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EU Announces That All Scientific Articles Should Be Freely Accessible by 2020 futurism.com
1175 points by emartinelli  1 ago   130 comments top 37
anonymousDan 1 ago 10 replies      
Why on earth do people think this is to the detriment of publishers? This will effectively just lock in their profits by forcing all eu grants to include the cost of payments to publishers to make research papers open access. It just means the taxpayer is now paying for open access instead of individuals having to pay up themselves. Note I'm not saying this is a bad thing, and it is possibly worth publicly subsidising this as an intermediate step, but it is far from being one in the eye for publishers as other comments here seem to think.
thr0waway1239 1 ago 3 replies      
I sometimes wonder if companies like Elsevier are the patent trolls of the research publishing industry - with the same chilling effect on the spread of innovation. [1]

It will be interesting to see how this affects the quality of reviewing. I think the defendants of the current system (who usually say someone has to bear the cost of the review process) are going to be rudely surprised when the academic community embraces this with gusto. The parallel with OSS is interesting - somewhat in the same spirit as the programming community embraced open source, I think the benefit of open access is that the researcher evaluates the tradeoff between 'capturing value' vs 'making a difference', without worrying about the external factor of 'what does this external entity, which provided very little in terms of constructive input when the work was being done, allow me to do (with regards to publishing openly)?'.

But then again, I could be completely wrong, especially in domains like the physical sciences where I don't know how the incentives align. I hope it works out well, and that soon this is the just the norm in all countries.

[1] http://blogoftheisotopes.blogspot.in/2012/01/elsevier-backla...

exceptione 1 ago 1 reply      
Although I did not contribute to anything of this, it makes me a proud European. :)

I wonder if the US will follow suits when/if this happens. Any thoughts?


Edit: maybe it would be better to link to the original source instead [http://futurism.com/eu-announces-that-all-european-scientifi...].

bobthechef 1 ago 0 replies      
Because I don't generally believe altruism is a thing in politics, the majority of the article is just fluff and smoke. Scientific literacy? What a crock. Scientific papers aren't for boosting the kind of basic scientific literacy the links to. They are generally written for an already literate audience (putting aside the poor quality of a great deal of science and scientific papers). The overriding pragmatic motive here is hinted at in the following sentence:

"Ultimately, this decision comes as a result of a meeting by the Competitiveness Council,which includes the ministers of Science, Innovation, Trade, and Industry."

EU science, being what it is, needs to be more competitive. One way to become competitive in the face American or even Japanese competition is to take the open source/free software route and make research freely available. This makes the research more accessible, unburdens relatively poor European universities from having to pay expensive journal memberships, increases the ability of EU institutions to collaborate, and allows the EU to attract collaborators from abroad by removing financial thresholds. And because science in the US has stronger ties to industry, it plays an important role in determining the economic prowess of the US. Poor entrepreneurs can also benefit from the move. The EU is likely aiming in a similar direction (though I personally know members of European academia who dislike the collaboration between academia and industry).

rerx 1 ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this will mean that European scientist will only be allowed to publish in open access journals or if it will be sufficient if copies of the papers are made freely available. The APS, who publishes the Physical Review journals which are some of the most important in physics, for instance already allows authors and their employers to post their papers online free of charge [http://journals.aps.org/rmp/copyrightFAQ.html#post]. In my field everybody already puts every paper onto the arxiv anyway, so open access is almost a lived practice.
pietro 1 ago 0 replies      
The EU hasn't "announced" anything. There was a meeting between several influential people connected to the EU, and they reached an informal agreement on something related to freely accessible research. The "announcement" is nothing but the minutes of that meeting.
pjc50 1 ago 2 replies      
Note that the current publishing arrangements for "open access" can often involve substantial fees paid by the authors to the publishers. Arxiv is definitely an exception.
daveguy 1 ago 1 reply      
Cough sci-hub Cough

Edit: a few of the links on the wiki page still link to it.


They also have a Facebook page and an onion route.

couac 1 ago 0 replies      
This was a big announcement, but there was no action defined at the time of the announcement. I wrote about it several months ago, because I had many questions following this news: https://tailordev.fr/blog/2016/05/31/our-take-on-the-recent-....
d_theorist 1 ago 0 replies      
Here is what was actually agreed: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9526-2016-IN... (PDF direct link)

The intention sounds good, but it seems like there is still a lot of detail to be worked out.

kahrkunne 1 ago 3 replies      
Doesn't that just have the effect that everyone now has to pay for scientific articles? I mean, as a scientist, this benefits me, but I can see why your average Joe wouldn't be happy to pay taxes so he can read articles he can't understand...
d3ckard 1 ago 1 reply      
Great change! Makes me proud of european institutions.
akerro 1 ago 3 replies      
What if a paper was written by an international team with members from US/Australia?
stcredzero 1 ago 2 replies      
Some studies have concluded that there is now more social mobility in Europe than in the US. Now I see more and more "bellwether" laws and executive actions coming from Europe first. Does this mean that the US, being at the top of the hierarchy and in charge of the world's largest empire, has now ceded innovation to the up and coming powers, much as Britain did to the United States in the 19th and 20th century?
lrmunoz 1 ago 0 replies      
After the final recommendation the European Commission has proposed about the abolition of roaming charges [1] I'm very skeptical about this type of announcement. Still publishers won't probably be able to lobby as hard as telcos though

[1] https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/06/european-commission-free...

r721 1 ago 0 replies      
faragon 1 ago 1 reply      
Why are not already free? Most EU scientific institutions take tons of public money (even private scientific institutions).
peter303 1 ago 1 reply      
Shift cost to author and grant agencies then. A couple of studies I have read says it costs about $1500 to review edit and publish an article. In addition several thousand dolars of volunteer time is provided by editors and reviewers. If the subscribers wont be paying, then costs will shifted to the author. Some free online journals already only charge the author.
danjoc 1 ago 0 replies      
Does this include data sets used for publication? If so, is there a specified format for publishing data sets?
somid3 1 ago 0 replies      
This is such an incredible feat that I just want to trow a note here so I can reference in the future to show off. If the metric of global innovation has an exponential power, this act alone will likely increase that power by 10%
snvzz 1 ago 1 reply      
Why wait until 2020?

This should be effective today, while giving a few month grace period at most.

fithisux 1 ago 0 replies      
The next step would be to make all drivers open source by 2020.
carapace 1 ago 0 replies      
(Thin sans-serif body text means you hate your readers. Making it grey means you really hate them.)
quirkot 1 ago 0 replies      
The demarcation problem just became the most important problem in publishing
MrForken 1 ago 0 replies      
Hmm the word Should is an indicator of where this is going
MrForken 1 ago 0 replies      
Notice the would Should in this headliner.
yiyus 1 ago 1 reply      
This will be probably be postponed to 2022. Then, in 2021, they will say that papers will be free only for 90 days.
tiatia 1 ago 0 replies      
The EU announces? Didn't the EU announce that EU roaming should be free by 2017? Last thing I read that now this has a dozen limitations, including a time limitation of 90days and only if the SIM has been used in the home country for a while. Ok. Now lets see how this turns out.
alekhkhanna 22 ago 0 replies      
Wasn't this news 3 months back ?
aabbcc1241 1 ago 0 replies      
can we just put every paper on github ?
EGreg 1 ago 0 replies      
Does freely accessible mean copies can be hosted by anyone anywhere?

I would say that fingerprinting is still useful, to knowthat the original information hasn't been tampered with.

Why do we need publishers again?

mordae 1 ago 0 replies      
pacificleo11 1 ago 0 replies      
arron swartz was right
hackaflocka 1 ago 0 replies      
Thank goodness for Europe.
dagurp 1 ago 1 reply      
*European Union
zakk 1 ago 2 replies      
That's incredibly stupid. The publishing of scientific papers has a cost, in terms of editorial service, proofreading, typesetting.

This cost will be paid by scientists, rather than by the readers. In other words, the papers will be free to read, but won't be free to publish.

I know as a fact that smaller research groups struggle to pay current publishing fees, and as a matter of fact the EU decision will increase them, making the situation worse.

denzell 1 ago 2 replies      
Why? whats next? Free newspapers.. free travel.. let's close all businesses.
Philae Found esa.int
1223 points by de_dave  2 ago   120 comments top 21
newscracker 2 ago 3 replies      
I watched this documentary called "To catch a comet" about the Rosette/Philae mission to comet ChuryumovGerasimenko. The achievement of getting to the comet and landing Philae, like many other achievements in space, is really phenomenal. So many things could've gone wrong, but the fact that the worst was Philae bouncing and getting stuck in a dark place (and not being able to perform fully) is a huge success beset by an issue of a smaller magnitude.

The description of the documentary says [1]:

> Unable to carry enough fuel owing to weight restrictions, the Rosetta scientists devised a delicate cat and mouse trajectory to reach their distant destination. In the ten years Rosetta had been in space she flew around the Earth three times, Mars once and the asteroid belt twice, to gain the momentum she needed to reach her destination. In the months before landing, the team navigated Rosetta safely to a world never before observed at such distances or accuracy. Rosetta orbited the comet before releasing Philae onto the surface.

Quoting from the article of this thread:

> We were beginning to think that Philae would remain lost forever. It is incredible we have captured this at the final hour.

This brings a much better ending for the people who worked on the mission for more than 30 years. [1] We tend to anthropomorphize things like spacecrafts, landers, rovers and many other inanimate objects. I think for the team (and many others following this news), this photo would be like being able to see a dear friend one last time, say goodbye in their minds and have some kind of closure.

The Wikipedia article, and especially the section titled "Landing and surface operations" [2], is also quite interesting to read.

[1]: http://www.pbs.org/program/catch-comet/

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philae_(spacecraft)#Landing_an...

lucb1e 2 ago 4 replies      
I didn't get why this was important and the article didn't reveal it upon skimming. Since it seems to get people very enthusiastic I gave it a proper read. After 11 paragraphs, the actual news is revealed:

> This [...] means that we now have the missing ground-truth information needed to put Philaes three days of science into proper context, now that we know where that ground actually is!

infodroid 2 ago 4 replies      
The hi-res image shows how just how unlucky a landing spot this was.


usaphp 2 ago 0 replies      
From Wikipedia about the comet: "One of the most outstanding discoveries of the mission so far is the detection of large amounts of free molecular oxygen (O2) gas surrounding the comet. Current solar system models suggest the molecular oxygen should have disappeared by the time 67P was created, about 4.6 billion years ago in a violent and hot process that would have caused the oxygen to react with hydrogen and form water. Molecular oxygen has never before been detected in cometary comas. In situ measurements indicate that the O2/H2O ratio is isotropic in the coma and does not change systematically with heliocentric distance, suggesting that primordial O2 was incorporated into the nucleus during the comet's formation. Detection of molecular nitrogen (N2) in the comet suggests that its cometary grains formed in low-temperature conditions below 30 K (243.2 C; 405.7 F)." [1]

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/67P/Churyumov%E2%80%93Gerasime...

thr0waway1239 2 ago 5 replies      
"At 2.7 km, the resolution of the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera is about 5 cm/pixel, sufficient to reveal characteristic features of Philaes 1 m-sized body and its legs, as seen in these definitive pictures."

I looked at the pictures and the human eye can barely see the lander. Considering that the chances of losing these landers is not that low, I don't understand why they don't make them visually more distinctive.

Andrew Ng gave a talk recently where he talks about designing the autonomous cars not for aesthetics, but predictability (via visual distinctiveness). [1] In the same spirit, shouldn't there be efforts to make these spacecraft modules more visually distinctive?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eJhcxfYR4I&t=16m35s

movedx 2 ago 4 replies      
At some point in the future, someone is going to fly to that comet, land, get out of their vessel and walk over to Philae and smile, give it a pat on the head, and then take it home; someone in the future is going to be lucky enough to experience that task and become a part of its history.
proactivesvcs 2 ago 0 replies      
I found ESA's "Rosetta and Philae Cartoons" videos strangely touching: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgx5PMpgonqUD1aO3g0bZ...

I hope they finish the series!

luso_brazilian 2 ago 2 replies      
The XKCD already updated the live comic about this subject [1].

All panels are available at its sister wiki [2]

In my opinion it is a beautiful work of art, pushing the limits of what the media allow the artist to do (the media in this case being comic strips in the webcomic format.

[1] https://xkcd.com/1446/

[2] https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1446:_Landing/All...

cJ0th 2 ago 0 replies      
huhtenberg 2 ago 1 reply      
Is there a map that shows its original landing site and the final resting place?
andreygrehov 2 ago 8 replies      
Off-topic, but why do they usually shoot black and white? Is it something to do with the file size?
netgusto 2 ago 1 reply      
This made me smile. Nice news !
fuhrysteve 1 ago 0 replies      
Why did it take so many months for the orbiter to get a photo?

Compared to the rest of the achievements of this mission, it seems like this should have been relatively easy: 67P is all of like 2.5 miles wide and the orbit is at like 10 miles. You'd think that a few high res photos in a single orbit would capture nearly every inch of the entire rock.

chakalakasp 2 ago 1 reply      
NASA and ESA's recent push to land things on comets and asteroids makes me pause and wonder if they have in the last decade or so calculated the orbit of an object that concerns them.
DrNuke 2 ago 0 replies      
This is even more incredible than the already unbelievable amaze generated by this mission as a whole. Hat off.
b1gtuna 2 ago 0 replies      
Haha itsy bitsy little space craft hiding behind a rock!
zygomega 2 ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know why communication is being shut down? Can they leave it on so we can get telemetry?
bjd2385 2 ago 1 reply      
What's that rather straight `rod`-like protrusion to the lower-left? Looks like some kind of antenna.
gokhan 2 ago 3 replies      
Unless other parts of the comet is more flat, that landing gear design seems clearly wrong. It included bolting itself to the surface, if I remember correctly, but it seems almost impossible to fixate three legs with almost no gravity on that surface.
sqldba 2 ago 0 replies      
Poor little thing. God speed.
dandare 2 ago 4 replies      
iPhone 7 apple.com
584 points by benigeri  7 ago   1319 comments top 98
slg 7 ago  replies      
I still can't get over the headphone jack. Apple does have a good record of abandoning technologies at the right time (floppies, CDs, Flash, etc) but the biggest difference is that those technologies were all on the downward slope of their popularity when Apple made the move and all had solid replacements available at the time. The headphone jack is just as popular today as it has ever been and it is still more convenient and dependable than wireless headphones for most people in most situations. Maybe that changes soon or maybe AirPods solve this for iOS users (they by design can't be a universal solution) but I can't help but feel that Apple is jumping the gun on dropping the jack. Although as an iPhone user, I hope I'm wrong.

Side note, I think it is hilarious that Apple can't get the AirPods to ship at the same time as the iPhone. Anyone who buys the new phone on release is going to be stuck with the crappy lightning headphones for at least a month and a half.

tptacek 6 ago 5 replies      
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that cameras are nice and so are Retina displays but what we'd really like to see is a big splashy page about whatever's new with the Secure Enclave Processor in the 7.

Not because there's anything wrong with the 6! Ivan Krstic's talk about Apple platform security at Black Hat was probably the best talk of the whole event. Nobody is delivering seamlessly integrated chipset-up-through-application security the way Apple is. Forget about in mobile devices; I mean, in computing, period.

I'm excited to learn what else is coming there!

seizethecheese 4 ago 1 reply      
tebruno99 6 ago 14 replies      
I'm not even upset about the headphone jack. Whatever. I'm really upset because you won't be able to do the following:

1.) Audio+GPS+Charging in non-Bluetooth Car.

2.) Listening to music at desk and still have enough charge for the Audio+GPS for the drive home.

3.) No more listening to music/audiobooks as I fall asleep because in the morning the iPhone won't be charged for my desk usage the next day unless I wake up and plug it back in during my sleep.

They can do whatever they want with the headphone jack, but pretending like we don't need to plug the phone in!! Thats daft.

srikz 6 ago 1 reply      
I somehow expected a ton of conversation around the new A10 Fusion chip. After 340+ comments I couldn't find any mention of it (I just did a page search for A10, A10 Fusion). Apple were already ahead with their per-core performance but seems like they have widened the gap even further this time with their version of the big.LITTLE arrangement. Wonder how Qualcomm's next chips will be. From what I heard, 820 will be the last custom chip they will do and from now on the CPU will be just the reference ARM chips and they will focus on the GPU and better integration of radios on the chip. Someone with more knowledge (about Apple's and Qualcomm's chip) please fill in.
sxcurry 4 ago 3 replies      
Well, it's official - Apple has failed again! Doomed I tell you, doomed! Forget the performance enhancements, better battery life, fantastic new cameras, etc, etc - I have to use a new earbud cable. Plus, Jony Ive is going around putting super glue in all the old iPhone audio jacks, so I can't even use my existing earbuds with my existing iPhone. Plus, Apple is charging me $0.00 for the adapter so that I can use my ratty old earbuds with my new phone. Doomed, I tell you.
balabaster 6 ago 8 replies      
It's water resistant but water damage isn't covered under warranty? How can you have it both ways like that?

"Water resistance IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Liquid damage not covered under warranty."

How does one make such a big deal of it being water resistant (Product film: 1m 35s; "...to make this the first water resistant iPhone") but not cover liquid damage under warranty?

randomsearch 3 ago 2 replies      
I have two thoughts on the headphone jack:

1. Most of the use cases being discussed here are irrelevant for the average iPhone user. Charging and listening at the same time is not a thing for most users. I know there are perfectly reasonable scenarios where it is useful, but most people don't care. Regarding battery life: personally, I use my iPhone quite a lot, often with bluetooth headphones, and I have had to charge it only once or twice during the daytime in the last two years. If you play a lot of games, or use GPS intensively for a few hours, then battery life could be an issue. For the average consumer, I don't think it will be a major concern.

2. OTOH, in the last few years headphones have become a very, very big market. They are a huge status symbol for teenagers and early 20-somethings. If you've saved a lot of money to afford a pair in that stage of life, the headphone jack is a big deal. It's not going to be "cool" to carry around an adapter all the time, and regardless people will hear "no headphone jack" and be annoyed. That demographic seems key to me in maintaining Apple's market lead over the long term, i.e. trend-setting young people.

Overall, I actually think that (2) will be a very big issue. Whilst I am of the opinion that wires are horrible in general, Apple may have misread its market here.

Rezo 5 ago 2 replies      
I'm disappointed by how boring the two-camera solution in the 7 Plus is. I was really hoping they were going show something interesting, like fusion of the two sensors through computational photography into one, with better low-light performance and less noise through downsampling. Or take +1 & -1 exposures simultaneously for a greater dynamic range.

Instead we got a button to switch from one lens to the other, for a 2x optical zoom. That's it. 99% of the time that second sensor and lens will do absolutely zilch. The computational bokeh appears to only use the 56mm lens for the actual photo, and the other lens to capture a depth map to compute the fake bokeh. This is hardly any better than the existing fake bokeh solutions shown many times before on Androids, Nokias and in iOS apps over the years that do the same, except it's a bit faster. The whole thing feels like just another checkbox feature, with very little actual value.

jamesmccann 6 ago 4 replies      
Feeling pretty disillusioned by another iPhone andiOS update. The 3.5mm coupled with lightning instead of USB-C just look like obvious traps for lock in with no real gain (5hr of playback time?!)

iOS still continues its march of adding minor features that should be in regular OTA updates and packing them up with some serious marketing hype. There's barely any improvement here and most of the features are already well implemented in Android / Google Apps or Facebook Messenger.


rad_gruchalski 4 ago 2 replies      
The premiere of the next mbp next year:"And... We listened to you. We've been hearing that you are upset about not being able to use the same headphones for your computer and iphone 7. We fixed that. We've removed the 3.5mm jack from the new mbp. It's magical."
protomyth 6 ago 2 replies      
They used the word "courage" during the keynote. I would say the actual words are "lock in" and "licensing fees". I would have been ok with USB-C because at least those will be able to move between machines.

The adapter is useless for me since it doesn't allow power to be supplied so my long drives are now problematic. I guess I'll have to take that into account on buying the next car.

qnk 6 ago 3 replies      

 The high-gloss finish of the Jet Black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone.[1]
I think I'd go for the Black one instead.


primitivesuave 5 ago 3 replies      
I found the WhatsApp integration the most intriguing part of the announcement. By allowing calls from WhatsApp to also be received, I am assuming they are making the native calling/iMessaging API available to any iOS application.

While messaging with iMessage, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, etc. can be done over WiFi only, calling is traditionally reliant on a cellular provider. The new iPhone only requires a WiFi network, and with the proliferation of WiFi and the first city-wide networks (e.g. Barcelona), it is possible that in the next decade all communication will be done over the Internet.

Also, during a recent trip to Japan I saw an $120 SIM card that gives unlimited Internet access for a year. This works out to $10/month, which is far less than what I pay for Verizon. So in a way this new iPhone may eventually cause cellular networks to primarily become providers of remote Internet access, as telephony shifts to the apps that the local people use to connect with each other.

Unklejoe 6 ago 4 replies      
Can the 3.5mm to Lightning adapters be legally produced without paying royalties to Apple for using the Lightning connector?

On a related note: I wonder if one reason for eliminating the jack is to close that open interface which some devices like the "Square" were using. I'm not sure how much of an impact this has though; it was just a thought.

artmageddon 7 ago 13 replies      
$160 for the AirPods? My goodness those are expensive.
niftich 6 ago 4 replies      
This is a Nice Device. You can read my other comments lamenting the headphone jack, this comment isn't about that.

The screen is beautiful. The two cameras are a clever trick that I hope work as well as advertised -- and their cameras have been historically very good. Splash resistance is overdue, but appreciated.

But A10 is a bit of a disappointment [1][2], only as powerful as the A9X. Do they have any new hardware encode/decode blocks at least?

With A9 they were having yield issues and had to different traces being manufactured by two different fabs to enhance capacity. What do we know on the chip front?

[1] https://www.techtastic.nl/smartphones/apple-a10-soc-van-ipho...

[2] http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/iphone-7-benchmarked-here...

SurrealSoul 7 ago 16 replies      
Honestly if you had an iPhone 6 why would you upgrade? Better battery life is cool, and it being waterproof is novel. However, its basically the same phone for the end consumer.
bluedino 5 ago 4 replies      
Enough about the headphone jack going away - isn't anyone concerned with how big of a deal they made about Pokemon on the Apple watch?

Apple looked so uncool and out of it when they continued to talk about it. Half the crowd has forgotten Pokemon Go even existed by this point.

koolba 6 ago 3 replies      
OT / @dang: This thread really makes one appreciate the new collapsible comments!
arihant 5 ago 1 reply      
I'm seriously not comfortable with getting audio through a digital port that has an authentication chip built in. That's HDCP and DRM for music waiting to burst into life.

"Unauthorized playback."

eriknstr 5 ago 0 replies      
I submitted the URL for archival as have a lot of other people done, but what I found strange is that there are archived versions of "page not found" results going all the way back to 2014.


Meanwhile, nobody has attempted to archive links for iPhone 8.

I guess maybe the IA crawlers found links to the page from elsewhere. Links made either by mistake or by someone making a joke about the release of iPhone 7 back in 2014 and betting on people not actually following the link. I dunno.

ChrisBland 6 ago 2 replies      
Cool - more dongles, adaptors + what not to carry around and lose and then pay apple another $40 for each time. I say this writing on my Thunderbolt display that has since been rendered obsolete if I ever want a new macbook
curiousfiddler 6 ago 2 replies      
I have a design issue with AirPods. When my earphones (with wire) fall off (and it happens when you're running or doing some other similar activity), I know for sure, that me or someone else accidentally won't crush them, because the wires often prevent them from falling on the floor. I don't know how the current design of AirPods would prevent that.
carlisle_ 7 ago 1 reply      
> 2 louder than iPhone 6s

Just the thing BART & MUNI really needed.

songgao 6 ago 1 reply      
2.4Ghz is super congested. 802.11g is. Bluetooth is. Even your microwave is on 2.4GHz. If everybody starts to use Bluetooth headphones all the time, I fear it's gonna make it totally unusable.
plg 7 ago 3 replies      
AirPods - so is walking around with a thing in your ear cool now? Around here it certainly still signals "I am a jackass"
chris_overseas 2 ago 1 reply      
From the website, big and bold: "iPhone. Now in stereo."

Honest question, not having owned an iPhone before - is this really the first iPhone that can produce stereo sound through the speakers? If true, that seems like a crazy thing to advertise given how standard a feature it has been in most phones for so long. On the other hand, if iPhones have had stereo output already, why shout about it now?

jimjimjim 6 ago 2 replies      
so, what's the next market/eco-system?

mobiles are mature products and the players are strictly in cash-cow or market share mode. nothing of importance is changing.

I've got an iphone se and an iphone 4 and you can't tell me that's the most they can do for 6 years of product development by one of the richest companies in the world. (yes i know that it's faster with more a and more b and more c etc)

Apple needs to drip feed improvements over the next x years to keep sales up so we can't expect anything game changing.

"The Others" are trying this and that but nothing seems to be sticking, probably not able to drive consumer desire enough.

so if nothing is happening, what is the post-phone next-big-thing to get into?

pawelwentpawel 6 ago 6 replies      
Can somebody explain why a lens with f1.8 is not able to provide the depth of field effect on itself?
ng-user 7 ago 4 replies      
> "Up to 5hr. of battery life on one charge"

How the fuck is it acceptable to completely remove the jack and replace it with this 'superior' technology?

evan_ 3 ago 1 reply      
One major thing I haven't seen anyone mention about replacing wired headphones with wireless is that as far as I know, you're not supposed to use wireless headphones on a plane. I don't think you'd actually get hassled by a flight attendant but who knows.
centizen 7 ago 1 reply      
We knew it was going to happen, but I am still disappointed the 3.5mm jack is gone.
bane 2 ago 0 replies      
It's official, Apple is basically resorting to nickle and diming their customers, except instead of nickles and dimes, it's $160 to achieve very basic functionality in order to achieve something that virtually nobody really honestly cares about. All that's been achieved is that Apple has now created/affirmed a new non-optional secondary market that they're now positioned to best sell into (Beats). There's not even the decency to see if people care about a thinner phone by offering both a thin model without a jack and a thicker phone with one (for some strategically important price differential).

But honestly, complaints and analysis don't matter, people will line up to buy this garbage and to make it worse it'll become a stupid trend that will bleed over into Android-land and now instead of the perfectly fine $10 headphones I picked up at Big Lots, I'll have to shell out 10x that so I can listen to a podcast on my way to work.

edit and they don't even have the respect for their customers to ship their stupid buds on time with the product that requires them...so that their customers can look like bluetooth douchebags from both sides.

mwalkerwells 4 ago 2 replies      
What are they going to do with the 3.5mm audio jacks on Macs? So Apple removes the 3.5mm audio jack from the phone & adds a lightening port to the mac?

It makes me imagine how nice it would have been to ditch both the 3.5mm & lightening port & replace it with a USB-C port across product lines.

Obviously that would have been even more drastic in many ways, but I can't help but think that they have painted themselves into a strange corner.

HeavyStorm 1 ago 0 replies      
Question: besides a cool accessory (airpods), and a weird double camera thing, what's really pushing forward here?

Galaxies have been splash proof for some generations, and Bluetooth phones aren't new (only the design of this one seems to beat everything else).

Other than that, only traditional Moores Law advancements, like, more battery, more RAM, more processing power. None of these are enabling techs, in that they don't enable you to do anything that you can't with older devices.

So, I guess, update when the old one gives up the ghost?

qaq 5 ago 0 replies      
I think Apple needs to add a few younger people to their executive team, because it seams they no longer can even pretend to be exited during the presentation.
finnh 5 ago 2 replies      
picture two friends in a car: "oh hey this music is the jam, let me play it for you."

5 minutes of dicking with bluetooth pairing later: "FUCKING BLUETOOTH GODDAMN IT. welp, never mind"

(conversational lull follows)

grandalf 4 ago 2 replies      
I've been trying out $49 Android phones lately after using an iPhone 6 Plus for over a year.

Android is getting to the point where most users will not really notice a difference between Android and IOS, even on a very inexpensive device.

mrb 5 ago 2 replies      
Weird. Nowhere is stated the amount of RAM the phone has. Not even http://www.apple.com/iphone-7/specs/

Wikipedia claims 1GB (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_7). Can't be right?

xbryanx 6 ago 0 replies      
I know this is a minority use case, but my iPhone is a great tool for testing whether audio equipment is working or not when I'm doing media system installs. Simply plug in the iPhone and play some sounds. Alas...
cozzyd 6 ago 2 replies      
Well, at least the lack of a headphone jack might prevent some people from using a selfie stick.
lifeformed 4 ago 0 replies      
Is this website a terrible viewing experience for anyone else? The videos don't work, and I can't scroll the slideshows unless I flick super fast. I'm on Chrome desktop.
AceJohnny2 6 ago 1 reply      
I was really curious how they'd handle wireless audio. In my experience, Bluetooth is slow to pair, connect, and glitchy in common environments. So I find it very indicative that the new Airpods do not mention Bluetooth, and the Beats Solo3 cryptically mentions "Connections: Bluetooth, Wireless" on its product page [1]. Sadly, I don't expect them to open their tech to 3rd parties soon :(

[1] http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MNEN2LL/A/beats-solo3-wire...

overcast 6 ago 4 replies      
I especially enjoyed the last second comment under his breath regarding the matte black iPhone 7 pricing.

32GB standard for all models, except the matte black, which will ONLY come in 128GB, and you'll be paying $100 more at $750.

Nice underhanded move by Apple to maximize profit for what will undoubtedly be the most popular color.

First they force everyone to buy the 32GB upgrade last year on the 6S, now you're forced to do the same to 128GB, unless you want a rose colored phone.

The camera upgrade looks nice, but the headphone jack is a joke. Another wire that will inevitably fall apart like the other Apple lightning connectors.

EDIT: Jet Black, NOT Matte Black. Still dumb.

qaq 7 ago 6 replies      
charging while using headphones?
davidiach 7 ago 1 reply      
I was really impressed with the new camera. It seems to me this was a bigger improvement than what they usually do.
brian-armstrong 6 ago 3 replies      
I'm curious if this spells the end for the headphone jack in the industry. Now that's gone from the iPhone, should we expect other phones to drop it? What about tablets and laptops?
adolfoabegg 7 ago 4 replies      
They didn't mention wireless charging, did they?
breatheoften 2 ago 0 replies      
I want a combination wallet+airpod dock+phone battery case. Wallet, airpod dock, retractable lightning connector (to charge iPhone), retractable usb cable (to charge battery). Battery doesn't need to be huge, just enough to get you another 20% or so phone charge -- and I imagine that would be enough battery for a whole lot of airpod recharges.
gjolund 2 ago 1 reply      
I suppose the iPhone7 is nice if you like being told what you need by the largest corporation on the planet.
Pxtl 5 ago 1 reply      
I do hope that this will push Bluetooth technology forwards - on my android devices bluetooth audio sound-quality is poor and skips when you launch resource-intensive applications. Also, the UI for syncing and selecting bluetooth devices is generally mediocre and confusing.
coryfklein 5 ago 1 reply      
I'm having a hard time seeing the value add on the AirPods that justifies paying ~5x the cost of stock Bluetooth earphones.

Siri integration and easier charging is definitely really cool, but not worth paying $120 over regular Bluetooth headphones that will probably be copy cat'ing that functionality in t minus 3, 2, 1...

davidf18 3 ago 0 replies      
I'm most concerned about voice quality. Any indication that there are more or better quality microphones.

Also, I'm concerned about the LTE: on the Verizon network it sounds like they're using the same modem as the Galaxy S7.https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/modems/x12

Is that correct?

walterbell 3 ago 0 replies      
The new "collapse subthread" HN feature was very useful for hiding 600+ messages in the headphone jack subthread.
msie 1 ago 1 reply      
Being able to collapse comments comes in real handy here! Collapsing the headphone-jack threads...
nickpp 6 ago 1 reply      
Still downscaling the iPhone 7 Plus resolution down to 1080p?! Still no 1-1 pixel mapping?!

I know nobody else cares...

metafunctor 3 ago 0 replies      
The keynote was trying to boast the gaming capabilities with a demo of 400 monkeys.

Weak. Give me 400 monkeys, then 4000 monkeys, then 400 000 monkeys, and now the monkeys are forming a fractal, but the fractal is just the surface of a sphere, and zooming out there are a million spheres, and the spheres form a monkey.

Now THAT's a demo.

jakobegger 6 ago 0 replies      
The Airpods look like a genuine improvement. I really hate untangling my earphones every time I use them. The carrying case looks brilliant; much nicer to carry a smooth case than a mess of wires in my pocket.
obilgic 6 ago 1 reply      
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is AirPods seem super useful for taking phone calls and all the other apps such as Snapchat, I would wear them off all day.

Airpods might become the virtual reality for your ears.

chadlavi 5 ago 0 replies      
everyone: "This does not perfectly fit my current unique use case, so damn it to hell"
icinnamon 7 ago 2 replies      
Confused about what earphones come with the iPhone 7. The standard analog ones (since an adapter is included)? Feels very backwards... unless I'm missing something...

Also, no new MBP is very disappointing.

sundvor 3 ago 0 replies      
This comment will probably drown in the deluge, but it'll be interested to see if there market for higher quality Bluetooth DACs just got cracked open a bit. I use a Soundblaster E5 myself; this thing is great.
Yhippa 7 ago 1 reply      
I'll give them credit for going deeper into features in he new phones. I question whether people will think to use them if they go into their phone for a specific task.
neals 6 ago 1 reply      
How am I not going to loose those two tiny little earbuds?
ulfw 6 ago 0 replies      
I can't believe that even the newest Beats 3 Solo Wireless have Micro-USB charging. Talk about Apple not knowing what their product charging/connection strategy is! (Lightning for AirPods, but Micro-USB for Beats, Lightning for everything else, from Apple Pencil charging to Apple Mouse)
msoad 7 ago 4 replies      
I buy a new iPhone every year. I think phone utilization is so high that around $1 a day is nothing for it.

Compare it with cars clothes and other things

OJFord 4 ago 0 replies      
RIP scroll. What a nasty web page.

It also looks really plastic-y in those renderings.

fnj 5 ago 1 reply      
To all: it's Lightning [R], not lightening. Go ahead. Call me a nitpicker.
saynsedit 6 ago 3 replies      
I feel like I can't buy this unless Apple pays its EU-enforced Irish tax bill. We give them money but the vast majority of it never goes back into the economy.

[Edited for technical correctness]

sofaofthedamned 4 ago 0 replies      
Does anybody have any technical details on these headphones?

Are they Bluetooth or not? Or is it the usual proprietary crap?

modzu 5 ago 2 replies      
bet they bring back the jack in iphone 8
nathancahill 6 ago 1 reply      
Interesting, the Unlocked option isn't available on the Apple Store right now. Temporary quirk until preorders?
BuckRogers 4 ago 1 reply      
They just solidified the iPhone SE as the best product they offer. No way to charge the iPhone7 and use wired headphones at the same time. A camera wart so the phone isn't flat like the SE. The loss of extra battery by going with a wart over a thicker, easier to hold phone like the SE.

I'll be sticking with my 5S, and my wife is no longer upgrading her 4S to the 7 as we were planning.

We love our iPhones, but we do need to replace hers and now looking for non-Apple alternatives since while I prefer the SE over everything on the market, she thought she was going to want the 7 Plus.

ngrilly 6 ago 0 replies      
The biggest drawback, maybe the only drawback of this new iPhone, is that you can't use the EarPods while charging.

(Edited for clarity)

AndrewKemendo 7 ago 1 reply      
It's hard to know without it in my hands how big of a deal the stereo camera is going to be. The fact that it wasn't designed for depth (at least publicly stated) makes it a little unnerving - for example having to compensate for two separate focal lengths to get good parallax is going to be a pain. However we built our SLAM around taking on dual cameras IF they happened to show up so we should be ok with some parameter changes on each input.

Anyway, AR is about to explode.

hmate9 6 ago 1 reply      
I won't be buying the new iPhone but I thinks removing the headphone jack seems like an extremely small problem.

The main issue seems to be that you now can't charge and listen to music at the same time. How often do you actually do that? In the past 5 years I have probably done that once.

For those of you who do think it is an inconvenience, I bet there will be a product on the market in 2 weeks that eliminates this problem.

tetraodonpuffer 7 ago 1 reply      
what would be interesting for the iphone 7 plus would be to use the telephoto camera for a picture, and use the information from the wide-angle camera to improve the noise reduction in low light, I wonder if Apple is going to also do this (besides using it for bokeh)
gigatexal 3 ago 0 replies      
The lack of the headphone doesn't bother me. I am excited to see what the future holds for digital audio out. I don't care for the airpods though.
alanmeaney 3 ago 0 replies      
Genius move by apple. Nothing said 'I'm cool' like the white headphone cables, same effect with new wireless Airpods
alkonaut 7 ago 3 replies      
They claim the plus as "optical zoom" and talk about a 2x factor. Do they mean it can switch between a wide and tele focal length? That isn't "zoom" (at least not in the normal sense) - it's just two focal lengths with a switch. Did I understand the feature correctly?
dominotw 5 ago 0 replies      
i don't take pictures or live a gregarious life of the people in the promo.
mslot 5 ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the 2 cameras can be used as a stereo camera for augmented reality.
aledalgrande 6 ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know more about the cameras on the Plus? Are they synchronized via hardware?
asragab 6 ago 0 replies      
I look forward to measuring graphics performance in FMPF (Flying Monkeys Per Frame)
danra 6 ago 1 reply      
So disappointing they just decided to ignore "touch disease". Bad form.
orf 5 ago 1 reply      
No headphone jack, and it still breaks when you drop it. Not worth it.
k2xl 7 ago 5 replies      
Honest question - Aren't IPhones already pretty water resistant?

Unless getting dunked in water, I haven't heard of anyone having any issues with water damaging their IPhone.

twostorytower 5 ago 0 replies      
Looks like they silently killed off the 64GB version :(
_superposition_ 4 ago 0 replies      
Those won't get lost...
_bojan 6 ago 1 reply      
Removed audio jack and still not waterproof.
romanovcode 7 ago 3 replies      
Still no MacBook. What a shame.
drivingmenuts 7 ago 0 replies      
No audio jack - no iPhone 7 for me.

End of discussion.

pearjuice 6 ago 0 replies      
So it's water resistant but not water proof... It has 2 cameras like other Android phones had years ago. Basically same everything but with a Mario app and no headphone jack? Do you think Steve Jobs would have approved of this to hit retail?
tintor 4 ago 0 replies      
No 3.5" floppy drive on the iPhone 7? What is Apple thinking?
mustaflex 6 ago 5 replies      
the price for heaven's sake... it's me or every year the new model gets almost 100 bucks more expensive the the previous one. We can expect a base price of 1000 in 5 or 6 years.
a_sriram 6 ago 3 replies      
I wonder why they removed the 3d touch?edit: I just saw the video...its still there. Looks like it is a default feature now. My bad.
sergiotapia 6 ago 1 reply      
You know I was annoyed the audio port being missing but after seeing the new airpods, I'm sold. They look amazing, and will be fantastic to use in the gym. I'm sold. Take my money!
ITT Technical Institutes Shuts Down bloomberg.com
481 points by jlas  1 ago   296 comments top 44
donatj 1 ago 6 replies      
I went to a similar for-profit school in Minnesota who also similarly shut down last year.

I still feel like they get a bad rap. Was it overpriced? Probably. Did I learn a ton and have small class sizes. Absolutely. The instructors had all previously worked in the industry, and knew their topics very well.

On top of all that, after graduation their persistent pestering of "how many places did you apply to this week?" (surely to help their numbers) had a lot to do with me actually getting a job. I didn't want to let the lady that called me weekly down. It took a lot of persistence and interviewing but I finally got my foot firmly in the door about 6 months after graduation.

I've been gainfully employed in the industry for ten years, I'm debt free, and I'm happy. I'm thankful for my time there.

aaronchall 1 ago 8 replies      
The dream: take students who are mostly unprepared to succeed at college and educate & prepare them for success in the real world.

The reality: most of these students will not realize a return on the investment of their time and acquisition of a ton of debt that they cannot discharge in bankruptcy. Many will fail to attend class, fail to take notes, fail to do homework, fail to learn, and will not complete - but because they have already sunk huge costs into the endeavor, will continue incurring more costs in spite of the writing on the wall.

The economics means that these schools are unsustainable. However, some people find success through these schools. How can we continue to serve these people?

Perhaps we could avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater by creating more community colleges, allowing more people to enroll in affordable community colleges, complete milestones at their own pace, while providing more direct subsidies of tuition for the truly needy. I agree that we would benefit from more German-style apprenticeship programs as well. For all of their worker protections, they still have incredibly low youth unemployment.

joedissmeyer 1 ago 6 replies      
I am personaly happy to see the hammer come down on these for-profit universities. I too feel for the students as I was one of the Corinthian Colleges students a few years ago at Everest University through one of the Florida campuses. My degree program was the A.S. in Computer Information Sciences -- such a waste. Look up the job placement rates for that program in 2010, just insane.

Thankfully I too have been able to take advantage of the Department of Education relief. But I have to go through the process of the borrower defense to repayment. It continues to be a tough process but at least it some form of relief for me.

I hope former ITT students are able to find a quick resoluton. This type of school shutdown is not easy on anyone.

On another note, I wonder if this is the start of the 'higher-ed debt bubble' that has been predicted for quite some time now...

mikestew 1 ago 3 replies      
I'll preface this with my lack of any love for ITT, but there's a piece of the story that bothers me:"Last month, the feds demanded the company produce an additional $153 million in collateralnearly double its $78 million in cash on handto cover possible losses that the government might incur if the company were to suddenly fail."

Here's how that sounds to me: "Well, ITT technically hasn't done anything illegal. But we don't like them. How much cash do they have? Double that amount and tell them we need this much for 'collateral' or we shut them down."

Can anyone fill in the blanks that Bloomberg didn't? What basis does the government have to make such demands (as it appears to me) out of the blue? Why make such demands knowing going into it that it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy? (That last question is kind of rhetorical.)

aerhakr 1 ago 0 replies      
My wife had worked as a temporary at ITT here in Calfornia. It was the most degrading work I have ever seen. She was teaching English courses, and 98% of the kids plagiarized, not even trying to cover it up. When she gave failing grades to the papers, the students fought back and the director at her location told her she can't do that. She quit that week.
paulddraper 23 ago 1 reply      
This is an instructive lesson.

"Free education" they say. "It will solve problems" they say. "Education will be better" they say.

No, it won't. Free education -- or subsidized loans -- puts a disconnect between education and its cost.

If the person paying is not the person deciding, a poor decision will be made. It's just like how HSAs prompt people to think about what they're spending their money on.

ITT would not exist but for government spending. Sure, some will beat the dead horse of more regulation. But the real answer is STOP SUBSIDIZING. Stop subsidizing education, stop subsidizing mortgages, stop subsidizing GM, stop blowing decisions sideways by removing the universal language of cost from the discussion.

kayla210 1 ago 2 replies      
I really feel for all the students who are so close to graduating and not knowing if they'll have anything to show for it.. And their credits will most likely not transfer to another school because of the different accreditations.
tzs 1 ago 0 replies      
For IT degrees (bachelor and master) for those who cannot go to a "normal" college for four years, an option to consider is the online non-profit Western Governor's University [1]. It is especially interesting if you already know much of the material through work or self-study.

It was founded by several state governors about 20 years ago, and is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

It's pricing is interesting: $2890 per six-month term, regardless of how many classes you take or credits you earn during that term. If you want to take a heavy load to earn the degree faster and save money, you can.

Each degree program has a particular list of skills that you have to demonstrate competency in to earn the degree. They offer, of course, all the necessary classes to learn those skills, but you are not required to take those classes--you are just required to demonstrate the skills. If you have already acquired some of these skills elsewhere, you can take the test or do the project that demonstrates it and that will count toward the degree.

For most of the IT degrees you also earn several widely recognized third-party IT certifications, at no extra cost. For example the IT bachelor's program in network administration includes these certifications: MSCA Windows Server, CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and CompTIA Project+.

(The offer more than IT, BTW. The also have bachelor and master programs in teaching, business, and health).

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

clarkmoody 1 ago 5 replies      
It looks like the main problem in this whole scheme is the government-funded student loan program. ITT was wrangling to get access that that loan money as a key to its operations. Failing to comply with the Dept of Ed's requirements caused them to go out of business, since they would no longer have a place at the public trough.

How many state schools and private colleges could survive without government largess? We've seen a massive increase in tuition costs, far beyond inflation in recent years. Such is the result of artificially boosting demand for college on the backs of the taxpayer.

As for forgiving ITT student loans, I say no. Students are responsible for their own loans and (bad) decisions. By that reasoning, shouldn't we just forgive all student debt for anyone who didn't get their dream job straight out of undergrad? What about those who don't finish school but still have loans? For everyone but the far left, these ideas are ludicrous. Let's not make the taxpayer suffer twice for the poor decisions of others.

peterhadlaw 1 ago 2 replies      
As an alum of IIT (Chicago)... This is extra, great news.
brightsize 1 ago 0 replies      
Related: "The Law School Scam. For-profit law schools are a capitalist dream of privatized profits and socialized losses. But for their debt-saddled, no-job-prospect graduates, they can be a nightmare." http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/09/the-law-...
tickthokk 1 ago 3 replies      
As a 2005 graduate of ITT, I'm glad. This was a long time coming. Now if only I could get my loans refunded :p
jrs235 1 ago 2 replies      
What enabled this greed scheme to work? Government guaranteed loans. The schools and institutions need to have some of their own skin in the game.
ramblenode 1 ago 1 reply      
> Students now enrolled at the company's technical schools will be able to cancel any federal student debt they incurred for their education if they decide against transferring their credits elsewhere... Taxpayers will record a loss on those debt cancellations.

This seems very unfair to taxpayers, who are essentially forced creditors. If the college reneges on its contract with students, then the students should seek to reclaim their losses through a class action lawsuit against ITT. The government shouldn't be covering losses on what were, arguably, bad investments.

Unbeliever69 1 ago 2 replies      
Unfortunately, ITT is just the visible tip of the iceberg. There are MANY more for-profit schools of the same ilk as ITT that will fleece the same archetype of education-seeker. This isn't over by a long-shot. These schools are everywhere and they are probably chomping-at-the-bit to get their mits on displaced ITT students and all others that are susceptible to the type of manipulative and deceptive marketing practices that ITT, and many other for-profit schools, use.
koolba 1 ago 1 reply      
Question for lawyers in the audience: If ITT is shut down because the "education" it was providing was complete shit and not recognized anywhere else, does that mean that the usual rules about education related personal debt surviving bankruptcy wouldn't apply?
arikrak 1 ago 0 replies      
Instead of the government trying to protect their loans and end up doing the opposite, maybe the government shouldn't be in the business of lending money to individuals? Government + lending + a supposed social benefit = disaster. First it was with helping people own homes, and now it's with helping people go to college. It sounds nice, but by lending money the government can just hide the true cost of what their doing. (Meanwhile government loans for housing have gotten worse: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21705317-americas-hous...)
JoeAltmaier 1 ago 4 replies      
Next, go after the public colleges? Other than brand, do they do a better job? Spend more than 30% of income on actual educational expenses (like IIT does)? I doubt it.

{edit}Seems like US Universities are about 1:1 faculty vs staff. Up from 2:1 40 years ago.

spudlyo 1 ago 0 replies      
Have you ever worked with anything ... High tech?


I asked that once during an interview, and was met with blank stares. Haven't asked it since, but I feel like it could have been hilarious.

dccoolgai 1 ago 0 replies      
"It will now likely rest on other parties to understand these reprehensible actions and to take action to attempt to prevent this from happening again."


JulianMorrison 1 ago 1 reply      
Every student's loans to these slimy operators should be simply struck off with no penalty.
KevinEldon 1 ago 0 replies      
Stop federally funding education. In the US we have 50 different opportunities to learn about how to create the best education system: all of these systems could learn from each other. When we allow federal funding of education we get much less diversity and innovation; we promote a mono-culture.
walrus01 1 ago 0 replies      
The entire concept of a corporate death penalty (in this case enforced by ITT no longer being eligible for federal student loans) is something that is not implemented nearly as frequently as it should be.
peter303 22 ago 0 replies      
Will coding academies go down the same route as for profit colleges? Right now they are the darling of politicians who think they could solve the country's unemployment and tech shortage problems. But once your put Wall Street in charge and scale them up handle large numbers of students, I wonder if they will become the next ITT.
xenadu02 1 ago 2 replies      
Federal student loans shouldn't be available to any non-accredited institution. If your credit hours won't transfer then it isn't a real College or University.
sytelus 1 ago 1 reply      
There is a startup opportunity here. It actually shouldn't take a lot of resources for this kind of technical education. Get a community hall, few experienced volunteers and have them teach skills for free to anyone who is interested. Students just promise to pay portion of their income if and when they get job. A startup gets little cut for coordinating whole thing.
Geekette 1 ago 0 replies      
Too little, too late; ITT and a whole legion of similar schools should have been erased long ago, given glaring evidence of their mismanagment, often misleading/fraudulent advertising, almost no value delivered (e.g. dismal grad job stats), waste of public money, etc. The pressing question is how long before ITT re-opens under a new name; I highly doubt it'll just go away.
emeraldd 1 ago 0 replies      
That's less than two weeks from when the Title IV "death penalty" (Assuming I have my titles right, it's been a while) was assessed. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12361737 )
Eric_WVGG 1 ago 0 replies      
bad news for late night cable ad revenue
coredog64 1 ago 0 replies      
Fingers crossed that UoP is next...
__pid_t 1 ago 0 replies      
How's Devry? I worked with a person that got a degree from there. It's for-profit too. I can't imagine it's any better than ITT with it's vendor lock in.
zomg 1 ago 0 replies      
people are so quick to make this a "for-profit" college issue, when it's not.

they shut down because the u.s. department of education banned them from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.

what do you think would happen to "not for-profit" colleges if the u.s. department of education did the same to them? i'd argue it's the "not for-profit" schools who are driving tuition prices up because the government won't stop loaning money to anyone with a pulse.

dry up that loan money and watch prices fall from the sky.

tomohawk 1 ago 0 replies      
They should have spent the $18 million.


EDIT: Not sure what the downvotes are for. ITT gets shutdown, but Laureate does the same thing, but even more so and gets a pass. The only difference appears to be these kinds of payoffs to politicos.

at-fates-hands 1 ago 0 replies      
I live in Minneapolis and the City Pages did quite an expos on them back in 2015. It was pretty eye opening and gives a really good glimpse into their tactics:


ryanlm 1 ago 0 replies      
Not being able to transfer credits seems to be a good example of Vendor Lock-In.
colindean 1 ago 0 replies      
I was an IT instructor at one for two quarters in the late 2000s. AMAA.
gigatexal 1 ago 0 replies      
Yes! What a shameful institution.
dbg31415 1 ago 1 reply      
What disgusts me most about the for-profit schools -- not to come off as too much of a snob -- is that the money we the taxpayers put into their pockets would be better spent improving community colleges and state schools.

I get not everyone needs to go to an Ivy League school, but for vocational basics -- what people are going to these for-profit schools hoping to gain -- community college should be "good enough."

I'd look at Bellevue Community College as a great example of a strong vocational tech school. That should be a model others could strive for. When I was younger I learned a great deal in BCC classes -- knowledge that was immediately beneficial to my day job as a software developer.

In contrast, the classes at BCC were far more hands-on training than what I got at the school I eventually graduated from. Educationally, community college I feel was better... but certainly for connections and networking the "name-brand" schools pay off.

chris_wot 1 ago 3 replies      
So to mitigate the possible effects of the colleges all suddenly shutting down they were told to put up a huge amount of collateral, which caused them to all suddenly shut down?

That's quite a mitigation strategy the government has going on there.

matchagaucho 1 ago 0 replies      
It's one thing for a school to recruit students that aren't prepared for the curriculum, and subsequent debt.

But it's quite another problem if the school loses their accreditation and is unable to deliver a quality education.

whorleater 1 ago 0 replies      
Thank god. Next on the menu: University of Phoenix please.
rufius 1 ago 0 replies      
jhylau 1 ago 0 replies      
thank god
loco5niner 1 ago 0 replies      
Multi-process Firefox brings 400-700% improvement in responsiveness techcrunch.com
551 points by bpierre  1 ago   327 comments top 29
rsp1984 1 ago 8 replies      
We can learn from the competition, said Dotzler. The way they implemented multi-process is RAM-intensive, it can get out of hand. We are learning from them and building an architecture that doesnt eat all your RAM.

That's the money quote here. I've been waiting for this for a long time actually. Every browser I've tried except Firefox just basically eats all my RAM and other app performance (e.g. compiling stuff) goes down the toilet.

Then on the other hand FF has not been so snappy and responsive traditionally. So responsive + soft on RAM is the combination I've really been waiting for. Let's hope they can deliver.

nl 1 ago 18 replies      
I switched to Firefox from Chrome about 12 months ago. It isn't as good as Chrome, but I was trying to reduce my Google dependencies.

It has been mostly fine (except for an annoying OS-X multi-screen bug where it screws up the sizing).

I was really looking forward to this feature to help close the gap on Chrome performance.

Until August (I think Firefox 48.x), when it became unusable on any site with... something. I'm not entirely sure what triggers it- I don't think it is just video alone. Something make the entire browser lock up entirely for minutes, and sometimes it even runs out of memory and I have to kill it via the OS.

No add-ins (except for Firebug).

Frustratingly, I can't replicate it well enough to be a useful bug report.

I'm this close to switching back. Muscle memory and shortcuts to Firefox is the only thing stopping me.

So.. this will be great, but please make it a workable browser.

uuoc 1 ago 3 replies      
This should come as no surprise. It has always been an epic architectural mistake to use the same single non-reentrant Javascript engine to both render the UI and run JS for webpages in Firefox. This change will finally undo that huge mistake made so very long ago.
gnicholas 1 ago 2 replies      
Instructions for enabling this feature (via about:config) are provided in the author's prior article on the topic: https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/10/mozillas-multi-process-arc...
sambe 22 ago 0 replies      
Every odd browser performance topic is dominated by people claiming Firefox has been faster and more scalable than Chrome for years. Every even one is dominated by people claiming the opposite.

This thread seems to be the latter, my experience is the former. If you see bad performance/memory usage with a small number of tabs, are you sure that it's not due to bad plugins?

I think about:memory and about:performance could be helpful. I seem to recall they used to have some reporting on known problem plugins (perhaps as part of https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/plugincheck/).

danblick 1 ago 4 replies      
Does anybody know more about how Mozilla manages experiments? I'd always assumed that all users downloaded an identical binary and got the same behavior. How do they assign 10% of their users to an experimental group?

Is it possible that two users will see different functionality when they are both using the same OS and release, say Firefox from the latest version of Ubuntu?

Animats 1 ago 0 replies      
At last, you'll be able to view other pages while Facebook's Javascript is in an infinite loop.

With thousands of MIPS and a gigabyte of memory on the job, it had better be responsive. It's pathetic how much compute power it takes to run a browser. Even when the pages aren't doing anything interesting. It's not like they're running a 3D game or something.

corford 1 ago 2 replies      
I've got 732 tabs open at the moment and performance is still fine. The upper limit for my machine seems to be about 745 ish - much beyond that and FF runs out of video memory or something (new tabs render sites half black).
faragon 1 ago 4 replies      
Why? Except because of memory allocation serialization impact, there is no reason for a multithreaded process being slower than multiprocess. And if that's the cause, it could be solved using multiple heaps.
Lagged2Death 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised by the responsiveness claims because my ancient Windows PC runs FF superbly. I think Win10+FF is already more responsive now than it has ever been.

I am also using Ghostery, however, with virtually everything blocked. It wasn't my intent to block ads, but that's mostly how it works out.

Zekio 1 ago 2 replies      
The speed is great as long as youtube doesn't autoplay a new video which freezes the whole browser for me until it is done loading.
rl3 1 ago 0 replies      
This will probably have significant implications for web worker behavior.

If memory serves, workers are unable to directly communicate with each other in Firefox when the UI thread is blocked, because message handling runs on the same process as the UI thread. Chrome doesn't have that limitation since it's already a multi-process architecture.

wcummings 1 ago 0 replies      
I've been running Firefox Developer Edition (which has multiprocess) for a few weeks now, it's noticeably faster for most sites.
nchelluri 1 ago 1 reply      
Ah, so because I use addons I might not be seeing these benefits for some time? Good to know.

Chrome is right now way faster for me, but I prefer using FF so I am in the Mozilla camp right now. Eager to see this rolled out. Early versions of e10s were very fragile and not so usable for me, so I switched it off.

Double_Cast 23 ago 0 replies      
I use both FF and Chrome. Chrome is more heavy-duty, so I use it for Dedicated Browsing. I've set it such that when something calls me away and I close Chrome, the tabs will reopen so I can continue where I left off. But sometimes I'll be doing something in another program and need to look up something quickly. In such cases, I don't wanna wait while Chrome reopens 11 tabs so I'll use FF instead. My FF-tabs aren't saved between sessions, so I only see a single fresh tab when I open it.
eberkund 1 ago 0 replies      
You can install v51 nightlies from here: https://nightly.mozilla.org/
matt_wulfeck 1 ago 2 replies      
I don't know. "Eating up all my ram" seems perfectly acceptable to me at first glance. I purchase ram and use it in my computer for expressly this purpose: to improve the responsiveness and snappiness of programs.

Where do you draw the line at what's acceptable use of ram and what's not? I have 32G on my desktop, is it unacceptable that chrome is using 8G?

zobzu 1 ago 0 replies      
Ive been testing Firefox e10s as in multiprocess Firefox for months now (in Nightly, and even before that).

At some point it became very usable and it still is today.HOWEVER while the interface is, yes, much more responsive, it is also NOTICEABLY slower.

I ended up reverting recently and I'm using single process Firefox right now. Its fast even thus from time to time the UI may block if there's heavy stuff going on.

Whatever makes e10s slow they gotta fix it... I suspect there's a lot of synchronization code.

malnourish 1 ago 1 reply      
Is there a list of commonly used extensions that are (in)compatible?
Zpalmtree 1 ago 0 replies      
I hope this works out well, I often see my firefox freeze due to heavy extensions, and would much prefer if it just froze one tab. For me, higher ram usage wouldn't bother me if it meant no freezing, but I imagine it does matter to most of the audience, and it's too much effort to develop two feature sets.
Hydraulix989 22 ago 0 replies      
Is this different than multithreaded? What are the benefits? Is it really just about isolation/sandboxing?

Why so much RAM? I thought the OS could share pages across processes...

drzaiusapelord 1 ago 5 replies      
Its incredible multi-process took this long. Just goes to show you that your architecture decisions last a long time and are often difficult to change. Chrome had this from day one and never had a big and old codebase to worry about. Yet it took Firefox many years to get multi-process going and my understanding is that its much more limited and simpler than what Chrome or Edge do.

I'm also a little surprised there hasn't been an attempt to launch a completely new Firefox from the ground up. Regardless of what they're doing right now, its still a legacy code monster and much more laggy than the competition. Maybe this is Servo's ultimate purpose, but every Firefox advance is welcomed but always feels like another layer of lipstick on this pig.

Disclaimer: I use Firefox as my main 'non-work' browser several hours a day. Its good, but its very obvious when I'm not in Chrome from a performance/stability perspective.

AstralStorm 1 ago 1 reply      
How much extra memory is now used by it? All this improvement is meaningless if it hits swap on a typical machine.
zyngaro 1 ago 0 replies      
On which OS? On OSX I almost gave up on ff because it frequently freezes for no apparent reason.
spynxic 1 ago 0 replies      
Wonder if Graal.JS could offer any improvements to the browser
shmerl 1 ago 1 reply      
A pity it's now practically useless, since many add-ons need modification to keep electrolysis enabled. In a year or so things will be better I hope.
dschiptsov 22 ago 0 replies      
So, finally, some emerging consensus among packers that pthreads is a brain-dead concept, and thousands of its advocates are just narcissistic idiots, loving to hear their voices?
Kenji 1 ago 0 replies      
Does that mean my website will now fit on a 700% narrower screen?
midnitewarrior 1 ago 1 reply      
Why is there still a browser capable of having its performance improve by 400-700%? This browser is a decade old. It is clearly the CPU and RAM hog everyone has said its been.
How to Tell a Mother Her Child Is Dead nytimes.com
686 points by niyazpk  4 ago   196 comments top 28
alasdair_ 4 ago 22 replies      
My twenty one year old daughter died two months ago. A young policeman came to my door. It was the first time he had to do the job mentioned in the article and he did it very well.

I have very little memory of those first few hours. I now know what it is to be insane. I was so disconnected from reality that people have told me that I had long conversations with them that I have zero recollection of. The only thing I clearly remember was telling the officer that I had a gun upstairs and that if he didn't take it, I was going to murder the man responsible for her death within the hour. It was the most matter of fact confession of planning a murder imaginable.

After a couple of hours, I saw a Facebook post of hers and lost it, the insane calm left me and I bawled my eyes out.

It's her birthday tomorrow. I miss her so, so much.

Anyway, the point of this post: my daughter died of an overdose. She was at a party, a man gave her powdered pure fentanyl claiming it was cocaine. I have no idea why. She snorted some and overdosed soon after.

All I want to happen is that someone somewhere reads about what happened to my daughter and reminds their kids that without proper testing kits, they have no idea what the fuck they are taking. Drugs may not be bad, but some people certainly are.

jrapdx3 4 ago 2 replies      
A subject I understand more than I can put into words. It's a duty I have had. A 17 year girl died of an overdose. It was my responsibility to tell the mother, father, pastor, brothers, sister. They were there all night in the tiny, chilly waiting room, after notified their comatose child was brought in.

Some kind of party had been going on when mom and dad were out for the evening. The young woman and assorted friends doing drugs. She passed out, it was hours before anyone thought to check out how she was.

I called in all the docs there were to call. We tried every trick there was known to try. Then heart rate fell to zero. All the effort came to nothing. Everyone was quiet, mumbled their sorrow, and slipped out the private staff access door. That is everyone but me.

That morning was about the hardest I ever faced, even in the decades since. Sure others have died on my watch, one cause or another. But that time was different. I knew I had to say it, give the worst possible news, the unnecessary death of a child, to grieving parents. I truly did not know how such a thing can be said, what phrasing is best, what stings the least?

I don't know how, but summoning the courage I walked out to where they were sitting. I was nearly in a trance, not only from lack of sleep, but stunned by the magnitude of what I had to speak. And I said what happened, the child passed away, never awakened despite the heroic efforts of so many healers sweating all at once.

I sat there for a moment, no more to say, listened to the mournful sobs. Though I felt a failure, more than anything I had no comfort to provide. They didn't find fault, they were not angry that we could not do more.

Seriously, a moment too stark, too profound to ever forget nor would I want to relinquish it. No repeat is necessary, the lesson deeply embedded, the value of life, the meaning of words, the merit of a healer's human voice, these are all worth keeping.

Jamesbeam 4 ago 2 replies      
I've been a private military contractor for more than thirty years. Some of the companies I was working for had very impersonal procedures to handle deaths.I offered a few times to personally inform the family / next of kin for the guys that were working with me directly but that request was always denied because it was not "cost efficient".

So I always did the trip on my own.

The loss hit them like a truck every time, I have a few memories that make me wake up in the middle of the night three days a week but the look on a mother's face when you tell her that her son is dead is something you will never forget as long as you live.

Still, I am glad I went to see every family of everyone I lost in all those years. There was crying and screaming and tears and a lot of blaming, I even got slapped a few times but I always told them I'll be in a hotel nearby for the next days and if they want to talk they can call me any time of the day.

Some never called but after a day or two most invited me back to their home or came by and we had a few long talks over the next days until I had to go.

I've been in touch with most of those families over the years and I heard a lot of times that it gave them peace to know that I was there when their son / brother / husband / grandson died and that I came by personally to try to comfort them before they got "the letter".

I wish everyone that you will never come into this situation because it's almost as hard and unfair to be the messenger as it is to be the recipient of that message.

bennettfeely 4 ago 1 reply      
I just want to say the style of the article and it's direct, terse language really captures the gravity of the situation and seriousness of the subject.

Very sad, but very well written.

helloworld 4 ago 1 reply      
Security is already outside the room and when they hear the first loud noise they will know to come in. No, you will not have to tell them. They know about the family room in the emergency department in summer in North Philadelphia.

What a heartbreaking essay. And how tragic that death by gun violence is apparently routine in North Philadelphia.

hopfog 3 ago 0 replies      
One of my best friends died of an overdose a few years ago. His mother was informed in a horrible way.

The police called her and told her that her son had overdosed and was on the way to the hospital. In the middle of the call they all of a sudden say "actually, he's dead!" like it was nothing special. His mother of course screamed out loud, which made the police upset (they said "hey, it's not my fault" or something like that, I don't remember exactly).

I normally have great respect for the police but I think this was handled catastrophically. They showed very little sympathy.

mindfulgeek 3 ago 0 replies      
When I was a year out of cancer treatment, I ran into a fellow patient. She and I had a rare cancer and were treated with a handful of others.

Of the three of us who remained, only two of us remained cancer free and she wasn't one of them.

A week earlier, there had been five of us.

I knew this. I didn't know if she did.

I didn't know what I would say if she mentioned them. It was possible she had the same problem in her head.

After we caught up, she asked if I had seen one of them.

Telling her the truth wasn't nearly as hard as answering her next question -- what about the other girl?

toopersonal 3 ago 2 replies      
My father died younger than 50 years old when I was a child. My mother was left behind with several small children and financial struggles. On the day of his funeral there was a funeral of an 18 year old boy afterwards. She has told me she consoled his girlfriend and when she saw the young girl standing there crying, she thought that even though her own situation was as bad as it could possibly get, this was even worse. Must have been a strange moment for her. Maybe even a bit uplifting, as perverse as this sounds.
emptybits 4 ago 1 reply      
When I occasionally start to think my work in technology is overly important or that the woes of my startup projects are unbearably heavy, I'm glad I can be humbled by something like this. This doctor has responsibilities and gravity I will never know. Great article and great doctor. Wow.
OliverJones 3 ago 0 replies      
I've worked as a hospital chaplain in a big and well-respected urban teaching hospital.

From a teaching point of view, I'm really glad this article by Dr. Rosenberg is available. For two reasons...

1. I wish I had seen it during training. It's spot on in every respect. Dr. Rosenberg's advice to stay with the bereaved, and enter with them into their grief, is good advice. There's no way to do it without simply doing it.

2. It's good that Dr. Rosenberg is teaching doctors to do this work. Often enough in the past, the Saturday night emergency department staff just said "page the chaplain" when they needed to deliver bad news. We chaplains don't mind doing our jobs, but that leaves the frightened family hanging while we scramble to get to the ED and figure out who / what before sitting with the family. And, there's always some practical decision-making that takes time. For example, a Roman Catholic patient needs a Roman Catholic clergy person. So, "page the chaplain" keeps people waiting.

If you ever have to do this, do everything you can to avoid physically looking down at the bereaved people. Don't stand over them. Sit on the floor if you must. Some waiting rooms have low coffee tables or side tables. That's a good place to sit.

In teaching hospitals, the new residents (fresh-out-of-school doctors) start July 1st every year. And, they staff the ED on weekend nights. So they are getting their first sustained taste of violence, right at the top of the summer heat. They went into medicine to heal people, not to pronounce them. So this is a big shock for them. The ED unit clerk should still page the chaplain, even if the doctor delivers the bad news.

This epidemic of violence is awful. For my part, I count strong narcotics with guns, knives, and cars as instruments of that violence. It's horrible that doctors and other hospital folks have to learn how to do this. But they do. It's horrible that families have to hear this bad news. But they do.

This article should be posted on the wall of every toilet stall in every high school in the country. Why there? Simply because everybody will see it and have a chance to read it in private.

CapitalistCartr 4 ago 0 replies      
I had to tell that to my own mother. It was 5 years ago this week. There are no good ways. There are no good outcomes. This is a good article about how bad it is.
drauh 4 ago 0 replies      
For some context, here is a map of poverty in Philly:


The hospital is in census tract 016300 with poverty level 58.5%

sndean 4 ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related - One of the reasons my significant other decided to not go into emergency medicine was the high rates of PTSD in ER physicians and nurses: "We don't have good numbers, but the incidence of PTSD in emergency physicians is probably around 17%" [1].

So while I can respect the stoicism and clear focus on the emotions of the mothers of victims, I hope the author and other ER doctors also take some time for themselves to deal with the trauma they experience.

[1] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/840980

ghufran_syed 4 ago 0 replies      
"The depth of the stupidity of the things you will say sometimes is unimaginable." -I'm pretty sure everyone who has ever had to do this has felt the same way.
hoodoof 4 ago 1 reply      
I had to tell friends that one of our closest friends had passed away. The only thing I would add to this article is to invite the recipients of the news to sit down first because there's a good chance they'll fall down.
FT_intern 4 ago 3 replies      
Why is this "how to tell a mother her child is dead" instead of "how to tell parents that their child is dead"?
cmmn_nighthawk 4 ago 0 replies      
this makes all debates about software seem trivial. i agree--it's very well written.
rhyselsmore 3 ago 0 replies      
As an ex-paramedic this really hits home.
fnj 3 ago 0 replies      
It doesn't have to be a child in the sense of being young. No parent should have to outlive their offspring, especially when they are very close daily. I witnessed the effect on a 90+ year old mother of the sudden unexpected death during sleep (natural causes) of her daughter who was almost 60 but very vibrant.

It was crushing. The mother never recovered any of her joy in her own life and only lived another 2 years.

andrewvijay 3 ago 1 reply      
Absolutely terrifying!"If he left his socks on the floor again today, it is all right." - the only sentence I could relate to. I hate my life.
known 3 ago 0 replies      
Really painful.
milesf 3 ago 1 reply      
I know this will sound cold, but why is this story here? Does it really fit the guideline of "anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity"?

I've shoehorned it into my rationalization for being here as advice on how to have an extremely difficult conversation, but it still feel a bit macabre to have this here.

epicureanideal 4 ago 0 replies      
The article is basically saying not to flip out, but "When you get home, do not yell at your husband. If he left his socks on the floor again today, it is all right." We all know that this doesn't just happen after someone dies on the operating room table.

Seriously people, if your spouse is not cheating on you, beating you, or throwing the family money to the casino, lighten up about the little stuff.

End of public service announcement.

pipio21 3 ago 3 replies      
jkot 4 ago 3 replies      
gjolund 4 ago 4 replies      
mastre_ 4 ago 3 replies      
> I just want to say the style of the article and it's direct, terse language really captures the gravity of the situation and seriousness of the subject.

Quick comment about how your it's instead of its caused an English parsing error in my brain:

I read until the comma and because I saw it's, I assumed I missed a word in the first part of the sentence - I though it may have been something like "I just want to say I evaluated the style of the article and it's direct, it's frank, it's spot on!", but re-reading it didn't reveal anything I missed. I then considered some less common writing styles/expressions. None of that worked out, so I read past the comma and figured out what happened. All this happened in the span of a second or so. Not sure what it was about this particular sentence that caused me to stop at the comma, I don't think it happens often.

Kenji 4 ago 0 replies      
Wow, that was surprisingly moving. For some reason, I expected one of those dry hacker essays.
What typing ^D does on Unix (2009) utoronto.ca
522 points by luu  1 ago   155 comments top 16
telotortium 1 ago 3 replies      
As a corollary, typing ^D twice on a non-empty line will also send EOF on the input, allowing you to provide a program with input not ending with \n from the command line. I knew about this behavior, but not why it worked, but this article's explanation clarifies this behavior as well. The first ^D terminates the read() call, passing the line so far, without terminating \n, to the program. The second causes read() to return with 0 read bytes, which is EOF, as explained in the article.
userbinator 1 ago 0 replies      
No TTY-related discussion is complete without a reference to Linus Akesson's extremely lucid article on the whole thing, including what all the other interesting Ctrl+ characters do:


...and the extensive previous HN discussion on it:







gtrubetskoy 1 ago 6 replies      
^U will clear the buffer - super convenient for retrying botched passwords.
felixgallo 1 ago 2 replies      
Typing +++ will bring you back out to your modem's firmware, at which point you can issue further AT commands
coretx 1 ago 1 reply      
Directly after reading the title the question "what does ^D do" was fired at a Old Unix Beard friend of Mine who happens to be here for coffee.

Instant reply Without any latency: "It originally was meant to terminate the Tape drive"

happyslobro 23 ago 0 replies      
6 KB HTML. 4 KB CSS with comments preserved. No JS.

It's so beautiful. I think I'm going to cry :)

SteveNuts 1 ago 4 replies      
Pressing enter then ~. will gracefully shutdown hung ssh sessions
wruza 1 ago 0 replies      
In general, CTRL-anything send corresponding control character by shifting keys to control set of ASCII table [1] (shift-key shifts keys to upper set). Many of them retained original meaning, e.g. ^I ^M ^J ^H ^D ^[.

[1] http://ascii-table.com/

TorKlingberg 1 ago 4 replies      
I wish articles like this would say what ^D means. I remember when I was new to Unix it took me a while to realize that I wasn't supposed to type a literal caret (^) followed by a D.

For reference it means Ctrl+D, unless you you have a strange keyboard from Sun or something.

voidz 1 ago 3 replies      
Expanding on this, ^\ (Ctrl+\) means sigkill, and I don't think many people know about this one.
yread 1 ago 0 replies      
So many useful (and utterly undiscoverable) tidbits of knowledge in this thread! Thanks!
pantulis 15 ago 0 replies      
If memory serves well, there was also the amazing Ctrl-O, which allowed you to send control sequences over a busy terminal --for example when scrolling a lot of text, seems to be mapped to the arcane VDISCARD and unsupported by Posix & Linux.
VintageCool 1 ago 3 replies      
Neat. So when my terminal is spewing output because I ran "cat massivefile" instead of "cat massivefile | head", I can hit ctrl-D to stop it instead of repeatedly hitting ctrl-C and despairing.
peterwwillis 1 ago 0 replies      
The author actually clouds what and why is really happening a bit. Ctrl+D sends the EOF character to the terminal driver. The terminal driver then determines, based on its settings, what to do next.

In the 'icanon' mode, the terminal driver implements a rustic line editor, so you can do things like Backspace to delete previous characters and so on. Pressing Enter during this mode returns the edited buffer line to the program.

Where Ctrl+D, or EOF, comes in is when you want to return a line to the program _without_ pressing Enter. This is where the terminal driver returns the buffer to the read() function for the program immediately. Doing it again with no additional input shows that you were done line-editing, so it simply returns nothing, signaling the program that you're done editing or providing input - the intended purpose of End Of File, the character sent by Ctrl+D. (If you were reading a file and you received nothing on a read... you would be at the end of a file, because why else would the file have nothing else to read?)

But this 'icanon' mode won't be active in your actual terminal shell, because shells have their own line editing implementation, so they turn 'icanon' off by default. You can, of course, turn on or off in the terminal with "stty". Use "stty -a" to see all the other current settings. The terminal application, by the way, sets the EOF to the same value as the terminal driver's by default, in order to prevent confusion.

Nilzor 1 ago 0 replies      
This comment thread is worth much more than the actual article
djsumdog 1 ago 2 replies      
huh. That's really interesting. I assume ^L is handled in the tty driver as well?
I lost my OpenBSD full-disk encryption password filippo.io
491 points by oskarth  2 ago   95 comments top 13
0xmohit 2 ago 4 replies      
Enlightenment always takes a while :)

 I later found a nice article documenting the entire system. It also includes references to JohnTheRipper having a module for this. Well, this was more fun.

Wonder how many times are the same items posted: https://news.ycombinator.com/from?site=filippo.io

camtarn 2 ago 1 reply      
The previous article, about a lost password for a NAS, is hilarious and well worth a read as well:


moyix 2 ago 4 replies      
Quick question for the more cryptographically inclined: apparently after decryption the code does an HMAC validation:

 /* Check that the key decrypted properly. */ sr_crypto_calculate_check_hmac_sha1(sd->mds.mdd_crypto.scr_maskkey,
Does this mean it's using Mac-Then-Encrypt? And if so, is it likely doomed [1]?

[1] https://moxie.org/blog/the-cryptographic-doom-principle/

Drdrdrq 2 ago 1 reply      
If he wanted to know the value of the salt for his disk, wouldn't it be easier if he just modified the sources so it would be printed it out?
cperciva 2 ago 3 replies      
the rounds number 0x2000

Does anyone know if this is the default? If I'm understanding this correctly, it's around 10 ms of key derivation time; on FreeBSD we default to 2 s, which should make cracking disk encryption 200x more expensive.

zakk 2 ago 2 replies      
While reading I had the feeling that the author was reverse-engineering open source software...
z3t4 2 ago 2 replies      
When deciding to encrypt, lets say a backup, you need to ask yourself, is the data better lost then in the hands of the wrong people.
AWildDHHAppears 2 ago 1 reply      
That's why I keep them written down in my safe!
SwellJoe 2 ago 2 replies      
I briefly went all-in on security, cryptocurrency, tor, etc., and had a locked down desktop machine encrypted with LUKS. Then, I moved, and it took me a few weeks to get the computer set back up. In that time, I'd forgotten my passphrase. So, I have a desktop machine containing (at least) a couple hundred bucks worth of cryptocurrencies that I can't open. I still think I remember the passphrase I used, but it doesn't work, so I'm obviously missing a word or a punctuation addition (I used the CorrectHorseBatteryStaple method of making a memorable passphrase in this case).

I've been known to do dumb things, and going down the rabbit hole of cryptocurrencies and how to securely use said currencies was one of them. These days I put everything of importance into Google drive, Dropbox, and/or git (not github...a privately hosted git that I access via ssh and runs on a VM on hardware I own in a data center I trust). If it is sensitive, it is encrypted with a passphrase I've been using for a couple decades, and so it unlikely to be forgotten. A high capability attacker could thwart my protections, I'm sure, but I don't have any reason to believe a high capability attacker has any interest in me.

And, I don't hold much cryptocurrency, and what I do hold is at Coinbase, just sitting there on the off chance Bitcoin really does take over the world and a small amount turns into a big value.

_ph_ 2 ago 3 replies      
So, for the layman, does this mean, the encryption can be practically cracked or not?
ams6110 2 ago 0 replies      
Hm, if it were me and I had just set up the new system and then promptly forgot the password, I'd just reinstall.
EGreg 2 ago 1 reply      
Why not have your passwords be hashes of passphrases?
imaginenore 2 ago 4 replies      
That's why you always

1) store passwords in the password manager, even the ones you think aren't important.

2) backup your data

How to Learn Advanced Mathematics Without Heading to University Part 3 quantstart.com
464 points by shogunmike  2 ago   174 comments top 24
lumberjack 2 ago 8 replies      
This is stupid. The hard part about a Math degree is the number of hours you have to put in. If you cannot go to university full time, go part time. If you cannot go part time, you don't have enough time to actually learn any of these topics on your own.

I've done these classes. It's typically 150 hours per class and it's not something you do after coming exhausted home from work either. After those 150 hours you'll get a basic understanding of the topic. You won't be an expert by any means. That will require more exposure, more time.

The lectures themselves are not that useful, I find. The lecturers are mostly useful in guiding you along, telling you which aspects of the theory to focus on and weeding through the study material to deliver you the best bits. The problem sets are indispensable. Exams make sure you actually know the basics in depth instead of just knowing about them.

My advice: enrol part-time, take one class at a time, catch up on the lectures and do the problem sets and the homework over the weekend.

yodsanklai 2 ago 9 replies      
> How to Learn Advanced Mathematics Without Heading to University

I wonder if it's even possible. Learning maths requires much work, time and dedication. Doing so alone must be very difficult.

There are several things universities provide that are hard to replicate alone: a degree, which gives you access to a job, motivation, learning environment, and "peace of mind".

What I mean by peace of mind is that, when you're a student, your job is to study, that's what you're expected to do and normally your degree will give you access to a job (esp. if your university is reputable).

Now suppose someone learns advanced maths on their own. There's a huge opportunity cost. Not only it takes a lot of time, and the few lucrative jobs that make use of maths are in finance. I suspect financial institutions are very conservative and rarely recruit someone without a proper academic background.

An other thing when learning things alone, is that your job is twofold. You must be teacher and student at the same time. You need to find the material, impose yourself some pacing, decide when it's ok to move on etc... It may be ok when you want to learn a new technique in a field you already know, but something as broad as "learning advanced mathematics" seems impossible.

fantispug 1 ago 1 reply      
Learning advanced mathematics without going to university would take an extreme amount of dedication, focus, and effort, but it's certainly possible. It's much easier with the resources available on the internet, and being able to connect with people through forums and stack exchange.

John Baez's recommendations: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/books.html

For theoretical physics 't Hooft's recommendations: http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gadda001/goodtheorist/

bitchy 2 ago 0 replies      
These books will kick your teeth in if you're not prepared. You either get a teacher who'll hold your hand or you need to gear up for fight(develop math maturity and learn all the tricks and tips). To the latter end, you can check out the Book of Proof by Richard Hammack[0] and Discrete Math by Susanna Epp[1].

[0] http://www.people.vcu.edu/~rhammack/BookOfProof/

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Discrete-Mathematics-Applications-Sus...

saretired 2 ago 0 replies      
What bothers me about this article is the hook: if you can learn this stuff you can get a quant job on Wall St. Realistically, very very few people can (truly) learn this amount of material on their own, and even so, you will be competing with top people with advanced math degrees, so if you're not the second coming of Gelfand, the goal of getting this kind of job is completely unrealistic.

On the other hand, if you have the time (and ability) to learn some of this material on your own, for a purpose other than competing for a highly paid job as a mathematician, great.

biofox 2 ago 2 replies      
I have found the Chicago undergraduate mathematics bibliography useful for directing self-study:


Previously discussed on HN:


mathgenius 2 ago 3 replies      
This stuff is brutally difficult to learn from books. Sigh. Maybe in the years since I studied this as an undergraduate things have changed with youtube and so-on. But there is nothing quite like talking to a real mathematician. One minute you are asking a question about some little thing you are stuck on, and the next minute the master is levitating and bending spoons! That's when you start to feel the real depth behind the concepts. It doesn't come from books.
ziedaniel1 2 ago 1 reply      
To get the key ideas behind many of these topics, you could try reading Evan Chen's Infinitely Large Napkin: http://www.mit.edu/~evanchen/napkin.html
lordnacho 2 ago 1 reply      
Seems pretty comprehensive to me. As a career quant trader I'd say it's a matter of doing the advanced stuff so that you understand the simple stuff. Especially in statistics, there are a number of simple principles, but they need to be learned by incorporating them into some complicated lessons.

There's also programming. That's a whole can of worms in itself. There's both theory and practice, where I'd say the practice is far more important than it seems. You really have to have bashed your head against a wall (of your own making) to appreciate how to code in a sensible, maintainable way.

ronald_raygun 1 ago 0 replies      
My two cents - I got a BS in math and an MS in stats. A ton of this stuff is really hard and takes a lot of time to understand, and it really does help to have a bunch of time to dedicate to it, a professor to guide you, and friends to try problems with. It also really helps to be exposed to a good order to learn stuff (for example I'd suggest tons of functional analysis, then prob, then stats, then finally ML)

But once this stuff clicks it becomes very easy to teach yourself. I've been learning stuff like quantum algorithm, network analysis, etc.

kikishortler 2 ago 0 replies      
On the face of it this looks more like studying than learning. The distinction is not meaningless. I studied French for six years and passed an exam at the end. However despite all this activity I have never been able to converse in French. By a variant of Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, I conclude that I cannot do mathematics either.
Tycho 2 ago 1 reply      
What do people think of this idea. Let's say you want to casually improve your maths knowledge in your spare time. Let's say you find it frustrating how you generally can't just google concepts as you come across them, because the material is usually presented so obtusely and you need to be able to ask questions and have things explained in different ways. Let's say you live in a university town. Let's say you pay a graduate student to just spend a couple hours per week answering your questions, on whatever concepts you're having difficulty with.

Do you think this would work well? Obviously it costs money but I'm guessing the rate wouldn't need to be too high to make it worth their time. They wouldn't need to do any preparation, just have a good grounding in the language of maths.

ekm2 2 ago 0 replies      
karma_vaccum123 2 ago 0 replies      
People don't go to university to learn, they go to university to get degrees...or to be more blunt...to buy degrees.
hal9000xp 2 ago 2 replies      
As I a software developer with no degree (working since 2009 in 3 countries), I can share my experience of attempts to learn advanced math.

In 2010, I was very interested in foundations of mathematics, an extremely abstract math branches:


In particular I spent huge amount of time on:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Bourbaki (Set theory)




What attracted me is that these books doesn't require any specific knowledge of classical math. I.e. they are self-contained.

It was fun and ... the experience to delve into highly abstract view on entire math.

The big problem is that while I read that for more than a year, I had no experience in problem solving and just ignored exercises (thinking that concept is everything). As a result of that, my entire knowledge is completely evaporated and I literally can't solve any of exercises.

After that year, I dropped math till recently.

Now, I have completely different approach. I learning elementary olympiad style math and most importantly solving problems all the time. Currently, I'm into series of books:


These books made for math olympiad preparation. While I solving exercises, I feel how solid my knowledge is.

So if you want to learn advanced mathematics, learn elementary olympiad-style math first. It will give you solid background to start learning advanced math (not just knowledge background but most importantly problem solving skills).

echelon 1 ago 0 replies      
Would it be possible to do this for quantum mechanics, chromodynamics, etc. (to the point where I can follow the primary literature)? I have an undergraduate understanding of physical chemistry, but that was the closest exposure I got to the subject. My mathematics background is petty weak, too (only a modest background in PDE, no ODE, and a faint memory of linear algebra).

I'd pay handsomely for a personal tutor / teacher.

naveen99 1 ago 0 replies      
Sympy can help get over the fear of following scary looking equations or just speed you up.


partycoder 2 ago 1 reply      
Unless you work on graphics, physics, signal analysis, sound, trading, data science, computer vision, machine learning, etc... it's hard as a software engineer to be exposed to math past the basics, meaning that you can survive without having to go beyond arithmetic.

You might still get some exposure to discrete mathematics once in a while. Statistics is always there to help you, some people avoid it, some others embrace it.

IvanK_net 2 ago 0 replies      
The hard part of learning anything without heading to university is not learning that subject, but persuading yourself, that you realy do need to learn each specific area of the subject thoroughly, even if you have never heard of it in your previous "career".
jimhefferon 2 ago 0 replies      
> it is essential that we study topics such as Measure Theory and Linear Functional Analysis

I love this sentence. I'm not sure it is true, but it is nonetheless a great sentence.

graycat 1 ago 0 replies      
Somewhere in the OP or its links is a statement that in 1997 or so the world of finance was really hot for quants.

Net: What I found was not "hot" but ice cold.

In contrast, early in my career around DC, for applied math for US national security and NASA, in one two week period I went on seven interviews and got five offers. In four years, my annual salary increased by a factor of 4 to six times what a new, high end Camaro cost. That was "hot".

When I went for my Ph.D. in applied math, I'd read E. O. Thorpe who had, basically an early but basically correct version of the Black-Scholes option pricing model. In the back of his book, he mentioned measure theory. So, I dug into Royden's Real Analysis, and in grad school I got a really good background in measure theory, probability, and stochastic processes from a star student of E. Cinlar, long in just those topics and the mathematics of operations research and mathematical finance at Princeton.

In more detail, about 1992 to 2000, after my Ph.D., I tried to get into finance in NYC as a quant. My Ph.D. dissertation research was in stochastic optimal control, with careful attention to measure theory and the relatively obscure topic of measurable selection and with a lot of attention to real world modeling, algorithms, and software. I had a good background in multivariate statistics and time series techniques, an especially good background in advanced linear algebra and numerical linear algebra (e.g., numerically exact matrix inversion using only double precision machine arithmetic and based on number theory and the Chinese remainder theorem), double precision inner product accumulation and iterative improvement, etc.

So, I sent nicely formatted resume copies, in total 1000+.

I have held US Federal Government security clearances at least as high as Secret; never arrested; never sued; never charged with worse than minor traffic violations; never bankrupt; good credit; physically normal; healthy; never used illegal drugs or used legal drugs illegally; married only once and never divorced; etc.


(1) I got an interview at Morgan Stanley, but all they wanted was software development on IBM mainframes (where I had a good background at the time) with no interest in anything mathematical.

(2) I got a lunch with some guy who claimed to be recruiting for Goldman Sachs, but, except for the free lunch and what I had to pay for parking in Manhattan, that went nowhere.

(3) I had a good background in optimization, published a nice paper in JOTA that solved a problem stated but not solved in the famous paper in mathematical economics by Arrow, Hurwicz, and Uzawa.

So, for mathematical finance, I got a reference to

Darrell Duffie,Dynamic Asset Pricing Theory,ISBN 0-691-04302-7,Princeton University Press,Princeton, New Jersey,1992.

and dug in: The first chapters were heavily about the Kuhn-Tucker conditions, that is, the topic of my JOTA paper. By the end of the chapter, I'd found counterexamples for every significant statement in the first one or two (IIRC) chapters. I had to conclude that Duffie was not a good reference for anything good!

(4) Headhunters: I tried them, especially the ones claiming to be interested in technical work, computing, etc. They were from unresponsive down to insulting. It wasn't clear they had any recruiting requests.

(5) In those days, getting names and mailing addresses of hedge funds was not so easy. But I did get some lists and mailed to them. Got next to nothing back. I didn't hear about James Simons until well after year 2000.

(6) Right, there was Black-Scholes. Well, of course, that was Fisher Black at Goldman Sachs. So I wrote him and enclosed a copy of my resume. I got a nice letter back from him saying that he saw no roles for applied mathematics or optimization on Wall Street.

So, I gave up on trying to be a quant on Wall Street!

So that was 1992-2000, 8 years, 1000+ resume copies, and zip, zilch, and zero results.

Curious that the OP thinks that 1997 was a "hot" year for applied math on Wall Street.

Now I'm an entrepreneur, doing a startup based on some applied math I derived, computing, and the Internet! To heck with Wall Street: If my startup is at all successful, I will make much more money than I could have on Wall Street. And I don't have to live in or near the southern tip of Manhattan and, instead, live 70 miles north of there in the much nicer suburbs!

Lesson: Take the OP with several pounds of salt!

Hnrobert42 2 ago 3 replies      
Am I missing something? This just appears to be a link to buy some guy's ebooks.
paulpauper 2 ago 2 replies      
On question is: why? The examples in differential geometry can be difficult and time-consuming , unlike simple calculus, and are best done with computer, not by hand. A single tensor, as found in general relativity, may have dozens of components...writing them out would be taxing. My question is, what do want to do with this knowledge. There is value in learning complicated, abstract math to signal intellect and thus become more popular online, and maybe get consulting work. But in terms to practical applications, a lot of it is done by software programmed by large teams (not just one person), although learning the rules is always helpful. If you want to be a professional researcher who makes original findings in pure mathematics, it will presumably require full dedication, and one can't be both a quant trader and pure researcher at the same time (even someone as smart as James Simmons, founder of Renaissance Capital, was forced to choose between one or the other; he chose the former).

It seems as of late ,especially since 2013, there is huge demand for learning complicated mathematics, coding, and trading algorithms. It's like the AP-math class of high school, but as of 2013 expanded to include almost everyone, not just a dozen students lol. This recent obsession with math and finance is described in more detail in . People observe, read headlines about high-IQ founders, venture capitalists, and coders making tons of money in Web 2.0 (Uber, Pinterest, Snaphat, Dropbox, etc.); STEM people getting tons of prestige, status, and global notoriety for their finding (Arxiv physics and math papers frequently go viral); and how the economy, especially as of 2008, rewards intellectualism and STEM in terms of higher wages and surging asset prices (like stocks (the S&P 500 has nearly tripled since the 2009 bottom), web 2.0 valuations (Snapchat is worth $15 billion, on its way to $50 billion), and real estate (Palo Also home prices have doubled since 2011)), and, understandably, many people want a piece of the wealth pie. They see that intellect - which includes STEM, finance, and also quantitative finance - is the path to both riches and social status (as embodied by wealthy geniuses like Musk, Thiel, Zuckerberg, Shkreli), which is why there is so much interest in these technical, difficult subjects, unlike decades ago when only a handful of people were interested.

But another question is: Does algorithmic trading work? I don't know for sure, but I think a lot money is made in market making (Citadel Capital comes to mind), which tends to full under the umbrella of algorithmic trading - the two are closely related. And the math in involved has much less to do with differential geometry and number theory and more to to do with statistics and linear algebra (such as analyzing correlations between data). This involves a lot of trading and paying constant attention to order books - it's a full time job. I don't think it's as glamorous as many think it is, and I'm not sure if the returns are worth the effort. There are simpler methods, based on mathematics such as the ETF decay, that an also generate very good returns and don't require full-time trading. Here is one http://greyenlightenment.com/post-2008-wealth-creation-guide...

DavidWanjiru 2 ago 0 replies      
"Why are you wanting to learn mathematics?"

The author is called Michael Halls-Moore. Why would a person called Michael Halls-Moore write a sentence like this? I'm genuinely curious, coz I'd assume this is a native English speaker.

Lessons from a 45-year Study of Super-Smart Children scientificamerican.com
429 points by kungfudoi  11 ago   389 comments top 58
squigs25 9 ago 8 replies      
Interesting read, but I have one major qualm about this.

There seems to be a confirmatory bias among the academic community that a measure of intellectual success can be found in the percentage of individuals who earn a PhD. Sure, it's true that you need to be reasonably smart to earn a PhD, but I think that someone can have a lot of intellectual success (potentially just as much or maybe more) if they don't earn a PhD.

I think you could even argue that, depending on the field of study, a PhD is the "easy" route for someone who is intellectually gifted - it's a simply a continuation of what you have been doing. I would be more impressed by the intellectual who not only realizes that they can conduct their own independent research, but also has the creativity to come up with a use case that can improve and contribute to the world (and presumably, make a living doing so).

My point here is that, given two gifted cohorts, one which has a 45% PhD graduation rate and one which has a 50% PhD graduation rate, I don't know that you can conclusively say that one is more gifted than the other without looking at other metrics associated with intellectual accomplishment.

Isamu 11 ago 22 replies      
> Such results contradict long-established ideas suggesting that expert performance is built mainly through practicethat anyone can get to the top with enough focused effort of the right kind.

Actually the claim is the other way around - that the people at the top got there through focused effort of the right kind.

Finding "gifted" children does not contradict this. Nobody pops out of the womb a math genius.

Gifted children are "gifted" with a laser focus on the unusual things that they find fun - math, music, what-have-you. They spend countless hours playing with numbers or with music, while little Johnny is playing with a ball.

I was one of these kids, I played with geometric objects, with music, etc. Sure I was weird sometimes. I didn't have anybody to share my interests with.

Anyway, point is, when people point to "gifted" talent, this is just another cop-out. They don't have an explanation. They are appealing to everybody's shared sense of magical outcomes.

But it boils down to the hours that kids put into their interests.

spdionis 11 ago 10 replies      
> Pioneering mathematicians Terence Tao and Lenhard Ng were one-percenters, as were Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and musician Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga), who all passed through the Hopkins centre.

Didn't expect Lady Gaga to be listed although it confirms one of my pet theories. It has long been my opinion that success in STEM fields correlates with general high intelligence which will affect strongly with a person's success in her field, be it maths or sculpture.

It's only anecdotal but I've noticed that people that have a good grasp of maths when young also excel in their other favorite activities, even if it's physical activities.

EDIT: more thoughts on the article

> In Europe, support for research and educational programmes for gifted children has ebbed, as the focus has moved more towards inclusion.

This is truly a pity, and it's not only about educational programmes, but the general mentality in Europe is against competitiveness, and sometimes people will even frown at you if you suggest that there truly are different intelligence levels among the population.

Meanwhile in East Europe (namely Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, probably other countries too but I don't know anything about them) competitiveness between children is crazy high in some circles and that's why a lot of the best engineers come from that area.

There was a comment here the other day on a post about interviewing saying that russian candidates were much more likely to excel at technical interviews than european candidates, and in my experience many more engineers in this area are really dedicated to their work.

trendia 11 ago 4 replies      
> A high test score tells you only that a person has high ability and is a good match for that particular test at that point in time, says Matthews.

If Matthews is correct that scores are transient, then we'd expect test scores to have little to no predictive ability. In other words, we'd expect the rate of career achievement among high test takers to be approximately equal to the rate of achievement among low test takers.

But this claim is directly contradicted by actual evidence:

> Follow-up surveysat ages 18, 23, 33 and 48backed up his hunch. A 2013 analysis found a correlation between the number of patents and peer-refereed publications that people had produced and their earlier scores on SATs and spatial-ability tests. The SAT tests jointly accounted for about 11% of the variance; spatial ability accounted for an additional 7.6%.

acscott 9 ago 1 reply      
Didn't see any answer on how to "raise a genius". The presumption is that we want more geniuses and that Ph.D.s are precious resources to society. Is there also a tacit belief here in the Great Man theory of history?

The message here is, well if you don't get a Ph.D., make a lot of money. If you don't make a lot of money, get a patent. If you don't get a patent, at least get published. There are other things that we also want to be able to cultivate other than those I bet.

When a group of geniuses could build a nuclear weapon to take out a whole country, I believe the interest in genius started to spark. Before then, what was the icon of a a genius (I'm thinking before Einstein became iconic)?

The article is interesting, what were the lessons though?

There are other measures of value to society other than STEM publications, income, patents, and Ph.D.s It's often the outliers that don't even fit the Gaussian that are more interesting to me. (Feynman said he scored 120 something on an IQ test.)

dhd415 11 ago 0 replies      
The article is short on actual lessons learned from the study. Two representative paragraphs:

 SMPY researchers say that even modest interventionsfor example, access to challenging material such as college-level Advanced Placement courseshave a demonstrable effect. Among students with high ability, those who were given a richer density of advanced precollegiate educational opportunities in STEM went on to publish more academic papers, earn more patents and pursue higher-level careers than their equally smart peers who didn't have these opportunities. Despite SMPY's many insights, researchers still have an incomplete picture of giftedness and achievement. We don't know why, even at the high end, some people will do well and others won't, says Douglas Detterman, a psychologist who studies cognitive ability at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Intelligence won't account for all the differences between people; motivation, personality factors, how hard you work and other things are important.

Practicality 10 ago 1 reply      
This article is a bit of a mess regarding who it is talking about. It hops around and changes it's target constantly.

Sometimes it is talking about people in the .01%, AKA, 1 in 10000, so actual geniuses. Sometimes discussing people in the above average range, IQ of 120+, which is about 10% of the population (depending on your test), as well as people in gifted programs, which again, depending on your test is the top 1 or 2%.

These are three different cohorts with different needs. The top 10% need to be continually challenged so they can find satisfying careers. These are your class president types, people who really excel within the program, I think society serves these types well.

The top 1% are your gifted people (again, I know definitions vary), and they usually need something extra. Depends on the person, but it might be extra math or extra latin studies, or the ability to do side projects, but they generally flourish with something special.

The top .01% though? I have no idea. Most here on HN are in one of the other two groups (sorry, me too). The article seems to say that they just need to skip grades. But it's hard to tell if they are right since they are talking about a moving target.

(Edit: Adjusted the % for IQ of 120 based on this chart: http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx)

Jimmy 11 ago 6 replies      
I get quite depressed when I read articles like this. I'm resentful of the fact that my early academic performance was merely above average, rather than exceptional. Some days I feel confident in my abilities and my plans for the future; other days, I fear that it's already too late for me to accomplish anything of note.
vonnik 1 ago 0 replies      
The popularity of comments about hard work on this thread make me think that it's difficult for people to accept studies like this. And for two reasons: 1) We are born with very different innate abilities, which leads to great inequalities in our lives together, and 2) That innate difference is not to the credit of the gifted. They had nothing to do with it. It's like being born rich or white or male or American or all of them at once. So it's an undeserved privilege. An yet people born with such talents should be treated differently. We should cultivate them, because they can do so much to advance society. To those who have much, much is given...
gbog 10 ago 4 replies      
It seems weird to me that nobody seems to see the evidence: as a parent you just want your kids to be happy. Happy in the correct way, which means long-term happiness, built with good cultural background, reasonable social skills, constructive hobbies, ability to have some of those good friends, etc.

Most of these are not achieved if you're kid is "super smart". Being the father of Einstein is probably very good for the ego, but "being Einstein" is a curse. (Same with pop or movie stars: people that get a lot of attention are less happy.)

CurtMonash 2 ago 0 replies      
I probably count as some kind of example.

-- I was born in 1960.

-- I got my first algebra book when I was 4, and aced the subject immediately.

-- I had one IQ test score higher than the one that got Marilyn vos Savant into the Guinness Book of World Records.

-- The National Merit folks thought that I was the youngest winner of their scholarships until that day.

-- I got a math PhD from Harvard when I was 19.

-- At least up to a point, I check a lot of the usual boxes, like music and chess.

That said, I was not some kind of math genius. Ofer Gabber and Ran Donagi were at Harvard when I was, having started in grad school at 16 and 17 respectively (I started at 16), and both were clearly better at math than I was, even adjusted for age.

More particularly:

-- When I was young, I was really, really good at keeping a problem in my mind and worrying at it until I made progress. I could fall asleep doing that and keep going when I woke up. I understand that's quite unusual, and as I aged I lost the ability myself.

-- I'm not particularly good at spatial reasoning. I can power my way through some of it by raw inferencing, at which I am indeed very good, but that's about it.

-- I can learn a bit about any subject and appreciate key issues in it very, very quickly. That's reflected in my actual career, and also in the large number of subjects I dabbled in in school.

-- I probably COULD have been world-class somewhere in the vicinity of economics/public policy (as academic areas). But I was burned out on academia at age 21, after 9 years at universities, left for the business world, and never went back.

-- I don't know how good I'd have been as a computer scientist. I never tried.

corysama 11 ago 2 replies      
I skimmed the article pretty quickly because I was looking for the answer posed by the title and rightly expecting 90% background and filler stories. I didn't find much in the way of answers... Let me know if I missed anything.

Why some kids excel greatly beyond most others is still pretty mysterious. Don't call them gifted. High school is not a great social environment for introverts to learn in. Just give them access to more advanced material. Spacial ability may play an important role and we aren't focusing on it much.

Anything else?

bsder 6 ago 0 replies      
The problem with studies like these is that, in almost all fields, we find that the average is much better than the average of 50-100 years ago while the top is only slightly better.

This holds across things that even have physical components like athletics or music. The virtuosos of yesteryear may be as good as the virtuosos of today (and I dispute that) but the average orchestra player is WAY better today than even some of the best players of 100 years ago. Similarly, the average athlete today is WAY better than the average athlete of 50 years ago.

Training and education matter.

20years 9 ago 0 replies      
"They're just developing different talents," says Lubinski, a former high-school and college wrestler. "But our society has been much more encouraging of athletic talents than we are of intellectual talents."

Bingo! Along with our society has been much more encouraging with the extrovert personalities vs the introverts.

I encourage everyone to read the book Quiet by Susan Cain.

ausjke 9 ago 1 reply      
I probably had a gifted kid but never had enough bandwidth to lead him, comparing to his siblings he just memorizes so well(e.g, mechanically memorized PI to 600+ digits in two days until I asked him to stop), doing high-school-level math at 4th grade, learn many things by himself and so on. Meanwhile he is bored, hard to make peer friends due to lack of shared interests, etc.

Everyday I have to work and care for other kids, I tried to home-school him but then you get the financial pressure quickly.

I wish there are some programs that can help kids like him, i.e. group them somewhere to study and learn from each other. We have quite some program taking care of the disadvantaged kids, what about the gifted ones? After all, they can potentially contribute to the society in some way that helps many others. We probably need a state-level or federal-level or even college-sponsored program for those really gifted kids.

No I'm not talking about the gifted class in the school district, those helps, but far from enough for those really gifted, you probably only have about 5 who are really gifted in each school district.

inputcoffee 11 ago 1 reply      
Consider this:

Their gift is the ability to work hard.

They are able to work hard because they find it fun.

Q: We have all felt the "fun" of learning math (for instance), so how do we share that with others?

yomly 10 ago 1 reply      
As someone interested in education (of self and of others) and generally interested in the notion of talent itself, I have been trying to form my own personal understanding of what it means to be talented.

My fundamental belief is that almost anything can be learned under the right instruction. Talent determines two things:

1 - your upper ceiling of "achievement" in a particular dimension, and

2 - how far you can progress within a given dimension without instruction.

That is, a naturally gifted person is likely to get very good at something they were "destined to do" regardless of if they had any decent instruction. With the right instruction, they may well reach some stratospheric heights.

1 is important because at some point a talented individual reaches a place where there is no longer any one person who can teach them anything new in their dimension and so they have to rely on their instinct to progress further.

Schopenhauer had the quote:

 Talent is like the marksman who hits a target which others cannot reach; genius is like the marksman who hits a target which others cannot even see.
There seems to be some conflict in how Schopenhauer interpret talent and genius, but that final sentiment is important to my point regarding a talented/gifted/genius individual not requiring instruction. No one can really teach you how to push a field to new unreached heights.

My personal favourite anecdote of genius is when Chopin's first musical teacher Zywny refrained from teaching him (aged 8 years old) any keyboard technique lest he interfere with his natural instinct. In his later teenage years and early twenties went on to write music quite unlike anything written for the piano at the time - thanks to his unorthodox technique.

sitkack 10 ago 0 replies      
The gift is being interested in something and feeding ones own curiosity. It is the difference between an organism that grows only when fed vs one that feeds itself. I was "gifted", the biggest factor was an environment of experimentation and exploration. Questions with answers beget more questions. Feed that cycle.
aquiles 11 ago 1 reply      
I'm so glad I'm over my "being super-smart" phase and into my "being a well-rounded, functional human being" phase.

People who fetishize things are the source of all things bad in the world.

maus42 8 ago 0 replies      
Interesting read. However, I wonder if for education purposes it would better if every student who is bored with their current schoolwork could just move into more advanced materials until they are not bored, instead of trying to spot the "super geniuses" early on and leaving the rest, the "not talented enough", to continue with the normal course material.

Because if you have some kind of test for identifying the geniuses who can enter your "special gifted genius program", the test is going to have a some cut-off line or threshold, and that's going to be unfair. For example, assume you're using an IQ test, and the kids who score above some arbitrary threshold would be ushered into the special awesome program, but the kid who scores only one point below the threshold does not get in. Even if the difference is just one point ... That would be a quite silly (and deeply unfair) policy, because there's always going to be some random noise in the test taking.

spamcoat 2 ago 0 replies      
I will not deign To now refrainFrom laying bear the nudity of scholarsWho think their robesBefitting clothesAnd prove it to themselves in words and dollarsThe fittest mindsIn all mankindRegret now all they ever took for grantedRemove your blindsAnd see the signs;There's more to all than said will be recanted.
jupiter90000 9 ago 0 replies      
Interesting piece from one of the studies referred to by article: "...many individuals who completed their degrees in non-math-science areas ultimately chose math-science occupations, and vice versa. Among mathematically talented populations,the leaking pipeline is not an appropriate metaphor. Upon reflection, this fluidity is not surprising for mathematically precocious females. In samples of males and females selected for mathematical talent, females display higher levels of verbal ability than males, and also more uniform levels of mathematical and verbal ability. Thus, mathematically precocious females more often than mathematically talented males are endowed with talents that enable them to excel with distinction in domains that require highly developed verbal-linguistic skills (these skills and the flexibility they lend could perhaps propel these individuals in varied directions, in part because verbal-linguistic skills tend to co-occur with social, or organic, interests and values)."
ckcortright 8 ago 0 replies      
Naturally, when the result of a scientific study is entangled emotionally with something so personal like intelligence, it is hard to look at the results without bias. Lots of people are going to have a problem with this study, because it literally makes 99.999% of the population feel inadequate.
jonathanedwards 4 ago 0 replies      
I was "student one". AMA. I dislike that the title of this article conflates intelligence and genius. Genius is impact, not talent. The one thing I've learned is that intelligence is highly overrated. Especially in the thing I know the most about: programming.
intrasight 11 ago 0 replies      
Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society,

Personally, I like it. Clearly SMPY recruits have changed the world for the better.

ck425 9 ago 0 replies      
I've not went and read any of the actual studies, only the article, but it seems that they start measuring kids around the age of 10 onwards, is this not too late?

One of the themes seems to be that certain measurements of ability at this age were accurate indicators of future success if the kids were not discouraged (ie allowed to push themselves and learn more advanced stuff). But by age 10 surely most kids have already been discouraged? I was reading another article earlier today that I can't find talking about pre-school being more important for life chances than high school. Could it be far more kids than we think are capable of being 'geniuses' and that the majority are discouraged at an early age? I'm not read up on this so if anyone is please share!

brooklyndude 10 ago 2 replies      
Hung out with a brilliant heart surgeon, genius. I asked him about what cartoons he watched growing up.

He said "what's a cartoon?" He was dead serious. Parents would never let him not study. Never.

100+ hour weeks. Zero time for anything else. He was happy, rich, had it all. But wondering if he every found time to watch a cartoon.

bluetwo 10 ago 1 reply      
I agree with the article that spacial ability is an untapped resource, key to understanding and problem solving.

I think there is a pretty easy way of testing this, simply by finding out what they find funny.

Different kinds of humor tap this skill, and those drawn to certain types of humor, IMHO, likely have better spacial skills.

betenoire 11 ago 5 replies      
But are they happy?
lutorm 7 ago 0 replies      
I don't doubt that there's a wide range in people's aptitudes for various subjects. However, when it comes to the study cited, it seems there's no control sample so you can't tell what part of the outcome is really because these people are special and what is because some study identified them as special when they were children and they've gotten special opportunities ever since.
Kazamai 9 ago 0 replies      
There is a characteristic not mentioned that can determine if someone will reach a high level or not. Self gratification or the ability to delay self gratification. The "marshmallow kid", even a gifted kid that cannot fight their own human condition to seek a dopamine reward from eating, entertainment, etc can't reach their potential. If you got a reward from problem solving and knowledge acquisition then it wouldn't take much to focus.

Why can we focus for hours gaming, but when it comes to solving a math problem, most of us will never start or stop shortly after.

ChuckMcM 8 ago 0 replies      
I think the integration with the existing education system is, and will continue to be, problematic. One thing that really brought that home for me was how kids who were developmentally behind were given extra care and attention and kids who were developmentally ahead were not. At the extreme ends (very behind, very ahead) the contrast is startling both in programs that are available and in how the school "celebrates" the achievements of the students in those categories.
walterbell 11 ago 0 replies      
Mailing lists, blogs and social media resources for gifted education: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/on-line_support.htm
pmoriarty 8 ago 0 replies      
Anyone interested in the nature-nurture debate, and prodigies should take a look at Stephen Wiltshire (the "human camera"):



timwaagh 11 ago 2 replies      
why is it bad to label somebody ungifted? if i had known before i did not have what it takes to become a good mathematician, i would perhaps not have pursued that. maybe i would have saved myself a lot of trouble.
kazinator 6 ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: I'm quite interested in this, but it's a long read; can someone who has taken the plunge summarize these lessons? Though there are many comments already, searching for terms like "TL" and "summary" yields nothing.
RonanTheGrey 10 ago 0 replies      
For those of you getting 500 or "Article not found", SA has blocked the ycombinator.com referer url. Just open the link in a new tab.
andrewvijay 10 ago 0 replies      
Hope indian parents don't read this article!I'm pretty sure that they will start looking for signs immediately. :D pray for the kids!
truth_sentinell 9 ago 0 replies      
What do people actually mean when they say "genetics"?

Is it some physical aspect of the brain (like more neurons, more connections among them, etc) or is it that somehow the ability to do Math or any other thing is coded into their DNA?

I'm confused.

ebbv 10 ago 0 replies      
I feel like we put too much weight on the idea of detecting intelligence in children. I always did really well on all tests as a kid, getting 100% on assessment tests and crap. But I'm a total dumbass. Just look at my comment history.

Just raise your kid the best you can, if you are trying to purposely craft a genius you'll probably just instead make someone with serious performance anxiety and neurosis.

colordrops 9 ago 0 replies      
My martial arts teacher told me a relevant proverb: people are like vessels, some larger than others, and the vessel with less capacity can still hold more water.
sharemywin 7 ago 0 replies      
My question is how many doors did this program open up which led to the success they were trying to measure.
ianai 7 ago 0 replies      
I think there is so much more going on that our systems don't account for and thus fall short.
jasode 10 ago 0 replies      
Despite the article's title which gives the impression of unlocking the training secrets to "produce genius scientists", it is actually a "Nature vs Nurture" report. This particular article is biased more towards "nature."

The opposing sides are mentioned in the middle of the article:

>Such results contradict long-established ideas suggesting that expert performance is built mainly through practicethat anyone can get to the top with enough focused effort of the right kind. SMPY, by contrast, suggests that early cognitive ability has more effect on achievement than either deliberate practice or environmental factors such as socio-economic status.

The sentences favoring either "nature" or "nurture" are interwoven and alternate throughout the piece but the 2 sides can be seen more clearly by grouping them together...

Excerpts about "nature":

>, what has become clear is how much the precociously gifted outweigh the rest of society in their influence.

>Wai combined data from 11 prospective and retrospective longitudinal studies, including SMPY, to demonstrate the correlation between early cognitive ability and adult achievement. The kids who test in the top 1% tend to become our eminent scientists and academics,

>But data from SMPY and the Duke talent programme dispute that hypothesis [about practice time]. A study published this year compared the outcomes of students in the top 1% of childhood intellectual ability with those in the top 0.01%. Whereas the first group gain advanced degrees at about 25 times the rate of the general population, the more elite students earn PhDs at about 50 times the base rate.

Excerpts about "nurture":

>For those children who are tested, it does them no favours to call them 'gifted' or 'ungifted'. Either way, it can really undermine a child's motivation to learn.

>In Europe, support for research and educational programmes for gifted children has ebbed, as the focus has moved more towards inclusion.

>Matthews contends that when children who are near the high and low extremes of early achievement feel assessed in terms of future success, it can damage their motivation to learn and can contribute to what Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck calls a fixed mindset. It's far better, Dweck says, toencourage a growth mindset, in which children believe that brains and talent are merely a starting point, and that abilities can be developed through hard work and continued intellectual risk-taking.

>There's a general belief that kids who have advantages, cognitive or otherwise, shouldn't be given extra encouragement; that we should focus more on lower-performing kids.

basicplus2 3 ago 0 replies      
Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society,

I'd be pretty disappointed if this is actually true..

perseusprime11 3 ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of a Bruce Lee quote. My opponent practiced 1000 kicks and I practiced a kick 1000 times. I am paraphrasing that quote But he mentioned this in the context of focus and priority to become great at something.
HillaryBriss 8 ago 0 replies      
> ... these people really do control our society, says Jonathan Wai, a psychologist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program ... "The kids who test in the top 1% tend to become our eminent scientists and academics, our Fortune 500 CEOs and federal judges, senators and billionaires

The article assumes that promoting these super-bright people and geniuses is the way to solve the difficult problems the rest of us face. There's a faith in the generosity and altruism of these high-performers.

But, I see plenty of selfishness in their behavior too.

It seems plausible that the top layer of brilliant geniuses is creating as many problems for the rest of us as it is solving. Maybe the top layer of brilliant geniuses mostly focuses on work that is personally enriching (e.g. financial engineering, patent lawsuits, investing in 140-character-type startups, pharmaceuticals that don't actually cure diseases, etc)

Maybe what society needs is not "more geniuses" but a better system of regulations and incentives for existing geniuses.

lordnacho 10 ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents:

- How do we control for self-fulfilling prophecy? I would imagine that having "Member of gifted kids study" will be quite impressive to the gatekeepers at elite universities. Did they add a few dummies to control?

- How do we even measure ability? You'd think the smart kids are smart because they try to learn the things that are tested. It's like testing people for strength. People who've trained are stronger. And they want to be.

- It makes sense that spatial ability is somehow predictive. Nobody ever teaches it, so you're left with whatever nature gave you. Probably like testing someone's toe strength as an indicator of overalll muscle quality (not that I know anything about physiology, it's just that I've never seen anyone at the gym training their toes).

- From what I can tell, it helps an awful lot to have someone nearby who has the skills you're after. Look at the people mentioned. Terence Tao's parents were both highly educated in STEM. Lenhard Ng's dad is a Physics prof. That kind of resource takes you an awfully long way along your path. I mean imagine being able to ask the guy you eat dinner with every night anything from "what is a prime number" to "what's the quantum hall effect". If you don't happen to have a parent, it probably helps to go to a school that is well resourced. There will be teachers around who find time for the kids who show aptitude. I remember being put up a year in math and sent to math contests. I don't think I'd have studied it as much if I hadn't been noticed by the teachers at a young age.

- There's an inherent conflict between society's goals and the gifted. It's a lot more economical to pour money into the mediocre for society. You want to teach everyone to read, write, and a little math. It's cheaper to produce that resource, and it's at the margin you get the most bang for your buck. PhDs cost a fair bit to fund, and like that famouns xkcd, you are only slightly enlarging the world's knowledge. Putting a kid in front of a world authority is expensive.

- It may not be so bad that society doesn't spend money on the gifted (I'd rather call them the more motivated, but...) than the marginals. It's possible that the mass of money needs to be spent making sure everyone can be a little educated, while a rather different effort is made to help the gifted. For instance, what I really, really needed as a kid was other kids who cared. These days that should be easy enough to arrange over the internet.

- There will be a natural experiment occurring soon, right now, about whether it's innate ability or exposure. The proliferation of materials on the internet will create a bunch of kids who are able to learn huge amounts about whatever they're interested in, before they even finish school. When I was a kid, you had to lug your ass to a library to find out what a quaternion was. And it wasn't a specialist library, and there'd be a chapter or something like that. These days there's a flood of information, you just have to type into google. There's so much that if one guy doesn't explain it well, another guy will.

joesmo 7 ago 0 replies      
"Many educators and parents continue to believe that acceleration is bad for childrenthat it will hurt them socially, push them out of childhood or create knowledge gaps."

And we still wonder why in the US our children are so stupid? Clearly, they're getting a lot of help in being the dumbest they can be. To hold a child back from their full potential so they can be bullied and made fun of for another year or few is an atrocity that should be criminalized. I can think of few things worse than ruining a child's life in this way. Instead, these people are our children's' teachers, teaching them to be mediocre, stupid, mindless, lazy, underachieving idiots.

k2xl 7 ago 1 reply      
So... the higher a students test score the more likely they are to be a scientist - isn't that a truism? In order to become a scientist you have to get accepted into universities ... that will look at your test scores as judgement of whether you should be admitted.

Can anyone think of a notable scientist that didn't do well in school? We don't really encourage people who perform poorly on tests to become scientists - so none of these results are surprising.

How many students that score in the high .01% on tests end up becoming professional athletes? Or a rapper? Probably just as unlikely as a student who scores in the low .01% becoming a doctor.

Is it because smart people aren't interested in sports or don't like rap music? Doubt it.

For better or worse, our society pushes archetypes. If you do well on biology tests you are "supposed" to become a biologist. Good with computer? Become a programmer.

0xdeadbeefbabe 10 ago 0 replies      
Instead of super-smart they ought to say good at something, because concepts like super-smart got us into this mess.

I know of a kid who was responsible for a sheep herd at the age of 12. He'd live in the mountains and take care of sheep for weeks. Have some imagination.

hackaflocka 10 ago 1 reply      
Survivorship Bias (what Taleb calls Silent Evidence).

What's missing: all the children whose parents raised them the same way, and who ended up committing suicide, or are in mental institutions, or fill the ranks of the homeless today.

blowski 10 ago 0 replies      
I'm getting a 500 error on this page... anyone else getting the same problem?
karma_vaccum123 10 ago 6 replies      
I just knew these comments would fill up with humblebrags from HNers who wish to casually and inoffensively proclaim their genius.
shinta42 11 ago 1 reply      
zizzles 7 ago 0 replies      
In to make a post before a bunch of narcissist HN'ers (subtly) brag about their childhood accomplishments of being math wizards and programming assembly at age 6 and a half.

Edit: Too late.

fragola 10 ago 3 replies      
>Stanley convinced a dean at Johns Hopkins to let Bates, then 13, enrol[sic] as an undergraduate.

>I was shy and the social pressures of high school wouldn't have made it a good fit for me, says Bates, now 60. But at college, with the other science and math nerds, I fit right in, even though I was much younger. I could grow up on the social side at my own rate and also on the intellectual side, because the faster pace kept me interested in the content.

OK, I might take a lot of heat for this, but I don't think it's a good idea to put a 13-year-old with college students. In this case, he was a boy, but imagine if he were a girl? One of the main causes of failure to achieve educationally for bright girls is getting pregnant. 40% of the fathers who impregnate girls under 15 are 20-29 years old [0]. So in the case of girls, this is a super visible obvious problem, but what happens with a teenage boy? I could see him getting in an abusive relationship or otherwise preyed upon in a zillion ways.

This article takes a blas attitude toward the social concerns and cites no sources about the actual social outcomes for these kids. Let your kid study by themselves, send them to a gifted child summer camp, etc.


In defence of Douglas Crockford atom-morgan.github.io
667 points by ramblerman  3 ago   418 comments top 78
BinaryIdiot 3 ago 5 replies      
The Nodevember folk(s) posted a statement regarding this whole kerfuffle [1]. It's pretty hollow IMO.

> While we have a tremendous respect for Mr. Crockford's abilities as a speaker and his contributions to our craft, we became aware that based on private feedback - not simply the dialogue on Twitter - that his presence would make some speakers uncomfortable to the point where they refused to attend or speak.

Okay so you are calling out his behavior making people uncomfortable, publicly, but you won't say why only that it was private feedback? Wasn't he one of the early speakers who accepted anyway? You apologized for lacking nuance on Twitter with your "announcement" and yet continue to do so.

Publicly claiming someone makes others uncomfortable and that someone is an older, white male, you know exactly what you are insinuating. Statements like this, especially against white males today, can be career ending even without proof as long as it simply goes viral.

I think the only responsible thing to do is to release exactly why someone would be uncomfortable. If you can't or won't do that then you shouldn't have made the initial insinuation and, instead, simply state he's no longer coming.

Stating he was "uninvited" due to making others uncomfortable without providing anything further is just irresponsible to the point where it appears you're trying to manufacture drama. Considering your event is $350 to hear some speakers who are yet to be defined this just speaks scam to me like many other talking events.

[1] http://nodevember.org/statement.html

rdtsc 3 ago 5 replies      
> We will also be removing Douglas Crockford from our keynote speakers list to help make the conference a comfortable environment for all.

If they are going to insinuate things about what he said, they should mention exactly what he said or did.

The fact that they don't somehow tells me there is not much there to go on.

To put it another way, if they have the guts to remove Crockford that should have enough guts to clearly explain why.

I've been saying this before, and maybe it is just me, but it seems Node.js community somehow attracts a disproportionate number of immature people but with big egos. Because, let's call this for what it is -- childish immature behavior. That's at best, at worst it is getting attention and hurting someone's reputation just for a power trip. "Look how important I am, I kicked Crockford out of a conference with a single tweet".

Well the lesson is when you pick some open source technology, the community comes with it. Maybe even if technology has good merits, it makes sense not to pick it because the community behind it is not compatible with what you think a community should be.

bsder 3 ago 2 replies      
This is becoming increasingly concerning to me. The problem is that there is no way for the person affected to receive "justice", "fairness", or "a day in court".

You want to not invite somebody? Fine. You want to disinvite somebody? Okay, but be prepared to be called a jerk.

But assassinating someone's professional character publicly? You'd better be standing on REALLY solid ground for a REALLY good reason.

Crockford might just ignore this--it's probably the best course of action given his station. He's probably sufficiently more important than these people that he's good.

However, one day these people are going to get someone with financial means all fired up and they're going to be dragged through court for a LONG time--and probably lose because they won't be able to put up the money to mount an effective defense.

Until one of these accusers loses THEIR ability to work in the field, nobody will pay attention to the repercussions.

Tehnix 3 ago 4 replies      
I generally feel like there's a kneejerk reaction from people (especially in the tech community) to be "PC compliant", at the level where you almost can't have any discourse because it's such a minefield (can't imagine a rational person whoms first intepretation of the tweets is "that's sexist" to be pleasant having a conversation with).

I almost feel in the minority (or just a silent one?), but I honestly don't care what kind of political views, personal preferences, outrageous statements or whatever problems a speaker at a conference might have, as long as he gives a good talk/presentation.

whorleater 3 ago 8 replies      
Ignoring the fact this discussion about this, and this culture as a whole, is a minefield to navigate, it's important to note that Douglas Crockford can definitely be abrasive [1]. The issue at hand is that whether this abrasiveness is a bad thing, when compared to the contributions he's made and whether it leads to constructive discussions.

The javascript developer who took offense (Kas?) definitely seems to have taken it too far, automatically associating Douglas's personality with being a jerk.

The other issue at hand is how this influences tech conferences, because I've always attended conferences with the implicit assumption that I was there to learn first and foremost. Discourse and disagreement with speakers is natural and should be encouraged, as it oftentimes leads to enlightening discussions for bystanders and conference attendees, which was the entire point of the conference in the first place. By allowing certain viewpoints to dominate and silence a subset of speakers, we're ultimately limiting our views and building an echo chamber, which is not what conferences are meant to be. If we're going to dismiss speakers, it should be on merit of their talk and previous talks, not their speaking style.

[1]: https://github.com/douglascrockford/JSLint/issues/17

BadassFractal 3 ago 3 replies      
As the other poster mentioned, I'm very sympathetic to the cause of egalitarianism and pre-third-wave feminism. However, hopefully we will see more and more pushback against this kind of senseless crying wolf. If you're in favor of social justice, THIS is the thing you're fighting against?

If this even shows up on your radar and is a priority, then I'd say the mission you're fighting for has been accomplished a long time ago. Time to go home.

I don't know who really benefits from policing every word that public tech figures say. There's no monetary value to this unless this is a PR stunt to make the conference get social justice brownie points in some kind of a twisted form of social posturing. Who's to gain from this? Sociopaths wanting to exert control over others? I'm not quite ready to believe that.

aikah 3 ago 1 reply      
TLDR; personal vendetta against Crockford led to accusations of "sexism", and him getting uninvited from Nodevember conference. There is absolutely no proof of sexism anywhere ,only a bunch of people who want to take him out professionally because he might have pissed them off for whatever reason in the past. Only now these people can use dubious political arguments to justify their vendetta. This can happen to anybody in any community.
EdSharkey 3 ago 0 replies      
The whole bit about Kas saying "mmm" to Crockford's face when he said an insensitive thing and then publicly shaming him once he was safely back on the internet galls me, if true.

Culturally, our tendency to troll needs to decrease on the web and increase in in-person encounters. I'm convinced we'd all be better off if we showed some spine and got more vocal whenever we disagree.

I also don't like these (I assume) inter-generational squabbles in our industry. It is clear that moral views can differ between generations, so a little understanding and empathy is needed on all sides.

Please respect your elders. If you disagree with them or feel they are being disrespectful or sexist, how about kindly discussing it with them and maybe getting a feel for their perspective first before launching into public reputation annihilation?

brakmic 3 ago 3 replies      
Such things could have a very negative effect on people whose native language isn't English. I mean, if even native speakers get into troubles so easily what should I, as a non-native speaker, expect?

I maintain a tiny blog and because of possible language barriers I decided to write all of my texts in English. It could've been much easier for me to write in German, of course, but this would exclude so many people. And this was simply unacceptable from my point of view.

My command of English isn't very strong but I'd like to paraphrase german philosopher Karl Homann: "The opposite of Moral isn't Immoral but to moralize".

I know nothing about the events there but when I read things like "public shaming" or "slut shaming" or "trigger warnings" or "social justice warriors" then I can only follow the "pragmatic solutions" to solve problems of that kind: avoid conferences, avoid any kind of non-technical discussion in English, avoid the community as a whole. Stay on GitHub.

Sure, it makes you a bit of a loner but at least you sleep more easily and don't get shocked in the morning when you open your twitter feed.

Kind regards,

throwway1111 3 ago 4 replies      
This is happening in all parts of society. So-called "social justice warriors" and parts of the liberal left have sprung up that are very hostile to free speech and seek to destroy and silence anyone whom they oppose. Unfortunately, they have the full support of not only college administrations, but increasingly HR departments as they ascend into the workforce, and PR departments as they air their grievances over social media.

I am posting from a throw away account because voicing an opinion such as this is reason enough to be targeted.

tptacek 3 ago 5 replies      
Unlike the controversies about Strangeloop (which uninvited Curtis Yarvin) and Lambdaconf (which lost the overwhelming majority of its sponsors due to accepting Yarvin), this --- based on the evidence at hand --- seems entirely stupid.

Unfortunately, there's no rulebook conference organizers (or their Greek choruses on message boards) can consult to say when rejecting a speaker is a good idea or not. It's a judgement call.

So when you've got a speaker with a reputation as a overt, 1950s-style racist in person, and a miles-long online track record of obscurantist racism, the kind of person who when accepted to talk at a technical conference about programming languages will write many paragraphs suggesting that science has established white people are smarter than black people (but maybe that shouldn't matter to us so much!) in his post announcing his talk, then yes, maybe you should avoid inviting that person.

On the other hand, you've got a speaker who used the word "promiscuous" as a pejorative in describing technology, and who spoke disrespectfully about someone else's favorite conference.

If you accept the irrepressibly racist speaker to your conference, you're going to lose most of your sponsors. But if you reject the person who implied promiscuity might be problematic in a metaphor, you're going to fail too, because anyone will be able to get any talk punted from that conference.

Maybe there's something else going on that we're not entitled to hear about. Those kinds of things also exist.

By the way: the implication that flexing and talking about "strength" is sexist is itself sexist, and not in the bullshit "it penalizes men and they have rights too" way, but in the "it reinforces stereotypes about women" way. There are women out there who can kick your ass.

robert_tweed 3 ago 3 replies      
I have to wonder if this was a real complaint or if it was done to highlight the obvious problem here, a bit like the guy who patented a "Method of exercising a cat".

I mean, if you're going to ban Douglas Crockford from your conference it should at least be for his stated prejudice against comments in data-interchange formats. Not vague allegations that may damage his personal and professional reputation, to which he not only has no right of reply, but any response could be damaging by generating more attention. This is the classic trolling strategy, but stepped up a level.

If he actually did something wrong, take him to court and let the facts be decided in law. Otherwise, he's innocent and should be treated as such.

I also wonder, given that the allegations haven't been published, just implied, if he would have a libel case against the conference organisers?

tootie 3 ago 3 replies      
I'm pretty sympathetic to the cause of feminism especially in technology and I cringe hard at a lot of the casual sexism that gets thrown around, but this is truly baffling. Assuming this is all they actually have on him this is nothing more than very clever word play with zero gender inferences to be made.
labrador 3 ago 0 replies      
I wonder how many people complaining about Crockford have posted or support the statement "If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best." Nodevember doesn't deserve Douglas Crockford. And Lipscomb, where the event is being held, is a religiously oppressive institution where "All full-time, undergraduate students are required to take Bible classes and attend chapel twice a week. [1]" Sounds like Nodevember is a lose-lose situation for all involved.

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

shruubi 3 ago 3 replies      
I'm of two minds here.

1) I personally don't like Douglas Crockford at all, I find him all together arrogant and overly concerned with presenting himself as an infallible single source of truth. I respect the work the man has done, but I personally think the conference is better off without him.

2) It seems that the conference organisers are all too concerned with coming out and proudly parading there actions without bothering to see if Crockford would be amenable to other courses of action like an apology or retraction of those comments.

To me, these kind of incidents feel more like the conference using the drama to boost their attendance numbers than acting in any kind of best interest of the attendee's. That's not to say that there haven't been serious incidents that need to be dealt with at conferences, but, an outright banning without any kind of negotiation where the speaker is offered to retract/apologise for their comments where the banning is done on a public forum seems designed more towards gaining attention rather than justice.

thomasfoster96 3 ago 4 replies      
Id really like to know how a decision like that is made. In Nodevember's statement on the matter[0] (which the parent link doesnt mention, a rather glaring omission), they quite openly admit that they ...aren't professional organizers or PR people. We are still learning, and will make mistakes. So why not admit a mistake?

I certainly dont want to see sexist speakers at conferences, but this decision seems to have been made with almost no evidence and almost purely based on unsubstantiated rumours.

[0] http://nodevember.org/statement.html

Naracion 3 ago 0 replies      
A Pastebin of a Nodevember Slack channel, should provide more context:http://pastebin.com/3mQc7DfG

There is some discussion about the reason, and whether Nodevember should disclose a reason or make a public statement. For instance:

"Josh Crews [9:57 AM] Maybe Nodevember could make a public statement along these lines, "After announcing Crockford as a keynote speaker, we learned from others of things he's done and said at previous conferences that are against our Code of Conduct"

HermitPy [9:57 AM] why do we need to do that

[9:57] what does that do other than add more fuel to a fire?

Andrew Albright [9:57 AM] It would save people time for trying to find the answer themselves

[9:58] 'cause I burned at least ten minutes this morning to satiate my curiosity

HermitPy [9:58 AM] I personally hope people will do some research and form their own opinion

Andrew Albright [9:58 AM] ^ good point

Josh Crews [9:58 AM] you are reputation tarnishing somebody if you are not clear about the disinvitation

Andrew Albright [9:58 AM] opinion and reason for the decision are two different things though

HermitPy [9:58 AM] no doubt

Russ Anderson [9:58 AM] I will say that its difficult to do the research. I dont think the twitter trail is very edifying. This chat has been much more helpful.

HermitPy [9:59 AM] We're dismissing a keynoter without context other than they didn't fit our view of the community (edited)

Russ Anderson [9:59 AM] however, I agree that you dont owe anyone anything

HermitPy [10:00 AM] All this whole thing has done is ensure that I won't do one more fucking thing for the community, so next year other people can run their own conference and pick their own shit and deal with it (edited)"

aidenn0 3 ago 2 replies      
My thoughts:

Maybe someone can tell me what's offensive about the first comment. It seems to be poking fun at programmer machismo.

The second quote is more problematic. I'm firmly of the opinion that it is not slut-shaming because it presented both promiscuity and commitment in a positive light. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for a conference to not want sexual metaphors in presentations. The whole "he used the word correctly" in TFA is a non-sequitur when the first definition is clearly sexual, and promiscuity is contrasted with commitment. Still, I would hope that less extreme measures than banning would be used to address this.

Now to one thing not in TFA, but in the linked medium post:

> Ive never dealt with Crockford in a way that I felt pleasant afterward. He is rude, unrepentant, and completely (one could argue willingly) oblivious to the meaning of his statements. Ive never seen a person use the word stupid so liberally in replacement of constructive criticism.

A conference is more than a bunch of people giving talks, it's a social gathering. If there were a lot of people who agree with Kas on this, then it's a much more reasonable reason to keep him out.

On a much smaller scale, I often run pencil-and-paper RPG groups. Being a jerk is much more likely to find yourself out of my group compared to game-mechanics related issues.

aaron695 3 ago 1 reply      
I find the fact people continue to support these conferences quite disturbing.

Things are not going to change until people, including speakers pull out of conferences that display this sort of behaviour.

qwertyuiop924 3 ago 0 replies      
This is utter nonsense. Unless there's some evidence of wrongdoing, pushing people out of your conference isn't acceptable. Especially if it's somebody with Crockford's reputation, who has influence, and both technical and social credit. This isn't an incident where people have come forward saying that somebody sexually or physically assulted them, and then they were banned (that's happened in some communities), it's somebody getting kicked from a conference for unknown reasons, when all the complaints about him boil down to, "some of the things he says can be rude or politically incorrect." That shouldn't be good enough. Especially if, like Crockford, the speaker has a reputation for providing valuable and relevant technical material.

Besides, if being rude was a reason to get banned from a conference, Linus, RMS, and countless others would have gotten lifetime bans from every conference out there years ago.

cel1ne 3 ago 0 replies      
There is one thing I don't understand about the whole safe-space debate:

People demand the environments they reside in to be friendly and comfortable according to their definition. In a way they are demanding that all "hostiles" stop being "hostile" towards them.

The more sustainable way to not get hurt is to learn how to emotionally defend yourself and stand your ground. You just have to learn it once and are not dependent on others telling every attacker to stop attacking you for the rest of your life.

tomohawk 3 ago 1 reply      
Who's doing more damage to the community - Crockford or Kas?

The intolerance that Kas is selling is not something that we should value.

voidr 2 ago 1 reply      
The same way we have 'mercury free', it would be great to have a 'social justice warrior free' label.

A conference has the right to hand pick the speakers, however I also have the right to vote with my wallet and boycott them. Conferences should be required to disclose if they actively support a political alignment(which is what SJW movements are), so that I as a consumer know to avoid them.

A vocal minority of women are offended because white males used some phrases that can be interpreted as sexist in their view. Let's ban white males, problem solved.

Now a religious group is offended that most of the women are not wearing a hijab. Well, we can't have that, so let's ban women who are not dressed "properly".

Bottom line is: whatever you do, you can always find a vocal minority who are offended by that.

When I go to a tech event, I want it to be about tech, what I don't want it to be about is: politics.

vvdcect 3 ago 2 replies      
This is a pastebin of a nodevember slack channel http://pastebin.com/3mQc7DfG .
empressplay 3 ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty vigilant about calling out sexism and trans/homophobia in the tech community but I'm having a hard time seeing Crockford's comments as offensive enough to un-invite him to speak. I expected TFA to be typical apologist fare but it's really more puzzlement over a perplexing situation, a puzzlement I share.
DanielBMarkham 3 ago 0 replies      
I don't want to comment on specifics. First off, there's not a lot here. Secondly, the general issue is more important.

As part of being in a secular society, you have an obligation to put up with public speakers that you might find offensive or irritating. You don't have to attend their events, and you're free to climb on the rooftops and call them an asshole -- but you have an obligation to put up with them.

If you run a conference with lots of people attending, and your speakers have any kind of interesting personality at all, you should be prepared for 1-3% of the attendees to be put-off by their history. That's good: it shows that you're doing a good job of bringing in interesting people to speak. Likewise, if you're a participant in a large conference, it shouldn't be surprising to you if the past history of somebody speaking is unpleasant to you in parts. You are, presumably, a grown-up. Get over it.

In my mind, the only thing that should matter, assuming the speaker isn't a terrorist or criminal on the run from authorities, is whether or not the information they present is worth it to you as an attendee. That's what the conference is about. It's not about making every member feel safe and secure. Screw that. Even looking past the fact that it's an impossible goal, nobody wants to go to a conference that's dumbed down to only cool kids who think correctly. Nobody in their right mind would want to live in a world like that. "Don't hang around jerks" is a fine goal for your family, your team, or your personal social circle. It's a clusterfuck to try to implement at any scale beyond that.

This bothers me because I could see at the extremes, there might be a case for excluding speakers, assuming there was something terrible in their past. Adolph Hitler, had he survived WWII, would have made a bad keynote speaker. People could never look beyond his history. But without a detailed argument over what the situation is here, both conference attendees and future speakers are getting screwed over, operating in the blind.

And that's the final result: everybody affected here doesn't really know what's going on, how to prevent this from happening again in the future, or what they might have missed. This is not about Crockford. This is about nibbling away at the value of a group of people gathering together trying to learn by promoting impenetrable and unclear illiberal values. I'll never go to a Node conference. But I'll remember how this thing played out.

hasteur 7 ago 0 replies      
It's overreactions to marginally risque content that strip humor from talks.

I'd hate to think what the "PC police" would say to the very tenured college abstract calculas professor who accidentally asked us to derive the tangent to secant z. He paused after writing sec(z) and made the comment in front of the entire lecture hall "I'm sure we all would like to be sexy."

cel1ne 3 ago 0 replies      
We live in the post-descartes era. The principle now seems to be "I feel, therefore I am."
danso 3 ago 2 replies      
I've only seen Crockford once in person, years ago [0], and though I never heard of him and his curmudgeonly-approach to JavaScript, I came away with a very favorable impression of him (and JS in general).

So I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, out of sentimentality. At the same time, I know that one speech and/or book is not enough (if anything ever is) to judge whether someone has or hasn't been harmful to people who are not me.

But after reading the original critique on Medium, and the OP's transcription of when Crockford allegedly "slut-shames the audience", I don't feel convinced to have a negative impression of Crockford. I'm not saying that the original complainant isn't justified in their critique or that there isn't more to the story, because I know that things are different in person. But I could also be sympathetic towards the OP's defense of Crockford.

In terms of Nodevember's decision, well, they have different prerogatives when running a conference. And having a speaker who allegedly so openly derides other speakers is definitely something they have to think about in ways that I as an individual do not.

[0] http://original.livestream.com/etsy/video?clipId=pla_1463e54...

edit: One thing I personally find disingenuous about the OP's writeup is their appeal to the dictionary definition of "promiscuous" to defend Crockford. I guess it's just up to people's opinion, but I felt that Crockford was clearly using "promiscuous" in the first sense -- "indiscriminate mingling or association". I've never even heard of the second sense, and very little in Crockford's transcribed statement seems to suggest why "promiscuous" would be the right word to use instead of something like "heterogeneous".

That said, I also don't feel that Crockford's statement was slut-shaming. Saying, "Back in the day, you could browse the web like a whore, not caring what your computer connected to. But with the new web..."

But that's not what he says at all. You could read a sexual connotation to what he says, but the words he use is very much about being indiscriminate about security and identity. He even states that there is a benefit to promiscuity -- "because you could go from one thing to another and discover stuff and start forming relationships" and directly implies there's a tradeoff with the security of commitment.

AzzieElbab 3 ago 0 replies      
Douglas Crockford is an adult and has no business attending gatherings run by bickering children
justaaron 3 ago 0 replies      
having wasted 20 minutes of my morning on this, I figure I'll waste 4 more... I read the pastebin of the slack feed, and was nauseated by the SMARM and privilege.

They imagine that folks will feel COMFORTABLE with such side-of-the-mouth backstabbing nasty smarmy behavior emanating from such a conference?

Such sanctimony. Such self-righteousness. This isn't about Crockford anymore, but about highly privileged people (like this Katye Russell deeming to speak for all womyn-kind or "minorities" and such, all the while blissfully unaware of her privileged Murcan boot capriciously placed upon the neck of any peasant her handlers wish her to besmirch the name of)

I'm 100% in favor of social justice, fairness, decency, and the end of abusing the 99%, the end of gender pay gaps, the end of racism, sexism, etc, but THIS agenda we see here is NOT in service to anything decent and good:this is "throw xyz under a bus because some influential people told us to"and the real powerbroker here appears to be this William Golden...

Nodevember is just another groupthinktank and their actions have only brought dishonor and shame upon themselves!

(even assuming one wishes to distance oneself from a horrible speaker, claiming that one is speaking for all and creating a safe-space for all just mocks any concepts of safe spaces. what a load of sanctimonious drivel!)

zimbatm 3 ago 0 replies      
As an occasional speaker I am a bit worried. It seems very likely that I would say something that could offend someone, given enough time (even if it wasn't my intent). What is the best way to react when faced with that kind of event?
jondubois 3 ago 0 replies      
I think this is stupid. Crockford would be a centerpiece of any JavaScript conference.

There is no sexism in his remarks at all.

By attacking Crockford, that specific activist group is advocating discrimination against older generations. The kind of humour which Crockford used is totally normal for people of his generation.

He comes from an era where the software industry was run almost entirely by men - You have to forgive him for these harmless comments.

I would feel uncomfortable going to Nodevember knowing that members of this hypocritical intolerant group are among us.

I think even if Crockford was sexist (which he is clearly not), he should still be invited to talk - What happened to freedom of speech?

The real world is tough, sometimes people are mean. People should just grow up and toughen up.

Garbage 3 ago 0 replies      
Official statement from Nodevember - http://nodevember.org/statement.html
desireco42 3 ago 1 reply      
I would prefer to work with someone with a solid stance and clear idea like Crockford, even if that is completely opposite to my own because this is something I will always respect.

I think he is not conventional with his netbook if he still uses that and that pisses people off.

sigmaml 3 ago 0 replies      
This subject of "inclusiveness" is getting out of hand, evidently. We should probably look into using "no exclusiveness" as a principle, than this hairy construct of "inclusiveness".
justinlardinois 3 ago 0 replies      
A couple thoughts here:

I'm not familiar with this particular conference, but excluding someone from a conference for a history of making bigoted comments seems totally reasonable in principle.

The particular comments this post offers don't seem at all sexist to me though, so I don't think this situation makes a whole lot of sense. Granted, it would be better if the conference organizers cited the comments themselves; all we have here is what Morgan thinks are the offensive comments, so we're unfortunately not getting the whole picture.

I will say that, having read a lot of Crockford, the guy is a dick. And hey, if you rub a lot of people the wrong way by being a jerk, maybe a conference might think that outweighs the value you could add with your skill and knowledge. But if that's the real reason in this case, I wish they would say it.

prance 3 ago 2 replies      
This article is based on the assumption that those two statements from Rockford were the actual reason for his disinvitation - because that's "everything [the author's] been able to find". Which is not the case according to nodevember's statement[1].

Besides, the fact that the author is criticising people for calling for a disinvite of a white supremacist speaker from LamdaConf[2] doesn't quite increase my trust in his opinions.

[1] http://nodevember.org/statement.html[2] https://modelviewculture.com/news/lambda-conf-fuckery-white-...

georgemcbay 3 ago 0 replies      
I know nothing of this situation other than what I just read in the linked blog, but speaking as someone who is very sympathetic to the cause of the continued problems of sexism in the tech industry, I'm very confused about what the problem is, if it is in fact related to either of those two quoted statements.

Nodevember's tweet seems borderline libelous to me, unless they are willing to explain exactly what the event/statement/whatever is that got him pulled from the lineup is.

squall7 3 ago 0 replies      

The pendulum ever swings, don't let it hit you on its way back.

fahrradflucht 3 ago 1 reply      
I don't have a clear opinion on the Crockford discussion but this post would be more convincing if it didn't put the lambda conf issue into the mix. I hope for Douglas Crockford that he doesn't want to get compared with Curtis Yarvin...
jstewartmobile 3 ago 0 replies      
What a cowardly, hateful thing to do! They have even gone so far as to make a static page to address the tweet, yet a concrete accusation is nowhere to be found on it: http://nodevember.org/statement.html

A community that accepts a covert hit-job like that Tweet is a garbage community. Don't be a garbage community Nodevember.

joeevans1000 1 ago 0 replies      
This whole incident really highlights the likely challenges facing luminaries like Crockford. On the one hand, they probably want to support unestablished up and coming conferences. On the other, they expose themselves to total amateurs, with potentially dire outcomes professionally.

His presence at such an apparently backwoods event (as evidenced by the transcript of their inane slack discussion) was a great honor for them, but, as the saying goes, 'no good deed goes unpunished'.

rhapsodic 2 ago 0 replies      
Organizations will not stop caving to these vicious, hateful cry-bullies until caving becomes more costly than not caving. It wouldn't take very many complaints and boycott threats against their corporate sponsors to make Nodevember radioactive. Next year, there would be no sponsors. And if everyone who has had a bellyful of this cry-bullying would boycott the Nodevember conference, there would be no more Nodevember conference.

That would serve as an example for other organizations, when they choose how to respond to the demands of future cry-bullies.

shripadk 3 ago 1 reply      
This is ridiculous. How in the world can those statements amount to sexism/slut-shaming?
cheez 3 ago 0 replies      
Why is it always developer evangelists and never developers?
mgkimsal 3 ago 1 reply      
From nodevember CoC:

"Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Excessive swearing and offensive jokes are not appropriate for Nodevember."

Now... I'm no expert in humor, but aren't nearly all jokes partly "exclusionary" by definition? Maybe not - maybe I'm thinking of just a certain type of 'joke', but almost every sort of humorous observation I can think of could be "exclusionary" at some level, because there's some sort of external 'thing' which is the object of the joke.

But I may be way off base here.

csanch4 3 ago 2 replies      
I thought this wouldn't be an issue in CS; thankfully it only seems to be the Js community -- or at least I hope so. Medium is now becoming less informative on technologies and software into a platform for finger pointing and complaining, which is really depressing imo.
nopit 3 ago 8 replies      
Why is crybullying so rampant in the tech community?
borplk 3 ago 0 replies      
I bet someone will also complain that he "mansplained" one of his talks. Give me a break. Go solve a real problem. First-world morons who are so fed up with the comfort of their lives they have to actively go chase drama.
fsaneq2 2 ago 0 replies      
Is HN being censored? Why is this not on the front page, with 611 votes as of right now?
galfarragem 3 ago 0 replies      
This is a schizofrenic community. Probably the same people that push for a free web, police the words used by others.
throwawayspon 3 ago 0 replies      
I'd be willing to place a small wager that the people who were uncomfortable were also connected to one of the conference sponsors. And that the sponsor threatened to pull out if this person wasn't removed. I'd place an smaller wager that the sponsor is Auth0.
ramblenode 3 ago 0 replies      
Wow, an important talk was pulled because of this? There is a continuum of disagreeable statements and a corresponding continuum of appropriate responses. The response from the conference organizers was grossly disproportionate to Crockford's behavior which was clearly not malicious and probably not even deliberate. A reasonable alternative would have been to privately contact him and express concern about his past choice of words. Removing him outright is unfair to both Crockford and attendees who were looking forward to his talk.
discordianfish 3 ago 0 replies      
I don't know about the reasons either, but if there are multiple, yet hard-to-proof claims (like harassment or just being a jerk), it's something they need to take serious while not being able to talk about the specifics without really doing Crockford wrong.
douche 3 ago 0 replies      
Flying Spaghetti Monster, this is Douglas Crockford. I dunno what it is about Javascript, but the community seems to have a habit of trying to grind up their founders and luminaries. Brendan Eich was crucified and driven out of a job by the mob for a small political contribution more than a half decade before that went against the grain of political correctness.

Meanwhile, Linus has been a dick from square one, and the Linux kernel keeps chugging along.

jgalt212 3 ago 0 replies      
Their code of conduct is sort of stupid in its consistency. i.e. vendor booths have largely the same restrictions as attendees and speakers. For the most part, you really can't avoid a both, while it's pretty easy to avoid a person or talk.
jhummel 3 ago 3 replies      
So, I have no idea what's going on, but just because this guy could only find these two examples, doesn't mean those are the actual reasons for him being dismissed. In fact, I'd be very surprised if that was the case.

For the record, I've seen Crockford talk... It wasn't offensive, it just wasn't very good. He seemed more interested in calling out business decisions which companies have made that he felt were stupid, than actually talking about anything related to JavaScript. Maybe that's just how his talks go and I didn't realize, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

finishingmove 3 ago 0 replies      
2016, ladies and gents.

 Everyone is hypersensitive. Nobody thinks or researches anything past a Google search. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is on the internet. Everyone yells everything they think on social media.

colordrops 3 ago 0 replies      
This whole story seems like a joke or a social experiment.
ebbv 3 ago 0 replies      
This kind of petty, childish nonsense is why I find the whole talk/conference community awful. Which is a shame because there are good talks that are given all the time. But those can be watched online without having to deal with people who get outraged over the kinds of harmless comments quoted in this post.
fstopzero 3 ago 0 replies      
Is it possible that there have been harassment allegations against Crockford that have not come to light? I think it is completely acceptable for people who have been harassed by prominent individuals to not want to come forward publicly with their stories for a host of obvious reasons.
ben_jones 1 ago 0 replies      
Of note is that one of Crockford's accusers is a "developer evangelist" at Salesforce.
xwvvvvwx 3 ago 1 reply      
This whole article seems pretty disingenuous.

It would clearly be a huge overreaction for someone to lose a speakers role at a conference for the two comments highlighted in the article.

The sourcing for this claim is incredibly weak, two tweets from people unaffiliated with Nodevember.

Nodevember have stated that they took this decision based on private feedback.

It could be that having Crockford on the speaker list meant that booking multiple other speakers became significantly harder, in which case uninviting him is an (arguably) justifiable logistical tradeoff, but without knowing the specifics its impossible to make any kind of real judgment of the merits of this decision.

setheron 3 ago 0 replies      
People are so overly sensitive. It is the events loss.
forgottenacc56 3 ago 0 replies      
We smash people for this and don't blink an eyelid to the violence and privacy violations of our government.
nnq 3 ago 0 replies      
also, this indirectly reminded me of what I thought to be one of DC's greatest talks: Monads and Gonads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0EF0VTs9Dc)
caseymarquis 3 ago 1 reply      
I'm gathering:

1. Based on the article, Crockford makes fun of the less technical speakers for their subjects being trivial and unrelated to real programming.

2. Logically, he's probably been uninvited for this?

3. HN comments go on unrelated tangents that make me not want to live on this planet.

meddlepal 3 ago 0 replies      
This is fucking rediculous. Slut shaming? How about opinion shaming?
Fifer82 3 ago 0 replies      
Who gives a fuck about Nodevember??
GirlsCanCode 3 ago 2 replies      
I'm a woman with an EE degree. I hate non-tech "women" who go to conferences that have no real interest in (like Pycon, Ms. Richards) just to push some wacky agenda.

These "women" aren't making it easier for real girls in real engineering programs.

radus 3 ago 0 replies      
Missed title opportunity: Crockford: The Good Parts
forgottenacc56 3 ago 1 reply      
Defamation. That's the word I've been looking for.
DonHopkins 3 ago 0 replies      
Maybe this is long game karma revenge for his notorious role in spreading communicable diseases in Habitat. [1]


One of the more successful "games" we invented for Habitat was the disease. There are three strains currently defined:


Happy Face

Mutant (AKA The Fly)

We only were able to test Cooties with live players, but it was a hit. It works like this: Several initial Avatars are infected with a "Cootie" head. This head replaces the current one, and cannot be removed except by touching another non-infected Avatar. Once infected, you can not be infected again that day. In effect, this game is "tag" and "keep away" at the same time. Often people would allow themselves be infected just so he could infect "that special person that they know would just hate it!" Every time the disease was spread, there was an announcement at least a week before, and for at least a week afterward it was the subject of major discussions. One day that the plague was spread, a female Avatar that was getting married got infected 1 hour before her wedding! Needless to say, she was very excited, and in a panic until a friend offered to take it off her hands.

Some interesting variations to try on this are: Touch 2 people to cure; this would cause quite a preponderance of infected people late in the day. The "Happy Face" plague: This simple head has the side effect of changing any talk message (word balloons) to come out as "HAVE A NICE DAY!"... can you imagine infecting some unsuspecting soul, and him saying back to you HAVE A NICE DAY! ??? ESP and mail still work normally, so the user is not without communications channels. The Mutant Plague: The head looks like the head of a giant housefly and it has the effect of changing talk text to "Bzzz zzzz zzzz". We think these all will be great fun.

[1] http://www.crockford.com/ec/anecdotes.html

hackaflocka 3 ago 1 reply      
maglavaitss 3 ago 1 reply      
inopinatus 3 ago 3 replies      
"as long as he gives a good talk/presentation"

Given the content of your first remark, I'm strongly inclined to suspect this use of the explicitly masculine pronoun is first-degree trolling.

This serves as a counterexample to your point, because as statements go, it would be simply be factually (rather than politically) correct to have said "they" rather than "he", unless you really do hold an expectation that all conference speakers are male. In other words, neutral language is more rational, not less.

laser 3 ago 1 reply      
Given information publicly available this seems infuriatingly ridiculous, but Nodevember's official statement in response seems quite reasonable: http://nodevember.org/statement.html

The theories here about sociopaths attempting to exert control are quite exotic and interesting, though :P

Running a Tor Exit Node for Fun and E-mails daknob.net
414 points by esnard  3 ago   157 comments top 18
DominoTree 3 ago 6 replies      
It's much more fun to run an exit node and inspect the traffic using tools like the dsniff suite and Suricata.

Back in the day, 90% of the traffic I would see was just people trying to brute force Hotmail accounts via POP3, but occasionally I'd sniff the credentials for an IRC-based C2 for a botnet, and I'd log in and wreck the thing.

hrunt 3 ago 5 replies      
The article keeps making reference to the types of users on the Tor network:

> The majority of Tor traffic is legitimate users accessing the web anonymously, through insecure networks like Public WiFi, etc.

> Finally, just like with everything else, we have malicious users. [...] That last, tiny portion of users is the primary reason people don't run more Exit Nodes.

> Despite malicious users being the minority of Tor users, as an absolute number, there are many of them.

Where are the facts that form the basis of these statements? I've seen studies about geographic and network demographics, and there was the disputed study about how much Tor traffic was related to child-porn, but has someone done a study on how many users are engaging in abusive behavior through Tor exit nodes?

Regardless of the number of users, a better question may what percentage of the traffic is abusive? It doesn't matter if a minority of the users are abusive if the majority of the traffic is abusive.

Tor administrator's tendency to dismiss abusive conducted through their exit nodes as "that's just the way it is to protect anonymity" reminds me of Twitter's early lack of action against abusive verbal attacks on its service. Tor's anonymity is analogous to Twitter's free speech, but in both cases, abuse of those freedoms defines the need for some practical protections in order to maintain them.

techsupporter 3 ago 2 replies      
I really want to like running a Tor exit node but I'm tired of my IP address being blacklisted to hell and back "just because Tor exit node." (To say nothing of affecting my neighbors since many of those lists take out the /24 because they can't see that I only have a /27.) I don't mind dealing with e-mailed complaints but I do mind having my e-mail and other outbound connections arbitrarily blown to smithereens.

His take on it is interesting since I hadn't considered putting my money proverbially where my mouth is and signing up for an inexpensive but standalone service elsewhere. I'll probably give this a whirl.

mcherm 3 ago 3 replies      
I don't wish to deal with the headaches involved in running a Tor exit node (despite this article's claim that the headaches are less than one might expect). I wonder if there is a way to contribute money to help those who ARE willing to invest the effort to run these nodes?
kiallmacinnes 2 ago 0 replies      
Since no one else seems to have mentioned it, am I the only one who noticed this?

> ... as well as tcp/179, which is used by BGP, and I wanted to avoid the exploitation of a particular vulnerability in KeyWeb ;-)

That sounds... Dangerous. Did KeyWeb allow all customers to inject BGP routes? View full BGP tables? Something else?

datenwolf 2 ago 0 replies      
Regarding the saturation of free socket ports. I see that KeyWeb gives you 2 IP addresses per vServer (and IPv6 enabled, which I assume means a whole /64). Wouldn't it have been easier to configure Tor to bind to only a single IPv4 address and use the other one for administrative login? As far as I understand the Linux network stack, port exhaustion happens on a per-address base. So even if Tor (or anything else) exhausts all the connection ports for one address you should still be able to get back in via the other address.
tehlike 3 ago 1 reply      
I wonder if there is some nonprofit where donations would go to increasing exit nodes in Tor. Sounds like a fun thing to do.

i'd certainly put some, and get matching probably.

tmikaeld 2 ago 0 replies      
We where a keyweb customer for years, using it for email and crm for many clients. When we asked to add corporate VPN to make it more secure and reduce abuse, they didn't allow it in their dFlat bandwidth terms.

So now they accept Tor exit nodes but not corporate VPN?

Just... Wow.. Talk about priorities.

jordigh 2 ago 3 replies      
Hasn't Tor failed to meet its goal so far? With only 900 exit nodes, it's totally feasible to block them all, which is exactly what China has done. If Tor isn't usable for hopping over the GFW, it hasn't yet fulfilled its true potential, has it?
pilif 2 ago 3 replies      
>I was never contacted by any law enforcement agency

Not yet. Good luck trying to prove to law enforcement that it wasn't you downloading child porn. And even if they believe you, the can still arrest you as accessory. See https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140701/18013327753/tor-n...

No. Until judges start seeing Tor node operators as ISPs, this is way too much hassle.

jayess 2 ago 1 reply      
You can run an exit node that only allows port 80 and 443 traffic. A lot safer and a lot less bandwidth usage. I ran a server for a couple of years and not once got a complaint.
fatman13gg 3 ago 0 replies      
I remembered an article on motherboard about a guy's house raided by FBI for running an exit node. Now that article rendered a 404. Not sure if publicly claiming to run an exit node is safe.
doozler 2 ago 1 reply      
I would be really interested in setting up an exit node and doing my part to help people with privacy and other issues get access to an open internet. Where would be the best place to start? I'm afraid that I'm not quite as technically advanced as the Author of the article so setting up the auto email responders and such would be difficult - can you just ignore the emails?
setheron 3 ago 5 replies      
If its that cheap and the bandwidth is limited by the exit nodes, why don't we just spin up 1000 exit nodes ?I'd like to use Tor more if it was a bit speedier.
micro_softy 2 ago 3 replies      
Apologies for being stupid but this does not make sense to me:

 while [ true ];do ssh user@; sleep 0.1; done
Is this the same as writing:

 while test true; do ...; done
Then this would also work:

 while [ false ]; do ...; done
But if the plan is to use the keyboard e.g. INT to stop this loop, why test anything? One could just write:

 while :; do ...; done

mirimir 2 ago 0 replies      
> The next, and probably last, thing is the CPU. It is not very important, but it's good to have more cores, especially for higher speed relays.

As far as I know, tor daemon is still single-threaded.

With multiple cores, you can run multiple tor daemons. But then there's a maximum of two instances per IP.

Grollicus 3 ago 1 reply      
5 / Month for 50MB/s? No way thats fair to the other customers..
Scarbutt 3 ago 2 replies      
Why does torproject.org make it so hard to find tor standalone?
When you change the world and no one notices collaborativefund.com
483 points by waqasaday  1 ago   172 comments top 62
jondubois 1 ago 4 replies      
If you want to make money, you should never invent new things - Just copy existing things and improve upon them.

That's why our society has such a short-term focus.

The brightest software engineers these days are writing essentially the same software over and over again (with very slight modifications).

I think the same can be said of almost any industry - All our intelligence and energy is spent on competing with each other and then using marketing/advertising to leverage tiny advantages in a product/service in order to win over disproportionate amounts of customers.

I think the reason why it takes years for disruptive innovations to get noticed is because marketing (and by extension, the media) is paid for by 'today money'.

Marketers don't take bets based on future prospects - They don't need to because there is so much financial incentive for them to stay in the present.

Lerc 1 ago 6 replies      
It's also worth keeping in mind the Saganism

 But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
We can see what is currently being laughed at. Bitcoin stands out as a good example. History will decide if they were geniuses or clowns. All we have at the moment are opinions.

On the other hand there is a particular form of sneering dismissiveness that I see from a few people that I use as a guide. In the Bitcoin case all the right people were panning it so I grabbed a few for $11 each, that worked out well.

Fricken 1 ago 2 replies      
The irony is that, while the Wright Brothers are the only household names from the pioneering days of flight, essential contributions were made long before Kitty Hawk, and many came after them to make their planes useful.

The Work of the Wright brothers was just one link in a causal chain with beginnings preceding them by over 250 years.


mahyarm 1 ago 1 reply      
A lot of the adoption curve comes from the economics too. The same thing 10 times cheaper is a revolution itself.

We had 3D printers in the 80s, but 3D printers starting becoming a lot cheaper only in the past ~5 years.

1870 PV cells were a pretty piss poor energy source, the real revolution happened in the last 10 years when they started to become an economic competitor.

dkarapetyan 1 ago 1 reply      
This is one reason I dislike the silicon valley and sf culture of "innovation". A lot of it is a variation on a well-known theme and the model is predicated on unsustainable hypergrowth followed by surviving until acquisition. Basically chasing fads and trends instead of doing anything truly innovative because the venture model can't follow through something that requires a decade of incubation.
mgamache 1 ago 3 replies      
If I remember correctly the Wright Brothers were secretive. They were trying to perfect the Flyer to get a military contract and didn't want to publicize the advances they were making. They didn't invite anyone to see the initial test flights. At the time, the French were getting much more/better press for doing less. Without the press reports no one believed they were actually flying.

Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic first powered flight on December 17, 1903, from Kill Devil Hill in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The longest of four flights that day lasted 59 seconds and covered a distance of 852 feet. There were few witnesses to the flights and no reporters


noobermin 1 ago 3 replies      
One minor note. The warning about horseless carriages is fake[0].

[0] http://www.snopes.com/history/document/horseless.asp

Animats 1 ago 1 reply      
That's because the 1903 Wright Flyer was barely able to fly a few hundred feet. It was just a proof of concept for stability. The 1904 Flyer II was able to circle and fly for about five minutes. The 1905 Flyer III crashed a few times, and then they reworked the controls and were able to fly 24 miles.

At last, they had a minimum viable product. In 1907 they came out with the Wright Model A, which was the production version of the improved Flyer III. This had a range of 125 miles, and was the first production aircraft.

swampthinker 1 ago 0 replies      
Drones had a very similar adoption curve, and really only got past the "toy" perception when DJI's Phantom came out.

RC Planes and helicopter POV footage was great to enjoy on YouTube, but the learning curve was so immense that it kept the mainstream market away.

paulrouget 1 ago 1 reply      
It's true that innovation process used to take a long time. See the story of the telegraph for example, which was clearly a breakthrough, but took half a century to be adopted (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Victorian_Internet).

Nowadays, the process might take a lot lot less time than before though (http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolu...)

And also - let's remember that it's not because something goes through the first steps of this seven-step path that it will become a breakthrough.

hsdkfsdkfjh 1 ago 2 replies      
The other thing is that these kinds of "misunderstood heroic ignored genius" tales are complete bollocks. In reality there was always an existing idea out there before these "revolutionary innovations".

For example, people had been imagining flying for millennia before the Wright brothers. Leonard da Vinci had drawn hang-gliders and helicopters hundreds of years before and there was the myth of Icarus thousands of years before that. Our distant ancestors even "flew" through the trees. People also have flying dreams, before they've even flown in reality and they probably had flying dreams thousands of years ago too. It's not a new idea so no wonder people weren't that amazed when the Wright brothers flew. There are never any truly new ideas, only remixes and hybrids of existing ones, e.g. Relativity was Einstein's synthesis of ideas from (among others) Poincar and Lorentz and you can trace their ideas back too.

nhebb 1 ago 1 reply      
> It happened with the index fund easily the most important financial innovation of the last half-century. John Bogle launched the first index fund in 1975. No one paid much attention to for next two decades.

That's in part because everyone was googly-eyed over managed funds thanks to Peter Lynch's 29% average annual return for the Magellan Fund from '77 to '90. Index funds didn't beat that dude.

creadee 1 ago 0 replies      
I got curious as to how true it was that the Wright's first flight was hardly reported, so searched New Zealand's Papers Past. Maybe not front page news, but not ignored, either...


soufron 1 ago 1 reply      
Also, the author is wrong on the first flight which was not the wrights but clement ader... in 1890. Nice fail. He should be more modest and avoid giving les sons to journalists and industrialists when he does not now his own history, even 140 years later and with the Hell of the internet and Wikipedia. He should be more self-aware that being right about innovation is indeed difficult.

For those interested in clement ader :https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ole_(avion)

soufron 1 ago 0 replies      
The author has a good intuition but he forgets patents and secrets. 3D printing was a success in the industrial world through the 90s. It became a public success when its patents ended around 2004. Why would people talk about something they can't use anyway?
cmarschner 1 ago 0 replies      
The mechanics of innovation adoption have been extensively studied (e.g. [1]). It takes the innovators (which are often shrewd introverts) to create new things and early adopters (well-connected extroverts) to spread the word to the next group. As adoption continues, maturity increases and prices go down. At the same time, more and more people are using the product, which convinces more rosk-averse people to have a look. At best the result is a chain reaction, but it always follows a sigmoid curve. And due to more efficient means of communication, the adoption curves are still accelerating. It took decades until telephones or TVs were established. Today we got smartphones, HackerNews and the Twitter firehose.Suffice it to say that, yes, innovators are always a fringe part of a group, and they better don't care too much what others are saying. I would say this property is to some extent scale free, as one finds the same patterns within research communities which, as one would expect, should _all_ consist of innovators.

[1] Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm

Reason077 1 ago 1 reply      
Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action.

Congress were actually rather insightful in these predictions. Millions now die every year from motor vehicle accidents and air pollution.

david927 1 ago 2 replies      
Things that are instantly adored are usually just slight variations over existing products.

For true innovation to happen, what we need are brave investors.

IANAD 1 ago 1 reply      
> Zen-like patience isnt a typical trait associated with entrepreneurs.

Or investors.

sytelus 1 ago 5 replies      
The author have got many facts downright wrong: Wrights were actually very secretive and they were reluctant to publish anything before they got the patent. They were so adamant about the patent that they didn't do any public demonstration of flight for years until they were literally forced by competing claims. In those times people making claims for "heavier than air" flights were numerous and it was hard to take anyone seriously unless they do demonstration. They not only chose not to do so until they got patent but also did almost nothing to enhance their technology meanwhile. Their contribution except for first flight is very marginal and their rest of the lives are dominated by nothing but patent worries, bringing massive lawsuits on others and getting royalties. They also made a very generic patent claim essentially asserting that any system that produces lift is covered by it. This produced a lot of friction in bringing new innovations to market leaving USA significantly behind of Europe.

I admire Wrights thoroughly for their vision, hard work and making miracle happen through their miger resources but saying that no one would have noticed if they saw first airplane in air is bogus.

Reference: https://www.amazon.com/Wilbur-Orville-Biography-Brothers-Tra...

sunstone 1 ago 0 replies      
'concurred the sky'? Sure, typos happen to everyone but this is definitely of the highest order.
d--b 1 ago 0 replies      
"It happened with index funds"

Wait, what? index funds invention on par with flying?

Oh, "collaborativefund.com" ...

dgudkov 1 ago 0 replies      
What I read from this story is that it's crucial for an invention to reach the stage when it really starts delivering practical advantage. No one noticed early success of the Wright because what they had achieved so far didn't have any practical application. So no reason to blame people for shortsightedness -- it's rational behavior.
ky738 1 ago 0 replies      
Nobody noticed cause Santos Dumont did it first :D
rwallace 1 ago 3 replies      
Okay, suppose we grant this at least for the sake of argument.

What's your 'watch this space'? What technologies currently in prototype stage do you think have a bright future?

tmcbride23 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm an inventor, I have experienced this exact thing I have a sever cabinet that powers it self and a anti gavity machine but no one cares!! I've aplied to the YC 16 winter for acritic nails that change colors with your phone or you can load a gif I hope they go for it so I can make cars fly.
conqrr 1 ago 2 replies      
A quote by Gandhi comes to mind when reading those seven steps. "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
pseudointellect 1 ago 1 reply      
The article's subtle implication that we are all changing the world but it'll take time for that change to be realized is truly arrogant and delusional.
digi_owl 1 ago 0 replies      
And until a world war made the military sit up and spend massively into their development, they were a rich man's novelty.

Never mind that so many had made claims about flight before the Wrights, that having the press be less than interested was to be expected.

raverbashing 1 ago 0 replies      
The Wright brothers kept their experiment a secret purposefully, so it's not surprising that they didn't show up on the news
gonvaled 1 ago 1 reply      
> The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action.

That was quite prescient! Unfortunately we didn't do that, and cars took over the streets, caused millions of deaths and injuries, and indeed poisoned our atmosphere.

dsjoerg 1 ago 0 replies      
Great inventions may be ignored. However, many ignored inventions are just sucky pieces of garbage.
aaron695 1 ago 1 reply      
This article is just plain wrong.

Every point is incorrect / misleading and the 'point' is the direct opposite of reality.

People latch onto new amazing we'll change the world ideas to easily.

Real change happens from hard work and gradual change is the real reality.

apsec112 1 ago 1 reply      
"Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. (...)"

This quote is a well-known hoax: http://www.snopes.com/history/document/horseless.asp

roel_v 1 ago 1 reply      
To compare the 3D printing of the 1980's with that of today is a stretch, at best, both in quality and price. And people who care have been '3D printing' (high quality, like with laser sintering, not Makerbot crap) for years.

It's disingenuous to suggest that the very first moment something has been shown in a proof of concept should be the moment that everyone starts rejoicing and flocking to it en masse. Many technologies need years or decades to get mature enough for wide spread use (which the author seems to equate with 'getting recognition').

peter422 1 ago 2 replies      
The vast majority of products that people don't understand and believe to be useless are in fact useless.

The first time I used Google I knew it was amazing and never used altavista again. When Facebook came to my campus it spread like wildfire.

These stories are quite interesting but at the same time what are they suggesting? An investor wants you to spend your whole life chasing a dream because they don't care if it fails and get paid if it succeeds. If you love doing something, do it regardless of what people think. But don't let an investor convince you to waste years working on something that nobody wants because that is what all successful entrepreneurs do. In a few cases it works out but the vast majority of the time it doesn't.

megablast 1 ago 1 reply      
> Wilbur and Orville Wright conquered flight on December 17th, 1903. Few inventions were as transformational over the next century. It took four days to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 1900, by train. By the 1930s it could be done in 17 hours, by air. By 1950, six hours.

And by 2016, 6 hours still.


NKCSS 1 ago 0 replies      
Not always true; the iPhone went through all those stages very quick and created a new reality. The iPad did the same, in a smaller way. While one may argue these are mere improvements, they were major enough to change the entire social dimension in only a few short years.
grabcocque 1 ago 0 replies      
The Alexander Graham Bell/Western Union story is a fabrication.


jedmeyers 1 ago 0 replies      
To me this piece feels like an ad for index funds, riddled with false facts and generalizations.
LeonB 1 ago 0 replies      
logged in to say, "this process can take decades."

...try millennia!

The aeolipile, regarded as a curious novelty (a 'temple wonder'), created by Heron of Alexander in 1st century AD was the first steam turbine... the eventual mastery of which led to the industrial revolution.

FuNe 1 ago 0 replies      
I understand the votes - that piece is like being written especially for HN BUT it's only just that. It tries to extrapolate a moral story from a few convenient incidents and ignores all the rest. I.e. its method is really unscientific but it poses like such.

Some inventions seem to take long to gain traction - yes. Others though (how many compared to the first set?) gain traction immediately (e.g. lots of inventions in medicine or lots of inventions in -ehm- IT). Others still don't get on ever.

There is no easy moral here. We could derive some statistics if we had all data or some teachings per story. How your invention will be treated by the near or far future is not just a matter of newspapers and general public interest.

PS: Also -as I read in commends here- the main point seems bogus too as Wrights themselves were extra secretive about their experiments.

y04nn 1 ago 0 replies      
Not a word about Gustave Whitehead, who may have been the first to successfully flight?
marceloboeira 1 ago 1 reply      
Such an American mistake to think that the Wrights invented the airplane...
chx 1 ago 1 reply      
> It takes 30 years for a new idea to seep into the culture.

From Altair to IBM PC, 7 years, Mac, only 10. From IBM Simon to the iPhone fueled boom in 2008 only 14 years passed.

lx0741 1 ago 0 replies      
Don't forget the existing and we'll established businesses who will fight for their lives any threatening 'idea'
moron4hire 1 ago 0 replies      
>> no mention of the men who concurred (sic) the sky for the first time in human history.

Maybe that was the problem. They weren't the first to conquer the sky. People had been flying in hot air balloons for 120 years by that point. By 1903, getting people up into the sky was old-hat. Sure, they did it in a different way, but what they demonstrated was--strictly speaking--inferior to the technology that was already available. If you wanted to get up into the clouds in 1903, you weren't going to use a Wright Brothers machine that would only let you skip along the ground for a few minutes at a time, you'd use a hot air balloon and stick around for a while. Can people really be blamed for missing the fact that heavier-than-air flight would be able to travel much faster and farther than balloons?

asimjalis 1 ago 0 replies      
The problem is that while great innovations frequently go unnoticed, going unnoticed does not automatically imply greatness.
Bakary 1 ago 1 reply      
The article is certainly interesting but it has the same trait as too many pop science books: it relies on selective anecdotal evidence to support their specific point.
z3t4 1 ago 0 replies      
First they will ignore you. Then they will laugh at you. Then they will work against you. Then you win.
NamTaf 1 ago 0 replies      
I don't like his Vanguard example. He's pointing to exponential growth and saying that for two hand-picked points, it appears as if nothing had changed.

That's sort of how exponential growth works. The growth in the most recent period makes all the other growth before it look trivial. I bet if he could zoom in on the '75 to '95 period he could plot the arrows in the same place and draw the same conclusion.

cperciva 1 ago 2 replies      
The Wrights' first flight didn't change the world. Nor did photovoltaic cells in 1876; nor did 3D printing in 1989. And none of these inventions could change the world at the time, because they were little more than proofs of principle: They showed that something was possible, but they were not in fact usable.

Photovoltaic cells aren't becoming popular now because people are suddenly realizing that they exist; they're becoming popular because the technology has reached the point where the cells are cheap enough and efficient enough to be practical. The same goes for 3D printing, and the same went for the Wrights' aircraft: They received plenty of attention once they moved from the realm of curiosities to being useful inventions.

The title of this article should be "when you don't change the world and no one notices".

kragen 1 ago 0 replies      
The article's timeline of flight goes like this:

1903. First flight, ignored.

1904. Nameless hot-air-balloon-flying count dismisses possibility of flying machines.

1905. People see Wrights flying around Dayton.

1906. Passing mention of Wrights in NYT.

1908. Reporters sent to observe Wrights, credence given.

1930s. NYC LAX: 17 hours.

1950. NYC LAX: 6 hours.

This story is a lie. I don't mean that it contains anything actually false (as far as I know, it doesn't) but it is actively and intentionally misleading by its selective omission of facts. Although the rumors were eagerly repeated, people generally didn't believe the Wrights had built a flying machine because the Wrights refused to demonstrate it. Then, when other people started building airplanes, they started suing them. Consequently, the US lost its leadership in aviation to France (and Brazil!) for over a decade, which would have been a longer period of time if France hadn't been devastated by the Great War.

Here are some of the omitted events from the timeline.

1896. People fly in Octave Chanute's biplane hang glider.

1900. Wrights begin glider experiments at Kitty Hawk at Chanute's suggestion.

1901. Wrights lecture in Chicago on their glider experiments, and in particular wing-warping control, at the invitation of Chanute, who lives there.

1902. Wrights continue glider experiments, visited by Chanute.

1903. Wrights apply for wing-warping patent.

1903. Wrights' first four flights, of 12 to 59 seconds. Airplane irreparably damaged immediately post-flight. Several newspapers report the event, inaccurately, from a leak by a telegraph operator. Dayton Daily News disbelieves tall tale, doesn't report.

1904. Wrights issue public statement, build new airplane, invite reporters to first flight attempt on the condition that no photos be taken. Attempt fails. Further dozens of test flights are undertaken in strict secrecy, except for eyewitness accounts published in a beekeeping magazine. Longest flight exceeds five minutes. Airplane destroyed.

1905. Wrights continue tests witnessed by a small circle of friends. Longest flight is 38 minutes. Scientific American doubts the alleged experiments happened. Dayton Daily News reports "The Flight of a Flying Machine." Wrights end experiments, refuse to fly any more without some buyer signing a contract to buy an airplane. Governments of US, Britain, France, and Germany (!) refuse to sign contracts without a demonstration.

1905. Aro-Club de France and other organizations federate in the Fdration Aronautique Internationale.

1906. Paris edition of New York Herald asks of Wrights, "FLYERS OR LIARS?"

1906. Santos-Dumont makes a powered heavier-than-air flight in Bagatelle Field in Paris, certified by Aro-Club de France and the Fdration Aronautique Internationale.

1906. Wrights make 0 flights.

1906. Wrights receive patent on wing-warping control techniques they derived from Chanute's work.

1907. Wrights make 0 flights.

1908. The Clement-Bayard company in Paris starts a production run of airplanes of Santos-Dumont's design; 100 planned, 50 built, 15 sold.

1908. Wrights finally sign a contract. Make first public demonstration in Le Mans, France. Make first passenger flight. Airplane destroyed in crash. Wilbur emerges from wreckage with cut on nose.

1908. Glenn Curtiss starts making airplanes with ailerons to avoid the Wrights' wing-warping patent.

1909. Curtiss sells an aileron plane; Wrights begin suing him and basically everything that moves, including foreign aviators who visit the US.

1909. Clement-Bayard planes are sold with a choice of Clement or Wright engines.

1909. Wrights form the Wright Company.

1910. German court rules Wrights' patent invalid due to their disclosure of wing-warping in 1901.

1910. Wrights stop working on airplane design and switch to working full-time on suing other airplane designers.

1910. Octave Chanute publicly deplores Wrights' secrecy and litigiousness. Dies.

1912. Wilbur Wright dies of typhoid.

1913. Wrights win lawsuit against Curtiss.

1915. Orville Wright quits the company.

1917. US enters World War I, has no domestically produced airplanes of acceptable quality due to Wright-initiated patent battles; US forces fly French airplanes. US government forces aircraft companies to enter a cross-licensing cartel.

Kids, don't be like the Wright Brothers. Be like Chanute. Be like Santos-Dumont. Change the world, don't try to own it.

blazespin 1 ago 0 replies      
The time between invention and practical application is shortening (Internet plays a huge part) which is why the pace of innovation is accelerating.
JohnStrange 1 ago 0 replies      
I think that inventions are similar to bars; nobody can really tell you which ones become popular and which won't. Neither the barkeeper nor the inventor can really control their fate.

I'm still waiting for the ridiculously cheap, extremely high density write-once laser storage on adhesive transparent Tesa film. There was a working prototype already more than a decade ago, they funded a spin-off company, and since then nothing seems to have happened.

Extremely bendable e-ink-like displays at throwaway-pricing were also promised to me more than ten years ago.

My personal explanation is that many good inventions are bought by the competition and then quickly hidden in the drawers, because not every technology that is better than before allows the company who owns it to also make more money than before. Or many of these inventions are just bogus marketing speech to attract investors and they really don't work.

cyberferret 1 ago 1 reply      
An interesting article, but I would say this is one that is better showcased to, say, a primary school audience rather than the HN crowd perhaps? The writing style and concepts were a little too simplistic and lacked the depth I would expect from the publications I normally see linked on here.

Note: But even for a younger audience, I would do some serious editing of the text (e.g. misuse of "concurred" instead of "conquered" etc.) before publication.

ilaksh 1 ago 0 replies      
A more general related concept is the difference between merit and popularity. Some people actually forget that they are not the same thing.
minikites 1 ago 0 replies      
I don't disagree with the thesis of the article for inventions that were destined to be successful but I think it exhibits a strong sense of surviorship bias in predicting anything contemporary to be in the same league. I think transformative inventions like airplanes or index funds can by definition only be defined in retrospect and the odds that anything contemporary can be predicted to turn out the same way are slim. I wonder what a good order of magnitude would be for failed inventions vs successful ones, maybe 10000:1?
tbarbugli 1 ago 0 replies      
It's funny and saddening at the same time to see how often the first entry on HN is a worthless/incorrect/inaccurate/ article .
supercoder 1 ago 0 replies      
Finally validates that my ideas that everyone has been saying are terrible, confusing and useless are infact world changing just as I have thought they are.
simbalion 1 ago 1 reply      
The 7 step process shows us how the majority of people are "dumb". And by dumb, I mean they lack the creative ability to look forward and imagine how a technology can change the world.

Those of us who are not suffering that disability should not feel guilty for our capabilities, but we should recognize that we are intellectually superior, because we should be ruling the world from every corner, not them. Sadly, many of them are the ones running governments and giant corporations.

All men may be created equal, but through different educational and parental environments, all men do not arrive at adulthood as equals.

Insomnia 3.0 A simple and beautiful REST API client insomnia.rest
510 points by nwrk  2 ago   152 comments top 52
oliyoung 1 ago 6 replies      
Nice, one thing that gets me paying for https://paw.cloud is the ability to chain requests

ie.GET /things -> GET /things/{things.first.id} -> PUT /things/{things.first.id} ->DELETE /things/{things.first.id}

vfaronov 1 ago 1 reply      
Since everybody's piling on their favorite alternatives, I have to mention HTTP Prompt [1]. It's obviously in another league than Insomnia and such, but I find that it strikes a sweet spot: much more convenient than curl or HTTPie, yet not a big mouse-driven GUI tool.

[1] https://github.com/eliangcs/http-prompt

cyberferret 1 ago 4 replies      
Seems cool - I am going to download now and try it out.

Tip: I suggest removing the 'pricing' menu option on the top of the web site. I saw it immediately the first time I went to your site, and I assumed yours was a paid product, so I stopped there and closed the window. It was only when I went back later and scrolled through, I noticed the current version is free for now. Removing the 'Pricing' link may make other people stick around longer to take a look...

foob 2 ago 1 reply      
A lot of people here have been mentioning Postman but my personal go-to has been Advanced Rest Client [1]. It's open source, has Google Drive integration, and seems to have a pretty impressive development rate. For me, it's a definite plus that there isn't a paid tier so the developers don't have any incentive to limit the free product. That said, Insomnia looks like a nice contender and I look forward to giving it a shot. The reuse of variables across requests and the automatic generation of boilerplate request code both look like really nice features that ARC lacks!

[1] https://advancedrestclient.com/

PascalW 1 ago 2 replies      
Nice to see some competition for Postman. Even though Postman works quite well I never really liked it. Lot's of common actions are pretty tedious, like changing an environment variable and lot's of small annoyances like it automatically following redirects etc.

A while ago I took a stab at building my own Postman alternative, Pragma [1]. What I found was that getting the basic functionality going is obviously not that hard, but building a good and useful UI requires quite a bit of effort.


mrmondo 2 ago 1 reply      
Hi, is this a native (objective c / swift) OS X or just a web frame?

What are you main goals as far as being different from Paw, which is what I use and love thus far?

*edit: oh and congratulations on getting your app out there :)

manishyt 1 ago 0 replies      
Sorry I am just going to shamelessly promote a similar CLI tool I wrote: https://github.com/manishtomar/crest. Help in https://github.com/manishtomar/crest/blob/master/usage.md. Please do try it out :)
bvanvugt 2 ago 0 replies      
Yes! I've been using Insomnia since it was a Chrome extension and the new 3.0 release is an amazing upgrade. I strongly agree with the developer that tools like Postman are quite bloated and complex for normal development tasks. Insomnia is very lightweight and refreshing!
jaza 1 ago 1 reply      
Any plans to open source this? Considering that (a) it's cross-platform since day one, (b) it's an HTTP client for developers, and (c) it's apparently built with the JS ecosystem, seems like the kind of app that should be open source, and honestly I'm surprised to see no Github link.
arafalov 1 ago 2 replies      
I keep hoping one of these clients will add IPython/Jupyter style notebook specifically for REST calls.

I would love to produce a tutorial that has well formatted URLs with params, bodies, headers and pre-saved results that could also be rerun against local server.

pavanlimo 1 ago 2 replies      
I do not see any feature in Insomnia that's not already in Postman. Am I missing something?

Edit: I do not mean to undermine the effort, just wondering if Postman users have any incentive to switch.

bognition 2 ago 3 replies      
Interesting, I've been using paw for years and love it but i'm always on the lockout for new and better tools
r0y3 2 ago 1 reply      
How is it compared to Postman?
lux 2 ago 1 reply      
I've been using Postman/Newman for testing and really liking it overall. One thing I'd love to see in one of these apps is the ability to use web sockets in tests.
bsandert 1 ago 0 replies      
I would love to see a general purpose API client that works similar to the Elasticsearch client Sense [0]. A simple, free-text scratchpad style client that allows for easy editing and firing of requests. Maybe it's hard to support all the advanced functionality this way, but I find Sense absolutely invaluable when working with Elasticsearch and would love to use it on other API.

[0]: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/sense/current/introduction.h...

tzm 2 ago 6 replies      
I'd like to see an API client that generates a API docs from a project / workspace.
amelius 1 ago 0 replies      
Perhaps a stupid question, but why not just use something like NodeJS to test your REST APIs? To me this seems more flexible, and more powerful, and simpler to manage (because the scripts are just files on your local computer). And by writing a handful of library routines you can make it even more smooth.
maxpert 1 ago 2 replies      
I use Google chrome + Postman (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/postman/fhbjgbifli... extension URL), this seems good but makes me wonder how much of a work it is for Postman to now run there app on electron.
aniceguy 1 ago 0 replies      
I found this https://github.com/S2-/http-client open source client quite good. It uses chrome in the background to make the requests (you can see it by hitting f12), so proxy settings and all the other stuff works fine.
pcx 1 ago 2 replies      
We've been using Postman https://www.getpostman.com/, and it's been working great for our team. The sync and export features are killer. But I like the dark theme and the vertical split in Insomnia, will give it a try.
niftich 2 ago 1 reply      
I find the visual design appealing, and at a cursory glance, the list of features decent. A few questions:

- Is there a way to override the cookies of a single request? Or do you have to edit the cookie jar and the corresponding cookies get auto-sent (ie. no override)

- For authorization, do you have built-in support for OAuth 2.0 access/refresh token flows? What about OAuth 1 ?

- Do you support HTTP/2?

dessant 1 ago 0 replies      
I really love the UI! I'd find it useful to have a pause/disable button before params and headers, not near the delete button though, it would be too easy to accidentally click in the wrong place.
mcotton 1 ago 1 reply      
Congratulations on making something great.
andrewingram 1 ago 0 replies      
I'm hoping that one of these products (I use Paw at the moment) will eventually add support for GraphQL servers, so that I can switch from using GraphiQL to something a little more pretty and powerful.
psynapse 1 ago 0 replies      
Tried out the Chrome plugin when RESTClient stopped working in Firefox. It stuck, and now I believe all of my small team uses it. I've been on the stand-alone version since release.

I use it for testing, but also more as a diagnostics/control panel for a software suite that we expose via a growing HTTPS API - saving the requests and payloads makes this easy.

One thing I miss from RESTClient is the formatting. We have a small JSON DSL that we exchange data with, so those strings have to be escaped going up, and of course they come back with all the escapes. In RESTClient, you could view the response "formatted", which would un-escape those strings. This made for easy copy and manipulation.

srd 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm a bit confused. Installing this on archlinux from the AUR I get version 3.3.1; however the post itself seems to be for 3.0beta (judging from the announcement halfway down the page). Which is the actual current version?
JoelSanchez 1 ago 0 replies      
I've just replaced Postman with this. The UI seems much cleaner. The fact that I can run this as a command, instead of relying on an opened instance of Chrome, makes it very convenient for me. Also, it has a much better startup time. I don't miss any Postman feature, I only make quite basic POST and GET requests, and I suspect I'm not the only one. Great project!
rasapetter 1 ago 1 reply      
This seems great. I used Postman for a while but I never got along with the UI, found it poorly structured and cluttered. While this is obviously still very young, it shows a lot of promise.

Using environment variables in headers or request params was a bit disappointing though. The UI keeps replacing the reference with a copy of the current value when input field is moved out of view. Is this the intended behavior?

jsargiox 1 ago 0 replies      
It's nowhere near the features and look of Insomnia but a pet project that I work on my spare time it's http://github.com/jsargiot/restman. The initial need was because Opera didn't had an extension of such kind.
tomelders 1 ago 0 replies      
If anyone is reading this, being able to write consumer tests would be wicked! The overwhelming majority of bugs I have to squash are because the API deviates form the contract either in my mock implementation or in the back enders implementation.

A frictionless way to write tests on the fly would really speed up spotting these deviations.

telesilla 1 ago 0 replies      
I've been using http://mmattozzi.github.io/cocoa-rest-client for a couple of years, I just tried Insomnia and I think I'll be switching: having the ability to call frequently used API requests without having to re-enter JSON data will be very useful. Nice app, thanks gschier.
gopishankar28 1 ago 1 reply      
I just installed and ran a request, seems the response xml format was not available as nicely formatted. I just saw a junk of xml as result. Is there any configuration available for the auto formatting with indents for the sub-elements.I believe postman does it by itself.
AMedOs 1 ago 0 replies      
Are there any plans to support importing postman collections or something like Swagger?
danso 1 ago 1 reply      
This is lovely. I wish I knew about it earlier so I could ask IT to install it on our lab machines for students to use when i teach web concepts. The Postman plugin is nice but I had trouble working with it on my own, and sometimes it's nice to have a separate app.
brandonb927 2 ago 1 reply      
I've been using Insomnia since the beginning and I really appreciate how receptive gschier is to feedback and how the support side of things are handled.

I'd love to hear what you're planning on working on next and how you plan to monetize (if you're going to) :)

nhatbui 1 ago 1 reply      
Hi, I definitely like the UI/UX of this over ARC. I haven't used Paw or Postman.

It sounds like you're taking suggestions so my only one would be configurations that make working with OAuth simpler like OAuth signature generation.

Great work!

j1436go 1 ago 0 replies      
A small nitpick: The generated Go code omits error handling and doesn't escape quotation marks when adding a header value containing a space.
rockyex 1 ago 1 reply      
Already downloaded. Wondering this has file upload feature
shakesbeard 1 ago 1 reply      
Looks really good! Are there any plans for custom authentication or pre-request hooks? Asking because for my API I need to be able to sign requests.
vxNsr 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure how important this is to you, but on the iPhone 6s the word "blog" is cutoff at the top of the website when in portrait mode
xaduha 1 ago 0 replies      
It's still manual testing, I pretty much stopped using those and just write test files for REST testing.
userbinator 1 ago 1 reply      
The Windows installer is 60MB and it's 64-bit-only? It has a nice fancy GUI and all, but am I the only one thinking that's just a tiny bit... excessive? Especially when it claims to be "A simple and beautiful REST API client". The Mac OS and Linux versions are a bit smaller, but still not quite what I consider "simple".

Also, did anyone else instinctively try decoding that Authorization header in one of the screenshots? :-)

hoodoof 1 ago 1 reply      
Interesting - the pricing page is not done.

I think developers have a tendency to prioritize things like pricing below the technical features.

sebthomas 1 ago 0 replies      
that url is going to be disappointing for people looking for help with insomnia
laacz 1 ago 0 replies      
What a name. Almost misread it for jsonmia. :)
shenal 1 ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to import my Postman collections ?
rado 1 ago 1 reply      
Looks great and works as expected. Cheers
nul_byte 1 ago 2 replies      
Executionable which won't run on my machine (Fedora) and not open source, guess I will be staying with Advance Rest Client then.
ycombinatorMan 1 ago 0 replies      
Thats an instant download
yegor256a 1 ago 0 replies      
Good job, very nice UI!
_pdp_ 1 ago 0 replies      
I've used Insomnia in the past when I was evaluating various REST clients. At the time I was using mainly Burp and sometimes Postman. I did not stick to it mainly because I could not find some features that I needed for my work. From what I can see on the website, the new update is around the client apps built specifically for Mac, Windows and Linux, which in my mind is a welcome addition.

That being said, I will definitely have a look to see what is new.

Since everyone is putting their favorite REST client - here is my own (disclosure I am the author). I've built it to fit my own needs and combine essential features from other clients which I find useful. I looked mainly at Burp, Postman and of course Paw for inspiration.

The tool is available at the Chrome App Store here:


You can also access it directly from here:


It is a work in progress but it has some features I am yet to see in other web-based REST clients, such as:

* Dynamic fields and variables that are re-computed on the fly.* Built-in text transforms that allow me to recompute a value in its original form.* Support for constructing multi-part requests with data and files easily.* The ability to modify file names and file types in multi-part requests.* Handle all headers (even those which are marked private in the Chrome and Firefox APIs).* Works in both Chrome and Firefox - on problem.* Locally cached for offline use.* All requests originate from your own machine - the tool runs locally.* Pretty-print everything including JavaScript, CSS, XML, HTML and many more.* Pretty-print any type of form and request payload.* Automatic code generator.

The reason it is a work in progress is because the current online version is at leas 3 versions behind from the libraries we use internally. We have scheduled some work to bring it up to date and we will be adding local storage and remote storage support very soon.

The tool is 100% free and it is part of our new tool stack at secapps.com. I need to say that we are revamping our current business model so that we can provide all of the tools free of charge to the larger community. These changes are not reflected on the site yet but I will as soon as the new stack is completed.

And if you are interested in these kind of stuff, here are a few more tools also free of charge:


Apologies for intruding into this post but I thought there is a good opportunity to suggest some alternatives as I've seen other people do.

Insomnia is still great though and I am sure some people will prefer its looks over other clients.

stephenr 1 ago 1 reply      
Your app is a web view running inside a copy of Chrome.

That is not a "native" app.

Blind Apple engineer is transforming the tech world at only 22 mashable.com
396 points by davidbarker  3 ago   111 comments top 20
escapologybb 3 ago 8 replies      
There's a lot to gripe about with Apple, but not when it comes to accessibility. I am quadriplegic and usually that means putting up with some terrible subset of functions for any given application, tablet, phone or whatever but not with Apple. They've made it so that anything able-bodied person can do with an iPhone, I can do with their Switch Control interface which I use connected up to the chin controller on my wheelchair. It's all done via a little Bluetooth bridge called a Tecla shield and it's absolutely marvellous.

There really isn't another company in the world, certainly not another phone Manufacturer that has thought of people with motor skill problems in the way that Apple has. When people think of accessibility they think of the blind and that deaf, people with motor function problems are definitely the red-headed stepchildren of the accessibility software world.

Apple, pay your fng taxes but thank you very very very much for the accessibility software, my life would be much much poorer intellectually without it.

andrewstuart2 3 ago 3 replies      
One thing that frustrates me significantly about accessibility and assistive technology (specifically for the web at least) is the lack of consistency implementing standards. It's much more insidious than most other standards inconsistencies because rather than your page looking slightly off in one browser, you can have your site reading perfectly on two of the major screen readers and the third refuses to read it.

It's a massive waste of resources to find the right combination of tech that ends up magically working for all three. The running joke at my workplace is "fix JAWS, break VoiceOver; fix VoiceOver, break NVDA" etc. And yet it's not the kind of thing you want to let go because not many people will have the chance to switch to another device/reader to see if the site works there. Nor should they have to.

danso 3 ago 3 replies      
> Castor told Apple reps how amazed she was by the iPad she received as a gift for her 17th birthday just a few years earlier. It raised her passion for tech to another level mainly due to the iPad's immediate accessibility.

Just goes to show how different things can be between perception and reality. I've worried that the move away from keyboard-based inputs would increase the marginalization of disabled computer users. Now that I think (more) about it, the physical form of a tablet can be similarly as interpretable as a keyboard, with the added bonus that app designers don't have the choice to build (and prioritize) a mouse-based interface -- I'm assuming that mouse-driven interfaces are especially difficult for the visually-impaired [0].

The uniformity of interface that iOS imposes is probably especially useful for the visually-impaired, provided that they have employees (like the one featured in the OP) who are on the engineering and design teams.

[0] http://webaim.org/articles/visual/blind

mattbgates 3 ago 0 replies      
I have quite a few blind readers to my website at http://www.confessionsoftheprofessions.com. I'm not sure if they came before or after I made the decision when starting the website to write out every single infographic in detail with a text-friendly version. It takes me an extra 10-20 minutes, depending on the length of the infographic, when I'm processing my articles, but it has its advantages for both readers and SEO.

It was actually unintentional when I started doing it and I had only done it with search engines in mind, because they can't read infographics, and I wanted them to be able to categorize the article better. Turns out, there are hundreds to thousands of people who also can't read infographics.

The side effect was that it began attracting a good amount of people who just need everything written out for good reason. Not just the blind, but I have gotten emails from non-blind people who are autistic, dyslexic, or just have trouble reading who use e-readers both on computer and mobile devices thanking me for doing it.

Highly recommended for everyone to start taking the handicapped into mind when it comes to the Internet. EVERYONE is using the Internet. Handicapped, blind.. they aren't just sitting there twittling their thumbs. They are searching the Internet!

gok 3 ago 2 replies      
Everyone (especially sighted developers!) should try enabling a screen reader on their phone once in while. Of course it's great for finding accessibility bugs, but it's also a cool trick to be able to read emails and stuff without someone being able to look over your shoulder.
michael-the1 3 ago 0 replies      
This thread comes at a funny time. I just saw my cousin and roommate come back from surgery. He had the same surgery before in one eye, now he's impaired the other as well. Now it's just waiting and hoping for recovery.

The thing he wants to do the most, in his current blinds state, is not rely on other people. Accessibility allows him to be that independent, empowered person. Thank you to everyone who furthers that cause.

WalterBright 3 ago 0 replies      
Apple is doing great things here. I welcome feedback and suggestions from any visually impaired programmer that can improve the usability of the D programming language website for them. dlang.org
samfisher83 3 ago 0 replies      
In the article it mentioned 70% of blind people are unemployed. That seems like a big problem.
samnwa 3 ago 1 reply      
Is "transforming the tech world" a bit strong? I get turned off by all this headline hyperbole.
rmason 3 ago 1 reply      
Though I never met her when she was at Michigan State, I've got a number of friends that did and she was a rockstar developer at the school even as an undergrad.

She gets mentioned on my Twitter on at least a monthly basis and it's kind of neat to see someone who was once a local on the front page of HN.

newscracker 2 ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of a few things with respect to Apple and accessibility (listed in chronological order here).

* In a speech Tim Cook made in December 2013 on receiving the "International Quality of Life Awards" at Auburn University [1] (link goes to the exact time in the video when this was said):

> "These values guide us to make our products accessible for everyone. People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged, they frequently are left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others, but Apples engineers push back against this unacceptable reality, they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders."

* In early 2014, in the context of an NCPPR representative asking Apple CEO Tim Cook to "commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable", this is how Tim Cook responded [2]:

> When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI."

* In July 2015, marking 25 years of the "Americans with Disability Act", Tim Cook tweeted: [3]

> "Accessibility rights are human rights. Celebrating 25yrs of the ADA, were humbled to improve lives with our products. #ADA25"

Regardless of profit motives and the higher prices of iDevices (in comparison to others), Apple is leading on a few different fronts, one of them being accessibility and its commitment to improving it continuously. This kind of inclusivity, which should be a default, is what progress of humankind is about.

[1]: https://youtu.be/dNEafGCf-kw?t=272

[2]: https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tim-cook-soundly-rej...

[3]: https://twitter.com/tim_cook/status/624584736862679040

nxzero 3 ago 3 replies      
Apple's accessibility features even useful as workarounds for hardware failure. If one of the buttons fails, turning on the accessibility features to: on/off, screen-lock, volume, etc.
dvillega 3 ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the "SignAloud" gloves that vocalize American Sign Language.


It's exciting to think about how tech is unlocking accessibility barriers. Huge :+1: to Apple for innovating in the accessibility space.

mark_l_watson 3 ago 0 replies      
Great article. I became interested in how blind programmers work when a blind programmer emailed me about 20 years ago with some questions about the code in my book Portable GUI Applications with C++. Apple, and other companies who support people with disabilities, deserve a lot of credit, but people who work through their disabilities greatly impress me.
alannallama 3 ago 0 replies      
If any developers are thinking about getting started with accessibility, I would definitely encourage you to!

Here's a short video of my co-founder talking about our journey with this in our startup, and how you can take some first steps: https://youtu.be/g0bjrTCKxZw

tommynicholas 3 ago 0 replies      
Was just talking about this yesterday with my newly blind friend.

The unemployment rate among the blind is at least 63% right now. It's remarkable.

javajosh 3 ago 0 replies      
A bit of a technical question about blind people, especially birth-blind people. Does the spatiality of the screen cease to be a factor? How do they "visualize" internally a computer interface, especially a GUI one? Thanks.
necessity 3 ago 0 replies      
Could we get a less descriptive title? Not clicking on clickbaits.
quakerquickoats 3 ago 1 reply      
this is marketing tactics. how would she know if the ipad she received is working great out of the box? seriously, our screens are not yet tactile or programmably textured or termperatured yet. she should work on that stuff perhaps.
mankash666 3 ago 1 reply      
Just noting that if accessibility was front and center, the tablet wouldn't be priced exorbitantly. Let's take this for what it is, good PR
FLAC Support in Firefox 51 mozilla.org
316 points by kawera  3 ago   187 comments top 13
captainmuon 3 ago 2 replies      
The wierd thing is that this has been supported for years. Firefox has a compile-time flag that allows it to use operating system codecs, it is just not activated in the official binaries. (I think it also uses a codec whitelist on some OSes, and you have to comment out a line.) On Windows, it used DirectShow codecs, on Linux GStreamer, and on OS X probably quicktime. It's great to be able to just point the browser to a file on the local net and be able to play everything the system can play (and even if it couldn't load the system codec, it could load a MPlayer plugin).

I used this for a while on Linux when there was a codec war between Firefox and Chrome (forgot the details), but I could play videos that normally only played in Chrome without problems.

Browser vendors cite usability problems (if one person's browser supports more codecs than the default, then it is confusing for other people with the default browser... and the person with more codecs might create websites that depend on this), and stability problems (plugins in any form have a bad reputation, but actually the default OS media player codecs are of pretty good quality as they are excercised thoroughly). But honestly, I think it is mostly politics that this is not enabled.

niftich 3 ago 3 replies      

I wonder why this took so long. The assumption that no sane site would want to stream in lossless when lossy codecs were starting to be really good (and obviously much smaller)? Lack of expertise, manpower? Priorities? [1][2] Does every FF feature has to be 'parity-chrome'?

It's even more interesting that Chrome also sat on this for ~5 years [3] and are just now about to release it also.

Like the Firefox thread insinuates, will pundits credit TIDAL for lighting the fire under browser vendors to support lossless streaming? No such link appears to exist, aside from TIDAL already streaming to Chrome using NaCl [4], but when we look back in 10 years and see both of the major browser vendors adding FLAC support now as opposed to any other time in the previous 5 years, what will people think?

[1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=514365[2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=586568[3] https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=93887[4] https://support.tidal.com/hc/en-us/articles/202654692-HiFi-O...

mdf 3 ago 3 replies      
Fifteen years after the initial release of FLAC have there been any significant developments in the lossless compression of audio since then?

I know theres FLIF[1] for lossless image compression and Zstandard[2] for general purpose lossless compression that have recently hit the Hacker News front page. Are their adopted techniques not suitable for audio?

[1] http://flif.info/

[2] https://code.facebook.com/posts/1658392934479273/smaller-and...

loeg 3 ago 2 replies      
It's a little odd to me that they're adding new codec code in C++ when they have this little memory-safe language in their back pocket waiting to be used for exactly stuff like this.
shmerl 3 ago 4 replies      
What is the point in this exactly? FLAC is useful for selling lossless audio, so you'd be able to re-encode it into any other codec when needed. But to play something on-line (which browser support implies), you can as well use lossy codec like Opus at transparent bitrate, and save the traffic in the process.

That said, it surely doesn't hurt to have that support in the browser, I just don't see it being very useful.

moogly 3 ago 1 reply      
Meanwhile, the ChromeOS release of Chromium has had support for FLAC for a long time, but it's still feature gated on mainline Chrome.

4 year old issue: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=93887

devongovett 3 ago 0 replies      
For other browsers, you can use flac.js: http://github.com/audiocogs/flac.js.
adamnemecek 3 ago 3 replies      
I never understood why flac isn't more widely supported.
VertexRed 3 ago 1 reply      
I dont't see why people would want to use FLAC. The file sizes are huge and the audio quality difference is bearly noticeable compared to an encoding like .aac

Or am I missing something?

stesch 3 ago 2 replies      
I've never encountered this format. It was never relevant for me. I know about it but that's all.

Meanwhile there are other formats that seem to be more important. What about WebP?

At work we are currently developing a kiosk system based on a big ass touch screen in UHD running in Google Chrome. I suggested switching to WebP for the pictures and it is saving a lot of bandwidth compared to JPEG.

c3833174 3 ago 0 replies      
But where is my ipv6 link local address support?
sova 3 ago 0 replies      
jacobpadilla 3 ago 0 replies      
Web browsers prove once again that they are still the new Emacs.
Sri Lanka Is Declared Malaria Free by World Health Organization wsj.com
321 points by known  1 ago   32 comments top 8
hliyan 1 ago 4 replies      
Sri Lankan here. We're not exactly celebrating because within the last 10 years, cases of dengue fever has risen from about 9000 to 32000:http://www.dengue.health.gov.lk/index.php/information-on-den...

Another interesting thing: when DDT was banned in the 1960's, Sri Lanka's malaria cases went from 17 to half a million: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/02/17/ddt3/

jfoster 1 ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what eradication techniques they used to such great effect on malaria, but allowed for an increase in dengue? I would've expected malaria and dengue to move together for any commonly used eradication technique.
j_koreth 1 ago 2 replies      
Truly a monumental moment in human history, the beginning of the elimination of malaria, one of the biggest killers of all time
WhitneyLand 1 ago 1 reply      
shanev 1 ago 0 replies      
As a person of Sri Lankan descent, this is great news. However, the elimination of malaria in Sardinia was correlated with the rapid rise of multiple sclerosis and type-1 diabetes. This is because the parasite that causes malaria is also thought to be protective against MS and diabetes [1]. I hope that was considered in this case, because if not we're just trading one problem for another.

[1]: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s1291...

AhtiK 1 ago 2 replies      
Any ideas if this means the region is now also free of dengue fever causing virus that is also spread by mosquitoes?
AnimalMuppet 1 ago 1 reply      
Declared malaria-free by who?

(Sorry, couldn't resist...)

Seriously, this is very good news. But... does anyone know how hard it is to keep someplace malaria-free? Is this once-and-for-all, or does it require continual maintenance?

Ericson2314 1 ago 1 reply      
Compensation for Venezuela...
A Design Defect Is Breaking iPhone 6 Pluses ifixit.org
324 points by sorenso  1 ago   199 comments top 25
pjc50 1 ago 6 replies      
It's (speculated to be) flexing PCBs under BGA chips again.

This is a serious problem when making devices thinner: they become more flexible, but the joints are not flexible, so after a while you get a crack all the way across a joint and it either becomes intermittent or capacitively coupled.

A decade ago I had a white plastic-bodied Macbook which developed a similar fault in the graphics. But it's not just Apple, the famous "red ring of death" was a similar problem induced by thermal cycling rather than physical bending.

EA 1 ago 2 replies      
Happened to my launch-week iPhone 6 Plus. Apple employees at the store were aware that phones had this issue but acted like it wasn't a problem they could treat. They treated it as a "bad screen" problem by replacing screens. After a couple of screen replacements the issue didn't go away.

Ultimately, I had to pay $329.00 for a refurbished phone after they swapped out a few screens which didn't make the problem go away.

There is a class action lawsuit forming: http://mccunewright.com/iphone-6-touchscreen-defect/

pawadu 1 ago 1 reply      
Remember "bendgate"? It turns out that while the bending may not be big enough to be permanent or visible it may still be enough to cause a chip to loosen from the PCB. Louis Rossmann has a great video on the subject

edit: Rossmann's video is already in the article, so enjoy this other great Rossman rant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45rRLkjdgrU

gerbilly 1 ago 5 replies      
>But the fact remainscompared to earlier iPhone models, the iPhone 6/6+ is kind of a bendy phone. Its slim form factor and larger surface area subject the logic board within the phone to mechanical flexion pressure that no other iPhone has had to deal with[...]

Thank god they are rumoured to be making phones even slimmer then, _and_ getting rid of the headphone jack as well!

Apple seems to be putting form ahead of function these days.

tyfon 1 ago 5 replies      
"but said Apple doesnt recognize it as an issue"

Oh, I am so glad we have laws in my country to prevent asshole companies from doing things like this.Goods that is "expected to last long" has a five year mandatory warranty here and mobiles are included. The rest has two years.It doesn't matter if they recognize it as an issue, the phone is broken period.

y04nn 1 ago 6 replies      
Note that in Europe, whatever Apple says, you have a 2 years warranty for this kind of problem.Also, do the chip really need a replacement, or a simple reflow would work?
grej 1 ago 2 replies      
I actually had this issue show up on an iPhone6 right after the warranty period expired. I had phone support multiple times and took it in two different Apple Stores and they acted like they'd never seen the issue before. They eventually gave up (after a myriad of other fixes they had us try that didn't work) and said we'd have to get a new phone.

Luckily, we had insurance on it, but it was still a $99 deductible. It's very frustrating to learn that this problem is quite a lot more common than they let on.

lukeholder 1 ago 6 replies      
I had this same issue with my iPhone 6 Plus screen not responding to touch as this article explains. Took it into Apple in Perth City (Western Australia) and they replaced the iPhone on the spot with a brand new refurbished. This article leads with a story about apple denying it to a customer, but I had my issue resolved within 25 minutes including running a last minute icloud backup. Apples legendary support is real.
givinguflac 1 ago 0 replies      
I agree it sucks they aren't just covering it for people. However, I have a launch 6+ that I've beat the crap out of and sat on tons of times. It has not bent even a little and I'm a big person. I've also had no touch screen issues. Obviously YMMV but I've literally stepped on the thing by accident, dropped it down a pile of rocks at the beach, and other unintended abuse with no issues at all.
Animats 1 ago 0 replies      
This is inept design. If Apple wants to make devices so thin that they flex, they have to make them more rigid where necessary and allow for more flexing. There are true flexible PCBs, ones with parts on them, not just wiring harnesses.[1]

This isn't the first product where Apple has had this problem. It's embarrassing, or ought to be.

(I don't have this problem; I own a Cat phone (yes, Caterpillar Tractor) which can be run over by a truck [2][3] and still work.)

[1] http://www.tendtronic.com/Flexible-PCB[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xaq3pduPv4[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVPku-xItv8

akerro 1 ago 1 reply      
Have there been any iPhone without "design defect"? Does any one think "design defect" is not made by accident since Apple fights everyone who tried to fix their iPhone on their own?
Joky 1 ago 1 reply      
"Over time, as the phone flexes or twists slightly during normal use"

I don't flex or twist my phone, I wonder what is "normal use"...

thespace123 1 ago 0 replies      
Wow, didn't know this was widespread! Thanks for the tip! Anyway I turn mine on and off with the left button until it goes away. Hope that little tip helps and I hope the issue doesn't get worse
SEJeff 1 ago 0 replies      
FWIW, this exact same thing happened to my wife's iPhone 6+. She took it in and told the tech the problem. He didn't even look at the phone and took her word for it. She got a new phone that day.
packetized 1 ago 1 reply      
Apple definitely recognizes this as an issue, because I've had three 6+s replaced under warranty (not AppleCare) for this issue in the past six months.
intoverflow2 1 ago 0 replies      
This really has been one of the poorest Apple designs in a long time. Can't believe it's likely to stick around for another year.
mangeletti 1 ago 0 replies      
I wonder why this is being flagged (moved like 15 positions down in 3 minutes).

@dang - is worth looking into whether there is a pattern to the flagging of this post (i.e., IP addresses from a certain company in Cupertino, pattern of other negative Apple PR being flagged by the same users, etc.)?

jokoon 1 ago 1 reply      
I recently bought a 80 euros Android, 5.5", quad core, 1gb ram, real GPS, 8gb space, 1280 horizontal resolution. I can break 5 of those and still have more money than if i bought an apple equivalent.

I'm posting this on a 60 euros android i bought 2 years ago.

pmarreck 1 ago 0 replies      
Happened to mine.

I got a free swap to a 6S+.

tempodox 1 ago 0 replies      
They will say, don't hold it that way as long as we let them. A class action suit sounds reasonable.

Apple clearly have to work on their ability to defeat the laws of Physics before their devices become fully magical.

chris_wot 1 ago 0 replies      
This is going to cost Apple a lot of money in Australia. The average length of a phone contract here is about two years, and guess what? Courts have ruled that under the Australian Consumer Competition Law that's pretty much what is considered a reasonable timeframe for a phone to last. And Apple are scare shitless of defying them lest they but hit with another record fine by the ACCC.
hourislate 1 ago 0 replies      
It seems one of the solutions to this problem is not sticking your iphone into a back pocket of your skinny jeans.

I constantly see girls sticking an iphone into the back pocket of their pants that are so tight you wonder how they even got it in there. Then they sit down with the damn phone still in there. I am surprised it doesn't snap in half.

I typically carry my phone or keep it in my front pocket removing it before I sit down in fear of bending it.

It's not a wallet, it's a delicate piece of electronics that requires care in handling.

curiousgal 1 ago 0 replies      
Apple think 5-year-old computers are for suckers so why wouldn't they systematically make their phones last shortly.
ebbv 1 ago 4 replies      
This is pretty breathless reporting for iFixit. We can all draw whatever conclusions we want based on anecdotes. For example, I know a lot of people who have iPhone 6 and 6S phones and none of them have had this problem.

But let's look at some numbers; the article mentions that all of these repairers see "several a week." Let's round up and say that's 4 a week, or 208 per year per repair shop. They only mention a few repair shops in the article, but lets say as part of the research they actually talked to 100 repair shops. That brings us to 20,800 iPhones having this problem per year. But of course, not everyone takes their phone to a repair shop when it has a problem like this. Let's be pessimistic and say that only 20% of people who have this problem get it repaired, and 80% throw it away. That's 104,000 iPhones having this problem per year.

It's unclear to me from the article if this is affecting only iPhone 6 or also 6S, I'll assume both. Apple sold over 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in its opening weekend alone. Just from opening weekend numbers 104,000 phones with this problem is less than 1%, let alone whatever the total number of units sold over the last two years has been.

I have no doubt this is an annoying and frustrating problem for the people that encounter it, but try to have some perspective.

How to get people who installed a leaked build to stop using that build? microsoft.com
349 points by runesoerensen  1 ago   142 comments top 21
yongjik 1 ago 3 replies      
Heh, sounds much better than my previous employer's way of occasionally sending company-wide emails along the line of "The employee who was responsible for the XXX leak was found and terminated. We remind you that leaks damage our culture and make it difficult to share ideas inside the company."

For some reason such emails made me feel like I was inside a tech cult. Guess my culture fit wasn't good enough...

Well, to be fair, I guess MS also utilizes these emails in addition to reverse psychology...

nchelluri 1 ago 0 replies      
Man, I hope whoever thought of that got rewarded accordingly. What a surprising fix. Nice combination of low-tech/low-effort and creative.

I guess this sort of thing wouldn't happen today with the always-connected, always-phoning-home world we live in.

ryukafalz 1 ago 5 replies      
>And there are some legal issues that are tied to the date a feature first becomes available to the public. Seeing a feature go public prematurely throws a bunch of scheduling into disarray because you now have to finish those legal documents in less time than you planned.

As someone who's never worked for a company that produces commercial software, I'm curious about what he's referring to.

douche 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm so glad that Raymond Chen is writing all of these stories down.
zoffix222 1 ago 2 replies      
The article mentions none of the evidence this strategy actually worked at all. Is it all just conjecture or are there more articles/evidence supporting this technique?
kazinator 1 ago 5 replies      
How about: have a really cheesy wallpapers in the pre-release builds which conveys the message (perhaps with explicit text right in the wallpaper image) that this is not a released build. Also, how about making not-released builds simply expire. The build should know that nobody ought to run it past a certain date. (If such operation is needed internally, it can be rigged with an extension mechanism built into the expiry.)
AdmiralAsshat 1 ago 5 replies      
Seems like you could've achieved the end-goal by just warning of the danger and coming across like their safety is your primary concern rather than finding the leaks, i.e.:

"Build 97241 contains a potentially fatal bug that could wipe your computer. If you are using Build 97241, please upgrade it to a more recent build or otherwise cease using this build immediately. We do not care how you acquired this build. We simply do not want you bricking your computer."

jedberg 1 ago 0 replies      
In this thread: A bunch of people who clearly never installed an operating system in the Time Before Automatic Internet Connections.
AstralStorm 9 ago 0 replies      
The other approach is to use time limited builds, like Google does with many alpha and beta versions in their Android toolchain. After the timeout, force the users to update or fully lock it down. With a nice message why it is happening, of course.

Crackers will bypass any kind of protection or change anyway.

aftbit 1 ago 0 replies      
The modern version of this is to add a new emoji. Apple used that to push out a major point fix in Yosemite.
yandie 16 ago 0 replies      
I work with big catalog data, and with lots of human input. We have these internal classifications but people mis-assign items all the time.

I was horrified when I learned about the state of our datasets. The only reliable features are the ones that are exposed to the customers on the website, because when they're broken people can actually see them.

voltagex_ 1 ago 1 reply      
Seems like the "real" fix was the Windows Insider program. I'm still not sure why (myself included) people do testing for Microsoft for free, though.
cmdrfred 1 ago 2 replies      
I don't understand the logic here.

1. Download a preview build because you want "the latest and greatest".

2. Build is full of horrible bugs.

3. Microsoft needs to employ psychological tricks to get you to download the next preview build, as you cling to the previous one with both hands.

shiggerino 1 ago 1 reply      
Since those things are already so riddled with DRM, why not simply make the internal builds phone home to an activation server that only allows IPs assigned to Microsoft?
B1FF_PSUVM 16 ago 0 replies      
Ah, psychology. Must be what the "OneDrive team" is using.

So you have all these people who bought Lumia phones, enjoying 30 GB of cloud storage, 15 of them acquired with the phone purchase.

Cut it down to 5 GB with an announcement in a blog post, and watch the customers leaving in droves.

Problem solved.

kelukelugames 22 ago 0 replies      
What if MS made the wallpaper of the internal builds super ugly?
dudeitssunny 1 ago 0 replies      
haha hats off to you MS.....except now I know your tricks.
failedPatch_002 1 ago 1 reply      
fit2rule 1 ago 2 replies      
This is such a Windows-person kind of solution. Come to think of it, I bet that this is why its so easy to change the wallpaper in Windows.
awqrre 1 ago 1 reply      
Microsoft forced millions to upgrade to Windows 10... it would be trivial to force an upgrade to a different build...
gwbas1c 1 ago 8 replies      
Include a remotely-activated kill switch; and kill with plenty of warning.

What do I mean? I no longer use iPhone because I installed a beta iOS. When the official build came out, I kept "checking for updates" but I never got an update. One day, Apple remotely killed my phone.

Manually updating to the production iOS would be fine; but remotely disabling my phone without warning was not acceptable. This is why I refuse to buy an iPhone.

Employee #1: Amazon themacro.com
360 points by craigcannon  1 ago   115 comments top 18
mikeleeorg 1 ago 3 replies      
Craig : How did you troubleshoot? Today I use Stack Overflow constantly. What would you do when you ran into a bug that you couldnt figure out?

Shel : Stay up late.

Hahaha. I remember building an online art gallery back in 1996. It was for an internship. I got it because I bluffed and said I knew HTML. After I was hired, I purchased a book on HTML. Turns out, the company's "CTO" did the same thing.

We both learned on the job and stayed up late trying to put that site together. It's almost hard to remember how "primitive" that was now that there's Google and SO.

0xmohit 1 ago 1 reply      
This is interesting:

 Craig: Had you and Jeff stayed close? Shel: Not really. When he replaced me in my original job and I was moved into the CTO slot, I was nominally in charge of architecture, but in fact that just meant rubber stamping projects that were 95% complete by the time I saw them. That was all after having told me that my job was mine as long as I wanted it. And I didnt have resources other than myself to work on anything I was interested in either. So I would say we were not really on particularly friendly terms at that point.

danielvf 1 ago 1 reply      
On modern technology:

"You walk down the streets, you have to weave around people standing there in random orientations in the middle of the sidewalk looking at their cellphones. Then you see people speaking robotically so that their speech recognizer can understand them. Now they are running around in mobs in parks with their phones in front of them trying to catch imaginary animals. I dont necessarily see all that as a positive development."

amzn-336495 20 ago 0 replies      
An Amazon employee less than #10 does a seminar about SDE careers at Amazon where he/she brags about how Amazon fired all their early engineers because "they weren't good enough." Yeah the people who got Amazon off the ground weren't good enough. Then he/she talks about how if you want to be promoted you better start sucking up to the people deciding your fate in "smoke filled rooms" because you're wrong if you think it has anything to do with your work. This is supposed to be a seminar on how to get promoted at Amazon. It is truly vile and goes to the core of Amazon's culture. Smart people are only there to be exploited.

So I read this article interested to see how long engineer #1 lasted: 5 years.

pault 1 ago 1 reply      
I have a friend that got an offer to be employee #15 or so, but turned it down because "nobody wants to buy books online!".
strangetimes 1 ago 3 replies      
I was hoping Shel would talk about using Lisp in the early days of Amazon.


thecus 23 ago 1 reply      
Multiple people have asked about his wealth. In the S-1 it gives you a good overview of the minimum amount of wealth generation potential he had.

His agreement stipulated that he had ISOs for 709,568 shares at a strike price of $.001471.


"This Amended and Restated Incentive Stock Option Letter Agreement (this "Agreement") amends and supersedes paragraph 2(c) of the Employment Agreement between you and the Company dated October 24, 1994, regarding the grant to you of a stock option (the "Option") for the purchase of 709,568 shares (the "Option Shares") of the Common Stock of Amazon.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the "Company") at an exercise price of $.001471 per share (reflects stock split effected on November 23, 1996)."

abc_lisper 1 ago 4 replies      
The most important question left unasked :

Did he make enough money to retire after it?

phonon 1 ago 0 replies      
His review of "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon"


"I wasn't really planning on reviewing this book, because I was mentioned in it several times and it didn't seem appropriate. But several other people who were also mentioned in the book have already posted reviews, and in fact, MacKenzie Bezos, in her well known 1-star review, suggested that other "characters" might "step out of books" and "speak for themselves".

I was at Amazon for the first 5 years of its existence, so I also have firsthand experience of those times at the company, and I have been a fairly close observer since I left. By and large I found Mr. Stone's treatment of that which I know firsthand to be accurate -- at least as accurate as it is possible to be at this great a remove, and with no contemporaneous documentation of the early chaotic days or access to certain of the principals. Relying on people's memories of nearly twenty-year-old events is of necessity somewhat perilous. Of course there are a few minor errors here and there, but I don't have firsthand knowledge of important mistakes much less anything that appears to be intentionally misleading. But there are a few minor glitches. In my case, I can testify that I did not, in fact, have a bushy beard at age 17 when I worked at the Whole Earth Truck Store & Catalog in Menlo Park. It was a publisher and seller of books and other things, not a lending library. It was in a storefront and was no longer a mobile service operating out of a truck by the time I worked there (p. 32). But I do not think this is a reason to disregard the entire book; it's just some not terribly relevant detail the author got a bit wrong in a way that doesn't change the story materially. MacKenzie listed one error, which didn't seem especially awful or material to me, and then referred only vaguely to "way too many inaccuracies". Without a more explicit list of mistakes it is hard to know what to make of that. Breaking news: a new 372 page book has some errors!

Since Mr. Stone did not have access to Jeff Bezos for this book, but had to rely on previous interviews and the accounts of others, it would be surprising if there weren't a few mistakes regarding his thought processes. As part of my agreement to be interviewed for this book, I was allowed to read a draft of the chapter which covered the time I was there, and I offered a number of corrections, some of which Mr. Stone was able to verify and incorporate. To the extent I am quoted, my quotes are, while not complete, fair and in context. I don't love or agree with everything that Mr. Stone wrote about me -- especially his broader conclusions regarding the circumstances of my departure from the company -- but I do think it was fair and reasonable. I am aware of at least one other interviewee who was also given a chance to check over the chapter in which his story was discussed. I obviously can't know this, but I suspect that if Mr. Stone had been granted access to Jeff Bezos, that he would have extended a similar courtesy. I have a pretty high degree of confidence that Mr. Stone made a significant effort, and did what was in his power, to make the book accurate.

The irony is, of course, that by reviewing the book as MacKenzie Bezos did, she has brought an immense amount more attention to it -- there are dozens of articles referring to her review via Google News this morning -- and its sales rank has shot up considerably. The book is not a fawning hagiography, but it is also hardly a completely negative account either. It describes not only Amazon's ultra-hardball business practices, but the better aspects of their services and products as well. To the extent of my knowledge it is a pretty realistic account, though necessarily incomplete. Of course Mr. Stone has his own point of view, and of course he does what nearly all biographers do, which is to impute thoughts and emotions to the people he writes about. It would be mighty dull reading without that, but I think readers are generally smart enough to understand that when they read biographies, especially unauthorized biographies, the author has to recreate some kind of persona to make the subject appear life-like. That doesn't make it fiction. This was written as a business book for a popular audience anyway, not as an academic treatise, so expecting every "Bezos thought..." to be footnoted, or couched in hypothetical language, is not realistic.

Especially in comparison to the sad collection of awful books that have been written on this subject, this one is much more detailed, more interesting, and a lot more deeply reported. Sure, there is plenty more that could be written about, and maybe someday somebody will. If and when that happens, I can only hope it is also "unauthorized" and not sanitized by a corporate PR department, and that some real investigative journalism is done, like Mr. Stone did here."

DINKDINK 1 ago 1 reply      
>We were even talking about possibly locating it in Santa Cruz. This was in spring of 94. Jeff went back home to New York and started thinking about where he wanted to locate. We were looking at office space in Santa Cruz but as he learned more about mail-order business he eventually decided it made more sense to be in a smaller population state or one that didnt charge sales tax.

How California lost out on hosting Amazon because of taxes

creeble 1 ago 0 replies      
Well, yeah. Those days were still before everything thats happened with glorifying startups. If you were going to do a startup business, there wasnt a huge expectation that it was going to be glamorous in any particular kind of way. You were going to work really hard and maybe it was going to work, though probably not.


Some might even go so far as to say:

 if (glorifying_startups > BUBBLE_MAX) { kaboom(); }
Anyway, great stories!

georgewsinger 1 ago 1 reply      
> He connected us with Jeff because he knew that Jeff was going to leave to start a web-related business that he had analyzed for this hedge fund. For whatever reason, that company didnt want to pursue it but Jeff did.

This makes it sound as if (i.e., connotes that) the idea for Amazon was DE Shaw's, not Jeff's. Is this true?? I was under the impression that Bezos personally brainstormed a bunch of ideas for businesses that he thought would be useful with the new internet -- with books being low on the list -- and then, over time as more analysis was done (by Jeff), it rose to the top. I'm sure he talked with fellow DE Shaw employees about his thought process along the way. But the idea was his.

I got this from internet folklore + reading the Jeff Bezos bio that came out a few months ago. Am I right or wrong here? I find this historical fact pretty interesting, so want to get it right :)

Twirrim 1 ago 0 replies      
> For one reason or another, sorting out architectural issues to scale more gracefully was something I could never convince Jeff to allocate resources to do. There were always too many customer-facing features that needed to be developed.

Some things never change.

Osiris30 16 ago 0 replies      
Prior discussion from the Geekwire article:


ahmetyas01 1 ago 0 replies      
I can't imagine how much he would worth now if he got any stock option like the employees of today's startups.
enahs-sf 1 ago 0 replies      
Go Banana Slugs!
linkmotif 1 ago 0 replies      
Woah that last question and answer...
Radle 1 ago 0 replies      
"Shel Kaphan was the first employee at Amazon. He is currently pursuing personal interests and still living in Seattle."

Yes bro, live the dream.

How we unnecessarily burned 20k with Facebook Ads stackfield.com
275 points by rolfos  1 ago   109 comments top 30
dangrossman 1 ago 2 replies      
> Even these users churned after a short time. Why is that? We do not really know!

You need to know this, and knowing it is as easy as asking.

I e-mail every single person that cancels their subscription, and ask why they cancelled today and what we could have done to better serve them. I don't measure the response rate, but I write every mail personally and read every response, so I can tell you it's well over 50%.

The responses to these e-mails are invaluable. They're how you learn why people signed up, what pain points they experienced using your product, what problems they have that your product didn't solve well, and what competitors they're coming from or leaving to.

If there's some glaring issue with your ad campaign ("I thought I was signing up for a free antivirus program because your ad said it made my files secure" or "No hablo ingles") you'd probably have learned it well before spending 20K through those exit emails.

jasode 1 ago 4 replies      
>, Facebook may just be the wrong audience for a B2B tool.

Well, at least you can say that the 20k was spent to learn that signups from Facebook have a near-zero retention rate. (That's not meant to be a flippant comment.)

A lot of successful websites seem to know (or learned) which market channels bring in the right customers.

For Stackoverflow.com: most traffic comes via referrals from google.com searches -- but not facebook

For Craftsy.com: it's referrals from Facebook -- but not google search queries

For a project management tool like yours, neither Google Adwords(1) nor Facebook newsfeed ads will work. Maybe a strategy such as hosting for free a high-profile open-source project so your brand gains mindshare. Then it may attract non-open-source paying customers.

That subsidy strategy for non-profit customers is not foolproof (as it didn't seem to help BitKeeper) but it did seem to work for Github.

(1) I suppose you could try running an AdWords campaign on keywords such "project management" and related competitor keywords such as "Jira" and "Microsoft Project" -- but I doubt you'd get quality clicks from it

downandout 1 ago 3 replies      
There is an enormous difference between a user that is searching for keywords related to your product, and potential customers that probably aren't looking for your product that you have identified through Facebook targeting criteria. The Google user has a problem and is actively seeking a solution; the Facebook user fits what you believe is the demographic profile of someone that might be interested in your product.

Traffic from Facebook ads is notoriously difficult to turn into cash precisely because of this. Most of their advertisers measure ROI in terms of shares and likes, not new users or product sales. Because Facebook has you bidding against such people for traffic, you will never be able to make the numbers back out because your competitors aren't measuring dollars or new users like you are. Advertising products/services on Facebook is a fool's errand for almost everyone, except for those with an extremely broad target audience.

ssharp 1 ago 7 replies      
I wanted to call this out:

We solved the first problem through a separate tool, which labels the user with the originating source when registering.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. If you're spending any significant amount of money on advertising, you need to be doing this. Don't rely solely on third-party cookies and session unification attempts. If you have a USER table in your database/crm, add the five UTM fields to it! Conversions for most businesses are a multi-day and, often times, multi-device process.

Xyik 1 ago 0 replies      
This is basic advertising. Google search ads and referral will bring in higher quality users because search is trigger/intent-based and referrals come from a more trustworthy source (usually), vs. FB ads that basically blast everyone. Even if you narrow down your audience on FB with interest targeting and proper demographic targeting, it may not help since many users just 'like' everything. Consider the supply and demand as well, the less competition on FB the cheaper your advertising is. Perhaps competitor also realized FB was the wrong way to go and stopped advertising on FB, that means more auctions for you to win and cheaper users. Of course, that doesn't mean higher quality users.
NicoJuicy 1 ago 2 replies      
In my experience, facebook is for marketing ( getting your name out).

Google is for results

( We had a facebook page with Pokmon Go, where we had 6 events in theme parks. We did it all with facebook and a website... None the less, i seriously changed my opinion about Facebook considering ads. It's not worth it )

We had a reach of 320.000 people with only 100$ spend on ads ( because of the hype it was really cheap and a lot of people shared everything).

We could only convert something like 300 people per event.. Which is 0,00009% conversion rate, where they pay lower entrance fees then normal for a theme park, in the midst of a hype.

Remind you, the first event was in the first week after the release of Pokmon Go.. So we really jumped on it :)

PS. We spent more on ads for

- like our page

- better position of our likes

- ...

It's just not worth it

andreygrehov 1 ago 0 replies      
I had a bad experience with Facebook Ads. There were a lot of people that were liking the advertised page, but at the end of a day, all of these people' accounts were inactive. They never actually liked or shared anything published on FB page they liked before via Ads. I have a feeling that Facebook is generating fake likes, trying to make an illusion that the campaign goes well, i.e. pushes people to spend more.
pjc50 1 ago 1 reply      
"Facebook might be the wrong audience for a B2B tool" sounds most likely.
vassilyk 1 ago 0 replies      
So many people using online advertising tools face similar issues. As many said here, setting the right success metrics + using the right tools to measure them is key for a Facebook Ads campaign to work well.

The first thing to understand is how different Facebook metrics are from your metrics.

Clicks on Facebook Ads are not visits, for instance, and the drop-off you're seeing is just normal.

Then, Facebook allows to track many events that can help you acquire the right people, including the one who stick, whether your product is B2B or C. There are 1.7bn people on Facebook, meaning getting the right ones is more than possible.

Experience is key, I work in the field and I can already tell you that your ad and bidding options were probably not good enough to get the right users. You basically asked Facebook to drive traffic to your website, never to generate long lasting customers... so to me, Facebook did what you asked for.

If you want to be successful on Facebook, you must use their Pixel, and optimize towards events that define success for you.

Place the Pixel on your site now, even if you don't plan to buy ads on Facebook right away. Set some standard events on key pages (e.g. purchasing a subscription or similar). This will help you for the next time, as you will be able to create lookalike audiences based on your best users. This audience, ANDed with some interests will allow you to target your ads to the right people. Combining this with a good ad, and a good bidding option (e.g. oCPM optimized towards subscriptions) will probably lead you to posting much better results on your blog next time.

Lookalike Audiences: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531


ThomPete 1 ago 1 reply      
Facebook ads are primarily great for three things; selling games, physical consumer products and local services

So if you are selling mobile games, t-shirts or offering plumber services or are a dentist it's great. For most other things it's not really useful.

pbhjpbhj 1 ago 3 replies      
>Surprisingly, Google Analytics reported only 28.818 visits by users who were redirected from Facebook during this timeframe i.e. 8,81 percent less. From these users, 3.786 registered on Stackfield. //

Hypothesis: Could that be pre-emptive caching - some browsers IIRC will fetch a page ready for display. GA could be showing displayed pages whilst FB are showing followed links?

On the general situation, what's the rate of false clicks on Facebook - like how many people accidentally click an ad?

mikey_p 1 ago 1 reply      
I think one of the main things people forget in B2B stuff is that impulse purchases are less of a thing and people want to spend more time evaluating value/spending. This is why many a lot of B2B folks setup nurturing campaigns.

This is where Facebook can really shine - what if instead of pushing a hard sell when someone is in the middle of reading their friends updates, you promote a white paper to folks that are already in your campaign? Or give them something else of value, but make it about them, not you, and not about hard sales that comes at the end of your nurturing campaign, which should not be on Facebook.

gk1 1 ago 0 replies      
This is a valuable lesson in tracking marketing results.

Decide on what would make a campaign successful, and then make sure you can track it.

Don't trust the ad platform's metrics. Not only are they inaccurate, they're usually vanity metrics that don't matter at all.

Tracking outcomes can be as simple as including UTM tags in your ad links (eg, ?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=fall2016), tracking signups/activations/upgrades in Mixpanel (or Heap), then viewing a report of signups/activations/upgraes grouped by the UTM values.

99throwme 3 ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing, informative article.
hownottowrite 1 ago 0 replies      
>> Why is that? We do not really know!

So ask... You have a few thousand users who bailed. Drop a survey on a reasonable-sized random segment and find out why they left

gingerlime 1 ago 2 replies      
My biggest problem with FB advertising is that it is virtually a casino. We do everything right (I think). A/B test, segment, measure, measure, measure. But somehow it's never reproducible. A great organic post can flop completely when advertising to the very same target audience.

We're B2C selling a targetted learning subscription to students in the medical field early in their learning path. We don't have fierce competition at all. Facebook should be the right tool for us. Facebook did work great for a while, but suddenly doesn't. Or maybe it would tomorrow. Who knows.

We're still spending money and trying to optimize, but somehow it always feels like we're basically gambling the money away. We some times get lucky, some times not. The house always wins.

jonaldomo 1 ago 1 reply      
So your churn of users acquired through Facebook ads was almost 100%? To confirm my understanding, thats why it was wasted? Why do you think they almost all left? I don't see a free pricing tier on your website now. Do you think the free pricing contributed heavily to your churn?
joannabugreplay 1 ago 1 reply      
I'm just about to start my first round of facebook ads for my b2b startup. I was wondering what worked best for you? I read your post and you mentioned users from sources such as Google... what else worked for you?
0898 1 ago 1 reply      
If the poster is here, may I ask who does your illustrations?
calsy 1 ago 1 reply      
Missing one of the most useful metrics and that is CTR.

Take the startup campaign, 5880 Clicks / 716007 Impressions = 0.82% CTR.

That is a pretty poor CTR and explains the high cost of website clicks. If the CTR was up around 2% the cost of website clicks would be halved. Would probably look at changing the ad content if CTR was this low.

Macsenour 1 ago 3 replies      
Pardon me if this is off topic, I'm sure someone will let me know. I run an ad on Facebook for $25 for the weekend. We get somewhere between 2000-6000 "reaches". We get a fair share that like the post, I "invite" them to like the page, hardly any do... Is this normal?
wehadfun 1 ago 0 replies      
I think facebook works for people that sell products that are revelant to a person's friends. Even if you need a tool to store local files encrypted do you college, or high school friends need this? If not you probably wont share it and the viral effect will not happen.
BinaryIdiot 1 ago 0 replies      
I wonder if you would have done better using native advertising through key people in your industry who are followed by possibly customers.
cookiecaper 1 ago 1 reply      
I put a lot of money into advertising through the "proper channels" for my business, including Facebook Ads. We were crushed by a competitor who activated a few links within his PBN and spent some serious time astroturfing, both tactics that I had refused to engage in.

The sad reality of online marketing is that people who are buying ads are suckers. The only way to be competitive online is to actively game the mechanisms that the few big traffic brokers use to determine rank.

dmoy 1 ago 1 reply      
I've been out of the loop on Facebook ads for 5 years now. Is there a good conversion tracking story now, or no?
maneesh 1 ago 1 reply      
Perhaps they could improve their offer, ads, funnel, landing page, image, or a variety of other things..
ramblenode 1 ago 1 reply      
This is a superficial complaint, but please fix the misuse of decimal points and commas. They are distracting from what is an otherwise interesting read.
Animats 1 ago 0 replies      
"Facebook may just be the wrong audience for a B2B tool."


vacri 1 ago 0 replies      
Derek Muller burned money on Facebook ads, and did an analysis showing that their metrics are flat-out horseshit. Definitely have a watch if you're considering spending on Facebook.


ikeboy 1 ago 1 reply      
How do you spend 20k on marketing without testing conversions with a smaller budget first? They could have spent 300, noticed it didn't bring in anywhere close to 300 in sales, and aborted.

How I picked 300:

They're charging 20-80/mo for the product. Assuming they're willing to pay 100 to acquire a user that hangs around for a while, by the time they spent 300 they'd know if they picked up at least 3 users or so. Less than 300 isn't enough to be significant, more than that is wasteful.

I am a fast webpage varvy.com
277 points by capocannoniere  4 ago   170 comments top 49
jlmorton 3 ago 4 replies      
I hate to be negative, but what really is the point of this? That a simple webpage without any content can be fast? Of course it can.

Is it desirable to inline your CSS, "like a boss?" Maybe if you have one single web page. What if you have dynamic content and your users intend to browse more than one page? With externalized CSS, that is all cached.

Same with images. If I'm building a web application, I certainly do not want inlined images. I want those on a CDN, cached, and I want the page to load before the images.

Not only is this not particularly useful advice, it's bad advice.

zackbloom 3 ago 5 replies      
Just to point out, there's no particular reason to host a page like this on a VPS at all. You could just throw it on S3. Even better, you could put it behind a CDN like Cloudfront and the total cost would be a dollar or two a month, not $25+ and it would be significantly faster.
neoCrimeLabs 3 ago 4 replies      
> "I am not on a shared host, I am hosted on a VPS"

Hate to break it to you, but your virtual private server (VPS) is likely sharing a bare-metal server with other VPS. ;-)

Also, you can look into content delivery networks (aka CDN), which will most likely deliver this page faster to clients than your VPS especially when you consider your VPS is in Dallas and CDN's have nodes located around the world.

bobfunk 3 ago 4 replies      
Not that wickedly fast unless you're really near Dallas where the server is:


Hosting on a single VPS is never gonna be very fast globally no matter what you pay your hosting. In fact our free plan on netlify would make this a whole lot faster...

heavymark 10 ago 0 replies      
This is odd. Clearly anyone can make a lighting fast page by making a single page since then you can have css inlined versus needing to link to css style sheets with multiple pages, and of course not having javascript would make it faster, but thats a requirement for most all typical sites these days, and loading images that way is nice for hackers but not for real people using cms's by common people and clients. Also paying $25-35 for hosting is not very bright since you can get a $5 digital ocean server ssd, not shared, that would load this particular page just as fast if not faster.
begriffs 53 ago 0 replies      
OP has certainly nailed Hacker News psychology. My old coworker called the technique "inferiority porn." Titles like "the secretly terrible developer" or the closing statement of this particular article: "Go away from me, I am too far beyond your ability to comprehend."

As many people have pointed out there are faster methods of static hosting through a CDN, and many of the techniques of this site are inapplicable for larger sites. But A+ on the marketing.

userbinator 1 ago 2 replies      
A good sequel to http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/ , which is probably too understyled for most people.
ksubedi 3 ago 4 replies      
Took me almost 30 seconds to load, maybe because the server is being hammered by HN traffic right now? Also like others here were saying, using a CDN would definitely help with the initial latency.
paulpauper 3 ago 1 reply      
looks like this whole thing is a scheme to promote his webhsting affiliate link: http://www.knownhost.com/affiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=1136...

The fastest and most reliable hosting is, by far, based on my own experience is amazon's e2 cloud and S3 bucket services.

usaphp 2 ago 3 replies      
> "My images are inlined into the HTML using the base64 image tool, so there is no need for the browser to go looking for some image linked to as an external file."

This does not work in most cases when you use big images.From StackOverflow answer [1]: "It's only useful for very tiny images. Base64 encoded files are larger than the original. The advantage lies in not having to open another connection and make a HTTP request to the server for the image. This benefit is lost very quickly so there's only an advantage for large numbers of very tiny individual images. "

[1] - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11736159/advantages-and-d...

quinndupont 3 ago 12 replies      
Is this image inlining thing something new? Am I reading it correctly that the images are encoded in base64 and delivered as html? Surely this is a bad idea... no?
leesalminen 3 ago 4 replies      
Ehh, I just got 10.91s load time in Chrome 53 from Colorado, USA.

Image of Chrome Dev Tools: https://reportcards.scdn3.secure.raxcdn.com/assets/uploads/f...

As an aside, does HTTP/2 provide any benefit for a single HTML file with no external assets?

cyberferret 3 ago 0 replies      
Interesting exercise, in an age where web pages are now bigger than most business applications I used to use in the early days of DOS/Windows.

Note: Just checked, and even a simple Medium blog post page won't fit on one those old 3.5" floppy disks..

EDIT: To stay on topic - the OP's page loaded instantly for me here in outback Australia...

josephjrobison 3 ago 1 reply      
Pretty good at 97/100 on Google's PageSpeed Insights - https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=...
vonseel 3 ago 0 replies      
Cool... Unfortunately in practice it's easy to find a list of best practices, much harder to implement in a scalable and durable manner on any project of sufficient size, especially if working with a legacy codebase.
ivanhoe 3 ago 0 replies      
For speed optimization it's really important to always fine-tune for you particular use case and apply some common sense. For instance, inlining everything as suggested here is faster only if you expect visitors to open just that one page and bounce away, so browser caching is not helpful. Consequently, it's a very good tip for e.g. landing pages, but it makes no sense at all to serve pages that way to your logged-in users.
smoyer 3 ago 1 reply      
"Look amazing on any device" ... The right edge of your text is coiled on my phone (not so amazing).
matt_wulfeck 2 ago 1 reply      
I think it feels fast because it loads at once, but I'm actually not getting very impressive results programmatically if you measure how long the entire TCP transaction takes (which is what I consider page loading):

 # Both DNS records are cached before request >>> print requests.get('https://varvy.com/pagespeed/wicked-fast.html').elapsed.microseconds 226515 >>> print requests.get('http://www.google.com').elapsed.microseconds 92027
Even google.com (92 ms) is about 250% faster than OP (226 ms) to establish connection, read all of the data, and close.

silverwind 3 ago 1 reply      
Few more possible optimizations:

- Brotli instead of Gzip. Likely saves around 10% size.

- Minify everything, including HTML. Could save around 3% size on that page.

clessg 3 ago 1 reply      
How much does HTTP/2 mitigate the need for such techniques, if at all?
halayli 3 ago 0 replies      
Your page can be very fast and uses minimal resources and is hosted in a good place. But you always gotta watch out for proximity to user, time to first byte and dns resolution time. Perceived speed is highly affected by those.

It took 2 seconds to load the page on a fresh ec2 box:

 time_namelookup: 0.061 time_connect: 0.100 time_appconnect: 0.223 time_pretransfer: 0.223 time_redirect: 0.000 time_starttransfer: 1.935 ---------- time_total: 2.066

nathancahill 3 ago 0 replies      
Submit to 10k Apart: https://a-k-apart.com/
bennettfeely 3 ago 0 replies      
Probably wouldn't make much of a difference, but there is still room for performance improvement by minifying the HTML page.
jschwartzi 3 ago 0 replies      
Yes you are. You're so fast I don't even see you refresh.
exabrial 3 ago 1 reply      
"No Javascript"


jayess 3 ago 1 reply      
His affiliate link for VPS service has its cheapest option priced at $25 a month. You can get a nice little VPS for static hosting on SSD from digital ocean for $5 a month. $6 a month with backup.
baristaGeek 3 ago 1 reply      
I can see in the source code that you're expressing all dimensions in terms of ems and %s. A technology such as Bootstrap will always be the way to go; however, could you tell us a little bit more about how you did this? How did you ensure that it looks good not only on your screen but on any screen?

I know people are saying it has some errors on certain mobile devices, but that's still some pretty good job manipulating CSS properties.

calebgilbert 3 ago 0 replies      
The whole hosting issue seems to open a can of worm, at least if this comment stream is any indication. I think it probably would have been better if they stated something more along the lines of, 'Choose (and likely expect to pay) for some sort of superior hosting solution which will prioritize allocating resources to your site(s)'.

The general point could be made without leaving so much room for everyone to argue over specifics.

traviswingo 3 ago 1 reply      
This took almost 10 seconds to load for me...
gravypod 2 ago 2 replies      
I've always wanted to play with putting /var/www into a ramdisk for PHP/html stuff. Would be much faster loading since it's all just text in the end of the day. Completely cut out the bottleneck of SSd/HDD
cm3 2 ago 0 replies      
If it's really all static, you can bundle it into a static Mirage unikernel image with https://github.com/mirage/mirage-seal
kazinator 3 ago 0 replies      
The best "Shift+Reload" refresh I've managed to get out of this page from where I'm sitting, in Firefox 48.0.x, according to its Network Console, is around 360 ms. It doesn't beat this HN discussion page by a whole lot, and this has actual content, which is dynamic.
disruptalot 3 ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, Google has been going after this with AMP (accelerated mobile pages):https://www.ampproject.org/

It enforces a set of rules to accelerate web pages. These rules can be used to validate your pages.

outworlder 3 ago 0 replies      
Well, many of these points make sense.

If I'm doing a single page application, surely I'll have infrastructure in place already to compile, minify and do whatever I need to. So I could just serve the monolithic page and be done with it. Much like desktop applications used to do.

codygman 3 ago 0 replies      
Maybe a lot of people are hitting it, but this webpage loaded slowly for me.
adrianpike 3 ago 0 replies      
2.43s TTFB for me - nice and fast once that happened, but that TTFB is a killer.
idlewords 3 ago 0 replies      
I was a fast webpage.
debacle 1 ago 0 replies      
In an ad-free Internet, many more pages would be this fast.


jordache 2 ago 0 replies      
This simple webpage was barely faster than hacker news' list view...
natmaster 36 ago 0 replies      
A lot of this stuff is outdated now: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12448539

For instance, delivery one giant JS/CSS file is now bad because it is harder to cache, since HTTP/2 removes the overhead of multiple requests there is no downside for many files.

bobabobabob 3 ago 0 replies      
A couple of problems rendering on iPhone 6s



edpichler 3 ago 0 replies      
All being on the html, and doing less external css improve speed? How much? Is it worthwhile?
honkhonkpants 3 ago 2 replies      
The bit about being hosted on SSDs is silly. I could host that site in unused registers of my CPU.
patmcguire 3 ago 0 replies      
Took about 15 seconds to load for me...
kovrik 3 ago 0 replies      
Really cool!

Almost instant even here in New Zealand!

smegel 3 ago 0 replies      
> I make no external calls, everything needed to load this page is contained in the HTML.

Wont that make your webpage load slower?

fsiefken 3 ago 0 replies      
What an arrogance, the page is done with me? I done with the page yet. I can get the same page much faster by putting the png in an inline svg, strip the source of unnecessary whitespace and returns, serve brotli (or sdhc compressed pages) with firefox, chrome and opera dynamically... or even just do the decompression inline with javascript. Might save another 20% https://github.com/cscott/compressjs
Superbug scourge spreads as U.S. fails to track rising human toll reuters.com
251 points by danso  11 ago   108 comments top 18
daveloyall 8 ago 5 replies      
Hello. I work for public health. My job is to support the computer systems that allow epidemiologists to track 'superbugs' (and regular ones).

Deathcerts is an interesting dataset. It's not the only one.

Even if death-by-MSRA isn't tracked, I assure you that MSRA itself is tracked.

There's a specific class of lab test called "antibiotic susceptibilities". The results report includes a bunch of numbers that represent just HOW resistant a particular bug is to a standard battery of antibiotics, broken down per antibiotic.

That data is transmitted from the labs that performed the test to the state health department where it is analyzed.

Fascinating article, but there's NO WAY that Reuters had that much contact with state public health folks without being aware that they track lab results. Misleading!

Edit: elaborated about the susceptibilities results.

danso 10 ago 1 reply      
Really fascinating to me how some of the problem originates from the lack of proper coding standards:

> As examples in this article show, superbug infections are often omitted from death certificates. But even when they are recorded, NCHS cant feed that information into vital statistics: The World Health Organization (WHO) classification system the agency uses lacks mortality codes for most drug-resistant infections, though it has codes for more than 8,000 other possible causes of death.

> The CDC added codes for use in the United States for terrorism-related deaths a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It could do the same for deaths from drug-resistant infections. Officials told Reuters the CDC is instead working to incorporate the codes into the WHOs next revision of the international classification system. The revised system is expected to be completed in 2018 but not fully in use until the 2020s.

The problem of inconsistencies in death certificates have been around since, well, the history of death certificates: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/07/final-forms

alkonaut 9 ago 1 reply      
This is why antibiotics use in livestock should be a top question in international trade. Not only should every country stop using antibiotics in healthy livestock, all imports of meat and animals from such countries should be banned, and to take it one step further - stop importing umbrellas and calculators from those countries too, in order to apply economic pressure.
codezero 10 ago 3 replies      
My mother in law, a healthy 50 year old, recently died of an unspecified infection. They still don't know what it was or why antibiotics weren't helping. Ultimately, her lungs gave out after more than a week on life support.

Was it a superbug? Dunno, and nothing in her medical record leaves any indication that it might have been, the world just moved on.

ocschwar 9 ago 6 replies      
Bear in mind that in the US, our lovely republican party literally made it illegal to research where the superbugs are being bred.

In the US, the problem is mostly pig and cattle feedlots that rely on antibiotics to keep the animals from being sickened but he crowding. Naturally, there is no proof that superbugs are coming out of the feedlots, because the feedlot owners do not allow any sort of sample collection by scientists.

Now comes the GOP with the "ag-gag" laws, which don't just ban sneaking into these feedlots with cameras. They also ban the smuggling of manure samples from the feedlots.

This is the GOP's war on science: they literally criminalize it.

webXL 8 ago 0 replies      
This is terrifying. Perhaps we should be devoting more resources to fighting this than ISIS since it's literally in our back yard.

It seems like this is a problem nanotech could possibly solve. Microbes won't have much time to build up resistance if we can go after them directly.


alexmingoia 3 ago 1 reply      
I don't know why I even read news anymore. It makes me feel hopeless when every news story leaves me without actions I can take to change anything.
thomyorkie 1 ago 0 replies      
Thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon potion kills MRSA superbug:http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/health/anglo-saxon-potion-mrsa...
lgleason 8 ago 1 reply      
My mother died from a MRSA infection after getting back surgery. It's really nasty stuff and a very painful way for someone to die.
fernly 10 ago 3 replies      
The question that comes to my mind is, are the European countries doing any better in tracking MRSA, etc. infections? They certainly exist. One might hope a more centralized health-care system, not balkanized like the USA one[1], would keep better records. Do they?
clumsysmurf 4 ago 0 replies      
Its our pets too ...

My dog was recently diagnosed with MRSP (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) urinary track infection.

Having mostly avoided the vet for the duration of his life (being that he was healthy) I have no idea how this happened.

wehadfun 7 ago 0 replies      
I would vote for a politician that talked about this issue.
andrewclunn 9 ago 1 reply      
So avoid hospitals unless absolutely needed. Gotcha.
EGreg 9 ago 0 replies      
This is exactly why we need open source drugs. I have written about this extensively.


It's the flipside of the factory farm and overprescriptio fiascos. Yes, those are bad, but we haven't discovered new types of antibiotics for decades... and many diseases get far less attention, because of patents and silos. Even researchers working as a result of public funding are snapped up by big pharma once they make a discovery which then acts as a parasite on the public money.

Science progresses when anyone, anywhere, can contribute. Same with open source. It is the reason Wikipedia is larger than and just as accurate as Brittanica or any other encyclopedia. It is the reason Android runs on so many phones, and Linux runs on toasters. It has given us everything from WebKit to Wordpress and created a massive amount of solutions for the LONG TAIL instead of just boutique drugs.

It took 30 years to discover a new antbiotic type:


More people studying eg human bacteria in the nose will find cures if they are unencumbered:


We need patentleft! All that phage therapy etc. shouldn't be controlled the way monsanto controls agriculture now.

partycoder 10 ago 0 replies      
Can MRSA be treated with teixobactin?

Now, E.Coli with MCR-1 is also spreading, isn't it?

jcromartie 10 ago 0 replies      
But our gov't is right on top of banning even more harmless plants... (Kratom this time).
chmaynard 10 ago 2 replies      
esaym 9 ago 3 replies      
I skimmed the article, I only saw mention of MRSA. Is that the "super bug" they talk about? This is for the most part why I won't step foot in a hospital unless I am literally on my death bed. The last research I read about MRSA (years ago) was it was hard to study because lab rats could not be easily infected with it unless it was directly injected into their blood stream. This shows just how nasty hospitals are. Nobody gets MRSA unless they are in the hospital.
German Federal Intelligence Service BND Violates Laws And Constitution netzpolitik.org
248 points by brakmic  2 ago   64 comments top 13
germanier 2 ago 1 reply      
One of the more "fun" things they use to justify what they do internally: the outer space theory. You have to know that the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is (simplified) only allowed to operate outside Germany. Now they have antennas in Germany to monitor communication passively relayed on a satellite. As we all know, the satellite is located outside Germany, so they pretend this is legal.

In a similiar argument, internet exchange points in Frankfurt are declared "effectively outside Germany" and therefore fair game.

If you find that interesting, at last year's 32C3 they had a fun renenactment of some abstruse scenes full of such things[0] from the parliamentary investigation committee on the NSA and its cooperation with the BND (which itself is not filmed publicly). English interpretation is available. https://media.ccc.de/v/32c3-7225-grundrechte_gelten_nicht_im...

To anyone German-speaking[1] in Berlin I can recommend visiting a session of the committee. It's really illuminating to see those intelligence agents trying to save their face firsthand. https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/ausschuesse18/ua/1untersu...

[0]: Did you know that US intelligence interrogated refugees in Germany on "the bread supply situation" in their home countries and used Google Maps for that?

[1]: Sometimes they have English-speaking witnesses. This week it's people from the ACLU but they also had an US drone pilot and a Verizon executive in the past.

solatic 2 ago 1 reply      
You all need to understand... in the age of the Internet, every governmental body which deals with computers under any veil of secrecy/classification inevitably uses that veil of secrecy or classification to break the law.

Every. Single. One.

It's just too easy for them not to. The incentives are stacked against them to keep the law. There are too many internal controls that are necessary to pass in order to obey the law, so just like in any other human endeavor, management will follow the path of least resistance. They are protected by national security / classification law from anybody finding out. If it leaks anyway that they broke the law? Nobody will be fired or sent to jail, and the whistle-blower will be tried for treason for leaking classified information.

If we, as citizens, abhor this behavior - we must fix the incentives. There is no other way.

cm3 2 ago 1 reply      
I've lost general respect for German intelligence and policing apparati after Thuringen willfully destroyed evidence regarding right-wing-terrorists to cover their misdeeds. Happened again later in a murder case in Kassel in the same investigation. It may be isolated incidents, but that this is possible and the fact that there have been no visible consequences to make up for it is telling.

If there are long-term interests/plans and these are games like those played by the CIA, then at least let the public know about this little detail and argue for keeping it confidential and excuse collateral damage. I won't condone it, but it would be an explanation, if it's not brought forward on every 2nd incident.

That said, I do have respect for the foot soldiers in the force, just as I do for hospital staff.

schlowmo 2 ago 1 reply      
If you look at the media coverage of this topic in Germany so far one could come to the conclusion that those mass-surveillance operations which reach the public are considered more harmful when they are carried out by foreign agencies (Surprise!...I know). This report hit the major news front pages for only one day - my guess is that it has been longer if it was the NSA (or at least the GCHQ) instead of the BND.
themartorana 2 ago 2 replies      
It surprises me just how quickly the major world governments all started violating sovereign laws and spying on/surveilling their own citizens. Effectively, everyone is now monitored all the time by their own governments bereft of suspicion of having committed a crime - or under the blanket suspicion of everyone being capable of committing a crime (AKA "act of terrorism").

Conspiracy theorists might see the War on Terrorism as a premeditated concoction to justify massive state surveillance, since it's about everyone's justification. That's silly though. We all know they just took advantage of an existing situation, right?

Sylos 2 ago 1 reply      
I would have hoped that we would last longer, given how many people here (including Angela Merkel) had suffered from the Stasi, but I guess not.
krylon 2 ago 2 replies      
> The BNDs claim that this information is essential, cannot substitute a missing legal basis

Let this roll around on your tongue for a moment. This is kind of like robbing a bank and then saying you really needed the money.

plandis 2 ago 0 replies      
What country doesn't spy and try to delicately skate around the law?

Everyone was surprised with US spying but honestly, why isn't every country trying to or actively doing that too?

giardini 2 ago 0 replies      
So will this force any change in the behavior of the BND?
pjmlp 2 ago 4 replies      
So what else is new?

This is how secret services always worked since they exist, yes even in democratic countries.

fiatjaf 2 ago 1 reply      
So who was expecting that the State would be honest?
mpweiher 2 ago 0 replies      
In other breaking news: water wet.
jdimov10 2 ago 3 replies      
Oh, and other countries' intelligence services would never think of violating any laws, heaven forbid...

You know how your government keeps convincing you of the supremacy of the "rule of law" and how "nobody is above the law", etc., etc... I think it's beyond obvious to anyone with half a brain that these are boogie-monster fairy tales.

When most people speak of law, what they mean is "rules that everyone must follow". When the lawmakers speak of law, they mean "rules we've been told to make everyone follow". Of course, the people and entities that these laws come from are above the law almost by definition. The amount of hypocrisy surrounding "justice" systems around the world is tremendous - it has always been. But people mostly like it this way - it's worked for a few thousands of years and is likely to work for a few thousand more.

Dell Closes $60B Merger with EMC wsj.com
208 points by jonbaer  8 ago   91 comments top 13
chollida1 8 ago 5 replies      
The new company services 98% of all fortune 500 companies. That's a pretty incredible reach. And 140,000 employee's. If I were a betting main, I'd expect that number to drop in the very near term.

Selfishly I'm very interested in following a private Dell,as tech tends to lead to huge companies in monopoly/winner take all verticals. Dell being private is a decent case study to see how well a private company does against its public counterparts, specifically wrt short vs long term investment.

If you were wondering how the new company is doing post merger...

Moody's just upgraded Dell's credit rating from Ba2 to Ba1 following the merger. They claim that even though the new entity has significant amounts of debt and leverage, its overall credit profile has been upgraded.

The tracking stock, DVMT, that EMC owners were given has traded pretty well since it was released, it's slightly up, so atleast people who want out of the new entity have an easy avenue.

internal_tools 4 ago 0 replies      
The Dell-EMC merger itself is fascinating, but really stands above it is all the other company's that EMC owns: VMWare, Spring, Pivotal, RSA Security, and a whole stable of backup/recovery companies.

All of these have deep inroads in the enterprise and really makes working on Dell-owned products opaque to the user. It's like Dell has become, or will soon become, the Koch Industries of the computing world.

2trill2spill 4 ago 1 reply      
I hope Dell does not screw up EMC Isilon, because Isilon is a big contributor to the FreeBSD project and it would suck to lose their contributions. The link below shows the over 3,000 commits they have made to the FreeBSD project over the years.


jasonjei 8 ago 2 replies      
Dell tried to get into the cloud services market a long time ago, and didn't succeed. VMware is a weird case too, especially with containerization and cloud service vendors being cheaper to use than building your own cloud. If Dell is trying to make their own cloud, I wonder if they'll succeed this time. Some people have said that ship has sailed for them. Then again, a company like Google has made a compelling competitor to AWS.
89vision 7 ago 4 replies      
Funny, I just got back from an interview with EMC. Would now be a good time to take a position?
matthewhall 1 ago 1 reply      
This took so long... they announced this in like 2013
rosstex 4 ago 0 replies      
This good be a great break for competitors like Pure Storage, Nimble, etc.
biztos 7 ago 1 reply      
I know some really smart and very ambitious people who went to work for EMC over the last few years. Just as a wild guess, I bet there's huge money being made there and very fat bonuses to the people who are seen as delivering it.

Hope the Delliverse works out for them.

ArkyBeagle 4 ago 0 replies      
While I agree with the DOJ decision on the Halliburton-Baker Hughes acq. ( even though it may have cost me a job ( but probably not - they were headed full-on Luddite well before ) ) it's really interesting that the same logic does not apply when it's explicitly technology.

I wouldn't wish Dell on anyone - although they've done what's necessary to be the leader.

oDot 5 ago 0 replies      
Now that this is done they go on and make a ~1.3-1.5kg XPS 15 with a 4K screen that lasts > 9 hours.


shmerl 6 ago 1 reply      
So Dell owns VMware now?
unixhero 3 ago 0 replies      
throwthisaway00 7 ago 1 reply      
Dell will fail because of a systemic problem of hiring poorly skilled and educated engineers. An analogy to cancerous cells in the body multiplying and spreading is not such a stretch. Dell needs a very invasive treatment to eradicate gobs and gobs of worthless engineers and do-nothing mid-level management.
The ESP32 has been released hackaday.com
266 points by cyptus  1 ago   140 comments top 21
dan1234 1 ago 4 replies      
Theres a Technical Reference Manual[0], and a pinout[1] which show some of the features (multiple analogue inputs, huzzah!)



teraflop 1 ago 0 replies      
TIL that Espressif (the manufacturer of the ESP8266 and ESP32) hired the guy behind http://spritesmods.com/. That's a very promising sign that they plan to keep their hobbyist/hacker user base in mind.
MrBuddyCasino 1 ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see LLVM support for this so I can run Rust on it, someone wrote that "it's about a month of a part-time work for a single developer" (see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10994577).

Is this realistic? A Kickstarter project might be a way to do this...

Update: also see http://hackaday.com/2016/09/05/new-part-day-the-esp32-has-be...

tostitos1979 1 ago 4 replies      
I spent 30 mins reading about this chip and I still don't get it. I get why the ESP8266 was awesome ... MCU + wifi for super cheap. Why is this chip so exciting? Is it because it is supposed to be wifi+ARM (an ARM good enough to emulate a sega mastersystem game as per a youtube video)+other goodies? I saw rumors of other goodies being BLE. Is that confirmed or was that hot air :)
Quequau 1 ago 1 reply      
I know that MicroPython was ported to the ESP8266, so presumably it will eventually come to ESP32.

I suppose that's probably going to be easiest way to get things done with it... or at least a really popular way.

semi-extrinsic 1 ago 2 replies      
CAN-bus? Iiinteresting. Maybe we'll see a wave of wifi-controlled car hacks (not as in malicious, as in HN) in the coming years?
jacquesm 1 ago 2 replies      
270 mW is unfortunately too much to run on harvested energy, even for short bursts but otherwise this is a very interesting chip.
kfihihc 1 ago 1 reply      
You can preorder an ESP32 module(with 4MB flash) from SeeedStudio[1] right now.

[1]: http://www.seeedstudio.com/ESP3212-Wifi-Bluetooth-Combo-Modu...

iN7h33nD 1 ago 2 replies      
Where is a good place (or what is a good book) to learn what all of the terminology in these comments and in the article mean?
owenversteeg 1 ago 4 replies      
Do any good competitors to the ESP32 exist at this point? E.x. something small with WiFi and Bluetooth that's usable by hobbyists?

Also, anyone know how to pay more to get one of these ASAP? Or is anyone who has one willing to sell theirs?

TimGremalm 1 ago 1 reply      
"As far as any new information regarding the ESP32 is concerned, dont expect much. Its released, though, and in a month or so the work of documenting this supposed wonderchip will begin."
fludlight 1 ago 0 replies      
Love the Chrome autotranslation of the linked Taobao store:

"Sorry, this baby has the shelf temporarily, you can browse other baby"

lukashed 1 ago 3 replies      
It looks like it still only has 2.4GHz wifi. Is there a reason?
gnyman 1 ago 0 replies      
Anyone have a good idea on how it compared to for example the CHIP? (https://getchip.com/pages/chip). I saw the announcement for ESP32 a few days ago but it looks like it's around $7 for one which to me seemed expensive compared to $9 for the CHIP.

From my quick scanning, power peaks seems to be lower but if somebody with better knowledge of these things can chip in that would be appreciated.

Mainly wondering if I should add these ESP32 to my collection or not (as I already have 2 CHIP:s and a few ESP8266) :-)

Keyframe 1 ago 0 replies      
As I've been dabbling only with PICs (lower numbers and asm only), I'm looking forward to 'graduate' to something more like this!
1024core 1 ago 3 replies      
From the 'Applications' list on Seeed Studio:

 Video streaming from camera
Can anyone tell me how you'd hook up a camera to this device?

dmritard96 1 ago 1 reply      
Anyone have any idea on bulk costs. If buying 5-10K of the esp8266 modules, its chhheeeapp. Would love to consider switching over but curious on costs.
david-given 1 ago 1 reply      
Does it still have the built-in operating system? If so, is this required, or can I replace it and run my own bare-metal firmware?
jschwartzi 1 ago 1 reply      
This thing has I2S, meaning that you can hook up an audio codec to it. I wonder if it could handle stereo audio without underrunning the output stream?
poseid 1 ago 5 replies      
getting started with the esp8266 was mainly for ppl with some background in soldering. also, flashing the esp8266 was not too easy (python script, some system libs needed to be present iirc). for beginners, i found arduino, tessel or espruino to be easier. also, espruino now runs on esp8266 - the ecosystem that will evolve around the esp32 will be interesting to see
dynofuz 1 ago 0 replies      
im starting a company around these devices in boston. if anyone's interested in joining, email me.
Richard Stallman: Online Publishers Should Let Readers Pay Anonymously theguardian.com
243 points by ashitlerferad  3 ago   79 comments top 13
mjevans 3 ago 4 replies      
That is a nice and lovely idea...

Only every government everywhere hates it.

If it is possible to pay for something anonymously, then there is no following the money of others paying anonymously for other reasons. Including paying for products or services that are illegal or even with money from such sales.

Yes, you might compare this to cash. Cash that everyone used to carry around. It the higher denominations are marked (serial numbered), at least for US currency. Still it takes a LOT of effort to track their flow. For any kind of digital currency this scheme isn't tenable or repeatable. The tracking would either be too easy to prevent abuse, or too easy to abuse (get around).

Maybe we can have this level of freedom, if we admit that being at war with our population is a bad idea. If we allow the legal and controlled use of current vices. It wouldn't be perfect, but at least in that world we could probably get by with just controlling the income phase.

Though if you wanted to tax wealth (not income) you'd also need to report a total of 'outflow'. Which makes obtaining 'gifts' from sources not clearly related to work a vector suspect as tax avoidance via temporal displacement of wealth.

blfr 3 ago 5 replies      
Is this really the reason people block ads?

I don't actually mind tracking as part of a useful service (like Google Maps). I block ads because they're 1) annoying 2) funding mass media.

Depriving Bezos' WaPo or Slim's NYT of revenue is definitely a feature. If billionaires want to push propaganda, the least they can do is foot the bill.

Tracking is a distant third. If an outlet I cared about ran ads, I'd white-list them. It just so happens that valuable sites like HN or developers' blogs either don't feature ads or do so in a way that adblockers don't interfere with (look at job posts here).

AdmiralAsshat 3 ago 3 replies      
I've thought before about online commerce, and wish we could find some way to adopt a Vending Machine model.

A vending machine is autonomous. It neither tracks nor engages the customer. It takes your money, and dispenses product. Since cash is untraceable, it keeps no record of what was bought and by whom. I feel at peace knowing I will give a vending machine a dollar, and I will receive a Coke, without fearing that I will start seeing targeted ads on my browser or in my inbox showing me more Coke products.

The problem, of course, is that the amount of money lost to a vending machine is negligible. And so if the soda machine eats my dollar, I will probably swear for a bit, but I'm not going to do much to seek recourse. That model would be difficult to extend to, say, Amazon, where I might buy an $800 laptop and need Amazon to have a record that I bought it in case they ship me a lemon.

Nonetheless, I still feel that the Vending Machine Model is something we should aspire to in the e-commerce age, even if we haven't reached it yet.

lumberjack 3 ago 1 reply      
I mean he's right but as a business model it doesn't work. Also for people who haven't realised this is a plug for GNU Taler.

Anyway. I think the reason it doesn't work as a business model is that really, honestly, reading the paper provides very little in terms of value to the average person. It's a very mild source of entertainment and nothing more. It used to be that the newspapers where the only media to get important information (classifieds, job ads...etc). Not any more.

mrfusion 3 ago 2 replies      
I'm still appalled when an ebook accepts Bitcoin but still asks for your "billing address".
rolfvandekrol 3 ago 6 replies      
I find it interesting that this article is published on a platform that makes uBlock block 27 requests and most certainly does contain non-free javascript. Richard Stallman talks a lot about how these thing inhibit freedom and that we should not support those companies. But when he publishes an article on ad blocking he does this on a platform that absolutely does not meet his standard on freedom.
daw___ 3 ago 1 reply      
Is this something Brave is implementing with its "Brave Payments" [0]?

[0] https://blog.brave.com/introducing-brave-payments , HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12411405

smartbit 3 ago 0 replies      
See previous discussions on Taler

GNU Taler 0.0.0 released https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11840453

GNU Taler Electronic payments for a liberal society https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10258312

mverwijs 3 ago 2 replies      
A lot of them do. Per article. It's called https://blendle.com. Only an email address is required. And money. And it's not libre.
Normal_gaussian 3 ago 1 reply      
I find it surprising that we havent already got a payment gateway that handles the entire user identity, including email forwarding.

I also hadn't realised Stallman wrote for the Guardian, but going through his historic articles shows a healthy number of articles.

n0ke 3 ago 1 reply      
It could be a really good use case for a crypto currency. But eg. Bitcoin needs too long for a finished transaction (I don't want to wait ~10 minuntes until I can read an article). And you still can track down a person who purchased (separately) two articles by his keys or analysing the block chain.

I know we've a lot of crypto currencies right now, but I really hope that there is finally a new one coming, which is just simply fast, secure and somehow helps you paying anonymously.

mtgx 3 ago 0 replies      
Seems like this is what Brave is trying to do, too:


jstimpfle 3 ago 0 replies      
> Tracking, as we know, gives companies and governments dangerous power; the intimidating effect of general surveillance has been measured and is massive. The rate of visits to some Wikipedia pages those about al-Qaida, car bomb and Taliban declined by one-fifth after Edward Snowden showed us how much the US government spies on our internet activity.
Gordon Murray-designed OX flat-pack truck topgear.com
298 points by kaishiro  23 ago   101 comments top 23
sandebert 19 ago 4 replies      
Three trained (but not necessarily expert) people can put an OX together in approximately 12 hours. (from http://oxgvt.com/the-ox-all-terrain-vehicle/)

I'd love for them to put up a full 12 hour video on YouTube showing the whole process, with no fancy editing or disturbing music. Just three engineers working away in a big, empty hall, turning a package into an OX. I imagine it would be mesmerizing to watch.

cbr 12 ago 1 reply      
I was curious what it looked like flat-packed: http://oxgvt.com/wp-content/uploads/Flat-Packing2.jpg
tarikjn 21 ago 1 reply      
When Gordon Murray designs a truck, it's worth paying attention. The McLaren F1 road car pioneered a lot of new and creative technology that is still trickling down in consumer cars today, while remaining an excellently built car loved by enthusiasts and that has appreciated in value several folds. It almost defined the brand of form following function in super cars. McLaren are also known for building a lot of their own parts and tools down to the nuts versus using suppliers. Given Gordon Murray's attention to details, there is probably a lot more interesting things about this truck than the article can mention.
tajen 18 ago 6 replies      
Part of the immature me wishes we don't invent new diesel trucks for developing countries, especially not with the goal of making it accessible to massive new markets. Doing so will extremely accelerate the global warming and local cancerigen pollution, both of which are there for the duration of the vehicle line (40 years?). I wish we'd start issuing electric models and portable ...nuclear plants? Solar systems? With wifi? This is childish, but the irresponsible pollution aspect of new diesel vehicles is worth pointing out.
mrb 19 ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the soldiers who can disassemble and reassemble an entire Jeep in 3 minutes:


swatkat 20 ago 1 reply      
Design looks similar to Australian OKA 4WD ATV[1]. Hindustan Motors in India used to manufacture a licensed version called RTV, back in the 90s.

[1] http://web.archive.org/web/20121021203320/http://www.oka.com...

[2] http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:www.the...

forkandwait 21 ago 4 replies      
I want one! Where do I order?

Anybody know about the emissions and if you can drive it in the US (non-California)?

I also wonder if the parts are easy and standard enough to make in more widely distributed factories. Seems the revolution waiting to happen is when a small country can make at least some of the parts in a small factory and trade with other similar partners to commodify the ecosystem, like PCs in the 1990s etc.

rihegher 20 ago 0 replies      
"Murray says the inspiration for the dynamics came from the Renault 4, once a much-loved off-roader in Africa and Southern Europe."

for those who are interested the renault 4 also called 4l is used for an international race run by student every year since 20 years.


grecy 18 ago 3 replies      
Not much information on the diesel engine used.

Is it a Common Rail, computer-controlled diesel?

I'm in West Africa now, and the diesel quality down here means you really want an all-mechanical injection pump, not a CRD.

Cool idea, but he's got to remember that virtually no body down here (save the UN and big NGOs) buys new vehicles. They're all clapped-out things shipped in from Europe - even the land cruisers have 400,000+ kms on them when they get here.

bikamonki 20 ago 5 replies      
How exactly is 10-15000 cheap in developing countries?
vessenes 9 ago 2 replies      
I can't believe I'm the only commenter who seems to want one of these. I really want one of these. I'd like my kids to be able to mess around with car repair as they get older, and this just seems perfect for teenagers -- camping, glamping, drive 11 closest friends around -- seriously, I love this.

This is just a very modern car/truck. I love it.

kragen 4 ago 0 replies      
Can some Englishperson kindly explain to me what these phrases mean?

- "sand ladders"

- "a blockable front brake"

- "a six-speed power take off"

Also, why is there no video? Doesn't Top Gear have anyone on staff who can edit video? Or am I just missing the link?

ChuckMcM 19 ago 0 replies      
Boy, this would be pretty fun to hack. I can imagine the RV possibilities.
afarrell 11 ago 0 replies      
Could this be easily disassembled and stored in a way that it doesn't degrade while in storage? If so, could the same design techniques be applied to building MRAPs that don't end up as military surplus?
andyidsinga 19 ago 0 replies      
very cool ..I would buy one.

I'm assuming there's more to the name...unlike normal trucks that can only go up to 10, this one can go all the way to 0xB ;)

JoeAltmaier 13 ago 2 replies      
Designed to be hand-manufactured - no robots. Interesting choice. Is it because labor is cheaper where this might be made? But its made in England...
gambiting 16 ago 0 replies      
Wasn't an ultra cheap Chinese-made truck banned in EU, because in a head-on crash at 30mph the whole cabin would just basically fold into itself, killing everyone inside - does this extremely simple design not suffer from the same problem?
Nux 16 ago 0 replies      
It looks like you'd need a cat C license to drive this (in UK), alas.

Still, the DIY-er in me loves the idea, hope they do well and get even cheaper.

digi_owl 11 ago 0 replies      
The first thing that came to mind was the WV Beetle.
noonespecial 19 ago 2 replies      
So about the same price as a brand new Hilux? Which are already produced 100's of thousands per year and are already all over the place in the developing world.

I've got much respect for Gordon Murray but did I miss something here? At something like 1/3 the price he might be on to something, but like this, its just another rattle-trap diesel truck only suitable for 3rd world use. They've got lots of those already. Plus at a cost that high to start with, I'm not sure "you can save a few bucks in shipping if you put it together like an IKEA couch" is actually a feature.

ajuc 17 ago 0 replies      
If developed world works anything like 90s Poland - people would prefer used cars with more features/better comfort to a new car with less features/worse comfort.

For carrying capacity it's nowhere near a tractor + a trailer combo. And also tractor can drive anywhere, even places that 4WD won't, not mentioning weird 2WD.

It seems to be a cool project not solving any particular problem.

pinaceae 12 ago 0 replies      
The overall design is a riff of the Steyr Pinzgauer:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinzgauer_High-Mobility_All-...

The British Army is using them, so Murray has likely been inspired by it.

It was designed for Mountains in Austria, is pretty much unbeatable in tough terrain - just put on chains and gogogo.

Original had petrol engines, not diesel to avoid freezing up in winter conditions.

As a driver in the Austrian Army we basically learned the whole thing front to back, assemble and disassemble like a rifle.

Such a fun ride.

dmingod666 18 ago 1 reply      
People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their Cars buzzfeed.com
232 points by andrewfromx  4 ago   242 comments top 25
mturmon 4 ago 10 replies      
Reading the comments to the story (on the Buzzfeed site), one sees the dichotomy between younger residents and longtime residents. (I've been here about 20 years.)

The latter tend to give all kinds of arguments about why owning a car is necessary, including safety, convenience, and cost. And they may be right -- for them. They live in the hills of a relatively remote area, like La Crescenta or Burbank or Chatsworth, and have Sunday brunch at some place in the Valley, and drive to Costco to fill up a freezer and a garage with goods, and drive to their dentist, doctor, and gym across town as well. It's a whole series of decisions, and it locks down tighter and tighter.

But newer residents are showing that a different way of life is possible, by making all these decisions differently. It's fantastic. It has changed the streetscape a lot, as various local enclaves spring up to offer services within walking or cycling distance, or near to transit.

But the gap between these two lifestyles really makes for some major disconnects around subjects like housing development along thoroughfares, density of development, parking, and bike lanes.

danso 4 ago 3 replies      
I did this (avoided buying a car in lieu of Uber/Lyft) my first year in Palo Alto/Menlo Park. I lived in Hew York before coming out West so I was strongly inclined not to own a car, I didn't even bother replacing my drivers license after being pickpocketed 5 years ago. Using Uber frequently was actually pretty enjoyable. My ride was only about 15 min/$12. each way (sometimes I'd bike), and the drivers were usually interesting to talk to. Last year I did end up buying a car. With payments, insurance, parking, and gas thrown in (and the fact that I take Caltrain to get into SF or other cities), the economics really didn't make sense for me to buy a car, but it did improve quality of life in terms of just having more impulse to go out and drive to places, whereas with relying on Uber/Lyft, the thought of the money transaction for every ride discourages me from using it except for pragmatic reasons (yes, even though owning a car is more expensive in the long run).
creyes 4 ago 3 replies      
LA resident here. Got rid of my car 2 years ago and haven't looked back. A big difference for me is that I hate driving - especially here. The stress of it really got to me.

Financially, I'm not sure that I actually 'save' money. I live within 100yds of a ton of bars and restaurants, and a 5 minute walk to Trader Joes/Metro. I Uber most places but also take the Metro to DTLA and Santa Monica pretty often.

The whole car payment/insurance/gas/maintenance costs for sure are more than what I pay to Uber/Metro but what I'm not sure how to value the 'cost of walking.' I definitely pay a premium for my location and I often wonder, if I lived in a less convenient area (had to drive to groceries, far from Metro) if I'd be able to not have a car. Because as it stands, car costs < uber/metro/rent premium

greggman 4 ago 3 replies      
LA is a different place because of Uber. LA lost it's amazing public transit system over 40 or so years from like ~1935 to ~1975. Now they are slowly building it back, probably just in time for it to be obsoleted by automated cars given how long it's taking them.

Uber certainly helps deal with the lack of public transportation but the other big issue is LA is HUGE! My sister lives in Glendora (far east side of LA) I was staying in Venice Beach. It's about 45 miles. And that's not even one side of the LA metro area to the other, that's just LA itself. On Uber that would be ~$55 or so. A similar distance on the train system in Tokyo would be $10-$20 depending on how many different companies' trains you have to use.

Of course it might still be cheaper than a owning a car if you're not making the long trips often.

cpprototypes 4 ago 1 reply      

LA Metro opened up the Expo Line, a light rail between downtown LA and Santa Monica, in May as part of its effort to wean people off car ownership. When it began running, Uber ran a promotion for $5 off Pool rides to or from Expo line stations. For ride-hail companies, partnering with public transportation agencies to market themselves as companion services can increase mutual ridership. Kan, Lyfts LA general manager, said three of the top 10 destinations for Lyft rides are metro stations.

If this trend continues and becomes more common, it has potential to really change transportation in LA. LA Metro is working on expanding the rail lines but there's always the "last mile" problem (not literally 1 mile, but usually last few miles to get/from rail station to destination). UberPool/Lyft Line can be the solution for this and the more people use it, the better solution it becomes.

jboggan 4 ago 1 reply      
Santa Monica resident here. Last year my commuting motorcycle was stolen. During the insurance and replacement process I rented a car for 3 months. About 6 months later my new bike was damaged and out for repairs for almost as long, but that time I chose to not rent a car and just Uber everywhere, including to and from work in Playa Vista every day. The two periods came out to about equivalent costs, with greatly increased convenience and less hassle due to never caring about parking or having a few drinks after work. I didn't take any long trips out of town, but for getting around it was great.

I haven't owned a car since I moved to LA 4 years ago, it's pretty great.

jpetitto 4 ago 1 reply      
I moved to Los Angeles about four months ago and was surprised how little I drive. Uber and Lyft are insanely cheap here when using the pool/line options. I've taken 10 mile trips for $4! The metro is great too if you live near a line.

Certain parts of the city are easier without a car than others. A lot of it comes down to how far you live from work too. I walk to work everyday (10 minutes) and there's a plethora of stores in my area to walk to and shop at.

I'm about to sell my car and I'm not sure if I'll be getting another anytime soon.

Zafira 3 ago 0 replies      
It looks like a lot of people here are arguing that this is happening or possible, with the rather limiting constraint that you're in or around West LA. It being an older neighborhood, has more density which doesn't exist in many of the post-World War II neighborhoods with Irvine being a good example of this. The Uber map for better wait times seems unsurprisingly biased to being around tourist areas like Santa Monica, Disneyland or Huntington Beach.

I suppose it depends on what you're definition of Los Angeles is, but if you argue that Thousand Oaks or Chino Hills is considered "Los Angeles", then this argument doesn't really hold water. The urban sprawl was built on the assumption of commuting and 2-3 hour commutes are not unusual around here. I realize LA might be a bit of an anomaly, but you can drive from Santa Monica to San Bernardino before you've really "left" the city and trying to argue that a carless life is really going to happen using this definition is a bit suspect.

yodsanklai 4 ago 4 replies      
> People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their CarsInstead, theyre riding Uber and Lyft to work.

Commuting is one thing, but cars are often necessary for other things (for instance, going hiking/skiing on weekends) where public transportation/uber isn't an option.

I wonder what is the recommended solution for this. In my case for instance, rental wouldn't be cheaper than owning a car. There's a car sharing service in my city but again, not significantly cheaper than owning the car.

unabst 3 ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of car haters voicing their hate but if you already hate cars, don't drive. That's not why people in LA are getting rid of their cars (if they are).

There is an introvert/extrovert angle here also. A car is completely private. You can go anywhere in your pajamas in total asocial mode with a car, and I wonder if that's why so many people are in their Pajamas at Ralphs. A car service requires contact with strangers.

I am in LA and I tried getting a bike once, but it was impossible. Road conditions are horrible, and I had nowhere to park my new mango colored bike comfortably. People would yell "nice bike" from their cars, and it was uncomfortable. And everyone I knew who rode a bike had multiple accident stories. If some idiot is going to hit me or suddenly open their door, I want to be in a car.

For me, Tokyo is the perfect train city. Fukuoka is the perfect bicycle city. And LA is still the perfect car city. But if you hate to drive, now you have options. It used to be you had none!

tbarbugli 4 ago 1 reply      
Based on half dozen people telling that to buzzfeed...
seizethecheese 4 ago 1 reply      
This article does not back up it's claim. The article includes some anecdotes, and some data of Uber/Lyft becoming more popular, but does not include anything to indicate that car ownership is declining in significant amounts.
hackuser 4 ago 3 replies      
I'd like articles on this subject to at least mention two other significant costs:

Impact on jobs:

Unless and until Uber starts treating their workers fairly (treating them like employees and allowing them some negotiating power over their own livelihoods) not only is it bad for those workers and working people in general, but it's also bad for the country, which has to cover health care and other needs for those workers. Does anyone know how Lyft does in that regard?

Climate impact:

* Buying a new car creates the impact of mining raw materials, processing them, manufacturing, shipping, etc. I have no idea what that impact is.

* For purposes of the trip itself, I think using standard taxi/Uber/Lyft services probably increases climate impact over a personal car: The ride-hailing cars drive around empty part of the time, waiting for rides; your personal car is parked when you don't use it. Otherwise, whether you are in someone else's car or your own for the trip, the impact is the same (unless your car is more/less efficient than the ride-hailing car)

* Sharing rides, such as in trains, buses, carpool, UberPool, etc., obviously is much more efficient. I suspect the more people in the vehicle, the more efficient it is: Trains beat buses beat carpools, but I really don't know that.

donretag 3 ago 0 replies      
Here are some more anecdotes from a recent article: http://laist.com/2016/08/29/so_just_how_do_las_legions_of_ca...

I also live car-free in Los Angeles. It is not that I don't want a car, I have just been too lazy to buy one. Money is not an issue and I have a dedicated parking spot that sits empty. I live by the Metro, so I can get to DTLA/Hollywood pretty easy. Live in walkable neighborhood, so I can walk to get groceries, with Amazon providing the rest. Even when I had a car in other locales, I would still use Amazon for various things.

I am an avid cyclist, yet I never commute anywhere by bicycle. I should look into getting a commuter bike. My current bike is too expensive to be used for commuting.

bogomipz 3 ago 0 replies      
A couple of points come to mind:

From the article:

"If theres anything as frustrating as driving in LA, its parking there: The city issues more than 2.5 million parking citations each year, raking in $165 million."

So in a way the city relies on people owning cars and statistical probability that its residents will periodically lose in the "great parking game."

Parking tickets are a form of soft tax and not having to pay this tax is not insignificant. From the following article:


"The price of a ticket for overstaying a meter steadily rose from $40 in 2006 to $63 in 2012, and officials have repeatedly acknowledged that the purpose was to bring in cash. This year, the city expects parking tickets to generate about $161 million in revenue."

That was 4 years ago. I wasn't able to find a current figure but generally those number only increase over time.

And it's not just meters. There are also street cleaning violation tickets that are $75 each. For those not familiar with LA. Street cleaning happens in residential areas. Twice a week( day for each side of the street)the available parking capacity is effectively cut in half. Even though the cleaning only takes place during a two hour window. Many residents will park in the early evening and then won't use their car again so they don't lose their spot for the following day. Time spent trying to find a spot to park the night before street cleaning is a quality of life issue. Sadly anyone who has watched a street sweeping machine in LA could attest to their dubious effectivity for actual cleaning purposes.

So an addition to the soft taxes applied in the form of parking tickets, theres a cognitive load and stress I suppose you could add to the calculations outlined in the article.

The question is what happens if(when?) ride sharing and car services are so successful that they begin to erode hundreds of millions of dollars the city obviously depends on. Then what?

incogitomode 3 ago 0 replies      
Having recently moved to LA from the east coast, and hoping to stay put for awhile, I've really appreciated the interest in finding new ways of dealing with transportation in the city. It may be a generational issue, as some have said, but that doesn't need to be the case. Perhaps the current enthusiasm can find its way into housing and zoning policy and make a lasting change in a city that seems to have reached the limits of what sort of population and density can actually be sustained in an everybody-owns-a-car scenario.
misingnoglic 3 ago 0 replies      
I was an intern at Google Venice for the summer, and it was definitely cheaper for me to take Uber pool to work every day (especially since I lived with my parents). It would have been ~35 a day to rent a car, or ~20 a day for Uber pool, without the added stress of driving.
vasilipupkin 4 ago 0 replies      
seriously? people giving up their cars in LA? Oh, sure, I believe that buzzfeed was able to find 3 people who gave up their cars. But what do the statistics say about LA car ownership?
tehwebguy 3 ago 0 replies      
My car mostly sits in front of our house in LA. Last month I rented it out to an Uber driver for 2 weeks, which paid for the most recent engine work it required.
nickthemagicman 4 ago 0 replies      
Its one of the major ways people are rent seeked. Gas, insurance, maintenance, loan, loan interest, etc. Exploitation overdrive. And most people dont have a choice.

Cars, housing, education and medicine are massive rent seeking areas sucking people dry and I cant wait until all of these are subverted by new systems.

paulsutter 4 ago 0 replies      
In the article, are those actual wait times or initially estimated wait times?
nradov 4 ago 1 reply      
Overall new car sales are higher than ever. Someone is buying them.
gcb0 3 ago 0 replies      
this is buzzfeed. my guess is that this is a paid puff piece for uber and nothing else.
breck 4 ago 1 reply      
Title should be: "People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid Of Their Cars"
rocky1138 3 ago 2 replies      
> "Theyve decimated the taxi industry. The number of LA taxi trips dropped 30% from 2012."

Decimate means to reduce by 10%, hence deci.

NSA Hacked French Presidents House gosint.wordpress.com
236 points by peterkelly  2 ago   82 comments top 14
nabla9 2 ago 3 replies      
Only Five eye countries are close allies to US. France and Germany act more independently and sometimes against US interests. They are watched with suspicion.

US and France have been spying each other for ages.

U.S. Intelligence and the FrenchNuclear Weapons Program Documents Show U.S. Intelligence Targeted French Nuclear Program as Early as 1946 http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB184/

Former head of Frances counter-espionage understands what is the name of the game:


>The French intelligence services know full well that all countries, whether or not they are allies in the fight against terrorism, spy on each other all the time, he said.The Americans spy on French commercial and industrial interests, and we do the same to them because its in the national interest to protect our companies.There was nothing of any real surprise in this report, he added. No one is fooled."Chancellor Merkel is important. If the NSA was not surveying her communications, it was only because it was unable to do so," "How could the NSA not want to listen in on the person rated by Forbes as the second most powerful person in the world after President Obama?

bsaul 2 ago 0 replies      
Funny part of the video, is that at one point he was starting to talk about how the chinese raided Areva (major french nuclear company).

But this part got cut even before the video was completely removed. You can only see him starting the story, and then it stopped.

Honestly, as a french i'm a bit scared to see someone mention all those recent "state secrets" in a campus, with cameras all around. He even described the working method (mixing human intelligence and electronic), the workplace ( it ressembles a lot the "Bureau des affaires secret" TV show, because they had access to the DGSE offices), and the limits of the service (number of men, lack of resource to treat the information, damages done by snowden to surveillance capabilities, etc.)

At this point i only see two options :

1/ the guy's a bit old and senile.

2/ He knows exactly what he's doing, and he thinks France's intelligence capabilities are such in a mess that he needs to make this information public.

Judging by the recent intelligence fiascos, and the ever increasing terrorist threats the country's facing, i'd say 2/

jacquesm 2 ago 1 reply      
With friends like that who needs enemies? Really, the whole concept of an 'ally' has gone out the window.
martinko 2 ago 5 replies      
So do I understand this correctly - they intercepted the palace's web traffic and were somehow able to read it and inject malicious code? If so, how were they able to bypass ssl?
ourmandave 2 ago 1 reply      
Barbier ridicules the idea of a European CIA/NSA. However, he believes that a joint French-German Intelligence Agency could be established and would be very efficient.

Yeah, except you'd have to give the Germans time to remove all their malware from the French servers before you could green light that.

akerro 2 ago 0 replies      
I love the part "you guys are good". It's like attacking someone with baseball bats on a dark street, break bones, kick face and say "sorry mate, you're good' and leave without consequences.
plopilop 2 ago 1 reply      
Also, Barbier confirmed at the same conference that France had hacked Canada's house, which was denied by the French government. So yeah, the US are clearly not the only ones to do that.
Zigurd 2 ago 0 replies      
What follows from the attitude that "Of course allies spy on each other" is that one would expect a greater effort to create secure systems and enable actual autonomy in decision-making and confidential communications in carrying out state decisions.

In fact what we have in a US empire implemented in part through interlocking relationships in the Deep State: Militaries talk directly to the US military outside of control by elected officials and so do intelligence officers. The US sphere of influence uses US technology that enables US spying.

pilooch 2 ago 0 replies      
The video was removed! Anyone with a copy ?
GOSINT 2 ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know when the video of Barbier was removed from YouTube? Thanks
erazor42 2 ago 0 replies      
NSA is spying ? What a surprise... It's crazy how everybody seems surprised everytime news like that show up. Everybody spy on each other and i'm sure France does the same.
giosch 2 ago 1 reply      
This is quite scary. I know, it's not something new, but still...
GirlsCanCode 2 ago 1 reply      
This is exactly what American intelligence shoukd do: gather intelligence from other countries. It's when they spy on their own citizens that I get a little upset.
SixSigma 2 ago 0 replies      
don't worry, if Hillary becomes president and the French read her emails again, she will send in the ground troops
       cached 8 September 2016 02:11:01 GMT