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Tesla reports first quarterly profit in more than three years reuters.com
791 points by blastofpast  1 day ago   264 comments top 21
mitchellh 1 day ago 15 replies      
Really great news! But something that shouldn't be overlooked is the discounts they gave in Q3 to push deliveries up.

First, those that know me know that I am a Tesla FANATIC. My girlfriend once challenged me to not talk about Tesla (motors, energy, something) for a 24 hour period. I dunno if I've ever done that honestly. I'm also an owner (no surprise given my fanaticism, lucky to be able to afford one). And I also own some TSLA.

Elon sent a company-wide email in Q3 to push sales to show profitability. I don't think its a fluke but they did something they never really do to help reach this number: they offered significant discounts on vehicles (new, pre-owned, showroom). Like, really big discounts (relative to the price of the car).

That certainly helped. Elon also sent an email at the start of Q4 that NO MORE DISCOUNTS are allowed. So I'm really very interested to compare Q3 to Q4 when that comes.

I also happen to know a lot of the people who bought a heavily discounted Tesla in Q3 feel kind of burned that right at the beginning of Q4 Tesla announced the new Autopilot hardware (that isn't retrotfitable on old vehicles). If you did your homework on Tesla though, this wasn't a surprise. It was expected that Tesla would make some big announcement to spur Q4 sales especially after Elon said there wouldn't be any capital raises in Q4 while he expected to hit Q4 numbers. You generally can't do that without some big news.

Just wanted to color this news with that. I'm still very excited!

shasheene 1 day ago 4 replies      
The Economist recently did a good article on the financing of Elon Musk's companies that flew under the radar of Hacker News that probably warranted further discussion [1] [2]. (Though the author of that piece completely misses the relative importance of each company to Musk, suggesting "he could try to sell [...] SpaceX, through gritted teeth, to a defence firm")

It's unfortunate there's a bit of a reality distortion field around discussion Elon Musk's companies sometimes. Maybe because everyone wants his companies to succeed...

[1] http://www.economist.com/news/business/21709061-entrepreneur...

[2] http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/10/ec...

RivieraKid 1 day ago 1 reply      
Related, at the beginning of Q3 Elon Musk sent email to employees urging to cut costs:

> I thought it was important to write you a note directly to let you know how critical this quarter is, The third quarter will be our last chance to show investors that Tesla can be at least slightly positive cash flow and profitable before the Model 3 reaches full production.

simonsarris 1 day ago 1 reply      
Direct link to the letter: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ABEA-4CW8X0/310041501...

> Total Q3 GAAP revenue was $2.30 billion, up 145% from Q3 2015, while total Q3 gross margin was 27.7%, compared to 21.6% in Q2. Total automotive revenue was $2.15 billion on a GAAP basis, up 152% from Q3 2015. Our final Q3 delivery count was 24,821,over 300 more than the estimated delivery count we shared on October 2nd. Deliveries increased 114% from the third quarter of 2015, and was comprised of 16,047 Model S and 8,774 Model X vehicles. In addition, 5,065 vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the quarter. These vehicles will be delivered in Q4.

antimatter 1 day ago 2 replies      
One thing to note, I have a few friends who work at Tesla service centers. They cut A LOT of corners when it comes to service to show profits this quarter. For example, for the location that one of my friends works at (which happens to be one of the busiest locations in Southern California), they sold almost every single loaner vehicle as a used car.
rascalpenguin 1 day ago 2 replies      
I imagine this is because the majority of revenue is spent on growing the buisness, rather than going into profit (As profit = revenue - expenses). As Tesla still has a lot more space to grow. Same method Amazon did until recently for years.
toomuchtodo 1 day ago 1 reply      
SCTY acquisition is locked up.

EDIT: Elon just said on the investor call "Our current plan requires no capital raise whatsoever for the Model 3 production. Solar City will be neutral to cash contributor in Q4.

generj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most impressive here is a 70% increase in production.

Note that this occurred while Model 3 production is still starting.

11thEarlOfMar 1 day ago 2 replies      
The biggest news in this release is gross margin.

Gross Margin Jumped from 26.7% in Q2 to 33.2% in Q3.

For reference, MRQ,

GM gross margin: 13.9%

Toyota: 23.6%

VW: 19.9%

Granted, those are not luxury auto makers, but Tesla is more profitable on a gross margin basis. That margin fuels everything from cash flow to R&D spending. 33% for an automaker is huge.

dwills 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another take on the Tesla financial story:


phrygian 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain what this[0] means? It would seem that when you buy the car, you don't own it after all.

[0] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tesla-self-driving-car-n...

erikb 1 day ago 1 reply      
It may even be a bad things if they have profits considering the kind of revolution they are attempting on the car industry. I hope though, that it means things went better for them than expected.
justinzollars 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great news! But not a surprise considering the great people who work there.
yladiz 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm impressed and skeptical of the substantial increase in production. A 70% increase in production in one year would likely require substantial changes in the production stages. Hopefully Tesla didn't cut any corners to hit this production number; I'm hopeful that they just scaled back their production initially and now show their "full potential", or added a lot of new machinery in their production line(s). Maybe they will reach the 500,000 target.
tschellenbach 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've been reading the book about Elon Musk, great read. This is all the more impressive considering all the stories of times they almost went bankrupt.
forgetsusername 1 day ago 5 replies      
Cashed in a large amount of ZEV credits, for a one-time revenue bump of $140MM. Excluding that, GAAP loss was $117MM. Big increase in accounts payable. But, all things considered, that's not bad.
matchagaucho 1 day ago 1 reply      
Curious to understand how Model 3 deposits are reported in financials. Deferred revenue?
ryanmarsh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why would they do that? Why post profits?
tn13 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Good for Tesla. It now only needs to reduce its dependency on government dole to kill the rest of the auto industry.
mortdeus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Elon Musk works too hard to fail.
albertTJames 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Of 20 analysts covering the company, seven have a "sell" rating on the stock, four rate it "buy" or higher and nine have a "hold", according to Thomson Reuters data."

=== proof that something is very wrong with a world defined by speculators

Music Theory: An Education from First Principles lightnote.co
925 points by akalin  2 days ago   145 comments top 32
anton_tarasenko 2 days ago 2 replies      
A similar project: https://www.teoria.com/en/tutorials/

Focused more on practitioners. Includes exercises with MIDI/USB piano keyboards in the browser: https://www.teoria.com/en/exercises/

These resources also can be useful:

1. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons (exercises included)

2. http://www.earbeater.com/online-ear-training (ear training exercises)

3. https://www.iwasdoingallright.com/tools/ear_training/online/ (ear training)

4. https://trainer.thetamusic.com/

5. http://music.stackexchange.com/

N. Wikipedia is a good reference. E.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_musical_terminolog...

If someone wants to try music, start with playing an instrument and then pick the theory. If in physics theory says how the world works, music theory is mostly about labeling things that sound good vs noise. And it's hard to get the words without playing first.

zodiac 2 days ago 6 replies      
I like this! I've always wanted to build a music theory textbook (like Laitz) where the examples could be played.

> When a song says that it is in the key of C Major, or D Minor, or A Harmonic, etc. this is simply telling you which of the 12 notes are used in this song.

Small nitpick, this is not accurate, C Major and A (natural) Minor have the same notes but different starting notes so they are different scales, and pieces written in them sound different from each other. It's one of those things that's slightly hard to explain if you don't sing/compose/play an instrument/read music but very obvious if you do.

nspeller 2 days ago 20 replies      
This is actually my side project. It's very much unfinished but if anyone has any feedback I'd love to hear it.
robbrown451 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is excellent. The graphics and sounds are nicely done.

One thing that I don't see in it, but that I find fascinating, is that in western music each half step represents a ratio of the twelfth-root of two, in terms of frequency. That way 12 half steps (an octave) will double the frequency.

Certain notes within this are close, but not exactly, on a "simple ratio". It's just coincidental that it works out pretty good. (although you could make it work out just as good with something other than a 12 step scale....a 19-step scale has been used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19_equal_temperament )

Anyway, I think that would fit in well with what you've done so far, but obviously, explained in the nice simple graphics that you seem very good at.

I also must say I love the way you use color, I have a music project of my own (that I'm hoping to debut very soon) that also uses color in a very similar way. Did you know that Isaac Newton fixated on 7 colors (ROYGBIV) because he thought there was a connection between the diatonic scale and colors? That's why indigo seems to have been promoted from some obscure color to one of the "basic" colors of the rainbow. (I prefer BOYGBPP, red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple-pink)

hkailahi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. I've been thinking a lot about writing a interactive blog series of something similar (music fundamentals for CS people). It'll probably be a while before I start writing that though.

I think the biggest thing that's missing at the moment is a section on rhythm/time. I'm sure you have plans for that. Looking forward to seeing finished course.

kroger 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: I wrote a book a couple years ago that people in this thread may find interesting: "Music for Geeks and Nerds". It's a short book that uses Python to teach music concepts:


baddox 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish this was even more "from first principles." I wish the "harmony" section would point out that the "simple ratios" they initially show both have powers of two in their denominators, and thus are just octave adjustments of the harmonic series. I wish the "chords" section would derive the major triad as the fundamental frequency combined with the first two (non-octave) frequencies in the harmonic series octave-adjusted down to be close to the fundamental.
akalin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found this to be a way better resource than the "Music theory for nerds" article floating around a while ago.
quadrangle 2 days ago 3 replies      
There's not a smidgen of principle in the jump from harmonic ratios to tempered tuning and standard scales and chords.

True first-principles music theory must (A) focus primarily on psychology over physics (B) not tell people that complex ratios sound bad but simply help people notice that they are different from simple ratios (C) actually go through the full logic of how the tempered system is derived from chains of harmonic ratios adjusted to temper out commas. The easiest approach to the latter is to simply teach diatonic scales as harmonic ratios and not introduce temperament at all until much later.

Far far far from perfect but having the direction that this attempt is missing: http://www.tallkite.com/AlternativeTunings.html

Anyway, I'd write the ultimate thing if I ever found the time. There's at least some good elements to this attempt so far. It really needs to be licensed CC-BY-SA though so that people can adapt and contribute and improve to get it to where it's really good.

zump 2 days ago 8 replies      
Software engineer here. Finding my creativity is drying up.. Whats the fastest/easiest way to learn a musical instrument at the highest possible level?
analog31 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of late to the game in this thread, but my thought about theory is that it should start with physiology and technology. At each level we're reminded that we study the aspects of music that people have already invented, and that we may overlook a lot of important things, such as rhythm.

Physiology: Some of this may be speculative, but it seems likely that "harmonious" intervals, that have a superposition of harmonics, have a physiological effect.

Technology: The 12 tone scale could be described as a technology for tuning an instrument with harmonious intervals. Temperament is a technology for solving the problems of tuning primarily keyboard instruments.

Naturally, math is involved in understanding these things, as with many areas of science and technology.

I would talk about a handful of widely used instruments, such as keyboards, strings, winds, guitars, and drums.

Then you can begin to talk about scales, chords, melody, form, and so forth.

whitten 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know of a music theory class that works with GNU Lilypond format files, as discussed on lilypondblog.org ?Thanks in advance !
xchip 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is absolutely fantastic. I have seen many musicists trying to explaing this with not much success, mainly because they dont understand the physics behind.

You explanation makes perfect sense and it is so clear and so well that once you read it you can remember it forever.


tempestn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea! Just FYI I'm noticing a fair bit of static when playing the various tones. It's mostly at the beginning, which makes me think it's just due to the discontinuity at the beginning (maybe start the volume at zero and quickly increase?) But I'm getting blips of static in the middle of most tones as well, so there must be something else going on. Tried both Chrome and Firefox. I suppose this could be an artifact from my onboard sound card or something like that, but I haven't noticed anything similar elsewhere.
PeterWhittaker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done! It summarizes a lot of theory it took me months to puzzle out on my own.

One nit: At the top of each section there is a section title, at the bottom of each section, there is a "Next section" title, a description, and a next section button, and on the side there is a list of sections. Some of the titles are inconsistent from list to top of current and from bottom of current to top of next. It's a little confusing right now, and there are only a few sections; when there are more, it will be far more confusing. I don't have a suggestion as to how fix it, just pointing out the confusing inconsistency.

fiatjaf 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is nice, very nice. But it is quite disappointing that at least for everybody reading HN the whole "Music Theory" topic seems to be just a few concepts that can be learned in 1 or 2 hours.
anon4711 1 day ago 0 replies      
With Safari entirely unable to handle this page, I really feel like I'm missing out on the modern web with it for the first time.
kmm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but too bad it's not much more than the basics. I struggle to find a good explanation of how harmony works, i.e. what they mean by the terms "resolution" or how chords are made, in short: how a musical piece is built.

My piano teacher's refusal to explain these to me is one of the reasons I lost interest in the instrument

smackfu 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm good on music theory right up to time signatures. It seems like black magic to me, and often it is taught by just asking you to hear the beats and I just don't hear them.
WhitneyLand 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love this, it's the way i would want to learn.
aridiculous 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the perfect minimalist introduction to music theory. A similarly good explanation is in Daniel Levitin's "This is Your Brain on Music". It's first few chapters explain music theory to beginners in a really elegant way.

I previously thought music was composed without any rules.

Grue3 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The Major Chord is the most common chord. Whenever you're asked to play a chord without specifying what type, then it's a Major chord.

Certainly not in modern pop music. By far the most common chord is power chord.

em3rgent0rdr 1 day ago 3 replies      
I disagree with the equivocation of "sound good" with consonant notes and "sound bad" with dissonant notes.
RickS 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great! I found the more robust examples really useful, like the ones that show notes and triads in a key. I'd love to have something like this in the form of a VST or something usable in Ableton.
dejv 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are more into mechanical practice of notes reading I had created http://notationtraining.com
codeulike 2 days ago 1 reply      
So why do notes sound good together when the frequency ratios are simple? Needs a section on the inner ear, stereocilia, and how overtones affect them.
danenania 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! Looking forward to the next one.

Can anyone suggest good resources in this vein that apply these basic principles to guitar?

dmritard96 2 days ago 1 reply      
this is great but I there was recently an article that made the rounds on HN pointing out that what sounds 'Nice' to people not exposed to western music is very different from what sounds 'Nice' to westerners. This is a great site and people can learn a ton but its very western centric and it might be worth pointing that out early on.
bcheung 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love it. Thanks for sharing. Wish I had this when I had some music theory classes back in college.
Pulce 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ctrl-- in firefox 45 to see Subscribe button.Apart this, thanks :)
ticktockten 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks! Really enjoyed the tutorial
bmay 2 days ago 1 reply      
FYI sound does not play in Firefox
White House urges ban on non-compete agreements for many workers reuters.com
660 points by petethomas  2 days ago   405 comments top 31
tristor 1 day ago 20 replies      
I don't understand why there's so many people in the comments defending non-competes. They have literally no value to society, or to individual employees. They are a tool of restrictive coercion to stifle an employees freedom of movement in the job market.

Trade secrets, IP, secret sauce: covered by NDA and IP assignment agreements

Client lists, contract terms, sales strategies, reported metrics, financials: covered by NDA and in some cases SEC regulations about insider trading.


The only thing a non-compete does is say that Employee A cannot work in their chosen field for some period of time after they are fired or quit. In doing so it offers no consideration or compensation typically in the contract.

So your employer underpays you by 40% and treats you badly? You want to leave for greener pastures at that hip new startup that offered you a Senior Engineer gig? Well, sorry to say you have a mortgage, a wife, and 2 kids and that non-compete says you are only legally allowed to be a burger flipper for two years after quitting, that software engineering is verboten.

Totally fair right?

If you don't sit on the board of a Fortune 500 company, you have literally no incentive to support non-competes. There is no rational basis to argue in their favor. Please learn the difference between NDAs, IP assignment agreements, and non-competes before lending non-competes some mystical powers they don't have.

Animats 1 day ago 6 replies      
Note that this is being proposed as something states should do. Federal legislation is not being proposed. Worst case would be Federal legislation which was weak and pre-empted state legislation, weakening California's ban.

California employment law prohibits non-compete agreements for employees, and has since 1872. California also prohibits any employee agreement which claims employer ownership of intellectual property developed on the employee's own time.[1] This is one reason Silicon Valley is so successful.

[1] http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=lab&gr...

drawkbox 1 day ago 4 replies      
Non-competes, the most anti-innovation, anti-skilled worker, anti-free market, anti-business and anti-American thing in working today. Non-competes are protectionism for larger businesses over small/medium businesses.

As a freelancer, contractor and self-employed business owner/worker, please make these illegal, tired of these.

The worst part about non-competes is they are blanket protectionism usually and up to 2+ years of non-compete, this sometimes happens on a job that is only 1-3 months. You have to laugh at those types of situations. Usually the client will push them aside or lower the time to the job plus some time, but both non-competes and arbitration agreements are horrible for workers in today's economy where people change jobs frequently and many are self-employed/freelancing/contracting.

The non-compete should not exist, at the core removing competition from skilled workers in our economy is bad all around, unless you are one of the current big fish.

neogodless 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure if you came here for anecdotes, but my very first full time web developer position had a non-compete clause. After 2.5 years, I moved to a new company about 15 miles away for a roughly 20% raise. Some time into this job, I ended up doing some work for a client that had left my previous employer. I reached out to the previous employer because I needed something changed on the server (they still managed hosting) - this tipped them off that I was (gasp) doing work for one of their previous clients. They ended up attempting to sue me and my new employer based on the non-compete! We went to a disposition, but then the lawyers huddled, and the end result was that the non-compete was reduced from 5 Years (!!) to just 1 year, and that we agreed I wouldn't do work on that specific client for the duration. Otherwise, there was no penalty or fallout. I consider it a big dramatic show with no benefit to the previous employer; they stomped their feet and pouted, the end.

Depending on the phrasing of the non-compete, I tend to cross that section out, initial them, and then include a note when I submit them to my employer. Most are fine with that change.

dmourati 1 day ago 2 replies      
Massachusetts has realized that its current legislation allowing for non-competes sniffles innovation.



bahularora 1 day ago 1 reply      
Today, after completing almost a month of my trial at a new job, HR asked me to sign a document on Stamp paper with a very vague 1 year non-compete clause. All my objections to the same were casually shrugged of by her, by saying they don't use it until I would directly hurt the revenue of the employer.

When I refused to sign it she said that it might be hard to offer me a job in the case I don't sign it. Which very much sounded like a threat to me. If they insist I would most probably sign it, as without the salary I wouldn't be able to afford rent next month. According to her all the other employees have signed it and none questioned her on it.

Notably non-competes are mostly illegal in India, still almost all agreements I have come across have the clause mentioned in them. I don't understand the point in having a clause like this, when its non-enforceable.

Many other points of the agreement were as egregious as the non-compete clause. Also the whole agreement was extremely one sided. It also said all the IP/Products/patents I develop, even in my own time, during my tenure would belong by the employer.

aikah 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't understand how these clauses are even legal at first place. It violates the basic right of freedom of work. You can't have on one end freedom of enterprise but on the other hand no freedom of work for employees. the worst thing is the fact that these agreements usually come with 0 compensation.
throw_away_777 1 day ago 3 replies      
Why can't congress do something about this? Non-competes are clearly terrible for workers, and should at the least be illegal without a severance agreement. If a company wants to keep me from working they should pay for the privilege. Workers also need to start refusing to sign egregiously bad non-compete agreements.
dsr_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm perfectly OK with a non-compete agreement... as long as it pays me for my downtime.

You think the information in my head is so valuable that you don't want me working for a competitor for three years after I leave? OK, pay me for three years.

It's not worth that much to you? Well, how much is it worth?

ad_a 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a coffee shop in our town that makes barristas sign a non-compete i.e. no working at other coffee shops in town. This is beyond mind-blowingly stupid.
losteverything 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is now standard for unskilled workers too as it is included in most job application / offers.

A $12 / hr. part time Walmart worker can not work at another retailer or online company or Amazon warehouse. The scope is defined by the company.

It is used as a threat.

Besides, if someone wants to steal company secrets they will regardless of a signed paper.

In the '80s worked with a Chinese C/unix contractor that ported all code to China. It was comm type work. No NDA would prevent a criminal.

laichzeit0 1 day ago 2 replies      
I just signed one of these ridiculous clauses because pretty much everyone is just slapping this into their contracts now.

Law needs to catch up on this one and fast. I like the idea of making non-compete enforceable only if you can prove malicious intent. Similar to how tax works. If onus is on the tax payer to prove that if you buy something and sell it at profit you must prove that the _intention_ was not to turn a profit if you want to pay capital gains tax and not income tax on the profit.

Except the burden on proof must be skewed in favor of the employee and the proof of intent needs to sit with the employer if they want to enforce. E.g. If I go to market and get an offer (say at some competitor), you have first right of refusal to give me a counter. If you refuse to counter you cannot enforce your non-compete. This is fair imho. Lots of problems regarding "trade secrets" etc. but the law should be highly weighted towards the idea of "innocent by until proven guilty" for the employee.

joshAg 1 day ago 1 reply      
simple solution: all workers must be paid full salary and benefits for the entire term of the non-compete agreement.
hammock 1 day ago 3 replies      
This comes one week after - and in contrast to - Donald Trump promising in his first 100 days in office a five-year ban on White House officials and Congressman from becoming lobbyists, and a lifetime ban on White House lobbyists from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.


Steeeve 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've heard of two or three people in my lifetime that had a company try to enforce a non-compete. Two were during a Microsoft/Google fight, and one was in the late 60s with a scientist.

Has anybody around here been sued after leaving a company due to a non-compete clause?

hak8or 1 day ago 2 replies      
This seems to explicitly not include workers who are privvy to trade secrets based on a quick skim, so I guess all of us tech workers wouldn't have anything changed sadly.
Arcaten 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is most surprising to me about these stories today is how uncommon NDAs are. I read somewhere that 20% of workers in the US have signed one.

I don't know if this is a common experience, but my employer recently began putting NDAs in place and, in retrospect, I feel they took advantage of the ignorance of most of the employees (including me). They insisted that the NDA was "standard," managers told us that there was no room for negotiation and pushed to have us sign immediately (eventually relented to having it signed by end of the following day).

solotronics 1 day ago 1 reply      
IANAL but my understanding is that non-competes are essentially unenforceable in Texas.
dustinmr 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems to miss how companies will react if enacted. If there's a freer flow on the talent side, corporations will want a freer flow as well. I would expect this to accelerate the current trend of converting more and more positions to contract or temporary positions rather than employment.

I think that's a good thing.

I'm not sure the White House would agree.

didgeoridoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
A ban seems heavy-handed. Since a noncompete essentially ties up an employee for a period, I'd prefer to see that tie-up treated by law as a continuation of employment at the existing salary. Surely companies must value their precious IP more than a single employee's salary for a year or two and if they don't, perhaps it isn't that valuable after all.
gok 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great! ...as long as this doesn't just mean nonsensically narrow rules like the new Illinois law, which only applies to low wage workers (< $13/hour).
dominotw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ban-ing things is like writing explanatory code comments instead of working out why that code was confusing/hacky in the first place.

Unfortunately, people would rather welcome big brother govt into their lives than work on fixing the real problem.

npezolano 1 day ago 0 replies      
California is one of the few states that doesn't honor out of state non-competes.
omouse 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank the lord, non-competes are a criminal waste of productivity.
tjpnz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone know how these work in practice in Japan? The constitution here guarantees the right to work where you want yet I've witnessed people being asked to sign them upon leaving a job.
flukus 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The Obama administration on Tuesday also urged states to ban non-compete agreements that are not proposed before a job offer or promotion is accepted and said employers should not be able to enforce the agreements when workers are laid off.

Won't this just move the non-compete to be included in the job offer instead of the formal employment contract? That's a slight improvement at best.

smokedoutraider 1 day ago 2 replies      
While I don't agree with non-competes, I don't understand how it's even slightly ok to allow a government to decide private business policies.
squozzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this gets any traction, I might consider giving BHO a C+ grade for his administration.
shadowban_me 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like how anyone even mentioning IP is downvoted to hell. It really shows you what market Ycombinator is really in. Every single comment is either someone's personal narrative, or a ridiculous troll where "OMG WHY" is the only thing they say in each sentence. Wow, I wonder how this ever became law when YCombinator commentators are so opposed to it?
DominikR 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder what a principled position on this matter would be.

On one hand everyone is free to trade freedoms for gains (usually monetary - every contract restricts both parties freedom), but on the other hand you can't trade certain freedoms away that we view as fundamental.

Even though I am certainly no proponent of non-compete agreements I cautiously tend towards viewing such contracts as acceptable and valid.

You usually do limit selling your services already the moment you accept a position as an employee, at least for the time you stay employed there. Contractually expanding it for a mutually agreed upon period doesn't strike me as that much different, at least as long as there was no coercion involved and both sides fully understood the consequences.

losteverything 1 day ago 2 replies      
Tragic story of a business. You decide if it was stolen. Happened a few years ago to a client friend.

Husband wife owns a florist. Has for decades in a county fourth highes per capita income in us.

Built a nice life but it was time to retire and sell the business.

They did not own their building.

New landlord buys building ( shop in nice main street area.) raises rent to outrageous amount. Too much to run the business.

Husband wife team can't sell florist before New lease starts and they do not sign lease.

The very Next week !!!! Next week - building owner puts up new sign for a new florist.

The owners lost everything. They owned some things like coolers - and got $$ for those.

MacBook Pro apple.com
688 points by rl3  9 hours ago   1458 comments top 254
npgatech 9 hours ago 23 replies      
This event was by far the most disappointing Mac event in the history. A lot of the time was wasted in:

- Mildly funny jokes and comparison with 90's technology.

- 90% of the talk was about the touch bar.

- Awful demos of Photoshop & some cringy DJ.

I was hoping we would see:

- A new MacBook with all day battery life and touch bar, even thinner design. Ok, I understand that they are trying to consolidate their product line but the category of a web-browsing machine that is 12", super small design and an adequate processor is left without any update.

- A MacBook pro with some real innovation. They could just copy Microsoft with a detachable screen (oh but they would cannibalize iPad market), pen input, touch screen. But, instead we get this touchbar thing which is great but I am just disappointed that it is the only thing they have innovated here.

- Killed Macbook Air.

- No iMac update (!!!).

- No monitor announcement.

Microsoft really hit it out of the park yesterday. Apple's entire presentation felt like they are trying to fill the 1.5 hours of time with bullshit.

Also, Panos Panay sounds like a genuine, authentic, passionate and knowledgeable whereas Jony Ive sounds like an Evangelical designer who feels "fake". I don't know how to explain it.

ynniv 9 hours ago 23 replies      
Apple has replaced the MacBook Pro with a faster MacBook Air labeled "Pro". I have no idea how they could think that professionals would use a MacBook Air (no ports, shallow keyboard, no expansion, no innovative features, marginally lighter). A tiny ribbon display is completely useless to me. They removed the escape key. Twenty years of using Macs and I'm not sure what my next laptop is going to be.
blocke 10 hours ago 15 replies      
The touch bar examples shown are a usability disaster. You're going to hide UI from the screen and make me keep looking at the keyboard to find functionality?

I stopped looking at the keyboard every 10 seconds when I learned how to touch type.

The presenter spent most of his time looking at the keyboard and not the screen.

This gimmick will disappear when Apple decides a touch screen is needed to complete the slow merge with iOS.

nkw 9 hours ago 6 replies      
Wow. I hate to say it, but I thought the products in Microsoft's event yesterday were way more exciting than anything from Apple lately. This plus macOS Sierra seems like a whole lot of "meh". This coming from a guy whose first computer was an Apple IIe, who owned a Mac Cube, and whose daily driver is a trashcan MacPro.
untog 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I know USB-C is the future, but it's going to be a long, long, long time before all our devices are using it - particularly external displays. My current Macbook Pro has an HDMI port. I use it every day. I do not want to carry a converter dongle with me everywhere (I did that with my old Air that only had a DisplayPort).

To echo other complaints: this is supposed to be a professional machine. I don't care about it being several mm thinner, especially when it comes at the cost of useful ports and a great keyboard. Give me a device that I can use, day in day out. Don't take away the damn escape key to trial out a new "touch bar" that inputs emojis, and don't bump the price up by this much when you know I'm going to have to go out and buy a host of $20 dongles when I buy the thing.

swang 9 hours ago 6 replies      
I have the early 2013 MacBook Pro. It is still pretty fast.

Nothing I saw today makes me happy to upgrade as a developer. Sure it's lighter and thinner and HUUGE trackpad that's a nice to have when I'm traveling. But the TouchBar requires me to look down at my keyboard which slows me down. And they can't even leave the keyboard itself alone with the terrible butterfly implementation coming over from the 12" MacBook. And I am sure all the Mac developers will enjoy developing apps that both have and do not have TouchBar. Just wait 5-7 years for all the non-TouchBar based MacBooks to not be as common.

Then the ports. Apple seems to think that it can force upgrades to technology like they did with (arguably) floppy drives and cd-rom/dvd drives. But USB (non-C) is not a dying standard, neither is an SD-card slot. People still use SD-cards Apple! I don't want to buy dongles all the time. I am shocked they even bothered to include a headphone jack. Where's your courage now Apple?

All of this has been very off-putting as a developer. And where are the iMac and Mac Pro updates?

edit: also they got rid of magsafe. i guess thats a split since their magsafe 2 cables were way too loose.

wkirby 9 hours ago 6 replies      
What I wanted:

- 7th generation Intel chips. Skylake (6th generation) is from August 2015.

- A move to Nvidia GPUs

- Retain the magsafe power adapter

- At least one dedicated display-out port, preferably HDMI

- 32GB RAM for the 15 inch base model

- Support for the airpods using their new W1 chip

What I'm mad they included:

- Price increase for low value

- Touch Bar does away with physical keys I use daily (most importantly escape), while providing very little functionality I see using in my daily workflows (auto-complete on a desktop? I type faster than that.)

What they could have surprised me with:

- A full touch screen

- Support for the Apple Pencil on the new larger trackpad

- Any mention of their desktop lineup

lostgame 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Unbelievably unimpressive compared to Microsoft's announcement yesterday, and 45 minutes into the keynote I still have no idea what the specs are.

I don't need some stupid touch strip on my Mac, I need a touch screen.

I haven't been this let down by product announcements ever as I have been this year with everything Apple's done.

Now we get all our standard USB ports removed, very little by way of actual hardware improvements, are we even going to get an upgraded Mac Pro that might meet the minimum 4GB gfx card requirement for Oculus, etc?

I've sworn by Apple products for a decade and a half. I'm done.

dchuk 10 hours ago 8 replies      
(Posted in another thread, that probably will not make it as high as this)

I think conceptually this is really neat, but it could potentially suffer from one major flaw: I hardly ever look down at my keyboard. A flat, digital screen containing changing buttons does not cater well to touch typists, of which you can reasonably assume most are who use a macbook pro.Touch ID is sweet though.

brentm 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I hate to take away from the complaining in here but I actually think it looks pretty nice. I was pleasantly surprised with the interactions they demonstrated with the new ribbon display. I knew they were going to announce it and didn't think I'd care but I will walk away from the video with the feeling that I want one.
makecheck 10 hours ago 3 replies      
When I am at a desk, the lid is closed so both TouchID and touch-anything effectively dont matter, including any display information. In fact, I am worried about applications gradually putting information only on the Touch Bar that cannot be found anywhere else.

Perhaps they could have placed a TouchID button on the SIDE of the laptop (usable when open or closed). And hopefully the ENTIRE Touch Bar display is also available as a global window ON the screen so that it is still able to display/activate things when you are lid-closed connected to an external display.

The real shock though is that a lot of these changes show a lack of usability testing. Like, 10 minutes in the hallway level of testing. How much serious work can actually be accomplished with such tiny touch keys that require you to look down at them, constantly changing and mostly unpredictable? Before ever creating new hardware for this, they should have enhanced macOS to provide an on-screen version of this ever-changing toolbar to encourage more universal support from developers and work out the usability kinks. Instead, now theyre stuck: this thing is in your laptop, with all its flaws.

dguaraglia 9 hours ago 7 replies      
As a heavy Vim user, this might be my last Apple development machine. I can always remap Caps Lock to Esc, but years of muscle memory > a flashy feature I have little use for.

There's nothing I'd pay extra for in this new machine: touchbar is a meh, biometric authentication has been around since ~2005, the hardware specs are finally catching up with what everyone else has been shipping for a couple years, the new keyboard is horrible, Siri is the new ubiquitous feature nobody wants, USB C... meh.

I wonder if 2017 will finally be the year software developers go back to Linux machines? If only the story for mixed DPI displays was solid, I think it might finally be The Year of Desktop Linux :P.

brian-armstrong 10 hours ago 5 replies      
Replacing hardware keys with a touchscreen on a laptop made for power users is a sign that Apple has lost touch with what made the MacBook Pro popular in the first place. I think they could have just upgraded to the newest CPU and put a new battery in and made everyone happy.
davesque 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Man...this just feels like such an epic letdown. All the new "killer" features just seem like gimmicks. I could care less if there's a touch strip (that I have to look at to use) on my keyboard. I also don't give a shit if I can scan my fingerprint instead of just typing my password to login. The hardware is also just not cutting edge (the price is though). Such a huge disappointment. It seems pretty clear that Apple just doesn't care about their desktop/laptop business anymore. And all this after months of waiting to purchase a new laptop since Apple delayed their normal product schedule.
simonsarris 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Interestingly they removed the pricing from their landing page, this morning the Macbook pro prices (for the old gen) were pretty prominent at the top of the page, above the fold and above any images of the computer.

The 13 inch now starts at $1,499 (but no touch bar at all unless you spend at least $1,799), up from $1,299.

The 15 inch now starts at $2,399, up from $1,999.

If you want to compare the copy, you can see the old version cached here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:z7BWPC9...

overcast 9 hours ago 6 replies      
Ugh. I don't know what to do here. I've been waiting for Mac updates for ages, and this is what we get. My 2008 Mac Pro is maxed out on upgrades, and has been on the fritz lately. I can't go forever on an 8+ year old machine. Especially one that is no longer "officially supported" by Apple, and now requires 3rd party patches to install Sierra and its updates.

Microsoft's Surface presentation yesterday was VERY tempting.

justanton 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Apple is being run more and more by marketers, rather than by techies.

As a developer, I don't want to see "emojis" on my keyboard, but I do want to be able to plug in any device I need in that exact moment, without looking for a right dongle.

Apple needs to stop sacrificing usability for "looks".

mindo 9 hours ago 2 replies      
They should have called it "MacBook Hipster". Call me stupid, but this spring I bought mbp 13" mid-2012 model not because it's the cheapest one they have, but because that's the only one they had with swappable hdd, ram, battery and even with ethernet port that I personally don't care that much about.

I much rather have slightly lower specs but when the day comes and my ram is corrupted or i need ssd replacement I could order one online and get delivered the next day, rather than drive 200km to drop it for repairs, wait god knows how long and drive those damn 200km to pick it up.

Hispter glue sandwiches is not something I'm planing to buy as my next computer, I just really hope Apple will get their sh*t together and release another laptop for old school guys like me...

daturkel 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I think in a few years, we're going to be looking back at this as a half-assed hack before we were ready for a macbook with a full touch screen. Touch typists (which I'd imagine are an increasing proportion of computer users) don't look at the keyboard. Touch cues (ridges on the F and J keys, placement and size of keys) guide typing and control without the need to look.

Even if you just used the touchbar to allow for context-sensitive buttons, I'd lose the real tactical feedback of a keyboard and need to build new muscle memory for each application.

Worse is when you start putting GUIs on the touch barnow I'm really expected to look down and scroll through a library of photos or find my favorite website on this tiny strip which isn't on my screen? Why?

dvcrn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This event confused me. I had a bunch of emotions from happiness to utter confusion.

I love gimmicks and thought the TouchBar was cool. Then I thought about it how I would usually use it, and the answer was "close to never because I touchtype". Then I realized that the ESC key that I use for so many things blindly is now more awkward to reach. Then I realized that the TouchBar doesn't have haptic feedback which makes precision work more difficult. Then I realized the coming version might actually have haptic feedback and force touch.

Then I realized that the MBP is still limited to 16GB RAM max. If I buy this machine I want to use it for 6 years to come. 6 years with 16GB RAM doesn't seem realistic.

I am not a negative person and absolutely love my Mac. I love the apps that I own and I can't wait to get my hands on the new Final Cut Pro. But I don't know if I want to buy another Mac. Remember when everyone told you the 15" MacBook is effectively a desktop replacement? That's what I want. A desktop replacement for work that I can also put in my pocket and carry somewhere else.

I absolutely don't mind buying 2 Macs. One portable one (12") and one semi/non-portable one for the heavy lifting. But right now that doesn't seem to be the option.

For example: The new FCPX is amazing! But it requires a lot of specs to deal with the ever increasing resolution. It's highly possible that phones can soon record 6k footage in <6 years that need to get edited somewhere.

mickronome 9 hours ago 0 replies      
/rant mode partially activated

While I want more RAM and better GPU to be able to connect more and bigger screens, I don't want any gimmicks. If they could get the keyboard to feel crisp longer, or make it cheaper to replace would also be great. But instead they add a bar that will probably make keyboard replacement even more expensive, and then they remove the magsafe which has saved my computer on several occasions, what's up with that ? Stupidly hunting for a mm thinner profile ?

I never really like Jobs, but to me he always appeared to want to build beautiful tools, and while I have not always agreed with the aesthetics and the hows, they were still tools, and I respected both him and Apple for that.

In contrast to that, Apple today appears to think they are selling a innovative fashion statement, or maybe a lifestyle ? Completely foregoing the tools aspect, and now it has reached the MBP line which have been mostly spared until now.

It's a pity.

sakisv 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Sometimes I really cannot understand the guys at apple:

- No regular USB ports

- No HDMI port

- No F keys

- No option for more than 16GB RAM

- No mag-safe

- More expensive

Why not bump the specs, allow for more RAM, and just add an extra USB-C to start the adoption slowly?

vegasje 9 hours ago 7 replies      
Seems like my next laptop won't be a MacBook Pro.

Can anyone recommend a good Linux laptop that will offer up to 32gb of RAM and have decent battery life?

gniquil 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why there's so much backlash against the "bar". Personally I'm actually really excited. I'm a programmer. I can imagine all sorts of plugins and addons one can make for one's favorite editor. Imagine writing a plugin for vim or sublime text to inc/dec font size, mapping short cut functionalities to "named" buttons rather than F9. Don't like it contextually changing on you? Just program it to stay static. Some here complain that there's no escape key. But what prevents you from putting it there (better yet, maybe we could make it twice the width so you won't accidentally hit F1?).

In fact, extrapolating further, perhaps in 10 years, the entire keyboard (and touchpad) will eventually become one giant touch screen, with location specific haptic feedback. By then, the younger generation of programmers who grew up in the age of touch screen phones and ipads will not miss the real keyboards (like we don't miss the blackberries). And that one giant touchscreen will be infinitely more customizable.

ChicagoDave 9 hours ago 2 replies      
TouchBar. Dead on arrival. This is a cute feature, but kind of embarrassing from an innovation perspective. And given the announcement of the Surface Book update and the new Surface Studio, Apple is inconceivably playing second fiddle to Microsoft on the innovation front.

The leap ahead on ports is premature at best.

I'm sure Apple will hold most of their fan base, but there are going to be quite a few defections me thinks.

verandaguy 9 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm surprised (and a bit disappointed) by the lack of HDMI and DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports.

I'm even more surprised by the lack of a physical escape key. I'm concerned that it could break some applications (Vim, Emacs, all kinds of command-line stuff), even if <Esc> isn't as big a deal with Apple's non-developer user base.

... At least they kept the 3.5mm jack.

rayiner 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the touch bar is gimmicky, but I have to give Apple credit for bucking the trend of hiding UI and making functionality more rather than less visible to users. The trend in the mobile OSs has been to hide more and more functions being hamburger menus (Android), toolbars that only pop up when you tap them (Apple Maps), cryptic flat icons, etc. It's totally undiscoverable. This is the opposite: context-sensitive commands that show up and let the user know what he or she can do.

EDIT: This is how I feel about the "ESC" key thing as an Emacs user: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/59dp9u/apple_f....

felixrieseberg 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I cannot understand how a company like Apple, known and proven to build exceptional hardware, won't let me use my iPhone headset with the new MacBook.
yasky 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am sorry, does anyone know how to navigate this comment page??? I can't even find the 2nd comment. The first comment has tons of replies and I have scrolled 30 pages and cant even find the 2nd comment.
arihant 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This does not seem like a major announcement to me. They added a bar and touch ID. But they added force touch with taptic engine last year and it took 3 minutes to introduce.

Between this and Surface with Bash built in, it's the first time since Windows 98 that I can see myself using a Windows computer.

This machine is not pro, as in not for professionals. No self-respecting Musician, Artist, Writer, Programmer, Photographer, Sportsman, etc. can make their living on this. This is what you take to a coffee shop to check e-mail. Anything else requires a dongle. It doesn't "just work" if you need to plug in a series of cables first. That's how Windows laptops were handled. They needed drivers for anything meaningful, this needs dongles.

I need a laptop to create. I don't need a laptop that competes with a notepad on thickness and usefulness. It was all Steve Jobs. All of it.

When is 4mm thicker laptop less elegant than thinner laptop with 5 dongles? Only on paper.

ookblah 9 hours ago 0 replies      
honestly, pretty let down by the event. apple touchbar is ... i cant' even. it's like trying to force features that were on my phone on to the laptop. and this thing is supposed to be geared toward professionals.

1) what if i'm docked to an external monitor + keyboard? becomes completely useless.

2) going forward and back in safari? "quick type" autosuggestions when typing? really is that the innovation? i'm pretty sure i can type and/or correct myself faster than it takes to look down and touch an autocorrected version of what word i just typed. why not build that ui into you know.. the on screen software. this is just a terrible ui decision that was brought over from a phone... which makes 100% sense there given the small real estate.

anybody who uses pro apps already knows all the primary shortcuts or remaps them so they are easy to access by feel. now you require me to stare at my keyboard and manage two touch surfaces that aren't close to each other.

3) and thanks for removing my esc key and replacing it with a one that changes context every time i switch apps (or even within an app). i'm sure that goes well with all the developers out there.

that pretty much leaves being able to... quickly select emojis in messages and touch id (which admittedly was very cool). seriously debating this (given the bumped specs) or a previous gen macbook pro or new macbook. if i could move out of apple ecosystem i'm seriously considering it this time around.

ilyanep 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Still can't go above 16GB RAM. As someone who is frequently running a lot of servers on my development machine (but still values portability), this is pretty disappointing.
j79 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Given the opening of the Keynote and the focus around accessibility, I'm really curious how Touch Bar will work for non-sighted users. Will it require running your finger over the controls while VoiceOver relays the context of the button? Or, will the Touch Bar require "focusing" where a user swipes through the buttons, similar to iOS?

Personally, I don't need application aware function keys (sure, emojis are cool in messages...) and would love an option for the 15" MBP to have physical keys, similar to the 13" option...

matt4077 10 hours ago 3 replies      
HN is full of people who touch-type F9, I know. But I'm pretty excited about the toolbar. In anything but my primary editor, it will dramatically increase my ability to get by keyboard-only. For 99% of people, the increased discoverability will dramatically increase their ability to use shortcuts.

And even the other 1% don't spend all their time within a set of applications small enough to memorize all shortcuts.

ROFISH 9 hours ago 5 replies      
16GB RAM max, DP1.2 (so no 5k display support), worthless Touch Bar when I use my current MBP dual monitor with the lid closed. Pass.

Sadly I really wanted something better since I'm on an old 2012 MBP that badly needs an upgrade but I'm not dropping $1500+ for something that doesn't support 32GB and 5k displays.

avitzurel 10 hours ago 6 replies      
I can't get over the ESC key.

I need to experience it in order to make a final decision but even though it's "there" the position looks awkward.

kennell 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it.

The entire presentation was absolutely cringeworthy. The touch bar is a stupid gimmick being sold for a $300 price bump. Any serious developer, video editor or audio engineer knows all his shortcuts already and simply does not want to look down on his keyboard. The entire idea is flawed to begin with.

I really would not care if they put this on their toy-macs (the 12" "Macbook" or the "Air). Go ahead. But for the love of god, just leave one machine for people that use their Macs as a serious, professional everyday work tool

huac 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm very sad that the MagSafe connectors will be gone. It's one of my favorite parts of the Mac ecosystem, and a huge advantage.
gchokov 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one like what I see.

I currently have 2012 rMBP and love the form factor, love the material. Why would I want something different from what I really like already? I am sure the display will be a lot better, but here, nobody talks about it.

I totally agree that functional keys take too much time and there are some I never ever use. Can't wait to jump on the new MacBook. I'll be more than happy if it lasts me nearly 5 years again.

I don't understand all the negativity recently here on HN. Do you try to look cool guys? Go get MSFT book and leave the rest of us to use what we already love, but better one.

bit_logic 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Something I wish Apple would do:

Apple Executive: Engineering team, make the new MacBook Pro 20% lighter and thinner!

Apple Engineering: OK!

(Many months later)

Apple Engineering: We're done! We had to make massive improvements in energy efficiency, thermal issues, etc. but we did it.

Apple Executive: Now give all that 20% weight/width back to the battery. Pro users probably care more about battery life than weight/width at this point which are more than good enough.

duaneb 10 hours ago 3 replies      
They aren't buttons, it's a touch screen. Meaning: fuck blind people and touch typists.
trurl 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Still no 32GB option. I guess Pros just don't need that kind of memory?
csomar 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of negative reviews here. My first mac was a 15" rMBP-2014. I have really fallen in love with the machine and OSX.

Here is what I think Apple got right (from a personal perspective):

1- Lighter and thiner. When I'm out, I care only about how light it is; and how thin it is. I have a bluetooth mouse, and I don't really need an HDMI and SD card slot.

2- I can see myself using the TouchBar for Chrome and Mail. I usually browse/mail when I'm out.

3- The cheapest version has a good Graphic Card that supports 4 HD screens. My current retina does support only two HD screens and I have been thinking of building a 3or4 screen setup.

4- Larger Trackpad. I can see myself using this too.

Here is where I got disappointed:

1- Limited CPU upgrade. Would have loved if we got a real killer CPU here (xeon mobile or something like that)

2- Possibility of a 32GB RAM Upgrade.

3- Higher resolution screen, but this is low on my list as the current one is fairly high-res.

4- Better front-camera. 720p? Come on, it's 2017. At least a 5MP camera. It'd not add much to the cost and make my skype calls less miserable.

5- nano-SIM Slot for 4G internet. Seriously, I tether most of the time. This function has been in my 10" LG 6 years ago.

rl3 10 hours ago 2 replies      
"6th-generation Intel processor"

So in other words it's using Skylake, not Kaby Lake (7th-generation).

No mention of display resolution either, which leads me to believe the 15" model won't feature a 4K display. It's using an unspecified AMD Polaris GPU.

There's also a 13" MBP sans Touch Bar, featuring normal function keys.

jmspring 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Dear Tim Cook,

As the owner of a 16gig, 13" MBP, i7 processor, MacBook Pro, explain to me why I upgrade?

Utili-bar is stupid.

Old processor, no chance for more memory, OS going to shit by trying to be as constrained as iOS.

Upgrade why?

Matachines 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I was either happy/neutral about everything but the price... not sure what to do now. I'm just too used to macOS and don't feel like making the switch to Windows or Linux.
binthere 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This trend of killing hardware buttons needs to stop. It's very inconvenient. The sense of touch is important for me. It's one of the annoying things I don't like about many Android devices and it seems that Apple is slowly transitioning to this as well.
sccxy 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Pro device with emojis.

Did you hear about emojis? I guess they mentioned it five times in the keynote.

tedmiston 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of dislike for the new machines in this thread. It's a good time to remember that previous gen machines are often found in the Refurbished [1] and Clearance [2] sections of the Apple site in the months following a launch. Clearance is empty right now, but there are plenty of rMBP in refurbished.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

[2]: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/clearance...

sandGorgon 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C. Any one of the four ports can be a charging port.


Hopefully, this will disrupt the rest of the industry. The XPS 13 is a brilliant machine (IMHO better than the Mac) but why did they not use the USB-C for charging is beyond me.

satysin 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The touch bar could do with being a little taller. Considering there is space above it it is a shame they couldn't make it 3-4mm bigger.

I find it amusing Apple makes such a big deal of adding a fingerprint reader to a laptop, I have had that for about a decade on all my Windows machines. Hardly anything special these days.

So it is thinner, yay!(?), but it was pretty damn thin anyway, would have been nice to have a 20 hour battery (estimating on size differences if same battery life as previous).

God I hope they improved the butterfly switches from v1. Those things were like using a Blackberry keyboard on a laptop. Disgusting IMHO.

Does anyone know if their "wide" colour display beats the OLED in the new Lenovo?

Edit: Also 4 USB-C, how long until they kill the Lightning port on the iPhone/iPad do you think? Seems idiotic to have a phone and tablet with one connector and a laptop (and desktops I assume in the future) with a totally different port. They should have switched to USB-C on the iPhone 7 when they killed off the 3.5mm jack IMHO.

gizmo 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Why would any professional want to look at their keyboard to do anything? This is just a reinvention of the F-keys row from the 80s, but worse:


40acres 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I was very intruged by the Dell XPS 13/15, especially since they come in a developer edition which runs Ubuntu. I've been holding off on a purchase because I wanted to see what Apple would come up with, Dell looks pretty strong today.
overgard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So as a programmer, this stupid touch bar thing is a huge downgrade. I use the function keys all the time in my development tools. Now I'm supposed to use some stupid tiny touchscreen with no tactile feedback? And I have to look down at it every time I want to tap something?

This thing solves approximately zero problems I had, but creates a bunch more.

agentgt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
"We took that track pad that your palms occasional rub against and accidentally move your cursor.... yeah we took that and made it extra big so your wrists will now participate in cursor screw ups"... think different.
dasmoth 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone else get the feeling that Apple are planning to kill desktops entirely? I went into this kind-of interested in the touch bar but thinking "how will they add it to external keyboards." Now, I don't think they ever will. The "pro workstation" sequence they showed during the live event is what they're aiming at: set your desk up so that the laptop us the keyboard and just add monitors (and perhaps external storage).

And you know, perhaps they're right. But may take me a while to accept.

Luftschiff 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone here give me Buying Advice?

Mine just died and I was really looking forward to this event because I have wanted to switch to Mac for a while now (I really don't like the "new" Windows interface and I've only had trouble with my previous Windows Laptops) but I don't see a reason to pay what would amount to about 2 months pay for one of the just announced MBp.

I want to be able to do all kinds of hardware intensive things (photo and video editing, data science/statistics, maybe software development) because I don't know what exactly I will need my laptop for yet and want it to last for at least 4-5 years. I'd also love my machine to be designed with some care, I just can't stand the look of the Thinkpad series.

Any ideas?

pbhowmic 9 hours ago 3 replies      
My single biggest fear was that they would end the MagSafe and that has come to pass. 3 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs, the MagSafe has saved my existing MacBook Pro so many times.
toor2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is just another run of the mill update to me. I'm a developer and sys admin in research computing and to me, everything they removed I never used anyways.F-keys? Practically never use them, I much prefer keyboard shortcuts that allow me to stay closer to home row. Lack of ports? I never use them on my MacBook anyways so I don't really careLack of power? All my heavy computing is done on remote compute clusters

Not to say that my needs are homogenous or anything. I guess my point is, from my perspective, this update isn't some catistrophic failure on apple's part, and it actually fits my needs as a professional quite well. That being said, I will definitely not buy the new MBP. My late 2011 MBP still runs flawlessly and does everything I need on the go. All I'd really want out of a new laptop is for it to be as small and light as possible. For me, the point of a laptop is to be portable, not some do-it-all machine that can hold all of Wikipedia in RAM at once

stemuk 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How come all that complaining and rambling about the missing upgrades for the iMac or Mac mini? I really think that Apple did a great job at evolutionally improving the MacBook Pro under the hood, and the TouchBar seems to be a really usefull addition for creative professionals.

Quite a fraction of the HN community really seems to enjoy complaining about what possibly could have been, rather than just beeing happy about the stuff Apple delivered today. And if you just can't stand the new MacBooks? Who cares! There are tons of other manufacturers to choose from and a different machine may just fit your taste perfectly.

Sgt_Apone 10 hours ago 2 replies      
4 USB-C ports. Kind of a bummer that I have to get a dongle to charge my iPhone SE with this thing.
bnchrch 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I think there's one fact that a lot of people overlooked here.

The new touchbar is optional.

The new MBP comes in two models and one still has your typical function row. I do agree that the announcement was disappointing, leaving me questioning if I'd get a new macbook anytime soon. I would have liked some more ram but its not work flow changing for those of us who are already accustomed to mac laptops.

EdSharkey 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple removed a physical Esc key - clearly a productivity superstar, but they DIDN'T remove that IBM-wannabe boat anchor Fn key?! The touch bar is all dynamic and touch-screeny, why the heck would you even need a PHYSICAL Fn key?? Just make Ctrl nice and fat like it used to be and dump Fn!

I'd have less of a problem with Fn if Apple put it to the right of Ctrl like Dell does/did. But noooooo, they had to copy those usability whizkids at IBM.

inputcoffee 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Everyone seems disappointed but I think the reason is this:

There isn't that much to innovate on the laptop.

If you want real innovation, you need new form factors: voice recognition, VR, intelligent devices and so on.

The laptop is excellent at what it does and the only thing you can really do is make it faster and lighter.

alva 9 hours ago 1 reply      
$1200 upgrade cost for 2TB option.16GB RAM maximum.

edit: Jeez. For 15" with 1TB UK buyers will be paying 3,059.00

dtnewman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The loss of the escape key is something I find annoying, even if it can be remapped[1] to caps lock (which i never use).

[1] https://9to5mac.com/2016/10/25/remap-escape-key-action-macbo...

Osmium 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Would be curious to know if they tested the Touch Bar below the keyboard instead of above it.

I wonder if, as the concept further evolves, the bar might become larger or migrate locations. The comparisons they made to the original PowerBook were interesting, in that it really showed how constant incremental changes really add up in the long term.

Edit: Another possibility is to integrate an OLED display into the trackpad too, so then you have haptics as well, and could interact with both mouse and touch bar with one hand.

[Reposted my comment from the other thread.]

ucha 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting fact: the 13" macbook without the touch bar has a 10% larger battery; however they don't describe it as having a 10% better battery life: they're both rated at 10 hours.
elnygren 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is everyone so disappointed? This is still by far the best laptop out there - let's go through the painpoints:

- no 32gb RAM. Name one laptop (a laptop, not a battleship) that has 32gb. Dell and Lenovo have a couple monstrosities with trackpads from the 90s with that amount of RAM.

- no ESC key. C'mon, obviously the toolbar has it when running macvim or iTerm (or some other terminal) with vim.

- no Intel something, no Nvidia this and that. So? With regards to GPU and CPU this is probably the best laptop in the market that is this thin and light.

- 10h battery life. MBP already has the biggest battery that is allowed in airplanes. Nobody can do better with same amount of computing power.

- USB-C. In a way this is valid, however, the world is better off with less connectors (it's Apple, everyone's gonna follow suit). For MagSafe, look at something like ZapTip.

To people saying they are abandoning Apple after a decade of use: why?

- still the best keyboard and trackpad BY FAR in the market

- still the best build quality, design and dimensions in the market

- excellent display

- excellent software

- an actual laptop that you want to carry around instead of a Dell/Lenovo plastic monster battleship

I think other people already did the comparison against Microsoft. Surface Books are much more expensive ($/performance) with only the touch screen going for them.

rl3 9 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a 13" MBP model that lacks Touch Bar, featuring normal function keys.

Apple is using last year's Skylake processors (6th-generation), not Kaby Lake (7th-generation), even though some OEMs are starting to ship hardware with Kaby Lake right now.

>Retina display

>15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors

No 4K display on the 15" models.

The GPU configurations are as follows based on the order page:

Intel Iris Graphics 540 (13" sans Touch Bar)

Intel Iris Graphics 550 (13" with Touch Bar)

Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB memory (15")

Radeon Pro 455 with 2GB memory (15" top-end)

Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory (both 15" models, optional)

As a WebGL developer, I'm really happy to see the Intel HD Graphics 4600 chipset die. It's basically been the performance target for consumer-oriented web applications for years now. Unfortunately, that target will still linger until older models finally reach obsolescence.

hartator 9 hours ago 4 replies      
I think it's also interesting to note that for the first time Apple is lagging behind in term of CPU generation when introducing redesigned MacBooks.

The new MacBook Pro are said to be using 6th generation of Intel CPU (Skylake) when you have already on the market the 7th generation on Intel CPU (Kaby Lake). You are even competitive laptops using them already: http://www.gsmarena.com/new_dell_xps_13_laptop_comes_in_rose...

As a web developer, I think something like this laptop with Windows 10 is becoming more and more interesting. With Ubuntu native integration in Windows, you can even run the Ubuntu versions of the full stack including Node.js, Mongodb and Rails. 100% matching your deployment environment.

brandon272 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The most exciting and practical product of the announcement was squeezed in at the end, the oddly named MacBook Pro replacement for the Macbook Air. And when I say exciting I am speaking relatively.

There was no mention of battery life, which is hugely important to me as a notebook user and which I guess I will have to find out from the Apple website once it refreshes.

I just found the whole thing to be kind of weird and underwhelming. Maybe the TouchBar is mind blowing in person. We'll see.

mcintyre1994 7 hours ago 0 replies      
UK prices are absolutely batshit crazy, I know, Brexit, but oh my God. Middle range MBP 13" has gone from 1100ish to 1749. Bottom priced one used to have 128gb SSD and now has 256GB, but they've crippled it by only giving it 2 TB3 ports where the others have 4.. and it's still 1449.
benologist 10 hours ago 2 replies      
TBH the touch bar seems like a half-arsed response to everyone else getting touch screens. Swiping photos, swiping timelines ... would be more natural on your actual screen, and almost as natural just using the trackpad or mouse.
valine 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Being able to charge from any of the four ports is legitimately cool. I also will be happy not buying an $80 power brick every time my cable frays. The touch bar will provide some significant user experience and workflow improvements. Overall I'd say it's a solid upgrade.
te_platt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been looking forward to this for while now but my first reaction is that I don't think I need a new laptop. And I really wanted a new laptop.

It looks nice, the last model looks nice too. The touch bar looks like it could be nice, 95% of my time I use an external keyboard. The new display looks really nice, 95% of my time I use two large external monitors.The USB-C ports will in the long run be more convenient, right now I'm looking at > $100 in adapters.

I'll check them out at the store but I may just look for a good price on the last model.

slg 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find the back to back introduction of the Surface Dial and the Touch Bar to be interesting. These two input devices are going to rely on developer commitments for any real level of success, but why should developers spend time on them when they will only be available on a relatively small percentage of devices? If these were web browsers we would all be complaining about standards, but there seems to be little blow back because they are OS level devices. Meanwhile this would seem to be a big headache for developers of cross platform software.
bane 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So it's looking like Microsoft may now be offering highly competitive and innovative hardware, now has a *nix subsystem and prompt you can drop to, better gaming, larger software library and so on, and tons of clone manufacturers who will ape Microsoft and Apple's offerings at a discount, why should my next machine be an Apple one?

Arguing with myself, I'd say hardware quality is probably going to be better from Apple -- but damn that's a hefty Apple tax to pay (and it doesn't stop when you buy the machine).

I can also say, working in a mixed shop, that most people who got Surface Pros in the last couple of years are generally happy with them, but they have all kinds of weird bugs and can be kind of flaky. A few folks with Surface books report similar issues. So there's that.

But really, this was honestly kind of a disappointing showing a day after Microsoft pretty much reinvented creative computing.

wkoszek 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Makes me wonder how people here feel about the USB-C and basically all gadgets requiring adapters. I like Apple and Mac, but this piece.. Isn't it ugly at the end, that if you want to use an SD card from your camera you must get an adapter, adapter for your iPhone 7 lighting headphones and adapter for your $1k 27" Retina display which isn't 5k, but still pretty freaking good. That's 3 ports, and 1 USB-C port left you'll use for charging.
nodesocket 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The base model of the 13" with touch bar price increases from the current $1399 to $1799. That certainly surprised me and is substantial.

Also, why would anybody buy an air now? It is worse in every possible category.

ChuckMcM 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I really like the touch bar (see my comments about wanting to create something similar, if somewhat larger, in other responses) but the overall product leaves me flat. I get thinness in general but when is it thin enough? I certainly felt "if they just made it thinner" wasn't really something that would inspire me to upgrade. Now a cellular modem built in? Maybe. Doubling the battery life? Sure that would be pretty awesome. A clever way to turn it into much expanded "desktop" kind of experience? Sure that would have some interest (Macbooks have sucked at "docking" for a long time).

I think it looks great, and the design touches are top notch, but it doesn't seem to be an improved product than what it is replacing. I miss Steve Jobs keen insights into the way I used things or imagined I might use them. I always felt he was speaking to the issue of "what every you are trying to do, using this tool will make it easier/faster/more intuitive Etc." what I got from this Macbook event was "look how beautiful it is."

bpesquet 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you remember the last time you weren't totally or at least partially disappointed at the end of an Apple event?

Me neither.

Maybe we expect too much. Maybe Apple has consistently failed to deliver for a long, long time.

Wonnk13 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm no longer the target audience of Apple. I still own an iPhone, but their notebook line doesn't appeal to me at all. I'm still using my aluminum macbook from '08 and my next one will probably be a chromebook running Fedora.
maxxxxx 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I switched from Windows to Mac two years ago and I am really happy with my MBP 13". But this new announcement is pretty underwhelming. 16GB max RAM, more expensive, no touch screen, nothing new and interesting, but a need for even more adapter cables. But it's really thin!

I am not sure what I'll do when my current Macbook breaks down.

pier25 9 hours ago 1 reply      
- 6th gen processors

- gimmigck touch bar

- no USB-A ports

- no SD card reader

- no magsafe

- super expensive for what you get

thadk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is Apple including GPUs in all versions of the 15" now because of any future move around software development, augmented reality and VR?

Is there really a GPU-4gb guideline on Oculus or is it mostly to do with the power of the cards. If so, is there any speculation about how these "Radeon Pro" 450/455/460 cards map to the prevailing laptop GPUs?

plusepsilon 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like a touch screen on the trackpad would've made more sense. Since it's so large there's room to be creative with on-screen shortcuts, dragging sliders, choosing an emoji :), etc. You can still keep all the keyboard shortcuts you need and not need to look at 3 things at once (screen, keyboard/trackpad, touch bar).
sundvor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Non-physical function keys are a horrible idea for programmers. I wouldn't go near the new MacBook Pro.

Lenovo quickly learned their lesson about that with the Gen2 of the X1C, and reverted to Gen1-style layout in the third generation. I could see myself upgrading then, if my 1st gen still didn't work so well (i7/8/256).

xxxmaster 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not sure if I have to pay so much extra money for fancy bels and whistles that do not help me as a programmer. I was really hoping for performance boost rather than fancy touch screen that makes me watch the keyboard instead of touch typing.

What I saw from the presentation made my actually go back home and check what Windows announced yesterday, since I was quite disappointed (I actually found the presentation of the surface book more close to what I was hoping the next macbook pro should be).

I believe the only thing that continues to save Apple for consumers like most of the ppl around here is that it is Unix based.

chadcmulligan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The touch bar seems interesting, perhaps what I'd like is a separate product that sits beside my mac and gives the touch bar functionality - something the size of a trackpad would be fantastic imho.
leroman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I cracked it! the laptop was designed for DJs!Now they can scratch and mix right from the laptop instead of putting it on a stand as if it was a super model..
Roritharr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone just point me to a 32gb ram 13" machine with TB3 Ports?

I would pay handsomely. If Microsoft had included a single Type-C port in the surface book, I would be at least in office bliss.

We could all have just bought Type-C dock monitors and had instant flexdesks with one cablee... But no... I have to wait at least half a year more for that to happen :(

If MS would just sell me a Surface Studio Display that works as a TB3 Dock for both Mac & Win Devices, offering Surface Pen & Dial support Windows only, or heck even Surface only, we would buy so many of them MS would have to become actually good at supply chains...

hydandata 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny, the original PowerBook they showed had a mechanical keyboard and a trackball, things that are much more compelling, and definitely more useful to me personally. You know, as a professional programmer I sort of take pride that I am immune to all this "innovation" crap. It is surprisingly easy to do as well. Erik Naggum sums it up pretty well [0]:

"... they don't make poles long enough for me want to touch Microsoft products, and I don't want any mass-marketed game-playing device or Windows appliance _near_ my desk or on my network. this is my _workbench_, dammit, it's not a pretty box to impress people with graphics and sounds. when I work at this system up to 12 hours a day, I'm profoundly uninterested in what user interface a novice user would prefer. ..."

You can just plug in Apple here instead of Microsoft and the truth still reigns. Now obviously Apple is not targeting professional developers with their products, no matter how much you try to pretend that they do, just stop, stop accepting inferior tools for doing stuff that puts food on your table, no other field is as bad at it as ours.

[0] http://www.xach.com/naggum/articles/3065048088243385@naggum....

Tistel 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I will bet $1.43 that Apple's next version of the iMAC will have a tilt bevel like the Cintiq art monitor and the new MS Studio computer. I think Wacom still claims to have better pressure resolution that the MS touch (no sure if true). I have a small cintiq that I enjoy. I feel a bit bad for Wacom, they seem to have attracted some mighty competitors. Maybe Cintiq/Wacom could try to partner with Apple. Have some sort of Wacom/iMac thing. Microsoft seems to have gotten some good leadership.
calebgilbert 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I really can't believe that 'OLED touchbar' is the lead off for this thing. a) if I hear 'OLED touchbar' one more time, think I'm going to freak/gag, b) if I cared less about anything regarding a mac in my life I'm not sure what it is.

Guess I'll be hanging onto my 2011 Macbook Pro a little longer.

shogun21 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple is fully supporting USB-C on their MacBook line. I don't know why they didn't just go all the way with unifying that across the iPhone 7.
antoaravinth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if I'm the only one who worried about Apple Logo On Screen lid which is not present in new macbook pro!
zyngaro 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I currently have a mid 2012 Macbook air and I love it. I was thinking about buying a new Mac but now I gonna buy a Thinkpad. Apple strategy has become clear now. They are targeting the - wealthy that do not care much about technology and just want a fancy product - part of the market.
ftrflyr 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is Apple completely out of touch with reality? The Mac Book Pro starts with 256GB? Same processor as my current 13in MBP? Disappointed.
godmodus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
so it's more a toy than a work computer. They boosted the "entertainment" factor - nothing else really.

Lenovo ruinning the thinkpad, Apple turning pros into toys. it's been a harsh few years. - i think there's slowly a good hole to fill in terms of proper workstation laptops that are modular and robust.

are people still hanging on to their 2012 pros? last i checked they still are.

heyiamlukas 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Macbook Pro.

The Pro stands for Emoji.

guessmyname 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Is the Touch ID sensor the new power button?

When I buy it, how am I supposed to power it up?

I feel stupid and old just for asking this question :-(

Rezo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope the Touch ID reader w/ secure enclave can be used with 3rd party apps like LastPass. Could be more convenient than a Yubikey (that you now cannot connect without an adapter!).

My biggest worry is the new regular MacBook-style keyboard (which is complete rubbish), even if they claim it's improved. That's definitely something you'll want to try in person if you have a current MacBook Pro, at these prices.

pc2g4d 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I really dig how laptop input devices are in flux right now. There's this trackbar thing, and then there are RGB keyboards like on the Razer Blade Pro. Here would be my ideal input configuration:

* Touchbar with haptic feedback to make the buttons feel more concrete* Physical escape key* RGB keyboard with good travel* Regular-size clickpad

Of course, this configuration doesn't exist anywhere.

The new MacBook Pro is intriguing, but I have concerns:* Max 16GB RAM* Oversized trackpad is going to be a palm-click nightmare* Not sure if I'd like the new keyboard* GPU performance is unclear---they didn't give enough details to assess it

Based on the level of detail in the video on Apple's website, I'm clearly not the target audience of this product. They hardly touched on the actual specs at all, except in a very handwavy, marketeering way.

I had been waiting to see what Apple would offer before replacing my ancient laptop. I just might go with the Dell XPS 15 but have been worried about build quality issues. I'd like something that can play games decently but I'm willing to sacrifice some performance in exchange for reasonable thermals and weight. 5.5 lbs is probably my max weight---I use it on my lap a lot.

everly 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Less than two weeks ago I bought a 13-inch retina MBP with a 3.1GHZ i7 and 16GB RAM for $1,799 [0].

I was expecting that the update would make me wish I'd have waited but nope. Would buy the same one I currently have again, if given the option.

[0] http://i.imgur.com/IT5LWJy.png

bdcravens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure it's a great machine, but disappointed that it's still capped at 16GB (since there have been lightweight machines like the XPS15 that support 32 for a bit)
cyphar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, why are they talking about "Thunderbolt 3"? Hadn't Apple finally decided to use a standardised protocol for its ports (USB C) rather than creating a new proprietary thing? Or was the Macbook 2015 just an interim design while they worked on some new bullshit proprietary connector? Goddammit.
finstell 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess, that's the end of it. Hereby, my love relation will die when my early 2015 Macbook Pro dies. There is absolutely no reason I'd update. Nil. What kind of "pro" would care about a touch bar? It's merely a toy. More often than not, these machines are attached to larger screens. It's not even going to be used much even if you wanted to. It's stuck with a 16GB RAM. If I buy it now, then I will be stuck with a 16GB RAM laptop for several years. The only thing I can appreciate is it's lighter now, but then I need to carry all the adaptors for HDMI, SD cards, USB devices. I wonder if it would feel lighter or a headache to travel with the new MacBook pro. To sum up it up, I would not consider to replace my 2015 Macbook Pro to a new one even it's for free. What was needed a lighter, more powerful "pro" computer with more battery juice maybe. What we get instead? How am I supposed to benefit from this? Will being able to select emojis from the touch bar increase my productivity?
jmspring 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple has failed at cloud. They have fired their car group. Software-wise, they want MacOS to be as restrictive (I mean featureful) as iOS. Underwhelming hardware updates -- I work for Microsoft and was waiting on upgrading to a new MBP...

I'm an apple household...

Apple 2016 is Nokia 2007.

No innovation, no inspiration.

A strong rival could bury them -- though it will take $$. I'm not seeing how Apple buys them self out of this hole.

Etheryte 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a good summary of how "innovative" this release is, is the fact the news didn't even reach top 20 on HN.
jandrewrogers 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The most interesting new feature (to me) is that a Secure Enclave processor is built into the laptop. Depending on the details of the implementation, that may have interesting implications for the overall security of the laptop.

I do agree that the rest of the updates are pretty underwhelming.

ohstopitu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I was looking to get a new laptop this year (black friday) and now I have no idea what I'm getting. I've waited years for a Retina Macbook Air and instead, we got this.

Overall, I'm less and less impressed with Apple. I am considering getting a mac mini for iOS development and calling it quits and moving over to the Windows world.

pwenzel 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My technology prediction for 2017: Adblock for Touch Bar.
hyperbovine 9 hours ago 1 reply      
No more MagSafe? Count me out.
thetinman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
100% agree with this. I'm still using the mid 2012 MBP 15 b/c I've waited for a major upgrade and now this... is probably going to wait 6 months and by the last MBP at close out prices then use that until the next version of the MBP because this one fucks up my work too much.
davesque 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Ironically, I feel that the touch bar just makes it more glaringly obvious that the screen itself is not a touch screen. It invites you to expect that you can interact with your computer via touch. I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people who go right from tapping some icon on the touch bar to mistakenly tapping a close button on the actual display. Seems like a UX failure.
mo1ok 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Dual core i5? What year is it, 2004?
Matthias247 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So if I compare the base model (13", no touchbar) with my current-gen 13" pro I see exactly one advantage:

Thunderbolt 3. Seems nice to have for future docking stations and monitors. Don't care if only used as a notebook

And lots of disadvantages:

No Magsafe connector, no HDMI (which most current-gen monitors have), no SD Card, probably a worse keyboard if they adapted the 12" Macbook key style and 300 more expensive.

The touchbar might be a nice gimmick for some casual users which never used the function keys anyway. But I guess for most folks here that use their notebook for programming it will cause more trouble than help. It's not like most IDEs will support for the touchbar anytime soon if at all. And without special support it can be only worse then physical keys. They should have probably offered at least the 15" version without a touchbar too.

pacomerh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple is really struggling to innovate and its playing it safe with these updates. It would seem like they fear launching semi-failed products like the MS Surface RT, Google Glass, Amazon Fire Stuff, etc. What would happened if they did?. I guess they would become like any other tech company, not so special anymore. Was Steve Jobs really what this company had on their secret bag of tricks? or why are they going through this bland face. I would hope to be proven wrong.
EugeneOZ 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok, Apple, my current MBPr 13' have i5 2.6 GHz and new MBPr 13' have i5 2.0 GHz. Thanks, bye.
dorianm 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Starts stockpiling 2013 Macbook Pros for my lifetime use

(Seriously the 2013 Macbook Pro 13" feels so perfect)

P.S.: It's weird how they never mentioned programmers in the keynote but I'm sure they are far more programmers than video editors on Macs

6stringmerc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So, Apple didn't stick with their, ahem, "courage" and eliminate the headphone jack from the MBP? How curious.
codeinstyle 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one disappointed by the butterfly keyboards on the new Macbook Pros?

I've been a Mac user for roughly about ten years now, but I think it's time to switch back to Windows.

audessuscest 9 hours ago 2 replies      
wtf Euro prices are 200 higher than dollars price ?!

$1,499.00 -> 1 699,00 for the first model

hartator 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think I am a bit disappointed by the Touch Bar.

I can see it being more annoying than useful. They could have set themselves apart by doing something grandiose like having small oled screens for each key that are changing dynamically according to apps and keyboards. But, I guess this time of true risks are gone.

ryanmarsh 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The 15" is capped at 16GB RAM???
ant6n 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They said fn-keys are a 45-year-old tech we don't need anymore.

Next up: removing the screen, that's 70-year-old tech we don't need anymore either. Let's be brave!

vladimir-y 9 hours ago 1 reply      
So now there will be no way to use new Macbooks with Linux/Windows installed due to that weird numeric touch keys row?

I better consider recently updated HP Spectre x360 with newest Kaby Lake CPU and usual fn keys row, plus it's convertible if someone needs that.

kibaffo33 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is the evidence. The free thinking optimistic innovators of the tech community are really skeptical pessimists, doubting and disappointed. Like the rest of us, I suppose.
adrianlmm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The new touch bar looks pretty useless and unconfortable to use, a missed oportunity if you ask me.
Yabood 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Why do the Apple presenters keep bringing up the whole "use both hands" point when demoing touch bar. I mean isn't that how keyboards are used? Without looking I might add. I was ready to drop 3K on a new MacBook pro, but now I'm not sure.
gfodor 9 hours ago 0 replies      
graphics card on their site for the 15 says its a "AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory", but I think this is the current mbp gfx card. slides said radeon pro 450. maybe placeholder text didn't get updated?
trevorhartman 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Any word on max memory? 16GB is standard on 15" but can it be upgraded to 32GB?
orkaa 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My friend found a receipt for the macbook air he ordered in 2012.


Isn't this just a tad sad? :)

wineisfine 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone else here still working on a Macbook Pro 17" ?

Seems like everybody forgot about it, but was a great machine back in the day. And you could even buy a matte version of the screen.

orky56 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft Ribbon on the HUD to Apple Touchbar on the Keyboard. I think this was a natural transition since it is more customizable and baked into more applications. The mobile/social UIs have created an opportunity for Apple to make a more modular interface that goes beyond the screen, or at least extends the screen onto the keyboard.

This also allows Apple to avoid making the primary screen a touchscreen since they ergonomics don't make sense with the current form factors. Also, by not making the entire keyboard surface touch it ensures the primary typing experience with haptic feedback stays intact.

winteriscoming 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Esc key gone? Using vi editor is going to be much more fun now!
tarikjn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If I had to take some wild predictions/hopes, I'd say:

 - The Thunderbolt Display live on with the iMac, the new iMac having a new Thunderbolt target mode, allowing USB-C Macbooks to use all its peripherals/ports, including the GPU. - This new iMac will also be released with a touchbar keyboard accessory - e-ink keys keyboard will either be released with the new iMac or at a later stage, also triggering an update on Macbooks, which, as a side effect, will allow Apple to reduce its number of SKUs - no new Mac Mini, the iPhone has now enough power to take over that role with a new accessory or target mode and code updates on OS X allowing everyone with an iPhone to try or use OS X - Mac Pro will be updated
In short:

 (1) the thunderbolt display will merge with the iMac (2) the Mac Mini will merge with the iPhone

poorman 8 hours ago 2 replies      
16GB of RAM? Are they serious? I've got 64GB in my MacPro and I can tell you these electron apps (like Slack) are consistently using 20GB of RAM.


Not to mention I use my esc key all day to switch Vim modes in Atom. Disappointed.

dman 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there really a return of the 17 inch?
redditmigrant 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This finally settles the vim vs emacs debate.
kevindong 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Touch Bar seems like it'll go the way of iOS's/Mac's Force Touch: completely unused by users and completely unsupported by developers.
sunstone 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The web page itself is a sign of the non-Jobsian direction Apple is taking. I doubt he would stand for all that shifting javascript crap.
anupshinde 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like they built the touch bar first and then asked people to build use cases around it. A touch screen with a software enabled touch bar would have been much better
fivesigma 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Re: the wide gamut display

I really really hope there's proper sRGB emulation for those of us who want to make content for the 99.99% of users out there.

Edit: not every app is color managed

erickhill 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Too many USB types now. Basically if you want the fancy new MB Pro, you have to sign up for new accessories or lots of ugly (and probably flaky) adapters all over the place. I totally get it, but it's annoying at the same time. I wonder if the Refurb Apple store is going to get nailed...
crazy__joe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So, where do I plug in my new iPhone 7 headphones?
0x7fffffff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
So, does it charge faster if you plug in multiple chargers?
mherrmann 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The touch bar is going to be really useful for a file manager I'm developing [1]. Traditionally, such file managers use function keys for common tasks (eg. copy with F5). On Mac, you have to press Fn to get the function keys, which is very inconvenient. Now my users can use the traditional key bindings _and_ remember them more easily!

[1]: https://fman.io

rnernento 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I see a headphone jack, that seems downright cowardly.
josho 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's strange that they killed all the port options, but choose to keep the one port that was removed from the iPhone (the headphone jack).

I appreciate that Apple kills off older tech to push the market forward. But, Thunderbolt, USB3, SD cards, nor HDMI strike me as legacy plugs needing a swift transition. I've yet to encounter a USB-C plug in the wild, so this port killing is a misstep.

3adawi 9 hours ago 0 replies      
How am I gonna use intellij with function keys :(
quicklyfrozen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, they're dropping the 15" model without dedicated GPU so no 15" under $2k. Dead silence when they announced pricing. :-)
Mikho 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Fact that majority of comments here in MacBook Pro topic are about Surface Studio and whether people still use desktops, and not nearly enough comments about Touch Bar--the only real innovation during Apple event--says a lot about both events.
setheron 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with lots of the sentiment here that the Microsoft lineup looked superior, but what option do I have if I do lots of development that gets deployed to a Linux environment.

I know I can do docker/VM but I like the native coding experience.

sbuttgereit 9 hours ago 0 replies      
An aside, but I just watched the "design video" on the Apple site. Does Apple and Microsoft use the video production team? The exploded device views and the exploding color dust bombs made it seem like the Apple video and the Microsoft Surface Studio video were made by the same people at the same time. Very much the same look and feel.
dman 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I got downvoted for this comment from 2 days ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12783720 =>I am expecting apple to drop both the headphone port and usb ports this time around. Maybe 2x USB C ports on either side
greatest-ape 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, people are getting very emotional about this. You know, Apple doesn't have an obligation to create the perfect product for your unique snowflake use case. And you don't have an obligation to buy any of their products either. Like, what are you people expecting from Apple?

A few thoughts of mine:

Pros:- Beautiful, thin, lighter design- Great screen (could of course have been even better)- Fast enough processor for most pro tasks- Judging by Apple's history, very good build quality- Up to 10 hours of battery life- A great OS mixing UNIX and support for professional programs

Neutral:- Touch Bar: might be amazing, might just be an irritation. We don't know yet. I for one think it could be nice for music production and DJing, but likely not for programming. A few people actually use the function keys a lot. As before, they will be available while pressing the fn key. But people might want real keys. Since I use vim a lot, it's irritating that the Esc key won't necessarily always be where I expect it to. Sure, it will be available in the terminal, but in IntelliJ with the vim plugin? I might have to remap Esc to Caps Lock. An irritation but not a major deal breaker for most people.- Only thunderbolt ports. I think this is the right move and in line with expected Apple behavior, but I guess some people want to be able to simply connect old/current generation USB peripherals without any adapters- No more MagSafe. - Faster AMD graphics. This is of course nice, except for CUDA people and people who want to install Linux on their MacBooks (but seriously, why would you want to do that?) Also, positive: good support for external screens. But only for certain ones? I'm not sure about this, has anyone figured out exactly what screens can be used?- New keyboard, which some people will like and some won't.

Negative:- Maximum of 16 GB of RAM, wtf? This is the only major deal breaker I see that applies to many people.- Hefty price. But we're talking about Apple here, folks. Pay to play

To conclude, a great but expensive premium notebook with the major flaw of being limited to 16 GB of RAM. If you really need CUDA support, real function keys or have to be able to plug in various peripherals without adapters, this might not be the right computer for you.

EpicEng 9 hours ago 0 replies      
>And if you really want to go crazy, you can use the 15-inch version to run two 5K displays side by side

Yeah... I wonder how well it can really do that. The thing that always makes me hesitant to jump back to a MB Pro is their terrible GPU performance. I hate spending that much on a machine which can barely run WoW.

blinkingled 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Apple's price points are no longer attractive anymore for the laptops. Previously you could buy a current gen MBA 11/13 for decent prices relative to what they offered. You could also buy MacBook Pros for less - for a 15" the starting price is now $2399!
anonymfus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There should be a single thread about all announcements on that event to don't flood front page with separate submissions.
Longhanks 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The website isn't even updated yet...
TurboHaskal 10 hours ago 1 reply      
They better show another computer refresh later on to save they keynote. This is incredibly gimmicky and disappointing.
jaxondu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Curious will the Touch Bar show the standard function keys when run bootcamped Windows?
skMed 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you know anyone that purchased Logitech keyboards for those sweet visuals on the tiny LCD screen? Me neither. This is a total gimmick. Power users don't look at the keyboard, it's a waste of time.
headmelted 7 hours ago 1 reply      

What people don't understand is that the reason Apple stays so far ahead of the rest of the industry year after year is their ability to integrate software and hardware, which as Jony Ive says in the video, is unique to Apple.


bitsoda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Constantly having to shift your vision forward and down and back again is a usability nightmare. This isn't too different from the gimmicky nature of the Nintendo Wii U. Apple has lost its compass.
sly010 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Fully reinvented .. bla bla .. Our most physically backward incompatible computer yet!
0x0 9 hours ago 0 replies      
No tactile escape key and no magsafe is a bit of a letdown, to say nothing of tactile function keys :(
Philipp__ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh God, I miss Steve so much. I remember the time when Apple conference was a real event, everybody would watch, and second it was done we would call and talk for hours about it. Now after 10+ years at Apple camp, I am afraid that this machine I bought 9 months ago might be my last if something doesn't change in next few years. And I fear nothing will change, because Cook is leading this company by profit and numbers, and he is doing great! But that is what killed Apple many, many years ago. And worst of all, I do not see anyone who can fill the shoes Apple had 5-10 years ago.
catbird 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What would be the best time to buy the previous model of 15" MBP?

The slight bump in processor speed doesn't make up for the loss in connectivity to me. I don't think I could live without magsafe power and an integrated SD card reader.

weinzierl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The new MacBooks are here and one of them will come with function keys and ESC included. Yeah.
weinzierl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The new MacBooks are here and one of them comes with function keys and ESC included. Yeah!
mark_sz 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Disappointing, almost boring event.

Almost, because it made me laugh when I heard someone saying "incredible" again and app called "TV" :)

israrkhan 9 hours ago 3 replies      
no physical escape key.. I suspect this will negatively impact vi/vim experience.
merb 9 hours ago 0 replies      
the 15" now has less ssd space for the same price than it had previously, i'm not sure if that satisfies me.also the lack of good docks for USB-c is a real bummer.better wait till 17/18 and get one with kaby lake
reustle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so happy they are continuing to offer the 13" pro with function keys.
davesque 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Other than the touch bar, I feel like the only really interesting thing here is the 4 thunderbolt 3 ports. The rest just seems really underwhelming and leaves me feeling like they hardly put any effort into this.
stillhaveadream 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What a waste of my time, was really expecting something better than this.
ComputerGuru 9 hours ago 2 replies      
So, really, new touchbar aside, the MBP doesn't really bring much to the table at all, does it? It's a device for pros... who already have the keyboard shortcuts for the same actions the touchbar provides long since memorized. I thought this was supposed to be a MacBookPro event - but it seems like it should be called the Apple touchbar event, really.

I personally found the suggestion that taking my fingers away from my keyboard to tap on the touchbar for autocomplete suggestions would let me "type faster" to be beyond ridiculous and even borderline insulting. Obviously Apple couldn't say - in a room full of developers - "When is the last time you used a function key?," and instead had to go with an awkward joke about no one using IBM mainframes any more...

And power users sharing MacBooks? That automatic profile switching belongs on the new iMac, which is actually a PC meant to be shared with family... oh wait, there is no new iMac, is there?

Craig also deftly avoided mention of the fact that as soon as you let go of the function key, the F1-12 buttons disappear once more - at a time when laptop developers have given up on forcing the alternate Fn behavior over the standard F1-12 buttons by default.

I'm also concerned Apple won't give a damn about making the UI of applications accessible and intuitive and simply assume everyone wants to use the touchbar instead. It seems they've given up on innovating when it comes to desktops and workstations and have decided to simply shoehorn any mobile innovations they have into their notebooks rather than come up with something -actually- useful.

I posted this part yesterday, and I'll post it again:

I just gave up on Apple ever shipping you are MacBooks and received my custom order HP two days before they announced the October 27th event. My (magnesium unibody) ZBook is as slim as my retina MBP, has a higher-PPI display, also comes with a glass trackpad, has user-replaceable battery, 2x M.2 PCIe SSDs, and upgradeable ram. I was able to pay a bit extra and get it with a mobile Xeon CPU (E3-1545m with Intel's top-of-the-line Iris Pro 580 integrated GPU) which is the equivalent of the i7 6920HQ only with more cache and better graphics, meaning I was able to buy 32 GB of ECC RAM for only $130. It has a 4GB nVidia Quadro and still manages to weigh less than my rMBP.

The only thing that sucks is the noise. It's fairly quiet even with the fan running at its highest RPM, but the frequency of the resulting noise is very distinguishable and it has a tendency to rev up and down quite suddenly (and often). It doesn't help that there are two fans, one on each side, which turn on and off independently - meaning you can suddenly feel like you've lost hearing in one of your ears until you realize the noise level is imbalanced.

I don't know if Apple will introduce Xeon workstations (update: they didn't. The crowd clapped at "6th generation Intel" because they didn't realize it meant two year old tech), but even if they did, I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my three USB 3.1 (non-C), three thunderbolt 3 (/USB-C), hdmi, gigabit ethernet, 3.5mm audio/mic, and power ports along with my function keys, home/end/page up/page down buttons, Kensington lock slot, and a proper typing keyboard that celebrates instead of denounces key travel in exchange for a more-pleasant acoustic profile.

While I might be willing to give up the ECC memory I use with my Xeon 1545m for the standard DDR4 Apple's new maxed-out MBP configured with an i7 6920HQ supports (which is otherwise more-or-less identical to the Xeon 1545m, except with less cache), I'm definitely, over-my-dead-body not willing to trade my 32GB of RAM for the paltry 16GB the new MBP offers [0].

Did I mention I've been a faithful Mac user for over a decade?

0: https://neosmart.net/blog/2016/apples-best-newest-macbook-pr...

stillhaveadream 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Really a waste of my time.
gnicholas 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Seeing this makes me want to go out and buy an 11" MBA (currently running a 2013 model), before they're gone. It reminds me of when the 12" Powerbook was retired.
pisarzp 8 hours ago 0 replies      
They could've at least put lightning port in it. Android and Mac users can now charge and listen to music using same cables, but it's not the case for iPhone
digi_owl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Could have sworn i have seen this come and bomb at least once already...
drinchev 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What about upgradeability. I guess the fight is lost. I thought "Pro" stands for that.

The reason that I will ( probably ) buy Apple MacBooks was narrowed to software compatibility. So sad.

adgasf 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Does it have lightning so that one can use a single pair of headphones with the new MacBook Pro and an iPhone 7? Seems like a crazy oversight if not.
sidcool 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I for one like the new MacBook pro. Good idea to bring touch id, touch bar etc. Think programmable bar. I m sure it can be locked to standard mode. HNers are a tough crowd to please.
beedogs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Apple has officially lost the plot. It's truly sad what's happened to what used to be such a great company.
bluehazed 10 hours ago 6 replies      
Vim users: best of luck.
bdcravens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Given it's only TB3, and the party line is to get adapters, won't this mean that you'll need to add $100+ to the price for adapters?
ihuman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm happy to see the escape button is still there,and you can bring back the function buttons by pressing the "function" button on the physical keyboard.
babygetoboy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For someone who was planning to get this, but not is rethinking, what is a good PC alternative laptop to get to run linux on?
hprotagonist 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As long as TouchBar supports IDE actions, we're good. If it doesn't, I'll be damned if I have to type Fn Ctrl Alt 6 just to step in a debugger.
JoshGlazebrook 10 hours ago 0 replies      
They didn't skimp out on the graphics card for once.
jblake 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not thrilled, but I need to replace my 2011 Air. Apple has me in the corner with Xcode...
transfire 9 hours ago 0 replies      
More like "MacBook Blow".

I mean really. They are trying to innovate but this thing still has a giant Caps Lock key, yet no Esc key? And who wants to use those tiny up and down arrows? I think the touch bar is a fine idea, it is actually way over due, but why make is so thin? And honestly I hate touch pads, force or no force. How about Leap Motion instead -- that would be innovative.

And then there's the price. I guess people in San Fran can afford it. But it's certainly not a computer for the rest of us.

pmyjavec 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple...less is more
callesgg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I can live without the legacy USB ports but the lack of HDMI and a magnetic charging port is harder.
sly010 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It has a headphone jack. How oldschool.
dfischer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
On one hand disappointed - on another hand... what could you really do with a laptop at this point of innovation cycle?
pattisapu 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We're here to give you a computer, not a religion.

- attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga

(fortune of the day)

chiph 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Emoji Bar"

Seriously, who did Apple talk to (besides their navels) in designing this? No more dongles, Apple. Not on a pro-level device.

optionalparens 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Looking at the various missing keys and the touch strip, I couldn't help but laugh and cry. Less is more, right? I think we all know this is aimed at casual users, but it's still fun to poke at it.

The first thing that came to mind is any time now that I walk into a coffee shop, if I see someone passing themselves off as a programmer on a new Macbook, I'll know they are just screwing around or otherwise extremely angry (and should not approach). I guess carrying around your own keyboard is going to be more of a thing for people who like to work outside the home/office. As an Emacs user and someone who spent at least some time in Vim and Vi over the years, wow, I can't imagine the inner rage of some people I know if they tried to use this.

The other thing I thought of is hasn't this quite often been a problem for other people who tried similar approaches? For example, we tried the UI with not looking at the main screen with things like the WiiU, did we not? Obviously gaming is different than productivity, but still, the screen is the primary focus. Could we also not just throw dynamic UI like this on in other ways?

A few I've seen/heard of or could be a future tech:

* Remapping an icon or otherwise minimal custom glyphs/text per key.

* Remote style. Ex: Second display like they had with Vista or other things, but via iPhone or other devices - put it next to you, in front, whatever, boom - extra contextual touch screen. Apple even does this for many apps like Logic Pro X.

* Perfecting tactile response better and using a full dynamic keyboard like on some laptops out there right now (but with more mechanical response). Obviously easier said than done.

The problem with all this is I wonder who is looking down so much or wanting to look down. If you have time to look down, is it really such a problem then to use the OS UI to get the same thing done?

Probably the only time most people I know that can actually type decently tend to look down at a keyboard is to orient themselves again in some way. I know sometimes when I switch languages/locales on my machine to type in some other languages, it takes me a second depending on the language. But this tech doesn't help at all with that except giving me a button to flip, that is already a keyboard chord anyway.

smnplk 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think my next ultrabook is going to be the new Dell xps 13(Kaby Lake) or Razer Blade Stealth. Probably not mac anymore.
aabajian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The top 14 comments are negative. Five of them are about Microsoft's announcement yesterday. It's almost as if MSFT is paying for these comments.
dmritard96 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Anybody know what software is used for the design renders/exploded views? Keyshot, Maya, Blender, something else?
sly010 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple will literally replace the keyboard with a touchscreen an inch at a time. Then everyone will follow suit, so we will all have to use external wireless keyboards (because the USB3- USB2 adapter will cost more than a new keyboard).Fast forward 5 years and Apple will announce "Macbook Bro",a laptop with a tactile buttons!
collias 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks like I'll be waiting for the 2nd gen of this.

Gen 2 wishlist:

- Something more than 16GB RAM

- Nvidia GPU (always had issues with ATI)

- Cheaper option with no Touch Bar

- MagSafe power

hota_mazi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Our best addition so far: the removal of the ESC key!".

Just kidding.

You can still have one but we moved it.

noir-york 6 hours ago 0 replies      
All I wanted was an updated Macbook Air. Instead we get a toy bar.

Quo vadis Apple?

floor__ 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe they didn't increase the ram. Wait till next year I guess.
jakebasile 8 hours ago 0 replies      
They are also still selling the old models. For the same price as when they were released.
sly010 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Where will I stick my yubikey?
rdslw 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hurry. I need to buy previous generation macbook pro while supplies last. Three years more!
ommunist 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Awww... Can I get "ESC" key on Touch Bar kind of permanent? Does anybody know that?
bfrog 9 hours ago 0 replies      
How many apps will really support this for the one or two generations that actually have it?
cowardlydragon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Monitors: just buy a quad HD TV for 40-55" for five hundred bucks.
cpr 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course, as some wag said a while ago, the cost of the MBP that I want remains at $3K. ;-)
0942v8653 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For some reason the old page is still showing up for me. The only new thing is this image from the homepage:


laurent123456 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Still no 17-inches version unfortunately. I don't get why they no longer make one - is there no demand at all for it? It's basically why I've switched to an ASUS laptop since I don't want to bother with an external monitor (not to mention the extra cost).
elcct 9 hours ago 0 replies      
With W10 having usable Ubuntu built in I can hardly see a use case for having a mac.
sprite 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Seriously, no 32gb ram option?
HugoDaniel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this mean i can put an external gpu in those thunderbolt ports ?
Randgalt 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I was totally prepared to buy one of these new MBPs and now I likely won't. Spec wise these are not much better than last year's model. Frankly I don't care too much about the ribbon-bar thing. What I really needed, as a developer, was 32GB. Damn.
banhfun 9 hours ago 1 reply      
They actually removed the USB ports and function keys, the absolute madmen!
lifeformed 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How does Apple always have the worst websites? They _never_ work properly for me. Do they not test in Chrome Windows? The video links never work, the horizontal sliders are always broken. Aren't they supposed to be good at design or something?
Randgalt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Only 16GB!!!! No!!!!!! That stinks.
btym 9 hours ago 0 replies      
>The space is a small multitouch screen that utilizes gestures and taps to perform a wide variety of different tasks

Oh, like trackpad gestures?

>from showing typing suggestions to displaying tools for various apps all based on the context of what the user is doing at the time.

Oh, like a toolbar?

elcct 9 hours ago 1 reply      
13 inch only 8GB? Wat...
arcosdev 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not nearly enough RAM
LeicaLatte 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsofts dominance over desktops has never changed. Be it servers, PCs or game consoles. And it is Apple who have forged their own path into mobile computing these last 15 years.
emilecantin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
At least they kept the headphone jack...
ROFISH 9 hours ago 1 reply      
No Displayport 1.3/1.4 means no 5k displays. :( Why spend thousands on a new device when you can't even use modern displays from a standard out since 2014?
msh 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like the mac mini is dead.

I rather liked that one :(

claudiug 8 hours ago 4 replies      
given the new mac book pro, genuine question:

What is the best linux notebook that close the gap with macbook pro?

mick_schroeder 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Can it play Civ VI?
milankragujevic 9 hours ago 1 reply      
DAAAMN what a disappointment. No Mac Mini, no iMac... Well, might as well not buy a new computer afterall... :S
Matachines 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A sorta-maxed out non-Touch 13" Pro looks perfect except the lack of ports :/
HugoDaniel 8 hours ago 1 reply      
headphone jack ? what kind of treachery is this ? :D
adamnemecek 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Do apps have to be changed to use the OLED bar or does it work automagically.
obiefernandez 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Where the hell are the USB ports?
ianai 9 hours ago 0 replies      
am I the only one wondering who wanted a 67% brighter display? I for one would like a display without a backlight...
j45 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Boy, I'm a little relieved to have a fully loaded 13" rMBP with 1TB SSD, doesn't look like the new 13" with touchbar can let you go higher than 256 GB storage. If one standard was going to be picked, maybe 512 would have been better for a $3000 computer.

The new Base model rMBP may be the next one for me for that reason for now. Keep finding it worth to always wait until the 2nd generation of a Mac laptop before diving in.

hiram112 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know what is to become of the 2012 13" model that they still contine to sell that allows upgradable ram and HD?

You can still find them for $800 on EBay (brand new), but it doesn't look like it is still available on Apple's site.

There is a 4th 13th inch on the site, instead, but it is not the same as it has 128 SSD and newer graphics. It would be great if this had upgradeable ram and HD.

douche 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is it being thinner such a draw? This is bordering on too thin for me to comfortably grip.

I'll stick with the EliteBook I just bought for 10% of this price, and damn-near every port ever made. It doesn't really bother me that it's about 3" thick and doesn't have an emoji bar.

cygned 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Just bought one.

Too sad, the MacBook Air is dead.

frenck 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Time to hit ESC... ow... wait... :( :S
emars 7 hours ago 0 replies      
microsoft employees pls go
nwrk 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The ESC on touch bar is really funny
vermooten 9 hours ago 0 replies      

I'm sad that i waited this long only to be disappointed.

It was a COO's view of being innovative.

wkirby 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm beginning to think Steve Jobs didn't die, he just got hired by Microsoft.
leitasat 9 hours ago 1 reply      
No USB-C port? That's I call consistency!
out_of_protocol 9 hours ago 0 replies      
* two colors, yay!

* model with physical keys is shit (2x less USB-C, way worser CPU etc)

* no physical keys for 15"

* http://i.imgur.com/1Y0Elul.png :)

* jack 3.5 in all models - not brave enough

msie 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Does it have user-serviceable memory? I doubt it.
Microsoft Surface Studio theverge.com
589 points by 1st1  1 day ago   550 comments top 60
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 3 replies      
That looks pretty awesome, and it makes the iMac seem even more tired which I assume was intended. It is startling to have a story about IBM extolling the virtues of Macbooks for business and Microsoft launching a platform targeting designers, it really is amazing. But setting all of that aside for a moment....

The screen. Clearly that is the thing which makes this announcement. For me, the 3:2 aspect ratio is so more reasonable for computers than 16:9. And having a zillion pixels is wonderful although my CAD package (TurboCAD) still doesn't deal well with the high DPI screen off the Surface Book, I'm sure it would look silly on this machine.

My experience with the Surface Book tells me that the PixelSense technology is really great for drawing. I have both it and the iPad Pro and not too surprising, at twice the cost, in my opinion the Surface Book's drawing experience is better than the iPad's. I base that opinion on precision of the drawing, expressiveness, and the response time.

Touch. Microsoft is really doubling down on the whole touching thing and so far Apple has stayed away from it with its compute platforms. That is both a strength and a weakness. The rest of the ecosystem doesn't always understand what to do, so you get controls that are too small to use your finger on sometimes, and odd sort of multi-monitor experiences where things appear on one screen and then when you resize them they jump to the other and try to adjust for "touchiness".

If the tools people can get their act together, and by that I mean the designer tools (I for one would love to see a schematic capture and board layout system that was touch enabled and pen enabled) then I think it is only good news for Microsoft, if they can't, then Apple will look really smart at not adopting a "gimmick".

Either way these things are hugely fun to use and play with.

gthtjtkt 1 day ago 13 replies      
$2,999 and the best GPU option is a last-gen mobile card? The default 965M is a crappy budget card (half the performance of the 980M), and if you want the 980M you have to pick the $4,199 configuration.

And hybrid drives!? This thing starts at $2,199 and you can't even get a full SSD? I know 2D designers probably won't mind the GPU, but they could definitely benefit from a true SSD.

Hell, the recently announced Razer Blade Pro has top of the line everything (including a desktop GTX 1080 GPU, 1TB SSD, and 4K screen suitable for photo/video editing) and it still costs less than the 980M Surface Studio: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/razer-blade-pro-laptop/

I must be missing the value proposition here because that price seems absurd, especially for a computer presumably geared towards professionals.

1st1 1 day ago 8 replies      
I have to say this is the first time in years when there's a feeling that MS has outpaced Apple. The product looks amazing.
mhomde 1 day ago 15 replies      
I can't but feel sad that Microsoft somehow is dropping the ball on mobile despite them having been, briefly, in a prime position to succeed. They've executed well with their "One platform"-strategy. UWP is great and with the new composition API their finally moving into being able to compete in the modern software arena. Meanwhile on the hardware side Panos is basically doing what Apple should have been doing if they had any creative leadership left... but it doesn't matter, for some reason they've seemed to abandoned mobile despite having all the pieces in place.

Their mistreatment, lack of support and quality assurance of the mobile side of the platform has been dismal. It's very weird, obviously they can do hardware, they have the ecosystem to back them up and the API teams have been doing some great stuff when it comes to w10, yet they've seemed to given up on mobile.

I must say I don't understand it, how can such a big player as Microsoft abandon such a strategic area of their ecosystem? I understand that it's hard to be a profitable in the harsh reality of consumer electronics and that the money is in business... but yet, if you're not in mobile you're leaving a gaping hole in your ecosystem that leaves the other parts vulnerable. I don't understand why they don't simple pour resources into mobile with the same enthusiasm as tablets/laptops and gaming.

Something must be off with the leadership or I'm missing something

pjmlp 1 day ago 3 replies      
Love it.

It even has a version of their ergonomic keyboards, something that I cannot really understand with Apple, how can one even manage to program in such flat keyboards.

Apple, one of the first companies to introduce ergonomic keyboards to the world.

20tibbygt06 1 day ago 5 replies      
Starting at $2,999 to $4,199

Product Page: https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface...

*Surface Dial included

edit: as pointed out below you do get a Surafce Dial with the purchase of the studio. I originally looked at the "what's included" section where the dial was not listed.

jarjoura 1 day ago 2 replies      
At first I applauded Microsoft for continuing to advance the desktop computer market. This is something I wish Apple would continue to invest in but is clear they're moving towards building machines for the engineers to build iOS software.

However then I jump into the Microsoft store and check it out...

$4,199.00 for the high-end option gets you a hybrid drive, probably connected over an older SATA bus and a graphics card from last year? USB 3.0 only and no Thunderbolt?

Is this a system that was designed last year and it took a full year to get to production?

Sorry if I'm being bitchy, but to me this is typical Microsoft only going the 80%.

laurent123456 1 day ago 6 replies      
With its Subsystem for Linux aimed at developers and now this desktop PC for designers, it seems Microsoft is quickly catching up with Apple. Now if they could release a good alternative to the MacBook Pro that would be great.
digi_owl 1 day ago 4 replies      
As a reminder, Pixelsense means that the whole screen is a short range camera. Put a QR code or similar on it and Windows can read it and react accordingly.
guelo 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm not sure why you need the world's thinnest LCD for a desktop, it's not like you'll be mounting it on a wall or something.

By the way, that presenter is a pretty good actor, but he was trying way too hard in a way that was distracting. The way he called out someone in the audience at one point made it seem like he has standup comedy experience and was trying to connect with the audience but it made no sense.

randomsearch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple release iPhone 7, which is then eclipsed somewhat by Google Pixel.

MS announce this immediately before the MacBook announcement.

Conclusions are that (a) Apple are leaky and (b) rather than _avoid_ Apple announcements, their competitors are now happy to compete with them. A bad sign for Apple.

rubber_duck 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nvidia GTX 9xxM - from what I understand 10xx cards offer the biggest difference in performance generation-to-generation seen in a while on the mobile side - the 10xx mobile versions are basically identical to desktop versions, 9xx are not even close - so why put last gen mobile tech in to a high end professional desktop product ? Especially considering the likelihood of VR proliferation in content creation - I couldn't justify buying this just because of that considering the price tag.
alva 1 day ago 1 reply      
Surface Dial looks very, very cool. Innovation in the HCI space is greatly welcome. Could not find any info on whether you can use 2 at the same time. That could have some incredible applications!
Osiris 1 day ago 5 replies      
The two things that Macbooks have had over Windows laptops, in my opinion, is high resolution screens and a fantastic trackpad.

Windows laptops, even on the high end, still tend to screens no better than 1080p and crappy touchpads. My wife hates the touchpad so much she always uses a mouse and has the trackpad disabled.

I just got an HP Elite x2, which is basically a Surface Pro and I really like the pen and touch input. Apple pioneered touch on the iPhone, but continues to refuse to add it to <del>OS X</del> macOS.

d3ckard 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great hardware, interface ideas look really interesting too. This could actually be some vision that can get mainstream in the future.

I would seriously consider buying one, if not for one thing - OS. After recently installing Windows on Bootcamp I can honestly say that I hate the thing. It made me swear constantly for 15 minutes. I wish MS finally wrote a new OS from scratch. They seem to have the right idea about where to go, but Windows looks like a 40 year old after series of plastic surgeries - it's supposed to look young and modern, but after you get passed the surface you can see all those menus that are almost two decades old.

justinsaccount 1 day ago 2 replies      
Would be nice to be able to buy that and the display separately.
PascLeRasc 1 day ago 1 reply      

What happened at 2:25-26 with a Mac named Studio Admin?

artursapek 1 day ago 4 replies      
The hardware quality gap between Windows machines and Macs is closing quickly thanks to Microsoft's investments lately
jordache 1 day ago 2 replies      
this is true innovation.

mean while.. an OLED stripe.. aghem.. a Razer keyboard

hatsunearu 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe people are complaining about this thing! This is what the Studio is up against: https://www.amazon.com/Wacom-Cintiq-27QHD-Creative-Display/d...

Look at the damn thing, shitty (i presume) TFT display, no capacitive touch (i think), and no computer attached.

This is a great value proposition to those kind of people. Though if this had a gaming tier GPU and a bit better specs this would be literally _the_ machine.

elorant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well hell did froze. Who would have thought that wed live the day that Microsoft is launching a product specifically aimed at designers. This was supposed to be Apples turf for decades.
qihqi 1 day ago 1 reply      
As a software eng. this is not something I need. I have realized that because computers are designed and programmed by engineers, we had what we need from the very beginning. I am glad that now its designer's turn to get some tools.
schuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
Absolutely love all Panos Panay's demos. It's truly "Nobody Does It Better".
uniclaude 1 day ago 1 reply      
As with other recent Microsoft devices, I feel like:

- This computer looks very good

- The specs look more than decent (skylake, 32gb ram...)


- It's going to be poorly distributed (at least where I live, in Asia). I'm not even expecting a synchronized worldwide release.

- I'll have a hard time working in an Unix-friendly environment (the only reason why I bought macs so far)

- I wouldn't be surprised if it's insanely overpriced in Asia (like the Surface Book is)

So I'm pretty sure I'll unfortunately have to pass, and so will most people I work with.

The Microsoft buying experience is horrendous, and that's too bad now that their OS sounds OK, and their hardware is probably the best PC hardware you can get.

protomyth 1 day ago 2 replies      
The video at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/devices/surface-stud... is a bit more informative and shows the Surface Dial in action. I looks like the graphics from an old Blackberry this is the future video[1]. Very cool, since Microsoft's version makes sense and Blackberry's was confusing.

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1KLm4SErdQ

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
I probably won't buy one of these, just as I didn't buy the first iteration of the Surface, but will definitely consider future iterations. If anything, these products greatly boost my estimation of Microsoft as a brand. If I were still more in my photography/design days, I'd have a hard time resisting buying the Surface Studio (assuming its reviews aren't disastrous. For the past decade I hadn't contemplated buying anything else besides Apple when it comes to PCs. Microsoft has made a great case for how much innovation can still be done in this field.
AaronFriel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would like to buy just the display, please. A 4500 x 3000 display? That sounds amazing for writing code.
dingo_bat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't care about anything else but how come today's high end computers start out with 8gb of ram? That was probably enough 2 years ago. Now it's enough for a net book. My phone has 4gb ram now. And they expect me to pay ~$2500 and get 8gb in a desktop?
Roboprog 1 day ago 0 replies      
$3000? It had better be really something.

I wonder how well VST synth modules work on it? I like my iPad synth toys, but they are not compatible with Mac.

brandon272 1 day ago 0 replies      
The feedback I am seeing for this product seems generally positive even with a lot of delight from some corners. It will be interesting to compare the feedback for this against tomorrow's feedback regarding the Mac announcement, a pillar of which seems to be the bar they've added to the Macbook Pro.
silverlight 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I could get this screen (along with it working with the pen and the other accessories) but hook it up to my existing desktop I would be all over it. Even if it was still $2,200. But a 980M is just not going to cut it as my primary graphics card...
rufugee 1 day ago 7 replies      
If it will run Linux, I'll buy one immediately...
ralmidani 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can kind of understand the need for non-upgradable phones and laptops, since they are more useful when they're thinner and lighter. But stationary devices like this and Apple's iMac are unnecessarily wasteful.
fudgy73 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I'm sold at 3:2 display.
gshakir 1 day ago 1 reply      
$3K is very expensive. Looks like they are catering to the iMac market. It should be interesting to compare with tomorrow iMac release lineup.
codingdave 1 day ago 1 reply      
This concept seems to "re-surface" very couple years, and I just cannot get over the first time I saw it... well, saw the mockery of it, at least: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrr7AZ9nCY
johnwheeler 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's hard following behind Steve Jobs and Apple, but I gotta give this guy props on his salesmanship.
usaphp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Poor Cintiq is losing more and more market share with these sort of products.
mars4rp 1 day ago 1 reply      
after reading couple of criticizing comments, I can't stop thinking how this people would have reacted if Apple released exactly the same product!!!
Osiris 1 day ago 0 replies      
it's interesting that they didn't announce the actual screen resolution, just the number of pixels. I found the answer in the ars article : 4500x3000
corv 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Even the table they presented it on looks like it was lifted from an Apple Store...
ggregoire 1 day ago 1 reply      
The video does an amazing job, the product looks great.

I've never tried a Surface: do they have a special screen technology to avoid the fingerprints?

novaleaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty. Going after the mac market for media creation is a smart move, as that's a big driver of the mac's appeal over windows
PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
Microsoft is moving in on Apple's turf.
dmtroyer 1 day ago 0 replies      
But does it have a USB port?!

In all seriousness, pretty cool.

Keyframe 1 day ago 0 replies      
DCI-P3 monitor for that price, hot damn! I wonder if it's 100% coverage?
eeyepieinthesky 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dear Microsoft,

Could I just have that display please?


johnhenry 1 day ago 0 replies      
A desktop with a rear camera? Interesting...
samfisher83 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a price anywhere on the page or am I just missing it?


Its mentioned on other site 2999.

jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
now if I just code like in Shenzhen IO on it, i'd buy one.
ommunist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Win10 is too clunky, otherwise the offer is very compelling. But not enough to switch.
IanDrake 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the end I really expected him to unlatch the screen from the base and walk away with it.

I have no good reason to expect that and I can't imagine that feature would be very useful at this size, but I still expected it for some reason.

gxs 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a side note, it's amazing to see that despite everyone ragging on apple and claiming superiority to them, they all copy their advertising style.

The copy on the google pixel site and this site are both very obviously apple-ish.

edit: down vote away, doesn't change the fact that these websites scream "we want to be apple". Though I will say, the tides are changing for apple judging by the amount of people hurt by this comment.

zk00006 1 day ago 1 reply      
afshinmeh 1 day ago 3 replies      
the website feels like someone has copy-pasted apple.com/imac and changed the pictures using Microsoft Frontpage
dorianm 1 day ago 1 reply      
They can do all the marketing they want, I just feel like this is gonna be the buggiest thing I ever used if I tried it.
KayL 1 day ago 1 reply      
It looks great!! But no ethernet port, only 4 USB3. Absolutely not enough for a high-end PC user. It's a bit pricey. Looking forward to see they sell the display apart.
math0ne 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't understand who this product is for, someone who is not a PC enthusiast but has 3000$ to spend on a PC? I guess the target audience is like high end design studios that need to outfit their stylish new office with matching computers that no one will ever use because all the real work happens at home on people's macbooks at home.

That said I love the dial thingy, I think it has some great ideas behind it and is potentially also a nod to the incredibly popular Griffin powermate which I believe is still a popular product.

bitmapbrother 1 day ago 0 replies      
$3000 for a machine with anemic specs is going to be a tough sell. Who exactly is this computer for? As for that puck device - I couldn't help but laugh when the presenter, dressed in all black as if attending a funeral, used it to emphasize how passionate his scribbles were on a document. Who does that? Who would ever do that? And more importantly, who ever thought this would be something you would even want to devote time to demo?
sergiotapia 1 day ago 2 replies      
A shame the OS is just terrible. Windows 10 is so hostile to me as a user, constantly pestering me about updates or missing DLL files. Bleh. I installed Plex in January, today after not booting my machine for about a month, I wanted to watch a video and got some random DLL missing.

How a DLL can go missing while the box is turned off is a mystery to me, but there you go. I don't trust my Windows box.

I trust my iMac much much more.

Instapainting From $4k in debt to $32k/mo in passive revenue with no employees indiehackers.com
610 points by chrischen  1 day ago   263 comments top 36
qwrusz 1 day ago 5 replies      
Congrats on the success. Thanks for sharing the business story too.

Disclaimer: this is not a paid endorsement. I don't know Chris. But I happen to be a customer - having bought a painting as a gift. It is framed on the wall at this moment.

My only feedback. Your prices felt too inexpensive. Knowing something was handmade I would have paid more than I did. I'm sure you have researched the market and margins and all that, just letting you know my experience.

Also the artist being from China aspect that other comments are mentioning, almost everything we own is made in China, and the location or nationality of an artist shouldn't be any different than other types of work. Also there are some darn good artists in China, check Youtube for examples.

Congrats again.

godot 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure if I'm missing something or why nobody else has asked this -- the things you've done "for SEO purposes" all seem like full time jobs on their own! Like:

- Building a robot - Neural algorithm AI - Multiplayer 2048 clone

Is there any secret to all of these, like outsourcing or anything, or are you just an insane genius? (which I don't doubt actually..)

OJFord 1 day ago 3 replies      
What's going on with the shipping pricing?

 > Standard delivery (approx 3 weeks) > Guaranteed (+$15) > Within 25 days (+$20) > Within 15 days (+$20)
3 weeks is 21 days, so assuming "guaranteed" just removes the "approx", why would I ever pay more for "within 25"?

Further, why would I ever pay for "within 25" when "within 15" is the same price?

Surely this can be condensed to:

 > Standard delivery (approx 3 weeks) > Guaranteed within 3 weeks (+$15) > Guaranteed within 15 days (+$20)
without changing the effective pricing; while making the options clearer.

chrischen 1 day ago 17 replies      
I can answer any questions, whether about how to get a great Christmas present, or questions about the article!
6stringmerc 1 day ago 0 replies      
How enterprising. It's like the internet's very own Thomas Kinkade as a service. Clever arbitrage of artistic labor markets, that's for sure.
dkrich 1 day ago 8 replies      
The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today.

Curious about whether people care about this. As somebody who takes a lot of pictures, if somebody could produce one of my photos as a painting using Photoshop that was indistinguishable (or close to it) from a person, I really don't think I'd care. From a business perspective, this seems like it would also carry the benefits of scaling better and having better quality control. You could also give the person multiple options (watercolor, oil, impressionist, etc.).

I'm sure the OP knows the market much better than I do, I'm just curious whether going with simulated paintings was ever considered and whether customers really do care about having a person paint it?

sampl 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today.

I thought the same thing, maybe because it's called "instapainting"

TekMol 1 day ago 4 replies      

 When the 2048 game came out, I quickly hacked up a 2 player version and placed it under the Instapainting.com domain for SEO purposes.
Does this really work? Does Google think you are a better site for ordering paintings because you host a game? I tend to think Google is smarter by now. In fact, I would expect that Google almost exclusively relies on real user behaviour these days.

avitzurel 1 day ago 1 reply      
"acquiring artists turned out to be far from the hardest part of the business."


I consulted many businesses as an engineer and often times technology can get you so far. You have to "get your hands dirty" and do the work.

Tech is rarely the bottleneck, it's often sales, understanding needs, contracting work to 3rd parties etc...

Kudos to the owner, great job

baccredited 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Nonsense. Creating a startup is the opposite of 'passive'. Also the word passive doesn't appear in the article title or text.
supersan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love reading such stories.

Also every interview I've read on indiehackers always has this one advice as the most important one: build quickly, iterate later.

OJFord 1 day ago 3 replies      

 > micro-services, which is crucial in allowing me (the > only developer) to migrate the site to new technologies.
I know it's 5 years old, but I still don't see why it's been so crucial to have kept migrating to "new technologies"?

rockdiesel 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was pretty close to ordering a gift for the holidays until I saw the charge of $3.00 to NOT appear as a sample on your website. [1]

Why are you making people pay $3.00 to NOT appear in your gallery of samples?

Sorry, but that seems absolutely ridiculous and is a deal breaker for me.

[1] http://imgur.com/a/RMcvV

alistproducer2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Usually I don't like these kinds of pieces, but this one had lots of good examples that anyone could apply. Congrats on your success!
reubano 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats on your success! Would you mind outlining how you made it on techcrunch? Also, which subreddits did you find most valuable to generate feedback/promote your site?
galfarragem 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Risking to be downvoted, what do SF artists (if you know any) think about this?

I suspect if the founder had a background in art (as me) he would never launch something like this. I would feel ashamed by exploiting already a struggling market (art) and yet being 'painted' as an hero. Despite believing in capitalism, limits should exist.

chairmanwow 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually met Chris a couple of years ago when I was in San Francisco for an internship. We got lunch with a mutual friend. He was excited about the success he was experiencing and inspired me with his confidence about the future.

I'm sure glad to know that he's actually made it.

panorama 1 day ago 0 replies      
I saw Instapainting when it was launched and casually wondered how well it would do. Years later, I have my answer. Congratulations man, this is awesome to read and I'm really happy for your success!
harrisreynolds 1 day ago 1 reply      
What are the profit margins?
meerkats1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats on the success. Do you have concerns that posting details publicly, including showing internal financial numbers, for a business that has virtually no barrier to entry will invite competition? From the other comments I'm seeing here it looks as though people are already making their plans and running back of the envelope calculations. I would expect at least 5 new competitors to pop up as a result of this post.
overcast 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today."

I can see how you'd have that problem with the name "Instapainting". If someone didn't describe to me exactly how this works, I would think it was just another photo filter app.

chromaton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you have a list of the failed ideas? How many actually did you get to the stage of having a web page for?
jeremybeckham 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had actually been to your site for the 2x2048 campaign, but never went to the homepage. Seeing this and having just been on vacation with the family made me decide to order a painting for my wife of our children in front of a water fountain that we took last week. Good timing.
orbitingpluto 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the oil and mixed media paintings are a great value from the samples.

However, I wasn't to pleased with your monochrome samples however. Some of the samples look like they were made with an EZ-Tracer.

redleggedfrog 1 day ago 12 replies      
Ug, is it just me, or does that he took money before actually having anyone to paint the pictures seem unethical? Would people have ordered if they had of known there were no artists as yet, or for that matter the artist were going to be friends of the website owner?
antarrah 1 day ago 1 reply      
I find it amusing how HN readers just believe anything they read about how much people are making. For all we know this might be a guy who's making very little and wanted coverage on indiehackers.com.
neotek 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Well it worked, I just bought a painting.
jimmijazz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Shoes of Prey have done a similar thing here in Australia with shoes. Last year they raised a solid amount of capital to expand into the U.S as well.I wonder, what other industries would the ability to produce unique products in China at scale apply to?
caf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the way that this article itself is an example of its own main subject (using articles like this to drive SEO for instapainting).
renafowler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing your story.It's inspiring!
supergirl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder why many of the sites on indiehackers have that chat box popup.
countryqt30 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Majority of traffic is coming from SEO"

What are your primary keywords?

tuananh 1 day ago 0 replies      
HackerNews loves stories like this :D
googletazer 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great business, congratulations!

Could you elaborate on how your shipping pipeline works from China to US/worldwide? Also if there were any problems shipping works of art, e.g. if I upload a picture of Starry Night, an artist paints that and it is shipped to me, would that cause a problem at the border?

hiou 1 day ago 6 replies      
themagician 1 day ago 9 replies      
Do you think people know they are paying for cheap Chinese labor when they purchase? If not, do you think they would care?

When I read something like,"100% free-hand painted onto a canvas by a master artist," my impression isn't, "we outsource the painting to cheap Chinese labor." My impression is clearly wrong. I suspect others have this impression though.

I think the concept is cool, but I'm not sure people would be so willing to pay if they knew some desperate artist in China was getting paid below minimum wage to create the artwork. I guess what I'm saying is you are selling the idea of a premium service at a great pricetoo good to be trueand it is, because it's not true.

Or maybe it just doesn't matter. I don't know.

Also, reading this over my tone sounds a little condescending. I don't mean to be. Generally curious what others think about this.

Git from the inside out recurse.com
624 points by Tomte  23 hours ago   105 comments top 27
edejong 22 hours ago 9 replies      
Certain systems can best be understood as black boxes. You put some commands in and magic happens. Git was not designed to be such a system and early users of git know this.

During the last 5 years, many GUIs have filled in this gap, making it increasingly likely to find people completely stuck because they miss knowledge of the foundations.

Git is a utility to manage an append-only repository of tree-objects, blobs and commits. To help humans, git adds

- human-readable pointers (branches, HEAD, stash)

- an method to incrementally add changes (staging/index/working area)

- a method to append tree-objects, blobs and commits from repository to another

- some commands which alleviate steps in common tasks

These last set of commands cause pain, as users without foundational knowledge, do not realize these commands are compounding many small steps.

davewhat 13 hours ago 0 replies      

I haven't seen a git article link to this amazing website recently. By far one of the best ways to teach someone git is to walk someone through git by executing commands and allowing them to see the visual representation of those commands.

There is also an amazing single-player learning mode.

AceJohnny2 23 hours ago 2 replies      
See also "Git from the Bottom Up" https://jwiegley.github.io/git-from-the-bottom-up/

I read lots of tutorials on Git when I started with it just a few years ago, and that's the one that best helped me grok it.

no_protocol 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the writing style and the scope of the piece. Well done.

I kind of wish there were at least mentions of git plumbing commands where appropriate, to shake off one more level (half a level?) of magic. For example, just link to some information on `git hash-object` in the section on `git add`. Footnotes would probably be enough. No need to bog down the relatively quick pacing. Sometimes it can be hard to discover which plumbing commands correspond to the actions mentioned.

Most git tutorials come with diagrams of blobs and trees and branches with all the arrows and color coding. They get the meaning across but often seem to come with a bit of a mental disconnect from what is actually happening in the working directory and .git directory. Does anyone know of a tool to display that kind of diagram in real time while you are making commits or checking out new branches? It could bring an extra level of interactivity to the presentation. Imagine if the graphs on this page were updating live while you had to type the git commands to get them to update AND you could monitor the filesystem at the same time, showing exactly which files were changed by the command.

avip 16 hours ago 3 replies      
OT (or not) -

Of 20 most popular Qs on SO, 7 now ask how to do trivial operations in git.


Take it or live it, git has facts-based proven track record of ui wtfness.

benhoyt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Very good read. I was just hacking around with a tiny Python program that implemented enough to init, add, commit, and push itself to GitHub. It's all very simple until you get to the index format ... which isn't that bad, but it's definitely more complicated than this article makes out.

She refers to .git/index as a text file where "each line of the file maps a tracked file to the hash of its content". However, .git/index is actually a binary file where each entry is a bunch of different fields like creation time and modify time and SHA-1 encoded in binary. See https://github.com/git/git/blob/master/Documentation/technic...

So I wasn't sure whether this part of the article was simply wrong, or whether git index format "version 1" was text, or something else?

martijn_himself 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Off-topic: this must be one of the most beautifully designed sites I've come across lately.

I wish more sites were an oasis of calm like this.

noufalibrahim 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this is a good way to teach git.

I approach the whole thing similarly during my trainings and wrote a few dirty scripts to generate an image of what the repository looks like using graphviz https://gist.github.com/nibrahim/6119925

eropple 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how I teach git when I do training sessions for companies. I really dig this approach; the plumbing on top of Git is not really sufficiently abstracted to avoid knowing this stuff, but at the same time it tries to hide just enough of it to end up biting you when (not if) something goes sideways.
cakeface 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of The Git Parable which helped me understand git when I was first getting started. I really do believe that you have to understand how git actually works under the UI in order to have long term success using it. Whether it's bad or good to need this understanding can be debated but I believe that it is truth.


preordained 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Good stuff. Can't help but agree with others that I don't really want to be forced to be intimate with Git at a gory insides level, though. I use tortoise Git, and perhaps it's removed the temptation to experiment with things that could blow my foot off, but 99% of the time I have no reason to drop to the command line--nor do I want to.
GoToRO 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing that is missing from all tutorials is that branches, tags and everything else are just pointers to a node in the tree. I.e. branches have no "content".
yread 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is all simple stuff. It's when after a rebase there are conflicts in files where they shouldn't be and the CI says "failed" then my knees weaken and i yearn for a guide that would explain everything
disposablezero 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone really interested in git internals should look at git-draw.


mnsc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Or just check out the talk with the kindergarden teacher wearing bib pants that stacks balls and pins... Git for ages four and up I think.
scandox 14 hours ago 0 replies      
There's also this from the same author: https://maryrosecook.com/blog/post/git-in-six-hundred-words

She's a really clear informative writer

supersan 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the best ways to lean new techonology. I remember that long back ago when i was in college i had some trouble understanding some aspects of web servers and so i decided to write a small web server in perl and soon soon i kinda knew it inside out. Same for writing my own Smtp client, the knowledge i gained from it will be with me forever.
caf 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This kind of makes me wonder why you have separate objects/ stores for each repository you have checked out - it seems like you could have just one in your $HOME that all your git repositories share.
JustSomeNobody 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Author has a lot of good reads on her blog. Also, some of her live coding demos on YouTube are fun to watch.
erikb 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how you do git. Read it. Learn it. And you will see the light of version control awesomeness!
rplst8 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of comments here such as "Git has a horrible UI/UX", "I don't want to have to learn the inner workings of a tool", "Certain systems are designed so well that they can be understood as black boxes", and a lot of other complaining about Git and it's idiosyncrasies.

I think this needs to be dissected a bit. First, Git operates in a manner (internally) that is foreign to most users of other SCM systems. Second, Git has a bit of a "tacked-on" nature to it's CLI that can make use cumbersome for newcomers especially when they have been taught the shortcuts before the fundamentals.

For the first problem, I think this is where the black-box comments apply. And honestly, I think treating SCMs as black boxes is what got us into the situation we were in before Git. Version control, branching, merging, change management, and change deconfliction are hard problems, IMO. Personally, I think the base level functions that Git provides, combined with Git workflows from Atlassian (and others) really helps provide a daily routine to handle these situations. After cloning: branch -> change -> index (or update) -> commit -> pull -> fix conflicts -> commit -> push -> merge (or pull request) -> repeat. There are some variations depending on your branching model, but by-in-large this is what prevents regressions and forces people doing the committing to resolve the changes and not to break master.

I think you need to understand the "internals" of any SCM to really be able to conquer the challenges of distributed version control and the complexities of modern software development. I've worked in Rational ClearCase shops, and we needed a ClearCase guru on site too. Every team should have a Git guru.

For the second problem, yes, the CLI is a bit clunky at times. This, combined with a misunderstanding of Git fundamentals can lead you down some bad paths. Cleaning up the CLI is an independent problem from Git internals - and I'll admit some taxonomy/hierarchy/ontology/whatever of commands is probably needed to refine the day to day workflows. However, if you mess up the repo because you don't understand the branching and merging model, you are going to have to use the more "specialized" commands which, let's face it are going to be a bit more cryptic. This is the same for any system that has some maintenance or repair type functionality.

This is why I say, learning how Git works, allows you to learn the branching model better, which will hopefully allow you to avoid those particularly thorny paths.

Sure, you can choose some other SCM system that seems less cryptic or easier to use, but you will likely find yourself in a bind someday in those systems that you will need it's cryptic commands to get out of. Or more likely, doing a lot of work that Git would have allowed you to do in a fraction of the time.

MichaelBurge 22 hours ago 1 reply      
git by itself, I recommend reading the README on the initial commit:


It was only 1000 lines of C at the time, so it couldn't have needed a million different articles and blogs to explain.

That doesn't give you a workflow or explain any of the more advanced features. The workflow you can get from any cookbook list of shell commands, and the advanced features you can get from the manual.

ryenus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad git clone and fetch are still not resumable.
golergka 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Read and upvoted this previous time it was posted. Reread and upvoted it this time too.

This is a good example explaining why reposts should be not only allowed, but encouraged on HN.

partycoder 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Explaining version control might be a bit challenging. Distributed version control is a bit more challenging. So teaching git can be a lot to take for a newcomer.

I went from subversion to git. In retrospective, subversion was much simpler conceptually (but problems like syncing branches were harder).

I found myself once explaining a git concept based on the plot of Back to the Future II. I think it was a perfect example to how to resolve some merge problem.

There are some "git cheatsheets" that provide a very straightforward graphical explanation of what some commands do. That helped me to consolidate some concepts.

andrewvijay 21 hours ago 0 replies      
just when I needed the most. Thanks a lot homie!
Wikipedia and Internet Archive partner to fix 1M broken links on Wikipedia wikimedia.org
478 points by The_ed17  1 day ago   94 comments top 15
jacquesm 1 day ago 5 replies      
In the long term the internet archive will likely be the major supplier of references to Wikipedia. Webpages don't live forever, hopefully the internet archive does. It's an extremely valuable resource, the archive and wikipedia are amongst the most valuable digital assets we have.
eriknstr 1 day ago 2 replies      
The archive.is guy provides mirrors of rotten links to Wikipedia also, although not as the result of any official agreement with Wikipedia, just on his own initiative, which I think was nice of him.

Enclyclopedia Dramatica is generally not a reputable source of truth, being the site that it is, but while looking for some more information on archive.is mirroring of links from Wikipedia articles, I found an article on ED that I found interesting. It is heavily advocating one side of the story but at least it backs it up with some links, which is rather seldom on ED (most links on ED usually go to other pages on ED in my experience).


shortformblog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Excellent news. Should note that today is the 20th anniversary of the Internet Archive: https://blog.archive.org/2016/10/26/making-the-web-more-reli...
qwertyuiop924 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really glad this is happening. Wikipedia needs to clean up their broken links, and this could help the archive get a wider sampling of websites, so as to preserve more data.

Websites going offline is a huge problem. For example, the now-famous thread from which sleepsort originated (on 4chan's /prog/ textboard) isn't archived anywhere: textboard threads are immortal, so nobody thought to archive any threads until dis.4chan.org went down for good.

Thankfully, some bright spark managed to save the sqlite databases for most of the boards on dis to the Internet Archive, so I was able to track down the thread eventually.

ideonexus 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This whole discussion reminds me of how all MySpace content was destroyed in a rash corporate decision years ago. Just like that, five years of the most popular social networking site on the World Wide Web and all its history were wiped out:


Unfortunately, the Internet Archive was only able to get the non-logged-in version of the site. All those loud, obnoxious profile pages users spent endless hours working on? We only have oral histories now to remember them.

pmiller2 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a huge step forward for Wikipedia as an authoritative source of information. Glad to see this happening. :)

OT: I considered applying to the Internet Archive last time I was looking for work, but their office is too hard to commute to coming from the East Bay. :(

caf 1 day ago 0 replies      
It'd be great if StackOverflow approached the Internet Archive about doing the same for their broken links, too.
felipesabino 15 hours ago 0 replies      
As I have clicked in several broken links already, I am wondering how many, absolute number or in percentage, per article are likely to be broken

I might be way off, but doesn't 1M seems like a low number for wikipedia size? What is that in percentage of total number of links? Does anyone know?

sengork 1 day ago 1 reply      
Internet Archive should look into distributed models such as IPFS for storage of the archived sites.
youdontknowtho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. I really love the internet archive as a project. This is a great usage. Looking forward to see how that will work out.

I wonder if they will publish a list of replaced links after the fact?

h1d 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What's blocking Wikipedia to just archive the referenced pages on edit?

It would be far more reliable than depending on Internet Archive when it may not have the page archived and more likely the time of the archive would differ from the time it was referenced.

It would cost some more disk space and bandwidth, which of course is already pressuring them but in turn would greatly improve usability and reliability.

raverbashing 16 hours ago 1 reply      
One corner case that exists: a content is linked on Wikipedia, this content is taken down due to a copyright violation

(I suppose Archive.org would be asked to take the content down)

torrent-of-ions 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Why does the headline says "to fix 1M broken links" but the article says it's already been done?
45h34jh53k4j 1 day ago 0 replies      
(red heart)(yellow heart)(green heart)(blue heart) Internet Archive (red heart)(yellow heart)(green heart)(blue emoji)

There are fewer more noble pursuits than archiving the sum of human knowledge.

alecco 23 hours ago 0 replies      
On a side note, it makes me very sad how Wikipedia editors are often pushing some political agenda. I'm relying on it for less and less topics. Clearly nothing that can be affected by US politics or SJW-style controversies.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet coach.me
526 points by charlieirish  14 hours ago   122 comments top 36
thaw13579 11 hours ago 10 replies      
I find the treatment of psychology on HN to be perplexing. On one hand, there have been attacks on psychology as a field [1] due to legitimate concerns related to replication. On the other hand, blog posts such as this come up every few days that take the same results for granted and frame them in everyday terms.

I wonder, are there different groups of HN readers with different attitudes towards psychology? Or does the treatment also depend on the presentation, e.g. in the form of a scientific publication vs. a brain hacking tips or cheatsheet.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12643978

Goladus 11 hours ago 5 replies      
This is cool, although the real trick is knowing when and how to employ methods that will mitigate the problems caused by cognitive bias to accurately identify and resolve conflicts and facilitate clear decision-making. This is the purpose of courts, the purpose of peer review, the purpose of debate.

Generally, it is not necessary to understand every single type of cognitive bias in a nuanced way to mitigate the problems. Indeed, sometimes cognitive biases overlap to the extent that trying to mitigate one, you'll wind up affected by another. What's important is that your behavior and social rules be oriented towards uncovering truth through dialectic methods.

Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist, recently posted a terrific video on the the issue viewpoint diversity on college campuses-- specifically, the lack of it. Problems of confirmation bias are exaggerated, especially in social sciences, when there's a lack of viewpoint diversity on campus. When everyone likes the conclusions put forth by a paper, no one is motivated to find the flaws. Thus the flaws are not found, the flawed papers get cited by other papers, and you wind up with a knowledge base that is increasingly divorced from reality. Whether you know the name for that bias or not is less relevant than actually addressing the structural problems.

nojvek 13 hours ago 3 replies      
"The world is very confusing, and we end up only seeing a tiny sliver of it, but we need to make some sense of it in order to survive. Once the reduced stream of information comes in, we connect the dots, fill in the gaps with stuff we already think we know, and update our mental models of the world."

So wonderfully said. I wonder what biases AI will develop in its models

nekopa 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm impressed that he managed to figure this out whilst taking care of a baby.

When my son was born, I spent most of the wee hours testing which Star Wars theme I hummed worked best for getting him back to sleep.

(By the way, The Imperial March worked best, especially slowed down and rocking him on every 4th beat)

danieltillett 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How can any list of cognitive biases be complete without the end-of-history illusion [1]. Given the number of young people I see with tattoos it would have to be the most common illusion.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-of-history_illusion

sudoelefant 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is there a dataset somewhere with sentences/paragraphs labeled with cognitive biases? The idea of a machine learning program auto labeling college essays with faulty deductive logic is enticing. Then run the system backward to generate logically sound arguments like the yahoo Nsfw detector post recently.
cm2012 13 hours ago 3 replies      
In politics, I find gambling is the best way to resolve disputes among friends stemming from cognitive bias. Put a bit of money on various results and someone will be right and someone will be wrong.
dimman 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Quite funny when hearing yourself think "Yeah this is confirming my own thoughts" and then you stop and think about what you just read.
dfsegoat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This exact title/link has been posted a number of times (>5) in the past 1-2 months [1].

I'd be interested to know which cognitive bias is at work when the instance of the post today gets 480+ points -- but no instances of this post (same title, same url) in the past 1 month garnered more than 26 pts.

I am both new to HN, and legitimately curious. Perhaps the content of the site was improved dramatically?

edit: clarity.

[0] https://hn.algolia.com/?query=cognitive%20bias%20cheat%20she...

anton_tarasenko 13 hours ago 4 replies      
To summarize biases further, in one word: Incompetence.

Lab results confirming cognitive biases come from testing small groups of students (up to 200). Among other things, it means: (1) respondents with similar background, so we can't generalize (2) respondents don't care about outcomes, (3) tests are synthetic. Plus publication bias and other standard issues.

These results are themselves a sort of confirmation bias.

Mistakes in real life happen when we don't know what we're doing. If a person can learn, he'll discover systematic mistakes. But that comes with domain experience, not cognitive science.

curiousgal 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Granted this might be useful but I believe the ability to recognize these biases and fallacies can only be improved by experience. You can read or memorize what each bias is but you might not be that quick to recognize it in a discussion, it takes practice not just a cheat sheet[0].


ensiferum 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned a long time ago already not to trust my memory. For example I'm trying to find a piece of text in a book, or a specific story in a newspaper my memory might give me a clue, which would be something like "it's on that page next to that "red thing" or "there's a story on the opposite page about xyz". I never trust this anymore it's a wild goose chase.

A good thing to think about how biased your brain is, is to think of that time when you were witnessing that wonderful sunset and you decided to take a photo. Later you look at the photo and it doesn't look at all like you remember. Why? Because it's your brain playing tricks on you. You have a built in image filter in your brain that adjusts the image and your memory of it whereas the camera sees it "objectively."

Once you become aware of all the cognitive biases you just get tired of listening to people talk (about anything really), when it's full of logical holes and anecdotes. In fact it becomes painful especially when listening to some electoral candidate / politician talk about stuff that might actually matter. sigh

zoom6628 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Useful resource to review. There is always time to think about how we think. I know from experience that always underestimate by 30% the time it takes to do things - being it gardening or coding. I measure it to find out. Cognitive bias is something that we all need to be aware of. Just give yourself a 30sec "CB Check" before any decision and see what happens.
bahjoite 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This is excellent. It could be improved by adding a very short summary of each bias. This would help the reader to drill-down to a specific bias of interest.
DINKDINK 7 hours ago 0 replies      
>We notice flaws in others more easily than flaws in ourselves. Yes, before you see this entire article as a list of quirks that compromise how other people think, realize that you are also subject to these biases.

I found this section was written very pourly./s ;]

pkinsky 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for putting this together! As someone interested in cognitive biases, I wonder: how many of these effects have survived the recent replication crisis intact?
madenine 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Great article, but what on earth is the point of the huge wheel chart? Its pretty, but I'm not sure what conclusions it helps me draw, other than sorting sources of bias by group/subgroup in a difficult to read manner.
mrcactu5 7 hours ago 0 replies      
there are so many cognitive bias we see them on the street, in popular music, homeless people, university professors, alcoholics, politicians... everyone exhibits more than a few of these.

So many in fact, I just look at the list overwhelmed and curl in bed and suck my thumb

carsongross 11 hours ago 0 replies      
One has to make a distinction between dialectic situations, where you are trying to get at the truth, vs. rhetorical situations, where the attempt is to convince others (often not the person you are speaking with) of the truth.

For example, trotting out cognitive biases in a rhetorical situation is often very effective, particularly when your opponent is operating in a dialectic mindset.

Know thyself, but also know thy situation.

jmorrison 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend "Charlie Munger On the Psychology of Human Misjudgement."

PDF transcription here http://www.rbcpa.com/mungerspeech_june_95.pdf

Explains a lot (he says, during Presidential Election season in the US)

gog 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the third article on the front page that is running on medium.com infrastructure with that annoying banner in the footer.

Is that the new standard?

inanutshellus 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The article starts off by complaining about the wikipedia article, but as I was reading his post I kept thinking "But this is exactly what was in the Wikipedia infographic!" .... aaand then I realize the infographic is a side-effect of his blog post!

A little ah-hah moment for me. :)

lor3nzo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions


hairy_man674 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Related to biases are fallacies in argument as illustrated (in a less serious but instructive manner) here: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/9
fatdog 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Want a poster of this in every meeting room, maybe sans brain picture in favor of Rodin's Thinker sculpture.
devy 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of master persuader Scott Adams mentioned about "cognitive dissonance"[1] on some of his recent tweets.

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

bluetwo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nicely done.

I like to refer to it as "short-cut thinking" rather than cognitive bias, because people that might not know the term immediately understand what I'm getting at.

callesgg 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Can one get that graph in a non renderd format.Is it only available as that blury jpg?

Looked for myself, but i cant find anything.

dredmorbius 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm fascinated by the graph Manoogian created. Does anyone know what specific tools were used to create it, or which could be used to create similar ontologies?


I'm working with a largish ontology of my own I'd like to present to 2-3 and possibly more levels of depth. GraphViz isn't cutting it.

(I'd asked Manoogian himself, he vaguely pointed at some R graphics tools, which was as far as I've gotten.)

PaulHoule 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My suspicion is that cognitive biases have a lot of what it means to be human. In particular I think the "language instinct" is a derangement of the ability to reason about uncertainty in a consistent way that makes language learning possible.
gcb0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
it talks about suken cost falacy but links to the entry on actual sunken cost, which at most has an argument about fixed vs recurring sunken costs.
idlewords 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I got tired reading this, but had gotten too far not to finish.
tonystubblebine 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hurray Buster! Cool to see this article doing so well!
rdiddly 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like the wheel chart has already been added to the Wikipedia page... talk about circularity...
wfeui3 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is 'cheat sheet'; short and handy reference for making a quick decision. Full reference is probably a few tons of books.

I feel that someone who just uses instinct, will make faster and better decision, even with all the biases and cognitive illusions.

zobzu 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think its a slur of excuses we tell ourselves. We just don't care all that much.

It's all about filling your brain with the latest instant fad. People get bored if they don't get their fix of fake news or cat pictures. How would they even spend a few hours doing real research and actually trying to think?

Way too hard. The internet only exacerbates these issues.This blog is even a prime example. It's telling you what to think so you don't have to, and it matches the popular bias so its easy to just praise it and move on to the next insta-fad.

Google Fiber Cutting Jobs and Halting Rollout nytimes.com
436 points by gm-conspiracy  1 day ago   348 comments top 34
staticelf 1 day ago 25 replies      
That sucks for citizens of the US. I think the Swedish (Nordic?) model for bringing internet connectivity to it's citizens is superior.

The municipalities own (most of) the networks and all the fiber cables, letting companies use them for a small(ish) fee. These companies later sell it to customers. This help people to get the best deals and ensure that the networks are continually upgraded.

For example, I have 250/100 mbit/s for free. My rent pays for this. But I could if I wanted to easily upgrade to 1gbit/s up and down. I can change ISP (even if that wouldn't be paid for by my rent) and I would know that I always could get the same internet-connectivity speeds.

Although, while this is true for many parts of Sweden, it's not available for everyone. Some places still have networks owned by one company without any access to the city network.

SEJeff 1 day ago 8 replies      
Well google announced they were exploring a fiber rollout in Chicago. Now both AT&T along with Time Warner Cable have 1G service throughout parts of the city.

Alternatively, one can look at this not as a failure, but as a success. The point of Google fiber was to force carriers to get faster internet to everyone. It appears that it has been working. This benefits google directly as their properties such as Youtube can deliver more and better content.

For Google, this is a win/win proposition.

jgrowl 1 day ago 3 replies      
Forgive me if I'm incorrect... The way I understand it is that they are halting planning in cities that they marked as potential locations, but that does not mean they are discontinuing the roll out and service in cities that are already in progress.

For example in Nashville, they have been trying to roll out fiber in Nashville for over a year now but have only been able to install on less than a dozen utility poles so far.

This is because of the rules that prevented anyone other than the owner of the existing lines to move anything. This meant that if Google wanted to add lines to a pole with existing AT&T and Comcast lines, it would require both companies to move their own lines independently of each other in coordination. This means roads would have to be closed 3 separate times for each vendor. Nashville recently passed the One Touch Make Ready ordinance that allows approved vendors to do all of the work at the same time.

Now both AT&T and Comcast are suing the city:http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/10/comcast-sues-nash...

I hope that google stills continues to deploy to cities that are already in progress. It took community effort to get the ordinance passed and subjects them a lawsuit. It would be a real letdown.

samfisher83 1 day ago 6 replies      
Building infrastructure is hard. Even 100 years later we still have original AT&T (Verizon and AT&T) as the dominant telecommunications company.

Google also seems to just give up on a lot of its products:Google+HangoutsProject AraGoogle BuzzGoogle videoOrkutTalk Meeboetc.


yekim 1 day ago 0 replies      
So bummed to read this. Even though I wasn't going to directly benefit from Google Fiber, it was sure nice to have a non-entrenched player tackle this market.

From the big G's standpoint, it makes good biz sense to exit this market. I sure hope the subtext in the article comes to fruition ie that Google / Alphabet has figured out a better way to get high speed internet to homes in the US sans fiber.

In an ideal world, this fast fiber internet ought to be a municipally managed utility, with my tax dollars paying for the fiber in the ground. Then, my take home dollars paying for whatever competing service(s) I choose to light up said fiber to bring me access to the net.

Leszek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Previous discussion (mostly about the blog post): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12792928
cargo8 1 day ago 1 reply      
The title of this post is pretty deceptive it clearly implies that the Fiber project altogether is being halted.

My understanding from this article amongst others is that they are simply rethinking their approach to, rather than laying down fiber throughout all target cities, beam high speed internet from local way points to the roofs of high rises (like WebPass does in SF, which they acquired).

It is pretty reasonable to, if this seems a viable approach, halt expensive infrastructure operations to lay down hard wired fiber and cut the jobs associated with these logistics and operations.

the_mitsuhiko 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can't say I'm surprised. I expect Google fi to have a similar fate in a few years. It's not Google business.
fowlerpower 1 day ago 1 reply      
See this title about what's happening to Google Fiber is much more direct, honest, and to the point than the corporate PR google Post and title that confused me into thinking I'm actually going to be able to sign up for Google Fiber.

Their title: "Advancing our amazing bet"

Point being that our ISPs right now need some disruption and I think a lot of people were hoping this Google Fiber would catch on. A lot of folks assumed Google would eat whatever losses to make this a hit. Apperatnly not, apperantly some short term profits trump anything else.

ryao 1 day ago 1 reply      
People in the technology community should start organizing the construction of local government owned municipal fiber networks in their communities. I am abroad right now, but I have decided to start speaking up in mine when I return to the United States because I finally believe that I know how such a thing can succeed.

Local communities could use municipal bonds to pay for a 10G-EPON build outs where multiple providers can provide transit, VoIP and IPTV over the same cables using PPPoE and VLANs. Then a per subscriber fee could be assessed to make pay back the bonds. This would be an ILEC/CLEC model, except with local government ownership much like they own the roads.

The situation where incumbents drop prices could be handled by having a default CLEC that offers free ITU broadband service at 256Kbps. People would switch for that and then switching to a better CLEC could just be a phone call. The incumbents could not compete with free service over a 30 year period and the municipal government owned ILEC + private CLEC model would win.

gm-conspiracy 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anybody know what is going on here?

This seems like a page out of Verizon's FIOS rollout.

Is Google working on their own cellular network (non-MVNO)?

Is this due to the FCC reclassification of internet as a common carrier?

shmerl 1 day ago 1 reply      
They should have known it's a long term investment and ROI happens only when certain scale is reached. Why change their mind now?
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is discouraging. I thought that Google Fiber was over-hyped for the number of users actually connected, but didn't think they'd just give up.

Perhaps Sonic, which provides gigabit Internet service to parts of San Francisco at a lower price than Google [1], will take over Google's operation there.

[1] https://www.sonic.com/sanfrancisco

jcoffland 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> Because Google runs most of its business on the internet, analysts have suggested that its entry into the costly world of fiber optic internet was an attempt to motivate existing internet providers to accelerate the introduction of faster web connections.

Hasn't Google said before that one of their reasons for starting Google Fiber was to push other companies to expand high-speed Internet access in the US? Has this happened or has Google Fiber just run out of steam? I know Sonic is rolling out fiber in the Bay Area. I'm sure Google Fiber has put some pressure on them to up their game.

post_break 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wonder if Google fiber will just shut down and give a 30 day notice or something scummy like that.
askopress 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In Estonia I get 500mbps up and down with unlimited bandwidth for 35 euros, monthly. I think it has a lot to do with the ability to roll out newer, faster stuff much easier than with a big country - and we do have quite a few ISPs, each of them fighting to provide even faster speeds. Wonder why in U.S they don't really try to do anything to be better, and if they do increase speeds, the bandwidth is still stupid low.
hcayless 1 day ago 3 replies      
GF has been tearing up our neighborhood this week and last laying cable (I'm in Chapel Hill). AT&T did the same about 6 months back. I was holding out for Google, but this makes me think even when they get it up and running, the support will be nonexistent. So maybe better to go with the devil we know (we already have AT&T U-Verse, just not gigabit). At least they lasted long enough to force AT&T's hand...
windlep 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fiber the way the US does it is rather lame. Consider that where Google has put in fiber the houses now have:

- Copper telco lines

- Coax cable lines

- Google fiber

There's zero reason for anything other than fiber in an area being updated to it. States/municipalities should solicit bids for a company that wants to maintain the fiber infrastructure, and other companies wishing to provide phone/tv/internet over the fiber can all compete on their service over the one fiber line.

We only have one telco and one cable line because states blessed monopolies for this, they should do the same for fiber, and open access to it for competition from service/content providers. It'll never happen, but I can dream...

josh_carterPDX 1 day ago 1 reply      
They backed out of Portland after spending a ton of money and time with city officials. Sad to hear this is not happening and hope Google finds a way to get back into this because the options today are a joke. This will just embolden companies like Comcast to charge more for horrible service.
rch 1 day ago 0 replies      
This should have been the headline on yesterday's news.
josh2600 1 day ago 3 replies      
I wrote about this elsewhere and am pasting my thoughts here as I think they're relevant to this community:

1) Google Fiber is dead. Long Live Google ISP.

Google cannot afford to lay fiber in the ground because it's a long game and Google doesn't really want to play the long game (they just want to put pressure on competitors so they can move more bits along the wires, generating more searches and more streams with which to shove ads in your face). Fiber never was the most efficient way to do this, but there's something sexy about "Google Fiber" as opposed to "Google Point to Point Radio Towers". The reality is that wireless delivery of bits is way cheaper than fiber because you don't have to tear the ground up (over the last mile obviously since the arteries must be fiber links).

Clarification: "long" refers to 30-year payback periods for physical asset investment. There are a lot of things with higher returns on that timeline than fiber that google can invest in. I don't actually think it's profitable for anyone to build unsubsidized networks. This is why networks should be public and operators should be private, but that's a topic for another day!

2) Fiber is cheap, construction is expensive.

When I helped Comcast build out the fiber network in SF, what struck me was the relative cheapness of the assets we were putting in the ground compared to the cost of tearing up the street. The conduit and the glass inside the conduit cost almost nothing, but tearing up the street in SF is $300/sq ft. Crossing cable car tracks was like $50,000. Then there's the actual cost of construction: people. Getting contractors to arrive on time, finish on time, and avoid overtime is fraught with peril. It's actually really hard to move physical atoms around in a manner similar to programmatic systems, and so many models that have real world elements stumble against the harshness of actuality. I suspect Google's cost modeling for building a fiber network was optimistic.

3) Wireless is fast, but does it scale to city size?

It's not hard or particularly expensive to deliver gigabit over wireless. You basically need a tall building to rain down radio waves onto the masses. What I wonder about, given that we have no cities running on majority wireless point to points, is what happens when you hit scale? That is to say, point to points have a limited wireless footprint (because using beamforming we don't need to splay the signal everywhere, we just send it in one direction), but one can easily imagine a saturated wireless environment as generating a significant amount of noise. Wireless networks are easy when there's only a few objects on the network but get significantly harder as the physical area reaches device saturation. That is to say, WebPass might be super easy to operate when only a handful of buildings are on WebPass, but it might be much harder if a whole section of the city is online.

4) Google bought WebPass a while back.

The writing has been on the wall for a while that the fiber game was killing uncle Google. I can only hope that they don't bow out completely. I think that wireless makes Google significantly less of an existential threat to their carrier partners as well.

Overall, I remain cautiously optimistic about Google's future as an ISP.

On a final note: Google Fi is not an answer to Google fiber disappearing. The two are tangential, disjointed offerings that cannot, for a bunch of reasons, compete with one another (most notably the wireless data caps).

mark_l_watson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand the legal and other difficulties of dealing with local governments and incumbent providers.

However, it may also be that Google is going to be more careful where it spends its money. Hoarding cash may be protection against interesting changes in the economy.

dmalvarado 1 day ago 0 replies      
That was fast.

Give it 5 years before the infrastructure and service is sold to ATT/Time Warner/Spectrum/WTF

andrewvijay 1 day ago 4 replies      
Just as expected. It was just to force the network carriers to speed up wasn't it?
mtw 1 day ago 0 replies      
And here I was hoping the service would be extended to Canada :/
client4 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Montana we're having success installing fiber, but we aren't outsourcing construction and using cheap electronics. I do wish we could use Google's set-top ONT though.
izzydata 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had just signed up for it in Overland Park, Kansas. Hopefully they still do the construction here where they already said they would.
ukyrgf 1 day ago 0 replies      
This news comes out one week after Comcast informed me they'd be enabling an arbitrary 1 TB data cap. I have to get out of Florida, I guess.
sidgup 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh google, at least see through on one of your bold ideas?
davesque 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well this is some pretty depressing news.
dbg31415 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Google Fiber rollout in my neighborhood has been a debacle from the start.

They walked around and put up door tags -- really really big ones saying, "Google Fiber is coming!" and immediately after that the 0 crime neighborhood I live in had a slew of break ins. Anyone who didn't remove this massive door tag was an easy target, the crooks knew who was home and who wasn't.

Then like a week later... they put the exact same door tag up on all the doors. And we all laughed... but we were like, "WTF, Google..." Then the next day they put the exact same door tag up again... even doubling it up on homes that already had a door tag. They door tags were just promos to sign up; they didn't tell us to mark our sprinkler systems, or who to call in case the construction crew accidentally cut our water lines...

The actual cable laying came about a month later... and it's been going on for 7 weeks at this point. Some days the guys work, most they don't. Doesn't appear to be any pattern to it. There are a bunch of expensive drilling and trenching machines parked at the end of my cul-de-sac and along the street in the spots where residents used to park. 7 weeks and counting...

stinger 1 day ago 0 replies      
another one bites the dust
nickysielicki 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's hilarious how many people think it's consistent to simultaneously hold the opinion that this is a tragedy and that Google Fiber was the ISP that they wish they could have, while also supporting federally-imposed "net neutrality" and the implicit claim behind it, which is that all ISPs are just dumb pipes that are moving bits, and that consumers are agnostic about who does it.

All the sheep on Reddit who got behind FCC mandated "net neutrality" are directly responsible for this. Urbanites get a warped view of this country and vastly underestimate the amount of places where satellite internet is their only option. Yet they have the nerve to bitch and moan about what a tragedy it is that they can't stream 4k video without buffering. The government must fix this! To hell with the rural schoolchildren and their lack of access to wikipedia, I want to watch high-def cartoons!

There was so much innovation taking place behind the scenes to provide a decent web-browsing experience via satellite internet and WISPs. And it's all for naught.

I'm still excited for this next year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ViaSat-2

exabrial 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sensationalist headline...

My analysis: They're realizing big cities are not profitable and installation costs a ton of $. My guess is they'll try to go for smaller towns with better utility pole infrastructure.

Parsing JSON is a Minefield seriot.ch
539 points by beefburger  1 day ago   282 comments top 45
s_q_b 1 day ago 10 replies      
Well, first and most obviously, if you are thinking of rolling your own JSON parser, stop and seek medical attention.

Secondly, assume that parsing your input will crash, so catch the error and have your application fail gracefully.

This is the number one security issue I encounter in "security audited" PHP. (The second being the "==" vs. "===" debacle that is PHP comparison.)

As one example, consider what happens when the code opens a session, sets the session username, then parses some input JSON before the password is evaluated. Crashing the script at the json_decode() fails with the session open, so the attacker can log in as anyone.

Third, parsing everything is a minefield, including HTML. We as a community invest a lot of collective effort in improving those parsers, but this article does serve as a useful reminder of a lot of the infrastructure we take for granted.

Takeaways: Don't parse JSON yourself, and don't let calls to the parsing functions fail silently.

mi100hael 1 day ago 5 replies      
> In conclusion, JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly.

That was definitely not my take-away from the article. More like "JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly if you are using an esoteric edge-case and/or an alpha-stage parsing library." I haven't ever run into a single JSON issue that wasn't due to my own fat fingers or trying to serialize data that would have been better suited to something like BSON.

SloopJon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Figures that something like this would be posted on my day off. I put this through a parser that I cover, and found that the only failures were for top-level scalars, which we don't support, and for things we accept that we shouldn't. I'll look through the latter tomorrow, as well as the optional "i_" tests.

Test suites are a huge value add for a standard, so thank you, Nicolas, for researching and creating this one. I was surprised that JSON_checker failed some of the tests. I use its test suite too.

gcirino42 1 day ago 4 replies      
The correct answer to parsing JSON is... don't. We experimented last hackday with building Netflix on TVs without using JSON serialization (Netflix is very heavy on JSON payloads) by packing the bytes by hand to get a sense of how much the "easy to read" abstraction was costing us, and the results were staggering. On low end hardware, performance was visibly better, and data access was lightening fast.

Michael Paulson, a member of the team, just gave a talk about how to use flatbuffers to accomplish the same sort of thing ("JSOFF: A World Without JSON"), linked in this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12799904

DanielRibeiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow! This was a great practical analysis of existing implementations, besides a great technical overview of the spec(s). Thanks for open sourcing the analysis code[1], and for the extended results[2]

[1] https://github.com/nst/JSONTestSuite

[2] http://seriot.ch/json/parsing.html

kstenerud 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did write my own parser, but for a reason: I need it to be able to recover as much data as possible from a damaged, malformed, or incomplete file.

Turns out that a good chunk of these tests are for somewhat malformed, but not impossible to reason about files. Extra commas, unescaped characters, leading zeroes... I'd rather just accept those kinds of things rather than throw an error in the user's face. It's a big bad world out there, and data is by definition corrupt.

And this is borne out when I plug my parser into this test suite: Many, many yellow results, which is exactly how I want it.

peatmoss 1 day ago 2 replies      
What ever happened with EDN (pronounced "eden") from the Clojure people? https://clojure.github.io/clojure/clojure.edn-api.htmlhttps://github.com/edn-format/edn

I always thought that seemed like a nice alternative data format to JSON. Anyone using this it in the wild?

dgreensp 1 day ago 0 replies      
An informative article. The point is not that parsing JSON is "hard" in any sense of the word. It's that it's underspecified, which leads to parsers disagreeing.

Although the syntax of JSON is simple and well-specced:

* The semantics are not fully specified

* There are multiple specs (which is a problem even if they are 99% equivalent)

* Some of the specs are needlessly ambiguous in edge cases

* Some parsers are needlessly lenient or support extensions

paulddraper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lots of issues are trivially answered.


> Scalars..In practice, many popular parsers do still implement RFC 4627 and won't parse lonely values.

Right. RFC 7159 expanded the definition of a JSON text.

> A JSON text is a serialized value. Note that certain previous specifications of JSON constrained a JSON text to be an object or an array.

If RFC 7159 wasn't different from 4627, there'd be no reason for 7159. Same with RFC 1945 and 7230 for HTTP. (Of course, HTTP is versioned...maybe he just means to repeat the earlier versioning criticism.)


> it is unclear to me whether parsers are allowed to raise errors when they meet extreme values such 1e9999 or 0.0000000000000000000000000000001

And then quotes the relevant part of the RFC 7159 grammar with answers the question:

> This specification allows implementations to set limits on the range and precision of numbers accepted. Since software that implements IEEE 754-2008 binary64 (double precision) numbers [IEEE754] is generally available and widely used, good interoperability can be achieved by implementations that expect no more precision or range than these provide, in the sense that implementations will approximate JSON numbers within the expected precision. A JSON number such as 1E400 or 3.141592653589793238462643383279 may indicate potential interoperability problems, since it suggests that the software that created it expects receiving software to have greater capabilities for numeric magnitude and precision than is widely available.

Parsers may limit this however they like. And so may serializers. This includes yielding errors. (Though approximating the nearest possible 64-bit double is IMO the better choice.)


So yeah, in the end there is fair amount of flexibility in standard JSON.

To summarize:

> An implementation may set limits on the size of texts that it accepts.

> An implementation may set limits on the maximum depth of nesting. [this one was never mentioned though]

> An implementation may set limits on the range and precision of numbers.

> An implementation may set limits on the length and character contents of strings.

Most implementations on 32-bit platforms will not parse 5GB JSON texts.

mmagin 1 day ago 2 replies      
"NaN and Infinity"

Yeah. And I learned this the hard way with the Perl module JSON::XS. It successfully encodes a Perl NaN, but its decoder will choke on that JSON. (Reported it to the maintainer who insists that is consistent with the documentation and wouldn't fix it)

realkitkat 1 day ago 2 replies      
If JSON is comparable to minefield, then I guess XML and ASN.1 are nothing short of nuclear Armageddon in complexity and ones ability to shoot themselves into the leg ;-)
kowdermeister 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still love JSON regardless :) Client / server side languages have first class support for serialization and in most cases the data structures are rather easy.

I'd be very skeptical if one would suggest an alternative format for a web based project, however I can imagine such situations.

indexerror 1 day ago 17 replies      
> In conclusion, JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly.

What does HN suggest for configuration files (to be written by a human essentially)?

I am looking at YAML and TOML. My experience with JSON based config files was horrible.

metafunctor 1 day ago 2 replies      
The page has been taken down for some reason (getting a 403).

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8jVuBmx...

dep_b 1 day ago 3 replies      
Now the mess that is called JavaScript dates has crept into any system imaginable in the world. I can understand we needed to go for the lowest denominator but Crockford's card really could cram in another line with a date time string format.
eridius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Speaking as someone who wrote a JSON parser, this article and the accompanying test suite looks to be very valuable, and I will be adding this test suite to my parser's tests shortly.

That said, since my parser is a pure-Swift parser, I'm kind of bummed that the author didn't include it already, but instead chose to include an apparently buggy parser by Big Nerd Ranch instead. My parser is https://github.com/postmates/PMJSON

jayd16 1 day ago 0 replies      
tl;dr JSON with a bunch of shitty extensions is awful. The error handling among JSON parsers is inconsistent.
ohstopitu 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I didn't know better, I wrote my own JSON parser for Java (it was years back and I didn't know about java libraries). From experience: DON'T. DO. IT.

That said, if you have decided to do it....

1) know fully well that it'll fail and build it with that assumption.

2) Please, please, please...give useful error messages when it does fail or you'd be spending way too much time over something simple.

austincheney 1 day ago 1 reply      
Writing parsers is hard and takes some experience, but its not as hard or as impossible as most of these comments make out. JSON is retarted simple to parse, even in the face of certain edge case ambiguities.

I can say this from experience after having written an HTML/XML parser that provides support for various template schemes: Twig, Elm, Handlebars, ERB, Apache Velocity, JSP, Freemarker, and many more. I have written a JavaScript parser that supports React JSX, JSON, TypeScript, C#, Java, and many more things.

In years I have been programming I frequently hear whining like, "its too hard". Don't care. While you are wasting oxygen crying about how hard life is somebody else will roll a solution you will ultimately consume.

RangerScience 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic. However, it looks like the detailed conclusion is "exactly matching the RFC is a minefield".

About a month ago (for the third time, since I don't own the first two implementations) I made a very forgiving (and very error-unprotected) JSON parser: https://github.com/narfanator/maptionary

The core of JSON parsing, from that experience, seems really simple; it's catching all the edge cases that's hard.

In any event, I look forward to taking the time to test against this test suite!

novaleaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
when parsing human constructed JSON, use JSON5 for the win.


Tepix 1 day ago 0 replies      
The important lessen is that you can't blindly rely on your JSON parser to save your ass when you are dealing with untrusted input.

If sending 1000 "["s will crash your application, you have a problem.

I hope the JSON parser authors will improve their parsers.

RX14 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fixes for many of the issues raised by this post have since made it into crystal master: https://github.com/crystal-lang/crystal/commit/7eb738f550818...
nitwit005 1 day ago 0 replies      
People tend to screw up the unicode aspects more than the general parsing. And, indeed, the example JSON parser provided checks for a UTF-8 byte order mark, but doesn't validate that the data is valid UTF-8, so it will let through strings that might cause an application problems.

Although there is a commented out method to validate a code point, so I guess he understood that it was an issue.

boggydepot 18 hours ago 0 replies      
So what's the alternative? If you had a time machine and went back in time, what would you recommend/bring as an alternative to JSON?
RangerScience 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you have an explanation anywhere of why each (or any) of the edge cases is supposed to succeed or fail, or why it commonly does what it's not supposed to do?

I realize that's almost as much work as writing each test case in the first place, but even a subset of the test cases having that explanation would be valuable.

Confusion 1 day ago 3 replies      
There was a great article at some point that explained why 'be liberal in what you accept' is a very bad engineering practice in certain circumstances, such as setting a standard, because it causes users to be confused and annoyed when a value accepted by system A is subsequently not accepted by supposedly compatible system B. Leading to pointless discussions about what the spec 'intended' and subtle incompatibility. Anyone know what article I mean?
cbhl 1 day ago 2 replies      
In practice, people use increasingly smaller subsets of JavaScript to transmit data.

For example, a common pattern is to transmit (numeric) user IDs as strings so that they don't get mangled by floating-point precision issues with large numbers. You see both Twitter and Facebook APIs do this, for example.

77pt77 1 day ago 0 replies      
> it won't parse u-escaped invalid codepoints: ["\ud800"]

How is this not expected behaviour?

The string is not well-formed.

Same thing with decent XML parsers. They croak when you give them invalid codepoints.

vhost- 1 day ago 0 replies      
You definitely can't rely on it. Just the other day I was given a task to take a request payload from our front end and do some stuff with it on our backend. The payload looked like this: {"thing": [{"values": ["foobar"], "type": "blah blah"}, "some identifier"], "other thing": "some string"}. It's mixing types in arrays which is problematic for most statically types languages.

Tips for Go: Don't use map[string]interface{} and circumvent the type system (I've seen this a lot in production). The fix involves the UnmarshalJSON and MarshalJSON interfaces. This lets you put the data into a structure that's sane and re-encode it back to something the other system expects.

newsat13 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone else seeing forbidden?


You don't have permission to access to this document on this server.

redleggedfrog 1 day ago 1 reply      
Crockford needs to write "JSON, The Good Parts."
andrewvijay 1 day ago 2 replies      
Bad thing to read when I'm writing a sass to json module
metaloha 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I wrong in seeing that PHP seems to fail the least weirdly in the full results?
amelius 1 day ago 2 replies      
One of the biggest flaws of JSON is that it doesn't support "undefined". This makes translating Javascript structures to and from JSON actually not preserve the original value. Sigh.
singularity2001 1 day ago 0 replies      
JSON = require('json5')

And you can even use comments!! (no comment)

// http://json5.org/

ninjakeyboard 1 day ago 0 replies      
unless for fun, rolling your own json parser is like writing bubble sort for use in your prod app.
tofupup 1 day ago 0 replies      
it is an improvement but when i am in these situations i usually grab the first library out there.
chrismarlow9 1 day ago 0 replies      
this is kind of a vulnerability developers wet dream, especially that graph...
nickpsecurity 1 day ago 0 replies      
Crap like this is why people should just use older ones that work. Some of the issues I see in the comments weren't present in Sun's XDR:


Or even LISP s-expressions if you want organized text.

SFJulie 1 day ago 0 replies      
By sheer randomness I was having the thought about it today: I made some code to highlight where the stdlib json module sees the mistakes in JSON decoding in the python stdlib.

I used the exception with string "blabal at line x, col y, char(c - d)" to actually highlight (ANSI colors) WHERE the mistake were.


I played a tad with it, and the highlighted area for missing separators, unfinished string, lack of identifier were making no sense. I thought I was having a bug. Checked and re-checked. But, No.

I made this tool because, whatever the linters are I was always wondering why I was not able to edit or validate json (especially one generated by tools coded by idiots) easily.

I thought I was stupid thinking json were complex.


michaelp983 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are alternatives to JSON that are OS, available in many languages, actively supported, and both CPU and memory efficient.

FlatBuffers & Netflixhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_AfmRc-TLE&feature=youtu.be...

mjpa 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wrote my own JSON parser (https://github.com/MJPA/SimpleJSON) a while ago... not sure how it's a minefield unless I'm missing something?
edem 1 day ago 1 reply      

 JSON is the de facto standard when it comes to (un)serialising and exchanging data in web and mobile programming. 
I disagree. Take protobuf for example. You get schemas, data structures, and a parser in one package which is actually a lot smaller than JSON and compiles to nearly all the commonly used languages. Ever since I've started using it my life became so easier! If you don't want your data to be human readable (which is very common) you should not use JSON as a data interchange format.

youdontknowtho 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know what is more like a minefield...a minefield...


Not trying to be a dork, but thought this would be a good place to bring up...if anyone is interested...in the usage of landmines in current conflicts and the way that they tend to linger.

Call this a comment factoid. Off topic, but interesting.

Server APIs Project swift.org
511 points by OberstKrueger  2 days ago   171 comments top 20
ruddct 2 days ago 4 replies      
Great. Great great great. A thousand times great. We've been slowly converting our iOS projects over to Swift over the past year and the results have been tremendous (a ~40% drop in LOC from ObjC, among many other benefits). Really the only language-level feature that feels missing for server development is first-class support for asynchronous/concurrent operations, but that's coming.

Swift is truly a 'best of most worlds' language. Typed, but without the boilerplate seen in a lot of typed languages. Syntax that makes sense and is consistent. Immutability strongly encouraged, but not required. OO if you want it. First class functions. Etc, etc, etc. It's truly a dream to work in, can't wait for server-side to get a little more mature.

jaybuff 2 days ago 1 reply      
My team at Apple is hiring in San Francisco. https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#location&ss=47424189&t=0&s...

If you're interested, please email jaybuff@apple.com with [Swift Server] in the email subject line.

rpeden 2 days ago 4 replies      
This looks like a very organized project with well defined goals, both of which are points that will help it succeed.

It seems there's a bit of a trend back toward compiled languages (Go, Rust, Swift) that don't rely on the JVM or .NET CLR to run. I think that these are all great languages, though I almost wish for something like a better, more modern, cross-platform COM to easily share libraries among the languages.

I've only had to work with COM very, very occasionally though. If I'd had to work with it for any extended period of time, I probably wouldn't be wishing for it, or anything like it. Perhaps sharing functionality between languages is better accomplished by separate services communicating via something like 0MQ.

timanglade 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sweet to see an official push from the Swift project behind server-side use-cases (and of course in a cross-platform way, as is Swift already [0]). Looks like this spirit is taking hold community-wide too, with projects like CocoaPods tinkering with Linux support this week [1]. The future looks bright for Swift!

[0]: https://swift.org/download/#releases

[1]: https://twitter.com/segiddins/status/790326153051447296

octref 2 days ago 5 replies      
What editor is everyone using for Swift?

Last time I played with Swift I stopped after XCode crashed 2 times in an hour for me. It is also very slow. But none other editors seem to support auto completion which is a deal-breaker for me. Without it it's hard to consume all the APIs.

I hope Apple can follow Rust's path by making a language server[0] for Swift, if Apple is serious about providing cross-platform support for it. This will enable better support in editors such as find definition, refactor and auto completion.

[0]: https://internals.rust-lang.org/t/introducing-rust-language-...

squiguy7 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been following Rust's push into server-side development and can tell it is still green. There is a great foundation with the hyper library but quite a bit of fragmentation with frameworks and the async side of things.

It will be interesting to see where swift goes with all this. I know Rust has a lot of traction now with cross-platform support and language features, but I think swift is poised to offer a much different experience for server-side development.

nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like that they are taking the same sort of mantra as Node.js by providing the core building blocks and letting the community develop web frameworks. This was something that Ryan Dahl got absolutely right with Node, minimal functionality, sugar on top of system calls.
seanparsons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Having spent 10 months working in Swift, this is probably the last thing on earth I want to see right now.

Pretty much every part of the entire toolchain has been a pain, from Xcode being Xcode, to compiler bugs and crashes, crappy package management and bad language design.

Having built servers in Java/C#/Scala/Haskell, I'd pick Haskell over those options and Swift every single time.

dschiptsov 2 days ago 4 replies      
I hope they will look at Erlang/OTP instead of Java EE for inspiration.
mozumder 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some future server APIs should include database connectors, machine learning libraries, & image/video processing.

Standardize on these before everything gets out-of-hand.

ldayley 2 days ago 4 replies      
Dumb question: I'd love to learn more about Swift and try out writing Swift code, but is development still limited to XCode/macOS?
xenihn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does the inclusion of Vapor members mean we can finally declare Vapor the "winner" over Perfect?
ohstopitu 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder what happened to the rumors that Google was planning on supporting Swift on Android officially [0].

Also, are there any good tutorials/courses to get started with Swift & iOS development? (having programmed in other languages, I can pick up fast, and I've lost interest in tutorials that start out very slowly and take time to get to the point.)

[0] http://thenextweb.com/dd/2016/04/07/google-facebook-uber-swi...

speedkills 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there anyway to build on Linux yet? Having to use a Mac to build and deploy is really inconvenient for some continuous integration setups.
akerro 1 day ago 0 replies      
So what makes Swift better than Java/C# for server-side development? I'm getting tired with some languages and I'm looking for (fun) replacements. Yesterday I was reading about Elixir. Why and when should I adopt Swift?
rgovind 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone here made a living/killing selling compiler modification services? I want to contribute to Rust/Swift/Some other language with a view of selling consulting services. Can anyone here comment about their success in this regard?
geodel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing. Instead of talking about Swift server APIs, gaps or features desired, this thread gets hijacked by Scala enthusiasts.
saosebastiao 2 days ago 1 reply      
No mention of multicore, threads, or asynchrony. I would hope that is part of this.
lcfcjs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thank goodness, I just made an app last week and it was surprising how difficult it was to actually make an http request and handle the response.
amelius 2 days ago 4 replies      
Nice, but I prefer a language which runs both on client and server, because that means I can share code, and e.g. I can do prerendering on the server and stuff like that.
FCC Vote Means Internet Providers Need Permission to Share Your Data npr.org
380 points by suprgeek  7 hours ago   81 comments top 16
devindotcom 5 hours ago 6 replies      
Interestingly there seems to be a loophole in that they can collect the data regardless of consent, but can't use or share it without consent. So chances are this sensitive data will be recorded and put in a database anyway, even if they're not lawfully allowed to look at it without anonymizing first - but a future law could also add an exception, keeping things for law enforcement for instance.

I'm triple checking with the FCC on this though.

ars 6 hours ago 7 replies      
This is completely pointless. They'll just add some form you have to sign before giving you service and that's about it.

After all, do you read and act on the privacy notifications other providers give you?

Does this at least require them to provider service irregardless of your consent to share data? If not, this is a pointless law that just makes it look like they did something.

makecheck 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
If the data is collected at all, it can be collected incorrectly (e.g. stored in such a way that it is stolen eventually, permissions be damned). Still solving the wrong fundamental issue.

We desperately need to work on reducing the importance of data itself. We must assume by default that all information will be improperly handled pretty much anywhere (or, that the task of keeping it secure indefinitely is just too hard).

That means: data whose usefulness expires extremely quickly (with corresponding protocols), and the complete retirement of stupid bits of information we now carry like social security numbers and credit card numbers that can instantly screw you in the wrong hands. In fact, we ought to have proxies for EVERYTHING; I dont know why I even have to hand out my home address, for instance, when in theory I could give a company some temporary proxy address that routes to my house only as long as I ALLOW that forwarding; after that, it becomes meaningless and cannot be used for junk mail.

anigbrowl 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sure this will lead to radical alterations on paragraph 117 of the typical EULA, where everyone will notice it immediately and have a serious think about the economic value of their personal identifiable information. I have not looked at the actual motion yet but I suspect that companies will only have to answer consumer inquiries in general terms rather than giving them detailed statement. Oh well I've given up trying to safeguard my privacy anyway.
afarrell 6 hours ago 4 replies      
I wish the UK had this. Mobile phone/data providers send a header with HTTP requests to provide the site with your phone number which they can then use to charge you without permission.
wmf 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I am kind of surprised that this wasn't already regulated, considering that telephone privacy has been an issue for decades. Perhaps this is a case of an unwritten common-sense policy that is only being codified when ISPs start to break it (e.g. AT&T's now-canceled "Internet Preferences").
supergeek133 6 hours ago 1 reply      
In theory they were supposed to have my permission before sharing with the government too... right? Not sure what this stops.

Think of it like when you authorize facebook or someone else to share data via OAuth, how many people read that list?

MayMuncher 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this applies to airport or arena wifi. Would they be considered an ISP if they are providing internet to mobile devices?
Frogolocalypse 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember the hoo-haa when Wheeler was appointed chairman of the FCC? He seems to have proven his detractors wrong.
jgord 2 hours ago 0 replies      
..because the fact that your _paying_ them, along with the general morality, is in itself not enough of an inducement.
elhenrico 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's there any way to obfuscate my browsing data? As in a program that visits random sites. I've searched but never found something like this.
mankash666 7 hours ago 1 reply      
About time
1812Overture 6 hours ago 1 reply      
We have a monopoly. Sign this or you don't get internet.
revelation 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe they can now regulate that ISPs can not modify IP payload?

What world are we living in where the post service is allowed to rip open mail and deface it.

cloudjacker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Permission like an android app
thomasthomas 6 hours ago 1 reply      
lots of power for an entity of unelected officials....
Applying the Linus Torvalds Good Taste Coding Requirement medium.com
551 points by Jerry2  2 days ago   288 comments top 39
jprzybyl 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm reminded of a quote from Moore in "Thinking Forth":

"A lot of conditionals arise from fuzzy thinking about the problem. In servo-control theory, a lot of people think that the algorithm for the servo ought to be different when the distance is great than when it is close. Far away, youre in slew mode; closer to the target youre in decelerate mode; very close youre in hunt mode. You have to test how far you are to know which algorithm to apply."

"Ive worked out a non-linear servo-control algorithm that will handle full range. This approach eliminates the glitches at the transitioning points between one mode and the other. It eliminates the logic necessary to decide which algorithm to use. It eliminates your having to empirically determine the transition points. And of course, you have a much simpler program with one algorithm instead of three."

"Instead of trying to get rid of conditionals, youre best to question the underlying theory that led to the conditionals."

That's part of a chapter of the book called Minimizing Control Structures. Forth guys are crazy about taste, and if I've learned anything from reading their stuff, it's that chasing tasteful programming to its end gets very hard.

OP is right on the money. The hard thing is that it is a creative process, and takes a real understanding of the problem you're solving to do it. Worst of all, aside from the feeling of solving a puzzle well, the benefits only begin appearing much later. I'm glad the kernel team takes it seriously.

akkartik 1 day ago 17 replies      
I dunno, the first example seems unsatisfying. The original has that ugly condition, the "good" version seems overly clever. And for all the talk of taste and aesthetics, both versions ignore an elephant in the room: defensively dealing with `entry` being absent from the list.

Not that I've never abused addresses like this. But having written this multiple times, I currently prefer something like this:

 remove_list_entry(entry) { if (head == entry) { head = head->next; return; } for (prev = head; prev->next; prev = prev->next) { if (prev->next == entry) { prev->next = prev->next->next; return; } } }
There's still an `if`, but it isn't so bad since it's an early exit. What is "tasteful" about hiding the fact that one of the cases is far simpler than the other? There's conditionals and then there's conditionals. There's cases and then there's cases.

The other benefit of this approach: you eliminate segfaults by construction, because the `while` has been replaced with a much more normal `for` loop iterating through the list. Keeping it normal is 80% of the secret to avoiding security holes.

Rather than appealing to something nebulous like "taste", I prefer to focus on concrete functional benefits. What is a situation where someone using or modifying this function might be subtly led astray? That seems a better guide.

(Earlier version posted on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/59cq8r/applyin... )

johan_larson 1 day ago 7 replies      
For my money, Linus's example of "good taste" gives up rather a lot of clarity to achieve succinctness. The original is simple and clear. His preferred version is shorter, but also harder to understand because of its use of a complicated indirection. And that's not good taste. It's just showing off.

Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. Harold Abelson, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

PJDK 1 day ago 10 replies      
I was given a piece of advice very early on in my career that I've always been grateful for, which is fundamentally the same as this. IF and FOR are both code smells.

One case of this is just simplifying loops with some functional goodness

 var listOfGoodFoos = new List<Foo>(); for(var i = 0; i< listOfAllFoos.Count; i++) { if(listOfAllFoos[i].IsGood) listOfGoodFoos.Add(listOfAllFoos[i]); } return listOfGoodFoos;

 return listOfAllFoos.Where(x => x.IsGood);
But perhaps a more interesting point is it can also be a a sign of DRY gone wrong - two things that aren't actual repeats of each other, but just similar code, are smushed together with lots of IFs hang around to make it actually work.

A connected piece of advice was "it is easier to push things together than pull them apart" so err on the side of assuming two bits of code are not the same, knowing you can refactor them together later (probably only a few hours later) if it turns out they are in fact pretty similar.

AceJohnny2 1 day ago 10 replies      
These are great examples, and they hint to, but do not mention, the big counterpoint: development time. In his own examples, the author admitted that though the code was ugly, it worked. He then spent extra time reworking the existing code to make it, well, prettier.

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." -- Voltaire

The problem is that, in many (most?) professional settings, the developer is under huge pressure to get shit done. Not get it done perfectly, not done beautifully, but just done in the first place. We rarely have the leeway to spend extra time refining existing code, existing features or bugfixes, to make them prettier. It's gotta be done, and it's gotta be done yesterday because maybe some other part of the project is blocked because of it or some customer paid for it and it was supposed to be done last month or it broke and why the hell isn't it fixed yet!?

Some projects, I daresay mostly open-source projects, can afford to be detached from the pressure of deadlines that corporations require, and reject code that isn't to their quality standards. Sadly, that's not the case for most of us.

troydj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Linus' "good" version has a McCabe cyclomatic complexity of 2, whereas the "bad" version has a value of 3. So, objectively, one could argue there is improvement there (albeit small). Validation of the "good" version will be easier (e.g. code coverage testing) with fewer paths through the code. Additionally, a lower cyclomatic complexity typically implies less stress on the developer's working memory while reading code (since you don't have to consume an internal brain "register" holding the result of a conditional while following the flow of control).
no_protocol 1 day ago 5 replies      
> it only performed 256 loop iterations, one for each point along the edge

alarm bells

There are only 252 points along the edge. This code will act on each corner twice. If you were performing an operation like `+= 1` on each edge element, this code would be wrong. When you copy and paste it later and change all the `= 0` to something else, you might end up with an unfortunate surprise.

Once I saw this mistake in the 2nd code example, I guessed it would also appear in the 3rd one. Sure enough, it does. This is just as unsavory to me as the original code.

I'm not sure if the author is here or not, but if you are, can you see the fix?

deanCommie 1 day ago 4 replies      
I don't know how to reconcile Linus's track record is of indisputable brilliance and success (I use Linux and Git on a daily basis and am eternally grateful for both), with the fact that I would absolutely DESPISE working with a peer with the kinds of attitudes and opinions on coding that Linus has.

I think the problem I have is that a lot of people use Linus's examples and stories as justification for their own suboptimal interpersonal skills, overly-clever code that only they understand, but without the same level of brilliance or track record to justify it.

Ultimately I think Linus's contributions to Software are pantheon, but he should not be looked to for imitation or lessons. His lessons for success are detrimental to the vast majority of software engineers.

tempestn 1 day ago 4 replies      
Not being used to C syntax, I took this as a typo at first:

 indirect = &(*indirect)->next;
The position of the parentheses make it look like you're dereferencing only (* indirect). But on second look, you need the parens there so that it's (* indirect)->next as opposed to indirect->next. Then the & operates on the whole thing. I'd be tempted to wrap it in a second set of parens for clarity, but perhaps it's entirely obvious to a programmer who's actually used to using pointers. IE:

 indirect = &((*indirect)->next);

sverrirs 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't know why I'm even replying, this will get so much hate here, oh well...

1. Just because things aren't done "the way you would do them" doesn't mean they're "bad" or "wrong".

2. If you're not on a solo project, I've found writing correct but less "clever" code to help shorten ramp-up time for new devs and be more beneficial to future maintainability of the code-base and system.

TL;DR; Swapping values by XOR'ing may look elite and clever but hurts you in the long run.

Smaug123 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been told many times that it's better to eliminate edge cases. I still don't really believe it as a universal law.

When explaining the algorithm "remove an element from a linked list" to someone else, I would say "starting at the head, go along the list until you find the element; then delete the element". When explaining the algorithm "delete an element from a linked list", I would say "if you're at the head, update the head to be the next element; otherwise update the `next` property of the previous element to be the `next` property of the current element". It's so naturally a two-case problem that I'd be really surprised if anyone came up with the one-case answer first. Therefore, the two-case answer is the more readable to someone who has not seen the code before, because it corresponds to their intuition about how the algorithm should work.

As a bonus, it's clear to me that the naive algorithm is correct, but I have to do mental work to convince myself that the one-liner algorithm is correct. (I'm saying nothing about the code; only the algorithms.)

I agree much more with the reduced complexity of the later example (initialising the edges of a square), and I actually think it's worth double-counting the corners in this instance because the code is so much cleaner. (EDIT: Although I suppose the easy fix doesn't detract from the ease-of-reading, so actually it's avoidable.) In that instance, there's doubt about which is the natural algorithm to pick: one could conceivably come up with "initialise the top and bottom, then initialise the left and right", or "initialise the zeroth element of each side, then the first of each side, then" as one's first attempt at solving the problem. Therefore I like this particular simplification.

smnscu 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think "competitive" (i.e. solving algorithmic challenges for fun) coding really gives you some insight into how to write code that's short and to the point. The user with the most reputation on LeetCode, for example, consistently posts solutions that are surprisingly short, efficient, and readable.


(some random examples)




Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
Both versions suck. If "entry" is not found in the list, the code will run off the end of the list, either de-referencing zero and faulting or going off into junk, depending on how the list ends.

Writing low-level list manipulation more than once sucks. It leads to bugs. Such manipulation should be encapsulated. That's why we have containers in modern languages. The Linux kernel is still C, not C++, which leads to too much of this sort of thing.

sytelus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's even more "tastier" 2 lines version:

 remove_list_entry(entry) { for (indirect = &head; (*indirect) != entry; indirect = &(*indirect)->next); *indirect = entry->next; }
The big problem: both Linus's and above versions don't handle the case if entry wasn't found, for example, if entry was null. This is the fundamental issue with trying make code overly compact: sometime you lose the sight of important edge cases. Segfaults are not tasty. I generally prefer to write code that reflects my thought process and avoid unnecessarily try making it compact. As Knuth had said "Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute. Uglier versions allows to explicitly documents edge cases. This enables future maintainer to make sure these cases are covered when s/he makes code changes. Obviously taking this to another extreme would ruin this. The better taste lies somewhere between the compact Linus's version and some zeolite's too verbose version.

Small problem: Another thing to think about is extra pointer redirection required in Linus's code. This is fine for most cases but if I was dealing with very large list over and over then that's unnecessary perf hit.

sde 1 day ago 0 replies      
The code in the examples is not valid in any historical version of C. The use of the -> operator with an implicit int as the left argument ("entry" in the examples) was only valid from 1975 in Unix C (but not in GCOS C) until K&R C in 1978. The use of C++ style comments ("//") is only valid in standard C since 1999.

There's no point in arguing over pseudocode as if it's C.

kccqzy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would argue for the last example it is better to write split the loop into four. I believe the intention is even clearer (because you are doing four different things), and that it is also faster even when optimizations are off due to better cache behavior. It may also make a smart but not "sufficiently smart" compiler to transform two of the loops into simple memset.
stirner 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author doesn't mention that the grid being initalized is square, and simply describes it as grid[rows][cols]. However, all his solutions are only correct for a square grid.

One solution for arbitrary dimensions could be

 for (i = 0; i < rows; ++i) { grid[i][0] = 0; grid[i][cols - 1] = 0; } for (i = 0; i < cols; ++i) { grid[0][i] = 0; grid[rows - 1][i] = 0; }

kutkloon7 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the main lesson that's there, is that in edge cases, it is sometimes helpful to work with pointers which point to the structures you're actually working with, instead of considering the structures themselves. This especially seems to work for getting rid of null checks.

This takes some getting used to, but it allows you to write more efficient code. I would do this in kernel development (smart people, high demands on performance), but I would not recommend to write code like this is enterprise software.

When you zoom out a bit, and describe the task with natural language, you can also see that this might be a good idea: "Find the node that is equal to entry, then, if the previous node exists, set the 'next' pointer of the previous node to the 'next' pointer of the current node." sounds a lot more tedious than "Find the pointer that points to entry, and set it to the 'next' pointer of entry.".

This also works for more complicated tasks:

 // removes all instances from the linked list and return the number of entries removed int removeentries(valuetoremove, list) { removedentries = 0;// how many entries we've removed prevpt = NULL;// pointer to previous entrypt = list.head;// get pointer to first node // walk the list (be careful, head can be a nullpointer) while (entrypt) { if (*entrypt == valuetoremove) if (prevpt) { prevpt->next = entrypt->next; removedentries++; } prevpt = entrypt;// save current node as prev for next node entrypt = entrypt->next;// move to next node } return removedentries; }
can be re-written to:

 int removeentries(valuetoremove) { removedentries = 0;// how many entries we've removed indirect = &head;// points to the current node // walk the list while (indirect) { // remove current entry from list if its value equals valuetoremove if (indirect->value == valuetoremove) { *indirect = *indirect->nextpt; removedentries++; } indirect = indirect->nextpt; } return removedentries; }

jordigh 1 day ago 2 replies      
The example there about edges on an array is something I've had to directly deal with myself when I implemented a multidimensional image-processing function for GNU Octave. The problem is to find connected components in a binary image, where voxels are either 0 or 1. You want to find all the islands of ones, and you want to be flexible if diagonals count as being connected or not.

The problem, of course, is that along the edges you don't want to check for neighbours outside of the image boundary. I found no good way to do this for an n-dimensional image, after a few attempts of writing very complicated code. In the end, I ended up padding the whole image with a boundary of zeros, iterating over the padded image with an "if(current_voxel)" conditional that skipped checking for lit neighbours around the boundary, and when checking for lit neighbours at the original image's boundaries would give no neighbours at the padded zero boundaries.

The code was cleaner, but I incurred a big realloc, because N-dimensional images in Octave are stored as contiguous Fortran-order (column-major) arrays. I'm still looking for a better solution to this problem.

So, how do you do this cleanly?

leothekim 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article made me think of this Gordon Bell quote:

"The cheapest, fastest, and most reliable components are those that arent there."[1]

That quote is a reminder to me that there is a certain artistry behind engineering anything.

[1] http://quotes.cat-v.org/programming/

facundo_olano 1 day ago 1 reply      
All due respect to Linus, but the second example is much less readable. Proof of that: the code was reduced in half, but the amount of comments was doubled.

I think concepts like "elegance" and "good taste" of code should exist, but they are obviously subjective. My choice of good taste always considers readability first.

e19293001 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm wrong about this but I noticed that the code didn't call free() to the element that has breen removed. That would cause a memory leak. Am I missing something here?
rimantas 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sandi Metz has a talk where she speaks about her dislike for ifhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMPfEXIlTVE
snovv_crash 1 day ago 1 reply      
One anti-pattern I've seen a few times, across multiple codebase and companies, is the for i in 1...cases:switch(i)

To me, his first example fits this perfectly, except he is using ifs instead of a switch. Basically, if you are generating a big, trivial sequence and then filtering it down afterwards, think harder and probably there is a way to generate the sequence you are actually after directly.

tbabb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh good lord. That edge-initialization code made my jaw drop. Did he not think about the problem _at all_ before putting code down?
WesternStar 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the curious like me who wanted to see the assembly for the Linus examples and compare https://godbolt.org/g/sqdBrf. Most importantly they have the exact same number of branches and their loops are exactly the same size 4 instructions on all opt levels greater than 02. The setup code for the first one is much longer.
jaakl 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Every time you write an 'if' and do not stop for a moment to consider it, a kitten dies.
saosebastiao 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know Sufficiently Smart Compilers are a running joke, and I know a lot of people think the idea is a bad one, but come on...this should be the job of a compiler. The first example is way more understandable. Yes, it branches, and yes it is more code and less efficient. But a compiler should be able to derive the more efficient version from the more understandable code. And it's a shame that it doesn't.
nurettin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Often I find myself solving problems in a single performant SQL with lateral/cross joins before hitting the business logic code in order to simplify the logic part into a single loop with no conditionals/edge cases.

Turns out this is not the best practice because you will have to explain all about your clever use of olap functions and lateral joins to someone less knowledgeable who has to append to your code.

licorna 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can think of your grid array as a contiguous piece of memory. I would do:

 bzero(grid, sizeof(int) * COLS); bzero(grid + COLS * (ROWS - 1), sizeof(int) * COLS); for (int i=1; i < ROWS-1; i++) { *(grid + (i * COLS)) = 0; /* set left col to 0 */ *(grid + (i * COLS) + COLS - 1) = 0; /* set right col to 0 */ }

harry8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Both are correct, one is considered better based on a subjective assessment. People who disagree with that the version a person selects is objectively better have no taste.
stevebmark 1 day ago 1 reply      
Eventually you will realize Linus is a bad person to take advice from and stop idolizing him.
delinka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does it follow that attempting to write code that is closer to functional style also improves the code's "tastefulness?" I'm under the impression that better functional code contains fewer branches.
usefulcat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or does the grid initialization example seem extremely contrived?
sssilver 1 day ago 0 replies      
> To the best of my ability to discern, the crux of the good taste requirement is the elimination of edge cases, which tend to reveal themselves as conditional statements. The fewer conditions you test for, the better your code tastes.

looks at his Swift code and gulps

LordHumungous 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a bit confused. If the entry is not in the list, does Linus's while loop throw a seg fault? Or are we assuming that the list contains the entry?
k__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, the "good taste" example has a lower cyclomatic complexity, so it is at least a measurable change.
vacri 1 day ago 3 replies      
Speaking of coding niceties, when I started branching out from bash into a 'real' language, Python, I couldn't find a switch statement. A colleague of mine said that Python didn't have one, and that switch statements were a 'code smell'. I didn't really understand that, and asked about those times that you genuinely could use a switch statement, and the answer was "just use a long if-else function". I can't remember his justifaction for it, so clearly it didn't stick

I still don't see the real pragmatic difference between a switch statement and a long if-else function - anyone feel like ELI5'ing it for me? Switch statements just seem more concise and readable to me...

solipsism 1 day ago 2 replies      
The root of the problem is that "the thing that points to an entity" is not a consistent concept in this kind list. Sometimes it's "head", sometimes it's an entity's ->next. I wonder what Linus would think of implementing the linked list with a dummy head node, having no value and pointing to the first entity. Personally, I think that would be tasteful. It allows for simple loops like the "good taste" one, but you don't have to think so hard about how to implement a simple operation like remove. You don't need the added indirection.
DTrace for Linux 2016 brendangregg.com
328 points by okket  11 hours ago   30 comments top 9
jdesfossez 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be worthwhile to clarify the term "tracing" to distinguish between live aggregation and post-processing approaches.The general confusion around the "tracing" terminology seems to imply a competition between these two, while they should rather be seen as complementary.

DTrace, SystemTap and eBPF/BCC are designed to aggregate data in the critical path and compute a summary of the activity. Ftrace and LTTng are designed to extract traces of execution for high resolution post-processing with as small overhead as possible.

Aggregation is very powerful and gives a quick overview of the current activity of the system.Tracing extracts the detailed activity at various levels and allows in-depth understanding of a particular behaviour after the fact by allowing to run as many analyses as necessary on the captured trace.

In terms of impact on the traced system, trace buffering scales better with the number of cores than aggregation approaches due its ability to partition the trace data into per-core buffers.

Both approaches have upsides and downsides and should not be seen as being in competition, they address different use-cases and can even complement each other.

AceJohnny2 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I've only recently tried out DTrace on OS X, and I'll admit to being kinda floored at what it can do. To think I used to be satisfied with strace on Linux!

Seeing the tracing capabilites of Linux expand is exciting indeed.

Edit: the couple of tutorials that finally unlocked DTrace (on OS X) for me are:



helper 9 hours ago 4 replies      
The most challenging thing for us is running a new enough kernel to get these features. While upgrading to a newer kernel isn't particularly hard, small companies don't have a lot of engineering resources to run kernels that aren't maintained by their distro of choice (usually on the LTS release).

The good thing is this is solved simply by waiting long enough. The bad thing is most developers can't just pick this up today without a bunch of extra effort.

If you are looking for something you can use with old kernels you should definitely checkout Brendan's perf-tools repo[1]. It takes advantage of older kernel features and works with things as old as ubuntu 12.04.

*Edit: Fixed Brendan's name

[1]: https://github.com/brendangregg/perf-tools

wyldfire 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats, this is good news.

> On Linux, some out-of-tree tracers like SystemTap could serve these needs, but brought their own challenges.

I was pretty happy with stap, it had a really rich feature set.

> DTrace has its own concise language, D, similar to awk, whereas bcc uses existing languages (C and Python or lua) with libraries.

I think we need more creative names for languages. The short and simple ones like "go" and "D" keep on having collisions. :)

>BPF adds ... uprobes

uprobes + all the other stuff is really killer, I like the idea of watching for stuff like "my app has crossed this threshold and then this system condition occurs". At least when I tried it a couple years ago with stap my kernel wasn't built with uprobes support and I wasn't inclined to rebuild it. Hopefully it becomes (or has become) more mainstream.

qwertyuiop924 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Will there every be way to write probes/tracing scripts without dropping into C? I don't mind C in general, but I don't want to have to dig out the documentation for the eBPF C library and start writing hundreds of lines of C every time I want to run a trace.

DTrace made this really nice, because you would write your tracing scripts in a high-level, awk-like language, which is the sort of thing well-suited to the purpose.

lallysingh 10 hours ago 1 reply      
So we're not getting DTrace proper, it seems. Instead something else will stem up from the various linux tracing systems. Maybe this BPF-based one.

It's a shame. One of the nice things about dtrace was that there was a book on it. Good, in-depth documentation on performance tools is hard to find.

asymmetric 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> In 2014 I joined the Netflix cloud performance team. Having spent years as a DTrace expert, it might have seemed crazy for me to move to Linux

I thought Netflix was mostly running FreeBSD [1]. Is it only the Open Connect Appliance?

[1]: https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/testimonial/netflix/

honkhonkpants 9 hours ago 1 reply      
So how does this relate to uprobes? I've been looking into that lately because I want frequency counts (or coverage analysis) of user space programs but without the nop-sled overhead of xray. Does dtrace supplement or replace uprobes? Or am I really just confused?
4ad 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Linux is not my favorite operating system, but it seems like we're stuck with it. I'm very happy for all these improvements. Once you got used to a system with a quality and functional tracer, Linux was hard to get back to. But Linux tracing is getting better and better now. I am very satisfied.
Vine will be discontinuing the mobile app medium.com
362 points by uptown  12 hours ago   131 comments top 37
Grue3 10 hours ago 7 replies      
Never used Vine, and the videos from it never worked on my browser, but this is truly shocking. Like, Google Reader shutdown level shocking. Twitter is seriously clueless if they weren't able to make any use of such a popular service. Especially when Periscope is still running somehow. Though it's only a matter of time for that too now.
OoTheNigerian 11 hours ago 5 replies      
I don't get it.

Why not make it Twitter's Dedicated Video App as vine already has a strong network which can be built upon.

Very soon Facebook will release their dedicated video app and Twitter will be looking clueless.

I don't get big companies

ggregoire 7 hours ago 0 replies      
jrnichols 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I loved Vine. Short hilarious videos galore. Not long winded vlogs on youtube.

I'll be pretty sad to see it go. :/ I think that the time limit was great and made people quite creative with how they used the time. the ehBee family was one example.

MOARDONGZPLZ 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Doesn't Twitter do the same thing as Vine now that Twitter does videos? I never got into Vine, but kind of assumed this would happen when Twitter bought Vine. Selling Vine outright would perhaps cause people to move to the new Vine instead of Twitter video, so this (to me) would seem like the best bet to keep Vine's users and migrate them to Twitter.
anigbrowl 11 hours ago 1 reply      
That's fucking stupid. I wasn't crazy about Vine but Twitter was first to market with a brandable property taht quickly became A Thing. It was the one innovative thing to come out of Twitter in the last few years, and now they're shutting it down. If I had any Twitter stock I would dump it all on this news.
dejawu 8 hours ago 1 reply      
What a shame.

Twitter has a unique position as a key point in culture and media. It's played key roles in BLM and the Arab Spring. It astounds me that they couldn't focus in on that and make revenue from that reliable core of people that, like me, turn to Twitter before anywhere else when something is happening. But I guess that didn't raise growth numbers, and that's what Wall Street wants to see. So instead they're making all these desperate moves, messing with the timeline and even considering removing the character limit - things that made Twitter special in the first place.

I can't help but think that Twitter could've gotten to where it is today without needing to shut down Vine, if it weren't so hell bent on being the next Facebook sized Internet giant.

Not every kingdom has to be an empire.

partiallypro 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I had bought some Twitter stock earlier this year, and immediately sold it when the buyout rumors started because I knew it wouldn't get a bid higher than that with Jack at the helm.

It is dismal that they walked into meetings with Google, Salesforce, Disney, etc and they turned up their nose. Truly telling.

I've been a very harsh critic of Twitter's leadership, especially Jack Dorsey for a while now. Think of this scenario, the NFL just signed a distribution deal with the NFL, something they will probably lose money on. However, the NFL just released new social media rules barring gifs and replays until after the game. How did Twitter's leadership not put this together? You already have an existing relationship and leverage with the NFL.

You could have easily managed to make replays exclusive to Vine. That's exactly what Vine is good for. Imagine NFL teams having to post your social network on every other social network so people could watch replays? No one cares about Thursday Night Football, it's a garbage schedule with low ratings. The money was with the replays, and they completely missed the boat on leveraging their platform with the NFL's new rules.

That's just one example of total incompetence. Twitter is lucky that it is now a backbone to journalism more so than Facebook, if that ever gives way...watch out.

jorblumesea 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Snapchat and Instagram moved too quickly and changed the market. Starting to think that Twitter woes are mismanagement related.
caractacus 11 hours ago 6 replies      
comScore reports just under 5m uniques for Vine.co last month. It may be down on the height of its popularity but 5m unique users is a decent mass of people to monetise. Seems an odd thing to kill and not at least try to sell.
xxbondsxx 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Although a similar content format is available elsewhere, Vine's content and community is pretty unique to their app. I'm disappointed to see it get shut down in that light
jackfrodo 11 hours ago 6 replies      
This is really annoying. I don't and haven't ever used vine, but how much could it really cost to keep hosting it, and let people continue using it? Why can't companies be okay having products that are revenue neutral that make people happy?
zzzzzzzzzman 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, I really like Vine and am surprised that Twitter's visions for its path to profitability don't include such a flourishing community.

Sad news keeps coming today... :(

vermontdevil 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not just sell it? I'm sure there's a buyer somewhere.
jarjoura 10 hours ago 0 replies      
All the Vine celebrities have moved on to Instagram and YouTube. I opened it up a few weeks ago, forgetting I still had it installed in a folder, and all the big names I followed hadn't published anything in months. So I deleted the app and decided it was pretty much finished.
konradb 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be a huge shame if the same fate befell Periscope which I find hugely intriguing - just the ability to look at some arbitrary place in the world.
cunotaco 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Instagram (Facebook) ate it.

Would be nice, by the way, if they could release the source code. Having such an example of a Flask app would be very useful for the community.

microtherion 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I never used Vine myself, but I suspect many eyebrows will be on half-fleek in mourning tonight.
winteriscoming 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Never used Vine app and the vine video don't render on my browser which has flash disabled. But having just read the features of vine app, I'm surprised Twitter decided to let this go. An app which allows creating and playing 6 second video in a loop would, IMO, have been a good fit for advertising content creators and Twitter could have used Vine as one core product in their advertising platform - after all advertising is what is considered as the primary way to make money from services like Twitter.
shinratdr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So... Vine is shutting down? Why mince words? The app is the only part of the service that you can use to generate content, unless I'm missing something.
thisisdallas 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems strange.

If nothing else, it seems like a fantastic ad platform addition.

oxguy3 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is pretty sad. I'm not a "proper" Vine user -- I don't even have the app installed -- but I've long loved seeing vines via Twitter or Tumblr. I hope a similar product comes along to fill the void and reunite the Vine community (introducing: YouTube Loops??).
robtaylor 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Another lesson on brands being platform agnostic, big Vine, Twitter, Facebook, $whatever numbers count for nowt.
math0ne 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it, i mean vine is not changing the world but it still produces a ton of very popular content. Seems like a huge active project to throw out.
smpetrey 10 hours ago 1 reply      
(Sadly) We should've expected this the moment Twitter acquire Vine. The Vine team no doubt brought some amazing improvements to Twitter since 2012. Sad to see it go.

It's kinda fun seeing a front-page of Vine at any date at the archive.org:


kilroy123 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like twitter is really starting to cut fat and trim down. I'm not surprised at all. No one bought them out. They seem to be overstaffed with a head count of ~2,300.

Sad though.

rmc 8 hours ago 0 replies      
What an incredible journey!
schwede 10 hours ago 2 replies      
That's interesting because Vine is shockingly popular with the younger generation.
EA 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Did Instagram's Stories kill Vine?

Watching https://vine.co/Trench play tunes of Vine was fun content to watch with my 2-year-old daughter.

misiti3780 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Any chance they will open source it ?

It's probably a pretty awesome code base

ohitsdom 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Truly shocking. I've mildly enjoyed Vines (not so much the community), and I love the Twitter platform. But now I have no faith in the company or the direction they are trying to find. Yikes.
danielcampos93 10 hours ago 3 replies      
but what about all the vine stars? What will they livelihood become?
vecter 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I applaud Jack for making a big move to try to save Twitter. I hope to see more big bets from them, especially in the main app. The current course clearly isn't working.
djhworld 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed using Vine to create small little videos without much friction, you could share a loop with your friends really quickly.

Youtube just seems a pain in comparison

at-fates-hands 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I always thought the main Vine user base was mobile users. That's the only place I've ever used it - which isn't much tbh.

Ironic how everything you create these days has to mobile ready huh? Then here's a company dumping a pretty popular app which is used mainly by a younger demographic who lives by their phones and social media?

I don't see this as a good move - and if its being done to cut costs, it's still not a good move.

xyzzy4 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Congress should make it illegal for a public company to shut down apps that see this much usage, unless the employees are quitting. Some users have 12 million followers.
curiousgal 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I never knew Vine was part of Twitter, I guess that explains the horrible UX of the web version.
Supercharging Style Transfer googleblog.com
305 points by mrry  1 day ago   90 comments top 19
tyre 1 day ago 23 replies      
Notice how the transferred images have none of the power of the originals.

Take the first set of images, in the style of Head of a Clown, by Georges Rouault. Not only does it not recreate the brush-strokes, but the content of the restyled image doesn't fit the artist's style.

In the case of Munch's The Scream, and Starry Night, and every Monet, the subject matter is as important as the image. Maybe you'll be able to mask your Facebook profile in a combination of Murakami and Pissaro, but that's not the extent of their genius.

Similar things are attempted in music. While we can pretty programmatically formulate pop music, deeper meaning eludes machines. Bob Dylan didn't just write great lyrics, he tapped into the zeitgeist of the era in which he wrote. When Kendrick Lamar or Beyonce write about black struggle in America, that's in the context of a larger societal conversation.

I don't believe that neural networks will ever be artists because they work on copying existing patterns. Until there is an element of randomness fueled by context, they aren't creating anything new. That's where genius lies.

jcjohns 1 day ago 3 replies      
Real-time neural style transfer is not new; in the past year there have been several academic papers [1-4] on this topic and several open-source code releases:




Neural style blending is also not new; I did it more than a year ago using optimization-based method:


The novelty of this work is a clever way for training a single network that can apply many different styles; existing methods for real-time style transfer train separate networks per style. Their method also allows for real-time style blending, which is very cool and to my knowledge has not been done before.

(Disclaimer: I'm the author of [2])

[1] Ulyanov et al, "Texture Networks: Feed-forward Synthesis of Textures and Stylized Images", ICML 2016

[2] Johnson et al, "Perceptual Losses for Real-Time Style Transfer and Super-Resolution", ECCV 2016

[3] Li and Wand, "Precomputed Real-Time Texture Synthesis with Markovian Generative Adversarial Networks", ECCV 2016

[4] Ulyanov et al, "Instance Normalization: The Missing Ingredient for Fast Stylization", arXiv 2016

j2kun 1 day ago 2 replies      
So I've been playing with style transfer for about six months. I even combined it with another technique to actually get something that I liked enough to have printed on canvas (https://github.com/j2kun/art-21-logo)

And as much as I love the math, the computer science, and the tech behind it, I have to admit that the novelty wore off quick. Not only does a style-transferred image not have the power of the original, as another commenter said (we can debate about why), but the longer you look at it the more you see the ugly artefacts. I understand it's not perfect, and that there will be improvements, but to me that's what's primarily holding back style transfer. Not runtime or memory constraints, but whatever first principles need to change to get a global unity of style in the image.

Of course, if you introduce the human hand to fix the artefacts (which I think is great, and I know people are working on this), then style transfer can still be super useful. I can definitely see this becoming a new photoshop/illustrator integration.

crispyambulance 1 day ago 0 replies      
These are thrilling developments but every time I see examples they're relatively "low-res" images. I would love to be able to zoom in and see whats going on, but I suspect that we're seeing the output exactly as it was rendered by the ML processing. Is that the case?

Actual paintings have brush strokes and even surface effects that aren't visible until you're looking very up-close or at a high resolution image. This is a key feature of the enjoyment paintings that often gets lost on people.

I guess the ultimate "turing test" for this stuff would be to have the system literally paint these images. That is, with actual paint and a paint brush, NOT with pixels. This would sort of give a really fresh and exciting twist of meaning to the title of the old essay by Walter Benjamin "Art in the age of mechanical reproduction."

scarmig 1 day ago 1 reply      
Imagine this used to create a film noir style transfer style network. Throw it onto Daydream. You could have a game where you're Sam Spade, walking around 1930's San Francisco.

Or maybe it's a gloomy day on Ocean Beach. Make a sunny day filter, put it on Daydream, and you're ready for a picnic!

designium 1 day ago 5 replies      
Eventually, they will be able to transfer music and song style from one artist to others too.

I wonder what is the point to have artists in the future and how the artists can survive?

Will artist become template markers?

bertiewhykovich 1 day ago 2 replies      
While these results are certainly impressive, it's hard to say that they're aesthetically or artistically "good."

I played around with Photoshop filters a bunch when I was younger -- there are (or used to be) a good handful of "artistic" filters, imitating watercolor, pointillism , ink drawing, etc. These style transfer results are reminiscent of nothing so much as those effects: they look superficially appealing, but have the same blind, dead quality.

Maybe this is an indictment of "style" as it's typically understood? A certain brush technique does not an artwork make.

kirykl 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd like to seem the same thing done for food.

Show it how to cook a cake. 'Feed' it a large set of edible ingredients. Enjoy random cakes in various styles

purple-dragon 1 day ago 2 replies      
So is this the early warning that Prisma's market ownership of this effect will soon come to an end?
hammock 1 day ago 2 replies      
Did I miss the part of the article where they create a Monet style from multiple Monet works and apply it, rather than using the style of an individual painting? I thought that was the point of this. They sort of do it in the last image, I guess. Seems to pick up so much actual color, though! (as opposed to perhaps the quality of the color or how it's used, which is just as characteristic of a particular style as the color itself)
1_2__3 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The pastiches produced via this algorithm look spectacular

Not really they don't, no. It's kind of cool, that's about it.

newsignup 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is a Twitter Bot[1] which does this too: https://twitter.com/neuralpainter

You need to tweet a photo to this handle and it replies with painting.

1. He's a friend, also a SaaS: http://neuralpainting.co/

tedmiston 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is cool for my Instagram account, and I do really like Prisma, but... Google and others do hard work in neural nets. I feel like there must be less obvious applications here than what's discussed in the blog post. Anyone have ideas?

Does this go far beyond photos? Will I eventually be able to translate my ideas and thoughts into anyone's style programmatically? Could each user view the same content interpreted in a different style that they like best? Might I be able to extrapolate how a user might use my website from their clickstream stlye on many sites? etc

raldi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder what you get if you ask the algorithm to start with Starry Night and then apply the inversion of the Van Gogh style filter.
koolba 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll be the first one to admit I know next to nothing about art, but some of those generated paintings are quite beautiful. The "Starry Night" driven ones in particular. Very cool research.
flamtap 1 day ago 2 replies      
Soon, I will be able to sound so snooty by saying "oh that? Yeah, it's a Monet pastiche of a picture I took."
shirman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it really possible to run tensorflow under the ios and swift? Really great article, btw.
eppeltert 1 day ago 0 replies      
Still no continuity between video frames? Doesn't seem like it would be very difficult.
andrewvijay 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's prisma with random images rather than filters?
A Quantum Leap for the Web medium.com
364 points by Manishearth  13 hours ago   114 comments top 17
dherman 12 hours ago 3 replies      
[disclaimer: I co-founded Mozilla Research, which sponsors Servo]

It's awesome to see the Gecko team continue to tackle big, ambitious projects now that electrolysis is rolling out. And I'm so excited that they're betting big on Servo and Rust. Servo has really been taking advantage of one of Rust's promises: that you can reach for more aggressive parallelism and actually maintain it. I believe recent numbers showed that effectively all of Firefox's users have at least two cores, and about half have at least 4. The more we fully utilize those cores, the smoother we should be able to make the whole web.

Over the last year, all three communities have been laying groundwork to be able to land Rust components in Firefox and share components between Gecko and Servo, and now it looks like that's teed the Gecko team up to commit to making use of some big pieces of Servo in the coming year. Some of the initial builds of Firefox with Stylo that Bobby Holley has showed me look really amazing, and WebRender could be a game-changer.

And the Servo project is just getting warmed up. ;) If you're interested in what they're up to next, check out Jack Moffitt's recent presentation from a browser developer workshop last month:


aantix 9 hours ago 2 replies      
They should use Yahoo's front page as their performance baseline.

Whenever I load it, the favicon starts to flicker, multiple movies (ads) start playing, and I can't tell whether scrolling has been badly hijacked by some rogue js plugin or if the performance of their video playback is just that bad.

mnemonik 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Quantum wiki page with info on how to get involved: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Quantum
bobajeff 11 hours ago 7 replies      
This sounds to me like Mozilla is getting impatient with Servo. Servo was more than just a parallel browser engine it was the only new web engine not based off of decade old codebase.

It was a statement that it's feasible to hold off on monoculture because compatibility isn't impossible to achieve on new engines.

mthoms 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope that low power usage remains a key priority. Surprisingly, I don't see any mention of it in this article.
c-smile 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"But nowadays we browse the web on ... that have much more sophisticated processors, often with two, four or even more cores."

Having batched GPU rendering / rasterization makes real sense, yes. When it shown, the browser is the largest screen space consumer.

4K displays (300ppi) increased number of pixels that need to be painted by 9 times. Thus CPU rendering / rasterization is not the option anymore, yes.

But browser is not the only process competing for those cores.

2 or even 4 cores ... You have more front running applications than that these days. Some of them are invisible but still CPU intense.

In order to get significant benefits from parallelism in browsers the number of cores shall be measured in tens at least I think. If not even more than that. To run things in parallel like bunch of Cassowary solvers for each BFC container.

I suspect that the main bottleneck at the moment is in existence of methods [1] that force synchronous layout / reflow of the content. These are things that kill parallel execution. DOM API shall change towards batch updates or other more parallel friendly means.

[1] https://gist.github.com/paulirish/5d52fb081b3570c81e3a

TekMol 9 hours ago 7 replies      

 well be rolling out the first stage of Electrolysis to 100% of Firefox desktop users over the next few months.
From my experiments with it, this still does not fix the problem that the javascript in all windows shares one core. A script running in one browser window still slows down the other windows.

A problem that Chrome has solved years ago. So I think this is not really a leap for the web. Just FireFox catching up a bit.

FireFox is my main browser. The way I deal with it is that I start multiple instances as different users. So they run inside their own process. This way I can have a resource hungry page open in one window (For example a dashboard with realtime data visualization) and still work smoothly in another.

yalooze 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know how this compares to the current implementations of competing browsers? ie. is Firefox still playing catch up in some respects or is this leaps ahead of the competition too?
runeks 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand what the difference is between Quantum and Servo. To me it sounds like a new name for the same thing. I recall Servo being promoted this way three years ago.
mtgx 11 hours ago 2 replies      
> A first version of our new engine will ship on Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Someday we hope to offer this new engine for iOS, too.

More people need to put pressure on Apple to allow third-party browser engines on iOS. Fortunately, they're already getting sued over this, but just in case that doesn't succeed, there should also be bigger public pressure on Apple to allow them.


k26dr 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't Chrome/Chromium already run as multiple processes?
bandrami 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Pet peeve of mine: a "quantum leap" is literally the smallest change of state that is physically possible, but it's come to mean the opposite in popular use.
andrewstuart 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I could see how much processing power/memory was being taken by each tab.
joshmarinacci 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It's about damn time!
mxuribe 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to this!
ifhs 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry but posting this on medium is a quantum leap backwards. That too from Mozilla.
criddell 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Heh. It's interesting to me that in the vernacular a quantum leap is a large change while in physics it's a very quick, extremely tiny event.
Ask HN: What are the best personal project websites you've seen?
366 points by Xcelerate  15 hours ago   235 comments top 114
dougk16 14 hours ago 19 replies      
First the master: http://worrydream.com/

Surprised nobody's posted it yet.

Other people are also posting their own, so here's mine: http://www.dougkoellmer.com/

Other job-hunt-specific efforts:http://www.dougkoellmer.com/portfolio/http://www.dougkoellmer.com/resume/http://www.dougkoellmer.com/games/

Can't be totally sure but I believe they've gotten me a job or two.

sogen 14 hours ago 1 reply      

Stumbled upon this one yesterday, it's from a paper, but well written:https://mzucker.github.io/2016/09/20/noteshrink.html

A long time favorite writer:http://www.frankchimero.com/writing/the-webs-grain/

jjp 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Content, content, content and then presentation.

You need to think of yourself as the product and work out what's the best way to describe and package the skills and experiences that you have already acquired and how they can be applied to whatever your target companies are looking for.

Also think about whether you are using your portfolio site for lead generation or lead qualification. Lead generation means that you'll have recruiters finding your portfolio off the back of your SEO and they contact you. Whereas lead qualification means you are selling your self to a hiring manager/expert after they've read your resume and decided that they want to check your credibility before interviewing.

Ruphin 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I must say http://acko.net is easily the most impressive personal site I've visited.

This is mine: https://ruph.inIt's something I threw together recently, but it's still missing some content. I like the style though :)

actualdc1 13 hours ago 1 reply      

Does gwern fall into this category? While I'd need to know more about what he's like in person, the author certainly seems like a technically competent individual.

brudgers 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Designing a personal website can be an interesting learning experience and an engaging creative act expressing a strong sense of aesthetic judgment and philosophy. On the other hand, there's something to be said for not overcooking the pudding and just giving the user what they're likely to be looking for.




beefman 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Daniel Johnson's blog is hard to beat


Stephen Wittens' site is another that comes to mind


chris_7 14 hours ago 4 replies      
It seems like a lot of these are very promotional - using a lot of superlatives to describe the person, and all of their work/accomplishments. Is this necessary? I feel very uncomfortable doing that sort of thing, it feels cringey I guess.
jefflombardjr 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Simple and Functional: http://andrew.hedges.name/

A horrible website for horrible people (in the style of CAH): http://jefflombard.com/

(full disclaimer last one is my own site, anyone is welcome to clone it, it's based off of cards against humanity and available under creative commons: https://github.com/jefflombard/jefflombard.com)

ovis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My favorite would be https://www.remotepixel.ca, which is both beautiful and full of high quality and useful work.
icco 12 hours ago 0 replies      
http://natwelch.com is mine, I use it more as a cover letter to try and get people to contact me. It works somewhat well.

I love looking at people's personal sites though. I've got a small index of them from over the years at http://pinboard.in/u:icco/t:personal.

octref 15 hours ago 2 replies      
protomikron 4 hours ago 1 reply      
http://bellard.org :) Content wins.
Kequc 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Design is entirely personal preference. Therefore information-first is a good bet if you want to absorb as large of a demographic as possible. Keep the layout and page design simple. Load times should be fast or nearly instant for that sleek professional feel.

Minimalist modern design, sans any kind of framework (like Bootstrap for example) is the name of the game.

patmcguire 12 hours ago 0 replies      

It's an interactive Game of Thrones map. It shows you where everyone is at a given time. You select who you want to track, drag through time and the character path trails show up on the map. The interface is genius, best I've seen for messing around with (thing, place, time) triples.

jswrenn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
These two, by Jack Qiao: http://jack.works/http://jack.ventures/

These sites have set the standard of beautiful personal website for me. Despite their modern appearances, they're both just static sites, generated with bash: https://github.com/Jack000/Expose

blobman 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been running my personal projects website ( http://www.michalpaszkiewicz.co.uk ) for just over 2 years and I get a job offer almost every week (not just the typical spamming recruiters, but startup owners who said they liked my work). I'm also pretty certain I got my current job due to the fact I could impress my interviewers with my open source code. My design isn't great but what counts is the amount of material that is out there and how good it is. I'm not looking for design jobs, so my lack of design skills doesn't matter.
wkoszek 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like a lot of people in this thread show very flashy websites. But honestly, if your work is decent, some people will notice regardless of how you present it. Since you ask this question, I doubt you'd make your website total crap.

Most of the time more people e.g.: watch my github page: http://github.com/wkoszek page than my real website http://www.koszek.com since its harder to find you on a separate website. This is unless you market it.

To summarise: enter the http://cr.yp.to/ and see how good the content is and how you're ok with no form too, if content is outstanding.

capisce 13 hours ago 0 replies      
ollerac 13 hours ago 1 reply      

 from scratch, no css framework responsive portrait by alisabishop.com
i'd love feedback!

edit: feel free to use it as a template for your own site! https://github.com/panphora/davidmirandainfo

eknight15 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Mine, for UI/UX design: https://evanwknight.com
tbrock 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Man page formatting for the win, no bull shit:


DungFu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I wanted to do something for my website that was 100% CSS but looked like WebGL.


Turned out pretty cool.

irl_zebra 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw one on here that I've bookmarked and have been using pretty frequently. Great for getting a file over to a group of people I think. I used it once for myself as well, pretty neat!


hnarayanan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Also posting own website: https://harishnarayanan.org/

As the original poster, I too have been through many years of grad school. I have not needed to interview for jobs, and believe my website has sold me well.

aub3bhat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a graduate student with similar goals (though already have a job)

Here is my site:


I optimized it for following:

0. Responsive

1. Easy to understand layout

2. Images to highlight projects

3. A professional picture.

4. Contact & email information.

Don't bother fighting email collecting bots, they already have billions of them due to breaches and most likely yours if it appears on Have I Been Pwned. Rather I recommend optimizing on usability and making it easier for human reader to send you an email.

Note: The design looks slightly different on desktop and mobile. E.g. on desktop it loads institution logos and uses a two columns or efficient use of the space.

juokaz 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Mine has switchable backgrounds ("Don't like the speaker look? Go with serious, punk, scottish or racing driver."). Many people have commented about this when meeting in person.

louismerlin 15 hours ago 1 reply      

Kept it minimal :)

lukaszkups 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Like many of before me, I'll share my own website (currently in redesign, so I'll provide links via internet archive) - built in Nanoc3, hosted on github pages:

Main page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150801213611/http://lukaszkups...

Experience page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004819/http://lukaszkups...

About page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004912/http://lukaszkups...

Contact page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004918/http://lukaszkups...

Blog page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004935/http://lukaszkups...

I will release new design next week, based on brand-new static site generator ;)

Gigablah 14 hours ago 2 replies      

A jaw-dropping website by Steven Wittens that pushes the boundaries of what your browser can do. Nothing I've seen has ever topped this wizardry.

(You should view it on desktop, with WebGL capability.)

uzyn 1 hour ago 1 reply      
http://dbbd.sg a personal fav of mine, utilizes design for better content presentation and organization.
Brajeshwar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No employer is going to take a hiring decision by looking at your personal website.

You know, I've dealt with many clients who ask for flying text, moving pictures and looping videos in their websites. Don't be that client to yourself. When we work with such clients, we usually start probing with lots of WHYs, and the other "W" questions, something in the lines of

- "Why, according to you, do you believe that is the best way of displaying the information?"

- "Why do you believe that all the 5 points are equally important?"

- "Who are your most ideal users?"

etc, etc, etc. We kept probing till it comes down to the simplest, bare-bone answers, at best -- YES or NO. For instance, "YES, the user will need to provide just the email ID and nothing else."

Now, apply that to your own personal website, get down to the simplest core of your personality/quality/characteristics/qualification. Better yet, think of your target industry and come up with a compelling, different take on it and make it interesting for your prospective employer.

One of the biggest mistakes most "providers" make, is talking about themselves, as that is the easiest. Instead, talk of the recipient, be it the employer, the client or the user. They talk of themselves since they everything about themselves more than anyone else, so they stay in that comfort zone. Go, venture to your prospects, focus on them and not you.

Do that, and they will be the one to come to you and "ask you for more." When they start asking for more, the journey forward is easy - now unfold your story, build it up, surprise them. Go on.

The narcissism part:

Personally, I've had people surprised, smiled, and intrigued at conferences, events with my business card[1, 2] and they usually go to my website[3].

1. Front - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1308/photos/business-car...

2. Back - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1308/photos/business-car...

3. https://brajeshwar.me/

thegranderson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've always enjoyed this one: http://www.jcchhim.com/route/

It is for a visual designer, so obviously the presentation of that work is different than academic/technical research, but it is very clean and simple.

Apparently he is re-doing his portfolio as the main site is just a giant tweet.

0xCMP 6 hours ago 1 reply      
@@@@ Self Promotion Disclaimer @@@@

I think my personal site is a very nice minimal site: https://cmp.is/

I strive to have as little js/css as possible. Currently only has Google Analytics and whatever Cloudflare wants to stick in there. I have to simplify the CSS to the bare basics eventually. I use Hugo to build the site and I get to post many different kinds of posts like links, notes, and real full posts.

dmvaldman 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I happen to like my own. Go figure. http://samsarajs.org

It's a UI library for animating 3D web stuff, so it should look pretty. Suggestions to improve are welcome!

patricklynch 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Sarah Federman - http://sarah.codes/

Sarah Drasner - http://sarahdrasnerdesign.com/

Assume whoever looks at your portfolio is going to scroll from top to bottom first, get a first impression, then _maybe_ click through things later.

So build for the question "What do I want people to see if they scroll through my site without clicking on anything?"

xoher 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has posted about Andrej Karpathy.


StavrosK 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Going by what I do, the answer to your question is a bit problematic. I don't work on projects for others, I work on them for myself, and merely like showing them to others, so I'm bad at keeping a list of everything in one place and up-to-date.

That said, I did try to create a single page of some of my projects so people can look at them more easily: https://www.stavros.io/projects/

The other day I also decided to give my resume some love, so I created a single page with side-projects I believe to be worthy of mention: http://resume.stavros.io/

Maybe those two will give you some idea. I've scrolled through some of the other responses in this thread, but I'm not sure I like the project sites that are tech demos themselves. They seem to conflate "optimizing the listing of projects" with "optimizing showing a project". Most of the linked sites are great tech demos, but very bad at getting me to click on the actual posts themselves. Then again, maybe mine is worse.

pimterry 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Sara Soueidan's is pretty great - https://sarasoueidan.com/ - especially the speaking section. She's amazing generally though, so it's quite a high bar!

I had some good feedback on mine as well - https://tim.fyi - and I'm pretty happy with it (love to hear what other people think too though). After the intro though, it's more about highlighting recent specific projects and talks and articles, rather than acting as a full CV. Sounds like that might be what you're going for?

If I were you, I'd keep it simple. Go for a short simple intro that highlights what you're about, a two or three sentence summary of what you've done and what you're good at, and then keep the body as something that gives more of a feel of what you're about and up to right now. Links to blog articles, things you're tweeting about etc.

You can provide an actual CV for people who want to dig into the details of your list of achievements and research in more detail, but if this is the first place people hear about you and it's your personal site, then a sense of personality and active things going on is more important imo.

tlackemann 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Blogging is a great way to show off what you know and how you apply it, if you're open to that sort of thing.

I'll humbly say that I'm by no means an academic, but I try to showcase what I know front and center and and let the rest be unraveled by those that are interested on my personal site - https://lacke.mn

skraelingjar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
viiralvx 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess I can post my own, although there's not that many projects on there: http://iheanyi.com

Also feel free to peep my old one: http://iheanyi.github.io. I didn't like this one because it was too image heavy, but I did like the layout of case studies better in this iteration than in my new one.

And I guess another old iteration I was using when I was looking in college: http://old.iheanyi.com. Yeah, I know. I re-design my website a lot.

blueatlas 14 hours ago 0 replies      
arximboldi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
More self-promotion: https://sinusoid.es/

Built using ClojureScript. Ethernal WIP.https://github.com/arximboldi/sinusoides

tictacttoe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Coworker. (jbernhard.xyz)[jbernhard.xyz]
Timethy 14 hours ago 0 replies      

A one man hardware & software powerhouse. He is an old-school EE in Japan and his personal projects are astounding in breadth and depth.

His SD Card and FFT libraries are classics. His hand wired SMT circuits are works of art.

fredley 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A personal project website that's a personal project in itself.
Oras 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A blog about stuff you worked on and challenged you tackled will be more than enough for potential employer.

Not sure if it fits the context but have a look at Matthias Noback website http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/

djmill 13 hours ago 0 replies      

This is a site I built for myself, friends, and the public; however, I haven't promoted it much... Trying to get more users, but it's been under construction for a while. Nothing fancy, but I wanted to build something that was free for users.

Also to the poster: side projects are great, showing off your pet project is awesome, but I can say that a lot of employers don't even care to look at them... I cannot speak for ALL employers, but a lot of the time interviewers and employers don't have the time to poke around in your side projects - they're very busy too. It's kind of a shame

javierbyte 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm posting my own too:


It's an auto updated portfolio with my github, dribbble, and some other social networks.

wanda 8 hours ago 0 replies      

Recently redesigned. It used to be like this:


(Yes, I know, the new version is not as user friendly, it's not finished yet).

Libbum 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll throw two of mine into the mix as well.

Blog: https://axiomatic.neophilus.netPhotoblog: https://odyssey.neophilus.net

Particularly happy about the way the photoblog turned out. I think the interactivity of the globe, showing you where photos come from give it an immersive touch that isn't in your face.

fitzwatermellow 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Something useful, indeed.

Perhaps a teaching-focused site that explicates all the tips and tricks you've gleaned about atomic microscopy. Maybe featuring a WebGL microscope simulator. And extensive Youtube tutorials for beginners.

Or a data bank. Resources that would appeal to researchers rather than students. Modelled after something like the Electron Microscopy Data Bank:


Your goal is simply to convey that when it comes to this particular characterization technique, you're the world's #1 expert. Not so different than the inbound-style, content-rich influencer marketing all of us are seeking to master here ;)

Good luck!

kersny 14 hours ago 1 reply      

Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but its simple and clicking through any project makes me to want to work with and/or hire him immediately.

makmanalp 10 hours ago 0 replies      
On the more technical side, some that blow my mind:

Windytan: http://www.windytan.com/DJ Bernstein: https://cr.yp.to/djb.htmlFabrice Bellard: http://bellard.org/

pascalxus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the ones I really like is http://www.find70.com It's a great way to find your first customers, business partners and affiliates. It's an advanced form of twitter search that let's you target accounts based on their bios and many other filters, including contact info: email/phone number, follower count, location, etc. Disclaimer: I created it. Let me know what you think.
ponderingHplus 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll throw mine into the mix. Not sure about employers thinking "I need to hire this person", but for me, my personalized dashboard is a nice way to monitor things I'm working on and reflecting on things I've learned.


loeber 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug for my own: http://www.johnloeber.com. I designed it for maximal clarity and readability.
nsrivast 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A plug for my own! http://nikhilsrivastava.com/

Would love any comments/critiques!

gregw134 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Graph of world history: http://histography.io/
GregBuchholz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I suppose opinions differ, but I like things where content is king, and these are excellent:




6stringmerc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Though not a 'personal website' per se, I've been in contact with the creator / host and it was most definitely a 'Personal Project' mating technology skills with a purpose, and I believe it's one of the finest executions of the sort that I've used in recent memory. I genuinely think it's a great reflection of the talent of the creator:


Disclaimer: I use the site

mholt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
http://sub.blue/ is an amazing gallery of unique fractal art.
sailfast 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've always liked Bret Victor's site, due in no small part to the amazing content: http://worrydream.com/
jarboot 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a cool little corner of the web from the cyberpunk crowd, reminiscent of geocities.


arethuza 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This one isn't about the website (which is basic in the extreme) but the work that is documented on the website - which is a collection of absolutely stunning precision engineering projects:


[NB Along with things like the restoration of Navigation and Bombing Computers from UK strategic bombers!].

echelon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a simple website for my Donald Trump text to speech server (written in Rust):


And a simple webpage for my work on laser projector video games:


My laser projector work has gotten me hired at a few places. :)

limedaring 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm biased (this is my husband's website) but I like the conciseness of https://shazow.net/ a lot.
traviswingo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
http://traviswingo.com is my personal site.

I built an interactive unix-based terminal to navigate my projects and resume. I'm planning on adding a better layout though since it's been pointed out to me that the people actually looking at my site to hire me won't know what to do with a terminal :p.

kbhat 14 hours ago 1 reply      
http://kbhat.rocks is my landing page. Rather than dump all my info on this page, it links to my blog and other things I'd like to share.

I got this up after getting my job offer in place, but for now I'm happy with it. One thing that's missing is my resume, but for me that's application-specific and I'd rather have people ask for it than display a fixed version.

Feel free to critique, HN!

benharrison 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are a couple of my favorites:

http://okaysamurai.com/portfolio/okaydave2006.html - It was built in Flash over 10 years ago, but the skill and creativity behind it is a force that is absolutely still relevant today.


jplahn 10 hours ago 1 reply      

When I first saw this site I was blown away. Sure, the level of detail may be off putting to some people, but even from a purely engineering standpoint it's impressive.

Shoutout to Anand for the incredible work.

tittietime 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How about http://www.tittietime.com/

Yes its a tad salicious, but its an interesting technical project.

I have a rather large email list that would be quite expensive to send to with MailChimp, Sendgrid or the like. I've been able to use Amazon SES to send large blasts, daily for next to nothing.

Edit: This is NSFW

chuckdries 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Since people are posting theirs, here's mine: http://chuckdries.rocks

My issue is that I don't have a very impressive resume yet (though I should probably link a PDF of my current resume anyway), so I decided to keep it simple and lightweight but also stylish because I bill myself as the intersection of tech and design.

fludlight 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a personal site by a guy named Rademacher (sp?) that had apartments on craigslist in San Francisco overlayed on google maps. IIRC, it was a solution to a pet peeve that became really popular. He later formed a company with some other GIS-in-the-browser people that quickly got acquhired by some big tech corp.
chaosmail 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I ported Caffe models to JavaScript in my free time http://chaosmail.github.io/projects/. however, since I know about Keras.js and it's GPU support, it doesn't seem that fancy anymore.
sudhakarrayav 14 hours ago 1 reply      
When I did put myself in potential recruiters shoes, I came up with this one page drawing to quickly showcase what I am and what I know


It was even helpful to kickstart conversations in meetups / other technical gatherings

pfd1986 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A bit embarrassed about mine but I'd welcome feedback:


More a researcher type of site but it also showcases the work I've done, so perhaps it's useful.

kintamanimatt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favorites is Alex MacCaw's site. It's cleanly designed and communicates his achievements clearly.


retube 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I like mine :) Simple and speedy (hopefully)


uptown 15 hours ago 4 replies      
I like Drew Wilson's:


pc86 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to see how many of the sites (those that are being presented by other than the owners, anyway) are getting crushed by the spike of traffic from HN.
mrcabada 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll share mine: http://cabada.mx

It's a grid of all the "cool" personal projects I've made since I started coding.

rileyt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Does https://standardresume.co/ meet your needs? It might be a little bit closer to a resume than a website, but it could easily be combined with a more personal single page website.
soroso 8 hours ago 0 replies      
alphydan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
simple, hand coded, kind-of responsive, http://www.alvarofeito.com
WhitneyLand 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You can create a short video with highlights of your work, people seem to digest that easily:


bahmutov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
warning: posting my own website https://glebbahmutov.com/

Has links to blog / slides / github and list of GitHub projects with search. Allows people and myself to quickly find something. Getting recruiters' pitches (and occasional hand crafted emails to join teams) every day.

vblord 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You may want to consider starting a technical blog. As long as you are okay with doing some work to get some good content on there. I would suggest finding a niche that you like and create an entire blog about it. If you put it right on your resume, they will see you as an expert in the topic. I have a blog just on the topic of SQL Server. Potential employers that use that technology always seem to see that as a good sign that I understand the technology. Furthermore, if you do a technical blog... you are learning more about the topic... which is an added benefit.
rayalez 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like my own, so I'll post it here:


metachris 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau: http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~remzi/
Awk34 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think my personal one came out pretty well :D


webjames 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I just made my own, responsive design based on the bootstrap framework.


lawrencewu 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's mine too, I guess: http://lawrencewu.me/

Would love some honest feedback on it!

Jaruzel 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I really dislike mine. Don't use it. I am not a web designer.


rahulrrixe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
ossmaster 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This one is pretty awesome. http://jakealbaugh.com/
ssyphon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
bhuvShan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out http://bhuvaneshshan.me/

Simple UI so that content is the king!Just 4 main pages but also organizes content in a way a user would like to see!

reactor 12 hours ago 0 replies      
rafaqueque 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Mine is quite different: http://rafael.pt
robocaptain 14 hours ago 0 replies      
mdni007 13 hours ago 0 replies      
kepoly 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Creating an account just to post this (it's not mine): http://www.rleonardi.com/interactive-resume/
milge 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I dig mine: http://milge.com

It's all client side. Runs on JSON, JS, HTML and CSS. Super cheap to host. I'm mainly documenting my journey into metal fabrication as a programmer.

billandersen 13 hours ago 0 replies      
10 years, 10 provinces, 1 photographer. Ice Fishing Huts in Canada. http://icehuts.ca
georgehenryrowe 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This musical toy splash page from me http://georgehenryrowe.co.uk/
fatboy10174 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Im also one of 'those' people, i like my own.. https://www.filmitright.co.uk/
matttheatheist 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the simplicity of www.enrad.io
apconan 13 hours ago 0 replies      
oh my god these are so ugly lmao, engineers are really not designers...
joshkpeterson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
ZCash Will Be a Truly Anonymous Blockchain-Based Currency ieee.org
270 points by mbgaxyz  2 days ago   262 comments top 32
Animats 2 days ago 10 replies      
Another altcoin. This one has a 10% pre-mining cut for the founders:

"Zcash's monetary base will be the same as Bitcoin's 21 million Zcash currency units (ZEC, or ) will be mined over time. 10% of that reward will be distributed to the stakeholders in the Zcash Company founders, investors, employees, and advisors. We call this the Founders Reward."

Here's a list of the other 709 altcoins.[1] 373 of them are still tradeable. 88 have a market cap in excess of $1M. 27 have a market cap in excess of $10M. 4 have a market cap in excess of $100M. PayCoin, which was last year's heavily promoted new cool coin with a "guaranteed floor" of $20, is now at position 415 with a value of $0.002606 and a market cap of $30,247.

[1] https://coinmarketcap.com/all/views/all/

CiPHPerCoder 2 days ago 5 replies      
There's a general attitude to some of the comments here.

 "Another altcoin." "I wouldn't weigh the odds that this specific system really lasting more than 4 years out especially high."
ZCash isn't just another fly-by-night cryptocurrency scam. It's a serious engineering effort that was carefully undertaken by some very well-known cryptography and security experts.

 Matthew Green Daira Hopwood Taylor Hornby Ian Meiers Zooko Wilcox-O'hearn
Every one of the names in the preceding list is or was involved in the ZCash project to some capacity. Every one of those names stands alone on their own merits.

Ask your cryptography expert friends what they think about ZCash. Yes, the one who are always yakking about side-channel cryptanalysis and which character device to use for generating random numbers. If you don't have any such friends, go to ##crypto on Freenode and say "Hi". It's all uphill form there.

Saying the equivalent of "Monero is better" is little better than trolling. Let Monero stand on its own merits; being negative and hostile accomplishes nothing.

Saying the equivalent of "Sigh! Another doomed altcoin" is needlessly pessimistic. ZCash represents what every other altcoin should have been doing all along:

 - It uses a real proof-of-work function. - It offers actual anonymity (an improvement over BitCoin). - It uses an entropy source that won't fail open (like so many BitCoin apps did). - It was designed and implemented by a team of academic cryptographers and industry experts on secure cryptography implementations. - The team took their time bringing a solid implementation to market. - Every design decision was documented and discussed openly.
If you have technical concerns about the protocol design or implementation, please don't feel discouraged in sharing them. It's the dismissive attitude that's bothering me.

pero 2 days ago 3 replies      
ZCash has a myriad of fundamental issues, chief among them:

-ZCash is a US-based LLC, and given what is publicly known about the capabilities and past behavior of its intelligence apparatus I don't see how anyone can claim that such an organization can shepherd a 'truly anonymous blockchain', particularly one that is essentially a black box

-ZCash's blockchain is a black box and requires you to not only trust them with your anonymity, but also to trust them not to create coins arbitrarily - a successful attacker could also mint coins at will - as there is no way to verify circulation

-Anonymous transactions are optional and require tremendous resources to generate

-It is an innovative take on a pre-mine where insiders were given opportunity to pre-purchase coins at the expense of future miners

I suggest that anyone looking for a truly anonymous blockchain experience take a look at Monero.

mappum 2 days ago 3 replies      
I am long Zcash:

* The founder is Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, creator of Zooko's triangle, the BLAKE2 hash function, Tahoe-LAFS, and former employee at MojoNation (an early attempt at cryptocurrency/P2P filesharing where another employee, Beam Cohen, went on to create Bittorrent). He knows a thing or two about decentralization/P2P.

* This project is NOT a trivial Bitcoin clone with only a new proof-of-work swapped in. The Zero Knowledge Proofs they use to keep transactions private is state of the art crypto. Also their PoW is actually memory-hard (many currencies have used PoW functions which they thought would be memory-hard and ASIC-proof, such as Litecoin with Scrypt, but it turned out not to be the case).

* Their "Founders Reward" is less like a premine and more like startup vested equity (it pays out to them gradually over 4 years to incentive themselves not to pump and dump).

* The team is extremely helpful in the Zcash Slack and are a relief after dealing with the pedantic, difficult Bitcoin developers.

moyix 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm kind of confused by the tenor of the comments in here. I'll admit I haven't been following cryptocurrencies closely, but there seem to be a large number of comments suggesting that ZCash is a scam and that Monero is better (without any concrete arguments).

Could someone enlighten me as to why that's the case? I know of ZCash via the academic papers on it, and because the people involved Zooko Wilcox, Matthew Green, etc. are extremely well known and trusted in the security community. I've heard basically nothing about Monero.

choffman 2 days ago 3 replies      
ZCash requires a trusted setup, takes a 20% fee from miners, and active mixing requires 8GB of RAM.



If you are interested in anonymous blockchains, I highly encourage you to look into Monero. It meets or exceeds that of ZCash. And Monero's RingCT is currently implemented and in use on TestNet with a target "go-live" this January.

lisper 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a big believer in privacy, but anonymity scares me. Anonymity invites bad behavior: look at how bitcoin -- which isn't even all that anonymous -- has enabled the ransomware industry.

I agree that it is very important for people to be able to conduct financial transactions without having to disclose them to third parties. It's also important for people to be able to use a mutually-agreed-upon trusted third party to mediate transactions where neither party knows the other's identity. But I'm much less convinced of the wisdom of enabling people to conduct financial transactions with no possibility of knowing who they are doing business with. That seems to me to be fraught with all manner of moral hazard.

mootothemax 2 days ago 3 replies      
"But in ZCash, the miners only get to keep ninety percent of those coins. The rest gets dumped into accounts controlled by the ZCash company"

This alone makes me extremely sceptical.

wyldfire 2 days ago 0 replies      
ZCash is one of a few options for anonymity. Cryptonote-based ring-signature coins like Monero have been around for a while.

See also https://news.bitcoin.com/meet-top-3-coins-cryptocurrency-ano...

nickff 2 days ago 2 replies      
ZCash looks like a promising tool to prevent civil forfeiture and legalized theft.

It is interesting how the same (or similar) technologies that have made cash rare, and allowed tracking of transactions and spending, may subsequently enable radical anonymity.

P.S. I hope to see an investment market based on anonymous cryptocurrency one day; it would allow many people who currently lack access to investment markets or funding to prosper.

mmanfrin 2 days ago 0 replies      
A month ago I did a deep dive in to etherium and the 'altcoin' universe. The one thing I came out of it all with was a feeling that I had seen so much of the same sentiment and rhetoric about specific altcoins and altcoins in general as I saw with the 'HYIP' sites of two decades ago.

HYIPs were plain ponzi schemes, given the fancy name of 'high yield investment portfolio'; they promised things like "1.5% yield/day on investments of egold" but all of them would fold.

Ar-Curunir 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article is a bit inaccurate; SNARKs weren't developed just by Eli; there's an entire group of researchers at the SCIPR lab who worked on this stuff:


andirk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the people behind a project mean a heck of a lot to the validity an integrity of the project.

So if Zooko Wilcox et al are indeed respected in the P2P and security community, then I am interested in this.

CN7R 2 days ago 0 replies      
A current problem that I feel blockchain-based currencies face all is the inability to effect large scale changes. Whether it be Bitcoin's infighting or Ethereum's decision to fork, the reliability of transactions by blockchains comes into question.

The central conflict is over authority: should the system be in the hands of miners or in a central power? Both of these have pros and cons.

Miners have an economic incentive to ensure changes to the system are in favor of users. And in theory, these changes are democratic: representing the opinions of the majority of miners. However, in practice, this is rarely the case; as voting power is allocated based on computing power, the result is a system governed by a few individuals with the economic resources and advantages to cheaply 'outrepresent' others. In effect, they do not represent the majority of miners and users. Look at Bitcoin, where a handful of Chinese companies control the network (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/business/dealbook/bitcoin-...)

A central power has the ability to enact large scale change affecting the whole system, but is inherently undemocratic. Ethereum, in response to a capital fund being hacked, performed a hard fork earlier this year, mitigating the adverse effects. This rapid collective action would be hard to do in Bitcoin.

The benefits of blockchain are anonymity, security, and low costs of transactions. Both of these features need to be upheld if blockchain-based currencies are to be competitive with current credit systems, regardless of which form of authority is adopted.

In my opinion, a central power blockchain-based currency would be preferable. Why? Current credit systems charge high fees for transactions to offload the cost of fraud and corresponding insurance. Blockchains don't, but there is no guarantee of security against hackers in a system not run by a central power. Low cost and security of transactions must be maintained. In addition, in a miner-based blockchain, all transactions are not treated equally. For Bitcoin, transactions which give a fee to miners are processed faster (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aYfkjiN534p4zyE5WJNm...).

Any response?

philfrasty 2 days ago 4 replies      
Anyone else finds naming important for adoption? Bitcoin sounds pretty elegant to the regular Joey IMO but ZCash...I mean...awful. Well lets hope for a rebrand later.
jbb555 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin seems to be going through an issue at the moment where many transactions are taking hours to complete due to a large backlog. This might be transient but when I ask any questions about so what happens if volume doubles, I just get attacked for asking such questions.

It seems bitcoin just doesn't scale very well.

So my question is does ZCash?How will it cope with current bitcoin volumes? Or 10 times? Or 1000?

grondilu 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Although privacy was a motivating factor for Bitcoins flock of early adopters

Not quite. I mean surely there were people interested in that, but frankly this is exaggerated. We knew very early that anonymity was far from obvious, even on a purely theoretical point (that is, even if you could anonymise your IP for instance).

Bitcoin was approximately anonymous not by design, but by convenience. Who wants to have to bother checking the identity of users? In fact, I'd argue that bitcoin was no more anonymous than any other FOSS project. You usually don't ask for an ID before allowing someone to download your software.

wh0rth 2 days ago 3 replies      
The blockchain is slowly going to become a dominant pillar of our transactions. Whether it be information, money, etc., blockchain will probably be a part of it. If we want it to be secure anyway...
mempko 2 days ago 2 replies      
We need something better than money. I don't know what that is, but I think focusing on creating new forms of tokens won't enable any radical change.
nercht12 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for the arrival iCoin.
RangerScience 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's a question: I can see the value in an anonymized blockchain for use by individuals...

...but, is there a reason that anonymity would be good for use in a blockchain for use by businesses? Or, is it categorically better for a business-centric blockchain to have the most identity possible?

jbb555 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks good to me.It looks like it is not just another bitcoin clone, it has genuine, and well thought out improvements.I'll probably try it out unlike all the others.
hasa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Takeover AD behind the link. Is this acceptable for a hacker news link ?
abrkn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Privacy coins is the new hot thing in altcoins. There's Monero, ZCoin, ZCash, Dash, ...
brighton36 2 days ago 0 replies      
An truly a scam as well. These investment pumps are so obnoxious
ojiikun 2 days ago 2 replies      
This just sounds like a new clone of Dash (ne darkcoin) but with pre-mine for the founders and without the cool proposal / voting system. Why would anyone buy into this?
kyrre 1 day ago 0 replies      
going to be hard to launch a pre-mined coin when there are thriving alternatives such as monero.

good luck.

hash-set 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a hard time believing that the powers that be will allow it, then, because of "Assassination Politics," avoidance of taxes, etc. We won't kill Skynet without a war.
jamisteven 2 days ago 0 replies      
"truly anonymous".
ebbv 1 day ago 0 replies      
As I said the last several dozen times ZCash hype articles got posted; what's worse than currency controlled by a government AND currency controlled by an unelected group of developers? Currency controlled by a for profit company.
jandrese 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm failing to see how this is superior to the hundreds of altcoins already available. What makes this better than Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Kanyecoin? Why should I choose it over the competition?
Isaac Asimov on How to Be Prolific briangroat.com
242 points by bgroat  1 day ago   85 comments top 15
laacz 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I must say "Thank you". Thank you, Asimov, for my language skills.

I started reading Asimov in my native language (Latvian) until I run out of it. It was late 80s. Then I had to work on my Russian reading skills in order to read everything else USSR had to provide from Asimov. Then I read everything libraries in Riga had on sci-fi.

And when 90s arrived, I accidentally got a hold of few Asimov books in English. I remember vividly the nights I spent with his book on the left side and English dictionary on the right one. Underlining and writing words and page numbers of words I coulnd't find just to return to them later when context would be much cleaner. Ever so funny struggle with idioms and cultural references I couldn't possibly understand. There was no internet to look that stuff up.

So, yes. Thank you, sci-fi in general and Asimov in particular for motivation and opportunity to learn one of basic life skills - ability to read and understand foreign language better than school could teach.

SwellJoe 1 day ago 3 replies      
It's interesting that Asimov offered advice that suggests writing without concern for whether everything fit together; just getting the first draft out was the goal. This somewhat conflicts with Asimov's own style of writing (which he talked about in at least one of his three memoirs, as well as other places), which was effectively to write the final draft the first time. He was not prone to heavy editing after writing, and was also not prone to editing while writing. So, he was basically just writing and handing it off to his editor/publisher (and I think it's also been established that his editors also had a soft touch with his work).

So, maybe he was just being kind enough to not hold everyone to his own standards. And, maybe he developed his skill for writing without a net through tremendous amounts of practice (more practice than almost every other human who ever lived...he's among the most prolific book authors the world has seen).

Anyway, I read everything about Asimov I come across. But, this is kinda blogspammy. Asimov's own memoirs are worth a read. I have not read Janet Asimov's books about Asimov, yet, but surely will eventually.

Also, this site breaks the back button for me in Firefox. That's gross, and I literally hate every person who's ever intentionally broken basic browser functionality for profit, ego, or whatever reason they thought made it OK.

michaelpinto 1 day ago 2 replies      
Something to keep in mind is that Asimov was very much a product of the age of pulp magazines, so early on in his career he was paid by the word for his work.

A side geek note: If you were active in NYC fandom from say the 50s on chances were very good that you would actually get to see Isaac in person at many local science fiction conventions. For some reason he disliked air travel, and would show up at almost any local convention that he was invited to.

If you want to read a really good book on being a geek from the depression era to about the 50s I would highly recommend reading The Way the Future Was by rederik Pohl.

biofox 16 hours ago 3 replies      
With regards to mortality as a motivator, I often find the opposite to be true. When I am reminded of death or illness, I usually end up falling into a spiral of procrastination -- anything to avoid the thought of oblivion. I find it to be quite a major source of time wastage and I suspect I'm not alone in this.

When Asimov was unwell following bypass surgery, James Randi wrote that Asimov fell into a depression and gave up writing altogether [1], presumably for the same reason.

[1] http://www.skepticfiles.org/atheist/asimovob.htm

johnwheeler 1 day ago 1 reply      
A lot of us are prolific makers, we're just not prolific sharers. I've amassed a ton of bitbucket repos the world has never seen. Now, I'm learning to share my work and focus on marketing in conjunction with development.

I wrote a piece last night about it:


It's about not being afraid to share the things you make and tuning them until they resonate with your audience.

Matachines 1 day ago 2 replies      
I stand by the idea proposed by Cal Newport that the best way to do great work is to do "Deep Work"large (but not all day) amounts of no-distraction, in-the-zone work. Harder to do than ever, but when I can do it I'm amazed.
Lio 16 hours ago 0 replies      

 So what if it limps. Its purpose is to get you into the next stage of the story and you take off from there. Time enough when you go through the novel again to correct the transition. For all you know, the material that you will write much later in the novel will make it plain to you exactly how the transition ought to have been. No amount of rewriting and repolishing now will get it right in the absence of knowledge of the course of the entire book. So let it limp and get on with it Think of yourself as an artist making a sketch to get the composition clear in his mind, the blocks of color, the balance, and the rest. With that done, you can worry about the fine points. Asimovs advice, in a letter, about limping transitions in first drafts
This would seem to be good advice in any creative endeavour and particularly relevant to startup culture.

babesh 1 day ago 4 replies      
His older novels such as the later Foundation series were crap. Fad idea of the day (Gaia) instead of exploring a topic a bit more in depth (advantages of large populations in combating stasis). His best work was his early short stories (three laws of robotics, ultimate question). IMHO, his quality gradually went down before falling off a cliff. Traded quantity for quality?
orf 1 day ago 2 replies      
90,000 letters is equal to 4 a day for 61 years. That's a superhuman output
protonpopsicle 1 day ago 1 reply      
The "Candy Store" this article refers to (and Asimov in the quote) is in my neighborhood. Hilariously I discovered this through Pokmon Go.
ars 1 day ago 3 replies      
> expanding a short story about a collapsing universe, and expand it into a novel.

What story is this? When I google it I get non-fiction links.

seesomesense 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Issac Asimov's later works are known to have been ghostwritten. Hiring other writers to write under your byline is the easiest way to be prolific.
doodpants 1 day ago 6 replies      
I can't quite put my finger on why, but I suspect that this guy wants people to subscribe to his newsletter.
grillvogel 1 day ago 1 reply      
step one: grope everyone you see
Noisy Coworkers And Other Sounds Are A Distraction In Workplace npr.org
242 points by xweb  1 day ago   244 comments top 49
pklausler 1 day ago 6 replies      
The problem with open office plans is that it takes just one noisy person to spoil it for everybody. If managed carefully and actively, they can work -- it just takes an manager willing to correct bad behavior or send sick people home.

Where I work, I have a budding tupperware percussionist, three imminent victims of whooping cough, some parents managing high-maintenance offspring over cell phones, and one guy who conducts teleconferences with his desk phone. So I often sneak off to empty conference rooms with a laptop if I'm trying to concentrate.

Matachines 1 day ago 5 replies      
Another thread where most commenters will advocate for remote work and/or private offices. I agree.

Dan Luu recently said this about Peopleware, which advocates for offices and is highly regarded:

> This book seemed convincing when I read it in college. It even had all sorts of studies backing up what they said. No deadlines is better than having deadlines. Offices are better than cubicles. Basically all devs I talk to agree with this stuff.

> But virtually every successful company is run the opposite way. Even Microsoft is remodeling buildings from individual offices to open plan layouts. Could it be that all of this stuff just doesnt matter that much? If it really is that important, how come companies that are true believers, like Fog Creek, arent running roughshod over their competitors?

> This book agrees with my biases and Id love for this book to be right, but the meta evidence makes me want to re-read this with a critical eye and look up primary sources.


What's HN opinions?

Futurebot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've worked in a private office, small shared-office, cube farms, open plan, and remote. What I've always thought was a good mix was:

- Developers (and sometimes others that need quietude, like art/graphics people) get either a private office each or a shared, developer-only office

- Marketing and sales that need constant communication / thrive on motion and energy get open plans

- A mix of full-on conference rooms and small, private phone/meeting rooms

- Account managers, finance, managers get their own space, which can be cubes or shared offices.

Putting people who need to concentrate in with people whose job is to constantly talk and/or socialize is a recipe for (asymmetrically) poor productivity. The fact that office designs are sometimes dictated by the vicissitudes of management fads and a misguided desire to save money by just building one-size-fits-all layouts, even though a good design will pay for itself many times over, is very unfortunate.

belvoran 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I was working in an open space for a couple of years. The phones were ringing happily, including the official corporate ones, which were standing on each desk. People were talking all the time. Talking, walking, looking at my screen, of course with lots of comments to my code. 70 people in the floor.

We had all the funny things for the group integration all the time. All the things except for thinking.

Yes, I was sitting all the time with my headphones, shouting maximally to my ears. Until one of those people making noise told me that it is not team friendly to have so loud phones, as he hears the music, and cannot concentrate.

Of course the management had their separate offices, with walls, and doors. They didn't see any problem.

For the last 6 years I've been working remotely from home. Well, what a change. In 4 hours I could do more than for a week in the open space.

ritchiea 1 day ago 7 replies      
I will never understand why this is such a point of contention on HN and why it isn't accepted that some people legitimately prefer open office plans while others prefer quiet. And even more practical and intelligent would be to offer different kinds of spaces so that people can choose where to work based on a particular mood. But instead we just get weekly complaints about open offices.

I'm probably more productive in a quiet private office space but is the point of my work solely to be most productive in the role I have right now? I organically absorb more information about the company working in an open office. That information can have a valuable impact on my work. I end up organically sharing ideas with my co-workers more often in an open office. And in terms of long term happiness I don't want to spend every moment of every day alone coding. There's a balance to be struck.

nisse72 1 day ago 5 replies      
I am currently working in a very crowded open office. We have small desks where we sit almost elbow to elbow, the place is all hard surfaces (it's an old industrial building made into office space), and there is a fair amount of noise.

But none of this would bother me except for the fact that one senior person has decided to have speakers installed in the ceiling, and we have to listen to non-stop spotify playing top 40 or whatever, all day every day.

The constant music drives me insane, it just drones on and on. I wear noise cancelling headphones with rain sounds to drown it out but I don't like wearing headphones all day and it hinders collaborating with my neighbours. I can't tell if management is clueless or simply does not give a toss. Probably both.

alistproducer2 1 day ago 1 reply      
The open office revolution needs to die. I don't like wearing headphones all day, but I also don't like hearing 30 people's conversations either.

I had a (old) guy that used to sit in my area who would argue with his manager in person and argue (loudly) with everyone he was on the phone with (including his wife).

He got moved a couple of months ago and there were no tears shed.

bcheung 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'd say environmental factors such as being so freaking hot that you are sweating or so freaking cold you have to bring in a heater to counteract the AC are pretty distracting as well. And in terms of productivity, not having enough ventilation so that the air builds up CO2 makes people really tired and unproductive.
ryandrake 1 day ago 7 replies      
Different strokes for different folks. I'm probably the only person on HN that prefers open office workspaces. I currently have an office to myself and it's so lonely and isolating. I think I'd go crazy working all day without human interaction, so I hardly ever use it. And, no, chat isn't an adequate substitute. I'll generally charge up my laptop and go out and work in a break room or some other common area with actual human beings around--much better. If it gets noisy and I want to block out distractions headphones work just fine.
deathanatos 1 day ago 1 reply      
> "In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says

Huh. My most pet peeve in the open office floorplan was always the coworkers whose phone not on vibrate would start ringing. They'd look at it, decide not to answer it, and proceed to just let it ring out loud until it hits voicemail. Just why? And attempts to educate the owner on how to silence a ringer just seem to go unheeded.

One commenter I read once noted the concept of "cell phone time out" a basket with a blanket for ringing phones with no owner to be found.

My current office boasted "great amounts of natural light"; I have exactly zero paths to natural light from my desk. (The upshot of this is that we're in a corner that largely isolates us from the noise.) While I lean towards cubes (simply for the affordance of quiet and disease prevention), do they not mean that people in them get absolutely no natural light? (Not that I am right now myself, but it crosses my mind.)

We recently lost a manweek to a cold that just ran absolutely rampant through the desks. Perhaps the sad thing is that I feel that was pretty good, and could have been much worse. (Perhaps because I seem to have dodged it myself.)

Our new office came with less conference rooms and quiet areas. Less actual useable space per person.

And just in case you're wondering: squeezing nearly any cell phone's power/volume buttons will silence the ringer during an incoming call. It doesn't cancel the call or voicemail it: the other end is still listening to a ringtone. You can still pick up with call with the on-screen UI if you want. (At least until it truly goes to voicemail, which happens after the normal delay.) You can even do this with the phone in the pocket pretty easily, e.g., if it rings inconveniently during an important meeting.

haddr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Couldn't agree more on the article. Recently they put next to us a group of people who is 50% of their time on the phone. While some of them try to speak low, other just yell. It is probably the most frustrating work setup I experienced in my career. It is really distracting.
post_break 1 day ago 8 replies      
Coworker who is extremely loud on the phone. I get 0 work done when she's on the phone. She's so loud I can't hear people when I'm on the phone. We have an "open door" policy at work so if I close my door to my own office it looks weird. If I tell her she's being too loud I look like an asshole. We're moving to a new building and I'm going to be on a different floor than her and I can't wait. So many years of listening to half of a conversation is enough to make you go insane.
davidtgoldblatt 1 day ago 6 replies      
An anecdote for those who hoped they'd find suggestions in the comments:

I ended up buying some over-the-head earmuff headphones aimed at construction workers (I think with a 25dB noise reduction rating). I put in ear plugs, then the headphones, and play some light music; even relatively loud and nearby conversations drop away pretty quickly. (Ordinary "noise cancelling" headphones aren't intended to block the sound of talking, and don't work as well).

The only issue is comfort; the headphones fit quite tightly. I got used to it after a few hours, and now don't mind it at all. My wife tried it, and couldn't ever adjust.

buckbova 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Dooley says he found the carrot-munching funny.

If you have an open office, no eating at your desk period. Show some respect for your co-workers.

I worked next to an apple eater some time ago, slurping and chomping on his apple every day. Drove me insane. But every so often there was the bag of baby carrots. Which although less disturbing lasted much longer.

Then there's the fish eaters and microwave popcorn eaters. Don't bring that into the office. Keep it in the lunch room, eat outside or don't bring it in!

jjp 1 day ago 0 replies      
For an summary of all the environmental/physiological factors that affect work performance in the office take a look at Creating the Productive Workplace [1]. Research material covered include affect of temperature (high/low and variation), humidity, indoor air quality, ventilation and it's control, lighting, crowding, daylight (too much/too little), artificial light (wrong type) and noise.

One of the points that comes out quite strongly is that whilst each of the environmental factors does adversely/positively impact your performance your ability to control (or lack of control) can have a greater impact. For example you will tolerate colder and warmer environments if you know that you can have some influence on the temperature .

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279190533_Creating_...

wwggggoi 1 day ago 2 replies      
honestly, that's why I'm hardly ever in the office. there's someone there who's noise profile is utterly unfilterable. they fiddle with things, drop things, fidget, cough, snort phlegm up their nose, subvocalize, and generally emit an air of restlessness. nice person though.
pjlegato 1 day ago 0 replies      
Open office plans are a great example of cargo cult management, second only to Agile.

Despite numerous well controlled studies debunking the myths that people are somehow happier, more creative, or communicate better in open plans, we get: "Company X was very successful, and they had an open office plan; therefore, the open office plan made them successful and we should have one, too." Company X was successful despite the open plan, not because of it.

gvurrdon 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Office noise has become a bit of an issue for me recently, this being the reason:


Although the amount of talking in the office is low and not very disturbing, and there's certainly nothing like the horror of Spotify which one commenter here mentioned, there are people at work who make noise which sounds particularly intrusive and distracting to me (e.g. sniffing, throat clearing and similar). Of course, to many others these would not seem to be much of a problem, being more like background noise, and so most don't fully appreciate how much of a nuisance it can be.

A lot of it can be covered up with earphones playing white noise, nature sounds, or similar, but too much of that during the day does seem to have a deleterious effect on hearing, such as by making tinnitus louder. Wearing them also interferes with those occasions where it is useful to talk to colleagues.

allsystemsgo 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone with ADD, are work places required to accommodate for my learning disability and allow me to WFH or work in a quiet place? I'm in the US.
space99 1 day ago 3 replies      
This thread is brought to you by Bose quiet comfort headphones. They are amazing!
ThePhysicist 1 day ago 2 replies      
The company I'm currently working at bought everyone some top-of-the-line Bose noise-canceling headphones for the same reason, as we have an open plan office and coworkers can be chatty sometimes. And while the noise canceling is far from being perfect, it really makes it much easier to stay focused when working. I even wear them on my commute now as they are very good at filtering out constant amplitude white noise (such as engine hums), which helps me to focus on my reading. Unfortunately I sometimes miss my stops now :D
sampsonetics 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's be careful with the phrase "open office plan". Many articles lump cubicle farms together with partition-free spaces in the same category, but whenever they're treated as separate choices the research tends to show cubicle farms being worse than partition-free spaces on most dimensions, including noise distraction -- i.e. private offices > partition-free spaces > cubicle farms. Interestingly, this particular article mostly avoids this distinction but does address it in the final paragraph:

"There are solutions, says Cornell's Hedge. The trend toward open offices and hard office furniture makes noise distraction worse, so adding carpet, drapes and upholstery can help. He recommends, perhaps counterintuitively, getting rid of cubicle walls, which provide the illusion of sound privacy, but actually make people less aware of the noises they create."

skc 18 hours ago 3 replies      
It's very strange that HN seems to sway so heavily against open offices.

I genuinely think the reality is that opinions are split squarely down the middle, otherwise hacking/working in coffee shops wouldn't be a thing for example (people seek out that specific experience)

It also implies that the likes of Google/Facebook aren't being as productive as they can be, which is hogwash in my opinion.

thefastlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
i've noticed that if coworkers tend exhibit a high level of emotion in their voices during their conversations, that's very distracting -- e.g., some people seem to just have a pattern of vocalizing stress or confusion in their tone of speech, either to each other, or on the phone etc.

it took me a long time to identify exactly what was bugging me (besides it obviously being noisy), but then it dawned on me, and now i pay close attention to it -- being able to cateogrize it, and then compartmentalize it away, helps a lot i think.

moving to an off-site coffee shop on occasion has made all the difference, despite being an equal or greater amount of noise.

still would prefer an office, obviously.

0x54MUR41 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Cal Newport recently is discussing about the open office. I am sure it is related to his new book, Deep Work. These following posts are explained it:

- Is Facebooks Massive Open Office Scaring Away Developers? [1]

- The Opposite of the Open Office [2]

The previous discussion of one of that post also appears on HN. You may check it out here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12677866.

[1]: http://calnewport.com/blog/2016/10/09/is-facebooks-massive-o...

[2]: http://calnewport.com/blog/2016/10/19/the-opposite-of-the-op...

bigger_cheese 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work in an open office and honestly it doesn't bother me. When I'm working on a problem intently I tend to get into a headspace where I don't notice the distractions around me.

Sometimes if I'm deeply engrossed in a problem a coworker will have to repeat my name several times before I realize they are trying to get my attention.

Other people in my team complain about the environment a lot. The ones that do tend to listen to music on headphones to tune out.

I think a lot of it depends on your upbringing. I grew up as the oldest child in a house full of younger siblings my home environment was always very noisy so I suspect I have a higher tolerance for working/studying etc in a distraction rich environment.

The benefit I see to an open office is being able to contribute to colleagues discussions several times a week I'll overhear a conversation or a colleague will be listening to mine and be able to interject.

Several valuable conversations have started based around "I overheard you were working on... I had a similar problem I solved by doing... Then often a third colleague will jump in etc. If we were each in private offices this wouldn't have occurred.

Edit: Related anecdote when I was at University I spent some time working as an apprentice the company wasn't expecting me to show up or there was some communication issue etc didn't have a proper desk for me when I arrived so for several weeks they shoved me into the room with all the photocopiers and this huge B0 drafting printer the Mechanical Engineers used to print technical drawings. This thing was based on old dot matrix technology used to make a hell of a lot of noise when it fired up it would scare the crap out of me every time. That obviously was distracting...

broahmed 1 day ago 0 replies      
My solution is over the ear head phones + nature sounds. I personally like:http://texashighdef.net/http://whitenoisemp3s.com/ (these are for purchase, but I've found them to be of very high quality and return to them repeatedly).

Your mileage may vary; some people find this stuff puts them to sleep.

sien 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has anyone ever worked in an open plan office space with high, transparent partitions like these:



It seems like you could have, say, 1.5m of solid partition and then higher transparent partitions and a few lightweight doors and sort of have a cube farm that allowed in light but blocked noise.

rdlecler1 15 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who might be distracted by music, I bring earplugs to work. That you also have to take them out to talk means that you're also distracting less people. They should be giving them away at the front desk. Bright orange so people know not to disturb you unless necessary.
reality_czech 1 day ago 0 replies      
In related news, water is wet.

Unstructured space is terrible for working and terrible for collaboration.

alexellisuk 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I can relate to a lot in the article having worked in open plan for 10 years. I always get a lot more done working from home - ambient distraction level is really low. The worst thing is sick people contaminating and rowdy loud people especially when we are expected to take regular video conferences at our desks.

It would be interesting given a poll who would opt for:

- open plan, no separators

- hot-desking

- individual offices

- individual offices + open areas

joshstrange 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a little late to this discussion but I wear headphones/earbuds the entire time I'm in my office and if people are being loud I just turn up my music. I am no fan of open floor plans but at the same time they don't bother me as long as I can wear my headphones and people aren't constantly trying to get my attention vis non-chat methods (chat me and say you need to talk, saying my name or waving at me it not going to grab my attention).
neves 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of the greatest inventions of the humanity: https://www.google.com.br/search?q=noise+reduction+ear+plugs...

With them, you can easily turn off or on ambient noise.

sauronlord 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I just quit my software development Job at 120k /year (Waterloo)

I couldn't fucking stand the noise and distractions.

Now I work remote, at home, on my own gigs. Never work in an "open office again"

m3kw9 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find if there is a big contrast in noises, say if the office is usually quiet and a coworker starts making noises, they are more distractive than if in a constantly noisy environment and a loud coworker makes noise. I would say the contrast is a huge factor as the article seem to suggest
ofcapl_ 22 hours ago 0 replies      
How many people in one room makes open space? I work with 8-10 people in one room and found a moderate distraction till I've turn my desk to the wall and I have everyone behind me.
pimeys 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bought a pair of good closed back headphones after using semi-open headphones for ages. Lots of money you can pour into these, but can't complain having great sound and not able to hear the noise of my colleagues.
baconforce 1 day ago 0 replies      
Caves and Commons. Have an area where people can go to work without interruption, and have a common area where people can work in an open space and collaborate. Don't anchor an individual to either space.
shmerl 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't news. That's why open offices are often so annoying. Good circumaural headphones are indispensable there.
agounaris 18 hours ago 0 replies      
But why? Its so much fun to place 10 sales people in an open space office and watch it burn!!
b2600 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand people can be and are distractions but from my background I believe you should be able to perform your tasks regardless. While a legitimate issue, this sounds like searching for excuses. You perform in the environment you are in. Everyone else is suffering the same distractions.
rdiddly 1 day ago 2 replies      
Active noise-cancelling headphones plus a white noise generator, is where it's at.

These are the best headphones I've used: https://amzn.com/B00X9KV0HUThey come in Apple- or Android-compatible versions.

They won't cancel everything. In general they're great with anything constant (hums/motors/fans etc.) but the more impulsive (in the physics sense) a sound wave is, the more of it seeps through. Human speech I find it damps it pretty significantly but not all the way.

That's where white noise comes in. From that dampened state, a very quiet level of white noise is enough to perceptually drown out any loudmouths who have no concept of an "indoor voice." Use something like simplynoise.com or an app. For Android I like Noise Machine - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.synopsia.n...For iPhone I believe there's an app literally called White Noise.

Not affiliated with any of these people.

Don't use music... that's just as distracting as someone talking. YMMV

necessity 1 day ago 0 replies      
For sure. But then again I just got a headphone.
rhizome 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's funny how in the past 20 years the VC funding rounds have gotten much larger while the work environments have gotten much worse.
douche 1 day ago 1 reply      
When it gets real bad, sometimes I put in my handy old industrial orange foam ear-plugs[1]. What's good for bringing the scream of a chainsaw down to a dull wail will just about block out all but the loudest conference calls completely. Although I suppose it might be a tad ruder than headphones...

[1] http://www.howardleight.com/earplugs/max

cafard 1 day ago 0 replies      
NPR is a distraction in the house....
jmcdiesel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Or we can adapt to the real world where people around us necessarily have an effect on us - and learn to live in that world?

We don't need to work in libraries, we need to just adapt.

omgherpyderp 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm not really sure where the issue is?

I work in a noisy office. The only reason why my productivity goes down is because I'm nosy as shit and have all these opinions I want to share.

ar15saveslives 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's better to work in somewhat noisy environment, where everybody can stare at your monitor, than commit suicide after two years of sitting in dark gloomy gray-walled cubicle without any natural light.

I honestly can't understand people that can work in those depressing conditions.

Twitter beats estimates, cuts jobs with eye on 2017 profitability reuters.com
216 points by ghosh  16 hours ago   150 comments top 11
wpietri 15 hours ago 20 replies      
Let me do a mini-askHN: I'm thinking of joining Twitter to work on their anti-abuse efforts. What factors should I consider in my decision?

At first consideration, this news doesn't worry me a ton. They provide a product that provides a lot of user value, just to a smaller user base than they/investors hoped. They've found a reasonable way to monetize it, with $2b+/year in revenue. Their expenses are too high for that, but not egregiously so, with previously committed stock compensation being a big chunk of things. There's still a lot they can do with the product. And they've got a unique value that's hard for other people to replicate: it's the place for public figures (public figures at all scales) to interact.

Am I crazy here? I know I'm taking a risk, but I'm not seeing more risk than, say, joining a Series A startup, which I've happily done before.

fowlerpower 16 hours ago 5 replies      
What I love is this:

"The move could hurt the companies image in San Francisco where the competition for engineers is fierce."

I live in New York and I would never work there. Why would anyone want to join a sinking ship? It's image is gone all in the name of the mighty stock price.

sulam 11 hours ago 1 reply      
My belief, sadly held, is that this is just the 2nd step of a Yahoo-scale transition. It won't be the user numbers that get them, it will be the ads side. Twitter is going to get a shrinking piece of the ad budget, especially as new entrants arrive. Which new entrants you ask? Snapchat, for one. Pinterest is heating up as well.
JumpCrisscross 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Reuters leading with "Twitter beats revenue estimates..." while the Wall Street Journal chose "Twitter to Cut 9% of Workforce as Revenue Growth Slows" [1]. This is usually a sign of a political fragmentation, e.g. within management, within the Board, between the former or within the shareholder base.

(Reuters' correspondent is based in Bangalore; the Journal's in the Bay Area [2]. Neither contains any direct quotes. Journal cites multiple Wall Street analyst reports.)

[1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-to-cut-workforce-as-reve...

[2] https://www.linkedin.com/in/dseetharaman

NightMKoder 11 hours ago 1 reply      
intrasight 11 hours ago 1 reply      
One of my concerns with Twitter is that I think their usage is going to drop considerably after the election is over. I say this only because half of Twitter mentions in the press related to Trump tweets.
koolba 16 hours ago 2 replies      
> Twitter Inc's quarterly revenue growth slowed sharply in the third quarter but topped analysts' expectations, and the company said it would cut 9 percent of its global workforce.

> Revenue rose about 8 percent to $616 million, above the average analyst estimate of $605.8 million. The company reported a 20 percent rise in revenue in the previous quarter and 58 percent last year.

> Twitter had 3,860 employees globally as of June. The layoff could hurt the company's image in San Francisco, where the competition for engineering talent is fierce.

Total revenue of $616M and 3,860 employees (pre-layoff) means they've got $159K of revenue per employee. If the majority of their work force is engineers that's pretty weak. After adding in health insurance, 401k, real estate (for office locations), and all the rest of the usual expenditures, it's no wonder they can't turn a profit.

> "We're getting more disciplined about how we invest in the business, and we set a company goal of driving toward GAAP profitability in 2017," said Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto.

They're going to need go significantly deeper than 9% to get to profitability.

EDIT: Per the replies the revenue numbers quoted are per-quarter, not annual. Still begs the question of how they hell they're not profitable making $636K per employee.

triplebit 13 hours ago 4 replies      
What's with all the anti-Twitter bias among techies lately?
danieltillett 15 hours ago 3 replies      
A question for those with far more management experience than me at large companies - why cut 9%? Is it really twitter's management view that they are only slightly over staffed? Do they think that their employees are going to believe this is the last cut?

9% seems like a large enough number to destroy moral, but too small to make any material differences to the cost base.

dilemma 16 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the phrase, cut deep and fast? Twitter should probably cut more like 25-50%.
perseusprime11 15 hours ago 1 reply      
They spend about 2.5 billion dollars to make 2 billion dollars. Not a great business model. If they can do more cuts and bring the expenses way down and seriously turn around the product, they will have a good future. I almost feel, they need somebody like Eric Schmidt to manage the company while Jack learns and focuses on the product.
Why does software development take so long? sesse.net
285 points by cheiVia0  1 day ago   266 comments top 37
jbb555 1 day ago 13 replies      
People STILL confuse the construction of software with the construction of buildings. We can estimate fairly accurately how long it will take to build a building once we have reasonable plans for it. I can pretty accurately say that it will take about 4 minutes to build the software once I have the plans to build it. The compiler pretty much automates the whole job.

Writing software is NOT construction. Much of it isn't even design. Most of it is gathering detailed requirements and writing them down in unambiguous form (code).

My asking how long it's going to take to write a software it's like saying to a building contractor how long will it take to design every single detail of a city block including gathering all the requirements.

Also the requirements for software are much more detailed than building. 100000 lines of code represents 100000 decisions. I bet not many buildings have 100000 decisions. And 10000 is tiny for a software project.

lordnacho 1 day ago 7 replies      
You can see the Pacific Ocean on one side, and you can see the Atlantic on another.

You know of something called a shovel, machetes, labourers and engineers. And you have a budget.

Of course, it must be possible to dig a trench connecting the two oceans.

When you start, you find your men get ill from the climate. And perhaps you don't quite know how to build a reliable lock, but you figure the engineers will find out somehow. And meanwhile there are constraints coming in from government.

Things take long because it's easy to see the big picture, and getting more detail (ie learning) normally means discovering that you need a bit more time to do fix some issue that you didn't see standing on the hill.

forgottenacc57 1 day ago 3 replies      
My most recent project has taken more than 18 months.

I implemented 2 major subsystems that I later realized I could simplify the system by throwing out.

My product is very technical so there was probably about four months trying to make things work and learning what did and did not work.

I had to learn about 75% of the development tools and languages I was building with.

I don't like the idea of releasing half baked, half working software that represents half of my vision.

I had to fit the project in between my money paying job, family, friends, life.

I had lots of great ideas and the fun bit about developing software is when you get to implement those "wow it would be cool if...." functions.

I just want to fix bugs after the software is released, not just be starting on the code.

I want the software to be so far along that it would cause a competitor to think twice about copying.

I think software should be great, not just barely functional, so I added lots of things to polish and make it awesome.

Near the end of the build I realized I could make a major leap forward so I redesigned a key area of the UI.

I built as much of it as I could before release because after release its MUCH harder to add new features.

There you go, that's why it took me so long.

rogual 1 day ago 1 reply      
And this is just for a sole developer who knows what he's doing. Whenyou have a team of people at varying levels of ability, a meeting forevery decision, JIRA-wielding project managers with burndown charts tokeep happy, standards & practices, legal, translators, UI designers,all regularly taking out exclusive locks on each other's time... it'sa wonder anything gets done at all.
Edmond 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think a big part of the problem can be attributed to tool makers and the lack of true innovation in that arena. As a developer tool maker (HiveMind: crudzilla.com) I am almost always disappointed when I come across a "new" development tool and find that it is the same tired code editor tricks (key bindings, syntax highlighting, code completion, multi-pane editing) with some "flavor of the day" gimmick (git) thrown in. IDEs have been around for more than 20 yrs and the most popular IDEs have not advanced the state of software development much at all.

Compare IDEs with chip fabrication as an easy to compare example. Improvements and advances in chips can be directly tied to advances in fabrication, the same can't be said for software because there is almost no innovation happening in those products despite appearances.

CrLf 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because software development is actually research disguised as engineering.

(And that's why "engineering" when related to software is filled with mumbo-jumbo and cargo-cultism.)

MyNameIsFred 1 day ago 1 reply      
> In a sense, programming is all about what your program should do in the first place. The how question is just the what, moved down the chain of abstractions until it ends up where a computer can understand it, and at that point, the three words multichannel audio support have become those 9,000 lines that describe in perfect detail what's going on.

This closing paragraph is excellent.

While I do wonder if the author's progress along these wouldn't have been accelerated if more of this evolution took place before the first line of code, the overall message here is very true and very well put.

When I made this realization for myself, it was a major turning point in the quality, speed, maintainability, and usability of the code I produce, especially when I can successfully define the final code structure to directly reflect this progressive refinement from intent to implementation.

drinchev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Once I outsourced my side-project, since the pay per hour ratio worked better for me, compared to what I earn, combined with the complexity of that project. The "only" thing I had to do is write specs.

The specs took me 3 weeks to write ( finding a lot of logical "bugs" in my project ), but the detail I went to ( SQL schema suggestions, framework suggestions, front-end plugins suggestions, ready pixel perfect design with different states, urls for the different pages, etc. ) was one of the biggest benefit for the final price. The company that took the project estimated 4 months and delivered it in 3 and half. They said those were the best specs they've ever seen.

Moral of the story : Do full specs before you start coding ( I know it's boring ).

Futurebot 1 day ago 1 reply      
- Requirements that change mid-stream, dozens, sometimes hundreds of times

- Team has to do speculative development for ill-formed or understood problem domain

- Requirements that are improperly gathered

- Requirements that are underspecified

- Poorly understood problem in general

- Fighting bugs in system libraries

- Fighting bugs in third party libraries

- Fighting issues with integration on deployment and/or third party anything

- Complex underlying technology requiring its own kind of discovery (like in the OP)

- Poor/incorrect documentation

- Project members that go off on their own, refuse to communicate, deviate wildly from the project style, break things

- Management that insists on doing things from scratch

- Management that insists on using buggy, broken, etc. 3rd-party or even in-house systems/libraries for political or faux-business reasons

- Constant software developer interruptions

- Long meetings that consist of circular discussions, politics, back-and-forth arguments about personal preferences disguised as "important project stuff"

- Administrative minutiae that never stops adding up

- People leave a project partway through, taking project knowledge with them

- Broken/buggy tools/environments/systems

- People getting pulled off a project to work on another project

- Bad use of project management, source code management, other tools

- Insistence on wheel reinvention for well-understood problems for career advancement, resume building, or boredom-relief purposes

- Low morale / poor focus due to bad management, co-workers, bad tools, bad work environment

- Low morale / poor focus due to reliance on: late night work (leading to insufficient sleep), weekend work, little/no time off or breaks, reliance on crunch/death marches

- Dealing with company/project politics in general

- Lack of focus due to team member resume-polishing/interviewing part way through a bad project

- Occasional project sabotage

p0nce 1 day ago 0 replies      
Business-time goes seemingly faster than engineering-time. Engineering requires luxurious calm and ample amounts of time to achieve anything of value. Hence the disconnection, the business will ask "why do engineers take so much time?" while the engineers ask themselves "why does the management changes the plan so much?".But a key point to have successful engineering is not panicking upon this perceived, unbearable, uncontrollable slowness and still invest in quality: capital instead of debt.
shados 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you read the comments so far, everyone has their favorite. The answer is probably "all of the above".

That said, my personal favorites:

Most software engineers are bad and refuse to admit it to themselves (which would let them get better). Too much ego. Given a large enough department/team, only a small percentage is actually doing significant work. Yes, even at Google/Facebook/Amazon/whatever.

Second, software engineers are extremely conservative. For all the flack fast moving ecosystems like JavaScript get, the only reason we see so many iterations is that the end goal is visible from far, but people reject it. So we just make 100 intermediate steps to get there. Eg: a subset of functional programming paradigms and type systems. Think TypeScript...which has to be comfortable for the peanut gallery, while trying to support advanced features many know need to be there in a modern language, and the struggle between those 2 goals.

That ensures we're going slower than we need to, while basically ensuring those techs will be obsolete sooner than later (because we need a stepping stone to the "right" solution as to not alienate developers)

koolba 1 day ago 2 replies      
Software development is 5% inspiration, 20% perspiration, and 75% procrastination.
Tistel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Its impossible to accurately estimate an unknown. Once you have experience, a rough sketch of the solution will pop into your head right away, but as you go along all these devilish little details will pop up. Also, meetings run by people who can't write code who just want to talk to people for an hour because it breaks up their dull day will eat a decent chunk of time. When starting a new project and in the "give me estimates phase", I do my best, but, I know they are essentially made up numbers. If I were in charge, I would eliminate time estimates. Just have high level goals, keep breaking them down (or up, in bottom up dev) and have lots of automated test cases. I guess like that continuous dev (which I have never done, just read about) style.
dqdo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Software development takes a long time because of the users. If you think about every piece of software that has ever been written, they have been created to solve a human problem or resolve a human concern. As we build more impressive systems, our expectations also change. A state of the art website just 5 years ago is unacceptable today. Think about all the work that we now have to do in order to make things mobile responsive. Features such as chat and video, which were revolutionary in 2004-2005 (when Youtube and Facebook were found) are common requirements of projects today. In additional to an increase in user expectations, we have to understand that when we undertake a project it is to solve a new problem whose implications cannot fully be understood from the beginning. In most software projects, the problems only becomes clear after spending months building it. Once we have the software as an artifact, we will find new ideas and new extensions that we could have never imagined before. Additionally, a large part of our software has to interact with other artifacts in the real world. These artifacts are built by other people and continuously change. A large part of maintaining a project is ensuring that is still compatible with all the programs that it depends on.
mloranger2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Okay, so developing a "multi channel audio support" feature took three months. Is that expensive? What would this type of feature cost to implement without software? Answer: a LOT or even borderline impossible.Look, to a large degree software like this replaces what used to have to be done by electronics (or, more likely, not at all). The fact that it took three months is a borderline miracle. Oh, you want to make this process faster? Okay -- time to get the AI community involved because I don't really see how human beings are going to perform any faster than they already are. Look, my point is that anyone who claims that this could be done faster or is the result of "bad engineers" or anything else is basically delusional IMHO. 'Nuff said.
stevefeinstein 1 day ago 0 replies      
It doesn't. It takes as long as it takes. It's a constantly evolving moving target. Why does writing a book or making a movie take so long? It's a creative thing. It's hard.
scrrr 1 day ago 2 replies      
Because it's an art. It's like painting a picture. Good art takes time.
jimjimjim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Following on the analogies already presented here:

Coding is not construction (that's the compiler). Coding is the architect/drafter.

If you want a pre-planned house, no problem, that's the same as buying shrink wrap.

If you want to add a swimming pool under then that a whole bunch of conversations, customization and checking.

If you want a completely bespoke house then then that is a conversation that lasts for months and the requirements will always change.

Think about that Grand Designs tv show. that is software and the architect is software development

oneplane 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because software is a half-visible moving target, that's why.
Pica_soO 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because a lot of stuff gets written several times. Doesent matter wether its agile or waterfall, and i dont care who started it - customers or software-engineering, wether the rewrite happened before roll out, or while the thing was already in the wild. Software development takes so long, because we tear down what we build and redo it, alot of times over.
amelius 1 day ago 4 replies      
What is the best resource which explains an outsider why developing software is hard and takes a lot of time in general? I'm thinking of a small accessible book (perhaps even a cartoon) that starts with a bunch of analogies, and then explains why those analogies are true in real life (this last part is important).
ausjke 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe most programmers are amateurs? If you're really good at data-structure/algorithms/etc and practice them like a surgeon frequently, maybe the landscape will be very different.

"Anybody can code, even an idiot can learn to code in 24 hours"

njharman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cause I (we?) spend too much time reading articles like this instead of coding.
lazyjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
It doesn't really, unless you overgeneralize your solution (just like the rhetorical question in the title) and make wrong toolset choices.

20 years ago we also had fewer choices, hence fewer bug-ridden abstraction layers and moving targets. We mastered one programming environment and target platform, both were much less complex than what we have today. We could also tack something together quickly in an awkward way without putting the code on a world-visible platform as part of our resume. Also, more precautions are necessary today, like security, general code quality (no more tricks that work only on one compiler).

pasta 1 day ago 2 replies      
The 'readable' button in Firefox was not working for me. Maybe others also would like to paste this in the url bar:

 javascript:document.body.style.width='600px';document.body.style.margin='0 auto';void(0);

dockd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I suspect it has something to do witha) The programmer not actually using the software they create. They end up spending time trying to understand the domain.b) The programmer uses the software they create and wants it to do everything (see also Second System Effect, Zawinski's Law/Law of Software Envelopment).c) The programmer expects components to work as documented.
seanwilson 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you were delivering very similar projects several times (in which case you should be reusing existing code anyway), estimates would be a lot easier and more accurate. As most software projects are using a combination of tools, people, requirements etc. that have never been combined before, accurate estimates are always going to be difficult.

I routinely read that estimates get better with experience. The only way I see this as true is in that you learn to broaden your estimates the more risk that is involved, not that you eventually are able to give accurate and narrow estimates.

draw_down 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because nobody really knows what they are doing.
imichael 1 day ago 0 replies      
To me it all boils down to this: hardware is all about making billions of things, all identical. Software is about building innumerable things on top of that hardware, all different.

What would you like it to do, what can be done, how to do it, how to organize a group of people to do it, how to make sure it works and stays working, it's all creative work and it takes time to do it well.

0xmohit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be tempted to say that a lot depends on being clear on what needs to be achieved. I've personally seen deadlines slip mostly for the lack of clarity on what needs to be done. An analogy might be to say that what was initially described as an elephant turned out to be a giraffe.

Of course, there are instances when the actual approach, implementation or choice of technologies tend to weigh. But the latter is much less frequent.

tsewlliw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why does some software development take so little time?

My suggestion for the answer is that when the goal of the software project is selected carefully in the context of the surrounding ecosystem you can connect a few things and all the real magic was in picking the goal.

When instead you pick the goal and then figure out how to achieve it, who would be surprised that there is often more work involved after picking the goal?

tyingq 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Why does software development take so long?"

I can see this as a valid question for a subset of problems. For example, the basic database CRUD applications that get built over and over.

The closest solutions I've seen were DabbleDB (acquired by Twitter and shuttered) and Quickbase (laudable, but the pricing model doesn't work for many).

keithnz 1 day ago 1 reply      
my real takeaway from this article is the amazing feat of typing at 800 characters a minute!

according to http://smallbusiness.chron.com/good-typing-speed-per-minute-... a good typist does around 335 cpm

so this is way over twice as fast

is this a typo and supposed to be 80? that would be very slow.

wickedlogic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Software development takes a long time because we write code still. Thats essentially the crux of it. Humans then plan/optimize efforts on the wrong layers, and underestimate the cost of updating code over time. Surprisingly so at scale.

The systems that tend to produce the fastest (that also last) results are the one's that give the developer the most control over the environment to get the task done (LISPs). Or one's that generate code for you, and let you deal with abstract flows as the control unit. We don't really use either of those things in industry... but niche segments do to great success.

hex13 1 day ago 1 reply      
It looks for me that despite what author wrote, he WAS indeed in exploratory phase:`So now we have a sequencer device, how do we get events from it? Can we do it in the main loop? Turns out it probably doesn't integrate too well with Qt, (...)`

`My initial thought was making a grid of spinners,(...) but then I realized that there isn't an easy way to make headlines in Qt's grid. (...) So after some searching, I found out that it would be better to have a tree view(...)`

And many similar things. Exploration and technical spikes - nothing wrong with that but author wrote:` It's pretty common to do so if you're in an exploratory phase, but in this case, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do right from the start, and that plan seemed to work. `

and then he contradicted himself writing about various difficulties and explorations... (I don't see anything wrong with that, absolutely. I think that exploratory phase is essential to good design).

ilaksh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why does it need another thread if ALSA uses poll()?
eagsalazar2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buildings are totally different in that they are all, roughly, the same or small variations on the same design. Consequently it is very easy to reuse massive amounts of reusable components in extremely predictable ways and to define standards for review that can be broadly applied across the majority of projects.

This is not the case when builders are doing something that is actually totally novel in that they don't have many existing examples and it is built of entirely custom components. In cases like that it is actually exactly like software in that there is a lot of figuring things out as you go along, schedules are usually laughably off by orders of magnitude, and there are frequently major screw ups (Big dig, Seattle big bertha fiasco, SF Bay Bridge, ... to name a very few)

Of course in software we aren't always reinventing everything as people unfairly complain. We reuse way more than we reinvent - postgres, elixir, phoenix, browsers, OSX, etc, etc, etc represent 1000s of lifetimes of work and the majority of the totality of work behind an actual product.The time we do spend, and consequently the variability in schedule, is due to the fact that most software is actually quite different in its requirements from all previous software and usually previous examples (aka competitors) have not made source code available for reuse.

One huge difference between software development and "custom" building development is that good software developers embrace this variability and uncertainty - hence agile. Most other fields of engineering are still caught in an archaic and delusional world of gantt charts and hard deadlines with feature lists developed by architects. It never works that way insofar as the work is _custom_ - in any field!

The thing I really hate about this conversation is how so many people are so eager to just chalk all this up to software developers being half-assed hacks. Well there are lots of teams at places like HP staffed by only "certified" software engineers and guess what? They still are terrible at predicting outcomes and they are actually far far worst in general at their jobs than small, modern, agile teams who make the best of the chaos by addressing that reality in how they work (again, agile).

This is software development people. It isn't about bad devs and lack of certification, it is just hard.For comparison I did integrated circuit design for 7 years right out of school up through being a lead on multiple larger teams before switching to software. The rigor you perceive in other areas of engineering is a total fantasy. Bridges and buildings are maybe the exception but again this is only possible because it is such a canned art by comparison. If you disagree please just enumerate some specific "building codes" or "certification requirements" that you think would actually make any difference on your average complex software project.

Origami Studio Design Prototyping origami.design
274 points by eknight15  11 hours ago   71 comments top 17
pavlov 8 hours ago 6 replies      
The thing I dislike about most prototyping tools -- and Origami is no exception -- is how so much emphasis is placed on polishing micro-interactions before the app flow is even in place. It's like trying to produce a movie by doing color correction before you even have a screenplay.

The mobile previews from Origami-like tools will show a refined "golden path" through the app with beautiful stock photos in every screen, but more boring use cases tend to be ignored. This tends to lead to usability problems down the road, when users discover those "dead ends" that the design unconsciously avoided.

It's also frustrating for programmers when you are handed a high-gloss prototype that has no relation to the actual platform UI classes and guidelines. Implementing all those fancy little triggered animations takes so much time that no one has time to peek at the iOS guidelines and notice how the design actually breaks 80% of Apple's rules.

Companies like Facebook have enough resources and actual UX competence to get these things right (eventually), but I've seen this happen too many times at smaller agencies and startups.

chridal 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This piece of software is amazing. Great job on this, Facebook! And thanks a lot for open sourcing it. I'd easily have paid a lot of money for this. I was actually looking into Flinto before seeing this. Thanks!
theschwa 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm really curious how this was built. Quartz Composer got a lot of things right, but it's showing it's age. Was this rebuilt from the ground up?
Smirnoff 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I really wish there was a prototyping tool that could serve as a learning tool to jump from being a designer to a programmer.

The problem with tools like Origami (and Framer.js) is that you need to know coding and many designers just don't know it. Thus, they stick with easier solutions like Principle. It would be great if a tool could start off looking like Sketch and slowly become Xcode as I learn more features and become more experienced.

sandGorgon 11 hours ago 2 replies      
i really wonder why facebook did not build something cross platform .. maybe using something like Electron to build something like Figma.com

It would have been brilliant for Linux desktop users.

apercu 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This has popped up as a recommendation for me several times. Each time I spent like 2 minutes looking for non-app examples. Is Origami phone app only, or can you prototype browser/desktop experiences as well?
radley 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The critical issue with prototyping apps is that you're designing for a mythical mobile platform only semi-related to the main two. As such, you end up mastering code, tricks, and techniques for a fake platform when you could've been learning practical fundamentals of UI design directly in Xcode or Android Studio... or both!
praveenster 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks like a very powerful tool just by browsing through the examples for few minutes on the site. Minor issue with the documentation, however, is that there seems to be issues with pages of the site rendering incorrectly on both Safari and Chrome on the iPhone.


luisehk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great, another mac-only prototyping tool.
mschaef 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks cool... but I have to admit I was a twinge disappointed it wasn't software for designing paper-folding origami. :-)
danenania 10 hours ago 1 reply      
For anyone who's used both, how does this compare to Sketch for design and prototyping work?
swsieber 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Brilliant! Flow programming applied to ui state & design.

Edit: And by "Flow programming" I mean something like : http://noflojs.org/

ilolu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it going to be open source by any chance ?
neves 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It is Mac only. If you don't have one, no need to spend time following the link
buckhx 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone have experience with how Origami compares against InVision?
robert_foss 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Is Origami Studio Open Source?
lukeinator42 8 hours ago 0 replies      
haha, from the title I thought this was for prototyping origami designs. It still looks awesome though!
Task_t considered harmful googleprojectzero.blogspot.com
275 points by rivert  1 day ago   80 comments top 11
0x0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Copying my comment from the earlier submission that didn't gain much traction here:

What an absolutely amazing tour-de-force of a devastating design flaw in all versions of macOS and iOS and tvOS and watchOS!

The negotiations detailed in the bug report timeline about meetings between "senior apple and google leadership" for keeping this secret past the general deadline really underlines that.

a-no-n 1 day ago 3 replies      
Ever since installing 10.12.1, I've been having a bunch of processes randomly entering a quasi-paused SIGSTOP-ish state (neither closable, apps not "bouncing" (loading) and just not responding. Running Instruments, correlating logs and such doesn't identify any clear cause. I'm having to `sudo kill -CONT -1` in order to get things moving again. I'm wondering if it's related to XNU mitigations or just some spurious "system configuration entropy" on my box.
softawre 1 day ago 1 reply      
drinchev 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm still with 10.11. I don't plan to update soon, since the benefit of Siri, Photos and the other major features is quite small, compared to the risk that I might loose working days if something goes wrong ( I'm a freelancer ).

As far as I read in the article there will be 10.12.1 ( the final fix ) which will have that part of the kernel refactored. I hope Apple will also support 10.11 and issue an update with the same fix.

amluto 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would argue that the original underlying problem here is the idea that having execve() increase privilege is acceptable. It's necessary for legacy reasons (sudo, anyone?), but even then, it's barely necessary. "sudo foo" could be implemented by asking a privileged daemon to run foo and handing off access to the console to the daemon.

On Linux, you can do PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS to turn off this type of privilege gain, and it's even required for certain purposes. I would love to see someone develop a distribution that enables no_new_privs for all processes.

empath75 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain what this means for the end user?
tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bug 1: Many XNU drivers save task_t's on the heap without bumping their refcount.

 1. Attacker creates process A and B 2. B->A send task port Bt 3. A->XNU request IOKit framebuffer client for Bt 4. A ditches Bt, retains client 5. Kill B; Bt in client now dangling 6. Trigger creation of privileged C, unrelated to A & B 7. C inherits memory once used by Bt 8. A use retained framebuffer client to write C's memory
What's important to understand is that this is not just a single UAF, but a pattern of UAFs scattered throughout XNU.

Fix: at step 3, check to make sure the task being given to IOKit is owned by the task making the IOKit request.

Bug 2: IOKit drivers cache task details on their stack; the lifetime of that cached task is the lifetime of the IOKit kernel object, not of the program that made the request. In particular: if you execve() an SUID, the task_t is repurposed.

 1. Attacker creates process A and B 2. B->XNU request IOKit framebuffer for Bt, Bc 3. B->A send client Bc 4. B execve /bin/su. B is now running as root. 5. A use retained framebuffer client to write B's memory
The tricky thing here is that this isn't just one bug, but a pattern of bugs: every place where a driver stashes a task_t on the heap and exposes functionality through a passable object is a place where colluding processes can potentially take advantage of SUIDs to raise privileges.

Fix: Lifetime of IOKit clients now tied to lifetime of creating process.

Bug 3: Even if a driver doesn't save a task_t on the heap, they're saved on the stack during the servicing of system calls and kernel mach message handlers, so there are race conditions.

 1. Attacker creates process A and B 2. B->A send task port Bt 3a. A->XNU task_threads(Bt), retrieving thread ports for Bt 3b. (simultaneously) execve /bin/su. B is now running as root. 4a. task_threads converts Bt to a task_t 4b. execve modifies the same task_t to replace thread ports 4c. task_threads retrieves the (now privileged) thread ports. 5. A uses thread ports to overwrite registers and take control of B.
Fix: Kernel objects now check to see if a task_t has been touched by execve before returning them to userland. Even if you win the race, that failsafe prevents the kernel from giving you privileged objects.

Bug 4: You don't need the kernel to give you a privileged object directly; all you need is to be able to influence a privileged object.

 1. Attacker creates process A and B 2. B->A send task port Bt 3a. A->XNU task_set_exception_port(Bt), wiring A to B's exceptions 3b. (simultaneously) execve /bin/su with rlimited stack. B is now running as root, briefly. 4a. task_set_exception_port converts Bt to a task_t 4b. execve modifies the same task_t to replace thread ports 4c. task_set_exception_port rewrites the exception port. 5. stack access in B, running /bin/su as root, causes a SEGV 6. XNU generates an exception message, passing with it the thread ports, to A 7. A uses thread ports to overwrite registers and take control of B.
Fix: table flip. Rewrite execve so it generates entirely new task_ts when loading binaries, rather than repurposing old task_t.

This is all pretty magnificent. What's best about it is that it totally justifies the title of the post: pretty much every place in XNU where they save a task_t creates a TOCTTOU bug.

EGreg 1 day ago 1 reply      
d_rc 1 day ago 3 replies      
sildur 1 day ago 1 reply      
saynsedit 1 day ago 1 reply      
The sad reality is that black hats have been exploiting this class of bugs for years.
Wikipedia is fixing one of the Internets biggest flaws washingtonpost.com
262 points by The_ed17  2 days ago   265 comments top 40
stcredzero 2 days ago 8 replies      
We might once have dreamed that the miracle of cheap, instant communication would knit society together. The reality has been closer to the opposite.

Once again, Douglas Adams turns out to be prophetic.

"Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."

In the sentence before, he also predicted his friend Richard Dawkins' books:

"Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the theme of his best-selling book, Well That About wraps It Up For God.


bjourne 2 days ago 4 replies      
In most political topics on Wikipedia, you have a consensus because those who do not agree with it are quickly booted.

It works like this. Most of the time most editors are polite, but sometimes you get frustrated and are not. You might not write "fuck you fucking nazi-lover!" or something extreme, but something like "your opinion is idiotic!" or "you don't know what you're talking about here..." It happens everyone. However, if you don't agree with the "consensus" every little outburst will cost you much more. A newbie will be banned for much smaller infractions than a regular.

So, if you are having an argument with someone who is a "respectable editor" or "valuable contributor" in the community, they can and will be quite rude to you but you must not pay back in kind because you will be banned.

There are also intricate rules governing "reverting". Reverting means you are undoing someones changes and I can say from experience that having your edits reverted can be frustrating. I don't know exactly what the rules are but they seem to be effectively that the more "respectable" you are, the more you can revert your opponents edits.

This power imbalance can be seen all over Wikipedia if you look for it. Many articles have editors that consider themselves the "owner" of that article. The way they have written the article is the best way and they don't see their own NPOV violations (Wikipedia term for writing biased texts). Sometimes the talk pages and their archives contain dozens of comments from anonymous ip users raising issues with the article and they are all refuted by the owner. They don't have the endurance or enough standing in the Wikipedia community to fight so they give up and find more constructive things to spend their time on.

amadsen 2 days ago 3 replies      
'In a draft paper published last week, Shane Greenstein and his colleagues Feng Zhu and Yuan Gu found that over the years, individuals who edit political articles on Wikipedia seem to grow less biased their contributions start to contain noticeably fewer ideologically-charged statements.

We thought this was quite striking, said Greenstein, a professor at Harvard Business School. The most slanted Wikipedia editors tend to become more moderate over time.'

Uh yeah maybe because the people in question grew older? Many of them may have joined wikipedia in their teens or early twenties and like so many others in that age group had quite raical political views and like so many others become more moderate as they mature and learn more about the world.

wallace_f 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you read this carefully, you can see something quite ironic about this article:

The article's argument is: "Something's terribly wrong with the internet." Evidence provided for something wrong was three pro-Trump comments about an anti-Trump article. The article then suggests "recent research from Harvard Business School suggests that Wikipedia has become increasingly balanced in the course of its 15-year history."

So, the internet is biased, and people are uncivil. Wikipedia is civil and not biased; here are some points to learn from them.

The irony is that the article itself is no shining beacon of neutrality because it provides an anti-Trump and anti-alt right narrative. Any right-leaning comments must be fixed by editors, but left-leaning comments 'fix themselves over time.'

Instead of the article making a sound argument for neutrality, it does nothing of the sort.

Disclaimer: criticism of the DNC, media and Clinton != support for Trump. I do not support Trump.

This article is masterfully written, but it's not very pure in its intentions.

jcoffland 2 days ago 2 replies      
> By looking for these kinds of partisan idioms in Wikipedia articles, the Harvard researchers could determine whether the text sounded more like the product of a Republican or a Democrat. They were also able to document how the articles evolved over time.

Another explanation that fits the results of this study is that the popular party idioms changed over time. As the old idioms were replaced by new ones this analysis made the Wikipedia pages and editors appear to become less biased.

throwaway420 2 days ago 6 replies      
Look at the utter contempt that the Washington Post is displaying for free individuals here. They refer to comments sections, where actual human beings who are not paid and bought for by corporate interests get to voice their opinions, as cesspools. What arrogance on their part!

Yeah, you'll see some ugly comments on all kinds of social media once in a while, but seeing an uncouth phrase or three is absolutely nothing compared to the WAR PROPAGANDA on behalf of the military industrial complex that leads to the deaths of thousands and thousands. So yeah, I'll take the cesspool of a comment section where I might see some truth every time over bought and paid for presstitutes, which we all know as absolute and undeniable fact now from Wikileaks.

redthrowaway 2 days ago 1 reply      
Never thought I'd see WP talk pages held up as an example of civility. They certainly weren't when I was there. AN/I, ArbCom, flame wars a plenty.
mrcactu5 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Internet is dotted with cesspools, also known as comments sections

Comments sections are also extremely REVEALING... It seems we are getting a theory of why public opinion is so moderate -- it's not just one opinion. It's half of people expressing one view, the other half expressing another view. The version on Wikipedia is effectively the average between the two.

The history sections of wikipedia document this process in action. A lot of the things I look at are pretty dead but I am often impressed when a crappy wikipedia page and a few months later the page has really excellent discussion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_triple and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem

basch 2 days ago 2 replies      
Most of the debate on wikipedia is regarding which rules to apply soasto prevent people from submitting edits.
empath75 2 days ago 3 replies      
> Go to any article and visit the talk tab. More often than not, you'll find a somewhat orderly debate, even on contentious topics like Hillary Clinton's e-mails or Donald Trump's sexual abuse allegations.

Oh, for the really good talk sections, you need to look at anything vaguely related to Macedonia:


kseifried 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why for CVE's assigned via the Distributed Weakness Filing (DWF) Project I require a copy of the artifact, the reality is your website might go away, or get lost at sea, or deleted, or whatever. For information supporting CVE identifiers it's a super huge pain in the ass when the website/document disappears.
vonklaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think the "internet's biggest flaw" is that it allows for free, unmoderated speech.

> Whats even more interesting is that Wikipedia seems to exert a moderating influence on its contributors.

This is a great concept, but usually is horrible in practice. It says that wikipedia was partisan and quite left, and has since become more balanced. However, this illustrates a positive outcome of a dangerous potential. This model works much worse for less authoritative sites, but I personally do not believe wikipedia should moderate based on anything other than "truth". Regardless, this is extremely subjective and difficult to do. I think it is working at wikipedia (compared to other places) and am optimistic, but I have seen this go wrong so many times.

MollyR 2 days ago 0 replies      
After all the replication failures, poor statistics, and more in the social sciences.I am skeptical of this.
hardwaresofton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one that actually finds immense value in the comments sections of different sites on the internet? Obviously there's some sifting to do (inflammatory comments that are meant to be nothing but inflammatory should just be ignored), but I come to the internet to interact with people, not just seek out knowledge. I find things like hn (or reddit) hivemind immensely fascinating, almost like a shared consciousness.

I like the comments sections. I often go there for a chuckle, or to see what other people think. Yeah, some people use that opportunity to troll, or say hurtful things or whatever, but that's what the world is, I'd rather never forget that. I also don't want everyone to mellow to the same position and then everyone holds the same (possibly wrong) position forever, that sounds like a bland existence.

Free discourse is not a flaw, it's a feature.

maxt 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is why I quite admire initiatives like Hypothesis[1] where we can annotate the web by overlaying an abstraction on top of it which can give a page more depth and context.

Similar projects like the Genius web annotator[2] tries to achieve the same.

It doesn't mean the commenters (or annotators) will be any less mean, but it certainly is preferable to a Disqus widget dangling on the end of a page, or the default Wordpress commenting engine which allows seemingly anyone to comment regardless of whether they signed up or not.

[1]: http://hypothes.is/

[2]: https://genius.com/web-annotator

exstudent2 2 days ago 0 replies      
First sentence:

> The Internet is dotted with cesspools, also known as comments sections.

Comment sections are the only thing keeping a check on publications like the Washington Post. Whether they're on-site or off-site (like what you're reading now on HN), they're invaluable. Sure, not all of the audience with an opinion will be politically correct, but I value the commentary of a piece as much or more as the piece itself. Especially when it's something purely opinion based like this one.

abalashov 2 days ago 0 replies      
The main skillin short supplythat Wikipedia fosters is to look at things from varying points of view, through a kind of detached pseudoprofessionalism.

Because the function of Wikipedia is to exhibit different viewpoints (where applicable) rather than to convince anyone of them, it's much easier to step into a relativistic, descriptive mindset, rather than a prescriptive one.

stirner 1 day ago 1 reply      
A centrist argument is not necessarily correct. There are many more dimensions to ideology than the left/right spectrum.


tangerine_beet 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm wondering how popular media sites could apply to their comments sections some of the things Wikipedia is doing. For example, imagine commenters divided into two opposing camps over a controversial issue discussed in a news report. A separate discussion is organized to create a report on the issue using the Wikipedia process and rules. Any commenter can contribute, and it is guided by (perhaps volunteer) editors. Such reports then get aggregated in a separate section of the site...

Could something like this actually 1) create value for the media by engaging users and generating content 2) elevate the discourse between readers and 3) actually make the media less biased over time as it is repeatedly called out for partisan slant in its editorial and reporting?

jimmaswell 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a subreddit of people who think Wikipedia operates with large-scale bias by the administration. https://www.reddit.com/r/WikiInAction/
thesz 2 days ago 3 replies      
If I may weigh in, the "cocoon" that is so scorned by many, is a feature.

It allows people to actually get things done. It allows them to spend less thought on the topics that are not concerned them in their day lives and spend more on their... day lives!

Basically, if you want people to go out of their cocoons, make their life easier. Otherwise, the fight is futile.

omouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
>In a draft paper published last week, Shane Greenstein and his colleagues Feng Zhu and Yuan Gu found that over the years, individuals who edit political articles on Wikipedia seem to grow less biased their contributions start to contain noticeably fewer ideologically-charged statements.

This seems obvious: as you are exposed to more points of view, you start to develop your own nuanced view of the world. At a certain point you feel okay with reading FOX News because you would like to see how other people think and it trains you to see the logical fallacies and biases.

kristofferR 2 days ago 0 replies      
The title of this piece makes no sense. How are the talk pages on Wikipedia supposedly going to fix the vicious comment sections on the internet?
clusmore 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think one of the interesting consequences of the echo chamber that social networks create is that everybody thinks they are in the majority. For example, if you view the comments on political pages, you'll often see conflicting claims that "the majority of people think X". I think each person making these claims genuinely feel that they are in the majority because their echo chamber distorts the proportion of supporting voices, and then you see comments like "who are all these people who voted for Y?"

Edit to add: I think the problem is not only that people don't see views other than their own, but that they become unaware that other views even exist.

dsfyu404ed 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's possible that highly biased editors drifting toward center is just another instance of "a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth" where the lie is the opposing ideology that one must read in order to edit.
drxyzzy 2 days ago 0 replies      
The internet is a large, evolving cognitive system. Present information flow, riddled as it is with disinformation, faulty reasoning, and category errors, might be comparable to disorganization in the minds of individual creatures during early development.
artcodedata 1 day ago 0 replies      
The search for an unique , single truth is the mentality that destroy ancient ruins and burn books, no matter if it's coming from Wikipedia, Trump supporters or BLM all of them are valid. And that's Wikipedia's biggest flaw, their system can only handle one version of truth. A more complex system would be able to handle more than one version of the truth.
matthewmorgan 1 day ago 0 replies      
'Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you're bound to be OK, because you're safely in the moral majority.' --Christopher Hitchens

Well worth a watch imho https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4hqFvXm57M

fulafel 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's disingenious to apply a methodology designed to find out "republican" and "democratic" positions to Wikipedia, and then draw conclusions about how objectively biased the content is, especially since the center in US politics is so right-leaning in the global context.
pixelbill 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why have there been so many washingtonpost articles lately? Pretty annoying to those who don't want to deal with paywalls to get their news.
webwanderings 2 days ago 0 replies      
The real problem with the comments on the Internet, is of logistics of huge number, and lack of human ability to process them at scale. Just look at any of the popular HN threads. You cannot expect anyone to be reading all the comments when they show up in large numbers under one thread. The rest of everything else is secondary.
zer0gravity 2 days ago 1 reply      
This article is hardly about Wikipedia. You can feel the electoral smell from a mile away.
cooper12 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a Wikipedia editor, I think this can mostly be attested to the site's policy on maintaining a neutral point of view. [0] Over time you learn to watch out for certain words [1] and you can sniff out things that were copied verbatim or written in a improper tone. In terms of discussions, personal attacks are discouraged [2] and there's a strong focus on providing reliable sources, [3] so discussion often shifts to discussing those instead. Off-topic discussion is also commonly removed [4] and there are avenues for dispute resolution. [5] Of course you'll still find plenty of heated disputes and some biased articles, but the project is a work in progress after all. I think the most important factor is that there are people of different viewpoints willing to work together to integrate them in a way to best give weight to them rather than creating content forks. (this is why conservapedia is doing so bad) [6] You can't fix bias by creating an echo chamber or pretending it isn't there, but rather by keeping an open mind and welcoming those who think differently.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_vie...

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Word...

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks

[3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable...

[4]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines

[5]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution

[6]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Content_forking

notliketherest 2 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone read the comments section below a DrudgeReport linked article? Oh my god you will lose your faith in humanity.
devheart 2 days ago 0 replies      
Use Infogalactic instead.
pastProlog 2 days ago 0 replies      
From 1933 to 1953, the Democratic party held the presidency in the United States. Twenty years out of power is said to have been one of the factors leading to McCarthyism. McCarthy called it "20 years of treason" (then once he started fighting Eisenhower he started talking about 21 years of treason). Republicans began accusing the entire Democratic establishment of being KGB spies. The head of the John Birch Society thought this was a foregone conclusion, he wrote a book about how the Republican establishment including Eisenhower were all KGB spies.

This cold war paranoia and political shift is all over Wikipedia. The faintest accusation of someone back then is all over their Wikipedia article. Much of the Democratic and liberal establishment from 1932-1952 is said to be Soviet spies on Wikipedia, and as far as I know, 100% of people who had questions about the Cold war. I don't know one liberal from that period who was more skeptical of the Cold war than Truman (who launched the Truman Doctrine in March 1947, then became involved in the Korean war) who is not accused of being a Soviet spy.

I wish I could remember the whole list. The article for journalist I. F. Stone. The article for treasury official Harry Dexter White. Commerce department official and later author Harry Magdoff. Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Lee who had the misfortune of being acquainted with the kooky, flighty Elizabeth Bentley. In the light of all of these, the article for secretary of state Dean Acheson all but accuses him of being pro-communist.

The "China hands" like Owen Lattimore (being accused of being an agent of the Chinese wouldn't do, so he was accused of being a Soviet agent). John S. Service who had the misfortune to be assigned to the Dixie Mission while working for the Foreign Service. Actually the article on China hand Theodore H. White manages to have been relatively unscathed by the crazies.

I'm sure there were some Russian spies in the US in the 1940s, and some American spies in Russia. Wikipedia still has this McCarthyist idea spread out over the high officials of that time were all KGB spies. Forget about anyone to the left of the 1947 Truman Doctrine to fight the Greek left, they're almost automatically concluded to be communist spies.

Then it's proffered that Venona proves all these people as spies. But Venona has code names, not names. Venona says something like "Agent TREE met us in Central Park in May 8, 1948". As so-and-so lived in New York in 1948, the editors use that fact to link a codename to a name. Venona is said to prove every accusation, but it does not. Most of the people who it does seem to confirm were European emigrees and people in the communist party orbit. Not the liberal WASPs in the Democratic establishment who are accused of being Soviet spies.

The Wikipedia articles on various Democratic officials in the 1930s and 1940s are really nuts. Even a neutral article like the Theodore White one has to mention that he was suspected to be a communist spy at one time.

triplesec 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure your single variable alternative explanation of this effect warrants such a dismissive tone to the hypothesis in the article. Using such rhetoric is Truthy, by being plausible and socially and rhetorically effective without being backed up by any research or even data. Claiming you have greater expertise through attempted ridicule of the original is not a valid argument. Such a rhetorical tactic likely has a fallacy named after it. (Any debaters here cars to chime in? )

What are your justifications for your beliefs, and how are they superior to those in the article?

libeclipse 2 days ago 3 replies      
Apparently AMP prevents the Google trick of being able to bypass paywalls. Can someone post the gist of the article here?
sickbeard 2 days ago 0 replies      
sorry I can't take someone/entity seriously when they claim the internet's biggest flaw is shit-posting, or free expression as I call it.
Hotel CEO celebrates higher prices in NYC after anti-Airbnb law passes washingtonpost.com
212 points by applecore  1 day ago   220 comments top 31
keepper 1 day ago 6 replies      
I love AirBnB, and have used them many times. But in the case of NYC, AirBnB brought this wholly on themselves.

They knew landlords were running whole buildings in nyc as pseudo hotels, and they did little until now. [1]

They knew individuals were renting whole apartments 100% of the time, and did nothing.[2]

They refused to give data to the attorney general, and instead, mounted an AD campaign.[3]

Only after they were harshly penalized, did they promise to clamp down on the actual abuses.[4]

So they willingly let their customers break the law, because nyc is their biggest market, and well, now want to play the victim.

The spirit of AirBnB and the "sharing" economy is to share under utilized housing. Not to create illegal hotels.

[1] http://gothamist.com/2014/10/16/airbnb_illegal_rapacious.php

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-07/wooing-go...

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/airbnb-refuses-to-give-user-d...[4]http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/technology/airbnb-proposes...

dogma1138 1 day ago 3 replies      
Higher hotel prices are not necessarily bad, especially for the local residents.

I had an Airbnb spawn across the mews behind my building they have a pretty large open balcony and there were parties literally every night during the summer here in London, they stopped only fairly recently when the season changed and I'm expecting the hell to resume when we get closer to the holiday season.

Across the street on the front of my building there is a pretty nice hotel (actually there are a few of them on the street and around it) and they are quiet because the hotel staff keeps the guests behaved.After 10 PM you'll see the porter or the front desk telling guests to be quiet even if they are talking on their phone a tad too loud while having a smoke.

And as far as calling the cops goes, this doesn't work, noise complaints especially on the weekend are pretty low priority I'm hardly the only one bothered by it and it's pretty futile.

Before that there were about 3-4 weeks of an Airbnb in my actual building, it's a small mid 19th century building with only 6 flats and there were tons of complaints including loss of mail and packages so the trust that owns the building had a vote and banned short term rental.

linkregister 1 day ago 3 replies      
I found this law problematic because it was written to make enforcement easy, not to address actual issues with serial short-term renting. The intent of the law was to bring serial short-term rented units back into the market for long-term renters. The intended outcome was to make more housing available for prospective renters and to reduce nuisances involved with serial short-term renters.

The outcome is to further sclerotize and limit the rental market. Now students cannot effectively sublet their apartments on Craigslist while out on summer break or study abroad, for a summer intern working at a company in the city. Now a couple can't rent out their apartment for the week while they go to Disneyworld.

To some degree I have fallen for the populist message in this article; the hoteliers are clearly reaping the most benefits from this legislation. However, in the long term, everyone in the city is harmed by unnecessarily restrictive laws.

The outcome is going to be a drive of this activity underground, as we have seen in alcohol prohibition and the formerly wild west of off-meter (or "gypsy") cabs in NYC. At least with Airbnb, there was a rating system and an escalation/authentication path.

Airbnb's failure was twofold: that of not spending as much capital and time as Uber/Lyft in changing the minds of lawmakers; and failing to address the targets of the legislation: serial short-term landlords. If Airbnb had addressed this issue, the hoteliers would not have had an argument for the public benefit.

qq66 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of course a hotel CEO will celebrate an anti-AirBnb law, and of course the Airbnb CEO will celebrate an anti-hotel law. That doesn't make either one a bad law. The law is supposed to serve the best interest of the public, and yes, someone will benefit and be happy about that.
qdog 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm sure the hotels will charge as much as possible, but since they pay taxes that assumably (since it was illegal) AirBnB hosts didn't, sounds like a win for the City Government of NY.

Just an observation, I don't really have much of an opinion either way. I currently live next to a couple resory rentals and depending on the people it can be between "not noticeable" and "Holy crap, I wish those drunk idiots would shut up and go to bed". Since there are multiple issues on all sides, they might need some zoning for "short-stay resort" dwellings, so people can choose to live in a possible party place or not. Might also give renters some piece of mind, ala the A ratings restaurants have to post.

davidf18 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is one CEO with one 800 bed hotel and 3 < 200 bed hotels speaking this way.

As a NYC resident, we don't want transients living in our buildings. There are safety issues for children, the elderly, an women, as well as potential theft. Many buildings are doormen to keep transients out.

There are $60 hotel rooms in Union City, NJ (according to Priceline) which is about 15 minutes by transit away from Times Square, the center of tourism in NYC. These Union City hotel rooms are closer to Times Square than a number of NYC hotels.

throwaway455 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really don't like the image of AirBnb. They seem to think they can do whatever they like and get away with, like they should get special treatment because they are billionaires. I'm honestly happy to see them get crushed by the US government. It's good to see them put in their place. Just like how the US government did with MSFT back in the late 90s
pbae 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reading these comments reminds me of the AirBnB ad I saw on twitter. Clicked through and sure enough, every single response was railing against AirBnB. Had a good chuckle at how AirBnB paid for an ad-hoc localized forum for people to complain about them.
diogenescynic 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd rather have insignificantly higher hotel prices and lower housing prices. It's a fair trade off.
guelo 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems desirable from the perspective of NYC renters. Supply will shift from the hotel market to the long term rental market which should lower rent prices.
vkou 1 day ago 1 reply      
Meanwhile, renters celebrate slower price growth, because they no longer have to compete against AirBnBers renting out apartments for twice their market value?
robg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps it's me living in an area that used to be mostly boarding houses, but I do understand the concerns that hotels and homes have different impacts on a neighborhood and community. Zoning laws exist for that reason and many, many others.

What am I missing here?

rdlecler1 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no free lunch. In low vacancy market with a large amount of tourism if you divert housing stock to vacation rental, then housing prices go up and vacation rental goes down. This means that the cities poor are subsidizing a more affluent tourist (or business traveler).
lonelyw0lf 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The truth is Airbnb should have been nothing more than a hotel room marketplace like booking.com - instead they used this "innovative" but completely illegal way of booking "rooms". If all the hotels did the same and stopped registering, paying for licenses, inspections, maintaining safety standards etc. I am sure they could easily undercut airbnb.
danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an expected headline/occurrence, but it shouldn't be what happens to sway one's opinion about the legislation. A hotel exec saying anything about business is news. What is the potential for a news org to write about the person who had a slightly easier time finding an affordable rent, which is the ostensible purpose of this bill?

It's not much different than when an executive politician stonewalls on prison reform. Willie Horton happened 30 years ago and he still hangs like a specter over the justice system. What about the thousands of released prisoners we never hear about because, if we haven't heard about them, they probably went on to live normal, non-imprisoned lives, as criminal justice reform intended.

hueving 1 day ago 1 reply      
Market incumbent celebrates new market participant being kicked out? Color me shocked!
peg_leg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Affordable housing > low hotel prices. In Traverse City, Michigan we are facing a drought of affordable housing. Low rent spare rooms are being rented out on AirBNB et. al. for more money and because of that those rooms aren't available for service workers and students. The most unwelcome side effect of this is that several businesses could not open this year for lack of labor and many others operated below capacity for the same reason.
pmiller2 1 day ago 0 replies      
He didn't need to say it. It was obvious the hotel industry was going to react this way, due to there being less supply, and, presumably, approximately the same amount of demand for temporary lodging in NYC.
joshuak 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've only had good experiences with AirBnB. Almost exclusively the issue here seems to be guest partying and abuse of the property. Is this really true? How is it the guest rating system doesn't quickly eliminate guests that cause problems?

Who is doing so much partying? Where did these people come from? Where do they normally party before AirBnb?

downandout 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, the Washington Post is now ignoring Google's cloaking rules and putting up their paywall even when clicking from Google if you've gone over their "free article limit" for the month. I've reported them to Google, here's hoping they get deindexed.
thekevan 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the article:

"Renting out an entire apartment for less than 30 days has been illegal under New York law for the last six years, but the rules were not enforced until very recently (Renting out a single room is legal)."

So what if you rented out one bedroom of an apartment on Airbnb and the living room and kitchen were public areas? Public because your spouse rented out the bathroom for the first 15 days of each moth for a dollar and let's say one of your parents rented it our for the remaining days of that month.

You divulge this to each Airbnb guest but tell them, "don't worry, the other occupant doesn't have plans to stop by during your stay and if they are not on premise in the room they reserved, you are free to make short term usage of it." The wink and nod will be implied.

lbenes 1 day ago 2 replies      
The majority of AirBnB hosts are individuals just trying to make some extra money. The lobbyies are claiming these units prevent the homeless from finding homes. How about the people that avoid becoming homeless by AirBnB'ing one of their rooms?

The hypocrisy in this situation is mind blowing. Thanks to Citizen's United, corporates are protected and allowed unlimited money for lobbying as Freedom of Speech. But when the individual wants to advertise a room in their private home, the government censors that speech?

This is just another example of how our Democracy has been hijacked by lobbyists. Neither Clinton, nor Trump, not even Bernie Sanders could cleanse this rot from our democracy. The only way I see for us to take it back is with a Constitutional Amendment ending this legalized bribery. The group that's making the most progress towards this goal is Wolf-PAC. You can read more about it and help with the cause here:


yuhong 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder what would happen if there was a spot and contract market for housing like there is for DRAM.
rb808 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is pretty circular that NYC has started putting up homeless people in hotels. Without ABnB maybe tourists can start staying back in the hotels and the homeless people can rent the apartments.
PaulHoule 1 day ago 2 replies      
High hotel prices are a real downside to business in NYC.

In Los Angeles (and most other U.S. cities) you can find a place that is pretty nice around $120 a night. In NYC you are talking about at least twice that.

supercanuck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there just a study that AirBnB consumes excess demand anyway?

Doesn't that mean the Hotel CEO should've been able to raise prices anyway, regardless of AirBnB?

JDiculous 1 day ago 0 replies      
First of all I want to say that this regulation, like most regulations of these nature, will do very little if anything to combat the affordable housing crisis in NYC. There's a severe non-luxury housing shortage. The solution is to build more non-luxury housing.

Regarding the regulation, it's well-meaning but poorly designed, broadly punishing anyone who wants to sublet their whole apartment for <30 days. I subletted my room multiple times at my last NYC apartment while I was on vacation. It was nice to make side income on a room that would've been vacant anyways, while allowing tourists (one of which became a good friend of mine) to visit NYC without paying the outrageous hotel prices here (yesterday I was looking for a hotel for the same night, the cheapest I could find would've cost $350, most were going for $450+).

I get it, we want to punish landlords who turn apartments into illegal hotels. Then why don't we simply target landlords renting out apartments that aren't their primary residences instead of painting broad strokes and making it illegal for me to make some extra income off of my vacant room while I'm on vacation, or sublet a place for 10 days while I look for a more permanent accomodation? These regulations are lazy and inefficient, causing unnecessary negative distortions to the market.

But before I come off as sounding really pro AirBnB, AirBnB has absolutely terrible customer service and a pretty steep fee (6-12% for the guest, 3% for the host), and thus I'm really hoping a competitor will step in to break this monopoly and force them to get their act together.

A couple months ago after my lease ended I decided to try living on AirBnB full-time, switching apartments every month. It worked out for the first two stays, but three days ago I ended up in a disgusting apartment with no internet connection and a different room that I had booked for 30 days.

Immediately I contacted AirBnB, and since then I've wasted an extraordinary amount of time over the phone/email with them trying to get them to simply cancel my reservation and refund me for the time I won't be staying there. After over 24 hours of this, they closed my case and offered me a $100 refund, telling me I'd need to accept this measly offer within 24-hours or get nothing (I paid over $1,600 for the reservation). Had to keep calling and eventually was able to escalate it to a supervisor, but right now three days after my initial contact with AirBnB, the reservation has been cancelled but there's still no word regarding any refund.

TLDR: This regulation is too broad and not targeted enough, but AirBnB has terrible customer service so it's hard for me to feel sorry for them and I wouldn't recommend them for long-term stays.

jbverschoor 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's a pretty shitty way of celebrating....
vowelless 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious, why did the author use the word "celebrate"?
godzillabrennus 1 day ago 8 replies      
DominikR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guess Airbnb did not do what most industrials do - bribe the politicians. In societies where large parts of the economy are either owned by the government or directed through regulations the only way to advance is to corrupt public officials.

But when arguing from a principled position that views freedom as the highest value one can possess it is very hard to come up with a consistent and valid argument why private persons should not be allowed to rent out their property in the same way that "legal" hotels do.

Safety regulations are often cited but why shouldn't a place be good enough for a guest while it is good enough for local people living there? And why should a guest not be able to decide for him or herself if it's acceptable to stay there? (with Airbnb you'll actually get a much nicer place for the same money, especially in NY "legal" hotel owners got away with charging $250 for flea infested 2 star s* holes due to low competition)

Then there's the argument that properties rented out at Airbnb are generally advertised as great for parties. This is not true, anyone who has used this platform will know that these people offering their place go to great lengths to ensure that their guests wont do that. And even if they did, there are ways for neighbours to get reparations for damages, both from the guests (the law of the land applies to them too!) and the person renting out the place.

To me all of this sounds like politicians who are in the pocket of a certain industry ruling in favour of the same industry. This is similar to what is happening to Uber.

One thing is for sure: By suppressing competition in this way the government effectively creates an Aristocracy where everything is rigged against the average person.

Another angle to look at this issue: If you can't use your property in a way that doesn't harm anyone, like renting it to someone, is it then still _your_ property?

Images of New MacBook Pro with Magic Toolbar Leaked in MacOS Sierra 10.12.1 macrumors.com
248 points by coloneltcb  2 days ago   575 comments top 70
hn_user2 2 days ago 16 replies      
I'm really surprised by the negative reactions to the context bar. Does everyone really have memorized what all 12 function keys do in every app they use? I think this could tremendously help usability for pretty much every application other than my IDE, since I do have those memorized.

Being able to hit a function key without looking? I may be able to to touch type. But I've never trusted myself to hit a function key blindly.

I will say. Stepping through code could be difficult. Where I repeatedly am stepping over lines while looking at the screen. I imagine my finger could drift. Couldn't say without using it, but I imagine I would keep one finger on a number to ground my hand while tapping step over or step in.

madmax108 2 days ago 7 replies      
Another example of Apple trying to please the masses but pushing over developers. It's silly to think that the function keys and the ESC keys are used so little that they can be removed altogether. Agree with others in the discussion that such touch sensitive regions are largely useless besides the bling factor.

Also, what about the controls like screen and keyboard brightness or volume controls? Where do those go to?

I use a Macbook Pro 2015 and I don't think I'll be upgrading to the new one, especially if the specs are nearly similar.

Why Apple, Why do you insist on going against the standards on practically EVERYTHING? There has to be some method behind the madness.

davesque 2 days ago 11 replies      
Unfortunately, it looks a bit like they're going with the ultra-low key travel keyboards on these new models. Very disappointed to see this. I don't understand why Apple thinks its users want this.
suprgeek 2 days ago 3 replies      
Multiple puzzling decisions -

1) The Esc and the Space keys are the two I most often use without looking - now I have to f*ing look down to hit esc?

2)What about a hard boot? Is the power key now a soft key as well? Non-removable battery and a soft reboot key do not make a good mix

3) Key press and travel distance look to be shallow - not a very satisfying experience

4) Please don't make it any thinner at the expense of ports or battery life

5) The charging port is no longer Magsafe

All in all seems a bit more gimmicky and "change for change's sake" rather than a solid upgrade

ssijak 2 days ago 3 replies      
So much complaining about something that we didn't even yet seen in action. Guys from Apple are not that stupid to remove f1-12 keys and put something completely useless and UX unfriendly, give them a chance of showing it first and then complain.And all the other talk about ports, magsafe and other stuff that are just guesses, why do you complain about something that is not even confirmed?
jvehent 2 days ago 7 replies      
Lenovo tried this in the 2nd generation of the carbon X1 and swiftly went back to the traditional F keys in gen 3. I had to use one of those for a short while, it was highly unpleasant.


rcthompson 2 days ago 5 replies      
I once owned a Dell laptop that used a strip of touch-sensitive regions for volume and media control. In practice they were completely useless, because without looking, it just felt like one continuous bar with nothing differentiating the buttons, so the lack of any tactile feedback made it impossible to use those "buttons" without looking at them. In my 4 years of owning that laptop, I was never able to build any muscle memory for hitting those buttons. I'm worried that the same will be true of this magic toolbar.
0mp 2 days ago 9 replies      
I wonder if the lack of the Escape button will force Vim users to start using Control-[ instead.
rayiner 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've had Macbooks for about a decade, and I'm excited about these changes. The OLED bar is kind of gimmicky, but OS X apps (unlike Windows ones), don't really use the function keys much. The MB keyboard is good--what it lacks in key travel it more than makes up for in key stability. Also, good riddance to Magsafe. The worst part of the Macbook experience is Apple's incredibly fragile and shitty chargers/cables. Being able to use off-the-shelf braided USB-C cables is going to be awesome.
frou_dh 2 days ago 4 replies      
The hardware 'Esc' key has got the boot. Controversy incoming.
synaesthesisx 2 days ago 4 replies      
Why does Apple still insist on such large bezels when the industry is shifting away from those for displays?

Rather than potentially usable display area we have more large bezels, yet again.

Take the 12" Mac for instance - Apple had no problem shrinking the bottom half of the computer yet retained the large bezels, whereas they could've utilized the area to place a larger display panel in while retaining the same footprint. The resulting incongruence looks odd IMO.

Mockup of what I think the display should look like:https://i.imgur.com/BypLsSl.jpg

yladiz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't mind this too much, although I do use the escape key a lot while programming or doing other things, so that will take some getting used to if I end up going with that new form factor (and if they don't release a laptop that has physical keys there as well). In fact, if they do provide tactile sensations ala the keyboard in the MacBook or the TouchID sensor in the iPhone 7, it might be better because the keys can be visually mapped.

I'm unsure if they're removing the other ports, such as MagSafe and the SD card port, but I hope they don't. I wouldn't mind having to buy a dongle for HDMI output since I use it so rarely, but I do use the SD card slot semi occasionally as a photographer, and I don't see the advantage of USB-C over MagSafe. Additionally, using USB-C could open up non-tech savvy users to even more issues than the current fake/non-approved MagSafe power bricks being sold on Amazon etc.

awinder 2 days ago 3 replies      
I was having a hard enough time with the AMD graphics rumors in lieu of the awesomeness going on right now with the 1060/1070 in laptops, but damn apple, way to throw in some real crazy with axing the escape key
pixelHD 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apart from the lack of the Escape and function keys, I'm kinda bothered about the keyboard. It seems the MacBook Pro has the butterfly keys. I really hoped they won't use the butterfly keys on the MBP.

Well, it's just a leaked image, so can't draw too many conclusions out of it I guess.

jasonjei 2 days ago 1 reply      
So I have the unenviable position of having to support a C++ application with Visual Studio as the build tool. I use a Mac and VMware. Does that mean working within Visual Studio is going to be a lot harder given the Func keys are gone?
dennyabraham 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is it coincidental that the leaked image is of a user buying bluetooth headphones?
pasbesoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, who's going to be first with an after-market "bumpy" "screensaver" appliqu for this, to simulate at least to some degree a "key texture"?

Alternatively, will/could it (at some point) have localized haptic feedback?

P.S. I'd like to see some "edge-on" photographs that show whether and to what extent the relative exposure/relief of the top row of keys and the bar cause the bar to "hide behind" the higher relief of the keys, making it more difficult to touch without triggering one of those keys, particularly for a touch-typist or someone hitting the bar frequently.

chx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lenovo did this to ThinkPads. They backed down. Apple will do this. They will be heralded as true innovators, every laptop maker, including Lenovo will copy them and thus we get further from usable laptop keyboard by another step.
DominikR 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm fine with the USB-C ports and buying a new set of cables but I'm not sure about the Magic Toolbar. I frequently use the F keys for shortcuts in my IDE, might be painful to adjust to this.

Edit: The USB-C ports are actually a great feature for me, I plan to buy a monitor with USB-C that can both act as an USB hub, charge the Macbook and use the USB-C cable to receive the video data. (all by using a single cable)

I'll then have one of these monitors both at home and in the office.

pkamb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like my app PowerKey just got sherlocked...


rsync 1 day ago 2 replies      
Tomorrow is the day when I run to store.apple.com and buy the maxed out 11" macbook air - even though my current 11" macbook air works perfectly.

I need a decent laptop to do my work. A laptop without a physical escape key is not a decent laptop. Therefore, I will stockpile a second one so as to delay by 3-4 years the need to "switch".

wodenokoto 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is anybody else impressed with how accurate the artist rendition that has been floating around for almost a year is?

comparison: http://imgur.com/a/KDOGq

itomato 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can only hope the Magic Toolbar allows me to span 'Esc' across the whole thing.

A meter alternating between battery capacity and wifi strength would be a nice touch.

Testing the keyboard on the Macbook, I found the action too stiff for my taste. Not jazzed about the short travel, either.

Here's hoping.

sklivvz1971 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how well (or badly) this is going to work when using an external keyboard. I don't mind using the inbuilt keyboard and screen of a laptop for limited time, but in my case, for proper coding and serious usage, nothing beats a mechanical keyboard and a real mouse.
WiseWeasel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just imagine playing Pong or Shufflepuck with that input. This will revolutionize paddle-based gaming all over again!
anfogoat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, this looks like it's going to increase usability a great deal for ppl who are always running macOS and using the latest GUI apps from AppStore and is therefore going to be in future MBP models as well. Personally, tapping on a flat surface for my ESC and F-keys -- assuming they're even available -- is something I'll refuse to adapt to.
ungzd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of https://www.artlebedev.ru/optimus/ keyboard
deno 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everyones here focusing on usability aspects, but in fact this is a great security feature more than anything[1].

Security research has been calling for something like this for a long time. Any enterprise laptop brand should have been shipping this five years ago.

[1] Assuming they dont let apps just display anything there.

usaphp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Please, not those stupid left/right arrow keys, leave them as they are on current macbook pro, I need spacing between them so I can touch feel them.
dcosson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they'll consider giving the next iphone a usb-c port too. If they're really going to be consolidating to a single port I could get on board. Changing yet another standard connector but still requiring everyone to keep around 2 types of chargers (now exactly the same size) seems pretty obnoxious even for Apple.
geerlingguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like the Touch ID area/button is physically separate, and I'm guessing it will function similarly to the home button on iOS devices (touch to power on/wake, and it scans your fingerprint at the same time): http://imgur.com/gallery/G8u98
kdeldycke 1 day ago 0 replies      
No wonder the maintainer of Karabiner ( https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/ ), one of the most powerful keyboard customizer on OSX, had to start rewriting it from scratch for macOS. Maybe the underlaying keyboard/accessibility APIs in macOS have changed so much it forced a rewrite.

If that's the case then I'm starting to see the macOS major release policy as being as conservative as possible. I.e. no introduction of unnecessary changes unless it warrants advancements in hardware integration.

graeme 2 days ago 1 reply      
So will it be full of blue light at night? I'm guessing a lot of MacBook Pro users are flux users. I certainly am.
draw_down 2 days ago 0 replies      
The rest of them I don't care about, but I use the play/pause and volume keys often.
gjvc 2 days ago 3 replies      
...and STILL has a caps-lock key.
andrewmcwatters 2 days ago 1 reply      
HN is the only place where I can read people's comments complaining about how the JavaScript ecosystem needs to move at even faster pace than it is now and just a few submissions away, watch people complain about hardware change.
dep_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
A thought: would it be possible with some kind of feedback like the touchpad or iPhone 6S uses to simulate the feel not only of pressing keys but also the feeling of your finger sliding over them without actually pressing them?

I mean I can find the ESC key blindly even if it isn't actually there anymore, but the brightness up key is for me goes like "find ESC key, slide two to the right".

LaSombra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope the API to use it isn't restricted to App Store applications.
johnwheeler 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope they don't forego the USB port on the next MacBook pro.
serge2k 2 days ago 1 reply      
Alright, I think the touch bar thing is stupid but really I use those keys for volume/brightness almost exclusively. So I can probably live with that.

edit: Aw crud, I do use escape when I'm editing in vim from time to time.

Not having HDMI on the 15" is annoying. Not having SD is annoying. I didn't use the HDMI port a ton, but it was nice to have. SD I really only use for photos.

Losing magsafe is probably the worst thing here.

Oh well, my 2013 is still going strong so it's not like I'm really in the market for a new macbook.

kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the bar will be customizable (both icons and functionality) or if we have to live with what Apple provides for different programs.

Would love to map things I commonly do for bash or some generators etc. For touch typing I could also see just mapping the left, middle and right roughly so I only have to hit one of the buttons in that group for three extra buttons.

raldi 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article mentions that there's no longer an escape key; command-line users, get ready to switch to Ctrl-[ from now on.

Not mentioned in the article: the power button is gone, too.

vladimir-y 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's try it in action, but for now I presume it's more like an marketing thing than a practical need (I'm fine with usual fn keys). A thing which is supposed to keep Apple to be named as an innovative company.

Also will this "magic" work on Linux if I put it on a new Macbook?

kruhft 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like the builtin fingerprint reader if that means I don't have to type my password to login. Love it on the phone, hope it works on the laptop.
alpineidyll3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Macs are already dead to me. It's become impossible to use them without some new nag notification every time I want to run new software or even just do anything without massaging itunes/icloud/siri continuously.

This is just another nail in the coffin. Adios OSX, hello well-made ubuntu ready macbook clones.

akubera 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope they still include a physical power button somewhere on the device, though I don't see it on any leaked keyboard pictures.
chvid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great with some new ideas on what's in a basic laptop.

I wonder: this would need some kind of software support so that the focused application would write what to display on the keyboard? Meaning it would work only with a small set of applications in the beginning.

Also I wonder if this feature will make it into apple's external keyboards?

tetraodonpuffer 2 days ago 1 reply      
so if there is an API for applications to modify this magic toolbar, does it mean that while the application with the custom toolbar is running I can't change screen brightness or mute the sound etc? hopefully there is some shortcut that forces the magic toolbar to 'alt-tab' to the 'system defaults' view...
locusm 2 days ago 0 replies      
At that thickness wont this have serious thermal throttling like iMac's do for GPU or CPU?
rsync 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait ... wait.

Where. Where is the escape key.

Where is the escape key ?

kybernetyk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh, no physical escape key? That's a show stopper. (Already have ctrl mapped to caps lock so re-mapping esc isn't really feasible for me).
andreygrehov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Apple gathers any statistics on the most pressed keyboard keys. That could be a reason why they decided to go with the OLED touch panel as a replacement for function keys.
tdkl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Time to make the top row with Esc and function keys as an external keyboard. If didn't Apple already done that, since they're an accessories company lately.
mkj 2 days ago 0 replies      
It will be interesting to see how well they use their new hardware unspoofable UI. Puts Apple Pay ahead of most other payments in terms of security.
visionscaper 2 days ago 0 replies      
What I noticed is what I think is a thinner screen bezel, which I love. It also seems that the body is less wide. Or I'm I the only one noticing this?
chuckreynolds 2 days ago 0 replies      
so the rumors look mostly true. WIN. #takemymoney
efvxcgci 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the end of Apple. I've been using MAC for over 100 years and this is the final straw. I'll never buy another product from MAC. No function keys on the MACbook, no headphone jack on the Iphone, less space than a nomad. It's bad enough that I need all these dongles for my headphones, SCSI CD drives, and CueCats, and now I need to get even more dongles for my function keys. I knew MAC was going to fail ever since they released the underpowered and un-upgradable toy Imac.
vr46 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't realize that the keyboard needed disrupting - nearly all my function keys are mapped in Vim or used in other ways for fast switching, or other types of automation. I can't wait to see how they flog the Magic Toolbar to the visually impaired.

Apple have turned into Big Brother and their hardware upgrades seem inspired by NewSpeak. Doubleplus ungood, Apple.

Karupan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm done with Apple's "Magic" features. I'm sticking to my old 2012 MBP retina till it gives up the ghost, and then picking up a Dell XPS 13", which still has familiar keys.

I'm all for evolution, but change for the sake of change means I've to unlearn years of muscle memory and relearn something that is specific to only Apple's hardware. No thanks!

situationista 2 days ago 0 replies      
If the new MacBook Pros are indeed USB-C only, Apple's just given me a great incentive to ditch the iPhone (with its proprietary Lightning standard) and move over to a USB-C compatible phone (such as Google Pixel). At long last a single charger for all devices could be visible on the horizon... another self-inflicted nail in the coffin for Apple's closed-ecosystem supremacy in mobile.
muninn_ 2 days ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one questioning this "leak" ?

How often does Apple leak things on their own website?

frandroid 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apple, why are you breaking something that works well. First the headphone jack, now this.
ikawe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally, an excuse for the rest of you vi users to remap Caps Lock to escape.

You won't regret it!

beilabs 1 day ago 1 reply      
OK, it's time for me to dive back into the land of linux for my development machine.

Recommendations welcome, looking for something with similar specs to current maxed out mac airs 11".

Recommendations welcome!

exstudent2 2 days ago 5 replies      
Moves like this are quickly pushing me away from Macbooks for dev. I need a *nix backend though. Does anyone know what the state of the art for Linux laptops is?
beedogs 1 day ago 0 replies      
No escape key? This company is an absolute joke now. Guess it's back to Windows on a PC for me.
Esau 2 days ago 0 replies      
smegel 2 days ago 2 replies      
This seems gimicky and anti-Apple.
aoki 2 days ago 0 replies      
am i the only one who thought: "hey, apple finally implemented the ANY key!" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Any_key
revelation 2 days ago 0 replies      
No function keys, so the "magic toolbar" will for 99% of the time just be a generic toolbar?

That smacks of the Android decision to do away with physical keys and instead just display them all the time. Wasting valuable screen real estate and power for a bad emulation of buttons.

Young, talented and fed-up: scientists tell their stories nature.com
217 points by danielmorozoff  16 hours ago   161 comments top 22
hprotagonist 12 hours ago 5 replies      
"if you pay a man a salary for doing research, he and you will want to have something to point to at the end of the year to show that the money has not been wasted. In promising work of the highest class, however, results do not come in this regular fashion, in fact years may pass without any tangible result being obtained, and the position of the paid worker would be very embarrassing and he would naturally take to work on a lower, or at any rate a different plane where he could be sure of getting year by year tangible results which would justify his salary. The position is this: You want one kind of research, but, if you pay a man to do it, it will drive him to research of a different kind. The only thing to do is to pay him for doing something else and give him enough leisure to do research for the love of it. "

-- J. J. Thompson"

jawilson2 12 hours ago 4 replies      
I got my biomedical engineering PhD, and was a neurology professor at a top children's hospital doing brain/epilepsy research for a few years. Literally my dream job for most of my life. I left it two years ago due to many of the reasons listed, and got a job going quant/algorithmic trading at a prop firm. I have never been happier, it is a hell of of a lot less stressful, I may actually pay off my student loans before I retire, we just bought a house, and obviously don't regret it for a second. Most of my old friends at my old job are jealous; they have psych or bio backgrounds, and have more or less hit their ceilings in terms of where that skill set can take them. For engineers who know how to code (I was a core contributer to www.bci2000.org for a decade+), math is math, and it doesn't matter if it is doing real time processing of brain signals or market data.
nonbel 13 hours ago 3 replies      
I would say "stay as far away from academic research as you possibly can" is the best advice someone can get these days. It is an awful, stressful waste of the prime of your life.

From what I saw in biomed only 1/10,000 or so will end up with the time, skills, and appropriately ambitious project to allow a decent job to get done. The rest will be forced to produce BS (literally, most of it is just misinformation at this point) or quit before even graduating.

kayhi 13 hours ago 2 replies      
In the HN spirit, where's the opportunity? How can we help improve the life of researchers?

Start ups trying to help:

Science Exchange (YCS11) https://www.scienceexchange.com/ : outsource parts of your research to companies

Instrumentl (YCS16) https://www.instrumentl.com/ : identify and push relevant grants towards applicable research

Experiment (YCW13) https://experiment.com/ : crowdfunding platform for scientific research

Transcriptic (YCW15) https://www.transcriptic.com/ : a robotic cloud laboratory for the life sciences

LabGuru https://www.labguru.com/ : inventory management and lab notebook

Lab Spend https://labspend.com/ : tracks spending and finds savings on supplies and chemicals

subnaught 13 hours ago 0 replies      
In the mid 90's, Caltech's David Goodstein predicted an impending "Big Crunch" in science, writing: "We must find a radically different social structure to organize research and education in science after The Big Crunch."

The essay is long but well worth reading: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg/crunch_art.html

dekhn 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel for these scientists. I understand what they went through- I went through it myself during the run-up of biomedical training in the mid-to-late 90's. After being a PI at a national lab for a few years, trying to get funded against more experienced scientists (some of whom copied my ideas!) I decided to move to industry.

Now I have a job with a well-defined 20% time dedicated to research with effectively no limits on what I can do. I don't need to ask for funding- the resources I need are just expenses I charge against my company's effectively infinite budget. If I want to write a paper, I do- and those papers get cited far more highly than my previous papers, because my employer's name is gold.

My salary is high enough that I maintain a lab in my garage and self-fund most of my experiments.

This path doesn't work for everybody (the number of positions in industry that allow this freedom is limited) but in my experience it allowed me far more time to be a productive researcher than if I had tried to be a professor at a tier-1 university or a researcher at a national lab.

Interestingly, my PhD training (in biomed) turned out to be ideal for being a data scientist, and my personal interests that I pursued during my training turned out to be ideal for working at my firm. In some sense, PhD programs produce the best programmers and researchers in industry, along with teaching a fair amount of how to deal with politics, which is critical in both academia and industry.

mpweiher 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My comment from a few days ago:


When I was first exposed to the research "environment" during my Diplom studies (undergraduate - graduate, early to mid 90ies), I immediately recognised that if you actually love research and knowledge, academia was the last thing you ever want to get into. No surer way to kill the spark.

Now that I've gone back to do my PhD, the only reason I can do something I consider meaningful is because I am not a regular PhD student. Interestingly, that's also the feedback I get, though as "helpful" advice that while what I am doing may be both good and important, it is unlikely to lead to success in academia. With the implication that I should stop doing it and concentrate on something more reasonable. Fortunately, I am not particularly interested in success in modern academia, so I get to do something I consider both good and important.

A related issue is that there really is no such thing as a senior researcher. Instead, professors are turned into research managers, responsible for helping their charges' careers, who then also turn into research managers. Actual research appears to be mostly a still not entirely avoidable side-effect. (And this seems similar to the way the only real way to advancement in industry is to switch to management, all dual-track equivalence rhetoric aside).

Balgair 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll put my 2 cents in here too.

PhD in bioeng. Not planning on academia. Unfortunately, most of my cohort of grad students are ... blind?... to the data that we all know is out there. I'm part of 2 groups on campus that specialize in industry networking and start-ups. We do monthly happy-hours where we pay for the beer and nachos and we also bring in speakers that have PhDs in industry to talk about the transition and network with them too. We get a lot of people (30+) to show up to these events.

But they are ALL 2nd or 3rd round post-docs. Almost no actual grad-students. I've talk to them. They all know that they have no real shot, they all know the odds in the lottery. They do not care. The only thing I can think is that these 22-27 year olds really think they can out-work each other and 'make it'. Past data in their lives says that they have always done so, and the next time should be no different. It's amazing that such smart people can be so damn bullheaded. Scientists are people too, including the stupidity.

neumann 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I am finishing up my postdoc now. I went back to do a PhD from IT because I loved the field I was entering and ended up really enjoying my PhD. I learnt a lot, got exposed to some great minds, and raised the bar for my own standards of quality, efficiency and intellect. But now, after two years of a postdoc for a tenure track professor in the US, my academic dreams have unravelled. I am looking for jobs in industry even though I am being encouraged for academic track.

From my experience, it seems like the classic scientific research method of the old guard who I was mentored by is fading. The greats in my field would concentrate on one topic, work slowly, wrap it up, move to a new topic, and cultivate protoges. Now, the people securing tenure-track and tenure all seem to have half a dozen diverse projects to start with (to see which one suceeds and look hungry) - I see a lot of corner-cutting in their research - being bold is rewarded over detail and care.

Most of my peers whom I respect for their research output and well-roundedness haven't made the cut for academia. A cynical sure fire recipe for making tenure in academia? 1. Have a great knack for politics; 2. put yourself ahead of your students by treating them as monkeys for publishing with no regard for their scientific development; 3. cut corners (tell yourself you will fix it when you get tenure); and 4. be a narcissist - you can't afford to do anything that doesn't impact your track record positively (outreach counts!). That is not to say there are not some great people who have got positions - but the criteria for who makes the cut has changed sufficiently that it feels like it is being played by those who are willing to play the rules of the game. The worst part is that there is rarely any consequence down the line - once you have secured enough funding the community overlooks all but most severe transgressions.

hasbroslasher 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm curious why this field hasn't been "privatized" to some degree. Why doesn't division of labor apply? Why not have scientists go off and do their research and rely on a team that is skilled at hoarding grants or publishing works from raw data? I imagine it's probably due to some institutional barriers (e.g. you can't get funding outside of a university context).

I imagine the reason is as always - our leaders are two-faced in their support of science. They claim that it's a national issue but fail to make professorship even remotely competitive in the hard sciences. This kind of thing raises the most righteous indignation in me. We have a nation of know-nothing politicians claiming "We need more kids in STEM!" without doing anything to address the quagmire academia has become, largely because of over-competition for resources.

For all of this myopia around STEM it's largely a misnomer. No one in industry cares about climate science, geology, theoretical physics, abstract algebra, topology, combinatorics or number theory - at least not in the dollars and cents view. They may care insofar as there's a cash benefit, but not to the degree that they care about building better oil pipelines, faster algorithms and more efficient fabrics. So what we end up with is a world where Nike, Facebook and Exxon Mobil attract the best talent - a world where PhD's are basically forced to quit their jobs in order to go make money for the bourgeois.

xamuel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pure math phd here, now working in finance.

On a personal level I wish I could've been a research professor.

But on an objective level, in pure math the invisible hand of the market is acting correctly. There's already so much amazing pure math published, you could devote your whole life just to understanding 1/100th of the math published in the 1990s, to say nothing of the stuff published in 2016.

We don't need more basic researchers right now.

Sucks though that a lot of people (like me) have to watch a life dream crumble, though.

javiramos 12 hours ago 0 replies      
None of my research friends that have gone to industry regret it... Some of my friends that have gone on to academic jobs regret the decision.
markkat 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been in biomedical research for 15 years, and I am leaving the lab atm. Many of my peers are as well. It's not a viable or enjoyable career anymore. Funding is extremely political, and proposal reviews border on arbitrary. Typically, the funding has been decided by seniority and politics, and the review is justification.

I imagine that it will get better eventually, but I can't wait for that to come to pass, and I can't in good conscience advise others to do so.

bluetwo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I understand this article is mostly about the pressure of finding grants and doing research, but the role also includes teaching. I would be curious to hear, based on the experience of others, how much of the money generated by teaching a class goes to the professor.

Something like:

% = ($ Professor paid per Class) / (Students per Class * Number of Credits for Class * $ Charged per Credit)

At least by my calculations based on my own experience, 90% of the revenue here gets sucked up by overhead with only 10% going to the person teaching. If a non-profit was run this way, it would get shut down.

martincmartin 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Many of these people will leave for academia. Some of them have spare time, or maybe will have spare time after their kids are grown, or will be able to retire early. Then they could become citizen scientists [1], independent scientists [2], etc.

Like independent film or video games, they couldn't compete head-on with big budget research. But they could presumably make progress in areas ignored by them: longer term, more fundamental research for example.

When I was a postdoc at MIT, it was common for the grad students to want to have a "lunatic fringe" track at conferences or an "unconvential ideas" seminar. But once you're in the heirarchy/buerocracy of academia, you understand why those don't exist. Perhaps independent scientists could actually do them?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_science[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_scientist

exox 12 hours ago 3 replies      
The problem I faced - and still am, to an extent - was that during my PhD I was given no support or really any information at all about the possibility of a life and career outside of academia. I was fortunate enough to be offered a postdoc position in the same group that I did my PhD (particle physics) before Id actually submitted my thesis. However 6 months later I desperately needed a change and managed to find another postdoc as a research scientist in the Medical Physics department of a cancer hospital.

Medical physics research has felt more fulfilling than particle physics, but Im now in a position where my current contract expires in around 9 months, and with a mortgage to pay and a family to support I have to decide between: looking for yet another short-term postdoc position (in a hopefully related field of physics) - ending up in exactly the same position in 2-3 years; starting to apply for grants and funding with my current research group - a very stressful process with no guarantees of anything; moving into industry / private sector - assuming that itd be possible to find a company that had a need for the very specific knowledge base and skills that developed over the past 7 years.

Or all of the above, at the same time, while trying to continue working my current research projects.

As someone that has always had an interest in computing, data analysis and software, but has ended up approaching them from a physics-based direction, I dont feel qualified to compete with computer science/statistics grads for most of the software development or data science jobs that I see advertised.

I'm sure that there are other fields out there that would suit me, but having never had a non-academic-research job, I'm struggling to know where and what to look for.Does anyone have any practical advice for moving away from an academic career path?

rubidium 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"as a young researcher moving to the private sector, hes had to prove himself all over again."

This is true and is worth anyone making the switch keeping in mind. Commercial companies want a commercial track record before they trust you with important decisions.

hash-set 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Having gone through a lot of what is discussed in the article, I have concluded that academic research careers are for rich people only. I didn't even have student loans, but the pay was ridiculous given how many years of my 20s I spent in school, i.e. not making any income. Retirement is a real thing you know? So is getting old and having poor health.

The comments on the nature.com page are interesting, too. No matter how much you love your career and your research, there is more to life.

Also, you can see how climate research has become a total echo chamber--the people fighting over the scraps of funding will gladly sell their souls to a communist lie if that's what it takes to get by.

pvaldes 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"mediocre science", that line says it all.
cryoshon 13 hours ago 1 reply      
yeah, i left science for the reasons the article outlined.

it's a big weight off of my shoulders. i tell people who are thinking of going into science not to do so, now.

debt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
i hear this is the same problem in politics. a ton of fundraising and very little politicking or whatever it is politicians use to do normally during the day.
santaclaus 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The main problem with science is the lack of agile methodologies -- the scientific process is ripe for disruption.
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