pain.

ELB for service discovery is fine if you can afford it, I had no issues with that, ELB + DNS keeps things very simple. I'm not a huge fan of all these complex discovery mechanisms, in most cases I think they're completely unnecessary unless you're just looking to complicate your infrastructure.

I also think in many cases not propagating global config (env) changes, is a good thing, depending on your taste. Scoping to the container gives you nice isolation and and more flexibility if you need to redirect a few to a new database for example. You don't have to ask your-self "shit, which containers use this?", it's much like using flags in the CLI, if we _all_ used environment variables in place of every flag it would be a complete mess.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the ELB zero-downtime stuff was awesome, if you try and re-invent that with haproxy etc, then... that's unfortunate haha. No one should have to implement such a critical thing.

nzoschke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for the shoutout to Convox! I'm on the core team.

I understand these challenges. I wrote about a lot of them here:


But we have been having tons of success on ECS both for our own stuff and for hundreds of users.

I see the agent disconnection problem too. convox automatically marks those as unhealthy and the ASG replaces them.

It's happening more than I'd like but I'm seeing little to no service disruption. One of the root causes is the docker daemon hanging.

Glad Kubernetes is working well for you. Many roads lead to success as the cloud matures.

dperfect 2 days ago 2 replies      
> ECS doesn't have a way to pass configuration to services

I believe this is the recommended way:

ECS container instances automatically get assigned an IAM role[1], with credentials accessible via instance metadata ( [2]. Containers can access that metadata too. The AWS SDK automatically checks that metadata and configures itself with those credentials, so all you have to do is give your IAM role access to a private S3 bucket with configuration data and load that configuration when booting up your app.

That way there's no need to copy/paste variables, and no leaking secrets in ENV variables. You do have to be careful though (as with any EC2 instance) not to allow outside access to that instance metadata endpoint, e.g., in a service that proxies requests to user-defined hosts on the network (but if you're doing that, you've got a lot more to worry about anyway).

[1] http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonECS/latest/developerguide/i...

[2] http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/iam-roles...

cddotdotslash 2 days ago 7 replies      
What I don't understand is why AWS squandered this opportunity. Given the popularity of Lambda, they clearly saw the market for completely managed services. They could have designed a platform where users upload containers and AWS runs them. No servers, no crazy settings, etc. Instead, they created this entire platform where you still have to run the entire EC2 infrastructure, there is no service discovery, etc. They essentially created a half baked Mesos or Kubernetes clone. I'm still shocked when I hear companies going "all in" on ECS.
cxmcc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Our experience with ECS (at instacart) is not the best but we managed to get it work.

Here is how we get around the issues mentioned in the article:

* Service discovery: built our own with rabbitmq (we use that before ECS anyway).

* Configs: pass a s3 tarball url as environment variable, download it in containers.

* Cli: built our own with help of cloudformation

* Agent disconnecting: we did not see situation where all agents disconnected. we use a large pool of instances, there was never an issue to start containers because of agents.

In addition to these, we also do the following to make ECS work as we want it to:

* built our blue-green deploy solution (structure provided by ECS is very limited)

* built our own solution to integrate with ELB (ELB allows only one port per ELB)

cyberferret 2 days ago 2 replies      
Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor when I read "leaks environment variables"... What?? That is incredibly scary for use, as we just went through an audit process of our code on about 6 different web apps to ensure that all secrets were placed in environment variables on our Elastic Beanstalk configs and not in the main codebase... If this now results in LESS security (all our code is in private Git repositories) than before, then we have essentially taken a step backwards!
jbaviat 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have been running Sqreen production on ECS since October 2015, and we have been pretty happy about it the whole time. Of course ECS was very minimal at the beginning, then many stuff improved, allowing for easier deploy, easier logging, and finally easier auto-scaling. When the ECR (AWS managed registry) was added to our region, it was quite a party @Sqreen :)I would see no point leaving it for something else today.

A remaining issue is that you cannot spawn two containers speaking to a given ELB (AWS load balancer) on the same host if they need to bind the same port.

rjurney 1 day ago 1 reply      
Running DCOS (data center operating system) on AWS is a snap, and solves all these problems. It makes running docker images a no-brainer compared to all other solutions, and this includes docker images that interact with one another (not just 100 apache servers or whatever). It is the best software I have ever used, hands down. It is the second coming of zeus buddha jesus belly. It makes scaling anything in the cloud easy. No, I do not work there. No, I am not exaggerating. Yes, I spent a month fucking with swarm and service discovery before deploying a large cluster of my service in two days on DCOS.

Docker is stuck in the 'one image on one machine' mindset. DCOS is taking over at the higher levels of the stack. Mark my word.


hosh 2 days ago 2 replies      
I put something into production with ECS as well. I ran into the same missing components too -- lack of service discovery, and such. Kubernetes work a lot better. As it stands right now, I wouldn't take a gig involving putting ECS into production.

Now if ECS 2.0 was really AWS hosted Kubernetes, I would be very interested in hearing about that...

Ixiaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Probably want to use a secret management tool and just not initialize into environment variables...


huslage 2 days ago 3 replies      
Environment Variables are NEVER private. Please don't think that you can hide information in there as all of that information ends up in the process table which is public across the entire machine.
x0rg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope the future of cloud will really be managed OSS as service. Google is doing a great job with Kubernetes and GKE and I hope the other providers will understand that. Microsoft is on the right way with DCOS as service, Amazon is just not there yet.
maslam 2 days ago 3 replies      
HN, I'm a co-founder at Appuri. Happy to answer questions! PS: We LOVE most AWS services like Amazon Redshift. Just not ECS ;)
advisedwang 2 days ago 1 reply      
[off topic]Author, if you are reading this be aware that when viewed in a narrow browser window the sharing icons overlap the text, even though 40% of the screen is taken up by the right hand sidebar/empty space.
graffitici 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anybody has insights about using Docker Swarm? I imagine Kubernetes has been battle-tested way more in production, especially by the likes of Google. But from what I understand, Docker is really pushing swarm. I'd be curious to hear if others even considered Swarm before choosing K8s..
siliconc0w 2 days ago 0 replies      
We evaluated ECS and Beanstalk but ended up writing a tool around building CoreOS/Fleet clusters (not currently opensource but I'm trying).

We ran into similar complaints. CoreOS comes with Etcd which though initially unstable is now solid and incredibly handy for service discovery and configuration. We're using https://github.com/MonsantoCo/etcd-aws-cluster to configure it dynamically. We use etcd+confd to drive nginx containers for routing. All in all it works well. Our biggest problems are docker bug related and those we can generally handle by just terminating the node and letting autoscale heal the cluster.

justicezyx 2 days ago 1 reply      
No central config. ECS doesn't have a way to pass configuration to services (i.e. Docker containers) other than with environment variables. Great, how do I pass the same environment variable to every service?

Would packaging the configurations together with the docker image makes more sense? That enables more hermetic deployment.

pbkhrv 1 day ago 0 replies      
We switched from ECS to Docker Cloud and never looked back.
SteveWatson 2 days ago 1 reply      
Article text is obscured by icons.
Brexit Is a Lehman Moment for European Banks bloomberg.com
179 points by vool  12 hours ago   135 comments top 24
bmmayer1 10 hours ago 4 replies      
It's completely plausible that the post-Brexit Deutsche Bank is undervalued by the market due to panic and uncertainty, and Snapchat is overvalued by the market due to hype.
palmdeezy 11 hours ago 5 replies      
I used to work in the financial institutions group at a buldge bracket bank doing valuation and M&A on the banks team. The thing about bank valuation that's weird, is that it's balance sheet valuation and not income statement valuation. Banks don't sell things, they sell money. The make money off interest earned on loans - their cost of capital (~interest paid on deposits=0) - branch/hr overhead (if they have branches). Anyways, to compare a bank to another company that sells physical goods or widgets is kind of silly to begin with. They are not valued the same way, and they make money completely differently.
kevindkeogh 11 hours ago 2 replies      
This is fundamentally wrong. As Matt Levine said, "proper phrasing is 'DB supports $1.7trn of assets with an equity value equal to SnapChat's'" [1]

[1] https://twitter.com/matt_levine/status/742800372473946112

Edit: For a more complete analysis of DB's capital position, they have published Moody's report on their credit. [2] I don't see much in there that would suggest DB was insolvent, but they do seem to be having some difficulty reorganizing their business.

[2] https://www.db.com/ir/de/download/Moody_s_on_DB_26_May_2016....

TheOtherHobbes 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This story has moved on. There's already talk of an urgent need for a 150bn Euro bailout.


Or the slightly more sensationalised English version:


Comparisons to $UNICORN are irrelevant. If DB melts down, 2008 will look like an inconsequential stutter.

cm2187 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The guy who wrote that article is such an idiot. A reducing market capitalisation is not "shrinking the banks". It might mean the banks may be making less profits, but that doesn't make them safer, rather more dangerous on the contrary (as they can't climb their way out of a loss through earnings). Shrinking a bank means reducing its balance sheet, its leverage not its share price.
coherentpony 11 hours ago 2 replies      
> now worth just 17 billion euros

'Worth' as defined by 'what someone is willing to pay'?

Saying Snapchat is 'worth' 17 billion euros is completely and utter nonsense.

scribu 11 hours ago 5 replies      
> America sorted its banks out swiftly after the 2008 credit crisis.

Is there general agreement that the US government acted effectively in this matter, not just for bankers, but for society as a whole?

return0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If we follow the cheeky title, snapchat has the chance of a lifetime to buy its way to profitability.
bjornsing 10 hours ago 0 replies      
General argument of this story seems to be that "if an industry is not doing well in the open market it needs taxpayer doleouts to prop up share prices". Europe has tried that many times before (e.g. with the shipping industry) and it has always ended in tears... Let's not go down that road yet again!
majc2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> When the biggest bank in Europe's biggest economy, with annual revenue of about 37 billion euros, is worth about the same as Snapchat -- a messaging app that generated just $59 million of revenue last year -- you know something's wrong.

More on the Snapchat side, than the DB side.

rsp1984 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Snapchat is not 'worth' 17 billion. Some investors start to make money on the investment iff Snapchat exits or IPOs above 17b, but that's about it. The term 'valuation' is completely misleading when applying it to this 17b number.

In fact, due to liquidation preferences in the term sheets Snapchat's true valuation (i.e. the point at which investors actually lose money) immediately post investment, according to basic math, is $0.

fharper1961 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Another salvo in the continual barrage of "why we always need to bail-out banks"from the financial media.
oneloop 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What does this have to do with Brexit? The graph on Italy's banking system bad loans starting rising during the 2008 crisis.
abpavel 11 hours ago 0 replies      
*Current market valuation.

I think it's an important differentiation.

The underlying dynamics of the two companies are quite different, and I'm not sure their "worth" can be directly compared.

One is worth a lot to the granny taking out cash from her pension fund, the other is worth a lot to the advertisers wanting to cash in on the cloud social services.

adrenalinelol 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The pessimism around Snapchat in this thread is reminiscent of the negativity surrounding Facebook. Advertising is moving to social media, Snapchat is currently the best platform for targeting the demographic advertisers value the most (young people).
ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for updating the title. I wonder sometimes if the residual malaise in the economy is about not writing off the bad loans. Cancel the loan, roll up the debt. Painful yes, and disruptive, but one way to recalibrate investment risk and to normalize capital flows more accurately.
solidangle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The title seems to suggest that this due to the Brexit, but in reality the value of Deutsche Bank has been in decline since the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


joeyspn 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Comparing Snapchat with Deutsche Bank sounds like a (bad) joke. Snapchat could go bankrupt and everyone would laugh at it... DB will never go bankrupt and here's a simple pic that explains why:


It's another league. That could cause a x10 times Lehman. Too big to fail. If DB falls, the rest of the world follows suit...

Another pearl from the article:

> If the rot isn't stopped soon, Europe will have found a novel solution to the too-big-to-fail problem -- by allowing its banks to shrink until they're too small to be fit for purpose.

Really? and what about the derivatives exposure?

beedogs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's pretty annoying when the discussion here revolves around the title of the article, and then the admins go and change the title on HN.

Stop doing that.

roymurdock 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone who uses snapchat speak to how effective the introduction of the "Discovery" ads section has been.
dschiptsov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Since when Snapchat is a publicly traded corporation?

Snapchat valuation is nonsense.

idong1veafu 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, I wonder what's going to happen to those VC money poured into unreal valuations in Silicon Valley, if the banks in the Eu start imploding...
bogomipz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It was much more than just the failure of Lehman Brothers that brought the financial world to its knees in 2008. This article is rubbish.

Comparing a Banks market cap to Snapchat? You can't take this seriously. I thought more of Bloomberg.

vermontdevil 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What is relevance here?
Amazon software engineer interview sobit.me
229 points by sobit  2 days ago   173 comments top 27
scaleout1 1 day ago 4 replies      
This article makes me sad. Interviewing in our industry is so broken. I have been out of school for a while and switch jobs every few years and this is the technique I use to beat the bullshit interview process

. Make a list of companies that I would apply to and sort them from most interesting to no-way-in-hell-i-am-working-here order

. spend a weak reviewing typical algo/data structure questions

. For the companies that I absolutely want to work for, I review every single glassdoor review and write down the interview questions. Remember, most companies have question banks and most interviewers have favorite questions which results in same questions being asked over an over again. You want to exploit that

. Then to get over my interviewing jitters, I interview at a few companies where I would absolutely not work at. This results in no pressure interview practise and you can literally laugh at their asinine interview questions and walk out

. Finally, for the companies i actually want to work at, I try my best to get rid of phone screen. This is usually accomplished by dazzling them with my decent size github profile, contributing some fixes to their OSS project or finding someone who already works there that is in my alumni network

. Then when you finally arrive for the interview, you have real world interview practise, they are already impressed with your github profile/references and biased toward you versus some random joe off the street and you have made sure you have a pretty high probability of getting a question that you have already seen or is similar to a question you already know.

This technique has helped me get Jobs at top 5 employers in the valley along with a few startups. The reason I am posting this here is to demonstrate how broken, unfair and easy to game this whole process is

geoelectric 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm all for interview prep, but this sounds like a fairly standard tech company loop.

I usually take a few days to brush up on algorithms and structures for the first one I do in a batch, and have some canned answers for the personal questions, but otherwise go in with what I know. Some of that's experience now, but I don't remember any point in my career where I'd have done something this extensive. I hope the poster doesn't feel they need a month's prep every time they want to go test the waters on the job market!

I do agree with the frequent recommendations for Cracking the Coding Interview. As a lead who interviews frequently, my biggest tip is to be honest about what you do and don't know--take what you do know right to the limit then talk about how you'd figure out the rest given normal professional time and resources.

I'm not usually grading someone on whether they can solve my specific problem so much as whether I think they're someone I can work with while they do it. That said, if it's on your resume you'd better be able to talk intelligently about it to whatever level makes sense for your experience. I definitely probe around that stuff to figure out if I can trust the rest.

spapas82 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is totally crazy to me. Why should somebody lose about a month of his life to prepare for the interview? Why should the interview need preparation at all? The whole point of the interview is lost if you read books and prepare for that since you are not tested for your real on-the-work skills but you are tested for your interview-answering skills, memorizing trick questions and solving toy problems!

I think that this whole interview business is bad for both the candidate and the company (that would hire an interview cruncher instead of somebody who can produce work). Of course it is good for everybody else that promotes this kind of thinking (hr people, interview books, interview coaches, recruiters etc).

The whole process as described in this article is offensive to me. I don't want to prove myself by answering trick questions to people whose only skill is asking them! It's too bad we have dropped to that point.

(Please forgive my English - not my native language)

driverdan 1 day ago 3 replies      
Between bad interviews I've been in or read about and spending the past 6+ months working on our hiring process I've become very opinionated about hiring.

The process Amazon and many other tech companies use is fucking terrible. Algorithm tests and surprise CS 101 questions do not identify good employees. They're biased towards recent grads, do not address most real world situations, can be gamed through studying, and do not identify people who can actually think. You should not be testing for people who interview well, you should be testing for people who will make good employees.

You need to test real world scenarios. If they're going to be re-implementing bubble sort and doing binary math then fine, use HackerRank. Otherwise you need to have candidates work on a project based on what they'll actually be doing. Will they be working on APIs? Have them build or integrate with an API. Mapping in an iOS app? Have them do that.

Do not drop big surprises on candidates. Respect them and they will respect you. Tell them what to expect up front. The first email we send includes an outline of our entire hiring process with a list of each step. I've lost track of how many people have thanked me for this. Going through an interview blind is extremely stressful and increases the likelihood of losing good candidates.

My goal is to set people up for success. If their skills match what we're looking for I want them to succeed. I don't want them to fail because they are bad negotiators, didn't have time to study CS questions, or don't fit the typical stereotypes of a programmer.

blueatlas 2 days ago 9 replies      
In total I had a little less than one month to prepare for the interview.

I can't help but to wonder if it was really worth it. Surely, his prep helped him get the job, but the entire prep stage he describes seems like a very high up-front cost.

I've always felt that if I can't get through an interview with a little prep and my existing skills, I don't belong.

You should know exactly why you want to work for Amazon.

It would be interesting to know more about his desire to work for Amazon that badly.

mratzloff 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you feel a great sense of accomplishment from being hired at Amazon, that's fine. If you believe that you are a superior engineer on the basis that you were hired by Amazon (or Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.), you are making a very bad assumption. Some current engineers and alumni believe this fallacy because it supports their beliefs about themselves. It's a trap that stifles their growth. It's as if people aren't aware that these companies desperately need engineers.
cs2818 1 day ago 1 reply      
This whole prep for interview testing seems very unpleasant and of questionable value to me. Are these interviews in any way representative of day to day operations in the job you are applying for?

I worked as an independent software developer while doing my undergraduate in CS and was very successful just by using fundamentals I learned in courses and then reading and supplementing new things. I then transitioned into a PhD student role in robotics, where I regularly need to come up to speed on topics from all fields of engineering and implement solutions. I love learning and solving problems, but the types of coding interviews discussed seem so far from evaluating that. I produce reliable and novel things I am proud of that take a lot of work, but that would not be enough to pass these interviews.

I know employers need proof of a good fit and competence, but I just dread the day I have to go through one of these things.

yanilkr 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is an amount of Social Engineering here embedded in the process. You have to be cool to be part of our club (Amazon|Google|<your startup>....). It's not the pay, its some other form of darwinian merit system. If you want to be that fit person branded by us for life, jump these hoops. Take a month and deal with it. It's a lifelong gold star in your resume. These hoops are designed to select people who can do these tasks without asking too many questions or claiming ownership of your inventions if any. Like Army expects soldiers to just do it and be loyal. Just build this spec using the hammer we chose for you. It's a system of hiring and retaining that works and scales very well. The computer science algorithms and data structures are a fit function and this method is widely deployed and tested and its almost an Industry standard. It may be too late to find an alternative.

Startups and incubators like YC are also competing for the same talent. They are defining a new fit function to identify people who can find problems in their surroundings and want to solve them with the tools available to them. The startup founders are also writing blogs about how they got funded, my series A looks better than your series B etc. They are unable to leverage social engineering as much as these enterprise crowd. Many of the graduates still come out of universities and aim to get a job in a respectable company than I will do a startup mostly because the startup based social engineering is weak.

/end rant

rdtsc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mine was more fun (I shared this before, so sorry if you have to read it again):

Didn't call on the agreed date for phone interview. Then when visiting on-site, future manager, probably the main person I should have been talking to, wasn't there. Quickly assembled together an interview schedule in 20 min with people who , except maybe two, seemed distracted and just wanted to go do something else. Forgot about me during lunch. So was left sitting in an office for an hour without anyone checking on me (eventually got up and started wondering the hallways hoping someone would stop me and ask me -- "Hey I don't think you belong here" and I was hoping to reply with a silly joke about trying to steal AWS's root CA private keys). Then of course they promised to call back with a decision in 2 days, which was more like 2 weeks. Didn't get an offer, no surprise (I did get snarky about the "leadership principles", they probably didn't appreciate that), but it did make a good story I like to tell every time interviews come up.

jpgvm 1 day ago 0 replies      
It still seems silly that a working software engineer would need to take time out to practice stuff they don't generally use in their actual work (which they will probably continue doing when hired).

Knowledge of algorithms and datastructures is useful, perhaps essential in some fields but definitely not all - or even most. Even then just understanding the tradeoffs is probably enough.

Unless I'm interviewing someone for something like a database product I am not going to drill them on LSM trees/B+ trees/Fractal trees.

I'm not going to bust a dudes balls over not knowing what a priority heap is if after I explain it he can have a decent conversation about where it might be useful.

These sorts of interviews are dumb and I have never accepted a job where I have been subjected to them and probably never will.

pfarnsworth 2 days ago 5 replies      
If he signed an NDA, I probably wouldn't write a blog post about the interview process, that's a good way of getting fired for cause, since the late 1990s.
einrealist 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why to have all these tests for an applicant? Why not integrate an applicant into a team for a day and have pair programming sessions?

I found, that nothing else works.

kafkaesq 2 days ago 0 replies      
It was never communicated which languages the coding test would be limited to before I started it.

Brilliant. They expect near-flawless execution (under tight time constraints) on these algorithm quizzes -- but can't manage to communicate up front which languages you'll be actually be allowed to code in.

willtim 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't help but feel that there is too much focus on data structures and algorithms. My kids have Amazon Fire Kid tablets and Amazon's software is, to put it mildly, unreliable. I'm sure the data structures and algorithms are probably fine, they're mostly shipped with the plethora of open source that most software is now built from anyway.
lxe 2 days ago 0 replies      
> It was never communicated which languages the coding test would be limited to before I started it. Those I could choose from were C, C++, Java and a couple of others, which ruined my plans to use Go or PHP - the languages I was the most proficient in. So I ended up choosing Java.

I never get this. The first thing that should be understood by the combination of the resume and the phone screen is the candidate's preferred language.

lohengramm 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems like a very standard process, but personally the best interview I have done was a take-home exercise involving a real world problem. It took me a whole day to do it, but I only had to do exactly what I do best: write code, silently, "in the zone".

No interview environment will ever simulate "the zone", and there is no way to truly test a programmer out of it.

hippich 1 day ago 0 replies      
All of that looks really painful.. And surprisingly reminds me of pains of dating. (although I seriously dated only once in my life looong time ago)

In dating people trying to find right fit for look, in tech interviews - right answers for arbitrary tech problems.

Nor look not answers to these tech problems is not predictor of success, yet this is what everybody are still using...

wyc 2 days ago 2 replies      
How unfair that you're expected to sign an NDA on the spot. I'm sure that Amazon and other software companies have spent tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect their IP, yet you don't even get the most basic legal counsel. Why couldn't they mail it out after the phone screening? This almost feels like duress.
64bitbrain 2 days ago 0 replies      
"It was never communicated which languages the coding test would be limited to before I started it. Those I could choose from were C, C++, Java and a couple of others, which ruined my plans to use Go or PHP - the languages I was the most proficient in. So I ended up choosing Java."

Similar thing happened to me. I was never told or asked which programming language I would prefer. I click the link, filled some info and I landed on programming question with only two choices C or C++. I was like wait?! Though, I tried to solve the problem, but couldn't finish on time. I contacted the recruiter about this and I never heard anything back. All I got was email, Sorry you didn't qualify. I really liked the Hackerrank interface, but I was disappointed in lack of language options I was given.

preordained 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gross...but that's just me. I know some people really do thrive on this kind of technical rigor and hard-nosed meritocracy type of culture...but if that's the price of progress I'd rather go back to the caves and tepees.
ideaskid 2 days ago 3 replies      
one question.

i'm a total noob in my 3rd year CS undergrad.

I've just started prep to crack companies like Amazon.

Any pointers or tips to get started?

exabrial 2 days ago 3 replies      
When I interviewed for Amazon for a Java position, they had a C guy give the interview. When he asked me to implement atoi() on Java, Integer.parseInt() was the not correct way to do things at Amazon. After that it was all sys admin questions about the version of Linux they use.

Somehow I managed to pass to the next level. I told them no thanks.

CobrastanJorji 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Recruiters usually cannot dive deeply into technical topics, but she was very open to discussing the reasons I used to name them differently.

I could be wrong, but based on what you are saying here, I'm pretty sure you were being interviewed by a software engineer and not a recruiter.

serge2k 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I only had two days so I brushed up on the essentials in algorithms and data structures. Specifically, I focused on the following: [list follows]

No graph problems? Seems like a possible hole, I got graph problems in interviews for Amazon.

Edit: Nevermind, I realized this was your phone screen prep.

a_imho 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have always wondered if I were to ask an interviewer to do some white board coding exercise for me would they take the challenge?
Illniyar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wait, is it normal for a recruiter todo a tech interview? I never heard of such a thing.
brett40324 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very helpful write up, thanks.
Post Ghost Shutdown: An Open Letter to Twitter postghost.com
238 points by doctorshady  1 day ago   82 comments top 11
sulam 1 day ago 3 replies      
Twitter has been shutting down API access to clients that don't honor deletions for years now. I don't know why this is news. Note: somehow deleted tweets get covered anyway. If someone is sufficiently public of a figure, Twitter's policy doesn't save them from being publicly shamed when they tweet something the world doesn't approve of.

In fact you could easily argue that European law requires Twitter to disable this access. If I want to delete my online presence, surely being able to actually delete my tweets is as important as being able to delete things from the Google-cache.

dingo_bat 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why doesn't PostGhost just record tweets using the browser? I'm sure it can be done without much problem. This is blatant abuse by Twitter. Public tweets are public, and the readers should be able to record/screenshot/save them, without Twitter having a say in the matter.

If they don't allow using the API for that, use the browser directly.

weberc2 1 day ago 2 replies      
I thought the Library of Congress was archiving all tweets? Perhaps I'm mistaken, or perhaps they do archive all tweets, but this archive isn't available via API such that PostGhost could rely on it? Or perhaps deleted tweets are also deleted from the LoC archive?
0xmohit 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is what I make of the situation:

- Foo tweets

- Bar takes a snapshot of Foo's tweet

- Foo deletes tweet

- Bar displays Foo's deleted tweet on own website

Twitter tells Bar to shut up.

(Twitter would, however, continue to store the deleted tweet. It wouldn't display it, though.)

zod50 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder how politwoops is allowed to function when postghost is deleted.
sergiotapia 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is this trend with Reddit, Twitter and Facebook suddenly going full gestapo and [REDACTED] everything? These kind of services are very important and if the companies don't want to play ball, then they should be circumvented to preserve the record.
poppppppppp123 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's the purpose of going through the API? Why wouldn't someone just set up crawlers for public figures in countries outside of jurisdiction.

To be clear I'm not promoting that somebody do this, just wondering why there may not be a viable alternative that does it this way.

brador 1 day ago 1 reply      
What about a browser plugin where users could click and it takes a copy from their screen of the tweet they're seeing and sends it to the a project?

Having multiple users send in the same tweet could count as additional validation that it was not edited.

asimuvPR 1 day ago 1 reply      
Brings some questions into my mind:

Can the archive project or similar crawl twitter to save content?

What kind of checks and balances should social media networks have? Supone they be regulated?

notimetorelax 1 day ago 0 replies      
PostGhost might have been violating the european right to be forgotten. If this was the case then it was a good move on Twitter's part.
lcnmrn 1 day ago 2 replies      
Maybe its time to give Sublevel a new try. Its not perfect, but its orders of magnitude faster than Twitter.
Pinboard Turns Seven blog.pinboard.in
289 points by mindprince  1 day ago   100 comments top 22
Jerry2 1 day ago 6 replies      
I switched to Pinboard few months ago when Delicious committed seppuku and made their site completely unusable. First, Delicious just shut down their site for something like a week, then they resurrected some ancient version of their site that looks & behaves like it's from 2007. Then they switched to an old domain (del.icio.us) and broke every bookmarklet and plugin that used their API. (I'm guessing they're planning on selling delicious.com domain name, which is worth a lot of money, so they made the switch.)

But the worst part is that you can't even save a link with all these changes theyve made! I was getting errors 90% of the time (maybe even 98% but who's counting) so it was pointless to even try to save (I gave up after 4 days).

Whoever's managing Delicious is probably the most incompetent person in tech. Their communication with usersbase has been atrocious. They made only one or two blogposts and remained completely silent on social media (Twitter) during all these disastrous changes. People were unable to get their links and the company remained mum. Number of "F Delicious" posts on Twitter was very high few months back. Their site still doesn't work and you can't save links (just tried).

Anyway, I found Pinboard and have been happy since. RIP Delicious.

tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
A quick reminder for those of you who read a lot of papers: if you have an archival account, Pinboard will index PDFs. This is way more useful than it sounds: as you bookmark papers, Pinboard gradually transforms into a mini search engine for the research you care about.

Someone asked me yesterday how it was I read so many crypto papers, after citing Bos and Costello in crypto dork Slack. I forgot to tell them my trick: I don't! I just follow citations and bookmark the hell out of things.

koevet 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have been using Pinboard for some years now. Great, rock solid service.I currently keep ~2K bookmarks on Pinboard (http://pinboard.in/u:koevet) but I wonder if my usage pattern makes actual sense for me to keep on using it.

I mainly use Pinboard as a kitchen sink for articles and completely random stuff I stumble across. You can actually tell from my totally schizophrenic tag cloud.At some point I was using a custom made script that bookmarks Hacker News story I'd +. So now I have hundreds of "hackernews" tagged bookmarks which I NEVER access.

I rarely go to Pinboard to retrieve a bookmark, maybe 10 times a year. It's faster to Google and for the stuff I really need to go back to I have local bookmarks.

I'm also a heavy RSS consumer: for sites for which I like to be updated of new content, I use my self-hosted RSS reader, no need to use bookmarks.

I guess I will keep on storing away links, the service is cheap anyway.

jalami 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pinboard is a great service. I like the paid, ad-free model with a nice open API. I haven't had my Pinboard for long, but already think I'm going to keep it going for a long time. It's one of the few cloud services I don't fear being locked into as I can just pull all my data whenever.

Self-hosted alternatives usually require some kind of interactive website front-end being set up or have some jenky browser extension support. Pinboard has pretty solid browser support so I can add to it wherever I am.

I use hugo to generate a links page from pinboard's RSS on my website. Every time I build the site, it pulls the RSS feed and formats it all pretty like. It's not extremely interesting or anything, but here it is in case you're curious[0]. Pinboard user pages aren't all that pretty, but it's really just a container for your data.

[0] https://www.alami.io/links/

code_research 1 day ago 2 replies      
Self hosting alternatives:



Especially Bookie looks good and would be a preferred candidate to transition to if you are still using the very old 'Sitebar', 'Scuttle' or the interesting 'Semantic Scuttle'.

l0b0 1 day ago 2 replies      
Pinboard user since 2012 here, after importing about 12k bookmarks from Delicious (17k now). It's the best kind of low tech service: It's all about bookmarking, not ads or gimmicks. The UI loading time seems O(1) rather than Delicious' O(n).

The only problem now is that there doesn't seem to be a working add-on for Firefox on Android. Does anyone know of one?

scotu 1 day ago 2 replies      
I subscribed to Pinboard recently, when I lost any unreasonable hope I still had for delicious.

I knew 100% this was a low maintainance business, but I admit reading "the first wave of subscription renewals came due" and "I did almost nothing on the site this year except keep it running" almost in the same phrase hit me like a punch in the stomach; envy for his business acumen/talent I suppose :)

preordained 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a rock-solid service, with no nonsense or wonky stuff. Integral part of my everyday work/life.
danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
OT, but as an iOS user, I found my Pinboard usage went way up after buying the 4.99 Pinner app...I've always had a bit of trouble with bookmarklets...being able to add things via iOS actions ended up being a huge convenience for me but YMMV. http://pinnerapp.net/

Main complaint is that it's not from Maciej but the author seems committed to keeping it stable with improvements.

mrbill 1 day ago 0 replies      
I signed up back in the $9 days, and currently have ~7k bookmarks on onboard (flawless import of my delicious data, too).

It's one of my everyday tools, and would pay a monthly fee if it ever gets to that.

A perfect example of "do one thing, and do it well".

stared 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am a very happy user of Pinboard. And thanks for posting stats! One things which looks worrying is the stagnation of the number of users. By a common social media wisdom, it's a very bad sign... but some time ago I did analyze MathOverflow community (a research-level mathematics Stack Overflow) and they saturated in the first months (sic!) http://meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/2182/is-mathoverflow-..., yet it is a vibrant community.

Also, idlewords, as you are here: any plan to make search listing more items (50? 100?). It's a function I use a lot and sometimes this pagination makes it slower to find an old link.

winteriscoming 1 day ago 1 reply      
I haven't hosted/run a site like this before. So I'm curious whether 17K a year to run a product like this is normal. If the author is willing to divulge the details, would love to know what takes the major chunk of that 17K.
havella 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps more relevant to me than the product itself, is the business model, the concept of running your own show, optimizing processes to maximize income and minimizing time spent working.
ronnybrendel2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I switched to pinboard back when it was a one-time sign-up fee of 9$. I believe the fee increased for each new sign-up by 1 cent or so.

Del.icio.us was very good, but at some point it went to shit.Maybe it was when it was acquired by Yahoo?I remember trying to contact support about the broken Firefox plugin. They didn't fix it for over 6months.

jwarren 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a member since July 14, 2009, I have nothing but praise for Pinboard. It does exactly what I'd like it to do and gets out of my way doing it. I've received tremendous value for money for my tiny fee.
the_common_man 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there an opensource pinboard alternative? I am kind of surprised with all this love on HN give it's love for opensource... (maybe because he is a popular and funny commenter).
SonicSoul 1 day ago 2 replies      
congrats on year 7!

I signed up years ago when delicious decided to completely redesign their service for no apparent reason and broke backwards compatibility with all plugins and made the main site less usable.

I am very happy that none of that asshattery is happening at pinboard and the site remains the boring plain ugly link collector that it is.

I do find myself using pocket more and more however and would be curious if Maciej has any thoughts on that service. seems like so far the've done everything right. Although they are aggressive with new features which to me is a little worrisome because sooner or later some executive will try to be brave and fuck it up with useless redesign.

a3n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks, Pinboard.
firebones 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pathetic. Only 46% YoY revenue growth. No wireless. In theory as much space as a bunch of Nomads in the cloud. Lame.
hobo_mark 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems nobody mentioned it yet, but what happened to the Apply HN "winners"? Did anything come out of it?
amix 1 day ago 6 replies      
As a long term Pinboard customer I dislike this "I am doing nothing and I am proud of it" mentality and I will unsubscribe.

Pinboard has been the same for years and I feel little attachment to the product.

I am unsure what to switch to, but Pinterest looks like an interesing and innovative solution.

anonymous344 1 day ago 1 reply      
I code same kind of php for myself and my brother to use in 2007 but never got to publish it for anybody else to use. Still use it, but not so frequent anymore. These days it's not so useful anymore, you can privately share and store links with so many alternatives like trello.com with mobile also.

But you should really make a video how it works and what are the benefits, that would make it easier to really understand.

Bee Bread nordicfoodlab.org
243 points by emidln  3 days ago   92 comments top 9
bradbeattie 3 days ago 4 replies      
Are there any negative effects to harvesting this bee bread?

> But the bees do not consume their pollen fresh. Instead, they take it into the hive and pack the granules into empty comb cells, mixing them with nectar and digestive fluids and sealing the cell with a drop of honey. Once processed in this way, the pollen remains stable indefinitely. Beekeepers call this form of pollen perga or bee bread.

This implies it's their food.

Given the recent concerns with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder, is this unusual delicacy worth the potential environmental damages? (I don't mean that rhetorically; It's an actual question.)

noipv4 3 days ago 4 replies      
For my seasonal pollen allergies here's what I do.a) Take a spoonful of dried bee breadb) Take 2 spoonful of local honeyc) Add 100ml warm waterd) Stir it until the bee-bread dissolvese) Drink it. (Starts acting in 10 minutes)

Anyone know why it works?

adrianwaj 3 days ago 4 replies      
Bee Bread is awesome and much more nutritious and digestible than flower pollen (mistakenly called bee pollen) which the bees ferment in their hive to make bee bread. The problem I've found is that anything coming from Lithuania or Latvia (a lot on ebay), could be radioactive from Chernobyl, as radioactivity concentrates in pollen. That's my assessment of it anyway, so I won't risk it. Also, there was another accident in Lithuania in 2010.

I'd prefer that Bee Bread became more mainstream so that it could be bought from local producers who'd respond to that demand. Bee bread from the Altai mountains in Siberia is double the price of the eastern European BB.

Ideally, BB from New Zealand would be best, but I couldn't find it. Eg Manuka.

foreigner 3 days ago 0 replies      
How did they not make the obvious "beebliography" pun at the end? I would not have been able to resist that.
cpach 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had no idea that Nordic Food Lab had a blog. Really fascinating!
PaulHoule 3 days ago 3 replies      
Our beekeeper just told us our hives made 800 lbs of honey so far this year.
badloginagain 3 days ago 1 reply      
That was a fascinating read! Who would have guessed that bees intentionally ferment food sources. I wonder if there is anything humans can learn from bee fermentation process. So cool, thanks for sharing!
andrelaszlo 3 days ago 2 replies      
Hilarious coincident that the photographer's name is Josh Pollen!
cvs268 3 days ago 2 replies      
@emidln U probably forgot that U had submitted the same article on HN ~6months ago...


Thanks for sharing though, i had missed it the last time around. :) :)

Venezuela Refuses to Default, and Few People Seem to Understand Why bloomberg.com
189 points by wallflower  2 days ago   138 comments top 14
roymurdock 2 days ago 5 replies      
The second "conspiracy theory" explanation presented in the article seems the simplest and most plausible:

Close associates of the administration are major holders of the countrys bonds and...the government fears itd lose their much-needed support if the payments stopped coming in. Efforts to obtain comment from government press officials on this and other aspects of the story were unsuccessful.

Either that, or debt-holding institutions are willing to kick back a fraction of coupon payments to high ranking officials as an incentive to keep the payments flowing for as long as possible before a civil war or coup forces a restructuring.

Either way, servicing the debt is keeping government officials paid to the detriment of their starving countrymen.

countrybama24 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised the article did not mention the theory that they have not defaulted because of the numerous state-owned assets they possess abroad which could be seized by creditors.

"Caracas fears a default could open up claims to PdVSA assets, such as rigs, refineries and oil shipments. One target by creditors could be the companys Houston-based subsidiary, Citgo Petroleum Corp., which has three U.S. refineries that receive hundreds of thousands of barrels of Venezuelan oil a day."


cperciva 2 days ago 4 replies      
There's another possibility which wasn't mentioned in the article: Maybe the government is quite happy with the food shortages. They have used control of the food supply to reward their supporters and to punish their opponents; this gives them tremendous power, and why should they give up that power just for the sake of a few million starving citizens?
Alupis 2 days ago 6 replies      
If Venezuela defaulted on foreign debts, it will be very difficult (and/or expensive) to borrow again in the future.

Venezuela is essentially hedging their situation is temporary (however temporary, temporary is), and having a good economic standing in the future may depend heavily on foreign investments (particularly since Venezuela is a petroleum based economy).

Burning those bridges now could cripple Venezuela permanently.

The same question could be posed of any nation with impoverished citizens and foreign debts. We could even examine the USA, which has never defaulted, even during the height of the Great Depression.

Choosing to default on those debts and instead send temporary (and likely insignificant, once the bureaucracy runs it's course) aid to some citizens jeopardizes the entire nation. Simply put, the trade-off is not worth it.

cjensen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Venezuela has a lot of overseas holdings [1] which, thanks to nationalization, are wholly-owned by the Venezuelan government. Those will be liquidated by creditors.

I've seen arguments that say otherwise, but there is precedent for liquidating the holdings of a government which fails to pay.[2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citgo

[2] http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/10/22/163384810/why-a...

tim333 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice"

The government, especially under Maduro, has done so much dumb stuff that I lean toward the stupidity explanation. The main reason there is no food / goods is they try to set the price hugely under market so no one can supply at that price. Plus a huge bunch of other similar issues.

ddebernardy 1 day ago 0 replies      
To Venezuela's credit, things didn't go so well when they tried to default wearly last century.


pvaldes 1 day ago 1 reply      
For some reason Venezuela is not a problem anymore in Spain after the last elections. Conservative politicians talking louder each five minutes or so about "all is chaos and flames, crying children and vulcano lava in Venezuela", happily forget venezuelan people suffering in just one night. The theme basically vanished from both newspapers and TV since 26 june.

Perhaps things in Venezuela aren't exactly how some newspapers tell?... Who knows? All I remember for the country is that people were super-nice and the nature was gorgeous.

danharaj 2 days ago 2 replies      
The article is fixated on the economic benefits of default, as if economic decisions were only ever decided by economics! Maduro's government is authoritarian and violently imposed. What internal political factors does this dictatorship think preclude the possibility of default? Would default be signaling weakness to competing forces within the country? Is humiliation on the international stage a threat to the ruling party's self image?

Violent dictatorships are seldom rational.

This article is also written with the tacit acceptance of neoliberal ideology: The only rational choice for an impoverished nation is to submit to foreign capital and governmental institutions and sell the country for the chance to become another dependent market that will bear the brunt of the next global credit crisis and coercive trade deal.

rdiddly 2 days ago 2 replies      
When a nation defaults it becomes the IMF/World Bank's bitch. "Austerity" is imposed, well-connected foreign interests get to run roughshod, and that nation is systematically (oh I mean coincidentally) looted. If you ever needed proof that these loans were designed to accomplish precisely that (a way for lenders to extract wealth from those nations), look no further than the fact that here you have an article that seems to be COMPLAINING about how Venezuela is NOT defaulting.
stevedekorte 2 days ago 2 replies      
Do those making the decision to pay these bonds happen to hold any of these bonds themselves?
luojiebin 2 days ago 0 replies      
it's insteresting
luojiebin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook glitch that deleted the Castile shooting video: It was the police theregister.co.uk
217 points by jgome  2 days ago   266 comments top 18
tajen 2 days ago 6 replies      
It seems it's communicated with a "black life matters" background. Isn't there a general problem of the police being overly brutal and using its authority in a malevolent way in USA, whether augmented by racism or not?

I live in France, where we've just had terrorist attacks, and I'm afraid we'll meet the same pattern, 15 years later than USA:

- People want the police to do its job (securing the streets, which goes from checking car insurances to being detectives on terrorism),

- So they vote for more police,

- The police doesn't do much more than assaulting easy targets, picking up girls who come to lodge a charge (true story), and walk on cyclist lanes (not much traffic enforcement because it's unpopular and not much detective work because it's risky),

- So people vote even more right-wing,

- Police has more powers, but still doesn't do its job much, and assaults even more weak people,

- Then we get people who kill police (like in Dallas) or burn police cars (like in Paris) because they're abusing their power.

Already, President Hollande made the same talk and took the same path on 13th Nov 2015 as Bush on 11th Sept 2001, so I'm a little afraid there's a trend were.

Now what societal changes could happen that would disrupt a race to the bottom of police brutality, like in USA?

rdlecler1 2 days ago 6 replies      
I assume that police officers don't go into an encounter intending to shoot someone so it's important to get at the root cause. Whether real or perceived, the police seem to be much more fearful of black males than other racial groups. If perceived, then I might expect black officers to have a lower incident rate as they may be less likely to feel threatened in a situation. If there is a real statistical threat (also very difficult to tease out and to avoid confounding variables) then this could be more difficult to address and ultimately this would come back to a cycle of institutionalized poverty and incarceration that breaks up families and sends people who have been hardened by jail back into the black community thereby introducing a culture of violence. Either way you cut it a history of racism is to blame.

Officers clearly are fearing for their lives and view potential encounters with black males through a lense of negative intent, which is causing them to react more aggressively. Greater accountability and training will be critical but only if the culture of the police force changes. This could be very difficult as a lot of police officers may take these jobs exactly because they're attracted to the danger and violence (In Canada many of the bouncers I knew were on steroids only had high school educations and many wanted to be cops...).

LeoPanthera 2 days ago 4 replies      
For those who didn't read the article: This is not a story about NSA-style backdoors to Facebook. They took her phone, which was already logged in, and manually deleted it.
maglavaitss 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really hate to state the obvious, but this shouldn't have happened in 2016 in a civilized country. The shooting that is. If the police took the phone, logged on FB, deleted the video, well ... that shouldn't happen in any year in any country. It's mind-boggling honestly.
jacquesm 2 days ago 2 replies      


Not for the faint of heart or those that can't deal with blood.

Deleting evidence in a situation like this should be in a special category all by itself.

Note that the couple's four year old daughter was also present.

sickbeard 2 days ago 2 replies      
Cops are not racist, they just have poor training. They are simply trained to shoot once they feel threatened; rather than making quick on the spot judgement on whether to shoot. The poor training removes any thought and makes it automatic. Black man + gun = shoot.

There are many videos of this, including one where a cop at a gas station asked a black man to show his license and then proceeded to shoot him because he thought he had a gun.

On the other hand shooting police officers only reinforces this kind of training. It's an explosive situation of mistrust, emotion and idiocy.

Anger is such a useless emotion.

RickS 2 days ago 3 replies      
From a technical/operations perspective:

That the police used her phone to delete it via vanilla facebook app is 100% plausible, but what's far more implausible is whatever mechanism was used to restore it.

What are the options?

Facebook allows you to undelete a video an hour later? Not to my knowledge.

Is there another automated/normal way for a video to undelete an hour later, especially with a modified content setting?

Is there an option that means something other than "someone on facebook staff saw that it was deleted and explicitly restored it without instruction from the user"?

jacquesm 2 days ago 1 reply      
11 police officers shot during protest march about this shooting and another one:


This is really getting out of hand.

sea2 2 days ago 9 replies      
Look at the consequences in Dallas!

Humanity has not dealt with bad information reaching this many of its lunatics at this kind of speed.

IMHO this is and should be the highest priority bug on the issue list.

Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page have no idea what to do about it and by keeping quiet about it or being defensive about it isn't helping.

Just try talking about slowing the speed of unprocessed information reaching the mentally ill, the ignorant or misguided and you will be taken out like the communist party is running the show. I expect better from the smart people of silicon valley.

I expect them to work out a fix. No one else has the capability.

sodafountan 2 days ago 2 replies      
There's so many things that need to change in the United States for real change to be seen.

We need to pay our officers more and have fewer of them, If you start to pay the good ones a respectable salary you'll get more accountability.

We need to train our officers better, we should have an apprenticeship program that lasts at least five years where the apprentice officer rides around with a veteran UNARMED until he picks up every skill necessary to do a good job in real time, two years of community college and then a year as park police isn't cutting it.

We need to reduce conflict on the streets, Philando Castile knew that his taillight was out, the problem is that in an impoverished and racially oppressed culture these small fixes become tough to handle when you have other bills to pay. The officer was either going to ticket him or give him a warning, neither of which would have done any good long term, and so you had unnecessary conflict. We need to change the laws so that cops aren't allowed to harass people over minor things like taillights/inspection stickers/small amounts of marijuana/jaywalking you name it.

Black culture needs to change, stop selling CD's on the corner with a gun in your pocket and get a job that supports your kids, this "gangster" lifestyle is a result of rap music.

The media needs to fined by the federal government for disproportionately reporting on content that is intended to get ratings and thus adds to the chaos and race baiting. How many people were killed in Chicago last week? Can you name them? The media outlets need to be fined to take away the incentive to over report on sensational news. We need something along the lines of a "Fair Media Coverage Act" that will completely destroy the financial incentive of media outlets that over report on sensational news, this would hopefully have the dual effect of (over the long term) slowing down the mass shootings that appear to be happening every other month. These rioters/mass shooters/cop killers are doing it for the 24/7 CNN news reel and the people tune in because the chaos is interesting and exciting, like a war movie with real life ramifications. Destroy the incentive.

Just some ideas for real changes.

daveloyall 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's always painful to watch HN discuss race.

The majority of us will consider crossing the street to avoid an oncoming $category_of_person. Maybe it's black men, maybe it's police, maybe it's beggars, maybe it's missionaries, maybe it is visibly agitated men of any color, etc.

Maybe you feel like you've failed a bit every time it happens. Maybe your personality changes over time and at some point you taught yourself to abstain from such behavior. But, feelings are harder to change than behavior...

When I pass my own problematic $category_of_person on the street (on the same side, now!), I spend a few seconds with no other topic on my mind than that person.

It is because deep down, some part of me still sees that person as a threat, like a cliff or a fire or a bear.

This is terrible, I know. Look, I'm trying to explain racism. Gimmie a minute...

My mother taught me, before I was old enough to know better, to avoid some categories of people. To fear them, for my safety.

I can, do, and will continue to overcome those crappy cards I was dealt.

But don't put a badge on my chest and a gun on my hip and tell me to go talk to various categories of people in inherently heated situations and expect that evil that has been a part of me since before I can remember to never manifest itself in a statistically significant fashion. That's stupid. Police officer is not the job for me. Duh! See above!

What I'm getting at is that my own combination of upbringing and later enlightenment is not uncommon. (Said differently: it's not uncommon for a person to be less racist than their parents were, right?) And therefor some meaningful percentage of good cops who don't consider themselves racist are, in fact, racist in a statistically significant way. Stress = gunfire.

...So... can we be done resisting the Black Lives Matter meme? Please? Y'all look ignorant when you do that. :)

p.s. the fear when walking thing dissipates immediately if a conversation happens, etc. It's not that big of a deal, right? We'll all have a good laugh about it one day when I am caught off guard and mugged by a white girl... Anyway, I'm sorry. I try.

cel1ne 2 days ago 2 replies      
Aren't these events statistically likely in a way?

1. Some white people are afraid of black people. (the other way probably too)

2. Most people are very afraid of other people carrying guns.

3. Most people are afraid of some form of resistance when they challenge/approach somebody.

Add it up. It's likely that somewhere a white policeman approaches a black person who has, or could have a gun, and experiences fear.

Before this is read as an excuse for the policeman, which it is not:

Keep in mind that fear and anger, fight and flight are intertwined. Hatred can come from fear. Fear can come after hatred. One brain-areal is responsible for both emotions.

The only efficient response to defuse these situations is to eliminate the "very afraid" above and disarm the population.

Ftuuky 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bet nothing is going to happen to the policemen involved in this scandal.
boot82050 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been watching this thread today, and i am amazed by the speed this thread made it off the first page.It has the most reactions of any topic today 188 so far. Yet it is now on page 2....with topics still on the front page with way less comments.
boot82050 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think usa is going for civil war like this.Violence spiral that will get worse.Remember what the last civil war was about?Also media censorship will contribute to the distrust. BBC yesterday had much better coverage of the situation than fox and cnn combined.
saurik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Were this true, for what reason would Facebook (and specifically Mark Zuckerberg) lie about the reason? To avoid people thinking they have this capability?
JanezStupar 2 days ago 4 replies      
I have mixed feelings about the topic.

Where I live, police are reasonable and populace is unarmed.

On the other hand US is on of a few modern republics that hasn't produced a tyranny yet. And perhaps 2nd amendment may have something to do with that. Along with rest of the constitution.

JulianMorrison 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really ?!Can someone flag/remove this? The whole "All Cops are Bastards/Targets" thig is incredibly ignorant, especially now.
Reddit now tracks all outbound link clicks by default, existing users opted in reddit.com
215 points by fooey  3 days ago   197 comments top 18
soared 3 days ago 4 replies      
I'm stunned they weren't already doing this. It takes all of 30 seconds [1] to track this and is /incredibly/ useful, especially on a site that's used largely for outbound links. I have outbound link tracking set up for every client and personal website. Same with email address clicks, button clicks, file downloads, etc.

Did anyone really think websites weren't doing this? This is incredibly innocuous compared to other things.

[1] http://www.amazeemetrics.com/en/blog/google-tag-manager-tuto...

r3bl 3 days ago 3 replies      
So, by the current state of things, I'll have to visit the privacy settings in every single social network I'm using on a monthly basis just to make sure that they haven't pushed something I didn't agree on by subscribing to their service? Great!
moultano 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hopefully they can use this to substantially improve their algorithm. (Voting without clicking, click to vote interval, click duration) Lots of reddit's problems are due to algorithmic flaws that they just didn't have the data to correct.
djsumdog 3 days ago 2 replies      
Their warrant canary is gone, they've banned tons of subs that were barely controversial, and they added a way to block people you don't like making it an echo chamber.

I'd say I want to hack on a federated Reddit clone, but looking at the state of federated social networking, I already feel it'd be dead in the water.

Having to opt-out of tracking feels like another nail in the coffin.

LeoPanthera 3 days ago 0 replies      
I first noticed this yesterday when nothing was loading. Turned out "out.reddit.com" was down, thus breaking every single link.

That got turned off immediately.

benologist 3 days ago 2 replies      
They are or have been experimenting with forced registration to view content too - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11955938
rosalinekarr 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised they weren't doing this already.
dang 2 days ago 16 replies      
How would you guys feel if we tracked outbound clicks on HN? I've always assumed people would hate it, but on the other hand users frequently ask things like how many people vote for a story without clicking on it, and it would gratify curiosity (the name of the game here) to know things like that.

Edit: I suppose it's a dumb question because the answers can only be one-sided.

jsprogrammer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like a stealth edit of the privacy policy. The policy [0] in place prior to Jan 1 of this year doesn't mention it. The "announcement" [1] of the new policy also didn't recognize the change.

Also, you apparently cannot (yet) delete [2] the data reddit already surreptitiously collected.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/help/privacypolicy?v=33a67dd2-e2c6-11...

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/3tlcil/we_ar...

[2] https://m.reddit.com/r/changelog/comments/4rl5to/outbound_cl...

kup0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Doesn't seem to be a good decision for Reddit to only post this to r/changelog and not post it in r/announcements.

Even if it's overall an innocuous thing, I find it shady that an opt-out tracking system is not announced publicly to Reddit. Were they trying to hide it until someone found it? Seems it would have been smarter for them to control the message around this option than let their users do so.

1_2__3 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah I found this out the hard way when my content blocker stopped letting me click on anything in Reddit. It's actually pretty shady.
beedogs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just another reason to delete your reddit account with regularity. I've lost count of how many accounts I've been through now.
pbreit 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can the page figure that with a JavaScript "watcher" or do the links have to be "physically" intercepted and redirected?
cJ0th 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't mean to be snarky but I guess I am genuinely 'out of the loop' as they say: What user base is reddit trying to attract atm ?
J_Darnley 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope to see all those complaining over on Voat (https://voat.co/) tomorrow. The programming subverse definitely needs more activity.
known 2 days ago 0 replies      
chii 2 days ago 0 replies      
the thing i hate isn't that there's tracking, but that it now takes an extra redirect to click on anything.

Also don't like tracking in general for privacy reasons, but it's a minor concern next to performance.

frou_dh 3 days ago 4 replies      
Something I find bizarre about the current mobile reddit website is notifications at the bottom of the screen which must be dismissed, that include "you have been disconnected from the internet" and "you have been reconnected to the internet", as a consequence of Wifi changes.

You are just a damn website! I do want every website considering itself so important that it needs to subsume duties of the OS and present them with its own branding.

       cached 11 July 2016 02:11:01 GMT